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Category — Climate debate issues

U.S. EPA’s Futile, Costly Crusade Against CO2 (Part 1)

“CO2 emissions are quite the opposite of the dirty soot (sulfur dioxide, or SO2) that older people remember turned snow black in the winter, ruined laundry hung outside to dry, and coated outside parked cars. EPA’s power grab is a direct attempt to deceive the public about the nature of the hazard being foisted upon them.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is off environmental track. Having addressed the real pollutants, the agency has invented an unconquerable “pollutant” to regulate–not to enable more and better human living but to satisfy an anti-industrial agenda and give itself new purpose for money and power.

The emission at issue is carbon dioxide (CO2), the green greenhouse gas, also accurately characterized as the gas of life.

EPA’s mantra has worked against what otherwise is man-made energy abundance. The regulatory result is higher energy prices, as well as a recession in coal country beyond that from increased competition from natural gas. Such has contributed to the U.S. economic malaise of the last several years.

June 2nd Power Plant Proposal

The latest assault occurred last month with the EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards, a proposal to require a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from existing power plants below the 2005 level by the year 2030.

The year 2005 was a high CO2-emission time for the United States with total carbon dioxide emissions of 6.723 billion tons and 2.642 billion tons for electric power generation (39 percent).  A 30 percent reduction in power emissions by 2030 is 0.793 billion tons, leaving no more than 1.85 billion tons of carbon emissions for electric power generation.

CO2 emissions are quite the opposite of the dirty soot (sulfur dioxide, or SO2) that older people remember turned snow black in the winter, ruined laundry hung outside to dry, and coated outside parked cars. EPA’s power grab is a direct attempt to deceive the public about the nature of the hazard being foisted upon them. [Read more →]

July 9, 2014   1 Comment

Heartland Institute: Reality Check for the Climate Debate (Las Vegas conference July 7–9)

“Come to fabulous Las Vegas to meet leading scientists from around the world who question whether ‘man-made global warming’ will be harmful to plants, animals, or human welfare. Learn from top economists and policy experts about the real costs and futility of trying to stop global warming.”

The leading sustainability threat is not mineral resource depletion, air or water pollution, or anthropogenic climate change. It is statism, and in the case of climate change, policy activism in the name of “stabilizing” or “saving” the planet.

Enter the Heartland Institute and their 9th International Conference on Climate Change, to be held July 7–9 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Consider the conference in the background of the “pause” in global warming, which is 15-years-going-on-20 as shown in the graph below. [Read more →]

June 23, 2014   No Comments

ObamaScience: Third U.S. Climate Assessment DOA (hype haunts in real science)

“This is not sober, balanced science; it is ObamaScience for open-ended government planning.”

Despite uncooperative data regarding global warming (in a 15+ year ‘pause’), hurricanes, and tornadoes; despite the failure of climate models to predict and thus explain; despite the inability of the same models to attribute regionally; and despite the well-known benefits of carbon dioxide fertilization and moderately warmer/wetter climate scenarios, Obama and the Malthusian Left (including many cooperating scientists) soldier on.

But it will not be easy. The all-in effort to stretch climate science beyond the normal peer-review literature (John Holdren got his wish) may well backfire. Good science drives out bad, and the public is already alerted to the politicization of climate science and the nefarious agenda of “saving the planet.”

A Wall Street Journal article, “Obama Climate Push Faces a Lukewarm Public,” explained the climate conundrum. For Democrats and much more so for conservatives, climate-change is a low priority of concern. [Read more →]

May 9, 2014   3 Comments

Common Core’s Climate Indoctrination

“Our science programs should stimulate students to have an inquiring mind–the very opposite of the science-is-settled, “consensus science” mindset. Obama’s Common Core is a Trojan Horse mixing propaganda with science for our youth…. [Such] one-size-fits-all learning smacks of collectivism in place of individual initiative.”

At a Chicago fundraiser May 29, 2013, President Obama chillingly stated, “I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change.”  At his swearing-in ceremony May 21, 2013, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz declared he is “not interested in debating what is not debatable [in climate science].”  These remarks echo the long-standing assertion of climate alarmists that the “science is settled” in regard to the deleterious effects of fossil-fuel burning on global climate. The oxymoronic “consensus science” is another political sound bite in this genre.

Would these statements come from true scientists interested in pursuing the truth about whether carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel is a global threat?  These remarks make very clear the policies of the United States government with regard to education or research on climate science. If proposed education material or research does not support abandoning fossil fuels, go somewhere else for financial support and airing your views. Close the door on the way out.

The shared narrative is that man, not nature, has been the main driver of climate change for most of the last century–and that this cannot be good, only bad. Support for this thesis is a series of Assessment Reports by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) released since 1990. 

NIPCC vs. IPCC

To counteract omissions, half-truths, and false statements in these reports, the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) was formed in 2003.  Since 2009, the NIPCC has released six reports that give authoritative, easily-read information about the vast amount of experimental data showing negligible influence of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels on climate, financial losses from mitigation, and proper role of adapting to climate change. [Read more →]

April 21, 2014   4 Comments

Is the Environmental Movement Net CO2 Positive? (James Hansen wants to know)

“Has Big Environmentalism increased net CO2 emissions by retiring existing or discouraging new nuclear (and hydro) capacity that would have produced more kilowatt hours than that being generated by new wind and solar capacity? It is time to do the hard math. Let the games begin!”

James Hansen is an energy realist amid his climate alarmism. And fortunately, we can use the analysis of the former to debunk the politics of the latter. And even more fortunately, the physical science of man-made climate change is moving away from Hansen’s high-sensitivity estimates to “global lukewarming” (the analysis of Chip Knappenberger, Roy Spencer, John Christy, and others—seconded by the very influential Judith Curry in numerous blogs for the mainstream.

In his just released analysis, “Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power and Galileo: Do Scientists Have a Duty to Expose Popular Misconceptions?, Hansen once again speaks energy/political truth to Big Environmentalism. This is at least the fourth time he has done so.

Inconvenient Truths: 2009, 2011, 2012

 In 2009, Hansen eviscerated Big Green for supporting the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill with the memorable words: [Read more →]

February 24, 2014   3 Comments

‘Climate Change’: Unpacking a Political Term (looking through the looking glass)

Climate Change. A term, which attempts to take the natural weather pattern and attribute it to the activities of humans. Heavily adopted recently for use to promote cave living, the idea that humans are a noxious virus on planet Earth, and the practice of greater separation between the rich and the poor. I know the weather pattern is natural and everything we’re experiencing now has been experienced before, but I still feel all warm, fuzzy knowing that electricity companies are responsible for Climate Change and are being taxed accordingly because of it.”

- Excerpt, UrbanDictionary.com (satirical).

A Wall Street Journal editorial earlier this month, “It Isn’t Climate Change”, makes a valid point that recent “polar vortex” of subzero temperatures in the Midwest, East Coast, and Southern U.S. is not “climate change.” But this begs the question: what is climate change?

The term is used with such vagueness that it could never be used in a scientific experiment to meet Karl Popper’s test of falsifiability. The term has been made so politically correct that it has become Orwellian doublespeak.

In elementary school I learned that areas of the world that once were tropical jungles are now deserts and vice versa. So there is “climate change.” That no one denies, not even so-called climate- change “deniers.” James Hansen, himself associated with the alarmist wing of climate science, made this point clearly: [Read more →]

January 15, 2014   18 Comments

Richard Kerr (Science) in 2009: Warming ‘Pause’ About to Be Replaced by ‘Jolt’

“Pauses as long as 15 years are rare in the simulations, and ‘we expect that [real-world] warming will resume in the next few years,’ the Hadley Centre group writes…. Researchers … agree that no sort of natural variability can hold off greenhouse warming much longer.”

- Richard Kerr, Science (2009)

That’s Richard A. Kerr, the longtime, award-winning climate-change scribe for Science magazine, the flagship publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The article, “What Happened to Global Warming? Scientists Say Just Wait a Bit,” was published October 1, 2009.

The article is important in the history of climate thought because it captures neatly the (over)confidence of the scientists who turn to models to justify their faith that past overestimation will soon be reversed. Judith Curry’s recent discovery of F. A. Hayek’s Nobel Prize Lecture in Economics, The Pretense of Knowledge, marks a new front in the mainstream climate debate. [1]

Secondly, today’s explanation for the “pause” (a term used in Kerr’s 2009 article) is not mentioned back then—ocean delay.

Third, Kerr frames the debate in political terms with Copenhagen just ahead—and fails to interview or include the contrary views about how climate sensitivity might be less than the climate models assume in their physical equations.

Here is the guts of the Kerr article as the 5th year anniversary comes this year: [Read more →]

January 14, 2014   13 Comments

Cooling Trends in Climate Model Credibility

“Given the current state of climate science, I don’t see evidence that these and other complex interacting factors stand a reasonable chance of being predicted, beyond what is possible through a basic understanding of historical variability.”

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released its first major global warming manifesto since 2007. Once again, the IPCC makes dramatic predictions of future warming and catastrophic consequences due to manmade carbon dioxide emissions. Typically, these predictions are reported as proven “findings” that have the same status as the readings of a thermometer.

But predictions are fundamentally different from measurements, and the more complex the system, the more difficult the prediction. The climate is a complicated combination of atmospheric, land, and ocean systems whose dynamics must be pieced together on scales from the size of a single cloud to wind streams spanning continents. Common sense should make us suspicious of any individual or group who claims a high degree of confidence in predicting it decades into the future–especially when that group doesn’t seem to acknowledge what kind of scientific breakthroughs would be necessary for such a task.

Industrial progress over the last 75 years has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 0.03% to the current value of 0.04%. It is very difficult to determine the exact impact of this change as it melds into the swirl of constant natural variability of the climate system, including changes in the intensity of solar radiation, poorly understood short and long-term thermal phenomena in the oceans, changes in the growth trends of carbon dioxide-sucking vegetation, and fluctuating volcanic emissions. 

Given the current state of climate science, I don’t see evidence that these and other complex interacting factors stand a reasonable chance of being predicted, beyond what is possible through a basic understanding of historical variability.

[Read more →]

November 12, 2013   7 Comments

Climate Desperadoes: The Real ‘Deniers’ (Part I)

“The real climate change ‘deniers’ are the alarmists who deny that natural forces still dominate weather and climate events, and refuse to acknowledge that thousands of scientists do not agree with IPCC proclamations and prescriptions.”

The old saws of climate alarmism getting increasingly desperate and intolerant in the face of contrary theoretical evidence and empirical anomalies.

The ad hominem attacks seem strange. Shouldn’t all good citizens of the earth be buoyed by the fact that yet another Malthusian-like alarm is becoming more and more implausible?

Shrilling, If Not Shilling

Al Gore is in full attack model, employing his “Climate Reality Project” to “Draw the Line on Denial,” even as he laid off 90% of the staff at his “Alliance for Climate Protection.” Greenpeace has joined the fray, launching a “Dealing in Doubt” campaign that blames ExxonMobil for funding the “global warming denial machine.”

ClimateProgress.org blogger Joe Romm faithfully echoes Greenpeace hysterics and blame-casting, even though the climate cataclysm cabal outspends the “deniers” by at least $1,000 to $1, and ExxonMobil hasn’t supported ‘skeptic’ groups for years. [Read more →]

September 23, 2013   3 Comments

Is the Carbon Tax Seance Over? (A reality check for a trumped-up ‘conservative’ cause)

When asked if a carbon tax was preferable to EPA regulations on greenhouse gases, David Kreutzer, a research fellow with the Heritage Foundation who sat on yesterday’s panel, described the question as a trap.

It’s like asking me what’s the most humane way to execute innocent people …. When conservatives talk about a carbon tax, the headline says, “Conservative supports carbon tax,” So I’m not going to be drawn into this fantasy world where we speculate on what might happen when we know it won’t, when it gives people ammo to misrepresent what I said.

So no, a carbon tax is not preferable to EPA regulations.

- Evan Lehmann, “Conservatives Attack Each Other Over Carbon Tax Plans,” ClimateWire, July 18, 2013.

“[Ken] Green delighted his mostly conservative audience by comparing a carbon tax to a vampire who must be staked, beheaded and sprinkled over water — ‘preferably holy water’.”

- Jean Chemnick, “Panel Urges Conservatives to ‘Just Say No’ to Carbon Tax,” Energy & Environment Daily, July 18, 2013.

Last week, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) held a panel event in Washington, “A U.S. Carbon Tax: The Rest of the Story,” featuring four critics of such a levy:

Robert Murphy, Senior Economist, Institute for Energy Research

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph, Ontario;

Kenneth Green, Senior Director of Energy and Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute; and

David Kreutzer, Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change, Heritage Foundation.

Opening Comments

I moderated the panel for IER (I am founder and CEO of the organization). My comments attempted to put the current tax debate in perspective: [Read more →]

July 22, 2013   4 Comments