A free-market energy blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Hansen, James

Hansen to Obama/EPA: State Renewable Credits, Cap-and-Trade Are Special-Interest, Ineffectual GHG Mitigation Policies

Today, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a proposed rule to require states to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants with an overall reduction goal of 30 percent by 2030. The states can pick their poison, with cap-and-trade emission reductions or increased renewable-energy mandates. Energy efficiency mandates are in the mix too.

This is the latest and most aggressive battle of Obama’s War on Coal, which is really a starter-program in a war against fossil fuels in electrical generation.

Such is all pain, no gain; fire-ready-aim; a solution looking for a problem. It is ratepayers last, politics and cronyism first. It is a wealth transfer from Joe and Jane to climate-connected lawyers, consultants; the Department of Energy; alarmist scientists; and crony capitalists in the renewable-energy and energy-efficiency business.

So this is what the Party in Power calls helping the Middle Class? Protecting the powerless from Big Business? 

Tell us, how does climate alarmism and energy politicization square with ‘social justice’?

Enter James Hansen

Mr. Climate Alarmist himself, James Hansen, now retired but an activist for his cause, has trenchantly challenged federal and state cap-and-trade proposals, as well as state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). His warnings have, once again, come of age with today’s proposal from Obama/EPA. [Read more →]

June 2, 2014   1 Comment

James Hansen: Still More Good Energy Realism (just ignore his climate alarmism, world fee-and-dividend fix)

“Hansen has distain for all-hat, no-cattle renewables, was the subject of two recent MasterResource posts: Is the Environmental Movement Net CO2 Positive? (James Hansen wants to know) and Energy Realism Amid Climate Alarmism: James Hansen Rides Again. It is nuclear or bust, if it is not already bust, according to Hansen’s energy math.” - Robert Bradley, “Game, Set, Match Fossil Fuels? James Hansen Sleepless in Ningbo,” March 13, 2014.

James Hansen continues to speak energy truth to Environmental Power about the primary of fossil fuels; the need for affordable, plentiful, reliable energy;  and the dead-end, the distraction, of renewable-energy forcing and mandated energy conservation. Here are some contributions to the energy reality debate from his March 13th testimony at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, Keystone XL and the National Interest Determination:

“I am sorry that we scientists have not done an adequate job of communicating energy facts.” (p.3)

“Non-hydro renewables provide only a tiny fraction of global energy and do not appear capable of satisfying the large energy requirements of developing nations such as China and India.” (p. 6)

China’s Turn to Develop

“Fossil fuels are the dominant energy source globally because they are, or appear to be, the cheapest energy.” (p. 3) “It is inappropriate and an insult to go to China and tell them to work harder on renewables and energy efficiency.” (p. 5) [Read more →]

March 18, 2014   No Comments

Game, Set, Match Fossil Fuels? James Hansen Sleepless in Ningbo

“Recent events have been spiraling down so rapidly that I find it hard to sleep. Ex-President Clinton campaigns for a huge pipeline to carry Canadian tar sands…. Dogged insistence by environmental groups that intermittent renewable energies are the only alternative to fossil fuels.…”

Writing from China earlier this week, and no doubt preparing his testimony for Thursday’s “Keystone XL and the National Interest Determination” hearing in Washington before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, climate scientist/policy activist James Hansen has once again laid bare the internal contradictions of Big Green’s codependency on dilute ‘green’.

In his missive Sleepless in Ningbo, Dr. Hansen described how the Chinese authorities during a tour of the country’s renewable projects gave him some sobering news. China’s energy pie is divided into 78% coal, 12% gas, 7% oil, and 3% renewables. “They [are] making a major effort to increase the portion from renewables, striving for a goal of 6% within a few more years.” However, with demand growth of nearly 9%, net emissions are rising, not falling Hansen pointedly notes.

Hansen has distain for all-hat, no-cattle renewables, was the subject of two recent MasterResource posts: Is the Environmental Movement Net CO2 Positive? (James Hansen wants to know) and Energy Realism Amid Climate Alarmism: James Hansen Rides Again. It is nuclear or bust, if it is not already bust, according to Hansen’s energy math.

Just two weeks later, Hansen continues to rev up the reality-versus-imaging conflict within the mainstream environmental movement. Added to the grassroots rebellion against wind turbines, particularly in the Northeast and in southeastern Canada, a civil war of sorts is underway among anti-fossil-fuel environmentalists.

Dr. Hansen’s most recent quotations speak for themselves: [Read more →]

March 13, 2014   No Comments

Energy Realism Amid Climate Alarmism: James Hansen Rides Again

“Indeed, a case could be made that politicians have been pushed into a situation such that they have no choice but to approve continued coal-burning, hydro-fracking for increased gas and oil production, and pursuit of oil and gas in extreme and pristine environments.” (James Hansen)

“I am saying that the global energy discussion should be based on facts, not on myths.” (James Hansen)

Yesterday’s post on James Hansen’s new analysis, “Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power and Galileo: Do Scientists Have a Duty to Expose Popular Misconceptions?, discussed how the anti-nuclear, pro-wind strategy of mainstream environmentalism works to increase, not decrease, greenhouse-gas emissions. Such an incredible irony can only be blamed on philosophical fraud, of believing in imaging and emotions rather than reality. [1]

Hansen’s article also speaks energy/political truth to Big Environmentalism in other ways that help steer the energy debate towards realism and away from postmodernism. Now, if we can only get the author to open the door to climate realism (global lukewarming) to join his energy realism!

Here are a series of Hansen quotations that can only add to the civil war within a movement that can only be described, in its present form, as not pro-renewables as much as anti-energy. [Read more →]

February 25, 2014   3 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

California Cap-and-Trade Cronyism: James Hansen Weighs In

“You don’t want [California's] system with caps, where you have trading, you have derivatives, you have markets that then collapse and don’t actually reduce emissions much. That’s been tried in Europe, and it didn’t do much.”

- James Hansen, quoted in David Baker, “James Hansen Blasts Cap-and-Trade,” San Francisco Chronicle, December 5, 2012.

“Cap-and-trade’s complexity provides a breeding ground for special interests…. Why do those special interests deserve it anyhow?”

- James Hansen, “The People vs. Cap-and-Tax,” New York City, January 12, 2010.

NASA climate scientist James Hansen has long attracted criticism as the progenitor of modern climate alarmism. In recent years, Hansen has been prone to hyperbolic statements against fossil fuels, ignoring the moral imperative for abundant, affordable, and reliable mass energies (called progressive energy by Alex Epstein). Hansen has also engaged in civil disobedience for his wrong-headed cause.

Hansen’s alarmism, and its policy corollary of government-engineered energy transformation, is deeply troubled by three factors as documented by fellow climate scientist Chip Knappenberger:

  1. Global temperatures are not rising in tandem with greenhouse gas emissions (think global lukewarming);
  2. Hansen’s “climate dice” can be unloaded; and
  3. A carbon tax (Hansen’s alternative to cap-and-trade) is climatically useless.

Can James Hansen acknowledge the mere possibility of a benign or even positive human influence on climate? Such would be the beginning of an exit strategy, a soft landing, from what continues to shape up to be a Grand False Alarm. Hansen’s reconsideration, in fact, can begin with his own views of the 1990s on the complexity of his subject matter (see Appendix A).

Three Great Moments

But there is another side to the mad scientist that has interjected realism into the decarbonization debate. Three are mentioned here. [Read more →]

December 21, 2012   5 Comments

Unloading Hansen’s ‘Climate Dice’

“Today’s temperature ‘extremes’ are simply yesterday’s extremes warmed up a bit, partly from the heat-island effect. But they are not new events…. Hansen’s push on weather extremes is another case where the level of alarm is disproportionate to the level of impact.” 

Today’s temperature “extremes” are simply yesterday’s extremes warmed up a bit, partly from the heat-island effect. But they are not new events where none existed prior.

This distinction is neither subtle nor unimportant. When it comes to temperatures, yesterday’s extremes warmed up offer less of a surprise (and hence a greater ease of adaptability) than if a new crop of extreme events suddenly sprung up out of nowhere to catch us unprepared.

But such a distinction is not made prominently evident in the latest work by NASA’s James Hansen—and even less so in the accompanying media coverage (including that instigated by Hansen himself). Instead, the general audience is left with the distinct impression that anthropogenic global warming (as a result of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-based energy production) is leading to the occurrence of new extreme weather events when and where such weather events would not otherwise have occurred. For instance, in a Washington Post op-ed written by Hansen to accompany the release of his paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hansen writes:

Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

But this impression is untrue. These events and others like them, almost certainly would have occurred on their own (i.e., naturally). Climate change may have added a pinch of additional heat, but it almost certainly did not create these events out of thin air (see here for example). [Read more →]

September 24, 2012   17 Comments

Hansen’s Temperature Analysis: Today’s Normal is Yesterday’s Extreme–and Nobody Cares

Yesteryear’s climate extremes are today’s climate normals. Yet we are largely oblivious and better off. A hundred years from now the same will be true. Ho hum….

But not everyone thinks this way. Take NASA’s James Hansen for example.

Hansen has recently published a prominent paper (in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS) and placed a prominent op-ed (in the Washington Post) that are aimed at raising the public’s awareness of the impacts of climate change, both now and in the future. In a rather candid admission for a scientific paper (and one which in most cases would have resulted in an immediate rejection), Hansen (and co-authors) proclaim that “…we were motivated in this research by an objective to expose effects of human-made global warming as soon as possible…” To drive the point home further, Hansen’s op-ed was headlined “Climate change is here — and worse than we thought.”

What Hansen wants us to know, is that as temperatures increase, temperatures at the high end of the scale that were once statistically very rare (i.e., extreme) will become considerably less rare.

I agree completely.

However, Hansen is of the opinion that once this knowledge becomes widely known and associated with human greenhouse gas emissions (one of the many ways that human activity can alter the climate), that the majority of people will hasten to support actions (legislative, regulative) aimed at curtailing such emissions.

I completely disagree. [

August 23, 2012   20 Comments

James Hansen’s War Against Canada

“Hansen’s most recent editorial has received sharp criticism for the over-reach of his claims about climate science. But what the media isn’t covering is an unprecedented call for an environmental trade war with America’s largest trading partner. Let’s hope they catch up to that aspect of the story.”

In a recent editorial assault on Canada’s oil-sands, climate activist extraordinaire James Hansen (NASA) has basically declared war on Canada’s economy (not to mention our own). Hansen wrote:

Global warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves “regardless of what we do.”

He goes on to suggest that the U.S. actually take actions against the interests of our neighbors to the north:

President Obama has the power not only to deny tar sands oil additional access to Gulf Coast refining, which Canada desires in part for export markets, but also to encourage economic incentives to leave tar sands and other dirty fuels in the ground.

This is truly astonishing: a high ranking official at NASA has taken to the pages of the New York Times to lobby the President of the United States to physically embargo Canada’s oil, and impose economic sanctions against Canada to force them to eschew tar-sand development and export. [Read more →]

May 16, 2012   19 Comments

Dear James Hansen: Climate Non-Alarmists Are Intellectually Grounded & Well Intentioned (Sir, are you suffering from a ‘fatal conceit’?)

“The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change.”

- James Hansen, “Climate Forcings in the Industrial Era,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 1998, p. 12753.

“In view of the immense power of natural weather and climate fluctuations and the great buffering capacity of the Earth, especially the ocean, it is easy to be skeptical about whether small anthropogenic changes of atmospheric composition can have important practical impacts.”

- James Hansen et al., “How Sensitive Is the World’s Climate?,” National Geographic Research & Exploration, 9(2): 1993, p. 157.

“Climate is always changing. Climate would fluctuate without any change of climate forcings. The chaotic aspect of climate is an innate characteristic of the coupled fundamental equations describing climate system dynamics.”

- James Hansen et al., “How Sensitive Is the World’s Climate?,” National Geographic Research & Exploration, 9(2): 1993, p. 143.

James Hansen has been at the forefront of the alarmist wing of climate scientists regarding the human influence on global climate from 1988 until today. But at least earlier in his career he showed some humility in the face of the enormous complexity of his subject–and the limitations of his own mind. The above three quotations from the 1990s indicate as much. (1)

Humility is out. This NASA scientist has taken a ‘Greenpeace’ approach to the environment. He KNOWS both the problem and the answer to the problem, bringing to mind F. A. Hayek’s warnings about intellectuals who claim to know social problems so well that WE (the world) must adapt their coercive solutions. Beware of what Hayek called The Fatal Conceit.

Dr. James Hansen’s latest communication, Cowards in Our Democracies: Part 1 (January 27, 2012), (parsed in red below) is interspersed by my comments (in green). My critique will continue with Hansen’s just published Part II in the near future. [Read more →]

February 1, 2012   3 Comments