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Importance of wildlife conservation in points – Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #421


Conservation Awareness

Importance of wildlife conservation in points – Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #421

The Week That Was: 2020-08-29 (August 29, 2020) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project Quote of the Week: “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.” – Karl…

Importance of wildlife conservation in points – Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #421

Importance of wildlife conservation in points –

The Week That Was: 2020-08-29 (August 29, 2020)

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)

The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.” – Karl Popper

Number of the Week: 50%

THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Popular Delusions: Last week, TWTW discussed the problem of the California Blackouts (also called greenouts) and the failure of California politicians to properly prepare for the simple fact that as the sun goes down Photoelectric Power declines and other means of electric power generation must be increased significantly (ramped-up). The state constitution places the ultimate responsibility on the legislature.

The TWTW discussed a lecture “The Energy Storage Delusion” given by physics Professor emeritus Howard Hayden at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP). The only storage system proven on a utility scale is pumped-hydro storage. There is no proof of concept that wind and solar can replenish pumped-hydro or any other utility scale storage system in a timely manner. The largest pumped-hydro system in the world, Bath County (Virginia) Pumped Storage Station is replenished by nuclear and coal-fired power plants and is used for peak shaving (producing power at the time of day it is needed the most). It can run at peak capacity for only three hours, then declines to zero in eleven hours.

The meeting at which Hayden spoke, addressed many issues which can be considered popular delusions. In her welcoming address DDP President Jane Orient, M.D., discussed some of them and former lecturers who formerly graced DDP meetings including Edward Teller and the late SEPP Chairman Fred Singer. For this meeting many of the talks related to COVID-19. See link under Science, Policy, and Evidence.

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Common Sense: In his talk to DDP, Physicist William Happer focused on common sense. Happer is an authority on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (AMO) including spectroscopy which is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation as it varies with wavelength (frequency). This provides the basis for understanding the greenhouse effect, particularly how it may increase as more greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, many “experts” on climate ignore this discipline. Amazingly, some commentators and reporters have criticized Happer by saying he is not a climate scientist.

In his talk, Happer states that common sense has submerged in the fury of the day. He cites the farewell address by President Eisenhower who stated concern not only that public policy will be overtaken by the military-industrial complex; but, as importantly, captured by a scientific technological elite. This may be happening today.

“In appealing to common sense, Happer quotes William Pitt the Elder (1708 to 1778) who supported the American Revolution and for whom Pittsburgh is named (suggested by historian John Robson):

“THERE is one plain maxim, to which I have invariably adhered through life; that in every question, in which my liberty or my property were concerned, I should consult and be determined by the dictates of common sense.

“I confess, my lords, that I am apt to distrust the refinements of learning, because I have seen the ablest and the most learned men equally liable to deceive themselves and to mislead others.

“The condition of human nature would be lamentable indeed, if nothing less than the greatest learning and talents, which fall to the share of so small a number of men, were sufficient to direct our judgment and our conduct.

“But providence has taken better care of our happiness, and given us, in the simplicity of common sense, a rule for our direction, by which we never shall be misled.”

https://englishlanguageandhistory.com/?id=william-pitt-elder-common-sense

Happer uses graphs from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to demonstrate that in the US about 50,000 to 60,000 die each week, more in the winter than in the summer, and there have not been many more deaths from COVID-19 than happen in a bad flu year. Further, death rates are strongly separated by age groups with people dying from COVID-19 predominately over the age of 65.

Happer goes on to say that hysteria over climate, COVID, the cancel culture, etc. are contemporary examples of a human failing described in the “Extraordinary Popular Delusion and the Madness of Crowds” by Charles MacKay (1841). Also, there is nothing new about saving the planet. The Bible mentions Baal, who controlled agriculture. The Aztecs sacrificed thousands of slaves captured from local tribes to appease the gods and keep the end of the world at bay. Reverend George Burroughs was hanged at the Salem Witch Trials, on a decision by judges educated at Harvard because he was not a proper minister.

About 30 minutes into the lecture Happer discusses what may be of particular interest to TWTW readers. He presents the work of Karl Schwarzschild and Max Plank. Plank devised a smooth curve showing intensity of outgoing radiation as a function of wavelength. (This work led to quantum mechanics.) The curve, called black body radiation, shifts for different temperatures and as used by Happer provides the theoretical value for the earth’s outgoing radiation at a surface temperature of 288.7 K (15.6 ºC, 60 ºF) if there were no greenhouse gases to interfere with outgoing radiation. It appears as if one were measuring it from space looking down on earth. This is shown by Happer as a blue smooth curve.

Schwarzschild devised the method of calculating the actual absorption of outgoing radiation by different greenhouse gases. Happer shows it as a jagged curve below the Plank curve, covering the same frequencies. The Schwarzschild curve used by Happer is based on calculations for the present concentration of greenhouse gases. The greenhouse effect suppresses the outgoing radiation to space and is demonstrated by the difference between the two curves. Observations from satellites confirm the calculations.

Happer shows the interference for zero CO2, 400 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 and 800 ppm of CO2. Removing CO2 will have a dramatic effect on the cooling of the earth (increasing loss of heat). Doubling CO2 to 800 ppm or even 1600 ppm will have little effect in warming the earth because the increase in interference with outgoing radiation is small. The physicists define such a condition as exists for CO2 as saturated.

Happer states that the amplification by increased water vapor [asserted in the Charney Report (1979) and considered to be the dangerous effect of global warming] is nonsense. This water vapor amplification was carried forward into the reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is not being observed.

Also, Happer quickly demonstrates why claims that adding methane will cause dangerous warming are nonsense. Happer discusses the Brave New Decarbonized World by citing Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Voyage to Laputa (1726). The owner of a fine house and farm, while the rest of countryside is in ruins, explains what happened:

“The sum of his discourse was to this effect: “That about forty years ago, certain persons went up to Laputa, either upon business or diversion, and, after five months continuance, came back with a very little smattering in mathematics, but full of volatile spirits acquired in that airy region: that these persons, upon their return, began to dislike the management of everything below, and fell into schemes of putting all arts, sciences, languages, and mechanics, upon a new foot. To this end, they procured a royal patent for erecting an academy of projectors in Lagado; and the humour prevailed so strongly among the people, that there is not a town of any consequence in the kingdom without such an academy. In these colleges the professors contrive new rules and methods of agriculture and building, and new instruments, and tools for all trades and manufactures; whereby, as they undertake, one man shall do the work of ten; a palace may be built in a week, of materials so durable as to last forever without repairing. All the fruits of the earth shall come to maturity at whatever season we think fit to choose, and increase a hundred-fold more than they do at present; with innumerable other happy proposals. The only inconvenience is, that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection; and in the meantime, the whole country lies miserably waste, the houses in ruins, and the people without food or clothes. By all which, instead of being discouraged, they are fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes, driven equally on by hope and despair: that as for himself, being not of an enterprising spirit, he was content to go on in the old forms, to live in the houses his ancestors had built, and act as they did, in every part of life, without innovation: that some few other persons of quality and gentry had done the same, but were looked on with an eye of contempt and ill-will, as enemies to art, ignorant, and ill common-wealth’s men, preferring their own ease and sloth before the general improvement of their country.”

https://www.free-ebooks.net/sci-fi-classics/Gulliver-s-Travels/html/23

After demonstrating that many of the problems of today have long been part of the human condition, Happer concludes his presentation by giving reasons for optimism:

  • Many ordinary Americans have not lost their Common Sense
  • History shows that people get tired of corrupt (sanctimonious) elites and eventually overthrow them: Cromwell’s Puritans, bloodthirsty radicals of the French Revolution, communist dictatorship of the Soviet Union, etc.
  • “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.” [Abraham Lincoln]

From Happer’s presentation, it becomes evident that the current efforts by climate modelers to calculate the increasing greenhouse effect with increasing carbon dioxide by estimating temperatures hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago are nonsense. We have the evidence today to make such calculations more accurately than can be given by geological records. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Changing Climate.

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That’s Bias, Not Uncertainty: Writing in Judith Curry’s web site, Climate Etc. Ross McKitrick explains that even though it was demonstrated almost 15 years ago that the models overestimate atmospheric temperature trends, climate modelers continue to overestimate the warming of the atmosphere. Using a paper by Mitchell et al. and another by Christy and him, McKitrick states that the overestimates in the latest round of models, CMIP6, have increased, not decreased. The prize goes to the Canadian model which overestimates the warming of the troposphere (the bulk atmosphere below the altitude where water freezes out) by about 7 times.

McKitrick concludes his discussion with:

“I get it that modeling the climate is incredibly difficult, and no one faults the scientific community for finding it a tough problem to solve. But we are all living with the consequences of climate modelers stubbornly using generation after generation of models that exhibit too much surface and tropospheric warming, in addition to running grossly exaggerated forcing scenarios (e.g. RCP8.5). Back in 2005 in the first report of the then-new US Climate Change Science Program, Karl et al. pointed to the exaggerated warming in the tropical troposphere as a ‘potentially serious inconsistency.’ But rather than fixing it since then, modelers have made it worse. Mitchell et al. note that in addition to the wrong warming trends themselves, the biases have broader implications because ‘atmospheric circulation trends depend on latitudinal temperature gradients.’ In other words when the models get the tropical troposphere wrong, it drives potential errors in many other features of the model atmosphere. Even if the original problem was confined to excess warming in the tropical mid-troposphere, it has now expanded into a more pervasive warm bias throughout the global troposphere.

“If the discrepancies in the troposphere were evenly split across models between excess warming and cooling, we could chalk it up to noise and uncertainty. But that is not the case: it’s all excess warming. CMIP5 models warmed too much over the sea surface and too much in the tropical troposphere. Now the CMIP6 models warm too much throughout the global lower- and mid-troposphere. That’s bias, not uncertainty, and until the modeling community finds a way to fix it, the economics and policy making communities are justified in assuming future warming projections are overstated, potentially by a great deal depending on the model. [Boldface added] See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

*******************

He’s Back! Probably no environmentalist or economist has outraged the environmental establishment, at least in Washington, as much as Bjorn Lomborg. When “The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World” came out in 2001, many in Washington refused to believe it. The retiring president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) spent much of his retiring address condemning the book as did articles in Scientific American, National Geographic, etc. The experts for the Scientific American were Stephen Schneider (who claimed that exaggeration is necessary to be effective in communicating to the public (the Schneider Syndrome), John Holdren (to be President Obama’s science adviser), John Bongaarts and Thomas Lovejoy. The Economist declared about Lomborg: “As any sensible person would expect, his facts are usually fallacies and his analysis is [sic] largely non-existent.”

The problem for the critics was, that except for a few minor errors, the book was based on solid data, much of which he presented in easy to read graphs. Contrary to what many readers of the reviews were led to believe, Lomborg did not deny human involvement in global warming, only the extent to which it is taking place. Lomborg referred to the extensive exaggeration as “The Litany” of doom and gloom. He demonstrated that many things were getting better, particularly in the part of the world enjoying prosperity. Prosperity can lead to environmental improvement – how shocking!

Lomborg has now written a book addressing global warming specifically: “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.” SEPP Chairman Tom Sheahen reviewed the book and the review was posted on WUWT. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Saving Nature? In 2007 Indur Goklany’s book, “The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More comfortable Lives On a Cleaner Planet” was published. In some ways this may be more scholarly than Lomborg’s book. It is a thorough presentation of the improving status of the human condition. Well researched, Goklany’s book discusses the importance of technological change and economic development.

Now, Goklany has a paper being published in Conservation Biology, the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology, titled: “Reduction in global habitat loss from fossil‐fuel‐dependent increases in cropland productivity.” It focuses on habitat lost to agricultural uses, which is generally considered to be the major cause for global biodiversity loss. Currently, about 35 to 40% of global land area is in agricultural uses.

The paper demonstrates that: [from Goklany]

  • Over 60% of “global food production is due to increased agricultural productivity from fossil-fuel-dependent technologies. 
  • Absent fossil fuels, at least another 20% of global land area would have to be converted to cropland to maintain global food production, further threatening global biodiversity.
  • This exceeds the total amount of land currently set aside globally for conservation in one form or another (15%), which some have called the world’s greatest conservation success story (or words to that effect).
  • Global food supplies would also drop, at least temporarily, to levels about a quarter below those experienced by the Chinese people during their last Great Famine of 1959-61. Food prices would skyrocket to balance supply and demand.”

Those who are anxious to ban the use of fossil fuels probably never considered its positive effects on agriculture. Further, calculating the “social cost of carbon” is foolish without estimating the positive impacts of CO2 on agriculture productivity and the use of fossil fuels in reducing acreages needed for planting. See links under Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide.

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Number of the Week: 50%: As hurricane Laura approached the Louisiana/Texas coast, some national newspapers blared that the storm surge would be up to 20 feet (6 meters), ‘unsurvivable’! It was about 11 feet (3.4 meters). More importantly, according to local newspapers, by Aug 29, only 12 people died from the storm. Six (50%) from carbon monoxide poisoning from using electrical generators not properly vented and four from falling trees or limbs. After the storm, many people commented on what it was like to “ride-out” the storm. This episode demonstrates the dangers of continued exaggeration (the Schneider Syndrome) of weather events. People become insensitive to real danger. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Measurement Issues – Atmosphere, Changing Weather, and Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019

Download with no charge:

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015

Download with no charge:

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Common Sense

Video, Will Happer, DDP 38th Annual Meeting, Aug 15, 2020

Understanding Wildfires

Video, Willie Soon, Ph.D. Doctors of Disaster Preparedness, Aug 15, 2020

New confirmation that climate models overstate atmospheric warming

By Ross McKitrick, Climate Etc. Aug 25, 2020

Link to one paper: The vertical profile of recent tropical temperature trends: Persistent model biases in the context of internal variability

By Dr Dann M. Mitchell, et al. Environmental Research Letters, June 9, 2020

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9af7

Link to second paper: Pervasive Warming Bias in CMIP6 Tropospheric Layers

By Ross McKitrick and John Christy, Earth and Space Science, July 15, 2020

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020EA001281

Link to 2006 paper: Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and

Reconciling Differences

By Thomas Karl, et al. U.S. Climate Change science Program, April 2006

False Alarm: Book Review

Reviewed by Thomas P. Sheahen, WUWT, Aug 24, 2020

Bjorn Lomborg & Matt Ridley: How To Talk About Climate Change

Audio, The Spectator, Via GWPF, Aug 28, 2020

Even with Laura, Louisiana Hurricanes Have Not Increased Since 1851

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 26, 2020

Link to e-book: Inevitable Disaster: Why Hurricanes Can’t Be Blamed On Global Warming

By Roy Spencer, Kindle, Accessed Aug 29, 2020

“Over the last 150 years, the number of major hurricanes hitting Texas has been the same when Gulf of Mexico water temperatures were below normal as when they were above normal.”

Excess costs of UK Weather Dependent Renewable Energy: 2020

By Ed Hoskins, His Blog, Accessed Aug 24, 2020

Science Is Not About Consensus

By Jeff Harris, Ron Paul Institute, Aug 26, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/26/science-is-not-about-consensus/

“Wash your hands.”

“This was way back in 1847. Dr. Semmelweis provided hard data clearly demonstrating that once he and his staff began washing their hands and disinfecting equipment between patients the number of infections and deaths dropped dramatically.”

Why Deaths From Hurricanes And Other Natural Disasters Are Lower Than Ever

By Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, Aug 27, 2020

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2020/08/27/why-deaths-from-hurricanes-and-other-natural-disasters-are-lower-than-ever/#9da0ff01396e

Defending the Orthodoxy

Merkel says world needs to do more to combat climate change

By John Stonestreet, Reuters, Aug 28, 2020 [WUWT]

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-merkel-climate-idUSKBN25O1CU

Climate change ‘clearly’ fuelled Australia bushfires: inquest

By Andrew Beatty, Sydney (AFP) Aug 25, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Climate_change_clearly_fuelled_Australia_bushfires_inquest_999.html

[SEPP Comment: What fueled the great fires of the 1800s?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

No Fuel, No Fire

By Mike Jonas, WUWT, Aug 27, 2020

New Video: America’s Largest Fire

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Aug 27, 2020

https://realclimatescience.com/2020/08/new-video-americas-largest-fire/

New Northern North Atlantic Study Finds The Coldest Period With The Most Sea Ice Of The Last ~85 Years…Is Today

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Aug 24, 2020

Link to paper: Improving the paleoceanographic proxy tool kit – On the biogeography and ecology of the sea ice-associated species Fragilariopsis oceanica, Fragilariopsis reginae-jahniae and Fossula arctica in the northern North Atlantic

By KaarinaWeckström, et al. Marine Micropaleontology, May 2020

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377839819301628

Don’t hit us again

By Paul Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

“But whatever it was, it caused temperatures to plummet “in Greenland by 4 to 10 °C (7.2 to 18 °F)” in a remarkably short period, just decades.”

Change in US Administrations

21 states sue White House over rollback of bedrock environmental law

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Aug 28, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/514160-21-states-sue-white-house-over-rollback-of-bedrock-environmental

“Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) called the law the Magna Carta of environmental law.”

[SEPP Comment: The Magna Carta Libertatum, The Great Charter of Freedoms, was a royal charter of rights, NEPA has become a maze of restrictions and legal torture preventing rights.]

Green groups challenge Trump plan to open 82 percent of Alaska reserve to drilling

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Aug 25, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/513584-green-groups-challange-trump-plan-to-open-82-percent-of-alaska

“Two separate coalitions of green groups are suing the Trump administration to challenge plans that would open 82 percent of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve to oil drilling.”

[SEPP Comment: Drilling for oil in a Petroleum Reserve set aside for drilling should be forbidden? The size of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] is about the size of South Carolina, The area for drilling is about the size of Dulles Airport.]

Green groups fight EPA rollback limiting states from blocking projects

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Aug 27, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/513949-green-groups-fight-epa-rollback-limiting-states-from-blocking

[SEPP Comment: Another indication that the Clean Water Act has become a means of suppressing development rather than ensuring clean waters. Individual states can prevent development to the extent they wish.]

Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide

Who saved Bambi?

Andrew Montford, GWPF, Aug 24, 2020

Link to paper: Reduction in global habitat loss from fossil‐fuel‐dependent increases in cropland productivity

By Indur Goklany, Conservation Biology, Aug 17, 2020

https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/cobi.13611

Climate change: Removing CO2 could spark big rise in food prices

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 26, 2020

Link to report: Food–energy–water implications of negative emissions technologies in a +1.5 °C future

By Jay Fuhrman, et al, Nature Climate Change, Aug 24, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0876-z

Recent Greening Trends in the Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains

By Paul  Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

Claim: 23-Million-Year Old Fossilized Leaves Offer Proof of CO2 to Greening the Planet link

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 24, 2020

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Aussie Business: “There is no systemic government response … to build resilience to climate risks”

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Aug 27, 2020

Seeking a Common Ground

Improved three-week weather forecasts could save lives from disaster

Accurate predictions could help people prepare for extreme weather

By Alexandra Witze, Science News, Aug 27, 2020

Stop Blaming Climate Change For California’s Fires. Many Forests, Including The Redwoods, Need Them.

By Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, Aug 24, 2020

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2020/08/24/stop-blaming-climate-change-for-californias-fires-many-forests-including-the-redwoods-need-them/#68a8a0370b33

“But every school child who has visited one of California’s redwood parks knows from reading the signs at the visitor’s center and in front of the trailheads that old-growth redwood forests need fire to survive and thrive.”

Majority of groundwater stores resilient to climate change

New study suggests fewer resources are depleting than previously estimated, but authors urge caution in unsustainable extraction levels

News Release, University of Sussex, Aug 25, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/uos-mog082520.php

Science, Policy, and Evidence

Welcome Message

Video, By Jane Orient, M.D. Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, Aug 15, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine & the Judgment of History

By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Aug 24, 2020

Link to earlier article: Hydroxychloroquine: A Morality Tale

A startling investigation into how a cheap, well-known drug became a political football in the midst of a pandemic

By Norman Doidge, Tablet, Aug 14, 2020

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/science/articles/hydroxychloroquine-morality-tale

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

A Century of Drought in East Africa

Kalisa, W., Zhang, J., Igbawua, T., Ujoh, F., Ebohon, O.J., Namugize, J.N. and Yao, F. 2020. Spatio-temporal analysis of drought and return periods over the East African region using Standardized Precipitation Index from 1920-2016. Agricultural Water Management 237: 106195. Aug 28, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/aug/a12.php

“And thus we have our answer. Instead of increasing over the past century, the data show that drought magnitude and duration in East Africa have actually declined.”

Wheat and Chickpea Grain and Seed Yields Under Elevated CO2 [India]

Chakrabarti, B., Singh, S.D., Bhatia, A., Kumar, V. and Harit, R.C. 2020. Yield and nitrogen uptake in wheat and chickpea grown under elevated carbon dioxide level. National Academy Science Letters 43: 109-113. Aug 26, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/aug/a11.php

The Non-effects of Ocean Acidification on European Sea Bass Larvae

Cominassi, L., Moyano, M., Claireaux, G., Howald, S., Mark, F.C., Zambonino-Infante, J.-L., Le Bayon, N. and Peck, M.A. 2020. Combined effects of ocean acidification and temperature on larval and juvenile growth, development and swimming performance of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). PLoS ONE 14: e0221283, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0221283. Aub 24, 2020

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/aug/a10.php

Models v. Observations

The madness of clouds

By Paul Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

Link to one paper: Confronting the Challenge of Modeling Cloud and Precipitation Microphysics

By Hugh Morrison, et al. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, May 11, 2020

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019MS001689

“Morrison et al. cite data showing that in the 1970s, about 40% of the papers presented at cloud physics conferences were reporting on experimental studies, whereas today the number is down to about 8%, and some of the leading cloud experimental laboratories have shut down.”

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

Hurricane Laura and the Wind Speed Dilemma

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Aug 27, 2020

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2020/08/hurricane-laura-and-wind-speed-dilemma.html

Changing Weather

Hurricane Laura death toll rises to 12 after two more poisoning deaths due to generators

By Staff, NOLA, The Times-Picayune, Aug 29, 2020

https://www.nola.com/news/hurricane/article_b13348b2-e9fe-11ea-a172-03ecf66964d0.html?utm_medium=notification&utm_source=pushly&utm_campaign=desktop_push

[SEPP Comment: One-half of the deaths were from carbon monoxide poisoning.]

Why Hurricane Laura’s storm surge wasn’t — thankfully — as bad in Lake Charles as feared

By Mark Schleifstein, NOLA Times-Picayune, Aug 27, 2020

https://www.nola.com/news/hurricane/article_9d69f56e-e88d-11ea-b1f5-a35013378fd2.html

“Forecasting surge has always been tricky. It was only after Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike that the National Hurricane Center decided to start issuing information about surge in much greater detail.

“When they do, forecasters are careful to warn that the potential surge risk can change quickly, as the hurricane it accompanies changes direction or strength. So along with the dire forecast messages on Wednesday warning of catastrophic storm surge was this warning: ‘Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle and can vary greatly over short distances.’”

Hurricane Laura

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 28, 2020

“Nationally, there have been thirty Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes since 1856, and undoubtedly others will have gone unrecorded in the early years:”

FAIL: Despite Media Alarm, Back-to-Back Gulf Hurricanes Have Happened Before

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 26, 2020

[SEPP Comment: New age weather forecasting: If I have not experienced it, it never happened!]

California Wildfires and the Lightning Siege: How Unusual Is It?

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Aug 25, 2020

https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2020/08/california-wildfires-and-lightning.html

Greta’s Own Sweden Has Been Cooling In July Since 1997! Same Results In Finland And Ireland

By Kirye and Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 22, 2020

Changing Climate

How cold was the ice age? Researchers now know

News Release, University of Arizona, Aug 26, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-cold-ice-age.html

“A University of Arizona-led team has nailed down the temperature of the last ice age—the Last Glacial Maximum of 20,000 years ago—to about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.8 C).”

Link to paper: Glacial cooling and climate sensitivity revisited

By Jessica “Tierney, et al, Nature, Aug 26, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2617-x

[SEPP Comment: We cannot accurately measure the temperature of the surface of the earth to a tenth of one degree today. But we can estimate the temperature of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), about 20,000 years ago, to that accuracy? Then, conclude: “Given assumptions concerning the radiative forcing of greenhouse gases, ice sheets and mineral dust aerosols, this cooling translates to an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 3.4 degrees Celsius (2.4–4.5 degrees Celsius), a value that is higher than previous LGM-based estimates but consistent with the traditional consensus range of 2–4.5 degrees Celsius.” Nonsense, see discussion on Happer above.]

Changing Seas

Study reveals the causes of sea level rise since 1900

By Staff Writers, Pasadena CA (JPL), Aug 24, 2020

https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Study_reveals_the_causes_of_sea_level_rise_since_1900_999.html

“All told, sea levels have risen on average 1.6 millimeters (0.063 inches) per year between 1900 and 2018. In fact, sea levels are rising at a faster rate than at any time in the 20th century.”

[SEPP Comment: The second sentence is the result of new instruments, which may not be measuring the same thing as tidal gauges. Any difference in instrumentation should be explained.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Amid crying over low Arctic ice, W Hudson Bay polar bears leave ice as late as 2009

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Aug 27, 2020

Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet Is Nothing To Worry About

By I & I Editorial Board August 24, 2020

Stable instability

By Paul  Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

“The great mystery here is, if the Earth’s climate is in a fragile balance fraught with tipping points beyond which these runaway processes occur, why have they not done so before? Why not in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or the Holocene Climatic Optimum, or the Eemian.”

Acidic Waters

Ocean acidification causing coral ‘osteoporosis’ on iconic reefs

News Release by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Aug 27, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

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https://phys.org/news/2020-08-ocean-acidification-coral-osteoporosis-iconic.html

Link to paper: Ocean Acidification has Impacted Coral Growth on the Great Barrier Reef

By Weifu Guo, Geophysical Research Letters, Aug 27, 2020

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019GL086761

“Numerical model of coral growth isolates the respective impacts of ocean acidification and ocean warming on coral growth.”

“Roughly a third of global carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the ocean, causing an average 0.1 unit decline in seawater pH since the pre-industrial era.”

[SEPP Comment: Highly questionable! How was the model tested? How much did the pH of the water change over the study period? How do they know the pH of the ocean before the concept was developed?]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

India set to record bumper harvest as timely monsoon boosts agriculture

According to Agriculture Ministry, the total Kharif crops have been sown on 1,062.93 lakh hectare area against 979.15 lakh hectare during the corresponding period last year, thus increase in area coverage by 8.56 per cent.

By Vijay Thkur, The Statesman, Aug 24, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

BBC Blame Dire Wheat Harvests On Climate Change

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 27, 2020

“In short, the weather has been far from ideal in the last 12 months as far as farming is concerned, but there is not the slightest evidence that this is part of a longer-term trend.”

Un-Science or Non-Science?

Ozone on the rise – suggests pollution controls aren’t ‘working as well as we thought’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 24, 2020

Link to paper: Aircraft observations since the 1990s reveal increases of tropospheric ozone at multiple locations across the Northern Hemisphere

By Audrey Gaudel, Science Advances, Aug 21, 2020

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/34/eaba8272.full

[SEPP Comment: More non-science from Science Advances. Ground level ozone can be harmful, upper atmosphere ozone protects against UV radiation. Upper atmosphere ozone is largely the product of solar rays hitting oxygen, not human activity.]

Lowering Standards

Fed up with BBC Climate Activism? Tory MPs Table Bills to Defund the BBC

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Aug 27, 2020

No… BMJ study does not show air pollution causes asthma in kids

More dishonest statistical analysis of bogus data with no biological plausibility.

By Steve Milloy, Junk Science.com, Aug 19, 2020 [H/t Dr. John Dunn]

Link to paper: Air pollution and family related determinants of asthma onset and persistent wheezing in children: nationwide case-control study

By Gitte J Holst, et al. BMJ, June 24, 2020

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?

Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in less than 30 years

‘Stunned’ scientists say there is little doubt global heating is to blame for the loss

By Robin McKie, The Guardian, Aug 23, 2020 [H/t James Crockford]

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/23/earth-lost-28-trillion-tonnes-ice-30-years-global-warming

Link to paper: Review Article: Earth’s ice imbalance

By Thomas Slater, et al. The Cryosphere, Aug 14, 2020

https://tc.copernicus.org/preprints/tc-2020-232/

[SEPP Comment: According to the abstract, sea levels rose 35 mm over the 23-year period, or 1.52 mm per year, 152 mm per century, or 6 inches per century. NIPCC estimated 7 inches per century.]

Blackout California

By Paul  Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

“Naturally the heat waves were sensationalized. NBC warned on August 13 that “Scorching temperatures in Death Valley will shatter records in West, Southwest”. It’s odd to have news outfits reporting what’s going to happen not what did happen.”

Putting the dead in deadline again

By Paul  Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

“On the subject of predictions of disaster, you can at least actually test, we give one tentative thumb up to the claim that the oceans are going to ‘suffocate’ in 15 years or, according to Smithsonian Magazine, are already starting to.”

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

Nearly half of Germany’s electricity has come from wind and solar this year

By Niall McCarthy, Statista and World Economic Forum, Aug 17, 2020

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/08/where-solar-wind-power-are-thriving/

Link to report: Pioneers in clean energy

https://denmark.dk/innovation-and-design/clean-energy

“Germany is well above the global figure with wind and solar generating an impressive 42 percent of its electricity from January through June of this year. The United Kingdom has also made strides in recent years and its figure is 33 percent.”

[SEPP Comment: The list does not include Denmark which generated more than half of its electricity from wind and solar. Germany and Denmark have the highest cost residential electricity in the EU.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Climate chaos: Extreme heat, wildfires and record-setting storms suggest a frightening future is already here

By Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, Aug 24, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-heat-wave-wildfires-hurricanes-derecho/

Rock And Chips

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 25, 2020

“Size declines have been going on long before AGW. It really does not take a genius to work out that the decline in salmon size has a lot more to do with fishing and other human activities than it does with weather.”

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

We’ll go with ideological fool, thanks

By Paul  Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

“In the spirit of friendly debate Guardian environment editor Damian Carrington says there are four basic kinds of mentally or morally defective people who disagree with his own opinion on climate: ‘[t]he shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool.’”

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

Hurricane Laura could be ‘unsurvivable’ in parts of Texas, Louisiana

By Kaelan Deese, The Hill, Aug 26, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/513747-hurricane-laura-could-be-unsurvivable-in-parts-of-texas-louisiana

ABC: Failure to Acknowledge the Climate Change Grief of Others Causes Serious Health Problems

By Eric Worrall, Aug 24, 2020

Questioning European Green

Councils Forced To Reverse Street Closures After Backlash To Govt’s ‘Green’ Anti-Car Scheme

By Staff, Sunday Telegraph, Via GWPF, Aug 23, 2020

Green groups outraged as government presses on with £27.4bn roads plan

By Sarah George, edie, Aug 20, 2020 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.edie.net/news/11/Green-groups-outraged-as-government-presses-on-with–27-4bn-roads-plan/

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Excuses, Excuses: California 2020 vs. Jevons 1865

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Aug 27, 2020

“The first great requisite of motive power is, that it shall be wholly at our command, to be exerted when, and where, and in what degree we desire. The wind, for instance, as a direct motive power, is wholly inapplicable to a system of machine labour, for during a calm season the whole business of the country would be thrown out of gear.”

[SEPP Comment: Unfortunately, since politicians cannot control wind and solar power, some wish to control people who use electricity.]

Joe Biden’s Climate Plan Would Be a Disaster for the Environment

By James Taylor, Real Clear Energy, August 26, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/08/26/joe_bidens_climate_plan_would_be_a_disaster_for_the_environment_575374.html

California’s Blackouts Expose Biden-Harris and The Green New Deal

By Daniel Turner, Real Clear Energy, August 27, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/08/27/californias_blackouts_expose_biden-harris_and_the_green_new_deal_575131.html

Kamala Harris and AOC craft crazy climate law

By David Wojick, CFACT, Aug 25, 2020

https://www.cfact.org/2020/08/25/kamala-harris-and-aoc-craft-crazy-climate-law/

Funding Issues

UN-Backed Climate Fund Faces Wave Of Abuse Allegations From Staff

By Staff, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Aug 28, 2020

“The UN-backed Green Climate Fund, the world’s largest climate finance institution, is facing a wave of internal misconduct complaints including allegations of sexism and harassment in the workplace, and criticism over the death of an employee from coronavirus.”

Litigation Issues

Court finds EPA skirted air laws with ‘pernicious loophole’

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Aug 27, 2020

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/514029-court-finds-epa-skirted-air-laws-with-pernicious-loophole

“The group argued power plants in the state were capable of meeting much tougher standards than what had been agreed to by the two agencies.”

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

The Plague of Renewable Portfolio Standards

By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Aug 28, 2020

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/08/the_plague_of_renewable_portfolio_standards.html

“If you add wind or solar to a grid, someone has to pay $80 to save $15.”

EU subsidies benefit big farms while underfunding greener and poorer plots – new research

By Charles Rotter, WUWT, Aug 26, 2020

Energy Issues – Non-US

Recent Energy and Environmental News

By John Droz, The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Aug 25, 2020

http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com/2020/08/recent-energy-and-environmental-news.html

Two More CCGT Plants To Be Mothballed [UK]

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 25, 2020

“In practice, existing generators, including coal and nuclear power stations, have hoovered up contracts at rock bottom prices. But all of the coal and most of the nuclear plants will be shut this decade, leaving a potential gap before new CCGT capacity can be built. This gap will be even more serious if other existing gas plants shut in the meantime.”

Energy Issues – Australia

New Report: Australians pay $1,300 in hidden climate bills each year

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 28, 2020

http://joannenova.com.au/2020/08/new-report-australians-pay-1300-hidden-climate-bill-each-year/

Optimistic? SA Energy Minister says helpfully “The grid blowing up is not the right term”

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 28, 2020

http://joannenova.com.au/2020/08/sa-energy-minister-says-helpfully-the-grid-blowing-up-is-not-the-right-term/

The Bill Comes Due for Renewable Energy

By Alan Moran, Quadrant, Aug 24, 2020

“Once all effects of the renewable energy measures are counted the cost becomes 39 per cent of household electricity bills, not 6.5 per cent that the government typically quotes.  The cost of these climate policies to the average household’s electricity bill is an extra $536 per annum, significantly more than the touted $90.”

Energy Issues — US

Blackouts are Happening Now

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Aug 27, 2020

Record setting US “Natural Gas Power Burn”… Frac yeah!

By David Middleton, WUWT, Aug 26, 2020

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Big Oil Asset Write-Downs Are Not The End Of The Oil Age

By Tilak Doshi, Forbes, Aug 23, 2020

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tilakdoshi/2020/08/23/big-oil-asset-write-downs-are-not-the-end-of-the-oil-age/#55ad57872da3

Return of King Coal?

Coal’s Share Of Global Energy Supply Has Increased Since 1973

By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price.com, Aug 27, 2020

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Coals-Share-Of-Global-Energy-Supply-Has-Increased-Since-1973.html

Link to report: Key World Energy Statistics 2020

By Staff, IEA, August 2020

https://www.iea.org/reports/key-world-energy-statistics-2020

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Don’t let China steal the global nuclear-power industry

By Michael Shellenberger, New York Post, Aug 17, 2020

https://nypost.com/2020/08/17/dont-let-china-steal-the-global-nuclear-power-industry/

Derecho Damage Results in Early Retirement of Duane Arnold Nuclear Power Plant

By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, Aug 26, 2020

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Megatons of Solar Panel trash coming to a dump near you soon…

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 24, 2020

http://joannenova.com.au/2020/08/megatons-of-solar-panel-trash-coming-to-a-town-near-you-soon/

“Second-hand solar panels are being sent to the third world. Makes a cheaper form of landfill…”

[SEPP Comment: Will they then appear in the oceans as plastic waste does?]

Out to Sea: The Dismal Economics of Offshore Wind

By Jonathan A. Lesser, Manhattan Institute, Aug 25, 2020

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/dismal-economics-offshore-wind-energy

“The actual costs of offshore wind projects borne by electric ratepayers and taxpayers are likely to be greater than advertised.”

LEEDCO Pushback (Great Lakes’ proposal fails economically, environmentally)

By Sherri Lang, Master Resource, Aug 25, 2020

Objecting to a Lake Erie wind project.

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Advanced biofuels show real promise for replacing some fossil fuels

News Release by Colorado State University, Aug 24, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-advanced-biofuels-real-fossil-fuels.html

Robust paths to net greenhouse gas mitigation and negative emissions via advanced biofuels

By John L. Field, et al. PNAS, Aug 24, 2020

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/08/19/1920877117

“Using a quantitative ecosystem modeling approach, which explicitly differentiates primary production, ecosystem carbon balance, and biomass harvest, we show that none of these arguments preclude cellulosic biofuels from realizing greenhouse gas mitigation.”

ABC: Why are there No Large Scale Geo-engineering Experiments?

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Aug 27, 2020

20th century dam building found to have offset sea level rise

By Bob Yirka , Phys.org, Aug 24, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-20th-century-offset-sea.html

The causes of sea-level rise since 1900

By Thomas Frederikse, et al. Aug 19, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2591-3

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Fossil fuel car ban ‘will close cheapest route to cutting CO2’

By Staff, TransportXtra, Aug 22, 2020

https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/local-transport-today/news/66518/fossil-fuel-car-ban-will-close-cheapest-route-to-cutting-co2-/

lowering

California Dreaming

2020 Summer Loads and Resources Assessment

By Staff, California ISO, May 15, 2020

http://www.caiso.com/Documents/2020SummerLoadsandResourcesAssessment.pdf#search=summer%20maximum%20on%2Dpeak%20available%20capacity%20by%20fuel%20type

California Greenouts: Meet the ‘Duck Curve’

By Wayne Lusvardi, Master Resource, Aug 24, 2020

“So, a green power grid is not a fit for the dual peak load market – [generation] peaking at midday and [consumption] again at sunset. In short: California’s blackouts are a structural, design, centrally planned failure, not a market failure.”

Blackouts and Fires: California’s Summer Attractions

By Joel Kotkin, Real Clear Energy, Aug 25, 2020

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/08/25/blackouts_and_fires_californias_summer_attractions_575221.html

Smoking Out the Golden State’s Green Utopia

By Clarice Feldman, The Pipeline, Aug 28, 2020 [H/t WUWT]

“On Sept. 1, the California State Water Board [CSWB] will have to decide whether the four natural gas plants that provide desperately needed power in energy-short California must be shuttered or whether to grant them an extension in the midst of devastating state electricity blackouts by amending the policy [preventing] use of coastal waters for power plant cooling.”

“Because they rely on seawater cooling [CSWB deemed to be] environmentally unsound.”

[SEPP Comment: Perhaps the next step for CSWB is to deny permits to desalination plants, then deny permits for water purification plants, which add chemicals to water, etc.]

The High Cost of California Electricity Is Increasing Poverty

California’s poverty rate is the highest in the nation. New restrictions on natural gas will increase electricity costs, making the problem worse.

By Robert Bryce, FREOPP (Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity), July 8, 2020

https://freopp.org/the-high-cost-of-california-electricity-is-increasing-poverty-d7bc4021b705

Other News that May Be of Interest

US to spend $625 mn on super-computing research centers

By Staff Writers, San Francisco (AFP), Aug 26, 2020

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/US_to_spend_625_mn_on_super-computing_research_centers_999.html

“The foundation of quantum networks rests on our ability to precisely synthesize and manipulate matter at the atomic scale, including the control of single photons,” David Awschalom, a University of Chicago professor and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, said at the time.

Earth’s Water May Have Come From… Earth

By David Middleton, WUWT, Aug 28, 2020

Regulation isn’t cool

By Paul  Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Aug 26, 2020

Link to article: The big chill: How Africa battles ‘zombie’ appliances

Once the cast-off appliances are carted home, there is no guarantee they will come back to life — and if they do, the cost to run them can be exorbitant

By Payton Fleming, Reuters, Via National Post, June 24, 2020 [H/t Paul  Robson]

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/the-big-chill-how-africa-is-moving-to-battle-zombie-appliances

[SEPP Comment: If you believe those claiming dangerous global warming, then don’t zombie appliances save lives?]

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

The Telegraph: Airships to Provide Climate Friendly Air Transport

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Aug 25, 2020

Guys, Be Very Worried!…German Urologists: Global Warming “Could Adversely Impact Male Fertility”, “Reduce Sperm Quality”

Testicular problems due to climate change: Urologists worry about sperm quality in a hotter atmosphere

By A.R. Göhring (Translated, edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Aug 25, 2020

https://notrickszone.com/2020/08/25/guys-be-very-worried-german-urologists-global-warming-could-adversely-impact-male-fertility-reduce-sperm-quality/

Team warns negative emissions technologies may not solve climate crisis

By Jennifer McManamay, University of Virginia, Phys.org, Aug 24, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-team-negative-emissions-technologies-climate.html

Link to paper: Food–energy–water implications of negative emissions technologies in a +1.5 °C future

By Jay Fuhrman, et al. Nature Climate Change, Aug 24, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0876-z

From the abstract: “Here we show that DAC [Direct Air Capture] could provide up to 3 GtCO2 yr−1 of negative emissions by 2035—equivalent to 7% of 2019 global CO2 emissions—based on current-day assumptions regarding price and performance.

ARTICLES

California Needs Ideas

The state’s worst blackout is the one on political debate, especially about its climate obsession.

By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, Aug 8, 2020

https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-needs-ideas-11598654505?mod=opinion_lead_pos8

TWTW Summary: The journalist writes:

“No climate policy is available that would operate on a time scale relevant to California’s hellish wildfire challenge, except throwing enough opaque particles into the atmosphere to cool the Earth.

“Anything that greens might favor, such as subsidizing green energy or taxing fossil fuels out of existence, is irrelevant. The effect would only manifest itself imperceptibly over many decades. To boot, it would require the participation of the world’s major economies, including China’s and India’s, which leaders answerable to California’s voters are in no position to deliver.

“I make these points to underline an absurdity. California politicians spend much of their time obsessing about a climate change problem they can’t fix. Their state accounts for less than 0.1% of global emissions. There’s nothing they can do.

“Last year’s blackouts were theoretically linked to climate change through a dry spell but California has always had dry spells. Asserting a connection between passing weather phenomena and global climate is fraught.

“With this year’s blackouts, at least the connection is easy to draw. Even Democrats agree the outages were partly due to the state’s wind and solar mandates. Yes, there were blunders too. Enough power was technically available to meet a demand surge well short of an all-time high. But the fact remains: With wind and solar, nature controls the “off” switch. Man doesn’t.

“Less noticed is the fact that customers of municipally owned utilities in Los Angeles and Sacramento were spared any outages. Because local politicians are directly in line for blame if the lights go out, the unheralded corollary is that these utilities insist on keeping fossil fuels a big share of their mix. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power gets 48% of its power from coal or gas. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District gets 54% from gas.

“Compare this with 15% to 17% for the giant private utilities, such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, that cover much of the state. Why? Maybe because their CEOs and shareholders are more easily bullied into signing up for the state’s green goals. Maybe because political accountability is attenuated across their sprawling, multi-jurisdictional service areas.

“No, this is not a plea for public ownership or small-is-beautiful, but political accountability is needed where market accountability is legislated out of existence by monopoly regulation. If 200,000 PG&E customers across 30 counties lose power, as they did last week, more than five million others don’t. So who is the responsible politician the losers can effectively vote out of office to register their unhappiness? Nobody.

“Which introduces our larger theme. The only hope for the many, many things ailing the Golden State is better governance. California has the costliest and least reliable power of any large section of the country; the highest poverty (thanks to towering housing costs), high taxes, a substantial number of working people living in their cars. In its priciest neighborhoods, residents step around syringes and human waste. A new study finds that, in the general flight of working- and middle-class families, the state’s African-American population has shrunk to 5.5% from 7.7% in 1980

“Last week the environmental writer David Wallace-Wells used the right word when he said that California’s wildfires make an especially superb ‘propagandist’ for climate change. The only problem is that greens aren’t interested in propagandizing for controlled burns or forest management, which might actually help, but for wind and solar subsidies, which wouldn’t.

After discussing carbon taxes rather than mandating fuel choices and some political issues, the journalist concludes with:

“If the state is to dig out of its deepening hole, it will need something else. It will need, you know, ideas. In fact, only a revolution of ideas can save it from the path it’s on. And the first idea is easy to see. The state will have to wake up from the sheer ludicrousness of devoting so much of its politics to a problem its politics can’t fix at the expense to those it can.”

[TWTW: Comment: One California ISO estimated that the state could need up to 15,000 megawatts of energy storage capacity. The Hoover Dam power plant has a nameplate capacity of about 2,080 megawatts. Just build 7 or 8 Hoover Dams and a couple of Colorado Rivers to power them. Lots of empty space in the desert!]

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