By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) PLEASE NOTE: The complete TWTW can be downloaded in an easily printable form at this web site: http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm…
Western Lysenkoism? Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Roger Pielke Jr. describes why he left the field of climate science. It was not because he was not concerned with possible harmful impacts of global warming, now called climate change. He had expressed his concerns frequently. He left the field because of attacks for his challenge of one component of the claims of the extreme global warmers, that extreme weather events were increasing. Monetary losses from extreme weather events were not increasing. Pielke produced evidence that the claim was false. Such evidence is unacceptable to global warming extremists, the so-called Climate Establishment. Apparently, one must accept all components of the doctrine from the Climate Establishment, or suffer personal attacks.
Based on information released by WikiLeaks, major players in the Clinton Presidential Campaign wanted to drive Pielke out of the climate change discussions – and succeeded. Pielke writes:
“When substantively countering an academic’s research proves difficult, other techniques are needed to banish it.”
“I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. In fact, we are in an era of good fortune when it comes to extreme weather. This is a topic I’ve studied and published on as much as anyone over two decades. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career.”
The effort to banish Pielke was long and involved. The journal_Foreign Policy_labeled Pielke a “climate change denier” in 2011. He even challenged a part of the 2007 report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was based on guesses rather than fact! A reporter for the_Los Angeles Times_wrote Pielke: “You should come with a warning label: Quoting Roger Pielke will bring a hailstorm down on your work from the_London Guardian, Mother Jones,and_Media Matters.” Politicians involved in the purge include President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren and Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, who was a leader of the Congressional Witch Hunt. Of course, lead climate reporter Justin Gillis of The New York Times failed to properly respond to correct criticisms of his reporting.
All this placed Pielke on the “do not call” lists of many reporters. Such actions reveal how certain news organizations censor the news.
In a separate article, Member of the European Parliament from the Midlands (UK) Roger Helmer compares the Climate Establishment (which he calls Warmism) with Lysenkoism. The narrow mindset of Lysenkoism (groupthink) was tremendously destructive to advances in biology in the Soviet Union. Helmer came across a definition in Wikipedia that struck him;
“The term Lysenkoism can also be used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.”
Helmer draws parallels between Lysenkoism and “climate science” as it is treated in the West. For the West, Helmer thinks the main difference between Lysenkoism and Warmism, “is that the damage done by Warmism is on a far larger scale and will be far more difficult to reverse.”
The Global Warming Policy Foundation made an extensive summary of Pielke’ s essay. For links to the essay and Helmer’s essay see links under Censorship.
Or Puritans? Another parallel between the Climate Establishment and an extremist group can be drawn between the alarmists and Puritans. This 16th and 17th century religious movement originated in England and grew to dominate the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the point of hanging several Quakers. Narrow-minded, Puritans were intolerant of other religions and practiced shunning those who were unacceptable. In 1850, the historical novel by Nathaniel Hawthorn,The Scarlet Letter: A Romance,shocked many readers as to the intolerance depicted in the novel. The main character, Hester Prynne, was forced to wear a scarlet “A” for Adulteress. Perhaps those reporters who maintain “do not call” lists for global warming skeptics use the letter “D” for Denier.
Two Components to Carbon Dioxide Caused Global Warming: Since the October 22 issue, TWTW has discussed the 1979 National Academies of Sciences,Climate Research Board: Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment Scientific Assessment,called the Charney Report. The report discussed two components to global warming from CO2: 1) the primary effect; and 2) the secondary effect of a strong positive feedback from increased water vapor. Both these effects take place in the troposphere (roughly the atmosphere below 50,000 feet (15,000 meters)). The report states:
“The primary effect of an increase of CO2 is to cause more absorption of thermal radiation from the earth’s surface and thus to increase the air temperature in the troposphere.”
“A strong positive feedback mechanism is the accompanying increase of moisture, which is an even more powerful absorber of terrestrial radiation.”
“We estimate the most probable global warming for a doubling of CO2 to be near 3ºC with a probable error of ±1.5ºC. Our estimate is based primarily on a review of a series of calculations with three-dimensional models of the global atmospheric circulation, which is summarized in Chapter 4.”
The first component, the science of warming from CO2 – alone, is established empirically by laboratory experiments. The experiments show the influence is logarithmic, initially significant but rapidly diminishing in net influence. Adding CO2 to the today’s atmosphere has little net warming effect, probably not measurable beyond natural variation.
The second component, increasing water vapor, the dominant effect, was speculated and has not been empirically demonstrated to be significant, after 35 years. Except for the predicted hot-spot, which no one can find, the IPCC, the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and other entities have failed to identify any pronounced warming trend from increased water vapor.
A recent paper estimated global water vapor variability trends from 1979 to 2014. The trends are not significant, with the greatest one of 0.61% increase per decade (0.06% per year).
All too often, members of the Climate Establishment attack those who question the lack of warming as being “anti-science.” They frequently assert the first component of the hypothesized global warming, but ignore that the more important second component has not been empirically established. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.
EPA Endangerment Finding? With the upcoming change in administration, it may be timely to request a re-evaluation of the 2009 EPA finding that greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare. However, this needs to be approached carefully.
As discussed by Rivkin and Grossman, Nov 26 TWTW:
“When an agency changes course, it must provide a reasoned explanation to address factual findings supporting its prior policy. In certain instances that requirement may impose a real burden. For example, a rule rescinding the EPA’s “Endangerment Finding” regarding the effects of greenhouse gases would have to address the evidence underlying it. A failure to provide a satisfactory explanation of a change in policy may render a rule ‘arbitrary and capricious’ and vulnerable to legal challenge.”
In short, to successful request a re-evaluation of the Endangerment Finding may require what is called “prima facie” evidence, that it is evident on its face and without contradictory evidence. A review of the EPA Technical Support Document, which is part of the finding, may be in order.
…“The first line of evidence arises from the basic physical understanding of the effects of changing concentrations of GHGs, natural factors, and other human impacts on the climate system. The second line of evidence arises from indirect, historical estimates of past climate changes that suggest that the changes in global surface temperature over the last several decades are unusual (Karl et al, 2009). The third line of evidence arises from the use of computer-based climate models to simulate the likely patterns of response of the climate system to different forcing mechanisms (both natural and anthropogenic). Confidence in these models comes from their foundation in accepted physical principles and from their ability to reproduce observed features of current climate and past climate changes (IPCC, 2007a).”p. 45.
As stated above, the evidence of the second component of global warming, stated by the modelers, of amplified warming from increased water vapor, has not been empirically established. Thus, the first line of evidence is flawed on its face. Further, as John Christy succinctly demonstrated in his February 2 testimony, the global climate models overestimate the atmospheric warming below 50,000 feet in the tropics by three times. Thus, the third line of evidence, confidence in the models, is refuted on its face. The upcoming year may prove very interesting. See Article # 1 in the November 26 TWTW and links Under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.
Two Components to the Paris Agreement? In an editorial, Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Businessweek etc., asserts that:“But I am confident that no matter what happens in Washington, no matter what regulations the next administration adopts or rescinds, no matter what laws the next Congress may pass, we will meet the pledges that the U.S. made in Paris.”Bloomberg states that progress in “fighting climate change” is driven by cities, businesses and citizens, with no letting up. China is committed and that cooperation between Washington and China made the Paris Agreement possible.
China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement includes no curtailment of CO2 emissions until 2030. Meanwhile, the US must curtail emissions and pay into the Green Climate Fund, both of which will be harmful to the US economy.
In March, without Congressional authorization, the Obama administration paid $500 million of a $3 billion, four-year pledge, to the UN Green Climate Fund, resulting in a 150% increase in staffing of the Fund. The World Bank is the interim trustee. The Paris Agreement has not been approved by the Senate as a treaty. With a change in administration, additional payments are in doubt.
China has pledged up to $5.1 Billion to the South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change which is significantly different from the UN controlled Green Climate Fund.“South-South cooperation on the other hand is based on solidarity and mutual benefit between developing countries as equals, and without obligations as there is no colonial history among them. This is the position of the developing countries and their umbrella grouping, the G77 [not G-7] and China.”
Bloomberg should know China is a major player in the G-77, which China helped form separate from the West, and that it is not only the amount of money that is important, but who controls it. See links under After Paris! and After The US Election – Opposed.
Cost of Climate Change: Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute analyzed the Obama Administration Plan for fighting climate change, assuming CO2 is a major cause.“The IPCC has estimated a temperature increase by 2100 in the A1B scenario of 3.3°C, while the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change (MAGICC), developed through support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, puts warming in that scenario at 3.4°C.”Even using the IPCC’s and the USGCRP’s highly questionable estimates of global warming by the end of the century, Cass estimates the Administration’s plan is far more expensive than adjusting for it happening. See links under The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
Dying Corals or Resilient Corals? It is almost predictable. During an El Niño, which is fading, the tropical Pacific warms, corals cast their symbiotic algae, and volumes are written about dying coral reefs. It is as if during the onset of winter in the temperate regions, volumes are written about dying vegetation. That does not mean the event is permanent. See links under Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science and Changing Seas. Also, see the link on daily natural fluctuations of pH under Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science.
OPEC Jitters: For years, industrialized countries such as the US worried about what OPEC will do to oil production and prices. Now OPEC worries what will US independent producers do to oil production and prices. The US independent oil companies are not controlled by governments and government budgets. Since the bipartisan 2005 Energy Act, Washington has not controlled oil and natural gas production on private and state-owned lands. Production has boomed, but curtailed with the lengthy drop in oil prices, which has benefited all but the producers. How low oil prices can go is now an issue of concern for OPEC.
Geoffrey Styles shares some of his views concerning the newly minted OPEC deal: OPEC had miscalculated in at least two ways.“First, as many experts have noted, it correctly identified US shale producers as the new marginal suppliers to the market but failed to anticipate how quickly these companies could respond to a dramatic price cut.” Second, it miscalculated “the capacity of the cartel’s members–even some of the strongest–to endure the austerity that protracted low prices would bring. Although many of these countries have among the world’s lowest-cost oil reserves to find and produce, it turned out that their effective cost structures, including transfers to their national budgets, were really no lower than those of the Western oil majors that have also struggled for the last two years.”
Donn Dears brings in a third issue – the DUCs – Drilled by Not Completed wells. He estimates the number of oil DUCs at 3,800 and natural gas DUCs at 900. How these issues will play out in firming up oil prices is yet to be seen. But, $100 per barrel oil is unlikely without major disruption such as a major war. Has anyone told the green energy advocates in the Pentagon? See links under Energy Issues – Non-US and Energy Issues – US.
Reversing Flow: The US now has become a net exporter of natural gas, with much of the exports going to Mexico via new pipelines. The Obama administration killed the Keystone pipeline to bring oil from Canada to refineries in Texas, but did not kill new natural gas pipelines to Mexico. Perhaps the outgoing Administration can explain to the US # 1 trading partner, Canada, that the border crossings into Mexico got under the radar of the greens.
As it is, now some major pipeline companies are reversing the traditional flow of natural gas from the South to the Northeast to make it flow from Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc. to the South. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US, Energy Issues – US, and Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Number of the Week: 1,100 feet (335 meters). According to reports, on Dec. 1, construction of the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline will be all but finished. The only thing left to build, says its owner, Energy Transfer Partners, will be about 1,100 feet of pipe to be laid beneath Lake Oahe, a sliver of water south of Bismarck, N.D., that is man-created by a dam on the Missouri River. The construction is being held up by native Indian tribes, claiming traditional burial grounds, not established, and greens, aided by the Administration. See links under Energy Issues — US
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Kenneth Haapala, President
Science and Environmental Policy Project