“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

EPA’s new rules will cost N.D. dearly

Gas plantThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a barrage of new regulations affecting the electric power supply in the United States. These regulations relate to the operations of power plants, particularly coal-fired power plants, by limiting air emissions, water use and ash disposal.

The various new standards which will take effect between now and 2020 include limits on cross-state transport of fine particulates, mandatory controls to reduce regional haze, regulations on emissions of mercury and chlorine, new standards for local air quality for sulfur dioxide and ozone and, most significantly, limits on emissions of carbon dioxide to address concerns about future global warming.

EPA’s proposed new limits on carbon dioxide emissions represent a radical departure from prior regulations. EPA has used a little-known section of the Clean Air Act, section 111(d), to regulate activities of every state in the country that affect electricity generation. These regulations will include the efficiency of operations of existing coal-fired power plants, how much states allow all of the power plants to operate, the mandated construction of new power plants generating power from wind and solar and the development of programs to reduce electricity use by homeowners and businesses across the country.

Climate catastrophe

winterPeople argue about whether the “consensus” of scientists is that we face disaster because of global warming. Instead of debating whether man’s greenhouse gasses will raise temperatures, we should argue about how we gauge disasters.

If you take most environmentalists and climate scientists at their word, the Earth heated up about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century, not much more than it heated up the century before that. Warming may increase, but no one can be certain of that.

Let’s agree for the sake of argument that this recent warming was partly caused by humanity. Let’s also agree that there are some negative effects, including more frequent coastal flooding or longer droughts.

If we agree that those are costs, shouldn’t we also look at the benefits? Much of modern civilization owes its existence to our use of the fossil fuels that produce the greenhouse gasses.

Lima climate talks set for record carbon footprint

climate-talks-limaThe current U.N. climate talks will be the first to neutralize all the greenhouse gas pollution they generate, offset by host country Peru's protection of forest at three different reserves, organizers say.

Now the bad news: The Lima conference is expected to have the biggest carbon footprint of any U.N. climate meeting measured to date.

At more than 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the negotiations' burden on global warming will be about 1 1/2 times the norm, said Jorge Alvarez, project coordinator for the U.N. Development Program.

The venue is one big reason. It had to be built.

UN Climate Poker In Lima

pokerIndia on Tuesday said the developing nations, including China, are on the same page on several issues regarding climate and they will work together to push for the conclusion of a historic agreement to be signed next year in Paris to curb potentially disastrous global warming. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who held several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of a climate summit at the Peruvian capital here, said Brazil, South Africa, India, and China – the BASIC countries – have decided to meet frequently throughout this week to resolve their differences. “The countries are all on the same page on several issues,” he told reporters. --Press Trust of India, 9 December 2014

India’s Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar has reportedly held discussions with his Brazil, South Africa, and China (BASIC) counterparts on climate change norms to be adopted. The meeting was hosted by South Africa, a day prior to the commencement of the High Level Segment of COP-20 in Lima. The ministers took stock of the ongoing negotiations in COP-20 and resolved to continue to work together to achieve an ambitious and positive outcome of the COP-20 in Lima, while preserving and strengthening the unity of developing countries to protect their common interests. --Business Standard India, 9 December 2014

NOAA: Natural Weather Patterns Behind California's drought, Not Man-Made

causeofcalifThe results of a just released NOAA sponsored Assessment Report “Causes and Predictability of the 2014-14 California Drought” by lead author Richard Seager of Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory was summarized in a new USA Today article (December 8, 2014) as follows:

“Natural weather patterns, not man-made global warming, are causing the historic drought that's parching California, says a study out Monday from federal scientists.”

The NOAA report goes on to say that an unusually persistent (three year) winter time atmospheric high pressure ridge has diverted / blocked rain bearing storms from reaching California, and that unusually elevated ocean surface temperatures in the far western Gulf of Alaska are aiding this process. This is a very significant conclusion, because the study implies that atmospheric conditions are being driven by warm ocean water, NOT the other way around.

What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

grandcanyonPlanet Earth is 33 degrees C warmer than a theoretical planet without an atmosphere would be. Climate alarmists attribute this warmth to the radiative effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But there is another, more basic mechanism which accounts for the surface temperature, gravity.  Arizona’s Grand Canyon provides an example.

First, a reminder of what the greenhouse effect is: solar radiation penetrates the atmosphere and warms the surface of the earth. The earth’s surface radiates thermal energy (long-wave infrared radiation) back into space. Some of this radiation is absorbed and re-radiated back to the surface and into space by clouds, water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, and other gases.

Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell proposed in his 1871 book “Theory of Heat” that the temperature of a planet depends only on gravity, mass of the atmosphere, and heat capacity of the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases have nothing to do with it. Many publications since, have expounded on Maxwell’s theory and have shown that it applies to all planets in the Solar System.

Poorer nations use typhoon Hagupit to extort money from richer countries

HagupitNatural disasters happen. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact of life. Now they're being used as a weapon to squeeze more money from richer countries, even though there hasn't been an increase or intensity in typhoons.

As long as people continue to live near low-lying coastal areas, more deaths will continue to occur. These areas are overpopulated and directly in the path of natural disasters, and rely on structures that can't withstand even the weakest storms.

When a typhoon or hurricane forms and blows out to sea, never making landfall, there is barely a blip from the loudmouthed racketeers at the U.N. They only care about the storms that hit land and become newsworthy, trumpeting them as proof of global warming and our imminent demise.

Tracking polar bears in the Beaufort Sea – November 2014 map

Here is the November 2014 follow-up to my post on the July 2013 track map for female polar bears being followed by satellite in the Beaufort Sea by the US Geological Survey (USGS) – “Ten out of ten polar bears being tracked this summer in the Beaufort Sea are on the ice.”

See that post for methods and other background on this topic, and some track maps from 2012 (also available at the USGS website here). The USGS track map for November 2014 is copied below.

Original caption: “Movements of 12 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of November, 2014. Polar bears were tagged in 2014 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. All twelve of these bears have satellite collar transmitters. Polar bear satellite telemetry data are shown with AMSR2 remotely-sensed ice coverage for 30 November, 2014.”Original caption: “Movements of 12 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of November, 2014. Polar bears were tagged in 2014 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. All twelve of these bears have satellite collar transmitters. Polar bear satellite telemetry data are shown with AMSR2 remotely-sensed ice coverage for 30 November, 2014.”

Why are green carpetbaggers allowed to sponsor climate reporters in The Age?

Lord SternLord Stern Once again, a completely unacceptable sponsorship of the news in The Age by deeply vested interests.

The Clean Energy Council, representing green businesses which profit from the global warming scare, gives a prize to a warmist reporter and then sponsors his trip to the Lima climate change conference, which he then reports on for The Age. Today’s report from Marcus Priest:

Lima conference: Stern pushes for new climate agreement to be not legally binding

The author of the ground-breaking 2006 Stern Report into the economics of global warming is backing a push by the United States to ensure a new global climate agreement is not legally binding…

EPA Proposes Unprecedented 53rd, 54th Takeover of State Clean Air Act Program

mccarthyOn November 24th, EPA Region 6 issued a pre-publication version of a proposed federal implementation plan that would seize Regional Haze programs run by Texas and Oklahoma pursuant to the Clean Air Act. A final proposal will be published in the Federal register any day now.

I’ve only started acquainting myself with the document, but media reports indicate that the costs of these FIPs would be $2 billion. When I’m up to speed on the rule, I’ll post a summary. Given EPA’s history of Regional Haze FIPs, about which I wrote a study, there’s a high probability that this rule would achieve literally invisible “benefits” in exchange for the billions it would cost.

Surprise, Surprise: China Rejects Emissions Pledge Review

ObamaChina has rejected the scrutiny of efforts to limit carbon emissions, a key tool that the US says is necessary as more than 190 countries work to come up with a new deal to fight climate change. Chinese negotiators sought to delete provisions in a draft text that would have paved the way for other countries and non-governmental organisations to submit questions about its carbon-reduction plans, according to environmental groups that are official observers to the talks. --South China Morning Post, 8 December 2014

India on Friday refused to take a deadline for capping its emissions unlike China, saying the ongoing climate meet in Lima was not to discuss peaking year and hoped the world would reach a deal to cut down carbon emissions. The main issues which are dividing countries are centred on the excessive focus on mitigation which is opposed by the developing countries. Most developing countries were favouring a review process to assess contributions, though India remains totally opposed to such a process. --Press Trust of India, 7 December 2014

India Won’t Sign Climate Deal That Threatens Its Economic Growth

coalIndia will not sign any deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at UN climate talks in Lima that threatens its growth or undermines its fight against poverty, the environment minister said Friday. The minister branded poverty as the worst kind of environmental disaster which "needs to be eradicated immediately", adding that no one should dispute the right of the poorest members of society to have access to energy. "Poor people have aspirations we must fulfil them, we must give them energy access," he said. --AFP, 5 December 2014

Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in fiscal 2013 to the equivalent of 1.395 billion tons of carbon dioxide, its worst total since comparable data became available in fiscal 1990, according to the Environment Ministry. Emissions in fiscal 2013 were up 1.3 percent from fiscal 2005 and 10.6 percent from fiscal 1990. Since Japan has set a goal of reducing emissions by 3.8 percent by fiscal 2020 from fiscal 2005, the latest result underscores the major challenge it faces in achieving that target. --Japan Times, 5 December 2014