CFACT report — Climate Hype Exposed

September 19, 2014

CFACT releases a new report on the eve of the New York UN climate summit.

The report is authored by Paul Driessen with contributions from Marc Morano.

Executive Summary

Launched in 1988 at the urging of activists opposed to hydrocarbon energy, economic growth, and modern living standards, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was originally charged with assessing possible human influences on global warming and potential risks of human-induced warming. Over the subsequent decades, however, the IPCC increasingly minimized non-human factors, to the extent that it now claims only human influences matter – and any climate changes would “threaten our planet.”

The climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex has grown increasingly wealthy and powerful. It now spends billions of dollars annually on climate and weather research, focusing almost exclusively on carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases, and many billions more on renewable energy research and subsidies that raise energy prices, cost jobs, and reduce living standards.

Indeed, laws and regulations implemented in the name of preventing climate change have increased the cost of virtually everything people make, grow, ship, drive, eat, and do. They affect our lives, liberties, livelihoods, living standards, health, and welfare. Expert analysts calculate that climate-related rules will cost U.S. families and businesses almost $51 billion and 224,000 U.S. jobs every year through 2030 – on top of the $1.9 trillion in regulatory costs that Americans already pay every year.

With so much at stake, it is essential that climate research is honest, accurate and credible, and that the resultant energy and climate policies are based on sound, replicable science. Instead, the studies and reports are consistently defective and even deceitful. They incorporate every study financed by this multi-billion-dollar system that supports the “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis – no matter how far-fetched and indefensible their claims might be – and ignore all contrary studies and experts. They rely on faulty, manipulated data, secretive working sessions that revise the “science” to reflect political “summaries,” and computer models that completely fail to predict actual real-world climate trends.

Because average global temperatures have not risen for 18 years (and have even cooled slightly), even the terminology has shifted: from global warming to climate change, climate disruption, and extreme weather.

Relying on the IPCC work, the $2.5-billlion-a-year U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) issued a 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA) that claimed climate change “is already affecting” the lives of Americans in a “multitude of ways.” President Obama said its effects “are already being felt in every corner of the United States.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies use IPCC studies to justify costly vehicle mileage standards, delays and bans on oil and gas drilling and pipelines, and rules that are closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and preventing new ones from being built.

As ClimateDepot.com director Marc Morano explains, the IPCC is “a political body masquerading as a science body.” It makes its pseudo-science fit its political agenda. The GCRP and the EPA do likewise. Their actions violate information quality laws and basic standards of sound science and peer review – to drive an anti-growth, anti-fossil fuel agenda. They exaggerate every conceivable cost associated with hydrocarbons, but completely ignore even the most obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels.

Now the White House wants to commit the United States to a new international “agreement” on climate change, energy use, economic growth, and wealth redistribution – without presenting it to Congress, in violation of constitutional requirements that any treaty receive the “advice and consent” of the Senate.

Every American concerned about our nation’s future should read this report, to understand what is happening and what is at stake. They should resist these actions by unelected, unaccountable regulators, challenge them in courts and legislatures, and demand that every study, report, and proposed rule be presented for review by citizens, legislators, and independent experts outside the closed circles of the climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex. If the climate alarmists are truly confident in their claims and have nothing to hide, they should be happy to participate in this honest, common sense approach.

Climate hype exposed cover

Full report

- See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2014/09/18/cfact-report-climate-hype-exposed/?utm_source=CFACT+Updates&utm_campaign=3ba0afdcc1-Report_Climate_change_exposed9_18_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a28eaedb56-3ba0afdcc1-270220145#sthash.kvNuGPea.dpuf

An Unsettling Climate

September 9, 2014

RUPERT DARWALL

Global-warming proponents betray science by shutting down debate.
Summer 2014

Scientist Murry Salby argues that a key factor behind rising temperatures is heat exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean.

Climate-change science is “settled,” say proponents of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, or AGW: the earth is getting warmer, and human activities are the reason. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations in 1988, has issued five assessment reports since its founding. In its most recent, in 2013, the IPCC stated that it was now “95 to 100 percent certain” that human activities—especially fossil-fuel emissions—are the primary drivers of planetary warming. Frequent news reports—such as the story of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process that some scientists say is irreversible—seemingly confirm these conclusions.

And yet, highly credentialed scientists, including Nobel Prize–winning physicist Ivar Giaever, reject what is often called the “climate consensus.” Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society in protest of the group’s statement that evidence of global warming was “incontrovertible” and that governments needed to move immediately to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Sixteen distinguished scientists signed a 2012 Wall Street Journal article, in which they argued that taking drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy—an effort that would have major effects on economic growth and quality of life, especially in the developing world—was not justified by observable scientific evidence. And, like Giaever, they objected to the notion of a climate consensus—and to the unscientific shutting down of inquiry and the marginalization of dissenters as “heretics.” Most recently, renowned climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson stepped down from his post at a climate-skeptic think tank after he received hundreds of angry e-mails from scientists. He called the pressure “virtually unbearable.”

Another dissenter, the American atmospheric physicist Murry Salby, has produced a serious analysis that undermines key assumptions underpinning the AGW worldview. His work and its reception illustrate just how unsettled climate science remains—and how determined AGW proponents are to enforce consensus on one of the great questions of our age.

In April 2013, concluding a European tour to present his research, Salby arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for a flight back to Australia, where he was a professor of climate science at Macquarie University. He discovered, to his dismay, that the university had canceled the return leg of his nonrefundable ticket. With Salby stranded, Macquarie then undertook misconduct proceedings against him that swiftly culminated in his dismissal. The university claimed that it did not sack Salby for his climate views but rather because he failed to “fulfill his academic obligations, including the obligation to teach” and because he violated “University policies in relation to travel and use of University resources.”

Salby and his supporters find it hard to believe the school’s claims. Salby’s detractors point to reports of his investigation by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for alleged ethical improprieties, claims surrounding which surfaced on an anti-climate-skeptic blog, along with court papers relating to his divorce. Salby has indeed been embroiled in conflicts with the NSF—the organization debarred him from receiving research grants for three years, even though, teaching in Australia, he wasn’t eligible, anyway—and with the University of Colorado, where he taught previously and was involved in a decade-long dispute with another academic. At one point, the NSF investigated the disappearance of $100,000 in Salby’s research funds, which, in the wake of the investigation, was returned to Salby’s group. However, all these matters have involved bureaucratic rights and wrongs. They have no bearing on his science, just as Antoine Lavoisier’s being a tax farmer had no bearing on his demolition of the phlogiston theory of combustion. And Salby had earned high marks as a scientist. He originally trained as an aerospace engineer before switching to atmospheric physics and building a distinguished career. He taught at Georgia Tech, Princeton, Hebrew, and Stockholm Universities before coming to the University of Colorado, and he was involved as a reviewer in the IPCC’s first two assessment reports.

Starting in the late 1990s, Salby began a project to analyze changes in atmospheric ozone. His research found evidence of systematic recovery in ozone, validating the science behind the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which introduced specific steps for curtailing ozone-depleting gases. Preparing to write a graduate-level textbook, Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate, later published by Cambridge University Press and praised by one reviewer as “unequalled in breadth, depth and lucidity,” Salby then undertook a methodical examination of AGW. What he found left him “absolutely surprised.”

Most discussion on the science of AGW revolves around the climatic effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. How it got there in the first place—the assumption being that increased carbon dioxide arises overwhelmingly from human activities—is often taken for granted. Yet Salby believed that he had uncovered clear evidence that this was not the case, as his trip to Europe was designed to expose.

The IPCC estimates that, since the Industrial Revolution, humans have released 365 billion tons of carbon from burning fossil fuels. Annual emissions, including those from deforestation and cement production, are less than 9 billion tons. Yet natural carbon cycles involve annual exchanges of carbon between the atmosphere, the land, and the oceans many times greater than emissions from human activities. The IPCC estimates that 118.7 billion tons of carbon per year is emitted from land and 78.4 billion tons from oceans. Thus, the human contribution of 9 billion tons annually accounts for less than 5 percent of the total gross emissions. The AGW hypothesis, as well as all the climate-change policies that depend on it, assumes that the human 5 percent drives the overall change in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere—and that the other 95 percent, comprising natural emissions, is counterbalanced by absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes. Summing it up, the IPCC declared in its fourth assessment report, in 2007: “The increase in atmospheric CO2 is known to be caused by human activities.”

Salby contends that the IPCC’s claim isn’t supported by observations. Scientists’ understanding of the complex climate dynamics is undeveloped, not least because the ocean’s heat capacity is a thousand times greater than that of the atmosphere and relevant physical observations of the oceans are so sparse. Until this is remedied, the science cannot be settled. In Salby’s view, the evidence actually suggests that the causality underlying AGW should be reversed. Rather than increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere triggering global temperatures to rise, rising global temperatures come first—and account for the great majority of changes in net emissions of CO2, with changes in soil-moisture conditions explaining most of the rest. Furthermore, these two factors also explain changes in net methane emission, the second-most important “human” greenhouse gas. As for what causes global temperatures to rise, Salby says that one of the most important factors influencing temperature is heat exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean.

Why is the IPCC so certain that the 5 percent human contribution is responsible for annual increases in carbon dioxide levels? Without examining other possible hypotheses, the IPCC argues that the proportion of heavy to light carbon atoms in the atmosphere has “changed in a way that can be attributed to addition of fossil fuel carbon”—with light carbon on the rise. Fossil fuels, of course, were formed from plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago; the IPCC reasons that, since plants tend to absorb more light carbon than heavy carbon, CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels reduce the share of heavy carbon in the atmosphere. But Salby points to much larger natural processes, such as emissions from decaying vegetation, that also reduce the proportion of heavy carbon. Temperature heavily influences the rate of microbial activity inherent in these natural processes, and Salby notes that the share of heavy carbon emissions falls whenever temperatures are warm. Once again, temperature appears more likely to be the cause, rather than the effect, of observed atmospheric changes.

24_3-rd2

Further, Salby presents satellite observations showing that the highest levels of CO2 are present not over industrialized regions but over relatively uninhabited and nonindustrialized areas, such as the Amazon. And if human emissions were behind rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, he argues, then the change in CO2 each year should track the carbon dioxide released that year from burning fossil fuels—with natural emissions of CO2 being canceled out by reabsorption from land sinks and oceans. But the change of CO2 each year doesn’t track the annual emission of CO2 from burning fossil fuels, as shown in Figure 1, which charts annual emissions of CO2, where an annual increase of one part per million is approximately equivalent to an annual growth rate of 0.25 percent.

While there was a 30 percent increase in CO2 fossil-fuel emissions from 1972 to 1993, there was no systematic increase in net annual CO2 emission—that is, natural plus human emissions, less reabsorption in carbon sinks. These data, Salby observes, are inconsistent with the IPCC’s claim to certainty about human causation of rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. For the better part of two decades, the IPCC has been struggling to explain the wide interannual variability of changes in net CO2 emission (the jagged lower line in Fig. 1). Various causes have been suggested to explain the 1990s slowdown of CO2 growth, “but none fully explains this unusual behavior of the carbon cycle,” as the IPCC conceded in its third assessment report.

Unable to explain natural changes in CO2 emission, the IPCC falls back on its assumption of a strong natural tendency toward equilibrium: over time, natural emissions and absorption balance each other out, leaving mankind responsible for disruptions in the balance of nature. But, as Salby observes, the IPCC merely postulates this tendency without demonstrating it. The IPCC’s confidence in attributing warming to human activities is thus highly questionable—especially since, for the last decade and a half, atmospheric temperatures have not risen, even as CO2 has risen steadily. Further, while observed average global temperature rose just under one degree centigrade in the last century, this didn’t occur as a steady warming. Almost the entire twentieth-century rise came from four decades—a portion of the interwar years and the 1980s and 1990s—less than a third of the overall temperature record.

Were it not for its implications for AGW, Salby’s research on the carbon cycle might be a boon to the IPCC’s troubled effort to explain interannual variability of CO2 emissions. His work offers a coherent picture of changes in net emissions, where the changes closely track a combination of temperature and soil moisture—explaining both the low net emissions of the early 1990s and their peak in 1998. Salby also contends that temperature alone can largely account for the rise in atmospheric CO2 through the earlier part of the twentieth century, when soil-moisture data are inadequate. Net methane emissions track natural surface conditions even more closely.

Another pillar of the IPCC’s case has been the claim, based on ice-core records of CO2 concentrations, that present levels of carbon dioxide are unprecedented. But here, Salby maintains, accounting for the dissipation of CO2 trapped in ice cores—previously ignored—radically alters the picture of prehistoric changes in atmospheric CO2 levels. Even weak dissipation would mean that such changes have been significantly underestimated until now—and would also imply that modern changes in CO2 are not unprecedented. If Salby is right, the IPCC’s unequivocal claim that modern levels of CO2 are at their highest levels in at least 800,000 years would not hold.

In fact, the IPCC’s 2013 assessment tiptoes in Salby’s direction. The ice-core record of atmospheric CO2 exhibits “interesting variations,” the report says, which can be linked to climate-induced changes in the carbon cycle. The assessment also gingerly concedes that the 15-year pause from 1940, when CO2 levels did not rise, was “possibly” caused by slightly decreasing land temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere.

Salby hasn’t been working in a vacuum. Swedish climate scientist Pehr Björnbom has replicated his finding that temperature drives CO2 emission. University of Oslo geosciences professor Ole Humlum published a landmark 2012 paper demonstrating that changes of CO2 follow changes of temperature, implying the same cause and effect. Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric physicist at MIT, believes that Salby is correct about the IPCC’s failure to evaluate the effects of diffusion in ice cores on the proxy CO2 record and to consider sources of lighter carbon other than fossil-fuel burning. Salby is a “serious scientist” whose arguments deserve a hearing, Lindzen says. Fritz Vahrenholt, a former environmental official and CEO of a large renewable-energy company, as well as one of Germany’s leading climate-change skeptics, found Salby’s analysis of CO2 emission levels lagging temperature changes compelling. “Murry Salby opened a door for more investigations and further scientific work,” Vahrenholt says. Will the scientific community pursue the questions that Salby has raised? Vahrenholt is doubtful. “Upholders of AGW don’t take part in discussions where their orthodox view is challenged,” he complains. One way they block off inquiry is to ensure that papers by dissenting climate scientists are not included in the peer-review literature—a problem that Lindzen and Bengtsson have encountered. Indeed, that is what happened to Salby. He submitted a paper on his initial findings to the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. Finding no errors—one reviewer called it “absolutely amazing”—the journal required minor revision. Before Salby could return the revised paper for publication, the editor of a different journal, Remote Sensing, resigned for publishing a paper that departed from the IPCC view, penning an abject confession: “From a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate skeptic notions of the authors.” Shortly afterward, Salby received a letter rejecting his revised paper on the basis of a second reviewer’s claim—contradicted by the first reviewer—that his paper offered nothing new and that all of it had already been covered in the IPCC’s reports.

Salby’s preliminary findings led him to a wider study, in which he determined, among other things, that the observed relationship between global temperature and CO2 differed fundamentally from that described in climate models. His efforts to publish the study ended, at least for the time being, with the termination of his academic post at Macquarie. As of yet, Salby’s climate analyses have appeared only in preliminary form in his peer-reviewed book published by Cambridge University Press.

Unsurprisingly, the consensus view on the carbon cycle remains that human CO2 emissions are “virtually certain” to be the dominant factor determining current CO2 concentrations. Updating the global-warming catechism in a joint 2014 paper, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society declared: “Continued emissions of these gases will cause further climate change, including substantial increases in global average surface temperature.”

If they adhered to the standards established three centuries ago during the Scientific Revolution, the academies would not be able to make such definitive claims. Nineteenth-century astronomer and philosopher of science John Herschel demanded that the scientist assume the role of antagonist against his own theories; the merits of a theory were proved only by its ability to withstand such attacks. Einstein welcomed attempts to disprove the theory of general relativity. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong,” he is said to have declared. Because in science, the philosopher Karl Popper reasoned, we cannot be sure what is true but we can know what is false, truth is approached by discarding what is shown to be false. Popper articulated the principle of falsifiability, distinguishing scientific theory from the pseudosciences of Marx and Freud, whose followers, he noted, found corroboration wherever they looked.

The IPCC and other leading scientific bodies also appear to follow a prescientific injunction: “Seek and ye shall find.” The formulations “consistent with” and “multiple lines of evidence” recur throughout IPCC reports. The IPCC’s fifth assessment report, published in 2013, retreated slightly from previous certainty on humans’ contributing the totality of increased CO2. Now, the IPCC expressed a “very high level of confidence,” based, it said, on several lines of evidence “consistent with” this claim. Consistency with a proposition is weak-form science—the moon orbiting the Earth is consistent with pre-Copernican astronomy, after all—and a feature of the pseudosciences that Popper had seen in early-twentieth-century Vienna. In addition to seeking confirmatory evidence, AGW’s upholders often adopt the scientific equivalent of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell when it comes to gaps in scientific knowledge—in particular, those gaps that, if filled in, might conceivably falsify their position. The 2014 National Academy / Royal Society paper ignored entirely the question of interannual variability of net CO2 emission. Rather than acting, as in Herschel’s formulation, as AGW antagonists, the IPCC and the national science academies have become its cheerleaders.

“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time,” the National Academy / Royal Society paper insists. “It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. . . . However, due to the nature of science, not every single detail is ever totally settled or completely certain.” With respect to the carbon cycle, this is a serious misrepresentation: it is not a detail but is fundamental to the scientific case for AGW. The implications for AGW of Salby’s analysis, if it holds up, are stark: if AGW means that human CO2 emission significantly modifies global temperatures; or, stronger, that it controls the evolution of global temperatures; or, stronger still, that it forces temperatures to increase catastrophically, then AGW is falsified by the observed behavior.

Its fifth assessment report, in 2013, was the IPCC’s last major chance to make proclamations before the Paris climate conference in December 2015. Despite its slight retreat on the human role in increased CO2, the IPCC raised its level of certainty about human responsibility for temperature increase—from 90 percent in its previous report to at least 95 percent, though this boost was largely the result of a change in definition. The report’s authors did not opine on why there had been little warming in recent years, saying that not enough had been published on the topic. That dearth shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with the state of climate science.

Genuine scientific inquiry is degraded when science becomes politicized. The standards that have prevailed since the Scientific Revolution conflict with the advocacy needs of politics, and AGW would be finished as the basis of a political program if confidence in its scientific consensus were undermined. Its advocates’ evasion of rigorous falsifiability tests points to AGW’s current weakness as a science. As an academic critic of the science on which AGW rests, Murry Salby may have been silenced for now. The observed behavior of nature, from which he draws his analysis, cannot be dismissed so readily.

Rupert Darwall is the author of The Age of Global Warming: A History, published by Quartet (2013).

Green Energy More Hype Than Benefit

September 9, 2014
By Larry Bell
Beware of marketing terms such as “clean,” “renewable,” and “sustainable.” While those words may seem very nice, they have routinely been co-opted and redefined through misleading “green” messaging campaigns.
Regarding “clean” energy, let’s agree that no sane person wants dirty, polluted air, land, or water. Nope, not even conservatives.
At the same time, let’s also not confuse carbon dioxide, the plant food that all carbon-based life depends upon, with “air pollution.” The simple fact that the Supreme Court gave EPA permission to regulate it as a polluting “endangerment” under its Clean Air Act does not make this true.
That 2009 ruling decreed that atmospheric concentrations of six greenhouse gases (including CO2 ) “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” How? Because they pollute global temperatures — warm apparently being considered to be bad, and conversely, frigid obviously being good.
The junk science premise for this was even refuted at the time by EPA’s own in-house Internal Study on Climate conclusions. Authored by my friend Alan Carlin, then a senior research analyst at EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, the report stated: “Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based upon a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.”
So far that internal assessment is very much on track. We have witnessed flat mean global temperatures for going on 18 years now. Even the U.N.’s alarmist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finally been forced to admit that their climate models have grossly exaggerated climate warming influences of CO2.
It was political science, not climate science that prompted EPA’s decision.
As then-presidential candidate Barack Obama promised in 2008 while pushing a green energy agenda: “Under my plan of a [carbon] cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”
Let there be no doubt that he has kept his promise to make energy expensive for American citizens and job-producing industries through regulatory strategies where government picks winners and losers.
Most often the losers win. Remember Solyndra?
As for any alternatives with sufficient capacities to seriously supplant world fossil and nuclear dependence, don’t count on this any time soon. They don’t exist, and they certainly aren’t cheap. The general public is largely unaware how expensive that “free” and “sustainable” energy really is. Much of the real cost necessary to sustain it is passed on to taxpayers and consumers through invisible subsidies and preferential purchase mandates.
According to 2013 U.S. Energy Information Agency figures, those alleged dastardly climate-killing CO2-belching coal plants produced 39 percent of all U.S. electricity, while wind accounted for 4.13 percent and solar a whopping 0.23 percent. Nuclear provided 19 percent, and hydropower (the renewable many environmentalists also love to hate) generated 7 percent.
But then again, there is no alternative source that environmental lobbies universally love. Utility-scale solar power systems that produce electricity using thermal collectors or photovoltaic cells draw eco-attacks for taking up too much desert land, thus displacing certain animal and reptile species.
Those that use photovoltaic collectors are also challenged because they are manufactured using highly toxic heavy metals, explosive gases, and carcinogenic solvents that present end-of-life disposal hazards.
The best wind power sites are typically along mountain ridges and coastal areas, locations also prized for scenic views and overflown by bird and bat species which become turbine blade casualties. Few people want to live anywhere near them due to noise and other psychological — even physical — health impacts.
But what about biofuels produced from organic plants? Aren’t they supposed to offer a green way to reduce dependency upon those brown fossil fuels for heating and transportation? Well, not really.
Corn ethanol yields less energy than is required to grow and produce it, competes for land with food production, and releases copious CO2 emissions. And that much-touted cellulosic ethanol from plant waste remains a long way off from commercial reality.
It is essential to our national energy future that the voting public be much better informed about advantages and disadvantages of all alternatives, and that crony capitalist lobbies not be allowed to hijack beneficial free market competition.
Green energy has become a meaningless term, where capacities and benefits have been grossly exaggerated, and where industry sustainability depends upon endless preferential government-rigged charity.
Unfortunately, as with other free lunches we have been warned about, that much-hyped green energy isn’t really any bargain after all.
Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada.

EPA ban on wood stoves is freezing out rural America

August 29, 2014
But the larger problem is the Sue and Settle sweetheart lawsuits through which Greens dictate policy. 
by  

woodstove1-628x353

It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore. The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80% of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.

While the EPA’s most recent regulations aren’t altogether new, their impacts will nonetheless be severe. Whereas restrictions had previously banned wood-burning stoves that didn’t limit fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 μg/m3 limit. To put this amount in context, the EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 μg/m3 of particulates.

Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast to coast cannot meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.

fireplaceThe impacts of the EPA ruling will affect many families. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 survey statistics, 2.4 million American housing units (12% of all homes) burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7% that depended upon fuel oil.

Local governments in some states have gone even further than the EPA, banning not only the sale of noncompliant stoves, but even their use as fireplaces. As a result, owners face fines for infractions. Puget Sound, Washington, is one such location. Montréal, Canada, proposes to eliminate all fireplaces within its city limits.

Only weeks after the EPA enacted its new stove rules, attorneys general of seven states sued the agency to crack down on wood-burning water heaters as well. The lawsuit was filed by Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, all predominantly Democrat states. Claiming that the new EPA regulations didn’t go far enough to decrease particle pollution levels, the plaintiffs cited agency estimates that outdoor wood boilers will produce more than 20% of wood-burning emissions by 2017. A related suit was filed by the environmental group EarthJustice.

Did EPA require a motivational incentive to tighten its restrictions? Sure, about as much as Br’er Rabbit needed to persuade Br’er Fox to throw him into the briar patch. This is but another example of EPA and other government agencies working with activist environmental groups to sue and settle on claims that afford leverage to enact new regulations which they lack statutory authority to otherwise accomplish.

“Sue and Settle “ practices, sometimes referred to as “friendly lawsuits,” are cozy deals through which far-left radical environmental groups file lawsuits against federal agencies wherein court-ordered “consent decrees” are issued based upon a prearranged settlement agreement they collaboratively craft together in advance behind closed doors. Then, rather than allowing the entire process to play out, the agency being sued settles the lawsuit by agreeing to move forward with the requested action both they and the litigants want.

And who pays for this litigation? All too often we taxpayers are put on the hook for legal fees of both colluding parties. According to a 2011 GAO report, this amounted to millions of dollars awarded to environmental organizations for EPA litigations between 1995 and 2010. Three “Big Green” groups received 41% of this payback, with Earthjustice accounting for 30% ($4,655,425). Two other organizations with histories of lobbying for regulations EPA wants while also receiving agency fundng are the American Lung Association (ALA) and the Sierra Club.

In addition, the Department of Justice forked over at least $43 million of our money defending the EPA in court between 1998 and 2010. This didn’t include money spent by the EPA for its legal costs in connection with those ripoffs, because the EPA doesn’t keep track of its attorneys’ time on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has concluded that Sue and Settle rulemaking is responsible for many of EPA’s “most controversial, economically significant regulations that have plagued the business community for the past few years.”  Included are regulations on power plants, refineries, mining operations, cement plants, chemical manufacturers, and a host of other industries. Such consent decree-based rulemaking enables EPA to argue to Congress: “The court made us do it.”

Directing special attention to these congressional end run practices, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has launched an investigation. Last year he asked his Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to join with AG’s of 13 other states who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking all correspondence between EPA and a list of 80 environmental, labor union, and public interest organizations that have been party to litigation since the start of the Obama Administration.

Other concerned and impacted parties have little influence over such court procedures and decisions. While the environmental group is given a seat at the table, outsiders who are most impacted are excluded, with no opportunity to object to the settlements. No public notice about the settlement is released until the agreement is filed in court…after the damage has been done.

In a letter to Caldwell, Senator Vitter wrote: “The collusion between federal bureaucrats and the organizations entering consent agreements under a shroud of secrecy represents the antithesis of a transparent government, and your participation in the FOIA request will help Louisianans understand the process by which these settlements were reached.”

Fewer citizens would challenge the EPA’s regulatory determinations were it not for its lack of accountability and transparency in accomplishing through a renegade pattern of actions what they cannot achieve through democratic legislative processes.

A recent example sets unachievable CO2 emission limits for new power plants. As I reported in my January 14 column, a group within the EPA’s own Science Advisory Board (SAB) determined that the studies upon which that regulation was based had never been responsibly peer reviewed, and that there was no evidence that those limits can be accomplished using available technology.

Compared with huge consequences of the EPA’s regulatory war on coal, the fuel source that provides more than 40% of America’s electricity, a clamp-down AKforeston humble residential wood-burning stoves and future water heaters may seem to many people as a merely a trifling or inconsequential matter. That is, unless it happens to significantly affect your personal life.

As a Washington Times editorial emphasized, the ban is of great concern to many families in cold remote off-grid locations. It noted, for example, that “Alaska’s 663,000 square miles is mostly forestland, offering residents and abundant source of affordable firewood. When county officials floated a plan to regulate the burning of wood, residents were understandably inflamed.”

Quoting Representative Tammie Wilson speaking to the Associated Press, the Times reported: “Everyone wants clean air. We just want to make sure that we can also heat our homes.” Wilson continued: “Rather than fret over the EPA’s computer–model–based warning about the dangers of inhaling soot from wood smoke, residents have more pressing concerns on their minds as the immediate risk of freezing when the mercury plunges.”

And speaking of theoretical computer model-based warnings, where’s that global warming when we really need it?

- See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2014/01/29/epa-ban-on-wood-stoves-is-freezing-out-rural-america/#sthash.j3hjM4Ys.dpuf

Bearings: The Achilles Heel of Wind Turbines

August 26, 2014

Story by Eric Worrall -

wind_turbine_bearings[1]A few years ago, I used to know a senior wind turbine engineer. One evening, over a few beers, he told me the dirty secret of his profession:

“The problem is the bearings. If we make the bearings bigger, the bearings last longer, but making the bearings larger increases friction, which kills turbine efficiency. But we can’t keep using the current bearings – replacing them is sending us broke. What we need is a quantum leap in bearing technology – bearing materials which are at least ten times tougher than current materials.”

At the time there was very little corroborating online material available to support this intriguing comment – but evidence seems to be accumulating that bearings are a serious problem for the wind industry.

Siemens citing bearing failures as part of the reason for a substantial fall in profit;
http://www.offshorewind.biz/2014/05/07/siemens-energy-division-profit-down-54-pct/

In the announcement of the opening of a new Siemens research facility;
http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2013/03/19/siemens-wind-turbine-research/
“… The Brande test center would evaluate the main parts of their wind turbines such as main bearings …”

http://www.geartechnology.com/newsletter/0112/drives.htm (an attempt to make direct drive turbines, to reduce bearing wear)
“… More accurately, it is typically the bearings within the gearbox that fail, in turn gumming up the gearbox, but that’s a story for another time. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burbo_Bank_Offshore_Wind_Farm
“… During summer 2010 Siemens decided to change the blade bearings on all 25 turbines as a pre-emptive measure after corrosion was found in blade bearings found on other sites. …”

Of course, there is the occasional video of catastrophic turbine failure;

Suggestions the industry is trying to conceal the scale of the turbine fire problem;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2695266/Wind-turbine-fire-risk-Number-catch-alight-year-ten-times-higher-industry-admits.html

All of which creates an interesting question – just how much of our money is the government prepared to waste, to keep their wind dream afloat? If the costs are far greater than the industry admits, how long is the wind industry going to carry that additional hidden cost, before they try to push the costs onto taxpayers, or abandon wind technology altogether?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2116877/Is-future-Britains-wind-rush.html

EU rules against powerful vacuum cleaners ban ‘best’ models, Which? warns

August 24, 2014

UK Telegraph

Many of the best vacuum cleaners for sale in the UK will be banned as a result of new EU energy efficiency rules that come into force next month, consumer group Which? has warned.

Households wanting to buy a powerful model have been told they will need to “act quickly” before they sell out, as from September 1 companies will be prohibited from manufacturing or importing any vacuums with motors above 1,600 watts.

The European Commission claims that its new rules, which are intended to help tackle climate change by cutting Europe’s energy usage, will mean consumers “get better vacuum cleaners than ever before”.

However, Which? said that many of the models that its reviewers rate as the best on the market will fall foul of the rules.

Of seven “best buy” ratings awarded by its vacuum cleaner reviewers since January 2013, five of them have motors of more than 1,600 watts, it said.

Power hungry plasma TVs to be banne12 Jan 2009

Dyson takes Brussels to court 09 Oct 2013

“If you’re in the market for a powerful vacuum, you should act quickly, before all of the models currently available sell out,” the consumer group says in the latest issue of its magazine.

“A Best Buy 2,200w vac costs around £27 a year to run in electricity – only around £8 more than the best-scoring 1,600w we’ve tested.”

Which? said the full list of endangered “best buy” vacuums was available only to its subscribers.

However one such product is the Miele s8330 model, which has a 2,200 watt motor and advertises its “best buy” credentials on its manufacturer’s website.

The EU ban on powerful vacuum cleaners follows the introduction of rules to ban traditional light bulbs, which saw consumers rushing to stock up before they became obsolete.

Consumers complained that energy-efficient replacements bulbs were more expensive and took too long to warm up.

Brussels has denied that its latest rules on vacuums will affect consumers’ ability to clean their homes properly.

In a blog last year, European Commission spokesman Marlene Holzner wrote: “Vacuum cleaners will use less energy for the same performance – how much dust they pick up. This will help consumers to save money and make Europe as a whole use less energy.”

The average power of a vacuum on the market in Europe at the time was 1,800 watts. This will have to be halved within the next three years, as the limit of 1,600 watts will be reduced to just 900 watts from September 2017.

“The amount of watt does not automatically indicate how well a vacuum cleaner will clean. The amount of watt indicates how much electrical power is used by the engine,” Ms Holzer wrote. “The important question is: How efficient is this electrical power translated into picking-up dust?”

The EU rules will require vacuum cleaners to be sold with a new system of labels which will show their cleaning performance and requires a minimum level of performance.

Which? warns that the labels are “self-regulating, meaning that manufacturers will create their own labels” and it is unclear whether there is any independent third party checking up that consumers are getting correct information.

The ratings are also based on vacuums being tested brand new, so “don’t take into account any loss of suction as the container fills”.

Early indications showed “manufacturers that traditionally don’t do well in our tests have had ‘A’ ratings across the board” in the new self-regulated EU labels “while those that consistently do well haven’t scored as highly”, Which? said.

Ms Holzer said: “As a result of the new EU ecodesign and labelling regulations, consumers will also get better vacuum cleaners. In the past there was no legislation on vacuum cleaners and companies could sell poorly performing vacuum cleaners.

“Now, vacuum cleaners that use a lot of energy, that pick up dust poorly, emit too much dust at the exhaust of the vacuum cleaner, are noisy or break down pre-maturely will not be allowed on the market anymore. This means a better cleaning experience and less time and money spent on vacuum cleaning.”

Blowing Our Dollars in the Wind.

August 15, 2014

Wind energy produces costly, intermittent, unpredictable electricity. But Government subsidies and mandates have encouraged a massive gamble on wind investments in Australia – over $7 billion has already been spent and another $30 billion is proposed. This expenditure is justified by the claim that by using wind energy there will be less carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere which will help to prevent dangerous global warming.

Incredibly, this claim is not supported by any credible cost-benefit analysis – a searching enquiry is well overdue. Here is a summary of things that should be included in the enquiry.

Firstly, no one knows how much global warming is related to carbon dioxide and how much is due to natural variability. However, the historical record shows that carbon dioxide is not the most important factor, and no one knows whether net climate feedbacks are positive or negative. In many ways, the biosphere and humanity would benefit from more warmth, more carbon dioxide and more moisture in the atmosphere.

However, let’s assume that reducing man’s production of carbon dioxide is a sensible goal and consider whether wind power is likely to achieve it. To do this we need to look at the whole life cycle of a wind tower.

Wind turbines are not just big simple windmills – they are massive complex machines whose manufacture and construction consume much energy and many expensive materials.  These include steel for the tower, concrete for the footings, fibre glass for the nacelle, rare metals for the electro-magnets, steel and copper for the machinery, high quality lubricating oils for the gears, fibre glass or aluminium for the blades, titanium and other materials for weather-proof paints, copper, aluminium and steel for the transmission lines and support towers, and gravel for the access roads.

There is a long production chain for each of these materials. Mining and mineral extraction rely on diesel power for mobile equipment and electrical power for haulage, hoisting, crushing, grinding, milling, smelting, refining. These processes need 24/7 reliable electric power which, in Australia, is most likely to come from coal.

These raw materials then have to be transported to many specialised manufacturing plants, again using large quantities of energy, generating more carbon dioxide.

Then comes the construction phase, starting with building a network of access roads, clearance of transmission routes, and excavation of the massive footings for the towers. Have a look here at the massive amount of steel, concrete and energy consumed in constructing the foundations for just one tower.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX0RhjeLlCs

Not one tonne of steel or concrete can be produced without releasing carbon dioxide in the process.

Almost all of the energy used during construction will come from diesel fuel, with increased production of carbon dioxide.

Moreover, every bit of land cleared results in the production of carbon dioxide as the plant material dozed out of the way rots or is burnt, and the exposed soil loses its humus to oxidation.

Once the turbine starts operating the many towers, transmission lines and access roads need more maintenance and repair than a traditional power plant that produces concentrated energy from one small plot of land using a small number of huge, well-tested, well protected machines. Turbines usually operate in windy, exposed, isolated locations. Blades need to be cleaned using large specialised cranes; towers and machinery need regular inspection and maintenance; and mobile equipment and manpower needs to be on standby for lightning strikes, fires or accidents. All of these activities require diesel powered equipment which produces more carbon dioxide.

Even when they do produce energy, wind towers often produce it at times when demand is low – at night for example. There is no benefit in this unwanted production, but it is usually counted as saving carbon fuels.

Every wind farm also needs backup power to cover the 65%-plus of wind generating capacity that is lost because the wind is not blowing, or blowing such a gale that the turbines have to shut down.

In Australia, most backup is provided by coal or gas plants which are forced to operate intermittently to offset the erratic winds. Coal plants and many gas plants cannot switch on and off quickly but must maintain steam pressure and “spinning reserve” in order to swing in quickly when the fickle wind drops. This causes grid instability and increases the carbon dioxide produced per unit of electricity. This waste should be debited to the wind farm that caused it.

Wind turbines also consume energy from the grid when they are idle – for lubrication, heating, cooling, lights, metering, hydraulic brakes, energising the electro-magnets, even to keep the blades turning lazily (to prevent warping) and to maintain line voltage when there is no wind. A one-month study of the Wonthaggi wind farm in Australia found that the facility consumed more electricity than it produced for 16% of the period studied. A detailed study in USA showed that 8.3% of total wind energy produced was consumed by the towers themselves. This is not usually counted in the carbon equation.

The service life of wind towers is far shorter than traditional power plants. Already many European wind farms have reached the end of their life and contractors are now gearing up for a new boom in the wind farm demolition and scrap removal business. This phase is likely to pose dangers for the environment and require much diesel powered equipment producing yet more carbon dioxide.

Most estimates of carbon dioxide “saved” by using wind power look solely at the carbon dioxide that would be produced by a coal-fired station producing the rated capacity of the wind turbine. They generally ignore all the other ways in which wind power increases carbon energy usage, and they ignore the fact that wind farms seldom produce name-plate capacity.

When all the above factors are taken into account over the life of the wind turbine, only a very few turbines in good wind locations are likely to save any carbon dioxide. Most will be either break-even or carbon-negative – the massive investment in wind may achieve zero climate “benefits” at great cost.

Entrepreneurs or consumers who choose wind power should be free to do so but taxpayers and electricity consumers should not be forced to subsidise their choices for questionable reasons. People who claim climate sainthood for wind energy should be required to prove this by detailed life-of-project analysis before getting legislative support and subsidies.

Otherwise we are just blowing our dollars in the wind.

Viv Forbes,15 July 2014

For those who wish to read more:

UK Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide than they save:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9889882/Wind-farms-will-create-more-carbon-dioxide-say-scientists.html

Wind energy does little to reduce carbon dioxide emissions:
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/64492/wind-energy-reduces-co2-emissions-few-percent

The High Cost of reducing carbon dioxide using wind energy:
http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/ib_11.htm

Wind power does not avoid significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions:
http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/lang-wind-and-emissions.pdf
http://www.masterresource.org/2009/11/wind-integration-incremental-emissions-from-back-up-generation-cycling-part-i-a-framework-and-calculator/

Wind Power may not reduce emissions as much as expected:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/05/30/wind-power-may-not-reduce-carbon-emissions-argonne/

Why Wind Won’t Work:
http://carbon-sense.com/2011/02/08/why-wind-wont-work/

Energy Consumption in Wind Facilities:
http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html

Growing Problem of Grid Instability:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/instability-in-power-grid-comes-at-high-cost-for-german-industry-a-850419.html

Contractors prepare for US81M boom in decommissioning North Sea wind farms:
http://www.heavyliftpfi.com/news/niras-cashes-in-on-wind-farm-future.html

Time to End Wind Power Corporate Welfare:
http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA644.html

TOP PROFESSOR FIRED FOR EXPOSING HUGE WIND ENERGY SCAM

August 5, 2014

Written by John Droz Jr

Henrik Møller, Denmark’s leading academic expert on noise research, has been fired by his university after exposing a far-reaching cover up by the Danish government of the health risks caused by wind turbine noise pollution.

Moller

Shock and outrage at this latest example of the heavey-handed cover up of government-backed junk science has brought strong condemnation from independent scientists. John Droz Jr, a respected critic of wind farms, has issued the following condemnatory response:

As you probably know, a passion of mine is defending my profession (Science) from assault.

This is approaching a full-time job, as those promoting political or economic agendas are painfully aware that real Science is a major threat to their aspirations — so they are aggressively attacking it on multiple fronts. (See ScienceUnderAssault.info.)

We now have yet another distressing example, where a leading scientist has lost his job — apparently for the crime of being a conscientious, competent academic, focused on quality research (instead of chasing grant money).

Dr. Henrik Møller, is an world-renown expert on infra-sound, and has published several high-quality studies on low-frequency acoustics (like here, here, here, and here). More recently, some of these have dealt with industrial wind energy noise (e.g. here — which was peer-reviewed).

He has been praised as Denmark’s “leading noise researcher.” What’s even more important is that he has been courageous enough to have publicly spoken out against poor government policies, as well as the misinformation disseminated from the wind energy cartel.

In Denmark there have been several newspaper reports about this surprising firing, but I’m sending this to the AWED list as such an event should have much wider coverage.Here are English translations of a few Danish articles (I have the originals as well). It seems to me that some of the key points made in them are:

— Dr. Møller has had thirty eight (38) years of distinguished service for Aalborg University.

— Ironically, this institution publicly prides itself as looking out for its professors: “At Aalborg University we focus intensively on staff welfare and job satisfaction.”

— He was the only one of 200± researchers at the Department of Electronic Systems in Aalborg who was let go…

— The purported reason for his firing, is that the professor is no longer “financially lucrative” for the university…
— Despite claiming that the termination was due to a shortage of funds, the university had recently hired two additional people in the same department…

— Dr. Møller’s reasoned responses were:
1) During the last year he may not have produced that much income, but in many other years his work resulted in substantial profit to the university.
2) Statistically, approximately half of the faculty would be operating at a loss — so why single him out?
3) In his prior 38 years of employment, and reviews, he was never informed that his job was solely dependent on outside funding.
4) Additionally, prior to the sacking, he had not been informed that his income production was a problem that need to be addressed — giving him a chance to do so.

— The Danish Society of Engineers, and the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs, have gone on record stating that it is unreasonable to dismiss researchers due to a lack of grants. Furthermore they reportedly said such a policy is contrary to the Danish University Act, which specifies that the purpose of research is to promote education, not to be a profit-making venture…

— The VP of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations stated that it’s rare that a Danish professor is fired.

— It has been reported that the wind industry has frequently complained about Dr. Møller to his boss (Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen)…

— Consider this: the same Dean Nielsen was a keynote speaker at the Wind Industry Association’s meeting, the day after he fired Dr. Møller!

— As one article explains, this termination might have also come from the fact that the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has a very close association with the wind industry, and that Dr. Møller’s scientific research had resulted in embarrassing revelations.

— The same article states that with Dr. Møller out of the picture, wind industry friendly DTU will now take over responsibility for assessing acoustical impacts of industrial wind turbines on Danish citizens. (I wonder what conclusions they will reach?)

As one report accurately stated: it takes courage for academics to focus on scientific research, instead of pursuing outside funding.

Please consider writing a short, polite email to Dr. Møller’s boss (who fired him) objecting to this shameful termination: Dean Nielsen
dekan-teknat@adm.aau.dk

It would be helpful to cc a reporter at an important Danish newspaper: Axel Pihl-Andersen:
axel.andersen@jp.dk

and bcc Dr. Møller:
henrikmoeller2@gmail.com

Regards,
John Droz, Jr.
Physicist & Environmental Advocate

PS — Although his studies on industrial wind energy only comprise a small amount of his thirty eight years of academic work, they may have resulted in the most notoriety.

Since many of the people on this list are interested in that topic, here are a few other examples of Dr. Møller’s work related to wind energy, in his words:

1) We made an analyses of a wind project in Maastricht, planned to possibly have turbines from a Danish company. The City Council stopped the project after our report — a result that did not make us popular with the Danish wind industry.

2) A reason why we seem to be a nuisance to the wind industry in Denmark is that we keep finding errors in noise calculations and evaluations. As an example, we found serious errors in the environmental impact assessment behind a new law on a wind turbine test center, and the law had to be changed.

3) We also revealed that in a big Vestas promotion, they mixed up two acoustical terms (and Vestas had to change part of their campaign). I’m afraid there are only Danish newspaper articles about that — which is unfortunate, because it was quite funny.

4) We also criticized Danish regulation of wind turbine noise, which resulted in feature articles in Danish newspapers. I am not sure if others have been translated, but here is one example.

5) We also put together some web pages about the Danish wind regulations, which made the wind industry complain about me to the Dean (again).

Bird Conservancy Files Suit Against Wind Turbines

August 3, 2014

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D.

American Bird Conservancy has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, charging the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with “multiple violations of federal law” in granting wind turbine permits. At issue is the FWS’s controversial proposed rule that would allow wind power facilities to kill protected golden and bald eagles for periods of up to 30 years. Currently, eagle kill permits are valid for only five years.

The 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act imposes fines and jail time on people who kill eagles, either intentionally or accidentally. As part of its policy to push renewable energy, however, the Obama FWS in 2009 inserted an exemption into the law, allowing permits for wind turbines to eagle kills “accidentally” even when such kills are foreseeable when building wind farms.

Sacrificing Eagles for Wind Power
In its lawsuit, the American Bird Conservancy specifically cites the 1940 statute in stating the FWS is violating federal law. The FWS added the 2009 provision administratively; Congress played no role when the FWS unilaterally amended the law.

The FWS estimates wind turbines in the United States kill 440,000 birds each year, but many environmentalists say the number is much higher. A peer-reviewed study published last year in the Wildlife Society Bulletin reported U.S. wind turbines kill 1.4 million birds and bats each year, including 573,000 birds.

“Americans take pride in the fact that Bald Eagles are once again a common sight in many places across the country. Their popularity and symbolic importance suggests that the American people are not going to tolerate the deaths of many to wind turbines,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of American Bird Conservancy’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Program, in a press statement.

‘So Sue Me’
Energy analyst Marita Noon says the American Bird Conservancy suit is fitting considering President Obama’s bold challenge for people to sue his administration.

“President Obama has proudly challenged, ‘So sue me.’ The American Bird Conservancy is to be applauded for stepping up with a lawsuit against the administration’s policy of executive overreach and favoritism,” said Noon.

“While the law prescribes fines and jail time for those who accidentally kill bald and golden eagles, under Obama the FWS modified the law by allowing the favored wind industry ‘kill permits’ that permit wind turbine operators to murder the majestic birds by chopping them up,” Noon explained.

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., (bcohen@nationalcenter.org) is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Kansas Newspaper Embarrasses Itself on Wind Power

August 3, 2014

By James Taylor
Environment and Climate News

Wind power apologists say and write the silliest things. Whether economic illiteracy, political mendacity, or some other reason is to blame, Big Wind shills serially embarrass themselves by making claims that wouldn’t even make the multiple choice options for “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” Here is an example published this morning by a newspaper in Kansas:

Patrick Lowry at the Hays Daily News published an article about staffers for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) wordsmithing Brownback’s statement that he would like to see the state phase out its renewable power mandates. Lowry utilized this news hook to display his embarrassing lack of knowledge about economics (or, as more cynical readers may say, propagate a deliberate and mendacious effort to misinform Daily News readers about energy economics).

Lowry began his wind power shilling by claiming the primary objective of folks who don’t want to be forced to purchase expensive wind power is “protecting long-standing interests of the oil industry.” Oil, however, is not used for electricity production. Oil is used to power motor vehicles. The “long-standing interests of the oil industry” might be in play if putting a propeller beanie on a Mack truck would allow said truck to barrel uphill at 70 mph, but I am wagering that even 99 percent of 5th graders know that putting a small wind propeller on an automobile is no substitute for gasoline.

Lowry further embarrassed himself by claiming that forcing consumers to purchase higher-priced electricity has “bolstered significantly” the Kansas economy.

“The relatively new wind energy business sector is reliant on subsidies, tax credits and forced mandates for energy companies to attract any private venture capital. It’s an expensive proposition, one that will not make it in the marketplace if left to its own devices. Not until that storage problem is solved. But that is precisely why the industry deserves taxpayer support. If turbines aren’t producing, there will be no research on how to maximize that energy,” Lowry argued.

Lowry acknowledged wind turbines “aren’t producing” enough to be economically competitive. He admitted Big Wind needs special “subsidies, tax credits and forced mandates” merely to remain in business. And somehow, forcing such an expensive failure of an industry on electricity ratepayers is good for the economy?

While Lowry believes government research investments in battery storage for wind power may someday make wind power cost-competitive (despite decades of government and private research investments having already failed to do so), forcing expensive wind power on Kansas now, while any such illusive technological breakthroughs are still a pipe dream, has done just the opposite of “bolster[ing] significantly] the Kansas economy. This has merely driven up the cost of living in Kansas much faster than would otherwise be the case, and making it harder for people to pay their bills is counterproductive to the state’s economic well-being.

Given such pitiable efforts to make the case for wind power, I will help Lowry along and present the best argument wind power apologists have to offer: wind power companies pay money to farmers and ranchers who allow wind turbines on their land, which enriches those farmers and ranchers. The problem with this argument, however, is wind power companies don’t simply wave a magic wand to create the rent money given to farmers and ranchers. Instead, the wind power companies raise electricity prices for all electricity customers throughout the state to pay the few farmers and ranchers who host the turbines. In a most unappealing manner, this is taxing the many to pay the few and redistributing money from poor and middle-class electricity customers to pay rich landowners.

Wind power apologists say and write the silliest things….


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.