Using Energy and Happy about It

By Steve Goreham
Originally published in The Washington Times.

Last week I received a “Home Energy Report” flyer from Commonwealth Edison, my electricity provider in northern Illinois. The leaflet compared my energy usage to neighbors over the last two months and declared, “You used 41% MORE electricity than your efficient neighbors.” Should I be concerned about this?

My wife and I use energy, but don’t waste it. For years I’ve driven my family batty, turning off lights in vacated rooms. During the summer, my wife dries laundry in the sunshine, rather than in the dryer. We also have many of the compact fluorescent bulbs. We take these measures to lower our energy bills, not for other motives.

Isn’t it odd that ComEd, a company in the energy business, is encouraging their customers not to use it? Imagine a mailer from Coca-Cola pointing out that you drank 41% MORE soft drinks than your neighbor. Or a letter sent from Apple telling you that you needed to reduce your iPhone and iPad purchases.

A visit to the ComEd website provides some answers. First, the company is required to use part of customer payments to urge Illinois customers to reduce electricity consumption by the Illinois Public Act 95-0481. But second, the website is filled with ideological nonsense. In the Saving Energy section of the website, we find a yellow “Power Bandit” and the statement, “Saving Energy was never so much fun! Beat the Power Bandit and learn lots of ways to save energy, save money and help save the planet!” Does ComEd really believe that we can save the planet by changing light bulbs?

For decades, environmental groups have waged war on energy. They warn that increased energy usage will pollute the Earth, destroy the climate, and rapidly exhaust natural resources. They demand substitution of dilute, intermittent, and expensive wind, solar, and biofuel energy for traditional hydrocarbon or nuclear power, which is an excellent way to reduce energy usage. They tell us that nations which use the most energy do the most environmental damage.

National and state governments have swallowed the “energy usage is bad” ideology hook, line, and sinker. Twenty-nine states have enacted Renewable Portfolio Standards laws, requiring utilities to use an increasing percentage of renewable energy or be fined. Hundreds of federal and state policies subsidize and mandate renewable or reduced energy usage, including light bulb bans, vehicle mileage mandates, wind and solar subsidies, ethanol fuel mandates, and energy efficiency programs. These policies collect additional taxes from citizens and boost the cost of electricity.

But, actual trends and empirical data show that our planet is not in imminent danger. Air and water pollution in the United States is at a fifty-year low. According to Environmental Protection Agency data, airborne levels of six major pollutants declined 57 percent from 1980 to 2009 even though energy usage was up 21 percent and vehicle miles traveled were up 93 percent. International data shows that pollution is lowest in high-income nations that use high levels of energy, such as Canada and Sweden, but highest in developing nations, such as India and Indonesia. The best way reduce pollution in developing nations is to increase per capita incomes, not to restrict energy usage.

Similarly, there is no empirical evidence to show that mankind is destroying Earth’s climate. Mankind’s comparatively tiny emissions of carbon dioxide, a trace gas in our atmosphere, cause only an insignificant part of the greenhouse effect. Global surface temperatures have been flat for more than ten years despite rising atmospheric CO2. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies report warmer temperatures 1,000 years ago than temperatures of today. A review of history shows that today’s storms, droughts, and floods are neither more frequent nor more severe than past events.
Nor are we rapidly exhausting Earth’s energy resources. We’re at the dawn of a hydrocarbon revolution, triggered by the new techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Mankind now has access to centuries of petroleum and natural gas from shale fields, which can be accessed with cost-effective and environmentally-safe methods.

Yet, the “energy is bad” ideology continues. Grade school students are taught that renewable energy is good and that hydrocarbon energy is bad. The EPA is waging a war on the U.S. coal industry. Demonstrators urge President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. And utilities tell us how we can “save the planet.”
By the way, reports state that the 20-room Tennessee house of former Vice President Al Gore devours more than 20 times the national average electricity usage. I wonder what rating Mr. Gore would get in a ComEd “Home Energy Report?”

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

Comments on Yesterday’s paean to Global Warming

February 19, 2013
Dr. Richard Keen
Meteorologist Emeritus
University of Colorado, Boulder

It’s like playing whac-a-mole. After every major storm or unusual (or even slightly interesting) weather event, some non-investigative reporter gets hold of the usual suspects to write an article about how it’s all due to global warming.

Then it’s up to knowledgeable folk like Joe D’Aleo, Anthony Watts, Bill Gray, James Taylor, Steve Goddard, and many, many others to write a data-based rebuttal to “whac” the nonsense back down into its hole. But then, as in the game, it always pops up again. Today I’ll draw the short straw and try to whac the mole back down once more.

The article in question is a piece by Seth Borenstein (again) of AP (again) titled “Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards” (again). Borenstein talked to Michael Oppenheimer, Mark Serreze, and other “leading federal and university climate scientists” (again). If you really want to read it, it’s at

But you might find the annotated version more rewarding:

Borenstein’s story starts off with a valid point:
“With scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple (1 ½) of years, some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit.
“Then when a whopper of a blizzard smacked the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in some places earlier this month, some of the same people again blamed global warming.

“How can that be? It’s been a joke among skeptics, pointing to what seems to be a brazen contradiction.”

So far, so good. It IS a brazen contradiction. So what do the global warming apologists say?

Borenstein continues,
“But the answer lies in atmospheric physics. A warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump, more moisture, snow experts say.” So they’re saying that since a warmer atmosphere can “hold” more moisture (technically quite incorrect in itself), there’s more moisture to produce more snow. How much moisture is there? At -10C,
aka 14F, each kilogram of air can “hold” (as they say) a maximum of 3.8 grams of water vapor. If all that condenses out as snow, you’ll get 1.8 grams of snow from that kilogram of air rising in a Low or along a front. That would likely be a cold, fluffy snow. Warm the air up to 0C (32F), and the water content of the air doubles to 3.8 grams. Then the same storm will produce twice as much snow, or at least twice as heavy a snow (since the warmer snow won’t be as fluffy). Most big snow storms occur with temperatures close to the freezing point.

Now let’s kick in some global warming and raise the temperature to +10C (50F). The water content doubles again to 7.6 grams, so the snow storms will again produce twice as much snow.
What? You say it can’t snow at 50 degrees F???? Well, then you know more physics that these “snow experts”!

The biggest snow storms occur at temperatures near freezing, and
warming CANNOT make them any bigger because of two corollaries of a well-known physical law:

1. The freezing point of water is 0C (32F), and ice or snow cannot form above this temperature.
2. Short of a presidential executive order, the freezing point cannot be raised to allow for more moisture to be available.
Like the speed of light, it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law, and it clearly states that warmer cannot equal more extreme snow.
Now, the AGW apologists will gin and jerry their models to violate these physical laws, but one can also make pigs fly on a computer.


“The United States has been walloped by twice as many of the most
extreme snowstorms in the past 50 years than in the previous 60 years, according to an upcoming study…” Well, you can look at the same data and draw different conclusions.

May I refer you to a piece I wrote for the Science & Public Policy Institute, “ARE HUGE NORTHEAST SNOW STORMS DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING?”, at Simple plots of winter temperature and snowfall data for Philadelphia snow two obvious things:

1. Colder winters have more snow and more big snow storms, in
contradiction to the warming hypothesis. This would be obvious to most folk, but the warmers have a way for denying the obvious with clever theories.

2. Over the past 125 years there has been little or no trend in either winter temperatures or snowfall.

Less obvious, but apparent in closer scrutiny of the charts, is a
small 60-year cycle in snow and temperature. These correspond well with the “Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation” (AMO), a huge oceanic cycle enveloping the entire Atlantic Ocean from the equator to Iceland. Joe D’Aleo has written extensively on this; just go to,, or other honest climate websites and do a search for combinations of “snow”, “AMO”, and the AMO’s Pacific cousin, “PDO”.

You can check this article, “Reliving the 1950s (and 1890s): the 60 year cycle” at

Although I was raised in Philadelphia, and was present for the
regional climate shift from hurricanes in the 1950s to the cold snowy winters of the 60s (due to the AMO, of course), I realize not everybody considers the city the center of the universe. Expanding to the entire Northeast, NOAA’s “Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS)” also shows no overall change in the snow climate of the northeastern U.S. Read all about it at “Big Snows: Northeast U.S. and Colorado”

The Colorado part of that article has the same end point: giant stormsin Colorado are not increasing or decreasing; out in the Rockies it’s all el Niño.

More at:
“Thirty years in the Bull’s-eye: a climatology of meter-class snow storms in the Front Range foothills”
Now movin’ on up to the South Side, Borenstein asks us to “take
Chicago” (please!), which, along with the Northeast, has “been hit with historic storms in recent years”. The 2011 Blizzard was
certainly impressive, with 21.2 inches of snow containing 1.57 inches of water equivalent. Not bad, but officially, it was a bit shy of 1967’s “Big Snow” (they didn’t use excessive superlatives like “superstorm”, “megastorm”, or “storm of the century” back then; “Big” was sufficient) which dumped 23.0 inches. More importantly, the water content of the storm was 2.40 inches, 53 percent greater than the recent blizzard. It would take 6C, or 11F, of global warming to produce that much more moisture, according to the warmers. Indeed, the Big Snow was warmer than the 2011 version, with temperatures close
to freezing during the snow. Two days earlier Chicago enjoyed a
record maximum of 65 degrees and the Midwest suffered its largest
January tornado outbreak on record. One of the 32 tornadoes was a F3 monster in Wisconsin, the northernmost wintertime tornado in US history. I had moved to Chicago by then (follow the snow, I say), and although the ’67 storm fit perfectly the warming scenario now espoused by Serreze, Oppenheimer, and the like, I don’t recall anyone linking it to Global Warming 46 years ago. Not even Mayor Daley. Extreme weather is not new. Read more about these wild storms at:

There’s more nonsense in Borenstein’s article, but frankly, neither the taxpayer, the canola oil companies, or the Rockefellers pay me enough to spend all night refuting it all. Actually, they pay me nothing.

The AGW gang summarize their apologetics by claiming they knew it all along.”when Serreze, Oppenheimer and others look at the last few years of less snow overall, punctuated by big storms, they say this is what they are expecting in the future.

“It fits the pattern that we expect to unfold,” Oppenheimer said.
“Ten [unnamed] climate scientists say the idea of less snow and more blizzards makes sense: A warmer world is likely to decrease the overall amount of snow falling each year and shrink snow season.”

They’d have a point if they had said this five or ten years ago,
before the recent round of big eastern storms. But they said no such thing. The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger storms. In 2000, Oppenheimer himself lamented his daughter’s unused sled and that “the pleasures of sledding and snowball fights are as out-of-date as hoop-rolling”.

Now Oppenheimer & Co. are trying to explain their way out of their dead wrong assessment without admitting the sad truth – that Global Warming, like Barney, is a dinosaur from their imaginations. And we – you – the taxpayer – are paying the AGW gang to cover their errors.

As for the changing climate “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun”– Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV

And the climatologists,
“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
–Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782