Scott Pruitt’s nomination — a call for support so he can stop the trainwreck that is the EPA

Joanne Nova

Donald Trump nominated  the man who is the expert at running lawsuits against the EPA to run it. Naturally this threatens a lot of sacred totems, not to mention a very big trough.  Protests are raging. In reply, people are speaking up in support of Pruitt.

Those who think his nomination should be opposed are confused saying that “Mr. Pruitt’s backers tout it as a virtue that he has sued the EPA. … In every instance, Mr. Pruitt has joined forces with polluting industries seeking to avoid clean up responsibilities.

The EPA is so lost, it doesn’t know what real pollution is anymore. Opposing the EPA is what any good environmentalist would do.

The EPA is so lost, it doesn’t know what real pollution is anymore. Opposing the EPA is what any good environmentalist would do.

The religious mission against plant fertilizer in the hope of holding back the tide by half a millimeter in 2100 is noxious, damaging, dangerous in so many ways. It deprives the poor of cheap energy, good jobs, and warm houses. It hurts the environment because it makes the EPA, the US, so much less effective at solving real environmental problems. The pogrom against carbon (we are carbon life forms) is anti-science, eating away at the core tenets of the scientific method, and teaching a whole generation nonsense. The CO2 fixation is over-riding every other environmental issue because the EPA makes it so. The toxic effect the EPA has on the broader community, the economy, on science and on education makes this more important than any single environmental issue today.

The EPA has run so far off the rails that only someone who has opposed it could possibly fix it. Trump can’t defeat the madness on his own. The nomination hearing is Wednesday morning US time. And Dr Nan Hayworth is collecting messages and names in support. If you want to add your name and thoughts below in comments or email them to me, I will forward them to her. Thank you. And if you think that international names don’t count, remember that science is bigger than any one country, and if Obama can threaten the Brits on Brexit, why can’t Brits help explain what science is (and what pollution is) to Congress.

Here’s one from Professor J. Scott Armstrong:

Dear Dr. Hayworth,                                                                                                  January 15, 2017

Following up on your correspondence with Willie Soon, I strongly agree with the policies favored by Scott Pruitt.I have spent over 50 years as a forecaster and, over the past decade, have had the pleasure of working with Willie Soon, who I view as one of the leading climate scientists in the world. Along with Kesten Green, I am a Director of the primary website dealing with forecasting methods, author of Long-Range Forecasting, and of a handbook on forecasting methods, “Principles of Forecasting.”Our studies have produced what we claim to be the only evidence-based forecasts of long-term global mean temperatures: there is no evidence that long-term warming is occurring.I proposed a ten-year bet with Al Gore on this issue in order to increase interest in testing predictive validity. (Ten years is not sufficient time to assess long-term trends and I expected to have only a 2/3 chance of winning, given natural variability). Mr. Gore refused to take the bet, so Kesten Green has been posting what would have happened had he done so on theclimatebet.com. Year nine just ended.We have been unable to find scientific forecasts showing that that warming would be harmful. I testified before Senator Boxer’s committee on this matter with respect to polar bears. My testimony was based on this paper.We have been unable to find any scientific forecast that there are cost-effective ways to affect global temperatures, up or down.

Here is a short summary of the above studies on climate change.

Kesten Green and I have recently founded the Iron Law of Regulation website. This states that “There is no form of market failure, however egregious, which is not eventually made worse by the political interventions intended to fix it.” We started the site with an attempt to get evidence about regulations that have been useful and thus to help design new regulations. No one has been able to produce scientific evidence about regulations that have violated the aforementioned Iron Law (i.e., to have actually improved human welfare, not to mention the preservation of individual liberties).

Kesten Green and I are currently involved with a paper called “Guidelines for Science.” In it, we document that much research currently published in academic journals violates the basic scientific principle of objectivity: We call this “advocacy research.” It allows researchers to announce their hypotheses and then to provide only the research that supports their hypotheses. This is the method used in the research papers that support the “global warming hypothesis.” This is not science and scientists have warned of this non-scientific approach for centuries. We have developed a checklist that can enable clients to evaluate whether a paper complies with scientific principles; it can be completed by intelligent adults, regardless of background, in less than an hour and we find good inter-rater reliability. The latest working paper, version #378, is attached.

I look forward to a favorable outcome for your hearings and would be willing to help in any way that I can.

Best,

Scott

J. Scott Armstrong, Professor

The Wharton School, JMHH 747
U. of Pennsylvania, Phila., PA 19104
Home Phone 610-622-6480
homepage

 

Rating: 10.0/10 (69 votes cast)

Scott Pruitt’s nomination — a call for support so he can stop the trainwreck that is the EPA, 10.0 out of 10 based on 69 ratings

Is 100% Of “US Warming” Due To NOAA Data Tampering?

Final wind-turbine rule permits thousands of eagle deaths

Fox News

Fox News  (Fox News)

The Obama administration on Wednesday finalized a rule that lets wind-energy companies operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years — even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

Under the new rule, wind companies and other power providers will not face a penalty if they kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles, nearly four times the current limit. Deaths of the more rare golden eagles would be allowed without penalty so long as companies minimize losses by taking steps such as retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution.

The new rule will conserve eagles while also spurring development of a pollution-free energy source intended to ease global warming, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan, said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

“No animal says America like the bald eagle,” Ashe said in a statement.  He said the Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to balance energy development with eagle conservation.

Wind power has increased significantly since Obama took office, and wind turbines as tall as 30-story buildings are rising across the country. The wind towers have spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan, and blades reach speeds of up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.

The surge in wind power has generally been well-received in the environmental community, but bird deaths — and eagle deaths in particular — have been a source of contention.

The birds are not endangered species but are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The laws prohibit killing, selling or otherwise harming eagles, their nests or eggs without a permit.

It’s unclear what toll wind energy companies are having on eagle populations, although Ashe said as many 500 golden eagles a year are killed by collisions with wind towers, power lines, buildings, cars and trucks. Thousands more are killed by gunshots and poisonings.

Reporting of eagle mortality is voluntary, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information.

The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there are about 143,000 bald eagles in the United States, and 40,000 golden eagles. Ashe called recovery of the bald eagle “one of our greatest national conservation achievements.”

The rule is set to take effect in mid-January, days before Obama leaves office. President-elect Donald Trump could change the rule or scrap it, but the process would likely takes months or years.

Michael Hutchins of the American Bird Conservancy said Wednesday that his group has “some serious concerns” that the new rule will not do not enough to sustain populations of threatened eagles.

Still, Hutchins said, he is encouraged that the rule requires independent contractors to provide data on bird kills to the government, rather than allowing energy companies to submit the information. He also praised a requirement for greater public reporting of data on the numbers of birds killed by wind turbines.

Permits issued by the government would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill.

Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said the industry was still reading the final rule, but said wind companies “strongly support its core purpose — eagle conservation.”

The industry is working to further reduce what he said was a “minimal impact” it has on eagles in hopes of “maintaining healthy eagle populations for generations to come,” Kiernan said.

Even with warm 2016/17 winter, US 20+ year trends are still down

Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

This winter has started in December with some frigid cold, especially the central. Here is the last 7 days and the forecast the next 5 days.

ncep_cfsv2_28_t2anom_usa-4

gefs_t2ma_5d_conus_23-1

Maps courtesy of Weatherbell.com

Though many have argued the so called ‘pause’ was clearly over, it appears not. The pop in 2015/16 was related to El Nino.

NCDC (now NCEI) has the Climate at a Glance tool I frequently use for temperature and precipitation trend. I have used it in recent years to examine trends in winters the last 18 to 20 years. It was argued a few years back the cooling it showed was biased by the significant El Nino of 1997/98. Even after the (1) new NOAA methodology (removal of UHI adjustment, TOBS. homogenization) that made 1997/98 less warm and (2) the 2011/12 and 2015/16 warm spikes (perhaps slightly enhanced by the changes), what was called the pause (really a cooling trend) is still there in the last 20 year period for December to March.

For the nation, we have seen a cooling rate of -1.63F/century.

The NCEI CAAG site allows you to look at regional changes. I looked first at U.S. Climate Regions (Upper Midwest/Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast.

The cooling was greatest in the Upper Midwest (an amazing rate of -11.9F/century).


The Ohio Valley has cooled at a rate of -9.1F/century.

The northeast has cooled at a rate of -7.4F/century for December to March periods

Then I looked at larger NWS regions (administrative):

The large 14 state central region shows a cooling rate of -5.9F/century.

The large 16 state Eastern Region a cooling of -7.1F/century even with the 2011/12 and 2015/16 spikes.

Despite some ups and downs, we expect this year will be colder than last winter and keep the trend going.

To see how far back I could go and get a negative trend, I went to 1995 for the CONUS and found no warming trend (a not statistically significant cooling of 0.25F/century) the last 22 years.

Though the jump in major snows in the east was attributed in the media to global warming and resulting more moisture. I would argue the land cooling is responsible. Sellers back in the middle 1900’s speculated snow would increase after warm periods and the increased snowcover would initiate or enhance any cooling that followed.

 

The world needs more energy!

Poor countries have a right to use fossil fuels and will no longer let anyone stop us

Steven Lyazi

Our planet is blessed with abundant resources that can generate enormous energy, provide raw materials for wondrous technologies, and build modern homes, roads and other structures – to support every man, woman and child on this earth. But can and will political powers make them available to the people who need them?

Of all these resources, energy is the most important. Nothing happens without energy.

For most of mankind’s history, human or animal muscle, wood and animal dung, water power, and plant or animal oil provided our energy. But the amount and quality of that energy was limited, and therefore what people could do was also limited.

Then, almost suddenly, people began using coal, and then oil, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power. Our abilities, and our dreams, began to reach for the heavens – at least in many countries. Sadly, many other countries lagged far behind, and many still do.

They are held back, condemned to continued energy poverty – and thus to real poverty and the diseases, malnutrition and desperation that go with that absence of modern energy. This is partly because many nations are governed by incompetent, corrupt leaders, who care only about enriching themselves, their families, and their close friends, allies and supporters.

But it is also because callous, imperialistic people in rich countries use exaggerated, imaginary or phony environmental concerns and fake disasters to justify laws, regulations and excuses not to let poor countries use fossil fuels or nuclear power or develop their economies.

They tell us we should only use renewable energy. They say nuclear power is dangerous, and oil, gas and coal are dirty and cause dangerous climate change. They don’t seem to think or care about the poverty, diseases and starvation that we suffer because we do not have fossil fuels.

And when they talk about renewable energy, they mean the very limited energy – and economic growth – that come from wind and solar power, or from growing crops for energy instead of to feed our hungry people. They even oppose hydroelectric power for poor nations.

They are rich and well fed, enjoying amazing homes and jobs and technologies in their modern countries. But they tell us poor Africans (and other people) that we must limit our energy and dreams to whatever can come from expensive, insufficient kinds of energies to serve our large and growing populations. This is greedy and selfish, the kind of attitude of people who only think of themselves.

Yes, they use renewable energy, but only a little. Almost all their energy still comes from oil, gas, coal, nuclear and hydro power. Only a tiny amount comes from wind, solar or biofuels – that they say should be our only sources of energy.

They have money and power, and they can influence what happens to us. But they are causing massive poverty, disease, starvation and death in third world countries.

I support clean energy and don’t want to see dangerous global warming. I agree that everyone should help ensure that we live in a clean environment. Everyone wants that, and to see their children and grandchildren living in a clean environment.

But that does not mean we should accept more poverty. It does not mean these rich, powerful people should be able to take away our right to live. It does not mean they have a right to put make-believe scare stories in our papers, on our televisions and radios, and on the internet.

It does not mean they should invent claims that our planet is boiling and we are causing droughts and floods – and so we should throw away coal and other cheap energies that we need to survive.

Maybe they are right, and humans are warming the earth or changing the climate – a little. But our weather and climate have always changed, and the world was even warmer during the dinosaur era than it is today, and much colder during the ice ages, with no human activities. Climate change has been going on for millions of years ago, but that doesn’t mean today’s changes are because of humans or will be disasters.

Environmental agencies and groups say the world is changing and try to tell us what to do to prevent these changes, which they say will all be bad. But getting rid of poverty and disease is also a big change that would be good for all of us, and cannot happen without fossil fuels.

We’ve all been scared to death by horror movies, especially films that are just plausible enough to make us think it could happen. But when these movies (or computer models) are used to scare us away from fossil fuels, that is wrong and we should not be frightened.

What these rich country movie actors, politicians, regulators, scientists and activists forget is that our planet and environment have existed for millions of years, have changed over and over, and will continue to exist either with or without human interference. But we humans have to live here too.

Denying people their right to use fossil fuels is the worst thing someone can do to a fellow human. Western powers developed massively due to cheap fossil fuels and today live like kings. They have no right to deny their living standards to people in developing countries.

Who invented the terms “developing countries” or “third world countries” anyway”? All countries have been developing at some point. In fact, they are always still developing, all the time.

The only wrong interpretation is to say “third world countries” do not have a God-given right to use all their energy, minerals and other resources to develop themselves, and get rich, create good jobs for their people, end poverty and disease, and grow enough food to make everyone well fed and healthy.

In fact, here is a thought for all African leaders: A collective mindset supporting development will make Africa as great as any other region on earth. We all just need to unite around this idea.

The recent United States elections disappointed many people, but made many others happy. To me, they may be a very good thing. They might mean the new President Trump will be a good leader for the entire world. He might make more people question these claims that fossil fuels cause dangerous global warming – and encourage everyone to use more oil, gas and coal to improve our lives, until smart people someday discover different energy sources that really do work.

We all desire to be healthy and live better lives, just like people in developed countries. Yes, we have had greedy, selfish leaders in the past who might have contributed to our status today. But we can and must learn from our mistakes, and Mr. Trump wants to correct his and Mr. Obama’s mistakes.

African and other countries need abundant energy for economic growth. They need all kinds of energy, especially fossil fuels, to become modern and make people’s lives better.

Anyone who tries to prevent us from using these energy resources is denying us our right to improve our lives, and even our right to live, which is the most fundamental right of any human. That is wrong and immoral, and we will no longer tolerate it.

____________

Steven Lyazi is a student and worker in Kampala, Uganda. He served as special assistant to Congress of Racial Equality-Uganda director Cyril Boynes, until Mr. Boynes’ death in January 2015.

Tossing another climate scare talking point into the circular file

Anthony Sadar

One of the standard mantras of those pushing their superior knowledge of Earth’s future climate – including those who politicize science to sway the electorate – is the talking point that says climate scientists were not all that concerned about a coming ice age back in the 1960s and ’70s.

But it’s funny what you can run into when rummaging through old files.

I’ve done a lot of teaching since the mid-1980s and so have amassed a huge collection of class materials.  Of course, at some point, those materials need to be sorted; consolidated; and, in many cases, discarded.

So, when reviewing documentation from the late ’80s, I happened upon a rejection letter dated 3 April 1989 from the then editor John Maddox of the prestigious journal Nature (still one of the leading science magazines in the world).  I had sent Nature a letter regarding a 1977 paperback book titled Our Changing Weather: Forecast of Disaster? by Claude Rose.  My letter noted the teaser on the back cover of the book that claimed: “Northern hemisphere temperatures have been falling steadily since the 1940s.  Glaciers are advancing once again.  Scientists no longer debate the coming of a new ice age: the question now is when?”

Editor John Maddox’s correspondence stated that the magazine could not publish my letter because “[t]he difficulty is that it is well-known in the scientific community that as recently as 15 years ago climatologists were more worried about the prospect of the ice age returning than by the greenhouse effect.”  (Of course, the “greenhouse effect” was the popular designation at the time for what has since morphed into “global warming,” then “climate change.”)  Maddox went on to point out how “Professor Hubert Lamb [a top climate scientist of the time], recently retired from the University of East Anglia [where Lamb founded the Climatic Research Unit], wrote a whole book on the subject.”

We also know that the popular press, such as Time, Newsweek, and National Geographic, during the period was picking up on the scientific sense that an ice age was looming.

With my own witness in meteorology classes at Penn State in the mid-’70s of assertions concerning the coming of the next ice age, not a sweltering globe, the claim that climate scientists were not all that concerned about a coming ice age back then should be debunked.

That claim should be a lesson to “settled science,” and the only settling that claim should do is at the bottom of a circular file.

Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and author of In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail (Stairway Press, 2016).

 

A Proposed Early Priority for the Trump Administration: A Letter to USEPA to Reconsider and Withdraw Its GHG Endangerment Finding

Alan Carlin | November 9, 2016

In March, 2009 I prepared almost 100 pages of comments to EPA concerning the need to revise the draft Technical Support Document (TSD) for the EPA Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases (GHGs).

The three main points in my comments were that the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) hypothesis is invalid from a scientific viewpoint because it fails a number of critical comparisons with available observable data, that the TSD draft was seriously dated and the updates made to an earlier 2007 version were inadequate, and that EPA should make an independent analysis of the science of global warming rather than adopting the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and US Government reports based on it.

EPA chose to suppress my comments, ignore these recommendations, and issue its GHG Endangerment Finding late in 2009. As I had feared the Finding laid the legal framework for the issuance of a number of EPA regulations intended to reduce emissions of GHGs.

Subsequent research outlined in my book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, made an even stronger case that the alarmist “science” presented in the EPA GHG Endangerment Finding TSD as well as the IPCC reports are scientifically invalid. A new report provides even more conclusive evidence in this regard. There is now overwhelming evidence that the EPA GHG Endangerment Finding is simply wrong and needs to be reconsidered and withdrawn before it leads to even greater economic harm by incorrectly justifying CO2 EPA-imposed emissions reductions that have no measurable effects on global temperatures.

I hope that the new Trump Administration will make this an early priority at EPA if the outgoing Obama Administration fails to do so.

The following letter to five current EPA officials makes the formal case for this:

November 5, 2016

Mr. Arthur A. Elkins, Jr.
Inspector General
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Mailcode 2410T)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Dear Mr. Elkins:

We write to request that EPA forthwith reconsider – or, more accurately, that it properly consider for the first time – its so-called “Endangerment Finding” (EF) of December 2009 with respect to atmospheric greenhouse gases. As you know, in the EF EPA concluded that certain atmospheric greenhouse gases “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

Real-world events described below, both prior and subsequent to the adoption of the EF, have thoroughly discredited the basis on which EPA purported to adopt the Finding, and indeed have completely undermined each of the three “lines of evidence” on which EPA said it relied for its action. In short, the EF has been definitively invalidated by real-world evidence in accordance with the scientific method. This highly embarrassing situation for EPA is not unexpected, as the EF was adopted by means of a completely deficient process.

As Inspector General of EPA, you are the key person in a position to right this ship. Because of the numerous glaring deficiencies in the process by which the EF was adopted, you have the ability, and indeed the obligation, to takes steps that should lead to a proper reconsideration of the Finding.

During 2009, in the period leading to adoption of the EF, numerous public comments and submissions were provided to EPA. In one such submission, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a petition in which it, among other things, (1) requested a hearing on the proposed EF under 5 U.S.C. Sections 556-57, with all proceedings on the record, and with parties able to submit supporting documents, data and presentations, and (2) asked that EPA have the benefit of full input from its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. EPA declined to grant these requests.

A key comment submitted to EPA in connection with its adoption of the EF, dated October 7, 2009, came from a large group of some thirty-five prominent scientists. I attach a copy of that comment letter. In addition to pointing out deficiencies in EPA’s process, the October 7, 2009 Letter also enumerated the major questions that EPA would need to answer definitively in order to have proper support for the EF. The letter stated:

      “[W]e urge the EPA to address four critical questions, which, in addition to the issues enumerated in the Chamber’s Petition, are central to the EPA’s proposed rulemaking. Indeed, these questions require careful analysis before intelligent public policy can be promulgated. They are:
        1 Is the Earth’s climate changing in an unusual or anomalous fashion?
        2 Does the science permit rejection of the hypothesis that CO is only a minor player in the Earth’s climate system?
        3 Can climate models that assume CO is a key determinant of climate change provide forecasts of future conditions that are adequate for policy analysis?
        4 Can we reject the hypothesis that the primary drivers of the Earth’s climate system will continue to be natural (non-anthropogenic) forces and internal climate variability?”

EPA failed properly to address or answer any of these questions. Instead, it proceeded largely on the basis of unverified climate models and politicized lobbying.

The accumulation of real-world evidence since 2009 has completely undermined whatever basis ever existed for the EF. Most recently, on September 21, 2016 a major Research Report by Wallace, et al., was published on the ICECAP website and at various other locations.
The new Research Report is a definitive invalidation of each of EPA’s three lines of evidence for its EF. The Research Report is based on the best available empirical evidence of world temperatures from thirteen independently-constructed sources, and utilizes the most mathematically rigorous mathematical techniques. The three principal conclusions of the Research Report, which relate directly to each of EPA’s Lines of Evidence, are as follows:

      • “These analysis results would appear to leave very, very little doubt but that EPA’s claim of a Tropical Hot Spot (THS), caused by rising atmospheric CO levels, simply does not exist in the real world.
      • “Once EPA’s THS assumption is invalidated, it is obvious why the climate models they claim can be relied upon, are also invalid.”
      • “[T]his analysis failed to find that the steadily rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 critically important temperature time series data analyzed.” – – – – “[T]hese results clearly demonstrate – 13 times in fact – that once just the ENSO [El Nino/La Nina] impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no “record setting” warming to be concerned about. In fact, there is no ENSO-Adjusted Warming at all.”

Based on the Research Report, the undersigned sent letters to each of the various scientific societies that have backed EPA’s “consensus science” approach to climate change issues, asking them to reconsider their positions. An exemplar of one of those letters is attached.

This situation is rapidly developing into a serious embarrassment for EPA. The economic stakes could not be higher. European nations that have pursued energy policies similar to those pushed by EPA have seen their costs of electricity multiply, and millions of their citizens thrown into energy poverty. It is high time that EPA conduct a proper evaluation of its endangerment hypothesis. Such a proper evaluation should at the minimum include on the record hearings, with opportunities for parties to present supporting data and evidence, as well as full involvement from the Scientific Advisory Committee.

Very truly yours,

Francis Menton
Law Office of Francis Menton
85 Broad Street, 18th floor
New York, New York 10004
212-627-1796
fmenton@manhattancontrarian.com

Alan Carlin
Webmaster, carlineconomics.com

Mr. Menton is a lawyer in New York. He has represented numerous scientists, among them the authors and many of the reviewers of the Research Report cited in this letter, in making submissions as amici curiae to courts including the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court on issues related to energy and climate matters.

Dr. Carlin is a retired senior analyst and manager at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 1971-2010; previously he was an economist at the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA. He is the author of Environmentalism Gone Mad, Stairway Press, and the author or coauthor of about 40 other professional publications including many on climate science and economics. He has a PhD in economics from MIT and a BS in physics from Caltech.

cc:
Ms. Gina McCarthy
Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ms. Janet McCabe
Acting Administrator for Air and Radiation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Ana V. Diez Roux
Chairperson, Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Peter S. Thorne
Chairman, Science Advisory Board
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

How Economists Had the Best Tools for a Basic Understanding of Climate All the Time but Failed to Use Them until Very Recently

Alan Carlin | November 3, 2016

One of the curious things about climate economics is that a number of climate economists have spent considerable time and effort to try to develop a concept called the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), but have only very recently asked whether the basic alarmist hypotheses concerning the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) are correct. If the basic relationships are wrong, time spent guessing at SCC values is nothing more than idle speculation. The idea is that carbon prices (such as for coal or other fossil fuels) may not fully reflect the burdens indirectly placed on society by the use of these fuels.

Economists seem to have bought the idea that “climate scientists” should determine such things and economists should be left with the problem of how to ration emissions of CO2 among many possible users by raising the prices they pay. The ultimate purpose of the SCC is to set a higher price for carbon which would “correctly” ration fossil fuel use or create regulations that do something similar.

What economists have missed is that they have long had the keys to determining whether the climate science promoted by the UN and more recently by the Obama Administration reflects reality. The keys are provided by an obscure subdiscipline called econometrics, which uses sophisticated statistical techniques to analyze complicated and often conflicting data. It is used in statistically-oriented economic studies, including financially crucial marketing studies. Large corporations sometimes use it to make marketing decisions where there are often conflicting data as to what determines consumer behavior.

Why “Climate Scientists” Are Not Always the Best Group to Determine Climate Relationships

Now I know that many climate “scientists” and alarmists will immediately object that only genuine “climate scientists” can and should determine the effects of carbon emissions on climate. This was their major point when I commented on the basis for the draft EPA Endangerment Finding in 2009. They particularly prefer global climate models (GCMs). In fact, many of the alarmist “climate scientists” are GCM builders. The problem is that climate cannot be accurately modeled because climate is a coupled, non-linear chaotic system, as even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has admitted.

So building accurate GCMs was a hopeless enterprise which was doomed from the start. A much better approach would have been to use econometric techniques using the best available climate data sets. A well executed econometric study makes no assumptions as to what the important effects are but instead first gathers data to determine what functional relationships would best explain the data. The GCM builders instead try to impose their guesses as to the physical relationships on the data rather than letting the data tell them which are the important relationships.

If climate economists had used the techniques offered by their econometric subdiscipline and managed to get the results accepted, much of this could have been avoided. What the data show is that instead of economists spending time building SCC models based on highly uncertain data supplied by climate “scientists,” econometricians could have been much more useful by examining the basic questions on climate interactions rather than speculating as to the correct values to use for the damages avoided by reducing CO2 emissions. Fortunately one economist has recently used his econometric skills to solve the basic problem with the assistance of two climate scientists. Wallace et al., 2016, is the only such effort I know of so far, but there is nothing needed but resources to check their work or, if necessary, redo their work if problems should be uncovered. So far, no one else has done similar work, as best I know. But we need more econometricians doing so and fewer other economists engaging in endless and idle speculation on the SCC.

How the Current GCM Approach Has Failed to Make Progress

The current GCM approach has really made very little or no progress in the last few decades, as illustrated by the IPCC charts showing the uncertainty in the climate sensitivity in successive IPCC reports. This is because it was futile to begin with and never really answered the key questions, especially whether increases in atmospheric CO2 levels increase global temperatures in the real world as opposed to the laboratory.

Building GCMs based on assumed and poorly understood physical relationships was a poor approach and lent itself to capture by organized special interests, which is what has happened. The GCM builders have basically worked back from their desired answers to determine what assumptions must be made to reach their desired conclusions. The overwhelming advantage of the econometric approach is that there should be no answer to work back from. Instead the available data is used to determine what the best physical relationships are, and then to quantify these relationships. And surprise, the results are very, very different!

It is time to abandon the basic approach used by the climate alarmist “scientists” and try a different approach that does not assume the “answer” to begin with. I suspect that such an approach would lead to the conclusion that government should stay out of trying to price carbon and instead leave it to the market.

Hillary Clinton Is No Hurricane Expert—But I Am

Photo of Neil L. Frank

Neil L. Frank
Former Director, National Hurricane Center

Daily Caller

As former Director of the National Hurricane Center (1974–1987), I was appalled when, in a campaign rally at Miami-Dade College October 11, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said, “Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change.” That is false.

We were extremely fortunate that Matthew—category 5 through much of the Caribbean—weakened to category 2 before landfall in South Carolina. It could have been much worse.

In 1893 a much stronger hurricane followed nearly the same track. When its eye reached the Georgia and South Carolina coasts, a 15–20 ft. storm surge inundated the coastal islands. Though population was a small fraction of today’s, between 2,000 and 3,000 died, making that the second deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. The same year another major hurricane killed 2,000 in Louisiana.

All together five hurricanes hit the U.S. in 1893, something that’s happened only 4 times in over 150 years (1886, 1893, 1916, 1933)—all long before CO2 levels rose enough to theoretically cause rapid global warming.

Clinton wants us to believe CO2, emitted when we burn fossil fuels for electricity and transportation vital to life, health, and prosperity, causes global warming that causes more and stronger hurricanes. She’s wrong.

There has been a worldwide 30-year lull in hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones despite the simultaneous warming—manmade or natural. It has been 11 years since a major hurricane hit the U.S. Before that we expected, on average, 1 every 2 years. In the 7 years 1944–1950, well before the rapid rise of CO2, 6 hit Florida alone.

Clinton is ignorant about more than hurricanes. Based on computer climate models that fail test after test, predicting two to three times the observed warming, she claimed that because of rising sea level driven by manmade warming, “one in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century.”

Empirical observation says otherwise. Since 1992 sea level in Miami has risen only a little over 1 inch—a rate of 4.2 inches per century, no faster than for millennia. Mrs. Clinton is wrong. It’s not time to move to the mountains.

Yes, Earth’s atmosphere is warming. It has been, off and on, for 150 years. What causes it? CO2, natural cycles, or some combination? Sun and ocean current cycles correlate better with global temperature than CO2.

If CO2 doesn’t control Earth’s temperature, why has our government spent some $150 billion on “green energy” alone—not to mention billions on research to bolster belief in man-made warming—over the last 15 years?

What do we have to show for it? We lost $500 million when solar panel maker Solyndra went bankrupt. In 2009 we subsidized 11 electric car companies for $2.5 billion. Six are bankrupt and 5 floundering. In 2015 Sun Edison, America’s largest “green energy” company, went bankrupt, costing us $3 billion. Abergeo, the largest international solar energy company, threatens bankruptcy costing us $2.5 billion. We’ve committed $3.5 billion toward a $100 billion climate fund for developing nations.

Projected future costs are staggering. Clinton wants to build and install 500 million new solar panels in the next four years. The Institute for Energy Research estimates this will cost $205 billion—plus higher electric rates for consumers. She wants all residential energy to be “green” by 2025.

A peer-reviewed study concludes that full implementation of the Paris climate agreement, which Clinton supports, would cost $1–$2 trillion per year ($70–$144 trillion from 2030–2100). The payoff? An inconsequential 0.3˚F reduction in global average temperature.

If climate alarmists want to protect life, why aren’t they as concerned about the 1.5 billion people without electricity and the 2–3 billion without pure water? Millions die each year from these two factors. At a fraction of the cost of fighting global warming, electricity from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels, not diffuse, expensive, intermittent wind and solar, could prevent those deaths.

Neil L. Frank, Ph.D. (Meteorology), the longest-serving Director of the National Hurricane Center (1974–1987) and retired Chief Meteorologist of KHOU-TV, Houston (1987–2008), is a Fellow of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation

“Climate Science” Warned Us: More & Stronger Hurricanes Coming! Climate Didn’t Get the Message

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October 25, 2016 By

On September 9, 2005, with much of New Orleans submerged by the failure of fifty levees and flood walls after Hurricane Katrina (category 1 at landfall) dumped 8 to 10 inches of rain, former Vice President Al Gore told the Sierra Club’s National Environmental Convention and Expo in San Francisco:

Ladies and gentlemen, the warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. … Last year we had a lot of hurricanes. … The scientists are telling us that … unless we act quickly and dramatically … [t]his … is only the first sip of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year ….

Gore wasn’t the only prophet of doom. In 2006 Nature told us, “Mega-storms are set to increase as the climate hots up.” In August, 2011, in an article headlined “Are Category 6 Hurricanes Coming Soon?”, Scientific American told us, “Tropical cyclones like Irene are predicted to be more powerful this year, thanks to natural conditions.” In 2012 The Independentwarned, “Global warming is ‘causing more hurricanes’.”

In November, 2012, CBS This Morning co-host Rebecca Jarvis asked, “As superstorms like Hurricane Sandy and Katrina in 2005, is this the new normal for our weather?” She continued, “They’ve long been considered once-in-a-century events, but researchers now say the frequency of such storms will at least double by the year 2030.” Ben Straus, COO of global warming advocacy group Climate Central, answered Jarvis’s question: “Sandy was off the charts. However, it is very much the new normal that we’re seeing more extreme weather, bigger storms more often.”

Okay, I confess, I find it kind of difficult to see how one could test, in under 18 years, a prediction that a once-in-a-hundred-year event would become a once-in-fifty-year event. But when it comes to global warming, testing hypotheses—the key to science—takes a back seat to spreading terror.

In 2013 U.S. News & World Report (drawing from the same study cited by The Independent) headlined a story, “Study: ‘Katrina-Like’ Hurricanes to Occur More Frequently Due to Warming,” but apparently the editors thought that wasn’t scary enough. They taglined the article, “Hurricanes the size of Katrina could occur much more frequently due to rising ocean temperatures” (emphasis added).

Meanwhile, slightly saner minds were a little more restrained. In March 2012 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave a mixed message about tropical cyclones (hurricanes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the Pacific): its computer models predicted that global warming would likely make them stronger but less frequent. Nine months later, MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel submitted a paper to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (published another seven months later) that challenged that. He said his models predicted that warming would make tropical cyclones both stronger and more frequent. But both IPCC and Emanuel avoided alarmist language.

Ironically, by the time CBS’s Jarvis was saying the frequency of storms like Katrina and Sandy would double by 2030, it had already been 8 years since the last major (category 3 or higher) hurricane had made landfall on the U.S., though before 2005 they’d struck on average every 1 to 2 years, and in 1944–1950 Florida alone had suffered 6.

As of yesterday, that 8-year drought of major hurricane landfalls on the U.S. has stretched to 11 years. With the 2016 season almost over, it’s unlikely that the drought will end before next June. And it’s not just the United States that’s experienced this welcome break. There has been a worldwide 30-year lull in hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones, despite the (fairly slight) global warming over the period.

Yet, ironically, 18 days ago an editor at Scientific American added this note to its 2011 article predicting that global warming would make hurricanes more powerful: “Editor’s Note (10/07/16): As Hurricane Matthew barrels toward the U.S. coastline, Scientific American reviews some of the science involved in predicting, tracking and understanding these massive storms. This article—originally published on 08/23/2011—looks at whether we will soon be facing Category 6 hurricanes.” Never let a crisis go to waste! (Why, by the way, do hurricanes “barrel” and not just “move”?) Four days later Gore joined Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a rally at Miami-Dade College dedicated entirely to warning about climate change, during which Clinton claimed, “Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change.”

The truth is that there’s been no increase in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones or hurricanes over the period of allegedly manmade global warming, as this graph by Ryan N. Maue, formerly a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory and meteorology professor at Florida State University and now with WeatherBELL Analytics, shows:

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Likewise, there’s no long-term upward trend in global accumulated cyclone energy:

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But if you love high drama, don’t despair. The climate alarmists will continue their Sturm und Drang, and we’ll continue debunking it!

Featured image: NASA satellite photo of Hurricane Matthew, showing track up to 11 a.m. EDT October 6.