Climate Progress, Joe Romm, outed as political operative by Wikileaks


WIKILEAKS: ThinkProgress Trashes A Climate Expert’s Career To Appease A Hillary Donor

Posted By Michael Bastasch (Daily Caller)

ThinkProgress Editor in Chief Judd Legum sent an email to a billionaire donor bragging how the liberal blog’s environmental writer targeted a climate researcher who challenged a major Democratic talking point on global warming, according to leaked emails.

The blog’s environmental arm, ClimateProgress, (run by Dr. Joe Romm) took issue with pollster Nate Silver’s 538 website, hiring Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. to write about global warming issues. Pielke is no skeptic of man-made warming, but he challenged a Democratic talking point that global warming was making extreme weather more severe.

Romm YouTube Image

Dr. Joe Romm of Climate Progress believes we are going to fry.

ClimateProgress immediately embarked on a crusade to discredit him “[p]rior to Pielke writing anything” for 538 — based solely on the fact they didn’t like his research on extreme weather.

“Pielke basically has made a career of ‘accepting’ climate change but disputing that we can really do anything about it or that it has much of an impact,” Legum wrote in a July 2014 email to hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer thanking him for his “support.”

Steyer is a major supporter of environmentalists and Democratic politicians. Steyer is a donor and bundler for the Clinton campaign, raising more than $100,000 for her campaign since 2015. He spent $73 million during the 2014 midterm elections.

ClimateProgress is part of the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF), which was created by Clinton’s presidential campaign chair John Podesta. Podesta also created the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, which gave CAPAF at least $1 million in 2015.

Legum’s email to Steyer was release by WikiLeaks from Podesta’s hacked Gmail account. It’s one of several emails involving the ThinkProgress blog.

ClimateProgress put out two articles attacking Pielke the same day he published a post on 538 headlined “Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change.” Pielke’s point was that extreme weather only does more damage today because there’s more wealth to destroy when hitting shore.

When economic growth is taken into account, “the overall trend in disaster costs proportional to GDP since 1990 has stayed fairly level,” Pielke wrote.

“Within hours, ClimateProgress published a comprehensive debunk, with quotes from many prominent climate scientists,” Legum wrote, chronicling Pielke’s eventual being forced to leave 538.

“Pielke was so upset with our piece, he called the scientists we quoted and threatened to sue them. Silver was forced to apologize,” Legum wrote. “Embarrassed, Silver was forced to publish a rebuttal to Pielke piece by an actual climate scientist, which was also devastating.”

Silver asked climate scientist Kerry Emanuel to rebut Pielke’s article. Emanuel wrote that he’s “not comfortable with Pielke’s assertion that climate change has played no role in the observed increase in damages from natural hazards.”

Silver never let Pielke publish any piece on global warming on 538 again — a fact Legum bragged to Steyer about in his email.

“I think it’s fair say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538,” Legum wrote.

“He would be providing important cover for climate deniers backed by Silver’s very respected brand,” he wrote. “But because of our work, he is not. I don’t think there is another site on the internet having this kind of impact on the climate debate.”

“Thanks for your support of this work. Looking forward to doing even more in the coming months,” Legum wrote to Steyer.

UPDATE: They are even worse – Climate Progess/Think Progress “making up stuff” as Joe Romm is so fond of saying:


@MikeBastasch Fine piece, but this is a lie: “Pielke was so upset with our piece, he called the scis we quoted and threatened to sue them”

There’s now this update to the Daily Caller article:

Update: Pielke told The Daily Caller News Foundation claims he threatened to sue his detractors was “a lie.” Reports that Pielke threatened legal action against two climate scientists came from The Huffington Post. Pielke says that’s false.

In fact, it was Legum who contacted 538 claiming Pielke had made legal threats against two scientists, according to HuffPo.

Read more:

In another Podesta email, outed by Wikileaks, Joe Romm is referenced to Podesta as somebody who could vouch for another political climate operation

Hi John: I am the cofounder of Climate Hawks Vote, whose mission is to >> build political power for the grassroots climate movement. Brad Johnson is >> the ED of Climate Hawks Vote. You can check us out w/ Joe Romm.

Readers may recall that Brad Johnson (who left Climate Progress to start the “forecast the facts” operation against TV weather presenters and meteorologists) made some pretty slimy political hacks in the past, such as blaming tornadoes on how state representatives voted in the spirit of “they deserved death and destruction for not being onboard with consensus based climate views”:

The graph that Joe Romm and Brad Johnson don’t want you to see: tornado deaths per million over the last century

Source: NOAA’s US Severe Weather Blog, SPC, Norman Oklahoma


Facts about the “Forecast the Facts” campaign – they’re just another paid mouthpiece of the Center for American Progress

Hillary Hypes Hurricane Hysteria—Cornwall Alliance Quells the Storm

When Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton teamed up with former Vice President Al Gore for a marathon campaign rally focusing exclusively on climate change, she trod on Cornwall Alliance’s turf.

And we responded! So far, scholars in our network—Fellows, Adjuncts, Contributing Writers, and Interns—have published eleven opinion columns, with another scheduled for publication, and two awaiting acceptance.

One of those, by Kyle Jorstad in “Hillary’s America: Renewable and Unsustainable” at our own, began:

Having rallied the support of global warming mogul Al Gore, on Oct. 11th Hillary Clinton delivered an impassioned speech riddled with incomplete comparisons, red herrings, and hasty generalizations in an attempt to galvanize support for her energy program.

Amidst Mrs. Clinton’s politically and emotionally charged rhetoric can be found multiple cherry-picked examples of the triumphs of clean energy, such as the electric-powered Chevy Volt produced in Michigan. While a car boasting 53 miles solely on electricity may seem a laudable milestone, it turns out that the Volt’s technological breakthrough comes at a significant cost. The 2016 Volt’s sticker price is $15,000 higher than comparable compact cars (though this price is often reduced over $10K through federal grants and subsidies, meaning your tax payer money). Yet the Volt was only initially produced through millions in aid during production, with an estimated $250 million in government aid behind each 2011 Volt.

The crux of Clinton’s energy plan is the installation of 500 million additional solar panels and the expansion of the United States solar capacity to 140 gigawatts, all by 2020. According to the Energy Information Administration(EIA), the US currently rests at only 22.9 GW of solar capacity, a figure projected to expand to 57 GW by 2020. This leaves Clinton with an 83 GW deficit, which the Institute for Energy Research projects to cost over $200 billion. [Click here to read the rest.]

In addition to Kyle’s article, we’ve already published these:

  1. Economics Professor Bill Anderson’s “Can Hillary Clinton Bring Us Better Weather?” at, the world’s most widely read science blog;
  2. Economics Professor Timothy Terrell’s “Clinton-Gore 2016: A Campaign of Bad Ideas on the Environment,” at The Stream;
  3. Meteorologist and theologian Charles Clough’s “Hillary Clinton and the Second Coming of Al Gore,” at Christian Post;
  4. International Affairs Professor Michael Hart’s “Fact-Checking Clinton’s Climate Change Speech: The idea of a planetary emergency is little more than opportunistic political posturing,” at The Stream;
  5. Dr. Beisner’s “Is Hillary Clinton the Real Science Denier?” at;
  6. Cornwall Alliance’s Research Associate for Developing Countries Vijay Jayaraj’s “Clinton’s Climate Change agenda: The death of science and humanity,” at;
  7. Dr. Beisner’s “Hillary Clinton’s Climate Calamity,” at The Daily Caller;
  8. Physics Professor James A. Wanliss’s “Cleaning up After Clinton and Gore,” at;
  9. Certified Consulting Meteorologist and Geneva College Adjunct Professor of Meteorology Anthony Sadar’s “Hillary’s Hurricane Hysteria Blows an Ill Wind,” at Charisma News;
  10. Cornwall Intern Wesley Haverlah’s “Climate, Elections, and the Battle of Worldviews,” at our own
  11. Dr. Beisner’s “Hillary Clinton’s Climate Catastrophe,” in Christian Post.

Accepted and awaiting publication is

  1. World-famous climatologist Dr. Roy W. Spencer’s “Hillary Boards the Climate Crisis Train to Nowhere,” in the prestigious Forbes magazine;

And awaiting acceptance are

  1. “Hurricane Matthew, Hillary Clinton, and Climate Change,” by Dr. Neil L. Frank, the longest-serving Director of the National Hurricane Center (1974–1987) and KHOU-TV Houston’s Chief Meteorologist (1987–2008).
  2. “Hillary Clinton Is No Hurricane Expert—But I Am,” by Dr. Frank.

It’s crucial that Americans understand that Clinton’s climate and energy policy would do enormous harm to America’s and the world’s poor while achieving no climate-related benefits. Please read and share all our articles, and pray that thousands more will do the same, and millions more will read and carefully consider them.

Please also pray for our major financial needs at this crucial time, and consider donating. From now to the end of October, we’ll send you Dr. Roy Spencer’s A Guide to Understanding Global Temperature Data absolutely FREE as our way of saying “Thank you!” for a donation of any size. Just ask for it and mention Promo Code 1610. You can make your 100% tax-deductible donation at our secure online site, by phoning 703-569-4653, or by sending your check made out to the Cornwall Alliance, 9302-C Old Keene Mill Rd., Burke, VA 22015.

God Bless You,

E. Calvin Beisner
Founder and National Spokesman

The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation seeks to magnify the glory of God in creation, the wisdom of His truth in environmental stewardship, the kindness of His mercy in lifting the needy out of poverty, and the wonders of His grace in the gospel of Jesus Christ. A coalition of theologians, pastors, ministry leaders, scientists, economists, policy experts, and committed laymen, the Cornwall Alliance is the world’s leading evangelical voice promoting environmental stewardship and economic development built on Biblical principles. The Cornwall Alliance is a non-profit religious, charitable, and educational organization. All gifts are tax deductible.

Stormy climate deception

Continued hype and deceit drive climate, energy agenda – clobbering poor families

Paul Driessen 

Despite constant claims to the contrary, the issue is not whether greenhouse gas emissions affect Earth’s climate. The questions are whether those emissions are overwhelming the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate fluctuations, and whether humans are causing dangerous climate change.

No Real-World evidence supports a “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis. In fact, a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect. A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us.

And yet, as Hurricane Matthew neared Florida on the very day the Paris climate accord secured enough signatures to bring it into force, politicians, activists and reporters refused to let that crisis go to waste.

Matthew is the kind of “planetary threat” the Paris agreement “is designed to stop,” said one journalist-activist. This hurricane is a “record-shattering storm that is unusual for October,” said another; it underscores how climate change could “turn seasonal weather events into year-round threats.”

What nonsense. What hubris. Suggesting that humans can control planetary temperatures and prevent hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather is absurd. Saying an October hurricane augurs year-long chaos is either grossly ill-informed or deliberately disingenuous.

Matthew was a powerful storm that left destruction and death in its wake, especially in impoverished Haiti. Its slow track up the southeastern US coastline pummeled the region with rain, flooding and more deaths. But it was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds when it made landfall in South Carolina October 8, and a post-tropical storm as it moved offshore from North Carolina a day later.

Despite the rain and floods, that makes a record eleven years since a major (Category 3-5) hurricane last made landfall in the United States (Wilma in October 2005). The previous record major hurricane hiatus was nine years, 1860-1869, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division.

Only a charlatan would suggest that this record lull is due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. But plenty of alarmist charlatans claim that any violent or “unseasonal” storms are due to “too much” CO2.

Since recordkeeping began in 1851, the US has been hit by 63 Category 3 hurricanes, 21 Cat 4 storms and three Category 5s (1935, 1969 and 1995). Of 51 hurricanes that struck in October, 15 were Category 3-4. Other significant gaps in major hurricane strikes on US coasts occurred in 1882-86, 1910-15 and 1921-26.

The worst periods were 1893-1900 (8 Category 3-5 ‘canes), 1915-21 (8 Cat 3-4), 1926-35 (8 Cat 3-5), 1944-50 (8 Cat 3-4), 1959-69 (7 Cat 3-5), and 2004-05 (7 Category 3-4 hurricanes in just two years).

There is no pattern or trend in this record, and certainly no link to carbon dioxide levels.

Even more obscene than the CO2-climate deception is the response to Matthew’s devastation. More than a week after the Category 4 version of this hurricane struck Haiti’s unprepared shanty towns, hundreds of thousands still had not received food, water, medicine or clothing.

Just as intolerable, United Nations “humanitarian and disaster relief” agencies were issuing “emergency appeals” for $120 million in “life-saving assistance” funds for the desperate Haitians. This after President Obama improperly diverted $500 million from an economic aid program set up to address disease epidemics – like the Zika and cholera cases that are rapidly rising in Haiti – to the UN’s Climate Action Fund. So Obama and the UN blame hurricanes and diseases on manmade climate change, but refuse to spend money they already have on a hurricane disaster, and instead beg for more money. Incredible!

It is clearly not climate change that threatens the poor. It is policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change that imperil poor, minority, blue-collar, farm and factory families.

A new study by the Institute for Competition Economics concludes that Germany’s “green energy transition” will cost €520 billion ($572 billion) by 2025 – just to switch from gas and coal to renewable electricity generation. These costs will keep accumulating long after 2025, and do not cover “decarbonizing” the country’s transportation, heating and agriculture sectors, the study points out.

This €520-billion bill amounts to a €25,000 ($27,500) surcharge for every German family – and 70% of it will come due over the next nine years. That bill is nearly equal to the average German family’s total net worth: €27,000. It is a massive regressive tax that will disproportionately impact low-income families, which already spend a far higher portion of their annual incomes on energy, and rarely have air conditioning.

Germany is slightly smaller than Montana, which is 4% of the USA, and has just 25% of the US population and 22% of the US gross domestic product. (One-fifth of US families have no or negative net worth.)

All of this strongly suggests that a forced transition from fossil fuels to wind, solar and biofuel energy would cost the United States tens of trillions of dollars – hundreds of thousands per American family.

The impacts of climate change obsession on developing nations would be far worse, if they bowed to President Obama’s suggestions and agendas. African nations, he has said, should “leapfrog” “dirty” fossil fuels and instead utilize their “bountiful” wind, solar, geothermal and biofuel resources. In practice, that would mean having expensive, intermittent electricity and growing biofuel crops on Africa’s nutrient-depleted, drought-stricken lands, with no fertilizer, mechanized farming equipment or GMO seeds.

That is racist. It reflects an elitist preference that the world’s poor should die, rather than emit carbon dioxide “pollution,” drive cars, build modern homes, or engage in other “unsustainable” practices.

Thankfully, few developing countries are listening to such nonsense. Instead, they are using oil, natural gas and especially coal, in ever-increasing amounts, to lift their people out of abject poverty – because the “climate-saving” Paris non-treaty imposes no restrictions on their use of fossil fuels.

But meanwhile, “keep it in the ground” pressure groups are redoubling their efforts to prevent Americans from using their own bountiful fossil fuels to create jobs and prosperity. Even though a new NOAA study confirms that rice growing and meat production generate far more methane than do oil, natural gas and coal production and use – with US operations contributing a tiny fraction of that – these groups use every legal and illegal tactic to block drilling, fracking and pipelines. (Methane is 0.00017% of the atmosphere.)

The dictatorial USEPA nevertheless stands ready to issue tough new methane rules for oil and gas operations, while Al Gore and assorted regulators advocate forcing farmers to control cow flatulence “to combat climate change.” Meanwhile, even Hillary Clinton has recognized that Russia provides millions of dollars in support for anti-fracking and anti-pipeline agitators in Europe and the United States.

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground really means depriving people of reliable, affordable electricity; prolonging unemployment and poverty; having no feed stocks for plastics and petrochemicals, except what might come from biofuels; and blanketing hundreds of millions of acres of farm, scenic and habitat land with biofuel crops, 400-foot-tall wind turbines, vast solar arrays and new transmission lines.

And as the UN’s top climate officials have proudly affirmed, “preventing climate change” is really about replacing free enterprise capitalism with “a new economic development model” and having an excuse to “distribute the world’s wealth” to crony corporatists and other “more deserving” parties.

When taxpayers, consumers, unemployed workers and poor families finally recognize these inconvenient truths, the world will be a far better place – with true freedom, justice and opportunity for all.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and other books on the environment.



Comment on EPA Power Plan’s Alleged Air Pollution “Co-Benefits”

Marlo Lewis

Climate activists assure us that even if we don’t consider global warming a big problem, we should still support carbon taxes, renewable energy quota, and EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP). Such policies, we are told, will save thousands of lives, delivering billions of dollars in net benefits, by coincidentally reducing airborne concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

There are three main problems with this “co-benefits” argument. First, EPA’s own data show that total emissions of six principal air pollutants declined 62 percent since 1980 even though carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased by 14 percent. What’s more, PM2.5 concentrations declined by 34 percent just since 2000 (the earliest year for which national data are available). History refutes the claim that we need carbon taxes or climate regulations to clean the air.

Second, in the USA, today’s historically low PM2.5 levels likely pose no threat to human life, as UCLA Prof. James Enstrom and nine other experts argue a letter summarizing their work in the field. Among other points, the Enstrom team explain:

“No plausible etiologic mechanism by which PM2.5 causes premature death is established. It is implausible that a never-smoker’s death could be caused by inhalation over an 80 year lifespan of about one teaspoon (~5 grams) of invisible fine particles as a result of daily exposure to 15 µg/m³ [15 micrograms per cubic meter]. This level of exposure is equivalent to smoking about 100 cigarettes over a lifetime or 0.004 cigarettes per day, which is the level often used to define a never-smoker.

The notion that PM2.5 causes premature death becomes even more implausible when one realizes that a person who smokes 0.2 cigarettes/day has a daily exposure of about 750 µg/m³. If a 10 µg/m³ increase in PM2.5 actually caused a 0.61 year reduction in life expectancy, equivalent to the claim of Pope [one of the chief studies on which EPA relies], then a 0.2 cigarettes/day smoker would experience about a 45-year reduction in life expectancy, assuming a linear relationship between changes in PM2.5 and life expectancy. In actuality, never-smokers and smokers of 0.2 cigarettes/day do not experience any increase in total death rate or decrease in life expectancy, in spite of a 50-fold greater exposure to PM2.5. Furthermore, hundreds of toxicology experiments on both animals and humans have not proven that PM2.5 at levels up to 750 µg/m³ causes death.”

Third, even if we assume PM2.5 pollution in the USA poses mortality risks, EPA’s huge PM2.5 co-benefit estimates are implausible. As Anne Smith of NERA Economic Consulting explains, EPA illegitimately assumes the health benefits of PM2.5 reductions from concentrations already below the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter are as certain as the benefits of reductions from concentrations above the NAAQS.  That is inconsistent with the basic concept of the NAAQS program, which is to set concentration standards at a level “requisite to protect public health . . . allowing an adequate margin of safety.”

Once we factor in the lower probability of PM2.5 health benefits in areas where exposures are already below the NAAQS, the lion’s share of the Power Plan’s purported health benefits disappears.

For further discussion, see my blog post “EPA’s PM2.5 Co-Benefits PR Trick Exposed.”

 The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,

How Continued Life on Earth Depends on Humans—Too Many of Whom Misunderstand the Problems

Alan Carlin | September 8, 2016

Most people understand that our green planetary oasis in the immense universe is highly unusual in terms of the favorable conditions it offers for life on Earth. But from a long-term perspective, there are some troubling signs. The Earth’s internal temperatures are gradually cooling and less carbon dioxide is being naturally emitted into the atmosphere from sources within the Earth. Ice ages are becoming more severe with lower temperatures and declining levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

These signs of an aging planet are troubling because they indicate Earth is very gradually becoming less accommodating for life. Fortunately, humans have come along and are capable of helping out–but only if they can understand the clues and take helpful actions based on them.

The easiest problem to alleviate is the long term gradual decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which endangers the availability of this basic input to plant photosynthesis; in fact, humans may have already inadvertently implemented an interim solution. The ice age severity problem is more difficult to alleviate and appears to be a very serious problem from a longer term viewpoint.

So far humans are not doing very well even understanding the problems let alone taking actions that would alleviate them. In fact, the most outspoken group with regard to CO2 is taking actions that would make the situation worse. Fortunately, what they propose is very expensive and they will almost certainly ultimately prove unsuccessful in accomplishing their objectives. The same group generally refuses to consider anything that might actually help the ice age severity problem either.

The remainder of this post will largely discuss the easier of the two problems–keeping atmospheric CO2 above the starvation level for plants. It is easy to show what the problem is using what should be largely noncontroversial science. There is also arecent report by Patrick Moore discussing it, where a much more detailed discussion of the science can be found. CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been irregularly decreasing over geologic history and during the most recent ice age reached a low of about 180 ppmv. As discussed in JK Ward, plant growth was stunted because of low levels of an essential nutrient which is required for photosynthesis and thus for life on Earth. 150 ppmv, just 30 ppmv lower, appears to be the threshold of starvation for most plant life. Animals, including humans, would not be far behind if plants died from CO2starvation. Current atmospheric CO2 levels are about 400 ppmv, only about twice that at the depths of the last ice age.

So in terms of the long perspective of geologic history we are too close for comfort to the point where life on Earth will come to an end because of the lack of sufficient carbon dioxide in the air during future ice ages when atmospheric CO2 levels are much lower. This level probably will not be reached during the next ice age, but starving plants of a vital nutrient will hardly help the environment either. Plants appear to grow best in air at concentrations between 1,000 and 3,000 ppmv, where they have been for much of the last 300 million years with very favorable results for life on Earth and no proven or even signs of catastrophic adverse effects.

Humans Are the Only Likely Saviors of Life on Earth

Rather than being a burden on the environment as many “environmentalists” have often claimed, it now appears that humans are the only likely saviors of life on Earth. During earlier periods of geologic history when there were very high CO2 levels in Earth’s atmosphere, carbon deposits were created in the form of coal, oil, natural gas, and various kinds of carbonaceous rocks. The rock was created with the help of organisms looking for physical protection by creating shells made of calcium carbonate. Life on Earth will inevitably die unless carbon can be recovered from these deposits and put back into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 since natural additions to atmospheric CO2 have long since fallen below depositions into the oceans as the Earth has gradually cooled and natural emissions of CO2 from Earth’s interior have gradually decreased.

By a historical accident, humans have recently started using these deposits of fossil fuels for a highly useful purpose–multiplying their capabilities to use mechanical energy and very recently even for supplementing human brain power. This has resulted in the transformation of human life from brutish to prosperous where it has been pursued in the developed world and more recently in some less developed countries. The resulting emissions of CO2 make it very inexpensive to recover and restore the carbon sequestered long ago since it requires no added effort beyond what humans have already been doing for their own self-interest. Humans are the only ones likely to do this recovery and restoration so vital to prolonging life on Earth. We need to encourage them to do this, not discourage them (such as through regulations or even a carbon tax that may end up endangering life on Earth if pursued long enough, widely enough, and vigorously enough).

The Main Obstacles Are the So-called “Environmentalists” and Their Political Supporters

But there are many humans in the developed world who oppose doing what would really save life on Earth from CO2 starvation even though they mistakenly refer to themselves as “environmentalists.” Most environmental organizations and some politicians in the developed world actually support efforts to restrict human-caused CO2emissions on the basis of faulty science. It can thus be said that these “environmental” organizations and politicians do not have the best interests of the environment and the planet at heart, either through a lack of understanding of geologic history, pursuit of self-interest (such as profits from building wind and solar generating units), or faulty reasoning.

In the last few years, many of them have even taken to calling carbon dioxide a “pollutant.” It is nothing of the sort. It is absolutely necessary for the future of life on Earth and thus for the sustainability of life on Earth as the “environmentalists” are prone to refer to outcomes they approve of. Some “environmentalists” even advocate leaving fossil fuels in the ground, which is the worst policy judgment possible in terms of preserving life on Earth. Fortunately, earlier life forms saved up some of the surplus carbon in the atmospheres of their day and it has come time to take advantage of their “foresight,” not locking it away.

So anyone that refers to CO2 as a “pollutant” or advocates leaving fossil fuels in the ground or reducing human emissions of CO2 to zero can immediately be categorized as anti-environmental in their views on one of the most important environmental issues of all time. How can you consider yourself an “environmentalist” if you advocate starving plants, which are the basis of the food chain for all life on Earth?

Given that most “environmental” organizations appear to have increasingly dug themselves into this anti-environmental viewpoint it may be necessary to found entirely new environmental organizations that actually adopt an environmentally friendly viewpoint on this very critical issue for the sake of everyone and every form of life on Earth. Some politicians, including many prominent members of the Democratic Party in the US and in many countries in Western Europe, have similar problems.

Three Important Explanations

Some may wonder about the fact that some organic compounds are pollutants and do cause harm to the environment if not adequately controlled, as they largely are in the US. Advocacy of reducing emissions of these pollutants are not covered by my comments even though these efforts can and have been pushed too far here in the US. My comments only relate to advocacy of reducing human-caused emissions of CO2, not other carbon compounds which are genuine man-made pollutants of concern.

A second possible issue is so-called ocean acidification, which some have alleged will occur if atmospheric CO2 levels are not drastically reduced. One of the many problems with this assertion is that marine calcifying organisms survived for hundreds of millions of years when atmospheric CO2 levels were at far higher levels, so this concern can be safely dismissed.

A third important footnote is that if there are indeed significant effects of CO2 emissions on global temperatures (there is considerable dispute on this topic, and it seems much more likely that the primary effect is of temperature changes on CO2 concentrations, not vice versa as the “environmentalists” claim), CO2 emissions may also reduce the effects of future likely new ice ages. This would also be of extreme importance for the future of life on Earth since life cannot easily defend itself against advancing continental glaciers. Defending Earth from a new ice age is much harder than maintaining adequate levels of CO2 in the atmosphere but needs to be addressed as well. The one thing that life on Earth does not need is lower global temperatures, which would only make future ice ages more damaging.

In Summary

The very future of life on Earth, which is itself very rare and possibly even unique in the universe, depends on abandonment of the current prevailing “environmental” orthodoxy on the issue of human CO2 emissions, and those holding opposing views need to be confronted on this issue before they inflict any more of their catastrophically bad anti-environmental views on life on Earth. Their current views are surely environmentalism gone mad—in fact totally mad—since if continued they almost certainly will result in bringing life on Earth to an end when it is truly easy to postpone this fate for many many millions of years by continuing what is also in the best interests of humans and life on Earth as well.

This is truly a win-win situation. Humans need the energy fossil fuels can produce, and plants need the resulting CO2. The long term future of life on Earth literally depends on understanding and acting on this knowledge that plants need far higher levels of atmospheric CO2, not lower.

Ratifying the Paris climate change agreement

Scientific Alliance

At the recent G20 meeting in Hangzhou, Presidents Obama and Xi announced that they would be ratifying the climate deal reached in Paris last December. Superficially, this is a big deal – if the two largest global emitters of carbon dioxide are prepared to sign up to this agreement, others will surely follow – but is it really going to make a difference?

The main reason this is significant is that, for the first time, it potentially brings all countries into a global agreement to reduce emissions. The Kyoto Protocol, the only previous binding commitment, included only industrialised countries and reflected the situation when the agreement was first drawn up, in 1997. However, it only entered into force in 2005, when sufficient signatories had finally ratified it.

The key stumbling block was the lack of ratification from the USA. Despite then-President Clinton’s strong support, ratification was never put to the vote in the Senate, due to overwhelming opposition. This was primarily due to the unwillingness of American legislators to burden their economy with commitments not shared by major emerging economies, in particular China.

Given China’s rapid growth and role as a major manufacturing and exporting nation, this is not surprising. Indeed, China overtook the US to become the world’s largest emitter of CO2 in 2007, just two years after the Kyoto Protocol finally came into force. And the growth has not stopped; by 2014, China was responsible for about double the total emissions of America and close to a third of the global total, albeit still with a significantly lower level of emissions per capita than in the US.

It has been clear during this entire period that the Chinese government would not compromise the country’s growth and development in the name of climate change mitigation, although it has naturally been happy for policy instruments such as the Clean Development Mechanism to be used to transfer international funds for its benefit. Now, though, as the economy is maturing, it suits President Xi to make a gesture that is good for public relations without harming future growth prospects.

So, on the eve of the G20 summit and despite continuing concerns about China’s regional expansionist policies, President Obama committed the US to ratification of the Paris agreement, following President Xi’s announcement of China’s willingness to do so (see, for example, Breakthrough as US and China ratify Paris climate deal). This caused relatively few ripples outside the world of climate change negotiations, and the topic overall merited only a paragraph towards the end of the final G20 summit communique:

“We reiterate our commitment to sustainable development and strong and effective support and actions to address climate change. We commit to complete our respective domestic procedures in order to join the Paris Agreement as soon as our national procedures allow. We welcome those G20 members who joined the Agreement and efforts to enable the Paris Agreement to enter into force by the end of 2016 and look forward to its timely implementation with all its aspects.”

The reason China is now happy to join the party is that it has already done the heavy lifting in terms of development of its primary energy infrastructure. Its annual per capita emissions (7.6 tonnes CO2) now exceed those of the EU (6.7t) (List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions). Having got to this stage, it would be normal to begin taking measures to increase energy efficiency and hence reduce emissions. Over a longer period, the country can also be expected to reduce its dependence on coal, particularly in light of the severe air pollution problems it faces.

So, in essence, China gets brownie points for doing what it would probably be doing in any case. The government plans to reduce energy intensity, have emissions peak by 2030, and have 20% of its energy from non-fossil sources by the same date. In fact, it already has a significant amount of both hydro and nuclear generating capacity and is continuing to build new reactors (and perhaps some in the UK before too long), so these things will tend to happen anyway. It also has a large fleet of wind turbines, but their overall contribution is low in percentage terms, can be accommodated quite easily and will thus also reduce emissions.

The US is in quite a different situation. It is a mature economy with the highest per capita global emissions (with the exception of the Gulf States and Australia). However, it is in the fortunate position of being able to replace coal by domestic shale gas, reducing both energy costs and emissions, so some emissions cuts can be made without suffering any competitive disadvantage.

On the other hand, ratifying the Paris agreement means not only international pressure to meet further targets, but a commitment to work towards ever more stringent policies designed to keep global warming to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures. In the feisty world of American politics, it is quite possible to see the Senate refusing to ratify, whether next year sees President Clinton or Trump in the White House. Presidents may make promises, but they cannot always fulfil them.

If we assume that the US does ratify, it would only take the EU (including, for the time being, the UK) to do the same and the thresholds necessary for the agreement to come into force would be passed. But there is a clear impression at the moment that many governments are going along with this agenda in part because of peer-group pressure but without wholehearted enthusiasm to drive the process forward. In the short-termist world of politics, this is not surprising.

But what is more surprising is the ambition of the Paris accord to limit average temperature rise to 1.5° when there is little likelihood of emissions plateauing before 2030 and the 2° cap proposed at the failed Copenhagen summit in 2009 was believed to be increasingly unreachable. Since there is no acceleration apparent in the rate of reduction in emissions growth, this can mean one of two things. Either hope springs eternal that something can be pulled out the hat in the next decade or two, or there is tacit recognition that the climate sensitivity parameter (the increase in temperature from a doubling of carbon dioxide level) is unlikely to be as high as we have been led to believe. If it is the latter, we may be seeing some welcome reasonableness entering the debate.

Renewables cannot guarantee security of supply

Scientific Alliance

For most of us, it’s back to work, with summer receding fast. With autumn and winter just round the corner, our thoughts will turn from keeping cool to keeping warm. Energy prices and security will be priorities once again.

The UK is one of a number of countries apparently set firmly on a path to rely increasingly on renewable energy sources. In practice, this means the focus is firmly on the electricity generating sector, where such a transition can in principle be made with least difficulty. Transport is rather more problematic, although the powers that be retain a touching faith in consumers beginning to buy electric cars in significant numbers. The other major sector – heating – is presently dominated by gas and looks set to continue so for many years to come. In the longer run, electricity again seems to be the energy of choice for this application.

The generating sector thus faces a two-stage problem. In the medium term, the current demand (maybe reduced to some extent by energy efficiency measures) has to be met securely while emissions are considerably reduced (for this is the aim of the entire exercise). If this can be done successfully, then the longer-term challenge is to increase generating capacity very significantly to power road transport and heat domestic and commercial property.

Meeting this bigger challenge would be infeasible if the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the present system cannot be successfully reduced without compromising security of supply, so the stakes are high. Before significant wind and solar energy generating capacity had been installed, the grid was balanced relatively easily by ensuring enough power stations were ready to increase or decrease their contribution at the right time. Since conventional and nuclear sources are dependable – despatchable, in industry jargon – problems would tend to arise only in exceptional circumstances, when demand was very high and a number of breakdowns had occurred.

Most renewable energy is not despatchable, however. Solar farms produce quite predictably, but only during daylight hours and with an output that varies during the day. The output of wind farms is forecastable to a degree, but varies in a wide range over both short and long timescales. So, whatever we hear reported about the contribution of renewables on a given day or over a whole year, this is meaningless when it comes to meeting the essential aim of supplying electricity across the whole country 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Somewhat surprisingly, National Grid’s new executive director, Nicola Shaw, does not seem to regard this as a problem. According to a BBC report, smart energy revolution ‘could help to avoid UK blackouts’. Ms Shaw, despite her undoubted experience in management (her previous role was as chief executive of HS1) is not an engineer (she has a BA in Modern History and Economics and a Masters in Transport) and will have to rely on advice from experts on such matters, so the optimism apparently runs deep in the organisation.

To be fair, demand management is not seen as the complete answer: “Ms Shaw agreed that more investment in gas-fired power was needed, but argued that between 30% and 50% of fluctuations on the electricity grid could be smoothed by households and businesses adjusting their demand at peak times.” Nevertheless, it has a major role in NG thinking, and yet the efficacy of automatic switching off of domestic appliances is still something of an unknown factor.

In the meantime, we know that peak demand will always come in the early evening period during winter. Even if fridges, washing machines and water heaters are switched off, many people will put the kettle on and cook their evening meal. There is no output from solar panels, and when high pressure areas bring cold, calm conditions, wind output is also minimal. This could result in extended power cuts most winters unless sufficient conventional capacity was available on standby.

Others have also concluded that there may be a degree of complacency to the NG view. For example, the GMB union (which represents power workers), pulls no punches: DSR is ‘fanciful nonsense’ says union. It calls the National Grid ‘naively complacent’ for placing its faith in demand side management. It also slams the use of consumers’ money to compensate companies for interruption of their supply a ‘bonkers policy that only a natural monopoly would dare to implement.’

A more measured but equally damning opinion comes from a new report published by the Scientific Alliance: An examination of National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios. This study was written by two highly experienced industry professionals – Capell Aris and Colin Gibson – and concludes that current plans will almost certainly lead to severe blackouts. The established supply security criterion, pre-privatization, was for there to be a grid supply failure in no more than four years in a hundred. To meet this standard up to 2025, between six and 16 new gas-fired power stations would have to be built.

Despite this, National Grid and the government seem to be satisfied that there will be no serious problems in the short to medium term. Maybe they have been encouraged by recent winters where, despite warnings of historically low margins of generating capacity, only localised, weather-related blackouts have occurred. But we have enjoyed a series of mild winters and there is no guarantee that we will be so lucky in coming years. Even a single stationary high pressure system could bring a very cold few days and lead to supply failures in an otherwise warm season.

The energy security situation could quickly become the country’s number one priority in such circumstances and cast real doubt on the wisdom of current strategy for the sector. Crisis focusses minds wonderfully, but how much better if the reality of the situation was grasped before the lights go out.

New York and California in LaLa land on Energy

New York Adopts “Clean Energy” Standard
Myron Ebell
New York’s Public Service Commission on 1st August officially adopted Governor Andrew Cuomo’s, “Clean Energy” Standard, which will require that 50% of the state’s electricity be produced from renewable sources by 2030.  At the same time, the commission required the state’s utilities to subsidize three nuclear reactors in order to keep them in operation.
New York’s 50% renewables by 2030 target is the same as California’s.  Vermont and Hawaii are the only states with more ambitious goals.
Ratepayer subsidies for the nuclear plants are estimated to be $965 million the first year and could total $7.6 billion in twelve years.  The money will be used to upgrade the three plants and keep them in operation.
Some environmental groups criticized the nuclear subsidies.  Alex Beauchamp of Food and Water Watch said, “New York needs a true clean energy revolution to move the state to 100% renewable energy, but the billions announced today to bail out an old, dangerous, and unprofitable technology make that revolution even more difficult.”
According to Crain’s New York Business, “Members of the state’s Public Service Commission … said they understand the concerns of those opposed to nuclear power. But they said the state’s use of fossil fuels would actually grow if the plants don’t continue to operate.”
Given New York’s already high electric rates, I was surprised to learn that the state still has any energy-intensive businesses, but the Business Council of New York State put out the following statement from Darren Suarez: “With today’s action, it is clear the Public Service Commission has failed to properly evaluate the significant costs associated with the Clean Energy Standard. This failure will cost New York State businesses billions of dollars and put current and future New York manufacturing jobs, and jobs in other energy-intensive sectors, in mortal danger.”
Brown Launches Ballot Initiative to Protect Climate “Legacy”
Marlo Lewis
Legislative efforts to extend California’s climate policies beyond 2020 hit a snag this week, but Governor Jerry Brown vowed through his top aide, Nancy McFadden, that he “will continue working with the Legislature to get this done this year, next year, or on the ballot in 2018.”
Brown’s term ends in 2018. With carbon allowance sales fetching only 1 percent of expected revenues in the May 2016 auction, and with the state’s emission-reduction targets after 2020 still undecided, Brown’s “legacy” as a climate policy leader is in doubt.

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, AB 32. which requires California’s greenhouse gas emissions to decline to 1990 levels by 2020 and authorizes the State’s cap-and-trade program, clearly implies that the governor and legislature are to decide “how to continue reductions of greenhouse gases after 2020.” In other words, absent new legislation, the California Air Resources Board, which administers AB 32, has no authority to increase the stringency of the cap-and-trade program.

Brown is pushing the legislature to pass an expanded AB 32 requiring California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Moreover, he wants the Legislature to approve the measure by a two-thirds supermajority.
The reason: The State is using cap-and-trade revenues to fund various spending projects, including a portion of the $64 billion LA-San Francisco bullet train. However, California Proposition 26 requires a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Legislature to enact new fees or taxes. A California appellate court is now reviewing litigation in which petitioners argue the State’s use of auction sales as tax revenue is “unconstitutional” because the Legislature approved the cap-and-trade program by only a simple majority.
Brown’s backstop strategy, as reported in the LA Times, Sacramento Bee, SFGate.Com, Reuters, and Scientific American, is a ballot initiative campaign. If a supermajority of the Legislature fails to enact the 40-by-30 plan, he will ask voters to approve a ballot measure authorizing the program.
Brown has already registered a finance committee, “Californians for a Clean Environment,” to mount the ballot initiative campaign.

Tipping Point is proving to be just alarmist nonsense

James Visentine

Here is an analysis and some wonderful background information on the much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C. As a matter of fact, The Eemian epoch was at its warmest about 120,000 years ago.  It was some +3°C warmer than the Holocene “Climate Optimum”, only about ~8000 years ago.

“Our current beneficial, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilization for the last 10,000 years. The congenial climate of the Holocene spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.

When considering the scale of temperature changes that alarmists anticipate because of Man-made Global Warming and their view of the disastrous effects of additional Man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions, it is particularly useful to look at climate change from a longer term, century by century or a millennial perspective.

The profile of our current Holocene epoch with temperature averages century by century set against the maximum of the past Eemian epoch and the predictions of Catastrophic Global Warming alarmists this century.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.42.21

The much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C would only bring Global temperatures to the level of the very congenial climate of “the Roman warm period”.

If it were possible to reach the “potentially horrendous” level of +6°C postulated by Warmists, by the inclusion of major positive feedbacks from additional water vapor in the atmosphere, that extreme level would still only bring temperatures to about the level of the previous Eemian maximum.

The Context

The Vostok and EPICA Antarctic ice core records show that there have been 5 interglacial periods in the last 450,000 years, they have varied both in temperature intensity and duration.  On occasions some earlier interglacial periods were significantly shorter than the 10,000 year norm.  These climate changes can be seen in the overlaid Vostock and EPICA Ice Core records from the Antarctic.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 14.08.29

The periods of glaciation and Interglacials show a fairly regular pattern. The Antarctic based EPICA and Vostok Ice Cores above mostly show good accord for the last 200,000 years.  But earlier there seems to be a similar pattern but with some significant time displacement in the period between 200,000 and 450,000 years ago.  Those two Antarctic records are not so well coordinated during the recent Holocene period.

Warm Interglacials seem to last roughly 10,000 years and the intervening periods of full encroaching glaciation persist for some 100,000 years or more in between.

Prior to the Holocene epoch a period of deep encroaching glaciation had persisted for the previous 100,000+ years.  Such glaciation meant that a mile high ice sheet covering New York  and much of the currently inhabited Northern hemisphere.  That glaciation was preceded by the Eemian interglacial period.  The Eemian epoch was at its warmest about 120,000 years ago.  It was some +3°C warmer than the Holocene “Climate Optimum”, only about ~8000 years ago.

“Climate System Scientist” Claims Jet Stream Crossing the Equator is Unprecedented

June 29th, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Paul Beckwith has a masters degree in laser optics, which he has somehow parlayed into being a “Climate System Scientist” to spread alarmism about the climate system.

But his post “Unprecedented, Jet Stream Crosses Equator” suggests he knows little of meteorology, let alone climate.

A “jet stream” in the usual sense of the word is caused by the thermal wind, which cannot exist at the equator because there is no Coriolis force. To the extent that there is cross-equator flow at jet stream levels, it is usually from air flowing out of deep convective rain systems. That outflow often enters the subtropical jet stream, which is part of the average Hadley Cell circulation.



There is frequently cross-equatorial flow at jet stream altitudes, and that flow can connect up with a subtropical jet stream. But it has always happened, and always will happen, with or without the help of humans. Sometimes the flows connect up with each other and make it look like a larger flow structure is causing the jet stream to flow from one hemisphere to the other, but it’s in no way unprecedented.

We’ve really only known about jet streams since around WWII…one of my professors, Reid Bryson, was one of the first to advise the U.S. military that bombers flying to Japan might encounter strong head winds. The idea that something we have been observing for only several decades on a routine basis (upper tropospheric winds in the tropics) would exhibit “unprecedented” behavior is rather silly.

I especially like this portion of Paul’s post:

“We must declare a global climate emergency. Please consider a donation to support my work..”

Nice touch, Mr. Beckwith.