From SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY and the “department of lost funding” comes this gloomy prediction.
Trump Action on Clean Power Plan threatens air quality, health, and economic benefits
The Trump Administration is expected to release signed an executive order on Tuesday March 28, 2017, directing the EPA to roll back the Clean Power Plan.
In response, Dr. Charles Driscoll, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering at Syracuse University & member of the National Academy of Engineering, made this statement:
“Our research shows that a power plant standard like the Clean Power Plan could save thousands of lives in communities across the United States every year. The health gains from a standard like the Clean Power Plan yield net economic benefits that would far outweigh the costs. The economic benefits tend to be greatest in highly populated areas near or downwind from coal-fired power plants that experience a shift to cleaner sources with the standards. If we overturn the Clean Power Plan we will forfeit important health benefits and undermine the longstanding American tradition of energy innovation and clean air progress, at a time when we need it most.”
Dr. Driscoll led a 2015 study on air quality and health benefits of carbon standards similar to the Clean Power Plan, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Dr. Driscoll and colleagues showed that strong carbon standards provide widespread clean air and health benefits throughout the United States. They calculated state-by-state air quality and health outcomes, and determined the greatest health gains occur in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and New York.
Dr. Driscoll is available to comment on the clean air, health, and ecosystem consequences of the anticipated Trump Administration executive order on rolling back the Clean Power Plan.
For more information:
Driscoll, CT, Buonocore, JB, Levy, JI, Lambert, KF, Burtraw B, Reid, SB, Fakhraei, H, Schwartz, J. 2015. US Power plant carbon standards and clean air and health co-benefits. Nature Climate Change. doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2598.
Buonocore, JB, Lambert, KF, Burtraw, D, Sekar, S, Driscoll, CT. 2016. An Analysis of Costs and Health Co-benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard. Plos One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156308.
The claim: “Our research shows that a power plant standard like the Clean Power Plan could save thousands of lives in communities across the United States every year”.
Might be credible if there were some death certificates that said: died of lung failure/lung disease due to power plant emissions.
I challenge any of the paid ecochondriacs to show me just one.
Two of the comments from Nick Stokes:
“And, the wailing begins”
Some wailing here too, about the endangerment finding. From Politico today:
But Pruitt, with the backing of several White House aides, argued in closed-door meetings that the legal hurdles to overturning the finding were massive, and the administration would be setting itself up for a lengthy court battle.
A cadre of conservative climate skeptics are fuming about the decision - expressing their concern to Trump administration officials and arguing Pruitt is setting himself up to run for governor or the Senate. They hope the White House, perhaps senior adviser Stephen Bannon, will intervene and encourage the president to overturn the endangerment finding.
I see that David Schnare has stormed off in a huff.
“… here’s David Schnare, quoting from an email he wrote to E&E:
“The backstory to my resignation is extremely complex. I will be writing about it myself. It is a story not about me, but about a much more interesting set of events involving misuse of federal funds, failure to honor oaths of office, and a lack of loyalty to the President,” Schnare said.”
Doesn’t sound like just discovering the transition is over.
Here is Delingpole, in Breitbart:
Delingpole, who first reported that Pruitt advocated against reopening the endangerment finding, even suggested that the EPA administrator should resign.
“But what President Trump needs now more than ever are administrators with the political will to do the right thing - which is, after all, the reason so many Americans voted for him,” he wrote. “If Scott Pruitt is not up to that task, then maybe it’s about time he did the decent thing and handed over the reins to someone who is.”
See this overview executive summary and full analysis showing how the endangerment finding has been invalidated by analyzing the data and including the effects of natural factors.
A new scientific paper authored by seven scientists affiliated with the Russian Academy of Sciences was just published in the scientific journal Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Physics.
The scientists dismiss both “greenhouse gases” and variations in the Sun’s irradiance as significant climate drivers, and instead embrace cloud cover variations - modulated by cosmic ray flux - as a dominant contributor to climate change.
A concise summary: As cosmic ray flux increases, more clouds are formed on a global scale. More global-scale cloud cover means more solar radiation is correspondingly blocked from reaching the Earth’s surface (oceans). With an increase in global cloud cover projected for the coming decades (using trend analysis), a global cooling is predicted.
Stozhkov et al., 2017
Cosmic Rays, Solar Activity, and Changes in the Earth’s Climate, Stozhkov, Y.I., Bazilevskaya, G.A., Makhmutov, V.S., Svirzhevsky, N.S., Svirzhevskaya, A.K., Logachev, V.I., Okhlopkov, V.P.
“One of the most important problems facing humanity is finding the physical mechanism responsible for global climate change, particularly global warming on the Earth.... Summation of these periodicities for the future (after 2015) allows us to forecast the next few decades. The solid heavy line in Fig. 1 shows that cooling (a drop in ΔT values) is expected in the next few decades.”
“Figure 2 shows the dependence between the annual average changes ΔT in the global temperature in the near-surface air layer and charged particle flux N in the interval of altitudes from 0.3 to 2.2 km. We can see there is a connection between values ΔТ [temperature] and N [charged particle flux]: with an increase in cosmic ray flux N, the values of changes of global temperature decrease. This link is expressed by the relation ΔT = -0.0838N + 4.307 (see the dashed line in Fig. 2), where the ΔT values are given in degrees C, and the N values (in particle/min units) are related to the charged particle flux measured at an altitude of 1.3 km. The correlation coefficient of the line with the experimental data is r = -0.62 +/- 0.08.”
“Our results could be connected with the mechanism of charged particle fluxes influencing the Earth’s climate; it includes, first of all, the effect charged particles have on the accelerated formation of centers of water vapor condensation, and thus on the increase in global cloud cover. The total cloud cover is directly connected with the global temperature of the near surface air layer.”
Another newly published scientific paper also projects cooling in the coming decades. Dr. Norman Page, geologist, attributes climate changes to natural (60-year and millennial-scale) cycles of solar activity (and cloud cover changes), and he notes that the rise in solar activity since the depths of the Little Ice Age has been the predominant climate driver. The millennial peak in solar activity occurred in about 1991, with the corresponding (lagged) temperature peak in 2004. Within the next few years the temperature is projected to drop significantly. Annotated graphs depicting the robust correlation between cloud cover changes and global temperature, as well as the forecasted global cooling, are included below.
The coming cooling: Usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers
“This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future, unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60 +/- year and, more importantly, 1000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver are discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak - inversion point - in the RSS temperature trend in about 2004. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.”
“The global millennial temperature rising trend seen in Figure 11 from 1984 to the peak and trend inversion point in the Hadcrut3 data at 2003/4 is the inverse correlative of the Tropical Cloud Cover fall from 1984 to the Millennial trend change at 2002. The lags in these trends from the solar activity peak at 1991 (Figure 10) are 12 and 11 years, respectively. These correlations suggest possible teleconnections between the GCR flux, clouds, and global temperatures.”
“Unless the range and causes of natural variation, as seen in the natural temperature quasi-periodicities, are known within reasonably narrow limits, it is simply not possible to even begin to estimate the effect of anthropogenic CO2 on climate. Given the lack of any empirical CO2-climate connection reviewed earlier and the inverse relationship between CO2 and temperature [during the Holocene, when CO2 rose as temperatures declined] seen in Figure 2, and for the years 2003.6-2015.2 in Figure 4, during which CO2 rose 20 ppm, the simplest and most rational working hypothesis is that the solar ‘activity’ increase is the chief driver of the global temperature increase since the LIA.”
See this post on Weatherbell on the declining solar cycle.
Apparently, MIT which benefits greatly for climate change funding didn’t like its name being used in petition to Trump. Dr. Richard Lindzen responds to that letter.
March 9, 2017
President Donald Trump
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
On 2 March, 2017, members of the MIT Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate (PAOC) sent a public letter to the White House, contesting the Petition I circulated. The Petition, signed by over 330 scientists from around the world so far, called for governments to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Since MIT’s administration has made the climate issue a major focus for the Institute, with PAOC playing a central role, it is not surprising that the department would object to any de-emphasis. But the PAOC letter shows very clearly the wisdom of James Madison’s admonition, in the Federalist, 10:
“No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time.”
For far too long, one body of men, establishment climate scientists, has been permitted to be judges and parties on what the “risks to the Earth system associated with increasing levels of carbon dioxide” really are.
Let me explain in somewhat greater detail why we call for withdrawal from the UNFCCC.
The UNFCCC was established twenty five years ago to find scientific support for dangers from increasing carbon dioxide. While this has led to generous and rapidly increased support for the field, the purported dangers remain hypothetical, model-based projections. By contrast, the benefits of increasing CO2 and modest warming are clearer than ever, and they are supported by dramatic satellite images of a greening Earth.
We note that:
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) no longer claims a greater likelihood of significant as opposed to negligible future warming,
It has long been acknowledged by the IPCC that climate change prior to the 1960’s could not have been due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Yet, pre-1960 instrumentally observed temperatures show many warming episodes, similar to the one since 1960, for example, from 1915 to 1950, and from 1850 to 1890. None of these could have been caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2.
Model projections of warming during recent decades have greatly exceeded what has been observed,
The modeling community has openly acknowledged that the ability of existing models to simulate past climates is due to numerous arbitrary tuning adjustments.
Observations show no statistically valid trends in flooding or drought, and no meaningful acceleration whatsoever of pre-existing long term sea level rise (about 6 inches per century) worldwide,
Current carbon dioxide levels, around 400 parts per million are still very small compared to the averages over geological history, when thousands of parts per million prevailed, and when life flourished on land and in the oceans.
Calls to limit carbon dioxide emissions are even less persuasive today than 25 years ago. Future research should focus on dispassionate, high-quality climate science, not on efforts to prop up an increasingly frayed narrative of “carbon pollution.” Until scientific research is unfettered from the constraints of the policy-driven UNFCCC, the research community will fail in its obligation to the public that pays the bills.
I hope these remarks help to explain why the over 300 original signers of the Petition (and additional scientists are joining them every day) have called for withdrawal from the UNFCCC.
Richard S. Lindzen, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences
Most of signers of the Petition, agree with my remarks above. In the limited time available to prepare the letter, it has been reviewed and approved by the following:
ABDUSSAMATOV, Habibullo Ismailovich: (Dr. sci., Phys. and Math. Sciences. ); Head of space research of the Sun sector at the Pulkovo observatory, head of the project The Lunar Observatory, St. Petersburg, (Russian Federation).
ALEXANDER, Ralph B.: (Ph.D. ,Physics, University of Oxford ); Former Associate Professor, Wayne State University, Detroit, author of Global Warming False Alarm (2012).
BRIGGS, William M.: (Ph.D., Statistics & Philosophy of Science); Author of Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics.
CLOUGH, Charles: (MS., Atmospheric Science); Founder and Retired Chief of the US Army Atmospheric Effects Team, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, Retired LtCol USAF (Res) Weather Officer.
D’ALEO, Joseph S.: (BS., MS. Meteorology Wisconsin, ABD., Air Resources, NYU, Honorary Ph.D. VSC ); AMS Fellow, CCM Chairman Department of Meteorology, Lyndon State College First Director of Meteorology The Weather Channel Chief Meteorologist WSI, Co Chief Meteorologist WeatherBell Analytics
DOIRON, Harold H.: (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston 1970 ); Retired VP Engineering, InDyne, Inc.; Senior Manager, McDonnell Douglas Space Systems; and former NASA Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle Engineer Chairman, The Right Climate Stuff Research Team, composed of NASA manned space program retirees.
EASTERBROOK, Donald J.: (Ph.D.); Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University; former president of the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of GSA, Associate Editor of the GSA Bulletin for 15 years, and many other professional activities. He published four books and eight professional papers in the past year.
FORBES, Vivian R.: (BSc., Applied Sciences); FAusIMM, FSIA, geologist, financial analyst and pasture manager, author of many articles on climate, pollution, economic development and hydrocarbons. (Australia).
HAPPER, William: (Ph.D., Physics); Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics (emeritus) Princeton University; Director of the Office of Energy Research, US Department of Energy, 1990-1993.
HAYDEN, Howard “Cork”: (PhD.); Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut.
IDSO, Craig: (PhD, B.S., Geography, Arizona State University, M.S.,Agronomy, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 1996 ); Chairman of the board of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.
LEGATES, David R.: (PhD, Climatology, University of Delaware); Certified Consulting Meteorologist.
LUPO, Anthony: (Ph.D., Atmospheric Science); Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri.
MARKO, Istvan E.: (PhD,Organic Chemistry, Catholic University of Louvain); professor and researcher of organic chemistry at the Catholic University of Louvain ( Belgium).
MOCKTON, Christopher: ; The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (United Kingdom).
MOORE, Patrick: (PhD., Ecology, University of British Columbia, Honorary Doctorate of Science, North Carolina State University); National Award for Nuclear Science and History (Einstein Society).
NICHOLS, Rodney W.: (AB Physics, Harvard); Science and Technology policy Executive Vice President emeritus Rockefeller University President and CEO emeritus, NY Academy of Sciences Co-Founder CO2 Coalition.
SINGER, Fred S.: (Ph.D., Physics, Princeton University, BA, Electrical Engineering, Ohio State University); professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. He directs the nonprofit Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), which he founded in 1990 and incorporated in 1992 after retiring from the University of Virginia.
SOON, Willie: (PhD); Independent Scientist.
SPENCER, Roy W.: (Ph.D., Meteorology ‘81; M.S., Meteorology, ‘79; B.S., Atmospheric & Oceanic Science, ‘78); Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville; co-developer of method for satellite monitoring of global temperature; author of numerous papers on climate and satellite meteorology.
STEWARD, H. Leighton: (MS., Geology); Environmentalist, No. 1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Recipient numerous national environmental awards or directorships including the EPA, Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Audubon Nature Institute, the National Petroleum Council and the API. Former energy industry executive and chosen to represent industry on Presidential Missions under both Democratic and Republican Administrations.
MOTL, Lubos: (PhD., Physics ); former high-energy theoretical physics junior faculty at Harvard University (Czech Republic).
WYSMULLER, Thomas H.: (BA, Meteorology ); Ogunquit, Maine, NASA (Ret.); Chair, Water Day 2013, UNESCO IHE Water Research Institute, Delft, The Netherlands; Chair, Oceanographic Section, 2016 World Congress of Ocean, Qingdao China; NASA TRCS charter member.
ZYBACH, Bob: (PhD., Environmental Sciences, Oregon State University); http://www.ORWW.org, author of more than 100 popular articles and editorials regarding forest history, wildfire mitigation, reforestation planning, and Indian burning practices.
A new study that only looked at ocean temperatures is being trumpeted as disproving the global warming pause - it doesn’t.
According to a new study, the rate of ocean warming for the past 19 years was rising nearly twice as fast than originally measured, but land temps still show a global warming pause. Previously, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were rising at 0.07C per decade, but the new paper shows it’s actually .12C. But the new paper has flaws being glossed over by mainstream #News outlets to push the #Climate Change narrative. The study was published in #Science Advances and is open to the public.
First, the study only looked at ocean temperatures, not land, and didn’t include the year 2016, a markedly cooler year in the latter half. Even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said there was no discernible warming since 2000 in its 2013 report. They wrote that global temperatures showed a “much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years than over the past 30 to 60 years.”
In this new study led by Zeke Hausfather, they homogenized buoy, satellite, and ARGO buoy records to come up with mean ocean temperatures. The authors believe that ocean temperatures have been “underestimated” for the past 20 years because ocean buoys record slightly colder sea temperatures when compared to how they were measured last century; seawater would flow into a ship’s intake systems and a temperature reading would be taken.
But by ending the study on an El Nino year, estimating temperature trends that begin and end on an “El Nino curve will give a misleadingly high trend.” That’s according to a statement by Dr. David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Forum think-tank. He notes that researchers need to be careful when estimating temperature trends with rigid start and end dates. Adding or removing even a year or two can produce dramatically different results. Which is what happened here.
Any estimate of temperature trends that have their endpoint on the uptick of the El Nino curve will give a misleadingly high trend. It is obvious that a better trend will be obtained after the natural El Nino has ended. Likewise care must be taken if the start point is near the La Nina years of 1999-2000. The temperature trends of the oceans estimated by the new paper fall into this trap. - Dr David Whitehouse, Death Of Global Temperature ‘Pause’ Greatly Exaggerated
No, the pause isn’t over
Because the study’s authors end their temperature dataset in 2015, the linear trend shows an uptick in ocean temperatures. The new study is an apparent attempt to reinforce a two-year-old NOAA report that came under heavy criticism even by scientists that fully support the theory of climate change. In the earlier NOAA study, Karl Mears et al modified SSTs of the 1900s by adjusting them downwards, thereby making the past 15 years look warmer and eliminating the pause.
The new study led many media outlets to inaccurately claim the global warming pause is over. But this study only addressed ocean temperatures, not land temperatures. Dr. Judith Curry, a climatologist and former IPCC author, said in an emailed statement “the hiatus is still going strong in the satellite dataset of lower atmospheric temperatures.”
It should be noted that Dr. Curry is not a climate skeptic. She has written extensively on global warming and believes that the Earth is indeed warming, and that carbon dioxide is just one driver given too much weight in the climate change debate. She also stated the “big El Nino last winter has temporarily stopped the slowdown in surface warming, but we need a few years yet to recover from it and see what is going on.”
Dr. Roy Spencer reported:
The 2016 annual average global temperature anomaly is +0.50 deg. C, which is (a statistically insignificant) 0.02 deg. C warmer than 1998 at +0.48 deg. C. We estimate that 2016 would have had to be 0.10 C warmer than 1998 to be significantly different at the 95% confidence level. Both 2016 and 1998 were strong El Nino years.
ICECAP Note: It should be noted that in 1998, a strong La Nina kicked in during the last part of the year while 2016 was a borderline La Nina and actually ended the year in neutral territory. With that considered, two comparably strong El Ninos 18 years apart produced no difference in global temperatures implying stasis.
There is no more important year than 2017 since our inception 10 years ago in 2007 during which Icecap had 78 million page hits on the 7,234 blog entries. We and other courageous bloggers have been swimming upstream against the flood not from rising sea levels but from attacks by ideologues, globalists and leftists and others riding the gravy train of $1.5 trillion of government, radical environmental NGOs, large corporations largess that has corrupted our schools, media and many politicians. Part of the strategy from the start of the movement was to starve out or silence any opposition, claim a certainty and consensus (a sanctioned science) that can not and does not exist. This next 4 years is our best chance to expose the hype and where it exists the fraud. Globalists had thought they won and our country would be ceding control to a larger entity like the UN - Agenda 21. Big money extremists were planning for the day that bureaucrats outside instead of inside our government would control our energy, policies and eventually our lives including what you can drive, where you can live, how much you can make, etc.
Revealing Quotes From the Planners:
“Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by EVERY person on Earth...it calls for specific changes in the activities of ALL people… Effective execution of Agenda 21 will REQUIRE a profound reorientation of ALL humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced...”
Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save Our Planet (Earthpress, 1993). It was signed by George H.W. Bush.
We need to marshall our resources to fight this and the bad science that is supporting it. Help us fight this by studying Agenda 21 and reading about how the science has been corrupted or molded to fit their plans to scare us into compliance here, on WUWT and on Tony Heller’s blog, on Francis Menton’s blog and Alan Carlin’s blog and many others.
We have published the first volley with this analysis and plan much more.
Donate if you can to support all our efforts. Please speak up with your own posts, link to our stories and write your own letters to local media. We need to restore our science to what it once was.
Be safe this New Year’s eve and have a great and prosperous 2017.
Over the past three decades, the environmental movement has increasingly hitched its wagon to exactly one star as the overwhelming focus of the cause, namely “climate change.” Sure, issues of bona fide pollution like smog and untreated sewage are still out there a little, but they are largely under control and don’t really stir the emotions much any more. If you want fundraising in the billions rather than the thousands, you need a good end-of-days, sin-and-redemption scare. Human-caused global warming is your answer!
Even as this scare has advanced, a few lonely voices have warned that the radical environmentalists were taking the movement out onto a precarious limb. Isn’t there a problem that there’s no real evidence of impending climate disaster? But to no avail. Government funding to promote the warming scare has been lavish, and in the age of Obama has exploded. Backers of the alarm have controlled all of the relevant government bureaucracies, almost all of the scientific societies, and the access to funding and to publication for anyone who wants to have a career in the field. What could go wrong?
Now, enter President-elect Trump. During the campaign, as with many issues, it was hard to know definitively where Trump stood. Although combatting climate change with forced suppression of fossil fuels could be a multi-trillion dollar issue for the world economy, this issue was rarely mentioned by either candidate, and was only lightly touched on in the debates. Sure, Hillary had accused Trump of calling climate change a “hoax” in a November 2012 tweet. (Actual text: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make American manufacturing non-competitive.") But in an early 2016 interview, Trump walked that back to say that the statement was a joke, albeit with a kernel of truth, because “climate change is a very, very expensive form of tax” and “China does not do anything to help.” Trump had also stated that he intended to exit the recent Paris climate accord, and to end the War on Coal. So, was he proposing business-as-usual with a few tweaks, or would we see a thorough-going reversal of Obama’s extreme efforts to control the climate by fossil fuel restrictions?
With the recently announced appointments, this is starting to come very much into focus. In reverse order of the announcements:
Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State. As of today, we still have as our chief diplomat the world leader of smugness who somehow thinks that “climate change” caused by use of fossil fuels is the greatest threat to global security. He is shortly to be replaced with the CEO of Exxon. Could there be a bigger poke in the eye to the world climate establishment? I’m trying to envision Tillerson at the next meeting of the UN climate “conference of parties” with thousands of world bureaucrats discussing how to put the fossil fuel companies out of business. Won’t he be laughing his gut out?
Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy. Not only was he the longest-serving governor of the biggest fossil fuel energy-producing state, but in his own 2012 presidential campaign he advocated for the elimination of the Department of Energy. This is the department that passes out tens of billions of dollars in crony-capitalist handouts for wind and solar energy (Solyndra!), let alone more tens of billions for funding some seventeen (seventeen!) research laboratories mostly dedicated to the hopeless task of figuring out how to make intermittent sources of energy competitive for any real purpose.
And then there’s Scott Pruitt for EPA. As Attorney General of Oklahoma, another of the big fossil fuel energy-producing states, he has been a leader in litigating against the Obama EPA to stop its overreaches, including the so-called Clean Power Plan that seeks to end the use of coal for electricity and to raise everyone’s cost of energy.
You might say that all of these are very controversial appointments, and will face opposition in the Senate. But then, Harry Reid did away with the filibuster for cabinet appointments. Oops! Barring a minimum of three Republican defections, these could all sail through. And even if one of these appointments founders, doesn’t the combination of them strongly signal where Trump would go with his next try?
So what can we predict about where the climate scare is going? Among members of the environmental movement, when their heads stop exploding, there are plenty of predictions that this will be terrible for the United States: international ostracism, loss (to China!) of “leadership” in international climate matters, and, domestically, endless litigation battles stalling attempts to rescind or roll back regulations. I see it differently. I predict a high likelihood of substantial collapse of the global warming movement, both domestically and internationally, over the course of the next couple of years.
Start with the EPA. To the extent that the global warming movement has anything to do with “science,” EPA is supposedly where that science is vetted and approved on behalf of the public before being turned into policy. In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy. For example, when a major new Research Report came out back in September claiming to completely invalidate all of the bases on which EPA claims that CO2 is a danger to human health and welfare, and thus to undermine EPA’s authority to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act, EPA simply failed to respond. In the same vein, essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money. Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up. And in case you might think that the science on this issue is “settled,” so no problem, you might enjoy this recent round-up at Climate Depot from some of the actual top scientists. A couple of excerpts:
Renowned Princeton Physicist Freeman Dyson: ‘I’m 100% Democrat and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on climate issue, and the Republicans took the right side.’....
Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: ‘Global warming is a non-problem’ - ‘I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.’
Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years. Questions like: Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted? How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated? What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago? Suddenly, the usual hand-waving ("the science is settled") is not going to be good enough any more. What now?
And how will the United States fare on the international stage when it stops promising to cripple its economy with meaningless fossil fuel restrictions? As noted above, people like Isabel Hilton predict a combination of ostracism and “loss of leadership” of the issue, most likely to China. Here’s my prediction: As soon as the United States stops parroting the global warming line, the other countries will quickly start backing away from it as well. This is “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” with the U.S. in the role of the little kid who is the only one willing to say the obvious truth in the face of mass hysteria. Countries like Britain and Australia have already more or less quietly started the retreat from insanity. In Germany the obsession with wind and solar (solar—in the cloudiest country in the world!) has already gotten average consumer electric rates up to close to triple the cost in U.S. states that embrace fossil fuels. How long will they be willing to continue that self-destruction after the U.S. says it is not going along? And I love the business about ceding “leadership” to China. China’s so-called “commitment” in the recent Paris accord is not to reduce carbon emissions at all, but rather only to build as many coal plants as they want for the next fourteen years and then cease increasing emissions after 2030! At which point, of course, they reserve their right to change their mind. Who exactly is going to embrace that “leadership” and increase their consumers’ cost of electricity by triple or so starting right now? I mean, the Europeans are stupid, but are they that stupid?
And finally, there is the question of funding. Under Obama, attaching the words “global warming” or “climate change” to any proposal has been the sure-fire way to get the proposal whatever federal funding it might want. The Department of Energy has been the big factor here. Of its annual budget of about $28 billion, roughly half goes to running the facilities that provide nuclear material for the Defense Department, and the other half, broadly speaking, goes to the global warming cause: crony capitalist handouts for wind and solar energy providers, and billions per year for research at some seventeen (seventeen!) different energy research laboratories. During the eight Obama years, the energy sector of the U.S. economy has been substantially transformed by a technological revolution that has dramatically lowered the cost of energy and hugely benefited the American consumer. I’m referring, of course, to the fracking revolution. How much of the tens of billions of U.S. energy subsidies and research funding in that time went toward this revolution that actually produced cheaper energy that works? Answer: Not one single dollar! All of the money was completely wasted on things that are uneconomic and will disappear as soon as the government cuts off the funding spigot. All of this funding can and should be zeroed out in the next budget. Believe me, nobody will notice other than the parasites who have been wasting the money.
If the multi-tens-of-billions per year funding gusher for global warming alarmism quickly dries up, the large majority of the people living on these handouts will have no choice but to go and find something productive to do. Sure, some extreme zealots will find some way to soldier on. But it is not crazy at all to predict a very substantial collapse of the global warming scare over the course of the next couple of years.
The environmental movement has climbed itself way out onto the global warming limb. Now the Trump administration is about to start sawing off the limb behind them.