Frozen in Time
Feb 06, 2018
Food Production Is A Modern Agricultural Miracle; Global Investment in Renewable Energy Has Stalled

By Steve Goreham

Agriculture is under attack. Environmentalists label modern farming as unsustainable, blaming farming for polluting the planet and destroying the climate. But today’s food is abundant and nutritious - a modern agricultural miracle.

From 1961 to 2013, world population more than doubled from 3.1 to 7.2 billion. But agricultural output more than tripled over the same period, according to data from the United Nations. We are slowly winning the battle against world hunger. The percentage of chronically undernourished people has fallen from 30 percent of world population in 1950 to about 11 percent today.

Not only the quantity, but the quality and variety of food are much better than in past ages. A 2015 study at Stockholm University compared modern food to recipes from the chef of King Richard II of England in the 1300s. The study concluded that people of today’s developed nations eat better than the kings of old.

In the 1300s, King Richard did not have pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, which came to Europe from the Far East in the 1400s. He did not have coffee, which was first brewed in Arabia in the 1400s. He did not have oranges, corn, or pineapple, which arrived in Europe from Asia and North America during the 1400s and 1500s. Today we enjoy dozens of varieties of fruits, vegetables, and meats that were not available in past ages.

Today’s foods are a product of thousands of years of efforts to cultivate more abundant and more nutritious crops. Cross-pollination of plants, cross-breeding of animals, and now genetic engineering of plants and animals continues to deliver rising farm output with better food quality and variety. Grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and even seafood continue to improve due to advanced farming techniques.

But environmental groups attack modern farming methods as unsustainable, scorning the farmer’s use of water, land, pesticides and energy. A 2010 UN Environmental Programme document states:

Agricultural production accounts for a staggering 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use, and 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions...The use of agrochemicals is related to ecotoxicity, eutrophication and depletion of phosphorus stocks. Intensive agriculture is related to substantial energy use. The loss of soil and biomass carbon can contribute to climate change.

The attacks on agriculture are too numerous to address in a single article, but one aspect of modern agriculture is not well known. Farmers are now giving land back to nature.

According to UN data, land used for farming is now declining. Total world agricultural area, the sum of crop land and pasture land, peaked in 2000 at 4.95 billion hectares and declined about one-half percent through 2013. Over the same period, world agricultural production increased 37 percent. The recent decline in total farm land use occurred despite 41.3 million hectares added for biofuel production, an area larger than Germany.

An astounding improvement in agricultural yields provides rising output without the need for additional land.

Corn Production and Acreage Graph courtesy of Steve Goreham

Gains in United States corn yield are a remarkable example. U.S. land employed to harvest corn peaked in 1918. Today, US farmers produce five times more corn on 11 percent less area than 100 years ago.

The world has passed the point of peak agricultural land use. Today, farmers are feeding the growing world population and providing us with the best food in history, while at the same time returning land to nature.

Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the new book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.


Note also see


Global Investment in Renewable Energy Has Stalled


Earlier this month, the Trump Administration announced a decision to apply a 30 percent tariff on imported solar cells and panels. The Solar Industries Association denounced the measure, projecting job losses and cancellation of solar investments. But the solar tariff discussion hides a larger renewable energy issue. Global investment in renewables has stalled in the US, in Europe, and in many markets across the world.

Since the 1990s, sustainable advocates have called for investment in wind, solar, and biofuel energy as the solution to global warming, pollution, and feared resource depletion. National, state, and provincial governments responded, promoting green energy with feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards laws, renewable grid priority, and other subsidies and mandates. Carbon trading markets and carbon taxes were enacted to impose costs on hydrocarbon fuels to favor renewable energy.

These efforts resulted in a rapid rise in renewable deployments across the world. From 2004 to 2011, global renewable energy investment grew at a 26.7 percent compounded annual rate. By the end of 2012, more than 200,000 wind turbines were operating worldwide. Germany alone boasted more than one million solar rooftop installations.

But since 2011, investment in renewables has stalled. From 2011 to 2017, global green energy investment grew at only 0.7 percent per year - essentially flat. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 2017 investment in renewables grew only 1 percent in the US, but was down 16 percent in Japan, down 20 percent in India, down 26 percent in Germany, and down 56 percent in the United Kingdom. Investment in China was up 26 percent, supporting a meagre 3 percent global renewable investment growth in 2017.

European nations have the highest per person renewable investment in the world and extensive experience with renewables. Europe invested over $100 billion each year in renewable energy in 2010 and 2011. But last year, Europe’s renewable investment was only $57.4 billion, down 50 percent from the record years of 2010‒2011.


So why is renewable investment faltering? One answer is that renewable projects are heavily dependent upon subsidies, and subsidies are being cut. The combination of rising electricity prices and budget-busting subsidy bills is forcing nations to cut back.

Europe invested $850 billion dollars in renewables from 2000 to 2014 and continues to pay a huge ongoing price. Residential electricity prices climbed to three times the US price in Spain and four times the US price in Denmark and Germany. German consumers pay an EEG levy in their electric bills, amounting to 25 billion Euros a year to subsidize renewable energy. Environment minister Peter Altmaier estimates that cumulative renewable subsidies paid by German consumers will total an astonishing one trillion euros by 2040.

Over the last five years, subsidies or mandates have been cut in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Retroactive cuts to feed-in tariffs were made in Bulgaria, Greece, and Spain. Germany cut feed-in tariff subsidies by 75 percent and levied grid fees on residential solar owners. In 2015, the UK government suspended all new subsidies for onshore wind farms and reduced subsidies for residential solar installations, causing a steep fall in investment in both 2016 and 2017.

US subsidy cuts are also in process. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 began a phased reduction of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) from 2016‒2019. If not extended again, the PTC subsidy will expire after 2019. The Act also reduced investment tax credits for wind and solar.

Some claim that renewable energy can power modern society. A 2017 paper by Mark Jacobsen and others at Stanford University, calls for 100 percent renewables by 2050, with wind and solar providing 95 percent of the energy. But this wishful thinking is not supported by the trends.

Since 1965, global energy consumption more than tripled to 13.3 billion tons of oil equivalent, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. In 2016, wind and solar provided about two percent of the total. Each year the world consumes an additional United Kingdom worth of energy. Wind and solar sources are unable to supply even the annual growth in world demand, let alone replace our traditional energy sources.


Renewable energy investment has stagnated, buried by rising energy prices and unaffordable subsidies. The world is being forced to return to sensible energy policies based on cost, performance, and real environmental benefit.

Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the new book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.

Feb 02, 2018
Cold winters are testing the limits of US energy grid

By Jordon McGillis, The Hill




The arctic air that has frozen the northeastern U.S. over the first weeks of 2018 has prompted New Englanders to crank up the heat and New England’s utility companies to scramble for fuel.

This season’s above-average heating and electricity demand has tested grid reliability at a time when the topic has had particular political salience. Most reporting on the matter has lauded the resilience the grid has shown, but a fuel-security analysis performed by the group that oversees New England’s power system delivers a pessimistic chill. ISO New England’s analysis reveals that in winters to come fuel insecurity will plague the region.

Insecurity despite abundance

What makes ISO New England’s report so tragic is that the United States is now a veritable world energy superpower.

Ten years ago, concerns about energy prices and fuel security were a standard element of the national zeitgeist. But a decade removed from the oil price peak of $147 per barrel in July 2008, our national concern over resource depletion has been rendered moot. Spurred by the high prices of the mid-2000s, American companies embarked upon nothing less than a domestic energy renaissance. Since 2005, oil production in the United States has increased by 50 percent, oil exports have seen a tenfold increase, and oil imports have fallen by a quarter.

More critically for electricity, however, have been the gains made on the concomitant natural gas front. Natural gas production has soared over the past decade by 50 percent and in late 2017 the United States became a net-natural gas exporter - meaning that America now sells more to foreign countries than it buys from them.

Given the positive developments that have left markets awash with energy resources, one would expect American utility companies would be well-positioned to meet the needs of their customers. Instead we are now being warned by ISO New England that in future winters utilities will be unable to meet demand during bouts of frigid weather. The group’s projections in almost every future scenario forecast the implementation of rolling blackouts - the sequential disconnection of blocks of customers from power - to protect the grid from outright disaster.

Though the resources are close at hand, a combination of laws and regulations has made New England dependent upon natural gas, yet unable to access all that it needs. While the presence of natural gas in New England’s electricity fuel mix has grown from 18 percent in 2000 to 45 percent in 2017 to an anticipated 56 percent in 2025, New England’s ability to receive natural gas has not kept pace.

Pipeline paucity

On Jan. 23, ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that, “when it gets cold the region does not have sufficient gas infrastructure to meet demand for both home heating and power generation.” It is a theme van Welie has conveyed since at least 2013. The pipeline constraints to which he points have at times caused New England to have the most expensive spot natural gas prices in the world - including this January.

At the barricade preventing the transport of gas from the abundant reservoirs of Pennsylvania and West Virginia to New England is the state government of New York. Cursed by geographic happenstance, New England needs New York’s consent to receive gas from the Marcellus Shale. But New York politicians and regulators headed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo refuse to grant it whenever possible. In addition to a hydraulic fracturing ban, New York politicians have put the brakes on pipeline projects through their permitting power, blocking the Constitution and Northern Access pipelines outright.

New England, for its part, is not much better. In the summer of 2017 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court nixed a pipeline cost-sharing proposal that would have helped to reduce stress on the grid during a harsh winter like New England is experiencing now. The hostility to pipelines is so pervasive in the northeast that ISO New England takes that bleak view that “no new incremental gas infrastructure will be built to serve power generation.”

The Jones Act

With state governments blocking new pipeline construction to bring in affordable shale gas, New England buys liquefied natural gas (LNG) transported by sea.

Since the United States is now an LNG exporter, New England would seem to have a reliable option. But domestic shipping of LNG is made impossible by the obtuse Merchant Marine Act of 1920 - commonly called the Jones Act. The Jones Act mandates that only American-built, -owned, -crewed and -flagged vessels can participate in maritime shipping between domestic ports.

The alleged purpose of the Jones Act is to improve national defense. While that may have made sense to lawmakers with the specter of German U-boats fresh in their memories, the Jones Act’s only effect today is that it drives up prices for consumers and protects a special interest group.

The Congressional Research Service has found that the Jones Act results in American vessels operating at twice the cost of comparable foreign ships. There are no Jones Act-compliant LNG ships at this time and New England therefore contracts with importers from around the Atlantic. While Trinidad and Tobago is the largest supplier, this month the Everett LNG import terminal is due to receive Russian gas produced by Yamal LNG, a facility subject to U.S. financial sanctions.

The cold truth

In 2013, van Welie sounded the alarm, informing the Senate that New England was becoming more reliant on natural gas for power generation without investing in natural gas supply infrastructure. Sadly, ISO New England’s message has gone unheeded and insidious laws and regulations continue to harm the region. The result is that despite unprecedented domestic energy production, New Englanders will soon find themselves out in the cold.

Jordan McGillis is a policy analyst at the Institute for Energy Research, a nonprofit focused on free-market energy and environmental research and policy.

Jan 25, 2018
Climate Science And The Process Of Orthodoxy Enforcement

Francis Menton

Michael Crichton on “States of Fear: Science or Politics?”


Recently several of my posts on the subject of climate change - - including one last week titled ”In Climate Science, Predictions Are Hard, Especially About The Future” - - have attracted large numbers of comments.  Most of the comments have been supportive, but many have been critical—which is not surprising.  Among the critical comments, several of the most thoughtful have raised similar questions, that go something like this:  If there is really nothing to this global warming scare, then how and why have so many people calling themselves climate scientists gotten together to conspire to promote this story to the public?  After all, how would such a conspiracy even work?  Do hundreds of them hold clandestine meetings where they recognize each other with some kind of secret handshake?

As examples of relatively balanced comments raising this point, there are two from a guy named Steven Wangsness.  Excerpts:

What I want to know is why 95 percent or more of the world’s climate scientists, most of whom drive gasoline-driven cars and probably own oil stocks in their 401Ks and IRAs, are engaged in a massive, world-wide conspiracy to push the idea of global warming. What is the incentive for all these presumably normal, well-educated folks to engage in such a pernicious hoax? ... 

You also assume that thousands of PhDs around the world are engaged in a massive conspiracy and not one of them has broken ranks and busted the hoax. 

It just seems implausible to Mr. Wangsness, and many others, that such a “conspiracy” could be formed.  And perhaps, if thought of as a conspiracy, they are right.  But now think about the processes by which orthodoxies are created and enforced.  There are many, many examples in human affairs of large numbers of people—even into the billions— agreeing on the precise details of a complex belief system, otherwise known as an orthodoxy.  What processes lead to such huge numbers of people to enter into such an agreement?  Clearly part of the process relates to specific rewards and punishments handed out by the people who run the orthodoxy system.  But I would suggest that a far bigger part of what makes orthodoxies work is the universal human desire for peer acceptance.  If you don’t go along with our official belief system, we will ostracize you!

Consider what is undoubtedly the archetypical example of a strictly-enforced orthodoxy system, namely the Catholic Church.  As background, I should mention that I was raised as a Catholic.  I continue to have large numbers of friends who are practicing Catholics, and I respect them both as people and for their beliefs.  I also have great respect for the Catholic Church as an institution (less so for its current head).  I do not regard Catholics as stupid or evil for having signed on to the Church’s orthodoxy.  But, here we have a perfectly clear and, you will have to admit, somewhat quirky orthodoxy to which some 1.2 billion people have subscribed in great detail.

The bishops of the early Catholic Church gathered in 325 AD in the city of Nicaea, and agreed upon something called the Creed that states the fundamental beliefs of the religion.  With some minor modifications made in later years (mostly in 384 AD), every Catholic recites this list of beliefs at every mass, under the leadership of a priest.  Do they really all deeply believe every detail of this statement?  They certainly say that they do, at least once a week.  It’s a basic requirement of being a practicing Catholic. 

For those who are not Catholics, I’ll give you some examples of what’s in the Creed.  I’m including the relevant Latin text, as well as the English translation:

“I believe in one God.” (Credo in unum Deum.).  This is a monotheistic religion. 

Oh, but it is one God in three persons, the Holy Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Is this a contradiction?  We all agree that it is not.

The Son was initially “born of the Father” (ex patre natum) at a time “before all ages” (ante omnia saecula), by a process described as “begotten not made” (genitum non factum).
Later, the Son “became flesh” (incarnatus est) by a process in which the Holy Spirit impregnated a virgin (de Spiritu Sanctu ex Maria Virgine).

The Holy Spirit “proceeds” not just from the Father, but also from the Son (Et in Spiritum Sanctum… qui ex Patre Filioque procedit).  The business about the Holy Spirit proceeding “also [from] the Son” (Filoque) is the basis of the rift between Roman Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox religions.  The Eastern guys insisted that the Holy Spirit “proceeded” only from the Father. 
There are plenty of other items.  Does every Catholic actually fully understand and believe each of these precepts?  It doesn’t really matter.  In return for regularly expressing these beliefs, they get to participate in the religion, which includes being part of a community of family, friends and peers, of ceremonies and sacraments, and of a promise of a happy afterlife. 

The rewards are almost entire mental and spiritual, rather than material.  And on that basis some 1.2 billion people subscribe.  In the case of priests, adherence to the orthodoxy is further enforced by a hierarchy that controls access to the jobs, as well as promotions to positions of Monsignor, Bishop, Archbishop, and so forth.  If you demand a change to the Creed, you can’t be a priest, period.

The Catholic Church is just one example of a detailed orthodoxy subscribed to by a huge number of people.  The Islamic religion is another example of comparable size, although I don’t know the details of what they have agreed to as their orthodoxy.

Now apply the principles of orthodoxy creation and enforcement to the field of “climate science.” A commenter responding to Wangsness made this point:  “The answer is simple. Follow the money.” I’m not saying there’s nothing to that, but note that in the case of the Catholic Church (and for that matter Islam and any other religion) money has little to nothing to do with why people subscribe; and yet huge numbers do.  The main factor is peer pressure and acceptance; the second major factor is the forcible exclusion of heretics.  So consider what surrounds you if you want to be in the field of “climate science” today:

In order even to start out, you need to get a job at an academic institution.  If you let it be known that you are even slightly skeptical about “climate science,” you get branded as a heretic, and in all likelihood you will never get hired.

To advance in academia, you need to get articles published in prestigious academic journals.  The most prestigious journals in the fields of science are Science and Nature.  In recent years those journals have been controlled by global warming zealots who have made it their business to be sure that no even slightly skeptical article in the climate field can see the light of day.  From 2013 to 2016 the editor of Science was one Marcia McNutt.  McNutt published an editorial in her magazine in 2015 that said about climate science: “The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed… [D]eveloped nations need to reduce their per-capita fossil fuel emissions even further...” In 2016 McNutt was elected as the head of the National Academies of Science. As a young, skeptical climate scientist, how are you going to buck this?

For more examples of ruthless orthodoxy enforcement as to climate change in the academic world, see my posts here and here.

But here’s the amazing thing:  given the relentless peer pressure to conform in climate science, and the ruthless exclusion of heretics from rights to publish and from awards and recognition in the field, in fact the level of subscription to the climate orthodoxy among people in relevant areas is far less than the 95% that Mr. Wangsness cites.  The frequently-made claim of a “97% consensus” among climate scientists famously originated in an article by Cook, et al., in 2013, that was then quickly debunked in multiple places, for example here and here.

When Wangsness says that “not one of them has broken ranks and busted the hoax,” he is wrong.  There are scores of top scientists in relevant fields like atmospheric physics and meteorology who have broken ranks and scream as loudly as they can on a daily basis that there is nothing behind this alarm.  Just last October I was involved in submitting a letter to EPA from 65 top scientists demanding a reconsideration of EPA’s “Endangerment Finding” because of lack of scientific basis for climate alarm.  The list of skeptics among the very top people in physics includes the likes of Freeman Dyson ("My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models.") and Will Happer of Princeton, Richard Lindzen of MIT, and Ivar Giaever of RPI.  It is truly an embarrassment to the profession of journalism that a relatively well-informed citizen like Mr. Wangsness can be unaware of this.

Jan 18, 2018
New York’s silly climate suit

By Steve Goreham - - Sunday, January 14, 2018


On January 10, the city of New York filed suit against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell. The suit accuses oil companies of causing dangerous climate change and damage to New York City, seeking monetary compensation. But history will rank this action high in the annals of human superstition.

The 67-page suit claims that burning of fossil fuels marketed by the oil industry changes the climate and that these changes are “injuring New York City.” The suit projects an increase in deaths from heat waves, flooding from extreme weather that would impact the city’s water supply system, increasing frequency of droughts that would diminish water to upstate New York reservoirs, and catastrophic flooding from rising oceans.

Hurricane Sandy is mentioned several times in the suit as an example of both extreme weather and rising oceans from human-caused warming. As a result of Sandy, New York launched a $20 billion effort to prepare for the effects of climate change in 2017. The city wants oil firms to pay for this effort, claiming they are causing “continuous and reoccurring injuries to the city. But these claims border on the superstitious.

Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York City on October 29, 2012 with Category 1 hurricane-force winds of 81 miles per hour. It came ashore at high tide causing extensive flooding. The storm resulted in 147 and over $50 billion in assessed damage. But this has happened before.

More than 80 tropical or sub-tropical storms struck New York State during the last 300 years. An example was the Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane of 1821. It hit New York City with Category 3 force winds, much stronger than Category 1 Sandy. Although it came ashore at low tide, when ocean levels were five feet lower than when Sandy hit, the 1821 storm flooded New York City up to Canal Street.

According to the National Hurricane Center, 170 hurricanes made US landfall during the twentieth century. Fifty-nine of these storms generated at least Category 3 wind speeds, stronger than Category 1 Sandy. How then was Hurricane Sandy evidence of human-caused global warming?

Ocean levels have risen about 120 meters (390 feet) in the last 20,000 years, according to data from NASA. Tidal gauges show a rise of about 7 inches per century over the last 150 years. No scientist can tell us when natural sea level rise stopped and man-made sea level rise began. New York City is correct to prepare for rising seas, but wrong to believe that greenhouse gases from burning oil are causing the rise.

Throughout history, people have believed that human actions can change the climate and cause extreme weather. The Aztecs of the 1500s practiced human sacrifice in an attempt to control the weather and to keep the Sun moving across the sky. After King Henry divorced his wife, Catherine, in 1533, the English believed that nine months of unusually heavy rainfall were a result of the divorce. During the cool climate of the Little Ice Age between the fourteenth and nineteen centuries, hundreds of thousands of people in Europe were executed for the crime of witchcraft, blamed for short growing seasons and crop failures.

Today we still live in a world of superstition. Climate advocates tell us that if we change our light bulbs we can save polar bears. If we erect wind turbines we can make the storms less severe. And if we drive electric cars we can stop the oceans from rising. Our modern witches are the oil and coal companies.

Steve Goreham is the author of “Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development” (New Lenox Books, 2017).

Jan 12, 2018
Sydney Heat and “Bomb” Snowstorm: Pimped Out for Climate Change

Update: Uber wealthy economic summit goers getting testy at Davos after 6 feet of snow in a few days.


See this NYT story.


Dr. Roy Spencer
January 7th, 2018

It’s been an eventful weather week in some portions of the globe. In fact, it is always an eventful weather week - somewhere.

But what really drives the narrative is when weather extremes - which always have, and always will, occur - happen to hit major metropolitan areas. Many people are already aware of the relentless guffawing resulting from Al Gore’s tweet that Michael Mann says the Northeast’s current cold wave is just what global warming predicts. (As I recall, Mann is a mathematician, not a meteorologist. Correction: Mann is a geologist/geophysicist, which is equally uninformed on atmospheric dynamics.)

Yesterday, Kristine Phillips of The Washington Post wrote about the recent “bomb” snowstorm in New England, the ensuing cold wave, and the extreme heat (110+ deg. F) that has just hit Sydney, Australia.

To her credit, she did not explicitly put the blame on climate change for these events, but her legal-background prose came pretty darn close… just close enough so that the casual reader would make the connection. Wink-wink, nod-nod.

The trouble is that neither of these two events are exceptional from a meteorological perspective. That is, they have happened before (Sydney’s 117 deg. F peak was exceeded in 1939), and they will happen again.

It is only when we can demonstrate that such events are increasingly occurring over, say, 50 to 100 years that we can begin to invoke climate change. (And even then we must debate the various causes of climate change.) So far, that evidence is sorely lacking.

The Sydney Heat Wave

Here’s the GFS forecast model analysis of surface temperature departures from average for about the time that peak temperatures were reached in Sydney yesterday. Maybe you can tell me which of these cold and warm patterns are consistent with global warming theory and which aren’t? (Hint: Warming should be occurring basically everywhere):

GFS analysis of surface temperature departures from normal at about the time 110 deg. F temperatures were reached in Sydney, Australia ( graphic).

See that hotspot in the Sydney Basin? That is a localized effect of downslope winds from the highlands to the west which causes enhanced warming of the air, as well as bushfires. It clearly does not represent what is happening across Australia as a whole. Australia is exceedingly hot this time of year anyway, heat which is made even worse since the sun is closer to the Earth in January than in July (leading to a 7% range in solar radiation reaching the Earth).

The “Bomb” Blizzard

Meteorologist Fred Sanders coined the term “bomb” in 1980 to refer to a non-tropical cyclone whose central pressure drops by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

They happen every year.

But what doesn’t happen every year is them influencing major metro areas. So, the recent nor’easter snowstorm to hit the Mid Atlantic and New England was also a “bomb” because the low pressure center intensified so rapidly. These events happen every year in, for example, the North Atlantic and North Pacific.

We meteorologists used to talk about “bombs” fairly regularly in the 1980s, but not so much in recent years. I wonder if maybe climate change is making winter storms weaker? Hmmm…

And to attribute every winter cold wave or heat wave to global warming is just plain silly. These things happen even without global warming (which, by the way, I do believe is occurring, just not very strongly, dangerously, or maybe not even mostly due to human causation). Seasoned New Englanders can tell you that.

Meanwhile, The Weather Channel (aka “The Disaster Channel") serves up a steady stream of weather porn to titillate the senses.

And before you believe that warmth in January is unusual, “January thaws” are a routine phenomenon, too, which is why the term was coined. According to the Glossary of Meteorology:

“The daily temperature averages at Boston, computed for the years 1873 to 1952, show a well- marked peak on 20-23 January; the same peak occurs in the daily temperatures of Washington, D.C., and New York City. Statistical tests show a high probability that it is a real singularity. The January thaw is associated with the frequent occurrence on the above-mentioned dates of southerly winds on the back side of an anticyclone off the southeastern United States.”

Nevertheless, the weird-weather-is-climate-change narrative will continue until the populace finally agrees with the warmongers that we can control our weather through taxation and regulation.

Da Bomb January 4th, 2018

GOES-16 image of the intense extra-tropical cyclone at 8:45 EST January 4, 2018.

The rapidly intensifying non-tropical cyclone producing heavy snow and blizzard conditions over the mid-Atlantic and New England is meeting expectations, with localized snowfalls of over 6 inches already this morning.

The latest NAM model forecast of additional snowfall after 7 a.m. this morning until tomorrow morning shows up to 12-18 inches of snow over portions of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine (graphic courtesy of

Maximum additional snow accumulations from 7 a.m. Thursday Jan. 4 to 7 a.m. Friday, from the NAM weather forecast model.

As of 9 a.m. EST, all 5 NWS reporting stations in Rhode Island have heavy snow falling.

The term “bomb” was coined by meteorologist Fred Sanders in 1980 to refer to a non-tropical low pressure area that intensifies at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. They happen every year, and are usually centered offshore in the winter where cold continental air masses meet warm oceanic air masses, providing maximum energy to the intensification process.

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