Another glimpse of the intellectual wasteland that is Warmism
UN delegate: Global warming means longer, colder winters. She is quite oblivious of her illogic. A lot of Western "scientists" are just as illogical but are a bit more apologetic about it.
Twisted logic at the Bonn climate conference. A UNFCCC delegate finds evidence the Earth is warming in a cold German Spring. Watch Now!
If video is not coming up, go here.
Green corruption in Britain
Tim Yeo was challenged in an interview last week over his role as chairman of the Commons energy and climate change committee and his lucrative work with the green industry.
A former environment minister, he airily dismissed any suggestion of a conflict of interest, even though last year alone he earned £140,000 from his commercial work, much of it to do with the booming business of green energy.
‘I think it’s hard for anyone to sustain the argument that what I’m doing is the result of financial interests. I will stand and fall by the judgment of my peers on the committee,’ he said.
Only three days after those remarks, the arrogant former minister is fighting to retain his chairmanship of the committee. And while Yeo insists he has done nothing wrong, to most Tory MPs he was an accident waiting to happen.
One of the most evangelical environmentalists in the Commons, Yeo last year angrily attacked Tory backbenchers who did not share his zeal. ‘Some Conservative backbenchers are pursuing a policy designed to prove they are not going to get into so-called costly green initiatives. It is extraordinary.’
The independent-minded Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris responded: ‘I’m sure Yeo’s genuinely worried about the subsidies for green jobs, especially as he holds so many of them himself.’
At the last count he had six and has earned more than £400,000 from the green industry since 2009, which was when MPs had to specify the income they receive.
He is a director of ITI Energy Limited, suppliers of equipment which converts waste into biofuel; AFC Energy which develops efficient alkaline fuel cell technology; Group Eurotunnel, serving on the Environment And Safety Committee; director of Eco City Vehicles; chairman of TMO Renewables which develops technology for second generation biofuels; and a management consultant with Regenesis, a California-based company which markets technologies for the restoration of natural resources.
He is also paid £40,000 by a Dubai educational group. As the MP for South Suffolk, he earns another £65,750. It’s no wonder Yeo can afford a large house in his constituency and a London flat with panoramic views of the Thames.
At the last count Yeo had six green jobs and has earned more than £400,000 from the green industry since 2009, which was when MPs had to specify the income they receive
Yet in June 2010 Yeo was elected chairman of the Commons energy and climate change committee which is supposed to examine Britain’s approach to renewable energy with a neutral gaze.
Yeo was already deeply unpopular with fellow Tories because of his unswerving support for more green taxes. He was also the sole Tory to attack Chancellor George Osborne when he cut subsidies for a new generation of wind farms.
‘We have to work harder to find places where wind farms are acceptable to communities,’ he said. ‘Frankly, we need to be prepared to bribe them.’
Unless, of course, the community happens to be in his backyard. At a meeting in September, 2010, he backed his own constituents, who were outraged by plans for a wind farm at a local beauty spot.
He’s certainly had the wind taken out of his sails now.
Senators Call Out the EPA For Leaking Private Info of Farmers to Radical Environmental Groups
We've known for months now that the Environmental Protection Agency has been leaking the private information of small farmers to radical environmental groups, some of which are full of attorneys constantly snooping around for a lawsuit.
According to a letter from a group of Senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the EPA "released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations. It is our understanding that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for ten states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses."
The Senators sent the letter Friday to express concern over the sensitivity of the data that was released to groups like Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and Natural Resources Defense Council and to ask how the EPA plans to protect the data of farms and ranches that are also homes to families.
By leaking this information to legal environmental groups, small farms not only have to fight the powerful EPA, but also all of the powerful groups the EPA collaborates with. This scenario can only be classified as bullying and an overreach of regulatory power.
It's no wonder former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used secret email accounts to conduct government business. It's pretty obvious who she was talking to.
What happens in the backroom of a sue-and-settle lawsuit?
Is Big Green running things in President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency? Wake up and smell the corruption.
A virulent 2009 sue-and-settle lawsuit, WildEarth Guardians v. Jackson (as in Lisa Jackson, former EPA administrator) is an outrageous sweetheart deal rife with collusion and manipulation to create arbitrary regulations, along with the EPA takeover of state regulatory programs and a price tag of more than $2.5 billion -- all aimed against the domestic fossil fuel industry.
William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute discovered the details after a Freedom of Information Act request produced 659 pages of EPA emails.
"WEG's lawsuit centered on the EPA's regional haze program to improve visibility, which was created by Congress, which gave the states, not EPA, primacy to choose their own standards and controls for regional haze," Yeatman told me. "A federal court confirmed that authority, so how did EPA take it away from them?" he asked.
Buried in hundreds of EPA emails was the backroom story. Beginning in 2009, 10 green groups including the Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians filed lawsuits against EPA alleging that the agency had "missed the deadlines pertaining to the regional haze program."
Rather than defend these cases, EPA simply chose to settle and sign a consent decree agreeing to new enforcement deadlines negotiated with the green groups, not the states, which weren't even notified. WEG's case dealt with the south-central states including New Mexico -- EPA Region 6 -- where the administrator was Al Armendariz, the man later forced to resign after a video became public of him expressing admiration for how the Roman legions used random crucifixions to enforce obedience among Roman subjects.
But CEI's EPA emails revealed a timeline that stank of collusion and corruption. Armendariz came straight from WildEarth Guardians, where he had worked on regional haze issues with Jeremy Nichols, director of WEG's climate and energy program (Nichols' main job was "to fight fossil fuels").
In June 2009, WEG filed its lawsuit against EPA; on Nov. 5, 2009, Armendariz was appointed Region 6 administrator; on Nov. 10 EPA settled new deadlines with WEG and presented a consent decree to the U.S. District Court for Northern California. Armendariz wouldn't be at his desk for another three weeks, but his connections in government and Big Green were well-known.
The point is that an activist who worked on regional haze for a plaintiff suing EPA switched sides to become an official of defendant EPA, and a settlement was reached in less than a week.
It gets worse. Once settled in, on Dec. 8, 2009, Armendariz emailed Nichols, "I've been on board exactly 1 week, and my life is already crazy. But if I can grab a free 15 minutes sometime soon I'd like to call and talk politics."
The "politics" was spending the next year manipulating the negotiated deadlines to trap the states and steal their authority -- evidently with Armendariz thinking that negotiating legal settlements with former colleagues isn't a conflict of interest.
On Nov. 4, 2010, he emailed an EPA colleague about a different lawsuit offering that "If needed, I can call Jeremy [Nichols] at WEG and grab R6 [EPA Region 6] an extended deadline."
An alarmed EPA lawyer had to inform him that he was recused from the WEG case -- a year late.
Yeatman said, "Then it was Washington politics at its worst. On the eve of the deadlines, the agency refused to approve the states' submissions or allegedly inadequate cost estimates (produced by the same contractor green groups used). There was no time for the states to fix things. EPA took control. Its new rules cost the states $2.5 billion for almost undetectable results."
The revolving door between EPA and Big Green then flipped Armendariz into a comfy spot at the Sierra Club.
EPIC FAIL: Climate Models vs. Observations for Tropical Tropospheric Temperature
Rather than a spaghetti plot of the models’ individual years, we just plotted the linear temperature trend from each model and the observations for the period 1979-2012.
Note that the observations (which coincidentally give virtually identical trends) come from two very different observational systems: 4 radiosonde datasets, and 2 satellite datasets (UAH and RSS).
If we restrict the comparison to the 19 models produced by only U.S. research centers, the models are more tightly clustered:
Now, in what universe do the above results not represent an epic failure for the models?
I continue to suspect that the main source of disagreement is that the models’ positive feedbacks are too strong…and possibly of even the wrong sign.
The lack of a tropical upper tropospheric hotspot in the observations is the main reason for the disconnect in the above plots, and as I have been pointing out this is probably rooted in differences in water vapor feedback. The models exhibit strongly positive water vapor feedback, which ends up causing a strong upper tropospheric warming response (the “hot spot”), while the observation’s lack of a hot spot would be consistent with little water vapor feedback.
Will renewables lose their mandates?
By Marita Noon
“They told us the wind turbines were going to be good for the city; that our electric rates would go down. But that hasn’t happened. They keep putting up more and more of them and they are getting closer to the neighborhoods where you hear the noise all night while you are trying to sleep. Plus,” Monica told me last week during my Palm Springs vacation, “they look horrible; like a junk yard. It totally ruins our mountain views!”
I met Monica in a store where she works. When she found out that I write on energy issues, she told me her story. Her electric bills run as high as $700 to $800 a month in the summer for a 1600 square foot home. “I work for the electric company,” she said. “Everything I have goes to pay my bill.” With her bills so high, Monica got behind. She’s been on a payment plan for three years and doesn’t see any hope of ever getting caught up. Instead of using air conditioning, she uses the swamp cooler whenever possible—but with temperatures above 100 most of the summer, the A/C is essential. She’s cut back use of the pool pump. “The pool’s not crystal clear,” she told me, “but my bill is a little less.”
No one could have predicted the reversal of fortunes the renewable energy industry is facing.
Nearly a decade ago, in the mid 2000s, states were busy passing legislation that mandated the use of renewable energy—generally called a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Today, more than half the states have renewable requirements that range from modest to aggressive with California’s being the most stringent at 33 percent by 2020.
Legislators eagerly embraced the renewable mandates based on three specific myths:
* Climate change is a man-made crisis caused by the use of hydrocarbons.
* Hydrocarbons are finite and are about to run out and, therefore, are expensive.
* Renewable energy, specifically the wind and the sun, is unlimited and free.
Since then, each of the key selling points have been wiped out.
Environmentalists have been crying “wolf” for so long that the public has become immune to their scare tactics—the disasters predicted at the first Earth Day haven’t happened and despite increasing CO2, the climate hasn’t warmed for 17 years.
The combination of new technology and new applications of old technology have unleashed a new abundance of natural gas and oil—dropping the prices and displacing the market for renewables. Last month, Atlantic magazine’s cover announced, “We will never run out of oil.”
Increasing utility bills have convinced people that even though wind and sunshine are free, converting them to electricity is not—as Monica found out. Europe, the global leader in renewable energy, is backing away from the policies that are making energy more expensive and Europe less competitive.
Combined with the hard-hitting economic collapse and ongoing sagas of taxpayer-funded Green energy failures, the public’s appetite for renewable energy has waned—producing headlines such as “Cheap natural gas prompts states to sour on renewables” and “U.S. states turn against renewable energy as gas plunges.” Compared to last year, investment in renewable energy has dropped: 54 percent in the U.S. and 25 percent in Europe—with the sharpest decline, 96 percent, in Spain. But, as long as the mandates exist, so does the rationale for subsidies, grants, and tax credits.
No wonder the 2013 legislative season was filled with renewable mandate policy action—including calls for repeals, reforms, and expansions. Wind Power Monthly reports: “there have been at least 35 bills to weaken renewable portfolio standards proposed in 16 of the 29 states that have them on the books.”
Six states introduced bills for a full repeal of the mandates: Texas, Minnesota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Kansas. While none passed, Kansas’ and North Carolina’s bills had strong support.
Eleven states—Montana, Ohio, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington—had bills aimed at reforming the mandates—several of which would have qualified hydroelectricity as “renewable energy.” Montana passed a bill to include the expansion of existing hydroelectricity as a part of eligible renewable resources. Virginia repealed incentives for electric utilities to pursue renewable energy investments. Vermont passed a zoning bill that would make it more difficult to site a wind farm.
Ten states—Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia—had bills to expand the current mandates. Two have passed: Minnesota and Colorado. The Colorado bill increases the mandate for rural electric cooperatives. The Minnesota bill establishes a 1.5 percent solar energy mandate, to be met by 2020 for investor-owned utilities. Electricity co-ops and municipal utilities are exempt. Nevada’s legislative session ends on June 3. A bill, SB123, that would force the use of more renewable electricity is still being debated. The Las Vegas Review Journal’s Editorial Board called SB123 “a tax hike on everyone” and says it “is a feel-good political initiative, not an economic one,”
While this flurry of activity doesn’t declare a definitive winner or loser, renewable energy advocates are clearly unhappy about fighting a battle they thought they’d already won. Addressing the situation they find themselves in, Wind Power Monthly offers the following insight from Jeff Deyette, assistant energy research director at the Union of Concerned Scientists:
“These opponents have yet to make much progress in their efforts, but they have forced renewable energy advocates to expend valuable resources defending their positions. If you measure success by outright repeal of these standards, they may be successful with one or two. I don’t think they are going to get much more than that. But if you measure success in a different way, in that they are slowing our ability to do what we should be doing, which is going out and expanding these policies and creating larger markets for renewable energy, then I think they have been successful.”
Roger Freeman, a Denver-based environmental attorney who believes that the RPS needs to be protected, acknowledges: “the national trend is in the opposite direction.” Lyndon Rive, SolarCity CEO, says: “We expect in the next year or two that state-based incentives will disappear.”
Arizona’s Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities in the state, has “pulled back on incentives for rooftop solar installations” as Tucson Electric Power Co. and Arizona Public Service Co. “have reached incremental goals for such installations under the state’s renewable-energy standard.”
Without the “marching orders” from the statehouses to the electric utilities, Rhone Resch, head of the Solar Energy Industries Association, says: “Without some carrot or stick, there’s little reason to pick [renewables] up.”
With the “national trend” heading away from state-supported renewable energy mandates, some hope that Congress will set a national renewable standard. But, Karin Wadsack, director of a Northern Arizona University-based project to monitor these legislative battles, concedes: “I wouldn’t see it happening in our current set of national priorities.”
Monica thought the wind turbines would be good, that they’d lower her utility bills. Instead, she’s scared to open her bill. Advertisements featuring a glistening white wind turbine in a green field don’t match the reality that residents of Palm Springs—and other locales—are living with. “They look horrible; like a junkyard.”
As the reality of policies that promote renewable energy sets in, fewer people want it. You can be sure that the 2014 legislative sessions will be filled with additional attempts to repeal or reform existing Renewable Portfolio Standards that could bring about renewable energy’s reversal of fortune—and add to yours as cost-effective coal-fueled power allows you to pay less and your tax dollars won’t be going to green energy schemes that line the pockets of political cronies.
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Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here