Archives for the month of: June, 2015


I am disappointed in the Pope.

Not being Catholic, I find no compulsion to worry about what he says personally, but traditionally, Catholics see encyclicals as binding. It is a farce to consider fossil fuel use and resultant CO2 as alarming and catastrophic.

So far, it seems the encyclical is an embarrassment, and it will remain so as climate continues to do anything but what the computer gamers (modelers) say it will.

The model predictions have failed for over 30 years now. When is enough?

Watts Up With That?

A copy of the Pope’s expected “climate encyclical” (in Italian) was leaked to the Italian press today.

climate-pope-coverOur friend Maurizio Morabito (who speaks Italian) translates and advises via email that his impression is that this is going to be seen as a “damp squib”.

He points to this paragraph in particular (translated mostly by Google Translate so there may be inaccuracy):

For poor countries, the priority should be the eradication of poverty and social development of their inhabitants; at the same time the scandalous level of consumption of certain privileged sectors of their population must be considered and better counter corruption. Of course, they must also develop less polluting forms energy production, but for this they have need to rely on help from countries that are grown much at the expense of pollution today the planet. The direct exploitation of abundant solar energy requires that you establish mechanisms and subsidies so…

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Go figure.

Bottom line, solar is a niche application. It will be good for many things. Overall, improvements will continue, but solar cannot provide grid-level power. It just cannot.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach.

Sometimes when I’m reading about renewable technologies, I just break out laughing at the madness that the war on carbon has wrought. Consider the Ivanpah solar tower electric power plant. It covers five square miles in Southern California with mirrors which are all focusing the sun on a central tower. The concentrated sunlight boils water that is used to run a steam turbine to generate electricity.

ivanpah solar power plant

Sounds like at a minimum it would be ecologically neutral … but unfortunately, the Law of Unintended Consequences never sleeps, and the Ivanpah tower has turned out to be a death trap for birds, killing hundreds and hundreds every year:

“After several studies, the conclusion for why birds are drawn to the searing beams of the solar field goes like this: Insects are attracted to the bright light of the reflecting mirrors, much as moths are lured to a…

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“Quote of the Week: “In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.” Frederick Seitz, WSJ – June 12, 1996 on IPCC AR-2, 1995, printed May 1996.”

The sad fact is, it has only gotten worse.

Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2015-06-13 (June 13, 2015) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

ICCC-10: Due to The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10), June 11 and 12, this week’s TWTW will be brief. The conference was co-sponsored by, among others, SEPP and the Virginia Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE), Next week’s TWTW will include material that was overlooked this week due to time constraints. The conference was sold out about one week in advance. Videos of the keynote speeches and the panel sessions are available at: http://climateconference.heartland.org/. It is our understanding that high resolution videos will be available shortly.

Political: The political high points of ICCC-10 were presentations by Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Representative Lamar Smith (R-21st District of Texas)…

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David Bentley Hart, writing for First Things [in 2012], praises good bad books.

If you take the time to read this, I’m sure you will be glad you did.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/in-praise-of-good-bad-books

For me, the most important book of my childhood was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Of course, I read all of CS Lewis’ fiction multiple times over. I didn’t read enough to have much of a list of good bad books. Still, Hart’s point is valid.

Don’t let the big words fool you; he is just being precise. (And showing off what he’s learned in his copious reading.)

Keep in mind that philistine, as an adjective, indicates disdain, or at least indifference, for culture and norms. He uses it fittingly, at least for nearly all children.

The the article explains Tharks, they are from the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tharks.

Isn’t it nice to be able to right-click something and have a page open with Google results? (At least in Chrome.)

It is an encouraging article, and it encourages us to encourage our children and youths to be avid readers. {I trust you noticed I only used “encourage” once, there. 😉 }


Worth noting.

Watts Up With That?

Via press release: Prominent Skeptics to Receive Climate Change Awards

Sen. Jim Inhofe, William Happer, David Legates, Anthony Watts, and Bob Carter
Winners of 2015 Climate Change Awards at ICCC-10 in DC

WASHINGTON – Five prominent skeptics of man-caused global warming will receive recognition at the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change, taking place June 11–12 at the Washington Court Hotel.

ICCC10-bannerThe winners of the 2015 Climate Change Awards are:

Sen. Jim Inhofe, who will receive the Political Leadership on Climate Change Award, sponsored by The Heritage Foundation, at the breakfast keynote at 8 a.m. Thursday, June 11.

William Happer, Ph.D., winner of the 2015 Frederick Seitz Memorial Award, sponsored by the Science & Environmental Policy Project

David Legates, Ph.D., winner of the Courage in Defense of Science Award, sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Anthony Watts, winner of the Excellence in Climate Science…

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Good admonition. Worth taking the time to remind ourselves, and then going and doing.

Musings on Science and Theology

Balance2I have to admit it. There have been a number of posts lately over at Jesus Creed that I’ve found rather depressing. These aren’t bad posts. In fact I’d say that they are quite good by and large, but they they feel a bit like picking at scabs. Austin Fischer’s post last Thursday “Are Scientists Really Split on Evolution?” made an excellent point – and an important one. Whether you think evolution is true or not, don’t rest your argument on urban myths and wishful thinking. And try to discourage others from doing so as well. Unless you consider a few percent disagreement to mean that the scientific community is “split,” it simply isn’t true. And the majority of those in the roomy tray are there for reasons other than science – generally, but not always, for religious reasons.

Some of the conversation following this post was discouraging…

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Oklahoma’s own!

Dr. Deming provides a historical overview as example of why we cannot take consensus as dogma. Science is never settled. Lord Kelvin’s model withstood decades of challenge. Only when an unknown factor was shown to be present and frustrating Kelvin’s calculations, did his age of the earth fall.

I’ve heard young-earth adherents claim this incident in defense of their own fantasy that the earth is less than 10,000 years. Sorry, but it just won’t work. The earth is four-and-a-half billions of years old, and the universe on the whole is roughly 13 billion. No getting around it.

We pretend motivation doesn’t matter, or more plainly, ulterior motives. Motives drive everything we do. If our only motive is truth, we tend to try to disprove ourselves so as to not fool ourselves.

That is not usually the case. I have seen my whole life that most people would rather remain wrong that be corrected. Pain is the only true persuader.

Stay committed to truth. Being corrected, no matter how painful, is always better than remaining wrong.

Watts Up With That?

knowledge1In the wake of Karl et al. 2015, which revises data to match a consensus, we can all take a lesson from how scientific consensus has operated in the past

Guest essay by Dr. David Deming

The world stands on the verge of committing itself to limits on the emission of carbon dioxide that would drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels. If this fateful decision is made, the economies of developed nations will be strangled. Human prosperity will be reduced. Our ability to solve pressing problems, both human and environmental, will be severely limited. We have been told that these shackles must be imposed to forestall a hypothetical global warming projected to occur some time in the distant future. But to date the only unambiguous evidence for planetary warming is a modest rise in temperature (less than one degree Celsius) that falls well within the range of natural variation.

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Face to face discussion. Good.

Watts Up With That?

About a month ago I got an e-mail from Bill McKibben telling me that he would be in my town to do a presentation on June 5th. He wanted to know if he could meet with me and just sit down over a beer and talk about things. I jumped at the chance. This photo below was taken yesterday, June 5th, at the Sierra Nevada Taproom in Chico, CA just before 6PM PDT after I had a two hour conversation with Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

mckibben-watts-06-05-2014One of The most interesting thing about Bill McKibben is that he has always been civil and courteous to me unlike some others that are on the other side of the climate debate aisle. So, I didn’t think twice about meeting him because I knew that despite our differences we would likely have a very interesting and productive conversation.

My prediction came true. We…

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A bit older, but still excellent.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

[see Updates at the end of this post]

Science is what we use to explain anomalies, to elucidate mysteries, to shed light on unexplained occurrences. For example, once we understand how the earth rotates, there is no great need for a scientific explanation of the sun rising in the morning. If one day the sun were to rise in the afternoon, however, that is an anomaly which would definitely require a scientific explanation. But there is no need to explain the normal everyday occurrences. We don’t need a new understanding if there is nothing new to understand.

Hundreds of thousands of hours of work, and billions of dollars, have been expended trying to explain the recent variations in the climate, particularly the global temperature. But in the rush to find an explanation, a very important question has been left unasked:

Just exactly what unusual, unexpected temperature…

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There is a time for every purpose under heaven. Lyle’s time here ended just after noon, this day.

I’m reminded at the moment of his distaste for war. Being 06 June, it is fitting.

Remember.

At the moment of writing, my dear father-in-law is comfortable, but apparently the prognosis is quite dire. Measuring minutes, rather than hours, certainly not days. My wife, our children, and I are a few hours away. A family friend called to encourage us not to hurry in travel. Perhaps it is useful to suppose he reached a physiological cliff. Cancer can go that way. It is hard being distant at such times.

Lyle has had a good and full life, filled with success in his professional field, mathematics. He has been an excellent father, father-in-law, and grandfather. A blessed and successful man. I’m better for knowing him.

He is 89. He has been able to work in the yard, which he perhaps loves even more than his mathematics, even this spring. He has stayed active with friends, family, and professional associates. He still has full command of his impressive mind. All in all, a good life.

Still, we are, each one of us, a light mist that appears for just a little while, then vanish away.

Reference James 4:14 (Note the cross references on the page.)

It is so hard to keep things in perspective.

We all see ourselves so overlarge. We also undervalue our loved ones.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants. http://biblehub.com/psalms/116-15.htm

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. http://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/7-1.htm

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery. http://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/8-6.htm

It is a miserable day, but it is a good day.


The global-warming alarmists once admitted 15 years would be needed to disprove them. Well, it has been almost 19. They keep scrambling to explain away the results. They keep fudging the data. They keep selling protection from a problem they invented, a problem they cannot even show exists.

Eventually, everyone will forget this round of alarmism, just as they have forgotten all that went before. Still, we are in for a long haul.

Never fail to speak up. You know when they finally come for you, there will be none left to speak the truth at all.

Watts Up With That?

Did SNL’s Tommy Flanagan Oversee the New Surface Temperature Data?

By Bob Tisdale and Anthony Watts, commentary from Dr. Judith Curry follows

There is a new paper published the journal Science about the recent slowdown in global surface warming (released from embargo today at 2PM eastern).  It is from Tom Karl and others at NOAA’s newly formed NCEI, National Centers for Environmental Information (a merger of three NOAA data centers: NCDC, NODC and NGDC) and from the government-consulting firm LMI.  The lead author is Tom Karl, Director of NCEI and Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR) of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).  The paper is Karl et al (2015) Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus.  “Possible” is obviously the key word in the title.

There is a big push by the American Association for the advancement…

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Keeping in mind the motivation behind the study was to increase EPA size and control, the findings are significant. Hydraulic fracturing is safe.

Eventually they will release a similar study, just as weasel-worded, that will admit fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes. Affect earthquakes, yes, at least sometimes, but not cause them. The earth moves and builds up stress. Sometimes it shakes to relieve it.

Watts Up With That?

Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark.

Via Politico – A much-anticipated EPA report on hydraulic fracturing hands a victory to the oil and gas industry by concluding that the extraction process has “not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” according to a draft copy of the agency’s release obtained by POLITICO.

The conclusions of EPA’s years-long fracking study may yet change ahead of their release later today, but they appear to bolster natural gas producers that are benefitting from Obama administration power plant rules.

[Note: this link to the draft copy report provided by Politico is broken, will update as soon as they do -Anthony]
UPDATE: link to EPA report below

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