Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Obama Administration’s War on Fossil Fuels Is Taken To a New Level (of absurdity)

If you were writing a fiction novel and used the latest example of the Obama Administration’s war on fossil fuels, your editor would tell you to take the example out because it was not believable.  But it seems that for the Obama Administration nothing is too absurd:  The Wall Street Journal in an editorial published on 29 September says:  “The U.S. Attorney for North

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Dakota hauled seven oil and natural gas companies into federal court for killing 28 migratory birds that were found dead near oil waste lagoons. The fine can be up to $15000 and up to six months in jail for each bird killed.    The WSJ adds:”Absurdity aside, this prosecution is all the more remarkable because the wind industry each year kills not 28 birds, or even a few hundred, but some 440,000, according to estimates by the American Bird Conservancy based on Fish and Wildlife Service data. Guess how many legal actions the Obama Administration has brought against wind turbine operators under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act? As far as we can tell, it’s zero.”

I guess the Attorney General is too busy covering up the Solyndra affair to go after the wind industry.

h/t Junk Science  See here


The Federal Government Should Not Be Financing “Renewable Fuels” Projects

Much has been revealed in the recent weeks about Solyndra and the developing scandal that followed the bankruptcy of the company after having received a $523 billion dollar, low interest loan from the Obama Administration.  Much is yet to be learned, and it did not get advanced by the Top Officials of Solyndra pleading the 5th Amendment at the House of Representatives hearing on Friday 23 September.

The Institute for Energy Research condensed a report by ABC on the Solyndra fiasco in to 5 Reasons why the federal government should exit the finance business.  Those reasons are as follows:

First, the government loaned Solyndra money at a really, really low interest rate—a mere 1.025 percent quarterly. In fact, this was the lowest rate provided for any green energy project.

Second, this low rate was in spite of “red flags” about the risk of investing in Solyndra. One outside rating agency rated Solyndra only a B+ and another rated Solyndra only as “Fair” for credit worthiness.

Third, Obama’s Department of Energy announced the loans before the due diligence was complete and even after auditors raised concerns. But this was not for lack of attention because even the President visited the plant and praised Solyndra as an example of the future of energy.

Fourth, according to ABC News, “Solyndra’s most prolific financial backer is George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who was a bundler of campaign donations for Obama’s 2008 race. Kaiser’s Argonaut Ventures and its affiliates have been the single largest shareholder of Solyndra, according to SEC filings and other records.” This connection alone should have caused pause for the federal government when considering an expedited loan arrangement.

And last, and in my mind, by far the worst, Kaiser and his Argonaut Ventures are first in line to recoup their investment in Solynda in bankruptcy proceedings. As ABC News explains, “Energy officials confirmed this arrangement, saying that private investors including Kaiser would first recoup their $75 million, then the U.S. government would have a chance to recover $150 million of its investment. If any money is left, the private investors and the U.S. government would divvy up the remainder in equal shares.”

In sum, the Obama administration rammed through a half billion loan on very favorable terms to a shaky company, run by a George Kaiser, one of President Obama’s largest fundraisers. If Kaiser and his company made money with Solyndra, they would keep the profits and if Solyndra failed, as in this case, they still get their money back while the taxpayer is left holding the bag.”

Any Questions?


If They Could REALLY Model Global Climate Only One Model Would Be Needed

The chart below is from Dr Roy Spencer’s blog “Global Warming”.  It shows the output from 14 different climate models versus the CERES Global satellite measurement of heat loss into space.  This chart was assembled in response to criticism by Warmers that he had cherry picked the climate models he used to contrast their performance versus his work in a recently published paper in Remote Sensing. Following the post publication criticism, Dr Spencer has done a little tweaking but nothing that changes his conclusions.   See here  and here for discussion of this issue.

But this posting is not to review the bidding on Dr Spencer’s paper.   It is to talk about the Warmer’ Global Climate Models.  Whenever I see this assembly of Warmer Global Climate Models output, I wonder why anyone believes the predictions they make.  If they could REALLY model our global climate they would only need one model.   Instead, all 14 give different results!!!   Does that really instill you with a lot of confidence in their ability to do skillful prediction?    What the 14 models do is allow them to make predictions based upon the most extreme model output.  It also allows them to match just about any condition at any time with at least one of the models.  Think—-A stopped watch tells the right time two times a day.


Dr Evans:”Climate Models Are Violently At Odds With Reality”

Dr. David Evans has posted “Four Fatal Pieces of Evidence” demonstrating that using computer climate models as the basis for man-made global warming (AGW)  theory is,  in Dr. Evans’ view,  “violently at odds with reality”. He maintains there is “no empirical evidence that global warming is mainly man-made.  If there was, we would have heard about it.  Tens of billions of dollars have been spent looking for it.”Dr Evans uses four pieces of evidence to illustrate his position.

First: Evans examines the Climate Model predictions made by James Hansen (the so-called godfather of AGW) during his testimony to the US Congress in 1988.(click on chart to enlarge)

Evans says:”… the actual temperature rises are about a third of what he predicted. Remember, they have been saying the “science is settled” since the early 80’s, and the models now are essentially the same as they were then.

Furthermore, Hansen’s models predicted the temperature rise if human carbon dioxide emissions were cut back drastically starting in 1988, such that by year 2000 the atmospheric carbon dioxide level was not rising at all. But in reality, the temperature did not even rise that much. Which proves that the climate models don’t have a clue about the effect of carbon dioxide on world temperature.”

Second: Evans looks at ocean warming.  This is a better gauge of global warming than is measuring atmospheric temperature fluctuations.  The Argo Buoys were put into service in 2003.  The measurements of ocean temperatures prior to the Argo program are suspect in my view.  Nothing before 2003 remotely resembles the scope of Argo measurements.(click on chart to enlarge)

Evans says: the climate models predict the oceans should be warming. We’ve only been measuring ocean temperature properly since 2003, using the ARGO system. In ARGO, a buoy duck dives down to 2000m, slowly ascends and reads the temperatures on the way, then radios the result back by satellite to HQ. Three thousand ARGO buoys patrol the oceans constantly. They say that the ocean temperature since 2003 has been basically flat. Again, reality is very different to the climate models.

Thirdly: Evans looks at the “hotspot” which was  a climate computer prediction  which is the  Warmers’ proof of the positive feedback.  Feedback that is able to take a weak CO2 forcing signal and double or triple it.   Unfortunately for the advocates of this hypothesis, the hotspot does not exist.(click on chart to enlarge)

Evans says: “the climate models predict a particular pattern of atmospheric warming during periods of global warming. In particular, the most prominent change they predict is a warming in the tropics about 10 km up, the so-called “hotspot”. But we have been measuring atmospheric temperatures by weather balloons since the 1960s, and millions of weather balloons say there was no such hotspot during the last warming from 1975 to 2001. The hotspot is integral to their theory, because it would be evidence of the extra evaporation and thickening of the water vapor blanket that produces two thirds of the warming in the climate models…”

Fourthly:  Evans hits on one of the most discussed topic in recent times—that of outgoing radiation into space.    Note in the chart below that the top row left is the actual measurements of outgoing radiation by the stat elite ERBE program (Earth Radiation Budget Experiment-click here for more information.)   The other boxes are climate model predictions. (Chart source=Lindzen and Choi 2009)

Evans says: “satellites have measured the outgoing radiation from the earth and found that the earth gives off more heat when the surface is warmer, and less heat in months when the earth’s surface is cooler. Who could have guessed? But the climate models say the opposite, that the Earth gives off less heat when the surface is warmer, because they trap heat too aggressively (positive feedback). Again, the climate models are violently at odds with reality.”

Evans sums up saying:” Those are four independent pieces of evidence that the climate models are fundamentally flawed. Anyone one of them, by itself, disproves the theory of man-made global warming. There are also other, more complex, pieces of evidence. Remember, there is no direct evidence that man causes global warming, so if the climate models are wrong then so is the theory.”

Read all of Evan’s posting here.


Solar Cycle 24 August Update

Solar Cycle 24 August Sunspot and Solar Flux data continues to paint a picture of a much less active Sun when compared against the previous Cycle 23.

First, David Hathaway’s September edition of his sunspot predictions. Hathaway has a mid, high and low range chart with the actual data slightly below the mid-range forecast.  The Hathaway midrange predicts a maximum monthly high of about 70 Sunspots in early 2013.   Cycle 23 experienced a maximum monthly high of about 120 in 2001.

NOAA  sunspot prediction chart has only a single line which predicts a maximum monthly of about 90 sunspots.    It is shown below:

Solar flux through August appears to be trending below the NOAA prediction for Cycle 24.  The NOAA Cycle 24 solar flux prediction is for a peak of 140 in 2013.   This contrasts with  the Cycle 23 maximum of about 195 in 2002.    See the NOAA chart below:


Can We Really Call Climate Science A Science?

Can We Really Call Climate Science A Science?  That is the question asked in a Forbes Posting.  The author, Paul Roderick Gregory, cites the prevailing warmist’s narrative that says all but a tiny minority of scientist believes that global warming is man- made.  Gregory likens this to Stalin telling Trotsky (the dissident) it is what the poliburo says it is regardless if it is true or not.

Gregory  writes: The “warmist” consensus view of “climate science” is represented at a popular level by advocates like Al Gore and at the scientific and technical level by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as supported by researchers at East Anglia (Phil Jones) and Penn State (Michael Mann). This panoply of people and organizations is the equivalent of the Central Committee in my Stalin dialog above.   “Skeptics” (the equivalent of Trotsky above) are individual scientists and advocates who stake out positions at odds with the IPCC-Central Committee orthodoxy.

Gregory says that three recent events make him think of this Stalin analogy:

First, Ivar Giaever, the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, resigned from the American Physical Society over his disagreement with its statement that “the evidence (on warming alarmism) is incontrovertible.”

Gregory adds: The Giaever story starkly disputes warmist claims of “inconvertible evidence.   Despite the press’s notable silence on such matters, there are a large number of prominent scientists with solid scholarly credentials who disagree with the IPCC-Central Committee. Those who claim “proven science” and “consensus” conveniently ignore such scientists.

Second, the editor of Remote Sensing resigned and disassociated himself from a skeptical paper co-authored  by University of Alabama Climate Scientist Roy Spencer after an avalanche of criticism by “warmists.

The author believes that the Remote Sensing editor’s action was bizarre and unprofessional. He adds : In all fields of scientific inquiry, journal editors base their publication decisions on reports of referees, who are supposed to be experts in the area. Presumably, in the case of the Spencer paper, referees supported its publication.  Even if there had been a negative report, good editors often publish controversial papers to open a scholarly dialog. (Can anyone think of a topic that is more controversial and more in need of open scholarly dialog than global warming

Third, the New York Times and other major media are ridiculing Texas Governor Rick Perry for saying that global warming is “not proven.” Their message: Anyone who does not sign on to global warming alarmism is an ignorant hayseed and clearly not presidential material.

Regarding the criticism of Rick Perry he says: The media is tarring  and feathering  Rick Perry, we now see,  for agreeing with Nobel laureate Giaever and a host of other prominent scientists.  I guess if Perry is a know-nothing Texas hick (or worse, a pawn of  Big Oil) so is every other scientist who dares to disagree with the IPCC Central Committee. Such intimidation  chillingly makes politicians, public figures, and scientists fearful of deviating one inch from orthodoxy.

He summarizes this situation saying: False claims of consensus and inconvertible truth reveal a political or ideological agenda wrapped in the guise of science.  The incontrovertible bad behavior of the warmists has led skeptics to suspect base motives, and who could blame them.

And I will add that this is why the skeptics suspect the base motives  of the warmist’s allies —- the mainstream media.

Read this Gregory’s full post by clicking here


CFL Bulb Prices Going Up

A Junk Science posting says that:

China has crimped the supply of rare earth metals causing CFL light bulbs to rise in price by 37% this year.

According to the New York Times report,

By closing or nationalizing dozens of the producers of rare earth metals — which are used in energy-efficient bulbs and many other green-energy products — China is temporarily shutting down most of the industry and crimping the global supply of the vital resources…

General Electric, facing complaints in the United States about rising prices for its compact fluorescent bulbs, recently noted in a statement that if the rate of inflation over the last 12 months on the rare earth element europium oxide had been applied to a $2 cup of coffee, that coffee would now cost $24.55…

China says it has largely shut down its rare earth industry for three months to address pollution problems. By invoking environmental concerns, China could potentially try to circumvent international trade rules that are supposed to prohibit export restrictions of vital materials.

If you haven’t already said your morning curses, don’t forget to condemn the 110th Congress for passing the incandescent bulb ban, George W. Bush for signing it, and the the 111th and 112th Congresses and Barack Obama for failing to reverse the ban.

One more green initiative that has gone wrong.


U.S.Chamber of Commerce to Pres. Obama–How to Create Jobs

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to President Obama and Congress on creating jobs.The letter’s purpose is stated as follows:


The most immediate priority facing our nation is to create jobs for the 25 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, or have simply given up looking for work.

To create jobs, we must enact policies that promote and sustain stronger economic growth. We must also address extraordinary fiscal and competitive challenges that are smothering growth and driving away jobs. At the same time, there are specific steps Congress and the administration can take right now to spur faster job growth in America’s private sector without adding to the deficit.

The letter has a number of sections. I have picked out one of them that relates to the Climate Change Sanity blogs theme:


Let American energy workers and businesses responsibly develop all sources of domestic energy immediately. This will not only create jobs but will generate new government revenues, protect our energy security, and release us from the grip of some unfriendly governments.

                              Open offshore resources. Almost 190,000 new jobs could be created by 2013 if permitting in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore development returned to pre-moratorium levels. In Alaska, opening up energy production off the coast would create 54,700 jobs.

                              Expand access on federal lands. By expanding oil and gas exploration on federal lands, we could create 530,000 jobs, reduce imports by 44% by 2025, and increase government revenues by $206 billion.

                              Promote development of natural gas. Expanding the development of the nation’s massive shale gas deposits would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help bring manufacturing back to the United States, especially in the chemicals and steel industries.

By 2020, natural gas production in Western Pennsylvania alone could create 116,000 new jobs, generate more than $2 billion in government revenues, and add $20 billion to the region’s economy.

                        Approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline connecting Canada to U.S. refineries in Texas would support 250,000 jobs, boost investment in the United States by $20 billion, and generate government revenues totaling $585 million.

Well said, and certainly in line with yesterday’s posting see here.

The other letter sections are as follows and worth reading:

  • Expand Trade and Global Commerce
  • Speed Up Infrastructure Projects
  • Welcome Tourists and Business Visitors to the U.S.
  • Speed Up Permits and Provide Regulatory Certainty and Relief
  • Pass Tax Incentives That Create Jobs While Increasing Revenues




One Billion Motor Vehicles And Peak Oil noted that in August, Wards Auto published a story saying that World motor vehicle count now stands at 1 billion.  The U.S. still has the largest registration at about 240 million.   In the blog, the author considers what 1 billion vehicles and the likelihood of even more being added in the next 25 years might mean. It is interesting reading.  He seems to favor governmental intervention to ameliorate supply (read PEAK OIL) versus demand for fossil fuels.   He says:

It is highly unlikely that there will be anything approaching 240 million registered vehicles in the U.S. 25 years from now. From the vantage point of 2011, it seems probable that many will not be able to afford to own and operate personal motor vehicles of the size and types we have today.

He thinks that the newly mandated CAFÉ standard is just what we need and that we will have to abandon 6 passenger cars and other large sized vehicles. He says:

  In the U.S. we are now facing standards requiring that cars achieve an average of 54.5 MPG 15 years from now. First will come all sorts of weight reductions, such as eliminating spare tires, and adding more plastic and aluminum parts. Engines will become more efficient and car bodies will become more aerodynamic.  Although these changes will be costly, it does not take much arithmetic to conclude that if energy costs are three or four times higher than they are today then mileage will become the key factor by which motor vehicles are judged.

Detractors of these new mileage standards are usually people who have little grasp, or prefer not to think about where real energy costs are going to be 15 years from now. They point out the advanced materials required to build a low-weigh, high mileage, vehicles will be so great that it will push cars beyond what many, if not most, can afford.  

Due to governmental interference, the U.S. is facing an artificial Peak Oil problem.   This artificial Peak Oil Problem is really a part of the Peak Energy Problem that governmental interference is causing.    We have a lot of fossil fuels.  The U.S has the largest reserve of fossil fuels in the world.  It is likely that North America could become energy independent.  Yes, no propping-up Venezuela nor other countries that don’t have our best interest in mind.   And what a break for our balance of payments.  Becoming completely energy independent might possibly be the wrong thing to do because the prices of crude oil could fall below our production cost thanks to the U.S. bringing on more production capacity.  I don’t want the government to dictate how much crude we should produce or purchase.  Let the market decide whether we produce or buy.

Peak Oil will come sometime, but not in the near future.  What the U.S. is facing is an ideological, artificial Peak Oil problem.   The Obama administration gives money to “renewable fuels” programs and tells us that we must do this to reduce the purchase of foreign crude.   How the government thinks they can do this with renewable fuels is beyond comprehension.  Renewable fuels, are now neither economic nor reliable enough to do that.  In fact, the electrical grid people that distribute the nation’s electricity have found it necessary to have fossil fuel powered back-up capacity equal to the wind or solar capacity.  The renewables can’t be scheduled, meaning their supply is too erratic to provide steady voltage and current.  The wind slows down or stops or the sun goes behind clouds and the former balance of supply and demand goes south. They have to have something as a backup to keep the lights on.  Their second argument is that fossil fuels not be used as combustion results in C02.   The fossil fuel back-up capacity blows that argument.  See here and here to read about the folly of renewable fuels.

The Radical Environmentalists fight every attempt to develop our resources.   Oil in Alaska, offshore oil, oil in the Baaken field, nuclear power, low cost coal,etc..  It doesn’t matter, they are against it.   They use global warming, polar bears, darter fish, left-handed ground squirrels  (I guess I made that one up) and one of my favorites–the Houston toad.    According to some reports only 300 Houston Toads remaining in the world and they have been placed on the endangered species list.  “A world without the Houston toad ... is not a world we can physically live in,” says Paul Crump, a reptile and amphibian keeper at the Houston Zoo who works with the small brown toads.  Who knew?  The world is on the way to a collapse. More dangerous issue than the Osama binLaden threat so lets get the Seal Teams to see nothing bad happens to those warty little buggers. (SARC).

Fracking and the oil pipeline from Canada are the causes du jour for the radical environmental crowd.   It is patently clear that they will only be satisfied when this country is reduced to a third world status.   And our Government supports their activities through the EPA and other departments.  God Bless Michelle Bachmann and her vow to eliminate the EPA if she is elected President.  If she is not, she should be given the job as the EPA Administrator.

We will run out of economically recoverable oil some day.  Same for natural gas, iron ore, etc.  But the many forecasts made by experts about when the oil peak would occur have always been vastly overstated.

We quoted The author saying that in 15 years the price will be 3 to 4 times higher than today.  It could happen but only if we just sit back and let it happen.  For a more realistic assessment of the Peak Oil tipping point, lets look at what has been said on a posting titled “Oil’s Price Always Comes Down.”

Five years ago, I believed in the Peak Oil theory. It postulated that global oil production would peak in 2006, and the following shortage would send prices skyrocketing. Sure enough, in 2008 a barrel of oil shot up to $150.

But less than 12 months later, oil plummeted to less than $40 a barrel. Yes, the price now is back up to $100, but I no longer believe in Peak Oil. Here’s why:

Brazil recently discovered massive oil reserves off its coast that match or beat Saudi Arabia’s. Brazil will start tapping those reserves before this decade is out. In Iraq, infrastructure is being put in place to increase oil production six or seven times greater than today, potentially making it the largest oil producer in the world.

And in the U.S., a new drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing is the mother of all game changers. (My emphasis)  Texas wildcatters figured out a way easily extracting natural gas and oil from shale. Using high-pressure water and sand, they fracture the shale, releasing trapped gas. As a result, the U.S. has added 100 years of natural gas use (at current rates), and the price of natural gas has fallen to nearly half from its peak in 2008.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it’s also called, is controversial. Some environmentalists have seized on it as the next great danger to the planet. A documentary called “Gasland” probably will win an Academy Award for hysterically pointing out the dangers of fracking.

Of course, “Gasland” approaches its topic with the impartiality and evenhandedness of pseudo-documentaries such as “Roger and Me” and “Who Killed The Electric Car?” So far, fracking has been done mostly in the U.S., but it soon will spread to the rest of the world. (My emphasis) Before this decade is out, we are going to see vast increases in the amount of oil and natural gas available. And this will have enormous implications for the auto industry and policy planners.

Closing out is a good time to call for a lesson from “Minnesotans 4 Global Warming”.


China Is Having Doubts About EVs

While the US government doesn’t seem to be reconsidering their push behind Electric Vehicles (EVs), ($7500 rebates for buyers of an EV), the Chinese government apparently is considering abandoning their plan of a singular focus on EVs to one of a much broader consideration of ways to reduce transportation fuel use.

From AutoblogGreen:

Beijing – and in some ways, the whole of China – had set out to leapfrog conventional engine technology by developing and manufacturing huge amounts of electric vehicles. In particular, the city had hoped its push to develop plug-ins would give it an advantage over the West in electric vehicle technology. But hopes and dreams don’t always jive with reality.

AutoblogGreen adds this:

Forbes presents a compelling story on this notion that China and its sole focus on electric vehicles don’t mix. Here’s a particularly striking excerpt:

Take Warren Buffett. In September 2008, the “Oracle of Omaha” took a 10-percent stake in BYD, the Shenzhen-based battery and vehicle maker, for $200 million. The move landed him on the cover of Fortune in 2009, inside the company’s e6 model with the now-famous caption, “Warren Buffett hasn’t just seen the car of the future, he’s sitting in the driver’s seat.”

But was he really sitting in the vehicle of future? Forbes says BYD has sold a grand total of 53 (!) e6s since March of 2010, with nearly all of those going to local taxi companies, which leads us to this question: How can a vehicle that doesn’t sell represent the future?

Letting the market place decide seems to have a supporter, but it is odd that it is the Chinese marketplace not the American.