Solar and Wind Energy Underestimated? Not.

2 Hours Ago by Ron Clutz

The first part of this post is a report that the IEA is accused of underestimating the amount of solar and wind power in recent years.  The second part presents analyses showing that media hype and misinformation lead the public to routinely overestimate the portion solar and wind contribute to power modern societies.

The IEA is under pressure about their wind and solar energy numbers, as reported at energypost.eu World Energy Outlook 2020: IEA responds to some difficult questions.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds

The IEA has issued an FAQ to try to answer some persistent questions and criticisms about their annual World Energy Outlooks (WEO). How come the growth of solar and wind have been consistently underestimated? When is “peak oil” going to happen? Will the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C this century? Is it realistic? Why has a “Net Zero Emissions by 2050” (NZE2050) pathway been added this year? Do the IEA scenarios rely too much on carbon capture? In this article the IEA forcefully emphasizes that a WEO “…is not, and has never been, a forecast of where the energy world will end up.” It’s to explore pathways. Only governments and citizens can make any of it a reality.

Regarding the NZE2050, “unparalleled changes across all parts of the energy sector would need to be realized simultaneously, at a time when the world is trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic”, something that is clearly not happening, says the IEA.

Q. The WEO has been accused of underestimating the growth of renewable energy technologies such as solar PV and wind. Why is this? And are its latest numbers more accurate?

A. This accusation results from a misunderstanding or mischaracterisation of the WEO’s scenarios, as outlined in the answer above. The spectacular growth of wind and especially solar PV over the past two decades has far outstripped many projections made during the period. This is true for the projections included in past editions of the WEO, which were based on the policies that had been put in place or proposed at the time of publication. Significant new policies that were announced subsequently changed the trajectories of wind and solar by generating new demand and investment, thereby helping foster technological advances and cost declines.

A good example of this is China, where policies and targets for solar strengthened dramatically after 2007, putting China on a path to becoming a driving force for solar worldwide.

The projections in this year’s WEO reflect the continuing technology advances and cost declines of wind and solar. In the STEPS, renewables meet 80% of the growth in global electricity demand to 2030. Solar is the main driver of growth, becoming the new king of electricity markets worldwide as it sets new records for deployment each year after 2022, followed by onshore and offshore wind. The advance of renewable sources of generation, and of solar in particular, is much stronger in the SDS, where solar generates 13 times as much electricity in 2040 as it did in 2019. Growth is even more rapid in the NZE2050.

So IEA answers the criticism by claiming a rosy future for renewables compared to past performance.  Left out is any reference to how small is the baseline, which makes easy impressive growth numbers.  Left out also is any measure of the proportion of total energy supply coming from renewables, specifically wind and solar, despite referring to solar as “the new king of electricity markets worldwide.”  That misleading lack of perspective is addressed in a previous post reprinted below.

Exaggerating Green Energy Supply (previous post)

As noted here before, public opinion surveys are often “push polls”, raising issues like climate change as part of an effort to promote public concern.  Such surveys also inform activists how successful or not has been the media messaging in generating belief and support for climate policy proposals.

Sometimes the questionnaires are manipulated to show the greatest possible public awareness and support..  For example, see:  The Art of Rigging Climate Polls.

Other times, the survey is used to chide the public for failing to buy into claims and propaganda prominently advanced in the media.  For example, see: “Hottest Year” Misdirection, where mainstream media claims 17 of the last 18 years were the hottest on record, while the public in 37 countries guessed only 9.  After checking the data, the correct answer is more likely 5.

That same survey, Perils of Perceptions, reported that in most countries the public overestimates how much green energy they consume.  That finding is the subject of this post.  As we will see, energy from renewables is perceived to be much higher than numbers from the World Bank. 

And since those numbers are themselves exaggerated, the gap between virtuous green behavior and performance is even greater than stated.

The renewable energy finding from Ipsos (here):

The majority of countries overestimate the amount of energy used that comes from renewable sources in their country. The average guess is 26% when it’s actually only 19%. Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China and Singapore were the furthest out; some countries, though, actually underestimate how much progress they have made with renewables, such as Sweden and Montenegro.

Now, 19% of energy consumed coming from renewables looks high to me, so let’s explore two of the countries:  Canada and the Netherlands.

First, The Canadian Story on Green Energy Supply

Question is Framed to be Misleading

Note that wind and solar power are presented as examples of renewable energy sources, when in reality hydro and nuclear are much larger sources of power (electricity). Note also respondents are led to confuse power with total energy, which is a much larger amount.

What is the Reality of Canadian Energy Supply (Consumption)

World Bank shows 22% of Canada’s total energy consumption was from renewables in 1990 and 2015.

Let’s test that number against the Canadian Energy Fact Book 2016–2017 (which presents 2014 as the latest statistics).  The categories are defined nicely in this diagram:

Working from the top down, first is the mix of total primary energy supply by source:

In this fact book, energy supply is equivalent to energy consumed, since it is calculated after adjusting for energy imports and exports. Note that 17.7% is the amount of energy from renewables, and hydro is 11.6%.   Let’s see how much of renewable energy comes from wind and solar:

So Canadians actually consume 4.35% of their renewable energy from wind and solar. 92% of Canadian renewable energy comes from the traditional sources:  Hydro dams and burning wood.

Combining the two tables, we see that 80% of the Other Renewables is solid biomass (wood), which leaves at most 1% of Canadian total energy supply coming from wind and solar.

Second, the Netherlands Green Energy Story

According to the Ipsos Perils of Perception survey, respondents from the Netherlands said on average 22% of their energy is Green, while the World Bank says only 6% comes from Green sources.  Last year there was a provocative and entertaining analysis of Dutch perceptions versus green energy realities broadcast on a popular Sunday morning TV show.  The episode was called Green Electrical Shocks, and is provided below for your enjoyment and edification.

Green Electrical Shocks

On Sunday Feb.4, 2018, a weekly news program aired in the Netherlands on the titled subject. H/T Climate Scepticism. The video clip is below with English subtitles. For those who prefer reading, I provide the substantial excerpts from the program with my bolds.

How many of you have Green Electricity? I will estimate 69%
And how much nationally? Oh, 69%!
So we are very average, and in a good way, because the climate is very important.

Let me ask: Green electricity comes from . . .?
Yes, electricity produced from windmills and solar panels.
Nearly 2/3 of the Dutch are using it. That’s the image.

Well I have green news and bad news.
The green news: Well done!
The bad news: It is all one big lie.
Time for the Green Electrical Shocks.

Shock #1: The green electricity from your socket is not green.
When I switched to green electricity I was very proud.
I thought, Yes, well done! The climate is getting warmer, but not any more thanks to me.

Well, that turned out to be untrue.
All producers deliver to one communal grid. Green and grey electricity all mix.
The electricity you use is always a mix of various sources.
OK. It actually makes sense not to have separate green and grey cables for every house.
So it means that of all electricity, 69% is produced in a sustainable way. But then:

Shock #2: Green Electricity is mostly fake.
Most of the green electricity we think we use comes from abroad.
You may think: So what. Green is green.

But that electricity doesn’t come from abroad, it stays abroad.
If you have green electricity at home, it may mean nothing more than that your supplier has bought “green electricity certificates”.

In Europe green electricity gets an official certificate,
Instead of selling on the electricity, they sell on those certificates.
Norway, with its hydro power, has a surplus of certificates.
Dutch suppliers buy them on a massive scale, while the electricity stays in Norway.

The idea was: if countries can sell those certificates, they can make money by producing more green electricity.
But the Norwegians don’t produce more green electricity.
But they do sell certificates.

The Dutch suppliers wave with those certificates, and say Look! Our grey electricity is green.
Only one country has produced green electricity: Norway.
But two countries take the credit.
Norway, because they produce green electricity, and the Netherlands because, on paper, we have green electricity. Get it? That’s a nice deal.

More and more countries sell those certificates. Italy is now the top supplier.
We buy fake green electricity from Italy, like some kind of Karma ham.

Now, let’s look again at the green electricity we all think we use.
So the real picture isn’t 69%. If you cancel the certificates, only 21% of electricity is really green.
Nowadays you can even order it separately if you don’t want to be part of that Norway certificates scam.
You may think: 21% green is still quite a lot. But it is time for:

Shock #3: Not all energy is electricity.
If you talk about the climate, you shouldn’t just consider electricity but all energy.
When you look at all energy, like factories, cars, trains, gas fires, then the share of consumer electricity is virtually nothing.
If you include everything in your calculation, it turns out that only 6% of all the energy we use in the Netherlands is green. It is a comedy, but wait:

Shock #4: Most green energy doesn’t come from sun or wind, like you might think.
Even the 6%, our last green hope, is fake. According to the CBS we are using more sun and wind energy, but most of the green energy is produced by the burning of biomass.
Ah, more than half of the 6% green energy is biomass.

Ridiculous. What is biomass really? It is organic materials that we encounter every day.
Like the content of a compost heap. How about maize leaves or hay?
The idea behind burning organic materials is that it will grow up again.
So CO2 is released when you burn it, but it will be absorbed again by new trees.

However, there is one problem. The forest grows very slowly and our power plants burn very fast.
This is the fatal flaw in the thinking about biomass. Power plants burn trees too fast, so my solution: slow fire. Disadvantage: it doesn’t exist. So this is our next shock.

Shock#5: Biomass isn’t all that sustainable.
It’s getting worse. There aren’t enough trees in the Netherlands for biomass.

In the USA forests are cut at a high rate, Trees are shredded and compressed into pellets.
These are shipped to the Netherlands and end up in the ovens of the coal plants.
It’s a disaster for the American forests, according to environmental groups.

So we transport American forests on diesel ships to Europe.
Then throw them in the oven because it officially counts as green energy.
Only because the CO2 released this way doesn’t count for our total emissions.

In reality biomass emits more CO2 than natural gas and coal.
These are laws of nature, no matter what European laws say.
At the bottom line, how much sustainable energy do we really have in the Netherlands?
Well, the only real green energy from windmills, solar panels etc. Is only 2.2%. of all the energy we use.

In Conclusion
So the fact that 2/3 of the audience and of all Dutch people use green electricity means absolutely nothing. It’s only 2.2%, and crazier still, the government says it should be at 14% by 2020.
They promised: to us, to Europe, to planet Earth: 14 instead of 2.2.

Instead of making a serious attempt to save the climate, they are only working on accounting tricks, like buying pieces of paper in Norway and burning American forests.
They are only saving the climate on paper.

Summary Comment

As the stool above shows, the climate change package sits on three premises. The first is the science bit, consisting of an unproven claim that observed warming is caused by humans burning fossil fuels. The second part rests on impact studies from billions of research dollars spent uncovering any and all possible negatives from warming. And the third leg is climate policies showing how governments can “fight climate change.”

It is refreshing to see more and more articles by people reasoning about climate change/global warming and expressing rational positions. Increasingly, analysts are unbundling the package and questioning not only the science, but also pointing out positives from CO2 and warming.  And as the Dutch telecast shows, ineffective government policies are also fair game.

More on flawed climate policies at Reasoning About Climate

#renewable-energy

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October 21, 2020 at 04:13PM

UN Climate Disaster Doubling Revisited

Guest essay by Pasi Autio 20th of October 2020

Couple of weeks ago a new United Nations report claimed doubling of natural disasters between periods 1980-1999 and 2000-2019:

Human cost of disasters

An overview of the last 20 years 2000 to 2019

GENEVA, 12 October 2020 – A UN report published to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on October 13, confirms how extreme weather events have come to dominate the disaster landscape in the 21st century.

In the period 2000 to 2019, there were 7,348 major recorded disaster events claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people (many on more than one occasion) resulting in approximately US$2.97 trillion in global economic losses.

This is a sharp increase over the previous twenty years. Between 1980 and 1999, 4,212 disasters were linked to natural hazards worldwide claiming approximately 1.19 million lives and affecting 3.25 billion people resulting in approximately US$1.63 trillion in economic losses.

Much of the difference is explained by a rise in climate-related disasters including extreme weather events: from 3,656 climate-related events (1980-1999) to 6,681 climate-related disasters in the period 2000-2019. 

The last twenty years has seen the number of major floods more than double, from 1,389 to 3,254, while the incidence of storms grew from 1,457 to 2,034. Floods and storms were the most prevalent events.”

Doubling of natural disaster events – this is bad. The conclusion was based on EM-DAT International Disaster Database (1) consisting of 22000 mass disasters in the world between 1900 and 2020.

The claim is so bold that this requires more thorough analysis of the original data. Everyone can access the EM-DAT database by registering as EM-DAT user. Access is free for non-profit organizations, so let’s do it.

After approval as an EM-DAT database user, I was able to download the whole database of disasters between 1900 and 2020. By just selecting natural disasters I got the Excel file of 15564 individual disasters, each as a line in the Excel. Data contains up to 43 different columns of information for each disaster – for most disasters only less than half of the columns has any data.

Let’s start by plotting a diagram of number of disasters each year between 1900 and 2020.

Figure: All natural disasters worldwide in EM-DAT database

It’s easy to see where the UN claim comes from. Indeed the natural disasters have increased considerably during years 2000-2019 compared to years 1980-1999. But at the same time we see the first hint of what is wrong: There is a gradual increase of natural disasters from 1940s level to today’s level. If you see this kind of data the first question you have is the reporting: How does the improved reporting and data collection affect the dataset?

Let’s plot the number of countries reporting at least one natural disaster per year between 1900-2020:

Figure: Countries reporting at least one natural disaster each year

From the list of countries reporting at least one disaster we can see huge increase of reporting countries during the years. Also the shape of the data is very similar to the total number of natural disasters plotted earlier.

During 1901, for example, there was only two countries in the database (Japan and Uganda) whereas during 2000-2019 the number of countries reporting was about 120 each year. Even the new data has a lot less than countries than there is countries in the world, so it is likely that even the years 2000-2019 are underreporting the actual natural disasters quite heavily.

To analyze further the results in the UN paper the years 1980-2019 are of specific interest. You can see significant increase of reporting countries between 1980 and 2000. After that the number is quite steady. You might think this is due changes like Soviet Union breaking to many different countries, so let’s analyze Soviet Union in more depth:

Figure: Natural disasters in Soviet Union for each year between 1900-1991

We can see that the Soviet Union was not the most open reporter of natural disasters to the EM-DAT database and the increase of countries reporting natural disaster during 1990s is not the result of Soviet Union breakup. And what is the likelihood of country with the size of Soviet Union having only 1-2 natural disasters per year? You can easily conclude that this database contains only small portion of real natural disasters what happened in Soviet Union. Just the forest fires should have tens of reported incidents every year.

And by the way, it seems that the same “issue” of not reporting disasters seems to affect all former Eastern Bloc countries; almost all of them has a huge increase of natural disasters in the database after breakup of Soviet Bloc at 1991. Yugoslavia, for example, reported 0-2 natural disasters per year, but the just Serbia alone is reporting more than that. Clearly the entry criteria is not comparable between pre- and post-Yugoslavia era.

What about China? China was specifically mentioned in the UN report as a country with significant increase of natural disasters:

Figure: Natural disasters in China for each year between 1900-2020

You can see that for years before 1980 there is no meaningful data in the EM-DAT database. The reporting increases gradually after 1980 and reaching “steady state” around year 2000.

For 1980 the database contains just 5 disasters in China: Four floods and one tropical cyclone (there where several cyclones making onshore at China during 1980). The peak year 2013 contains total of 43 disasters: Droughts, Extreme temperatures, Storms, Floods, Earthquakes. The effect of better reporting year-by-year can be easily seen. Communist China was not the most open reporter of natural incidents either.

How about USA? Modern western civilization must have really good disaster reporting already in 1980s, right?

Figure: Natural disasters in USA for each year between 1900-2020

For 1980 the database contains just 8 natural disasters in USA: 4 floods, 3 storms, one volcanic activity (St. Helens) and one heat wave.

No tornadoes are present in the database for 1980, but a little study from Wikipedia tells us that year 1980 was below average tornado year with 28 tornado deaths and several bad outbreaks such as 1980 Kalamazoo tornado outbreak and 1980 Grand Island tornado outbreak. In total the season had 866 reported tornadoes. So, the EM-DAT database is just missing all these events.

Speaking of tornadoes, let’s see how much tornado data is available in the EM-DAT database:

Figure: Number of tornadoes in USA for each year between 1900-2020

It seems that while tornadoes have been the issue in the USA all the time, only after end of 1980s there has been some level of data collection of tornadoes to the EM-DAT database. And even now only small number of tornadoes end up into EM-DAT database. I took year 2000 as an example: Based on EM-DAT there was 30 deaths due to tornadoes. But according to the Tornado season 2000 wiki page it should be 41.

According to the Wikipedia, the tornado year 2012 was about twice as harsh as year 2000 in number of tornadoes and death count was 69 during 2012 season. But the EM-data says year 2000 had more tornadoes fulfilling the entry criteria.

Also no wildfires are present in 1980 data for USA. More in-depth study would reveal some more wildfires, but at least Panorama Fire (1980) is missing from the database. In this fire 28,800 acres burned, destroying 310 homes and 67 structures, killing four people, and injuring 77 in north San Bernardino. Clearly an incident, which should be in database according to the entry criteria.

In USA it seems that only from 1990s forward the database has some level of credibility. Earlier data is simply too lacking to draw any meaningful conclusions about the increase or decrease of natural disasters. But even for recent data, you should not make any conclusions about the number of natural disasters in USA.

The same issue of underreporting on early years seems to affect almost every country I look into. The country I live in, Finland, has only three natural disasters in total in the database; two storms (1990) and one flood (2005). Living in Finland I can assure all readers that we have floods every year (especially with rivers in north we have flooding after every winter) causing material damage almost every year. We also have storms affecting tens of thousands every year usually causing material damage in the forests and lot of damages to the electricity distribution.

What is exactly the entry criteria for EM-DAT database:

Entry criteria: The reason for recording the disaster event into EM-DAT. At least one of the following criteria must be fulfilled in order for an event to be entered into the database:

  • Deaths: 10 or more people deaths
  • Affected: 100 or more people affected/injured/homeless.
  • Declaration/international appeal: Declaration by the country of a state of emergency and/or an appeal for international assistance

As you can see the entry criteria quite relaxed: With this criteria almost every F3 or higher tornado, for example, should be in database assuming it happened on populated area.

Thus, we can conclude that the database really does not have any credibility even today, but even less during 1980s and 1990s. I don’t know how the data collection has been organized, but for scientific analysis of natural disaster trends the EM-DAT database has no scientific value. Therefore also the conclusions in the UN report have not merit. All claims that UN made about the increase of natural disasters should be retracted.

Total damages

UN also reported the sizable increase of damages. Pielke Jr has a lot more scientific merits to say anything about the normalized damages (2) during the years, but we can still make some interesting observations about the EM-DAT data for damages:

It seems that only small part of the entries has any damage data in the database. In 1994, for example, a tropical storm hit Osaka in Japan. According to the database 1000 died and 6.5 million was affected. The cost of this event is missing. This is just one of the thousands of missing damage entries. Only about 1/3 of all entries in the database has any kind of damage estimate. How do you draw any conclusions from that?

Affected people

UN claims that during 1980-1999 natural disasters affected 3.25 billion people whereas during 2000-2019 4.2 billion people was affected. But they omit to discuss the population increases. The world population was:

  • 1980: 4.46 billion
  • 2000: 6.14 billion
  • 2019: 7.71 billion

We can make the rough estimation that during 1980-1999 the average population was 5.4 billion and during 2000-2019 the average population was 6.9 billion. More population should mean more people affected (and dead) due to natural disasters. 3.25 x (6.9/5.4) = 4.15 billion – thus the increase of people affected can be explained entirely with the world population increase. Actually even more, since most of the population increases tend to happen on natural disaster-prone areas such as India, Bangladesh and Africa.

But regarding EM-DAT dataset itself, almost 30% of the whole dataset is missing the affected people data. Older the data is, more of it is missing.

Data collection methods

While trying to find some information about the EM-DAT history, I found something interesting (3). The document released 2004 provides interesting insights of EM-DATA data sources during the years and will explain quite well what we saw above: Why the observations will explain the “increase” of natural disasters.

This diagram is from the document released by EM-DAT maintainers

Figure: Reporting sources for EM-DAT database between 1974-2002

Natural disaster reports are provided by a number of sources and there seem to be significant evolution of EM-DAT reporting scheme during the years. Significant “increase” of natural disasters by around 1999 seems to be explained entirely by a new source of data “specialized agencies”. Specialized agencies refer to sources like e UN World Food Programme, the World Health Organization or the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Thus, it seems that the data collection during the years has not been stable and based on scientifically stable sources.

Summary

  • EM-DAT database data is of poor quality in general
  • EM-DAT data collection methods have significantly evolved during the years rendering trend analysis totally invalid
  • UN report does not take in account the significant increase of world population, which by itself explains all increase of affected people
  • All conclusions made about the increase of natural disasters based on this database should be retracted

REFERENCES

  1. EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium – www.emdat.be (D. Guha-Sapir)
  2. Pielke, R. (2020). Economic ‘normalisation’ of disaster losses 1998–2020: a literature review and assessment. Environmental Hazards, 1-19.
  3. D. Guha-Sapir D. Hargitt P. Hoyois, Thirty years of natural disasters 1974-2003: the numbers, centre for Research on the Epidemiology https://www.unisdr.org/files/1078_8761.pdf

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October 21, 2020 at 04:40PM

Crisis Looms In Alarmist Climate Science

.
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How will they react if or when it turns out that ECS only exists in their imaginations anyway?

PA Pundits – International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Climate science is dominated by alarmists addicted to the idea that increasing carbon dioxide will cause dangerous global warming. How much warming is thus the central scientific question.

This question has been surprisingly difficult to answer despite 40 years of research, costing tens of billions of dollars. Now the issue is exploding because two different answers are emerging, one harmlessly low and the other dangerously high. This divergence is a crisis for the alarmist community. How they handle it remains to be seen.

What follows is a slightly technical explanation of the situation.

The issue centers on a benchmark estimate of the impact of increasing CO2 on global temperature. This is called the “equilibrium climate sensitivity” or ECS. The basic question is what will the global average temperature be when the CO2 level is double the supposedly original level of 280 ppm? That is, what…

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October 21, 2020 at 04:09PM

The systematic crime families of the USA

I’ve been in this business a long time and this is the biggest coverup I’ve ever seen, and the biggest scandal I’ve heard of.

Joe Biden’s a crook and has been for years…

– Rudi Guiliani

In the video below Guiliani spells out the extended Biden family network involved. He explains how politicians get rich by selling their national policy to the highest bidder but hide it by getting the payment sent through a network of family members and he (Rudi) has numbers and names. He mentions salacious disturbing footage, and points out that the FBI has all the photos, and so does China too, making the Bidens a national security risk.

Why didn’t Obama stop it? “There was a very similar scheme operated by the Clintons…”

The Democrats are better than Biden, says Guiliani.

Steve Bannon — It’s all coming out on Debate Night:

“We know this is serious because Joe Biden is now in the witness protection program. He’s in hiding. He doesn’t want to answer any questions. Not even from the soft supportive media. It’s all going to come out in Thursday night’s debate.”

Chinese Communist intelligence had access to the Vice President. The FBI has been sitting on this since December last year.

The FBI is getting involved in a Presidential election. Again. This is a major scandal. There is a set pattern over the last ten years… of the Biden family being involved in getting access for the Chinese Communist Party to the Vice President.

Lou Dobbs tonight (video above)– focuses on what the FBI should have done and what questions Biden and the FBI should be asked. Heard on the show “Biden makes Hilary look like an amateur when it comes to converting public office into private gain.”
….
The mainstream media backing off this is making it bigger. This is about getting people out to vote.

It’s not about Hunter Biden, this is about Joe Biden, compromised by the Communist Chinese Party.

When asked about the microphone being switched off Bannon replies: They’re not going to be able to mute Donald Trumps voice, just his microphone.

h/t Bill C.

PS Back to more normal programming soon, but the local blackout of news on this topic begs for attention, and in the end, a lot of science policy all over the world, quietly hinges on the voters on November 3.

….Rating: 9.7/10 (22 votes cast)

The systematic crime families of the USA , 9.7 out of 10 based on 22 ratings

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October 21, 2020 at 01:44PM

Request for Public Nominations for Authors and Scientific/Technical Inputs and Notice of Planned Public Engagement Opportunities for the Fifth National Climate Assessment

From federalregister.gov

A Notice by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on 10/15/2020

Document Details

Printed version: PDF

Publication Date: 10/15/2020

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Document Type: Notice

Document Citation: 85 FR 65433

Page: 65433-65435 (3 pages)

Agency/Docket Number: NOTICE: (20-082)

Document Number: 2020-22729

AGENCY:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION:

Request for public nominations for authors and scientific/technical inputs and notice of planned public engagement opportunities.

SUMMARY:

NASA, on behalf of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), is soliciting nominations for authors and scientific/technical inputs for the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5). Refer to the NCA5 Draft Prospectus (presented in a previous Federal Register Notice and accessible via www.globalchange.gov/​notices) for further information on the scope, topics, and overarching themes for the report. This document also serves as a notice of planned public engagement opportunities. NCA5 will adhere to the Global Change Research Act (GCRA), Information Quality Act, and Evidence Act requirements for quality, transparency, and accessibility as appropriate for a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment.

DATES:

Nominations should be submitted via the web address specified below and must be received by the close of this notice (30 days after publication). For best consideration, scientific/technical inputs should be submitted by the close of this notice but will be accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the planned 12-month initial report development process.

ADDRESSES:

Nominations for authors must be submitted electronically using a web form accessible via https://www.globalchange.gov/​notices. A short Curriculum Vitae (CV) of no more than four (4) pages must be included. Scientific/technical inputs should also be submitted electronically using a web form accessible via https://www.globalchange.gov/​notices.

Instructions: Response to this notice is voluntary. Responses to this notice may be used by the Government for program planning on a non-attribution basis. NASA therefore requests that no business proprietary information or copyrighted information be submitted in response to this notice. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for response preparation or for the use of any information contained in the response. Start Printed Page 65434

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chris Avery, U.S. Global Change Research Program, (202) 419-3474, cavery@usgcrp.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a National Climate Assessment (NCA) to Congress and the President not less frequently than every four years that “(1) integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the Program; (2) analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and (3) analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.”

To date, four NCAs have been released. The first NCA was published in 2000, and the second was published in 2009. The third NCA was published in 2014, and the most recent assessment, NCA4, was released in two volumes and completed in November 2018.

NCA5 development will be transparent and inclusive, offering opportunities for public participation throughout the process. The production and review processes are designed to result in a report that is authoritative, timely, relevant, and policy neutral; valued by authors and users; accessible to the widest possible audience; and fully compliant with the GCRA. In July 2020, comments were solicited through a 30-day request for information on the draft Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) Prospectus (https://www.federalregister.gov/​documents/​2020/​07/​10/​2020/​14904/​request-for-comment-on-the-draft-prospectus-of-the-fifth-national-climate-assessment). Comments received on the draft Prospectus informed the list of potential topics included in Section I of the current request.

Author nominees may be invited to serve as Chapter Lead Authors, Authors, or Technical Contributors to NCA5. Both federal and non-federal experts may serve as Chapter Lead Authors. Chapter Lead Authors will, with input and guidance from the Federal Steering Committee (FSC), establish author teams comprising federal and non-federal experts. A Federal Coordinating Lead Author selected by the FSC will serve as a liaison between the author team and federal agencies. For more information on author roles, see www.globalchange.gov/​nca5.

In addition, this request presents an opportunity to submit relevant scientific/technical inputs to inform the assessment. This request also outlines planned opportunities for the public to engage in the NCA5 development process.

Additional details and instructions for submitting nominations for authors and scientific/technical inputs are available at www.globalchange.gov/​notices. For the responsibilities and expectations of the different types of authors and contributors, please see www.globalchange.gov/​nca5. For more information about the NCA and for access to previous NCA reports and activities, please see www.globalchange.gov/​nca5.

All participation in and contributions to the NCA will be without compensation and will be potentially included in the publicly released NCA. By voluntarily participating in the NCA, you acknowledge the following understandings:

1. Participation in the NCA means facilitating the development of the NCA, contributing new work to the NCA, or contributing preexisting work for the NCA. Any such work will be incorporated into the NCA at the Federal Government’s discretion, including the possibility of modification, without any compensation and without redaction under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or otherwise.

2. All contributions to the NCA of text and original figures (those newly created for NCA and not previously published) will be released under the Creative Commons 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0). Such contributions will not be protected by copyright or other intellectual property rights. Data, algorithms/models, and software code used to create or support the creation of text and original figures will also be publicly released in connection with the NCA. In some cases, such data, algorithms/models, and software code may be subject to copyright restrictions prohibiting both their use for commercial purposes and the creation of derivative works, such as CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, but any such restrictions may not prohibit their use for the purpose of reproducing results.

3. Participants assume any and all risks associated with participation in the NCA. By participating, participants inherently waive all claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except for claims based on willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits (whether direct, indirect, or consequential) arising from participation in the NCA.

4. By participating, participants agree to indemnify the Federal Government in the event that it suffers liability or damages as a result of its use of the contribution.

I. Call for Nominations for Authors

Nominations are sought for authors with pertinent subject matter expertise and background in the natural or social sciences. Nominees should be accomplished scholarly writers with a demonstrated history of scientific and technical expertise and academic proficiency in at least one of the regions/climate-related topics delineated below. Nominations are encouraged from all non-governmental sectors (academia, not-for-profit, and private). Submissions must document that nominees have demonstrated technical backgrounds such that they could contribute to the development of a robust scientific and technical assessment as subject matter experts in one or more of the listed topics. In addition, individuals interested in being considered for chapter leadership positions should have experience with leading collaborative teams under deadlines. Authors volunteering to assist in writing NCA5 are providing an important service to the United States. The Global Change Research Act of 1990 calls for the preparation of this quadrennial report and directs that it be delivered to the President and the Congress. Author roles allow these volunteers to contribute to the premier national assessment of the state of the science regarding global change. In addition to providing an opportunity to inform policy, participation in NCA5 will allow authors to expand their professional networks and visibility, and to explore opportunities to create derivative products. The Federal Government will not provide financial compensation for these roles. The Federal Government is expected to provide travel costs to authors to attend meetings requested for NCA5. USGCRP is working to streamline processes in order to make the author role as easy and satisfying as possible. Formal acknowledgment will be provided to each author’s institution.

Responses to this request for nominations for authors must be submitted by 30 days from the opening of this notice. The nominations forms can be accessed via www.globalchange.gov/​notices. Interested persons may nominate themselves or third parties for these roles, and individuals may submit multiple nominations. Each nomination Start Printed Page 65435must include (1) the nominee’s full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information; (2) the nominee’s area(s) of expertise; (3) the proposed NCA5 topic(s) (see below) for which the nominee is qualified; (4) a short description of the nominee’s qualifications relative to contributing to the report; and (5) a current CV [maximum length four (4) pages]. Nominations with missing information, or for nominees who do not meet the eligibility requirements above, may not be considered.

NCA5 will attempt to address the full breadth of each topic and seeks a suitably diverse author pool, including experts representing the natural and social sciences, as well as traditionally underrepresented groups. Selection criteria for all author positions will consider technical expertise, disciplinary background, career status, and geographic representation. Nominees may be invited to serve as Chapter Lead Authors, Authors, or Technical Contributors to NCA5. Persons selected as Chapter Lead Authors will be informed after the close of the nominations window. Eligible nominees not selected as Chapter Lead Authors will be considered for roles as Authors or Technical Contributors.

In accordance with statutory language in the GCRA, NCA5 seeks authors with expertise in the areas of climate/earth system science, as well as sectoral, issue-specific, and regional impacts. This includes expertise in the following broad topic areas (subject to change):

  • Climate/earth system science expertise to integrate, evaluate, and interpret the latest scientific findings; discuss the associated uncertainties; analyze current trends in global change; and project major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.
  • Sectoral and issue-specific impacts expertise, including in the social sciences, to analyze the effects of global change on the natural environment (including terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems); agriculture (including food); energy production and use; land and water resources (including land cover/land-use change, forests, coasts, oceans, and terrestrial/marine resources); transportation; human health and welfare (including air quality); human social systems (including the built environment, urban/rural systems, cities, and economics); biological diversity; tribes and Indigenous peoples; and response.
  • Regional expertise that integrates across relevant natural and social science areas for the NCA regions (available at https://www.globalchange.gov/​nca5).

Further, authors are welcome to nominate themselves for topics not listed above that are consistent with the GCRA mandate.

II. Call for Relevant Scientific/Technical Inputs To Inform NCA5

Submissions of scientific/technical inputs are sought for NCA5. Relevant scientific and/or technical research studies—including observed, modeled, and/or projected global change and climate science information, as well as societal drivers, vulnerability, impacts, and responses—are requested. Scientific/technical inputs that are peer-reviewed and published, or accepted for publication, in journals and/or government reports are welcome. Please refer to the NCA5 topics list above to target submissions. Submissions of regional information and information for cross-cutting or new topics since NCA4 are encouraged. For best consideration, please submit by the close of this notice.

Submissions must be uploaded electronically via the link provided at www.globalchange.gov/​notices.

III. Notice of Planned Public Engagement Opportunities for NCA5

Multiple opportunities for public engagement to inform NCA5 will be presented throughout the report’s development. The following planned public engagement schedule is presented to notify the public of these coming opportunities. We note that the time ranges proposed are tentative and subject to change based on the timing of various development stages for NCA5.

  • Public comment on NCA5 annotated outline (Q2 2021)
  • Public engagement workshops and webinars (Q2 2021 through Q3 2021)
  • Public call for Review Editors (Q2 2022)
  • Public comment on NCA5 Third Order Draft (Q3 & Q4 2022)
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine peer review of NCA5 Third Order Draft (Q3 & Q4 2022)

Interested parties are invited to participate in these public engagement opportunities to ensure robust public input to NCA5. Specific dates and locations for all engagements will be provided on www.globalchange.gov/​notices as they are determined. Members of the public may also sign up to receive updates through USGCRP’s bimonthly newsletter at www.globalchange.gov/​newsletter-signup.

Karen St Germain,

Director of Earth Science.

[FR Doc. 2020-22729 Filed 10-14-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7510-13-P

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October 21, 2020 at 12:39PM

Environment Of Terror – 75% Would Not Publicly Post Mahomed Caricatures With Their Name, Address

Last week the beheading of a French school teacher by an Islamic terrorist in broad daylight shocked the world. Barbaric attacks on free speech and the exchange of ideas are taking place in Europe. Similar acts have occurred in other western countries in recent years.

The grisly death of the French teacher sends a clear message: Western citizens cannot feel safe expressing their views, not even at home – on their very own soil. Our governments have failed.

At Twitter I started an unofficial small survey, below, to get an idea of the extent of fear people harbor when it comes to expressing controversial views. According to Google Analytics, the vast majority of the readers at this site reside in Europe and North America.

The results, though not representative, are somewhat shocking. 75% say they would not post the Mahomed caricatures together with their name and address because they fear retaliation. This, in their home countries.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1318462136834793478&lang=de&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.com%2Fread%2Fblogs%2F121663784%2Fposts%2F79751&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Would you post the Mahomed caricatures with your name and address?

— Pierre L. Gosselin (@NoTricksZone) October 20, 2020

The terrorists have won the first battle in Europe

This tells us the terrorists are indeed winning and that our governments are failing to provide us with a sense of security when it comes to expressing views on controversial topics that need to be openly discussed.

Though the French police are clamping down hard on the radicals behind the heinous crime, citizens will remain convinced that free speech on particular topics is no longer safe and that the governments are unable to protect us.

Western citizens now believe that radical elements exist among us and that our governments have failed to keep them out and unable to do anything about until after tragedy happens. Radicalism has been allowed to stream through our borders and now it here terrorizing us. It’s here and it’s not going to go away. Our governments have absolutely no concept on how to uproot it. Now 75% are afraid to speak up publicly. How sad.

Freedom of expression and open discussion has already lost the first battle.

Additional reading (in German): www.spiegel.de

21.10.2020, Sachsen, Dresden: Blumen und Kerzen liegen unweit des Residenzschlosses vor einem Bauzaun an der Schlossstraße. Die tödliche Messerattacke auf zwei Touristen am 4. Oktober hat möglicherweise einen extremistischen Hintergrund. Die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Dresden hat die Ermittlungen gegen einen 20 Jahre alten Syrer übernommen. Es stehe eine islamistisch motivierte Tat im Raum, teilte die Staatsanwaltschaft Dresden am Mittwoch (21.10.2020) mit. Foto: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

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October 21, 2020 at 12:36PM