The Week That Was: 2020-12-12 (December 12, 2020)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: “Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.” – Alexander Hamilton
Number of the Week: 17,000
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Misleading Data: Writing for the CO2 Coalition, Richard Lindzen and John Christy address surface temperatures and the global mean temperature anomaly, which are used for the global climate models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers to claim frightening global warming from emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by humans. In the executive summary they state:
“At the center of most discussions of global warming is the record of the global mean surface temperature anomaly—often somewhat misleadingly referred to as the global mean temperature record. This paper addresses two aspects of this record. First, we note that this record is only one link in a fairly long chain of inference leading to the claimed need for worldwide reduction in CO2 emissions. Second, we explore the implications of the way the record is constructed and presented and show why the record is misleading.
“This is because the record is often treated as a kind of single, direct instrumental measurement. However, as the late Stan Grotch of the Laurence Livermore Laboratory pointed out 30 years ago, it is really the average of widely scattered station data, where the actual data points are almost evenly spread between large positive and negative values.
“The average is simply the small difference of these positive and negative excursions, with the usual problem associated with small differences of large numbers: at least thus far, the one-degree Celsius increase in the global mean since 1900 is swamped by the normal variations at individual stations, and so bears little relation to what is actually going on at a particular one.
“The changes at the stations are distributed around the one-degree global average increase. Even if a single station had recorded this increase itself, this would take a typical annual range of temperature there, for example, from -10 to 40 degrees in 1900, and replace it with a range today from -9 to 41. People, crops, and weather at that station would find it hard to tell this difference. However, the increase looks significant on the charts used in almost all presentations, because they omit the range of the original data points and expand the scale in order to make the mean change look large.”
Thus, based on the physical evidence used by the IPCC and its followers, the fear of CO2 causing dangerous warming is based on a statistical interpretation of the evidence coupled by a chain of interpretations that is highly questionable. The chain of reasoning is extremely weak. Terming the evidence “robust” and the science “settled” is absurd.
Lindzen and Christy use the BEST series of surface temperature anomalies of almost 3000 stations with at least 100 years of continuous observations to present a series of graphs. These graphs include annual temperature anomalies, seasonal temperature anomalies, and the averages (means) of these sets of data. The authors state:
“In order to obscure the fact that the global means are small residues of large numbers whose precision is questionable, the common presentations plot the global mean anomalies without the scattered points and expand the scale so as to make the changes look large. These expanded graphs of global means are shown in Figures 5 and 6”. [For the figures see the link to the paper.]
But by expanding the scale of the minor increases in temperatures, the advocates introduce a problem they fail to address:
“We also see a reduced rate from 1998 (best seen in Fig. 6) until the major El Niño of 2016 occurred. Even if one could attribute all the 1978-1998 warming to the increases in CO2, the slowdown clearly shows that there is something going on that is at least as large as the response to CO2. This contradicts the IPCC attribution studies that assume, based on model results, that other sources of variability since 1950 are negligible.” [For the figure see link to paper.]
The IPCC and its followers dismiss natural variation which, historically, is many times greater than the modest amount of surface warming that has occurred since 1950. Their evidence contradicts their claims. Further, since 1979 when appropriate satellite observations began, the surface warming has been greater than atmospheric warming, thus the additional warming must be coming from an additional source than greenhouse gases. Most likely, the greatest source is the urbanization and changing land use, which are dismissed by the IPCC.
The authors conclude with an interesting composite graph (Figure 9) showing the range of temperature changes in fourteen US cities. Reading from left to right, the graph shows a miniscule increase for the last 120 years, a slightly larger increase from 8 am to 10 am, a greater increase. Increases continue according to data selection; such as from sunrise to afternoon, yearly average of coldest to hottest, etc.. Humans experience these changes annually, yet the IPCC and its followers claim that a miniscule increase is frightening? In concluding, the authors state:
“At the very least, we should keep the large natural changes in Figure 9 in mind, and not attribute them to the small residue, the global mean temperature anomaly, or obsess over its small changes.”
To simplify some of the graphs, writing in WUWT, David Middleton puts a household thermometer next to them to show how tiny the “dire global warming” is. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.’
Censorship: In the editor’s note to the Lindzen and Christy paper, Caleb Rossiter, Executive Director of the CO2 Coalition, writes:
“When I became executive director of the Coalition two years ago, I never imagined that we would be chosen by the authors of such a paper as their publisher. Instead, I would have thought that this type of detailed piece, while written in an accessible style, would have appeared in a scholarly journal.
“However, the CO2 Coalition seems to have become a “publisher of last resort” for scholarly work that falls outside an enforced, dual narrative: that there is an existential climate crisis from emissions of industrial warming gases, and that society can replace the fossil fuels that are the source of those emissions with wind and solar power, at no cost to our economy or health.
“As with recent papers by economist Dr. Bruce Everett (The Social Cost of Carbon: Pick a Number, Any Number; and Do Government Policies Favoring Fossil Fuels Hamper the Development of Wind and Solar Power?) and physicists Dr. William Happer and Dr. W.A. van Wijngaarden (Methane and Climate), the authors of this paper decided that finding a home in the standard journals of their profession, in which they have published for decades, might take too much time and in fact not prove successful at all.
“Why? I regret to report that there has been a steady, silent takeover of academic publishing in science and economics by the “climate crisis” and “easy to change sources” narrative. So, this paper, which in earlier days would have, as a matter of course, been published by a scholarly journal, now finds a home with our advocacy group.
“Fortunately for our readers, both among experts and in the general public, we also rely on peer review, with rigor and expertise equal to that of the professional journals. And I believe that our process provides far better expertise than that of UN and U.S. governmental reports on climate science and energy economics, which are ultimately edited by a non-specialist bureaucracy and approved by governments. Our reviewers are the full board and selected members of the Coalition, a number of whom have been peer reviewers for the scholarly journals, the UN IPCC and agencies of the U.S. Government.”
Rossiter’s statement is well put. Scholarly journals now act as censors preventing “undesirable” ideas from reaching the public no matter how factual or scientifically important they are. Once notable scientific journals have shown they prefer government approval and acceptance by boisterous politicized advocates to applying the scientific method in analyzing the suitability of a paper. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Incorrect Physics? After TWTW began commenting on the work of van Wijngaarden and Happer on the greenhouse effect and the extension of that work by Howard Hayden, several readers stated that they too have trouble getting their work published. They use different databases such as MODTRAN rather than HITRAN used by van Wijngaarden & Happer to arrive at their conclusions that the greenhouse effect is greatly overestimated,
The global climate models are modified weather models which have many issues: they cannot predict more than ten days to two weeks in advance, often far less. They must be updated at least daily or several times a day. The long-term prediction value of such modeling is highly suspect. Weather is subject to many more influences than the greenhouse effect. The work of Lindzen and Christy, above, shows how difficult it is to extract a clear signal from noisy land-surface temperature data that is considered the finest (BEST). It may be that the approach by the climate modelers is simply the wrong approach to capture the greenhouse effect in the noisy data.
The issue is to understand the impact on global temperatures from increasing greenhouse gases such as CO2. Rather than apply the physics of weather change to capture this influence, a better physics may be Atomic, Molecular and Optical physics (AMO). Over the next several weeks TWTW will attempt to simplify the work of van Wijngaarden & Happer and Hayden so that it is more understandable to the general reading public. TWTW is edited by reviewers competent in the needed science. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Greenland Heat: Antarctica has four volcanoes above the ice and extensive geothermal hotspots below the ice along the Antarctic Peninsula and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Much of the fear of CO2-caused sea level rise from Antarctic melting stems from a misunderstanding of the role of geothermal activity in melting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which may take thousands of years. Over this time a new cooling may begin.
Based on newly published research, the feared melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet may be from geothermal activity deep in the earth well below the ice. The Greenland plume (column) of geothermal heat is associated with the Svalbard plume and the Iceland plume. The cause of the Iceland heat is easily seen by tourists. Stopping human CO2 emissions will do nothing to stop geothermal heat. See links under Changing Earth and https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/new-antarctic-heat-map-reveals-sub-ice-hotspots/
Hurricane Season: Hurricane season has ended with press claims that was the busiest season ever. The busiest aspect of the season was naming storms that no one bothered to name before. Neil Frank, the past director of the National Hurricane Center, describes the types of a) tropical disturbances usually associated with hurricanes and b) disturbance originating in the subtropics (outside the Tropics with latitudes between 23º and 35º north and south of the Equator), called baroclinic disturbances. He writes:
“The number of named storms generated by tropical disturbances has not decreased, but there has been a significant increase in the number of named storms generated by baroclinic disturbances. Has there been a change in the philosophy of naming baroclinic-driven, winter-like storms that occur in the summer? If so, does this contaminate the historical record of Atlantic hurricanes, making more the numbers for the last 25 years not directly comparable with the numbers for the previous 50?”
“With all of the uncertainties in the raw data, the only credible indicator of any trend in Atlantic hurricane activity is to look at the major hurricanes (Categories 3–5) making landfall in mainland USA. A tropical storm or even a weak hurricane might have hit a sparsely populated region in the 1800s or the early 1900s and gone undetected. In contrast, all major hurricanes with winds in excess of 110 mph crossing the U.S. coastline in the last 175 years have probably been recorded.
“Contrary to the claim that global warming is causing more named storms, over the past several decades the number of major hurricanes hitting the U.S. coastline has fallen. There were none for twelve years (2005–2017). This was the longest period on record without a major hurricane. On average, one major hurricane crosses the U.S. border every two years.
“In contrast to mainstream media claims, there has been no increase in Atlantic hurricane activity in recent decades. As a matter of fact, world-wide there has been a 5–10% decrease in hurricane-type storms in the last 50 years.”
In their comments, Madhav Khandekar and Tom Harris make an interesting observation for those who live along the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Coast:
“The fact that hurricanes and other tropical cyclones are not caused, or even significantly enhanced, by man does not give us an excuse to do nothing about them, however. Florida and Texas need to engage in ‘vertical evacuation’ by building multistory storm shelters that allow residents to take refuge above the storm surge, instead of today’s ineffective ‘horizontal evacuation,’ forcing people to flee the waves on clogged highways. The U.S. should look to India’s storm shelter network for an example of success in this regard—no one need walk more than one kilometer anywhere on India’s coast to get to a shelter. If India can afford it, why not the U.S.?”
In many areas, concrete and steel multistory buildings make great sense for protecting the public. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Changing Weather.
SEPP Not SPPI: A Climate Denier Roundup by Daily Kos demonstrates fact checking or the lack thereof. It states:
“Even before Fred Singer’s passing this year, his Science and Public Policy Institute, once a leading denial organization, had been silent since early 2019.”
Fred Singer has never been associated with the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI). He was the founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). Readers of TWTW can be assured that SEPP continues to speak loudly. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
Balanced Budget Multiplier: Perhaps one of the worst of many bad ideas coming from applying mathematics to the general ideas expressed by Lord Keynes was the balanced budget multiplier. Using mathematics, economists claimed government can expand the economy by increasing taxation and by increasing spending by the same amount. A strong advocate was the highly influential Paul Samuelson, who received the Nobel Prize for economics. Samuelson also advocated that the economy of the Soviet Union was comparable to that of the US because its military was comparable. The economic policies of Soviet Union were a perfect example of the balanced budget multiplier, government takes and spends all. Until the Soviet Union imploded.
In his column in the Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler discusses the folly of using budget multipliers that have not been carefully validated. See Article # 2.
A Real Budget Multiplier? In the UK, a real budget multiplier is appearing. In its net-zero plan, as government is committing more to wind and solar power, the costs to the consumer are escalating rapidly. As Andrew Montford writes:
“Apart from the secrecy over a matter of vital public concern, even a brief consideration of what needs to be done shows that all of the Whitehall estimates are so absurdly low as to smack of an almost complete lack of numeracy, or worse, a complete lack of honesty, among senior civil servants.”
Paul Homewood writes about the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget:
“The UK only accounts for 1% of global emissions, so whatever we do will have no effect at all on the climate. Meanwhile, despite COVID, this year China has continued to build new coal power stations, increasing its generating capacity by 3%. In the last two years, the rise in China’s emissions of carbon dioxide has exceeded our total emissions.”
See links under Questioning European Green
Governor Nos: According to WorldoMeters, as of Dec 11. the death rate in the US from those with COVID-19 is 922 per one million (less than 0.1 %). Most deaths have other complications such as age. According to the CDC, the 1918-19 death rate of US citizens from “Spanish Flu” was about 6,500 per million (more than 6 times greater). Yet, today, governors are declaring extreme limitations on liberties today, far beyond what they declare in the past? This punishment of the public has little relationship to the reality of the virus. See Article # 1 and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
Anthropocene: In attempting to claim we are in a new era called the Anthropocene two Professors of Paleobiology, the biology of fossil animals and plants, begin with:
“Our deficiencies have always driven us, even among our distant ancestors, back in the last Ice Age. Having neither the speed and strength to hunt large prey, nor sharp teeth and claws to tear flesh, we improvised spears, flint knives, scrapers. Lacking a thick pelt, we took the fur of other animals.”
They conclude with:
“Since the mid-20th century, the Earth has been set on a new, human-driven trajectory – one that is leaving the stable conditions of the Holocene Epoch, and is entering the uncertain, and rapidly changing, new world of the Anthropocene. The weight of evidence, here, seems unarguable.”
Apparently, one cannot assume that Professors of Paleobiology know that humans evolved in the Tropics of Africa and that the International Commission on Stratigraphy used physical data to divide the Holocene Epoch into three parts, each marked by a significant cooling: Greenlandian (11,700 years ago to 8,200 years ago), Northgrippian (8,200 years ago to 4,200 years ago) and Meghalayan (4,200 years ago to the present). See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Number of the Week: 17,000. Historian John Robson discusses that the high estimate of carbon dioxide emissions by the UN IPCC, called Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5, is so extreme that it is untenable, totally impossible. He states that in work published in May, Roger Pielke Jr. and Ritchie Justin found that about 17,000 published papers used this indefensible estimate. As Pielke and Justin write:
Climate science research and assessments have misused scenarios for more than a decade. Symptoms of this misuse include the treatment of an unrealistic, extreme scenario as the world’s most likely future in the absence of climate policy and the illogical comparison of climate projections across inconsistent global development trajectories.
Thus, the papers use indefensible high-end estimates of CO2 emissions and climate models that cannot be validated and greatly overestimate the influence of CO2 on temperatures. What should such papers be called – fictionalized science or science fiction? See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
New sunspot cycle could be one of the strongest on record, new research predicts
By Laura Snider, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Phys.org, Dec 7, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Link to paper: Overlapping Magnetic Activity Cycles and the Sunspot Number: Forecasting Sunspot Cycle 25 Amplitude
By Scott W. McIntosh, Springer, Nov 24, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Uses a new hypothesis on marking the termination of solar cycles. See link immediately below.]
‘Terminators’ on the Sun trigger plasma tsunamis and the start of new solar cycles
By Laura Snider, National Center for Atmospheric Research, July 24, 2019
Link to paper: What the Sudden Death of Solar Cycles Can Tell Us About the Nature of the Solar Interior
By Scott W. McIntosh, Robert J. Leamon, Ricky Egeland, Mausumi Dikpati, Yuhong Fan & Matthias Rempel , Solar Physics July 9, 2020
Link to second paper: Triggering The Birth of New Cycle’s Sunspots by Solar Tsunami
By Mausumi Dikpati, Scientific Reports, Feb 24, 2019
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
Peter Ridd: It’s the science that’s rotten, not the Great Barrier Reef
By Peter Ridd, The Australian, Via GWPF, Dec 7, 2020
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels
By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019
Download with no charge:
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge:
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data
By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases
By W. A. van Wijngaarden and W. Happer, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics, submitted June 4, 2020
Link to prepublication version: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.03098.pdf
By Howard “Cork” Hayden, Energy Advocate, Accessed Nov 27, 2020
By R. McKitrick and J. Christy, Earth and Space Science, July 15, 2020
John Christy: We don’t ‘attack science’
By John Christy, Alabama State Climatologist, AL.com, Nov 25, 2020
The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record
How it works and why it is misleading
By Richard S. Lindzen and John R. Christy, CO2 Coalition, December 2020
CO2 Coalition: “The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record How it works and why it is misleading”
By David Middleton, WUWT, Dec 8, 2020
2020 Annual GWPF Lecture – Professor Frank Furedi
Narratives of Existential Threats in the Climate and Covid Era
Wednesday, Dec 16, 7 pm GMT/2 pm EST
“In his recent book How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First Century (2019), Furedi seeks to explain two interrelated themes: why has fear acquired such a morally commanding status in society today and how has the way we fear today changed from the way that it was experienced in the past?”
17,000 peer-reviewed studies can’t be wrong
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Dec 9, 2020
Link to paper: Systemic Misuse of Scenarios in Climate Research and Assessment
By Roger Pielke, and Ritchie Justin, SSRN, Apr 21, 2020
Speculation on ice-trapped whales: science-based fiction vs. dishonest science
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 6, 2020Speculation on ice-trapped whales: science-based fiction vs. dishonest science
“Bottom line: Presenting speculation informed by science as fiction is an appropriate way to explore intriguing scientific questions but passing off such conjecture as evidence-based science is dishonest and risks eroding public trust in science, especially when it’s used to advance an agenda.”
How Busy Was the 2020 Hurricane Season?
By Neil L. Frank, Past Director of the National Hurricane Center, Via WUWT, Dec 11, 2020
Fact Check: Hurricanes Are Not Strengthened by Our CO2 Emissions
By Madhav Khandekar and Tom Harris, PJ Media, Dec 5, 2020
Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero advice to government is “a political suicide note”
Press Release, GWPF, Dec 10, 2020
Fear Not Rising Temperatures or Ocean Levels
By Dominick Armentano, Independent Institute, Via Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Dec 10, 2020 [H/t Climate Depot]Fear Not Rising Temperatures or Ocean Levels
Former WMO Official: CO2 “Insignificant For Balance Of Energy”, “Completely Unnecessary” To Reduce CO2
A CO2 Memorandum
By Albert Köhler MSc. (Translation, editing, subheadings by P Gosselin), Via No Tricks Zone, Dec 6, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
“Climate science consensus is a myth, scientists silenced
“The worldwide consensus on the CO2 issue is repeatedly pointed out. This was mainly due to the fact that skeptical scientists were often silenced in an unseemly manner, and their work no longer published (also because publishers were afraid of fanatics who were ready to commit terror). Skeptics, often inappropriately called “climate deniers”, are insulted, silenced under threats or career consequences. Yet, the scientific research institutes (climate impact research) run by the state at high cost would have to be closed down if they accepted CO2 as insignificant. Many jobs would be lost. This cannot be risked. But a consensus among those (where a vast majority cannot be experts in the field – there are not that many) is not a scientific criterion.
“Consensus as proof? Only to the ignorant!”
[SEPP Comment: Possible error in translation. See comments after the article.]
We thought you said the science was settled
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Dec 9, 2020
“And yet a great many people persist in saying that we may not understand what the parts are doing now, or will next year, but we know what’s going to happen to the whole in 80 years.”
Defending the Orthodoxy
Climate models overestimate natural variability
By Anne M Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dec 11, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Link to paper: Multi-Frequency Analysis of Simulated versus Observed Variability in Tropospheric Temperature
By Giuliana Pallotta and Benjamin D. Santer, Journal of Climate, Nov 1, 2020
“Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) statistician Giuliana Pallotta and climate scientist Benjamin Santer created a statistical framework to comprehensively assess the significance of differences between simulated and observed natural variability in mid- to upper tropospheric temperature (TMT).”
[SEPP Comment: Ignoring the obvious. The lower troposphere is most important, yet they ignore it! The upper atmosphere may be cooling slightly.]
What caused the ice ages? Tiny ocean fossils offer key evidence
By Liz Fuller-Wright, Princeton University, Dec 10, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Link to paper: Southern Ocean upwelling, Earth’s obliquity, and glacial-interglacial atmospheric CO2 change
By Xuyuan E. A, et al. AAAS Science, Dec 11, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Assumes that the greenhouse effect of CO2 is way beyond that demonstrated by experiments and observations.]
Effective planning ahead protects fish and fisheries
News Release by Rutgers University, Dec 11, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Link to paper: Ocean planning for species on the move provides substantial benefits and requires few trade-offs
By M. L. Pinsky, AAAS Science Advances, Dec 11, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Discussing offshore wind and other projects.]
Swift, sharp emission cuts could slow warming ‘within 20 years’
By Kelly MacNamara, Paris (AFP) Dec 7, 2020
Questioning the Orthodoxy
It’s all in the mind
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Dec 9, 2020
“There is a certain type of political ideology that considers motives far more important than methods, not only when it comes to climate but across the whole range of issues including that old slogan ‘Visualize World Peace’.”
[SEPP Comment: Visualize a world without carbon dioxide, a cold barren place. Visualize a world without the greenhouse effect, an extremely cold, barren place particularly at night.”
12 Indian Meteorologists Demonstrate How Warming Can Be ‘Discovered’ In Temperature Records
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Dec 7, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Link to paper: Temperature Changes in India
By J. Sanjay, et al. Book, June 13, 2020
Ben Pile on The Cozy Compact of Govt, Business & Civil Society
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 7, 2020Ben Pile on The Cosy Compact of Govt, Business & Civil Society
Video: Government, Businesses, and Civil Society working together? Only if society is defined as green special interest groups! Forget the public, they are not part of society!
Or out of it
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Dec 9, 2020
“And of course, if you predict both rain and sun, you’re going to be able to claim vindication among those who were not paying attention or didn’t realize that a theory that predicts everything predicts nothing.”
I got to ruminating again; a third WUWT retrospective post
By Rud Istvan, WUWT, Dec 9, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Bombshell finding: Automobile tires, not climate change – is killing west coast salmon
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 10, 2020
Toxic tire additive blamed for massive coho salmon die-offs
By Brooks Hays, Washington DC (UPI), Dec 03, 2020
Send the Paris Climate Treaty to the Senate
By Paul Driessen, WUWT, Dec 7, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Five years on, summit aims to breathe life into Paris deal
By Amélie Bottollier-Depois, Paris (AFP) Dec 8, 2020
Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldives president and an ambassador for the Climate Vulnerable Forum claimed: “Our nations, particularly the small island states, will be condemned to extinction even with a two degrees outcome,” he told AFP.
“Anything less than 1.5C condemns us to death.”
[SEPP Comment: While the Maldives build seaside tourist resorts and airports to serve them!]
Australia Not Invited to a Big International Climate Summit
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 10, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Change in US Administrations
Biden’s Coming China Headache: Climate Change And “Developing Countries”
By Tilak, Doshi, Forbes, Dec 5, 2020
Energy Efficiency Policy Under Trump (Part III: Litigation)
By Mark Krebs, Master Resource, Dec 10, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Problems in the Orthodoxy
EU opens door to gas and nuclear in search for deal on 2030 climate target
By Staff, EURACTIV.com with Reuters, Dec 4, 2020 [H/t GWPF]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
EU crisis threatens to scupper climate deal
By Staff, GWPF, Dec 8, 2020
Seeking a Common Ground
The blame game
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 7, 2020The blame game
Robert Zubrin: Why we need a technological environmentalism
By Robert Zubrin, The New Atlantis, Via GWPF, Dec 11, 2020
Review of Michael Shellenberger’s new book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, “His theory is based on two main principles. First: that to preserve the natural we must embrace the artificial. And second, as a central example derived from this, that we must base our civilization on the densest possible energy sources. A substantial part of the book is devoted to unpacking these two principles.” [Italics in original]
The natural ‘Himalayan aerosol factory’ can affect climate
Research News by Staff, University of Helsinki, Via WUWT, Dec 10, 2020
Link to paper: Biogenic particles formed in the Himalaya as an important source of free tropospheric aerosols
By F. Bianchi, et al. Nature Geoscience, Dec 7, 2020
Science, Policy, and Evidence
The power of science has delivered the best possible news in a ghastly year
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Dec 2, 2020
“It is frankly a bit of a disgrace that we had failed to speed up the development of vaccines before this. The private sector found them unprofitable, the public-health establishment preferred to lecture us on eating junk food and the World Health Organisation announced in 2015 that the greatest threat in the 21st century to human health – health, mind you! – was climate change. Which suggests that it was not focused on its day job. So, we ambled into the path of a new and highly contagious virus without sufficient preparation. Let’s hope we have learned that lesson.”
Essential Facts About Covid-19
By James D. Agresti, Just Facts, Dec 12, 2020 [H/t WUWT]
COVID-19 Vaccine Shows that the World Needs More Refrigeration and Less Anti-Refrigeration Climate Policy
By Ben Lieberman, CEI, Dec 8, 2020
Some interesting facts about Covid in Sweden.
By: Jan Kjetil Andersen, WUWT, Dec 7, 2020
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
The Effects of CO2 Enrichment and Nutrient Supply on the Flowering Characteristics of a CAM Plant
Cho, A.R., Chung, S.W., and Kim, Y.J. 2020. Flowering responses under elevated CO2 and graded nutrient supply in Phalaenopsis Queen Beer ‘Mantefon’. Scientia Horticulturae 273: 109602, doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2020.109602. Dec 11, 2020
“Crassulacean acid metabolism, or CAM, plants comprise only 3 to 4% of all plant species and are unique in that they fix carbon at night instead of during daylight hours. [These include orchids. cacti, and pineapples.] When it comes to CO2 enrichment studies, much remains to be learned concerning their response to elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”
Recent Drought Trends in Somalia (1980-2015)
Musei, S.K., Nyaga, J.M. and Dubow, A.Z. 2021. SPEI-based spatial and temporal evaluation of drought in Somalia. Journal of Arid Environments 184: 104296, doi.org/10.1016.j.jaridenv.2020.104296. Dec 9, 2020
Indications of Recent (and Future) Heat Adaptation in Madrid and Seville, Spain
Follos, F., Linares, C., Vellón, J.M., López-Bueno, J.A., Luna, M.Y, Sánchez-Martínez, G. and Díaz, J. 2020. The evolution of minimum mortality temperatures as an indicator of heat adaptation: The cases of Madrid and Seville (Spain). Science of the Total Environment 747: 141259, doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141259. Dec 7, 2020
Measurement Issues — Surface
GHCN V3 Unadjusted Data Shows Lungi, Sierra Leone Had A Cooling Trend Since 1880
By Kirye, Tony Heller’s Blog, Dec 9, 2020
[SEPP Comment: According to the map, which cuts off southern South Africa, this is the only station south of northern Algeria. Applying the hasty generalizations used by alarmist organizations, Africa is cooling!]
GHCN V4 Unadjusted Data Shows Corsicana, Texas Has Had A Clear Cooling Trend Since 1880
By Kirye, Tony Heller’s Blog, Dec 8, 2020
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
In Geological Terms, Today’s Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Are Still Uncomfortably Low
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 5, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Hurricane Season 2020 Update (11/29/2020)
By Joe D’Aleo, Weatherbell.com, Via WUWT, Dec 8, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
A Strengthening La Nina: What Does That This Imply for Our Upcoming Winter?
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Dec 10, 2020
500 Years of Global SST Variations from a 1D Forcing-Feedback Model
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Dec 11, 2020data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Gardens of Old Porites, Without Sharks
By Jennifer Marohasy, Her Blog, Dec 9, 2020
“I surmise that the corals are not threatened by global warming, certainly not by sea level rise, but that the few remaining sharks at Myrmidon, … [many people] mercilessly denying everything good that sharks represent, including being curious and keeping mid-level predators in check, so that the algae-eating fish can thrive.”
Coral recovery during a prolonged heatwave offers new hope
New Release, by University of Victoria, Dec 8, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Link to paper: Dynamic symbioses reveal pathways to coral survival through prolonged heatwaves
By Danielle C. Claar, et al. Nature Communications, Dec 8, 2020
“’Observing corals recovering from bleaching while still baking in hot waters is a game changer,’ says Baum.” [Senior author]
[SEPP Comment: We never had heatwaves before?]
In surprising sign of resilience, some corals can survive long heat waves
By Erik Stokstad, AAAS Science, Dec 8, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Peter Ridd was fired for recognizing that corals adapt. CO2 Science has discussed this for years.]
Aggressive algae threaten health of Caribbean corals
Possible straw that ‘breaks the camel’s back’ for reefs
Research News, by NSF, Dec 8, 2020
Link to paper: An unusual microbiome characterises a spatially-aggressive crustose alga rapidly overgrowing shallow Caribbean reefs
By Bryan Wilson, Chen-Ming Fan & Peter J. Edmunds, Nature Scientific Reports, Nov 30, 2020
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
NSF-funded deep ice core to be drilled at Hercules Dome, Antarctica
News Release, University of Washington, Via WUWT, Dec 10, 2020
“Antarctica’s next deep ice core, drilling down to ice from 130,000 years ago, will be carried out by a multi-institutional U.S. team at Hercules Dome, a location hundreds of miles from today’s coastline and a promising site to provide key evidence about the possible last collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.” [Boldface added]
[SEPP Comment: The “collapse” took thousands of years.]
Raise your hand if you knew Newfoundland was devastated by a major tsunami in 1929
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 10, 2020Raise your hand if you knew Newfoundland was devastated by a major tsunami in 1929
Newly discovered Greenland plume drives thermal activities in the Arctic
News Release by Tohoku University, Dec 7, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Link to paper: P Wave Tomography Beneath Greenland and Surrounding Regions: 1. Crust and Upper Mantle
By Genti Toyokuni Takaya Matsuno & Dapeng Zhao, JGR Solid Earth, Oct 31, 2020
Link to second paper: P Wave Tomography Beneath Greenland and Surrounding Regions: 2. Lower Mantle
Genti Toyokuni Takaya Matsuno Dapeng Zhao, JGR Solid Earth, Oct 30, 2020
New report details ocean acidification in greater Puget Sound
By Jimmy Norris, Department of Ecology, State of Washington, Dec 4, 2020 [Bernie Kepshire]
Link to: New Report: Puget Sound Marine Waters See Effect of Climate Change in 2019
By Staff, The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring, 2019
[SEPP Comment: Lots of photos and fluff but little substance. For example, the section on the upwelling index does not discuss why upwellings are important for highly productive regions.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Factory-farmed salmon: does it make sense to grow fish in indoor tanks?
US inland farms offer an alternative to diminishing wild Atlantic stocks, but the price tag is bigger carbon emissions
By Mark Kurlansky, The Guardian, Dec 7, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Pesticide ban hammers French sugar beet harvest
By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Dec 1, 2020
W. Africa facing worst food insecurity in decades: experts
By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP) Dec 3, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Is the international community no longer interested because it is too busy saving the world from a non-existent climate threat?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Yellow (Green) Journalism?
New York Times Trashes EPA’s Particulate Matter Rule
By Marlo Lewis, Jr. CEI, Dec 11, 2020
[SEPP Comment: The gray lady has turned sensationalist yellow.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
No Lizzie [the Met Office’s Scientific Manager] Summer Rainfall Is Not Getting More Extreme
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 8, 2020
At least it should reduce the attacks
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Dec 9, 2020
“Ha ha. Dumb sharks. You thought you’d outlived the great amphibians, the dinosaurs, the Paleocene and Eocene giant mammals and most hominids because you were adaptable. (Oh, and the Late Devonian extinction that went on for about 20 million years c. 375-55 mya.) But these scientists found you out. You’re not adaptable. You’re slow and clunky.”
Dramatic transformation of the Arctic landscape may be permanent
By Mindy Weisberger, Live Science, Dec 9, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Until it returns.]
And the kitchen sink too
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Dec 9, 2020
It should be easier, but somehow the fact that the phenomenon in question doesn’t exist makes it even easier to blame on greenhouse gases. It’s like trying to whack imaginary moles, only to have the person who invented them go ‘Ha, you missed’.”
Anthropocene: human-made materials now weigh as much as all living biomass, say scientists
By Jan Zalasiewicz, University of Leicester and Mark Williams, University of Leicester, The Conversation, Via WUWT, Dec 9, 2020
Link to paper: Global human-made mass exceeds all living biomass
By Emily Elhacham, et al. Nature, Dec 9, 2020
Since Paris deal, climate catastrophes mount
By Staff, Phys. Org, Dec 8, 2020
‘Despair’ in Denierland: Are Micrometeors From Jupiter Causing Climate Change? No.
News Release by ClimateDenierRoundup, Daily Kos, Dec 8, 2020 [H/t Willie Soon]
We don’t need no stinkend power stations
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Dec 9, 2020
“In case that denunciation is too subtle, if you click their “denier” link it blares at you that ‘Climate change denial, or global warming denial is denial, dismissal, or unwarranted doubt that contradicts the scientific consensus on climate change, including the extent to which it is caused by humans, its effects on nature and human society, or the potential of adaptation to global warming by human actions’ and shows you charts of Naomi Oreskes’ and others’ work, as well as offering a link to ‘Tobacco industry playbook’. Speaking of substituting insults for argument.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
Britain’s Weather Getting Wilder–BBC
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 11, 2020
“It is, I am afraid, just another in a long series of biased climate propaganda programmes by the BBC, which fail to present all of the facts or objectively analyse them.”
UK Government sets up secret ‘green nudge unit’
By Staff, Daily Telegraph, Via GWPF, Dec 6, 2020
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Fauci: “We have entered the Pandemic Era” because of Climate Change
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 8, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Unable to find a link to the Fauci paper claimed in Rolling Stone.]
Andrew Montford: Honesty is needed on the huge costs of attempting “net-zero”
By Andrew Montford, Conservative Home, Dec 5, 2020
The Sixth Carbon Budget
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 11, 2020
Link to report: Sixth Carbon Budget
The Sixth Carbon Budget, required under the Climate Change Act, provides ministers with advice on the volume of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-2037.
By Staff, Committee on Climate Change, Dec 9, 2020
The lie of the ‘green industrial revolution’
Boris Johnson’s plans to ban gas boilers and rely on hydrogen are beyond crazy.
By Ben Pile, Spiked, Dec 9, 2020
£32bn? Cheap At The Price, Says Harrabin!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 19, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Questioning the UK ban on gasoline and diesel vehicles starting 2030.]
Energy Masterminds Announce Latest Folly: Shutdown Of Modern Coal Power Plant Commissioned Just 5 Yrs Ago!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 11, 2020
EU apparatchiks want a 55% CO2 emissions cut by 2030
By Lubos Motl, The Reference Frame, Dec 11, 2020
“The planning of CO2 emissions for 10 years in advance is more arrogant than what the plans imposed by Lenin and Stalin – those comrades only had 5-year plans – and their comrade Hitler (the difference between Stalin and Hitler is that Hitler had 4-year plans). The European Union institutions are full of hardcore Bolsheviks and/or fascists such that the Soviet Union and the Third Reich could have only dreamt about this hardness! And on top of that, they don’t plan to increase the wealth and the industrial production – as Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler mostly did. These comrades are planning the opposite.”
[SEPP Comment: Written by an eastern European who experienced some of the “benefits” of government control.]
Questioning Green Elsewhere
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 8, 2020
[SEPP Comment: The author demonstrates that traditionally regulated electrical markets benefit the consumer, but government preferred electrical markets are costly to the consumer. Once, the progressive movement promoted regulation by experts for the benefit of the consumer. Now they promote regulation and manipulation of the markets to advance their ideological beliefs.]
New CEI Video Series Looks at the Effects of Green New Deal Policies
By Myron Ebell, CEI, Dec 11, 2020
Video less than 3 minutes
Don’t Believe the Hype About ‘Socially Responsible’ Investing
Want to make money and help the world, too? Wall Street says you can!
By John Stossel, Reason, Dec 9, 2020
Real Meat is Green
By Viv Forbes, The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Dec 6, 2020
For once, I agree with Greenpeace: carbon offsets are a global con job
By Rob Lyons, Russia Today, Dec 10, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
The IMF’s Net-Zero Fairy Tale
By Rupert Darwall, Real Clear Energy, Dec 6, 2020
Link to one report: Press Release: Pollution From Tyre Wear 1,000 Times Worse Than Exhaust Emissions
By Staff, Emission Analytics, March 6, 2020
Credit, Covid and Climate: ‘Rock Star’ Urges Central Banks To Join The Fight Against Climate Change
By Tilak Doshi, Forbes, Via WUWT, Dec 10, 2020
Fund Manager Advises on Navigating New Zealand’s Uncertain Climate Emergency Investment Landscape
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Dec 7, 2020
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Watch: Climatologist explains why EPA Endangerment Finding on CO2 should be vacated
By Patrick Michaels, CEI, Dec 9, 2020
Energy Issues – Non-US
A Ban On Gas Boilers Is Yet Another Pointless Eco-Catastrophe
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 11, 2020
“Successive governments have got away with adding ten billion a year to our energy bills, without us noticing. They may now even get away with forcing us all into driving EVs.
“But the ban on gas boilers could turn out to be the next government’s version of the poll tax, which brings the whole climate change house of cards tumbling down.”
Is OPEC finally beginning to unravel?
By Simon Henderson, The Hill, Dec 4, 2020
[SEPP Comment: If so, a major contributor is production by independent oil and gas firms using fracking.]
The heat-pump revolution: extracting power from the people
The climate technocrats’ posturing over heat pumps will be expensive, impractical and invasive.
By James Woudhuysen, Spiked, Dec 10, 2020 [H/t GWPF]
“More importantly, it insists that the greatest challenges for Net Zero are not finding new energy technologies, but changing ‘individual behaviours’. Green technocrats are indeed all about taking ‘power from the people’.”
Energy Issues — US
RGGI Being Promoted with Climate Misinformation and Scare Tactics
By Gregory Wrightstone, Natural Gas Now, Dec 1, 2020
The Future of Geothermal Energy: Impact of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) on the United States in the 21st Century
By Staff, By Idaho National Laboratory, November 2006 [H/t John Droz]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Brazil’s Oil Major Believes Net Zero Emissions Is A ‘Fad’
By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price.com, Dec 2, 2020
Chevron’s CEO says “action over pledges” will deliver higher returns, lower carbon
By Kein Crowley and Caroline Hyde, World Oil.com, Dec 8, 2020
Russia weighs scenarios for declining global oil demand
By Anya Andrianova and Evgenia Pismennaya, World Oil, Dec 7, 2020
Peak Oil Demand, Really? Some Lessons From The Debate Over Peak Supply
By Michael Lynch, Forbes, Dec 4, 2020
Gas Ban Economics 101
By Kenneth Costello, Master Resource, Dec 7, 2020
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Environment Of Dystopia: Germany Plans To Wipe Out 20 Million Sq M Of 1000-Year Old Forest, For Wind Parks!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 8, 2020
German Greens, NABU, Slammed For Giving Big Wind A Clear Way For Large-Scale Wind Projects In Forests
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 9, 2020
“NABU [Germany’s largest nature conservation NGO] and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (German Green Party) have presented a joint strategy paper to accelerate the allegedly “nature-compatible” expansion of wind energy, says Naturschutzinitiativ, “The paper is rather a farewell of the once bird protection association for nature and species protection.”
Who Needs Electricity On A Cloudy Day?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 6, 2020
“At 7630 MWh, the average rate is 318MW, which means UK solar farms have been running at just 2.5% of their capacity during the day.
“Of course, when they do produce more power in summer, we don’t need it anyway. So it’s all rather a waste of money, isn’t it?”
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Finland’s muddy fight over super-polluting peat energy
By Sam Kingsley, Sippola, Finland (AFP) Dec 10, 2020
Green hydrogen: A fuel bursting with climate-saving potential
By Catherine Hours, Paris (AFP) Dec 9, 2020
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
Tesla Powerwall Price Has Risen By 36% Since 2017
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 9, 2020
The curse of ‘white oil’: electric vehicles’ dirty secret
The race is on to find a steady source of lithium, a key component in rechargeable electric car batteries. But while the EU focuses on emissions, the lithium gold rush threatens environmental damage on an industrial scale
By Oliver Balch, The Guardian, Dec 8, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Electric vehicle shock treatment
By Duggan Flanakin, WUWT, Dec 11, 2020
Carbon capture a tool in climate fight, but at what cost?
By Julien Mivielle, Paris (AFP) Dec 9, 2020
Health, Energy, and Climate
New study takes comprehensive look at marine pollution and human health
Ocean pollution is a complex mix of chemicals and materials, with far-reaching health consequences
Research News, NSF, Dec 10, 2020
Link to papers: Special Collection: Human Health and Ocean Pollution
By Philip Landrigan, et al. Annals of Global Health, Accessed Dec 3, 2020
Other Scientific News
Study confirms dark coating can reduce satellite reflectivity
New Release by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Dec 8, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
Link to paper: Simultaneous Multicolor Observations of Starlink’s Darksat by the Murikabushi Telescope with MITSuME
By Takashi Horiuchi, The Astrophysical Journal, Dec 7, 2020
Link to article discussing the issue: Astronomers say SpaceX’s satellites are too bright in the sky. Friday’s launch will try to fix that
By Chabeli Herrera, Orlando Sentinel, Jan 2, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Addressing concerns by some astronomers that Starlink satellites by SpaceX may reflect too much light, interfering with observations and data collection by telescopes.]
Other News that May Be of Interest
The Essence Of Progressivism Is Refusal To Deal With Reality
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Dec 9, 2020
[SEPP Comment: When the movement was founded, its purpose was to use government to benefit the public. Now it appears its purpose is to control the public.]
Noise and Light Pollution From Humans Alter Bird Reproduction
By Rachel Henry for GSFC News, Greenbelt MD (SPX), Dec 07, 2020
“The study is the first step toward a larger goal of developing a sensitivity index for all North American birds. The index would allow managers and conservationists to cross-reference multiple physical traits for one species to assess how factors such as light and noise pollution would affect each species.”
Thomas Sowell: Walter E. Williams, 1936-2020
By Thomas Sowell, St. Clair Times, Dec 4. 2020
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE
Should scientists artificially cool the planet to stave off climate catastrophe?
The Week Staff, Yahoo News, Dec 6, 2020 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]
[SEPP Comment: Obviously, these scientists do not know the relationship between greenhouse gases and temperatures.]
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 11, 2020
Delingpole: Children Just Aren’t Going to Know What Snow Is. Part II
By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Dec 7, 2020
Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest ocean trenches
Researchers find mercury in fish and crustaceans collected at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean
News Release, NSF, Dec 3, 2020
Link to paper: Mercury isotopes identify near-surface marine mercury in deep-sea trench biota
By Joel D. Blum, et al, PNAS, Nov 24, 2020
[SEPP Comment: Recycling?]
1. The Restaurant Lockdown Massacre
New shutdown orders punish minorities and low-income workers.
Editorial, WSJ, Dec 11, 2020
TWTW Summary: The editorial states:
“New York’s Andrew Cuomo on Friday joined the stampede of Democratic governors shutting down restaurants despite scant evidence that they are driving a surge in Covid cases. Their shutdowns are hitting minorities the hardest and increasing economic inequality.
“Democratic governors in Michigan, Illinois, Oregon and Washington in recent weeks have closed indoor dining. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has banned outdoor patios in most areas too. Mr. Cuomo said Friday that he’s shutting down indoor dining in New York City as of Monday.
“According to state contact tracing data, restaurants and bars account for 1.4% of the virus spread in the state while household gatherings make up nearly 74%. That’s not surprising. In New York City, restaurants were limited to 25% capacity. Who limits capacity in their living rooms during football watch parties or Thanksgiving?
“Restaurants and other small businesses have spent heavily to comply with government Covid regulations, including buying personal protective equipment for staff and improved ventilation systems. But now they are being punished because, well, government can’t control the virus and Democratic leaders feel they must appear to be doing something.
“Democratic governors probably expect Congress to pass a Covid relief bill with more aid for small businesses. But this won’t cover all their rent, utilities and other overhead. The National Restaurant Association this week said 110,000 restaurants have permanently shuttered in 2020, notwithstanding forgivable government loans.
“More relief will help some restaurants survive the winter, but fewer if they are limited to takeout. Many low-earning servers and cooks will be laid off. Unemployment benefit claims increased nationwide this week as restaurants in many states were ordered to shut down. Continuing claims in California rose 139,078 in the week of Nov. 28.
“But small business owners that permanently shut down will lose the equity they have built over many years. The result will be more socioeconomic inequality.
“A Federal Reserve report this fall showed that net worth (assets minus liabilities) between 2016 and 2019 increased significantly more among blacks (32.1%) and Hispanics (63.6%) compared to whites (4%). One reason was huge growth in business equity among blacks (138%) and Hispanics (63%).
“The Fed on Thursday reported that U.S. household net worth in the third quarter hit a record high amid the stock and housing boom. Government’s pandemic response, especially low-interest rates, has made the rich richer. But small businesses and their workers have been crushed.”
After dismissing claims of possible recovery by the Biden administrations the editorial states the governors placing heavy restrictions are talking of their administrations recovering with higher taxes.
“Mr. Cuomo knows there aren’t enough wealthy left in New York to fix the state’s budget problems, which preceded the pandemic. Soaking the wealthy will cause more to flee to no-income-tax Florida, where restaurants and even Disney World are still open—and there are even fewer per-capita new Covid cases than in New York.”
2. A Stimulus Dollar Is Only a Dollar
Democrats devise magic ‘multipliers’ to justify spending, but the returns never show.
By Andy Kessler, WSJ, Dec 6, 2020
TWTW Summary: The columnist writes:
“Wait for it . . . any day now . . . get ready for the ‘multipliers.’ You know, the idea that a government dollar spent magically turns into multiple dollars in the economy. We ought to start hearing that silly word again as the lame-duck coronavirus stimulus negotiations kick in. Expect more multiplier mumbo jumbo as the Biden administration begins its tax-and-spend fiesta.
“Let’s face it, the Democrats haven’t had a believable economic messenger since Robert Rubin during the Clinton administration. Since then they’ve presented a cast of characters— Larry Summers, Mr. Biden’s adviser Jared Bernstein, and lately Elizabeth Warren —who bend themselves into pretzels to justify higher spending and then higher taxes.
The author presents a number of multipliers claimed in the New York Times in 2008 then continues:
“The economy grew after the Great Recession, as it does after every recession. The stimulus didn’t stimulate. Shovel-ready projects weren’t ready. Many complained that the stimulus wasn’t big enough. More hooey. The Obama administration’s high taxes and heaps of regulation held the economy back. Is spending driving today’s recovery? Think back to the Heroes Act 2.0, Nancy Pelosi’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. Economic growth in the third quarter of 2020 was 33% as lockdowns were lifted, despite—or because of—that gigantic stimulus package not becoming law.
“The theory of multipliers is based on the Keynesian view that poorer consumers tend to spend a large amount of increased income, and the rich less so. But multipliers are half a story. Someone has to put up the original money that allegedly gets multiplied, taking it away from the private sector and negating whatever dwindling chain of transactions are hypothesized. It’s like two waves canceling each other out—you can’t just do the math on the additive public wave and ignore subtracting the private. This demand-side theory omits the principle of productivity, the real driver of economic growth and prosperity.”
The article discusses failed multipliers during the Obama administration then continues:
“Actually, if you want to see a real multiplier in action, take Amazon. Since it began, it’s had $47 billion in invested capital, equity and debt. It’s worth a tad more than that now. Just sayin’.
“What else will be justified with multipliers? Maybe nationalizing the 5G network and reinstating net neutrality. The pesky private sector can’t be trusted, the reasoning might go. This isn’t voodoo economics, it’s froufrou or even tutu economics: dressed up to look good but only a facade.
“About the only government spending that might actually multiply in the real economy is basic research—pure, fundamental research. Not enough, and you become a Third World has-been. Too much and you get Solyndra. Sure, I’d like to see money spent on basic research for nuclear fusion, advanced artificial intelligence, and genomic drug development. But keep it research; don’t add in development as in R&D. And please don’t slap a multiplier on the money spent, a number pulled out of thin air. How long will it be before Mr. Biden’s pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, who studied under the Keynesian James Tobin, uses the M-word?”