Thursday, July 18, 2013


World Bank to Developing Nations: Drop Dead | Power Line
I am not aware of any nation that has grown prosperous without a fairly significant amount of coal-fired power.
Energy Notes | Power Line
Reporting on the rolling epic fail of renewable/alternative energy schemes has taken on a Groundhog Day feel: what, another story of subsidy cuts and common sense backlash against hamster-wheel energy systems? Still, we do it here at Power Line so you don’t have to.
Northwest key in fight against climate change, environmentalist says
"This area has emerged as this great choke point," McKibben said.
In the evolving climate movement, McKibben dismissed the notion that he and others on the front lines are "radical." All they want is a planet that works like the one they grew up with, he said. But there’s undeniable urgency, he said.
Senate Confirms Gina McCarthy to Head EPA -
But McCarthy's work on climate change will keep her in the crosshairs of powerful lawmakers from coal-producing states, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

"As for Gina McCarthy, I have no doubt she's a well-meaning public servant," McConnell said in a statement. "We had some good conversations when she came to visit my office earlier this year." But he added, "But as the head of the EPA's air division, she's overseen the implementation of numerous job-killing regulations. These regulations, along with others promulgated by the EPA, have had devastating consequences in states like mine. They've helped bring about a depression—depression with a D—in parts of Eastern Kentucky.... As someone sent here to stand up for the people who elected me, I cannot in good conscience support a nominee who would advance more of the same. Someone who is not willing to stand up to this administration's war on coal."


Steve Garcia said...

Tom: "In the evolving climate movement, McKibben dismissed the notion that he and others on the front lines are "radical." All they want is a planet that works like the one they grew up with, he said. But there’s undeniable urgency, he said."

I've never understood how the "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs" never applied to the radical claims of anthropogenic global warming. Instead, they've turned that on its head and demand that those challenging their claims to be the ones who need to show extraordinary proof.

As to "the planet they grew up with," almost everyone I know can't even really remember the real weather they grew up with. Childhood is seen as this idyllic time of sunshine and pleasant times - not exactly a proper filter for comparison. How many of them paid attention to the weather reports on an ongoing basis? Right. Exactly none.

I myself remember the 1950s, for example, as horrendously hot, but then again, I did live in and around St Louis, whereas my adult years were in the Great Lakes area mostly. Which lets us write off anyone (MANY of us) who moved to different regions; their comparative testimony is worthless, just like mine.

I think one of the most telling bits of data are the city and state all-time records. If NOW is " the warmest time ever", then it should show up in a plethora of such records being since 1980. And, of course, they aren't. The highest all-time state record highs were during the 1930s, followed by the 1950s. (The 1950s! See? I was right? No, I am not, because my recollections of weather as a 10-year-old are worthless in the debate.)

Steve Garcia said...

Planting a seed if I may:

Oh, and in terms of McKibben's "But there’s undeniable urgency" ---

Of late it has occurred to me to ask what is the motivation behind all this "But there’s undeniable urgency" that we've heard for 20 years and more? It is framed as if ONLY 60 or 80 years is not sufficient to mitigate climate catastrophe. But that argument in itself should be challenged at every level, by everyone who hears it. No such immediacy has ever existed in science or policymaking. EVER.

So why the insistence on making such claims? Is it simply because they believe that only such an ear-splitting clarion call can get their points across and get people to take it seriously?

I've come to believe there is a more nefarious reason. I honestly think they do it because:

I think they KNEW this hiatus would happen and were pulling the bum's rush on the policymakers. I am more and more certain that they have known all along that the warming would be followed by either a cooling or a hiatus in the temperature climb. I don't think they ALL knew this; many were just following the leaders. But the leading climate guys like James Hansen would know that the steep increase would only last a short time and if they were going to get action done (policies put in place), it would have to be during that period.

But NOW, in the middle of the hiatus (which portends to be 30 years long, and we are 15 years into it), they have to get even more shrill and keep up the ubiquitous assignation of every unusual weather event to global warming (often leaving out the anthropogenic side of the argument).

Now the only argument they have left is this:

"X of the warmest global years have been in the last 10 years!"

A.) The last 10 years the human race and the planet have survived quite nicely, actually. As Roger Pielke Jr. testified in the Senate on Thursday, all the extreme events are actually now within historical norms.

B.) With the climate coming out of the Little Ice Age only 100 or 200 years ago (depending on who you ask), the overall trend will BE for warmer decades for some unknown time to come. Thus, later decades will OF COURSE tend to be higher than earlier decades. And (especially cherry-picking) when they start the trends in 1900 - near the beginning of the post-LIA period) it is just blatant misrepresentation of the overall picture. With the LIA having begun about 700 years ago, it makes perfect sense that the farther we get from any part of the LIA the warmer it will get. And warmer years will tend to be grouped into later decades.

Like now.

That is the only argument they have. They can't acknowledge in front of a public audience that the hiatus exists, so they have to spin it the only way they can.

However, they have only about 15 more years to try to make that argument, because that is how much longer the hiatus will last. And by that time - with no more warming occurring and possibly an overall 30-year decline - no one will be listening anymore.