Climate Alarmists Foiled: No U.S. Warming Since 2005

When American climate alarmists claim to have witnessed the effects of global warming, they must be referring to a time beyond 14 years ago. That is because there has been no warming in the United States since at least 2005, according to updated data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In January 2005, NOAA began recording temperatures at its newly built U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). USCRN includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.

Prior to the USCRN going online, alarmists and skeptics sparred over the accuracy of reported temperature data. With most preexisting temperature stations located in or near urban settings that are subject to false temperature signals and create their own microclimates that change over time, government officials performed many often-controversial adjustments to the raw temperature data. Skeptics of an asserted climate crisis pointed out that most of the reported warming in the United States was non-existent in the raw temperature data, but was added to the record by government officials. 

The USCRN has eliminated the need to rely on, and adjust the data from, outdated temperature stations. Strikingly, as shown in the graph below, USCRN temperature stations show no warming since 2005 when the network went online. If anything, U.S. temperatures are now slightly cooler than they were 14 years ago.


Temperature readings from 2005 (far left) to the present (far right) show absolutely no warming.

Climate activists frequently visit or mention particular regions, states, or places in the United States and claim warming impacts are evident, accelerating, and unmistakable. Yet how can that be when there has been no warming in the United States since at least 2005?

Unfortunately, when politicians and climate activists claim they can see the impacts of climate change in a particular place, the media rarely question them on it and tend to accept the claims at face value. But the objective temperature data show no recent warming has occurred. 

There is also good reason to believe U.S. temperatures have not warmed at all since the 1930s. Raw temperature readings at the preexisting stations indicate temperatures are the same now as 80 years ago. All of the asserted U.S. warming since 1930 is the product of the controversial adjustments made to the raw data. Skeptics point out that as the American population has grown, so has the artificial warming signal generated by growing cities, more asphalt, more automobiles, and more machinery.

If anything, the raw temperature readings should be adjusted downward today relative to past temperatures (or past temperatures adjusted upward in comparison to present temperatures) rather than the other way around. If raw temperature readings are the same today as they were 80 years ago, when there were fewer artificial factors spuriously raising temperature readings, then U.S. temperatures today may actually be cooler than they were in the early 20th century.

The lack of warming in the United States during the past 14 years is not too different from satellite-measured global trends. Globally, satellite instruments report temperatures have risen merely 0.15 degrees Celsius since 2005, which is less than half the pace predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate models.

Climate crisis advocates attempt to dismiss the minor satellite-measured warming by utilizing ground temperature stations around the globe, which tend to have even more corrupting biases and problems than the old U.S. stations. Of course, they adjust those readings, as well. Perhaps the time has come for American officials to direct some of the billions of dollars spent each year on climate-research and climate-change programs to building and maintaining a global Climate Reference Network.

Either way, it is becoming increasingly difficult for American politicians and climate activists to say they can see the effects of warming temperatures in the United States. For at least the past 14 years, there have been no such warming temperatures.




James Taylor (JTaylor@heartland.orgis director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute.

SPIKED AT FORBES: Global Warming? An Israeli Astrophysicist Provides Alternative View That Is Not Easy To Reject

                           By Jim Lakely

NOTE: This article about 'skeptic' climate scientist Nir Shaviv was published and then quickly pulled from Forbes.com. We publish it here to save the trouble of using the Wayback Machine to read it. The Internet is Forever.

By Forbes.com contributor
Doron Levin


The U.S. auto industry and regulators in California and Washington appear deadlocked over stiff Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards that automakers oppose and the Trump administration have vowed to roll back – an initiative that has environmental activists up in arms.

California and four automakers favor compromise, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the president’s position that the federal standards are too strict. The EPA argues that forcing automakers to build more fuel efficient cars will make them less affordable, causing consumers to delay trading older, less efficient vehicles. Complicating matters is California’s authority to create its own air quality standards, which the White House vows to end.

However the impasse is resolved, the moment looks ripe to revisit the root of this multifactorial dustup: namely, the scientific “consensus” that CO2 emissions from vehicles and other sources are pushing the earth to the brink of climate catastrophe.

In a modest office on the campus of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, an Israeli astrophysicist patiently explains why he is convinced that the near-unanimous judgments of climatologists are misguided.  Nir Shaviv, chairman of the university’s physics department, says that his research and that of colleagues, suggests that rising CO2 levels, while hardly insignificant, play only a minor role compared to the influence of the sun and cosmic radiation on the earth’s climate.

 “Global warming clearly is a problem, though not in the catastrophic terms of Al Gore’s movies or environmental alarmists,” said Shaviv. “Climate change has existed forever and is unlikely to go away. But CO2 emissions don’t play the major role. Periodic solar activity does.”

Shaviv, 47, fully comprehends that his scientific conclusions constitute a glaring rebuttal to the widely-quoted surveys showing that 97% of climate scientists agree that human activity – the combustion of fossil fuels – constitutes the principle reason for climate change.

“Only people who don’t understand science take the 97% statistic seriously,” he said. “Survey results depend on who you ask, who answers and how the questions are worded.  In any case, science is not a democracy. Even if 100% of scientists believe something, one person with good evidence can still be right.”

History is replete with lone voices toppling scientific orthodoxies. Astronomers deemed Pluto the ninth planet – until they changed their minds. Geologists once regarded tectonic plate theory, the movement of continents, as nonsense. Medicine were 100% certain that stomach resulted from stress and spicy food, until an Australian researcher proved bacteria the culprit and won a Nobel Prize for his efforts.

Lest anyone dismiss Shaviv on the basis of his scientific credentials or supposed political agenda, consider the following: He enrolled at Israel’s Technion University – the country’s equivalent of MIT – at the age of 13 and earned an MA while serving in the Israel Defense Force’s celebrated 8200 Intelligence unit. He returned to Technion, where he earned his doctorate, afterward completing post-doctoral work at California Institute of Technology and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. He also has been an Einstein Fellow at The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

In other words, he knows tons more about science than Donald Trump or Al Gore.

As for politics “in American terms, I would describe myself as liberal on most domestic issues, somewhat hawkish on security,” he said. Nonetheless, the Trump administration’s position on global climate change, he said, is correct insofar as it rejects the orthodoxy of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s findings and conclusions are updated every six years; the latest report, released this week, noted that deforestation and agribusiness are contributing to CO2 emissions and aggravating climate change.

In 2003, Shaviv and research partner Prof. Jan Veizer published a paper on the subject of climate sensitivity, namely how much the earth’s average temperature would be expected to change if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is doubled.  Comparing geological records and temperature, the team came up with a projected change of 1.0 to 1.5 degrees Celsius – much less than the 1.5 to 4.5 degree change the IPCC has used since it began issuing its reports. The reason for the much wider variation used by the IPCC, he said, was that they relied almost entirely on simulations and no one knew how to quantify the effect of clouds – which affects how much radiant energy reaches the earth – and other factors.

“Since then, literally billions have been spent on climate research,” he said. Yet “the conventional wisdom hasn’t changed. The proponents of man-made climate change still ignore the effect of the sun on the earth’s climate, which overturns our understanding of twentieth-century climate change.”

He explained: “Solar activity varies over time. A major variation is roughly eleven years or more, which clearly affects climate. This principle has been generally known – but in 2008 I was able to quantify it by using sea level data.  When the sun is more active, there is a rise in sea level here on earth. Higher temperature makes water expand.  When the sun is less active, temperature goes down and the sea level falls – the correlation is as clear as day.

“Based on the increase of solar activity during the twentieth century, it should account for between half to two-thirds of all climate change,” he said. “That, in turn, implies that climate sensitivity to CO2 should be about 1.0 degree when the amount of CO2 doubles.”

The link between solar activity and the heating and cooling of the earth is indirect, he explained. Cosmic rays entering the earth’s atmosphere from the explosive death of massive stars across the universe play a significant role in the formation of so-called cloud condensation nuclei needed for the formation of clouds.  When the sun is more active, solar wind reduces the rate of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere. A more active solar wind leads to fewer cloud formation nuclei, producing clouds that are less white and less reflective, thus warming the earth. 

“Today we can demonstrate and prove the sun’s effect on climate based on a wide range of evidence, from fossils that are hundreds of millions of years old to buoy readings to satellite altimetry data from the past few decades,” he said. “We also can reproduce and mimic atmospheric conditions in the laboratory to confirm the evidence.

"All of it shows the same thing, the bulk of climate change is caused by the sun via its impact on atmospheric charge,” he said. “Which means that most of the warming comes from nature, whereas a doubling of the amount of CO2 raises temperature by only 1.0 to 1.5 degrees.  A freshman physics student can see this.”

Nevertheless, the world of climate science has “mostly ignored” his research findings. “Of course, I’m frustrated,” he said. “Our findings are very inconvenient for conventional wisdom” as summarized by the IPCC.  “We know that there have been very large variations of climate in the past that have little to do with the burning of fossil fuels.  A thousand years ago the earth was as warm as it is today. During the Little Ice Age three hundred years ago the River Thames froze more often.  In the first and second IPCC reports these events were mentioned.  In 2001 they disappeared. Suddenly no mention of natural warming, no Little Ice Age. The climate of the last millennium was presented as basically fixed until the twentieth century.  This is a kind of Orwellian cherry-picking to fit a pre-determined narrative.”

Shaviv says that he has accepted no financial support for his research by the fossil fuel industry. Experiments in Denmark with Prof. Henrik Svensmark and others to demonstrate the effect of cosmic rays on cloud formation were supported by the Carlsberg Foundation. In the U.S. the conservative Heartland Institute and the European Institute for Climate and Energy have invited him to speak, covering travel expenses.

“The real problem is funding from funding agencies like the National Science Foundation because these proposals have to undergo review by people in a community that ostracizes us,” he said, because of his non-conventional viewpoint.

“Global warming is not a purely scientific issue any more,” he said.  “It has repercussions for society.  It has also taken on a moralistic, almost religious quality. If you believe what everyone believes, you are a good person. If you don’t, you are a bad person.  Who wants to be a sinner?”

Any scientist who rejects the UN’s IPCC report, as he does, will have trouble finding work, receiving research grants or publishing, he said.

In Shaviv’s view, the worldwide crusade to limit and eventually ban the use of fossil fuels isn’t just misguided “it comes with real world social and economic consequences.” Switching to more costly energy sources, for example, will drive industry from more industrialized countries to poorer countries that can less afford wind turbines and solar panels.

“It may be a financial sacrifice the rich are willing to make, he said. “Even in developed countries the pressure to forego fossil fuel puts poor people in danger of freezing during the winter for lack of affordable home heating.  The economic growth of third world countries will be inhibited if they cannot borrow from the World Bank to develop cheap fossil-based power plants. These are serious human problems in the here and now, not in a theoretical future.”

For Shaviv, the rejection and closed-mindedness his minority view provoke may contain a silver lining.  Just think of the acclaim that awaits if his research -- and scientific reconsideration of the current orthodoxy -- one day proves persuasive.

Alarmists Claim Maple Syrup Climate Crisis, Yet Production Sets New Records

by James Taylor

The 2019 maple syrup harvest brought another opportunity for global-warming alarmists to gin up a fictitious climate scare.

With feel-good stories abounding about hardy Canadians and Americans collecting sap from their sugar maples from February to April, The New York Times and other media outlets attempted to turn the news into a maple syrup climate crisis. Objective facts, however, reveal maple syrup production is setting new records nearly every year, as temperatures continue their modest recent warming trend.

According to The New York Times: “In fact, climate change is already making things more volatile for syrup producers. In 2012, maple production fell by 54 percent in Ontario and by 12.5 percent in Canada overall, according to data from the Canadian government, because of an unusually warm spring.”

“Warm weather can hurt syrup production because the process depends on specific temperature conditions: daytime highs above freezing with nighttime lows below freezing. But because of climate change, some years those key temperatures are more elusive,” The Times added.

Taking its cue from the establishment media, the Care2 Healthy Living website was even more direct. “Expect maple syrup shortages,” the website reported.

A look at objective data on maple syrup production shows the exact opposite is happening. The New York Times had to dig up very old news, all the way back to 2012, to find a production year it could describe as discouraging. And even 2012 saw merely a 12.5 percent decline relative to 2011. Interestingly, maple syrup production has increased every year since then.

Strikingly, The New York Times chose not to mention that Canadian maple syrup production set records in 2016 and 2017. After failing to set a record in 2018, the outlook is promising for a new record this year.

“Sweet sap is making for an even sweeter maple syrup season for producers in Waterloo Region,” observed The Waterloo Record, in Ontario, Canada.

“Wilfred Schmidt of Schmidt Family Syrup in New Hamburg said he has cut his sap boiling time by 10 percent this year because of higher than normal sugar content in the trees,” The Record observed. “That’s a good thing for producers as a shorter boil means more syrup.”

“We set some records this year and we haven’t changed the amount of trees (tapped) in 10 years. All of a sudden, we’re getting a lot more syrup from the same amount of sap—it makes a huge difference,” said Schmidt.

Maple syrup producers in the United States are enjoying even greater success than their Canadian counterparts.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that U.S. syrup makers produced a record 4.27 million gallons of maple syrup in 2018. That total beat the previous record of 4.21 million gallons in 2017.

Final data for the 2019 season isn’t yet available, but early indications are once again promising.

The Maple News, published in Greenwich, New York, described the 2019 season as “a winner for most.” The Maple News cited U.S. farmers as predicting record 2019 production.

The public messaging regarding maple syrup production is typical of how global-warming issues are portrayed in the establishment media. Climate change alarmists look for a popular news or culture item and then find a way—whether supported by science or not—to assert that global warming is making things worse. They trust most people won’t have the time, inclination, or ability to research the issue themselves and discover the truth. As a result, people are led to erroneously believe that objectively good news is actually bad news.

In this case, people are being led to believe global warming is damaging maple syrup production and maple syrup shortages are imminent. In reality, maple syrup production sets new records on a near-annual basis as our climate modestly warms.




James Taylor (JTaylor@heartland.orgis a senior fellow for environment and climate policy at The Heartland Institute. The article first appeared here

Don’t Buy The Carbon Dioxide Tax Myth – It Just Means More Government Control

By H. Sterling Burnett


The carbon dioxide tax is like the Hydra of myth. Every time some hero cut one of the Hydra’s heads off, two more sprang up in its place. The same is true for the carbon dioxide tax. Every time a version of the carbon dioxide tax is proposed, economists and other analysts deftly cut its head off, showing its promises of climate salvation and economic prosperity to be false, myths like the Hydra itself, yet two more versions of the tax arise.

Progressives and socialists embrace the carbon dioxide tax myth to promote more government control, their control, over the economy and peoples’ lives.

Sadly, a number of old mossback, Rockefeller Republicans have also embraced the myth of the carbon dioxide tax. The main attraction for them seems to be their belief they can create a revenue-neutral carbon dioxide tax. For them, it’s just a matter of political engineering. The problem is, the idea a carbon dioxide tax can be revenue neutral is just as much of a myth as that it will save the earth from climate doom (as if the earth needed saving, which the best science shows it doesn’t), or that it will increase jobs and boost the economy.

As my colleague James Taylor has persuasively written, no carbon dioxide tax is revenue neutral for the households being taxed. A carbon dioxide tax raises the price of coal, natural gas, and gasoline in an attempt to force consumers to purchase more expensive wind power, solar power, and electric vehicles. Although consumers will spend substantially more money on energy and energy-related bills, the wind and solar industries will pay no carbon dioxide taxes.

As Taylor points out, the tax revenue generated by a “successful” carbon dioxide tax — one that significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions — will decline sharply over time, leaving little money to return to the people. Thus, although the government would not receive much revenue to return to consumers from the tax, people, now paying substantially more for their energy bills, will face a dramatic decline in their discretionary household incomes.

Nor will the tax be revenue neutral for households with workers in the fossil fuel industry or related fields. The idea that all the oil field workers, coal miners, coal and natural gas power plant operators, and those working in chemical and plastics manufacturing will be able to smoothly transition to other jobs without a hitch is a myth as well: their household incomes will fall sharply in the short-term if not permanently. And even if they could simply snap their fingers and magically switch jobs, the jobs they would be taking installing and servicing solar panels and wind turbines simply don’t pay as well as the jobs they will be forced out of by the carbon dioxide tax.

Nor, in truth, could any carbon dioxide tax be truly neutral in terms of government revenue.

Even if Congress and the president keep their hands out of the till, not finding creative ways to spend whatever new revenue a carbon dioxide tax generates, and returns it through some scheme to the people being taxed, it’s simply a fact a good portion of the revenue generated by the tax will be diverted to the bureaucracies involved in collecting it and disbursing the tax checks. No government program is cost-free.

Just as with every other government program, there will be huge transaction costs for collecting, tracking, auditing and archiving taxes paid and revenues paid out. New employees will have to be hired, or existing federal government workers will have to divert their time from other responsibilities, to account for the carbon dioxide taxes to be paid, assure that they are paid, to police the program, and to send out the revenue checks and handle complaints when disputes arise.

These and other costs will eat up billions of dollars each year. Unless these costs are paid directly out of the carbon dioxide tax revenues — in which case all the revenues will not be returned to taxpayers as promised — then the government will have to impose other taxes or take on additional debt to pay for the program. So much for revenue neutrality.

Anyone who tells you paying a new tax will be good for you, especially a tax on fossil fuels that serve to power the economic prosperity we currently enjoy, is lying. In the meantime, hang onto your wallets and when the time comes, vote any and all policymakers who support carbon taxes out of office.


Acid Rain - Monitoring SO2 in a Flue Gas Desulfurization Unit

by Applied Analytics


From the 1970s through the 1990s, acid rain was the main environmental concern. Lakes1, vegetation2 and animals3 were affected.

The New York Times reported in 1979:“The rapid rate at which rainfall is growing more acidic in more areas has led many scientists and governmental officials to conclude that acid rain is developing into one of the most serious worldwide environmental problems of the coming decades.”4

What is acid rain?
 
Acid rain simply refers to rain or other precipitants that have uncommonly high acidity. This is a result of SO2 in the air that dissolves in water creating sulfuric acid. The source of this SO2 is largely power plants that burn fossil fuels.
 
EPA
 
The EPA, under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, created the Acid Rain Program (ARP). The aim was to reduce the amount of NO2 and SO2 emissions, while allowing for the industry to employ cost-effective technology to achieve this goal. As the following graph shows, the program was a remarkable success.

Figure 1. SO2 Emissions from CSAPR and ARP Sources, 1980–2016 (ARP- The Acid Rain Program; CSAPR -Cross-State Air Pollution Rule)5

The EPA reports concluded that experience with the Clean Air Act since 1970 has shown that protecting public health and building the economy can go hand in hand.6 Furthermore, “The emissions reductions have led to dramatic improvements in the quality of the air that we breathe. Between 1990 and 2017, national concentrations of air pollutants improved... 88 percent for sulfur dioxide”7


Figure 2. Note. Data for SO2 concentration from SO2 Air Quality, 1980-2017 (Annual 99th percentile of Daily Max 1-hour Average) National Trend based on 42 sites. 90% decrease in national average8

The Technology
 
Flue gas desulfurization units are used to remove SO2 from flue gas; the process is also called scrubbing. The most common type is limestone scrubbing, in which the flue gas is stripped by dissolution into water. The stripped gas reacts with the limestone (CaCO3) resulting in solid residue, in this case calcium sulfite (CaSO3). The scrubbing efficiency is usually higher than 90%. To achieve this level of efficiency, the concentration of SO2 must be monitored both before and after the process.
 
The Analysis
 
The OMA-300 measures a full, high-resolution spectrum. This allows for both applications to be monitored continuously by the same analyzer, from 4000 ppm to 10 ppm full scale. Hence, it provides an indication of the process’ effectiveness by measuring the SO2 before and after the flue gas desulfurization unit.


Figure 3: Absorbance spectra of SO2 40 ppm and 4000 ppm, demonstrating that one analyzer can be used for both applications simultaneously. The absorbances at different wavelengths are correlated to the SO2 concentration.

The Future
 
While controlling industrial SO2 emission in North America and Western Europe has been largely successful, acid rain is still a problem in rapidly growing economies such as China and India. Even the famous Taj Mahal in Agra is facing corrosion of its marble9. Hopefully, in the very near future, these burgeoning regions will implement the same technology and regulations that worked so well in more established countries.
 
References
 
1. WILLIAM K. STEVENSJAN , ‘Study of Acid Rain Uncovers a Threat To Far Wider Area’, New York times, 16, 1990.
2. WILLIAM K. STEVENSAPRIL, ‘The Forest That Stopped Growing: Trail Is Traced to Acid Rain’ New York Times, 16, 1996 .
3. LES LINEMARCH ‘Acid Rain Leading to Moose Deaths’ , New York Times, 12, 1996.
4. (BAYARD WEBSTERNOV. “Acid Rain: An Increasing Threat” New York Times 6,11, 1979).
9. Henry Fountain and John Schwartz ‘Have We Passed the Acid Test?’ New York Times May 2, 2018


EPA restores common sense to overaggressive water regulations

by Tim Huelskamp and James Taylor


The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it is rolling back some of the excessive, and possibly illegal, water regulations imposed by the Obama administration. EPA’s announcement is a welcome relief for homeowners and property owners impacted by overly aggressive EPA officials.

As a federal executive agency, EPA can only enforce laws that have been passed by Congress. While EPA has some rule making authority, it cannot make up laws of its own and then decide to enforce them. This is a very important check against a dictatorial presidency or executive branch. Regarding water regulations, Congress, via the Clean Water Act, has given the executive branch authority to regulate only those bodies of water that are “navigable waters of the United States.”

EPA has always asserted a broad definition for navigable waters. Dating back to the 1980s, EPA has asserted it can regulate smaller, streams and tributaries that cannot be navigated but that flow into navigable waters. EPA has also asserted it can regulate wetlands that are adjacent to navigable waters.

The Obama administration attempted in 2015 to further expand the definition of navigable waters to include such entities as isolated ponds, dormant stream beds that are dry most of the year, and minor depressions in the land that hold water only in the immediate aftermath of significant rainfall.

The consequences of the 2015 regulatory overreach can, and have been, devastating. Overly aggressive EPA officials tell farmers they cannot manage or cultivate farmlands that hold isolated puddles merely a few days of the year. Homeowners are told they cannot landscape or fill in nuisance depressions in their property that hold water briefly after a heavy rain. Federal bureaucrats have stripped homeowners and families of practical ownership rights to property they have purchased and managed for generations. Property owners who defy the EPA and other federal bureaucrats face steep penalties and fines.

Citizen lawsuits have been moderately successful challenging the Obama administration’s overreach. Courts have blocked enforcement of the Obama administration’s 2015 regulations in 28 states. Still, homeowners and landowners in the remaining 22 states remain subject to the oppressive 2015 regulations. The issue has been a likely candidate for eventual Supreme Court review, but in the meantime, people remain subject to the unfair policy.

The Trump EPA is thankfully proposing to restore common sense to EPA regulatory authority. The agency proposes to walk back the Obama administration’s asserted authority to regulate stream beds and land depressions that are usually dry. EPA will no longer regulate wetlands unless they are “physically and meaningfully connected” to waters under EPA jurisdiction. EPA will also eliminate subjective criteria for determining whether land or water features qualify under navigable waters jurisdiction, granting individuals more certainty about how they can use their property. These corrections are long overdue, and represent another example of President Trump keeping campaign promises to reduce environmental and regulatory overreach.

Environmental activists are sounding an alarm about potential environmental harms, but their arguments are weak. EPA will still regulate all navigable waters, as well as meaningful permanent and intermittent tributaries to navigable waters. Also, very importantly, all 50 states have their own environmental laws and regulations, allowing regulation above and beyond navigable waters as defined by EPA. For normally dry streambeds, isolated depressions that only occasionally hold water, and other land features that the Obama administration sought to regulate, regulations will once again come from state and local governments that are more responsive and accountable to the people and communities being regulated.

EPA’s proposed rule will continue to provide strong environmental protection for the waterways Congress authorized EPA to regulate. At the same time, the proposed rule will roll back executive branch overreach and protect the rights of homeowners and landowners.


Voters Consider Energy Price Hikes in Arizona, Nevada, Washington

by H. Sterling Burnett


Voters in Arizona, Nevada and Washington state will soon decide if they want to pay more for less reliable electricity.

Progressive California billionaire Tom Steyer is trying to take California’s energy policies on the road. California energy prices are among the highest in the country, and Golden State residents suffer more non-disaster-related blackouts and brownouts than any other state. In a vain effort to control the weather 100 years into the future, California has adopted policies that restrict fossil-fuel use and severely limit residents’ energy choices. The result: high energy prices and unreliable electricity that works only when the sun and wind cooperate.

At a time when residents and businesses are fleeing California to seek more affordable energy and homes, California is now trying to export its misguided energy policies beyond its borders.

This November, voters in Arizona and Nevada will consider ballot proposals that would mandate an increase in the proportion of electricity generated from renewable power sources to 50 percent by 2030. Both measures are bankrolled by Steyer.

Additionally, Washington state voters, for the second time in three years, will consider a ballot initiative to impose the nation’s first tax on carbon-dioxide emissions.

The plain truth is, if voters approve these initiatives they will be paying higher prices for energy with little or no environmental benefit. Numerous studies have revealed that states with renewable energy mandates have experienced increased energy prices. The Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power raises electricity prices by 50 percent. Even worse, replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity costs. In short, the higher the mandate, the higher the costs.

Europe is further along the renewable energy path than the United States, and the results are telling. Despite a 25 percent increase in wind power and 6 percent growth in solar over the past decade, carbon emissions actually increased in 2017, by 1.8 percent, due to the fact that “idling fossil fuel plants must be quickly brought online when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, and, just like cars in traffic, idling engines produce more carbon emissions,” as reported by Nevada’s Sparks Tribune. Meanwhile, electricity costs across the European Union have increased by 23 percent during the past decade.

The same is true in the United States. Under its current renewable power mandate, Arizona produces 7 percent of its energy from wind and solar, an amount required to increase to 15 percent by 2025. The Energy Information Administration reports that meeting the current 7 percent requirement has already added $304 a year to the average Arizonan’s electric bill — meeting the 50 percent standard proposed in Steyer’s ballot initiative could cost Arizona residents an additional $2,100 annually.

The results are the same for Nevada. Over the last five years, the average Nevadan saw his or her electric bill rise by 11 percent, despite that nationally rates fell on average by 1 percent — and declined even more in states without green-energy mandates. This is due in part to Nevada’s existing renewable energy mandate.

A 2013 study commissioned by the Nevada Policy Research Institute showed that simply meeting the current requirement (utilities get 25 percent of the electric power they supply by 2025) would likely raise power prices by an additional 11 percent. This would also cost the state more than 3,000 jobs. Requiring 50 percent renewable energy just five years later, after the low hanging “inexpensive” power switching as already been accomplished, will make rates and job losses skyrocket even further.

Washington state’s carbon-dioxide tax would impose a penalty of $15 per metric ton on carbon-dioxide emissions, rising $2 per ton annually until the state meets its goal of reducing emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels. Evergreen State auditors found residents would pay approximately $2.2 billion more in taxes during its first five years of implementation, with gasoline prices likely to rise by 13 cents per gallon and the costs of home-heating oil likely to rise by 15 cents per gallon in 2020, the year the tax would take effect.

The higher energy prices and increased energy instability will be for naught with regards to preventing global warming. The United States is already reducing its emissions without such draconian policies, but even if it weren’t, nothing done in the United States can prevent a global rise in emissions because developing countries are adding huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as they industrialize.

Only the IRS, politicians and climate fanatics could love these high-cost, no-return ballot initiatives. Let’s hope Arizona, Nevada and Washington state residents see through the green smokescreen the ballot initiatives’ advocates are emitting.


Greens Call for Clear Out of Climate Deniers

by Ross Hawkins


{A 2014 article with a disturbing message, truth is subservient to an ideological agenda - ED}


The Green Party of England and Wales has called for a purge of government advisers and ministers who do not share its views on climate change. Published 14 February of 2014.

Any senior adviser refusing to accept “the scientific consensus on climate change” should be sacked, it said.

Party leader Natalie Bennett said the rule must apply to all senior advisers, including those with no responsibility for environmental issues.

David Cameron says he suspects recent storms are linked to climate change.

Speaking recently, the prime minister said that while a single weather pattern could not be attributed to climate change, many scientists were talking of a link between the two and the UK should be prepared for more extreme weather.

But some Tory MPs and peers, Lord Lawson being the most prominent, have cast doubt on scientific theories on climate change which argue human activity is predominately responsible for recent rises in global temperatures. 

‘Emergency’

The Greens are now insisting the government gets rid of any cabinet minister who takes a different view on climate change.

Ms Bennett said: "We need the whole government behind this. This is an emergency situation we're facing now. We need to take action. We need everyone signed up behind that."  Pressed on the issue, she agreed that even the chief veterinary officer should be removed if he didn't sign up to the view on climate change also taken by the Green Party.

A policy document released by the party said: "Get rid of any cabinet ministers or senior governmental advisers who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won't take the risks to the UK seriously."

Ms Bennett added: "It's an insult to flood victims that we have an Environment Secretary (Owen Paterson) who is a denier of the reality of climate change and we also can't have anyone in the cabinet who is denying the realities that we're facing with climate change."

She said her party took the consensus view shared by many other organisations including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In September, the UN-backed body said it was 95% certain that humans were the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.

The party also wants to see staff cuts at the Environment Agency reversed, a bigger budget for the Agency and tougher rules to prevent development on flood plains.

It says money spent supporting fossil fuels should be redirected to help victims of flooding.


What Sort of Energy Do You Want For Your Future?

by H. Sterling Burnett


The world is facing a stark choice. Should governments restrict energy use by dramatically raising the price of fossil fuels to fight purported human-caused climate change? Or should they permit the continued use of comparatively cheap, entirely reliable fossil fuels by rejecting carbon cap-and-trade schemes, carbon taxes, and mandates restricting the use of fossil fuels?

Put simply: People need to ask themselves whether they want to pay more for the energy they already get.

Advance reports of a new U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study indicate those who believe humans are causing allegedly dangerous climate change are in for some bad news, as The Hill recently reported: “[g]overnments across the globe are ‘nowhere near on track’ to meet their goal of preventing global warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial period.”

According to the IPCC report, only a massive, worldwide transformation of electric power, transportation, and agricultural systems can prevent the global temperature from rising the 2 degrees Celsius or less nations committed to as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Commenting on the report, Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s environment minister, said,“We are moving way too slowly. We have to do more of everything, faster. To reach the goals of the Paris agreement we need large structural changes.

There is a big problem, though: Governments are having a hard time convincing the people in their nations the radical restrictions on fossil fuels many climate alarmists are calling for are worth the minimal climate change benefits that might flow from the living-standard sacrifices they will be forced to make. Worse still, IPCC’s own calculations show these radical policies would be insufficient to prevent the targeted temperature rise.

Even the minimal actions taken or proposed by governments so far carry a steep price tag. For instance, in 2016 and 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted resolutions rejecting a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions based on research showing a modest tax of $28 per ton would result in decreased economic activity, eliminating as many as 21 million job equivalents over the next four decades while potentially reducing workers’ wages by 8.5 percent. A separate study indicates a carbon tax of $37 per ton would incur a loss of more than $2.5 trillion in aggregate gross domestic product by 2030—more than $21,000 in income loss per family—and lead by 2030 to the destruction of more than 500,000 jobs in manufacturing and more than one million jobs overall.

Canada’s Financial Post reports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s $50-per-ton carbon tax would cost households in Nova Scotia $1,120 per year. In Alberta, the tax would cost $1,111 annually. Even in Manitoba and Quebec, the two provinces where energy prices are projected to increase the least as a result of the tax, households will still pay an additional $683 and $662, respectively, for their electric power each year.

There’s more bad news for Canadians: Many climate alarmists say to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to the degree necessary to avert catastrophe, carbon prices must increase to $100 per ton or more. Under such a scenario, “households in Alberta will pony up $2,223, in Saskatchewan they’ll pay $2,065 and in Nova Scotia, $2,240. In fact, at $100 a ton, the average price for households in all provinces is well north of $1,000 per year,” says theFinancial Post.

In response to rising energy prices, the premiers of four of Canada’s provinces have decided to scrap provincial taxes, programs, and fees imposed to implement Trudeau’s carbon tax.

Canada isn’t alone, either. A report by IHS Markit says the average price per ton of carbon emissions in G20 nations that have established a carbon trading market to reduce emissions is just $16 per metric ton, but the price needed to meet the minimal targets of the Paris Climate Agreement should be closer to $80 per ton, according to those who believe such measures are necessary to fight climate change.

A recent article published by Vox cites research indicating even a $50-per-ton carbon tax in the United States would be too low to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050—a stated goal of the Obama administration.

The Rhodium Group estimates to reach “80 percent (or more appropriately, 100 percent) reductions, carbon prices would likely need to exceed $100/ton by mid-century.”

Politicians, faced with the punishment of losing support from voters unwilling to pay more for less-reliable energy, are proving increasingly unwilling to impose the high price on carbon they themselves state is necessary to avert climate catastrophe. As evidence, leaders in Australia, Brazil, and Canada are publicly eschewing their commitments to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, although they remain unwilling to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement as the United States has done.

Elsewhere, in China, Europe, and Japan, for instance, leaders publicly proclaim their fealty to the Paris agreement while missing mid-term emissions-reduction goals, quietly approving new coal and natural gas power plants, and selling more fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.

I have good news. Since the best evidence suggests humans aren’t causing a climate apocalypse, Paris’s failure is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, its failure means it’s more likely there will be abundant energy for all.






Republicans Win No Friends by Joining Climate Caucus

by James Taylor


RINOs who apparently weren't much to begin with.

Unfortunately, a handful of congressional Republicans foolishly joined with Democrats to form a group known as the Climate Solutions Caucus. The Caucus claims to support “economically viable” options to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions.

Apparently, the Republicans in the Caucus believe they can walk a tightrope by calling for both severe restrictions on carbon-dioxide emissions and “affordable” energy options — even though these two competing goals are incompatible. Any means of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions would be economically punitive. Rather than trying to appeal to both sides of the political fence, Republicans who join the Caucus are shooting themselves in the foot with liberals and conservatives alike.

Liberal Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo (FL) co-founded the Caucus at the urging of the leftist Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). The CCL advocates for carbon-dioxide taxes that would immediately raise the cost of all traditional energy sources. Within a decade, the CCL taxes would add more than a dollar per gallon to the price of gasoline, with similar and higher price hikes imposed on other forms of energy. CCL trumpets a social-justice-warrior agenda and routinely advocates for left-wing policies. Why in the world would Republicans sign on to these radical ideas by joining forces with CCL?

Caucus members should know economically viable carbon-dioxide restrictions are a fallacy. Conventional energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas dominate because they are substantially more concentrated, affordable, and reliable than wind and solar power. Whether accomplished through government mandates or taxes, transforming our economy from one running on affordable energy sources to one that’s dependent on expensive and unreliable energy would severely punish all consumers and industries.

Some global warming activists attempt to argue a carbon-dioxide tax could be revenue-neutral and thus economy-friendly. However, there’s no credibility to this claim. The whole point of a carbon-dioxide tax is to drive up conventional energy prices so high that consumers won’t purchase them anymore and will instead buy already-expensive wind and solar power. When this occurs, consumers pay higher prices directly to energy providers rather than in government taxes — thus, there is little or no direct government tax revenue collected or returned to consumers to compensate for their higher energy bills. Even worse, energy bills skyrocket and disposable income falls. Even if a carbon dioxide tax were crafted to be “revenue-neutral,” it could never be crafted to be “pocketbook-neutral” or “household budget-neutral.”

So, if these policies are surely doomed to fail, what is motivating Republicans to join the Caucus? For most members, the answer appears to be virtue-signaling and political calculation. Some Republicans believe that expressing concern about global warming will soften their appeal to liberal and moderate voters.

However, polls consistently show voters rank global warming among their least-important concerns. Thus, virtue-signaling on global warming will win over very few, if any, liberal or moderate voters. On the other hand, Republicans joining the Caucus will ostracize their conservative base, encouraging them to stay at home or vote for a third party. These naive GOP members also face a greater risk of drawing a strong challenge from the right in their next Republican primary.

Fortunately, very few Republicans side with Al Gore and the United Nations. The vast majority of GOP congressmen do not believe in a global warming crisis and continue to reject the drumbeat of government intervention promoted by environmental zealots.

The few Republicans on the Caucus represent the liberal fringe of the party. In fact, these Republicans have voted for liberal positions more than conservative positions, according to the Heritage Action “Congressional Scorecard.” By contrast, 84 percent of Republicans who are not part of the Caucus have voted in favor of the conservative position more often than the liberal position. Thus, a good way to determine whether your Republican congressional representative is a RINO — a “Republican in name only” — is to check if he or she is a member of the Caucus.

Republicans should think long and hard before joining the Climate Solutions Caucus. Simply put, the Climate Solutions Caucus is a lose-lose-lose proposition.