A monthly review of climate, energy, environmental, and political policy issues
State of the Union
September 17 was Constitution Day, a time that commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787. We should all reread the Constitution from time to time to remind ourselves of our rights, and the duties and limitations of our government. Our politicians, especially, should read and obey.
In the popular vernacular, people refer to “our democracy.” That is wrong. America is a Constitutional Republic which protects individual rights against a possible tyranny of the majority.
The U.S. currently is experiencing high inflation due to unwise and unconstitutional government spending. Read my article: Stop unconstitutional federal spending (link).
The Declaration of Independence lists a number of grievances which the Crown of England was imposing on Americans. Here’s one example:
“He has erected a Multitude of New Offices, and set hither Swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”
Well, it seems that our own federal government has swarms of officers, agencies, departments etc.
Apparently nobody knows exactly how many offices and agencies exist within the federal government. The Federal Register (in 2015) indicates there are over 430 departments, agencies, and sub-agencies in the federal government” Louisiana State University’s Federal Agency Directory lists over 1,300 distinct organizations across all three branches of federal government.
A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies (link)
See: Downsizing the Federal Government from the Cato Institute (link) This site is a gateway to reforming federal agencies.
See also: Heritage’s Budget Blueprint Shows Better Path Forward (link) ☼
On May 31, 2022, Biden announced the creation of an Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) to tackle climate-related issues “to protect the health of disadvantaged communities and vulnerable populations on the frontlines of pollution.” The office will be part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is within the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity.
Biden’s Department of the Interior has announced replacements for more than 600 names the Board on Geographic Names deems “racist and derogatory.” (Shades of George Orwell’s novel “1984″?)
Biden started handing out grants to rid us of racist highways (link).
The Internal Revenue Service Is Not the Only Armed Agency to Worry About
by Linnea Lueken, The Heartland Institute
Recent concerns over the 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees, including additions to its ranks of armed agents, have reignited debate over how necessary it is to have armed agents in certain departments of the federal bureaucracy.
Indeed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Postal Service, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and countless other federal agencies also have police divisions. Another unnecessarily militarized agency is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (Read more) ☼
Scammers Stole an Insane Amount of Pandemic Unemployment Money
by Katie Pavlich, Townhall
According to a new Department of Labor Inspector General report, scammers were able to steal nearly $46 billion in pandemic cash through state unemployment insurance [UI] programs. The office also found pandemic relief programs were vulnerable for abuse given how much money the federal government was quickly pushing out the door without proper accountability and tracking programs or mechanisms in place. (Read more) ☼
“Capitalism has been called a system of greed – yet it is the system that raised the standard of living of its poorest citizens to heights no collectivist system has ever begun to equal, and no tribal gang can conceive of.” — Ayn Rand
We Have Been Thinking about This All Wrong
By Kevin Lewis
Biden didn’t shut down oil and gas production in America (then plead to buy it from other countries) because of the climate or because he was seeking “green energy” (obviously, because we are still using oil and gas, just paying much more for it, and becoming beholden to other countries). It was done because it was one simple but very powerful way to weaken America (under the pretext of helping the climate or moving toward green energy). Not only has Joe Biden failed to fulfill his oath of office (to defend the U.S. from all enemies, foreign and domestic), but he (and the obviously intricate network of controlling governmental operatives) has intentionally and specifically disparaged and discarded it. (Read full article) ☼
Collapse of energy, food, transportation systems prompt calls for government nationalization of industries – Echoes 1930s push for Great Reset style reforms
by Mark Morano
The modus operandi of the “Great Reset” (AKA Build Back Better) is to intentionally collapse the current system with policies designed to create a crisis, havoc, and shortages. … Once the inevitable societal chaos ensues, a huge coordinated push to promote nationalization or government takeover of the impacted industries ensues. It is always claimed that the “free market” failed, and now only government can come in and clean up the mess. The advocates of nationalization usually bill it as a “temporary” nationalization of the industries, much like “15 days to slow the spread” or “2 weeks to flatten the curve” were billed as temporary measures. … (Read more) ☼
The Biden Administration Is Taking From the Poor and Giving to the Rich
by Veronique de Rugy, Reason Magazine
If you had any doubts that those in power have dropped the pretense of fighting for the working class, you can dispense with them after President Joe Biden administration’s latest concessions to the laptop class. From student loan forgiveness to subsidies for people who drive pricey electric cars and profitable semiconductor company CEOs, this administration is working hard to shower its friends with handouts paid for by hardworking lower-wage Americans. (Read more) ☼
Beware of Bureaucrats Bearing Gifts
By George C. Leef, Cato Institute
Thomas Jefferson wrote that, in order to prevent government from becoming tyrannical, it was necessary to “tie it down with the chains of the Constitution.” But over the centuries, those who want an expansive government have loosened the Framers’ chains in many ways. In his new book Purchasing Submission, Columbia University law professor Philip Hamburger explores one of those ways: the federal government’s using money and power to augment its control over Americans. He makes a persuasive case that those tactics have enabled it to undermine federalism and freedom. (Read more) ☼
A message from the National Mining Association:
Now More than Ever: Mineral Security Means National Security. The U.S. will need ever increasing amounts of minerals produced domestically. How do we achieve a strategic advantage? By reforming permitting for the production of domestic minerals mining.
Mineral demand has never been higher and is poised to grow exponentially to meet the needs for new technologies, infrastructure, manufacturing, and energy generation. Despite the immediate need for massive amounts of these materials and the fact that we have them in abundance here at home, it still takes more than ten years to permit a mine here in the U.S., forcing us to look abroad – most often to geopolitical rivals – for the mineral resources that are essential to our supply chains.
Let’s look for opportunities for permitting reform instead of artificially limiting our national domestic mineral supply chain.
Continuing to streamline the permitting process through commonsense steps like increasing coordination and reducing duplication between federal and state agencies, setting and adhering to reliable schedules and timelines for permit review, and transparently tracking progress to provide accountability, will all make a difference. Where we can encourage – without eroding the competitiveness of – U.S. manufacturers to use U.S.-produced materials, we should do so. ☼
Fossil Fuels are the Greenest Energy Sources
by Indur M. Goklany
Contrary to the claims of proponents of the “Green New Deal” and “Net Zero”, fossil fuels are the greenest fuels.
First, uniquely among energy sources, fossil fuel use emits CO2, which is the ultimate source of the elemental building block, carbon, found in all carbon-based life, i.e., virtually all life on Earth.
Satellite studies also show that the earth has been greening continually in recent decades. Second, fossil fuel dependent technologies have increased agricultural yields directly or indirectly by at least 167%. This increase in agricultural productivity is due to the use of fossil-fuel-dependent technologies, specifically, nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides and carbon dioxide fertilization resulting from fossil fuel emissions. This has enabled human beings to meet their demands for food using less cropland, which then spares land for the rest of nature. Thus, in the absence of fossil fuels, at least 167% more land would have to be cultivated to maintain global food production at current levels. (Read more) ☼
How To Fix America’s Electricity Emergency
by Alex Epstein
America’s grid is in decline and about to get far worse due to policies that 1) reward unreliable electricity, 2) prematurely shut down coal plants, 3) criminalize nuclear, and 4) force EV use.
The root cause of our grid’s reliability problems is simple: America is shutting down too many reliable power plants—plants that can be controlled to produce electricity when needed in the exact quantity needed. And it is attempting to replace them with unreliable solar and wind. (Read more) A reliable grid is a foundation of our quality of life. Our lives depend on ultra-reliable electricity for the refrigerators that preserve our food, the water treatment plants that keep our water drinkable, the air conditioning that keeps us cool, the factories that produce our goods, etc. ☼
The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ Is A 4-Step Recipe For Wrecking US Energy
by Alex Epstein
Want to know whether a candidate is truly supportive of American energy? Here’s one simple test: Did they oppose the “Inflation Reduction Act”? If not, then they supported one of the most destructive energy policies in American history. (Read more) ☼
Update On Europe’s Self-Inflicted Energy Crisis
by Francis Menton
Europeans are experiencing energy shortages and skyrocketing price increases. (Read more) See also: Cost Of The Green Energy Transition: Who You Gonna Believe, Some Research Assistants From Oxford Or Your Lyin’ Eyes? (link)☼
Biden Energy Policies: Incoherent, Incompetent, Intolerable
by Paul Driessen
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in West Virginia v. EPA is truly a landmark ruling. It decisively rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to use vague, “previously little-used” language in the Clean Air Act to shutter America’s remaining coal-fired power plants and force the nation to switch to pseudo-renewable energy, in the name of ending the “manmade climate crisis.”
But the decision goes much further. The Court made it clear that federal agencies may not impose “major federal actions,” decide “major questions” or implement “transformative expansions” of their regulatory authority without specific statutory authority clearly conferred by Congress.
In other words, federal agencies do not have the power or right to take unilateral actions that effectively transform or undermine major sections of America’s energy, economic or agricultural systems, its industries or its living standards, unless Congress has given them explicit authority to do so.
Such enormously “transformational powers” belong to the American people, acting through legislators they elect to represent them – not to bureaucrats who are not elected and cannot easily be removed from office or otherwise disciplined and held accountable. (Read more) ☼
Global Decarbonization: Negative Agricultural Impacts
By Craig D. Idso
Taxing carbon dioxide emissions raises prices of many products including food. The agricultural sector of the economy relies on low-cost energy to produce food and other products necessary to sustaining life on the planet. As the costs to produce agricultural products increase, those costs are passed on to the consumer, thereby reducing disposable household income, which reduction also disproportionately burdens the poor. (Read more) ☼
Texas Grid Reliability: Gone With the Wind (and solar)
By Bill Peacock — September 14, 2022
“The solution to keeping the lights on in Texas is to stop politicians and regulators from micro-managing the Texas energy market. Texas politicians could do this by ending renewable energy subsidies in the state and making renewable companies pay for the costs they impose on the rest of us from their federal subsidies.” (Read more) ☼
U.S. oil and gas industry: 10 actions to reduce high energy prices that won’t cost taxpayers $740 billion
by Bethany Blankley, Heartland Institute
Rather than impose higher taxes and more restrictions on domestic production of oil and natural gas, as Senate Democrats voted to do by passing the Inflation Reduction Act, those in the industry proposed 10 actions policy makers can take right now to reduce costs. The industry says its solutions won’t cost taxpayers $740 billion, as the Inflation Reduction Act does, or increase the national debt or inflation, as 230 economists have warned the act will do. (Read more) ☼
Electric Cars Are Not “Zero-Emission Vehicles”
by James D. Agresti
The notion that electric vehicles are “zero-emission” is rooted in a deceptive narrative that ignores all pollutants which don’t come out of a tailpipe. Assessing the environmental impacts of energy technologies requires measuring all forms of pollution they emit over their entire lives, not a narrow slice of them. To do this, researchers perform “life cycle assessments” or LCAs (e.g., raw material extraction, material transportation, ultimate product disposal, etc.). Simply stated, switching to electric cars transfers pollution from urbanites in wealthy nations to poor countries that mine and manufacture their components and to communities with power plants and disposal sites. (Read more) ☼
Will an EV-Filled World Pass The Sulfuric Acid Test? An unexpected resource crunch over H2SO4 troubles experts
by RAHUL RAO
Look at the periodic table, and think of the elements needed for a prosperous planet powered by renewable energy. Sulfur likely won’t be the first to come to mind.
It probably doesn’t help the yellow element’s noxious reputation to learn that most of the world’s sulfur comes as a byproduct of refining fossil fuels. In a net-zero future, a future where petroleum and natural gas production enter terminal decline and never return to their past carbon-spewing heights, sulfur production will fall away, too.
Therein lies the problem. Sulfur—easily turned into sulfuric acid—is a necessary tool for creating fertilizer and extracting heavy metals from their ores before they can go into batteries, wind turbines, and electric vehicle components. Even as sulfur production is set to fall, sulfuric acid demand is set to rise. (Read more) ☼
China’s Coal-Fired Power Boom Is Soaring To New Levels
Wall Street Journal editorial board
An unspoken truth of the climate-change crusade is this: Anything the U.S. does to reduce emissions won’t matter much to global temperatures. U.S. cuts will be swamped by the increases in India, Africa, and especially China. Look no further than China’s boom in new coal-fired electricity. (Read more) ☼
Biden admin sides against Native Americans in crackdown on oil leasing near Indigenous site
by Thomas Catenacci
The Biden administration is expected to soon finalize a rule banning oil and gas leasing near a Native American historical site despite heavy opposition from local Indigenous leaders, who say the administration’s rule would prevent them from collecting royalties on their land. (Read more) ☼
Idiotic energy policies are now taking their toll with sky-high energy costs and insufficient supply forcing industries to cut back or close. See these reports:
“The Weaponization of Science: Politics, Vilification, and the Climate Debate” – Dr. Willie Soon (link to videos)
Why The Green Fantasies Of Our Ruling Class Are Finally Unravelling (link)
Elites Deny Reality As Europe’s Industrial Might Collapses (link)
Climate-Crazy Scotland Rejects Plans To Drill More To Help Ease Energy Crunch (link)
UK Energy Crisis Delays Coal Plant Closures, Fast-Tracks New Nuclear (link)
10 Facts Electric Vehicle Advocates Don’t Want You To Know (link) ☼
Eating less Meat won’t save the Planet. Here’s Why
by Dr. Frank Mitloehner
See Video, 23 minutes ☼
Simple method destroys dangerous ‘forever chemicals,’ making water safe
from Science Daily
Using common reagents in heated water, chemists can ‘behead’ and break down PFAS, leaving only harmless compounds. (Read more) ☼
NOTE: see end of this section for background information about climate science.
There is no climate emergency – a statement from CLINTEL
h/t Ron Clutz
►There is no climate emergency
Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of their policy measures.
►Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming. The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming.
►Warming is far slower than predicted.
The world has warmed significantly less than predicted by IPCC on the basis of modeled anthropogenic forcing. The gap between the real world and the modeled world tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.
►Climate policy relies on inadequate models
Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. They do not only exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases, they also ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.
►CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth
CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. More CO2 is favorable for nature, greening our planet. Additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also profitable for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide. Global warming has not increased natural disasters There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, there is ample evidence that CO2 mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly.
Net Benefit: Rising CO2 Improves Essential Crop Yields– Critical to Feeding The World
By Kenneth Richard
The elevated CO2 fertilization effect is driving global greening trends, pushing back deserts, enhancing photosynthesis by 30 to 50%, improving water use efficiency, and boosting crop yields by about 3% every year since 1961. (Read more) ☼
►Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities
There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. Go for adaptation instead of mitigation; adaptation works whatever the causes are.
Our advice to the European leaders is that Science should strive for a significantly better understanding of the Climate System, while Politics should focus on minimizing potential climate damage by priortizing adaptation strategies based on proven and affordable technologies.
Climate Intelligence (CLINTEL) is an independent foundation that operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy. (Read full report) ☼
See also: Climate Emergency Not Supported by Data, Say Four Leading Italian Scientists (link) ☼
50 Reasons to Re-Think Climate Policy
by Barry Brill,
Climate Policy is in crisis. This month, the G20 Climate Conference in Bali collapsed in confusion – preceded by the flops of both COP26 in Glasgow and COP25 in Madrid. Three decades of climate talks (52 weeks of Conferencing) have failed dismally – and the global objective of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions is no nearer being attained than it was at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. THERE IS NO CLIMATE EMERGENCY: Warming has paused; Change has been trivial; Climate models are unreliable; Islands are expanding etc. (Read more) ☼
Climate Alarmist Claim Fact Checks
Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Below are a series of fact checks of the 13 most common climate claims such as those made in the recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment Report. (Read more) ☼
Despite Media Claims, Atlantic Hurricane Season Sets Records for Inactivity
By Anthony Watts
Back in May, many media outlets ran with this headline courtesy of a press release from NOAA:
NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. However:
Now, with August ending, and with no named storms in the Atlantic, according to records, this is the first August since 1997 to not feature any named tropical storms or hurricanes and only the 18th time on record going back to 1851. Data shows that globally, hurricane counts have remained unchanged since 1980. The year 2021 featured the fewest in that record. Also, we now have the lowest year-to-date Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index in the North Atlantic Ocean basin since 1941. (Read more) (Note: Hurricane season runs June through November every year, with August through October being the peak months for tropical cyclone events. The first hurricane of this season was in early September.) ☼
Greenland Ice Melt Scare
On the same day that CNBC ballyhooed a story in the journal Nature which claimed that 3.3 percent of Greenland’s ice sheet will melt, which would theoretically cause sea levels to rise about 10 inches between now and 2100; Greenland received a snowfall of 7 billion tons in one day. See two stories here and here. See also: Why “Zombie Ice” and other claims of Greenland ice melt raising sea levels are just modeled hokum. (link)
See also: Don’t Believe The Alarmist Hype About Antarctica’s Melting Glaciers (link) ☼
Polar Bear No Closer to Extinction Than It Was 18 Years Ago as Arctic Sea Ice Resists ‘Tipping Point’
by Dr. Susan Crockford
All predictions of disaster aside, in fact the polar bear is no closer to extinction than it was in 2005 as Arctic sea ice again steadfastly resists slipping past a catastrophic ‘tipping point’ — or the ‘death spiral’, as some chicken-littles continue to call it. In fact, the summer sea ice trend has been pretty much flat since 2007, with ice covering about 42% less area than it had done in 1979, yet polar bears in many regions are doing better now than they were in 2005, especially in Davis Strait, the Barents and Chukchi Seas and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. (Read more) ☼
See also: The Great Arctic Sea Ice Scam (link). Read about all the failed predictions. ☼
How Can The Globe Be Warming When Most Of The Southern Hemisphere Isn’t?
By Kenneth Richard
New research continues to document non-warming and even “robust cooling” trends for entire regions of the Southern Hemisphere in recent decades. Land surface temperature data compilations from the Southern Hemisphere (South America, Southwestern Andes, Tasmania, New Zealand, Australia) indicate that any warming during the 20th century occurred before 1980, with no obvious net warming since. (Read more) ☼
Lake Mead Low Water Levels, Part 2: Colorado River Inflow Variations and Trend
by Dr. Roy Spencer
►Contrary to claims that drought is causing Lake Mead water levels to fall, the Colorado River natural flows into Lake Mead show no long-term trend since 1930.
►Decadal time scale variations in river flow do occur, though, related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).
►Since about 2000, use of Lake Mead water has exceeded river inflow, causing water levels to drop. The negative phase of the PDO since that time has exacerbated the problem.
Systemic Error in Global Temperature Measurement
by Moritz Büsing
Some time ago I stumbled upon a curiosity in temperature measurement publications of the last 30 years: When you turn the temperature anomaly curves into absolute temperature curves then the past has been getting colder.
I found a systematic error in one of the most important analysis processes: homogenization.
Homogenization consists of removing stepwise breaks and trends in the data series that result from non-climate related sources. For example, relocating a weather station from the top of a mountain to the valley can cause a permanent offset in temperature measurements. Also using a new type of thermometer or a new type of housing of the thermometer can permanently change the measured temperatures. These changes lead to stepwise breaks in the data series. Other changes, such as urbanization, lead to non-climate related trend changes in the data series that are also permanent. These permanent errors are corrected by increasing or decreasing all the past data at a stepwise break such that the temperature curve becomes continuous. (Read more) ☼
Thoughts About Clouds And Water (Vapor)
By Dr. Lars Schernikau
Climate models are NOT capable of modeling clouds. Their resolution is too low and clouds are too complex. (Read more) ☼
Another source of carbon dioxide
Satellite based thermal scanning of the Earth’s Oceans by NASA have shown that there may be as many as 3 million volcanoes down under the Ocean. These volcanoes can warm the ocean and drive dissolved carbon dioxide into the air. (Source)
Rethinking the Greenhouse Effect
by William Kininmonth
A former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre is arguing that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has adopted an overly simplistic approach to global warming and has ended up exaggerating the human contribution to recent climate change. (Read full report) ☼
California’s Ill-Conceived EV ‘Leadership’
by Douglas Andrews, Patriot Post
The state just announced its plans for an all-electric vehicle future, but its electrical grid can’t even handle the present. (Read more) ☼
Diesel Powered Trucks Are Now Racist, According to California (link)
CLIMATE SCIENCE BACKGROUND:
Geologic evidence shows that Earth’s climate has been in a constant state of flux for more than 4 billion years. Nothing we do can stop that. Much of current climate and energy policy is based upon the erroneous assumption that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, which make up just 0.1% of total greenhouse gases, are responsible for “dangerous” global warming/climate change. Man-made carbon dioxide emissions have no significant effect on global temperature/climate. In fact, when there is an apparent correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been shown to follow, not lead, changes in Earth’s temperature. All efforts to reduce emissions are futile with regard to climate change, but such efforts will impose massive economic harm to Western Nations. The “climate crisis” is a scam. U.N officials have admitted that their climate policy is about money and power and destroying capitalism, not about climate. By the way, like all planetary bodies, the earth loses heat through infrared radiation. Greenhouse gases interfere with (block) some of this heat loss. Greenhouse gases don’t warm the Earth, they slow the cooling.
For more on climate science, see my Wryheat Climate articles:
“Before you make a case a general rule, test it two or three times and observe whether all experiments produce identical results.” – Leonardo da Vinci.
“The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)
“Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.” —Benjamin Franklin (1722)