People for the West -Tucson
Newsletter, December, 2018
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands
To Arizona Residents: Let’s Finish the Job on Renewable Energy Mandates
by Jonathan DuHamel
In the November election, Arizona voters rightly and overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 127 which would have established an amendment to the Arizona Constitution requiring that 50 percent of electricity be generated from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. We need to finish the job and get the Arizona legislature to repeal the existing 15 percent renewable energy mandate imposed upon us by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in 2006.
Reasons why renewable energy mandates are bad policy:
1) Electricity generated from solar and wind is much more expensive than conventional generation. That expense is reflected in higher electricity bills. My current bill from Tucson Electric Power shows “surcharges” directly attributable to the mandate of an extra $230 per year. I expect those charges to double as we transition from the current 7 percent renewables to the mandated 15 percent. The ACC itself estimated that, through 2025, the mandate would cost consumers $1.2 billion more than they would have paid for conventional energy sources.
2) Because renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent, unpredictable, and unreliable, they require backup generation which is usually by burning fossil fuels. Experience in Europe shows that backup generators actually use more fuel and produce more carbon dioxide emissions and pollutants such as sulfur dioxide than they normally would if they were run efficiently for primary generation.
3) Use of renewable energy will not impact climate. If Arizona stopped all carbon dioxide emissions it could theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.0015°C by 2050. Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have almost no effect on global temperatures, see: Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect
4) Finally, renewable energy is not as green as advertised.
The manufacturing and disposal processes for solar panels put several dangerous chemicals into the environment. Wind turbines chop up birds and bats. Wind turbines also have deleterious effects on human health, see: Health Hazards of Wind Turbines
Petition the Arizona legislature to end the mandate.
Article 15 of the Arizona Constitution deals with the ACC. Perhaps section 6 of that article provides a means for the legislature to rescind the mandate. It reads:
Section 6. The law-making power may enlarge the powers and extend the duties of the corporation commission, and may prescribe rules and regulations to govern proceedings instituted by and before it; but, until such rules and regulations are provided by law, the commission may make rules and regulations to govern such proceedings. [my emphasis]
Perhaps the legislature could pass a law that says: The ACC shall not mandate the method by which electricity is generated in Arizona. Any and all existing mandates are hereby rescinded and declared null and void.
Such a law does not mean that electric companies can’t use renewable energy. It just means that government bureaucrats can’t tell them they must.
The Arizona legislature reconvenes in mid January. Between now and then, please contact your state senator and two state representatives and urge them to repeal the ACC mandate.
To find contact information for your state legislators:
First find your Arizona legislative district: https://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/
You will have to type in your address or zip code. This site will show both your federal congressional district number and your Arizona legislative district number.
Find an alphabetical list of members of the legislature (with phone numbers and email address):
Scroll down the list until you find the legislators in your district.
To send a message from the roster:
You can click on the name in the 4th column to get to a message form. Or to send an email directly, use the name in the 4th column on the list and add: @azleg.gov
For regular mail, use this address: Legislator name, Arizona State Senate (or House of Representatives), 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
We should rely upon the free market and let utility companies generate electricity by the method they see as most efficient, cost effective, and reliable. Most renewable energy sources are none of those things. ☼
Fourth National Climate Assessment, Part 2 – no science, just scaremongering
by Jonathan DuHamel
On November 23, 2018, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released Part 2 of the Fourth National Climate Assessment as required by law. [link to report] You may have read in the always credulous “mainstream” media about all the doom and gloom prophecies in the new report. Part 1 was released in November, 2017. Please read my comments on Part 1 here: Fourth National Climate Assessment is junk science
Both reports are based on computer modeling rather than on physical observations.
Much of the latest USGCRP report is vague and unsubstantiated. It offers no hard evidence, just vague assertions and claims that past climate change is no evidence about future climate change. It does not meet the standards of the Information Quality Act, and each page should be stamped: “Based on speculation, not hard evidence.” Part 2 is based almost entirely on one extreme climate model (RCP8.5) which is an outlier from most other models. Even the UN’s IPCC is phasing out that model.
The scaremongers have a problem. Since the first National Climate Assessment in 2000, U.S. temperatures show no net change. Nature is not cooperating with the political narrative.
“The problem with these sorts of ‘studies’ is the main conclusion is already made before the actual work begins. These academics aren’t studying to see if the changing climate is caused by man or nature, it’s simply accepted as faith that it’s man’s fault. So these studies are done to reinforce preconceived notions and justify jobs. These academics who conduct them have to justify their jobs and bring in grant money, government grant money; our money.” – Derek Hunter, Townhall (link)
“The scientists who wrote the National Climate Assessment used unreliable information that exaggerates the risks global warming poses.” – University of Colorado Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.
“This report from the climate alarmist Deep State in our government is even more hysterical than some United Nations reports. The idea that global temperatures could rise as much as 12 degrees in the next 80 years is absurd and not a shred of actual data and observation supports that. And as noted in Climate Change Reconsidered, sea levels have not been rising at an accelerated rate, and global temperatures have stayed largely the same for much of the last 20 years.” – Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D., President & CEO, The Heartland Institute
“I have never seen such blatantly absurd conclusions drawn entirely from mathematical models that use only a limited number of variables. Of course, this shoddy science by Obama-era appointees serves its real purpose: producing a preordained political outcome that puts more power and money in the hands of the United Nations.
“The physical evidence proves conclusively that sea level is not rising at increased levels. The frequency and strength of hurricanes has been declining for years, not increasing. The same goes for tornados, floods, and forest fires. In fact, there is no evidence that further increases in carbon dioxide emissions will have any deleterious effect on the planet or its temperature.
“This report is a scientific embarrassment. Not only does it rely on computer models to predict the climate through the end of the century, it relies on computer models from five years ago that have been laughably wrong, failing to get even close to reality since 2013. Happily, President Trump has on his advisory staff Dr. William Happer, who knows how flawed these models are and will advise the president to not base a single aspect of U.S. policy upon them.” – Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Science Director, The Heartland Institute
According to the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (http://www.co2science.org/):
“Real-world observations fail to confirm essentially all of the alarming predictions of significant increases in the frequency and severity of droughts, floods and hurricanes that climate models suggest should occur in response to a global warming of the magnitude that was experienced by the earth over the past two centuries as it gradually recovered from the much-lower-than-present temperatures characteristic of the depths of the Little Ice Age. And other observations have shown that the rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with the development of the Industrial Revolution have actually been good for the planet, as they have significantly enhanced the plant productivity and vegetative water use efficiency of earth’s natural and agro-ecosystems, leading to a significant ‘greening of the earth.’” Read 168-page report
Comment from the Science and Environmental Policy Project (http://www.sepp.org/):
“Humanity evolved in the tropics about 200,000 years ago during periods of extreme climate change. The current warm period, the Holocene Epoch, started about 11,700 years ago. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the earth has experienced three periods of climate change since emerging from the depths of the last Ice Age into the Holocene Epoch. Agriculture began during the Greenlanddian Age, the warmest time of the Holocene Epoch. Civilization began during Northgrippian Age, warmer than today, about 8200 to 4200 years ago. During the subsequent cooling, about 4200 years ago, humanity suffered and cultures disappeared. These changes appear to be unrelated to carbon dioxide (CO2). Yet the USGCRP declares that climate has been stable for 12,000 years and humanity is threatened by global warming from CO2?”
By the way: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, between 2005 and 2017, U.S. energy related emissions of carbon dioxide plunged by 861 million metric tons, a 14% drop due mainly to the fracking revolution. During the same period, global emissions rose by 21% due mostly to China and India economic development.
THE SEA LEVEL BOGEYMAN
Climate alarmists, including the USGCRP, have long predicted that global warming will cause giant sea level rises. A new report by a real scientist gives a more reasoned assessment.
Special Report on Sea Level Rise
by Dr. Judith Curry
[Full report, 79 pages]
Here is a summary:
Mean global sea level has risen at a slow creep for more than 150 years; since 1900, global mean sea level has risen about 7-8 inches. The implications of the highest values of projected sea-level rise under future climate change scenarios are profound, with far reaching socioeconomic and environmental implications. However, these projections are regarded as deeply uncertain and the highest of these projections strain credulity.
The IPCC and other assessment reports are framed around providing support for the hypothesis of human-caused climate change. As a result, natural processes of climate variability have been relatively neglected in these assessments. Arguments have been presented here supporting the important and even dominant role that natural processes play in global and regional sea level variations and change.
Is the recent sea level rise (since 1993) of magnitude 3 mm/year unusual?
No, although this conclusion is conditional on the quality of the global sea level data. The available evidence shows the following:
Sea level was apparently higher than present at the time of the Holocene Climate Optimum (~ 5000 years ago), at least in some regions.
Tide gauges show that sea levels began to rise during the 19th century, after several centuries associated with cooling and sea level decline. Tide gauges also show that rates of global mean sea level rise between 1920 and 1950 were comparable to recent rates.
Recent research has concluded that there is no consistent or compelling evidence that recent rates of sea level rise are abnormal in the context of the historical records back to the 19th century that are available across Europe.
Has recent global sea level rise been caused by human-caused global warming?
Identifying a potential human fingerprint on recent sea level rise is confounded by the large magnitude of natural internal variability associated with ocean circulation patterns. There is not yet convincing evidence of a fingerprint on sea level rise associated with human-caused global warming.
The slow emergence of fossil fuel emissions prior to 1950 did not contribute significantly to sea level rise observed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The recent acceleration in mean global sea level rise (since 1995) is caused by mass loss from Greenland that appears to have been larger during the 1930’s, with both periods associated with the warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.
To what extent is local sea level rise influenced by global sea level rise?
In many of the most vulnerable coastal locations, the dominant causes of local sea level rise are natural oceanic and geologic processes and land use practices. Land use and engineering in the major coastal cities have brought on many of the worst problems, notably landfilling in coastal wetland areas and groundwater extraction.
How much will sea level rise in the 21st century?
Local sea level in many regions will continue to rise in the 21st century – independent of global climate change.
Emissions scenario choice exerts a great deal of influence on predicted sea level rise after 2050. If RCP8.5 is rejected as an extremely unlikely or impossible scenario, then the appropriate range of sea level rise scenarios to consider for 2100 is 0.2–1.6 m. Values exceeding 2 feet are increasingly weakly justified. Values exceeding 1.6 m require a cascade of extremely unlikely to impossible events, the joint likelihood of which is arguably impossible.
Further, these values of sea level rise are contingent on the climate models predicting the correct amount of temperature increase. There are numerous reasons to think that the climate models are predicting too much warming for the 21st century, and hence the more extreme values of sea level rise (above 1 m) are arguably too high.
Kopp et al. (2017) state: “The breadth of published projections, as well as of remaining structural uncertainties, highlight the fact that future sea-level rise remains an arena of deep uncertainty.”
Climate-related decisions involve incomplete information from a fast-moving and irreducibly uncertain science. The challenges of understanding the causes of sea level rise and projecting future climate change and sea level rise are well-recognized by the international community of climate and sea level researchers, as summarized in the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Grand Challenges. The WCRP Grand Challenge on Sea Level Rise states:
“Despite considerable progress during the last decade, major gaps remain in our understanding of past and contemporary sea level change and their causes. These uncertainties arise from limitations in our current conceptual understanding of relevant physical processes, deficiencies in our observing and monitoring systems, and inaccuracies in statistical and numerical modelling approaches to simulate or forecast sea level.”
“A significant part of this large uncertainty arises from inappropriate (or sometimes missing) model representations of some physical processes that affect sea level and needs to be reduced for more accurate sea level projections.”
“Improved sea level predictions/projections, particularly over the next decades, are critically dependent on understanding observed natural variability, accurately reproducing it in models, and mapping its future behavior under climate change.” ☼
Some evidence from the real world:
A global assessment of atoll island planform changes over the past decades
by Virginie K. E. Duvat
Over the past decades, atoll islands exhibited no widespread sign of physical destabilization in the face of sea level rise. A reanalysis of available data, which cover 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, reveals that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted. Atoll islands affected by rapid sea level rise did not show a distinct behavior compared to islands on other atolls. Island behavior correlated with island size, and no island smaller than 10 ha decreased in size. This threshold could be used to define the minimum island size required for human occupancy and to assess atoll countries and territories’ vulnerability to climate change.
About the mass extinctions supposedly occurring now
by Larry Kummer, Editor Science & Nature 4 October 2018
Summary: More fears fed by activists. As the papers cited below show, they have little support from science – but are seldom rebuked by scientists. Each round of such exaggerated claims erodes away the public’s trust. The leaders of science institutions show little interest in fixing this problem. We cannot afford to have science’s credibility squandered for short-term political gains. So, here is a look at the latest fear du jour: mass extinctions. Mostly beetle species, dying modeled deaths, unnoticed and unmourned. There is little support in the peer-reviewed literature for those wild numbers about current extinction rates. Read article ☼
Green Energy is the Perfect Scam
By Norman Rogers
Green energy is an incredible money-making scam. The promoters of green energy make billions of dollars promoting dumb energy schemes that are completely useless. What makes the scam extremely clever is that the scammers have convinced the public that the purpose of their scam is to improve the environment. The scammers pretend to be earnest environmental advocates. Read more
“Every wind or solar installation has to be 100% backed up by conventional generation. As a consequence, they are simply useless appendages to the electric grid, like a sixth toe. The small amount of fuel saved in the backup plants, when the erratic wind or solar is actually working, does not remotely pay the cost of the wind or solar make-work projects. Wind and solar are not even cost-effective for reducing CO2 emissions.” – Norman Rogers ☼
Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe
By Paul Homewood
Palm oil plantations are destroying the environment of SW Pacific islands. In the mid-2000s, Western nations, led by the United States, began drafting environmental laws that encouraged the use of vegetable oil in fuels, an ambitious move to reduce carbon dioxide and curb global warming. But these laws were drawn up based on an incomplete accounting of the true environmental costs. Despite warnings that the policies could have the opposite of their intended effect, they were implemented anyway, producing what now appears to be a calamity with global consequences.
The tropical rain forests of Indonesia, and in particular the peatland regions of Borneo, have large amounts of carbon trapped within their trees and soil. Slashing and burning the existing forests to make way for oil-palm cultivation had a perverse effect: It released more carbon. A lot more carbon. NASA researchers say the accelerated destruction of Borneo’s forests contributed to the largest single-year global increase in carbon emissions in two millenniums, an explosion that transformed Indonesia into the world’s fourth-largest source of such emissions. Instead of creating a clever technocratic fix to reduce American’s carbon footprint, lawmakers had lit the fuse on a powerful carbon bomb that, as the forests were cleared and burned, produced more carbon than the entire continent of Europe. The unprecedented palm-oil boom, meanwhile, has enriched and emboldened many of the region’s largest corporations, which have begun using their newfound power and wealth to suppress critics, abuse workers and acquire more land to produce oil. The article goes on to expose the Obama’s EPA’s cover up of the problems. Read more ☼
Swiss glaciers mostly melted before industrialization began
By analyzing soot layers in Alpine glaciers, a new paper published in The Cryosphere shows that the majority of Alpine glaciers had already experienced more than 80 % of their total 19th century length reduction before the carbon dioxide emissions of the industrial revolution. (Source) ☼
“Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.” —James Wilson (1791)
“The people who are supposed to be the experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence…I hope that a few of them will make the effort to examine the evidence in detail and see how it contradicts the prevailing dogma, but I know that the majority will remain blind. That to me is the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that the whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?” – Freeman Dyson
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.”—Thomas Jefferson (1823)
But it would be a mistake to consider this cult of nature an innocent manifestation of the yearning to restore nature’s presumed paradise lost. Its most consequential current incarnation – ‘global warming’ — is a barely disguised assault on capitalism. -Alex Alexiev
The bureaucratic way, remember this?: During the initial space flights, NASA discovered that biro pens didn’t work under zero gravity conditions. To beat the problem, NASA spent 6 years and $2 million in designing a pen for use in space. The pen would work under zero gravity conditions due to the pressurized ink inside, it would work under sub zero conditions, underwater, on glass and virtually any surface known to man. All this time, the Russians used a pencil.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
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1) Support private property rights.
2) Support multiple use management of federal lands for agriculture, livestock grazing, mining, oil and gas production, recreation, timber harvesting and water development activities.
3) Support a balance of environmental responsibility and economic benefit for all Americans by urging that environmental policy be based on good science and sound economic principles.
Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:
See my essay on climate change:
The Constitution is the real contract with America.
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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. Newsletter subscriptions are free.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.