Archive for May, 2009

Programming note

05/13/2009

I’ll be away for about a month. Until then no posts, no comments, no comment moderation. I’m going to Idaho to run the Selway, Middle Fork Salmon, and Salmon rivers, about 400 miles of pristine rivers, lots of whitewater. Too bad I’ll be away, these are very interesting times.

Programming note

05/13/2009

I’ll be away for about a month. Until then no posts, no comments, no comment moderation. I’m going to Idaho to run the Selway, Middle Fork Salmon, and Salmon rivers, about 400 miles of pristine rivers, lots of whitewater. Too bad I’ll be away, these are very interesting times.

Insanity — Democrats set to ration and tax energy, choke economy

05/13/2009

“House Democratic leaders are scaling back plans to curb global warming [the planet’s been cooling for a decade] and make the transition to cleaner energy in the hopes that they can get a bill passed this year.Waxman said Tuesday that the Democrats on the committee had agreed to give 35 percent of the allowances away for free to local electricity distribution companies to help ease costs. Allowances will also be doled out to auto manufacturers to help them develop cleaner cars.” …

[T]hey have lowered targets for renewable energy, will require a smaller reduction by 2020 in the emissions blamed for global warming, and will give away valuable permits to release pollution to electricity distribution companies and auto manufacturers.

“We have resolved a good number of the issues,” said Waxman, who chairs the panel and has set a Memorial Day deadline for it to clear the committee. “I believe we will have the votes for passage of this bill next week.” …

Initially, the bill called for electricity producers to generate 25 percent of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2025. That target has been lowered to 15 percent by 2020, with as much as 5 percent coming from improvements in energy efficiency.

The deal also makes more modest cuts in greenhouse gases. The draft unveiled in March called for a 20 percent reduction by 2020 in the emissions blamed for global warming. The version that will be unveiled later this week will call for a 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. …

Waxman said Tuesday that the Democrats on the committee had agreed to give 35 percent of the allowances away for free to local electricity distribution companies to help ease costs. Allowances will also be doled out to auto manufacturers to help them develop cleaner cars.” “House Dems scale back plans to curb global warming

Insanity — Democrats set to ration and tax energy, choke economy

05/13/2009

“House Democratic leaders are scaling back plans to curb global warming [the planet’s been cooling for a decade] and make the transition to cleaner energy in the hopes that they can get a bill passed this year.Waxman said Tuesday that the Democrats on the committee had agreed to give 35 percent of the allowances away for free to local electricity distribution companies to help ease costs. Allowances will also be doled out to auto manufacturers to help them develop cleaner cars.” …

[T]hey have lowered targets for renewable energy, will require a smaller reduction by 2020 in the emissions blamed for global warming, and will give away valuable permits to release pollution to electricity distribution companies and auto manufacturers.

“We have resolved a good number of the issues,” said Waxman, who chairs the panel and has set a Memorial Day deadline for it to clear the committee. “I believe we will have the votes for passage of this bill next week.” …

Initially, the bill called for electricity producers to generate 25 percent of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2025. That target has been lowered to 15 percent by 2020, with as much as 5 percent coming from improvements in energy efficiency.

The deal also makes more modest cuts in greenhouse gases. The draft unveiled in March called for a 20 percent reduction by 2020 in the emissions blamed for global warming. The version that will be unveiled later this week will call for a 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. …

Waxman said Tuesday that the Democrats on the committee had agreed to give 35 percent of the allowances away for free to local electricity distribution companies to help ease costs. Allowances will also be doled out to auto manufacturers to help them develop cleaner cars.” “House Dems scale back plans to curb global warming

America the clueless

05/12/2009

“The gap between Capitol Hill and Main Street is huge when it comes to the so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation being considered in Congress. So wide, in fact, that few voters even know what the proposed legislation is all about.

Given a choice of three options, just 24% of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29%) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17% think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30%) have no idea.” “Congress Pushes Cap and Trade, But Just 24% Know What It Is” h/t CCNet May 12

Spencer's simple model for atmospheric CO2 increase: 90% natural

05/12/2009



“I decided to run a simple model in which the change in atmospheric CO2 with time is a function of sea surface temperature anomaly. The model equation looks like this:

delta[CO2]/delta[t] = a*SST + b*Anthro

Which simply says that the change in atmospheric CO2 with time is proportional to some combination of the SST anomaly and the anthropogenic (manmade) CO2 source. I then ran the model in an Excel spreadsheet and adjusted an “a” and “b” coefficients until the model response looked like the observed record of yearly CO2 accumulation rate at Mauna Loa.

It didn’t take long to find a model that did a pretty good job (a = 4.6 ppm/yr per deg. C; b=0.1), as the … graph shows.

The best fit (shown) assumed only 10% of the atmospheric CO2 increase is due to human emissions (b=0.1), while the other 90% is simple due to changes in sea surface temperature. The peak correlation between the modeled and observed CO2 fluctuation is now at zero month time lag, supporting the model’s realism. The model explained 50% of the variance of the Mauna Loa observations.

The best model fit assumes that the temperature anomaly at which the ocean switches between a sink and a source of CO2 for the atmosphere is -0.2 deg. C, indicated by the bold line in the SST graph, seen in the second graph in this article. In the context of longer-term changes, it would mean that the ocean became a net source of more atmospheric CO2 around 1930.” “Global warming causing carbon dioxide increases: a simple model

Whitehouse memo undermines EPA

05/12/2009

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–U.S. regulation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide “is likely to have serious economic consequences” for businesses small and large across the economy, a White House memo warned the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.

The nine-page document also undermines the EPA’s reasoning for a proposed finding that greenhouse gases are a danger to public health and welfare, a trigger for new rules. …

The memo – marked as “Deliberative-Attorney Client Privilege” – doesn’t have a date or a named author. But an OMB spokesman confirmed it was prepared by Obama administration staff as part of the inter-agency review process of the proposed endangerment finding. …

The position outlined in the memo is at odds with other White House documents on the proposed endangerment rule, which appear to affirm the EPA’s decision to move ahead with the endangerment finding.

“Making the decision to regulate CO2 under the [Clean Air Act] for the first time is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the U.S. economy, including small businesses and small communities,” the OMB document reads.

“The finding should also acknowledge the EPA has not undertaken a systemic risk analysis or cost-benefit analysis,” it reads.

The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s environment and regulatory affairs, William Kovacs, said the memo “confirms almost everything we’ve been saying on the spillover effects of regulating greenhouse gases.” He said the OMB legal brief exposes the administration and the EPA to litigation if it finalizes the endangerment finding and begins to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, particularly because it was drafted during the deliberation process. …

The White House legal brief starts by questioning the link between the EPA’s scientific technical endangerment proposal and the EPA’s political summary. Jackson said in the endangerment summary that “scientific findings in totality point to compelling evidence of human-induced climate change, and that serious risks and potential impacts to public health and welfare have been clearly identified…”

“The finding rests heavily on the precautionary principle, but the amount of acknowledged lack of understanding about the basic facts surrounding [greenhouse gases] seem to stretch the precautionary principle to providing regulation in the face of unprecedented uncertainty,” the memo reads.

For example, the memo notes, the EPA endangerment technical document points out there are several areas where essential behaviors of greenhouse gases are “not well determined” and “not well understood.”

The OMB memo questions with concern the adequacy of the EPA finding that the gases are a harm to the public when there is “no demonstrated direct health effects,” and the scientific data on which the agency relies are “almost exclusively from non-EPA sources.”

Based on the “dramatically expanded precautionary principle,” the EPA would be petitioned to find endangerment and regulate many other alleged “pollutants,” including electro-magnetic fields, noise, and salts called percholorates.

The memo also warns that the endangerment finding, if finalized by the administration, could make agencies vulnerable to litigation alleging inadequate environmental permitting reviews, adding that the proposal could unintentionally trigger a cascade of regulations.” “OMB Memo: Serious Economic Impact Likely From EPA CO2 Rules” h/t Climate Depot

America the clueless

05/12/2009

“The gap between Capitol Hill and Main Street is huge when it comes to the so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation being considered in Congress. So wide, in fact, that few voters even know what the proposed legislation is all about.

Given a choice of three options, just 24% of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29%) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17% think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30%) have no idea.” “Congress Pushes Cap and Trade, But Just 24% Know What It Is” h/t CCNet May 12

Spencer’s simple model for atmospheric CO2 increase: 90% natural

05/12/2009



“I decided to run a simple model in which the change in atmospheric CO2 with time is a function of sea surface temperature anomaly. The model equation looks like this:

delta[CO2]/delta[t] = a*SST + b*Anthro

Which simply says that the change in atmospheric CO2 with time is proportional to some combination of the SST anomaly and the anthropogenic (manmade) CO2 source. I then ran the model in an Excel spreadsheet and adjusted an “a” and “b” coefficients until the model response looked like the observed record of yearly CO2 accumulation rate at Mauna Loa.

It didn’t take long to find a model that did a pretty good job (a = 4.6 ppm/yr per deg. C; b=0.1), as the … graph shows.

The best fit (shown) assumed only 10% of the atmospheric CO2 increase is due to human emissions (b=0.1), while the other 90% is simple due to changes in sea surface temperature. The peak correlation between the modeled and observed CO2 fluctuation is now at zero month time lag, supporting the model’s realism. The model explained 50% of the variance of the Mauna Loa observations.

The best model fit assumes that the temperature anomaly at which the ocean switches between a sink and a source of CO2 for the atmosphere is -0.2 deg. C, indicated by the bold line in the SST graph, seen in the second graph in this article. In the context of longer-term changes, it would mean that the ocean became a net source of more atmospheric CO2 around 1930.” “Global warming causing carbon dioxide increases: a simple model

Whitehouse memo undermines EPA

05/12/2009

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–U.S. regulation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide “is likely to have serious economic consequences” for businesses small and large across the economy, a White House memo warned the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.

The nine-page document also undermines the EPA’s reasoning for a proposed finding that greenhouse gases are a danger to public health and welfare, a trigger for new rules. …

The memo – marked as “Deliberative-Attorney Client Privilege” – doesn’t have a date or a named author. But an OMB spokesman confirmed it was prepared by Obama administration staff as part of the inter-agency review process of the proposed endangerment finding. …

The position outlined in the memo is at odds with other White House documents on the proposed endangerment rule, which appear to affirm the EPA’s decision to move ahead with the endangerment finding.

“Making the decision to regulate CO2 under the [Clean Air Act] for the first time is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the U.S. economy, including small businesses and small communities,” the OMB document reads.

“The finding should also acknowledge the EPA has not undertaken a systemic risk analysis or cost-benefit analysis,” it reads.

The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s environment and regulatory affairs, William Kovacs, said the memo “confirms almost everything we’ve been saying on the spillover effects of regulating greenhouse gases.” He said the OMB legal brief exposes the administration and the EPA to litigation if it finalizes the endangerment finding and begins to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, particularly because it was drafted during the deliberation process. …

The White House legal brief starts by questioning the link between the EPA’s scientific technical endangerment proposal and the EPA’s political summary. Jackson said in the endangerment summary that “scientific findings in totality point to compelling evidence of human-induced climate change, and that serious risks and potential impacts to public health and welfare have been clearly identified…”

“The finding rests heavily on the precautionary principle, but the amount of acknowledged lack of understanding about the basic facts surrounding [greenhouse gases] seem to stretch the precautionary principle to providing regulation in the face of unprecedented uncertainty,” the memo reads.

For example, the memo notes, the EPA endangerment technical document points out there are several areas where essential behaviors of greenhouse gases are “not well determined” and “not well understood.”

The OMB memo questions with concern the adequacy of the EPA finding that the gases are a harm to the public when there is “no demonstrated direct health effects,” and the scientific data on which the agency relies are “almost exclusively from non-EPA sources.”

Based on the “dramatically expanded precautionary principle,” the EPA would be petitioned to find endangerment and regulate many other alleged “pollutants,” including electro-magnetic fields, noise, and salts called percholorates.

The memo also warns that the endangerment finding, if finalized by the administration, could make agencies vulnerable to litigation alleging inadequate environmental permitting reviews, adding that the proposal could unintentionally trigger a cascade of regulations.” “OMB Memo: Serious Economic Impact Likely From EPA CO2 Rules” h/t Climate Depot