Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #472 – Watts Up With That?

The Week That Was: 2021-09-25 (September 25, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Each piece, or part, of the whole of nature is always merely an approximation to the complete truth, or the complete truth so far as we know it. In fact, everything we know is only some kind of approximation, because we know that we do not know all the laws as yet. Therefore, things must be leaned only to be unlearned again or, more likely, to be corrected.” – Richard Feynman, “Atoms in Motion” from Lectures on Physics. [Boldface in quote were italics in the original.]

Number of the Week: $11 BILLION a year by 2024


By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Scope: September 14 marked the opening of the UN General Assembly with Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives as the General Assembly President. The leaders of the Maldives have long claimed that they will drown with rising sea levels caused by carbon dioxide-caused global warming. In fact, examination shows that the land area of the Maldives has been increasing. Further, over the past few years the government-controlled Maldives Airport Company has been expanding the Velana International Airport to bring in international tourists. According to Wikipedia, a new terminal is under construction, designed to serve 7.3 million passengers at a cost of about $800 million US. The elevation of the airport is 6 feet (2 meters) above mean sea level. The extent of the new construction contradicts the claims by national leaders that the nation will soon disappear. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velana_International_Airport

On September 21, the General Debate began with leaders of various countries pledging to sacrifice the prosperity of their countries to “fight” global climate change, which has been occurring for hundreds of millions of years. The “science” advocated by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is based upon assumptions made over 40 years ago in the so-called Charney Report. Since then, space age technology has gathered extensive evidence that these assumptions are wrong, and that carbon dioxide is not a major cause of global warming or climate change. The UN IPCC has systematically ignored the new evidence and the scientific method as partially described by Feynman, above. Since it continues with errors of the past, its claims that its findings are based on science are false. Compounding this falsehood, the IPCC claims great certainty in its findings. This TWTW will discuss the pledges made by selected country leaders.

First, this TWTW will discuss a recent paper by Richard Lindzen, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT, titled “The Imaginary Climate Crisis – How can we Change the Message?” Then it will discuss certain leaders who are so willing to sacrifice the future prosperity of others to fight a threat that has no physical basis and assert that the UN, formed as a hope for humanity, has become a tool to oppress humanity. It will wrap up with how mass media companies are suppressing scientific inquiry and how fragile the electrical grid has become with additions of wind and solar.


Shortcomings Of Skeptics: Richard Lindzen begins his paper exploring how skeptics of dangerous global warming can possibly change their approach by writing: (format changed) 

“For about 33 years, many of us have been battling against climate hysteria. We have correctly noted: 1) The exaggerated sensitivity, 2) The role of other processes and natural internal variability, 3) The inconsistency with the paleoclimate record, and 4) The absence of evidence for increased extremes, droughts, floods, wild-fires, and so on.’ [Format changed}

“We have also pointed out the very real benefits of CO2 and even of modest warming. And, as concerns government policies, we have been pretty ineffective. Indeed, our efforts have done little other than to show (incorrectly) that we take the threat scenario seriously. In this talk, I want to make a tentative analysis of our failure.

“In punching away at the clear shortcomings of the narrative of climate alarm, we have, perhaps, missed the most serious shortcoming: namely, that the whole narrative is pretty absurd. Of course, many people (though by no means all) have great difficulty entertaining this possibility. They can’t believe that something so absurd could gain such universal acceptance.”

He likens the UN reaction to a slight warming to a doctor who finds a patient has a slightly elevated temperature and orders the patient be placed on life support. He then explains how meaningless the average global temperature is in relation to natural variation. Then he explains that the government response is analogous to:

“After your physical, your physician tells you that you may have a fatal disease. He’s not really sure, but he proposes a treatment that will be expensive and painful while offering no prospect of preventing the disease. When you ask why you would ever agree to such a thing, he says he just feels obligated to ‘do something’. That is precisely what the Paris Accord amounts to. However, the ‘something’ also gives governments the power to control the energy sector, and this is something many governments cannot resist. Information is unlikely to change this despite the fact that even the UN’s IPCC acknowledges that their warming claims would only reduce the immensely expanded GDP by about 2-3% by the end of the century – something that is trivially manageable and hardly ‘existential.’”

He draws an analogy in a paper he wrote 25 years ago on the absurdity in the 1920s of the US trying to prevent an epidemic of feeblemindedness. This resulted in programs promoting eugenics to improve the human race in America:

“Prominent supporters of eugenics included Theodore Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, the racist founder of Planned Parenthood, the Bishop of Ripon, George Bernard Shaw, Havelock Ellis, and many others. The supporters also included technically adept individuals who were not expert in genetics. Alexander Graham Bell for example. They also need a policy goal. In the early 1920’s, Americans became concerned with immigration, and it was argued that America was threatened with an epidemic of feeblemindedness due allegedly to immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe.

“Details of this situation are in my paper which you can request by email. The major takeaway points are the following:

“1. Elites are always searching for ways to advertise their virtue and assert the authority they believe they are entitled to.

“2. They view science as a source of authority rather than a process, and they try to appropriate science, suitably and incorrectly simplified, as the basis for their movement.

“3. Movements need goals, and these goals are generally embedded in legislation.

“4. The effect of legislation long outlasts the alleged science. The Immigration Reduction Act of 1924 remained until 1964.

“5. As long as scientists are rewarded for doing so, they are unlikely to oppose the exploitation of science.

“In the case of eugenics, government funding was not at issue, but private funding did play a role, and for many scientists, there was the public recognition of their relevance.”

Lindzen further discusses eugenics and two cultures where the educated elite is most vulnerable to an absurd narrative as stated by the novelist and physical chemist C.P. Snow. Snow asserted that many literate people do not understand science, or the scientific method. Yet they are offended when their ignorance is demonstrated. Lindzen concludes:

“What C.P. Snow failed to note, I think, is that the group he describes is actually aware of their scientific ignorance, and this leaves them very insecure. This accounts for their need for simple narratives, however wrong. It allows them to believe that they actually do ‘understand’ the science, and, as we see, they become arrogantly proud of their alleged accomplishment. Of course, they forget that their ignorance extends to understanding what science actually is. They forget that the opposite of Science is ‘The Science’. The situation is compounded when one comes to climate where most scientists are also ignorant, but where their support for the narrative comforts the non-scientists. On top of all this, I suspect that in a long period of wellbeing, this elite feels the need to show that they too have met challenges – even if the challenges are purely imaginary. This seems particularly true for young people who are confronted with stories of the courage of the ‘greatest generation’.

“One should note again that most ordinary people don’t have these problems.

“Our task is to show the relevant people the overall stupidity of this issue rather than punching away at details. In focusing on the details, we are merely trying to showcase our own specialties. My use of the word ‘merely’ is probably unjustified; the details can, in fact, be scientifically important. However, we are not considering either our target audience or the intrinsic absurdity of the issue. It is likely that we have to capitalize on the insecurity of the educated elite and make them look silly instead of superior and virtuous. We must remember that they are impervious to real science unless it is reduced to their level. When it is reduced to their level, it is imperative that we, at least, retain veracity. Whether we are capable of effectively doing this is an open question. However, at the least, we must stop treating the proponents of climate as an existential threat, as worthy opponents. Do not ascribe reasonableness to the other side’s position. It is not true, and not even plausible.

“Of course, there remains the obvious fact that the proposed policies ignore the agreed conclusion of even the IPCC that nothing done by the US and the EU will have a significant impact on climate. In a rational world, this would lead to the conclusion that the best policy would be to increase the resilience of the Western World to climate change regardless of its cause. Instead, the proposed policies would leave us more vulnerable. This strongly suggests malicious intent. This essay provides a curious possibility for this malicious intent. As I have noted, most ordinary people (i.e., working middle-class people), are sensible enough to not accept the notion that climate is so severe a threat as to warrant policies that while monumentally disruptive, destructive and expensive, will have imperceptible impact on climate regardless of what one believes about climate. The self-anointed elite, in response, assume the gnostic position of proclaiming exactly the opposite. I use the word ‘proclaiming’ rather than ‘believing.’ Frankly, I don’t think they actually believe what they are proclaiming – especially when they buy mansions on the coast. Rather, they look forward to the pain their policies will cause to a group that they appear to despise. I still hope that this analysis is wrong, but, in today’s peculiar world, it seems all too possible.” See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


UN Speeches: At the opening of the UN General Assembly, the UN issued a report, “Our Common Agenda: Report of the Secretary-General.” Among other things it stated:

“For millions of people around the world, poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion are denying them their rights to the basic necessities of life: health, safety, a vaccination against disease, clean water to drink, a plate of food or a seat in a classroom.”

The following week at the beginning of the General Debate, President Joe Biden addressed the General Assembly stating among other things:

“I quote the opening words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, quote: “The equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“My friends the adolescence of humanity is coming to an end.

“We are approaching that critical turning point – in less than two months – when we must show that we are capable of learning, and maturing, and finally taking responsibility for the destruction we are inflicting, not just upon our planet but ourselves.

“It is time for humanity to grow up.

“It is time for us to listen to the warnings of the scientists – and look at Covid, if you want an example of gloomy scientists being proved right – and to understand who we are and what we are doing.

“The world – this precious blue sphere with its eggshell crust and wisp of an atmosphere – is not some indestructible toy, some bouncy plastic romper room against which we can hurl ourselves to our heart’s content.

“Daily, weekly, we are doing such irreversible damage that long before a million years are up, we will have made this beautiful planet effectively uninhabitable – not just for us but for many other species.

“And that is why the Glasgow COP26 summit is the turning point for humanity.”

All this sounds grand, but do they understand what they speak? To claim that the modest warming over the past century is a threat to humanity is absurd. As stated by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and shown by recent studies of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the planet was warmer about 8200 years ago and there is little physical evidence that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous warming. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.


From Four Freedoms to Four Phantom Fears: In his UN speech, President Biden cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 with the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady. These were developed from the Four Fundamental Freedoms articulated in the 1941 State of the Union address by President Franklin Roosevelt when the US was still in the Great Depression, even though it was preparing for World War II. (The first peacetime draft in US history, the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, was enacted on September 16, 1940.)

Claimed as everyone’s birthright, the four freedoms are: 1) freedom of speech; 2) freedom of worship; 3) freedom from want; and 4) freedom from fear. Freedom from want can be interpreted as the right of a healthy lifetime, from, among other things, oppressive poverty.

As shown in previous TWTWs, over the past 30 years the world has witnessed a remarkable decline in extreme poverty from about 1.9 billion people in 1990 (36%) to about 650 million (8.6%) in 2018, even though world population grew from 5.3 billion to 7.6 billion. Most of this decline in extreme poverty has been in China and the Far East.

Over this period China’s per capita CO2 emissions grew from about 2 tons in 1990 to 7 tons in 2018. (In 2018, the world’s highest per capita emitters, Australia, US and Canada emitted about 16.6 to 16.7 tons per capita.) Yet, the UN and many international organizations and individual countries are punishing many extremely poor countries by denying them the right to build the coal-fired power plants that made possible this decline in poverty.

This fear of carbon dioxide is a result of the UN IPCC and many others who, without any substantial physical evidence, claim that CO2 emissions will cause 1) dire temperature increase; 2) sudden sea level rise from a collapse of the cryosphere; 3) massive deaths from extreme weather events; and 4) widespread famine. If indeed, the leaders of the countries that gave glorious speeches about humanity at the UN really cared about humanity, they would question the scientists who assert these phantom fears. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy, Questioning the Orthodoxy, https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty, and https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/co2?facet=none&country=OWID_WRL~USA~GBR~CHN~IND~AUS~ZAF~BRA~CAN&Gas=CO%E2%82%82&Accounting=Production-based&Fuel=Total&Count=Per+capita


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry: Willie Soon and Ronan Connolly, who along with 21 other scientists, wrote a 71-page paper explaining different points of view on the extent to which the changing sun is influencing recent temperature changes. The paper does not accept or reject the position of the UN IPCC, but it refutes the IPCC’s claim of great certainty of the low influence of the sun. Unfortunately, certain “fact checkers” don’t check the facts, or don’t know how to, and only demand conformity to the UN.

Fortunately, The Epoch Times published an article by Soon and Connolly explaining the deficiencies of such “fact checkers.” See link under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry.


Nature’s Whimsy: As UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in New York to address the UN General Assembly claiming, “It is time for humanity to grow up” Nature delivered a bit of whimsy. She stopped the wind from blowing, creating havoc. Successive Prime Ministers have claimed wind power is the solution to decarbonization, and that it can deliver electrical power as reliably and as cheaply as fossil fuels. It cannot that as the UK public now realizes.

Perhaps its time for leaders such as Johnson to grow up and engage in mature decision making which requires analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative courses of action. Britain is already losing a significant part of its industrial base which requires reliable electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wind power simply cannot deliver unless there are extensive and expensive power storage means alongside. In contrast, wind power is eroding the financial feasibility of reliable sources, making these sources of electricity far more expensive.

The UK sits on a wealth of shale gas which the government has denied permits to develop. Thus, it is clear that for the UK, what is most important is not the cost of electricity when wind delivers, but the cost of electricity when wind does not deliver. Matt Ridley has a particularly good discussion on this issue and what the future brings for the UK. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Energy Issues – Non-US.


Pogo-Stick Power: With nameplate generation of 27,879 MW of which 79.5% is hydro and 10.5% (2930 MW) is wind (the balance is from other sources such as nuclear, gas, biomass, etc.), the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) showed that wind power cannot be relied upon. On September 20 it went from 1500 MW to zero by midafternoon, bounced around zero until mid-day September 22, when it shot up to over 1500 MW, then back down to near zero mid-day on September 23, and finally bounced around between zero and 300 MW until mid-day September 26. This variation places great strain on the turbines that hydropower requires, which must vary their output to meet the load requirements of the BPA.

By comparison, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) reports more consistent power generation for solar. On the day of the fall equinox, September 22, solar power was a bit erratic, probably due to clouds. However, on September 21, solar generated over 11,000 MW by 11 AM and stayed between 11,000 and 12,000 MW until about 4 PM. By 6:30 PM it was gone not to appear until 7 AM the next day. CASIO backs-up solar principally with natural gas, imports, and nuclear to meet its requirements of over 22,000 MW. Wind is unreliable. With decarbonization, how California will keep the lights on at night remains to be seen. See links under Energy Issues – US.


14th ICCC: The 14th International Conference on Climate Change presented by The Heartland Institute will be October 15 to 17, 2021, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. See https://climateconference.heartland.org/


Number of the Week: $11 Billion US by 2024. President Biden has pledged the US will contribute $11 Billion per year to the UN Green Climate Fund by 2024. Where he gets the money remains to be seen. The net effect will be to deny the extremely poor, particularly in Africa from following China’s model to improve their lives. In effect, thus denying them their rights under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Solar Update September 2021

Guest post By David Archibald, WUWT, Sep 22, 2021


Climate Communication Experts

By Tony Heller, His Blog, Sep 24, 2021


Dear Wiki: Time to Correct (IER description biased, erroneous)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Sep 22, 2021

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

‘Fact Checks’ by Non-Experts Are Shutting Down Genuine Scientific Inquiry

By Willie Soon and Ronan Connolly, The Epoch Times, Sep 22, 2021


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013

Summary: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/CCR/CCR-II/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019


Download with no charge:


Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus

By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015


Download with no charge:


Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008


Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data

By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019

Challenging the Orthodoxy

The Imaginary Climate Crisis – How can we Change the Message?

Richard S. Lindzen, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, MIT, Accessed Sep 24, 2021 [H/t Real Clear Energy]

Power mad: Visions of an eco apocalypse have been used to justify a headlong charge to carbon zero for years… but this current crisis is a mere harbinger of the candle-lit future that awaits us if we do not change course

By Matt Ridley, Daily Mail, Sep 20, 2021


The melting Greenland ice cap

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Sep 22, 2021

Link to paper: In situ cosmogenic 10Be–14C–26Al measurements from recently deglaciated bedrock as a new tool to decipher changes in Greenland Ice Sheet size

By Nicolás E. Young, et al. Climate of the Past, Feb 17, 2021


The abstract begins: “Sometime during the middle to late Holocene (8.2 ka to ∼ 1850–1900 CE), the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) was smaller than its current configuration.”

[SEPP Comment: 8,200 years ago coincides with the shift from the Greenlandian to the colder Northgrippian Age as ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in June 2018.]

IPCC AR6: Tropical Troposphere warm bias, unspun edition

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Sep 22, 2021

From IPCC AR6, “Hence, we assess with medium confidence that CMIP5 and CMIP6 models continue to overestimate observed warming in the upper tropical troposphere over the 1979-2014 period by at least 0.1°C per decade, in part because of an overestimate of the tropical Sea Surface Temperature trend pattern over this period.” [Boldface added]

[SEPP Comment: If anything can be said with high confidence in the report, it is that the models overestimate observed warming of the entire tropical troposphere (below the tropopause, where water freezes out).]

The Greenhouse Effect, A Summary of Wijngaarden and Happer

By Andy May, WUWT, Sep 21, 2021

[SEPP Comment: In the graph “Outgoing Radiation from Earth at 288.7K,” May inserts altitudes of 84.8km and 33km. These appear to be reversed.]

Climate Change Ate My Homework: Politicians Blame Climate Change for Bureaucratic Failures

By Jonathan Lesser, Real Clear Energy, Sep 22, 2021


Follow the Science, Even When It Changes (Especially When It Changes)

By Jeff M. Lewis, American Thinker, Sep 18, 2021


Climate Targets Are Built on Magical Thinking, Not Reality

By H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Climate Change Weekly, Sep 23, 2021


The Impossibility Of The 1.5C Target

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 24, 2021

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