Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #486 – Watts Up With That?

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The Week That Was: 2022-01-08 (January 8, 2022)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “If you want to understand something well…explain it simply” ‒ Richard Feynman

Number of the Week: Number 1

THIS WEEK:

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

Scope: Censorship by social media is a problem for those who do not conform to the views the social media censors consider generally accepted. Roy Spencer reports that Google has censored his web site for “unreliable and harmful claims.” Apparently, the “unreliable and harmful claims” are his reports on the most trustworthy and comprehensive dataset of global temperatures ever compiled. So much for the credibility of Google and its owners.

Three major issues of what we learned or reinforced this year will be covered. They are atmospheric temperatures, a different approach for understanding the greenhouse effect, and the false statistic methods attributing extreme weather events to human-caused climate change. The first two are ignored by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers; the last one is used by the IPCC to justify their extreme claims of climate change. One example is the Biden Administration and members of Congress asserting a climate crisis to justify expansion of executive power over the economy when there is no crisis. Climate has been changing for hundreds of millions of years and there is nothing unusual about the current warming.

Two different views of upcoming litigation on climate issues are presented. William Allison of Energy in Depth writes that such litigation will continue to fail. In an article in an American Bar Association (ABA) publication Benjamin Franta asserts that litigation will grow and become more successful.

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Censorship: On his blog, Roy Spencer writes:

“DrRoySpencer.com has been demonetized by Google for “unreliable and harmful claims”. This means I can no longer generate revenue to support the website using the Google Adsense program.

“From a monetary standpoint, it’s not a big deal because what I make off of Google ads is in the noise level of my family’s monthly budget. It barely made more than I pay in hosting fees and an (increasingly expensive) comment spam screener.

“I’ve been getting Google warnings for a couple months now about “policy violations”, but nowhere was it listed what pages were in violation, and what those violations were. There are Adsense rules about ad placement on the page (e.g., a drop-down menu cannot overlay an ad), so I was assuming it was something like that, but I had no idea where to start looking with hundreds of web pages to sift through. It wasn’t until the ads were demonetized that Google offered links to the pages in question and what the reason was.

“Of course, I should have figured out it was related to Google’s new policy about misleading content; a few months ago, Google announced they would be demonetizing climate skeptic websites. I was kind of hoping my content was mainstream enough to avoid being banned since:

  1. I believe the climate system has warmed
  2. I believe most of this warming is probably due to greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning

“Many of you know that I defend much of mainstream climate science, including climate modeling as an enterprise. Where I depart of the ‘mainstream’ is how much warming has occurred, how much future warming can be expected, and what should be done about it from an energy policy perspective.

“From the information provided by Google about my violations, in terms of the number of ads served, by far the most frequented web pages here at drroyspencer.com with “unreliable and harmful claims” are our (UAH) monthly global temperature update pages. This is obviously because some activists employed by Google (who are probably weren’t even born when John Christy and I received both NASA and American Meteorological Society awards for our work) don’t like the answer our 43-year long satellite dataset gives. Never mind that our dataset remains one of the central global temperature datasets used by mainstream climate researchers in their work.

“For now, I don’t plan on appealing the decision, because it’s not worth the aggravation. If you are considered a “climate skeptic” (whatever that means) Google has already said you are targeted for termination from their Adsense program. I can’t expect their liberal arts-educated ‘fact checkers’ to understand the nuances of the global warming debate.”

Whether or not the owners of Google recognize what their employees are doing is immaterial. They have hired people who do not understand the scientific method and the importance of exposing error with physical evidence and correcting it. Instead, apparently Google seeks conformity to the current politically driven fad rather than examining physical evidence.

Google is owned by a parent company, Alphabet, which is controlled by the founders of Google/Alphabet, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It is the most used search engine worldwide. According to the link below, Google is “one of the four big technology companies among the United States technology firms: these four firms are ‘Amazon,’ ‘Apple,’ ‘Microsoft,’ and of course ‘Google.’”

In the late 1800s a burst of technology in industry gave rise to several industrialists who dominated and standardized various products such as Rockefeller in kerosene then gasoline and Carnegie in steel. Many of these “titans of industry” became known as “robber barons.” Merriam-Webster defines robber baron as:

“1: an American capitalist of the latter part of the 19th century who became wealthy through exploitation (as of natural resources, governmental influence, or low wage scales)

“2: a business owner or executive who acquires wealth through ethically questionable tactics”

Whether these new titans of technology are robber barons is a matter of opinion. Certainly, they are using ethically questionable tactics to enforce conformity to their views. Steve Milloy and Francis Menton give other examples. See links under Censorship, https://www.instafollowers.co/blog/who-owns-google and https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/robber%20baron

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Three Issues Reinforced: Roy Spencer reports the UAH Global Temperature for December 2021 and states:

“The annual average anomaly for 2021 was +0.134 deg. C above the 30-year mean (1991-2020), which places it as the 8th warmest year in the 43-year satellite record, behind 2016, 2020, 1998, 2019, 2017,2010, and 2015.”

“The linear warming trend since January 1979, remains at +0.14 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.18 C/decade over global-averaged land).”

Spencer believes that the primary cause for the modest increase in temperatures is increasing carbon dioxide. TWTW is not so sure. Certainly, the atmospheric temperature trend is far below that calculated by the IPCC and its followers, who have manipulated surface temperature data and do not eliminate increasing temperature due to urbanization, which is occurring in many parts of the world. Also, note that the increase over the oceans is considerably less than that over land. By ignoring these 43 years of data, the IPCC and its followers demonstrate they have abandoned any pretext of following the scientific method and any effort to truly identify the greenhouse effect, which occurs in the atmosphere.

This year, William Happer gave several presentations about the findings that he and William van Wijngaarden made using the HITRAN database to determine the thermal radiation of the globe’s five most abundant greenhouse gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrous oxide and methane. These calculations apply to a cloud-free atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect of these gases is most dominant. They show there is no cause for climate alarm and no climate crisis from increasing carbon dioxide. Perhaps the most understandable presentation is the one on November 16 at CLINTEL. The transcript is not available, but Ron Clutz gives the presentation along with the transcript from a February presentation by Happer.

As discussed last week, and in previous TWTWs, Ross McKitrick shows that a 1999 paper by Allen and Tatt (AT99) misstated the conditions in the Gauss-Markov theorem yielding unbiased and efficient estimators. From the abstract published in the same journal as AT99:

“Their methodology has been widely used and highly influential ever since, in part because subsequent authors have relied upon their claim that their GLS [Generalized Least Squares] model satisfies the conditions of the Gauss-Markov (GM) Theorem, thereby yielding unbiased and efficient estimators. But AT99 stated the GM Theorem incorrectly, omitting a critical condition altogether, their GLS method cannot satisfy the GM conditions, and their variance estimator is inconsistent by construction. Additionally, they did not formally state the null hypothesis of the RCT [Randomized Controlled Trial] nor identify which of the GM conditions it tests, nor did they prove its distribution and critical values, rendering it uninformative as a specification test.”

Very simply, the probability estimates in papers relying on AT99 are meaningless. They should not be accepted as evidence of human-caused global warming. Next week, additional issues in climate science will be addressed. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Measurement Issues – Atmosphere.

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Climate Legislation: There are distinctly different views concerning the future of climate litigation against oil companies in the US. On one hand William Allison writes:

“The past year has not been a great one for supporters of the climate litigation campaign. [against oil companies.]

“There were several devastating blows dealt to climate lawsuits, both on the process and the merits, and as Law360 summed up:

‘The U.S. Supreme Court [SCOTUS] expanded the ability for fossil fuel companies to fight climate nuisance lawsuits lodged by state and local governments, and the Second Circuit rejected one such suit outright.’

“In response, the plaintiffs’ attorneys have had to call in the reinforcements and place academics on their payroll to help explain why, against all the evidence, these lawsuits aren’t [sic] failing. Meanwhile, major activist organizations are holding personal meetings with top government officials in order to recruit them to their side.

“We’ve taken the liberty of compiling the climate litigation campaign’s year in review:”

Allison then goes into specific defeats and coordination of efforts. One of the more interesting comments concerned King County, Washington, the home of Seattle:

“In September, the county gave “notice of its voluntary dismissal of this action,” making it the first plaintiff to give up on a lawsuit. The move also represents a blow to plaintiffs’ attorney Matt Pawa, who was a key player at the infamous La Jolla conference in 2012 where the playbook for the entire climate litigation campaign was mapped out and who was at the helm for San Francisco and Oakland’s loss as well as the New York City defeat.”

Allison concludes:

“The SCOTUS ruling is expected to continue to have ripple effects through 2022, as state courts are directed to consider all grounds for removal before moving a case forward at the state or federal level.

“Meanwhile, the energy industry continues to invest billions of dollars a year into improving efficiencies of their systems and developing new technologies to address climate change.

“So, after several years of waging war in the courtroom without racking up even a single victory, and with a Congress and White House that have expressed a sincere desire to do the things that could actually tackle climate change, why are the proponents of litigation continuing to waste taxpayer resources in this vain effort so a few trial lawyers can hopefully become very rich while accomplishing precisely nothing on climate change?”

By contrast, Benjamin Franta writes in an American Bar Association publication on litigation in the US:

Since 2017, more than 20 suits have been filed against oil and gas companies by governmental entities across the United States, including seven by state attorneys general. 5 [The numbers herein refer to endnotes in the text not reproduced here.] These suits generally allege historical and ongoing unlawful deceptive conduct by the defendants, including concealment of internal knowledge regarding global warming, affirmative misrepresentations of climate science, and ongoing deception regarding the defendants’ activities and fossil fuel products. 6 Much of the historical evidence supporting these cases has been developed within the last decade by academics, journalists, and other researchers, and the evidentiary basis for the plaintiffs’ claims continues to expand. 7 Nineteen of these suits remain ongoing, and their number has grown steadily, with four filed in 2021. 8

For the most part, these suits fall into two categories: cost recovery and consumer protection. Thirteen cost recovery suits are ongoing under various causes of action including public nuisance, private nuisance, negligence, trespass, failure to warn, design defect, conspiracy, and unjust enrichment. 9 These suits seek compensation for climate adaptation costs, such as sea walls, on the theory that the defendants’ allegedly unlawful conduct substantially contributed to those costs. (A recent study, for example, estimated the cost of sea walls to protect from sea level rise to be at least $400 billion nationwide by 2040.) 10 Because sea level rise is easily attributable to global warming, most of these suits have been filed by coastal cities, counties, and states, although ongoing advances in climate attribution science suggest that cost recovery suits may soon expand in geographic scope and the types of damages claimed. 11

Thirteen consumer protection cases also remain ongoing (seven seek both cost recovery and consumer protection). 12 These suits are brought under state consumer protection statutes barring misleading consumer-facing communications and other unfair business practices. The evidentiary basis for these actions is similar to that for cost recovery suits, although the applicable statutes often don’t require a showing of damages and instead carry a civil penalty for each instance of materially misleading communication. 13 These statutes helped undergird successful litigation against tobacco and opioid companies in the 1990s and 2010s, respectively.

Since 2017, these cost recovery and consumer protection suits have largely been occupied with pretrial motions, and no case has yet reached the merits. Plaintiffs, however, have generally prevailed against venue and dismissal motions, and at least some of these cases are expected to go to trial in 2022. 14 [Boldface added.]

After discussing international litigation Franta concludes:

“For any lawyer interested in corporate accountability, human rights, the environment, or the fate of the world, climate litigation is an area to watch and engage. The drivers behind these suits—worsening global warming, growing evidence of corporate malfeasance, advances in science allowing attribution of impacts and damages, increasing viability of non-fossil energy systems, and broadening psychological and political salience of climate—all point toward more action in the future. As the world continues to heat up, climate litigation will, too.” [Boldface added]

All the above “drivers” are questionable. In his essay, Allison questions the competence of Franta. See links under Litigation Issues.

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Number of the Week: Number 1. According to Bloomberg energy tracking, US LNG exports have exceeded exports from Australia and Qatar, making the US the largest exporter of liquified natural gas in the world.

“A shale gas revolution, coupled with billions of dollars of investments in liquefaction facilities, transformed the U.S. from a net LNG importer to a top exporter in less than a decade. Gas production has surged by roughly 70% from 2010 and the nation is expected to have the world’s largest export capacity by the end of 2022 once Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass terminal comes online.”

The US may be exceeded soon, with major expansions planned by Qatar.

“U.S. LNG export terminals sent out a record 1,043 cargoes in 2021, with Asian nations making up nearly half of the destinations and Europe making up one-third, ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg shows.”

The shale revolution has made a tremendous change in this industry, critical for national defense. No longer is Washington declaring the US is about to run out of oil and natural gas as it did during the Carter Administration, some 40 years ago. Now, the Biden Administration is trying the suppress the industry using the false claim of a climate crisis. No wonder OPEC+ (OPEC plus Russia) did not respond to Biden’s call for expanding their production. They cannot believe him. Writing in Oil Price.com, Irina Slav quotes Alexander Novak, “Russia’s Deputy PM and top OPEC+ negotiator:”

“‘For some reason,’ the official said, ‘The U.S. is not asking its own shale oil companies to boost production, which has fallen considerably over the last two years. On the contrary, they are deliberately reducing their production. I believe there is a certain contradiction in these actions.’”

See links under Energy Issues – Non-US and Energy Issues – US.

Censorship

“Unreliable and harmful claims”: This website has been demonetized by Google

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 7, 2022

Washington Post pushes Twitter, Facebook to silence Milloy

By Steve Milloy, Junk Science.com, Jan 6, 2022 [H/t WUWT]

https://junkscience.com/2022/01/washington-post-pushes-twitter-facebook-to-silence-milloy/

Link to article:

Election misinformation helped fuel the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Now, climate misinformation threatens the planet.

By Maxine Joselow, Climate 202, Washington Post, Jan 6, 2022

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/06/election-misinformation-helped-fuel-jan-6-capitol-attack-now-climate-misinformation-threatens-planet/

[SEPP Comment: The Washington Post doing what the Washington Post accused President Nixon of doing?]

No End To The Audacious Deplatformings

By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, Jan 5, 2022

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2022-1-4-no-end-to-the-audacious-deplatformings

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

8 College Professors Canceled by Left

By Douglas Blair, The Daily Signal, Jan 3, 2022

8 College Professors Canceled by Left

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/climate-change-reconsidered-ii-biological-impacts/

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

http://store.heartland.org/shop/ccr-ii-fossil-fuels/

Download with no charge:

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Climate-Change-Reconsidered-II-Fossil-Fuels-FULL-Volume-with-covers.pdf

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

Download with no charge:

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

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

Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases

By W. A. van Wijngaarden and W. Happer, Dec 22, 2020

https://wvanwijngaarden.info.yorku.ca/files/2020/12/WThermal-Radiationf.pdf?x45936

Climate Change and CO2 Not a Problem

By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Dec 4, 2021



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