By TATIANA SCHLOSSBERG
DECEMBER 15, 2016
Computers, long a symbol of the digital age, are now moving into a more earth-friendly future: California’s state energy agency voted unanimously Wednesday to approve new regulations for energy loop efficiency in desktop computers and monitors.
The rules, passed by the agency, the California Energy Commission, are the country’s first attempt to regulate the energy use of desktop computers and represent another step in the state’s efforts to drastically lower its greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change.
Computers use more energy than many other consumer electronics — the electricity used to power all of the computers in the country is the equivalent of the output of 30 large power plants emitting 65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent every year, according to estimates from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The new standards, some parts of which go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, would ultimately reduce carbon dioxide emissions in California by an estimated 730,000 tons, less than 1 percent of total statewide emissions, and save consumers about $370 million on electric bills annually,based on the most recent emissions data. The energy commission projects that the standards will save about as much electricity as 350,000 households use in a year.
“This has been a long time in the making,” said Pierre Delforge, who works on energy efficiency in the technology sector for the Natural Resources Defense Council, adding, “It’s a milestone, especially in terms of the energy efficiency of computers and monitors.”…
In President-elect Donald Trump’s “Contract with the American Voter,” a “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again,” Trump outlines several measures he says he will undertake to create jobs and economic growth. While much of the agenda Trump proposes will help to improve the economy while also leaving reasonable environmental protections in place, I believe there are two additional environment-related policy changes Trump should take to jump-start the economy.
In a September 21, 2015, appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Trump said, “I’m not a believer in man-made global warming. I mean, Obama thinks it’s the number-one problem of the world today. And I think it’s very low on the list. … We have much bigger problems.”
If these comments accurately reflect Trump’s views, one important step he could take to undo the damage done by the Obama administration’s vainglorious attempt to control the weather would be to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s determination carbon dioxide is a pollutant endangering public and environmental health, a decision known as the “endangerment finding.”
The endangerment finding came about in response to a narrow 5–4 Supreme Court decision in the 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA. In that case, a majority of the justices ruled if the EPA determines carbon-dioxide emissions are causing global warming and global warming may reasonably be expected to endanger public health or welfare, the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. In fact, the justices ruled the EPA would be required to regulate carbon dioxide under such a finding, unless it can provide a reasonable basis for not choosing to regulate CO2.
Relying on unsubstantiated projections produced by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the EPA determined carbon-dioxide emissions from cars and industry threaten human welfare, which led directly to the EPA’s decision to limit such emissions. For instance, the endangerment finding was the basis for the ratchetting up of automobile fuel-economy standards, which could soon reach levels that will effectively rob consumers of the ability to choose the vehicles they drive, by either forcing all but the smallest cars off the roads or, at the very least, making larger cars and trucks too expensive for all but the relatively wealthy to drive.…
December 15, 2016
A titanic clash between climate scientists and climate deniers is shaping up in Washington as President-elect Donald Trump nominates oil industry supporters to head key federal agencies. Yet resistance already is forming among elected leaders, federal bureaucrats and private citizens. Trump may find reversing climate change policies more difficult than he thinks. And we must make sure that is the case.
Board celebrates approval of projects worth $1.3bn at meeting in Samoa, but falls short of $2.5bn goal and delays key policy decisions
Vanuatu in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam. Pacific islands are increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms in a warming world (Pic: UNDP/Silke von Brockhausen)
The Green Climate Fund board approved eight funding proposals worth US$315 million as a meeting in Samoa concluded on Friday.
It brings the total allocated by the UN’s flagship climate finance initiative in 2016 to $1.3 billion, far short of a $2.5bn aspirational goal.
Looming over the fund is a threat by US president-elect Donald Trump to axe an outstanding pledge that accounts for nearly a quarter of the $10bn starting capital.
Co-chairs of the board hailed the meeting a success. “This year has demonstrated that the fund is rapidly gathering pace with regard to scaling up climate finance,” said Zaheer Fakir, of South Africa.
“I am proud of the progress we have made over the past 12 months in improving fund performance and growing our portfolio of investments.”
His Australian colleague Ewan McDonald highlighted the $98m for Pacific island states, at the board’s first ever meeting in the region.
Host nation Samoa got $57.7m for flood management in the Vaisigano River catchment; cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu got $23m for information services and the Cook Islands got the first $17m tranche of a renewable energy investment programme.
“I have high hopes that 2017 will be the year of climate finance for the Pacific,” said McDonald.
Comment: Dear Green Climate Fund board, Samoa needs you to deliver
Civil society observers were less impressed, pointing to policy decisions that had been kicked down the road.
But some in this field believe that the change of administration is a good moment to review the type of scientific questions that US researchers are asking.
Marcel Crok is a Dutch science writer who doesn’t support the scientific consensus on climate change. He says that much of the research in the field takes place in an echo chamber and he welcomes the fact that the Trump administration will challenge this.
Mr Crok accepts that human emissions of carbon dioxide are warming the planet, but he questions the accepted view on how far and how rapidly temperatures will rise. Mainstream scientists, he says, rely on models that are over sensitive to carbon. He expects this to change under Trump.
He said: “What the field is trying to do is prove that the observational estimates are wrong and that the models are still right, and in my opinion this is exactly the problem. They should be more open minded, they should be open to the idea that the models are wrong!”
“I hope that under a Trump regime at least there would be more funding, because if the funding agencies ask these kind of questions they can stimulate research in other directions than proving that the models are right all the time.”…
This calculation, known as the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), serves as the linchpin for much of the climate-related rules imposed by the White House over the past eight years. From capping the carbon emissions of power plants to cutting down on the amount of electricity used by the digital clock on a microwave, the SCC has given the Obama administration the legal justification to argue that the benefits these rules provide to society outweigh the costs they impose on industry. It turns out that the same calculation used to justify so much of Obama’s climate agenda could be used by President-elect Donald Trump to undo a significant portion of it. As Trump nominates people who favor fossil fuels and oppose climate regulation to top positions in his cabinet, he already appears to be focusing on the SCC. —Bloomberg, 15 December 2016
1) Trump’s Secret Weapon To Reverse Obama’s Climate Policy
Bloomberg Government, 12 December 2016
2) How Obama’s Climate Rules Might Unravel
Bloomberg, 15 December 2016
3) Reminder: Experts Debunk Obama’s ‘Social Cost Of Carbon’ Estimate — It Might Be Negative
The Daily Caller, 6 July 2016
4) Mark Mills: U.S. Frackers Beat Putin’s Hackers
RealClearWorld, 14 December 2016
5) Judith Curry: The Latest Climate ‘Conspiracy Theory’
Climate Etc. 15 December 2016
6) And Finally: ‘Mammon Is Coming Over To Our Side’: Green Mentality In The Age Of Trump
London Evening Standard, 15 December 2016
The Trump team could come, announce a reevaluation of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), and then put the range at 5% — or 7%. That would turn a price that’s pushing broad changes in everything from microwave ovens to coal leasing decisions to one that would have practically little or no impact on policy. A 7% discount rate, which has been used by EPA for other regulatory analysis, could actually lead to a *negative* carbon cost. This change to the SCC makes sense for another reason. Listen to Trump discussing climate change with the New York Times: “It also depends on how much it’s going to cost our companies.” Lowering the SCC means lowering the costs to companies, such as power producers and refineries. –Catherine Rolfe, Bloomberg Government, 12 December 2016
A soon-to-be-published paper challenges the Obama administration’s so-called “social cost of carbon” estimate, which puts a monetary value on the supposed future damages from global warming. But the new study’s authors
By Paul Homewood
There has been a concerted effort in the last few days to run the latest Arctic scare story, such as this one in the Telegraph:
The Arctic shattered heat records in the past year as unusually warm air triggered massive melting of ice and snow and a late fall freeze, US government scientists said on Tuesday.
The grim assessment came in the Arctic Report Card 2016, a peer-reviewed document by 61 scientists around the globe issued by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The NOAA report covers from October 2015 to September 2016, a period it said the Arctic’s average annual air temperature over land was the highest on record.
The use of the word “heat”, has become prevalent lately, all designed to put slightly warmer weather into a bad light. All I can say to the writer of this article is that, if they really think it is hot in the Arctic, let them go for a swim there.
But how warm has it been up there this year?
Atmospheric temperatures, according to UAH, are the highest since 1979, running at 1.16C above the 1981-2010 mean.
HADCRUT surface data, however, does not suggest any unusual warmth this year. (Figures are up to October 2016).
And looking back through the 20thC, spikes in temperature of this magnitude are not all unusual around the Arctic, as we saw during the 1920s and 30s.
Actual temperatures per GHCN V2 as at 2011.
Meanwhile sea ice extent, despite growing more slowly than usual during the autumn, is now back to the level of recent years.
The Greenland ice sheet has been accumulating at way above normal rates since the summer:
And snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere has also been well above average this autumn, as it has been for most recent years.
Nothing is actually happening that justifies the apocalyptic headlines published by much of the media around the world, instigated in turn by NOAA.
Via: The Impending Collapse Of The Global Warming Scare – By Francis Menton
And finally, there is the question of funding. Under Obama, attaching the words “global warming” or “climate change” to any proposal has been the sure-fire way to get the proposal whatever federal funding it might want. The Department of Energy has been the big factor here. Of its annual budget of about $28 billion, roughly half goes to running the facilities that provide nuclear material for the Defense Department, and the other half, broadly speaking, goes to the global warming cause: crony capitalist handouts for wind and solar energy providers, and billions per year for research at some seventeen (seventeen!) different energy research laboratories.
During the eight Obama years, the energy sector of the U.S. economy has been substantially transformed by a technological revolution that has dramatically lowered the cost of energy and hugely benefited the American consumer. I’m referring, of course, to the fracking revolution. How much of the tens of billions of U.S. energy subsidies and research funding in that time went toward this revolution that actually produced cheaper energy that works? Answer: Not one single dollar! All of the money was completely wasted on things that are uneconomic and will disappear as soon as the government cuts off the funding spigot. All of this funding can and should be zeroed out in the next budget. Believe me, nobody will notice other than the parasites who have been wasting the money.
If the multi-tens-of-billions per year funding gusher for global warming alarmism quickly dries up, the large majority of the people living on these handouts will have no choice but to go and find something productive to do. Sure, some extreme zealots will find some way to soldier on. But it is not crazy at all to predict a very substantial collapse of the global warming scare over the course of the next couple of years.
The environmental movement has climbed itself way out onto the global warming limb. Now the Trump administration is about to start sawing off the limb behind them.…
December 14, 2016/ By Francis Menton
Over the past three decades, the environmental movement has increasingly hitched its wagon to exactly one star as the overwhelming focus of the cause, namely “climate change.” Sure, issues of bona fide pollution like smog and untreated sewage are still out there a little, but they are largely under control and don’t really stir the emotions much any more. If you want fundraising in the billions rather than the thousands, you need a good end-of-days, sin-and-redemption scare. Human-caused global warming is your answer!
Even as this scare has advanced, a few lonely voices have warned that the radical environmentalists were taking the movement out onto a precarious limb. Isn’t there a problem that there’s no real evidence of impending climate disaster? But to no avail. Government funding to promote the warming scare has been lavish, and in the age of Obama has exploded. Backers of the alarm have controlled all of the relevant government bureaucracies, almost all of the scientific societies, and the access to funding and to publication for anyone who wants to have a career in the field. What could go wrong?
In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy. For example, when a major new Research Report came out back in September claiming to completely invalidate all of the bases on which EPA claims that CO2 is a danger to human health and welfare, and thus to undermine EPA’s authority to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act, EPA simply failed to respond. In the same vein, essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money. Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up. And in case you might think that the science on this issue is “settled,” so no problem, you might enjoy this recent round-up at Climate Depot from some of the actual top scientists. A couple of excerpts:
Renowned Princeton Physicist Freeman Dyson: ‘I’m 100% Democrat and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on climate issue, and the Republicans took the right side. ‘ . . .
Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: ‘Global …