Friday, July 20, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Scientists Discover That Arctic Region Was 6°C Warmer 9000 Years Ago Than Today

Trump, NATO Summit Exposed Germany's Energy Problem

In this newsletter:

1) Scientists Discover That Arctic Region Was 6°C Warmer 9000 Years Ago Than Today
Kenneth Richard , No Tricks Zone, 12 July 2018

2) Australian Govt Weighs New Coal Power Plants To End Energy Wars
The Australian, 14 July 2018

3) China's Coal Imports Booming
CNBC, 12 July 2018

4) Trump, NATO Summit Exposed Germany's Energy Problem
Jude Clemente, Forbes 15 July 2018

5) New EPA Boss Same As The Old; Pruitt's Policies To Stay Intact
Bloomberg, 10 July 2018

6) John Constable: The Brexit White Paper And UK Energy And Climate Policy
GWPF Energy, 13 July 2018

7) Judge Kavanaugh and the Environmental Left
Reihan Salam, National Review, 12 July 2018

8) Global Cooling: Global Temps Have Dropped By  0.65°C Since 2016 
Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, 12 July 2018

Full details:

1) Scientists Discover That Arctic Region Was 6°C Warmer 9000 Years Ago Than Today
Kenneth Richard , No Tricks Zone, 12 July 2018

Unearthed new evidence (Mangerud and Svendsen, 2018) reveals that during the Early Holocene, when CO2 concentrations hovered around 260 ppm, “warmth-demanding species” were living in locations 1,000 km farther north of where they exist today in Arctic Svalbard, indicating that summer temperatures must have been about “6°C warmer than at present”.

Proxy evidence from two other new papers suggests Svalbard’s Hinlopen Strait  may have reached about 5 – 9°C warmer than 1955-2012 during the Early Holocene (Bartels et al., 2018), and Greenland may have been “4.0 to 7.0 °C warmer than modern [1952-2014]” between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago according to evidence found in rock formations at the bottom of ancient lakes (McFarlin et al., 2018).

In these 3 new papers, none of the scientists connect the “pronounced” and “exceptional” Early Holocene warmth to CO2 concentrations.

Mangerud and Svendsen, 2018

The Holocene Thermal Maximum around Svalbard, Arctic
North Atlantic; molluscs show early and exceptional warmth
“Shallow marine molluscs that are today extinct close to Svalbard, because of the cold climate, are found in deposits there dating to the early Holocene. The most warmth-demanding species found, Zirfaea crispata, currently has a northern limit 1000 km farther south, indicating that August temperatures on Svalbard were 6°C warmer at around 10.2–9.2 cal. ka BP, when this species lived there. … After 8.2 cal. ka, the climate around Svalbard warmed again, and although it did not reach the same peak in temperatures as prior to 9 ka, it was nevertheless some 4°C warmer than present between 8.2 and 6 cal. ka BP. … The occurrence of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, suggests that climate around Svalbard was 2°C warmer than at present as early as about 11 cal. ka BP.  The climate was about 6°C warmer than at present between 10.0 and 9.2 cal. ka BP, as shown by the presence of Zirfaea crispata.  One single specimen of Mytilus is dated to 900 years BP, suggesting a short-lived warm period during the Medieval Warm Period of northern Europe.”

Full post

2) Australian Govt Weighs New Coal Power Plants To End Energy Wars
The Australian, 14 July 2018

A proposal for the federal government to financially guarantee the construction and operation of new dispatchable power generation, which could include clean coal-fired plants, is expected to be taken to cabinet with the backing of the Prime Minister.

Malcolm Turnbull yesterday confirmed he would seriously consider the key recommendation of a report by the competition watchdog to underwrite and potentially subsidise new “firm” and cheap power generation for industrial and commercial users.

Signalling a possible end to the energy wars within the Coalition partyroom, the recommendation was immediately endorsed by Nationals MPs, who have interpreted it as a green light for government to intervene in supporting the future of coal generation.

Tony Abbott, one of the most vocal opponents of the government’s national energy guarantee, also backed the recom­mendation, saying it was a “vindication” of calls for more baseload power in the national electricity market.

Senior government sources said Mr Turnbull was personally “very supportive” of the idea and it could be considered by cabinet before the end of the year. A formal position from the government is not expected until after a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments next month, which will seek to ratify agreement for the national energy guarantee.

The recommendation was among 59 handed down in a 400-page report yesterday by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, which said nothing less than a radical shake-up of the national energy market would bring down prices for households and businesses.

Local energy stocks were hit by the call for pricing reform, falling 1.04 per cent as a sector. It slashed almost $1.6 billion from the market valuations of the two biggest listed power players, AGL Energy and Origin Energy.

Among key recommendations, the ACCC said elevated prices had been driven by “high and entrenched levels of concentration in the market’’ and singled out Queensland for a major overhaul. The watchdog said the state’s power generators should be split into three entities, leaving open the possibility of a sale.

State and territory governments did not escape the blowtorch, with inflated networks costs caused by unrealistic, government-imposed reliability standards identified as still being the chief culprit in rising power prices.

The report recommended writing down the asset value of the network companies to limit the rate of return on investment which dictated the annual cost recovery the companies sought, or offer rebates on network charges of up to $100 a year to customers.

The report, led by ACCC chairman Rod Sims, is being examined closely by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, who yesterday said he would not rule out any of the recommendations, having privately signalled to colleagues last month that there would be a deal for new coal or gas in addition to the NEG.

Full post

3) China's Coal Imports Booming
CNBC, 12 July 2018

China’s demand for the fossil fuel for electricity generation has surpassed expectations.

The commodities sector has been hit by escalating trade tensions  between  Washington  and  Beijing, but coal is bucking that trend as China’s demand for the fossil fuel remains high.

Benchmark Australian thermal coal prices have risen 40 percent this year so far, breaking through $120 per metric ton for the first time since 2012.

“We think the jump in the coal price has been a response to an unusually hot summer in China and solid economic growth in the first half of the year,” said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at consultancy, Capital Economics.

A hotter-than-usual summer drives up demand for air-conditioning.

The heatwave also dried up water reservoirs, hitting hydroelectricity power output. Hydro power is a major source of renewable energy in China.

Contributing to the supply crunch is a broad decline in domestic coal production in recent years due to the China’s attempts to clean up its environment.

All those factors contribute to greater demand for coal imports.

China’s key coal supplier is Australia, but the U.S. also exports the fuel source to Asia’s largest economy.

American coal exports to China doubled from 2016 to 2017, but the fossil fuel is set to be subject to a 25 percent tariff beginning at an unspecified date.

Full post

4) Trump, NATO Summit Exposed Germany's Energy Problem
Jude Clemente, Forbes 15 July 2018

The Germany, Russia + Putin, Trump, natural gas, and pipeline fiasco at the NATO summit has got all of us thinking. 

For decades now, the Russian bear has continually been sinking its mighty energy claws into Europe and Germany. Despite long promising to "get off Russian energy," Gazprom sales to Europe hit an all time record last year, and Europe is still the largest buyer of Russian oil.
The row at NATO centered on building and financing the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a planned gas route under the Baltic Sea more directly linking Russia and Germany that has divided the West for many years now. Along with some European nations, both President GW Bush and President Obama were against the project, knowing that it riskily ups Europe's dependence even more on Russia and poses national security threats to the Western allies. Yet, others claim the pipeline is critical to more freely bringing gas into the continent. Germany imports more than 80% of its gas and Russia provides about half of the imports.
But, I want to focus on Germany's energy situation here, a predicament of its own making. It was all supposed to be so different. Backed by its ambitious Energiewende" energy transition" plan and the Kyoto Protocol, the country has invested heavily for decades now to not just "get off" Russian energy but to get away from fossil fuels altogether. The reality is that this isn't coming close to happening. For example, wind and solar still supply just 3% of Germany's energy, compared to to a whopping 79% for fossil fuel (see Figure). As for power, which accounts for less than half of all energy consumed but is the only energy market that wind and solar compete in, even though "Germany has spent $200 billion over the past two decades to promote cleaner sources of electricity," wind and solar supply just 18% of electricity, compared to 43% for coal - mind-blowing because we were told that coal would "go away the fastest."

Germany is still overwhelmingly fossil fuel-based.DATA SOURCE: IEA Source: IEA
Germany's need for even more Russian energy - which the Trump administration isn't alone in calling a threat to the NATO alliance - is indicative of the country's energy failures.  The blind obsession with renewable energy explains why Germany has been paying over $26 billion per year for electricity that has a wholesale market value of just $5 billion. The results for families are devastating. Home electricity rates in Germany average around 40 cents per KWh, compared to 13 cents in the U.S. The upside appears non-existent: "Germany to miss 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target." The phase-out of non-carbon nuclear will make Germany's climate ambitious far tougher.

In stark contrast, in the fight against climate change, the U.S. is doing just fine thank you. We've been using vast amounts of natural gas to slash CO2 emissions faster than any nation: "Thanks to Natural Gas, U.S. CO2 Emissions Lowest Since 1985." So we Americans couldn't help but laugh last summer when German Chancellor Angela Merkel read U.S. President Trump the riot act for pulling out of the Paris climate accord.
But yes indeed, Germany is wise to seek more natural gas, and fortunately there's great room to grow. Gas supplies just 13% of the country's power, well below the 28-30% OECD average. But, the Trump administration's point is that, instead of locking in decades of buying more gas off sanctioned-Russia with pipelines, Germany and Europe should be looking for more infrastructure to transport and share gas country-to-country within the continent - an ongoing problem for a group of nations seemingly becoming more divided. Nord Stream 2 doesn't help Europe's crucially needed diversity of supply.
To illustrate, LNG import terminals in the north, south, east, and west lack accompanying midstream to ship supplies to other parts of Europe. Not just lowering reliance on Vladimir Putin, this build-out to utilize cleaner natural gas is essential for a "climate leader" that is continually falling behind: "Every European Union Country Is Failing to Meet Their Climate Change Commitments."
Germany's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 versus 1990 is not just ambitious but highly expensive: "up to 2.3 trillion euros additionally have to be invested in order to reach the long-term targets." But perspective is required on the purported benefits. Germany's CO2 emissions are just 2% of the global total, so even reaching climate goals "would have no perceptible theoretical effect on global temperature." Climate change is by definition a GLOBAL issue, so the notion of individual countries claiming climate benefits for reducing their own CO2 emissions must be seen for exactly what it is: like, totally bogus dude.
Indeed, the global collective is what matters, and there's more bad news there: "The Paris Climate Accords Are Looking More and More Like Fantasy."

5) New EPA Boss Same As The Old; Pruitt's Policies To Stay Intact
Bloomberg, 10 July 2018

The change at the top of the Environmental Protection Agency won’t mean a dramatic shift in policy. If anything, President Donald Trump’s EPA could become even more effective at undoing Obama-era environmental policies under its new boss.

That’s because the incoming acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, who’s set take over Monday following the resignation of Scott Pruitt, is a politically savvy former Senate staffer, wise in the ways of Washington — and getting things done. Wheeler, 53, has crusaded behind the scenes for decades to quash climate change legislation and promote coal.

Wheeler, who was confirmed to be the EPA’s No. 2 official in April, could bring a quiet effectiveness to the top job that some environmentalists say will make him a more formidable opponent than Pruitt.

Full post

6) John Constable: The Brexit White Paper And UK Energy And Climate Policy
GWPF Energy, 13 July 2018

Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

To what degree after Brexit and under the government’s current plans will the UK be a “rule-taker” on energy and environment?

A curious change in wording between the Chequers statement and the ensuing White Paper suggests that the government has left open the possibility that the UK would not only be committed to “current levels”, of renewables for example, but might have to accept even higher targets in order to be consistent with the spirit of “non-regression” as described in the White Paper.

The UK government’s controversial White Paper on leaving the the EU, The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union, contains a number of important remarks on energy and climate policies, which is as it should be, for EU policies in these areas are extremely far-ranging, touching every corner of the economy and presenting some of the largest Brexit dividends available.

Generally speaking, the government seems determined not take those dividends, nut the precise position put forward is confusing, and indeed in one very important respect the language used in the White Paper differs from that in the preceding Chequers statement. The change does not appear to be an improvement.

The Chequers statement had suggested that the degree to which the UK was anticipated to diverge from the EU energy and climate policies, amongst others, was minor. The government wrote in 4(b) of the Statement:

"[…] the UK and the EU would also agree to maintain high regulatory standards for the environment, climate change, social and employment, and consumer protection – meaning we would not let standards fall below their current levels."

In the White Paper this general ambition is expressed in words that though similar are not quite identical. For example on page nine of the text, in the preliminary discursive summary, we find that “the Government’s vision is for an economic partnershipthat includes”:

“continued cooperation on energy and transport […]”


“in light of the depth of this partnership, binding provisions that guarantee an open and fair trading environment – committing to apply a common rulebook for state aid, establishing cooperative arrangements between regulators on competition, and agreeing to maintain high standards through non-regression provisions in areas including the environment and employment rules, in keeping with the UK’s strong domestic commitments.”

This new key term, “non-regression”,  is found in several other places in the text, all of which repay study:

(7(f): “The UK’s proposal for the economic partnership would […] incorporate binding provisions related to open and fair competition, with a common rulebook for state aid, cooperative arrangements on competition, and reciprocal commitments to maintain current high standards through non-regression provisions in other areas, such as environmental and employment rules.”

108(c) “The UK’s proposals include […] committing to high regulatory environmental standards through a non-regression requirement

118: “In the context of a deep economic partnership, the UK proposes reflecting its domestic choice to maintain high regulatory standards for the environment. To that effect, the UK and the EU should commit to the non-regression of environmental standards.There should also be a reciprocal commitment to ongoing environmental cooperation, including in international fora, to solve shared global environmental challenges.

The Chequers statement version was clearly bad for the UK, but is there any reason for for thinking that “non-regression” is even more threatening than the commitment to maintaining “current levels”? Unfortunately there is, because the vagueness inherent in the term “non-regression” leaves room for the imposition of higher specific targets in certain areas, renewable energy say, in order not to regress from the general aim, the “standards”, such as the promotion of renewable energy or the reduction of emissions, as embodied in the relevant Directive or policy. This would be particularly problematic if those higher targets were to be generated by the EU itself, for the UK would then simply be a voiceless rule-taker.

At this point, apologists for the White Paperand the Chequers statement might observe that since the UK already has much more stringent targets and self-imposed obligations under, for example, the Climate Change Act, that this commitment to at least those levels proposed by EU is surely unthreatening. But this would be a mistake because it neglects the extent to which the Climate Change Act is itself empty of instrumental specifics, and relies on the means specified by other policies, mostly EU policies in point of fact. Indeed, the most troublesome of the EU’s Directives, are concerned with specifying the microscopic means that are used to reach a macroscopic environmental end, and the harm done by such mircromanagement to other EU’s policies, such as the Emissions Trading Scheme, which never had a chance, is notorious.

Committing the UK to “Current levels” in relation to the means specified by the relevant EU Directives, the Industrial Emissions Directive, the Renewables Directive, and even the Energy Efficiency Directive is bad enough. Those levels are extreme and so far reaching that almost any other economic liberty you can name is offset, perhaps more than wholly offset. But, if the vague term “non-regression”, or “non-regression […] of standards”, leaves the UK open to even higher specific instrumental targets under the general ambitions, the standards of those Directives and their successors, the situation is acutely dangerous.

And no one should delude themselves into thinking this unlikely. The United Kingdom has been one of the firmer opponents of any extension to the Renewable Energy targets that puts a mandatory burden on member states at national level after 2020. That resistance is unsuprising, since the UK already shoulders the bulk of the EU-wide cost of the 2020 target, up to 45% of the total cost according to UK governement estimates in 2008. It is entirely conceivable that the often very green representatives of the remaining EU states are now more likely to be successful in demanding a mandatory national renewables target for 2030 and beyond. Escaping from the hazard of such parliamentary votes in Brussels is one of the Brexit dividends, so why has Her Majesty’s Government  left the United Kingdom open to the possibility of having to accept such decisions and apply higher targets in order to maintain its needless promise of “non-regression”?

One possible answer is that the document is careless rather than devious, and that these hazardous sentences are accidents rather than carefully laid traps. That possibility should not be dismissed. It would, after all, also explain how it is that a White Paper outlining relations between the EU and the UK should ask the EU to bind its own hands in perpetuity in international climate policy, for paragraph 118, quoted above, does exactly that, by stating that “the UK and the EU should commit to the non-regression of environmental standards.” Whitehall may think little of binding its own hands in this way, our civil service sometimes gives the impression of gaining a perverse pleasure from such practices, but it seems unlikely that Mr Selmayr will thank them for this insouciant attempt to fetter his discretion in running the European Union.

7) Judge Kavanaugh and the Environmental Left
Reihan Salam, National Review, 12 July 2018

Should environmentalists fear the prospect of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice? Most left-of-center environmentalists are convinced that the answer is yes, on the grounds that Judge Kavanaugh has consistently sought to rein in federal regulatory agencies that by his lights appear to be going beyond their legislative mandates. But this shouldn’t imply hostility to the goals of environmentalists — it is just that as a matter of constitutional principle, he believes, correctly, that it is Congress that should be making substantive policy decisions about matters of great significance, such as climate change, not the agencies themselves.

In an interview with Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic, Richard Lazarus of Harvard Law School, a leading scholar of environmental law, spoke admiringly of Judge Kavanaugh, describing him as “a really decent person, with enormous integrity.” However, he also noted that Judge Kavanaugh took the separation of powers very seriously. “If he’s going to find an agency has sweeping regulatory authority, with significant economic or social implications, he’s going to want to find that Congress really intended it. He’s going to want to see specific language in the statute that says Congress really meant to give that authority away.” Viewed through this lens, the issue is not that Judge Kavanaugh objects to environmental protection. Rather, it is that “Congress hasn’t passed a major environmental law since it revamped the Clean Air Act in 1990.”

Having failed to persuade lawmakers to pass climate-change legislation in 2009, many environmentalists looked to the Environmental Protection Agency to do what lawmakers would not. That might have seemed like an expedient solution in the Obama years, or when a Hillary Clinton administration seemed foreordained. But as the environmental Left is learning to its dismay, decisions imposed by executive fiat are easily reversed. If Judge Kavanaugh has a message for environmentalists, it seems to be this: If you want ambitious new environmental policies, you must work through the legislative process, which will necessitate building large and diverse coalitions. I can’t imagine this will be a welcome message. In the end, though, it might give rise to an environmentalism that enjoys broader and deeper support.

8) Global Cooling: Global Temps Have Dropped By 0.65°C Since 2016 
Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, 12 July 2018

The failure of the atmosphere to warm in accordance with alarmist predictions is making it harder and harder to come up with a bona fide story that can scare you.
In a post a few days ago, I noted that “the whole climate issue seems to have mostly disappeared from the news lately.”  Commenter niceguyeddie responded by giving me a link to the Washington Post (eddie called it “the ‘other’ Pravda”), and an article of July 5 by a guy named Jason Samenow headlined “Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week.”   
In the intervening week since this article, a few people on the internet have been busy making mincemeat of Samenow’s rather pitiful effort.  For MC readers who don’t go out searching the internet regularly for real information on climate to combat the propaganda from the various Pravdas out there, I thought I would do the public service of presenting some of this real information here.
First, some basic background is needed to develop appropriate bullshit radar on this subject.  If you follow climate or weather information even a little, you will already know that on any given day, somewhere in the world, some weather station, or more likely multiple stations, is recording an “all time high” temperature for the particular day in question, while some other weather station, or maybe multiple stations, is recording an “all time low.”  It follows that the fact that multiple “all time high” records were set during the course of a week tells you nothing about climate change.  There could have been even more all time lows, and the overall average could have gone down, no matter how many “all time highs” were recorded.  
Any reader of any intelligence whatsoever will immediately be asking, don’t just tell me about “all time highs,” but tell me what is the overall picture?  How many all time lows were there?  What is happening with the “average” temperature?  You will not be surprised to learn that Samenow does not provide the answers to those questions.  
In other words, his article is not intended to provide useful information to the intelligent reader, but rather to propagandize those lacking in either basic background information or critical thinking ability or both.
There is an obvious source for the answer to the last question as to what is happening with the “average,” and that is the easily-available UAH global lower troposphere record, derived from satellite sensors.  That record exists from 1979 to present.  Here is the latest chart from UAH going through the end of June 2018:

So with that simple first step, we know that the “average” world temperature for June 2018 was +0.21 deg C above the 1981 – 2010 mean.  That represented a decline of about 0.65 deg C from the all time high of this 39-year record, which was reached in early 2016.  The 0.65 deg C decline represented more than 75% of the amount by which the average temperature had exceeded the 1981 – 2010 mean at the highest point.  Suddenly the fact that some large number of “all time highs” was being set at the end of June does not seem very significant.

But it’s still fun to look at what Samenow claims for his “all time highs,” to see how real they are, or whether we are dealing with more of the usual “fake news.”  This gets pretty bad. […]
As you can see, the failure of the atmosphere to warm in accordance with alarmist predictions is making it harder and harder to come up with a bona fide story that can scare you. They are reduced to cherry-picking some unrepresentative data points and leaving out all of the relevant context. It’s no wonder the reporting on this is becoming increasingly scarce. For you, the moral of the story is, if you want some real information as to whether the world is warming or cooling, and by how much, skip the propaganda at the various Pravdas, and go for the UAH lower troposphere satellite record.  It is available in the form at the top of this post, at, updated monthly.

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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