Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #543

The Week That Was: 2023-03-11 (March 11, 2023
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “So I hope you can accept Nature as She is—absurd.”— Richard P. Feynman, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

Number of the Week: 2.3% increase


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

Scope: This week TWTW will discuss two presentations at the 15th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-15) in February by The Heartland Institute. Physicist Thomas Sheahen discusses that in Science, Data Trumps Theory and that the history of science shows that eventually physical evidence replaces speculation and conjecture.

AMO physicist Howard “Cork” Hayden exposes self-contradictions that appear in the latest Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, AR6, 2021). Although recognizing that better data, physical evidence, is available on what is actually occurring in the atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect occurs, Hayden uses the IPCC data to show its self-contradictions.

Astrophysicist Willie Soon has a video in which he goes into greater detail than at ICCC-15. Some of the key points will be briefly discussed.

Ecologist Jim Steele has another clear presentation of what is wrong with some political claims concerning climate change and wildfires. Steele was being considered to be a witness for a Senate hearing on the subject but did not make the cut. He posted his presentation on his website, A Walk On The Natural Side.

Efforts to produce inexpensive nuclear power are running into problems of scale. On Master Resource, former editor of POWER magazine and former editor of Electricity Daily discusses the problems occurring at three different projects: 1) NuScale; 2) X-energy and DOW; and 3) Virginia’s SMR (Small Modular Reactor) plan.

The integration of unreliable solar and wind electricity generation into a carefully controlled, reliable electricity grid remains a problem. The UK is having major problems with using wind power, the providers of which are demanding higher prices than what their contracts stipulate. Germany is being forced to reopen coal-fired power plants. South Australia is being held up as an example of what can be done. Planning Engineer Russ Schussler and semi-retired New Zealand power station engineer Chris Morris present part 2 of their explanation why this example may be illusionary.

The acclaimed 1200-year drought in the West (another exaggeration in the press) to be over. Tony Heller presents evidence on his blog and Chris Mass explains the drastic cold hitting the West Coast.

Several questions arose regarding sea level rise in Scandinavia and Finland. TWTW found a newer study of the issue by the Ministry of Rural Affairs and Infrastructure in Sweden that further explains the geological rebound from the last glaciation.


Data (Physical Evidence) Trumps Theory: In discussing the development of physical science, physicist Tom Sheahen asserts a basic rule of science: “Any Theory must conform to data or it will be dismissed.” Further, “Data, not theory, is the cornerstone of the Scientific Method.” Sheahen recalls the importance of data (from both experiment and observation) through the development of the Law of Inertia, and later in correcting Classical (Newtonian) Mechanics by Relativity, including seeing gravity as curvature of space-time. We must realize that no theory is ever final. It is always subject to future corrections, because new data may show discrepancies in regions not anticipated by old theory. The new theory should encompass the old theory.

Sheahen goes into recent incorrect postulates in science, such as acceptance of limits of economic growth models which become meaningless if carried too far forward. Unfortunately, government entities including the UN IPCC do not understand such limitations. Sheahen discusses the deficiencies of global climate models used by the UN IPCC. These programs require ignoring physical evidence that contradicts the models. Sheahen concludes with what is necessary to restore the Scientific Method: “Always remember the supremacy of data over theory.”

To this excellent summary on conducting proper physical science, TWTW adds an aside from global climate modeler’s Tim Palmer’s book The Primacy of Doubt. In the chapter discussing Chaos, Palmer brings up the nineteenth century race to find a formula to calculate a multi-body system (three or more bodies) using gravity to explain planetary motion. The French physicist and mathematician Henri Poincaré discovered that no such formula exists.

This is one more example of what the renown physicist Richard Feynman stated when he wrote that applying rigorous mathematics to an imperfectly understood concept may produce absurd results. Unfortunately, in modeling the global climate Palmer and many other modelers use an assumption on increasing water vapor content in the atmosphere that over fifty years of weather balloon observations are demonstrating to be wrong.

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


IPCC Conflict: In demonstrating the self-contradictions appearing in IPCC’s AR6, 2021, Howard Hayden asserts that he is not claiming that his climate model is better than the ones used by the IPCC because he does not have a global climate model. Instead, Hayden discusses fundamental physics, in particular the conservation of energy. He finds that IPCC’s definition of “radiative forcing” is a little odd: the dramatic IPCC term refers to changes in the amounts of infrared and/or visible light compared to the 1850-1900 period, not to the earth’s entire radiative environment.

Hayden shows that in one part of the IPCC report the present greenhouse effect is identified as 159 W/m2. In another part, the “forcing” from a doubling of CO2 is calculated as 3.7 W/m2. Everything is referenced to the period 1850 to 1900. Everything before is “pre-industrial.” According to the IPCC the climate of the earth was stable before 1850. But this means that there were no Ice Ages or periods much warmer than today, etc.? This belies actual data and is clearly wrong.

Thus, the IPCC uses an imaginary climate, one in which there was no climate change before 1850. As stated in previous TWTWs, the Summary for Policymakers of the AR6 has a graph showing a remarkably stable climate (temperatures only) from about the year zero AD to the 1850-1900 period. The IPC is clearly and gleefully rewriting actual history!

Hayden discusses the heat-balance drawings (Earth’s Energy Budget) prior to AR6, showing a mysterious blank region in the atmosphere for which there are no numbers; the drawings leave out the greenhouse effect. [NASA posts a similar graph.] Hayden fills in the blank region with 159 W/m2, the difference between surface radiation and radiation leaving the top defined by the IPCC after 31 years, to be the present greenhouse effect.

After going through the calculations and warning that one should not be obsessed by the pretentious precision, Hayden lists all of the IPCC projects as heat balance charts in the future – NONE AT ALL.

Hayden discusses that according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law of total radiation emitted by the surface of an object, IPCC’s most probable increase in temperatures of three degrees Celsius, due to a doubling of CO2. would result in an increase in surface radiation of 16.7 W/m2 supposedly caused by a mere 3.7 W/m2 “radiative forcing” due to a doubling of CO2. He then presents some of the bazaar projections of the IPCC models that account for radiative forcing from all causes. Every single one results in surface radiation that far exceeds the ability of radiative forcing to contain it – for the simple reason that all models predict too much surface temperature rise.

Hayden concludes with a take-home message: The IPCC does not apply the Stefan-Boltzmann law to their results, therefore everyone else must do so. If they do, then they should compare the results to those that the IPCC calculates, and they will understand how the IPCC fools themselves as well as the public. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Amplifying Man-made or Human Caused? Last week, TWTW discussed Willie Soon’s presentation at the 15th ICCC. Tom Nelson recorded a one hour and twenty-minute video in which Soon extended his remarks regarding the recent work at the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES). This goes through the cycles of climate change covering the topics:

  • History and the evolution of the global land temperature records
  • The urban heat island problem and other non-climatic biases
  • What happens if we just use rural stations?
  • ‘Statistical homogenization of the temperature data’ as a possible solution?
  • Problems with current “homogenization” attempts
  • Are the IPCC’s “solar forcing’ estimates correct?
  • Can the Sun explain the global warming of rural stations?

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Ignorance of Natural History: Many politicians push conspiracy theories that skeptical scientists are being paid by dark money from fossil fuel sources. As with many critics of climate skeptics who make these claims, these politicians fail to give concrete evidence supporting their claims and use the personal allegations as a cover for their own failure to provide concrete evidence of their false climate claims. Ecologist Jim Steele prepared for a Senate committee hearing headed by Senator Whitehouse on wildfires such as Colorado’s destructive Marshall Fire, Dec 30, 2021. He did not make the cut and used his material for a presentation titled “Time to Learn Some Science.” Steele writes:

“The Marshall Fire was a grass fire. Grasses become highly flammable in just hours of dry weather. Grasses become highly flammable independent of climate change. The Marshall Fire was not evidence of a climate crisis!

The Marshall Fire was ignited by humans.

Human ignitions have expanded fire season into the coldest seasons, making deadly fires less predictable. Natural lightning fires are more predictable in the summer months of the more limited lightning season.”

Steele discusses strong winds which quickly spread grass fires then continues:

“Fires require high amounts of energy to ignite and spread.

It is well proven that increasing CO2 from burning fossil fuels adds about 2.4 W/ m2 of energy. But that can’t ignite even a paper fire.

In contrast, 3,400 W/m2 will ignite grassy vegetation in seconds.

It is also well proven that grass fires emit about 35,000 W/m2 of energy.

Depending on the vegetation density, that’s up to 10 times more energy than what’s needed to sustain a grass fire.”

He displays a graph showing the difference between rate of temperature increase generated by a grass fire and that generated by a tree limb. Showing a photo of a suburb with homes destroyed with trees still standing, Steele continues:

“In contrast to Whitehouse’s call for a CO2 safety zone, a defensible space is created only by removing any vegetation that carries a fire too close to one’s home. Only then can a reasonable wildfire safety zone be realized.

The introduction of Eurasian cheatgrass over 100 years ago, has enabled increased fire ignitions and created more pathways carrying fire into shrubland, forests, and rural towns. Cheatgrass creates a dense carpet of highly flammable fuel that dies and dries by June, and cheatgrass’s spread is one correlates with the disproportional number of fires in the West.”

Steele shows graphs on the spread of cheatgrass. Steele states that restoration of natural grasses would be a first step in the West. Also, we must recognize that policies of fire suppression then followed by policies of “let it burn” have added to complications created by changing weather patterns. Global climate models fail to explain this. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Problems of Scale: Economies of scale do not necessarily occur. The automobile assembly line may be considered an exception, not a general economic reality. This appears to be one of the problems in creating Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMR). In discussing three different nuclear projects: 1) NuScale; 2) X-energy and DOW; and 3) Virginia’s SMR (Small Modular Reactor) plan, Kenneth Maize brings up the problems of changing scale and the ever-present problem of politics. Maize concludes with a fitting quote from Vaclav Smil:

“In light of the past experience with nuclear promises, the only sensible attitude is to wait and see how many of these announced plans will, even with the added incentive of accelerated decarbonization, become actual working prototypes, and then how many of those will make the second cut to lay the foundations of future commercial opportunities. In any case, no nation has announced any specific, detailed, and binding recommitment to what would have to be a multidecadal program of reactor construction.”

See link under Nuclear Energy and Fears


Australia Too? Smil’s advice of “wait and see” may also apply to replacing reliable fossil fuel-power electricity generation with wind and solar. The problems are many, including that the heavy turbines of coal-fired and combined cycle natural gas-fired and hydroelectric power plants can be geared to match closely to controlled power transmitted on the grid (synchronized). Wind and Solar need complex electrical systems to do so, which have not been fully developed and proven.

Some highly optimistic “experts” point to South Australia and West Australia as examples on how wind and solar can be integrated into a national grid. Writing in Climate Etc., Planning Engineer Russ Schussler and Chris Morris continue their two-part series exploring how well integrated are wind and solar into a national grid. As with the problems with scale in nuclear plants, the solutions appear to be “just around the corner,” wherever the corner may be. The authors conclude:

“South Australia’s initial efforts are less revolutionary than they appear. Their efforts instead show the importance and centrality of synchronous machines. Australia is retiring synchronous generators and replacing them with other synchronous machines. This step is not revolutionary. That and the other solutions they are incorporating confirm that a net-zero grid faces considerable challenges. Combined with other planned changes, their overall efforts will aggravate existing reliability trends. AEMO [Australian Energy Market Operator]is currently seeing inertial shortfalls and poor system security.  Will the new efforts continue the trends towards a costlier less reliable grid?  The authors believe it is most likely that costs will increase significantly, and reliability will degrade considerably even if they do a great job of implementing all the planned changes. Higher energy costs will hurt their consumers and industry while moving manufacturing and industry away from Australia to areas with cheaper (fossil fuel based) energy. The end result may cause far greater environmental harm.

The effectiveness of South Australia’s future plans remains to be demonstrated. It’s not clear how complicated or expensive it may be to implement the proposed changes. Curtailing residential solar to allow greater grid-based wind and solar, suggest s that it may be inordinately complicated. Australia is not solving these problems, or showing how they might be solved, as much as they are just grappling with them. How well operators will be able to deal with the complexity is unknown. How much this might cost is a complete unknown. How much it costs and how well it operates will need to be carefully considered before declaring this a path to be emulated across other grids and power systems in the future. The work to replace synchronous machines with inverter-based resources is at best in its infancy. Documentation around their efforts shows that concerns about high levels of penetration by asynchronous renewables are well founded. It is premature to declare any kind of a victory here. They may find that things are more challenging than they thought.”

Readers need to know that extremely precise requirements are needed in phase-matching and cycles per second are needed to prevent energy loss or even grid failure, The inverter-based matching is needed to convert DC power from wind and solar to AC power commonly used in distribution. See link under Energy Issues – Australia.


Drought Over? TWTW was extremely skeptical about claims that the recent drought in the western US was the worst in 1200 years. TWTW is also skeptical that the drought is over, based on the rain (or snowfall) this winter. However, it has been quite a season, with homes near Lake Tahoe being crushed by the snow load and estimates that about 40 feet of snow fell in parts of California. Tony Heller presents maps from the USDA National Water and Climate Center on the snowpack in the western US which is far above average. A check of California water supply reservoirs show that a number of reservoirs are nearing or above historic averages. As of March 11, the second largest, Oroville, is at 115% of historic average and opened its spillway. Shasta, the largest, is at 85% of historic average. See links under Changing Weather and https://cdec.water.ca.gov/resapp/RescondMain


Additions and Corrections: Several readers inquired about the assertions in TWTW regarding different sea level trends in Finland. The comments came from the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The problem is extrapolating (generalizing) short-term trends into long-term trends. The tidal gauges in the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland change dramatically because both are at the narrow end of a funnel opening to the Baltic Sea, then through a narrow passage to the North Sea

TWTW found more recent work on the postglacial uplift for the Fennoscandia [the spelling checked out] and the Baltic Region. The center of the uplift is near Umea, Sweden. The rate of uplift is 10 mm, or 0.393 inches per year, or a rate of 39.4 inches per century. Natives noticed it hundreds of years ago. See links under Changing Earth.


Number of the Week: 2.3% increase. As calculated by Howard Hayden from IPCC numbers a doubling of CO2 will increase the greenhouse effect by only 2.3%. No wonder leaders of China are building large numbers of coal-fired power plants. See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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

IPCCs Exercise in Self-Contradiction

By Howard “Cork” Hayden, 15th ICCC, Via SEPP, Feb 24, 2023


In Science, Data Trumps Theory: Correcting Errors in Science

By Thomas P. Sheahen, 15th ICCC, Via SEPP, Feb 24, 2023


Willie Soon: Global warming: Mostly human-caused or natural?

By Tom Nelson Podcast #79, Mar 8, 2023

Former NOAA Meteorologist: Natural Cycles Now Steering Our Planet Into An “Extremely Cold Period”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 3, 2023

Link to Global Weather Oscillation.com


Setting Senator Whitehouse Straight on Climate & Wildfires

By Jim Steele, A Walk On the Natural Side, Mar 7, 2023

Text: https://perhapsallnatural.blogspot.com/2023/03/teanscipt-for-setting-senator.html

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07juDXNa72M

The Misguided Crusade to Reduce Anthropogenic Methane Emissions

By Clyde Spencer, WUWT, Mary 6, 2023

Defending the Orthodoxy

Study into global daily air pollution shows almost nowhere on Earth is safe

Study of daily ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has found that only 0.001% of the global population are exposed to WHO safe levels

From Press Release, Monash University (Melbourne), Science Daily, Mar 7, 2023  [H/t William Dwyer]


Link to paper: Global estimates of daily ambient fine particulate matter concentrations and unequal spatiotemporal distribution of population exposure: a [deep ensemble] machine learning modelling study.

By Wenhua Yu et al. Lancet, March 2023


“Funding: Australian Research Council, Australian Medical Research Future Fund, and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.”

[SEPP Comment: Did anyone in the US Midwest survive the 1930s Dust Bowl? Did humanity spring up after the last Ice Age glaciation ended about 18,000 years ago when the great breadbaskets of the Northern Hemisphere were barren dust bowls?]

Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science

Plants seek climate refuge across our changing planet

When plants move, they take entire ecosystems with them

Press Release, NSF, Mar 6, 2023


Link to paper: The past as a lens for biodiversity conservation on a dynamically changing planet

By Jenny L. McGuire, PNAS, Feb 6, 2023


From the abstract: “Both climate and land-use change have accelerated over the past decades.”

[SEPP Comment: Do not question accelerating changes in land use, but promote climate?]

Claim: Climate Change will Cost Germany $960 Billion by 2050

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mary 8, 2023

Questioning the Orthodoxy

PM2.5: Mass Killer or Mass Fraud?

By Steve Milloy, Junk Science, Mar 8, 2023

Lowland Snow Flakes in March Plus Does Global Warming Contribute to Cold Waves

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Mar 8, 2023


Podcast: “Has Global Warming/Climate Change contributed to increased numbers and intensity of cold waves…and particularly cold waves over the western U.S.?”

Strangling The Environment

By Susan Goldhaber MPH, ACSH, Feb 28, 2023


“That is because glyphosate is the most effective tool for eradicating invasive plants that are destroying many native species.”

The problem with cheap power is the cost

By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Mar 8, 2023

Are Butterflies Wildlife?

By Kip Hansen, WUWT, Mar 9, 2023

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Japan No Kyoto (Or Net Zero)

Twenty-six years after the Kyoto Protocol, drastic action on climate change is more like “a dream than a reality.”

By Robert Bryce, His Blog, Mar 5, 2023


[SEPP Comment; The difference between imagination at Davos and reality.]

Science, Policy, and Evidence

How Low Can You Go? For Energy, We’re Already There

By Brigham McCown, Real Clear Energy, Mar 8, 2023


Models v. Observations

Warming could raise UK flood damage bill by 20%, Say Make-Believe Computer Simulations

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 7, 2023

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