Entire state of South Australia has power black out because of flawed climate change energy policy

September 28, 2016

Another glorious success for Green “science!”

Watts Up With That?

Governor Brown has California on same “dark ages” renewable energy path as South Australia

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

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The entire state of South Australia suffered a complete power black out on Wednesday September 28  plugging it’s nearly 1.7 million residents, communities and businesses into darkness.

Loss of available power from transmissions lines feeding the region from other states coupled with South Australia’s ill-considered climate change energy policy of forced shutdown of the states operating coal plants to promote heavy use of renewable energy created this latest power debacle.

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Last July the state barely averted energy black outs when reduced outside electrical energy supplies forced huge and costly purchases of needed power to restore electrical system reliability.(http://theconversation.com/south-australias-electricity-price-woes-are-more-due-to-gas-than-wind-62824)

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The forced shutdown of operating coal plants and mandated increased use of renewables had significantly increased energy costs to consumers by eliminating production from low cost power plants while increasing…

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Assessing Trump’s Acceptance Speech at the GOP Convention: Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers

July 22, 2016

I’m not a fan of Trump (to say the least), but the sloppy work, bias, and outright dishonesty of “fact checkers” is something we shouldn’t tolerate.

International Liberty

Since I’m not a fan of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, I think that puts me in a good position to fairly assess whether the candidates are being dishonest.

And since several media outlets just produced their “fact-checks” on Donald Trump’s acceptance speech to the Republican convention, this is a perfect opportunity to see not only whether Trump was being dishonest but also whether media fact-checking is honest.

Here’s some of the “fact-checking” from NBC., with each indented example being followed by my two cents.

TRUMP CLAIM: Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58 percent of African-American youth are now not employed. Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago.

THE FACTS: Yes, 38 percent of African American children are living in poverty, according to Census data. But…

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Italy’s Fiscal and Demographic Death Spiral

July 5, 2016

An overly generous welfare state combined with demographic decline. There’s a recipe for national collapse.

International Liberty

European economic analysts are paying too much attention to the United Kingdom and too little attention to Italy.

Yes, the Brexit decision is important, and the United Kingdom is the world’s 5th-largest economy so it merits attention to see if there are any speed bumps as it escapes from the slowly sinking ship otherwise known as the European Union.

But one of the other passengers on that doomed ship is Italy, the world’s 8th-largest economy. And if the UK merits attention because of uncertainty on its way to a brighter future, then Italy should be getting five-alarm focus for its festering economic crisis as it descends into chaos.

Part of that crisis is quasi-permanent stagnation, as illustrated by this map showing changes in per-capita economic output since 1995.

To state that Italy is the slow student in the class is an understatement. There’s been a two-decade period with…

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El Nino collapse appears to be underway

February 10, 2016

I had a feeling the current El Nino was turning out to be an “El Wimpo.” Still, we received some pretty good snowfalls in the Sierras, which is what California really needs, so here’s hoping this is the start of a growing trend.

Watts Up With That?

Global temperature anomalies since 2005; map courtesy Dr. Ryan Maue, Weather Bell Analytics, NOAA

The collapse of El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean has begun and it will be rather dramatic. The current strong El Nino event reached its peak intensity level in December 2015 and all indications suggest it will completely flip to La Nina conditions by later this year. One of the important consequences of the current strong El Nino event in the equatorial Pacific Ocean was a spike in global temperatures. However, if recent history is any guide, expect global temperatures to drop sharply after La Nina conditions become well-established in the tropical Pacific Ocean – likely during 2017 and perhaps beyond. –Paul Dorian, Vencore Weather, 5 February 2016

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Supreme Court puts Obama’s “climate saving” power plant regulations on hold

February 10, 2016

This is great news on several fronts, but especially for supporters of limited government and regulatory restraint (such as me), who’ve often viewed the EPA as an arrogant, tyrannical, and arguably unconstitutional agency.

Watts Up With That?

From the skeptics and common sense win one department…

Tanner Creek Power Station in Lawrenceburg, IN - closed in 2015 by new EPA regulations. Photo by A. Watts Tanner’s Creek Power Station in Lawrenceburg, IN – closed in 2015 by new EPA regulations. Photo by A. Watts

A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday abruptly halted President Obama’s controversial new power plant regulations, dealing a blow to the administration’s sweeping plan to address global warming.

In a 5-4 decision, the court halted enforcement of the plan until after legal challenges are resolved.

The surprising move is a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations “an unprecedented power grab.”

By temporarily freezing the rule the high court’s order signals that opponents have made a strong argument against the plan. A federal appeals court last month refused to put it on hold.

The court’s four liberal justices said they would have denied the request.

The plan aims to stave off the worst predicted…

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Dr. Robert Carter, scientist, climate skeptic, pioneer, friend – R.I.P

January 19, 2016

This is indeed sad news. Carter wrote a marvelous book poking holes in the global warming “thesis” —Climate: the counter consensus— and was a stalwart on the side of climate realism and genuine science. May he rest in peace.

Watts Up With That?

I was shocked and saddened to read this, I’m passing it on without comment because I can’t write about this at this moment. See update below.

Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016) Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016)

Joe Bast writes:

It is with deep regret that I report the passing of a friend, colleague, and great scholar, Dr. Robert M. Carter. Bob died peacefully in a hospital surrounded by family and friends following a heart attack a few days ago. He was 74 years old.

Funeral arrangements are being made and it will most likely take place on Monday next week in Townsville, Australia.

This is almost unspeakably sad. Bob was the very embodiment of the “happy warrior” in the global warming debate. He was a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable credentials (including a Ph.D. from Cambridge), careful attention to detail, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the scientific method. He endured the slings…

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French President Approaches Cliff, Steps on Accelerator

January 19, 2016

France has been dirigiste since Louis XIV centralized all power under him, and the French leadership has been trapped in that intellectual straitjacket ever since. The idea of lowering the burden of government and letting market forces work is probably inconceivable to President Hollande — and most of his people.

International Liberty

When I wrote back in 2012 that France was committing fiscal suicide, I should have guessed that President Hollande would get impatient and push for even more statism.

Sure enough, the BBC reports that France’s President has a new plan. The ostensible goal is to reduce unemployment, but the practical effect is to expand the size and scope of government.

President Francois Hollande has set out a €2bn (£1.5bn) job creation plan in an attempt to lift France out of what he called a state of “economic emergency”. Under a two-year scheme, firms with fewer than 250 staff will get subsidies if they take on a young or unemployed person for six months or more. In addition, about 500,000 vocational training schemes will be created.

Needless to say, if subsidies and handouts were the key to job creation, France already would have full employment.

In reality, real jobs are created

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The Value-Added Tax Should Be Political Poison for Advocates of Limited Government

January 15, 2016

Tweeted this last night, but it’s worth its own post. There’s a lot to like about Ted Cruz, but his insistence that his new tax plan doesn’t contain a VAT, thus giving advocates of big government another revenue stream, is an annoying dodge. I wish he’d drop it, and the VAT.

International Liberty

It’s not my role to pick sides in political fights, but I am very interested in trying to make bad ideas radioactive so that politicians won’t be tempted to do the wrong thing.

This is why I’m a big fan of the no-tax-hike pledge. The folks in Washington salivate at the prospect of getting more of our money, but they are less likely to act on their desires if they’re scared that breaking their promises means they’ll lose the next election.

It’s also why I want the value-added tax (VAT) to become a third-rail issue. Simply stated, it would be a catastrophic mistake to give Washington an additional source of tax revenue. Especially since the European evidence shows that it’s a money machine to expand the welfare state.

Given my concerns, I was understandably distressed that two lawmakers (and presidential candidates) who normally support smaller government, Rand Paul

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The abject failure of official global-warming predictions

January 13, 2016

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) can’t get a single prediction about global warming right, and yet we’re supposed to take drastic, economically harmful action on their say so? Yeah, right.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Monckton of Brenchley

The IPCC published its First Assessment Report a quarter of a century ago, in 1990. The Second Assessment Report came out 20 years ago, the Third 15 years ago. Even 15 years is enough to test whether the models’ predictions have proven prophetic. In 2008, NOAA’s report on the State of the Global Climate, published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, said: “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

To the continuing embarrassment of the profiteers of doom, the least-squares linear-regression trends on Dr Roy Spencer’s UAH satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 18 years 6 months, despite a continuing (and gently accelerating) increase…

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Britain Bracing for Extreme Winter, as Torrential Rain turns to Snow

January 11, 2016

Should this come to pass, it will of course be the fault of anthropogenic global warming, climate change, and the Dread Demon CO2, which can do anything. ANY-THING. (Say it after me, kiddies: “natural cycles.”)

Watts Up With That?

snow Could this be about to happen again? In January 2010, Britain was Covered in Snow

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to forecasters, Britain is bracing for extreme winter conditions which might last for months, as falling temperatures turn torrential rain into severe blizzards.

Arctic SNOWBOMB to smash into Britain: Coldest winter in 58 YEARS now just days away

BRITAIN faces WEEKS of freezing blizzards, crippling snowfall and brutal winter storms as a savage turn in the weather plunges the ENTIRE COUNTRY into winter lockdown.

Blistering Polar gales, several feet of snow and near-record low temperatures will grind the country to a standstill until MARCH, forecasters warn.

The first taste of what could be a historic whiteout arrived this weekend blanketing parts of Scotland and Yorkshire in thick snow.

A dramatic change in atmospheric conditions will drag a plume of freezing air from the North Pole across Britain through…

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Goodbye Bowie

January 11, 2016

Sad news about the passing of David Bowie, one of the greats of rock.

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Never imagined having to post something like this for Music Monday. But David Bowie has left us. He was only 69. Sitting here at 2:30 in the morning, I’m at a loss for words. It seems he was battling cancer for many months and kept it a secret. The words “icon” and “legend” are thrown around indiscriminately these days, but in Bowie’s case they are truly applicable. I’ve been a Bowie fan for as long as I can remember. To blend rock and roll, art, and theater – and do it effectively – is not an undertaking for the mediocre or the uninspired. David Bowie could do it. Personally, I liked Bowie the best when he presented himself as a straight-up singer and rocker, and I chose our video accordingly. He really had a great voice. And a great presence. Also, David Bowie was an art aficionado and collector. Here…

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Indian Energy Experts Baffled by Green Hostility to Nuclear Power

January 7, 2016

Someone should explain to the Indians that “Green opposition” is a matter of faith, not reason, and so doesn’t have to make sense.

Watts Up With That?

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Hindu reports on a fascinating top level debate occurring at a conference in India, between politicians and energy experts. The energy experts are struggling to understand why nuclear power is not the favoured Western option for reducing CO2 emissions.

… Pointing out that countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria were either committed to closing down nuclear plants or opposing nuclear renaissance, he [Governor P. Sathasivam] stressed the need to formulate a new approach between nuclear enthusiasts and opponents. A former Ambassador and governor for India at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Mr. Sreenivasan said India, China, and Russia were the only countries enthusiastic about nuclear power today.

Striking a different stand, Ashok Chauhan, Director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India, said the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions posed a greater threat to the world…

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Drought buster? Up to 10 feet of snow this week for California’s Sierra Nevada

January 5, 2016

Let’s just say “fingers crossed.”

Watts Up With That?

Here is some good news for drought-stricken California; the latest forecast model output from WeatherBell suggests that the Sierra Nevada snow-pack will get a fresh dump of up to 10 feet of snow. The Sierra snow-pack has already been reported as above normal (at 136 percent of normal) in the most recent snow survey conducted by the California Department of Water Resources.

DWR Director Mark Cowin said the heavy snowfall so far during Water Year 2016 “has been a reasonable start, but another three or four months of surveys will indicate whether the snowpack’s runoff will be sufficient to replenish California’s reservoirs by this summer.”

Each water year begins on October 1 and ends on the following September 30. DWR conducts five media-oriented snow surveys in the Sierra Nevada each winter – near the first of January, February, March, April and May – at the Phillips Station plot (elevation 6,800 feet)…

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Assad funds his own enemies

December 31, 2015

Everybody in that region is not just double-dealing, but triple-dealing.

Money Jihad

The regime of Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad is buying millions of dollars in oil from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Maybe years of sanctions against Syria have backfired in that Assad doesn’t have too many other willing sellers. This business relationship between Assad and ISIS helps explain the protracted nature of the conflict.

That, and we’ve been too slow to recognize that Assad may be the lesser priority evil in the region. The thinking in fashionable circles in D.C. for the last couple years was to defeat Assad then defeat ISIS. It may be a better idea to let him defeat ISIS and then reassess.

Here’s a telling excerpt from an interview by NPR’s Renee Montagne with Treasury official Adam Szubin (h/t El Grillo):

…MONTAGNE: I think it will amaze listeners to hear that a great deal of the oil paying for the Islamic State’s war…

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Greenland retained 99.7% of its ice mass in 20th Century!!!

December 30, 2015

So much for the hysterical claim that the Demon CO2 was melting the Greenland ice cap. Be sure to click through: I especially like the graphic of the “lost ice cube.”

Watts Up With That?

(Featured image borrowed from http://www.clipartbest.com)

Naturally, the Real Clear Science headline actually read…

Greenland Lost 9 Trillion Tons of Ice in Century

Which sounds even more serious than the original headline…

Greenland.PNGGreenland has lost 9,000 billion tons of ice in a century

One would think that the fact that 99.7% of Greenland’s ice sheet survived the 20th Century might just be more scientifically relevant than a 0.3% loss… But I guess that doesn’t make for a very dramatic headline.

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British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods

December 28, 2015

Say it after me, kiddies: “There is nothing the Dread Demon CO2 cannot do. Nothing.” I wonder what they think caused changes in flood patterns before the Industrial Age?

Watts Up With That?

Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Top British government officials have predictably blamed Climate Change for severe flooding which has afflicted England in recent weeks. But there has also been strong criticism of river management policies.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

London: Climate change is forcing England to re-assess its flood defences in the face of unprecedented river level surges, one of the United Kingdom government’s most senior environment officials says.

We are moving from a period of known extremes into a period of unknown extremes,” said David Rooke, deputy chief executive of the UK government’s Environment Agency, which manages the country’s rivers.
“We will need to re-assess all the defences right across the country.”

He linked the devastating Boxing Day floods, still engulfing swathes of the country, to climate change.

“What we are seeing are…

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US Landed Gentry demand Medieval Climate Tithes

December 22, 2015

And thus we see the true heart of the Green Movement: cronyism and rent-seeking at the expense of the public. The true believers are being played for suckers.

Watts Up With That?

lake windermere fern forest

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What could be better than owning a large woodland estate, and making a steady income from harvesting timber? Harvesting an additional tithe of taxpayer’s money, of course.

According to the Huffington Post;

America’s Family Forests: Our Climate Change Solution

Last weekend, 195 nations reached a landmark agreement that will commit the world to limiting its greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the two weeks of negotiations, we saw significant discussion about how investing in forests can be a low cost climate solution. Unfortunately, these discussions often focused on international forests, and assumed that U.S. forests’ ability to sequester carbon will remain the same without any special action.

That’s why today, the American Forest Foundation and The Trust for Public Land, co-chairs of the Forest Climate Working Group, a coalition of landowners, conservation organizations, forestry advocates, forest products companies and scientists delivered a letter to President Obama calling…

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So-Called Paycheck Fairness Was the Nuttiest Idea at the Democrats’ debate

December 20, 2015

Remember what Margaret Thatcher said; it applies to the Democrats: They would rather everyone were poorer, as long as the gap between rich and poor were narrower. We would rather *everyone* be richer, and the “gap” be damned. The difference is crucial and fundamental.

International Liberty

Normally I’m very happy to work for the Cato Institute, both because it is a principled and effective organization.

But I wondered about my career choices last night because I was stuck with the very unpleasant task of live-tweeting the Democrat presidential debate. Cleaning out septic tanks would have been a more enjoyable way to spend my time.

Of all the crazy things that were discussed (you can see my contemporaneous reactions on my Twitter feed), the Clinton-Sanders-O’Malley support for so-called Paycheck Fairness legislation would be at the top of my list.

Yes, I was irked by the myopic fixation on income inequality, the support for class-warfare taxation, and the reflexive advocacy for more government spending, but messing around with the price system – because of an assertion that women are paid 77 cents for every $1 received by men – is an entirely different level…

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Minimum Wage Mandates Help Workers…into the Unemployment Line

December 17, 2015

Progressive city councils (Hello, Seattle and Los Angeles!) and state governments (Hiya, California!) have a lot to answer for: pricing out of the job market the very people they claim to want to help — young people and the poor.

International Liberty

As you can see from this interview, I get rather frustrated by the minimum wage debate. I’m baffled that some people don’t realize that jobs won’t be created unless it’s profitable to create them.

You would think the negative effects of a higher minimum wage in Seattle would be all the evidence that’s needed, but I’ve noted before that many people decide this issue based on emotion rather than logic.

So even though we have lots of evidence already that wage mandates cause joblessness (especially for minorities), let’s add to our collection.

Here are some excerpts from a Wall Street Journal column by Professor David Neumark from the University of California Irvine.

Economists have written scores of papers on the topic dating back 100 years, and the vast majority of these studies point to job losses for the least-skilled. They are based on fundamental economic reasoning—that…

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Enough

December 16, 2015

I’m largely neutral in the Cruz-Rubio fight, having decided to see how things shake out, but my friend AG makes a strong case that Cruz is being –at best– disingenuous when he insists he didn’t support legalization for illegals during the 2013 Gang of 8 debate.

agconservative

Enough.

I understand that Cruz fans feel the need to defend their candidate, but there is a certain level of intellectual honesty that reasonable debates require. Several people have sent me @trscoop ‘s defense of Cruz today as if it is evidence that those accusing Cruz of lying are wrong. Amazingly, Scoop accuses Cruz’s critics of being dishonest while he tries to rewrite history and ignore damning evidence that proves his assertions are false.

Scoop, through Amanda Carpenter’s tweets, is essentially arguing that Cruz’s amendment (which would have effectively granted a path to legalization to millions of illegal immigrants) was simply a poison pill and he never actually supported a path to legalization. This revisionism requires people to ignore hundreds of statements from Cruz to the contrary. Most importantly, Cruz specifically said at the time that his amendment was not a poison pill. Cruz said the objective of his amendment…

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