Human Misery of Hurricane Sandy Not Caused by Energy Policy

Russ Steele

One of my regular reads every day is Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog, he is a moderate voice in the climate change debate.  He had an insightful look at the impact of Sandy in the Wall Street Journal. Hurricanes and Human Choice

Sandy was terrible, but we’re currently in a relative hurricane ‘drought.  Connecting energy policy and disasters makes little scientific sense.

Hurricane Sandy left in its path some impressive statistics. Its central pressure was the lowest ever recorded for a storm north of North Carolina, breaking a record set by the devastating “Long Island Express” hurricane of 1938. Along the East Coast, Sandy led to more than 50 deaths, left millions without power and caused an estimated $20 billion or more in damage.

But to call Sandy a harbinger of a “new normal,” in which unprecedented weather events cause unprecedented destruction, would be wrong. This historic storm should remind us that planet Earth is a dangerous place, where extreme events are commonplace and disasters are to be expected. In the proper context, Sandy is less an example of how bad things can get than a reminder that they could be much worse.

In studying hurricanes, we can make rough comparisons over time by adjusting past losses to account for inflation and the growth of coastal communities. If Sandy causes $20 billion in damage (in 2012 dollars), it would rank as the 17th most damaging hurricane or tropical storm (out of 242) to hit the U.S. since 1900—a significant event, but not close to the top 10. The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 tops the list (according to estimates by the catastrophe-insurance provider ICAT), as it would cause $180 billion in damage if it were to strike today. Hurricane Katrina ranks fourth at $85 billion.

To put things into even starker perspective, consider that from August 1954 through August 1955, the East Coast saw three different storms make landfall—Carol, Hazel and Diane—that in 2012 each would have caused about twice as much damage as Sandy.

Here is a graph from his blog.

The graph above shows normalized US hurricane damage, based on data from ICAT, which applies an extension to the methodology of Pielke et al. 2008. The 2012 estimate for Sandy comes from Moody’s, and is an estimate.  The red line represents a linear best fit to the data — it is flat

So there your have it! Sandy is not the new normal, regardless of what the lame steam press has to say, you now have the facts.

H/T to a regular reader for the WSJ article.

Russ Steele:

Be sure and read the facts presented in the post when watching this program. If you know the facts, then you will know when to hit the BS Button, and call a foul on PBS. Please note that even the President has stopped talking about climate change. Not one word during the debates. It is all over, and PBS is just a little late to the game.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Press release

On Tuesday, October 23, PBS’s “Frontline” program will broadcast a special titled “Climate of Doubt.” It promises to go “inside the organizations” that helped turn the tide of public opinion, and then of elected officials, away from excessive concern over the possible threat of man-made global warming.

The Heartland Institute is likely to be a central figure in this program as we welcomed “Frontline” producer Catherine Upin and her crew to our Seventh International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago in May. Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James M. Taylor also gave a three-hour interview to the film crew in August. Earlier this year, The Economist called Heartland “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.”

We hope the program is accurate and fair, but past experience both with PBS and other mainstream media outlets leads us to predict it will be neither…

View original 560 more words

Posted Another Win at AGW Defeat – Climate RIP as political issue?!

Russ Steele

First time climate change was ignored in debates since 1984 – Obama in ‘climate denial’

Climate Depot’s Morano: ‘Global warming activists are justifiably outraged by Obama’s climate silence…What happened? How did climate change get reduced to a comedic punch line in 2012?

The answer is clear. The man-made global warming fear movement never overcame having a partisan figure like Al Gore being its public face and suffered from having the scandal ridden and distrusted UN IPCC as the source of its science’

More HERE.

Carbon Cult Gets Free Passes on Unintended Consequences – Why?

Russ Steele

SOLAR Unintended Consequences (The Daily Bell) 

Solar Cells Linked to Greenhouse Gases Over 23,000 Times Worse than Carbon Dioxide According to New Book, Green Illusions … Solar cells do not offset greenhouse gases or curb fossil fuel use in the United States according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California – Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner.

Green Illusions explains how the solar industry has grown to become one of the leading emitters of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These three potent greenhouse gases, used by solar cell fabricators, make carbon dioxide (CO2) seem harmless.

Wind Turbine Unintended Consequences (WSJ)

For years, the wind energy industry has had a license to kill golden eagles and lots of other migratory birds. It’s not an official license, mind you.

But as the bird carcasses pile up—two more dead golden eagles were recently found at the Pine Tree wind project in Southern California’s Kern County, bringing the number of eagle carcasses at that site to eight—the wind industry’s unofficial license to kill wildlife is finally getting some serious scrutiny.

Some 77 organizations—led by the American Bird Conservancy, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Endangered Species Coalition and numerous chapters of the Audubon Society—are petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to toughen the rules for the siting, permitting and operation of large-scale wind projects.

It’s about time. Over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating some of America’s oldest wildlife-protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act.

But the Obama administration—like the Bush administration before it—has never prosecuted the wind industry despite myriad examples of widespread, unpermitted bird kills by turbines. A violation of either law can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for two years.

The Church of Climatology can kill 70 Golden Eagles every year in the Altamont Pass and fill the air with exotic greenhouse gases and still get a free pass from the EPA, CEPA and CARB.  Why are the Climate Cults not responsible for the unintended consequences of their  actions? Why have government agencies not responded to these ecological violations?  They go after oil, gas and power companies, why not solar and wind companies?   Why, because most citizens do not give a damn.

Something is Happening With the Sun

Russ Steele

I have a post at the Next Grand Minimum on changes on the sun which could have some long term impacts here on earth. Link is HERE, where this graphic is explained in more detail.

We could be headed for a Maunder level minimum, which took place during the Little Ice Age,  a cold period between AD 1550  and AD 1850.  There were three particularly cold intervals: one beginning about 1650, another about 1770, and the last in 1850, each separated by intervals of slight warming.

There were no Sierra glaciers before the LIA. We could see these glaciers grow again if the sun experiences another Grand Minimum.  We are on the cusp of some very interesting times in solar history. Stay Tuned.

Insight Worth Noting from the Economist

Russ Steele

“The entire renewables sector, Mr Helm argues, has become an orgy of rent-seeking”

The system therefore relies on a panoply of subsidies which, as night follows day, has produced an enormous industry to compete for them—wind and solar firms, lobbyists, NGOs and politicians. The entire renewables sector, Mr Helm argues, has become an orgy of rent-seeking.

An CARB is more than willing to drag the tax and rate payers of California into this rent seeking orgy.

Arctic Ice Update

Russ Steele

No additional words needed the ice speaks of it self.  I only hear crickets.

H/T to for the graphic.

Prop 23 Update: Where are the Green Jobs?

Russ Steele

Remember how we were told by the local left that the full implementation of AB-32 and the Federal Stimulus would create lots of green job in the US and in California?   Here are some details from Master of Engineering Blog on where those jobs are not and how much the ones that were created cost the taxpayers.  My comments in [ ]s 

The 2009 stimulus directed around $90 billion toward green initiatives, including loan guarantees for green energy firms, money to weatherize homes, green jobs training grants, and many other projects. [Romney mention the $90 billion in his debate with Obama, who had no answers, and this is the reason why.]

In an audit released in September, the Department of Labor’s inspector general found that a $500 million program for training people with so-called green skills has so far produced only 1,336 jobs that have lasted over 6 months, with $163 million already spent. This amounts to $121,856 per successful green trainee.

The Obama administration had an idea that would solve the jobs crisis and our environmental woes in one fell swoop. They gave loans and grants to green energy and research companies in order to move the market forward and enable the companies to hire more employees.

- SunPower, after receiving $1.5 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.

- First Solar, after receiving $1.46 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.

- Solyndra, after receiving $535 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Ener1, after receiving $118.5 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Evergreen Solar, after receiving millions of dollars from the state of Massachusetts, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- SpectraWatt, backed by Intel and Goldman Sachs, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Beacon Power, after receiving $43 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Abound Solar, after receiving $400 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Amonix, after receiving $5.9 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Babcock & Brown (an Australian company), after receiving $178 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- A123 Systems, after receiving $279 million from DOE, shipped some bad batteries and is barely operating. It cut jobs.

- Solar Trust for America, after receiving a $2.1-billion loan guarantee from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Nevada Geothermal, after receiving $98.5 million from DOE, warns of potential defaults in new SEC filings.

So, now you know that  Green Jobs was a major failure in both the production of jobs and in the ability to produce green energy. Obama green job myth has exploded in his face and the tax and rate payer have to pay for this failure.  We cannot stand 4 more years of this kind of failure. And we hear nothing but crickets from our local lefties who were promoting AB-32 and the Green Stimulus.  Tell us where are the green jobs?  

Wind Power Will Blackout Millions in UK — CA Next?

Russ Steele

The UK Telegraph has the details:

Millions of British households face blackout, warns Ofgem [Britain's energy system manager]

Millions of households are at risk of power black-outs within three years because coal stations are being replaced with wind farms, the energy watchdog has said.

If it will happen in the UK, and Obama’s EPA is shutting down the coal plant across the United States, will we soon be joining the million in the UK shivering in the dark on long winter nights?  California has sworn off the use of coal generated power and is switching to wind and solar power. We could be just a vulnerable if coal plants shut down and there are no backup power plants to provide power when the wind is not blowing and cold is seeping in the windows at night.

We currently do not have a effective method for storing solar energy, and increased cloudiness from volcanic eruptions or a burst of cosmic rays during a quiet sun could reduce the solar output.  Solar scientist are predicting the loss of sunspots sometime after 2015, resulting in the potential for more cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, generating more clouds.

The potential for black outs in California could increase over time. One of our best options is to get rid of Obama and his EPA which are forcing the closure of our coal mines and coal fired power plants.  Insurance against the whims of Mother Nature.

Prop 23 Update: Global Warming is Killing Electric Cars?

Russ Steele

We were suppose to be buying electric cars to save planet from global warming. But, it appears that global warming is damaging if not killing electric cars.  Details HERE.

Leaf owners in Phoenix noticed that upon full battery charge, their dashboard charge indicator showed a decreasing capacity. According to hybridCARS website range per battery charge has dropped from the advertised 100 miles to as low as 44 miles.

At first Nissan claimed it was a fault of the dashboard gauge, but that proved not to be the case. The lithium ion battery was actually losing charging capacity over time. (See here for a detailed discussion on the physical and chemical processes which cause battery capacity reduction.) Tests show that the battery “ages” more than twice as fast in hot climates compared to cool climates.

Why would anyone buy an electric car?  It seems to be a question that many buyers are asking them selves and not coming up with a buying answer.  US electric car battery plants are sitting idle, after Obama invested billions to create a battery industry in the US.  Why, auto customers are not interested in buying electric cars. Especially electric cars that can only go 44 miles, which will soon be cut in half again to 22 miles per charge as the UN IPCC/GISS global temperatures continue to increase.  Heh!

KQED Suspends Climate Watch

Russ Steele

KQED Climate Watch has been my viewing port on liberal climate change thinking for the past 4 years.  I did my best to introduce some facts into the discussion by posting in the comments section. Some times those comments appeared on the webpage and then they just vanished. Some times the editors found it hard to deal with the facts.  Now we learn that Climate Watch blog is being suspended in a KQED reorganization.

After four years, numerous awards, and something just shy of 900 blog posts, the multimedia reporting effort that’s been known as Climate Watch is turning a significant page. KQED is combining our efforts with Quest, the station’s more broadly-based science and environmental news and programming effort.

Could it be that the interest in climate change is declining and the Climate Watch readership is declining?  It is interesting to note that the UK Times is suspending publication of it’s monthly global warming propaganda flyer Eureka this month as well.

News International is set to close Eureka, the monthly science and environmental magazine distributed with The Times, this week following a sustained loss of advertising from its global top spending companies

The closure of the 64-page stitched magazine, the first ever launched with the weekday Times and the first dedicated monthly science magazine of any national newspaper, comes exactly three years after its launch.

A source said the imminent closure was a sign of shifting consumer and corporate priorities, as the heightened time of political consciousness around the environment and green issues appears to have receded in these austere times… 

..Eureka covers topics ranging from life and earth sciences to green issues and oceanography…

When readers lose interest, the advertisers lose interest as well. As noted  corporate and consumer priorities have changed. My guess that KQED Climate Watch reader priorities have changed as well, thus the reorganization.

Glaciers: Going, going, gone? NOT!

Russ Steele

If you have not seen this press release from Sierra College, I am sure that you will soon see it mention in The Union or the radio at KVMR and KNCO.

Presented by: Sierra College Natural History Museum and Sierra College Press, October 26-27, 2012

Rocklin-During the past two centuries, mountain glaciers around the world have shrunk, thinned and, in some cases, disappeared – all at alarming rates.  The Sierra Nevada is among the western mountain systems that have experienced some of the most dramatic loss of glacial ice. Sierra College’s Natural History Museum and the Sierra College Press have collaborated to make two related lectures available that explain glacial systems in the Sierra Nevada, how they were formed, how they sculpted the state’s great granitic spine and how they are currently being affected by climate change.

“Glaciers: Going, going, gone?” is the title of the two-day lecture event scheduled for October 26 and 27 at the Rocklin campus of Sierra College.

It sounds like an interesting lecture series on our Sierra backyard, but I have a problem with this statement.

 California Glaciers is an elegantly rendered farewell that describes the raw power and beauty of luminous icescapes in the Sierra and the irreversible effects of climate change.

What does Tim Palmer mean by “the irreversible effects of climate change?”

Is it possible that Mr Palmer is not aware that the climate in the Sierra has been changing since the mountains rose out to the sea eons ago?  Sierra glaciers have grown and melted for millions of years.  The last time they increased in size was during the Little Ice Age from 1650 to 1850.  The Sierra glaciers stated melting at the end of LIA, and have continued to do so as the earth temperature rebounded from the extensive cold, during a period when the sun spots vanished.

I wrote about the Sierra glaciers on my old blog, NC Media Watch HERE, where I reported on a paper by Scott Stine, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, California State University, Hayward, California examines Sierra Nevada Climate, 1650–1850. Stine points out the Sierra glaciers did not exist prior to the Little Ice Age and they have been declining since about 1850.

Evidence from Sierra Nevada Glaciers
Following thousands of years of little or no glaciation, high elevation cirques of the Sierra Nevada experienced ice accumulation for several centuries prior to 1850 (Clark and Gillespie 1995; Curry 1969). This period of minor glacier advance (typically less than 2 km), first described in the Sierra by Matthes (1939), corresponds to the “Little Ice Age”—a period of cooling over much of the globe that began in the fourteenth or fifteenth century and continued through the middle of the nineteenth century (Grove 1988).

The Sierra glaciers have been in decline long before greenhouse gases became and issue. The Sierra’s have been warming since Little Ice Age, which created the glaciers.


So, the Sierra did not have glaciers prior to the LIA and now they are melting. We are on the cusp of the another cool period, following the modern warm period. This has been the cycle for centuries and the Sierra Glaciers will return, they are not lost to the irreversible effects of climate change.

Prop 23 Update: Al Gore Bails On Solar Investment Strategy

Russ Steele

Al Gore’s “Green” Investment Company has exited the solar business. After taking an economic hair cut on their “go green” solar investments his company has exited the solar investment business according to SEC Filings.

If you are thinking about green energy for your portfolio, Al Gore has a few words of advice: “Don’t do it.”

“Of course he does not say that in public,” says Bill Gunderson, president of Gunderson Capital Management. “Gore’s company still talks about how alternative energy is a good investment. How companies are adopting it, governments are subsidizing it and people are using it.”

But SEC filings from Gore’s company, Generation Investment, tell a different story, says Gunderson, who hosts a nationally syndicated financial talk radio program and writes for MarketWatch and

“Generation Investment says it is all about climate change, but it is just a typical investment fund with typical stocks,” Gunderson said.<

You can read more HERE:

In the summer of 2010, Generation Investment bought about 440,000 shares of First Solar, worth almost $65 million

Gore bought near the peak.

As the price of First Solar plunged from $141 in 2010 to $30 in the first quarter of 2012, Gore’s company kept throwing good money after bad, buying more and more stock until its investment in early 2012 totaled about 1.12 million shares worth about $28 million dollars.

Generation Investment sold it soon after, SEC records show.

Generation Investment also has private investments and investments in other alternative energy companies that it is not required to disclose to the SEC.

Among the companies listed in the “private and confidential client update” from Generation Investment are SMA Solar, the largest solar company in Germany. Its value has gone down 57 percent over the last year.

In China, Generation Investment said it had an investment in the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, SunTech. The stock has gone down 82 percent over the last year.

Also in the portfolio are EcoSynthetix, Landi Renzo and Meyer Burger, which have lost 60 percent, 25 percent and 49.6 percent respectively over the last year

In Gunderson’s newsletter and on his radio shows, he told his listeners and clients to “sell everything under the sun” and he was shorting First Solar at $121 in May 2011. Gunderson repeated this to the Toronto Globe in December 2011.

“I don’t blame Gore for getting out of alternative energy,” Gunderson said, “even if he did it too late in the case of First Solar.

“But when is he going to tell people that alternative energy is a lousy investment?”

If the high priest of the AGW global warming cult has exited the solar business, it must not be a real solution to the nation energy needs.

Prop 23 Update: Renewables costing ME money, jobs – CA cannot escape

Russ Steele

Maine was ahead of California in implementing a Renewable Portfolio Standard, and now we can observe the results. How will CARB and environmental wacko politicians in Sacramento keep that from happening in CA? They can’t! AB-32 will suck us into the renewable black hole along with the residence of Maine.  [Maine/New Hampshire was second on our retirement location list.]

New Study Finds RPS Standards Hurting Maine’s Economy
Governor LePage advocates for reforms in Maine’s energy laws

AUGUSTA – Today, Governor Paul LePage released the following statement in regards to the study, The Economic Impact of Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, conducted by the Maine Heritage Policy Center and the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research:
“By 2017, this study predicts energy prices will increase by $145 million for consumers, costing the State of Maine about 1,000 jobs. We already pay a statewide total of approximately $220 million more per year for electricity than the national average. This study shows that special interests are hurting Maine’s economy and costing us jobs. We can no longer embrace the status quo.

“Unfortunately, low cost, reliable, and green renewables, such as hydro power, are discriminated against in Augusta. Instead, those with powerful political connections have forced higher cost renewables onto the backs of Maine ratepayers. Common sense dictates that cost must be a factor when evaluating all new energy sources.

“Reforming our laws to optimize our renewable energy production will put more money in the pockets of Mainers, bring more jobs to our state, and improve our quality of life. I encourage the people of Maine to tell their legislators that we need to lower the cost of energy.”

For the full study, please visit:

H/T to WUWT for the tip and link to the study.



McClintock: The adult in the room

Russ Steele

I would like to draw your attention to an article by Katy Grimes at the CalWatchDog, which is based on interviews with Congressman Tom McClintock, focusing on governance in California.

Article in part that should be on interest to us all:

“A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged,” McClintock said. ”Prior to the 2006 passage of AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, the state’s unemployment rate began a steady upward convergence with the national unemployment rates.” After passage of AB 32, California’s unemployment shot up much more dramatically than the national unemployment rate, he said. ”California politicians can’t blame the national economy for that.”

Everything touched by AB 32 has been hurt. “Agriculture, cargo, passenger and transportation travel, construction, the wine industry, cement making — all are impacted negatively by AB 32,” said McClintock. “Entire sectors of the state’s economy have been hurt.”

As for the wind and solar scam, McClintock said there is nothing new. “In the 170 years since wind power was invented, technical advancements have not yet been able to figure out more a more expensive way to produce energy,” said McClintock. “Wind is more expensive than oil and gas.”

“The biggest problem with wind and solar is that we must have and maintain an equal amount of natural gas energy in order to back up the entire energy grid on a moment’s notice. We are paying not only for the most expensive forms of energy now; we are paying to back it up when it fails.”

Solar and wind also take up massive amounts of real estate, McClintock said. “Long transmission lines are needed from the power source to the energy grid. But because the solar output is so low, we can’t use the existing transmission lines — we need a whole new system to transmit solar power.”

California residents are paying three times as much for energy as is needed because of AB 32 and the Renewable Portfolio Standard that was passed in 2012. The standard requires that 33 percent of our electricity come from renewable energy sources.

The full article is HERE. It concludes:

Of California’s diminished ranking from the fifth largest economy in the world to the ninth and the state’s other problems, McClintock summed it up: “Those who blame the recession for California’s budget crisis profoundly misunderstand the nature of that crisis. Even before California’s revenue began to shrink, the state government was running a chronic $10 billion deficit and piling up unprecedented debt. The recession is merely the catalyst; the underlying cause is rampant mismanagement of the state’s resources.”

The question is what do we do about the mismanagement in Sacramento?  Your thoughts?


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