American Elephants

Dr. Roy Spencer’s Keynote Address to Ninth International Conference on Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Roy Spencer  is the climatologist who runs, with Dr.  John Christie, the only real measures of earthly temperatures by satellite from the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He gave the keynote address to the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on July 9, 2014.

I’ve managed to make this sound dull—”keynote address”—but it isn’t at all. He’s funny! Non technical, and even though he shows a few graphs, you will come away duly enlightened and better informed, and you will have enjoyed it. If you don’t, let me know.

Dr. Spencer clearly explains the state of Climate Science, and why nothing much has changed in the past three years. He is a delightful speaker, funny, entertaining and will clear up more than a few misconceptions about the state of the climate.


Ivar Glaever, Noble Prizewinner for Physics trashes the Global Warming psuedoscience. by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Ivar Glaever, Norwegian-American physicist and Nobel prizewinner says that global warming is basically a non-problem, and resigned from the American Physical Society. Here he carefully explains why, as Climate Depot reported:

Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I cannot live with the (APS) statement below (on global warming): APS: ‘The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.’

Giaever announced his resignation from APS was due to the group’s belief in man-made global warming fears. Giaever explained in his email to APS: “In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

Naturally the true-believers and those who are deeply invested in the usefulness of a panic about a climate crisis, have tried to discredit every word. The claim that “97% of scientists agree” is equally bogus. Please note that we are concerned about a potential increase of 0.8º C — not a full degree, but 8/10ths of a degree.  Run for the hills!


President Trump Was Right to Withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords by The Elephant's Child


The Climate narrative insists that the globe (the whole earth) is warming (not just regional warming), and the warming that has occurred sine 1950 is remarkable, frightening, unnatural and unprecedented. It is the people’s fault—human impact. We did it with our reluctance to shut down all pipelines and rely on gentle wind and soft, warm solar rays, instead of something that would actually power a vast economy.

In 2016 a search of the peer-reviewed scientific literature has found dozens of paleoclimate reconstructions that show that modern “global” warming hasn’t been global in scale at all, for there are many regions on Earth where the climate has been cooling for decades. And even if the warming was on a global scale—the evidence shows that the modern warming is not unusual or even much different than it has been in the past.

Today’s warm temperatures don’t even come close to the maximum temperatures achieved earlier in the Holocene, or as recently as the Medieval Warm Period, 1000 years ago, when there weren’t effluents from modern transportation, factories, dreaded fossil fuels. The warming in recent decades is not even unusual within the context of the last 80 years. The warmth in the 1930s and 1940s matched or exceeded the warmth of the late 20th and 21st centuries in many of the world’s regions. There was even a widely publicized period in the 1960s and 1970s when there was substantial cooling – 0.5º C in the Northern Hemisphere and -1.5º C in the Arctic. Back then they were calling it “Nuclear Winter” and the Club of Rome got all excited about it.

Scientists have kept on publishing their work, and it has been peer-reviewed. The thing is that ordinary people don’t dig into the evidence, and a great many ordinary people just accept what they have been told by Al Gore (who is not a scientist) and others without even trying to understand the reality themselves.

You surely would not be surprised to learn that not everyone’s motives are pure, and that the aim of the Global Warming Panic crowd is political and not scientific at all. The aim has been a vast redistribution of wealth from the rich nations to the poor nations, and the destruction of Capitalism as the engine of growth and wealth on the planet that has helped to raise the poor people of the world out of hunger and poverty. (They are still, in spite of all evidence, just sure that socialism will make everybody equal and get rid of all those nasty bankers.)

Here is a collection of 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers  published within the last year that undermine the “consensus” position that modern warming is unusual, global in extent, or that today’s slight warming is unusual or unprecedented. (There is, by the way no 97% consensus. That’s a talking point, not reality.)

Also, I just ran into a June 9 post from Climate Depot headlined “Unusually Thick Arctic ice pack traps boats, triggers rescue operation off Newfoundland” If you follow this link, there’s a dandy picture of boats trapped in heavy ice off La Scie, Newfoundland, and the rescue operation to save them.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, California’s endless winter still has 8 feet of snow on the ground in the central Sierra — rivaling the massive winter of 1982-83. Mammoth Mountain will still be open daily for skiers into August.

You might consider the possibility that President Trump knew what he was doing when he withdrew (to screams of agony from the Left) from the unratified Paris Climate Accords.

Yes, The Climate Is Changing, Just as It Has Done for Millions of Years. by The Elephant's Child

After President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords, many lefties seem to be asking “But don’t you believe the climate is changing?” Of course the climate is changing. That is what climate does. You have perhaps heard of the Ice Age when much of America was covered with an ice sheet? Or the Little Ice Age from which  we have been recovering? Here is a simple graph showing the natural climate variability of the past 2,000 years showing the average of 18 non-tree ring proxies that coincide with known events in human  history. Note the decimal points. Water freezes at 32º Fahrenheit or at 0º Celsius. The chart shows temperature anomaly.

The Medieval Warm Period (900 to 1300 AD) was the finest weather known to man. Ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice contracted enabling sea exploration and settlements at higher latitudes. Villages and farms were established on Greenland and grain crops were sown and cattle and sheep were raised.   Cathedrals were built in Europe, and monasteries and universities. Population increased, food was more plentiful. The warming was global. The Little Ice Age began in the late 13th Century with a decrease in solar activity. There was crop failure, famine, disease, war and depopulation. The Little Ice Age ended around 1850 and it has been warming a little ever since.

A little increased Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, a fertilizer for plants, makes progress in human well-being. The greening of the Earth feeds hungry people. Louis Pasteur’s germ theory and the principles of vaccination, pasteurization, and the cause of disease was a monumental advance. Then there’s Jenner( smallpox vaccine) and Lister( antiseptics) and Fleming(penicillin). Then there’s our own Norman Borlaug, father of the green revolution who is referred to as the man who saved a billion lives, with the development of high yielding crops. May I suggest that Liberal angst over President Trump’s exit from the misleading Paris Climate Accords is a wee bit misplaced?

President Trump Withdraws From the Paris Climate Accords by The Elephant's Child

Hollywood is having the vapors, Chuckie Schumer released a statement:

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is a devastating failure of historic proportions,” Schumer said. “Future generations will look back on President Trump’s decision as one of the worst policy moves made in the 21st century because of the huge damage to our economy, our environment and our geopolitical standing.

At a news conference in Brussels in early February, 2015, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity—but to destroy capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

Socialists, intent on the wonders of social justice and the ‘better world’ of their dreams, never, never seem to pay any attention to the monumental failures of socialism everywhere it has been tried. The  past 25 years have witnessed the greatest reduction in global poverty  in the history of the world. An 80 % reduction in world poverty in only 36 years. Globalization, Free markets, free trade, international entrepreneurship. The free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world. This is not the first time some greenie has blurted out the truth behind their campaign to protect the world from the horrors of the carbon dioxide we exhale every time we breathe. Go figure.

President Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, without authorization from Congress, about 30% of the $100 billion demanded from the United States to be shifted to trying to help poor nations deal with non-existent climate warming. They only got 1 billion before Obama left office and the U.S. was expected to come up with the other $2 billion promptly. According to researchers at MIT, if all nations met their targets for reducing carbon emissions, the impact on the climate at best would be likely to reduce global temperature rise by 0.2 degrees by the year 2100. That ‘s 2/10 of one degree C.  Under the accord, China gets to continue building coal-fired plants and increasing emissions until 2030. The Climate Accords were a very bad deal for everyone but China.

CO2 represents only the smallest portion of atmospheric gasses. The most important atmospheric gas is water vapor — clouds. Carbon dioxide (what we exhale) is a fertilizer for plants and the slight increase has meant a greening world which has helped to feed the world’s hungry nations.

The terms of the Accord required countries to update their commitments every five years to make them more ambitious, starting in 2020, leading to an eventual 80 percent cut. If everybody met their commitments, the effect on the climate would be almost undetectable.

The Left is big on income redistribution, not theirs, of course, but other people’s. But as Margaret Thatcher said “Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.” Their goal is not helping the poor— it is power. They just can’t get it through their pretty heads that socialism doesn’t work, and has never worked, everywhere it has been tried. But they are fixated on the idea of fixing annoying human nature, eliminating wars and other annoyances and in general concentrating all power in an educated elite like themselves in Washington D.C. ruling the world in perpetual wonderfulness.

Here’s President Trump’s statement.

* That’s Christiana Figueres in the light slate blue on the left.

ADDENDUM: I said above ‘helping poor nations to deal with “non-existent global warming”. That’s not correct. The Earth is always warming or cooling as it has done for millions of years. The British once skated on the Thames, and at another time grew wine grapes. If you have time, you might visit He has posted “Good Climate Hunting (DJ. Trump, writer, director)” which is priceless, and then scroll down a little to “People’s Climate March on Saturday…through Snow” where he points out the differences in climate across the U.S. as greenies are marching. (Dr. Spencer runs the only accurate measurements of warming and cooling by satellite at University of Alabama at Huntsville.)

Misconceptions About Wind: Basic Arithmetic by The Elephant's Child

Here’s the headline from an article in the Spectator, dated May 13: “Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy” with the subhead “We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear.” The post is from Matt Ridley.

The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.

You may have got the impression from announcements like that, and from the obligatory pictures of wind turbines in any BBC story or airport advert about energy, that wind power is making a big contribution to world energy today. You would be wrong. Its contribution is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance.

Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.

Basic math. World energy demand has been growing about two percent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2012 and 2014 it grew, according to International Energy agency data, just under 2,000 terawatt-hours. If all that had to be supplied by wind turbines—just that and no more—how many new turbines would have to be built? Nearly 350,000. A two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s 1½ times as many as have been built in the world since governments first started subsidizing them with taxpayer money.

Wind farms typically have a density of about 50 acres per megawatt, at that density, that many turbines would need a land area larger than the entire British Isles. In 50 years, if we kept this up, we would have covered a land area the size of Russia. But there’s more, hidden pollution, rare earths, the materials required, how turbines are made. Do read the whole article.  Matt Ridley is always worth our attention.

It just turns out to be that wind and solar are essentially very costly and extremely useless pursuits. Aside from the intermittency problem, the arithmetic just doesn’t work. Lot of people  have made some big money on the subsidies though.

Sun and Wind and Rainbows and Magic Do Not Power the Planet by The Elephant's Child

A post I wrote back in 2013 is getting another round of attention, as it does now and then. I wrote about abandoned wind turbines, and the misguided notion that wind and sun are free, therefore renewable energy—and to be endlessly subsidized as our most desirable source of power. I hasten to add that I am not a scientist nor do I have any pretense of being one. I was an English major at a time and in a college where the pursuit of knowledge and the critical examination of sources were considered essential.

But I also grew up in the mountains of Idaho on 400 acres with a river running through it, and spent most of my time, winter and summer, outdoors. We had winters with 5′ of snow and winters that were fairly mild. Flood, forest fires, lightning strikes, cougar, bear, lynx and woodrats. (I’m a deadly shot on woodrats. They gather up the cotton from cottonwood trees, store it in the attic of the woodshed and then pee all over it, and have their babies there.) You don’t live outdoors for years interacting with weather, and get all panicky about a few degrees warmer or cooler.

Science is complicated. I just read about a cave discovered in Mexico, a half a mile down, so hot that scientists can only stay for a few minutes, where there are microbes trapped in crystals that could be 50,000 years old, living on minerals like iron and manganese. Lots left on Earth for us to discover yet, diseases to conquer, unknown territory, they are discovering new species every year. The world economy runs on some form of electric power, and not just for our convenience, light and heat. Transportation, manufacturing, business and government are dependent on electricity and their needs are growing constantly, so the more power we need.

People are frightened by nuclear power after the horrific catastrophe in Japan, and the nuclear accident in Russia. We have dams on most of our major rivers, and environmentalists long for free wild rivers. Power good, but dams bad. Environmentalists say that coal, oil and natural gas are all evil, and should “stay in the ground where they belong.” So it’s unsurprising that there is a fetish for energy from the wind and the sun. Surely with our advanced modern technology we can invent wind turbines and solar arrays to harness the free energy of the wind and the sun. Well, no, no we can’t. Or we can, if we’re content to live in extreme poverty.

The wind is terminally, fatally intermittent. When the wind blows, which is not most of the time, it blows in gusts and wafts or gales. What you need is a steady stream of wind and then you get “capacity,” which is what the manufactures of the turbines promise when they are extolling the virtues of wind. Never happens. In winter, when you are freezing, the wind is apt to not blow at all, and the turbines don’t turn. They have already tried most of the really windy places —Altamont Pass in California, the tip of the Hawaiian Islands, they’ve even replaced a lot of the idle turbines in my 2013 post, so now they are moving offshore. There’s a big offshore farm coming online off our East coast shortly. Offshore turbines take a lot more punishment from saltwater and weather. The life of an onshore turbine is 20 years at best, offshore is a lot less.

The sun, on the other hand, is too diffuse. For real power you need really hot sun bearing down, in a cloudless sky. How many cloudless, sunny days do you get? This is the Northwest, where we get rain all the time, and plenty of clouds. The sun also has a habit of sinking beneath the horizon at night, and even more so in the short days of winter. Elon Musk keeps promising battery arrays to take care of that, but it certainly hasn’t happened yet, and his solar farms haven’t been in the news much. Wind turbines have a nasty habit of chopping up bats and birds by the hundreds, birds of prey as well. What that does to our insect population and rodent population I don’t know, but it doesn’t bode well for malaria and Zika. and other disease.

Both of these technologies demand more and more land each year as the need for more and more energy increases, land in quantities simply unavailable.  Look for Robert Bryce’s book: Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper. It’s a clear, simple explanation of why wind and solar will remain interesting, but are not a major source of power except in the remote places where any source of power, however limited,  is a bounty.

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