Wednesday, October 18, 2017


The  probable  event of  some of  President Trump's  EPA and DOE nominees failing Senate confirmation raises an interesting structural civics question: once an adminstration's selection from  the bottom of the pork barrel has  been  rejected, where  can  it  turn  for  yet more political cannon fodder?

The answer may  lie in the reluctance of Capitol Hill time-servers to reject nominees  who  strongly resemble those who hold the  highest offices in the land. In the President's case, this  makes for a very short list. Fortunately, nature has provided the means for the administration to  extend  it  beyond  Alec  Baldwin, by  turning  to  biodiversity for more nominees.

The Poodle  Moth  shows as  uncanny a phenotypic  resemblence to the  Vice President , as that  MAGA   hat-worthy  megalopygid,  the Flannel  Moth  Pussy Caterpillar  does to our  Chief  Executive. This is  equally true  at rest and in motion:

Since the range of both these tropical species is already marching North  towards the  District of Columbia  in  lock step with rising global temperatures,  it may be expected that, following in the footsteps of  the prickly pear cactus that colonized NewYork Harbor in the 1950's, they will soon be enfranchised as voters like all the other immigrants before them. Our Senate has therefore a duty, to prepare for that contingency by appointing some of these remarkable creatures as   Acting Deputy Assistant Undersecretaries well before their relatives arrive.

                                   NO  DEPOSIT,  NO  RETURN


SBS TV reports Fiji hopes to raise US$50 million (A$62 million) by selling a batch of "green" bonds to investors to help tackle the environmental threats it faces from climate change.
They will finance projects to help achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, in line with Fiji's adherence to the Paris climate change agreement.
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said 
"The rising seas, changing weather patterns and severe weather events are threatening our development, our security and the Fijian way of life, along with the very existence of some of our low-lying neighbours," ..."We are also sending a clear signal to other nations that we can be creative and innovative in mobilising funds and create win-win outcomes for countries and investors in adapting to the serious effects of climate change," 
And how will Fiji pay off this renewable energy debt issue? 

Fear not,  bond holders!

The unquenchable thirst of COP & UNEP conference  goers for deposit-free  plastic bottles  of  Fiji Water shipped over 10,000 miles in oil-powered container ships  will sustainably  foot  the bill. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017




Are Climate Deniers and Front Groups Polluting Online Conversation With Denier-Bots? 

There appears to be an increasingly sophisticated and planned effort by conservatives and polluter front groups to use “persona management” software to pollute social media outlets and website comment forums with auto-generated sockpuppet swarms designed to mislead and misrepresent real people.

Leaked emails from Aaron Barr, CEO of a federal subsidiary for HB Gary, disclose the latest efforts and technology used underhandedly for “ganging up on bloggers, commenters and otherwise ‘real’ people to smear enemies and distort the truth.”
This phenomenon was  [ not quite ] first reported by Happy Rockefeller over at Daily Kos.

Programmer Develops Twitter Bot to Troll Climate Change Deniers

Preaching the climate change gospel can be tough work, especially on Twitter. Software developer Nigel Leck got tired rehashing the same 140-character arguments against climate change deniers, so he programmed a bot that does the work for him. With citations!
Leck's bot, @AI_AGW, doesn't just respond to arguments directed at Leck himself, it goes out and picks fights. Every five minutes it trawls Twitter for terms and phrases that commonly crop up in Tweets that refute human-caused climate change. It then searches its database of hundreds to find a counter-argument best suited for that tweet—usually a quick statement and a link to a scientific source.
As can be the case with these sorts of things, many of the deniers don't know they've been targeted by a robot and engage AI_AGW in debate. The bot will continue to fire back canned responses that best fit the interlocutor's line of debate—Leck says this goes on for days, in some cases—and the bot's been outfitted with a number of responses on the topic of religion, where the arguments unsurprisingly often end up.


Volcanic suppression of Nile summer flooding triggers revolt and constrains interstate conflict in ancient Egypt

  • Nature Communications 8, Article number: 900 (2017)
  • doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00957-y
Published online:


Volcanic eruptions provide tests of human and natural system sensitivity to abrupt shocks because their repeated occurrence allows the identification of systematic relationships in the presence of random variability. Here we show a suppression of Nile summer flooding via the radiative and dynamical impacts of explosive volcanism on the African monsoon, using climate model output, ice-core-based volcanic forcing data, Nilometer measurements, and ancient Egyptian writings. We then examine the response of Ptolemaic Egypt (305–30 BCE), one of the best-documented ancient superpowers, to volcanically induced Nile suppression. Eruptions are associated with revolt onset against elite rule, and the cessation of Ptolemaic state warfare with their great rival, the Seleukid Empire. Eruptions are also followed by socioeconomic stress with increased hereditary land sales, and the issuance of priestly decrees to reinforce elite authority. Ptolemaic vulnerability to volcanic eruptions offers a caution for all monsoon-dependent agricultural regions, presently including 70% of world population.

Monday, October 16, 2017




is a disaster 

and not because of climate change

Film Correspondent
109 minutes/Now showing/1.5 stars
The story: After extreme weather ravages the planet, nations unite to create Dutch Boy, a global satellite system that stops the problem with missiles and energy beams. The system's architect, Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), is fired for insubordination and replaced by his brother Max (Jim Sturgess). A malfunction's fatal consequences leads to Jake's return and a high-level conspiracy is uncovered.
The heavy-handed, old-timey feel of this disaster movie might have you thinking of Roland Emmerich, the German film-maker who directed Independence Day (1996) and its sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence (2006).
You would be wrong, but only just. Geostorm is the directorial debut of writer Dean Devlin, who is a frequent collaborator with Emmerich.
The jingoism, sentimentality and bombast in Geostorm are in the same vein as the Independence Day films, which Devlin co-wrote.
As director, Devlin's sappiness - everyone verbalises feelings as if reading a news report - is injected into a movie that recycles the climategeddon premise of Emmerich's The  Day  After  Tomorrow (2004), but with the added moisture of the skyscraper-topping waves from the same director's  2012  (2009).
Is Devlin, as some say, being retro-ironic? If so, the mask has become his face. He casts as leading man Butler, looking more like an angry shar pei than ever. ...
Butler's beard stays the same scruffy length over days in space. Sturgess sports a suit for his high-powered government job, but his mini-mullet remains. And logic be damned, because security men can apparently carry handguns on a fragile space station.
China is mentioned in the first five minutes ...but according to this movie, space belongs to the one nation manly enough to punch its way into solving the climate crisis.


The Hill reports he told a September  Veterans for Energy meeting:
“I think it’s really important for people to understand, in general terms, there is no free market in the energy industry, And anybody that gets up and says that is lying — is not, with all due respect, educated as to what the reality of the market is.”

Counterflow: Cash for Clunkers Redux

October 1, 2017   By Steve Huntoon

Remember the Cash for Clunkers program? Inefficient cars paid to go away.

The Energy Department’s directive to FERC last week is Cash for Clunkers with a twist: inefficient generators paid to stay.
The original Cash for Clunkers was an economic stimulus for new stuff to replace the old stuff. The DOE’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking subsidizes the old stuff to stop the new stuff: a sort of stimulus in reverse. (See related story, Perry Orders FERC Rescue of Nukes, Coal.)
So we might say the DOE version is a Twisted Sister sort of twist on the original.

Bailing out the Retiring, Retired and Canceled Clunkers, and then Everyone Else

We know with certainty that the DOE proposal subsidizes the inefficient because those are the plants that will opt for the federal rate guarantee instead of market-based rates. How will this play out?
DOE says there are 34 GW in projected retirements over the next five years. Under the DOE proposal, none of that would retire and instead would go on the federal dole.
And then there’s the 71 GW that already retired over the last six years but will likely return, like “Night of the Living Dead,” for that federal rate guarantee.[1]
And how about all those canceled nuclear projects?
So we’ll have around 100+ GW of uneconomic clunkers crashing the markets, and of course crashing market prices. This will force all the economic plants that depend on legitimate market prices to join the federal dole.
Natural gas plants will do this by simply adding 90 days’ worth of oil tanks.[2]
What will all this cost consumers? DOE doesn’t even try to answer that question, but here’s one way of looking at it. First, we can assume that FERC won’t want thousands of individual rate cases for all the power plants in all the RTOs.[3]
So FERC would need some sort of standard compensation. Let’s say it adopts a cost of new generation, maybe $400/MW-day.[4] Generation in the RTOs is around 530 GW; add the roughly 70 GW of retired clunkers that will return from the dead for about 600 GW on the federal dole. That’s about $88 billion annually.
So we are talking about tens of billions of dollars a year squandered first on what are, by definition, uneconomic resources, and then by paying economic resources that are rendered uneconomic by the clunkers and forced onto the same federal dole.
I can’t help noting how Republicans blasted the original Cash for Clunkers,[5]which had a one-time cost of $3 billion. The DOE version is tens of billions of dollars every year, forever.

The FERC testimony of Mike Kormos, PJM’s executive vice president at the time, directly contradicts DOE’s main claim: 
“Natural gas interruptions removed less than 5% of the total capacity required to meet demand on Jan. 7, [2014], while equipment issues associated with both coal and natural gas units made up the far greater proportion of forced outages.” (Emphasis added.)


It;s not exactly an instant replay, but  Extratropical Hurricane Ophelia affors some insight into how an invasion of England  under sail can turn into an involuntary grand tour of the North Sea ending in a slingshot orbit around Scotland and shipwreck on Ireland's wild west coast.

Image from the only weather website anybody really needs,,24.61,410

Hit the "Earth " patch  and a  rich menu of atomspheric and oceanographic  overlays will enable you to see what's going on at ten altitude leves weatherwise, and animate  SST's ,currents and wave motion as well


The White House wants the EPA masthead decorated with yet more ornaments to the legal profession. Here pitching their confirmation is Powder River Basin Wyoming Senator John Barasso:
and William Wehrum Esq striking out with a drone of flabber ghastly enough to make him the beau ideal of a know-nothing nominee.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

                              THEN,  TIM  BALL  CAME  FOR

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
We will see an increasing number of people changing their positions on global warming as the global warming ship sinks... dredging up a sentence or two from their writings that they claim showed they knew. The level of inventiveness will astonish as rats desert the sinking ship.
I am not well disposed to any of these people ... there are none so blind as those who will not see. I admit I hold some animosity to this group as I... have suffered the lawsuits, personal attacks, death threats and career limiting denial of funding, loss of speaking opportunities, and having my wife cry.
I am glad Mr. McCarter finally saw the light as expressed in his article “Naïve scientists awakens to the politics underlying climate change”, but it is too late, too easy and self-serving... I know first-hand what Voltaire meant when he said
“It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.”

Why didn’t McCarter act when the emails were leaked from the Climatic Research Unit...the apparent answer is that there are no consequences and he will be praised for his enlightenment and forgiven for his failures. Sorry, it is far too late, inadequate, and unworthy of praise...
He watched as others suffered attacks, lawsuits, and bullying and did nothing. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I think that the fact they did nothing eliminates them from being called good men. McCarter apologizes for Naomi Klein ...but where was he when she was appointed to Pope Francis’ committee on global warming he wants absolution and even praises after a perfunctory mea culpa.

It is easy now as the tide is turning because Trump had the courage to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement...I can’t tell you how many people felt they were supporting me but when the opportunity to speak arose at least 95 percent of them were nowhere to be seen. and now he wants absolution for that failure.
No, I cannot accept McCarter’s pathetic apology ...his grandson was made to stand in the hallway outside his Grade six class every day for most of a month because he dared to ask questions about global warming that challenged what his teacher was saying and she knew I was his grandfather.
The only thing I can do here is quote Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller.
First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

It was a child who pointed out that the emperor had no clothes because the adults were afraid to say anything. McCarter’s. . . ‘coming out’ is too little too late... 


A reply to Dr. Tim Ball    / 

by Robert McCarter

Hi Tim,
I know that you have been the brunt of much of the blowback from your position on CAGW and I know that you are frustrated, especially from the lack of support of others. I even understand that you are using my once good name as an Everyman, that obsequious clod, ducking his responsibilities and making only a pathetic attempt to hide his neighbor from the Nazis knocking on the door. Perhaps it was my apologies that you found unctuous, for me they were a thin joke on being Canadian...I am not a meteorologist or a climate scientist... Where I work and live there is not a large scientific community and those that are there seem to be accepting of arguments from authority.


Looking For Work

The company I have been working for as a contractor has run out of new development work for me, and has severely curtailed my hours. Other than (much appreciated) small donations on my blog, my climate research is self-funded and I need work to keep it going.
People who read my blog should be aware that I am an expert C++/Python/ Qt/Graphics  programmer, because I have distributed a large amount of free open-source climate analysis software (GHCN/Pulling Back The Curtain/Unhiding The Decline) – which has brought into focus the depth of government climate fraud.
You may not be aware that I was a top hardware person for many years at Motorola/IBM/Apple, ST Microelectronics, Hitachi and Intel. Here is an award I got from IBM/Motorola/Apple. 

My job there was to flush out every last design flaw, which is why I am such a bulldog about eliminating the completely worthless climate research being done by government agencies and academia.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Why  should  Watts  worry about  Myers  running  NOAA?  

The Accuweather  pay-for-play non-meteorologist has  no more in common  with  Administrator   Pruitt  than  conflict  of  interest, subservience to industry, sycophancy to  oil patch  political donors, the  credulous  endorsement  of  climate cranks,  woefull  scientific ignorance, and  a  disastrous track  record  in  climate litigation.

Trump’s nomination of Barry Myers 

to head NOAA is a mistake

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Key Personnel to his Administration
If confirmed, Barry Myers of Pennsylvania will serve as Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce.  Mr. Myers has served as CEO of AccuWeather since 2007, and since then the company has experienced its highest grossing years, and its largest global web and mobile audience growth.  He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the use of weather information.  He has given remarks at the World Meteorological Organization, World Federation of Scientists, American Meteorological Society (AMS), and many other organizations.  For two decades, he served as a member of the nationally recognized Smeal College of Business.  Mr. Myers is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He graduated from the Smeal College of Business at Penn State and received a J.D. from Boston University Law School.  He and his wife Holly have five children.
I’m sure this nomination is a not good idea. Here’s why:
1.  Barry Myers is a businessman and a lawyer. He has no meteorology training or science training of any kind. His brother, Dr. Joel Myers, does.
2. There will be, that I perceive, a conflict of Interest. His company, AccuWeather, makes heavy use of NOAA products. Given my personal dealings with him in the past at AccuWeather, I am concerned there will be temptation to monopolize access to this publicly available data. This is probably the only time in history I’ll ever agree with the Union of Concerned Scientists who say:

He has been a strong advocate against NOAA having the capability to provide such products directly to the public, hence the rather boring form of NOAA forecasts which is interpreted and commoditized by companies like AccuWeather and many others.

AccuWeather has been active in efforts to undercut the role of NOAA. In 2005, AccuWeather, under the leadership of Myers’ brother Dr. Joel Myers, worked with Senator Rick Santorum on a bill to severely restrict the National Weather Service’s ability to provide weather forecasts to the public. The company donated to Santorum’s then Senate campaign and has been vocal about their interest in downsizing NOAA in the interest of privatizing weather forecasting.

Not a good nomination, not good at all.