May 2015

The Tide Is Turning, Time For Global Cooling

Climate scientists have constructed models to predict what Earth's climate will look like decades, even hundreds of years in the future. Unfortunately, many major components of Earth's climate system have not been accurately monitored for very long. This makes such predictions suspect if not laughable. A case in point are variations in ocean circulation and temperature. In the Atlantic there is a cycle for sea surface temperatures variation called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMO is linked with decadal scale climate fluctuations like European summer precipitation, rainfall in Europe and India, Atlantic hurricanes and variations in global temperatures. A new study in the journal Nature reports that the AMO is again transitioning to a negative phase, meaning the vaunted “pause” in global warming may be with us for decades. In fact, scientists at the University of Southampton predict that cooling in the Atlantic Ocean could cool global temperatures a half a degree Celsius.

Crank of the Week – May 11, 2015 – Bill McKibben

Barack Obama is normally viewed as a friend to those on the green fringe. Whether it is his obstructionist dithering over the Keystone XL pipeline or draconian EPA regulations smothering the domestic coal industry, Obama has been a champion of green policies and mouthpiece for global warming scammers. It takes someone far to the left of sanity to label the US President a “climate denier” but that is precisely what this week's crank has done. Climate denier is a label usually reserved for Republicans who are skeptical of anthropogenic global warming, but environmentalist Bill McKibben has now given that label to President Obama.

Europe's Illusion of a Renewable Future

Germany is the economic powerhouse of the EU, with a far larger and more industrialized economy than other European nations—the fourth largest in the world. Given such a large industrial base it is unsurprising that Germany needs reliable power, which makes its headlong rush into renewable energy, called Energiewende (“energy transition”), even more mystifying than similar attempts by smaller EU states. Now come reports that the country’s rapid expansion into solar, wind, and other renewables has not been entirely smooth. Subsidies and regulations are promoting ill considered wind and solar installations while driving up costs. Slipped in among the solar panels and wind turbines are "biomass" generators—in other words, things that burn wood and agricultural waste—and the green party's anti-nuclear pogrom has led to an upsurge in coal usage. This hardly sounds like progress. Meanwhile, a new article makes bold claims for three of the smaller EU markets. Denmark, Portugal, and Spain have all made rapid transitions away from fossil fuels for electricity, but each in a different way. Are they truly examples for the world to follow?