Commentary

John McClaughry: Climate Action 4.0.

Editor’s note: This commentary is by John McClaughry, who is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Gov. Phil Scott has created a Vermont Climate Action Commission, in support of his commitment that Vermont will shoulder its share of the U.S. obligation under the Paris climate agreement. This is the Obama agreement which, to the horror of the climate action boosters, President Donald Trump excused us.

It’s worth tracing the history of climate action inventions back to 2002. In that year Gov. Howard Dean, planning his run for president, went to Quebec to endorse an enviro-produced climate action plan for the northeastern states and provinces, chock full of scary predictions about the dire consequences of inaction.

The Dean-endorsed plan committed the states and provinces to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 75 percent below 1990 levels. Each state would achieve this by forbidding their utilities from buying fossil fuel-produced electricity, requiring or subsidizing “renewable energy sources,” driving down industrial energy use by enforcing “cap and trade” emission limits, and cracking down, through regulation and/or taxes, on people buying SUVs and pickup trucks. (This is only a sampler.)

In 2005 Gov. Jim Douglas obliged the enviros by creating a six-member Governor’s Commission on Climate Change, chaired by a prominent solar farm developer. Its 2007 report declared that Vermont is at “grave risk,” and that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is “the major challenge facing Vermonters in years to come.”

It proposed the now-familiar menu of penalty taxes (“feebates”) on low miles-per-gallon cars, vans and trucks, land use controls to funnel growth into state-designated high-density population centers, a sales tax on motor fuel (not to repair deteriorating roads and bridges, but to discourage internal combustion transportation), a taxpayer-financed carbon offset fee for state government activities, mandated purchase of renewable electricity from wind turbines and solar farms, and a plan to indoctrinate public school children with Green theology. All this would be carried out by a climate super-government called the Vermont Climate Collaborative.

Lest anyone question these imperatives, the report opened with the profoundly anti-scientific statement that “the time for debate over the realities of global climate change is over.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Douglas signed Act 168, which set goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, and 50 percent below by 2050.

Peter Shumlin returned to lead the Senate in 2007, and became the principal sponsor of S.350, ardently promoted by VPIRG, “to make global warming the top priority of everything we do, not only in government but in our own personal and private lives.” Any disagreement, he smugly said, was “simply irresponsible.”

The Shumlin-VPIRG bill proposed a climate super-government, a state CO2 emissions cap-and-trade program, and a bewildering array of task forces and working groups to produce a host of reports advocating new regulations, controls, mandates, plans, rules, standards, taxes and subsidies.

Elected governor in 2010, Shumlin created a “Climate Cabinet,” pumped up the subsidy-distributing Clean Energy Development Fund, signed a Renewable Portfolio Standard bill to force utilities to buy wind, solar and hydro power, and – curiously – led the battle to shut down Vermont’s only carbon dioxide emission-free power plant, Vermont Yankee.

In 2014 VPIRG and its allies launched their push for a carbon tax, promising to suck in $500 million tax dollars in its 10th year, skim off $50 million to benefit their friends and donors, and (not believably) return the remaining $450 million to government-favored recipients.

In his 2016 campaign for governor, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott explicitly rejected industrial wind and repeatedly said he would veto a carbon tax. In July, however, he joined in the lamentation over Trump’s withdrawal from the Obama Paris agreement. He announced that he bought into the unlegislated Shumlin decree that Vermont must be made to get 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, and also Shumlin’s unlegislated adjustment of Vermont’s statutory CO2 emission reduction goals.

Now we have Climate Action 4.0. Four of the new Scott commission’s 21 members work for Scott, including the appointed chair, and none of the leading climate subsidy warriors are on the member list. Scott directed the commission to fully accept his principles of spurring economic activity, growing Vermont businesses, and putting Vermonters on a path to affordability. Scott’s order also did away with Shumlin’s Climate Cabinet.

Scott has rejected fossil fuel divestment and supports affordable Canadian hydropower. He prevented an increase in Efficiency Vermont surcharges on ratepayers’ monthly bills. Coupled with his rejection of a carbon tax and its fallback euphemism “carbon pricing,” it looks like the most Scott will accept from his commission might be tax credits and sales tax exemptions for people who buy pricey electric and hybrid vehicles and some energy efficiency products.

Given the restrictions of Scott’s anti-carbon tax, pro-economic growth and pro-affordability positions, a cynic might conclude that his creation of a likely unmanageable 21-member commission may excite the climate change lobby, but it won’t produce much more than stirring exhortations. Let’s hope so.

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  • bob Zeliff

    “Given the restrictions of Scott’s anti-carbon tax, ………………….. a cynic might conclude that his creation of a likely unmanageable 21-member commission may excite the climate change lobby, but it won’t produce much more than stirring exhortations.”

    Most surprising to me, this is one time I do agree with you!

  • bill_christian

    Very clever commentary from the Ethan Allen Institute, which is funded by Koch Industries, America’s largest private coal-oil-gas corporation. John McClaughry ridicules the science of climate change. For the last million years, carbon dioxide naturally cycled between 180 and 270 parts per million, going up and down about once every 100,000 years, causing large changes in climate. But we have increased that to 407 in just two lifetimes. Does John think we have the right to destroy what we were given, depriving all our children, for all time, of the ideal climate we inherited? The Bible tells us, in Genesis 2:15, that God placed us in the Garden of Eden in order to work it and guard it. Not to destroy it for money. Conservatives got their name from “conserving”, not changing too fast, being careful of possible dangers in change. But that was a long, long time ago, and the name no longer fits. I would claim to be the conservative, not John McClaughry.

    • Lee Kittell

      So when it comes to climate change, how come Genesis 2:15 is more relevant than Genesis 8:22?

  • Don Dalton

    Thank you, John.
    Shumlin: disagreement with the global warming theory is irresponsible.
    Noami Oreskes, author of “Merchants of Doubt”: climate science doesn’t need a red team/blue team audit.
    David Keith, of Harvard: we should try solar dimming, a geoengineering project putting particulates into the atmosphere to dim the sun (i.e., it might be the only option we’ll have to save the planet.) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-geoengineering-idUSKBN1AB0J3

    If we’re considering David Keith’s path, which some have called “barking mad” (because it is) then before we even think of such a thing shouldn’t we do a thorough audit of climate science? It’s called “due diligence” and it’s way past time for it. What would we say to a company that said that there’s no need to audit us, because everything’s on the level and everything’s been taken care of?

    There’s a reason proponents of warming theory object so strenuously to an audit, and it’s not because their science is the pinnacle of rigorous research and honest public communication. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/06/21/attention-scott-pruitt-red-teams-and-blue-teams-are-no-way-to-conduct-climate-science/?utm_term=.a112925f1e03

    • Robert Lehmert

      Thanks for the link to the Washington post article. Here’s is an excerpt:

      “Calls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate. They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science.

      The basic premise of these “Red Team/Blue Team” requests is that climate science is broken and needs to be fixed. The implicit message in the requests is that scientists belong to tribes, and key findings of climate science — such as the existence of a large human-caused warming signal — have not undergone adequate review by all tribes. This tribalism could be addressed, Koonin believes, by emulating Red Team/Blue Team assessment strategies in “intelligence assessments, spacecraft design, and major industrial operations.”

      In Koonin’s view, “traditional” peer-review processes are flawed and lack transparency, and international scientific assessments do not accurately represent “the vibrant and developing science.” He implicitly accuses the climate science community of “advisory malpractice” by ignoring major sources of uncertainty. To use present-day vernacular, both Koonin and Pruitt are essentially claiming that peer-review systems are rigged, and that climate scientists are not providing sound scientific information to policymakers.

      We do not consider ourselves to be members of any team or tribe. Our goal is not to “win” against “the other side.” Our prime motivation is to understand the natural world, and to use that knowledge and understanding to inform sensible decisions on important public policy questions. Whether we succeed in doing so is what we are ultimately judged on.

      The peer-review system criticized by Koonin and Pruitt is imperfect, but it is the best system we have, and has served science well for several centuries.”

      • Don Dalton

        OK, so if someone is doing the books at a town and has misallocated funds, then do we not want to audit the books because that would give a voice to those who say something is wrong with the books? Let me summarize the number one claim of deniers: the books have been cooked. That is exactly what the climategate emails were about. I know this is hard for the general public to believe, but as someone who has actually looked into the science I can tell you: it gets worse the more you know. The science needs to be audited.

        How on earth would an audit “undercut the legitimacy, objectivity, and transparency of existing climate science” as Santer, Emanuel, and Oreskes claim? Wouldn’t an audit in fact strengthen those qualities? If the deniers are wrong then Oreskes and others have nothing to fear– in fact, they have everything to gain because denier science won’t be able to stand up to the light of day and will be seen for what it (supposedly) is.

        What the climategate emails showed us was scientists attempting to, and often succeeding in, influencing the peer-review system to ensure that competing voices were silenced. I strongly suspect that this is exactly what they did in the IPCC as well since the IPCC system would be easier to subvert, and this is why some of the key climate scientists decided to destroy their emails relating to the IPCC 4th Assessment Report.

        It is bad science. It desperately needs to be audited. Is CO2 warming a bit? Probably, yes. Is it killing reefs and raising sea level? No, it is not. That’s what Oreskes and company don’t want us to find out, and what a fair and thorough audit will surely uncover.

    • John McClaughry

      Thanks for raising some good points. would you contact me directly at [email protected]?

      • Don Dalton

        Yes, done.

  • Marcie Gallagher

    One doesn’t need to study climate science to believe in climate change. Check out average temperatures in Vermont for the past 50 years and observe the trend. Likewise for snow and rain storms. Four out of five of Vermont’s largest snowstorms in recorded history have occurred in the past ten years. Whether or not one believes it is created by humans depends largely on how willing you are to accept the word of scientists. I have spent my adult life studying climate science (as an education and a profession) and know it to be a real and true phenomenon. Given that the earth is undoubtably warming with more frequent and intense storms that put at risk the skiing, maple sugaring, agricultural dairy, and fishing industries which our state relies on, is it not better to take action than assume the changing climate is not human-created and thus inevitable, and let our local economies crash?

    • Edward Letourneau

      The trouble is the warming is global, and nothing little tiny Vermont does, will not change anything that happens to it weather-wise.

      • Andy Davis

        This can be applied to many problems. No need for an individual to vote, to send a modest contribution to an area of famine or to respond at all. The idea that world problems are just too big for any push back by ‘tiny” actors is a wonderful system for keeping all manner of environmental, political or social problems untouched. Those that benefit from these problems must approve of this attitude. Progress in human affairs is often spearheaded by individuals and small groups who move toward solutions regardless of naysayers.

    • Jamie Carter

      “Given that the earth is undoubtably warming with more frequent and intense storms that put at risk the skiing, maple sugaring,”

      Odd, we’ve had some of our larger snowfalls and best sugaring seasons in decades. Thank you global warming. This is just what the Vermont economy needs.

      To your question of whether it’s better to take action or not, it depends really on your ego. If you believe that humans are the pinnacle of evolution and that we can only survive in the current climate and therefore we need to keep that climate static then absolutely we must make changes. If you believe humans are like every species that evolved to fill an available enviornmental niche and that as the climate changes new niches will open up allowing for new species to evolve and continue the trend that has been occurring for the past billion years then no, there’s little reason to make any changes outside of preparing for the new climate, the new world.

      Ultimately this argument comes down to 3 possibilities: A.) we throw all of our resources at trying to change the global climate and make it go in reverse. B.) we do absolutely nothing. C.) we put our resources into technology, engineering, and development of new ways to cope with higher sea levels, less agricultural fields, stronger winds, etc.

      I’m favoring C. because adapting and evolving is a much better way to ensure long term survival that wasting resources trying to keep a dynamic system in a static state.

  • Don Dalton
  • Don Dalton

    Your first link does not work. Please fix and I’ll take a look.
    A cartoon graph for your second link? And you’re calling me gullible?

    • bill_christian

      The cartoonist is a brilliant physicist.

      • Don Dalton

        CO2 doesn’t cause changes every 100,000 years. Milankovich cycles do. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11659-climate-myths-ice-cores-show-co2-increases-lag-behind-temperature-rises-disproving-the-link-to-global-warming/

        The above link still allows a role for CO2 heating– OK, I’ll buy that to a degree, and I’m not going to get into an argument over it. My point is that CO2 did not cause huge changes in climate, as you stated.

        But let’s examine the last statement in my link– which is to a “warmist site,” not a skeptic site: “There are various limiting factors that kick in [to prevent a runaway greenhouse], the most important being that infrared radiation emitted by Earth increases exponentially with temperature, so as long as some infrared can escape from the atmosphere, at some point heat loss catches up with heat retention.” But CO2 doesn’t stop heat (infrared radiation) from making its way to the top of the atmosphere, where it can freely radiate (and yes, it does freely radiate at the top of the troposphere.) It does not act like a blanket. It does not act like a real greenhouse, which prevents convective heat transport. A convective current can bring heat from the surface up to the top of the atmosphere in a matter of minutes (most likely.) Do you feel the cool air after our rain storms? CO2 doesn’t inhibit these convective currents– sorry, but it doesn’t. One might even reason that heating of the surface would increase, not decrease, convective currents, which are the primary means the earth moves heat from the surface to the emissions height.

        CO2 is a bit player. It is not the control knob.

    • bill_christian
  • David Bell

    You think ten different committees with different people, organized by different groups, some in different countries; were all “whitewashes”?

    It was not just Oreskes, it was every committee who investigated the matter.

    The problem with your argument is your definition of “rigorous and objective” is that it agrees with your preconceived notions. Otherwise you will just say it is another “whitewash”.

    Your link is to an op-ed offering out of context quotes and innuendo as a substitution for evidence.

    Is it really too much to hope that after ten separate investigations we can stop the ridiculous conspiracy theories?

  • Don Dalton

    We can counter that by the example of Judith Curry, a warmist who made the mistake of engaging with skeptics and was converted because their arguments make sense. She doesn’t argue that CO2 has no effect; she argues, as I do, that the science is distorted to show way more than the evidence allows.

  • Phil Greenleaf

    The game of one very notorious commenter, and apparently of the Ethan Allen Institute as well, is to use paradigmatic theoretical scientific method as a convenient soapbox for promoting the right wing “citizen scientist” ideology. Using the idea that science is never a finished product (which we should all agree upon) allows the creation an impenetrable complex of regressive skepticism which will permit no agreement with political/economic efforts to study and experiment with new models for energy provision. This methodology, crossed with political ideology, creates immunity to consensus facts.

    The Mad at Al Gore League has an argument that modern liberal “citizen science” has been too influential and has created a profitable bureaucracy within which professors, researchers, field scientists, technicians and environmental entrepreneurs have found their niche. But something tells me that we wouldn’t be hearing much scientific righteousness from Mr. Dalton et al if consensus pointed to coral reefs as the root of atmospheric CO2 increases.

    The real unfinished study (much more in doubt than consensus) is how humans can interface with earth’s resources to create both economic development and maintain resource supplies. While it can be argued that humans may be a mere evolutionary radar blip, it remains imperative, from an environmental justice perspective, to make sure we don’t find ourselves trapped and comfortable in self-righteous complexes of fraudulent irreproach.

    • Don Dalton

      Phil, let me say that contrary to what you imply, both John McClaughry and I are cheerleaders for the new energy source the Randall Mills is working on, and we sincerely hope it can replace fossil fuels.

      I’m not right-wing– although I’m getting pushed there, I admit, because the left is so obtuse and so insistent on not even questioning climate science that it leaves me despairing. Just ask some questions, for God’s sake! Were all the inquiries into climategate on the level? No, they were not. http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/rmck_climategate.pdf Should we trust the climategate scientists? Why should we trust scientists who make a game of manipulating science and science communication in order to get their pet theory across? Climategate is probably at the core of these lies about CO2: it shows us that no, these scientists are not to be trusted. We don’t listen! We refuse to even look! God gave us brains for a reason, and it wasn’t so that we’d just accept what we’re told without questioning.

      I’ve studied reefs. Although apparently one can’t get a degree in marine science these days without citing the catechism of global warming, the evidence, plainly and clearly and strongly, is that CO2 isn’t killing reefs, period. We are killing reefs, yes, but not because of CO2. Another big lie. Is critical thinking dead? Or do we just swallow whatever the media dishes up?

      “….something tells me that we wouldn’t be hearing much scientific righteousness from Mr. Dalton et al if consensus pointed to coral reefs as the root of atmospheric CO2 increases.” What on earth could that sentence possibly mean?

      • Phil Greenleaf

        Don – are you categorically stating that debate and study should end on coral bleaching?

    • Lea Terhune

      Greenleaf, really your name? That’s cool. Your erudite comment is thought provoking. But alas, climate change is beyond recovery.

      • Phil Greenleaf

        Grudgingly, I think I agree…but the question of how well we utilize other resources like water, and how wasteful we are. remains open to ‘reform”.

  • JohnGreenberg

    Your tactic here is depressingly familiar. First, you ask for “a thorough audit of
    climate science.” (Undefined) Then, when it is pointed out to you that
    there were actually 8 or more audits of the supposed email scandal, you respond
    with a generic: “the investigations into climategate emails were largely
    whitewashes….” No citations, no
    explanations, no analysis; just your own conclusion, presented as if it were a
    matter of common agreement. Clearly, as
    the replies show, it isn’t.

    So here’s a suggestion.
    If you want us to rely on YOUR expertise, please cite your
    credentials. Why should we believe you rather than 97% of the planet’s several million climate scientists and all of
    its leading scientific organizations? (I’m not saying they’re right and you’re wrong, but surely it’s reasonable to ask
    you to provide us some reason to believe you instead of them).

    Much better still, cite and analyze the studies you claim are “whitewashes.” What did they ignore? Where did they go wrong? How and where are they “less than truthful” or insufficiently “rigorous and objective?”

  • Edward Letourneau

    If people think what Vermont does is going to be adopted by the rest of the world, they are living in la la land.

  • Glenn Thompson

    “Funny how you people are always so concerned about out of state money, except when it benefits causes that you like.”

    BINGO!!!!

  • Phil Greenleaf

    You stated that you know beyond a doubt that CO2 has nothing to do with coral death. You ended debate on the topic. Period.

    • Don Dalton

      Because I assert that CO2 has nothing to do with coral bleaching does not mean that I believe that coral bleaching does not exist or should not be studied, or that I’ve declared that I’m unwilling to debate the issue, or that the issue is unworthy of debate.

      • Phil Greenleaf

        You continue to discount any possibility that bleaching is linked to CO2? This line of thinking is hypocritical within your grand schematic that proposes a conspiracy to silence CO2 denial. If you were in charge you would be silencing that line of research because you have somehow ideologically closed that door.

        • Don Dalton

          I’m sorry Phil, but if you want to have a beer sometime I will explain in detail why CO2 has virtually nothing to do with CO2, and I’ll bring along published, mainstream research to support my position. This offer is open to anyone. I will explain how it is simply groupthink, not actual science, that supports the theory that CO2 is killing reefs.

          I am attempting to silence no line of research. The only thing I’m trying to do is stop people from believing in bad science.

          • Phil Greenleaf

            You wrote “…CO2 has virtually nothing to do with CO2” . Pretty sure you meant – nothing to do with Coral. Right?

            Your use of the word “virtually” is a welcome crack in the ice Don. Thanks. Many conversations ago we agreed that there are several causes of coral reef degradation worldwide. I am taking your use of “virtually” as a signal that you now do recognize ocean CO2 concentrations and the atmospheric connection with ocean temperatures as possible (even certain – if marginal) detriments to coral health.

          • Don Dalton

            John: no, I do not recognize CO2 as having anything to do with coral deaths. I’ll be happy to discuss this with you over a beer. Yes, “virtually”: CO2’s effects on reefs are so small as to be nothing, and I’m willing to back that statement up with published research. On the other hand, there are many scientists out there who buy into the groupthink and proclaim that CO2 is killing reefs, but if you look closely they aren’t careful about what they’re saying. The Hughes paper on the GBR that I’ve discussed, with dozens of authors, is living proof of that.

            Seriously John, let’s have a beer and hash it out.

          • Phil Greenleaf

            We’ll just keep that word “virtually”, in mind and refer back to it as the discussion unfolds. As always, your published research is massively contradicted, so sticking to the “facts”, at this point can’t propel our conversation anywhere. You must have read the footnotes on every study ever published and find no correlative data. If that’s true, we’ll just have to “swim out past the breakers and watch the world die”. I will meet you there Don – with a six pack.

  • JohnGreenberg

    Are you suggesting that any research funded by “outside
    sources” is “suspect?” Such a
    criterion would eliminate virtually all scientific and medical research, leaving only the work of independently wealthy researchers as not
    “suspect.” Bluntly, that’s absurd, unless your aim is to eliminate modern science altogether.

    Perhaps you need to revise your criterion?

  • JohnGreenberg
  • Matt Young

    Matthew Davis, did you know we have someone on the Vermont education board who is the managing director of the Colorado based TEACHERS UNION FUNDED “national education policy center”. TALK ABOUT FOLLOWING THE MONEY TRAIL. Wow.

  • Willem Post

    John,
    Thank you for the historic summary.

    1) GMP should be required to buy much more, readily available, clean, low-cost (about 7 c/kWh, less than wind and solar), near-zero-CO2 (much less than wind and solar), steady (not variable like wind and solar), dispatchable (unlike wind and solar), hydro energy from Hydro Quebec to increase growth of the Vermont economy.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/gmp-refusing-to-buy-additional-hydro-energy-from-hydro-quebec

    2) Efficiency Vermont has made grants to this wasteful demonstration project, which cannot be duplicated elsewhere due to insufficient funds. The EV surcharge should be eliminated and EV should be made into a private consulting firm that competes with other such firms.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/pv-solar-sonnen-combo-low-income-housing-demonstration-project

    3) A UNILATERAL carbon tax would do permanent harm to Vermont’s near zero, real growth economy. The tax revenues would be used by RE and non-RE special interests to finance various government programs.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-energy-transformation-and-carbon-tax

    4) Electric vehicles have about as much CO2 emissions as gasoline vehicles, on a lifetime basis, because the embedded CO2 of EVs is much higher than of gasoline vehicles.
    In case of Tesla vehicles with large capacity batteries, the lifetime CO2 is greater than gasoline vehicles.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/comparison-of-energy-efficiency-and-co2-of-gasoline-and-electric

  • Willem Post

    Regarding climate change, please note the following.

    During the glaciation period, 26,500 – 19,000 years BP, sea levels were about 120 meter (470 feet) below present levels*. The world’s desert areas, including the Sahara, were much larger than at present.

    The world population (about 1 – 2 million) during that period (lasting about 7,500 years), likely had a tough time dealing with the cold.

    A rapid warming trend from 8 C below reference to about 2 C above reference, similar to the prior cycles, started about 18000 years BP and ended about 11,200 years BP.

    Unlike the prior cycles, this time the temperature did NOT rapidly decrease, but has been lingering for about 11,200 years. See upper left corner of URL.

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/younger_dryas_to_present_time_line1.png

    * The world surface is about 510 million km2, of which land 149, water 361.

    The volume of land ice that melted was approximately 361 x 10^6 x 0.120 = 43 million km3, which covered about 43 million km2, based on an average thickness of 1 km, which is about equivalent to the total area of Russia, 17.1; Canada 10.0; China, 9.6; and the continental United States, 9.5.

    That would qualify as climate change.

    And all of that took place without burning fossil fuels.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cop-21-world-renewable-energy-and-world-trade

    • David Bell

      And people got lung cancer before the first cigarette was smoked. This does not in any way disprove the fact that smoking causes lung cancer.

  • Don Dalton

    You are assuming that correlation is causation. What caused polar “melting” in 1817 and in 1922? Why isn’t Antarctica ice volume also decreasing– although the peninsula has gotten all the attention, the main part of Antarctica is fine. Why is that?

    Heat trapping? You have to be very careful. Re-radiation is not exactly the same as heat-trapping.

    Cool air after rains demonstrates how important convective currents are.

    • Robert Lehmert

      See https://tinyurl.com/mtp3rmf and interactive demonstration

      “Researchers who study the Earth’s climate create models to test their assumptions about the causes and trajectory of global warming. Around the world there are 28 or so research groups in more than a dozen countries who have written 61 climate models. Each takes a slightly different approach to the elements of the climate system, such as ice, oceans, or atmospheric chemistry.

      The computer model that generated the results for this graphic is called “ModelE2,” and was created by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which has been a leader in climate projections for a generation. ModelE2 contains something on the order of 500,000 lines of code, and is run on a supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation in Greenbelt, Maryland.”

      • Don Dalton

        There are many things affecting earth’s climate but the climate scientists who have our ears have convinced us that CO2 is the primary factor. Many scientists disagree, with most of them pointing to the sun as more significant, yet the influence of the sun is largely dismissed by the IPCC and others. Since the earth is 70% water, and since UV energy penetrates deep into the ocean whereas IR energy (from CO2 back radiation) just barely penetrates the surface, it makes sense that changes in UV radiation might indeed have a significant effect on our climate.

        Nevertheless, all these climate models make the same types of assumptions and as John Christy and others demonstrated, the vast majority of models are wrong in their predictions of how much the atmosphere should have warmed by now. We’re so twisted up in our thinking that we suppose that the observations must be wrong, and the models must be correct. This is how far astray we’ve gone.

        My argument isn’t that CO2 isn’t doing anything. My argument is that if we look closely we see that the actual evidence is that CO2’s effects are vastly overstated. Because of confirmation bias and other biases, scientists see global warming everywhere. Those who go against this groupthink risk their careers and certainly their funding.

        • Robert Lehmert

          See attached, which was just published. I don’t mean to be dismissive. Rather, I would hope you would open your mind to the possibility that their observations have real meaning and should be taken very seriously. Threads like the one on this board are becoming very dated, and are undercut by actual events. Please, at least look at the graphics. https://tinyurl.com/ycu2waav

  • JohnGreenberg

    1) “Deerfield power likely
    will not be built in the near future.” Actually, it has received its CPG (https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/iberdrola-pdfs/pdf/7250-CPG.pdf) and it is being built right now. Here are construction photos: https://tinyurl.com/y7mlhdjs.

    2) TDI is one of 4 proposed transmission lines, none of which has been fully permitted or built. Unlike you, I cite facts, not fantasies. At least until it’s reasonably certain to be built, the TDI line is not part of the VT energy landscape, which is why I didn’t mention it above.

    If new transmission lines get built in VT (at least one goes through NH rather than VT), a lot more HQ power would be available in VT, but that’s years away. Moreover, a new line would NOTguarantee a low power price (almost certainly, just the opposite), nor would it
    solve the VT utilities’ portfolio problem of wanting to avoid over-reliance on a single source. And unlike wind and solar projects, it would NOT create thousands of well-paid VT jobs.

    All that said, I don’t oppose
    the line and know of no valid reason to do so, though I haven’t examined the issue
    with any care.

  • Matthew Davis

    “What is not to love about that line?”

    The main reason Scott loves the TDI more than any other proposed transmission line is the $$$ that would come with it for lake champlain “clean-up”. I have not seen any other reference to him supporting it for access to more hydro/wind power from NY and Quebec but perhaps that is a factor in his thinking as well.

    The irony of these large transmission projects is that they are a NIMBY dram come true. Others can deal with the externalities of the generation projects while VT can get the power. TO be opposed to wind power in VT but support this type of project is hypocritical.

    Who continues to ignore thee projects are anti-re extremists here in VT that should be putting much more effort into getting the gov. and legislature to force VT utilities to buy this power. But for some reason I don’t hear that from them….perhaps you could explain why they aren’t working to convince the current gov. of this, especially given his apparent support of authoritarian measures.

  • Willem Post

    John,

    That is far more devastation than from an HVDC line via Lake Champlain.

    All to produce VARIABLE, INTERMITTENT power at much greater cost, emitting much more CO2/kWh, than STEADY, 24/7/365, hydro power from Quebec that is less in cost.

    It would be insane for New England not to buy more hydro.

  • Andy Davis

    Here is news of more climate change “boosters”:

    https://nyti.ms/2vdswoz

  • Willem Post

    John,

    There are already several proposals including a couple in Maine, here’s more about them

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/

    “With ISO New England, the region’s grid operator, forecasting potential shortages by 2017, policy makers are looking to Canadian hydro — and so are utilities hoping to profit by transporting the power south. The proposed transmission projects include:

    ■ Northern Pass, a $1.4 billion, 187-mile transmission line pushed by Northeast Utilities that would bring power from Canada’s Hydro-Quebec into Southern New England.

    ■ The New England Clean Power Link, a $1.2 billion, 154-mile project that would run from the Canadian border under Lake Champlain to Ludlow, Vt.

    ■ The Northeast Energy Link, a joint project of National Grid and Bangor Hydro that would build a 230-mile line from Orrington, Maine to Tewksbury, to bring power from Canada and Maine.

    ■ The Green Line, a 350-mile cable that would transport wind power from Maine and supplementary hydroelectricity from Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes.

    ■ And the Grand Isle Intertie, a 60-mile line that would bring wind power from northern New York, under Lake Champlain to Vermont, and supplement it with hydro from New York and possibly Canada.”

    5 – 7 c/kWh, per Dostis of GMP, who knows these numbers better than most of us.

  • JohnGreenberg

    You’re right about one thing, Willem. You certainly have expressed your opinion “numerous times!”

    The problem remains that WHAT you’ve stated is false. Mr. Dostis did not say that HQ power will be available @ 5-7 cents.

    Beyond that, I’m not going to rehash all this here.