The First US Nuke In 20 Years Goes Online—TVA Project

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced that the Watt Bar Unit 2 nuclear generation unit is now online at full power, providing commercial electrical energy.  It is the first new nuclear power generation unit in 20 years.  Good for them. TVA has 6 other Nukes providing power.


TVA president and CEO Bill Johnson said:

“TVA’s mission is to make life better in the Valley by providing reliable, low-cost energy, protecting our area’s natural resources and working to attract business and growth – all priorities simultaneously supported by the completion of Watts Bar Unit 2..”

A Westinghouse pressurized water reactor is expected to generate 1,150 megawatts (summer net capability). The capital cost of the complete generation unit was $4.7 billion.

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James Hansen Misfires Again.

Robert Bradley Jr  has made a posting on the MasterResource web site and I am reposting it in its entirety.    Bradley takes on James Hansen,  the so-called  god father of man-made global warming as well as Hansen’s  neophytes.  Hansen has long believed he knows everything there is to know about this issue.  He doesn’t of course and Bradley begins the posting with one of Hansen’s many bad predictions.   It is a good read.


James Hansen: Time to Go CO2 Negative!

By Robert Bradley Jr. — October 5, 2016

“We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

– James Hansen, “The Threat to the Planet.” The New York Times Review of Books (2006).

“Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”

– James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

Ten years ago, James Hansen predicted doom if mankind did not “fundamentally” reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in ten years. This ultimatum to the world came due this summer.


But far from raising the white flag, the father of the modern climate alarm now demands via legal action that CO2 and other GHG emissions go negative “if climate is to be stabilized on the century time scale, as a result of past failure to reduce emissions.”

He continues: “If rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, most of the necessary CO2 can take place via improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content.”


‘All deliberate speed’ will be a dominant issue for climate.  Our governments have not accepted the reality dictated by the laws of physics and climate science: we must phase out fossil fuel emissions rapidly. Mother Nature will not wait for bumbling half-baked government schemes for reducing emissions. It will be essential that the Court not only demand all deliberate speed, but continually examine the reality of what the government is accomplishing, and that the government have both short-term and long-term plans of action.

Hansen states that a negative trajectory is possible. Don’t tell that to Americans or to the industrializing world. And don’t look to carbon capture and storage. Or politics.

The obvious question is: when will he throw in the towel and turn from government-directed mitigation to market-directed adaptation. Richer, freer societies adapt to change much better than command-and-control, CO2-rationed economies, after all.

Pretense of Knowledge

Dr. Hansen is dead certain that he understands the physics and economics of climate change to know the problem and the solution. He believes that climate models understand real climate, economic models understand real economies, and policymakers can implement ideals.

Hansen is the ultimate central planner, imaging not only that he has unique knowledge but that the real world will conform to his edicts. In short, Hansen is possessed by a fatal conceit.

It begins with computer models, which have over-predicted real world warming. “We do not know much about modeling climate,” climate scientist Gerald North of Texas A&M University once explained to me. “It is as though we are modeling a human being. Models are in position at last to tell us the creature has two arms and two legs, but we are being asked to cure cancer.” On another occasion, he added: “The problem is difficult, and there are pitifully few ways to test climate models.”

“Computer models just weren’t reliable,” James Lovelock recently stated in reference to his about-face on climate catastrophism. “I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change.” Which brings up the futile crusade of James Hansen, which is allowing a speculative, unsolvable problem to divert real resources from here-and-now human needs.

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Svalgaard Discusses How He Forecasts Solar Cycle Activity–Cycle 25 Will Be Up Soon

Before Solar Cycle 24 began, estimates of how active it would be were made by many experts. Because the Sunspot counting system has changed, the estimates have to be translated from the predictions made before the change. NASA’s top Expert using Sunspot as a proxy for activity, estimated it would be in the well over 160 (new system number ca. 265). Most of the estimates at the time were like NASAs. However, Cycle 24 has been much less active than most of the experts expected. The count using the new numbering system for Cycle 24 peak Sunspots at the Solar Maximum is 117. On the other hand, Leif Svalgaard and his partners estimated about 70 (new system ca. 117) which turns out to be as good as it gets. Estimating what Solar Cycle 25 will look like is already underway with many expecting Cycle 25 to be less active that has been the case with Cycle 24.

Because Svalgaard had forecast that Cycle 24 would be much less active and the forecast came reasonably close to the actual number count, it makes me curious about how he did it and what is he is predicting about Cycle 25 now. Well, I have already given that away in my 22 March 2016 blog titled “Dr Svalgaard makes a preliminary prediction of Cycle 25 size.” He thinks it will be close to the size of Cycle 24 and prehaps a little bit bigger. Once again he seems to be the contrarian.

So, how does he make these predictions. This blog will let you see the method he uses.

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Pew Research Report Data Not Supported By The Interviews. Human Caused CO2 Claimed To Be 48% But In Reality Is 31%

Pew Research Center has just released a survey of American’s opinions about global warming. They interviewed about 1500 people over a period from 10 May to 6 June this year. There are many findings but the one I want to take issue with is their claim that about half of the American’s interviewed say Earth is warming due to human activity. From the Pew Research Center survey the chart displayed says that 48% believe Earth is warming because of human activity, 31% because of natural patterns and 20% say there is no solid evidence that Earth is getting warmer.


The Pew document presents the results of the interviews. The above conclusion was made from the following interviews:



Above is the first interview results. Only 26% said global warming is caused by human activity. Wow that would not do. I guess they were saying “how can we fix this. We can’t publish this.” So they came up with a plan.

Some of the interviewed said they were not sure or had no answer. So they decided to re-interview these people to see which of the three statements would be their second choice. Now there were 1534 interviewees in the beginning. Thus the “not sures” and the “no answers” would be 0.15X1534=230 people. In the next chart it appears that they only re-interviewed only 156 of the 230. Below are the results of the re-interview.


The results of the re-interview is that 29% said their second choice would be human caused warming, 20% said the warming was natural and 41% there was no evidence that the world is getting warmer.

Now comes the magic. You can see it in the bottom part of the above chart where it says the “combined responses” gave a new set of percentages for each of the three possible answers. However the answer for one of the three changed. It now includes both human caused and natural caused warming even though there still is a natural caused warming category.

I have gone through the math. The “human caused” in the first interview was 26% or 398 people. The “natural” was 45% or 690 people. “No evidence” was 14% or 215 people. As noted above the number re interviewed was 156 although the percentage would have called for 230. Note also that the percentage listed in the chart is only 90% or 140 people. The bottom line for people actually giving an opinion looks to be 1443 rather than the 1534 they began with. But the discrepancies in total number make little difference to the outcome. The human caused would be 398 original people plus 45 of the re interviewed for a total of 443 representing the share of the total 31%. Natural 690 plus 31 for a total of 721 and 50%. No evidence came in with 215 plus 64 for 279 and 19%. So only 31% said warming was human caused.

Obviously the surveyors could not let the initial result stand—–only 26% thought warming in human caused. So they came up with a way to obscure the results.

I have plowed through the rest of the interview material. It is obvious that most of the people have little concept of the issues surrounding renewable fuels/renewable energy.


Their level of the science knowledge is probably pretty well summed up by the interview question shown above where they were asked to name the major gas that makes up our atmosphere. Seventy-three per cent did not know the answer. I would hazard a guess that most of our politician would do no better on that question.

If you want to look in detail at the full report and the interviews click here and then click on “Complete Report PDf


Solar Cycle 24 Update—-October 2016

Solar Cycle 24 continues on its way to a Sunspot minimum. The thirty day average Sunspot number for September (Ri) was 44.7, a little less than the August number of 50. The black line of the chart Ri is the sum of the north and south solar magnetic fields. While a year or so ago, the southern magnetic field (Rsouth) was creating the majority of the Sunspots, the north magnetic field (Rnorth) is dominate now. In April the Sun had a period of low activity with a thirty day average of 20.9.


Looking at a comparison of Solar Cycles 23 and 24 shows that the Cycle 24 has been much less active than 23. This, of course, has prompted many to declare we are on our way to another minimum with corresponding cooling of global temperatures. But first a few comments on the difference one of the ways that Sunspots numbers are reported.


Looking at the far right of the chart, the black line is the monthly average Sunspot number and it is 44.7 as noted above. The red line is the official Sunspot number. It is a thirteen month lagging calculation. It is always 6 months behind the current date. It is the means by which the number is smoothed. The green line is a forecast of what it will probably be when the official smoothed number arrives at September 2016 . The green lines forecasts the September Sunspot number at 34.5. It will probably not be exactly 34.5 at that time but the difference will likely be small..

A comment on my blog by provided a concise summary of the official number calculation methodology. It can be seen at the at the end of this blog.

Lastly as a reminder of how Cycle 24 looks in comparison to the preceding Cycles, the chart below gives the needed perspective:


This chart illustrates how much more active recent Solar Cycles have been in comparison to Cycle 24. Cycle 21 began in March of 1976. The peak International Smoothed Sunspot number for Cycle 21 was 232, Cycle 22 was211,Cycle 23 was 180 and Cycle 24 was 117.



A look at a Solar Cycle 25 projection is on my list of topics to post—hopefully soon.


All Charts a courtesy of Soleninfo/solar


International Smoothed Sunspot Number calculation.

The smoothed count is a 13-month averaged sunspot count using this Belgium’s formula:
Rs= (0.5 Rm-6 + Rm-5 + Rm-4 + Rm-3 + Rm-2 + Rm-1 + Rm + Rm+1 + Rm+2 + Rm+3 + Rm+4 + Rm+5 + 0.5 Rm+6 ) / 12

Rs = smoothed monthly sunspot count
Rm = One month’s actual sunspot count

The “-6” through “+6” appended to each Rm is the number of months before or after the month whose smoothed count is being calculated. The beginning and ending months in the formula are only given half the value of the others.


Study Says CO2 Not Statistically Significant In Global Temperature Change

This might be the most important report written in 2016 and perhaps in this century. In my simple understanding of things global warming, it seems that any honest scientist that reads this must be able to show this report to be wrong or, if not already, join us as a skeptic. By zeroing out natural causes, this report shows why man-made CO2 does not have a statistically significant impact on global warming. It validates other studies, especially ice cores,that show that CO2 is a lagging variable, not a leading variable.

A new report “ On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot “& The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding” demonstrates that CO2 has only minimal effect on the global warming. The authors of the report challenge critics of these finding by saying :

“Moreover, on an all-other-things-equal basis, there is no statistically valid proof that past increases in Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have caused the reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures. To validate their claim will require mathematically credible, publically available, simultaneous equation parameter estimation work. Where is it?”

Some background. The damage to the US economy caused by the EPA claiming that CO2 emissions will eventually lead to catastrophic increases in Global temperatures was first permitted as a result of the US Supreme Court telling the EPA to determine if CO2 was hazardous. So if the EPA could make an endangerment  determination, then the Court would allow CO2 (and several other minor greenhouse gases) be added to the Clean Air Act (CAA). CO2 was considered in detail by Congress when they passed the CAA and Congress rejected its inclusion. Once again the Supreme Court, fully aware of Congress’ rejection, decided to legislate –not their prerogative– by including CO2 if the EPA said it was hazardous.

To no one’s surprise, the EPA did conclude it was hazardous and began sending out regulations of all kinds based upon their catastrophic global warming theory. The EPA in their CO2 Endangerment Finding said they had found 3 lines of evidence that demonstrates their Finding: They are:

“The assumption of the existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot (THS)” is critical to all Three Lines of Evidence in EPA’s GHG/CO2 Endangerment Finding. Stated simply, first, the THS is claimed to be a fingerprint or signature of atmospheric and Global Average Surface Temperatures (GAST) warming caused by increasing GHG/CO2 concentrations1. (The new report scientist are challenging this by saying that the proper test for the existence of the THS in the real world is very simple. Are the slopes of the three temperature trend lines [upper & lower troposphere and surface] all statistically significant and do they have the proper top down rank order?)

Second, higher atmospheric CO2 and other GHGs concentrations are claimed to have been the primary cause of the claimed record setting GAST over the past 50 plus years.

Third, the THS assumption is imbedded in all of the climate models that EPA still relies upon in its policy analysis supporting, for example, its Clean Power Plan–recently put on hold by a Supreme Court Stay. These climate models are also critical to EPA’s Social Cost of Carbon estimates used to justify a multitude of regulations across many U.S. Government agencies.

The scientists that issued the report: On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot “& The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding” have set out in detail their methodology and data used to arrive at their conclusions. These can be examined by clicking on the link above.

In summary, the scientists looked at natural causes for increases and decreases in global temperature as well as man-made causes. CO2 produced by burning of fossil fuels is a man-made source. There were three natural factors—an increase or decrease in Solar radiation, volcanic activity, and ENSO (El NINO Southern Oscillation) . Natural factors can not be the result of human actions.

ENSO is a three part phenomenon.. ElNino, LaNina and Neutral


El Ninos and La Ninas are irregular in their size and frequency. While this chart goes back to the fifties when ENSO was first recognized, Scripps Institute of Oceanography says:

There have been many El Niños observed in the past. Theres every reason to think that they have been happening for many thousands of years”

Obviously, fossil fuel produced CO2 is not a issue here.

These scientists removed from 13 temperature records the effect of natural causes of temperature changes leaving only the man-made causes. The temperature records were from balloons, satellite, ground and ocean temperature readings.

From the scientists report, here is what they did and found:

“These analysis results would appear to leave very, very little doubt that EPA’s claim of a Tropical Hot Spot, caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels, simply does not exist in the real world. Also critically important, even on an all-other things-equal basis, this analysis failed to find that the steadily rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 temperature time series analyzed.

Thus, the analysis results invalidate each of the Three Lines of Evidence in the EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding. Once EPA’s THS assumption is invalidated, it is obvious why the climate models they claim can be relied upon, are also invalid. And, these results clearly demonstrate–13 times in fact–that once just the ENSO impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no “record setting” warming to be concerned about. In fact, there is no ENSO-Adjusted Warming at all. These natural ENSO impacts involve both changes in solar activity and the 1977 Pacific Shift.

Moreover, on an all-other-things-equal basis, there is no statistically valid proof that past increases in Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have caused the officially reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures. To validate their (critic’s) claim will require mathematically credible, publically available, simultaneous equation parameter estimation work. Where is it?

I reviewed a website that had discussed these findings that there is no significant statistical evidence of CO2 causing global warming. Not a single challenge using data and facts. All of critics were saying that “97%” could not be wrong or using ad hominem attacks on the author.

So as the authors of the report say about having a factual disagreement, “Where is it?


“The Experiment–Capitalism vs Socialism”

The following posting by an acquaintance of mine,  David Legates, is  really quite good. This posting appeared in the blog WattsUpWithThat  ( .)
David was the Delaware State Climatalogist but because he is a skeptic he was essentially pushed out of the job by the Democrat Governor.   The U of D, Legates’ employer,  has not been supportive either. I attended the conference  last year in DC where Legates was awarded a prize for the skeptic that has faced the most opposition by his employer.
I like the final disclaimer that says “His views do not represent those of the University of Delaware.”
While this posting may seem off message as it is not about catastrophic global warming,  it is a cautionary tale about big brother government.  The current administration views global warming as the greatest threat to civilization.  They are trying to close down all comment by people skeptical of that position.

The Experiment:  Capitalism versus Socialism

What if we could have an experiment to compare the two systems? Wait – we already did.

David R. Legates

Experimentation is a major tool in the scientist’s arsenal. We can put the same strain of bacteria into two Petri dishes, for example, and compare the relative effects of two different antibiotics.

What if we could do the same with economic systems? We could take a country and destroy its political and economic fabric through, say, a natural disaster or widespread pestilence – or a war. War is the ultimate political and economic cleansing agent. Its full devastation can send a country back almost to the beginning of civilization.

We could then take this war-torn country and divide it into two parts. It would have similar people, similar climate, similar potential trading partners, similar geography – but one part is rebuilt using capitalism as its base, while the other rebuilds using socialism and its principles. We’d let the virtues of each system play out and see where these two new countries would be after, say, fifty years.

Don’t you wonder what the outcome might be? Well, as it turns out, we have already performed The Experiment. It’s post-war Germany.

Following the devastation of World War II, Germany was split into two parts. The German Federal Republic, or West Germany, was rebuilt in the image of the western allies and a capitalist legal-political-economic system.  By contrast, the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany, was reconstructed using the socialist/communist principles championed by the Soviet Union. The Experiment pitted the market economy of the West against the command economy of the East.

On the western side, considering what’s being taught in our schools, one might expect that “greedy capitalism” would create a state where a few people became the rich elite, while the vast majority were left as deprived masses. Socialism, by contrast, promised East Germany the best that life had to offer, through rights guaranteed by the state, including “human rights” to employment and living wages, time for rest and leisure, health care and elder care, and guaranteed housing, education and cultural programs.

So the Petri dishes were set, and The Experiment began. In 1990, after just 45 years,The Experiment abruptly and surprisingly ended – with reunification back into a single country. How did it work out?

In West Germany, capitalism rebuilt the devastated country into a political and economic power in Europe, rivaled only by its former enemy, Great Britain. Instead of creating a rich 1% and a poor 99%, West Germans thrived: average West Germans were considerably wealthier than their Eastern counterparts. The country developed economically, and its people enjoyed lives with all the pleasures that wealth, modern technologies and quality free time could provide.

By contrast, East Germany’s socialist policies created a state that fell woefully behind. Its people were much poorer; property ownership was virtually non-existent amid a collectivist regime; food and material goods were scarce and expensive, available mostly to Communist Party elites; spies were everywhere, and people were summarily arrested and jailed; the state pretended to pay its workers, and they pretended to work. A wall of concrete, barbed wire and guard towers was built to separate the two halves of Berlin – and keep disgruntled Eastern citizens from defecting to the West. Many who tried to leave were shot.

By the time of reunification, productivity in East Germany was barely 70% of that in West Germany. The West boasted large, vibrant industries and other highly productive sectors, while dirty antiquated factories and outmoded farming methods dominated the East. Even staples like butter, eggs and chicken – abundant and affordable in West Germany – were twice as expensive in the eastern “workers’ paradise.”

Coffee was seven times more expensive, while gasoline and laundry detergent were more than 2½ times more expensive. Luxury items, like automobiles and men’s suits were twice as expensive, color televisions five times more costly. About the only staple that was cheaper in East Germany were potatoes, which could be distilled into vodka, so that lower caste East Germans could commiserate better with their abundant Russian comrades.

Moreover, state-guaranteed health care in the East did not translate into a healthier society. In 1990, life expectancy in the West was about 3½ years longer than in the East for men, and more than 2½ years longer for women. Studies found that unfavorable working conditions, psychological reactions to political suppression, differences in cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyles, and lower standards of medical technology in East Germany were largely responsible for their lower health standards.

The socialist mentality of full employment for everyone led to more women working in the East than in the West. This pressure resulted in better childcare facilities in East Germany, as mothers there returned to work sooner after giving birth and were more inclined to work full-time – or more compelled to work, to put food on the table, which meant they had to work full-time and run the household. This also meant East German children had far less contact with their parents and families, even as West Germans became convinced that children fared better under their mothers’ loving care than growing up in nurseries.

As the education system in East Germany was deeply rooted in socialism, the state ran an extensive network of schools that indoctrinated children into the socialist system from just after their birth to the university level. While it’s true that today East Germans perform better at STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) studies than their Western counterparts, that may be explained in part by the influx of numerous poorly educated immigrants to former West German areas, and the extensive money invested in the eastern region since reunification.

However, schools of the East were not intended to establish creative thinking, which results in creativity and innovation. Rather, they were authoritarian and rigid, encouraging collective group-think and consensus ideas, rather than fostering outside-the-box thinking, novel philosophies and enhanced productivity. Thus, East German technology was slow to develop and students were often overqualified for available jobs.

Did the East gain any advantage? Nudism was more prevalent in the East, if that was your thing.  Personal interaction was higher too, because telephones and other technologies were lacking. But even though East Germany was much better off than other Soviet satellite countries (a tribute to innate German resourcefulness), East German socialism offered few advantages over its capitalist western counterpart.  In fact, in the years since reunification, homogenization of Germany has been slow, due largely to the legacy of years lived under socialist domination, where any work ethic was unrewarded, even repressed.

Freedom was the single most important ingredient that caused West Germany to succeed. Freedom is the elixir that fuels innovation, supports a diversity of thought, and allows people to become who they want to be, not what the state demands they must be. When the government guarantees equality of outcomes, it also stifles the creativity, diversity, ingenuity and reward systems that allow people and countries to grow, develop and prosper. The Experiment has proven this.

These days in the United States, however, forgetful, unobservant and ideological politicians are again touting the supposed benefits of socialism. Government-provided health and elder care, free tuition, paid day care and pre-school education, guaranteed jobs and wages are all peddled by candidates who feel government can and should care for us from cradle to grave. They apparently think East German socialism is preferable to West German capitalism. Have they learned nothing from The Experiment?

A friend of mine believes capitalism is greedy and evil – and socialism, if “properly implemented,” will take us forward to realizing a better future. I counter that The Experiment proves society is doomed to mediocrity at best under autocratic socialism. Indeed, those who turn toward the Siren call of socialism always crash upon its rocks. But my friend assures me: “Trust me, this time it will be different.”

That’s what they always say. Perhaps Venezuela and Cuba are finally making socialism work?

David R. Legates, PhD, CCM, is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. His views do not represent those of the University of Delaware.