Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

28 November 2016

Is There a Climate Science Consensus?

Is there any level on which a climate consensus can be said to exist?  Only at the most obvious level, which is that everyone agrees that the climate changes.  The realists know that the climate has always changed, drastically over millions of years of alternating Ice Ages and Warm Periods and within a narrower range over the warm last 12,000 years, with such periods as the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warming, the Medieval Warm Period, and the present warm period.  The catastrophic man-made global warming alarmists claim that the climate was very stable prior to the Industrial Age, which just happens to have had its start at the end of the Little Ice Age according to the Climate Realists.  But, since man became powerful and plentiful as a result of the Industrial Age, the alarmists say that climate change now occurs mostly due to man, specifically due to his emissions of some infra-red active gases, primarily carbon dioxide.

Obama and legions of those who argue that mankind faces its greatest challenge in trying to prevent the catastrophe of man-made or anthropogenic global warming, like to claim that 97% of scientists agree with them.  This claim is based on a completely bogus survey of published papers, with papers simply stating that there may be some human influence on climate being counted as part of a scientific consensus.

It is not noted that almost all climate research or other research with any implications about the climate at all is funded by governments, almost all of which will not fund research that is unfavorable to the thesis that man has warmed the planet badly since the start of the Industrial Age.  If you are a scientist and you want further government funding for your research, you are likely to be rewarded if you find some way in which your results support the government-favored thesis of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.  If your results are contrary to that thesis, it will be fatal to further funding support to take note of that.  You had best put another interpretation on your results.

One of the most interesting observations is that retirement brings on a major change of viewpoint for many scientists.  Those who supported the alarmist claims before retirement often oppose it afterwards. Those who were silent on the subject often come out against the alarmist thesis after retirement.  This applies to many scientists who are not climate scientists, but are experts in radiation such as infra-red, visible light, and ultra-violet light radiation.  Just like climate scientists, it is harmful to their careers if they speak out against the so-called consensus the governments have tried so hard to create.  NASA, Navy, Air Force, Army, EPA, NOAA, Department of Energy with its 17 energy research laboratories, Department of the Interior, Agriculture Department, and university researchers in the sciences in the USA are all given good reason to be fearful about their careers if they speak up against the alarmist crusade.  The government has worked ruthlessly hard to try to produce a "scientific consensus", but has massively violated both foundational epistemologic principles and the scientific method in the process.  Both depend critically on a commitment to reason, independent thinking, and on freedom of speech and press.  The tendency of all but the most legitimate and principled of governments to wish to limit independent thinking and the free trade in ideas is one of the great dangers of putting the government in charge of basic research funding.

Most of the scientists said to be supporters of the catastrophic man-made global warming thesis can not provide a decent explanation of the physics which is supposed to cause the emission of the so-called greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to cause a catastrophic level of warming.  They should most definitely not be counted as scientists who are the basis for a scientific consensus, despite that fact that some of them may have an unscientific belief in that alarmist thesis. What would a true scientific consensus be?  It would consist of those scientists who had a coherent, carefully laid out and reasonably complete single theory of how man's emissions of infra-red active molecules such as carbon dioxide and methane caused such a large warming of the globe that a catastrophe for mankind must certainly occur.  Those holding the scientific viewpoint could all articulate this theory and explain how it agreed with observations of reality and how it could make predictions of the climate's characteristics of the future.  They would agree on all of these things.  This is what a scientific consensus would be.

Most of those who attempt an explanation today will initially try it by using an argument similar to that used in the IPCC reports from 2001 through 2014. This explanation of the science is based on a viewpoint provided in the following Earth energy budget:




Fig. 1. Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget for the Earth of 1997.  This represents a common viewpoint of the physics that is used to justify the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis.  It is apparently the settled science. It will be demonstrated to be very wrongheaded.  I have added the percentage power flux values with 342 W/m2 equal to 100% and approximately equal to one-quarter of the solar power incident upon the Earth most directly facing the Sun.  More recent energy budgets have slightly different numbers, but the viewpoint is the same and the claim of a scientific consensus has not changed.

The IPCC reports claim that solar radiation absorbed at the surface of the Earth causes the Earth's surface to emit about 2.3 times as much energy in the form of infra-red radiation as it absorbed from the sun.  This seems plausible to them because they believe that a body will emit infra-red radiation at the bottom of the atmosphere and with water all over the surface just as the body would if it were isolated in space.  This is not the case.  Infra-red radiation is emitted from oscillating dipoles and they cannot emit all of their energy in the form of radiation when those same oscillating dipoles are dumping energy into the evaporation of water and losing energy via collisions with air molecules.

But having started off by neglecting the conservation of energy, the IPCC has to balance out the flow of energies, so they posit a huge back-radiation flow of energy from the so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  Let us take note of what the 324 W/m2 of back-radiation implies.  A black body radiator emitting this power would be at a temperature T, such that

P = 324 W/m2 = σ T4 = (5.6697 x 10-8 W/m2K4) T4,

implying that T = 274.95K.  This is the temperature of the air in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of just barely more than 2000 meters.  The altitude would be higher in the tropics.  A back-radiation of this magnitude implies a long mean free path at the bottom of the atmosphere where there is usually much water vapor.

However, we can also examine the implied mean free path of the infra-red radiation emitted from the surface and absorbed by the atmosphere.  The power difference between the surface emission and the atmospheric absorption (390 - 350) W/m2 = 40 W/m2 has the property that 

P = 40 W/m2 = σ [ (288K)4 -  T4 ] = (5.6697 x 10-8 W/m2K4) [ (288K)4 - T],

where T is the effective temperature of the atmosphere where the surface radiation emission is absorbed by the atmosphere.  This temperature is 280.3K, which is not equal to the 274.95K temperature of the atmosphere that radiates back to the surface as back-radiation according to the UN IPCC report physics.  The implied effective altitude of the surface radiation absorption in the atmosphere is much shorter in this case than that for the 2000 meters altitude from which the atmosphere radiates the surface in the UN IPCC energy budget.  The energy spectrum from the higher temperature Earth surface has more higher energy infra-red radiation in it than does that emitted by the cooler atmosphere, so the mean free path of surface radiation should be greater, not less.

This inconsistency in the infra-red absorption lengths implies that the numbers in the UN IPCC Earth energy budget are simply made up to balance the flow of energy in and out of the Earth's surface, without concern even for a consistent physical theory.  This is exactly what would happen if the 390 W/m2 of surface emitted infra-red radiation were too large, as it is due to conservation of energy.

Examining Fig.1., one sees that 40 W/m2 of radiation from the surface is emitted through the atmospheric window directly into space without absorption in the atmosphere.  Thus, of the total of about 235 W/m2 of infra-red radiation that the Earth emits into space, about 195 W/m2 is emitted from the atmosphere.  This is also the sum of the emission from the clouds and the atmosphere in the diagram.  We can calculate the effective temperature of this emission and from that find the effective altitude from which the emission from the atmosphere into space occurs.  We have


P = 195 W/m2 = σ T4 = (5.6697 x 10-8 W/m2K4) (T)4

and we find that T = 242K.  In the U.S. Standard Atmosphere Tables of 1976, this temperature is at an altitude just above 7000 meters.  It is a higher altitude in the tropics.

Now if the mean free path for water emitted and absorbed radiation where water is very prevalent in the bottom 2000 meters of the atmosphere is as great as is implied by Fig. 1, then one should expect that the emission of atmospheric radiation into space would occur from about the same altitude that water freezes into ice. There is much less water vapor above that altitude than below it.  Everyone agrees that the vast majority of infra-red radiation into space is from water vapor.  In the U.S. Standard atmosphere tables, the altitude at which water freezes is a bit below 3000 meters, which is much lower than 7000 meters.  There is a contradiction here in this IPCC theory of how the so-called greenhouse gases work.

The very large back-radiation does not happen for several reasons.

1)  It violates electric field theory by claiming that photons flow from a weaker field region up the electric field strength gradient.

2)  The infra-red active molecules are not black-body radiators or absorbers.  They are only able to absorb and emit radiation at wavelengths representing only a minority portion of the wavelength range of a black-body radiator.

3)  It fails because the mean free paths of the infra-red radiation that can be absorbed or emitted by water vapor and carbon dioxide are very short.  That means that these molecules absorb the infra-red energy they can absorb and emit over a very short distance.  While the mean free path length for wavelengths that water can absorb depends upon the humidity, this length is commonly less than 200 meters.  For carbon dioxide in a water vapor-free atmosphere at present concentrations, this distance in the lower atmosphere is only a few times greater than that for water vapor.  When water vapor is present, because most of the wavelengths at which carbon dioxide is active are also absorbed by water vapor, the effective mean free path length for carbon dioxide emitted infra-red radiation is much shorter than that due to only having the same concentration of carbon dioxide in a water vapor free atmosphere. In the lower half of the troposphere, the likelihood that the absorbed radiation in a greenhouse gas molecule will be re-emitted before it is transferred to non-radiating molecules in the infra-red range is very small.  There is just too high a collision rate between molecules, so that radiation energy absorbed in a so-called greenhouse gas is almost immediately changed into molecular kinetic energy in non-radiating molecules.  That energy is then very predominantly transported by the relatively slow mechanism of convection.

Thus, there is no way that the atmosphere as a whole can radiate a large quantity of infra-red radiation back to the Earth's surface in accordance with the IPCC viewpoint.  The supposed back-radiation in the energy budget above is 1.93 times the solar radiation energy absorbed by the surface! This back-radiation under the equilibrium conditions with a linearly decreasing temperature gradient with altitude cannot occur.  There are conditions when the atmosphere is warmer than the surface and then there is some radiation from the atmosphere to the surface, but the amount of such radiation is still severely restricted by the short mean free path of radiation from the main so-called greenhouse gas, water vapor and that of the very secondary carbon dioxide.

In reality, the Earth's surface is a very dense array of oscillating electric dipoles which create a comparatively strong electric field.  Upon entering the atmosphere, only a small fraction of the molecules are sufficiently strong oscillating electric dipoles to absorb or emit infra-red radiation. These are water vapor and carbon dioxide for the most part.  Consequently, the electric field in the lowest atmosphere virtually in contact with the surface has a rapidly decreasing strength and it then further slowly decreases as the density of water vapor and carbon dioxide decreases with altitude in the lower troposphere.  The strength of the electric field then decreases more rapidly as water vapor freezes at altitudes above its freezing temperature.   Above that altitude it continues to decrease at a slower rate as carbon dioxide continues to become less dense along with the main atmospheric gases of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon.  The actual emission of infra-red radiation follows the electric field from its stronger regions to its weaker regions, which means that infra-red photon emission is strongly biased in the upward direction.

The basic problem that greenhouse gas theory is trying to address is the fact that the surface temperature of the Earth is about 288K, while the effective radiative temperature with respect to space of the entire Earth including both surface and atmosphere is about 255K.  Much of the radiation of infra-red into space is from altitudes in the atmosphere which are considerably cooler than the surface temperature, though some of the radiation is from the surface through the atmospheric window.  Note that the temperature difference between 255K and 288K is 33K, which is attributed by the greenhouse gas hypothesis to warming of the Earth by greenhouse gases.  The viewpoint is one which is entirely dominated by a belief that by far the only significant transport of energy in the entire atmosphere is by means of radiation.


In fact, the transport of energy away from the surface of the Earth is dominated by the sum of the energy transport by water evaporation and condensation at altitude and by convection currents. As noted above, the transport by radiation in the lower troposphere is small, except for that transmitted through the atmospheric window and not absorbed by the atmosphere.  Transport by radiation that can be absorbed by infra-red active gases is so small due to the short mean free path for the absorption of radiation from water vapor molecules predominantly and very secondarily from carbon dioxide combined with the very high collision rate of air molecules. Infra-red active molecules radiate energy which is very quickly converted into kinetic energy in non-radiating nitrogen and oxygen molecules, and in argon atoms. Most of the air molecules can only transport heat energy by convection.

According to Fig. 1. above, the sun provides the Earth's surface with 168 W/m2 of absorbed energy power. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation for the relationship between the power density of the emitting surface and the temperature of the surface, one can calculate the highest temperature the Earth's surface can attain from such solar radiative warming, when ignoring non-radiative cooling mechanisms:

P = 168 W/m2 = σ T4 = (5.6697 x 10-8 W/m2K4) T4, 

solving which we find that T = 233.3 K, which is nearly 55K cooler than our actual 288K surface temperature.  

The fact that this maximum solar radiative surface heating temperature is so low informs us that the surface temperature is not entirely due to the absorbed radiation from the sun.  168 W/m2 cannot produce a surface with a temperature of 288K. There has to be another major contributor to that high temperature. Of course, the greenhouse gas hypothesis advocates say this is due to a large back radiation of energy from the atmosphere, which is not so because photons do not flow up the electric field gradient and because their mean free path lengths are too short.

Now if we had no infra-red active gases in our atmosphere, we would have no water vapor and hence no clouds.  So 77 W/m2 would not be reflected from the clouds back into space, as seen in Fig.1.  In addition, most of the 67 W/m2 of incident solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere would not be absorbed if there were no water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so being conservative, let us estimate that about 35 W/m2 additional solar radiation would be absorbed by the Earth's surface due to having a much less absorbing atmosphere.  The total solar power absorbed by the Earth's surface is then about 280 W/m2 .   In this case, the maximum surface temperature can be calculated from: 

P = 280 W/m2 = σ T4 = (5.6697 x 10-8 W/m2K4) (T)4

and T = 265.1K, which is a 31.8K higher temperature than the maximum temperature of 233.3K with infra-red active gases absent another warming mechanism than the present solar insolation at the surface.  Thus, one concludes that the presence of the so-called greenhouse gases in our atmosphere causes the Earth's surface temperature to be almost 32K cooler than it otherwise would be.  Using such a radiation dominant model used, the Earth's surface temperature without greenhouse gases is only about 23K cooler than the Earth's radiative temperature as seen from space. Instead of searching for a means to warm the surface by 33K as in the quest of the IPCC, one only needs another warming mechanism to raise the surface temperature by 23K.  Removing the greenhouse gases has proved a 10K warming effect from this viewpoint.

This proposed greenhouse gas-free atmosphere and the above calculation ignore the air convection that results from non-infra-red active molecules striking the surface, but because radiated surface energy is not absorbed by the atmosphere in the infra-red active gas free hypothetical atmosphere, surface radiation is not quickly transformed into more convection transport of energy.  Also, there is no formation of water vapor, hence no evaporation of water.  Consequently, this calculation is much closer to reality than is the usual UN IPCC radiation-dominated calculation with greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  So, it is by no means clear that there is any kind of greenhouse gas warming of the Earth.  One can make at least as good a case for a cooling effect if one has a radiation dominance mindset.

Interestingly enough, when the problems with the usual greenhouse gas viewpoint of man-made global warming featured in the IPCC reports and vaguely taught in the schools are pointed out, many of the scientists who hold that viewpoint will then begin arguing a second and very different theory of man-made global warming based on the effects of infra-red active gases.  It seems not to register on them that one cannot claim a scientific consensus if there is no general agreement on the actual mechanism upon which an infra-red active molecule can catastrophically warm the Earth.  They have turned to a second and incompatible mechanism, yet they do not stop making the claim that they have a scientific consensus.  Some of those who argue from the start for this second greenhouse gas theory are lukewarmers, who maintain that the warming effect is less than would be catastrophic, but still significant.

Let us recall that the atmosphere emits infra-red radiation into space at a temperature of about 242K and that this corresponds in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere tables to an altitude of a bit less than 7000 meters.The catastrophic man-made global warmers like to examine the case of a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Imaging such a doubling.  The added carbon dioxide would absorb somewhat more of the radiation now emitted by water vapor into space, though water vapor emission would still be the main source of radiation into space.  Water vapor absorbs and emits infra-red radiation over a greater range of wavelengths and its half-life in the excited state is much less than that for carbon dioxide.  This makes water vapor a more efficient transporter of energy.  Water vapor concentration is actually very low at altitudes of 7000 m and above because the temperature there is way below the freezing point of water at 273.15K or 0C. Despite this, water vapor radiation emission will be greater than that from a doubled carbon dioxide concentration.

The warming argument goes that radiation from lower altitude water vapor will be absorbed by carbon dioxide molecules and emitted by them into space at cooler temperatures since they are at higher altitudes.  The cooler temperature of emission will mean that less energy is radiated into space, which results in warming the entire atmosphere.  This ignores the fact that at these altitudes, some re-emission of absorbed radiation will occur without being distributed to non-radiating molecules since the gas molecule collision rate is now much lower than in the lower troposphere.  More of the absorbing molecules are not in equilibrium with the surrounding air molecules.  The argument makes a much greater mistake, as we will see.

Let us suppose for an estimate of the maximum carbon dioxide effect that all of the emission from altitudes near 7000 m and all of the emission from water vapor molecules is captured by higher altitude carbon dioxide molecules. In fact, it is not and would not be with a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but we want to establish an upper limit on the effect claimed.  Let us suppose that instead of an emission temperature of about 242K, the carbon dioxide emission occurs at the lowest emission temperature from the tropopause beginning at about 11000 m in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of 1976 or a higher altitude in the tropics.  The tropopause temperature is about 217K.  The stratosphere is above the tropopause and the temperature increases with altitude in the stratosphere.  Again we are maximizing the size of the supposed effect in favor of the warming claim.  Let us calculate the power of emission possible by twice as many carbon dioxide molecules at the temperature of 217K:


P = 2σ T4 = 2 (5.6697 x 10-8 W/m2K4)(217)4 = 251  W/m2 


It is clear that twice as many emitters at the lowest available temperature of 217K can emit more power than they can absorb despite the lower temperature.  In fact, these cooler carbon dioxide emitters are not going to emit more power than is transmitted to them by the predominantly warmer and lower altitude water vapor molecules, but they are not going to have any problem transmitting the 195 W/m2 into space that is presently transmitted.  Therefore, they will not cause the lower atmosphere to warm up.


One of the keys to understanding the basic physics of the lower atmosphere and its effects on the temperature at the Earth's surface where we live is that surface cooling mechanisms transporting energy in the lower troposphere are very much dominated not by rapid radiation, but by the slow mechanisms of water evaporation and condensation at altitude and by convection.  Any argument that minimizes this fact is in serious error. Another critical understanding is that the temperature gradient in the troposphere is mostly due to gravity, which causes molecules which are at lower altitudes to have a higher kinetic energy and a lower potential energy than do those at higher altitude.  The increased kinetic energy at lower altitude is directly proportional to temperature, with the proportionality constant being the inverse of the heat capacity of the air molecule.  The fact that most of the radiant energy into space is from the upper troposphere means that the surface temperature will of course be much higher due to the action of gravity on air molecules.  Yes, the radiant heating of the Earth's surface also matters, but in fact it raises the surface temperature less than does the effect of gravity acting on air molecules.

Let us make a ballpark estimate of the amount of power that the surface radiates into the atmosphere and which is absorbed by the atmosphere.  I will use values for the solar absorption, thermal or convection cooling, and water evaporation cooling from Fig. 1.  These values may not be highly accurate, but the idea here is get a sense of the scale of the greenhouse gas effect.  Recall from above that the atmosphere, due to water vapor and carbon dioxide mostly, radiates infra-red radiation into space from an altitude of about 7000 meters according to the temperatures provided in the US Standard Atmosphere.  A simple calculation I provided here estimates the temperature gradient in the dry atmosphere based on an approximation of atmospheric molecular mass, general rules for the heat capacity of an ideal gas molecule, the ideal gas law, and the variation of kinetic energy with altitude provided by the gravitational field.  This yields a static atmosphere temperature gradient of 5.93K/1000m.  This is not in perfect agreement with the US Standard Atmosphere temperature gradient of 6.49K/1000m, but I know the details of my calculation and do not know all the details of theirs.  Consequently, I will use my temperature gradient in this ballpark approximation, since I know it to only be based on the temperature gradient due to gravity.  The US Standard Atmosphere of 1976 was also primarily based on the effect of gravity, but may have some other minor adjustments that I do not know about.

Fig. 1. says the solar radiation absorbed by the surface is 168 W/m2 .  The surface loses radiant infra-red energy at the rate of 40 W/m2 through the atmospheric window straight into space.  This energy is at wavelengths not absorbed by the so-called greenhouse gases.  The surface loses energy at the rate of 78 W/m2 due to water evaporation and it loses it at a rate of 24 W/m2 due to thermals or convection. The effective altitude from which infra-red active gases radiate their energy into space is about 7000m in the US Standard Atmosphere, where the temperature is 242.7K in the US Standard Atmosphere.  With a temperature gradient of 5.93K/1000m due to gravity, the surface temperature is then 284.2K,  This is less than 4K less than the 288K surface temperature, greatly reducing the possible warming effect of greenhouse gases by virtue of absorbing radiative emissions from the Earth's surface.

Let us calculate the additional net power from solar heating required to increase the surface temperature from 284.2K to 288K.  This is

P  = σ [(288K)4  - (284.2K)4] = 20 W/m

But P is also equal to

P = [ 168 - 40 -78 - 24 - R] W/m2 =  20 W/m

where R is the infra-red radiation from the surface which is absorbed by the atmosphere and the power fluxes due to absorbed solar insolation, infra-red emitted through the atmospheric window, water evaporation, and rising thermals are taken from Fig. 1.  I am assuming for reasons discussed above that there is no significant back-radiation from the atmosphere. Solving this, we find that

R = 6 W/m2 .

Now this value of the atmospheric absorption of surface emitted infra-red radiation bears a much more reasonable relation to the 40 W/m2 transmitted through the atmosphere than does the 350 W/m2 atmospheric absorption shown in Fig. 1. We know this from many an infra-red sensor application.  Infra-red sensors, such as in military applications, would be much more limited if the atmospheric window were only barely more than 10% of the normal total Earth infra-red emission. Because the W/m2 is based on several powers which are approximate, it is only a ballpark value. Continuing in this spirit, we can calculate an effective altitude for this surface radiation absorption. We will calculate the temperature of the atmospheric layer absorbing the infra-red emission from the surface that can be absorbed by the so-called greenhouse gases, chiefly water vapor:

 = 6 W/m = σ [(288K) - (T)4]  

T = 286.9K, which according to the US Standard Atmosphere temperature gradient is an altitude of about 170 meters, or about 12 times less than the 2000m implied by the IPCC Fig.1! This will be a surprise to those who believe the IPCC story, but in fact we know that the mean free path for the absorption of infra-red by water vapor near the surface is commonly only a few meters.  The absorption of the wavelengths that carbon dioxide can absorb has a longer mean free path, but that is still only a few tens of meters and water vapor absorption dominates near the surface.

This calculation shows that radiation from the surface absorbed by infra-red active gases is actually in total a small effect and that small effect is dominated by water vapor.  The IPCC hypothesis that water vapor and carbon dioxide and a smattering of other greenhouse gases contribute a warming effect causing a surface warming of about 33K is absolutely a huge exaggeration.  Gravity causes the surface to be at about 284K or a bit higher and solar radiation only has to supply another total temperature increase of about 4K.  It is not clear that there is any warming caused by greenhouse gases at all.  At most, it is a small fraction of 4K! Given that most of whatever small fraction that is is caused by water vapor, any effect by carbon dioxide is minuscule.  What is more, the carbon dioxide absorption effects are already largely saturated.  It is clear that there is simply no need for a large back-radiation warming of the surface to explain the 288K surface temperature. Indeed, if there were a large back-radiation of 324 W/m , the surface temperature would be much, much hotter than it is.

It is hardly a wonder that the size of any warming effect by CO2 has not been measured.  In fact, adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, causes a very small increase in the heat capacity of the atmosphere and that causes the temperature gradient due to gravity to decrease very slightly, causing a cooling of the surface.  There is also a very small transport of energy to higher altitudes aided by rapid infra-red transport of energy from one layer of the atmosphere to the next which will increase very slightly.  Carbon dioxide also has a small effect in absorbing solar insolation in the upper atmosphere, thereby cooling the surface as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere.  The net very small effect of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should therefore be an infinitesimal decrease in the surface temperature. What is certain is that carbon dioxide is not threatening a catastrophe and will never likely even have a measurable effect on temperatures.

It is my hope that this relatively short and simple description of aspects of the physics of the atmosphere will give the reader much to think about and open new avenues for the evaluation of the usual arguments made for catastrophic man-made warming.  Few of the scientists who might claim that this science is well-understood and agreed upon by most scientists actually understand the science.  There are many who cannot at all reasonably describe the science of the theory they claim is universally understood and agreed upon.  There are many vague and poorly examined versions of the above hypotheses for the cause of man-made warming.  To my knowledge, there is no theory that stands up to a critical examination of the physics and there is certainly none that is proven by evidence.

It is a terrible thing that many scientists have been so careless or so corrupted by government incentives and intimidation that there is no massive scientific rebellion against the catastrophic man-made global warming alarmism.  Their hypotheses are such flimsy houses of cards that they will fall apart in time. Opposition by many scientists has been growing, though most of that opposition is of the sort that the warming effects are less than catastrophic.  In the meantime, the damage has been horrible to the People in the form of less freedom and a lower standard of living due to an increased cost of energy and a loss of energy reliability.  They will also suffer from the waste of many tens of billions of their taxes on wasteful government spending in support of non-viable renewable energy projects and companies.

Those scientists who are fighting this scientific fraud are serving mankind and science. Those scientists who are perpetrating the fraud should be remembered for their infamy.  The reputation of science will suffer, but ultimately, science will prevail and the fraud will be known as such.  Many so-called scientists will be found to have failed in the practice of rational thinking and the use of the scientific method.  This will be a massive human failure, but not an actual failure of science.  After all, reality is what it is, whether fallible or corruptible humans are willing to acknowledge that reality or not.

Republicans now control the House, the Senate, the presidency, most governorships, and most state legislatures and they are not nearly as convinced about catastrophic man-made global warming as are the Democrats.  This will give the pretense of a scientific consensus about this climate alarmist theory more time to continue its collapse.  However, the Republicans will come under great fire for their reluctance to treat catastrophic man-made global warming as a real threat.  It is important that scientists who have feared to come forward and argue the truth should do so now.  We all know that politicians rarely have strong backbones.  Good scientists need to take some of the pressure off of them by putting forth good science and wrecking any appearance of a scientific consensus in favor of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis.

Updated on 29 November 2016
Updated on 3 December 2016
Updated on 4 December 2016 with a calculations based on the gravity temperature gradient to estimate properties of the surface IR radiation absorption by the atmosphere
Updated on 12 December 2016
Updated on 13 December 2016
Updated on 15 December 2016

26 November 2016

Justin Trudeau, while a controversial figure, loved socialism with all his heart.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, as part of his official statement on the overdue death of Cuban Communist and Military Dictator Fidel Castro, said:
"it is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.”
“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante."
Except of course those Cubans who fled Cuba, died in his prisons or in rebellion, or were afraid to complain about the total lack of freedom and the sad deprivation of all material needs that Castro blessed his beloved people with.

The Canadian people should be terrified that their Prime Minister could affirm the dark and life-threatening actions of the Monster of Cuba.  Under Stephen Harper, Prime Minister from 2006 to 2015, Canada climbed in the freedom rankings of nations.  As too often happens, the emptiness of the promises of the Socialists are soon forgotten and the people yearn for something for nothing once again.  They turned to the socialist Justin Trudeau in Canada as a pleasant mask to hide this dark and evil yearning.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just flashed a sight of how destructive and corrosive his core belief in socialism is.

24 November 2016

Pipeline and Coal-Fired Power Plant Alarmism

In view of the recent controversy about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Paul Driessen post I just recently put up called Pipeline Anarchy, I want to refer back to a post of mine in November 2011 called Democrat Socialism, Energy, and Pipeline Hysteria.  One of the points I made was that the U.S. was already extensively filled with oil and gas pipelines.  Many of them were old and were not nearly as safe as the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline or as the Dakota Access Pipeline.  It makes little sense to prevent the building of these pipelines on safety or environmental grounds, since they are improvements in the system.  I also pointed out that most any aquifer was already crossed by less superior pipelines.  Now we learn from Driessen's article that the Dakota Pipeline in the only area unconstructed is running parallel to an already existing pipeline.

From my earlier post:

In 2009, there were 148,622 miles of oil and oil product pipelines in the U.S.  There were also 1,539,911 miles of natural gas pipeline in the U.S.  The Keystone XL project wanted to add 1,661 miles of oil pipeline to this massive network of pipelines.  Some of the major pipelines now in existence are shown in the map below.


The green-coded pipelines are major oil pipelines, the red lines are major gas pipelines, and the blue lines are product pipelines. 

Returning to the present:

The pipeline case in which a safer pipeline is denied while less safe ones continue in use has an interesting parallel in the case against coal fired power plants.  The Obama EPA established a regulation that required power plants to release much less mercury than they do into the atmosphere.  The claim was that despite the low concentrations of mercury, a pregnant woman eating a constant diet of fish from nearby rivers might suffer some health problem based on cherry-picked studies of islanders who ate nothing but seafood from the ocean with its 200 ppm of mercury.  There have long been recommendations that pregnant women not eat too much seafood, as an abundance of caution.  But, pregnant women are presumably thought incapable of following a similar recommendation for avoiding too much fish from rivers as an abundance of caution.

See my posts Coal-Fired Power Plants Produce Insignificant Mercury and Evaluating the Mercury Emissions Danger from Coal-Fired Power Plants.  It is clear that many areas of the country should be evacuated due to the overwhelming concentrations of mercury from natural sources of mercury, such as the mineral cinnabar if the mercury from coal-fired power plants is a problem.  If it is safe to live in much of the American Southwest and the southern Great Plains states, then it is generally immaterial whether one lives near a coal-fired power plant as far as mercury exposure is concerned.

It is also of no significance that coal-fired power plants produce more carbon dioxide than do natural gas power plants or than wind generators do for reasons described in Why Greenhouse Gas Theory is Wrong -- An Examination of the Theoretical Basis.

But, we must have many horrors, terrors, and alarms from which ever bigger government can pretend to save us.

26 Nov 2016:  10 other fossil fuel pipelines cross the Missouri River upstream from the Dakota Access Pipeline already.


22 November 2016

Dismantling the Business Oppressive Dodd-Frank Act

The new minority leader in the Senate, Democrat Chuck Schumer, has been chortling that he has the votes to prevent the repeal of the anti-business growth Dodd-Frank Act.  Dodd-Frank was passed by Democrats on the heels of the Great Recession as a means of deflecting criticism from the government and its policies on home mortgages to pretend that the causes of the Great Recession were entirely or mostly due to private financial institutions.  Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank had been among the most vociferous advocates of the government policy of easy credit for home loans and had explicitly claimed before the financial crash that there was no looming credit risk.  President-elect Trump has pledged to repeal Dodd-Frank, which is a very good idea.

A very interesting article in the 17 November Wall St. Journal by Peter Wallison discusses both the false pretenses that were used to justify the Dodd-Frank Act and the harm done to recovery from the recession and to economic growth rates by that act.  On the matter of whether the act actually addressed the causes of the recession and a few of its consequences:
Signed into law in 2010, Dodd-Frank was based on the idea that insufficient regulation, particularly of Wall Street, had allowed a buildup of subprime mortgages, a housing bubble and, ultimately, the 2008 financial crisis. The Democrats who controlled the Congress elected in 2008 acted quickly to follow out the implications of this diagnosis by adopting Dodd-Frank, the most restrictive financial legislation since the New Deal. 
Strikingly for such important legislation, there was no significant debate in Congress about whether the cause of the crisis had been correctly identified.
A later study, in 2014 by my colleague at the American Enterprise Institute Edward Pinto, showed that by 2008 more than half of all mortgages in the U.S. were subprime or otherwise risky, and 76% of those were on the books of government agencies. This leaves no doubt that government housing policies—and not a lack of regulation—created the demand for these risky mortgages. But by then it was too late. 
It is not difficult to find connections between Dodd-Frank and the historically slow recovery from the financial crisis. Here’s a sampling. 
The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a Dodd-Frank invention, was empowered to designate large financial firms as systemically important financial institutions, or SIFIs, turning them over to the Federal Reserve for “stringent” regulation. One of the council’s earliest actions, in July 2013, designated GE Capital as a SIFI. 
GE soon recognized that its huge financial subsidiary was wilting under the Fed’s control. Seeking an exit, GE wound down GE Capital, eliminating from the market an important source of funding for small and innovative firms. 
The Volcker rule, another Dodd-Frank provision, prohibited banks and their affiliates from trading securities for their own account, although there was no evidence that this activity had any role in the financial crisis. 
Soon, trading desks all over Wall Street were closing down, and traders were complaining that the debt markets were dangerously short of liquidity. The Treasury Department, deeply tied into Dodd-Frank, said it was “studying” the issue. It still is, and spreads are still historically wide. 
Small banks, the credit sources for small businesses and startups, faced new and costly regulation, requiring them to hire compliance officers instead of lending officers. 
One regulation on mortgage lending from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—a Dodd-Frank agency—was over 1,000 pages long. Imagine that landing on your desk in a small bank. 
No wonder, as this newspaper recently reported, banks are no longer the nation’s principal mortgage lenders. Worse still, as reported last week, job gains at startup firms, which are major sources of new employment and technological innovation, are at their lowest level in 20 years.
I added the bold to the sentence in the quoted portion of the article.

20 November 2016

Pipeline anarchy by Paul Driessen

Pipeline anarchy

Trump win fuels more rampant theft and destruction – and North Dakota citizens pay the price

Paul Driessen

Is this to be our future? Last week’s elections will soon end autocratic rule via executive fiat, the war on coal and hydrocarbons, IRS agents targeting conservative groups, government SWAT teams invading businesses and homes, and numerous other Abuses and Usurpations.

But now we’re getting leftist anarchy and riots – with mindless, incoherent radicals smashing Portland storefronts, beating a Chicago motorist, and pummeling a ninth grade Woodside, CA Trump supporter.

Amid it all, the epitome of nihilist, watermelon environmentalist, criminal, sore-loser fury is raging south of Bismarck, North Dakota, where thousands of “peaceful protesters” are camping illegally on federal and private lands, “venting their anger” over the Dakota Access Pipe Line.

This $3.8-billion, 1,172-mile, state-of-the-art, 30-inch conduit will carry 470,000 barrels of oil daily from the state’s Bakken oil fields to Illinois. It’s about 85% complete, and the only segment left to be finished in North Dakota is a 1,000-foot passage under Lake Oahe, a manmade reservoir on the Missouri River. DAPL runs parallel to the existing Northern Border natural gas pipeline, through the same area and under the lake.
 
The pipeline would replace 700 railroad tanker cars or 2,000 semi-trailer highway tanker trucks per day. It has created thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs. Bakken’s light, sweet crude oil replaces imports, fuels our vehicles, powers our economy, and provides raw materials for many essential products.

Since it is underground, once it is installed and grasses are planted, the pipeline will be invisible except for occasional pumping stations, valves and other facilities. Modern metals, warning systems, automatic shutoff valves, 24/7/365 monitoring and other safeguards minimize the risk of spills – and nearly 140 revisions rerouted the DAPL around populated areas and sensitive ecological, archaeological, sacred and historic sites. The pipeline is 99.98% on private land and is covered by easements and other agreements.

All these and other issues were addressed repeatedly and thoughtfully during a three-year, 389-meeting review and approval process. Landowners, communities, environmentalists and citizens provided input, and 55 Native American groups were consulted. Prominent in their refusal to participate were the Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation is a half-mile from Lake Oahe, where the pipeline is set to cross.

Only now are Standing Rock tribal leaders and members voicing opposition. Not surprisingly, they have been joined by Indians from across America, and by a motley assortment of activists, agitators and anarchists whom friendly media and politicians insist on praising as “peaceful resisters” against an industrial intrusion that “threatens” the climate, tribal culture, drinking water, historic artifacts and sacred sites. A United Nations “special rappoteur” on human rights claims law enforcement officials are using “violent” tactics against arrested protesters and subjecting them to “inhuman and degrading” conditions!
   
These claims are “tonka chesli” – Lakota for BS.

These thousands of militants are trespassing. They’ve wiped out forage that ranchers were depending on to feed their cattle and bison during fall and winter months. They blockade roads and rail lines, set fires to make passage impossible, and harass reporters who question their actions. One tried to shoot a deputy. They have burned bridges, destroyed millions of dollars of construction equipment, chased livestock until they lose their calves or die of exhaustion – and killed, maimed or eaten cattle, horses and domesticated buffalo. They’ve promised far more destructive actions, and even issued death threats against their critics.

A favorite tactic employs “peaceful dissidents” and “prayer groups” to block and distract ranchers and sheriff’s deputies from an area, while others destroy nearby fence wire and posts. One rancher told me repairing just the fence on the ranch where they graze buffalo will cost at least $300,000 and weeks of hard work. The anarchists obviously don’t care about innocent people who are caught in the middle.
   
Other ranchers’ lost forage and animals, time and fuel spent on repairs, and other expenses will cost well over $500,000. No one has offered any compensation, even though the militants have millions of dollars.

Washington Times journalist Valerie Richardson reports that, as of November 1, the militants’ Sacred Stone camp alone raised $1.3 million for supplies on GoFundMe and $1.2 million on FundRazr for legal defense. The Red Warrior Camp quickly collected $142,000 via GoFundMe and $105,000 in legal defense cash on IndieGogo, even though the Standing Rock council is frustrated and wants them gone.

Rumors run rampant that the “protesters” are also raking in bundles of welfare checks, plus “charitable and educational contributions” from “progressive” billionaires like Tom Steyer (coal), George Soros (currency speculation), Warren Buffett (railroads and tanker cars); outfits they fund, such as the Tides Foundation, 350.org, EarthJustice and Indigenous Environmental Network; and various Russian, Saudi and other foreign sources that would like to keep US oil and gas locked up.

Perhaps the abundant cash will attract corporate and pro bono lawyers, legal foundations and attorneys general who can freeze the assets and pursue individual or joint and several liability claims, plus punitive damages, to compensate ranchers, other locals and companies – and dissuade future lawlessness.

Last January, 26 peaceful ranchers who encamped on federal wildlife refuge property in Oregon were arrested, one was shot and killed, and the survivors were charged with, tried for (and found not guilty of) theft, conspiracy and weapons violations. Many wonder why these North Dakota militants and criminals are getting a free pass, glowing press coverage, and millions of dollars from crime-financing enablers.

The nearly completed DAPL has to cross the river somewhere and will pose the same low pollution risks wherever it goes. But it will be built with the utmost care, with the best technologies and materials.

So what is actually driving these destructive, vindictive, violent protests against this convenient “poster child” pipeline?

* True-believers are obsessed with “dangerous manmade climate change” – to justify and obscure their real agenda: a new world economic order to replace capitalism, global wealth redistribution, and UN control of development, livelihoods and living standards, for rich, poor and emerging nations alike.

* The “keep it in the ground” anti-hydrocarbon movement prefers blanketing the USA and planet with billions of solar panels, wind turbines and biofuel fields, to produce expensive, subsidized, unreliable energy – while killing birds, bats and other wildlife by the millions – rather than producing affordable energy-dense fossil fuels from holes in the ground, and transporting them by pipeline. (Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II supports much greater emphasis on renewable energy.)

* Radical elements among Native Americans (and Canadian Indigenous Peoples) want to control the land, water, energy and lives of white people whose predecessors took their ancestral lands. Their feelings are understandable. But imagine the chaos this would cause and the precedent their success would set for Europe, Latin America, China, Hawaii, the Middle East and beyond, as PC politics rewrite history. 

* The anarchists think they have a right to vilify and void laws, processes, approvals and property rights – even threaten lives. 90% of those arrested have been out-of-state agitators, and many get paid to raise hell.

* And of course, they are outraged, inconsolable and defiant over Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

They have no grasp of basic facts. Pipelines are safer than trucks or rail cars. This low-pressure line is state-of-the-art and will be monitored constantly and inspected regularly. High-cost renewable energy impacts small businesses, hospitals, blue-collar workers, and poor and minority families the hardest. And President Obama’s refusal to accept a court order or speak out against the crime is fueling the insanity.

Hopefully, President Trump, governors, AGs, other elected officials, and publicly spirited lawyers and judges will do the right thing: shut these anarchists down, compensate ranchers and other victims – and award punitive damages against the Big Green operatives who have caused so much damage, under the guise of freedom of speech (for them only) and phony concern for Native culture and the environment. 

Then finish the pipeline, renew our focus on energy we can count on, and put America back to work.


Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on the environment. 

18 November 2016

Only 8 Years Ago Alarmists Were Sure the U.S. Was Out of Gas

Many environmentalists and anti-business people in the U.S., most centered in the Democrat Socialist Party, were sure that the U.S. production of oil and gas was going to rapidly dwindle.  It was one of their many reasons for attacking U.S. oil companies as dinosaurs of the past.  It was time to make these dinosaurs extinct, at least with a government-controlled and accelerated culling and size-reduction plan.  Oil and gas when burned both produced the fatal gas carbon dioxide, which was claimed to be slowly or not so slowly killing the planet.  We were told that the only energy that made sense was the so-called renewable energy sources of windmills, photovoltaic devices, and all sorts of plants grown for fuel.  These people backed Obama for the presidency in 2008 and were rewarded as he allowed less and less production of oil and gas on the incredible acreage of federal lands and in the many off-shore areas controlled by the federal government.  Meanwhile, windmills and photovoltaic device arrays were offered subsidies and mandates with claims they would replace coal, oil, and gas in large part soon.

Because the renewable sources of energy proved, as I and many others said they would, to be expensive and unreliable, they have effectively proven to be non-renewable.  Investments in these energy sources have often failed and when they did not, it was only because of the subsidies and mandates that they managed a slow growth in energy output capability.  Let us compare the oil dinosaur in vigor:

The production information is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  The year at the bottom of the dip is 2008 when production was 1,829,985,000 barrels of oil, well down from the maximum production in 1970 of 3,517,450,000 barrels.  As the fracking revolution in oil production began, Obama was off-setting its initial gains by restricting oil production on federal lands.  In 2011, however, fracking oil production on private lands really took-off.  In 2015, oil production in U.S. fields was back to 3,436,515,000 barrels of oil.  Now, with the blessed end of the Obama Regime and the apparent desire of OPEC to give up its ruinous price war on oil, there is nothing to keep oil production in the U.S. from continuing to increase.  An end to the suppression of U.S. energy production heralded by the Trump administration and a Republican Congress as well, will be a great boon to the U.S. economy.

The story of shale oil production in the U.S. is shown below:


U.S. oil production already appeared certain to soon exceed that at its prior peak of 1970.  But at some point the Bakken and Eagle Ford and other known shale oil fields are likely to see lowered production.  Will other undiscovered oil fields take their place?  Yes!

In September, Apache Corp. announced that it Alpine High field in an area of the Permian Basin in West Texas holds 1.1 - 2.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil at current prices.  This area had been drilled many times by other companies with no finding of economically recoverable oil.

Then comes the blockbuster announcement by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that the Wolfcamp Shale in the Midland Basin portion of the Permian Basin has 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil at current prices and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  Compare this to the largest oil producing field in North America, the Prudhoe Bay field of the north slope of Alaska with the 12 billion barrels of oil produced over 43 years.  The largest producing field in the Lower 48 is the East Texas oil field, which has produced 7 billion barrels of oil since the early 1930s.  The Wolfcamp Shale is now expected to produce nearly 3 times the oil of the Bakken - Three Forks capacity according to the USGS assessment in 2013.  The Wolfcamp Shale capacity is nearly 19 times that of the Eagle Ford field according to its 2012 assessment by the USGS.

Over time, the USGS estimates prove to be low due to increased knowledge about the oil field geology and to improvements in extraction technology.  How true this is, is clear from the fact that Midland, Texas is well within the Wolfcamp Shale area.  This huge discovery is entirely based on new technology, not on a failure of many an oil company to examine the area for its oil possibilities. Recall that George W. Bush spent his oil years in Midland, which had been an oil center prior to his arrival.

At current prices, the Wolfcamp Shale oil is worth about $900 billion.  Pioneer Natural Resources has drilling rights on 785,000 acres within the large field.  ConocoPhillips has Wolfcamp Shale holdings of 1.8 billion barrels.

I am sure that President Trump will be very happy to claim credit for all the new jobs that will be produced by the production of the Wolfcamp Shale!  Assuming he does not act as Obama has to try to suppress oil production, I suppose we will have to give him a portion of the credit, though in a healthier context we would give all of the credit to the oil field innovators and production experts of our wonderful private sector.

16 November 2016

Krugman and Schramm: The Fool and the Wise Man

Paul Krugman, post-election: "It is true that we've been adding jobs at a pretty good pace and are quite close to full employment."

Prof. Carl J. Schramm, Opinion in 16 Nov 2016 Wall St. Journal:  "Despite the addition of 161,000 jobs in October, the labor-force participation rate fell to its second lowest level in nearly 40 years, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve.... America needs at least 325,000 new jobs every month to stanch the growing numbers of discouraged workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

How low the left sets the bar for employment!  High employment is clearly not one of their premier goals.

Prof. Schramm, of Syracuse University, once headed the Kaufmann Foundation, which promotes American entrepreneurship.  He notes that:

  • Firms less than 5 years old create more than 80% of new jobs.
  • Fewer than 500,000 new businesses were started in 2015, which is a 30% decrease since 2008.
  • Over the last 8 years, the number of new businesses has decreased by more than 1 million.  The missing new businesses mean 7 to 10 million missing jobs, which would have been enough to provide jobs to the millions of discouraged workers.
  • New businesses are more likely to be started when the economy is growing at a 4% rate than when it is growing at a 2% rate.  The faster growth rate gives consumers the confidence to buy the innovative products of start-up companies.
  • Too much attention is given to Silicon Valley whose start-ups are only about 5% of all start-ups and have higher failure rates and create proportionally fewer jobs than the businesses started by franchisees, which are 40% of all new businesses.
  • Dodd-Frank suppressed the financing by local banks of local businesses in their communities, whose business prospects they are best qualified to gauge.
  • Municipal regulations are particularly protective of older businesses and likely to discriminate against new businesses.
Address these problems and he says we can enjoy 4% economic growth.  The first step was to remove the anti-jobs, anti-business party from the presidency.

15 November 2016

Post-Mortem Observations on the 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton is claiming that she lost the election because FBI Director Comey re-opened the investigation of her criminal e-mail activities days before the election.  In reality, her speculation and that of many others claiming a single reason for her loss, or for that matter a loss in any close presidential race, is simply silly.  It was a close contest and the loser was the loser for many, many reasons.  Yes, changing one or two choices the candidate made might have made the difference and brought victory instead of defeat.  But, almost always there are many choices any one of which might have changed the outcome of the election.

Broadly speaking, Hillary might have had a more positive attitude toward allowing businesses to grow, and she would have won the election.  In fact, she might well have won the election had she simply not been a threat to those who earn a living in whole or in part due to the coal industry and due to the fracking of oil and gas.  She very barely lost Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes and while she lost Ohio rather more decisively, it was still an obtainable state.  Hillary especially lost votes in western PA and in eastern and southern OH, relative to Obama's results.  See the US map on the front page of The Wall Street Journal of 10 November 2016, which color codes the degree of the Democrat vote loss relative to the 2012 election.  These are areas in which coal was long a mainstay to the economy and in which the recent booms due to oil and gas from fracking operations have produced an economic revival.

So, did Hillary lose the 38 electoral votes of OH and PA because she was threatening the fossil fuels and all the service providers of these areas?  Had she won those votes and still lost Michigan, she would have had 270 electoral college votes to Trump's 268 electoral votes, assuming his win in MI holds up.  Her completely bogus and irrational vendetta against these industries may well have cost her the election.  Irrational choices often have direful consequences. As hard as I have fought to argue against the false catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis and such additional bogus claims such as measurable harm from mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, Hillary's loss of the election due to her desire to destroy the fossil fuel industries is sweet indeed.

Of course, Obama had himself threatened the coal industry, but many people did not take that so seriously back then.  Whatever his predilections, they may have thought that Congress would keep him from destroying the industry.  As it happened, Obama used the regulatory agencies to do that destruction, so a Hillary following him and using the same strategies had to be taken as a more serious threat in this election. In addition, the growth of the oil and gas production in eastern and southern Ohio and in western Pennsylvania was remarkable in the four years straddling Obama's re-election, with the realization of the importance of fracking to the benefiting areas of OH and PA taking some time to occur to much of the population in those areas.  Try as hard as Obama's EPA did to find an excuse to attack the fracking practice, they had limited success in doing so, though pressure among the "environmental" Democrats continues to mount for doing so.  Some unnecessary and wrongheaded regulations based on the catastrophic man-made global warming fraud are in the pipeline now.

Some Democrats like to make a big deal about Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by about 798,000 votes.  Of course the rules are that one has to win the electoral vote, which requires the candidates to try to appeal to people across the nation.  This requirement helps to minimize factions in politics, which we surely have more than enough of as it is.  It helps to keep candidates from just favoring those who live in high population density areas.  It helps to keep them from stomping on the interests of those who live in low cost of living areas too much.  In other words, it penalizes those who want to exterminate the industries that some people depend upon for a living if they do not live in those high population areas.  It means that if you promote a minimum wage of $15 an hour for the entire nation, you might incur a political cost for the concerns that many people living in low cost of living areas, almost always outside high population density areas, will have about losing their jobs or their businesses.  It even serves as a bit of protection against those who would discriminate against people based on their ethnicity, since ethnicity is not evenly distributed across the country or between low and high population density areas.

Hillary needs to grow up and realize that she lost the election according to its rules.  Of course, it is too late for her to ever grow up.  But others may still have that within their grasp.  The claim that those extra 798,000 votes mean much is diminished by a number of additional factors.  For one, the Democrats rack up a few hundred thousand illegal votes in presidential elections.  In addition, because the most populous state of California, which is heavily Democratic, had a Senate election in which both candidates on the ballot were very leftist Democrats, the Republicans of that state had much less incentive to go to the polls than did Democrats.  As a result, Trump did not get many votes in California that he would have had if a Republican had been allowed on the ballot in that Senate seat contest.  The Democrats of California have found an interesting way to diminish the meaning of the popular vote for the presidential elections.

It is interesting to note that Republicans in the elections for the House of Representatives received 3.1 million more votes than did the Democrats running for House seats.  The Republicans won 238 House seats to the Democrats 193 seats.  Republicans won 22 Senate seats (counting LA which is not technically decided until December) and the Democrats won only 12. Trump won 30 (counting MI) of the 50 state popular vote contests.  Even with a Republican presidential candidate who was not all that popular, the Republicans trounced the Democrats.  Nonetheless, such a beating can be reversed in the next election cycle if the Republicans do not keep enough of their promises, such as finally repealing ObamaCare and allowing the economy to grow.