Does “Ooker” Estridge Know Something the Experts Don’t?

Tangier Island, a marshy, low-lying island of about 1.2 square miles  in the Chesapeake Bay, would seem to be Virginia’s poster child for sea-level rise. The island, according to Wikipedia, has lost about two-thirds of its land mass since 1850. There had been a universal belief, I thought, that the island is headed for oblivion as sea level continues to creep higher, whether at the same slow-but-steady rate that has held over the past century or at the accelerated rate postulated by those who hew to the most pessimistic global warming scenarios.

But the assumption of a rising sea level is not embraced universally. The mayor of Tangier, an incorporated town that serves the island’s 500 souls, attributes the island’s shrinkage to erosion, not sea level rise.

Mayor James Eskridge. Photo credit: Associated Press.

The views of James “Ooker” Eskridge gained national exposure when he appeared in a CNN Town Hall devoted to Al Gore’s documentary, “”An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” and said to the former vice president, “”I’m not a scientist, but I’m a keen observer. If sea level rise is occurring, why am I not seeing signs of it?”

US News provides a few additional details:

Eskridge, 58, a lifelong waterman who harvests crabs from the bay, was among the 87 percent of voters in this deeply spiritual community who supported [President] Trump.

When CNN aired a segment on Tangier’s plight in June, Eskridge told meteorologist Jennifer Gray: “I love Trump as much as any family member I got.”

Eskridge and others believe that erosion, not sea-level rise, is the real threat because they can see it. And they believe infrastructure, such as a sea wall around the island, can save it.

“The erosion that’s taking place you can almost see every week, every month for sure,” he told The Associated Press in May.

During his interview with CNN, Eskridge said: “Donald Trump, if you see this … whatever you can do, we welcome any help you can give us.”

A colorful fellow, Eskridge makes good news copy. But the media seem to be treating him as curiosity. And perhaps for good reason. From all the evidence I have seen — and you don’t have to be a Global Warming alarmist to believe it — the global sea level has been rising at a consistent rate for as long as it has been measured (although the rate has varied somewhat locally)

On the other hand, Eskridge does live on Tangier Island, and he he knows the local waters intimately. No one seems to have asked him why he thinks erosion, not sea level rise, is behind the island’s diminution. What evidence does he have? Perhaps he knows something that the scientists don’t. Perhaps there are dynamics they have failed to consider. Someone ought to ask him. He may have no idea what he’s talking about. But then again, maybe he does.

As for the mayor’s proposed solution — building a sea wall around the populated portion of the island — that’s an entirely different matter. Building a wall (it sounds very Trumpian, doesn’t it?) might sound like a great idea if you’re a Tangier resident and someone else is paying for it. But someone must ask, how much would it cost compared to the economic benefit of saving the island’s 500 or so residents from inundation?

I’ll concede that there is some sentimental value in saving a community that has been in place since the 1770s and has preserved a unique dialect dating back to the 18th century or earlier. The island is a historic artifact of times gone by. But is Tangier more special than any other endangered community that can trace its roots back a hundred years or more? We cannot escape the reality that our society has finite resources and that any sum spent on, say, preserving Tangier Island, cannot be spent on a project helping someone else.

It’s safe to say that I’m dissatisfied with the rigor of thinking all the way around.

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35 responses to “Does “Ooker” Estridge Know Something the Experts Don’t?

  1. The Chesapeake Bay is a funny place – maybe not the best laboratory for measuring the impact of climate change. At the mouth of the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore sits and odd leaning lighthouse known as Sharp’s Island Light. As you’ll read in the attached article, Sharp’s Island Light was originally built to warn mariners of the presence of Sharp’s Island in the middle of the Bay. Once comprising 600 acres Sharp’s Island was once a farm and a bayside resort. It now lies under 10 feet of water. Hard to imagine that climate change caused the Bay to rise 15 feet in the last 150 years swamping Sharp’s Island. No, there are many forces at play in the Chesapeake Bay. Ole Ooker may be right about erosion. Or, Tangier Island may be sinking the same way that Sharp’s Island sank – in which case no wall will help.

    https://www.proptalk.com/sharps-island/

  2. erosion usually is caused by water flowing from a higher level to a lower level.
    and it occurs over longer periods of time regardless of climate change.

    That means Tangier should have been “eroding” continuously more than 300 years or longer and would have looked like this:

    ?width=930

    ..and you would have seen that kind of thing on other islands and shorelines near Tangier…

    I think DJ has it more right to be honest…

    and if this type of thing IS happening all around the bay including places like Norfolk and Portsmouth – you got bigger issues than just Tangier.. and yes.. there will be the issue of who is going to pay for building sea walls.. everywhere.. and you can bet that if you build a seawall in one place with govt money – there are going to be a whole lot of other hands extended waiting for their money also.

    So this comes on the heels of folks in BR calling for the abandonment of SW Va.. because they are a “lost cause” .. and we should not be tossing bad money after good?

    Does this also apply to Tangier and other places around the bay?

  3. djrippert is right – many forces at play in the Bay. Created by a meteor, it will be silting up thru “succession” over millennia even with no humans at all. To address, first, conventional ChesBay pollution concerns of nutrients and sediment – anthropogenic pollution from agricultural and urban runoff is accelerating the siltation. OTOH, siltation led to extensive weltands creation (such as at the mouth of the Mississippie) and soil conservation measures starve those wetlands of their sediment budget, resulting in subsidence….

    So all that is independent of sea level rise. Addressing climate change and GHG is a global effort with global benefits, unlike conventional air and water quality initiatives, with extensive local and regional benefits. Tangiers Island likely holds few to no lessons for us for climate change – but I’m sure Ooker will find many fans.

    • I clicked on that link, but I did not find any graphs. I did find a graph at the sourced document on that page showing a sea level rise of more than 80 mm since the mid-1990’s. Several years during that span have seen a drop from the prior year but the trend line is increasing steadily.

  4. Larry,

    You keep using the word “abandon”, but it is your word choice. Jim did not use that word in that article about SW Virginia. No one else did either. I used it only to describe gold and silver boomtowns that were abandoned by its inhabitants, who went to look for other opportunities, not by the government. There was no government support back then to appeal to.

    I can’t speak for others, but my point is more narrow. It is generally pretty futile to fight against things like big macroeconomic shifts, islands submerging or being eroded by changing wave and tide patterns. You also don’t tug on Superman’s cape or spit into the wind. I think we have to start from a realistic outlook and develop any policy from that position.

    (Caveat — I don’t know specifics about Tangiers. It could be an inexpensive groin or breakwater would work.)

    • Izzo – what’s the right word instead of “abandon”?

      and I agree … that fighting against macroeconomic trends is not productive but that does not mean you cannot adapt…

      but in terms of what to do about Tangiers… IF the problem is basically the land is subsiding and/or the water is rising… then it’s probably not just Tangiers, right? Tangiers becomes the “canary”.

  5. Probably Tangiers will meet it’s end from a surge-type storm similar to Sandy which flooded places that had not been flooded before – including subway tunnels… Bob McDonnell promised to put a seawall on the side lacking a seawall in 2012 but the people on Tangier’s are quoted in news reports to be “frustrated” with the Government for “too much study and not enough “do” and so they were heartened to hear that Trump promised to help them just like he promised to help places like SW Va… which is sort of curious coming from folks who say they are tired of “big govt”… but I digress…

  6. Maybe both perspectives are ‘sorta’ right.

    I think there are a few words missing from each side’s vocabulary. Terms like … land subsidence, measurable mean sea level, increased storm surge and hurricane activity. If your vocabulary includes climate change, could ‘erosion’ be as real as the Islanders observe because that ‘erosion’ is brought about by higher sea levels combined with land subsidence as seen in Norfolk?. And … higher sea levels expand the reach of storm related flooding, something that is seen as creating greater economic risks here in the South… greater storm surges happen as sea level rises. Or call the effects of that combination – ’erosion’.

    Risky Business (https://riskybusiness.org) has put together a very good report, backed by a lot of concerned people like Hank Paulson, Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. The report is a Climate Risk Assessment for the United States with head researchers from Cal Berkeley and Rutgers as well as The Rhodium Group, experts at risk assessment.

    The report tells us we must look differently at each region in the country because the effects will be different. Norfolk is cited in the South East … “Our research shows a significant risk to this region from sea level rise. On our current path, by mid-century, mean sea level at Norfolk, Virginia – home to the nation’s largest naval base- will likely rise between 1.1 feet and 1.7 feet, and will rise 2.5 feet to 4.4 feet by the end of the century. “ Their clincher … by century’s end sea levels could actually rise in Norfolk by 6.5 feet.

    What does this mean for the island? Not knowing it’s relation to sea level, the risks look extremely high, to which you have to add the problems of a “silting up” Bay. To quote Teddie Roosevelt as Risky Business does … “Risk is like fire: if controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled it will rise up and destroy you.“ An admittedly grim thought unless we get into the control framework and do what we can the change the trajectory!

  7. It strikes me there are many factors not being considered. I’m not arguing against the proposition that human activity could be affecting the climate and especially not against work toward low-price and reliable renewable energy.

    First, one must be at least somewhat skeptical about any report or study that provides the answer the sponsor is seeking. Challenges to credibility occur every day in court and often before federal agencies. This does not mean the report or study is wrong, but consultants generally try to please their sponsors. Any report’s credibility must be examined, along with that of its sponsor.

    We need to be suspicious of any person or entity that is seeking taxpayer dollars or regulatory decisions that favor its views. This applies to both extremes in the debate. I don’t trust Exxon Mobile any more than I trust the Sierra Club and vice versa. I don’t trust Tom Strayer any more than the Koch Brothers and vice versa.

    How do we know what is “normal” for temperature, climate characteristics, sea level, etc.? Humanity has seen but a single hair of giant furry bear of the Earth’s history. The idea that we know what is normal is arrogant beyond belief. Could we be trying to hold back a normal change in climate? What if the climate experienced by the last 200 years of mankind is abnormal?

    How do we address the equities amongst the stakeholders? I get the U.S. Navy’s concerns about its naval base in Norfolk. It has both an internal and an external (taxpayer) interest in planning for a potential rise in sea level. I understand the concerns of cities, businesses and residents who live near the ocean or within a tidewater area. But how do you balance their private interests against the cities, businesses and residents of other places who are being asked to “pay” for a substantial portion of the costs of protecting the private interests of those likely affected by a rising sea level? Is it in the public interest for residents of Ohio to subsidize the interests of residents of coastal Virginia?

    And what about the benefits of a warmer climate? Of course there are costs for a warmer climate. I believe some environmental groups have estimated the 2100 costs as being around 2-3% of national GDP. But economics suggests the benefits be measured. For example, Ohio farmers might experience a longer growing season with greater profits. Warmer winters might reduce the heating costs for residents of North Dakota. The City of Chicago might be able to reduce its snow removal and road repair costs. How does this fit into the analysis? If we decide residents of Ohio need to pay more in taxes, regulatory costs, or energy bills to protect residents of coastal Virginia, shouldn’t the latter be required to pay for the loss of benefits that North Dakota or Chicago residents would gain from warmer winters?

    And then how do we address those whose property consists of land that has been reclaimed from the sea? Much of what flooded in Manhattan as a result of Hurricane Sandy was property located on landfill – land created by humanity. Do these people have an equal right to protection? Or beach homes located on barrier islands?

    “Maybe both perspectives are ‘sorta’ right.” I wish we could have a national discussion at a level that is beyond that of the lobbyists and editorial writers.

    • This is one of the most insightful and important comments I have read on Bacon’s Rebellion. Comments such as:

      “One must be at least somewhat skeptical about any report or study that provides the answer the sponsor is seeking … This does not mean the report or study is wrong, but consultants generally try to please their sponsors. Any report’s credibility must be examined, along with that of its sponsor.”

      “We need to be suspicious of any person or entity that is seeking taxpayer dollars or regulatory decisions that favor its views.”

      These comments hold the seed of a larger concern. One most people, including most in mainstream media cannot see or will not admit. Most notably the federal governments attempt to dominate expert opinion in this country.

      Some of this has been going on since the nation’s founding.

      For example government contractors of all sorts and kinds:

      Lawyers should tell their clients the truth, particularly when the client is in real jeopardy without it. But clients, including the government, who hire lawyers to achieve their business, political or personal ambitions typically are not interested in the truth of a matter but in finding whoever can serve their personal interests. The lawyer who lets truth stand in the way of the clients ambitions will be replaced by others who achieve the clients ambitions irrespective of truth.

      More and More, buying the best lawyers in town offer the best chance of success. Indeed wealthy private interests will often now buy ALL of the best lawyers in town in an effort to neuter their opponents on an issue. So will the government.

      More and more this holds true in the hiring all kinds of experts – traffic consultants, financial advisers, accountants, scientists, whatever, whatever.

      Over the recent decade, the US Federal Government, has entered into playing this game on a scale never before in America. The Federal government using regulations, threats, and vast sums of money, to buy expert opinion on every subject that is of interest to the Federal government.

      Indeed the federal government has recently brought or tried to buy whole industries – Health care insurance, health care generally, higher education, energy production, scientific and technical research, innovation, and opinion of all kinds. And the Federal Government has done its takeovers, or attempts to, with the express purpose of driving its own political and ideology, weaponizing newly captive institutions, constituencies, and disciplines, to defeat its political opponents, overwhelm the nations political and constitutional process and maintain leaders’ grip on the nation.

      The results threaten the entire nation in myriad of ways.

  8. There is a long term trend of gradual sea level increase that apparently is unrelated to climate change. The question becomes what else is going on? (many other factors including possible climate change impacts). The new mini-island forming at Cape Hatteras sounds like a great fishing spot, like to cast me a line off of that.

    Ocean City MD had a boon years ago when a big storm washed out the inlet to the Ocean from a former lake (whose name I will not mention) now a Bay. If that had happened today…well, (fill in the blanks). OK I fill it in, it would be taken as 100% proof of pending of climate change disasters.

  9. re: ” provides the answer the sponsor is seeking. Challenges to credibility occur every day in court and often before federal agencies. This does not mean the report or study is wrong, but consultants generally try to please their sponsors. Any report’s credibility must be examined, along with that of its sponsor.”

    what sponsors? You have 98% of the scientists – around the world with multiple hundreds of “sponsors”… are you suggesting some kind of conspiracy?

    re: ” And what about the benefits of a warmer climate? Of course there are costs for a warmer climate.”

    so you’d believe the “benefits” but you’d disbelieve the impacts?

    drowned ports cities, tropical diseases, more and more destructive storms and surge tide hurricanes… versus “benefits”?

    but.. we can’t believe the scientists who has “sponsors” .. ??? but we’d believe who about the ‘benefits’?

    that’s not an even keel perspective TMT… that’s a wackadoodle perspective… sorry

    • Larry, one can accept the statement 97% of “climate scientists” agree that human activity is affecting climate change and my points remain valid. Each scientist’s credentials stand on their own. I’ve read a few articles by “climate scientists” who had degrees in economics and political science. I question whether they are educationally qualified to be a recognized expert in climate science. This even holds true for some who have degrees in a science field, such as chemistry or biology. In any event, it is legitimate to examine one’s credentials. Many would pass; some would not. But each scientist’s credentials should be subject to public review.

      Also, each study stands on its own merits. What are the assumptions? What type of analysis was done? Does the study support the conclusions? Has the author ever conducted a study that produced a different result? Competing studies are common in the legal and public policy fields. And again, the financial arrangements for the study are appropriate for examination. Poking at a study does not mean the study is invalid. But a study that cannot withstand poking likely is of little value. Even a good scientist can produce a study that has some biases in it.

      And even if a study is valid, the author should be able to answer the questions I asked. For example, how does the author know that the climate period that the author believes should be protected is a normal representation of Earth’s climate? Absent some evidence on this point, the study really becomes economic and political. For example, if normal is really warmer, imposing economic and regulatory burdens on some people to protect a climate status that is not “normal” forces the latter to transfer wealth to others.

      And clearly there are costs to society if the climate warms from any point in time. And those costs should be considered. But at the same time, there are benefits to society if the climate warms from any point in time. The benefits need to be compared to the costs and a net figure arrived. If North Carolina were to lose the Outer Banks, there would be a cost. But, at the same time, if Ohio farm production and income goes up 50% because of longer growing seasons or the State of Illinois reduces its heating bills and weather-related road maintenance because of milder winters, those benefits must offset some of the costs. Any study that doesn’t consider both costs and benefits is bogus.

      Of course, just like illegal immigration, the costs and benefits affect people differently. One could make an argument that Ohio and Illinois should reimburse North Carolina for some of the costs for losing or for protecting the Outer Banks. But at the same time, one can argue North Carolina should pay something to Ohio and Illinois for their loss if measures are taken to prevent climate change from delivering the benefits of warmer climate conditions.

      All of these points are equally valid whether 97% or 17% of scientists view human activity as a cause of climate change.

      • I think you are both giving scientists and their credentials far too much benefit of the doubt. Most peer reviewed scientific study conclusions cannot be replicated. False conclusions of peer reviewed papers are rising at an alarming rate. Group think, institutional studies and those groups cranking out those studies, today are far too often not seeking truth but chasing new grants of moneys from self-interested sponsors. These sponsors include the Federal Government that demands that scientists give it results that meet its political and ideological interests.

        This is a growing scandal and most all involved know it. It is a great legacy of the Obama Aministration. And now those scientists and their institutions are stuck on their bad habits. And addicted to ever more money in pursuit of bad science driven by ideology, political power, and special interest groups and their private agendas. So these scientific research do not know how to stop these bad habits, nor do they want to stop these bad habits.

        AS a result:

        Consensus in science is a sure sign of corruption in science. Today’s consensus corrupts science. In today’s hostile political environment to challenge consensus is to be exiled. And to lose not only a scientist’s chance for advancement in the Academy and chance for new grants on which his career depends, and far too often too challenge the consensus is to ruin and lose one’s livelihood as a scientist altogether.

        For example:

        The National Academy of Sciences peer reviewed Evaluation of a Proposal for Reliable Low-Cost Grid Power with 100% wind, Water, and Solar by 2050 that was issued in 2015 has now been debunked by The National Academy of Sciences itself. A shocking reversal of a conclusion that if implemented as intended by the Obama Administration would have put the nation at severe risk while wasting hundreds of billions of dollars.

        Why now this reversal?

        Obviously the National Academy wrote the 2015 to satisfy the policy dictates of the Federal Government that funds the great majority of its programs. And changed its view and position once a new federal administration took power.

        The corruption and its potential for enormous harm is obvious. There is a reason why less than 1% of America’s energy in 2016 came from solar. And there are many reasons why the earlier Academy of Science 2015 study on the future on solar, wind and water, amount to little more than pure speculation disguised as serious science. So we have been debating red herrings here and elsewhere for several decades while wasting billions of dollars on wild goose chases, and the study if not recently corrected would have continue putting the nation on that reckless course.

        And indeed have compounded the threats that course puts on steroids.

        Why? By the intentional eliminations of proven options and existing critical industries, infrastructures, and precious resources.

        Here we speak of our Federal Governments war on coal, nuclear, and gas. This war threatens our economy and our national defense. It is a threat that today would already have reeked huge and perhaps irreparable damage to America and its people but for the unexpected surge of natural gas production via fracking on which our safety and future now depend.

        Today, it is totally irresponsible to allow this false science to continue. We must build all the gas lines that now are critical to our future, including our survival.

  10. Here is NOAA position. I’m sure President Trump would differ.
    https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

  11. “Ooker” Estridge is right that Tangier Island’s problem is erosion, and he’s got hard science behind that statement. While sea level rise is a long-term issue and increased monitoring of local impacts is important, that’s not why Tangier Island is endangered. Lewisetta is the nearest tide gauge and not out in the Bay, but the local sea level trend is 1.7 ft in 100 years, which is less than a quarter inch per year. So there’s more in play there.

    “Storms provide the greatest source of coastal change on barrier islands due to storm surge and strong waves. Surging water and stronger waves can erode barrier island beaches and, if the surge is high enough, result in overwash, breaching, or back bay flooding… .” (U S Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study: Resilient Adaptation to Increasing Risk. January 2015.)

    Tangier Island is a barrier island, and like all barrier islands and barrier beaches, it’s made up of sand-sized sediment that is deposited, moved, and reformed by wind and waves. Political positions about sea level rise have ignored the reality of longshore transport of sediment (also called longshore drift). If the sand supply is not maintained, the island erodes to the point where it is inundated by the tides. No one realized in the 1700s how fragile these bodies are, or that it wasn’t a good idea to build on them.

    https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/currents/media/supp_cur03c.html relates the story of Tucker Island in New Jersey, settled in 1735, and how attempts to stop longshore transport of sand using jetties in 1924 eventually caused the loss of that barrier island.

    We have the same problem on the Chesapeake Bay coastline in Mathews County where we’ve just about lost Rigby Island, another barrier island, and have a breach in the Winter Harbor barrier beach caused by a nor’easter in 1978.  Beach replenishment could repair it and restore the protective function of the barrier beach against storm surge flooding, but the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Corps of Engineers chose instead to only supplement the tiger beetle habitat below the breach, allowing the breach to continue to widen.

    The Virginia Department of Transportation helped create the problem by removing 5-7 feet of sand from the beaches to the north of Winter Harbor in the 1930s and 1940s to use to build roads in two counties. (This was confirmed by a memo in VDOT’s files.)

    The Corps of Engineers also helped create the problem by working with the County to open a channel directly from Garden Creek to the Bay. The jetties they built to keep the channel open failed, but they also prevented the movement of sand southward to the Winter Harbor barrier beach leading to its breach.

    Wetlands Watch joined with the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) in blaming sea level rise for the loss of the barrier beach and barrier island around the New Point Comfort Lighthouse in the NOAA grant-funded MPPDC Climate Change Adaptation Phase 2 report and repeated the claim in the 2011 Phase 3 report with slides implying sea level rise causes the lighthouse to be left on a tiny island. One has picture of the lighthouse in 1885 and “today” with the caption, “shoreline has moved 1/2 mile.” Another says, “TODAY – 5 ft water covers more than 1,000 plated subdivision lots.”

    The platted subdivision only existed on paper because the project failed financially in 1905. Much of the barrier island and barrier beach were lost in the 1933 August and September hurricanes, and the rest lost through longshore transport after that.

    The reports include those slides and a mocking cartoon about the “Coconut Telegraph,” alluding to person-to-person communication between Mathews citizens, as part of Power Point presentations made throughout Virginia and in other areas on sea level rise by MPPDC Executive Director, Lewie Lawrence. (http://mppdc.com/articles/reports/FINAL_CLIMATE%20CHANGE_UVA_CIT_RED.pdf)

    When local observations are ignored in favor of political positions, everyone loses. Tax money is spent on the wrong responses and real problems get worse because they’re not acknowledged.

    People who come from generations who’ve lived in the same place may not have the university degrees, but they have knowledge that could benefit the universities and government agencies who disregard them.

    In the Hurricane Sandy report, (http://www.nad.usace.army.mil/Portals/40/docs/NACCS/NACCS_main_report.pdf)
    the Corps of Engineers places barrier island and barrier beach preservation among the highest Coastal Storm Risk Management and Resilience measures, short of removing buildings from the coast. Too bad no one considered this kind of replenishment for Tangier Island while there was a better chance of saving it.

  12. cjbova … Thanks for all for all that interesting info on beach erosion. There was some interesting collection of kind of coastal change going on down in Duck, NC a few years back
    The National Academy of Sciences peer reviewed Evaluation of a Proposal for Reliable Low-Cost Grid Power with 100% wind, Water, and Solar by 2050 that was issued in 2015 has now been debunked by The National Academy of Sciences itself..

    Reed … Do tell where your info came from for this …” The National Academy of Sciences peer reviewed Evaluation of a Proposal for Reliable Low-Cost Grid Power with 100% wind, Water, and Solar by 2050 that was issued in 2015 has now been debunked by The National Academy of Sciences itself.”

    The 100% renewable came from a Stanford University professor. He has developed a specific prescription for each state, and before Paris did work on a more global scale. His conclusion has recently been challenged, but the challenger says only that 80% renewable is the number that he came up with. The 2 academics have been dueling a bit about the assumptions behind models but as I see it … 80% by 2050 from a collegue is not a debunk by the National Academy of Sciences.

    • I don’t know where all your information comes from.

      The study I referred to is found here:

      https://us-mg5.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch#8054055355

      It is written by 24 highly respected scientists and experts in the field from outstanding organizations that include:

      Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO 80305;

      Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80305;

      Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, 752 37 Uppsala, Sweden;

      Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213;

      Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213;

      Center for Global Energy Policy, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;

      Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305;

      Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305;

      Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697;

      Omni Optimum, Evergreen, CO 80437;

      Enduring Energy, LLC, Boulder, CO 80303;

      Electrical Engineering and Complex Systems Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405;

      Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720;

      Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720;

      Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3050;

      Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550;

      Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80305;

      Council on Foreign Relations, New York, NY 10065;

      Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4206;

      Management Science and Engineering Department, Huang Engineering Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305;

      Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093;

      School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093;

      Brookings Institution, Washington, DC 20036

      The fact that you cannot get straight information is not surprising. There is a vicious political war going on. This horrible struggle is not about science or reality or the nation’s public interests. Nor is it about the well being of the America public. Instead it is about status, control, and power of special interests, including the elite, aligned with and bribed by the Federal Government as the cabal goes about twisting out of shape the reality of what is going on in this nation and this world and while those elites corrupt science, research and development, and steal tax payer money for selfish ideological and financial ends and advantages.

      You see it everywhere. It includes vast unlawful activities by our Federal Government. These Federal Government activities in alliance with government funded, sponsored, and controlled research at the nations scientific institutions (universities as well as public and private entities) are not only promoting highly risky policies and ventures that threaten public interests. They are also killing industries that have served the public interests for decades and generations, and destroying options critical to our future.

      Earlier I mentioned the federal Government’s War on the Coal, Gas, and Nuclear Power industries. Take for example;

      The V.C. Summer Nuclear Station debacle in Jenkinsville SC whose cost projections rose from $14 billion to $25.7 billion over 9 years after $10.4 had been spent. Casualties include the bankruptcy of what use to be a great American Corporation, Westinghouse Electric Corporation. This bankruptcy of course was the goal and intent of the Obama administration to drive a stake through the heart of the nuclear power industry like the Obama Administration drove a stake through the heart of the American coal industry. AND now our government and its special interests have imperiled financial health of South Carolina and all its citizens, particularly its least advantaged citizens. The same thing has happened to a new “clean” coal plant in Mississippi, thus the Obama government attempts to destroy new clean coal – gasification technology while it also threatens a half finished nuclear plant near Augusta, Georgia. While we sit fat dumb and happy.

      We don’t seem to understand the our Federal Government for the past 8 years has intentionally and illegally been going about the task of ripping the industrial heart out of America, its most vital industries like energy, draining the country and its people of their wealth, vitality, health, heritage and their ability to survive, much less thrive.

  13. Sorry … your cite took me to some weird Yahoo account questions, not to a study. Can you furnish another address?

    AND while I too have questions about both corporate monies influence on what our government does and on problems with bureaucracies themselves … in fact the market has waged war on nuclear, coal and ‘clean’ coal.

    • CA&W –

      So it happened again. This is typical. People – otherwise respectable people or those who appear respectable on the surface – are working over time trying to hide the study and others like it, so they can continue to mislead the public, and save their grant dollars, and try it live off of lies and half truths. I read this study as again as early as this morning. I will try to retrieve it again, and post it here.

      By the way, I respect your comments and efforts. Too often everywhere, if something novel or fresh is said or written against the grain, or against the official line of our growing police state, it is met by the vast majority of folks with a “Deafening Silence” including on this blog. That includes Carol’s and Ooker’s highly informed comments – But thanks Jim for giving their valuable truths airtime.

  14. thanks ..
    That is the Clack response to Jacobson to which Jacobson responded point by point. A variety of news sources has called the arguments a personal fight between academics.

    Note that the Clack response is happy with getting to 80% … which is why I still questioned your statement that the National Academy debunked the ideas put forth by Jacobson. Clack criticized the model and I see some assumptions too, but not the goal.

  15. The percentage isn’t really the issue. It’s the cost to get there.

    Clack said, “Furthermore, it is not in question that it would be theoretically possible to build a reliable energy system excluding all bioenergy, nuclear energy, and fossil fuel sources. Given unlimited resources to build variable energy production facilities, while expanding the transmission grid and accompanying energy storage capacity enormously, one would eventually be able to meet any conceivable load. However, in developing a strategy to effectively mitigate global energy-related CO2 emissions, it is critical that the scope of the challenge to achieve this in the real world is accurately defined and clearly communicated.”

    Theoretical goals and unlimited resources don’t add up to a real world answer, because resources are not unlimited, and theory has not yet evolved into practical application.

  16. The two disagree on what is doable from both a technological and a financial point of view … which is what takes them to their disagreement on the percentage.

    My point is … we are talking about 2050 and the argument it academic because there are a lot of new things in the hopper and both men believe that moving forward to clean energy is the right thing to do.

  17. Jacobsen’s line by line response:
    http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CombiningRenew/Line-by-line-Clack.pdf
    “(30) Our assumptions about the adoption of hydrogen are aggressive but reasonable. As stated on Page 2112 of Jacobson et al. (2015a), we don’t expect to convert fully short-haul aircraft until 2035 and long-haul aircraft until 2040. Given that a short-haul hydrogen fuel cell aircraft that seats four and has a range of 1500 km already existed in 2016, these goals seem attainable.”
    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/october/06/more-highs-lows-for-hydrogen-aviation

    “…in a news release by the by the German aerospace agency Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)…”
    “For the foreseeable future, large passenger aircraft will continue to fly using conventional propulsion. One of the major challenges for the coming decades, however, is bringing electromobility to the aviation industry and making the air transport system of the future carbon dioxide neutral,” said André Thess, leader of the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, which developed the propulsion system. “Our goal is to further improve the fuel cell power train and, in the long term, use it on regional aircraft with up to 19 passengers.”

    That’s a long way from long-haul aircraft in 2040.

  18. The National Academy of Science published Clack’s paper. That does NOT mean that the National Academy of Science agrees with Clack against Jacobson.
    Your National Review’s headline is inaccurate. Sorry

    • The National Academy of Science is to an ever increasing degree controlled by the Federal Government if only because it and its members receives the majority of its money from the Federal Government. You go along with the federal government line or you are yanked off the Federal Tit. Exiled. Career over. And all your crony’s too lose their livelihood. Your University Center for the Study of This or That is finished too, yanked off the Gravy Train funded by taxpayer money.

      And the grant making process has been shown to corrupt. The great majority of your peers in Academia that are handing out the dough are also feeding on the government tit, everyone trading favors if you do as your are told.

      America needs to wake up to this reality. And it has. That is why there is a war going on. The rotten Jig is up.

  19. William F Buckley would never have put up such an inaccurate headline at his National Review…. What Wiipedia says seems accurate to me, who did not much agree with Buckley but was willing to listen. “For an entire generation, he was the preeminent voice of American conservatism and its first great ecumenical figure.”[6] “Buckley’s primary contribution to politics was a fusion of traditional American political conservatism with laissez-faire economic theory and anti-communism … Former Senate Republican leader Bob Dole said “Buckley lighted the fire”.”[7]

    Here is something that I guess is no longer true…. what characterizes National Review is …. “The common requisite is that they present their views as a critique of prevailing liberal orthodoxy but do so analytically and with decency and respect.”

  20. Not sure who you would have fund basic science. Universities have for years been accepting corporate funds for their professor’s studies. This has led to a loss of funding for ‘stuff’ that cannot turn a potential profit in a few years. The federal government funding has been the basis of a lot our our international leadership. We actually invented solar panels awhile back though a federal grant at a university but the Chinese picked up the ball to run with much later..
    And now we have the EPA colluding with Monsanto on the toxicity of Roundup. The answer is complicated but basic research took us to space …

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