Latest Posts





Climate Change 4: Recent Research on Climate Sensitivity Favors Lukewarmers

[caption id="attachment_5190" align="alignright" width="385"] Estimates from new research since 2011.  Note: Not included here is a similar finding published in Climate Research (2001) by a group led by Patrick Michaels that was a repeated focus of the Climategate emails that “revealed repeated attempts by a large community of climate researchers and other scientists to ignore inconvenient data, to evade requests for raw climate data, and to vilify journal editors who published low-sensitivity papers or others that indicated that the current warm era in not without precedent in the past 1,000 years.”[/caption] A terrific new book out by climate scientists Patrick Michaels...

Continue reading

State Environmental Agency: Christmas Gifts Bad For Landfills

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency may be the last place you'd think of turning to for gift ideas for your Christmas shopping list, not to mention how to find more meaning during the holiday season. After all, what does regulating feedlots, landfills and power plants have to do with Christmas shopping and presents under the tree? The answer seems obvious, but the state regulatory agency just released its monthly "Living Green 365" newsletter anyway, featuring an environmentally correct theme for the holidays: "Make memories, not trash." The MPCA's state guidelines for holiday shopping can be traced to obscure research on "the vogue mantra of behavioral economics." The...

Continue reading

After election, MN regulators must revisit closure of coal plants in Becker community

Less than a month before the presidential election, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MNPUC) approved Xcel’s plan to retire two coal-fired electricity generating plants in Becker, Minnesota.  The retirements are part of the Xcel’s integrated resource plan, the company’s long-term plan for meeting the electricity demands of its customers. The MNPUC’s approval of these retirements was entirely premature knowing the outcome of the presidential election could possibly reverse the implementation of the federal carbon reduction rule driving Xcel’s decision to close the coal plants. Xcel’s plan sets forth an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent below 2005 levels by...

Continue reading

MN Ethanol Plant Builder Gives 125k to Tribe Protesting Pipeline

It remains to be seen if and when Bakken shale oil will flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline that's still under construction, as well as protest, in North Dakota. The company building the pipeline asked a federal court this week to order the U.S. Corps of Engineers to issue final approvals and clear the way for the 1,175 mile project. But the controversy hasn't stopped two sizable financial contributions from flowing to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe opposing the energy project. The cash flow includes $125,000 from a quiet but well-connected Granite Falls, Minnesota ethanol plant construction company, Fagen, Inc. The curious...

Continue reading

Climate Change 3: The Grand Narrative Availability Cascade is Making Us Stupid

In 2007 Professors Timur Kuran and Cass Sunstein defined the concept of an “availability cascade,” which is a self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation by which an expressed perception triggers a chain reaction that gives the perception of increasing plausibility through its rising availability in public discourse.”  Prof. Judith Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, shows us how that is exactly what has taken over the climate change debate: Climate change has become a grand narrative in which human-caused climate change has become a dominant cause of societal problems.  Everything that goes wrong then reinforces the conviction...

Continue reading

Climate Change 2: Clinging to models that don’t even come close

There’s a terrific new book out by climate scientists Patrick Michaels and Paul Knappenberger that exposes the “pseudoscience” that the “the debate is over” crowd relies on for their alarmist dictates.  That crowd is big and powerful, but nowhere near 97% of climate scientists (or anybody else) endorse the impoverishing policies that will change our climate in ways that won’t even be measurable 75 years from now. The book, Lukewarming: The New Climate Science that Changes Everything, acknowledges that climate change is real and partially man-made, but shows that the mild, gradual warming we are experiencing doesn’t come close to the...

Continue reading

Climate Change 101

Sadly, even 17 years of stable temperatures haven’t cooled the Left’s faith in wildly alarmist climate predictions, or their illogical campaign to demonize low-cost energy and anyone who doesn’t support their policy agenda. If only more people could see and understand how driving up energy costs truly harms the poorest among us and around the world the most. [caption id="attachment_5049" align="alignleft" width="200"] John Christy[/caption] In 2007 the Center hosted respected climate scientist John Christy for a very eye-opening lunch forum on climate change and he shared with us many points routinely absent from the public debate.  The audio is available here. Basic Climate Science Simply...

Continue reading

MN Utility Files for Huge Rate Increase to Pay for Wind and Solar

Utilities, regulators and environmentalists make it as difficult as possible to track the real costs of switching over 30 percent of Minnesota's electrical power generation to wind and solar.  Xcel Energy has been claiming its wind turbines will actually save consumers in the long run. But a newly filed rate increase by Duluth-based Minnesota Power provides rare clarity and proof positive that Minnesotans can expect their electric bills to continue to increase dramatically for the foreseeable future. The utility wants the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to grant an 8 percent rate residential rate hike ASAP on January 1. After that? Ten percent...

Continue reading

Why Won’t Xcel Come Clean on Cost of “Clean” Energy?

The Minnesota Wild just began their new season at the Xcel Energy Center with a couple wins and, as a lead sponsor of the hockey team and arena, viewers of the games were treated to Xcel’s new ad campaign.  One commercial features a gentleman cheerfully delivering “clean renewable energy” to homes in the form of a red box placed at the front door.  In the ad, Xcel cannot help but brag about being the nation’s number one provider of wind energy. Xcel is indeed big on wind and they are going even bigger.  The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MNPUC) just approved...

Continue reading

Paper by Former American Experiment Intern Reveals the Hidden Cost of Wind to Electricity Consumers

Last month the Odell Wind Farm went on line in Southwestern Minnesota, which will add another 200 megawatts of electricity to Xcel Energy’s portfolio.  Xcel claims this addition of wind will result in savings for customers, but analysis by Tyler McNeal—a former American Experiment intern—calls such savings into question. According to an Xcel news release, this addition of 100 industrial wind turbines “is part of a commitment Xcel Energy made in 2013 to increase its wind capacity by 42 percent by adding 750 megawatts of cost-effective, clean wind energy in the Upper Midwest by the end of 2016.” This is just the...

Continue reading