Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Sad Story of a Texas Town That Decided to Go "All Renewable" Energy

City leaders had to lock in a large excess of wind and solar power to be able to lend credibility to their 100 percent renewable claim, since wind and solar power can’t be relied on to keep the lights on 24/7/365. And, even with that surplus, there are times when Georgetown draws traditional fossil fuel power from the Texas grid, making the city’s “100 percent renewable” claim nothing more than spurious sloganeering.

The full story of the folly of "all renewable" is here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

No, They Are Not "Setting Fire to the Railroad Tracks"

Arrggghhh. I've seen this factually incorrect tweet about "setting fire to railroad tracks" from ABC and CNN literally dozens of times the last 24 hours. They are not setting fire to the tracks.
First of all, the tracks are metal and metal does not burn.

What they are seeing are picturing are switch heaters (image below). The heaters melt snow and ice to prevent them
from "fouling" the switch. Below is an example. The arrows point to the switch "points." The points
move (left to right in the photo) to grab the flanges of a train's wheels and direct the train into the siding as shown here or, with the points moved to the right, keep it on the main line. On a heater-equipped switch, butane is burned to melt the precipitation.
Above is a view of the switch heater and butane tank in good weather.

The 'Polar Vortex' Cold Wave is a Misnomer

We have a cold air mass over the Midwest the is causing the extreme cold.

The polar vortex exists miles above the ground and exists 365 days a year. It is always there. Polar vortex ≠ cold waves.

Move the Super Bowl to Wichita This Year!

Want to get out of the cold this weekend? Wichita is the perfect place. The AccuWeather forecast:

Current U.S. Wind Chills

Correction: NWS has determined the wind speed instrument at Ely is incorrect so the wind chill reading below is too cold.
The coldest is -70° at Ely, Minnesota (NNE of Duluth).
Of course, there is extremely high electricity demand this morning. But, in the area between the Missouri River and the Rockies -- where a disproportionate amount of wind turbines are situated -- winds are too light to turn the blades.

And, here is the current weather on Mars (really!).
The high of 19°F was quite a bit warmer than today's forecast high in Chicago (-11°).

There are power failures currently in Minneapolis, Chicago and Kansas City. A huge thank you to the men who are out in this horrible weather restoring power for their fellow citizens. 

Additional: Even though Minneapolis is colder than the South Pole, it has better restaurants.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

This Scares Me to Death

I was watching a live railcam at Tehachapi, California, a few minutes ago and saw this. When the gates came down three boys charged toward the tracks. 

I don't know if these boys were playing "chicken" with the oncoming train or if they were just trying to get home. Regardless, what they did is a good way to get killed. The reason they are lit so brightly is because they were in the headlight of the fast approaching locomotives. 

It is very easy to trip at railroad crossings due to the gap for the train wheels' flanges. Had one of them tripped, it would have been an extremely close call.

Please teach your children to respect railroad crossings and signals. 

Want to See the Real United States??

Today is Kansas Day. It is the anniversary of the day in 1861 when Kansas was admitted to the Union -- proudly -- as a free state. Kansas had to fight its own mini-war to be a free state. The Dockum (below) celebrates the first major, organized civil rights sit-in. It occurred in Wichita across the street from the location of the current Dockum speakeasy. So, come and visit us. 

We appreciate everything New York, Boston and Los Angeles as much as anyone. But, if you want to try something really cool, skip them for your next vacation and come to Wichita. Here is a story from Sunday's travel section in Australia. It begins by talking about Wichita's craft beer scene:
Dockum, Wichita
The Midwest is full of vibrant, eclectic cities, upscale food and drinks and a rich history — all served with a side of cowboy charm.
They have all the mod-cons of a big city like LA and New York, but with small-town hospitality and unique charm. win-win.
Here’s what you didn’t know about “flyover country”.
The craft beer scene in the US isn’t confined to Brooklyn.
The industry in the Midwest is growing quickly, thanks in no small part to both Oklahoma and Kansas recently signing legislation to end an outdated post-prohibition law that restricted the sale of full-strength beer and hampered craft brewers. That’s good news for the local craft beer industry and good news for you.
Check out Central Standard Brewing, a local brewery in Wichita, Kansas — known for its sours — which recently won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, the Oscars of the beer industry.
Even if you’re not a beer lover, there’s still plenty to enjoy about the region’s thriving night-life. Kansas had statewide prohibition longer than any other state in the US, so speak-easies are a huge part of its history.
If cocktails are your thing, head straight to Dockum. Not only is it one of the Wichita’s swankiest bars, it’s located in an old bank vault, which you get to via the basement (and a wooden door) of the Ambassador Hotel. Grab a cocktail and feel like Al Capone. [BTW: the Ambassador is a 4-Star hotel]
You'll enjoy the entire article. A visit to Wichita and the Flint Hills makes a great vacation.

And, yes, Wichita has a program that will pay you to move to our city.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Protecting Pets in Extreme Cold

Some great Kansas ingenuity. I highly recommend the article and her clever solution.

Ascel Bio: Light Flu Season and Its Effect on Businesses

Ascel Bio has posted a fascinating look into the effects on the light flu season (so far) on earnings for CVS and related retailers.

You can view the latest influenza risk forecast from Ascel and Big Data Media, here. And, you can scroll down to find recommendations ("shop here") for the best-in-class flu prevention products. 

Strong Tornado Strikes Havana

The eastern part of the City of Havana was hit by a tornado, likely of at least EF-3 intensity, during the night.
According to the Toronto Star, at least 3 were killed and 174 injured.
Firefighter carries a baby out of the rubble.
Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images
I don't know what, if any, warning was available from the Cuban Meteorological Service. The tornado was clearly visible on the NWS's Key West radar. On Twitter, @kudrios has the radar data and other meteorological data.

Addition: The tornado occurred at approximately 8:34pm EST. The Key West reflectivity and Doppler velocity data are below.
Below is a second view of the velocity data for the Havana tornado at the same time as immediately above. It is uses a better differentiated color scheme.

Speaking of Silly Climate Claims

Add these to the list of ridiculous climate claims.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Global Warming Religion

"I may frequently be wrong, but am never in doubt."
        -- Sir George Jessel

[bumped due to subsequent news stories]
There is a New York Times story today that proclaims more Americans are worried about global warming.
I'm hoping that climate 'scientists' will, one day soon, begin to understand that science is not about polls or popular opinion. Science is about what can be objectively proven. The point I wish to make in this posting is that global warming has more of the characteristics of a religion than a science.

The New Testament (Mark 13:32) quotes Jesus as saying He does not know when the world will end. Only his Father knows. Now, suppose some Christian group (call them Religion A) proclaimed they had figured out the world will end tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and goes. Then, Religion A says they were wrong in their calculations and it will end Monday. Monday comes and goes. Finally, Religion A says, oops, give us one more chance. The world will end a week from Thursday. And, of course, Thursday comes and goes and things are fine. After that record of failed predictions, no reasonable person would believe their end-of-the-world forecasts.

As explained by an online textbook,
"One of the key elements in science is the ability to make and test quantitative predictions."

What brought all of this to mind is that yesterday, Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez told us the world will end in 12 years unless we declare war on global warming.
How seriously should we take her prediction? Is climate science a genuine science that can make reliable predictions or does it have the characteristics of Religion A? Let's see how they are doing:

These are from Instapundit:

—The London Guardian, January 17, 2009.

—NBC News, September 14, 2006.

A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.
—AP, June 29, 1989.

Here is a list from a posting on this blog in 2013:
  • "Global Warming Tipping Point Close?"--headline,, Jan. 27, 2004
  • "Warming Hits 'Tipping Point' "--headline, Guardian, Aug. 11, 2005
  • "Earth at the Tipping Point: Global Warming Heats Up"--headline, Time, March 26, 2006
  • "Global Warming 'Tipping Points' Reached, Scientist Says"--headline,, Dec. 14, 2007
  • "Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near on Global Warming"--headline, Puffington Host, June 23, 2008
  • "Global Warming: Those Tipping Points Are Closer Than You Think"--headline,, April 29, 2009
  • "Have We Reached the Tipping Point for Planet Earth?"--video title,, May 11, 2010
  • "Must-Read Hansen and Sato Paper: We Are at a Climate Tipping Point That, Once Crossed, Enables Multi-Meter Sea Level Rise This Century"--headline,, Jan. 20, 2011
  • "Earth: Have We Reached an Environmental Tipping Point?"--headline, BBC website, June 15, 2012
  • "In spite of the continued released [sic] of 90 million tons of global warming pollution every day into the atmosphere, as if it's an open sewer, we are now seeing the approach of a global political tipping point."--Al Gore, interview with Washington Post, Aug. 21, 2013
So, here we are in 2019 with the world in better shape than it has ever been. The lowest rate of extreme poverty in the history of the world, no world wars, and, in America, record employment, especially among minorities along with a prosperous stock market. The number of major tornadoes is down. Hurricanes are not increasing in number or intensity. Droughts and floods are no more frequent.

If a Christian group had issued 13 (the number of "tipping points" and predictions above) wildly incorrect forecasts as to the second coming of Jesus they would be, rightly, mocked. Where is that accountability for climate 'science'? In fact, its inability to make reliable forecasts, by definition, calls into question whether predictive climate science is a science at all. 

As for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's 12-year global warming forecast? Don't sweat it!!

Sunday Fun: "Born Loser"

I'm looking at you American Express and the other credit card and airline telephone service companies.

More Born Loser here.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Fatherhood: Why It Is Essential

...until 10 years ago, we had neglected to try to understand this trait, due to the misguided assumption that it was of no significance – indeed, that it was dispensable. This trait is human fatherhood, and the fact that it doesn’t immediately spring to mind is symptomatic of the overwhelming neglect of this key figure in our society.

The full story is here.


Background here.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Evil of the Global Warming Cultists

The Obama Administration Created This 
Monstrosity With Our Tax Dollars

Introducing the Green Reaper, a monstrosity created by the Obama Administration with the intention to scare children -- children! -- about global warming. There is no other word to describe creating and playing on children's fears but evil. 
Earlier this week, I wrote about global warming alarmism has taken on all of the characteristics of a religion. I guess the final piece is in place: a devil. The goal was to send the green reaper to elementary schools. 

The details are here

Hat tip: Ann Althouse. 

Was The Flight Operated By United Airlines?

The first plane — a modified Boeing 767 — is expected to arrive at the Wichita['s McConnell AF] base sometime Friday afternoon, almost two years behind schedule.

Actually, this is good news for everyone. The new Air Force tankers are finally being put into service. The first operational tankers will arrive this afternoon. Story here.

Addition: The tanker has landed.
Two of the jumbo-jet-sized tankers are now safely at McConnell. KIAB for meteorologists. 

Before the Global Warming Scare....

....we had incandescent traffic lights that generated enough heat to melt the snow when it blew against the bulbs. Now, we don't. We must have unsafe energy-saving bulbs that don't let you see the color of the signal.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Thank You, Dr. Judith Curry

Dr. Judith Curry, yesterday, posted an item on her blog that coincidentally coincides with what I posted at 10:30am Tuesday. The bottom line:
Dr. Curry is right. As she points out, climate science does not even understand what caused the major (natural!) warming of the world's temperature from 1910 to 1944. And, because we don't understand natural climate variations, we have no genuine scientific basis upon which to make climate forecasts, manmade or otherwise.

This is why all of the catastrophic tipping points and forecasts listed in Tuesday's posting are wrong. Here is yet another 'tipping point' that was published about the same time as I posted my piece. As I wrote in 2013, global warming is "tipsy from tipping points."
It is, of course, your right to believe whatever you wish. But, if you believe these forecasts of imminent doom -- in spite of their abysmal track record -- you are believe in what has morphed into quasi-religion. Not a science.

Weather Science's Stunning Success

Here is a graph tweeted this morning by Bjorn Lomborg. It is global death risk from weather from 1920-2018 (typos not withstanding).
Death rates from weather/climate hazards are down one hundred-fold! Less success has been achieved in other natural hazards. Meteorologists have done and are doing remarkable work. And, right now, many of them are working without pay because of the shutdown.

The story of this under-recognized Nobel Prize quality achievement is the topic of my book, Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.
The book is an easy, uplifting read about people and science at their best. Amazon has re-stocked from the holidays and they have dropped the price of this hard-cover book to an amazing $14.64. 

Pick up a copy and learn how weather science makes our world better every day. 

Way to Go, Kansas!!

A New York researcher thinks this is a bad thing (per Associated Press):

Kansas goes farther than any other state in limiting state and local agencies from influencing policy about food nutrition labels and portion sizes, according to a recent study.
A study published this month by New York University researcher Jennifer Pomeranz found that Kansas does more to limit the authority of local governments on food policy than any of the 13 other states with similar legislation, the Kansas News Service reported.
Kansas' pre-emption law, which went into effect in 2016, prevents local authorities from restricting portion sizes, taxing soda and sugary drinks and banning "incentive items," such as toys in a McDonald's Happy Meal. The law applies to counties, school districts, councils and other local government agencies, which are prohibited from enacting restrictive food policies.
In the 1950's and 1960's, the government had almost no role in nutrition. Obesity was extremely rare. As government has gotten more and more involved, people have gotten heavier and less healthy. Today, the nutrition rules are more confusing than ever (Coffee, good/bad? Meat, good/bad?).

The fact that Kansas forbids localities from micro-managing our diets is a very good thing. In Kansas, we still believe in "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Listen Up!

I'll never purchase another Gillette razor. I will be switching to Barbasol shave cream.

"I'll Believe Global Warming Is a Crisis When the People Telling Me It's a Crisis Start Acting Like It Is a Crisis"

David Attenborough might have urged world leaders at Davos to take urgent action on climate change, but it appears no one was listening. As he spoke, experts predicted up to 1,500 individual private jets will fly to and from airfields serving the Swiss ski resort this week.
Political and business leaders and lobbyists are opting for bigger, more expensive aircrafts, according to analysis by the Air Charter Service, which found the number of private jet flights grew by 11% last year.
“There appears to be a trend towards larger aircraft, with expensive heavy jets the aircraft of choice, with Gulfstream GVs and Global Expresses both being used more than 100 times each last year,” said Andy Christie, private jets director at the ACS.
Entire story here.

Global warming has morphed from science into a religious tool for more governmental control over our lives. While I would love to have a private jet, they are the least carbon-efficient way to travel. No one who believes global warming is a crisis would chose to travel that way.

*The title of this piece is a quotation from Dr. Glenn Reynolds.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

With Regard to the Posting Below: Disasters Are Decreasing!

In spite of forecast after forecast after forecast since 1988, and especially after Katrina in 2005, calling for increasing disasters due to global warming, disasters are decreasing. The graph below was just posted by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. with data through December.
click to enlarge
As discussed in the posting immediately below, the track record of climate science's forecasts is abysmal. Scroll down for more.

Monday, January 21, 2019

A Suggestion to Young Meteorologists

Below is a screen capture of the 6-day ECMWF forecast temperature for the Chiefs - Patriots game played yesterday evening at Arrowhead Stadium. The forecast was for -14°F. [The wind chill was forecasted to be -24°!]
The actual temperature at 6pm was 19°... an error of 31°F. It was a terrible forecast. Had I thought there was even a slight chance that temperatures would have been that cold, you would have read about it here on the MSE Consulting Blog. You didn't because I was highly confident that forecast would be way off.

Why do I bring this up?

Even thought I am retired from weather forecasting, I care deeply about the future of the profession. Based on what I saw in the media, there were many meteorologists who bought into these excessively cold forecasts for the game and were broadcasting them about this time last week.
Advice to young meteorologists: In the wise words of SUNYA Professor Tom Stewart, an expert in how forecasts are made, "more models increase meteorologists' confidence but they do not improve accuracy." Focus on one or two mesoscale models for short-term forecasts and one model for longer term forecasts. Learn the biases of these models. 

I focus on the ECMWF model. Because I knew it over-forecasts temperature extremes, I knew not to believe the extreme temperature forecasts because the other conditions needed to bring Arctic temperatures to Kansas City (solid snow cover across central Canada and the central northern Great Plains, detached Polar Vortex far enough south, etc.) did not exist.

It is impossible to keep track of the biases of numerous models. You'll add a lot more value if you focus on really learning how to use 2-3 of them. Remember: the case for keeping human forecasters in the loop is so they can add value to the output of the models. If all you do is regurgitate the model output, you may, in the long run, be putting yourself out of a job.

While a Blizzard Warning is in Effect For the Northwest Part of Kansas...

...a fiery sky was present over Wichita at 5:55pm.

Should Be Required Viewing on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

This is a long-form interview -- sadly, something TV news no longer does -- with Dr. King a few months before he was assassinated. I believe everyone who has not viewed it should watch the interview in its entirety.

MSE Creative Consulting: Upcoming Live Presentations

Here are my live appearances the next 30 days.
  • East Wichita Rotary Club, Wednesday, noon. 
  • Wichita Chapter, International Facility Manager's Association, February 7
  • Chasercon, Keynote address & dinner, Hyatt Regency Wichita, February 9. Open to the public.
Hope to come and join us!!

Hurricanes Are NOT Increasing

In spite of what the media and global warming activists would have you believe, hurricanes are not increasing across the globe. As one report states,
Maria. Irma. Harvey. Sandy. Katrina. Andrew.
For coastal communities, the social, economic, and physical scars left behind by major hurricanes are devastating.
While hurricanes are a natural part of our climate system, recent research suggests that there has been an increase in intense hurricane activity in the North Atlantic since the 1970s. 
I could link to many more.

The facts are quite different.
Above is a graph updated through the end of 2018. There is no trend in the number of global landfalls in either mild or strong hurricanes. It is a shame there is so much mis-reporting of this fact.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Thank You, (Unpaid) National Weather Service

The NWS employees are working without timely pay because of the shutdown. Yesterday, they issued a critical tornado warning for Wetumpka, Alabama, which was hit by an upper-end EF-2 intensity tornado. No lives were lost in spite of the serious damage. 

The damage was major along a long path for a January tornado.
Thank you, National Weather Service employees!!

Sunday Fun: Music Theatre of Wichita

If you are a theatre buff, you know about Music Theatre of Wichita. Broadway experts like the late Robert Osborne (host of Turner Classic Movies) and Peter Felichia ( believe "MTW" (as we call it) is far overdue for the Tony Award for outstanding regional theatre. The quality of MTW's productions? Read a sample review from Felichia here.

All of this leads up to a wonderful interview with MTW's Producing Director Wayne Bryan. The interview was done by KPTS, our PBS station.
Music Theatre's alumni include Broadway legends like Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O'Hara, Carla Burns and many others.

Wichita is an amazing, undiscovered gem. I have mixed thoughts about that because our city is so special that I wonder if we'd lose some that if we experienced explosive growth. However, with more well-paying jobs than we can fill at the moment, now is a good time to tout our wonderful arts scene.

And, speaking of the region, I'll be cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs this afternoon and evening, so this will be the only posting of the day. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Wind Power Bites Another State

Wind turbines near Beaumont, Kansas
And, this time it is my home in Kansas. According to the Wichita Eagle,
Here’s why the rates are higher, according to an energy cost analysis by the Kansas Corporation Commission and two days of hearings where KCC officials presented their findings to the state Senate Utilities Committee: The major Kansas utilities, Westar Energy and Kansas City Power & Light, spent billions of dollars in the past 10 years to build or retrofit coal-fired power plants to meet new federal emissions standards.
They’ve also spent hundreds of millions of dollars building wind farms and transmission lines to get the power to market, in order to meet a state mandate that 20 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2020. That goal has already been met, although the state Legislature has since repealed the requirement.

Read more here:
In 2008, Kansas had among the lowest electric rates in the nation. Now, our rates are above average. This is what happens when politicians intervene in the marketplace.

It is even worse when global warming activists, by design, keep people poor and sick:
Modern energy access transforms lives in a myriad of ways. Energy not only powers lights that allow children to do homework and light streets to make them safer, but also the fridges that keep food hygienic and vaccines usable, the technology that brings healthcare and education into the modern age, and allows the economic development that can only be achieved through modern farming, commercial enterprise and industrialization.
By allowing the poor to stop cooking and heating with wood, cardboard and dung, modern energy also helps eliminate indoor air pollution, the world’s biggest environmental killer claiming 4.3 million lives annually.
We should always match the most appropriate fuel for the task. Effective decarbonization will occur when fossil fuels are replaced with reliable (wind isn't), inexpensive power such as third-generation nuclear, fusion or others under development.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Their Spectacularly Wrong Forecasts Never Affect Their Confidence

Sunday, I posted the infamous "Snowfalls Are a Thing of the Past" article. Here's another (h/t Ross McKitrick), published in 2004.
It is from Great Britain's Guardian. Read the item below and remember, all of this was forecasted to have occurred by the end of this year:
"Major European cities sunk beneath rising seas"? "Britain plunged into a Siberian climate"?
As I write this, there is a climate meeting in progress in -- cough, cough -- Breckenridge. Note that these are held in resort areas: Bali, Montreal, Cancun, Paris, Milan, etc., etc. While the rest of us are supposed to be cutting our carbon footprints, the climate alarmists fly across the world, enlarging theirs. Have scientists involved in climate never heard of Skype?

This "settled science" has many more characteristics of a religion and a political movement than science. 

As Glenn Reynolds puts it, I'll believe global warming is a crisis when those telling us it is crisis begin acting like its a crisis. 

Addition: And, speaking of spectacularly wrong forecasts. Remember the "global cooling" craze of the 1970's?