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1. Heavily subsidized solar industry crowds out farmers

As reported in The Fayetteville Observer back in March:

From 2007 to 2014…$421 million [was spent in the Cape Fear region] on solar projects. In the first 70 days of 2015, Dallas-based Principal Solar announced plans to tack on another $325 million worth of facilities in Cumberland and Bladen counties. Horne Brothers has a sizable project nearby, too.

As has been reported in this newsletter many times, these investments are backed by massive subsidies from North Carolina’s state government. So what would be happening with this land if the solar power plants were not being subsidized into existence as they currently are? Apparently, food would be growing on it. As the Observer article also reports, the heavily subsidized solar companies can afford to outbid farmers for the use of the land.

…property owners who would generally lease farm land annually for $50 to $60 an acre can get $800 to $1,200 an acre from solar companies. For 50 acres, that’s going from a lower number of $2,500 to a high ranging from $40,000 to $60,000.

2. 97% consensus on global warming can’t be found

This article by Ross McKitrick in the Financial Post shatters the myth, promulgated by the media and many politicians, that 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming is a significant environmental problem caused by human induced CO2 emissions. McKitrick examines the claim and finds that it is backed up only by rhetoric. Here’s some of what he has to say:

In 2013 President Obama sent out a tweet claiming 97 per cent of climate experts believe global warming is "real, man-made and dangerous." As it turns out the survey he was referring to didn’t ask that question, so he was basically making it up. At a recent debate in New Orleans I heard climate activist Bill McKibben claim there was a consensus that greenhouse gases are "a grave danger." But when challenged for the source of his claim, he promptly withdrew it

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change asserts the conclusion that most (more than 50 per cent) of the post-1950 global warming is due to human activity, chiefly greenhouse gas emissions and land use change. But it does not survey its own contributors, let alone anyone else, so we do not know how many experts agree with it…

One commonly-cited survey asked if carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and human activities contribute to climate change. But these are trivial statements that even many IPCC skeptics agree with…

The most highly-cited paper supposedly found 97 per cent of published scientific studies support man-made global warming. But in addition to poor survey methodology, that tabulation is often misrepresented. Most papers (66 per cent) actually took no position. Of the remaining 34 per cent, 33 per cent supported at least a weak human contribution to global warming. So divide 33 by 34 and you get 97 per cent, but this is unremarkable since the 33 per cent includes many papers that critique key elements of the IPCC position…

In 2012 the American Meteorological Society (AMS) surveyed its 7,000 members, receiving 1,862 responses. Of those, only 52 per cent said they think global warming over the 20th century has happened and is mostly manmade (the IPCC position). The remaining 48 per cent either think it happened but natural causes explain at least half of it, or it didn’t happen, or they don’t know. Furthermore, 53 per cent agree that there is conflict among AMS members on the question. So no sign of a 97 per cent consensus. Not only do about half reject the IPCC conclusion, more than half acknowledge that their profession is split on the issue.

3. NC ozone report

Since this newsletter was started, I have been including weekly data on ozone levels across the state as reported by the state’s Division of Air Quality. Last year’s ozone season was the best on record for North Carolina. There were zero high ozone days reported for any of the 40 monitors across the state.

The 2015 ozone season began on April 1 and, as in the past, each week during the ozone — often called smog — season, this newsletter will report how many, if any, high ozone days have been experienced throughout the state during the previous week, where they were experienced, and how many have been recorded during the entire season to date. According to current EPA standards, a region or county experiences a high ozone day if a monitor in that area registers the amount of ozone in the air as 76 parts per billion (ppb) or greater. The official ozone season will end on October 31. All reported data is preliminary and issued by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, which is part of the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Thus far this season there have been no high ozone days recorded on any of the state’s 42 monitors.

The table below shows all of the North Carolina’s ozone monitors and the high reading on those monitors for each day of the 7 day period, May 4-10.

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