Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Cooling Period of the Holocene

I often comment on the Holocene period and how we are in its cold phase. This is a succinct summary of those comments:

About 11,700 years ago the last 100,000-year glacial period ended, as did the four preceding it in the past half-million years. A 15,000 to 20,000 year interglacial period followed each glacial period, and each of these short interglacials had temperatures about 2 degrees Celsius higher that now plus higher sea levels, and we are presently in the cooling phase of our Holocene interglacial. 

There have been four warmer periods than now in the past 10,000 years. The earliest and warmest, the Holocene Climate Optimum, peaked 6,000 year ago, and was followed by successively cooler warm periods, the Minoan, Roman, Medieval, and our relatively cool present warm period. During the past 6,000 years temperature and sea level have ratcheted down and we just emerged from the coldest period of the past 10,000 years, the Little Ice Age. 

Since 1700AD global temperature has risen 2 degrees Celsius with relatively low levels of atmospheric CO2 (280ppm). As in the four previous periods of warming, atmospheric levels of CO2 played no discernible role in causing their warming or preventing periodic cooling. 

All of these climate changes occurred without benefit of human contributions, just as our present warming period was already 250 years along before human burning of fossil fuels after 1950AD caused a significant increase in CO2 levels. Of interest, the first period of rapid CO2 increase, 1950 to 1980, featured significant cooling from the very warm 1930 to 1950 period, and caused a Global Cooling panic. Over half the warming after 1980 has been a recovery from the drop in temperature 1950 to 1980. 

What can we do about current warming? Take advantage of it like our ancestors did. Civilization began and advanced rapidly during the rapid warming following the Ice Age. It's a good thing our ancestors didn't figure out a way to stop Global Warming then or we would still have mile-thick ice sheets covering all of Canada and a third of the US.!

Friday, June 14, 2019

"" - wants us to "Rise up and stop climate change together"

According to the website: "One hundred corporations are responsible for 71% of global carbon emissions."
Whatever the “100 corporations” are doing concerning CO2 emissions is irrelevant. Fossil fuels enabled the level of prosperity developed nations enjoy today and are the means for developing nations to achieve comparable prosperity. China is the best example, followed by India, and with reliable electrical power and water storage and distribution – attainable only with reliable electrical power from fossil fuel consumption now and in the foreseeable future – Africa will be next.

Burning biofuels in enclosed spaces (homes) – wood and dung – for heating and cooking is responsible for four million deaths each year from respiratory illnesses. Reliable electricity and LPG would eliminate most of these deaths.

Our annual human-created output of 29 gigatons of CO2 is tiny – only 4% - compared to the 750 gigatons moving through the natural carbon cycle each year.

Increase in CO2 emissions is caused by developing countries, not developed. The US and Europe have reduced their CO2 emissions.

CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere – only 0.04%. “Earth's atmosphere is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, and 0.04% carbon dioxide with very small percentages of other elements. Our atmosphere also contains water vapor.”
CO2 is also not the most important greenhouse gas. Water vapor comprises about 96% of greenhouse gases and CO2 only about 4%. Methane is a hardly measurable component of greenhouse gases. 

At atmospheric CO2 levels of 150ppm or lower complex life forms on Earth cease existence. At current increasing levels – roughly 400ppm – there has been measurable greening of the planet. During the past billion years atmospheric CO2 levels have normally been much higher – 4,000 to over 7,000ppm. 

Higher CO2 levels increase plant growth and reduce water consumption.

Greenland ice cores, ocean and lake sediment cores, tree lines, coral mounds, ancient beaches, and many other studies show that we now live in the coldest 1,000-year period of the past 10,000 years. Four previous warm periods – the Holocene Climate Optimum (9,000 to 5,000 years ago), Minoan (3,800 to 3,100 years ago), Roman (2,300 to 1,900 years ago), and Medieval (1,150 to 800 years ago) were all warmer than present and each became progressively cooler than its predecessor. continues: "Biodiversity plummets as every twenty-four hours 175 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct." 

Here is a recent article debunking the mass extinction claims.

It highlights that recent extinctions, which have been moderate and declining in rate, are primarily on islands where non-native species were introduced. I saw the effects of that when I lived on Oahu for four years – mongoose, rats, cats, mosquitos, and plants such as trees, bushes, and fruit like blackberry vines.

To understand recent Great Barrier Reef (GBR) problems it’s good to look at the long picture; coral has existed for about 500 million years. During that time sea levels have varied by over 150 meters, atmospheric CO2 has been ten to twenty times higher, and global temperatures have varied over 10 degrees Celsius. Coral thrived, since it is a warm water organism.

Only 12,000 years ago, the GBR evolved its current form. Prior to that, sea level in the 100,000-year glacial period (Ice Age) was about 120 meters (roughly 400 feet) below the current level. In the 6,000-year period, 18,000 years to 12,000 years ago, sea level rose 120 meters, an average rate of two meters (over 6 feet) per century. Coral kept up with that rapid rate of sea level rise.

The best article I’ve found on the 2016 bleaching is by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University and author of Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.
The significant findings are that the 2016 El Nino caused prolonged low sea level at low tide and that the upper 15 cm of reef coral was bleached. Coral at deeper levels were not affected. The Hughes study that reported coral disaster was an aerial survey and did not identify that the bleaching was only in the top reef level and had nothing to do with water temperature.

Coral exposed by low tides caused by 2016 El Nino

Here is  a comprehensive article about coral over time

Here’s a good article that includes summaries of many coral studies

I have dozens of studies that all support coral resilience and the causes of fluctuations – and that coral is doing very well, particularly in areas where scuba divers are rare.

Your statistics on rates of extinction are also totally out of whack, but that’s an item for a later look.

Climate Change Alarmists fiddle while California burns – “It’s the forest management, stupid!”

Even the LA Times figured it out. In fact, The Times and others noted that warnings to Paradise and other cities went back decades and predicted then what happened last year. 

Concerning wildfires and climate change: “The state’s climate alarmist politicians, media and climate activists have attempted to make nebulous and lame excuses that man made “climate change” is accountable for the poor forest conditions and increased wildfires but these claims are unsupported by climate data going back more than 1,000 years showing extensive periods of extreme droughts and precipitation in California have long existed and that no definitive change in this very long term climate record has been established as was noted in a Los Angeles Times article from 2014.”

As I have noted in several of my previous letters in the ICO, going back over a decade, Californians live in a Fool’s Paradise; the past hundred years have been much wetter – and cooler - than most of the past 7,000 years. 

Good forest management removes fuel and prevents small trees from serving as “fire ladders.” It also conserves water by removing small trees that take water from big trees. 

While you go on about stopping climate change, which has occurred naturally millions of times, the real work of preventing wildfire devastation needs to be done in California’s forests now!

Sunday, June 02, 2019

"Homogenizing" the Way to Global Warming

Less than a decade ago I found some NOAA temperature charts for nearby cities in Northern California - where I've lived off and on since 1949. The cities are Santa Rosa and Ukiah, and  i remember old timers in the 1950s talking about how much hotter they had been in the 1930s and 1940s. The NOIAA temperature charts substantiated the old timers' memories - for awhile.

This was the Santa Rosa chart showing the hotter 1930s and 1940s:
This is the Santa Rosa chart that replaced it after "homogenization." The early years suffered a cold snap that lowered temperatures about one degree C for four decades and then raised later temperatures gradually.
How about Ukiah? Not surprisingly, Ukiah also found that its cooling trend became warming.

Before homogenization:
After homogenization.
It's funny that after over half a century since they passed on, the old timers were made liars about their memories of the hotter olden days.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Our 2018 Christmas Letter

Angelic Alice and I pray "May your days be Merry and Bright"

Retirement is hard work! After seven years of tireless effort Alice has a July 2019 publish date for "The Lady with Balls", her memoir, with Cypress House in Fort Bragg - and she loves working with them. They give her help and guidance she thought she could only get in her dreams. I'm inspired and learning from Alice's efforts and finally am diligently working on a growing-up-in-Point Arena memoir and a science and politics treatise "It Ain't Necessarily So."

We've had a busy travel year; three weeks in Japan in April and a September cruise down the Saint Lawrence River with Alice's Reseda High Reunion group. The photo above was taken outside a chocolate shop across the street from our Kyoto, Japan B and B. Alice saw some women posing in front of the wings having their pictures taken by their partners so she got in line, hopped up, struck a pose, and I snapped it - and we marveled at the result.  

We stayed five nights at the New Sanno Hotel in the center of Tokyo. It's run by the U. S. military recreation unit and is unbelievable value for money, which explains why you have to book it a year ahead. 

One of a bazillion temples and shrines in Japan -we tried to see them all

Kyoto is full of students, and many of them dress up to visit the shrines and parks

Our breakfast room became our bedroom, or vice versa

But this was our dining room, where we had about a dozen-course dinner nightly

Our Reseda High reunion cruise was themed "Fall Colors"and began at Quebec City, from whence we boarded the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas with 3100 passengers and a huge crew. After cruising down the St. Lawrence River we visited Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, Boston, Maine again, and disembarked in New Jersey. Alice made a mental note that she has to add Bar Harbor, Maine, and its classic hotel to her book tour plans. One of many highlights of our cruise was seeing the musical "Anne and Gilbert" at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the land  of "Anne of Green Gables." 

The young stars

After our cruise ended we spent three nights in a hotel overlooking Times Square. We saw "Hamilton" - what a big disappointment. Doing a musical in rap may seem like a great way to appeal to a younger audience, but the dialogue is all delivered at the same breakneck speed and the emotions ranged from angry, really angry, and "you won't believe how angry I am", plus no memorable songs and uninspired dancing. Alice and I felt like "the Emperor has no clothes" type of people. The theater was next to our hotel, so at intermission we went to our room instead of standing in the long bathroom lines. 

A block further down the street at the Al Hirschfeld Theater - I could have browsed the Hirschfeld posters in the lobbies for hours - we saw "Kinky Boots" and it was fabulous; great singing, great dancing, interesting and engaging story - too bad they didn't take that approach to "Hamilton.

I enjoyed my roles as Lt. Brannigan, NYPD, Joey Biltmore, garage owner, and crapshooter in our Gualala Arts Center performances of "Guys and Dolls." Al Hirschfeld did posters for many editions of "Guys and Dolls" and this was one I shot in the lobby.

Alice appreciating Catholic religion inspired fashion featured in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

May 2019 we will spend a few days in Amsterdam then embark on a river cruise from Bonn, Germany, to Bucharest, Rumania. We'll get back in early June just in time for Alice to start her whirlwind book tours. In August we'll have a little break, but not from writing. We'll be at the annual Writer's Conference in Mendocino; a wonderful experience in a great location. 

Somewhere in all this I hope to fit in another musical. My personal scorecard for the past four years is "Jekyll and Hyde", "Of Thee I Sing", "La Cage aux Folles" and "Guys and Dolls." I have two goals: the first is to keep going as an octogenarian - it won't be long - and the second is a solo or duet. I give Radar daily concerts at the beach to great success.

Alice is a natural actress but won't join in because she is a practical person and thinks that the endless rehearsals to deliver six performances is crazy, but I love the camaraderie of rehearsals and how everything miraculously comes together for those six performances.

Life's not always simple but the lemonade you make from the lemons you get makes a most delicious elixir.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all the best wishes 
from Michael, Alice and our little darling Radar.

Photo by Cheryl Waters-Sidrian

Happy New Year!

Reflections for Christmas, Cook's Beach, Gualala, California

With Radar on Bowling Ball Beach seven miles north of Gualala

Alice at Hamburgers cliff

Radar examining interesting driftwood

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sieg Heil, Maxine Waters!

Excerpts from a Maxine Waters rant:
“Already, you have members of your Cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants,” she continued as the crowd erupted, “who have protesters taking up at their house, who say, ‘No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep,'” she continued."
“And so, let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up and if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she yelled."
And I thought we defeated the Third Reich. I wonder if she will try to make Republicans wear a red "R" when we're out in public so we can be properly scorned.

I admit to a gross violation of Godwin's Law:

Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies) is an internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1"; that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone ... (to Hitler or the Third Reich).

Why should the left have all the fun? This is tit-for-tat, childish but somehow satisfying.

The Climate Models Suck - And They Admit It!

THEY BLEW IT! A new study in Nature by some prominent alarmists concludes that the climate models overestimate warming.

"We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations." Translation = the models miss stuff, and their mistakes cost $trillions.…/j…/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2973.html

Kicking Republicans Out Of Restaurants Saves Lives

I sent this to the Letters to Editors of the San Francisco Chronicle because I was appalled by Willie Brown's comment about customers needing to be taught lessons by restaurant kitchen staff. According to Willie, they establish themselves as judge, jury, and executioner when they don't like certain customers. 

Editor, San Francisco Chronicle

Please ask Mr. Brown what restaurant employees do to dishes for customers who need to be taught a lesson. Also, would Mr. Brown be good enough to describe the nature of the lesson taught? Is it adding a substance to sicken the customer? Ruin its taste? Pass along illness?

I’m appalled that such  comment passed editor review. Apparently the Chronicle has no problem with it. Sad.

Michael B. Combs, Major, US Air Force, Retired

Here’s the article

This is the excerpt written by Willie Brown: 
 Chef’s special: Style points for stupidity for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, giving a news conference filled with legalisms about why the administration just had to split up families at the southern border, then heading to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
Activists found out where she was in no time, showed up to heckle her, and eventually chased her out.
She should thank them for saving her life. I’ve worked in restaurants, and I know what happens in the kitchen to the dishes for customers who need to be taught a lesson.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our 2017 Christmas Letter

 Merry Christmas and an 
outrageously Happy New Year!

Who said life begins at 75?

Offhand, I can’t think of anyone that nutty.

Except me.

I’m probably the first, but I’ll paraphrase: “The rest of our lives began at 75.”

Trite but true.

But there is an element of best in all of this. We appreciate how good we are to each other; how much we appreciate each other. How we still bring nice surprises each day. And we are each other’s best travel companion.

Speaking of travel, and you knew I would, we spent a Spring month in Baja; a two-week cruise up the Bay of Cortez was sandwiched between two very relaxing four-day stays in Cabo San Lucas. Among many highlights was Alice petting a gray whale calf while its mother chaperoned, all the while me dipping a GoPro in the water for whale eyeball video.

In August we went to storied Mendocino (and stayed in the Hill House Inn, featured in Murder She Wrote, which we never watched) for a Writers’ Conference. The highlight was when Alice gave a two-minute pitch of her book, The Lady With Balls, that was so well received that she now has an agent, and will be published in July 2019 by Cypress House in Fort Bragg, Alice’s reward for five years of diligent composing and revising.

There is no way to adequately describe how hard Alice worked and is working on completing her memoir. Along the way she went from an avid student of writing, to painstakingly applying what she learned to crafting over 300 pages detailing her journey into and through the male-dominated garbage recycling industry. It’s an Only in America story - poignant, humorous, heart warming, uplifting – Alice is already planning the audio book, and further down the line, which actress should portray her in the movie.

I plan to make good on my threat of publishing my coming-of-age memoir of growing up in Point Arena in the 1950s. Look in bookstores next year under Ancient California History. Also in the works, It Ain’t Necessarily So, my opus magnum totally debunking the myth of human-caused global warming/climate change/weird weather, covering the last million years of climate change with a concentration on the past 10,000 years since the end of the Ice Age. Look for it in bookstores where the black-clad crowd is chanting to have it burned.

Alice is a good sport, and good company. In late September we went to a reunion in Albuquerque of my old unit, the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force bases Bentwaters and Woodbridge, Suffolk County, United Kingdom, where I served my best five-year period (1970-1975) in the Air Force as the base’s Budget Officer. We’re a bit older, our numbers are shrinking, but a great time was had by all. I was stationed at Bentwaters as the Viet Nam War ground down, in the darkest depths of the Cold War. Our 72 F-4 D and E fighter-bombers primarily were tasked with stopping the Soviets and Warsaw Pact tanks in the Fulda Gap on their way to crossing the Rhine, with tactical nukes.

RAF Bentwaters reunion friends with a B-52, almost as old as us and still going strong - just like us!

We already have travels planned well into 2019: next year April in Japan, then a two-week Fall Colors cruise, Canada and New England, with Alice’s Reseda high school reunion group in September. May 2019 will find us on a 27-day Grand European Sojourn cruise, from Amsterdam to Bucharest. We picked this one and signed up early so that Alice could have a bathtub; she doesn’t take showers, and I don’t take baths. But we’re very compatible, and surprisingly clean.

In January I begin rehearsals for seven March performances of Guys and Dolls, my fourth musical since 2014, as the bad guy (and non-singer) Lieutenant Brannigan of the NYPD. I'm also the off-stage voice of garage owner joey Biltmore, and voice him with a New York whine I learned from watching old Warner Brothers movies. My third role, in disguise with a false mustache, is as one of the gambling gangsters in the Luck be a Lady scene. I keep trying to enlist Alice for a play – she’s a natural actress – but she balks at all the memorization and time-killing rehearsals.

The business Alice founded, Vulcan Wire, had its Christmas Party in San Leandro again this year hosted by CEO Mike Graffio, not far from its office and manufacturing buildings in Hayward. 

Alice and I are as busy in retirement as in our working days, and loving almost every minute. Travelling, writing, visiting friends and family (not as much as we would like), walking to Cook’s Beach and playing ball with Radar every day. Our motto: someone has to live a life like this; it might as well be us.

 Radar looks like he's wearing an hydrangea hat!