Day by Day

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Al Gore Melt Down

An interesting article popped up in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny," June 30, 2007, by James M. Taylor. The article points out that much of Al Gore’s “science” in “An Inconvenient Truth” has been refuted, and that Gore, in the interests of science, should correct his errors.

Obviously, that won’t ever happen, not even when Gore is a doddering old fool still waiting for the oceans to rise 20 feet in a hundred-year period.

“Tipper, do you see it’s already risen four inches in the past fifty years? The next nineteen feet, eight inches are going to happen mighty fast, so make sure the water wings are in the SUV.”

Besides outrageous claims of rising sea levels (even the IPCC only predicts a rise of four to twenty-four inches by 2100, and the sea level rise for the past 100 years was only seven inches, about what it has been for each of the past eighty centuries), Al Gore made a big deal about retreating glaciers in his slide show.

Of course, he never mentioned that glacier retreat has been widespread all over the world since 1850, roughly a century before any significant increase in CO2, but matching very well with a natural increase in warming that started about 1850 and marked the end of the Little Ice Age.

As an aside, Al never mentioned that global temperature only increased 0.5º C (0.9º F) in the 155 year-period, 1850-2005, that thermometers have been used to consistently and, for the most part, accurately record surface temperatures (primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, and at about a third less stations since the collapse of the Soviet Union).

On the matter of glaciers, for example, Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame."

However, now that some glaciers are growing, I’m sure we will be told that that is a sign of global warming, too.

Be that as it may, I became interested in finding out a bit more about glaciers. In particular, is there evidence that they were stable before humanity started pumping a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere when industrialization really picked up after World War II?

For an answer, I decided to check on Norwegian glaciers, since I have always felt Norwegians are solid and dependable, and would probably be very accurate and precise in measuring and recording things in their environment.

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I was right. Norwegian glaciers started retreating at about 1850, and systematically recorded observations since 1900 showed that between 1900 and 1940 Norwegian glaciers were primarily in retreat. This trend continued until the present, except for a brief five-year period of advancing glaciers beginning in 1995.

Although Norwegian glaciers are just a part of European glaciers, and the mass of Asian glaciers exceeds European by a factor of 33 times, an obvious conclusion may be drawn: glacier retreat in Norway started long before increased levels of CO2 could have been the cause.

Why does Al Gore spring retreating glaciers on the public like they are a recent phenomena, when voluminous records and observations show that glaciers were in retreat for a hundred years before CO2 began its rise?

Apparently that’s another inconvenient truth Al Gore doesn’t want us to know.

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If I may have my cake and eat it too, it is also interesting to note that some Norwegian glaciers have advanced right through the period of greatest increase in CO2.

Just as world wide temperatures fell from 1945 to 1975, even as CO2 rose steadily.

Al Gore and his cute slide show may have convinced a gullible public that global warming is a result of man-caused CO2 increases, but from all I’ve seen, the weight of evidence has come down firmly on the side of natural warming beginning over 150 years ago.

It looks like it just takes Al a long time to notice things that refute his junk science.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Water Shortages Solved!

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat is a daily newspaper that is the closest thing we have in Gualala to a local daily newspaper. However, it is 75 miles southeast of Gualala, so we don’t loom large in their news coverage.

In the early 1950’s my brother Ron and I delivered the Press Democrat in Point Arena for several years. In those days it published every day except Saturday.

About a year ago the Press Democrat offered, and I accepted, participation in occasional on-line polls. I have faithfully taken every poll, and I have noticed that each poll has a decided “in-the-box” orientation. The items discussed are very conventional, and the choices are too. When taking each poll, you get the feeling that the intended outcome is we need more laws, or more regulations, or more limitations, or more restrictions, and “Oh, by the way,” we need bigger government and higher taxes. Today’s survey was no exception:

Today we are inviting you to participate in our latest online survey. This one focuses on water conservation efforts and recent state directives to reduce diversions from the Russian River.

Why is water scarce in this area?

Possibly because the population in this area has tripled or quadrupled in less than fifty years. Possibly because the success of the Napa Valley vineyards have inspired other vineyards to be planted all over Sonoma and Mendocino counties. And obviously, I think, because a combination of rapid population increase and more intensive use of the land requires more water.

Or is it because global warming is causing great droughts, where none were before?

Out of the above possible reasons, and a lot I haven’t listed (and have no intent of listing), the global warming one is the only one that has absolutely no reason to be listed, but is probably the one most in the minds of the water-deprived peoples of Northern California.

Only a few decades ago, in the 1970’s, my brother Ron and others living at that time in the Santa Rosa area regaled me with tales of drought. He told me of publicity encouraging couples to shower or bathe together, and then to take the waste water from the tub (or trap it in a wading pool in the shower), and use it to water plants and lawn. And don’t even think of washing your car.

Interestingly, this Northern California drought occurred during a cooling period, one which was memorialized by apocalyptic forecasts of imminent global cooling.

Back to the Press Democrat survey. The survey raised the issues and the choices you might expect:

Should we stop diverting water to protect the fish?
Should we restrict water to farmers? To cities?
Cut lawn watering?
Have lawns ripped out and replaced with drought-resistant plants?
Etc.

In other words, should we change the way we slice the water pie, or should we change the recipients of slices, or do a combination?

Nowhere was the obvious and only workable solution proposed: Should we make a bigger water pie?

Here we all are, over 30 million Californians, about 90% of us living within 50 miles of the Pacific, and we are constantly arguing and agonizing over our scarce, and rapidly dwindling, water resources.

It is as if the word “desalinization” is taboo, never to be uttered in polite water scarcity discussions. Of course, desalinization is expensive. Therefore, in water scarce areas, any new users of water, or increased water users, should have to pay the higher costs of producing desalinated water. Perhaps the higher costs would encourage some potential newcomers to locate elsewhere. That would be a useful step in and of itself towards conservation of scarce water resources.

California is not alone in growing much faster than its existing sources of water can handle. The answer is simple: develop more sources of water by building desalination plants. That, of course, would require that California also add more energy generating capacity, which for all practical purposes, means more nuclear, gas, oil, and coal.

Alternative energy sources will remain expensive diversions from meeting energy needs. Resources spent in fruitless attempts to prevent global warming (and soon, to prevent global cooling), are resources wasted that could have been used beneficially to enable humankind to do what humans do best: adapt to a constantly changing environment.

Building desalinization and generating plants will be expensive, but the era of unlimited water resources is long passed, and in truth never existed. Already we know that power production world wide must be tripled, at least, by 2050 no matter what the environmentalist Luddites think.

Regardless of what our California Limousine Liberals think, over half the world is not going to willingly continue to live short, nasty, brutish lives of abject poverty just because the Left is looking on environmentalism as their last, best chance to seize power over the world's resources and economies.

The wealthier humankind becomes, the better it can adapt to change. Sea levels have risen over 400 feet in the past 21,000 years. Building sea walls and dikes are much more cost effective and humane than trying to freeze human development into a low-energy use mode.

Already we can see positive trends associated with increasing wealth: birth rates are decreasing rapidly in many developing countries, which eventually will reduce population growth and the human impacts on scarce resources. At the moment, half the population of the world lives in poverty and despoils their environment because they have no alternative for survival.

The Left's narrow, arrogant NIMBY (not in my back yard - or in anybody's back yard for that matter) attitudes are going to be overwhelmed by the needs to increase energy production and add water resources to enable humankind to eliminate crushing poverty.
It can be done, but not by trying to freeze human progress in fruitless efforts to stop the Earth's natural forces of constant change.

The Earth doesn’t need armies of Chicken Littles incessantly crying panic as the Earth continues along its path of change. A hefty dose of capitalism and democratic governments will enable humankind to adapt to change, and to lead longer, healthier, happier, and of course, more prosperous lives.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mars Has Global Warming

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Mars before warming

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Mars after warming

"Mars has global warming, but without a greenhouse and without the participation of Martians,” says the celebrated scientist, Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov at Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory. "These parallel global warmings -- observed simultaneously on Mars and on Earth -- can only be a straightline consequence of the effect of the one same factor: a long-time change in solar irradiance."

This obvious conclusion is too simple and obvious for our great minds to comprehend. Or more to the point, it doesn’t fit their need to have a vehicle to gain power and control over the economies of the world.

The sun's increased irradiance over the last century, not C02 emissions, is responsible for the global warming we're seeing, according to Dr. Abdussamatov, and this solar irradiance also explains the great volume of C02 emissions.

An aside. In a previous post, I reported that scientists examining ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland determined that increased levels of CO2 occurred about 800 years after global temperature increases, not prior to the increases. Over and over, for a period of hundreds of thousands of years, these ice cores spilled their little secret: CO2 increases are caused by warming; CO2 increases didn’t cause the warming.

As Dr. Abdussamatov noted: "It is no secret that increased solar irradiance warms Earth's oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man's industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations."

The “global warming is caused by CO2” cart got ahead of the “solar irradiance” horse, and our great scientific minds, like Al Gore (C’s and D’s in science courses), naturally concluded that the cart is pulling the horse.

Why such a conclusion?

Elementary, my dear Greeenies. If the Sun, not CO2, causes warming, humankind can’t be blamed; therefore, human activities can’t be controlled and directed to undertake a fruitless crusade to reduce CO2 emissions. Left to their own devices, humankind would probably do something utterly frivolous, like increasing generating capacity (and CO2 emissions), increasing economic productivity world wide, and vastly reducing or even eliminating world poverty.

Come to think of it, that’s what’s happening right now in China, India, and other parts of the developing world. They saw what we did in developed nations, and said: “Why don’t we do the same?”

Of course, “environmentalists” reply: “If you do it, you’ll wreck the planet.”

Developing nations then respond: “Did you guys wreck the planet to achieve your prosperity?”

Environmentalists naturally reply: “We certainly did.”
\
Developing countries puzzle over this, and ask: “So why are you so prosperous, while we’re so miserable?”

Environmentalists say: “Just wait a century or two. We’ll sacrifice our economies on the altar of stopping global warming, and eventually we’ll be as miserable as you.”

The developing nations ponder this logic for a second or two, maybe even a minute, and then place orders for more coal-fired generating plants (each large enough to power San Diego) to be built at an average rate of two or three every week.

Apparently the developing nations would like to share our brand of misery, rather than waiting for us to share theirs.

China certainly would. The Chinese just passed the United States as the largest generator of CO2 a year or two sooner than expected.

Dr. Abdussamatov is unconcerned, debunking the very notion of a greenhouse effect. "Ascribing 'greenhouse' effect properties to the Earth's atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated," he maintains. "Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away."

As Lawrence Solomon (executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute and Consumer Policy Institute, divisions of Energy Probe Research Foundation) reports, then Dr. Abdussamatov would spring the real news from Saint Petersburg -- demonstrated by cooling that is occurring on the upper layers of the world's oceans -- that Earth has hit its temperature ceiling. Solar irradiance has begun to fall, ushering in a protracted cooling period beginning in 2012 to 2015. The depth of the decline in solar irradiance reaching Earth will occur around 2040, and "will inevitably lead to a deep freeze around 2055-60" lasting some 50 years, after which temperatures will go up again.

Then we may all wish we could actually do something to cause global warming, because after temperatures go up again, the world will be just about due for the next glacial period (Ice Age). The last one peaked about 21,000 years ago, and the next is due to start in about another 2,000 years.

Humankind will then discover that it is a lot easier to use air conditioning to cope with a warmer Earth, than it is to dig through a mile of ice to get out of Chicago.

Solution to Global Warming - and Cooling Too

Joem, a recent visitor to one of my earlier posts, left this comment:

I am willing to support an advocacy campaign that is in support of global warming but I think that the issue has been muddied. Politics has taken our attention off the real issue. The issue is not whether global warming is real or not. Conserving our planet is more important than debating about the genuineness of global warming.

I replied:

Preservation of our planet can only be accomplished through the elimination of poverty. Elimination of poverty can only be accomplished by the increased production of, and the productive use of, a lot more energy than we are currently capable of producing. Meeting future energy needs will require the improved use of coal by filtering out true pollutants (CO2 is not a pollutant) and the increased use and improvement of nuclear power production.

Alternative energy sources will remain expensive diversions from meeting energy needs. Resources spent in fruitless attempts to prevent global warming (and soon, to prevent global cooling), are resources wasted that could have been used beneficially to enable humankind to do what humankind does best: adapting to a constantly changing environment.

The wealthier humankind becomes, the better it can adapt to change. Sea levels have risen over 400 feet in the past 21,000 years. Building sea walls and dikes are much more cost effective and humane than trying to freeze human development in a low-energy use mode (thereby condemning the bulk of humanity to continue living short, nasty, brutish lives).

Already we can see positive trends associated with increasing wealth: birth rates are decreasing rapidly in many developing countries, which eventually will reduce population growth and the human impact on scarce resources. At the moment, half the population of the world lives in poverty and despoils their environment because they have no alternative for survival.

Deforestation by man, not global warming, caused Mount Kilimanjaro to lose 45% of its glacier cover before 1940. Primitive slash and burn agricultural methods, not global warming, caused the spread of many deserts even during the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1900 AD).

So, Joem, in a way you are right. Global warming is not the real issue, but it is not only diverting attention from the real issues to conserve our planet, it is even driving us away from taking the steps that would actually do some good: spreading economic freedom and thereby eliminating poverty.

The Earth doesn’t need armies of Chicken Littles constantly crying panic as the Earth continues along its constant path of change. A hefty dose of capitalism and democratic governments will enable humankind to adapt to change, and to lead longer, healthier, happier, and of course, more prosperous lives.

Enlightened self interest trumps government solutions every time it's tried.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jimmy Carter's "Criminal" Charges

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Jimmy Carter, our worst former president, and a strong contender for worst president ever, does not intend to rest on his laurels. Adding to his long list of imbecilities, his latest is that the United States is “criminal” for not treating the murderous Hamas leadership in Gaza with respect.

That the Hamas leadership in Gaza is a puppet of Iran somehow does not register in the thick and slow mind of Jimmy Carter. He probably thinks that Hamas in Lebanon is a purely nationalistic Lebanese movement, free of ties and entanglements with Iran and Syria, just as he feels that Hamas in Gaza represents pure Palestinian nationalism.

Drawing from his deep well of willful ignorance, Jimmy Carter then demands that Israel and the United States give aid to agents sworn to the destruction of Israel, even as Hamas uses each “truce” for cover to launch rockets from Gaza against Israeli civilians, and then complains bitterly of aggression when Israel takes steps to protect its citizens.

In “Jimmy Carter-think,” it is criminal for a nation to try to protect itself against attacks by terrorists staging from neighboring states.

Mr. Carter, when did you change the laws of common sense to make it wrong for a nation to protect itself from terrorist attacks? Or to make it right that the nation attacked give aid to its attackers?

Mr. Carter, you have said that every United States president since Roosevelt, including yourself, could have brought peace to the Middle East. Obviously, you made the matter much worse by your actions which resulted in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, and the rise to power of the human rights disaster of the Iranian Ayatollahs. But don’t you realize, Mr. Carter, that the Muslim nations in the Middle East could have brought peace to the Middle East long ago it they had recognized Israel’s right to exist, as established by United Nations charter?

Don’t you realize, Mr. Carter, that neighboring states of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon could have brought peace to the Middle East long ago by assimilating Palestinian refugees, instead of confining them to squalid camps for six decades?

Don’t you realize, Mr. Carter, that Israel would never have occupied Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights if not attacked by the combined might of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan?

In 1967. The Six Days War.

In 1973. The Yom Kippur War.

Mr. Carter, who has been attacking who?

Mr. Carter, you are the self-proclaimed champion of human rights world wide, yet you avoid pointing out human rights abuses in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq under Saddam, and Syria, while continually criticizing Israel, the only Middle East democratic government. Could this be due to all the money the Carter Center and Carter Library receive from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates?

Mr. Carter, could you tell me the difference in freedom of worship between, for example, a Christian or Jew in Saudi Arabia, and a Muslim in Israel?

Another question, Mr. Carter: Who has the greatest political freedom, the Arab in Egypt, or the Arab in Israel?

How about the Arab in Saudi Arabia, or the Arab in Israel?

Syria or Israel?

Libya or Israel?

Mr. Carter, aren’t political and religious freedoms very important parts of human rights?

At least you are a model of consistency, Mr. Carter. You also ignore abuses in Cuba and North Korea, and studiously avoided mentioning rampant corruption and abuses under Yasser Arafat. In fact, you put the stamp of legitimacy on Arafat when he was elected Palestinian president in 1996. I’m sure his widow is forever grateful to you for helping her late husband become one of the wealthiest men in the world while presiding over one of its poorest countries.

I hope Yasser was generous in his contributions to the Carter causes.

You earned it.

You’ve earned a lot over the years.

Your demand that the Shah of Iran step down and turn over power to the Ayatollah Khomeini is easily the biggest American foreign policy mistake of the past half century.

Now your constant carping in foreign capitals against the policies of the United States are undermining President Bush’s efforts to repair some of the damages which began and grew during your pathetic presidency.

Obviously, what you put asunder, you don’t want President Bush to join together.

That wouldn’t look good for the Carter legacy, would it?

Do you remember the map below, Mr. Carter?

This map of the result of the presidential election of 1980 shows what the American people thought of your presidency, and of the legacy you deserved then.

After 1980, in a word, "loser."

Now it's 2007, Mr. Carter, and your legacy has grown and requires two words to describe it, "meddlesome loser."

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Where Has All The Global Warming Gone?

Where has all the global warming gone?

First, the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2.

Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).

Third, there are strong indications from solar studies that Earth's current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades.


When will they ever learn?

Global Warming is Beneficial, Naturally

(In a letter to the editor of our local weekly newspaper, the Independent Coast Observer, Gualala, California, I remarked that scientific consensus once held that the Earth was flat. When he ran my letter, the editor remarked that there never was a scientific consensus that the Earth was flat. Apparently the editor's history reference materials don't go back far enough.

Which really is not the point of this post. The point I really want to get across is that there is abundant proof that global warming has been beneficial, and none that it is not.

The only significant negative that I have seen proven so far is that the seas are rising.

True. In fact, they have risen over 400 feet since the end of the last glacial period [Ice Age] 21,000 years ago. During the past century of increasing warmth, the seas rose about six inches, which is about what they have risen each century for the past 8,000 years. Before that, sea levels rose much more rapidly as the Ice Age reversed.

Here begineth my letter.)

Concerning scientific consensus on a flat earth: “They all laughed at Christopher Columbus, when he said the Earth was round” (as reported by George & Ira Gershwin, 1936). In early Classical Antiquity, the Earth was generally believed to be flat. Egyptians, Babylonians, and ancient Hebrews so believed, and the Bible implies a flat Earth.

We still speak about going to "the four corners of the world."

When we reach them we will find global warming is beneficial, naturally, as always.

“Elections” have already been held in the United States and Canada, and the populace voted overwhelmingly for global warming as evidenced by rapid population increases in southerly states compared to colder regions. In effect, people voted with their feet to live where temperatures are much warmer. They weren’t going to wait for global warming to get to Michigan or Minnesota when they could enjoy it by living in Florida, Arizona, Texas, or in hot and smoggy California.

Humankind flourished during previous warm periods, enjoying better health, abundant food, and milder weather. After the benevolent and prosperous Medieval Warm Period (AD 800-1300), diseases such as malaria raged through malnourished and impoverished populations during the Little Ice Age (1300-1850). Crops failed and livestock perished as global temperatures plummeted, ice sheets advanced, and growing seasons shortened. Increased thermal differences across latitudes fueled more frequent and powerful storms.

Now we are in another period of natural warming, with large increases in the early 1900’s, reversed briefly from 1940 to 1975 (triggering a global cooling panic, remember?), and now warming again, although not as rapidly as before 1940. Prosperity and the good health that goes with it now reign wherever personal and economic freedoms are enjoyed.

We should “make hay while the Sun shines” though, because soon the next Ice Age will be upon us.