Day by Day

Friday, March 18, 2011

Global Warming Causes Earthquakes? Really?

Several "scientists" have been quoted saying that the number and size of recent earthquakes is due to anthropogenic global warming. Click this link to go to one of them.

These studies and the articles about them are such consumate pieces of pseudoscience, it's impossible to pay them serious attention, but I'll force myself. Persons who pay any credence to them have no concept of plate tectonics, geological time frames, and the comparative masses of earth, air, and water (here is a link to a great site by a Czech physicist who explains it clearly and fully). Don't they know most of the Earth's ice melted away over 15,000 years ago as the last Ice Age ended?

Apparently coincidence is now causation. Since the last Ice Age ended 15,000 years ago, research such as of Greenland ice cores shows at least six periods of greater warming than present, with warming diminishing since the Holocene Optimum 8,000 years ago. As for the intervening periods, they have been getting cooler, with the Little Ice Age 1150 to 1850 AD the coldest so far.

Along comes a bit of warming, a natural rebound from Little Ice Age cooling, and it is matched with increasing atmospheric CO2. Suddenly coincidence becomes cause, and research is launched with the charter of showing a theory based on the non-existent greenhouse effect as being driven by change in the trace gas, CO2. Oddly enough, flawed research based on tree rings as proxy for temperature - ignoring water, nutrients, competition for sunlight, disease, and other components of tree growth - research that strains to look back 1,000 years, and portions of which today show cooling when they should reflect warming - high jacked UN IPCC climate science (and Al Gore) on a wild-climate change goose chase.

It appears now that the inherent weakness in the CO2 caused warming effect is becoming obvious, so every effect is now in search of an anthropogenic global warming cause. Science is turned on its head, and where there once was a head, other body parts prevail.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

EPA and Science are Strangers

The EPA is trying to regulate atmospheric carbon dioxide as a pollutant, which is sheer stupidity. It is essential for healthy plant growth, and humans can live in an environment breathing ten times the current level of atmospheric CO2 with no negative health consequences.

Ask any submariner.

I think the EPA only discovered science yesterday, about the day after Al Gore did. Serious students of climate know that there have been at least six periods of greater warming in the past 15,000 years since the end of the Ice Age, and that current warmng is the weakest of the six. The greatest warm period recently was 8,000 years ago in the Holocene Optimum, and the following warming periods have steadily decreased in amplitude.

The latest warming hardly registers, even when compared to the Medieval Warm Period only 1,000 years ago. The only thing that makes it seem significant is that it comes right at the end of the Little Ice Age, the coldest period of the past 15,000 years.

Now we're in a state of lesser warming following greater cooling, which means that run-away warming is not what we need to worry about. Since warming didn't run away when atmospheric levels of CO2 were ten or more times the present, there is no reason to think it will in our current period of both low CO2 and temperature.

Unless your teacher of climate change was just born yesterday.

Will someone dry the wet behind Mr. Gore's ears?

Public Employee Union Thugs in Wisconsin

Recently a news service headlined that as a result of their defeat in Wisconsin, unions vow to target Republicans. When did the news equivalent of “dog bites man” become headline worthy?

In Wisconsin some police, firefighter, and teacher union leaders sent a letter (click here) to local businesses that contributed to Governor Scott Walker, threatening that these businesses publicly support the unions or: “In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company.”

Translation: “We’re going to make them an offer they can’t refuse.”

FDR, who opposed public employee unions, is rolling over in his grave.

Is ending public employee collective bargaining that critical for getting budgets under control? Yes, and a liberal columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, Chip Johnson, proved this point (in this article, Oakland police, firefighter pay devouring budger) using a database of local government salaries and compensation compiled by state Controller John Chiang's office. In Oakland, current pay and pension costs of police and firemen are pushing everything else out of Oakland's budget. Even the police budget: over 80 recently hired and trained policemen had to be laid off, still leaving Oakland with a $46 million budget deficit. One reason for police layoffs: the Oakland firefighters’ contract ensures no layoffs, minimum staff requirements aboard fire trucks, and no station closures. One union dog eats the other.

But the police aren’t complaining, although Oakland residents are; eight of the ten highest paid in Oakland are police, and 440 of the 500 highest paid are police and firemen.

Wisconsin taught a valuable lesson that should benefit both Democrats and Republicans. If you don’t like the way the game is going, and you grab the ball and run away, it only works if your opponents don’t have any to spare.

The Sixth Major Extinction

According to an extremely poorly researched and presented article in Nature magazine, man-caused global warming will cause Earth's sixth great mass extinction. I won't go into the weaknesses of the article in a deep scientific manner, because I'm not a scientist. I'll leave that sort of thing to Al Gore.

But for the science, or lack of it, please go here.

I'll continue with observations of a more general nature which I have gleaned from reading and listening to experts, and briefly describe below.

In the Galapagos we watched finches adapting rapidly to natural cycles of change in their food stocks. In my brief (by geological measurement) lifetime thousands of previously unknown species have been identified, many of apparently recent vintage. An astute observer of Greenland would note dramatic natural changes in just the past 1,000 years involving fish, birds, mammals, and plants adapting to the cold and ice of the Little Ice Age following the much-warmer-than-today Medieval Warm Period. Through all the natural changes, nature has produced winners and losers, and then reversed the game. Now we are in a brief interglacial period characterised by unusal warmth, compared to the glacial periods just preceding and, most assuredly, soon following.

Button up your overcoats. We're going to be one of the challenged species when it gets cold.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

California Democrats Say Financial Mess is Republicans' Fault

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Governor Brown missing budget deadline! Republicans’ fault!


Brown isn’t getting the two Republican votes each in the Senate and the Assembly he needs to call a special June election for voters whether to extend taxes. It’s Déjà vu all over again. In May 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger got the votes and put tax-increase propositions on the ballot. The voters defeated them 2 votes to 1. Then, as now, Democrat politicians said that if the propositions didn’t pass then drastic cuts would be made to education and health services. Then, as now, none were.

Now the sorry state of California’s finances are the Republicans’ fault, even though Republicans for years haven’t had enough votes to raise or lower anyone’s taxes, or to either cut or raise spending. Blaming Republicans is like blaming the street sweeper after the horse parade for all the manure on the road. Believe me, he wishes it never got there in the first place.

Republicans are trying to use the only clout they have to get the majority Democrats to work on the problem. From what has been in the news recently, so far the Democrats haven’t found one program that could stand even the slightest cut. “Cut spending? We need to raise it!” they cry, as they fall in line behind “Economist” Paul Krugman of the New York Times.

Governor Brown talks some spending cuts, but he knows that even if he gets the tax extensions on the ballot, and by some miracle they pass, he still won’t be able to wring promised spending cuts from the Legislature. Even his seizure of redevelopment funds, which cities like Santa Rosa are working hard to circumvent, only moves spending from one account to another.

More smoke and mirrors.