Day by Day

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I See the Future of Renewable (Green) Energy - It Ain't Pretty

In comments concerning where nenewable energy was heading - meaning wind, solar, and biomass - a commenter "Bad Andrew" said: "If anyone tells me he knows for sure what will happen to renewable energy in 40 years, I will laugh at him."

I waved my hand excitedly and commenced to prognosticate:

I know Bad Andrew, I know! Wind and solar will still be diffuse and unreliable. Other renewables like tide and biomass will still be somewhere in the future, but will not be a better alternative than they are now, and in the case of biomass, much worse.

However, in 40 years nuclear will have moved from its infancy into adolescence, and will be providing over half of the power needs of China, India, and the United States. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will be doing most of the work, but other nuclear will be investigated and found very promising. Fusion will definitely be closer to becoming the renewable power source for all future needs.

People will laugh thinking of the foolishness of wind, solar, carbon sequestration, biomass, and there will be a special Hall of Shame for Al Gore and anyone involved in promoting ethanol. The world will be a better place because abundant, inexpensive energy will enable citizens of developing nations to achieve lives of comfort, well being, and promise for the future.

And at 108 years of age, I will be enjoying a long, active life, and regretting it won't last forever so I can witness all the miracles of mankind.

Rising Sea Levels Alarmism

Mann et al are back at it; this time their alarmism is about sea levels rising.

Sea level has risen an average of 4 feet per century since the end of the Ice Age: 420 feet in 100 centuries. Fortunately, almost all of it occurred in a short period 10,000 years to 8,000 years ago. Since then sea level reached 10 to 20 feet higher than now during the 10 degrees warmer Holocene Optimum until reaching a peak about 3,000 years ago, then started falling. However, the Medieval Warm Period featured 12th Century sea levels eight inches higher than now, the Little Ice Age had sea levels 12 inches lower, and for the past four centuries sea levels have been increasing an average of six inches per century, and the rate of increase has been falling in the past half century.

It doesn't appear that alarmist studies reflect the sea level history going back 10,000 years when sea level was 420 feet lower, or the fluctuations in the six periods of warming in that period, of which the current period is the least. The only thing that makes the current warming seem remarkable is that it follows the Little Ice Age, which was the coldest period since the end of the Ice Age. We have actually been on a cooling trend since the end of the Holocene Optimum about 4,000 years ago; each succeeding warm period has been cooler than the preceding.

None of this is conjecture about atmospheric carbon dioxide; it was much lower than now even though average temperature was higher. None of this requires computer models; it's all been compiled in studies reported voluminously in books such as H H Lamb's "Climatic History and the Future" published in 1977. No trees had to be bored and cored, and analyzed for growth factors such as moisture, temperature, carbon dioxide fertilization, divergence from the instrumental record, and the like. Instead, such records as crops - vineyards in England 1,000 years ago - glacier retreat and advance, coral mounts that were 10 feet above current sea level 3,000 years ago, and sediments that indicated ocean temperature was 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer then.

These current studies seem detached from other science and climatic history. They exist in a land of make believe, where what you desire now changes the past to fit the present.

Soviet historians did this whenever present facts made an event in the past an inconvenient truth. I thought that all ended around 1984, but "science" seems to have picked it up as the Soviet Union collapsed. Perhaps science will be next...

It Ain't Necessarily So

Columnist Amy Goodman criticized Sarah Palin for her Paul Revere statement, but then continued that recent bad weather was a sign we need to stop global warming. Since Goodman used Sarah Palin as an example of conservative ignorance, I did what I always do when confronted with liberal columnist climate change assertions: I looked at the science, and at what even “warmist” scientists were saying about the link between bad weather and climate change.

Not surprising to me, since I’d already read voluminous articles about it, scientist after scientist said that there is no demonstrated link between recent bad weather and man-caused warming. The New York Times: Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “(I)n the early part of the 20th century, there was also a tendency for more extreme events followed by a quiet couple of decades.”

In New Science: “Martin Hoerling at the US NOAA. ‘A lot of these extreme conditions are natural variations of the climate. Extremes happen, heat waves happen, heavy rains happen.’

“’Drought across the southern US - and heavy rains across the north of the country - are a result of La NiƱa,’ says Michael Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. An extended holding pattern in the jet stream, the same type of "blocking event" that caused last summer's heat wave in Russia, is responsible for this year's European droughts, says Michael Blackburn of the University of Reading, UK.”

“As for the apparent convergence of droughts worldwide, Mark Saunders of University College London says current conditions aren't that unusual. News media may simply be more tuned in to reporting extreme weather events.”

Sarah Palin erred on historical trivia, but Amy Goodman’s ignorance of science contributes to wasteful resource allocation. Goodman does harm.