Saturday, December 14, 2013
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year!
Some Christmas letters you dread writing, but know one day you must. This is that one. 2013 was a cruel year for losses of loved ones. Alice’s father George was in great shape at 98½, but had a fatal fall rushing to play bridge. Several months later his older sister, Ruth, died on her 101stbirthday. In between we lost our beloved Buddy Doggy just before his 16thbirthday. In each of these losses we are comforted by the thought that each had long, active lives, and we were blessed to have them for so long in our lives. Too many friends also passed away, leaving us cherished memories of times we shared.
Alice and I with George and Susan Dickenson in China
With Buddy, such a sweet doggy
The past year we fed our travel bug lightly, and planned only one special trip, cruising up the Mississippi on the biggest steamboat ever, the American Queen. We arrived in New Orleans June 14 and spent nine days (mostly walking) experiencing this renowned city. On June 23 we boarded the American Queen and began one of our most relaxing and interesting trips ever. I sneakily booked the cruise before its official opening date to get us the premier cabin, the Mark Twain Suite. I loved its commodious 500 square feet, and Alice luxuriated in quiet privacy and a full-size bathtub. Each day featured memorable stops in places we only knew from history classes, books, and movies. Our cruise ended at St. Louis on the Fourth of July. The meals and entertainment on the American Queen were outstanding. Among many highlights, their Mark Twain impersonator may have improved on the original. We spent a week bicycling St. Louis, and returned home relaxed and refreshed.
The Mark Twain Suite had a huge private deck
Not long after our return I accompanied Alice to a writers’ conference in Fort Bragg. Alice has been totally absorbed in writing her memoir, The Little Lady with Balls, a title given to her by the Italian garbage men who used to run San Francisco Bay Area garbage collection and recycling. It’s a delightful story I can’t do justice to in this letter (unless I make this a Christmas book), but we’ll let you know when it’s published. I’m researching and writing about how global warming is natural, not human caused, but Alice’s book is a lot closer to publication than mine. While Alice attended classes, I visited the animal shelter and found Radar, reputed to be a McNab, a Border Collie mix developed just south of Ukiah in the late 1800’s. Radar will be two on February 22, and loves to catch tennis balls every day on Cook’s Beach. Sometimes he even brings them back.
The business Alice nearly founded forty years ago, Vulcan Incorporated, continues operating very successfully; Vulcan just purchased another building for office activities and new products development, and expanded their larger building purchased several years ago for manufacturing and warehousing only.
In February and March we’ll be in Argentina, Antarctica, South Georgia Island, and the Falklands. We start with a week in Buenos Aires, followed by a 21-day cruise on the 148-guest National GeographicExplorer. This will be another “trip of a lifetime,” but totally different than our first trip of a lifetime, the four months we biked in Germany, England, Ireland, Isle of Man, and Wales in 1998. After all of our travels, we still have most of the World left to see.
Next August we will celebrate our 25thAnniversary with a romantic one-week stay in San Francisco, but after Antarctica and before then, we hope to have visits with friends and family.
Alice, Michael, and Radar
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
An Associated Press article about Typhoon Haiyan (Man, nature share typhoon tragedy blame – Death toll much higher because of flimsy building, growth in vulnerable areas, by Seth Borenstein), inadvertently let the biggest cat out of the alarmist bag concerning our California coast. “(T)he Philippines has seen its sea rise nearly half an inch in the past 20 years, about triple the global increase.” This is an increase of only 2.5 inches per century for the Philippines, and less than an inch per century globally.
These numbers are in marked contrast to the projections of 18 to 66 inches of sea level rise by 2100 made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Even the UN’s lowest estimate hasn’t been seen since shortly after the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago, when sea level was over 400 feet lower and huge ice caps were melting rapidly because average global temperature was up to five degrees Fahrenheit warmer than now.
Average sea level rise for the past 120 centuries since the end of the Ice Age has been over three feet per century, but has averaged around zero per century the past 10,000 years. In the face of facts that sea level rise does not appear to be significant at the moment, and with nothing that suggests a rapid acceleration this century, San Francisco Bay Area planners are still developing plans to cope with a five-foot increase by 2100. Neither climate change history, physics, or current meteorology supports such a need. All that is fueling their actions is unwarranted alarmism.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The following is my weekly letter to our local weekly newspaper, the Independent Coastal Observer (ICO):
A local natural climate change denier (NCCD) assured ICO readers that she knew what I would write before I wrote it, just as I knew that natural climate change deniers would attack people or organizations, but not use science. Another (NCCD) erroneously wrote that I get my facts from the Heartland Institute, but he is “hoist on his own petard.” Had he actually followed the “tinyurl” links I provide in my letters, he would find them linked to peer-reviewed studies. In fact, in my last letter I linked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Chapter12, Table 12.4 of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report), in which the IPCC admit their climate alarmism is very unlikely.
About their report I wrote: “Alarmists also ignore the IPCC’s own low-probability estimates for climate change catastrophes. The IPCC now believes that in the 21st Century, Atlantic Ocean circulation collapse is ‘very unlikely,’ ice sheet collapse is ‘exceptionally unlikely,’ and catastrophic release of methane hydrates from melting permafrost is ‘very unlikely.’”
Of all the scientific studies I reference I put the least confidence in the IPCC’s. Although the chairman of the IPCC has stated repeatedly that its report is based solely on peer-reviewed literature, a check of all 18,531 references in the 2007 report found that 5,587 (30%) were not peer-reviewed. The most egregious of the 2007 report’s “grey literature” (non-peer-reviewed studies) was the thoroughly debunked prediction that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, based on an interview published in 2000 in New Scientist (Christian Science Monitor).
The NCCD concluded his letter by requesting I “use and cite only non-biased sources.” Sorry, Mr. NCCD, I‘ll continue to use IPCC and governmental records (less hurricanes, tornados, and droughts; flat global temperature; slower sea-level rise and glacier retreat), even though they are biased, whenever they contradict alarmism.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin this-and-that, wrote on the Virgin.com
website: "And climate deniers need to be called out, debated and rallied against; the science is clear enough now."
So I put the following into his comments section:
Hi Richard. I have had a standing public offer to debate in the affirmative that "present climate change is natural" for over five years, and no one has accepted my offer. I have exposed all of my arguments to potential opponents - that this is the coolest warm period of the five warming periods since the end of the Ice Age a bit over 10,000 years ago, and Greenland ice cores that show that 90% of the past 10,000 years were warmer than any of the past 100. At the current warming rate we have a long way to go just to get back up to the average temperature since the end of the Ice Age. That would still leave us much cooler than the Eemian interglacial (warmest period) 125,000 years ago, which was followed by a 100,000-year glacial period (our last Ice Age). All of these are proven facts, none are controversial or conjectural, and all are (apparently) not known by you and others, who I label "natural climate change deniers." Will you debate me?
Thursday, October 03, 2013
The following is my weekly letter to our local weekly newspaper:
A recent cartoon featured Dilbert attacked verbally by co-worker “Alice”: “I got your stupid email with your stupid link to that stupid scientific study. I don’t care about your so-called ‘facts.’ I know I’m right!”
Like “Alice,” local writers' emotional venting instead of facts doesn’t advance the natural climate change denier argument. Natural disasters cause great suffering, but would cause even more if the frequency of strong hurricanes, tornados, floods, droughts, and wildfires was as great now as pre-1960. Unfortunately, the past half-century of unusually benign weather tricked people into exercising bad judgment and building their homes in precarious places.
Luckily, I’m not thin skinned. Al Gore at theSocial Good Summit in New York last week likened skeptics like me to homophobes, racists, and violent alcoholics. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer affiliated my kind with arsonists, hostage-takers and suicide bombers. Aren’t my remarks tame in comparison, Mr. Walker?
Mr. Walker exhibits Liberal thin skin. When Tom Elias uses easily detected false “facts” and is believed, don’t his believers qualify along with him as the opposite of smart? I posed the question “stupid” to facilitate their self-identification.
It’s only because facts support us that we’re so effective. Natural climate change deniers outspend skeptics by at least $1,000 to $1; ExxonMobil hasn’t supported skeptic groups for years, and Big Oil money has gone to extreme green groups.
Chesapeake Energy alone gave $25 million to the Sierra Club for the radical organization’s anti-coal campaign. That one grant is ten times more money than the Heartland Institute received from all fossil fuel energy companies in its entire 29-year history, yet skeptics have the alarmists on the ropes.
Alarmist ad hominem attacks fail while skeptical science prevails. Warming isn’t scary when there’s none for over fifteen years.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The upcoming release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5) has unleashed Chicken Littles that would have overfilled Petaluma when it was the “Chicken Capital of the World”. Editorial cartoons in both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat featured a “climate change denier” being engulfed by waves of global warming catastrophes. However, much of IPCC AR5 has already been leaked, and it is stealthily scaling back its prognostications from six years ago of the sensitivity of temperature increases to the doubling of atmospheric CO2. It now contains hints that previous certainties are now not quite so certain, inspired no doubt by the lack of significant warming for the past 17 years.
I had already analyzed in my last letter the evidence of slowing sea level rise that can be determined by looking at the 159-year San Francisco tide gauge record. At its current rate of 3.22 inches of sea level rise per century, it will take almost 11,000 years to hit the 36-inch increase that “experts” expect by 2100 (and that some expect by 2050). That would require an immediate increase from just over three inches per century to over three inches per decade. Temperature would have to increase immediately to above the highest IPCC AR5 projections not expected until after 2100.
Rolly Coombs, electrical power generation expert, noted a recent Thomas Elias ICO article where Elias mistakenly wrote that two Southern California solar installations would generate one-third of the power of a nuclear plant. Rolly observed that they would only produce 9% of Diablo Canyon’s 18,566 GwH/year, and I verified that by comparing their 642MW maximum capacity and 28% capacity factor to Diablo Canyon’s 2150MW capacity, which came out only 8%.
Is Elias stupid, or are his readers?