Monday, January 11, 2010

Robust not, fragile more likely 

Just a quick note here after finally reading Iowahawk's hockey stick treatise. (h/t: Stephen Karlson.) I've no comment definitively on man-made global warming (except that my feet are cold, and I hope my grandchildren appreciate my sacrifice.) It's not an issue into which I've read deeply. But if the evidence we are discussing depends on principal components analysis, I can say I've spent time practicing that technique. Most social scientists thing of its use as a bit of a dark art largely because -- at least where I've used it -- the results are fragile (in the statistical sense of that word.) It's easy enough nowadays to run principal components, as Iowahawk shows, but it's also quite easy to change one item included in the list of proxy variables and get quite different results. Any social scientist who does statistics and has used PCA knows this (I talked to as many as I could find when I did the central bank independence and economic freedom papers. Most were not economists, because economists are even more leery of PCA than political scientists or sociologists.) What I did not know was that it was the method used to append the pre-1850 temperature data to the graph. It increases my skepticism to know this was the method they used.

Note, this doesn't make the scientists arguing for global warming wrong; it only means I want to see the raw data and run lots of permutations of the proxy variable list. Not providing that data or, worse, destroying it makes me suspicious, however.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Global Warming??? Come Tonight, Learn the Real Facts 

A reminder, a terrific opportunity to learn facts (those nasty aspects of real science, mathematics, language, human behavior, etc.) about the "global warming" aka "climate change" (doesn't climate always change?), the latest attempt to take our hard-earned income via the "cap and tax monstrosity" moving its way through Congress is available tonight.

The MN Free Market Institute brings Lord Christopher Monckton to Bethel College at 7:00 PM. Session is FREE. Location is Benson Great Hall, (map here). Bring you kids - they may actually learn some real science.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Global Warming - NOT 

More on global warming. As you can see by my post here, the topic is HOT. But we in MN woke up this morning to 1"+ of snow on the ground. It continues to snow and shows no sign of stopping.

According to this article by the BBC (of all media), CO2 is up but temperatures are down. Just maybe, something bigger than humans is causing this problem???? Like oceans, sunspots, sun in general, etc. Why do some humans think they are so smart as to be able to predict much of anything? (Stock market anyone?)

I'm reminded of an old TV commercial when oleo was competing with real butter - the line made famous by a woman standing in a forest was, "Don't fool with Mother Nature."

Humans would prove themselves much more wise if they stopped trying to control and learned to adapt.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sustaining trade and education 

Our convocation week was filled with a new passion for "sustainability". We had a special speaker talk about it. We had a lunch filled with locally produced goods. We will now have on campus a farmers' market (until it October -- this is Minne-so-cold doncha know!) Our university president made it a top feature of his convocation speech. Here's a sample:

This morning I�d like to focus on the concept of sustainability in its broadest interpretation � developing and applying best practices to support and nourish all aspects of our university. In business they refer to this perspective as the �triple bottom line��.attending to ecological, social and financial outcomes in managing a business. This perspective is especially important to an institution that must be what it teaches and which cannot accomplish its mission without being a strong, inclusive and anti-racist community. We will accomplish these objectives by making sustainability, most broadly defined, a cornerstone of our identity.
Well that rung a bell in my head, and as I went to remember where I read this it came to me. Peter Wood and Ashley Thorne at the National Association of Scholars has been writing about that very thing all summer. Ashley finds this statement from the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment:
...we recognize our responsibility to minimize our own contributions to global warming and to accelerate education and research to make the transition to a low-carbon, more vibrant and sustainable economy. We believe that taking a leadership role in this effort fits squarely into the educational, research and public service missions of higher education.
Ashley asks if this is true. Peter answers what is to me an interesting question: why now for universities? It's not like the green movement was invented by Al Gore. Peter suggests first that outside groups have pushed for it, and that their success among university presidents and particularly residential life staffs has to do a misunderstanding of the word they use.
�Sustainability� is not the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. Higher education is a complex enterprise that combines the pursuit of truth through rigorous inquiry with the transmission of culture and civilization from generation to generation; the practical preparation of students for work in fields that require advanced intellectual preparation; and the pursuit of personal excellence, usually in the context of moving to full adulthood.

Some aspects of this involve �sustaining� what already exists. The university builds on intellectual and cultural traditions which must, in some sense, be sustained. But Second Nature, ACUPCC, and others who evoke �sustainability� in this context are engaged in mere word play. We sustain the pursuit of truth by pursuing it; we sustain cultural traditions by participating in them; we sustain complex utilitarian learning by mastering and exploiting it, and if possible extending it. We sustain the pursuit of personal excellence by distinguishing worthy from unworthy goals and pitching ourselves tirelessly toward the former.

There is nothing in these forms of �sustaining� that has any real connection with �sustainability� in the environmental sense, or in the senses of the other appendages of the sustainability movement: sustainability economics and sustainability social justice. The environmental sense of sustainability emphasizes curtailing the use of resources; simplifying; going without; substituting less energy-demanding alternatives; trying to leave the conditions of nature as little perturbed as possible. This ethic of self-erasure is antithetical to much of what is truly foundational to the university, which elevates man�s pursuit of knowledge, not his determination to render himself carbon-neutral.

Sustainability at bottom is a doctrine of doing less. Higher education is at bottom an institution that strives to do more.

What the sustainability movement aims to sustain above all is the earth. What higher education aims to sustain above all is civilization.
What stuck with me from our convocation address was the turning inward of the university: We now have a community garden that says "grow your food here" while we talk about giving our students international experiences. But sending students abroad is about exchange too. And I teach that exchange of values -- embodied in goods, services, or ideas -- is a good thing. Let me imagine using in my principles of economics course this passage discussing trade, from a 2006 editorial by Walter Williams (this is just an exemplar):
Why do we choose to import cocoa, coffee and spices rather than produce them ourselves? The answer is that it is cheaper to do so. That means we enjoy a higher standard of living than if we tried to produce them ourselves. If we can enjoy, say, coffee, at a cheaper price than producing it ourselves, we have more money left over to buy other goods. That principle not only applies to cocoa, coffee and spices. It's a general principle: If a good can be purchased more cheaply abroad, we enjoy a higher standard of living by trading than we would by producing it ourselves.
So do I now believe that, if the president of my university says we will make "sustainability, most broadly defined, a cornerstone of our identity," that I am not at that cornerstone when I teach comparative advantage, the advance of society through specialization and exchange? I will anticipate the answer to be that I have not defined sustainability broadly enough. What I would respond is how fragile the domain of trade has been historically, or even experimentally.

For further reading, Peter Wood offers a look at the organization and goals of the group behind this fusion of sustainability and higher ed. So far the alarmism of the sustainatopians has not reared its head here. All we have is some land devoted to a garden (and a faculty member given time off from classes to tend it) and some vegetables hawked in the student union. But we'll not be surprised when the pressure turns up for social action over intellectual inquiry.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Are the Predictions of Climate Models Credible? 

The lively debate in the comments on my post yesterday about the summer snowstorm in Wyoming included this assertion:
I'm sure there have been numerous studies on the soundness of climate models. I'm not familiar with all of them. What one finds though is that models are consistently improving and there is high confidence in the ranges given for future scenarios. There is broader range and greater realism. Studies show models have been able to reproduce past and current climate (see here). Chapter 8 of the IPCC's physical basis in the Fourth Assessment Report deals with climate models and their evaluation.
Well, here's the abstract of a peer-reviewed study in the International Journal of Climatology that disagrees with the commenter:
We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67 runs from 22 �Climate of the 20th Century� model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data.
The paper ends with this conclusion:
The last 25 years constitute a period of more complete and accurate observations and more realistic modelling efforts. Yet the models are seen to disagree with the observations. We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models be viewed with much caution.
Reminder: You can hear Dr. Fred Singer, one of the authors of the paper above, at this afternoon's event sponsored by the Minnesota Free Market Institute.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Global Warming? Not! 

Here we go again. This summer has been the coolest on record for quite some time. Now, we find that the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains are expecting a late summer snowstorm today (August 16, 2009). This unseasonably early snowstorm is expected to affect the Big Horn Mountains about 9000 feet.

My flowers bloomed late this year and out of sequence. Sunspots are fewer than they've been in years. Just maybe do you think that we're not in a time of warmer climate?


Monday, July 27, 2009

Alternative energy in the UK and Midwest 

(In which I am a little more rant-y than usual.)

I am often amused by the blog of James Delingpole, who I first heard on a Dennis Miller podcast some months ago and who wrote the most wonderful depiction of Robert Gibbs and the American media in its reporting on President Obama's trip to England a few months ago. He's piqued me with this story now on building wind farms in national parks, proposed by a group whose mission is to preserve nature. You've seen wind farms, haven't you?
So the best way of conserving natural England, a body calling itself Natural England has decided, is to destroy it. Can anyone come up with a more ludicrous example of the warped, supposedly �progressive� but in fact utterly poisonous, wrong and self-defeating thinking so prevalent in these dark times?
Last week we find out that our neighbor colleges, St. Benedict's and St. John's, have decided to get into the solar farming business.
St. John's soon could become home to the largest solar farm in Minnesota and possibly in the Upper Midwest, providing as much as 20 percent of the campus's electricity on a cloudless day.

St. John's and the Order of St. Benedict are partnering with Westwood Renewables, an Eden Prairie-based company that received a $2 million grant from Xcel Energy for a renewable energy project.

They hope to install about 1,800 solar photovoltaic panels just northwest of the St. John's campus in Avon Township. The panels would produce up to 400 kilowatts an hour or about 575,000 kilowatt hours annually, roughly the same amount of energy that 65 homes consume in a year.

The project is part of St. John's goal to end its contribution to global warming. In 2007, it joined more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide signing a pledge to become "carbon neutral."
Well yes, yes, quite noble.
"It's a nice step forward," said Brother Benedict Leuthner, treasurer for OSB, which is spearheading the project. "It's surely not going to solve all our energy needs."

When nights and cloudy days are factored in, the solar farm would supply about 4 percent of St. John's electricity needs annually, Leuthner said.
Now I'm not a real statistician, just an economist, but I think that means 96% of their electricity needs would still be met with fossil fuels? So this is a small "part of St. John's goal to end its contribution to global warming". As Radar O'Reilly would say on M*A*S*H, "wait for it..."
The project's backers hope it will raise awareness ...
YES! "Raise awareness." Short of a sensitive nose, there is no surer bullsh*t detector than the words "raise awareness". It's your five-year-old saying "Oh yeah? I'll show you!" It's vague and meaningless, as the rest of the sentence makes clear.
...of Minnesota's potential to produce electricity from the sun, one of the cleanest sources of renewable energy. The St. John's site would serve as a research and education tool for students and visitors who want to learn more about solar power.
You know what makes these things very clear? Profits. Perhaps in our Democrat-ruled country that's a bad word. It's most certainly a taxed word. But its usefulness in guiding resources is unparalleled in human history. To wit, from later in this article:
Solar hasn't caught on widely in Minnesota largely because it costs more to produce than other types of renewable energy such as wind.

Electricity in Minnesota comes mainly from coal-fired power plants and is inexpensive compared with other parts of the country, [SJU professor of environmental studies Derek] Larson said. In California, customers pay a higher rate for any electricity they consume above a base level. The state also offers incentives for homeowners who install solar panels.

"It becomes really economically smart," Larson said.

New federal tax credits and rebates from the state and utility companies should make solar energy more appealing for Minnesota homeowners, [Doug] Shoemaker [a renewable energy spokesman] said.
Professor Larson, have you thought about where California gets the money to offer incentives for solar panels? Mr. Shoemaker, where do those federal tax credits come from? They are paid for by taxing other things in lieu. It isn't as if the government reduces its spending dollar-for-dollar with those tax credits and rebates.

But more to the point. if it costs more to produce a kilowatt by coal-fired power plants, and it's inexpensive here versus other parts of the country, why not use the coal? "Oh, but it harms our planet!" you say. Instead, the brothers at St. John's and sisters at St. Ben's decide this is better:
This is a 16 acre solar farm at Florida Gulf Coast University. For four hundred acres, multiply that picture by 25.

400 acres could grow about 16,000 bushels of corn, selling between $3-$4 per bushel normally. They could go organic perhaps and do better on a dollar basis. But they never did that, those nobles of St. John's and St. Ben's. That area has been a nice bit of pasture or wooded land. People hike around there. Now they won't because they'd goof up the mirrors. You'd wreck their "demonstration" to "raise awareness" that solar would be a good idea, if coal just wasn't so damn cheap.

So raise the price, they'll say, through cap-and-trade. Then all those people who drive trucks or, say, work in extraction industries in the Iron Range (not many of them left) will have time to visit the beautiful hills around St. John's.

And see the pretty mirrors.

But hey! They're saving the planet with those things, if you'll just have your awareness raised.

POSTSCRIPT: After crafting this I came across at least one government bureaucrat who understands.
India will continue to use coal to meet its energy demands, says Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

�Can you imagine 400 million people who do not have a light bulb in their homes,� Pachauri told reporters here Monday.

�You cannot, in a democracy, ignore some of these realities and as it happens with the resources of coal that India has we really don�t have any choice but to use coal in the immediate short term,� he said.
He must be some conservative nut, right? No, actually, Mr. Pachauri shares a Nobel Peace Prize ... with Al Gore. So at least raising consciousness comes after lighting one's home. There's still a place called Hope.

Even better, another Indian minister says retreating glaciers in the Himalayans are a natural process.
"We have to get out of the preconceived notion, which is based on western media, and invest our scientific research and other capacities to study Himalayan atmosphere," he said. "Science has its limitation. You cannot substitute the knowledge that has been gained by the people living in cold deserts through everyday experience."
Nurture that common sense, dear Indians. We'll want to import some when we get leaders here who can use it.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Democrats Know Words Matter - Check This 

There have been a number of posts on this site regarding global warming, or lack thereof.Now we discover that the Democrat Party think tanks are warning their Congressional representatives to play down the term "global warming" and others. Hmm Why? Could it be that the global warming push isn't as critical as the media and Democrats have portrayed it to be? Could it be because the public is wising up to the fact that there is another side to this supposed catastrophe? (Check this site for a readable summary of the GW components, many of which are ignored by the media and people who have already drawn their conclusion.)

Regardless, here's what the Democrat think tank advisers are asking their Democrat supporters of major government "reform" to address this GW "problem" to do:

In a strategy memo, Democratic think tank Third Way and top party strategist Stanley Greenberg warned Democrats that swing voters don't care about fighting global warming, and said terms like "cap-and-trade" are useless. Instead, the memo suggests that Democrats tap into Americans' optimism that clean energy can help improve the faltering economy.

"For most voters, global warming is not significant enough on its own to drive support for major energy reform," the memo says. "So while it can be part of the story that reform advocates are telling, global warming should be used only in addition to the broader economic frame, not in place of it."

Thus, the words the Democrats and their media microphone chose to use will be changed. Watch for new vernacular regarding GW. It seems they are more concerned about wording than accuracy. Reading this, one sees that the Democrat agenda to control more of our lives via taxes and energy restrictions is alive and well, but it is also an admission that the terms they have been using no longer carry the necessary clout (fear?). Now we are to be guilted into buying into the Democrat agenda about global warming because we need "clean energy to improve the faltering economy?" (Hint, there are other ways besides DC to "fix" our economy.)

I was once asked if it would be wise for us to do nothing about GW and find out we should have? The reverse to that question is this: Would it be wise to spend money on something that is highly debatable, possibly unprovable (earth has been around for a very long time; civilizations about only 3000 years), and would add even more $n,000,000,000,000s of debt to our kids for a theory that may well prove to be false or may fix itself?

For the record: Animals exhale CO 2, plants inhale it; plants expel oxygen, animals inhale it. My 4th graders knew this - this normal exchange keeps plant and animal life in balance. Gee, maybe we should just let Mother Nature do her thing and get out of the way.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dynamism and precision 

Like many people my age, I learned first about chaos theory reading James Gleick. One of the stories that made an impression on me was the story of Edward Lorenz, whose attempts to replicate meteorological data with a computer model led to discovery of the butterfly effect. The story is that he got entirely different results in replication because he truncated data at five significant digits (unsure of the number; it's been years since I read the book.)

I was flashed to that insight in reading this today:

The Earth's climate is driven by the receipt and redistribution of solar energy. Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate. Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth's climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.

"To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable - human-induced CO2 - is not science. To try to predict the future based on just one variable (CO2) in extraordinarily complex natural systems is folly. Yet when astronomers have the temerity to show that climate is driven by solar activities rather than CO2 emissions, they are dismissed as dinosaurs undertaking the methods of old-fashioned science."

Over time, the history of CO2 content in the atmosphere has been far higher than at present for most of time. Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise. CO2 is not a pollutant. Global warming and a high CO2 content bring prosperity and longer life.

Emphasis added. Ian Plimer's new book is due out tomorrow in Australia and next month in the USA.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Scientific Body Blow to Anthropogenic Global Warming 

The primary debate about �global warming� / �climate change� is whether there is scientific proof that human activity (rather than natural causes) is responsible for significant climate change.

A new peer-reviewed paper has just delivered a major blow to the �greenhouse gas� assumptions that are central to the arguments of most climate alarmists. The paper, published in the International Journal of Modern Physics, is entitled Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects within the Frame of Physics. Both the abstract and a pdf of the full 115-page paper are available to the public.

Here are a few central points from this paper, done by two German physicists who understand that we have witnessed the erosion of the scientific method in order to support a political agenda. I have interspersed a few extra words of my own [set off in square brackets like this] for clarity.
There are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses [hothouses on farms and in indoor gardens] and the fictitious atmospheric green house effect... The terms "greenhouse effect" and "greenhouse gases" are deliberate misnomers...

The temperature rises in the climate model computations are made plausible by a perpetuum mobile [that is, the physically impossible "perpetual motion machine"] of a second kind. This is [accomplished] by setting the thermal conductivity in the atmospheric models to zero, an unphysical assumption [and an impossible action]...

The CO2 greenhouse effect ... is a "mirage." The horror visions of a risen sea level, melting pole caps and developing deserts in North America and in Europe are fictitious consequences of fictitious physical mechanism as they cannot be seen even in the climate model computations. The emergence of hurricanes and tornadoes cannot be predicted by climate models because all of these deviations are ruled out. The main strategy of modern CO2 greenhouse gas defenders seems to [be to] hide themselves behind more and more pseudo-explanations, which are not part of the academic education or even of the physics training...

If conclusions out of computer simulations are to be more than simple speculations, then in addition to the examination of the numerical stability and the estimation of the effects of the many vague input parameters, at least the simplifications of the physical original equations should be critically exposed. The point discussed here was to answer the question, whether the supposed atmospheric effect has a physical basis. This is not the case. In summary, there is no atmospheric greenhouse effect, in particular, [no] CO2 greenhouse effect, in theoretical physics and engineering thermodynamics. Thus, it is illegitimate to deduce predictions which provide a consulting solution for economics and intergovernmental policy.
This paragraph from the abstract also provides food for thought:
The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that may authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861) and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics, such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature, it [this belief that counters the 2nd law of thermodynamics] is taken for granted that such a mechanism is real and stands on firm scientific foundation.
Perhaps we really need to consider the negative impact of government sponsorship and funding of research. We now have a graphic example of how vulnerable such a system is to being captured to support a political agenda. And perhaps, if our Democratic leaders are so interested in "helping" people they may consider Bjorn Lomborg's suggestion that the funds intended to delay the impact of the false belief of AGW, would be much better spent on projects with well-known high-value payoffs for people around the world.

UPDATE 3/23/2009 6:55 am: An alert commenter noted my error in the original title, which now has been corrected. However, his assertion that an article published in a well-respected journal is "bunkum" by "unknown scientists" is a classic illustration of my point about the politicization of science. The AGW alarmists repeatedly try to shut off debate by demonizing anyone who deviates from the politically correct party line.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Lake Superior is Freezing Over 

Lake Superior last froze over in 2003. It has now, again, frozen over. Go here to see photo by NOAA. The frequency of freeze overs has historically been around once every 20 years. Now, in the last decade, we have seen two freeze overs. So what about climate change aka global warming?

"Due to the recent cold spell and below normal temperatures for much of the winter of 2008-2009, ice covers nearly all of Lake Superior. Only small areas of open water remain. This image was taken on Tuesday, March 3rd. If arctic air does not return in the next couple of weeks, it is likely that this will be the day of maximum ice cover on Lake Superior for this winter as warmer weather and periods of stronger winds through the end of this week will cause open water areas to expand."

While many environmentalists will argue that this is an exception, there are far more "exceptions" occurring and the earth's temperature has been cooling since 1995. Exceptions are exceptions until they become norms. Global warming is a hoax as is its related "cause," CO2.

I've asked a few greens who believe "CO2 is bad" if they're willing to stop breathing? They never reply, "Yes." Hmm wonder why? CO2 problems would disappear if all animals were gone. Then again, plants would disappear, too because, as my fourth graders knew. plants release oxygen for animals and animals (including humans) release CO2 for plants.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama, Global Warming, and the White House Science Adviser 

Many of our readers know that I'm quite skeptical of the "global warming" aka "climate change" aka "latest label for Mother Nature's ebbs and flows" mantra. Anytime someone says (as is said in this referenced article), "It's over, there is no more debate" well, I question it. The more we learn the more a wise person will conclude that there is no end to learning and that new knowledge may be more accurate than past knowledge.

President-elect Obama appears to be a strong member of the doom and gloom, "world is going to collapse because of CO2 emissions (you know, the gas humans expel when exhaling)" crowd. To that end, he has nominated John Holdren as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Professor Holdren has wonderful, academic credentials. He's a physicist, a professor of environmental policy at Harvard, a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in addition to authoring a number of articles.

But "he is also a doom-and-gloomer with a trail of erroneous apocalyptic forecasts dating back nearly 40 years -- and a decided lack of tolerance for environmental opinions that conflict with his." His habit of predicting disasters that never occurred is disconcerting at best. How many good scientists are so narrow as to dis opinions differing from theirs? Arrogance, thy name is Holdren.

Professor Holdren has a history of missteps (putting it politely) when it comes to his expertise regarding the environment. This article by Boston Globe columnist, Jeff Jacoby, lists eight major issues that should raise questions about Holdren's qualifications for the job, including Holdren's belief:
- That oceans would rise by 13 FEET when the UN Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change said 13 INCHES
- The US only should incorporate "zero population growth"
- His claim that greenhouse gases will wreck the planet
Couple these beliefs with Holdren's association with Paul Ehrlich, the scientist who lost the bet with Bjorn Lomborg regarding mineral scarcity and one wonders if Obama really is open to other ideas.

Do we really want someone in charge of science who is a defeatist? Someone who thinks crawling in a hole and disappearing is good? Or do we want people who have a "can do" attitude, one that will lift us up and provide options for improving the lot of man with a minimum of government interference? I think the latter.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cool Glacier Breakup 

The Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina breaks up every four to five years for centuries. Like clockwork, give or take a week, Perito Moreno puts on a spectacular show. Argentina has built walkways for people to view the breakup.

This video shows the ice calving. No, it's not Al Gore, it's not global warming, it's not climate change. It's Mother Nature doing her thing, normal and natural.

Sit back and enjoy. If you like Enya, you experience a bonus.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Global Warming (Oops, Climate Change) - Not 

Before this article disappears totally, I wanted to at least get it referenced.

As far as websites go, the Huffington Post is one of the most leftist ones out there. A few days ago, one of their writers wrote an article titled: Mr. Gore, Apology Accepted. It discussed the fear-
mongering on the left as it touts its mantra that CO 2 is going to be the death of the planet. It's a well-written article.

Today, the founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, made the following statement:
"I am a firm believer that there are not two sides to every issue, and that on some issues the jury is no longer out. The climate crisis is one of these issues."

And we wonder why people are losing confidence? They get one side of an issue, only. Global Warming aka Climate Change is a foregone conclusion? What about human adaption if necessary? scientific improvements? Real data collection? Etc. Hello, Arianna, yes there is more than you want to learn or believe and more cracks are appearing in the "foregone conclusion" regarding GW. If the media were not so beholden to flamboyant but unprovable rhetoric, we'd all have better information. Decent scientists are proving that the leftist/control mantra of the last 15-20 years is rather empty.While Al Gore has made a ton of $$$ on his carbon credit scam, he still lives in a house that uses more utilities in one month than most Americans use in a year, his private jet, his private boat, etc.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Global Warming? Here we Go Again - Half the Facts 

The climate gods have been predicting the disappearance of much of Bangladesh for the past 30+ years. Quotes from a recent article on the demise of Bangladesh's land mass include these:
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted that impoverished Bangladesh, criss-crossed by a network of more than 200 rivers, will lose 17 percent of its land by 2050 because of rising sea levels due to global warming.

Director of the US-based NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, professor James Hansen, paints an even grimmer picture, predicting the entire country could be under water by the end of the century.
Well, turns out the doom and gloomers are only partially correct. While Bangladesh might lose land because of rising sea levels, it is gaining land as you read this. Turns out Mother Nature actually has a compensating solution - called deltas. You know, the silt that collects at mouths of rivers. This land is incredibly good farm land, and Bangladesh is experiencing the benefits from these silt deposits.

Maminul Haque Sarker, head of the department at the government-owned centre that looks at boundary changes, told AFP sediment which travelled down the big Himalayan rivers -- the Ganges and the Brahmaputra -- had caused the landmass to increase. (deltas)

Mahfuzur Rahman, head of Bangladesh Water Development Board's Coastal Study and Survey Department, has also been analysing the buildup of land on the coast. He told AFP findings by the IPCC and other climate change scientists were too general and did not explore the benefits of land accretion. "For almost a decade we have heard experts saying Bangladesh will be under water, but so far our data has shown nothing like this," he said.

"The land Bangladesh has lost so far has been caused by river erosion, which has always happened in this country. Natural accretion due to sedimentation and dams have more than compensated this loss," Rahman said. "If we build more dams using superior technology, we may be able to reclaim 4,000 to 5,000 square kilometres in the near future," he said.

Gee, who would have thought that man just might be able to improve situations? Humans can adapt and societies that allow free thinking create free market ideas that solve the problems. Maybe it's time for the doomsayers to include ALL the facts before pushing their so-called predictions.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Goracle Strikes Again 

On July 17, Al Gore gave another one of his misinformed, misleading, and misrepresentative speeches regarding global warming - oops, climate change. The cultist fear mongers spreading this dis-information had to change their term because earth has actually been cooling the last 10 or so years. Darn, it's really bad when the control crowd gets clobbered by the facts.

Anyway, the Americans for Prosperity decided to show up at Gore's speech location, the DAR at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. The hypocrisy shown by attendees and the Gore family is just more indication of the double standard the elites are now trying to impose on the rest of us. Here are a few samples of the duplicity shown by the so-called, concerned crowd:
1 - Gore and Tipper and daughter, Karenna, arrived with two Lincoln Town Cars and one Suburban SUV - but hey, they're big shots, what's a limo or two to an important person like Gore? Prius, nah!
2 - Attendees who want all of us to use public transportation, arrived in CO 2 spouting cars instead of using bus transportation (stop .03 miles from the building; over 20 subway and bus stops within a half mile of the building);
3 - One guy actually liked the camera - $8/gallon gasoline is fine with him;
3 - The driver of the limousine transferring Tipper and Karenna Gore ran the car's air-conditioning for 20 minutes so the car would be nice and comfy for our Goracle's family.
You can view the 4-minute video here - be sure and watch to the end. Priceless!

Remember, this is the guy who uses more energy in his home in one month than most Americans use in a year. But, that's OK, he cares - doesn't do, just talks and cares.

BTW, President Bush's ranch home is a model of efficient energy usage - see here.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Mother Nature is the Boss 

For years we've been hearing how the ice in the Arctic Sea will melt creating havoc for polar bears, native Alaskans and other life that dares tread there. This May, the "massive Russian icebreaker" Kapitan Khlebnikov brought on board passengers for a tour of the sea with the intent to travel from the northeastern corner of Russia, across the Bering Sea and the op of Canada to Resolute Bay in Nunavut. It's spring, ice was to be melting, you get the marketing picture.

They just had a little problem - ice, massive amounts of ice, in Russian waters. In fact, there was so much ice, this Cadillac of ice breakers was forced to stop, turn off its engines, and wait for Mother Nature to decide to let her go. Seven days later, the ice finally releases the ship. Engines are turned on, speed ahead to make up for lost time.

The ice may or may not have been moving because of climate change but fooling with Mother Nature can show one's lack of intelligence, respect for her power and ability to change on her schedule. As the ice master of the ship commented after the seven day "lock down" in the ice sheet: "This waterway may look like an easily navigable shortcut across the top of the globe, but we are not in charge of the itinerary. This is still an unpredictable passage."


Friday, June 13, 2008

Irrational Educational Fear 

This time, from Australia.

Under the guise of education many Australian schools have "adopted environmental education programs that teach children that human intrusion into nature is to be condemned and that man's life must be subordinated to the preservation of nature, by government force if necessary. Under this view, nature is not to be preserved for the benefit of man, but rather, it is to be preserved for its own sake against the encroachments of man."

A further quote states the goal of the educational bureaucracy and environmentalists: "This curriculum is not designed simply to teach facts about the environment � it is designed to alter behavior in ways that are acceptable to environmentalists and government bureaucrats."

It proceeds to offer a access to a game called "Planet Slayer," a game paid for by Australian taxpayers, hosted by the Australian Broadcasting System. This "game" encourages students to understand their own carbon footprint. In fact, doing some of the "exercises" in the program, inform a student that he/she spreads so much CO2 that all humans should be dead by age 9.3.

It's interesting that the group that screams for more government money and control of schools is a member of the same political party that is comprised of environmentalists.

This group that "cares for the children" has no qualms about striking fear into them and laying guilt on them over something they cannot control.

What is ignored are a few facts:
1 - Humans release CO2 when they exhale; plants use this CO2 to create food. Therefore, humans are needed for increased food consumption for increased population on planet Earth;
2 - There are now 31,000 scientists who have signed the latest paper, an increase in the 17,000 of a few years ago; they do not believe CO2 causes global warming (oops, climate change);
3 - CO2 makes up 38 molecules of 100,000 in our atmosphere; therefore CO2 is a trace element, hardly the stuff of massive climate change (let alone global warming);
4 - Also omitted is the impact of the oceans and sunspots;
5 - Man is an adaptable animal; we have lived through warming and cooling trends though warming trends result in longer life spans, more arts and sciences, etc. than cooling trends.
To take a questionable political agenda and use the public school systems to ram fear down the throats of our children is irresponsible, reprehensible and grossly unfair. In essence, we are lying to our children. What will they believe when they eventually discover that they've been fed a bill of goods? Trust, a foundation of a civil society will be lost. When an actual fear needs to be addressed, they will ignore it.

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26 - Snow 

This past Wednesday was beautiful - temperature in the low 70's, clear sky and, "Finally," we thought, "spring is here!" After all we had a rather prolonged winter.

Budding trees, the beginnings of flowers, shorts, t-shirts, etc. - all signs of spring were visible. We then experienced two days of rain (great for the farmers) and this morning, SNOW. It's April 26. Included are photos from the back of our house - you can see the green of lilies, iris, and other flowers through the dusting of snow.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Global Warming? Climate Change? Whatever 

Using the gray matter between my ears, I observed that weather changes every day. Therefore, if weather changes every day and climate is weather over a long period of time, then I have concluded that climate changes.

Having made this conclusion, I would like to encourage those of you interested in climate, the weather, potential impact of a warming climate as well as a cooling climate, to attend a forum sponsored by The Heartland Institute.

Their program, "Understanding Climate Change," will be offered this Thursday, April 17 at the Elk River Senior HS at 900 School Street, Elk River, MN. Program begins at 7:00.

This is an excellent opportunity to get some facts to add to the plethora of hype that is being spread. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make sure they learn what really is happening and what they can and cannot do. Continuing to frighten them is simply unhealthy.


Friday, April 04, 2008

More Global Warming? Well, Maybe Not 

As this article from the Times on line discusses, Iceland's ice mass is decreasing. The cause? Of course, it's global warming. The headline is typical fear mongering: "Increase in volcanic activity is linked to ice melted by global warming." OK, I'll buy warmth melts ice but that's the only correlation I'll buy. There are three problems with this title, article and "conclusion."

1 - How can the scientist be so sure it's global warming causing the ice to melt? Maybe the volcanic activity under the surface is causing the ice to melt. Iceland actually gets a lot of its energy from geothermal pools, underground hot springs. Assuming that something on the surface is causing an ice mass decrease is not conclusive.

2 - The article says Iceland "has allowed the land to rise by up to 25m (82ft) a year. " WOW! That's a huge increase - 82 feet a year. If so, wouldn't we have noticed problems with this before now? I mean, if the land around my house rose even 2' a year, I'd know it - 82' a year?

3 - Greenland's ice mass is increasing. A look at a map shows the two countries very close together - both are sitting close to the Atlantic Ridge Mountains (underwater). Why is one experiencing ice melt, the other increased ice mass? Does not compute.
Finally, only after reading five paragraphs and getting to the last sentence does one discover that maybe the volcanoes will become active in 100-200 years.

Talk about trying to make a non-issue into an issue, and one that fits a preconceived idea that the earth is warming. What passes for research these days is an embarrassment to the scientific community.

HT - Hot Air


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Global Warming? Humans? CO2? 

When someone writes anything on global warming (GW) that gives evidence that we may not be experiencing GW or that CO2 is not the culprit, or that the sun may have far more impact that we choose to admit, or provides data that Earth has been through many warming and cooling cycles, they are usually attacked - not their data, their person. Goes with the territory, I guess.

My latest reading on GW is an interview with Alexander Cockburn, one of America's best known radical journalists. The summary of this article is that he's fed up with the fear mongering that is rampant among those who believe humans, CO2, etc. are responsible for GW. The following are some quotes from this review about his forthcoming book, A Short History of Fear.

While the world�s climate is on a warming trend, there is zero evidence that the rise in CO2 levels has anthropogenic origins. For daring to say this I have been treated as if I have committed intellectual blasphemy.
I have described in fairly considerable detail, with input from the scientist Martin Hertzberg, that you can account for the current warming by a number of well-known factors - to do with the elliptical course of the Earth in its relationship to the sun, the axis of the Earth in the current period, and possibly the influence of solar flares. There have been similar warming cycles in the past, such as the medieval warming period, when the warming levels were considerably higher than they are now.
This turn to climate catastrophism is tied into the decline of the left, and the decline of the left�s optimistic vision of altering the economic nature of things through a political programme.
What is sinister about environmental catastrophism is that it diverts attention from hundreds and hundreds of serious environmental concerns that can be dealt with.
The Kyoto Accord must be one of the most reactionary political manifestos in the history of the world; it represents a horrible privileging of the advanced industrial powers over developing nations. (Mr. Cockburn does not mention that the US, under former President Clinton, refused to sign this manifesto.)
The marriage of environmental catastrophism and corporate interests is best captured in the figure of Al Gore......Gore is not, as he claims, a non-partisan green; he is influenced very much by his background. His arguments, many of which are based on grotesque science and shrill predictions, seem to me to be part of a political and corporate outlook.
One way in which critics are silenced is through the accusation that they are ignoring �peer-reviewed science�.....Many people who fall back on peer-reviewed science seem afraid to have out the intellectual argument. (In other words, the emotions are driving decisions while debate or differences are silenced. The entire article is worth the read.)
Mr. Cockburn's book claims to be a factual, insightful while humorous read addressing human fascination with Armageddon like events. You can order his book, A Short History of Fear here.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Global Warming? Global Cooling is Worse 

The Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival is approaching, a time for family and friends to gather together. Family members who moved to larger cities for jobs, futures, education, etc. return home to celebrate this holiday.

Unfortunately for millions of Chinese, 2008 has begun with incredibly cold weather, the worst in 50 years. Millions have suffered power cuts and water shortages as crews attempt to fix the broken pieces of infrastructure. Millions more are without water.

Heavy snows and freezing rain are shutting down much of China's transportation. 500,000 train passengers are stranded in Guangzhou while other cities are closing airports. About 11,000 vehicles were piled up on the highways in eastern Anhui Province.

So far the Chinese are maintaining their calm and the government appears to be working as quickly as possible to either ask people to forego their trips home or provide temporary shelter. At present, deaths have been quite low.

We hear so much about the dangers of global warming but the real danger is global cooling. When bitter cold hits (as we are experiencing now in MN), it can become dangerous to have skin exposed outside for more than a couple of minutes. On a more massive scale, global cooling shortens farming cycles therefore decreasing food supplies. It also makes it more difficult to dry grains resulting in rot or bacterial growth that is harmful to humans. Global cooling means trees don't grow as far up mountainsides. When people have no heat, they huddle together, increasing the chance for the spread of disease.

Perhaps it is time we look at options for global cooling instead of buying into the leftist mantra of global warming. If severe cold continues over the next decade or so, we will have major adjustments to make. This winter has been rough in many places on the planet. What is our real issue? Warming or cooling?

A must read book: Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years


Friday, January 18, 2008

Global Warming? 

Right now in MN, we are in the midst of very cold temperatures. Last weekend I was in CA and the weekend before, in TX. While it's quite cold right now (-7 F), the thermometer is expected to drop even more.

We are concerned about frostbite - which occurs when skin exposed to the air can freeze in a matter of minutes. When you see Minnesotans and other northern state residents covered from head to toe, this is why. As tough as we like to think we are, when it gets this cold, we stay inside and keep the kids indoors for the most part.

If you are interested, go to this site and then appreciate how warm you are!! :)

Enjoy your weekend.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Snow in Baghdad 

We have our usual snow falls every year - some more than others. It gets cold, drivers need to remember how to drive in the stuff, we wear padded clothing and all kinds of footwear. For many people, though, snow is only something seen in photos, movies. They never wake up or go to sleep experiencing the soft, quiet delight of watching snowflakes float from the sky.

This site has the best photo, showing a dad and his son smiling while watching the scene emerge from the sky. It has been close to 100 years since snow fell in Baghdad. It does snow in the mountains of the Kurdish north.

Another site quotes more residents. All seem to be pleased with the event.

HT - Dennis Prager


Monday, December 31, 2007

Global Warming Summary 

Many of you have read previous posts here and here on global warming. I have no problem agreeing that Earth is going through some kind of change - it has for its entire existence, perhaps a few hundred million years. I do have a problem with people ignoring provable scientific data that contradicts their emotional, possibly control driven agenda. The current hype over "global warming" is, unfortunately, just hype.

I will be posting more this year. However, this particular site summarizes the gaping holes in the current mantra. Much of the data referenced is in agreement with my current reading, Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. This book is packed with detail and references.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be honest with them about the earth's changing nature. Humans have adapted to the changing earth for millenia. To saddle our children with unsubstantiated facts that lead to unnecessary fears and anxiety, is grossly unfair, unjust, and just plain wrong.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Snow Photos - for Our Guys! 

Jon wrote from Iraq that he and some of his buddies miss the snow. Since we've had at least 8" and possibly 12" in the last 24 hours, we took a few more photos which are posted below. Pine trees across the street; a mature oak fronted by a stubborn oak that will drop its leaves in spring; trees behind our house; 8-12" on our deck table.

The snowfall was beautiful - no wind for 24 house so the flakes literally floated from the sky. The formations on the trees are spectacular. Driving, another story but we're fine - you just drive slower and the DOT has done a great job of removing the snow.