Posts Tagged ‘global warming’

Protecting the Nation’s Frigid Air

Posted: Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 2:01 am
By: Ken Blanchard
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rudolph_snowman_crawlingFor the last two days Mother Nature has expressed her opinion of the global warming debate by dumping a ton of white powder on yours truly.  The snow drifts in my back yard are waste high and my beagle transformed into a dolphin this afternoon to navigate them.

Maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell me something, only it is difficult to determine what that is.  It seems obvious to me that a very cold day, or week, or even a decade of flat line temperatures tells us little or nothing about long range climate trends.  Judah Cohen, writing in the New York Times, thinks otherwise.

It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.

Only a fool could doubt the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis since, apparently, virtually any data confirms it.

Tomorrow will be a bitterly cold day here, whatever that means, and it will be the first day of the rest of Barack Obama’s first term.  One of things that Obama/Reid/Pelosi failed to do so far was to pass strict limits on carbon emissions.  If they couldn’t do it when they controlled the White House and both branches of Congress, they won’t have better luck now that Orange John Boehner is replacing Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

Never mind.  The Pittsburgh Post-gazette informs us that the limits are coming anyway.

The decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move forward on limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and refineries is a welcome step, especially because it comes as Congress stubbornly refuses to enact measures to protect the nation’s air.

The EPA announced last week that it will propose standards for new and refurbished power plants in July and for new oil refineries next December; rules for existing power plants — there are 16 coal-fired power plants in Western Pennsylvania — would follow in 2015 or 2016. Nationwide, the plants and refineries emit about 40 percent of all greenhouse gases, and the rules are aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and other substances that are fouling the air today and harming the planet in the long term.

I am not quite sure what it means to “protect the nation’s air.”  Air is one of those things that no government, however rapacious, has yet found a way to seize.  Clouds drifting ashore over Seattle drift from further east, and the EPA has precious little jurisdiction over China.

I do know what it means for a bunch of executive branch bureaucrats to try to impose a policy favored by Democrats that failed in a Congress that Democrats controlled.  It means big trouble for the President and his party.

Cap and Trade legislation failed because there is no way on God’s green earth that the American people would put up with it.  Maybe green technologies will one day flower and give us abundant energy while shrinking our carbon footprint back to the days when firewood was carried on donkey carts.  Meanwhile the only way to achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions is to dramatically reduce energy consumption by making energy much more expensive.  That means that everything produced with energy becomes more expensive, and all of us become poorer.  The voters will notice.

Congress failed to pass restrictions on carbon emissions because Congress is directly responsible to the voters.  Even in boom times such legislation would have been a dubious proposition and these ain’t boom times.  The folks who staff the EPA don’t have to run for office, so they are more insulated from the people.

Barack Obama does have to run again, if he wants a second term.  If the EPA really tries to protect the nation’s air by putting the screws to the nation’s power plants, that will mean either a big rise in energy bills for pretty much everyone or energy shortages.  Either would be a great gift to whoever wins the 2012 Republican nomination.

I have a hard time believing that Obama will really give the Republicans so generous a gift.  He surely wants to convince his core support on the Left that he is serious about this issue, because the Left cares.  So the EPA will do something.  Congress has provided the template.  The Cap and Trade bill that passed Pelosi’s House contained so many loopholes that it would have been ineffectual if it had become law.  That’s how cap and trade worked in Europe.  I am guessing that the EPA regulations will look something like that.

Welcome to the second half of Barack Obama’s first term.  Happy New Year!

Lumpy Ocean

Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 12:28 am
By: Ken Blanchard
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WaterworldIf there’s one thing you thought you could count on, it’s that sea level is sea level.  Maybe it will rise and fall with time; but surely it’s evenly distributed at any one time, like the surface of a bowl of water.  I was disturbed by the news that this isn’t true.  From Der Spiegel:

“In reality, the water in the oceans wobbles all over the place,” says oceanographer Detlef Stammer. He isn’t talking about waves, but large-scale bulges and bumps in the sea level.

Stammer, who is the director of the Center for Marine and Climate Research at the University of Hamburg, is familiar with the incorrect notions that lay people have, which is why he likes to present them with two numbers to shatter their illusions. “In the Indian Ocean, the sea level is about 100 meters (330 feet) below the average, while the waters around Iceland are 60 meters above the average.”

The ocean is lumpy!  It’s like bad gravy.  This gives you some idea of how challenging it is to predict the effects of climate change.  Most of the reporting seems to assume that as temperatures go up, ice well melt and waters will rise evenly across the globe.  Not so.

The flood of data from the orbiting satellite has produced all kinds of surprises for scientists in recent years. For instance, while seas have risen by about 15 centimeters in the tropical Western Pacific, the ocean near San Francisco has fallen by about the same amount. “On the German coast, on the other hand, the sea level today is a few centimeters higher than it was 15 years ago,” says Claus Böning of the Kiel-based excellence cluster “The Future Ocean.”

I am not sure what an “excellence-cluster” is, but I am sure this is good news for a lot of high-priced Bay Area real estate.

Sea level rise is one of the scary things that global warming is supposed to do, but how scary is it, exactly?  Al Gore showed us photo shopped images of most of New York City under water, which might count as an unparalleled disaster or as urban renewal, depending on your view of Manhattan.  Again from Der Spiegel:

If the Greenland ice sheet, which is 3 kilometers (1.88 miles) thick in some places, were to melt completely, sea levels would rise by 7 meters on average. It would take many centuries before the 3 million cubic kilometers of glaciers ended up in the ocean. But people living near Germany’s North Sea coast would hardly even notice, because the sea level there would remain virtually unchanged. The water would even subside off the coast of Norway. “And, purely theoretically, the sea level would actually fall by several meters off the coast of Greenland,” Stammer explains.

Of course, a seven meter rise “on average” would dunk someone.

The nations bordering the entire Indian Ocean and the Pacific, as well as the countries of South America and Africa, would be the true victims of a global rise in sea levels.

In those regions, the oceans would not just rise by the average of 7 meters, but by as much as 8 or even 10 meters. “Of course, this is only a theoretical model,” says Stammer, the oceanographer.

Ten meters up is a lot of meters in.  Atolls barely visible above the waves would be history.

That is something we have to worry about “centuries” from now, according to theoretical models, which tells us what we need to know.  There are many serious problems for policy makers to worry about.  Sea level rise is not one of them.  It has been rising for a very long time.  It isn’t at all clear that it is rising at present.  We haven’t much noticed sea level rise in the past and most of us won’t notice it for the foreseeable future.  The Germans, apparently, will never notice it, but they might have to start feeling guilty about the damage global warming is doing to Chile in 3075 or maybe 4075.

That’s assuming, of course, the historical trajectory remains unchanged.  The odds of that are very low.  If the present world civilization survives the next several centuries and continues to progress, the technological challenges presented by global warming will be child’s play.  We will figure out how to charge our iPods without heating up Greenland.  If not, well, that will solve the problem in another way.

It is delusional to think that we can base our policy on theoretical projections centuries into the future.  I think we should take climate change seriously.  I think it is absurd to believe that we can accomplish serious reductions in global greenhouse emissions over the near future without a dramatic contraction of world economic growth.  That means that we should focus on dealing with the consequences of climate change.  Some of these may be serious.  Sea level rise is not likely to be at the top of the list.

Glowbull Warming and Scientific Decadence

Posted: Monday, October 11, 2010 at 10:46 pm
By: RadioActive Chief
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From his own scientific background and long-standing examination of the pseudo-science of glowbull warming, the Chief has avoided taking membership in the Orthodox Church of Gore-istic Climatics. This is yet another illustration of a decay of scientific quality under the impact of repeated dosages of politically-linked money. It’s also another example of a significant story absent from the US media (and the London Telegraph comes through again).

US physics professor: ‘Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life’

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is his letter of resignation to Curtis G. Callan Jr, Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society.

Anthony Watts describes it thus:
This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.

H/W is the start of the letter. Dr. Lewis becomes painfully explicit in explaining his point:

Dear Curt:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

Lewis very specifically lists his problems with the current iteration of the APS, and why it is no longer a worthy representative of science, before going into his concluding statement (go to the linked article for all the Gore-y details).

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
Hal

Just in case some envirowackos want to claim that Dr. Lewis is somehow not qualified to offer this slap-down to the APS establishment, his C.V. gives the lie to that concept:

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety
Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

With over a quarter-century of teaching HS sciences, including physics, the APS’ actions smack of the attitude that gave an Italian scientist a very difficult political problem when he went against the orthodoxy of his day. THAT scientist was Galileo Galilei.

Any scientist that is unwilling to allow actively encourage scientific debate is unworthy of the name, and unworthy of the responsibility that he has presumed to take on to expand human knowledge about the universe in which we live.

Ecofascism on YouTube

Posted: Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 12:51 am
By: Ken Blanchard
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It has been clear during the long debate over global warming that the Alarmists considered any criticism of their position to be illegitimate.  The phrase “global warming deniers” and the attempt to link critics of global warming alarmism to Holocaust deniers is a good example of this.

Still, one could hardly be prepared for what went out over the internet today.  It has to be seen to be believed.

video

I am not often stunned by something I see on YouTube.  I still can’t quite imagine the thought process that went into the production of that video.  The 10:10 campaign, apparently, is intended to encourage people to cut their carbon footprint by 10% in 2010.  I have no idea who is behind this campaign, or how big it is.

The video was posted, I gather this morning (or this morning in England).  James Delingpole at the London Telegraph was all over it.  Within hours the 10:10 campaign furiously tried to remove it from YouTube.  Too late!  It had already gone viral.  By late in the day they ceased trying to pull it back and instead issued an apology.

With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. We were therefore delighted when Britain’s leading comedy writer, Richard Curtis – writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and many others – agreed to write a short film for the 10:10 campaign. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended.

Okay.  The film begins with a teacher encouraging her class to join the 10:10 campaign.  She asks for a show of hands indicating who will join the campaign.  Two students refuse, and she reassures them.  No pressure.  Then she pushes a button and the dissenters blow up.  They blow up very vividly.  Blood and tissue splatters the surrounding students, who all react with appropriate and I dare say realistic shock.  The teacher, wiping the viscera off her chest, reminds them of their reading assignment.

Okay.  Many people found the film extremely funny.  Really?  What sort of people?  Murdering children who won’t join the party line, that’s comedy!

The clip goes on to repeat the scenario with adults in a business and sports setting.  It ends by taking a step back as if to show two people who had a hand in producing it.  One of them thinks she has done her part by doing a voice for the preceding carnage.  She gets blown up in her booth for her presumption.  Don’t miss the message.  Following the party line is no guarantee of innocence.  All are guilty.  Merit does not exist.  Salvation means always moving in the direction the party indicates, without hesitation.

This video is not some slapdash production.  It is slick.  It took time, money, professional skill, and deliberation.  It took the cooperation of a lot of folks who had no problem with the message.  The people who produced it and all the people who took part in it, and the organization that hosted it, either didn’t take a moment to consider all the human beings who are really being blown up around the world for not joining the party line, or, what is worse, they didn’t care.

This is evil.  I don’t for a moment think that all those concerned about global warming are responsible for this.  The fact that such a vile thing was produced should put the fear in all of us.

Bill Gates Claims Godhood?–Assumes Right to Change Global Climate at Will!

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 at 12:12 am
By: RadioActive Chief
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Can you say H-U-B-R-I-S? Hubris means extreme haughtiness or arrogance. Hubris often indicates being out of touch with reality and overestimating one’s own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power.

When I first saw this, I had trouble believing it was serious…Gates et al have to be totally convinced of their status as übermenschen, if not demigods, who are uniquely qualified and endowed to assume, on their own authority, the power to play dominance games with the planet that we all live on. Not even the most arrogant of polluting industrial managers (say, of the ChiCom steel industry for example) don’t openly and proudly proclaim a stated goal to consciously and deliberately change the climate of the Earth!

Bill Gates pays for ‘artificial’ clouds to beat greenhouse gases

The first trials of controversial sunshielding technology are being planned after the United Nations failed to secure agreement on cutting greenhouse gases.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, is funding research into machines to suck up ten tonnes of seawater every second and spray it upwards. This would seed vast banks of white clouds to reflect the Sun’s rays away from Earth.

The British and American scientists involved do not intend to wait for international rules on technology that deliberately alters the climate.

The arrogance here is breathtaking…especially considering the actual state of the art of much of what passes itself off as “climate science”, but has been proven by the Climategate and other similar revelations to be based on conspiratorial coordination of faked, distorted, and fatally limited data.

Silver Lining, a research body in San Francisco, has received $300,000 (£204,000) from Mr Gates. It will develop machines to convert seawater into microscopic particles capable of being blown up to the cloud level of 1,000 metres. This would whiten clouds by increasing the number of nuclei.

Uh…rain and clouds mostly result from evaporation. The salt mostly stays dissolved in the sea. With Gate’s plan, NOW we can be the lucky recipient of precipitation in the form of salt water…won’t THAT do wonders for maintaining the soil!

Stephen Salter, Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design at the University of Edinburgh, said that there was no need to wait for regulations because the trials would not add chemicals to the atmosphere.

…uh…having taught Chemistry for over a quarter-century, I can assure the learned professor that water (H2O) and salt (NaCl) are in fact chemicals, and that water in it’s vapor phase is a MUCH more powerful greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide.

But Sir David King, former chief scientific adviser to the Government, said that experiments with potential consequences beyond national borders needed international regulations. He told The Times: “I do not see any geoengineering solution which does not have unintended consequences or is not far too expensive.”

At least HE has retained some situational awareness concerning unintended consequences!

Let’s hope that this particular form of megalomaniacal insanity is squelched before it afflicts us all.

At times, when mentally cursing yet another BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) from a Windows crash, it was easy to attribute diabolical intent to Bill Gates. Now it looks like he’s in need of crashing the climate like it was a cheap PC.

Fat Lady Sings Over Glowbull Warming?

Posted: Friday, April 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm
By: RadioActive Chief
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When the Germans give up on AGW you really do know it’s all over…

Reported from the UK’s London Telegraph. (Of course! You didn’t think the U.S. mainstream media would cover this sort of thing, did you?)

No people on earth are more righteously Green than the Germans. They built the foundations and set the tone of the modern Green movement in, ahem, the 1930s. They invented the phrase Atomkraft Nein Danke. They were the first country to allow nasty, dangerous Sixties eco-radicals to reinvent themselves as respectable politicians. They were the first place to buy, wholesale, into the solar power con, which is why so many of their rooves – especially on churches – shimmer and glow like reflective-coated crusties at a mid-Nineties rave, while the German taxpayer is ruing the day his government ever chose to subsidise (Achtung Herr Cameron!) this fantastically pointless scheme… (Hat tip: Robert Groezinger, et al)

So when the Germans say “Auf Wiedersehn AGW” it really is time for the rest of the world to sit up and take notice. And that’s exactly what they just have said. See for yourself in this tear-inducing glorious feature in one of their leading newspapers.

Der Spiegel has done a number on AGW – one of the best and most comprehensive I’ve read in any newspaper anywhere – and it could hardly be more damning.

Truly, the experience is akin to having honey (really good stuff, heather probably) licked off one’s body by nubile blonde Nibelungen.

For the condensed version see the rest of the piece in the Telegraph.

Or, here’s the complete original very thorough, detailed, and lengthy der Spiegel story itself. The truth is out there!

Glowbull Warming Reaches Pierre & SD Blogosphere

Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8:54 am
By: RadioActive Chief
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There is just too much discussion going on worthy of reply about this to let it go without additional comment.

The starting reference point is HC1009, labeled: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Calling for balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota.

The Chief has taught HS sciences for a quarter century…and the prevailing orthodoxy on AGW (anthropogenic global warming: you know, man made!) is junk science at best, and at worst is totally bogus intellectual fraud. After formally studying a number of relevant scientific disciplines, IMHO AlGore and the glowbull warming advocates are claiming far, far more than is supported by the VALID evidence…which looks better and better with every successive debunking of junk “evidence” that has been used by the IPCC, and other agencies like the UK Meteorological Office, East Anglia University Climate Unit, etc.

The US science teaching establishment to a large extent has drunk the AlGore Kool Aid…and has little bashfulness about promoting what IMHO is a grossly distorted pseudoscientific dogma in the classroom.

This is the backstory on HC1009…which is well intentioned, but is in need of some important correction to be credible. Some of these corrections have been noted several places in the blogosphere. Badlands Blue and Madville Times both have erupted on this to some degree at least…CAH seems to be a bit more sensible in his comments, but admittedly both have properly noted some real problems, which were also noted with a bit more specificity in a posting from SD Politics.

Overall, the Chief concurs with the latter of these, not so much with the former commenters. The references in the bill to “astrology(!)”, “thermography”, and “interrelativity” (which suggests some sort of warp drive travel or something) obviously (at least to me!) need to be cleaned up.

There is one additional wording change that I would heartily suggest. The passage in the bill that states “That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact;” is also incorrect in this context.

The Chief continually stressed to his students that a “scientific theory” is NOT a guess about something…it is rather a unified explanation that is able to account for a large body of related proven scientific phenomena. The idea a man-made glowbull warming is IMHO a LONG way from reaching the level of established theory. A more appropriate statement in the bill at that point would be “That global warming is a scientific hypothesis rather than a proven fact”.

In science, a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a scientific question. The validity or non-validity of the explanation may be established by the process of experimentation. To be supported, a hypothesis must be demonstrated REPEATEDLY by experiments (or data) that are clearly and concisely defined, and are available to anyone else interested in the topic, who then is able to also demonstrate the same conclusion. If the conclusion can not be logically and unambiguously supported from a number of independent sources then if cannot be considered as being scientifically valid.

That is the current state of the hypothesis of AGW today, and as more and more cases of shoddy research, flawed and/or missing critical data, and evident “rigging” of the scientific review process comes to light, it becomes less and less likely that AlGore and others of his enviromental ilk are correct in their assertions of “established science”.

So, what’s to get exercised about concerning the scientific Waterloo being defended by the orthodox “warmists”? It is neatly summarized in Ken’s concluding paragraph in his above- noted and linked post at SD Politics:

Climate change alarmism is in a crisis right now, for good reason. Cap and Trade legislation, a very costly proposal based on very dubious quazi-scientific ideas, is something the State of South Dakota ought to be concerned about. It is easy to make mistakes when putting a resolution together, but if we are going to weigh in on this we need to be rather more careful in our choice of words.

Hear, hear!

SD State Legislature on Global Warming

Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm
By: Ken Blanchard
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I was quite ready to take issue with Badlands Blue and the Madville Times on HCR 1009.  I am doubtful that global warming or the teaching of such in our state High Schools are topics that call for a resolution.  After a brief read, I thought that most of the resolution was basically on target.

However, while I certainly do not endorse my blogosphere colleagues’ snide remarks about our legislators, they were right to make fun of one part of the resolution.  The problem is this passage:

That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative…

This is basically correct, except for a couple of words.  “Astrological”?  This word refers to astrology.  Does it affect global climate when the moon is in Virgo, and anyone who is a Gemini need beware?  Probably the right word would be “astronomical”.

What about “Thermology”?  That, I gather, refers to the infrared imaging of the human body.  I have heard it said that whenever Al Gore shows up to give a speech on global warming, the local temperatures plunge by ten or twenty degrees and it snows.  Could he really exercise such a cooling effect?  Until some study confirms it, thermology probably doesn’t belong in this bill.

Also, I don’t think “interrelativity” is a real word or a useful coinage.  Perhaps “interrelationship” might have been better.

Climate change alarmism is in a crisis right now, for good reason.  Cap and Trade legislation, a very costly proposal based on very dubious quazi-scientific ideas, is something the State of South Dakota ought to be concerned about.  It is easy to make mistakes when putting a resolution together, but if we are going to weigh in on this we need to be rather more careful in our choice of words.

Global Warming Melts Down

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 at 12:56 am
By: Ken Blanchard
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My latest column in the American News:

If you want to know what the temperature is in your back yard, you probably don’t want to put the thermometer on top of a hot oven.  If you want to monitor changes in global temperature, you probably shouldn’t rely on weather stations located mostly in cities and other developed areas where the environment is artificially warm.  Yet that is what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been doing.  The IPCC is the primary scientific body raising the alarm about global warming.

The London Times reports that a wide body of research now questions the claim that the world is warming at all.  John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, found that in three areas, Alabama, California, and East Africa, apparent warming was entirely due to local factors that influenced the weather stations.  When economic professor Ross McKitrick was invited by the IPCC to review its recent report, he found that the panel’s “climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialization and data quality problems.”  A number of researchers in Britain and elsewhere are reaching the same conclusions.

The claim that industrial production is causing an unprecedented and dangerous spike in global temperatures was based largely on so called “hockey stick” charts.  These charts showed more or less even temperatures over the thousand years followed by a sharp upward spike beginning in the 1970s.  The charts were bogus.  The evidence indicates that there were periods of global warming prior to the industrial revolution, including the medieval warming period when global temperatures may have been warmer than they are now.  If the world is indeed in a warming period, and it probably is, there is no good reason to believe that this is due to industrial production rather than natural fluctuations in the climate.

Trying to measure changes in the global climate is a very difficult business.  Figuring out what causes those changes is enormously more difficult.  Water vapor traps a lot of solar energy, but fluffy white clouds reflect a lot of it back into space.  Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that absorbs a lot of the sun’s heat, but more CO2 and warmer temperatures cause forests to grow faster.  Trees sequester CO2.  No one can be sure how these things balance out.

It is not, however, the IPCC’s scientific accuracy that is now most at question.  It is its good faith.  When thousands of email messages between climate scientists were pirated and released to the public several months ago, it became clear that some of the latter were engaged in manipulating the data and were determined to prevent dissenting scholarship from being published.

The IPCC has solemnly reported that by 2035 the Himalayan glaciers will be gone, that rain fed crop production in Africa could be cut in half by in ten years, that 40% of the Amazon rainforest will disappear, well, soon, all because of global warming.  Any one of these things would be a catastrophe of Biblical proportions, but the IPCC has been forced to admit that not one of them has any reliable research behind it.  These are the sort of things that come out of the mouth of a carny barker.  They discredit a supposedly responsible scientific committee.

Global warming alarmism is politics, not science.  Politicians in the developed world like the idea that human industry is destroying the environment.  It fills their sails with righteous indignation and gives them a reason to demand more political control over their national economies and those of other nations.  For climate scientists, this means a lot of public funding and the warm feeling that they are saving the world.

If the whole thing melts away, the conceits of politicians are no great loss.  The reputation of the scientific community is another matter.

Glowbull Warming(?) Update

Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 12:43 am
By: RadioActive Chief
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Yes, it’s true. Some who are unable to see the ice-cubes in their coffee are STILL worshiping at the altar of the Church of St Algore of the Hot Air.

They need a good sharp whack upside the headbone with the ol’ cluebat!

The mini ice age starts here

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.

Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice insummer by 2013.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.

Sounds like the Polar Bears will be doing fine, which they already have been doing, as they increased their population from approx. 5000 in 1950 to over 25,000 now, but I digress.

The story goes on with a fair amount of detail on the very real science behind the current cooling trends.

Of course it notes the continued obtuseness of the Brit pols who are still getting their card punched at St. Algore’s. They just can’t bring themselves to admit all those pounds, euros, and dollars promised by the con-scheme of “carbon credit trading” are flying away for the winters.

Meanwhile the Chief will be scooping some more “white Glowbull Warming” away from the outpost this week while the temperature is reasonable.