Monday, July 30, 2007

Researchers Blame Global Warming for Hurricanes

The global warming media blitz goes on. Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research say that the number of tropical storms and hurricanes has doubled over the last century, and global warming is to blame.

According to researchers Greg J. Holland and Peter J. Webster, the incidence of hurricanes is increasing and if global warming goes on unabated we will enter a period of sharp upswing.

Nonsense, says Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center and possibly the most knowledgeable expert in the field of North Atlantic hurricanes. According to Landsea:

The work, he said, is "sloppy science that neglects the fact that better monitoring by satellites allows us to observe storms and hurricanes that were simply missed earlier. The doubling in the number of storms and hurricanes in 100 years that they found in their paper is just an artifact of technology, not climate change."

Holland states that we will probably see "a stabilization in frequencies for a while" - probably due to the fact that the 2006 hurricane forecast was a total flop, with a quiet season that didn't match up to feverish predictions and in light of the fact that the 2007 forecast, the season to end all seasons, has also been downgraded - mostly due to the lack of storms thus far.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bottled Water Causes Global Warming (and cavities)

If you drink bottled water, you may be adding to your carbon footprint unwittingly. Production of plastic bottles for those fancy-label H2Os uses 1.5 million barrels of oil per year - enough to fuel 100,000 cars.

Just the transportation of bottled water results in increased carbon emissions from trucking the water to market.

And soon there will be a couple of bottled waters that will have to include the fact that they are nothing more than tap water. Both Aquafina by Pepsico and Dasani by Coca-Cola get their water from public water sources. Those are the sources that flow through pipes into your house, the low-carbon alternative.

Furthermore, bottled water has been linked to an increase in the incidence of cavities amongst young people. Most bottled waters contain flouride levels that are well below standards. Flouridation of municipal water sources has been heralded as the single most successful health achievement since the 1960s. But the desertion of public water sources in favor of bottled water has led to a rise in the rate of cavities that is comparable to pre-1960s levels.

So - save the planet, save your teeth and save your wallet. Next time, turn on the tap to quench your thirst.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Skeptic Receives Threatening Letter

Scientists who are outspoken in their skepticism of global warming theory have stated their belief that they are targeted for their views, ostracized from the scientific community and denied funding for research, a claim often derided by global warming activists as ridiculous and unfounded.

But what of this letter, written by Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) that was sent to Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)?

"It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar," Mr. Eckhart wrote. "If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on."

The letter was brought to the attention of EPA head Stephen L. Johnson by Senator James M. Inhofe. The EPA is a member of ACORE.

So much for reasonable debate. If anyone doubted the blind zealotry of the warmies, this letter should resolve that doubt. The warmies boast that they have a scientific consensus of opinion on anthropogenic global warming (nevermind that their numbers are inflated, that's another post), but skeptics have long asserted that many climate scientists who regard the theory as flawed are afraid to speak up for fear of swift and costly retribution.

So why would anyone speak out their dissenting opinion at all? Simply, because they can see the greater harm that will be done by the political agenda of the global warming activists, the widespread economic disaster, the futility of their efforts to control the Earth's climate and the millions who will suffer for them.

Yet the list of skeptics and dissenters is continually growing and includes some very impressive names. For a list of the prominent scientists who have joined the ranks of climate change skeptics see this list at the press blog of Sen. James Inhofe, member of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.

Inside The Beltway

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Scurvy Suggestion

Democratic candidate John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth Edwards, alluding to the fact that transporting produce to market creates greater carbon emissions, stated she is now dedicated to eating locally-grown produce. This, she opined, would mean she wouldn't be eating tangerines anytime soon.

One hopes Mrs. Edwards is not seriously suggesting that people should eat only what can be grown in their own state's backyard. Not all of us live in North Carolina, Mrs. Edwards, and it can be a long winter in the Northeast without any vegetables or fruit. Does she really mean to doom the children in Idaho to scurvy by not allowing them orange juice?

It's this kind of silliness that pervades the global warming rhetoric. Does it even make any sense? Reducing carbon footprints by not buying food that requires transporting because it is grown elsewhere?

Mrs. Edwards made the remarks in McClellanville, SC, where she and her candidate husband, John Edwards, met with environmentalist leaders on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Edwards will give up tangerines to fight global warming

Monday, July 23, 2007

Reducing Air Pollution May Increase Global Warming

Researchers are studying plumes of dust that billow from China and make their way across the Pacific. These plumes are a combination of natural and man-made airborne particles, dust and pollutants, that can be 300 miles wide and six miles deep. They make their way across the Pacific and hover over California, they can circle the globe in three weeks. Scientists believe these dust plumes may be masking the effects of global warming due to a high concentration of sulfate particles which reflect sunlight and have a cooling effect. They warn that as China and other nations begin to curb their sulfate emissions, global warming could occur faster than predicted.

This is really nothing very new. In April, 2001, climate researchers warned that efforts to reduce air pollution could make global warming worse if those strategies were not well-designed. Reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides to control ozone in the lower atmosphere, for example, would lead to greater methane levels and increased global warming.

Does this mean that man should stop efforts to reduce air pollution? Of course not. What it does show is that the atmosphere and global climate are extraordinarily complex systems, and global movements to address one aspect of the problem of air pollution may have unexpected effects on both the atmosphere and the climate.

The Al Gore's are ready to force regulations on nations around the world that for some will be economically disastrous, especially those developing nations for whom such restrictions can be a death sentence to their poorer inhabitants. Man's attempts to understand the infinitely complex systems of Earth that allow life on this planet to continue are in their infancy. In his fumbling attempts to control those systems, such as climate, he could destroy it and himself.

Air pollution control efforts will add to global warming if carbon monoxide is not curbed along with nitrogen oxides

Huge Dust Plumes From China Cause Changes in Climate

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Don't Trust Rust

One of the fairly risky but probably profitable new schemes to combat global warming is the plan to dump hundreds of tons of iron dust into the oceans of the world in the hopes that it will cause increased phytoplankton blooms that will absorb more carbon dioxide.

To their credit, the World Wildlife Fund is opposed to the dumping of the iron dust, citing possible negative effects such as the introduction of other trace minerals along with the iron dust, some of which may prove harmful to some other forms of marine life. They argue that this plan could cause changes in the ecosystem that would have far-reaching consequences.

"There are much safer and proven ways of preventing or lowering carbon dioxide levels than dumping iron into the ocean," said Dr. Lara Hansen, chief scientist, WWF International Climate Change Program. "This kind of experimentation with disregard for marine life and the lives of people who rely on the sea is unacceptable."

Planktos, Inc., a for-profit company, has plans to dump iron dust at locations in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Friday, July 20, 2007

One burger - hold the meat

Japanese scientists have determined that the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is not to drive your car less, just stop driving it to go get a burger.

According to the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan, the consumption of 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the same amount of carbon emissions as driving your car for three hours or burning a 100 watt light bulb for 20 days.

The study states that most of the greenhouse gas emissions linked to beef are not from bovine flatulence but from the processing and trucking of cattle feed. But if farmers don't raise crops for feed, where will it all go? To the biofuel industry, most likely and someone will have to truck it all anyway, won't they?

The vegetarians were thrilled with this study, as they are with all studies linking the barbaric human habit of eating animal protein with global disaster.

This comes on the heels of the startling news that Al Gore fed a pretentious meal of Patagonian toothfish to the guests at his daughter's wedding. The environmentalists and the Humane Society were quick to attack Gore for hypocrisy in serving his guests a threatened species of fish for dinner. But, in reality, the fish Gore served were perfectly legal and not endangered. They came from a well-managed and sustainable population of toothfish and were caught in compliance with Marine Stewardship Council regulations.

Gore may not have caught onto the dangers he faces with so many fringe groups latching onto the coattails of the global warming movement. These groups' agendas have little to do with the reversal of global warming, their goals are much more narrow. He wants people to use less energy and drive hybrids. They want to eliminate the eating of meat by anyone, anywhere.

There are real and dire consequences for the world if the global warming alarmists get their way in placing restrictions on even the usage of energy by poor and developing nations who have no other resources to fall back on. But the furtherance of the agendas of radical fringe groups is a far greater danger.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

Al Gore is going to have to watch his back - those environmentalists can turn on you in an instant. One minute you're all breaking organically-grown, whole-grain bread together, replacing light bulbs, polishing the solar panels and buying carbon offsets to neutralize your cat's methane emissions after a tuna-rich meal - but let them find a chink in your green armor and boy, you better watch out.

Rebecca Keeble in this article in the Daily Telegraph takes Gore to task for serving up Chilean sea bass, also known as Patagonian toothfish, for the guests at his daughter's wedding.

The Patagonian toothfish is not on the endangered species list, it is however, considered a "threatened species" because of overfishing by "pirate" ships. It's one of those dishes you serve people to impress them.

Fishing of the toothfish is strictly regulated and those legally engaged in catching this species abide by strict environmental rules. The article cites the strain that poachers and those engaged in illegal fishing operations put on the fishing industry and brings up accusations of child labor. The author warns that seabirds are dying as a result of illegal fishing lines, and states that illegal fishing operations in the Southern Ocean must be curbed or... well, lots of bad stuff will happen.

Al is accused of diminishing his "green credentials". What is never asserted is that the fish Al Gore served his guests was caught illegally, or that it is illegal to eat toothfish. Pardon me for defending Al Gore, but he has never come out and made a statement that eating fish would destroy the planet. I know he's worried about the extinction of half of all species on earth, but not due to people eating them.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Cowardly New World

The UN's World Food Programme has announced it is no longer going to be able to feed the estimated 90 million people around the world that it now serves. The WFP cited rising food costs as the reason they will not be able to continue without extra contributions from donor countries.

Purchasing costs have risen 50% in the last six months. The demand for grain crops for biofuel is a main factor in driving up food costs.

This is the scenario that will continue to be played out across the world as we follow the leadership of the environmentalists and the global warming alarmists. Farmers will find it more profitable to grow crops for biofuel than for food.

The poorest will starve. The rich won't have to give up anything, they can afford to buy their carbon offsets that allow them to continue to indulge in their profligate and opulent lifestyles, while they lecture us on the importance of erasing our carbon footprints . The rest of us will become the new "poor" of the world - struggling to pay taxes on energy usage, living under regulations imposed by self-proclaimed saviors of the world.

I would rather have global warming.

UN warns it cannot afford to feed the world

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ice Didn't Melt on Greenland in Historical Warm Periods

Scientists probing a glacier on Greenland have recovered the oldest DNA ever found. At a depth of 1.2 miles they found DNA of butterflies, spiders, trees and other plants, proving that the Greenland of 450,000 to 900,000 years ago was much warmer than previously thought.

They point also to the fact that during the last interglacial period, about 116,000 years ago, temperatures on Greenland were a full 5C (9F) higher than today, and the glaciers did not completely melt.

The deepest ice core studies, done in Antartica, show that the temperature varied by as much as 15C (27F) over the last 800,000 years.

The Pope Goes Neutral

The Vatican has decided to go carbon-neutral by accepting a donation of land in Hungary as the Vatican Climate Forest. The size of the park will be determined by the carbon usage of the Vatican so that it will be large enough to offset all the papal emissions. This makes the Vatican the first sovereign state to go entirely carbon neutral. I think they should go all out on energy usage while their carbon footprint is being measured to build a hedge for the future.

Meanwhile, a US led science team studying forests has determined that forests in northern mid- and upper-latitudes are not as effective as tropical forests in reducing global warming. Tropical forests remove a much higher percentage of carbon emissions from the atmosphere. The study is reported in the magazine Science.

Samplings of air taken from around the world indicate that northern forests are not taking up as much carbon dioxide as previously thought and that tropical forests are taking up as much as 40% of their slack

It has not been reported whether this finding will cause revocation of the carbon offsets people have obtained through the planting of trees in northern latitudes.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Live Earth Fails to Save the Planet

The Goracle attributes the fact that people are beginning to dismiss his shrill hype and scare tactics to the despicable balance in media coverage of global warming that includes even those who disagree with the theory's basic tenets. But when he offered the public a worldwide series of concerts, boasting some of the biggest names in music, he thought he was golden.

But he hasn't garnered only praise for his efforts. There has been criticism of the massive electricity usage of the concert, the trash generated by the crowds, the carbon emissions of the planes that carried the bands to their destinations and worse than that, believers didn't even turn out to watch it in the expected numbers.

In Johannesburg, SA, the unseasonable snow was blamed for the low turnout while in the UK, the weather was just too nice for people to spend their time at a concert. And those who didn't attend, didn't watch either. According to BBC figures, Live Earth scored lower ratings than the Concert for Diana, with 3.1 million viewers tuned in to Live Earth as compared to 11.4 million for the Diana tribute.

Live Earth hasn't got good press since the event, either. Rod Stewart, who is something of a famous rock artist himself, took issue with the vulgar language of some of the comedians and musicians (why wasn't Tipper handing out warning labels?). Rumors imply that Madonna was faking her guitar solo.

The Live Earth event generated 3000 times more carbon emissions than the average Briton does in a year. Remember the good old days when we thought rock n' roll could save the world?

Dirty Snow

Back in the old days, that is, the mid-70s when the prevailing scientific consensus was that we were about to enter a mini-ice age, concerns about how to warm up the Earth led to some fantastical schemes. One of these, reported in Newsweek's April 28, 1975 issue was to blanket the polar ice caps with soot, so they would absorb more heat from the sun and melt.

Well, the ice age never did materialize and so such extreme measures never had to be taken. But according to a story reported by the CBC, there is at least some evidence it would have worked. In fact, according to US researchers, dirty snow is responsible for at least one-third of the warming at the Arctic.

Soot generated by forest fires, industry and automobiles enters the atmosphere and later falls to the ground as dirty snow. This snow is darker and less reflective than clean snow, thereby absorbing more heat from the sun.

Of course, pollution contributes and the only way to reduce that is to start finding newer and cleaner fuels (something we will have to do eventually when our fossil fuel resources are depleted). However, some sources of the ash and soot, such as volcanic eruptions, are not under man's control.

More importantly, it fits the current climate scenario better than the carbon dioxide theory of global warming. Since Antartica isn't warming and since nearly all the warming is taking place in the Northern Hemisphere, with particularly measurable melting going on in the Arctic, the IPPC theory of anthropogenic climate change doesn't seem to play out.

Co2 Increases Follow Temp Increases

It's interesting that scientists can attribute the last deglaciation period at the end of the Ice Age to natural warming cycles, even postulate on what caused this warming cycle, but any warming in the last century they are positive has only one cause: man.

Now research from The Earth Institute at Columbia University shows that at the time of the last large deglaciation, the earth's warming brought about a large upwelling of deep ocean waters, releasing massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

That's an important sequence. The earth warmed, then the oceans released large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The fact that this correlates exactly with what the global warming skeptics have been saying all along - that rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature, and not the other way around - seems to be completely overlooked.

They admit that CO2 levels go in cycles, they admit that the earth has natural warming cycles, they admit that warming causes release of more carbon dioxide from the oceans into the atmosphere, they admit to everything except the obvious: the current global warming cycle might be natural as well.

It's like a pet theory they can't let go of, even when evidence points to another theory as being at least as likely if not more likely. If the earth managed to emerge from the last Ice Age with no help from carbon-emitting, fossil fuel burning, SUV-driving humans, then it is clear that the earth's temperature is capable of much greater and more extreme swings than man could ever hope to cause by just existing on the planet and maintaining his civilization.

Climate swings have brought great CO@ pulses up from the deep sea

Marine Radiocarbon Evidence for the Mechanism of Deglacial Atmospheric CO2 Rise abstract