Global Warming Archives

Understand this general rule (economically derived): The higher the price of gasoline, the less driving an individual will do.

Now, understand that the Democratic Party’s platform states:

We will create a cleaner, greener and stronger America by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, eliminating billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop energy alternatives, and investing in energy independent technology.

So, wouldn’t it stand to reason that an economy with higher gasoline prices would be welcomed by Democrats? Wouldn’t such an economy yield, through the effect of less driving, a cleaner, greener and stronger America?

Yet, Nancy Pelosi recently stated,

The President knows, as his own Administration has stated, that the impact of any new drilling will be insignificant – promising savings of only pennies per gallon many years down the road. Americans know that thanks to the two oilmen in the White House, consumers are now paying $4 a gallon for gas. But what Americans should realize is that what the President is calling for is drilling as close as three miles off of America’s pristine beaches and in other protected areas.

Today, the New Direction Congress will vote on legislation to bring down gas prices by taking crucial steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures market. The President himself could lower prices by drawing down a small portion of our government oil stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The New Direction Congress will continue to bring forth responsible proposals to increase supply, reduce prices, protect consumers, and transition America to a clean, renewable energy independent future.

Does Pelosi really want to lower the price of gasoline or does she want to play politics under the guise of saving the environment? How high must the price of gasoline go before the Democrats relent, and actually do something?

$10 a gallon?

Global Warming Update

Monthly Temperatures since July 1989

Click image for a larger version.  Rev. Don Sensing queries, "Wasn’t it in July 1989 that the UN said we only had 10 years left to save the planet?"  Guess we did it.  Can we move on now?

Oh, well maybe not.  Sensing also points to this report (PDF) which starts:

Addressing the Washington Policymakers in Seattle, WA, Dr. Don Easterbrook said that shifting of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) from its warm mode to its cool mode virtually assures global cooling for the next 25-30 years and means that the global warming of the past 30 years is over.

That dive starting in 2006 may be just the beginning.  Expect environmentalists to have something to say about it.  Al Gore will probably not be the spokesman for it; too closely associated with that other natural phenomenon. 

[tags]global warming,environment,Dr. Don Easterbrook,Pacific Decadal Oscillation[/tags]

Global Solar Warming Update

The global cooling we’ve been seeing in recent years (see here for many examples) is often explained as simply a blip on the graph. A La Nina here, a freak storm there, and things can can get jostled. Fair enough.

Except that the Sun continues to go through its cycles and having its effect on our atmosphere, in step with the temperatures we see. There are sunspot affects, and now more NOAA data showing that the Sun’s magnetic field is doing its part as well.

A few months ago, I had plotted the Average Geomagnetic Planetary Index (Ap) which is a measure of the solar magnetic field strength but also daily index determined from running averages of eight Ap index values. Call it a common yardstick (or meterstick) for solar magnetic activity.


As you can see, the Ap Index has continued along at the low level (slightly above zero) that was established during the drop in October 2005. As of June 2008, we now have 32 months of the Ap hovering around a value just slightly above zero, with occasional blips of noise.


…[I]t appears we continue to slide into a deeper than normal solar minima, one not seen in decades. Given the signs, I think we are about to embark upon a grand experiment, over which we have no control.

Click on the link for all the charts and graphs, and more striking details, including a correlation to sunspots.

[tags]environment,global warming,solar warming,Average Geomagnetic Planetary Index ,NOAA[/tags]

The Carbon Credit Scam

Jim Lindgren at The Volokh Conspiracy notes a few studies showing that the carbon offset program set up by the United Nations is what amounts to a scam.

Leading academics and watchdog groups allege that the UN’s main offset fund is being routinely abused by chemical, wind, gas and hydro companies who are claiming emission reduction credits for projects that should not qualify. The result is that no genuine pollution cuts are being made, undermining assurances by the UK government and others that carbon markets are dramatically reducing greenhouse gases, the researchers say.


A working paper from two senior Stanford University academics examined more than 3,000 projects applying for or already granted up to $10bn of credits from the UN’s CDM[clean development mechanism] funds over the next four years, and concluded that the majority should not be considered for assistance. "They would be built anyway," says David Victor, law professor at the Californian university. "It looks like between one and two thirds of all the total CDM offsets do not represent actual emission cuts." . . .

Should we really be shocked that a left-wing scheme to "do something" turns into a Make Money Fa$t scam?  (Hint: No.)  It’s just become another tax, which, one wonders, if that wasn’t the plan all along.

[tags]environment,United Nations,global warming,climate change,carbon offsets,Stanford University,David Victor,clean development mechanism[/tags]

Global Warming Update

It seems that there has been quite a lot of news that has, again, gone unreported by much of the mainstream media. An editorial in the Washington DC Examiner last Thursday noted a number of data points that are all trending in the same direction. (As you read this, please place your tongue firmly in your cheek. This is the script I used for my segment in the most recent Shire Network News podcast, in which we use satire and humor to get our points across.)

New data produced by more than 3,000 sophisticated ocean buoys scattered across the world’s oceans indicate average water temperatures have been decreasing since 2003, not increasing as would be the case in Gore’s globally warming world. NASA’s Josh Willis, who studies the output of the sophisticated buoys that take temperature readings from thousands of feet below the surface, says the significance of the new data is unclear.

Of course, it’s unclear. Now, if the data had shown that the ocean was warming, the significance of the new data would have been immediately clear, and Al Gore would have held a press conference by now.

The average land temperature of the globe dropped precipitously last year, according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. The temperature drop — more than enough to “wipe out most of the global warming of the past 100 years,” according to the online technology publication Daily Tech — was also recorded by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Somehow, this must all be Bush’s fault. Or Karl Rove’s. Either way, it seems rather, shall we say, convenient that this happened so close to an election year? Things like this simply do not happen during a Republican administration.

The severity of this global temperature drop was reflected in the fact the average U.S. temperature in January was lower than the average for the previous century, according to the U.S. Climactic Data Center. Also, the Canadian Ice Service reports the Arctic ice pack is 10 to 20 centimeters thicker in many places this year than it was in 2007.

Well so what? All this means is that the ice floes those poor polar bears are floating on are 8 inches thicker.

Professor Oleg Sorokhtin of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences is advising people “to stock up on fur coats” because he expects an extended period of global cooling, an assessment that is echoed by Kenneth Tapping of the U.S. National Academy of Science’s National Research Council. Both scientists contend solar activity explains most of the temperature variation in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Solar activity affects Earth’s temperature? Yeah, right. And ocean currents affect fish migration. Puhleeze. (Besides, we can’t tax the Sun. Yet.)

A peer-reviewed study published recently in the journal Nature suggests there will be no global warming until 2015, due to the effects of the Meridional Overturning Circulation, a giant oceanic conveyor belt that moves warmer water into the North Atlantic in a 70- to 80-year cycle, according to the London Telegraph.

Oh, for goodness sake, so they are going to bring up ocean currents! Solar cycles, weather cycles, ocean cycles, yadda yadda yadda. This is global warming we’re talking about! What does history have to do with it?


In any event, if you’re waiting for these items to gain prominence in the news reporting of the day, hold not thy breath.

[tags]environment,global warming,climate change,Josh Willis,Hadley Center for Climate Prediction,Goddard Institute for Space Studies,U.S. Climactic Data Center,Canadian Ice Service,Oleg Sorokhtin,Russian Academy of Natural Sciences,Kenneth Tapping,U.S. National Academy of Science’s National Research Council,Meridional Overturning Circulation[/tags]

They Get It

A group of evangelical Christians is trying to get the point across that the science isn’t settled on global warming, and indeed that the “cure” may be worse than the disease.

While it may seem like everyone believes in global warming and the impending catastrophe it will bring, a group of conservative Christians countered that message Thursday by launching a national campaign to gather one million signatures for a statement that says Christians must not believe in all the hype about global warming.

The “We Get It!” declaration, which currently has nearly 100 signers, is backed by prominent Christians including Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, award-winning radio host Janet Parshall, and U.S. Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

What supporters of the statement seek is to inform Christians about the biblical perspective on the environment and the poor, and to encourage them to look at the hard evidence, which they say does not support the devastating degree of climate change claimed by mainstream society.

The point is that there’s more to global warming than carbon offsets and fluorescent light bulbs. There are people to be considered.

Read the rest of this entry

Right and Left: Burning a Straw Man (for Carbon Offsets?)

Dan Trabue has been burning the midnight oil, frequently commenting on a number of mine and Doug’s posts recently. In this, he recently denounces conservative ecological and stewardship. This is insulting and incorrect. I am as conservative as anyone. I also:

  • Drive a Honda Insight getting 60-65 mpg city and 70-90 mpg highway depending on conditions.
  • Our family car is a diesel VW Golf, which gets ~50 mpg.
  • We use the air conditioner sparingly in summer, running an house fan nightly to cool the house and only turning on the air when the interior temperature exceeds about 85F. In winter, nighttimes the thermostat is between 55-58 (… and may be colder next winter as the kids are getting older and hardier) and 62 and 66 during daytime.
  • We installed a tank-less water heater for additional conservation two years ago when we replaced our water heater.
  • We compost all our waste vegetable matter and recycle.
  • The house in which I dwell, is the “starter” home we initially purchased. It is 35 years old now, we will likely this summer invest in upgrading the insulation and installing and attic fan.
  • We may also price geo-thermal cooling and heating.

And … to boot, I don’t buy one bit of the global warming snake oil Mr Gore and his minions are selling. But I find the contention that conservative=profligate consumer insulting and incorrect. Recall the recent comparisons of Mr Gore’s and our Presidents personal dwellings and their environmental impact. Also note, liberal Hollywood which is one of the hot beds of liberal activism and expression is also far more profligate in consumption than virtually anywhere else on the planet.

Liberals seize the high ground on conservation by talking the talk. But far too often, they don’t want to walk they but they do want, by dint of force and regulation, to get the other guy to do it for them.

Global Warming Update

"Global Sea Ice at ‘Unprecedented’ Levels"

Don’t expect to hear this reported on the your evening newscast, but according to new data, sea ice levels in the Southern Hemisphere are at 25-year highs.

“On a global basis, world sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were ‘unprecedented’ for the month of April in over 25 years,” Steve McIntyre wrote on on May 4. “Levels are the third highest (for April) since the commencement of records in 1979, exceeded only by levels in 1979 and 1982.”

Indeed, I think it’s a safe prediction that the 6:00 news will not cover this particular statistic, as they’ve invested to much into the "polar bears on shrinking ice floes" imagery to give any sort of mea culpa.  Indeed, 2007 saw record low levels of sea ice, which of course was covered extensively.  But this amazing rebound, in one year, should also be big news.

The main reason is that the increase is most likely natural and thus this would undercut the idea that the Earth is simply in the grip of mankind and cannot recover itself.  Or perhaps that no recovery is actually needed, since the warming trend could well be mostly from the sun itself.  Too many questions to ask, to many inconvenient answers, so this will get swept under the rug.

[tags]global warming,climate change,environment,sea ice,Steve McIntyre,media bias[/tags]

After writing essays and giving speeches on the reasons he disagrees with the “consensus” that human-induced global warming is a direct threat to our planet, Michael Crichton, evidently, decided to write the techno-thriller State of Fear (2004).

In State of Fear he essentially presents the same arguments he’s made in his speeches, albeit in the context of a fictional story. The book follows the exploits of a lawyer, government security agent, and company, as they criss-cross the globe on the trail of eco-terrorists intent on causing massive catastrophes, all to further their cause (that being the universal acknowledgment of human-induced global warming of the doomsday variety). Unlike some of his other thrillers, Crichton notes that all references to real people, institutions, charts, and data, are documented (through his use of footnotes). Besides including a bibliography (for a work of fiction), he also includes a section titled Author’s Message, as well as two appendices.

In the Author’s Message, he clarifies his position on the topic of global warming, basically stating that we know very little about the complex process of climate change, that there is a variety of data on the subject, and that we do not have the knowledge or the ability to effectively manage the environment. Some have criticized Crichton for writing, in State of Fear, nothing more than a long op-ed piece. Yet, it’s his book, so why shouldn’t he write about what he wants?

In the first appendix, Crichton provides prose on why he considers politicized science to be dangerous. He gives an interesting history lesson on how a previous scientific theory predicting impending crisis, and was accepted as valid by the authorities of the time. The theory? Eugenics.

I found State of Fear to be an exciting page-turner of an adventure. There were a few slow points, mid-way through the book, as well as a few personality caricatures I thought to be too extreme. Note: There was also a fair bit of unnecessary sex, and quite a bit of R-rated language.

Recommendation:  I’d recommend reading the book if, for no other reason, than to get a glimpse of the data that is typically not found in the general media. Save your money though, and look for it at a used bookstore or at your local library bookstore (I picked up the hardback for $1.00 at our library bookstore).

[tags]michael crichton, global warming, CO2, earth first, ELF, greenhouse gases[/tags]

Christianity and Global Warming

I’ve recommended audio from the Acton Institute before, and they just keep cranking out great commentary.  Today’s recommendation is for Jay Richard’s "Is it Hot In Here? What Should Christians Think About Global Warming?"  At an hour and 20 minutes, it’s a bit to take in, but it goes in depth into 4 questions that Jay considers the main issues.

  1. Is the globe warming?
  2. Is man causing it?
  3. Is it a bad thing?
  4. What can / should government do about it?

You’ll find that Jay does believe that we’re in a warming trend if you only look back to the mid-1800s, but there have been times when the Earth has been much warmer, and Jay mentions something I’ve touched on before; that Greenland used to be farmland before SUVs, and yet the polar bears survived. 

He’s clear about what is his opinion and what is fact, so I think this is a balanced assessment of the situation. 

[tags]environment,global warming,Acton Institute,Jay Richardson,Christianity[/tags]

Things Heard: edition 6v3

  • Che and the other side at The Belmont Club.
  • Unimpressed by the honesty of the Islamic clerical letter.
  • Another, Kim Zigfeld, is unimpressed by the honesty of the New York Times.
  • Don’t try that here! Please.
  • If temperatures had gone up this year by .6-.7C you know we’d not be hearing the end of it. But they went down, very dramatically … globally. Curious about the deafening silence on that from the global warming crowd. One wonders how they rationalize that little discrepancy. It is suspected (no link) by some that a unexpected low in sunspot activity and solar output is the cause. We’ll see if the solar output theories of global climate come back (and the dissipation of Saturn rings and Mars warming re-appears in discussions of climate).

Global Warming Update

It’s snowing.  No, I mean really snowing.

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."

In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.

The ice is back.

Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.

Granted, as the article goes on to day, "one winter does not a climate make".  But you just know that if the numbers were in the other direction this would be trumpeted by Al Gore and his shills in the media.  You just know it because, well, they have.

This has got some climatologists rethinking things.

According to Robert Toggweiler of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University and Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona — two prominent climate modellers — the computer models that show polar ice-melt cooling the oceans, stopping the circulation of warm equatorial water to northern latitudes and triggering another Ice Age (a la the movie The Day After Tomorrow) are all wrong.

"We missed what was right in front of our eyes," says Prof. Russell. It’s not ice melt but rather wind circulation that drives ocean currents northward from the tropics. Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind’s effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of manmade warming on polar ice melt.

But when Profs. Toggweiler and Russell rejigged their model to include the 40-year cycle of winds away from the equator (then back towards it again), the role of ocean currents bringing warm southern waters to the north was obvious in the current Arctic warming.

And then there’s always that major source of global warming, the Sun.

Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.

The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.

Again, as the article says, while it’s way too early to start predicting a new Ice Age, it’s also way too early to be predicting catastrophic warming as well.  Thus it’s also way too early to make huge economic and policy changes based on what could very well be a flawed premise.

[tags]global warming,environment,climate change,National Climatic Data Center,Toronto,Kyoto protocol,Arctic Sea,Gilles Langis,Canadian Ice Service,Robert Toggweiler,Joellen Russell,Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory,Princeton University,University of Arizona,Kenneth Tapping,National Research Council,Little Ice Age[/tags]

Get ready for more, or fewer hurricanes

From MSNBC, Study on hurricanes, warming creates storm,

Global warming could reduce how many hurricanes hit the United States, according to a new federal study that clashes with other research. The new study is the latest in a contentious scientific debate over how manmade global warming may affect the intensity and number of hurricanes.

WND Interviews Rick Warren

WorldNetDaily has part 1 of a 3-part series up on their site today interviewing Rick Warren. It looks to be an opportunity for Warren to answer his critics, and he’s certainly using it that way, although it muddies some waters, while clearing others up,. It’s a very good interview, regardless of your views on him. Below are some excerpts but please read the whole thing.

Regarding mistakes:

“Without a doubt,” he told WND. “I make mistakes all the time.”

But he added, “I always own up to mistakes that I actually do. I just won’t own up to mistakes that weren’t really a mistake.”

On apologizing:

Last month, Warren drew some fire for signing a dialogue-seeking letter in which Christian theologians and ministers responded to an initiative by 138 Muslim leaders by apologizing for the medieval Crusades and “excesses in the war on terror.”

Asked specifically which excesses he had in mind, Warren replied:

“Ahhh, you know what … I have no idea,” he said. “Because I didn’t sign it sentence-by-sentence.”

Similar to his endorsement of an initiative acknowledging man-made global warming, Warren said, “There might have been statements there I didn’t agree with, but generally I’m saying, I think it’s a good idea to get people talking.”

“It comes back to,” he said, referring to the letter to Muslims, “I am a pastor, not a politician. And what I’ve learned is that, in marriage if I’m trying to keep a divorce from happening … I’ve found as long as I can get the husband and wife talking, they’re not going to divorce. The moment the talking stops the divorce is inevitable.”

(My suggestion is not to dilute the value of your signature by not reading or agreeing with everything you sign. Keeping the conversation going is admirable. Compromising on what you believe is not. Warren makes a good point, and defends it well, that he’s a preacher, not a politician. On the other hand, you can only cry “Wolf!” so many times before your support is both meaningless and misinterpreted.)

More on apologies:

Warren said apologies actually are an important part of his evangelism strategy, noting how the approach can disarm antagonism.

He pointed to one of the speakers at Saddleback’s AIDS conference, David Miller, a founder of ACT UP, who he “led to Christ, simply because I started with an apology.”

Two years ago, at the first “Global Summit on AIDS and the Church,” Warren recalls Miller came up to him “spittin’ nails.”

“He was so angry, he was ready to knock my head off,” said Warren, who remembered Miller telling him he had always hated the Christian church.

“Now, I could have been defensive back, but I said, ‘David, I’m sorry, I want to apologize to you for any meanness that’s been said to you in the name of Christ,'” Warren said.

“And it was like I punched him in the gut,” Warren continued. “You could have knocked the wind out of his sails. Like I just popped the balloon. And then, here, two years later, after this relationship, I’m going to baptize him.”

On climate change:

On global warming, Warren said he didn’t endorse the “Evangelical Climate Initiative,” as others did, to assert humans are causing it.

“I don’t even care about that debate so much as I care that Christians should be at the forefront of taking care of the planet,” he said.

“And actually, you tell me which side you want to be on, and I’ll tell you which reports to read. OK. I can show you noted scientists who tell you we are near disaster, and I can show you noted scientists you say there is no problem at all.”

Warren said he does not support the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement rejected by the U.S. requiring radical emission reductions opponents say would destroy economies and harm the poor – “not at all do I agree with it.”

“I didn’t sign on to say, I believe all things that the radical environmentalists believe. Not at all,” he said. “I just thought Christians ought to be saying, We care about the planet too.”

(I agree with his stance, though that being the case he shouldn’t have signed the ECI. (Full disclosure: My brother-in-law and fellow SCO blogger Jim does PR for the ECI. And I’m still invited to his house for Christmas. Right? >grin<))

On rumors:

Warren said some criticism is simply baseless, charging many “don’t do their due diligence on research.”

The Robert Schuller “mentorship,” for example, likely originated with a statement the Crystal Cathedral pastor made on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” But Warren said he’s met Schuller only a couple of times and never had a one-on-one conversation with him.

The claim was furthered by author George Mair in a biography of Warren called “A Life with Purpose” then spread like wildfire among Internet blogs.

“In the first place, this guy is not even a Christian, never talked to me, never talked to any staff member, never talked to any member of my family, and in the book claimed that he did,” Warren said. “He flat-out lied.”

More tomorrow.

[tags]Rick Warren,WorldNetDaily,The Purpose-Driven Life,global warming,Christianity,Muslims,AIDS,David Miller,ACT UP,Evangelical Climate Initiative,Kyoto Protocol,Robert Schuller,Larry King,CNN,George Mair,A Life with Purpose[/tags]

Russia, Venezuela, and Global Warming: Catching Up

I’ve been on an extended Thanksgiving vacation, but I didn’t completely ignore the news. Here are some of the things I noted during the past week:

* Russia’s Vladimir Putin lashed out at the West for allegedly meddling in Russian politics. But he didn’t stop there.

He accused unidentified Russians of planning mass street protests, like those that helped usher in pro-Western governments in the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine in 2003 and 2004.

“Now, they’re going to take to the streets. They have learned from Western experts and have received some training in neighboring (ex- Soviet) republics. And now they are going to stage provocations here,” he said.

Putin seemed to refer to anti-Kremlin demonstrations planned for this weekend in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Police have used force to break up several marches and demonstrations, beating and detaining dozens of protesters.

Putin doesn’t seem to value democracy all that highly. Even if his vague charges are true, aren’t protests part of the process? Yes, even in the US we have problems when protests get out of hand, but read the whole article. It’s rather disconcerting.

* This weekend, the referendum in Venezuela will determine the fate of Hugo Chavez’s constitutional “reforms”. Recent polls show that support is coming up short, so Chavez is ratcheting up the rhetoric, calling those who vote against it “traitors”. An article on the liberal site AlterNet is predictably in favor of this power grab, and on a point-by-point basis makes its case for the reforms. The problem is the big picture, and how it matches up with autocrats from history. Chavez may be getting these changes by a popular vote, but he’s doing it by buying those votes. He grabs all the oil industry profits, and gives back a smidgeon to the people so that they’ll keep him in office, and give him the power to stay there a long, long time. Each thread of his proposal looks reasonable, but the tapestry is instead a straightjacket, woven by a paranoid nut.

* The whole idea of tying global warming to hurricane activity has been dealt another blow.

Despite alarming predictions, the U.S. came through a second straight hurricane season virtually unscathed, raising fears among emergency planners that they will be fighting public apathy and overconfidence when they warn people to prepare for next year.

I think those that are most fearful are the ones that made those “alarming predictions” in the first place. Their government funding is at stake, dontcha’ know?

[tags]Russia,Vladimir Putin,Venezuela,Hugo Chavez,global warming,climate change,hurricanes[/tags]

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