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U.S. global warming rules won’t change to help polar bears

The LA Times is running with an article that says that the Obama administration will not reverse the Bush administration in using the scarcity of polar bears to curb emissions.  About a year ago, the US listed the polar bear as a threatened species.  The concern of many was that this ruling would be used to control, tax, and sue individual companies to reduce their CO2 output.  The Bush administration said that wouldn’t be happening and now the Obama administration appears to agree.

I originally found this article by reading Watts Up With That so go over there and check out his handling of this story.

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Powerline graphs – how about some background?

Powerline is a very popular blog and forum for those that follow a conservative movement within the US. I am sure that their membership measure many multiples over this site.  Therefore, I am hesitant to be too condemning of one of their recent posts but I need to talk about it a little bit.

To their credit, they encourage readers to go to the original sources to get the complete story but, frankly, that is not good enough.  They have published the information in a way that is incredibly one-sided and is also not consistent from one chart to the next.  That is the true problem with the article, one cannot see the filters or data sources in this presentation so the inconsistencies are too strong.

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The Anti-Industrial Coup

Mr. Tracinski at TIADaily.com had a very interesting commentary on the recent decision to treat carbon dioxide as a pollutant but not water vapor.  While I think that his end conclusion that this could be the beginning of the end of a representative government are likely overblown, his logic and discussion is worth reading and considering.

I originally found this article at RealClearPolitics so please click over there if you want to read every sentence.  Here are the highlights that I found interesting.

We all expect that there will be a contest in Congress this year over global warming and a “cap-and-trade” bill limiting carbon dioxide emissions. After all, the government cannot impose sweeping new controls on our lives without extensive public debate and a vote in Congress that must gain the support of a clear majority of the representatives of the people.

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How to fight climate change with cow dung

I am sure that everyone will enjoy this video.  Methane is one of the most potent of all greenhouse gases and no climate change policy would be complete without an effort to minimize this pollutant.  The following video is one method that might be tried.

How To Fight Climate Change With Cow Dung

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Cap and Trade is here

Let me start by explaining that I am not a lover of cap and trade.  The systems that have been proposed to date are simply taxes on certain types of energy so that other forms seem to be more competitive.  They also tend to reward industries that can have a flexibility in energy sources while punishing industries that have to purchase high BTU energy sources.  Finally, they can reward industries and organizations that did nothing to improve their energy use – they were just lucky enough to use less carbon.  To make cap and trade look better, you may also see it referred to carbon trading or carbon offsets but a rose is a rose, regardless of its name (or in this case – a tax is a tax, regardless of its name).

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Scientists find bigger than expected polar ice melt

There is no question that our climate has changed slightly compared to 20 years ago.  Most of the data points to increases of temperature and the most significant (and obvious if you are in the Arctic) is the diminished amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean.  While there is some question as to the cause of this melting (see my ocean currents article), there is little question that it is occurring.

This article discusses some of the observations that scientists have seen regarding the ice melt and some possible repercussions.  The article is somewhat refreshing though in that it focuses on what can be observed rather than focusing on what might be causing the warming.  Since it was so evenly reported, I felt it was of significant interest to my readers.

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NASA satellite searching for global warming clues crashes near Antarctica

It looks like we are going to have to wait for awhile now for better data on what is really going on with our atmosphere and climate.  The satellite that NASA sent up to study the flow of carbon dioxide developed technical difficulties and crashed.

Once again, we see that our ability to travel outside of our world is still quite experimental and we struggle to do it with the repeatability of plane flights.  If I was a conspiracy fearing individual (which I am not) I would question if scientists deliberately sabotaged the flight so that real data that could prove or disprove climate models could not be gathered.  Such speculation is obviously foolish though.

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NASA Prepares to Launch Satellite Designed to Study Global Warming

This is absolutely wonderful news.  There is no question that we don’t fully understand the complexities of our atmosphere.  Our models which predict doom and gloom are woefully inadequate (which doesn’t make them incorrect – it just leaves room for extreme doubt).

Perhaps this study will solve one of my mysteries in the global warming discussion and that is that North America actually appears to sink CO2 rather than emit the gas.  We know that carbon dioxide is increasing from man’s efforts due to the isotope nature of the CO2 in the air but we still struggle understanding how CO2 spreads through the atmosphere.

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Not cool anymore – followup (Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions)

As a quick followup to my earlier posting on the 1,000 year irreversibility status of global warming.  The folks over at RealClimate also did a story on this subject but they tried to make the distinction that “irreversible” does mean “unstoppable”.  I think they are trying to play with words a bit but I will let you decide for yourselves.  As I read the abstract of the study (below), I do not think that they are following the same logic that the original authors followed.  That is okay though since science is all about discussing the different hypotheses and then testing them.

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Not cool anymore

I really can’t comment on the news that it will take 1,000 years to recover from today’s carbon dioxide pollution better than Mr. Taranto of the Wall Street Journal.

I do want to make three additional comments before you read below.  If it takes 1,000 years to recover from an overload of carbon dioxide that has already poisoned our atmosphere then:

  1. why would we risk ruining our current economy for a solution that is likely to not ever happen?
  2. if it takes 1,000 years to get healthy doesn’t it stand to reason that it takes 1,000 years (or at least a couple of hundred) to get sick?
  3. is this just another example of inference based on mathematical computer models that have little to do with reality?

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