The impression of doing good

Dilbert and his boss once again point out the hypocrisy of life.  In this case it is due to trying to be environmentally good.

It is hard to be good.  Sorry, Mr. Gore, but it is true.  Here are a few inconvenient facts:

  1. It is very dangerous to the health of you and your children to live in a home or enter a room where a CFL (compact fluorescent) bulb has broken.  That danger is minimized if you have had the room cleaned by a hazardous waste team.  What is the problem?  Mercury.  Check out this article.
  2. While Toyota and others are offering a bounty for the return of their hybrid batteries, the disposal of all those ecologically unsafe batteries is a real concern.


The accomplishments of George W. Bush

The blog “I think, therefore I rant” just put out a list of 100 accomplishments of the George W. Bush administration.  Actually, it went over 100 and did 112 just to be safe.

I thought my readers would be interested in the following:
48 – Katrina
51 – Drilling for oil
54 – National forest cleanup
57 – Carbon sequestration
58 – Mercury emissions
59 – Nuclear power
61 – Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument
62 – Polar bear endangered list
66 – Kyoto treaty
68 – Ethanol production
83 – Law of the Sea Treaty (affects how we work with the Arctic Ocean if it has less ice on it).
93 – Interstate air quality
94 – Clear skies initiative


Weather Sensors Cause Climate Errors – May 11, 2007

I think this blog entry is worthy of your attention. The entry discusses the differences in measuring temperature using the ‘modern’ computer based methods and the traditional baseline methods of thermometers. The comments also are quite interesting and could be argued are more educational than the original post in the actual use of these two measuring devices and their individual bias.

I have real concerns about analyzing temperature. I do not find it to be mathematically valid to calculate ‘average’ temperatures. While the argument can be made that it is valid to average the temperature in a short period of time (probably less than an hour) in one single location, it is likely not valid to average it over longer periods (such as the entire day) and definitely not for multiple locations.


Global warming forecast predicts rise in 2014

Telegraph – August 9, 2007

I constantly tirade against the climate computer models that predict global warming. I really don’t see how they can be accurate based on my knowledge of them and the many “assumptions” that I know they make.

Here is an article on climate models that actually gives me hope that we are moving in the right direction!

According to the article (and to the best of my knowledge), this is the first computer model that is not designed to predict the climate in 50 or 100 years but rather predicts it in 10 years. I think this is important, since if you can get 10 years correct (something that is verifiable in 10 years), we can gain confidence in the 20, 30, 50 and 100 year predictions if they use the same modeling techniques.


Compact fluorescent lamps


My interest in this subject came from a lot of talk on the web about replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Much of this talk is surely driven by the Answer the Call: Make The Commitment campaign that Live Earth is currently promoting. While I was confident that fluorescent was better at producing light for a given amount of energy coming from the socket, the mechanical engineer in me questioned that it was a free lunch.

It didn’t take long for me to start to realize that lunch costs money!

Let’s start with Wikipedia which is always a decent source but sometimes can’t be trusted so we will dig more lower in this post. You can read the full Wikipedia reference here but I will pull out a few key passages and then add my comments.


Moving Beyond Kyoto By AL GORE

The New York Times – July 1, 2007

The US former Vice President, Mr. Al Gore, wrote an op-ed piece this weekend in timing with Live Earth.  Live Earth is the concert that will take place on 7 continents to create awareness of climate change. While Live Earth has had its share of criticisms, the concert does promise to be quite enjoyable for the fans of its musicians.

There is no real news in this op-ed.  Mr. Gore has been repeating this same message repeatedly for quite some time. It is an interesting read almost in what it does not say – it doesn’t foretell of the world ending.  There is no ominous warning in these words.  I find that interesting since Mr. Gore probably now has the biggest podium he has had since losing the US presidential race.  Why does he not talk of a mammoth rise in the ocean levels, famine across the world, and the elimination of many species.  Surely, he still thinks these are going to happen.


Administration pushes market-based plan for global warming

San Jose Mercury News – June 1, 2007

This is a difficult situation. I really don’t want to condemn having a carbon trading program but the reality is that what we have today is not well done. If we are going to trade emissions, it needs to be extremely verifiable, under penalty of law with huge financial loss, and that the trades actually reduce the pollution of the atmosphere.

I suggest that these programs be held to the same standard that the SEC runs. In fact, I see nothing wrong with the charter of the SEC being expanded to govern this type of effort. The trading of emissions should be held on the books of public companies and it would need to be proven that the trading partner really had something to trade. If, after audit by a 3rd party, it was found that the value of the trade was less than the company accounted for then they would have to pay a penalty.


Is global warming solar induced?

Bad Astronomy – April 29, 2007

A very well written blog article discussing some the information on global warming and the possibility of it being caused by the sun.  I do not know enough about the chemistry of other planetary bodies to ascertain if the author’s comments are correct but he does an excellent job of walking through other planets and moons and discussing their apparent changes in temperature.  I strongly suggest my readers to click through and read the article.

There is some news making the rounds that Earth is not the only planet experiencing global warming. Mars, for example, possibly appears to be getting a bit warmer, as are Jupiter, Neptune’s moon Triton, and even Pluto.