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The politicians are all screwed up!

Stupid title, I know. Everyone knows that the sun comes up in the East, water freezes to ice at 32F and politicians are all screwed up. It has become a fact of life just like death and taxes.

Right now, the Democrat party is in control of the US government. They have a majority in both houses and they control the executive branch. You would think that they could pull of their agenda of taxing energy use dramatically to change the production of carbon dioxide. But a little thing happened on the way to legislation – VOTERS!

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.

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.

Is it too cold outside to have global warming?

There has been some talk in the press and on some of the blogs that it is too cold in the last couple years to have a global warming trend. Some even say that the warming trend is reversed and it is now going to get colder. There are a variety of people that discuss that the ice caps are re-freezing after having melted which signals that global warming is reversing. Some talk of a local low record that was set at some airport.

The reality is that much of this talk is about weather and not about climate. It is not possible to measure climate within a couple year span. It takes much longer than that to eliminate the various highs and lows from the trend so most climatologists suggest 5-10 years (or longer) before anything is really called climate.

Ice melting across globe at accelerating rate, NASA says

CNN – December 16, 2008

This story about the rapid melting of ice in the major cold areas of the world (Greenland, Antarctica, and Alaska) needs to cause everyone concern. While the story doesn’t convincingly discuss the causality of the situation, it does point out that increased melting accelerates the planets warming due to loss of reflectivity of the “white” ice.

The article goes on to point out the increase of pine beetles which is theorized to be attributed to a warmer environment. It even goes so far as to predict the increase in sea level (ala Al Gore) by the end of the century based on this loss of ice.

Report: Power giants likely to miss renewable energy goal

Sacramento Business Journal – August 4, 2008

Mr. Al Gore recently challenged the US to a goal of 100% renewable energy in 10 years. His lofty goals cited the need for domestic energy independence and his concern that the world would end due to global warming. Many people have questioned the feasibility of this goal and now it appears that California is going to even miss a much more reasonable goal.

The Public Utilities Commission has reported that California is not likely to hit its goal of 20% renewable sources by 2010. They may be able to get there by 2013 but that seems to depend on enough rainwater coming down to keep the dams working.  There is also a goal that California his 30% by 2020 (just a few more years from now then Mr. Gore’s 10 years) and this goal doesn’t seem to be attainable.

In Science, Ignorance is not Bliss

Launch Magazine – July/August issue

Walter Cunningham is one of the astronauts of Apollo 7.  He writes about global warming in the latest issue of Launch Magazine and his comments bear considering.

Mr. Cunningham is important in this discussion because of his obvious intelligence and past leadership but also in his strong ability in analyzing scientific and political events and drawing conclusions.

What I find to be most compelling are:

  • his ridicule of climate models.
  • his discussions of correlation and causation.
  • the replacement of scientific discussion with emotional arguments.
  • the condemnation of Mr. Hansen – one of the early warning voices of global warming and an employee of NASA.

Should we all set up our own stills?

Popular Mechanics – May 8, 2008

Saw this article on Popular Mechanics.  It really isn’t that hard to set up your own still to create ethanol to burn in your flex fuel vehicle.  This Micro Fueler looks good but your housing association may have something to say about setting up a fueling station in your side yard!

While this isn’t going to make a huge dent in our development of CO2, it is an interesting idea to explore.  Perhaps the best way to reduce foreign oil dependence and cut back on CO2 pollution is to make everything smaller and closer to home.

Wind farm to be built off Delaware shore

This is great news!  We need more effort in creating alternative energy sources.  I wonder if they did an environmental impact analysis?  Were their “greenies” protesting or are they too busy blocking other green projects like nuclear plants?

Obviously, Mr. Kennedy doesn’t have a resort in Delaware!

Bluewater spokesman Jim Lanard said the power company will get about 16 percent of its electricity from a field of 150 wind turbines, anchored in the sea floor about a dozen miles off Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


The offshore site is expected to be operational within four years, but the timing depends on how quickly regulatory agencies can review and approve the construction project.

Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer

The Independent – June 27, 2008

There is a very real chance that there will be no ice at the North Pole this summer. This is probably being caused by a “perfect storm” of several events including a slight warming of the Arctic Ocean, a slight warming of the air above the ocean, a change in ocean currents, a change in prevailing winds and possibly even the ozone layer.  It is important to note that this does not mean that there is no ice in the Arctic Ocean as it appears that the water off the coast of Canada and Greenland will be ice covered.