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Bill Nye calls deniers ‘unpatriotic’

Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ was on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show this past Wednesday, discussing the latest round of snowstorms and if climate change is responsible. Nye told Maddow that the people who are saying that the snowstorms around Washington D.C. disproves climate change are almost ‘unpatriotic’.

Nye also said that he felt from his experience that global warming denial could be attributed to generational factors, like his personal observations that older people have a much harder time grasping how billions of people could affect the thin atmosphere. He felt that younger generations are more accepting of this possibility.

Solar power incentives


By Shannon Bell

Anyone who’s looked into installing solar panels for their home know that solar power for the entire home is very expensive. At minimum, most homeowners can expect to pay at least $15,000. At maximum, homeowners may pay as much as $45,000 or even $60,000 for a solar panel array that will power their entire home.

However, both federal and state tax credits aim to encourage homeowners to take on a solar project anyway. The federal government, according to the US Department of Energy, will kick in 30% of the cost for a solar project registered before December 31, 2016. A 30% tax break would bring the cost of a $15,000 solar project down to $10,500.

New Priorities For Our Energy Future

Boone Pickens and Ted Turner are well respected businessmen (the former a big  investor and the latter a media mogul and founder of CNN). Both have a history of speaking their mind on public issues and both have a history of making huge sums of money.

While I certainly do not begrudge this gentlemen the right to speak their mind, I wonder if this message (that may be good for America) also is good for their business interests. Mr. Pickens is renown in the energy sector and a large scale switch to natural gas would likely help his wallet. Mr. Turner is a very large landowner in the western States and my gut is that he has found large deposits of natural gas under some of his holdings.

All that being said, I tend to agree with the core of their opinion. The United States should concentrate more on natural gas. It would most likely help the environment and it would help to lessen the choke hold that foreign interests have on our economy.

The following parts of their opinion appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Renewable energy and clean-burning natural gas are the basis of a new strategy the world needs to create a cleaner and more secure future. And the global transformation to a clean-energy economy may be the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century. According to the authoritative Potential Gas Committee (administered by the Colorado School of Mines), the U.S. sits on top of massive reservoirs of natural gasan estimated 2,000 trillion cubic feetthat contain more energy than all the oil in Saudi Arabia.

Harnessing this large supplyplus developing wind, solar and biofuel energy sourcesis essential to achieve three strategic national priorities:

Energy security: The internal combustion engine makes us dependent on oil that’s concentrated in a handful of countries in some of the world’s most volatile regions. In June, we imported 374 million barrels of oil, nearly two-thirds of what we used, at a cost of $24.7 billion. With 70% of imported oil going into cars and trucks, our transportation system is perilously at risk to shaky oil markets and even shakier regimes.

Economic security: Last year more than $155 billion was invested in clean energy technologies such as wind and solar, and China and India plan to invest hundreds of billions in renewable energy sources. The annual market for clean energy may escalate in the next decade to between $1 trillion and $2 trillion. The race is on.

Climate security: Likewise, the clock is ticking on potentially devastating climate changes. We already are witnessing the disintegration of polar ice, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and altered weather patterns. But if we act now, we can prevent catastrophic human and economic impacts.

Atmospheric Pattern Promoted Rapid Melt of Sea Ice in July has an excellent update on the status of the Arctic ice last month – July 2009.  Looks like the melting was pretty bad.

And here is an image from NSIDC (National Science and Ice Data Center) showing the current ice coverage and the median.

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Author refutes review

I had earlier mentioned the review of the “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States” report that Climate Skeptic was doing.  In that review, Climate Skeptic called the following graph and the stated conclusions from it BS.

Evidently the original author didn’t like his review and challenged him publicly.  This is fantastic as it allows for the open sharing and discussing of the ideas, thoughts and conclusions.  There needs to be more of this type of exchange on critical issues such as climate change.

Climate Skeptics basic charge is that the increase in disruptions is more a result in differences in data collection over time than it is a change in climate disruptions.  Such a rapid increase in events is almost surely not solely due to weather.

Scientists and Engineers are upset

If you read this site often, you will know that I am an engineer by training (even though I don’t currently practice). I tend to respect this profession a great deal as being fairly straight-forward and hard working. As a group, they also tend to be a pretty smart bunch.

One of the major trade rags in engineering is C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News). It is edited by Mr. Rudy Baum. If you aren’t in that trade, you would probably never pick up an issue so you may not be familiar with it. I haven’t read the publication in a long time but was recently made aware of a bit of controversy by Climate Depot. While the readers of C&EN are likely not climatologists, the science of CO2 and its affect on the atmosphere is very steeped in chemistry which their target market knows a bit about.

Research links climate change patterns to El Nino

I found this study by reading the blog at  If you are interested in climate, then you should spend time reading what the meteorologists over there have to say.

A study by 3 researchers and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research has concluded that the weather variations (both increases and decreases) are the result of natural climate processes. They find that the Southern Oscillation is a key indicator of changing global atmospheric temperatures seven months later.

The paper is titled “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” and following is the abstract:

Climatologist slams for ‘erroneously communicating the reality of the how climate system is actually behaving’ – Rebuts Myths On Sea Level, Oceans and Arctic Ice

I have talked about many times in the past. In general, the gentlemen over there are pretty smart but they do tend to be one-sided in their analysis. They consistently take the side of “global warming is caused by humans” and they don’t treat others with much respect.

I started questioning their partisanship when they lashed out at the UK judge that said that “An Inconvenient Truth” was not 100% factual. They didn’t like me calling them out on that.  They then spiked some of my comments on their site when degraded scientific discussion to a challenge of who has a bigger wallet.

Utilities seem to be a problem for analysis

I have had a few posts on the recent report from the US Administration regarding global warming. My posts all reference the great work of other bloggers on the subject. This post will be no different.

Steve McIntyre builds on the work of Climate Skeptic in digging into the utility industry and the vast increases in outages that they are suffering through due to the rampant bad weather that we are enjoying due to global warming.

Climate Skeptic keeps up the work

I am going to continue to let Climate Skeptic keep up the good work on the latest report from the US Administration regarding the dire circumstances of global warming. He has posted again on the subject and has even done a follow-on to the worry the increased storm activity is upsetting the electrical grid (post number 4 on the subject).