Saturday, January 28, 2012

Global Warming -- The Tip of the Spear


January 29, 2012: Anchorage on track to set record -- 
Meteorologists agree: January is on track to be one of the most frigid months on record in Alaska history, according to the National Weather Service. 

The average temperature in Anchorage for January so far is 2.7 degrees.

That's chillier even than the legendary winter of 1989, when the Daily News reported a freeze so deep that the Anchorage Police Department couldn't start 21 of their patrol cars one January morning.
Read more here:
Same day, minutes later: Global warming hits Fairbanks. January may not set a record, but January may be one of the coldest on record for Fairbanks, Alaska; it appears Fairbanks did not get the memo about global warming.
The temperature in Fairbanks has not reached 50 below zero but this month may be one of the coldest Januaries in community history.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the average temperature through Wednesday was 24.6 below.
That's the coldest since 1971, when the January averaged minus 31.7. The coldest average on record was 1906 — a chilly 36.4 below zero.

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Berg describes the cold this year as "persistent," with temperatures about 15 degrees below normal for much of the month.
This would be a great story for the Dickinson Press to report. 

Same day, minutes later: the continental United States, especially the northern tier, has largely escaped winter this year. And that's the problem with global warming science: where do you place the thermometers and how do you "weight" them for relevancy? If you place all your thermometers in Fairbanks, one would get a different picture than if you placed all your thermometers in Boston.

Original Post
The house of cards is about to fall.

Before mainstream media prints a "big story," that story has been kicked around in the back rooms for awhile, as the pros and cons of the story are discussed. When one sees something in print in mainstream media, it is often a reflection of what the "big boys" are talking about in the back rooms. By the time it hits the front pages of the mainstream media, it's pretty much old news to the movers and shakers.

Look at three headlines in the past six months.
  • Canada withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol (top energy story of the year, by the way)
  • Alternative energy companies promoted by this administration are declaring bankruptcy**
  • The president endorses natural gas -- "a 100-year supply in the US" in the state of the union address
I think Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol was the tipping point.

Canada has long been at the tip of the spear; the US has been the shaft, to continue the analogy:
  • 1960s: took in US anti-war / draft dodgers*
  • 1990's: led the environmental charge; one of the first to sign the protocol
  • 2010's: develops the oil sands, promotes Keystone XL, withdraws form the Kyoto Protocol
The thing that strikes me most about the global warming story is that it is no longer in the scientific arena.

The second thing that strikes me most about the global warming story is that the west feels China does not have to play by the same rules, the country with the most coal plants and building them at the rate of one per week, is it? I forget ... but you get the point....and the story that China is using clean coal technology ... give me a break.

Farther down the list of interesting things. No one has ever told me what the Earth's thermostat should be set at, and Who (yes, the capital "w") set the thermostat. No one has been able to provide data that the 0.6 degree rise in temperature over the next century is either reproducible or statistically significant. And the Warm Age of the Vikings is still very perplexing and unexplained (unless their Viking ships were coal-powered, as has been suggested).

It appears there are at least sixteen scientists who now agree.
“The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause,” they wrote. “Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.”

In these scientists’ opinion, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but rather a key necessity for life — spurring the growth of plant life.

The group further condemned the climate of fear that has acted to trample dissenting view points that to no ape the “global warming is a crisis” message.
So, the three barbs at the tip of the spear:
  • Canada withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol
  • Alternative energy companies increasingly declaring bankruptcy; those that survive, only with government grants, subsidies, and mandates
  • The president embraces natural gas, a 100-year US supply, in the biggest speech of the year -- the State of the Union Address
It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

By the way, if you get a chance today, build a house of cards -- take a 52-card deck of playing cards, and build a structure as high as you can. Then let it fall. Record the noise it makes and post it on YouTube.

*Draft Dodgers: Tim O'Brien's books on the VietnamWar and his coming of age books should be read by all of us who grew up in the 1960's or were affected by the Vietnam War in some respect; I think it was The Things They Carried that allowed me to reflect on that period in a more meaningful, and adult way.

**Headline story in today's Los Angeles Times: another big bet in "EV" goes bust
For politicians betting on electric vehicles to drive job growth, the view from inside Think City's plant here is their worst nightmare: 100 unfinished vehicles lined up with no word on whether they will be completed.

Only two years ago, the tiny Think cars (two can fit in a regular parking space) were expected to bring more than 400 jobs to this ailing city and a lifeline to suppliers who once made parts for gas-guzzling recreational vehicles.

"We've said we're out to make Indiana the electric vehicle state. It's beginning to look like the state capital will be Elkhart County," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in January 2010 in announcing government incentives used to attract Think to his state.

Instead, the Hoosier State's big bet has been a bust. The plant is devoid of activity; there are just two employees. A Russian investor who recently purchased Think's bankrupt parent in Norway has been silent about its future. A government-backed Indianapolis battery maker that was to supply Think wrote off a $73-million investment in the car company and Thursday declared bankruptcy. Two unrelated electric truck makers Indiana planned to nurture have yet to get off the ground.

Indiana's foray into electric vehicles is a cautionary tale for states in hot pursuit of high-tech manufacturing jobs. Think's story illustrates how politicians so badly wanted to stimulate job growth that they showered the automaker and the battery supplier with tax benefits and incentives while at the same time failing to determine whether there was a market for the car: a plastic two-seater with a top speed of about 65 mph and a price tag approaching $42,000.


  1. Thanks Bruce for all the common sense thinking you display with this blog. The Bakken maybe the primary purpose but your other message is just as important.

    The loss in this ability by a great portion of our society has done it great damage. I believe the reason it has happened is the near abandonment of real truth like that found in the hard sciences in exchange for the so called social sciences that are based not on facts but feelings.

    To be honest this is the biggest failure of our education system both primary and higher. Dumbing down people so they can controlled by social engineering is a bad thing for a free society.

    1. I see that social engineering in textbooks by middle school.