cooler temperatures and less sunspots

2 09 2009

We just enjoyed a few days at the end of August with highs around 78 here in central Arkansas.  Usually in August, that’s about the low for the night.  And this wasn’t from stormy weather — these were sunny days.  This was the coolest August I remember.  We even set records for lowest temperatures, so there is some factual basis for this being one of the mildest Augusts ever.

So what’s going on?  I thought global warming was beyond worst-case scenario.  That’s what I read in the news, anyway.  If this is worst-case, then they should redo their calculations, because they must have forgotten to carry a 1 or something…  There also seems to be less major hurricanes than normal, which goes against the predictions.   So what’s going on?

One thing that is making a difference is a lack of solar blemishes / solar flares.  In fact, there has been 53 days without them, which hasn’t happened in 96 years.  And the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has figured out that increased sunspots dramatically increase temperature, even more than the increase in solar energy should explain.  They have concluded that sunspots heat the stratosphere, which amplifies the warming of the climate.  So could sunspots be the main contributor to global warming?  That might explain why global warming is actually happening on other planets besides Earth.  Also, ironically, the period of least sunspots — called the Maunder Minimum — corresponds with the Little Ice Age a few centuries ago.  I’m not saying the sun is the only proponent of global warming (or, should I say “climate change“), but I don’t hear that much by the people pushing for radical changes.  I have yet to be convinced it’s mostly man-made.

In related news, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to prove in court that the science behind their global warming forecasts is factual and accurate.  But the EPA has said it’s a “waste of time”.  I’m curious what will happen from this.  Let’s hear a debate from both sides, based on facts and not computer models with incomplete data.   And let’s leave the scare tactics and political lobbying out of it — this is supposed to be science.


Is Global Warming becoming Climate Change?

7 07 2009

For a few years now, there’s been a lot of talk about how Global Warming is destroying the Earth, how it has already gone beyond worst-case scenario.  Obviously it’s not beyond the worst-case scenario.  And recent scientific measurements have shown that the Earth is cooling, and some places are having record snowfalls and some glaciers are accumulating ice.  So it might become difficult to convince people that Global Warming is imminent and everything possible must be done to stop it.  The leaders of the crusade don’t want to lose their power, because a lot of powerful legislation is being pushed through with little debate, for the sake of the world.  So now the term Global Warming is being replaced by Climate Change.  This way, no one can argue with them, because the climate changes all the time.

Can I prove that their agenda has changed?  Perhaps not yet.  But keep this in mind when you listen to the news, to see if this is really happening.  Decide for yourself.

Along these same lines, I recently found an article explaining why the temperature measurements used may not be accurate and reliable.  Here’s an excerpt that you may not know about:

After temperatures are collected from the various stations, a series of adjustments is performed on the data. This is absolutely necessary, and it definitely does not mean that people are playing tricks with the data. They have to correct for time of observation, changes in station equipment, station history and urban warming. But while the data collected for U.S. stations is available for examination, the dataset used by the IPCC is not. The numbers they use come out of a ‘black box,’ and there’s a story behind that which I won’t go into today. The global measurements for the three teams analyzing the same data is not very different, but the fact that global warming as measured to date is almost exactly equal to the adjustments performed to the data makes some sensible people queasy…

The article also links to a detailed report from an effort to photograph and classify all surface temperature measurement stations.   So far the group has surveyed 80% of the 1,221 places, and only 11% meet government specifications.  Some of the stations are next to air-conditioning units, and some are on pavement, which goes against specifications (for obvious reasons).   Here’s the article: Does global warming diminish with accurate temperature measurements?

Before anyone gets irate with me, let me say that I’m not trying to completely discredit the notion of Global Warming.  It happens naturally, and we do pollute the atmosphere more than we should.  But I am somewhat suspicious of some of the claims made by Al Gore and the IPCC, which blames it almost completely on man.  I wonder if we are being told the whole story.  Why would they lie about it?  Well, these high-priority scare tactics do allow legislation to move through quicker than normal, with less debate.  So it goes give a degree of power.  But who knows what is really going on?  My point is that we should look at both sides seriously, because there is credible data on each side of the debate.  We can’t trust the mainstream news media to tell us all the facts without bias and agenda.

the cost of buying politicians’ votes

3 07 2009

I really wonder about our politicians in Washington sometimes.  I know there are different points-of-view on issues, and sometimes compromises must be made to accomplish some things, but shouldn’t there be an ethical line somewhere?

Here’s the story from the Washington Times that inspired this rant:

When House Democratic leaders were rounding up votes Friday for the massive climate-change bill, they paid special attention to their colleagues from Ohio who remained stubbornly undecided.

They finally secured the vote of one Ohioan, veteran Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, the old-fashioned way. They gave her what she wanted – a new federal power authority, similar to Washington state’s Bonneville Power Administration, stocked with up to $3.5 billion in taxpayer money available for lending to renewable energy and economic development projects in Ohio and other Midwestern states.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, included the Kaptur project in a 310-page amendment to the legislation unveiled at 3 a.m. Friday, just hours before the bill was to be debated on the House floor. The amendment was packed with other vote-getting provisions, both large and small, that had been sought by dozens of wavering Democrats.

The wheeling and dealing proved successful. Mr. Waxman and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, backed by the personal lobbying of President Obama, won over enough lawmakers to pass the bill narrowly Friday evening, 219-212.

There’s more to the story, which you can read at the link, and I will summarize some with my rant.  Miss Kaptur pushed for this — it wasn’t all Waxman’s doing.  Kaptur pointed out on her website that other areas of the country already have such programs, and she said, “It’s our turn.”   Her spokesman said Kaptur modeled the fund after Obama’s stimulus package (which contained a record-amount of pork projects).  Her spokesman also said that the inclusion of the program in the legislation “made it possible for her to entertain voting for the bill.”

So basically she was against the bill until she got money for projects back home.   Is that how the process should work?   I don’t think so.  I know, it’s how the current political system runs in Washington, but the whole thing needs to be rebuilt (based on how it used to be).  This representative disagreed with a bill that affects everyone, but voted for it anyway because she was bought by the extra concessions for her own state.  To me, that’s corrupt.

Another thing I really dislike about this whole process is that a 310-page amendment can be made just a few hours before the vote, which means not everyone will have time to read it.  How can our representatives vote for a bill they haven’t read? Isn’t that just opening the door for corruption and government waste?  (I’ve already ranted about this, so I won’t continue; you can read about it here.)