Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Climate Change Bogeyman

In this latest screed, A Link Between Climate Change and Joplin Tornadoes? Never! Bill McKibben stands on the corner with his sandwich board, loudly proclaiming the coming climate Rapture.

Yes, climate change is occurring. As it always has done.

Tornadoes are a result COOLING, not warming. A warm climate does not produce tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. They're caused by the interaction of COLD air masses with warm, moist air masses. The tornadoes and severe weather on the continental US are the result of cooler than normal ocean temperatures.

Droughts, thunderstorms, precipitation, snowfall, have always fluctuated on their own cycles; the interaction of these cycles produces patterns of weather we call climate. There has always been severe weather events everywhere over the earth.

Now, with ubiquitous communications and a paucity of education, we shout that things are different than they used to be, that now the climate is more “severe,” getting worse, causing more damage. These shoutings are usually self-serving, designed to sell books, advance a political agenda, or gather funds for one's technocratic department. One only has to look at the record to see that nothing is changed, climate variation is occurring just as it has throughout the history of mankind.

Unfortunately, Bill McKibben has taken on the role of corner-shouter, mindlessly repeating prophecies of doom and gloom.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"What would Ed Abbey think about the world today?"

Every now and then, someone raises the ghost of Edward Abbey, author of The Monkey Wrench Gang, Desert Solitaire, The Brave Cowboy and other subversive literature, asking the question, "What would Ed think about the world today?"

Ed was pretty caustic about the state of the world in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. How are things these days?

Well, they're pretty much the same, only more so.

Since Ed's time the powers that be have learned much about thought control, access to information, how to funnel dissent into harmless diversions. The President has become a figurehead for the corporate oligarchy, pretending to offer difference while maintaining the status quo. Democracy has been forestalled. Governments are directed by policy promulgated by an entrenched, well-compensated professional staff.  Politicians learn very quickly the source of their campaign funds, and kneel down in obeisance to fiscal realities.

Big Green has joined the corporate world and traded grass roots activism for political and economic power. In an attempt to be "relevant," to human desires at least, environmental organizations have become tools of social engineering, concentrating on environmental justice at the expense of biodiversity, critical habitats, pollution and conservation.

The facile mindlessness of "global warming" has blown away all awareness of environmental activism, concentrating on appeals to central governments and quasi-governmental organizations to "reverse climate change." Meanwhile, corporate toadies and government sycophants rub their hands in Glee at the prospect of unlimited "Green" profits.

The clearest path seems to be to turn our backs on the whole sorry mess and walk away, mumbling to ourselves. And yet, on the local scene, habitat must be saved, developers thwarted, city councils educated. Democracy, such as it is, must be cultivated hereabouts, as the only means of maintaining a semblance of rational government, despite all evidence to the contrary.

We do what we must do, each in our own place. We change the only world we can change, that between our own ears, and we provide the example for our neighbors to work on theirs.

Life goes on.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Really educated people ...

Blue Number 1Establish an individual set of values but recognize those of the surrounding community and of the various cultures of the world.

 

Blue-Number-2.jpgExplore their own ancestry, culture, and place.


Blue-Number-3.jpgAre comfortable being alone, yet understand dynamics between people and form healthy relationships.


Blue-Number-4.jpgAccept mortality, knowing that every choice affects the generations to come.


Blue-Number-5.jpgCreate new things and find new experiences.


Blue-Number-6.jpgThink for themselves; observe, analyze, and discover truth without relying on the opinions of others.


Blue-Number-7.jpgFavor love, curiosity, reverence, and empathy rather than material wealth.


Blue-Number-8.jpgChoose a vocation that contributes to the common good.


Blue-Number-9.jpgEnjoy a variety of new places and experiences but identify and cherish a place to call home.


Blue-Number-10.jpgExpress their own voice with confidence.

 

Blue-Number-11.jpgAdd value to every encounter and every group of which they are a part.

 

Blue-Number-12.jpgAlways ask: “Who am I? Where are my limits? What are my possibilities?”



John-Taylor-Gatto.jpgThis list was adapted from John Taylor Gatto latest book, Weapons of Mass Instruction (New Society Publishers, 2009)

Friday, May 06, 2011

The High Cost of Climate Change Ignorance

The High Cost of Climate Change Denial

This is so unfortunate. Pope's diatribe is unscientific and ill informed.

Tornadoes, grass fires and floods are not climate, not even hyper-climate, whatever that is. These natural phenomena are the result of weather variation, not man-made climate change. Floods in Pakistan, and fires in Russia had nothing to do with climate change, as has been repeatedly pointed out in peer-reviewed scientific literature, apparently unread by Carl Pope.

Tornadoes result from the interaction of warm air fronts and cool air fronts. Tornadoes are most frequent during periods of cooling, such as our current La NiƱa ocean conditions, not during periods of warming. Tornado frequency has nothing to do with "Global Warming."

Weather doesn't care who the state's representatives are or how they vote. Weather occurs as it does and there's nothing humans can do about it. Even contributing money to the Sierra Club will do nothing to affect weather and climate variation.

There is no evidence in any peer-reviewed scientific literature to support the vague and undefined claim that "a warmer climate means more extreme weather." This is an absurd scare tactic used by Big Green organizations to increase donations, by "green" industry to increase profits and by the international "sustainable development" community to transfer moneys to small, less developed countries so they can be global consumers just like us.

The glib and absurd notion that we can somehow "stop" climate change refuses to die. There's nothing humans can do about climate change except adapt to it.

Get over it, get started now and avoid the rush.

“All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.”

The above quote from I.F. Stone demonstrates that nothing has changed when it comes to the central state. Here's the story you won't see in the headlines of your corporate newspaper, nor in glowing phosphors on your TeeVee screen:

7 Deceptions About Bin Laden's Killing Pushed by the Obama Administration

The United States government deliberately mislead and propagandized the people of the United States and the world, setting up a smoke screen of lies that was dutifully spread and amplified by the lapdog press. Where are the screaming headlines announcing the "revised" versions of events now touted by the government?

This is no "fog of war." This is deliberate misinformation, disseminated knowing full well that the real story, when revealed, would never have the impact of the lies initially told.

Governments always lie.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

On Deniers, Scientific Consensus and Climate Change

This article articulates widespread confusion on three key concepts related to the scientific investigation of climate variability: climate change, denial, and consensus.

The term "climate change" is used here as short hand for anthropogenic or human caused climate change. A cursory glance through any basic Earth Science text clearly demonstrates that the Earth's climates have changed over time, sometimes drastically and sometimes (geologically) rapidly. Obviously, natural climate change is beyond any human influence. All humans can do is accommodate, as we have done for millennia. The popular perception created by use of this term is that humans have caused the presently observed climate change and therefore we can do something to stop it.

The term "denier" is a pejorative that obfuscates the nature of opposition to the popular perception of climate change. There are very few, if any, who deny that climate changes.  Those who do not accept the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis (human produced greenhouse gases cause increases in average global surface temperature) range from the politically and economically motivated to scientists publishing in current peer-reviewed professional literature.

Which brings up "consensus." The "scientific consensus around climate change" is frequently touted as a reason why everyone should accept AGW as a scientifically established fact.

However, this turns out not to be the case. There is no consensus on any causal relationship between human produced greenhouse gases and increasing average global surface temperature. There are as many, or more, citations in the literature questioning the validity of the AGW hypothesis as there are supporting it. The deep geological record suggests that atmospheric CO2 levels rise 800 to 1,000 years after temperature rise, over the past 2.5 million years. While CO2 may be in part responsible for our warm Earth, it is not, and never has been, responsible for runaway global warming.

The Earth's atmosphere/ocean heat circulation system is a complex adaptive systems that responds to many factors, anthropogenic, terrestrial and cosmic. We do not at present understand how this complex system works, how the many and various feedback mechanisms operate, independently and together, to produce observed climate variation. Since we don't understand the mechanisms of natural climate change, we cannot assess the influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on our climate today, nor can we do anything to "stop" climate change or influence its rate or direction.

Global circulation climate models are often cited as evidence of AGW. However, computer models are not evidence; they are hypotheses to be tested with present and future observations. To date, global circulation models have been unable to predict present climate trends (such as steady average global surface temperature for the past 30 years, declining average sea level, etc.). They are therefore proven inadequate to predict future climate variation.

Undue focus on the AGW hypothesis draws attention from impacts of human economic growth and  development that must be curtailed: air, water and land pollution, habitat loss, deforestation, topsoil depletion, fresh water depletion, etc. We can do something about this, each one of us, every day. It doesn't take massive government subsidies to encourage individual responsibility for our actions and the results of consumer choice. If AGW is proven false or negligible and humans drift away from the popular global warming fantasy, as they are now, the impetus for societal change will diminish.

Government subsidies for "carbon-free" energy will not reduce human pollution and natural habitat loss. Mining, manufacture, assembly and installation of massive wind and solar farms across undeveloped land will create more immediate environmental harm than centuries of climate change.

The solution is not more industrial development and economic growth. The answer is less: less pollution, less habitat loss, fewer people, fewer cars, fewer roads. We have exceeded the limits. Our only course is to move backward from the abyss, or, if that sticks in the craw, turn around and take the first steps forward.