Friday, May 11, 2012

Is 'global cooling' on the way? Lake sediment proves sun cooled earth 2,800 years ago - and it could happen again soon

This article appeared in Britain's widely-read "Daily Mail"

When the Greek poet Homer was writing The Odyssey around 2,800 years ago, the Earth went through an abrupt period of cooling, caused by the sun - and the same could happen again soon.

Scientists at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences analysed lake sediment in Lake Meerfelder Maar, and found direct evidence of a sudden cooling caused by a 'solar minimum'.

Some scientists suspect that the current period of high solar activity - including increased sunspots and solar storms thsi year - will be followed by a 'minimum' period, which could even cause an Ice Age.

If the GFZ research is correct, a new 'solar minimum' could have a direct impact on Earth's climate - cooling our planet drastically, and knocking the predictions of global-warming alarmists out of whack.

Dr Achim Brauer of the GFZ said,'An abrupt cooling in Europe together with an increase in humidity and particularly in windiness coincided with a sustained reduction in solar activity 2800 years ago.' Brauer's measurement's of lake sediments allow 'a precise dating even of short-term climate changes.'

The 'Homeric Minimum' - the solar minimum that coincided with the famous poet's lifetime - caused a cool period that lasted 200 years.

'Scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in collaboration with Swedish and Dutch colleagues provide evidence for a direct solar-climate linkage on centennial timescales,' say the researchers.

'Using the most modern methodological approach, they analysed sediments from Lake Meerfelder Maar, a maar lake in the Eifel/Germany, to determine annual variations in climate and solar activity.'

Three centuries ago similar changes in the Sun were linked to a period of almost unprecedented cold, known as the ‘little ice-age’ - a time when the ice on London’s River Thames was regularly a foot deep and when thousands went hungry because crops froze in the fields.

The link between Solar ‘moods’ and the weather down here on Earth was first noticed in the 1970s, when the American astronomer Jack Eddy noticed a strong correlation between historic weather records and contemporaneous accounts of Solar activity, most notably the long record of sunspots published a century before by the astronomer Edward Maunder.

Eddy noticed that a ‘quiet’ Sun correlates with cold weather and a manic phase means warmer conditions.

His best evidence for this link comes from the last time the Sun went to sleep, the so-called ‘Maunder Minimum’ period from 1645 to 1715. During this period and for about a century either side, much of Europe and North America suffered a succession of bitterly cold winters and damp washout summers - the ‘little ice age’.


Pesky Greenland glaciers

Their water output is much less than predicted. Don't they know they're supposed to MELT?
21st-Century Evolution of Greenland Outlet Glacier Velocities

T. Moon et al.


Earlier observations on several of Greenland’s outlet glaciers, starting near the turn of the 21st century, indicated rapid (annual-scale) and large (>100%) increases in glacier velocity. Combining data from several satellites, we produce a decade-long (2000 to 2010) record documenting the ongoing velocity evolution of nearly all (200+) of Greenland’s major outlet glaciers, revealing complex spatial and temporal patterns. Changes on fast-flow marine-terminating glaciers contrast with steady velocities on ice-shelf–terminating glaciers and slow speeds on land-terminating glaciers. Regionally, glaciers in the northwest accelerated steadily, with more variability in the southeast and relatively steady flow elsewhere. Intraregional variability shows a complex response to regional and local forcing. Observed acceleration indicates that sea level rise from Greenland may fall well below proposed upper bounds.

Science 4 May 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6081 pp. 576-578

Eugenics, Malthusianism, and Trepidation

Greenies are of course enthusiastic Malthusians. They hate people and want many fewer of them -- "for the planet's sake", of course

The Nazis were eugenicists and Malthusians (see Mein Kampf, chapter 4). They wanted to murder "the inferior" because they were convinced there wasn't enough food to go around. The Malthusianism told them that millions had to die; the eugenics told them who the victims ought to be.

Strangely, though, the Nazis' crimes discredited only eugenics, not Malthus. After the Holocaust, you'd think that anyone muttering, "There are too many people running around," would be an instant pariah. But that's not how things worked out.

This is especially strange because there's nothing intrinsically misanthropic about eugenics. As I've explained before, eugenics plus the Law of Comparative Advantage leads to trade, not barbarity:

Suppose we have an isolated society in which everyone is a genius. Let's call them the Brains. Who takes out the garbage? A Brain, obviously. Who does the farming? Again, Brains.

Now what happens if the geniuses come into contact with a society where everyone is of average intelligence at best? Let's call them the Brawns. If the Brains allow the Brawns to join their society, the average genetic quality of the Brains' society plummets. But everyone is better off as a result! Now the Brains can specialize in jobs that require high intelligence, and the Brawns can take over the menial labor. Total production goes up.

Malthusianism, in contrast, is intrinsically misanthropic. By hook or by crook, population has to go down. Sure, they'd prefer voluntary sub-replacement fertility. But if that's not in the cards, the next steps are government pressure to discourage fertility, then caps on family size, followed by forced sterilization, mandatory abortion, and finally mass murder.

An hysterical straw man? Hardly. Malthusianism was Hitler's official argument for his greatest crimes. Germany's problem, in Hitler's own words:

"The annual increase of population in Germany amounts to almost 900,000 souls. The difficulties of providing for this army of new citizens must grow from year to year and must finally lead to a catastrophe, unless ways and means are found which will forestall the danger of misery and hunger."

After considering all the viable solutions within a Malthusian framework, Hitler picks his favorite: Seizing more land in Europe.

"Of course people will not voluntarily make that accommodation. At this point the right of self-preservation comes into effect. And when attempts to settle the difficulty in an amicable way are rejected the clenched hand must take by force that which was refused to the open hand of friendship. If in the past our ancestors had based their political decisions on similar pacifist nonsense as our present generation does, we should not possess more than one-third of the national territory that we possess to-day and probably there would be no German nation to worry about its future in Europe."

As I sum up:

When someone says "There are too many Jews," we suspect that he wants to kill Jews. Similarly, it turns out that at the root of Hitler's propensity to kill people was his belief that there are too many people.

My claim is not that, "Malthusianism is false because Hitler believed it." Hitler presumably believed that the sky is blue.

My claim, rather, is that Malthusianism is a more dangerous doctrine than eugenics. If the whiff of eugenics leads you to say, "We should be very careful here, because these ideas can easily lead to terrible things," the whiff of Malthusianism should inspire even greater trepidation.


EPA and radical environmentalists work to take America back to the 20th Century—B.C.

As if a war on America’s coal industry wasn’t enough, it turns out natural gas isn’t a friend to the environment either — or nuclear, hydro and in some cases wind power.

What’s left? Solar? But then there’s the uncertainty of how to properly dispose of solar panels if they break or lose their power because of the chemical process used to make them.

What, if any, energy sources does this country have left that are deemed environmentally fit for today’s strict “green” standards? How has America found itself in a place where its critical energy sources are in jeopardy?

It is as if today’s radical environmentalists would like to see America as it was in the 20th Century — B.C.

With allies to this extreme environmental movement strategically placed throughout this administration, in the White House and in radical “green” groups throughout the nation, it is no wonder Americans are being regulated back to a time before humans existed. The sad part is this reckless agenda is moving full-steam ahead, taking jobs, livelihoods and America’s prosperity along with it.

For example, as video evidence proves Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official Al Armendariz saying in 2010 he would “crucify” oil and gas companies to send a message, it is no secret that the coal industry has been under countless attacks.

One particularly egregious act by the EPA against the coal industry is its rules on mercury emissions. The EPA has found mercury to be a harmful and threatening element to the well being of humans and all blame for the emissions of it appear to have landed on coal power plants. It is important to note that U.S. power plants account for less than 0.5 percent of all the mercury in the air Americans breathe. Virtually all of the other 99.5 percent of mercury in the environment comes from natural occurrences like forest fires, volcanoes, subsea vents, geysers and other sources, including food.

But now, in order to eliminate this 0.5 percent of mercury emitted from U.S. power plants, utility companies either go out of business or have to spend billions of dollars just to attempt to meet these new standards. Knowing that thousands of jobs would be at risk as a result of this new regulation, and that coal is an integral part of America’s energy supply, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) will place a resolution on the floor of the Senate that will require an up or down vote on whether or not to allow this EPA regulation to go into effect.

“Mercury is a natural part of the Earth’s environment yet the EPA in its infinite wisdom has decided to target the relatively low amount of mercury that is emitted by coal-fired plants in the U.S.,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “These regulations require these power plants to be retrofitted with new technologies that will cost tens of billions of dollars to implement, while failing to prevent more than 99 percent of mercury from being emitted into the environment. It is hard to find a costlier regulation that would achieve so little.”

Sen. Inhofe hopes to bring his resolution, S.J. Res. 37, to the Senate floor after Memorial Day and pull out a win for the coal industry.

But even if enough members support rolling back the EPA on this standard, the coal industry still has numerous battles to fight as the EPA and “green” groups continue on with their mission to rid America of its use of coal.

Staying true to form, another EPA guideline attacks the mountaintop mining of coal. The Clean Water Act requires streams to be kept cleaner and to a higher standard than that of tap water. Even EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said of the new guidelines, “the goal is a standard so strict that few, if any, permits would be issued for valley fills.”

Furthermore, the coal industry has also been punished for Carbon Dioxide emissions—yes, that same element that is critical to life. The EPA proposes that new fossil‐fuel‐fired power plants meet an output‐based standard of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt‐hour (lb CO2/MWh gross). Most natural gas power plants built since 2005 already meet this new standard. And lending a “helpful” hand to coal power plants, the EPA suggests new technology such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) to rein in their emissions. The problem is this technology is prohibitively expensive and will likely result in the shutting down of coal plants across the nation.

It is from all these radical EPA regulations that the coal industry is at risk of falling prey to the “green” agenda. Now that attacks on coal are across the board, extreme environmental groups turn their heads to another critical fossil fuel to America’s energy source—natural gas.

Take for example the methods used by radical environmental group Sierra Club and you will begin to understand the manipulation and coerciveness of this “green” agenda. Sierra Club crawled into bed with Chesapeake Energy—a natural gas giant—and collected $26 million dollars to fight coal plants. Once progress was made on that front and lawsuits and regulations abounded against the coal industry, Sierra Club decided natural gas wasn’t environmentally friendly either. And if that’s not enough, radical agendas like those of the Sierra Club are often rewarded with taxpayer dollars. You see, taxpayer dollars are rewarded to those groups who successfully challenge the EPA, which creates a lot of incentive for “green” groups to push the regulations of the EPA even further.

Now taking all this into consideration, pretend for a moment the EPA and radical environmentalists succeed in shutting down America’s domestic supply of fossil fuels. Just to give you an idea, coal, petroleum (oil), and natural gas together meet around 84 percent of U.S. energy demand.

What substitute would compensate for this loss? Renewable energies?

Data from the Institute of Energy Research (IER) states that about 8 percent of all energy consumed in the United States in 2010 was from renewable sources: hydropower, biomass wood, biomass waste, biomass biofuels and wind.

Eight percent will not even come close to meeting the energy demands of America, yet alone become a substitute for fossil fuels. Yet even with this knowledge environmental groups and the EPA continue to rally against America’s proven and reliable energy sources.

Without fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, America will be left with no source of reliable and cost-effective energy. Even precious solar panels and wind turbines require other sources of energy to be built.

And if you’re thinking worst-case scenario that at least humans could attempt an energy-less America by using a wood-burning fire for survival, you’d be wrong because that too emits way too much pollution and would require too many trees — these same radical environmental groups would contest. America better start preparing for 20th Century, B.C., if it is forced to continue along this path.


Heartland Institute 'Unabomber billboard' brings out Global Warming Alarmists' One-Trick Pony

For those who missed this explosive mini-controversy from last week, the Heartland Institute, a think tank publishing lengthy reports contradicting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about man-caused global warming, paid for the placement of an electronic billboard in Chicago that repeated a notorious criminal's belief in global warming. A huge outpouring of criticism about the billboard prompted Heartland to pull it.

It was illustrating absurdity with absurdity that backfired because global warming alarmists weren't put into a defensive position of explaining why the issue is on the verge of total collapse. As Rush Limbaugh noted recently, "you never descend to the level of your opponent or they win."

The billboard clearly did not advance the skeptic position, but it at least illustrates how the best defense is to go on the offense. As this opportunity was widely grabbed by alarmists to portray Heartland as daffy, corrupt, and politically motivated, it serves as one more example of how alarmists rely on shell games keep the public from fully comprehending the enormous faults in the idea of man-caused global warming.

Yawn. A tried-and-true shell game tactic to distract the public away from the existence of legitimate scientific skepticism, which is found in abundance in Heartland's multi-thousand page reports citing thousands of peer-reviewed science journal-published papers that seriously questions the IPCC's climate assessments.

Yes, the billboard was a gift to alarmists on a silver platter, but ultimately is a fleeting reprieve in the unavoidable collapse of the entire issue.

The issue is only kept alive when people -- whoever they happen to be -- unquestioningly accept a trio of 15 year-old talking points saying "the science is settled, skeptics are corrupted by industry money, and everyone may ignore skeptics because of the prior two points". Alarmists have failed for nearly 20 years to prove the science is settled or that skeptics are unworthy of public trust, but they've only accomplished this by avoiding any debate about those assertions.

When a shell game tactic is the only thing global warming alarmists have to rely on to keep their issue alive, it speaks volumes about their agenda.


What fun! European parliament cancels attendance at big Warmist pow-wow

"Cost" is their excuse but cost has never seemed to hold them back from anything else

The European Parliament has cancelled plans to send a delegation to the UN's Rio+20 summit on sustainable development taking place in June, saying the costs are too prohibitive.

The Parliament had planned to send 11 MEPs. But yesterday the political group co-ordinators on the environment committee decided that hotel costs, of up to €800 a night, were too exorbitant. A delegation from the European Commission will attend, led by Janez Potocnik, the European commissioner for the environment.

“The huge increase in the estimated cost of attending the summit is simply not justifiable, especially at a time when many Europeans are faced with economic hardship,” said Matthias Groote, the chairman of the environment committee.

“The Brazilian government should have taken action to avoid hotels abusing their position. That's also part of the responsibility of hosting such a large conference,” said Dutch Liberal MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, who was to lead the delegation.

Expectations for the summit, which is being held on the 20 year anniversary of the Earth Summit that led to the establishment of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, have been marked down in recent months. Negotiations for a draft conclusion for the summit have progressed slowly.

Talks in New York last week that were intended to be the last before the summit were inconclusive, prompting another round to be scheduled. Disagreements remain between developing and developed countries over whether the text should call for “common but differentiated responsibilities” for the two.



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