Monday, October 08, 2012

Will global warming cause more asthma in California Children?

By Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Mollie would seem to have a very indelicate brain.  Perhaps all the blood is off it.

She has  a lot of assertion, and some very weak reasoning below which tries to convince us that global warming -- if it ever comes -- would be bad for asthma.  I have endeavoured to pick out below the line of reasoning from among all the "human interest" content but you will see that no actual evidence for her claims is given.  I wonder why?  Could it be this medical report which says that:

"Asthma UK says that for three quarters of the 5.4 million people with asthma, cold air is a trigger for their symptoms.  The charity says hospital admissions for asthma usually peak during periods of particularly cold weather. Breathing cold air into the lungs can trigger asthma attacks."

So warming would in fact be a good thing for asthmatics.  Hein?  It is a disgrace that the pseudo scientific rubbish below appeared in the "Scientific American"  -- now long ago transmogrified into  the "Unscientific American"

Climate change is expected to compound the issue, according to a new body of work published in the journal Issues in Ecology. Higher temperatures and an increased risk of drought on the West Coast essentially "cook" the nitrogen, resulting in nitrous oxide and ozone. These nitrogen byproducts cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, especially among the region's rural and urban poor who don't have the money to move away and reduce their exposure.

In 2007, about 25 million Americans had asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Costs for the chronic disease increased from an estimated $53 billion in 2002 to about $56 billion in 2007. The condition is distinctly prevalent in California's Central Valley, where one out of every six children have asthmatic symptoms -- a contemporary warning of how dire this issue could become in the near future.

Nitrous oxide leads to more ozone

It's not nitrogen gas by itself that's the problem. Eighty percent of the world's atmosphere is made up of the gaseous form. Nitrous oxide is a different story. The combination of nitrogen and oxygen molecules creates a powerful gas. In small quantities, nitrous oxide is used as "laughing gas" in dentist offices. On a larger scale, the vapor traps heat and contributes to global warming.

"It's a very potent greenhouse gas," said Eric Davidson, the president of Woods Hole Research Center. "It's about 300 times more potent per molecule as carbon dioxide."

He added, "Its half-life is over 100 years. The emissions of that gas will be with us through many generations."

The subsequent increase in temperature only makes matters worse. Nitrous oxide is also a precursor to ozone and nitrogen dioxide. Ozone in the stratosphere is a good thing. These molecules block some of the ultraviolet rays that heat the Earth. However, ozone close to the surface is a harmful irritant, triggering asthma, reducing lung capacity and affecting immune system response.

More HERE.  H/T Tom Nelson

Another well-fed Leftist population controller

It looks like Mr Thielmans could make a personal contribution to the environment by eating less

The Socialist mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, says limiting the number of children born to parents in Brussels should be an issue up for discussion as part of his city’s effort to combat poverty. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:
The mayor of Brussels has said that families with many children were “a problem found among Muslims, Jews and even Christians.”  Speaking at a debate in Brussels on Sept. 27, Mayor Freddy Thielemans added that the city was incapable of providing housing solutions that match the demands of families with many children and that bringing into the world “so many children is irresponsible.”

Methods to reduce population growth “should be a matter for discussion,” he also said.

The English-language Belgian site Flanders News writes that Thielemans was addressing the demographic boom in Brussels which he believes has fueled poverty.

His spokesman later clarified that limiting the number of children isn’t actually part of any policy plan, and even added that the issue wouldn’t be in the purview of local authorities.

Flanders News quotes the spokesman saying: “It’s a fact: in Brussels there are many families with seven or eight children. They apply for social flats, but flats to accommodate such numbers do not exist.”

Belgian politicians – including members of his own Socialist Party – are expressing dismay at the mayor’s remarks. Philippe Moureaux, who is the Socialist mayor of Molenbeek, posted on Twitter (via JTA): “In a free society, having children is a right which cannot be up for negotiation.” Flanders News adds:
Politicians from other parties have given Mr Thielemans’s initiative the thumbs down: Belgian Interior Minister JoĆ«lle Milquet, who heads the Christian democrat list in the City, can hardly believe the mayor made the pronouncement, while Francophone liberal Alain Courtois says it’s a bad idea.

This blog that tracks what it believes to be anti-Christian developments at the European Union, which is headquartered in Brussels, writes of the mayor’s idea:
This leaves us speechless. But Thielemans statement is only coherent in this de-christianized society where killing of babies and elderly people is a mean to keep public spending down. Why not officially limit the number of children? And when he claims that the “problem” of large families is equally distributed between Muslims, Jewish and Christians than he is targeting only the most traditional ones that still have children.

JTA reports that Brussels’ population is 1.1 million. It quotes Belgian sociologist Jan Hertogen’s statistics which show that Muslims make up 22 percent of the city’s population. According to the CCOJB which represents Belgium’s French-speaking Jews, between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews live in Brussels.

But for Mr. Thielemans, even a 2-3% Jewish population is apparently too much.


Mr Thielmans is also an enemy of free speech

Electric cars are big polluters

TheBlaze has reported on the not so green side of electric cars before — those being charged with electricity from coal-fired power plants contribute more pollution than their gasoline-fueled counterparts. Now, a report of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology takes a look at the manufacturing of electric vehicles and found that’s not so great for the environment either.

“Although EVs are an important technological breakthrough with substantial potential environmental benefits, these cannot be harnessed everywhere and in every condition,” the study authors write. “Our results clearly indicate that it is counterproductive to promote EVs in areas where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal, or even heavy oil combustion.”

Published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the researchers found the production of electric vehicles is “more environmentally intensive” than those with an internal combustion engine. Producing the electric powertrains and traction batteries are among the factors that “add significantly to the environmental impacts” of production.

The study also took a look at the environmental impact of electric vehicles compared to traditional cars when it comes to actually taking them on the road. Like the study we reported on earlier this year, EVs with electricity supplied by coal were found to have more of a “global warming potential” — increasing it by a factor of 17 to 27 percent — compared to traditional cars. EVs using electricity supplied by the “average” European source reduced global warming potential by 20 to 24 percent though.

“Because production impacts are more significant for EVs than conventional vehicles, assuming a vehicle lifetime of 200,000 km exaggerates the GWP benefits of EVs to 27 percent to 29 percent relative to gasoline vehicles or 17 percent to 20 percent relative to diesel because production-related impacts are distributed across the longer lifetime,” the study states.

The authors also found “human toxicity potential” (HTP) was a “potentially significant category” when it comes to making the shift between EVs and traditional cars. They write that HTP estimates increase with EVs in production and use compared to combustion-engine vehicles. These health impacts come from the mining of metal and coal used by EVs.

The researchers do acknowledge in the study though that with these results, it is important to remember since EVs are new to the market and mass production, “it is difficult to fix specific values for some of the parameters influencing the impacts of EVs.”

Still, overall they write their best estimate for global warming potential of just producing electric vehicles is twice that of previously reported studies. This is because they found higher impacts as they related to the battery and included other electronic components of the car in their assessment. The team states that this inventory is “a significant improvement in transparency.”

For electric vehicles to provide the environmental benefits that are often already ascribed to them, the study authors believe improvements need to be made as to the materials being used to make electric vehicles and the sources that power them for them first.


Climate change is the perfect subject for connoisseurs of irony

The post below appeared in The Providence Journal of February 8, 2012

In putting together my book on manmade global warming, I found myself bathing in irony more or less continuously. Below is a list of climate ironies in 2012:

Those who purport to love nature the most may actually fear it the most, and are in the midst of a terror-laden campaign to “control” it via carbon modulation.

Those who most need plentiful and affordable carbon-based fuels, i.e. all those living in the Third World (in India, China, Africa, South America, and rural Appalachia) are the ones the climate elite would deprive of carbon-based fuels.

The statement that “the science is in” is inherently ironic. The science is never in, and saying so reveals an antipathy for science.

Computer models have no grip on future climate whatsoever, and yet it is their terrifying predictions that have been used to control the debate about climate.

“Big oil” funds mainstream, alarmist climate scientists far more than it funds skeptics.

Windmills, symbols of gentleness and modernity, play a destructive roll in the environment and represent a step backward for humanity.

In a feast of self-righteous guilt, the greatest CO2 emitter per capita, the United States, is also the most important producer of climate-terror science.

The fascination with carbon dioxide among the public, supposedly representing some knowledge of climate science, actually represents almost complete ignorance of the subject. Not one in a hundred people possesses an idea what past climate has looked like on the planet.

Sea level, specifically the fear of it rising, is the most potent tool in the alarmists’ arsenal, but sea level has never been stable. It cannot be. A hundred and ten thousand years ago, during what’s known as the Eemian interglacial, sea level was 15 feet higher than today. This oceanic “highstand” occurred without the help of a single internal combustion engine.

Carbon dioxide has been labeled pollution, but it is colorless, odorless, non-toxic plant food.

Needlessly raising fuel prices in the name of carbon mitigation has the inevitable effect of freezing people to death in their homes, among other negative consequences. The moral superiority of climate alarmists is its own potent form of irony.

Those keeping the torch of knowledge alight in our time, the skeptics, are seen by most as morally corrupt and intellectually inferior. Among the many honest and highly accomplished climate scientists receiving such ill treatment is Henrik Svensmark, the Dane whose theory of cloud modulation will likely revolutionize the world’s understanding of the climate system.

Al Gore has received a Nobel Prize for his supposed furthering of climate science knowledge among lay people. Al Gore is personally responsible for dramatically enlarging the CO2 obsession among the public and thus enshrouding the world in scientific ignorance.

Most people on the left with passionately held beliefs about climate are in no position to debate it intelligently. They “feel” and they “know,” but they cannot discuss. Ad-hominem attacks against scientists, and writers who dare question climate orthodoxy by the way, are perpetuated by what is possibly the most potent PR smear machine on Earth.

“Climate change” is a fabulously ironic notion in and of itself. Climate has always changed. That is what it does. Now is a very nice time to be alive, climatologically speaking. The good old days of climate are happening at this very moment, in other words. People, for myriad reasons, wish to believe that they are so significant themselves that they must be witnessing something new. They must be.

Most meaningful measurements of the ocean-atmosphere system have been taking place for an astonishingly short period of time, nowhere near long enough to begin talking about “climate.” The single most significant measurement is probably the ARGO buoy system, measuring ocean heat content. Deployed in 2003, the system has not shown anything like the increase in heat predicted by James Hansen.

The world is cooler today than 8,000 years ago, and practically no one knows it.

The icier time, the Little Ice Age, which extended from about 1350 to about 1850 and that is looked back on so fondly by Al Gore and others, was no cakewalk. It was colder, icier, harsher, as its name implies, with more frequent crop failures and the suffering that entailed.

That coastal erosion is taken as proof of “climate change” is especially ironic. When have ocean storms and sands resulted in anything else? A single storm in 1362 killed at least 25,000 people and completely remade the coastline for large parts of both the Netherlands and Denmark. If such a storm were to take place today, it would be presented as evidence of “climate change.” Without irony, of course.

Even recent episodes of weather and climate history are successfully hidden from public view in plain sight. During the recent drought in Texas and Oklahoma, actual scientists went on the record stating that it was the “worst ever,” which is patently false. If the Dust Bowl were to take place again today, in exactly the same way that it unfolded in the 1930s, it would be seen as evidence of CO2’s awful power.


Rays of hope as Britain switches to new light bulbs and a grey autumn

Now there is a full ban, a strange, grey spell has been cast over the house - but there may be a solution

Light. Is that so much to ask for? On these autumnal evenings, as I cycle back from the office in the dark, I dream of a cosy home, glowing with rosy-cheeked children and rooms lit up with good cheer to welcome me.

But no. Each day, as I turn the key in the latch, I am reminded of the curse that has been inflicted upon our family.

A month after the final stage of the European ban on traditional light bulbs coming into force, the full horror of the legislation has cast its strange, grey spell. My home does not glow, the cheeks of the children are not rosy, the cheer has been cancelled.

The ban has been a long time coming. First, 100-watt bulbs were phased out in 2009. Then, last year, the 60-watt bulb was switched off. In September came the final extinction of traditional lights, with 40-watt bulbs no longer allowed to be “placed on to the market”. Shops can sell any remaining stock, but they cannot order fresh incandescent products.

This will be the winter of my discontent, and no amount of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) can make it glorious summer.

I am prepared to accept that the brightness of these bulbs has improved in recent years, but they are still a poor, dim second best to the golden glow given off by a heated filament.

They are also unforgivably ugly, containing a bulky “starter plug” in the base, which means they protrude above lampshades, poking out their unwelcome bald heads like monks at a brothel.

But most of all it is the quality of the light they emit that upsets me. The CFL bulbs drape everything in a sickly pallor reminiscent of Romanian orphanages.

Every time I sit down to read a book, my heart sinks as the page reflects back a deathly, damp patch of bluish grey; it turns lovingly prepared food into something served up in a 24-hour carvery; a family game of Scrabble becomes supervised recreation hour at Pentonville Prison.

There was a Fast Show sketch that featured “Nice Johnny”, an amateur landscape painter, whose cheery demeanour would disappear the moment he took out his black paint. His mood would turn to dark despair as he proceeded to destroy his canvas and scream “black, black, all black”. Well, I am like him, pining for the moon that is weeping in a secret room.

What makes me most despondent is that this gloom seems unnecessary. I am not some flat-earther who thinks polar bears should be shot. I compost, I have lagged the loft, I switch off the television at night. However, the Carbon Trust calculates that an energy-efficient light bulb saves about 35kg of carbon dioxide emissions each year when compared with a standard bulb. This sounds like an awful lot, but it is no more than the emissions caused in the production of a 1kg pack of mince, or 24 litres of orange juice.

Good-quality light is a thing of wonder, but only since my home has been cast into the Stygian gloom have I fully appreciated its powers.

There is a 1962 public information film called “Power comes to Widecombe”, which showed the residents of a pretty Dartmoor village celebrating the switching on of electricity. Yes, in the same month as the Beatles had their first hit and James Bond suaved his way into our cinemas, parts of rural Britain were divorced from fast cars and pop music. In this corner of Devon, they relied on candles and oil lamps. How they cheered in the village hall when the switch was flicked! They even danced a jig.

After months of pond-like gloom, I too intend to recreate that Widecombe jig and make my house sparkle once again.

Luckily, my local ironmonger has started stocking “rough service” bulbs. These are a hard-wearing version of the traditional incandescent bulbs designed for electricians and builders, who were exempted from the ban. There is a label on the back saying: “Not suitable for household illumination”. But, of course, as the man who runs the shop tells me: “That’s there to exploit the loophole. And these bulbs are what customers keep asking for. People are coming in and buying 30 or 40 of them at a time.”

The man at the Energy Saving Trust, a body designed to convert all our homes to pallid, zero-carbon boxes, tells me that it would be irresponsible to encourage people to switch to these products. Then he concedes: “They are just as safe, in fact probably safer, than a standard bulb. But you better not quote me on that.”

I have stocked up. And will forgo steak and orange juice for a week.


Debunking climate propaganda earns you a 'fail’ in British exam

Two weeks ago I described one of this year’s A-level General Studies papers which asked candidates to discuss various “source materials” on climate change. Drawn from propaganda documents wholly biased in favour of climate alarmism, these contained a plethora of scientific errors. I suggested that, if any clued-up students tore these “sources” apart as they deserved, they might have been given a “fail”.

Sure enough, an email from the mother of just such a student confirmed my fears. Her son is “an excellent scientist” who got “straight As” on his other science papers, but he is also “very knowledgeable about climate change and very sceptical about man-made global warming”. His questioning of the sources earned an “E”, the lowest possible score. His mother then paid £60 for his paper to be re-marked. It was judged to be “articulate, well-structured” and clearly well-informed, but again he was marked down with “E” for fail.

This young man’s experience speaks volumes about the way the official global-warming religion has so corrupted our education system that it has parted company with proper scientific principles. In his efforts to reform our dysfunctional exam system, Michael Gove should ask for this bizarre episode to be investigated.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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