Thursday, June 28, 2007

LINKAGES BETWEEN SOLAR ACTIVITY, CLIMATE PREDICTABILITY AND WATER RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

By W J R Alexander et al.

Abstract

This study is based on the numerical analysis of the properties of routinely observed hydrometeorological data which in South Africa alone is collected at a rate of more than half a million station days per year, with some records approaching 100 continuous years in length. The analysis of this data demonstrates an unequivocal synchronous linkage between these processes in South Africa and elsewhere, and solar activity. This confirms observations and reports by others in many countries during the past 150 years. It is also shown with a high degree of assurance that there is a synchronous linkage between the statistically significant, 21-year periodicity in these processes and the acceleration and deceleration of the sun as it moves through galactic space. Despite a diligent search, no evidence could be found of trends in the data that could be attributed to human activities. It is essential that this information be accommodated in water resource development and operation procedures in the years ahead.

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DENIAL ABOUT DENIERS

If you want to convince the world that an overwhelming majority of scientists believe in global warming, then start by ignoring scientists who are not true believers. First, establish lists of scientists with your approved position, then smear dissidents. Soon, up-and-coming scientists will be afraid to cross the rigid green line.

So the Society of Environmental Journalists put together a guide on climate change that lists a number of publications on global warming, scientists and seven environmental groups, each with positive descriptions. Under the "Deniers, Dissenters and 'Skeptics' " category are four listings -- all negative -- they suggest that these folk are venal, partisan and bad scientists or all of the above.

According to the SEJ guide, University of Virginia professor Patrick Michaels "still claims to be the Virginia 'state climatologist' although the state has disavowed him." The publisher of George Mason University professor Fred Singer's books is connected with the "Moonie" leader, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank has received oil money. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has a flack "whose resume brags of starting the 'Swift Boat' story that injured candidate John Kerry."

The short list, with a senator even, suggests they had run out of dissident scientists -- or dissident scientists they could squeeze into the venal-lightweight box. James O'Brien -- director of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies and former Florida state climatologist, and not listed in the SEJ guide -- said of the guide's terms for nonbelievers: "I don't like the term 'deniers.' They're trying to say we're like Holocaust deniers."

He didn't make that up. Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman recently wrote that "global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."

It ought to tell you something that the guide focuses not on the issues, but personal issues and credentials of nonbelievers. Oooooo, a senator has a flack who spins. How nefarious. I'm sure global warming guru and former Vice President Al Gore only hired monks. Most insulting is the insinuation that skeptics are after money, while believers are pure.

Nonsense, David Legates, Delaware state climatologist, told me. Dire global warming predictions draw the big bucks in research these days: "There's a lot more money to be made by saying the world is coming to an end than to say that this is a bunch of hooey."

"Hooey" is the term also used by Reid Bryson, the father of scientific climatology, with the (Madison, Wis.) Capital Times, as he explained, "If you want to be an eminent scientist, you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can't get grants unless you say, 'Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.' " Legates tells students who are not global-warming true believers, "If you don't have tenure at a major research university, keep your mouth shut."

Dissenting scientists do not deny that the planet is getting warmer. As O'Brien noted, "I believe that there is global warming and it's probably due to natural as well as human causes." But also: "It's not occurring as fast as the alarmists say," and its consequences won't be as dire as they say.

SEJ should see the value in skeptics who challenge the global-warming orthodoxy -- which can make global warming forecasts more concise -- instead of suggesting that no good scientists have alternative views. O'Brien sees a schism in the science community, with real-world scientists -- think former director of the National Hurricane Center, Neil Frank -- on one skeptic side, and environmentalists and ecologists, who "if they see more turtles this year than last year, they write a paper" on the worst-case-scenario other.

Legates noted that state climatologists deal in patterns and cycles and "tend to be more skeptical of the extreme climate change scenarios." Politicians, thus, have begun to stifle state climatologists who are not global-warming boosters -- oddly with little complaint that evil politicians are trying to censor noble scientists.

Oregon state climatologist George Taylor is a skeptic. Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, asked Oregon State University to stop Taylor from using a title he had used without complaint since 1991. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, also a Democrat, pulled a similar move on Michaels, who is now the American Association of State Climatologists-designated state climatologist in Virginia.

As if it's a bad thing to be recognized by fellow climatologists, instead of a politician -- at least to the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Source





RICH NATIONS ACCUSED OF 'GREEN IMPERIALISM' ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Rich countries are being hypocritical in criticizing China's greenhouse gas emissions while using the country's cheap labor in industries that pollute, Asian business and government leaders said Monday. "This is green imperialism," Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Malaysia's deputy finance minister, told a panel discussion on global warming at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, a two-day conference that ended Monday.

The next meeting will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's main city, in June 2008. China has come under increasing pressure from the United States in particular to take more forceful measures to curb carbon dioxide emissions. China relies on coal, among the dirtiest fuels, to provide two-thirds of its energy. Asian leaders also criticized the U.S. and Australia for not signing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which caps the amount of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that can be emitted in industrialized countries. China signed the treaty but is exempt from emission reductions because it is considered a developing country, a situation often cited by the U.S. and Australia for rejecting the treaty.

Nor Mohamed said there was no point singling out one country when climate change is a global problem. "Companies that are polluting in China are owned by American, European, Japanese and others. They are benefiting from the cheap labor, from the resources and at the same time accusing China of pollution," the Malaysian official said. "Let's take the hypocrisy out of the equation," he said.

Addressing another session, Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., said the private sector must play a leading role in addressing climate change while governments take their time formulating laws to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The industry has to make technically sophisticated cars that are less polluting, he said. "You cannot forget the fact that when someone's going to go and buy a car, you want him or her to be relieved of the guilt of emitting CO2, and that's something that we need to address."

China overtook the United States in carbon dioxide emissions by about 7.5 percent in 2006, according to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency's report. While China was 2 percent below the U.S. in carbon dioxide emissions in 2005, voracious coal consumption and increased cement production caused the numbers to rise rapidly, the agency said.

China also uses other numbers to contend that it is not the worst offender: With 1.3 billion people, China spews about 10,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per person, while the United States releases nearly 42,500 pounds per person, about four times as much. Chen Feng, the chairman of China Hainan Airlines, said now was not the time to assign blame but to create an international solution, saying developed nations were the original polluters. "So the way I see it is, you were bandits before you became right-minded people," he said.

President Bush recently proposed a meeting of the 15 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases to set an emissions goal. Japan's environment minister called the proposal "significant" but said it was crucial that the top emitters participate. "Without the participation of United States, China and India - the main emitters - we will not stop global warming," Masatoshi Wakabayashi said.

Ralph R. Peterson, the chairman of a U.S. management, design and construction firm, said Asia's economic growth path appears unsustainable because of high and inefficient energy consumption that contributed to pollution. He said Southeast Asian nations produce 11 percent of global output and use 21 percent of world oil. China's output is 5.5 percent of world gross domestic product while it uses 15 percent of global energy. India's energy efficiency is one-tenth the global average, while China's water use per unit of GDP is four times the world's average. "If it takes much more energy to produce one unit of GDP in Asia, then we have a problem," he said.

Source





Renewable energy?

Republicans and Democrats are currently at loggerheads in the Senate over a bill to require the nation's utilities to draw a fixed percentage of their electricity from so-called "renewable energy." The Democratic bill, sponsored by Democratic Energy Committee Chairman Dave Bingaman, of New Mexico, would have utilities get 15 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other "renewable" sources by 2020. This version seems to be one vote short of beating a promised Republican filibuster.

Republican Senator Pete Domenici, also of New Mexico, has offered an alternate bill that would keep the same requirement but allow nuclear power and -- bizarrely -- "clean coal" to be included under the rubric of "renewable." That bill was soundly defeated, 56-39, with seven Republicans joining the Democrats to defeat the measure. A special committee is now trying to work out a compromise.

There is only one small point that makes this whole discussion rather irrelevant. According to the laws of physics, there is no such thing as "renewable energy."

The Second Law of Thermodynamics, developed during the 19th century, is said to be the only principle of Newtonian physics that survived the Einsteinian revolution. Therefore it is worthy of respect. The Second Law is expressed in a variety of ways -- "entropy," "disorder," the "dispersal of energy," the irreversibility of time. For the sake of this discussion, one of its principal corollaries is more than sufficient -- "Energy cannot be recycled."

The First Law of Thermodynamics (actually discovered after the Second Law) says that energy is always conserved and never destroyed. This seems to suggest perpetual motion. If we could only keep recycling the same energy, we would never run out.

The Second Law -- first posited by Sadi Carnot in 1824 -- contravenes this possibility. It holds that as energy is used to do work, some of it inevitably becomes irrecoverable. Energy is never destroyed. It transmutes from one form to another -- heat to mechanical motion to electricity to mechanical motion and perhaps back again to heat. In the process, however, some of the energy inevitably becomes inaccessible as "waste" or low-grade heat. Once dispersed, this energy achieves a state of high disorder or entropy. It cannot be reused, renewed, or recycled because it would take more energy to reassemble it than could be recovered.

The gasoline in your automobile engine, for example, transforms into mechanical motion. As it is consumed, however, some energy is inevitably thrown off as engine heat or friction against the road. Eventually all the momentum of your car will eventually be transformed into low-grade heat. The energy is still out there but it cannot be recycled or renewed. Therefore you will need a refill.

Calling some sources of energy "renewable" suggests that they can be used over and over, as opposed to other forms of energy, which will eventually run out. This is very misleading. What we really mean is that some forms of energy are inexhaustible, at least for our purposes. The energy of the sun is inexhaustible with respect to life on the planet. But it is not infinite. The solar energy falling on New York would not be enough to run the city, even if 100 percent of it were utilized. Therefore it must be collected elsewhere and transported, which itself consumes energy. The sun may come up day after day, but it does not provide unlimited amounts of energy.

Most "solar energy" actually comes to us in indirect forms, where the gathering and transporting is the limiting factor. Hydroelectricity derives from the sun's power to evaporate water and return it as rain. Yet there are only so many good dam sites. Hydro power supplied 20 percent of our electricity in 1980 but only 10 percent today, since most of its potential has been used. Wind comes from the sun's uneven heating of the atmosphere, but wind power is highly dispersed and must also be gathered and transformed. The wind is unpredictable and cannot be relied upon for large amounts of dispatchable electricity. Once wind reaches 20 percent of a grid, it begins to create voltage balance problems.

Direct solar electricity is free for the taking but does not arrive in very large amounts. The solar energy falling on a square-meter card table is enough to power one 100-watt light bulb. At best it could probably provide our indoor lighting. It is not enough, however, to run industrial machinery or highly sophisticated electronic networks. The great advantage of solar electricity is that it is strongest when it is needed most -- on hot summer afternoons when electrical demand peaks. Solar electricity could definitely relieve natural gas peaking plants in powering our summer air conditioning.

Fossil fuels are stored solar energy and renewable over the geological ages. We just don't have time to wait around for them to renew. Oil and gas supplies are somewhat limited and now lie mostly in countries that are politically unpredictable. We have so much coal in the U.S. we will probably never run out, but it is the prime source of air pollution and greenhouses gases. "Clean coal" is extremely expensive and will create huge problems in trying to bury whole oil fields worth of liquid carbon dioxide deep in the earth.

"Biofuels" are a gray area. They are "solar" and "renewable" but only within very strict limits. Sunshine is just one contributing factor. Much more important are land, water, fertilizer and other agricultural resources. Growing energy will compete with growing food. Nor are biofuels "carbon neutral." Burning this year's crop instead of leaving it in any of the numerous carbon sinks -- plant material, soil, the food chain -- increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Calling biofuels "carbon neutral" is just poor accounting. They will both strain agricultural resources and contribute to global warming.

There is one other source of energy that is close to being as inexhaustible as the sun. That is nuclear power, which might be called "terrestrial energy." Our planet generates huge amounts of heat. The temperature in its interior -- 7,000 degrees C. -- is hotter than the surface of the sun. What is the source of this heat? Some of it comes from the pressures of gravitational collapse, but almost half is generated by the disintegration of two tiny elements, uranium and thorium.

Terrestrial energy is tapped at geothermal sites, where heat from the earth's molten core comes in contact with groundwater. We perform this same heat exchange in what is called a "nuclear reactor." A nuclear plant is simply the duplication of a geothermal site under more controlled conditions.

Terrestrial energy is not infinitely renewable, but then neither is any other source of energy. It does not rely on solar energy stored in carbon bonds and therefore does not put carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. It is about as "green" as energy can get. It can probably stand by itself but is definitely worth including in any portfolio of "clean, renewable energy."

Source

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Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists


For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.

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