Monday, February 27, 2012

Nitwit thinks a few degrees of temperature rise will melt the polar ice

He is trying to add a scare about increasing volcanoes and earthquakes to the usual scares about warming. But polar regions are VERY cold, far below the melting point of ice, so even if all the Warmist prophecies came true, there would be minor melting at the margins only. Excerpt:

So what – geologically speaking – can we look forward to if we continue to pump out greenhouse gases at the current hell-for-leather rate? With resulting global average temperatures likely to be several degrees higher by this century's end, we could almost certainly say an eventual goodbye to the Greenland ice sheet, and probably that covering West Antarctica too, committing us – ultimately – to a 10-metre or more hike in sea levels.

GPS measurements reveal that the crust beneath the Greenland ice sheet is already rebounding in response to rapid melting, providing the potential – according to researchers – for future earthquakes, as faults beneath the ice are relieved of their confining load. The possibility exists that these could trigger submarine landslides spawning tsunamis capable of threatening North Atlantic coastlines. Eastern Iceland is bouncing back too as its Vatnajökull ice cap fades away. When and if it vanishes entirely, new research predicts a lively response from the volcanoes currently residing beneath. A dramatic elevation in landslide activity would be inevitable in the Andes, Himalayas, European Alps and elsewhere, as the ice and permafrost that sustains many mountain faces melts and thaws.

Across the world, as sea levels climb remorselessly, the load-related bending of the crust around the margins of the ocean basins might – in time – act to sufficiently "unclamp" coastal faults such as California's San Andreas, allowing them to move more easily; at the same time acting to squeeze magma out of susceptible volcanoes that are primed and ready to blow.


Our wise leaders send messages from Antarctica trip

Former Vice President Al Gore has taken his fight against climate change to the South Pole, as his Climate Reality Project expedition ship arrived in Antarctica.

Joined by more than 100 other travellers including scientists, ministers and celebrities, the team set off from Argentina last week, crossing the legendary Drake Passage en-route to the Antarctic.

Gore has been joined by James Hansen from NASA, Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, along with Bangledesh’s minister of environment Hasan Mahmud, the President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, British billionaire Richard Branson and UNFCCC Chief Christiana Figueres.

Tweeting from the trip Figueres wrote: “Antarctica: highest coldest, windiest and driest continent of the planet. Most importantly: global bellwether of #climatechange.”

And amongst pictures of penguins, icebergs and seals she lamented their future prospects: “Greetings from a chinstrap penguin colony. Populations decreasing due to decreasing sea ice.”


Our wise leaders and expert guides seem unaware that Antarctic sea ice has been increasing over the last 30 years:

All men are equal -- except if you are "Green"

The ethics of parking eco-friendly cars: Why are universities privileging those who already have power, wealth and status if they drive a Prius?

Hourly wage workers at universities are daily reminded of the many ways their employers indicate their relative inferiority to its teachers and administrators who boast advanced degrees and certifications. One recent trend, the adoption of LEED parking standards, serves as testimony to how the knowledge class perpetuates privileges for those at the top of the university system.

LEED- -- which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- is an internationally recognized green building certification system, equivalent to a Good Housekeeping seal of approval for buildings that meet specific standards for being environmentally friendly. For example, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago proudly reports that it reserves 25 parking stalls at the entranceway of its parking garage for hybrid cars.

At issue is what these standards say about status relationships within the Academy. To frame this issue from a "critical perspective" so favored by many in the professoriate, we need to answer this question: Who is privileged and who disadvantaged by LEED parking standards?

Data indicate LEED parking standards favor university professionals who already have power, wealth, and status: mature, well-to-do, highly degreed members of the leisure class. Those most likely to earn reserved parking are:

Affluent. The Volt, a GM car for which purchasers, whose annual income averages US$175,000, receive a $7,500 taxpayer subsidy, "appeals to an affluent, progressive demographic," says Bill Visnic, senior editor for "It's rare. It's hard to get one. ... It's the same reason that people buy the really rare exotic cars: Because other people can't have one."

Similarly, 71 percent of Prius owners were found to earn more than $100,000 per year. A Topline Strategy Group study found a significant number of hybrid buyers trade down from foreign-made luxury vehicles, such as the Audi A6, BMW X3 or Acura TL, a means of exchanging a status symbol of the 90s for the new moniker of sophistication, one that earns its owner a highly visible and privileged parking space.

Urbane. The 2007 Scarborough Research lifestyle survey of 110,000 adults revealed hybrid owners are much more likely to go skiing, hiking, practice yoga and to consume organic food, yogurt, and decaffeinated coffee than the general population.

Highly educated. Walter McManus, of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute reports "Hybrid car drivers have a level of education higher than any group of car drivers that I've ever seen."

Middle aged: J. D. Powers' research reveals hybrid drivers average close to 50 years of age.

By contrast, what populations are disadvantaged by LEED parking standards?

The working poor: those campus employees in such fields as landscaping, janitorial, secretarial, law enforcement, and food services, often disproportionately female, African-American and Hispanic, whose educations, incomes, and lack of social capital distinguish them from those who are privileged with reserved university parking. As approved cars are primarily three or fewer years old, LEED standards favor white-collar over blue-collar workers as well as married couples over the single-parent, populations who typically can only afford to purchase older, used cars rather than the new cars that qualify for reserved parking spaces.

Large families. LEED standards disadvantage large families as well. Van, pickup and SUV buyers all tend to have more children than other car buyers; in fact, research shows 45 percent of SUV buyers have two or more children.

Younger car owners. Other data show SUV purchasers to be young married couples, aged 30-35, with a median income of $60,000, substantially less than those who buy hybrid cars. Only two per cent of hybrid owners are 24 or younger.

Academics often tell students that citizens with the advantages of wealth, education, and breeding have an obligation to show empathy with and respect for the lives of those who do not possess the social, intellectual or economic capital of society's privileged classes.

If their motives were sincere, academic decision makers might develop alternative standards for privileged parking such special spaces for hourly wage “employee of the week” workers, as well as close-in parking for pregnant employees or for staff who have to pick up children after school, thus serving the interests of those caring for the most dependent members of society.

Alternatively, to produce provable reductions in gas use and emissions without privileging the well-to-do, schools could advocate carpooling, giving the best spaces to those cars with the most occupants. Or they could assign privileged spaces to those who live closest to the school and more distant spaces to those who drive longer distances and thus use more gas and emit more pollutants.

Unsurprisingly, many hourly wage employees at universities view sceptically those inside the Academy who profess to feel compassion for the young and for the working classes struggling to make a living in a harshly competitive world.


Obama's Federal Green-Car Fleet Promises Fall Flat

Well, color me surprised: yet another of the Obama administration's renewable-energy promises, borne of wishful green thinking and populist political appeal, meeting with resistance from that darn inconvenience that some might call reality. Bloomberg reports:
Obama gave speeches across the U.S. last year touting his twin goals of buying only alternative-fuel vehicles for the U.S. fleet by 2015 and getting 1 million electric vehicles on the country’s roads by that year.

That’s looking more difficult as the federal government learns the same lesson that U.S. car consumers have already figured out: it is tough being green. Rather than leading the way, the government has discovered that the high cost of hybrids and electric cars and their lack of availability often mean it makes more sense to buy cars with fuel-efficient conventional engines. ...

U.S. General Services Administration purchases of hybrid and electric models fell 59 percent in fiscal 2011 to about 2,645 as the federal fleet added 32,000 cars and trucks that can burn a fuel that’s 85 percent ethanol, or E85 vehicles, when it’s available. ...

So, they're scaling back on the hybrid and electric cars, because -- gasp -- they're just not that practical. But, the Obama administration does include vehicles that can use both E85 ethanol-based fuels and gasoline in it's definition of alternative-fuel vehicles... except, the special ethanol fuel isn't really practical, either:
The problem is that buying and driving ethanol fueled cars solves very little. The GSA, which owns about a third of the federal fleet, said last year that 88 percent of its alternative-fuel vehicles are capable of using ethanol. Still, ethanol fuel pumps are not very common and car owners, including the federal government, often have to use gasoline instead, said Lindland.

There are only about 2,512 ethanol fuel pumps available among the estimated 162,000 fueling stations that sell gasoline. There are about 6,033 electric charging stations, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.

The U.S. government, which has given automakers and suppliers money to develop electric-vehicle technologies, last year bought 2,645 hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles, less than 5 percent of the 54,843 vehicles it bought, according to the data.

That’s a decrease from the 9.5 percent average of all purchases for those models in fiscal years 2010 and 2009, when economic stimulus spending fueled $300 million of fuel-efficient vehicle purchases for the federal fleet of about 600,000 cars and trucks.

The way this administration is experimenting on green energy projects with taxpayer dollars, you'd think we had money to burn instead of a more than one hundred percent debt-to-GDP ratio. And you know something -- I bet they would, literally, burn taxpayer dollars, if they thought they'd release less carbon than traditional gasoline.


Why fossil fuels are good

Marita Noon

"I'm trying to write a paper on why fossil fuels are good. I was wondering if you could help me out with some information? I couldn't find much information on the Internet because most people seem to think that fossil fuels are evil.”

The aforementioned is from an e-mail a young man named Cooper sent me the day before his paper was due. His father had heard me on the radio and suggested that Cooper contact me. I spent 45 minutes talking with him. Everything I said was a fresh new idea to Cooper. Obviously he was not being taught the complete picture. If Cooper had questions, others probably do, too. Here are the three things I told him that, like Cooper, you may not know, may have forgotten, or just haven’t thought about in a while.

With rising gas prices bringing energy into the debate, and President Obama setting his energy priorities out in his budget, it is important to be aware of some energy realities. Otherwise you may think fossil fuels are “evil,” when, in fact, they provide us with the freedom to come and go, to be and do.


With gas prices in the news, reporters are interviewing people in gas stations and getting their thoughts on the situation. One had a man proclaiming that oil is a precious resource. He stated that we needed the price to go up so people used less of it. I agree that oil is precious—as in valuable and important, but not as in scarce or rare.

Decades ago, it was thought that we were about to run out of oil. True, production in America did decline. But new privately developed technologies have both found more oil and natural gas and allowed us to use it more efficiently.

In America, a high-pressure extraction method known as “fracking” has brought forth vast new resources of both oil and natural gas. Areas not previously thought to be “oil country” are now buzzing with activity and economic growth. Best known is North Dakota’s Bakken Field, which is now producing more than 500,000 barrels of oil a day—more than the current infrastructure can transport.

Other new resource-rich regions include Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York (though New York is not maximizing its bounty), with fields known as the Utica Shale and the Marcellus Shale—which are rich in natural gas. These new areas have so much natural gas that the price has dropped to the lowest rate in a decade, and some companies are cutting back on drilling because the cost of extracting the resource versus the price they can sell it for makes it uneconomic at this time. Knowing that this gas is in the ground just waiting for us to need it is like a “Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” Similar fields have been found in other parts of the world, as well.

Technology has opened up vast new “deepwater” fields. The Julia Field was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in 2007 and is believed to have one billion barrels of oil. Recent new discoveries have been found off the coast of Mozambique, Argentina, Israel, and in the North Sea.

Additionally, the resources that we have are now are used more efficiently—which makes them go farther than ever before. This is what is known as “resource expansion.” When I was a child, my father’s car got eight miles per gallon of gas (mpg). Today, most cars get more like 32 mpg—and if gas mileage is important, gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles can be found, which get more than 50 mpg. Similar improvements have been made in the use of electricity as well.


One of the wonderful things about oil is that it can be easily transported—shipped, trucked, trained, or piped to the end user. While not as easily done, natural gas can be compressed or liquefied and use similar methods of transportation. Likewise, if needed, coal can be converted into a liquid fuel—though coal is more frequently used for electricity, rather than as a transportation fuel.

Because most of America’s infrastructure was built before there was opposition to anyone attempting to build anything near anyone, oil, natural gas, and coal are readily available. Nearly every major intersection and freeway exit has a gas station. Coal-fueled power plants are often built near where coal is available. In other locations, natural gas is the fuel of choice for electric power—because it is available.

Besides location and transportation, the other important thing about the availability of fossil fuels is that they are “available” when we want them—and this is, perhaps, their most valuable asset. This is true for both liquid/transportation fuels and electricity.

With transportation fuels, fossil fuels allow us instant fill-ups at the myriad gas stations we drive by every day. We stop, we fill up, and we go. With electric vehicles—the only kind that could be theoretically be powered by renewables—a fill-up takes 4-20 hours and is needed much more frequently than with fossil fuels.

With electricity powered by fossil fuels, rain or shine, wind or calm, we can expect the lights to turn on—unlike the highly touted renewables that need specific conditions to work. Because wind and solar (the most common “renewables”) are not 24/7, they require “back up”—usually in the form of natural gas or coal. Natural gas is the better back up, as like a natural gas kitchen stove, it can be turned on and off quickly.

Boiling a pot of water on your stove may take five minutes, while boiling that same pot of water over a charcoal fire would take an hour—with the bulk of the time being getting the coals hot enough to actually boil the water. While boiling a pot of water is an over-simplified example, it helped Cooper understand why natural gas was the preferred back up to intermittent wind or solar power. Which bring us to Affordable.


With the prices of gasoline rising as rapidly as they are—and electricity rates increasing, some might dispute the “affordable” argument. However, comparatively, fossil fuels are still affordable—and could be more so with favorable government policies (though, international unrest does play into the price of oil). Coal is the dominant source of electricity in America—providing nearly 50%. While natural gas’ abundance has dropped the price, making the price of natural gas-fueled electricity to be close to coal, the fact that we have existing coal-fueled power plants makes electricity from coal cheaper overall as converting power plants or building new ones significantly increases the costs. In some locations, such as Rhode Island, who use natural gas for their electricity, the lower prices for natural gas have actually caused the public utility commission to lower the rates.

With renewables, the cost of electricity is higher and the need for double power plants—wind or solar and natural gas or coal—means double costs.

Back in 2008, when gasoline prices spiked, President Bush announced a reversal on his father’s ban on offshore drilling. Nearly overnight the price of crude oil dropped and gasoline followed suit. It wasn’t that there was any more oil being produced, but on an international market, investors knew that more oil would be coming online—not less. The price dropped.

With the current policies—such as killing Keystone, blocking offshore drilling, and minimizing drilling on federal lands—the forecasts show less availability, not more. The price goes up. President Obama can give a speech saying he’s going to open up more of America’s resources, but the markets do not believe him, as every policy he sets in place says the opposite. Prices have continued to climb.

These policies are why the 2012 election is so important. Will we elect someone who believes that fossil fuels are “evil” or someone who understands that they deserve a triple “A” rating: abundant, available, affordable?

Cooper closed his paper with these words: “We must protect the future of our energy from politicians who have interests only in their own agendas and a misinformed public that believes fossil fuels are destroying the world, when they are actually fueling it. We will be dependent upon fossil fuels for a while, and that is fine. We have hundreds and hundreds of years to figure it out. Our fossil fuels should be utilized as long as possible. There is no other sensible option.”


Inhofe debuts 'Greatest Hoax' on Hannity tonight

Global-warming exposé to put final nail in coffin of scam

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., will launch his new book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel TV show tonight at 9:30 p.m. Eastern.

Inhofe has been a leader in Washington exposing the hoax of global warming – recently declaring victory over what he calls “the greatest hoax.”

Still, the Oklahoma Republican believes his work is not done.

“The Greatest Hoax” is published by WND Books, which has produced a higher percentage of New York Times bestsellers than any other publisher in the world since it was founded nine years ago.



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


1 comment:

slktac said...

Did the "nitwit" in the first article have his books made into the really bad "sci-fi" movies on end of the world disasters? His predictions sound just like the plot line to dozens of doom and gloom science fiction movies. Are we sure he isn't misidentified and really writes science fiction? Maybe under an assumed name?