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G M
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« Reply #100 on: October 04, 2008, 03:57:41 PM »

http://www.naturalgas.org/overview/background.asp

Natural gas is a fossil fuel like oil and coal. Fossil fuels are, essentially, the remains of plants and animals and microorganisms that lived millions and millions of years ago.
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G M
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« Reply #101 on: October 04, 2008, 04:08:17 PM »

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/04/the_us_military.html

Pentagon's Novel Idea: Stop Guzzling Gas
By Noah Shachtman April 20, 2007 | 3:28:00 PM

 
For a long time, the U.S. military didn't care whether its vehicles guzzled gas or not.  So the Pentagon wound up with a Humvee that averages about four miles per gallon in the city, and an Abrams tank that gets just six-tenths of a mile per gallon.
But with battlefield fuel prices at $400 per gallon, even the deep-pocketed Pentagon has had it with its gas hogs.  "Effectively immediately," Defense Department acquisition chief Kenneth Krieg writes in a memo obtained by Inside Defense, Pentagon planners have to start factoring in "energy efficiency" when designing "all tactical systems."
To implement this policy, the Pentagon is conducting the pilot program focused on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Army and Marine Corps humvee replacement; the Maritime Air and Missile Defense of Joint Forces alternative ship propulsion and energy efficiency options analysis of alternatives, or the Navy cruiser program; and the Next-Generation Long-Range Strike concept decision, the Air Force’s new bomber effort...
This pilot program comes in the wake of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England’s February directive to the entire military bureaucracy -- the federal government’s largest single energy consumer -- to refine its plans to reduce oil consumption and increase reliance on renewable and alternative energy sources.
For nearly 18 months, the Defense Department has been exploring both near- and long-term options for reducing its energy usage, particularly its reliance on carbon-based fuels. As oil prices have steadily climbed over the past few years, the Pentagon has calculated that every $10 hike in a barrel of oil translates to a $1.8 billion increase in costs for the military.
Meanwhile, "Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne has given the OK to shoot for 2010 as the date when [the service] would certify the use of synthetic fuel for its entire aircraft fleet," says Air Force magazine. "A plant that will produce commercial quantities of synthetic fuel [20,000 barrels per day] is under construction in East Dubuque, Ill."
Oh, and check this out: The German military may be recalling some of their recon jets from Afghanistan, "because they don't have enough money to fly them."  The reason: "high jet fuel prices."
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Jonobos
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« Reply #102 on: October 04, 2008, 04:13:50 PM »

Yep, my mistake. Even so it does burn much cleaner:

"Unlike other fossil fuels, however, natural gas is clean burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful byproducts into the air."

From the link you posted.

That is actually a pretty cool site and I am going to read it more thoroughly when I get home, thanks.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #103 on: October 04, 2008, 05:55:54 PM »

Quote
Both sides are getting caught up in the debate, when they agree that something needs to be done. Does it matter if your reason for leaving the oil economy behind is because it has a destabilizing result in our national security, or because it is polluting the air? Most people seem to think it needs to happen. We are stuck on the definition of why... its sort of silly don't you think?

Another dichotomy, eh? My argument is that free inquiry should proceed without the constraints two-dimensional continuums impose, so excuse me if I'm not gracious about another one. Nor am I inclined to be gracious about "climate change," as climate change is the norm, rather than some sort of breathless exception. Though it may seem like a small point, these sorts of misnomers and misconnotations have made rational discussion about environmental issues more difficult than it needs to be.

With that said, it again boils down to a benefit cost analysis. It would it be nice to erase humankind's' entire environmental foot print, but that will never happen so arguments that contain that implicit premise strike me as fruitless. Research and argument that seeks to maximize the human benefit and minimize the environmental impact strike me as tactics more likely to bear fruit.
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Jonobos
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« Reply #104 on: October 04, 2008, 06:25:10 PM »

With that said, it again boils down to a benefit cost analysis. It would it be nice to erase humankind's' entire environmental foot print, but that will never happen so arguments that contain that implicit premise strike me as fruitless. Research and argument that seeks to maximize the human benefit and minimize the environmental impact strike me as tactics more likely to bear fruit.

I am with you on this. But again, I don't give a flying you know what if you believe in man made climate change or not. Go ahead and inquire away. Nothing is stopping you. Lets find the cost beneficial solutions to things we very definitely know are problems. Lets leave the climate change discussion where it belongs... with the scientists, and not with politicians. Politicians know that pollution is a problem, and they are in a position to start asking questions about how to minimize it, while still maximizing human benefit. CLIMATE CHANGE is irrelevant to this line of questioning/action. You don't have to defend your disbelief in man made climate change. I don't care about it in this context.

Maybe I am not explaining this well? Stalling on bills that minimize our impact without hampering our benefit, because man made climate change is still up in the air doesn't make sense, but it seems like this is exactly what we are doing. People don't breath carbon monoxide, yet we pump tons of it out every day. This creates all sorts of nasty side effects on the environment. We should do something about this. This sentiment is completely independent of the global warming debate.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #105 on: October 05, 2008, 04:15:57 AM »

"Global warming, and its denial are nothing but a way to dodge the issue. Believers and deniers are just opposite sides of the same coin. Both are not talking about the real problems. Go ahead and explain to me why smog is a good thing, or why high levels of mercury in the fish is positive? Try and explain the island of garbage floating around the ocean? You can't spin those into anything beneficial and trying is insanity."

The problem with the theology of "man as cause of global warming" is that a lot of really coercive and expensive solutions are being proposed to solve a problem which may well not exist, or exist in small degree.  Honest science needs to be coin of the realm in this conversation.

I agree that the focus needs to be the fouling of the planet.  With good science perhaps we will realize that the ethanol the government proposes to deal with the false problem of global warming creates the fertilizer run-off by which the Mississippi River dumps so much fertilizer into the Gulf of Mexico that it has a huge dead zone that grows every year.

Instead of blathering about needing to sign the Kyoto Accord and blaming it on Bush (which was rejected by the Senate IIRC under Clinton 97-0) maybe we need to look at the implications of buying from the Chinese who foul not only their next but ours as well by the particulates they create that reach the western US.

Instead of looking to the government to guide the process, maybe we should shift our approach to one of taxing external diseconomies (i.e. pollution)-- costs not born by the buyer or seller of a transaction-- instead of good things like jobs, income, savings (including inheritance) investment, etc.   I vociferously agree that the ocean becoming a garbage dump is a real problem-- so lets tax all the disposable plastic products instead of our work, savings, and investment.  By shifting our tax code to such a concept we will both enable a tremendous increase in economic growth, we will also bring the pricing mechanism of the market to bear as to the trade offs between pollution and other things.  If car manufacters operate in an environment wherein cars that pollute more are taxed more their self-interest motivates them to act for the clean air so they can acquire a cost advantage over their competitors.  This contrasts quite strongly and favorably to what we have now wherein the most profitable thing is to buy Congressman and litigate with the bureaucracies.

What you tax more you get less of-- so lets tax pollution instead of people, profits, savings, income, etc.
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Jonobos
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« Reply #106 on: October 05, 2008, 11:02:52 AM »

Yeah, what he said...
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Jonobos
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« Reply #107 on: October 05, 2008, 07:46:14 PM »

By Julie Steenhuysen
Sun Oct 5, 1:02 PM ET
 


CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. researchers have found a way to make efficient silicon-based solar cells that are flexible enough to be rolled around a pencil and transparent enough to be used to tint windows on buildings or cars.
 
The finding, reported on Sunday in the journal Nature Materials, offers a new way to process conventional silicon by slicing the brittle wafers into ultrathin bits and carefully transferring them onto a flexible surface.

"We can make it thin enough that we can put it on plastic to make a rollable system. You can make it gray in the form of a film that could be added to architectural glass," said John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led the research.

"It opens up spaces on the fronts of buildings as opportunities for solar energy," Rogers said in a telephone interview.

Solar cells, which convert solar energy into electricity, are in high demand because of higher oil prices and concerns over climate change.

Many companies, including Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp Corp and Germany's Q-Cells are making thin-film solar cells, but they typically are less efficient at converting solar energy into electricity than conventional cells.

Rogers said his technology uses conventional single crystal silicon. "It's robust. It's highly efficient. But in its current form, it's rigid and fragile," he said.

Rogers' team uses a special etching method that slices chips off the surface of a bulk silicon wafer. The sliced chips are 10 to 100 times thinner than the wafer, and the size can be adapted to the application.

Once sliced, a device picks up the bits of silicon chips "like a rubber stamp" and transfers them to a new surface material, Rogers said.

"These silicon solar cells become like a solid ink pad for that rubber stamp. The surface of the wafers after we've done this slicing become almost like an inking pad," he said.

"We just print them down onto a target surface."

The final step is to electrically connect these cells to get power out of them, he said.

Adding flexibility to the material would make the cells far easier to transport. Rogers envisions the material being "rolled up like a carpet and thrown on the truck."

He said the technology has been licensed to a startup company called Semprius Inc in Durham, North Carolina, which is in talks to license the technology.

"It's just a way to use thing we already know well," Rogers said.

(Editing by Maggie Fox and Eric Walsh)
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Jonobos
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« Reply #108 on: October 05, 2008, 07:53:36 PM »

By DINA CAPPIELLO, FRANK BASS and CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writers
1 hour, 19 minutes ago
 
WASHINGTON - Hurricane Ike's winds and massive waves destroyed oil platforms, tossed storage tanks and punctured pipelines. The environmental damage only now is becoming apparent: At least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas, according to an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.
 
In the days before and after the deadly storm, companies and residents reported at least 448 releases of oil, gasoline and dozens of other substances into the air and water and onto the ground in Louisiana and Texas. The hardest hit places were industrial centers near Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, as well as oil production facilities off Louisiana's coast, according to the AP's analysis.

"We are dealing with a multitude of different types of pollution here ... everything from diesel in the water to gasoline to things like household chemicals," said Larry Chambers, a petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Command Center in Pasadena, Texas.

The Coast Guard, with the Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies, has responded to more than 3,000 pollution reports associated with the storm and its surge along the upper Texas coast. Most callers complain about abandoned propane tanks, paint cans and other hazardous materials containers turning up in marshes, backyards and other places.

No major oil spills or hazardous materials releases have been identified, but nearly 1,500 sites still need to be cleaned up.

The Coast Guard's National Response Center in Washington collects information on oil spills and chemical and biological releases and passes it to agencies working on the ground. The AP analyzed all reports received by the center from Sept. 11 through Sept. 18 for Louisiana and Texas, providing an early snapshot of Ike's environmental toll.

With the storm approaching, refineries and chemical plants shut down as a precaution, burning off hundreds of thousands of pounds of organic compounds and toxic chemicals. In other cases, power failures sent chemicals such as ammonia directly into the atmosphere. Such accidental releases probably will not result in penalties by regulators because the releases are being blamed on the storm.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also suspended all rules, including environmental ones, that would inhibit or prevent companies preparing for or responding to Ike.

Power outages also caused sewage pipes to stop flowing. Elsewhere, the storm's surge dredged up smelly and oxygen-deprived marsh mud, which killed fish and caused residents to complain of nausea and headaches from the odor.

At times, a new spill or release was reported to the Coast Guard every five minutes to 10 minutes. Some were extremely detailed, such as this report from Sept. 14: "Caller is making a report of a 6-by-4-foot container that was found floating in the Houston Ship Channel. Caller states the container was also labeled 'UM 3264,' which is a corrosive material." The caller most likely meant UN3264, an industrial coding that refers to a variety of different acids.

State and federal officials have collected thousands of abandoned drums, paint cans and other containers.

Other reports were more vague. One caller reported a sheen from an underwater pipeline and said the substance was "spewing" from the pipe.

The AP's analysis found that, by far, the most common contaminant left in Ike's wake was crude oil — the lifeblood and main industry of both Texas and Louisiana. In the week of reports analyzed, enough crude oil was spilled nearly to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and more could be released, officials said, as platforms and pipelines were turned back on.

The Minerals Management Service, which oversees oil production in federal waters offshore, said the storm destroyed at least 52 oil platforms of roughly 3,800 in the Gulf of Mexico. Thirty-two more were severely damaged. But there was only one confirmed report of an oil spill — a leak of 8,400 gallons that officials said left no trace because it dissipated with the winds and currents.

Air contaminants were the second-most common release, mostly from the chemical plants and refineries along the coast.

About half the crude oil was reported spilled at a facility operated by St. Mary Land and Exploration Co. on Goat Island, Texas, a spit of uninhabited land north of the heavily damaged Bolivar Peninsula. The surge from the storm flooded the plant, leveling its dirt containment wall and snapping off the pipes connecting its eight storage tanks, which held the oil and water produced from two wells in Galveston Bay.

By the time the company reached the wreckage by boat more than 24 hours after Ike's landfall, the tanks were empty. Only a spattering of the roughly 266,000 gallons of oil spilled was left, and that is already cleaned up, according to Greg Leyendecker, the company's regional manager. The rest vanished, likely into the Gulf of Mexico.

Ike's fury might have helped prevent worse environmental damage. Its rough water, heavy rains and wind helped disperse pollution.

Air quality tests by Texas environmental regulators found no problems even in communities near industrial complexes, where power outages and high winds in some cases knocked out emergency devices that safely burn off chemicals. But the storm also zapped many of the state's permanent air pollution monitors in the region.

"We came out of this a lot better than we could have been, especially thinking where the storm hit," said Kelly Cook, the homeland security coordinator for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Katrina ranked as among the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, with about 9 million gallons of oil spilled. But Ike's storm surge was less severe than feared — 12 feet rather than 20-feet plus — and the dikes, levees and bulkheads built around the region's heavy industry mostly held.

Much of that infrastructure is protected by a 1960s-era Army Corps of Engineers system of 15-foot levees similar to the one around New Orleans that failed catastrophically during Katrina. In that storm, floodwaters dislodged an oil tank at a Murphy Oil Corp. refinery in Meraux, La., spilling more than 1 million gallons of oil into the surrounding neighborhoods, canals and playgrounds.

Ike's toll on wildlife is still unfolding. Only a few pelicans and osprey turned up oiled, but the storm upended nature. Winds blew more than 1,000 baby squirrels from their nests. The storm's surge pushed saltwater into freshwater marshes and bayous, killing grasses where cattle graze and displacing alligators. Flooding also stranded cows.

The storm also may mangle migration. The Texas coast is a pit stop for birds heading south for the winter. But Ike wiped out many of their food sources, stripping berries from trees and nectar-producing flowers from plants, said Gina Donovan, executive director of the Houston Audubon Society, which operates 17 bird sanctuaries in Texas.

"It is going to cause wildlife to suffer for awhile," she said.

Along the Houston Ship Channel, a tanker truck floating in 12-feet-high flood waters slammed into a storage tank at the largest biodiesel refinery in the country, causing a leak of roughly 2,100 gallons of vegetable oil. The plant, owned by GreenHunter Energy Inc., uses chicken fat and beef tallow to make biodiesel shipped overseas. It opened just months earlier.

Oneal Galloway of Slidell, La., called to report oil in his neighborhood. The town, north of Lake Pontchartrain, was flooded with Ike's surge. He said oil had washed down the streets.

"It looked like a rainbow in the water," Galloway told the AP. "The residue of the oil is all over our fences, there were brown spots in the yard where it killed the grass."

The likely culprit was not a refinery or oil well, according to Shannon Davis, the director of the parish's public works department, but a neighbor brewing biodiesel in his backyard with used cooking grease.

___

Cain Burdeau reported from Texas.

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G M
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« Reply #109 on: October 05, 2008, 08:02:07 PM »

Natural oil seeps put more oil into water sources than anything humans do.
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Jonobos
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« Reply #110 on: October 05, 2008, 08:06:59 PM »

Natural oil seeps put more oil into water sources than anything humans do.

I don't believe I advocated stopping offshore drilling at any point if that is what you were are getting at.

If we are going to drill offshore we need to be prepared for this sort of thing...
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G M
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« Reply #111 on: October 05, 2008, 08:08:10 PM »

 MSNBC.com
More offshore oil drilling might clean beaches
By Times Staff
Santa Maria Times
updated 10:16 p.m. MT, Sat., Sept. 6, 2008

Seeping into the controversy about more offshore oil production is a dispute over whether increased drilling locally would lead to less oil oozing from natural seeps on the ocean floor.

Environmentalists contend no drilling-related reduction in seepage is likely but others, led by the advocacy group Stop Our Seeps (SOS), insist drilling would slow some natural seeps and benefit the environment.

The two sides differ sharply in their interpretations of the limited amount of scientific research done so far on that question - and the significance of a 1999 study by a group of UCSB professors who measured undersea seeps around Platform Holly off Goleta.

That study concluded natural seepage of oil and gas from the ocean floor in one square kilometer area around the platform declined by 50 percent between 1973 and 1995, possibly because the drilling reduced pressure in the subsea basin.

SOS spokesmen tout those findings as evidence that more offshore drilling would reduce natural seeps, which are collectively spewing tens of thousands of barrels of oil a year - along with large quantities of natural gas - into ocean waters locally.

Environmentalists and one of the study's authors caution, however, that extrapolating the 1999 data to a broader section of the Santa Barbara County coastline is scientifically unsound.

"The suggestion that somehow drilling for oil will be good for the environment by reducing oil and gas seeps is simply bad science," asserted Abraham Powell, president of Get Oil Out (GOO), in a press release Wednesday by four environmental organizations.

Joining in the statement were the Environmental Defense Center of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) and the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara.

Oil and tar have been present along the county's shores dating back to the earliest settlements by Native Americans, and remain a bane today for surfers and other beachgoers.

UCSB Professor Bruce Luyendyk, one of the study's six authors, strongly cautioned against exaggerating its findings during a marathon hearing on oil issues Tuesday before the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

"Our 1999 UCSB studies were made on a special case of marine seeps; one of the world's most active," Luyendyk noted. "However, these seeps occur over a limited area. To extrapolate the findings of our studies beyond the Coal Oil Point area cannot yet be substantiated, and there are many reasons to caution against generalizing our study results to the greater Santa Barbara Channel, much less to the California continental shelf."

Luyendyk is a marine geophysics professor in the university's Earth Sciences Department.

During a phone interview Wednesday, he said his "main complaint is that these various proponents (of increasing offshore drilling) have taken our study and extrapolated it into unknown territory. I don't think there's a logical or scientific basis for that."

Nonetheless, the board voted 3-2 - with the trio of North County supervisors prevailing - to send a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger encouraging him to consider allowing more oil drilling off county shores.

"I was very pleased with the outcome of the supervisors' hearing," said Dave Cross, vice president of the Committee to Improve North County, which favors expanded oil production to boost county revenues and help lower dependence on foreign oil. "Clearly the evidence is there that oil drilling does reduce pressure that causes seeps," and the natural seepage from those subsea basins.

"I think increased oil production is a benefit, not just for the environment" but economically as well, he added.

Critics like SBCAN's executive director, Deborah Brasket of Orcutt, counter that drilling advocates are using the seeps issue as a false argument for boosting production and oil company profits, despite the environmental risks.

"There have just not been enough (scientific) studies on this" to conclude that more drilling off local shores would reduce natural seeps, Brasket said.

"Offshore oil drilling is not the panacea touted by Big Oil and friends," she added, "but yet another ploy to boost profits for oil companies, prolong our dependence on oil and delay the development of renewable energy."

State Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, also joined in the political fray by sending a letter to the supervisors urging them not to seek any policy change that would allow more offshore drilling.

"One has to ask why you are even considering such a request," he wrote. "Making such a significant change in our county's policy regarding offshore oil drilling should at least be based on accuracy and fact, not hysteria and conjecture."

However, SOS co-founder Bruce Allen staunchly defends his groups' use of the 1999 study results to argue that more drilling would be environmentally beneficial.

"It's clear there are many (natural) seep zones beyond Coal Oil Point that are very active," Allen said Thursday.

He cited a 2003 paper presented to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists that suggested the offshore Santa Maria Basin, between Point Conception and Point Sal, "contains the greatest known concentration of hydrocarbon seeps � in the world." Only two of the 13 subsea oil fields in that area "are not overlain by active seeps," the paper stated, according to Allen.

SOS, formerly known as Bring Oil Back, was formed about four years ago, and is funded mostly by donations from private individuals, Allen said. He acknowledged, though, that some of its funding is grant money from the oil company Venoco Inc., which is seeking approval to expand its drilling operations at Platform Holly, off the coast from Devereux Slough in Goleta.

Allen said he was unsure the amount of the Venoco gave to SOS, and referred that question to the group's executive director, who could not be reached for comment.

Much of the Santa Maria Basin has Monterey shale geologic formations possibly similar to those studied at Coal Oil Point, he added. While the 1999 study doesn't prove that seepage reductions would result from more drilling in other areas, "I think a good case could be made that the same effect would occur elsewhere" if geologic conditions are similar.

However, another of the study's authors, UCSB Earth Science Professor Jordan Clark, voiced concern about those findings being applied to other areas without further scientific study

"I can see where further drilling in the Coal Oil Point area would reduce seepage because there are natural seeps there," he said. "Drilling in other areas would probably not have the same effect."

Yet, based on scientific literature and the UCSB research at Coal Oil Point, "I think there is a linkage between a reduction in seepage and increased oil production. The physics would also tell you that should happen" in areas with pre-existing, natural seeps. "If you start pumping oil out of the ground with wells, not as much needs to leave by seepages," Clark said.

What are seeps?

Oil and methane gas created in the heat and pressure under the ocean floor flows upward through faults and cracks in rocks. Plumes of oil-coated methane bubbles reach the surface, creating natural oil slicks.

The natural seeps of crude oil and natural gas flowing into the ocean on and near the coast of California are among the largest and most active concentration of such seeps in the world.

Seeps off Coal Oil Point near UCSB put an average of 150-170 barrels of crude oil and 5 million cubic feet of natural gas into the ocean every day.

More than 1 million barrels of oil have seeped off the Southern and Central California coast since 1980.

Crude oil seeping into the sea from Coal Oil Point alone is equal to about 55,000 barrels of oil a year. About 1.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas is seeping annually into the atmosphere.

Seeps produce 122% more air pollution daily than all the motor vehicle trips in Santa Barbara County each day.

- SOURCE: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S. Minerals Management Service, Western States Petroleum Association

Chuck Schultz can be reached at 925-2691, Ext. 2241, or cschultz@santamariatimes.com.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26588789/
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G M
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« Reply #112 on: October 05, 2008, 08:10:35 PM »

Just pointing out that Mother Nature was making oil slicks long before humans ever figured out how to use oil for anything.
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Jonobos
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« Reply #113 on: October 05, 2008, 08:18:35 PM »

Interesting article GM.

It would benefit everyone if we had stronger rigs that didn't get blown apart everytime a  major storm came through though!
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G M
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« Reply #114 on: October 05, 2008, 08:24:37 PM »

Not my area of expertise,but they are about as sturdy as modern tech allows for, as I understand. Each rig is a huge investment for the company that owns it and they want them protected and producing oil whenever possible.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #115 on: October 05, 2008, 10:52:44 PM »

"Natural oil seeps put more oil into water sources than anything humans do."

I was going to post the same in the form of a question.  The context of these spills requires knowing about spills and seepage that occur in nature without the help of man.

I agree that no one has a stronger desire to avoid the spill more than the owner of the oil.  Like airlines and crashes, oil spills are bad for business.

You can punish an oil company for spilling and you can punish a toddler for putting his hand on a hot stove, but the direct consequence is probably more effective.
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G M
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« Reply #116 on: October 05, 2008, 11:07:01 PM »

If a natural oil seep, seeps into a body of water, does that count as pollution?
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Jonobos
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« Reply #117 on: October 06, 2008, 04:53:40 PM »

If a natural oil seep, seeps into a body of water, does that count as pollution?

hahahaha, thats a good question!   grin
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Freki
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« Reply #118 on: October 07, 2008, 07:50:10 AM »

This is just an observation.  As a kid I would go to the beach at Port Aranass Texas, this is the mid to late 70's, and there would be oil and tar on the beach.  You had to watch where you stepped.  Now when you walk on the beach you don't see any.  I know they are still drilling off the coast I have fished around the platforms.  If you dive around them you will see many of the same colorful species of fish on Carribean reefs.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #119 on: November 07, 2008, 10:57:51 PM »



http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Growing+at+Fastest+Pace+on+Record/article13385.htm

Sea Ice Growing at Fastest Pace on Record
Michael Asher ) - November 7, 2008 6:32 PM

30 years of sea ice data. The red line indicates deviation from the seasonally-adjusted mean. (Source: Arctic Research Center, University of Illinois)
Rapid Rebound Brings Ice Back to Levels from the 1980s.

An abnormally cool Arctic is seeing dramatic changes to ice levels. In sharp contrast to the rapid melting seen last year, the amount of global sea ice has rebounded sharply and is now growing rapidly. The total amount of ice, which set a record low value last year, grew in October at the fastest pace since record-keeping began in 1979.

The actual amount of ice area varies seasonally from about 16 to 23 million square kilometers. However, the mean anomaly-- defined as the difference between the current area and the seasonally-adjusted average-- changes much slower, and generally varies by only 2-3 million square kilometers.

That anomaly had been negative, indicating ice loss, for most of the current decade and reached a historic low in 2007. The current value is again zero, indicating an amount of ice exactly equal to the global average from 1979-2000.

Dr. Patrick Michaels, Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, says he sees some "very odd" things occurring in recent years. Michaels, who is also a Senior Fellow with the Cato Institute, tells DailyTech that, while the behavior of the Arctic seems to agree with climate models predictions, the Southern Hemisphere can't be explained by current theory. "The models predict a warming ocean around Antarctica, so why would we see more sea ice?" Michaels adds that large areas of the Southern Pacific are showing cooling trends, an occurrence not anticipated by any current climate model.

On average, ice covers roughly 7% of the ocean surface of the planet. Sea ice is floating and therefore doesn't affect sea level like the ice anchored on bedrock in Antarctica or Greenland. However, research has indicated that the Antarctic continent -- which is on a long-term cooling trend -- has also been gaining ice in recent years.

The primary instrument for measuring sea ice today is the AMSR-E microwave radiometer, an instrument package aboard NASA's AQUA satellite. AQUA was launched in 2002, as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS).
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« Reply #120 on: November 08, 2008, 08:36:49 AM »

I'm shocked, absolutely schocked, to discover that this wonderful news is not being reported in the MSM!  rolleyes cheesy
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« Reply #121 on: November 08, 2008, 11:59:19 AM »

Careful, if you suggest Obama is wrong, JDN will lable you a racist.
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« Reply #122 on: November 08, 2008, 02:36:26 PM »

Careful, if you suggest Obama is wrong, JDN will lable you a racist.

 huh  huh  huh

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« Reply #123 on: November 08, 2008, 06:30:16 PM »

Just because he thinks Michele Malkin is?  cheesy  Anyway, I don't think he would do that with me smiley  I think he's a very nice person.  A bit confused on some of the issues perhaps, thinks with his heart perhaps, finds it hard to back down when overextended perhaps  but it is not as if he is the only one here with that quirk  wink  A bit more seriously, I'd like to give a gentle tug on the leash in request of moving on from further reference to JDN's failure to back up his accusations of MM.
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« Reply #124 on: November 10, 2008, 11:42:37 AM »

Editorial
The Protein Pyramid


 
Published: November 10, 2008
Per capita meat consumption more than doubled over the past half-century as the global economy expanded. It is expected to double again by 2050. Which raises the question, what does all that meat eat before it becomes meat?

 Increasingly the answer is very small fish harvested from the ocean and ground into meal and pressed into oil. According to a new report by scientists from the University of British Columbia and financed by the Pew Institute for Ocean Science, 37 percent by weight of all the fish taken from the ocean is forage fish: small fish like sardines and menhaden. Nearly half of that is fed to farmed fish; most of the rest is fed to pigs and poultry.

The problem is that forage fish are the feedstock of marine mammals and birds and larger species of fish. In other words, farmed fish, pigs and poultry — and the humans who eat them — are competing for food directly with aquatic species that depend on those forage fish for their existence. It’s as if humans were swimming in schools in the ocean out-eating every other species.

The case is worse than that. When it comes to farmed fish, there is a net protein loss: it takes three pounds of fish feed to produce one pound of farmed salmon. This protein pyramid — small fish fed to farmed fish, pigs and poultry that are then fed to humans — is unsustainable. It threatens the foundation of oceanic life.

The report’s authors suggest that it would be better if humans ate these small fish, as many cultures once did, instead of using them as feed. That is one way of addressing the problem of net protein loss. The real answers are support for sustainable agriculture in the developing world and encouraging healthy, less meat-based eating habits as a true sign of affluence everywhere.
NYT editorial
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« Reply #125 on: November 14, 2008, 06:50:52 PM »

I've seen the abstract of the article published in Nature, but have yet to read the full piece, summarized below.

Global warning: We are actually heading towards a new Ice Age, claim scientists
By CHER THORNHILL
Last updated at 5:06 PM on 13th November 2008

It has plagued scientists and politicians for decades, but scientists now say global warming is not the problem.

We are actually heading for the next Ice Age, they claim.

British and Canadian experts warned the big freeze could bury the east of Britain in 6,000ft of ice.

Most of Scotland, Northern Ireland and England could be covered in 3,000ft-thick ice fields.

The expanses could reach 6,000ft from Aberdeen to Kent – towering above Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain.

And what's more, the experts blame the global change on falling - rather than climbing - levels of greenhouse gases.

Lead author Thomas Crowley from the University of Edinburgh and Canadian colleague William Hyde say that currently vilified greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide – could actually be the key to averting the chill.

The warning, published in the authoritative journal Nature, is based on records of tiny marine fossils and the earth’s shifting orbit.

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« Reply #126 on: November 16, 2008, 08:28:21 AM »

Using September's data for October made the world seem pretty darn warm indeed. After his "hockey stick" and algorithm (AlGoreIthm?) debacles, you'd think Hansen would check his figures. No doubt it's a vast conspiracy launched by big oil.

The world has never seen such freezing heat
By Christopher Booker
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 16/11/2008


A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.

So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs - run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious "hockey stick" graph - GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic - in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.

A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen's institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.

If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change. (He was recently in the news here for supporting the Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminally damaging a coal-fired power station in Kent, on the grounds that the harm done to the planet by a new power station would far outweigh any damage they had done themselves.)

Yet last week's latest episode is far from the first time Dr Hansen's methodology has been called in question. In 2007 he was forced by Mr Watts and Mr McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as he had claimed, but the 1930s.

Another of his close allies is Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, who recently startled a university audience in Australia by claiming that global temperatures have recently been rising "very much faster" than ever, in front of a graph showing them rising sharply in the past decade. In fact, as many of his audience were aware, they have not been rising in recent years and since 2007 have dropped.

Dr Pachauri, a former railway engineer with no qualifications in climate science, may believe what Dr Hansen tells him. But whether, on the basis of such evidence, it is wise for the world's governments to embark on some of the most costly economic measures ever proposed, to remedy a problem which may actually not exist, is a question which should give us all pause for thought.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/16/do1610.xml
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« Reply #127 on: November 18, 2008, 10:40:55 AM »

BBG, I saw that report also of the false temp data, thanks for posting here.  All these scientific posts could just as well go into media issues for the lack of coverage elsewhere.  Here's another one: The manufacture of solar panels releases a deadly greenhouse gas and causes global warming!

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=electronics-industry-contributes-new-greenhouse-gas

Electronics Industry Changes the Climate with New Greenhouse Gas
An effort to be more environmentally friendly when making semiconductors may have real climate-changing consequences

By Prachi Patel-Predd

MISSING GREENHOUSE GAS: The manufacture of LCD panels like those pictured here is contributing an unknown amount of a greenhouse gas 17,000 times better than carbon dioxide at trapping heat.

Emissions of a greenhouse gas that has 17,000 times the planet-warming capacity of carbon dioxide are at least four times higher than had been previously estimated. Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is used mainly by the semiconductor industry to clean the chambers in which silicon chips are made. The industry had in the past estimated that most of the gas was expended during the cleaning process and only about 2 percent escaped into the air. But the first-ever measurements of nitrogen trifluoride levels in the atmosphere, published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters show that emissions could be as high as 16 percent.

The results might not have immediate repercussions—nitrogen trifluoride currently adds 0.04 percent of the global warming effect created by carbon dioxide emitted from sources such as coal-burning power plants and cars. More and more gas will be needed, however, as flat-panel LCD televisions become standard in American living rooms and the fledgling thin-film solar cell industry takes off; nitrogen trifluoride is used as a cleaning agent in the manufacture of both.

The production of the gas is nearly doubling every year, says Michael Prather, atmospheric chemist at University of California, Irvine, who had predicted earlier this year that emissions would likely exceed the industry's claim that only 2 percent of the gas is released into the atmosphere.

Despite its potential consequences, the gas is not regulated and electronics companies are not required to keep a record of how much they use or emit. "Nobody really knows how much [nitrogen trifluoride] is used…we don't know how much is being produced and also don't [know if the emissions rate] is correct," says Ray Weiss, a geochemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, who led the new work.

Emissions numbers conflict depending on whom you ask. The semiconductor industry started to use nitrogen trifluoride as a greener alternative for cleaning chipmaking equipment in the late 1980s. Making integrated circuits involves depositing layers of materials such as semiconductors and metals on a silicon wafer. These materials also stick to chamber walls. So after each layer is deposited, nitrogen fluoride is pumped into the chamber and is split to release highly reactive fluorine atoms that clean the walls. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., based in Allentown, Pa., which manufactures a third of the world's nitrogen trifluoride, claims that most of the gas is utilized during the process and what is leftover is trapped and destroyed in a special waste system.

But conditions in a silicon chip–fabrication facility are anyone's guess due to the lack of regulation or regulatory oversight, Prather says. The waste systems might be designed to destroy 97 percent of the gas, but that is under perfect conditions. "Most [semiconductor manufacturers] don't achieve that because they're hurrying in production," he says. The gas tanks themselves might leak or be mishandled during transport and disposal. Besides, manufacturers might not even be using control measures. "There is a whole chain of events, so I don’t think two to three percent [emission] is real."

Weiss's study lends proof to Prather's worries. The concentration of nitrogen trifluoride in the atmosphere is about 0.5 part per trillion, making it very hard to measure. Weiss had to distill, heat and pass the air samples over adsorbents to remove gases such as carbon dioxide and krypton that could foul the extremely sensitive detector. He found that about 563 metric tons of nitrogen trifluoride was emitted in 2006. From his measurements, he calculates that the emissions have already increased to 620 metric tons in 2008, which is about 16 percent of the 4,000 metric tons that Prather estimates will be produced and used this year.

The emissions will escalate as nitrogen trifluoride's use increases. Although a chipmaking chamber is about the size of a refrigerator, those used to make LCD panels are the size of a van, says Steve Pilgrim, global marketing manager at Munich, Germany–based The Linde Group, a nitrogen trifluoride producer. Meanwhile, thousands of megawatts worth of thin-film solar cells are in the manufacturing pipeline. "For every megawatt of solar panel capacity, you'll need a ton of NF3 for cleaning the equipment," Pilgrim says.

Air Products claims that worldwide production of nitrogen trifluoride has reached 7,300 metric tons. The company is now building a 500-metric ton plant that will take the company's capacity to about 2,400 tons next year.

Some companies are solving the problem by adopting alternatives to nitrogen trifluoride. Toshiba Matsushita Display, Samsung and LG have installed systems that generate fluorine on-site at some of their LCD and semiconductor facilities. The system, made by Linde, splits hydrogen fluoride into fluorine. That takes less energy than splitting nitrogen fluoride and there is no global warming risk, Pilgrim says. However, the system does need upfront costs that smaller LCD manufacturers might not want to bear. Any accidental release of fluorine could also be an issue: Fluorine is a toxic and corrosive gas and, at high concentrations, can retard plant growth and damage teeth and bones.

Prather says we should now be following nitrogen trifluoride concentrations in the atmosphere closely. There needs to be pressure on the electronics industry to report emissions, he says. A good start would be including nitrogen trifluoride in the list of greenhouse gases being regulated by the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to reduce discharges of carbon dioxide and six other greenhouse gases by assigning emission limits to countries that have ratified it. "The real issue is we're missing international reporting," he says. "We should start reporting it immediately and measuring it, and then we'll find out how important it is."


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« Reply #128 on: December 03, 2008, 05:39:08 PM »

Sun's Magnetic Field May Impact Weather And Climate: Sun Cycle Can Predict Rainfall Fluctuations


The sun's magnetic field may have a significant impact on weather and climatic parameters in Australia and other countries in the northern and southern hemispheres. (Credit: iStockphoto)
ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2008) — The sun’s magnetic field may have a significant impact on weather and climatic parameters in Australia and other countries in the northern and southern hemispheres. According to a study in Geographical Research, the droughts are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect.

The study uses data from 1876 to the present to examine the correlation between solar cycles and the extreme rainfall in Australia.

It finds that the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) – the basic tool for forecasting variations in global and oceanic patterns – and rainfall fluctuations recorded over the last decade are similar to those in 1914 -1924.

Author Professor Robert G. V. Baker from the School of Environmental Studies, University of New England, Australia, says, “The interaction between the directionality in the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields, the incidence of ultraviolet radiation over the tropical Pacific, and changes in sea surface temperatures with cloud cover – could all contribute to an explanation of substantial changes in the SOI from solar cycle fluctuations. If solar cycles continue to show relational values to climate patterns, there is the potential for more accurate forecasting through to 2010 and possibly beyond.”

The SOI-solar association has been investigated recently due to increasing interest in the relationship between the sun’s cycles and the climate. The solar application offers the potential for the long-range prediction of SOI behavior and associated rainfall variations, since quasi-periodicity in solar activity results in an expected cycle of situations and phases that are not random events.

Professor Baker adds, “This discovery could substantially advance forecasting from months to decades. It should result in much better long-term management of agricultural production and water resources, in areas where rainfall is correlated to SOI and El Niño (ENSO) events.”

Journal reference:

Baker et al. Exploratory Analysis of Similarities in Solar Cycle Magnetic Phases with Southern Oscillation Index Fluctuations in Eastern Australia. Geographical Research, 2008; 46 (4): 380 DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-5871.2008.00537.x
Adapted from materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202081449.htm
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« Reply #129 on: December 12, 2008, 07:20:59 AM »

Interesting fact within regarding production per ton of greenhouse gas.

Getting Warmer
By the Editors

There’s an international conference on global warming — the 14th Convention of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol — under way in frozen Poznan, Poland. You’ll be excused for not having heard about it, because not much is happening, despite Al Gore’s triumphal entrance into the city, which may as well have occurred in a chariot. (“Many see him as a saviour,” reports Der Spiegel.) In Poznan, what is not happening is more significant than what is.

The Poznan meeting was supposed to prepare the way for a “Son of Kyoto” pact to be signed, sealed, and delivered at Copenhagen in December next year. Now even the chief of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, has admitted that “under the circumstances, nobody expects a fully elaborated long-term response” in Copenhagen. The circumstances he refers to are the economic crises at present worrying the world.

In Europe, the financial turmoil has broken the stride of the EU’s lockstep approach to climate issues. Those with greater economic vulnerability — Italy, Poland, and much of Eastern Europe — refuse to accept a new climate deal, crafted by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, on the grounds that it will further damage their already fragile economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel seeks exemptions for her country’s heavy industries. Italian environment minister Stefania Presciagiacomo pooh-poohs the idea that “green jobs” will transform advanced economies, scoffing, “Some people claim environmental measures are a way to re-launch industry. But let’s be realistic: Resources are limited, and they will be even more so because of the economic crisis.”

Meanwhile, developing countries remain adamant that they will not accept any new limits on their emissions in Kyoto II. This is fact of no little salience, given that China is today the world’s No. 1 emitter of greenhouse gases, followed by the United States, Indonesia, and India. (It’s worth keeping in mind what the U.S. gives the world along with those emissions: In the more relevant comparison, the ratio of economic production to greenhouse emissions, the United States is the best performer among this group by a very wide margin, producing $2,000 in economic value per ton of greenhouse emissions to China’s $450, India’s $497, and Indonesia’s $679. A ton of emissions from the United States brings the world 4.5 times as much economic good as a ton of emissions from China.) The developing nations are right to resist new limits because the affordable energy that fossil fuels supply is an important engine for lifting their people out of poverty. But without meaningful limits on developing-world emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise. That makes things awkward for Obama.

For eight years, the United States has been the object of criticism, much of it harsh and unfair, for its unwillingness to be afflicted with sweeping emissions limits and the punitive economic consequences that will go along with them. And now, the very same international parties that censured the United States for looking to its own interests have themselves become the agents of delay. This presents a quandary for the president-elect, who sat next to Gore and declared that “the time for delay is over,” and who famously declared that his ascension would constitute “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Obama promised to submit to the global consensus on climate change, but that consensus no longer exists as an operational political fact.

This may yet work out well for Obama and his new environment team. One of the lessons of Kyoto was that imposing an international global-warming agreement upon independence-minded America was bound to fail. Obama now has opportunity to devise a domestic policy — likely some variant of a “cap and trade” regime — that he can take to the meeting after Copenhagen, in 2010, in hopes of inducing the other parties to follow his lead.

But if he is unable to secure the passage of new climate legislation — or if he is foolish enough to let the EPA proceed with its quixotic dream of circumventing Congress to regulate emissions itself by reinterpreting the Clean Air Act — Obama may find that even a 2010 deadline will come too quickly. The one thing we can be sure of is that the Poznan meeting will result in plans to meet again and talk some more, and that Al Gore and his acolytes will hail this as a historic achievement.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzNjY2VmMzAyN2ZkNmNhZGRkYmIxOWI5ZTZmZDg2Y2E=
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« Reply #130 on: December 14, 2008, 07:54:56 PM »

Global Warming Is Caused by Computers

In particular, a few computers at NASA's Goddard Institute seem to be having a disproportionate effect on global warming.  Anthony Watt takes a cut at an analysis I have tried myself several times, comparing raw USHCN temperature data to the final adjusted values delivered from that data by the NASA computers.  My attempt at this compared the USHCN adjusted to raw for the entire US:


Anthony Watt does this analysis from USHCN raw all the way through to the GISS adjusted number  (the USHCN adjusts the number, and then the GISS adds their own adjustments on top of these adjustments).  The result:  100%+ of the 20th century global warming signal comes from the adjustments.  There is actually a cooling signal in the raw data:



Now, I really, really don't want to be misinterpreted on this, so a few notes are necessary:

Many of the adjustments are quite necessary, such as time of observation adjustments, adjustments for changing equipment, and adjustments for changing site locations and/or urbanization.  However, all of these adjustments are educated guesses.  Some, like the time of observation adjustment, probably are decent guesses.  Some, like site location adjustments, are terrible (as demonstrated at surfacestations.org).

The point is that finding a temperature change signal over time with current technologies is a measurement subject to a lot of noise.  We are looking for a signal on the order of magnitude of 0.5C where adjustments to individual raw instrument values might be 2-3C.  It is a very low signal-noise environment, and one that is inherently subject to biases  (researches who expect to find a lot of warming will, not surprisingly, adjust a lot of measurements higher).
Warming has occurred in the 20th century.  The exact number is unclear, but we have much better data via satellites now that have shown a warming trend since 1979, though that trend is lower than the one that results from surface temperature measurements with all these discretionary adjustments.

Posted on December 12, 2008 at 08:13 AM in Temperature Measurement | Permalink

http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2008/12/global-warming-is-caused-by-computers.html

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« Reply #131 on: December 15, 2008, 02:37:48 AM »

Let not the facts get in the way of a convenient theory tongue
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« Reply #132 on: December 15, 2008, 08:29:58 AM »

Let not the facts get in the way of a convenient theory tongue

Shouldn't that be an inconvenient falsehood?
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« Reply #133 on: December 15, 2008, 10:36:12 AM »

Ummm, , , , I think I have it right.  Gore's theory is convenient to liberal fascism's designs for increased state power.   The facts are in its way.  Yes?
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« Reply #134 on: December 15, 2008, 11:50:33 AM »

Oh heck yeah, just riffing on the Gorical's book title.

At work today they sent out the weekly electronic newsletter complete with an admonition that domestic herd animals produce 18 percent of global warming gas (methane) so we should all try to eat more veggies. Think I'll be having a doublewhopper w/ cheese today, hold the freaking lettuce. . . .
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« Reply #135 on: December 15, 2008, 12:32:52 PM »

Does that mean the white man was right to kill the buffalo that blanketed the prairies when we arrived? rolleyes cheesy
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« Reply #136 on: December 15, 2008, 02:56:25 PM »

It annoys me to no end that sundry federal factotums have regulated away our ability to decide what size toilet tank we buy, or how much water our showers can push, as they work on how large and safe our cars can be, and so on. Now we are about to have standard light bulbs regulated out of existence, while their more expensive replacements don't live up to the hype, as this report makes clear.

Lights Out for Thomas Edison

Brief Analysis

No. 637

December 10, 2008

Read Article as PDF | Get Adobe Reader

by H. Sterling Burnett and Amanda Berg

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will soon ban the most common light bulbs in the United States.  New efficiency standards will require manufacturers to produce incandescent bulbs that use less energy per unit of light produced, starting with 100-watt incandescent bulbs in 2012, down to 40-watt bulbs in 2014.

Under the new standards:

100-watt light bulbs are banned entirely.
70-watt light bulbs will have to be 36 percent to 136 percent more efficient.
50-watt bulbs must be 50 percent to 112 percent more efficient.
40-watt bulbs will have to improve 50 percent to 110 percent.

Incandescent bulbs cannot meet these new standards absent a significant technological breakthrough.  Thus, the common light bulb will soon be extinct.

Illuminating Efficiency.  The alternative for most household uses will be compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) designed to fit standard incandescent bulb bases.  CFLs currently make up only 5 percent of the light bulb market.  They have been touted for years as the smart choice for consumers interested in reducing their energy bills, due to their extended lifespan and low energy use vis-à-vis the equivalent light output from an incandescent.  For example, a 60-watt incandescent bulb produces 850 lumens — the same light output as a 13-watt to 18-watt CFL.   Unfortunately, except under a fairly narrow range of circumstances, CFLs are less efficient than advertised.  Manufacturers claim the average life span of a CFL bulb is 10,000 hours.  However, in many applications the life and energy savings of a CFL are significantly lower:

CFLs must be left on for at least 15 minutes or used for several hours per day to achieve their full energy saving benefits, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Applications in which lighting is used only briefly (such as closets, bathrooms, motion detectors and so forth) will cause CFL bulbs to burn out as quickly as regular incandescent bulbs.

CFLs often become dimmer over time — a study of U.S. Department of Energy “Energy Star” products found that after 40 percent of their rated service life, one-fourth of tested CFLs no longer produced the full amount of light.

At about $3 per bulb, CFLs are expensive, whereas incandescent bulbs cost only 20 cents per bulb, on average.  And there are other drawbacks.  For instance:

When initially switched on, CFLs may provide as little as 50 percent to 80 percent of their rated light output and can take up to three minutes to reach full brightness.
CFLs often don’t fit existing light fixtures, such as small-base lamps and candlelabras, so these will have to be replaced.
Standard CFLs will not operate at low temperatures, making them unsuitable for outdoor lighting.
CFLs can emit an annoying buzz.

CFLs emit infrared light that can interfere with remote-controlled devices, such as televisions, video games and stereo equipment.
CFLs are simply unsuited for many common uses. The new law therefore excludes whole classes of light bulbs from the standards, including appliance light bulbs (ovens and refrigerators), flashing and colored lights, traffic signals, shatter-resistant bulbs, three-way adjustable bulbs and so forth.

Hidden Dangers of CFLs.  CFLs contain potentially toxic mercury.  Thus, there are health and environmental concerns regarding their proper disposal.  Shattered CFLs in municipal landfills have the potential to leach mercury into the soil.  Over time this mercury could seep into the groundwater or nearby streams.  For this reason, a number of states and localities have outlawed disposing CFLs with normal trash — instead, consumers must take their used CFLs to authorized hazardous waste disposal sites.

The EPA recommends recycling CFLs.  However, curbside recycling is not available everywhere and often doesn’t include CFLs.  Recycling facilities that accept CFLs are not common within major metropolitan areas, much less in rural areas where on-site incineration or trenches are often used — both of which release mercury into the atmosphere.
Perhaps even more important is the danger of broken CFLs in the home. The EPA has provided detailed guidelines to avoid unsafe indoor mercury levels [see the sidebar].

Cleaning up mercury from a shattered CFL can be costly.  For example, when a CFL broke in her daughter’s bedroom, Brandy Bridges of Prospect, Maine, called on the state’s  Department of Environmental Protection to make sure she cleaned up the broken glass and mercury powder safely.  A specialist found unsafe levels of mercury in the air and recommended an environmental cleanup firm, who estimated the clean up cost of at $2,000.  Beause her mother was unable to pay the exorbitant cleaning bill, the girl’s room remained sealed off in plastic for more than a month.

Conclusion.  Consumers consider many factors in addition to energy efficiency when they purchase light bulbs.  The ban on incandescent bulbs will be costly and potentially dangerous.  The public has not yet embraced CFLs, and the government should not impose on consumers its preferences regarding the types of lights used in the home.  As the deficiencies of CFLs become more apparent with widespread use, perhaps Congress will let consumers decide.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba637/
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« Reply #137 on: December 15, 2008, 03:20:19 PM »

Just spent this past Saturday with CFL bulbs -- my mom's husband put two in some outdoor outlets that were turned on via a dimmer switch. He wasn't aware that CFLs won't work with dimmers and had spent some hours trying to figure out the problem. And when used with a dusk to dawn switch, my experience is that service life is awful. May be the low voltage at startup? Just not sure. CFLs are definitely not what I was led to believe (a vast improvement over incandescent). Off to LEDs, I guess??

Regarding global warming on the smallest scale (my back yard) - 60 degrees yesterday afternoon, six degrees this morning. I want this warming stuff back!!!
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« Reply #138 on: December 15, 2008, 06:11:26 PM »

I am a big fan of the CFL's but NOT of the coercive legislation.  The drawbacks mentioned are at least partly true - they don't fit in specialty sockets, they don't work with dimmers, start very dim in the cold, contain toxic waste, etc., but still... lower energy usage is generally a good thing. 

For one thing, I am proud to have lower energy usage than my any of my liberal friends who tell me I am killing the planet.  A 40 mpg older car (without hybrid), an 80 mpg motorcycle, a $23 summer electric bill and a zero emission catamaran harnessing the wind at exhilarating speeds all give me a little pride.

People should at least put a CFL in the lights they leave on just to make the home look lived in.  As a landlord of older houses, I strongly believe that running less current through old wires, fixtures, circuits and switches is an important step for safety.   A large percentage of house fires come from heating up the old, deteriorated wires especially in the old light fixtures.  Get those removed and rewired if and when you can, but running 1/4th the current is also helpful. 

I put CFLs in my rental units as much as I can.  When I talk to new tenants about using less energy they think I am a good Democrat like them, lol.  Fact is that I need them to be aware of other utility issues such as excess water usage and overworking the furnace, things that mean more wear and tear on the equipment or lead to charges that can come back to me even if they are the primary utility bill payer.

I got tired of my daughter leaving her bathroom light on.  Now I have her down to a 9 watt CFL.  It lights the small room fine with a cost down to about that of a nightlight.  I also use a 9 watt in our outside entryway.  At 5-below this morning, it lit up v e r y  s l o w l y... but it gives plenty of illumination to walk through safely, not for reading fine print.  Motion detectors and timers also add a great deal to getting things on and well lit but just when needed.

My worst CFL problems have been with breakage.  I had one that was defective out of the package and at least 3 that I've broken either from moving things around or tipping things over.  In order to save the planet, we have 3 huge diesel trucks come down our tiny, one house dead end every week taking a trash bag, 3 aluminum cans and no yard waste.  I can't opt out of these services, nor can I get them to take the things I need recycled most, those containing trace levels of toxic elements like a cfl.  I have no public comment on what might or might not have happened to these broken bulbs, but I no longer own them...

Back to opposing coercion, people should have the right to put a spot light with any type bulb they want on the Rembrandt in their living room when they want a higher quality of illumination -  if this is going to continue to be America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Opposing government or federal mandates has nothing to do with preferences for light bulbs.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 06:17:32 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #139 on: December 16, 2008, 07:53:09 AM »

Lights Out for Thomas Edison

Brief Analysis

No. 637

December 10, 2008

Read Article as PDF | Get Adobe Reader

by H. Sterling Burnett and Amanda Berg

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will soon ban the most
common light bulbs in the United States.  New efficiency standards will
require manufacturers to produce incandescent bulbs that use less energy per
unit of light produced, starting with 100-watt incandescent bulbs in 2012,
down to 40-watt bulbs in 2014.

Under the new standards:

100-watt light bulbs are banned entirely.
70-watt light bulbs will have to be 36 percent to 136 percent more
efficient.
50-watt bulbs must be 50 percent to 112 percent more efficient.
40-watt bulbs will have to improve 50 percent to 110 percent.

Incandescent bulbs cannot meet these new standards absent a significant
technological breakthrough.  Thus, the common light bulb will soon be
extinct.

Illuminating Efficiency.  The alternative for most household uses will be
compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) designed to fit standard incandescent bulb
bases.  CFLs currently make up only 5 percent of the light bulb market.
They have been touted for years as the smart choice for consumers interested
in reducing their energy bills, due to their extended lifespan and low
energy use vis-à-vis the equivalent light output from an incandescent.  For
example, a 60-watt incandescent bulb produces 850 lumens - the same light
output as a 13-watt to 18-watt CFL.   Unfortunately, except under a fairly
narrow range of circumstances, CFLs are less efficient than advertised.
Manufacturers claim the average life span of a CFL bulb is 10,000 hours.
However, in many applications the life and energy savings of a CFL are
significantly lower:

CFLs must be left on for at least 15 minutes or used for several hours per
day to achieve their full energy saving benefits, according to the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Applications in which lighting is used only briefly (such as closets,
bathrooms, motion detectors and so forth) will cause CFL bulbs to burn out
as quickly as regular incandescent bulbs.

CFLs often become dimmer over time - a study of U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Star" products found that after 40 percent of their rated service
life, one-fourth of tested CFLs no longer produced the full amount of light.

At about $3 per bulb, CFLs are expensive, whereas incandescent bulbs cost
only 20 cents per bulb, on average.  And there are other drawbacks.  For
instance:

When initially switched on, CFLs may provide as little as 50 percent to 80
percent of their rated light output and can take up to three minutes to
reach full brightness.
CFLs often don't fit existing light fixtures, such as small-base lamps and
candlelabras, so these will have to be replaced.
Standard CFLs will not operate at low temperatures, making them unsuitable
for outdoor lighting.
CFLs can emit an annoying buzz.

CFLs emit infrared light that can interfere with remote-controlled devices,
such as televisions, video games and stereo equipment.
CFLs are simply unsuited for many common uses. The new law therefore
excludes whole classes of light bulbs from the standards, including
appliance light bulbs (ovens and refrigerators), flashing and colored
lights, traffic signals, shatter-resistant bulbs, three-way adjustable bulbs
and so forth.

Hidden Dangers of CFLs.  CFLs contain potentially toxic mercury.  Thus,
there are health and environmental concerns regarding their proper disposal.
Shattered CFLs in municipal landfills have the potential to leach mercury
into the soil.  Over time this mercury could seep into the groundwater or
nearby streams.  For this reason, a number of states and localities have
outlawed disposing CFLs with normal trash - instead, consumers must take
their used CFLs to authorized hazardous waste disposal sites.

The EPA recommends recycling CFLs.  However, curbside recycling is not
available everywhere and often doesn't include CFLs.  Recycling facilities
that accept CFLs are not common within major metropolitan areas, much less
in rural areas where on-site incineration or trenches are often used - both
of which release mercury into the atmosphere.
Perhaps even more important is the danger of broken CFLs in the home. The
EPA has provided detailed guidelines to avoid unsafe indoor mercury levels
[see the sidebar].

Cleaning up mercury from a shattered CFL can be costly.  For example, when a
CFL broke in her daughter's bedroom, Brandy Bridges of Prospect, Maine,
called on the state's  Department of Environmental Protection to make sure
she cleaned up the broken glass and mercury powder safely.  A specialist
found unsafe levels of mercury in the air and recommended an environmental
cleanup firm, who estimated the clean up cost of at $2,000.  Beause her
mother was unable to pay the exorbitant cleaning bill, the girl's room
remained sealed off in plastic for more than a month.

Conclusion.  Consumers consider many factors in addition to energy
efficiency when they purchase light bulbs.  The ban on incandescent bulbs
will be costly and potentially dangerous.  The public has not yet embraced
CFLs, and the government should not impose on consumers its preferences
regarding the types of lights used in the home.  As the deficiencies of CFLs
become more apparent with widespread use, perhaps Congress will let
consumers decide.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba637/
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« Reply #140 on: December 17, 2008, 04:57:53 PM »

I recommend the 50 page pdf at the link for a fact-filled rebuttal to the latest IPCC over-hype of man's role in climate change.  http://www.heartland.org/custom/semod_policybot/pdf/22835.pdf
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« Reply #141 on: December 17, 2008, 07:54:32 PM »

I had an interesting conversation with a couple trying to sign me up for Greenpeace yesterday in front of the Whole Foods store. cheesy  The male half of the couple apparently was some sort of grad science student.   Armed as I was with the contents of this thread and the Pathological Science thread, he had a very hard time with me.  His frustration as I popped the various bubbles of  specious reasoning and misleading misrepresentations with which he was used to having his way (its not like the folks going into Whole Foods represent a reluctant to belief group on the whole  wink ) was quite enjoyable.  His girlfriend had a harder time of it  cheesy 

Good fun!  Thanks to BBG, GM, Doug et al for al the ammo!
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #142 on: December 17, 2008, 08:24:08 PM »

Heh heh. Back in the late 80's I was living in Madison, Wisco, where I'd deal with all sorts of sweetness and light types seeking my signature on petitions to make Madison a nuclear free zone. Little did these yo-yos know that I had studied a lot of Soviet military and gulag history; they didn't like it very much as I laid out in graphic detail just how inane their petition was.
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« Reply #143 on: December 18, 2008, 11:38:54 AM »

New World Post-Pandemic Reforestation Helped Start Little Ice Age, Say Stanford Scientists
December 18th, 2008 in Space & Earth science / Earth Sciences

The power of viruses is well documented in human history. Swarms of little viral Davids have repeatedly laid low the great Goliaths of human civilization, most famously in the devastating pandemics that swept the New World during European conquest and settlement.

In recent years, there has been growing evidence for the hypothesis that the effect of the pandemics in the Americas wasn't confined to killing indigenous peoples. Global climate appears to have been altered as well.

Stanford University researchers have conducted a comprehensive analysis of data detailing the amount of charcoal contained in soils and lake sediments at the sites of both pre-Columbian population centers in the Americas and in sparsely populated surrounding regions. They concluded that reforestation of agricultural lands-abandoned as the population collapsed-pulled so much carbon out of the atmosphere that it helped trigger a period of global cooling, at its most intense from approximately 1500 to 1750, known as the Little Ice Age.

"We estimate that the amount of carbon sequestered in the growing forests was about 10 to 50 percent of the total carbon that would have needed to come out of the atmosphere and oceans at that time to account for the observed changes in carbon dioxide concentrations," said Richard Nevle, visiting scholar in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford. Nevle and Dennis Bird, professor in geological and environmental sciences, presented their study at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Dec. 17, 2008.

Nevle and Bird synthesized published data from charcoal records from 15 sediment cores extracted from lakes, soil samples from 17 population centers and 18 sites from the surrounding areas in Central and South America. They examined samples dating back 5,000 years.
What they found was a record of slowly increasing charcoal deposits, indicating increasing burning of forestland to convert it to cropland, as agricultural practices spread among the human population-until around 500 years ago: At that point, there was a precipitous drop in the amount of charcoal in the samples, coinciding with the precipitous drop in the human population in the Americas.

To verify their results, they checked their fire histories based on the charcoal data against records of carbon dioxide concentrations and carbon isotope ratios that were available.
"We looked at ice cores and tropical sponge records, which give us reliable proxies for the carbon isotope composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide. And it jumped out at us right away," Nevle said. "We saw a conspicuous increase in the isotope ratio of heavy carbon to light carbon. That gave us a sense that maybe we were looking at the right thing, because that is exactly what you would expect from reforestation."

During photosynthesis, plants prefer carbon dioxide containing the lighter isotope of carbon. Thus a massive reforestation event would not only decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but would also leave carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was enriched in the heavy carbon isotope.
Other theories have been proposed to account for the cooling at the time of the Little Ice Age, as well as the anomalies in the concentration and carbon isotope ratios of atmospheric carbon dioxide associated with that period.

Variations in the amount of sunlight striking the Earth, caused by a drop in sunspot activity, could also be a factor in cooling down the globe, as could a flurry of volcanic activity in the late 16th century.

But the timing of these events doesn't fit with the observed onset of the carbon dioxide drop. These events don't begin until at least a century after carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began to decline and the ratio of heavy to light carbon isotopes in atmospheric carbon dioxide begins to increase.

Nevle and Bird don't attribute all of the cooling during the Little Ice Age to reforestation in the Americas.

"There are other causes at play," Nevle said. "But reforestation is certainly a first-order contributor."

Source: Stanford University

http://www.physorg.com/news148817103.html
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« Reply #144 on: December 18, 2008, 02:48:08 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/18/global-warming-hits-las-vegas/

Viva Las Snow drifts!
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« Reply #145 on: December 23, 2008, 08:48:37 AM »

Seeing how many on the left have had a hard time finding a despot they didn't like, many of the bon mots in this piece inspire a shudder. Think the fact that many are already working on the legal justifications for eco-intrusions is particularly spooky.

Martial law of the jungle
When defending the environment means calling in the military

By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow  |  December 21, 2008

SCRATCH AN ENVIRONMENTALIST and you are likely to find a skeptic of military force. At protest marches and on car bumpers, slogans like "Good Planets Are Hard to Find" mingle with peace signs. This overlap makes sense: Both positions operate under a larger ethos of avoiding harm - and war, after all, often wreaks ecological devastation.

But some green thinkers are now coming to a surprising conclusion: In exceptional circumstances, they say, the only effective way to protect the environment may be at the barrel of a gun. In some cases, notably in Africa, biodiversity is threatened by military conflict, or by well-armed gangs of poachers. These situations, some say, call for a response in kind - deploying the military to guard natural reserves, or providing rangers with military-style arms and training.

A few analysts go further, arguing that in certain cases of severe ecological harm, the international community may be justified in mustering troops to intervene, with or without the permission of the host country. For example, a government might refuse to protect - or even willfully destroy - its own natural treasure, as when, in the 1990s, Saddam Hussein's regime drained the wetlands that were home to the persecuted Marsh Arabs. Or, as resources grow scarcer, one nation's overexploitation of a forest or river could lead to dire consequences for other countries. In response to both kinds of scenarios, some have begun to raise the possibility of an "eco-intervention," analogous to humanitarian interventions.

Already, some conservation campaigns have taken on martial aspects. Over the past couple of decades, at least two paramilitary groups in the Central African Republic have operated with government approval, as reported recently in an article on "armed environmentalism" in The Ecologist, a British magazine. In some parts of Africa, rangers receive military training and equipment to defend animals (and themselves) from poachers in pursuit of elephants, rhinos, gorillas, and other endangered species. In Nicaragua, the army patrols beaches to protect sea turtle eggs.

But now there is increasing talk of more far-reaching action. Last year, Australian professor Robyn Eckersley published a much-discussed article in the journal Ethics and International Affairs, offering a framework for staging eco-interventions. In May, Brazil's new environment minister proposed sending troops to guard the Amazon. And experts agree that climate change will prove a major security issue of this century.

"If you consider how people fight over oil and other resources, I don't see any more noble cause than to fight over the preservation of the planet," says Alex Cornelissen, director of Sea Shepherd's Operation Galapagos, which works with the Ecuadorian government to catch poachers.

Bringing in armed force would take the idea of environmental defense to a new level. But in the view of some analysts, the enterprise would be doomed by moral and practical problems. The notion of eco-intervention could provide an additional pretext for waging wars - did we really need another reason to invade Iraq? The idea also suffers from imperialist overtones, adding another layer to fraught questions of sovereignty. In the small-scale scenarios, more basic ethical dilemmas emerge. Some poachers are poverty-stricken locals, just trying to survive, and using force against them seems cruel. The effort and funding, some say, should go instead to giving these poachers economic alternatives.

"It's a very hot potato," says Karl Ammann, a wildlife photographer based in Kenya, who was named one of Time magazine's "heroes of the environment" in 2007. "The moment it involves arms, the accusation is that you're putting the animals ahead of people."

Endangered species in many parts of the world are under constant assault, whether from subsistence poachers, who hunt to meet basic needs, or their commercial counterparts, who take part in the multibillion dollar illegal trade in wildlife. In the last hundred years the number of tigers in the world has fallen by 95 percent; in China, tiger bone is used in traditional medicine, while tiger penises are considered an aphrodisiac. Every year, up to 12,000 African elephants are killed for ivory. For many species, poaching is one of the main threats to survival.

In Africa, staggering numbers of the continent's charismatic fauna - elephants, rhinos, gorillas, and others - have been slaughtered for horns, tusks, and bushmeat. In 1989, Richard Leakey, director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, armed park rangers and antipoaching units, which were given the authority to shoot poachers on sight. His campaign is credited with reviving the elephant population. In 2002, an American NGO called African Rainforest and Rivers Conservation supplied arms to a group of locals in the Central African Republic, with government permission.

In South Africa, a college for rangers, established about 20 years ago, offers military-style training to park rangers from around the continent. In recent years the urgency has grown. Many contemporary poachers form heavily armed, well-organized gangs, often from neighboring countries. "In Africa there's really a big need for those rangers to be able to defend themselves," says Deanne Adams, vice president of the International Ranger Federation, an organization with affiliates from ranger associations around the world.

According to estimates, about 1,000 rangers worldwide have been killed in the line of duty in the past 10 years, 130 of them in just one national park, Virunga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. About 700 mountain gorillas remain in the wild, 200 of which are believed to be in the Congo. As of June, the last four Northern white rhinos in the wild were feared dead at the hands of poachers. "There's not a lot of time left for some of these species," says Michael Zwirn, director of US operations for Wildlife Alliance.

Other natural resources benefit the world at large more directly. Major rain forests, such as the Congo Basin forest and the Amazon, often called the "lungs of the earth," absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, providing a crucial check on global warming. In Brazil, illegal ranching is one of the leading causes of deforestation. After taking office last May, Brazil's new environment minister, Carlos Minc, sent the military to seize cattle on illegally deforested land, and he has suggested that army regiments patrol the Amazon's nature reserves.

The role of national militaries in protecting the environment appears to be growing. A far more controversial proposal, though, is action by outside forces. The concept of a "green-helmet brigade" from the UN has floated around environmental policy circles for some years, inspiring a handful of academic papers.

Most recently, the idea surfaced in the article by Robyn Eckersley, a professor at the University of Melbourne and author of "The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty." In this paper, Eckersley explores possible scenarios in which armed intervention might be called for on ecological grounds. The first is an imminent environmental disaster, such as Chernobyl, in which spillover effects to neighboring countries were foreseen. This, Eckersley said, would be consistent with existing international law, because the goals would include protecting citizens from the repercussions.

The second possibility is what she dubs "eco-humanitarianism" - cases where gross human rights abuses accompany environmental crimes. For example, Saddam Hussein persecuted Iraq's Marsh Arabs in various ways, including the deliberate destruction of the wetlands that sustained their way of life. In similar situations, Eckersley argues, the human rights violations might justify intervention anyway, while the ecological component could bolster the case.

Lastly, and most provocatively, she suggests that environmental damage alone, even in the absence of transboundary spillover effects, could constitute grounds for intervention. For example, she says, if the government of Rwanda were unable or unwilling to protect the last remaining mountain gorillas, an international force might send troops to do so.

"I think it's a little far off," says Eckersley, but "there's good reason to have principled discussions about this now."

Linda Malone, a law professor at William and Mary, has also written about this idea. She frames it in terms of the "responsibility to protect," a nascent concept in international relations, first developed in 2001 by a Canadian governmental commission. The doctrine emphasizes not the rights of states - i.e. sovereignty - but the responsibilities of states to their populations. The corollary is that if a state fails to meet its obligations, the international community has both the right and the responsibility to intervene. As of now, the doctrine refers only to human rights, but eventually, Malone says, it could apply to the environment as well.

"The responsibility to protect at some point in the future has got to extend to species and biodiversity," Malone says. "It seems to me a natural progression, from protection of states to protection of human security to environmental security in a broader sense."

Eckersley and Malone stress that armed intervention must always be approached with extreme caution, as a last resort. Still, the possibility elicits skepticism from many of their colleagues. Followed to its logical conclusion, the critics say, the reasoning threatens to mire us in violent, confusing conflicts around the world.

"How many pretexts do you really want to offer a government for armed intervention?" asks Mathew Humphrey, a professor at the University of Nottingham who participated in an online symposium discussing Eckersley's paper. There is also the stark political problem: Given the public's intervention fatigue, sending in the troops to save the gorillas seems more than a little far-fetched. "Are they really going to think they can sell that to the people back home?" Humphrey asks.

At its heart, eco-intervention poses an even more radical question: What is the relative value of human and nonhuman life? Eckersley explicitly challenges "human chauvinism," as many environmentalists embrace "biocentrism" and shun anthropocentrism. But who is prepared to tell a family that their son or daughter died to save a mountain gorilla, or a stand of old-growth forest?

Another kind of eco-intervention, however, is more plausible. As the planet's environmental stress mounts, conflicts over dwindling resources, or escalating damage, could easily threaten to spiral into a broader war, says Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the UN's Environment Program. The member states of the UN, Nuttall says, might then decide to intervene in order to halt the environmental degradation.

"In 20, 30, 40 years time, when we're living on a planet with 9 billion people, and if you lay climate change over the top," he says, "this becomes an issue of avoiding conflicts and the collapse of states."

Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow is a contributing writer for Ideas. She can be reached at rebecca.tuhusdubrow@gmail.com.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/12/21/martial_law_of_the_jungle/?page=full
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #146 on: December 23, 2008, 01:17:52 PM »

Second post. I'm such a believer in AGW, that I bought a truck with plow this year.

Whatever Happened to Global Warming?
Because we could sure use some of it right about now.

By Deroy Murdock

Winter officially arrived with Sunday’s solstice. But for many Americans, frigid January-like conditions have prevailed for weeks.

Christmas and Hanukkah travelers are delayed if not stranded at airports on the northwest and northeast coasts. Snow clogs runways, and ice coats airplane wing flaps as Americans wait extra hours and days to reach their loved ones.

New Englanders still lack electricity after a December 11 ice storm snapped power lines. Some 3,900 Granite State customers remain in the dark after what PSNH, the local utility, called “the most devastating natural disaster to hit New Hampshire in recent history.” Over the weekend, snow similarly knocked out the lights in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri.

Meanwhile, up to eight inches of snow struck New Orleans and southern Louisiana on December 11 and didn’t melt for 48 hours in some neighborhoods.

“I’ve lived in south Louisiana my entire life and had never seen the amount of snow we saw in many parts of the parish that day,” Tammany Parish resident Andrew Canulette wrote in December 17’s New Orleans Times-Picayune. “That sort of thing just doesn’t happen around here.”

In southern California last Wednesday, half an inch of snow brightened Malibu’s hills while a half-foot barricaded highways and marooned commuters in desert towns east of Los Angeles. Snow barred soldiers at Barstow’s Fort Irwin from deploying to Iraq. In Las Vegas, 3.6 inches of the white stuff — the most seen in 19 years — shuttered McCarren Airport Wednesday and dusted the Strip’s hotels and casinos.

What are the odds of that?

Actually, the odds are rising that snow, ice, and cold will grow increasingly common. As serious scientists repeatedly explain, global cooling is here. It is chilling temperatures — if not the climate alarmists’ fevered expectations of so-called global warming.

According to the National Climatic Data Center, 2008 will be America’s coldest year since 1997, thanks to La Niña and precipitation in the central and eastern states. Solar quietude also may underlie global cooling. This year’s sunspots and solar radiation approach the minimum in the Sun’s cycle, corresponding with lower Earth temperatures. This echoes Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Sallie Baliunas’ belief that solar variability, much more than CO2, sways global temperatures.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service reports that last summer was Anchorage’s third coldest on record. “Not since 1980 has there been a summer less reflective of global warming,” Craig Medred wrote in the Anchorage Daily News. Consequently, Alaska’s glaciers are thickening in the middle. “It’s been a long time on most glaciers where they’ve actually had positive mass balance,” U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia told Medred October 13. Similarly, the National Snow and Ice Data Center has found that the extent of Arctic sea ice has expanded by 13.2 percent over last year. This 270,000 square-mile growth in Arctic sea ice is just slightly larger than Texas’s 268,820 square miles.



Across the equator, Brazil endured an especially cold September. Snow graced its southern provinces that month.


Marc Morano, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Republican Communications Director, collects global-cooling incidents as others pin exotic moths to cork boards. Here are just a few of his latest specimens:

Just before Halloween, southwestern Florida’s temperatures plunged to 47 degrees, October’s coldest readings since 1902. October 29 saw 120 new record-cold measurements and 63 new record-snow figures across America.

The next day brought record cold to Havana, Cuba, where the mercury reached 48 degrees.

The most snow ever to hit Tibet killed seven people October 30, stranded 1,300 others in damaged buildings, and took the lives of 144,000 head of livestock.

Record snowfalls hit Switzerland the same day. Snow blocked rail lines between Interlaken and Spiez, forcing travelers onto buses. Snow-damaged fences in the Bernese Oberland helped cows slip away without adult supervision.

Mother Nature lampooned a speech on so-called “global warming” by its highest priest, former vice president Albert Gore Jr. Bracing temperatures greeted his October 22 remarks at Harvard University. “Starting at 3 p.m., we will be serving hot cider and soup to keep everyone warm,” read a letter to the Harvard Community from the school’s Sustainability Celebration Committee. “Please dress for our changeable New England weather.”

“Global Warming is over, and Global Warming Theory has failed. There is no evidence that CO2 drives world temperatures or any consequent climate change,” Imperial College London astrophysicist and long-range forecaster Piers Corbyn wrote British Members of Parliament on October 28. “According to official data in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been colder than that year, yet CO2 has been rising rapidly.” That evening, as the House of Commons debated legislation on so-called “global-warming,” October snow fell in London for the first time since 1922.

These observations parallel those of five German researchers led by Professor Noel Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences. “Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade,” they concluded in last May’s Nature, “as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic [man-made] warming.” This “lull” should doom the 0.54 degree Fahrenheit average global temperature rise predicted by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Vatican of so-called “global warming.” Incidentally, the IPCC’s computer models factor in neither El Niño nor the Gulf Stream. Excluding such major climate variables would be like ESPN ignoring baseball and basketball.

America’s biased, pro-“warming” media holistically overlooked this paper in one of Earth’s most serious and respected scientific journals. Had these researchers forecast the years of higher temperatures, you would have heard about it, ad infinitum.



So, is this all just propaganda concocted by Chevron-funded, right-wing, flat-Earthers? Ask Dr. Martin Hertzberg, a physical chemist and retired Navy meteorologist.

“As a scientist and life-long liberal Democrat, I find the constant regurgitation of the anecdotal, fear mongering clap-trap about human-caused global warming to be a disservice to science,” Hertzberg wrote in September 26’s USA Today. “From the El Niño year of 1998 until Jan., 2007, the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere near its surface decreased some 0.25 C [0.45 F]. From Jan., 2007 until the spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping 0.75 C [1.35 F].”

As global cooling becomes more widely recognized, Americans from Maine to Malibu should feel confident in dreaming of a white Christmas.

— Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NGYzMzA2MzEzZTI4YjAxOTZhMGY4N2YwOTVmZWIzOTg=
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« Reply #147 on: December 23, 2008, 05:07:42 PM »

Anyone know if Al Gore's private jet was unable to fly due to snow and ice conditions ?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #148 on: December 29, 2008, 03:49:48 PM »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/3982101/2008-was-the-year-man-made-global-warming-was-disproved.html

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

By Christopher Booker
Last Updated: 10:59AM GMT 28 Dec 2008

Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.

The first, on May 21, headed "Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts" , reported that the entire Alpine "winter sports industry" could soon "grind to a halt for lack of snow". The second, on December 19, headed "The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation" , reported that this winter's Alpine snowfalls "look set to beat all records by New Year's Day".

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.

Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.

Suddenly it has become rather less appealing that we should divert trillions of dollars, pounds and euros into the fantasy that we could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent. All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.

As 2009 dawns, it is time we in Britain faced up to the genuine crisis now fast approaching from the fact that – unless we get on very soon with building enough proper power stations to fill our looming "energy gap" - within a few years our lights will go out and what remains of our economy will judder to a halt. After years of infantile displacement activity, it is high time our politicians – along with those of the EU and President Obama's US – were brought back with a mighty jolt into contact with the real world.
   
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David III
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« Reply #149 on: December 29, 2008, 04:43:45 PM »

I saw (a bit of) global warming!!! All the ice around our house melted this weekend when it got to almost 40 degrees - with thunderstorms and a tornado three miles south of us. Now a whole week of this warming stuff and then another snowstorm early next week.

That's it, now I have to wait another year for global warming to come back. Good thing I have a lot of firewood cut.
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