Thursday, July 31, 2008
Al Gore Is An Energy PIG
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
July 28, 2008
The Greens Are Going Crazy
It’s hard to ignore the fact that the Greens are going crazy, not just in the United States, but around the world. They are increasingly frantic over the opposition being voiced against global warming, one of the greatest hoaxes in modern history.
The Greens have bet everything on global warming as the reason for giving up the use of long established sources of energy such as oil, coal and natural gas. The object has been to slow everything the modern world calls progress.
In India, a spokesman for that nation of one billion people has flatly refused to accept the global warming hoax. China shows no sign of yielding to the global warming lies. The greatest agricultural and mercantile economy to have ever existed, the United States of America continues to thwart its own growth by yielding to the lies.
Recently the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, said that “coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It’s global warming. It’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world.”
No, what makes us sick is listening to such preposterous lies. A Rasmussen telephone survey taken after Sen. Reid’s absurd statement found that 52% of voters surveyed rejected his views about coal and oil, double the amount of those who agreed.
What is troublesome, however, is that the same survey found the voters evenly divided on whether global warming exists or poses a threat. Fully 47% of those surveyed believe that human activity affects the climate. Both candidates for President are publicly committed to the global warming hoax by varying degrees.
Despite an intense, decades-long propaganda campaign, coupled with indoctrination in our nation’s schools, the truth is beginning to emerge.
In March, an international conference on climate change organized by The Heartland Institute brought together over 500 of the world’s leading climatologists, meteorologists, economists and others for three days of seminars and presentations that completely refuted the pronouncements of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and disputed the lies of Al Gore’s famed “documentary.”
As recently as July 8th, the Space and Science Research Center held a news conference in which it stated that the warming that has occurred since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 was completely natural, i.e., had nothing to do with human or industrial activity.
More significantly, the Center went on record saying that, “After an exhaustive review of a substantial body of climate research, and in conjunction with the obvious and compelling new evidence that exists, it is time that the world community acknowledges that the Earth has begun the next climate change.” The current warming period is not only at an end, but a distinct cooling cycle has begun and will bring “predominantly colder global temperatures for many years into the future.”
Just how crazed has the environmental movement become? On July 7th it was announced that Argentine scientists have been strapping plastic tanks to the backs of cows to collect and measure how much methane gas they produce.
Methane, like carbon dioxide, is a minor component of the Earth’s atmosphere. Methane is also released from swamps, landfills and other sources. If it and CO2 played a significant role in determining the world’s climate, it would be a cause for concern, but it is the Sun that primarily drives the Earth’s climate cycles. Solar activity has gone quiet in recent years as fewer and fewer sunspots, magnetic storms, have been seen.
To maintain the global warming hoax, thousands of events and natural phenomena have been blamed on it. A recent example is the floods in America’s mid-West. The National Wildlife Federation released a statement on July 1st blaming global warming.
Climate experts at The Heartland Institute were quick to respond. Dr. Joseph D’Aleo, Executive Director of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, said, “Alarmists have adopted the can’t-lose position that all extremes of weather - cold, warm, wet, or dry - are all due to global warming”, adding that, “The record snows, severe weather, and heavy rainfall have been the result of rapid cooling in the northern tier of the United States and Canada, not global warming.”
Early in July, Bret Stephens, writing in The Wall Street Journal, called global warming “a mass hysteria phenomenon”, noting that “NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world’s oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years…”
The global warming hoax has never been about the climate. It is about competing economic theories. “Socialism may have failed as an economic theory,” wrote Stephens, “but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism.”
The United States Senate refused to consider the UN Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that requires massive reductions in carbon dioxide emissions based solely on the global warming hoax, but other nations did sign on. None have ever met their obligation to limit CO2 emissions, nor need they have bothered.
At the recent G8 conference an international agreement to cut CO2 emissions was given serious consideration despite the fact that the Earth is now a decade into a cooling cycle likely to last several decades or longer. The impact of this proposal on the lives of ordinary citizens will prove needlessly costly. Proposals in some nations for various taxes based on global warming are a form of fraud.
The sensible refusal by leaders in emerging economies such as China and India would make it impossible for any limitations on carbon emissions by Western nations to have any impact, even if such reductions had anything to do with the realities of the Earth’s climate.
The only thing that can be predicted with certainty is that the Greens will become increasingly unhinged and crazed by the failure of the global warming hoax.
© Alan Caruba, July 2008
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. He blogs at Warning Signs.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The following is a video of his presentation in front of Sen. Boxer's Congressional Committee. Note how she does not appear to even be listening and how rude she is toward Dr. Spencer in her follow-up questioning. Rather that question his science, (which she probably knows next to nothing about, she tries to discredit his character. This is all-too characteristic of people trying to defend what I call the MYTH of man-caused global warming. Dr. Spencer whole-heartedly agrees with this.
Here is the written text of Dr. Roy Spencer's above-mentioned video testimony.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Blowing Hot Air Up Our Shorts
Paul Driessen Tuesday, July 22, 2008 (source)
T. Boone Pickens is being lionized for his “socially responsible” efforts to legislate national “clean” wind and solar energy mandates.
We’re “the Saudi Arabia of wind,” he argues. We need to “overcome our addiction to foreign oil,” by harnessing that wind to replace natural gas in electricity generation, and using that gas to power more cars and buses. If Congress would simply “mandate the formation of wind and solar transmission corridors, and renew the subsidies” for this renewable energy, America can achieve this transformation in ten years, he insists.
Pickens’ pitch makes good ad copy, especially in league with Senator Harry Reid’s bombast about oil, gas and coal “making us sick.” However, his policy prescriptions would impose vast new energy, economic and environmental problems.
Hydrocarbon fuels created America, gave us the technologies and living standards we enjoy today, enabled us to eradicate diseases that plagued earlier generations, and boosted our life expectancy from 50 in 1900 to nearly 80 today. They still provide 85% of our energy, and we could greatly reduce our reliance on oil imports if we would simply end the outrageous policies that keep our nation’s abundant energy resources locked up.
We have enough oil, natural gas, oil shale, coal and uranium to provide power for centuries. We have a growing consensus that we need to drill, onshore and off. But partisan intransigence and absurd environmental claims prevent us from utilizing them. Instead, we’re offered bromides like wind.
Wind contributes more every year to our energy mix. However, it still provides only 1% of our electricity – compared to 49% for coal, 22% for natural gas, 19% for nuclear and 7% for hydroelectric.
Wind power is intermittent, unreliable, noisy and expensive (even with subsidies). Many modern turbines are 400 feet tall and carry 130-foot-long, 7-ton blades that slice up raptors and other birds. They operate only 8 hours a day, on average, compared to 85% of the time for coal, gas and nuclear plants. They rarely provide power during peak summer daytime hours, when air-conditioning demand is highest, but wind speed is low to nonexistent.
Using wind to replace all gas-fired power plants would require some 300,000 1.5-MW turbines, covering Midwestern “wind belt” acreage equivalent to South Carolina. The noise, scenic impacts and bird kills caused by such an “eco-friendly” energy source defy imagination.
Building and installing these turbines requires 5 to 10 times more steel and concrete than is needed to build far more reliable coal or nuclear plants to generate the same amount of electricity, says Berkeley engineer Per Peterson. Add in the financing, steel and cement needed to build transmission lines from distant wind farms to urban consumers, and the effects multiply.
That means vastly more quarries, mines, cement plants and steel mills to supply those raw materials. But radical greens oppose such facilities. So under the Pickens proposal, we would likely import more steel and cement, instead of oil.
Moreover, since adequate wind is available only a third of the time, we would also need expensive gas-fired generating plants that mostly sit idle, but kick in whenever the wind dies down. That means still more money, cement and steel – and still higher electricity prices.
A successful oilman, investor, deal-maker and speculator, Pickens’ large natural gas holdings position him to make billions from selling gas for backup electricity generation under his wind energy proposal – especially if drilling bans remain in effect, keeping gas prices in the stratosphere. Launching the enterprise with the backing of federal mandates and subsidies minimizes his financial risk and attracts “free market” investors, by putting the risks for this fanciful scheme on the backs of taxpayers.
In short, Pickens’ proposal is “true green” – in the financial and public relations arenas, though hardly in the ecological sphere.
Pickens says we can’t drill our way to freedom from foreign oil. But that’s true only if we keep our best prospects off limits to drilling. Open ANWR and the OCS, and the situation changes dramatically.
There are other viable, economically sound options, as well. Unfortunately, greens and Democrats have opposed them for decades and refuse to budge now – no matter how soaring energy prices batter poor families, workers, small businesses and countless industries: including automobiles, airlines, tourism, chemicals and manufacturing.
A single 1000-MW nuclear power plant would reliably generate more electricity than 2,800 1.5-MW intermittent wind turbines on 175,000 acres. Permitting more nukes would ensure that we can meet increasing electricity demand for a growing population and millions of plug-in hybrid cars.
Coal too offers centuries of affordable, reliable fuel for electricity and synthetic gas and oil, at lower cost than competing fuels, and with steadily diminishing emissions. With 27% of the world’s total coal, America is also the Saudi Arabia of this vital resource. America needs more coal-fired plants, to avoid the widespread brownouts that analyst Mark Mills says will be commonplace if we do not.
Between 1970 and 2006, coal-fired electricity generation nearly tripled – while NOX emissions remained at 1970 levels, sulfur dioxide pollution fell nearly 40% below 1970 emissions, and fine particulates declined to 90% below 1970 levels. In a few years, power plant stacks will emit only water and carbon dioxide, the two dominant greenhouse gases of Climate Armageddon hypotheses.
Al Gore, James Hansen and certain legislators may fervently believe fossil fuels are destroying the planet. But they are increasingly on the fringes, whereas countless others finally realize that we have vastly more important priorities, the economic costs of climate bills like Warner-Lieberman would be staggering, and the global CO2 and climate benefits of US economic suicide would be imperceptible.
Nearly 32,000 scientists have now signed the consensus-busting Oregon Petition, saying they see “no convincing scientific evidence” that humans are causing catastrophic climate change. They have now been joined by the American Physical Society, which recently announced that it was reassessing its prior position – that evidence for global warming was “incontrovertible” – because many of its 50,000 physicist members disagree strongly with climate chaos claims.
Halfway around the globe, China continues to build two new coal-fired power plants every month, to power its electricity-hungry homes and businesses. India too is charging ahead with hydrocarbon-based energy. Its new National Action Plan on Climate Change disputes manmade global warming fears and asserts that the nation is more concerned about saving its people from poverty than from climate change.
“Political leaders,” says journalist Barun Mitra, “can no longer afford to sacrifice the poor today for the sake of the rich tomorrow.” Neither in India, nor in the United States.
It’s increasingly obvious why Gore, Hansen and Reid are becoming more shrill and hysterical by the day. The hot air they are trying to blow up our shorts is no basis for economy-killing cap-and-trade rules or ecology-killing forests of wind turbines.
We need to safeguard access to the opportunities created by abundant, reliable, affordable energy – as a fundamental right of Americans and people the world over.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
He is also proposing the rapid development of wind turbines generating electricity, and of course this must be transmitted to areas which need abundant electricity, such as North Texas. What better place to build electrical transmission lines than along a pipeline corridor? Then of course there is natural gas from underground wells, and Mr. Pickens controls a lot of that, which also needs transporting in pipelines.
These ideas all sound good, but one thing stands in his way, beside financing, which he hopes taxpayers and consumers will be generous enough to pay. A major hurdle he faces is enacting the power of eminent domain, or the ability to force landowners to allow him to build his pipelines and electrical towers. To achieve that, he needs public support. This is where his "patriotic" television advertising comes in. He has learned from Al Gore how to manipulate public opinion to get what he wants, from the people and from the government. Is this a good thing? How much will it cost consumers and taxpayers? You can bet it will not be inexpensive. Is it good for the environment? He would like us to think so.
Cover Story June 12, 2008,
There Will Be Water
T. Boone Pickens thinks water is the new oil—and he's betting $100 million that he's right
by Susan Berfield
Roberts County is a neat square in a remote corner of the Texas Panhandle, a land of rolling hills, tall grass, oak trees, mesquite, and cattle. It has a desolate beauty, a striking sparseness. The county encompasses 924 square miles and is home to fewer than 900 people. One of them is T. Boone Pickens, the oilman and corporate raider, who first bought some property here in 1971 to hunt quail. He's now the largest landowner in the county: His Mesa Vista ranch sprawls across some 68,000 acres. Pickens has also bought up the rights to a considerable amount of water that lies below this part of the High Plains in a vast aquifer that came into existence millions of years ago.
If water is the new oil, T. Boone Pickens is a modern-day John D. Rockefeller. Pickens owns more water than any other individual in the U.S. and is looking to control even more. He hopes to sell the water he already has, some 65 billion gallons a year, to Dallas, transporting it over 250 miles, 11 counties, and about 650 tracts of private property. The electricity generated by an enormous wind farm he is setting up in the Panhandle would also flow along that corridor. As far as Pickens is concerned, he could be selling wind, water, natural gas, or uranium; it's all a matter of supply and demand. "There are people who will buy the water when they need it. And the people who have the water want to sell it. That's the blood, guts, and feathers of the thing," he says.
In the coming decades, as growing numbers of people live in urban areas and climate change makes some regions much more prone to drought, water—or what many are calling "blue gold"—will become an increasingly scarce resource. By 2030 nearly half of the world's population will inhabit areas with severe water stress, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. Pickens understands that. And while Texas is unusually lax in its laws about pumping groundwater, the rush to control water resources is gathering speed around the planet. In Australia, now in the sixth year of a drought, brokers in urban areas are buying up water rights from farmers. Rural residents around the U.S. are trying to sell their land (and water) to multi- national water bottlers like Nestlé (BW—Apr. 14). Companies that use large quantities of the precious resource to run their businesses are seeking to lock up water supplies. One is Royal Dutch Shell, which is buying groundwater rights in Colorado as it prepares to drill for oil in the shale deposits there.
Into this environment comes Pickens, who made a good living for a long time extracting oil and gas and now, at 80, believes the era of fossil fuel is over. So far he has spent $100 million and eight years on his project and still has not found any city in Texas willing to buy his water. But like many others, Pickens believes there's a fortune to be made in slaking the thirst of a rapidly growing population. If he pumps as much as he can, he could sell about $165 million worth of water to Dallas each year. "The idea that water can be sold for private gain is still considered unconscionable by many," says James M. Olson, one of America's preeminent attorneys specializing in water- and land-use law. "But the scarcity of water and the extraordinary profits that can be made may overwhelm ordinary public sensibilities."
(The extent of the underground Ogallala Acquifer shown in blue)
THE BIGGEST PUMP WINS
Pickens, an Oklahoma native, geologist, and someone who calls himself the luckiest guy in the world, is the quintessential entrepreneur. He started as a wildcatter in 1956; three decades later his Mesa Petroleum was the largest independent exploration company in the U.S. But that's not how Pickens made a name for himself—it was his hostile bids, one after the other through the 1980s, for oil companies far more powerful, far wealthier than his own. Pickens thought they could do more for their shareholders. He never took over any of them. He did, however, push them into deals they might not have considered otherwise, which helped reshape the oil industry. He did, sometimes, make hundreds of millions when he sold his stakes. And shareholders did, often, benefit. He was briefly the most famous businessman in America, a corporate raider who always wished people would call him a shareholder activist.
By the mid-1990s, though, Pickens had fallen. After a brutal and expensive fight with Unocal, he gave up his raiding. He lost control of Mesa Petroleum after a series of financial and managerial miscalculations. He went through an expensive divorce from his second wife and retreated to his ranch. It was in the midst of this that he acquired a newfound regard for water as a commodity that should be bought, sold, and traded for the benefit of those who own it and those who can afford it.
In 1996 a local water utility made its first big purchase of groundwater rights in the Panhandle. The utility, known as the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA), bought nearly 43,000 acres of water, some of it just south of Pickens' ranch, for $14.5 million. (Property owners in Texas, and elsewhere, can sell their water separately from the land above it.) That Roberts County would become the stomping ground for the Panhandle water wars was perhaps inevitable. Underneath it lies one of the world's largest repositories of water, moving slowly among layers of gravel, sand, and silt. The Ogallala Aquifer stretches from Texas to South Dakota and contains a quadrillion gallons of water—enough to cover the U.S. mainland to a depth of almost two feet. Yet the extensive irrigation necessary to grow corn, cotton, and wheat in west Texas has left the Ogallala nearly depleted in some places. It is not an aquifer that is easily or quickly replenished. But the land in Roberts County is unsuited for agriculture, and so the Ogallala there is largely untapped.
Since the early 1900s, groundwater use in Texas has been governed by what's quaintly called the rule of capture, otherwise described as the biggest pump wins. It lets landowners pump as much water as they can, even if doing so drains neighboring properties. This put Pickens in an uncomfortable position: If he didn't sell his water to CRMWA, the utility could potentially suck some of it right out from under his ranch. So he tried. But "they told me to kiss off," he says. Kent Satterwhite, who was then assistant general manager, says: "Boone was fairly insistent that we buy his water. It made him mad that we didn't have the money to buy it." That was the first of several contretemps between Pickens and various local water authorities. Pickens next approached the city of Amarillo, which also had begun to acquire water rights in Roberts County. It wasn't interested, either, though it did purchase water from several other nearby landowners. "Amarillo was pissed off at me," says Pickens, who has a long and fraught history with the city. When Amarillo turned him down, Pickens felt surrounded. "I had to find a buyer for my water," he says, "or I was going to be drained."
There's a saying in Texas: "Whiskey's for drinking. Water's for fighting." Pickens decided to fight. In 1999 he created a company called Mesa Water and began to accumulate water rights so he could strike a deal with another city altogether. The hell with Amarillo. Pickens was confident he could sell his water: The population of Texas was expected to jump 40% by 2020, mostly in urban areas one dry season away from drought.
Pickens' decision to get into the water business was regarded by some in the Panhandle as nothing more, or less, than a shrewd move by a man who knows the value of commodities. The economy of the High Plains region is based on people taking out the natural resources and selling them. If water that can't be used for farming ends up in the taps of city residents hundreds of miles away, that's fine. Pickens says he's buying stranded, surplus water that needs to be rescued. Kim Flowers, who runs an 8,300-acre ranch in Roberts County, speaks for many landowners when she says: "People can do with their water as they wish as long as they're not wasting it."
In all, Pickens, CRMWA, and Amarillo have spent about $150 million to buy up nearly 80% of the water rights in Roberts County, undermining and outbidding one another along the way. One unsurprising effect of their competition is that the price of an acre of water has in some places doubled, to $600. That's something in which Pickens takes pride. Much as he did in the 1980s, when he went after big oil companies he believed weren't doing right by their shareholders, Pickens now talks about creating value for Roberts County landowners. They make money from selling their water while continuing to live, run cattle, and hunt on their property. "I told them I was going to raise the value of the land, and I accomplished that. The landowners are all tickled to death. I made our water worth something. And anybody with any sense would sell it."
Not all Roberts County landowners wanted to do business with him, though. Pickens intended to pull water from an aquifer that is pretty much the sole source for the Panhandle, and that isn't refilled quickly, and sell it to a place like Dallas, whose water use is the highest of any city in Texas. This seemed ludicrous, even reckless, to some. C.E. Williams runs the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District, which is responsible for managing the competing demands on the region's share of the Ogallala. He puts it this way: "As a district, we cannot pick and choose where the water goes. But personally I am concerned. I have a son who is an irrigated farmer, and I have grandkids, and I want to make sure that they can conduct commerce when they want to."
Pickens has a way of dismissing the complexity of a situation, sometimes even the possibility of an opinion contrary to his own. In this case, any opposition to his plan from anyone who is not a Roberts County landowner, who is not essentially a shareholder in this venture, he deems irrelevant. Williams, he points out, doesn't himself have any property. "Water is a commodity," he says. "Heck, isn't it like oil? You have to come back to who owns the water. The groundwater is owned by the landowner. That's it." When it comes to potential buyers, Pickens cares about only one thing: how much they're willing to pay. "Do I care what Dallas does with the water? Hell no."
Republican State Representative Warren Chisum is a Roberts County rancher who owns 12,000 acres next to Pickens and sold his water to Amarillo in 2001. He would seem to be a natural ally. He's not. "My water will remain local," he says. "It's controversial to ship it out of the Panhandle. When we run out, we're done. The long-term value is to keep it here. That's contrary to what Pickens wants to do. It's his water. But he won't be here in 50 years."
In 2002, Pickens began approaching several of Texas' sprawling cities, all of which share one defining feature: Their populations are growing so quickly that they are constantly in need of new supplies of water. But with water, as with so much else, location is critical. And Pickens' water is far, far away from anyplace that might buy it. Pickens knew he'd have to build a pipeline, and to do so at anything resembling a reasonable cost, he'd need the power of eminent domain—the right of a government entity to force the sale of private property for the public good. Water utilities have that right. If Dallas agreed to buy Pickens' water, it could extend such authority to him. But Dallas deemed Pickens' price too high and declined to do a deal. So Pickens and his executives tried to create a Fresh Water Supply District—a government entity that would have that power. But they couldn't get it through.
Over the next several years, Pickens continued accumulating water rights and began to lease other land, this time with the idea of creating the world's biggest wind farm. "One of the great wind areas is right up where we are," says Robert L. Stillwell, Pickens' general counsel. "You can set it right on top of where the water is." And since, one day anyway, Dallas may well buy both, Mesa could use a single right-of-way for the water pipeline and the electric lines. In Roberts County there would be real economic benefits from the wind farm. "The wind is meant to sweeten the deal," says Representative Chisum. "The big money for Pickens is in the water."
It had been a decade since Pickens first realized the potential value of the water deposited eons ago in the sand below the High Plains. Now it was time to employ the one resource he hadn't yet used: his lobbying clout.
In January, 2007, the Texas Legislature convened in the grand statehouse in Austin. The 80th session turned out to be very productive, and one person who kept busy during that time was J.E. Buster Brown, a former state senator and one of the most powerful lobbyists in town. Among Brown's clients is Mesa Water. "My job is primarily defensive," Brown says of his work for Pickens. "I'm watching to make sure there is no legislation passed that creates obstacles to Pickens doing what he wants to do. I'm supposed to make sure nothing bad happens."
Brown did more than that: He helped win Pickens a key new legal right. It was contained in an amendment to a major piece of water legislation. The amendment, one of more than 100 added after the bill had been reviewed in the House, allowed a water-supply district to transmit alternative energy and transport water in a single corridor, or right-of-way. "We helped move that along," says Stillwell. "We thought it would be handy and helpful to everyone."
After the bill passed, Tom "Smitty" Smith, Texas director of Public Citizens, an advocacy group, says several legislators were drinking coffee and reading through it. "Uh-oh," one said. They'd just realized the amendment would help Pickens build his pipeline. "Many legislators were watching for this play," Smith says, "and it still snuck by." State Senator Robert Duncan, a Republican who represents Lubbock, says: "It probably should have raised our suspicions, but we were moving a lot of bills. And it would have been hard to hold up this one even if we'd discovered the amendment."
Pickens still needed the power of eminent domain if he was going to build his pipeline and wind-power lines across private land. And by happy coincidence, the legislators passed a smaller bill that made that all the easier. The new legislation loosened the requirements for creating a water district. Previously, a district's five elected supervisors needed to be registered voters living within the boundaries of the district. Now, they only had to own land in the district; they could live and vote wherever. The bill, as it happens, was put forth by two legislators from Houston; Brown says he and Mesa had nothing to do with it. "That wasn't our bill," says Brown. "I wish I could take credit for it."
Pickens moved quickly to take advantage of the new rules. Over the summer of 2007, he sold eight acres on the back side of his ranch to five people in his employ: Stillwell, who resides in Houston, two of his executives in Dallas, and the couple who manage his ranch, Alton and Lu Boone. A few days later, Mesa Water filed a petition to create an eight-acre water-supply district with those five as the directors and sole members. On Nov. 6, Roberts County held an election to decide whether to form the new district. Only two people were qualified to take part: Alton and Lu Boone. The vote was unanimous. With that, Pickens won the right to issue tax-free bonds for his pipeline and electrical lines as well as the extraordinary power to claim land across swaths of the state.
No one at Mesa regards Roberts County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1 as an unusual arrangement. "We're no different from any other water or electricity supplier," says Stillwell, meaning they, too, would use the power of eminent domain only as a last resort and for the public good. As for the suggestion that he wouldn't have qualified to be a board member under the old rules, Stillwell says: "It doesn't matter that I'm on the board. It would have been another me, just a local me."
"WE'RE NOT HAPPY"
Pickens was ready to reach out to landowners along the route. In April, 2008, Mesa sent out some 1,100 letters to people along the 250-mile proposed right-of-way, from Miami, Tex., to a town called Jacksboro, just short of Dallas. The letters included a Texas landowners' bill of rights, information on the condemnation procedure, a map of the route, and a list of open houses they could attend for more information.
One stifling evening in May, about 50 people showed up at the Twin Lakes Community Activity Center just outside Jacksboro. When the ranchers arrived, more than a dozen of Mesa's public-relations consultants, hydrologists, and land men were waiting for them. Standing behind tables laid out with pens, cups, hats, and bags with the District No. 1 logo, the officials were available to answer questions about the 250-foot-wide corridor Mesa would use to construct, maintain, and possibly expand the pipeline and electric lines. While this arrangement allowed everyone to get information specific to their property, it also precluded any public questioning of the Mesa standard-bearers. This did not go unnoticed by the ranchers. "We're not happy," said one. "Pickens is pushing his power trip on us. I can't fight his money. But if he asked first, I might have thought better of it." Another said: "Land goes way back for a lot of people here. If you tell people you want their land, Texans raise their guns." At the end of the evening, most of the pens and hats and cups still lay on the tables.
Pickens isn't bothered that by his invoking the right of eminent domain, Mesa has inflamed landowners up and down the route. "It always does," he says. Mesa expects to acquire the land it needs in the next 18 months and pay about $30 million for it; Pickens wants to begin construction on the $1.2 billion pipeline right afterward. It should take about three years to complete. If all goes according to plan, Mesa will be able to pump enough water to satisfy the needs of some 1.5 million Texans every day.
Pickens hopes to strike a deal with Dallas or the urban areas around it before Mesa starts building the pipeline. "Eventually they will need it," he says. So far, though, the talks might best be characterized as preliminary. "We continue to meet with Pickens' staff and engineers to get a better understanding of the proposal and so they can understand what our needs are," says Mike Rickman, assistant general manager of the North Texas Municipal Water District, which supplies water to 13 cities north and east of Dallas. "Mesa has a lot of water. But how much will it cost to buy it and deliver it?" Rickman says that at some point he would have to consider the consequences for the Ogallala: "Does it make sense to take water from an arid portion of the state? We don't want to harm our neighbors out there."
In Roberts County, people hold on to the hope that pumping from the Ogallala can be controlled. In 1998, as Pickens and local water utilities began buying up water rights, the groundwater conservation district placed some restrictions on the rule of capture that it calls the 50-50 rule: Anyone who receives a new permit to pump can draw down the aquifer by only 50% over the next 50 years. Later, an additional limit of 1.2% per year was set. These essentially manage the depletion of the Ogallala under Roberts County; there, it is replenished at a rate of only 0.1% a year. Williams, who put the rules into place, says: "It's like taking dollar bills out of your bank account and putting nickels back in. Even with a big bank account, there's an end. That's pretty much what's happening in the Ogallala."
Pickens has promised to abide by the 50-50 rule. "I don't have any concerns about depleting the aquifer. All I'm doing is selling surplus water," he says. "I'm not about to drain all the water out of Roberts County. I have my ranch there. But I could sure take it down 50% and not hurt anybody. And it could make a lot of people a lot of money."
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
(Charlie Rose -- An Hour With Michael Crichton).....the entire interview
Michael Crichton on Global Warming, Part 1 of 3
Michael Crichton on Global Warming, Part 2 of 3
Michael Crichton on Global Warming, Part 3 of 3
Friday, July 11, 2008
Beware of Global Cooling
Dallas, Texas, USA
February 1, 2001
This is an attempt to put the current (scientific) studies of ongoing Global Climate Change in perspective for my grandchildren and the average American and for the Congress, politicians, environmentalists, journalists and current administration officials.
The UN-IPCC, with a great deal of support from a sector of political environmentalists, have predicted with the assistance of computer mathematical simulation, that there may be an excessive amount of CO2 in the atmosphere caused by the use of fossil fuels for energy, which may cause future catastrophic warming due to the Greenhouse Effect of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. They have used Global Circulation Models (GCM) in high capacity computers in an attempt to prove their point, and have proposed the withdrawal and reduction of CO2 from the atmosphere as a worldwide solution to this possible problem. There is serious scientific question if significant global warming by man-made CO2 influx is a scientific fact and if their very costly proposed solutions will work.
Over the past four years, I have attempted to become an informed layman on the subject of "Potential World Climate Change" -- I am neither a meteorologist, climatologist, nor an astrophysicist. I am a practicing professional petroleum geologist and engineer. I had some meteorology during my WWII service as a Navy pilot. I have a B.S. degree in Geology and a B.S. in Physics from UT Austin, Texas, and a lot of hours in college math which I now seldom use – but it was great academic training. Having estimated oil and gas reserves and the related economics and the risks involved with O&G exploration and production for about 50 years, has given me exposure to computer modeling and computer mathematical simulation studies for both oil and gas reservoirs. My studies of Global Climate Change as a layman over the past four years have led to the preparation of this article.
The prediction for any additional future Global Warming is not based on scientific fact! The conclusion of this presentation is that the proposed spending of trillions of dollars by the U.N. and its member nations to try to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in order to attempt to impede global warming is not justified – and would not be successful in this objective. There are better ways to improve the environment – which needs to be done – and also to provide a livelihood for the growing world population.
Why should all of this concern each of us as individuals? Why not just leave it up to the United Nations, your government and the science, politics and legal ramifications that may become involved? The answer is, because each of us will be taking a very substantial risk with the freedoms and economic well being of our children, grandchildren and future generations who will suffer extreme hardships if the problem of perceived global temperature change (warming) and world pollution are not scientifically addressed effectively and efficiently in the near future. The development of an effective U.S. Energy Policy is also required.
What you have seen, heard on nearly all TV programs, and read in most magazines and newspapers, or had presented by politicians such as Bill Clinton and Al Gore and by U.N. representatives, is that it is a foregone conclusion that Global Warming is upon us, and is being caused by excess anthropogenic (human) CO2 influx into the atmosphere, which in turn is caused by the excessive use of fossil fuels for the world’s energy requirements. There was a general statement in the 1995 UN-IPCC report that "there is a discernible human influence on the climate," and that some 2700 "scientists," representing the UN-IPCC, have reached a general consensus on that fact. Subsequent to that, a petition in Oregon was signed by more than 17,000 atmospheric scientists, questioning those findings and conclusions. There has been so much propaganda spread about the perceived fact of Global Warming that many people, organizations and various entities and school children accept the perceived warming as scientific fact. It is not! Today’s temperatures are not much different from those of the year 1940. There are multiple causes of any Global Climate Change during the past 10,000 years period of warmth and during geologic time.
The bases for many of these publicized expectations are taken from conclusions reached from computer mathematical simulation of the world climate and estimations of future warming with what are called Global Circulation Models or GCMs. Apparently, these studies have not been based on a concerted attempt or success in scientifically matching actual past climatic history in order to be able to use that data to predict future climate changes based on such actual past performance of the climate. When that is done, there may begin to be some validity to the model studies for such use. Vast sums of money have been and are being spent on those models and other studies by the U.S. government and representatives of hundreds of nations and various public, political, private, scientific and quasi-scientific organizations. The journalists have taken this GCM calculated information at face value and report it daily to the general public as "scientific fact." It is not! A "consensus" does not provide any proof of scientific theory, concept, or fact. More information and study are needed.
Greenhouse Effect -- The retention of warmth on earth from the radiation of the sun, as a result of the insulation effect of the Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) – A tiny fraction of the atmosphere (about 2%) which helps to reflect solar radiated heat and trap it on the surface and in the atmosphere of the earth. (Water vapor is a GHG and acts as the major greenhouse gas.)
Global Climate Model (GCM) -- a computer mathematical simulation of the earth and its climate and atmospheric circulation. GCM sometimes means Global Circulation Model.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) -- a major common chemical component on earth. It is not a pollutant. It is one of the major required constituents for life on earth and is very beneficial to such life. It is nature’s best and major natural fertilizer along with atmospheric nitrogen. It is held or sequestered in trees and all forms of plant and animal life, rocks, soils, and fossil fuels and the oceans. The beginning toxicity level of CO2 for the human body is thought to be above 5000 ppm of CO2 or about 10 times the current level. Commercial greenhouse operators set their CO2 levels at about 1,000 ppm in their growing areas to encourage rapid plant growth and it is not toxic to greenhouse workers at that level.
It is acknowledged, our use of fossil fuels for the generation of all forms of required energy has resulted in the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere and also provides plants with increasing amounts of CO2 , which they need and utilize for accelerated growth. Vegetation, plants, trees and farm lands require and use CO2 like humans use oxygen. Carbon and oxygen are the basis for all life on earth as we know it. CO2 and oxygen have been and are being cycled or recycled at all times throughout the geologic history of the earth. The current increased CO2 in the atmosphere is beneficial to farming and ranching and all natural growth.
Weather -- We all know the weather is what we have now or will have next week. It is in constant change because of atmospheric circulation on any useful time scale. It can sometimes be determined accurately by meteorologists with computer simulation assistance for a week or two.
Climate -- Climate is the averaging of catastrophic weather events in with normal weather over a period of years, i.e., volcanoes, El Niño, La Niña, ice ages, floods, drought, etc. Climate is an average of the weather over a 25-30 year period of time or longer. Climate has never been stabilized or "in balance" over the 5 billion years of the earth’s existence. There is no indication it has stabilized or is in balance in current short term human times. Evidence indicates the weather and climate have gotten milder over the past 12,000 years as the earth has warmed gradually since the latest major ice age.
Is there a threat of Climate Change?
A. Of course. It always changes in much the same way weather changes – just over a longer period of time.
Is there something we can do to prevent Climate Change?
A. Probably not. But we can and should prepare for it, and the environment can be improved even if humans cannot control the climate.
The scientific understanding of current climate systems is incomplete. Surprises will occur. There is a great amount of ongoing scientific effort to establish the past in order to attempt to predict the future.
Will sea level change?
A. Of course. We just do not know how much and in what direction. For example, if the earth were to get warmer, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere would increase. If that increased moisture reaches the Arctic and Antarctic , there could be large increases in precipitation in the form of ice and snow because the temperatures will still be below freezing most of each year, and glaciers would increase in size and volume. As a result, another ice age could be started and sea levels would be lowered. Changes in sea level also result from geologic changes: volcanism, downwarping of the earth’s crust in the oceans and uplifts on land, erosion of soils from the lands and deposition in the ocean.
The Planet Earth
The planet earth is about 5 billion years old. It has had some type of atmosphere and related "global warmth" almost from inception. If its early life was similar to Venus, as predicted, the early temperatures may have been in the range of 1,200° C or greater and the atmospheric pressure in the range of 500 bars or greater. By age 1.6 Ga (billion years ago), studies indicate the temperature had declined to 850° C with atmospheric pressure at 446 bars: with the mass of CO2 perhaps exceeding 164 bars or causing about 30% of that early barometric pressure. The current atmospheric pressure of CO2 is only .0005 bars of the total 1 bar for the mass from all current atmospheric gases.
Yes, there has been climate change, as there has been at all times over the past 5 billion years of the existence of Planet Earth. Climate or weather has never been stable during the entire history of the earth. It is foolhardy to presume it will become or can be made stable in the future. It is substantially less violent now than it was earlier, during the major early changes in the climate of our planet when the initial atmospheric temperatures reached perhaps 1,200°F or more and the barometric pressures were in the range of 500 bars or 7,500 psia instead of the current 14.65 psia. Many major climate changes resulted in overall global cooling over a long period of time which took place during the first 3 billion years before there was any appreciable life on the planet.
The amount of CO2 sequestered in the ocean is more than 50 times the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Known CO2 in carbonate rocks would represent more than 64 bars of the early atmospheric pressures. The oceans absorb and hold the greatest volume of CO2 when the water is coldest. As the oceans warm up, for any reason, CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
Of course there has been a discernible anthropogenic effect on the climate. There are now 6 billion of us on earth. During human history, we have constructed, built, manufactured, suburbanized, and industrialized with major transportation, communication, ranching, farming, cleared forests, paved, burned and polluted. We just don’t know how much has changed as a result of human efforts and the amount of the related changes: either hotter or colder or what effect this will have or can have on future climate. More work and data are needed before there is an opportunity to arrive at realistic projections and possible solutions if it is scientifically decided the climate is subject to any type of human control.
In Miocene times, about 15 million years ago, the evidence indicates the climate was about 10°F warmer than it is today. The CO2 concentration was significantly less than it is today, counter to most current GCM studies and IPCC assumptions. As a result, Miocene warmth must have resulted from mechanisms other than any excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
After Miocene, during the Pleistocene Age, the evidence indicates CO2 increased and was accompanied by global cooling. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet began to expand during this geologic time, also counter to most current published IPCC assumptions. Incidentally, it appears the East Antarctic Ice Sheet was present when the average of the earth’s temperature was 10°F warmer than it is today. There must have been some other controlling factors that have not been accounted for in today’s U.N. climate studies and computer models.
During the Cretaceous and Jurassic geologic periods (about 100 million years ago), CO2 levels were as much as 5 times greater than the current levels. The earth was warm and the dinosaurs flourished on the rich vegetation. The source of fossil fuels were produced in an abundance from vegetation growth during those geologic periods. Large volumes of limestone, reefs and carbonate rocks were also produced and deposited during that time, which sequestered vast amounts of CO2 that are still in storage.
This present interglacial period is now about 11,000 years old and this recent temperature record nearly matches the determined temperatures from the Pleistocene interglacial (warming) period almost 100,000 years ago. An Ice Age began developing right after that time. We are near the end of the Holocene and another period of cooling is expected to begin if the repetitive geologic history and climate record during the past 2 million years means anything. If CO2 warming were to occur as a result of excess man-made CO2 in the atmosphere, it would still provide some benefit by improving agriculture and helping to postpone the expected onset of the next Ice Age. A cold climate reduces agricultural output and decreases human livelihood and reduces the areas of the earth that can be inhabited by large populations. CO2 is normally reabsorbed by colder oceans, further reducing agricultural output.
The atmospheric gases provide an insulating blanket around the world. For all practical purposes, the atmosphere is now about 100,000’ thick or 20 miles in height. It traps some of the radiative heat received from the sun and about 30% of the sun’s heat energy is reflected back into space and lost. In some form, there has been "global warmth" created and retained by the earth from the remaining 70% of daily radiative heat trapped in the atmosphere, providing warmth on the land and oceans and an adequate temperature for life on the earth. Today if that "global warmth" from greenhouse gases as an insulating blanket were not present, the average temperature would be about -18° C -- well below freezing. Life on earth as we know it requires that insulating blanket and the resultant global warmth. Today, the average earth temperature is about +15°C or 60°F.
Incidentally, during the latest Ice Age the average temperature about 25,000 years ago was indicated to be 5°C or nearly 10°F lower than it is now. Apparently, during the most recent 600 million years of earth’s geologic history, there are millions of years in geologic time when the temperature was 10°F or more greater than it is now.
Chemical Composition of the Atmosphere
The atmosphere composition is as follows:
H2O (Water Vapor)
Argon & All Other Trace Gases
Total all gases
The variable presence of water vapor slightly changes the percentage of other atmospheric chemical components and barometric pressure. Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon provide very little reflectivity of the radiative heat from the sun or earth radiation and therefore do not represent "Greenhouse Gases" or GHG. Water Vapor, Carbon Dioxide, Methane and a number of fluorocarbons, aerosols and other reflective trace gases normally represent less than 2% of the total atmosphere. Water Vapor, which is variable with indeterminate measurements and effect on the temperature as clouds and rain, needs substantial additional scientific study: Water vapor represents more than 80% of the greenhouse gases by volume and its reflectively is perhaps 50 times more effective than the insulation warmth caused by CO2. CO2 is approximately 360 to 400 parts per million (ppm) or 0.04% of the atmosphere. If water vapor were to average 2% of the atmosphere, that is 50 times greater than the CO2 reflectivity.
Water vapor, and related clouds and precipitation (rain or snow), is the major greenhouse gas and perhaps the most variable and least understood or most difficult to measure and average from a scientific measurement standpoint. No one has suggested any attempt to reduce the water vapor in the air, in order to reduce any amount of global warming because it would have very detrimental results to our climate. Atmospheric water vapor needs more study and measurement to determine its actual effect on world climate and agriculture. Then it needs to be included in the model studies as the major world insulator from all greenhouse gases, providing the most global warmth (less the cooling represented by clouds, rain, ice and snow).
The first 100,000 feet above the earth contains about 99% of the mass of the atmosphere. The atmosphere can be divided into 3 temperature layers:
Mesophere (50-80km) from 164,000’ to 262,000’
Stratosphere (14-50km) from 46,000’ to 164,000’
Troposphere (0-14km) from 0’ to 46,000’
The Troposphere up to about 50,000’ contains about 90% of all atmosphere, and is the zone where all weather (climate) changes take place; it is warm at the surface and cold at 50,000’ where the tropopause zone begins to have increasing temperatures with altitude.
In the thermosphere (above 80km), the temperature increases and becomes greater than the temperature on the earth. This altitude is the location for travel by most satellites around the world.
An average of only 2% of the atmosphere (including water vapor) is composed of greenhouse gases. Over 90% of that 2% of GHG emissions are from natural causes (not man made); less than 5% of the 2% are man made GHG. Of that remaining 1/10 of 1%, CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels account for only a small portion of the .04% of CO2 in the total atmosphere. The CO2 derived from such human energy use cannot be reduced to near zero until there is a viable, reliable, major new source of energy that does not produce CO2 . Human life on earth cannot be maintained with the current population without the use of electrical power and other energy from fossil fuels.
CO2 remains a miniscule amount of GHG trace gases and should not be expected to provide a major effect on Global Climate change from major reductions in the minor amount of extracted man made atmospheric CO2. Changes in Water Vapor, variation of solar output, changes in the earth’s tilt, rotation, the location and magnitude of the jet stream, and the variable travel of the earth in an ellipse around the sun , all have much greater continuing effect on changes in the climate. Life on earth will be benefited if water vapor and related air circulation are increased in the atmosphere by additional global warmth.
The world may have been warmed by about 1°F over the past 100 years – 70% of it prior to 1940 (prior to a substantial increase in atmospheric CO2). An additional warming of 1°C (1.5°F) can be estimated or projected for the earth during the 21st century if the factors effecting Global Climate are constant and remain unchanged (stable). They will not. Increased CO2 results in increased vegetation with a resultant decrease in the plant demand for water. Such a change is highly beneficial to farming and ranching and forest growth. The availability of additional atmospheric CO2 would provide more food and sustenance for our increasing world population. The current enrichment of CO2 in the atmosphere will improve the animal and plant life on the earth.
Climate in the Balance, Related Economics and World Population
There has never been any balance or stabilization of the climate or atmosphere in geologic time. In many quarters, the concept of Global Warming as a result of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is accepted as fact! There is and has been serious question among qualified scientists as to whether there is any such fact as the result of human activity, and if so, what can and should be done about it.
Al Gore’s book "Earth in the Balance" could just as well be named "The Road to World Socialism." It is not believed the citizens of the U.S. desire this political change or the cost involved without some assurance of environmental improvement. The current environmental political position of many environmentalists appears to be a shrewd planned campaign to inflict socialistic control over the U.S. and most of the world in the name of stabilizing the World Climate by reducing the use of fossil fuels (energy).
Of course, the "political environmentalists" would vote favorably for the Kyoto Protocol in the U.N. The Gore book suggests that we get rid of the combustion engine to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, and that we stop polluting the air by burning coal for the generation of electricity. However, the book did not provide any real substitute for the engine nor the increasing demands for power from fossil fuels that would need to be replaced by a major amount of some form of unknown nonpolluting energy.
A major, comprehensive U.S. Energy Policy is required to solve the problems involved with population growth and future energy requirements as well as the reduction of world pollution. A small reduction in the total amount of human-caused atmospheric CO2 will not accomplish these objectives.
Rhetorically, does the U.S. want to reduce the GNP? Does the new president desire to reduce the budget surplus by increasing the cost of world government control? A U.S. income tax reduction will be much better for our economy! Does it make sense to export our industry and manufacturing to other countries? Does it make sense to reduce our labor force by over 2.5 million workers and reduce the number of taxpayers by a like amount? It appears that happens if we attempt to change our power structure without having known efficient environmentally sensitive and effective replacements for our current methods of power generation and transportation. The cost to reduce the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere needed to enforce the UN-IPCC theory or concept that there "may be" potential global warming due to increasing amounts of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, is in the trillions of dollars ... per year. Currently, there is no real evidence that reduction of CO2 can be accomplished or that it will improve the environment or our livelihood – or the environment for our grandchildren and future generations.
Of course, there is an economic theory that the major use of energy over the last century by the U.S. has created an environmental hazard and we owe the rest of the world for this damage. The U.S. is expected to pay the major cost for this effort to try to improve the climate. There are predictions that such a project would reduce U.S. farm and ranch income by over 25%; that more than 2,500,000 U.S. jobs would be lost to other developing nations; and that much of our industry and manufacturing would be exported to 3rd world nations for economic reasons (cost of labor and energy). Apparently there is not a complete study of what would happen to the world economy if the U.S. is unable to afford to purchase these products from those foreign markets. Apparently, the U.S. has a CO2 "sink" on its east coast which removes much of the manmade CO2 from the atmosphere before it "contaminates" other parts of the world.
There is limited evidence the earth can sustain the current population of 6 billion people. It becomes highly questionable if it can accommodate the projected 9 billion people. In any case, engineers and scientists will be direly needed and in great demand to help solve these developing problems. Major industrial capability and capacity with adequate financing still will be an absolute requirement to provide adequate employment for our population.
Yes, fossil fuels as we know them are finite. During this century, oil will be the first to become in short supply as demand increases and supplies are depleted. Gas will be next. Commercial supplies of coal in some form may well last until the beginning of the next century.
Coal, oil and gas are depletable. These fossil fuels currently provide more than 75% of the energy consumption of the world. Energy from coal in the U.S. provides over 50% of the energy needed for the generation of electricity and demand for electricity is increasing. Coal can be modified to become a clean fuel.
Even nuclear energy is finite, and the use of this source of energy will need to be greatly expanded in some form in the near future. Safe development and use of nuclear power needs to start now. This should be part of a new U.S. Energy Policy. There is a dire need to develop a logical workable energy policy by the U.S. and other industrial nations in the immediate future. As the use of fossil fuels declines, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from such use will automatically decrease without additional effort or costs.
Current renewable or sustainable energies now can supply only 10-15% of the world’s energy requirements – at very high costs. To supply more, would require the use of major areas and portions of the world – both land and sea and would create additional major environmental problems and concerns.
Change in Climate
Yes, there has been between 1°F and 2°F warming during the past 150 years.
Yes, some small part of that warming could relate to a large percentage increase in the miniscule amount of CO2 in the atmosphere provided by anthropogenic output.
Yes, there are many other possible reasons for this past minor amount of increased warming, some of which are:
The planet earth is still coming out of a 90,000 year glacial period and warming during the recent 10,000 to 15,000 years is a natural result. Without such change in warming, we would still be in an ice age.
The sun and its electromagnetic output has been increasing in recent times, providing additional warmth for the earth.
Changes in ocean currents.
Changes in the salinity of the ocean.
Changes in atmospheric circulation, water vapor and jet streams (all apparently unpredictable by current GCM’s for realistic estimates of potential future climate conditions).
No, it does not appear the expenditure of multi-trillions of dollars by the economies of the world (but primarily from the good ole U.S. of A.) could or would be able to significantly reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. And, it appears to some climatologists there may not be any beneficial results in the climate if it did.
The Ice Man Cometh
Mother Nature is not gentle and loving in either hot or cold periods of significant changing world climate and temperature. The Greenhouse Effect creates the Atmospheric Insulation by utilizing about 2% of the atmospheric gases which provide Global Warmth for the earth.
Ice ages have a normal period of development of 90,000 to 100,000 years. Warm periods historically have abnormally short lives representing only 10% of that time. A normal range between the ice ages and warm interglacial periods is only 5°F to 10°F variation in temperature.
An Ice Age would be much more destructive to our way of life than increasing warmth. The world population as we know it, could not be sustained during an Ice Age.
From study of past geologic events, it seems we are near a pending arrival of a beginning new ice age, which eventually could create related catastrophic results – which perhaps could be modified and reduced with increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere.
In the last 2 million years, the earth has gone through about 17 Ice Ages. It is scientifically illogical to assume these repetitive periods of major climate and temperature change have now stopped without some measured scientific indication or proof. Changes in the earth’s topography and ocean currents and continental drift all have had an earthbound effect on the changing climate. The tilt of the earth, and the output of the sun and the changes in the elliptical path of the earth around the sun also have major effects over geologic time on the climate and temperatures of the earth. Some of these changes are not necessarily slow.
The United Nations Position
The United Nations and the IPCC
In 1992, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the UN-IPCC) produced a report to "provide the technical basis for a ‘Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC).’" The United Nations held a convention in Rio de Janeiro in June of 1992 with the objective to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere."
There was another meeting in Berlin in March 1995 for the same purpose called the Conference of Parties (COP-1). COP-2 was held in Geneva in July 1996.
COP-3 -- the Kyoto Meeting was held in Kyoto, Japan in October 1997 and the "Kyoto Protocol" was developed. The United States representatives voted to agree to reduce the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level by the year 2012. With our growth in energy demand over the past decade, a 35% reduction from our expected energy use in 2012 would be required by that time.
Luckily, in my opinion, any such treaty agreement requires the approval of the U.S Senate. In early 1997, the Senate voted 95 to 0 against any such treaty unless all nations in the world are subject to the same rules, regulations, limitations and restrictions and share in the costs of a solution of the problem. China, Japan, India and Russia and many other smaller 3rd world nations have indicated, they could not or would not accept these requirements, restrictions and limitations on the use of coal and other fuels. However, large amounts of U.S. tax dollars have been spent under "Executive Authority" by the previous national administration to underwrite the intent of the protocol and the studies predicting Global Warming.
There was a recent COP-6 held at the Hague, Netherlands in November 2000, and the Executive report on that meeting will not become available until the spring of this year. But the conference has been listed as a failure because the U.S. representatives were not able to agree to have the U.S. to pay "its share" for this worldwide project or give up its sovereign rights – as proposed by the UN-IPCC.
Another meeting has recently been held in China during January 2001 with no changes in the UN-IPCC approach -- just relying on more models and more predictions of increased warmth without the needed backup scientific facts, measurements and proof.
In many quarters, the concept of increased Global Warming as a result of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, is accepted as fact! There is and has been serious questions among many qualified atmospheric scientists as to whether it is a fact and whether the warming is the result of human activity, and if so, what can and should be done about it.
The Kyoto Protocol could inflict socialistic controls over our freedoms. Every nation as part of such Protocol would lose much of its sovereignty and global governance could develop as a result. In the name of environmental safety, we could be dragged into a world of socialism. The immutable law of nature has not been repealed with the arrival of a small increase in CO2 or a small increase in average temperature. Ideally, we are at the end of a prominent 10,000-12000 year period of warmth. This may now be an optimum period of warmth. In past geologic times, the range of warmth differences from Ice Age to Warmth is about 10°F ± in each direction from some average, (without any impact from human, anthropogenic increase in temperature caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2). As indicated, the impact on climate from many natural causes is hundreds of times greater than any possible substantial changes from the human use of fossil fuels.
The UN-IPCC Kyoto Protocol is proposing a puny but costly effort to reduce CO2. In any developing colder climate, Mother Nature would go on a rampage with greater temperature diversity (winters) and greater human suffering than can be imagined as a result from a minor reduction in atmospheric CO2 which may now be resulting in a minor increase in global warmth. The attempt to change this by reducing a miniscule amount of CO2 again would be similar to the attempt to build the Tower of Babel.
Computer -- The use of computer assisted studies in its many forms is very beneficial to our way of life – but the computer is not infallible. It is a good tool. It is not a substitute for science, engineering, medicine, accounting, manufacturing or business and legal efforts. It is becoming a useful tool for all people in all professions.
Everyone is aware of the sayings "Computers are fast idiots" or "Garbage in, Garbage Out." The trouble is some people who use computers and provide mathematical simulation models don’t realize when inadequate amounts of accurate data are provided, producing a result that is either erroneous or the answers are "non-unique" – meaning there are other possible answers using the same data or information. That is the case with the numerous Global Climate Models that are present in the world today. There is not enough reliable measured scientific data available to permit the results of the GCM studies to provide potential accurate projections of the climate in the future if the earth and its atmosphere and the climate were to remain stable for a hundred years. The gathering of additional factual data and scientific studies are required to improve this situation.
Many of the representatives of the various member nations of the United Nations do not care if the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol are detrimental to the U.S. and its economic well being. (They should, for their own economic well being.) In the studies of so-called global warming, there has not been any real demand or requirement for scientific accuracy and accountability and scientific peer review of the studies made by the U.S., NASA, EPA or the DOE, etc.
Mathematical manipulation by computers does not guarantee scientific accuracy. It has been presumed by most politicians and journalists and environmentalists, that CO2 is causing and will continue to cause Global Warming and something can and should be done about it. Their studies are generally encouraged, authorized, conducted and paid for as studies to prove the concept of "Global Warming", not with an objective of determining the actual scientific reasons for "Global Climate Change." That is a normal practice of politically controlled scientific work that starts out with a specific objective and then attempts to determine the proof. In my opinion, the current resultant studies will not provide the necessary scientific answers to questions concerning climate change and our energy requirements and the survival of the world population. A general consensus is not a realistic scientific objective.
There is need for more study. Even with many world studies and two dozen major computer GCM models, new and/or additional scientific studies are needed, supported by additional and more accurate data. We need to know the effect on global warmth from the major greenhouse gas, water vapor, and the effects (changes) created from clouds and precipitation. We need to attempt to determine the reasons and basis for changes in the electromagnetic output (heat) from the sun. The combined effect from these two sources of global warmth may be hundreds of times greater than the effect of excess influx of CO2 into the atmosphere from human activity.
Apparently none of the current GCMs attempt to provide an adjustment for the risks involved with the unknown geologic, celestial or solar variables.
Beware of Global Cooling and beware of Computer Simulation Models -- which do not use actual measured historical climate data – which provide results which do not or cannot match the most recent 100 years of past climate history. If they won’t predict the known past or current history, they cannot be expected to have any capacity to accurately predict the next 100 years.
I don’t mind buying insurance, but I do desire to know the risk, costs and opportunity for some benefit before I agree to pay the premium. This is not being done in the case of potential global warming and a proposal for protecting the world from an unknown amount of climate change from human activity.
The UN-IPCC has proposed a very expensive program to remove perceived excess CO2 from the atmosphere in the stated hope and anticipation that such a program will reduce or eliminate a perceived period of catastrophic warming of the earth during the next 100 years and then improve the environment. In such a program as presented by the UN-IPCC Kyoto Protocol (Treaty), the cost for the world would be prohibitive and the results on climate change and reduced warming would be limited or nonexistent. This would not appreciably improve the environment. The proposed program could bankrupt the world economy. In my opinion, if all cars, trucks, tractors, airplanes, trains, travel, manufacturing, industry and electrical power generation were to miraculously find some reliable substitute for fossil fuels, the amount of reduction of atmospheric CO2 from human causes would not be sufficient to change the climate; but if new nonpolluting energy cannot be developed, then the world and its environment may not be able to support the world population at some time in the future.
Fossil fuels and nuclear power are finite sources of energy. They must be used in the near term while a positive, worldwide effort is made to develop adequate, efficient alternate sources of energy under a realistic U.S. Energy Policy where the use of Nuclear Energy will be required for an interim period. In my final analysis (to date), we have more to fear from possible Global Cooling than from Warming – and humans will not be able to do much about Mother Nature and climate change – except to cope and be prepared for change. Improvement of the environment is desirable and probably not directly related to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Yes, we need an Energy Policy and a major improvement in the efficient use of all forms of energy. This should be controlled for us by our sovereign nation – not the United Nations.
February 1, 2001
Fred L. Oliver, P.E.
A False Frenzy on Global Warming
Friday, July 11, 2008By Paul M. Weyrich
When I was the political reporter and weekend anchor at WISN TV, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee, John Coleman was our weatherman. He was s strong conservative and was known for his sense of humor. One time it had rained for 30 days straight. Coleman said if it rained on the 31st day he would produce the weather forecast standing on his head. It rained. He did it.
Another time the camera opened on a wide shot of a blindfolded John Coleman throwing darts at a dartboard labeled “Hot,” “Cold,” “Snow,” “Rain,” “Sunny,” “Cloudy,” “Fog,” “Drizzle” and so on. He had had a string of days when his forecasts were erroneous. John said “Well, this probably is as good as my forecasts these days.” Coleman went on to be the weatherman on “Good Morning America” for seven years. He began the weather channel with his life savings. He subsequently has forecast the weather in New York and Chicago. Today he says his retirement job is weatherman for KUSI in San Diego.
In a remarkable speech before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Coleman was very serious about global warming as the consummate fraud. He began by saying that we should give credit where credit is due. There is, he said, an intrinsic connection between Al Gore’s campaign for global warming and $4 per gallon gasoline. “It comes down to….the claim that carbon dioxide in the exhaust from your car and in the smoke stacks of our power plants is destroying the climate of planet earth. What an amazing fraud; what a scam.”
He then recited Gore’s dire warnings. “The future of our civilization lies in the balance. That’s the battle cry of the high priest of global warming, Al Gore and his agenda driven disciples as they predict a calamitous outcome from anthropogenic global warming.” He said Gore, with a preacher’s zeal, sets out to strike terror into us and our children and make us feel we are all complicit in the potential demise of the planet.
“Here,” said Coleman, “is my rebuttal. There is no significant man-made global warming. There has not been any in the past, there is none now and there is no reason to fear any in the future.” Coleman went on to say that the climate of earth is changing. It always has changed. But mankind’s activities have not overwhelmed or significantly modified the natural forces.” Coleman explained that through history the earth has shifted between two basic climate regimes: ice ages and what paleoclimatologists call “interglacial periods.” He said for the past 10,000 years the earth has been in an interglacial period. That might be called nature’s global warming because what happens during an interglacial period is the earth warms up. The glaciers melt and life flourishes.
“Clearly from our point of view, an interglacial period is greatly preferred to the deadly rigors of an ice age…Mr. Gore and his crowd would have us believe that the activities of man have overwhelmed nature during this interglacial period and are producing an unprecedented out of control warming.” As with Senator James M. (Jim) Inhofe (R-OK), Coleman makes the case that indeed we may be in a period of global cooling. He said the data is so overwhelming that even the UN had to acknowledge it. So now the best thing proponents of global warming can do is to suggest that global warming is taking a ten-year break on account of the absence of sun spots.
“If this weren’t so serious it would be laughable” Coleman quipped. He went on to discuss the science behind global warming. He has dug through thousands of pages of material and examined complicated math and looked at complex theories. “The bottom line is this. The entire global warming scientific case is based on the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels. They don’t have any other issue, Carbon Dioxide, that’s it.” At that point he tells Gore and the UN’s intergovernmental panel on Climate Change, “Your science is flawed; your hypothesis is wrong; your data is manipulated and may I add your scare tactics are deplorable. The earth does not have a fever. Carbon dioxide does not cause significant global warming.” From there Coleman presents the scientific data to prove his case. It is a remarkable speech.
www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/19842304.html Thank God Coleman is in a position to tell the truth. He says younger weathermen are afraid to speak out lest they lose their jobs. Young scientists are similarly afraid of losing research grants. He blames the media for wanting a crisis and thus reporting pro-global warming stories. But when 31,000 scientists refuted global warming a month ago the media hardly mentioned it. He said that compares to 2,000 pro-global warming scientists on the UN climate change panel who claim that the issue is settled. Coleman said when he and others made a presentation at a New York conference of climate change skeptics the audience was limited to 600 people. Every seat was taken. After his remarks were posted on the Internet, he received hundreds of e-mails and calls supporting his position.
“No, I am not alone. And the debate is not over. “If Al Gore and his warming scare dictate the future policy of our governments the current economic downturn could indeed become a recession. Drift into a depression and our modern civilization could fall into the abyss. And it would largely be a direct result of the global warming frenzy. “My mission,” Coleman concluded, “in what is left of a long and exciting lifetime, is to stamp out this global warming silliness and let us all get on with enjoying our lives and loving our planet, Earth.” Godspeed John Coleman.