Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This cold snowy weather does not disprove climate change.

Since we are having our first “normal” winter in several years -I say normal because that’s how I remember winters when I was a kid - I’ve been playing Whack-A-Mole with climate deniers to debunk their short sighted opinions. Many of you already have read about the Polar Vortex that has been disrupted because of the Arctic Amplification effect (the arctic warms faster than the rest of the planet)  
that has disrupted the Jet Stream which is causing very extreme weather events around the planet.

I just wanted to point a very important difference about climate and weather. Climate is measured in decades and centuries not weeks, months, seasons or years. Weather is what happens during years, seasons, months, weeks, and days.

Overall climate has a very definite effect on weather like prolonging dry or wet seasons and extreme temperature changes. This is caused by us as we continue pumping 90 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every 24 hours which raises CO2 levels causing the atmosphere to get hotter. The more heat in the atmosphere the more moisture that gets trapped up there; and the more moisture there is in the atmosphere the heavier and more extreme the storms become. If the weather is cold the storms will be big snow storms; if the weather is warm it will be flooding rains. Climate change’s main “signature” is extreme events which can be snow or ice storms, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wind, or droughts. If you pay attention to the news when they report extreme weather events, often the local person being interviewed will say something like, “we’ve always have had floods around here, but nothing like this ever before, or we always have tornadoes in the spring in this area but we’ve never seen a tornado this big before.” Again the operable is extreme or biggest ever. I hear that most of the time on the news these days.

One last thing, most people are familiar with Dr. Michael Mann’s diagram of the measured changes in CO2 levels and temperature levels called the Hockey Stick graph. It was used in Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and became very controversial when some climate deniers who were finance by the fossil fuel industry tried to debunk it, and who now are being sued for liable because 3 different independent scientific inquiries found it to be scientifically accurate. My point is,  if you look at that lines in that graph you will see that for 800,000 years CO2 levels bounced up and down like hills and valleys but, on average, stayed within a range of 280 parts per million (PPM). Since the late 1700s, because of people relying on fossil fuels, CO2 levels now average 397 PPM and have gone into the 400 PPM range which soon will be the new average because we haven’t done a thing to reduce our fossil fuel emissions. So, one cold snowy winter does not disprove climate change, it’s just one very small down tick on the graph that has risen 117 PPM higher than any time in the last 800,000 years.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's carbon levels not the economy that's going to save us!

Congressional legislators who deny climate change typically focus on free market economics and fail to acknowledge the destructive impacts and associated costs that we experience now from climate driven extreme weather events.
They grouse about the Obama Administration’s request for a 2014 climate change budget of $11.6 billion and the expansion of government agencies to combat climate change. While realizing that the Republican party’s platform rests on smaller government and cutting government expenses to the bone, you can’t help wondering why their budget fetish ignores the fact that, according to The US Treasury Department, between 2011 and the first quarter of 2013 extreme weather events cost us $136,493 billion dollars and that doesn’t count the endless numbers of flood, sand storm, drought, and wild fire damages that happened since then.
They claim that while the President stated a willingness to work with Congress toward enacting a bipartisan, market-based scheme to reduce GHG emissions, the Administration has also taken steps to move ahead with Executive Branch actions to address climate change concerns without Congressional support. They express outrage that President Obama has advanced a series of unilateral regulations without appropriate legislative review – including a proper assessment of the cumulative influence, regional effects, and distributional impact of such actions on states and localities – would do more harm than good. Well, the Republican Party, while vehemently denying the existence of global warming, ditched every proposed climate bill leaving the President no other choice!

One congressmen complained, “On September 20, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft regulation to limit carbon pollution from new coal-fired power plants.  This proposed regulation – which has the potential to adversely affect the development of new plants in the U.S and discourage investment in and the development of innovative technologies – is unfortunately not a step in the right direction.  At a time when our economy is struggling to recover, increasing the cost of energy and cutting more American jobs is not the right way to move forward.”  

Here again, like so many people, these legislators fail to recognize the real issue because their only measure is money, revenues in particular.

The critical issue is: in the past 150 years humans increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere by 117 parts per million (PPM) by burning fossil fuels. For over 800,000 years before that CO2 levels hovered around 280 PPM. Now because we pump 90 million tons of CO2 up there every 24 hours, CO2 has risen to an average of 397 PPM and actually spiked into the 400 PPM level twice in early 2013. It won’t be long until that will become the average as it continues upward.

Burning fossil fuels has already raised the global temperature from preindustrial levels by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and we are already experiencing sea level rise, extreme storms, droughts and wildfires around the planet. Even more alarming, 80 percent of the Arctic ice cap melted in the summer of 2012.
Scientist believe that we can’t allow the preindustrial global temperature to rise higher than 2 degrees Celsius or human survival will be very challenging. We are almost half way there now.
The oil, gas and coal industries and their paid henchmen like the Heartland Institute and bought politicians distract the public with red herring issues like claiming that switching to clean energy will hurt the economy, kill jobs, and cause energy shortages while overlooking the job creation that clean energy creates. 
What is tragically overlooked by them and the media is that if humans want to survive on this planet we have to stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible. Scientists say that we can’t put much more than another 565 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere without disastrous results. At this time, financial analysts calculate that there is already 2,795 gigatons of CO2 contained in readily available oil, gas and coal reserves. That’s five times more CO2 than we can afford to burn and expect to survive yet the plan remains drill baby drill; burn baby burn.
There is enough carbon just in the Canadian Tar Sands oil deposits to send the global temperature above the 2 degree limit. That is the reason environmentalists are protesting the Keystone XL Pipe Line. We just can’t afford to burn that carbon and expect to survive.
Again, the critical issue is carbon output. If we keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere jobs and the economy will be a moot point. What good will money be if we don’t live to spend it?  Our first step should be to tax all carbon at its source of extraction and give that money directly to our tax-paying citizens to cover the increase in price that fossil fuels will go through until we are 100% clean energy and stop burning them. This points to another blind spot. Legislators want to cut subsidies to clean energy but they vote in lock-step to support the $90 billion in tax subsidies that the oil companies get from taxpayers each year in the name of “leveling the playing field.”

 Again, the bottom line is, leave carbon in the ground or humans won’t be around!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Rep. Jim Geralch is truly Jim Gridlock. He was home when we were paying him to be in Washington doing his job.

September 25, 2013
Today, I ran into Representative Jim Gerlach in the parking lot at Victory Brewery in Downingtown at about 1:15 PM. Considering, that I have been asking his Office Manager in his District office in Lionville, Edward Schmidt, for a personal meeting with Gerlach for over 6 months and never have gotten one, I decided to take advantage of this opportunity to air my issues. It seems sometimes providence has a way of shining your way. J

My first question was why can’t I get a face-to-face meeting with you? He immediately got on his cell phone and “appeared” to be sending a text to Ed to set up a meeting with me. He’s either incredibly adept at texting or it was just another ploy to get me off his back. Then he said to me, “Didn’t you visit me in Washington a few weeks ago?” I said “no, first of all I couldn’t be there that day so I contributed a letter to you on my behalf, but you weren’t there when the others visited anyway.”

I told him I am incredibly disappointed on what is going on in Washington. Immediately he said it is all Obama’s fault. He said Obama is the worst leader ever in the presidency. I asked what about the fact that the House said they would vote against everything Obama proposes so that he would fail. He shot back that Obama has never reached across the aisle and has never once come to the House to talk to them. I responded that Obama invited the Republican’s to the White House and the Republicans didn’t come. He responded by saying, you don’t understand because you are not there. I’m there!

Then I asked him why the Republican House won’t support green energy legislation and he said some vague remarks about how we need a bill that will wean us from fossil fuels in the future. I told him about how CO2 levels hit 400 PPM twice last February and his response was, “well we haven’t had any big hurricanes yet this year.” My reply, do you know about the monsoon that is happening right now in Japan?” His response, these storms happen all the time and they have been happening throughout history.
So it’s obvious, he’s really not on the right page with global warming.

I guess my only satisfaction is, I caught him off guard and I found out where he really stands on global warming.
My last question to him was why are you here in Downingtown? Shouldn’t you be in Washington, after all I’m one of many who is paying your salary? He said, well I’m going down tonight.

So much for representation! I’d love to run against this guy, if the Democratic Party will support me better than they did Trivedi. He is very beatable in spite of his gerrymandered district.  How bad do the Democrats want to gain a seat in Congress?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

July 2013's average temperature in the United States

According to NOAA the US's average temperature for the month of July was 74.3 degrees F. which is .8 degrees higher that the 20th Century average temperatures.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Read the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July

July 4, 1776, The middle of paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence reads: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers and the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Well people, I think we are there now.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Heartland Institute a Demonic Organization

The Heartland Institute, a conservative free market Chicago based “think tank”, is probably more responsible than the Cato Institute or the George C. Marshall Institute for confusing the public about global warming and stalling congress from addressing its threat to humanity.
 In March 2013, in time for Earth Day, Heartland mailed a package of bogus information to, according to them, every school teacher, college professor, politician, and media contact in America attempting to vilify established peer reviewed science and legitimate scientists with their lies and misinformation. Heartland was also on a rampage trying to dissuade teachers from teaching science in America’s school rooms.
This package contained a book entitled, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism. It also included a 10 minute DVD entitled Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland, a general brochure of the Heartland Institute, and a postcard slamming Al Gore showing a bogus CO2 time line claiming to prove that the planet is cooling, a claim running totally against all legitimate scientific observations.
This mailing campaign is extremely audacious considering the immense damage they did to themselves during their 7th Annual Conference on Climate Change in Chicago when they posted an add on a billboard along the Eisenhower Expressway with a picture of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski saying, “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” They also planned to run follow-up billboards with Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro.
Heartland’s justification for the ads, “Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming.”
It is well known that oil tycoons the Koch Brothers, EXXON, and other fossil related companies heavily finance the Heartland Institute.  But after the billboard debacle 22 smaller corporate donors pulled their support. Considering the diabolical intentions of the Heartland Institute it is amazing that AT&T, Microsoft, Comcast, and the US Chamber of Commerce still finance their shenanigans. Shame on them! 
Now, to conceal donor contributions they filter the money through organizations like the Philanthropy Roundtable, Donors Trust, and Donors Capital Fund. While the investigation is going on at the IRS for stalling Tea Party nonprofit applications, they should also investigate the Heartland Institutes IRS violations.
Heartland’s diabolical fame began with their alliance with the tobacco industry. They worked with Philip Morris to create doubt about the science linking second-hand smoke to health risks. Then they nefariously defended RJ Reynolds’ “Joe Camel” campaign targeting kids to start smoking by making it look cool to smoke Joe Camel Cigarettes.  They used their scientist Fred Singer to dispute that tobacco is a health risk and now they cart Singer out to dispute the peer reviewed science about climate change.   
In contrast to Heartland’s claims, a report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) about 2012 carbon dioxide emissions show that world CO2 concentrations rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record high of 31.6 billion tons. At this rate of increase the world is on track to push global temperatures up to between 6.5 and 9.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Climate scientists warn that to maintain a livable planet we cannot exceed a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit increase. This report is bad news - very bad news - and we haven’t even begun to deal with CO2 emissions yet. In fact, we pump 90 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every 24 hours by burning fossil fuels and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere averages 397 parts per million (PPM) and twice has spiked to over 400 PPM, the highest since humans have inhabited the planet.

Besides fossil fuel industry money, what drives people at the Heartland Institute to be so diabolical? They are profoundly responsible for delaying actions that would cut CO2 and limit the impacts of climate change. Their actions have condemned future generations, our children and grandchildren, to an unpredictable and perilous world.