Friday, September 21, 2007

A wonderful illustration of the absurdity of carbon offsets

The website CheatNeutral will allow you to pay someone to remain faithful to his or her partner in order to allow you to continue your cheating ways.

Of course it's satire, but it makes the point beautifully.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Global warming causes upsurge in antisemitism

I showed in the preceding post how AGW alarmism is a potential lifesaver for any cause that is suffering a dearth of popular support. In that case, fear of global warming was being used to gin up opposition to hydroelectric dams.

Now we see a prominent British Member of Parliament using the AGW crisis in an attempt to increase international opposition to..... Israel. It seems that Israel's very existence is hindering the fight against climate change. As reported in the September 13 Daily Telegraph:

Former Blair Government minister Clare Short made the absurd claim last month that no progress was possible on climate change treaties because Israel "undermines the international community's reaction to global warming".

Ms Short, who resigned from the Blair Government over the war in Iraq, explained that man-made climate change continues because Israel's conflict with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours is distracting world leaders from devising a response to global warming.

Glad to see that the Telegraph is having none of that.

Maybe we should have a contest to come up with the most ridiculous connection between climate change and something else. Why bother, though? We already have a winner!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hydroelectric dams cause earthquakes, volcanoes, severe thunderstorms, and heart attacks

Okay, try to follow along on this one.

Again we return to the observation that the AGW 'crisis' is ideally suited to the aims of the radical environmental movement. Global warming (or "climate change", if you insist) is flexible enough to encompass virtually all of their pet causes of the past four decades (with the exception of nuclear power, which keeps stubbornly popping up as the most earth-friendly energy source capable of completely replacing coal).

For example, the enviros have long opposed the damming of rivers because of the inconvenience such projects cause to snail darters and the like. They have not, however, been able to swing public support in their favor, because on the whole people like their televisions and their power tools more than they like snail darters.

That's why the AGW thing is a stroke of good luck for the environmentalists. Like just about everything else, someone has been able to suggest a connection between the damming of rivers and global warming. A September 4 article in Australia's reported:
International Rivers Network executive director Patrick McCully today told Brisbane's Riversymposium rotting vegetation and fish found in dams produced surprising amounts of methane - 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

"Often it's accepted that hydropower is a climate friendly technology but in fact probably all reservoirs around the world emit greenhouse gases and some of them, especially some of the ones in the tropics, emit very high quantities of greenhouse gases even comparable to, in some cases even much worse than, fossil fuels like coal and gas," Mr McCully said.

He said when water flow was stopped, vegetation and soil in the flooded area and from upstream was left to rot, as well as fish and other animals which died in the dam.

They then released carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the air.

"Basically they're factories for converting carbon into methane and methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas - it's less known than carbon dioxide but it's actually about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere."

Mr McCully said global estimates blamed dams for about a third of all methane emissions worldwide.
Now we're on to something. Dams cause global warming. That's just evil.

Still no groundswell of public opposition to dams.... So, let's bring this a bit closer to home. We've mentioned some of the things said to be caused by or enhanced by AGW (such as flooding rains, amorous cats, genocide, super poison ivy, higher pizza prices, and megacryometeors). To this list we must add earthquakes and volcanoes, as we are told in this August 30 LiveScience article:

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and landslides are some of the additional catastrophes that climate change and its rising sea levels and melting glaciers could bring, a geologist says.

The impact of human-induced global warming on Earth's ice and oceans is already noticeable: Greenland's glaciers are melting at an increasing rate, and sea level rose by a little more than half a foot (0.17 meters) globally in the 20th century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


One particular feature that can change the balance of forces in Earth's crust is ice, in the form of glaciers and ice sheets that cover much of the area around Earth's poles plus mountains at all latitudes. The weight of ice depresses the crust on which it sits.

As the ice melts, the crust below no longer has anything sitting on top of it, and so can rebound fairly rapidly (by geological standards). (This rebounding is actually occurring now as a result of the end of the last Ice Age: The retreat of massive ice sheets from the northern United States and Canada has allowed the crust in these areas to bounce back.)

Areas of rebounding crust could change the stresses acting on earthquake faults and volcanoes in the crust.

(Thanks to Newsbusters)

Earthquakes and volcanoes are bad. But you're still okay with hydroelectric power, are you? Willing to play the odds that a volcano won't pop up in your back yard, eh? Let's up the ante a little more. Here's another August 30 article from LiveScience:
Global warming will make severe thunderstorms and tornadoes a more common feature of U.S. weather, NASA scientists said today.

Climate models have previously shown that Earth will see more heavy rainstorms as the atmosphere warms, but a new climate model developed by NASA researchers is the first to show the difference in strength between storms that occur over land and those over the ocean and how storms strengths will change in general.

The models don't directly simulate thunderstorms and lightning, but look for conditions that are ripe for severe storms to form.
Thunderstorms! Tornadoes! Those are real threats where I live. In fact, as I mentioned in the post before this, my PC was zapped by lightning three weeks ago. I was at work at the time, and I heard a single thunderclap -- apparently the one that got my motherboard at home. A thunderstorm with only one significant lightning strike, but it was a doozy. That's just creepy enough to blame on global warming (never mind the fact that we're experiencing the coolest summer in the 30 years I've lived in Texas). But is it enough to make me give up the hydroelectric dam? Hey, I need power to run my PC once I get it fixed (as well as the new one I have on order).

Since you haven't listened to reason yet, it's time to get personal. Global warming is coming for you. Yes, you. Here's an Associated Press dispatch from September 5:

Doctors warn that the warmer weather expected with climate change might also produce more heart problems.

"If it really is a few degrees warmer in the next 50 years, we could definitely have more cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, of the department of cardiology at Sweden's Karolinska Institute.

[...] In higher temperatures, we sweat to get rid of heat. During that process, blood is sent to the skin where temperatures are cooler, which opens up the blood vessels. In turn, the heart rate rises and blood pressure drops. That combination can be dangerous for older people and those with weakened cardiovascular systems.

So now you're dead. If that doesn't turn you against hydroelectric dams, I don't know what will.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

OT: You see, it's like this

In retrospect, it's not surprising that I've been able to get only one post out there in the past month. Memo to self: Just plan to put the blog on vacation next year around this time. From the beginning of August through the middle of September each year, every aspect of my life -- work, church, social -- is booked solid, and the few spare moments sprinkled therein leave me with no energy to do any blogging.

And don't even remind me about the fact that lightning (no doubt enhanced by global warming) zapped the motherboard on my PC two weeks ago today. I seized on the crisis as my golden opportunity to buy a new PC to replace the current 5-year-old one (which, once fixed, will go to my 9-year-old son).

The new PC (an Athlon64 X2 from CyberPower) will arrive next week. I expect that you'll start seeing me on the blog again not long after that (Tim said hopefully).