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Global Warming in the Garden

But we’re not just gardeners here, we’re eco-gardeners, so let’s turn to the down side.  Native plant advocates won’t like this, from the WaPo article:  "Native plants might find their growing seasons shifted, their life cycles out of sync with pollinating insects, if warming trends continue to affect them."  The Botanic Garden curator agrees: "It’s alarming, when you look at native plant communities."  So with temperatures and CO2 added to the list of things that have changed since the Pilgrims landed, will native plants wind up in plant museums?

And this just in:  Anne Raver, in today’s New York Times, lists lots more down sides to climate change:

  • Weeds like poison ivy and ragweed are thriving.  With higher temps and increased CO2, ragweed produces 10 times the amount of pollen.
  • Likewise, robust invasive plants like English ivy and Japanese honeysuckle are thriving under the changed conditions.
  • Canada thistle has become more resistant to herbicides, requiring 3 times the dosage in the presence of higher carbon dioxide.
  • There’s increased danger of drought and extreme precipitation events (what some are now calling "global weirding").

Sigh.  Well, at least Raver suggests a few things gardeners can do, in our own tiny ways, to combat global warming:

  • Stop tilling.  Exposing microbes to air creates more carbon dioxide.
  • Use cover crops to slow the release of carbon.
  • Limit the use of chemical fertilizers, which are manufactured using fossil fuels.
  • Get rid of those leaf blowers and gas-powered lawnmowers.  Here she reminds us that one hour of gas-powered lawn-mowing produces the same pollution as driving 200 miles in a car.  (But what kind of car, Ms. Raver?  If memory serves, the comparison uses a new car with average fuel efficiency.)

And Raver’s last suggestion: "If a lawn is too big for a people-powered reel mower, it can be shrunk down by planting ground covers and trees, which will take more carbon dioxide out of the air.  The same principle applies to roofs and terraces: more plants absorb more carbon dioxide."

Hold it – the last time I checked, lawn is a groundcover and Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue are plants, so I’ll assume Raver isn’t contributing to the broad-brush lawn-bashing that’s become fashionable of late.  She’s just showing folks how to get rid of their gas mowers.  (Having switched to electric last summer, I can report enjoying the quiet but concluding pretty quickly that it’s worth paying more to lose the cord.)

Here’s a related story from Europe, where the plea is "Let it Snow."  Apparently it’s not a good time to be in the ski resort biz.

Posted by on December 21, 2006 at 4:53 am, in the category Uncategorized.
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72 Responses to “Global Warming in the Garden”

  1. JLB says:

    Interesting and somewhat disturbing news all around – thanks for the links.

    I like the list of suggestions for what gardeners can do to help… without summarily bashing lawns, I heartily agree with slowly chomping out lawn sections to decrease the overall area by planting more trees and shrubs.

    I am definitely curious to see what the effects of climate change will be on native species. Perhaps they will boldly adapt? Or pull up their roots and migrate?

  2. Amy T. says:

    I think Raver’s comment is just worded poorly. He makes it sound like “ground cover” will absorb more carbon dioxide than a lawn, but I think he is actually referring to the fact that ground cover would not need to be mowed a gas-guzzling lawn mower.

  3. Kathy says:

    Poison ivy, a weed? But-but-but it’s a native plant.

  4. Gloria says:

    It is more complicated than just planting. Turf is cut weekly and then it releases the CO2 back into the atmosphere as it rapidly degrades.
    Native plants or groundcovers with deep roots can create a carbon sink. Read the following EPA link.
    And don’t discount it because it does not fit your landscape plan. Do what you wish in your own space but educate yourself to really know what you reap.A lawn is not evil but it is less effective if you have environmental concerns.
    http://www.epa.gov/greenacres/toolkit/chap2.html

    Natural vegetation can help to combat global climate change (the “greenhouse effect”) by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store the carbon in the body of the plant, the root system and the soil.

  5. So how much like Texas will D.C. have to get before it’s too warm to grow tulips, most daffodils, and any fruit tree (like apples and pears) that require a cold period? When will the lilacs go?

  6. ginger says:

    Gee, the earth is 4.5 billion years old and temperature record keeping has been going on for…how many years? Maybe two hundred! Barely a blip in the scheme of life. Ahh but it is all about human life isn’t it!

  7. Ginger – your argument is, of course, completely valid. The earth WILL be fine. It IS a blip. No question. It will correct.

    It might be a statstical anomaly or it might be fossils fuels. Doesn’t really matter. We know the fossils fuels contribute if not cause.

    The only trouble I see with the argument stems from the fact that I, as a human, have no other place to live at the moment… and my survival band is surprisingly narrow. I hope this “blip” doesn’t turn my species into a blip.

    Besides, I’ve planted a bunch of slow growing plants. I want to be around to see the flowers.

    (By the way, excellent post Susan.)

  8. You know… I navigated away and did some other things and found myself getting upset.

    I’m sorry, but the whole “we don’t have enough data out of 4.5 billion years” is just ridiculous.

    We need more data. But we have LOTS of data.

    For example, take a look at what we know about Little Ice Age. We know about the Medieval Warm Period. We know that 8200 years ago we dipped down into a roughly three century chill.

    We know all kinds of things.

    I don’t know if the globe is warming permanently or not. I don’t know if it is natural or caused by us. I’m not a scientist or an activist.

    But I do know that we live small temperature band. I also know that when things change a little, for whatever reason, crops fail and disease floursishes. It get’s unfun. Cultures fail. Societies fail. Maybe we’ll survive. Maybe we won’t. But change like this sucks.

    And we know that there are things we do which contribute carbon to the atmophere.

    With or without a 4.5 billion databank, it is pretty clear that we should minimize those things huh?

    I mean… right?

    *whew* I feel better

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval

    http://www.serendipit-e.com/blog/2006/01/broken_ice_dam_.html

  9. Ki says:

    I wonder where the often quoted “…care driven 200 miles…” information came from? Lots of writers have thrown it out not checking the source to see if it’s valid or correct. They also lump all small gas engines in the same category. The two stroke engines, the ones where you have to mix oil with the gas is probably what they are talking about when they quote the “200 miles”…, is quite a polluter but now usually used only in small cheap string trimmers, chain saws, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers etc. Most of the lawn mowers use 4 stroke engines which are way less polluting. Still not good but much better than before. I too tried using a corded electric mower but it was an act of frustration especially when we have a lot of shrubs and trees to go around. Quiet and efficient but the cord got tangled and it wasn’t powerful enough to go through tall grass. My guess is that the ones with a battery would be even less powerful.

    Because of the larger surface area of trees and shrubs compared to a shorter lawn, getting rid of the grass is probably minimally better for the environment. We are slowly digging out the lawn as we make more planting berms. We are the black sheep of the neighborhood as they all have large sweeping expanses of lawn with minimal other plantings mostly around the house.

    Hey I now live in zone 7. More plants to buy, like gardenia. Thanks for the interesting article.

  10. susan harris says:

    Clerk – so glad you surfed back here to vent – I mean rant. And I agree.
    Gloria, since you directed me to “educate yourself to really know what you reap,” I read the EPA article, which is terrific and I only disagree on one point – its persistent heralding of “native” plants as the only plant of choice to achieve all the enviro-benefits. “Native perennial plants are well adapted to local soils and to enviromental conditions such as summer heat and drought.” Isn’t the point of global warming that enviromental conditions have changed since the Pilgrims and will continue to change? And on developed sites, often the soils aren’t remotely native or natural. Then there’s all the nonnative diseases we now have to contend with, plus competition from imported plants, the overpopulation of deer – the list goes on.
    So how about we get real and start recommending plants that DO THE JOB, whatever their origin, because we’re asking a very small group of plants to accomplish a helluva lot these days. And BTW, the “prairie grasslands” the EPA recommends? Well, they’re native to the prairies but not the rest of the country, like the naturally forested East Coast.
    Oh, one more nit to pick about the EPA article: its assertion that lawns are chemically dependent – only if they’re grown that way. Let’s debunk the notion that lawn HAS to be grown conventionally.

  11. Gloria says:

    Sorry about that Susan. You know how those native plant enthusiasts are.Sorta meant ‘in general’ gardeners should look into what is known rather than opinions about what is known. Then make your own decisions about your priorities.
    As for native plants(This is opinion)there are no more rules than with other plants. Fitting a native to its environment is more important than where it was discovered.Plants can and do travel to new locations albeit rather more slowly than is convenient for human use.
    As a group most north american natives have not had natures needs bred out of them. They have not yet been altered to flower bigger and longer and brighter to suit a ‘please the gardener to sell more’ priority.
    So there are choices for the bees and butterflies, for the dry shady spot under the trees and the sometimes soggy place.
    Natives tend to thrive in communities that need a similar environment then assist one another and work well with the wildlife.
    I find that North American natives more often fit my intended purpose more efficiently.

  12. Ed Bruske says:

    On the theory that gardeners are citizens first, and have inherent interest in the health of the planet, I think they should be looking at every possible way they can minimize their contribution to global warming. They can start by putting power tools in moth balls, abstaining from chemical fertilizers and pesticides, develope a preference for products made locally, rejecting plastics and, yes, replacing incandescent bulbs with flourescents. You could also vote for people who give a shit.

  13. Jeff Gillman says:

    I’m right there with you. The way I see it changes are going to be minor enough that it’s not actually going to mean much. Sure, average temps will change a little, but I never see average temps where I am in Minnesota. Shoot, a couple weeks ago we saw a few days at 70-80 degrees and last week we saw fourteen degrees for a few nights — totally annihilating the few plants that I tried to start early!

    Carbon dioxide is a fickle beast. Most people are worried about it because of its impact on global warming. I’m worried about it because as it increases in our atmosphere some plants will love it, and some plants won’t. Not all plants are encouraged by high CO2 to the same extent.

  14. Ed’s right–and voting may be the most important part, given the scale of the problem.

    But I really am schizophrenic on this subject, as I said last week.

    I think global warming is going to be bad, bad, bad. I mean, consider how much a shift of just a few degrees affects your outlook. Or how different the world feels when you’ve had just a little too much rain or an unexpected drought. Now multiply that, and then think how the plants feel about it.

    Even subtle shifts in the weather patterns can throw a monkey wrench into an ecosystem. It’s hard to imagine my part of the world without sugar maples, but they may very well retreat to Quebec in short order.

    On the other hand, I AM a gardener, and so am jealously obsessed with the lush things those lazy-ass gardeners in Zone 6 and 7 can grow and I can’t. So, I may cry over my lost sugar maples, but I’ll do it into a homegrown peach cobbler while surrounded by fields of zantedeschia aethiopica. And they may very well be crocodile tears.

  15. Jon Beard says:

    I guess by now you know that I am convinced that human caused global warming is the biggest and crookedest con in the history of the world.

    I have thought and studied this probably way too much. As a matter of fact I have been thinking a lot about what would it would be like if we applied the same science to building airplanes as the IPCC does to its study of global warming. I thought what if the UN created a panel to design air planes. Hmm….

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard IPCC the UN airline on its inaugural flight of a completely new and innovative airplane named the Global Warmer. This plane is a marvel of innovation and a result of twenty years of meetings and discussions. It has been adopted by a distinguished panel of experts that meet every winter in Hawaii.

    The design has been extensively modeled and revised over decades. The consensus is that it will revolutionize air travel for the next 100 years. This flight will prove to deniers that a plane can be built on extensive models and consensus and does not require the obsolete methods of calculation and test to prove its airworthiness. Our pilot today does not have a license, however, he has read and lectured about flying for thirty years. Here is the Oscar winner and future Nobel Peace Prize recipient, your pilot for today’s flight from New York to San Francisco (or maybe Chicago if things don’t go as well as planned), Albert E. Gore!

  16. Claire Splan says:

    In a society where people are increasingly disconnected from nature, gardeners are one of the few groups that are connected and are therefore in a position to see even small changes unfold. Consequently, I think we have a responsibility to play the part–very loudly–of the canary in the coal mine.

    I expect that the weather in Alameda, CA, where I garden, will continue to be pretty enviable–right up to the point where the rising sea levels put my house and garden under water. Redrawing hardiness zone maps? Are you kidding? We’re going to be redrawing maps–period!

  17. JLB says:

    I don’t need convincing on the subject of global warming either – but I do believe that it’s way too easy for us humans to view time from our little micro-blips of existence. Seasons and cycles are so much broader than our lifetimes, it seems a little suspect to analyze such a long-term projection as global warming on the scale of one or two rather unusual winters.

    You said, “I just think that gardening is inherently risky.”

    Point well taken. There are just so many variables!

  18. Susan Harris says:

    Good point, Claire. The effect on gardening is the least of it.

  19. william says:

    Here in Wales, UK there have been definite trends over at least the past 20 years, the summers are getting hotter – this coming one is supposed to break all records – with the ensuing droughts – and the wet extremely windy relatively mild winters.In the village where I live records have been kept of temperatures every day since 1989 – you can ‘see’ the results on http://www.mygarden.me.uk/climatechange.htm
    Overall there has been an increase of 0.94°C at a highly significant level statistically.If it continues to rise at this rate in 12 years time temperature will have risen in this area by almost 2°C. So, it does not take a genius to work out what this really means whether you think this is just part of weather cycles or (what I believe in) Global Warming. The warnings are here now!

  20. Whether it is human caused or due to increased solar activity and planetary alignment, retreating glaciers, melting ice caps and liquifying permafrost tell us the planet is warming. In the swirling soup bowl of our atmosphere and oceans, settling in to a new temperature equilibrium is not going to be a linear process.

    Many plants have very specific temperature ranges and water cycles at which they will grow and flourish. As the environment changes so will the health, vigor and location of where plants flourish. Plants which capture the energy of the sun are the basis of all other life forms on the planet. In the oceans its the phytoplanktons doing the same thing.

    As much as some are oblivious to it, human beings are inescapably connected to the biosphere and the natural world. It does not matter if Global Warming is human caused or a natural function of solar activity. If the plant based food chain crumbles or declines the species at the top of the chain are going to feel it.

    Just to be on the safe side I am headed to higher, cooler ground while the gettin is good.

  21. Jon Beard says:

    William,

    I believe in Global Warming. I recycle. I drive a car that gets 30 MPG. I have changed out all the lightbulbs in my house to flourescents. Well I like to say its because I am a responsible citizen of the Earth, but perhaps I’m just cheap. I don’t do it to prevent global Warming.

    Last December we were told that this is the warmest winter in recorded history. We then plunged into single didgit (Farenheit) temperatures and it is almost mid-April and it is in the twenties every night and in the forties (If we’re lucky) during the day. It is the coldest Spring in history. The Earth is warming, HOORAY! I far prefer this to cooling. The cause is the question. I prefer to accept that the fluctuations in solar activity documented over thousands of years that correspond with temperature changes on earth are responsible. Others want to believe in models, theories and concensus that cannot be proven with tests, calculations and are at odds with historical data. This is their right. When they want to shut down coal plants that produce 52% of the power in the US at rates 25-30% lower than average, I object. When they want to set up crooked carbon offset programs similar to the energy trading scam of Enron, I object. When they want to do all this on the bases of a UN panel using everchanging components and results, I object. When they try to enact laws that will drive industry out of my country and send it to nations with a terible history of polluting, I object. When they institute policies that will put people out of work based on ill-conceived theories, I object. When people confuse global warming with human caused global warming I am exasperated. Believe what you want William, your entitled to your opinion, please don’t expect me to believe it and don’t try to ram it down my throat.

  22. Jon, what good is a job if there is no food to buy? You can’t eat coal.

  23. william says:

    John – I do apologise if I appear to ram Global Warming, due to us, down your throat. It is not my intention – it is a very complicated situation and I concede you may well be right – but I hope you will agree with me, even if we might disagree on some points, the good news is that people are thinking and becoming more responsible – as you say, recycling, saving energy,driving more effecient cars. I certainly agree with you about this crazy carbon offsetting and you might be suprised about my views on coal power stations – I do agree with you.

  24. Jon Beard says:

    Christopher, the whole thing whether human caused or natural cycles is overblown. The rise in temperatures over 100 years has been 0.7 degrees. This is an unalterable fact. The temperature during the Medieval Warming period was 3.0 degrees higher by comparison. During this period the there was a renaissance when farming and culture flourished. Starving in Europe was eliminated. The glaciers did not melt. The seas did not rise 20 feet. the polar bears did not die. Why do you think you will have a problem getting food? It is an irrational fear. I have spent nearly 40 years in and associated with engineering and engineers. It is a great responsibility to know that if you make an error it may maim or kill someone. I cannot imagine going into a room full of 12-15 engineers and explaining that we have modeled this design and come to a consensus that it will hold together. The facts are not there to support human caused global warming.

    Let me ask you:
    Where are you going to get your electricity if they shut down coal plants, windmills? 2% of current usage in Texas, which is the leading producer of windmill power in the US.
    Why are we putting 10% ethanol in our gas when it gets poorer mileage and pollutes more? It has raised corn and meat prices, but I don’t see the advantage other than to the farm lobby. i know its renewable, but there is ample energy in Alaska (60,000 acres in a park the size of No. Carolina that is visited by 200 people a year seems to be not much of a sacrifice of frozen tundra) Shale oil, tar sands, offshore resources, coal; there is more power in the US than we could burn up in 500 years. Too dirty for you; how about nuclear. Break out the padded suits and climb over the barbed wire. NO NUKES. The French can do it and we can have hundreds of subs, aircraft carriers and other ships run on nuclear power for over fifty years, but somehow we can’t build a safe land-based plant. For crying out loud we cannot even put in windmills if some politician can see them 3/4 of an inch high on the horizon.

  25. Jon Beard says:

    William,
    Sorry, you just happened to be there to take the brunt.
    I have no problem with your concerns, I just find no reason to believe it is human caused and really can see no cause for alarm.
    It is interesting to note that Al Gore’s carbon offset company is run by Peter S. Knight who ran a company called Molten Metals here in MA. This company went bankrut after it could show no results or chance success after being awarded $33,000,000 of Department Of Energy Grants. When it was clear that there were going to no more grants Knight and hid friends cashed in before the news was made public. They sold millions of shares before the stock collapsed. He was summoned to congressional committees four times related to this. Janet Reno declined to investigate. This is the head of Gore’s company that stands to make tens of millions of dollars, if the legislature that we must act on now before the tipping point occurs or we will all be doomed. I don’t know about you, but I have reached my tipping point with all the hype and corruption involved.

    Wiiliam, I shouldn’t have unloaded on you like that, but, well, you were there.

    Jon

  26. Jon Beard says:

    PS Knight was Al Gore’s campaign manager and Bill Clinton’s before that.

  27. william says:

    Jon, I could not agree with you more – there is a lot of dirty politics in all this – what a shame when we just have one planet to share and hopefully enjoy!
    Regards,
    William

  28. Claire Splan says:

    Before this conversation gets completely hijacked by the naysayers, can we just point out that the majority of the science community worldwide has concluded that the global warming that is currently taking place is caused by humans? And, not insignificantly, the IPCC reports are being watered down by several governmental influences who want to play down the science, not ginned up to look worse than it is.

    And Jon, isn’t there a meeting of the Flat Earth Society that you should be hurrying off to now?

  29. Jon Beard says:

    Claire,

    the majority of scientists and I agree that there is global warming. The majority of scientists and I agree that humans may have some small influence. The majority of scientists and I agree the affects are minimal. The majority of scientists and I agree that there is no way to quantify the human impact. There are some politically oriented scientists and just plain politicians that are trying to scare people with overblown hype and see this as a way to gain political power. There are people who are corrupt and intend to make money or gain political power qwith scare tactics.

    There are also other people that do not take the time or do not have the capability to understand. These people usually cover up their shortcomings or ignorance by calling names.

  30. Pam says:

    Wow! Your assuredness still amazes me, especially regarding your insight into what scientists think – especially considering that the majority of the scientists that I know (either personally or through peer-reviewed scientific literature) believe that global warming is being enhanced by human activities, and that the main debate lies in the kinetics of the process. And to think that I thought I was a scientist that was not politically-oriented…who knew?? But to risk become one of those scientists that covers up their ignorance by calling names, I’ll think that I will make a nice martini, and sit out on my deck in the unusually cool air, and ponder where I will plant my ‘Ruby Moon’ purple hyacinth bean seeds this year – and perhaps I’ll also ponder what is in the thousands of peer-reviewed publications related to global warming that my students read each year in my class, because those articles couldn’t possibly contain DATA. Cheers!

    PS Claire: Perhaps you and I could chip in and get Jon a membership in the Flat Earth Society?

  31. Ellis Hollow says:

    I’m not going to go through the debate again. I’ve blogged about what global warming will mean to Northeast gardeners and farmer here: http://www.remarc.com/craig/?p=34

    What can gardners do? Well one implication of climate change is that we need to figure out which varieties work best where as the climate shifts. (Shameless plug alert.) We’re building a database to help with that at the Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners Website: http://www.cce.cornell.edu/veg/

    Come rate and view varieties that work well (or not so well) for you. We could use a couple thousand more observations so that we can get a good dataset that will help gardeners figure out which varieties will work best in their gardens.

  32. Ellis Hollow says:

    I’m not going to go through the debate again. I’ve blogged about what global warming will mean to Northeast gardeners and farmer here: http://www.remarc.com/craig/?p=34

    What can gardners do? Well one implication of climate change is that we need to figure out which varieties work best where as the climate shifts. (Shameless plug alert.) We’re building a database to help with that at the Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners Website: http://www.cce.cornell.edu/veg/

    Come rate and view varieties that work well (or not so well) for you. We could use a couple thousand more observations so that we can get a good dataset that will help gardeners figure out which varieties will work best in their gardens.

  33. Jon Beard says:

    Well, Claire since you are so up on what scientists have said and the science involved maybe you could answer some questions that I have on the IPCC report. I have read the report (it is only 18 pages long) and some things trouble me.
    First; why do they insist on showing a chart representing C02 and other greenhouse gases using radiative forcing which deceptively shows an exponential rate of increase. This is done only for the data for the last ten years with previous data shown without “radiative forcing” This seems to be intentionally misleading.

    C02 is listed as a long lasting greenhouse gas. In middle school we used to set up fish tanks in which the plants and animals lived in a little balanced ecosystem. The animals gave off C02 and the plants used up the C02 and put 02 back into the water. The fish ate the plants and everything balanced out. Has this changed?

    The C02 is listed as being 25% higher than historical records. As C02 represents 4% of the total greenhouse gases, I calculate that this is a 1% increase. The increase of methane is listed in the report as being 240% higher in the same period. This is mentioned and never discussed again. Wouldn’t this be significant?

    In the report only the last 100 years of “instrumental” data is used. Doesn’t this ignore thousands of years of human history? Doesn’t this conveniently take care of things like the Mideival warm Period and many other time periods that conflict with the model?

    Why oh why do they still insist on including tree ring data in their report. The Hockey Stick calculations by Prof. Mann of UMASS has been debunked for at least ten years.

    They list the temperature increase in the last 100 years as .56 to .92 degrees C (please tell me how such a range is is arrived at especially when only “instrument years” are listed) They also state that the temperature rise from 1850-1901 was .57 to .95 degrees C. The temperature rise given for 2001 to 2005 as .76 degrees C. They have almost a factor of two in the range of temperatures!!! I realize that the temperatures would have gone up and down in certain years, but WOW that surely is not tied down.

    Some of the charts were confusing, especially the snow pack charts which started with negative values????

    Also, when calculating ice packs and volumes they have a footnote that the continent of Antartica and Greenland were excluded. HUH? Haven’t we had stations in Antartica for at least 60 years? Did the data from these two very large contributors to the ice pack somehow not fit the model?

    If you go back through my comments you will see that I readily state that there may be some minimal human cause for global warming. There are thousands of scientists that believe that human influence on global warming is minimal. Very few scientists believe that there is cause for the draconian changes advised by the Kyoto Accords, Al gore or many politicians. The claim that this is settled science is false. A one degree temperature rise over the next 100 years (as long as the solar activity keeps up) is nothing to be alarmed about. I look forward to it. It is a far better thing than if the just as likely cooling was going on.

    It took them 5 years to come up with this sloppy re-hashed report? Maybe they should hold the annual meetings in International Falls instead of Hawaii. Maybe then they could get some work done.

    Enjoy your martini and you can get back to me with the answers when I see you at the Flat Earth Society meeting, don’t take a wrong turn on the way there; you might run right off the edge.

    Jon

  34. Jon Beard says:

    Craig, your missing out on all the fun.

    Jon

  35. Ellis Hollow says:

    Jon: I don’t think I’m going to convince you to change your mind. But if you were an avid vegetable gardener, I might convince you to rate and review vegetable varieties. That would be useful if the climate was warming or cooling or just hanging loose.

  36. “The idea of a global or hemispheric “Medieval Warm Period” that was warmer than today however, has turned out to be incorrect.” http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/medieval.html

    Jon I am a gardener. I do not have an irrational fear about getting food. If need be I can survive, like my very recent ancestors without electricity or an automobile.

    After spending my morning micro managing by a few inches where drops of water fall from an irrigation system for a couple who have no clue how to shut the system down after me showing them a half dozen times, it is people like them who worry me. Absent money to have someone else Do It For Them, many people are not equipped to do well if things get ugly.

    A warm winter and a frigid spring is nothing new. It does have consequences though. Trends have more consequences. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18024688/

    The swirling soup of the oceans and atmosphere want as close to a temperature equilibrium as they can get. It don’t matter what time of year it is supposed to be or what the sun is doing that day. If it is getting warm up north that former cold has to be dealt with some how.

    “In middle school we used to set up fish tanks in which the plants and animals lived in a little balanced ecosystem. The animals gave off C02 and the plants used up the C02 and put 02 back into the water. The fish ate the plants and everything balanced out. Has this changed?”

    No that hasn’t changed. The problem is the fish got too smart and learned how to cheat death for a little longer. Their numbers grew exponetially and they starting eating up and chopping down all the plants. Then they started drilling in the gravel for more carbon to run water slides and wave machines for entertainment. This put more CO2 into the closed tank and there were not enough plants left to absorb it all. The water started to heat up and more of the plants died. The smart fish were able to cheat death for a bit longer, but their swelling numbers eventually overloaded the system and the equilibrium broke down. Then there was a massive die off of the smart fish in the closed tank.

    How many dead fish did you have to flush down the toilet in Middle school?

  37. Claire Splan says:

    Jon, I’m not sure which IPCC report you’re referring to. The report I downloaded (the Fourth Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers) is clearly not the one you’re referring to, so I can’t respond to the specific points you’re questioning.

    I can, however, make a few points in my own lazy and ignorant way. First, regarding CO2 and your middle school experiments, yes, things have changed. What has changed is proportion. Your example mentioned a balanced ecosystem–well, we don’t have that. I’m sure you could devise a simple middle school experiment, however, that factors in significant deforestation and significant population growth with its resultant increase in energy use and development. What you would get is a significant increase in CO2 and a system that is overwhelmed.

    Regarding methane, yes, it is significant, it is a contributing factor to global warming, and human activity is increasing that as well through landfills and more.

    Settled science? Perhaps not. After all, there are still people who dispute evolution and the roundness of the earth. But if you factor out the disbelieving scientists who are on the payrolls of oil and energy companies, the science looks a lot more settled. We went through similar “science” debates over tobacco and it took years to root out all the pseudo-science that had been put forth with the funding of the tobacco lobby; must we go through the same baloney again with global warming?

  38. Jon Beard says:

    Christopher here is a link to The national Academy of Sciences which refutes Mann’s hockey stick. In addition flaws have been found in the programs he used and the basic premis of measuring tree rings to document temperature is bogus.

    http://dels.nas.edu/dels/rpt_briefs/Surface_Temps_final.pdf

    Hundreds of years of history from all over the world is incorrect? Just like that! We have thousands and thousands of history books and hundreds of millions of texts to correct if this is true. This is like denying the Hollocaust, or the Roman Empire or that China exists.

    Claire, the report I am referencing is the 2007 IPCC report that was just issued.

    http:www//ipcc.ch/SPM2feb2007.pdf

    I would like to bet that if the levels of C02 in the air that bubbled through fish tank were raised by 25%, the fish would not know the difference. Hey, I just searched and goldfish can stand very high levels of C02 only suffering from lethargy at extremely high levels.

    My guess is that methane is ignored because they know there would be riots in the streets if they tried to take away our hamburgers. I say that tongue in cheek, but there may be a lot to it.

    I can remember back to when I was five years old and was told by many adults “Don’t smoke, it will stunt your growth. Don’t smoke, you will get cancer.” Anyone under 70 (I’m not that old, I’m just extrapolating) that claims they did not know the dangers of smoking is lying. The baloney we are going through is from the human cause group. Look, doesn’t the fact that Al Gore has a carbon buy-back corpporation run by someone who bilked investors out of millions when he had inside information on his company seem a little fishy (no pun). Martha Stuart went to jail for lying about a transaction that she only made $50,000 on. The baloney is from these hypocrits. The name of the game is political power and in Gore’s case he stands to make tens of millions of dollars off credits. This is the same baloney that Enron pulled with energy trading, they now want to do the same trading carbon credits. Have you ever visited one of these indulgence selling sites. I went on Terra Pass and learned if I flew to Europe I could send them a check for $85 or $90 and I would gain absolution. Not only that, but a whopping 35% of the money I sent would go to green projects, the rest would stay “within the company. Rest assured though the 35% is 100% guaranteed to go to green causes and this is strickly audited. Are people really that stupid? Send them $100 and $35 will guarenteed be spent on green projects (like windmills. Who then owns the windmills and gets revenues from the power generated?) Listening to how we must “act now” and how we are at “a tipping point” or “the baby has a fever’ is like the new car salesman telling you that he can only give you this price right now. They really have to generate a feeling of urgency and panic to get this pig foisted on the American people. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail. Rest easy we couldn’t make much change to climate if we tried. The predicted change of one degree in 100 years (so what) and the 1/4 inch of ocean rise a year (who cares) Add into the equation that this is all based on a model that has gone from a 12 degree rise to one and ocean rises of twenty feet to two….just give it time and reality and science will settle in and even these innocuos (I wish this thing had spell check) predictions will change.

    A side point. The landfill in my town has pipes all over it that collect methane and they have a small plant that generates electricity! This is a private company that came in and did it for profit. No cost to the city. Don’t get your hopes up though it still stinks to high heaven there…..or is that Gore’s company I smell?

  39. Perhaps this is a pre-emptive Swift Boating of an Al Gore run for the presidency.

    Al really works your nerves doesn’t he Jon?

  40. From the link you provided Jon:

    “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998,
    1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the
    Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during
    at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has
    subsequently been supported by an array of evidence….”

    Is this the hockey stick Mann you keep saying was wrong?

    “The main reason that our confidence in largescale
    surface temperature reconstructions is lower
    before A.D. 1600 and especially before A.D. 900
    is the relative scarcity of precisely dated proxy
    evidence.”

    They ain’t so sure about this Medievil Warm Period period and that it may have been very regional, not global.

    So how many more Goldfish can you add to this tank? How many of the plants can you remove? When does lethargy plus starvation turn lethal?

  41. Jon Beard says:

    Christopher, I’m sure you read the entire report before you took the sections that you liked and quoted them. The report basically states that Mann’s work is in question. “The warm period may have been regional and not global”. It is recorded in all of Europe, China, Japan, Greenland, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, India…all of the world that had a written history at the time. This is “very regional!!” Let me get this straight, the world was warm only in the areas that had written records and the rest of the world where there is no written record it must have been far colder. Even though ice cores and sediment layers support the written record of all civilization, somehow there were huge pockets of cold that make the model of human caused warming work and with research we may find them. This would be a coincidence of epic proportions. The odds of this are staggering. Adopting this not science, it is something that requires blind faith and the mindset of a zealot.
    Trying to explain away the Medieval Warm Period and mini ice ages is the type of machination that you have to go through to make the model work. You are expected to rely on tree circles and supositions that only regions of the world with no written history were very cold while the vast majority of the world with written history was warm and thriving. You also must ignore the cold periods that occured subsequently during a time when basically all of the world was known and weather was recorded worldwide.

    If you truly believe this I caution you, do not respond to any e-mails from Nigeria looking for a trusted friend who would like to have 10 million dollars deposited into their bank account.

  42. Jon Beard says:

    So long for a while again.

    I would like to leave you with my thoughts on what I would do if I were made The Climate Czar.

    I would first of all start building nuclear power plants based on the most efficient and safe technology available. No pollution, no oil, no greenhouse gas, no brainer to me.

    I would put a $5 a bulb tax on incandescent light bulbs. the proceeds would be earmarked toward national parks. I dont believe that this would eliminate our dependence on foriegn oil, but it just makes sense.

    I would increase the MPG requirement for gas guzzling cars and trucks.

    I would tax gas guzzlers and use the money to lower income tax rates. People that have large families and need larger vehicles would be excluded as would businesses that need vehicles for their work. Ever notice people driving to work alone with SUVs and trucks? Hummers that have never been off the pavement!!

    Now to get you blood boiling (if somehow number 1 didn’t)

    I would open up Anwar to drilling. This area of 60,000 acres in an area the size of North Carolina could add 25% to our known reserves. Critics say the Caribou will suffer. The Caribou in the existing North Slope area and along the pipeline love the heat from the pipeline and are flourishing. The Polar Bears like it as well as the increase in Caribou has provided more food for them. This new drilling would tie into the existing pipeline to transport the oil south. Critics claim this would take decades. The original pipeline across the width of Alaska took two years. The opening up of this area could lead to further offshore resources which could easily triple the resrves of Anwar alone. It would also provide an enormous supply of natural gas. We now have a pipeline being built through Canada which will eliminate the need to burn off all the natural gas from the existing fields which is what happens now. This would multiply the national supply of natural gas which is a clean efficient fuel.

    In short i would do everything in my power to wean thsi country off foreign oil and onto clean energy. Hydrogen and windmills are fine, but the technology is not there to make hydrogen economically or tecnically viable. windmills are fine, but realistically they only supply a fraction of 1% of energy in this country. Use them where they work.

    I am appalled that the politicians in Washington do nothing to address energy independence and continue to make it necessary for young men and women to die to support people who want to kill us or who are actively working to overthrow us. I know that a few of the above ideas will make many of you cringe, that’s too bad. The current situation makes me cringe and people die. the real world demands real answers not wishing and hoping and following politicians masquerading as self-proclaimed prophets.

    I have to finish my taxes and get some work done outside.

    Later,

    Jon

  43. Jon the report you linked to does not say Mann’s work is in question. Is says exactly the opposite. They quibble with him over whether he can pinpoint a specific year as the warmest given the nature of the data and the amount collected so far.

    Also in the report you linked to: (Are you sitting down?)

    “Surface temperature reconstructions for periods
    prior to the industrial era are only one of multiple
    lines of evidence supporting the conclusion that
    climatic warming is occurring in response to human
    activities, and they are not the primary evidence.”

    I wouldn’t link to papers that don’t support your own argument. Or perhaps you need new glasses.

  44. Jon Beard says:

    I have said many times that human activities may cause some small portion of global warming. The problem is when this possible increase is exaggerated and falsely amplified using junk science. I guess you must have missed the portion of the article that refuted Mann’s calculations and methodology. They do say that there is some evidence of human impact. My purpose is not to filter out anything as, I’m afraid, that is what you are doing.

    Please answer these questions;
    Do you believe that there was a Medieval period when the earth was warmer?
    Do you believe that there was a mini Ice Age?
    Do you wonder why the IPCC only uses data in its model for the last 100 years? Do you believe that they only wanted to use an “instrumented” time period or do you think that it ruins their theory when you throw in known periods of history when temperatures were warmer and cooler than today by magnitudes far greater than we are experiencing today?
    Don’t you think that we should consider the rest of the Earth’s history?
    Do you agree with the IPCC that calculations for temperature should be based on the width of tree rings if they make their model work? If so, do you think rainfall, disease, cloud cover and insects should be factored in? If so, how can you possibly have any accurate data on these factors from time periods when actual human accounts of temperature and agriculture are considered anecdotal?
    Have you researched the relationship between solar activity and temperature on the earth? Is so, do you think it is a coincidence that more solar activity corresponds directly with warmer temperatures and low activity corresponds with cooler temperatures?
    Do you believe we should shut down coal plants that supply 52% of our electricity at a cost 25 to 30% cheaper than other sources?
    Do you agree with the recommendation that was reported on tonight’s news that supporters of human caused global warming suggest cutting down pine trees in northern and mountain regions as they trap sunlight reflected off the snow and trap warmth?
    Do you think cutting down trees is a good solution to lowering C02 levels?
    Do you believe in rewarding the worst polluters with carbon credits for cleaning up their act and selling them to companies that are far better and find this a better alternative than cleaning up their processes more?
    Do you believe that these credits should be handled by brokers who will make tens of millions of dollars off of them?
    Do you believe that driving companies overseas will produce less pollution?

    PS- the whole point of the article that I referenced was that they did not agree with Mann’s calculations. They did state that there is other evidence to support human caused global warming and there very well may be. The fact is that without Mann’s theory there is no explanation for periods of time on the earth that were far warmer and far cooler irrespective of C02 levels. I certainly can see that there might be some small amount of warming. I have stated this many times. If you feel that these historical warming and cooling periods are anecdotal and maybe did not exist you are denying several hundreds of years of history and science. If this is the case you have adopted human caused global warming as a religion and there is no amount of fact that will change your mind.
    More likely it seems to me that you are illogically defending a person rather than objectively looking at the facts. This is a fairly common condition called selective hearing. Maybe you need a hearing aid.
    Jon

  45. What I believe is you are deliberately throwing out tons of psuedo-data, anecdotal evidence and asking a thousand strawman questions to purposely muddy the waters.

    No average Joe on the internet is as prepared as you are to launch a comment meant to cause overload.

    Do you get a stipend for your work?

  46. Jon Beard says:

    Christopher,

    I have given you dozens of examples of why I feel that human caused global warming is way overblown. Even going by a panel that I think is politically driven, the IPCC, the predicted rise in temperature over the next 100 years is about 1 degree centigrade. They predict that the oceans will rise by two feet in these 100 years. Their figure 1/4 inch per year. Even if they are correct this is nothing to worry about and I feel could be welcomed. This is certainly nothing that warrants draconian controls and we certainly don’t need to add more government.

    The response that I have recieved is that the question is settled, I should check out web sites run by pseudo scientists. Against my better judgement, I do, and find mind boggling nonsense which I in turn relate to you. In all the responses I have not had one person respond with any fact, not a single one, to refute my position.

    When I was a young child and got over the indoctrination that Germans and Japanese were sub-human I wondered how could nations of decent, smart people follow Hitler and ideologies that commited such atrocities. Later in my career I worked with and made friends with many Japanese and Chinese and found them the most friendly and polite people in the world. I talked with many Chinese who had thier parents killed and many more that had them imprisoned during Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution and great leap forward. They would tell stories of being taken from their families and sent to farms to be “educated” where they starved and would not have survived if not for catching frogs to eat and other hardships. I was astounded that they would not talk bad about Mao, even today. The worst they would say was that everyone knows he made some mistakes, but he was still a great man. Even my friend Ben who was sent to re-education classes three times and finally kept quiet as he knew they were close to killing him would not talk bad about Mao. With these as examples I suppose that I should not then be surprised to see so many intelligent people convinced that such a flawed idea is correct. I promise you I will never accept dogma as fact. This may give you some insight as to why I think the way I do.

    Chris, I am flattered that you think I am getting paid for this. As I explained, I have no connections, financial or otherwise with any organizations. If my questions are “tons of psuedo-data, anecdotal evidence and asking a thousand strawman questions to purposely muddy the waters” I am surprised that so many people took the time to respond to all this without a single one refuting anything.

    Thank you for the compliment and you are corrrect that I have spent too much time trying to change your religion. I will check back in a couple of weeks, but this is taking too much time, especially for something that doesn’t pay the bills. Not a bad idea though, maybe you could suggest to the Rant girls that I should be paid.

    Jon

  47. Pam says:

    Christopher C: Want to join me in a martini and a toast? Your coast or mine? Oh wait, I’ll head over and find out later if you’ve posted that sunset pic – a virtual toast will have to do, and then we can go back to our Church of Anthropogenic Climate Change for an update. What did they say last week about a big flood?

  48. Jon, I refuted some of your main thousand points of hubris in the pile of Gore, Medieval Hot Spells, Mini Ice Ages, Mann handling and now Mao, Lord, over and over. Perhaps you didn’t notice. Even your Goldfish tank turned into a fetid sewer of decay.

    George W. Bush was elected twice so I am not the least bit surprised that “intelligent people can be convinced that such a flawed idea is correct.” Denial is an amazingly strong force.

    I would like you to tell the millions of people along the East Coast, Florida and the Gulf that a mere two foot rise in sea level over the next 100 years should be welcomed and is nothing to worry about. We’ll see how well that goes over.

    The simple fact of the matter is that human numbers and activities have an effect on the planet’s systems that go far beyond rising levels of CO2. The earth is a huge complex and resilient system. It can take a lot of abuse. There is no doubt about that.

    To pretend those human impacts are minimal and of little consequence on the environment and ecosystems is to deny basic wildlife biology and pretend that humans are somehow exempt from the rules that govern the system.

    What kind of a world do you want to live in? What kind of world do you want to leave your children?

    Pam I must be getting jaded. It was a standard issue gorgeous sunset last night. I took a picture and waffled on posting it. Even on a common day a good planet is worth a toast.

  49. Jon Beard says:

    That’s right Christopher; I’m sorry you did come back with some quotes from a paper that I referenced.

    Let’s see, your going on about Gore and Bush which you seem to mistake for facts on human caused global warming. I don’t like Gore, never did. I think Bush has botched up at every turn; the Iraq War, immigrants, spending. The only thing I think he has done right is the tax cuts.

    Katrina…well, I hope that they can build a suitable levee in the next 100 years but based on the politics in LA I’m not sure. I can remember screaming at the TV when reporters came out of the Superdome crying that babies were being raped in the bathrooms. I can remember being outraged when I found out the evacuation plan was not followed. I became enraged when I saw film of thousands of school busses sitting in lots submerged that were not sent to pick people up as the plan dictated. I was livid when I found out that the Mayor was holed up in a hotel room scared. I was beside myself when the governor refused to send in the national guard because “They have guns” I couold not believe the mayor directed that no food or water be sent to the Dome so that “more people won’t be tempted to go their”

    I yelled at the TV “God damn it, give me a bus and I’ll go in their with food and water and take people out. You…….s”

    These are the politicians you think can control the Earth’s climate. This is the caliber of people you believe are going to save the world. I’ve got some news; it is the biggest con in the history of the world.

    The rise in temperature is natural and will happen no matter what. The ego of a politician to say that he can control the climate is incredible. The naivete of anyone to believe someone who claimed to invent the internet, had Love Story written about him and his wife…sorry I know how defensive you get about A.G. The absolute absurdity of listening to someone that says “I can fix it. It will cost you billions and I will not be through for at least 100 years” makes me almost as mad as I got at those bastards that would send anyone in to save those men, women and children in the Superdome.

    The Earth is warmed by the sun as it has throughout the history of the planet. These scientific charletins and witch doctors have taken this natural fact and claimed it is due to you. They have twisted history and science they have threatened those that diagree with them and have set up corporations waiting to cash in on the scam. It is a simple fact; the Earth has risen in temperature (far higher than today) and dropped in temperature (much further than today) with C02 levels rising constantly. To not believe this is to throw out thousands of years of history and science. Yes, once again let me state this, greenhouse gases can have some small affect, the size of this affect cannot be substantial unless you ignore thousands of years of history, contort calculations with tree ring data, pretend historic periods of warming and cooling did not happen, use mind boggling compilations of assumptions and distortions and finally admit that you cannot prove anything. Knowing that you can’t come up with any sensible explanation, you then put the fear of Gore into people by saying “We can’t prove it, but we can’t take the chance that we are right. We must act now!” I can hear the cash registers ringing in the background “KA CING, KA CHING, KA CHING” or is that the voting machines?

    If you want to save the Earth, plant some trees, recycle, support nuclear power (no, I have no connection with the nuclear power industry. You are a real conspiracy addict) and stop the nincompoop human causers (that’s not right there are some misinformed people and some of the causers are very smart crooks and politicians) from cutting down pine trees in snow fields.

    Humans can really pollute the planet and screw things up. For humans to think that they can influence the global temperature is absurd. The amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface is 6,000 times the amount of energy used by all human beings worldwide. The total amount of fossil fuel used by humans since the start of civilization is equivalent to less than the energy from 30 days of sunshine. http://www.pup.princeton.edu/physics/pheinst.html
    I hope we can agree Princeton is a fairly reliable source. Sorry to be confusing you human causers with facts, but, you are not all that important in the scheme of things on earth and certainly not when compared to the Sun and the energy it creates. I know it is hard to accept and a severe blow to your egos, but you are less than a flyspeck on Earth. 5 billion flyspecks cannot control the weather unless they use nuclear bombs. Sorry.

    Believing that higher levels of C02 are causing the Earth to heat up dramatically are not only wrong, they are laughable.

    So when you sit out on your decks toasting the sunset tonight, when you feel the urge, take aim at the setting sun if you want to attack the real source of global warming.

    Wow indeed, Heather they are getting nasty with me. Some people just don’t like to be corrected.

    PS- please stop acting up when I tell you I want to go away for a while. Geeze, your like little kids that wait until Daddy’s not looking.

  50. I’ll toss in another

    Wow Daddy!

  51. Marte says:

    Please: Let him go away for a little as he requested!!!

  52. Sound familiar?
    Climate Change Censorship
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,2053519,00.html

  53. deb says:

    Just testing…never posted here before.

  54. deb says:

    OK, it worked:-)

    Jon, Have you flown on a plane in the last 20 years? Or been on a mountain that used to have clear views? There is an orange band around the earth from burning fossil fuels. You and I and our kids are breathing that stuff.

    If we put solar panels on every roof and plug in our cars who will lose? More American jobs will be created. Anyone in the US who works for an oil company will still have a job here because we will still use our oil. So who loses? The middle east, the CEO’s of oil and coal companies and the value of those companies shares in the stock market.

    My Granddad was killed in a coal mining accident. Every older relative I have had black lung. Don’t worry about putting coal miners out of a job, it’s a job no one should have. The coal companies are already putting miners out of a job because they are using mountain top removal to get at the stuff: http://www.ilovemountains.org/

    The point is that we have the technology to have clean electricity. Real people will benefit from using that technology: The farmer who installs windmills that feed the grid, the laborers who install solar panels on roofs (also feeding the grid), the automakers who build plug-in hybrid cars, the workers needed to have a national electric grid, the workers needed to have local and national ground mass transportation systems and profitable farms growing plants such as switchgrass or algae for biofuels.

    So whether you see global warming as an issue or not it makes sense from every angle to quit burning fossil fuels. By changing our energy sources the air we breathe will be cleaner and we will have no need to be in middle eastern wars.

  55. Wow you touched on a big area here! Man made global warming or natural climate cycles. I don’t think anyone knows. But from my few sq feet, the plants seem to love it…

  56. Jon Beard says:

    You guys just won’t let me get my taxes done.

    Christopher, one of those who was censored was James Hansen who gave 140 interviews without asking for permission. NASA as well as many government agencies have written policies against giving interviews without written permission. Allowing Hansen to give 140 without ever asking seems to me to be a very liberal position. I don’t know how he got away without being disciplined or fired.

    Dear ilove mountains, I had 270,000 frequent flier miles when I retired and used many more over the years. Christopher I can scan my latest passport with all the stamps…sorry just trying be proactive on the conspiracy front. The worst cities, by far where not in the US. Flying into Mexivo City one can smell and see the pollution. They say living there is the equivalent of smoking five packs of ciggarettes a day; I believe it. Other countries like India, Taiwan, China, Indonesia have terible pollution. South Korea is far better in most locals. I can tell you that local national companies are terrible for pollution. These countries all have very strict pollution laws; the problem is that they are not enforced (corruption, payoffs, political influence…) In any plant owned or partnered with a western country these plants follow all the rules just as they do in the US. Testing and enforcemnet is very strict.

    I know that coal minig is dangerous except when it is done with open pit or strip mining. Before I get an uproar, please look into it and see the reclaimation that goes on today, strip mines have come a long way. When burning coal the particular matter (smoke) can be taken out easily with electronic precipitators and the sulfur pollution (far worse than what you can see) can be removed by flue gas desulfurization. Basically this is bubbling the sulfur laden flue gas through a water/limestone slurry. The sulfur combines with the lime (Ca) and CaSO3 sulfite or CaSO4 which is gyspsum. These can and is used as a filler for cement, material for wallboard and it is inert and can be landfilled with no effect. It is identical to gypsum mined for wallboard in every respect. Some modern processes mix coal and limestone together and burn them together. the reaction of sulper and Ca is done during the burning. Same thing, very efficient but they end up with gypsum and coal ash together.

    Deb,I say get rid of coal as much as possible, but windmill, hybrid cars, water power, solar panels and hydrogen cells are far more expensive and very limited in the ability to supply the needs of you and the rest of us. Myself, I have installed all flourescent bulbs during the last month and have stopped all my use of foriegn fuels. Don’t you love me? Also, you have to know that the power for that electric car and the power to make the hydrogen probably come from coal. You can buy “green power” from the TVA (or some huckster carbon indulgency company) and pretend that the electricity coming into your outlet is now coming from waterpower. You have to know you would only be pretending. Texas the leading state in windmill power (ideally suited) is busy building towers rapidly, but, to date they supply only 2% of Texas’ power. I doubt they could get to 10-15%, but I’m all in favor of it.

    Biofuels, I really have a problem with. They cause lower gas mileage and pollute more than straight gas. They cost a lot more and have added to the cost of corn and other foods. This is bad for us and disasterous for other nations where people find it difficult to afford enough food already. I would say, beware of unintended consequences. The only people I see really benifiting are the farmers as the price of their crops rise. It is renewable with many drawbacks.

    The only alternative that I can see making a dent in fossil fuels and really cleaning is nuclear. Unfortunately many people have visions of Three Mile Island and Chernoble when they think of nuclear power. 20% of our power now comes from nuclear. There si no reason that plants far safer than the plants built 30 or 40 years ago cannot be built. It is by far the cleanest source available in large enough quantities. we have some epople in congress and some judges who are blocking this solution. Too bad.

    OK, here’s the seething Rant to round out a far too mellow conversation:

    Why anyone would automatically discard the perfectly logical and historically proven fact that the Sun heats the Earth and then adopt an abortion of calculation, history and common sense and defend it with a Zealots persistence is beyond me. Why are they perfectly agreeable to accepting models for global climate changes over 100 years when Climatologists cannot predict next weeks weather from a model? Why do they accept predictions of huge and prolific hurricane seasons and then have none and not take notice.

    It is a topsy turvy world they live in. They ignore thousands of scientists that state the claims are far overblown and ignore the majority that of scientists and climatologists that feel the human influence on warming is real and not very large. Why do they accept a political panels opinion on human cause as gospel. Why don’t they even read the report and see even these predictions are not dire and don’t compare with even recent history? Why are they so adamant in holding on to things such as tree rings to prove their case? Why do they accept the fact that only a very short period of time is used for modeling? How can they possibly accept that Medeival warm periods and Little Ice ages are anecdotal when every historic and scientific document in the known world proves they did exist?

    You have to throw out history, science and common sense to make a model work and so many people blindly accept it as truth.

    I will not look at this site at least until Wednesday, so Pam, here is your chance to get in a snide comment. Geeze, just like a dog that waits until you turn your back to nip at your heels.

    Finally to my friend Christopher I would like to share with you something that I did a while ago and up until now have shared only with a few of my friends. I hope you like it.

    Global Warming

    This morning my battery died
    The all-time low was tied
    Florida’s groves are ice
    The oilman smiles nice
    Near zero it hovers
    I’m tucked in my covers
    My buns are cold
    This is getting old
    Al Gore, you Bum!
    My toes are numb!

    Jon

  57. If you are cold Jon why don’t you go hang out in a greenhouse with all the doors and windows closed and let the power of the sun warm you up. If you can’t get to a greenhouse you can use your car with all the windows rolled up and the power of the sun to the same effect. You won’t feel the numbness in your toes for long.

  58. william says:

    I quote from http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=4688&tip=1
    This man is cleverer than us and so you can’t complain he comes from the USA!
    Professor Wunsch is Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography,Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. This piece was written in March 2006.

    People ask “is it clear that human activity is directly responsible for climate change?” The context for answering this question must be another question: to what extent can the climate change all by itself?

    The answer to the alternative question is: “a very great deal.” Modern human beings appeared some time after about 50,000 years ago, and even then, anthropologists tell us that their numbers were very small until about 4000 years ago. Nonetheless, taking a cautious view, one might only examine climate change prior to 100,000 years ago.

    Inferences about climate change before instruments and written records is the province primarily of geologists and geochemists. Their message is a very clear one: Earth has undergone enormous variations in climate state with changes taking place over times ranging from decades to millennia and longer.

    Among the most extreme changes are the glacial-interglacial cycles in which, with the continents in their modern configuration dating back several million years, enormous ice caps waxed and waned over the Northern Hemisphere. Thus the UK, as well as all of western Europe, was under several kilometres of ice for thousands of years, interspersed with long intervals of a more benign climate such as that we have today.

    These switches have taken place at intervals of between about 80,000 and 120,000 years for the last million years. Prior to that time, they appear to have occurred intermittently at about 40,000 year intervals. Even more dramatic changes took place in the deep past. It has been argued that during the Neogene period (about 24 to 1.8 million years ago), that the entire Earth froze over. Alternatively, over most of Earth’s history, there were apparently no glaciers at all.

    The glaciations are only the most dramatic of the inferred natural variability of the system.

    Another problem concerns the counter-intuitive (for most people) behaviour of the consequences of random fluctuations in systems that have any kind of memory. As an example, consider the situation considered long ago by K. Hasselmann. The ocean is to be regarded as simply a completely passive reservoir of water with an initial temperature, T0. As such, its only physics we care about is its ability to store heat for very long periods (out to thousands of years in some instances).

    Now we heat and cool the ocean over some small region using the atmosphere. To determine whether the ocean is to be heated and cooled on any given day, we simply flip a coin: if it’s heads, we heat the ocean. If it’s tails, we cool it by a like amount. Because we assume we have a true coin, the long-time average temperature of the ocean is the starting temperature, T0. Hasselmann pointed out, however, that the actual time history of temperature in this model ocean is very different from being near T0! Almost all the time, it is rather far from T0; in fact, the probability of its being T0 tends rapidly towards zero.

    Most of the time, the ocean is either warm or cold compared to T0 and tends to stay that way for extended periods (we cannot predict whether it will be warm or cold, or the time interval over which it will stay warm or cold, but we can confidently predict the statistics of its departures from T0.

    A consequence of this type of behaviour (and which a reader can easily check by having a small computer do the coin-tossing many times) is that systems with a memory of the past history of forcing can have very strange, unintuitive, behaviour that violates “common sense.” The behaviour here can be understood by noting that if one tosses a true coin 2 million times, the probability of exactly 1 million heads and 1 million tails is very small. Instead, one expects a finite surplus of one or the other corresponding to excess heating or cooling.

    ’’ We know that it is capable of remarkable changes without human intervention. ’’

    Professor Wunsch
    So now we come to the modern climate problem. We know that it is capable of remarkable changes without human intervention. We also know that it has elements with very long memory times (the ocean, the ice caps, and some land processes including the biota). There is the possibility of solar fluctuations about which we know very little. The instrumental record only goes back about 300 years (being very generous) and global coverage is only really available following World War II. In many cases, we have no direct evidence for the spatial structures of natural variations and so find it almost impossible to compare observed changes with those known not influenced by human activities.

    Many scientists therefore rely upon numerical models of the climate system to calculate (1) the nature of natural variability with no human interference, and compare it to (2) the variability seen when human effects are included. This approach is a very sensible one, but the ability to test (calibrate) the models, which can be extraordinarily complex, for realism in both categories (1) and (2) is limited by the same observational data base already describe. At bottom, it is very difficult to determine the realism by which the models deal with either (1) or (2)

    Thus at bottom, it is very difficult to separate human induced change from natural change, certainly not with the confidence we all seek. In these circumstances, it is essential to remember that the inability to prove human-induced change is not the same thing as a demonstration of its absence. It is probably true that most scientists would assign a very high probability that human-induced change is already strongly present in the climate system, while at the same time agreeing that clear-cut proof is not now available and may not be available for a long-time to come, if ever. Public policy has to be made on the basis of probabilities, not firm proof.

  59. william says:

    If this man another lefty from your country ready to make millions?
    http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=4608&tip=1
    I quote again:
    Professor Rowland is Bren Research Professor, Earth System Science, School of Physical Sciences at the University of California. In 1995 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work in atmospheric chemistry.He is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. This piece was written in April 2006.

    The melting of ice and permafrost in the North Polar region and the shrinking of the tropical glaciers are signals that “global warming” is no longer solely a warning about the future, but changes which have already arrived. The initial effects of this warming are noticeably present already, and the concerns are now of substantial climate change in the near future.

    ’’ The ongoing accumulation of the greenhouse gases will continue to alter the Earth for long periods after stabilization of their atmospheric concentrations has been attained. ’’

    Professor Rowland
    Changes have already begun and adaptation will be necessary. However, the same preventive prescriptions which might have postponed the current effects for some decades (had they been adopted earlier) are now needed even more urgently. This pace of change becomes critical because the physical forces, primarily the ongoing accumulation of the greenhouse gasescarbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone and the otherswill continue to alter the Earth for long periods after stabilization of their atmospheric concentrations has been attained. These real concerns about the future of our planet are now felt throughout the scientific world.

    I remember testifying before a U.S. Senate committee twenty years ago, and hearing the Democratic senator saying, “The problem of global warming brings another round of scientists before us decrying the folly of waiting until it is too late to prevent irreversible damage”, and his Republican colleague, concurring, “We ought to do what we can and set an example.” Unfortunately, the U.S. government was unwilling then even to accept that global warming was a problem, even in the future. Denial of the problem is still a popular attitude among many of our politicians. The U.S. executive branch had now grudgingly admitted that the greenhouse effect is real, but promotes a business-as-usual approach’ toward solving the problem.

    Two decades have passed, the globe is about one degree Fahrenheit warmer, the future has become the present, and action is even more obviously and urgently needed.

    The atmospheric concentrations of methane, the second most important contributor to the greenhouse effect over the past two centuries, have been relatively unchanged for the past five or six years at a level about 2.5 times that which prevailed before the industrial revolution. The explanations for this slowdown from the 1% per year increase characteristic of the 1980s are under debate. Still, the slowing effect on methane suggests that a more directed effort may be able to cause its global burden to decrease.

    The Montreal Protocol ban on the further manufacture of chlorofluorocarbons, and especially of methylchloroform, has caused an actual reduction in their contributions to the greenhouse effect. Tropospheric ozone, however, continues to increase and the growth in the number of urban vehicles is the primary driver of these ground-level ozone increases.

    Concentrations of carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas in the planet’s atmosphere reached their highest ever-recorded levels in 2004 (377.1 parts per million). Most importantly, the increases in carbon dioxide are approaching 2 parts per million per year. That’s DOUBLE the rate of increase recorded by the late David Keeling in the 1958-1968 decade. Without a major effort to throttle carbon dioxide emissions, the planet is on course to see 400 parts per million level for about the year 2016, with 500 parts per million possible by the middle of the century.

    Perhaps the most widespread effect of warming is the rising sea level of the world’s oceans, which affects low-lying countries everywhere. The threat increases especially when combined with stronger storm surges from more intense typhoons and hurricanes. More subtle changes are being observed in ecological systems where the causative effects are not just higher daily maximum temperatures.

    The long predicted special warming of the polar north due to positive feedback from the lessened reflectivity of water and rock versus snow and ice is strongly confirmed by the larger temperature increases there. With the warming of north polar nights, some insect populations no longer “winter-kill”, as with the spruce bark beetle which destroyed 10,000 square kilometres of forest in the Alaskan Kenai peninsula several years ago. Similar insect problems have now cropped up with the Canadian Lodgepole pine forests which stretch from coast to coast. The expected consequences in California include an elevation of the winter snow line, with less accumulation of this key water source for release in the very dry summer months. There are regular reports of melting permafrost and tundra.

    Such specific regional effects will depend very much on particular circumstances, but in almost every instance, slowing the pace of change will allow more time for adjustment to the new conditions.

    The actions now urgently needed are the same ones which have been developed over the past several decades, starting with a strong emphasis on conservation. Industrial energies need to shift away from coal, gas, and oil to the renewables and to a revived nuclear option. This will not be an easy path, but the alternative of abrupt climate change could represent a catastrophic future.

  60. william says:

    If this man another lefty from your country ready to make millions?
    http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=4608&tip=1
    I quote again:
    Professor Rowland is Bren Research Professor, Earth System Science, School of Physical Sciences at the University of California. In 1995 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work in atmospheric chemistry.He is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. This piece was written in April 2006.

    The melting of ice and permafrost in the North Polar region and the shrinking of the tropical glaciers are signals that “global warming” is no longer solely a warning about the future, but changes which have already arrived. The initial effects of this warming are noticeably present already, and the concerns are now of substantial climate change in the near future.

    ’’ The ongoing accumulation of the greenhouse gases will continue to alter the Earth for long periods after stabilization of their atmospheric concentrations has been attained. ’’

    Professor Rowland
    Changes have already begun and adaptation will be necessary. However, the same preventive prescriptions which might have postponed the current effects for some decades (had they been adopted earlier) are now needed even more urgently. This pace of change becomes critical because the physical forces, primarily the ongoing accumulation of the greenhouse gasescarbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone and the otherswill continue to alter the Earth for long periods after stabilization of their atmospheric concentrations has been attained. These real concerns about the future of our planet are now felt throughout the scientific world.

    I remember testifying before a U.S. Senate committee twenty years ago, and hearing the Democratic senator saying, “The problem of global warming brings another round of scientists before us decrying the folly of waiting until it is too late to prevent irreversible damage”, and his Republican colleague, concurring, “We ought to do what we can and set an example.” Unfortunately, the U.S. government was unwilling then even to accept that global warming was a problem, even in the future. Denial of the problem is still a popular attitude among many of our politicians. The U.S. executive branch had now grudgingly admitted that the greenhouse effect is real, but promotes a business-as-usual approach’ toward solving the problem.

    Two decades have passed, the globe is about one degree Fahrenheit warmer, the future has become the present, and action is even more obviously and urgently needed.

    The atmospheric concentrations of methane, the second most important contributor to the greenhouse effect over the past two centuries, have been relatively unchanged for the past five or six years at a level about 2.5 times that which prevailed before the industrial revolution. The explanations for this slowdown from the 1% per year increase characteristic of the 1980s are under debate. Still, the slowing effect on methane suggests that a more directed effort may be able to cause its global burden to decrease.

    The Montreal Protocol ban on the further manufacture of chlorofluorocarbons, and especially of methylchloroform, has caused an actual reduction in their contributions to the greenhouse effect. Tropospheric ozone, however, continues to increase and the growth in the number of urban vehicles is the primary driver of these ground-level ozone increases.

    Concentrations of carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas in the planet’s atmosphere reached their highest ever-recorded levels in 2004 (377.1 parts per million). Most importantly, the increases in carbon dioxide are approaching 2 parts per million per year. That’s DOUBLE the rate of increase recorded by the late David Keeling in the 1958-1968 decade. Without a major effort to throttle carbon dioxide emissions, the planet is on course to see 400 parts per million level for about the year 2016, with 500 parts per million possible by the middle of the century.

    Perhaps the most widespread effect of warming is the rising sea level of the world’s oceans, which affects low-lying countries everywhere. The threat increases especially when combined with stronger storm surges from more intense typhoons and hurricanes. More subtle changes are being observed in ecological systems where the causative effects are not just higher daily maximum temperatures.

    The long predicted special warming of the polar north due to positive feedback from the lessened reflectivity of water and rock versus snow and ice is strongly confirmed by the larger temperature increases there. With the warming of north polar nights, some insect populations no longer “winter-kill”, as with the spruce bark beetle which destroyed 10,000 square kilometres of forest in the Alaskan Kenai peninsula several years ago. Similar insect problems have now cropped up with the Canadian Lodgepole pine forests which stretch from coast to coast. The expected consequences in California include an elevation of the winter snow line, with less accumulation of this key water source for release in the very dry summer months. There are regular reports of melting permafrost and tundra.

    Such specific regional effects will depend very much on particular circumstances, but in almost every instance, slowing the pace of change will allow more time for adjustment to the new conditions.

    The actions now urgently needed are the same ones which have been developed over the past several decades, starting with a strong emphasis on conservation. Industrial energies need to shift away from coal, gas, and oil to the renewables and to a revived nuclear option. This will not be an easy path, but the alternative of abrupt climate change could represent a catastrophic future.

  61. william says:

    I seriously suggest that any one interested in this debate reads
    Climate change controversies: a simple guide:http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=6229
    and also Facts and fictions about climate change
    http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=4761
    Perhaps the Royal Society is biased as well?
    The above two views have been chosen as they are respected scientists in the USA – do you get a Nobel Prize by being biased?

  62. william says:

    and a short one to cheer everyone up – see if you will get flooded!!

    http://flood.firetree.net/?ll=43.3251,-101.6015&z=13

  63. Thank you for your posts William. I did like the first one where it helped explained the probability of human causation of current climate change versus the natural and known historical climate changes.

    According to the flood map set at 7 meters, 21 feet about, remember we Americans are baffled by meters, the island of Maui will be fine. We will only lose about 50% of our cities.

  64. I only managed to skim these comments–there are only so many hours in the day–so please excuse if someone’s already brought this up, but my husband, who’s spent the last five years of his career as a journalist on global warming, assures me there’s another threat to our gardens besides the obvious ones: floods, fungus, insects, crops failures, ecosystems gone haywire, etc. And that’s humans gone haywire. Mass migrations, as people in places that have become uninhabitable head towards cooler climes.

  65. deb says:

    “U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak), today made the following floor statement in support of closing $5.4 billion in unjustified tax breaks for large oil companies.”
    http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/mi12_levin/fl050306b.html

    Perhaps we could use some of that money to subsidize solar panels to eventually cover every roof in the nation that recieves sunlight. These panels would feed the grid if the home owner or business were not surrently using the electricity. This is how the electric car batteries would be charged.

    “A think tank partly funded by Exxon Mobil sent letters to scientists offering them up to $10,000 to critique findings in a major global warming study released Friday which found that global warming was real and likely caused by burning fossil fuels.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/02/news/companies/exxon_science/index.htm

    No wonder there are naysayers.

    The deal is that if we put solar panels on our roofs and drive electric cars (or even phev cars) we quit paying for our daily fuel fix. The middle class will become richer and have more jobs available, but the CEO’s and current stock market big corporations will suffer (however new clean energy stocks will skyrocket). Air pollution will be lower and (if you believe as I do) global warming will slow. Why build any type of power plant when almost every home and business can collect a portion of energy directly from the sun?

    “The “Fitzgerald Report” was submitted into the Congressional Record Appendix August 3, 1953.

    *We are conditioned to think that conspiracies are only conjectures and the domain of the lunatic fringe – when a conspiracy is nothing but another name for cartels, monopolies, cabals, combines etc.. This is simply another bait and switch tactic to confuse us from seeing the truth.” Congressional Record

    The truth is that solar energy is available now and after a couple of years of subsidizing we would be buying the panels from China at a price to match TV’s or computers. We will benefit in every way from photovoltaic solar panels on every roof feeding the grid. Even those billionaire CEO’s have to breathe.

  66. william says:

    Very many thanks for your comments.(I posted this in another place by mistake – sorry Michelle.Good point about mass hysteria as humans migrate to cooler climes. Here in Wales at the moment, contrary to what many of you have suffered, we are experiencing summer-like temperatures. Maybe a one off? Hottest summer on record last summer, warmest winter on record and they are predicting a hotter summer still again breaking records and I am already watering the garden when I normally start in June. One flash video I like is one on Biodiversity http://www.biodiv.org/doc/videos/cop-08/2010-target.swf – all linked to our gardens and climate change. Pity there is just one nation that refuses to sign up to CBD – the Convention of Biological Diversity – every one else has!

  67. Jon Beard says:

    I did a little research on the NOAA site and found a chart that displays the USA and the average temperatures for January 1 through today. They listed two states in the entire country as being colder than normal, about ½ the country as warmer than normal; the balance was listed as normal.

    I thought; well let me check out Boston Massachusetts near where I live as I found it hard to believe that the temperatures for this period were “normal”. I took the NOAA’s data for Feb. 13, 2007 to April 14, 2007. Search as I could the January 1 through February 12th data was not on any of their sites. If anyone can find it please let me know where.

    For 2/13 through 4/14 the high temperature for these days was a total of 204 degrees Fahrenheit below normal. Divided by 61 dates this gives an average of 3.34 degrees F below normal for the period. I didn’t go through the lows or the average, but they are similar with 43 of the 61 days showing lower than average temperatures for the warmest, coldest and average temperatures for each day.

    I was really bothered by not having January’s data or Feb. 1-12 so I searched and searched to find it, it is nowhere to be found on NOAA’s national or local sites. I did find data from Ohio State that said that February’s warmest temperatures in Boston were on average 0.3 degrees colder than normal, the average temperature was 2.6 degrees colder and the lows were 1.5 degrees lower than normal. Don’t ask me how the high temperature can be In searching for January I found a Cornell University site which stated that Boston’s temperatures for January 2007 were the coldest in 50 years. The actual data for Boston for these days eludes me.

    I would ask you; do you consider these temperatures normal? Where the other states listed as having normal temperatures 3-4 degrees colder than average? Where the warmer states only 1 or 2 degrees below normal, or were they lower? How can one degree in 100 years be considered catastrophic and 3.4 degrees cannot even be considered cooler, in fact it is considered normal. HUH?!?!

    Using this selected time as an example of global warming, human or otherwise, means little. I do think it shows how data that does not fit the mantra is skewed or distorted. This is an example of how data is interpreted and speaks volumes about the politics of the situation.

    I have had Asthma since I was eight years old and no one wants cleaner air or appreciates it more than I do. I live about 15 miles from the worst polluting power plant in MA. They are allowed to continue to spew pollution into the air far above today’s standards as they are “grandfathered” and can. Under the scheme of selling carbon credits they can add anti-pollution equipment and, as they are horrific polluters, the credits they will earn for cleaning up their plant can be sold at a profit to another power plant that has already spent a great deal of money cleaning up their process. I may be naïve, but I think it is far better to simply make them clean up their act. It would be expensive for the polluter, it would penalize the polluter if they don’t comply, it would not punish plants that have cleaned up their discharges, it would eliminate the middle man broker who would buy and sell the credits for a profit, and it would be intuitively fairer and would involve less politics.

    William, you have posted several serious and well thought out and documented evaluations. Reading over the responses shows no rebuttal to the statements , only rhetorical responses. I would like to ask all the true believers, is that all you have?

    William, you reference the Convention on Biological Diversty and I assume the only non-signer refered to is the US. Conventions like this and the Kyoto Treaty impact the United States very heavily by placing restrictions on industry while allowing countries such as China, India and Mexico to grow uncontrolled. The fact is that the US is a negative producer of carbon dioxide. This is measured by NOAA and NASA by sampling the atmosphere on the west coast as it enters the US and on the east coast as it leaves the US. There is less C02 in the air leaving the US than coming into the US.

    It is a fact that much of the US that was once farmland has reverted to forest. There are more forests inthe Northeast than there were 100-150 years ago. You naysayers, please walk through the woods some time and notice all the stone walls. Every acre of tillable soil was used for agriculture during this time. I assume that the natural forest used up a lot of CO2, maybe the rotting vegetation emitted CO2 and the trees were balanced off. If this is the case then why try to save rain forests…..

    Many people and politicians see signing these treaties as a way of allowing other countries to regulate US industry. I believe this and also I am convinced that the displaced industry will simply follow the path of least resistance and move to countries that are poor regulators of environmental laws. Unless these protocals can be evenly and universally implemented they will not work and will cause harm to the US and will increase pollution on a worldwide basis.

    If you are counting on politicians to solve or even understand the problem, you are indeed waiting for the devil to bring you the keys to heaven.

  68. Jon Beard says:

    Deb, I looked up photovoltaic cells to see what size I could put up to start saving all this money. The cheapest panel that I found on sale was a 15 to 55 watt panel that was selling for $740 +shipping + installation (even if I install it myself there would be costs for wiring, controls…) All this to light up one light bulb?

    I am afraid that I am not going to live long enough to recoup the money invested in this cell.

    I have mentioned this before, but, I have recently replaced all the incandescent bulbs that will fit the fixtures and not show (those squiggly bulbs look too trailer park for me) This amounts to about 30 bulbs (count up yours, you’ll be surprised), an investment of $50-$60 tops. My first month’s bill after the change was 25% less. The bulbs will be paid back in far less than 6 months. After that it is all savings. My daughter objected to changing to fluorescent bulbs as they have a rap as giving off harsh light which is not complimentary to one’s complexion. She quieted down when I told her they had been replaced for over one month with soft-white fluorescents without her noticing.

    As far as I can see my $60 investment in light bulbs will pay off thousands of times faster and better than investing in photovoltaic cells; especially considering that cells produce nothing at night and would not have produced one watt here during the last week, to say nothing of how God-awful ugly they would look sitting on the roof. I roughly estimate that if these were the only bulbs available that this would save several billions of dollars in electricity, need for new generating plants, foreign oil…no matter how you look at it. Far more than all the windmills and solar energy combined. No change to anyone’s lifestyle (OK, maybe it is brighter with the fluorescents, 23 watt bullb gives of the equivalent of a 100 watt incandesent) I am not a very big user of energy so my figures are probably low. You human causers (I know who you are) should be ashamed of yourselves for having those incandescent bulbs in your fixtures. YOU HYPOCRITS!!!

    I have seen the large solar installation in the California desert which is gigantic. It works by focusing the sun onto a target area with huge tracking mirrors. No cells involved, simply utilizing the heat. It is impressive and I assume will be duplicated if it makes sense. The windmill farms there are also very impressive. Great ideas, but hardly able to meet demands. Total they probably supply 2% of California’s electricity at best.

    Christopher, I do not sell lightbulbs or work for any manufacturer. I understand that 100% are made in China; must have something to do with utilizing mercury(?) PS- Make sure you properly dispose of these bulbs when they burn out in 5-10 years; I will.

    Jon (it’s a far cleaner world out there because of me)

  69. Thanks for the new pair of shoes Jon!

  70. Jon Beard says:

    You’re welcome Christopher! I would think I should have deserved a pair after the traffic I generated. It seems to be a clear case of discrimination against deniers.

    On second thought, I am reminded of when I bragged to a Chinese visitor showing him my fortune cookie which read “Your every wish will be granted” I proudly showed it to him and said “How is this for a fortune?” He stared solemnly at me for about five seconds and said very seriously “Be very careful what you wish for Mr. Beard”

    Good advice.

  71. deb says:

    William, I liked the biodiversity video. I have bookmarked their website to explore a bit more.

    The US currently has a media crises. The same corporations whose profits depend on unsustainable practices also own our media (TV, radio, most newspapers). Education for the masses is very one sided here with little in the way of discussion from a sustainable living point of view. Ergo, the masses aren’t demanding we sign the CBD, I’d guess that the vast majority of Americans haven’t heard of it.

    Jon, I know that photovoltaic cells cost more. I said that I would like to be able walk into a store and purchase them and the electronics to wire them to my house. If some of us environmentalists did that then others would follow suit, many for the same reason that they buy bigger cars or TV’s…because they can. After the demand became large enough the cells would begin to decrease in price. At that time people could buy them and start saving money.

    The same thing that will slow global warming will also improve the air that we all breathe. Even if you don’t think that air pollution causes climate change it is still polluted and unhealthy. The solution to either problem is to stop burning fossil fuels. It is time to change the way we make energy.

    Way to go on replacing all of your bulbs:-) I don’t think the little swirls in the new bulbs are tacky…I think they are artsy. You are right about the energy savings if everyone switched to the new bulbs.

    Hope you came out as intended on the taxes and maybe the following video is appropriate:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279&q=Money+As+Debt

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