Skeptical Thoughts on Energy, Science and Global Warming

Glacial Inception Delayed By Humans?

Mixed in with the swirling cloud of misinformation about global warming is also a bit of blather regarding the onset of a new Ice Age. What the promoters of a new big freeze are talking about is a glacial period, since technically we are still in the midst of an ice age—the Pleistocene. A number of scientists have warned that the planet might be headed for a new period of glacial growth based on Earth's recent history. Over the past half million or so years there has been a series of short (15-20k year) warm period sandwiched between longer (70-100k year) glacial episodes. Make no mistake, global cooling is much worse than global warming, so this really matters to our descendants and the whole human race. Now, a new study in Nature says that we maybe off the hook, glacial wise. Not only that, human activity might be the reason.

Happy New Year, 2016!

Bomb Cyclone Didn't Melt The North Pole

To end the year 2015, climate change alarmists tried valiantly to drive home their message that the world was going into a global warming meltdown. Myopically focusing on the unseasonably warm temperatures in the eastern half of the United States was not enough, they decided to hype the occurrence of a fairly common winter weather event with the scary name “bomb cyclone.” The weather media–always up for a natural calamity–jumped on the bomb storm meme, billing the impending event as a “blowtorch” that would melt the North Pole. Such a meteorological feeding frenzy had not been seen for ages. Well the storm has come and gone and the Arctic is intact, catastrophe unrealized and the media weather ghouls moving on to the next faux disaster. But was the “bomb” real, and if so, what was it?

Global Average Temperature: Meaningless & Misleading

When most people think of climate change they are really thinking of weather. Specifically the weather where they live. Weather is caused by Earth's climate engine moving heat about, so the two are definitely linked, but is it possible to capture climate in a single number? For years, those alarmed by the prospect of climate change have bandied about a number for Earth's average global temperature, currently given as about 61 degrees F (16°C). But what does that mean? This is why climate alarmists like to talk about the change in global temperature above some past average, starting at some arbitrary time – the real meaning is, well, a bit vague. But if no one can interpret the meaning of Earth's average temperature, what are we to make of a change in that number? As it turns out, Earth's average temperature is a mostly meaningless number, often used to mislead people and susceptible to manipulation for nefarious purposes.

Thank God The Government Invented Fracking!

Not too long ago the New York Times published an article asking if the shale oil revolution had killed OPEC. It included assertions that it was funding by the US government that caused the fracking revolution, an assertion based on an older article from the notoriously pro-big government Breakthrough Institute. Not to miss out on a good fabrication, Barack Obama has often claimed responsibility for lower energy costs due to the explosion in US natural gas and oil production, a trend that has elevated America to the #1 slot in world oil production. In fact, part of the political calculation that allowed him to block the Keystone oil pipeline, which was to carry Canadian oil from tar-sands to American Gulf refineries, was that we do not need the energy. But is this true? Is government responsible for one of the few economic bright spots in the recent US economy?

Patrick Moore: Should We Celebrate CO2?

On October 14, 2015, Dr Patrick Moore delivered the Global Warming Policy Foundation annual lecture in London. An ecologist and environmentalist for more than 45 years, Moore was one of the founding members and a leader of Greenpeace. After 15 years he left the organization because he felt its mission and message had changed. “Over the years the 'peace' in Greenpeace was gradually lost and my organization, along with much of the environmental movement, drifted into a belief that humans are the enemies of the earth.” Since then, Dr. Moore has been a consistent voice for sanity in ecological matters. In his address he asserts that CO2 is not evil rather it is the currency of life and the most important building block for all life on Earth. Human emissions of carbon dioxide have helped save plant life on our planet. “We are not the enemy of nature but its salvation,” he proclaimed.

Can You Vague That Up For Me?

Acknowledging that today's supercomputers lack the computational power to successfully model Earth's climate system, a climate modeler is suggesting that climate models would benefit from running on computers whose calculations are less exact. “In designing the next generation of supercomputers, we must embrace inexactness if that allows a more efficient use of energy and thereby increases the accuracy and reliability of our simulations,” says Tim Palmer, a Royal Society research professor of climate physics and co-director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Modelling and Predicting Climate at the University of Oxford, UK. This is nothing more than grasping for excuses to explain the dismal performance of the current crop of climate model simulations. There is an old saying: a craftsman never blames his tools for a bad result. Evidently climate modelers are not even close to being craftsmen.

Giant Arctic Mosquitoes!

A number of media outlets picked up a story recently about increasing swarms of giant mosquitoes endangering caribou and blotting out the Arctic Sun. Evidently this all came from a research report that stated the obvious, a longer, warmer summer would lead to a longer mosquito season in the Arctic. Having lived in Alaska, I can verify that the mosquitoes there are huge and their swarms can almost blot out the Sun, or at least it seems that way if you are getting bit. The problem here is that there is no evidence that there are more or larger mosquitoes emerging from the tundra of the north lands. This is yet another case of airhead news writers misunderstanding the facts or twisting them to fit their desired narrative.

In Rememberance of 9/11

For America this is a day for remembrances: we need to remember those who were so pointlessly and callously slaughtered on this date in 2001; we need to remember those brave first responders who rallied to save those they could, often giving up their own lives in the process; and we need to remember those who perpetrated this savage, cowardly attack on innocent men, women, and children without a thought to common decency. This single heinous act proved to America that true evil does exist in the world.

Surviving The Ice Age, And Whatever Comes Next

We have all heard about the Ice Age, if only in cartoon movies. A time when massive ice sheets covered the planet while mammoths and saber toothed cats roamed the frozen landscape. What is more, the cycle of interglacial-glacial-interglacial has happened over and over again during the past million or so years. During the last half a million years the cycle has repeated every 130,000 years, with the warm period we are now enjoying—the Holocene—just the latest interglacial respite from the icy conditions of the Pleistocene Ice Age. What most people don't know is that there were many areas on Earth that remained unchanged, even during the height of the last glacial period. The Sahara was hot and dry, and in the Amazon rainforests, though a bit smaller in area, looked much like they do today.

Crank of the Week – August 2, 2015 – Hillary Clinton

Finally giving a more or less straight answer to a question—perhaps a first for Ms. Clinton's presidential champagne—Hillary has come down in favor of the President's new “Clean Energy Plan.” According to a web posting, Hillary said “You don’t have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act.” In other words, don't bother to understand the science or the possible ramifications, just trust me! Interesting that during the same week she refused to answer a question about the Keystone Pipeline, saying she wouldn't comment while the Obama administration was still weighing its decision. What a cop out.

Figuring Out Ice Ages

A lot has been written about melting ice caps and new mini-ice ages recently. Seems that science can't decide if we are going to drown in rising oceans or starve because summer will be a thing of the past. This leaves the layperson justifiably confused as to who to believe—the climate change alarmists who back rapid global warming or those who warn of a new glacial period. There is little certainty when it comes to science but one thing that can be counted on is our ignorance. Quite simply, scientists cannot predict with any certainty what Earth's climate will do next. If someone tries to tell you different they are lying.

The Queen's Daemon, Doug L. Hoffman's latest SF novel released.

Resilient Earth Press is pleased to announce that The Queen's Daemon, Doug Hoffman's fifth novel and the second book of the T'aafhal Legacy, is now available for purchase online at Amazon.com. The voyage of the Peggy Sue continues under the command of Captain Billy Ray Vincent. The story resumes a year after the events on the deadly planet Paradise, chronicled in book one, Ghosts of Orion. The Peggy Sue has gone farther away from Earth than any human built ship, “almost one hundred light-years as the crow flies,” as Captain Vincent observed. After stopping to fill up on deuterium at an icy moon circling an unnamed planet of an insignificant remnant of a dead star, the Captain decides to head back to Earth and home.

Atlantic Ocean's Circulation Yields Inevitable Surprises

The term “settled science” gets tossed around in the media a lot these days. Mostly by non-scientists, who know no better, and by some errant scientists, who should. In 2002, the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Abrupt Climate Change published its findings in a book entitled Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises. A new report in Science recaps the surprising discoveries made since then, and they are big. So big that ocean circulation models, integral parts of all climate models, do not accurately predict reality. The observed change in AMOC strength was found to lie well outside the range of interannual variability predicted by coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models. Sounds like circulation in the Atlantic Ocean is not so settled.

Crank of the Week – June 19, 2015 – Pope Francis

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio and current leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, announced this week an encyclical about climate change. While its content was known through numerous leaks and statements from Vatican spokesmen, the actual document is stunning for its sketchy science and anti-capitalist moralizing. Climate change alarmists have hailed the Pope's “coming out” against climate change as a great victory for eco-activists everywhere. This ignores the fact that Francis has no scientific qualifications to make such a statement and that the Pope's stand on other issues—abortion, women priests, gay marriage, etc—are anathema to the majority of green leftists. If anything, the Catholic Church's meddling in science brings back memories of Galileo and persecution of other early scientific thinkers. The scientific revolution began when church and state were separated; this is a grand step backward for human progress.

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