Tag: global warming

TBC: Morning Musing 9.29.14

So, I posted this short rant on my Facebook wall yesterday and I thought it might be a decent discussion piece:

only humans could be arrogant enough to think that we could destroy or damage large parts of earth’s ecosystems and natural defenses and not manage to change the earth detrimentally. we have paved over, removed, and added things to the land, air, and water, which, even when naturally occurring, do not occur at the rates and levels we have contributed to them.

the earth may have had natural rhythms and periods of warming and cooling, but that’s when left alone with what earth had on its own. what we’ve done to it over the past couple centuries in the name of making our lives easier and some of us richer, cannot – absolutely cannot – have not had any effect. i don’t need any friggin graphs, charts, or studies to tell me that. i just need to not be stupid to know it.

only humans could be arrogant and stupid enough to believe that all we’ve done to it would not make a detrimental difference in the earth’s well being. arrogant and stupid, that about sums us up.


TBC: Morning Musing 9.22.14

So, in honor of the worldwide marches yesterday, I give you a few of my weekend reading on Climate Change.

First, a WaPo editorial urging action:

A climate for change: America should not wait while the world warms

FOR MORE than a century, scientists have understood the basic physics of the greenhouse effect. For decades, they’ve realized humans can affect the climate by burning coal, oil and gas. But the country’s leaders remain divided on the need to curb greenhouse emissions, let alone how to do it.

Among mainstream scientists, this paralysis is mind-boggling.


TBC: Morning Musing 8.26.14

I was thinking about The Breakfast Club this past weekend, mulling over the format (for the editions I author), mulling over how interesting it may or may not be to readers and had some interesting ideas. Let’s face it, we all get our news 20 ways til Sunday from a million different places, and by the time you read TBC, you’ve probably heard most of it anyway. So it really is kind of just another news feed in a world of 24 hour news feeds.

So I was thinking, instead of doing just a bunch of short news stories and blog clips for The Breakfast Club, I would do something shorter and more narrow, whatever it was that intrigued me, moved me, surprised me, made me laugh, or pissed me off that day. So from now on on the days that I author, I’m going to do something different.

Without further adieu, here is poli’s Morning Musing…


That there are Climate Change deniers drives me absolutely batty. I’m the kid who loved weather. The first book I ever bought was on storms when I was all of 7 years old. I grew up in SoCal, where there really was no weather other than endless sunshine, so I remember most of the very rare storms that we experienced. I would make my friends sit by the window if we were out somewhere, just so I could see. To this day, if there’s an awesome storm, I, and if I’m with family, then either my ma or my sister cuz they’re both kind of weather freaks too, will get a good vantage point just to watch. Hell – one of the draws of the south for me was storms.

(Go ahead! Jump!)

Liar’s Poker Update on Green or Not So Green Germany

So which is true?

Ever since Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a phase-out of nuclear energy over the next decade and pledged to generate as much as 80% of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2050, big question marks have been hanging over the future of coal and gas-fired plants in Germany.

Merkel, seeking a third term in general elections on September 22, is a staunch supporter of this hugely popular policy move.

But the turnaround is depriving utilities, including market leaders RWE and E.ON, of massive profits from their atomic plants and turning their gas and coal-fired stations into loss-makers as they are sidelined by rival renewable sources of energy.


I don’t expect there are copious tears shed for the utilities with their decaying dirty power around here and surely not in this corner.

But what of this from a now decaying, unloved posting:

The German Association of Energy Consumers estimates that up to 800,000 Germans have had their power cut off because they couldn’t pay the country’s rising electricity bills…

For many weeks in December and January, Germany’s 1.1 million solar power systems generated almost no electricity. During much of those overcast winter months, solar panels more or less stopped generating electricity. To prevent blackouts, grid operators had to import nuclear energy from France and the Czech Republic and power up an old oil-fired power plant in Austria.


Without being on the ground with access to all the available data, it is impossible to ascertain the truth of matters.  My bias is that both are true.  A mobile blind man might feel two different aspects of the elephant but still would not know much about the beast.

What we do know is that intermittent power is – umm – intermittent and must be supplemented by baseload power.  Baseload renewable power is far cheaper and more available than all other energy sources.

Ancient inhabitants of North America some 12,000 years ago are known to have cooked with geothermal energy and millenia later, the ancient Romans used the same source of heat for their baths.  Of course fire was discovered much earlier and perhaps utilized by ancestors of humans. Biomass is a new word for the most ancient of all technologies.  There was then no need to freeze in the dark when the distant sun was neglecting earth.

So why do we concentrate on poisonous and haphazard sources of supply of energy?

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. – Albert Einstein

Albert forgot human greed but no one knows everything.

Best,  Terry

Europe Pulls The Plug On Its Green Future

Slowly but gradually, Europe is awakening to a green energy crisis, an economic and political debacle that is entirely self-inflicted.


Indeed the problems are self-inflected but far from the way the article would have you believe.

EU members states have spent about €600 billion ($882bn) on renewable energy projects since 2005, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Germany’s green energy transition alone may cost consumers up to €1 trillion by 2030, the German government recently warned.

These hundreds of billions are being paid by ordinary families and small and medium-sized businesses in what is undoubtedly one of the biggest wealth transfers from poor to rich in modern European history. Rising energy bills are dampening consumers’ spending, a poisonous development for a Continent struggling with a severe economic and financial crisis.

The German Association of Energy Consumers estimates that up to 800,000 Germans have had their power cut off because they couldn’t pay the country’s rising electricity bills

The folly is not in going green but in taking the high-priced rich man’s route that guarantees continued enslavement to fossil fuels, most notably solar and wind.

For many weeks in December and January, Germany’s 1.1 million solar power systems generated almost no electricity. During much of those overcast winter months, solar panels more or less stopped generating electricity. To prevent blackouts, grid operators had to import nuclear energy from France and the Czech Republic and power up an old oil-fired power plant in Austria.

The answer is plain enough for the few that will listen – like some of the poorest countries on the planet.

Baseload renewables, primarily geothermal and biomass, are cheaper than the foppery of sometime power, far more potent and plentiful than fossil fuels.

We will learn or we may not survive.

Best,  Terry

Now That It’s Confirmed It Is All Over For Obama, What About Global Warming?

There is a bit of snark in claiming Tom Harkin’s dictum that failure to reform filibuster rules in the Senate ends any hope meaningful accomplishment for the Obama Administration is supported by Krugman’s analysis that says it was all over anyway with Republicans owning the House – but not nearly as much as sane people would hope.

Not that there was much to hope for from the Obama Administration in any case.

From what we think we know (humans know very little but we are all sure we know a lot) global warming [I prefer that nomenclature to the weasel wording of “climate change”] is a potent threat to all life on the planet akin to the Great Dying 250 million years when all life was nearly exterminated.

Five networks interview Chris Christie about Hurricane Sandy — and they’re all afraid to mention global warming


The imaginary Robin Hood could not have shot an arrow straighter or truer to pierce the heart of the frivolity and hypocrisy of the mass media than David Sirota did with this paper missile.  Little wonder Sirota has so many enemies even among the negligible number of actual liberals.

Is there any hope then?

– Sure there is.

On the day you die, you can hope you won’t if you are still at all sentient.

Not likely it will do much good but you are always allowed hope.

Best, Terry

“Keep the Faith,” says Joe Biden to those concerned about Global Warming

What faith is that, Joe?  Isn’t this like the preacher inveighing against sin while immersed in corruption and degradation?

If you aren’t despairing of the future, you can’t be sentient.

Will the U.S. Surpass Saudi Arabia in Oil Production?

Recent news reports said yes, based on the Executive Summary of a big international report by the International Energy Agency.

And that’s just oil.  Does anybody need to know about fracking natural gas that is giving firewater a whole new meaning?  Natural gas may be more harmful to the environment without the new technology than even coal mining because escaping methane is a vastly more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

Here’s what’s clear: While we debate and ponder the consequences, global energy consumption continues to grow exponentially.


Meanwhile purported environmentalists pushing environment-damaging, high cost, sometime [intermittent] power fight tooth and nail against baseload renewable power that is vastly more potent and cheaper than all other sources combined.

Compare the hottest hour of the hottest day in Death Valley to the potency of a run-of-the-mill supervolcano like Yellowstone that could potentially exterminate human life in North America.  Which would you say likely is the more powerful?

Our leading revered environmentalists would rather see a whole gawddam forest be burnt down along with the woodland critters and a few firefighters and waft tons of CO2 and toxins into the atmosphere rather than gather the kindling and generate power with biomass rather than coal because the former is natural somehow.

One of the ultimate clean power plants is in Iceland where a trash burning facility adds heat to the tepid waters of a warm spring in the tiny, isolated hamlet of Husavik to squeeze out 3MW of power from such sources.  The plant is currently undergoing modernization after it was bought by an Aussie company pushing advanced geothermal technology around the world for deriving power from low temperature geothermal waters.

But that’s not good enough for our megathinking environmentalists who prefer to drill many miles deep into the bowels of the earth for more power at enormous cost beyond the limits of current technology.

Mother Earth is a most bounteous lady but she can be turned into a mass killer beyond compare by mere mortals when her simple rules are ignored.

Who says we are an intelligent species?

Best,  Terry


Kenyan flower company utilizing geothermal power and heat


The son of a Kenyan father prefers fossil fuels or nukes for light and heat like most all Americans.

I don’t know how much heat is needed to grow roses in Kenya.  It wouldn’t seem to be much, not as much as a greenhouse in Iceland growing bananas but it is cheap either way.

They also grow roses with geothermal heat in New Mexico.  Lots of roses and other things. And now they will have power too.

New Mexico utility plans with 10 MW geothermal PPA


TenMW may not sound like much to today’s megathinkers but this is low temperature, distributed geothermal power that is available most anywhere and never quits on you like wind and solar do.

The wind and solar worshipers deny it even exists.

When will they ever learn?

– Never, probably.

Mother Earth will probably have start afresh like she did 250 million years ago after the Great Dying.

Then maybe Mother can evolve an intelligent species.

Best,  Terry

If Only Those Kindergartners in Newton Had Guns To Defend Themselves…

Yeah, another shooting.  This one in an elementary school in Newton, MA.  One shooting that struck even closer to home for us was across the country at a shopping Mall in Happy Valley, OR.  Yeah I know they call it Portland but we lived in a trailer court in or near  Happy Valley when we were first married.

It was a happy valley then.  Probably the same number of loons but not so many semi-automatic guns with huge capacity clips.  There was no FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh and…

Oh there were plenty of gun nuts but it just wasn’t the same.

The most dire threat to the kiddies and their progeny comes from those leading us to a hellish future, from the Koch denialists to the Obama temporalists to the sun and wind worshipers.

And I suggest the last is not the least.

Sorry, Terry. I do not find your claims credible.

From a desultory discussion in comments at the end of


My comments were just facts, not arguments.

In response to the usual fanciful figuring of an imagined continent-wide smart grid, selective weather data and wildly overbuilt wind farms, I pointed to the words of Rep. Jerry McNerny (D-CA), mathematics Ph.D. and wind energy entrepreneur, supporting baseload renewable energy.

Might as well have written on the wind.

It is akin to the Japanese seriously planning [seriously] an armada of solar satellites beaming energy down to earthlings like Scotty used to beam down the crew of the Enterprise.  Meanwhile, of course, the nukes were about to fall down, go boom.  How would Japanese know of the threats of nuclear energy?

You just can’t talk to crazy people.

Shouldn’t give them semi-automatic rifles with large clips.  Actually the shooter in Happy Valley stole his gun from a neighbor.  Best the neighbor of crazy people not have semi-automatic guns with large clips IMO.

But worst of all, by far the worst of all, is trying to talk to sane, concerned people with a closed mind.

“Bad” Bob is a contributor to Huffington Post where he misleads other innocents in the wind and solar cult.

Best,  Terry

Humans Did It

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

A skeptical physicist ends up confirming climate data

by Brad Plumer

Back in 2010, Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate skeptic, decided to launch the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project to review the temperature data that underpinned global-warming claims. Remember, this was not long after the Climategate affair had erupted, at a time when skeptics were griping that climatologists had based their claims on faulty temperature data.

Muller’s stated aims were simple. He and his team would scour and re-analyze the climate data, putting all their calculations and methods online. Skeptics cheered the effort. “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong,” wrote Anthony Watts, a blogger who has criticized the quality of the weather stations in the United Statse that provide temperature data. The Charles G. Koch Foundation even gave Muller’s project $150,000 – and the Koch brothers, recall, are hardly fans of mainstream climate science.

So what are the end results? Muller’s team appears to have confirmed the basic tenets of climate science. Back in March, Muller told the House Science and Technology Committee that, contrary to what he expected, the existing temperature data was “excellent.” He went on: “We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups.” And, today, the BEST team has released a flurry of new papers that confirm that the planet is getting hotter. As the team’s two-page summary flatly concludes, “Global warming is real“.

While Prof Muller admitted that global warming was very real, he was still a skeptic as to its cause. Until now:

The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic

by Richard A. Muller

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.

(Richard A.) Muller’s research was intended to prove the opposite. The physicist and his team even took the most common arguments raised by climate deniers, putting them to the test to see if skeptics’ claims had merit. It’s why the Kochs got out their checkbook in the first place.

But Muller is now telling his benefactors what they don’t want to hear (a.k.a., the truth): the climate crisis is real and it’s caused by human activity. Whether humanity chooses to deal with the reality of the crisis remains to be seen, but we can’t say we weren’t warned.

The Arctic Is Open For Business

The Northeast Passage Is Open


I thought this news would still be a year or two away, but here it is.

I can’t even begin to summarize this, as every word is so important, and so very scary, but:

But environmental scientists say there is now no doubt that global warming is shrinking the Arctic ice pack, opening new sea lanes and making the few previously navigable routes near shore accessible more months of the year. And whatever the grim environmental repercussions of greenhouse gas, companies in Russia and other countries around the Arctic Ocean are mining that dark cloud’s silver lining by finding new opportunities for commerce and trade.

Read the whole thing:


I will add only this: once you have added new industries, new jobs, new human settlements, all dependent on a warming planet, you’ll have to fight them and their multi-national lobbies tooth and nail in addition to all the powerful forces we have to fight right now, making an impossible task all the worst.    

Climate Change, the Media and Us

NPR is not exactly gung-ho on covering Climate Change but it presented a thoughtful (for NPR) segment on climate change and the fact that Americans are less likely to “believe” in climate change today than a few years ago despite the fact that scientists are more convinced of the reality of human caused climate change than ever; and b) most Americans believe, or claim to, in science and scientific findings. NPR also pointed out that the most significant trend in climate-change denying is in the GOP and its stalwarts; however, NPR did not, as I guessed it would not, go into why this is so because it would have put its own funding at risk.

So I will say why it is so and I’m not going to blame the politicians. First though I want to emphasize how important the issue is. This issue strikes at the heart of what it means to be a responsible human being and even at civilization itself. We are choosing to live a lifestyle that is clearly and unambiguously destructive to the environment and, in my view, destructive to human society and individual morality even more. By persisting in destructive behavior despite the clear facts–and even if there was some doubt that applying any normal risk-analysis system to the problem would come out, overwhelmingly, to taking action. It is, in short, pragmatic to act on the climate change issue. What I’m interested is why we don’t act on it and what that tells us about us.  

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