Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Inspiration for a Solution

" I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." -Abraham Lincoln

GOA, How Should the Federal Government Do Business in the 21st Century?, General David M. Walker, September 15, 2000
New Solar Record 42.8%

The old record of 40.7% efficiency was set just 6 months ago. Now now a couple of professors at the University of Delaware (pictured above) upped the bar by 2.1 percent to a grand total of 42.8%. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has been funding research in hopes of getting efficiency up to 50 percent. If they keep this rate up we should get there in about two years.

The Delaware Business Ledger, Solar breakthrough outlined, Friday, July 27, 2007 4:05 PM EDT
Chris Honsberg, 50% Solar Cells

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fred Thompson Mocks Global Warming

Every major scientific society is agreement and only 10% of the public doesn't think global warming is a serious problem. Despite this, the Washington Post just reported that Fred Thompson mocked the concept global warming:
"It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto. . . . This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle,"

This has been covered many many times before and yet this argument still pops up among "the best and the brightest" of us. We hope to have our own rebuttal to the all too common "global warming on mars" argument soon enough.

Washington Post, In Online Writings, Thompson Flashes His Conservative Credentials, John Solomon, Friday, July 27, 2007; A06

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Inhofe Claims the 1930's Were Warmer, Goes Unchallenged

When we look at NASA's temperature records:

We can see his comment about the 1930's has nothing to do with reality. As far as his 15th century comment well this is from the National Academy of Sciences opening statement:

3. It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.
4. Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.
A lot of skeptics will focus on the "less confidence" part but obviously they are taking things out of context. Amazingly nobody on Fox challenged Inhofe's statements.

Fox News
National Academy of Sciences, High Confidence in Surface Temp Reconstructions Since A.D. 1600
50 Ways To Fight Global Warming


I found the following on the American Association for the Advancement of Science's press room
"Top 50 Things To Do To Stop Global Warming": A practical list from GlobalWarming-Facts.info.
A lot of these are easy to implement and can reduce your carbon footprint by significant amounts.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Skeptics/Deniers Less than 10%

The NY Times published a survey of Americans between the ages of 17-27. Some of the results:

53. Which comes closer to your view: 1. Global warming is a very serious problem and should be one of the highest priorities for government leaders OR 2. Global warming is serious but does not need to be a high priority OR 3. Global warming is not serious and can be addressed years from now.
  • Very Serious and should be one of the highest priorities for government leaders
    All adults 52% Age 17-27 54%
  • Serious, but does not need to be a high priority now
    All adults 37% Age 17-27 35%
  • Not serious and can be addressed years from now.
    All adults 8% Age 17-27 10%
  • Don't know/No answer
    All adults 3% Age 17-27 1%
Looks like the deniers are officially minimized among the general population.

NYT's, Young Americans Are Leaning Left, New Poll Finds, ADAM NAGOURNEY and MEGAN THEE, June 27, 2007
ABC's Tony Jones vs. Martin Durkin:The Great Global Warming Swindle

h/t: Desmogblog

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ask a Ninja about Global Warming

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Quote from the 200 Deutsch Mark


That's German currency for those that don't get out of the country.
"Laypeople frequently assume that in a political dispute the truth must lie somewhere in the middle, and they are often right. In a scientific dispute, though, such an assumption is usually wrong." - 1908 Nobel Laureate Paul Ehrlich (March 14, 1854 – August 20, 1915)
Looks like after a hundred years nothing has changed.

Woods Hole Research Center, What the Skeptics Don't Tell You

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Surgeon General Joins The "I was suppressed" Crowd.

Richard Carmona served as President Bush’s first Surgeon General from 2002-2006. Today spoke before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and revealed that political appointees in the Bush administration muzzled him on key issues such as “stem cell research, contraceptives and his misgivings about the administration’s embrace of ‘abstinence-only’ sex education”. Two other surgeon generals were at his side giving similar testimony.

From the NYT's
The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.

And then what seems to be the main theme to this blog:
He described attending a meeting of top officials in which the subject of global warming was discussed. The officials concluded that global warming was a liberal cause and dismissed it, he said.
“And I said to myself, ‘I realize why I’ve been invited. They want me to discuss the science because they obviously don’t understand the science,’ ” he said. “I was never invited back.”

It looks like the petition that states:
Other administrations have, on occasion, engaged in such practices, but not so systematically nor on so wide a front.

Is becoming more and more accurate by the day.

New York Times, Surgeon General Sees 4-Year Term as Compromised, GARDINER HARRIS, July 11, 2007
Thinkprogress.org, Former Surgeon General Was Muzzled, Censored By Bush Administration, Amanda July 10, 2007 1:32 pm
The Pentagon: AGW threat "vastly eclipses that of terrorism"


A "suppressed" report was supposedly leaked to the Guardian UK back in 2004. I missed this article at the time but it is worth revisiting:
The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism


Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.

Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. 'This is depressing stuff,' he said. 'It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.'

The Observer, Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us, Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
Sunday February 22, 2004

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sometimes the most mundane things are funny if you just look at it from a different vantage point. :-D Don't stop before you hit the end.

h/t: Treehugger
Cannes Lions 2007 advertising festival

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Consensus on Climate Change/Global Warming

For what is probably the most definitive list of quotes supporting the IPCC please go here. If you know of any others I need to add please post.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

To Divide and Conquer:
Tobacco Tactics Leaked

Eli Rabett has stumbled upon a funding proposal from a tobacco lobbyist named Roger Bates. This proposal outlines his strategy to attack the anti-smoking campaign:
To be more successful we need to do the following :
• Pick issues on which we can divide our opponents and win . Make our case on our terms, not on the terms of our opponents - malaria prevention is a good example

The aim of the papers will be to highlight two tensions : between the actions of environmental and public health policies, and between OECD and LDC aims . It will also question what the aims of international health agencies (primarily WHO) should be .
Basically he claims the best way to protect the tobacco companies is for the tobacco company to hire people to lobby on topics that have nothing to do with tobacco. They all but admit that their intent is to muddy the science in other fields as well as tobacco. Tobacco is responsible for over 20 % of male and 8 % of female deaths in developed countries. And this man advertises that his conscience is worth 800 pounds sterling a day. Keep this in mind the next time somebody cites the anti-global warming think tank The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition which just happens to be funded by the tobacco giant Philip Morris. More and more we are seeing a methodical, cold, and highly calculated war on science. Regardless of your political ideology, from libertarian or democrat, it should be clear that there are people on BOTH sides of the political spectrum that spin the science with ruthless abandonment.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

750,000 a Year Killed by Chinese Pollution: A Chinese holocaust every 8 years

The above picture is a satellite photo from NASA and this is the caption:
This SeaWiFS image of eastern China shows the widespread nature of the pollution problem. Beijing has completely disappeared under the haze.
The gray haze stands in stark contrast with the relatively normal white clouds. This picture should make it obvious that pollution is a massive problem in China. But just how much of a problem is it? Well the Financial Times is reporting that the World Bank cut out nearly a third of their "report on pollution in China because of concerns that findings on premature deaths could provoke “social unrest”."
Missing from this report are the research project’s findings that high air-pollution levels in Chinese cities is leading to the premature deaths of 350,000-400,000 people each year. A further 300,000 people die prematurely each year from exposure to poor air indoors, according to advisers, but little discussion of this issue survived in the report because it was outside the ambit of the Chinese ministries which sponsored the research.

Another 60,000-odd premature deaths were attributable to poor-quality water, largely in the countryside, from severe diarrhoea, and stomach, liver and bladder cancers.
These stats mean that China suffers 62,500 pollution related deaths per month. At this rate China is recreating the Holocaust every 8 years. A while back the BBC reported that Tehran has had as much as 3,600 air pollution related deaths in a single month. By comparison 9/11 cost 2,994 deaths and a $440+ billion war was started. If we use USA retaliatory accounting China and Tehran should spend $9.7 trillion each month in a war on pollution. As a side not one of the benefits of a "war on pollution" is that, if successful, we will become completely independent of foreign oil. That in itself is a major victory in the separate but related "war on terror". Although pollution kills a lot more people than the war on terror has a war on pollution would be a lot cheaper than a war on terror. Nobel laureate Richard Smalley advocates a nickel and dime solution:
adding 5 cents to the price of each gallon of petrofuel would provide $10 billion annually that could fund energy education and research. After five years, this surcharge could be doubled. "At worst, you will get a new generation of scientists and engineers and a cornucopia of new technologies," Smalley said. "At best, you solve the energy problem."
$10 billion over 12 months is 0.83 billion per month. Comparing that to our $9.7 trillion figure a war on pollution would cost 1/11,686th the amount that the war on terror does per each individual death. For those of you who are skeptical by these death counts feel free to divide them by 11,686 and we will still have more than enough cause to pursue a war on pollution. Obviously there are other things to consider but this should give a good general feel of how much cheaper than the war on terror a war on pollution would be. Although I don't have any statistics on how many deaths are caused in the US due to pollution we do know that 150,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer. All this and we haven't even begun to discuss global warming. These calculations are based off of what is merely what is happening right now and we are ignoring future sea level rise, hurricane increase, ocean acidification, etc. Just something to chew on.

Now for some smoggy pictures of LA!

Can you see the sky scrapers?
FT.com, 750,000 a year killed by Chinese pollution, Richard McGregor, July 2 2007 22:03
Oncology Channel, Lung Cancer
Logicalscience.com, Smog in Tehran: 9/11 in a Month, Thursday, January 11, 2007
Chemistry.org, Energy: the 50-Year Plan, Nancy_McGuire
PBS, Interview: Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Richard Smalley, October 20, 2003
NASA, Eastern China Pollution, Visualization Date