Quite a Plan

There was an important appearance by Mark Jacobson on David Letterman recently, during which Jacobson extolled the virtues of “wind, water, solar.” The spot is here.

Mark Jacobson


Of special note: Jacobson explaining the plan that his team at Stanford have come up with to make New York state 100-percent renewables powered. This will, Jacobson explained, require 15,000 turbines, 12,700 of them off Long Island. I asked Jacobson if he’d consulted with anyone in the maritime trades, or any recreational fishermen, or any biologists about the impact that almost 13,000 turbines just off Long Island might have. His answer: the bulk of in-shore New York waters would become “exclusion zones.” Continue reading

Posted in Mark Jacobson, New York wind turbines, Stanford University, sustainability | Tagged , , , ,

You dare to question the great Los Angeles Times?

With its decision to ban letters questioning AGW, the L.A. Times has entered the realm of leftist McCarthyism.

With its decision to ban letters questioning AGW, the L.A. Times has entered the realm of leftist McCarthyism.

As most here will know, the L.A. Times decided once and for all to end the climate change debate (or try) by printing a policy to never again publish a letter questioning man-made global warming. That motivated me to send the paper, and the editor who formed the policy, a little note (see below).

Dear Mr. Thornton,

 A few facts about anthropogenic global warming:

1. The Holocene interglacial, in which you find yourself living, is the coolest of the last 5 interglacials, by one to two degrees Celsius; the Holocene is also experiencing lower sea level than the interglacials prior. Compared to the Eemian interglacial (the most recent before it), sea level is roughly 4 to 6 meters lower today than, for instance, 115,000 years ago.
Continue reading

Posted in climate McCarthyism, climate skepticism, L.A. Times | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

IPCC Scientists Invited to Make Pledge Not to Blame Global Cooling on Humanity

Dear IPCC scientist, please read and sign the following, ASAP.

Thanks in advance, Harold

As a climate scientist who is an IPCC reviewer, author, or editor, I hereby assert, by signing my name in comments that I will never attribute any forthcoming global cooling to human economic activity.

My reasons for this are as follows:

  1. Talk of global cooling is pure bunk; the decade just ended is the warmest on record.
  2. I have made my entire career from blaming humanity for the global warming that ended 17 years ago, and it would be beneath me to switch horses mid-stream.
  3. There is simply no way that particulate pollution or natural variation, or both together, could swamp the effect of the incredibly powerful greenhouse gases that I have been nattering on about for all these years.
  4. I will never be part of any crumbling scientific consensus; it’s just not my style.
  5. I stated publicly that the Sun possessed minimal ability to influence terrestrial climate, and I’m sticking to my position no matter what happens.

To all IPCC scientists who elect to make this pledge, your courage is duly noted.

Posted in climate pledge, global cooling, IPCC | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Is It Time to Consider Global Cooling Yet?

The austere beauty of a Siberian winter is exceeded only by its brutality. Generally speaking, cold is not your friend.

The austere beauty of a Siberian winter is exceeded only by its brutality. Generally speaking, cold is not your friend.

You heard the words at a cocktail party — “global cooling?” — usually with the rising, sing-song intonation of disbelief, so the speaker could get credit for knowing about the phenomenon if, shockingly, it ever came to pass and none of the blame if it, unsurprisingly, didn’t.

Global cooling?

Umm, yes.

That’s about where we are, as a nation, when it comes to an important piece of the pie of climate change science: basically a valley girl question, with a valley girl’s mock knowingness and unknowingness competing for the attention of those around her, and of herself. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, climate skeptics, computer models, global cooling, IPCC, new climate change book, United Nations | Tagged , , ,

Thoughts on fall

The choirs aren't "ruined" yet, but they will be, lol.

The choirs aren’t “ruined” yet, but they will be. See you in November.

From today’s Providence Journal, my ode to autumn …

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang
– William Shakespeare

Or, as I like to say: I can think again – hallelujah!

You wouldn’t necessarily think that a kid from California would be a veritable slave to the New England seasons, but it’s exactly what I am. Continue reading

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Did a 2006 Arctic “Heat Wave” Largely Cause 2007’s Sea Ice Melt?

In terms of the mechanisms restricting ice melt this season, to the extent that they have anything to do with air temperature, a cool Arctic above 80N means an absence of overrunning air from southern latitudes. Every sharp temp spike up there is simply a wind spike — from the south. While warm sea water incursions matter significantly more than air temps when it comes to sea ice melt, air temps do matter. As an example, 2007’s then-record melt could have taken place without a prolonged high-Arctic warming, wind-generated, during the first months of 2006.

Yes, there were other mechanisms at play during the summer of 2007 that even NASA admitted were simply weather. But a really important element of the causality of 2007’s melt was weather that happened more than a year before. That wintertime “heat wave” has never been written about by NSIDC or any other group as a component cause of 2007. The big question is: Why not?

Meanwhile, returning to 2013, a faster-than-average gyre, as has been seen this summer, equals a buffer against warm overrunning air. And, lo and behold, less melting of sea ice.

Posted in Arctic, Arctic temperature, Climate change, sea ice | Tagged , , , ,

What’s Going On Up There?

The Danish Meteorological Institute and the National Snow and Ice Data Center agree that June was cool in the Arctic. It's July they cannot agree on. NSIDC bases its analysis on NCEP/NCAR data, which have some interesting characteristics.

The Danish Meteorological Institute and the National Snow and Ice Data Center agree that June was cool in the Arctic. It’s July they cannot agree on. NSIDC bases its analysis on NCEP/NCAR data, which have some interesting characteristics.

When it was initially apparent that a period of mild cooling was taking place in the high Arctic one month ago, I decided to reach out to Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. I wanted him to get on the record about what to me looked like a shift from years past. What at the start of our exchange was the longest period of days cooler than average in the DMI record has since grown from about 60 days to about 100.

Always affable, always reasonable, always intelligent, and yet somehow always alarmist at the same time, Walt was kind enough to oblige. Among the surprising pieces of his end of our e-mail exchange: His willingness to jump on the story that the North Pole cam was capturing something significant in terms of melting. (At first, that was Walt’s claim – he backs down from it later, as you’ll see.) Walt easily, and skillfully, frustrates my desire to get him to show any optimism (or even recognition) of the cooling, and quietly beats the all-melt, all-warming drum throughout. Interestingly, Walt has actually left NSIDC and gone to work at NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies just in the last week. Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, Climate change, sea ice, walt meier | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Last Refuge

Ask yourself: "When it comes to the climate debate, which side more resembles the Aztecs?"

Ask yourself: “When it comes to the climate debate, which side more resembles the Aztecs?”

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” – Samuel Johnson

Yes, and climate alarmism is the new patriotism. As I write this, the most powerful man on Earth, Barack Obama, dogged by a series of history-tarnishing scandals, is choosing this moment to get serious about climate change.

And, sad to say, it is working. He is successfully skating off the thin political ice on which he finds himself. Continue reading

Posted in aztec nation, Barack Obama, Climate change | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Imaginary Moral High Ground

What follows is the next excerpt from my second book on climate, the forthcoming Aztec Nation. To buy my first book, click here

So, if the United States is on the verge of ceding a good bit of its remaining power to Russia, simply because of the two nations’ opinions about climate and resultant energy choices, it must be doing so on the basis of some kind of higher morality, right?

Sadly, no. The U.S. is about as far from the moral high ground on climate as you can be. Part of that is just the fact that we have created a couple of generations of people who believe that the atmosphere above them is in a state that it has never been in before, which is patently false. Earth was warmer than now 1,000 years ago, 7,000 years ago, and 115,000 years ago – at a minimum. So, if the amount of heat in the system is the same that it has been in the past, how can one call the current conditions “unnatural”? One might just as logically, more logically, call them “natural,” and indeed that is what I do myself.

One analogy is the Sun rising in the morning. What if, by some combination of technology and effort, humanity could somehow make it even more certain that the Sun would rise? Would the fact that one of the reasons that the Sun rose in the morning had to do with humanity’s actions somehow make it a bad thing? Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama, climate skeptics, global warming, morality | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Age of Foolishness

(Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting several excerpts from my forthcoming book, Aztec Nation. The second such excerpt is below. Here’s a link to my first book: clicky.)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…. – Charles Dickens

How I wish wildfires were the only natural phenomenon employed in the public relations campaign that is global warming alarmism. They are not. A partial list of the other things that nature does that are now presented as unnatural includes the following: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and perfect sunny days with highs in the low 70s. Actually, please forgive me, this last item is not on the list. Sometimes, I get just a little tweaked about all of this – I admit it.

But the other four items are on the list. And the chances of watching national news in the United States and not seeing one of them on any given day is close to non-existent. There are a lot of reasons for this. One is that, after decades of being known as the biggest impediment to any eventual reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases, the United States has a sizable population of people who are eager to atone for this perceived sin. And at least 90 percent of members of the American media fall within this population. Continue reading

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