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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fixing the wrong problem solves nothing

Today, on the vigil of Easter 2007 (springtime), in south Texas I am watching the thermometer drop to all time low temperatures. This morning's high was 51 F at 5:00 this morning. Nine hours later the temperature is down to 43.3 F and still falling. Winter storm watches and the chance of sleet and possibly snow have been posted for areas of Houston north of I-10. I know the temperature is even lower in the Hill Country near Austin and the area north and west into the Texas panhandle.

As a child I remember a few times where it snowed on Easter. I especially remember my Dad driving through a blizzard Easter morning to visit my grandparents in Irvington, NJ. That's New Jersey, not Texas! The temperatures here are currently 30 degrees below normal. Several areas in Georgia are expected to drop into the 20's and set new low records.

Yet the IPCC has issued another report pointing out that Global Warming is real and is happening right now. Excuse me for being skeptical. While some people point to the mild first half of winter in the US north east, I look at the very cold winter in the northwest, NW Canada, Europe and the 2nd half of winter in the northeastern US. I look at the data that says that current warming is within historical variations. I look at the global warming conferences and climate change marches that were canceled this year so far because of ice and snow.

Is global warming taking place here and now? Even with the current cold snap I am willing to concede that overall the world may be getting warmer. I do not see any evidence, though, that this warming is man-made. This is the issue. The IPCC report is another gloom and doom tome that points to death and destruction unless Americans and Europeans stop burning oil.

The new report, focusing on the effects of warming, for the first time describes how species, water supplies, ice sheets and regional climate conditions are already responding to the global buildup of heat. While the report said that assessing the causes of regional climate and biological changes was particularly difficult, the authors concluded with “high confidence” — about an 8 in 10 chance — that human-caused warming “over the last three decades has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems.”

At a news conference here, Martin Parry, the co-chairman of the team that wrote the new report, said widespread effects were already measurable, with much more to come.

“We’re no longer arm-waving with models,” he said. “This is empirical information on the ground.”

So the previous studies have been nothing more than arm waving. Models can be valuable tools to understand and predict processes provided that the models are validated with actual observed data. So far the climate models have consistently overpredicted the amount of temperature rise. Additionally, the underlying assumption that CO2 content is the primary driver is an oversimplification. Recent studies are consistently showing that the Sun and cosmic radiation are the primary drivers. China and India are opening up coal burning power plants faster than ever in history that will put out more CO2 and pollutants than the west could ever hope to eliminate.

The fact is that cutting back on CO2 "emissions" will have no effect. The Earth will warm or cool based on its own natural processes.

So what can we do about this? We can attempt another social experiment in the redistribution of wealth. That is the primary drive of the alarmists. This is clear in "Reports from Four Front" (NYTimes)

In almost every instance, the people most at risk from climate change live in countries that have contributed the least to the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to the recent warming of the planet.

Those most vulnerable countries also tend to be the poorest. And the countries that face the least harm — and that are best equipped to deal with the harm they do face — tend to be the richest.

...(SNIP)...

The obligation of the established greenhouse-gas emitters to help those most imperiled by warming derives from the longstanding legal concept that “the polluter pays,” many experts say.

“We have an obligation to help countries prepare for the climate changes that we are largely responsible for,” said Peter H. Gleick, the founder of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Berkeley, Calif. His institute has been tracking trends like the burst of new desalination plants in wealthy places running short of water.

“If you drive your car into your neighbor’s living room, don’t you owe your neighbor something?” Dr. Gleick said. “On this planet, we’re driving the climate car into our neighbors’ living room, and they don’t have insurance and we do.”

Around the world, there are abundant examples of how wealth is already enabling some countries to gird against climatic and coastal risks, while poverty, geography and history place some of the world’s most crowded, vulnerable regions directly in harm’s way.

If we really want to take action that can make a difference such action must help us to adapt.

Adaption includes:
  • Building levees that incorporate intelligent flood control techniques rather than piles of dirt along the rivers
  • Raising the elevation of cities that are at or below mean sea level by pumping soil and fill under the houses as Galveston did after the Hurricane of 1900 when 6,000 - 12,000 were killed.
  • Construct low cost distillation refineries to purify sea water for drinking water supply in countries where drought is a high probability.
  • Increasing trade with developing countries to help them grow stable, prosperous economies
  • Setting up manufacturing branches in developing countries to supply goods to those countries without depleting the manufacturing base at home.
  • Paying the employees of those companies a fair wage - Hourly wages in the US are equivalent to 20 loaves of bread per hour ($16 - $23/hr). Comparable wages would provide the people with the ability to live comfortably and still keep wages down because a loaf of bread is a lot cheaper in other countries than here.
  • Reducing the tax burden on corporations so that private industry and charities can support the above without government involvement.
"Adapt or Die" should be the rallying cry if the enviros actually wanted to solve a problem. Of course we all know the real agenda.

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