Medieval Warm Period — fact vs. fiction

Peter Hadley aka Potholer54 with a great video about the AGW denialist’s favorite stalking horse, the Medieval Warm period.

Medieval Warm Period — fact vs. fiction – YouTube.

Friday Morning Hodgepodge

Here’s a Friday hodge podge of updates.

Since Glen Beck is picking this weekend instead of the three day Labor Day weekend seven days later for his Teaparty rally you have to wonder if he’s not just targeting that day because its’ Martin Luther King day. With his John Birch Society leanings you also have to wonder where the heck he’s going to go with it, but I’m expecting more history rewrites and more obfuscation and redirection from the real principles in our constitution.

I’m beginning to wonder if the pols on the right aren’t just occasionally feeding tinder and funds to the Anti-mosque madness simply because it keeps the press focus off of their wingnuts and whackos, like Buck, Angle, Miller, and Rand. Long time readers here and at LGF know that the anti-mosque movement is imported by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from the far right Eurofascist parties, and I suspect that they will get re distanced a bit later after they stop becoming a useful distraction and turn into a dangerous one. Geller is particularly pernicious, with birtherism, support of neo nazis, eurofascists, and white supremacists in her background. (e.g. I’ve pointed out in the past without naming her blog how she picks up stories from Neo nazis, and I’ve detailed the fascist tendencies of Vlaams Belang and their friends that she supports in Europe. Here and Here. )

The election in Alaska is turning interesting, and that has to be a voter turn out thing — in the general Murkowski would heartily thump Miller, and I suspect that’s what will happen if she runs 3rd party. She still has a chance with the recount since the absentee ballots are likely to favor her and not miller.

The teaparty movement has served up a series of real whackjobs — viscerally many elder GOP conservatives want to agree with these candidates because of the anti government sentiment but when you start saying “What about your Social Security?” “What about your Medicare?” “What about your rights?” they sometimes start thinking…

Personal Update

Now that the weight restrictions are off my arms (previously I had serious potential to displace the split in my sternum with too much pressure across it.) I’m catching up on things long overdue at the house, including some yardwork. It feels good to be able to do productive work again and not have to rely on my wife to lift and carry. She was definitely a trooper throughout this ordeal and I do love her dearly for that support.

So far I’ve cleaned out the Smoker, installed a outdoor yard faucet , repaired a chandelier and Frankenputer, and jury rigged a tail light lens for my daughter who got her tail light capsule stolen. On the remainder of the leftovers list are installing two new bathroom faucets, repairing the humidifier before winter, and installing an outdoor electric outlet (I’m converting everything outside to electric from gas for yard work except the lawn tractor to cut down on personally generated carbon output. This doesn’t help a great deal yet since much of the power in Kansas is coal generated, but some comes across the power inter-tie from the zero carbon Wolf Creek facility. By time those items get done it will be time for grub pellets, fertilizer, and then leaf raking in the yard.

Meanwhile, Kasey says “It’s Friday! Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to visit the park with me either buddy, I’m tired of running the edge of this fence…”

This is so sad it’s Hilariously funny: John Stewart on our Oil Dependency

The last 8 presidents and our past attempts…

End of Times Christians and the Oilpocalypse

In several Christian forums there are people debating whether BP’s oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is a sign of the coming apocalypse. No, seriously. Many are convinced that it’s the end of the world as we know it. The Oilpocalypse doesn’t scare me nor should it any rational person – over a very, very, long period of time even the disastrous effects of this will be overcome; and life, being indefatigable by nature, will reclaim the environmental niches being destroyed before our eyes now.

What scares me is that per the article there are approximately 20 million fundamentalist Christians in the US who think that the world as we know will end in their lifetime. From Lisa Miller at Newsweek,

Now blogs on the Christian fringe are abuzz with possibility that the oil spill is the realization of Revelation 8:8–11. “The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed … A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.” According to Revelation, in other words, something terrible happens to the world’s water, a punishment to those of insufficient faith. The foul water, according to the New Oxford Annotated Bible, mirrors one of the plagues God called upon Egypt on behalf of his people Israel.

Though maybe it’s Revelation 16:3: “The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing in the sea died.”

Some interpreters are very sure: The oil spill matches biblical prophesy and is another predictor of the end. One commenter at Godlike Productions argues that the redness of the oil seen in pictures can be interpreted as blood. “The water is tinted red from the oil … it ACTUALLY looks like blood. coincidence??? NOT!!!!”

Environmental Disaster

This is what happens when you drill in deep zones where the pressures are immense — possibly the worst environmental disaster too date once it’s all said and done. Here are a series of time lapse photos that show the growth and extent of the Gulf oil leak from NASA satellites Terra and Aqua:

The Nuclear Conundrum

A panel discussion of the drivers and restrainers to building new Nuclear Energy plants in the US. The panel is well rounded with Stewart Brand, Michael Brune and Industry represtentation.This is part one of five, the others are in order after it.

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Lord Monckton and Snake Oil

While Lord Monckton might be good at devising Sudoku puzzles, you sure don’t want to seek his advice on anything to do with either science or politics since he’s demonstrably a consummate and nearly pathological liar when it comes to those two arenas.

He’s hopped on the climate denialist bandwagon, and there are many examples of untruths, hyperbole, and amazing claims in his body of statements on climate science, and he even managed to sucker me before I knew much about him [back here — one of those posts I really regret having created, followup is embedded in an update in the original post and here.]

Another bizarre example – he claims to be a member of the House of Lords, even though the House of Lords has stated that:

“Christopher Monckton is not and has never been a Member of the House of Lords. There is no such thing as a ‘non-voting’ or ‘honorary’ member.”

Indeed, the only time Fraud Monckton ran for house of Lords he received zero votes.

Peter Sinclair at Climate Denial Crock of the Week has a two part series debunking the Snake Oil that Fraud Monckton is pimping, if you haven’t seen Part one, stop by LGF , and here is part II:

H/T Deltoid

Measuring the Ice: ESA

There’s been a lot of controversy over ice extent and thickness, and most of the controversy has been generated from the traditional denialist camps and outlets and they are bent on distorting and devaluing what is reported. With the new NASA measures underway, and new ESA satellite measurements outlined below the evidence will become incontrovertible.

Please also take note of this video from Peter Sinclair outlining some of the ploys used to attack the data.

What we Know About Climate Change

A new video from Peter Sinclair who outlines some of the very basic and elementary facts and proofs of man made global warming, and how they are supported.

I’ve known about man made global warming since the 1980’s, when I used to point it out as a good reason for increasing production of nuclear energy to the biomass and other alternative energy proponents in alt.sci.energy while arguing pro nuclear energy. It wasn’t a very convincing argument back then, and even while making it I thought we had a couple of centuries to get there. I would argue by saying that nuclear was inevitable because in a couple of centuries it was the only reasonable source and we would have to use it eventually anyway — why not start now? Not many bought it.

They weren’t buying it back then since at that point the left was highly populist and anti science. They would chant things like “Split wood, not Atoms!” and “The only physics I know is Ex-Lax” at university speeches when real scientists would try to point out that nuclear energy production wasn’t as dangerous as it was portrayed to be in “The China Syndrome”.  That was a loosing battle back then when I watched Amory Lovins and crew shut down Rancho Seco as a large wave of anti-science and unreason swept over the left.

Democrat Bill Proxmire was attacking NASA and other science institutions at every opportunity, new wave cults were taking over the left, and even some secular humanists whom I highly respected were falling sway to anti-science forces for politically expedient reasons around nuclear non proliferation. Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov were not as supportive of increased nuclear energy production as they could have been, and joined with the left on that due to Reagan’s missile defense program among other things. Those were depressing times.

So here we are – thirty years later. We got the worst of outcomes from the left going populist and the right giving up for fiscal reasons – it was cheaper to burn coal. Meanwhile the Nuclear proliferation Djinn was out of the bottle even back then – Pakistan and India now have nuclear weapons, as does North Korea. Iran is on fast pace to get them as well. We also use more of the dirtiest source of power, coal, than ever before.

Politically the forces of populism that created this worst of both worlds scenario have flipped topsy-turvy – the left got a new generation of pro-science rebels and in the face of reality even old guard environmentalists like Patrick Moore who founded Greenpeace, and Stewart Brand of Whole Earth Catalog fame have converted to pro nuclear energy. Some defense oriented Democrats are even beginning to see sense in missile defenses shared with our allies and have put aside knee-jerk complaining about missile defense.

On the right, religious fundamentalists now rule the Republican roost and  anti-science populism has now infested my party. So here comes my mea culpa — for political expediency and because I don’t agree with the approach of cap and trade, because I thought we had much more time, I’ve spoken out against the Anti-AGW movement.

My best attempt at convincing myself and others was back here, and as you can see from the strikeouts, and the other arguments since deflated many times, I didn’t do too great a job. You can even see me repeating denialist talking points in the comments, even though I was really trying to cut down on alarmism. Again, this was wrong.

If there were an article I could retract from my blog that would be the one. I can’t with any integrity just pull it however, I like truth best – so there it is, my guilty moment. Where I didn’t speak whole truths, where I omitted the fact that AGW is very real and measurable right now. It’s made me unhappy for a long time that I would subsume science to politics so easily, so consider this my confession and my attempt to make it right.

My stance on the  issue still hasn’t changed much mind you – I think that the answer lies in high energy environmentalism. If we are to live on a clean planet then cheap and clean energy is the only reasonable means I see to getting there. I can’t support starving people to fight AGW, but I recognize we have to do something and quickly. We can’t wait another century as I had thought — we must start now.