Saturday, November 28, 2009

Unemployment--the low carbon footprint life

The United States has finally started lowering its carbon foot print. The use of oil and coal is down in the past two years. This should make the global warming advocates happy. We are using 11% less oil than we were 3 years ago. That should be cause for great celebration. We are using 5% less electricity, most of which is generated from that carbon-spewing coal. Yes, the planet is being saved. The US is in the process of turning into a veritable Eden.

What's that? Huh? Unemployment? You mean low energy use equals people being thrown out of work? Let's look at the numbers.

Here is the chart showing U.S. oil consumption per day. The units are 1000's of barrels per day. The US uses around 20 million barrels of oil a day, or we did a couple of years ago. Now we are down to about 18 million per day. But look at what has hapened to the number of unemployed--which rises when we don't use energy.

We would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the environmentalists, to personally thank the sacrifice of the unemployed in the cause of saving the planet. Yes, they are leading the way to the new world of environmental purity. Thank you all from the depths of our hearts for saving our planet from that evil carbon-spewing energy. We will soon follow your lead.

Let's look at US industrial electrical demand. You know the demand your factory has for electricity to run whatever machines are in your factory. Since electricity is made from burning coal and spewing CO2 into the air, the fact that we are using less electricity is a good thing, right?

There is really a very good correlation here, a negative correlation, between industrial electrical demand and jobs. When industry uses less energy, more people are unemployed. In the eyes of the enviro-wackos, this is a good thing. We should not be using coal. So, once again we must thank the unemployed for their leadership. They are showing us what our future low-carbon world will be.

Now, I can hear the objections. "We aren't talking about not having energy," the environmentalists say. "We want wind and solar". But they have no clue that you can't have wind and solar without oil, coal and natural gas. The wind tubines are made with resins that are petroleum based. No oil. No wind turbine. As for solar, to make a solar cell requires ovens with between 500 and 1400 deg C. That takes oil, coal or natural gas. As we march into that new low carbon footprint world of no jobs, we should know that wind and solar won't happen without carbon.

One final thing. The lack of use of oil has led to a surplus of oil in the storage tanks. Below are the international and US storage numbers. I think in the near term oil prices will fall (but so may everything else). You can see that they are high. So, why is the oil price going up? Because inflation has already begun. The US government is destroying jobs but printing money like crazy and this makes it appear that the price of oil is going up. But if denominated in gold ounces, oil hasn't risen very much.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Freezing earlier in a warming world

A friend jabbed me with a comment that in spite of the early cold elsewhere in the country, Dallas had not yet had a freeze (this was on Nov 22, I don't know when this blog will be published). I downloaded the data for a small town just west of Dallas/Fort Worth, Weatherford Texas and calculated the first day of each Fall in which the minimum temperature fell below zero. Since people aren't generally running air conditioners on days that freeze, the thermometers will not be affected in the same way as the high temperatures, which happen in summers.

So, what does Weatherford look like? Look for yourself.

Over the past century, Weatherford, Texas has had its first Fall freeze earlier and earlier (smaller Julian Day number which is simply the number of day in the year this day is) This is not what one expects in a warming world.

Another friend, after telling him about this, said that I should look at the last freeze in the springtime. That is the picture below. You can clearly see that over the past century the last freeze of the year has come later and later (higher Julian day number), meaning that the time between the first and last freeze has been growing.

So, lets put both curves together. I added the days from the first freeze of the winter until the end of the year to the Julian day of the last freeze. If the trend is getting bigger, then wintertime is growing. If it is getting smaller, then wintertime is shrinking.

Since I wrote the above (but before I published this), my friend who started this look at the data sent me a link to some Dallas-Fort Worth winter temperature data at the National Weather Servicehere. I plotted the number of freezing days each winter in Dallas and then calculated the trend. The trend is flat (technically slightly more freezing days now than 100 years ago, but that isn't what one expects in a warming world that is about to all die from the heat.

Clearly winters are getting longer. Do you expect this in a warming world???? I don't.

Because I was surprised at this, I looked at Riverton, Wyoming, a place I began my geophysical career in, working on a seismic crew up there. One would expect that Riverton would warm and that would push back the day of first freeze. If I use all the data with the first freeze past Mid July, the data looks like this:

Riverton is just barely warming, not quite what I expect given that we have 1/3 more CO2 in the atmosphere than we had in 1907. But look at that one day in 1912. That was an early August freeze, Aug 7. 1912.

What is the significance of that day? Well, two months earlier the 20th century's most powerful volcanic eruption had occurred at Katmai, Alaska, on June 6, 1912 (source). Volcanoes, it is known, drop the planetary temperature rather quickly. I would guess that that single freeze is probably related to it. But even if it isn't, lets see what removing that day does to the trend of first freezes. That is below.

Without that one day, Riverton is actually cooling, with the first freeze coming slightly earlier each year over the past century. Clearly this isn't what one would expect listening to all the hysteriacs baying at the moon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Climatologists and Swiss Bank Accounts

I ran into the following email from the CRU hacked emails which seems to violate the spirit of Russian tax collection. In an email allegedly from Stepan Shiyatov written on Tatiana M. Dedkova's email account to K. Briffa, money was sought for funding the Yamal tree ring project. But interestingly Stepan was asking that the money be put into his personal account. That sounds very Bernie Madoffish. It seems odd to me that Stepan was writing on Tatiana's email account asking for money to be put into personal accounts. If this was done, does this constitute malfeaseance?

Also, it is important for us if you can transfer the ADVANCE money on the personal accounts which we gave you earlier and the sum for one occasion transfer (for example, during one day) will not be more than 10,000 USD. Only in this case we can avoid big taxes and use money for our work as much as possible. Please, inform us what kind of documents and financial reports we must
represent you and your administration for these money.


Was the money sent? I don't know. Two years later was an email which has an email allegedly from K. Briffa to an evag@ address saying that he had said that Stepan was getting $5000 to a Swiss account. Interesting that a Russian climatologist should be getting money sent to a Swiss bank account.

From: Keith Briffa
Subject: transfer
Date: Wed Nov 18 11:04:42 1998

I am told that the money transfer ( 5000 u.s. dollars) should have gone to the bank account you stated. Please let me know if this is received by you. I now also have the contract signed by INTAS and we must organise future work and I will talk to Fritz about us visiting Ekaterinburg next year. In the meantime I wish you and Stepan to organise major review papers of the Yamal and Taimyr long chronology staus for inclusion in the Holocene ADVANCE-10K Special Issue. These need to be completed by June at the latest . They will each be 10-12 pages of print. I can suggest content, do some analyses and help with editing these . I am also sending Stepan's 5000 dollars to Switzerland now to be carried back by his colleague. I have yet to sort out how claims on the INTAS money will be handled. Have you received the details of the final contract?
best wishes

Edited to add 8 hours after I posted the above: I decided to change the title from "Climatologists avoid taxation" to "Climatologists and Swiss Bank Accounts". I figure that will get a bit more notice. I am appalled by the lack of fiscal checks and balances seen in the above. I once managed a $24 million dollar seismic purchasing budget. Not one single dime of money saw the inside of someone's personal bank account nor did a single dime go to a Swiss bank account for carring back to some other country by a third party.

Once money goes inside a personal bank account the audit trail stops. How much of that money actually was used for the research? How much went to the carrier? All these questions must now be asked. I don't know if there are laws broken here but it sure sounds like bad fiscal control.

Antarctica was 6 degrees warmer than now

In spite of all the Holocene denying, hysterical wailing about how we are going to melt Antarctica, the science says, not so. My last week's Nature arrived yesterday (yeah the post office is slow). In it was an article L. C. Sime et al, "Evidence for warmer interglacials in East Antarctic ice corese," Nature 462 (2009), p. 342

The article makes the amazing claim that 3 times over the past 340,000 years, Antarctica has been as much as 6 degrees centigrade hotter than it is today. And looking at the widths of the deuterium data he used, it was that hot for at least 1000-1500 years EACH TIME!.

The abstract says

Here we analyse the three available 340 kyr East Antarctic ice core records alongside input from GCM modelling. We show that for warmer interglacial periods the relationship between temperature and the isotopic signature varies among ice core sites, and that therefore the conversions must be nonlinear for at least some sites. Model results indicate that the isotopic composition of East Antarctic ice is less sensitive to temperature changes during warmer climates. We conclude that previous temperature estimates from interglacial climates are likely to be too low. The available evidence is consistent with a peak Antarctic interglacial temperature that was at least 6 K higher than that of the present day —approximately double the widely quoted 3+/-1.5 K

Yes, Antarctica has, in the past been 6 deg C hotter than at present for as long as 1000-1500 years and it didn't slide into the sea.

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CO2 only works in the Northern Hemisphere

All the global warming hysteriacs claim that CO2 is the cause of global warming. I think I can disprove that. CO2 is spread evenly throughout the atmosphere. It blocks outgoing radiation everywhere equally because the physics is simple: X quantity of CO2 will increase the optical depth of the atmosphere by amount Y. Optical depth in simple terms is the opacity of the atmosphere to a given frequency. CO2 absorbs infrared, and so to certain infrared wavelengths, the atmosphere doesn't look clear and it has a hard time escaping. That is the theory.

Now look at the picture below.

You can go to the website, the NOAA website, and make this map. It is a trend map. It shows not the temperature but the rate the temperature is rising. A positive trend means the location is warming (reddish colors); a negative trend meand the location is cooling. Note that from 1971 to 2009, only the northern hemisphere is warming. Antarctica is cooling. Isn't that interesting. CO2 doesn't work in Antarctica!!!

The real answer is that CO2 isn't the cause of the warming or the cooling. It is hyper-illogical to think that CO2 causes warming in the northern hemisphere and cooling south of 60 deg S latitude, that is, in Antarctica.

Then there is another issue. Think of all the caterwalling that we have heard about how global warming is going to melt Antarctica, raise the sea levels and drown all those Bangladeshi's who are too stupid to move out of the way of the rising waters. Given that we know that Antarctica was below freezing in 1971, and we know from the trend map that it has been getting colder over the past 40 years or so, the global warming hyper-illogical hysteriac is asking us to believe that Antarctica is going to melt while it is getting colder by the year!

Only global warming makes people believe such nonsense.

Climatologists Suppress Dissent But Deny It

Found deep in a computer code hacked from the Climate Research Unit was a comment on how to handle the tree ring temperature proxy after 1960. It seesm that the thermometer record was continuing to rise but the pesky tree rings were not showing that increase in temperature. So a programmer writing code wrote this:

;Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions
; of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures.

Simply put, the global warming folk ignored the tree ring data and changed it to make it look like what they wanted it to look like. How very very very scientific of them. <- that was sarcasm

Well, the Wall Street Journal this morning has some more on these 'open-minded truth-seeking scientists. It says:

"For the record, when we've asked Mr. Mann in the past about the charge that he and his colleagues suppress opposing views, he has said he 'won't dignify that question with a response,"[/SIZE=3] Regarding our most recent queries about the hacked emails, he says he 'did not manipulate any data in any conceivable way,' but otherwise refuses to answer specific questions." Global Warming with the Lid Off, Wall Street Journal, Novf 24 2009, p. A22

How very very untruthful of the man if one is to believe what is found in the email allegedly written by him.

From: "Michael E. Mann"
To: Phil Jones ,,,
Subject: Re: Fwd: Soon & Baliunas
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 08:14:49 -0500

Thanks Phil,
(Tom: Congrats again!)
The Soon & Baliunas paper couldn't have cleared a 'legitimate' peer review process anywhere. That leaves only one possibility--that the peer-review process at Climate Research has been hijacked by a few skeptics on the editorial board. And it isn't just De Frietas, unfortunately I think this group also includes a member of my own department... The skeptics appear to have staged a 'coup' at "Climate Research" (it was a mediocre journal to begin with, but now its a mediocre journal with a definite 'purpose').
Folks might want to check out the editors and review editors:


In fact, Mike McCracken first pointed out this article to me, and he and I have discussed this a bit. I've cc'd Mike in on this as well, and I've included Peck too. I told Mike that I believed our only choice was to ignore this paper. They've already achieved what they wanted--the claim of a peer-reviewed paper. There is nothing we can do about that now, but the last thing we want to do is bring attention to this paper, which will be ignored by the community on the whole...
It is pretty clear that thee skeptics here have staged a bit of a coup, even in the presence of a number of reasonable folks on the editorial board (Whetton, Goodess, ...). My guess is that Von Storch is actually with them (frankly, he's an odd individual, and I'm not sure he isn't himself somewhat of a skeptic himself), and without Von Storch on their side, they would have a very forceful personality promoting their new vision. There have been several papers by Pat Michaels, as well as the Soon & Baliunas paper, that couldn't get published in a reputable journal.

This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the "peer-reviewed literature". Obviously, they found a solution to that--take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board...What do others think?

Truth seekers shouldn't care if a paper is brought to the attention of others, but these guys only wanted to suppress dissenting and critical views. What a sad sham this is.

The above was a response to an email allegedly from Phil Jones

I think the skeptics will use this paper to their own ends and it will set paleo back a number of years if it goes unchallenged. I will be emailing the journal to tell them I'm having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor. A CRU person is on the editorial board, but papers get dealt with by the editor assigned by Hans von Storch.

Yes, if this isn't a case of suppressing opposing views I don't know what one is. And of course, after denying their critics opportunities to publish, these guys then claim that the work is no good because it can't be published.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Salinger and Control of Peer Review

It is quite fascinating going through the alleged emails of the climatologists. Once again, Phil Jones, at least, is not denying their reality.

I will bold the part of this that implies the active suppression of dissent.

To: Tom Wigley , Phil Jones , Mike Hulme , Keith Briffa , James Hansen , Danny Harvey , Ben Santer , Kevin Trenberth , Robert wilby , "Michael E. Mann" , Tom Karl , Steve Schneider , Tom Crowley , jto , "simon.shackley" , "tim.carter" , "p.martens" , "peter.whetton" , "c.goodess" , "a.minns" , Wolfgang Cramer , "j.salinger" , "simon.torok" , Mark Eakin , Scott Rutherford , Neville Nicholls , Ray Bradley , Mike MacCracken , Barrie Pittock , Ellen Mosley-Thompson , "" , "Greg.Ayers" , Tom Wigley
Subject: And again from the south!
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 20:28:20 +1200

Dear friends and colleagues

This will be the last from me for the moment and I believe we are all
arriving at a consensus voiced by Tom, Barrie, Neville et al., from
excellent discussions.

Firstly both Danny and Tom have complained to de Freitas about
his editorial decision, which does not uphold the principles of good
science. Tom has shared the response. I would be curious to find
out who the other four cited are - but a rebuttal would be excellent.

Ignoring bad science eventually reinforces the apparent 'truth' of
that bad science in the public mind, if it is not corrected. As
importantly, the 'bad science' published by CR is used by the
sceptics' lobbies to 'prove' that there is no need for concern over
climate change. Since the IPCC makes it quite clear that there are
substantial grounds for concern about climate change, is it not
partially the responsibility of climate science to make sure only
satisfactorily peer-reviewed science appears in scientific
publications? - and to refute any inadequately reviewed and wrong
articles that do make their way through the peer review process?

I can understand the weariness which the ongoing sceptics'
onslaught would induce in anyone, scientist or not. But that's no
excuse for ignoring bad science. It won't go away, and the more
we ignore it the more traction it will gain in the minds of the general
public, and the UNFCCC negotiators. If science doesn't uphold the
purity of science, who will?

We Australasians (including Tom as an ex pat) have suggested
some courses of action. Over to you now in the north to assess
the success of your initiatives, the various discussions and
suggestions and arrive on a path ahead. I am happy to be part of it.

Warm wishes to all



One certainly gets the feeling that anything that gets through peer-review with these guys and which disagrees with these guys, is not legitimately good science. And after they squash any article which they disapprove of, they can turn around and whack the skeptic with the claim that his work isn't peer reviewed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

GISS says: European Thermometers Don't Work

James Hansen's group and colleagues at the Goddard Institute of Space Science (GISS) take the global temperatures and process them, correct them and out put maps and charts showing how the earth is warming incredibly and implying that we are all going to die before it is over (which may be true regardless of what happens to CO2--so the preachers tell me)

Anyway, sometimes it is really instructive to look at the corrections, to see what patterns they have geographically. To that end, I went to this site and made a map using the Hadley/Reyn Ocean data plus the unadjusted land data from 1880-2008 data. Next the gridded data was downloaded. I then made the same map using the GISS adjusted data and downloaded it. Then, after subtracting one grid from another, one can see what the magnitude of the adjustments are. Then I averaged the difference over both the latitudinal and longitudinal axes producing two graphs. Just so you can visually see the difference between the two maps, here is the unadjusted data followed by the adjusted map.

Note that the adjusted map has hotter temperatures. This is a very important point: a scientist only corrects the data if he thinks he knows it is bad and how much it is bad. In the case of thermometers, this means that they think the thermometers they correct are not working properly. That says that in general GISS has to think that the raw data is reading far too cold and must have their readings pushed upwards. There really is no other explanation for the additional heat. We will apply this logic to their corrections.

So, now that we have seen the maps, let's look at the latitudinal distribution of the corrections. This is very interesting.

When all is boiled down to its essence, the GISS temperature editors must be believing that southern hemisphere thermometers work just fine. They need no corrections, or very small corrections. But WOAH, move that thermometer into the northern hemisphere and it goes cold on them. How interesting that the laws of physics change between the hemispheres. Metallic expansion, upon which most thermometers are based, must behave differently in the north than in the south because the GISS folks feel the need to correct the north far in excess of the correction they give to the southern hemisphere.

Of course, the conclusions drawn from their corrections are silly. But that doesn't mean the logic is faulty, it means that the corrections are silly. Why would modern thermometers in, say Argentina or South Africa work better than those in Europe? They shouldn't.

Let's look at the longitudinal distribution of their adjustments. In this case I averaged the adjustments over the longitude bins.

Woah!!! This says that the GISS climatologists somehow believe that a thermometer in Africa or Europe needs as much as 8x more correction than a thermometer in China. Wow. What a discovery. And since the only way that the max correction can be both in the northern hemisphere and between 0 and 81 deg longitude is for the bad thermometers to be in Europe. All of the European thermometers read too cold and must have heat added to them. So much for German engineering. What happens to a thermometer in Europe that makes the GISS climatologists think that they are all reading too cold? Are all the thermometers inside shopping malls? I doubt it. But since GISS won't change the temperature of a thermometer unless there is something wrong with it, clearly they think that European thermometers are just crap.

The logical conclusion from all this? If you want your thermometer to work well, don't move it to Europe, Africa or the Northern Hemisphere. Carry on.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Apparent Data Alteration among the Climatologists

Here is an example of data alteration by the climatologists. Do any of the AGW folk want to defend the cutting out of data that shows cooling? Here is an alleged email from Mick Kelly, a New Zealander to Phil Jones the leader of the Hadley Centre. I will post the various emails in the temporal order. This comes from

> > Hi Phil
> >
> > Just updated my global temperature trend graphic for a
> public talk and
> > noted
> > that the level has really been quite stable since 2000 or
> so and 2008
> > doesn't look too hot.
> >
> > Anticipating the sceptics latching on to this soon, if they
> haven't done
> > already, has anyone had a good look at the large-scale circulation
> > anomalies
> > over this period? I haven't noticed anything consistent
> coming up in the
> > annual climate reviews but then I wasn't really looking.
> >
> > Be awkward if we went through a early 1940s type swing!
> >
> > Hope all's well with you
> >
> > Mick
> >
> > ____________________________________________
> >
> > Mick Kelly
> > PO Box 4260 Kamo
> > Whangarei 0141 New Zealand
> > email:
> > web:
> > ____________________________________________

Phil allegedly replied:

]> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: 24 October 2008 20:39
> To: Mick Kelly
> Subject: Re: Global temperature
> Mick,
> They have noticed for years - mostly wrt
> the warm year of 1998. The recent coolish years
> down to La Nina. When I get this question I
> have 1991-2000 and 2001-2007/8 averages to hand.
> Last time I did this they were about 0.2 different,
> which is what you'd expect.
> In Iceland at a meeting that Astrid invited me to.
> Cold with snow on the ground, but things cheap as the
> currency has gone down 30-40% wrt even the pound.
> Cheers
> Phil

to which Mick apparently said he would cut out the downward trending data.

From: Mick Kelly
Subject: RE: Global temperature
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 09:02:00 +1300

Yeah, it wasn't so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used
to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a
longer - 10 year - period of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you
might expect from La Nina etc.

Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.
Anyway, I'll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I
give the talk again as that's trending down as a result of the end effects
and the recent cold-ish years.

Enjoy Iceland and pass on my best wishes to Astrid.


For those who have claimed that there isn't a conspiracy you should go look through these emails as I have. here we have a guy altering the data to make it look warmer, no doubt with the best of intentions.

So, does anyone want to defend what they are doing?

More Peer Review Corruption

The global warming advocates (AGW) have used the peer review process to exclude anyone who has a differing opinion from them. The peer-review criterion they want seems to be whether or not the article is critical or accepting of anthropogenic global warming. "Good science" supports the AGW crowd; "bad science" doesn't. Such a process will ensure that the skeptics can't get published. Below are excerpts from an alleged email from Tom Wigley on Wed Apr 23, 2003 (and yes I checked to see that Apr 23, 2003 was a Wednesday). His desire to control what gets published is quite clear in this alleged email

In this part he wants to be able to control the publication of papers critical of his position. That is what a peer-reviewer does.

Let me give you an example. There was a paper a few years ago by Legates and Davis in GRL (vol. 24, pp. 2319-1222, 1997) that was nothing more than a direct and pointed criticism of some work by Santer and me -- yet neither of us was asked to review the paper. We complained, and GRL admitted it was poor judgment on the part of the editor. Eventually (> 2 years later) we wrote a response (GRL 27, 2973-2976, 2000). However, our response was more that just a rebuttal, it was an attempt to clarify some issues on detection. In doing things this way we tried to make it clear that the original Legates/Davis paper was an example of bad science (more bluntly, either sophomoric ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation). source

Buried in an email Jan 21, 2005 was an email to Mann which gave the editor's reasons for not including Mann as part of the review team. This was apparently from Malcolm Hughes to Mike Mann.

At 08:47 PM 1/20/2005, wrote:
>> Mike - I found this sentence in the reply from the GRL
>> Editor-in-Chief to be
>> interesting:
>> "As this manuscript was not written as a Comment, but rather as
>> a full-up scientific manuscript, you would not in general be asked to
>> look it over."

This would be normal procedure, but given the penchant for dissent suppression that these guys engaged in, one is not surprised to see Mann want to stop any criticism of his work.

This second case gets to the crux of the matter. I suspect that deFreitas deliberately chose other referees who are members of the skeptics camp. I also suspect that he has done this on other occasions. How to deal with this is unclear, since there are a number of individuals with bona fide scientific credentials who could be used by an unscrupulous editor to ensure that 'anti-greenhouse' science can get through the peer review process (Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Baliunas, Soon, and so on).

The peer review process is being abused, but proving this would be difficult.

The best response is, I strongly believe, to rebut the bad science that does get through.
This is from this site

Amazingly he doesn't see that he is trying to abuse the peer review process himself by denying opposite opinions and criticisms of his own work. He also wants to control who deFreitas choses to use. How totalitarian of him.

And this allegedly from Treavor Davies shows again that they are merely interested in being sure that no 'bad science' defined as anything critical of them gets published, but then using that against any critic.

From: "Davies Trevor Prof (ENV)"
To: "Ogden Annie Ms (MAC)" , "Briffa Keith Prof (ENV)" , "Jones Philip Prof (ENV)"
Subject: RE: Climate Research Centre crisis spreads
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2009 08:33:16 +0100
Cc: "Summers Brian Mr (REG)" , "Preece Alan Mr (MAC)"

WE should make a statement along these lines. We should also stress that McIntyres analysis has not been peer-reviewed (& we need to explain what this means - for the man-in-the street).

Given the fact that this campaign is clearly not going to die down & we now have a silly attempt to escalate it locally (dragging Norfolk's reputation thro the mud), I have revised my view & feel we do need to pursue the spectator more vigorously. To me, it seems straightforward - Keith has been accused of fraud on an official Spectator website - that is (wharever the legal word is).

Peer review has become a cudgel to be used on opponents in all areas of science. Members of one point of view populate the review panels and reject anything that disagrees with them. Then the use the lack of publications by critics in peer reviewed journals as a reason no one should listen to them. This is not science but politics.

CRU hacked emails and Peer Review Corruption

I have been skeptical for a long time about the criticism of global warming advocates to allow skeptics to publish. Then they turn around and claim that the skeptical science is no good because they don't publish in reputable journals. Emails from the Hadley center confirm this

For anyone wanting to peruse all the emails go to

The interesting thing as I am perusing, there is almost no way this could be a hoax. 62 mb of data is 62 books worth of information, a book being about 1 meg worth of writing. But there is another interesting thing. Phil Jones admits that CRU was hacked and in an interview does not deny the emails are legitimate. here

I am looking into statements about peer review. This allegedly from

From: "Michael E. Mann" To: Phil Jones ,,,, Subject: Re: Fwd: Soon & Baliunas Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 08:14:49 -0500 Cc:,,,,,,

Thanks Phil,

(Tom: Congrats again!)

The Soon & Baliunas paper couldn't have cleared a 'legitimate' peer review process
anywhere. That leaves only one possibility--that the peer-review process at Climate
Research has been hijacked by a few skeptics on the editorial board. And it isn't just De Frietas, unfortunately I think this group also includes a member of my own department...

The skeptics appear to have staged a 'coup' at "Climate Research" (it was a mediocre
journal to begin with, but now its a mediocre journal with a definite 'purpose').
Folks might want to check out the editors and review editors:

What is hilarious is that he wants climate journals to have a different purpose--the exclusion of skeptics while he complains about skeptics finding a way to publish.

Then at the end of the email Mike Mann says this about the criticism of skeptics that they can't get published anywhere. Of course that was because, as I have said several times, the peer review process is stacked against them. These emails prove it.

This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the
"peer-reviewed literature". Obviously, they found a solution to that--take over a journal!

So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently
sit on the editorial board...

What do others think?


Attached to the alleged Mike Mann email was an email allegedly from Phil Jones. He too is against free expression of scientific thought

Dear all,

Tim Osborn has just come across this. Best to ignore probably, so don't let it
spoil your day. I've not looked at it yet. It results from this journal having a number of editors. [B]The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I've had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere.

Another thing to discuss in Nice !



NOPE, skeptics need to try to publish because they won't be allowed to. And then when they are denied access to publishing, they are then criticized for not publishing. Phil Jones even went so far as to try to talk to an editor about not publishing anything skeptical. This isn't how science is suposed to work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Summer Warming and Airconditioning

I have had a friend who is a believer in anthropogenic global warming tell me that if air conditioners were affecting the temperature record, we should see the summer season be warmer than the winter. I have a slight variation on this. One hundred years ago, we didn't have air conditioners. That gave me the idea to measure the trend of the daily temperatures over the history of some of the southern weather stations, the part of the country which has the most air conditioner fans.

The picture above shows precisely the effect one would expect of airconditioning. Over the past century in Gainesville, Georgia, the daily temperature trend has risen faster in the summer than in the winter--consistent with a thermometer next to an air conditioning coil.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

200 kyr of 1000+ ppm CO2 Won't Melt Antarctica

I was really interested to see that in the geologic record there is excellent evidence for the survival of the Antarctic ice sheets in a world of 1000 ppm, and that those ice sheets survived for 200,000 years at those CO2 levels. This, is totally contrary to all the hoopla about how Antarctica is about to melt into the sea--next week and kill all those Bangladeshi's who, without the help and guidance of those comfortable Western global warming hysteriacs, would be too stupid to move out of the way.

I ran across the following in Nature about the time when the Antarctic ice sheets first grew. This occurred 33.6 to 33.5 million years ago as the CO2 content of the atmosphere dropped below ~750-850 ppm of CO2.

"First, they conclude that the slow temperature decline recorded by oxygen isotopes was concomitant with a decline of atmospheric CO2 from about 1,100 p.p.m.v. to a threshold concentration of about 750 p.p.m.v., at which the main phase of Antarctic ice-cap growth was initiated. This finding confirms model predictions that - contrary to what might be expected - the initiation and the rapid expansion of the Antarctic ice sheet occurred about 33.5 million years ago at levels of atmospheric CO2 that were more than twice the present -day value. Pearson et al. propose that the Antarctic glaciation was preconditioned by the global cooling associated with the decline of atmospheric CO2, But the glaciation really started only when Earth's orbital parameters, which change periodically, favoured the process." Damien Lemarchand, "Early Survival of Antarctic Ice," Nature, 461(2009): 1065

Similar statements to that above have appeared in the literature, but when you look at these, notice that the Antarctican glaciation began 33.6 million years ago.

"Oligocene epoch (-33.6 million years ago), followed by the onset of northern-hemispheric glacial cycles in the late Pliocene epoch, about 31 million years later'. . . . We show that the CO2 threshold below which glaciation occurs in the Northern Hemisphere (-280 p.p.m.v.) is much lower than that for Antarctica (-750 p.p.m.v.). " Robert M. DeConto, et al, “Thresholds for Cenozoic Bipolar Glaciation,” Nature, 445(2008), p. 652

"Between the Oligocene and mid-Miocene, 11 to 35 million years ago, values averaged 600 ppm, get if we extend into the Late Eocene, we see levels possibly up to 2,000 ppm. This reflects a major decrease starting in the Eocene and coinciding with the development of widespread Antarctic glaciation in the earliest Oligocene. An Eocene-Oligocene boundary fall in pC02 is supported by climate models, which indicate that large-scale Antarctic glaciation cannot occur with pC02 values above -850 ppm."Jane Whaley, “The Azolla Story: Climate Change and Arctic Hydrocarbons,” Geo Expro, 4(2007):4:66-72, p. 70-71

I was intrigued by the claim that one must be below 750 ppm CO2 in order to have Antarctican glaciation. At first glance, it seemed to me that the opposite is also likely true, that it wouldn't melt until we passed that CO2 level. But quite logically, if one thinks about it, my first thought was wrong. Once formed, it takes even higher CO2 levels to melt it (because of albedo issues--the amount of light reflected from the ice).

"The authors' second conclusion is that, although the newly formed ice cap may have shrunk somewhat, it largely survived a subsequent and rapid recovery of atmospheric CO2 back to levels of 1,000 p.p.m.v. or more."Damien Lemarchand, "Early Survival of Antarctic Ice," Nature, 461(2009): 1065

If you go look at the article you will see a couple of things. First, the rebound of CO2 was up to 1125 ppm, yet the Antarctican ice didn't melt. It didn't melt even with 200,000 years of above 1000 ppm CO2 levels. You will see that interesting fact in the following picture from that article, which I modified to show some interesting features.

Notice that the red bar that I put on the CO2 curve showing how long the earth was above 1000 ppm CO2. I copied that bar and placed it on the X-axis to show that the earth spent 200,000 years above 1000 ppm yet the Antarctic ice cap didn't melt. The authors say

"We also find a sharp Pco2 increase after maximum ice growth as the global carbon cycle adjusted to the presence of a large ice cap and there was a nonlinear hysteresis effect as the ice cap withstood this transient Pco2 atm rise." Paul N. Pearson et al, "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Through the Eocene-Oligocene Climate Transition," Nature 461(2009), p. 1112

Two hundred thousand years is TRANSIENT????? Not by my definition. I am transient, living less than 100 years; glaciers are permanent if they last 200,000 years. Modern mankind has only been on earth for 160,000 years.

Now, we are a long long way away from 1000 ppm CO2. And even after we get there, the Antarctic ice sheet will not melt for at least another 200,000 years. Because of this, all this screaming about Antarctic ice shelves melting because of CO2 is just so much hooey. Fear-mongering sells newspapers and makes people willing to give up their freedom to anyone who will save them from the boogeyman. Anthropologists tell us that anatomically modern Homo sapiens has been on earth for 160,000 years. Thus even with 1000 ppm of CO2 for all that time, we would still be able to view the Antarctic ice sheets that was on earth when the earliest modern human appeared. Clearly the ice sheets are far far more stable than the screaming meemies today think. The science clearly says that Antarctia won't melt in our life-time,and thus, one must conclude that all of this hysteria-spreading is for the purpose of getting you to give them your tax dollars to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In Order to Save the Planet We Killed the Birds

A friend emailed me tonight to point out that Spain was getting 50% of its electricity from wind power. That made me recall an article I had seen a month or so ago. it suggested that there was a problem, but I couldn't recall what it was (having an old brain is like having a car without a motor). Like many, my friend, not to mention yours truly, is skeptical of global warming, but also is fearful of running out of oil. We have discussed both over the months. We will need a new energy source.

I searched my database and found that I had not made notes on that Spanish wind turbine problem. I wasn't sure what journal (I take many) it was to be found in. So, I searched. Bingo. I found it, and it tells a sad story of the lack of foresight amongst the greens.

Here is the anthropogenic global warming logic. In order to save the planet, we must go to green energy sources, wind, solar, geothermal, hydrological. That, it is said, will remove CO2 from the atmosphere and save us from the hellish heat they predict. So far so good (except the impact of CO2 is 1/5 (source) of what they claim, but other than that... going green is ok with me).

But it isn't OK with the vultures, bats or other birds. A recent study of Egyptian vultures in Spain showed that the wind farms are going to drive the vulture extinct. (source). But it isn't just vultures.

Bats too seem to love to collide with wind power turbines. (source). It also seems that the air pressure drop behind the turbines, busts up the delicate lungs of the bats.

And then there are the condors that wind turbines are killing--via collision.

Yep, going green to save the planet means vultures, condors and bats must die. Ain't saving the planet nice?

The problem with the greens is that they can't seem to think one step beyond where they are. They want to get rid of CO2 and urge going to wind power. But then, they didn't think about what those rotating blades would do to the flying wild life. It is an abysmal lack of foresight on their part.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Saving the Bangladeshi's

While debating global warming, I am often told that if we don't do something we will drown the Bangladeshi people. That of course presumes that they are so stupid as to stand still while the ocean waters cover them--which says something about the lunacy and condescension of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) advocates. But that aside. I want to assure the AGW folk that I am not scheming to drown the Bangladeshi's as rapidly as possible. But it is always phrased that way, as if all of us GW critics just love the sound of the gurgle as the last Bangladeshi gives up his last breath. What hooey and political nonsense.

The Wall Street Journal had an article which talked about the view of global warming from Bangladesh. It concerned Mr. Begum. Mrs. Begum's husband earns $44 a month. They have no savings and they can't afford school for their children or the $4 to go to the health care clinic if they get sick. (This is why we need to get their economies going to fix the health care) She cooks her food next to an open sewer (how appetizing). Her village has had lots of politiicans coming to visit to see what they could do to save the Bangladeshi's from global warming. Her life never changes. These heartless people come, see and go away doing nothing for her life. When they explained what global warming was, she said:

"Mrs. Begum's biggest challenge is not what the sea level may do in five or 10 decades. She has a more modest request: "It would be a heaven's gift if a proper drainage system could be arranged in this area where all the drains are covered and do not overflow."

. ...
"For Mrs. Begum, the choice is simple. After global warming was explained to her, she said: "When my kids haven't got enough to eat, I don't think global warming will be an issue I will be thinking about."Bjorn Lomborg, "Global Warming as Seen from Bangladesh," Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 2009, p. A17

A guy with whom I have been debating asked me how I intended to fix the environmental and health problems. I wrote this which is consistent with the above.

The solution will require two things, energy and the recognition that CO2 is not the problem AGW folk think it is. Let's look at the socieities which have low air pollution and good environmental laws. They are the Western wealthy countries. You want clean air, you have to give the third world, economies that actually grow to make them wealthy enough so they will both care about the environment and have the money to fix it. Wealth would solve that problem. Poor people in poor economies don't care about the environment. They want food.

Environmentalists want fewer children on earth. What countries are having fewer children? Well, it is the rich western countries. As incomes rise women have fewer children. That would solve that problem.

What socieites have good healthcare? Why once again, it is the wealthy western nations. If you want to fix the third world health problems you need to get their economies growing so that they can have the money to get to health care.

Remember this as people tell you what is good for the Bangladeshi's, as if someone sitting comfortably in a comfortable western home knows what is good for the poor Bangladeshi's.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More snow this year than last.

Snow takes cold weather to exist. I have commented in this blog about the dearth of sunspots and noted that the lack of sunspots means that the sun puts out less energy. This year, so far, has had far fewer sunspots than last year and we have more snow on the ground this year than last. The two pictures show it.

The picture below shows how unusual the behavior of the sun is. We should, by all accounts be approaching solar maximum. Instead we are still in a period of declining solar activity. Cold weather is what we should expect. Every time in history that the sun has had fewer sunspots had resulted in a cooler world.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cap and Trade's $1760/family tax hike

Won't you just love getting a 2-3% pay cut? Yep, that is Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid's plan for you. These democrats are trying to push through this cap and trade legislation to tamp down the use of fossil fuel and encourage the building of solar and wind energy sources. Few people realize what will probably happen under this stupid bill.

The most important thing is that your costs for driving, for getting electricity, for buying anything transported to you will rise rapidly. Last March the Wall Street Journal wrote:

"The Congressional Budget Office -- Mr. Orszag's former roost -- estimates that the price hikes from a 15% cut in emissions would cost the average household in the bottom-income quintile about 3.3% of its after-tax income every year. That's about $680, not including the costs of reduced employment and output. The three middle quintiles would see their paychecks cut between $880 and $1,500, or 2.9% to 2.7% of income. The rich would pay 1.7%. Cap and trade is the ideal policy for every Beltway analyst who thinks the tax code is too progressive (all five of them)." "Who Pays for Cap and Trade? Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2009,p. A18

Yep, this is a tax on the poor, contrary to Obama's promise.

They also wrote:

"Coal provides more than half of U.S. electricity, and 25 states get more than 50% of their electricity from conventional coal-fired generation. In Ohio, it totals 86%, according to the Energy Information Administration. Ratepayers in Indiana (94%), Missouri (85%), New Mexico (80%), Pennsylvania (56%), West Virginia (98%) and Wyoming (95%) are going to get soaked." Who Pays for Cap and Trade? Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2009,p. A18

Now, when the Republicans tried to limit the damage this will have on the poor people, the Democrats killed every suggestion.

"During the brief few days in which the bill was debated in the House Energy Committee, Republicans offered three amendments: one to suspend the program if gas hit $5 a gallon; one to suspend the program if electricity prices rose 10% over 2009; and one to suspend the program if unemployment rates hit 15%. Democrats defeated all of them." "The Cap and Tax Fiction," JUNE 26, 2009, A12

One of the saddest things in this carbon cap and trade bill is the callousness with which the democrats kill every suggestion to lower the heavy burden. One way to lower the burden of energy costs is to increase the supply of energy, meaning letting us drill offshore for American oil. But the Democracts will have nothing to do with that. They don't want your energy costs to be low. In the following YouTube video, you can see Senator Salazar, now our Interior secretary, kill every suggestion to allow us to drill if energy becomes too costly. I guess Salazar doesn't really care about the poor, who won't be able to pay another $3.3% of their income and won't be able to pay for gas to go to work if the energy costs rise again.

Movie here. Watch the Democrat not care about how much you have to pay for gasoline

Now, Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe report that the cost to the average family will be $1760 per year in costs. They get that from a memo leaked to a blogger which said that the cost would be between $100 and $200 billion dollars for the US to implement Cap and Trade. That works out to $1761/family.

Happy taxation. All for the purpose of solving a non-existent problem.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Does Pan Evaporation Indicate A Cooling World?

A friend, Chase Saunders, a man I have known since he was in the third grade when he and my third grade son became good friends, asked me about pan evaporation and why it was decreasing. Was it due to a reduction in the sun's irradiance? I did some quick research to find what the heck pan evaporation was. Basically you take a tank of water, put it outdoors and fill it up with water to a specified level. Then you measure how much water evaporates each day. And every day when you measure the evaporation, you re-fill it. If it rains, you take that into account and then remove water from the pan to bring it back to the appropriate level. Such measurements help farmers know how much irrigation they need to do to keep the crops alive. Pan evaporation measurements have been carried out for decades around the globe.

Now, one would expect that since hot water evaporates more quickly than cold water, that as the earth warms, the evaporation would increase. After all, if you put a pan on the stove and keep the water at 150 deg F it will evaporate faster than the room temperature pan kept over by the sink. So, why is it that pan evaporation over the globe has dropped over the past several decades?

The oldest article on this that I could find was from the third Nature magazine I have in my library. The following chart is published there.

You can see that the evaporation rate has been going down since 1945 yet the world has been warming--so the thermometers say. So is there other data showing the same thing? Yes, Australia shows the same thing.

Japan also shows a decrease in pan evaporation.

And all but one region of the US.

New Zealand:

" There were no sites showing statistically significant increases in pan evaporation. A rough indicative average for the decline in the pan evaporation rate across all 19 sites was about 2 mm a^−2 and was generally consistent with the previously reported declines of 2–4 mm a^−2 from the Northern Hemisphere and from Australia." MICHAEL L. RODERICK and GRAHAM D. FARQUHAR ," CHANGES IN NEW ZEALAND PAN EVAPORATION SINCE THE 1970s," Int. J. Climatol. 25: 2031–2039 (2005)

The -2 mm per year drop in evaporation reported above is not unusual.
This article, Michael L. Roderick, Michael T. Hobbins and Graham D. Farquhar "Pan Evaporation Trends and the Terrestrial Water Balance. I. Principles and Observations," Geography Compass 3/2 (2009): 746–760, has other declines in pan evaporation rates.

India -12 mm/year
China -2.8 to 3.9 mm/year
Thailand -10 mm/year
Turkey -24 mm/year
Canada -1 mm/year

Israel, Ireland, Kuwait, and the UK are the only places with increasing pan evaporation rates, but the UK and Ireland also have some studies showing declines. This decline is a widespread phenomenon and is contradictory to the expectations of global warming.

Roderick and Farquhar published an article in Science suggesting that these results could be explained by a 3% per decade drop in solar irradiance. Needless to say they admit that they have encountered scepticism over this claim. Their article can be found for non-subscribers to Science at this place.

The IPCC rejects any significant changes in solar irradiance.

The radiative forcing due to changes in solar irradiance for the period since 1750 is estimated to be about +0.3 Wm-2, most of which occurred during the first half of the 20th century. Since the late 1970s, satellite instruments have observed small oscillations due to the 11-year solar cycle. Mechanisms for the amplification of solar effects on climate have been proposed, but currently lack a rigorous theoretical or observational basis.

Nasa data shows no decline in solar irradiance over the past 35 years.

So, what other alternatives exist? Humidity is one. If the air is more humid it will slow evaporation. The problem is that this is ruled out for the following reason:

"However, this explanation for decreasing pan
evaporation is unsatisfactory for two reasons.
First, it only predicts changes in pan evaporation
in water-limited environments. The
problem is that some areas are not waterlimited,
and in wet environments the evaporation
from pans and the surrounding environment
have both declined.
Michael L. Roderick and Graham D. Farquhar, "The Cause of Decreased Pan Evaporation over the Past 50 Years" Science, 298(2002), p. 1410

So, if humidity and a change in solar irradiance are ruled out as explanations for why it is harder to evaporate a pan of water today than 50 years ago, are there any other possibilities?

Yes, it is obvious from the pictures that Anthony Watts at this site that there are huge problems with the thermometer record. Also if you just take the raw data, it shows half a degree less of warming than the final edited GISS data does. Editing adds heat. The bias of the climatologists take in raw data showing a slight warming trend, and then turn out a final record that is warming by 1/2 deg C more. But that warming trend in the original data is probably mostly from the urban heat island effect.

The incompetence of the climatologists at measuring temperatures can be seen in any of my analyses of the temperature records between two closely spaced towns. Just look through my blog's archive to find them.

Most of the pan evaporation stations are in rural areas and the information is used to aid in irrigation decisions.

The thermometer record is often in cities where the temperatures are affected by urban heat and air conditioner exhaust fans. Maybe the explanation for the pan paradox is that the earth ISN'T warming but is really cooling. That too would explain why it is harder to evaporate a pan today than 50 years ago, contrary to the expectations of global warming. It would also fit into the general decline of temperature since the last deglaciation, as seen in the deuterium in the ice cores.

The earth has been cooling for 10,000 years. Maybe it still is.

Pontificating Biofuels

The eco-nuttery rampant in modern society involves almost everything we do. Some want us to eat our pets. Others want us to eat only human breast milk ice-cream (Can I have that milking job?) Others say we should use our food supply as a fuel. Corn-based ethanol, which will drain all the water out of our aquifers. Such are the unintended consequences of well-intentioned, but abysmally ignorant, solutions to problems that may not exist.

For decades these pontif wanna-be's have assured us that they know what they are talking about and now, years after the biofuel hype, they wake up and go "What? You mean a plant needs water to grow???" Yep, these are the genius's who are telling you what to do. But before we get to the water problem let's look at the mental problem.

At the heart of the environmental movement is the belief that a small cadre of individuals are smarter than all the rest of us. They always know what is best for us poor common people. They will take care of us. Rather than letting us live as equals, even as adults, they think that they are our superiors, having a superior knowledge that entitles them to tell the rest of us what to do. We are the children; they are the stern parents who must tell us the unfortunate news that we, but not they, have to eat our broccoli. One finds statements like Jacobson and Delucchi's in the literature, speaking of replacing oil, coal and natural gas with wind,water and solar energy:

"With extremely aggressive policies, all existing fossil-fuel capacity could theoretically be retired and replaced in the same period, but with more modest and likely policies full replacement may take 40 to 50 years. Either way, clear leadership is needed, or else nations will keep trying techologies promoted by industries rather than vetted by scientists." Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, "A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030," Scientific American, November 2009, p. 65.

They, the scientists want to pontificate their solutions to us. They are the fount of all knowledge.

They also suggest that legistators should do what they, the scientists say, rather than what their constituents say.

"For their part, legislators crafting policy must find ways to resist lobbying by the entrenched energy industries." Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, "A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030," Scientific American, November 2009, p. 64.

Those industries employ tens of thousands of constituents, and with the stroke of a pen, Jacobson and Delucchi, pontif wanna-be's, say their legislators should not listen to their constituents. This would deny those citizens their right to redress the government for grievances--something our constitution allows, at least up to this time.

Jacobson and Delucchi want to dictate solutions to our legislators rather than going to the hard work of convincing us that what they say is correct. They of course, ignore other scientists who know how impossible it is to generate the energy for our modern society by law. David Deming, a geophysicist at the University of Oklahoma said

"This is an absurd spectacle. Our advanced civilization is being systematically mismanaged by technologically illiterate lawyers responding to political pressures from irrational fanatics. Would someone please tell these people it is impossible to overturn the laws of thermodynamics?"
"We cannot improve our economy by artificially forcing people to use expensive, unreliable and inefficient energy sources. David Deming, "Global Warming Freeze?"
The Washington Times, Dec 10, 2008. source

Dr. Deming, a person with whom I have communicated a couple of times, seems to mistakenly believe that logic is going to be a useful tool with fanatics. It isn't A recent article proclaimed the virtues of biofuels. Reading this one thinks that back aches and cancer might also be cured by using biofuels.

"Biofuels are liquid energy Version 2.0. Unlike their fossil fuel counterparts--the cadaverous remains of plants that died hundreds of millions of years ago--biofuels come from vegetation grown in the here and now. So they should offer a carbon-neutral energy source: Plants that become biofuels ideally consume more carbon dioxide during photosynthesis than they emit when processed and burned for power. Biofules make fossil fuels seem so last century, so quaintly carboniferous."
"And these new liquid fuels promise more than just carbon correctness. They offer a renewable, home-grown energy source, reducing the need for foreign oil. They present ways to heal an agricultural landscape hobbled by intensive fertilizer use. Biofuels could even help clean waterways, reduce air pollution, enhance wildlife habitats and increase biodiversity."
Rachael Ehrenberg, The Biofuel Future," Science News, August 1, 2009, p. 25

Wow. Did you know that merely by turning corn into alcohol you can heal the land? But if you eat the corn you despoil the land? I never knew that until Rachael Ehrenberg informed me of it. Merely putting the corn in a distillery heals the land. I for one and doing my part by drinking as much ethanol as I can, mostly ethanol from Scotland.

I love Ehrenberg's use of 'cadaverous' describe petroleum as if ich, its dead. Don't touch. Biofuels also are cadaverous, since the plants are dead when the biofuel is made. But such emotional words are the main substance of the argument--petroleum is stinking rot but biofuels is perfume. I also love the word "ideally", which means she has not freaking clue whether biofuels do or don't sequester carbon.

Ehrenberg's enthusiasm is shared by our Energy Secretary, Steven Chu.

"For our economy, our security and our environment, we must free ourselves from foreign oil. We must depend not on the oilfields of the Middle East but on the farm fields of the Midwest and on our vast wind and solar resources here at home." Steven Chu, "Pulling the Plug on Oil", Newsweek, April 4, 2009

Chu continues:

Finally, we must move beyond oil because the science on global warming is clear and compelling: greenhouse-gas emissions, primarily from fossil fuels, have started to change our climate. We have a responsibility to future generations to reduce those emissions to spare our planet the worst of the possible effects.Steven Chu, "Pulling the Plug on Oil", Newsweek, April 4, 2009

Steven Chu is a great physicist who knows lots about his tiny tiny area, but very very very little about oil and gas and powering the world. His ignorant statements about energy (the kind that powers our society) scare the bejebbers out of me).

Lets look at his knowledge of oil.

"In fact, long before humans turned to oil for transportation, migrating birds were using a similar form of energy—stored oil in the form of body fat..." Steven Chu, "Pulling the Plug on Oil", Newsweek, April 4, 2009

So, body fat is the same as petroleum????? What utter chemical ignorance.

He also is ignorant of how we will not be capable of replacing petroleum with biofuels. He clearly hasn't run the numbers. There is no way we can supply 21 million barrels per day worth of energy from the US farm fields. This guy beleives his own BS. Here are the numbers that these pontif wanna-be's don't understand. In the U.S. we have approximately 950 million acres of farmland. We use that to feed ourselves. Bio-ethanol creates about 420 gallons per acre per year.source That would be 10 barrels of ethanol per year. But Ethanol has about 2/3 of the energy in a barrel of oil, so in fact that is about 6.6 barrels worth of oil energy. When one calculates how much acreage is needed to produce the biofuel equivalent of energy we use each day, it turns out that we need an additional 1.1 billion acres. The lower 48 has 1.9 billion acres, of which 950 million, roughly half, are farmland. So, if we want to continue eating, we need a total of 2.05 billion acres to maintain our current lifestyles using biofuels alone while at the same time eating. Since this is larger than the land in the US, I think we need to conquor Canada. Sorry my Canadian friends, you must sacrifice for the greater good.

The biofuel problem doesn't end at the US shores.

“Beginning with a world map showing land not yet built upon or cultivated, Nilsson progressively strips forests, deserts and other non-vegetated areas, mountains, protected areas, land with an unsuitable climate, and pastures needed for grazing. That leaves just 250 to 300 million hectares for growing biofuels, an area about the size of Argentina.”

“Even using a future generation of biofuel crops ╦ćwoody plants with large amounts of cellulose that enable more biomass to be converted to fuel-Nilsson calculates that it will take 290 million hectares to meet a tenth of the world's projected energy demands in 2030. But another 200 million hectares will be needed by then to feed an extra 2 to 3 billion people, with a further 25 million hectares absorbed by expanding timber and pulp industries.”

“So if biofuels expand as much as Nilsson anticipates, there will be no choice but to impinge upon land needed for growing food, or to destroy forests and other pristine areas like peat bogs. That would release carbon now stashed away in forests and peat soils (New Scientist, 1 December, p 50), turning biofuels into a major contributor to global warming.
Fred Pearce and Peter Aldhous, “Death of the Biofuel Dream?” New Scientist,, Dec 15, 2007, p. 7

But, of course, the new pontifs know better than everyone else on the planet. "With appropriate carrots and sticks, biofuels could play a big role in the energy portfolio of the future," Ehrenberg writes in her article (ibid. p. 29). But watch out for those sticks, they will beat you into submission with them. Pontifs always need some kind of big stick.

Chu has a Nobel Prize in low temperature physics which seems to qualify him to make silly statements about energy, petroleum and bird fat. Unfortunately, no one has repealed the laws of logic and thermodynamics. We can not fuel our life-styles as these pontif wanna-be's say we can.

But to Chu, who has spent his life doing everything BUT energy, his silly words sound reasonable because he has drunk the Koolaid. He ignores the problems biofuels will raise. And this brings me to what started this rant.

This morning I opened this week's Science and saw Robert F. Service's article "Another Biofuels Drawback: The Demand for Irrigation." Science Oct 23, 2009, p. 516. His table says it all. The irrigation water required for biodiesel will suck the water from the land like a spider sucks the juices from a fly. Here are the liters per megawatt hour of energy required for various sources of energy. Below is an abridged chart. All I removed was the open cooling entries

Energy source..................Liters/Megawatt-hour
Petroleum Extraction.............10-40
Oil Refining.....................80-150
Oil Shale Surface Retorting......170-661
Natural Gas Power Plant cc*......230-30,300
Coal gasification................900
Nuclear power plant cc*..........950
Geothermal power plant...........1900-4200
Enhanced oil recovery............7600
Natural Gas Power Pland oc*......28,400-75,700
Nuclear power Plant oc*..........94,600-227,100
Corn ethanol irrigation..........2,270,000-8,670,000
Soybean biodiesal irrigation.....13,900,000-27,900,000

* oc= open cooling cycle, cc=closed cooling cycle.

Source:Robert F. Service "Another Biofuels Drawback: The Demand for Irrigation." Science Oct 23, 2009, p. 516

Get ready to drain all the water out of Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, all for the purpose of saving the planet from that evil petroleum which just happens to be the most water efficent energy source we have but never mind that.

But, for all those arrogant pontif-wanna-be's, yes plants actually need water. As Pedro Alvarez says about biofuels need for water,

"It really means a greater potential for agricultural pollution of the waterways, eutrophication of the Gulf Coast, and a significant increase in water use, which may produce localized shortages," says Pedro Alvarez, an environmental engineer at Rice University in Houston, Texas." Robert F. Service "Another Biofuels Drawback: The Demand for Irrigation." Science Oct 23, 2009, p. 516

These arrogant pontifical wanna-be's know what is best for us and they will destroy the environment in order to prove it.