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Daily Archives: March 3, 2010

About that “increased moisture” due to global warming …

The latest “proof”offered by the alarmists such as Al Gore to explain how all the snow this year is a result of global warming is to claim global warming causes there to be moisture in the air. Thus, sayeth the Goracle, more rain and snow should be expected.

The first thing that struck me without looking at any science is, if it was warmer and there was more moisture in the air causing more precipitation, wouldn’t that precipitation be in the form of rain? I mean, if it’s really warmer and all. As it turns out though, Gore and the alarmists are flatly wrong. Apparently there’s actually less moisture in the air right now than in previous decades:

According to “State of the Climate” from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Global precipitation in 2009 was near the 1961-1990 average.” And there was certainly no pattern of increasing rain and snow on America’s East Coast during the post-1976 years, when NOAA says the globe began to heat up.

In fact:

In late January, Scientific American reported: “A mysterious drop in water vapor in the lower stratosphere might be slowing climate change,” and noted that “an apparent increase in water vapor in this region in the 1980s and 1990s exacerbated global warming.”

The new study came from a group of scientists, mainly from the NOAA lab in Boulder. The scientists found: “Stratospheric water-vapor concentrations decreased by about 10 percent after the year 2000 . . . This acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25 percent.”

Specifically, the study found that water vapor rising from the tropics has been reduced, because it has gotten cooler there (another inconvenient truth). A Wall Street Journal headline summed it up: “Slowdown in Warming Linked to Water Vapor.”

Moisture in the lower stratosphere (about 8 miles above the earth’s surface) has been going down, not up.

So obviously the Gore/alarmist claim that all of this heavy snow fall can be explained by the global warming theory – er, assertion – is so much nonsense. Not that anyone should be surprised.

It appears now they’re reduced to just making unsubstantiated claims in an effort to salvage the momentum and credibility they’ve rapidly lost since the inception of climategate. This bit of deception is just another nail in the AGW alarmist coffin.

~McQ

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Cloudy With A Chance Of Perch

Ahh, climate change. Although there’s no conceivable connection between AGW and the fact that it rained fish in Lajamanu, Australia, I’m betting that Algoreists will try to finagle one anyway, probably citing some local fourth-grader’s English composition about the event as the expert evidence.

Residents of a small outback Australian town have been left speechless after fish began falling from the sky.

Hundreds of spangled perch bombarded the 650 residents of Lajamanu, shocking local Christine Balmer, who was walking home when the strange ‘weather’ started.

She said: ‘These fish fell in their hundreds and hundreds all over the place. The locals were running around everywhere picking them up.

‘The fish were all alive when they hit the ground so they would have been alive when they were up there flying around the sky.
[...]

Meterologists say the incident was probably caused by a tornado. It is common for tornados to suck up water and fish from rivers and drop them hundreds of miles away.

Mark Kersemakers fr0m the Australian Bureau of Meterology said: ‘Once they get up into the weather system, they are pretty much frozen and, after some time, they are released.’

Strangely, Lajamanu has experienced fish rain before. In fact, critter cloudbursts, money monsoons and Titleist torrents are not even that uncommon.

There is a long history of strange objects raining from the sky, with these strange occurrences among the most notable:

1st Century: Pliny The Elder wrote about storms of frogs and fish, foreshadowing many modern incidents.

1794: French soldiers stationed in Lalain, near Lille, reported toads falling from the sky during heavy rain.

1857: Sugar crystals as big as quarter of an inch in diameter fell over the course of two days in Lake County, California.

1876: A woman in Kentucky reported meat flakes raining from the sky. Tests found the meat was venison.

1902: Dust whipped up in Illinois caused muddy rain to fall over many north-eastern U.S. states.

1940: A tornado in Russia brought a shower of coins from the 16th Century.

1969: Golf balls fell from the sky on Punta Gorda in Florida (above).

1976: In San Luis Opisbo in California, blackbirds and pigeons rained from the sky for two days.

The only one I don’t get there is the last one in San Luis Opisbo. I mean, how do you tell the difference between it raining birds and, y’know, them just landing?

Now, if it would only snow gold flakes right into my backyard …

Diplomacy for Dummies (Update)

Surely there’s one of the famous self-help series by that name.  If so, could someone do us all a favor and send copies to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton?

Argentina was celebrating a diplomatic coup yesterday in its attempt to force Britain to accept talks on the future of the Falkland Islands, after a two-hour meeting in Buenos Aires between Hillary Clinton and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Responding to a request from Mrs Kirchner for “friendly mediation” between Britain and Argentina, Mrs Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said she agreed that talks were a sensible way forward and offered “to encourage both countries to sit down”.

Uh, sit down for what? Britain claimed the Falklands in 1833 after British settlers settled there during the decade. The islands lay 300 miles off the Argentine coast. In 1982, it had to fend off an attack by Argentina in a bid to take them over. Now 3 British oil companies plan to put an offshore oil rig 100 miles north of the islands.

Somehow Argentina, who should have gotten the message in 1982, is still under the mistaken impression it has some say over what goes on there:

“What they are doing is illegitimate,” said Jorge Taiana, the foreign minister. “It’s a violation of our sovereignty. We will do everything possible to defend and preserve our rights.”

Riiiight. Like they did in ’82. Look, internationally, this is pretty much settled business. Other than Argentina, no one questions which country has sovereign control in the Falklands. And certainly not those who lives there. The 3,000 island dwellers all consider themselves, and have always considered themselves, a part of the British Commonwealth.

Territorial waters, as defined by 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea extend 12 miles. Then there is a 12 mile “contiguous zone” in which a state has limited powers. A state also enjoys a 200 mile “exclusive economic zone” which includes “control of all economic resources within its exclusive economic zone, including fishing, mining, oil exploration, and any pollution of those resources.” That zone includes the territorial and contiguous zone as well.

As the cite points out:

Before 1982, coastal nations arbitrarily extended their territorial waters in an effort to control activities which are now regulated by the exclusive economic zone, such as offshore oil exploration or fishing rights (see Cod Wars). Indeed, the exclusive economic zone is still popularly, though erroneously, called a coastal nation’s territorial waters.

With the Falklands being 300 miles off the coast and the rig a 100 miles north of the islands, there is obviously nothing to the dubious claim of Argentine sovereignty (again remember, other than claim the islands, Argentina never settled them or has occupied them).

Enter Hillary Clinton – someone whose job it is to know all of this.

Her intervention defied Britain’s longstanding position that there should be no negotiations unless the islands’ 3,000 inhabitants asked for them. It was hailed in Buenos Aires as a major diplomatic victory, but condemned in the Falklands.

Britain insisted there was no need for mediation as long as the islanders wanted to remain British. “We don’t think that’s necessary,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

[...]

She gave no sign of backing the British position on negotiations, saying instead: “We would like to see Argentina and the UK sit down and resolve the issues between them in a peaceful and productive way. We want very much to encourage both countries to sit down. We cannot make either one do so. We think it is the right way to proceed, so we will be saying this publicly.”

Simply amazing. Our longest standing ally thrown under the bus to solicit warm fuzzies in South America that, as have been proven with others like Hugo Chavez, have the half-life of a Mayfly.

There will be a price to pay in the future for this as anyone who has watched international relations for any time knows.  Britain will extract a pound of flesh.  In the meantime, other than empty words meant to please those who will remain deeply skeptical of the US, all that’s been accomplished is the abandonment of an ally.  Essentially all Clinton has done is give false hope to Argentina and royally pissed off a solid ally.

Too bad the book in question isn’t available for Ms. Clinton.  And apparently she’s also forgotten the old saying about “remaining silent and being thought a fool rather than speaking out and removing all doubt.”

UPDATE:  Ralph Peters provides the back story.

~McQ

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SCOTUS prepared to “incorporate” 2nd Amendment via 14th?

It appears that may be the case as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Chicago gun ban case (McDonald v. Chicago).  Great write up at the SCOTUSblog if you haven’t read it.  Per Lyle Denniston, the court appears to be leaning toward incorporating the individual right to keep and bear arms interpretation of the amendment nationally:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed poised to require state and local governments to obey the Second Amendment guarantee of a personal right to a gun, but with perhaps considerable authority to regulate that right.  The dominant sentiment on the Court was to extend the Amendment beyond the federal level, based on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “due process,” since doing so through another part of the 14th Amendment would raise too many questions about what other rights might emerge.

Make sure you read the whole thing as there’s lots of interesting discussion about why most feel that will be the final decision of the court. Also note that while it is believed the court will incorporate the 2nd Amendment as an individual right, it will leave state and local governments with, as Denniston says “considerable authority to regulate that right”. That part of it, I’m sure, will continue to be fought in the courts over the years. But if this turns out as it appears it might, it will be an almost fatal blow to the “2nd Amendment is a collective right” crowd.

~McQ

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$7 gas in our near future?

While Senators Graham, Kerry and Lieberman scramble around telling you how bright the energy future will be if they are able to pass their carbon tax bill, here’s a sober reminder of what it will actually bring to working Americans:

To meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering reality: gas at $7 a gallon.

To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase, according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Not might increase. Must. Those targets are 10 years in the future. So “must” has to begin to take effect pretty soon if they’re to be met, wouldn’t you say?

As for that promise that 95% of Americans won’t see their taxes increased by a dime? Well, Obama’s agnostic about that now.

Take a good look at the figure and try to visualize the impact on your family’s budget. Also remember the transportation sector uses 70% of carbon based fuels. So not only is gas going to cost you about $4.50 more a gallon in taxes, every single necessity and consumer good you purchase will cost you more as well. Factor that in as well. Now try to imagine the impact on a struggling economy.

There are different ways to skin the taxation cat – and income taxes are only one of them. Of course it really doesn’t matter to you how they do it, the result remains the same: less money for you to use on your priorities and needs.

~McQ

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