A CLIMATE CYCLE DELIVERED OUR COLD SPRING, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

Lots of us are commenting on the U.S. having the second coldest spring in the official thermometer record (starting ca. 1860) and the coldest since 1975. Remember, too, that in 1975 major news magazines were predicting a sudden return to the next Ice Age! This cold spring highlights another climate cycle that has nothing to do with CO2.

The cycle that link the two coldest springs is the 60-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Both of these cold springs occurred during a cold phase in the Pacific, which is the planet’s largest heat sink. When the sun is very warm, the Pacific absorbs much of that heat. When the sun is less warm, the Pacific gradually cools. Scientists don’t yet understand clearly why the sun varies in total activity. We do understand, however, that this is the reason global temperatures move up and down in spurts of about 30 years. The PDO is a relatively short cycle superimposed on the longer 1,500-year Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle and the 100,000-year Ice Age cycle.

The PDO wasn’t discovered until 1996. Fish experts began to realize that something was periodically shifting the salmon’s ocean food (plankton and tiny crustaceans) north and south—from the Columbia River region to the Gulf of Alaska and back. It happened about every 30 years. The salmon’s food like warmth better than cold, so when the Pacific is cooler, the salmon and their food supply thrive farther south.

Fish catch records show the PDO was cool from 1890–1924, warm from 1925–46, cool again from 1940–1976, and warm again from 1976 to about 2007. NASA’s Jason satellite confirmed in 2008 that the PDO had shifted cool again in 2007. That means the cold springs are likely to remain a feature of our weather until about 2037.

By the way, the salmon catches are erratically recovering in the Pacific Northwest. Last year Oregon’s best run was Chinook salmon, with a total catch of 380,000 compared to just 35,000 in 2008 as the cycle was just beginning to turn cold. By the time the 1976 cooling was winding down Oregon was catching more than 1 million Chinook per year.

Last week, Germany’s Green Radio (sponsored by its Federal Department of the Environment) interviewed an expert identified as Henrik Kirchof about the world’s interrupted global warming. He said, “A big role may be played by the oceans . . . if the surface water temperatures increased sharply until 15 years ago but now have stagnated, then it means that the ocean is absorbing more heat than it did before. You can suspect this, it’s very plausible, but you cannot prove it because of [measurement problems].”

Sorry, Dr. Kirchof, but there’s another possibility—that the oceans are receiving less heat from a “quiet “ sun during a long and cool sunspot cycle. What if the sun is in charge of our climate after all?

Be grateful for our moderate warming. When it stops warming, history tells us the climate will get far colder and more violent. In history, Europe’s population nearly tripled during the warm phases when food was plentiful, then shrank radically as starvation and food wars arrived with the cold.

We should expect some additional global warming after this PDO ends, as occurred from 1976–1998, but nothing as dangerous as the computers models claim. Unless our paltry increase in human-emitted CO2 emissions have somehow rearranged the whole universe, the sun will continue to be the controlling factor in our climate.

 

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BILLIONAIRE “FORCING” CLIMATE CHANGE, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

A Wall Street billionaire is pledging to spend “whatever it takes” to make manmade global warming the “defining issue of our generation.” Most recently, he sent airplanes with banners over Boston that read “Steve Lynch for Oil Evil Empire.” Lynch, a fellow Democrat and Senate candidate, favors the Keystone pipeline and the jobs it would create.

“The goal here is not to win,” says Tom Steyer, who assembled his $1.4 billion fortune as a hedge fund manager. “The goal here is to destroy these people, We want a smashing victory.” Smash any politicians who might “wimp out” on the harsh policies necessary to change the world into Steyer’s “green energy” image. Spoken like a true Big Board Type-A personality,

Notice, however, that Steyer isn’t offering to help us pay the extra cost of the green energy systems he demands, That would cost too much even for a billionaire. Germany’s environment minister, Peter Altmeier, recently disclosed that his country’s green energy transition will cost $1.310 trillion dollars! Moreover, the $1.310 trillion would only fund the green energy transition for Germany, a small country with just 82 million people, At the German rate of $15,000 per capita, would the world of 7 billion people look forward to spending $100 trillion for the whole global green transformation? There isn’t that much money in the world, and with green energy limitations there won’t ever be that much.

Green energy also costs more to operate. And all of this wouldn’t even reduce CO2 emissions, That’s because there isn’t any really “green” energy. Europe’s solar and wind energy are so erratic they must be backed 90 percent by fossil power plants in “spinning reserve.” The only real “solution” for the CO2 problem is nuclear, which isn’t on anybody’s ballot.

Steyer also needs to be aware of the limitations even of a victory at the polls, A narrow win like Obama’s last won’t be enough to force an energy policy that’s viscerally opposed by the average American, The shale gas revolution is now in full swing, thanks to America’s private property laws and the public’s recent cheerful experience with “fracking.” Natural gas is far cheaper here than in Europe, and EU chemical and plastics makers are shifting their investments to expand the jobs here instead,

It is doubtful that even the EPA will dare trying to push the shale gas back underground —or that an administration can continue to rule effectively while defending such a rule,

Add in the recent discovery of 3 trillion tons of coal undersea off Norway, and recent successes in bringing up natural gas from massive deposits of methane hydrates underneath the Pacific (Japan) and tundra (Alaska),

Steyer’s final hurdle, of course, is the lack of warming, The satellite readings show no warming trend since 1997. There has been only a modest warming since 1940 even with the official thermometers shifting ever more heavily into urban heat islands. And the ice record tell us the earth’s temperature naturally shifts, abruptly, by 2–4 degree C roughly every 700 years, The modelers can’t explain why the Modern Warming is different from the Medieval Warming.

The current non-warming trend—and very possibly a moderate cooling—is likely to last until about 2037 because of a Pacific cooling cycle, Steyer’s billion will run out long before then.

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THE DAM IS ABOUT TO BREAK, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

When a dam is about to break, the first sign of collapse is a little trickle of water over its top. Last, week Geoffrey Lean of London’s Telegraph scooped a little trickle of water over the top of the man-made warming dam—which has been holding back human hopes for decades. Lean has been an environmental correspondent for 40 years, and no one had more loudly demanded lowered CO2 emissions “to protect the planet.”

On April 5, Lean admitted “recent research suggests that climate change might not be as catastrophic as the gloomiest predictions suggest.” Not that he’d been wrong, of course; the man-made warming will still be “extreme.”

It’s not much of a back-off, but the continuing pressure of the non-warming will soon crumble the whole rotten blockage into the valley—sweeping terrified Green true believers willy-nilly across the landscape.

Lean’s statement follows the March 30 issue of the Economist, which admitted that the earth might not be as sensitive to additional CO2 as the climate models had told us. Months earlier, the big German magazine Der Spiegel had “adopted” Fritz Vahrenholt, and his best-selling book, The Cold Sun. That book documented the natural and moderate 1,500-year climate cycle that gave us the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warming, the Dark Ages, and similar cycles back into prehistory.

Did the natural climate cycle also give us our Modern Warming? This is the trillion-dollar question that the media and the EPA refuse to address. They’d counted on not having to address it. After all, they had all the first-world nations standing on the edge of the energy cliff and promising to jump on the count of three.

Then it stopped warming.

Now the ultimate irony: The public is waiting for the same mainstream media that declared the false emergency to tell us when it’s over! Naturally, the “journalists” are waiting as long as possible before admitting their culpability, hoping we will forget or they will retire. The true believers still represent perhaps one-third of our public. The IPCC will unveil its 5th assessment this year, just as thought somebody still cares. The Environmental Protection Agency stands ready to tax cost-effective coal out of American power plants. For what valid purpose?

Even so, the game is over. We are the losers, especially the poor. The less skilled in America cannot find jobs. The Third World’s even-poorer people cannot get a little kerosene to save their women and children from indoor wood fires and lung cancer. The winners didn’t win much beyond those plane tickets to Bali and the chance to preen in front of their “less-sustainable” neighbors.

Will there ultimately be penalties against the scammers?  What to do about the “scientists” who parlayed computer-modeled “evidence” into a global scare while garnering billions of dollars in grants for themselves? They knew that a Modern Warming must follow the Little Ice Age.

Worse were the First-Amendment “journalists” who were charged with protecting us from such trickery. And how about all those well-educated people who told us CO2 warming was too complicated to explain—either because they hadn’t bothered to understand it or because they wanted higher taxes for income re-distribution.

We can’t blame our government, however. Any government will cheerfully accept any excuse to increase its own power and taxing authority. It doesn’t matter much whether that government is led by Hugo Chavez, Barack Obama, or Mother Theresa. The late great H.L. Mencken warned us “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”  This is a line to remember.

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IS WARMING THE “CIVILIZATION-KILLER”?, BY DENNIS T. AVERY

Author Eugene Linden writes books on the far edge of the environmental movement. He recently wrote, a bit hysterically, in The Daily Beast: “we need leaders with the courage to steamroll the deniers and the vested interests . . . Climate change is a civilization killer, and if we go on down the climate rapids…” I am not sure what “steamrolling entails; but I do know, that the warmer periods are the civilization savers.

Clearly, Linden knows exactly nothing about the forces that have killed off every culture prior to our own—most of them for centuries at a time and many of them permanently. With few exceptions, the hundreds of failed cultures collapsed in the “little ice age” phases of the natural 1,500-year Dansgaard-Oeschger climate cycle. No one has dared disagree on that.

Did the Greenland Vikings die out during the warmth of the Medieval Warming, or did they disappear after the arrival of the Little Ice Age, when vicious winter temperatures fell more than 4 degrees C? Even the Inuit disappeared!

Did the Viking raiders terrify Europe for 250 years during the long warmth of the climatically stable Roman Warming—or during the advancing sea ice and the desperate drop in Scandinavia’s codfish catch during the Dark Ages that followed?

Egypt’s fabulous Nile River culture has been regarded as humanity’s most sustainable—but the Old Kingdom collapsed for centuries at 2200 BC, the Middle Kingdom again collapsed for more centuries at 1640 BC, and the New Kingdom fell in desperate famine at 1085 BC. Each collapse period marked the onset of a “little ice age” when the Nile floods failed.

The fabulous temples and their supporting rice culture at Angkor Wat collapsed twice. They built a thriving culture during Roman Warming and lost everything to the Dark Ages. During the Medieval Warming the temples we see today were built; the civilization disappeared forever during the Little Ice Age. The great cathedrals of Europe and the Sun Temple in India were also built during the Medieval Warming.

The Fordham University Medieval Sourcebook estimates the population of Europe at 27 million during the Roman Warming, 18 million during the Dark Ages, 73.5 million in the Medieval Warming, and 50 million during the Little Ice Ages. Tell us again what kills civilizations, Mr. Linden.

Warming always brings more vegetation, which in ancient history meant more game animals for the hunting bands. Warming produced long, sunny summers and lots of grain as civilization settled into farming—until the famines of the next little ice age.

The warmings and coolings of our 1500-year cycle last only about 500–750 years. But Mother Earth’s most “recent” long-term warming was called the Holocene Optimum. It lasted from 9,000–5,000 BC, with the Arctic about 4 degrees C warmer than today, and Siberian winters 3–9 degrees warmer than today. The Arctic Ocean was virtually ice-free, according to the Norwegian Geological Survey. Glaciers melted in the Alps and the Andes, and both the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps show the shift. Now that is a warming, and all the species living today went through it.

Oddly enough, NOAA is on record now saying, “In summary, the mid-Holocene, roughly 6,000 years ago, was generally warmer than today, but only in summer and only in the northern hemisphere. Moreover, we clearly know the cause of this natural warming, and know without doubt that this proven“astronomical” climate forcing mechanism cannot be responsible for the warming over the last 100 years.”

Can we ask “why not?” Dr. Phil Jones, the man-made warmist guru from Britain’s University of East Anglia told the BBC that the global warmings 1860–1880 and 1915–1940 were not caused by CO2 (which didn’t surge until after 1940). He says only the 1976–98 warming was man-made—then he admits that the three periods are “statistically indistinguishable.”

So how do we know that the sun, which causes our days and nights, our summers and winters, and our 90,000-year Ice Ages, and 4,000-year warmings does not also control the 1,500-year climate cycle? Seabed sediments show the cycle goes back at least one million years!

Did the sun that warmed us up from the Little Ice Age suddenly take a vacation about 1975—and if so, why?

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GEOLOGIST SAYS MARCOTT’S CO2 THESIS FAILED, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

Geologist Don Easterbrookhas commented on a new computer study that claims “current global temperatures of the past decade . . . are warmer than during 75 percent of the Holocene temperature history.” [i]Easterbrook says the Marcott paper is “totally at odds with the Greenland ice core data, the ‘gold standard’ of paleoclimate research, as attested by hundreds of real-world studies of past global temperature proxies.” [ii]

The Greenland ice layers say there have been 20 different centuries-long periods since the last Ice Age when the earth has been as warm or warmer than the Medieval Warming—which was warmer than today. All those past centuries of warm weather were thus warmer than our current temperatures.

  • At least six of these previous warm periods were as warm as the Medieval Warming Period.
  • Nine were 0.5 degree C warmer than the Medieval Warming.
  • Two warm periods were 1 degree C warmer then the Medieval.
  • Three warm periods were 1.5 degrees C warmer than the Medieval

Each of these twenty warm periods was matched by commensurate coolings, in the semi-erratic Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles that last 1,500 years (plus or minus 500). Until the earth’s cycles were discovered in the Greenland ice cores in 1984, we’d thought of the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming as events, not parts of a very old cycle. The “researchers” like Marcott who believe in man-made warming have never told their computers about this widely documented “natural variability” in the earth’s climate history.

And yes, the Medieval Warming was global. My book, Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years documented numerous Southern Hemisphere Medieval Warming proxies: Peruvian fossil pollen, South African cave stalagmites, New Zealand glacier melting and Antarctic lake sediments—to cite a few among many.

The Marcott paper attempts to make us believe something has gone dramatically wrong with the earth’s climate because of human-emitted CO2. However, Phil Jones, the man-made warming guru from Britain’sUniversity of East Anglia, was interviewed by the BBC’s Roger Harrabin in 2010. He told the BBC that the 1975–98 warming was not statistically different from the previous two warm spurts. Jones then stated that the previous warming spurts from 1860–1880 and 1910–1940 were not caused by human activity, but he has said that the warming spurt from 1975–98 was man-made.

This should immediately have raised a key science question: If the warming trend that started in 1850 was not caused by human activity, what did cause that dramatic reversal of the planet’s 550-year cooling? Jones seems to indicate that this modern warming was due to the D-O cycle. If the“man-made” temperature spurt from 1975–98 was not statistically different from the two earlier recent warmings, how can we say with “90 percent confidence” that it was man-made?

Only then do we get to the puzzling recent non-warming. That’s easy. The thermometer record has trended upward and downward in 30-year spurts. This is just the heavy hand of the 60-year (30 and 30) Pacific Decadal Oscillation, reflecting temperatures in the earth’s largest heat sink. The modelers agree that this is “natural variability” and another part of our wonderful global heating and cooling cycle. While the modern warming indicates a gradual warming will take place over the next couple of hundred years the temperature within that reality will spurt up and down thirty years at a stretch.

Let me get this straight. We don’t know why the Little Ice Age ended unless it was the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle. We all agree the temperatures warmed from 1860–1880 and 1910–1940 because of the PDO cycle. It did not warm in a pattern statistically different in 1975–98. Still, we know for virtually certain that 1975–98 was due to CO2.

Thus our concern for the public and our grandchildren forces us to tax people trillions of dollars, and consign them to the mercies of hugely expensive and highly erratic energy sources that won’t keep the lights on in the hospitals or the food in our freezers cold. The Third World will be forbidden to burn coal, their only potential source of modern economic growth. We will never ever use the nuclear power that the Greens hate even though it emits no CO2.

Now I understand. But I wonder why no one is worried that each “warm” period”is progressively cooler. How long before our sun wears out? Worry about that before you worry about the blessings of the Modern Warming.

 

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BRITAIN NARROWLY ESCAPES “GREEN” BLACKOUT, BY DENNIS T. AVERY

For years, many of us have warned the “green energy” craze would throw First World countries into blackouts, factory knockouts, more deaths among the elderly and all manner of avoidable tragedies. It nearly happened to Britain in January, as bitterly cold weather put a massive strain on Britain’s creaking power plants.

London’s Sunday Express says 1 million homes narrowly escaped blackout last month as the island suffered its fifth harsh winter in a row. Blackout was only avoided because of an oil-fired power station, which is, itself, due to be closed before next winter. Only now, after 30 years of cheerleading, are British media finally waking up to the awful future they have been demanding.

The basic problem: Britain feels it put man-made warming on the world map with its Met office and East Anglia University computers. They became determined to lead the world’s “green energy” revolution. However, Britain’s wind turbines, despite decades and billions in subsidized investment, today provide only 7 percent of its electricity. And the turbines must be backed by fossil fuel powered plants, in “spinning reserve,” equal to at least 80 percent of their installed capacity.

Meanwhile:

  1. A whole fleet of Britain’s older coal and oil-fired power stations are being phased out under an EU commandment driven by CO2 hysteria.
  2. They have scheduled another 10 percent of the generating capacity for phase-out next year.
  3. The Met Office has finally admitted there’s been none of the predicted man-made warming for 16 years!
  4. UK coal power is fading just as the North Sea gas, which has powered the UK’s newer stations, is running out.
  5. British leaders had been counting on a big new set of  new nuclear power plants, but the advent of fracking and cheap shale gas has frightened investors about the billions of investment dollars they might never get back.

After my New York Times best-seller, Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years, came out in 2007, I wrote that the man-made warming frenzy would implode—but would meanwhile cost trillions in misdirected global investment dollars. The warmists since have been giving ground oh-so-slowly as the non-recoverable costs of the renewable fuels “investments” continue to mount.

The German industries that have powered the EU’s economic engine now threaten to leave Europe unless they can get energy as cheaply as India, China—and the U.S. (America’s shale gas revolution has pegged its natural gas prices at about one-third of Europe’s.)

Reuters reports German renewable energy subsidies may cost its consumers an extra $1.34 trillion over the next 20 years (about $6,400 per family)—but won’t provide much dependable power!

Elsewhere, Spain is being sued by green investors after it cut back unsustainable solar and wind subsidies over the past two years, and the Bulgarian government has resigned after consumer protests against high EU-mandated electricity costs.

In the U.S., James Hanson’s NASA continues to “adjust” the temperature records from the 1930s to mask the reality that they were higher than recent “record highs.” Our next big cost will be the dismantling of U.S. coal power. Obama has ordered his EPA to cut back electricity, starting with the coal-fired plants and working up to the natural gas from “fracking.” In case you might have forgotten, the President has not revised his basic goals, which include our having less energy available and only at prices “which will necessarily skyrocket.”

No one yet admits that the “Greenpeace Plan” would kick us back to the days of inner city walk-up apartments, with privies to match.

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GREENS NOW BETRAY THE WILD FISH, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

The Food and Drug Administration just approved genetically modified salmon, which grow larger and faster than wild salmon. That’s excellent. There are only so many wild fish in the seas, and biotech salmon could help save wild salmon fisheries from crashing.

The world’s fishermen can’t catch more than the 90 million tons for per year they’ve been getting recently. Doctors meanwhile tell 7 billion people to eat more healthful fish. All over the world, the big increase in fish consumption since 1980 has come from fish farming. Today, 90 percent of the salmon eaten in the U.S. is farmed, here or overseas.

Prices for wild salmon are already too high for most households, and this will worsen as wild fish catches fall farther behind potential demand. Without farmed fish, we’ll see “fish poaching” such as threatens the rhinoceros and elephant. Or more of the mislabeling that is already common. Biotech salmon should help bring the health benefits of salmon within the reach of everyone.

The AquaAdvantage salmon get their extra genes from two other fish, one of them the related Coho species of salmon. The other is from the ocean pout, which has a gene that provides “anti-freeze” and lets the fish eat and grow even in the winter. The Coho salmon provides a gene that reinforces the modified salmon’s own growth hormone. As a result, the biotech fish grow up to 11 times faster than wild fish, and grow larger.

The FDA had long ago decided the biotech fish posed no unusual health risks to consumers and would make more fish available to more people at less cost through the century ahead. Alarmists, however, say the biotech fish will escape and contaminate the wild population. They also imply that our “maximum fishing” is a signal of human “overpopulation.” It’s not. But if it were, it is hard to see how having more salmon available to poorer populations in New York will increase family size decisions.

The world’s birth rate has already dropped from the historic 6 births per woman to about 2.5 births, and is set to start shrinking the human population soon after 2050. The UN Low Variant (which has been predictive in the past) projects human numbers falling from a peak of 8–9 billion in 2050 to 6.2 billion in 2100—and only 2.3 billion by 2300!

Could biotech salmon threaten the wild salmon populations? The FDA says it can’t see how. The biotech fish will be sterile, except for a small breeding stock kept in tanks on land, under tight guard. The sterile market salmon would be also grown on land, rather than in netted ocean pens.   

Society’s real problem is to feed that peak population without destroying the world’s wild fisheries, eroding all its cropland and plowing down most of its wildlife habitat to produce our food in the meantime. Fish farming and high-yield crops are two big parts of the answer. Stanford University recently estimated that higher-yield crops have saved 6.6 million square miles of wildlife habitat from becoming poor cropland since 1960. That’s the land area of South America, far more conservation success than the Sierra Club can claim.

Instead, the environmentalists offer “solutions” like organic farming and banning the healthful new biotech salmon. One alarmist website actually calls the FDA “lapdogs” for the salmon approval. Unfortunately, this is a pattern. The environmental movement has opposed nitrogen fertilizer, all synthetic pesticides, and even the genetically modified “gold rice,” which would save millions of little kids from blindness! All opposed with no evidence of harm. The lower yields from organic-only farming would mean severe hunger privation for hundreds of millions of people. Rest assured, tomorrow’s parents will feed their children, one way or another, even if they have to plow down the rain forests, put every remaining gorilla in a stew pot, and take every fish out of the ocean.

The land taken for farming is humanity’s biggest intrusion on nature. Thankfully, the world’s cropland has barely expanded at all since 1980, due to better seeds (some of them biotech) and nitrogen fertilizer. Now, if allowed to do so, biotech salmon can protect one of the critical fisheries, even as we consume more protective omega 3 fatty acids.

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ETHANOL COSTS ONE MILLION JOBS, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

IF President Obama still cares about more U.S. jobs and high food costs he can now immediately gain on both.. An economist in Indianapolis just calculated that the U.S. is losing a million jobs this year—along with $30 billion in economic growth—because we shifted too much of our corn into ethanol. Tom Elam says direct employment in the food industry would have produced three times as many jobs processing and marketing meat as making ethanol from the same corn. Elam calculates the foregone jobs at 941,000. That doesn’t even count the myriad of jobs that would have been needed to support the newly employed one million Americans.

Based on recent history, U.S. consumers got less meat and milk than they would have liked. Consumer spending on these items veered sharply down from its historic trend after President Bush radically raised the nation’s ethanol mandate in 2007. Elam predicts these problems will only get worse. The EPA‘s approval of 15 percent ethanol in gasoline will likely push corn fuel use up faster than corn yields are rising.

Without the ethanol mandate, U.S. feed exports would increase too (a job creator). Also, our cost of driving would come down even as the prices of pork chops, broilers, and hamburger came back within the reach of stressed-out US food buyers.

No need to worry about Green protests on this one. The environmental groups have turned against the “renewable” fuel they once supported. Ethanol does little to reduce U.S. greenhouse emissions, but diverting grain from to fuel is ramping up survival costs for the poor across the world.

Naomi Klein, a best-selling “green” author from Canada, says climate change is not a big issue to the left. Rather, “ideology is the main factor in whether we believe in climate change. If you have an egalitarian and communitarian worldview, and you tend toward a belief system of pooling resources and helping the less advantaged then you believe in climate change.” But there has obviously been no warming trend on the planet for 15 years, and the U.S. unemployment problem is now center stage. Especially for the lower income workers who are prominent in food processing and transport.

Grain farmers are bidding up the prices of their own cropland to twice the 2006 levels—cleverly raising their own corn production costs for the future. Meanwhile the more numerous livestock farmers risk bankruptcy due to redoubled feed costs. Congress is urgently studying a further bailout of dairy farmers, who can no longer afford to feed their cows. But the nation’s debt limit is looming.

Even after this drought-stricken corn-growing season, the EPA has refused to suspend the ethanol mandate. The EPA has apparently feared perceived failure of a “green fuel” program on President Obama’s watch. A word from the President could set Lisa Jackson’s mind at rest, and create those additional jobs in short order.

However, a temporary suspension of the ethanol mandate is unlikely to work. Temporary moves are discounted by business, as the President found with his stimulus spending. The President should now lift the ethanol mandate as a waste of taxpayer money, a drag on blue-collar job creation—and a threat to many thousands of livestock farmers. To add insult to injury, ethanol is expensive to make and has 35 % fewer BTU’s per gallon. The EPA approved 15% blend will melt fuel lines and burn valves in many cars. Who will pay for the repairs?

References:

Thomas Elam, Ethanol Production: Economic Impact on Meat and Poultry Consumption, Value and Jobs, FarmEcon LLC, Indianapolis, In., Oct 30, 2012. (Dr Elam is a highly experienced agricultural economist who has served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Outlook and Situation Board and held responsible jobs in agribusiness.)

“Interview with Naomi Klein,” Common Dreams, Feb. 29, 2012.

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CAN ROMNEY CREATE THOSE 12 MILLION JOBS, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

Mitt Romney says he could create 12 million jobs in a four year term. Could he really do it? The odds are he could.

Romney would start, of course, with energy, where gasoline prices have doubled under Obama. High energy costs have scuttled lots of small businesses; people could no longer afford their goods or services. High gas prices also drove some employees out of the job market as they could no longer afford commuting to a job with modest pay.

Obama campaigned on raising energy costs even higher; to protect us from the man-made global warming that is not occurring. He even hints about further slashing fossil fuel use after he wins “more flexibility” in a second term.

Romney would also eliminate the fear that the EPA will restrict the fracking that is delivering a wealth of lower-cost oil and gas. This should, instead, create more and more new jobs. Writing in London’s Daily Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says “Swathes of American industry have acquired a massive and lasting advantage in energy costs over global rivals [due to fracking]. . . . Europe is going in the opposite direction, drifting toward energy suicide.”

With fracking, some 50 new U.S. petrochemical projects have recently been unveiled. Royal Dutch Shell is planning a big ethane plant near Pittsburg. Dow Chemical is shutting down operations in Belgium, Holland, Spain, the UK and Japan—but pouring money into a new propylene plant in Texas.

The American Chemistry Council says shale fracking has also reversed the fortunes of the aluminum, iron, steel, rubber, coated metals and glass industries. It is encouraging a “homecoming” of machine tool, electrical products, transport equipment, and furniture industries back from China, says PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Chinese wages have been surging, so our new low-cost gas offsets higher U.S. wages— under a government they can trust.

Interior Secretary Salazar has sharply reduced permits for drilling on Federal lands and offshore waters. Now he’s quietly put half the National Petroleum Reserve in the Alaskan tundra off limits to drilling. That reserve has been designated for energy development since 1923! The eco-activists already have the nearby Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge for the caribou and migrating birds—though today’s North Slope oil production doesn’t even threaten them.

Romney would also end Obama’s senseless war on coal, restoring vitality to the heartland states, which depend on burning coal cleanly to keep their electricity costs competitive.

Then there’s the huge uncertainty of Obamacare. One of the President’s health-care advisors has just predicted the cost of private health insurance will rise 30 percent by 2016. At the same time, large numbers of doctors are opting out of Medicare because their mandated government payments won’t cover their costs. One of those rising costs is medical liability insurance—the “tax” imposed by the trial lawyers who support Obama.

That’s all before we even get to the mounting debt and the out-of-control spending he seems determined to continue. “Investments” in education and infrastructure still will cost money we don’t have, unless we cut spending elsewhere. On debt, spending, energy, health care, appointing Supreme Court justices–and even following the laws on the books—I label Barack Obama the “uncertainty President.” His National Labor Relations Board even barred Boeing from building a new plant in South Carolina!

Obama seems to want to dismantle the country that elected him and wrestle it into some different shape only he can see. That means a President Romney could eliminate the political uncertainties that have kept even companies with cash from expanding in the Obama years.

Twelve million more jobs? It might well be more.

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TROPICAL RAINBELTS STILL SHIFTING GLOBAL CROPS, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

Michel Nasibu, of business consultants KPMG/East Africa, warns that global warming has begun to devastate his continent. He writes in AfricaEagle that: “The mother of all troubles has already started rooting her tentacles all over the continent: Global Warming. . . . . Africa is slowly becoming a desert.”

James Taylor of the Heartland Institute, writing at Forbes.com, says “Not so fast.” Taylor notes a 2009 Boston University study that found satellite data showing a long-term shift in the Sahara Desert from dryer to wetter conditions. BBC News, in fact, has reported that, “Satellite images from the last 15 years do seem to show a recovery of vegetation in the southern Sahara.” Taylor also notes correctly that as the Arctic ice has melted, global rainfall has gotten slightly heavier due to more evaporation from the seas.

Both men’s forecasts are wrong, however. What’s really happening is not that the tropical rainbelts that govern Africa’s critical food production are starting or stopping. They’re moving.

I have written often about the natural 1,500-year Dansgaard-Oeschger climate cycle, which brings us a global warming—and then a global cooling—every 15 centuries. Give or take 500 years. Such a lengthy time scale seems almost incomprehensible. Luckily, we now have historical documents that record the Little Ice Age (1300–1850 AD), the Medieval Warming (950–1300 AD), and the Dark Ages (600–950 AD). Paleoclimate evidence from ice cores, fossil pollen, and the sediments at the bottoms of lakes and seas is now extending our knowledge of such climate cycling back at least a million years.

When the Arctic ice melts in a global warming period—as now—the tropical rain belts are drawn roughly 600 miles north. Julian Sachs of the University of Washington told us in “A Shifting Band of Rain,” (Scientific American, March, 2011), that the rain belts are currently about 330 miles north of their location during the depths of the Little Ice Age in 1600. He’s been measuring the stable isotopes of algae (deuterium and hydrogen) in the lake sediments of scattered Pacific islands. Carbon dated, they clearly show the rain belts moving north over time. Sachs predicts they will move even farther north as the planet continues to warm.

That will obviously mean problems for the tropics, endangering banana crops in Guatemala and stealing the moisture from the coffee crops in Colombia and Indonesia. The Mexican desert can also come to the southern tier of U.S. states.

Africa at the best of times suffers a drought every 30 to 65 years, and when the rainbelts shift they can have awesome impacts. For example, Ghana’s Lake Bosumtwi suffered a 350-year drought during the Little Ice Age!

Ethiopia’s Aksum Empire thrived during the heyday of the Roman Empire. In one of history’s most dramatic rainfall transitions, the tropical rains had moved north about 200 BC to water North Africa—and thus fed Rome on the other side of the Mediterranean for nearly 800 years. As the Roman Warming ended, however, and the Dark Ages began, the rain belts shifted back south to Kenya and Ghana. Both Aksum and the Roman Empire collapsed.

Who will win and who will lose during the Modern Warming? Primitive man could do nothing but try to walk away from the droughts. Modern man can produce extra food where the rains have shifted, and transport the food to people where the rains have left. Only time will tell whether that’s a better strategy than moving the people. But we now have the transport capacity to do either or both.

All of this simply underlines the reality that the earth’s human societies are now vastly more sustainable than their primitive predecessors.

References:
Michel Nasibu, “Global Warming and Africa’s Future, AfricaEagle, www.africaeagle.com/2012/10/opinion-global-warming-and-africas.html
James Taylor, “Contrary To What You Hear, Global Warming Has Been Good To Africa,” http://www.forbes.com/search/?q=contrary+to+what+you+hear
Tim Shanahan et al, “Atlantic Forcing of Persistent Drought in West Africa, Science 324 (2009): 377–380

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