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The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the worst drought in US history
A primary tenet of global warming alarmism is invalidated.

A recurring theme in my past columns is that a moderate degree of global warming is likely to be beneficial to mankind. Al Gore, on the other hand, says climate change is already causing catastrophic results. In testimony before Congress last March, he stated, "droughts are [already] becoming longer and more intense". But the findings of a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers say otherwise.

The scientists, led by Gemma Narisma, examined 100 years of global rainfall data. Using sophisticated wavelet analysis methods, they identified 30 cases of severe droughts lasting 10 or more years. The results showed the number of droughts dropping sharply over time. From 1900-1920, seven droughts, another seven from from 1920-1940, and eight from 1940-1960. But after that, the picture changes. In the period 1960-1980, only five droughts were recorded, and from 1980-2000 (the warmest period of all), only three occurred. Furthermore, of the most severe droughts, none began in the last 30 years..

The researchers found another surprising result. Changes in rainfall levels are not only much more common than previously thought, but they tend to occur in a very abrupt, unexplained manner. More proof that climate change is part of nature.

The work represents the first systematic survey of abrupt climate changes that have occurred in recent history. Professor Johnathan Foley, who also participated in the research, says the study is important, "because previous work largely focused on ancient climates or theoretical changes in future climates".

The findings are published in Geophysical Research Letters.



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Michael, time to pull your head out.
By dluther on 9/12/2007 7:49:20 PM , Rating: 1
Michael,

Here's a news flash: anthropogenic global warming is real, it's here, and we don't have much time to correct it. The only "debate" left is over what we can do to mitigate and possibly reverse it.

I live in the Midwest, and no amount of wavelet analysis will change the fact that only this year, a drought that lasted two years is finally over.

You keep presenting "evidence" that the things we can see happening right before our eyes really aren't, which is the equivalent of saying "if you cross your eyes and squint it kinda looks like a pony." Scientific measurements for drought conditions are measured by the amount of rainfall for a particular region. Not wavelet analysis of data for overlapping macro-regions, not by averaging rainfall for a particular hemisphere, and not by segmenting rainfall averages and sliding reporting intervals.

Putting it in simpler terms for you, surely last year you noticed the price of bread increased significantly. The reason that happened is because the Midwest -- the place where we grow wheat -- was IN A DROUGHT!

I mentioned earlier that the Midwest this year came out of a drought. The bad part of that is we're experiencing the opposite of drought: flooding. This week, Oklahoma City broke it's record for daily rainfall by a large margin -- in under an hour. Flooding is just as bad for crops, and you'll see futures for soybeans, corn, wheat, and beef (due to hay production) being steadily and dramatically increased.

Drought and floods are both items predicted by climate models based on global temperature increases. And while you are sitting in your perfect corner of the world, I have to live in the real one and deal with the consequences of the thing you say isn't happening.

So I think it's time to call you on your bullshit.

You can debate the minutiae of global warming all you want. You can talk about CO2 (while conveniently neglecting methane, hydrocarbons, NOx, and SOx) all you like and tell everyone that everything's really okay, and global warming is some crazy idea concocted by left-wing liberal environmentalists who are furthering their agenda through a terror campaign, but the reality is that people have to somehow live and thrive in an environment that is starting to reject them.




RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 9:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Get a clue; droughts and floods have been happening since way before the industrial revolution, and anecdotal evidence of some of these events happening this particular year is no proof of AGW.

Your belief in AGW is clearly based on emotion, not logic.

Thanks for playing, have a nice day.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By dluther on 9/13/2007 8:50:19 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Your belief in AGW is clearly based on emotion, not logic.

Tell me Tom, don't you think the stock "emotion based" reply is getting a little tired? It sure seems to get used a lot by you, Michael, and others, directed to anyone who has the temerity to independently weigh the evidence for and against a thing, draw their own conclusions, and refuse to be bullied by detractors from the other side.

Tom, you really cannot believe that we can dump billions of metric tons of volatile organic compounds into our air and water without any detrimental effects on the environment, can you? If so, then that's absolutely great, and I wish you well with that.

I've looked at the evidence of anthropogenic global warming, both for and against, and have drawn my own conclusions. And when you use the same old "your belief is based on emotion" statement to dismiss a dissenting opinion (which is the #1 missive used when the opinion is presented without an armada of links supporting the opinion), it tells me that I'm on the right track. So in your quest to dismiss my opinion, you inadvertently supported my position.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By TomZ on 9/13/2007 9:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tom, you really cannot believe that we can dump billions of metric tons of volatile organic compounds into our air and water without any detrimental effects on the environment, can you?

OK, let's keep this in perspective - CO2 is the target of the AGW enthusiasts, not "volatile organic compounds" (that sounds so scary!). No, I don't believe that our causing some miniscule total increase in CO2 levels is going to have some tragic effect. You just have to look at the amount of CO2 that humans are responsible for as a percent of the total, and you also have to look at CO2 levels recorded in the past, to put that all in perspective. You know the numbers, right?

Also you have to put climate change itself in perspective. The problem is that most people somehow expect that global temperatures "should" be constant, which is incorrect if you look at past temperatures which have always been changing.

The emotion comes in because we are taught by the "green" types that we should feel guilty any time we use our car, turn on a light, take a shower, or throw away a piece of garbage - since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment." It's hard to break free of this since it is so ingrained in our minds by parents, school, the media, and the government. It's all bullshit, however.

It's time we got past this irrational fear of AGW and focus our efforts on something more useful. Let's work on improving education, eliminating poverty, combatting terrible diseases like AIDS, bringing electricity to where it is lacking, etc. These are real problems that need to be solved, instead of AGW which is something imagined.


By dluther on 9/13/2007 12:39:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
OK, let's keep this in perspective - CO2 is the target of the AGW enthusiasts, not "volatile organic compounds"

Okay Tom, here's the deal that AGW skeptics like you and Michael Asher, as well as (and for reasons beyond my comprehension) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proponents seem to fail to comprehend:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is only one component of the complex mixture of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

I've never understood why critics and skeptics alike are so obsessed with CO2, and if there is any debate or dissent within the scientific community, it is that concentration on CO2 instead of the mixture of CO2, methane, hydrocarbons, fluorocarbons, nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides, and other chemicals that do cause atmospheric temperature increases, and can only be attributed to anthropogenic sources.

Even minor temperature increase could disturb the massive methyl hydrate deposits under the oceans, causing a massive spiral of greenhouse gas within the atmosphere, of which CO2 is only a component.

quote:
The emotion comes in because we are taught by the "green" types that we should feel guilty any time we use our car, turn on a light, take a shower, or throw away a piece of garbage - since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment."


If you deconstruct what you just said there, you'll see that statement is pretty much based on insular thinking. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and like it or not, your actions have a profound affect on those around you. I am a "green" type, although I don't wear hemp sandals, drive an electric car, live in an adobe hovel, worship the sun, or join sit-ins against "the establishment". I do, however, recycle as much as I can, use fluorescent tubes instead of incandescent bulbs, insulate my home, advocate nuclear energy, and keep apprised of environmental issues that will affect me and my family. By painting me with the same brush as whatever militant environmentalists you have imagined, you do a disservice to both of us.

quote:
since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment."

There's an old saying: "you don't shit where you eat". It's pretty much self-explanatory. However, if you shit where I eat, don't act so surprised if I do something about it.

quote:
It's time we got past this irrational fear of AGW and focus our efforts on something more useful. Let's work on improving education, eliminating poverty, combatting terrible diseases like AIDS, bringing electricity to where it is lacking, etc.


I don't think it's irrational to recognize the fact that collectively, human actions are causing irreparable harm to the environment in which we must live, and that something must be done to slow, stop, and reverse said harm. It's not fear, it's awareness. And while every one of the items you described are both noble and necessary pursuits, what's the point of doing all that if we're not here to reap the benefits of that labor?

Environmentalism is not about saving the environment, it's ultimately about self-preservation. The earth has been here long before humans were, and it will definitely shake us off like a mild cold.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By GeorgeOrwell on 9/13/2007 1:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
Several of the authors on this website write as if they were heavily funded by big oil. Intelligent readers will draw their own conclusions.

The oil companies, similar to the tobacco companies, know what they're responsible for doing. Global warming is the smallest part of what's really happened, the part that can be shared with the public without causing a panic.

You will not read about big oil's massive pollution of water tables on this site. You will not read about the new Trans-American oil pipeline being built from Canada across the Midwest to the massive oil processing center in Illinois. You will not read about the pollution that this pipeline will cause. Just like there is almost zero information on the pollution big oil has caused in Alaska and Canada.

The anti-global warming efforts by big oil are very similar to how the tobacco industry defended their industry. There are still many people who do not believe that cigarette smoking causes cancer. We will see similar disbelief in the causes of global warming, although the evidence, like cigarettes, is all around you and right in front of your face.

It is very easy to buy some scientists and have them produce reports that support a viewpoint. The tobacco industry was found to be massively guilty of this sort of crookedness. It should be no surprise that the oil industry is doing the same thing, buying scientists to produce reports and studies that global warming doesn't exist, isn't caused by man, etc.

Intelligent readers will broaden their reading beyond this website and draw their own conclusions.

As an aside, one might comment that when we look at the problems in America, and to some extent in the world, many of them come from allowing "freedom of speech" to mean "freedom to lie".

Be seeing you.


By Schrag4 on 9/13/2007 10:33:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Several of the authors on this website write as if they were heavily funded by big oil. Intelligent readers will draw their own conclusions."

Shouldn't this just come out and say 'If you agree with me then you are intelligent, otherwise your're not.'? Nice...

"It is very easy to buy some scientists and have them produce reports that support a viewpoint."

So, you're telling me not to listen to ANY scientists, because they may or may not have been bought. Yeah, that really helps your argument...

"As an aside, one might comment that when we look at the problems in America, and to some extent in the world, many of them come from allowing "freedom of speech" to mean "freedom to lie"."

You're right. None of the alarmist environmentalists would every lie to us to get us to change our ways. Ever. Or was your point that you don't want freedom of speech? Or is it ok to lie if you get someone to start doing what you think is the right thing?

Sorry for all the sarcasm, but your whole post was just a bunch of attacks against this site, which isn't debate and isn't helpful. You've persuaded nobody of anything. Very nicely done. Give us some counterpoints, stats, SOMETHING!

Also, isn't a pipeline the most efficient and least likely to pollute means of transporting oil (and other products)? In other words, isn't less oil burned if pipelines are used rather than trucking it around? It seems to me that opposing pipelines is asking for increased CO2 output. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By dluther on 9/13/2007 1:31:41 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Several of the authors on this website write as if they were heavily funded by big oil. Intelligent readers will draw their own conclusions.

If it were that simple, it would be almost understandable.

However, it appears that Michael Asher has fallen to a far more powerful force than money: pride.

Several conservative news sources have started using Michael Asher's blog here at DailyTech as a source for furthering AGW skepticism, including one of my US Senators -- Jim Inhofe.

It doesn't matter to these people that Michael Asher isn't a climatologist, or that he presents "evidence" from sources unrelated to climatology. For instance, a recent "news article" by Asher (http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8641) states that "Comprehensive survey of published climate research reveals changing viewpoints". However, this survey was done by Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte, a surgeon specializing endocrinology. Now, you may ask yourself what does endocrine surgery have to do with climatology, and if you come up with an answer, then you're doing a lot better than I am. However, I think that if a climatologist were to take exception to Dr. Schulte's research in the field of endocrinology, the conversation would be vastly different and very well justified. But since it's a detraction from anthropogenic global warming, it is accepted.

Michael Asher is a very well-spoken, intelligent person, with a keen ability to defend his positions with links to supporting research, and without stooping to name-calling.

However, I simply cannot agree with his positions or conclusions, because the evidence he continues to present doesn't come from reliable sources.


By GeorgeOrwell on 9/13/2007 7:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
The first step in helping to save our planet is not coming up with some indisputable grand unified theory of global temperature.

Though some people would have you believe that without such a theory, proven by at least 99.999% of all scientists on a scale from quantum mechanics to planetary ecology, progress is impossible.

These people are playing nothing more than the "divide and conquer" game. The division itself achieves the goal -- lack of ability to combat the big oil agenda.

To avoid being divided on an issue that is critical to the survival of this world, we must rely on common sense, wisdom, and morals.

Common sense tells us there are consequences for every action.

Wisdom tells us that science often takes decades, if not centuries, to really understand these consequences.

Wisdom also tells us that many scientific opinions that try to tell us that something obviously dangerous -- i.e. smoking -- is completely safe, are paid for by those who benefit from this deception.

And morality tells us that given the choice to do right by the world or to do wrong by the world, that it is our imperative to do right.

Hence, we do not need to pay attention to the cock fight that is pretending to establish truth through some one-sided presentation of so-called "scientific" research.

As governments, industry and individuals the world over make choices to save the world, the truth becomes obvious. And likewise the falsity of this blog becomes readily apparent to all.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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