An Inconvenient Truth – Outstanding

Thanks to Tony Singh for sending me the email the other day, which I published on the 28th about tonight’s showing of An Inconvenient truth.I went to the showing tonight. It is a film that can’t help but scare the living daylights out of you. Now I could have waited and rented the DVD when it came to David, but I was also interested in how many of the Panamanian people would turn out and see the film. There were over 60 people that watched the film. I think 90% to 95% were Panamanians. I helped raise the gringo representation.

I highly recommend that everyone see this movie. I also think you should have your children and your friends and anyone you can convince that might not see it otherwise, to go see it.

After watching it, I thought to myself that the world was probably lucky that Al Gore lost the presidential election to George Bush. Had he been president, there would still have been a 9/11 and he would have been consumed with that problem. He might have made better decisions, but I do not think he would have had the time or opportunity to make the contribution that he has made with this film. And the overall effect of global warming will be more significant in the long run than anything that happens in the middle east.

At the conclusion of the film, a couple Panamanians spoke. One said he felt that this film needed to be a required film that all students should have to watch to better understand their need to make changes for the future.

It was the other man that spoke about a related subject that Panamanians and specifically Chiricanos need to be more concerned about which is protecting the purity of the water. He said that because of money effecting Panama governmental decisions, more and more of the water of Panama is being contaminated and that has to change. If you see the film, it has multiple references to the US governmental decisions being affected by special interest groups. One reference was the tobacco industry and reports being generated for a long time that tobacco was not a health hazard. That was compared with the oil and auto industries in the US saying that too strict regulations would be bad for the US economy.

We are a generation of people that have been lucky to live in the best of times. Because of mistakes that have been made and mistakes that are continuing to be made our children’s futures may not be so pleasant. It really gives one pause to think.

Before everyone left they said that the movie would be shown for the next four Mondays. I am really pleased to see such earnest effort to make this information available in a setting where they discuss the film afterwards. Nothing will happen if we all just see the film and go home and forget about it. These are important problems that need to be dealt with now and not later.

43 thoughts on “An Inconvenient Truth – Outstanding

  1. May I sugest a novel written by Michael Crichton called “state of fear”.
    As always there is another side to the story.

  2. State of Fear is a novel, and Chrichton has no qualifications whatsoever to pronounce an opinion on Global Warming.

    In this case, there is no other side to the story. The concensus amonst the scientific community is complete, even in the USA. Show me one scientific paper based on actual research and published in a peer-reviewed science journal int he last 15 years that denies global warming. You will not find one.

    You can find a whole lot of info about Global Warming and the Exxon-sponsored denial movement on http://www.tragicplanet.org

  3. I haven’t seen the movie and I really could care less! What is it about human nature that we need to have a “Boogie Man” to live in Fear, like chicken little the sky is falling, give me a break! What is it about human nature that people HATE change? This world is…and always has been in constant CHANGE…get over it. I choose to see the glass half FULL, basically because I’m a optimistic person, I can’t stand to be around a bunch of “Doom and Gloomers” crying and whining about how bad things are…but you know what? I’m in the minority, most people eat this Boogie Man cr*p up. The ONLY thing I FEAR is my EX’s and the Tax man!

  4. I see, so you prefer to put your head in the sand while we torch the planet.

    Very smart. You are like the proverbial frog in the pot of water on a fire, it will remain in there until it boils to death, impervious to what is happening to it.

  5. What the heck is wrong with some warming? Do you know how easy on my wallet my heating bills have been lately with these mild winters? For every one of your negative cry in your Beer points ,I guarantee I can make 3 positive points to global warming. I bet you guys stay awake all night and WORRY if the sun will come up in the morning.. too? People worry about stuff that they have absolutely no control over and SHOULD be worrying over things like TERRORISM that are a REAL threat to every freedom loving person.

  6. You’re obviously totally ignorant of the potential impact of global warming. Go inform yourself and come back here when you can make an intelligent and informed argument.

  7. Typical Liberal comment can’t attack me on the intellectual issues and must resort to personal attacks…what ever…whats that old saying: “Misery Loves Company” I’m out numbered here its clear, makes no difference to me I have go and enjoy my life now …bye!

  8. Typical Liberal dribble can’t attack me on the intellectual issues and must resort to personal attacks…what ever…whats that old saying: “Misery Loves Company” I’m out numbered here its clear, makes no difference to me I have go and enjoy my life now …bye!

  9. Oh, I could spend all day here and totally detroy you and with scientific papers to back my point. But you obviously have a very radical viewpoint and have chosen to take a partisan line rather then look at the evidence, so such a discussion would lead nowhere, and I would just waste my time. If you really cared about finding the truth about global warming you would have already done so. There is plenty of information out there. But no, you are obviously much smarter then the hudnereds of climatologists and other scientists who work for NASA, NOAA, EPA, and countless other scientific agencies aroudn the world. Since you are that smart, how could I ever hope to change your mind?

    BTW, even Bush has now admitted that global warming is a problem and that we must do something about it.

    GO do some reading my friend. Start with the links provided here, especially the ones in the Science section:
    http://tragicplanet.org/links/

    And when you’re done, why don’t you counter with a single scientific paper that shows that climate change is not happening, or that it would be a good thing? Of course it would have to be published in a peer-reviewed science journal. Unfortuantely for you, there hasn’t been one such paper in the last 15 years. Only PR stuff from the Republicans and from the Exxon-Mobil PR machine.

  10. The one thing that bothers me about most conversations related to global warming is the lack of meaningful solutions. I think the film is a great wake-up call and perhaps a call to arms, but often the solutions seem to be left up to our government or quasi government organizations. Perhaps there are some choices that each of us, as individuals, can make in the way that we lead our daily lives that when taken in aggregate can have a substantial impact in being part of the solution. I make these comments with the understanding that political realities would indicate that relying on our government for solutions is probably a losing proposition.

  11. I need work on my back swing…it’s an early start on the old range this year, I love it…you guys can worry about the sky falling. I’ll worry about my wicked hook.

  12. And please, take some consolation in the fact that your golf cart may be the inspiration for a whole new fleet of fuel efficient vehicles. Further, As you are downing your Panama or Balboa on the 19th hole, take further comfort in the fact that by consuming “local” you are helping to reduce carbon emissions. Baby steps.

  13. I am a marine biologist from Florida, soon to be retired in Panama. Let me just say that global warming is real. Most of our reefs here in Florida and elsewhere throughout the Caribbean have succumbed to its effects. Ninty-five percent of the elkhorn and staghorn coral in the Florida reefs is dead and the principal culprit is climate change. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has more frequent and protracted bleaching events each, and scientific consensus indicates that reefs will be gone worldwide within 30 years.

    We’ve only seen the beginings of warming. Our planet has heated about 1 degree F over the last century; conservative estimates place the warming at 4 – 8 degrees F over the next century.

    Let’s not argue about how much climate change is natural and how much is due to Man. We have had mass extinctions on planet Earth in which 90% of our planet’s species have been lost. We now living in what has been called the “Sixth Extinction” due to global warming, pollution, deforestation, and a variety of additional environmental assaults promulgated by our species. Let’s act responsibly NOW lest our children inherit a planet depleted of much of its beauty and splendor.

  14. This comment is for the edification of snake eyes who admonishes that we should be more concerned about terrorism than global warming.

    One of the ramifications of global warming will be increased terrorism. Many countries will have to shoulder the burden of accepting millions of environmental refugees. Wars will increasingly be fought over resources negatively impacted by global warming (water, fisheries, loss of biodiversity, etc.). In fact many of the confrontations in Africa today have as their root cause environmental degradation. As resources taken for granted for so many years become increasingly unavalilable, people become desperate and look to war as a way to solve their problems. As another case in point, look at the living conditions and abject poverty in Haiti which has unfolded over the years, in large part, because of environmental degradation due to environmental mismanagement and neglect.

  15. Thanks to all for the comments. I really think that SE is smarter than he wants all to believe and he is really trolling because he likes to stir things up.

    Greg in his last post brought up an interesting point that I had not considered. It is the poor countries that will suffer most. This suffering will indeed be incentive for more terrorism.

    In my opinion it is the common person that must become aware of the problem, aware that they can make an impact. Each individual can conserve energy, create less pollution, and make it apparent to the government officials that they elect that they want action.

    I understand that Gore’s movie is in some areas potentially extreme in some examples. However knowing that you are getting ready to cut off your arm up the the wrist or up to the shoulder might make you want to do something that would allow you to only lose a finger.

  16. Unfortunately I had to run to Panama City so I could not make the movie. I understand that REAL Boquete, the Boquete Recycling coop is trying to obtain a copy to show in Boquete. When and if I will post dates on the boqueteguide.com

    This issue is REAL and those who stick their heads in the sand better be well above sea level or they will drown. We just returned from a trip to Coiba and most of the coral where we snorkeled is also dead.

    As pointed out above the political realities will be war and terror, Africa is already experiencing mass starvation due to climate change initiated drought.

    This is our problem, not a problem for future generations. I suspect since it is hard to calculate ROI not much will be done.

  17. Hi Lee

    I’m sorry to hear about the situation at Coiba. Hopefully, the coral is simply bleached due to this year’s El Nino. If the bleaching wasn’t too severe they may reacquire the symbiotic algae responsible for their color. However, global warming on top of El Nino has really played havoc with the reefs over the last several years and many are, in fact, dead. I’m disappointed to hear about Coiba because it was one of the spots I was looking forward to diving when I get down next year.

  18. I have been reading these comments with a certain amount of amusement. Since this is a scientific discussion to some extent, I will provide some of my background – PhD environmental scientist and have been involved in atmospheric and air chemistry modeling for the last 25 years. And I have not worked for oil or large polluters on these work efforts. A number of facts (actual facts):

    1) The anthropogenic (human caused) contributions to global warming is not settled science. In spite of what was stated in the comments, there are many refereed articles that do not support global warming. The scientists fall into three main categories – earth is not warming, earth is warming for unknown reasons, and earth is warming due to natural causes. My papers (peer-reviewed) have fallen in the latter category. To state that there are no refereed papers disputing the current “global warming beliefs” is incorrect.

    2) The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has varied from 1/2 of what it is today to more that 10 times what it is today. One of the coldest geological periods in the earth’s geologic history was 450 million years ago and the CO2 concentration was 10 times what it is today. Truly an inconvenient fact for the global warming crowd.

    3) The “father of global warming”, Dr. James Hansen, has modified his sensitivity values for CO2 downward twice since his initial publication in 1988. This means that the impacts of CO2 are less than he originally theorized. As a note, if the impact of CO2 on global warming is 1, then methane is ~27 and water vapor is ~300. The biggest impact on global warming is water vapor (to be perfectly accurate, the impact is the sensitivity times the amount of the chemical in the air. There is a lot of CO2 in the air which means that there is an impact by CO2). In 2000 , Dr. Hansen stated that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are the cause of global warming, not CO2. So even the CO2 global warming experts aren’t fully convinced. There theories keep changing. In other words it is not settled science. In fact if the US had followed Dr. Hansen’s original prescriptions, tens of billions of dollars would have been wasted for naught.

    4) There are two ways that one can determine if there is global warming – long term measurements or accurate modeling. We haven’t been taking meteorological long enough to have reliable data about small changes in warming / cooling. And I have worked with models long enough to know that they are currently not very reliable. There are what we call unstable – small perturbations in input values results is large or inconsistent changes in output. Few models are able to accurately predict the changes in temperatures in the last 30 years without a significant number of variables. Current models depend heavily on undemonstrated positive feedback factors to predict high levels of warming. The current models just aren’t reliable.

    5) During the Clinton administration there was a significant change in the environmental funding. Vice President Al Gore was put in charge of the funding process – almost all funding was directed towards those that supported anthropogenic causes for global warming. So one would expect more papers claiming that global warming is anthropogenic. So there is a political reason for many papers supporting anthropogenic global warming. Claiming consensus is not a scientific approach (it is a political approach) and is just designed to stifle discussion.

    6) One of my theories that I am working on with others is that the industrial revolution interrupted a long term warming trend. The industrial revolution created a lot of pollution, particularly particulate matter that was injected into the atmosphere. This changed the albedo of the earth, caused more sunlight to be reflected and cooled off the earth (there are lot more secondary effects that must be considered, but this is the basic premise). Once we started cleaning up the atmosphere almost forty years ago, the albedo changed and more sunlight is reaching the earth, causing warming. In fact we have computer models that “prove” this. But until we are confident that all major processes have been included in the models accurately, then we just have a theory. Our model will have to duplicate accurately the global warming in the 30s & 40s and the global cooling in the 50s & 60s (remember the global cooling hysteria in the 70s?) – not an easy task.

    7) If Michael Crichton has no standing to make an environmental argument, then President Bush isn’t qualified to speak on this topic or even Mr. Gore, both politicians without a scientific background. I also assume that Mr. Duford has sufficient scientific qualifications to not just be another ignorant voice in the debate. I should note that the footnotes in Mr. Crichton’s “State of Fear” are all actual references, including a number of scientific references (so much for the preposterous statement that there are no scientific papers refuting anthropogenic causes of global warming).

    8) To make basic calculations on global warming, one needs to know how much CO2 is in the atmosphere and how much anthropogenic CO2 is being produced. Other values such as how much natural CO2 is being produced and how much CO2 is being sequestered in plant life would also be very valuable. However, even these basic values can not be agreed to by the scientific community.

    Finally a couple of personal comments. I would give Mr. Gore’s movies an A- for its ability to present emotional arguments to sway people watching the movie and a D- for scientific facts – they are few and far between.

    When I make financial investments or decisions, I assume that people believe that global warming is real if it is part of my considerations.

    And while the story about the frog in increasingly hot water is cute, it is scientific nonsense. There is a scientific study that shows that frogs can sense small changes in water temperature made over a period of time and will jump out of the water when it becomes too warm. Apparently the frogs are smarter than some of the global warming alarmists…

    Rob Alan

  19. Rob,

    Thanks for the in depth comment. I think we have been in a similar discussion before.

    First let me say that the illustration/story of the frog was intended as a mechanism to say that we humans tend to ignore changes that happen gradually. Abrupt changes are more easily noticed and acted upon. I really don’t think the frog story was intended to be scientific fact and to put it in a debate is side stepping the primary discussion.

    If I understood what you wrote, you are saying that indeed there is global warming, but we humans are not the cause and can have no effect on slowing it. I would hope that you are wrong because that offers little hope. If the film did one good thing I think it will be to get more people interested in finding out answers to this real problem.

    If you are right and the humans did not cause it and cannot reverse it then there better be twice as much scientific activity finding ways that will allow the human race to survive. The only way this activity will occur is if the average man on the street is concerned enough to demand that money is invested in the project.

    There is no question that the climate and things effected by the climate are changing.

  20. Once again, it’s unimportant as to whether climate change is natural, anthropogenic, or a combination of both. The fact that it is ocurring is germane. The IPCC report recently endorsed by 2500 scientists in 130 nations makes a strong statement. Global warming has now been promulgated to the level of “consensus science”.

    While Rob is correct in stating that we have had more dramatic climate in the past, some of these have been accompanied by mass extinction events. I don’t think we want that repeated at a time when our species numbers in excess of 6 billion individuals. Our species survival system depends upon some type of climate stability. I hold a Ph.D. in marine biology, and I can assure you that the present rate of global warming will result in the the worldwide demise of reefs in the next 30-50 years. Unfortunately, we have already moved past the point of no return for this particular ecosystem. The process has already begun with some of the more sensitive shallow-water species within the genus Acropora. Coral bleaching triggered by ocean warming is increasing in frequency and duration each year. The elkhorn and staghorn corals growing on the reef crest have been extirpated from large areas in the Caribbean. Even the Great Barrier reef is undergoing unprecedented bleachings. Fisheries productivity will decline with loss of reefs and the economic impact upon many island nations will be incalcuable.

    Unlike past episodes, many terrestrial populations cannot effect behavioral adaptations by migrating to more favorable climates because their habitats have been so fragmented and surrounded by Man’s activities. Also, the rate (not necessarily the degree) of climate change will impede evolutionary responses as well.

  21. Gosh I am pleased to have several PHDs reading Chiriquí Chatter. My PHD just stands for Piiled Higher and Deeper. Oops. Sorry, I didn’t mean to lower the level of discourse.

  22. Don’t take no stinkin PHD to understand fossil fuel burning problems, readily apparent our first full day in Panama City. The old school buses are true folk art, but a number are reallllly stanky and black smoky. So a number of reasons for some radical cutbacks.

    Read Michael Chricton’s book, and it did give me pause from my former blind common sense acceptance of the theory. However, I’m onboard and will be taking public trans while here in Panama instead of flying….

    Agree with what you said about good thing Gore had the election stolen from him by the Supreme Court, oops, you didn’t quite put it like that did you. Glad he is getting recognition for his efforts.

    Enjoying the wi fi connect here at the Hotel Marparaiso, as well as the free airport pickup at 11:00 from our cheap flight from DC via Newark.

    Heard anything about the weather from your daughter in Leander?

    Was COLD in DC the six days or so we were there. A little sweat on the streets here yesterday was ok !

  23. Don’t put words in my mouth. I can get into enough trouble by myself.

    I perfer taking the plane from David to PC and back. I don’t trust the buses. Too many accidents for me.

    Yes I have been in touch with my kin in Texas and Oklahoma and don’t envy the weather they have had.

  24. Don,

    I will drop the frog issue – I just don’t think that using a literary device that is not factually correct diminishes the argument. I blame my high school English teacher.

    The best advice that I have heard is that we should do things that are good to do outside of global warming. Clean up pollution, recycle, be sustainable, etc.

    Increasing temperatures per se are not a bad thing. We are still much cooler today than the global temperatures were 1,100 years ago during the medieval times and during the Roman period about 1,000 years earlier than that. One of the warmest warmest periods was during the time of the dinosaurs – the size of plants and animals indicate that warmer temperatures are very supportive of life and rapid organic growth.

    Greg,

    I wrote a long response to your posting last night (early morning?) but the software ate my comments. Normally I save them in Word but didn’t – my goof.

    A couple of the key points I tried to make are as follows:

    I think it is important to know the geneses of global warming. If it man made, then we should would be able implement change if possible. If it is natural, then we need to focus resources on how to deal with it as opposed to trying to change it.

    An 8 degree F increase in temperatures in the next century is not a conservative estimate – it is on the high side for estimates. The conservative estimate is 0.5 to 1.2 degrees F. And all of these estimates are done by computer models that have not proven themselves.

    There is a recent article in the Australian that states that global warming would be good for the Great Barrier reef coral. The gist of the article is that the coral can live easily with a few degree increase in temps, the hot spots leading to coral bleaching are due to calm seas and stable weather (global warming proponents claim more intense weather events), and the water level increase would cover reefs that are above water and cause coral reefs to begin growing again. I would like your comments. See:

    http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?page=article&Article_ID=14151

    and

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21144521-601,00.html

    One final comment. The recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change should be looked at skeptically. The charter of the group states that global warming is anthropogenic. The intent of the “study” was to substantiate the charter. What they conclude may or may not be correct, but it is a political paper and not science. It adds nothing new to the debate.

    Rob Alan

  25. Sorry about the lost comment last night / early morning. I suspect it was when my host was futzing with the system. I think I had some lost too. The only difference is that my comments never carry much substance, so I apologize for my Host’s problems dropping your comments.

    I am curious about your thoughts of the glacier melting and the potential for the land loss because of rising water levels.

  26. I find it somewhat curious that Rob dismisses the U.N. report as merely a political report, while offering the previous two articles by right wing think tanks (National Center For Policy Analysis & Institute Of Public Affairs) as support for his ideas. Perhaps we should consider the source as well as the ideas presented.

  27. Gordo,

    To discredit the source of information and not address the content of the information is what is know in critical thinking as an ad holmium attack. My question is not about the source of the information but what is the validity of the theory. Greg had made a statement that global warming is causing the die off (bleaching) of coral reefs (in part or in whole). The article in the Australian newspaper stated a theory completely opposite to what Greg has said. Since I am not a marine biologist, I was asking Greg why the Australian article was incorrect and Greg’s theory was correct. I was just trying to learn by reconciling the different theories – I don’t have any dog in this fight.

    As far as the IPCC report is concerned, the charge of the IPCC was to find all of the supporting evidence for global warming based upon human activity. It was not a scientific evaluation of all of the evidence & studies both pro and con. So the conclusion of the study was predetermined. Consequently, this “paper” does not meet the minimum standards for a scientific paper. I call it a political paper as it recommends that government implement controls on greenhouse gas emissions. You may have a better name for it. As a scientist I don’t get involved in policy recommendations, but I do have my personal biases (I am a free market environmentalist – I want to solve environmental problems through the use of market forces. In general I am opposed to command & control solutions).

    But lets get serious about what is going on. If I knew all of your physical measurement, personal history, etc and then ran a computer model that showed that you were going to have cancer at sometime in the future. Then if I told you that I wanted to operate on you to remove an organ based upon the computer model and no other information, would you agree? I certainly wouldn’t. This is what we are being asked to do with global warming. At the most elemental level, global warming theories are based upon experimental computer simulations and a few measurements that may or may not be related to global warming. To see the amount of faith that many people have in these simulations is breathtaking to me.

    Don,

    It is not a big deal about the lost posting – I have found blog comments are not very reliable – I usually write my posts in Word & then post them. I don’t think I lost much content when I redid the posting.

    There is a lot of contradictory information about what is going on in the environment concerning atmospheric activities. We have glaciers that are receding in size while the thickness of the ice sheets in the Antarctic has been increasing. Colorado has had one of the cooler winters in decades, especially in the last 7 weeks. When I got back from Panama a couple of days ago it was -18 degrees F (talk about a shock). The governor of California claimed in his state of the state speech that he would lead the fight to reduce global warming. Three weeks later he is asking for billions of federal dollars due to frozen crops in California. Global warming is supposed to cause more violent storms – so what happened to the Atlantic hurricane season this year? There is a lot of contradictory information that is very difficult to reconcile with various global change model results.

    One of the areas of sloppy science is that many times two events are occurring at the same time and the assumption is that they are related. One must describe the mechanism that relates one event to the other – this is caused “causality.” For example, the oceans have been rising 1 mm per year for the last 5,000 years according to some studies. Current studies indicate that the oceans may be rising up to 2 mm a year (since 1850). This could be due to global warming, shifting geologic plates, ocean crust shifts, etc. It could also be due to a poor scientific methodology and there may be less or more ocean level changes than we have measured. Everyone has theories, but no one knows for sure. We haven’t been measuring this “stuff” for a long enough period.

    The history of the earth is that it gets warmer then colder then warmer then colder, etc. I would say that the probability of ocean rise that would cause significant land loss is not very high in the next century. When you see claims that the oceans will rise 20 feet keep in mind that number is based upon everything that could goo wrong will – significant change in average temperatures; no periods of high sunspot activity; massive increases in the amount of CO2, methane, CFCs and water vapor in the atmosphere; few clouds to reflect sunlight back to space; minimal volcanic activity; etc. The likelihood that all of these events happening simultaneously for a long period of time is very small. That is why they are called worst case scenarios.

    During the dinosaurs age there were frequent sea-level fluctuations of tens of meters over large periods of time (millions of years) so there will most likely be significant sea level changes in the future, but not in the short term. A few of inches sea level rise would not be unexpected in the next century.

    Rob Alan

  28. The Australian articles seem wildly speculative. Also, the author does not list her credentials and I can only assume that she is working out of her area of expertise.. One cannot simply presume that since corals are tropical in distribution that oceanic warming will accelerate their growth rates. To the contrary, scientific research, both in situ and in the lab, support the notion that tropical organisms, especially the stony (hermatypic) reef corals, are living close to their upper thermal death point. Moreover, at temperatures below their death point, they are more vulnerable to diseases including white pox, black band disease, etc.

    With regard to the comment about the cold weather in California and Colorado, I can only say that we have to be careful to make a distinction between weather and climate. At the same time the west was enveloped in arctic air mass, the northeast had unprecedented warmth. At this point, 2007 is poised to be the warmest winter on record. Moreover, 11 of the warmest years in our climatological history have occurred during the last 12 years. I think we’re all in agreement that the planet is warming, whether naturally or as exacerbated by Man’s activities. Warming at this juncture in our planet’s history more be more consequential that at any other time because terrestrial populations are restricted to small, fragmented habitats. They are no longer able to migrate to more thermally comfortable environments as in the past..

  29. Here’a a well-documented summary article on the nature of thermally-induced coral bleaching.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/early-warning-signs-of-global-warming-coral-reef-bleaching.html

    I forgot to address the quiet 2006 Atlantic hurricane season. It is really quite simple. An unexpected El Nino suppressed western Atlantic activity, but the Pacific had an very active season. Rising sea surface do not in themselves guarantee an active season. Other conditions have to be in place (low wind shear, low Afican dust, etc.). However, all other factors equal, warmer water increases hurricane intensity. How well I know from experiencing the wrath of “Charley” here in Florida. Temperatures in the eastern Gulf of Mexico that year was neart record levels and Charley blosssomed quickly into a Category 4 storm as it came off the coast of Cuba in a matter of hours.

  30. Greg,

    Thanks for the critique on the Australian article. I will check out the article that you posted.

    My comments on the Colorado & California were somewhat facetious – whenever there is a heat wave or unusually long periods between rain events, the media usually attributes it to the impacts of global warming. Next time I will clearly indicate my sarcasm.

    There are many periods in history where the temperatures were much higher than they are today. In a climatological sense, having a series of 11 out of 12 years being the warmest may or may not have real significance. But it certainly indicates a bias towards warmer temperatures. If the warming is due to anthropogenic sources, then I am surprised that the folks that believe in global warming aren’t promoting greenhouse-friendly nuclear power as one solution. But that is a discussion for another day.

    Rob Alan

  31. The thing that scares me about more nuclear plants is the security aspect. I still remember the Three Mile Island scare on March 28, 1979. One of EDS’s major data centers at that time was in Camp Hill Pennsylvania. I remember all the scurrying around because it appeared that all of the customer systems would have to be moved to other EDS centers. Fueled by Three Mile island, the movie “The China Syndrome” became an instant hit.

    As far as I can remember that was the biggest scare about nuclear power in the US. In April 26, 1986, Chernobyl made the world aware that these power plants could be a disaster waiting to happen .

    With the growth of terrorist activity around the world, the importance of safety at these plants has more to be concerned about than run away nuclear fission.

  32. Hi from central texans visiting Panama City, later coming your way…

    Impressed with this discussion.

    BTW, I was in Kiev on a citizen diplomacy tour two weeks before chernobyl, and met people who shared my profession of teaching and their families. My reaction to the accident was quite different from others in that I had met real people and was now concerned about their welfare. Went back to Kiev less than a year later and learned of the horror stories of them shipping all the kids out by train…. Hard to even contemplate what their situation is by now, hope ok… One teacher and his family were outside having a picnic along the river when it happend…

    Back then we were volunteering outside the work day with Palo Alto based Beyond War and others educating to end the nuclear arms race in the 1980’s between the US and then USSR. To think there are 20,000 plus still around boggles my mind. The relationship with the USSR changed, Beyond War metamorphed into the Foundation for Global Community. It has recently been reorganized under that name (see http://www.beyondwar.org).

    For the last three years or so years Laura and I taught high school, which we retired from two years ago, we and some students were involved in a project with the Center for Non Proliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute for International Studies, the Naval Post Graduate School, and others in Monterey, California. They would brief we secondary school teachers in the fall on a topic related to weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation efforts and treaties etc, then we would facilitate student research and bring the students back in the spring to make their reports.

    What struck me then listening to experts on weaponization and radical islam and vested scientific and industrial interests in this country, and continues to concern me now, is how relatively little is being done to retire our old nukes, not to mention old chemical weapons, which we saw pictures of piled in tepees out in a place that you would not believe … now there are plans to make more and ‘better’ ones….

    In the City of Austin where we lived since the mid 70s, which owns its own utility company, voters got us out of participating in the South Texas Nuclear Power Project and all of its continuing problems–but we cannot really get away from it, only four hours away north by car and the prevailing wind is from the south.

    The local newspaper published a graphic that showed measurable fallout made it to Texas from Chernobyl. My car breaks down, your car breaks down, mechanical things have problems, people get sloppy and make mistakes. Though I agree that terrorist activity is a concern, a far greater concern in my view is the near permanent problems of nuclear waste and power plant and weapon maintenance.

    I think we should be concentrating all our treasure and creativity to get rid of the nuclear power plants and bombs. This post is about climate change….My contribution has rambled, sorry about that. Nuclear winter is not my idea of a good time. How to do something about it? Me up here in the ac with my laptop hooked into the grid….

  33. Thanks for the comment Robert. It is always good to get some personal experience into the discussion. I thought your discourse produced interesting “fallout”.

    Russia is one place I have never visited and have wanted to. I know that your experiences there were heightened by Chernobyl.

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