Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Manmade climate change theory continues to be battered by reality
Commentary by James H. Shott
Two of the major concerns of environmentalists are manmade climate change, and in response to this theory, the absolute necessity of green energy sources to replace the relatively inexpensive conventional energy we now get from coal, oil and natural gas.
Although our air is cleaner today than at any time in the last hundred years or so, it’s not clean enough for the environmental zealots inside and outside of government agencies. Hardly anyone would argue that if the activities of humans seriously damage the Earth’s atmosphere and raise its average temperature, it just makes sense to move away from fossil fuel energy toward non-polluting green energy. All they need is a plausible scenario that human activity is indeed warming the planet to dangerous levels, and people will accept moving to green energy.
However, as time passes more and more evidence comes forth weakening the case for manmade climate change; the data no longer support the idea that climate change is an imminent crisis, or a danger so great as to justify the drastic action the radical environmentalists and the Obama administration favor.
When the dirty little secrets of some climate scientists escaped a while back, revealing the manipulation and outright falsification of data they utilized to make their case stronger, that should have convinced even the staunchest climate change defender that something was wrong with their theory.
However, that did not faze them, but maybe this will: Announcing to the world that “I made a mistake,” British scientist James Lovelock, “the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his ‘Gaia’ theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being ‘alarmist’ about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too,” according to MSNBC.
“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing,” he told the cable network. “We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.” He went on to say that “the climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said, but “the world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising,” he added.
We should all be happy that those doom-filled prognostications have not materialized, because despite the grand efforts of government agencies that are doing such tremendous damage to the economy and such a disservice to the American people, the green alternatives continue to come up short as replacements for coal, oil and natural gas.
Now we learn that not only is wind energy expensive, generally unpredictable, and reliant upon rare earth metals that are found almost exclusively in China, wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night. This inconvenient truth was discovered using satellite data collected from 2003 to 2011 over a large area of Texas, which has four of the world’s largest wind farms. The study showed an increase of night-time temperatures of 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit on the wind farms. During the period of the study the number of wind turbines in the region increased from 111 to 2,385.
This data suggests that wind farms have a greater warming effect than the fossil fuel sources they are intended to replace.
The study notes that this wind turbine warming could harm local agriculture, which has already suffered through serious drought conditions over recent years. In addition to its contribution to our food supply, Texas agriculture contributes $80 billion to the Texas economy, second only to petrochemicals.
Wind turbines also take a toll on birds and bats, and make disturbing noises that affect nearby residents. And now we hear that solar farms also have problems that have stirred objections of environmentalists interested in protecting threatened species.
The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is the official reptile of California, and the creature is fighting for its life against the expanding encroachment of solar facilities into its native habitat of the Mojave Desert in California, and there is now a lawsuit against the government to block the multi-billion dollar Calico Solar Power project, which would cover 4,000 acres of the turtle’s vital habitat.
What an interesting juxtaposition: one of the preferred energy sources needed to overcome the climate change crisis, that one group of environmentalists tells us threatens our very existence, poses serious problems for the concerns of another group of environmentalists over green energy facilities that threaten the existence of some animal species.
Wind and solar energy are already expensive, too expensive to be a viable alternative to fossil fuels, and the pending legal battles between opposing environmental interests will not make that better.
Ultimately, this new information argues not against wind and solar power development, but for common sense and moderation to prevail in implementing these immature technologies, and in the dangerous aggressive war on fossil fuels. Moderation and common sense, however, are characteristics with which liberal environmental ideologues are neither familiar nor comfortable.
Cross-posted from Observations