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There's licenses for everything nowadays, from marriage, to adding a bathroom in YOUR house. Speeding tickets and speed limits make us "criminals" for going 66 in a 65 zone, even if nobody else is on the road. Motorcyclists and bicyclists get tickets and fines for not wearing a helmet, and then there's seatbelt laws... We've become a society of laws that force people's "good ideas" on everyone else, regardless of constitutional freedoms. Here, we'll discuss our freedoms and how to keep them.

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;
like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.
Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
- George Washington - founding father, general of the continental army
in the war of independence, first president of the United States, and
framer of the Constitution.

To all who cry "peace at all costs":
"NO WAR" you say? We tried that.
Fifty-five million people died.
It was called World War II.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Global Warming Truth

With all the fury over global warming lately, I thought I'd put together a post to discuss the truth about global warming, and dispose of some of the not-quite-true's.

First of all, if global warming is being caused by humans, should we do something? Absolutely. But if it isn't caused by man, or man's role is nearly insignificiant, should we still do something about it? To some extent, sure, but if it's going to cost us an arm and a leg to do it, then absolutely not. Why? Because imposing strict regulations on the use of fossil fuels for the sake of global warming WILL cost us: Lives, technological advances, any sort of global stability, untold amounts of money (probably hundreds of trillions or more), and have a number of other effects.

Imagine the problems that would occur if an international organization got together and decided that every country on the planet is going to have to implement these changes. Who's in charge of enforcing it? And what do you do when a "rogue" nation refuses to comply, yet is pumping out pollutants that supposedly will kill us all at an unprecedented rate? There's only two answers: 1) Voluntary implementation or 2) Force them to implement it "for all our sake". But what happens if one country, say China, says "forget it" and doesn't implement it, and the international body says "BUT YOU HAVE TO!!!" and China says "no we don't", and the international body eventually gives up. What does India do then? Wow, well if they don't have to, then we're going to not bother either, and save our money... And on, and on... so basically, it's either be prepared to use force (war), or don't even bother. So before we risk war by doing anything about global warming, we'd BETTER darn well make sure we're right on this one.

Also, currently, there are billions of people around the planet that count on fossil fuels (or some other sort of polluting energy source) in some manner to perform their daily lives. And a few billion of those people are right on the brink of "not quite making it" to tomorrow. Now, it would be a VERY cruel thing to do to those people, to go to them and say "Well, I know you're only barely making it by, but we're going to more than quadruple the cost of the electricity you use to keep your fridge running, and your kids' food from spoiling." Or go to someone who works in a factory in India making a couple dollars a day and tell them that factory is shutting down because it can't afford to implement the new environmental regulations on its air exhaust. Or tell an old widow in southeastern Europe that her costs of raw materials for the clothing she makes by hand is going to triple, making her products so expensive that nobody can buy them anymore.

Now, is the earth getting warmer? Yes, there's plenty of scientific (real science, hands-on measurements, not extrapolation) that shows an average temperature increase. Is this cause to be alarmed? Maybe, it depends on both the source of the warming, and how the earth has reacted to temperature changes in the past. "In the past?" you ask? Yes, believe it or not, we can actually make a pretty good estimate of the earth's temperature as far back as a couple thousand years ago. More on this later... BUT...

First of all, have you ever noticed, on a sunny day, that it is REALLY really much warmer than on a cloudy day (during the same season of course)? Even better yet, have you ever been out in the sun (maybe on the golf course, since I do that from time to time) walking around feeling nice and comfy in your shorts and shirt, then all of a sudden a cloud comes by and you feel a little chill? I know I'm appealing to common sense here, but that seems to be all-too uncommon when it comes to climate change.

Now, if the climate suddenly starts getting colder (like it was doing right up until the 70's or so, and according to scientists, we were "all going to die" because of an ice age), then wouldn't it make sense to start looking at the LARGEST variables first? And that variable is... dun dun dun.... the sun. (Oh, and a short note... when we start looking at the largest variables as far as greenhouse gases, the largest variable by far is... What is it? You'd think it's carbon dioxide and other emissions caused by fossil fuels, wouldn't you? But it's not. The largest variable by FAR is water vapor. And when I say "by far", I mean like water vapor is responsible for 96-99% of the greenhouse effect, yet it's routinely left out of "scientific" global warming studies).

Anyhow... getting back on point... the sun. Now, you may not realize it (or don't fully understand it, after all, I don't fully understand it all yet), but the sun goes through cyclical phases. And those phases have a very significant impact on our global temperature. One of those is the length of the solar magnetic cycle. And the shorter the solar magnetic cycle, the more active (and thus more bright) the sun is.

Look at the picture at the link below:
Sun Cycles and Temperature

The blue line I believe is the length of the solar magnetic cycle (only measured once every few years apparently by the number of data points), and the red line I believe is the Northern Hemisphere temperatures (the colors may be the other way around). Notice how the two correspond almost exactly? So there's good evidence to suggest that the solar magnetic cycle (which signifies a more active, and thus more bright sun) is a good indicator to global temperature. This suggsts that the sun is a large source for determining our global average temperature. More accurately, it apears to be the primary source for determining our global average temperature.

If you really want to get technical, temperature measurements differ depending on where you're measuring it from. If you're measuring it from a satellite, taking lower atmospheric temperatures, you can get a pretty good measurement. But if you're measuring it from ground level, you've got these huge 500+ square mile chunks of urban and suburban areas called cities (and their suburbs) that generate local atmospheric heating in that area. And when we look at satellite-based measurements, there was a cooling period from 1979 to 1997, right in the thick of the "worst" of manmade CO2 emissions.

And I'm sure you noticed this too, but I have to say it anyhow, we've got all these people crying about shrinking arctic ice, because it's getting "so bad" that it's revealing TREES frozen under the ice.


{pause some more...}

Did you get it?


Under the ice.

Which means WHAT? It means that there was A FOREST where that ice used to be. And that means... dun dun dun... it used to be WARM there. Much warmer than it currently is. Hmmmmm...



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