Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Misleading Graphs?

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on September 1, 2009

As anyone with a blog knows, WordPress (and I’m sure the other blog sites) do a nice job of showing you how people got to your site. Under the “blog stats” area, if activity is generated from a link to your page, it gives you a trackback to the link. This allows the interested blogger to check back and see who posted the link, and in what context.

I’m sure a guy like Anthony Watts has enough of these links pointing to his site that he doesn’t have time to check them out. But since my traffic is a small fraction of his, I often take a few minutes to check out and see what someone found interesting enough to provide a link for. It’s always kind of fun when I see it’s to something like “www.theenvironmentsite.com”.

Occasionally, there will be comments that I’d kind of like to respond to, but not enough that I want to sign up for the site or anything, so I just let it flow out into the ether.

Well, yesterday there was, in fact, a link to an environmental discussion forum. Predictably, some guy was spouting off about “deniers” and how they are being dishonest because it’s now proven beyond any reasonable doubt that there is anthroprogenic global warming. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blogging, Climate Change, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Opinion | 2 Comments »

The Green Log

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on April 21, 2009

I noted on a comment at The Air Vent that I have started trying to make a mental note on references to all things “Green” lately.  Obviously, due to the nature of this blog, I have been well aware of policy initiatives, scientific debates, and so on regarding the global warming/climate change/phrase du jor issue.

Even I was surprised, once I really paid attention, just how pervasive this has become.   Now, don’t get me wrong – I am completely on board with reasonable and cost-effective efforts to reduce pollution, clean up our planet where we were irresponsible, and save energy.   My reasons for this, though, are not sue to a fear of catastrophic global warming.  Some of it is due to my own theological and philosophical position that we are to be good stewards of creation as an obligation to our Creator.  Part of it simply has to do with an appreciation for the beauty of earth, and a willingness to sacrifice some amount of continued expansion of brick, metal, and pavement to preserve that beauty.   A lot of it has to do with safety and health.  Preserving energy has to do with both saving money and hopefully prolonging current resources while we search for alternatives.  

But in all these things, there is a balance.  Being a good steward of earth is a good decision precisely for the followign reasons in the above list.  And if you’ll notice those reasons, the beneficiary of those three things are human beings.   That would be people.   Yes, non-human animals, too.   But primarily people.   I know, I know.   Such an old-fashioned attitude that people matter first is something from the dark ages.  Well, call me Sir Joe, then. 

The earth is a thing.  The entire purpose of it is to house life.  The most important life is the human being.  That in no way dismisses other life, because without other life we not only couldn’t survive, but our own lives would be much less fulfilling.

And so I get back to my observation.  More and more, I see the Celebrate Earth movement move into pantheism.  It’s Gaia-worship by a different name.  And it is pervasive.  It’s all about “Saving the Earth,” and it’s not abouot people.   I say that confidently, because of the irrational arguments that reducing population will save the earth.  This implies that people are the problem, not the target worth saving.  If not people, then what is worth saving?  The earth, of course.

Global Warming alarmism is just the first step in bringing about a form of modern day Earth-Worship.  The alarmism effectively targets the human psyche with fear of the consequences from a human perspective.  Hurricanes, floods, droughts…  yeah, they all really suck.  When it becomes evident that this won’t happen immediately, then we move on to our children.  We want the good old days of cold and snowy winters for our kids.  Because we love them.

Pretty soon, we move away from using “Global Warming” because we’ve now successfully got people scared enough about something, that we can just tweak things a bit and fairly easily keep the insanity alive.   “Climate Change” is a good catch-all to cover all potential future events.   High-five to the Environmental fear-mongering PR Department.   Elect politicians, get a few scientists on board, get the media on board, and come up with a few seemingly benign phrases like “Green” and pretty soon we’ve shifted the entire psychology of the movement.   Hammer away, hammer away, and hammer away.   It’s good to be green.   Why?  Most people probably don’t even know anymore.   They’re not really scared of anything at this point, but everyone is saying there’s a problem, so there must be.  And since there are people who tell us they can solve the issue with some taxes and credits and firing the President of GM, then that means I don’t have to worry anymore.   As long as I buy compact fluorescents, drive a Hybrid, and celebrate Earth Day, everything will be OK.

And so after a few years of this, we will more and more put this movemebt into the context of Celebrating the Earth.  I’m trying to figure out exactly what this means.  What am I celebrating?  Is it Earth’s birthday? Am I celebrating as if she knows I’m celebrating?  In my mind, do I start thinking of Earth as something more than a thing?

And the answer to that is “yes.”   Oh, very few “environmentalists” would say that they worship the earth.  But, in fact, there is a continual movement into the realm of Earth as goddess, it’s just not well-defined, and most people really don’t connect the dots.  And most are not really worshipping her – at least not yet.  I may be off-the-wall, but I predict that over the next 20-30 years, we will see a more and more explicit, unapologetic and vocal movement into the religion of some form of Pantheism.  Right now it’s very indirect and discreet. 

OK, this actually isn’t at all what I intended this post to be when I started.  I just get going and sometimes I don’t know where I’ll end up.  Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about being fired by the Editor.

Back to my log:  I may or may not add to this, but here are my recent observations:

1) April 20 – drove by the local YMCA.  They are having a Celebrate Earth Day something or another.  I think to myself, does the Earth exercise?

2) April 20 – I catch the headline in our local paper (I don’t subscribe, saw it in the stands).   I won’t remember the headline exactly, but it highlighted how “Green camping” is catching on.  

3) April 21 – Just received an e-mail at work:

Help Celebrate Earth Day 2009!

Did you know that the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, the year that the Environmental Protection Agency was formed?  Since that time, many programs and laws have been implemented to improve the environment and our health. From the passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 to the ban on dumping of sewage sludge and industrial waste in the oceans in 1988, these are only a few of the programs that make the earth a cleaner and safer place to live.  Most recently, the Energy Star program (started in 1992) resulted in the prevention of greenhouse gasses equivalent to those from 27 million vehicles! 

 

For a full history on Earth Day and many improvements to our world since 1970, log onto http://www.epa.gov/earthday/history.htm)

 

What can we do to contribute our part on Earth Day 2009? 

  • Consider carpooling to work (carpool list posted at: XXXX)
  • Shut your computer down at the end of the day
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

 

For more ideas on how to be Green at home, at work and in the community visit: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/index.htm

Then there’s an e-mail address given for the company’s  “Green Team,”  which we all know is necessary.  One of the huge initiatives this team has managed to implement is kitchen-ware made from potatoes rather than plastic.  Because it’s better to use a bunch of food to make utensils to eat other food with, than to wash siverware…

Total aside:  It’s still snowing and 35 degrees.   Happy Spring!

 

April 21: As I was paying for my lunch, I glanced up at the tv screen.   I was supposed to visit nbc.green.com, or something like that.  I haven’t bothered to find the correct web address, as I won’t be going there.

Posted in Climate Change, Earth, Earth Day, Earth Worship, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Opinion | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Taking a Break to Evaluate a Really Stupid Idea

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on December 5, 2008

Some people wonder why people like you and me actually care whether or not the Anthropogenic nature of Global Warming is real. Or, for that matter, whether it’s even a bad thing. After all, they argue, even if it isn’t real isn’t it a good thing that people are more aware of pollution and alternative energy and all those things, so that we are better stewards of the environment?

The answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” It would be simple if you eliminated the first part of the equation and simply said that we should be good stewards of the environment. I couldn’t agree more. And I am all for research into ways to make existing fuels burn cleaner and to make alternative energy forms useful and efficient.

But the reality is that whenever you base decision-making on bad information or bad assumptions, you end up harming more than helping. Even if the goal is generally a good thing (cleaner, safer environment), it just isn’t that simple.

There is no better example of this than the agenda of AGW proponents in the sphere of politics. We all likely agree with the statement, “We should reduce pollution as much as possible, within our means to do so.” The question that needs to be clarified, though, is “What is pollution?”

The day we started accepting Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant was the day all common sense went to hell in a handbasket. The mind-boggling dollars that are being discussed as a part of the solution to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions is so numbing that most of us don’t even flinch any more with numbers in the hundreds of billions. We don’t even bother to consider the tax implications, on a global scale let alone a regional scale, of what these numbers mean. And that doesn’t even take into account lost efficiencies.

Jeff on “The Air Vent” (link to the right) has a number of posts on the impact of continuing to promote biofuels as a solution. Even if one could argue that the day will come when alternative fuels like these can be used more cleanly and efficiently, trying to do that now is not only premature, but counterproductive to efficiency, cost, opportunity cost, and the actual benefit in the end to a cleaner environment. At best, you can say that the current state of biofuels is a stepping stone in research to something better in the future, but as it stands now it is an outright lie to believe we are doing anything but hurting ourselves by this ignorant and obstinate push for biofuels. Check Jeff’s work.

So, today I open up a link on Drudge to find the following story:
Proposed Fee on Smelly Cows, Hogs Angers Farmers.

Your meat will now cost 20% more, suckers.

Your meat will now cost 20% more, suckers.

Here is an excerpt:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if a federal proposal to charge fees for air-polluting animals becomes law.

Farmers so far are turning their noses up at the notion, which is one of several put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution.

“This is one of the most ridiculous things the federal government has tried to do,” said Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, an outspoken opponent of the proposal.

It would require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog.

The executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Ken Hamilton, estimated the fee would cost owners of a modest-sized cattle ranch $30,000 to $40,000 a year. He said he has talked to a number of livestock owners about the proposals, and “all have said if the fees were carried out, it would bankrupt them.”

Sparks said Wednesday he’s worried the fee could be extended to chickens and other farm animals and cause more meat to be imported.

“We’ll let other countries put food on our tables like they are putting gas in our cars. Other countries don’t have the health standards we have,” Sparks said.

EPA spokesman Nick Butterfield said the fee was proposed for farms with livestock operations that emit more than 100 tons of carbon emissions in a year and fall under federal Clean Air Act provisions.

There is simply no way to overstate how ridiculously stupid such a proposal would be. I grew up on a dairy farm. We milked 60-70 cows at any given time, and had a number of heifers that we were raising both to replace the older cows or to send to market (or butcher for ourselves.) Now, I can guarantee you that 60-70 cows is a small, family operation. My dad was great with his money and so he did well, but he certainly didn’t rake in huge dollars. This was in no way some large-scale operation.

This proposal would have cost my dad another $12,000 per year. That means that one of two things would have to happen: food costs go up in order to cover the additional cost to the farmer, or the farmer goes out of business. There is no way he could have absorbed another 12 grand.

The rest of the article burned me up, too:

The fee would cover the cost of a permit for the livestock operations. While farmers say it would drive them out of business, an organization supporting the proposal hopes it forces the farms and ranches to switch to healthier crops.

“It makes perfect sense if you are looking for ways to cut down on meat consumption and recoup environmental losses,” said Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman in Washington for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“We certainly support making factory farms pay their fair share,” he said.

PETA… need I say more? Yeah, let’s just fail to recognize that people who have invested in all the equipment and infrastructure to operate a Dairy farm can just switch to crop-raising. No big deal, right? After all, they should pay their “fair share.”

Morons.

At least there was a heartening end to the article:

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, a Republican from Haleyville in northwest Alabama, said he has spoken with EPA officials and doesn’t believe the cow tax is a serious proposal that will ever be adopted by the agency.

I am happy to see that. But a quick note to Representative Aderholt: Assume nothing! Many of the stupid things we do today were considered to be so ridiculous a few years ago that it couldn’t possibly be a serious proposal. These things start off as trial balloons until the ballon actually starts to float. It may not be now, but these inane proposals will continue and more will be passed.

Posted in Animals, Carbon Taxes, Climate Change, Current Events, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Greenhouse Gases, News, Opinion, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Validity, or Lack Thereof, of Data presented by a self-proclaimed Idiot

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on September 15, 2008

Occasionally, when time allows, I enjoy tracking back on certain incoming links. Most of my incoming links are simply from other blog posts, where people find the graphs interesting enough to supplement whatever point they are trying to make. Where it is more fun, though, is when I find a link to my charts embedded into a forum or comments responding to another blog or article, and people from both sides of the Global Warming argument are found. I find it both amazing and humorous what tactic people will use.

One common thing that occurs is that someone will link to a post of mine that demonstrates the cooling trends, and then someone will respond by pointing out that another one of my charts shows warming. That makes me feel somewhat unbiased, so I think it’s generally a good thing when the same post can be used to support two opposing arguments. It also means that life isn’t quite as clear-cut as we’d all like to make it, and perhaps everyone needs to take a breath and think about how dogmatic they really want to be on this issue.

Every now and then, I enjoy using certain responses as a topic for a post of mine. I am going to do that right now. The trackback in question is from EdCone.com, which is a site I had no previous knowledge of. This post, at least, appears to have an unabashedly pro-Anthropogenic Global Warming bias. Well a poster, “Thunderpig,” who isn’t afraid to stir up a hornet’s nest, linked to my September UAH Analysis, as well as to the general site. He properly provided the link with the name of my site, “Digital Diatribes of a Random Idiot.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blogging, Climate Change, Global Warming, Opinion, Politics | 6 Comments »

The Global Warming Boys’ Club

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on July 31, 2008

This fish is a boy.  Cant you tell?

This fish is a boy. Can't you tell?

I’ll start with the quote from This chicken-little story:

“We found that in fish that do have temperature-dependent sex determination [TSD], a rise in water temperature of just 1.5 degrees Celsius can change the male-to-female ratio from 1:1 to 3:1,” says Piferrer, the study’s co-author. In especially sensitive fish, a greater increase can throw the balance even more out of whack. Ospina-Alvarez and Piferrer have found that in the South American pejerrey, for example, an increase of 4 degrees Celsius can result in a population that is 98% male.

What makes these findings especially troubling, of course, is that the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that ocean-water temperatures are likely to rise by 1.5 degrees over the course of this century — and they may even go up a few degrees more. “If climate change really does result in a rise of 4 degrees, which is the maximum the IPCC predicts, and if species can’t adapt in time or migrate, then in the most sensitive cases of TSD, we’re looking at extinction,” says Piferrer.

Let’s pay attention, here. This is news. Why? because they have found a dramatic rise in the ratio of male to female fish populations, right? Well, not really. There is a reference to a study that alludes to a rise in one specific population of fish in one specific area of the globe. Of course, we would never jump to conclusions based on anecdotal regional evidence and extrapolate it to global trends, would we? Of course not. More importantly, and you can almost sense the anguish in which they need to toss other potential factors into the equation, there are other potential explanations for the ratio shift. We don’t want to talk about those, though, because it detracts from the horrific nature of global warming.

The paragraphs I quoted are nearly 100% conjecture. It’s all an “if” based on IPCC models that are already failures.

Something stinks here, and it isn’t the fish. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Al Gore, Campaign Trail, Climate Change, Conventions, Current Events, Fish, Global Warming, News, Opinion, Politics, United Nations | Leave a Comment »

Global Warming and the Maligning of Joy

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on April 29, 2008

One of the sad consequences of the continuing bombardment of Global Warming feardom and the incessant promotion of everything green is that I believe it has led to an atrophyism of genuine happiness for those people who have accepted this as a horrific problem that, unless dealt with, will lead to the death of us all.

That may seem like an overstatement of affairs, but I truly believe that we have now permanently stamped fear and guilt into the average American (and perhaps global citizenry’s) psyche that is simply unhealthy.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Balance, Climate Change, Culture, Earth, Global Warming, Opinion, Politics, Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | Leave a Comment »

Blogging Against the Grain, and My Most Recent Diatribe About Global Warming

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on February 12, 2008

I’m told that, in order to have a successful blog (i.e. one that more than three random people read, and only because they clicked the wrong link after a Google search) you must have a primary focus.  Alas, it looks like I will never have a successful blog.  I can’t help myself.  I have too many random interests.   I enjoy writing, and sometimes I’m trying to use my “entertainer” gene and not trying to make any broader point.   I also love current events:  news, politics, issues of the day…  Thus, my “news of the day” posts.   I love music.   Not just listening to it, but – as any visitors to the blog will know – I have a CD to promote, and the business side of me says that it would just be better to focus on blogging in order to draw attention to that.  (“That” meaning Avant-God, a Catholic/Christian Rock project that you will be sure to want to check out on CD Baby, artist Joe Tritz…  um, sorry about that shameless promotion…)   Then there’s the religious stuff.   I could just have a blog on Catholicism and/or religion in general.    Then there’s the personal stuff…  family, kids, stupid things I do… those kinds of things. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Antarctica, Arctic, Blogging, Climate Change, Current Events, Cycles, Earth, Global Warming, News, Opinion, Science, Snow, Sun, Weather, Winter, Wisconsin | 1 Comment »

News: 02-01-2008 – Search and Monopolize, China winter Syndrome, Antarctic Ice, Noah’s Ark of Seeds

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on February 1, 2008

I Guess We Have Time for a Quick Merge…

This was the big news of the day in the business world. Two giants in the tech industry talking about getting together and taking down Google. I post it here because my radio and TV and Internet told me that this was a big deal.

Here’s the thing I don’t really understand. Taken from the point of view of a random consumer, why do I care? I have my Yahoo! Mailbox and I search with Google. By now, it’s habit. I am trying to imagine a scenario where that habit is broken. I’m sure some will check it all out, but I’m too lazy. Seems like a lot of money, especially when you see the actual Yahoo! Market share. Combine the two entities and it still doesn’t touch Google.

This is becoming a humanitarian crisis

I alluded to the winter weather in China, but things just get worse. It looks like there are more storms on the way, too. I’ve seen a picture from China where the Palm Trees are covered in snow. Amazing stuff. Thankfully, I saw a news report today that said some trains started running. I can’t imagine how long it will take to get this situation handled, but at least there’s some hope. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Antarctica, Business, China, Climate Change, Crops, Current Events, Earth, Food, Global Warming, Ice Age, Military, News, Opinion, Political Correctness, Politics, Seeds, Snow, Weather, Winter | Leave a Comment »