Thursday, September 20, 2007

Weather, Water, Energy 9-20-07

At least one Australian has sense about global warming. The redoubtable Tim Flannery, of whom we’ve spoken before, and who was actually named Australian of the Year (can a nation really do that?), is sounding the alarm we’ve been screaming here. The warming is happening faster than the models and experts have been predicting. Here’s his major point: Flannery said predictions in a 2001 UN report, warning the atmosphere was likely to warm by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius (2.5-10.4 Fahrenheit) from 1990 to 2100 now appeared conservative. "In the six years since then, we've collected enough data to (check) whether those projections are valid or not," he said. "It turns out they're not valid, but in the most horrible way -- because for the key performance indicators about climate, change is occurring far in advance of the worst-case scenario," he said. "Carbon dioxide's increasing more rapidly, sea levels are rising more rapidly (and) the Arctic ice cap is melting away more quickly than were projected in 2001." His rec? Flannery said nations needed to "de-carbonise" their economies by 2050, increasing reliance on geo-thermal, nuclear and renewable energy. . . . New Zealand is apparently listening, even if Flannery’s idiot PM isn’t and the US is playing autistic like its leader [sic], coming up with a major climate change initiative. . . . Hmm, only takes three years from the mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants to get into the fish we eat. Nice. Would have thought it would take longer. And it adds really good texture to the meat. . . .Nice summary of the global warming policy strategies, such as they are, of the major players here if you want a cheat sheet. . . . CO2 concentrations in the oceans will soon get to the level at which they kick in EPA quality criteria. No worry. They’ll just change the criteria. . . . Over at Scientific American, a couple of interesting energy articles, one on efforts to reduce the tremendous amount of energy burned up by our computers and one on a massive solar scheme that may have promise (while using up water!!!). . . . The UN calling for more investment in climate monitoring tech. Of course, we all remember that Bushnev is cutting funding here in the US, right? . . . New and faster methods of evaluating the health of wetlands being developed, obviously important for the future, if we decide to care about those things. . . . The Busheviks playing word games with clean water projects at the worst possible time, cutting fed support and laying another unfunded mandate on state and local governments. You say you’re not surprised? Well, try this—it’s so bad even Inhofe is critical of Bushnev. Get up off the floor now.

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