There is some serious evidence accumulating that we may be on the brink of not just global cooling, but an ice age. Sunspots are historically correlated with temperature on earth. During the Dalton Minimum, beginning in 1790, the number of sunspots was low, as the earth’s climate turned cold for a few decades. At http://www.spaceweather.com/ you can see live images of the sun taken from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory in space. Right now there is but one tiny sunspot.
The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.It didn’t happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon. [….]That the rapid temperature decline in 2007 coincided with the failure of cycle No.24 to begin on schedule is not proof of a causal connection but it is cause for concern.
It is time to put aside the global warming dogma, at least to begin contingency planning about what to do if we are moving into another little ice age, similar to the one that lasted from 1100 to 1850.There is no doubt that the next little ice age would be much worse than the previous one and much more harmful than anything warming may do. There are many more people now and we have become dependent on a few temperate agricultural areas, especially in the US and Canada. Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it.
Millions will starve if we do nothing to prepare for it (such as planning changes in agriculture to compensate), and millions more will die from cold-related diseases.
By David Bueche
I drove by a Protestant church recently that had the following moral exhortation on their lawn marquee:
“Saving the world, one light-bulb at a time.”
By Lee Cary
As the legend goes, when the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in what is now Mexico in 1519, he ordered the boats that brought him and his men there to be burned. Obama seems to have something similar planned for NASA.
“Barack Obama’s early education and K-12 plan package costs about $18 billion per year. He will maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent an increase in the deficit by offsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government. The early education plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years, using purchase cards and negotiating power of the government to reduce costs of standardized procurement, auctioning surplus federal property, and reducing the erroneous payments identified by the Government Accountability Office, and closing the CEO pay deductibility loophole. The rest of the plan will be funded using a small portion of the savings associated with fighting the war in Iraq.” (highlight added)
“As president, Obama will support the development of this vital new platform [CEV] to ensure that the United States’ reliance on foreign space capabilities is limited to the minimum possible time period.”
“We’re not going to have the engineers and the scientists to continue space exploration if we don’t have kids who are able to read, write and compute.”
“‘I grew up on Star Trek,’ Obama said. ‘I believe in the final frontier.’ (Huh?)“But Obama said he does not agree with the way the space program is now being run and thinks funding should be trimmed until the mission is clearer. (It’s actually much clear than his intentions toward Iran and nuclear weapon.)“‘NASA has lost focus and is no longer associated with inspiration,’ he said. ‘I don’t think our kids are watching the space shuttle launches. It used to be a remarkable thing. It doesn’t even pass for news anymore.’ (Neither do heart transplants. So…should we stop them?)“Obama seemed to resent my question. A little later, he addressed another on energy, and spoke of the need for an alternative energy effort. He concluded by turning to my direction and saying pointedly, ‘And that, sir, is what our next Apollo Program should be.'”
A New ‘Green’ Body Count Begins
By Steven Milloy
Fox News | 4/22/2008
Food riots caused by rising food prices have erupted around the world. Five people died in uprisings in Haiti, perhaps the first of many casualties to come from the fad of being “green.”
Food riots also broke out in Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ethiopia. The military is being deployed in Pakistan and Thailand to protect fields and warehouses. Higher energy costs and policies promoting the use of biofuels such as ethanol are being blamed. “When millions of people are going hungry, it’s a crime against humanity that food should be diverted to biofuels,” an Indian government official told the Wall Street Journal. Turkey’s finance minister labeled the use of biofuels as “appalling,” according to the paper.
Biofuels have turned out to be a lose-lose-lose proposition. Once touted by the greens and the biofuel industry as being able to reduce the demand for oil and lower greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels have accomplished neither goal and have no prospect for accomplishing either in the foreseeable future.
The latest research shows that biofuels actually increase greenhouse gas emissions on a total lifecycle basis. Add in that taxpayer-subsidized diversion of food crops and food crop acreage to fuel production has contributed to higher food prices and reduced food supply, and biofuels turn out to be nothing less than a public policy disaster.
The situation is not likely to get any better any time soon, as cutting the farm subsidies and tariffs on sugar cane-based ethanol imports that have fueled the ethanol craze seems to be yet another third rail of U.S. politics.
Biofuel proponents hope the reliance on food crops to produce biofuels is temporary, and they point to a future where non-food biomass (such as corn stalks and grasses) is used to produce so-called cellulosic ethanol.
But in addition to the fact that the technology for producing cellulosic ethanol on a cost-effective basis is nowhere near ready for prime time, the greenhouse gas footprint of cellulosic ethanol likely will be far worse than that of corn-based ethanol.
It’s one thing to transport relatively compact corn kernels to be processed into ethanol; it’s quite another to transport bulky biomass. The bulk problem would require a multitude of cellulosic ethanol plants to be built around the country — a project that could be quite costly and difficult to locate given the phenomenon of NIMBY-ism and the problem of plant emissions making it more difficult for states to comply with federal air quality standards.
States that don’t meet those standards don’t get their much-needed federal highway funds. Food riots are only the tip of the green iceberg. We might also expect energy riots to erupt one day.
The world has an ever-growing population that needs more and more energy, but the greens are doing everything they can to constrict the world’s energy supply.
As the Sierra Club campaigns to shut down our coal-fired electricity capabilities, the Natural Resources Defense Council campaigns to prevent nuclear power from taking its place. The demise of coal-fired power and the blockage of increased nuclear power will increase the demand for supply constraints on, and the prices for, natural gas.
But then again, environmental advocacy group Earth First perhaps is helping to alleviate the looming natural gas crisis by campaigning against power plants that use the fuel. In a recent campaign against a South Florida power plant, an Earth First campaigner stated that the environment ought not be threatened “so that people can fuel their greedy energy desires.” “Just say ‘no’ to electricity,” seems to be the bottom line of eco-think.
Even wind power is becoming more and more politically incorrect. Environmentalist-friendly Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley this week announced that wind farms will not be allowed on state lands because they are eyesores.
Considering eco-activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s long-standing opposition to a wind farm off the coast of his family’s Hyannis Port, Mass., compound as well as environmentalist concerns that wind farms kill wild birds, it seems that the future of wind power is uncertain.
The environmentalist effort to tie our energy policy knots already is producing results. The availability of electricity in the Washington, D.C., area is so fragile that Maryland officials already are planning for summertime rolling blackouts starting in 2011.
In California, officials are so concerned that a recent state legislative proposal would have provided local utilities the power to control thermostats in new homes and businesses. Although this effort failed, it’s not that hard to imagine that, one day, all homes will have their electrical use controlled by local utilities — no doubt run by your local green energy czars.
Millions in the developing world have died and continue to do so from the greens’ campaign against pesticides such as DDT. Nothing less should be expected from their new campaign that threatens global food and energy production.
Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams.
Keeping Hamastan Afloat
By P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | 4/22/2008
When recently Israel’s government agreed to let Russia provide 25 armored personnel carriers to the Palestinian Authority, there was a lot of unhappiness in Israel’s defense establishment—and for good reason. They remembered how back in 2001 Israeli forces had to destroy about ten of the APCs in Gaza that had been supplied to Yasser Arafat there in the 1990s.
And as became clear in Gaza on Saturday, not all of those older APCs had been eliminated. Early in the morning one of them rammed through a fence between southern Gaza and Israel near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and was quickly followed by two jeeps—disguised as Israel Defense Forces jeeps—carrying explosives that blew up an IDF watchtower and wounded 13 IDF soldiers.
Still another APC approached a crossing slightly further north and was blown up by an IDF tank.
It was what the head of Southern Command, Major-General Yoav Gallant, called Hamas’s most ambitious attack since the 2005 disengagement. Carried out under the cover of fog and a mortar barrage, the attack could have taken a much higher toll in killed and kidnapped soldiers without the quick response of the Israeli forces at the scene.
Various motives have been ascribed to the attack. Apart from the aim of killing Israelis—always popular not only with Hamas but among Palestinians generally—Hamas is said to be frustrated at its failure so far to get Israel to release large numbers of terrorists in return for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped in a 2006 attack also near Kerem Shalom. Hamas is believed to be eager for further kidnappings to up the pressure on Israel.
Hamas is also said to be trying to break Israel’s partial blockade of Gaza. The Kerem Shalom crossing is used to transfer humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Almost two weeks earlier non-Hamas Gazan terrorists attacked the Nahal Oz fuel terminal just north of Gaza, from which Israel pumps fuel into the Strip, and killed two Israeli civilian workers there.
More likely, though, than an attempt by Hamas and its comrades to force Israel to end the blockade is an attempt to force Israel to make it total, in the hope of causing a true humanitarian crisis in Gaza resulting in greater international sympathy for Hamas and possible international intervention. Israel has indeed closed some of the crossings temporarily, but appears to be planning to reopen them while tightening controls.
In other words, the situation is rich in the bizarre and morally absurd as Israel fights to supply food, fuel, and so on to a hostile population whose elected representative—a terrorist organization—fights to prevent the supplies from getting through. The two Israeli civilians killed at Nahal Oz could be said to have died for the cause of supplying Gaza. Last Thursday in yet another incident terrorists fired at a fuel truck there.
Yet Israel, while bracing for further border raids, is still refraining from a large-scale operation against Hamastan even though 2008 has seen mounting casualties. The previous seven years of rocket and mortar attacks killed only about a dozen Israelis (though injuring many more and terrorizing thousands). But this year a total of eight soldiers and three civilians have already died in stepped-up ground attacks by Gaza terrorists or in engagements with them (along with one civilian killed in a rocket attack).
However, it is said that Israel —barring an attack that would be judged truly intolerable in scope—still wants to hold off on a strategic move against Hamas because of too many grandiose events coming up. Next month President Bush is supposed to visit, and he’s expected to be looking for “progress in the peace process” and not for background noise of Israel waging a serious war on terror in Gaza.
And later that month Israel will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, also considered too gala an occasion to be spoiled by such hostilities. After that it will be summer—ideal weather for war with its long days and short nights, and some Israeli analysts say that is when Israel will finally act against the growing, Iranian-backed and supplied menace on its southwestern border.
Meanwhile, as bad-boy ex-president Jimmy Carter proclaimed Hamas to be peacefully disposed toward Israel, it was also reported on Monday that “defense officials said Israel did not plan to alter an earlier decision to permit the PA in the West Bank to receive 25 APCs from Russia, despite the use of an armored vehicle in the Kerem Shalom attack.”
As current PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, prepared to leave for this week’s visit to the White House, President Bush could rest assured that his PA was once again being “strengthened” in an approach probably only slightly less loco than what Carter himself would favor.