Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pesky Temperature Fluctuations

You don't say?

Fossil Suggests Antarctica Much Warmer in Past

A college student's new discovery of fossils collected in the East Antarctic suggests that the frozen polar cap was once a much balmier place.

The well-preserved fossils of ostracods, a type of small crustaceans, came from the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica's Transantarctic Mountains and date from about 14 million years ago. The fossils were a rare find, showing all of the ostracods' soft anatomy in 3-D.
"Present conditions in this Antarctic region show mean annual temperatures of [minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit]," said Mark Williams of the University of Leicester, co-author with Ashworth of the fossil-find report in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "These are impossible conditions to sustain a lake fauna with ostracods."

...the warmer climate that supported the ostracods would have existed "when Antarctica was pretty much in its current location," said study co-author David Marchant of Boston University.

Marchant estimated that the summer temperatures in Antarctica would have been about 30.6 degrees F warmer than they are now.
So...the South Pole was 31 degrees hotter than now?!?

How did that happen? Was somebody's carbon footprint out of control? Burning too many fossil fuels? Oh wait, the fossils fuels were just being formed...

This warmer period started to end when the first continent-sized ice sheets began appearing on Antarctica around 34 million years ago, around the end of the Eocene epoch. These ice sheets expanded and contracted until around 14 million years ago, during the Miocene epoch, when a dramatic cooling took place and transformed the tundra into an environment "that today looks like Mars," Marchant told LiveScience.

Marchant said climatologists are uncertain exactly what caused this intense period of cooling.
So the ice sheets fluctuated, without human intervention, for 20 million years.

Then, it suddenly got much colder.

And they aren't sure why.

But somehow we're to believe they're sure we're going to warm up?

Except it's looking more and more that solar activity drives climate (CO2 is largely irrelevant -- at least the human component), which perhaps depends on changing tidal forces from the alignments of the planets, and we're going into a cool cycle right now.

Maybe the Global Warming Prophets like Al Gore are so intent on getting immediate measures passed, so they can claim a credit for the inevitable cooling that's just around the corner.

Don't fall for it! Antarctica can change its temperature by over 30 degrees all by itself; to think we can control that is ridiculous.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

AP: You're Miserable, Vote Obama!

As predicted, a slew of negative editorials masquerading as news are being pumped out by the AP, telling us how miserable and depressed we all are, but how voting Obama will make it all better.

Back then I wrote:
This is part of a pattern: make everyone miserable from a diet of negative reporting, then dangle salvation, the Obamamessiah who will make everyone love us again.
But what follows is hardly even "reporting"!

What makes it even more pathetic is The Onion wrote the same stories months ago that the AP is now publishing!

For example, for the 4th of July celebration of Independence Day, we were treated to this headline:

Americans' unhappy birthday: 'Too much wrong'

Happy birthday, America? This year, we're not so sure.

The nation's psyche is battered and bruised, the sense of pessimism palpable. Young or old, Republican or Democrat, economically stable or struggling, Americans are questioning where they are and where they are going. And they wonder who or what might ride to their rescue.
Why Obama of course!

The report is full of a litany of complaints and anecdotal quotes of doom, such as:
"There is a sense of helplessness everywhere you look. It's like you're stuck in one spot, and you can't do anything about it."
A previous AP "report" from June 21 on an identical theme provided more direct "advice" on how to fight the despair, with the laughably alarmist headline:

Everything seemingly is spinning out of control

WASHINGTON - Is everything spinning out of control?

Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault.
Helpfully, the report continues,

American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.

"All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored," he said. "Of course, that doesn't mean it will happen again."

Each period also was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.
Otherwise, unless the Democrats are put in charge, expect a Great Unraveling:
Surely people know how to fix problems now.

Maybe. And maybe this is what the 21st century will be about — a great unraveling of some things long taken for granted.
This might be taken more seriously if not for a piece by parody news site The Onion, which back on May 14 wrote:

Everything Falling Apart, Reports Institute For Somehow Managing To Hold It All Together

WASHINGTON—Officials from the Institute for Somehow Managing to Hold It All Together warned that, despite their best efforts, everything appears to be falling completely apart and "getting way out of hand," according to a strongly worded report characterized by panic, frustration, and numerous typographical errors that was released to the American public Monday.

"The country today faces a number of pressing issues, including potential economic collapse, the continued threat of global warming, and the decaying national infrastructure," ISMHIAT chairman Kenneth Branowicz said during a press conference to announce the study's findings. "And we just can't keep it together anymore."
The report outlines a number of disturbing trends, such as a steadily weakening dollar, skyrocketing national debt, the car still being in the shop after three whole weeks, a polarized electorate that remains divided across ideological lines, and the fact that the wife is staying at her sister's and for all they know may not ever be coming back.

"In summary, we have no choice but to accept that managing these complex and varied crises may be untenable at this time," the report concludes. "We're in way over our heads here, people. Oh God. God. What are we going to do?"

The institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank formed in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of his Depression-era For God's Sake, Somebody Do Something Initiative, has issued similarly dramatic warnings in the past. In 1953, ISMHIAT released the now-historic findings on how they had talked and talked until they were blue in the face but they'd had it with these damn teenagers today. And historians still cite its famous 1968 report, a rambling, semi-coherent study titled "The Hell If We Know," recommending the immediate nationwide throwing up of hands.

This latest warning, however, could be the most alarming and desperate to date.
Dr. Thomas Dyers, of the National Blame Allocation Council, echoed Klemper's statements, stating that if the ISMHIAT cannot handle its responsibilities, its duties should be turned over to another organization, such as the Federal Fall Guy Bureau, under the supervision of Ed Haversham, the national Scapegoat Czar.
AP, stop plagiarizing The Onion!