More ethics issues in the global warming non-debate

Several years ago global warming scientists made an astounding claim.  2005 was the hottest year on “record”.  Nevermind all the previous history, the headline was what it was.  Some people doubted that claim. Myself included. Others then felt obliged to chime in whether they had a legitimate claim to make or not.  One of those was a scientist for NASA:

“I believe that 2005 is the warmest year, because the main source of difference is the Arctic, and I believe it is likely that our estimate there is in the right ballpark even though it is based on some extrapolations,” Hansen said.  “However, I admit that it could be wrong, in which case 2005 might be slightly cooler than 1998.”

This meant something to publishers because Jim Hansen was the Director for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  GISS has a very specific mission:

Research at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) emphasizes a broad study of global change, which is an interdisciplinary initiative addressing natural and man-made changes in our environment that occur on various time scales — from one-time forcings such as volcanic explosions, to seasonal and annual effects such as El Niño, and on up to the millennia of ice ages — and that affect the habitability of our planet.

His mission is deal with climate change.  So, one would assume he’s not exactly in a position to rebut climate change data.  That didn’t slow Livescience down at the time.  They were quick to quote Hansen’s less than ringing endorsement of man-made climate change.

The reason I mention all this now is because James Hansen is in the news again:

The lawsuit claims Hansen privately profited from his public job in violation of federal ethics rules, and NASA allowed him to do it because of his influence in the media and celebrity status among environmental groups, which rewarded him handsomely the last four years.

Gifts, speaking fees, prizes and consulting compensation include:

  • A shared $1 million prize from the Dan David Foundation for his “profound contribution to humanity.” Hansen’s cut ranged from $333,000 to $500,000, Horner said, adding that the precise amount is not known because Hansen’s publicly available financial disclosure form only shows the prize was “an amount in excess of $5,000.”
  • The 2010 Blue Planet prize worth $550,000 from the Asahi Glass Foundation, which recognizes efforts to solve environmental issues.
  • The Sophie Prize for his “political activism,” worth $100,000. The Sophie Prize is meant to “inspire people working towards a sustainable future.”
  • Speaking fees totaling $48,164 from a range of mostly environmental organizations.
  • A $15,000 participation fee, waived by the W.J. Clinton Foundation for its 2009 Waterkeeper Conference.
  • $720,000 in legal advice and media consulting services provided by The George Soros Open Society Institute. Hansen said he did not take “direct” support from Soros but accepted “pro bono legal advice.”

Really big CME

This is just too cool:

They didn’t see it coming, it was totally unexpected.  Leads me to believe we still don’t have a whole lot of a clue what’s going on up there.  It’s also on the “way” side which means it probably won’t affect Earth much.  By the time it spins back around it’ll be largely diminished most likely.  However, people are put on warning to look up in the sky tomorrow and the day after.  Most likely won’t be anything there where I live, but I’ll be looking just in case.

NCAA hearts a couple of teams – 2011 edition

The brackets are out for the 2011 NCAA Tournament.  Struck me as odd a couple of teams locations since the NCAA supposedly does not like giving teams a home court advantage.  Well, they did to a large degree.  How far would you drive on a whim to watch your team play in the tournament?  A couple of hours is no big deal.  Four or five makes it a little difficult.  Eight hours and you’re talking about missing work and finding babysitters.  Twelve hours?  Forget about it.  There’s a reason I ask that. Take a look at this little chart I put together:

Team Site Dist. Hours @ 50
Notre Dame Chicago, Illinois 95 2
Purdue Chicago, Illinois 124 2
North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina 139 3
Duke Charlotte, North Carolina 142 3
Ohio State Cleveland, Ohio 143 3
Hampton Charlotte, North Carolina 157 3
Bucknell Washington, DC 185 4
Old Dominion Washington, DC 192 4
Georgia Charlotte, North Carolina 199 4
Kansas Tulsa, Oklahoma 218 4
Tennesse Charlotte, North Carolina 231 5
Pittsburgh Washington, DC 246 5
Xavier Cleveland, Ohio 246 5
Syracue Cleveland, Ohio 334 7
Akron Chicago, Illinois 368 7
Connecticut Washington, DC 376 8
George Mason Cleveland, Ohio 376 8
Indiana State Cleveland, Ohio 393 8
Memphis Tulsa, Oklahoma 402 8
Villanova Cleveland, Ohio 409 8
San Diego State Tucson, Arizona 410 8
Texas Tulsa, Oklahoma 451 9
Brigham Young Denver, Colorado 483 10
Cincinnati Washington, DC 521 10
Illinois Tulsa, Oklahoma 575 12
Butler Washington, DC 592 12
Marquette Cleveland, Ohio 612 12
Michigan Charlotte, North Carolina 614 12
Long Island Charlotte, North Carolina 646 13
Georgetown Chicago, Illinois 700 14
Utah State Tucson, Arizona 716 14
Saint Peters Chicago, Illinois 792 16
Kentucky Tampa, Florida 836 17
North Colorado Tucson, Arizona 900 18
Missouri Washington, DC 914 18
West Virginia Tampa, Florida 958 19
Florida State Chicago, Illinois 960 19
Texas A&M Chicago, Illinois 1074 21
Princeton Tampa, Florida 1090 22
Gonzaga Denver, Colorado 1091 22
Arizona Tulsa, Oklahoma 1097 22
Louisville Denver, Colorado 1111 22
Kansas State Tucson, Arizona 1151 23
Vanderbilt Denver, Colorado 1158 23
UNLV Tulsa, Oklahoma 1221 24
Morehead Denver, Colorado 1245 25
Temple Tulsa, Oklahoma 1279 26
Wofford Denver, Colorado 1506 30
Boston Tulsa, Oklahoma 1570 31
Belmont Tucson, Arizona 1613 32
Richmond Denver, Colorado 1670 33
Wisconsin Tucson, Arizona 1720 34
Oakland Tulsa, Oklahoma 1724 34
St John Denver, Colorado 1777 36
Penn State Tucson, Arizona 2284 46
UCLA Tampa, Florida 2544 51
UC Santa Barbara Tampa, Florida 2634 53
Washington Charlotte, North Carolina 2802 56

How many people will have to sacrifice much of anything at all to watch Duke and North Carolina the first round? How many Washington fans will get the same privilege?  The NCAA’s giving their pets a home court advantage.

Obama killed NASA

This is so unbelievable it’s surreal.  It’s so crazy that even people like Phil Platt were in denial.  As of two days ago, when people started saying NASA was being raped, he had this to offer:

OK, yes, it does look like (assuming the rumors are true) the Obama budget for NASA is cutting out the Constellation rocket program in general and Ares in particular. But that doesn’t mean manned spaceflight is dead.

As I said in that above link, private space companies are still a ways off from putting people in orbit. However, I strongly suspect they’ll be doing it before Ares would’ve been ready to do it anyway. Private companies like Space X may be two years from that, while Ares wouldn’t have been ready for five, assuming NASA could even get Ares ready by the scheduled time and in the assigned budget (which I would give a chance of, oh, say, precisely 0). So it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that after the Shuttle retires later this year (or early next) companies like Space X will be able to reach the International Space Station with rockets before NASA could.

Clue here Phil, private companies are two years away from REACHING ORBIT.  We’re not talking heavy lifters here, we’re talking cruises taking up to six people into space for fifteen freaking minutes.  You remember when NASA was at that point?  Yeah, 1962.  Well, ignore the damned rumors, here it is in black and white:

nasa cuts 1 nasa cuts 2

Yeah, I know that’s kinda small.  In particular, I think all a person really needs to read is:

In place of Constellation, the President’s Budget funds a redesigned and reinvigorated program that focuses on leveraging advanced technology, international partnerships, and commercial capabilities to set the stage for a revitalized human space flight program for the 21st Century. The President’s Budget will also increase NASA’s funding, accelerating work — constrained for years due to the budget demands of Constellation — on climate science, green aviation, science education, and other priorities.

That’s right folks.  Our National Aeronautics and Space Administration is now dedicated to studying climate science, green aviation, science education, and whatever Obama feels like.

Now, people like Phil Platt think it’s kinda good that NASA’s budget’s being increased.  And he thinks it’s kinda good that we focus on the private sector.  The question I have, is, given he’s an astronomer, what’s he going to think when Hubble or Chandra blows a fifty cent fuse and shuts down?  We’re not going to have a bus to take spare parts up there any more.

Exactly how is Space-X, which has never even reached orbit, going to grab onto that thing, stop it, fix it, and place it back in orbit?

Clue here, it ain’t gonna happen in the next decade or two.  With Obama spending all of NASA’s resources trying to prove IOCC’s lies aren’t really lies, Hubble will die.  Chandra will die.  Spitzer will die.  Tell me how they won’t?  If we’re just going to let our space stuff die, what’s the point in wasting all our money funding astronomers all over the country?  It’s rather useless now.  Astronomers don’t seem to see a connection to killing off telescopes and astronomy research, I do.

Obama wants to continue the ISS.  What for?  If we’re not going to travel in space, then why bother learning how to live in space?  How are we going to get major modules to the ISS?  Sure, rockets will do the trick, but it seems rather wasteful to expand ISS at this point since there’s really no research they can do and extended stays in space now serve no purpose whatsoever.  And, it would seem to me that if we had a reliable heavy lifter, men could go into space rather easily.

In the meantime, NASA will get an additional $6 BILLION.  Let me clarify that.  On top of cutting manned space flight because it was under-funded, as it states in that report, NASA is getting an ADDITIONAL $6 BILLION to do climate research that is already being done by NOAA.  That stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Those are the people that study, get this, our atmosphere and oceans.  In a more generic sense, they study climate change.  Call it climate science if you wish.  If you want, you can subscribe to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Education.  They fund, get this, science education.  Particularly, climate science education.  Guess they weren’t doing a very good job.  Not sure what the point of having two huge federal agencies doing exactly the same thing is.  I mean, NOAA can contract a private rocket company exactly the same as NASA.  That’s Obama economics for ya.  When faced with two agencies doing different things, pay one a lot more than you were paying to have them do exactly the same as the first.

Now, when I was enduring being constantly referred to as a flat-earther a couple of years ago by global warming advocates such as our esteemed astronomer, my concern at the time was that people were taking this hocus pocus way too seriously based on NO supporting evidence.  Obama’s actions here are exactly the worst case scenario.  Real science is being destroyed by Obama’s pursuit of something the IOCC couldn’t prove because to this day there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that man-made climate change has ever existed.  And if it does exist, we’re screwed now for sure.  If this planet dies, we’ll have no escape plan now.

Now, in a perfect world, Obama would have taken that $6 billion and put it in the private sector for stuff like electric cars, bullet trains, and immediate things that will affect the Earth’s climate.  But, he’s not.  By their own admission, a bunch of that money will go to Russia or China to send our stuff into space to a space station we mostly paid for.  And, watch a Russian or Chinese launch vs a United States launch.  You think they worry about the environment more than we do?

You think I’m pissed?

This is the worst freaking president we’ve ever had.

In one year he screwed Teddy Kennedy by making sure a Republican got his seat.  Now he’s screwing John Kennedy by killing his legacy.


Quickie update, March 31, 2016.  Six years after this post, NASA STILL can not put a man in space.  But, they are quick to tell you, that although there’s a record amount of ice in Antarctica, we should ignore that since it’s been kinda warm in the Arctic.

And Phil Platt is worried another Republican might wage a war on science.

 

Up

Up was a sleeper for me. Not to a lot of folks tho. But, watching the trailer for months, I figured I had it all figured out before I even saw the movie. I was totally wrong. This isn’t one of those movies where you see all the best parts in the trailer. You see some of the chuckles, but the best part is totally omitted. The character development in this movie is possibly the best I have ever seen. You really understand what’s going on. It really gets under your skin pretty much right off the bat. The events of the movie itself almost seem irrelevant to me. You just want him to get to the silly waterfall.

Bottom line, all thumbs up. I liked it, the young boy liked it, and the wife loved it. That doesn’t happen too often. Definite must-see for any family with young kids, I would imagine older folks who are feeling the same things as the main character, and people who appreciate a great movie that doesn’t rely on pratfalls, car chases, or excessive violence. It’s a cerebral tug out your heart kind of movie along the lines of Wall-E. A movie buff friend of mine claims it’s one of the all-time greatest movies ever made. He’s seen thousands. That’s a pretty lofty claim. Not sure I would disagree with him now that a little time has passed and I can think back about it.

Tropic Thunder

After seeing plenty of sneak previews about this movie, I decided I had to see it.  I was not disappointed.

This folks, is the best movie of the 21st century.

This was the first time I spit my drink through my nose probably since Pulp Fiction.

Tropic Thunder delivers MANY lines that will be remembered for a long time.  Possibly one of the best lines, not coincidentally, is delivered by Tom Cruise and is taken directly from, you guessed it, Pulp Fiction.

But the absolute stealer of this show is Robert Downey Jr.  The lines Stiller gives him to work with are classics.

A lot was made by the mental health associations for mocking people with learning disabilities.  That does happen.  However, in the context of what’s happening, it’s appropriate.  And, it feeds Downey my favorite lines of the entire movie.  And, in context of the entirety of the movie, they should feel relieved.  Other groups I can think of who should be offended would include:

  • PETA
  • Vietnamese
  • whoever is supposed to be offended by child abuse
  • whoever is supposed to be offended by contributing to the delinquency of minors.
  • gays
  • anyone who is offended by the presence of Tom Cruise.
  • whoever liked Risky Business
  • whoever is offended by drug abuse
  • whoever is offended by excessive gore
  • whoever is offended by cannibalism
  • NAACP

The list just goes on and on.  Nothing is spared.  Toss in some big booms, lots of guns, some helicopters, a dose of midget wrestling/karate, and you’ve got the makings of a testosterone classic.  Toss in Matthew McConnaughey to keep the wives happy.  The only thing missing in this movie, was overt female nudity.  Given Jennifer Love Hewiit’s recent epiphony that she should have been naked for the last fifteen years, she wasted the perfect chance to unleash the regret she’s been bearing.  However, it just didn’t really matter all that much.  This movie played about every other card known to man, and pulled it off flawlessly.

I’m serious folks, this is the best movie of the last ten years to me.  It’s a classic.  I truly can not believe Ben Stiller had anything to do with this.  It’s just that good.

Drake’s theory and why man may never be the aliens on another planet

Dang, that long title is guaranteed to screw up some formatting.  But, it addresses a whole bunch of my posts very well.  What got this post going was a recently released article written by Ian O’Neill for Universe Today.  In it, he cites scientists who conclude:

It is highly improbable that humans will ever explore beyond the Solar System. This downbeat opinion comes from the Joint Propulsion Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, where future space propulsion challenges were discussed and debated. It is widely acknowledged that any form of interstellar travel would require huge advances in technology, but it would seem that the advances required are in the realms of science fiction and are not feasible. Using current technology would take tens of thousands of years, and even advanced concepts could take hundreds. But above all else, there is the question of fuel: How could a trip to Proxima Centauri be achieved if we’d need 100 times more energy than the entire planet currently generates?

Now, I have breached that topic here before.  Namely, the technology involved to travel with ease to other planets is profound by our standards today.  These scientists put it in even simpler context by basically saying it’s not there.  That no matter how powerful we make our thrust, it will still take hundreds, if not thousands of years to get there.  That’s been my point regarding UFO’s.  Why would they sacrifice the resources necessary, and the lives, to travel thousands of years to gut cows and taunt people in small towns? There’s just not been a logical argument to date made for UFO’s.

However, the assumption has always been made that the technology we need, as well as the aliens piloting UFO’s effortlessly throught the universe, is just not here yet.  We have the concepts down, we jsut haven’t mastered the technology.  One guy on the Universe Today post even puts the math there to assert it is feasible:

Essel Says:

August 20th, 2008 at 4:22 am

Very poorly researched article.

“According to Brice N. Cassenti, an associate professor with the Department of Engineering and Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at least 100 times the total energy output of the entire world would be required for the voyage”

Assuming a cruising speed of c/10, the energy required to reach that speed would be 1/2 mv^2, a payload of 10 tonnes would need an energy of 1/2 X (10,000) x (3 X 10^8/10)^2 = 4.5 X 10^18 Joules. Earth consumes more than 6 X 10^20 Joules every year. That is 1/133 rd of energy consumption p.a.

Considering a total round trip of 85 years and two acceleration and deceleration phases. The energy required would be 4 X 4.5 X 10^18 joules over 85 years that would be 1/2833 times the consumption of earth energy during comparable time.

If we send a compact probe of 100 Kgs the requirement would come down by 100 times……

Simple huh?  I don’t have a clue about math at that level, so I’ll just take his word for it.  All he’s proving is the energy required i actually available, maybe.  Problem is, we have never figured a way to generate that much energy in a concentrated situation.  When, and if, we do, all our energy issues will have been solved.  Then, once we’ve solved all our energy issues, the issue of time has to be addressed.  The most popular theory is some type of warp drive.  In essence, shortening the distance between to points.  That comes from Star Trek.  It makes too much sense to ignore.  Only problem is no one has a clue, mechanically, how to make it happen.  The laws of physics simply prevent it from happening as we understand them now.  The problem, as I see it, is if you reach the speed of light, you become light.  Your atoms spray all over the place and your energy goes flying in all directions.   Just doesn’t sound too good to me.  So, we have to get around that pesky issue.  However, since the fastest we’re going now is about 50,000 mph, and light, in regards to warping, travels at 670,616,629 mph, we’ve got a long ways to go before we have to worry about that.  And when we do get to that point, it would only take about 4.2 years traveling at the speed of light.  And, if you got there without hitting anything at all, not even a grain of dust, at over 670 million miles per hour, you probably see something like this:

And nothing else.  We’ve been pointing our telescopes at Proxima for a long time.  If that trip proves fruitless, then the trip starts getting a lot longer real quick:

Proxima Centauri 4.2
Rigil Kentaurus 4.3
Barnard’s Star 6
Wolf 359 7.7
Luyten 726-8A 8.4
Luyten 726-8B 8.4
Sirius A 8.6
Sirius B 8.6
Ross 154 9.4
Ross 248 10.4
Ross 128 10.9
Luyten 789-6 11.2
Procyon A 11.4
Procyon B 11.4

Once you get past the closest 15, it starts jumping pretty dang quick.  Within a very brief span, you’ll easily be past 100 light years.  In a not too lengthy list, you’re past 1,000.  So even if you’re travelling at warp 10, you’re still talking, as I understand warping, decades, if not centuries at the speed of light.  My main issue with warping tho is what do you do with all the stuff between point A and point B?  Dodging comets and asteroids at fifty times the speed of light just sounds real dicey to me.

OK, so now you’ve figured how to get more energy than mankind has ever generated, you’ve figured out how to bend matter, you’ve figured out how to travel faster than mass is known to exist, and you’ve figured out how to dodge stuff while traveling billions of miles an hour.  The question then becomes, why would you even want to?  The plausible explanations have always been that Earth was dying and man would be looking for new places to live.  That seems plausible enough other than if Earth were truly in that dire a situation, I doubt the technology would be available to do it.  In simpler terms, that technology would be used to fix the problems here on Earth.  If you can do all that, you can fix the planet.  Or, man’s curiosity just keeps expanding and the desire to explore strange new worlds kicks in.  That would be about the only one I would buy off-hand, but the technology would have to be there and ready to use before man could put the concept to practice.  In other words, why would a person be interested, and willing to finance the development of the technology involved in inter-stellar travel other than to do inter-stellar travel?  We developed rockets not for space travel, but to bomb other countries.  Once the technology was developed to destroy ourselves, we put men on them and went to the moon.  Even after fifty years, most rockets are still intended to do others harm.  If someone developed the technology necessary to generate the energy necessary to travel at warp speed, who’s to say it wouldn’t be used for destructive purposes initially?  And, if it is, man won’t have the resources to use it for much else.  So, to say the least, man, with the mindset man has right now, isn’t mature enough to deal with the power necessary for inter-stellar travel.  When man does develop that maturity, we won’t be the same animal we are now.

A lot of sci-fi movies have pondered alternative means of transportation.  I think my personal favorite has to be from the movie Contact.

You got this huge magnetosphere and you drop someone into it while the turbines are spinning incredibly rapidly.  At that point, the pod is magically transported exactly where it was intended to go.  You never really know where it is she is, but she’s there.  Since it apparently distorts time as well, no one ever knows she was even gone.  Pretty cool huh?  All problems solved.  Distance becomes a non-issue entirely.  However, we’re not certain what exactly she goes to.  Even though she travels great distances, when she’s there she has no pod.  So, I’m not too sure this concept is too well thought out.  I’m not sure I want to get somewhere and have nothing when I get there.  So, as neat as this concept is, it’s not terribly useful.  Other than concept, most sci-fi just ignores all the issues of physics and just gives us inter-stellar travel with ease.

Bottom line, I tend to agree with the scientists who are skeptical of inter-stellar travel in man’s distant future.  Sure, technology has exploded in the last century, but it’s still bound by the very simple laws of physics.  None of those laws have been broken in any way.  They haven’t even changed.  The “next level” for science will be changing and breaking the current understanding of physics.  And, given man’s current fear, nay paranoia, over things he doesn’t understand, I don’t expect those laws of physics to be changed any time soon.

Underwater Volcanos don’t melt ice

That is a typical underwater volcano.  I love to watch them.  Something eerie looking, kinda alien.  So, I finally found a story that gives me the opportunity to show a video of one.  Here’s today’s story:

Volcanoes Erupt Beneath Arctic Ice

New evidence deep beneath the Arctic ice suggests a series of underwater volcanoes have erupted in violent explosions in the past decade.

Hidden 2.5 miles (4,000 meters) beneath the Arctic surface, the volcanoes are up to a mile (2,000 meters) in diameter and a few hundred yards tall. They formed along the Gakkel Ridge, a lengthy crack in the ocean crust where two rocky plates are spreading apart, pulling new melted rock to the surface……

Which, I read with special interest since CNN ran a poll about the story of the polar ice caps melting entirely this summer.  There has been quite a bit of media interest and speculation as to why the polar ice caps are melting.  Now, we had been through this scenario before.  Everything was melting in Greenland, and it was all man’s fault.  Until, that is, they figured out there was a large volcano underneath Greenland heating everything up.  Once they figured that out, Greenland hasn’t been mentioned since in the global warming debate and the polar ice caps immediately started melting.  Not one person thought to see if the same thing was happening at the North Pole as it was in Greenland.  Well, now that they have found that the same thing IS happening at the North Pole, this is what they figured out:

“We don’t believe the volcanoes had much effect on the overlying ice,” Reeves-Sohn told LiveScience, “but they seem to have had a major impact on the overlying water column.”

Now, I’m inclined to believe they don’t want to believe it has any effect on the overlying ice.  My limited science background does tell me that heat rises.  And, it also tells me volcanoes are very hot.  Now, granted these volcanoes are under a lot of water, that heat still has to go somewhere.   It just bugs me that although “scientists” are more than willing to research the connection of gases moving from continental US and photosynthesizing over the Arctic, thereby trapping the sun’s rays closer to earth and slightly warming the atmosphere by less than five degrees and thereby causing all of the ice at the North Pole to melt, they are unwilling apparently to explore the concept that a volcano releasing lava at 1,250 degrees directly below the ice would melt it.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would hope anyone reading these articles will scratch their heads as well.

My bet, in the not too distant future, someone is going to hypothesize that the extreme heat of those underwater volcanoes is contributing to the melting ice directly above them.

Duh.

Black Holes and Ice Ages

A team of Japanese astronomers using ESA’s XMM-Newton, along with NASA and Japanese X-ray satellites, has discovered that our galaxy’s central black hole let loose a powerful flare three centuries ago.

The article then goes on to do what articles, and most usually scientists, do in general.  They dig deeper and deeper into the why’s, what’s, and how’s of the black hole itself.  I’m not quite that curious as to the mechanics of a black hole.  They’re cool for sure, but exactly what sparks them to life and when they take naps doesn’t really pique my curiosity that much.  I’m more inclined to look at things like this in the manner of “what does that mean to me?”.  Possibly, it means nothing other than some cool mind provoking reading.  Sometimes, it leads to me putting two and two together.  How many times it’s actually four is not relevant, I just like connecting the dots.  In this case for example, something ELSE happened approximately three hundred years ago as well:

We experienced something called “The Little Ice Age“.  For some inexplicable reason, the Earth’s temperatures plummeted in regular fashion over several hundred years.  We really didn’t get over the Little Ice Age until either the late 19th century or early 20th century, depending on who you ask.  However, other things happened around that time as well.  The Sun was in it’s best cooling phase as well.  So, someone like me would have to wonder if the combination of a cooler Sun along with a blast from a black hole could trigger an ice age?  Others, of course, would insist because I question how much of an impact something other than man has on the Earth’s climate, I’m nuts.  Something happened about three to four hundred years ago to affect the Earth’s climate in a major way.  According to most, man was already causing global warming by burning everything he could get his hands on.  So, what cooled the Earth in a profound way?  Volcanoes?  The Solar Cycle?  A black hole?  An asteroid strike?  It certainly wasn’t Al Gore.

Greenland – The Poster Child for Global Warming

A LOT has been made of Greenland’s ice melting.  I mean, a LOT.  National Geographic ran an in-depth article about just how bad man has destroyed Greenland just about a year ago.  Some snippets to give you an idea just how bad it is.  The headline itself starts you off:

Global Warming: Greenland: When It’s Hot

And they don’t slow down from there:

Since Steffen established Swiss Camp 16 years ago, much has changed. Global warming has evolved from an obscure concern of environmentalists to a headline-grabbing motion picture–inspiring crisis of staggering proportions. Due to something called the polar amplification effect, Greenland is heating up at an exponential rate and has become a kind of barometer for the rest of the planet. What happens here in the next ten years will answer key questions about how much the Earth will warm in the next hundred. That is why there were more scientists out on the ice this year than ever before—the United States’ National Science Foundation alone helped fund 144 researchers, three times as many as in 2000. They’re all scrambling to track the tremendous changes while working against the narrowing window between winter storms and a melt season that turns the cap into a slush field mined with scientist-swallowing crevasses.

Things are so bad in Greenland that people like Robert Roy Britt of Livescience use it as the ultimate justifcation of how stupid people are who question how much we actually know about what is going on.  He has no doubt whatsoever that the warming permafrost in Greenland is all man’s fault.

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth cites Greenland as a prime example of what’s going on.  A lot of people just jumped on his bandwagon.  Greenland was the poster boy for everything from the warming of ocean currents to polar bears’ shinking nuts.

Only one problem tho.  It is now becoming evident, THROUGH SCIENCE, that the warming of Greenland may have nothing to do with man at all:

The newly discovered hotspot, an area where Earth’s crust is thinner, allowing hot magma from Earth’s mantle to come closer to the surface, is just below the ice sheet and could have caused it to form, von Frese and his team suggest.

“Where the crust is thicker, things are cooler, and where it’s thinner, things are warmer,” von Frese explained. “And under a big place like Greenland or Antarctica, natural variations in the crust will makes some parts of the ice sheet warmer than others.”

What caused the hotspot to suddenly form is another mystery.

“It could be that there’s a volcano down there,” he said, “but we think it’s probably just the way the heat is being distributed by the rock topography at the base of the ice.”

That article in Livescience was not written by Robert Roy Britt.  Apparently he doesn’t read the articles that don’t support is opinion.  I doubt you’ll hear any sigh of relief from Al Gore’s bunch either.

Now, at the risk of being insulted and taunted, I again will ask the same question I’ve always asked.  How much of the climate change in Greenland is actually man’s fault?  Apparently quite a bit of the fault lies with Earth.