Monday, February 25, 2008

Who's Making the Dough?

Global warming is still making headlines these days, but in a way that environmentalists had never predicted, in the form of increased prices for bread and pasta products.

Wheat prices are setting new records at the Chicago board of trade, giving many prairie grain farmers an optimism that they haven't experienced since the late 1970's. To the end users of the cereals such as livestock producers and bakeries the the rampant rise has severely cut into profits. While latter industry can simply pass the increase along to their customers, the beef and hog producers simply have to suck it up as lost revenue.

The doubling of wheat prices in the last couple of months has resulted from a number of factors including a two year drought in Australia and the flux of farmers switching to more lucrative crops such as corn and canola to feed the biofuel industry. While the Australia's problems can be solved by a timely rainfall or two, the burgeoning ethanol and biodiesel facilities are only slated to consume an ever increasing amount of what used to be food.

To many North American consumers, the doubling of the price on a loaf of bread is an annoyance, to the one quarter of the worlds population that survives on a dollar a day it is catastrophic. Even the director of the United Nations World Food Programme has said it is considering plans to ration food aid because of rising prices and a shortage of funds.

Not surprisingly the people who are hardest hit are countries like Afghanistan, where prices for staples have gone up 80% pricing many families out of the food market. Even middle class urban families in Indonesia, Yemen and Mexico are forced to sacrifice education and healthcare in order to put dinner on the table.

How does ethanol and biodiesel production really fight global warming? Since there is direct link between world population and carbon dioxide production, using food grains to power vehicles while letting the poorest of the poor starve to death will dramatically decrease the number of people living on this planet. Less people equals less carbon dioxide so lets all save the planet by filling up with "Mother Natures" gasoline.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Two Writer Don't Make a Wrong

The only thing better than being a global warming scientist these days is being a journalist covering the global warming "crisis". Not only have these two professions spent much time in bed together (trying to stay warm) over the past several years but it turns out that the journalists have also become pleasantly plump if not overtly obese during the same period from gobbling stories that the scientists have been feeding them. While copying and pasting press releases is infinitely easier than actually carrying out investigative reporting, the day of reckoning is right around the corner.

Like the dawning that must have occurred in the media after realizing that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction" was a fabrication by the Bush administration to justify an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation, so too must journalists around the world begin to recognize that carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of global warming.

The carbon dioxide-temperature increase link only works when both are increasing lock step, the charade falls flat when carbon dioxide is increasing but temperatures are decreasing. The winter of 2007 and 2008 will likely go down in history as one of the coldest in history with snow falling, sometimes for the first time in living memory in Greece, Syria, and Jerusalem plus the worst winter snowfalls in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.

What will be the spin that scientists put on this new information? That global warming causes global cooling? That cold and snow is just a figment of the imagination? Or will scientists admit that warming and cooling of the earth are just natural cycles that are not significantly affected by small changes in the carbon dioxide levels?

If the United States will defend their decision to invade Iraq to the death of their economy, the death of of their servicemen, and the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, whats the chance of a group of climate scientists rescinding their decisions regarding global warming?

The cold temperatures have devastated crops in China which will further put upwards pressure on the price of wheat, corn and oilseeds already at record highs because a large portion of the crop has been diverted to produce "renewable" bio-fuel to run our vehicles. While the upward movement of food prices will have minimum effect on the rich nations of the world, those in the developing world where wages are little more than a dollar a day will be in serious trouble of not being able to feed their populations.

When the tide turns and the global warming hoax is exposed for what it really is, will the worlds journalists demand that the IPCC give back its Nobel prize and Al Gore return his Oscar? Or will they just focus on another foolish fantasy furnished fresh from the fraudsters facade.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Humans Are Not Responsible For Global Warming

February 11, 2008

The truth is global warming is responsible for humans. Historically, both in the short term and in the long run, periods of elevated temperature have been associated with economic prosperity and population growth while cold periods are correlated to financial hardship and population contraction.

Prior to the latest global warming event that started more than 20,000 years, human beings existed in small family bands involved in hunting and gathering. With the retreat of the glaciers and the northward moving climate, these nomadic groups gradually developed intensive agriculture techniques as a precursor to civilization. A surplus of food allows for the division of labour and development of a social organization, because those not producing food can direct their efforts in other fields such as arts, industry, war, science or religion.

The earliest civilizations found so far are two 15,000-year-old now submerged metropolises found under the Bay of Khambhat, 250 km northeast of Bombay, India. These two cities were abandoned after being inundated by rising sea levels caused by the receding continental glaciers (sea level rise was greatest between 15,000 and 7,000 years ago). As the Khambhat communities disappeared other societies developed simultaneously, throughout India, China and the Middle East shortly thereafter.

After gradually rising from a paltry 1 million people 12,000 years ago, the world population reached a plateau between 200 and 900 AD. The advent of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) in the 10th century started a phase of rapid population growth as surpluses of food were able to feed an ever-growing throng of people.

During this climatic anomaly, as with every warming event, the plant climatic zones moved northward. Grapes, which were previously grown only to the south in France, were now part of a flourishing wine industry in Britain. The Vikings took advantage of the ice-free seas at this time to establish colonies in Greenland and L’Anse Aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland.

Following on the heels of the MWP was the Little Ice Age (LIA), a period of temperature reversal characterized by the resurgence of European glaciers, the growth of Atlantic pack ice, and the destruction of crops and livestock as a result of shorter and unreliable growing seasons. Population crashes occurred periodically as the shortage of food caused widespread famine. Many who did not actually die of starvation, were so weakened from lack of food, they easily succumbed to a multitude of diseases caused by bacterial and viral infections.

The negative effects of the LIA were felt in other aspects of life as well. The colder weather caused massive storms that resulted in permanent massive losses of coastal area in the low-lying areas of Germany, Denmark and Holland. Viticulture disappeared from northern regions, and an increase in pack ice cut off the supply route to the many northern communities including Iceland. The Viking colonies in Greenland, now isolated from outside trade, all perished of starvation.

But the LIA was not all gloom and doom. The Thames River and the canals in Holland began freezing to such an extent that skating became a popular winter pastime. Festivals called frost fairs were held on the ice in winter and it was from this era that the story of Hans Brinker and the silver skates was written.

The cold weather at this time is also attributed the superb sound of the Stradivarius violins. A modern theory proposes that during the cold weather, the growth rings on the trees grew closer together. The denser wood was responsible in part with the tonal qualities that make his musical instruments renowned.

In the shorter term, colder than normal weather aberrations are always associated with economic downturn. Probably the best example of this correlation occurred in is 1816 as a result of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora. Also known as the “Year Without Summer”, “The Poverty Year” and “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death” 1816 saw devastated crops throughout the northern hemisphere. The crop failures caused North American prices of grain to increase as much a 700%, while food shortages in Europe resulted in widespread famine.

Besides the year without summer, 1915 and 1992 are two of the coldest years in Canada since records were kept. In each of these two years saw major economic repercussions in agriculture and business. The 1992 episode saw freak summer hailstorms and snowstorms in Ontario, early frost across the prairies and stormy weather across the Maritimes. The unseasonably cold weather negatively affected crops, tourism, construction, and even summer beer sales to the tune of half a billion dollars.

Although advances in technology and logistics of food distribution will reduce the impacts of future short-term temperature decreases, a long-term climate reversal however, could spell catastrophe for billions of people worldwide. Since most of the earth’s land area is located in the northern hemisphere, a progressively warmer climate will add millions of acres of arable land in Canada and Russia as the plant climate zones move northwards. Another cooling episode like the LIA would not only decrease the amount of arable land but reduce the yields as well, severely restricting the amount of food to feed the ever-growing world population.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Grin and Bear It

Unless prominent biologists mistakingly included the misguided environmental protesters dressed polar bears at Ed Stelmach's recent Washington visit, it appears that the great white bears are are not endangered at all, despite the threat that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the polar bear a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act to soothe the frenzied nature lovers.

In fact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from as low as 5,000-10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations “may now be near historic highs.” The alarm about the future of polar bear decline is based on speculative computer model predictions many decades in the future. And the methodology of these computer models is being challenged by many scientists and forecasting experts. (LINK)

Canadian biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor, the director of wildlife research with the Arctic government of Nunavut: “Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present,” Taylor said. “It is just silly to predict the demise of polar bears in 25 years based on media-assisted hysteria.” (LINK)

Evolutionary Biologist and Paleozoologist Dr. Susan Crockford of University of Victoria in Canada has published a number of papers in peer-reviewed academic journals. “Polar bears, for example, survived several episodes of much warmer climate over the last 10,000 years than exists today,” Crockford wrote. “There is no evidence to suggest that the polar bear or its food supply is in danger of disappearing entirely with increased Arctic warming, regardless of the dire fairy-tale scenarios predicted by computer models.” (LINK)

It seems only fair that if the United States enacts a law to protect Canadian polar bears, the Canadian government should enact it own law to open the season on people dressed as polar bears in the United States, that way the Canadian Inuit would not have to face economic hardship when they go south for the winter.