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Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Comfort in Wisdom

Posted by Euroranger on September 17, 2013

2012 - 2013 arctic ice sheet

Remember when the Arctic was gonna be ice free soon due to Global Warming? Yeah…about that. Never mind. L to R: Arctic sea ice coverage 2012, 2013. In case yer a GW fanboi, the right pic is what’s known as “more” and not “less”.

If, like me, you were trolling around on the internet within the past 4-5 years you likely ran into an article or forum conversation regarding global warming.  Remember those days?  The world was heating up so drastically that within 30 years the Great Plains would be a desert, Venice would be under 10 feet of water and the Arctic would be a summer paradise?  Droughts, floods, famines, wars, environmental apocalypse was virtually at the door and that we needed to ACT NOW TO SAVE THE PLANET!  Remember all that stuff?  Remember how, if you didn’t simply automatically swallow the “hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies” that proved Global Warming (or “GW” at the time for the in-crowd cool kids) was a thing and that it was undoubtedly linked to increased CO2 emissions by modern human civilization, that you were a global warming denier, didn’t believe in science, was likely some kind of fundamentalist anti-science wingnut?  Remember the “good old days” of being a tree hugging concerned leftist and how absolutely sure you were that anyone who opposed your views on this subject were simply evil, degenerate idiots who lacked the smarts to agree with your views because…”science”?

I hope you remember those days because, well, they’re kind of gone…again.

It all started just a few years ago with actual skeptical people (which apparently didn’t include a whole lot of scientists unfortunately) observing that, hey, it hasn’t gotten warmer where I am.  Those folks were told (you evil, degenerate idiot you) that local conditions vary but, by the-God-we-don’t-believe-exists-but-whose-name-makes-swearing-a-lot-easier, Global Warming Climate Change (the new and improved accepted term because evil, degenerate idiots kept pointing out all the “warming” holes in the theory) was real because SCIENCE (and you’re a stupidhead if you don’t automatically agree).  Then someone who also wasn’t as smart as all the patchouli smelling hipster kids pointed out that the temperatures on Mars was also rising.  Naturally, he too was shouted down as a troglodytic Luddite (even though he was a scientist) because “[h]is views are completely at odds with the mainstream scientific opinion,’said Colin Wilson, a planetary physicist at England’s Oxford University” (because it’s not actual science that determines fact but the consensus of a group of people).  I mean, sure, human produced CO2 emissions MUST be the cause of rising global temperatures (even though there are pretty much zero people on Mars…since Gary Sinise left in the alien spaceship anyway) and definitely NOT because the Sun (the giant ball thermonuclear fire that burns at around 27 million degrees at its core) was in a more active than usual cycle (remember kids: CO2 > enormous ball of nuclear fire next door…when it comes to what makes the planet hotter).

And surely you remember being the fool who was chided for looking smug when the whole “Climategate” scandal broke.  You know…that event where hackers got hold of thousands of emails from scientists who were convinced that GW/Climate Change was occurring as a result of human activity and that, unless we radically changed our entire society (pretty much just western society which actually contributes the minority of the CO2 but hey…don’t get stuck on facts NOW) we were all GOING TO DIE?  Yeah, you recall that.  Remember how prior to that scandal one of the issues skeptical people had with this whole cabal of scientists shrieking from the rooftops of all the ivory towers how this was all going to be one enormous environmental disaster was that they wouldn’t grant access to the data they were collecting, wouldn’t honor freedom of information requests so skeptics could truly look at the raw information to see if these dire predictions were true and how the scandal exposed emails wherein the scientists were worried about how to spin observations that showed their “climate models” that were all apparently forecasting global annihilation weren’t jiving when they should be…and that those findings should simply be ignored or maybe put through a algorithm that would churn out “acceptable” data that would jive better with their models?  Remember how if you pointed at that and said that such activities aren’t those of people on the up and up and that perhaps a less biased, less fueled-by-millions-of-research-dollars studies MIGHT be a better idea…that you were once more pilloried for being a backwards, delusional fool?

Chicken Little press conference.

Pictured above: someone who rational, level-headed people probably wouldn’t trust with a forecast of the future OR the latest demiGod to those on the left who seem to exist solely for the purpose of wringing their hands over the latest manufactured crisis-du-jour. Either or.

Anyway, remember all those good old days of…just 3 years ago?  Yeah, well, turns out, if you were thinking with your own brain and thought that taking the word of a bunch of leftist organizations who seemed a whole lot more interested in how to leverage the scare about Global Warming into a socialist wealth redistribution scheme via “carbon offset credits” wasn’t a sound basis to frantically be doing the scientific community version of Chicken Little…step up to claim your prize.  Turns out that an early report leaked from the IPCC (the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is trying to figure out how to spin revelations that all those peer reviewed studies who were all in lockstep uniformity just 20 years ago that predicted global temperatures would rise by 0.2C (a big number on a global scale)…had only risen 1/4 of that (0.05C).  Yeah, it seems that of those 117 studies who all uniformly foretold climate doom back in the 1990’s…that were the backbone of the entire Global Warming/Climate Change crowd…only 3 were even remotely close and 114 (that’d be a whopping 97.4%) weren’t just wrong but, on average, overestimated the amount of global warming that actually ended up happening by more than 200%.

What does this have to do with wisdom though?  Only this: wise people realize that a new field of study that suddenly gains enormous prominence, the attention of the entire globe and sees hundreds of millions of research dollars being handed out to anyone willing to conduct a global warming study MIGHT be susceptible to influence, bias and corruption because (get this): scientists are people too.  People are subject to the same weaknesses and sins and scientists are no exception and scientists AREN’T machines incapable of mistakes or outright lying…they’re people just like you and me.

Does this settle the idiocy of the ever panicking leftist crowd vis-a-vis Global Warming/Climate Change/the Sky Is Falling?  Of course not.  You’d have to believe that facts and subjective thought have any effect on such thinking and, subjective observation long ago ruled out that theory.  What it does do though is to re-affirm that cooler heads (not an intended pun but an apt one nonetheless) are called for and, in this instance (as in most others), those who say “stay the course, let’s see if this is real or not” turned out, yet again, to be right.

Let’s be entirely clear here for a moment: the globe DID get warmer.  There seems to be a lot less proof now that CO2 or other greenhouse gasses are to blame for the rise than was previously thought but the fact still remains that we did get warmer.  Also, regardless of whether there is a human origin for such a rise it’s still a good idea to move our economies away from a fossil fuel basis for energy supply (and towards cleaner, renewable sources).  This is simply a good idea even minus the typical hysterical climate reasoning.  What skeptics like me have always said is that while we need to move towards those goals, there is no emergency thundering toward us that should stampede us collectively into stupid, half-baked solutions to problems that don’t really exist.  And that’s why wisdom, sometimes, is comfortable.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this post.


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Southern Snow

Posted by Euroranger on January 13, 2011

As most have probably heard, we here in The South got snow this past week.  Sunday night/Monday morning to be specific or 4-5 days ago for those of you who don’t own a calendar.  We got a whopping 5-6 inches of snow with a delightful sleet topping.  Now, by the standards of those who were sentenced to live somewhere other than The South, this amount of snow is likely chortled at as being paltry, insignificant, a dusting.  However, here in paradise it’s caused a condition known locally as Snowmageddon.

This will be a short post as I’ve only now made it into my office this week for the first time (it’s now Thursday if you haven’t located that handy calendar yet) and I must do the things that make me look busy even though there is only one other person in the building with me.  That said, I simply could not resist mentioning my simple amazement at the road conditions I discovered as I drove into work this morning.  I have the exceptional good fortune to live in Cherokee County, Georgia.  The “exceptional good fortune” part owes in some measure to the fact that, despite my county being regarded as the first of the “hillbilly/redneck” counties north of Atlanta, we at least have the good sense to own and know how to use a snow plow.  This is not the case in the ever so much more sophisticated and advanced Fulton County wherein my employer does their business and my destination this morning.  I present to you the evidence of their inclement winter weather retardation:

Highway 92

Driving in someone else's ruts is fine if it's in the middle of the storm as it's happening. Five freakin' days later? Not so much.

This is Highway 92 or as it’s referred to locally, because the local governmental authorities apparently own stock in GPS and/or map making companies such that changing the name of the road every 15 feet or so makes some kind of sense to someone other than me, Woodstock Road in Roswell, GA.  Roswell is one of those nice communities that sits in the northern part of the previously referenced Fulton County.  Recently, a new city was formed in Fulton County against the wishes of the board of county commissioners who actually sued to stop the people of the area (now known as city) of Sandy Springs from doing so.  What, you might ask, does that have to do with the picture of the unplowed road to the left?  Well, it seems that for quite some time Fulton County had made it a habit of taking in the majority of their taxes from the more affluent part of the county (read: “people who work for a living”) and then spending the vast majority of those taxes on the less affluent parts of the county.  In Fulton the division between the taxed folk and the ones consuming the taxes ran roughly north to south geographically.  Highway 92 pictured at the left is very much in the northern part of the county.  Anyway, the people of Sandy Springs (also coincidentally, in the northern part) got pretty fed up with being taxed out the ass by the county and getting very little in terms of government services in return while the county built pools, community centers, libraries, free medical clinics and so forth in the southern part of the county.  Naturally those same people tried to address their concerns to their elected county officials who pretty much told them to go pound sand and oh keep paying your taxes so we can redistribute your wealth.  Unfortunately the acoustics in the county board’s meeting room meant that those same people didn’t hear that but heard instead “hey, if you form your own city then the county can’t tax you”.  They found this message much more to their liking and so they did go off and do just that, the county pitched a fit because they saw their cash cow strolling out of the barn and, rather than actually address the obvious inequities they’d been subjecting these folks to they decided instead to sue them (read: “piss away even more tax dollars”).  Naturally, their lawsuit had almost zero legal foundation to rest upon and was motivated only by their desire to continue to have carte blanche to legally rob some of their residents.  The lawsuit failed, the people formed their city and Fulton County lost access to one of their favorite ATMs.  Beginning to see where I’m going with this yet?  If not, let me spell it out a lot more clearly: this is a major 6 lane road running east/west across the northern part of the county.  That picture was taken 5 days after snow fell on it.  FIVE DAYS.  As of my morning drive today, it has yet to have seen a snow plow.  The folks I work for have staff who rely upon this road for their access to their jobs.  As I write this at my desk, I’m one of only 2 employees who made it in today…and there are normally 20 people here.  I’m sure this business will receive their annual tax bill from the county shortly and they’ll be expected to pony up what’s likely to be a ridiculous amount of money for the privilege of basing their company in lovely Fulton County, Georgia.

If I were one of the owners, I’d be pretty pissed off right about now.  This is 4 days where their business has done zero work and all because of the state of the surrounding roads.  Other neighboring and decidedly less affluent counties have taken care of the same (or worse) problem.  Not Fulton County.

By contrast, the roads in my hillbilly/redneck home county of Cherokee are plowed curb to curb.  I even encountered a plow truck just last evening heading into our subdivision’s main 2 lane road and that road had already been plowed.  We passed him again about 20 minutes later as we headed back home and he was headed out…presumably because he couldn’t find a road that needed plowing.  Are the residential streets plowed where I live?  No.  But then again, an inconvenient drive of a few hundred yards is nothing if the main road is clean and safe to drive on when you get to it.


Woodstock Road (not 92 of course)

Fulton could take a couple of lessons. BTW, this is also Woodstock Road...different road completely, same name. This county just oozes brilliance, right? Notice the pristine snow on the curb to the right? Yeah, this road hasn't seen a plow yet either and given that the forecast in two days is for temps in the 50's...it probably won't see one at all.

Apparently Fulton County’s master plan for removing the ridiculous amounts of treacherous ice they’ve allowed to form on the roads due to their decision to not plow them is to wait for warmer weather…or Spring.  Whichever comes first.  No plows, no sand trucks, no salt.  Nothing…at least on this northern county road.  Great job Fulton County!  Maybe you can sue the weatherman!

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

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