Patiently Waiting

for that promised Global Warming to kick in, every year it seems to get colder, earlier.

I had a pipe burst this afternoon,, highly unusual for California, this time of year. It doesn't usually get bitterly cold until after the first of the year.

Al's basking in his 10K Sq Ft Malibu mansion with it's enormous carbon footprint (year, yeah, I know, he planted some trees). I'm going to have to provide freeze protection for my pipes -- for the first time ever.

Even Nicaragua seemed cooler this year than last ??

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Just another data point

Maybe KWP is right. :-)

Well, it at least helps support extremes.

Al Is Reworking

his PowerPoint presentation as we speak:

Good thing they renamed it "Climate Change" . . . .look forward to "Global Cooling" as the next reiteration . . .

Doesn't it seem cooler in Nicaragua this year? I'm sure it is, in the north at least. It's still raining regularly in the hills, with the odd -but heavy- rain in Condega.

And More:

global cooling

When I was a kid in school, I was taught that we were about to have another ice age.

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)

Heat Wave in Argentina last week, temps way above normal

Also ask the Australians about their weather.

BBC International goes heavy on South American weather and seems to ignore Central America.

Rebecca Brown

Good Thing Al

re-named it "Climate Change"; guy may be an opportunistic scum bag but he's not stupid:|main5|dl18|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D432387?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000058&

I personally think it's business as usual, but I'm not going to get a grant (to study climate change in Nicaragua ?) with that attitude.

Arctic melting/extreme weather link

For those who actually care

that is, people with an interest in what is happening on the planet vs. those who continue to want to pretend that the earth is not getting warmer, what you describe is yet another symptom of what is happening. While "Global Warming" is real (and you can research this -- a particularly obvous symptom is the increase of ocean temperatures), what you are describing are symptoms of Climate Change.

The result of this climate change are greater variations in climate, another thing which you can research. Higher highs, lower lows, extreme storms and such.

So, thanks for documenting an abnormal (out of season) low. I expect you will also find out of season new highs).

I almost posted the Wikipedia url for its article on this

There's a vested interest by the oil companies and the coal companies in saying this isn't happening. Chaotic weather -- more energy into the system.

The thing is actually understanding what's going on requires a non-trivial investment in time.

Rebecca Brown

You can visit me

It's a balmy 32 F in Ottawa today.

It's a balmy 32 F in Houston today.

It's a balmy 32 F in Houston today.

Coldest November ever!

"Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'sir' without adding, 'you're making a scene." -Homer J. Simpson

How Can That Be ??

I have 150 lbs of potato seed I can't get shipped because it's -4F in Colorado.

Maybe it's because you Canadians are politically correct?

How does that work exactly . .. .. I may convert. .. .

Government city

Hot air, you know. :-)

I Woke Up

to two inches of snow on the ground today, unusual but not unheard of for December, but we had another two inches about a month ago, November, that was unheard of.

In my mind, Global Warming = carbon tax = another opportunity for the government to take our money and "redistribute" it minus what they take off the top for themselves. I'm surprised that DO hasn't jumped on that one: people in the hills above SJdS will soon (well, 2oo years maybe) have beach front property.

Plus, all the 3rd world countries are crying about how the 1st world should now give them money to mitigate the so-called "Global Warming".

If it turns out to be a New Ice Age, we'll be blamed for that as well.

Those countries

We call them "the developing world", not because we're PC but because the label is more accurate. They're just saying you broke it, you fix it.

the blind spot

The West should suffer so China can keep burning coal.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

The knowledge gap

China is Winning the Renewable Energy Crown

Hhmmm... China is responsible for 30% of the world's spending on renewable energy, roughly twice US spending.

Given China's pollution problem

…this is like being excited about Ethiopia's 10% growth rate and remarkably low GINI index -- starting from $100 a year average income per person. for the Chinese version of "Global Warming is for Hippies."

There's a map that shows where more people live than in the whole rest of the planet here:

China: over a billion population. US: over 300 million. Parity would be spending three times what the US spends. And they're starting from a much worse situation than the US, which has been doing some things to mitigate air quality damage from burning fossil fuels for a bit longer.

Some of the alternatives have their own gotchas -- like burning wood for heat -- worked when the population was circa 30 million in the US (as recently as the 1920s) and became a problem in the last decades of the 20th Century. A two or three acre woodlot is about as renewable as energy for heating gets in temperate cloudy climates.

Rebecca Brown

Who had a catalytic converter on her wood stove in the 1990s.

Planned spending

My previous link was what they had spent. This one is planned spending. Obviously, they know they have a pollution problem and they want to fix it. How long has it taken us with our pollution problems in North America?

China has a rather unified governing party which...

…if it choses, can get things done more rapidly than a otherwise freer country.

China's pollution is off the scale of anything in North America from what I've been reading and despite their social controls, they are facing some seriously angry citizens over this (they had to take down their spin article). Since Chinese are traveling these days, they see that this level of pollution doesn't happen in other countries. Coal is a very dirty fuel without some serious technological fixes -- and those are in place (or should be in place) in any new coal burning electrical plant in the US at this point.

California pollution control laws are more stringent than pollution control laws in some other parts of the US -- and urban areas often tack on their own pollution control requirements (I sold a car in Philly when I moved there and it had to be reinspected).

Much of the US's political clout is in states that aren't necessarily the states with the worst pollution.

London used to have pollution from coal possibly as bad as China's. People there accepted this as normal for a rather shocking number of years (19th Century to mid-20th Century): London first banned coal fires for domestic use in 1956.

Rebecca Brown

Climate Change Is

an Oxymoron, is it not?

I've seen radical climate occurrences in my lifetime, 8 major hurricanes in two consecutive summers while I was in Key West. All the Global Warming (what is was still called then) crowd including Al,, were prophesying doom and gloom,, "You haven't seen anything yet,, wait until next summer"! Yeah, I'm still waiting. I've seen a couple feet of snow in South Dakota in June.

We had the massive brought that produced the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, which then produced a mass migration similar to the retreat of the ice shelf that covered all of Europe, and brought a couple or more strains of Homo *.* out of sub-saharan Africa onto the rest of the planet.

Sorry, I just don't buy into the whole concept. Sure, big oil and coal (and natural gas, and, and, and) have serious vested interests in the status quo, so do I and just about everyone else who wants affordable energy and the quality of life it brings,, , but on the other side you have the tree-hugger, touchy-feely, PC, Obama lovers, who all believe that Aroma Therapy should be a cornerstone of modern medicine.

The crowd pushing Global Warming or, >>> Climate Change if you will, a term that really means nothing, should give any reasonably intelligent person pause. What is climate but change?


Sounds like you're a touchy-feely type who ignores facts and just doesn't want to believe in something he thinks (erroneously) will hurt his quality of life. The biggest problem is the vested interests that don't want you educated so they can continue to gouge you. And they keep turning issues into right/left extremist debates when the majority of people are only slightly right or left of center - but you fall for it.

It's true that weather is complex and that's why we accept the consensus of the climate scientists and not extremist talk show radio hosts. That consensus was reached over 15 years ago. Nowadays any debate about it is like arguing that smoking is good for you.

The implications are that we have to think about energy..

...consumption -- come up with ways for all of us to have some of the toys but probably not all of them.

These are mostly men who worked very hard over their lives to be able to have the SUV and the several houses and the big trips all over -- and now they're hearing that these things have costs beyond the price of gasoline.

Rebecca Brown

Not really

We have made great strides in energy efficiency. Too many people think that energy conservation means doing without but I know of one alternative energy consultant who starts his lectures with pictures of his off-grid home so you can see the 40" TV, hot tub, high end appliances, etc. If you have a high standard of living you don't really want less, and the idea that you should do without is from the hippy era and not true today.

Cake and eat it, too?

The big issue is getting as much as possible off coal and oil -- which are the immediate problems. Most of those things don't require a huge amount of electricity. I've got this computer set up, fish tanks (no heaters, though), and just added a TV so I guess I'll see how much over 150 KW I go next billing period.

I define a high standard of living as not having to have a car. And a lot of people agree with me or Manhattan and inner city San Francisco and equivalent places wouldn't be so expensive. Not everyone agrees, obviously, but being able to walk to a store and have things delivered within thirty minutes strikes me as nicer than having to drive around anywhere looking at prices (rode home with today's furniture and the TV set and DVD play arrived in fifteen minutes). This requires someone to drive vehicles, obviously, but there's energy cost in making vehicles and having fifty cabs running around Jinotega carrying several people probably works out better than each of us having our own cars.

Also, for some of us, a high standard of living is having first rate art, music, and books -- and that's less energy consuming now with electronic media, but if someone's idea of having it all includes going somewhere and killing deer and going somewhere else and killing graylag geese, then they're going to be more difficult to make happy.

I think the typical "high standard of living" is basically something people were sold and which they think is wildly important because it's wildly important to most of the people around them (hippies have their own forms of consumption). Most people own stuff they haven't used in over a year -- I do (fishing rod and reel). I used to buy food processors periodically, not use them, give them away, buy another one (the second one is in my niece's custody). I went through three bicycles in my fifties and sixties (one here) before realizing I wasn't really going to do a lot of bicycling again. So, I think most of us buy stuff because of self-image, who we used to be, to keep up with the people around us, or for the novelty effect of having something new (dogs also play more with new toys, so the wise owner puts the toys away for a few months before bringing them out again).

The stuff I really use doesn't really consume much electricity and I don't have to buy a new camera or a new computer this year. One of the things about having really good stuff that I really use is that I am satisfied with it (one of the purchases was a $160 hand coffee grinder).

The William Morris saying "Have nothing around you that you don't find useful or beautiful" predates the hippies. The only thing where I've been on the consumer treadmill is cell phones, but they're relatively cheap as a vice goes and I'm satisfied with the medium range phones.

The energy cost of creating these things tends to be forgotten when the energy consumption isn't on one's own bill -- the factories that produce these things have to be themselves energy efficient.

I think the techno-optimism is as utopian as the left fantasy of all people being happy when the means of production are in the hands of the workers.

Couple of my relatives have bought sail boats in various sizes and none of them currently have a sale boat. That's work for the guys who make sale boats to a certain extent, but having one didn't really make the buyers as happy as the fantasy.

As several of my type of people (art snobs) have pointed out, if you have 200 channels and all that's on them is nothing you'd want to watch, then having a TV does nothing for your standard of living.

Televisions are another thing I've bought and then not used for years after buying them. Didn't have one in DC at all or for the first three years here. Don't think I had one for most of the time I lived in Philly and didn't have one at all when I lived in Manhattan (the movies, poetry readings, and theaters were far superior to anything on television).

What I need in my tool kit is the computer, the internet connection, a two burner hot plate and some good pots, and I don't mind having a decent washing machine. Clothes aren't optional, either. Kindle for books these days -- and that's a whole lot more energy efficient than owning paper copies.

I like very good fountain pens, but I suspect that I don't need them.

Never did get the point of hot tubs. Hippie sort of thing.

One thing I've noticed from either getting older or living in Nicaragua, or a combination of both is that I don't make soothing purchases, don't shop compulsively anymore. I don't find anything missing right now from my standard of living now that I've gotten the furniture for the TV which also gets the five gallon tanks higher so they can be kept clean easier.

Life is messy. Not everyone can be made happy. Not everyone wants the same things -- and as a number of right wing commentators have pointed out, generally to berate the poor for wasting two or three hundred dollars, most of the goods that are most transformational aren't really that expensive. Once you've got any kind of computer and internet connection, that the real transformation in life -- a 40 inch TV is more about status for most of us. Mine's 24 inches, bought it a couple of days ago. Cars did more to damage urban fabric than they improved any city dweller's standard of living.

Rebecca Brown


Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too and we will all have different definitions for a high standard of living. Just stand at a bus stop once in -40 (C or F) weather and your definition will include a car.

That is but one "solution"

Other possibilities are:

  • Not having to go outside at -40 (e.g., a job you can do from home)
  • Living where "what you need" can be found inside where you live
  • A mass transit system where access is from heat controlled locations
  • Having infrastructure so things you want are delivered
  • Not living where it is ever -40

My point is that there are lots of possible solutions where having a car is but one. Personally, I picked the last one.

I can't imagine ever choosing to live anywhere like that

Standing waiting for a bus can be made warmer in a range of ways. I could imagine net connections telling people when they needed to get to the bus, bus reservations, etc. The idea of the suburban home and distant job in very cold climates may just be wrong.

People here live over or behind the store or professional's office. I do know one person here who commutes to Matagalpa and I suspect she's not the only one. Her husband is a government lawyer so he goes up to the government buildings to work, but that's walking distance. But most people who aren't farmers walk to work.

I read about how Vermont state troopers deal with really bad weather -- they constantly patrol since anyone who breaks down is in serious danger. Why have cars and suburban houses in situations where any failure of the system puts people in mortal danger? Why not build more densely? Some places have tunnels between places -- bit tricky in permafrost, I suppose.

Rebecca Brown

But I would like to think that using less goes hand in hand

Like getting fit after giving up smoking (to continue your theme).

Using less electricity, fuels, foods or just about less everything is a good mind set.

I agree with you

I agree with you that it's a good mindset. I'm just saying it isn't necessary. If just the idea of a lower standard of living means some people won't adopt *any* measures, then they need to know their standard of living doesn't have to drop. So if you want a hot tub, have one, but choose the most energy efficient one you can find.

BTW I'm not advocating rampant consumerism. I don't equate a high standard of living with owning lots of stuff.

China Needs To

continue burning coal just as we still need to burn some coal. Rome wasn't built in a day. These transitions disrupt the status quo, put people out of work, not a minor thing if you are one of the 7% unemployed in the US.

Hot tubs could be heated by solar, in some parts of the country. Solar water could be bigger than it is, the investment to make it transparently functional is greater than the cost of a water heater, but the payback would certainly be there. All of this requires political will and political capital, as well as dollar investment.

And why not maximize the opportunities we have? Why spend the energy and create the unnecessary pollution when we can bring oil south via the Keystone Pipeline instead of by a tanker from Venezuela burning bunker oil?

And why not

And why not put refined oil in the pipeline instead of the caustic stuff that comes directly out of the tar sands?

But I would like to think that using less goes hand in hand

Like getting fit after giving up smoking (to continue your theme).

Using less electricity, fuels, foods or just about less everything is a good mind set.

I'm Certainly Not

against conservation per se. I changed out all my light bulbs at the Condega compound to LED's.. Far better efficiency and much better light quality than the compact florescent. A solid investment. I'm sometimes careless, not unaware. But, I'm not a sheep either.

There's been so much duplicity in assigning blame for the -so far- minor world temperature increases. Al Gore (or anyone) can generate a power point presentation that shows an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, and blame the increase for rising temps. It's faulty logic, a fallacy. Obviously, there HAS been a steady increase in atmospheric CO2 since the industrial age.

We've had major climate changes in the past, warmer and colder, and these had nothing to do with human-created CO2.

And talk about vested interests and hypocrisy: A significant piece of the academic research community now lives off "Climate Change", and are happy to whore for that next grant. "Climate Change" makes no sense, at least Global Warming had some meaning to it.

I have nothing against alternative energy. My Condega house is 95% solar powered; a successful installation that has been up 100% of the time since I moved off Disnorte. When I get sufficient infrastructure built on the farm to support the panels, the farm will be primarily (but not 100%) solar as well. That last 5% makes no economic sense.

I see endless opportunity to cover the southern US with solar panels that would provide the power for the AC load for much of this area during the day. This would require leadership, something the country currently lacks. And it wouldn't put an ObamaPhone in anyone's pocket. The carbon tax WOULD buy more ObamaPhones, money that will come from all energy consumers, further burden our economy, and accelerate the diminution in the quality of life we have seen in the US over the last several years.

The other 5% of the grid energy I use? Well, it's a trade-off between maintaining a level of charge on my batteries through the night, and extending their life significantly; and giving Disnorte $10 or $15 /month.

Are we talking about Bush phones?

The people who have these phones began getting them under Bush. Reality is out there.

Climate change -- weather is what shifts. Climate is what allows me to say Jinotega has great weather except in April. Climate change is when it's raining constantly all through February here (which isn't the current climate) and when it doesn't rain in June.

If you've actually read the material I posted links to and can give me references that refute it, I will be less frustrated in hearing all this again. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. One of the charts I've seen is the previous 500,000 or so years worth of changes against current changes. Also, the sun is actually in a lower output phase, so blaming this on the sun doesn't seem to work.

Some of the major changes in the past were pretty convincingly linked to volcanic activity. Ash cools things; other gases can be greenhouse gases.

Rebecca Brown

You really need to read up

We all know the climate has changed in the past. It's the rate of change that's the issue, oh, and some small matter of being an oxygen breathing life form when the percentage of oxygen drops as the carbon dioxide goes up.

And how is studying it a problem? The ideas for preventing it and adapting to it come out of the universities THEN the free market takes over. The whole process gets delayed when the oil companies fight it and tell you it doesn't exist, and that just means the Europeans and Asians get a head start over the North Americans.

It affects many things, like crops, diseases, native plant and animal species; ocean fisheries; roads and bridges need to handle greater flooding; our building standards are changing because of it. It's not just energy.

When it was called global warming some of the denser folks pointed at every cold day as proof it wasn't happening. If you can think of a better phrase that means more erratic and extreme changes in weather patterns, go for it.

Here's one for you...

“It also means . . . that the circumpolar route will probably open to international shipping from Asia to Europe sometime in this century — probably a lot earlier than most people predicted a few years ago,” he said.

Oh yes

Lots of arguments over ownership based on extending continental shelves but it's really about the oil and gas.

So there goes the canal's great value


Rebecca Brown

Any reasonably intelligent person might want to look...

…at that Wikipedia page and argue against it, not some strawman construction that doesn't exist in real life. Trying to create a false image of the people opposing you is bad arguing. Most biologists I've interviewed thought the human race was heading for a massive die back and that it would be a good thing. The only people I know who believe in Aroma Therapy are fools who would rather be told they're smart than that they're wasting their money. Trying to label anyone who disagrees with you as some kind of hippie, drunk, crazy, etc. is a sign of not really being able to look at something like the Wikipedia article and refute its points cogently.

Human tried and failed to get out of Africa before they actually succeeded, and the success was not a sure thing--we're more uniform genetically than chimpanzees because we as a species appear to have been reduced at one point to around 10,000 people (, see also -- the section on humans).

People who live in Australia have been reporting some really nasty summer weather over the last couple years, as have some people living in the US mid-west.

Humans tend to think either in terms of catastrophies or ignore anything problematic that might affect their sense of being in control. I suspect that somewhere in the middle is what's really going on. We're in a period of chaotic weather, and if you can argue with people who actually have studied the data and can come up with alternative interpretations of that data, fine. But trying to belittle people who actually have studied this (not the popularizers, by the way) makes your claims look weaker.

Basically, the temps began rising in the 19th Century.

And this, courtesy of a computer programmer friend who is not into woowoo:

So, read those and get back to us with the math. Susan can understand that even if I can't.

Rebecca Brown

my 2 cents..

i dont know if climate change is true or not..but i do think only a idiot would think its ok to put up with all this pollution in the im for cleaning it save me

I'm with you

It seems we all have to see it first hand before we figure this out, but it will happen.