Monday, January 26, 2015

KEEP YOUR STICK ON THE ICE


January 26 is reckoned America's coldest day of the year, and as a major blizzard engulfs New England, few recall Los Angeles has just escaped an unseasonable heat wave that turned black asphalt roads into shimmering mirages as temperatures rose to 106 in the low winter sun.  Could that strange sight inspire the rescue of a Canadian tar sand industry even the Keystone Pipeline cannot save from oil prices in free fall?

The economic salvation of energy companies like Alberta's Suncor could be added value. Its present profits depend on defiling the pitch it mines. Athabasca tar sand  is a far cry from petroleum; converting it into combustable goo, let alone free-flowing fuel entails removing carbon, and adding hydrogen. But why bother with energy intensive processing when a high added value product could turn Canadian bitumen's naturally vast viscosity into a feature rather than a bug?  

Nobody does hockey better than the great white north,  yet the national sport  has long depended on a product no more native to Canada than maple syrup to Mexico: rubber hockey pucks. 

Why should patriotic Canadians depend on this alien import, when no less a national figure than Rick George, President & CEO of Suncor Energy, one of Alberta's oldest tar sand companies, has  pointed to a native Canadian solution.  In March 2008, he addressed the World Heavy Oil Congress, outlining some of the reasons the sands have always required innovative thinking.


“Oilsands may be a hydrocarbon, but you can’t use it as a lubricant— quite the opposite: it contains minerals nearly as abrasive as diamonds. You can’t pump it—at least not without some serious technology. It’s as hard as a hockey puck in its natural state. And you can’t burn it as a fuel—countless forest fires over the millennia have failed to ignite it. The fact is, by itself, the oilsands are worthless. It has no value other than the value we create.”

While oil prices have plunged below $400 a tonne, free market hockey puck prices remain rock solid at $19.99 a dozen, --  nearly twenty thousand dollars a tonne !

This is a margin worthy of the DVD industry, and it takes little more than a modified waffle iron to stamp asphalt-rich tar sand bitumen into NHL ready hockey pucks. The fifty to one added value margin means Suncor can forego the contentious and environmentally dodgy Keystone pipeline, and sustain its profitability by pucking and trucking a mere 2% of its bitumen production into the ever growing world sporting goods market. This would avoid 98% of the CO2 emission of burning the stuff, and spare the fair face of the plains pimpling with brimstone piles the size of ski jumps, the inevitable byproduct of less innovative bitcrude business models.

It's not too late for Suncor to ditch the unsporting Fraser Institute and hire  a real advocate of creative destruction, Canada's greatest living watermelon, stand-up duct tape spokesman Red  Green, to tell Suncor execs to stop pucking around and turn another tar sand mining bug-- deforestation, into a new feature of the renewable resource landscape. Trees bulldozed to create tar pits could become the raw material for horzontal integration into a global hockey stick monopoly. 

If American libel lawyers can reinvent themselves  , why not Canadian MBA's?  Inflategate is already rumored to have inspired a Harvard Business School startup that aims to add an honest 70 grams to  the throw-weight of NFL quarterback's by filling their pigskin bombs with heavy xenon isotopes from  Ontario's Candu  reactors.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

STATE OF THE UNION : THE MISSOURI CLIMATE COMPROMISE

The Harry Truman Climate Resolution :

Whereas  the Oceanographer of the Navy, the IPCC & the United Nations Environmental Program regard a 21st century rise in excess of 2 degrees C to be potentially dangerous to the national interest, the United States Senate notes that the temperature rise of .8 degree in the previous century was attended by unprecedented human progress and prosperity

Considering the role of God and man in climate change in both centuries, the Senate resolves to exert its powers of equivocation to prevent the present rate of climate change from greatly increasing or decreasing , and instructs the  Chaplain of the Senate to implore almighty Providence accordingly.

And whereas the  decadal rate appears to be some .16 degree C, or 43 microdegrees per day,  the average per diem rate of climate change over the last 36,524 days or hundred years,has been some 22 microdegrees, the Senate directs  NOAA to adduce  policy proposals aimed at keeping that rate within the range observed since the Republic’s founding, so as to prevent its undue acceleration as the Senate proceeds with the business of the nation's third & fourth centuries.


Since at the 20th century rate  it will take some ninety-one thousand days or 176 years for the globe to warm by 2 degrees Celsius,  the Senate  resolves to fund such NOAA programs and proposals at the first sign of decadal temperature increase exceeding .2 degree C per  decade,  commencing in fiscal 2020, thus providing a climate safety margin of at least four presidenial elections.

Let it be resolved  therefore that the Senate will contemplate policy engagement as soon as NOAA shows the right honorable gentlemen from the state of Missouri empirical signs of anthropogenic global warming approaching the scale needed to realize UNEP’s stated  fears within the present century, provided that, showing  a decent respect for the attention span of the United States Senate,  NOAA henceforth reports the rate climate change in microdegrees per hour.


Friday, January 16, 2015

ORESKES TIPS HER HAND

En route to  the movie of her book, the latest vice-presidential court historian to earn a Harvard appointment swoops in full cry upon her lawful prey : 
       A dead white male,  name of Milton Friedman.



A half hour of verbal cutaways follow, leaving the distinct impression that $45,000,000 spent on a decade of tobacco-free biology research at Rockefeller University that led to the 1993 Nobel Prize in medicine, for prions, was spent instead on cigarette industry PR.

Incidentally, the correct citation for  "$45,000,000 dollar man"  meme is  an article in that not very learned  journal Vanity Fair , which got it in turn from  two other fountains of 'Merchants of Doubt ' historiography, 'Ecosyn', the collected online  works of 'Lion Kurtz, Science Cop' and the 'BushHitler' conspiracy website. 


These primary sources have oddly gone missing from the scholarly apparatus of  Prof. Oreskes book. Will they be missing from the screen credits too? 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ANOTHER D-MNED THICK SQUARE BOOK, EH, MISTER GIBBON?

Judith Curry deserves thanks for an unintended  epiphany: the appearance of Volume II makes the Heartland Institute's NIPCC Report  thicker than The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but why does the PR business bother subsidizing  all the scribble, scribble, scribble  ( and daub ) that goes into such spectacularly bogus works of climate skepticism?  

The answer is that bad lawyers need worse books.

Here, revised from Judy's Marshall Institute gig is a sketch that shows Singer & Bast's 4-pound magnum opus being put to its intended use:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

ANTHROPOIDS BEHAVING BADLY


It just wouldn't be the Anthropocene without anthropoids behaving badly.
Here from WUWT,  the South Park of the Climate Wars, is further evidence that Watts' fanboys have escaped the ravages of evolution:
COMING  SOON FROM  PLANET WATTS : AN ENTIRE PAGE  OF  RICHARD  ALLEY OOP  JOKES,  RATED PG-13

THE TRUTH THAT SETS MEN FREE


IS SELDOM THE ONE WATTS, CLIMATE AUDIT ,  OR BISHOP HILL READERS WANT TO HEAR, BUT  IT  SPEAKS  FOR  ITSELF  ANYWAY.

Another WUWT sympathizer  has escaped to the side of physics:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

ALDO THE RED AND THE CHAINSAW QUEEN

To paraphrase Lenin, you can't make an omlette without breaking watermelons. 

Word that Brazil's new Science Minister is a true-blue Red State Red  seems  to  have  equally dismayed the environmental Left, and Neocons given to chanting 'Green on the outside, Red on the inside.' 

Simon Romero, The New York Times man in Rio reports:  
Calling Aldo Rebelo a climate-change skeptic would be putting it mildly. In his days as a fiery legislator in the Communist Party of Brazil, he railed against those who say human activity is warming the globe and called the international environmental movement “nothing less, in its geopolitical essence, than the bridgehead of imperialism.”
...his appointment this month as minister of science by President Dilma Rousseff is causing alarm among climate scientists and environmentalists here, a country that has been seeking to assert leadership in global climate talks.
“At first I thought this was some sort of mistake, that he was playing musical chairs and landed in the wrong chair,” said Márcio Santilli, a founder of Instituto Socioambiental, one of Brazil’s leading environmental groups. “Unfortunately, there he is, overseeing Brazilian science at a very delicate juncture when Brazil’s carbon emissions are on the rise again.”
Socialist International president turned United Nations Environmental Program head Dr. Gro Brundtland has yet to call Comrade Rebelo a Left  Deviationist,  but  Environmental  Defense  Fund  Director of Tropical Forest Policy Steve Schwartzman styles him an 
"old-line Communist fan of Marx and Engels,... on exactly the same page on climate science as the hardest of the hard-core tea  partiers  in  the  United  States : it’s  all  speculation  – ‘scientism’ – not real science.”
Schwartzmann isn't happy with Aldo's counterpart, either:
'The new Minister of Agriculture [ former Senator ] Katia Abreu  ...led the Congress’ powerful anti-environmental, anti-indigenous 'bancada ruralista' or large landowners’ caucus, and earned the title among environmentalists of “chainsaw queen.”
Will  Rebelo & Abreu's 2012 widely reviled revision of Brazil's forest protection laws divert Chris Mooney from his  war on Republican scientists?  The Climate Progress party line thus far remains  pas d’ennemi à Gauche , in more ways than one.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CAPTAIN WATTS' CARBON NEUTRAL CHOWDER

While the Spongebob Squarepants of  the  Palaeoclimate Wars stalks
the giant clam  as propaganda fodder, others are putting the megamolluscs to more tasteful use . 

If grown to 100 kilogram adulthood, these tropical creatures can be a trifle tough on the half shell,  but  slow-cooked Tridacna gigas chowder presents a savoury and nutritious way for people to consume their way into carbon neutrality by turning their trash into an environmental treasure.



Eating just one jumbo giant clam a day can mount into a yard-filling shell midden in the space of a year, and since the clam's carbonate carapace is almost pure limestone -- white as a cool roof and  1/7th carbon by weight, soup sequestration could easily offset the average American's  6 tonne a year addition of carbon to the atmosphere, and spare suburbanites much hard labor by eliminating the need for gas guzzling trips to the garden center to fetch lime for the lawn.

A trifling investment in dimensional analysis reveals added benefits.  Removing a cubic foot or more of clam per capita from the water each day could take a bite out of sea level rise, as  tens of cubic meters  of clamshells a year times 7,000,000,000 chowderheads could generate enough tonnage of abstracted water for each square kilometer of ocean surface to stem the rising tide of thermal expansion by nearly a milimeter. 

Instead  of cluttering the landscape, discarded giant clamskells can be crushed into an ideal  driveway paving material, whose high albedo  can amplify the cooling effect of adjacent white roofs in rolling back the urban heat island effect of the black asphalt that covers all too many roofs and roads today.


Monday, January 5, 2015

IT'S NEVER TOO SOON TO JUMP THE CLAM

TIRED OF CHERRY PICKING?  TRY CHERRYSTONES !
FORAGING FOR  FACTOIDS WITH WILLIE & WATTS 

China Sea for the past 2500 years: A unique look into seasonality and seasonal climate changes during warm and cold periods


Abstract

High-resolution late Holocene climate records that can resolve seasonality are essential for confirming past climatic dynamics, understanding the late 20th century global warming and predicting future climate. Here a new composite record of the sea surface temperature, SST, variation in the northern South China Sea (SCS) during the late Holocene is constructed by combining seven seasonally-resolved coral and Tridacna gigasSr/Ca-based SST time-windows with the instrumental SST record from modern interval between 1990 and 2000. This composite multi-proxy marine record, together with the reconstructions from mainland China and tropical Western Pacific, indicates that the late Holocene warm periods, the Roman Warm Period (RWP) and Medieval Warm Period (MWP), were prominently imprinted and documented in the climatic and environmental history of the East Asia–Western Pacific region. Meanwhile, substantial and significant SST seasonality variations during the late Holocene were observed in the composite record. The observed increase in seasonality (or amplitude of seasonal cycles) during the cold periods around our study area was probably caused by the different amplitudes between winter versus summer SST variations in northern SCS, with much larger SST variation during winters than during summers for the late Holocene. In addition, the distinctive warm, cold and neutral climatic episodes identified in our northern SCS composite SST record correspond well with other paleo reconstructions from mainland China and especially well with the Northern Hemisphere-wide composites by Moberg et al. (2005) and Ljungqvist (2010). The overall agreement however also calls for more information and insights on how seasonal temperatures and their ranges vary on decadal–centennial timescales.

WHILE  MAKING  LIBERAL  USE  OF   HOCKEY  STICKS 
COMPOSITE  PALAEO RECONSTRUCTIONS 
AS   MEDIEVAL  OCEAN  TEMPERATURE   PROXIES ,
WILLIE  & CO.  IGNORE  THE  ISOTOPIC SYSTEMICS
 OF  ARCTIC   CLAMS  LIKE   A. islandica,  
THAT  POINT  DOWN ,  NOT  UP