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A strange June chill and other topics - The Galveston County Daily News: Weather Watch

December 5, 2016

A strange June chill and other topics

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • vic krc posted at 9:13 am on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    vic krc Posts: 298

    Stan, given your interest in climate change, I thought you may be interested in a Web site I came across - riskybusiness.org.

    It is a bi-partisan effort to assess the economic costs to businesses of climate change and is headed up by Michael Bloomberg and Henry Paulson.

    I am interested in this because the entire project is moving the climate change issue from the current culture wars context to an economic self interest context.

    Lets face it, whatever our country's policies will be on climate change, these policies will be decided by business economic self interest and national security and not on how the people feel about Obama, or about the extent of government interference in our lives, or polar bears stranded on ice floes. This is true domestically and internationally and that is the reality of it.

  • Stan Blazyk posted at 10:13 am on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    Stan Blazyk Posts: 125 Staff

    I agree. It is no surprise that the military leaders of every major country in the world have already adopted contingency plans for climate change re: defense and international affairs. it is also why every major insurance company has already taken steps to deal with this issue and have done cost/benefit. studies.

    In the end, economic and security interests as well as science will determine responses to this, not politics as usual.

  • gecroix posted at 11:30 am on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 6417

    Nothing boosts sales like a healthy dose of fear... [wink]
    Business is the best hope people have of not going over the edge on 'climate change'. The Dollar will eventually trump all, even though currently that's an inconvenient truth...

    I'd be happy if, for a start, enough people understood where the current claim of '97%' scientific agreement on human caused global warming got started.
    97% of 33% is somewhat different from 97% of 100%.[wink]

  • vic krc posted at 12:44 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    vic krc Posts: 298

    There is a lot of, to my mind, irresponsible demagoguery on both sides of this issue, the 97% comment being one example.

    There is no doubt that the climate has gotten warmer. The questions in my mind are:

    What has caused the change? Green House emissions, natural cyclical climate change. or some of both?

    Where will climate change go from here and how dangerous is it? This is where my skepticism comes in to play. How much credence do we want to give to computer generated predictions? As Yogi Berra said, we should be careful in making predictions, especially about the future. Computer models are built by scientists based on their current assumptions about how the world works. Weather forecasting computer models disagree, as Stan knows, because of the assumptions built in to their construction about all of the many variables in play and how they will interact with each other. Very complicated stuff and out of my pay grade.

    Economic analysis of whatever data science may provide will ultimately determine where we go from here. Economic planners, both here and abroad, will have to look at what they know to be imperfect climate change projections, decide on a discount rate to apply to all of the cash flows associated with potential courses of action to determine the net present value of the costs and benefits. If the net present value is positive, that is the present value of the benefits exceed the present value of the costs, then the project(s) will go forward.

    This is all easier said than done, but it is the way it will be done from the business and national security side. Far from perfect stuff, but its all we got.

    Is there any way we can get Pandora back in her box again?[sad]

  • Jake Buckner posted at 1:16 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    Some hypotheticals:

    If it were determined that the climate is warming, but it was inconclusive whether by "human action," would you want to attempt to reduce the warming by reducing carbon emissions?

    Doesn't that seem the most likely scenario? Average global temperature has increased in the past century or so, and many believe it's caused by humans. It makes scientific sense, but it's impossible to prove. Or at least with our current modeling capability it can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. So what to do? That's the situation we're in, and the one we're likely to be in for awhile.

    What if it were determined that this is part of a natural cycle, but that we have the power to mitigate it with a reduction in carbon emissions. Would you want to try it, or not?


  • Jake Buckner posted at 1:19 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    "Nothing boosts sales like a healthy dose of fear..."

    As anyone trying to buy smokeless powder, brass, primers, bullets, etc. can attest to..

  • gecroix posted at 3:23 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 6417

    Gentlemen, with all due respect, the United States has already made strides toward improved air quality that are monumental in scope and cost, yet, to hear the 'climate change' side tell it, we must do more - much more. Punitively more.
    Folks, where I worked, we built ONE facility nearly 20 years ago at a cost at the time of 300 MILLION bucks for the sole purpose of reducing sulfur in fuels from 3% to 2%. Spent about twice that on sealing upgrades on storage tanks to get average emmissions of benzene to atmosphere from ONE PPB (that's Billion with a B) to 1/2 PPB. Spent at last count (by the time I retired a few years ago) some 5 BILLION bucks upgrading flare systems not just for safety but also to come as close as possible to elimination of atmospherc emmissions in emergency events.
    That's ONE business entity. Can the country even afford to emulate that, on an even bigger scale?
    Really, you are,imho, looking at 'global climate change' as something that can be positively impacted enough to make a global change by making changes in the only country of any size and industrial/commercial/private sector base, hence atmospheric emmissions, that is interested in doing so- our country - right here.
    Can it really, unilaterally?
    No. China alone increases emmissions, at CURRENT rate, every year and a half or so sufficient to replace and even add to the current target/date years set by the President as he makes the latest move to kill the coal industry. In THIS country. China's utilities rely on coal, and they are cranking them up as fast as possible.
    That's just one country - add in Russia and India, and there is NOTHING the United States can do of any consequence compared to total atmospheric emmissions to impact 'global climate change', even if it IS proven to be more scientifically inspired than ideologically, something that an explanation for 17 static temp increase years despite ever increasing CO2 emmisssions would do a lot more to settle than cherry-picked 97% 'consensus' figures.
    OF COURSE, if there were a reliable, really reliable, determination of actual, and man preventable, climate change, it would be foolish NOT to try to help the situation. BUT not ALONE. And THAT is the rub. Until every country has it in mind and is willing to act, again if towards a real problem that can be impacted, then it will do NO good to wreck our own country.
    Even a simple old East Texas country boy like me knows you don't eat your seed corn. If the U.S. makes the alarmists happy by 'necessarily skyrocketing' the costs of energy due to 'climate change' concerns, proven or not, explained 17 year hiatus or not, and thus sends us even deeper into fundamentally changed, new normal economic doldrums, where will the leadership to try to convince other countries to go along in the quest come from, and the science to make the case, and the money to set an example once agrreed to follow it?
    The more we go in debt to China, as but one example, to prop our own economy up the less they have any reason to listen to us, if they even would anyway.
    Is that not so?
    I am labeled a 'climate change denier', evidently for asking questions and refusing to be force fed. Ok.
    What shall we label the folks happily pushing ahead to no useful end? Reality deniers seems about right.
    One BIG problem is nobody trusts anybody because of too much books cooking and figures extrapolated from, evidently, Jupiter, and cherrypicking of 'data'. Both sides.
    THAT is the first thing to overcome, if anything ever can...imho

    53 lines - Guess I'll get dressed down from that counting lady again... [beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

  • vic krc posted at 3:33 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    vic krc Posts: 298

    Depends on the cost - benefit analysis. How sure are you that we that we can mitigate it, and if so, how much and at what costs? Your questions were too simplistic and framed in a way that assures the answer you are looking for. There are no easy answers, especially given the fact that other countries, especially China and India, would have to go along. What would you do if they didn't go along and the US was put at an economic competitive disadvantage? How much unemployment would it be worth to you, for instance? If we were to play the Lone Ranger, would you be willing for it to cost you your job? Ask your nearest coal miner. It may be necessary, but maybe not, and we should be reasonably sure of a decent probability of success before we go it alone and disrupt our economy.

  • gecroix posted at 3:57 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 6417

    Sometimes a complete lack of trust works as well as fear...[wink]
    Especially when there's real good reason for it.

  • Stan Blazyk posted at 5:02 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    Stan Blazyk Posts: 125 Staff

    Interesting tidbit (link) to add to this conversation. 2014 is on track to become the warmest year ever recorded by humans. May, 2014 seems set to go into the record books as the warmest of record for the globe:


  • vic krc posted at 6:22 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    vic krc Posts: 298

    Just out of curiosity only, what does the development of El Nino in the Pacific mean for us locally in the Fall and Winter months? Seems I read or heard somewhere that there would be higher probability of us getting more rain than normal. Is that right?

  • vic krc posted at 6:32 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    vic krc Posts: 298

    I'm sure that the Chinese and Russians would be happy to see us shoot ourselves in the foot. We just have to convince them to do the same thing so we can proceed on an equal footing.[beam]

    Im done for the day. Gonna have my evening Scotch and politically incorrect cigar.

  • gecroix posted at 7:10 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 6417

    "But humans have really been on the planet for a fraction of the lifetime of the Earth. Archeologists estimate that modern humans have been on the Earth for about 200,000 years."
    "For world history, recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing."
    So, as a guesstimate, the known recorded overall history of man is no more than 6000 years out of up to 200,000 or so years for the folks somewhat close to us.
    That's about 3%.
    Wonder how hot it was in the other 97% (97%??...coincidence...) of 'modern human times', not counting the millions of years of humanoid and pre-human developement.
    It's an interesting and thought provoking record of temps at highest recorded last year, at least as reported by earthsky.org (I note on their website they accept doinations...is that common in climate science circles??).
    It's less than a drop in the bucket compared to what we have no idea about.
    Proving...nothing. Either way.
    Let's be sure the baby is safely set aside before tossing out the 'settled science' bathwater...
    Now, I am no scientist. But, and correct me if I'm wrong...isn't science a never ending thing...research an ongoing effort to refine and even refute current scientific orthodoxy?
    What reputable scientist, if that's the case, would ever claim that 'the science is settled', knowing that they only have data, if some of it however slim, for 3% or less of the history of what amounts to modern man?
    Ding ding ding...alarm bells...

  • gecroix posted at 7:44 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 6417

    I'll cheerfully provide the ammo to them...[wink]

    Scotch and a cigar.
    I'll be having a (bottled) Diet Coke and a handful of Planters cocoa roast almonds.
    Thus we see the difference between the refinements that a good education can bring to one, versus an East Texas Piney Woods dirt stomper's homespun alternatives. [smile]

  • vic krc posted at 8:20 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    vic krc Posts: 298

    OK, you drug me back in. I used to know some folks around Longview that liked scotch and cigars. I went to U of H, not Harvard or Princeton, so I'm not that refined. Unless you're one of them tee-totlers a trip to Spec's and a trip to El Cubano on 518 will fix you right up. And cigars go good with Diet Coke.

  • gecroix posted at 8:43 pm on Wed, Jun 18, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 6417

    "Unless you're one of them tee-totlers..."
    Uh...well...pretty much. Post 1998 anyway...
    Does an average of 1 margarita every 3 or 4 years count as total...[wink]
    And, I've never smoked in my whole life - never even had an unlit one in my mouth.
    I've lived a sheltered life....[beam][beam][beam]

  • Stan Blazyk posted at 8:36 am on Thu, Jun 19, 2014.

    Stan Blazyk Posts: 125 Staff

    Forest fires occurred long before humans appeared, but that doesn't mean that humans can't cause forest fires. Climate change occurred long before humans appeared, in some cases due to continental drift, in others, vulcanism, and in others the influence of Milankovitch cycles. But there is also evidence that early humans started impacting climate even before the industrial revolution. Studies have indicated that cutting of forests led to desertization and direr, warmer conditions in part of the Middle East, Africa and the Southwestern U.S.in the far past.

    In other words, natural changes do not preclude human impacts as well.

  • vic krc posted at 9:23 am on Thu, Jun 19, 2014.

    vic krc Posts: 298

    Well, the riskybusiness.org study is supposed to be released next Tuesday, I believe, and I have signed up to receive a copy. It will be good, for me at least, to have the data in a format that I can understand and consider and not have to rely on the sweeping generalizations that are so much a part of the public debate.

    By the way, I was really curious and not trying to make any debate points about what effect El Nino development might have for us locally, Or maybe that may be a subject for one of your future posts?

  • gecroix posted at 9:27 am on Thu, Jun 19, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 6417

    Yes, so what do you propose we do to halt continental drift, volcanic activity, and the slight shifting of the earth in relation to it's axis? Will demanding that the nation's power costs 'necessarily skyrocket' cure those?
    What will California say when we close their state because to try to prevent some of the massive brush fires they have yearly...for the good of the planet?
    Of course landscape denuding would make an impact. Why is that a point made when the focus of the 'climate change' forces has been and is atmospheric emissions? Is someone proposing now to clearcut the nation? A child knows that it's cooler in the shade than in the sun. In fact, it gets downright cold in a desert at night. Does that count as credit for daytime heat impact reversal...[wink]
    But, since you brought it up, in this country, rather than do without lumber and thus send construction costs through the roof we use reforrestation and timber lands management to remediate any harm. We don't wreck our economy for no reason just because other countries ignore such business and environmentally sound practices.
    This is not Easter Island...or Korea.
    'Humans impacting climate' is as much a diversion as it is obvious. People leaving Gringo's will soon impact the climate! Closing down all Mexican food eateries will have zero impact on global climate. Just as wrecking our nation's economy will have zero impact on global climate as other nations expand their emissions as fast as they can, and easily replace and exceed what we cut.
    IMHO, you are arguing that others are denying that humans impact global climate. is that really the case? Isn't it really that one area of humans cannot by itself have enough impact to stop worldwide effects, that all must 'sacrifice'?
    And certainly cannot benefit the planet by turning a rich country into a poor one as others turn a blind eye to their self-destructive, quixotic actions?
    Talk about what can be done, really done, not wished to be, to get the world on board with doing what this country has ALREADY done in the realm of remediating/controlling atmospheric pollution, and the climate change folks will find plenty of allies for that from the 'deniers'. If the rest of the planet won't or can't even get to where we already are, and their emissions exceed ours by an order of maginitude(s), then that windmill being tilted at is going to win the battle....[wink]