Skeptical Science Website … So, What’s Your Point?

There’s a website called “Skeptical Science … examining the science of global warming skepticism”, Skeptical Science: Examining Global Warming Skepticism.

While admitting that scientific skepticism is “a healthy thing”, he seems to take particular pleasure in deriding what he considers “skeptic arguments” while basically failing to put forward any arguments of his own to justify his support for “anthropogenic” global warming other than carefully picking his own sources, a number of which are becoming increasingly controversial.  I suppose that’s a safe approach to take … ridicule those you disagree with while hiding in a closet with like-minded people.

There are articles on his site with numerous graphs and charts pointing out various things and there’s a lot of discourse related to those articles … if you want to delve into them. I did … regarding a few. And, I frankly found it enlightening regarding how much disagreement there was over data, trends, variables, models, and “anthropogenic” effect on global warming. I forgot to mention the cartoons he posts. I suppose they’re there for the “anthropogenic” global warming advocates that can’t read. The author of the site states,

“Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports anthropogenic
global warming and yet eagerly, even blindly embrace any argument,
op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming.”

It sounds like he’s talking about himself on the other side of the argument. He goes on to say,

“So this website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do
their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed
scientific literature say?”


Yet, what does he offer in rebuttal? Frankly, nothing that I can discern other than referencing the same sources over and over again.

He conveniently lumps together people who don’t believe in global warming at all with people who are aware that global warming has been going on for tens of thousands of years but don’t wholeheartedly and blindly buy into the current fad that any recent changes in global warming are “anthropogenic”.

Mr. “Skeptical Science” states his scientific credentials then smugly and safely hides behind his ridicule of those he disagrees with while apparently doing his own cherry picking of facts, selectively ignoring valid questions by people visiting his site while repeatedly referring to his same ole’ defenses.

Even deceased Michael Crichton has fallen victim to his and his followers’ ridicule. One of the groups referred to for debunking Crichton, RealClimate, couldn’t get it straight whether croplands cooled or heated the climate.Apparently, none of them have left their cozy air-conditioned offices to go stand barefooted in a freshly plowed field on a hot summer afternoon or flown over fields and forests to notice the difference in updrafts or downdrafts, winter and summer.

So, I think back home we would consider him some kind of cowardly piss-ant of sorts and not worth the bother of more than pointing out his deficiencies.

I’m one of those people acutely aware that global warming has been going on for thousands of years but not completely buying into the hysteria of “anthropogenic” acceleration of the process. I’ll leave that to the smug schmucks that follow their high priest, Al Gore.

Meanwhile, I’ll ride my bicycle more and plan on taking trips on it because it’s healthier and fun even if a little dangerous.

I’ll be an advocate for passenger rail because it’s more fuel efficient than air or auto for intermediate and long term travel, albeit slower and for practical purposes … nonexistent in the U.S. except in, and to service the needs or desires of, the Northeast Corridor … and selfish union employees… a 20th century mistake. It is a necessity, although an apparently neglected component of travel for the future,  in the world of the “electric car” … that can’t go more than 60 or 100 miles without an eight or ten hour charging.

I’ll also advocate for nuclear power and more oil exploration and use of coal. Somehow we’re going to have to generate electricity for those electric cars and with the current state of solar and wind power, land based and offshore, it’s going to take a while to get those energy producers up and running as well as time to determine if they actually will produce the energy we need … some more healthy skepticism regarding hypotheticals.

I don’t think the detractors of nuclear, oil and coal have considered the toxic manifestations of the disposal of millions of batteries large enough to power millions of electric cars. If you think coal and nuclear waste are polluting the planet, consider what those batteries are made of and how frequently they will have to be replaced … and at what expense. There’s some toxic waste to consider.

So …

Mr. “Skeptical Science”, what’s your point … other than an oxymoronic attempt to ridicule and suppress those you disagree with?

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My Second Argument for Passenger Rail: The Electric Car

Now, with the change in administrations, we’re being told that the electric car is going to be our salvation … as well as the salvation of the Detroit “Big Three” … General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.

Okay. …???

I have a few questions that I’ll preface with some news about a new electric car that was widely publicized last weekend.

This electric car which is being manufactured in southern California, is a three wheeled vehicle which will “go as far as 100 miles on a single charge”. (Then it will have to sit for 8 to 10 hours to be recharged.) It will go from 0 to 90 (mph) in 10 seconds … real zippy. And, it can carry (up to) two passengers, three golf bags and several briefcases (a quote). And that 100 miles per charge is with a full load (all of those items and people listed above).

Okay … well … that’s great.

I live in Charleston, SC and … if I want to go to Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, or Seabrook Island … or even Sullivan’s Island or the Isle of Palms, I can do the round trip. But, what if I want to go to the beach at Edisto Island … about 52 miles away? Oops!!

I guess I’ll have to spend a few hundred dollars to get a room and plan for an overnight stay … or carry the camping gear and stay at the state park there.

If I decide to go to Columbia which is about 115 miles from Charleston, should I carry my camping gear and plan for an overnight trip … and where am I going to “plug in” to recharge? Maybe they’ll install an “outlet strip” at the truck stop on the way there … and I’m not talking about a shopping outlet.

Myrtle Beach is 90 miles away … definitely plan for an overnight … at least. Savannah is 110 miles to the southeast … definitely an overnighter, again, but I can stay at the KOA at Point South to “charge up” and … I hear they have a jacuzzi.

Well …, have I made my first point?

Next …

Has anyone out there bought a replacement battery for your cell phone … or better (worse) yet … for your camcorder? That cell phone battery currently costs about $30 to $40 … and that camcorder battery may set you back over $100. Hey … replace that battery in your laptop and you’re looking at several hundred dollars.

Can you imagine what a battery pack for an automobile will cost? A simple battery (lead acid) to start a conventional automobile will set you back anywhere from $60 to more than $100. What will a nickel cadmium, metal hydride or lithium ion battery that is large enough and powerful enough cost that will power a car? And, they will have to be replaced. And, as the sophistication increases and lack of “memory” decreases, the number of potential recharges decreases and the cost increases.

This electric car that was showcased last weekend will sell for $25,000 to $40,000. How much of that cost is the battery? Something to think about …

And …

Where is all of this electricity going to come from? How is it going to be generated?

Well, disregarding that bolt of lightening that just struck you in the ass, electricity doesn’t just …”poof” … appear.

It has to be generated … from coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power plants.

Hey … wait. “They” say it’s going to be generated from “renewable” sources. Like what … wind, solar, hydroelectric? The environmentalists want “green” sources of energy … sure. Except, they just don’t want it in their backyard … or yours either … if they can see it … or hear it … or if some blind bird might fly into it … or if the power transmission lines might interfere with the migratory path of a desert turtle … or if it inconveniences the salmon. So, what’s left?

And …

How much “more” electricity are these electric automobiles going to require? Has everyone forgotten about “brownouts”? What’s going to happen one summer day when everyone in LA comes home, cranks down the thermostat on their air conditioning and plug their 50 or 100,000 electric automobiles in?

And …

If there are currently about 100 million gas guzzling automobiles being used now, is everyone, in one fell swoop, going to trade in their gasohol burner and get an electric car? I don’t think so. For one thing, a lot of people simply won’t be able to afford them. Second, for a lot of people, an awful lot of people, they are simply impractical.

Unless …

Yes, unless, we have some alternative, convenient and economical form of intermediate and long distance transportation.

And, I don’t think air travel can, or ever will be able to, handle the increase in volume that would ensue from a change from using automobiles for intermediate and long distance travel. Period.

The only logical extension of converting to electric cars is a massive reimplementation of passenger rail … a logical conclusion which is blaringly and evidently lacking in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funds which have been “vaguely” dedicated to “mass transportaion” and “rail” amount to little more than 1% of the massive spending bill. Maybe it will be part of the next trillion or two the Obama administration and Democratic Congress will eventually spend.

If I’ve made any errors here, someone … please … enlighten me.

By the way, most of the electric cars that I’ve heard about only get about 60 mile to the charge …

Well, scratch a day trip to the Isle of Palms, Kiawah or Seabrook … just too close to call

And General Motors making an electric car …

I don’t think they could make one cheaply enough or charge enough to get out of the debt hole they’re in … well maybe if they charged $100,000 per car.


Pelosi House Passes Offshore Drilling Bill With 50 Mile Limit. What About Wind?

In response to an overwhelming public outcry for Congress to move on offshore drilling to relieve our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, the Pelosi controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to be sent to the Senate for consideration which limits offshore drilling to a 50 to 100 mile offshore range.

TheHill.com – House passes energy bill

NRDC: Press Release – House Energy Bill Falls Short

House “energy bill” is a sham

Opponents to the bill argue that most of the projected offshore oil deposits lie within the 50 mile range and the Democrats under Pelosi’s leadership are simply trying to delude the public into thinking the Democrats support offshore drilling while approving areas for drilling which will provide little stimulus for companies involved in oil exploration to bid on the approved sites.

My question is whether the Democrats and Pelosi, in particular, have inadvertently shot themselves in the foot. While inherently opposing oil exploration or new development of nuclear energy, the mainstay of the Obama Campaign has been to achieve energy independence from foreign energy sources within 10 years. While shunning the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, the mainstay of the Obama strategy would be the use of renewable sources. Unless they plan to heavily compete with food supplies and therefore further drive up the price of food in the markets, the mainstay of Obama’s plan will need to be solar and wind energy.

If this were a practical consideration, the wind corridor in the Midwest isn’t sufficient to generate more than probably 20% of the nation’s energy needs at the most. That means, for wind energy to be a viable consideration, offshore wind power will need to be a major component in that project.

As noted in a previous article, Pickens Plan Presentation Before Senate Committee, Dr. Habib Dagher , director of the Advance Structure and Composites Laboratory at the University of Maine, stated that the technology for producing significant offshore wind power in waters beyond 20 miles offshore will take about 5 to 7 years to develop … which doesn’t include mass production of the developed technology or its implementation.

The 20 mile limit is the “over the horizon” number chosen in consideration for people like Senator Edward Kennedy who don’t want to see wind turbines from their beach front properties.

Since 20 miles offshore is considered over the horizon, it brings into question why Pelosi and the Democrats chose to limit offshore drilling to between 50 and 100 miles offshore.

It also brings into question how the Democrats will handle the deployment of wind turbines offshore, whether they will stick to 50 mile minimum on wind turbines as they have set for oil drilling and, if not, why?

Harry Reid and Snake Oil

After listening to the re-run on C-Span of Senator Harry Reid’s speech at the Democratic National Convention presented on Wednesday evening, I was glad that I missed the original presentation since I was preparing and eating my supper. There’s something about Harry Reid that seems to always slightly nauseate me and seeing his speech before supper would have spoiled my appetite.

Listening to Harry Reid mention snake oil convinced me that he was certainly an expert on the subject.

While he was describing the traits of a presidential administration, I could have sworn he was referring to Lyndon Johnson instead of George Bush. His description of the administration was certainly more characteristic of and consistent with Johnson’s.

When Reid chided the Republicans for ridiculing Jimmy Carter alternative energy initiatives, I couldn’t fail to wonder why, if the ideas were considered so great at the time, that a Democratic president couldn’t get a Democratically controlled Congress to go along with his ideas. There must have been more of a problem than the Republicans.

Harry Reid apparently considers oil some sort of demon. He’s quick to point out that any current oil drilling will take 10 years to be productive, a point, by the way which isn’t exactly correct when people who are familiar with oil drilling are asked about the prospects. The fact that he and Boone Pickens keep pointing to regarding the United States having only 3% of the world’s known oil reserves are based on relatively old data, may not take into account discovery of large deposits of oil in deeper parts of the Gulf of Mexico late last summer and completely disregard the fact that Congress has prohibited exploration to seek out new oil deposits in many parts of the Gulf and in nearly all of the areas of the eastern and western continental shelves. In other words, while numerous new deposits of oil have been discovered in many parts of the world in the past 10 years, oil companies have been prohibited from doing the same exploration and development in American controlled waters. New oil deposits have been discovered in Indonesia and Brazil in the past 10 years helping those countries to become energy independent and to develop their economies while the United States has been limited to importing increasing amounts of oil.

While France has been safely using nuclear energy for the past 50 plus years, a Democratically controlled congress has prohibited the United States from building new nuclear reactors for nearly 30 years.

Harry Reid ridicules the prospect of producing more oil because he says it will take 10 years. How long will it take to develop and implement an alternative energy source consisting of wind and solar power? He fails to mention that those prospects are 12 to 22 years in the future. In a recent presentation before a Congressional committee an expert on offshore wind development stated it would take 5 to 7 years for the technology to be perfected. And that estimate didn’t include the time it would take to implement the technology once it had been developed. It’s understandable that the Democratic leadership might be unaware of these facts since no Democrats even attended the hearing.

Pickens Plan Presentation Before Senate Committee

Harry Reid’s speech amounted to a lot of hot air and political posturing based of questionably lofty ideals with no substance. He ridicules any attempt to try to achieve any form of energy independence through developing any oil resources we may have by discounting it stating that any increase in domestic oil supplies would take 10 years. Yet he doesn’t explain what the American people are supposed to do in the intervening 12 to 22 years while solar and wind power are being developed.

Harry Reid talks of energy conservation. Where are the examples from the Democratic leadership … or do they believe in leading by example? And where is the explanation of what the American people are supposed to do while waiting to be delivered from Harry’s Demon? Where are all of those electric cars and the cars that get 40 miles per gallon that the Democrats keep alluding to? Are they going to spontaneously appear once Obama becomes president?

Harry Reid’s simple-minded tunnel vision would be a riotous joke if his unadulterated hypocricy weren’t nauseatingly revolting.

One thing became obvious after listening to Harry Reid. It really doesn’t matter whether Nancy Pelosi has given an indication that offshore drilling might be a possibility … because Harry Reid hasn’t. Pelosi can play all of the politics she wants by letting it leak that she has given permission for Democratic Congressmen up for re-election to tell their constituents that they’re in favor of offshore drilling. Pelosi says, “Tell your constituents anything it takes to get re-elected.”

Because, if Pelosi doesn’t continue to block any bills regarding offshore oil exploration and drilling, Harry Reid will.

Frankly, they don’t care what 70% of the American public wants. After all, they’re Democrats and they know better than the American public what’s good for America.