Saturday, May 31, 2008

$2.50/gallon gas - Updated

Was I dreaming when I heard Neil Cavuto verbally sparring with a DNC spokes-ditz on Friday about a Democrat plan to reduce the price of gas?

Their plan is to reduce the price of gasoline by mandating it sell for no more than $2.50 per gallon.

The closest I could find about this is Cavuto's commentary.

UPDATE: Mrs. Headless found my answer.
With gas prices hitting new record highs nearly every day, Congressman Maurice Hinchey says its time for the federal government to step in and get prices back under control.

At a Binghamton gas station Thursday, Hinchey discussed several proposals to combat the problem. One bill Hinchey is working on would give the president the authority to set a temporary cap on gas prices at $2.49 a gallon, a big reduction from the current national average of $3.95. Hinchey says oil companies are already making such high profits that they could easily deal with the reduction.

"We're going to be introducing legislation over the course of the next couple of weeks in the Congress to give the president the right to step forward and say wait a minute, Mr. Oil Companies, your profits are too high, you're exploiting the people of this country too much, we're going to allow you to continue to make profits but we're going to stop the increase in those profits and put a cap on the price of gasoline," said Hinchey.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant, I say. Why don't the Republicans have leaders with this kind of economic gravitas?

But why stop there? I liked gas prices during the Clinton administration even better. We need to mandate a maximum gas price of 90 cents per gallon. Go for it, Congressman Hinchey.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Obama's "tell"

Dad29 and I are on the same track. From his post today.
Obama is not making "gaffes." He's been a myth-maker from the first.

It's an interesting way to run a campaign. Bill Clinton got away with it for the most part--but that's because Bill Clinton was an 'extraordinarily good liar.'
How about Obama? Here's his speech at the Kohl Center.

This is his Auschwitz speech.

Besides his annoying 'Pledge of Allegiance' phrasing (I pledge allegiance -- long pause -- to the flag -- long pause -- of the United States of America...) something jumps out from the speeches. When Obama lies, the flow of his speaking breaks down. He has to think about what he is making up or his handlers told him to say. (Note: I had another example in mind that I'll post if I find it)

In contrast to Slick Willy, Obama may be one of the world's worst liars.


The great orator.

The consequences of Groupthink

Case 1: They'd done this 24 times before without problems, NASA knew all about Space Shuttle launches. Never mind what Thiokol says, they are being overly conservative.

Consequence: Challenger

Case 2: They disregarded procedures and disabled safety systems because they all agreed to what they were doing. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Consequence: Chernobyl

Case 3: They had landed the Space Shuttle 50 previous times. Damage to thermal tiles was never a problem before.

Consequence: Columbia

Case 4: The science is settled. Don't listen to those 31,000 scientists, they are deniers. Our models are getting closer to reality, just send more research grants. Sulfur, what's that?

Consequences: Economic devastation, worldwide starvation, or worse.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Smoke Day IV Wrap-up

Happy, well fed guests ...

Live music - Tom & Ric from IX Lives ...

Pulled pork ...

Do it yourself tart bar ...

A successful day.

A more complete report is here, I'll post video from the Durian-cam once I find my patch cable. You will find Fat Sal's full report here.

We'll see you next year.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ISD IV Entertainment

Play it Again Tom will be entertaining at WSM Smoke Day IV this Saturday. Tom will be accompanied by Ric Prida, lead singer for IX Lives.

Tom plays barbecue appropriate music in this clip. Please excuse the video quality, I wasn't trying to be artistic, I was just learning to use a new camcorder.

Tom is available for your event, either solo or in a variety of bands. Prepare for a great variety of musical choices from PIAT - Buffett, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, Queen, Mozart, Bach, Scott Joplin, polkas and more.
Not to mention Led Zeppelin, Styx, Queen, Pink Floyd, Boston, Yes, Journey, Kansas, Supertramp, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Steely Dan, Genesis, Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Foreigner from IX Lives.

Phone 715-630-7274 to book this entertainer.

Be here on May 24.

Looking good for Smoke Day

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Big change at Bubba's

From this ...

To this ...

I believe that unadulterated petroleum gas is no longer available in Manitowoc County.

Eight Main Symptoms of Groupthink

Eight Main Symptoms of Groupthink

1. Illusion of Invulnerability: Members ignore obvious deficiencies, take extreme positions, and are overly confident in their position.

2. Collective Rationalization: Members discredit and explain away any positions contrary to group thinking.

3. Illusion of Morality: Members believe their decisions are morally correct, ignoring the ethical consequences of their decisions.

4. Excessive Stereotyping: The group constructs negative stereotypes of rivals outside the group.

5. Pressure for Conformity: Members pressure any in the group who express arguments against the group's stereotypes, illusions, or commitments, viewing such opposition as disloyalty.

6. Self-Censorship: Members withhold their dissenting views and counter-arguments.

7. Illusion of Unanimity: Members perceive falsely that everyone agrees with the group's decision; silence is seen as consent.

8. Mindguards: Some members appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group from adverse information that might threaten group complacency.

Not feeling stimulated - Updated


Last two SSN digits: Payments will be transmitted no later than (and received by the end of the day of):
00 through 20 May 2
21 through 75 May 9
76 through 99 May 16

According to this schedule, I should have been stimulated on May 9. Nothing yet. The online calculator says that I have money coming to me.

Maybe they'll mail me a check by June 27.

UPDATE: I screwed myself. I had my tax refund split between two accounts, which means I get the stimulus payment as a check, not a direct deposit. That means a wait of over 1-1/2 months longer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lots of windmills

Construction of the largest wind farm in Wisconsin is complete, We Energies announced today.

The Blue Sky Green Field wind power project in Fond du Lac County consists of 88 wind turbines spread across 10,600 acres in Calumet and Marshfield, east of Lake Winnebago. Until this year, the state had 30 wind turbines generating electricity at a variety of sites across Wisconsin.
I drove from Madison to Manitowoc last night on Highway 151 and was going to blog about the two massive wind farms I saw. Dag gum it, the Journal Sentinel beat me to it.

I was going to post on the mass expanse of land these things covered. I personally think they look cool; in an artistic, sci-fi movie kind of way. The big blades slowly turning are almost hypnotic to watch. But they seemed to go on forever. They were in sight from outside of Waupun until I made the turn East towards Chilton. That was about 40 miles of highway travel for the largest wind farm in Wisconsin.

Those windmills also produce a significant amount of electricity, 145 megawatts of power, or about a quarter of the greenhouse gas-free juice that Kewaunee puts on the grid. Kewaunee is visible for maybe 5 miles when traveling on State Highway 42.

The point is, if you want to replace 20% of the 16,000 MW that is currently used in Wisconsin with wind power, there will be a windmill everywhere that you look (except for Dane County, which will be exempt from siting of unsightly wind power).

Avoid Groupthink

Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance. The term is frequently used pejoratively, with hindsight.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Save the polar bears

Following up on this column by Hugh Hewitt, M. Simon may have started a movement to fight back against the anti-greenhouse gas Bush administration.
Start a cottage industry with standard forms and get those letters out to the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. Don't like City Hall in your town? File a letter. Hate the Saudis? File a letter. Down on Cezar Chavez? File a letter. Don't like Chinese imports? File a letter. Don't like Al Gore's mansion? File a letter. In fact file letters even for industries you like. Bury this decision under a blizzard of paper.
If this takes off, there is a potential positive unintended consequence to it. We can stall government projects and slow government spending. Just by targeting road-building project in Wisconsin, we can save hundreds of millions in the current budget. Here are some places to begin.
  • Make them justify the boondoggle roads to nowhere being built in the state.
  • There is no positive benefit to offset the green-space destroyed by roundabouts.
  • Creating ethanol is now known to add additional greenhouse gas to the the atmosphere over using petroleum.
  • That 499-space parking lot proposed for the park across from my house will need to be justified.
Let's get 'er done.

He aged as well as his wine

Robert Mondavi's legacy has been left in bottles and will be enjoyed for many decades.

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Robert Mondavi, the pioneering vintner who helped put California wine country on the map, died at his Napa Valley home Friday. He was 94. Mondavi died peacefully at his home in Yountville, Robert Mondavi Winery spokeswoman Mia Malm said.

He was 52 and a winemaking veteran in 1966, when he opened the winery that would help turn the Napa Valley into a world center of the industry. Clashes with a brother that included a fistfight led him to break from the family business to carry out his ambitious plans with borrowed money.

At the time, California was still primarily known for cheap jug wines. But he set out to change that, championing use of cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels, all commonplace in the industry today. He introduced blind tastings in Napa Valley, putting his wines up against French vintages, a bold move.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

30 days from $3,499

All I need is the money and the time off from work.

This is piling on.

Stop it. The state is screwed and so is the country. Who do these clowns think they represent?
The Assembly narrowly approved a budget-repair package today, sending it to Gov. Jim Doyle, who has pledged to revise it with vetoes.

Democrats joined Republicans who control the house to push the bill through on a 51-46 vote.

Members of both parties bashed the deal on the Assembly floor, calling it irresponsible for refinancing the state's tobacco settlement payments and not making tougher budget cuts.

The Democratic governor has said he dislikes major aspects of the bill and will rework it with his powerful veto pen.

The Polar Bear Catch 22

It is officially over. Science and climate realism have lost.

The evidence:

A. There's not a dime's worth of difference in the global warming policies of the 3 remaining presidential candidates. They are all in favor of a state-controlled economy based on carbon-credit rationing.

B. Up is down. Down is up. We now have "climate change." From now on, any weather event is evidence of the negative effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The frigid winter of 2008 was due to global warming in the view of McCain, Gore and the other carbon-whores.

C. Atmospheric sulfur data is not available in the open literature. Based on my efforts with Google, I conclude that the Ice Age Deniers have suppressed publication of any atmospheric sulfur data covering the period after 1990. This is my conspiracy theory, du jour.

D. The Polar Bear Catch 22 (a corollary to B). Polar bears are now protected which will impose additional environmental restrictions on U.S. industry. There is simply no way out of it.

If temperatures and/or atmospheric carbon rise, polar bears will thrive. But the temperature/carbon will be seen as evidence of strain on polar bear habitat and the protections will continue.

On the other hand, if global cooling occurs polar bears will suffer and their numbers will decline. This is, of course, evidence that more protection of polar bears is needed in the form of tighter CO2 controls. This applies even as the few remaining polar bears stay a few steps ahead of the advancing glacier.

That lousy sci-fi book is coming true.

Who ya callin' "boy"?


Oh, Bama better hope this doesn't get traction. I think "sweetie" may be good for another 4 to 7 point drop in the polls for Barry.

Ten years ago.

Where were you when Old Blue Eyes died?

In May 1998, I was in Europe on a business trip (thank you Wisconsin Electric customers). I knew about Frank Sinatra's declining health before leaving the U.S., but did not have access to English language news during my first week across the pond.

On May 14, I went to dinner at Munich's Hofbrauhaus, where I inadvertently got drunk with some Chicagoans. Somewhere in the middle of an um-pah set (my BAL was somewhere near .28 after 2 liters of Maibock), the band stopped playing and the leader started to speak in German. It went something like this:
Blah blah blah, blah blah Frankie Boy blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah Old Blue Eyes, blah blah blah blah blah.

Frank Sinatra blah blah blah blah. New York, New York.
The band then played an um-pah version of New York, New York. Even in my condition, I figured out that Francis Albert Sinatra had left us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tell me why this is in Wisconsin's interest

Planet Gore took note of Jim Doyle's anti-carbon treaty with the U.K.

Yet another pair in a series of climate non-aggression pacts have been inked between U.S. states and foreign governments. This time, according to Greenwire (password required), “Wisconsin and Michigan entered into separate agreements with the United Kingdom on Monday, vowing to work together toward solutions to climate change. Under the pacts, Britain and the states agree to share research and ideas about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting low-carbon technologies and raising public awareness.”

Here’s a quick refresher. Article I, Section 10:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

These two agreements appear to be arguably less “a cooperative effort . . . to reduce carbon dioxide emissions” as are the regional climate pacts such as RGGI or their counterparts with, e.g., Canadian provinces. But do they nonetheless still purport to supplant activities which the constitution vests exclusively with the federal government, barring express approval by Congress?

Nevermind the constitutional implications, what is Wisconsin's interest in preventing or reducing global warming? There is no downside to warmer weather in Wisconsin. It is cold here. Besides taxes, the cold is the one thing that drives people out of the state.

Rising sea levels, increased tropical storms, sweltering temperatures? These are not are problems for Wisconsin and never will be.

Glaciation, that is a problem for Wisconsin. There will be another glacier on its way. It is never to early to start preparations for the next ice age.

To fix the state budget, start here

Wisconsin gas stations are eligible for up to $5,000 in grants to help with installation of equipment to dispense E85 ethanol fuel blends.

The funds are being made available through the state Office of Energy Independence. Retailers may apply for up to three sites, and the funds will provide 50% of the cost of E85 equipment installation.

E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

"These grants will go a long way towards helping increase the availability of this renewable fuel in the state," said Josh Morby, executive director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance.

Arrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh .............. another handout to big ethanol, straight from the budget that Jim Doyle cannot balance. Keep me away from my pitchfork.

HT - NewsWatch

Monday, May 12, 2008

Emission check station closing

Interesting timing on Envirotest's announced lay-off of emission testing workers.
Envirotest Wisconsin plans to close its Waukesha plant as of July 1, resulting in as many as 105 permanent layoffs there and at 11 other locations, state officials said Friday.


Envirotest operates the Wisconsin Vehicle Inspection Program, but its state contract is expiring.
The Envirotest contract with the state expires at the same time. This begs a question.
Is closing this station part of the bid requirements that the DOT issued or is it Envirotest's idea to reduce the cost of their bid to win the new contract?
This closing wasn't noted in the previous articles. Any competitor's bid will be an automatic loser if they propose to keep the Waukesha station open.

New Poll: Worst Wisconsin Mom

Another one in the news today. Is there something in the water here?

Cigarette Mom: GREENFIELD - Two women were arrested at a Greenfield Ponderosa restaurant after being accused of allowing a 2-year-old to smoke.

BB Gun Mom: SHEBOYGAN - A 28-year-old woman shot her 8-year-old daughter in the thigh with a BB gun to win a $1 bet with her boyfriend, according to authorities.

Marijuana Mom: Newly released video shows a toddler appearing to smoke marijuana in the presence of his mother and her two male friends.

Cast your vote on the sidebar.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another bad idea

A second bad idea above the fold of today's JSODT.

Using food for fuel is bad. It can even be evil.

You simply cannot create an adequate amount of ag-based fuel, be it ethanol or biodiesel, to support the world's economy without disrupting the agriculture of food. The effect of replacing only 2% of U.S. motor fuels with ethanol (as we a currently doing) has already proven to be a disaster.

Following a group of student engineers attempting to make a biodiesel reactor, as the Journal Sentinel did for a year, is one way to appreciate what America is up against in its fight to kick the oil addiction. The problem - often no more than a distant worry humming in the background of our national agenda - has whipped into a storm as record-setting gas prices gust through the economy.

"I think it would be great if we could actually start a Manhattan Project to develop new energy technologies," said Victor Lin, a chemistry professor at Iowa State University.

But this is not the story of a once-in-a-lifetime project drawing on the nation's best scientific minds. It is the story of a group of college students - young, untested and hopeful enough to tackle one of the major problems they've inherited from the previous generation.

"Oil addiction," what a loaded term. Why is using oil bad? No need to explain. Like global warming, leftists do not allow you to question this assumption. But with an open mind you will understand that modern oil production and refining is less disruptive to the environment than any of the bio-alternatives.

If making biodiesel was easy, if it made environmental and economical sense, and if it could be produced on a large enough scale to make a difference; for-profit corporations would already be mass producing the stuff.

Biodiesel will never be more than a cottage industry and will never make a major positive impact to the environment or reduce the world's use of petroleum. Biodiesel, like ethanol, has the very real potential to cause denuding of the rainforests and starvation among the world's poorest people.

Will someone please explain why biodiesel is a good thing?

I add these five Marquette engineer-wannabes to my soon to be growing list of Deathnocrats.

Pissing money down the drain

Mr. Zilber may have good intentions, but his gift will do nothing.
Milwaukee philanthropist Joseph Zilber will announce Monday that he is committing $50 million over the next 10 years to improve life in low-income neighborhoods in the city.

The goal, according to a draft of remarks to be made by Zilber, is "to revitalize Milwaukee's neighborhoods and reconnect all of her citizens to social and economic opportunity."

Zilber's text says though rates of poverty, crime and other problems are much too high in Milwaukee, "I believe the current reality presents a far more interesting and hopeful story. In fact, Milwaukee may have the best chance in decades to engineer a new future for itself and its citizens."

The Zilber Neighborhood Initiative, as the effort will be called, will work with local organizations to support specific efforts to improve the quality of life in up to 10 neighborhoods.

You cannot 'gift' people to better lives. This will be just another one of the dozens of entitlements that these citizens have come to 'deserve.' The $50 to $200 million that will be in his pool are a pittance when compared to the entitlements that government sends to Milwaukee's inner city every year.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Natural Global Warming Solution

Dr. Roy W. Spencer earned his Doctorate from UW’s Meteorology Program, he is perhaps the clearest thinker on the affect of man-released carbon dioxide on the climate. I first heard Dr. Spencer when he was a guest on the John Gibson radio show. I learned more in 10 minutes of listening to him than in the previous decade of climate change propaganda that has been force-fed to me.He simply makes more sense about the way that the climate works.

Dr. Spencer’s book, Climate Confusion, is now a must-read for me. He presents the basis behind the book in this on-line essay. I highlight some points from his essay below.

Al Gore likes to say that mankind puts 70 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. What he probably doesn't know is that mother nature puts 24,000 times that amount of our main greenhouse gas -- water vapor -- into the atmosphere every day, and removes about the same amount every day. While this does not 'prove' that global warming is not manmade, it shows that weather systems have by far the greatest control over the Earth's greenhouse effect, which is dominated by water vapor and clouds.

Context – something sorely needed by Al Gore. As well as a knowledge of thermodynamics. That water vapor holds over 100,000 times the energy of those 70 million tons of CO2.

What is the greenhouse effect?

The natural greenhouse effect makes the lower atmosphere warmer, and the upper atmosphere cooler, than it would otherwise be without the greenhouse effect.

Contrary to what the climate change alarmists want you to believe, the greenhouse effect does not warm the earth. Dr. Spencer states that the greenhouse effect is the net movement of heat from the upper atmosphere to a lower level of the atmosphere due to capture of infrared energy by water vapor, clouds and, to a much smaller extent, carbon dioxide at low altitudes.

The greenhouse effect doesn't make the earth as a whole warmer, the warmth is just in a different place. For the earth to become warmer increased energy must be produced by the sun and absorbed by the earth.

How the earth compensates for the greenhouse effect

You don’t need to be a climatologist to figure this one out. The negative feedback mechanism that predominates is mostly common sense.

As man releases more CO2 at lower atmospheric levels, this additional CO2 causes the retention of addition heat at these levels – that is what they call Global Warming. But that isn’t the end of the process.

Those higher ground level temperatures cause more evaporation of water. That water vapor rises to form high-level clouds. Any moisture as these high levels will condense as it moves into colder high level air. The condensing water in turn becomes rain and snow, which falls bringing the cooler water molecules back to the earth’s surface. Some of the excess energy that leaves the water as it condenses from vapor to liquid is released to space as infrared energy.

The Global Warming effect in undone, thusly.
The high level clouds also have a minor affect in absorbing energy at high levels, before it can warm low level CO2 and cause Global Warming.

What the models are missing

One inconvenient truth about all the climate models that predict disaster for the planet is that they don't model cloud formation and behavior with any accuracy. Dr. Spencer explains.
Climate model representations of precipitation processes are very crude. In fact, for warm air masses, the models don't actually grow precipitation systems. They instead use simple 'parameterizations' that are meant to represent the net effects of precipitation on the atmosphere in some statistical sense. There is nothing inherently wrong with using parameterizations to replace more complex physical processes - as long as they accurately represent what controls those processes.

What we really need to know is how the efficiency of precipitation systems changes with temperature. Unfortunately, this critical understanding is still lacking. Most of the emphasis has been on getting the models to behave realistically in how they reproduce average rainfall amounts and their geographic distribution -- not in how the model handles changes in rainfall efficiency with warming.

Fortunately, we now have new satellite evidence which sheds light on this question. Our recently published, peer-reviewed research shows that when the middle and upper tropical troposphere temporarily warms from enhanced rainfall activity, the precipitation systems there produce less high-altitude cirroform (ice) clouds. This, in turn, reduces the natural greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, allowing enhanced infrared cooling to outer space, which in turn causes falling temperatures. (Our news release describing the study is here.)

This is a natural, negative feedback process that is counter-intuitive for climate scientists, most of whom believe that more tropical rainfall activity would cause more high-level cloudiness, not less. Whether this process also operates on the long time scale involved with global warming is not yet known for sure. Nevertheless, climate models are supposedly built based upon observed atmospheric behavior, and so I challenge the modelers to include this natural cooling process in their models, and then see how much global warming those models produce.
We'll hear a lot of crickets chirping, before that ever happens.

It is not as hot as they want you to believe
Global average temperature reconstruction based upon 18 temperature proxies for the period 1 A.D. to 1995, combined with the thermometer-based dataset from the UK Met Office and University of East Anglia, covering the period 1850 to 2007. Note that for both datasets each data point represents a 30-year average.

We are just beginning to reach the temperature levels of the Medieval Warm Period. A very good period for life on earth, indeed.

Friday, May 09, 2008

It's the sulfur, stupid. Part 3.

Simply a coincidence, I'm sure.

The end.

Six months ago I blogged about the challenges of my new job. Here is some of what I wrote.
Slowly I learned more of the story. Other project managers told me I was taking over a doomed project and that the project is behind schedule with less than 6 months until implementation. The project had also failed in two previous attempts at implementation. The other PM's were steering clear of this job.

Then I learned that the CEO of this Fortune 500 corporation had a hand in the firing of the previous project manager, unbelievably high level attention for a project this size.

Finally, I get this email note from the owner of my new company (portions redacted).
Welcome aboard. We, and specifically this project, need you. If this
project fails rest assured we will be blamed regardless of our degree
of culpability...

So don your armor and proceed into battle (and watch your backside).

PS - Please don't run out the gate with your arms flailing.
I actually laughed out loud when I read that.
My Project from Hell is complete and turned over. Even in spite of having additional scope (with no new resources) added 3 months before the outage, valve flow test results that caused a major system redesign after the start of the outage, and an engineer that was trying to see the project fail even before I arrived.

The project was finished behind schedule, but was never on critical path for the outage. Nuclear power is now safer yet for America.

Barrack, Nancy and Harry will tax your 401(k)'s

I am Big Oil. And so are you.

If you own a diversified mutual fund or have a pension, you are a owner of the Big Oil companies. That windfall profit tax that the Dems adore WILL COST YOU AND ME. Reduced dividends, reduced stock prices, and increased taxes to make up for these losses in government funded pension funds.

And Obama intends to raise the capital gains tax, too. Another means to enslave the masses to the state, as our retirement planning will become inadequate. That man is either ignorant about finance or he is evil. We may be witnessing the emergence of another Mussolini or Castro.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gas prices

For the last month or so, gas prices in Mishicot have been 20 to 30 cents cheaper than prices in Pewaukee (I filled on 89 octane E10 today at $3.559/gallon, it was $3.849 at home). The price used to be much closer.

I think I am seeing the Summer blend conversion premium on prices of reformulated gas (they only use real gas or generic E10 in Manitowoc County). We may get a slight price rollback in Waukesha County when Summer production is fully online.

On a international scale, Belling kept talking about the $15 a day worker in China not being able to afford $10/gallon gas. That is a good thing. Motor fuel demand is inelastic in the U.S., but is elastic in China and India. They will eventually stop buying, which will ease supplies for our own selfish use.

As I said, this is good news. Belling didn't realize the consequences of what he was saying.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It really is the sulfur, stupid.

I wasn't looking for it, but I found scientific confirmation to the global warming solution I published yesterday. From this post at Power and Control.

Sulphates, largely produced from coal-burning power plants, are known to reflect sunlight back into space, cooling the land and ocean below, and counteracting some of heating from greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Levels of sulphates over North America rose until the 1970s, and then fell as increases in respiratory disease and acid rain led to tougher pollution controls.

This author still is a carbon-phobe, but once that gets scrubbed out, you have my theory.

I also had my theory critiqued by a friend today and have some clarifications.

His question:

If I'm reading you correctly, your point is that sulfur emissions cause cooling, and lack of/reduced sulfur emissions result in warming (or at least no mo' cooling). Okay so far?

If so, the period of nasty smelly oh-so-acidic sulfuriferous emissions between 1900 and 1960 (say) should have caused a net temp decrease. Then the environmental legislation of the 60s and 70s and resultant reduction in stinky smelly sulfur should have led to increased temps during and following those halcyon years. Now that China and India are back to crapping up the skies, we should be in another cooling cycle.

Isn't your curve showing the mirror-image of these effects?

My response:

No. My theory is exactly depicted by the actual data.

Anyway, it makes as much sense as "carbon." Why was warming not noticed prior to 1980? Something had to change around that time - was it more CO2 or less S? If more CO2, where did it suddenly come from? Anyway, I'll show in a later blog that CO2 does not matter - the earth naturally compensates for it.

Getting back to the graph, first you need to paint this picture on the canvas of global temperatures rising as we emerge from the Little Ice Age. Because of that, and our poor job of polluting in the early 20th century (smaller populations, The Great Depression, and less efficient polluting technologies), the earth's temperature rose until WWII.

With the post-war industrial boom, temps drop slightly. Once we clean the sulfur, temps take off again, notice the post-70's slope is the same as the pre-WWII temperature rise.

I goofed on the emerging economy effect. That is shown on the following graph at Dr. Spencer's website. It shows the cooling trend since 1998.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's the sulfur, stupid.

Fox News has a report on an event that took the Little Ice Age to its lowest temperatures. A volcano!

The effects of a massive volcanic eruption in Peru more than 400 years ago might have significantly impacted societies and agriculture world-wide, according to a new study of historic records.

Huaynaputina erupted in southern Peru on Feb. 19, 1600, driving volcanic mudflows that destroyed villages for many miles around and spewing a huge column of smoke and ash into the atmosphere.

The eruption of Huaynaputina represents the largest known eruption in South America in the past 500 years, said study leader Ken Verosub of the University of California, Davis.

This is more than conjecture. This effect of sulfur on global temperatures was also witnessed following a recent eruption.

Like many other volcanic eruptions, Huaynaputina injected a large amount of sulfur into the atmosphere.

Sulfur reacts with water in the air to form sulfuric acid droplets, which reflect some of the sunlight hitting Earth, preventing rays from reaching the surface. The reduction in sunlight cools the surface for a year or so, until the droplets fall out of the atmosphere.

The most recent case of this cooling from a volcanic eruption occurred when Mount Pinatubo, in the Philippines, blew its top in 1991. Global temperatures dropped by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius) the following year. (Scientists have proposed schemes to artificially inject sulfur into the atmosphere to counteract the effects of global warming.)

Whoa! Artificial sulfur injections, what a concept. Why haven't we tried this before?

Oh, we have ...

Following World War II, the economies of the West grew rapidly, fueled by coal and petroleum that dirtied the atmosphere. So dirty, in fact, that drastic measures were taken to clean up the air. Laws were passed that mandated catalytic converters, low sulfur coal and fossil power plant smokestack scrubbers. Clean air followed. But other nations, such as China and India, got into the act, fueling their economic growth with coal and petroleum, which dirtied the air again late in the 20th Century.

What would a graph of temperatures over time look like under these conditions? Exactly like this.

Globally averaged temperature variations between 1850 and 2007 show the emergence from the "Little Ice Age" in the early 1900's, slight cooling from the 1940's to the 1970's, and then warming again since the 1970's. (HadCRUT3 temperature dataset from the UK Met Office and Univ. of E. Anglia)
Cause and effect.

The earth has not been experiencing Global Warming since the 1980's. The earth has been recovering from a period of Manmade Global Cooling caused by atmospheric sulfur that was ended starting in the 1970's. Cooling is beginning again because of sulfur being dumped into the atmosphere by developing nations.

In a few moments of Internet research, I already have more proof of my theory than those beholden to Al Gore; even with the thousands of Monte Carlo computer runs of their climate models. Cause and effect - show me what you've got.

Another challenge to any carbon-phobes reading this. Prove me wrong. I'm being infinitely more open-minded than you are. I will actually listen to criticism and
competing theories .

A big tip of the hat to Dr. Roy Spencer for the online education about climate models.

Coming soon: Why carbon doesn't matter - the natural global warming solution.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Taxidea taxus

Mine. I got there first and my cooties are all over it.

My new blog. Try to guess the theme.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Another rule for Sykes' next book

My son responded to a 'roommate wanted' ad on Thursday.

For some reason, he was really excited about the place.

Mrs. Headless later told me that the roommate was a girl.

The next day I'm cruising through my regular blogs and see a post by Bill Michaels with a young woman pictured
(that link went dead within 1 hour of this post).

She had the same name as the girl renting the place, Tatiana.

Headless Junior confirmed today it is the same girl.

Hmmm, that could make for some awkward trips to the bathroom.

Smart girl, she rented the room to someone else.

Good for my son, too. He may actually be able to study next year.

And that new rule for Charlie Sykes next book?

Rule 51: Penthouse Forum doesn't happen in real life.

More emissions testing questions

Today's JSOnline features an emissions testing follow-up - Emissions to fall despite testing cuts. The article and accompanying graphic begs some questions.

Above is a plot of the data that was provided in the sidebar. The test results for treadmill versus computer checks are remarkably consistent, except for 2004 model cars. This isn't just chance, due the large number of tests being performed, statistics says these numbers mean something. These vehicles should have better emissions than older cars, just as the treadmill results show. There is something wrong with the computer modules on 2004 vehicles or with the software used by the state's contractor to read and analyze the data for these cars. This problem needs to be researched and a solution found.

The article includes this statement.
If the changes had not been made, and more cars had continued to be tested, DNR projections made available this week show emissions of nitrogen oxide would be only 1.7% lower and VOC emissions only 3.6% lower in 2009.
Because testing of 1996 and older cars is being eliminated based on the above cost-benefit comparison, what are the numbers for cars built in 2001 and later? There are certainly more 2001 through 2004 cars in service than those from 1996, but it takes more than 10 times more of these to have as many testing failures as the statistically average 1996 car.

I believe it can be shown that eliminating testing or at least reducing the testing frequency of cars that are 0 to 7 years old will add less pollutants than eliminating the pre-1997 vehicle testing (the limited data provided in the article on percentages of model years in operation definitely supports my theory). Based on the DNR-DOT acceptance criteria, Wisconsin
can eliminate testing of all 2001 and newer vehicles with minimal environmental impact.

Another question in my mind is what kind of Environmental Impact Analysis was performed to allow this net increase in pollution? Or can DOT increase pollution without performing a detailed environmental analysis?

Come on Lee Bergquist and unnamed DNR officials, Wisconsin taxpayers and motorists want to know THE REST OF THE STORY.

H/T - Dad29