Although some people have disputed the reality of climate change it is a certainty that minimizing CO2 emissions will have the very desirable effect of encouraging greater energy efficiency and resort to alternative energy sources. Indeed, one could reasonably suspect this is the hidden motivation behind concern about the climate.
We really need improved energy efficiency and alternative sources. It is the nature of industrial change that it takes a long long time to implement for the simple reason that it takes a long time for existing infrastructure to become too worn for use. Typically this means a lifetime for infrastructure of around 20 to 40 years. Thus the sooner we start the better. Wind and solar both have the potential to supply a lot of energy, but is will be too late if we wait until an emergency. Quite simply, the security of the nation depends upon starting energy change as soon as possible.
We are lucky that the 1973 oil crisis has already had some good effect on conservation. More is needed. Most critically, that change is needed in the personal transportation sector. Basically that means resort to electrical propulsion. Here is a link to a recent bill in Congress that establishes CO2 emission goals.
Today was the opening day for the 2009 Greenbelt Farmer's Market. It is in its second year, and is bigger and better then last years, dispite today's soggy weather. In addition to fruits and veggies, vendors were selling honey, jelly, bread, plants, soap, ice cream, cheese, meats, eggs, coffee and crafts. Everything is produced within 100 miles of Greenbelt, Maryland. The Farmer's market is located in the Roosevelt Center parking lot and is open from 10am-2pm on Sundays, except for Labor Day weekend.
Sunspots have finally returned to the Sun after a long absence. There had been concern that the recent prolonged absence might mean the start of centuries long inactivity such as the Maunder minimum of the past that was associated with severely cold weather.
Even with the return of spots, the now commenced Sunspot Cycle 24 is predicted to be weak with relatively fewer spots. That might mean some cooling influence, or, maybe not. If there is any cooling influence it is unclear at the present time whether that will offset the warming influence of increased CO2.
Climate predictions are difficult due to the complexity of the many effects from physical, astrophysical, geomagnetic, solar, biological aerosols, clouds, particulates, biological and soil surface reflections, and anthropogenic pollutant influences. Climate modelers try their best to take it all into account, but the biological influences on the climate are near impossible to model, in part, because the climate influences the biology ! As someone who has done his share of computer modeling, I don't have a lot of confidence in it. As one British scientist put it, it is time to abandon a consensus prediction on the climate. We don't know.
If you would like to keep track of space weather, including sunspots see this link to space weather.
Since the Ohio trip I have been feeling great. Even better, I've lost 10 pounds and expect to continue losing. I don't know the cause of all this, but one possibility is that the road vibration from the long trip was vibrating all my fat and reset the metabolism. I have heard of such things. I feel too good to suspect cancer as a cause for weight loss.
After arriving in Ohio, someone asked if my new Honda Fit had a lot of road vibration. I had not previously noticed it, but, on the trip back paid attention, and yes, perhaps there is a little bit more rumble than average, but nothing obnoxious to my personal sensibilities. Anyway, if the vibration hypothesis is true, buy a Honda Fit if you want to loose weight. It is probably the best car I have ever owned. I love it and recommend it to anyone. The new engine loosened up on the trip, and now it gets over 37 mpg with further increases expected.
It is evident that Jon is not the typical tourist. He speaks French and also has close contacts with the aborigines. Here are a few excerpts from an email:
we went to the ghost village of perrillios out in the desert not far away: fairly well preserved tiny village with its own church: restoration under slow way and things are locked unlike last time when i visited church: little graveyard and wonderful view over over valleys to mountains and far distance: the last time i played guitar under a fig tree for the last nights operation of La Lizard bistro
Apparently life is pretty good there:
lourant and i played into the night after dining on medeteranian muscles and crab:::::: life is tough but someone must do it
And so it goes in France. I haven't heard much about what Jake is doing.
It seems that some of the alleged global warming can be attributed to a Y2K bug in software of sensors that gathered data circa 2000. Here is a link to this bizarre basis for a multi-trillion dollar policy decision based on a computer programming bug.
This is not to say there might not be other data that support global warming. It might exist.
Herewith is a (sanitized) part of Jon's email to me from France:
these party animals had me out till 3:::::::::up in the mountains at another ancient home, pictureslllllllstill cant find the keyboard period::::::::::::it was a goat trail to get therellllllllwild dogs, wild pigs; the man needs a rifle, has nonelllllllllthe wind power here is well developed, many massive units to be seen, like war of the worlds things on the horizon:::::::::::::::i was told that since carolina has a license to practice in england that since its all now the eu that would be much easier for her to work here::::::::::::fresh oysters and muscles yesterday from saltwater farm:::::::::::not cheap; but the muscles were especially good:::::::::::::were drinking wild thyme tea to ward off the flu::::::::::::abnormal amounts of rain; but welcomed in this climate:::::::::i seem to be the only party surviver; only one up at 10 morning::
He must have been posting on a sub-mini netbook that the old guy could barely see or type upon. I wonder what ::::: and lllll mean on that computer ?
For the past month or so I have been taking note of these mysterious purple paper lantern shaped installations hanging from trees. I have noticed them in Fort Washington, MD; Hillsboro, VA; and Kearneysville, WV. There are always two within close proximity to the road. Has anyone else noticed them? Does anyone know why?