Two Letters Re: Pondering Some Personal Consequences of Global Climate Change

Dear Jim and Family,
Wow, people sure are getting worked up and personal about climate change aren’t they? I agree that as survivalists we should do our best to plan for reasonable emergencies. Cold weather gear in Central America? Probably not. A larger cistern system than you think you need in the desert or great plains? A good idea. Why? Climate change, whether caused by man or not, makes for changing rainfall patterns. Maybe heavier so your soil gets waterlogged and you get unexpected floods. In Hawaii this may mean more hurricanes. Or maybe Hawaii turns into a desert island with little rainfall and ends up collapsing like Easter Island did. If the rain gets more brief and falls less often, aqueducts, which keep your well full, could fail and you’re suddenly out of water. Drought has a very long history in North America in particular, topping several advanced and complex civilizations: the Mayans, Hohokam, Mississippi Mound Builders, and the Anasazi. In north america, climate can be accurately mapped by tree ring growth and several other methods, and the region has a tendency of a couple centuries of reliable weather, then a couple decades of severe drought. We’ve had 150 years of reliable weather, and I guess now we’re going to have drought. The Mayan calendar maps that to 265 year cycle of growth and destruction, which is purported to end around 2012, which should be around 4 years into the Peak Oil collapse.

A couple degree water temp difference means a huge difference in Cod catch in the North Sea near Norway and Iceland. There are centuries of records on those, if anyone is interested. A couple degrees can mean glaciers grow or retreat, which they’ve been doing for millennia before man began burning coal or oil. I think that the IPCC report is inconclusive, but I’m a geologist and nobody asks us about climate since our viewpoint is a lot longer than theirs and our conclusions don’t make good headlines: “It’s Interglacial. Climate changes because its erratic until the next ice age begins.” But that’s not as sexy as claiming the <s>sky is falling</s> world is melting and everything will die. I’m pretty tired to explaining this to ignorant masses who want to believe we’re all going to melt into the sea.

When all is said and done, climate change is something the governments of the world have decided to accept as truth, regardless of whether it is or not. They are prepared to mandate “solutions” to “stop warming”, when their own vaunted report says that if we start now with the most extreme measures (no CO2 emissions at all), it will take 50 years to see any change.

As survivalists, we should be thinking about the political consequences of that decision, such as banning the burning of firewood to cut CO2 emissions, outlawing internal combustion engines, perhaps even seizing rural properties without active agriculture because the cost of transit from this rural location makes it environmentally damaging under the Kyoto protocols. Think about that. Are there alternatives to allow your lifestyle to survive? Yes, but they’ll be expensive and bid up by demand. Electric cars actually cost around $40K, and are subsidized by the government down to $22K. A mass release of electric cars to the general public won’t scale up for subsidies, so expect to pay that $40K for the first models. Instead of seeing the price drop, it will probably rise with time as demand for the most efficient models and latest innovations (and inflation) will bring it higher. As metals will cost more to make thanks to the lack of fuels and restrictions on CO2 emissions, special taxes are added on for a personal transport vehicle, and road taxes and GPS tracking of mileage that gets very expensive. I can easily see cars costing $70K (before inflation) by 2012. How many households can afford that? I sure can’t.

The IPCC report invites all sorts of oppression and we should fight misuse and abuse of the data aggressively. They’ll take your guns today (UN says self-defense is illegal) so they can take your cars tomorrow (personal vehicles release too much CO2, use precious fossil fuels/electricity), then your furnace/fireplace (CO2), then your pantry. (Ration Cards). You can see where that’s going. Pretty soon you’re living in Orwell’s 1984. Letting government, and their politically motivated scientists, tell me I can’t burn wood, coal, or oil to heat my home because it releases CO2, thus denying my right to survive the winter in a rural retreat, is the same as a putting a gun to my head and telling me to obey and die. I have real problems with that. Things like this convince me that the UN is the enemy of the Free Man.

Even if the science behind the IPCC report is correct, the threat of forcing First World countries to suffer like the 3rd World is too high a cost, particularly when it means death for so many of us. Regardless of effort applied, change will have to be endured over the next 50 years, so basically the rest of our lives. It is in our own best interests not to abide by the Kyoto protocols and to adopt affordable alternative energy. Any changes we make must make economic sense and the radicals frothing at the mouth over the IPCC report want aggressive changes made now, the kind that kill a lot of people. These are not people we should be taking advice from.

So, think about rainfall totals, falling well levels, potential oppressive laws, and how to deal with them all at your location while you try and make a living under the radar with a modicum of both privacy and comfort. Best, – InyoKern

Dear Jim,
I see that folk myths are becoming part of the Ad-hoc Working Group (AWG) “science.” Regarding: “Greenland! Those who bought the stories they were told about it were sorely disappointed when they arrived.”
Repeating: there are currently Viking Era farms melting out of the glaciers in Greenland, proving it was warmer then than currently. Greenland was not a garden, but by the standards of the Norse it was quite viable. The furthest north discoveries of artifacts are near 80 degrees north, well above the ice line for centuries in between then and now. Greenland was occupied for 450 years, by people who had boats as a standard. Think of where the English word “Skipper” comes from, also “Starboard” and many other nautical terms. If it had not been viable, they would have left. The Inuit arrived around the year 1200, fully two centuries after the Europeans, and survived the climate change the other way–colder. This is established fact.
“(freakish warmth in Greenland at some point is not a basis for concluding that a world-wide trend was evident, as it wasn’t) .
It’s sad to see this myth persists.”
As to there not being supporting evidence, here’s a secondary source linking to lots of others: See: This one smashes the notion that there was no Medieval Warm Period, with evidence from the Antarctic, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, the Pacific…all supporting a period warmer than today, followed by the Little Ice Age, and no measurable change in sea level.
The best quote from here is: As a prominent Finnish scientist remarked about a historical military event in his country’s distant history, “if `anecdotal’ ice is thick enough to carry a whole army, we can infer the ice was both thick and durable as an objective conclusion based on a documented historical fact.”
To suggest that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) didn’t exist is revisionism on par with Orwell’s 1984. Any “scientist” claiming so is a charlatan, plain and simple. Too many disciplines, from geology to geography to botany to history to cartography all concur for them to be wrong on such a scale.
The other point I shall address is:
“In another widely held misconception, the rise in sea levels is not pegged to the weight of ice in the sea, but rather the melting of land ice and thermal expansion of the ocean.”
This is an easy one (I had a physicist assist me, but my college math and HVAC thermodynamics is well able to grasp it):
The average temperature of the ocean surface waters is about 17 degrees Celsius
90 % of the total volume of ocean is found below the thermocline in the deep ocean. The deep ocean is not well mixed. The deep ocean is made up of horizontal layers of equal density. Much of this deep ocean water is between 0-3 degrees Celsius (32-37.5 degrees Fahrenheit)!
its volume is over 1340 million cubic kilometers
Average Depth: 12200 feet (3720 m).
A Calorie or kilocalorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one Celsius degree.
Although the metric unit of energy is the joule, heat is commonly also measured in units called calories (there are about 4.19 joules in a calorie)
Oceans volume: 1.34×1021 l
Oceans mass: 1.4×1021 kg
90% of the water is below the thermocline and can be ignored –
surface heating won’t affect it.
Average surface water temperature: 17 C
Energy required to raise average surface water temperature to 22C
5×1.4×1020 KJ = 7×1021 KJ
Solar power input to the Earth is about 1050 W/m2 after counting the
amount reflected. Earth’s cross-sectional area is 1.27×1014 m2, so
total solar power input is 1.33 x 1020 W
So 50 million seconds of solar output would do it.
Giving density at 17C as 1.024193346 kg/l
and at 22C as 1.020066461 kg/l
So our 10% surface water of 1.4×1021 kg has a volume of
1.36692940397×1020 l at 17C and 1.3724595931×1020 at 22C
which is a difference of about 5.5×1017 litres = 5.5×1014 m3
The surface area of the oceans is 3.61×1014 m
which give an approximate level rise of 1.5m or five feet, about 0.41%.
So, if the sun doubles in output for TWO YEARS, enough energy will enter the system to raise the ocean level about 5 feet.
If we decreased the energy radiated from the Earth by 1% (a SIGNIFICANT change for a system in equilibrium radiating on average as much as it absorbs), and if all that extra energy went into the oceans, that would raise the water temperature by 3C over 100 years, for less than a 2 foot rise.
This disregards that the upper ocean is not a parallel-sided tank, but slopes, that 30% of that energy would fall on dry land, and that toward the poles much of it would be soaked up or deflected by atmosphere. Also, in the last 3 billion years, the solar influx has INCREASED 40% without catastrophe.
This disregards additional cloud cover raising the albedo and reflecting some of the incoming energy.
Atmospheric warming is irrelevant to sea level expansion (it can affect surface ice), because the transfer rate from gaseous air to liquid water is very low.
And yet, this is an idea that so-called scientists are endorsing? I certainly hope not.
And there is certainly no consensus that warming is taking place to the degree some argue:
Supports global warming. Says he doesn’t trust Mann’s paper. some advance, some retreat Antarctic ice may be increasing
There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 million years ago), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.
The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.”
One can say that the scientists working for the energy companies are “biased,” but bias works both ways. One could also say that those getting paid higher wages by the private sector are competent. Those who can, do, and all that.
Certainly we are facing climate change. Certainly it will affect life, cause local disasters and shift society. But the planet, life and even the human race have withstood much worse with much less knowledge. – Michael Z. Williamson