The State of the Union message: A limerick.

President Obama gave a rambling speech about his failures of the last seven years, and coated them in a coat of a call for unity to accelerate the pace of progress as he sees it… rambling on and on…

Most of the attendees, especially the military,  sat stone-faced.

The State of the Union: It’s sad

might lead to the therapy pad.

He was proud, he was coy,

but it gave me more joy

when I colonoscopy had.

 

Obama State of the Union and Groundhog day, take six. A Limerick.

Obamascrawny

 

As Air America Radio once pointed out:

 

“It is an ironic juxtaposition of events: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication while the other involves a groundhog.”

This gem was originally aired in 2007  but is much more àpropos today. Air America is now defunct, for obvious reasons, not related to this  quote. This year the State Of The Union message is a week early, but seeing his vacation picture I could not help but make some observations:

 

 

Obama is looking too scrawny;Phil Punxutawney

too chicken to face the Irani.

For he can’t cope with stress,

so he works less and less.

Gets scared of his shadow like Phil Punxutawney.

A response to the energy portion of the State of the Union Message.

The Energy State of the Union message.

This is a short interpretation of the President’s State of the Union message as it pertains to energy.

First the speech:

After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.

But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.

In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.

Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.

And now for the interpretation:

“After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.”

Thanks to drilling leases approved under the Bush administration we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.

“ We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. “

We are requiring future cars to double the driving distance on a gallon of gas by making them smaller and lighter. We have also doubled the amount of renewable energy from sources like solar and wind – from half a percent to a full percent of our energy need at a cost of over half a million dollar per job created.

“We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.”

Thanks to fracking, done nearly exclusively on private land in spite of the efforts of the EPA we produce more natural gas than ever before driving down the cost of natural gas.

“And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.”

Over the last four years our emissions of the dangerous carbon dioxide have actually fallen, but because of the increase in carbon dioxide the world can now feed two billion people more. Without this increase there would be mass starvation and death in the developing countries. The goal is population control according to Agenda 21, and increased levels of CO2 interferes with outr plans.

“But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”

Our children are now facing a national debt of more than sixteen trillion dollars, in no small part by tilting at windmills.

“Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15.”

Thanks to the fact that we have put weather stations on airports, on paved surfaces and in places of rapid land use changes, the measured temperatures have shown 12 of the last 15 years have been the hottest on record. It is true that urban heat islands show an increase, but temperature records for weather stations in undisturbed areas show a slight decrease.

 Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.

The raging wildfires of 2012 were less than average.

The crippling drought of 2012 was less severe than the 30’s dust bowl. Remember “The Grapes of Wrath”.

Tornadoes numbered about 30% less than normal and we broke a record for consecutive days without a death from a tornado.

The number of hurricanes and their severity is down.

“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”

Contrary to popular opinion Superstorm Sandy was an early warning of a new little ice age.

Storms are formed and driven mostly from temperature differences. The worst storm recorded on the Eastern seaboard was not Sandy. The headlines claimed the storm surge that hit the U.S. east coast during Sandy was unprecedented, and was caused by global warming. It is my contention that a more likely scenario is that it is an early warning of global cooling.

There have been two storm surges on the east coast larger than hurricane Sandy’s. They occurred in the years 1635 and 1638. Ship logs from the 1600’s also show storms were more violent during the little Ice Age. It got so cold that in 1658 the Swedish Army crossed the Great Belt in Denmark and sacked Copenhagen. The Great Belt is now nearly always ice-free.

“The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago.”

A few years ago John McCain and Joe Lieberman were hoodwinked into believing the IPCC panel political summaries of impending gloom. They keep scaling back their predictions since we have not have any significant increase in temperature the last 16 years while CO2 concentrations continue to increase.

“But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”

I will bypass congress and use the EPA to issue crippling regulations.

“ I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution,”

I will direct my Cabinet to make new coal-fired power plant unprofitable

 “prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change,”

Our communities will be beaten into submission

 “and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

We will continue to tilt at windmills and solar panels controlled by China, but not Nuclear Energy.

“Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it.”

Four years ago Spain went green and the unemployment rate went from 9% to 21% in just a year. It is now 26%

“We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America.”

Thanks to making new coal-fired plants almost impossible wind energy contributed nearly half to all  increase in capacity last year – almost enough to allow the economy to grow by half a percent.

“So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further.”

Solar energy has long been the most expensive way to produce energy. Without subsidies the cost used to be more than 30 c/kWh. With subsidies we can drive the cost down all the way to 17 c/kWh.

“ As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.”

The most drastic step we have done so far is to outsource manufacturing, mostly to China. In so doing we have actually decreased our energy use while China’s is doubled, and China is now using 50% more energy than the U.S. In addition, nearly half of all coal used in the world is burned in China. Not only that, China’s coal is of the soft, brown, dirty coal variety. It is so bad that Beijing now has the highest air pollution in the world. The soot clouds are carried by the prevailing westerly winds up into the Arctic.

“In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.”

My Administration will cut red tape and begin by opening up the Arctic Wildlife Preserve to exploration.

“But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.”

Next to Hydrogen, natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel available

“Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together.”

A true energy hero, Governor Sarah Palin stood up to the Big Oil companies and instituted an oil depletion tax that was progressive, up to 70%, which she distributed to the people of Alaska rather than increasing the size of Government. Her approval rating peaked at 93%. I would like to duplicate that.

“So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”

Nah, instead of that I propose tonight we institute a crippling tax on trucks and cars to finally force them off using gas and diesel fuel.

 “If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we.”

We cannot let a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals do this. This is a job for Big Government.

“Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.”

Let us follow the example of Europe. Their gas prices are about eight dollars a gallon. A spike of another dollar or two would no longer matter,

 “I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years.”

I propose we install smart energy meters and relays that lets us decide if you deserve air conditioning or not, or if you can run the clothes dryer in the afternoon before you go out at night.

 “The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.”

Everybody knows that union states have the best ideas to preserve jobs, so let us promote that.

There were other gems in his speech, but this will suffice for now.

Groundhog day, Climate change and Obama’s Inauguration and State of the Union message.

Phil Punxutawneystate-of-the-union_gi_topGroundhog Day is over. Next step in prognostications of questionable value is the President’s State of the Union message. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this Feb 2. Through the ages he has seen his shadow 87% of the time and prognosticated six more weeks of winter. This year he forecast an early spring. His record is pretty good, he has been right 37% of the time.

As for the President, there has been a lot of ballyhoo about Global Warming/Climate Change/Global Climate Disruption/Climate Challenges – pick your term. Besides Al Gore who recently sold his Current TV channel to Al-Jazeera, a known champion for Mideast oil, few has been more vocal about Carbon Dioxide “pollution” than President Obama.

In his second inaugural speech there was scant mention of the economy, jobs, the impending debt crisis, overbearing regulations and loss of personal freedom. None of these things concern him. He was, however very concerned of climate change and promised a real effort to move towards sustainable energy. This is what he said:

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. ”The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries ­ we must claim its promise. ”That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure ­ our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.”

Let us take the statements one by one and see how well we are doing so far. He has had one full term, so the verdict is in.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change

The most drastic step we have done so far is to outsource manufacturing, mostly to China. In so doing we have actually decreased our energy use while China’s is doubled, and China is now using 50% more energy than the U.S. In addition, nearly half of all coal used in the world is burned in China. Not only that, China’s coal is of the soft, brown, dirty coal variety. It is so bad that Beijing now has the highest air pollution in the world. The soot clouds arechina_tmo_2013014 carried  by the prevailing westerly winds up into the Arctic.(More on that later) Another example of less than stellar action was the “cash for clunkers” program, where “nearly new” cars were destroyed to make room for new, more fuel efficient cars. This was a subsidy for the upper and upper middle class, since they were the only ones that could afford to upgrade. The real clunkers are still left on the road, driven by the less fortunate since the cars they had hoped to upgrade to were taken out of circulation, leading to higher prices for used cars. A true lose-lose proposition. And don’t get me started on Karma and Tesla, highly subsidized electrical play-toys for playboys.

“knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

What we have done so far to betray our children and future generations is putting us in an unsustainable debt and deficit situation. Obama seems determined to follow the example of Spain. They went green, and in one year’s time their unemployment rate went from 9% to over 21%. It is now 26%. Their debt is as bad as that of Greece and we are headed that way. Our debt per person is over 52000 dollars, Greece’ is more like 47000 dollars.

“Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”

The real threat of climate change is not so much global warming but a possible onset of a new Ice Age. Before you dismiss me as a real whacko, let me assure you that I know CO2 to be a powerful greenhouse gas, second in importance only to water vapor, and without gain or attenuation in the response of the Earth, a doubling of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere would cause a 0.9 degree C warming. As an engineer I look at the impulse response of the earth to a variation in the Sun’s effect on temperatures. There are two overwhelming impulses from the sun. They are called day and night, summer and winter.

Let us first take the tropics, since it doesn’t really have summer and winter, only day and night. In an ideal situation,Atmosphericcirculation70_zps62ce2ee6 where the sun bakes down on the surface with no clouds and the earth radiates back into space, the equilibrium temperature in the tropics would be about 140 degrees F (60C). But it isn’t, since thunderstorms and winds carry away the excessive heat from the equator towards the poles. One could say the tropical thunderstorms are the thermostat of the earth. The tropics have found its temperature. It was about the same as it is now even during the last ice-age. The absorbance spectrum of saturated water vapor covers the whole IR spectrum, so any amount of CO2 makes no difference.

But, you say, what happens at the poles? Glad you asked. The heat is carried towards the poles and comes down as rain or snow or not quite as cold air. Since many temperature stations are located on heat islands such as air ports and urban areas that have suffered significant land use change the most unchanging temperature observable is the melting point of ice.

So let us take a look at ice around the poles. The ice cap over the Antarctic is growing. Between Sep 25 and Sep 29 of antarctic_seaice_color_000last year it hit a new all-time record since measurements begun. Notice the maximum occurred more than 3 months after maximum solar influx – a 96 day delay. The southern icecap is about 700000 km2 larger than the 30 year average nowadays.

Not so the Northern icecap. For a fleeting period around Mar 25 last year it was back to the 30 year average, after that came the most rapid snow melt on record, followed by the most rapid refreezing on record. At the minimum it was about 2.8 million km2 less ice than normal, leading to a flurry of press releases of our imminent demise, and of the polar bears. By the way, the number of polar bears has doubled since its minimum. They do not mind a slightly milder climate. There is now slightly more ice in the Arctic than last year – about 700000 km2 less than the 30 year average.

So, the Arctic ice cap is shrinking, but the Antarctic ice cap is growing. Why is that? The CO2 level is the same in both places. Something else must be the cause.Arctic snow

Let me suggest: Air pollution. We have outsourced our manufacturing of steel, gypsum boards and other high energy uses to countries like China and the third world. China is by far the world’s leading polluter and the soot cloud runs all the way into the Arctic. The tell-tale sign of soot pollution is the soot in arcticmeltingpondthe bottom of the ice-ponds that form in the summer icecap, leading to a much more rapid ice-melt. This masks an inconvenient fact. It is getting colder.

In addition, because of more open water in the fall, evaporation increases and this leads to increased snowfall. Moscow has now the snowiest winter in over 100 years. Alaska broke records last year. The snow cap stretches over much of the northern hemisphere, increasing the reflection of the incoming sunlight, and that means a delayed spring.

What does this mean for us? The summers may or may not get warmer, but the winters will get colder in the temperate zone.

Storms are formed and driven mostly from temperature differences. The worst storm recorded on the Eastern seaboard was not Sandy. The headlines claimed the storm surge that hit the U.S. east coast during Sandy was unprecedented, and was caused by global warming. It is my contention that a more likely scenario is that it is an early warning of global cooling.NE_Storm_Surges

There have been two storm surges on the east coast larger than hurricane Sandy’s. They occurred in the years 1635 and 1638. Ship logs from the 1600’s also show storms were more violent during the little Ice Age. It got so cold that in 1658 the Swedish Army crossed the Great Belt in Denmark and sacked Copenhagen.  The Great Belt is now nearly always ice free.Svenskene_ut_pa_isen_maleri_av_Johan_Philip_Lemke

The raging fires of 2012 was less than average.

The crippling drought of 2012 was less severe than the 30’s dust bowl. Remember “The Grapes of Wrath”.

Tornadoes numbered about 30% less than normal and we broke a new record for consecutive days without a death from a tornado.

The number of hurricanes and their severity is down.

The solution: Increase the amount of CO2 in the air, but reduce the worldwide soot emissions.

”The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. “

I totally agree. The regulatory environment makes it nearly impossible to go forward with such worthwhile projects as geo-thermal, thorium-based nuclear power and the like.

“But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries ­ we must claim its promise. “

We have already ceded the initiative in Thorium based nuclear energy to the Chinese, the Russians and the Indians. All three have active developments going including patents. Until recently China controlled 97% of the rare earth metals mining, – a national security threat. See my thorium blog posts: https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/nuclear-power-and-earthquakes-how-to-make-it-safer-and-better/

https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/eleven-reasons-to-switch-to-thorium-based-nuclear-power-generation/

https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/eleven-more-reasons-to-switch-to-thorium-as-nuclear-fuel/

https://lenbilen.com/2012/02/15/nuclear-power-why-we-chose-uranium-over-thorium-and-ended-up-in-this-mess-time-to-clean-up/

”That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure ­ our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks.”

CO2 is a non-participant in global warming. The earth, mostly through clouds and thunderstorms has wonderful feedback mechanisms, which keep temperatures stable on the warm side. The stabilizing mechanisms grow weaker on the cold side, and normal steady state for the earth is ice age. Increasing amounts of CO2 will delay the onset of the next ice age, and in a small way reduce the severity of storms.

We have not had any statistically significant increase in global temperatures for the last 16 years but the amount of CO2 has increased by more than 10%.

Are there benefits with an increased amount of CO2?

You bet. Thanks to increased CO2 the earth can now feed an additional 2 billion people, people that had otherwise starved to death. For a doubling of CO2, plant yields increase between 40 and 70%. In addition plants use less water to do the CO2 breathing when CO2 increases. This can be seen in the vegetation line growing northward south of Sahara.

It is still not a good idea to use ethanol from corn for fuel. Cutting down the rain forests of Borneo to produce biofuel is even worse. Irrigation is sometimes good, sometimes bad. Irrigating from the rivers feeding to Lake Aral was supremely unwise. That displaced about a million and a half people.

My suggestion is to attack environmental problems regionally, especially when it comes to land use. Central planning, especially about water use and water pollution is sometimes disastrous. The worst we could do is to entrust this to UN. They apply political considerations rather than scientific and rational every time.

To protect ourselves we must take back the energy initiative from China, India and Russia. Let us use scientific facts this time and not again succumb to political rhetoric.

Groundhog Day and the State of the Union. A Limerick.

state-of-the-union_gi_topOnce upon a time Air America Radio pointed out:

Obamascrawny“It is an ironic juxtaposition of events: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication while the other involves a groundhog.”

This gem was originally aired in 2007  but is much more àpropos today. Air America is now defunct, for obvious reasons, not related to this  quote. This year the state of the union speech will be given Feb 12, but seeing his vacation picture from Hawaii I could not help but make an observation:

Obama is looking a wee bit too scrawny.

Gone are the days when he seemed to be brawny.

He can’t cope with stress

So he works less and less.

Gets scared of his shadow, like Phil Punxsutawney

Phil Punxutawney