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Ein forum, ein thread

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:43 am
by PeterODonnell
Well I was going to post something before opening day but apparently we are open already.

So I suggested this forum as a place to discuss the topic that the media inform us is on the minds of many Canadians.

I somehow doubt this in reality, but will play along as a good sport.

The truth of climate change is that the climate is bound to change. It has never stayed in some fixed zone at any point in the known history of the planet and certainly not in the more documented historical period. So they have that part right.

As to this drumbeat about runaway warming and increased frequency of severe weather events, I think those are at least open to some question. The warming may be considerable but is it all down to us, or are there natural cycles at work, which we can't turn off by paying carbon taxes? And in any case, what part of these already burdensome taxes has gone to any actual mitigation of climate change, and with what actual result? I would argue the money is being shovelled into general revenues to support the clients of governments who levy the taxes on people who can scarcely afford to pay them and who see nothing much in return. And if as the government claims, the whole thing is revenue neutral, a constant recycling of money from paying the tax to getting the rebate, what's the point of that? It's just the government treating us as Money Mart to get an advance.

The part about increased frequency of severe weather strikes me as a whopper. Any honest study of that proposition usually returns the verdict that severe weather was somewhat more frequent in the past (colder) climate. And in fact, even severe heat waves are more frequent in the period 1901 to 1960 than in the period 1961 to 2020. I've just been updating the Toronto weather records that used to be kept quite meticulously when I was a student half a century ago. The station has continued to take observations but is not a "class A" weather station any longer and they sometimes miss a day here and there. But other nearby locations are always recording too. What I found was that only two parts of the year are showing much signs of this much-discussed warming. Those are the two ends of winter, late November to about the Christmas holiday, and then again second half of February into March. Plenty of new records have been set in those two intervals. Otherwise, only the weakest (therefore easiest to overcome) record highs have fallen since 1970. When I first developed an interest in this subject, there had been ten days during the period to 1970 with readings above 100F. We changed to the metric system in 1977, but whether you go with 100F or 38C, there has been a grand total of one new addition (and Connie, Mark, you can guess the date, it was July 21, 2011, the day we were trying to survive in court in Ottawa in that tremendous blast of heat).

That's it, one day to match (barely because the top seven are still in the same order) the bigger heat waves of years like 1911, 1918, 1919, 1921, 1936, 1948 and 1953. Even 1854 back in the colder 19th century managed one. The warmest month remains July of 1921 (despite an increase in Toronto's massive urban heat island since then). The warmest January is still 1932. And the warmest Octobers were in 1947 and 1963. I was rather surprised given all the reports I had heard of unprecedented warmth that so many old records remain unbroken. Those that do not have not been obliterated but just nudged aside (and as I mentioned, there's a larger heat island now than ever before). The real warming seems to be mostly at night too, you see more frequent new "high mins" than high maxima.

We haven't had a bigger rainstorm in the past fifty years than was the standard (set in 1897). Looking at the wider picture, there has been nothing to match the tornado outbreak of March 18th, 1925 and nothing quite like the absolute destruction of Galveston by a hurricane in August 1900.

So I call b.s. on this claim of increased severe weather events.

But fires, they say -- the planet is burning up.

Here again, nothing really new, there have always been massive wildfires in certain climate regions. It is part of the natural climate of these regions. What has changed is that people increasingly want to live in the "exurban" zones between large towns and wilderness areas. It's an appealing lifestyle (as I know being a western Canadian now for three decades) except in bad fire years, then it's a nightmare instead. And government regulations are not helping. In California, green movements convinced the state authorities to allow mature tree cover along hydro rights of way under massive power lines, and of course what that encourages in windy dry weather is for the larger trees to bring down power lines and spread the fires much faster. Since the corridors are leading to urban areas, guess what, that's where the fire spreads.

I have heard rumours that the Australian situation is similar but I will leave those details to anyone with better understanding of their dynamics down under. But in general, I think the wildfire factor is only increasing because we the targets are spreading our presence closer and closer to danger zones, not the other way round. Even with severe wind storms, all things being equal, there ought to be more death and destruction now than a century ago because towns have increased in size and spread out (in suburban areas) over much larger target areas. So the fact that incidence seems actually lower is even more remarkable, in a steady state of storm production it should be a higher hit rate if the target size is increasing.

That's all for now. Have at it. It's a very important topic, I think, because it's going to get all mixed into the debate about western Canadian sovereignty and tensions between Alberta (work oriented) and BC (green madness el supremo).

Re: Ein forum, ein thread

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:48 pm
by Duane Berke
Ten years ago they said holes in the ozone layer was our certain doom. I wondered what to do with my cat. 20,000 years ago much of now Canada was covered by a glacier which succeeded well in the USA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurentide_Ice_Sheet. What caused the glacier to go away with no trucks and steel mills? If we're hurtling through space at 76,000 mph, how can we think we control the climate? Can we please just have the new baseball season?