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Eleven Degrees Hotter?

The Obama Administration has put out a big climate change report, and the gist of it is that we need to do something or face a drastically hotter planet -- like maybe as much as 11 degrees hotter by the end of the century. One graph shows that only one ski resort in the East would still be in operation -- way up in Maine. (And you thought Eastern skiing was pathetic as it is!)

I noted the page on Florida's temperatures: Under the worst-case scenario, a huge chunk of the state will have high temperatures of 90 degrees or hotter for at least 180 days of the year. Sounds to me like there won't be enough Gatorade on the planet to keep the place habitable.

Here's the official government website. Via you can find links to some of the coverage out there.

Meanwhile there's chatter about geoengineering, which the private sector likes. But geoengineering ideas tend to be cringe-inducing or laughable. Here's one floated in a Post op-ed a couple of days ago:

low-altitude marine stratocumuli clouds, which cover about 25 percent of the world's oceans, also reflect sunlight. Research suggests that it might be possible to increase the reflective abilities of these clouds by spraying a fine mist of seawater into the air. A fleet of roughly 1,500 ships (estimated cost: $2 million per ship) might be able to increase the reflectivity of these clouds by 10 percent, enough to counteract anticipated warming.

Who is going to sign up for the cloud-spritzing fleet? Ah, the romance of a life at sea! Putter around the ocean aiming your mister at random puffy clouds! All to keep Massey Coal in business.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 16, 2009; 5:35 PM ET
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Next: Humongous Science Questions


What are the chances that spraying the water will cause some other environmental issue we can't imagine? Continuing to tinker with nature like we know what we're doing doesn't strike me as the brightest solution. Why not play by Mother Nature's rules for a change? Seems to me that like most mothers, her rules are reasonable and what's best anyway. Besides, mothers don't generally care to be trifled with, and when Momma's not happy, ain't nobody happy.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 16, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Exactly so LiT. The solution is to reduce the underlying cause and let the earth heal itself, not try to create an insanely complex structure of ad hoc fixes.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 16, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Ah, boy, I long for the good old days way back when, when I used to putter around the oceans aiming my mister here and there.

BTW, if it gets 11 degrees hotter, Florida isn't gonna be warm-- it's gonna be liquid. There will be some great spearfishing over the Disneyworld Banks.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 16, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Another perspective, God rest his soul (whether 'rest' includes a stage or not).

Posted by: LostInThought | June 16, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I am intrigued by people who suggest money and research go into ways to combat climate change but creating ways we can maintain the status quo, why not put that money and time to improving what we are doing?

Great comments LiT.

I read the Post article on the report earlier - would love to see a projected map of the coastline changes (preferrably NA) anyone know if one exists.'

I can attest to the strength of storms increasing here, summer rains storms increasingly are stronger than in the past - will probably many infrastructure issues if it continues as storm sewers are not designed to handled the increase in severity of storms, if I recall designed for 25 year storms which are becoming much more frequent with several reaching 50 year storm intensity. Not to mention the stress for air conditioning, damage from winds, snow etc. Oh My.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 16, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like people will be nostalgic of days of 98F and 98% humidity soon. The good old days.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 16, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

But Rush told me climate change was just a liberal hoax!

Posted by: dccamp68 | June 16, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah, milder winters...
Maybe the mister at see thing could go to Greenpeace and the Cunard Line eco-cruise vacationers. Or maybe it could be done like a built in watering system: giant sprinkler heads could pop-up out of the ocean any time there was cloud cover. Perhaps the money could be diverted from the SDI program.
Maybe we could paint all of the roofs of all of the buildings on earth white and pave all parking lots and highways with concrete instead of asphalt.
I'm gonna replace my lawn with white, crushed gravel just to do my part.
All just to buy some time to come to grips with what to do with the exhaust from my SUV and my Al Gore sized carbon footprint.
I've read somewhere recently that coal could be made into a clean energy source if someone could just figure out how to use it without burning it (insulation?), dunno.
Bye all.
Gotta take my meds.

Posted by: dschalton | June 16, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, LiT.

Thanks for that Carlin link.

I miss that guy.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 16, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

dschalton!!! I always like to see you here.

Posted by: Yoki | June 16, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Okay. First I'd just like to say that right now, at 7:30 pm more or less, it is still 90 degrees and feels like 94, down from a high of 100 and feeling like worse. It is still too hot to water or feed animals, though both must be done before sundown. There's more of the same tomorrow. I am not in the mood to hear about an eleven-degree rise in temperature, or frankly a rise in temperature of any kind or category.

Thank you. Moving on, I don't disagree with LiT's thoughts but I'd note that there is a significant portion of the population who believes, at varying times, that Mother Nature is indifferent at best and out to kill us at worst. I'm talking deliberate malice here. Ice storms, tornadoes, vermin including wasps & ticks, evil plants - think about it. That's all I ask.

Howdy to dschalton, been awhile.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 16, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea, condolences redoubled back atcha for the tooth issue!

Eastern skiing builds character, yanno. Not to mention massive, tree-like quadriceps, while sadly contrbuting next to nothing to Achilles tendon development. *SIGHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 16, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

kb-thanks for the link to Elvis Mitchell interviewing Russell Brand, listening to it now. The sleep I've lost over my own RB obsession. Have you read his Booky Wook?

After one 80 degree day we are back to what is apparently our normal weather this summer-cool and damp. I believe the maps of sea level rising, as seen in An Inconvenient Truth, show Chez Frostbitten South (Tampa) as being beachfront property in my lifetime (actuarial tables willing) and under water by the end of this century.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 16, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I have a link I'll post later, but I have a comment:

If we have to just go along with Global Warming, instead of trying to reengineer the world, maybe we should reengineer oursleves to look better in bathing suits.

When I'm in a party mood, I'll go to the cutoff jean shorts (those'll be the only jeans anyone has at that point, I guess).

And I'm all good with that, because I look *fabulous* in a bathing suit. And a summer-spec Gladiator outfit, for that matter.

I'll get right onto the geoengieering ideas shortly. But I think it's going to take a lot of duct tape and tin foil.


Posted by: -bc- | June 16, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

It is all that edge-riding, Scotty. Whereas here in the Rockies, skiing on 178-300 centimeters of packed powder lightly dusted with up to 90 of new, we just carve our way down the run.

But that is fine, I know, since you are in no shape to ski right now anyway.

Posted by: Yoki | June 16, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

First my sympathies to Maggie and Scotty. Pain is bad in any form but I think tooth pain is among the worst kind, not to make light of your pain Scotty. ftb, good for you, keep it up, exercise does become habit forming. I don’t do the gym but have weight equipment in the cellar plus a treadmill and a stationary bike. We also walk every night, weather permitting -which it hasn’t much lately.

I was going to comment on the last Kit that summer is still just a lovely notion here. We’ve had the coldest, rainiest June since I don’t know when. The jet stream is too far north apparently. It cleared up today but the temps haven’t gone above 70 and the breeze is chilly, so global warming doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me right now. All joking aside the bigger hurricanes, more frequent tornadoes and more violent thunderstorms of recent times should be enough evidence that something is afoot. I agree with RD that we have to reduce emissions rather than think up fantastic schemes which would probably manage to do more harm than good, if they worked at all.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 16, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

bc, rather than reengineer ourselves to look better in bathing suits, perhaps we should readjust our expectations of what looks good in a bathing suit. If we could manage that, we'd be a long way towards comfort with our new warmer climate.

From the pictures I see from warm-weather tourist zones, a surprising - not to say alarming - number of people have already adjusted their expectations of how they should look in a suit. Or Spandex shorts, for that matter. Now, they may not have achieved that same perspective in looking at the rest of the world, but they seem to think they look fine.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 16, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I'mom, see the link in my other post. You'll enjoy. :)

Posted by: LostInThought | June 16, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, the two ideas aren't mutually exclusive. Seems to me they go together kinda well. Inappropriate personification, maybe. But there you are.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 16, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I do have one big peeve when people start talking about the weather. It can be 98 degrees OR it can be 98% humidity. It can even be both in the same day, but it is NEVER both at the same time. I can send you the bin hour data for any place on earth you want if you doubt me.

Also, it is almost never over a hundred degrees in Florida. The really high temperatures do tend to be in the center of the state where the tourists insist on visiting the mouse in the middle of summer. On the coasts, days over 95 are very rare.

In the greater DC area, the annual extremes hot weather is hotter than it is in most places in Florida. The difference is that Florida stays hot longer. I would have guessed that 180 days over 90 is already par for the course. But that just could be my bad memories of daily afternoon thunderstorms clouding my perception.

And you really don't want to hear my lecture about why dew point is the real measure of humidity, not relative humidity.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Eleven degrees hotter


Ten degrees and getting colder?
(Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, et al. back in the shaggy-haired 1970s.)
(The Lightfoot version, but not a performance video.)

Posted by: -pj- | June 16, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, yj, I do. On a good day, I can follow the bouncing ball. Wouldn't hurt me to know this.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 16, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

In a few years we may not be able to snow ski on the east coast, but we'll be able to waterski all the way to Pittsburgh.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I think we were treated to that lecture last summer, yellojkt.


Posted by: Moose13 | June 16, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, you mean that my statement that I've been saying since 1970 -- "we lived on Guam where the temperature was 85 degrees and the humidity was 85%" was not true?

Of course it was true, you just weren't there!

Posted by: nellie4 | June 16, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

pj, perfect!

Posted by: Yoki | June 16, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I'll take your word for it, LostinThought. I like George Carline. For whatever reason certain links always require things my computer either says it doesn't have or seems unwilling to download.

It allows us to watch Japanese Bug Fights, though, so I can't complain.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 16, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Carline? Carlin. I blame the thought of more heat.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 16, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

85db/85%rh is a dew point of 80 degrees. Very plausible for Guam. I lived for three years in the Philippines and went to Vietnam just before the rainy season a few summers ago. I know of humidity. That sort of moisture you don't need to exaggerate. There is nowhere in the continental United States where it gets that muggy.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the links, everyone, they're great. yellojkt, I worked with a guy who went to MIT and then worked at NCAR, and he claimed my memories of 95 degrees and 95% humidity (in PA, or Houston)were impossible. So I believe you...I guess...But it was still danged hot and humid.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 16, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Here is a proto-version of that lecture from 2006:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Easy judgements on the prospects for engineering decades in the future are only made by those who don't know better. There is a good chance that none of today's prospects will work out. But there is a near certainty that even 50 years in the future there will be technologies in place that are not dreamed of today. Certainly, when I was a graduate student 40 years ago, people would have thought the concept of routinely sequencing a genome was a fantasy. Thirty years ago when low priced $100,000 0.5 megabyte computers with 32 bit memories were introduced, I would have thought it crazy for someone to suggest that the 4 gigabytes supported by 32 bit memories might not be enough for the $1,000 computers of the future. The future of technology is always very uncertain, but it would be foolish not to began pursuing the concept of engineering the climate. In fact, all of the efforts to limit global warming are essentially efforts at engineering the climate with low grade technology.

Posted by: dnjake | June 16, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Yellojkt is channeling Al Roker with a wicked hangover and thousands of wasp welts.

That said, I daresay 98 degrees and 98% humidity might indeed occur right above a cooking pot in the Congo?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 16, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@frosti, yes, I've read "My Booky Wook" twice, and have it here in front of me, now. If you're really a serious fan, you might also want to listen to the TalkSport show Russell did with Noel Gallagher. I don't know anything about soccer but I found the show to be highly amusing.

I'm learning a lot about English culture--I'm somewhat amazed at the depth of my ignorance after all these years.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 16, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

yello, I'm OK with the dewpoint lecture, too.

"It's not the humidity, it's the dewpoint!"

Words to live by in the new milennium, perhaps.

Come to think of it, companies that produce men's deodorant might be good long term investments.



Posted by: -bc- | June 16, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Yep, LiT, I got a link to the Carlin thing and you're right. His idea that the planet is fine, we're in trouble, does fit in with my suggestion that Mother Nature is trying to kill us. So it must be true.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 16, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

@kb-that does it. If its worthy of your reading it twice I need to read it once. It will be a nice respite from tomes on how to reform public education. But, I think RB would have some good ideas on that subject too.

@yello-you will be pleased to know that TV and radio weather people in MN are all about dew point these days. Relative humidity is so old school. But, weather is not a topic for small talk here, it is a main conversation subject and people keep up with it like some DC types follow politics.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 16, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

And it's in the same boodle that SciTim has the best description of dew point and relative humidity.

Sorry for being a pedant, but when people say inaccurate things about the weather I get same way as others do when the name of a 18th century ship is misspelled or the wrong engine size is attributed to the wrong model year Chevy.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why, but my inclination is to skip posts with the @ sign; makes me feel like I'm reading someone else's mail. But I catch myself, and I'll get used to it; I always do.

Pleasant dreams all.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 16, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Of course. Weather savvy is key to survival, frostbitten. Crops, fingers and toes, small pets...

I must say while the D.C. metro area can whip up some impressive thunderstorms, those thunderstorms tend to serve short shifts.

Now, you haven't lived until you've spent a truly stormy night in Minneosta. THAT gives an entirely new meaning to insomnia.

Lightning flashes throughout the night will give you constant proof you're in for a night of no sleep-- even if you're deaf.

It's like God playing Wagner.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 16, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the kind words of welcome.
In SciFi there are two things you can do: change the planet to meet the needs of the people or change the people to fit the planet. Perhaps we're on the verge of both?
Terra-forming is a long held vision of SciFi to make an inhospitable planet hospitable. Maybe it's already started here? After all, most of us aren't covered in enough fur to ward off the chill without clothing. Maybe a few degrees warmer would be more comfortable.
Ah well, who can say?
Back to my meds.
And like I said: thanks for the kind words of welcome.
Chat with you the next time they let me access the Internet.

Posted by: dschalton | June 16, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

The 'new' climate change report is nothing but a rehash of old junk science. Take your clothes off, put on a sandwich board, go around chanting "the end is near" and find dead horses to beat.

Posted by: chatard | June 16, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Speak for yourself, sir.
And hold the nude bigotry--
furry boodlers here.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 16, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, yoki! Brag is probably cursing me out, though. ;-)

I agree with yello that the dew point is an excellent measure to figure out how miserable you are in the summertime. The summer weather around here is the big reason why I'm tempted to move out to the Pacific Northwest at some point. Summer, which can go from April into October here, is too stinkin' sticky for me. Gotta go someplace where the climate suits my soul.

Posted by: -pj- | June 16, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Actually, there are some good reasons why geoengineering should not be out of the question:

(1) Only the most dedicated of individuals have been able to make a significant dent in their own carbon footprint.

(2) We have been unable to persuade a few hundred million people to do even a small fraction of what the most dedicated of individuals have done -- how are we going to get several billion to do it? Geoengineering takes the dedicated efforts of only a few ten-thousands, maybe a million people. Much more feasible than persuading billions.

(3) As I learned from NPR a while back, the world's food-growing capacity is at present about double what it would be without chemical fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers are largely derived from petroleum, which means a variation upon burning the oil (it's not burning, but it's a controlled exothermic reaction, I gather). That means that a major reduction in CO2 output from fertilizer production also means widespread reduction in human population through famine -- probably good for the ecosystem in the long run, but "unpleasant" in the short run.

(3a) I wonder how much of the US CO2 output (for which we are widely and rightly reviled) comes from fertilizer -- which we sell all over the world. It might not be possible to reduce our output as drastically as we imagine, without precipitating a global humanitarian crisis.

(4) The CO2 that is already in our atmosphere is, right now, slowly overcoming the substantial thermal inertia in the system. We already have enough CO2 to maintain an obnoxiously high thermal equilibrium, we just haven't yet absorbed enough heat to get there -- but we will, eventually. We could terminate all human civilization and technology today, and the temperature would continue to climb, just based on the CO2 that we've already farted out.

(5) And worst -- that CO2 that we already have put into the atmosphere is expected to have a lifetime of order ten thousand years (meaning that in ten thousand years it will have been reduced to 1/e of the current concentration, where e = 2.71828... is the base of the Napierian logarithm...).

Anyway -- the problem is already here in full force, but the effects are not yet here in full force. The base problem, and its effects, are going to be with us for a period as long as the entirety of urbanization so far. The proposed engineering concepts all are dedicated to mitigating the effects, because the root cause is more than likely beyond our power to constrain it on a reasonably short time scale (say, a century or two). Mitigating the effects is a problem that we can have some hope of solving, while we work on solving the bigger problem (or wait for it to slowly fade away).

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 16, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, here on the east coast of south Florida, it is my perception that the temperature is over 90 only on really hot summer days in June, July, and August. Maybe September. But not 180 days, not on the coast. Then again, I'm famous for refusing to listen to weather reports--I trust my own senses, just look out a window, step outside and look around and feel the air. So I wouldn't know the official temperatures at any given time.

I don't mind the heat, although the intensity of the sun has driven me, in my old age, to be more conscientious about using sunscreen (too late to prevent damage, but maybe I'll be able to avoid skin cancer).

Speaking of old archives, here's Joel's contribution to a Tropic magazine dedicated to the topic of "the heat" in Miami in the summer. (Weingarten was the editor; his column is linked, too.)

Posted by: kbertocci | June 16, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

If you are that close to a stew pot in the Congo, you have bigger problems than the weather.

I was following some Russell Brand YouTube links the other night and fell in love with the Loose Women.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Climate change of this hypothetical magnitude would seem to throw the fields of meteorology, climatology, oceanography, hydrogeology, and marine bio wide open. I remember my first exposure to global climate change in '81, when we had to discuss a compendium of articles on the subject in grad school. At that time, the worst case scenarios had oil supplies down to a point where recovery was too expensive, = no oil, and the climate of NYC would be that of present day (ca.1981) Daytona Beach. These hypotheses were based on state of the art computer modeling. The latter has become much more sophisticated in the intervening 28 years, but the general prediction that the temperature of the atmosphere would rise has been confirmed time and time again. Again, in grad school, we learned that conifers were going down the road to extinction. If the global climate changes to the tune of 11 degrees, secondary succession will wipe out the boreal forests, most of the deciduous forests, and forever change the remaining 9 biomes. Urbanisation is pushing wildlife into what amount to islands. Competition is becoming fierce. Haibtat loss/change due to additional urbanisation and GCC will exacerbate the situation. Species are currently becoming extinct at a rate that some would estimate at 25/day. Fisheries are collapsing, agricultural production can only increase to the point where yields are sustained only through the use of fertilizers and pesticides, as land dedicated to framing is shrinking due to urbanisation. Oy. What a mess. I'll think about it tomorrow, which happens to be my jury duty day.

Posted by: -jack- | June 16, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

All that sounds...bad, Jack
Logging off now to whimper,
then wake from nightmares--


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 16, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I think it's dead, Jim.

Posted by: -jack- | June 16, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

That was a fantastic article by Joel. I couldn't find one sentence that was technically inaccurate.

And you are right. It does not get above 90 in Miami for 180 days of the year. At least not yet. It does get hot and stay hot. For example, according to NOAA, there were 93 days in the past year hotter than 90 in Miami including 23 in August alone. Compare that to 29 days total for the Sterling, VA area.

When people ask my why I like the weather in Maryland better than Florida, I tell them to imagine the worst two weeks of the August dog days up here and then picture three solid months of it every year in Florida.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Seems that climate change has only begun to accelerate. By 80 or so years from now, it'll be a frantic race just to stay a bit ahead.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be at Kissimmee Prairie in the middle of nowhere. There's plans to build a city at its border.

The place will be high enough to take in refugees from Miami.

As for the heat, the American Horticultural Society's heat zone map shows the number of days above 30 C (86 F). Big Cypress and McAllen, Tex., the Salton Sea, and evidently a little bit of the Kona coast of Hawaii have the longest heat.

Anyway, yesterday it was quite nice to do business in a picnic pavilion on the ocean with an onshore breeze.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 16, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

The TV weathermen are responsible for the mental conflation I am railing against. They talk very fast and do a patter that tends to be hysterical sounding, like this hypothetical 11 o'clock news weather report:

"Well it was another scorcher today with a low of 72 and a record tying high of 98 degrees. Then the thunderstorms rolled through with flash flooding in some areas. We have current conditions of 75 degrees and 98% relative humidity. Expect some dew in the morning and more thunderboomers tomorrow afternoon."

The sleepy viewers waiting for Conan to come on took away two tidbits from that spiel: 98 degrees, 98% humidity. In all likelihood, that 98 degrees was at about three in the afternoon with a wet bulb temperature of 76.5 degrees and a dew point of 68 degrees or 38% relative humidity, which is still plenty muggy. Then the thunderstorms came through which did two things. The rain cooled things off but also put more moisture in the air. The dew point went up to 74 degrees and when the sun set the temperature started dropping. By eleven, the relative humidity IS 98%, but it's also more than twenty degrees cooler than it was that afternoon. By morning when the temperature drops to 72, below the dew point of 74, there will be 100% rh and it will be cool and soggy when you go get the dew-soaked WaPo off the lawn. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

The lesson kids: Pay attention to dew point and ignore relative humidity.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 16, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff here tonight, folks.

Thanks for all of it.

LiT, I'd nearly forgotten that Carlin bit, thanks for linking it.

*Tim, I like the idea that we need to try to clean up after ourselves, but to LiT and RD's points (and Carlin's), and perhaps yours, indirectly -- I think *we* may fade away faster than the significant changes in climate and environment.

I'd like to think not, but has humankind's real resiliance to serious large scale environmental changes *really* been tested?

And you know what kind of a teacher Mother Nature is. No grading on the curve, that's for sure.


Posted by: -bc- | June 16, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Great map, DotC. It does show that most of SW Florida is already over 86 degrees more than half the year. But that's the part that will be seabed once the polar ice caps melt.

I watched Waterworld start to finish the other night. What a crock that entire movie was. It makes The Day After Tomorrow seem like a documentary.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 17, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Meant to add that when Mother Nature gives you an "F," you're a real Dodo.


Posted by: -bc- | June 17, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

The kit has inspired me to go to St. Paul this weekend, even though Mr. F will be out of town for work. It will be easier to get into a summer groove away from the yard, garden, etc. Although honestly the garden is not work it is fun, and I'll spend plenty of time in our park plot-but there will be jazz to weed by this weekend.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 17, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Evening all
I loved the Carlin Link LiT,all of his work was just so damned good.I remember the commercials from the 70's saying it is not nice to mess with Mother Nature. I have kinda lived my life that way.

I really liked Waterworld and thought the characters played great off of each other.Dennis Hopper always makes a great villian.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 17, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to RD and Kim on their son’s graduation. Also, congrats to those whom I didn’t mention by name.

We never ask about temperature of the day because the day is always hot or not so hot. We around the equator will be well done if the temp rises some more. We’re too hot as it is. Whatever method that is used to battle climate change, I hope it doesn’t start another problem for humans to endure.

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 17, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Waterworld apparently had some formidable stunt work by the likes of Laird Hamilton (one of the inventors of tow-in surfing and popularizer of stand-up paddling. See "Riding Giants").

I'm bleary tonight. Weirdest news story of the moment is an FDA ban on a "homeopathic" cold remedy. Seems the labeling was a means to avoid regulation. Which leads me to wonder: what might universal health insurance do to chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists, aromatherapists, and assorted alternative cancer-curers? Why am I more comfortable talking to my internist, who really seems to thrive on metabolic pathways?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 17, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Finally read Science Tim's 10:59 comment. Very nicely thought out. Human-produced nitrogen is, apart from being costly in terms of energy, the cause of all sorts of unwanted environmental effects. You have no farther to go than Chesapeake Bay, which has to cope with vast inputs of the stuff.

For carbon dioxide, the terrible news really is that we've already put enough into the atmosphere to make a huge mess for generations to come. As in the next 100,000 years, as in the subtitle of David Archer's popular book, "The Long Thaw".

I've been interested in human impacts on the earth since I was a student. There was a really neat symposium on the subject back in the 1950's. I shouldn't have gotten rid of the two volumes. A recent book on the Great Barrier Reef is currently takes the prize for scariness. Reefs persisted despite radical changes in sea temperature and sea level during the Pleistocene, only to succumb

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 17, 2009 2:54 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, whenever I had a cold/flu my mother would make me drink some kind of a vile concoction made by boiling certain herbs and shallots and then get under a blanket to sweat. A lot of times it helped in a way that it shortened the period of misery.

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 17, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

I remember reading an article on WaPo about the @ sign. I did a web search and found it. You have to buy to read the whole article. They do give you a section of the article and here it is :

Posted by: rainforest1 | June 17, 2009 4:09 AM | Report abuse

I am still working late nights and still adjusting to it and being up all night.

I got a call tonight with a potential customer asking where we were and what was the big attraction around.I told him we are near BWI airport,I also said it was called George Thorogood Marshall airport,there was a silence and some laughter and without missing a beat he said
"One bourbon,one scotch and one beer"

He made a reservation for a week.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 17, 2009 4:33 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Been lonely in the Ready Room lately. Coffee's on.

Got nuthin' to comment on (other than re-hash old rants). Not much to comment on about the WaPo front page.

Just a short one:
Today in Nautical and Barbary Pirate History

June 17, 1815: One of the Navy’s greatest fighting captains, Commodore Stephen Decatur, and his three frigates capture the Algerine frigate Mashuda off Cape De Gata, Spain, killing Barbary Pirate Admiral Rais Hammida, which so demoralizes the Dey of Algiers that 13 days later he signs a peace treaty ending the Algerine War.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | June 17, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We have a hot day ahead but nothing like 98F/98% humidity, if it were possible. My brief comment sure got under Yello's skin.
Someone I know who lived in various parts of the tropics (Philippines, Guam, Hong Kong, Mexico) most of his life thinks Macao in the monsoon season is the most humid place on earth. He has memories of condensation on the inside walls of his childhood house, in the pre-AC era.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 17, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

G'morning everybody. Ham biscuits on the ready room table, I see Mudge has made coffee and put on water to boil for tea.

Life is so scary, as evidenced by the discussion overnight. I hope we can overcome the problems and save ourselves. Of course, the question then becomes, what are we saving ourselves for?

I gotta go back and read the explanation of dew point. That wasn't part of the discussion when we studied meterology in the eighth grade so I have never grasped it.

Checking the forecast for the next several days, I see that Ivansmom's heat wave will hit us tomorrow and Friday. Mr. T will be miserable, but I'll be okay. He went out to go to work, then stuck his head back in the door to say that he poured 1.2 inches of rain out of the gauge. That fell during the night; I know for sure because I emptied the gauge before supper yesterday.

Much to do today, starting with Bible study, so onward. Everyone, have a pleasant day.

Posted by: slyness | June 17, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Please don't take it personally, sd. Just one of my hot buttons. Or should I say humid buttons.

Waterworld was dopey fun, but the plot holes were big enough to drive an oil tanker through. There sure was a lot of fresh ammunition around for a place that had been underwater for a couple of hundred years. Most of the sub-Mad Max inventions would be implausible even by The Professor on Gilligan's Island standards. And way too many clothes for people living on floating debris, but I guess they had to keep the PG-13 rating.

And my theory about where all the land went has nothing to do with global warming. I think Dennis Hopper chewed away all the scenery. He looked like he was having a great time. Probably better than the audience.

Now I have to hunt down a copy of The Postman. One of my distant cousins is a warlord chief in it.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 17, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, dew point and wet bulb over rh any day.

So NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth is so cooperative with authorities in admitting to a March DUI and the resulting vehicular manslaughter, along with coming to some sort of civil suit arrangement with the deceased person's family, that it's appropriate to give him 30 days in jail along with a few years of house arrest and probation. Oh, and he loses his driver's license.


*raised unibrow*

And additional depressing summer thoughts onna Hump Day:

*not-terribly-impressed-with-what-passes-for-journalism-in-some-places-other-that-WaPo Grover motions*

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 17, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

And a somber addendum to 'Mudge's Today in Nautical History:

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 17, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

And yes, I'm Boodle-hogging, but stuff keeps coming up. Sneaks and MaggieO'D will agree this news, while perhaps inevitable, is still an unwelcome kick in the pants:

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 17, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

Thanks rainforest for the good wishes. Sweet dreams and I hope it's "not so hot" as you drift off to sleep!

I'm with Sneaks, this has been the cr@ppiest June I can remember. Clouds, clouds and more clouds. It's only supposed to be 67 today. Can't summer groove at 67 least not in Tidewater.

Posted by: Kim1 | June 17, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Yes Scotty, I saw that and now I’m worried about SS Music Circus and Cape Cod Melody Tent. It’s always been a big part of summer to go to one of them for a fun evening out.

On the plus side, Ortiz hit another homer last night, so some things are looking better.
The baby bunnies can get through the additional fencing we put around the garden. We are more than frustrated. I’ll be looking for coyote urine at lunch time.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 17, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Sneaks, you know better than to give us that good of a straight line...

And yes, Papi's getting back into the groove. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 17, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! S'nuke's 7:54 is deja vu all over again. Northome, MN (just to the north of Our Fair City) had to resort to donations for its fireworks display. The price of the usual display, around $3,000, nearly doubled and the county contribution was slashed to 0 (even before Gov. Pawlenty made his cuts, announced yesterday). Don't know if they made their goal or not.

Speaking of T-Paw's budget slashing, cities with populations under 1,000 and taxing capacity below the state average were spared. So, we didn't lose our state aid. On the other hand we have a population under 1,000 and below average taxing capacity, so things pretty much suck here all the time.

Garden report-burping up all the radishes I've been eating right out of the garden. Had just enough leaf lettuce for a side salad last night. Carrots took forever to germinate but are looking good now. Peas and beans up and growing well and tomatoes are flowering. At least mine were spared any frost damage, a friend lost 90 plants and she gardens to get her family of 5 through the winter. It's not too late to replant but now they'll have to buy plants to replace the ones they started from seed.

Flowering now-bleeding heart just keeps hanging on in our cool weather, bearded irises, Jacob's Ladder, columbine (a deep purple blue just opening), blue perennial salvia (variety long forgotten). Impatiens and coleus tucked into corners of the shade garden are colorful but knocked back by cold and not filling in as they should. Still watching the peony buds. They are showing the flower color pretty well now, but I'm guessing another week-10 days before they open.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 17, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The last time I pointed my mister at a passing cloud I got arrested.

Posted by: Boomslang | June 17, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

What food goes well with coyote urine Sneaks, elephant dung?

It reminds me of Murphy Brown's joke about lawyers, with excuses to the boodle's sharks. Those tourists are riding elephant on a tour in the Indian jungle. They watch a tiger that follows them, eating steaming piles of elephant dung. "Say Tiger, why are you eating elephant dung?" they ask. "It's to get get rid of the taste of the lawyer I just ate" answers the tiger.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 17, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I've had the slogan for Avalon, NJ, rattling around in my head, "Cooler by a mile." Wikipedia has an explanation. Yoki, I took you there 2 Octobers ago.

Working from home again. Another mega-hour week and it's just not safe to drive. A little while ago I picked up a tv remote and wondered where all the buttons for my Palm were. Good thing I'm off all next week.

gwe, compost is going well, will probably get my first batch out this Fall.

Wake me for lunch. Going to go do some work.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 17, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

That was a great day, dbG, but I can't believe it was that long ago.

Posted by: Yoki | June 17, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, thanks for the heads-up about Adm. Calvert. I'm adding it to my nautical almanac.


I, too, am sad to hear about the closing of the North Shore Theater, although I've never been there. It is just one more sad, unintended and unstoppable consequence of the all-digital electronic age and culture we live in, the same one that's killing newspapers.


I have mixed feelings about the FDA warning about Zicam, but I can tell you this much: I don't like this statement in the AP story about it:

"Loss of the sense of smell is potentially life threatening and may be permanent," said Dr. Charles Lee, of FDA's compliance division. "People without the sense of smell may not be able to detect dangerous life situations, such as gas leaks or something burning in the house."

My irritation is with the use of "life-threatening." First, it really trivializes things which really ARE life-threatening. You might as well say a pencil is life-threatening, if you stick it in your ear and push real hard. Second, use of the phrase is simply a scare tactic, and it is the only word anyone is going to "take away" from his quote.


I normally stay away from Weingarten's Gene Pool, but I gotta say, yesterday's/today's Gene Pool about gay marriage has produced some very funny remarks, especially from somebody named bevjim1. Whoever you are, bevjim1, well done, ma'am/sir.


Our man Byoolin hasn't been around much lately, and I think it may be because he and Liz Kelly have"thing" going on between them. She's picked byoolin's comments for quote of the week I think for two weeks running now.

And anybody heard from our fairy-door-building gnome lately? Starting to get worried.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 17, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Somebody asked yesterday about whether maps of climate-change-related flooding are available. Yep, I'm not sure where to point you, but I definitely have found, through googling, maps that show the change in coastline for various levels of flooding. It doesn't look as bad as it really is -- the country's and the continent's shape remain quite recognizable, for instance. But there is a lot of population right on the edge of the country, that will be displaced by seawater flooding.

I have no doubt that the human species will survive global climate change. I have my doubts about civilization, and certainly I have doubts about civility. Our species (and its forebears) have survived worse than this (assuming the greenhouse effect doesn't go into runaway; if that happens, well, it was an honor to have been part of a habitable world for a while). We have gone through several global ice ages. The big difference is that there was room for migratory species like nomadic humans -- we were able to move from the areas that became uninhabitable, at least until we had developed adaptations that enabled us to inhabit them. This time, the Earth is very crowded -- where will all the climatic refugees go? If they go to occupy the places that are currently not human-inhabited, that will make the extinction rate even worse. If they go to occupy the places that already have inhabitants... well, that will take care of reducing the population. How do you like your Soylent Green™?

My thinking is going toward how to make my offspring (and grand-offspring) capable of outcompeting the rest of you. I'm thinking a fully marine lifestyle, with ocean-raised plant foods (since they are vegetarians). I better get to work on it soon. Right after I finish watching the entire run of "Arrested Development" on DVD. We love that show.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 17, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, you went "donnashore" to Avalon with dbG? Cool! That was always a nice stretch of the Joisy shore, though I imagine it is way more built up now than it was way back when. But I can tell you navigating the Intercoastal Waterway behind Avalon and that area was a real %^%$#&^ back then (40 years ago), and must be even harder now. There's a couple of inlets around there that belong on the Boodle, because as far as I'm concerned they are completely imaginary.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 17, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Donnashore? I'm more of a Donna Reed fan. Wasn't she great in "It's a Wonderful Life"?

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 17, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Walked over to the community printer a little while ago to pick some software development documents up, and found a rather thick document someone else had run off entitled "Subversion User Guide v 1.2."

I started laughing, and another gentleman in the room (not an American citizen) looked at it, said, "Wow," and started lauging too.

I said that I thought one reason the US of A could be heading down the tubes was because people thought nothing of printing such documents out on a group-accessable printer, and that we needed hundreds of pages of text and charts for such a thing. And that no one would read it anyway. The othe gentleman replied, "In my country, people know better."

How so, I asked.

"Its too big, and no one would print it anyway - it's evidence. I'd stay online, in text."

Ah, I say -- where you come from, you like to keep your Subversion documentation short and Tweet.

This did make him laugh.

Ya hadda be there.


Posted by: -bc- | June 17, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, slow day!

I know we have some snake-admirers here, but I'd probably have a heart attack. Of course, I wouldn't see it slithering around. I'd see its dead snake body being dragged by one of the dogz.

There are always so many ball pythons being advertised on Craigslist. I wonder why.

Today I got the first raspberry from the plants I dug up from a Craigslist poster earlier in the spring. Emma alerted me to it and probably would have eaten it herself if I hadn't noticed the alert. Other people have bird dogs. I have one that alerts on edible produce.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 17, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

dbG, I would never give you the raspberry. (That's supposed to be a good thing.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 17, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

:-) @mudge. There'll be plenty for all of us, but thank you.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 17, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of subversives...the linguistically clever Tom Friedman says today in his NYT op-ed: "Bang-bang beats tweet-tweet."

He does advise to watch for change at the margins.

Posted by: laloomis | June 17, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

For Mudge and dbG...


Posted by: -TBG- | June 17, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Thanks to kb for Joel's old column on heat. That was great. It got me thinking about our heat-coping strategies. My folks put central AC in the house when they built it in 1950 - very progressive - but there was still lots of cool drink sipping, patio sitting, fans. Even more so now when that AC doesn't go below a 76 setting. With light clothing, both to fabric and color, a cool drink, and some shade, you really can feel cooler outside. Even yesterday after the sun got low it felt downright pleasant. And if you're properly hydrated, it can feel good to do some physical work in the heat. I do try to make sure I work in the shady spots. This is partly because I burn like a lobster.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 17, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

TBG, why does Bill the Cat come to mind?

Posted by: -dbG- | June 17, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Well, it appears that my new iMac will become an integral part of my life perhaps by the middle or end of next week. I might wait until the end of the week so I can use the weekend to get used to it.

Boy, that plus two days at the gym already this week is make my heart go all flip-floppy -- sure a good thing my blood pressure is a comfortably low 90/60. This is just all so exciting. Wowie-zowie!

I'll try to hit the gym later today, to make it three days in a row, but I'm seeing (so to speak) the ophthalmologist early afternoon, and I'm not sure I'll be able to drive that well with eyes fully dilated, so I'll have to "see" what the situation is later. I just hope I don't need new glasses again.

Carry on.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 17, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

SCC: is *making*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 17, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Isn't there some evidence ( - ok, a lot of evidence, that it isn't American coal companies, or even industry at all that is to blame for any kind of climate change and that we are actually making a ton of progress to reduce our carbon emissions but the rest of the world (China, Russia, India) are increasing pollutants in the atmosphere by incredible amount every day. basically undoing the progress we have made.

Posted by: jacobmward1 | June 17, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

ftb, a couple of weeks ago you got some recommendations for some free software to resize photographs. Can you remember what they were?

Posted by: Yoki | June 17, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

According to this China and Russia still have quite a way to catch up before they over take the US for CO2 emissions, note Canada at #8 on the list is disproportionately high (for a nation of 32 Mil).

Posted by: dmd2 | June 17, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I suspect Alberta could have its own entry and still be in the "leaders"...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 17, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

We haven't had virtual lunch lately. I made a giant pot of spaghetti sauce with meat sauce and sausage chunks last night. Not exactly a great "summer" dish-- but it is only 66 and raining here, so it is quite seasonal. Want to meet someplace cozy, with checkered tableclothes and candles stuck in chianti bottles? Somebody want to bring some sort of bread/rolls, and maybe a jug of chianti or sangria? Maybe a nice tossed salad, too?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 17, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I am doing paperwork today - hence looking for anything to distract me, looked around at the site I linked to quickly, there was a stat of the rankings by footprint, the top two countries surprised me.

UAE and Kuwait, it does make sense but not what would have been my first guesses.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 17, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I think the point Jacob was trying to make is that their rate of increase is higher than our rate of decrease.

But the *rate* can be a misleading statistic, given that our gross number is so much higher. By my calculation, if we were decreasing by 5% and China were increasing by 8%, the reductions and increases would offset each other.

*taking green eyeshades off*

Posted by: Raysmom | June 17, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I just finished a similar meal Mudge. I shall bring my favourite Soave, nice light white for the afternoon, and my current addition, roasted garlic hummus with Parmesan Cheese/Cracked Pepper triscuits.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 17, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

If clouds will cool the Earth - the best location will be in space where they will last. How abut bits of metal in reflective patterns, clouds of particles from aerosol tanks?

The most common line of thought is "My mind is made up. Do not try to confuse me with facts."

How else can we explain the refusal to even consider an ice age or the need for a solution to its problems.

Now what would that be? More greenhouse gases? Wow!! Who let that person talk?

They may say we are doing something good right now. How can that be? Everyone knows we got to make chages - expensive chages - to stay alive. Or do we?

(Hands on ears) "I can't hear you."

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 17, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"a huge chunk of the state will have high temperatures of 90 degrees or hotter for at least 180 days of the year. Sounds to me like there won't be enough Gatorade on the planet to keep the place habitable."

Perhaps not, but I was in Laredo, Texas and nearly every day in the summer is over 100 and they had the second fastest growth in the USA> Somebody may like it hot.

Calexico and California on the border is usually 10 degrees warmer in the summer. How do they live?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 17, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Do you have the cool black band on your bicep and the funky visor Raysmom, just had a quick flash of Raysmom dressed like Bob Crachett in A Christmas Carol.

I do get Jacob's point, but at the same time stating "well they are worse than we are" isn't exactly helping reduce CO2 emissions, hopefully other countries, my own included will pick up the pace at reducing emissions rather than wait for everyone to act.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 17, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"find dead horses to beat."

Or eat.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 17, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I don't but now I have something to put on my Christmas list.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 17, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I take a pretty Panglossian view towards climate change. I moved from Florida to Maryland to escape the thunderstorms and roaches. I can move some more. Plenty of latitude left.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 17, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

There is no ice age coming. There is no evidence that there is, anyway.

I'm fascinated by solar air conditioning. I wish someone could explain how the old kerosene powered refrigerators worked. I could adapt one to solar focused heat bypassing the photovoltaics altogether. (there are some diagrams online but I can't quite figure out what keeps the chlorofluorocarbon system moving in one direction and not the other, or no direction at all.)

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 17, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

That link of yours has a per capita CO2 emissions tab as well. The US is fifth behind four gulf oil states. The Canuckis come in eighth with Luxembourg, Trinidad and Tobago, and Australia filling in the gap.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 17, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Kept trying to view the per capita data but my computer wasn't cooperating, I knew that Canada was up there on the list - not exactly something to be proud of. We rank quite high on the garbage production per person as well (wonder if that includes all my posts here :-)).

Posted by: dmd2 | June 17, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It's those damned Luxembourgians who keep fouling things up. If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times.

(More seriously, this precsiely demonstrates what is wrong with some ranking polls and charts.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 17, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I think the system that was described to me does not exist. (no compressor, but not an ammonia / water system such as the Einstein refrigerator or the Icy Ball)

In any case, I know a heat-powered piston or turbo compressor would drive a refrigerating or AC cycle. I'm pretty sure no one would be shouting that "it only works when the sun is shining"

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 17, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The thing I found most revealing about the per capita rankings was how well France, Switzerland, and Sweden did. They were the lowest of the developed countries (around #50 overall) and should give themselves a pat on the back. I wonder how they do it. France has lots of nuclear energy, of course -- anyone know about the other two?

Posted by: -bia- | June 17, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

By granting amnesty, he will add to the problem. Things done and by and for people effect the environment negatively. Simply, get rid of all aliens. Let no more in. Stop paying the uneducated to have babies who will pollute and remain on welfare maintenance.

Posted by: 1uncle | June 17, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

In my (now out-of-date) experience in Switzerland, the Swiss are just a naturally conserving bunch; with essentially no natural resources of their own, they kinda have to be. Frugality is seen as a virtue. And many of them are quite hearty, sporty-types, so lots of bike riding and walking. The country has a well-developed public transit and railway network.

Posted by: Yoki | June 17, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Clouds both cool (by reflecting input energy) and retain heat (by capturing upwelling radiation). Hence "clouds are hard". Of course, that's water clouds, which exist in a complicated equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere. Non-water clouds (say, plastic nanoparticles, or sulfur dioxide aerosol) may be more predictable because there is no atmospheric reservoir of condensibles with a significant vapor pressure. Of course, then there are other problems -- like, nanoparticles will eventually sediment, where they will be mechanical irritants that can cause many problems, such as cancer; sulfur dioxide sediments and becomes sulfuric acid in regular clouds, creating acid rain. And, of course, even if we understand the performance of our artificial clouds, it would be darned difficult to predict the response of the ordinary water clouds to the persistent change in illumination.

But, the idea of putting cloud particles in space is worrisome. For one thing, without an atmosphere to disperse and suspend them, they have to be in orbit, which means that flight to orbit would be like flying through a hypersonic sandblaster. For another, we want them in low enough orbit that they will decay into the atmosphere eventually, permitting us to fine-tune our response by balancing our input rate against the loss rate. But that means that the particles will be sedimenting into the atmosphere anyway, so there may be no real advantage to putting them into low Earth orbit.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse


Nope, no Front Page Alert.


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

A couple of articles about Sweden I googled:

According to wikipedia, Sweden also has nuclear plants and hydroelectricity.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 17, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Aliens! Of course! *smacking forehead* Now why didn't I think of that?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 17, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Let me Google that for you Jumper:

From this link ( kerosene heaters use and absorption cycle to cool the refrigerator. The kerosene flame evaporates a water-ammonia solution (or water-salt in large industrial applications) as the refrigerant so they have no CFC, HFC, or HCFC refrigerant.

I kinda knew how these work once. They use the vapor pressure of various concentrated liquids as the moving force. They have no (or few) moving parts and require no electricity making them great for off-grid applications.

Where the suck is that the thermal efficiency of them is horrible. You often burn more BTUs of fuel than you get in cooling.

It is almost always cheaper and more environmentally responsible to burn hydrocarbons to generate electricity and use the electricity to power a conventional vapor cycle refrigerant loop.

You do find large industrial absorption chillers in cogeneration plants or hospitals or refineries were waste heat is abundant.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 17, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, 1 uncle, you are so foolish. Aliens have technology far in advance of our own -- why, the expertise they have in anal probes, alone, would more than justify free admittance over our borders.

Oh! You mean the other kind of aliens, the local ones. The problem with your plan is that it permits those filthy, polluting, shiftless, alien babies to be produced elsewhere, without meaningful restrictions. A much better solution is to allow all the world's babies to come here, but they must pass a written examination by the time they are two -- I think that is a fair age by which to derive a notion of whether they pack sufficient genius to solve our problems for us. Those babies who fail the test, on the other hand, will have been fattened up nicely by their time spent on the dole, since it is a known fact that immigrants are among the laziest people on the planet. They don't so much immigrate as just lounge about, until continental drift moves the borders past them and they just end up in another country. It is another known fact that stupid babies have the best marbling. I think you can see where I am going with this idea.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 17, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: seasea1 | June 17, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

El soylento verde es la raza!!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 17, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

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