[asa] Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory and Busted Sod

From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Sat Oct 20 2007 - 13:28:16 EDT

I offer these three items below in order to
remind omnipotent moral busybodies (legalistic
pharisaical mentalities who continue to insist on
imposing their immature consciences on the rest
of us so that they can feel good about
themselves) that the fallout from their "good
intentions" have a LONG history of disaster, and
this latest effort will be no different.
The intermixing of science and politics is a bad
combination, with a bad

~ Janice (as always-if clicking on some of the
links don't work for you, just copy and paste them into your browser)

[1] Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory and Busted Sod
October 20, 2007 By Rosslyn Smith

Anthropogenic theories of climate change have a
neglected and tragic precedent of acceptance by consensus.

Before AlGore's Nobel prize for helping
politicize the theory of Global Warming -- [My
post #39 - http://tinyurl.com/32lh42 ] -- came
the widely-believed theory that
Follows the Plow."

Many of the sod busters who settled the American
West (and parts of Australia) during the late
19th centuries believed that by plowing under
native vegetation to grow crops, they would
increase rainfall on their marginally arable land.

Studies by weather experts were said to prove
this anthropogenic climate change theory.

Railroads heralded it, to increase the value of
land the government granted them for building
their lines, and even cited the thick steam
clouds the locomotives of the day produced as
another reason rainfall on the High Plains could only increase.

When the U.S. Government guaranteed wheat prices
at historic levels in World War I, the sod
busters plowed under more acres of native
vegetation, becoming wealthy in the process.

And when grain prices fell after the war,
additional grassland was converted to wheat in an
attempt to maintain farm income at the same
levels. Unfortunately the great droughts of the
1930's proved the Rain Follows the Plow theory terribly wrong.

Those increases in rainfall the sod busters had
experienced in earlier years proved to be simply
part of the natural cycle, a period of wet to be
balanced by inevitable drought.

Like Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth, Rain
Follows the Plow had its detractors. Some scholars found it unlikely.

Ranchers shook their heads at the idea the land
was good for anything but grazing cattle and
sheep, but couldn't stop the plows when wheat
prices rose above beef prices in profit potential.

The survivors among Plains Indian tribes thought
the sod busters plumb loco. Unfortunately the
experts quoted by those with economic and
political interests in bringing ever more people
onto the Great Plains drowned out the scientific
skeptics and discredited previous occupants of
the land as being against progress.

The true irony of Rain Follows the Plow is that
the actions farmers took in reliance on this
anthropogenic theory -- and in response to
federal incentives -- actually did contribute to
the severity of the weather catastrophe known as
the Dust Bowl. Without that thick mat of tangled
roots from perennial prairie grasses to hold
things in place, the winds that constantly swept
the Great Plains carried topsoil as far as the
Atlantic when the drought came. In
Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan writes about how
the government's expert timed his testimony on
Capitol Hill so that the windows in the hearing
room would darken from the arrival of such a dust
storm just as he pressed his case for funds for
soil conservation and resettlement.

I was listening to Egan's tragic tale of human
and ecological consequences last week as I made
my annual drive across the middle of the
nation. It put my drive in a new light. More
gas stations than ever before were selling an
ethanol mix ,and every field I passed in Indiana,
Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota seemed full of
corn ready for harvest. Where cornfields were
intermixed with soybean fields in the past, this year I saw mostly corn.

I also saw corn where I had seen pastureland in
prior years. I can't remember seeing so much acreage in corn.

Unlike the sod busters in the Dust Bowl, today's
farmers do practice soil conservation, crop
rotation procedures and other methods to help
conserve the land. But like their predecessors,
they also respond with agility to higher prices and government incentives.
The demand for corn to produce the *supposedly
more environmentally-friendly ethanol has already
raised food prices, which could have serious
consequences in less affluent nations.

We can only wait to see what additional
distortions might darken the horizon as people
change their behavior in response to all the
media coverage about the theory of anthropogenic Global Warming. ~ fini

*[2] supposedly more environmentally-friendly

"So when the global warming alarmists predict
worldwide starvation, they’re right. They’re creating it. "

More excerpts:

"...But now I would like to address myself to a
grim subject: the actual threat that global
warming poses to our planet – and most
specifically to California. And that threat is
very real and it is devastating.

I speak specifically of the radical policies that
the global warm-mongers are now enacting.

Last year, in the name of saving the planet from
global warming, California adopted the most
radically restrictive legislation anywhere in the
nation, including AB 32, which requires a 25
percent reduction in man-made carbon dioxide emissions within 13 years.

To put this in perspective, we could junk every
car in the state of California RIGHT NOW – and not meet this mandate.

Californians just approved $40 billion of bonds
that California’s political leaders promised
would be used for highways, dams, aqueducts and
other capital improvements. They are desperately needed.

But at the same time, those same political
leaders have imposed a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Now here’s the problem. Building highways, dams
and aqueducts requires tremendous amounts of
concrete, the principle ingredient of which is cement.

How is cement produced? It is produced by taking
limestone and super-heating it into a molten
state – it comes out the other side as a compound
called clinker. Clinker is about 2/3 the weight
of the original limestone. The missing 1/3 of
that weight is carbon dioxide. And when you
include the emissions required to superheat the
limestone, it turns out that for every ton of
cement, a TON of carbon dioxide is released. It’s
the third biggest source of carbon dioxide in all human enterprise.

But now we have a law that specifically forbids
us from doing so. That was the essence of the
Jerry Brown lawsuits against new highway projects
that were part of the summer budget impasse.

Citing AB 32, Brown argued that unless the
counties could show how they would build highways
without using earthmoving equipment or concrete –
and that once built, that people would not drive
automobiles on them – the only legal use of the
funds would be to promote mass transit, transit
villages – and I’m not making this up – pedestrian trails and bicycle paths.

So much for construction.

Agriculture is in big trouble, too.

You can start with nitrogen fertilizer, which is
a critical component of all agricultural
activity. Unfortunately, it produces large
amounts of nitrous oxide, another so-called
greenhouse gas that must be radically curtailed in California.

The wine industry is also in for a shock.
Fermentation of wine occurs when a molecule of
glucose in the grapes is converted into EQUAL
PARTS of alcohol and Carbon Dioxide.

But the biggest agricultural impact is the
administration’s mandate for heavily subsidized
use of ethanol fuel. Ethanol is produced in
exactly the same way as the alcohol in wine: the
glucose in corn is converted into equal parts of
ethyl alcohol and CARBON DIXOIDE.

Following AB 32, the governor’s appointees on the
California Air Resources Board imposed a
requirement that ALL gasoline sold in California
within THREE YEARS, must be comprised of at least
TEN PERCENT ethanol, doubling the current mandate.

Now think about this: an acre of corn produces
about 350 gallons of ethanol. There are 15
billion gallons of gasoline used in California
each year. In order to meet the ten percent
requirement in three years, it means converting
4.3 million acres of farmland to ethanol
production. Now that’s a lot of farmland,
considering that we have a total of 11 million
acres producing any kind of crops.

Current ethanol mandates are already producing
serious shortages in other parts of the world, as
farmland that had been producing food shifts to
ethanol to chase hundreds of millions of dollars
of government subsidies coming out of your
pocket. There were riots in Mexico earlier this
year in response to spiraling tortilla prices.

And we’re seeing this across the board –
including commodities like milk and beef that are
responding to increased prices for corn feed. And
as you see your grocery prices rise as a result
of this policy, just be glad you’re not in the
Third World. Food is a relatively small portion
of the family incomes in affluent nations, but
they consume more than half of family earnings in third world countries.

So when the global warming alarmists predict
worldwide starvation, they’re right. They’re creating it.

"....Electricity prices are also taking a heavy
hit. California already suffers the highest
electricity prices in the continental United
States, but that situation is about to worsen.

A companion measure to AB 32 was SB 1368 that
prohibits the importation of electricity produced
by coal – even state-of-the-art plants thousands
of miles from California that meet all EPA requirements.

Truckee became the first victim of this law.
Truckee was about to sign a 50-year contract for
electricity produced by a new coal fired plant in
Utah. They were forced to back off because of AB
1368. They just announced the new contracts to
replace that lost power. Instead of paying $35
per megawatt hour, Truckee electricity consumers
will now be paying $65 per megawatt hour. It
gets worse. ..." [snip] Click above link to read further.

Of course it will get worse unless cooler, saner heads prevail:

[3] Chill out.
Washington Post ^ | October 14, 2007 | BJORN LOMBORG

"... predictions of impending disaster just don't stack up.

"...research shows that the cold is a much bigger
killer than the heat. According to the first
complete peer-reviewed survey of climate change's
health effects, global warming will actually save
lives. It's estimated that by 2050, global
warming will cause almost 400,000 more
heat-related deaths each year. But at the same
time, 1.8 million fewer people will die from cold.

"...Global warming will claim lives in another
way: by increasing the number of people at risk
of catching malaria by about 3 percent over this
century. According to scientific models,
implementing the Kyoto Protocol for the rest of
this century would reduce the malaria risk by just 0.2 percent.

On the other hand, we could spend $3 billion
annually -- 2 percent of the protocol's cost --
on mosquito nets and medication and cut malaria
incidence almost in half within a decade. Malaria
death rates are rising in
Africa, but this has nothing to do with climate
change and everything to do with poverty: Poor
and corrupt governments find it hard to implement
and fund the spraying and the provision of
mosquito nets that would help eradicate the
disease. Yet for every dollar we spend saving one
person through policies like the Kyoto Protocol,
we could save 36,000 through direct intervention.

"......Wherever you look, the inescapable
conclusion is the same: Reducing carbon emissions
is not the best way to help the world. .....I'm
frustrated at our blinkered focus on policies that won't achieve it.

In 1992, wealthy nations promised to cut
emissions to 1990 levels by 2000. Instead,
emissions grew by 12 percent. In 1997, they
promised to cut emissions to about 5 percent
below 1990 levels by 2010. Yet levels will likely
be 25 percent higher than hoped for.

"...Even if the policymakers' earlier promises
had been met, they would have done virtually no
good, but would have cost us a small fortune. The
climate models show that Kyoto would have
postponed the effects of global warming by seven
days by the end of the century. Even if the
United States and
had signed on and everyone stuck to Kyoto for
this entire century, we would postpone the
effects of global warming by only five years.

Proponents of pacts such as Kyoto want us to
spend enormous sums of money doing very little
good for the planet a hundred years from now. ...

The typical cost of cutting a ton of CO2is
currently about $20. Yet, according to a wealth
of scientific literature, the damage from a ton
of carbon in the atmosphere is about $2. Spending
$20 to do $2 worth of good is not smart policy. ...

...I formed the Copenhagen Consensus in 2004 so
that some of the world's top economists could
come together to ask not only where we can do
good, but at what cost, and to rank the best
things for the world to do first. The top
priorities they've come up with are dealing with
infectious diseases, malnutrition, agricultural
research and first-world access to third-world
agriculture. For less than a fifth of Kyoto's
price tag, we could tackle all these issues. ....."

Lomborg, an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen
Business School, is the author, most recently, of
"Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming."

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Received on Sat Oct 20 13:29:54 2007

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