A Cooling Planet means Death while a Warming Planet means Life

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 1st, 2014

Week in Review

Those on the left are wringing their hands as they look into the abyss of global warming.  For to them there is nothing worse than a warming planet.  But as it turns out there are things worse than a warming planet.  Cold (see 6-year-old Minnesota girl found dead in subzero cold by Crystal Dey, Forum News Service, posted 2/28/2014 on Duluth News Tribune).

A 6-year-old Bemidji girl was found dead of exposure to the winter elements Thursday morning at her apartment complex, police said…

Temperatures in Bemidji early Thursday were in the 25-below-zero range with wind chills of 40 below.

According to the wind chill index from the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, N.D., with wind chills of 40 below frostbite can set in in less than 30 minutes.

Since Dec. 1., there have been 21 recorded deaths due to cold weather in Minnesota, according to the state Department of Health. From Dec. 1, 2012 to March 30, 2013, a total of 46 deaths attributed to extreme cold and cold temperature were reported.

How tragic.  Sadly, she’s not the only victim the cold has claimed in Minnesota.  46 deaths since December, 1, 2012.  This is what is worse than a warming planet.  Cold.  Such extreme cold that frostbite takes less than 30 minutes to set in.  With hypothermia not that far behind.  As well as death.  Things that don’t happen where it’s warm.

Yes, people have died from exposure to extreme heat.  But we should note what else happens in extreme heat.  Life.  For the first great civilizations didn’t happen near the Polar Regions.  They happened near the tropics.  The Nile river valley, the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys and the Indus river valley are all in the subtropics.  Close to the tropics.  Where it is hot.  Allowing the Egyptians, the Sumerians and the Harappan to grow food.  In the rich soil of these river valleys.  Soil that was NOT covered by ice and snow.  But warm.  Warm enough to allow seeds to germinate.  So there could be food.  A lot of food.  So much food that there were food surpluses.  Allowing these great civilizations to live through the cooler and wetter winters.  Which were nowhere near as cold and snow/ice covered as they are in Minnesota.

A cooling planet means more farmland under snow and ice for greater periods of time.  And less food.  Whereas a warming planet brings more land into cultivation.  Allowing more food production.  So a warming planet gives us life.  While a cooling planet gives us less food.  And if it continues to cool, famine.  Which leads to death.  So if there is anything to fear it’s a cooling planet.  Not a warming planet.  For not only is there no frostbite or hypothermia in a warm climate there is useable farmland.  And life.

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One of the Finest All-Electric Cars is Beaten by the Cold Temperatures of the East Coast

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 16th, 2013

Week in Review

The all-electric car is great as long as it’s warm and you don’t plan on driving great distances (see Tesla stock dips on poor Model S review by Maureen Farrell posted 2/11/2013 on CNN Money).

The idea of a driving an electric car has always intrigued me, but after reading a New York Times review of the Tesla (TSLA) Model S on I-95, it sounds like a total nightmare.

According to the writer, the battery on the Model S drained much quicker than promised in cold weather during a recent trip up and down the East Coast. With only a few charging stations in the Northeast, the writer was forced to turn off the heat in 30 degree weather to conserve power. And that didn’t help him much. At one point he needed to get towed for 45 minutes to the next charging station.

Here are some excerpts from the New York Times article.

The 480-volt Supercharger stations deliver enough power for 150 miles of travel in 30 minutes, and a full charge in about an hour, for the 85 kilowatt-hour Model S. (Adding the fast-charge option to cars with the midlevel 60 kilowatt-hour battery costs $2,000.) That’s quite a bit longer than it takes to pump 15 gallons of gasoline, but at Supercharger stations Tesla pays for the electricity, which seems a reasonable trade for fast, silent and emissions-free driving. Besides, what’s Sbarro for..?

I began following Tesla’s range-maximization guidelines, which meant dispensing with such battery-draining amenities as warming the cabin and keeping up with traffic. I turned the climate control to low — the temperature was still in the 30s — and planted myself in the far right lane with the cruise control set at 54 miles per hour (the speed limit is 65)…

At that point, the car informed me it was shutting off the heater, and it ordered me, in vivid red letters, to “Recharge Now…”

I spent nearly an hour at the Milford service plaza as the Tesla sucked electrons from the hitching post…

When I parked the car, its computer said I had 90 miles of range, twice the 46 miles back to Milford. It was a different story at 8:30 the next morning. The thermometer read 10 degrees and the display showed 25 miles of remaining range — the electrical equivalent of someone having siphoned off more than two-thirds of the fuel that was in the tank when I parked.

I called Tesla in California, and the official I woke up said I needed to “condition” the battery pack to restore the lost energy. That meant sitting in the car for half an hour with the heat on a low setting…

The Tesla people found an E.V. charging facility that Norwich Public Utilities had recently installed. Norwich, an old mill town on the Thames River, was only 11 miles away, though in the opposite direction from Milford.

After making arrangements to recharge at the Norwich station, I located the proper adapter in the trunk, plugged in and walked to the only warm place nearby, Butch’s Luncheonette and Breakfast Club, an establishment (smoking allowed) where only members can buy a cup of coffee or a plate of eggs. But the owners let me wait there while the Model S drank its juice. Tesla’s experts said that pumping in a little energy would help restore the power lost overnight as a result of the cold weather, and after an hour they cleared me to resume the trip to Milford.

Looking back, I should have bought a membership to Butch’s and spent a few hours there while the car charged. The displayed range never reached the number of miles remaining to Milford, and as I limped along at about 45 miles per hour I saw increasingly dire dashboard warnings to recharge immediately. Mr. Merendino, the product planner, found an E.V. charging station about five miles away.

But the Model S had other ideas. “Car is shutting down,” the computer informed me. I was able to coast down an exit ramp in Branford, Conn., before the car made good on its threat.   Tesla’s New York service manager, Adam Williams, found a towing service in Milford that sent a skilled and very patient driver, Rick Ibsen, to rescue me with a flatbed truck. Not so quick: the car’s electrically actuated parking brake would not release without battery power, and hooking the car’s 12-volt charging post behind the front grille to the tow truck’s portable charger would not release the brake. So he had to drag it onto the flatbed, a painstaking process that took 45 minutes. Fortunately, the cab of the tow truck was toasty.

At 2:40 p.m., we pulled into the Milford rest stop, five hours after I had left Groton on a trip that should have taken less than an hour. Mr. Ibsen carefully maneuvered the flatbed close to the charging kiosk, and 25 minutes later, with the battery sufficiently charged to release the parking brake and drive off the truck, the car was back on the ground.

And this is perhaps the finest all-electric car in the market.  And it is a modern marvel.  But even as high-tech as it is it still can’t change the law of physics.  Batteries don’t work well in cold temperatures.  It takes time to charge a battery.  Even at 480 volts.  And it should also be noted that charging lithium-ion batteries is itself not the safest thing to do.  For if they over charge they can catch fire.  These are the same batteries they have on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  That the FAA grounded because their lithium-ion batteries were catching on fire.

Had he been driving at night he probably would have gotten a message that the car was shutting off its headlights, too.  To conserve battery charge.  Which would probably be a little more hazardous than driving without heat in the dark.

If you drive where it is cold the last thing you want is for your car to shut down.  Unable to get you home.  And this is the warmth and security a gasoline engine gives you.  You can top off your tank the night before to be extra safe you won’t run out of fuel.  And if the temperature falls to 40 below zero over night you will have the same amount of gasoline in your tank in the morning.  If you get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in 40 degree below zero weather you will be able to stay toasty warm.  And if you’re driving after dark you will even be able to see where you are going.  Thanks to gasoline.  And the internal combustion engine.

Or you can try to save the environment and die of exposure instead.  Your choice.  Gasoline.  Or electricity.  Range anxiety or carefree driving.  Shivering in the cold to squeeze out a few extra miles.  Or sitting comfortably in your car with your coat off.  Killing an hour every time you charge your car perhaps once or twice a day.  Or spending 10 minutes pumping gas maybe once a week.  Pain in the ass.  Or convenience.  Your choice.

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The Gift of Global Warming: Cold Weather

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 5th, 2011

Global Warming:  The Greenhouse Effect Raising Temperatures

If you look up global warming on Answers.com you get many different definitions.  Some are more detailed than others.  Here’s one of the definitions pulled from Wiley Book of Astronomy: greenhouse effect:

An increase in a planet’s surface temperature caused by the absorption of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. Incoming short wavelength radiation passes through, but longer wavelengths reradiated from the surface are blocked by the greenhouse gases. Earth’s atmosphere is about 35 K warmer, on average, than if there were no atmospheric greenhouse effect. On Venus a runaway greenhouse effect massively increases temperatures by about 500 K over what they would be if the atmosphere were completely transparent. By contrast, the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere on Mars contributes only a 5 K rise in surface temperature.

If you’re into gardening you probably understand this.  Or at least you’ll understand what a greenhouse is.  In northern climes, nurseries start their seedlings before spring in their greenhouses.  Why?  Because it’s warmer inside a greenhouse in February than outside.  And here’s why.  The sun comes in through the glass to heat the space within.  But because the greenhouse is enclosed, those heated temperatures can’t escape.  Hence the greenhouse effect.

Global warming is supposed to work in the same way.  Except carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor act as the glass in a greenhouse.  So the more ‘man-made’ gases we put into the atmosphere, the warmer it will get on the planet.  That’s why they’ve called it ‘global warming’ for so long.  Because they said the planet was warming.  Like inside a greenhouse.  Hence the use of the term ‘greenhouse gasses’.  We were destroying the planet by warming it. 

And yet we continue to have cold wintery weather.  In areas that don’t normally have cold wintery weather.  But the climate scientists have assured us that this global cooling is happening because of global warming.  Because that just sounds silly, they’re not using the term ‘global warming’ anymore.  Or the definition.  Or their earlier science.  Now it’s climate change.  And it’s a much more useful term to use.  Because you never have to explain why it doesn’t get cold or snow inside a greenhouse.

Ice and snow in Dallas, Texas, may Curtail Super Bowl Festivities

So how cold is it?  Why, I’ll tell you.  Real cold (see Super Bowl XLV: Ice injures workers; weather messes with Texas by Cindy Boren posted 2/5/2011 on The Washington Post).

Dallas has been hit with a one-two punch of an ice storm earlier in the week and six-to-eight inches of snowfall Friday — something Cowboys owner Jerry Jones couldn’t control. Win McNamee was shooting weather pictures for Getty Images at the stadium when an “avalanche of ice” struck him and other workers. “I had nowhere to go,” he said. “It hurt pretty bad.”

“Honestly, while it was hitting me, I was thinking I’m going to die here,” McNamee said. With his left shoulder broken in four places, he planned to return home for surgery. “It was pretty frightening.”

Ice and snow in Dallas, Texas.  Imagine that.  When I used to live in a northern state where snow and ice was normal during the many winter months, my friend living in Texas liked to rub that in my face.  Figuratively, of course.  While he joked, “Snowbrush?  Hell, I don’t even own a snow shovel.”

Cold in Chihuahua, Mexico, Kills Zoo Animals

Okay, let’s head a little further south.  Into Chihuahua, Mexico.  In northern Mexico.  Though it borders a desert, the temperatures aren’t as warm due to the higher elevation of the area.  Still, the winters are, on average, above freezing.  The winter months typically see temperatures in the mid to high 30s.  Unless, of course, there’s global warming (see 35 zoo animals freeze to death in northern Mexico by the Associated Press published 2/5/2011 on The Washington Post).

Thirty-five animals at a zoo in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua have frozen to death during the region’s coldest weather in six decades…

Temperatures have dropped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius) in the area, the coldest weather in 60 years.

Sixty years?  Back then they were probably warning us about the impending ice age.  Remember the ice age prognosticators?    If you don’t you’re probably young.  But they warned us then that cold temperatures indicated a new ice age.  Today those same cold temperatures indicate global warming.  Go figure.

Cold Weather can be Hazardous to your Health

Snow and ice in Dallas, Texas.  Nine degree temperatures in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Broken shoulders.  And frozen, dead animals.  You know, cold weather can be hazardous to your health.  There’s a reason all those retirees head down to Florida and Arizona.  They know something our global warming ‘scientists’ don’t.  Cold weather sucks. 

You know, we need to stop this dangerous cold weather.  So perhaps we should try to reverse global warming.  To make it colder.  So it can get warmer.  I don’t understand how that will work.  Then again, I’m not a climatologist.  I don’t have to know.  I just have to believe.  I guess.

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