Natural Disaster

Here is a little video by Red State Update to help raise awareness of the devastating floods in Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. (Warning: the humor about the weather map is R-rated.)

There have been a lot of reports in the past two weeks comparing President Obama’s lack of action to deal with the Gulf oil spill to President Bush’s initial handling of Hurricane Katrina. There is some justification for drawing this comparison. We may end up dealing with unprecedented damage to the Gulf Coast and its tourism and fishing industries because Obama is relying on British Petroleum (BP) to deal with the leak rather than rapidly bringing together experts from public and private institutions to figure out a way to stop the leak and mitigate the impact.

But Obama ignoring the floods in Tennessee and other states is, in some ways, more similar to the initial handling of the devastating flooding in New Orleans after Katrina. The floods are affecting Red states that aren’t supportive of Obama’s policies. So is it ok for Obama to ignore a disaster that affects areas where majorities are critical of his policies?

Last time I checked, we elect presidents for all of America. The President is responsible for using the federal government’s powers to protect all Americans, not just those areas that elected him. When will the media start applying the same standards to President Obama that they applied to President Bush?

You can help the victims of the floods at these sites:

Nashville Red Cross

Hands on Nasville

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Ok, it has been a busy news week. The Gulf oil spill, the NY Times Square terrorist attack, the election in Great Britain and the ongoing assault of the Obama administration on America’s freedoms are more than enough to keep everyone following the news busy.

But a major disaster has been largely ignored by the national media. Nashville has experienced terrible flooding causing billions of dollars of damage. Why is this not covered by the mainstream media?

The people of Nashville haven’t proclaimed themselves victims in need of a government handout. The video below shows incredible images of the flood combined with the message that the local people will work hard to undo the damage done.

We should applaud the victims of this natural disaster and their bravery. We should also support them even if they aren’t screaming about getting help.

The media and the federal government haven’t publicized this disaster. Tennessee is not a place where a lot of people claim to be victims. The media and the Obama administration aren’t interested because the way the people of Nashville have handled this disaster reflects the American spirit of self-sufficiency. There are no groups crying that they are victimized through neglect or by an “evil, vast right-wing conspiracy.”

You can help the people of Nashville by going to Hands On Nashville and making a donation. Click here to go directly to the link to donate.

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We know about flawed computer models of the earth’s atmosphere from Climategate. Now, it looks like flawed computer models have been used by politicians in Europe to cause the biggest disruption of air travel since World War 2. The Financial Times reports:

Flawed computer models may have exaggerated the effects of an Icelandic volcano eruption that has grounded tens of thousands of flights, stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers and cost businesses hundreds of millions of euros.

The computer models that guided decisions to impose a no-fly zone across most of Europe in recent days are based on incomplete science and limited data, according to European officials. As a result, they may have over-stated the risks to the public, needlessly grounding flights and damaging businesses.

“It is a black box in certain areas,” Matthias Ruete, the EU’s director-general for mobility and transport, said on Monday, noting that many of the assumptions in the computer models were not backed by scientific evidence.

European authorities were not sure about scientific questions, such as what concentration of ash was hazardous for jet engines, or at what rate ash fell from the sky, Mr Ruete said. “It’s one of the elements where, as far as I know, we’re not quite clear about it,” he admitted.

He also noted that early results of the 40-odd test flights conducted over the weekend by European airlines, such as KLM and Air France, suggested that the risk was less than the computer models had indicated.

The acknowledgement that the computer models were flawed is likely to provide ammunition for critics who believe that authorities have shown excessive caution. The closure of much of the airspace over Europe over the past five days is estimated to have cost airlines a total of $200m a day in lost revenue.

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Over the past few days, a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano has stopped air travel in most of Europe. This is biggest disruption to travel in Europe since World War 2.

The effects of this volcanic eruption and the lingering ash over Europe where completely unexpected. Airlines face serious losses not covered by insurance. Millions of passengers worldwide are stranded. There are reports of travelers running out of life-saving medications.

Volcanoes historically have had major effects on climate and human civilization. Volcanoes release sulfur dioxide which causes increased reflection of sunlight. Large volcanic eruptions have cooled global climate. Watts Up With That? reports on a study linking an eruption of Indonesia’s Krakatoa volcano in 535 AD with agricultural collapse leading to the world’s decline into the Dark Ages.

The Icelandic volcano eruption illustrates the hubris of global warming zealots who focus on one variable – increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to our civilization’s advances and ignores all the other complex factors that affect climate and the stability of human civilization. They manipulate historical temperature records, record temperatures in locations affected by urban heat islands, ignore the Earth’s mechanisms to absorb CO2, dismiss solar activity and never mention the Earth geothermal processes that cause volcanoes to erupt periodically.

The Iceland volcano demonstrates the folly of global warming zealots trying to predict how climate will affect us 100 years in the future. A single event, unanticipated just a few days ago, can cause serious harm, but they believe that they can predict effects decades and centuries in the future and that, if we agree to their drastic limitations on human freedom, we can change the future in predictable ways and “save the planet.”

The London Times explains why air planes cannot fly: “The ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano is dangerous to planes because the molten rock erupts through the glacier, solidifies and then shatters into tiny fragments. The smallest are carried high into the atmosphere and cannot be detected by radar or other aircraft instruments.”

It is unclear how long this disruption will last. The Time reports that some travelers have been told that they won’t be able to get home until next month.

Many countries in Europe have been affected by the recession more severely than the United States. This is no surprise since they have had socialist governments of the type Obama wants to impose on America for the past fifty years. If the Iceland volcano continues to stop air travel, it could seriously damage Europe’s fragile recovery.

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The claims made by climate scientists and the United Nations IPCC report have come under increasing scrutiny ever since the Climategate scandal revealed in November of last year the unprofessional conduct of climate scientists who manipulated data to fit their ideological biases.

One casualty of this more critical look at the IPCC report is the claim that the glaciers of the Himalayas would disappear by 2035. It turns out that this was based on one unsubstantiated claim made in a 1999 interview by Syed Hasnain of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Pajamas Media reports:

… the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — after Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, called the 2035 story “voodoo science” — eventually had to withdraw that section of the report.

Bad enough.What had been revealed was that the IPCC had put this inflammatory (and physically impossible) date into the IPCC report, even though it hadn’t been peer-reviewed and couldn’t actually be sourced to anything more than an offhand remark in a casual phone interview.

Naturally, everyone involved was shocked, utterly shocked, that such a thing could happen.

The problem is that this is not an isolated incident. The Times reports today on the unraveling of another global warming claim that has become conventional wisdom in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: that global warming is causing an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

Politicians have used this supposed link to advocate compensating developing countries for the destruction from natural disasters. The Times quotes Gordon Brown, the British prime minister telling the British parliament “that the financial agreement at Copenhagen ‘must address the great injustice that . . . those hit first and hardest by climate change are those that have done least harm.'”

The new controversy also goes back to the IPCC’s 2007 report in which a separate section warned that the world had “suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s”.

It suggested a part of this increase was due to global warming and cited the unpublished report, saying: “One study has found that while the dominant signal remains that of the significant increases in the values of exposure at risk, once losses are normalised for exposure, there still remains an underlying rising trend.”

The Sunday Times has since found that the scientific paper on which the IPCC based its claim had not been peer reviewed, nor published, at the time the climate body issued its report.

When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it had a new caveat. It said: “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses.”

Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month. It has also emerged that at least two scientific reviewers who checked drafts of the IPCC report urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts — but were ignored.

These are just two revelations that have become public over the past week.

Watts Up With That? cites a report from The American Thinker that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) have been “manipulating worldwide temperature data in order to fraudulently advance the global warming political agenda.”

NOAA has deleted 4,500 of the 6,000 thermometers in service around the globe and extrapolated temperatures for the areas where they no longer measure temperature. One example of this distortion is Bolivia, a mountainous country, where climate models show an increase in temperature after the Bolivian measurements where dropped and Bolivian temperatures where “extrapolated” from neighboring stations “on a beach in Peru or somewhere in the Amazon jungle.”

Other adjustments of the raw data for single locations have resulted in drastically different temperature trends. Here is an example from one weather station in Australia:

The raw data shows a drop in temperatures over a century, but the adjusted data shows a significant increase.

Recent record cold temperatures have coincided with new predictions of a 30 year mini ice age.

Meanwhile Michael Mann, the creator of the famous “hockey stick” graph that eliminated the Medieval Warm Period and shows record temperature increases in the 1990s, is under investigation by Penn State. State government officials are ready to investigate further when Penn State completes its investigation at the end of January:

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