The Prize By Jack Kinsella When somebody dies, it is always an occasion for grief,…
Do YOU Believe the Five-Day Forecast?
By Jack Kinsella
Did you ever make plans that depended on the accuracy of a five-day weather forecast? Personally, I do it all the time, especially when making plans to break camp and get on the road.
I read the five-day forecast, and I anticipate the opposite. If it is supposed to be sunny and warm, we prepare a contingency route for bad weather.
If the five-day forecast calls for bad weather somewhere along the way, we can be confident that our route will be the one place where the weather will be good.
This is our second season on the road and the formula has so far proved to be just about fool-proof.
For example, when the weather along Interstate 10 between Mobile, Alabama and Houston, according to the five-day forecast, called for intermittent thunderstorms, high winds and rain, we breathed a sigh of relief.
The weather was beautiful, sunny and dry. The winds were negligible. The only exception was the night we camped in Beaumont. It rained really hard sometime after midnight, but it stopped before the sun came up the next morning.
The storms we were supposed to meet head-on along the way turned north and swamped Dallas, instead.
It isn’t a fool-proof plan. Sometimes, the weather does what the five-day forecast predicts it will. But I stress the word ‘sometimes.’
How many times have you joked that what weather forecasters REALLY do is stick their hand out a window to see if its raining before they go on the air? There’s a local TV news station in New Bern, NC whose weather forecaster offers a “two degree guarantee” for that morning’s forecast.
My friends (mostly commercial fishermen) and I get a big kick out of comparing the ‘guarantee’ to reality. The joke is that when they guarantee sunny and warm, that’s when you put a slicker and a sweater in your trunk.
My adopted home town is an island on the southern end of NC’s Outer Banks that is prone to hurricanes. A few years back, Hurricane Isobel was forecast on September 11 to make landfall as a 165 mph Category Five (the most powerful on the scale) on Atlantic Beach.
Gayle and I evacuated. Isabel made landfall fifty miles away in Dare County on September 18 as a 105 mph Category One.
In 2005, the year of Rita, Katrina, etc., Hurricane Ophelia was forecast on September 9 to hit our coast as a Category Three. We decided to ride this one out. At the last minute on September 14, it turned north, striking a glancing blow as a weak Category One. Our house, situated four hundred feet from the Atlantic surf, suffered the loss of one shingle.
Hurricane Katrina was forecast to make landfall in Florida as a Category One on August 23, before turning north and heading up the coast towards the Florida Panhandle. At the last minute, it shifted direction, headed out over the Gulf, where it was forecast to make landfall as a Category Five.
Instead it made landfall as a Category Three near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana several hundred miles to the west of its forecast target.
Weather forecasters take current atmospheric conditions at any given time and use supercomputers to calculate the most probable next step. But as anybody who lives along the southeast Atlantic coast can tell you, nobody knows where they will make landfall until they make landfall.
Based on exactly the SAME supercomputer modeling that couldn’t predict 12 hours in advance whether Isabel would make landfall as a Category Five or a Category One within a “Cone of Probability” five hundred miles wide, one environmentalist group published an editorial predicting the death of Planet Earth in fifty years unless the human population is reduced to less than one billion people.
Evidently, while five days is too long for accuracy, add another fifty years and you can bet your future on it.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, in an editorial entitled; “The Beginning of the End for Life as We Know it on Planet Earth” says mankind is a virus that needs to be eradicated.
“We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings,” writes founder Paul Watson.
“Who should have children? “he asks. “Those who are responsible and completely dedicated to the responsibility which is actually a very small percentage of humans.”
He explains that, “Curing a body of cancer requires radical and invasive therapy, and therefore, curing the biosphere of the human virus will also require a radical and invasive approach.”
Of course, Paul Watson is a nut. But he is a nut with an audience of True Believers. Just like Al Gore, who is only slightly less radical, but with a bigger audience of True Believers. Recently, the San Antonio Express covered a speech Gore gave to a capacity crowd of True Believers who gathered to hear how buying ‘eco-credits’ (from him) will save the planet.
The Express summarized the problem facing the planet, as Al Gore explains it:
“Global warming is the heating of the Earth caused in large part by man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Most scientists agree such warming and the changing climate that comes with it will likely cause a number of problems and crises this century…[including] flooding and severe coastal erosion from rising seas and increasingly severe storms, more common and prolonged drought, and changes in the growing seasons and migration patterns of many wild species.”
See? If you read it in the newspaper, then it MUST be true.
Actually, if the phrase ‘most scientists’ means ‘more than half’, then they don’t agree. Gore’s contention is that man-made greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming. Six different Antarctic ice core studies, whose results were published in peer-reviewed scientific studies between 1999 and 2006, found exactly the opposite.
The ice core data allowed researchers to examine multiple climate changes they say reaches back over the past 650,000 years. All six studies found atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations tracking closely with temperatures, but with CO2 lagging behind changes in temperature, rather than leading them.
The time lag between temperatures moving up—or down—and carbon dioxide following ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand years.
Even a non-scientist, faced with those statistics, could only conclude that global warming causes increased greenhouse gases. You’d have to be a failed presidential candidate or an unbalanced eco-terrorist to conclude the opposite is true from the data presented.
Greenland is the sixth-largest land mass on the face of the earth. Indeed, it accounts for one-quarter of the earth’s land-mass — except that 81% of it is currently covered by a “permanent” ice sheet.
I always wondered how Greenland got its name. So I looked it up. It wasn’t difficult.
Greenland was settled by Viking leader Erik the Red during what was called the Medieval Warm Period. They called it Greenland because most of it was green. The Vikings set up thriving farming communities that lasted for several hundred years before the onset of what is called “The Little Ice Age” around the beginning of the 14th century.
Much is being made of the receding glaciers. What doesn’t get much attention is what the receding glaciers reveal hidden beneath. The remains of human settlements, bones, arrowheads, pottery, copper and silver mines, flora and fauna, even the perfectly preserved remains of human beings — some of them dating back only a few centuries.
The “Iceman” found in a British Columbia glacier in 1999 was radiocarbon dated to about 1450 AD. Not only was his body perfectly preserved, so was his clothing. He died wearing little more than a light cloak and hat and thin leather moccasins. The food pouch he was carrying contained pieces of salmon.
What does that mean? It means that the glaciers weren’t there 550 years ago. They melted during the Medieval Warming Period. There is no record of catastrophic sea level changes, submerging coastlines, etc.
And it is unlikely that the industrial hydrocarbon pollution given off by humans in the years prior to AD 1000 were responsible for either the warming trend, or that buying carbon offsets brought on the Little Ice Age that followed.
Are you still with me? Global warming is real, in the sense that the earth’s temperature is rising at the moment. It began rising in the mid 1970’s. After the thirty-year cooling trend that began in the 1940’s that had 1970’s scientists warning of a coming Ice Age.
This isn’t difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. All one need do is look it up. Al Gore could look it up. So could Paul Watson. So could the scientists on United Nations Panel on Climate Change.
Heck, I looked it up. But, I don’t have an agenda. My career doesn’t depend on convincing people that the planet is warming.
I didn’t found an environmental group. I don’t own a brokerage house that sells carbon offsets. I am not getting government research grants aimed at proving global warming is caused by American consumptive excesses.
And I didn’t use them for research resources. I looked it up in an encyclopedia published before Al Gore turned the fear of global warming into a multi-billion dollar industry. Then I consulted a reference book whose contents remained unrevised or unchanged since first published two thousand years ago.
Two thousand years ago, BEFORE either the Medieval Warming Period OR the Little Ice Age, Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples to reveal the signs that would indicate the end of the Church Age and the impending return of Christ for His Church.
Jesus replied, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)
There is no historical record of global panic during the Medieval Warming Period. Neither is there a record of global panic during the Little Ice Age that followed. Jesus predicted the panic would occur during a single generation, somewhere in time.
“So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)
THIS generation. The Last Generation. Our generation.
This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 7, 2007