Daily Wisdom

June 30, 2008

Climate Change Crisis: It's All About Control

Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of 'emergency'. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And 'emergency' became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.

--Herbert Hoover, 31st US President

In the grand scheme of things, humans are a rather pathetic lot. Among God's creatures, they are neither the strongest, nor the fastest, nor the most ferocious. In self-defense they boast neither camoflage, nor armor, nor poisonous venom. They have no wings to soar above the heavens. They cannot swim the ocean depths. They are naked against the cold, and oppressed by the heat. Even the tiniest microbe or virus can fell them. Save for their intellect (or what sometimes passes for it), humans are a pretty helpless bunch.

Mazlow's hierarchy of needs suggests how humans seek to get some control into their lives. First, they seek control by addressing their basic needs for survival: breathing, food, water, sleep, etc. Then they seek more control by looking after their safety: shelter, employment, resources, health and property. They seek more control by establishing relationships: friendships, family, sexual, membership in clubs, societies or gangs. Then they seek to control how they are viewed by others: by developing self-esteem, pursuing respect, achievements, recognition, or acquiring expensive goods.

Finally, Mazlow would have us believe that humans ultimately attempt to achieve "self-actualization" -- that is, becoming the "best one can be"; fulfilling one's personal dreams. This last one is more difficult as it can be different for each person. For some it might be achieved through creativity, for example: art, music, theater, or photography. For others it might be achieved through problem solving, such as: science, mathematics, technology, invention. But for some, it can only be achieved through the continued acquisition of power (ie, ultimate control) whether financial, political, corporate, military, or a combination thereof.

Throughout history, humans have sought control. They have sought control by harnessing fire and domesticating animals. They have sought control by seeking the favor of the gods. They have sought control through witchcraft and sorcery. They have sought control by building pyramids, castles, and 'great walls'. They have sought control over disease. They have sought control over ignorance. They have sought control over morality. They have sought control over their enemies. They have sought control over public opinion. They have sought control over their fellow human beings.

And so, the 'Global Warming' or 'Global Climate Change' CRISIS is simply another human effort to control. The naive would have us believe that it is about control of the climate. But in reality, it is nothing more than a manufactured crisis which is part of a more sinister plot to impose a form of socialism on the entire planet. Its proponents say the time for debate is over because there is a "consensus" of scientists supporting it. They highlight the fact that the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) boasted 2500+ scientific expert reviewers, 800+ contributing authors, and 450+ lead authors from 130+ countries on its 4th Assessment Report in 2007. Meanwhile, nearly 32,000 scientists (9,000 with Ph.Ds) have signed the Oregon Petition disputing the "established truth" of global-warming. Thus, the "consensus" argument rings a bit hollow.

To deflect criticism away from the flawed science of global-warming, the socialist elite employs the ranks of their friends in the mainstream media to help make the case for them. The media generally describes the case for man-made global-warming as if it is a fact, rather than an unproven theory. They have even gone so far as to prejudice their stories...

The news media promote global warming alarmism through selective reporting. Dr. Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado noted that a paper published in an obscure scientific journal that argued there was a link between hurricanes and global warming generated 79 news articles, while a paper that debunked the connection published in a far more prestigious journal generated only three.

--Jack Kelly, "Media Promotes Global Warming Alarmism", January 8, 2008

To divert attention from their lack of consensus, they mock legitimate scientists who question the veracity of man-made global-warming by labeling them as "deniers", as if to associate them with the ludicrous deniers of the holocaust. They use high profile liberals like former Vice President Al Gore to make their case with glitzy productions which envision worst-case scenarios.

And when Al Gore's production of 'An Inconvenient Truth' was determined to be full of statements that were "one-sided, misleading, exaggerated, speculative or wrong", the socialist elite naturally rewarded Al Gore by giving him an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize. Gore was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Heidi Sørensen, a member of the Norwegian parliament for the Socialist Left Party (SV). Interestingly enough, the UN's IPCC (a political rather than scientific organization) shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

As President Hoover warned, an 'emergency' is the "Trojan Horse" which collectivists use to attain power. And the Climate Change Gestapo are the worst form of collectivists. They want to control you for the "good of mankind", for the "good of the planet". They want to control how you live, the temperature on your thermostat, how much "carbon" you are allocated, what kind of light bulbs you can use, and what type of car you can drive. What does it matter if compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) cost more? You MUST pay the price, in the name of mankind. What does it matter if hybrid or hydrogen-powered vehicles cost more? You MUST pay the price, for the good of the state... excuse me, the PLANET. These socialists WANT you to pay high gas prices, so it will change your behavior.

And God forbid that some countries should use more energy than others. There's a discrepancy there. That's not fair! So the Climate Change Politburo will correct that situation. They have created international "regulations" under the auspices of the UN on how much CO2 can be produced. Those regulations can be found in international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol. Although the US has not yet ratified the Kyoto Protocol, it is conceivable that an Obama presidency would push for ratification. It should be pointed out that Kyoto is underwritten by governments, but is governed by global legislation enacted under the UN’s aegis.

It is also likely that an Obama presidency will impose a carbon tax. And this tax of course, will be paid by you, the consumer. However, the carbon tax advocates assure us that such a tax would be "progressive", that is, "the wealthy will pay more" -- another strategy right out of the liberal-socialist playbook.

And oh, by the way, you can't have any more energy -- you'll just have to get by with less, and pay dearly for the privilege. Just listen to the arguments of the socialists... Drilling for oil will not reduce the price of gasoline in the short-term, therefore we shouldn't drill for anymore oil. Nuclear energy is not the answer, therefore we shouldn't build any nuclear plants. In their view, the answer lies completely in solar, wind, and geothermal. Yet, I have not seen too many solar-powered automobiles, or wind-powered 18-wheelers, or geothermal-powered railroad trains that appear to be viable. And I don't happen to buy the notion that...

We need to power down and prepare for a different kind of existence than we have known for nearly a century. This does not mean we necessarily need to "tend sheep." It does mean using ingenuity to live in harmony with nature vs. plundering and poisoning this home we share.

--Eric Teegarden, "Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer", June 3, 2008

So where will all those carbon tax dollars go? Well, to the poorest countries of course who need the dollars more than you do. It is the ultimate form of socialism: "From each nation according to its ability, to each nation according to its need". American carbon tax dollars will go to poor countries through a proposed UN tax on Americans called the Global Poverty Act. Senator Barack Obama, the most left-wing of the liberals in the US Senate, is proposing that the US pays a tax to the United Nations in an effort to eliminate Global Poverty.

Apparently the "War on Poverty" fiasco was before Obama's time. So then, he who has failed to learn from history is doomed to repeat it. Obama's "Global Poverty Act" (S.2433) would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of its gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends on foreign aid. Again, this tax will be paid by you, the American consumer and taxpayer. It is merely another step in the road to global socialization.

But somehow, I suspect that not all of those tax dollars will actually get to those poor countries. Some of it will no doubt be siphoned off along the way by the UN Climate Change Direktors or the UN Poverty Eradikators -- as a management fee, naturally. And more of it will be stolen by the leaders of the countries those dollars are intended to help. The UN's Oil-For-Food Program is a good example of how well such international programs can be managed. It is no different than the two-tier arrangement which existed in the Soviet Union. Although according to Marxist theory, everyone was supposed to have "equal income", Communist party leaders somehow found a way to make sure they received a bit more...

What was most striking was people’s dissatisfaction with the communist system. The main complaint was against the inequalities within the system. People claimed that the Soviet Union had a two class system. The ruling class were officials of the Communist Party. Everybody else were members of the second class (the same thing was said when I was in China). People pointed out the differences in goods that existed in shops set aside for party officials and foreign tourists with those available for the rest of the population.

--John Simkin, History Teacher, Brighton, Sussex, May 30, 2004

So why then, should we expect anything less from a cabal of socialist elitists who are using the Climate Change "crisis" to gain power on a global scale. Václav Klaus, the second President of the Czech Republic and a former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (1992 – 1997), said it best in a Financial Times article...

The author Michael Crichton stated it clearly: “the greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda”. I feel the same way, because global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the 'truth versus propaganda' problem. It requires courage to oppose the “established” truth...

As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This (ambitious environmentalism) ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

--Václav Klaus, "Freedom, Not Climate, Is At Risk", June 13, 2008

And if perhaps you believe that Václav Klaus is somewhat paranoid, then consider that there are people and organizations that are covertly working towards global government, and have been for many years. As we can see from the following quote, such organizations are working towards a "super-state" organization, and they recognized early the need to influence "popular education" in the process...

The sovereignty fetish is still so strong in the public mind, that there would appear to be little chance of winning popular assent to American membership in anything approaching a super-state organization. Much will depend on the kind of approach which is used in further popular education.

--Council on Foreign Relations, "American Public Opinion and Postwar Security Commitments", 1944

Have you been educated yet? Have you learned the "truth" about global-warming? Have you been trained to believe that we are facing a "crisis"... an "emergency"? Of course you have, Comrade Citizen.

This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.

--Herbert Hoover, 31st US President

June 23, 2008

Weak Dollar, High Oil Prices

I found the following chart HERE. It shows pretty clearly how the weak dollar has affected oil prices. Notice that back in 1999, the Euro and the Dollar were effectively equal. Since then, the dollar has dropped in value to approximately 60% that of the Euro. As a result, when this chart was prepared the same barrel of oil that cost €75 (Euros) also cost $119 (US Dollars). In other words, if the Dollar had maintained its value against the Euro, then the cost of oil would be just $75 per barrel instead of $119.

June 22, 2008

China's Contribution To Oil Prices

I knew that China's economic growth was contributing to high oil prices, but I had no idea to what degree. I was surprised to find the following information in recent days. First, according to an article HERE with a link to the data source HERE, it appears that China has surged past the U.S. in terms of manufacturing exports...

Click To Enlarge

This rapid growth has caused China to become a major world consumer of raw materials and energy. In the 1992-93 time frame, China outstripped its ability to produce enough oil domestically to keep up with its own demand. That's when China became a net oil importer...

Since at least 2005, it has been observed that there appears to be a close correlation between China's oil imports and the world price of oil. Fully a third of the world's growth in oil demand has been attributable to China. I found the following chart HERE...

The article is dated March 15, 2005 when oil prices were in the vicinity of $40-45 per barrel. Based on this chart, the authors were predicting prices of $70-75 per barrel. Please note that the figures for Chinese oil imports in this chart are a "forecast" for the period 2005 and beyond. I drew in the actual price of oil in red to show how closely the prices followed the forecast. Unfortunately, I do not have any recent monthly data for Chinese oil imports though I scoured the Internet attempting to find some. It would be interesting to see how close the correlation has continued through to the present.

According to another article dated May 8, 2007, China’s total oil consumption in 2006 reached 7.4 million barrels per day, while growth in domestic production rose less than 2 percent to 3.7 million barrels per day. The International Energy Agency forecasts demand for oil in China this year will rise 6.8% to 7.6 million barrels per day and that by 2030 Chinese oil imports will equal current imports by the U.S.

China's demand for oil, which is projected to reach 12.8 million barrels/day by 2025, is commonly cited as a major contributing factor to the recent run up in global oil prices. Economists have found a close correlation between Chinese demand for oil and crude prices in recent years. (emphasis added)

I expect we will only see the trend continue in the face of news such as the following...

Chinese oil imports rose 25% in May (2008) according to data released today. Reportedly China is stockpiling oil ahead of the summer Olympics and to cover increased demand after the earthquakes.

June 13, 2008

Obama On Iraq In 2004

Has Obama flip-flopped on Iraq? You make the call...

Are We Winning In Iraq?

Source Article HERE.

From 'FoxNews - Special Report w/ Brit Hume':
The following is from the show that was aired on June 12, 2008. According to Krauthammer, Kondracke and Barnes, the answer is a resounding YES!...


MAJ. GEN. MARK HERTLING, MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION - NORTH: With our Iraqi brothers in the four Iraqi Army divisions, which are part of the northern provinces, we have seen some significant gains over the last several months in the north.

MAJ. GEN. KEVIN BERGNER, MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: Security operations continue to make progress, and the number of overall security incidents remains at levels not seen since 2004. These security improvements are enabling the political, economic, and social activities.


HUME: And so in the dry language military officers use when briefing, you hear further reports as they continue to come from the field about progress, military and otherwise in Iraq.

So where does this stand? Are we winning, as some are now claiming --- Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes, we are. I think it is unmistakable. The change in fortunes is remarkable.

We have had the government in Iraq take over Basra with the Iraqi army, which everyone had said was weak and feckless. It marched into Sadr City, the heartland of the Mahdi Army, took it without a shot. It is now engaged in the fight in Mosul, the last urban redoubt of Al Qaeda in the country. It is being routed and humiliated, Al Qaeda.

You have had the passing of all these laws of reconciliation, all of which have passed.

HUME: With the lone exception of the oil sharing Bill.

KRAUTHAMMER: With the exception of the oil sharing, which, in fact, is happening in the budget. It's a different process ---

HUME: There is not a Bill, but there is a program.

KRAUTHAMMER: Exactly. And the revenues are being shared as we speak. So all of this is happening, and Democrats are speaking as if nothing has happened.

I think McCain has an opportunity because of the utter disconnect between the way Democrats are describing the war in Iraq as losing or lost and hopeless and advocating withdrawal, and the reality on the ground for McCain to make a case on Iraq and to fight and win this election on Iraq against all conventional wisdom.

KONDRACKE: Look, Barack Obama sitting in the Illinois State Senate and the beneficiary of no information whatsoever may have been right that we shouldn't have fought this war in the beginning.

But then when he was here in Congress and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as Frederick Kagan of the AEI points out in this week's "Weekly Standard," Barack Obama proposed that we have no surge, that we be out by this March, last month, two months ago or three months ago, all of our combat troops out.

That was Barack Obama's considered judgment versus John McCain's considered judgment, which was to have the surge. What has worked? Who was right? McCain has been absolutely right and Barack Obama's judgment on this issue in which he had information was dead wrong.

Now, it's a good question, who do you want to be the commander in chief on the basis of that?

BARNES: When I hear these Democrats, they make me think of Rip Van Winkle, like they have been asleep for the last year, year-and-a-half. They are still talking about we're sending our troops there to get involved in a civil war. The civil war has been over a long time.

They talk about Maliki, the prime minister there being ---

HUME: Needing a kick in the butt.

BARNES: --- needing a kick in the butt. He didn't need a kick in the butt in Basra or to go into Sadr City, places like that. He has begun to establish himself, importantly, as a national, and not a sectarian leader.

When he sent the troops into Basra, you know what many of them were? They weren't Shiite as he is --- tens of thousands of them were Sunni troops. And the reconciliation has been incredible.

At some point Democrats are going to have to be seen as people who are totally out of touch with reality on Iraq, because what they're saying is the case is there is palpably not the case.

HUME: But are these facts, in your view, penetrating the public on this issue, Fred?

BARNES: I think they have penetrated the public, but they have not changed the public's view about whether the war was worth it or not. And by two to one they still think it wasn't.

KONDRACKE: I just think John McCain needs to pound away at this, whose judgment was right on the surge.

KRAUTHAMMER: These facts have not penetrated because the media have underreported the success of this story, and McCain is the one who has to make the case, give his speech, lay out the facts.

HUME: That is it for the panel.

June 06, 2008

Global Warming News - May 2008

Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics

May opened with snow across a wide swathe of the country's northwestern and north central states. Idaho saw 4 to 5 inches of snow, and drivers were caught off-guard by the late winter weather. Interstate 86 had (6) slide-offs near Pocatello and (4) accidents just in the morning hours, according to a report from KIDK.com, the CBS affiliate in the area.

Idaho snow - May 1.

One person was killed after a car crash during a heavy spring snowstorm that moved across Colorado on May Day, with up to 16 inches of snow expected in the high country. The afternoon accident on eastbound Interstate 70 about a half mile east of Watkins resulted in one death, the Colorado State Patrol said. Trooper Ryan Sullivan said the accident involved nine vehicles, including a state patrol car and a Colorado Department of Transportation truck responding to an earlier accident. Sullivan said the trooper and CDOT employee were not injured. Multiple accidents also closed Interstate 70 in both directions at Bennett, about 30 miles east of Denver. Wintry weather was blamed for a rash of minor accidents that closed westbound Interstate 70 for about 90 minutes just west of Denver. Several state highways in the mountains had been closed due to icy conditions.

"There's a lot of slide-offs, fender-bender types," State Patrol Master Trooper Ron Watkins said. Watkins said up to 40 cars were involved in minor accidents on U.S. 36 near Lyons, 30 miles northwest of Denver. No injuries have been reported there. The storm dropped up to 5 inches in Douglas County and Boulder County received more than 3 inches. Loveland ski area, one of about three Colorado resorts still open, reported 6 inches. The National Weather Service said 8 to 16 inches of snow could fall in the northern mountains. Up to 11 inches was forecast for the central mountains.

In Montana, road crews were beginning to clear Beartooth Pass where up to 16 feet of snow in some areas remained following a particularly snowy winter. On May 1st the temperature was only 18F, and the snow removal crews had problems getting equipment started. One of the crew chiefs said "This is more snow than we've seen for several years up here." Some days the crews only clear 100 yards of road. On a good day, they hope to clear three quarters of a mile. They anticipate that the pass would be open in time for Memorial Day.

Beartooth Pass, Montana - May 1.

Through noon on Thursday, May 1st, 17 inches of snow had fallen near Hulett, Wyoming, more than a foot fell in the Wasatch Range in Utah, and 12 inches was on the ground in parts of South Dakota. The heaviest snow would fall through Friday across the western High Plains. Two feet or more of snow was forecast in the Black Hills of South Dakota, while lesser amounts spread across eastern Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, and the western Dakotas. Strong winds wrapping around the back side of the storm caused near-blizzard conditions with areas of blowing and drifting snow that created hazardous driving, especially after dark. Heavy, wet snow shut down areas in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Lead-Deadwood district called off school and many businesses went without power for a while.

Black Hills, South Dakota - May 1.

By May 2nd, the mayor of Rapid City, South Dakota, was pleading with residents to stay home as the blizzard closed down streets and highways in parts of the state. "Please, stay off the roads until the weather clears. The wind is still gusting to 50 mph with heavy snow," said Mayor Alan Hanks. Rapid City police said they would cite any motorists who got stuck in drifts and were traveling on non-essential business, the Rapid City Journal reported. City snowplows were working to clear main arteries, major intersections, emergency routes and other hazardous areas. Private snow removal contractors said the heavy snow and high winds -- clocked in excess of 65 mph in some places -- made removal efforts almost futile. Officials in Spearfish, Belle Fourche and Butte Counties declared snow emergencies. All roads were closed to travel except for emergency vehicles. Sections of Interstate 90 and Highway 79 were shut down.

Chadron and Harrison in northwest Nebraska each received 4 inches of snow, while further south Dalton, Nebraska saw 6 inches. The storm was accompanied by winds of 50-60 mph, with the highest gust recorded at 73 mph. South Park, Colorada was hit with 109 mph winds, strong enough to tip over tractor-trailer.

High winds tip truck - May 2.

According to an article in USA Today, there were unconfirmed reports of 30 inches of snow in the Lead-Deadwood area, and 4 feet near Harding in the far northwest corner of the state. Mount Rushmore, Ellsworth Air Force Base and the School of Mines and Technology were among the places that closed. The weather service said final average snowfall amounts would be 15-25 inches in the northwest plains, 12-18 inches in the Rapid City area and plains to the east, and 10-18 inches in the southern Black Hills. The storm knocked down power poles in Harding County, and several counties were experiencing intermittent power outages, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

In Utah, KSL.com was reporting that cooler temperatures in April, along with a few good storms, had left northern Utah's snowpack at or above normal in most places. This spring, temperatures were 15 degrees below normal and kept the snow in the mountains, which is good news for skiers and those wanting full reservoirs and snow melt to be drawn out. Officials at Alta Ski Resort said this winter was its third snowiest in 28 years.

According to a report from AccuWeather.com, some snow also fell in the Appalachians, from southwest North Carolina through Maine, but it was minimal. A weather map from the web site shows the areas that were affected.

Snow in the East - May 1-2.

In Washington State, Luke Skibba celebrated Cinco de Mayo by taking advantage of a ski season that started to seem endless. Hundreds of skiers and snowboarders flocked to Alpental at Snoqualmie Pass on Monday for what was supposed to be the last day of the season. However, a sign at the ticket booth announced that the ski area would open again the following Saturday and Sunday. “It’s amazing that we are even riding this time of year,” said Skibba. “This has been an amazing season.” Amazing for skiers and boarders, perhaps, but the lingering snow isn’t such good news for hikers. Hikers who had booked permits to walk the 90-mile Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier in June were being told to expect 100 percent snow cover, said Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor.

Snow Damage at Breitenbush Campground

Early summer camping in the Cascades was also affected by the snow. Finding an open campground was proving to be difficult, and it was expected that by Memorial Day weekend, only campgrounds below 3,000 feet would be open. For example, Humbug Campground, four miles up the Breitenbush River from Detroit Lake, had been buried under three feet of snow on May 3-4th, and the road that accesses it — Highway 224 to Estacada — was plowed only 10 miles to Breitenbush Campground. "I was up there on a snowmobile two weeks ago and there's still nine feet of snow at the boundary between Willamette and Mount Hood national forests," said Penny Keen, manager of developed campgrounds in the Detroit ranger district. As for the myriad of lakes above there in the Olallie Scenic Area, Keen said: "I'm betting we won't see those until we get into July." She was figuring that the campground at Elk Lake, north of Detroit off Highway 224, also wouldn't be accessible until July.

A snow squall dumped between 4 to 11 inches on Grand Mesa, Colorado on May 5th. Some areas of Grand Mesa above 10,000 feet still had 6 to 7 feet of snow. There were concerns about a sudden thaw, but the forecast for the coming week was 40s and 50s with below freezing temps at night.

Video grab illustrates Colorado snow depths

In Utah, temperatures were trending upward, but were below normal as Sterling Poulson Of KUTV2.com pointed out using a graphic (see picture). Temperatures were below normal in March, April and in May (as of when the article was written).

In California, vineyards were assessing the damage of late April frosts. It could be June before growers know the full extent — but most expect smaller-than-average harvests this year.

The cold snap's immediate effects could be seen in some vineyards, where leaves that normally would be pale green were curled up and brittle as December leaves. The frosts hit all over Northern California, including Mendocino and Lake counties in Northern California as well as the Napa Valley and Sonoma County regions. The cold also was felt in Central Coast vineyards. Although a little frost isn't unusual, the cold snap that lasted 20 or more nights in some places was a first for many vintners. "The last one we had that was anywhere near this brutal was back in the '70s," said Napa County Agriculture Commissioner Dave Whitmer.

On May 7th, road crews from the Washington State DOT were clearing Chinook Pass where they faced 20 feet of snow in some places. See picture. As it turned out, according to the Chinook Pass web page of the WSDOT web site, the crews were fighting a losing battle as the snows continued until at least May 13th. The pass was not expected to be open until June 5th at the earliest, and even then traffic would be restricted to only one lane due to a washout that undermined a portion of the roadway.

Clearing Chinook Pass - May 7.

On May 10th, 4 inches of snow fell in Minot of western North Dakota according to a report from KFYR-TV.

On May 12th, a winter storm watch was issued for Vail, Colorado. The storm was forecast to drop 12 inches of snow on the highest elevations, according to the National Weather Service. Snow was expected to be at heavy at times, making travel difficult. The storm ended up dumping a foot of snow in the mountains west of Denver. Authorities said a pregnant woman and her fetus died when a car plunged off Interstate 70 in Summit County during the snowstorm.

On the same day, the Anchorage Daily Times issued a story about the destruction to the power lines feeding Juneau, Alaska. Avalanches uprooted old-growth forest, mangled transmission towers and ripped out a portion of the high-voltage lines that link the Snettisham hydroelectric plant to Alaska's capital city. "People feel like we're just sitting around out here waiting for the snow to melt, and that's not the case at all," said Alaska Electric Light and Power engineer Scott Willis, who was hopeful that hydropower would be restored by mid-July.

Alaskan power lines

Also on the same day, some people in Pennsylvania reported snow. People living in the higher elevations of Centre County — such as one Centre Daily Times staffer who lives in Philipsburg — awoke to find snow on the ground that morning, and temperatures at 8 a.m. were only in the 30s. It seemed more like February than May, but AccuWeather's Elliott Abrams, in a weather report, said this doesn't set any records for late snowfall -- snow has been recorded as late as early June, he said.

On May 13th, KTVZ.com was reporting that up to 30 feet of snow had buried the Mckenzie Pass Highway (Hwy. 242) in Central Oregon. According to the Oregon DOT, the road was a low priority for clearing, and the department's strained budget would mean that the road would not be open until mid-summer. ODOT said it hopes to open the McKenzie Pass by July. It said the road into Crater Lake is in a similar situation, due to a very heavy snow pack.

On the same day, it was being reported that the opening of Yellowstone National Park, originally scheduled for May 16th, would be delayed for at least a couple of weeks. While a few campsites were available, more than 18 inches of snow remained on the ground in some areas.

Moderate to heavy snow was falling in the Flagstaff, Arizona area, where a Snow Advisory had been issued until noon on May 13th. The snow level had dropped down to the 6,500 foot elevation, where 3”-6” were predicted. Heavier snowfall amounts were expected near and north of the San Francisco Peaks.

On May 21st, "unseasonably cool temperatures" in Utah dramatically slowed snowpack runoff in Summit County, keeping the upper Provo River in its banks despite a flood warning issued by the National Weather Service. The cold front that moved over northern Utah was expected to stall, said Monica Traphagan, National Weather Service meteorologist. The forecast was for cold, wet weather to continue through the Memorial Day weekend.

On May 22nd, MarylandWeather.com warned that although beaches would be opening soon, water temps would be pretty low. With overnight lows in the mid-40s to low-50s, there was not much opportunity for the water to warm up. According to the article, "Daytime highs are running about 5 degrees too cool for this time of year". The water temps were 58-60F when the article was written, so the author's recommended precaution: "A defibrillator is advised".

Cold beach in Maryland

On the same day, the Senior PGA championship in Rochester, NY experienced cold weather. Jay Haas made a crack about everyone being bundled up. Jeff Sluman kidded around, too, saying he bounced a shot off a snowbank. On a day better suited for snowmen than birdies, the two veterans could laugh after braving cold, wet, windy conditions to find themselves atop the leaderboard after the first round of the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. "It was pretty miserable this morning, everybody's got long johns on and ski caps and wind-breakers," Haas said of the mid-40s temps.

Winter weather made a comeback to San Diego County on May 22nd, with a sprinkling of snow on Mount Laguna, heavy rain near the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and minor mudslides in the San Pasqual area. At about 3:20 p.m., the California Highway Patrol issued a travel advisory for drivers to watch out for storm conditions in the East County mountains to the Imperial County line. Authorities reported six accidents on Interstate 8 near Pine Valley that occurred in heavy rain and some snow early in the evening. At least eight people were taken to hospitals with varying injuries, said Capt. Nick Schuler with Cal Fire.

And snow was in the forecast for Memorial Day in Reno, Nevada. There were flurries of snow in the valleys of Western Nevada on Thursday, May 22nd, and snow was sticking at the higher elevations of the Sierra. Snow falling in the Reno-area on Memorial Day weekend is rare, National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Deutschendorf said. "It probably happens maybe once every 25 years," Deutschendorf said.

Also on May 22nd, snow fell in the higher elevations of Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. On Mount Lemmon near Flagstaff, Arizona there was 3" of snow. There was 6-10" in the mountains of New Mexico west of the Continental Divide, and 5-12" in the San Juan mountains near Durango, Colorado.

On May 23rd, snow and ice pellets fell on Scranton, Pennsylvania. Across New England, many hikers were finding difficult going at the higher elevations where snowpack was deep in some places. And winter conditions were expected for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Ben Rose, the executive director of the Green Mountain Club, said that while this winter had more snow than normal, it wasn't unknown to find snow in the mountains on Memorial Day, although it's been more than a decade since it has happened. "I would say this is on the snowier end of the late-snow normal curve," Rose said.

In Montana, the forecast for Memorial Day weekend was 30-50" of snow along the Continental Divide into Glacier National Park. The overall weather event was expected to begin Thursday afternoon and gradually taper off by early Sunday. National Weather Service forecasters said that an unusual weather front, delivering moisture from the Plains states, would also bring lower temperatures. “It’s very unusual,” meteorologist Peter Felsch said, “to have this magnitude of deep moisture coming from the Plains like this.” Felsch said the heavy snow could increase avalanche danger.

Exceptionally deep snow was challenging efforts to re-open Bear Camp Road, a short-cut to the coast in Oregon. An Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) rotary plow had been working for over a week to clear the 8-10 foot snow drifts from the road. The heavily packed snow is the deepest it's been in nearly 10 years. It extends down to a much lower elevation than normal. The United States Forest Service owns the road, but hires ODOT to do the plowing. ODOT normally tries to wait for snow to melt on its own as much as possible. However, an early Memorial Day weekend coupled with heavy snow made the plowing a bigger job than usual.

Clearing Bear Camp Road

In Wyoming, cold temperatures at the end of May delayed rapid runoff of snow melt. Bureau of Reclamation water operations manager Mike Beus said that May precipitation was very close to normal. Although cold temperatures have continued to delay runoff, a long-range forecast calling for warmer weather could change conditions quickly. “Slow melt describes our situation right now,” Beus said. In the past 10 years, the only year when the Snake River Basin had a higher snow-water equivalent at this late a date was 1999. “This is the wettest and latest winter we’ve had on Togwotee Pass, compared even to 1997 and 1999,” Beus said.

In Michigan, the unusually cold May weather, filled with frost warnings and nights dipping into the upper 20s and low 30s, prevented some bees from pollinating. Nikki Rothwell, director of the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Resource Station, said bees prefer warmer conditions. May is “buildup” time for bee populations, said Julius Kolarik, who manages roughly 700 hives. Usually, bees can be seen hanging on the outside of the hive and buzzing around the orchards, but this spring buildup time has been limited by cold weather, he said. Cold weather has caused lack in hive productivity in the past, but this spring the cold seems to be hanging on longer than usual, Kolarik said.

Also in Michigan, landscapers may have lost their flowers. Gardeners may have lost their veggies. And orchardists may have lost a good share of their crops. Temperatures were reported to have dipped down to 25 degrees in some parts of Leelanau County on the morning of May 28th, further threatening a cherry crop that held great potential until reaching its prettiest stage. “Now on top of bad pollination, we have this potential freeze effect,” said Nikki Rothwell, director of the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Station in Bingham Township. By early Wednesday, she had already inspected sweet cherries at the station — and found damage. Others whose livings depend on crops reported similar problems caused by the freeze, from northern to southern Leelanau County. Temperatures down to 25 degrees were reported in Elmwood and Empire townships.

On May 4th in Winnipeg, snow and low temps hit the city. Winnipeggers waiting for warmth were getting blowing snow and a windchill factor instead. Before noon, the temperature was only -2.3C with a northeast wind that made it feel like -5C, according to Environment Canada. The snow was expected to end in the afternoon, with sunny periods and a high of only 4C, with winds, gusting from 40 to 60 kilometres per hour making it feel colder. According to the weather office, the normal high temperature for this time of year is 17C.

On May 11th, between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow fell on Cape Breton Island in a rare snowstorm that left motorists wishing they hadn't already removed their snow tires for spring. The steady sprinkling of thick, wet snowflakes resulted in at least six accidents on the island, although no one was seriously injured, said Const. Gary Fraser of the Cape Breton police. By noon, road conditions had deteriorated to the point that police put out the call for salt trucks. The trucks took longer to get on the road than expected because they had already been reassigned to summer construction duty and had to have their plows reattached. "These are rare, these mid-May storms," Fraser told CTV Atlantic. "It is rare and it is surprising how fast it was coming on today."

On May 14th, Calgary celebrated with its fifth annual "snow dump". It was one of the five most concentrated dumps of snow in Calgary’s history. Sunshine Village plopped five tons of snow on Stephen Avenue, a chilly reminder that while spring was certainly in the air and the grass was greening, the Banff-based ski resort still had an abundance of snow and ski conditions couldn’t be better.

On May 23rd, The Edmonton Journal reported that scientists were "cautiously optimistic" that this winter's low temperatures may have provided a helping hand in the battle against mountain pine beetles. At 300 sites across Alberta, researchers took samples of pine bark to test their prediction that temperatures were low enough for long enough to make a difference. So what is low enough and long enough? The criteria is 12 consecutive hours of -40C ambient air temperature, which it is believed were encountered in January and February. The results will not be available until the end of June.

On May 14th, Today's Zaman was reporting that it was snowing across Eastern Turkey. The snow depth in Kars reached six centimeters, in Ardahan four centimeters, and at higher altitudes of Erzurum three centimeters (when the article was written). The snowy weather was expected to subside later in the day. Temperatures had dropped to as low as -1C on the night of May 12th.

South Africa:
On May 4th, the South African electric public utility ESKOM, was expressing concerns that the current cold snap might cause a need for emergency load-shedding due to the increased demand. ESKOM’s Andrew Etzinger said that if the cold weather persisted for three to four days around the country, the demand for power would increase. “This would put us right on the edge and that would increase the risk of load shedding,” said Etzinger. The cold spell led to a 500-megawatt increase in demand over the previous few days.

Two people froze to death after a church group had to spend a night out in the cold at the top of Mount-Aux-Sources in the Drakensberg near Witsieshoed in Qwaqwa. It was suspected that the group consisted of nine members. "The group of young men and women aged between 17 and 22, including their pastor, left home to the mountains with the aim to pray but things went wrong," said Sergeant Mmako Mophiring. He said the group arrived at the foot of the mountain at the car park at approximately 17:30 on May 1st. The security guard allegedly allowed the group entry to the area thinking that they would not climb up onto the escarpment on top of the mountain. Nevertheless, police suspect that the group climbed to the peak of the mountain. Mophiring said the group allegedly returned during the night "freezing to death" and although they tried to find shelter along the road the weather was too cold.

On May 13th, the Daily Telegraph said that expectations were "sky-high" in Australia and New Zealand among skiiers and snowboarders for an excellent snow season. The signs have rarely looked so good. A snowy northern ski season has been followed by an early trend towards a winter weather pattern across south-eastern Australia and the Shaky Isles. Heavy snow fell across the mountains in the last days of April, a month that was also the wettest in Sydney in 80 years and the coldest in nine years. Meteorologist James Luffman, of weatherzone.com.au, said of the season ahead: "The seasonal forecast indicates we can expect plenty more snow-bearing systems through the coming winter." While the ski season does not officially get started until June 7th, skiiers were already hitting the slopes in April.

On May 24th, Melbourne shivered through its coldest May morning in 27 years when the temperature fell to a frosty 2.7C. That was the minimum temperature recorded at 7:41am when many were travelling to work in the fog. The lowest minimum temperature ever recorded for May is 2.1C, recorded in 1916. The weather bureau said the cold snap was due to a slow-moving high pressure system over Victoria. This produced light winds and clear skies, conditions that are conducive to extremely cold mornings at this time of year. Cold mornings were forecast for the remainder of the month.

New Zealand:

New Zealand snow - May 2.
According to TVNZ.com, there was a "white-out" in parts of the South Island on Friday, May 2nd, with many areas receiving their first snow of the year. While the snowfall in Queenstown was just the right amount for children, that was not the case in other parts of the island. Otago had blizzard like conditions. Forecasters were saying that even though winter had not yet started, signs were pointing to more of the same. The early snowfall was exciting for some, especially skiers and snowboarders, but a problem for others who had to cancel outdoor events.

South Islanders woke up on May 6th to the coldest day of the year so far, while the North Island was still dealing with its first big snowfall. The Radio Network's weather analyst Philip Duncan said there was a -8C degree frost in Invercargill, with Lumsden waking to -6C, Dunedin -5C and Queenstown -4C. Christchurch also woke to a frosty morning with -3C. Motorists were taking it easy on the Taupo-Napier road after 10 to 15cm of snow fell on the night of the May 4th, blanketing Mt Ruapehu.

On May 7th, The Southland Times described the weather as "unseasonably cold" for May with several continuous days of heavy frosts and temperatures well below freezing. MetService forecaster Richard Finnie said the cold snap was more akin to June or early July temperatures. "It's a one-in-five-year event to be getting severe frosts this early in the season." The fact that temperatures preceding the cold had been warmer than usual had meant cooler conditions had come as a shock, Mr Finnie said. The cold was brought on by a low over the north of New Zealand that had sucked in cold air from Antarctica which was followed by clear nights that brought the inevitable frosts, he said.

In a May 14th article at Stuff.co.nz, the Accident Compensation Corporation was warning skiiers and snowboarders to use caution as snowsport-related injuries had cost taxpayers $12 million during the 2006-2007 financial year. Of particular note was a line in the article which pointed out that the skiing season was not due to kick off until June 14th but already there was about 20 centimetres of snow on Mt Ruapehu.

On May 23rd, Coronet Peak received 40cm of snow over a 24-hour period, and it was still snowing lightly when the article was written. Ross Lawrence, Ski Area Manager at The Remarkables, said it’s a promising sign. “We’ve had a lovely thick blanket of snow, not just a stormy dusting. Winter is sending the right signals; it’s definitely on the way,” said Mr Lawrence. And it was still 2 weeks prior to the opening of the region's winter season.

About half a million New Zealanders are likely to be experiencing "fuel poverty" and putting their health at risk, Community Energy Action (CEA) says. The social service provider was scheduled to hold a workshop on June 4th in Christchurch to discuss the 400,000 to 560,000 Kiwis believed to be unable to afford to heat their homes to an adequate level. An Otago University study released at the end of May found that 1600 more New Zealanders die every winter than during other seasons, with researchers pinning part of the blame on cold, damp and poorly maintained houses. The combination of a cold winter, with last month the coldest May in more than a quarter of a century (emphasis added), and rising prices had Canterbury CEA chairman Ian McChesney fearing the worst.

Scientific Opinion:

May Was Cold In Michigan -- May was a cold month in Michigan reports Jim Keysor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord, MI. Cooler than normal temperatures were "remarkably persistent" throughout the month. The following is from NOAA's National Weather Service web site...

1) Most locations had but a couple days during the entire month with daily temperatures at or exceeding normal... with the vast majority of days several degrees below normal, 2) Overnight lows dropped below 40 degrees over 20 days during the month at all listed stations besides Traverse City... which had 19, 3) There were several more 70+ degree highs in April than May (Sault Ste. Marie took the monthly "honors"... with only one 70 degree high temperature for the month), and 4) As if to really drive the point home... late month snow was reported across parts of Eastern Upper Michigan and the Highlands of Northern Lower Michigan on May 18th and the 20th through the 21st. The end of the month temperature anomalies verify the above... with all locations averaging at least 3 degrees cooler than normal for May.

Sea Ice Levels -- On May 4th, mathematician Steve McIntyre wrote on the web site ClimateAudit.org that data from NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Snow and Ice Data Center indicates that world sea ice recently reached levels that were unprecedented for the month of April in over 25 years. This is the same agency that said sea ice had declined to record lows in 2007. Now NOAA reports levels have rebounded, particularly in the southern hemisphere.

Four of the past 5 months are “all-time” records for Southern Hemisphere sea ice anomalies, “unprecedented” since the data set began in 1979 as shown below... On a global basis, world sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were “unprecedented” for the month of April in over 25 years.

Southern Hemisphere sea ice anomaly.

NCDC April Summary -- According to a story from FoxNews entitled "Numbing Numbers", new information from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), finds that April 2008 was the coldest April in 11 years. The average temperature last month here in the U.S. was 51-degrees Fahrenheit. That figure is 1 degree cooler than the average April temperature for the entire twentieth century. President of the National Center for Policy Research Amy Ridenour tells FOX News, "this is further proof that global warming is not happening. Somebody has to be the grownup in this debate and the fact is, climate change is variable. If it wasn't, then we wouldn't have weathermen." April 2008 ranks as the 29th coldest since record keeping began 114 years ago. You can find the NCDC April Summary by clicking HERE.

NCDC May Summary -- New information from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), finds that for the contiguous United States, the average temperature for May was 60.3°F (15.7°C), which was 0.7°F (0.4°C) below the 20th century mean and ranked as the 35th coldest May on record, based on preliminary data. On the Regional level, much of the U.S. experienced cooler than normal temperatures during May. Five regions had below average temperatures and the remainder experienced near average temperatures. A persistent southerly track of the jet stream drove several cold fronts and low pressure systems across the central to northeastern parts of the U.S. during May, resulting in cool and stormy weather.

During May, twenty-five states were cooler than average for the month, based on statewide data going back to 1895. Pennsylvania was much cooler than average and ranked as the eighth coolest May in the 1895-2008 record. Using the Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI - an index developed at NOAA to relate energy usage to climate), the nation's residential energy demand during May was approximately 3.5% above average consumption and ranked as the 18th highest May value in 114 years.

The spring (March-May) temperature for the contiguous United States (based on preliminary data) was 51.4°F (10.8°C), 0.5°F (0.3°C) below the 20th century average, making the season the 37th coolest since records began in 1895. Statewide spring temperatures were cooler than average from the Northwest eastward through the central plains and upper Mississippi Valley. Only five states (Texas, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) were warmer than average for the spring, while nineteen states were cooler than average for the season.

You can find the NCDC May Summary by clicking HERE.

NOAA Snow Cover -- For NOAA's view of the Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover in April, you can click HERE. An animation will take you through the entire month from April 1st to April 30th. You can also watch the snow cover vanish in May HERE.

32,000 Deniers -- On May 16th, Lawrence Solomon, executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud, wrote an excellent article for the National Post entitled 32,000 Deniers. In the article, Solomon says: "That’s the number of scientists who are outraged by the Kyoto Protocol’s corruption of science". He states that 32,000 scientists (over 9,000 of whom hold Ph.Ds) have now signed the "Oregon Petition" which reads as follows...

We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

Solomon ultimately asks the question: "How many scientists does it take to establish that a consensus does not exist on global warming?" How many indeed? What in fact constitutes a "scientific" consensus? Is it the political delegations from 178 nations (including 118 heads of state), or the 30,000 environmentalists (many of whom are political activists), or the 7,000 diplomatic bureaucrats who attended the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio? Or is it 32,000 bona fide "scientists" which include eminent physicists, chemists, computer scientists, and Nobel Prize recipients? For information on the qualifications of the signers, click HERE. For a list of links to other articles by Lawrence Solomon, go HERE.

Global Warming & Hurricanes -- A new model simulation of Atlantic hurricane activity for the last two decades of this century projects fewer hurricanes overall, but a slight increase in intensity for hurricanes that do occur. Hurricanes are also projected to have more intense rainfall, on average, in the future. The findings were to be reported in a study by scientists at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ, scheduled to be published online in 'Nature Geoscience' on May 18th.

In the new study, the model was used to test the influence of greenhouse gas warming on Atlantic hurricane activity through the end of the 21st century. Simulations reveal higher levels of wind shear and other changes, which act to reduce the overall number of hurricanes in the model. Although it is widely accepted in the climate change research community that increases in greenhouse gases have caused most of the global warming of the last half century, the link between increasing greenhouse gases and hurricane activity has been a topic of wide debate and of little consensus. This new study suggests that in the Atlantic basin, global warming from increasing greenhouse gases will have little impact, or perhaps cause some decrease, in tropical storm and hurricane numbers.