Daily Wisdom

February 28, 2009

Obama: I Have A Dream

President Barack Obama delivered another speech before a joint session of Congress today. It was his second such speech in as many weeks, and clearly patterned after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. So much so in fact, that some have used the word 'plagiarism'. But an unnamed learned scholar from the New York Times Institute for Revisionist History -- a respected Ivy League think-tank -- suggests that it is not so much plagiarism as it is another wonderful example of Barack Obama's ability to identify himself with famous historical leaders. For example, Mr. Obama has already cast himself as John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Messiah.

President Obama speaks under Karl Marx photo.

The following is the text of the President's speech...

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest promotion of socialism in the history of our nation.

Eight score and 1 year ago, a great German-American, in whose symbolic shadow I stand today, wrote the Communist Manifesto. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of future pseudo-intellectuals and elitists who had been seared in the imaginary flames of withering injustice in their own minds. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity to the brutish principles of capitalism: supply and demand, risk and reward, and worst of all, self-reliance.

But one hundred and sixty one years later, the socialist still does not control. One hundred and sixty one years later, the life of the socialist is still sadly crippled by the manacles of capitalism and the chains of individualism. One hundred and sixty one years later, the socialist lives on a lonely island of utopian fantasies in the midst of a vast ocean of practical realism. One hundred and sixty one years later, the socialist is still languishing in the corners of talk-radio and finds himself an exile amidst the Limbaughs and the Hannitys. And so we've come here today to dramatize this shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capitol to cash a check... a REALLY BIG CHECK. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American taxpayer was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, socialists as well as conservatives, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Choice, Universal Health Care and Economic Equality." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens on the Left are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the proletariat a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the Bank of America (or Citi-Bank, or Wells Fargo, or AIG) is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of China's 30-year Treasury bond holders. And so, we've come to cash this check, a REALLY BIG CHECK, that will give us upon demand the riches of socialism and the security of the nanny-state.

We have also come to this chamber to remind America of the fierce urgency of NOW. This is no time to engage in the luxury of critical thinking and analysis, or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the riches of socialism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of capitalism to the sunlit path of egalitarianism, "Doublethink" and "Newspeak". Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of deepening recession to the solid rock of a state-owned, government-managed, highly-regulated, planned economy. Now is the time to make the dream of socialism a reality for all of Big Brother's children.

I could go on like this forever, but let me cut to the chase. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Marxist dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created financially equal."

I have a dream that one day on the "red" hills of Georgia, the sons of former Marxists and the sons of former private property owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that my little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their money but by the content of their argument against America's wealthy.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, here in D.C., with its federal employees and anti-gun laws, a new state will emerge -- a Democrat state of course -- where little boys and girls will be able to join hands with the children of other states as comrades in the Socialist States of America.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain (except Capitol Hill) shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places (except Capitol Hill) will be made straight; "and the glory of 'the One' shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, land of equality, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers cried, land of the Marxist's pride,

From every mountainside, your tax dollars bring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so, let tax dollars flow from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let tax dollars flow from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let tax dollars flow from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let tax dollars flow from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let tax dollars flow from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let tax dollars flow from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let tax dollars flow from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let tax dollars flow from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let tax dollars flow.

And when this happens, when we allow tax dollars to flow into Washington, when we let tax dollars flow from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all Big Brother's children -- liberals and conservatives, Jews and Gentiles, Christians and Muslims -- will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank 'the One', we are free from our money at last!

Thank you, and Gesundheit! to the United States of America.

February 22, 2009

$1 Million Per Day

Click on the image below to see the video...

Obama: Broken Promises

President Barack Hussein Obama has only been in office a month, and already he has been breaking promises. Let's forget about the presidential campaign for a moment, because we can assume that all candidates make promises that they will never keep. Rather, let's start with Obama's inauguration and see how many promises he's broken since Day 1 as President...

Broken Promise #1 -- Preserve, Protect & Defend: In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said that we as Americans must remain faithful to "the ideals of our forebears", and true to our "founding documents". When he deftly used the phrase "We, the People", it was clear he was referring to the United States Constitution...

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because 'We, the People', have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. So it has been; so it must be with this generation of Americans [emphasis added].

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

Let's put aside Obama's mistake that "44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath". In reality, only 43 Americans have taken the presidential oath, because Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and the 24th President with Benjamin Harrison serving as the 23rd President between his two terms. It's an easy mistake to make for people who are not well-versed in American history, or who forget to check their facts. But of course, most Americans don't run for the Presidency or hire speech writers who are supposed to check the facts.

More importantly, Obama clearly says that "this generation of Americans" MUST remain true to "our founding documents", and by inference SPECIFICALLY to the U.S. Constitution. How ironic it is then, that Barack Obama (son of a Kenyan father and British citizen), does not even qualify to be President of the United States under the U.S. Constitution because he himself is not a "natural born citizen" -- one of only three requirements in the Constitution needed to qualify for the office. Assuming that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii as he claims (although he has NEVER released his original, vault-copy birth certificate to support his claims), that would make Obama merely a U.S. citizen, but not a "natural born citizen". For more information on the definition of "natural born citizen", go HERE.

There still remains the undisputed fact that Obama's father was a British subject at the time of his birth, and therefore Obama could NEVER be a "natural born citizen" under ANY circumstances. The fact that the United States Supreme Court chose not to hear any number of cases contesting Obama's qualifications to be President of the United States (undoubtedly for political reasons), does not change the FACTS of the matter. Obama emphatically stated that "this generation of Americans" MUST remain true to "our founding documents", and by inference SPECIFICALLY to the U.S. Constitution. Yet, he himself (unquestionably a member of "this generation"), has not done so. Thus, before Barack Obama even uttered these words in his inaugural address, he had already broken a promise to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", despite his oath to "execute the office of President of the United States"... faithfully, or otherwise.

Broken Promise #2 -- Hope Over Fear: In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said that we as Americans have chosen "hope over fear", implying perhaps that John McCain and George W. Bush represented "fear" while Obama represents "hope". Obama used "hope" as a trademark word throughout his campaign, but failed repeatedly to explain what that "hope" represented. Now, in his inaugural address, we finally learned that Obama would bring "hope" as opposed to "fear"...

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear [emphasis added]...

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

Interestingly enough, Barack Obama has done nothing less than to use "fear tactics" to ram his stimulus package through the House and Senate. On Thursday, February 5th, Obama warned that failure to act on an economic recovery package could plunge the nation into a long-lasting recession that might prove irreversible, a fresh call to a recalcitrant Congress to move quickly...

...we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs... are gone; millions more of the nest eggs... have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring... And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse... We've seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail. Every day, our economy gets sicker... [emphasis added]

--President Barack Hussein Obama, The Action Americans Need, 5 February 2009

Instead of "hope", we have heard nothing from Barack Obama except "fear" and "crisis" and "worry" and "failure" and "recession" and "tragic" and "sick", and all manner of 'doom-and-gloom'. As Obama brings forth each new spending program to counter the effects of what he continues to describe as the worst economic crisis "since the Great Depression", he merely reinforces the fears of those who hear him, which drive the markets into ever greater decline...

President Barack Obama may think words like “catastrophe”, “crisis” and “disaster” help sell his economic rescue plans, but US history has shown that scare tactics can backfire. Having campaigned on a promise of hope and run against what he called President George W Bush’s “politics of fear”, Obama may be taking a big political risk — for himself and his policies — by resorting to the same tactic. In pressing Congress and the public to back expensive proposals, Obama has used the well-worn political rhetoric of fear to paint dire scenarios, hoping to persuade skeptics of the need for quick action. It may work, and it may not. “That end-of-the-world type of rhetoric is not good for business confidence,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute.

--Obama’s Scare Tactics May Backfire, Financial Express, 13 February 2009

Broken Promise #3 -- Unity Over Conflict: In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said that we as Americans have chosen "unity over conflict". By that, he meant that Americans are tired of the same old politics as usual in Washington. By that, he meant that Americans want to see Democrats and Republicans working together, without all the partisan bickering and vitriol. While politicians will never be able to completely set aside their philosophical differences, Americans want to see Democrats and Republicans working together in a spirit of bi-partisanship where the working relationship is civil and friendly. Americans want to see Congress working for the good of the people rather than for the good of their respective parties...

On this day, we gather because we have chosen... unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics [emphasis added].

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

I have to laugh when Obama suggests in his inaugural address that he has come "to proclaim an end to... false promises". He made false promises throughout his campaign, and even here in his inaugural address he continues to make false promises -- promises which I am showing in this article he has failed to keep.

Now, one might argue that Barack Obama had every intention of trying to bring about "unity over conflict" when he spoke those words, but he must have completely forgotten what he said only days later when he rammed his stimulus package through the House and Senate. The bill had absolutely NO bi-partisan support from Republicans in the House, and next-to-none in the Senate. Republicans complained that Democrats refused to accept any input or consider alternatives. In the House, the vote was a straight party-line vote with zero Republicans voting in favor of the measure. In the Senate, only three RINOs ('Republican In Name Only') voted for the measure.

At his inaugural, Obama must have been thinking that "unity of purpose" means Republicans have to roll over and play dead every time the Democrats say so, because he has done absolutely nothing to foster "unity" over "conflict". In fact, at a meeting with top congressional leaders from both parties at the White House for a working discussion over the shape and size of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan, Obama let it be known that he wasn't really interested in getting ANY input from Republicans. Although the meeting was designed to "promote bipartisanship", when challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: “I won.” The statement was prompted by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, who challenged the president and the Democratic leaders over the balance between the package’s spending and tax cuts. With those two words — “I won” — Obama let the Republicans know that all debate was put to rest on November 4th. For Obama, it's "My way... or the highway".

Broken Promise #4 -- Honoring Our Troops: In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said that we as Americans should honor our troops, our veterans, and our fallen heroes. He said that we should express "humble gratitude" towards our troops who "at this very hour" are protecting our nation -- the "guardians of our liberty" -- in far-off lands...

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned... For us, they fought and died in places like Concord and Gettysburg, Normandy and Khe Sahn... As we consider the role that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who at this very hour patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are the guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service -- a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves [emphasis added].

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

Yet, for all his soaring rhetoric, it was only hours later that Barack Obama dishonored our troops and vets. Barack Obama was the first president to skip the 'Salute to Heroes' Inaugural Ball, which recognizes Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is considered the nation’s highest military award. Forty-eight of the 99 living recipients attended the ball, which was sponsored by the American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, as well as (12) other veteran’s groups and military service organizations. Of the 99 Medal of Honor recipients who are still alive, not even half are in any condition (or possess the wherewithal) to travel to such an event. And by the next inauguration, likely half of those won’t be with us. Over the past 56 years and 14 inaugurations, dating back to Dwight Eisenhower, no president has skipped this Inaugural Ball... until now.

And this is isn't the first time that Obama has snubbed the troops. The new president’s perceived “slights” against the military have made veterans and military members quite sensitive to how President Obama treats them. From calling for a pullout from Iraq during the campaign to forgoing a visit to injured Global War On Terror vets in Germany, they have kept an eye on his every move and decision with regards to our nation’s finest. This latest “change” appears to have set the tone for the rest of his administration. To forgo a tradition of greeting the veterans who received the highest honor in order to attend galas featuring Hollywood elites was just a bit too much for them to bear.

Broken Promise #5 -- The Light of Day: In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said that the government should operate "in the light of day". By this he meant that the work of the government should be "open and transparent", a phrase he used throughout his campaign. Obama said that the government should "spend wisely" and "restore the vital trust" between the people and their government...

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works... Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government [emphasis added].

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

However, President Obama has already failed to make good on this promise as well. His stimulus package, officially known as the 'American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009', is nearly 1100 pages long and was essentially reconciled in the conference committee during "the dark of night" and voted on the next day. House members never had a chance to fully read the bill before they were called upon to vote for it.

On February 12th, 2009, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer scheduled a vote on the stimulus bill for the next day, even before final wording on the bill's content had been completed, despite the House Democrats having previously promised to allow a 48-hour public review period before any vote. The bill was not completed and posted to a House website until 10:45 PM on February 12th. On February 13th, 2009, at 2:24 PM, the Conference Report was voted on and passed by a roll call vote in the House. All but seven Democrats voted for the bill. All Republicans plus the seven Democrats voted against the bill.

“The Democrats have thrown this at us very last-minute”, said Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.). “That’s why the rule of thumb in the United States Congress should be, ‘When in doubt, vote no,’ because the devil is in the details and that’s why this stimulus is not worthy of support.” Rep. John Boozman (R-Ark.) shared that sentiment. “The American public expects for us to get in and know what we’re voting on,” Boozman said. “But there are very few members from Congress that are going to have time to actually read this thing.”

So much for Obama's promise of openness and transparency. So much for his promise of doing government business in the light of day. So much for his promise to earn the trust of the American people.

Broken Promise #6 -- Spending Wisely: In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said that the government needs to spend America's money wisely...

Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely... [emphasis added].

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

Well, Obama's stimulus package is anything but "wise spending". The purpose of the stimulus package was supposed to be a way of getting money into the hands of Americans quickly, in order to give the economy a jump-start. Unfortunately, this stimulus bill won't accomplish that. According to a letter from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the CBO estimates only $120 billion will actually make its way into the economy during Fiscal Year 2009 (FY-2009). It will take until the end of 2010 to get another $219 billion into the economy. All of which means that over half the money in this stimulus bill won't even get into the economy until after 2010 when the recession may have already run its course. For more information, go to the CBO letter HERE, and scroll down to see the accompanying data table.

Aside from that, all of the spending in this stimulus bill is deficit spending. The government doesn't have this money to spend, so it must borrow it. The CBO estimates that the impact of this bill will be to add nearly $185 billion to the deficit in FY-2009; nearly $400 billion in FY-2010; and $134 billion or more in FY-2011. Obama, who roundly criticized the Bush administration for adding to our budget deficits with the Iraq war, now finds himself in the position of having to defend massive increases to the budget deficit over spending that will come too late to jolt the economy, and which was rushed through Congress without adequate review and analysis.

Worse still, the Republicans offered an alternative to the Obama plan which would have gotten "more bang for the buck". According to the web site of House Republican Leader John Boehner, House Republicans came up with a plan that would have created "6.2 million jobs – double the jobs created by the Congressional Democrats’ proposal, at half the cost" [emphasis added]. According to a comparitive analysis of the House GOP and Congressional Democratic economic plans, using a methodology employed by President Obama’s own nominee as Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, Dr. Christina Romer, the House Republican economic recovery package would have created 133,000 jobs by December 2010, or 54,000 more jobs than the 79,000 created under the Congressional Democrats’ trillion-dollar spending plan.

Yet, Obama ignored the House Republicans in favor of the Democrat plan which was loaded with spending on various Democrat pet projects that have absolutely no stimulutive effect whatsoever. In early February, GOP leaders put out a list of what they thought were "wasteful" spending items in the original House version of the bill. Hopefully, some of those items didn't make it into the final conference version. Even Britain's Times Online derided the bill...

The stimulus package, signed by the president in Denver last Tuesday, is a flawed mixture of tax cuts, spending, pork and the special funding for congressmen’s pet projects that Obama had promised to consign to the dustbin of history... We do know that those effects will be late in coming: it will take two months to review bids for repair work on bridges and roads - much longer for new infrastructure projects - and an additional four months to get the work started and the pay cheques out... Despite all its flaws, the stimulus package should add some pep to the economy. But that 'almost-instant' gratification might come with the longer-term pain of either higher taxes or inflation. --Irwin Stelzer, Obama Will Have To Pay For His Stimulus One Day, 22 February 2009

In another critique of the stimulus package, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) group voiced strong support for the 'Government Neutrality in Contracting Act' (H.R. 983), a measure that would prohibit federal agencies from requiring discriminatory and wasteful union-only project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects. House Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) introduced the legislation.

According to the ABC, although 84% of all U.S. construction workers have elected not to join a union in their careers, the Obama stimulus package stipulates that only union workers can receive contracts for government-related projects. “All hardworking Americans in the construction industry need a fair shot at economic recovery,” said Jerry Gorski, 2009 ABC national chairman and president of Gorski Engineering, Inc., Collegeville, Pa. “The Government Neutrality in Contracting Act ensures that all contractors and all workers – both union and merit shop – have a fair and equal opportunity to participate on federally funded and federally assisted construction projects"...

When President Obama signed Executive Order 13502, encouraging federal agencies to award taxpayer-funded construction contracts under PLAs, he signaled that he cares more about politics than good policy. Executive Order 13502 is a special interest handout to organized labor that will limit competition and raise construction costs by as much as 20 percent. This means that an estimated $30 billion of the proposed $150 billion in construction spending in the stimulus package before Congress will be wasted. Union-only PLAs drive up costs for American taxpayers while unfairly discriminating against the 84 percent of U.S. construction workers who choose not to join a labor union.

--Jerry Gorski, Curb Discriminatory & Wasteful Spending in Stimulus Package, 11 February 2009

So much for Obama's promise to spend public dollars wisely.

Broken Promise #7 -- No Apologies: In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said "to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today", that America will "not apologize"...

And so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born, know that America is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity. And we are ready to lead once more... We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

Yet, only moments later in this same inaugural address, Obama begins the process of apologizing. He says, "we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace." In other words, America has been hateful, divisive, and war-like. According to Obama, America has failed to "play its role" towards ushering in an era of peace... a failure he no doubt intends to correct. But he goes further and begins apologizing to Muslims...

"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect" [emphasis added]. Obama here seems to be apologizing for the "old ways" of former President Bush. Apparently, Barack Obama thinks that the old ways of George W. Bush were disastrous, so he is apologizing to the Muslim world and seeks new and improved relationships. It is no coincidence that President Obama's first formal interview as President was with the Al-Aribya TV network. He seems to have spent much of the interview apologizing for America's past policies and promoting new ones.

Much of the interview was spent defining the new approach that the United States would implement in that region: respectfulness over divisiveness, listening over dictating, engagement over militarism. --Huffington Post, 26 January 2009

But Obama doesn't stop there. He goes on to apologize about America's wealth...

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it [emphasis added].

--President Barack Hussein Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 January 2009

Thus, only moments after promising that America must not apologize, especially for "our way of life", Obama then apologizes for... our way of life. America is too wealthy. America consumes the world's resources. America must "change" its lifestyles.

So much for promises. Obama is sure to break even more of his promises. Stay tuned...

February 17, 2009

State Budget Deficits

I put together a chart listing the states with anticipated budget deficits for Fiscal Year 2010. The list is not complete, as the data from some states was simply not available. Nevertheless, it gives you an idea of which states have the highest anticipated budget shortfalls and ranks them in descending order. In other words, those with the largest percentage of FY-2009 shortfall are on top. Those with the smallest percentage of anticipated shortfall are at the bottom. The data comes from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

I have also indicated whether the listed state was a red state or a blue state as per the 2008 Presidential election. Now, there are many reasons why a state could have an anticipated budget deficit, and I am not suggesting that any definitive conclusions can be drawn from this chart. However, I did find it interesting that blue states had a tendency to be at the top of the chart, while red states tended to be at the bottom.

For what it's worth...

Source: http://www.cbpp.org/9-8-08sfp.htm

February 11, 2009

Global Warming News - January 2009

Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics

[Editor's Note: Be sure to click on some of the photos to see the enlarged version.]

The year opened with Russia and the Ukraine in a squabble over the price of natural gas. On New Year's Eve, the deadline expired for Russia and Ukraine to agree a new contract for 2009 gas supplies. Moscow had wanted to raise its prices and charge Kiev $250 per 1,000 cubic metres, up from $179.50 last year. The Ukrainians thought that was excessive and refused to pay a cent more than $201. Russia promptly raised its price to $450. Then at 10 a.m. on New Year's Day, Russia's Gazprom halted supplies of all gas meant for domestic use in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as simple as Moscow turning off the Ukraine gas tap. The European Union gets about a fifth of its gas from Russia via the same pipes that pass through Ukraine. Russia cut the total volume of gas it was pumping by the amount Ukraine imports. But Russia says Ukraine stole some gas intended for Europe, and cut deliveries even more to include the amount that it says was siphoned off. The result was that Europe faced major cuts in its supply of natural gas on a day when plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfalls were battering the continent.

Russia-Europe gas pipelines (click to enlarge).

The EU said the situation was "completely unacceptable" as thousands of businesses were urged to switch fuels, and households struggled to keep warm in sub-zero temperatures. Russia stopped gas supplies through Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia. The government of Slovakia declared a national emergency; Austria and Italy reported a gas supply fall-off of 90 per cent; France said Russian supplies had tailed off 70 per cent; and Germany also reported a decline although did not quantify it. In Bulgaria, the government declared a "crisis situation". The country relies on Russia for all of its gas. "Everyone was sent home from school after the gas suddenly went off," said Patrizia, an 18-year-old student in the provincial town of Pazardzhik, where the daytime temperature was only -8C.

Frigid Bulgaria - Jan 12 (click to enlarge).

On January 7th, freezing temperatures and exceptional snowfall caused travel delays across Europe and were blamed for at least 12 deaths, including that of a man in Milan Italy, who was crushed when a canopy collapsed under the weight of snow. In Poland, the Interior Ministry said at least 10 people froze to death due to temperatures reaching -13 degrees Fahrenheit (-25C). Italian police said a 47-year-old Serbian was found frozen to death in his home in the town of Zagarolo, east of Rome. The winter weather temporarily closed Milan's two airports, halted trains in the normally sunny south of France and pressed into service ice breakers in the Dutch port of Rotterdam. And it also sent Dutch skaters storming onto the canals.

Milan Italy - Jan 6 (click to enlarge).

A rare snowfall in France's normally sunny Cote d'Azur sent the national railway into crisis mode, halting trains in Provence as well as the Alps. Authorities stopped all buses in the port city of Marseilles and closed surrounding highways, urging drivers to stay home. The operator of France's electricity grid and a unit of Electricite de France SA, called on customers in southern and western France to limit power consumption during peak evening hours amid expected record demand.

Snow in Marseilles France - Jan 7.

Heavy snowfall in Marseille forced the international airport to close and paralyzed all train and bus traffic in France's second-biggest city. The usually busy and sunny Mediterranean port city ground to a halt as snow overwhelmed infrastructure and stopped school buses and all other public transport. "The weather conditions no longer allow air traffic to take place in satisfactory conditions so the airport of Marseille Provence is closed to air traffic," a spokesman said. The airport was expected to remain closed at least until the following morning.

France experienced a cold weather snap that gradually moved from north to south. Electricity consumption hit record levels as families turned up home heating. Rail, road and air traffic were disrupted for several days, notably at the main airport in the Paris region, Charles de Gaulle. In Marseille, the main Saint Charles train station was paralysed as signaling froze. School buses were canceled in the entire Bouches du Rhone administrative area, where Marseille is located.

Dutch skaters - Jan 8 (click to enlarge).

Germany had its coldest night of the winter, with a temperature of -18 Fahrenheit (-28C) measured at one weather station in eastern Germany. At the Berlin Zoo, Knut the polar bear relished the bitter temperatures, scampering about his ice-encrusted closure as visitors watched. In the Netherlands, authorities at Rotterdam's port sent out an icebreaking ship Wednesday morning to ensure passage for barges using a vital artery to ply the country's inland waterways. It was the first time since 1996 that the port has used an icebreaker.

Icebreaker, Mosel River Germany - Jan 13 (click to enlarge).

Seven deaths were attributed to the cold in Poland as Berlin and Warsaw both froze with temperatures at -20 degrees Celsius. In Poland, Legnica and Jelenia Gora both had temperatures of -28 degrees Celsius. Police said the deaths overnight in Poland brought the total number to 76 so far this winter, compared with 60 fatalities last year, Internal Affairs Ministry spokesman Wioletta Paprocka said in an e-mailed response. Paris had its coldest night in 12 years, with temperatures falling to -8C. French power demand reached a record as Reseau de Transport d’Electricite, the grid unit of Electricite de France SA, imported electricity from other European countries and warned customers to limit consumption in two regions to avoid cuts.

On January 10th, Slovenia recorded its coldest temperature in history. At the Bohin resort, a half frozen weatherman standing outside, reported minus 49°C. Slovenian Media reported recommendations of the meteorological institute of Germany, which raised alarms over the risks of having body piercings – for example, metal earrings could cause dangerous freezing. No metal objects attached to the body should be worn, warned the media, for people who must venture outside. For everyone else, Slovenian media urged its citizens to stay in their homes.

Stourhead England - Jan 10 (click to enlarge).

Temperatures fell to a low of -12C in parts of southeastern England, and the government increased payments to elderly residents to cover higher fuel bills. It was so cold that the sea off Britain's south coast froze over. Southern England was actually chillier than parts of Iceland and Greenland. Locals said it was the first time in decades the sea had partially frozen, but the sea off the South Coast is known to have iced over in 1991. Dozens of schools across the UK were closed because of heavy snow and ice. Thousands of motorists were left stranded across the country as their vehicles broke down.

A natural gas deal between Russia and Ukraine was not signed until January 19th, and gas began flowing again the following day. Twenty European countries were affected by the cutoff. Hungary and Slovakia reported that they were getting a supply of gas on January 20th, but the rest of Europe was not expected to see pressures increase until the 21st. Russia provides about a quarter of Europe’s gas, 80% of which travels through Ukraine.

Ukraine's PM (left), the head of Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz (right), and Russia's Gazprom chief in Moscow, shortly after signing a new natural gas deal - January 19.

On Tuesday, January 27th France reported the highest one-day energy use in 12 years. It was the coldest day of winter in France so far this year, and saw the highest one-day use of energy in France since 1997. Demand for heating was high as the thermometer dropped to 16F (-9C) in Paris, and fell to a record -4F (-20C) in the Ardennes region. The French electric company registered a record 91,500 megawatts of power use. It was the coldest of a string of below-freezing days in France, a country not known for harsh winters. The French minister for Housing proposed plans to force the homeless to enter social centers for the very cold nights. Several people have frozen to death from exposure since November 2008. Snow and ice led Air France to cancel over 150 flights on Monday, January 26th leaving more than 3,000 passengers stranded overnight. Many were forced to sleep in the airport terminals as nearby Paris hotels were full.

On January 5th, Reuters was reporting that at least 55 people died since the beginning of the year in northern and eastern India as a spell of cold weather swept the region. In Uttar Pradesh, 24 people died from biting cold in rural areas, a disaster management official said from Lucknow. Authorities in adjoining Bihar said they received reports of 31 deaths. Police said a group of teachers used books meant for poor children in the impoverished state's Gaya district for a bonfire. "They (the teachers) burned some 500 books packed in two gunny bags to get warm," said Hansnath Singh, a senior police officer. Dense fog in most parts of India affected train and flight services, and homeless people were seen huddling around bonfires after nightfall in the capital, New Delhi, and other cities.

Allahabad India - Jan 3 (click to enlarge).

Cooler than normal temps were experienced in many parts of India, although no major records were broken. On January 8th, the temperature in New Delhi touched a low of 4.5 Celsius. That minimum temperature was two degrees below normal. The season's lowest temperature was recorded on January 2nd when the minimum temperature dropped to 4 degrees Celsius. The record minimum temperature for the month of January was recorded on the 16th during the year 1935 when the temperature fell to -0.6 degrees Celsius. Flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International airport were badly affected by fog for over a week.

Cold temps swept many Haryana towns, with Narnaul turning out to be the coldest place in the state recording a low of 2 degrees celsius, 3 degrees below normal. There was no respite for people in Karnal where the low dropped to 2.8 C, 4 degrees below normal, while the minimum at Rohtak was down to 2.7 C. Ambala and Hisar also experienced the chill recording respective minimums of 4 C and 6 C. The night temperature at Chandigarh also settled at 1 degree below normal at 5.6 C. While Amritsar in Punjab registered a 2 degree below normal minimum, Patiala was also cold at 3.6 C, 3 notches below normal.

On January 15th, Bloomberg reported that a cold spell in Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporter, may force farmers to delay harvest by two weeks, as adverse weather thwarts crop development. “Normally it takes 110 days to plant rice, but with the weather like this, it may take 125 days,” Prasert Gosalvitra, director-general of the farm ministry’s Rice Department, said in a phone interview. “Output may be delayed but not damaged.”

A cold snap last year damaged rice plantations in Vietnam, the second-biggest exporter, sending prices to a record high and worsening food shortages in countries around the world. Thailand, the only major rice producer that enjoyed normal weather in 2008, is experiencing its coldest winter across the country. Temperatures dropped to record lows in several provinces, including Supanburi and Patumthani in the central Thailand, the main rice-growing region, the Meteorological Department said on its Web site.

United Arab Emirates
Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) received snow for only the second time in history. So rare was the event that one lifelong resident said the local dialect had no word for it. According to the RAK Government, temperatures on Jebel Jais dropped to -3°C on the night of Friday, January 23rd. On Saturday, the area had reached only 1°C.

Second snowfall ever recorded in UAE - Jan 24.

Major Saeed Rashid al Yamahi, a helicopter pilot and the manager of the Air Wing of RAK Police, said the snow covered an area of five kilometres and was 10cm deep. “The sight up there this morning was totally unbelievable, with the snow-capped mountain and the entire area covered with fresh, dazzling white snow,” Major al Yamahi said. “The snowfall started at 3pm Friday, and heavy snowing began at 8pm and continued till midnight, covering the entire area in a thick blanket of snow."

The residents of Saskatchewan are used to experiencing cold weather, but sometimes even they get record cold temps. Such was the case on January 4th, when the temperature in Saskatoon bottomed out at -41.1 C early Sunday. That's the coldest January 4th in the 114 years of recorded temperatures for the city. It broke the old record of -40.0C set in 1966. With winds of 15 km/h, it felt like -55C. Record lows were also recorded in Rosthern, Maple Creek and Elbow, but none of those communities dipped below -40C. The coldest spot in the province was Scott, which hit -42C.

Saskatoon resident waits for help to get car started - Jan 4.

The "good news" is that temperatures were expected to "warm up" on January 5th to a high of -12C. However, snow and strong winds were expected, which would push wind chill values to -34C. December was an unusually cold month in Saskatoon, with an average temperature of -20.6C. The normal is -14.3C. "That's really significant," Environment Canada meteorologist Mindy Brugman said, noting most Canadian cities were below normal temperatures in December.

In fact, Saskatoon set a record for the longest streak of low temps below -25C since record-keeping began in 1892. The 24-day streak started on December 13th said David Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist. "That’s the thing that’s brutal,” Phillips said from Toronto. “We can all handle a few (cold) days. It’s the long haul that wears you down. “It’s really a shocker, the duration of the cold.”

The first two mild weeks of December kept the month from being Saskatoon’s coldest ever. It still averaged -20.6, the sixth-coldest December on record and the most frigid since 1983. Prince Albert was slightly colder in December, with an average temperature of -21.4, while Regina registered -18. However, neither of those burgs have suffered a -25 streak approaching Saskatoon’s, Phillips said. The normal average temperature for Saskatoon in December is -14.3.

United States
On January 3rd, Liberty County Montana was hit with a major winter storm that dropped around 15 inches of snow in less than 24 hours that left most streets, including major portions of Highway 2, unusable. Highway 2 was closed from the Marias Pass to Malta most of the day and work began that evening to dig Chester and the other area towns out of the snow. The snow was accompanied by a cold front that dropped overnight lows to -34F on Saturday night, making the dig out that much tougher.

From Thursday night through Saturday morning 15 inches of snow was recorded at the NOAA weather station in Chester. This is on top of the 24 inches of snow that fell in December and 12 inches of snowpack still on the ground. Settled level snowpack in Chester as of Monday January 5th, was approximately 26 inches and there were drifts over four feet high in some places (well over in a few spots) due to the cold temperatures and the winds.

The winter has already been colder than normal in Montana. From the morning of December 13th, when the low hit -4F, the daily lows stayed below zero all but six nights. Daytime highs stayed below zero eight days. All of this doesn't sound so bad in a part of the country used to seeing below zero temperatures, but the coldest months are historically January and February, not December.

Spokane tow truck driver shovels around vehicle - Jan 6.

On January 6th, in Spokane Washington residents coped with record snow. More than 6 feet of snow had fallen in the previous three weeks making Spokane residents edgy, and new problems were beginning as melting snow and ice started to cause flooding and mudslides. The unusually harsh winter disrupted schools, traffic, garbage pickup and mail service in the eastern Washington city of 200,000 people, and tempers were growing short.

Icy roads snarled the morning commute and schools closed again, giving 29,000 students a second unscheduled day off in a week. "It's an ice rink out there," school spokeswoman Terran Roloff said. Spokane had received more than 78 inches of snow since mid-December. That's far above its average of less than 50 inches for an entire winter! Normally about 16 inches would have fallen at this point. The local record for an entire winter is 93.5 inches set in 1949-50.

Roofs were collapsing under the weight of the snow, streets were clogged with ice and slush and locals were starting to refer to this as "Sno-maggedon". As many as 200 members of the Washington National Guard were being sent to the Spokane area to help with snow removal, particularly from school roofs, said Laura Lockard, a spokeswoman for Governor Chris Gregoire.

Snow rage was also becoming a problem. One man was arrested after shots were fired Monday at a private snow plow operator who was clearing a parking lot. Police said the motorist apparently got upset when the plow operator honked his horn. "It's safe to say that fuses are short, people are frustrated and we are having an increase in neighborhood disputes regarding snow-related issues," said Jennifer DeRuwe, a police spokeswoman. Mayor Mary Verner said Spokane was spending an estimated $150,000 a day to operate plows around the clock.

Minnesota skier - Jan 13.

The dogsled race held near Frazee Minnesota was canceled because of too much snow. Too much fluffy snow that kept drifting and therefore made it impossible to maintain a groomed trail. That poses a safety risk to the dogs, supercharged canines whose mushers need a groomed trail to drop a hook to stop when necessary. “We can’t pack it,” race organizer Eddy Streeper said. “We just can’t get it packed. We had to speak up on behalf of the dogs.” The Frazee area had received about 3 feet of snow, but winds kept creating drifts of 4 feet or more over the course. “The drifting aspect is just unbelievable,” said Streeper, a native of Canada who has been involved with dogsled racing for 25 years. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

In the northeast corner of Washington state, about 20 wild elk were taking refuge from deep snow and another storm in and around an old hay-storage barn when the roof collapsed on them. Five elk were killed instantly and one bull with a broken back had to be euthanized, said Sgt. Mike Charron, state Fish and Wildlife Department enforcement officer in Colville. Volunteers from the Metaline area rallied to salvage the elk meat for an area food bank. "In my 24 years on the job, this is a first," Charron said, noting that the barn on the ranch is in a remote area near Boundary Dam.

"There's so much snow, they're using a bulldozer to keep a road open. The elk have been coming around hitting haystacks because they can't get to their normal feed. They're using plowed roads or places tramped out by stock to save energy. But still, it's very uncommon for them to be comfortable enough — or desperate enough — to just bed down in an old barn." About a dozen volunteers responded to a ranch occupant's call to help extract the elk from the rubble, said Cassie Petrich. She said her husband, Clint, worked all day at the site.

Fish and Wildlife officer Pam Taylor, who responded to the rare incident, also knew what to do with the meat, Charron said. "All of our officers have close ties to local charities and food banks for salvageable meat," he said. "In this case, the department decided to let the volunteers who worked so hard to salvage the animals divide the meat from two elk among themselves." The other four elk were offered to the Loon Lake Food Pantry. "We were thrilled," pantry director Sarah Nelson said.

In western Montana, "Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist," warned Stan Bones of the Glacier Country Avalanche Center. "Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended." Bones issued a special backcountry avalanche warning, rating the danger "high" in all mountain ranges of northwestern Montana. Farther south, in the Missoula area, an avalanche warning was in effect for areas including the Bitterroot Mountains from Lost Trail to Lookout Pass, the Rattlesnake Mountains, and the southern Swan and Mission mountains near Seeley Lake.

Northeast snowstorm - Jan 7.

On January 7th, a winter storm was impacting travelers and residents in the Northeast. The potent winter storm continued to spread a dangerous mix of snow, ice and rain. The storm caused widespread travel delays on the highways from the Great Lakes area to the mid-Atlantic, New England and Canada's Maritime Provinces. In portions of Pennsylvania, New York and New England, up to one half inch of ice built up on trees and power lines.

In Chicago, the city redeployed (184) snow-fighting trucks and (24) smaller plows from main roads to the side streets, the city’s Department of Streets & Sanitation said in a statement. It was the second time in as many days that the trucks had hit the streets.

California ski resort - Jan 7.

In California, the ski resorts were enjoying the results of the most recent snowstorms. At the beginning of the ski season, resort owners were wondering if they would ever get snow. But their worries were unfounded as they were now enjoying one of the best seasons in decades after a big set of storms. This season's storms were described as "the best snowstorms of the past 35 years", and the snow base was so deep that they expected that even with a normal winter they would be able to stay open through April.

Alaska was gripped in the midst of a statewide cold snap that was so cold, the frigid temperatures grounded planes, disabled cars, froze water pipes, and even cancelled several champoinship cross country ski races. Alaskans are accustomed to subzero temperatures but the prolonged conditions had folks wondering what was going on with winter less than a month old.

National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Brown said high pressure over much of central Alaska had been keeping other weather patterns from moving through. New conditions get pushed north or south while the affected area faces daily extremes. "When it first started almost two weeks ago, it wasn't anything abnormal," Brown said. "About once or twice every year, we get a good cold snap. But, in this case, you can call this an extreme event. This is rare. It doesn't happen every year" [emphasis added].

Elisabeth Habermann, Anchorage Alaska - Jan 7.

Ted Johnson lives in Stevens Village, where residents endured close to two weeks of temperatures pushing 60 below zero. "I've never seen it this cold for this long," he said. "I remember it 70 below one time, but not for a week and a half." In Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, residents are used to lows of about 10-degree temperatures in January — but not 19 below zero. Alaska experienced the third longest cold snap in its history with temperatures in some parts of in the interior have dipping to -65 Fahrenheit.

For a good laugh, you might want to check out an article by a resident of Fairbanks Alaska who asks the question: "Why do we live in Fairbanks?" Tim Mowry gives us a hint as to what life is like in Fairbanks during the winter with such gems as: "I’m tired of seeing nothing but two dashes on my indoor/outdoor digital thermometer, which “only” goes down to 30 below before the dashes appear."

On January 8th, the forecast for southern Wisconsin was 4-6 inches of snow overnight, with an extended period of sub-zero cold likely for the following week. According to the NOAA, extreme cold had already gripped Alaska, with many locations falling to -40F to -60F. The cold airmass was expected to slide south after it moved east of the Rocky Mountains. The long range computer guidance was suggesting that the bitter cold airmass would hit Wisconsin the following week, and that wind chill watches and warnings would likely be required.

59-Vehicle collision in Derry, NH - Jan 11.

On January 12th, a fast-moving blizzard brought snow and high winds to North Dakota, closing schools and causing more headaches for residents still trying to dig out from a record snowfall of December. And, forecasters said a blast of cold air was on the way that could send the thermometer to as low as 30 below zero. Wind chill factors could hit 47 below, they said.

Travel was discouraged in the central and western parts of North Dakota because of drifting snow, whipped up by high winds, making the visibility almost zero and leaving snow drifts on roadways. No injuries were reported. The Minot area got 6 inches of snow, on top of about a foot late the previous week, while Bismarck picked up another 4 inches. Wind gusts of around 60 mph were reported in southwestern North Dakota and 51 mph in Bismarck. Eastern Montana was rattled with gusts of up to 70 mph, meteorologist Bill Abeling said, but that area did not have as much snow. The weekend snowfall caused two large chain-reaction collisions: a 59-vehicle crash in New Hampshire, and another in Connecticut that involved 13 vehicles. No life-threatening injuries were reported in either crash.

On January 13th, more record cold temps hit North Dakota. The low early Tuesday morning in Grand Forks was 37 below zero, six degrees colder than the mark for the date set in 1979. The National Weather Service said the mercury dipped to 32 below zero at the Grand Forks airport on Monday night, one degree colder than the January 12 record set in 1977.

Michigan horse farm - Jan 8 (click to enlarge).

Flint Michigan was opening "warming centers" on January 14th, when cold arctic air hit the region. Emergency room workers were placed on alert. The conditions were not only frigid, but dangerous. The cold weather had already contributed to the deaths of two men in Genesee County. At Hurley Medical Center, ER physician Dr. Patrick Hawley said "Two gentleman came in yesterday, deceased, after shoveling their driveway. They were probably both physically inactive, and they both presumably had heart attacks and died." But the medical staff were also concerned about possible cases of hypothermia, people falling on the ice, asthmatics and people with emphysema.

On January 14th, less than half way through the month, the town of Minot, North Dakota already knew that this winter was going to be a snowfall record-breaker. The following graphic from KFYR-TV gives the numbers. December 2008 saw 24.2" of snow which broke the previous record of 17" set in 1916! With 17.5" of snow already received as of January 14th, snowfall was on a pace to beat the old January record set in 1989. And the record for snowfall during the 4-month period of October through January (set in 1993-1994 with 52.7"), was nearly tied with 51.2" and a full 2½ weeks still remaining in the month of January.

Snowfall Records for Minot ND - Jan 14.

On January 15th, some new record low temps were set in eastern Iowa. Cedar Rapids saw 29 degrees below zero, with wind chills that dipped to 50 degrees below zero in spots. That all-time record was reached at 7:51am Thursday morning and daily record lows were broken in many other eastern Iowa cities. The previous all-time record low for Cedar Rapids was 28 below zero last reached on January 12, 1974. Burlington saw -18F, which tied the 1994 record. Dubuque saw -26F, which broke the old record of -25F set in 1888!

Sioux City Iowa saw a record low temperature of -20F. The previous record low for January 15th in Sioux City was 18 degrees below zero. The new record low of -20 was recorded prior to sunrise. The predicted high for the day was about two degrees below zero.

Iowa State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said temperatures were the coldest in 13 years. The official low temperature in Harlan bottomed out early on the morning of January 15th at 22 degrees below zero, according to the county's official weather observer Ray Book. Factor in the wind chill and it was brutal outside, down to 30 below and lower. "It has been several years since we have experienced prolonged severe cold and wind along with a respectable ground cover of snow," said Shelby County Emergency Management Director Bob Seivert. "For nearly all locations in Iowa, today's readings have been the lowest since February, 1996," said Hillaker. At Cedar Rapids the temperature was 29 below zero. It was also -29F in Boone, Lowden, Maquoketa and Tripoli. The all-time low in Harlan is 37 below dating back to 1905 and 1912 (see table).

At a reporting station at Coggon, north of Cedar Rapids, the mercury hit -40 degrees F. At Monticello, just east of Coggon, a reading of -38F was reported, according to Bill Elliott, of the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities. Waterloo tied its all time record for any date with -34 degrees. It also hit -34 degrees on March 1, 1962. The mark breaks the record for the date at Waterloo which was -26F in 1977.

Also on January 15th, the 'Boomerang!' was reporting that snowfall levels in Idaho this winter were worse than 2007-2008. The Palouse City Crew worked overtime, double overtime and even more to keep the snow cleared from the city’s streets. Last year’s winter was bad but this one, so far, has topped it several times over. The crew worked without days off for 30 days straight putting in a minimum of 10 hours each day, sometimes leaving home at 4 or 5 a.m. and not returning home until after 8 or 9 p.m. They received calls nearly every day from people thanking them, or requesting them to plow their private driveway, or wanting help getting their cars out. They always tried to go above and beyond to help them out.

Snow removal in Idaho - Jan 15.

January 16th saw additional record lows in Iowa. Waterloo set a daily record low for January 16th of -34F early Friday. It also ties the all-time record low for an entire winter set on March 1, 1962. Other daily record lows were set in Mason City, at 31 below, and in Ottumwa, at -20F. Dubuque tied a record set in 1888 with a reading of -30F degrees.

Illinois also broke some records on the same date. National Weather Service reporting stations in rural Polo and Dixon both saw the mercury dip to -32F Friday morning. “We set the state record for the date — it’s official,” said forecaster Larry Acker, who recorded the new low at his weather station northwest of Polo. “I called it in to the National Weather Service about 7:30 in the morning. They said Dixon reported the same thing.” In Polo at Jeff Bolin’s weather station, it was only slightly warmer. Bolin reported -29 at 7 a.m. on January 16th. Acker said -25F was the previous record for the date. “We shattered that,” he said. The frigid temperature came close to the coldest temperature ever recorded in Illinois of -36F set in Congerville, west of Bloomington, on January 5th, 1999.

The arctic air mass which moved down from Canada caused frigid temps across the upper Midwest and Canada. Temperatures of minus 32 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 36 degrees Celsius) were recorded in Rockford, Illinois, breaking a record set in 1983. In Canada the polar freeze was not any kinder as the extreme cold caused flooding in Montreal and left 100,000 people in Toronto without power or heating for over 12 hours.

The severe cold forced scores of school closures, prompted people to leave their homes for warming centers and saw cadres of volunteers and government officials take to the streets across affected states to ensure the homeless and vulnerable were not stuck in the deadly winter freeze. Homeless shelters, jammed even beyond capacity because of surging home foreclosures that has produced a significant rise in the numbers of homeless people, looked for churches and other social service agencies to open their doors to make room. Eddy Bazile, executive director of the Fort Wayne, Indiana Rescue Mission reported his facility had seen a 100 percent increase in occupancy.

In Cleveland, officials converted recreation centers into warming centers, and issued cold-weather alerts to roughly 100,000 elderly residents, according to the mayor's office spokeswoman Andrea Taylor. "People are used to the cold here, but they're saying that it hasn't been this cold in years," Taylor said [emphasis added]. Chicago was operating six warming centers, including one open 24 hours a day, and authorities were checking on at least 3,000 residents considered most at risk, said Anne Sheahan, spokeswoman for Chicago Department of Family and Support Services.

Temperatures plummeted in Flint, Michigan, forcing all the city's schools to close, according to Police Chief David Forystek. "We are used to temperatures in the 20s (minus six to one degree Celsius) and 30s (one to four degrees Celsius), but it's not very often we see the temperature fall to 19 degrees below zero (minus 28 Celsius)."

Kennebec River, Phippsburg Maine - Jan 8 (click to enlarge).

On January 18th, Caribou Maine notched a daily-record low temp of -30 degrees F, while Portland Maine and Concord NH each received record snowfall totals for the date with 11.5" and 10.3" respectively. Snow squalls lingered downwind of the Great Lakes, where daily-record snow in Michigan included 6.2 inches in Alpena and 9.5 inches (on January 19th) in Marquette. Snow also affected parts of the Southeast, including North Carolina, where Raleigh-Durham measured a record-setting sum of 3.5" for January 20th.

On January 20th, Muskegon Michigan was reporting having received 119" of snow already this winter (1" shy of 10 feet), putting it on a pace to be the snowiest winter ever since the government began keeping records in 1896! The record is 174 inches set during the winter of 1981-82. That means that if another 56" of snow falls on Muskegon by June, that would make 2008-2009 the mother of all winters. "We're off to a good start toward breaking the record," said Mark Sekelsky, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids. Sekelsky said below-normal temperatures this winter, which increased lake effect snowfall, conspired with a steady stream of storms to dump nearly 10 feet of snow on Muskegon so far this winter. More snow was sure to blanket the area before spring. On average, 31 inches of snow falls on Muskegon in February, according to government data.

On January 21st, La Crosse Wisconsin was dealing with snow removal problems. Following record snowfall totals set in December, crews were having to move snow off the streets to a large storage site. Crews spent the previous two weeks removing snow, and said they still had about three to four more weeks of work left. On average, city crews were bringing in between 2,000 and 4,000 cubic yards of snow a night to the Isle La Plume storage site. "If this continues we're going to be running out of snow storage areas not only for our public lots and streets and parking areas, and the like, but also [for the] private contractors," said Dale Hexom, Director of Public Works for the City of La Crosse. City officials said they were not yet worried about having enough storage, but that they'd get concerned if the snowy weather continued as it had been.

Snow removal in LaCrosse Wisconsin - Jan 21.

On January 20th through the 23rd, temps were below-normal in Florida. Key West tallied consecutive daily-record lows on January 22-23 (48F and 47F). On January 22nd, several Florida locations, including Tampa (34F) and Lakeland (27F), experienced their lowest temperatures since January 3, 2008. During the January 2008 cold snap, lows dipped to 29F in Tampa and 26F in Lakeland. In some Florida locations, freezes occurred on three consecutive nights. Windy weather prevailed on the first night, January 20-21, while conditions were calm or nearly so on the nights of January 21-22 and 22-23. For most locations across central and interior southern Florida, the morning of January 22nd featured the outbreak's lowest temperatures, which were highly variable but generally ranged from 20 to 32 degrees F.

It snowed at the higher elevations in Utah (rain elsewhere) from Friday, January 23rd through Sunday, the 25th. Snow totals reached 28 inches at Alta Collins, 25 inches at Deer Valley, 22 inches at Solitude, 20 inches at Park City's Jupiter peak and Snowbird, 18 inches at Snowbasin, 15 inches at Brighton's Silver Lake, 10 inches at The Canyons. The weather left slick roadways along the Wasatch Front, said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Ted Tingey. Between noon and 5PM, (38) crashes were reported on highways in Salt Lake County, with 30 in Utah County. None involved serious injuries, Tingey said.

It kept snowing through the night and into the Monday morning commute on January 26th. A winter weather advisory was in effect for some areas, including the western Uinta basin and southwest Wyoming, through Monday afternoon. Accumulations of several inches were likely, with the snow expected to taper off later in the day. The Utah Highway Patrol responded to more than (110) accidents during the snowstorm on Sunday. The highway patrol says there were no major injuries but between noon and 9 p.m. on Sunday, Salt Lake County had (66) accidents, Utah County logged (36) and Davis County recorded (10).

On January 26th, The Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee Wisconsin reported 20 straight days of below zero temps, but also that no records had been broken. Penny Zabel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sullivan, said that as of the 26th, the temperature in Milwaukee had remained below freezing for 20 days, but the streak was only expected to last a few more days. Milwaukee's record cold streak is 46 days below freezing ended February 9th, 1977. However, Zabel noted that temperatures in January were below normal. The mean overall temperature was about 15.9 degrees. The normal average temperature for January in Milwaukee is about 20.5 degrees.

Also on the 26th, it appeared that January was shaping up to be Western Massachusetts' coldest January in a decade, according to ABC40 meteorologist Eric Fisher. The first month of 2009 saw (3) record-breaking lows at Westover Air Reserve base in Chicopee, most recently on Sunday morning, January 25th, when the mercury tumbled to -11F, Fisher said. Westover's previous record for January 25th logged in at -8F in 1945.

Wolcott Colorado - Jan 2009 (click to enlarge).

Boulder Colorado saw a record-breaking low temperature of -6F overnight on January 26-27th that led to a flood of requests for assistance that overwhelmed Boulder's homeless shelter, warming centers and emergency-aid groups. "The cold was definitely a serious problem last night," said Sarah Huntley, a spokeswoman for Boulder police. Boulder meteorologist Matt Kelsch said the overnight low of minus 6 tops the previous record of minus 5 degrees set in 1963. It was also the third coldest day of the winter season so far.

The Boulder Colorada Shelter for the Homeless, 4869 Broadway Street, was filled to its 160-person capacity almost as soon as it opened at 5PM. "It's not unusual at this time of the year for pretty much every available resource to be full," shelter director Greg Harms said. "The weather drives people to those resources at a higher rate when it's colder. We only have so many beds we can offer." Harms said the shelter has been full every night since December.

On January 27-28th, snow and ice storms across the U.S. Midwest knocked out power to more than 870,000 homes and businesses from Oklahoma to West Virginia, local utilities reported. The band of storms, which started on Tuesday, were blamed for nearly two dozen deaths, many of them traffic-related as ice-covered roads were too dangerous to navigate. Schools were closed in several states while airport traffic was delayed across the eastern third of the nation. Utility crews went to work to restore power on Wednesday, but some customers could be in the dark for awhile, utilities said. Kentucky was the hardest hit state, with nearly 300,000 customers in the Bluegrass State without power.

Indianapolis hit with 12" of snow - Jan 28.

With only 5 days left in the month, The Buffalo News was reporting that January 2009 was looking to be the 18th coldest in 139 years for Western New York. For the record, the average daily January temperature, through Sunday, January 25th, was 18.7 degrees F. And there was nothing in the forecast for the rest of the month to change that finger-numbing pattern. The National Weather Service was calling for overnight lows in the teens and daytime highs in the 20s through the rest of the week.

On January 27th, most of the Nebraska Panhandle was experiencing numbing cold, and Alliance was the coldest spot in the state. A low of -29F was recorded in Alliance early on Tuesday morning. That set a new record for January 27th and easily eclipsed the previous record of -18F that was set in 1963. Several other cities in western Nebraska also recorded extremely low temperatures Tuesday morning, and some also set new records. Chadron cooled to -21F, breaking the 1963 record of minus -19F. Sidney hit -16F and broke the 1963 record, of -14F. But Scottsbluff's -22F temperature didn't set any records because that city once hit -29F for the date.

In Minneapolis, record-breaking freezing temps meant that city streets and alleys were a mess. "In some ways we can't get it off, we don't have the horsepower to do it, it really gets bonded," Minneapolis public works spokesman Mike Kennedy said of the ice pack on the roads. The cold just made it worse. "What we have is really old snowpack; it's dense and takes a while for it to melt away," Assistant state climatologist Pete Boulay said. It looked as if Minneapolis was likely to go thru the entire month without a day above freezing. And that would be a fact for the history books. "It's only happened three times since 1891 where we haven't had a January thaw; this might make it year number four," Boulay said.

The Journal Gazette reported that January was a cold, snowy month for Fort Wayne Indiana. The average temperature was 16.6F, or the 7th coldest since 1897, when record-keeping began. It was also the 7th snowiest. The lowest temp was -19F which occurred on January 16th, or the 4th coldest day on record. The number of days the temperature dipped below 0F was 8 (the average is 5). There were 23 days where the average temperature was below normal. The average temperature for January 16th was -9F. There were 22 days with at least 1" of snow on the ground. It was the coldest January in more than 30 years. The average temperature came in at just shy of 17 degrees, or 7 degrees below normal. Not since 1978 has a January been colder, according to National Weather Service data.

Unusual ice formation on Lake Michigan
Chicago Illinois - Jan 2009 (click to enlarge).

The National Weather Service said January 2009 was Chicago's 10th coldest ever recorded. The average temperature of 15.9 degrees made it the coldest January since 1994. The high of 38 degrees on January 31st was the month's peak reading, making it the first January since 1985 (and only the ninth since 1871), with so low a maximum temperature.

January produced some of the coldest temps on record in Oshkosh Wisconsin for the month. It was the 9th coldest January in Oshkosh since records were kept starting in 1893, according to the National Weather Service in Green Bay. The average temperature in the city was 9.1 degrees in January. The 9.1 degree average, said Scott Cultice, a meteorologist for the NWS in Green Bay, is 6.4F below the normal of 15.5 degrees for January. Oshkosh had nine days of below zero temperatures this month with the coldest at -15F on January 14th, according to Northwestern weather observations.

Temperatures in central Maine were colder than normal in January, said Dan St. Jean, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. "We haven't had a January this cold since 2004, and that would be for the Waterville and Augusta areas," he said. "Really, for most of Kennebec County, I would say that's pretty representative." The average temperature in Portland for January 2009, was 17.2 degrees, about 4.5 degrees below normal, he said.

It was also colder and snowier than usual in southwestern Pennsylvania. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures for the month averaged 22.1F (or, 5.3 degrees below the normal 27.4F). Snowfall averaged 20.8 inches, based on measurements taken at Pittsburgh International Airport (or, 8.5" above the normal 12.3"). Weather service meteorologist Rodney Smith said January 2009 will go down near the 14th or 15th coldest January since record-keeping began in 1871.

Snow in Cleveland - January 2009.

In Cleveland Ohio, this January was second in total snowfall only to January 1978, the month of the 'White Hurricane', a Janury 26th blizzard that killed 51 people and shut down most of Ohio for a week. Officially, 40.5" of snow had fallen by the end of the day Saturday, January 31st, at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. That was short of the record 42.8" of snow in 1978. But it was still more than double the average snowfall for January. Snow fell on 25 of 31 days. The total snowfall was about 60 inches for the entire winter so far. The Cleveland record for snow is 117.9 inches, set in the winter of 2004-05.

The low temperature in Cleveland occurred on Friday, January 16th, at -13F. That was the second coldest day in Northeast Ohio. The most frigid day in Northeast Ohio recorded weather history was -20F on January 19, 1994. In fact, there were 9 days in single digits or below zero last month. In addition to the -13F on January 16th, the temps bottomed out at -6F the day before and -9F the day after. It was so cold that for the first time in years people in Northeast Ohio reported seeing light pillars -- an extreme-cold weather phenomenon in which the ice crystals in the air are illuminated by light from street lamps, the sun or the moon. And some in the Canton area reported seeing what looked like three suns on January 16th. The "three dogs" cold weather phenomenon is a product of ice crystals that look like bright spots on each side of a halo.

In Toledo Ohio, January was the 8th coldest on record with near-record snowfalls. The 16.5F average temp was the 8th coldest on record for the month and 7.4 degrees below normal, according to the National Weather Service in Cleveland. The mercury topped freezing only six days in January, the temperature climbed to 39F at Toledo Express Airport on January 31st - a temperature reached only once all month. The monthly total snowfall of 30.7 inches as measured at Toledo Express Airport, was just 0.1 inch shy of the 30.8-inch record set in January, 1978. The persistent cold included morning lows of -14 degrees on both January 16th and 17th, Toledo's lowest temps in 15 years (since January 19th, 1994).

In Grand Forks North Dakota, the average daily temperature last month was 0.1F above zero, a full 6 degrees below normal, despite a record high temperature on the last day of the month. The coldest day was January 13th at the UND reporting site, when the mercury fell to -30F, according to the weather service. At Grand Forks International Airport, the average temperature for January was 1 degree below zero, or 6.1 degrees below normal. On 24 days during the month, the daily low temp was below zero; on 18 days, the average daily temp was below zero. January 10 was a perfectly symmetrical day, with a low of 8 below, a high of 8 above and an average temperature of zero. A total of 36.8" of snow has fallen in Grand Forks so far this winter, nearly all of it (30.1") in December. In January, 6.1" of snow fell on Grand Forks.

Skiing on Lake Mendenhall, Juneau Alaska - Jan 7.

Juneau Alaska received record snowfall in January. The National Weather Service says the city's airport recorded 75.2 inches of snow last month, breaking a 20-year-old mark of 69.2 inches for January. Most of that snow arrived in the first 11 days of the year. The weather service said January's snowfall was 46.2 inches above the monthly norm. So far, during the 2008-2009 winter season, Juneau has received 116.43 inches of snow.

In New York State, The National Weather Service reported above average snowfall. January could be summarized in two words: cold and snowy. It was the coldest month in five years, with measurable snow on 24 of the 31 days. For snowfall totals: in Monroe County, Hamlin reported triple digits with 106”, Perinton reported 98”, while the measurement at the Rochester airport was 86.6”. In Genesee County, Darien reported 91”, with Batavia recording 79”. Mayville, in Chautauqua County recorded 237”. South Dayton in Cattaraugus County recorded 249”. Redfield in Oswego Count saw 265”. And finally, Copenhagen in Lewis County, recorded 285” or 23 feet - 9 inches of snow. Many areas surpassed their normal snowfall totals for the entire season – with several weeks of winter still to come.

Scientific Opinion

Global Sea Ice At 1979 Levels: December 2008 ended with global sea ice at roughly the same level it was in 1979. Due to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close. Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. The rate of sea ice increase from September onward is the fastest increase on record. In fact, it is the fastest rate of change on record either upwards or downwards.

Sea Ice 1979-2009 (click to enlarge).

The data is being reported by the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions. Each year, millions of square kilometers of sea ice melt and refreeze. However, the mean ice anomaly -- defined as the seasonally-adjusted difference between the current value and the average from 1979-2000, varies much more slowly. That anomaly now stands at just under zero, a value identical to one recorded at the end of 1979, the year satellite record-keeping began.

Earlier in the year, predictions were rife that the North Pole could melt entirely in 2008. Instead, the Arctic ice saw a substantial recovery. Bill Chapman, a researcher with the UIUC's Arctic Center, says this was due in part to colder temperatures in the region. Why were predictions so wrong? Researchers had expected the newer sea ice, which is thinner, to be less resilient and melt easier. Instead, the thinner ice had less snow cover to insulate it from the bitterly cold air, and therefore grew much faster than expected, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

NASA Changes Solar Prediction: On January 8th, Anthony Watts at the "Watts Up With That?" Blog, noted that NASA's David Hathaway had updated his solar prediction page HERE. Watts points out that Hathaway has made a significant change to his earlier predictions, wherein he now foresees a reduced solar cycle 24 versus his earlier forecast of increased solar activity over cycle 23.

Watts also notes that solar physicist Leif Svalgaard has been saying for many months that cycle 24 would be significantly reduced and not greater than cycle 23. He then highlights a graphic from Klimadebat.dk (or, "Climate Debate"), which compares Hathaway's earlier prediction to his new prediction. The image, which can be seen below, clearly demonstrates the reduced forecast for solar activity...

Reduced solar activity prediction (click to enlarge).

Russian Scientists Predict New Ice Age: Pravda, Russia's online newspaper, claims evidence that shows the warm, 12,000-year Holocene period will soon end, and the planet will experience a glacial age for the next 100,000 years. "Ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record, and studies of ancient plant and animal populations all demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern of Ice Age glacial maximums which each last about 100,000 years, separated by intervening warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years," according to the report.

A new Ice Age upon us?

Pravda cites three astronomical "Milankovich cycles" as further proof of cooling:

  • The tilt of the Earth, which varies over a 41,000-year period.
  • The shape of the Earth's orbit, which changes over a period of 100,000 years, "separated by intervening warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years."
  • The Precession of the Equinoxes, also known as the earth's "wobble," which gradually rotates the direction of the earth's axis over a period of 26,000 years.

  • The astronomical theory of Ice Age causation was first developed by French mathematician Joseph Adhemar in 1842. English prodigy Joseph Croll expounded on the theory in 1875, and Serbian mathematician Milutin Milankovich developed it further in the 1920s and 30s. A trio of scientists, John Imbrie, James Hays and Nicholas Shackleton, published "Variations in the Earth's orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages" in 1976 in which they linked climate data from ocean sediment cores and astronomical Milankovich cycle patterns.

    The report claims the popular global warming trends many scientists have accepted as truth are reversing. "However, this warming trend was interrupted when the winter of 2007/08 delivered the deepest snow cover to the Northern Hemisphere since 1966 and the coldest temperatures since 2001," it states. "It now appears that the current Northern Hemisphere winter of 2008/09 will probably equal or surpass the winter of 2007/08 for both snow depth and cold temperatures."

    Global Warming Doesn't Exist Or Not Serious: Physicist Luboš Motl from Pilsen in the Czech Republic, says global warming either doesn't exist or it's not serious. At his blog, "The Reference Frame", he makes the following comments...

    Assume that the temperature in your city is a linearly increasing function of time, "Temp + Slope x Time", plus fluctuations that are randomly distributed with the standard deviation "SD". If you get the opportunity to prove that the linear trend in your city exists at the five-sigma confidence level (i.e. that the net warming since 1900 or so has exceeded five times the natural oscillation "SD"), then it also means that the probability that you get a cold extreme for a certain day will be dropping faster than exponentially: like the Gaussian.

    Assuming that the "systematic" global warming accumulated by the linear trend exceeds five times the noise "SD", which is really necessary for proving that the linear trend in your city is more than noise (according to the physics standards), the probability that you [will] measure a new cold weather record should drop roughly one million times (!): check basic articles about the normal distribution and how large fraction of a Gaussian lies below minus five sigma. It is less than 1 part per million.

    Such a dramatic decrease of the frequency of record cold temperatures is clearly not happening because the record cold temperatures seem to be as frequent as they were in the past. More precisely, their frequency should be naturally decreasing [emphasis added] with the growing temperature records (with time).

    If you study the global mean temperature rather than the local temperatures, you obviously increase the signal-to-noise ratio because a large part of the noise gets averaged out (but not all of it). However, at the same moment, the conclusions derived from the global mean temperature are also much less relevant for any particular city in the world. --Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, 6 January 2009

    In other words, if global warming is real and temperatures are actually increasing at a rate which exceeds natural variability, then the mathematical probability for setting new record cold temperatures becomes increasingly remote. In fact, the odds should be less than 1 in a million that a new record low temperature will be set in a consistent global warming scenario. [Editor's Note: Please ignore all those new low-temperature records described above.]

    He then goes on to suggest that local temperatures should be viewed independently of any global trends because people can only be affected by local temperatures. He says that the accumulated warming from the global linear trend is much smaller than "the unavoidable interannual [local] fluctuations" which makes the global warming trend "completely irrelevant for every single rational human being in the world" [emphasis added].

    IPCC's Errors: According to "Right Side News"...

    The IPCC officially released its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007. This document is often regarded as the definitive word on the science behind global warming. However, AR4 gives a distorted, misleading, and often erroneous picture. Examples of these distortions will be listed here each week --Right Side News, 19 January 2009

    As of January 19th, the list was already up to 19 different errors, exaggerations, distortions, or misleading claims, including...

  • 01. How the IPCC invented a new calculus.
  • 02. The table that didn't add up.
  • 03. False statement about Antarctic sea ice.
  • 04. Misleading claims about sea level rise.
  • 05. Incorrect calculation of an average.
  • 06. False claims about Antarctic ice sheet.
  • 07. Dubious claims about Greenland ice sheet.
  • 08. Erroneous claims about snow cover.
  • 09. Exaggerated claims about water vapour.
  • 10. Erroneous claims on increased tropical cyclone activity.
  • 11. The IPCC contradicts itself over the medieval warm period.
  • 12. False statement about paleoclimate studies.
  • 13. Proxies that aren't proxies.
  • 14. Downplaying the urban heat island effect.
  • 15. The UN misquotes its own report.
  • 16. Underestimating past variation in carbon dioxide.
  • 17. Biased reporting of the literature.
  • 18. Crucial argument barely mentioned, numbers not justified.
  • 19. Hypothetical positive feedback.

  • You can go to the article HERE. There are links to in-depth discussions on all of these issues.

    IPCC's Deliberate Exaggerations: In January, Christopher Monckton wrote a paper for the Science & Public Policy Institute (SPPI) in which he says that the UN's climate panel, the IPCC, has deliberately exaggerated the causes and consequences of anthropogenic “global warming”...

    The chief reason for skepticism at the official position on “global warming” is the overwhelming weight of evidence that the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, prodigiously exaggerates both the supposed causes and the imagined consequences of anthropogenic “global warming”; that too many of the exaggerations can be demonstrated to have been deliberate; and that the IPCC and other official sources have continued to rely even upon those exaggerations that have been definitively demonstrated in the literature to have been deliberate.

    In short, science is being artfully manipulated to fabricate what are in essence political and not scientific conclusions – a conclusion that is congenial to powerful factions whose ambition is not to identify scientific truth but rather to advance the special vested interests with which they identify themselves [emphasis added]. --Christopher Monckton, Temperature Change and CO2 Change: A Scientific Briefing, SPPI, January 2009

    In his paper, Monckton demonstrates that, if CO2 concentration continues to rise more slowly than the IPCC had predicted, and if climate sensitivity to CO2 concentration is well below the IPCC’s projected range, then the likelihood of any “global warming” greater than 2°C per century to 2100 is "vanishingly small".

    He also demonstrates that official sources have: 1) relied upon questionable and occasionally "downright dishonest" methods to inflate the observed rate of temperature increase, 2) created the false impression that the rate of increase is itself rising when an identical argument can be used to demonstrate that it is falling, 3) diminished earlier and warmer temperatures in this century, 4) abolished the medieval warm period, and 5) diverted attention away from the fact that throughout almost all of the Holocene, and throughout all four previous interglacial periods, surface temperatures were considerably warmer than they are today.

    An example of data tampering can be seen in the two charts below...

    Raw data.

    Manipulated data.

    You can read the Monckton paper in its entirety HERE.

    Global Warming Freezes the Southern Ocean: This was the title of another paper published by Christopher Monckton in January for the SPPI. Here is a brief excerpt...

    In late January 2009, the once-respected “science” journal Nature published the results of a computer model apparently showing that nearly all of the Antarctic continent had not cooled over the past 50 years, as the real-world observational data showed, but had warmed instead. The newly-created “warming” was achieved not by direct observation, which has long produced inconvenient cooling, but by “statistical climate-field reconstruction techniques to obtain a 50-year-long, spatially complete estimate of monthly Antarctic temperature anomalies”...

    However, the entire analysis in the “warming Antarctic” paper depends not on actual temperature measurements, nor on other observations from the real world, which unequivocally show that Antarctica has been cooling for half a century, but on statistical “interpolation” of made-up data between the rather sparse observations from Antarctic research stations, so as to invent a temperature record across the vast majority of the Antarctic continent that does not exist in reality, and is inconsistent with it...

    Whether or not any of the authors was in any way qualified to write the paper, it is remarkable for its failure to address one or two obvious real-world events that demonstrate the results of their statistical prestidigitation to be questionable, because they are so startlingly at odds with observed reality. Not the least among these real-world events is that the rapid cooling in East Antarctica in recent decades – amounting to as much as 2°C over the period in some places – has led to environmental damage from the intense cold. The authors cannot have been unaware of this, because they cite the very thorough survey paper (Doran et al., 2002) in which it is described.

    But surely the most obvious demonstration that the results of the authors’ statistical manipulations are inconsistent with reality is the well-established fact that the extent of the sea ice surrounding the Antarctic continent has been growing slightly in recent decades, reaching a record extent late in 2007. --Christopher Monckton, Global Warming Freezes the Southern Ocean, SPPI, January 2009

    You can read the Monckton paper in its entirety HERE.

    Political Opinion

    Satire Worth Reading: William Kevin Stoos at Canada Free Press wrote a great satire article on January 18th. Entitled "Gore: Record Cold Snap Is Actually Global Warming", here is the opening salvo...

    Just back from a world tour to promote his new book, No, Really, It Is Global Warming! Internet inventor Al Gore talked to Stoos Views in an effort to address mounting world skepticism about global warming and whether Gore is indeed the savior of the planet. Stopping by Stoos Views headquarters in Wynstone, South Dakota, Gore talked to the reporter while lending a hand clearing the four feet of global warming off his driveway... --Gore: Record Cold Snap Is Actually Global Warming, 18 January 2009

    Read more HERE.

    Scientific Ignorance = Political Insanity: Bob Webster at WEBCommentary.com, wrote a good article on January 26th, in which he concludes that the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Theory is a scam. He first points out that more than 31,000 scientists (including more than 9,000 PhDs) have signed the Global Warming Petition urging the U.S. government to reject the Kyoto Treaty or any other similar proposals, because...

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. --Global Warming Petition Project

    He then points out that there is no direct correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and Earth's temperature trend as demonstrated in the following graph...

    Global CO2 vs. Temperature (click to enlarge).

    He then goes on to discuss a number of issues ranging from data integrity problems and false computer model assumptions, to the missing greenhouse signature, lack of long-term CO2-temperature correlation, and the dubious CO2 record itself. Webster then says...

    [a] small band of vocal scam-artists who continue to try to stifle scientific investigation that resoundingly refutes their "global warming" theory are having their way with our not-too-scientifically-bright Congress. Having put back into office most of the political hacks who have turned our Congress into their own "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" private club, we will now be subject to the poor judgement and political games these scientifically illiterate legislators foist on our weakened economy. --WEBCommentary, 26 January 2009

    Congresswoman Questions Al Gore: Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), told participants in a January 26th 'Americans for Prosperity' teleconference that at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20th she asked former Vice President Al Gore if it was cold enough for him and noted this wasn’t “exactly a global warming day.” The 19-degree temperatures were even too cold for a quartet to perform a piece arranged by composer John Williams, forcing them to play a pre-recorded performance of the music.

    “On the Inauguration Day, Dr. Tom Price [GOP U.S. congressman from Georgia] can attest to this – we were freezing to death, sitting there during the inauguration, with our blankets huddled up there,” Bachmann said. “We were asking Al Gore when he came in through the door, ‘Hey Al, is it cold enough for you down there? This isn’t exactly a global warming day.’”

    Rasmussen Poll on Global Warming: On January 19th, Rasmussen reported that a new poll shows that 44% of U.S. voters now say long-term planetary trends are the cause of global warming, compared to only 41% who blame it on human activity. Seven percent (7%) attribute global warming to some other reason, and 9% are unsure according to the new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. In April of 2008, 47% of Americans blamed human activity versus 34% who viewed long-term planetary trends as the culprit. Quite a change for 9 months time. That's an increase of 10% for people who see global warming as a long-term planetary trend, and a decrease of 6% for those who believe it is man-made.

    Pew Research Poll on Top Priorities: On January 22nd, the Pew Research Center reported that as far as rating "top priorities" for the incoming Obama administration, global warming was dead-last. Only 30% of those surveyed said global warming should be considered a "top priority". Out of (20) categories or issues rated in the survey, global warming was considered the 20th or least important. The "Environment" was also a low-rated category coming in at #16 with only 41% of those surveyed considering it a top priority. As expected, the "Economy" and "Jobs" rated as the #1 and #2 top priorities.

    Interestingly enough, even the issue of "Moral Decline" in America was viewed by at least 45% of Americans as a top priority, putting it #13 above both the "Environment" and "Global Warming". The issue of "Lobbyists" also rated higher than global warming with 36% considering it a top priority. "Helping the poor" came in at #11 on the list with 50% considering it a top priority. Compared to a similar poll conducted in January 2008, concern for the environment dropped by a total of 15%.

    Pew Research Poll Results