Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wind Power, Big Boats, and Oranges

I used to get a kick out of the Roanoke Times Editorial page when Dan Rademacher was in charge of it over on Campbell Ave. Dan is avidly anti-coal, therefore he is a firm devotee of the Global Warming Religion and its High Priests, Al Gore and Michael Mann.

Since Dan left the Roanoke Times opinion pages in the capable left hand of Christina Nuckols he’s been working for an anti-coal non-profit of some sort. And he’s started blogging and Facebooking and all that stuff. I do follow his Facebook page, Blogging Dan. I occasionally check out the eponymously named blog as well.

I like Dan. I really do. He’s a good writer. We’ve even had a “beer summit”. I appreciate that he has opinions different from mine. If only he would stop calling those opinions of his facts.

Back when he was leading the choir in the upper room on Campbell Ave. he would go to great pains to point out the error in his foolish conservative readers minds and carefully explain the difference in weather and climate. Recently, under his Facebook blurb, “I’m afraid global warming is going to get a lot harder to deny.” he linked to a WaPo article;
Not just March, but start of 2012 shatter US records for heat, worrying meteorologists

“It’s been ongoing for several months,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C.

Meteorologists say an unusual confluence of several weather patterns, including La Niña, was the direct cause of the warm start to 2012. While individual events can’t be blamed on global warming, Couch said this is like the extremes that are supposed to get more frequent because of manmade climate change from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

I wrote all that, just to point out Dan’s original point. As the WaPo article’s source makes clear, there is a difference in weather and climate. Then Jake Crouch instantly reverses course. Left me dizzy.

I think everyone pretty much agrees that we have experienced a warming trend. But are humans and our various mechanical monsters truly to blame? Let’s look at a couple of historical facts.

It is well-known that there was a cooling trend during the late 19th Century here in America. Historical records, (letters and diaries for example), tell us so.

How many of you are aware that a couple of hundred years before that Spanish colonists were reporting to the King they were successfully growing oranges. Not in Florida. In South Carolina.

Bartolomé Martínez in a letter to the King dated at Havana, February 17, 1577, stated: “And what may be truthfully told to your Majesty is that in Santa Elena [Now Parris Island, South Carolina] I planted with my own hands grape vines, pomegranate trees, orange and fig trees; wheat, barley, onions, and garlic.” Martinez lived in Santa Elena until 1576, so his oranges were planted earlier than 1577 which found him in Havana, a pen pal of the King.

Orange groves continued as a valuable asset to South Carolina, apparently until well after the Civil War. In a letter to the South Carolina Legislature dated 12-16-1861, Governor F.W. Pickens described the state this way, “… from the snowy crest of her rugged mountains, even to the orange groves that bloom over her sunny plains…”

Parris Island is hot today. Ask any Marine. He’ll tell you it can be dang hot. However, even during what has been alarmingly called “An Inconvenient Truth”, and a “disaster to mankind”, it ain’t hot enough to grow oranges. A tree or two, carefully tended in winter? Maybe, but nothing on a scale that would call for a bragging letter to the king.

There is no way a sane man would attempt to establish a commercial orange grove very much further north than Gainesville FL. Gainesville is five hours south of Parris Island driving really fast in a foul-smelling, polluting, modern SUV.

I suppose you could say those Spanish Galleons were the SUVs of their day. Did those wind powered boats create a similar “climate change” to the one we blame coal and oil burning boats for today

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