MSNBC needs to read Bill’s BlogApril 26th, 2009 at 4:55 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
MSNBC is running a four-part series entitled Future Earth. On their website they say you can “find out why Earth’s climate machine — the North Pole — is melting alarmingly fast. Learn about our planet’s future, and how you can stop its decline.” First, the North Pole is not “Earth’s Climate Machine”. There is far more heat and area in the Tropics than at the North Pole. Second, YOU can’t stop it’s decline (assuming it’s declining)! Nature is big – you personally are insignificant compared to nature. Don’t you wish you had the power to control icecaps! If you don’t mind some profanity, check out George Carlin’s take on “Saving the Planet”. Third, MSNBC does not know “our planet’s future”. The scenario they portray in this piece is about as remote a possibility in the near future (and more than likely the very far future) as the Lions going 16-0 next season. The Antarctic icecap (which is much bigger than the Arctic icecap) has been growing. In Sept. 1979 (first year of satellite data) the Antarctic icecap was 18.4 million sq. km. In Sept. 2008, the Antarctic icecap was at 19.2 million sq. km. That’s a 30-year trend. By comparison, Michigan is 151,586 sq. km, so that’s an increase in icecover of over five times the area of Michigan. MSNBC could instead be doing a story on the trend of cooling in Antarctica and possible falling sea levels due to ice accumulation in Antarctica. Keep in mind that if the Polar icecap (without Greenland) melted…it would hardly cause sea level to rise, because the icecap is currently displacing water in the Arctic Ocean. The Antarctic icecap is over a land continent, not floating over an ocean. Significant ice accumulation over the land of Antarctica would cause sea level to fall. The Arctic icecap did decrease significantly (yes, very significantly) from 1979 to 2007. To do a fair piece on Arctic ice…MSNBC or anyone would have to note this. However, to also be fair…they should also tell what’s been going on in the Arctic since 2007. Please, CHECK OUT THIS GRAPH from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Note that the current icecap has grown significantly and is now much closer to the 1979-2000 average than it is to the low level of 2007. There are meteorological reasons for this increase (PDO – Pacific Decadal Oscillation going negative, etc.) that have nothing to do with CO2. Some scientists predicted there would be no icecap this summer. It’ll actually be bigger than last summer. Al Gore predicted last year that “the icecap will be gone in five years!”. I would be willing to not only bet Al Gore but also give him 100 to one odds that there will still be a polar ice cap in 2013. One last point, MSNBC is owned by General Electric. GE is already making money off the issue with their Carbon Credit Master Card (link from “Treehugger”, no less). Here’s CNN’s story on the new credit card. Interesting note: In the fourth quarter of 2008 as GE/NBC stock fell 30 percent, GE spent $4.26 million on lobbying — that’s $46,304 each day, including weekends, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2008, the company spent a grand total of $18.66 million on lobbying.” Reviewing their lobbying filings, GE’s specific lobbying issues included the “Climate Stewardship Act,” “Electric Utility Cap and Trade Act,” “Global Warming Reduction Act,” “Federal Government Greenhouse Gas Registry Act,” “Low Carbon Economy Act,” and “Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.” Do you think this “big business” is just concerned about the environment? Well, check out this column from the Politico, which says: “Several of the companies would gain a commercial advantage after a cap and trade was established. General Electric has an “ecoimagination” line of green appliances and equipment. Robert Stavins, a professor of business and government at Harvard University, said a cap and trade program would be fantastic for GE and other companies that sell products that consume power. He said that if energy costs go up as a result of the regulation — something he believes is likely — a wide array of products from appliances to power plants would become prematurely obsolete and need to be replaced with greener models.” That would mean big money for GE (parent company of NBC and MSNBC). Take a moment and read my previous post on polar ice…check out the graphs and charts…they speak for themselves. ONE LAST ADD: Check out this website with pictures of submarines in open water at the North Pole. Also: The Weather Channel is now owned by NBC, so they will have a similar policy.