|The Week That Was
January 1, 2000 NEW ON THE SEPP WEB:
We bring you our 1999 Annual Report, which is mercifully brief. For all details, visit our web site.
The Week That Was January 1, 2000 brought to you by SEPP
We wish all of our friends, old and new, a very Happy New Year. And to all men and women of good will A GREAT CENTURY with plenty of resources and a benign and milder climate
First the good news: Our subscriber list has been growing by leaps and bounds and is now close to 1000. Another item of good news: We have been receiving checks from many of you and sincerely appreciate your support for what we are trying to do.
And now the not-so-good news: The list is becoming unmanageable;
we keep getting too many undelivered messages. We find it hard to keep
up since we don't even know who some of the people are that hide behind
such strange addresses as "Wingedmonkey" or simply 132578@
IF YOU CHOOSE TO SUBSCRIBE, REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE BY USING YOUR MOST PERMANENT EMAIL ADDRESS AND PUT "SUBSCRIBE" IN THE SUBJECT FIELD. ALSO GIVE YOUR FULL NAME, TITLE, AND AFFILIATION. We would like to know if you are an "active climate scientist", some other kind of scientist, or just generally interested.
REMEMBER: YOU CAN ALWAYS REJOIN OR YOU CAN READ OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN ON THE SEPP WEB.
And finally, you can ask your friends to submit their names or you can simply forward TWTW to your own private mailing list. We would like to know so that we can gauge how many are reading it.
AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND FEEDBACK.
GLOBAL WARMING COOKED BOOKS
Seven environmental groups have released a worldwide map packed with more than 100 anecdotal studies that purport to prove catastrophic global warming. But they have cooked the books, says Detroit News reporter David Mastio (in USA Today, Dec. 16) by ignoring evidence that doesn't fit.
Today's UN estimates of global warming are only about half the warming over twice the time -- an average of 4 degrees F over the next century -- as the estimates made in the 1980s. But despite these shrinking estimates, some environmental groups insist on confounding other factors with global warming.
For example, in the map compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups:
A study is cited that found 31 percent of 65 bird species in England in 1995 laid their eggs an average of 8.8 days earlier than in 1971 -- though the average change for all 65 species was an insignificant 2 days.
In the West Antarctic, they report that "Nearly 1,150 square miles of...ice shelves collapsed between March 1998 and March 1999," although a recent study in Science found the sheet has retreated several hundred feet a year for more than 7,000 years.
A U.N. report suggests global warming may cause tropical diseases to spread to temperate climes, but such "tropical" diseases as Dengue fever, yellow fever, and malaria were common until recently in the U.S. and Europe -- with the Netherlands, for instance, only declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization in the 1970s.
They also say global warming may make the weather more unpredictable and extreme, but the period between 1991 and 1994 was the "quietest" on record for hurricane activity.
WEATHER HYPE, CLIMATE TRIPE
"The weather has been pretty weird," claims the green propagandist National Environmental Trust, citing heat waves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and floods that have occurred lately. The cause, says the NET, is global warming: "It's making our weather more extreme."
True, severe weather event costs in the 1990s were three times more than a decade ago; but that is due to inflation, economic growth, and building in hurricane and flood zones, says Hudson Institute analyst Michael Fumento (in Investor's Business Daily, Dec. 14).
Looking at fatalities, our weather seems to be improving:
While hurricane Andrew in 1992 took 76 lives, at least 6,000 were lost in the hurricane that swept Galveston, Texas, in 1900.
Tornadoes killed 189 Americans in 1998, compared with 689 deaths from a single U.S. tornado in 1925.
And the 1889 flood in Johnstown, Pa., killed 2,000 -- compared to relatively few flood deaths today.
Record weather events have occurred -- but there is no indication that
extreme events are occurring more frequently in recent years. For instance,
the longest U.S. drought lasted from 1952 to 1957 in
o The worst U.S. forest fire was in October 1871, destroying 1.3 million acres of Wisconsin forest and killing more than 1,500 people.
o The worst U.S. heat wave killed 300 people in Detroit, Mich., in 1936.
Weather extremes are the norm, not evidence of climate change.
NUCLEAR GROWTH IN ASIA
Northeast Asia is intent on becoming a nuclear-powered hub. South Korea's 16 reactors provided more than 41 percent of its energy in 1998, the IAEA says. Four more reactors are under construction and by 2015, Korea wants 30. Japan met almost 36 percent of its 1998 energy needs with 53 plants. Under a 1994 policy, it aims to increase nuclear capacity to just over 40 percent by 2010. But China, with three reactors, aims to surpass them both. It is building four reactors, with plans for eight more approved and a long-term blueprint for another 100, the IAEA reports.
"China is now or will soon be the fastest-growing nuclear power market in the world," says Wu Yong, an executive with Westinghouse Electric China. The boom is driven by economic need. China's electricity generation has jumped an average 10 percent a year in the past decade - and still isn't enough to keep up with demand. In Japan, which lacks natural resources, gaining energy self-reliance has been a goal since the "oil shocks" of the 1970s.
Meanwhile, Sweden closed its Barseback nuclear reactor on Nov. 30, as planned since 1980, but polls back a new referendum. We'll take small bets on the outcome, esp. if it's a cold winter