Something is Happening With the Sun

Russ Steele

I have a post at the Next Grand Minimum on changes on the sun which could have some long term impacts here on earth. Link is HERE, where this graphic is explained in more detail.

We could be headed for a Maunder level minimum, which took place during the Little Ice Age,  a cold period between AD 1550  and AD 1850.  There were three particularly cold intervals: one beginning about 1650, another about 1770, and the last in 1850, each separated by intervals of slight warming.

There were no Sierra glaciers before the LIA. We could see these glaciers grow again if the sun experiences another Grand Minimum.  We are on the cusp of some very interesting times in solar history. Stay Tuned.

KQED Suspends Climate Watch

Russ Steele

KQED Climate Watch has been my viewing port on liberal climate change thinking for the past 4 years.  I did my best to introduce some facts into the discussion by posting in the comments section. Some times those comments appeared on the webpage and then they just vanished. Some times the editors found it hard to deal with the facts.  Now we learn that Climate Watch blog is being suspended in a KQED reorganization.

After four years, numerous awards, and something just shy of 900 blog posts, the multimedia reporting effort that’s been known as Climate Watch is turning a significant page. KQED is combining our efforts with Quest, the station’s more broadly-based science and environmental news and programming effort.

Could it be that the interest in climate change is declining and the Climate Watch readership is declining?  It is interesting to note that the UK Times is suspending publication of it’s monthly global warming propaganda flyer Eureka this month as well.

News International is set to close Eureka, the monthly science and environmental magazine distributed with The Times, this week following a sustained loss of advertising from its global top spending companies

The closure of the 64-page stitched magazine, the first ever launched with the weekday Times and the first dedicated monthly science magazine of any national newspaper, comes exactly three years after its launch.

A source said the imminent closure was a sign of shifting consumer and corporate priorities, as the heightened time of political consciousness around the environment and green issues appears to have receded in these austere times… 

..Eureka covers topics ranging from life and earth sciences to green issues and oceanography…

When readers lose interest, the advertisers lose interest as well. As noted  corporate and consumer priorities have changed. My guess that KQED Climate Watch reader priorities have changed as well, thus the reorganization.

Sacramento and Urban Heat Island Distorts the Facts

Russ Steele

While I was doing some fact checking on the California Energy Commission and the Natural Resources Agency Our Changing Climate 2012 Third Assessment Report that made some claims about more 105 degree days in Sacramento, I plotted the number of extreme heat days from 1878 to 2010.

Just for fun, I did a regression analysis on the numbers and was surprised by the result

Doing some online research, I found a National Weather Service Document Climate of Sacramento, Updated 2010.  In this document we learn that the temperature sensor site has been moved around a bit, but is now is at the Sacramento Water Plant.

On September 28, 1964, the observation site was returned to the post office building at 9th and I streets. On April 1, 1999, the sensors were moved to the Sacramento Water Treatment Plant, east of California State University-Sacramento. Temperature and precipitation data has been transmitted from these locations to the National Weather Service Office since September 28, 1964.

This plant is in a build up area with a lot of concrete according to Google Earth, which could be contributing to a potential heat island.  I decided to look at other nearby sensors and see if they were seeing an increase in extreme heat days. I chose Lodi and Willows to bracket Sacramento.  These stations with records going back to 1931 did not show the same increase in extreme temperatures. I also replotted the Sacramento data from 1931 for an apples to apples comparison.

It appears that we are seeing some Urban Heat Island effect in the Sacramento extreme temperatures. This data also calls in to question the assertion in the Our Changing Climate report that extreme days are increasing, it appears that they are in fact decreasing. Another reason to question the validity of the Third Assessment.

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day

Russ Steele

This morning I heard on the KFBK that today was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.  Ellen and I discuss our options, we could go to Roseville and joint the crowd supporting an organization that stands by it’s principles, or we could stay home and provide support on the Internet.

We soon learned that the Internet was flush with support for Chick-fil-A here, here, and here, including photos of the long lines.

While we did not go to Roseville one of our regular reader did and submitted this report:

Judy and I travelled to Roseville this morning and were reminded while en route by the car radio that today was Show Support For Chick-fil-A day. Seems some constitutionally ignorant eastern city mayors and the equally sycophant media have allowed their opposition to Chick-fil-A’s support of traditional marriage (the outrage!) to cause them to blurt out their intentions to bar Chick from expanding in their cities, no permits forthcoming. All for Chick politely exercising their First Amendment protected free speech in an interview – with a religious news organization. Can’t have that in contemporary Left-Am. One wonders what the voters will think of that. My god, the intolerance of the lefties for those not in lock-step with their tortured perspectives! Opposition opinions not permitted. Pathetic, and quite telling.

Anyway, on our way to TJs and Costco we decided to put our iPhone to work to find us a Chick-fil-A in Roseville. There is one, and since we were hearing on the radio about record lines across the country we decided at 1036 am it might be wise to get there early for lunch. Turning off the 65 freeway onto Pleasant Grove en route to the Chick the traffic was already building. We had to park in a neighboring lot and walked over to take our place in line. Lots of regular people in line, couples, families, grandparents and  kids. Nice folks. The drive-through was equally busy. The young staff behind the counter were doing a laudable job, and all were noticeably clean-cut and very polite. We were most impressed. Lunch was very good, too.

We wonder how the Chick-fil-A staff will enjoy the “kiss-in” planned by the intolerant gay exhibitionist later this week.

On the way out the line had tripled and the traffic line was backed up to Rocklin, well, at least a long city block.

God bless Americans!

The support for Chick-fil-A has been extraordinary and Ellen and I regret that we did not join the long line of supporters. However, Chick-fil-Awill our lunch spot the next time we are in Roseville, it id only s few blocks from our daughter house.  It is important continue the support over time. See you at the Chick-fil-A.

#GreenFail: Amonix closes North Las Vegas solar plant after 14 months, heavy federal subsidies

Russ Steele

Hubble Smith writing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal has the details:

The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, heavily financed under an Obama administration energy initiative, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility 14 months after it opened.

Officials at Amonix headquarters in Seal Beach, Calif., have not responded to repeated calls for comment this week. The company today began selling equipment, from automated tooling systems to robotic welding cells.

A designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits and a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build the plant in North Las Vegas.

Rene Kenerly, a former material and supply manager at Amonix, said the plant has been idle since May 1, when he was laid off. At its peak, the plant had ramped up to about 700 employees working three shifts a day to produce solar panels for a utility customer in Amarosa, Colo., he said.

“I don’t think they had a lot of training,” Kenerly said. “There were a lot of quality issues. A lot of stuff was coming back because it had some functionality issues.”

Once again, proof that the Governement cannot pick winners and quality control is the key to success, or failure. All the Federal money in the world cannot save a company that turns out shoddy products. When they ran out of other peoples money, they closed the plant. This seems to be the history of the Obama stimulus.


Arctic Ice Reality Check

Russ Steele

Secretary of State Clinton recently visited the Arctic to observe global warming first hand, meeting with Norwegian officials to discuss the changing Arctic and the thinning polar ice. According to the Voice of America News:

Over the last 20 years, Norwegian climate scientists say the Arctic has been losing 45000 square kilometers of ice cover a year. That has opened new shipping routes across the north that could make trade between Europe and Asia 40 percent faster.


Secretary Clinton says she learned that many of the predictions about warming in the Arctic are being surpassed by the actual data, something she says that is not necessarily surprising but is certainly sobering.

Here is the latest Arctic Sea Ice Plot, note now close to the mean it is this year.

I have no idea what Clinton actually saw, but I found this article in the Miami Herald most interesting: Heavy ice could delay start of Shell Alaska’s Arctic drilling

SEATTLE — The heaviest polar ice in more than a decade could postpone the start of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean until the beginning of August, a delay of up to two weeks, Shell Alaska officials said.

Unveiling a newly refurbished ice-class rig that is poised to begin drilling two exploratory wells this summer in the Beaufort Sea, Shell executives said Friday that the unusually robust sea ice would further narrow what already is a tight window for operations.

Shell must stop drilling  about Sept. 24, which is 38 days before ice is likely to move in, to allow enough time in open water to fix a wellhead blowout.

Read more HERE.

Public Thugs Mug Facebook – Could Kill Jobs?

Russ Steele

I often read the Coyote Blog, Dispatches from a Small Business. Here is some interesting insight as to why job creation in CA is static.

Wow, I Wonder Why Job Creation Isn’t Occurring in California?

I wonder if its because companies have to beg for government permission, and then pay a hefty bribe, to get permission to hire more employees:

The city council in Menlo Park, Calif., is set to approve a deal that will let Facebook employ thousands more people at its headquarters there.

Mayor Kirsten Keith says officials are expected to green light the environmental impact report and the development agreement at a meeting Tuesday night. City staff has recommended the city approve the deal.

That means Facebook employees, currently numbering about 2,200 in Menlo Park, will soon be able to stretch out. If the deal is approved, Facebook will be able to employ about 6,600 workers in Menlo Park, up from its current limit of 3,600. That was the constraint on Sun Microsystems, which previously occupied the campus.

Facebook will pay Menlo Park an average of $850,000 a year over 10 years to compensate for the additional load on the city. It will also make a one-time payment of more than $1 million for capital improvements and set up community services such as high school internship and job training programs. Facebook is also creating a $500,000 local community fund that will dole out grants and charitable contributions to communities surrounding Facebook’s campus.

Facebook is making the payments because Menlo Park can’t collect sales taxes from Facebook.

The last is a dodge – this is a protection racket, pure and simple.  Presumably Facebook pays property taxes on its corporate offices, as do its employees who live nearby.  Also, these new employees will all spend money in the local economy that will generate sales taxes.  Facebook presumably pays for water, sewer, trash and other utilities, and their employees are paying gas taxes as they drive that pay for the roads.  Facebook pays California income taxes, as do their employees.  What are these mystery costs that are not getting covered?  The community services bit is a hint that this is a stick-up, with Menlo Park demanding its cut of the recent IPO.

The truth is that cities and counties in California see business expansion plans the same way that Tony Soprano looks at the Museum of Science and Trucking — as a way to maximize their skim.  I operate a campground in Ventura County that DOES pay sales taxes the County so far will not let me increase my live-in staff without making a big payment.  Even the remodeling of our store required 7 separate checks written to Ventura County agencies.

You can read the rest HERE. Reason Magazine has another story about killing jobs in Ventura County.