Devil’s Trumpet, another pretty but poisonous plant

Devil’s Trumpet, (Datura fastuosa), also called Datura metel is native to India and southeast Asia, but now grows all over the world in warm climates. It is in the Nightshade family. I took the photo for this article near the butterfly garden at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Other common names for this plant include: Horn of Plenty, Downy Thorn-Apple, Hoary Thorn-Apple, Purple Thorn-Apple, and Thorn-Apple. See more photos here.

The plant can be both an annual and perennial and can grow three to 12 feet high. The flowers, which are up to eight inches long, come in a variety of colors including white, yellow, cream, red, and violet.

According to Wikipedia:

All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of highly poisonous tropane alkaloids and may be fatal if ingested by humans or other animals, including livestock and pets.

Datura metel may be toxic if ingested in a tiny quantity, symptomatically expressed as flushed skin, headaches, hallucinations, and possibly convulsions or even a coma. The principal toxic elements are tropane alkaloids. Ingesting even a single leaf can lead to severe side effects.

The plant is cultivated as an ornamental and for its medicinal characteristics. It is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine.

An article in the Journal of Pharmacology goes into great detail about the medical uses of this plant. In summary, “The dried leaves, flowers and roots were used as narcotic, antispasmodic, antitussive, bronchodilator, anti-asthmatic and as hallucinogenic. The plant was also used in diarrhea, skin diseases, epilepsy, hysteria, rheumatic pains, hemorrhoids, painful menstruation, skin ulcers, wounds and burns. In Ayurveda [an ancient medical treatise summarizing the Hindu art of healing and prolonging life], the plant was considered bitter, acrid, astringent, germicide, anodyne, antiseptic, antiphlogistic, narcotic and sedative.”

An article at goes into detail about traditional uses of this plant, most of which involve inebriation.


Related article:

Sacred Datura – pretty, poisonous, and hallucinogenic



Lindzen explains the climate system

The following are excerpts from a lecture presented by Dr. Richard Lindzen to the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018. Dr. Lindzen was Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until his retirement in 2013. He is the author of over 200 papers on meteorology and climatology and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the Academic Advisory Council of GWPF.

Each of the following sections has more to it. Read the entire lecture here:

The climate system

The following description of the climate system contains nothing that is in the least controversial, and I expect that anyone with a scientific background will readily follow the description. I will also try to make the description intelligible to the non-scientist.

The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids (the atmosphere and the oceans) interacting with each other. By ‘turbulent,’ I simply mean that it is characterized by irregular circulations like those found in a gurgling brook or boiling water, but on the planetary scale of the oceans and the atmosphere. The opposite of turbulent is called laminar, but any fluid forced to move fast enough becomes turbulent, and turbulence obviously limits predictability. By interaction, I simply mean that they exert stress on each other and exchange heat with each other.

These fluids are on a rotating planet that is unevenly heated by the sun. The motions in the atmosphere (and to a lesser extent in the oceans) are generated by the uneven influence of the sun. The sun, itself, can be steady, but it shines directly on the tropics while barely skimming the Earth at the poles. The drivers of the oceans are more complex and include forcing by wind as well as the sinking of cold and salty water. The rotation of the Earth has many consequences too, but for the present, we may simply note that it leads to radiation being distributed around a latitude circle.

The oceans have circulations and currents operating on time scales ranging from years to millennia, and these systems carry heat to and from the surface. Because of the scale and density of the oceans, the flow speeds are generally much smaller than in the atmosphere and are associated with much longer time scales. The fact that these circulations carry heat to and from the surface means that the surface, itself, is never in equilibrium with space. That is to say, there is never an exact balance between incoming heat from the sun and outgoing radiation generated by the Earth because heat is always being stored in and released from the oceans and surface temperature is always, therefore, varying somewhat.

In addition to the oceans, the atmosphere is interacting with a hugely irregular land surface. As air passes over mountain ranges, the flow is greatly distorted. Topography therefore plays a major role in modifying regional climate. These distorted air-flows even generate fluid waves that can alter climate at distant locations. Computer simulations of the climate generally fail to adequately describe these effects.

A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast impacts on energy flows. Each component also has important radiative impacts. You all know that it takes heat to melt ice, and it takes further heat for the resulting water to become vapor or, as it is sometimes referred to, steam. The term humidity refers to the amount of vapor in the atmosphere. The flow of heat is reversed when the phase changes are reversed; that is, when vapor condenses into water, and when water freezes. The release of heat when water vapor condenses drives thunder clouds (known as cumulonimbus), and the energy in a thundercloud is comparable to that released in an H-bomb. I say this simply to illustrate that these energy transformations are very substantial. Clouds consist of water in the form of fine droplets and ice in the form of fine crystals. Normally, these fine droplets and crystals are suspended by rising air currents, but when these grow large enough they fall through the rising air as rain and snow. Not only are the energies involved in phase transformations important, so is the fact that both water vapor and clouds (both ice- and water-based) strongly affect radiation. Although I haven’t discussed the greenhouse effect yet, I’m sure all of you have heard that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that this explains its warming effect. You should, therefore, understand that the two most important greenhouse substances by far are water vapor and clouds. Clouds are also important reflectors of sunlight.

The unit for describing energy flows is watts per square meter. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and re-emission of about 200 watts per square meter. Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. The Earth receives about 340 watts per square meter from the sun, but about 140 watts per square meter is simply reflected back to space, by both the Earth’s surface and, more importantly, by clouds. This leaves about 200 watts per square meter that the Earth would have to emit in order to establish balance.

The sun radiates in the visible portion of the radiation spectrum because its temperature is about 6000K. ‘K’ refers to Kelvins, which are simply degrees Centigrade plus 273. Zero K is the lowest possible temperature (-273?C). Temperature determines the spectrum of the emitted radiation. If the Earth had no atmosphere at all (but for purposes of argument still was reflecting 140 watts per square meter), it would have to radiate at a temperature of about 255K, and, at this temperature, the radiation is mostly in the infrared.

Of course, the Earth does have an atmosphere and oceans, and this introduces a host of complications. So be warned, what follows will require a certain amount of concentration. Evaporation from the oceans gives rise to water vapor in the atmosphere, and water vapor very strongly absorbs and emits radiation in the infrared. This is what we mean when we call water vapor a greenhouse gas. The water vapor essentially blocks infrared radiation from leaving the surface, causing the surface and (via conduction) the air adjacent to the surface to heat, and, as in a heated pot of water, convection sets on. Because the density of air decreases with height, the buoyant elements expand as they rise. This causes the buoyant elements to cool as they rise, and the mixing results in decreasing temperature with height rather than a constant temperature. To make matters more complicated, the amount of water vapor that the air can hold decreases rapidly as the temperature decreases. At some height there is so little water vapor above this height that radiation from this level can now escape to space. It is at this elevated level (around 5 km) that the temperature must be about 255K in order to balance incoming radiation. However, because convection causes temperature to decrease with height, the surface now has to actually be warmer than 255K. It turns out that it has to be about 288K (which is the average temperature of the Earth’s surface).

This is what is known as the greenhouse effect. It is an interesting curiosity that had convection produced a uniform temperature, there wouldn’t be a greenhouse effect. In reality, the situation is still more complicated. Among other things, the existence of upper-level cirrus clouds, which are very strong absorbers and emitters of infrared radiation, effectively block infrared radiation from below. Thus, when such clouds are present above about 5 km, their tops rather than the height of 5 km determine the level from which infrared reaches space. Now the addition of other greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) elevates the emission level, and because of the convective mixing, the new level will be colder. This reduces the outgoing infrared flux, and, in order to restore balance, the atmosphere would have to warm. Doubling carbon dioxide concentration is estimated to be equivalent to a forcing of about 3.7 watts per square meter, which is little less than 2% of the net incoming 200 watts per square meter. Many factors, including cloud area and height, snow cover, and ocean circulations, commonly cause changes of comparable magnitude.

It is important to note that such a system will fluctuate with time scales ranging from seconds to millennia, even in the absence of an explicit forcing other than a steady sun. Much of the popular literature (on both sides of the climate debate) assumes that all changes must be driven by some external factor. Of course, the climate system is driven by the sun, but even if the solar forcing were constant, the climate would still vary. This is actually something that all of you have long known – even if you don’t realize it. After all, you have no difficulty recognizing that the steady stroking of a violin string by a bow causes the string to vibrate and generate sound waves. In a similar way, the atmosphere–ocean system responds to steady forcing with its own modes of variation (which, admittedly, are often more complex than the modes of a violin string). Moreover, given the massive nature of the oceans, such variations can involve time scales of millennia rather than milliseconds. El Niño is a relatively short example, involving years, but most of these internal time variations are too long to even be identified in our relatively short instrumental record. Nature has numerous examples of autonomous variability, including the approximately 11-year sunspot cycle and the reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field every couple of hundred thousand years or so. In this respect, the climate system is no different from other natural systems.

Of course, such systems also do respond to external forcing, but such a forcing is not needed for them to exhibit variability. While the above is totally uncontroversial, please think about it for a moment. Consider the massive heterogeneity and complexity of the system, and the variety of mechanisms of variability as we consider the current narrative that is commonly presented as ‘settled science.’

The popular narrative and its political origins

Now here is the currently popular narrative concerning this system. The climate, a complex multifactor system, can be summarized in just one variable, the globally averaged temperature
change, and is primarily controlled by the 1-2% perturbation in the energy budget due to a single variable – carbon dioxide – among many variables of comparable importance. This is an extraordinary claim based on reasoning that borders on magical thinking. It is, however, the narrative that has been widely accepted, even among many sceptics.

Many politicians and learned societies go even further: They endorse carbon dioxide as
the controlling variable, and although mankind’s CO2 contributions are small compared to the much larger but uncertain natural exchanges with both the oceans and the biosphere, they are confident that they know precisely what policies to implement in order to control carbon dioxide levels.

The evidence

At this point, some of you might be wondering about all the so-called evidence for dangerous climate change. What about the disappearing Arctic ice, the rising sea level, the weather extremes, starving polar bears, the Syrian Civil War, and all the rest of it? The vast variety of the claims makes it impossible to point to any particular fault that applies to all of them. Of course, citing the existence of changes – even if these observations are correct (although surprisingly often they are not) – would not implicate greenhouse warming per se. Nor would it point to danger. Note that most of the so-called evidence refers to matters of which you have no personal experience. Some of the claims, such as those relating to weather extremes, contradict what both physical theory and empirical data show. The purpose of these claims is obviously to frighten and befuddle the public, and to make it seem like there is evidence where, in fact, there is none.


So there you have it. An implausible conjecture backed by false evidence and repeated incessantly has become politically correct ‘knowledge,’ and is used to promote the overturn of industrial civilization. What we will be leaving our grandchildren is not a planet damaged by industrial progress, but a record of unfathomable silliness as well as a landscape degraded by rusting wind farms and decaying solar panel arrays. False claims about 97% agreement will not spare us, but the willingness of scientists to keep mum is likely to much reduce trust in and support for science. Perhaps this won’t be such a bad thing after all – certainly as concerns ‘official’ science.

There is at least one positive aspect to the present situation. None of the proposed policies will have much impact on greenhouse gases. Thus we will continue to benefit from the one thing that can be clearly attributed to elevated carbon dioxide: namely, its effective role as a plant fertilizer, and reducer of the drought vulnerability of plants.

See also:
Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect
An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

A Hidden Tucson Treasure – WomanKraft Art Center

Nearly hidden by surrounding trees, a 1918 Queen Anne Victorian house at 388 South Stone Avenue is home to the WomanKraft Art Gallery and School of the Arts. They call it “The Castle.” Look for the colorful front gate just across the street from the Downtown Motor Hotel.

WomanKraft is a non-profit arts organization open to both women and men. The WomanKraft mission: “To claim, validate, and empower women artists and other under-represented groups.” Local artists are encouraged to submit artwork to all upcoming shows, at no charge or submission fee. Besides the gallery and school, there is an all-natural beauty salon and individual studios for rent. And, it’s not just all art; they have fun too. There are bingo nights, karaoke nights, and rummage sales. Regular Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 1 to 5pm. Go take a look.

My wife Lonni and I are both members. Lonni, besides being a novelist, is also a fine artist and displays (and sometimes sells) her work in most of the shows. One of my favorites of Lonni’s paintings is “Feathers & Pearls” painted for a “black & white & shades of grey” show. I produce the WomanKraft Gallery newsletter which is called “The Castle Voice.” See the latest issue here. The Castle Voice contains a list of all shows, and descriptions for WomanKraft’s extensive schedule of classes. Most shows have receptions on two Saturday nights with free admission, snacks, and beverages. Check the schedule in the Castle Voice.

Artwork in the shows vary in price range and are unlimited in their creativity – metal, oils, water color, sculpture, collage, jewelry and pure imagination. If you love a piece of art, chances are that you can afford it.

In the current show, running from November 3 through December 22, all works are priced between $1.00 and $100.00. It’s a great place to find that special and unusual holiday treasure.

To learn more, read The Castle Voice, linked above and/or visit the website and facebook page.



WomanKraft is located just four blocks south of downtown Tucson at 388 South Stone.

Note to readers:

Main temperature database used by IPCC found to contain multiple errors

An audit of the HadCRUT4 dataset, the primary global temperature database used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found multiple errors.

HadCRUT4 is also the dataset at the center of “ClimateGate” from 2009, managed by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University.

The paper, An Audit of the Creation and Content of the HadCRUT4 Temperature Dataset by John McLean (PhD), was first published as a PhD thesis and now as a book. Get the book for $8 here. Read the original thesis here (free download).

The audit found more than 70 areas of concern about data quality and accuracy.

Australian researcher John McLean says that HadCRUT4 is far too sloppy to be taken seriously even by climate scientists, let alone a body as influential as the IPCC or by the governments of the world.

Main points:

The Hadley data is one of the most cited, most important databases for climate modeling, and thus for policies involving billions of dollars.

McLean found freakishly improbable data, and systematic adjustment errors, large gaps where there is no data, location errors, Fahrenheit temperatures reported as Celsius, and spelling errors.

[The improper transposition of Fahrenheit temperatures to Celsius is serious. Fahrenheit 40 is a cool temperature but Celsius 40 is equivalent to 104 Fahrenheit. This erroneous transposition is real “man-made global warming.”]

Almost no quality control checks have been done: outliers that are obvious mistakes have not been corrected. For instance, one town in Columbia spent three months in 1978 at an average daily temperature of over 80 degrees C (176 F). One town in Romania stepped out from summer in 1953 straight into a month of Spring at minus 46°C. These are supposedly “average” temperatures for a full month at a time. St Kitts, a Caribbean island, was recorded at 0°C for a whole month, and twice!

Temperatures for the entire Southern Hemisphere in 1850 and for the next three years are calculated from just one site in Indonesia and some random ships.

Sea surface temperatures represent 70% of the Earth’s surface, but some measurements come from ships which are logged at locations 100km inland. Others are in harbors which are hardly representative of the open ocean.

When a thermometer is relocated to a new site, the adjustment assumes that the old site was always built up and “heated” by concrete and buildings. In reality, the artificial warming probably crept in slowly. By correcting for buildings that likely didn’t exist in 1880, old records are artificially cooled. Adjustments for a few site changes can create a whole century of artificial warming trends.

Details of the worst outliers:

For April, June and July of 1978 Apto Uto, Colombia had an average monthly temperature of 81.5°C, 83.4°C and 83.4°C respectively. (178 to 182 Fahrenheit)

The monthly mean temperature in September 1953 at Paltinis, Romania is reported as -46.4 °C (in other years the September average was about 11.5°C).

At Golden Rock Airport, on the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean, mean monthly temperatures for December in 1981 and 1984 are reported as 0.0°C. But from 1971 to 1990 the average in all the other years was 26.0°C.

Bad data and bad modeling assumptions make IPCC temperature simulations diverge widely from really. That’s why we should not believe the IPCC when they cry “wolf” and say it’s the end of the world unless we give them billions of dollars and get rid of fossil fuels.

The primary conclusion of the audit (as noted by Anthony Watts) is that the dataset shows exaggerated warming and that global averages are far less certain than have been claimed.

One implication of the audit is that climate models have been tuned to match incorrect data, which would render incorrect their predictions of future temperatures and estimates of the human influence of temperatures.

Another implication is that the proposal that the Paris Climate Agreement adopt 1850-1899 averages as “indicative” of pre-industrial temperatures is fatally flawed. During that period global coverage is low – it averages 30% across that time – and many land-based temperatures are very likely to be excessively adjusted and therefore incorrect.


Why is it that a PhD student working from home can find mistakes that the British Met Office, a £226 million institute with 2,100 employees, could not. Significantly, the Met Office, in a statement, said they do not disagree with any of his claims.

Maybe, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in his farewell address:

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The fake two degree political limit on global warming

Climate change in perspective – a tutorial for policy makers

Harvard study shows that wind power could cause more warming than coal

As reported by James Temple in the MIT Technology Review:

A new study by a pair of Harvard researchers finds that a high amount of wind power could mean more climate warming, at least regionally and in the immediate decades ahead. The paper raises serious questions about just how much the United States or other nations should look to wind power to clean up electricity systems.

The study, published in the journal Joule, found that if wind power supplied all US electricity demands, it would warm the surface of the continental United States by 0.24 °C. That could significantly exceed the reduction in US warming achieved by decarbonizing the nation’s electricity sector this century, which would be around 0.1 °C.

“If your perspective is the next 10 years, wind power actually has—in some respects—more climate impact than coal or gas,” coauthor David Keith, a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard, said in a statement. “If your perspective is the next thousand years, then wind power is enormously cleaner than coal or gas.”

The core problem is that wind turbines generate electricity by extracting energy out of the air, slowing down wind and otherwise altering “the exchange of heat, moisture, and momentum between the surface and the atmosphere,” the study explains. That can produce some level of warming. The new research suggests we can’t put too many turbines to close together or the whole group become far less efficient. That means we need 5 – 20 times as much land as previously thought (at least as thought by academics) Read more

Why You Should Vote NO on Arizona Proposition 127, the renewable energy mandate (Update)

Proposition 127 is very bad policy because: 1) wind and solar generation of electricity are both expensive and unreliable; 2) wind and solar generation can be dangerous to wildlife, human health, and the environment; and 3) the perceived need for more wind and solar generation is based on the false assumption that carbon dioxide emissions are a major cause of global warming.

The method of generating electricity should not be determined by one-size-fits-all government mandates, but rather by local market conditions and resources.

In the following summary I explain the problems with renewable energy. More background is available in the references at the end of this post.

Arizona proposition 127, dubbed “The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Amendment” will amend the Arizona Constitution to require affected electric utilities generate at least 50% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The amendment defines renewable energy sources to include solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, and other sources that are replaced rapidly by a natural, ongoing process (excluding nuclear or fossil fuel). Distributed renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar, must comprise at least 10% of utilities’ annual retail sales of electricity by 2030. The Amendment allows electric utilities to earn and trade credits to meet these requirements. (Read full text)

Arizona currently produces half of its renewable energy from hydropower generated at the large dams on the Colorado River, but, according to the proposed amendment, this electricity is not to be counted toward the 50% mandated goal. According to the Energy Information Administration, power plants in Arizona generate more electricity than the state consumes, and Arizona generating stations supply electricity to consumers throughout the southwest.



Promoters of proposition 127 claim that (based on computer modeling) more renewable energy generation will decrease the price of electricity. The computer model claims that “average electricity bills in 2030 would be three dollars a month lower if Arizona pursues a high-renewables future, and five dollars a month lower in 2040.”

Contrary to claims of proposition promoters, real-world experience shows that the price of electricity can triple as the percentage of wind and solar generation increases. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Arizona’s existing 7 percent renewable power mandate (on its way up to 15%) cost the average Arizona household $304 in higher electricity charges in 2017. At 50 percent renewables, as required by prop. 127, that could rise to an additional $2,179 per year compared to present electricity costs. (Source: The Heartland Institute) Higher electricity rates disproportionally impact the poor. (See this story)

My own electric bill from Tucson Electric Power is running at the rate of an extra charge of $230 per year due to the renewable energy mandate. A curious thing: These charges used to be listed on the bill as “Green Energy Charges” but since March, 2017, they are listed merely as “Surcharges.”

Electricity produced by wind and solar turns out to be much more expensive than electricity produced from coal and natural gas. That is mainly because wind and solar are unreliable, they can’t respond to demand. Therefore they need nuclear or fossil fuel generated electricity as backup which causes the fossil fuel plants to run inefficiently which is more expensive (and produces more carbon dioxide).

Europe has been a world leader in using wind and solar energy. The price, however, is high. Real operational data show that the more installed solar and wind capacity per capita a country has, the higher the price people pay for electricity. (Source) In some European countries electricity prices are triple the average cost in the U.S. Ironically, carbon dioxide emissions in those countries are rising while in the U.S. emissions are decreasing. Also ironically, according to the New York Times, renewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-emissions electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy.

Australia has been flirting with replacing coal generation with renewables. Australian engineers warn 55% renewables will add $1400 to electricity bills, an 84% increase in electricity rates. (Source) The state of South Australian generates about 50 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power. South Australia’s consumer electricity prices are the highest in the world and electric reliability is one of the worst in the developed world. (Source)

California: According to Environmental Progress, a pro-nuclear advocacy group:

Between 2011 and 2017, California’s electricity prices rose five times faster than they did nationally. Today, Californians pay 60 percent more, on average, than the rest of the nation, for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity. California’s high penetration of intermittent renewables such as solar and wind are likely a key factor in higher prices. (LinkHad California spent an estimated $100 billion on nuclear instead of on wind and solar, it would already have had enough energy to replace all fossil fuels in its in-state electricity mix according to a new analysis by Environmental Progress.

study by the left-of-center Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power raises electricity prices 50 percent, and replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity costs.

From the Brookings report:

Costs are much higher for three reasons. First, the cost per MW [megawatt] of capacity to build a wind or solar plant is quite high (and much greater than that of a gas-fired plant). The cost per MW of solar capacity is especially high. Reductions in the cost of solar-voltaic panels have reduced the cost of building a solar plant by 22 percent between 2010 and 2012, but further reductions are likely to have a lesser effect because the cost of solar panels is only a fraction of the total cost of a utility-scale solar plant.

Second, a wind or solar plant operates at full capacity only a fraction of the time, when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. For example, a typical solar plant in the United States operates at only about 15 percent of full capacity and a wind plant only about 25 percent of full capacity, while a coal plant can operate 90 percent of full capacity on a year-round basis.

Third, the output of wind and solar plants is highly variable—year by year, month by month, day by day and hour by hour—compared to a coal-fired plant… Thus more than six solar plants and four wind plants are required to produce the same output with the same degree of reliability as a coal-fired plant of the same capacity.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. They conclude: “As a means of producing useful electrical power, wind and solar are very expensive generating technologies because of their low capacity factors and because of their non-dispatchability and intermittency.” (Source)

It has been proposed that the intermittency problem with wind and solar can be solved by battery storage. But an MIT Technology Review article says that would be too expensive: “The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the grid: Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choice—but they are far too expensive to play a major role.” The $2.5 trillion battery system would provide just 12 hours of storage for the entire U.S. (Link)


Utility scale wind and solar installations require vast expanses of land that affect local habitats. Wind turbines chop up birds and bats, including endangered species. Solar installations burn up birds and other flying animals. Low frequency sound from wind turbines causes a variety of human ailments. The manufacturing and disposal of solar panels put dangerous chemicals into the environment. For example, many PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels. Does that sound like “clean energy”?

recent study shows that solar modules cause more greenhouse gas emissions than modern coal power plants. It turns out that because of the emissions of extraordinarily potent greenhouse gases nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride and energy requirements of manufacturing solar modules, solar energy ends up being worse for the climate than burning coal.

(See references 5 & 6)

Another danger is that proposition 127 is intended to be an amendment to the Arizona Constitution rather than a statute. It will therefore be much harder to repeal once its utter folly is realized.

The false assumption:

The push for renewable energy, especially wind and solar generation, is based on the contention that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are a significant cause of global warming.

This claim is not based on physical evidence but only upon garbage-in, garbage-out computer models, the results of which diverge widely from observations. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the major promoter of the human-caused global warming scare. Yet, in five major reports, the IPCC does not provide any physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in global warming. I have asked several university climate scientists who support the claim to cite supporting physical evidence. Although they are alleged experts in the field, they could not cite any physical evidence. They devolve to computer modeling. On the other hand, there are several lines of physical evidence that show carbon dioxide emissions do not enhance the dread greenhouse effect. (See references 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 & 9) Many scientific studies present physical evidence showing that carbon dioxide is but a bit player among the many factors influencing climate change. (See these references: link)

A report from the Science and Public Policy Institute estimates the temperature savings theoretically obtained by stopping all carbon dioxide emissions for each state and for the U.S. as a whole. According to SPPI, if Arizona stopped all carbon dioxide emissions, it would theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.0014°C by 2050 and 0.0029°C by 2100. If the U.S. stopped all carbon dioxide emissions, it would theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.172°C by 2100. (Link to report) Do you think that’s worth the higher electricity prices and disruption of the electric grid?

In the entire geological history of the planet, there has been no known linkage between CO2 and temperatures other than that temperature controls the solubility of CO2 in the oceans. (See reference 8) The war on carbon dioxide tries to cure a problem that does not exist.

Generating more electricity from solar and wind is just a very expensive exercise in political correctness that will have little impact on carbon dioxide emissions, but a big impact on your wallet, and an adverse impact on electric grid stability and the environment. (See reference 7) If you really want low/no emissions generation of electricity, we should invest in more nuclear generation which is always there when you need it.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken

Note: This article is based upon my own observations and research. I have had no dealings with any of the several PACs organized for or against the proposition. This article may be reprinted provided credit is given to the author and link back to the original.


1. A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

2. Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

3. Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

4. Health Effects of global warming on humans

5. Avian mortality from solar farms

6. Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

7. The high cost of electricity from wind and solar generation

8. An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

9. What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

10. Audit of main temperature database used by IPCC finds multiple errors


Testing Basic Assumptions of the CO2-induced Global Warming Hypothesis

This is a repost of a paper review by which shows there is no correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide.  See the post in its original here: 

Paper Reviewed
Liu, X. and Chen, J. 2017. CO2 seasonal variation and global change: Test global warming from another point of view. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions 9: 0046-0053, DOI: 103724/SP.J.1226.2017.00046.

In this posting we review the work of two Chinese scientists, Liu and Chen (2017), who performed a significant and thorough investigation of the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature, challenging the fundamental argument of the IPCC that rising atmospheric CO2 is causing rising global temperature. For the past year and a half a printout of this article has remained buried under a pile of papers on a desk in our office intended for review and posting on CO2Science. Now, after a long wait (and overdue cleaning of our office), this important work gets the attention it deserves.

Setting the stage for their work, Liu and Chen note that “the core theory of CO2-caused global warming proposed by the IPCC is based on three assumptions: (1) The Earth acts like a greenhouse, and the greenhouse effect of increasing CO2 is capable of raising temperature. (2) The available instrumental temperature records over the last century accurately reflect global temperature trends. (3) The rising atmospheric CO2 is the result of the increasing consumption of fossil fuel.” And they go on to say that “the conclusions by IPCC are logical deductions that should be tested and proven (or challenged) by facts.”

As their contribution to science, the two scientists thus proceed to present just such a challenge by examining the relationship between temperature and CO2 using data from Mauna Loa, Hawaii and other observing stations across the globe. Their analyses revealed several important findings, which are discussed in detail below, often using direct quotes from the authors’ paper.

Finding #1. “The monthly variations in CO2 and temperature at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, do not correlate with each other (R2 = 0.0355). From 1958-2013, CO2 rose while temperature remained flat. Hence, we seriously question whether CO2 is the driving force behind temperature variation.”

Finding #2. “Both the instrumental CO2 and temperature records at the Mauna Loa, Hawaii, station show seasonal rises and falls. But there is a 6-month difference in seasonal CO2 and temperature fluctuations between the records in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. As we know, the reversal of seasons is determined by the changes in solar radiation. Thus, it is most likely that these seasonal rises and falls of both CO2 and temperature are driven by changes in solar radiation.”

Finding #3. “By studying the monthly relationship between CO2 and temperature over several decades, we established a theoretical transfer function between CO2 and temperature. Using this function, the rise of 81.86 [ppm] in CO2 at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, between 1958 and 2012 should have resulted in a 72.86 °C rise in temperature, when in fact the temperature only rose -0.62 °C. Thus, we submit that changes in atmospheric CO2 may not be the cause of global temperature changes.”

Finding #4. “In contrast to [the] IPCC’s suggestion that global temperature rose 0.85 °C over the last century, from 1958 to 2012, temperatures at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, did not rise over this period. Mauna Loa is far from cities, where temperature variations are most affected by the urban heat island effect. Independent studies in North America, Europe, Australia, and China have shown that the urban heat island effect could lead to recorded temperature rises <1 °C. Thus, we suggest that the IPCC’s 0.85 °C temperature rise over the last century could be sufficiently explained by the urban island heat effect.”

Finding #5. “The global monthly mean temperature produced by GISS (2013) shows a high correlation with Hawaii CO2 (R2 = 0.7655). However, R2 = 0.024 is obtained by 188 selected records from individual stations around the world. This test indicated global monthly mean temperature showing high correlation with Hawaii CO2 (R2 = 0.7655) was inappropriately corrected and calculated during data process[ing].”

In light of all the important findings listed above, Liu and Chen conclude their paper by writing “an untrue picture is therefore created [based on global monthly mean temperature], that CO2 emission by human activity drives global warming.”

Case Studies of Flood Impacts to Development on Active Alluvial Fans in Central Arizona

The Arizona Geological Survey has made available for free download an new report on alluvial fans near the Phoenix area. The report shows how development on the fans fared.
The full report may be downloaded here. The report contains many photos from pre-development through developed stage.

Here is a summary from AZGS:

Flooding issues and drainage problems associated with historical development on four active alluvial fan study sites in central Arizona were examined to document the effectiveness of engineered flood protection measures and floodplain management policies. The study sites are located in the metropolitan Phoenix area and include (1) Ahwatukee-City of Phoenix, (2) Pima Canyon-City of Phoenix/Guadalupe, (3) Reata Pass-Scottsdale, and (4) Lost Dog-Scottsdale. The four study sites have experienced different types of urbanization, including master-planned communities, single lot residential development, public transportation and utility networks, and major engineered drainage structures such as channels, detention basins, culverts, and dams. The engineered drainage systems at the four historical alluvial fan study sites have performed adequately during the 30-year period of record, at least with respect to controlling the flow path uncertainty and sedimentation normally associated with active alluvial fans. Significantly, no homes have been damaged by alluvial fan flooding at any of the study sites, and no avulsions* have occurred in the developed portions of the alluvial fans. Two floods exceeding the 100-year design storm occurred on two of the fans, but many of the flood control measures on the other fan sites remain untested by large floods. The absence of flood damages is likely due to lack of debris flow potential at any of the sites, low rates of sediment yield at the fan sites, channelization and encroachment that increase sediment transport off the fan surface, and to some degree, the relatively short period of record since development first occurred.

*Avulsions: An abrupt change in the course of a stream that forms the boundary between two parcels of land resulting in the loss of part of the land of one landowner and a consequent increase in the land of another.

Check the Article Index page for more stories of Arizona geology.

Hurricane Florence and Fake News

It seems that Trump Derangement Syndrome infects everything, even hurricanes. With the approach of Hurricane Florence to the U.S. east coast, the fake news media are saying that the policies of President Trump, such as leaving the Paris Climate Accord, are contributing to global warming which, they claim, makes hurricanes stronger and more frequent.

A typical example is the Washington Post: “Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit.”

Perhaps the “Posties” should pay proper attention to the science which shows that there is no relationship between warming and frequency or strength of hurricanes.

Even the often politically correct National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says: “In summary, neither our model projections for the 21st century nor our analyses of trends in Atlantic hurricane and tropical storm counts over the past 120+ yr support the notion that greenhouse gas-induced warming leads to large increases in either tropical storm or overall hurricane numbers in the Atlantic.” (Source)

Research meteorologist Dr. Ryan N. Maue (website: keeps track of hurricanes and tropical cyclones. His data show, that as earth warmed from the cold spell in the 1970s (when the media were predicting return to another ice age) there has been no increase in frequency nor in the overall trend of energy in these storms.



In related article #1 below we find that “catastrophic hurricane strikes were more frequent 1,000 to 2,000 years ago than in the most recent 1,000 years.”

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” –Aldous Huxley

“The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” –Thomas Henry Huxley

Related articles:

1. Why Hurricanes Can’t Be Blamed On Global Warming

2. Houston’s long history of flooding

Climate Madness 12, California is craziest

Climate on this planet has been changing all by itself for about four billion years. Now, either through ignorance or presumed political advantage, some politicians think they can stop climate change. That policy represents the real danger of global warming. Their magic formula is to stop carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Instead, they promote generation of electricity mainly from utility-scale solar or wind installations. As I have written before, solar and wind generation cannot respond to demand and are ultimately very unreliable and very expensive for ratepayers. Solar and wind would not exist without mandates and subsidies.

(See Vote NO on Arizona proposition 127 the renewable energy mandate and the references in that article.)

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced five major reports none of which contain any credible proof that carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of global warming. In the third report, the IPCC admits: “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Following are some of the most recent manifestations of climate madness. We start with California climate craziness.

Climate Activists Want Gov. Brown To Shut Down Fossil Fuel Production In Calif.

By John Glennon

On the heels of Judge William Alsup’s decision to dismiss San Francisco’s and Oakland’s climate change lawsuits, local California officials are turning to new symbolic tactics, including pressuring Governor Jerry Brown ahead of his Global Climate Action Summit.

A group of 150 local elected officials sent an open letter to Governor Jerry Brown last week to chastise him for not completely shutting down fossil-fuel production in the state.

In the letter, the local officials demanded that Governor Brown pursue a meaty list of harmful and unrealistic policies:

“Recognizing that we are in a climate emergency, as you have rightly done, and given the grave public health and environmental justice consequences of fossil fuel production in California, we respectfully urge you to make a new statewide commitment and lay out a plan for California to achieve the following:

“End the issuance of permits for new fossil fuel projects, including permits for new oil and gas wells, infrastructure for fossil fuels, and petrochemical projects in California.

“Design a swift, managed decline of all fossil fuel production, starting with a 2,500-foot human health buffer zone around all occupied structures, public parks, and farms to protect public health and vulnerable communities.

“Commit the state to 100% clean, renewable energy, starting with significant investments in disadvantaged communities and areas that are already suffering the most from the negative impacts of fossil fuel extraction.” Read more Update: By a vote of 44 to 33, lawmakers in the California State Assembly passed SB 100, a bill that calls for the state to transition to emissions-free electricity production in less than three decades. Under the guidelines of the legislation, California must obtain 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. The state’s electricity generation must be completely carbon free by 2045. The bill still needs to pass the CA senate. (Source)


Analysis: California’s Solar Panel Mandate Lowers CO2 Emissions by 0.32%

By Elizabeth Harrington

California will mandate solar panels on new homes out of concern for climate change, a policy that will raise prices in the most expensive home market in the country and does little to decrease the state’s carbon footprint. MIT reports: “California estimates that the new rule will cut emissions by 1.4 million metric tons over three years, which is a small fraction of the 440 million tons the state generated in 2015.” Emissions would be reduced by 0.32 percent. Read more


Utility blaming climate change, not its fallen power lines, for California wildfires

By Thomas Lifson

My cable news viewing is frequently interrupted by commercials instructing Northern Californians that climate change is responsible for the state’s current ordeal with multiple large wildfires. This is a contemptible attempt by utilities to evade responsibility for the damages caused by their power lines located near combustible forests (made much more combustible by policies preventing harvesting “old growth” and clearing deadwood). Read more


California and the L. A. Times latest climate alarmist absurdities

by Larry Hamlin

The Times article fails to note the UN IPCC conclusions regarding the undisputed inadequacy of “climate models” which it described in its AR3 climate report as “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

The Times article provides speculative alarmist “model driven” assertions about future coastal sea level rise contained in the state’s report which it characterizes as “Until recently, scientists and state policymakers worked with a projection that sea level rise by the end of this century could amount to about 5.48 feet in California under the worst case scenario. But the latest reports and state policies are now accounting for the extreme possibility that sea level rise could exceed 9 feet.”

Of course as is always the case with these wild and absurd sea level rise claims actual California coastal sea level rise measured NOAA tide gauge data with records going back more than 100 years is completely ignored by the state and L. A. Times because it shows absolutely no coastal sea level rise acceleration occurring at the states coastal locations with sea level rise occurring at steady rates between about 3 to 8 inches per CENTURY. Read more


Other climate madness:

UN Appointed Climate Science Team Demands The End of Capitalism

by Eric Worrall

A team of scientists appointed by the United Nations has reported that a free market system cannot provide the economic transition required to defeat climate change. Read more


You can now bet for and against “global warming” with an online “climate bookie”

by Anthony Watts

Things just got stranger in the already strange world of global warming/climate change. You can now wager on it. Yes that’s right, you can put down money on temperature futures. An outfit called “PredictIt” is running a book on this question: “Will NASA find 2018’s global average temperature highest on record?” Read more


REPORT: How The Billion-Dollar-A-Year Climate Industry Weaponized State Attorneys General

by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller

A new report based on documents collected over two-and-a-half years through open records requests outlines an “elaborate campaign” by the “billion-dollar per year climate industry” to weaponize state attorneys general (AGs) in service of the global warming agenda.

That campaign culminated in what the report labels “law enforcement for hire” because it allows political donors to pay for state prosecutors “in the service of an ideological, left-wing, climate policy agenda.”

“It represents private interests commandeering the state’s police powers to target opponents of their policy agenda and to hijack the justice system as a way to overturn the democratic process’s rejection of a political agenda,” Competitive Enterprise senior fellow Chris Horner wrote in his report, a copy of which was given to The Daily Caller News Foundation. Read more

Somewhat related:

Smart meters: Data spy or key energy device

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has handed down a landmark ruling, stating that data collected by smart meters is protected by the Fourth Amendment.

The court pointed out that the smart devices, in fact, collect information for a deeper insight which can be obtained by thermal imaging tech. Furthermore, the court held that residents have a reasonable expectation of privacy and government access of this data constitutes, in essence, a search.

Jamie Williams, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: “The Seventh Circuit recognized that smart meters pose serious risks to the privacy of all of our homes, and that rotely applying analog-era case law to the digital age simply doesn’t work.”

This has shone the spotlight on whether or not smart meters can be used to spy on consumers. Through the collection of usage data at high frequencies (every five, 15 or 30 minutes), a clear picture can be garnered of activity occurring on the property.

Individual lifestyles can be examined, such as predicting daily routine, sleep patterns, meal times and periods away from the property. Read more


Previous climate madness articles:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6

Climate Madness 7

Climate Madness 8

Climate Madness 9

Climate Madness 10

Climate Craziness, Politics, and Hypocrisy