The Lyre Snake – just mildly venomous

The Lyre snake is named for a V-shaped marking on the back of the head. This marking is often more prominent on females. Dark brown saddles occur on a light brown to light gray back. The underside is creamy-white or yellow with scattered brown spots. At first glance the Lyre snake may look like the common king snake. But, the Lyre snake’s neck is narrow, making the head appear more triangular, similar to other venomous snakes. Also, the eyes have pupils that are vertical slits rather than round as are on non-venomous snakes. Lyre snakes can get up to four feet long.

The Lyre snake (Trimorphodon lambda) is usually a nocturnal hunter, but can be found basking in the sun in the spring and fall. The main prey are lizards and mice, but the snake also goes after other prey including birds (It does climb trees).

The range of this snake includes most of Southern Arizona, and extends to southern Nevada and Utah, as well as northern Mexico. It favors the lower rocky canyons and arroyos of hills and mountains from sea level to 7400 feet (2300 m). A rock dweller, it wedges itself in the many crevices and fissures that are abundant in rocky areas. This snake is an occasional resident of flat lands, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

According to the Tucson Herpetological Society:

Lyre snakes are not usually dangerous to humans. “When threatened, the Sonoran Lyresnake will often rattle its tail. It will sometimes raise the anterior portion of the body, and strike and bite if further provoked.” The Lyre snake does not have fangs. Rather, “Toxins produced in a Duvernoy’s gland are delivered to prey and attackers via elongated, grooved teeth in the rear of the upper jaw. A large individual is capable of delivering a venomous bite to a person. Symptoms range from none to local redness, itching, swelling, and numbness, particularly if the snake is allowed to chew.”

 

For more photos and a very detailed description, see an article from the Tucson Herpetological Society: https://tucsonherpsociety.org/amphibians-reptiles/snakes/sonoran-lyresnake/ .

More snake articles:

Arizona Coral Snakes – pretty and very venomous

The Coachwhip a colorful snake

Gopher snakes

Kingsnakes versus Rattlesnakes

Mexican vine snakes

Rattlesnakes

Speckled Rattlesnakes

 

People for the West November 2019 newsletter

The People for the West November newsletter is now online. Main subject: Property rights.

“Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.” by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders (Fifth Amendment Treatise, 1997).

Read the whole newsletter at: https://wryheat.wordpress.com/people-for-the-west/2019-archive/2019-11-november/

The Panicled Aster aka Day of the Dead Flower

The Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum) is called the “Day of the Dead Flower” because of its use to decorate graves in an early November Mexican ceremony (Dia De Los Muertos) which honors those who have passed. This aster is one of several flowers used in these ceremonies. Other names include: panicle aster, tall white aster, eastern line aster, lance-leaf aster, narrow-leaf Michaelmas daisy, and white-panicle aster. Marigolds are also often used.

The flowers with white petals and a yellow center occur from Canada, throughout the U.S. and into Mexico. October is their peak season for blooming. (See more images here.)

The perennial flowers grow in clumps up to five feet tall and wide (sometimes larger). The petals turn more lavender-colored as the season progresses. The green leaves are up to six inches long. The green stems, which turn brown with age, are often grooved and have lines of hairs.

The nectar and pollen attract many kinds of bees, wasps, and butterflies as well as many other insects. Birds and mice feed on the seeds. Herbivores, including deer, rabbits, groundhogs, horses, cattle, and sheep, browse on the foliage.

The Zuni people used this plant for wounds and nosebleed. A salve of the dried plant was applied to skin abrasions. The smoke from burning dried flowers treated nosebleed.

Tea made from the blossoms produces a calming effect much like chamomile. The Iroquois used it to treat fever.

I took the photo at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum where the flowers are growing between the butterfly garden and the hummingbird aviary. ASDM says these flowers do well in a watered garden, part shade or full sun, or in a large patio container. They are frost tolerant and can be pruned in the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estimates of global warming reduction by reducing CO2 emissions

The current political climate is all about a “climate emergency” or “climate crisis” that is claimed to be in our future if we don’t drastically cut carbon dioxide emissions. To me, this claim is promoted either by people ignorant of how climate works or who are using it as an excuse to drastically change global economies away from capitalism and establish socialism.

In a previous post (Who is afraid of two degrees of warming?) I show that nothing bad happens even if we surpass the claimed climate tipping point. In this article I review several estimates of global temperature that will occur with various reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Bottom line: even if we stopped all carbon dioxide emissions it would not make any real difference.

Here are some estimates:

Bjorn Lomborg and John Christy Shred Climate Alarmism

by Marlo Lewis, Jr., Competitive Enterprise Institute (link)

The latest talking point of progressive politicians, pundits, and activists is that America cannot afford not to spend trillions of dollars to “solve the climate crisis” because global warming is an existential threat. Even a complete elimination of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would avert only 0.083°C to 0.173°C. A doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce global warming of just over one degree Celsius.

Analysis of US and State-by-State Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Potential “Savings” in Future Global Temperature and Global Sea Level Rise by Paul Knappenberger, Science and Public Policy Institute (link)

This paper shows that if Arizona stops all carbon dioxide emissions it could possibly prevent a rise in temperature of 0.0029°C by 2100. If the entire U.S. stopped all carbon dioxide emissions it could prevent a temperature rise of 0.172°C by 2100.

The impact of a complete and immediate cessation of all CO2 emissions from the U.S. on projections of future sea level rise would be similarly small—a reduction of the projected sea level rise of only 0.6cm by 2050 and 1.8cm (less than one inch) by the year 2100.

Impact of Current Climate Proposals (Paris agreement)

Bjorn Lomborg, Copenhagen Consensus Center (link)

This article investigates the temperature reduction impact of major climate policy proposals implemented by 2030, using the standard MAGICC climate model. Even optimistically assuming that promised emission cuts are maintained throughout the century, the impacts are generally small. The impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100. The full US promise for the COP21 climate conference in Paris, its so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) will reduce temperature rise by 0.031°C. The EU 20-20 policy has an impact of 0.026°C, the EU INDC 0.053°C, and China INDC 0.048°C. All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100. These impact estimates are robust to different calibrations of climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and different climate scenarios. Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades.

Reduce U.S. Carbon Emissions To Zero, And The Temperature Decrease By 2100 Will Be Undetectable by Patrick Michaels (link): Reduce U.S. Carbon Emissions To Zero, And The Temperature Decrease By 2100 Will Be Undetectable (0.052°C by 2050 and 0.137°C by 2100).

If these estimates are close to reality, then a total cessation of carbon dioxide emissions will hardly effect global temperature, but such reductions will devastate our economies.

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” – H. L. Mencken

“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

 

Related articles:

A Review of the state of Climate Science

Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth

Top UN official admits climate change is about transforming world economy

Who is afraid of two degrees of warming?

In the past several weeks we have seen many demonstrations by brainwashed young people and others who think the world will end if global temperatures exceed two degrees Celsius (now it’s down to 1.5 degrees). The trouble with that claim is that we’ve been there and done that and nothing bad happened. During the past 10,000 years (the Holocene), Earth experienced several cycles of warming and cooling which exceeded the mythical two degree limit. Civilizations thrived during the warm periods and had a harder time during cold periods. There is, in fact, no scientific basis to the two degree limit. The number was plucked out of thin air, see: The fake two degree political limit on global warming.

Kenneth Richard, writing on the NoTrickszZone blog, reviews several recent studies which show the dread two-degree limit has been exceeded many times during the warm and cool cycles of the Holocene.

Physical evidence from recent research shows that:

Sweden was at least 3°C warmer than it is today about 6000 to 9000 years ago, when CO2 concentrations lingered around 265 ppm. At 410 ppm CO2, 21st century Sweden is colder now than almost any time in the last 9000 years.

During the Medieval Warm Period, wine vineyards flourished in Scandinavia and Russia at the same latitude (55°N) where polar bears roam today.

Earlier in the Holocene, when CO2 levels hovered around 260 ppm, vast forests extended all the way up to the coasts of the Arctic Ocean (Russia), suggesting temperatures were up to 7°C warmer than today.

The southern limits of Arctic sea ice (north of Greenland) extended 1000 kilometers further north of where sea ice extends to today (2007), as Arctic Ocean temperatures were 2-4°C warmer about 8500 to 6000 years ago.

Throughout the Northern Hemisphere (Austria, Canada, Iceland, Russia), summer air temperatures were about 3° to 5°C warmer than today between 10,000 and 8000 years ago, when CO2 values held steady at 260 ppm.

Permafrost that exists today in northern Sweden wasn’t present just a few hundred years ago, as the region was too warm to support permafrost until recent centuries.

Tree trunk remains located 600 to 700 meters atop the limits of today’s barren mountain treelines (northern Sweden) date to the Early Holocene, suggesting temperatures were 3-4°C warmer than today from about 9000 to 6000 years ago.

***

One claim of the climate alarmists is that sea level rise is accelerating and will wipe out coastal cities. Since Earth is currently warming from one of the cold periods, sea level is rising slowly at the rate of 1-to 3.4 millimeters a year (about the thickness of one or two pennies). The rate of sea level rise is cyclical, controlled mainly by solar cycles. If you start counting at one of the low points in the cycle, then, yes, the rate appears to be increasing. See my article: The Sea Level Scam.

Carbon dioxide emissions and the “Greenhouse effect” are claimed as the chief villain in alarmist’s narratives. But, even if the entire world stopped emitting carbon dioxide, it would make a difference in global temperature of less than one degree Celsius by the year 2100. That’s because the Greenhouse hypothesis ignores convective heat transfer (weather) which shreds the greenhouse “blanket.”

See: Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Carbon dioxide emissions is the fake boogeyman. The UN admits that its real goal is to transform the global economy away from capitalism.

See: Top UN official admits climate change is about transforming world economy

Back in 2010, Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III, explicitly affirmed the economic objective: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection…One must say clearly that we redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy…”

In my opinion, most of the climate demonstrators have been sipping the “climate Kool-ade” and have become the “useful idiots” in the quest to transform the world economy.

Additional reading:

Real-world Evidence that CO2 Emissions and Fossil Energy Enhance the Human Environment

 

50 years of failed environmental and climate predictions

The following is a review of failed doomsday, environmental predictions over the past 50 years that received much press coverage and inspired bad policy.  The information was compiled by Myron Ebell, and Steven J. Milloy,  of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The article shows original newspaper headlines and articles as well as graphs showing the folly of the predictions. Read the original: https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions

Wrong Again_ 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions _ Competitive Enterprise Institute

SUMMARY

Modern doomsayers have been predicting climate and environmental disaster since the 1960s. They continue to do so today.

None of the apocalyptic predictions with due dates as of today have come true.

What follows is a collection of notably wild predictions from notable people in government and science.

More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science.

While such predictions have been and continue to be enthusiastically reported by a media eager for sensational headlines, the failures are typically not revisited.

1967: ‘Dire famine by 1975.’

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, November 17, 1967

1969: ‘Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam by 1989.’

Source: New York Times, August 10 1969

1970: Ice age by 2000

Source: Boston Globe, April 16, 1970

1970: ‘America subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980.’

Source: Redlands Daily Facts, October 6, 1970

1971: ‘New Ice Age Coming’

Source: Washington Post, July 9, 1971

1972: New ice age by 2070

Source: NOAA, October 2015

1974: ‘New Ice Age Coming Fast’

Source: The Guardian, January 29, 1974

1974: ‘Another Ice Age?’

Source: TIME, June 24, 1974

1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life’

But no such ‘great peril to life’ has been observed as the so-called ‘ozone hole’ remains:

 

Sources: Headline

NASA Data | Graph

1976: ‘The Cooling’

Source: New York Times Book Review, July 18, 1976

1980: ‘Acid Rain Kills Life in Lakes’

Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, IN) April 9, 1980

But 10 years later, the US government program formed to study acid rain concluded:

Associated Press, September 6, 1990

1978: ‘No End in Sight’ to 30-Year Cooling Trend

Source: New York Times, January 5, 1978

But according to NASA satellite data there is a slight warming trend since 1979.

Source: DrRoySpencer.com

1988: James Hansen forecasts increase regional drought in 1990s

But the last really dry year in the Midwest was 1988, and recent years have been record wet.

Source: RealClimateScience.com

1988: Washington DC days over 90F to from 35 to 85

But the number of hot days in the DC area peaked in 1911, and have been declining ever since.

Source: RealClimateScience.com

1988: Maldives completely under water in 30 years

Source: Agence France Press, September 26, 1988

1989: Rising seas to ‘obliterate’ nations by 2000

Source: Associated Press, June 30, 1989

1989: New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019

Source: Salon.com, October 23, 2001

1995 to Present: Climate Model Failure

Source: CEI.org

2000: ‘Children won’t know what snow is.’

Source: The Independent, March 20, 2000

2002: Famine in 10 years

Source: The Guardian, December 23, 2002

2004: Britain to have Siberian climate by 2020

Source: The Guardian, February 21, 2004

2008: Arctic will be ice-free by 2018

Source: Associated Press, June 24, 2008

2008: Al Gore warns of ice-free Arctic by 2013

But… it’s still there:

Source: WattsUpWithThat.com, December 16, 2018

2009: Prince Charles says only 8 years to save the planet

Source: The Independent, July 9, 2009

2009: UK prime minister says 50 days to ‘save the planet from catastrophe’

Source: The Independent: October 20, 2009

2009: Arctic ice-free by 2014

Source: USA Today, December 14, 2009

2013: Arctic ice-free by 2015

Source: The Guardian, July 24, 2013

The paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02550-9 (open access)

Gas hydrate dissociation off Svalbard induced by isostatic rebound rather than global warming

Abstract

Methane seepage from the upper continental slopes of Western Svalbard has previously been attributed to gas hydrate dissociation induced by anthropogenic warming of ambient bottom waters. Here we show that sediment cores drilled off Prins Karls Foreland contain freshwater from dissociating hydrates. However, our modeling indicates that the observed pore water freshening began around 8 ka BP when the rate of isostatic uplift outpaced eustatic sea-level rise. The resultant local shallowing and lowering of hydrostatic pressure forced gas hydrate dissociation and dissolved chloride depletions consistent with our geochemical analysis. Hence, we propose that hydrate dissociation was triggered by postglacial isostatic rebound rather than anthropogenic warming. Furthermore, we show that methane fluxes from dissociating hydrates were considerably smaller than present methane seepage rates implying that gas hydrates were not a major source of methane to the oceans, but rather acted as a dynamic seal, regulating methane release from deep geological reservoirs.

 

2013: Arctic ice-free by 2016

Source: The Guardian, December 9, 2013

2014: Only 500 days before ‘climate chaos’

But…

Sources: Washington Examiner

See also: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/29/a-brief-history-of-climate-panic-and-crisis-both-warming-and-cooling/ 

 

 

Electric Vehicles Need Fossil Fuels

It seems that all Democrat candidates for president want to get rid of fossil-fuel-powered automobiles and have us all drive electric vehicles. But guess where the electricity to charge those vehicles comes from – mostly from burning natural gas or coal.

The other main problem with pure electric vehicles is their limited range. That problem has been solved, sort of.

In Australia and New Zealand, they are deploying small, diesel-powered generators. See photo below.

Another solution is to tow a generator behind your EV. Unknown to me, this option has been available for some time and for several car models. See Cars with Cords for photos of several models. Of course, this option turns your pure EV into a hybrid.

See also: Low-Emission Range Extender for Electric Vehicles, a 10-page analysis of the pros and cons of towing a generator. The article begins:

“Typical auto trips are within the driving range of efficient electric vehicles (EVs), but typical vehicle use also includes occasional trips that exceed EV range. EV users may face the necessity of maintaining a second car, or renting a car, for such trips. An alternative is the use of a range extending trailer (RXT), a trailer-mounted generator that, when towed behind an EV, effectively converts the EV to series-hybrid mode for long trips.”

Back in 1896, Thomas Edison told Henry Ford to forget about electric vehicles and stick to his gasoline engines. (source) Is this advice still relevant?

My article from 2010 gives a history of electric vehicles:

The Chevy Volt, Just the Latest Expensive Toy

 

 

 

 

Tucson’s Trendy Electric Scooters Won’t Reduce CO2 Emissions But Will Cause Injuries

Tucson and Pima County officials seem to embrace many climate-related eco-fads such as the electric street car, the rails of which proved to be a hazard to bicycle riders. On Wednesday, September 4, the city had a pre-launch event to introduce electric scooters, the use of which officially starts on September 12.

This program has not been without controversy.

In a Mar 3, 2019 story (link), Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star noted some comments:

Councilman Steve Kozachik:

“We’re inviting up to 1,500 e-scooters into the most densely populated part of the city, including them in the mix of pedestrians, the streetcar, buses and cars, on narrow commercial streets, and inviting them to clutter sidewalks that are already narrow and active. It’s a recipe for accidents, enforcement obligations and just more headaches that we simply don’t need.”

Councilman Paul Durham:

“E-scooters present an opportunity to cut greenhouse gas emissions and decrease congestion. I support (the city’s transportation department’s) pilot program because it allows us to conduct a six-month, controlled experiment to determine if e-scooters are right for Tucson.”

But:

Electric Scooters Aren’t So Climate-Friendly After All

by James Temple (MIT Technology Review, link)

Summary from the article:

A scooter promoter claimed “Your ride was carbon-free.” But a study concludes “that dockless scooters generally produce more greenhouse-gas emissions per passenger mile than a standard diesel bus with high ridership [sic], an electric moped, an electric bicycle, a bicycle—or, of course, a walk.”

Researchers at North Carolina State University conducted a “life-cycle assessment” that tallied up the emissions from making, shipping, charging, collecting, and disposing of scooters. (Read study in Environmental Research Letters).

The study concludes:

“…our Base Case calculations for life cycle emissions show a net increase in global warming impact (greenhouse gas emissions) when compared to the transportation methods offset in 65% of our simulations. Taken as a whole, these results suggest that, while e-scooters may be an effective solution to urban congestion and last-mile problem, they do not necessarily reduce environmental impacts from the transportation system.”

Some cities report problems and ban the scooters:

Nashville is banishing the scooters after its first scooter-related death. The city’s mayor David Briley notified seven scooter companies operating in Nashville he was ending the pilot project and banning electric scooters from the streets. We have seen the public safety and accessibility costs that these devices inflict, and it is not fair to our residents for this to continue.”(Source)

First-time scooter users creating headaches and many accidents in Chicago and other pilot cities (Source).

Skip, one of two companies permitted to rent e-scooters in San Francisco, has pulled its fleet of vehicles in SF and in Washington DC after a vehicle burst into flames on a DC street last week. (Source).

CDC report: Nearly half of e-scooter riders in safety study had serious injuries (Source).

A recent study by Consumer Reports shows that at least eight people died while using a rented e-scooter since the fall of 2017, while another 1,500 were injured, including some who were paralyzed. (Source).

Boom in electric scooters leads to more injuries, fatalities (Source).

Scooter Rage Is A Thing Now. Mobility administrators and advocates in the very progressive city of Portland, Oregon, for example, just fished 57 Lime, Bird and Razor scooters and a few shared bikes out of the Willamette River, which runs through the heart of the city (Source).

Related:

Political correctness and your carbon footprint

Modern Streetcar turning into another City boondoggle

Florida Major Hurricane Strikes: No Significant Increase in Intensity from Sea Surface Warming

September 4th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Summary: Twenty-two major hurricanes have struck the east coast of Florida (including the Keys) since 1871. It is shown that the observed increase in intensity of these storms at landfall due to SST warming over the years has been a statistically insignificant 0.43 knots per decade (0.5 mph per decade). Thus, there has been no observed increase in landfalling east coast Florida major hurricane strength with warming.

Read more at Dr. Spencer’s blog here.