Miscellaneous Stories

Scrabbling at home

The first rule of cat ownership is that cats and jigsaw puzzles can’t coexist under the same roof. Since my wife Lonni and I are both word lovers, we resolved this issue with Scrabble. It’s become part of our daily routine and provides pleasurable brain exercise and together time.

We play “Super Scrabble” which has a bigger board and twice as many pieces as regular Scrabble.

Lonni, being a writer (click on Lonni’s murder mysteries above), is a much better speller than I am, but I’m a better tactician so we often break even in number of games won.

Lonni also allows me to employ two consultants, Bentley and Butler. These orange cats often watch the game and occasionally adjust tile placement.

The games often take about an hour to complete; longer if Bentley and Butler do more “adjusting”.

Wildlife in my yard

I live in the foothills on the west side of Tucson, AZ, amid a forest of saguaros, prickly pear, senita, and other types of cactus, and Palo Verde trees which produce edible beans as do the mesquite trees. I put out hummingbird feeders, quail blocks, and water. All of this attracts wildlife.  I am a “back porch” birder and have so far observed more than 70 species of birds. The photos below show some of the wildlife in my yard. Since these days, you may have time, why not explore nature in your yard?

The Blue Palo Verde trees start to turn the desert golden during mid-April and are followed by blooming of Foothills and Mexican Palo Verde trees.

Sometimes javalinas pass through the scene above:

Javalina porn:

Bobcats occasionally visit (they especially like my neighbor’s chicken coop):

Cooper’s hawks patrol the back wall:


American Kestrels stop by for lunch:

Baby squirrels play on the wall but must keep watch for hawks:

Tarantulas lounge by the pool (I’ve found this one swimming):

A Roadrunner laughs about it:

A Phainopepla peeps into the bedroom window. He also makes a mess by pooping out mistletoe seeds:

A Gila woodpecker keeps watch from the ocotillo plant (the flowers of which make a nice salad garnish):

Gambels Quails visit the bird block:


Mourning doves like to nest on the back porch window sills:


A female spiny lizard likes my rocks:

And there are hummingbirds:




Sometimes there is an unwanted visitor who is encouraged to move on:

What can you find in your yard?

People for the West newsletter for January 2020 now online

See https://wryheat.wordpress.com/people-for-the-west/2020-archive/2020-01-january/ 

This newsletter gives links to many climate and energy articles. I notes that even a complete elimination of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would avert only 0.08°C to 0.17°C of warming by 2100.

The newsletter also discusses How CO2 emissions and fossil energy improve human prosperity

Our Motto: Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands

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/

Carbon dioxide and ten thousand dots

The graphic below contains 10,000 dots. Total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is represented by just four dots. Human carbon dioxide emissions are just one dot. Yet some believe that this one dot, 0.0125% of the atmosphere, is the major control for global temperature.


Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect 

The Broken Greenhouse – Why CO2 is a minor player in global climate


Fourth National Climate Assessment, Part 2 – no science, just scaremongering

On November 23, 2018, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released Part 2 of the Fourth National Climate Assessment as required by law. [link to report] You may have read in the always credulous “mainstream” media about all the doom and gloom prophecies in the new report. Part 1 was released last November.

Both reports are based on computer modeling rather than on physical observations. Please read my comments on Part 1 here:

Fourth National Climate Assessment is junk science

Much of the latest USGCRP report is vague and unsubstantiated. It is really a political report rather than a science report. It offers no hard evidence, just vague assertions and claims that past climate change is no evidence about future climate change. It does not meet the standards of the Information Quality Act, and each page should be stamped: “Based on speculation, not hard evidence.” Part 2 is based almost entirely on one extreme climate model, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, (RCP8.5) which is an outlier from most other models. Even the UN’s IPCC is phasing out that model.

The scaremongers have a problem. Since the first National Climate Assessment in 2000, U.S. temperatures show no net change. Nature is not cooperating with the political narrative.


“The problem with these sorts of ‘studies’ is the main conclusion is already made before the actual work begins. These academics aren’t studying to see if the changing climate is caused by man or nature, it’s simply accepted as faith that it’s man’s fault. So these studies are done to reinforce preconceived notions and justify jobs. These academics who conduct them have to justify their jobs and bring in grant money, government grant money; our money.” – Derek Hunter, Townhall (link)


4 Problems With the New Climate Change Report

1. It wildly exaggerates economic costs.

One statistic that media outlets have seized upon is that the worst climate scenario could cost the U.S. 10 percent of its gross domestic product by 2100. The 10 percent loss projection is more than twice the percentage that was lost during the Great Recession.

The study, funded in part by climate warrior Tom Steyer’s organization, calculates these costs on the assumption that the world will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. That temperature projection is even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In other words, it is completely unrealistic.

2. It assumes the most extreme (and least likely)climate scenario.

The scary projections in the National Climate Assessment rely on a theoretical climate trajectory that is known as Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5. In estimating impacts on climate change, climatologists use four representative such trajectories to project different greenhouse gas concentrations.

To put it plainly, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 assumes a combination of bad factors that are not likely to all coincide. It assumes “the fastest population growth (a doubling of Earth’s population to 12 billion), the lowest rate of technology development, slow GDP growth, a massive increase in world poverty, plus high energy use and emissions.”

3. It cherry-picks science on extreme weather and misrepresents timelines and causality.

4. Energy taxes are a costly non-solution.

The National Climate Assessment stresses that this report “was created to inform policy-makers and makes no specific recommendations on how to remedy the problem.” Yet the takeaway was clear: The costs of action (10 percent of America’s GDP) dwarf the costs of any climate policy.

The reality, however, is that policies endorsed to combat climate change would carry significant costs and would do nothing to mitigate warming, even if there were a looming catastrophe like the National Climate Association says.

Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposed a carbon tax of between $135 and $5,500 by the year 2030. An energy tax of that magnitude would bankrupt families and businesses, and undoubtedly catapult the world into economic despair.

These policies would simply divert resources away from more valuable use, such as investing in more robust infrastructure to protect against natural disasters or investing in new technologies that make Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 even more of an afterthought than it already should be. The Heritage Foundation

More Comments

“The scientists who wrote the National Climate Assessment used unreliable information that exaggerates the risks global warming poses.” – University of Colorado Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.

“This report from the climate alarmist Deep State in our government is even more hysterical than some United Nations reports. The idea that global temperatures could rise as much as 12 degrees in the next 80 years is absurd and not a shred of actual data and observation supports that. And as noted in Climate Change Reconsidered, sea levels have not been rising at an accelerated rate, and global temperatures have stayed largely the same for much of the last 20 years.” – Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D., President & CEO, The Heartland Institute

“I have never seen such blatantly absurd conclusions drawn entirely from mathematical models that use only a limited number of variables. Of course, this shoddy science by Obama-era appointees serves its real purpose: producing a preordained political outcome that puts more power and money in the hands of the United Nations.

“The physical evidence proves conclusively that sea level is not rising at increased levels. The frequency and strength of hurricanes has been declining for years, not increasing. The same goes for tornados, floods, and forest fires. In fact, there is no evidence that further increases in carbon dioxide emissions will have any deleterious effect on the planet or its temperature.

“This report is a scientific embarrassment. Not only does it rely on computer models to predict the climate through the end of the century, it relies on computer models from five years ago that have been laughably wrong, failing to get even close to reality since 2013. Happily, President Trump has on his advisory staff Dr. William Happer, who knows how flawed these models are and will advise the president to not base a single aspect of U.S. policy upon them.” – Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Science Director, The Heartland Institute

According to the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (http://www.co2science.org/):

“Real-world observations fail to confirm essentially all of the alarming predictions of significant increases in the frequency and severity of droughts, floods and hurricanes that climate models suggest should occur in response to a global warming of the magnitude that was experienced by the earth over the past two centuries as it gradually recovered from the much-lower-than-present temperatures characteristic of the depths of the Little Ice Age. And other observations have shown that the rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with the development of the Industrial Revolution have actually been good for the planet, as they have significantly enhanced the plant productivity and vegetative water use efficiency of earth’s natural and agro-ecosystems, leading to a significant ‘greening of the earth.’” Read 168-page report

Comment from the Science and Environmental Policy Project (http://www.sepp.org/):

“Humanity evolved in the tropics about 200,000 years ago during periods of extreme climate change. The current warm period, the Holocene Epoch, started about 11,700 years ago. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the earth has experienced three periods of climate change since emerging from the depths of the last Ice Age into the Holocene Epoch. Agriculture began during the Greenlanddian Age, the warmest time of the Holocene Epoch. Civilization began during Northgrippian Age, warmer than today, about 8200 to 4200 years ago. During the subsequent cooling, about 4200 years ago, humanity suffered and cultures disappeared. These changes appear to be unrelated to carbon dioxide (CO2). Yet the USGCRP declares that climate has been stable for 12,000 years and humanity is threatened by global warming from CO2?”

Humans adapted to Younger Dryas 

Climate change is real, climate has changed throughout the Earth’s history and will change in the future. Many times in human history climate has changed more rapidly than it is changing today, these changes are documented here and here. Probably the best example is from the end of the last glacial period, 11,700 years ago, after the Younger Dryas cold period, when temperatures rose 5-10°C in just a few decades in the Northern Hemisphere. This is an astounding 9°F to 18°F in much less than 100 years. Humans adapted and even thrived during this change, which occurred at the dawn of human civilization. Despite this evidence, NCA4 insists that recent warming is unprecedented, this is a clear error in the report. (Source)

By the way: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, between 2005 and 2017, U.S. energy related emissions of carbon dioxide plunged by 861 million metric tons, a 14% drop due mainly to the fracking revolution. During the same period, global emissions rose by 21% due mostly to China and India economic development.

Related articles:

Making climate predictions by S. Fred Singer

Reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide emissions will have no significant effect on global temperatures. See why:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Climate change in perspective

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.

Website: http://womankraft.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/womankraft

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