Sunday, May 16, 2010
May 2010 Colder in California
Some ask me why I continue to do articles on California's monthly temperatures on a legal blog. My response is that politicians in California wrongly approved AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Their reasoning for passing that law was, in part, to protect the globe and California from the disastrous consequences of man-made global warming, in particular, the warming that is (supposedly) caused by man's emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. I am convinced that the science does not support a link between CO2 concentration and global average temperature, as I have written about earlier.
Each of the past several months has shown that California is not heating, in fact, it is cooling. Droughts are not continuing, in fact, the Sierra snowpack is at more than 140 percent of normal as of April 30th. The lakes in California are full, and we are presently sending nearly 40 thousand cubic feet per second of fresh water down the streams and rivers into the Pacific. This does not include the water from the Colorado River, brought across the desert into Southern California. Heat waves and electric blackouts are not occurring as predicted by the authors of AB 32, in fact, the electric utilities are not stressed at all. Sea level off the coast is not rising as predicted, in fact, it is falling and has been falling for many years. None of the dire predictions that were foundational in AB 32's passing are true.
Fortunately, California has a provision for the voters to change bad laws, via the ballot initiative process. This year, for the November ballot, AB 32's fate will be decided. With the state's economy in shambles, unemployment at 12.6 percent and likely to climb much further with the recent group of high school and college graduates hitting the job market, and no prospect of the legislature cutting taxes to encourage economic activity, it is quite likely that AB 32 will be placed on hold for many years.
There is also the prospect of a federal law that will pre-empt all state laws on global warming, including California's AB 32. While the prospects of passing before November are slim, still, there is a slight chance.
Therefore, I once again refer to calclim.dri.edu, and the chart shown below. From NOAA's own data, California appears to be at least 4 degrees F colder than the "normal," and there is another week of cool weather approaching.
I'd like to be perfectly clear on my stance on environmental laws. I am in favor of reasonable, well-founded laws. I have seen polluted air, water, and land in many countries, and a few places here in the USA. I have worked overseas in some of that polluted air, and it is not at all good nor healthy. I am happy that the USA has the EPA, and state versions of the same. When our EPA bans or severely restricts emissions of toxic substances such as lead, mercury, benzene, and others, this is good in my view. I have choked for hours on diesel smoke in the tunnels connecting various parts of Rio de Janeiro, and am very glad we do not have that here. I have also held my breath or breathed through my sleeve to avoid inhaling car exhaust filled with unburned gasoline and oil. Our clean-burning engines with catalytic converters and oxygen sensors are a good thing. I have seen and worked in the orange air created by NOx plumes in industrial districts in certain countries. I have also worked in a country where no recovery systems were required to absorb chlorine gas leaks from a chlorine manufacturing plant. That was quite exciting when a leak occurred, which happened almost every day.
But the California legislature, and the US EPA, are very, very wrong in placing restrictions on CO2 emissions. The argument, the climate scientists say, is that CO2 triggers a follow-on mechanism of increased water vapor in the air, and that increases the earth's average temperature such that polar ice caps will melt. What the climate scientists fail to understand is that increased water vapor creates clouds, which in turn block the sun from ever hitting the earth. The net effect is one of cooling, not warming.
Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California