Monday, August 31, 2015

Preparations for Global Cooling

Subtitle: Military Prepares for Multiple Threats - So Should We

A recent post (see link) discussed Dr. S. Fred Singer's article on global cooling and what can be done to prepare for that.    Dr. Singer also has two recommendations to prevent, or at least mitigate, the global cooling: 1) place black soot on summer snowfields to melt them, and 2) inject water vapor at high altitudes to form ice crystals.  The ice crystals would (his words) "create regions of strong greenhouse forcing." 

I wrote on this, and made a speech on this (see link) in May, 2012 to the Southern California Chapter of AIChE, American Institute of Chemical Engineers.   (Warmists are Wrong, Cooling is Coming).    A short excerpt from that speech follows, noting that the audience was comprised of chemical engineers.  (aside, that article on Warmists are Wrong is the number one, most viewed of all posts on SLB) 

From the Warmists Are Wrong, Cooling is Coming speech:

"Now, what are the implications of global cooling? Well, we all know that unless you're a snowboarder or a skier, cold is bad.  The experiences we had as a society back in the Little Ice Age were very brutal and grim.   People died.  Animals died.  Crops failed.  The bright spot is the winter resorts are going to love it.  If you can imagine, there will be several feet of snow or worse for many months for the entire United States anywhere north of Nebraska.  The Rocky Mountains will likely be impassable due to snow and ice and avalanches.   Chicago will probably become a ghost town. 

"So, for what are engineers needed to help in all this?  Everything.   Let me ask a question of the audience:  how many years of stored up food does Earth have? [answer:] One year? [another answer] A little less than one? Anybody else?  Is it two or three, or seven years like in the Bible? Well, I was astonished when I went to look this up.  It is less than three months, depending on which grain you look at.  You can go to the USDA website, where there is a world analysis.  They keep track of how much food is out there.  This make sense in a way, because we are a modern society and we know how to grow things and we know how to store things.   We have not stored too much; maybe the food doesn't taste as good or some of it spoils.  We have become a just-in-time society, but that may be a bad plan right about now.  Depending on which grain, we have anywhere from one month to three months.  That is a serious point.   Can engineers help on the food side? I don't know.

"Are there better fertilizers? Are there ways to grow crops that can use your talents? Possibly. Somebody asked me once, and she was not an engineer, and she asked can’t we just grow them all under greenhouses?  I thought well, that will take a lot of material to make the greenhouses. So, maybe.  Perhaps there is some polymer science needed.   What are we to do about hail storms?  Again, maybe there's some polymer science application.  Can we design a polymer so that the hail bounces instead of  breaking through? 

"Clothing:  we will need a lot more warm clothing.  This means synthetic fibers. 

"Shelter:  almost all of what has been built in the last 70 years or so was during the warm climate. Much of it is not insulated to handle the type of cold that is coming.  I foresee a booming insulation business.  The flat roofs on buildings, not necessarily in California but in the rest of the world and in the northern part of the United States, may not be adequate.  We may need to have some different type of roofs installed.  The roofs must shed snow.

"Medical supplies and health services: I believe we will be overwhelmed. Look at the relative death rates from hunger and cold, comparing heat to cold periods.  More people get sick and more people die in the cold winters.

"Transportation and industrial output:  this will be huge.  We do not move barges over frozen rivers.  We know this.  When a river is frozen for many months out of the year, how can you get your materials moved?  What about trains or heavy ground transportation; will they work? Probably not. The train is going to cross the Rockies’ grades in the snow and ice?   Likely not.

"Industrial output: how does one move materials around?  How do we get raw materials into the factories and the products out?  If we have seen big trucks trying to go up even a small incline during an ice storm, well, they don't.  We can not get trucks to go up or down the Grapevine incline here just north of Los Angeles when a little snow falls.  Multiply this 1000 times across the northern tier of the United States.

"Communications and infrastructure: we know what happens when ice storms or big snowstorms occur.   The system fails.  Why does it fail?  It is due to ice on the lines or tree limbs falling on the lines.  Can you imagine this on the scale something like the Little Ice Age?  We’re going to need serious reconsideration of infrastructure.

"Water supply: what does one do for water when everything around you is frozen? Well, you melt the ice.  But, what do you do for heat?  What if you need that heat just to keep the house warm?

"Here's another one, population migration: it is entirely possible that some of the northern cities, talking about New York, Chicago, those type of places, where people give up and become what we call permanent snowbirds. They are moving south.  The implications there are huge. It is okay if one hundred thousand people migrate every winter, but what if we have multiple millions on a permanent basis?  We are not equipped to handle this.

"Waste disposal: what will we be doing in the wintertime month after month after month when trucks cannot collect the garbage?  Where do we take it?   I don't really know. As engineers, I hope we can help solve these problems.  It probably will require many disciplines and cooperation between disciplines."

Preparedness Is Required

One might question the wisdom of preparing for Global Cooling when so many scientists claim that global warming is what we must expect.  As Dr. Singer wrote in his article, Global Cooling is reasonably sure, while Global Warming is iffy. (meaning highly uncertain).  

It is reasonable to examine how other areas of society prepare for various uncertain outcomes.   In the military, one prepares for each enemy, not just one.  In agriculture, many areas have great variations in rainfall that cause floods and also droughts.   Both conditions, flood and drought, destroy crops and can lead to population starvation.   It would be stupid, indeed, to install only irrigation capability to sustain crops through droughts, perhaps by transporting water from a distant region.   To ignore the floods, to not install dams to hold back the flood waters, would be incredibly stupid.     In investing in the securities markets, a wise strategy is to be prepared for several market sectors to perform at different levels.  

Therefore, Dr. Singer is absolutely correct, that "there is little doubt that a near-term cooling is among the major calamities facing the population on our planet; concern about global warming is entirely misplaced. A Little Ice Age . . . may arrive within decades—perhaps much sooner. The end of our warm Holocene inter-glacial is rapidly approaching. There is no time to lose in preparing for survival. A paradigm change is essential."

Our United States, and other nations of the world, should heed those words.  Preparing for only one outcome, global warming, is stupid, idiotic, even suicidal when a second and far worse calamity, global cooling, is looming.  (note, these are my words, not those of Dr. Singer). 

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California

copyright (c) 2015 by Roger Sowell all rights reserved

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