Sunday, February 10, 2008

A New “Quick Notes”

Welcome to a new edition of "Quick Notes". Once again I thought I would share a few stray thoughts.


The Presidential Race. There have been many developments on the Presidential front this week. With Romney dropping out (but not releasing his delegates), I am in the position of not supporting any of the candidates seeking the Presidency at this time. This is going to force me to really look at all of the candidates. I don't like many of the policies from McCain, Obama, or Clinton. I also don't like the thought of not voting for President. I will be doing some real soul searching on here over the coming months. I encourage you to help me discuss these candidates. Maybe we can figure out who the best President is together.


Georgia vs. Tennessee. I resist talking about state politics on here because I don't believe it will have any appeal to most of my audience. However, this story may give everyone a small smile after following the Presidential Race. It seems Georgia wants to redraw its boundary with Tennessee to get access to some of the water in the "demilitarized zone". While many in the Tennessee House got a good laugh out of this, I must admit I was a little embarrassed. Didn't my home state look bad enough going to Huckabee last week?


Iran and Iraq. Both countries are still in the news, though many haven't noticed while Obama, Clinton, McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and Edwards have been going at it. Things continue to improve in both Iraq and Afghanistan (though we still have a way to go). Iran is continuing to pursue nuclear technology. These three countries will continue to be issues into the next Presidents term. I hope to explore how each of these candidates looks at these foreign nations.


My Book List. On a personal note, I am trying an experiment this year. I am tracking what books I read over the course of the year. At this point, I am up to five. Three of them have been from the reading list I posted a few weeks back. I finished The Great Bridge, Iron Kissed, and Showdown. I posted a link to the entry for each of them in the original post. I am not sure the books would make a good post for this site. However, if you are interested in any of them, I would be happy to give you my take on them.


That completes this issue of "Quick Notes". I hope you enjoyed it!




Anonymous said...

So how would you say the water problem in Georgia should be resolved? The market solution would be to raise the price of water to reflect it's true cost.

Andy D said...

My first two ideas:

1) Allow Georgia more control over the water within its borders.

2) Begin constructing more reservoirs in North Georgia.

Kevin said...

Another idea is that Florida and Alabama actually start restricting water use too.

Perhaps we should also use dams for the purpose they were constructed for, flood and drought control. When there is a drought you slow the release of water so that you have enough to last the length of the event.

I agree with idea #1 of Andy's. Georgia had a "deal" worked out to get 25% of the water from the lake. The courts said no. Is it not odd that there are 3 states getting water from the river and Georgia asked for less then a third and was still told no.

I am not sure where more reservoirs would go in North Georgia or how they would help. There would have to be some pumping stations I suppose.

The market solution is a good idea too. Does not solve the 14 year water war but it does help the short term. Of course raising prices of water is like the rising prices of gas, it directly hurts the poor and drives the economy down.

I do not think trying to get our land back from Tennessee makes us look bad, going for Huckabee probably but not getting our land. It is sad that the Tennessee House would get a good laugh out of a federal law. If they want that land they can ask the federal government for a change. The only thing I can see that Georgia is doing wrong is asking to redraw the boarder. I say send the people who own the land in Georgia their tax bill and start using our water.

Anonymous said...

Reservoirs seem sensible. Would utlilies be building them, or the state government directly?

Andy D said...

In Georgia, I believe the state would have to. I am not sure if a private company can legally do it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Don't worry about predictions of more and worse drought caused by global warming. And don't worry about conserving water. Or that 70% of Georgia's water goes to cool your wasteful coal and nuclear plants. Don't worry about any of that: that would be like paying attention to your diet when you're too fat.

But you can start adding up how much all the response to the drought is going to cost.

In the end, economists say it would cost a lot less to solve global warming than to solve all of the thousands of problems (like water in GA) that global warming will continue to cause and exacerbate.

But Andy's ideas suggest that he and many other deniers will throw money at expensive band-aids rather than solve the roots of our problems.

And before you deniers blow a gasket: I know you can't ever definitively blame global warming for any particular weather event. Just like you can *never* definitively blame cigarette smoking for any particular case of lung cancer. But you've got to be retarded to conclude that therefore your smoking probably doesn't have anything to do with your lung cancer. If you don't want lung cancer, don't smoke. If you don't want drought, don't cause global warming.

Andy D said...

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to raise the specter of Al Gore’s religion. At least we had a reasoned debate up until now. So that we are all on the same page, I am going to continue to use the term “Global Warming” to refer to the theory that is now being called “Global Climate Change”. Activists are now trying to change its name so that it will describe ANY global event that might cause damage or a loss of life. For example, drought, hurricane, tornado, unusual highs, unusual lows, wildfires, and I suspect any failed UN resolution or Democratic legislation will be covered under this very broad umbrella.

Even if we grant your theory proper scientific respect (which I am not sure it deserves) the most knowledgeable people on your side of the argument can’t support the claim you make here. You claim, “…economists say it would cost a lot less to solve global warming than to solve all of the thousands of problems (like water in GA) that global warming will continue to cause and exacerbate.” First, no one knows for sure, and I can’t keep up with, all of the problems that global warming may or may not cause and may or may not exacerbate. Secondly, even supports of the Global Warming theory can’t say with any certainty whether or not we have the ability to “fix” global warming.

This is my biggest problem with this theory. It isn’t fact, and we are already jumping to the position of, “Let’s throw money at the problem anyways.” We don’t know if there really is a significant contribution to Global Warming from man. We don’t know if we have the ability to change the Earth’s climate (stop and think about that). We don’t know if we should change the Earth’s climate. And finally, we have no idea the cost involved with solving a problem we don’t know how to solve.

Anonymous said...


I'm glad you pay more attention to Republicans than to scientists on these water issues. It just makes the world a nicer place. Keep up the good work.

Kevin said...

anonymous what is powering that computer you are using?
Where did you get that 70% from? That seems high or made up.
that USAtoday article left an important thing out. Alabama and Florida have no water restrictions or very small ones that they enacted very recently. Raleigh just put theirs in to place. Georgia since May or June of '07 has had full restrictions.

I guess since Bush is out of the office in less than a year everybody is jumping from "it's Bush's fault" to "it's because of Global Warming." i mean Global Climate Change.

Anyway I'm out to the land where they hate Americans, Europe, for 10 days so have fun and say mean things about me while I'm gone.

Anonymous said...

pack04. You said that power plants using 70% of Georgia's water "sounds high or made up." I agree.

If it's true, it makes you wonder why some people make every excuse they can for these dirty power plants. With a little smart investment, solar and wind could be powering us right out of our water problems, our dirty air, and a screwed-up climate.

Here's the "high or made up" truth:

By Ken Foskett, Margaret Newkirk, Stacy Shelton
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 18, 2007

Historic drought worsens and the tri-state water battle escalates, Georgia policymakers are all but ignoring the region's biggest water guzzler. Electric utilities are the single largest users of the region's freshwater. In Georgia, electric utilities use 68 percent of all surface water, the single largest user in the state, according to 2000 data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the latest year available.

"We've been working really hard over the years to tell people when they flip that light switch, the water is running," said Sara Barczak, with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, an advocacy

Yet the link between power generation and water use has been virtually ignored in the debate over how to fairly allocate the region's water resources and plan for growth.

Neither of the region's principal blueprints for water use --- the state water plan and the North Georgia metro water plan --- include strategies for managing water demand by the power industry.

Where does water come up? In the state's official energy plan. It quotes research that makes the connection: The public "may indirectly consume as much water turning on the lights and running appliances as they directly use taking showers and watering lawns."

Carol Couch, director of the state Environmental Protection Division, declined an interview request to explain why the state water strategy doesn't include conservation by the biggest water user.

Andy D said...

If solar power and wind power are such great sources of energy, why do they require government investment? If they will out produce coal and other sources, why are there not more of them being built already?

Anonymous said...

Andy: who is paying to clean up the air from coal plants? Who is paying to deal with the health effects of coal-produced mercury in fish? Who is paying for my children's asthma medicine--that my doctor says is necessary because of air pollution? Who is paying for the rising sea levels and the drought-damaged crops?

All of those costs are at least partially costs associated with coal production. But you and I are paying those costs--not the coal companies. If coal had to pay for cleaning up its big and growing mess, it would be far more expensive than solar and wind.

And, by the way, solar and wind energy are booming--even while Republicans keep giving them a free pass on water use (see above) and subsidizing the oil and coal industries.

Andy D said...

First, there are no rising sea levels.

Second, if solar and wind are doing so well, then you and I are both in luck! If they are doing so good, they will be able to be used in more areas without any goverment subsidies. You and I both win!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that wind would be a good option for every geographic location in the country. What's wrong with Nuclear?

Anonymous said...

Should we take these points one at a time?

And said "there are no rising sea levels." I'm sure Andy isn't lying, so he must simply be wrong. Can he admit it?

Andy D said...

I am not lying because there aren't rising sea levels. You site Wikipedia as your source and I am suppose to apologize? Put aside for the moment their embarrassments over the accuracy of the site. The very post you link to notes that,"... it is not obvious whether the apparent decadal fluctuations represent true variations in global sea level or merely variations across regions that are not resolved."

Anonymous said...

Andy you're wrong again. The source of the sea level rise data in the link is Bruce C. Douglas (1997). "Global Sea Rise: A Redetermination". Surveys in Geophysics 18: 279-292.

But that would be a peer-reviewed scientific journal, not a talk radio host, so I'm not sure if you'll take it seriously.

Don't you get tired of being wrong? It's a lot easier to admit it, learn something, and move on.

Anonymous said...

Want more? Reality is a tough opponent for you, Andy... I promise I'll only be respectful when you admit you're wrong, and admit that, yes, sea levels are rising.

Andy D said...

We can both agree that sea levels fluctuate. Your original source even makes that point. The heart of your argument is that recent changes have more to do with "man-made global warming" than nature. The truth of the matter is that there is no science out there that proves that. And before you bring the old consensus argument back out, read this quote from a Newsweek article I came across in the new Glenn Beck book:

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.

The quote is from the April 28,1975 Newsweek. In the article, they are discussing the mounting evidence for Global Cooling.

Anonymous said...


It's a simple question.

Sea levels rising?

a) yes
b) no

Andy D said...

It is a simple question. However, there isn't a simple answer. On the surface I would say a) Yes. From what I have read, there is always a certain amount of variation in sea levels. It appears that recently they may be rising.

The real question is, "Are sea levels rising or lowering any more or less than is normal?" I keep stressing our environment is a dynamic entity. Even if man wasn't on the planet, the sea levels would change.

And this goes to the heart of the problem. We don't know the answer to my question.

Anonymous said...

Andy writes both of these statements on this same page:

"there are no rising sea levels"

"Yes... It appears that recently they may be rising"

I'm sure he'll quickly admit that he was wrong in his first post.

Right Andy?

Andy D said...

Anonymous, this is why I believe the man-made global warming movement is a scam. Are there rising sea levels? Yes, there are also lowering sea levels depending on the tides. When you are talking about the level or relative elevation of the surface of any body of water on the planet, there is going to be variation. If the sea is rising at any given time, that in and of itself means absolutely nothing.

So, if it will help you sleep at night, when I said there were no rising sea levels I was wrong. I was speaking of significance and changes over time. If you prefer to speak in absolutes, then yes there are both rising and lowering sea levels. Currently, they appear to be rising.

Anonymous said...

Andy, many of us don't want to come to the conclusion that people like you are being willfully ignorant. But it is a conclusion that is hard to avoid.

You compare the predictable ebb and flow of tides with the long term satellite-measured global rise in sea levels fed by declining (and satellite measured) land ice. Any elementary school student could explain why it is intellectually catatonic to confuse tides with long-term ice-fed sea-level rise. Therefore, many of us edge closer to believing that people like you really don't care about being truthful at all.

Andy D said...

Now wait a second. You got mad at me for saying that the sea levels aren't rising when what I meant was there wasn't a significant long term rise in sea levels. Now you are angry because I got more specific than you?

Anonymous said...

There is a long term trend of rising sea levels, corresponding to melting land-ice and rising ocean temperatures. You explicitly denied that this is true at least twice on this page.

You cited "variations" in sea levels including tides as an argument, which elementary school students know have nothing to do with the long term trend.

Both examples appear to me to be intellectually dishonest and shameful.

Andy D said...

To your first point: I do not believe there is a long term trend of rising sea levels that is out of the ordinary. Remember, nothing on the Earth is static, everything is constantly changing. This includes sea levels. I was trying to use tides as an example, but forget them for now. Don’t take my word on it. Nils-Axel Morner of Stockholm University has demonstrated that current seal levels are, “…within the range of seal level oscillation over the past three hundred years, while the satellite data show virtually no rise over the past decade.” If you want a bibliography on this note, let me know and I will provide it.

Tides may have nothing to do with long term trends, but just as tides ebb and flow, the sea level also changes over time. Simply because we see a 10, 20, or 50 year trend, that doesn’t mean anything within the Earth’s system has changed.

Anonymous said...

Another well-argued comment Andy:

1) Even though you previously said "there are no rising sea levels" now you say that the rise isn't "out of the ordinary." Which is it? And do you have a prediction of when the sea levels will begin to recede? I will bet $10,000 that in 25 years sea levels will be higher than they are today--barring emergency remediation or massive reduction in GHG. Are you confident enough to take the bet?

2) You cite a retired professor who studies historic earthquake patterns *and who has been debunked as a fraud for claims about his own paranormal abilities* as an expert on sea levels. Nice.

3) You quote the exposed paranormal earthquake expert claiming that satellite data shows "virtually no rise over the last decade." Would you care to print how much sea levels have risen since 1880, and then how much they've risen in the last decade, and whether that rise is a steady rise? Can you describe that as "virtually no rise"?

4) You're not concerned about a 50 year trend of rising sea levels. So, how much sea level rise is unacceptable to you? How long do you have to wait before you say that it's a problem?

Again, I don't think you're Einstein or anything, but I don't think you're dumb. Therefore I can't believe that you honestly believe these things you're writing.

Andy D said...

You illustrate the problem with this entire discussion. There is a tremendous body of evidence out there to support both of our sides. You continue to disparage scientist who don’t agree with you, but recently 103 scientists wrote a letter to the UN telling them they were wrong. There are good scientists debating both sides of this issue. You have looked at some of the data and some of the reports and have decided there is a problem that needs to be fixed and legislated against right now. Not even Kyoto claims to fix global warming.

You believe that it is safer to try to fix a problem that may or may not exist and instead of trying to find out if there is a problem. However, any “fix” to man made global warming would have drastic repercussions for our society. And what about the natural changes to our environment? We can’t change those. There will always be floods, hurricanes, tornados, and extreme hot or cold. If we pass all of the “magic fixes” for global warming, and still have natural disasters, what do we do then?

Anonymous said...

Again: $10,000 says you don't really believe these industry funded public relations scientists.

Andy D said...

I hate to tell you this, but no one can prove that massive reductions in GHG or emergency remediation will do anything to affect sea levels one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Here's what $10K says: science has *proven* that anthropogenic global warming is melting land based ice and raising sea levels. Without radical remediation, sea levels will continue to rise.

You say they aren't rising. Wanna bet?