Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rain, Rain, Stay Here for a While

When it rained here for 5 or 6 consecutive days here last month, I was able to turn off my lawn sprinklers for over a week. That's huge savings for me! It's all about saving money.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Earth Day vs. Obama's Earth Day

On Earth Day 2009, I walked to school with Punky to save money on gasoline and wear-and-tear on my car. In addition, we began car-pooling with neighbors to shuttle Russell to-and-from his behavioral therapist. On a related note, I managed to get the boys and myself to pee in the same toilet twice apiece before flushing. That's six times before flushing. Recall that I was able to reduce our water consumption by 25% in 2008 using techniques such as this.

On this same day, President Obama flew on a 747 jet from Washington D.C. to Des Moines, Iowa to promote energy conservation. This political ploy burned about 9,000 of fuel, roughly what Jenny and I would consume in about 20 years. But then again, I'm paying for it, and Obama's not.

Happy Earth Day! It's all about saving money!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chopsticks and Plastic Forks & Knives

We're been patrons of East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Alameda ever since we moved here 5 years ago. I've gotten so good at recycling, that now we bring our our reusable containers and bags for takeout and leftovers. But last month I did that one better. I went into our kitchen cabinet over the fridge and sorted out 5 years worth of unused chopsticks, plastic forks and knives that the restaurant places into our takeout bags and brought them back to East Ocean for reuse.

Thanks Low Impact, Man!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama's Hypocracy

Earlier this year, Barack Obama lectured us on the importance of conserving energy:

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.

“That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.

Now that he's the President, things haven't exactly gone as he promised. The New York Times reports:
The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”
Oh, I see. I turn down my thermostat at home to 60 degrees so that you can crank up the heat at the White House at taxpayer expense. What a typical liberal hypocrite.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recycling at a Preschool Concert

My younger son Punky recently sang at his preschool's Thanksgiving concert--the theme was "diversity", of course--and afterwards, I was recruited as a food server at the fund-raising luncheon. Hardly anyone showed up during the latter part of my shift, so I went into the back and began recycling the used aluminum serving trays that were left over from the previous shifts.

From my experience last year, I knew that many of the trays would not get recycled and those that did would still be very dirty and not ready for the recycle bin.

Sure enough, the serving staff staff had stuffed about 25 used aluminum trays into a so-called recycle bag, and just as many into garbage cans in the serving area. Most of them were covered with various sauces, grease or crumbs. I took them out of the bag and garbage cans and began hand-washing them in the school's kitchen. It took about 30 minutes to clean them all. Afterwards, I piled them neatly into a 2-foot stack and took them home to be recycled. For cash, of course.

It's all about the money! Ten dollars and fifty-five cents, to be exact.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Bottle of Shampoo

Readers of the pseudo-No Impact Man Blog love to brag that they use things like baking powder or mint leaves to wash their hair. Not me. I use Head & Shoulders because I've got dandruff.

But I will brag about the fact that it took me six (6) years to use a single bottle (super-size) of shampoo. During the last 2-3 months, I extended my use of the nearly-empty shampoo by adding water to the bottle in order to dissolve the shampoo sludge at the bottom. Now that's Low Impact, Man!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thirty Years of Warmer Temperatures Go Poof

Alternate title: Global Warming Washes Out

by Lorne Gunter

In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures -- they're going down, not up.

On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to "a negative PDO" or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs -- El Ninos -- produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones -- La Ninas -- produce below average ones.

Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as "solar minimums" magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded -- none -- and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. "This is no coincidence," he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.

Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.

Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather -- even harvest totals and censuses --confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe.
But in order to prove the climate scaremongers' claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented -- a result of human, not natural factors -- the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann's "hockey stick," in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies.

Dr. Loehle's work helps end this deception.

Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, "It's practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling," as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an "almost exact correlation" between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost "no correlation at all with CO2."

An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, "Man-made global warming is junk science," explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ... This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number."

Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a "hoax," a "fraud" and simply "not credible."

While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA's eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, "variations in global temperatures since 1978 ... cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide."

Moreover, while the chart below was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data and it clearly shows that in the past four years -- the period corresponding to reduced solar activity -- all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.
It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn't any global warming.