We’ll start out today’s blog with a video greeting from 5th graders at Lac Du Flambeau school. They are saying "hello" to northcentral Wisconsin using an Ojibwa phrase.
Now a couple of Halloween-themed viewer photographs.
This picture of a frightening tree sent in by someone named Truman.
A Packer jack-o-lantern carved by Shawna and Jason Hill
The big new in the weather forecast is cooler temps arriving over the next few days. A cold front is moving through the area this morning and temps will be falling into the 40s this afternoon. High temps will stay in the mid to upper 40s from Thursday through Sunday then an even stronger front will cruise through northcentral Wisconsin next Monday and this will usher in the coldest air of the season so far. High temps by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week might only be in the 30s with a chance of accumulating lake effect snow in the northwoods.
I just wanted to go back to a story or two that have occurred over the last couple weeks. This particular story is one that has garnered a lot of attention. It is how the world’s ocean’s are over fished and on the brink of disaster. It is certainly something to be concerned about and better fisheries management should be a priority, but is there really an impending disaster on the way? Here is a story from 10 YEARS AGO that claimed the same thing. Obviously during the last ten years there has not been a disastrous drop in the productivity of the world’s oceans. What happened? One thing that happened is that fish farming has increased to fill the need of fish consumption that cannot be handled by the oceans or is not profitable to harvest by traditional methods. Websites here, here, and here, indicate at least 30% of seafood consumed in the world is now farmed. Something else that has happened is that some countries have entered into regional pacts to create fish preserves. This has helped formerly depleted areas rebound and the trend toward more protected areas is increasing. Impending disaster? Seems unlikely.
Here is an article that caught my eye because of the title. "Unsustainable development puts humanity at risk". To which I can only say – duh! By definition, unsustainable development is a risk, in fact, isn’t it kind-of an oxymoron. I have been hearing that humanity has been living beyond its means ever since the 1980s and I am still waiting for something to happen. Instead, world food production has increased and we are using less land to produce that food all the while the population of the world has increased…..so….things have actually gotten better. We are finding ways to use less resources to produce more food (and more fish, as discussed earlier). One aspect of sustainability that is often discussed is fresh water. Some people are predicting catastrophic declines in fresh water. Some shortages have cropped up in parts of the world due to overuse and periodic drought (like the the southeastern U.S. this year). However just as was the case with fishing and other food production, people are already developing new ways to protect and produce fresh water. The same article that predicts water shortages in the U.S. goes on to mention how desalination plants are cropping up all over the world. The point is, people are not going to just sit around and die of thirst. They will work on solutions to prevent water shortages.
The only natural resource that we seem to be over using is fossil fuel. We are in no danger of running out of fossil fuels anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean these fuels will not become more expensive. Here is an article about declining world oil production. The article claims that world oil production peaked last year and that we can expect year-over year declines of 7%. From what I have read, that does not seem to unreasonable of a forecast. It means that $90 a barrel oil is just the beginning. These declines would certainly cause the price to rise above $100 maybe as early as next year and then eventually reach 200 a barrel within 5 or 10 years. If you hate paying $3 a gallon for gas, just imagine $5 or $10 per gallon. Like I have mentioned before, it is time to start preparing for high fuel costs now. Sell your gas-guzzler, get some solar panels for your house, move closer to work, get energy efficient lighting, etc… If you don’t take it into your own hands, eventually the government will force you to make changes and it might not be something that you agree with. The one thing that could help out in a big way is a big break-through in solar technology or nuclear fusion. It is possible that within 5 or 10 years a new and abundant source of electricity will be developed, thus easing the transition from an expensive fossil fuel economy to an electric economy.
This brings up an additional point, something I have mentioned a few times in the past. If oil production is already in decline and fossil fuels will become very expensive within the next decade, then the global warming theorists are WAAAAAAAAY off in their predictions of greenhouse warming by 2100. The global climate models (GCMs) use a "business as usual" fossil fuel scenario to predict catastrophe for the entire earth by 2100. The GCMs are using wildly unrealistic fossil fuel scenarios. I have contacted the IPCC in the past about this and I think it is about time I do it again. There is hardly a chance that by 2100, or even 2030, that human society will be using more fossil fuels than it is now. I’ll fire off a few emails to climate researchers and the IPCC and I’ll post their responses back here in the weather blog so stay tuned!
Meteorologist Justin Loew.
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This post was written by jloew on October 31, 2007