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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

References, Please, Al

If you look closely at the picture below, you will notice that the fence has a bunch of buzzards sitting on it. Buzzards don't fly well in the cold; I almost hit another one this morning:

I saw this note on the Drudge Report about how Al Gore explained that the massive storm was caused by Global Warming. Here is the quoted response to Bill O'Reilly's question, "Why has southern New York turned into the tundra?"

An Answer for Bill February 1, 2011 : 11:43 AM

Last week on his show Bill O’Reilly asked, “Why has southern New York turned into the tundra?” and then said he had a call into me. I appreciate the question.

As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming:

“In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.”

“A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”

Okay, then. So I supposed that the underlined words above, "man-made global warming," would take me to a list of references which would knock my socks off with support for Mr. Gore's allegation that global warming is the explanation for why I am freezing my backside off in Dallas. Instead, I was directed to an editorial, which also did not cite any references. The editorial was from a Chicago paper.

To misquote St. Bartholomew, "Can anything good come out of Chicago?"

I was really hoping on learning something about global warming from the man who has made a fortune preaching on the dangers of it. Instead, I find myself confronted with a bit of college humor born out of late nights in chemistry labs. When presenting data which was unsupportable, or suspicious, it was often referred to as 'POOMA,' which in its best description was translated into 'PULLED OUT OF MID-AIR.' More often it was known as 'pulled out of my armpit,' or some other anatomical region which begins with the letter 'A.' I shall give our former vice president the benefit of the doubt, and hope that he pulled the support for his argument out of mid-air.

In this case, some very cold air.


This is what inspired me to write the above. I was up all night on call, and after taking just under 2 hours to drive home on icy roads, I took a nap. When I awoke, I discovered that our hot water was not working. That is because we have 'tankless' water heaters which are attached to the outside of the house, and the water had frozen in the pipes leading to the heaters. We have two heaters; one on the East and one on the West side of the house. Last winter, when this happened, we thawed the pipes with a hairdryer. This year it is colder, with strong winds pushing the temperature into the single digits.

I mobilized my children to help me bring back the hot water. I would put up pictures of what we made, but our internet connection is being bad right now. I took a radiant heater, bought at Costco, and placed it by the tankless heater, and then the children and I constructed a windbreak to keep some warm air around the heater for a short time. Eventually the pipes thawed and we are back in business with hot water.

The problem: A tankless water heater exposed to the elements. This is the one on the East side of the house.

The heat source. This will warm anyones toes - and water pipes:

The solution. A windbreak constructed around the water heater, allowing warmed air and pipes to out of the wind. When we made this, the wind was really blowing strongly out of the North. Brrrrrr:

Many thanks to my children who helped make this work!

1 comment:

David Marciniak said...

POOMA...memories. Al has made it an art form.

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Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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