Archive for April 29, 2008

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation Has Switched to Cool Phase

Thanks to Watts Up With That? for reminding me of this news item regarding the PDO.

How significant is this? Well, it’s coming at a time when fuel prices are hitting new highs daily, food prices are shooting up thanks in part to commodities speculators and fuel transportation costs, China and India are becoming wealthier and their energy demand is up, and energy companies have been prohibited from exploiting known oilfields due to “environmental” concerns. The timing sucks in terms of more costly food production and transportation simultaneously hitting countries whose harvests will be adversely affected by cold and/or drought, for countries reeling under the devastation of the poultry industry by the H5N1 virus and rice shortages, and for the people that are going to have to deal with colder winters for years to come.

Per Watts Up with That:

Here is a short history of PDO phase shifts:

In 1905, PDO switched to a warm phase.
In 1946, PDO switched to a cool phase.
In 1977, PDO switched to a warm phase.

California agriculture has ridden a wave of success on that PDO warm phase since 1977, experiencing unprecedented growth. Now that PDO is shifting to a cooler phase, areas that supported crops during the warm phase may no longer be able to do so.

Cheap imported/transported foods are not going to be as inexpensive anymore. This could be a business opportunity for somebody with some unused land and the ability to grow food that did not do so previously because he/she was priced out of the market by lower-priced foods from across the nation as well as internationally.

So, what is a person to do? Shrug. Nothing, if you worship at the Church of Man-Made Global Warming with the Reverend Al Gore. Your mind is already made up.

For everybody else, I’d investigate to see what the weather in my area was like during the previous cold oscillation and prepare accordingly. Even though I live in Florida, my insulation ain’t all that it could be, and new energy efficient windows would probably be a good idea, particularly with electricity costs going up.


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Sharks May Migrate to First Coast

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL — Beachgoers may soon start noticing company in the water with a lot of sharp teeth.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the sharks spotted in the New Smyrna Beach area, where there’s been three bites in three days, are migrating north to the First Coast.

A NOAA shark expert says the sharks, black tips and hammerheads, will bite, even if unprovoked.

The expert says usually bites happen when the shark mistakes you for food.

Thomas Wright, with the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps, says there are some things you can do to avoid a bite, which are usually minor.

“Swim in front of the lifeguard, don’t go too far out, don’t wear shiny clothing or jewelry, and don’t swim too close to the pier,” said Wright.

He says the shiny clothes can look like the scales of fish.

He says there’s a lot of bait near the pier, which draw the type of fish sharks prey on.

Wright says while a shark can bite you just as easily in shallow water as in deep water, the farther out you swim, the farther help needs to travel to get to you.


IOW, not dressing like a fishing lure is probably a good thing here. Avoiding swimming near bait and where people are cleaning fish and throwing the guts back into the water is a good thing, too. Try not to accidentally step on or kick sharks. They don’t like that and don’t accept apologies, no matter how sincere. And don’t go out any further than you can swim back from with a missing limb, or that people can hear you scream for help.

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Florida Atlantic University Gets $8.75 Million for Ocean Energy Research

“We’re ecstatic,” said FAU lobbyist Tom Barlow. “The economy is not very strong and for the legislature to put this together shows they want to look at solutions to the energy problem.”

The $8.75 million is less than the $10 million that Gov. Charlie Crist had proposed giving FAU’s Ocean Energy Technology Center this year.

Still, researchers said the money will help further the center’s main projects, which include placing a turbine in the Gulf Stream to create energy, using deep ocean water as an air conditioner for coastal areas and generating energy from extreme temperature differences that naturally occur in the ocean.

Although harnessing ocean energy has been considered for more than a century, no system has been installed in the Gulf Stream for more than a few hours.

“We’re certainly honored that the governor and legislature see the potential in this program,” said Howard Hanson, FAU’s associate vice president for research.

FAU also was named to the proposed Florida Energy Systems Consortium, which is expected to generate collaboration between universities to increase energy conservation projects.

FAU’s ocean energy center, which is based in Dania Beach, was created in 2006 with $5 million in state “Centers of Excellence” funding.


Hope it works out. I’m really worried about our legislators wasting millions of our tax dollars on “green” energy alternatives while blocking things such as coal-fired generating stations that we know work.

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At What Point is it Time to Lock Somebody Up and Throw Away the Key?

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL — Police now believe a man wanted for shooting his wife may be hiding in the part of the First Coast where he grew up.

Levert Stewart, 26, is accused of shooting his wife in front of their children at Jacksonville Beach Sunday, the same day of the Opening of the Beaches celebration.

Levonte Stewart is recovering from three gunshots at Shands Jacksonville.

Investigator say Mr. Stewart grew up in northwest Jacksonville.

“We’re in an active manhunt so he doesn’t hurt anyone else,” said Jacksonville Beach Police Sgt. Thomas Bingham.

Stewart’s rap sheet is 13 pages long.

It includes charges of kidnapping, drug possession, domestic violence, and, at the time of the shooting, an arrest warrant.

“We consider him a habitual offender, a very violent offender, based on the very serious and violent acts he committed on Sunday and also his past criminal history,” said Sgt. Bingham.

Police say Stewart is armed and dangerous.

And since he shot his wife in broad daylight, police say there’s no telling what he could do next.


This is a young man whose adult rap sheet is 13 pages long. He probably has an equally long list of offenses as a juvenile. There has been a massive failure somewhere along the way.

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Boy Accused of Attacking Mom with Hammer

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A 10-year-old boy was arrested on charges of domestic battery and aggravated assault on Monday after attacking his mother with a hammer and fighting with his older brother, according to St. Augustine police.

Officers responding to a report of a domestic dispute in the 8500 block of Josiah Street about 9:30 a.m. were told by the boy’s mother that the incident started when he refused to go to school and she grabbed his bicycle to stop him from riding away.

She said the boy tried to push her over his bike, then went in the house, got a hammer and starting swinging it around. He got in a physical altercation with his 13-year-old brother, then swung the hammer at his mother.

The mother said when she grabbed the hammer away from the boy, but he punched her in the back and sides, then went outside and took off on his bike.

Officers were there when he returned and took the boy into custody, booked, then turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice. His name is not being used because of his age.

According to the police report, the mother was not injured.

Source: News4Jax

Anybody want to bet on whether this will be his only brush with the law? Whether he will finish school?

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Three-Year-Old Indonesian Boy Died From Bird Flu

JAKARTA, April 29 (Reuters) – A three-year-old boy from Indonesia’s main island of Java has died from bird flu, pushing the country’s total confirmed human cases to 108, a health ministry official said on Tuesday.

Lily Sulistyowati, the ministry’s spokeswoman, said in a statement that the boy from Manyaran village, Central Java, died on April 23 after suffering from respiratory problems.

Several chickens had suddenly died in the neighbourhood where the boy lived, Sulistyowati said, adding the boy had had contact with the birds.

Contact with sick fowl is the most common way of contracting the H5N1 bird flu virus, which is endemic in bird population in most of Indonesia.

The national bird flu commission said the virus had infected poultry in 31 out of 33 provinces in Indonesia. It said five provinces had not reported new cases in the past six months.

Experts say the danger is the virus might mutate into a form that people easily catch and pass to one another, in which case the transmission rate would soar, causing a pandemic in which millions of people could die.

Since the virus resurfaced in Asia in late 2003, it has killed 240 people in a dozen countries, the World Health Organisation says. Indonesia has the highest toll of any nation. (Reporting by Mita Valina Liem; Editing by David Fogarty)

Source: Reuters

Meanwhile, new bird flu cases have been found in Japan and South Korea.

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