Episode-1264- Winter is Here and it is Only Going to get Colder — 100 Comments

  1. According to the NOAA site:

    As of Dec. 11, 2013, 62.1% of Lower 48 states is covered

    And up here in PEI, we have had an incredibly cold December, longest since I have been here. Seventeen years . We are going to 5F tonight. That is typical mid Feb weather for us

  2. A few days ago in the Southern California high desert, we tied the record low for that day of 13 degrees set in, if I remember correctly, 1978. No precipitation for us (sigh), just cold and some wind. I did learn that my chickens will go into their pen voluntarily at night when it’s cold and the wind is blowing!

  3. Jack, global warming is sooo 2005! The term has been changed to “climate change” which of course, encompasses heat and cold. And as you testify, winters are colder where they normally were not. Get with it buddy. You’re steering your listeners wrong.

    • I think Jack covered that, and I do believe he said that it does not matter how you feel about it or what you call it… just be prepared for change!

  4. A quick and very temporary solution for walking on ice is to spray hair spray on the soles of your shoes. Will work on tires too but will only last seconds which is often enough to get you moving. This is NOT an alternative for chains or good winter tires but will get you off that slippery spot.

  5. I didn’t have terra cotta pots, so I used a pizza stone and candles. It worked! It gave off a good little bit of heat. Chose to set it up in a smaller room for obvious reasons.

    • I was just going to mention these. I live in the Colorado mountains, and any areas that get traffic during the winter (trails, roads, areas around my house) are packed with ice for most of the winter. I’ve owned many different brands and varieties, and these have lasted by far the longest.

  6. I wanted to add a couple of things for the listeners and Jack. First I am from Maine and I can tell you that chains will help but do not think that you are going to be able to just stop and go like you were on tar, stopping and steering will still be dicey so use caution. Second for those in the north criticizing people in the south dont forget we in the north get caught with our pants down in the summer when it gets above 100 degrees and all the air conditioners sell out.

    • Agreed. A few years back we had a really bad ice storm that knocked out power for a couple weeks (in MA). The morning of the storm the bare sections of ice coated roads were nearly impossible to drive on. Every yahoo with a 4×4 SUV was crashed into ditches…this was the middle of winter with drivers who “know” how to drive in snow.

      Unless you have studded tires or chains untreated ice covered roads are tough even with a 4×4.

      • Like you, I’ve see folks with 4×4’s thinking they could speed along on any type of road, until Mother Nature shows them different.

    • Oh I drove with chains many times in the north, I know you are not going to run about like you are in corvette on a race track but your are about 100 times better off then not having them.

  7. I have to agree about the criticism from northerners. I was stationed in Wisconsin. As a native Texan, driving in northern winters was not near as challenging as navigating a 1.5 inch sheet of ice in Texas. Also, in Texas, don’t get caught with chains on your tires unless you would like to pay the voluntary tax (ticket).

    I would prefer my old hour long commute in Kenosha at -40 after heavy lake effect snow than 5 miles on what we had in N. TX this weekend!

  8. Back when the most recent Farmer’s Almanac came out in late summer or so, they said this year was going to be an early, bitter, long winter – the kind we had not seen in decades. The phrases they used were “frigid winter” and “bitter cold” – and they published that info for free on their website along with a map:

    Jack, you have been pounding this week on Northerners as if they don’t ever get ice. The coastal states hardly ever get snow -usually all they get is ice.
    I remember the winter you’re talking about when you were a kid in about ’80 or so. I was in Maryland at the time.
    The Chesapeake Bay froze over. One of our neighbors drove his truck out about halfway across before he got too worried and turned back. (Way back before the bridge was built, they used to lay train tracks across the bay in the winter and run supplies and people across by rail.)

    The ice covered the state. There was a mall in either Glen Burnie or Annapolis (might have even been Baltimore – I was a kid, didn’t pay enough attention to remember) whose ceiling fell in from the weight of the ice. Ice was sliding off of roofs and crushing cars. We had over 3 inches of ice on our vehicles and our doors were all iced shut – not just frozen, but completely iced over with inches of the stuff.

    It was *devastating* all over the state, and everyone was so surprised because getting ice in the winter is a *normal* thing in Maryland.

    Just pointing out that not all Northerners are the same. Having lived up and down the entire east coast my whole life, I was so happy once I moved to Syracuse and found that they actually get SNOW rather than ice, lol. Now I’m back out on a coastal state, chipping ice so we can get the car doors open in the morning. 😉

    Thanks for the note about the Buddy heater. I’ve been trying to convince the hubby to get one of those ever since the Farmer’s Almanac gave its dire warning. He was leery of it not working well or being dangerous. Now we get to order one, and an adapter hose that will hook it up to a 20# tank. Woot!

    • I think this whole Northern and Southern debate is just another way to divide us 🙂 I’ve lived in Wyoming, Illinois, Utah and am now living in the Pacific Northwest. Wyoming basically means you are driving on hard pack snow all winter and with the wind you can be snowed in a couple of hours with snow drifts. I also used to joke when I moved here about their little bit of snow until I got into my first ice storm.

      Everywhere has some crazy weather that you don’t want to travel in and everywhere has idiots that get on the road when they shouldn’t. We should all realize that some people don’t have experience with certain weather. We should also swallow some pride and not go out in dangerous situations when we don’t have too and stop thinking we are special because we have experience.

      This kind of thing bugs me because last weekend we had a huge storm here that dropped 6 inches of snow on the ground and the county doesn’t have the means to deal with it. Yet, my stepson’s father decided he was special and made a 180 mile round trip to pick up his kid. Just to spend 6-7 hours in a mess and put himself and my stepson at risk. We basically gave him a go bag in case to mitigate some risk.

  9. We live with ice here in Vermont – weeks of every winter see the driveway being a sheet of ice. You get used to it and learn to walk on it. When the snow gets deeper we use skis for fun and to get around. Skis originated in Norway and Mongolia for function, not recreation… In a cold climate, you gotta know how to ski.

  10. I hadn’t bought firewood the last couple of years. Considered it a ‘nice-to-have’, not a necessity. Just before this recent cold, I bought a cord of wood. Now realize I’m in California high desert – 1 cord of Pine firewood (hardwood was gone already) for $240! When they had hardwood, it was $350 a cord. Needless to say, in my permaculture design for my 2.5 desert acres, I’m planning to have lots of trees for coppicing for firewood. Right now, I wouldn’t need a lot, but that could change in a few years. Somehow incorporating a rocket mall heater into my house is also something I’m thinking about.

  11. Jack: I think Max is your older dog, but if the younger one had a wandering lameness, I would be considering panosteitis.

    • No this is the older dog and it is clearly an injury. This last time there was clearly visible inflammation.

  12. Great show Jack. I too took a little fall yesterday on a parking lot. So, no, we’re not getting old, it’s just getting colder.

    I have a greenhouse for the first time this year. It’s a lean-on, 4’ by 8’ on the south side of the house. It is not air tight, but nothing, including two lemon trees, got frost damage during this ice storm. I even had some garden greens and Swiss chard for dinner a couple of nights ago. I also covered the raised beds with old curtains. The ice formed a dome over the covered plants. I think the plants survived, but I won’t know until the cloth cover softens. It’s still frozen stiff 6 days later.

  13. Well Jack,

    In this show you were just over the top good on preparedness for unexpected weather, because of your immediate thinking and life experience in different climates. Bravo!

    In this show you were just over the top destructive as a climate scientist, which you and I aren’t, and what you or I believe is irrelevant. Yet, you feel it is your privilege to use your influence on your primarily right wing audience to add to the blather of anti-scientific denialist, who’s only interest is maintaining a profitable status quo, however unsustainable that status quo is. Yes, what come out of your tailpipe is insignificant, but what comes out of 2 billion tailpipes into our open sewer atmosphere is not, and it can be measured with great scientific accuracy. The human race has raised the global warming gas CO2 in the atmosphere from 290 parts/billion to over 400 parts/billion, most in the last half century, but we can ignore that even though the Eaarth hasn’t seen that level for nearly 500,000 years. Absolutely no rational argument can be made that this isn’t us. But let’s not listen to expert scientists, let’s listen to what Jack “believes,” because it might be comforting and let us continue on as before when life was better.

    Jack, you are very careful with your disclaimers, but you can see the effect of your influence on your audience with one cackle after another about the global cooling scare in the late 50’s and 60’s. It was real and based on the best scientific evidence at the time. People were understandably freaked out because one of the discoveries of early 50’s from geological evidence was that a climate tipping point can happen with unbelievable geological speed. One of the ice ages that have been happening every 100,000 years like a clockwork cycle for nearly a million years went from interstitial (between the ice) to ice age in a human lifetime or less. Many at that time thought that we could be seeing the beginning of that.

    If you want an interesting story, look up “John Hammaker” on Wikapedia, maybe even read his book. It would be particularly interesting to you because John was a farmer, inventor, and environmental activist who jousted with Al Gore and the entire congress during the Clinton Presidency. John was a top, perhaps the top activist, for the power of rock dust to remineralize depleted soils. His influence spread world wide into the organic farming movement, and even got rock dust used as a filler in commercial bagged chemical fertilizer. He wanted to use rock dust to stave off the eminent ice age by bombing forests and fields from the air. It’s possible that he was just a few decades or a century early.

    Science didn’t stop in the 60’s, and scientific knowledge and data has grown geometrically since then, hence the current climate change warnings, which you dismiss as piddling alarmist. I don’t think that there is any doubt that of the 97 or 98% of world wide climate scientist who agree, and who research and teach current global warming, that well over 90% are following the climate science crowd. That’s common in any profession. But we simply can’t ignore the top researchers’ findings. They are following the data, modeling it in detail taking into account all other possible causes that the deniers trumpet, and finding climate change happening even quicker than they had thought it might a decade or two ago. Yes, they are alarmed for all species and ecologies.

    And yes, there is a climate science conspiracy, a conspiracy of omission. We’ve all heard about climate tipping points that could create all sorts of doomer or not so doomer things. The scientist want us to listen to them and we should because if anyone has some handle on climate, it should be them. But the best will admit that they just don’t know just where a significant tipping point might lie and what could happen after the tip. It could be a burn out of Eaarth or the next ice age and something in between. The science just isn’t enough, but we can pretty safely say that we won’t like it. We are now 12,000 years into an interstitial that historically hasn’t been more than about 15,000 years during the 8 ice ages. I’d like to see us enjoy another two or three millennium of a reasonably pleasant Eaarth. We’d better listen to those who might know best to have a shot at that, if it’s not already too late. That’s just prudent!

    • Yawn. No facts, just wild statements and Ad hominem attacks. You didn’t address a single argument particularly those very inconvenient for the “know it all” global warming alarmists. There is plenty of climate scientists who do not agree with “man made global warming”, or at least the claims made.

      The major problem you fail to realize is that science isn’t a religion and the zealots on “your side” fail to appreciate ANY counter claims. The classic case of using the word “denier” is an example of this. That’s a religious like statement, where you’d rather me believe (on faith) your claims rather than be convinced. If I’m a “climate change denier” you are a “climate change believer”. How scientific feeling do you feel now? Science isn’t a religion and the modern scientific “process” surely isn’t impervious to fallibility or political malfeasance both of which have occurred in major “research” of climate science.

      Sorry to break it to you and everyone else who puts modern “science” on a pedestal but coming to conclusive “facts” about any complex topic, let alone using STATISTICS, that could have global implications is ground for serious caution. Rather than the “sky is falling, seas are rising and going to kill billions, all the arctic creatures are going to die” scare tactics.

      Am I “scientist” by your definition no, I did study it in college, but who are you to chose who can and can’t say something in disagreement with somebody who is? The classic case of credentialism where YOU chose who is credentialed and who isn’t. What makes you think you’re “credentialed” enough to argue against the mighty jack?

    • Ok Troll, we all know why you are here and it is pretty sad on your part. Maybe you are actually being sarcastic since your last paragraph I swear is about the silliest thing I have read in quite some time. “The scientist want us to listen to them and we should because if anyone has some handle on climate, it should be them.” Right… so your argument here is just not logical. As a scientist myself, I find that kind of argument just grates on me. Just because someone wants you to listen to them, doesn’t mean you treat everything they say as dogma and without rigorous study.

      Anyways on to what really bothered me about your argument. This so called tipping point you are talking about where “It could be a burn out of Eaarth or the next ice age and something in between.” All I have to say is WTF? There is no way we could burn out the earth. Just think about geologic history here for a minute, during much of the Mesozoic, we didn’t have much ice caps if at all (it is a question of how much ice there was, also if there were ice ages during the Cretaceous that caused deepwater anoxic events; but that is a story for another day). The earth got along just fine and so did all of the life on earth as well. You had species coming about and going extinct all of the time, as a matter of fact, 99% of all species that ever were are gone, dead extinct. That doesn’t mean that we are not sad when we see a species go or many species. Humans certainly have played their parts in that, which is a shame but eventually we are all going to go sometime, including us. That should provide some comfort to you, Earth (if we want to give it an anthropomorphic view) is a lot more resilient than we give it and all of the processes credit for. No matter what we do now and in the future are going to extinguish all of the life on the planet, stop plate tectonics, cause the eccentricity to stop, moon and sun procession, and all of the other processes that control climate. We will cause many other species to go extinct I am sure, but life evolves, niches get filled, and its really not the end of life.

      Now sure we are in a period of sea level rise, as noted by our flooded rivers (i.e. see estuaries, backstepping barrier islands, etc). Whether we want to attribute that to what, I would say overall, its going to happen whether we humans are helping or not. Its part of the cycle that occurs between glaciations and it’s a normal process. Unfortunately with human civilization we always make the “smart” choices and build next to bodies of water. So eventually, coastal cities and all will have to deal with that someday in the future.

      And as for enjoying a pleasant Earth, it is not going to care whether you think it is pleasant or not, it will just be.

      • Aniera,

        A scientist? Excellent and what discipline(s)?

        What’s sad here is you calling me a troll and my not expressing myself well enough that you felt compelled to do so. Jack has been busy removing reply buttons, because, I get it, he doesn’t have time for my reflections and thinks that I’m out to get him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Believe it or not, Jack and I have a lot in common, including the inevitable human character flaws. One of the posters who lost his reply button characterized Jack as “The Mighty Jack.” I had to giggle, because it’s true. I can’t hold a candle to Jack’s tremendous focus, amazing productivity and ability to rap off the top of his head, although most of that rap is carefully prepared, I suspect, so that the rap goes deeper than the top of his head to his stupendous memory and intellect.

        I assure you that I didn’t jump into the Mighty Jack’s lions den to have fun trolling him, or to try to put a cog in his wheel, but because I have learned so much from him about permaculture and other practical preparedness matters, that my respect for his learning is enormous, and I don’t want it to stop. I just felt that it was imperative that I give some push back when he starts mixing up a few weeks’ weather in Texas with climate science. Even the Mighty Jack can over extend himself and start taking shortcuts that misinform. As a scientist, didn’t that concern you? I want Jack to continue to learn and pass on that knowledge from the best as only he can, like he did by recently taking Geoff Lawton’s course. When, if not the best certainly the best known, climate scientist in America, James Hansen, quits his cushy and high paid government job at NASA to spend more time and personal treasure raising the alarm about anthropogenic climate change, my ears perk up and not slavishly. This is a guy who’s spent his entire life at that wheel. Is he right? He has the benefit of nearly 50 years of science advance, painstakingly developed data, and computers to model that data since the cooling alarm of yesteryear. Only time will tell, but there is a whole lot better chance that he’s closer to the truth than Jack. If Jack insists that he has the Word on this, then he’s on the road away from learning to stasis and becoming another fat headed bloviator like…you fill in the blanks.

        I suppose that Jack’s chosen media vehicle calls for a bit of bloviation, but you or he getting bent out of shape if someone calls him on it is unnecessary and counter productive. I found Jack by googling up his last superb interview with Geoff Lawton about half a year ago. Jack’s just short of Bill Moyers as an interviewer, another of his many talents. I’ve watched (listened) to him when podcasts interested me since then and seen him evolve for the better in just that short period of time, taking on a more community focus to balance out stark libertarianism. Thanks, Jack, for introducing me to Ben Falk, one of the sharpest, deepest young folk around. His book was a recent revelation. Love it, but hard denialism about both climate change and also resource depletion doesn’t fit that balance. You can’t dismiss huge forces by saying that no one of us can make a significant difference, so we’d best not bother. That implies that slavery, child labor, racial equality and diversity were too big to significantly fix yet we did it, together as community. I’m not sure about climate but we can deal with resource depletion without denying it, and amelioration of both use almost exactly the same solutions and tools, which we’d better get on with for our progeny.

        Recently looking around the TSP site and clicking on permaculture I found Jack in the interviewee seat on the Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann as the interviewer. I’d encourage all of you to have a listen if you haven’t already. Scott Mann might carry the despicable “libtard” lable by some folks here, but Jack was in fine form with surprising life lessons and permaculture precepts falling from his lips like snowdrops for an hour. Golly, gosh, did I did I love that Jack Spirko and found hardly anything significant to disagree with in that hour of gab. The hermit lesson was worth my hour of time. Give it a try, folks, and Jack, stop trying to drive libtards out of TSP. When you expand your horizons, you really rock big time! I’ll admit to bristling more than a little when you thought that the conspiracy theory and rape analogy below would encourage me to shut up.

        Two correspondences: Jack grew up mostly rural and farm. So did I, all farm. Jack had a “road to Damascus” experience 5 or 6 years ago that set him on a learning journey that he describes as the equivalent of a PHD. So did I. My memory is a little hazy, but I believe that Jack’s experience was the discovery of permaculture. Mine was an article in the NYTimes magazine before the 2008 election by Michael Pollan called something like “An Open Letter to the Next Farmer in Chief.” A statistic early on in the letter slammed me up side the head, that it took 1/2 calorie of fossil fuels to deliver a calorie of food to the table in 1940, and 10 or more calories of fossil fuels to deliver that same calorie to the table in 2008, i.e., 20 times more. When I was a tyke in 1950, my father and uncle farmed 2 small farms together with one small tractor, a Model A pick-up and two teams of draft horses, fitting the 1940 profile. 2008 sustainable? NOT!

        I finally grew up at 60 years of age at about the same time that Jack grew dissatisfied in his later 30’s and took off on his current course. While each of our learning experiences were without a doubt very divergent, I can say that as I started looking at peak everything and moved through politics, business, economics, and of course climate change, I kept returning to agriculture and farming for solutions and hope for a world in peril. I can’t imagine that Jack would object to my contending that the initial fix for America is to be found with the soils and waters on and around the farm. He seems to be objecting to my adding the air (atmosphere) to that mix here, but maybe not. I’ve heard him rail against permaculturalists who make a virtue of working without any power tools and I agree wholeheartedly, but he thinks in terms of internal combustion in most cases and I think in terms of electrics. He sure does love his little electric chain saw, however, so we aren’t that far apart. Libtard is sneaking up on Jack and another kind of caring lib-ertarian in sneaking up on me. Might be a good thing?

        If you still think I’m a troll, then I guess, I must own it reluctantly.

        • @Ron I don’t remove nor do I know how to remove reply buttons. You come off like an ass here and I have no desire to prevent you from doing so. Sometimes this theme hides said buttons, it is a known bug, discussed here often and we don’t know how to fix it. Though the facts are simple, I have done more positive for the environment them most people like you ever will. Still to people such as yourself, what is said is more important that what is done, the very definition of a RELIGION.

        • Jack,

          My apologies for not knowing or remembering about the funkiness of reply buttons on this forum. Had I known or remembered this fact I certainly wouldn’t have said what I did. I disagree on my assiness, but thank you for the freedom to be so, if I’m wrong. Perhaps I can return the favor someday. (grin)

      • @Ron
        My wife is a practicing geologist who makes big bucks. The topic of climate, science, and the mania that is climate hysteria, is discussed ad nauseam in our household. It’s pretty rare to set the wife off, but she’s like me on cases where its clear somebody has no idea what they’re talking about, and telling people they have no idea what they’re talking about.

        I would just take some caution, take a breath take a step back, and realize you might know less than you think, and the people that you hook line and sinker follow, might know less than they think. Anybody claiming to have any remote control over any facts is quite foolish and lacking humility. If there is anything a good scientist has, its humility.

    • @Ron you said,

      “the global cooling scare in the late 50’s and 60’s. It was real and based on the best scientific evidence at the time. People were understandably freaked out because one of the discoveries of early 50’s from geological evidence was that a climate tipping point can happen with unbelievable geological speed. One of the ice ages that have been happening every 100,000 years like a clockwork cycle for nearly a million years went from interstitial (between the ice) to ice age in a human lifetime or less. Many at that time thought that we could be seeing the beginning of that. ”

      And this is different from the current SCARES and TIPPING POINTS how?

      I guess we are just supposed to believe what anyone with a degree in science says and trust they got it right this time around?

      So look here is what I want to know. I firmly believe we are headed for a major cooling cycle, frankly because those with the balls to decent stated we would be at this time as far back as 20 years ago, based on simple patterns and solar cycles.

      Now if that happens and all these scientists switch from “climate change” to global cooling as it will be overwhelming so at that point that we are cooling, will you just continue to believe them?

    • The point I would make is Jack constantly tells you how to take the carbon out of the air and stick it in the ground. Permaculture is all about building soil, plants and reducing the need for outside resources. This puts carbon not only into the plants but into the ground. It takes stores water in the ground and plants instead of sending it to rivers and oceans (talk about rising sea leavels). Jack has turned 1000s of people on to permacutlure. If we reforest this planet, I’m pretty sure that CO2 number in the atmosphere is going to go down. I’m sure if we grow our own food less fuel would be burned on agriculture (20-30% of total use of fuel in this country).

      I think Jack has done more in the realm of reducing CO2 than any give away our government does to bankrupt solar companies or any carbon tax would do. I’d rather see people just fix problems and stop with all this banter. All the banter is, is like soda ruins peoples health, then we are debating with Coke or Pepsi does more damage. We just waste time. In the time you and have written our statements we could have planted some fruit trees and made a difference.

      • Thank you for saying that, seriously.

        This is what the “believers” don’t get. What you say shouldn’t matter but instead what you do and what you cause others to do for good.

        I absolutely do not believe that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change, because scientifically it makes no sense. I am supposed to believe a heavy gas that is less than 1/3rd of a percent is doing something in the UPPER STRATOSPHERE! I am supposed to believe a gas that has reached a saturation limit on the wavelengths of light it can reflect is reflecting light that scientifically we know it can not effect. I am also supposed to BELIEVE, get that word again, that the real way CO2 increases temperatures is by raising relative humidity even though said relative humidity has not been shown to increase.

        Most “true believers” don’t even know the above that even vaulted “climate scientists” DO NOT CLAIM that CO2 is the direct cause, that it is an indirect one, raising humidity which raises temps. That is the OFFICIAL STORY and most of the most vocal and mad people when you say you are a “denier” DO NOT EVEN KNOW THIS.

        Now I do deeply care about the “carbon cycle” and it sickens me that zealots have ruined the word so that when I use the word carbon, 50% of people are happy but have NO IDEA what I am saying and 50% are turned off again because they have NO IDEA what I am talking about. Carbon belongs in soil, it is the primary building block of life. I do what I do to restore natural ecosystems, the earth is going to do as she will with her typical body temperature and her friend the sun has more to do with it then we ever will.

        However, no one can deny that oil is a pollutant in its byproducts as are coal and natural gas. Real pollution like wastes and deadly chemicals and sulfur. Do you notice that all these climate scientists never discuss agriculture’s impact on the planet, the depletion of shallow and fossil aquifers, etc. That they point to CO2 from burning coal, yet ignore mercury, sulfur and mountain top removal? They talk of people forced to migrate due to “global warming” but ignore how said people practiced totally unsustainable growing and grazing practices on the land they are leaving behind.

        You never hear them point to Geoff Lawton, Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, Bill Mollison, Sepp Holzer or anyone that has actually put carbon into the ground as a positive example other then perhaps a bit of lip service to something they may or may not have actually said?

        Consider Allan Savory’s work, the man has sequestered more carbon then likely anyone in the world and done it by grazing cattle and nothing more. He has restored entire ecosystems, fed tens of thousands of human beings on land that people said would never feed anyone. Rivers that were dry now run with clean water due to his work. Worthless land has been transformed to fertile land that is protected and loved by the people caring for it.

        Alan does this while fat ass Al Gore and his UN Buddy Maurice Strong make billions with China on “Carbon Trading” schemes, eat hamburgers, fart methane and the media tells us eating too much meat causes global warming!

        I am sorry but the vaulted scientists and media figures have zero creditability. Those that do have creditability and even those that are doing that do believe in “global warming” would be doing the EXACT SAME THING they are today if they didn’t.

        In fact the saddest thing I see in Permaculture is some very bright and some well known minds that are brilliant but so worried about global warming they spend more time talking about it then doing anything. I love asking such people this,

        “If you absolutely thought man made global warming was a myth, would you be as committed to permaculture as you are now and if so why?”

        My answer is I don’t and yes I am. Most people you ask this stumble, they don’t know what to say. It is sad and many no matter how much evidence contradicts this now will never admit their doubts even if they have them. They are now married to this belief, it is what they feel they are doing everything for, they have made it who they are.

        Those watching this, stop and ask yourself who benefits from all this. It isn’t you is it? It isn’t permaculture is it?

        Lastly a carbon tax will make carbon a commodity, it will make it valuable. Do you get that? It will make carbon credits and therefore carbon a currency. That is absolute fact, now when something is considered valuable do people create more or less of it?

        It is all a scam designed to divide us. We have done great harm to our planet and blaming carbon is the lazy and easy way out of the guilt. Oh it is carbon so it is the fault of republicans, big oil and big business, not my fault. It is my neighbor’s fault, we have the same car, same house, same TV but I believe and vote for A while he is a denier an votes for B. All we need is more laws, some car pool lanes, more electric cars, tax by the mile and a carbon tax and all will be well.

        Such people are blind and full of shit. If you care make a hugul bed, grow your own food, choose food that is grown sustainably, build soil, above all things build soil. If you are looking for an enemy to the worlds climates (note the S) your enemy isn’t a flat screen TV it is a 25,000 acre plowed field of soy beans. It is a system that loses 6-40 tons of top soil a year. That is your villain, not your neighbor that votes for a different assclown then you do.

        • I’m preparing to head for the basement and climb into the granite laundry tubs with my ass in the air, but I just cannot leave this unanswered.

          Jack, you wrote, “I absolutely do not believe that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change, because scientifically it makes no sense. I am supposed to believe a heavy gas that is less than 1/3rd of a percent is doing something in the UPPER STRATOSPHERE! I am supposed to believe a gas that has reached a saturation limit on the wavelengths of light it can reflect is reflecting light that scientifically we know it can not effect. I am also supposed to BELIEVE, get that word again, that the real way CO2 increases temperatures is by raising relative humidity even though said relative humidity has not been shown to increase.”

          That little paragraph rattled me, because as you say, the three issues you bring up don’t seem scientifically or even logically based. So I did some long and frantic googling including delving into the most recent IPCC report, which I assure you is no walk in the park, but if you work at the introduction alone, you’ll learn a lot in and around the scientific jargon. It’s enough for any non-scientist to get their head screwed on a little better.

          So…, as near as I can determine, the answers to each of your “I am supposed to believe” questions is a resounding, “Hell no.” Very briefly:

          1) The upper stratosphere has nothing or very little to do with climate forcing as far as CO2 and most other greenhouse gases are concerned. Most of the forcing happens all around us in the lower livable atmosphere where CO2 resides. Extra heating to throw off the climate balance doesn’t come from the short wavelength light that the sun bathes us in and heats the Earth, but from the long wavelength heat that the Earth radiates outward after being warmed by the Sun. Heat rises, dontcha know. Greenhouse gases in minute amounts holding back this outward radiation are crucial to keeping the climate of Earth workable for all species of life, A 40% increase and growing in those gases from human activity is a very big deal. This is slower but analogous to what happens when soil is bathed in chemicals. The balance is thrown all out of kilter and life below and above the soil is impacted very badly. Balance is everything.

          2) When your expert climate sceptic fed you the line about the CO2 saturation limit (the scientist have another term), yes. there is such a thing, but he or she neglected to inform you that this process is measured in nano seconds and the CO2 is again ready to slow the radiation of heat from the Earth. Pebbles in a stream. Throw in more a before you know it you have a heat dam.

          3) Scientist have known the heat increasing effects of greenhouse gases since the turn of the century, that is the turn from the 19th to 20th centuries. Measuring it accurately is another story. (BTW, I couldn’t find any climate science claim that CO2 is some magic elixir for water vapor which holds heat. If greenhouse gases raise temperatures slightly above normal, then of course, there will be more water evaporation and the heat effect will be enhanced.) You asked in another post what has changed since the earlier cooling scare to today’s heating scare. Well, a whole lot of new and more accurate science based on huge data sets, but there were two real biggies, satellites that could stand off and measure the global atmosphere accurately, and oddles more computer power to crunch all sorts of data from satellites and thousands of monitoring stations. Sure mistakes can be made in programming, conclusions drawn inaccurately, and lots of differences between climate scientist, but the fact that scientist in every corner of the globe are drawing the same conclusions and differing primarily in degree and predicted timings should give you a clue. And BTW, your contention that climate drivers like Earth’s axis orientation and sunspot activity are in cooling modes is absolutely true and has been for sometime. Rather than gin up your cooling conviction, doesn’t it give you pause that that the new, better measurements show slow earth surface warming still happening in spite of that. It gives climate scientists pause.

          No self respecting climate scientist would ascribe to the nonsense that you say you are expected to believe, and I’m certain that you wouldn’t intentionally mislead your listeners, so I can make only one other conclusion. I’m truly sorry to say that you have been snookered by an unscrupulous denier funded by a fossil fool billionaire anxious to hold off as long as possible a coming carbon tax. Those three climate science dragons that you are slaying are nothing but cleverly devised straw men.

          BTW, I think that a carbon tax is unlikely because economic collapse will beat it to the punch, and a very hard punch it will be. I also believe wholeheartedly that permaculture and other agro-ecological methods are by far the most important means to ameliorate what we have done to Earth, but if we don’t start stopping the destruction it will be an even harder row to hoe.

          I do so heartily appreciate your acknowledgement that tar sands are an abomination from a soil, forest and permaculture standpoint.

          It’s only a small step to acknowledging that horizontal fracking may even be worse. Tar sands destroy arboreal forests and soils, poison surface and ocean water where the forests used to stand on into the arctic and present a devastation that will be very slow to recover, but it’s all mostly surface and will dilute over time. Fracking isn’t at all like the conventional fossil fuel holes that we’ve poked in the Earth to exploit big pools of oil and gas, that were mostly relatively safe for us and the Earth. If those conventional pools weren’t rapidly depleting no company scrounging for fossils would consider the expense and dangers of fracking.

          This is something that I know a lot more about than climate change. Although I can’t tell you why or how because of NDA, I can tell you, as you might expect, that the frackers that I have intermittently interacted with are predominently good folks, concerned with safely pursuing their business and pretty convinced that they can. I’m less sanquine about their high level bosses. Fracking can be done sorta safely except for one thing. Murphy eventually comes to the party and stuff happens. A well casing breaks at aquifir level or slippery fracking fluid reaches tectonic plates, or a holding pond ruptures into the watershed. It doesn’t much matter that hundreds of wells have been drilled safely, because Murphy spreads his devastation in wide swaths. I doubt whether Americans will stand for such industrial landscapes and ecological dangers as the fossil fools look to frantically drill up to a million more frack wells by mid century, at $6-10 million a pop. Let’s get on with the changeover to renewables while we still have enough time and resources to get at least part way there before the next Pearl Harbor, whether that is financial or not. Oops, there’s that carbon tax again.

          I’ve had my say, and won’t be returning to this thread to talk. It’ll return to see whether anyone can beat on me with learning, ideas and thoughts, not stupid crudity. Jack, your monumental (mighty (grin)) talents are more than worth saving from you know what. As so many have said, you do such great and good things to open folks eyes to the beauty of designing and maintaining a balanced nature in a World where decay is certain and part of the package. I also try!

        • The problem with debunkers is they think debunking is just saying it isn’t true and making shit up. You clearly know VERY LITTLE about the facts of this debate and cutting and pasting other peoples crap makes you qualified for nothing.

          What you keep ignoring in your nonsense is this, I HAVE DONE MORE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT THEN YOU EVER WILL. Try debunking that.

          If you can’t you are a religious zealot caring more for what is said then what is done and it makes your opinion MEANINGLESS.

    • The earth is a mud ball with a molten core wobbling around the sun– To think that we affect its climate patterns is foolishly arrogant. Plant a garden if it pleases you, buy a hybrid if it makes you feel better, but don’t for a second think that you are ‘saving the planet’ with either action.

    • Shook Up….

      You are another pseudo-intellectual, over educated putz who would like more control over every one else because you “know better” than we do. Folks like you are useless to society… A dried turd is more useful; at least you can burn it for fuel. You remind me a lot of a certain arrogant president…. Sorry, We aren’t buying your BS.

  14. Modern Survival,

    They are my keystrokes to waste and if I have in fact wasted them, that is sad for those who prefer someone else’s opinion to developing their own through study and thought. If science works with permaculture and it does, why doesn’t it work with climate? I’ll admit that it is impossible to really observe climate like with permaculture. Observing weather is not climate unless you want an easy out based on nothing scientific.

      • Rick,

        The joke fell flat because you appear to think that those magnificent animals and their preferred environment deserve no respect, like a climate scientist.

        • No it is a good joke because drowning polar bears are a complete and total myth. Said bears often BY CHOICE swim over 40 miles between flows hunting seals. If any polar bear ever drowns, someone shot it!

          Flatly the so called “climate science” arena has lost just about all creditability with most people who can think critically. So many things have been claimed that turned out to not be true or never happen. Lies have been outright proven, bias shown with no doubt that it is influencing reporting. Any scientist that has dared decent attacked, ruined, etc. then we are told there is “consent”.

          Many scientists are about a consenting about global warming as a woman is to rape by armed thugs.

          Again though as I said today, there is NOTHING that is useful in you or me or anyone worrying about so called “man made global warming”. There is much to be gained by living a more ecologically friendly life with NO CONCERN WHAT SO EVER ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING. There are far more compelling reasons for people to take better care of the environment.

        • Well they all drowned but a magical unicorn who was pleased with the restoration of CO2 levels farted a rainbow and restored them.

        • It’s actually a funny joke because the polar bear population has increased 400% since the 1950s.

    • Um actually the “believers” use weather to “prove” global warming and climate change all the time.

      Katrina – global warming did it
      Hottest day on record in _____ – global warming did it
      Ice sheets shrunk – global warming did it


      Lowest number of hurricanes in 5 decades – proves nothing
      Coldest spot in the history of earth found this month – proves nothing
      Arctic Ice Sheet Grows Faster In FALL then any time in history – proves nothing

      You can see where those with critical thinking are starting to question your vaulted scientists.

      Here is a FACT, a flat fact.

      Every time there is WEATHER that would seem to support global warming it is bantered about by everyone from scientists to hack news jockeys as PROOF that global warming is real. But when other events that clearly conflict with this are pointed out the same people say “oh that is weather not climate”. Welp, here is a news flash, we know that, it is our point!

  15. Hi Jack, excellent show, as usual! What is the best way to heat a rental house with no access to a flue or any other way to vent out the carbon monoxide?

  16. Over here in Western Australia it’s summer with this weeks temperatures around the mid 40’s C (110F).
    Nice and hot.

  17. 1978-1980, I had the misfortune of working as a course supervisor at a golf course half way between Galveston and Houston Texas. I remember all too well, being out there at the butt crack of dawn on winter mornings, mowing the accursed greens and trying to stay ahead of idiot golfers. Despite insulated boots, double socks, double pants, double flannel shirts, a wool sweater, heavy coat, scarf, ski mask, toboggan and heavy gloves, Id be freezing my A$$ off, all the while cursing the winter rye grass to a fiery hell. Good times! not.

  18. Here’s a two-part interview with a homeless man who chooses to live outside “in a swamp” year-round near Boston. He reinforces much of what Jack has to say:

    1) It’s easier to stay warm in the winter than cool in the summer — he likes the eastern Massachusetts climate, but found living outside in South Carolina intolerable.

    2) He uses lots of insulation in the winter, with only a candle and his own body heat for warmth.

    3) He likes late October to December weather best (chilly, but usually not frigid or snowy). The rest of winter would probably be ok if he could burn wood and have something sturdier than a tarp to keep the snow off.

  19. I don’t like winter. I feel it is harder to get motivated to get outside and exercise as much so you get sick and your metabolism slows down a bit. This is the time of year I go to martial arts classes or indoor religious services.

  20. I did order some sawdust shitake spawn. I was told you can innoculate logs with mushroom spawn in the winter, although I guess it may slow down the process. The sawdust spawn seems alot cheaper than plugs. mushroom mountian seems to imply their spawn will keep longer than alot of other places as theirs is fresher. That will give me a little more to do up at my camp in the cold weather besides cut firewood or haul logs for hugulkulture etc.

    A friend of mine needed some firewood, so I was cutting extra wood which was good excercise though it was 20 degrees outside. I can only cut so much wood and then I get bored with it ..

  21. @Jack
    Just heard you said “we usually walk around in tshirts”. Last year, in January I was walking around with light jeans on and a tshirt and I have the pictures to prove it. Last year it was 70s ALL WINTER. I knew then that we were going to pay for it. This is definitely one hell of a season to establish 7 citrus trees…..

    • LOL if I had a dollar for every time I said, “oh we are going to pay for this”. We had beautiful fall type weather for the 4th of July this year, seriously. Low 80s in the day, low 70s while we were shooting off fireworks that night. It was a great awesome week.

      August came, yea time to pay the piper! What a heat blast and right though September.

      I remember last winter too, yep mild save for a few days in January, said the same thing, man we are going to pay for this.

      It is almost like weather goes in cycles or something, LOL.

  22. Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip…
    Keeping water moving through water lines is the easiest/cheapest way to avoid freezing. (As long as you don’t have limited water in a cistern or a well without electricity). I have kept bare hoses to an RV from freezing in many consecutive 20 degree days and nights with 2-3 drips a second. I have friends in a trailer park (here in KY) where the water line is outside, above ground with just a heat tape and foil wrap. If the electric goes out for days…. plumbers will get slammed. Keep water dripping if there is any chance of freezing.

    • I agree, much better to waste some water dripping it all night rather than having a ruptured pipe spewing gallon after gallon later. Get a short piece of hose and put some foam around it if want to allow outside lines to drip into a spot in your yard with no house damage. Might need to be a bit more than a drip for outside lines, but same idea.

      If and when you need to replace pipes inside your house, go with PEX, that stuff is awesome.

  23. I’ve been using the two terra cotta pot thing you mentioned for about a month now. I had to fiddle with it to get the right two sized pots, but it works! It’s radiant heat. You need to be fairly close to it to benefit.

    The pots hold the heat otherwise all of the heat goes directly up to the ceiling and you never feel it. The first pot retains the heat, the air gap heats up and then it’s transferred to the outer pot and it being clay it acts as a thermal mass.

    The first few days I kept an infrared thermometer next to me on the sofa and I would measure the heat every few minutes. Mine gets up to around 160 with 3 candles, it takes it about 15 minutes to get up to temp. My floor is tile so I’m not concerned with it, but I doubt I would use it if it were carpeted there. It’s not pretty but it definitely works. When the candles go out you noticed it pretty quickly. The two pots I am using are a 6″ and 8″ roughly. There’s a bolt between the two with a nut to keep them separated/air gap. I put the candles in one of those things you put under flower pots to catch the water. The pots are sitting on two bricks to elevate them enough for the candles to be underneath.

    • My sister keeps tarantulas, and she has a decent sized insulated closet in the basement of her house set up to keep them in in case of a power failure. The candle/clay pot heater thing is apparently kinda popular amongst exotic pet owners for just such occasions, because she got the idea from an online tarantula breeder community. I’ll see if she can throw up some pics on facebook that I can link to.

  24. Having spent most of my life above the 45th parallel in the middle part of the country, I’ve seen a few cold days. Layering is by far the preferred method to stay warm…..that way when you warm up working you can take a few layers off and remain comfortable. It’s fine to bundle up in one big coat if you don’t have to move around too much. What I’ve found works best for the upper body is thermal underwear, t-shirt, hoodie, and a carhartt coat. For the lower body thermal underwear and jeans does the trick (this is with a “dry” snow). Pack boots almost up to the knee, a tight knit fleece beanie (not a loose knit stocking cap), and insulated leather work gloves that slip on and off easily keep the extremities warm.

    Humble in KY is right on with the heat tape for hoses. With proper insulation wrap and a dripping faucet this is good to below zero weather. They also make insulated hose with the heat tape already in it, but it is pricey at ~$100.

    Another thing to keep in mind with the vehicles is keeping the engine “warm”. Most cars in the north have block heaters installed. For my diesel pickup, I also have an oil pan heater…..15w-40 really doesn’t want to flow when it’s 20 below.

    Heat wave here today at 40 degrees; that’s 70 degrees warmer than it was last week!

  25. I’m up in Northern Illinois. We get a decent bit of cold and snow (yeah, you guys north get worse, I know) and Jack is right – it isn’t anything compared to ice. I used to have a major supplier in the Hill Country of S.C. and if you said “ice” outside of a bar 6 months of the year, they’d stay home for a week. One more reason to put our power lines underground.

  26. -50 F forecast in Iowa/Missouri the night of December 21st by the GEMS model. Not likely to be that cold but likely to be cold!

    From a local forecaster, he posted this morning this statement: “One of of the huge weather stories of the winter could be the unbelievable cold that is poised to crash upon the United State during the Christmas week. This degree of cold will shock the senses with temperatures possible being the coldest it’s been in 25 to 30 years over the lower 48. While not likely ?? models have shown that temperatures in the northern plains and Midwest possibly dropping to 40 to 50 degrees below zero !!, again that’s probably over done but anything close will cause a lot of problems.”…….. “

  27. Are ice fishing setups good for preps? Just noticed them selling on craigslist.

    Also, body powder/ any absorbent, can dry sweat out of gloves pretty quick.

    And wheres the show about extraterrestrial intervention prepping! C’mon, that would be totally awesome.

    I’m out.

  28. I’ve also tried the clay pot and tea lights. I places the lights in a clear pyrex pan (because candles are pretty) and the two pots over the top. 6″ and 8″ did seem to work the best. I plugged the hole on the inner with tin foil and left the outer one open. The convection? current from the air being drawn in and over the warmer inner pot then pours out of the top hole on the outer pot. I haven’t tried it blocking the whole on the outer pot yet. The radiant heat feels quite nice and 4 tea lights last about 4 hours. This really only works in smaller rooms though and you will need to be next to it, just like with any radiant heat source, to really feel it. It seems to work wonderfully in our 8’x12′ small room with average height ceilings. This would Not replace a wood stove but for taking the chill off the air for pennies (go go Ikea tea lights) it does work.

  29. Hi Jack,
    I found your podcast only 5 months ago and I am working my way through your old episodes. LOVE the show! You’ve started an argument with my husband and I though! I assert that sticking a pot over a candle does not magically create more heat. Four tea-lights put out a certain level of BTU, and the flower-pots do not add to that level. It’s not like we’re preventing heat from escaping a chimney, it’s a closed system…I’m no physicist so is there something I’m missing about thermal mass or convection or something?? I listen to you everyday, keep up the great work!

    • I’m not Jack, but I’ve always assumed the pots just acted as a thermal mass, storing up heat that otherwise would be almost immediately lost. Yes, there’s still only so much heat to work with, but you’re exerting a bit more control over what heat IS produced.

  30. Regardless of your feelings on climate change, etc., there is a lot of evidence that the current weather that we’re seeing is due to shifts in the jet stream. Most articles attribute this to climate change, but the evidence for the shift in the jet stream’s path is observable (via satellites, but also by piecing together ground data).

    Regardless of why this is happening, it is, and we can look at the trends in the data and make some sort of educated guess about what we’ll be seeing in the future.

    Here is a link, I found a better article in the past but can’t locate now:

    The basic premise seems to be that the jet stream is starting to oscillate more than it has in the past few years, so polar currents are moving further south in the winter especially. So we can expect that we will have more winter storms for the foreseeable future reaching further south, and more fluctuations in the weather in the near future.

    • Sounds like a common sense assessment verifiable by clearly observable and indisputable data. I am sure Ron will call you a denier for that.

    • You raving denier!

      Joshing of course, Adam. You wouldn’t be a very good denier if you pointed out an article peopled by climate scientists talking about global wierding. It was an interesting, if short on detail article. There haven’t been many good articles on Grist since the excellent David Roberts took a leave of absence.

      Well, it did help to prove that Jack can listen to climate scientists, and that he hasn’t gotten over spanking me. And I’m his elder for goodness sakes. (grin)

  31. Bill Mollison said something very interesting in his 1983 PDC (the one Geoff Lawton took – available for $60

    He said “climate is going in fairly broad oscillation. That is it is not getting drier or windier or colder or hotter – it’s getting all of those at once.” … ” “It isn’t a trend, it’s a wild set of oscillations.”
    “They would say it’s getting colder or warmer but the actuality is that one day it’s colder and the next day it’s hotter.” …

    “All you can say is that it’s gonna get hotter and colder and windier and stiller. And drier and wetter! And it’s gonna get more so! [He laughs] So that’s your future, your real prognosis.”

    Now, he does blame CO2 – thru bad agricultural practices (plowing); thru deforestation; thru burning oil & coal; and he says industry lags well behind those. He suggests laying down in front of tractors instead of coal trains.

    Anyway, he does lean towards a warmer trend. Or at least those were his thoughts 30 years ago. If you don’t like it – take it up with him not me 😉

    • Funny that as he was leaning to the warm the scientists were leaning to the cold. In any event I have read it, you are right, he blames AGRICULTURE for most of our problems on that I agree.

      The truth though is I have heard both Lawton and Mollison use the term “global warming” exactly 0 times. I know what they believe and it isn’t that both believe the exact same thing by the way, but both think it is kind of pointless to go down that road, that action is more important than words.

      In any event I am not required to agree with Bill on anything save what is and what isn’t permaculture.

      If you read that PDF by the way you will note he doesn’t really care about the temps that much it is more that the ecosystems are dying, that the forests are becoming rotting corpses.

  32. As I finish listening to this episode, up here in the Canadian North (PEI), it is 18c now (-1F) and we are due to get 1 and a half feet of snow tomorrow and winds to 45mph. We are surrounded by water and that keeps us moderated but this cold is unheard of even up here in mid Dec. I have about 14 cord of wood, so I think I’m fine, and Jack, I brought in a Jalapeno plant and it is producing quite well under a 200 watt florescent grow light. I think it will work out to $2 a Jalap.

    I kept a 600 sq foot apartment back in 2001 heated with 12 tealights. Im a tealight whore (think I have about 2000 of the damm things…)

    Anyway off to charge my nimh’s while I still have power

  33. Hey, Jack, good episode. On the subject of gloves, having lived in a place that has had cold and snowy winters for as long as anyone can remember, I can not recommend a pair of fingerless mittens highly enough. They are a great compromise between keeping your hands insulated and still letting you do most stuff that requires finer motor skills. For VERY cold days, or when I know I’m going to have a ton of work to do outside (like shoveling a path in the ten foot berm of snow created by the snow plows) I use a pair of cheap as crap five finger gloves from the dollar store under my heavy fingerless mittens. The cheap gloves are small (but stretch to fit most any hand), and thin, but are still better than exposed skin on heavy work or bitter cold days.

    • I think what some are missing is it isn’t really a north south debate.

      It is a response from the south to the yokals in the north that mock the south when we get slammed with ice and say stupid crap like “we get a foot of snow and it is no big deal and they get an inch and the city shuts down”.

      Anyone in the north not saying that isn’t in the group referred to. Make sense?

    • It makes sense, just bad choice of words on my part. I lived in the Killeen/Ft Hood area for about 8 years, again, your breakdown is right on.

  34. It makes sense, just bad choice of words on my part. I lived in the Killeen/Ft Hood area for about 8 years, again, your breakdown is right on.

  35. We have had record highs this year in central florida so far. We had no freezes last year either.