Monday, December 15, 2008

ODOT Caught Offguard--Uses Ineffective Road De-Iceing Chemicals

Turns out that the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), unlike the Washington State Department of Transportation, doesn’t use salt as a de-icing method. ODOT uses a chemical mix that loses effectiveness in lower temperatures.

The current cold spell caught ODOT by surprise. Cold temperatures Oregon is now experiencing are rare. Actually, yesterday was the coldest day on record for December 15. Last cold record for December 15th was set in 1972.

Not only are current Oregon low temperatures rare at any time, with Global Warming one doesn’t expect to set cold records. All the temperature movement should be the other way. So, no wonder ODOT was caught off guard.

Maybe all those SUV’s that Ford, GM, and Chrysler didn’t sell have turned things around.

The current road de-icing problems are an embarrassment for unprepared ODOT. The record breaking cold spells this year (snow in Baghdad, October snow in London, earliest snow on record for Boise, record cold in Oregon) are an embarrassment to the scientists who think that science is done by majority vote.

If this keeps up, the majority may be swinging to the other side--Leaving Al Gore, the Nobel Prize Committee and James Hansen head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (who has had problems with faulty data–including problems in 2007 and 2008) hanging out on a limb.

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