February 15, 2017
A More Productive Debate?
Lost in the loud arguments and accusations of denialism are the undeniable failures of every effort to reduce climate change.
In America, we can point to the ethanol debacle. Outside the offices of ADM's lobbying arm, who is left to defend burning corn in cars? It has failed to reduce CO2, impacted food prices and supply, raised fuel costs, and damaged some engines. The science is settled.
Europeans, though, they're smart folk. They wouldn't do anything quite so schtööpid now would they?
Virtually everyone agrees Europe's "dash for diesel" was a monstrous policy error, not to mention the proximate cause of the emissions-cheating scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen and other auto makers. Yet the overarching imperative today is to vilify the car companies and insist they do better at achieving meaningless reductions in CO 2 emissions, now by forcing them to build electric cars that customers must be bribed and pressured into buying. Not to be questioned, though, is the green agenda or the competence of Europe's political class.
All to achieve an estimated 0.004° C reduction in warming (although the dense soot over European cities might offer some reflective benefit).
February 6, 2017
On the same weekend as Superbowl LI, we have another sequel - this one more important than any football game - a sequel to the original Climategate politicized science scandal.
A just retired NOAA senior scientist, responsible for data integrity and archival, says the data behind "2016 is the hottest year on record" is misleading and "unverified." Not to mention the dubious adjustments.
Dr Bates said: 'They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and "corrected" it by using the bad data from ships. You never change good data to agree with bad, but that's what they did - so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer.'
It's possible I buried the lede, since there's also accusations that the data cooking and the report that contained it were rushed through so as to be public in advance of the Paris Climate Conference. All the better to engineer public policy with, my dear. Oh, and the computer on which all of the fancy data manipulations were calculated has since experienced "complete failure" rendering it unavailable for verification analyses. It also seems that the (apparently intentional) errors were planned to be blamed on the incoming administration "not retaining important climate related data." Except a top scientist with knowledge of the events has stepped forward and blown the whistle.
February 3, 2017
Fossil remains within "fossil" fuel?
If "fossil" fuels, like natural gas, crude oil and coal, are really the product of decomposing ancient plants and animals, how can they also fossilize ancient plants and animals as shown in the picture above? A blog entry at Unconventional Geology quotes a Dr. Thomas Gold:
"The coal we dig is hard, brittle stuff [but] it was once a liquid, because we find embedded in the middle of a six-foot seam of coal such things as a delicate wing of some animal or a leaf of a plant. They are undestroyed, absolutely preserved, with every cell in that fossil filled with exactly the same coal as all the coal on the outside... The fact that coal contains fossils does not prove that it is a fossil fuel; it proves exactly the opposite. Those fossils you find in coal prove that coal is not made from those fossils. How could you take a forest and much it all up so that it is a completely featureless big black substance and then find one leaf in it that is perfectly preserved? That is absolute nonsense."
According to the abiotic theory of geologic hydrocarbon fuels, occasionally mentioned 'round these parts, "fossil" fuels are, in actuality, renewable. And naturally so.
I know that we have reported this a few times. But it appears that -- once again -- that whole Global Warming Thingy you have heard so much about has been fixed.
Tim Worstall at the Adam Smith Institute (Yes, I know that brother nb is boycotting them but the rest of you can click) points to a new report by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, claiming that "Falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020"
And thus we're done.
Smoke 'em if you've got 'em! We've triumphed yet again.
January 25, 2017
You Have a Lot of Rice to Eat
The title is a wonderful Filipino phrase for when a young person says something betraying a lack of maturity. As I have some completely vegan "red meat" for the denier and lukewarmer community, I felt I might borrow it.
This is from 2012, and Australia (land of Caaaaaahbon Dioxode) -- but I think you can update it mentally:
January 16, 2017
Quote of the Day
Meanwhile, in a nine-page questionnaire to Ben Carson, who is being sent to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Elizabeth Warren wanted to learn what the doctor thought about "C0 2 and other greenhouse gas emissions," because extreme weather like flooding poses "a significant risk to public housing."
January 13, 2017
Making Western Water Great Again
President Trump is not even President yet and he's already inspiring positive change to the drought conditions in the western United States. Almost all of the average precipitation measurements on this map of the west shows readings between 100 percent and 200 percent of normal for the last three months.
Colorado is doing nearly as well as California, as evidenced by the map below. (Source)
Sources found at The Water Report's snowpack research page.
January 10, 2017
Ominous Foreshadowing of the Devastations of Climate Change
Three prestigious Colorado ski resorts are closed today.
As snow keeps falling along the Continental Divide and in Colorado's mountains... several ski resorts have had to close.
Save the sermons, I know this proves nothing. And, as a lukewarmer, I have little to prove.
But if they were closed for having no snow, I think the "Ominous Foreshadowing..." stories would be rolling
January 6, 2017
Offshore From the Urban Heat Island
The next time someone questions the validity of the "urban heat island" effect, show them this post. The two graphs are last night's overnight temperature, at rural Atlantis Farm, and about 5 miles away in Brighton, CO.
A roughly 14 degree F difference in low temperature. Bring on the urban sprawl!
December 6, 2016
#DAPL Me This... Vol III?
Chairman David Archambault, of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, continues to maintain that the most meticulously engineered and constructed oil pipeline to be routed eighty-odd feet below the Missouri riverbed poses a threat to that community's water supply. This, despite said water supply inlet being moved fifty miles further down river and feeding a brand new $30 million water treatment complex exclusively for the Standing Rock Sioux community.
The funding for the water works came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - that's "The Stimulus Bill" for those who remember it. It was part of a $500 million dollar investment in projects specifically for the benefit of America's native tribal descendent populations.
As for the "threat" to the water, one begins to suspect the only solution the chairman and the climate activists will be pleased with is the "keep it in the ground" solution - No pipeline... No fracking... No oil for thankful and prosperous human customers. A Hoover Institution senior fellow has dubbed this the "Indian Energy Wars."
But the biggest foe for the Standing Rock Sioux is the federal government itself, entrusted with protecting Indians since Chief Justice John Marshall declared Indians "wards" of the state in 1832. After the first Indian Wars, the federal government signed treaties setting aside 43,000 square miles as the Great Sioux Nation. That territory would include much of the DAPL route. However, in 1889, it "repossessed" much of the territory opening it for white settlement and creating the private lands on which the pipeline will be built. Since then, the federal government has nothing to give Native Americans confidence in their trustee.
November 23, 2016
Trump "softening" on climate change?
In case you were worried that President Elect Trump is already sinking in the swamp muck, don't.
JAMES BENNET, [NY Times] editorial page editor: When you say an open mind, you mean youíre just not sure whether human activity causes climate change? Do you think human activity is or isnít connected?
As for the big enchilada, the Paris Accord (the world's most expensive treaty, estimated to cost $1 trillion - $2 trillion per year) Trump remains cool.
SHEAR: Just one quick clarification on the climate change, do you intend to, as you said, pull out of the Paris Climate Ö
November 16, 2016
If Elon Musk were in 'Atlas Shrugged'...
... he would be Oren Boyle.
It has been widely reported that among SolarCity, Tesla, and the rocket company SpaceX, Elon Musk's confederacy of interests has gotten at least $4.9 billion in taxpayer support over the past 10 years.
But one of the good things about changing regimes in Washington D.C. is that cronies often get uprooted.
The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. The committee probes, led by their respective Republican chairmen, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have found an appropriate and disturbing target to begin this work.
November 15, 2016
"I will stop the unstoppable"
In what is reminiscent (to me, at least) of John Galt's "I will stop the motor of the world" President Elect Trump is not backing away from his campaign pledge to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Trump's advisers are considering ways to bypass a theoretical four-year procedure for leaving the accord, according to the source, who works on Trump's transition team for international energy and climate policy.
"So where's the John Galt reference, johngalt?"
I'm projecting just a bit, in response to French President Hollande, who said the agreement is "irreversible." And to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon who said,
"What was once unthinkable has become unstoppable," Ban said at a news conference of the landmark Paris deal, agreed by almost 200 governments last year after two decades of tortuous negotiations. The accord formally entered into force on Nov. 4 after a record swift ratification.
A "record swift ratification."
The Trump source said the president-elect's transition team is aware of the likely international backlash but said Republicans in the U.S. Congress have given ample warning that a Republican administration would take action to reverse course.
(What was the mood in Washington on November 4 that had the Administration so anxious to rush this through prior to Hillary's coronation? Hmmm.)
But former French President Nicholas Sarkozy has a warning for Trump if he doesn't stand by his predecessors promises.
Speaking to French broadcaster TF1, Sarkozy said late Sunday: "Donald Trump has said - we'll see if he keeps this promise -- that he won't respect the conclusions of the Paris climate agreement. Well, I will demand that Europe put in place a carbon tax at its border, a tax of 1-3 percent, for all products coming from the United States, if the United States doesn't apply environmental rules that we are imposing on our companies."
Whoa! Who's the trade warrior now?
October 25, 2016
All Hail Taranto!
October 20, 2016
All Hail Taranto!
October 18, 2016
Ford stock is up 37%!
I'm kidding about Ford equity, and have my grumpy-guy-who-has-been-disappointed-before dark glasses on. But does anyone doubt that this is what the solution to climate change will look like? Rather than some treaty signed in some foreign capital?
Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a chemical reaction to turn CO2 into ethanol, potentially creating a new technology to help avert climate change. Their findings were published in the journal ChemistrySelect.
The Popular Mechanics article claims "The process is cheap, efficient, and scalable, meaning it could soon be used to remove large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere."
UPDATE: Tangentially related -- and totally awesome: Cartoon notes on Matt Ridley's speech.
August 23, 2016
All Hail Harsanyi
There are, no doubt, many good reasons a person might have for not wanting children. But, certainly, it's tragic that some gullible Americans who have the means and emotional bandwidth -- and perhaps a genuine desire -- to be parents avoid having kids because of a quasi-religious belief in apocalyptic climate change and overpopulation.
June 15, 2016
Extinctified -- by your SUV!
Human-caused climate change appears to have driven the Great Barrier Reef's only endemic mammal species into the history books, with the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lives on a tiny island in the eastern Torres Strait, being completely wiped-out from its only known location.
Tiresome on stilts. We cannot truly pin down what portion of the small warming is outside of spec, what part of sea-level is apportioned to temperature. And -- I am not a biologist, but there is no way I accept certainty that this loss can be pinned on sea level rise.
I know you're already looking forward to Review Corner, just 'cause. But Sunday's How Not to be Wrong is a dive into misuse of statistics and faulty conclusions. I think The Guardian hit the trifecta on fallacies.
June 8, 2016
Bloody Inconvenient, that!
Huh? What? An inconsistency or factual anomaly in VP Gore's Oscar-winning film?
One of the evidences used by Al Gore in his Oscar winning and vacuous work An Inconvenient Truth is the shrinking Lake Chad. Gore shows a series of four images of Lake Chad on page 116 of his book. The pictures show the lake shrinking from about 25,000 square kilometers in 1963 to about 1,500 square kilometers in 2001. While largely debunked here and elsewhere it is has been a used canary of climate change by others pushing the narrative
That 1897 Land Rover SUV emitted an unholy amount of hydrocarbons.
June 2, 2016
Question Models' Authority
Feel free to read the headline in your best Eric Cartman voice.
Megan McArdle compares climate models to econometrics models. Very similar -- except one has been abandoned and one is accepted as gospel, capital-T truth.
They could make some pretty good guesses from that data, but when you built a model based on those guesses, it didn't work. So economists tweaked the models, and they still didn't work. More tweaking, more not working.
McArdle links to a nine part series on Coyote Blog and compliments its seriousness and measured tone. I would say teh same for her piece.
May 23, 2016
Life Imitates ThreeSources
Brother JohnGalt called it right out of the chute: Paris Conference over -- climate change fixed! Next topic?
Seems even the Aussie Labour Party is in.
Aussie academic David Holmes, of the University of Melbourne, suggests that Politicians are using the Paris Agreement to defuse climate concerns, by claiming Paris "solved" the climate crisis -- and he's not happy about it.
Sorry, mate! Obama fixed that already. Now we can focus 100% on who pees where.
Who Says There's No Good News?
The Virgin Islands attorney general has withdrawn a controversial subpoena against a prominent libertarian D.C. think tank, after being accused of bullying the group as part of a broader probe into whether ExxonMobil misled the public about global warming.
April 22, 2016
Climate Change: What do Scientists Say?
Did somebody say Earth Day? Here is the latest scientific interpretation of the "Climate Disruption" caused by humans being healthy and prosperous. Hint: It's not all a matter of science.
Lindzen was a lead author of one of the chapters of the original IPCC report.
April 15, 2016
Green Mafia in action
Perhaps I was wrong to fear most of all the unelected government?
Here, real law professor tells off the three would-be thugs who've finally taken the Exxon investigative "Lawfare" campaign in a big, bold and public move to criminalize free expression. I could have figured slimeball-activist types like Harris and Schneiderman would be at the front of this mob.... anybody else heard the joke that AG stands for "Aspiring Governor"?
Hah, co-named CEI is willing and able to fight back! Now, if we could just get a real constitutional expert elected, perhaps the illegality will be placed correctly?
Thank god for all of Reynolds' hard work that has landed him a spot regularly publishing editorials for USAToday, and let's hope PowerLine's Scott Johnson's prediction
It's a sign of the times, as is the silence that enshrouds the story.becomes untrue.
April 11, 2016
Quote of the Day
My first reaction to this news was "Um, wut?" CEI has long denied humans' role in global warming, and I have fairly substantial disagreements with CEI on the issue. However, when last I checked, it was not a criminal matter to disagree with me. It's a pity, I grant you, but there it is; the law's the law. -- Megan McArdleMy first reaction was "The Virgin Islands has an Attorney General?"
March 12, 2016
we can't let this guy go
Stories are abounding that Rubio's political career is over, if (which seems extremely likely) he ends up dropping his presidential bid. If the GOP is smart, they will not let a man of such obvious political talent go. Here Mike Ciandella of MRC's NewsBusters squad summarizes the way the GOP as a whole should avoid the 99/97% of scientists follow the consensus* slippery slope argument:
What thereís no consensus on is how much of the changes that are going on are due to human activity, in essence it's a sensitivity argument. ... these people pushing this are acting like itís some sort of a religious tenet they want us to admit.and when
(Mario Cuomo's brother, btw) CUOMO: You get painted denier, though, senator.
Where can the GOP fit this guy that he can maintain the dignity to run again?
* stupendous review here of the 99% / 97% ruckus that gets toted around and used as either a club or a shield against rational discussion.
February 11, 2016
Colorado to SCOTUS: F*** OFF!
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court stayed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan, a rule designed to reduce nationwide emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants by about one-third. The stay is a temporary measure while the federal courts review the merits of the rule.
I rarely stunned by governmental arrogance, but this strikes me as stunning. I got this from Amy Oliver's Facebook page -- are we missing something?
February 9, 2016
We're From the Government
... and we're here to help!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars. The regulation would also make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal. The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation entitled "Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles--Phase 2."
Ah yes, the CO2 emissions from the drag strip. Killing Mama Gaia.
January 27, 2016
Make a Difference
Sad news from the WhatsUpWithThat Facebook Page:
Just an FYI to everyone.
I'm in some Facebook groups with some very restrictive admins. We could volunteer to administer the site (9882 Likes), posting from his main page and managing the trolls.
I go back and forth whether that would be fun, but it is a chance to have some reach and audience. Maybe the Koch brothers would send us free doughnuts...
December 15, 2015
A Lukewarmer's Elevator Talk
Of course, all the environmentally responsible interlocutors have taken the stairs...
But grade me on this: short & sweet.
I'm not saying that man is not contributing to climate change; I am saying that the problem is likely not catastrophic, and certainly not in the near term. In fact, I think we could study the problem for ten years, spend ten years assembling a plan, and then spend ten years implementing the plan.
December 9, 2015
Mark Steyn vs. Congress
Quote of the Day
To reach this developing world level of CO2 emissions, Mr. Sanders would: impose an unspecified carbon tax; ban all offshore drilling and fossil-fuel leases on federal lands; stop "dirty pipeline" projects; ban natural gas and oil exports; force states to ban fracking; ban mountaintop coal mining; impose a new fuel-efficiency standard of 65 miles per gallon by 2025; spend "massive" federal dollars on subsidies for wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, home-efficiency programs and energy storage; federally underwrite electric-car charging stations, high-speed passenger and cargo rail, a smart grid, and clean-energy job training; shut down the nuclear industry; and provide "clean energy funding" to the rest of the world.
December 7, 2015
Un Coup? Non, merci!
The non-news from Paris' conference of the uber-rich last week should be taken as a positive. The 11/13 terrorist attacks certainly stole some thunder, but I think even the private jet-set are starting to notice the lack of any common touch to their message:
I found the survey via the wonderfully prolific Matt Ridley's post on the Green Blob (which I much prefer to the Green Mob). If I were much smarter, I would have started my realist campaign by first noting good things happening in today's world, like ideas having sex. With that background I could say things like putting the interests of rich peopleís grandchildren ahead of those of poor people today not only with a smile, but able to put a smile on others' faces! Lastly, I could offer such powerful truths as:
look at the policies enacted in the name of mitigating climate change. Weíve diverted 40 per cent of Americaís maize crop to feeding cars instead of people, thus driving up the price of food worldwide, a move which according to one study killed about 192,000 poor people in 2010 alone, and continues to affect nutrition worldwide. Weíve restricted aid funding for fossil-fuelled power stations in developing countries, leaving many people who would otherwise have had access to electricity mired in darkness and cooking over wood-fires ó the biggest environmental cause of ill health, responsible for more than three million deaths every year.
Nice rejoinder to the WHO report supposing a quarter million climate deaths per annum. According to Daily Beast, that alarmism wasn't alarming enough to the alarmists, so they upped the ante to nearly 1/2 million in what the DB's author calls, probably without irony, "path breaking."
Another sign, again old news, is how they feel the need, as quoted in the Washington Times:
Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who was also listed in the complaint [to ban skeptics], said in an email that the climate-change movementís recent efforts ďprove they know they canít persuade the public if there are voices to challenge the media cheerleading.Ē
December 4, 2015
All Hail Harsanyi!
(Side note, David Harsanyi has picked up a partisan edge writing for The Federalist. I wonder if that causes friction at Reason?)
But today he is there and all the way live:
What do you call it when elites fly their private jets to an international climate change conference to forge a deal with despots that caps American prosperity without our consent? You call it progressivism.
December 1, 2015
Go along to be "credible"
Did anyone else see this? I heard him say it live, this morning. Or at least, his lips were moving and these were the sounds I heard.
It's not merely that "99.5% of scientists" say that global climate science is "real" and "serious" [up from a steady 97 percent for the last two decades or so] but more importantly, the President says, "also 99% of world leaders."
"It spans political parties," he continued. "You travel around Europe and you talk to leaders of governments and the opposition, and they are arguing about a whole bunch of things. One thing they're not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether or not we have to do something about it."
So in order to be "credible" and in order to influence events, one must accept a tenuous theory assembled upon a mountain of dubious or downright fraudulent data, and be willing to act against the interests of American citizens to prove that he "takes seriously what other countries care about?"
Is he as stupid as he thinks we are? He really does take this "lead from behind" a.k.a. "follow" strategy seriously. No credibility gap there.
As for that 99% consensus of world leaders, meet MP Tim Yeo.
In 2009 Yeo said: "The dying gasps of the deniers [sic] will be put to bed. In five years' time no-one will argue about a man-made contribution to climate change." Now, four years later, he is saying: "Although I think the evidence that the climate is changing is now overwhelming, the causes are not absolutely clear. There could be natural causes, natural phases that are taking place." Within the Anthropogenic Global Warming hierarchy, that retraction is broadly akin to Richard Dawkins joining the Cistercian Order.
And MP David Davies:
I could go on.
November 19, 2015
Quote of the Day
"Global surface temperature has risen about 0.8°C in the last 125 years. The surface temperature you experience will rise, on average, that much if you drive 150 miles south. Raleigh, North Carolina, does not typically send terrorists to Washington." -- Patrick J. Michaels and Christopher A. Preble @ Cato
November 16, 2015
Bill Nye, Science Scold
ThreeSourcers will find a gooberload of things with which to disagree in this article: "Bill Nye the Science Guy Knows How to Fix Climate Change."
Yet I encourage you to read it. It's superb and serious. He lacks economic judgement. And he would not know liberty if it bit him in the ass. But he is a serious guy: obviously a true believer. And he presents some arguments taht you'll hear from much less reasonable sources.
November 10, 2015
They do not exaggerate!
November 6, 2015
Not to be confused with climate science.
On October 13, the Republican chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee subpoenaed NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.:
"It was inconvenient for this administration that climate data has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades," Smith said in a statement. "The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get the politically correct results they want and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made. NOAA needs to come clean about why they altered the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration's extreme climate change agenda." [emphasis mine]
At issue are "documents stemming from deliberative scientific discussions that took place before the study's end product was final," that were deliberately withheld according to NOAA spokesman Ciaran Clayton.
"We have provided data (all of which is publicly available online), supporting scientific research, and multiple in person briefings. We stand behind our scientists who conduct their work in an objective manner. ÖWe have provided all of the information the committee needs to understand this issue."
Do legal defendants get to decide when the prosecutor has enough information to "understand this issue?"
Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil is under a broad subpoena of records over the past ten years by the New York Attorney General for investigation of lying to the public about the risks of climate change.
No, this is not a joke. I have not made any of this up for comedic effect.
Related - Hillary "Clinton said last week that the Department of Justice should investigate ExxonMobil for allegedly withholding data related to climate change, saying that there is "a lot of evidence they misled people."
Completely UN-related (OBviously) - "USA TODAY has confirmed that sponsors from 2014 that have backed out for this year include electronics company Samsung, oil giant ExxonMobil, ..."
October 26, 2015
Bill Gates: Only Socialism can save the planet!
Not sure how accurate this quote from US Uncut is. But it, sadly, has verisimilitude.
In a recent interview with The Atlantic, billionaire tech magnate Bill Gates announced his game plan to spend $2 billion of his own wealth on green energy investments, and called on his fellow private sector billionaires to help make the U.S. fossil-free by 2050. But in doing so, Gates admitted that the private sector is too selfish and inefficient to do the work on its own, and that mitigating climate change would be impossible without the help of government research and development.
I'm thinking about a Mac... To be fair, the headline is US Uncut's and "help of government R&D" is not really "Socialism." But my Facebook friends are elated.
October 22, 2015
Quote of the Day
In the run-up to the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, rich countries and development organizations are scrambling to join the fashionable ranks of "climate aid" donors. This effectively means telling the world's worst-off people, suffering from tuberculosis, malaria or malnutrition, that what they really need isnít medicine, mosquito nets or micronutrients, but a solar panel. It is terrible news. -- HOSS Bjorn Lomborg, WSJ Guest Editorial
October 14, 2015
Eco Ruh Roh
An "unfortunate truth" happened on the way to proving anthropogenic global warming "believers" are more likely to take actions to mitigate wildfire in the UFI (urban-forest interface) - scientists proved the opposite.
Respondents in the study were placed on a continuum from 'believer' to 'skeptic' based on their attitudes about the degree to which climate change affects wildfire risk in Colorado. Although over half of the study respondents agreed that climate change has increased wildfire risk in the state, those respondents were not necessarily more likely to take action on their private property to mitigate potential damage from future blazes.
Raise your hand if you're surprised.
I'm proud of my alma mater for publishing this study report, showing that their "conventional wisdom" is anything but.
October 12, 2015
'Climate Wars' destroying Science
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but cannot ever enough praise or repeat Matt Ridley (5th Viscount Ridley, DL, FRSL, FMedSci).
insist that there are only two ways of thinking about climate changeóthat itís real, man-made and dangerous (the right way), or that itís not happening (the wrong way). But this is a false dichotomy. There is a third possibility: that itís real, partly man-made and not dangerous. This is the ďlukewarmerĒ school, and I am happy to put myself in this category.
Here is a long article, but worth reading, and is probably more manifesto than primer for the lukewarmer school of thought. He relates broadly and deeply the worst ravages on the scientific of the warmatista's:
A more recent poll of 1854 members of the American Meteorological Society found the true number is 52 per cent.the many adjustments to raw temperature data (always in one direction), and the awful witch hunts for the truthtellers being trammeled by the bought-out and big NGO moneyed interests.
He cites old slimies, like Lewandowsky, Pachauri and Phil Jones:
ďBottom line: the Ďno upward trendí has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.Ēand new friends and scholars like Jennifer Marohasy, fellow zoologist Susan Crockford who exposed the polar bear alarmism,and Garth Paltridge:
We have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problemóor, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problemóin its effort to promote the cause.
All in all, an excellent and even witty read.
October 9, 2015
The birth of other-loathing
Perhaps it's a re-birth, I'm not sure. Has there been another period in history when an anti-humanity movement was so large and so popular? The Dark Ages perhaps.
Yesterday I was asked by a colleague, "Why don't we use more nuclear power?"
"Honestly" said I, "I think it is because there is such a powerful movement to limit the available resources in order to limit the growth and prosperity of the human race."
That movement is called "global environmentalism" and, according to its Amazon summary, the book that launched the movement is called 'Limits to Growth' - Donella H. Meadows, October 1, 1972.
The headline-making report on the imminent global disaster facing humanity - and what we can do about it before time runs out. The book that launched the environmental movement globally.
First on the list of prescriptions, as explained in an editorial review of "The 30-Year Update" version, is fewer people, doing less.
The authors demonstrate that the most critical areas needing immediate attention are: population; wasteful, inefficient growth; and pollution. They show how attention to all three simultaneously can result in returning the human footprint on the environment to manageable, sustainable size, while sharply reducing the disparity between human well-being and fostering a generous quality-of-life worldwide. Absent this, the prospects are grim indeed.
How grim? RCP's William Tucker explains in 'Dealing With Abundance.'
In fact we're doing quite well as far as resources are concerned. Nobody talks about "running out of anything" anymore. The one place where doomsayers would argue that we have overshot is in the creation of carbon dioxide byproducts in the atmosphere that are going to lead to global warming.
So the choice is apparent: Is the path to "a generous quality of life worldwide" in the direction of science, technology, and safe, non-polluting and nearly limitless nuclear power, or through "disfiguring the entire face of the earth with low-density energy collectors such as windmills and solar panels?"
The answer depends on your bias. Do you want to limit the population, or make it prosperous? Do you love and respect yourself, and therefore others, or do you loathe successful people because, deep inside, your self-image is that of a dirty little beast?
October 2, 2015
92% is the new 97%
Fantastic article from the ever-reliable Watts Up With That website (THE go-to place for Climate realism).
An analysis of the U.S. Historical Climatological Network (USHCN) shows that only about 8%-1% (depending on the stage of processing) of the data survives in the climate record as unaltered/estimated data.is the subtitle.
Author John Goetz carefully navigates a complex web of acronyms USHCN, GHCN, GISS, TOB, NOAA/NCDC (now NCEI) .... and thoroughly examines the ways that data has been adjusted, backfilled, estimated, extrapolated and how
that the U.S. Climate Reference Network, designed from the start to be free of the need for ANY adjustment of data, does not show any trendand
NOAA/NCDC (now NCEI) never let this USCRN data see the light of day in a public press release or a State of the Climate report for media consumption, it is relegated to a backroom of their website mission and never mentioned.
I've got a long list of sites (each study is nearly as complex as this one) in a separate folder called "hide the data." Australia, Maine, New Zealand, Paraguy.... to polar bears and ice caps.
This image is the best summary I've found: all the warming is from "models" and now we see that all the past warming is from fudging...
September 8, 2015
Quote of the Day
That last phrase is a tell. Have you noticed journalists never need to tell you "there is overwhelming scientific evidence" when there actually is? -- James Taranto
September 3, 2015
Headline of the Day
Trillions and Trillions of Trees make that 'giant sucking sound' of CO2 from the atmosphere.It seems it would matter to responsible climate models if the number of trees were discovered to be oh, say, eight times the previous estimate.
Too bad the science is settled -- this would seem an interesting datum.
September 1, 2015
Headline of the Day[Review Corner]
Green "Pure Principle"
From "The Hood Robin Syndrome" article jk Tweeted:
And if you are someone saving the planet from imminent doooom and destruction, well, you are the man. There is no action that you shouldn't take if it is in the service of your noble cause. You know that you have right on your side, you're preventing disaster. You know you are fighting the good fight to cool the fevered brows of those sweltering in the 2050 heat by at least a tenth of a degree, and that it is a fight that has to be fought if we are to save the very planet. Your strength is as the strength of ten because your heart is pure, and you have the moral high ground. As a result of all of that, there is no transgression you won't commit in order to have other people pay to make your beautiful Elysian (and slightly-cooler) dream come to fruition...
An almost word for word equivalence with the "pure principle of the prophet" I cited when Ayaan Hirsi Ali told us: "Boko Haram sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated." Carbon haters sincerely believe that the poor are better off with less energy than with more.
August 14, 2015
Quote of the Day
As can be seen from the graphic above, there is a strong correlation between carbon dioxide increases and adjustments to the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) temperature record. -- Professor Robert Brown
Barack Obama - EEVIL Carbon Polluter!
A government imposed cut of CO2 emissions by 30 percent just isn't good enough for some people. What about the other 70 percent!
"Instead, our president proposes ineffectual actions, demonstrably short of what is needed, and persists in approving fossil fuel projects that will slam shut the narrowing window of opportunity to ensure a hospitable climate system. I aim to testify on behalf of young people. Their future hangs in the balance," he said.
"He" is former NASA chief climate scientist, James Hansen - a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit by children against the government claiming that "the nationís fossil fuel policies violate their constitutional rights."
It is sometimes said that a population always gets the government it deserves. In this case, however, it seems that government is getting the mal-educated youth that it deserves.
August 11, 2015
Boycott Christmas Seals
And any other fundraising activities of the American Lung Association.
Founded in 1904 to fight tuberculosis, it was renamed the Lung Association in 1973 with the tagline "It's a matter of life and breath." Today it is "Fighting for air." And it is an epic battle against something Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer (and the EPA) call "carbon pollution."
"Breathing healthy air is essential to life. The evidence is clear that climate change now harms lung health and public safety. Warmer temperatures degrade air quality by making ozone pollution worse than it should be, and create more particle pollution from increased wildfires and drought. Add to that more frequent and intense extreme weather events, such as heat waves and floods, and the spread of some dangerous diseases, and you see why we need the Clean Power Plan."
Yes, that's right. The "Clean Power Plan" that promises to reduce the global temperature by 15/100ths of a degree in 85 years is somehow, magically, going to "bring immediate health benefits to the American people."
"Carbon pollution" must be quite deadly. I suggest we return to simply calling it carbon dioxide and carbonating our beverages with it. Instead, the Lung Association issues press releases and buys radio adverts to promote the political agenda of the global warmist redistributors. This 2012 Annual Report Addendum [PDF] shows that of the $58 million spent by the Lung Association that year, nearly $10 million went to "advocacy" and less than $7 million to research. (That $7 million is a mere 12% of total expenditures, by the way.)
So no, I'm not inclined to subsidize any more of the Lung Association's sanctimonious hot air. Neither should anyone else.
I can't find the radio spot that precipitated this tirade but I'll share it too, if I do find it. It specifically praised Governor Hickenlooper's Clean Power Plan.
June 20, 2015
Lord of the Lukewarmers!
Matt Ridley (he really is a Lord -- bleedin' Monarchists! Oh well, in the case of Ridley and Sir Van Morrison I am prepared to look the other way) has seen favorable mention on these pages both in a couple review corners and many favourable [sic] mentions and videos.
He's been instrumental in moving me from the Popperian Denier camp to the Lukewarmers.
These scientists and their guardians of the flame repeatedly insist that there are only two ways of thinking about climate change--that it's real, man-made and dangerous (the right way), or that it's not happening (the wrong way). But this is a false dichotomy. There is a third possibility: that it's real, partly man-made and not dangerous. This is the "lukewarmer" school, and I am happy to put myself in this category. Lukewarmers do not think dangerous climate change is impossible; but they think it is unlikely.
VP Al Gore could not be reached for comment. In an article for Quadrant Online (.au), Ridley takes on the more severe topic of "The Climate Wars' Damage to Science." Looking way back to the 1990s, he says:
It's hard to recall now just how much you were allowed to question the claims in those days.
Beyond epistemology and politics, it becomes something of a lukewarmers' manifesto -- but I think all stripes of knuckledraggers will dig it.
Sceptics such as Plimer often complain that "consensus" has no place in science. Strictly they are right, but I think it is a red herring. I happily agree that you can have some degree of scientific consensus about the past and the present. The earth is a sphere; evolution is true; carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The IPCC claims in its most recent report that it is "95 per cent" sure that "more than half" of the (gentle) warming "since 1950" is man-made. I'll drink to that, though it's a pretty vague claim. But you really cannot have much of a consensus about the future. Scientists are terrible at making forecasts--indeed as Dan Gardner documents in his book Future Babble they are often worse than laymen. And the climate is a chaotic system with multiple influences of which human emissions are just one, which makes prediction even harder.
Yogi Berra could not be reached for comment. Were one to find a rational, reasonable proponent of catastrophic change, this comprehensive article debunks the bumper-sticker lines (On the science underlying "97% consensus:" "This should be a huge scandal, not fodder for a tweet by the leader of the free world.") and enumerates the many scandals.
None of this would matter if it was just scientific inquiry, though that rarely comes cheap in itself. The big difference is that these scientists who insist that we take their word for it, and who get cross if we don't, are also asking us to make huge, expensive and risky changes to the world economy and to people's livelihoods. They want us to spend a fortune getting emissions down as soon as possible. And they want us to do that even if it hurts poor people today, because, they say, their grandchildren (who, as Nigel Lawson points out, in The Facts, and their models assume, are going to be very wealthy) matter more.
Pope Francis could not be reached for comment.
UPDATE: Ronal Bailey of Reason could be reached, Here is his post on Ridley's article.
June 19, 2015
All Hail Taranto!
James Taranto finds the NYTimes's new repect for papl authority and infallibility somewhat remarkable:
June 18, 2015
In opposition to "Post-Normal Science"
It seems that a long time has passed since we added a page to the Blog Roll. I humbly submit that it's time to change that. Principia Scientific dot org.
PSI serves no political purpose, supports no political party (or parties) and does not engage in political activities. Our advocacy is for the advancement of the traditional scientific method (as per the ideas of Karl Popper) and resolute opposition to 'post-normalism' in science.
I am saddened, and slightly embarrassed, that it's taken my five years to discover it.
Well, I checked "rant" just in case I lapse into capitol letters.
"Laudato Si" is out and from Bill McGurn, I am guessing it is as bad as any ThreeSourcer feared. The WSJ Ed Page has a higher percentage of Catholics than most Catholic churches, and they strain to match church teachings with their free-market leanings. McGurn cannot find the sunny side of this.
Blog friend sc shared an interesting piece this morning. Crux Magazine provides a good overview of what encyclicals are, their target audiences, and a brief history. It would be a good overview for the non-Catholics among us or those who went to Catholic schools but didn't always pay attention.
The end of the article contains -- benignly to the authors -- my worst fear: that this will be important and persuasive.
Other religious leaders also have been emboldened by Laudato Si.
Trolling level: expert.
UPDATE: The more I read, the worse it gets.
Pope Francis opens the encyclical, which includes extensive sections on the theology of creation, with a lament for man's sins against "Mother Earth": "We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life."
June 16, 2015
Got to admit, it has a nice ring to it! And Pope Bjorn has better ideas for helping the poor.
Pope Francis's concern for the poor is clear, so it is understandable that climate change is the topic of his forthcoming Encyclical -- a Papal letter that is sent out to the world. Climate change will hit the most destitute people first and worst.
I've been cautioned to not read too much into the current rumors and to wait until the encyclical lands with a hard thud on the doorstep. These early leaks might represent wish-casting from lefty journalists and provocation opportunities from lefties in the church. The actual text may not be a Koch Brothers press release, but I have been cautioned by some smart folks that it mightn't be Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ay-yi-yi! VT) either.
Pope Denounces "blind faith"
I'm going to take this as a positive: I've longed for the day when Republican candidates and office holders put less emphasis on religious dogma and priorities and now that the current Pope's leaked encyclical to "every person who inhabits this planet" has outed him as a neo-Marxist, perhaps the GOP can take a few steps back from the church.
The pope will also single out those obstructing solutions. In an apparent reference to climate-change deniers, the draft states: "The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions."
We certainly wouldn't want to form any beliefs based on faith in something that can't be proved now would we? And yet,
The draft is not a detailed scientific analysis of the global warming crisis. Instead, it is the pope's reflection of humanity's God-given responsibility as custodians of the Earth.
There we are, back to the familiar paternalism that the church does best! Still, there's something not quite right when it makes common cause with Gaia worshippers...
At the start of the draft essay, the pope wrote, the Earth "is protesting for the wrong that we are doing to her, because of the irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God has placed on her. We have grown up thinking that we were her owners and dominators, authorised to loot her.
I'll never claim biblical scholarship but I'm not familiar with the teaching that Earth has godlike qualities. Isn't this bordering on polytheism? Holy father!
June 15, 2015
What's Latin for "we're so fucked?"
We were warned. But early reports indicate that "Laudato Si" (be praised!) will be as bad as any ThreeSourcer expected. The Pontific Astrophysics department of the Vatican has decided that it is all your fault, "Illegitimi Capitalisto" (Capitalist Bastards!)
Crucially, the pontiff's words are expected to bolster the case of scientists and politicians who are seeking a global pact aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and potentially avoiding significant additional warming of the earth's atmosphere and oceans.
He will not only keep the poor poor from his failure to understand economics, he will now keep them freezing in the dark because of his failings in epistemology. Sen. James Inhofe (Denier - OK) suggests "The pope ought to stay with his job, and we'll stay with ours."
Amen, Monsignor Inhofe: let the Senate keep people poor, and his holiness can punish the impure.
UPDATE (And I used the Lord's name in vain several times in typing and posting this piece). The Guardian is thrilled to say that the encyclical will attack Capitalism and anger Republicans. (Well, there's a climate change prediction that has proven goddamnedly accurate!)
The encyclical will go much further than strictly environmental concerns, say Vatican insiders. "Pope Francis has repeatedly stated that the environment is not only an economic or political issue, but is an anthropological and ethical matter," said another of the pope's advisers, Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Peru.
Hat Tip: Elizabeth Price Foley @ Instapundt on the Guardian link.
June 12, 2015
About that settled science.
Blog Brother Bryan just linked to Matt Ridley's Rational Optimist Blog. I had seen it but should start visiting regularly; it has been way too long.
I found a gem on the 60 year torrent of bad medical advice. The science underlying cholesterol's and saturated fats' contribution to heart disease was "not just flawed, but tinged with scandal."
In the 1950s, an upsurge in heart disease in American men (probably caused mostly by smoking) led the physiologist Ancel Keys to guess that dietary cholesterol was to blame. When that seemed not to fit, he switched to saturated fat as a cause of high blood cholesterol. To make his case he did things like leave out contradictory data, shift points on graphs and skate over inconvenient facts. He then got big charities and state agencies on side and bullied his critics into silence.
In completely unrelated news:
Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to "cut all ties" with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers.
I don't know why I even posted that second article -- it has noting to do with cholesterol. Or diet.
2015: One Scary Ass Place!
I had a moderately reasonable discussion with my lefty biological brother and one of his misanthropic moonbat friends (come for the jokes, stay for the name-calling) over a Robert Tracinski piece on the NYTimes and Robert Erlich. It seems even the Times has now noticed that the catastrophes predicted by Ehrlich for the 1980s failed to transpire. Though there were those skinny ties.
Stewart Brand, a former disciple of Ehrlich's, asks: "How many years do you have to not have the world end to decide that it didn't end because that reason was wrong?"
The NYTimes video at the link (sorry, I could not embed) is worth a watch. Ehrlich thinks the world will end on Thursday instead of Tuesday. And my brother implies that Ehrlich and ilk saved the world by sounding the alarm.
But at the end of the day, Ehrlich was wrong, Malthus was wrong, and the guy hawking his book on Good Morning America was wrong. Who was right? President Coolidge. He said, "if you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." Like most things in this great and seemingly robust world, we'd have done better to listen to Silent Cal.
June 4, 2015
EPA Chief: Trust Us!
Its all so complicated and sciency -- just let us handle it, we're really smart!
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told Big Think in an interview that while there are limits to how much the federal government can do for issues like global warming, the public needs to trust how the EPA translates the "complicated" science into real-life actions.
[Whoa -- I'm I the only one who thinks the next word will be "But?"]
"But here's what I think we can do at the federal level more effectively. We can speak to the science because it's complicated and we do a lot of research and we do a lot of translation of the science into what it means for people so that the decisions can be made on the basis of real science and on the basis of a real technical understanding."
I know I feel better!
May 22, 2015
Obama's Coast Guard Audience
When President Obama named human caused Climate Change as the cause of "an immediate risk to our national security" in his address to the graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy this week, something tells me his intended audience was folks like CNN's Juliette Kayyem.
Skeptics of these global seismic shifts are not simply denying science, they are denying safety and security. Until we recognize -- with the immediacy we would if a nation launched missiles against our cities -- that climate change isn't something that can be debated, but must be mitigated or, failing that, adapted to, we will not expend the effort or resources to prepare ourselves to the one phenomenon that we know is coming: simply, the waters are rising and this is a war.
Got that? The risk of climate change demands the same immediacy as a missile launch against our cities.
But the Arabic speaking world* has a much different perspective on the President's priorities.
*The owner of the video admits "Folks.......this a spoof. It was never intended to be taken as a legitimate news report. Obviously two things are at play here. One, I did the job too well. Two, we have come to the stage in the Obama presidency where quite literally..........anything is possible"
h/t: KHOW's Mandy Connell
April 22, 2015
HAPPY EARTH DAY II!
Brother Keith is right. This deserves sharing!
April 7, 2015
Harvard Prof: My Former Student, President Obama, is "Misguided" on Climate Regulation
Mr. Tribe dismissed the criticism and said that his brief and comments reflect his views as a constitutional scholar, not as a paid advocate for the coal company. "I'm not for sale," he said. "I'll say what I believe."
"I feel very comfortable with my relationship with Peabody," he added. "Somebody wanted my help and it happened to coincide with what I believe."
So one must choose - he can be a scholar or he can defend commerce qua commerce - but not both.
Next week Mr. Tribe is to deliver oral arguments for Peabody in the first federal court case about Mr. Obama's climate change rules. Mr. Tribe argues in a brief for the case that in requiring states to cut carbon emissions, thus to change their energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable sources, the E.P.A. is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority under the Clean Air Act. At a House hearing last month, Mr. Tribe likened the climate change policies of Mr. Obama to "burning the Constitution."
Clearly this is stinging the Rube Movement, and more than just a little.
"Whether he intended it or not, Tribe has been weaponized by the Republican Party in an orchestrated takedown of the president's climate plan," said one former administration official.
Weaponized? If so, it is indisputably as a countermeasure to the president's climate plan for mass economic destruction.
It is widely expected that the fight over the E.P.A. regulations will eventually go before the Supreme Court. If it does, Mr. Tribe said that he expects he "may well" play a role in that case -- which would be argued before two other former students, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Elena Kagan.
Is it possible then that Tribe was retained by Peabody in a strategy to intimidate the high court in favor of "a corporate agenda -- specifically, the mining and burning of coal?" Sure, that's possible. And it's also possible that one branch of government strangling an entire economic sector against the will and without the complicity of other branches really is like "burning the Constitution."
UPDATE: Furthermore, strangling an entire economic sector, or a specific corporation, or even an individual, is the very thing that a "Republican form of government" guaranteed by the Constitution [Article IV, Section 4] was intended to prevent - by a single branch or even, indeed, by all three in concert! It was to be, a minimal state.
The minimal state treats us as inviolate individuals, who may not be used in certain ways by others as means or tools or instruments or resources; it treats us as persons having individual rights with the dignity this constitutes. Treating us with respect by respecting our rights, it allows us, individually or with whom we choose, to choose our life and to realize our ends and our conception of ourselves, insofar as we can, aided by the voluntary cooperation of other individuals possessing the same dignity. How dare any state or group of individuals do more. Or less.
April 6, 2015
You Don't Hate Veterans, Do You?
As part of President Obama's plans to combat climate change, the White House announced a program on Friday for the U.S. Department of Energy to train 75,000 people to work in the solar power industry by 2020, many of whom will be part of a military veterans jobs initiative called Solar Ready Vets.
I'm shopping for sweaters! This Global Warming thing is fixed -- thanks, President Obama!
Hat-tip: Insty, who calls it "Solyndra II."
March 25, 2015
Snowball's chance in hell
My Facebook feed exploded when Senator James Inhofe (Denier - OK) threw a snowball on the Senate to further his claim that "Global Warming is a Hoax." Inhofe's stunt was easy to mock and I'm not sure I agree. But the response surprised even me. Ozzy bit the head off a live bat and elicited a similar response.
Somehow, I'm not expecting the same old sturm und drang over this:
Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer repeated the claim that more than 7,000 Americans were killed by "climate change-fueled" natural disasters last year in an attempt to tie burning fossil fuels with extreme weather.
It was the whole world, not the US. And it included earthquakes which are not climate related.
I contend the correct number is zero. Every death from a storm is tragic, but to say that it would not have happened without 1°C warming is specious on a grand scale.
February 27, 2015
Now we find out the truth to why representative Godzilla (D-tool) has targeted the barely-detectable donations that Dr's Soon and Pielke might have obtained: they weren't properly weighted (a NASA trademark) or processed... er, whatever....
This is actually against the law; 18 U.S.C. 209. and 5 CFR 6901.103(d) if anyone's keeping track, which I imagine the nefarious representative of shadowy interests and dubious causes isn't.
I'd always considered Dr. Hansen a piece of Mannly slime, and now we are getting the proof. I imagine he'll get a bit more than a suspension:
failures to report often elegant air and hotel/resort accommodations received on his SF278 as required by law (the amount of direct cash income received from the party providing him travel, as well, is in parentheses):
Blue Planet Prize ($500,000), travel for Hansen and his wife to Tokyo, Japan, 2010
Sophie Prize ($100,000), Oslo Norway, travel for Hansen and his wife, 2010
February 25, 2015
Otequay of the Ayday
"When 'witch hunts' are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics," Pielke wrote. "The result is a big loss for both science and politics."
University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke, on the news that Arizona U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Hypocrisy) has targeted him for congressional investigation into corporate funding of global warming research.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent requests to seven universities asking for detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming. Grijalva cited concerns over possible conflicts of interest involving scientists who have sought to influence the public debate on climate.
But these researchers, Pielke at least, are producing and citing peer reviewed papers that are published in the respected scientific journals. Does Rep. Grijalva suggest that the source of the funding might taint that established, objective process? If so he should also send a memo to his boss in the White House asking for a complete accounting of all of the federal money that has been spent on investigating climate. After all, nobody has a greater conflict of interest regarding climate taxes, regulations, mandates, etcetera, etcetera than does the federal government.
February 17, 2015
Schadenfreude is a dish best served cold
Fossil Free Yale, a group pushing the university to divest itself from fossil fuels, told the Yale Daily News that frigid, snowy weather set for this weekend will mean their global warming protest will have to be postponed. -- Michael Bastach, Daily Caller
February 12, 2015
The threat of climate change is "real"
In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama declared, "No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change." "His statement was met with scattered, muted applause," writes CNN's Madison Park. Almost as if the assembled audience were skeptical of his claim.
But they, and we, would be wise to consider what the Investors' Editorial Page says is the "real reason behind the warming scare," as revealed by a U.N. official.
At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.
Intentionally change the economic development model of the last 150 years? The period with the greatest advance in health, welfare, safety, prosperity, peace and happiness in the history of mankind? Destroy capitalism, the mean by which man trades peacefully rather than looting and pillaging in the manner of Genghis Khan and the prophet of Islam?
No, I think I'll have to agree with President Obama on this one. The plans of the U.N. are no hoax.
February 10, 2015
All Hail Taranto!
To which Slate's Phil Plait, a doctrinaire global warmist, offers this Orwellian rejoinder: "This is nonsense. The claim is wrong. The scientists didn't manipulate the data, they processed it." -- James Taranto
February 4, 2015
According to the Free Dictionary there are 196 different meanings for the acronym "PMS." The two most popular, pre-menstrual syndrome and pantone matching system, are not the topic of this post. I refer to a 197th meaning: Politically Motivated Science
State senator Doug Whitsett, in Oregon of all places, named this enemy of the common man in his commencement speech to last year's graduating class of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine:
January 26, 2015
Our Betters at Davos
You know. The 1700 private-planefuls of people who have flown to the Swiss Alps to fix Climate Change. IBD has a great editorial.
It's pretty obvious that people who can pay $40,000 to attend Davos and fork over $43 for a hot dog, $47 for a burger or $55 for a Caesar salad -- all actual prices at this year's World Economic Forum -- would seem to be in a poor position to lecture the rest of us.
January 19, 2015
Quote of the Day
Reports that 2014 was the "hottest" year on record feed the insatiable appetite the public has for definitive, alarming headlines. It doesn't matter that even in the thermometer record, 2014 wasn't the warmest within the margin of error. Who wants to bother with "margin of error?" Journalists went into journalism so they wouldn't have to deal with such technical mumbo-jumbo. -- Real Live Climate Scientist Dr. Roy Spencer
January 16, 2015
BREAKING! 2014 Hottest Year on Record!!
The giddy-meter at HuffPo is deep in the red! "BREAKING!"
The year's average combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 58.24 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA. This is 1.24 F above the 20th-century average. Global average land temperatures were 1.80 F above average, while ocean surface temperatures were 1.03 F above average, the agency said. Land temperatures alone were only the fourth-warmest on record, but ocean temperatures were the warmest, which helped to make 2014 the warmest year overall.
Take that haters! They were right all along!
UPDATE: Shenanigans has been called.
January 1, 2015
New Year's Resolution
In the interest of all the creatures of the world except myself, I herewith resolve:
- To become a vegetarian,
I realize that this is, in itself, not enough to atone for my selfish lifestyle for the past five plus decades, but it is only a beginning and I intend to redouble my efforts again next year. And I don't even consider it a sacrifice, as it is for the good of all life on earth. (Well, maybe not so good for plant life but we can't all be winners, right?] I have no doubt about the power of my intellect to wean myself from the unhealthy foods made from other creatures, like hamburgers, steak, chicken wings, bacon, ... ... ... nevermind.
December 31, 2014
But But But...
... isn't the agreement between theory and observation a bedrock principle of "science?" Isn't good science a prerequisite of any ersatz "scientific consensus?"
He [NASA JPL researcher Dr. David Schimel] said: "What we've had up till this paper was a theory of carbon dioxide fertilisation based on phenomena at the microscopic scale and observations at the global scale that appeared to contradict those phenomena.
So what does this paper say that makes the puzzle pieces fit together, finally?
As emissions add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, forests worldwide are using it to grow faster.
How terrible! Higher levels of the "pollutant" CO2 cause the earth to be ... GREENER.
But be careful what conclusions you may be tempted to leap toward, Fracknation:
He [NASA JPL researcher Dr. David Schimel] said: "The future tropical balance of deforestation and climate sources and regrowth and carbon dioxide sinks will only remain a robust feature of the global carbon cycle if the vast tropical forests are protected from destruction."
But but but...
... one man's harvesting is another man's "destruction" and didn't you [NASA JPL researcher Dr. David Schimel] say, "Young fast growing trees tend to absorb more carbon dioxide as they use the carbon as they grow?" If I didn't know better I might suspect that he [you know who I'm talking about] just endorsed modern forest husbandry and harvesting. But we all know better than to believe that, don't we?
December 29, 2014
Who are the H8Rs again? I seem to have lost my program. The LCV makes it to #2.
December 23, 2014
Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe
I used to consider this a snarky response to climate change fears, but I am warming to it. (Don't forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses...)
If it is so deleterious, why do so many vote with their feet?
By adding an average of 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Florida passed New York to become the nationís third most populous state, according to U.S. Census Bureau state population estimates released today. Floridaís population grew by 293,000 over this period, reaching 19.9 million. The population of New York increased by 51,000 to 19.7 million.
California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina vs. New York, Michigan. It could be tax policy...
December 11, 2014
Real consequences of "Cli-Fi"
Consequence Number 1: The decline of humanity
From the Friday Funnies linked in today's Cli-Fi post,
David Brower, a founder of the Sierra Club: "Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."
Now, this hasn't actually happened, but for statements like this to go unchallenged in the public square, along with similar sentiments by Paul Ehrlich, Ted Turner and David Foreman, creates a palpable sense that having a large family is somehow "evil." Au contraire.
I know a lot of us have been brainwashed into thinking that our natural and manufactured resources are shrinking. We're often told that we have a choice of either radically reducing our consumption or our population or we'll eventually run out of water, energy, and food. Excuse me, but this is hogwash. That's because we heard the same thing in 1714, or 1814, and probably the year 10,000 B.C. And they were wrong then too.
December 10, 2014
Word of the Day: Cli-Fi
Watts Up With That has a great collection of Friday Funnies (Okay, I'm a few days late..) Over a Century's Worth of Failed Eco-Climate Quotes and Disinformation.
The whole thing is full of gems and is best experienced all at once. But Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger at Cato link to the piece and share a great bon mot: Cli-Fi for Climate Fiction. How awesome is that?
December 6, 2014
Watts Up With That has engendered much mirth and edification 'round these parts.
Now, Andrew Watts is trying to raise money to attend and report on the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting.
While many attendees get the taxpayers (via their Universities) or their NGO's via donors to pay for such things, WUWT has no such resources, and despite the claims common from detractors, we are still waiting for that 'big oil check' to arrive. I'll drive down to save money rather than take a plane.
A good cause if you can scratch a few nickels together.
November 29, 2014
100 percent! Now that's a consensus!
The blog has been slow for a couple days so I hope nobody minds if I re-post a comment made on an IBD editorial article.
Not only is global warming not accelerating, it is, in the words of Cato analysts Paul C. Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, "actually decelerating, or, (nearly) stopped."
You remember the 97% claim, don't you? Well, Bart_R couldn't help himself and waded in to prove the veracity of the piece's title, 'Warming Has Stopped But Eco-Radicals' Lunacy Accelerates.' To wit:
While Knappenberger and Michaels have been industrious workers for Cato, one must ask oneself what sort of person industriously works to promote fossil waste dumping without consent of or compensation to the rest of the world?
So I dutifully replied:
"Fossil waste dumping?" "Waste?" We're talking about CO2 here. The respiratory by-product of every mammal on earth, and the essential molecule for terrestrial plant life. CO2 could only be called "waste" by a mammal. Well, maybe also a reptile. Or invertebrate.
November 27, 2014
"...and snacks and stuff."
The funniest stuff I've read in a long time is in this "article" on the California ballot initiative voters "approved" to build a high-speed rail line to Hawaii.
"This is a great day for California," says Walter Miller, leader of the Yes on 49 campaign. "Sure it's relatively easy and cheap to fly to Hawaii. But why would you want to take a 5-hour flight, when you can take a 15-hour train ride in an underground tube?"
November 19, 2014
Eppur si muove
November 18, 2014
Doesn't Sound Settled to Me...
So. Climate Change -- we gonna freeze or bake in the winter in America?
If anything, [Martin Hoerling of NOAA] says, the warming world will see fewer extreme weather shifts because the Arctic and mid-latitudes will be nearer in temperature.
November 14, 2014
Berkeley With Snow
Steven Hayward gives a talk on Climate Change but takes some slaps at Brother jg's Alma Mater in his intro,
November 13, 2014
Silly Lefty, This is What Mandates Are For
The Daily Camera reports: Boulder plots path to climate goals
The city also needs a marketing campaign to engage the community in a shared goal, he [Boulder Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn] said. (...)
Question: Once regional drivers pass the city limit sign, don't they belong to someone else's ambitious climate goals?
Not Impressed with the Sino-American Pajama Party
The romance of the fresh princelings of Beijing is that they needn't abide such barriers to enlightened governance as elections, a free press, transparency, the rule of law and two political parties. They can simply order economic transformation in the next five-year plan, and censor any dissenters as Al Gore wants to do in the U.S. Thus in China Mr. Obama has found the ideal climate-change partner: A technocratic elite that can instruct the bourgeoisie how they must light their homes and commute to work.
October 14, 2014
To be fair, the science was 83% Settled...
Buy that Escalade -- for the planet!
In this new effort, the researchers took a new look at the photosynthesis process and how it might be altered in the presence of increasingly higher concentrations of CO2. They found that as CO2 levels rose, plants altered the way they processed the gas, saving more of it to use as a fertilizer, which allowed the plants to grow bigger or to become more robust, which in the end meant more CO2 was taken out of the atmosphere. Not coincidently, the researchers note, their research showed that when plants were exposed to the same higher levels of CO2 as actually occurred over the past century, they were able to absorb on average 16 percent more CO2, which very nearly coincides with the 17 percent error difference earth scientists have found with their climate models. -- Phys.org
October 13, 2014
Don Beaudreaux Wins the Internet this Week!
With his letter to the NYTimes:
Paul Krugman suggests that "deficit scolds" ignore two important facts: first, any net harm to human well-being generated by government deficits are "uncertain"; second, even if such harm does materialize, it won't do so for many years ("Secret Deficit Lovers," Oct. 10).
I weep at its beauty.
UPDATE: Boudreaux also has a guest editorial in the WSJ today. If I may paraphrase for those with no susbscription, the GMU economics professor and law professor Todd Zywicki, say "Hayek told you so!" to the developers of Dodd-Frank and the PPACAo2010.
October 1, 2014
Quote of the Day II
When you point out the unreality of green energy dreams, you are met with foam-flecked denunciations of the Koch brothers. In fact the opposition to the climateers is tiny by comparison to the resources deployed by the environmental establishment, not to mention the massive sympathy they receive from an uncritical media. From the way people like Al Gore complain you'd think the climateers were up against the teachers union. -- Steven Hayward, Climate Change Has Jumpedthe Shark"
September 26, 2014
Not Even Watermelons Any More
Blog friend sc shares a link and an observation: "It seems that it's only been in the last few months that progressives are stepping out with this rather than trying to mask it."
It is one thing to see the goofy socialists all come out for the climate change march with their anti-capitalist literature and banners, it's another to see grownups, and I'll kindly include Ms. Naomi Klein and some of the writers at Slate. (Generous R Us, I know.)
The solution to climate change is not just some CFLs and wealth transfer to poor nations in the UN and Neil deGrasse Tyson hectoring us on the Internet. The green skin of the watermelon is peeled away (a very curious way to eat watermelon) and the "red" of the movement is suddenly exposed for all to see.
According to social activist and perennial agitator Naomi Klein, the really inconvenient truth about climate change is that it's not about carbon--it's about capitalism.
Umm, yeah, that terrible status quo that has lifted billions out of poverty and privation. That McCloskleyesque growth curve -- we have to put a stop to that. I don't know if you watched any of Reason's excellent videos where they interviewed the protesters, but Ms. Klein has nailed it They really have moved on from light bulbs.
The divestment movement is a start at challenging the excesses of capitalism. It's working to delegitimize fossil fuels, and showing that they're just as unethical as profits from the tobacco industry. Even the heirs to the Rockefeller fortune are now recognizing this.
But, hectoring our friends to change their light bulbs is still really really important, isn't it?
You said you've been working on this book for five years. What changes have you made in your own life in that time to change your own footprint? What can readers of your book do?
Centralized composting. Still missing targets. It gives one pause. You really have to read the whole thing.
UPDATE: The first bad review...
September 12, 2014
Otequay of the Ayday
Historically speaking, though, would it have been better for humanity to avoid an "Age of Pollution" and wallow in a miserable pre-Industrial Age, where poverty, death, disease and violence, were far more prevalent in our short miserable lives? Or would we have chosen global warming? I think the latter. And I think we'd do it again.
All-hail Harsanyi - 'Global Warming was Worth it'
Plus a bonus - Harsanyi's reductive graph of the history of the world:
Don't know who is following the fun of Dr. Michael Mann's denying his responsibility for the famed "hockey stick" diagram -- yet bloggers found it cited in his CV.
The always-quote-worthy other litigant, Mark Steyn, does not disappoint:
One is inclined to be generous. My old friend Irving Caesar, lyricist of "Tea For Two" and "Just A Gigolo", had a legendary Broadway flop with a show called My Dear Public. The reviews were scathing, and singled Caesar out particularly, as he was the show's producer, and lyricist, and co-author and co-composer. The following morning he bumped into Oscar Hammerstein and said, "So they didn't like it. But why pick on me?" That's Mann's attitude to the 1999 hockey stick he co-authored: So it's misleading and over-simplified. But why pick on me?
September 10, 2014
Lord Ridley Hisself!
September 9, 2014
But, the Science is Settled...
While I enjoyed Matt Ridley's WSJ Editorial on Climate Change, it seems not everybody did.
Post-script. After the article was published, an astonishing tweet was sent by the prominent economist Jeffrey Sachs saying
So it begins... You can follow this link to Ridley's blog and read the original editorial outside of Murdoch media gang's lying paywall as well as a lengthy postscript about a HuffPo piece under Sachs's byline (which Ridley does not believe was written by Sachs). Good, clean, nasty fun. The aspersions are so thick you can cut them with a knife!
Frank @ Being Classically Liberal on Facebook asked the other day why libertarians don't just accept climate change: 97% yadda yadda, we don't want to be the anti-science yadda yadda makes us look stupid yadda yadda. I can dig where he is coming from. With all the heterodoxy we have to convince progs and low-information voters, it does seem a side rail at best to wave the 3% deniers flag.
Yet the pushback was pretty strong and I'd say about 97% opposed to his olive branch. All the reasons employed here were brought up (and I linked to the Ridley piece). Denying Climate Change is a popular trope in Democrat campaign ads this season -- and I agree that is probably effective -- but the lack of rigor in climate science needs to be exposed.
September 5, 2014
Whither Climate Change?
He has a guest editorial in the WSJ today that will warm a ThreeSourcer's heart somewhere between 0.3°C and 0.5°C.
First the climate-research establishment denied that a pause existed, noting that if there was a pause, it would invalidate their theories. Now they say there is a pause (or "hiatus"), but that it doesn't after all invalidate their theories.
Ridley is a self-identified "lukewarmer" (I came out as such recently) but is thinking that the temperature sensitivity may well be less than the non-catastrophic levels he expected.
The warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, to quote the news release that accompanied their paper, "was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle." In other words, even the modest warming in the 1980s and 1990s--which never achieved the 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade necessary to satisfy the feedback-enhanced models that predict about three degrees of warming by the end of the century--had been exaggerated by natural causes. The man-made warming of the past 20 years has been so feeble that a shifting current in one ocean was enough to wipe it out altogether.
I'll save you the email -- I have a link that should be good for seven days to
August 27, 2014
Truth now lacing up second shoe
Temperatures measured at the weather station form part of the ACORN-SAT network, so the information from this station is checked for discontinuities before inclusion into the official record that is used to calculate temperature trends for Victoria, Australia, and also the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Stay with me here, this is a bit tricky. It seems one must be a climate "scientist" in order to comprehend the validity of the, umm, "technique."
Sometimes weather stations are moved, you know, geographically, from one place to another place in the same vicinity. This can produce a "discontinuity" in the recorded temperature. So this "homogenization" algorithm was invented to, you know, correct the "errors" that result when the data is inserted into computer climate models. Well that raw data from Rutherglen was causing a whale of an error. It showed that the observed temperature trend over most of the 20th century was downward, when every climate scientist knows that the globe really warmed during that time, and is still warming today because there aren't enough wind farms. It's a settled consensus it is, dontcha know.
There's only one problem: (Okay, there's more than one problem, but this is the biggest problem.) "There are no documented site moves."
The Bureau has tried to justify all of this to Graham Lloyd at The Australian newspaper by stating that there must have been a site move, its flagging the years 1966 and 1974. But the biggest adjustment was made in 1913! In fact as Bill Johnston explains in todayís newspaper, the site never has moved.
Related: Just coming to this story I hadn't realized that Rutherglen is only one site where data has been "remodeled." There is also Amberley and Bourke.
I understand that by way of response to Mr Lloyd, the Bureau has not disputed these calculations.
That Constitution Thingy...
"Obama Unveils New Plan to Work with Foreign Governments to Ignore the Constitution" screams the headline. I do get a lot of wacko emails. But this is from the partisan-yet-measured Jim Geraghty and he notes the difference:
There are a lot of nonsensical or highly exaggerated chain e-mails accusing the president of working with foreigners to subvert the U.S. Constitution. But this time you've got the foreigners and administration officials themselves confirming it on the front page of the New York Times!
And, if you're looking, it's Article II, Section 2:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
Doesn't sound like a suggestion to me.
UPDATE: All Hail Taranto:
In order to "sidestep" the constitutional requirement that laws be made by lawmakers, the Times continues, "President Obama's climate negotiators are devising what they call a 'politically binding' deal that would 'name and shame' countries into cutting their emissions."
August 11, 2014
The Science is Settled!
Warmin'? Coolin'? It's a conundrum -- but one with a chocolaty certain center.
Or, we have no freaking idea what is going on -- but, the science is settled!
The scientists call this problem the Holocene temperature conundrum. It has important implications for understanding climate change and evaluating climate models, as well as for the benchmarks used to create climate models for the future. It does not, the authors emphasize, change the evidence of human impact on global climate beginning in the 20th century.
July 19, 2014
Oy! Aussies Ditch Caaabon Taxes!
Mary Kissel suggests conviction might work here.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott fulfilled a major campaign pledge Thursday when his government voted to repeal the country's carbon tax, provoking wailing from the political left and green groups about climate Armageddon. The smarter analysis is that Mr. Abbott proved that conviction politicians are rewarded when their ideas have economic merit--and are clearly explained--to the electorate. Republicans should take note.
July 9, 2014
Quote of the Day
Gotta sting a bit.
A true revolution would be a new breed of climate activist who admitted what they didn't know and toned down their absurd pretense that they're going to ban or seriously curb fossil fuel by fiat. If they were smart, they would put all their effort into winning government funding for battery research. But there are reasons, quite apart from lack of imagination, which is the nicest explanation of Mr. Steyer's shrill imposture, that this doesn't happen.
June 29, 2014
The new Eco-Incandescent light bulbs are here!
Just when you thought you'd never again see a good-old light bulb because that mean nasty government made them illegal, geniuses at GE and Philips have found a way to make them all over again. [Thomas Edison - call your office.] They're called "eco-incandescent."
This is news, because they just hit the market, but it isn't a surprise as I explained it in a January 2011 blog post comment after carefully reading the 2007 federal law that "banned the light bulb." Bulbs could only be sold if they were more efficient than standard bulbs by, if I remember correctly, at least 20 percent. The new eco-incandescents are (magically) 28% more efficient.
They are also (less magically) several hundred percent more expensive. Thanks mean, nasty government!
Back in 2011 I accused lamp makers of manipulating the market via regulation, so that "Competitors can no longer undercut each other's cheapest products and saturate the market with them." But Hank Rearden, or is it the Chinese, is not deterred. "Eco-Smart" brand bulbs undercut more expensive models by GE and Philips. Depending on wattage, they are one to two bucks each.
What a country!
June 20, 2014
Popper on Climate Change
I've promised a Review Corner on Bryan Magee's Philosophy and the Real World: An Introduction to Karl Popper. By sheer accident, I read, in series, three books about/by three great early/mid 20th Century thinkers: Chesterton, Popper and Orwell. I've light-bending respect for each but feel they have made errors that were particular to their time.
My original objections to Global Warming were based on Popperian epistemology. Reading Magee's superb introduction I am reminded how germane his arguments are against DAWG.
To prevent Review Corner's becoming about Climate Change, I want to do a separate post. Popper codified what we call scientific method. Fascinating that he developed a full blown philosophy on top, but if nothing else he provides a description of how scientific knowledge advances.
As I said earlier, Popper recommends that we formulate our theories in as clearcut a way as possible, so as to expose them most unambiguously to refutation. And at the methodological level we should not, he says, (see page 19) systematically evade refutation by continually reformulating either our theory or our evidence in order to keep the two in accord. This is what many Marxists do, and many psychoanalysts. Thus they are substituting dogmatism for science while claiming to be scientific. A scientific theory is not one which explains everything that can possibly happen: on the contrary, it rules out most of what could possibly happen, and is therefore itself ruled out if what it rules out happens. So a genuinely scientific theory places itself permanently at risk. And here we come to Popper's answer to the question raised at the beginning of this chapter. Falsifiability is the criterion of demarcation between science and non-science.
Popper has a front row seat to the 30 years that shook Physics and the brainpower to understand advances in relativity and quantum theory. What I read from a textbook happened in real-time to Popper. Newtonian mechanics, which described the world for hundreds of years (I'd suggest it had better than a 97% consensus) was superseded by Relativity. At the same time, Marx, Engels and Freud claim the scientific mantle for their theories. As Popper sang, "one of these things is not like the other one:"
On 29th May the observations were made. And they corroborated Einstein's theory. Other theories which claimed to be scientific and were at the height of intellectual fashion in the Vienna of Popper's youth, such as those of Freud and Adler, did not, and could not be made to, put their lives at stake in this way. No conceivable observations could contradict them. They would explain whatever occurred (though differently). And Popper saw that their ability to explain everything, which so convinced and excited their adherents, was precisely what was most wrong with them.
Climate Science explains everything and no theory since Freud's Id, Ego and Superego has ever been less falsifiable. It is cold, Climate Change; it is hot Climate Change; floods, fires, hurricanes, more ice, less ice...
There is no May 29 for Climate. Every year it seems we read another experiment on a phenomenon suggested by Relativity. New clocks and lasers and rockets have provided a century of May 29ths -- and Albert's predictions have always come up on top.
UPDATE: It is frequently May 29 in Cosmology: Big Bang breakthrough team allows they may be wrong
June 17, 2014
Bringing their organizational skill to environmentalism!
After they have solved that, I think the VA might move onto childhood obesity and a definitive proof of the Reimann Hypothesis. (Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty)
May 23, 2014
Their Appeal is "Becoming More Selective"
[CNN President Jeff Zucker] told Bill Carter of the New York Times: "Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about. But we haven't figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way. When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience's part." -- John FundA tremendous amount of lack of interest! Those Spinal Tap lads cannot rise to that.
May 22, 2014
Quote of the Day
In choosing to spend money in just Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan, ["Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, who made money from fossil fuels but now seeks to prevent others from doing the same"]'s NextGen is steering clear of most of the battleground states that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. The organization says that it wants to bring the climate issue "to the forefront of American politics" and presents itself as an opponent of "special interest groups" but it seems to be taking pains to avoid the many places where general interest groups, i.e. voters, favor cheap energy. NextGen apparently has no plans to play in tight races in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, or North Carolina, partly because in many of those places even Democratic candidates are at least pretending to favor energy production. -- James Freeman, WSJ Ed Page
May 21, 2014
I am working on a new "Elevator Talk" for Climate Change (or DAWG, as it 's known around these parts). The issue is still politically fraught with peril -- every day, my Facebook includes Sen. Mark Udall's asking Rep. Cory Gardner to "sign his petition affirming climate change." It is a crude distraction from ObamaCare®, but don't think crude does not work [insert random Mencken quote here...]
My position has evolved somewhat over the years: not enough to effect policy, but I have softened pari passu with that big Antarctic sheet of ice.
"So, jk, on a scale from 0-10 where zero is 'it's a hoax' and ten is 'metaphysical certitude: we're all gonna die!' where do you stand on Climate Change?"
Does it have to be an integer? I'd say about 4.5 [Who is unreasonable now, baby? I'm a moderate!] Hoax requires mens rea and I will accept that a preponderance of the scientists are genuinely concerned. Politicians probably run the spectrum from following along to "yes, this'll meet my needs," but I'll accept the scientific concern as legitimate.
That gets me to two.
The science of Physics suggests a 1.3° C temperature rise to accompany a doubling in atmospheric CO2. I'm a big fan of Physics -- I have all their albums [pause for laughter as needed here...] Seriously, that is well founded and experimentally reproducible. I accept, therefore, a projected 1.3 degrees of man made warming over the next 50 years.
I think that gets me to four.
Now, the practitioners of climate science take that 1.3 degrees and multiply like a Keynesian at an all-you-can-eat buffet. They show, through computer modeling, that as it gets warmer, there will be more barbecues, and people will eat more meat, and that increased bovine flatulence will raise the temperature 300 degrees and we'll all broil. Okay, it is not that bad, but they are taking fundamentally good science and taking some liberties with it.
The climate science, unlike the physics, is not reproducible or empirically provable.. In fact, the experiment we call the real world diverges substantively from their models.
This puts all the numbers >= five off limits.
But there is a beta, if I can borrow from finance. There is a non-zero chance that they are right. The introduction of more heat to a complex, chaotic system could start a cycle of warming. I multiply the very small beta of probability by the very large coefficient of suckage should this transpire and get 0.5: ergo 4.5.
SecState Kerry suggests that there is no great cost to overreaction and great costs to under reaction. I purport the exact opposite.
If I -- and Physics -- am right, there is a 1.3 rise, which is well within normal fluctuations. Nobody would have noticed had VP Gore won Florida in 2000 and had other things to spend his time on than movies. If I am wrong, don't we want to be richer and smarter? If we waste our time and innovation on government-directed green boondoggles, we will not have the technology or resources to really tackle it if it is bad.
Well, that's it. I've had this in my head for a few days, but was inspired to try it reading the Guest essay by Steven Burnett on the WattsUpWithThat.com site. Burnett has a degree in Psychology and one in Chemistry. He compares the rigor of soft and hard science.
If I may wax poetic for a moment, the hard sciences are like a rock while the soft sciences are like sand. They are fundamentally composed of the same stuff, but it's the structure that makes them different. You must find a comfortable spot to rest on the rock but sand conforms around you. An uncomfortable rock must be dealt with, sand can simply be brushed away. Rock climbing requires training and equipment, a walk on the beach does not. I have had the opportunity to do both, and from personal experience, rock climbing is both harder and more fulfilling.
UPDATE: In case this post wasn't long enough for you... But I had to share the WSJ Ed Page's answer to Sec. Kerry:
The "worst that can happen" is that we spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we can't do anything to stop; that we misallocate scarce resources in a way that slows economic growth; that slower growth leads to less economic opportunity for Boston College grads and especially the world's poor, and that America and the world become much less wealthy and technologically advanced than we would otherwise. All of which would make the world less able to cope with the costs of climate change if Mr. Kerry is right.
Having read your thoughtful response concerning MMGW wherein you begin with a "0" to"10" what if, and end with a coolly (warmly?) calculated "4.5", I wish to perhaps precipitate a thaw in your math.
There are three distinct areas of focus, however blurred, for a consciousness. They are ideas, things, and people.
The hallmark of the first is the imagination. It is preoccupied with, in addition to whatever may arise to temporarily occupy its focus, envisioned (visionary?) manifestations of "what ifs."
The second area of focus are "things." The hallmark of this consciousness is curiosity. What, how, and why, are perpetual questions to which such a consciousness endlessly seeks answers.
The third area is people. The hallmark of this consciousness, when whatever imagination (ideas) or curiosity (things) might have initially been at play is/are determined to be of relatively little value, it invariably chooses people as the objects of its focus. The hallmark of such a consciousness is politics.
Of course we each are, in differing proportions, amalgamations of all three. On one end of the spectrum lies the occasional Einstein, exploring the intergalactic vortex while working as a clerk in the patent office, never losing sight of his reverence for science and the requirement that his imagination can only become validated when confirmed by reality.
Representing the other extreme, the likes of Barrack Obama, who, apparently never having had an original thought in his life, merely adapted to playing the political game in which he found himself at birth, consistently through to its current manifestations.
The rise of the idea of man-caused destruction of the Earth is the product of politics. It has no basis in actual science itself, and little in its relatively new and larger arena of science, Climatology.
However, since its political postulation, first as MMGC in the early seventies, then as MMGW, recently MMCC, to now, where I indicated at the last LOTR meeting I heard the first snippets of MMCD (disruption replacing change - the boring and virtually imperceptible pace of change giving way to the far more dramatic and dire term, DISRUPTION ((film at eleven!)), the proponents have been joined by sincere and credible consciousnesses who are honestly trying to investigate said claims. To the extent these additional voices remain credible, and are not shown to be seeking renewed funding or new Grant money, they tend to provide a veneer of respectability to what was/is, on its face, a "modern" vehicle for the destruction of individual freedom and Capitalism.
Now, I do not wish to be what I am arguing against. I always remain open to the possibility that the claim of MMCI (influence replacing whatever might be the latest fashion) is in fact occurring. One of the nasty traits of we humans is that certainty stops inquiry. However, I insist that the motivation for inquiry be imagination or curiosity, not arising from the sewer of politics!
The high priests of the "settled science" of MMCI are certain of their inquiry, and denounce, demean, or discredit, any heresy to the contrary. I therefore am resting comfortably at a .0014, awaiting further demonstrable, repeatable, evidence - not simply the computer modeling of premises.
Dave, the denounced, demeaned, "discredited" denier, Walden
May 12, 2014
Weather is Not Climate!!!
May 5, 2014
Everything there is to be said.
I've been trying to make this point on Facebook. Today it has been taken up superbly by Caleb Rossier, who has "[S]pent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for "friendly" dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial. But I oppose my allies' well-meaning campaign for 'climate justice.'"
Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use.
But, but, but...
April 21, 2014
Talmey-Drake Research and Strategy Inc. said in a written report to the county [Boulder, CO] that focus groups have shown that "support for alternative transportation efforts is driven not by what would get a person out of their own car, but by the hope those programs get others out of their cars so the roads are less congested for them as they continue to drive."
Wow, who saw that coming? Certainly not the people who wrote this:
By investing in such programs as those that support cycling, walking, car pooling and public transportation, "Boulder County strives to make it easier for people to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, while conserving natural resources and living an active, healthy lifestyle," the county said in a report detailing its sustainability programs.
But what if people don't want those things?
Here's my prediction: Boulder County residents will get the least popular "alternative-transportation program:" Making personal transportation advisers available to advise residents and businesses on how to shorten commutes and reduce car use. That'll get their heads right.
April 10, 2014
Climate Scientists "on Strike?"
If only! In 'What if a climate scientist fell in the forest" Eric Golub writes,
"So at this point it's absurd to keep asking the scientific community to churn out more reports. In fact, it might almost be more useful if they went on strike: until you pay attention to what we've already told you, we wonít be telling you more."This guy thinks we are children, afraid to live without mommy and daddy (or mommy1 and mommy2) here to watch over us. Go ahead, climate scientists, "go Galt." We'll manage.
These more frequent illustrations of the nannyists disconnection from reality are some of the things that make me more optimistic that humanity is not doomed to return to pre-history.
March 20, 2014
Got Yer Microcosm Right Here..
Insty nails it: "Putin was changing the map while Europe was saving the climate."
Liz Peek, The Fiscal Times:
Europe has had nearly a decade -- since Moscow cut off gas supplies to the region for the first time -- to ready itself for renewed Russian misbehavior, but has been caught as flatfooted as Obama. Instead of reducing their dependence on gas from Ukraine and Russia, the leaders of Western Europe have chosen to combat climate change. Instead of investing in secure energy, the EU has invested in green energy, driving up energy costs, reducing competitiveness, and allowing Putin to remain in the driver's seat.
By "Europe" we can certainly throw in Sec. John Kerry who still calls Climate Change the greatest threat. The Administration could permit LNG exports, approve the Keystone Pipeline, permit fracking on Federal Lands and tell the free world that America has your back.
I'm not calling for Destroyers in the Black Sea or missiles in Poland, just actions that are in our interest whatever Iran, Russia, or Saudi Arabia chooses.
And I call it a microcosm because I don't think my Facebook friends would argue with how I've laid out the board. Most would be very comfortable arguing that Sec. Kerry and the Administration are doing the right thing and that the German Greens have a longer world view than we goofy Cold Warriors.
UPDATE: In completely unrelated news, Jim Geraghty brings us the President's Thursday Schedule: President Obama to make first appearance on 'Ellen'
March 13, 2014
Colorado Democrats' Anti-Frac Front is, well, Fracturing
Valerie Richardson in The Colorado Observer:
"You look at the kind of Democrats who have been elected in the last few election cycles, and they are to the left, way to the left of center in Colorado, and they'll support this fracking ban," said Wadhams.
The Democratic Party's ability to keep its far left in line and avoid fractious battles on issues has helped it win the support of the business community, which values political stability. That could change if business leaders suspect Democrats are aligned with the anti-fracking forces.
"So you're watching the fracturing of the base, but also as important, theyíre going to alienate the business community and [even] the progressive business community," said Ciruli. "I don't think those people won't give to Hickenlooper, but they might not give to these Democratic Senate campaigns."
So Hick might still get donations but his base will not be behind him.
March 11, 2014
Post to Polis: Frack Off
Still, the more gas is available worldwide, the less leverage Putin will have in bullying neighbors and in talks with European powers such as Germany, which also depends on Russian gas.
Not everyone agrees, of course. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., was among 20 House Democrats last fall who wrote to the energy secretary expressing concern LNG exports "would lead to greater hydraulic fracturing activity," which is probably true. But we would hope most members of Congress appreciate that fracking can be done safely, and that America's new energy bounty offers a huge opportunity to assist pro-Western governments abroad.
Read more: Liquefied natural gas as a geopolitical tool - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_25314888/liquefied-natural-gas-geopolitical-tool
Take that, Democrat.
March 4, 2014
Quote of the Day
The warming alarmists might earn more support if they acted less like they had something to hide and actually allowed open debate. Perhaps they could respond to their critics rationally instead of reflexively branding them heretics, suitable for whatever is the modern university and research center equivalent of burning at the stake. Real science does not fear those who challenge it, does not work to have challengers' articles banned from science journals, and does not compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers or, as Mr. Kerry did in Jakarta, members of the "Flat Earth Society."
March 1, 2014
Something of worth from the DAWG Crusade?
A hybrid aircraft, this goofy looking vehicle is capable of heavy lifting and long flight times thanks to the buoyancy of helium gas. The UK Telegraph article that describes it touts its "low carbon" and "green" attributes. I call it a possibly cost-effective vehicle for heavy transport and other specialized uses - provided it is economical in its use of the non-renewable commodity, helium gas.
February 26, 2014
I just responded to an Upworthy Post with a TED talk!
Me. I feel dirty. You know the kind of person who responds to an Upworthy.com post with a TED talk? Don't tell the folks at ThreeSources, they'll revoke your login . . .
But a not-overwhelmingly-political young person I know posted this:
I did not want to start a Facebook war with this person. But "Upworthy Lad" (kindof "Pajama Boy" with no hot chocolate) claims this has been around for years and nobody has refuted it. And, that grates on me.
Watch if you want, but it is the precautionary principle wrapped up for Facebook crowd. Obviously, the action to prevent something is less damaging: we trade a flu shot for flu, we do not amputate our arms to reduce hangnails. So, we don't know about global warming but it could be really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really bad. So we should "prevent it."
I responded: "You're not driving into work today, are you? The worst that could happen if you stay home is your boss yells at you -- but you could be in a horrific car accident and lose your head! All because you were afraid of getting yelled at..."
But I responded because (Internet Segue Alert) the TED talk linked in my Arnold Kling Post makes a better point. Upworthy Lad no doubt thinks we'll fix it by buying LED light bulbs and driving Priuses. When really "His top left square is not some beta risk of Depression, but 2-4 billion people doing their own washing and burning dung to keep warm."
February 19, 2014
Speaking of Anti-Poverty Policy...
That is one of the two "biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century" according to Patrick McCulley at international rivers dot org, who posted [in 2004] Twelve Reasons to Exclude Large Hydro From Renewables Initiatives. Spoiler alert: None of the 12 reasons is "Large hydro is non-renewable." To the contrary, reason #12 admits that it is, precisely, renewable:
12 - Large hydro reservoirs are often rendered non-renewable by sedimentation
No word on the required maintenance or "useful lives" of wind, solar or small hydro.
February 17, 2014
Probably some Koch Brothers plant, spreading this scurrilous lie that extreme weather cannot be tied to climate change:
"There continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale."
Oh, wait, that's the IPCC report. Pretty much the gold standard for climate science... And
Hereís what a paper published by 17 senior IPCC scientists from five different countries said last month:
Thanks to Rational Optimist Matt Ridley for Floods and gales in the UK are not evidence of climate change. And to blog friend tg for a Facebook post of Ridley's (also excellent) Science discovers new ignorance about the past
February 12, 2014
On Science and Faith in Politics
Think carefully for a moment about the phrase, "The science is settled." That would make the issue in question an "absolute" would it not? And absolutism is what Democrats of all flavors most often criticize Republicans for believing.
This is the topic of an entertaining column by Andrew Quinn at The Federalist. The fun begins with his headline: "The Party of Science Has Absolutely No Clue What It's Talking About."
To an intellectually honest observer, these findings compel more questions. What are reasonable expectations for health insurance? Should we be satisfied if Medicaid helps people sleep easier but makes them no healthier? Even if so, is health insurance the most effective way to convert taxpayer dollars into peace of mind for the poor?
Because, like most people, progressives are more comfortable with facts that agree with how their mind is already made up. But there is a difference between progressives and the rest of us: They have so convinced themselves that theirs is an ideology rooted in objective science, and any contradictory ideology is rooted in Revealed Truth, that they don't even recognize when their ideology becomes exactly that - an article of faith.
So the next time a Facebook friend tells you his ideas are scientific be sure to ask him for his Hypothesis, Evidence and Analysis that support his Conclusion. If you are sufficiently skeptical he will eventually balk. Then you can ask him to who's authority he is subservient. After all, "consensus" is just another way of saying "I don't want to know any more than I already know." And isn't that why they like to laugh at the Religious Right?
February 7, 2014
I think that ThreeSourcers might dig this.
That's the question being posed in the latest issue of an Australian literary journal, Quadrant, by Garth Paltridge, one of the world's most respected atmospheric scientists. [Paltridge:]
Another serious scientist joins the good guys. Nice. But what I really enjoyed is his portrayal of climate scientists: Paltridge, again:
A new and rewarding research lifestyle emerged which involved the giving of advice to all types and levels of government, the broadcasting of unchallengeable opinion to the general public, and easy justification for attendance at international conferences--this last in some luxury by normal scientific experience, and at a frequency previously unheard of.
Anybody who has ever had his lunch bought by a Koch Brother or received a paycheck from Exxon is not to be included in the conversation. But flying first class to Davos to meet the Vice President and stay in a five star hotel is somehow just part of living for an academic.
I have always tried to point out that either way, the oil company scientists are going to have a job. But if climate change is anything less than boiling oil catastrophe on a stick: the researchers are going to have to get real jobs.
February 6, 2014
Drill Baby Drill, Drill
I really need to visit Minnesotans for Global Warming more often. This is from 2011 but still as relevant as ever.
January 3, 2014
Another "dirty little secret" of renewable energy
I wonder if readers will be as surprised as I to learn that the energy required to produce a 1,000 watt solar panel is on the order of 20,000,000 watt hours? That is the gist of this 1997 Australian whitepaper - Can Solar Cells Ever Recapture the Energy Invested in their Manufacture?
It depends on the particular type of panel of course, and efficiencies may have improved but still, I wonder how many solar PV evangelists know that the energy produced in the first 2-10 years of their system's operation all goes to pay back the energy consumed to create the things in the first place? "Woo hoo, halfway through my solar PV warranty period I'm finally net energy positive! Feel the clean power baby!"
I heard this topic discussed on a local liberty-oriented radio show last night, where the claim was that the energy of manufacture exceeds the energy produced over a lifetime. While that may be true at extreme latitudes it's a credibility-destroying exaggeration.
January 2, 2014
Headline of the Year
Yeah, I know it's Jan 2. But (WSJ Ed Page):
December 11, 2013
A better word would be subsidy.
To summarize the CBS Denver 4 report:
Electric company establishes surcharge to customers to subsidize boutique power.
Rilly? You were able to pay them when you paid half the cost to start with. What gives?
Oh, it's harder to sell your product to customers. I see.
T-Shirt Meme of the Day
SAVE THE WHALES!
End the insanity - ban wind power!
October 8, 2013
How Science Works
Somehow, this seems inconsistent with Popperian Epistemology. But here is a description of the discussion on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Summary for Policymakers (SPM):
Concerning the evidence that the key findings of the report are based on, Saudi Arabia suggested adding "assumptions" or "scientific assumptions" to the list. The addition of "scientific assumptions" was supported by Brazil and opposed by Austria, Canada, Germany and Belgium. The latter underscored that assumptions are already implicitly included in the already-listed theory, models and expert judgement. The Group rejected the insertion.
Sounds like the science is settled...
October 2, 2013
So that's how the Obama campaign raised so much cash "on the internet"
This could be an "Otequay of the Ayday" post:
ďWeíre all familiar with the J-curve in private equity,Ē said Joseph Dear chief investment officer at the California Public Employee Retirement System in March. ďWell, for CalPERS, clean-tech investing has got an L-curve for Ďlose.íĒ
From an article at thefederalist.com -- The Venture Corporatists - "Saving the planet" has made lot of investors richer. Taxpayers? Not so much, which concludes:
As long as green technology remains not simply an economic venture but a moral one, taxpayers will continue to nobly lose money as politically connected ďsocial entrepreneursĒ reap a windfall.
October 1, 2013
Now, a UN Shutdown . . .
The IPCC report boldly states in its executive summary that the science is settled but inside its many pages the supporting evidence is unsettling. Go to your favorite denying site for more information.
But go to the WSJ Ed Page for a plausible response:
One lesson of the IPCC report is that now is the time for policy caution. Let's see if the nonwarming trend continues, in which case the climate models will need remodeling. But that's far less costly than trying to undo grand global redistribution schemes like carbon cap and trade.
September 24, 2013
The once prestigious Scientific American Magazine has taken the "skeptic" label a step further and labeled Dr. Judith Curry, director of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, a "heretic." Then has the audacity to ask in the sub-head, "Why can't we have a civil conversation about climate?"
Her-e-tic: n. 3. anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle. Synonyms: 3. dissenter, skeptic, freethinker.
If science always conformed to established attitudes, doctrines and principles then the earth would still be flat and man would be flightless. At least as far as "science" is concerned.
So, how did Dr. Curry's apostasy begin?
But over the past year or so she has become better known for something that annoys, even infuriates, many of her scientific colleagues. Curry has been engaging actively with the climate change skeptic community, largely by participating on outsider blogs such as Climate Audit, the Air Vent and the Black≠board. Along the way, she has come to question how climatologists react to those who question the science, no matter how well established it is. Although many of the skeptics recycle critiques that have long since been disproved, others, she believes, bring up valid points -- and by lumping the good with the bad, climate researchers not only miss out on a chance to improve their science, they come across to the public as haughty.
You mean, she's been trying to have a civil conversation about climate?
Ultimately though, I think this one quote is the most important one in the entire article:
Still, once Curry ventured out onto the skeptic blogs, the questions she saw coming from the most technically savvy of the outsiders -- including statisticians, mechanical engineers and computer modelers from industry -- helped to solidify her own uneasiness. "Not to say that the IPCC science was wrong, but I no longer felt obligated in substituting the IPCC for my own personal judgment," she said in a recent interview posted on the Collide-a-Scape climate blog.
That any scientist would ever substitute anything for her own personal judgment is the reason why science got off the fact-finding and truth-seeking track in the first place.
UPDATE: This article was mentioned by Mark Steyn yesterday, but it was published in November, 2010. [No matches found for "curry" in ThreeSources archives from November 2010.]
September 23, 2013
A Global-Temperature Predictive Model that Works
Get out the grant money! Blogger Coyote Blog has nailed it:
In 2007, for my first climate video, I created an admittedly simplistic model of global temperatures. I did not try to model any details within the climate system. Instead, I attempted to tease out a very few (it ended up being three) trends from the historic temperature data and simply projected them forward. Each of these trends has a logic grounded in physical processes, but the values I used were pure regression rather than any bottom up calculation from physics. Here they are:
It works better than the others...
UPDATE: Speaking of "works," EPA admits its regulations won't help:
The moon is full. Jupiter is aligned with Mars. Venus is in the seventh house, and the Environmental Protection Agency actually has made a truthful statement about the effects of a proposed regulation, specifically, its new proposed "carbon pollution" rule for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new powerplants.
August 1, 2013
Liberty on Film!!!
The video from the previous Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons is posted:
It was superb and I highly recommend it.
July 23, 2013
A DAWG-Denyin' Good Time was Had by All
I heard so many of my favorite arguments elucidated well by the charming octogenarian that I became convinced I was of his intellectual caliber. I later recognized the name and realized that he was one of my early influences.
The Left repeatedly insists that climate change is the world's #1 problem, and this has distracted us from the world's actual #1 problem: Poverty. About 1.3 billion people don't have electricity, meaning they also don't have adequate access to food, healthcare or the Internet. Essentially, such communities are condemned to a life of indefinite poverty. Providing them with cheap electricity is a compassionate, progressive thing to do.
July 16, 2013
$KO Where's that Global Warming?
July 12, 2013
Global Warmity Goodness!
Mr. Ridley, call your office! Matt, line one...
Or so says the New York Times. Probably some shadowy Koch Brothers outfit.
July 11, 2013
Parody is Obsolete
I'll steal Insty's entire post:
WORLD ENDS: WOMEN AND MINORITIES HARDEST HIT. Climate Change Will Affect Non-White Americans Disproportionately.
I should not have clicked. But I did. And you will too. This is the literary equivalent of Saturday Night Live's sketch where everyone had to smell the spoiled milk:
What if some people in the U.S. live in areas that are hotter than the neighbors just across town? The researchers, all from the University of California, Berkeley, decided they wanted to check if access to trees and other green cover, which keeps neighborhoods cool, is correlated with race. Having more trees and less asphalt in an area keeps reduces air conditioning bills and air pollution.
Mommy, make them stop excerpting, it hurts, Mommy...
Some Rational Optimism for Thursday
June 1, 2013
Right Problem, Wrong Solution
James Pethokoukis is correct. The topic of global warming is fraught with peril for the GOP. Being intransigent, fighting "science," and appearing indifferent turns off a lot of voters -- especially young voters. Especially, well, all the voters all the GOP schemes seek to attract.
And yet, Pethokoukis points out, Republican primary voters want to hear "it's a hoax." With significant tailwinds on size of government and Democratic miscues, the GOP -- on a minor issue -- is set up to be unable to nominate anybody who could win. In my best Mr. Mackey voice, I say "That's bad, mmkay?"
Pethokoukis offers some bold solutions. Even he admits they will be a tough sell. Trading a carbon tax for significant reductions in regulation and corporate tax reform has its charms, but it is a hard sell even to me. So, JimiP, we're going to tax the great engine of what Deepak Lal calls "Promethean Growth" and further establish government as the arbiter of what is good ('lectric cars, ethanol) and what's bad (stinky oil, raw milk, tea party groups...).
In addition, it is pretty easily demagogued; "Gas Tax" like "Amnesty!" has the power to reduce intelligent debate to shouting. ("Advantage TT")
Worse -- and readers know I am a HUGE fan of Pethokoukis -- I think he understates the hard sell to the left. They may have some fears of oceans' rising, but status quo policy is working very well for them. Schooners of money for research, EPA control of everything, a winning political issue.
Pethokoukis's other solution is geoengineering. I will admit that that is my favorite solution if DAWG pans out to be real. Shoot seawater into clouds or reflective sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere. My favorite, not mentioned, is iron particles on the surface of the ocean to enable plant growth. But all of these solutions have to win over a left wing that fights vaccinations and GMO crops and fracking on junk science -- they're going to buy in on atmos-tampering?
On the other side, you're convincing me that the UN should be in charge of the weather. Is that a really good idea?
I applaud his taking this on. I agree that a plan is needed, that leadership is good. Yet how do you ask the party of less government to mobilize legislation against n externality that is not quantitatively understood?
May 29, 2013
Take this guy to the track next time
All right you knuckle-draggin', science-ignoring, global warming denialists! Here's your morning read. If you have a progressive friend on Facebook who watches Jon Stewart all the time, she'll be able to help you with the big words.
The Parliamentary Question that started this was put by Lord Donoughue on 8 November 2012. The Question is as follows.
Doug Keenan, guest-posting at the very interesting looking Bishop Hill blog, takes on that question from the standpoint of selecting the correct statistical model to evaluate the rise.
If that sounded interesting, click away. If not, you're not going to like the post any better than the description. Just turn FOX News back on and see if there are any more Cheetos® in the sofa cushions.
Hat-tip: Robert Tracinski [subscribe]
May 21, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists [like economists] disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous [Consensus?] in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. -- Newsweek, April 28, 1975
Related: "Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in thirteen U.S. states." (Same article)
May 20, 2013
Quote of the Day
Gripping entertainment. Can I bear the excitement? As I sip my coffee and stare at the ice my thoughts turn to what the polar ice might do this year. Might it also be late breaking up? That would set the cat among the pigeons. -- Commenter Ian H.Mister H is watching -- live -- what may be the latest ice break up in the Nenana Ice Classic. "The latest the ice has ever gone out was May 20th, 1964 at 11:41 AM Alaska Standard Time. As of this writing there is about 28 hours to go to break that record."
March 29, 2013
Quote of the Day
The problem for the climateers is increasingly dire. As The Economist shows in its first chart (Figure 1 here), the recent temperature record is now falling distinctly to the very low end of its predicted range and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, that there's something going on that supposedly "settled" science hasn't been able to settle. -- Steven Hayward
March 8, 2013
CNN: Global Warming is Totally for Real!
A new study makes an interesting point: a very long term study concludes that the temperature swing from 1910 - 2010 is unprecedented. Perhaps it has been colder, perhaps warmer, but it has never shifted so much in only a century. Pretty interesting point.
Furthermore, the study authors feel that we should be in a cold period and that the last, very warm decade would be catastrophic if the same amount of DAWG were present at a warm part of the cycle.
Interesting. But I must -- its being CNN -- excerpt another part of the story. Deirdre McClosky, call your office! We have figured out why prosperity happened -- it was a predictable climate!
Humanity in the last 11,500 years
No mention of the Enlightenment. Stopped fighting an ice age; became prosperous and wealthy -- then ruined the climate. Oh irony, thy name is Man!
March 6, 2013
Quote of the Day
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee announced early Wednesday that it's postponing its environmental subcommittee's scheduled 10 a.m. hearing on the state of the science behind climate change. As a reason, it cited "weather."Of course, that doesn't mean anything. Climate isn't weather -- unless it is very hot.
February 27, 2013
Pollution-Free Coal Power
Detractors like to say "Clean Coal doesn't exist" but Dr. Liang-Shih Fan is one of many scientists laboring, and succeeding, in accomplishing it.
Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and director of the Clean Coal Lab, has just completed a 203 hour test of a radical new way of obtaining energy from coal. Typical coal-fired power plants burn coal to boil water, and run the resultant steam through turbines to produce electricity. Fan's process, a new technology called "coal-direct chemical looping," does not burn the coal. Instead, it chemically converts coal to heat in a sealed reactor chamber. Tiny iron oxide beads help to deliver oxygen to the coal particles, which are then cycled through an airflow chamber for re-oxygenation, then run back through the reaction chamber. This is the "looping" in the technology's name. The process gives off no air pollution, and the captured carbon dioxide is ninety-nine percent pure, enough to make it a valuable commodity.
25 KW! That could power a house! Or a car! Oh wait - carbon dioxide? Hasn't the EPA decided that carbon dioxide, necessary for plant growth, is a pollutant? Never mind. Back to windmills and bicycles.
January 24, 2013
Two Important Pieces on Climate Change
Quite a week from two non-deniers.
Walter Russell Mead points out that The Economist magazine has given up on global climate treaties: "Once a believer in the global approach, it appears to have given up"
The good folks at The Economist suggest "[V]oters appear more willing to accept domestic environmental laws than international ones. If true, that is an indictment of years of green activism that has pushed for a global treaty first."
Just tactics, so far, although one appreciates the nod to reason -- especially remembering President Bush's being blamed for every weather incident for not signing Kyoto (after the Senate opposed it 0 - 95, but whatever...)
More important were a couple of, dare I say, scientific concessions:
The Economist also brings us big news on the "settled science" of climate change. A new study has found soot to be twice as bad for climate as was previously thought, making it the second most damaging greenhouse agent after CO2. This is actually good news for two reasons.
To oppose CO2 is to oppose modernity. The dedicated warmie settles for nothing less than "back to the caves." Keystone Pipeline? Fracking? Mai Non! We've a planet to protect! I think even some grouchy old ThreeSourcers could get behind reasonable action on soot. I might be wrong, perhaps there is a pro-soot faction. But reducing soot seems a natural by-product of efficiency. Cleaner fuels, complete combustion should move toward CO2 + H2O as exhaust. Plants' two best friends. As more change is attributable to soot, this reduces the impact of CO2.
If that doesn't melt your cold, cold heart mosey on over to the WSJ Ed Page. "Skeptical Environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg has a guest editorial. True to his designs, Lomborg -- like Professor Mead and the editorial staff at The Economist -- believes completely in Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe. But he wants it addressed scientifically and economically.
This makes his criticism of the hype credible:
Unfortunately, when the president described the urgent nature of the threat--the "devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms"--the scary examples suggested that he is contemplating poor policies that don't point to any real, let alone smart, solutions. Global warming is a problem that needs fixing, but exaggeration doesn't help, and it often distracts us from simple, cheaper and smarter solutions.
Lomborg knows the plural of anecdote isn't data. Wildfires have been reduced, droughts are holdin' steady and the damage from hurricanes is set to halve as a % of GDP by 2100.
This does not mean that climate change isn't an issue. It means that exaggerating the threat concentrates resources in the wrong areas. Consider hurricanes (though similar points hold for wildfire and drought). If the aim is to reduce storm damage, then first focus on resilience--better building codes and better enforcement of those codes. Ending subsidies for hurricane insurance to discourage building in vulnerable zones would also help, as would investing in better infrastructure (from stronger levees to higher-capacity sewers).
That's the news on the science front. Now, from Facebook:
Pretty much captures the important discussion points, does it not?
UPDATE: Insty provides this link to the Lomborg piece, might be free.
January 9, 2013
On consensus in science
A Facebook friend (not one of the Facebook friends) links to a nice piece on scientific consensus. He says all the things I try to say, but the author, Jonathan DuHammel does not quote Karl Popper or use the word "epistemology." Probably the better for both points!
[Dr. Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology] goes on the write: "With genuinely well-established scientific theories, 'consensus' is not discussed and the concept of consensus is arguably irrelevant... While a consensus may arise surrounding a specific scientific hypothesis or theory, the existence of a consensus is not itself the evidence." And she notes: "If the objective of scientific research is to obtain truth and avoid error, how might a consensus seeking process introduce bias into the science and increase the chances for error? 'Confirmation bias' is a well-known psychological principle that connotes the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs, expectations, or an existing hypothesis. Confirmation bias usually refers to unwitting selectivity in the acquisition and interpretation of evidence."
October 31, 2012
Obama's Solar Panel Cronyism: Move On, Nothing to See Here
"You better let him know that the WH wants to move Abound forward."
Composite video below from RevealingPolitics. Story based on DOE emails obtained by CompleteColorado.
September 4, 2012
Idiot Quote of the Day
"The reason the economics fail in the US is not a failure of Wind, its a failure of greedy corporations to allocate costs in a manner that is for the common good. Energy is like air - it comes from God and should not be for-profit. COOPs are the most cost efficient way to deliver electricity. Remove the corporate overhead with multi-million dollar salaries for CEO's and the economics of wind are obvious."
Posted 3 hours ago as a comment on a blog post at one of my engineering trade magazines. The post itself is noteworthy, for it represents the first I can remember where the realities of alternative energy sources are given as much weight as the pollyanna political correctness.
And then there is the cost of wind per MW hr with the subsidy included. Without the subsidy - fuggedaboutit. And it looks like the forgetting will be happening soon. The tax credits for "alternative" (read unreliable) energy have not been renewed. What was that again? Renewables have not been renewed? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? There is a simple explanation.
August 17, 2012
Cleaned by Capitalism
Now, a tune for the choir! I almost get sick of saying it, but private enterprise is cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse gasses.
Thanks to natural gas, market forces, technology, and private sector activity, C02 emissions drop to a 20-year low
Mark J Perry closes: "Another great example of how society is 'cleaned by capitalism.'"
August 9, 2012
Otequay of the Ayday
In the United States, the only hope for substantial relief from higher-than-average temperatures in the coming weeks and months would be a striking atmospheric change, like the development this autumn of the weather pattern known as El Niño or a tropical cyclone that moves into the central part of the country from the Gulf of Mexico, scientists said on Wednesday.
But, wasn't electing Barack Obama in 2008 supposed to accomplish this?
July 30, 2012
Half of US "Global Warming" Due to Poor Thermometer Siting
...and "post measurement adjustments."
Question Authority, baby! Speak Truth to Power!
From the rational thinkers at Watts Up With That:
PRESS RELEASE -- U.S. Temperature trends show a spurious doubling due to NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.
A comparison and summary of trends is shown from the paper. Acceptably placed thermometers away from common urban influences read much cooler nationwide:
A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France's Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.
The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.
Since this is SCIENCE I'm sure Mikey Mann and the rest will immediately back it up with fulsome praise for the authors and a nomination for some prizes.
July 5, 2012
"Colorado Burning" because "Climate Changed?"
Anyone who has read many stories on the Colorado forest fires has surely seen at least one account that links the events with "climate change." Stories like Huffpo's "Stunning NASA Map Shows Severe Heat Wave Fueling Wildfires" are an extreme example. But Colorado state climatologist Nolan Doesken has a much different explanation:
While itís true that this June was the hottest June on record, averaging 75 degrees, or 7.6 degrees above normal, he said extreme heat was just one of the ingredientsĖand maybe not even the most important oneĖinvolved in this yearís perfect wildfire storm.
The story continues, exploring more likely factors:
Forest-health advocates say thereís one thing missing from the climate-change-causes-wildfires theory: The forests are so poorly managed that it doesnít take much for them to go up in flames. Twenty years of reductions in timber sales and environmental lawsuits have gutted logging on public lands, resulting in densely packed, tinder-dry trees that are practically designed for crown fires.
So one explanation is 7.6 degrees warmer temperatures for a month and the other explanation includes 15 to 20 times higher density of trees that are diseased and dead, at least partially due to that very overcrowding. Given that tens of thousands of wildfires occur each year in the United States, Colorado's fire disasters are unprecedented for their severity rather than frequency. And that severity is driven more by wind and fuel density than by a dubious, anti-scientific theory called climate change.
June 30, 2012
Innovation 2, Malthusian Environmentalism 0
In any case, the United States of America is living proof that there are more ways to address environmental concerns than the green movement as a whole is willing to admit.
I did post the last one to Facebook -- about how Fracking was saving the world and all the cute fuzzy critters which inhabit it. Not a peep in reply. I'd like to think I won them over with reason, but I fear they've just completely given up on me. (NO PORKY! BREATHE FROM THE DIAPHRAGM!)
Hat-tip: Instapundit, who nails it with "The problem is, the way we did it provided insufficient opportuinites for graft."
June 26, 2012
Weather is not climate!
'Bout ready to sign up with VP Gore. . . This is our fourth or fifth day of 100+ which is very rare. It hasn't rained since last Thanksgiving or so, and the entire state is on fire. But -- as I am always reminded when I comment on cool weather -- "weather is not climate." Except, of course when it works for the other guys -- then it is a "dangerous portent of climate change."
So let's all cool down. It seems the Antarctic shelf is not melting (as predicted) and the temperatures around it are cooler than predicted. Huh? #COMPUTERMODELFAIL ?
It turns out that past studies, which were based on computer models without any direct data for comparison or guidance, overestimate the water temperatures and extent of melting beneath the Fimbul Ice Shelf. This has led to the misconception, Hattermann said, that the ice shelf is losing mass at a faster rate than it is gaining mass, leading to an overall loss of mass.
Aaaah, Antarctic ice. . . I feel better. The quote is from the American Geophysical Union via The (UK) Register, via Lord Glenn of Knoxville.
UPDATE: 88° at 8:51 AM!
June 21, 2012
Too Much Benefit of Doubt
Poor Bjorn Lombourg. He's gay, european, environmentalist, and a fulsome believer in Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe. He respects NGOs and clearly sees a significant role for the United Nations in environmental and economic.
And yet, because he is capable of reason, all his friends are right-wingers -- like me. He is persona non-grata in the rest of the environmentalist community.
But his unfortunate habit of truth telling concerns cost vs. benefit -- where is the best place to put scarce resources? His guest editorial in the WSJ today concerns that, but he takes a sharper than usual look at why people still pursue climate change more than other projects that would be more cost effective.
Why then, do U.N. elites focus all their efforts on a feeble attempt to assist one person before successfully preventing 210 deaths? Because global warming feels more important--more hip. The majority of people in wealthy countries have lived their entire lives with clean air, clean water and electricity supplied through a grid. Air and water pollution is just old hat.
Almost as if the UN was more interested in control and power than people and the environment...
June 16, 2012
Freeman Dyson on Climate Change
And how did I miss this? Freeman Dyson from 2007 on the need for heretics in Science.
My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.
Perfect weekend reading length. Hat-tip: Ed Kreyewski in Reason.
June 10, 2012
Denver Post Scolds Sierra Club
Last week I noted that Sierra Club is preparing a "Beyond Natural Gas" advocacy effort as part of its "none of the above" energy strategy. Today the reactionary big-oil shills at the Denver Post editorial board joined my disapprobation.
The executive director of the influential environmental group recently wrote: "It's time to stop thinking of natural gas as a 'kinder, gentler' energy source."
Disapprobation of environmental extremism deserves approbation. I don't say this every day but ... bravo, Denver Post, bravo.
June 7, 2012
Beyond Magical Unicorn Farts
That is where the American environmental extremist group Sierra Club must intend to take American energy consumers.
On Monday I wrote about the use of natural gas as a political alternative to more prevalent and less costly coal as a source of electric power. That effort is supported by Sierra Club in their "Beyond Coal" campaign. But they aren't waiting for Phase I of Operation Nineteenth Century to be completed before launching Phase II: "Beyond Natural Gas." (Not "natural" enough?) Sierra's strategic coordination leaves much room for improvement.
Natural gas drillers exploit government loopholes, ignore decades-old environmental protections, and disregard the health of entire communities. "Fracking," a violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations is known to contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes. If drillers canít extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas. [Emphasis mine.]
After the requisite "what do you mean 'we' Kemosabe" the next thing I notice is how this message is designed to appeal to the feeler-perceiver contingent of the public but offers no evidence for the thinker-judgers among us. Fear, uncertainty and doubt anyone? Showing a glass of drinking water doctored with contaminants so expertly as to make Don Draper proud, the campaign against the hydraulic fracturing process seems to revolve mostly around the shorthand name for the method containing letters "F" and "K".
Blogger Jay F. Marks explains that Sierra Club took millions in donations from natural gas corporations for the purpose of bashing coal, but new Sierra Club director Michael Brune opened a new chapter in the war on reliable and affordable energy.
The Sierra Club once had a cozy relationship with the natural gas industry, taking more than $25 million in contributions from Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its subsidiaries to fund the fight against coal.
Let's fast forward, shall we?
Incoming Sierra Club executive director Barnaby Owleton said today that building and maintaining thousands of acres of monstrously large industrial machines to convert wind to electricity is a thorougly discredited process and a clear danger to migratory birds across the nation. "Extinction of multiple species is not just a possibility, but a certainty, if we don't act immediately to move Beyond Wind."One or two election cycles later...
Woody Weederstein, in his first official statement as new Sierra Club director, slammed the solar electric energy industry for the consequences imposed upon the areas of our planet that are permanently and unavoidably shaded by solar power conversion panels. "In the name of all that is green" he said, "we as Americans have no moral choice but to move Beyond Solar."
And after they succeed in eliminating energy produced by magical unicorn farts the only remaining strategy to "save the planet" will be energy efficiency, which is just another name for rationing. I have a better idea: Hey Sierra Club - Frack off.
June 4, 2012
President Obama's War on Heat and Light
Last week I wrote about the Denver Post's utter bewilderment that presidential candidate Mitt Romney would give a stump speech in rural Craig, Colorado (after all, there haven't been any layoffs there ... yet) and countered with the news coverage of the event by Routt County's Steamboat Today.
Today that much more objective publication runs an editorial by Rob Douglas that delves deeper into the contrast that Governor Romney is offering.
Agree or disagree with Obamaís goal, one fact is undeniable. When Obamaís intent became public, every man and woman working in coal-related jobs realized that Obama had placed a bulls-eye on their livelihood. Many of those men and women call the Yampa Valley home.
But Douglas articulates a much more important message - one I have recognized but as yet not really written about: Coal is not the target. Pragmatic politicians cannot merely "sacrifice" the coal industry conifident in the fact that lost jobs will be replaced by growth in the natural gas industry. If coal is ever defeated the next environmental villain will be natural gas.
Coincidentally, on the same day Romney was speaking to the crowd gathered at Alice Pleasant Park in Craig, the Wall Street Journal reported that, according to the International Energy Agency, ďglobal exploitation of shale gas reserves could transform the worldís energy supply by lowering prices, improving security and curbing carbon dioxide emissions, but the industry might be stopped in its tracks if it doesnít work harder to resolve environmental concerns.Ē
And hydraulic fracturing is only the first battlefront in the coming War on Natural Gas. That little "feature" of natural gas called "curbing carbon dioxide emissions" will be its undoing for natural gas is not without CO2 emissions, and once its use has been predicated on reducing that "pollutant" it can hardly remain a viable energy source since it can also be shown to be a "dirty" fuel.
"First they came for the coal, and I said nothing."
Not me. I *heart* coal.
May 31, 2012
Move along, nothing to see here
Mitt Romney made a whistlestop visit to Craig, Colorado on Tuesday after seeing this video, which was sent to him by Frank and Kerrie Moe, the hotel-owning couple who star in it. The event was covered by the Denver Post and Steamboat Today, and one is left wondering if the Post's Sara Burnett was at the same rally as was Steamboat Today's Scott Franz.
In 'Routt County Republicans meet Mitt Romney' Franz opens, "Nancy Buchner said the sour economy motivated her to drive to Craig on Tuesday morning to see Mitt Romney." But in 'Mitt Romney in Colorado calls for government as "ally of business" Ms. Burnett implies that everything's just peachy.
Unemployment in Moffat County was about 8.3 percent in April ó higher than the state average, which increased slightly to 7.8 percent last month. But local miners and the mayor of Craig said the local coal industry has been stable, with no layoffs or reduced hours at the local mines or the power plant.
According to Franz, however, local resident Buchner sees life differently in the remote coal-mining and power generating town:
"We really believe Romney has the tools and the knowledge to get the economy going," Buchner said, adding that she only recently became politically active because of the economy. "When I talked to different people (at the rally), they were worried about money. People cannot get jobs. This is not an election to sit out." She said she doesnít think President Barack Obama can turn the economy around.
Not to worry though, Burnett says:
The Obama campaign counters that the president's "all of the above" energy approach includes clean coal, as well as wind, solar, natural gas and other sources renewable energy sources. They also note the president made one of the most significant investments in development of clean coal technologies with $3.4 billion in stimulus funding.
Now, one has to wonder if Burnett and "the Obama campaign" agree with Al Gore who says "clean" coal "doesn't exist." Clearly this administration will spend billions of taxpayer dollars on something while at the very same time regulating it out of legal existence.
May 27, 2012
On last week's post criticizing the City of Boulder's "Climate Change Preparedness Plan" brother JK glibly (sarcastically?) quipped that "if things get too warm here [in Weld County] I can drive right over the line [into Boulder County]" where presumably he'll be "saved" from the "deleterious" effects of
Seems the CCPP is part of a larger Climate Action Plan (CAP) that is enabled by a voter-approved tax that expires next March. The tax collects $1.8 million annually for the City of Boulder's pet enviro projects. Apparently Boulder County thinks the city is on to something and they are contemplating a "sustainability tax" of their own. Boulder Daily Camera:
"I'm very concerned that if the county goes ahead, our CAP tax will stand a very good chance of losing," Mayor Matt Appelbaum said. "And that will just kill us. That will set us way back. It would be a huge loss for us if we lost the momentum. There are many programs that are just getting going."
One wonders if Boulder County's "sustainability tax" will be more sustainable than Boulder City's CAP tax.
April 30, 2012
The Science is Settled!
Can't argue with satellite data:
New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.
April 29, 2012
We're Laughing At You...
In his commencement speech at Hamilton College on Sunday, former Vice President Al Gore told the graduates that global warming is "the most serious challenge our civilization has ever faced." But as an undergraduate at Harvard University in the late 1960s, Gore--one of the most prominent spokesmen on climate change today--earned a "D" in Natural Sciences.
Funny, Is it real? Do I care?
April 25, 2012
If I wanted America to Fail
The 110,000 Million-Dollar Plan
A favorite TV show growing up was Lee Majors starring as the "Six-Million Dollar Man." After crashing the test flight of an experimental aircraft, Steve Austin was fitted with "bionics" that made him "better, stronger, faster." President Obama has been trying the same thing in America's energy market, with less success. Investors Ed Page says Obama Fought Oil and Lost; Now it's Back to Reality.
In other words, even a fast-forward to 23 years from now doesn't reveal an energy economy substantially different from today's. Obama has run up quite a price tag trying to deny this reality.
April 24, 2012
Six years ago, James Lovelock, "the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his 'Gaia' theory of the Earth as a single organism" had some somewhat dark predictions:
He previously painted some of the direst visions of the effects of climate change. In 2006, in an article in the U.K.'s Independent newspaper, he wrote that "before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."
In my best Mr. Mackey voice, I'd say "That's bad, mmkay?"
But a big man can admit when he is wrong, and Lovelock has a new book coming out called "Nevermind." (Actually, that is my suggestion, it is not clear from the article if a title has been chosen.)
The new book, due to be published next year, will be the third in a trilogy, following his earlier works, "Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back -- and How We Can Still Save Humanity," and "The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning: Enjoy It While You Can."
Turns out, it was climate's old tricks. Who would have thought that a scientist of Lovelock's stature would fall for those?
"The problem is we donít know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books -- mine included -- because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened," Lovelock said.
Come to think of it, if "Bull's-eye Jim" is not worried now, I am starting to be concerned...
UPDATE: I meant to do this as a segue. Bjorn Lomborg has a WSJ Editorial the same day on the importance of using economic data to steer environmental policy.
But in tackling humanity's biggest challenges--climate change, malaria, natural disasters, education--we need more economic science, not less. Cost-benefit analysis, in particular, is a far more effective and moral approach than basing decisions on the media's roving gaze or the loudness of competing interest groups.
March 13, 2012
It's the price of gas, stupid
Keep it up Mister President. IBD's Andrew Malcolm:
Showing his keen grasp of free market forces, Obama has ordered Justice officials to investigate oil speculation. Of course, there's oil speculation. It's called the futures market. And watching Obama's policies instead of his words, those experts see higher prices coming ahead, as do most Americans in the poll.
And voters are taking note:
A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll this week finds about two-out-of-three Americans now disapprove of the Chicago Democrat's job on gas prices, whatever that's been.
Maybe if he started reminding them he "killed bin Laden..."
March 8, 2012
Otequay of the Ayday
"And since 1979, an entire climate industry has grown up that has spent millions of human-hours applying that constantly increasing computer horsepower to studying the climate.
In the linked article Eschenbach, a self-described amateur scientist and generalist, gives an overview of climate science since its beginnings circa 1979. Click continue reading for the discussion of computing power that preceeds this quote, and click on the first link to find in his conclusion the real reason for lack of progress. Hint: Check your premises.
So there you have it, folks. The climate sensitivity is 3įC per doubling of CO2, with an error of about Ī 1.5įC. Net feedback is positive, although we donít understand the clouds. The models are not yet able to simulate regional climates. No surprises in any of that. Itís just what youíd expect a NAS panel to say.
February 22, 2012
"An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.
February 17, 2012
Not Taxed Enough, Yet
dagny shares a financial "article of the day" via email. "The interesting thing about this is the comments" she writes. "The majority of commenters seem to think that reducing business taxes (i.e. letting business keep the money they made) is a, 'handout,' or, 'corporate welfare.' Betcha they don't think that about refundable tax credits like the EIC."
And why wouldn't commenters such as Chicago's own "gsdfhdgjhfdhjjjjjkgkjgjks" believe that accelerated depreciation and an R&D tax credit are handouts to corporations. President Obama and groups like Clean Energy Works are turning the entire English language upside down:
A memo circulating from Clean Energy Works, an alliance of about 60 groups, outlines a strategy of framing tax benefits the industry receives as corporate welfare. The memo calls the messaging plan a "line of attack" to counteract the description of climate legislation as a national energy tax.
So first, "subsidies" to specific corporations equate to a "tax" on individuals. Well, I can see the logic here if the effects of economic growth spurred by a larger (and cheaper) energy supply and continued government spending on unrelated programs are ignored. But this misses the real point that taxing something less than it might be taxed can not in any sense be considered a subsidy. The government is taking wealth from wealth-producing companies. In English this is known as "taxation."
But even if one believes, as I do, that "Big Oil" should be taxed just as much as any other industry it is erroneous to examine a few specific tax categories where rates may differ and proclaim preferential treatment.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the industry's effective federal income tax rate is more than two-thirds higher than the average for all manufacturing industries.
Furthermore, those throwing stones at the oil industry over corporate welfare would do well to first look in the mirror, for the vast majority of them are vocal proponents of so-called "renewable" energy.
Another EIA study shows renewable energy industries enjoy double the incentives of those for oil and natural gas."
But punitive taxation is nothing new in America or anywhere else where wealth is produced and standards of living have been raised. And despite taking one-quarter or more of the freely created wealth of for-profit corporations and individuals, they still manage to keep working and producing and, getting the shaft. Our commenter from Chicago put it succinctly in the comments to the original article. In reply to a previous sarcastic comment which read:
"Nice. kick businesses in the teeth--the ones who hire the most-- and increase gov spending and deficits. Now THAT'S the way to make jobs!"
Still works so far
February 3, 2012
Quote of the Day
A reader emails Jay Nordlinger:
A while back we had some friends to dinner and got to talking about global warming. My friend -- a pediatrician -- is a down-the-line green believer convinced that Al Gore has it right and the rest of us are in denial. I -- with graduate degrees in physics and fluid mechanics / heat transfer -- am still somewhat skeptical, to say the least. His comment: "Well, I probably just have a different perspective on this because I have a technical background."
January 29, 2012
SKEPTICS: our (Chilly) Day has Come!
Yawn. Another bit of news contravening DAWG. But the source is noteworthy. Take it away, überskeptic Don Surber:
Forget global warming -- it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)
January 27, 2012
Can't We All Get Along?
Two weeks from the Colorado Caucuses (just got my location: Coal Ridge Middle School in Firestone!) it is unlikely that ThreeSourcers will agree on a candidate.
Some have grown fond of LBJ's Press Secretary and GHWB's Economic Architect.
Don't get us started on immigration, drug legalization, or prostitution...
But I think everybody will like "Sixteen Concerned Scientists: No Need to Panic about Global Warming." It seems, mirabile dictu, that the science may actually not be settled after all:
This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before--for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.
Measured and professional -- yet pointed at the same time. You're all going to love it. I'm certain!
January 25, 2012
Jobs vs. Environment
Thousands of loggers lost their jobs in the American Northwest because of dubious claims about wiping out the last of the spotted owls. This is just one example of environmental extremists' non-linear cost benefit analysis doing irreparable harm to the livelihoods of American workers.
The latest glaring example of this is TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Pipeline project. Despite the safety record showing pipelines to be the "safest, most efficient and economical way" to move the natural resource called crude oil, environmental activists have chosen spill hazards as the primary reason to oppose private construction of the new pipeline. But America is already criss-crossed by 55,000 miles of oil pipelines, many of which are small, old and in disrepair. And the spill rate [pg. 9] for those lines is 0.00109 incidents (spill of 50 bbl or more) per mile per year. That calculates to 60 spills every year. The estimated spill rate for the modern new Keystone XL [pg. 10] is 0.186 spills per year, anywhere over its entire 1371 mile length. (.000136 incidents per mile per year)
So the question every American voter should ask himself is, would I quit my job and ask 19,999 of my neighbors to quit theirs in order to avoid increasing the pipeline spill incident rate by 0.3 percent? (And have you even noticed any of the sixty-odd spills that already happen each year?)
January 24, 2012
Keystone XL Pipeline Economic Impact is "Settled"
As luck would have it, President Obama actually saved US and Canadian energy companies billions of wasted dollars by using the power of the regulatory state to stop construction of their "disastrous" tar sands pipeline. How do I know this? Al Gore says so.
"The analysis from the final EIS, noted above, indicates that denying the permit at this time is unlikely to have a substantial impact on U.S. employment, economic activity, trade, energy security, or foreign policy over the longer term." Source: Climate Progress
And who could doubt the objective fiscal evaluations of Climate Progress?
January 15, 2012
The people of Nome, Alaska, know well what it takes to survive the long, cold winter in an isolated town. But a confluence of bad weather and other circumstances has left them lacking the fuel needed to heat homes and power vehicles. Now, America's lone Arctic icebreaker is carving a path to Nome that will bring relief to the city--but it also highlights the critical state of U.S. ice-breaking capabilities.
November 28, 2011
Smoking Gun Climategate 2.0 Quote of the Day
In a fair and honest world, my blog brother would be correct and the world would begin a serious reassessment of "Climate Science." I do not expect a multi-billion dollar international industry to fold up shop and go home. Yet I do wish there were a more honest news dissemination apparatus. True, none of the numerous emails in Climategate 1.0 or Climategate 2.0 explicitly say
Therefore, everybody seems pretty convinced there is nothing to see there. One would have to use and understand the word epistemology.
If one of our dear ThreeSourcers would like to share something, they could do worse than this Open Letter to Dr. Phil Jones
So when my FOI request came along, you were caught. You were legally required to produce data you couldn't locate. Rather than tell the truth and say "I canít find it", you chose to lie. Hey, it was only a small lie, and it was for the Noble Cause of saving the world from Thermageddon. So you had David tell me the data was available on the web. You knew that was a lie. David, apparently, didn't realize it was a lie, at least at first. You hoped your Noble Lie would satisfy me, that I would get discouraged, and you could move on.
The entire letter is very good. Your lefty friends will not appreciate the site that hosts it nor its tone. But if the science is to be settled, the other guys will have to play like scientists.
November 27, 2011
Otequay of the Ayday
Happily, the left's pernicious, economy-destroying and false global warming ideology is collapsing under a growing body of evidence that the CO2 scare is a fraud.
November 22, 2011
I am afraid that Mike [Mann] is defending something that increasingly can not be defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science move ahead. -- Chris HornerSome call it ClimateGate2. A new batch of emails at FOIA.org
October 27, 2011
Solar Panels Don't Work
That's not my headline. It was written by solar industry CEO Ray Burgess.
If you listen to the mostly-Chinese manufacturers, solar panels work great. They can be expected to degrade about 0.5% a year. So that is how we build the economic models to finance, insure and subsidize the larger solar systems.
October 25, 2011
Quote of the Day
"If there was a completely unlimited resource then we may have been able to surmount the technical problems," [U.K.] Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne told the BBC. -- WSJ Ed PageIt seems global warming is really, really dead this time...but nobody has told my Boulder friends.
October 10, 2011
eppur si muove
The WSJ Ed Page goes grasping for a present day parallel to this tale
Mr. [Dan] Shechtman, who last week won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is credited with the discovery in 1982 of quasicrystals, patterned but nonrepeating atomic structures that resemble the mosaics found in medieval Islamic art. For observing under an electron microscope what the scientific community held to be a physical impossibility, Mr. Shechtman was accused of "bringing disgrace" on his lab. Linus Pauling, the chemistry (and peace) Nobelist, called the discovery "nonsense" and denounced Mr. Shechtman as a "quasi-scientist." It took two years before a scientific journal would deign to publish his findings..
October 6, 2011
Robert Bryce offers Five Facts about Climate Change to match his WSJ Editorial. Alert viewers will note a handsome sunburst telecaster in the bookshelf behind him.
Do I get a free sandwich?
September 30, 2011
Quote of the Day
So, in recent days, I've been arguing over whether, as the political Left claims, the political Right is anti-science. Needless to say, commentators of the Left disagree with me. Responses ranged from name-calling and indignation (which are fairly common), to the Left's new answer to charges of hypocrisy, which is to declare all criticism to be "false equivalencies." Apparently, false equivalencies are like Hebrew writing, traveling only from Right to Left. -- Kenneth P. Green
September 19, 2011
BURN THE HERETIC!
It seems that 1973 physics Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever has fallen from the fold. The WSJ Ed Page reports that he "resigned last week from the American Physical Society in protest over the group's insistence that evidence of man-made global warming is 'incontrovertible.'"
In an email to the society, Mr. Giaever--who works at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute--wrote that "The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me . . . that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."
I am in the middle of another pop science book, the fun but überchallenging "The Shape of Inner Space -- String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions" by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. And once again I am amazed that more real scientists do not object to the lack of rigor and political hijacking allowed in "climate science." The suppression of disagreement alone would be unthinkable in any other discipline.
August 22, 2011
Hank Reardon, Call Your Office
Ken Salazar's Interior Department moves to prevent Exxon from developing a billion-barrel oil field it discovered in deep water Gulf of Mexico in 2007. Because of feared oil spills? No. Because it might impair the mating habits of the Gorite-dwelling shoestring eel? No.
Employing an extreme technicality, these regulators claimed that Exxon's request in 2008 for a short suspension of activity to upgrade and make safer its drilling operation amounted to an abandonment of three of its five permits, simply because Exxon hadn't signed a contract with another partner, Chevron, by the time the suspension was completed.
GOP Answer to Climate Change
Climate Change is fraught with peril for the GOP. The best news about this country's complete economic meltdown is that many of the small potatoes issues have been tabled.
But Climate Change will be back. My Man, Jon Huntsman, thinks it's real and I confess I cannot get very excited when a Republican talks it up. OTOH, as texting economists say, I realize that any answer I would like will enrage the press and turn off huge swaths of moderates.
Kenneth P. Green at The American suggests a non-dogmatic answer and provides it free of charge to any of the candidates. They could do much worse, and as Speaker Thomas B Reed would quip, they probably will:
Since Jefferson's time, we've known that people can change the climate locally, regionally, and maybe even globally. Heck, any farmer knows we change the local climate! But activists have so muddied the issue by jiggering the data, suppressing dissent, predicting armageddon, and blaming every pooped-out polar bear on climate change it's hard to know what's real and what's hype.
Megan McArdle gives a more balanced than you'll see most places look at the dangers of rigid belief.
What these Republicans are doing to people like Chris Christie is no better than what Harvard did to Larry Summers when he suggested that it was possible that women had a different IQ distribution than men. Facts are not good or bad; they are correct or incorrect. And a policy based on hysterical refusal to consider all possible facts is neither good, nor correct.
Fraught with peril. Even with the momentum shifting towards the DAWG deniers, I cannot imagine that one will be elected in 2012.
Mr. Huntsman, the former Utah governor and ambassador to Beijing, began his candidacy stressing his resume and his attractive family. With that getting him nowhere in a year when issues trump biography, he's now attacking fellow Republicans for, among other things, not embracing the science of global warming. "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," Mr. Huntsman said on Twitter, a criticism of recent remarks by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Mr. Huntsman followed that up on Sunday on ABC, telling Jake Tapper that the GOP has a "serious problem" when it becomes "anti-science." -- Paul Gigot
The bandwagon might suddenly feel 250 lbs. lighter...
July 28, 2011
In Other News, Global Warming is B******t!
Predicted readings of the computer models do not seem to match the experimental data:
In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth's atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth's atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict.
As a dear Facebook friend will say "we can't be wasting our time with predictions -- we should be out fixing the planet!"
July 6, 2011
"Go Green" for World Government
The press release for the report [calling for a "technological overhaul" "on the scale of the first industrial revolution" to reach a "goal of full decarbonization of the global energy system by 2050"] discusses the need "to achieve a decent living standard for people in developing countries, especially the 1.4 billion still living in extreme poverty, and the additional 2 billion people expected worldwide by 2050." That sounds more like global redistribution of wealth than worrying about the earthís thermostat.
The entire article is a series of jaw-dropping objectives from Turtle Bay. It's worth a click.
If the Obama Administration is liberty's Imperial Cruiser, the United Nations is its Death Star.
Dude, Where's my Warming?
As a guy with a medical reason to hate hot weather, I should be a little less flippant. The headline in the NYTimes will read: "Globe warms, MS patients hardest hit."
But that warming -- the very 'W' in DAWG -- remains elusive. While real scientists would be forced to rethink their theory, model, or measurements, "climate scientists" are allowed to look backwards and engage in a bit of ass-covering that is not available to other disciplines.
Or, as Kenneth P. Green puts it "Just another example of the endlessly shape-shifting, non-falsifiable world of politicized climate science."
Comes now the National Academy of Sciences, which yesterday published a new paper that sets out to explain "why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008." Apparently the NAS didnít get the memo from the Center for American Progress that we're not supposed to acknowledge that global warming has not happened over the last decade.
Yet to question them is to expose yourself as ign'nt...
June 20, 2011
Intolerant, Monolithic, Science Deniers!
Some ThreeSourcers, myself included, may have to stare long and hard into the mirror after reading this Kenneth P. Green piece in the American.
Playing into my original DAWG strategy, Green, who claims he knows 99% or the deniers, calls them rainbow-climatists. Do you question D, A, W, or G?
Some disputed scientific claims about the exact level of climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases. Others disputed this or that climate feedback assumption. Others accepted that climate change was real, but probably not too bad. Some were simply skeptics in the old-fashioned sense of rejecting soothsayers and doom prophets, computerized or not. Still others might have bought most of the green-climatist orthodoxy, and held that climate change was real, partly human-caused, and likely harmful, but they differed regarding policy prescriptions.
Against these diverse skeptics was always a coordinated, monolithic front of doom. Bjorn Lomborg questioned the amplitude of D and was excommunicated without inquest or trial.
But Green sees that growing on the right as elections near.
Over at climatedepot.com, and, apparently in the Rushbo zone, there is a new tone of intolerance when it comes to diversity of climate opinion: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Chris Christie (hail the redeemer of fat guys from New Jersey!) have all been slammed recently for being taken in by the great climate con, and are basically being written off as viable candidates on the right. The Right has refined their tolerance equation to match that of the Left: "you're either with us or against us."
A little skepticism of skepticism might be correct -- and far more palatable to a moderate electorate.
June 18, 2011
The Epistemological Case Against DAWG
These very pages have called the death knell of anthropogenic warming several times. "That's it," says we, "how can they continue after such-and-such?" But Freddy Krueger's got nothing on environmental science. It never goes away.
Were Milton Friedman around, he'd point out that they have seized the commanding heights. Academia, government, media and entertainment are captive to climate science. But climate science (resist the scare quotes...fight it) has no conclusive proof. To the contrary, most of the empirical evidence contravenes their predictions.
Yet, as leaked somewhat in the Climategate emails, the entire peer-review process is captive to a single side of the discussion. The only thing they can claim is consensus -- the bulk of peer reviewed science agrees with their position. Patrick Michaels takes to the pages of his Forbes blog to show just how unscientific the peer review process has become. "Publishing in the scientific literature is supposed to be tough." But not for climate science:
In order to limit any bias caused by personal or philosophical animosity, the editor should remove your name from the paper and send it to other experts who have no apparent conflict of interest in reviewing your work. You and the reviewers should not know who each other are. This is called a "double blind" peer review.
For instance, you can just add 0.3 mm a year to the measured sea levels. OMG We're all going to drown!
June 13, 2011
Mo DAWG Denyin'
Brother jg posted this awesome James Taylor piece both on ThreeSources and on Facebook. The Facebook post spawned a lengthy back and forth between me and a two-letter-sobriqued fellow several of us know. JG had the wisdom to avoid porcine singing instruction but I did not. "No. breathe from the diaphragm, Porky!"
Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, '80s and '90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.
This was the heart of my futile argument. I'm reading Quantum Man, a story of the superbly interesting Richard Feynman by Lawrence M. Krauss. This is the third pop-science cosmology book I've cracked since the first Facebook thread, and it is comical to compare real science with climate science. In Quantum Man, the frequency of a tertiary line in the hydrogen spectrum is off by one part in ten million, and the theory is scrapped until it can be fixed.
In climate science, they are not quite so circumspect. They predict ten years without snow; when they get the two most snow-filled winters in the UK, they say "see, that proves it!"
From the bridge, Porky. Enunciate!
June 3, 2011
Germany *HEART* Coal!
As a wild-eyed capitalist I've bragged before about how I love coal as an energy source. Now, we can add PhD physicist and Prime Minster of Germany, Angela Merkel to my club. NY Times: Germany, in Reversal, Will Close Nuclear Plants by 2022
"If the government goes ahead with what it said it would do, then Germany will be a kind of laboratory for efforts worldwide to end nuclear power in an advanced economy," said Mark Hibbs, a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. "No other country in the world is taking those steps."
I would call it a laboratory for something else - economic self-destruction.
The powerful Federal Association for German Industry, known as B.D.I., sent a letter on Monday morning to the chancellery, warning her about the consequences for German business.
UPDATE: The reader may wonder at my connecting this Times story to coal, since it never mentions that fuel which provides half of Germany's electricity. It was, however, mentioned in a reference cited in the Wiki entry. There's also a picture of the very down-to-earth Environment Minister who dismisses more cautious and practical energy strategies. Minister Tritten:
"Ten years ago people told us that there would never be enough capacity to have a relevant share produced by wind - now the same people tell me we have too much wind, and have to export electricity because we have such a huge share of wind energy," he stated.
May 26, 2011
To piggyback on the well-known "end of the world" story in the news last week I wanted to write something that showed the formulaic identity between doomsday preachers in Christianity and in science, and how both groups of fortune tellers want to empty the wallets of the gullible. Better yet, I decided to wait and watch for someone more eloquent to take up the assignment. Heartland Institute's James Taylor obliges.
Much like Camping is now claiming his May 21 Christian rapture prediction was essentially accurate, but that he was merely a few months off regarding the timetable (news alert: beware October 21, 2011!), the alarmists are now claiming their failed North Pole predictions were essentially accurate, but merely a few years off regarding the timetable. They now claim the Arctic Ocean will be essentially ice free by the year 2020 or 2030. Don't bet on it.
Taylor closes with an important, sad difference that even I had failed to consciously notice.
The list of failed predictions regarding global warming raptures is no less extensive than the list of failed predictions regarding Christian church raptures. There is one important difference, however. The Harold Campings of the world reside outside the Christian mainstream. Among global warming alarmists, the serially wrong rapturists define the mainstream.
How sweet is this for a Facebook headline: "James Taylor says that global warming alarmists have egg on their faces!"
May 15, 2011
Again? Still? Really?
Yesterday: Climate Change Activists Rally In Denver
The goal is to have the atmosphere declared for the first time as a "public trust" deserving special protection. That's a concept previously used to clean up polluted rivers and coastlines, although legal experts aren't sure if it can be successfully applied to climate change.
Well if somebody as famous as Daryl Hannah... Oh, wait.
Blogger Bruce McQuain writes on HotAir about climate scientist David Evans who said, "I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic."
McQuain: "And with that he begins a demolition of the theories, premises and methods by which the AGW scare has been foisted on the public." It is a well written compilation of devastating excerpts. Further editing would be deleterious.
May 4, 2011
Wind Power Blows
Scotland's John Muir Trust (yes, that John Muir) has supported a study which concludes that wind turbines "cannot be relied upon" to produce significant levels of power generation.
Statements made by the wind industry and government agencies commonly assert that wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year, it said.
But industry [damn, it sure feels good to call these environmentalist loons "industry"] spokes
"It could be argued the trust is acting irresponsibly given their expertise lies in protecting our wild lands and yet they seem to be going to great lengths to undermine renewable energy which is widely recognised as one of the biggest solutions to tackling climate change - the single biggest threat to our natural heritage.
Climate WHAT? Oh yeah, that.
Hat Tip: A side link from JK's UPDATE.
April 23, 2011
It's been written a few times already. But I want to buy the film rights to "DealBreaker!" A tender tale of a DAWG-denyin' race car driver and his earth muffin girlfriend:
[...]one day, I logged on and saw that he had weighed in on a virtual debate and assumed a staunch position.
Ergo, the ex will remain an ex, but in my story...
Hat-Tip: Instapundit, of course.
"Even after 'An Incovenient Truth' won the Academy Award."
April 20, 2011
Hybrid and Electric Cars Suck
My dad recently emailed us a column from an engineering trade rag that bore the same title as this post.
So I am not going green with a hybrid/electric. No offense to Prius owners who are doing their part. It is just not for me. I am sticking with a regular gasoline car that gets good mileage but also has good performance. My other car, a 2010 VW GTI is one of those. It is a blast to drive. The 0 to 60 time is sub-6 seconds and it gets 31/32 mpg on the highway. Cost only $25K too. A real winner.
My dear Hawaiian auntie asked, "Does anyone know how much it costs to "fill one of these cars up with electricity"? I've never seen a quote,only how far you can drive & how long it takes to charge them. I realize it depends on how much your electrictricy costs are,but I've never even seen any estimates. Also how many windmills is it going to take to make all this extra electricity. Just wondering."
She's right. The only time the "fill-up" cost is ever talked about they just say "a few dollars." So I did some calculating from data I found at Wikipedia for the Nissan LEAF. [Yes, I know it's a bit long winded but I think you'll enjoy this.]
The Nissan LEAF has a 24 kwh (kilowatt hour) battery. At 10 cents per kwh and assuming perfect conversion of line current to DC and then battery charge the cost to charge the battery from empty would be $2.40.
April 4, 2011
Budget Cuts with a Purpose
Not only does this recommendation by forecasting expert J. Scott Armstrong of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania hold promise for reducing the federal budget deficit, it could also reduce energy costs across the board nation wide.
The three researchers audited the forecasting procedures used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose "procedures violated 81% of the 89 relevant forecasting principles," Armstrong noted.
New Energy's Failure to Launch
Some may know that Colorado's latest ex-governor has golden-parachuted into academia in Colorado State University's "Center for the New Energy Economy." Today I learned that ex-guv Ritter's salary as the director there is $300,000 per year. (No word on the pension details.) But the news here is not his ridiculous salary. Rather, it is his apparently complete lack of knowledge on the subject of his office. He recently attended an organized debate at NYU where he and a "new energy" partner attempted to persuade some of the 33 percent undecideds in the audience of the premise: "Clean energy can drive America's economic recovery." From Vince Carroll in the Denver Post:
Before the Oxford Union-style debate, 46 percent of the audience registered support for the proposition, 21 percent were opposed and 33 percent were undecided. Afterward, opinion had made a dramatic shift, to 43 percent in favor, 47 percent against and 10 percent undecided.
So Ritter was so "persuasive" that over two-thirds of the undecideds left the debate agreeing with his opponents. He even managed to scare off one in twelve of those who came in already agreeing with him. I think Carroll closed this story best: "The New Energy Economy is a catchy slogan for a political campaign. But it leaves something to be desired as a substitute for substance."
April 3, 2011
Tentativeness in Science and Public Policy
My involvement in several DAWG debates on Facebook prompted me to look up examples of historic scientific errors. I found the 2004 article Error and the Nature of Science by University of Minnesota historian and philosopher of biology, Dr. Douglas Allchin.
Allchin, who appears to have been an adherent to the climate change "consensus" at the time, gives what appears to be a thorough list of possible sources of error in science. He calls it a "spectrum of error types." Among them are perceptual bias, reasoning error, overgeneralization, and "fraud, faulty peer review, and other mistaken judgements of credibility." Okay, so I'm very intrigued by this point. Here is a science historian looking for ways to protect and defend the reputation and validity of the scientific method, not just from those with an anti-science agenda (religionists) but from the errors of incompetent or unethical scientists.
But what is the intent of this analysis? It seems a clue can be found in the summary statement of the "spectrum of error types" where he writes,
The remedy for tentativeness in science is active analysis of potential errors, guided by an awareness of error types. Analysis may qualify the scope or certainty of conclusions and guide policy accordingly.
Earlier the author uses tentativeness as a euphemism for the inherent uncertainty in science. So in his summary he wants a "remedy" for the absense of the power of science to "guide policy" through greater "certainty of conclusions."
So what began as, in my estimation, a rejection of the influence of democratic principles (consensus) in science evolved into a suggestion of absolutism in science instead. Katie bar the door!
In the case of global warming mankind has been fortunate in that, since 2004, evidence of one of Allchin's most egregious error types has come to public light through Climategate. It is frightening to contemplate how much greater the political consensus could have been by now without that revelation.
March 30, 2011
March 23, 2011
CO2 = Gas of Life
Good News Earth and it's inhabitants need more, not less, CO2. More CO2 means:
The site also presents this nifty graph of observed vs. UN IPCC predicted global temperatures since 2001.
March 21, 2011
Not That Much Change
Forbes' Patrick Michaels called General Motors a liar for the claim that their Volt hybrid is an "all-electric vehicle" and the onboard generator is only to extend its range. That's a serious charge, considering the huge federal subsidy to buyers of the car is based on that dubious premise.
Motor Trend dishes the tech: [Last October, I should note]
"It's not a hybrid! It's an electric car with a range-extending, gas-powered generator onboard." That was the party line during most of the masterfully orchestrated press rollout of what we've been promised will be the most thoroughly new car since, what, the Chrysler Turbine? The Lunar Rover? Well, the cat is now out of the bag, and guess what? It is a hybrid, after all. Yes, Virginia, the Chevy Voltís gas engine does turn the wheels. Sometimes.
The salient difference between the Volt and the Prius is that the Prius' gas engine turns on at 60 mph and the Volt's at 100 mph. Motor Trend explains this as a second electric motor giving the Volt its top-end boost but glosses over the fact that the second motor, called a motor-generator, doesn't appear to recharge the battery through regenerative braking as the Prius does. In their diagram they show only "power in" from the engine and motor-generator of the Volt.
So is the Volt better or worse than the Prius? Or even really that much different?
March 17, 2011
That's Not Allowed in Science
Berkeley Professor Richard Muller: "The justification would not have survived peer review in any journal I am willing to publish in."
One of those crazed right wing lunatics at UCal Berkeley, spreading lies about Gaia...
Hat-tip: Nick Schultz
March 11, 2011
The repercussions of the 7th largest earthquake in recorded history are just being understood but there's still time to take a shot at the happiest city in America and one of her sacred cows - windpow .. pow .. poof.
Whilst driving my one-ton diesel pickup (by myself) to pick up a lunch burrito I happened to pass Boulder's swank new "multi-use" development that occupies the old Crossroads Mall site. It's called Twenty-Nineth Street. (No, not 29th Street, "Twenty-Nineth Street.") On the most prominent corner of the property, 28th and Arapahoe, they've installed one a them newfangled "wind turbines." "Free energy from the earf" I think they call it. And on a day when wind had whipped a "controlled burn" out of control in the mountains, the weather reports warn of "60 mile per hour gusts" and the average wind speed at Atlantis Farm has been 15 mph or higher all morning the wind turbine is - not spinning. It twists in the wind alright, and the blades aren't completely frozen but if it completes a full revolution in a minute I'd be surprised.
Could it be that these things require, not just subsidized installation but subsidized maintenance? Stop. Stop! You're killing me!
It won't be long now
We've now had two horrific earthquakes in as many weeks and we can be sure that the Lefties will not allow two tragedies to go to waste. Thus, it is just a matter of time before they blame global warming for these catastrophies. The Refugee would like to offer the bounty of a Starbucks to the first Three Sourcer who posts such a news item from the lame-stream media.
February 27, 2011
Silly Governor, Laws Don't Create Jobs
Yesterday I wrote about thousands of "clean energy" jobs that could be eliminated if Colorado's largest power company cuts its solar power subsidy in half (per installation). I suggested that those jobs probably wouldn't have existed without the subsidy, which distorted market signals to create economic activity for an economically unviable product.
Today our former Governor explains how these unsustainable jobs were created and still has the gall to suggest we do even more of it.
Building this new economy starts with understanding how clean energy legislation can create jobs. During my four-year term in Colorado, I signed 57 pieces of clean energy legislation. In 2007, for example, we doubled the proportion of energy in the state that is required to come from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2020. In 2010, we increased that to 30 percent for our biggest utility. As a result, Colorado now ranks fourth among the 50 states in its number of clean energy workers per capita, and 1,500 clean energy companies call our state home ó an 18 percent increase since 2004. Wind- and solar-energy companies that have built factories and opened offices in Colorado have brought in thousands of new jobs.
But governor, have you not heard that the American economy is no longer robust enough to support elective boutique energy "just in case" environmental scientists might be partially correct? It's about as popular with voters right now as free pensions and sweetheart health insurance for unionized Wisconsin teachers. Feel-good energy layoffs are happening now in the U.S. European plants are closing now. Why not just wait until the science and technology is sufficient for sustainable energy to be sustainable? It will save a lot of wasted money and effort building new plants and then closing them.
February 26, 2011
"Sustainable" Energy Unsustainable
Live by the subsidy - die by the subsidy.
More than 200 supporters of solar energy rallied on the west steps of the state Capitol this afternoon to protest Xcel Energy's decision to cut incentives for solar system installations.
Had this been a "Teabaggers" rally the narrative would have been "Nearly 200 opponents of the Obama Administration rallied ..." But I digress.
"It has created a lot of fear in the industry. My job is on the line," said Gary Gantzer, a Boulder resident and installer for Namaste Solar who was at the rally with his two young children.
So what you're saying is, those jobs might never have existed in the first place had those subsidies not been given. Given by whom, you may ask. Ratepayers.
A 2 percent charge on utility bills supports the program and other efforts to promote renewable energy development.
How much subsidy, you may ask.
Since 2006, the program has provided $274 million in incentives for 9,346 installations on homes and small businesses.
9,346 incentives over a 5-year period is about 1,870 subsidies per year. And the average cost of each subsidy: $29,317.
Just for fun - Number of years the average solar subsidy could pay the electric bill of an average American home? 306 (and 5 months.)
January 31, 2011
Quote of the Day
We are now in the season when the media tells us over and over again that "weather is not climate" and that the natural variations in the temperature do not, repeat not, affect the credibility of climate change. I actually believe this, although in just a few months the fiddlehead ferns will be poking up through the forest floor and the media will be back to reporting each and every hot spell as conclusive proof that climate change is already here.
January 17, 2011
I think ThreeSourcers would enjoy Ed Driscoll's "Left Wing Creationism." He links and excerpts a NY Observer review:
Mr. Mnookin was discussing pediatric health with a new parent in his early 40s who explained that he and his wife had decided to delay their child's vaccines. On what sources had he based this weighty decision? Questions along these lines were met with murk. "I don't know what to say," the man replied. "It just feels like a lot for a developing immune system to deal with."
Driscoll goes on to suggest that some on the left take an anti-scientific position on climate, including a photo that's worth a click.
January 4, 2011
TS Eliot AND Global Warming
In one post! Kind of a segue unto itself, Steven Hayward sees the shifting anti-determinism of DAWG advocates in T.S. Eliot's "Burnt Norton:"
Time present and time past
UPDATE: Taranto mocks:
December 29, 2010
Quote of the Day II
So laugh away at the global warmists. And don't even feel bad that they're right about the weather-climate distinction. After all, they forget about it every summer. -- James Taranto
Walkin' The DAWG
Think this might go over...
December 28, 2010
If there's one thing that unites ThreeSourcers, its whipping the DAWG. Larry Bell, writing for Forbes.com, presents some excellent facts and uses them to expose the media's DAWG training. The Refugee has no insightful opinion to add, but if you want some more facts for the next time you get into a debate with a DAWG lover, read the whole thing.
December 21, 2010
Quote of the Day
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had it right when she scorned consensus as "the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner 'I stand for consensus'?"Steven F. Hayward in a very worthwhile piece on the difference between bipartisan progress and consensus,
December 20, 2010
Dr. Popper, Call your Office!
John Hinderaker at PowerLine reprises a ten year old article in The Independent suggesting the end of snowfall in Britain: "Children just aren't going to know what snow is."
Then, PowerLine helpfully posts several pictures of road closures, digging out, and even some sweet little British urchins enjoying snow.
It's fun to ridicule the warmists because they are so often wrong, but their errors are in fact significant: a scientific theory that implies predictions that turn out to be wrong, is false. A principal feature of climate hysteria is its proponents' unwillingness to be judged by the standards that govern real science.
Predictive power, babies, predictive power.
UPDATE: Don Surber piles on with an xtraNormal vid.
UPDATE II: Supporting the "parting shot:"
LONDON Ė The Christmas travel season turned angry and chaotic Monday as British officials struggled to clear snow and ice that paralyzed rail and air links and spawned cancellations and delays stranding thousands around the world.
That's weather, not climate you trogs!
December 14, 2010
Lush Wheaty Goodness!
I like to suggest, in a discussion on deleterious anthropogenic warming of the globe, usually after a beer, that we should let plants vote on carbon-dioxide reduction. "How would we," slurs I, "react if the plants floated oxygen-reduction legislation?"
Tim Blair takes the cause in the Daily Telegraph. Being Australian, I'm going to go out on the limb and suggest that he might have downed a Foster's or two before typing (I have no empirical proof of this scurrilous smear).
Climate change alarmists hate it when we refer to carbon dioxide as "plant food", even though the description is accurate. And what a food it is! Earlier this year, the ABC's Landline program reported on an experiment conducted by the Victorian Department of Primary Industry, which blasted a patch of wheat with higher CO2 levels:
The wheat liked it! Hey Mikey!
December 8, 2010
New NASA DAWG Models
...suggest that doubling the amount of CO2 could raise temps by 1.64 degrees Celsius.
According to Lahouari Bounoua of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and other scientists from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), existing models fail to accurately include the effects of rising CO2 levels on green plants. As green plants breathe in CO2 in the process of photosynthesis -- they also release oxygen, the only reason that there is any in the air for us to breathe -- more carbon dioxide has important effects on them.
November 21, 2010
I *heart* Coal
I've been desirous of an "I love Coal" T-shirt for quite a while now, probably since Climategate hit the news - possibly in response to Colorado's legislature voting to subsidize coal's competition. I've been a denier since before it was cool, but now it's cool! I thought I would have to design and print my own. False.
Anyone who wants to join me can use this refer-a-friend link and reward me with a $10 Cafe Press credit (because you're so thoughtful.)
October 19, 2010
More fallout from the Dr. Hal Lewis Resignation
One of the Update links at the linked article in the Dr. Hal Lewis resignation story was a copy of the APS's public response with rebuttal by Dr. Lewis and two others interspersed in context. While the resignation letter itself is scathing evidence of Global Warming as hoax, it doesn't directly address the issue of "well-funded people believing" and thus, it "not going away." This does: [First the APS' statement, then Lewis' rebuttal.]
Dr. Lewisí specific charge that APS as an organization is benefitting financially from climate change funding is equally false. Neither the operating officers nor the elected leaders of the Society have a monetary stake in such funding.The chair of the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) that re-endorsed the 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change sits on the science advisory board of a large international bank http://annualreport.deutsche-bank.com/2009/ar/supplementaryinformation/advisoryboards.html The bank has a $60+ billion Green portfolio, which it wishes to assure investors is safeÖnot to mention their income from carbon trading. Other members of this board include current IPCC chief Pachauri and Lord Oxburgh, of Climategate exoneration fame. The viability of these banks activities depends on continued concern over CO2 emissions. Then there is the member of the Kleppner Committee (that reviewed the APS 2007 Statement prior to POPA) who served on that committee while under consideration for the position of Chief Scientist at BP. The position had been vacated when Steve Koonin left to take a post in the administration at DOE. Soon after the Kleppner Committee report in late 2009, this committee member took the BP job. BP had previously funded the new Energy Laboratory at Berkeley, which was headed by current Energy Secretary Steve Chu.
UPDATE: Reformatted for clarity and bolded text for emphasis.
October 18, 2010
Global Warming takes another body blow -
- This time from a renowned nuclear scientist.
Last November 20 I posted this first news of Climategate, which included James Delingpole's headline: Climategate: The final nail in the coffin of 'antropogenic global warming?'
JK was more circumspect but by December 1 admitted that the scandal was a "game changer." Yet, he still hedged: "But it does not expose a hoax as some have claimed. The believers truly believe. As long as well funded people believe, it is not going away."
Today, or rather October 8, the hoax is exposed.
Harold Lewis - Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, Presidentís Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board - resigned from the American Physical Society over events that have transpired since Climategate.
In discussing the publicly released resignation letter Anthony Watts says,
This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.
From the letter:
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
He then goes on to expose the calculated lengths that APS management went to defeat his efforts to establish a Topic Group on Climate Change within the APS. Sharp, smart and irretrievably damaging to APS and the Climate Change movement.
September 20, 2010
But, the science was settled!
I know I beat my Popperian Dead Horse too much. But until I get word that light bulbs will be legal, you'll have to read...
Doctor Barry Marshall resorted to Frankensteinian ("frahnk -in-STEEN-ee-an") theatrics to overcome the conventional wisdom.
"I was met with constant criticism that my conclusions were premature," Marshall later wrote. "My results were disputed and disbelieved, not on the basis of science but because they simply could not be true."
Science, baby! You want consensus, go into market research.
September 17, 2010
Black Helicopters Appear in Broad Daylight...
...embarking from the White House.
Republican candidate for CO governor Dan Maes took some heat in early August for suggesting that statist influences at the United Nations are inserting themselves into state and municipal governments through an organization called ICLEI. I'll admit that if you've never heard of these self-important busybodies the whole idea can sound a bit conspiratorial. Even our own jk joked "See the bikes all come in black helicopters..."
Yet today, from the "just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get me" department, we have the White House's Ocean Policy Initiative.
What the administration in effect is putting in place is an alternative power structure that circumvents existing state and local decision-making bodies and replaces them with made-in-Washington zoning. All of this is taking place without the consent of Congress, without the consent of the governors, and, most important of all, without the consent of the governed.
Suddenly the idea that similar efforts to influence local decision-making by the U.N. might "threaten our personal freedoms" doesn't seem like such a crackpot remark. JK commented "Let's pick smarter fights than this, boys." I'll counter with, "Someone has to start connecting the dots for voters sooner or later. Let's hope that when they do it isn't too late to get our liberty back using the ballot box."
August 30, 2010
"The Greening of Godzilla"
This is the title from a piece written by Walter Russell Mead for The American Interest Online that could not be improved upon. Mead dismantles the "green" movement not so much from a scientific standpoint but to illustrate that it has become the enemy that it abhors: The Establishment.
The case environmentalists used to make was that modern science was too crude and too incomplete to take into account the myriad features that could turn a giant hydroelectric dam from a blessing into a curse. Yes, the dam would generate power ó for a while. But green critics would note that the dam had side effects: silt would back up in the reservoir, soil downstream would be impoverished, parasites and malaria bearing mosquitoes would flourish in the still waters and so on and so forth. Meanwhile the destruction of wetlands and river bottoms imposed enormous costs to wildlife diversity and the productivity of river systems. Salmon runs would disappear. Often, the development associated with hydroelectric dams led to deforestation, offsetting gains in flood control.
Mead goes on to point out that greenies have morphed to espousing a simple solution (cap and trade) for a very complex problem (the environment). They now hide behind the "expert" label to hush critics. That's interesting but perhaps not all that groundbreaking.
What is more interesting is how Mead parallels liberal enviro regulation to their handling of the economy. We're told that financial reform will smooth all of the economic cycles and eliminate future "bubbles." Of course, that's nonsense because the economy, like the environment, is too complex for central planning.
Essentially, the core environmentalist argument against big projects and big development is the same argument that libertarians use against economic regulations and state planning. The Ďeconomic ecologyí of a healthy free market system is so complex, libertarians argue, that bureaucratic interventions, however well intentioned and however thoroughly supported by peer reviewed science of various kinds, will produce unintended consequences ó and in any case the interventions and regulations are too crude and too simple to provide an adequate substitute for the marvelously complex economic order that develops from free competition.
This piece seems to meander between subjects, but the common thread is "experts" trying to solve problems that cannot be solved with grandiose solutions. The result is stifling regulation that creates as many new problems as it solves.
Worth the whole read.
July 29, 2010
Ding Dong the DAWG is Dead
I've read a dozen of these and generally find them too optimistic. But Shikha Dalmia says
Future historians will pinpoint Democratic Sen. Harry Reid's energy legislation, released Tuesday, as the moment that the political movement of global warming entered an irreversible death spiral. It is kaput! Finito! Done!
Unlike predecessors, Dalmia admits the back-to-the-cavers will not give up soon and will cause a bit more havoc before they do. Another big private-jetfest is in the works, and they will try to use Executive power and state initiatives. But dead is dead.
The global warming warriors will likely have to go through the five stages of grief before accepting that their moment has passed and the movement is dead. Thinkers more sophisticated than Krugman will no doubt point to many proximate causes for its demise beyond evil Republicans such as lack of engagement by President Obama, bad economic timing, filibuster rules, what have you.
June 1, 2010
Oh no, not another "large tragedy"
(Filed under DAWG 'cause really, what else does Algore do?)
Al and Tipper (explicit lyrics advisory) Gore are splitsville.
There is oil gushing into the ocean and people are killing humanitarian aid workers and the earth is still warming. (...) I didn't know I had any room at all to care about the Gores' relationship, but maybe because it's something so much smaller, so much more personal, a headline so much easier to absorb than the other larger tragedies playing out around the globe...
May 28, 2010
King Barack the Verbose
In the age of kings, we were taught that kings were human, with human failings. Now, in the age of citizen-presidents, we are taught that government has unlimited powers over "heaven, earth and sea." Unlike Canute and Alfred, the vanity of Big Government knows no bounds.
You won't be sorry if you read it all. He even takes a whack at the Euro.
May 19, 2010
Deleterious Anthroprogenic Global... Cooling?
Those of us who lived through the '70s and actually remember them (refer to the discussion of recreational drug use below) recall the dire predictions. Pollution was causing artificial cloud cover that would shade the earth, thus causing global cooling. The next Ice Age was just around the corner. Then came along Al Gore and the doomsday scenario du jour (no pun intended) became global warming.
Well, we've apparently come full circle. Dr. Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University now believes that we are in for a period of global cooling.
ďRather than global warming at a rate of 1 F per decade, records of past natural cycles indicate there may be global cooling for the first few decades of the 21st century to about 2030,Ē said Easterbrook, speaking on a scientific panel discussion with other climatologists. This, he says, will likely be followed by ďglobal warming from about 2030 to 2060,Ē which will then be followed by another cooling spell from 2060 to 2090.
It is important to note that Dr. Easterbrook indicates that this is part of the normal pattern. But don't tell Congress - they've got important Cap'n Tax legislation to pass while the time is still ripe.
Hat tip: 20th Century Fox, the owner of this picture, from "The Day After Tomorrow."
Note: Speaking of recreational drug use, while he has no personal knowledge, The Refugee suspects that the above picture is best viewed while on acid.
April 20, 2010
Truth in Media (no, REALLY)
Just when you thought it wasn't safe to consume any establishment media news product comes this in US News and World Report: Global Warming, Ethanol, DDT and Environmentalismís Dark Side
Those who question global warming alarmistsí claims and policy prescriptions have been compared to holocaust deniers. Yet what are we to call environmentalists whose policies have resulted in the deaths of millions and could exacerbate poverty and hunger? The movie title Not Evil, Just Wrong may be too charitable.
Snap! Now that's what I call 'Hope and Change' in the news business. How did this happen? The story was written by Carrie Lukas, VP of Policy and Economics at the Independent Women's Forum (because "All issues are women's issues.") Their mission:
The Independent Women's Forum is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution. Founded in 1992, IWF focuses on issues of concern to women, men, and families. Our mission is to rebuild civil society by advancing economic liberty, personal responsibility, and political freedom. IWF builds support for a greater respect for limited government, equality under the law, property rights, free markets, strong families, and a powerful and effective national defense and foreign policy. IWF is home to some of the nation's most influential scholarsówomen who are committed to promoting and defending economic opportunity and political freedom.
OK, sounds good so far. They may have been founded in 1992 but it's hard to believe this has been their mission all along. I think JK'd have linked 'em by now! ;) Better late than never though.
UPDATE: Here's the link to the entire US N&WR entry and not just the excerpt on balanced-ed.org. It's an editorial. Oh well, the flicker of hope felt really good for those few minutes. Still check out iwf.org though.
March 30, 2010
Huh? Science Not Settled?
Meteorologists Against Global Warming? Mai Non!
Joe Bastardi, for example, a senior forecaster and meteorologist with AccuWeather, maintains that it is more likely that the planet is cooling, and he distrusts the data put forward by climate scientists as evidence for rising global temperatures.
I'm linking 'cause I like the guy's name. Wonder if any of the DAWG-promoters have a nickname for Mister Bastardi...
Hat-tip: Instapundit (I thought I should throw a link back).
It's Okay, Scientists are in Charge
C/O The Guardian:
"I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change," said [Really Smart Human James] Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. "The inertia of humans is so huge that you can't really do anything meaningful."
Non-James-Lovelock humans are " too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades." Thank Zeus that the 90-year-old super genius is willing to step into the breach and run the world for awhile.
March 5, 2010
The House of Representatives recently passed its own version of the largely symbolic, but very expensive, 15 ba-billion dollar jobs bill. What frustrates me most of all about this is how they ignore a simple and inexpensive way to create real, private-sector jobs, increase tax revenue, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. EnergyTomorrow.org sez:
Increasing access to oil and natural gas resources could generate nearly 160,000 new, well-paying jobs, $1.7 trillion in revenues to federal, state and local governments and greater energy security. And according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry already supports 9.2 million American jobs and contributes more than $1 trillion to the national economy, or 7.5 percent GDP.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - Many answers to our economic woes are easy to find; if government hacks really intended to fix the economy they would do it.
February 24, 2010
Maybe Obama's not a Socialist after all
On yesterday's program Bill O'Reilly posed the question, "Is the president [Obama] a socialist?" His answer was that while Obama has pursued socialistic policies he isn't an actual socialist because "Mr. Obama doesn't want to seize your house." I would counter that straw man with, "No, but he want's to seize your income to give a house to thems what ain't gots 'em."
Unfortunately I think it gives Obama too much credit to call him a socialist. That would imply that he knows what he's doing. I tend to agree with Randall Hoven at American Thinker who wrote Obama "is the cargo cult president."
At least the real Cargo Cult followers built real things that looked like landing strips to get airplanes loaded with food and supplies to land on them. Obama thinks you get factories to produce things and hospitals to fix people by making speeches -- speeches that are reasonably good imitations of speeches given by real leaders.
If you're not familiar with the cargo cult tribes of the South Pacific you'll want to read the article to see what he means. If you are familiar then you'll want to read the article to see just how eerily similar the Obama Administration (and the alternative energy movement) is to those primitive peoples.
February 19, 2010
Sea Level is Falling!
What will become of the poor endangered snails if we don't stop these falling seas?
Clearly, Thomas Friedman is right, things are getting wierd!
February 16, 2010
I fear some good people -- even some around ThreeSources -- are too optimistic too soon about the collapse of the global warming debate. What's the Star Wars line? Nice shooting, kid, don't get cocky!
But I'll confess we're having a realty really really really good few weeks here.
ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar pulled out of a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups pushing for climate change legislation on Tuesday, citing complaints that the bills under consideration are unfair to American industry.
UPDATE: The WSJ Ed Page agrees.
The departing are BP America, Conoco Phillips and Caterpillar, which were among the original members of USCAP, a coalition of green pressure groups and Fortune 500 businesses that tried to drive a cap-and-trade program into law. Some corporate members concluded that climate legislation was inevitable and hoped to tip it in a more business-friendly direction. Othersóahem, General Electricóare in our view engaged in little more than old-fashioned rent-seeking. Through regulatory gaming, Congress would choose business winners and losers, dispensing billions of dollars in carbon permits to the politically connected.
Vancouver Olympic "Legacy"
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2010) - Today, Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, announced the Government of Canada's commitment to offset federal greenhouse gas emissions for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The London summer games are a mere two and a half years away. Any chance that Canada will be not just the first, but the last? Probably not.
Jacques Rogge says the financial position of the London 2012 Olympic Games is so healthy that, unlike the Vancouver Winter Olympics, no guarantees will be needed to cover any potential shortfall.
Maybe if BC had skipped the new airport train and "hydrogen highway" ...
UPDATE: The race is on to abandon the sinking Climate Change fraud. Investors.com: "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, seeing which way the snow is blowing, has issued an executive order saying her state will suspend its participation in the emission-control plan or any program that could raise costs for businesses and consumers." Interestingly, despite succeeding Democrat Janet Napolitano, Brewer is a Republican.
February 14, 2010
No Statistically Significant Warming
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now Ė suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.
Of special note, Professor Jones' data is critical in backing up the famous hockey stick graph created by Penn State's Michael Mann.
February 11, 2010
Not an AARP card Among Them
A little fun from our friends at Minnesotans for Global Warming. I'd like to send this out to the brothers and sisters in Philly:
January 4, 2010
My New Favorite CEO?
I hesitate to post this. I don't want to get they guy in trouble and I don't want to see the Boulder store close down.
But Whole Foods chief John Mackey has gone from criticizing ObamaCare (high crime or misdemeanor enough that he had to step down) to suggesting -- in The New Yorker -- that he is reading a book which is skeptical of Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe.
As Mackey warns, the higher energy prices, compliance costs of new regulations, and the litigation nightmares will lower our standard of living. One thing he forgot to mention is that these new energy taxes and regulations wonít do anything to reduce the earthís temperature and reducing our economic prosperity cripples our ability to tackle real environmental problems.
Yeah, he is still no Friedmanite, his company has a duty to help the poor and save the planet &c. But damn, you have got to salute us candor and dedication to principles.