"What's the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if in the end all we're willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?"
-- F. Sherwood Rowland, whose theory that the introduction of huge quantities of chlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere would reduce the ozone layer around Earth was dismissed by industry as "merely theories."
Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
2008 Templeton Prize
Upon winning, Heller described his work as:
"Various processes in the universe can be displayed as a succession of states in such a way that the preceding state is a cause of the succeeding one… (and) there is always a dynamical law prescribing how one state should generate another state. But dynamical laws are expressed in the form of mathematical equations, and if we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about a cause of mathematical laws. By doing so we are back in the Great Blueprint of God's thinking the universe, the question on ultimate causality…: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" When asking this question, we are not asking about a cause like all other causes. We are asking about the root of all possible causes."Please, can someone tell me what this means? I can't see that it means anything whatsoever, beyond what a freshman physics student would tell you. It is just gibberish as far as I can tell, no different from anything in the Dancing Wu Li Masters or What the Bleep Do We Know? There's just nothing remotely profound about it -- and this guy gets a million and a half for spouting such nonsense, merely because he says it in a deep, introspective tone? What garbage....
By the way, gasoline use per capita is down about 2.5% in the last year....
Thursday, March 27, 2008
US Health Insurance
But Clinton and Obama.... Tonight Clinton announced that she'd like health care premiums to be no more than 10% of an American's income.... This is a complete give-in to corporate America and it can never lead to affordable and efficient health care. Corporations and insurance companies are always going to want their 20-30%, and they are so greedy that they will take it regardless of the health of Americans -- regardless if they are, literally, dying. The service they provide has been proven time and again to be inferior and useless, compared to single-payer systems.... they must be completely eliminated.
Neither Clinton or Obama has the courage to do this, it is now clear. I wonder how much money each of them is receiving from these corporations? A lot, clearly. Enough to corrupt them, clearly.
I really thing that the US is teetering on the edge of existence, and that if it cannot solve the health care issues of tens of millions of its citizens -- one-sixth of the population, soon to be more as employers -- including yours -- increasingly opt out of the system (and who can blame them when medical inflation is running at 7-12% a year), this country will quickly sink in a very mediocre status. At this point I really see no way out of it.
This is Funny
via: Dark Roasted Blend
Cold Winters and Greenhouse Gases
Q: how much more CO2e will be emitted because of the cold winter?I've seen this type of calculation done -- somewhere -- about the additional power consumption of air conditioners as the world warms. Ought to be a similar calculation here....
I am not claiming that all of our recent warming is natural. But the extreme reluctance for most scientists to even entertain the possibility that some of it might be natural suggests to me that climate research has become corrupted.I just don't think that's true. Mainstream climatologists seem to me to be somewhat imprecise on the exact amount of current warming is manmade, and use words like "most." Never "all."
Here's exactly what the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report says:
Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica).(Emphasis mine.)
I think Roy Spencer is exaggerating, and it doesn't help his cause any.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
PS: Yes, I like Weeds. In fact, it is the only program I have ever paid for and downloaded from Amazon.com.
OK. But I assume this is a not uncommon state for the President of the United States, to which she aspires. Can we therefore expect each time she reaches it we can expect inconsistencies and factual muckups?
I've been sleep deprived. But I'd never confuse something like a kind welcome for sniper fire. Neither would you.
Hypocrites, pure and simple.
I've no doubt that smaller cars do lead to more deaths via accidents. But I'd also like to know the number of deaths, and the amount of environmental damage, that CO2-belching cars enact on people and the environment. It' s a complex calculation, to be sure. But it's not zero.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Chelsea Clinton had a quick retort Tuesday when asked whether her mother's credibility had been hurt during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.Let's hope for more responses like that.
"Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe, 70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of your business," Clinton said during a campaign visit for her mother, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton had picked out the male questioner as she wrapped up a question-and-answer session at Butler University. It wasn't immediately clear what statement by the first lady the questioner was referring to. Before she was fully aware of her husband's relationship with Lewinsky, a White House intern, Hillary Clinton said the allegations about that relationship were manufactured by a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
Clinton's answer was met with loud applause from the about 200 people in the audience. After the applause, Clinton responded, "and I also don't think that should be the last question."
That must be a sight to see....
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Major US City Preparedness for an Oil Crisis
- San Francisco (#1 in the telecommuting category)
- New York (#1 in public transit commutes and metro area transit use)
- Washington, DC
- Portland, OR
We live in far too interconnected of a society and an economy to think that Portland, Oregon is going to smoothly survive Peak Oil just because there is some plan sitting on a shelf. This is a civilization-wide problem. The cost of food being trucked around is going to rise drastically everywhere. Most people -- let's be honest -- just do not have convenient mass transit available to them. What are people going to do when gas is $9/gallon, and delivery trucks are parked idle because they can't afford to run? You think some little plan sitting on a shelf in city hall -- produced by a bunch of amateurs -- is going to save the day? Please. I know they mean well...but it is very short-sighted.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Hadley's February Temperatures
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Betting on McCain
You could also sell a futures contract on Giuliani winning it for 0.3 cents, where you pay $1 if he should happen to be the nominee.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Gary George's bigotry
Monday, March 10, 2008
Should prostitution be legal? I really, really do not know. Kevin Drum wrote:
...my official position is: who cares. This stuff shouldn't be illegal in the first place and I don't care what these guys do in their private time.Let's be real: very, very few women are choosing to be prostitutes out of simple choice. They are doing it because they are out of choices and are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Only a very tiny few of them are brilliant, sexy, forceful women taking care of their destiny, like get written up in New York Magazine. Almost all of them are, in fact, poor, desperate, and perhaps have substance abuse problems. They are poor. It sucks.
I'm disappointed that a liberal like Kevin would think otherwise. There are so many god-damned more important things than where Eliot Spitzer puts his dick. Tens of millions are living without health care. Our very civilization is destroying the planet's atmosphere. Our major means of energy production is starting to decrease in abundance.
And we're worried about who Eliot Spitzer sleeps with. It nearly makes me puke.
It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and sleeping. But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something is happening in the world….It is, of course, absurd to suggest that climate change is going to be so quick that tornadoes are going to ravage Manhattan anytime soon. It's just a completely unscientific position, designed as nothing but a scare tactic, and I can't believe anyone gives him any credibility with stunts like this.
The 44th President, groggily: “Hello?”
Voice: “Mr(s) President, we have a situation.”
Voice: “No, it’s the climate again. Another series of tornadoes has struck Manhattan. There’s massive damage and loss of life and a complete power outage.”
But, like David Roberts, the more he exaggerates the more attention he gets. It's kind of depressing for a legitimate science writer.
Data Shows Immediate Catastrophic Warming
That's right, despite billions of frozen pipes in China and unprecedented amounts of yellow snow atop Mt. Kilimanjaro and Bahama residents having to put on a full t-shirt before 8 pm, the world is warming up at 0.14°C/month[*], or 3°F per year, or a dramatic 30°F per decade! By 2018, Fairbanks Alaska will be like Atlanta was this year. Atlanta will be... well, like Hell....
We are doomed. Doomed, I tell you.
[*] Based on well-established, peer-reviewed, sophisticated skeptic logic.
God and Climate Change
Friday, March 07, 2008
Decrease in US emissions
Overall, emissions have grown by 14.1 percent from 1990 to 2006 while the U.S. economy has grown by 59 percent over the same period.
I still wonder how they can specify US emissions data to the nearest MMT (out of a total of 7202 MMT) -- if their models are really that accurate. As John Fleck demonstrated for Albuquerque, these numbers are not always accurate and the modelers seem to make whatever targets their boss has provided them.
Total Wind Power
That's not bad, except total worldwide energy consumption is about 500 Quadrillion BTU. Revert back to your freshman days of converting units (personally I will be much happier when you can just tell a computer to do this and it knows exactly what you're talking about), and you find that's about 17,000,000 MW.
So total wind power production is only about 0.5% of worldwide energy production. But it's rising exponentially.
NYers and sea-level
69% of New Yorkers say it is likely that parts of New York City will need to be abandoned due to rising sea levels over the next 50 years.I don't think that's unlikely, see as how sea-level is only rising about 3 mm/yr. So 50 years is 150 mm, or 6 inches. Maybe a few more if sea-level rise rates accelerate.... surely they can keep the sea out of the city for at least that long.
Other results from the poll:
- 78% are convinced that global warming is happening, and of that number, 82% believe that global warming is caused mainly by human activities or caused equally by humans and natural changes.
- 66% support a $2.50 surcharge on the average household’s monthly electric bill for a special fund to help make buildings more energy efficient and to support public education on energy use. [OK, but that's only $30/yr.]
- Only 53% support a congestion pricing plan.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Hillary & god
This alone disqualifies her for the presidency. In any rational country.
Matmatah -- Lambe An Dro
I don't know -- it's just cool. Isn't life surprising?
Extreme Pilot Footage - Funny home videos are a click away
OK. So why, then, had oil risen to $105/barrel before it rose that one extra $1 on the terrifying news that some little military recruiting was bombed, when by the time oil markets opened in NYC police already knew wasn't terrorism?
I hate business stories that attempt to attribute a whole market's worth of business, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, on some obscure reason somewhere, as if oil investors were some skittery scardey-cats who were reacting to last hour's events and not maybe to the fact that we are starting to run out of oil....?
It also helps that he is not Sam Adams.
(via 2 Blowhards)
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
"The thing about life is that one day you'll be dead."
-- David Shields, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead
Did You Know....
March 5, 2008: "Oil prices reached a record close, surging above $104 after OPEC decided Wednesday to keep its production unchanged. The cartel ignored calls from President Bush to pump more oil into an ailing economy." (NY Times, 3/5/08)
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
I think this might well serve as a significant turning point in the broader debate, and if this didn't succeed, it is hard to imagine what would. They pulled out all the guns, and hit nothing. I can't imagine they feel anything but disheartened.
It is, overall, a disappoint. But one you can accept.
Proof of the Nature Claim
That's a scientific statement. A scientific claim. It says, essentially, that natural forcings are more important than human forcings and can explain the rise in global temperatures of the last 30 years.
But I don't see a proof anywhere in their document. I don't see any of their models, or calculations of warming potentials and radiative forcings, etc. I see a lot of carping about the IPCC's science -- about, seemingly, everything the IPCC ever did -- but that's relatively easy to do.
But it doesn't constitute a proof. It you claim to have proven the Riemann Hypothesis and I claim that your proof is in error, that doesn't mean Riemann's Hypothesis is false. It just means there's a problem in your particular proof. I really haven't proven anything.
This isn't a perfect example, because it seems on the whole most scientists think the proof of AGW is fairly strong.
But Nopsy has made a scientific claim -- a quite strong one -- but has offered no proof whatsoever.
This just isn't how science is done. It's not science.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Daylight Savings Time
Wikileaks is back
I especially liked this:
Paul Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen, said he doesn't believe a loose network of activists like Wikileaks is even susceptible to a lawsuit.
As he announced his ruling, White observed that he was encountering "a definite disconnect between the evolution of our constitutional jurisprudence and modern technology."