Coming Clean - New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme Explained from Lindsay Horner on Vimeo.
By the way, isn't this beautifully filmed?
August 22, 2011 at 8:17 PM
You know, Feynman had a pretty great quote…well he had many great quotes, but one of my favorites is,
‘I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.’
I know you’re trying to sell some books and move up the list of ‘conservatives liberals love to hate’, but please stick to the science.
Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says:
August 23, 2011 at 5:05 AM
I agree *most* scientists are even more clueless about economics than your average joe. I’m not one of them.
“Sometimes the rules must protect society at large at the expense of individual expression when that expression is deemed harmful to others and society at large.”I doubt Perry means simply outlawing people from yelling Fire! in a crowded theater. And this from someone who claims to cherish liberty and freedom. But clearly he wants a country that will only tolerate freedom if it's an expression of freedom that he agrees with. Absolutely chilling.
-- Rick Perry, Fed Up! (2010)
A boy breaks a shopkeeper’s window, and everyone who sees it deplores the pointless destruction. Then someone insists that the damage is actually for the good: The six francs it will cost the shopkeeper to replace his window will benefit the glazier, who will then have more money to spend on something else. Those six francs will circulate, and the economy will grow.I'm with this so far. But then Jacoby concludes:
The fatal flaw in that thinking, Bastiat wrote, is that it concentrates only on “what is seen’’ - the glazier being paid to make a new window. What it ignores is “what is not seen’’ - that the shopkeeper, forced to spend six francs on that, has lost the opportunity to spend them on better shoes, a new book, or some other addition to his standard of living.
The glazier may be better off, but the shopkeeper isn’t - and neither is society as a whole.Here's where I am puzzled -- why isn't society as a whole better-off? Or, at least, equally as well-off? It's true the shopkeeper isn't better-off and the glazier is. Why is this a bad thing, from a macroeconomic point of view?
Again, I'm not minimizing this hurricane, which as I write this has killed 22 people (16 in the U.S.) with $7 B in damage. But, storms happen.
- "The Great September Gale of 1815 (the term hurricane was not yet common in the American vernacular), which hit New York City directly as a Category 3 hurricane, caused extensive damage and created an inlet that separated the Long Island resort towns of the Rockaways and Long Beach into two separate barrier islands.
- "The 1821 Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane, a Category 4 storm which made four separate landfalls in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and southern New England. The storm created the highest recorded storm surge in Manhattan of nearly 13 feet and severely impacted the farming regions of Long Island and southern New England.
- "The 1869 Saxby Gale affected areas in Northern New England, decimating the Maine coastline and the Canadian Outer Banks. It was the last major hurricane to affect New England until the 1938 storm.
- "The 1893 New York hurricane, a Category 2 storm, directly hit the city itself, causing a great storm surge that pummeled the coastline, completely removing the Long Island resort town of Hog Island."
- The Great Hurricane of 1938, which made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane and killed upwards of 800 people with $41 billion (2011 dollars) in damage.
|Alberta Tar Sands|
"The second tack is to run against the lunacy of the opposition. In the same week that scientists announced the discovery of fossils 3.4 billion years old, evidence of explosive growth of early life through evolution, Rick Perry showed he will take his science from the Bible. He called evolution “a theory that’s out there.” If he thinks it is just a theory, he should get last year’s flu shot.
-- Timothy Egan, NY Times, August 26, 2011
"...so far all the electric vehicle charging stations I've come across in Oregon have been free to use. Most commercial business will see these as a way to "drive" in some business, kinda like wifi at coffee shops, because of the low cost of electricity (maximum of about $0.23 per hour of charging for the Nissan LEAF).Someday, probably sooner than we would ever guess, this won't be newsworthy at all....
Personally, I see networks of charging stations coming online charging around $0.50 to $0.75 per hour of charging, with DC Quick Charging (full charge in about 30 minutes) costing about $1.00 to $1.50 per half-hour, but so far nobody has announced any plans."
Just about the only trauma we haven’t had are hurricanes plowing into the U.S., but that’s just luck—last year was a big storm year, but they all veered out to sea.which is true (number of tropical storms = 19, major hurricanes = 5, ACE = 165), but 2010's ACE ranked only as 12th highest on the 1950-2010 list, despite it being tied for the warmest year according to NOAA. In particular it was outranked by the years 1950, 1961, 1955, and 1964. He says it was "just luck" that they veered out to sea, which is a classic case of confirmation bias because of course it could just as well be "luck" that Irene has veered up the East Coast.
Recent arguments concerning global warming's influence on causing tropical cyclones (hurricanes, typhoons) to become more frequent and more intense has been given much coverage in the media and by some published papers which claim a valid linkage. But observational data shows no such linkage. Despite the global warming of the sea surface that has taken place between the mid 1970s to the late 1990s and the general global warming of the last century, the global numbers of tropical cyclones and hurricanes and their intensity have not shown any significant trends except for the Atlantic where multi-decadal circulation variations in the ocean drive large multi-decadal variations in major hurricane (Cat 3-4-5) numbers.See as well as his 2009 paper in Geophysical Research Letters.
"Meanwhile, out in the real world, climate impacts are all too visible. Since the negotations began 10 days ago, climate disasters have struck all over the world: flooding in Australia, Venezuela, the Balkans, Columbia, India; wildfires in Israel, Lebanon, Tibet; freak winter storms in Europe and the United States. These events have been devastating--hundreds are dead, and hundreds of thousands have been affected."Come on. Floods happen. Fires happen. Freak winter storms happen. And hurricanes happen. They always have, and they always will. That doesn't mean that climate change doesn't have an impact or that its something to consider lightly, only that you can't separate out its influence and attribute it in a binary fashion. I think the best statement is something I think Gavin wrote (but now I can't find it): 'There's a little bit of climate change in everything now.'
We were clear in the 2006 post that establishing a significant GCR/cloud/climate link would require the following steps (given that we have known that ionisation plays a role in nucleation for decades). One would need to demonstrate:But clearly people aren't.
1. … that increased nucleation gives rise to increased numbers of (much larger) cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)Of course, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming, you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been....
2. … and that even in the presence of other CCN, ionisation changes can make a noticeable difference to total CCN
3. … and even if there were more CCN, you would need to show that this actually changed cloud properties significantly,
4. … and that given that change in cloud properties, you would need to show that it had a significant effect on radiative forcing.
"It's direct intimidation in the sense of letters, emails, occasional phone calls and threats," says Professor Simon Wessely, of King's College London, who has received a series of death threats and threatening phone calls, and now has his mail routinely scanned for suspect devices.Did this kind of thing ever go on before the Internet? I know that earlier climate scientist Benjamin Santer received a lot of harassment from the fossil fuel industry. But this now seems to be a dedicated effort from those with different views organizing via online tools.
"But more often indirect intimidation through my employer or the GMC [General Medical Council]. All of it intended to denigrate and try and make you into a leper."
A man hasn't been feeling well, so he goes to his doctor for a complete checkup. Afterward the doctor comes out with the results.Also via Steve Liebling.
"I'm afraid I have some very bad news," the doctor says. "You're dying and you don't have much time left."
"Oh, that's terrible!" says the man. "How long have I got?"
"Ten," the doctor says sadly.
"Ten?" the man asks. "Ten what? Months? Weeks? What?"
An atom walks into a bar and asks if anyone has seen his electron. The bartender says no, and asks the atom if he's sure his electron is missing.Via: Steve Liebling, Long Island University. More bad physics jokes here.
Yes, says the atom, I'm positive.
|On the verge of extinction|
"the number of skeptical qualified scientists has been growing steadily; I would guess it is about 40% now."That's from a January press release from the National Academy of Scholars, who interviewed him. I can't in any way understand a basis for such a number (and Singer offers none). It's not reflected in the scientific literature or at scientific conferences. It's contradicted by this study of over 3,000 scientists active in the field of climate science, which found that 97% think humans play a role in today's climate. (More details of the study are given in this EOS article by one of the study's authors. Their survey had a response rate of only 31%, so there is room for some skepticism there (intellectual skepticism, not climate skepticism). But still....).
-- Fred Singer
97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.Maybe Fred Singer lives in a climate skeptic bubble, but he should still be aware of these studies and he should still offer some justification for his 40% number. If you see a reason to disagree with my "liar" label, please give your reasons in the comments. I can't think of any.
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."Mashey's long-form reply to the National Academy of
-- Christopher Hitchens
"It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there."
-- William Carlos Williams
One thing that always bothered me: If Adam and Eve were the first humans in existence, why are they always portrayed as having belly buttons?Via: Andrew Sullivan
Payload - Trailer from Stu Willis on Vimeo.
Another trailer and a teaser here, and the Web site starts here.
"The ridiculous fiasco which attended the attempt at aerial navigation in the Langley flying machine was not unexpected....it might be assumed that the flying machine which will really fly might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanicians in from one million to ten million years."
-- New York Times op-ed, October 9, 1903
"We started assembly today."The Wright Brothers flew the first powered flight two and a half months later.
-- Orville Wright, from his private diary, same day
On the claim that climate alarmism is due to research funding: this incentive exists in all science, yet it's never occurred in the past. And there's no evidence that it's occurring here: there's no way to dismiss the null hypothesis that scientists are worried because the data are worrying.Sometimes I think the people who claim funding determines results are really saying that they themselves would alter the product of their work if they were paid enough, and so they think all other people have the same level of integrity. In my experience what scientists really love are ideas, and they relish the chance to propose and prove good ones, and tear down and destroy bad ones. Intellectual integrity is all they have, and everything they have.
On the other hand, there is evidence that climate skeptics are truly working off an agenda. See Spencer's statement "I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government." There's no way that you can reach that conclusion by looking at data. It's a pre-determined political goal.
Despite the rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice in recent years, the ice may temporarily stabilize or somewhat expand at times over the next few decades, new research indicates.Why is this finding just showing up now? (I haven't read the paper yet).
A new computer modeling study reinforces previous findings by other research teams that the level of Arctic sea ice loss observed in recent decades cannot be explained by natural causes alone, and that the ice will eventually melt away during summer if the climate continues to warm.
But in an unexpected new result, the research team found that Arctic ice under current climate conditions is as likely to expand as it is to contract for periods of up to about a decade.
“One of the results that surprised us all was the number of computer simulations that indicated a temporary halt to the loss of the ice,” says Jennifer Kay, the lead author and a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The computer simulations suggest that we could see a 10-year period of stable ice or even an increase in the extent of the ice. Even though the observed ice loss has accelerated over the last decade, the fate of sea ice over the next decade depends not only on human activity but also on climate variability that cannot be predicted.”
So in my decision, I tried to stay away from the science.”
-- Ken Schaudt, mayor, Philomath, Oregon, on his vote to continue to ban fluoride from the town's water supplyFor some reason I've never figured out, most towns in Oregon refuse to add fluoride to their water supply, including Portland. (Schaudt said that only 26% of Oregonians drink fluoridated water.) Large groups of people here think it's toxic, or a government plot, or a mandate from the United Nations, or something. My sister had to buy fluoride drops to give to her babies, and now that they're older gives them fluoride tablets.
“A lot of where we have gotten our information is from the internet.”Look, I don't know a lot about this subject and I don't really want to get into it. I believe the experts. Wikipedia has a summary of the controversy here. I do know the Institute for Medicine (a branch of the National Academy of Sciences) released a report about fluoridation of water a few years ago, and, I think, recommended lowering the recommended level a little. Fine.
“I am going to be making statements that I don’t want you to take as the gospel truth.”
“Statistics are funny things. Numbers you can make do whatever you want them to do.”
“In researching this issue you can print a stack of paper as high as you wish on the good reasons … you can print the same size stack on why not to do it. I don’t want to choose between the two. I am not a chemist. I am not a scientist. Who am I to say which study is correct? So in my decision, I tried to stay away from the science.”
He called fluoride a “toxic agent,” said that the fluoride that the city uses is is “not pharmaceutical grade.”
“There really is no substance that is tolerated by everyone. If fluoride is healthful to the teeth, it should be applied directly to the teeth.”
His number one reason: “Freedom of choice is precious to all Americans. It’s value must be protected,” he said.
Councilor Bierek talked about the possible negative effects on the health of animals, such as fish in the streams.
“We aren’t doing our streams and waterways any good,” he said of the practice of adding fluoride to water. “We’re upsetting the natural balance of our planet.”
Councilor Buddingh said, “It’s not our right or our role to mass medicate. I think it’s unethical.”
Mayor Schaudt: “I think its a disservice for the public to vote on it. I'm not saying the voting public would be wrong ... but, the voting public would not do the amount of research and be as diligent (as the council has been).”
I am starting to think that the only people interested in the presidential election are the pundits and the politicians themselves. It has become painfully clear that whichever candidate wins the Oval Office, he or she will not be working for the electorate.She blogs here.
And whatever gave you the idea that Obama is a liberal? He is as artificial corporate manufactured apple pie as Ronald Reagan. He only seems liberal because the Republicans have turned into such an extremist sect of nihilists, and the Tea Party itself is fond of calling him a Kenyan radical socialist. We only wish!
Our next president will be one of three things: a Wall Street lackey, a Wall Street lackey, or a theocratic Wall Street lackey.
"Standard & Poor's takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.'s finances on a sustainable footing."(that is to say, Mitt Romney was completely wrong today), but because the politicians can't get it together:
"We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed andThey said the real problem is that the recent government actions "falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade," they do call out the Republicans:
will remain a contentious and fitful process."
"Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act."Paul Krugman, who seems to me to have the best understanding of all of this, wrote more about Standard & Poors track record, including their "A" rating on Lehman Brothers before they went down the tubes. Also, see this.
The federal deficit is a serious challenge in the long run. The real emergency is how many people are still out of work. That's the deficit that matters. Almost nothing can do more harm to a nation's cultural, social, political, and of course economic fabric than sustained high joblessness. And of [course] nothing can do more, faster, to reduce a federal deficit than a restoration of economic growth. That political and media attention got hijacked to a fake debt-ceiling "emergency" is 1937 all over again -- but worse, because in principle we had the real 1937 to learn from.(Emphasis mine.)
“Waste anything but time.”
-- Motto of the NASA Apollo missions
The vigorous effort is in no small part guided by political reality: Giffords is a popular, moderate pol who’s found a way to survive in a state that is trending increasingly conservative. She is one of three remaining Democrats in Arizona’s eight-member delegation. Finding another contender who could win her seat — previously in Republican hands for more than two decades — would be a tall order.Everyone the writers quote has a vested interest in seeing Giffords stay in her office: Gifford's spokesperson, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democratic consultant and Gifford "backer," her political director, a former Arizona Democratic Party chairman, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer (Democratic Whip), Joe Biden, and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD). The only thoughts attributed to Giffords are a written statement and a Tweet from her office. The only reporting on her condition is this:
“She’s the only person on my radar screen right now who could pull that moderate Republican vote,” said Rich Brownell, who chairs the Cochise County Democratic Party. “That’s going to be a hard task to find someone who can also appeal to that.”
Giffords stood and walked on her own, with some help walking down stairs. Her right right hand was wrapped in a bandage. Overall, she appeared in good spirits and alert.and that she "waved and mouthed 'thank you,' as the House offered her a standing ovation."
|2011 Arctic sea ice extent, in red|