Thursday, August 22, 2013


Shaking Up One's World Vision

How Aussies and Kiwis see the world.

(h/t Jed)



Disasterous Polling

No, not Cuccinelli v. McAuliffe in my old home state of Virginia. This poll. You can tell by the fact that they use the photo of Trayvon Martin when he was 12 years old that perhaps they thought this poll about so called 'stand your ground' laws would be at least equal in opinions in support for or opposition to such laws.

Nope. It's a slaughter. People are supporting stand your ground laws 94% to 6%. Every opinion asked is low 90s to mid single digits, all in favor of reasonable self defense. The mix of party affiliations in the last question indicates a representative mixture.

I'm not really sure what they thought the results would be. It's a Libertarian website featuring some of Ron Paul's loonier beliefs as well as classic Libertarian dogma.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Worried Mind

I'm troubled by the lack of progress by the rowing lads, this year's intrepid Arctic publicity stunt (Pulling together against Climate Change).

They used to be rowing along the northern coast of the Canadian Shield but have just crossed over and are now hugging the southern coast of Victoria Island, the second largest in the Canadian Archipelago. But they haven't moved in a day or two. And they have a long way to go. They have all of the Coronation Gulf and Queen Maud Gulf to go (about 300 miles). Then they have to row across open sea to get up the Boothia Peninsula and cut through a narrow channel east of Prince of Wales Island, skirting the south shore of Somerset Island, and then up Prince Regent Inlet in order even to reach the Brodeur Peninsula on Baffin Island which is largest of all Canadian Islands. But even if they hit the Brodeur Peninsula where it first touches the Parry Channel, they'll have another 300 miles from there to reach their selected end point, Pond Inlet.

The trouble is that they have just about a month to get there. Since July 3, 2013, when they started in the Mackenzie River Delta, they have only traveled 600 miles. So more than seven weeks to go 600 miles and a total of 1200 miles to go in 4 to 5 weeks. I'm almost sure they won't even make it to Baffin Island. Now I'm wondering if they can make it to the Boothia Peninsula.

And I haven't even mentioned the sea ice still clogging up part of the intended route.

If they fail to get 2/3 of the way planned, is that proof that Catastrophic Man-Caused Global Warming and Summer melting of Arctic Ice has been over sold as a crisis?

Does the publicity work both ways?


Sunday, August 18, 2013


The Very Model of a Modern Climate Alarmist

Sorry that the title doesn't really scan right. Here is the article in the NYT that is the subject of my posting, The article, one of the constant cries from gullible lefties to 'notice me--I'm telling you something important' is essentially saying the end of the world is extremely f***ing nigh and it's all our fault. Imagine me yawning right now. Here we go.

Peter Brannen, about whom I can find no information, starts by noting that the rock formations near NYC are young enough to have fossil tracks, etc. He then goes full apocalypse, writing about the Permian/Triassic extinction event as if we even know what happened:

Professor Olsen discovered that the first wave of the extinction happened within just a single sedimentary layer, in less than 20,000 years, as atmospheric carbon dioxide likely doubled from the eruptions, sending global temperatures soaring by 3 degrees Celsius or more.

Blaming each extinction event on CO2 released into the atmosphere is a very recent turn in science. It's part of the exaggeration and evidence of the current corruption of science. Here is real science about CO2 and temperature.

There is no correlation between atmospheric CO2 and world temperature much less a cause and effect. The atmospheric CO2 at the Permian/Triassic boundary was about 1800 ppmv, a 450% increase over what it is now. There was a jump in world temperature at the boundary, but the peak of CO2 as usual came later. CO2 never leads temperature, it only follows.

This is basic science. Doubling CO2 in the atmosphere from the agreed upon pre-industrial average of 280 ppmv to 560 ppmv produces a change in temperature between .3 and 1.4 degrees C. Only through a secondary amplification could such a doubling cause a 3 degree C temperature rise as professor Olsen claims in his work, and there is no known secondary amplification regrading CO2 increase in the atmosphere and temperature.

It's likely that the extinction of 90% of the species on earth 248 million years ago was not the result of a beneficial, trace gas in the atmosphere.

He goes on:

Some scientists believe we are now in the midst of another great extinction, driven not by natural events but by the activities of man: hunting, habitat destruction, the introduction of invasive species and pollution, which has drastically altered the thin glaze of life-supporting chemistry that coats the earth. By some estimates, perhaps close to 30,000 species of plants and animals go extinct every year. Whole ecosystems, like coral reefs, which went virtually extinct in the end-Triassic extinction, are now facing worldwide collapse again. 

The "estimate" of 30,000 species going extinct each year is total bull sh**. The real number is several orders of magnitude less. It is slightly higher than the base number of extinctions which have been taking place since life evolved past single cell organisms, but that's mainly the result of hunting and habitat destruction, and on some islands because of invasive species. Temperature has nothing to do with it.

A World Bank report last fall warned that “present emission trends put the world plausibly on a path toward 4 degrees Celsius warming within the century.” The surface waters of the carbon-dioxide absorbing oceans have already become 30 percent more acidic since the start of the Industrial Revolution.
“In terms of global warming and ocean acidification,” Professor Olsen said, the rate of change during the end-Triassic extinction “was comparable to what we’re doing today.”
 For me there's nothing that screams "reliable science" more than the World Bank. The wild guesses that doubling CO2 will produce 4 degrees C of warming are anti-scientific (see above) and are certainly wrong. The acid/base continuum goes from 0 to 14 and the midway point, 7, is neutral. Low single digits are very acidic and double digits are extremely caustic or basic. The ocean is slightly basic so if it moves on the scale towards acidic, it actually becomes less caustic and more neutral before it becomes even slightly acidic. It is generally agreed that the ocean used to measure around 8.11 on the scale. Now it's about 8.9. Where they get '30% more acidic' out of a .2 less basic/more neutral move on the PH scale is above my pay grade. I have to think they are merely making it up in order to sound more alarming, like the people claiming tens of thousands of extinct species each year. Name ten.

Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talks that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. E. M. Forster

You can say the same about science.

I'm a luke-warmer, that is, I believe CO2 does have a slight warming effect in the atmosphere (H2O does almost all of it) and the little bit of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere has a tiny, unable-to-be -measured-it's-so-small effect on the temperature. The alarmists, wishing to be noticed at least and recognized as a hero of science at most, have to exaggerate wildly because the reality is not in any way alarming. In the last 10,000 years, the warm periods have all been beneficial to mankind, times when civilization has flourished; and the cold periods, the Dark Ages and the Little Ice Age, for example, have been periods of death and decay. I believe another cold snap is coming for which we are completely unprepared because of the miserably bad leadership we have suffered under lately and the near complete corruption of science. Hope I'm wrong. Don't believe I am.


Friday, August 09, 2013


Intrepid Arctic Rowers

Our intrepid Arctic rowers (2013 version) have pulled an all-nighter and are rapidly approaching Nunavut from their starting place in the Mackenzie river delta in the Northwest Territories in Canada. Well rowed, lads! By my calculations (eyeballing their route so far at their own website) they have rowed over 800 Km in just under 37 days. Brilliant! About 800 Km ahead is trouble. The Northwest Passage there in the Victoria Strait is completely blocked by sea ice. They could go the long way around King William Island, but even then the  sea ice prevents their intended passage through the narrow, often ice-bound strait about halfway up the somewhat mis-named Boothia Peninsula. They are making good progress now but...

Perhaps the ice will melt by the time they get to the Boothia Peninsula, actually a peninsula and an island (Somerset Island), but here is a graph of the temperatures in the Arctic this Summer. The average Arctic temperatures this Summer have always been at or below (mostly below) average, but recently they have dipped below freezing. That's a little early. Three weeks early. I admit I don't know what effect freezing air temperatures will have on further sea ice melting. Perhaps there will be no effect.

Because I don't believe in scary anthropogenic global warming, I do wish these guys' adventure (Pulling together against Climate Change) ends in humiliating failure, but I have for them no ill-will and I hope they don't suffer anything else other than humiliation.

Given the time constraints (the Arctic sea ice almost always begins to expand rapidly after September 20th) and the long way to go (over 2000 Km), I'd have to say the odds are against them, but they have made a strong showing when the weather was with them these past few days and perhaps they will surprise me.

I promised in an earlier post I'd make a prediction of their stopping point by August 1, 2013. My, how the irreplaceable time flies! OK: They don't get to Baffin Island. I'm not out on a limb there given the distance, difficulty which may not dissipate, and time left until they have to leave.

The Arctic is freakin' cold even in the Summer. Tell me I'm not right, mates.



A Nation of Morons

It is difficult to imagine a more uninformed article than this one by Madeline Ostrander in the Nation. Let's take a look.

The title is: Frigid and Sweltering: The New Climate Normal, so I don't think I'm going out on much of a limb to think she believes that the amount of CO2 from fossil fuel burned by humans controls every aspect of daily weather. It is an irrefutable premise to say that every aspect of the weather proves your theory about the weather. A real scientific theory is able to be refuted by evidence. Moving on.

Climate change often seems more palpable (and gets more media coverage) at this time of year, after heat waves have hit parts of the country. But polls suggest many members of the public are confused about the connection between climate change and cold weather.

Just because "climate change" has replaced "global warming" as the Y2Kyoto crisis, since it has ceased to warm lately, doesn't mean the new name stands for anything other than global warming, so when it's warm, some people think "maybe this global warming is true after all; it certainly is hot now." But notice the elitism in the second sentence. We members of the public are too stupid to see how global warming associates with record cold weather. If only we had the majestic breadth of knowledge Ms. Ostrander received getting her masters in environmental science at UWisWhatever, we would know that extreme cold is also the result of too much CO2 in the atmosphere.

As I noted in a post last week, belief in climate change drops among Americans during cold weather and dipped slightly after this past winter. Moreover, climate deniers and right-wing pundits tend to hype winter weather, as if climate models never anticipated another flake of snow.

I'm unsure what a climate denier is. I certainly deny that anthropogenic CO2 is having an alarming effect on the climate but I don't deny there is a climate. "Climate denier" is merely nonsense name-calling. But when a lot of scientist said that global warming would indeed lead to less snow, why isn't it relevant to ask why have there been years of record snows lately? It is merely a strawman to say the right-wing pundits had accused the climate models of promising not "another flake of snow." Reductio ad absurdum is not logical argument. The right-wing AGW crisis deniers are saying the climate models are hopelessly inadequate to predict anything reliably and have been constantly overstating warming in the Troposphere since they first started being run.

She then touts a NOAA article which has been well criticized and then lists a parade of horribles, all of which are unfortunately false.

Among the highlights, the United States had its warmest year since the country began keeping records in 1895. Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming had their driest years on record. Last summer, delivered the biggest wildfires in thirteen years, including the largest fire in New Mexico’s history (more than 460 square miles, or about the size of the city of Los Angeles).

1934 was almost certainly the warmest year in the last 120 years in United States. 2012 was about the coldest worldwide of the last 10 years.

The recent 2012 spike on the GISS graph is suspect because of the recent, never justified "adjustment" to that record two years ago.

The dustbowl month of July, 1934, unsurprisingly, was the driest month ever recorded for nearly all of the western and great lake states.

2012 was not even close to a record fire year in the US and this year, so far, is the most quiet for the number forest and wild fires in the past near decade.

Rather than 'cherry pick' a fire here or there, wouldn't it be better to look at the whole nation for something you claim is a result of a change in climate, that is, a long term weather trend involving not only our whole nation but the whole world as well? Just asking.
But even though the planet as a whole is getting warmer, the report makes it clear that there are new trends of weird and extreme weather in all seasons. For example, Hurricane Sandy sent record early-season snow to central Appalachia.

The planet is not getting warmer as a whole. Weird and extreme weather is not increasing and even her ilk of global warming alarmists admit that Sandy had nothing to do with additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

She then mentions some of the very cold spells in two European nations last winter (more cherry picking) and tries (without much success) to tie that cold to the warmth her fellow true believers attribute to additional CO2 in the atmosphere. That's a difficult sell to rational people. Then the big finish.

The tome-sized NOAA report is a reminder that the global climate is extremely complex, and climate trends can’t be easily simplified. But the planet is getting warmer, even while ski seasons in the western United States shorten and Europe gets more deep freezes.

Yes, this weather is crazy. And yes, it is our fault.

Weather is indeed extremely complex and therefore climate trends cannot be simplified and still be scientifically sound, but simplifying them to 'man caused CO2 controls everything in weather and climate' is a perfect example of the sort of silly simplification she professes not to be falling prey to. But this "extreme weather" shelter the CO2 chicken littles have had to retreat to because it's no longer warming (despite the continued rise of CO2 in the atmosphere) is a trap, because the weather is not getting more extreme. There is not a single graph of 5 decades or more of the incidence and severity of anything we would consider extreme weather (major storms, severe tornadoes, floods, droughts, etc.) which shows any increase whatsoever. All those graphs show is the regular sine wave of variability all weather has over time; and many of them show a downward trend in extreme weather components as CO2 in the atmosphere rose from 315 parts per MILLION in 1958 to almost 400 ppmv recently.

I think the extreme weather meme is very unfortunate for the global warming true believers because, although it might convince a few who can't remember any weather history, most of us can look it up and see the latest climate crisis of supposed increasing extreme weather just isn't so.


Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Quote of the Day

So a lot of people — even those who didn’t vote for him — had hoped that with the election of Barack Obama as president, we’d be moving to a post-racial society.

How’d that work out?

If anything, it seems that the election (and re-election) of the first black president has actually aggravated racial issues in America. If you want my opinion on why — and you probably don’t — it’s because we specifically elected a black president instead of a president who happens to be black — i.e., his election was more because of racism than a triumph over it.

 Frank Fleming quote

The truth that dare not speak its name.



Gojira Starter Kit

This is not good.



I Wonder

Do you think that there are movers and shakers in the TV or movie industry who are preparing to pitch a replacement series for Dexter in which the serial killer is a player for the NFL?

UPDATE: Or perhaps a serialization and expansion of The Collector by John Fowles.

UPDATE II: Or perhaps a series on a abortionist who keeps mementos of the clumps of cells he kills and is less than attentive to his patients, some of whom bleed to death.


Sunday, August 04, 2013


Manufacturing Dissent

When did Guy Fawks become someone to emulate? People who have difficulty understanding comic books think this mask is cool.

(h/t This Isn't Happiness)



Hard to Port

This is a chart of Arctic sea ice using satellite data (from RSS) for the past 6 years. This year's line is red. As you can see, around mid July, the line took a hard left and is actually increasing the sea ice area during what is usually a period of continuous Summer melting. Something like this happened in 2010 (blue line) and what it means is that even when melting resumes, the low in late September will not be a new record low, despite several catastrophic global warming true believers' predictions that Summer ice area this year would (or could) go to zero rather than remain an ice cap about the size of India and South Africa combined. It was always a foolish prediction. It's very cold north of 80 degrees latitude, even in the Summer.


Saturday, August 03, 2013


The Democrats Still Support a Modern Form of Slavery

I wrote about the horrible racial history of the Democrat Party here. This is sort of a part two to that history. The Democrats no longer support chattel slavery based on race but they still support a form or slavery. Let me explain.

The big lie being pushed by the Democrats is that in the 60s the Republicans switched with the Democrats and the Republicans became the racist party and the Democrats gave up their racist ways. The evidence the Democrats produce is that the former states of the Confederacy have all become solidly Republican, from solidly Democrat half a century ago. Yes, the South is religious and conservative and thus has a Republican plurality (don't forget the large contingent of unaffiliated voters in each state). But the Republicans did not take on the execrable racism of the Democrats; rather, the racist Democrats all died out and were replaced with their more enlightened children, most of whom became Republicans for reasons other than racial policies. But at last to my main point.

The Framers of the Constitution had to amend it immediately with what we call the bill of rights in order to get the thing passed by the states. The bill of rights, the first 10 amendments, are generally prohibitions on what the federal government can do. The 3rd addressed an action by the government which never became a problem in America, although it still stopped the feds from doing what governments had been doing, namely, having soldiers of the standing army live in the homes of citizens for free. The 9th was an attempt to make sure that the named rights in the first 8 did not come to be regarded as the only unalienable rights out there. In a large part, that amendment has failed, with the possible exception of some vague notion of privacy (beyond the 4th Amendment) generally about sex and its results. The 10th, which attempted to set again limits on what the feds could do, is openly disregarded and has failed nearly completely.

The first 8 prevent the government from doing something to you. That's all you get from, being left alone, or rather, being left free. Some of the leaders of our nation, advancing socialist and fascist ideas, have proposed other rights, rights to get things--shelter, food, health care, etc. The people who then and now support these "give me something for free" rights are almost exclusively Democrats. Republicans generally just want the "the Government can't do this" rights. The problem with granting a right to something tangible, something that is the result of someone else's work, is that you enthrall the someone doing the work to create the thing the government is giving away. So what? many liberals ask. We pay taxes to support programs which help the needy, infirm, and aged, which programs supply a "safety net" so that no one dies because of his or her failure to obtain food, shelter, health care, etc.

I have often here talked about the concept of the proper amount of taxes as the "rent" for living in this great country, that is, you pay with your taxes for the common defense, and the other historical, proper actions of government (pretty much the powers contained in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution). There is nothing in the Constitution which allows the feds to engage in charity and for a lot of reasons, they shouldn't, just as much as we, individually, should. So I'm not talking about paying the rent with our taxes here. Nor am I opposing tax funded elementary education (although I think it generally sucks now in its results) although the concept is the same as shown below.

What I am saying is that making it a right to have food, shelter or health care makes a slave of the farmer, builder or doctor creating those things. They have no choice; their labor and its fruits are given under threat of force to someone who has done nothing to create the benefit, just as the slave owners received the labor and its fruits of the slaves they owned through force. The Democrats in pushing these transfers as "rights" are, in a very real sense, still supporting slavery.



Beauty is Symmetry and a Graceful Line

I've posted this photo before because it is a strikingly beautiful galaxy (NGC 3718) more than 52 million light years away. Gravity from another galaxy (perhaps the one to the right) has warped what probably was a large spiral galaxy (Sc?) but it has achieved a sort of line and movement artists here on Earth wish they could draw.

There are 5 galaxies interacting in the background above this one. They don't look as beautiful to me.


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