Mail 725 Monday, May 21, 2012
Russell Seitz attempts to inject something new into the climate debates:
As we discussed , I have some new ammunition on offer for both sides to try out on each other– here is the WaterWired link.
For those interested in heavier artillery, the April 2011 _Climatic Change_ paper is attached
It is available as a free preprint pdf at <a href="http://arxiv.org/abs/1010.5823"></a>
I’m chuffed to report it has also been mentioned in dispatches in an Annals of Science piece, entitled ‘The Climate Fixers’<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/05/14/120514fa_fact_specter">
in the May 14 issue of <i>The New Yorker</i></a>
Fellow of the Department of Physics
What seems to me to be certain is that we will not ‘conserve’ our way to lower CO2, We may replace fossil fuels as a primary source, but we will not do it by starvation. Changing albedo by painting roofs, or with microbubbles to make brightwater, or through biological means all seem good alternatives to investigate – but we need data, both scientific and engineering, and while we’re at it operations data on finances. The one thing that seems certain to me is that if the United States beggars itself there will be no power with the financial and engineering resources to Do Something when we finally understand what it is we must do.
Climate scientists say they have solved riddle of rising sea, and it ain’t global warming:
How interesting that we had our global religion theory first, and the measurements are only now happening.
Interesting. I am not sure I agree, but I do think it would be well to get some data. Of course it’s always a good idea to have some data…
Comment on Mixed bag, May 17, Florida school testing
The problem is that the Florida Dept of Education, in their nigh-infinite wisdom, toughened the writing section of the test this year (given to grades 4, 8 and 10), and succeeded in driving the passing rate from around 80% depending on grade, to around 30%. Reference from FL news bureau http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/fcat-writing-scores-plummet-force-question-what-do .
While I’m all in favor of testing students’ achievement, the idea that passing rates declined by roughly two-thirds in one year does not suggest a sudden plunge in teacher performance; the reality seems to be that the test-MAKERS in this case changed the rules with little-to-no guidance to the school districts as to what to expect, and have reaped the whirlwind for their efforts.
That certainly seems a reasonable argument. It also seems to be a dilemma best attacked at local levels. Try many approaches in many places, and observe what happens.
‘A tiny 0.03 percent of California teachers are dismissed after three or more years on the job. In the past decade, the LAUSD — home to 33,000 teachers — has dismissed only four.’
And yet it is clear that firing the worst 10% of the teachers brings startling improvements in schools. Alas, it is nearly impossible to fire an obviously incompetent teacher. The system exists to pay bad teachers perpetually: that’s far more important than any service to students or any educational accomplishment. The education outcomes go lower and lower, the schools get worse and worse, and the teacher unions wring their hands – and threaten strikes to protect incompetent teachers. So it goes.
Maturing beyond Byte Magazine
I have followed your columns since they began in The Byte Magazine. You inspired me to get into engineering and then IT. I find that the expanded scope of topics that you include in your own web site to be of even more interest. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for the kind words.
I’d gladly keep the Department of Bunny Inspecting if we could eliminate every OTHER department that contributes a dime to maintaining this guy and his herd in the lifestyle to which they have obviously become accustomed:
What is clear is that a system that can’t fire bunny inspectors but instead borrows the money to pay them (and give them raises) is no longer under rational control. By anyone.
‘So the lunatic theory that Barack Obama doesn’t meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be president of the United States was first advanced by Barack Obama’s official representative.’
I find this startling.
You asked: "Want to bet that they will be advertising them just before the election? "
Yes. If they are not advertising them already, making the bet moot.
Do you think it possible to find someone who will bet that they won’t?
Nothing attracts a US voter more effectively than the prospect of obtaining another citizen’s money without the use of (personal) force. So they will definitely be advertised.
In the 1970s, I worked at a grocery store. I was running a cash register on the day after Valentine’s Day. All holiday candies, from marshmallow eggs to chocolate bunnies, were marked 50% off. A customer came up with a shopping cart full of (mostly chocolate, if I recall correctly) candy, nothing else. The total came to $49 and change. She gave me food stamps to pay for this purchase. Candy wasn’t then (and may not be now) on the list of ineligible items. That much money went a lot further in those days, but $49 is still a lot of candy. Back then, it was a cart heaped full.
I’m a bit surprised that the USDA doesn’t have chocolate candy bunny inspectors. Wait until the next Federal Register is published, I suppose.
Vote for Obama and Get Stuff from the Obama Stash.
Sounds like what you’ve been saying for years
“The physical sciences produce detailed and precise predictions, but social sciences do not.”
CAPT Chris Christopher, USN (Ret.)
Indeed. I wrote The Voodoo Sciences for the CP Snow Memorial Lecture I gave decades ago…
Well, it gets more interesting:
A witness told Florida cops that he saw Trayvon Martin straddling George Zimmerman and pummeling the neighborhood watch captain “MMA style” shortly before the unarmed teen was felled by a gunshot to the chest.
Joshua Jordan, KSC
It does seem that the evidence increases that the local authorities made the correct decision in the first place. One may draw one’s own conclusions from that.
Federal Concert Inspectors
Now we have concert inspectors! The last concert I went to was in Orange County; they had several deputies dressed in olive drab uniforms. I decided that I would not be attending a concert in the state of California again — ever. Why bother going in public if you’re going to have some bureaucrat staring at you the whole time? Well, now the federalis are ruining concerts nationwide:
Lawmakers are scrambling to save the summer concert season from federal agents poised to seize the instruments of rock and country stars because the wood used to make them may have been illegally harvested–and without their knowledge.
Scrambling, eh? I can just see them scrambling around to make my life easier. *snorts* The sarcasm is thicker than clam chowder… Maybe next they’ll have inspectors to make sure everyone wipes their bottom properly after they poop? Though, I am unsure as to how many bureaucrats can do this properly anyway…
Joshua Jordan, KSC
I have been following this bizarre case from the beginning, and I can’t say I understand it, or why the Congress doesn’t just put an end to it. Or the President for that matter. It’s not as if it were a matter of partisan politics. This is the Iron Law of Bureaucracy run riot.