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Mail 602 December 21 - 27, 2009
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December 21, 2009
Subj: Software for statistical work
I think it was Conway who, in the 1960s, was asked, "What will be the dominant programming language for scientific computing in the year 2000?". His answer: "I don't know, but it will be called FORTRAN."
It's a Tradition! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DelH07vg1Ic
h lynn keith recommends http://www.jerrypournelle.com/mail/2009/Q4/mail601.html#Sunday SAS for statistical work.
I used SAS on the job for about ten years. I came to loathe it. It has plenty of high-quality canned statistical routines, but if you need something that's not in any of the cans, things get ugly pretty quickly.
Far better is R from http://www.r-project.org/
Aside from its technical superiority, R has the advantage of being open-source and available for downloading without charge, while SAS costs Big Bucks. https://www3.sas.com/order/pricing.jsp?code=PERSANLBNDL Remember the uproar over Microsoft going to annual-subscription-based pricing? Well, SAS has been that way from the beginning: when your subscription runs out, SAS *stops*working*. How cool is *that*??
Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.org does all his work in R, and posts all his code.
R (heh!) Montgomeryfirstname.lastname@example.org
h lynn keith writes:
"When I worked as a programmer and systems analyst, we abandoned Fortran in all its flavors..."
Oh, please. The only people who complain about FORTRAN are people with CS degrees (and, apparently, project managers.) If all you're doing is crunching numbers then FORTRAN works a treat, and if you want to do graphs then you should be using Matlab (which is pretty much FORTRAN.)
It's like people who tell you how a Torx-style head is so much better than a plain old slot. Yeah, I suppose, but A: I don't need a unique tool for each different size of slot, and B: the function of a fastener is to hold two objects together, and the head style is irrelevant to that function.
-- Mike T. Powers
I no longer do programming but when I did, I was pretty good with FORTRAN. I found Khernigan's RATFOR a useful pre-compiler to catch syntax errors and allow some more understandable lines. All told, FORTRAN works pretty well if you pay attention to structure. I don't know R at all. Don't know SAS either, actually.
There are, or used to be, a lot of FORTRAN statistical libraries, as well as libraries of matrix operations. You can do a lot of statistical operations with the right matrix equations.
I tend to use Python now for that sort of thing. I don't do big programs any longer.
Indeed fascinating. I find some of the details puzzling.
Marc Morano ClimateDepot.com
I have no idea of the accuracy of any of this. It wouldn't astonish me, of course.
Jerry - Everyone interested in climate change should read: Open Letter To Chairman Pachauri from Lord Monckton and Senator Fielding
John F. Gothard, Ph.D.
Does anyone else find this a little -- ironic? -
President Obama had to leave the Copenhagen summit regarding AGW in order to beat a snowstorm expected to drop 2 feet of snow?
God has a sense of humor about AGW
'A deviation in even the 100th decimal place would lead to a universe without any significant structure.'
---- Roland Dobbins
This letter is a bit of a grumble.
The academic community response to cuts in funding and research: <http://tinyurl.com/y8fvrzu>. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills seems to prefer a university model based on the US for-profit sector. That sector has serious problems--it's parasitic on the mainstream university system with very heavy reliance on part-time staff, no research activity, little staff development, oriented towards satisfying the needs of a minority of the student population, high loan default rates, and non-transferability of credits due to lack of accreditation--which make it a bad model for a publicly-funded university system. While concentrating on skills training may be useful in the short run, I have my doubts about the long-term viability. But if you want it bad; you get it bad.
The latest word is that most of the £600M cutback will be in student support (grants and subsidised loans): <http://tinyurl.com/yz5h2kj>. However, as I noted earlier in the week, there are major cut-backs in the physical sciences. <http://tinyurl.com/ybf6jeg> <http://tinyurl.com/y85f5jt>. Nuclear research is being abandoned: "The cuts will leave the UK incapable of training the technicians required for a planned new generation of nuclear plants." <http://tinyurl.com/ybepu2v> <http://tinyurl.com/ycs2xbs> <http://tinyurl.com/ykyqkug>.
It is incredibly frustrating for eleven years of post-graduate study, 34 years of industry experience, and a strong teaching and research track record to have so little value to academic managers. The department wants to replace me with someone with half my age and a quarter of my knowledge and experience at about two thirds the salary. I'm told the UK Government thinks it can import all the science and engineering know-how it needs from America, but I have my doubts. Although wild ducks carry a heavy parasite load when they're healthy; they dump them as soon as they become ill. That's the risk the UK faces when it concentrates on financial services and becomes dependent on other nations for its manufactured goods and engineering and technology.
Royal Mail in danger of collapse: <http://tinyurl.com/yeledf4>
Copenhagen ends in failure: <http://tinyurl.com/yaxkgnc>
Snow--thousands trapped in the Channel Tunnel <http://tinyurl.com/yeq4kzv>
Beware Outside Context Problems--Harry Erwin, PhD
She reminds me of my mother in a lot of ways. According to Wikipedia, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service, as No. 230873 Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor. She trained as a driver and mechanic, drove a military truck, and rose to the rank of Junior Commander. She and her sister anonymously joined the crowds celebrating the end of the war. I think she's the most level-headed of the bunch.
-- Harry Erwin
The Queen, God Bless Her.
Dear Dr Pournelle:
With reference to "John's" comment about the Queen and her relationship with the British people and her understanding of her job description, I take a somewhat simpler view.
She is the last serving officer of World War II who is a Head of State. Her husband is a decorated Naval officer with considerable combat experience at sea. They are both courageous, very sensible given the limitations of their station in life, serious about their responsibilities and their life's work and, as nearly as anyone can tell, practicing Christians.
Character and experience matter.
With reference to quality of character in our leadership, we should be so lucky. For that matter, as far as elected political leadership is concerned, so should the Brits.
Merry Christmas and prosperous new year.
I often agree with Francis Hamit, but in the case of Google vs. the French publishers definitely not. Google has digitalized many, many books including those of the French publishers. These books then become searchable, meaning that short excerpts from a book can be shown as a search result. It is not possible to see the entire book online.
Several articles have noted that Google's effort to digitalize books in France is running in parallel with government efforts to do the exactly same thing. The primary difference seems to be: Google is actually succeeding, whereas the French government's effort is mainly burning lots of money. The French government recently promised to spend another 750 million Euros on this; meanwhile, Google is presumably making a buck by expanding their search business. Heavens.
So: one can't have private enterprise show up all those expensive government consultants. Anyway, Google is rich, so maybe the French publishers can make a quick buck suing a foreign corporation. Hence, the lawsuit.
got an H1N1 flu shot today
I had to lie and say I had asthma to get a flu shot - finally. I waited several months and they still had not opened up for general use. From what I could tell, many people were doing the same.
Welcome to Change you can believe in. Soon, we will have a government controlled system that everyone spends all of their time figuring out how to get around. Just like working for the government. They will be those who are exempt and on the list with special ID's, and everyone else who are not and who will have to maneuverer.
"So, these couples are going through these ceremonies that have no legal significance to them. They're using these non-discrimination laws like 'blasphemy' laws, and they're going on witch hunts to root out the heretics and punish them."
-- Roland Dobbins
A fighter pilot on UAV vulnerability
Yea, I told you so, a couple of years ago according to my email archives. UAVs have inherent vulnerabilities, comm among the worst.
Naw, I’m just a fighter pilot ape living in the past... Still, I told you so.
The scary health care bill
Politics 101 tells you the answer to this. $750 is large enough to be believed, yet small enough that you can pass the legislation. Once it's passed, and survived its Supreme Court challenge, it will be turned up until the "loophole" is closed.
The Supereme Court test is critical. A $750 mandate will probably be blessed by the court. A $25,000 mandate would probably not. But since since it's the MANDATE which gets blessed, the real price tag needs to stay hidden until precedent is already set. One would hope that the *principle* would be what the Supremes rule upon, but that has not been the case in several recent decisions.
So enjoy the loophole while you can. I predict you will not have the last laugh.
I wasn't laughing.
Are you surprised? I'm not.
22 December 2009
A very through analysis of the Google Book Settlement.
For a PDF copy of A Step Farther Out:
December 23, 2009
Discovery of earthlike planet-something not quite right
The technique for discovery is interesting but I don't understand an orbital period of 1.6 days! Mercury has an orbital period of about 88 days. This new planet must be awfully close to a very small star.
Extrasolar planets: Water world larger than Earth
The hunt for Earth-like worlds has taken a major step forward with the discovery of a planet only 2.7 times larger than Earth. Its mass and size are just as theorists would expect for a water-rich super-Earth.
Charbonneau and his co-workers developed a simple and
forward-looking planet-hunting technique. They installed a suite of eight
amateur-sized telescopes (with 40-cm-diameter mirrors), each with a
sensitive charge-coupled-device light detector that measures the
near-infrared brightness (wavelengths of about 700–900 nanometres) of a
star. Any star whose brightness dims for about an hour, and repeats that
dimming like clockwork over the course of days and weeks, is probably doing
so because an orbiting planet is crossing briefly in front of it, blocking a
fraction of the star's light. The amount of dimming directly indicates the
size of the planet relative to that of the star. From a large sample of
nearby stars2 <http://www.nature.com/nature/
Charbonneau's team1 <http://www.nature.com/nature/
I do wonder. One thing: observation of this strange system may produce data of importance in the special relativity field. It's beyond my competence (at least without my doing a lot of tooling p, and that's not likely) but I'd think some of those effects would be relativistic; the notion is to look at predictions from the Bergmann "ether is the local gravity field and entangles" and the strict special relativity "there is no ether" hypotheses, given the motion of that star and its planet relative to the observer in the Solar System.
Your THOR may be made with depleted uranium...
My interest is its use for asteroid deflection. I need a penetrator to carry an impact-hardened fission device (a 'propulsionhead') through about 75 feet of rock. This creates my plasma-ejecta impulse rocket (PEIR). You may remember reading my eBook PDF On The Plains of Hesitation a few years ago? There is a decent illustration on the back page.
-John G. Hackett
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a banker who shall remain nameless as shall any of the banks in this sordid tale. The Banker works at one of those banks that failed this year. The FDIC crew showed up on a Friday afternoon, announced they were out of business and were being taken over by one the Big Banks. It was a done deal. No one got fired and no depositor lost a dime. It was done so smoothly that they will use the old stationary until it is used up. And the Banker admits his little bank erred, as so many did, in making real estate loans that went sour. They were forced to charge these loans off, which put them below the minimum reserve requirements; the amount of assets held against losses. Hence the FDIC intervention.
So they are lending again, right? The Big Bank now owns them outright and has plenty of money, even without the TARP and Stimulus funds? No, said the Banker. Nothing has changed. We are now directed not to lend money unless the borrower can give us offsets or collateral that will cover any possible loss....and that's not real estate these days. Real Estate is still very shaky. We can't fall below the reserve requirements.
So we have one part of the Federal Government demanding that the banks lend money at high risk to get the economy going again and another part that will shut them down if the loans are likely to become delinquent. The net result is that small banks are failing by the dozen and being taken over by the FDIC, which is giving them to the Big Banks, which acquire the deposits and outstanding loans for no money and also the staffs and side businesses like safe deposit boxes. "We are moving to having only five or six Big Banks in the whole country" the Banker predicted, "The small banks will all be forced out.or absorbed".
Minimum reserve requirements were what created the Savings and Loan crisis in the 1980s. The Federal Government took note of the fact that there were a lot of small shaky ones with very speculative loan portfolios and doubled the requirements overnight from three to six percent. That forced S&Ls to either raise fresh capital (very unlikely if they were new and shaky) or go out of business, which hundreds of them did. Remember the Resolution Trust Corporation and the resulting asset fire sale? I went to one of the auctions to acquire cheap office furniture and met a man who was acquiring bank credit card loan portfolios that were all in default. He was buying them for two to three cents on the dollar at auction. He told me that he would then have his employees call the debtors and make them this deal: You can pay this off at eight percent rather than eighteen over three years and get it off your credit report. That cut the monthly payment by half. But he was in pure profit after the first month and the debtors were very grateful. The S&L s could have made that deal on a work-out and gotten their principle back but had to charge off the loans instead as "non-performing".
This is why the Obama Administration is being forced to find other ways to get credit going again. The regulators have their orders and cannot permit banks to lend unless the reserve requirements are met. So they are going to expand SBA guarantees. The real winners here are the "non-bank banks" like General Electric, who lend at higher rates to small business but are willing and able to take the risk. Them and the big corporations sitting on piles of cash which they can use to finance an equipment purchase. Deere and Caterpillar both have their own finance companies. Insurance companies have positive cash flow and are probably buying these loans as well.
Of course, no one thinks of lowering the banks' reserve requirements to free up loan capital. That would be risky. Pity the Bankers at the smaller banks. They are truly between a rock and a hard place.
Requiring the banks to lend to unqualified home buyers got us into this mess, didn't it? And then letting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac capitalize those bad loans so they could make more; the then rating companies certified that junk as AAA right up there with Treasury bonds. And we wonder at what happened, after that...
Brad misses Google's essential crime. They take what they want and hope that no one objects. The French copyright law does not recognize "fair use", so even excerpts are infringements, and Google's commercial advantage is also obvious; they sell ads on those pages. The entire scheme is designed to enrich Google at the expense of authors who are entitled to the protection of the law. It's "catch me if you can". Unlike the American government, the French are not inclined to turn a blind eye to these crimes in the name of "progress". Bottom line: Copyrights are private property which may not be taken without the owners permission. Google's attitude is that of any other robber. If they can get away with it, then they are entitled to steal. We don't don't let children get away with this kind of thing and we shouldn't allow major corporations to either.
Well, copyrights are private property so long as the legislature says they are, and so long as the executive enforces the law. Both are subject to political pressures. Authors need to understand that.
Subject: Fake space
Three astronauts arrived at the space station yesterday. Two of them were shown in the photo wearing Santa hats with the tassels hanging down in back as in gravity, thereby proving the space station is filmed in a studio on Earth.
Hah; We knew it! All along! Take that, Buzz Aldrin
I have to say, I agree. But, manned aircraft have exactly that same vulnerability.
Manned aircraft have pros & cons. Unmanned aircraft have pros & cons. It'll come down to cost-benefit ratios and UAVs will win hands down.
But I'm just a dumb grunt.
David Couvillon Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired.; Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq; Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time; Distinguished Expert, TV remote control; Chef de Hot Dog Excellance; Collector of Hot Sauce; Avoider of Yard Work
Exactly. Combined arms has won over one single weapon for millennia; why would we think it different now. Manned aircraft are extensions of the cavalry and artillery function -- sort of horse artillery -- but they have unique aspects, and the argument of the early Army Air Corps people was that the Regular Army didn't understand air supremacy and an Independent Air Force was needed. We got that, and counter air strategy, and the rest; but away went support of the Field Army which is what was needed for World War II and for that matter now.
You can fly over the land, you can bomb it, you can render it uninhabitable, but you don't own it until you stand an 18 year old kid with a rifle on it. That's been true since "rifle" meant pilum.
I, in fact, am quite able to evaluate the accuracy of “detailed numberical-integration” models, as every competent modeler should be. The “numberical-integration” is almost certainly the most trivial part of the problem. There are many well-known techniques for this, and well-established error bounds associated with each.
The uncertainty in the data or functions used in the models is certainly a far greater source of error than whatever numerical integration technique is used. It doesn’t matter how detailed your model is if your data is inaccurate or your functions are incorrect.
This comes across as a silly and supercilious statement to anyone who has actually done any moderately complex modeling. It focuses on a mundane and trivial part of the problem. It seems an attempt to portray AGW as arcane lore beyond the ken of those without calculus. Don’t question it, you aren’t smart enough to understand it.
You might as well boast that you baked the cake at precisely the right temperature, but not talk about what was in it or how long it was baked.
Actually many of the model details turn out not to be available. I agree that evaluation of most of the models is well within the capability of most of us: after all, we have the equivalent of Cray supercomputers on our desks, and FORTRAN compilers are fee (anyone want to recommend the best one available for Windows 7 and for a Mac? and is there a free RATFOR that works with either? I've lost track.)
Anyway, I quoted the statements exactly; they were made in the course of a discussion to a very sophisticated group membership, and the context is a discussion of my advocating funding contrarian research. It looks to be about as good a summary of the "the science is finished" position I know of, from someone who in general I respect; it's the popular position of an educated non-scientific elite.
Yielding Safe Ground
Jerry; In your response to the "other conference" "serious" arguments, you made a crucial, but very unnecessary, concession.
I quote: "Greenhouse effects may -- indeed must -- be involved in the temperature of the Earth". Not so. Have you read "FalsificationofPhysicsGreenhouseEffect" http://arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1161v4 ?
Layman's summary: neither the physics, math, nor computers exist to make even a half-assed pass at describing and modelling the energy budget of an atmosphere, or even a small model gas/surface subset. Further, IR absorption/reradiation has nothing to do with gas warming. Even in a glass greenhouse, the entirety of warming has to do with trapped air and convection effects; the glass' selective IR transparency has no influence. There is also the 2007 6-part documentary here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1qGOUIRac0&feature=related ( Henrik Svensmark on Global Warming ) which traces the cosmic ray research, and leaves precious little variance unexplained for CO2 or other influences; inspect the graphs yourself.
Don't give an inch. NOTHING about the AGW position is valid or honestly researched and presented.
I would not go that far; but perhaps that's the way to approach the argument. The accuracy argument seems to me unquestionable.
Subject: A Climate Debate of sorts
In your View for Wednesday, December 23, 2009, you wrote, "but clearly we don't have a good quantitative handle on which ones do what: but surely we can agree that CO2 isn't what's happening." Aye, there's the rub; most of the advocates for AGW/Climate Change (or whatever name they've given their theory today) are certain that CO2 is what's happening and that the only way we can keep from being cooked by rising temperatures is by spending trillions of dollars on extreme measures that aren't guaranteed to do anything except ruin the economies of most of the First World countries.
-- Joe Zeff If you can't play with words, what good are they? http://www.zeff.us http://www.lasfs.info
December 24, 2009
And now for something completely -- unusual.
The Silent Monk Choir
Live long and prosper h lynn keith
let us celebrate and pray, at least. I'll supply the music.
We Three Kings:
Carol of the Bells:
Guilt for Christmas:
When faced with something that inhibits the full usage and enjoyment of a purchase what is a purchaser to do?
The purchaser can stop purchasing goods that inhibit full usage and enjoyment. This may well be one facet of declining DVD sales. There are a good many consumers that would like to be able to "rip" their DVDs onto a hard drive and enjoy them without having to get up out of the easy chair and find the desired DVD on the shelf, open the box and insert the disc in a DVD player. Of course, the consumer could lay out five or six hundred dollars and get a Sony 400 disc DVD player or spend even more for a Sony 400 disc Blu-Ray player, but why should they have to. After all they already purchased the disc.
The purchaser can break the "law" and remove the inhibition. If the purchaser has already broken the "law" by removing the inhibition, the purchaser may well have also removed any inhibition to further break the "law" by sharing the purchase with others.
Most people are honorable when they are treated honorably. When these people feel that they have been "ripped off," they will use whatever means are available to use their purchases in the way that they wish.
There will always be dishonorable people and they will do as they please. One subgroup of these are those that believe that information should be free. Economics will show us that the demand for a free good can increase to infinity while the supply will decrease to zero.
Kindle and DRM
Long-time reader, first time writer.
I was elated to see the news today about the Kindle DRM having been hacked. Not because I want to steal eBooks, far from it. I want to buy more of them. Amazon has a pretty good selection right now, but I hate the DRM restrictions. I'm not at all confident that I'll be a Kindle owner for the rest of my life. In fact, I'm fairly certain that I won't be. Technology will change and, as much as I love the Kindle today, I'll move on to something different and better.
I've bought a few Kindle books but I've been extremely reluctant to buy more. My disposable income is relatively limited and I don't want to sink it into something that will be unusable in 5 years. But, if I can strip the DRM off of my Kindle purchases, I'll be willing to buy more eBooks. A lot more. The same thing happened with my music collection. Prior to iTunes losing the DRM, I only purchased one album from iTunes. Since iTunes lost the DRM and Amazon gained a huge selection of DRM-free MP3's, I've probably bought 50-70 digital albums. In fact, I just bought a Blues Traveler album tonight while watching the Blues Brothers 2000 movie. That simply wouldn't have happened in a world with DRM restrictions on music.
While I'm on vacation this week, I plan to see which of your books are available in the Kindle store. If I can remove the DRM from my existing books, I'll likely buy one of yours to read. If I do, that will be a sale that wouldn't have happened before today's news.
Please keep my perspective in mind as you consider further what to do with your own books. I'm a legal, law-abiding consumer who likes to purchase books from authors I like. But I like the freedom to use my purchases on whatever device(s), I own. Unless I have that freedom, I'm unwilling to spend more than a token amount on eBooks.
Thanks for your time,
Global Warming as Groupthink - WSJ.com
More good stuff. A pretty thorough explanation of *why* the AGW community is so fervent.
The spin-doctoring of the Hadley CRU emails by itself seems to be a reliable refutation of AGW. Scientists confident in their data have no need to spin anything. "Scientists" who doctor their data and do not present raw data and conclusions that can be checked are obviously uncertain, either of their data or of their conclusions.
Applying spin (or editiorial comment) to the whole AGW mess trying to conceal something is NOT the action of a competent scientist who hasused and accounted for all data and is confident in the accuracy and repeatability of the work.
A reporter on CBS radio said that the emails from Hadley "seemed to show" concealment of data. "Seemed to"? It seems to me that the press has made no real effort to ensure the accuracy of the AGW hypothesis--and I'd bet money they would insist on a LOT of verification if AGW had been promoted by Bush and Chaney rather than Gore and Obama. Since none of the MSM has come forward to say that they've examined and tested the data, I can only conclude bias.
Some years ago, a "60 Minutes" report on AGW examined a South American glacier. The man that was interviewed took them to a place where a glacier could be seen across a meltwater lake, and claimed that he and the reporters were standing on ground that had been covered by that glacier only a few years ago. Perhaps this was true; it's not hard to check--anything from satellite data to examination of the rocks and junk left behind by the glacier could verify the claim. If the claimant had been George Bush, there would have been such verification. No way would a Bush claim stand without scrutiny, and there would be a very large chance that what he'd said wouldn't be included in any report. I'm not saying that the glaciologist from that country was wrong; I am saying that there was no claim by "60 Minutes" that they'd verified the truth of what the man had said.
If someone were somehow utterly convinced that the world is flat, a scientist, would not say that the consensus is that the earth is round and claiming the debate is over. That scientist would present the flat-earther with the evidence, such as ships appearing top-to-bottom as they come from beyond the horizon, along with other proofs including low-earth orbit. AGW people simply repeat "consensus--the debate is over"--the adult equivalent of "Nyah, nyah, nyah."
If the AGW believers were certain of the accuracy of their data and theresults they have obtained, they would not be shouting about "consensus" nor would they insist that "the debate is over." They'd invite skeptics to review data, formulae, processes, equipment accuracy and tolerances, algorithms, the whole shebang.
If the sky is falling, show us the pieces. Failure to do so is an open admission of guilt.
Retreat of glaciers is usually related to drought, not warming...
AGW = The new cold fusion
Jerry, Let me make a brief prediction: For the last 25 or so years, when the mainstream media wanted to refer to scientific findings that have been thoroughly discredited, they have called them "Cold Fusion". My guess [and hope, given the way they have abused the scientific process], is that "Cold Fusion" will drop out of vogue, and "Global Warming" will take its place.
In a way this worries me, because I still think that there is a small chance that there may be something to AGW, but I am reassured when I consider that there are still enough true believers who will continue to research the issue, but from here on they will have to work with scrupulous honesty and transparency, since they will be the ones who have to live down the scandal.
All this presupposes that the truth will win out over the vested interests, which is not yet certain, but ridicule is a powerful force when those previously perceived as virtuous are suddenly shown to be thoroughly corrupt. And the mainstream media, which have so far largely continued to sing the party line, will ALWAYS look for someone else to blame when the party line becomes untenable.
: Perpetual Motion devices - they're at it again!
What is Orbo? - Steorn
The claim is they're demo-ing it, & licensing the tech in Feb 2010. I can hardly wait......
Best Regards, Doug Hayden
I would be pleased if it worked. But...
Oil and Gas Tax
In your Friday Mail you ran a letter from a "Jeffrey" who advocated for raising gasoline and crude oil taxes that most people will have no choice but to alter their lifestyles. He described that as a "free enterprise" model of addressing climate change?
Apparently Jeffrey has a different idea of what "free-enterprise" means. What it doesn't mean is using the power of government to coerce people's behavior.
He also suggested that we use the increased revenues to "pay down debt", "fund research" and build more "clean nuclear plants." (Glad that we're not building dirty ones.)
I'd like to know when a tax increase to "pay down the debt" hasn't resulted in even more spending by those in Washington. It appears that we have plenty of money to pay for good research, so much so that we're funding atrociously bad research. And, no disrespect to your ideas of government funded nuclear power plants (hopefully clean), but we don't need government funding. We need government to get out of the way of producing nuclear power plants either through unnecessary regulation or allowing excessive litigation. Nuclear power is very cost efficient and the private markets, unlike the government, finds the most efficient means of producing a product.
Dogs Are Better Walking Companions Than Humans -
"Friends are just going to take turns flaking out on each other. Dogs just love that exercise far too much and can't imagine how something else could possibly be more important. Dogs are good for humans."
But you already knew that, don't you? :-)
-- Ken Mitchell
Here's a very interesting published paper:
New Peer Reviewed Study: 'Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics' by Gerlich & Tscheuschner
A new peer reviewed paper has been published in the International Journal of Modern Physics. G. Gerlich, R. D. Tscheuschner:
John F. Gothard, Ph.D.
Subject: Paleoclimatology and CO2
One of the pro-AGW web sites that I visit occasionally has strongly recommended this lecture as one that provides a good summary how paleoclimatologists currently view the effect of CO2 on earth's climate: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml
One of the claims made is that without feedback (amplification effects) from CO2 swings, ice age cycles would be far less dramatic than what have been observed. Sunlight variations from orbital changes are enough to trigger the cycles, but not enough to explain the magnitude of the cycles.
He also offers up some interesting evidence from earlier periods, for which ice core data are not available.
I'm not able to judge if the evidence is as compelling or one-sided as he claims. Perhaps one of your other readers can turn up a credible source that refutes some these conclusions.
Were it true, it would hardly point to man-made CO2 for earlier Ice Ages. The increases we have seen in CO2 are small compared to the CO2 levels during some periods.
December 25, 2009
December 26, 2009
I took the day off.
|This week:||Sunday, December
How did this guy get on with the components? Of course, he wasn't part of the profile they are looking for (US Military, in uniform, with medals for heroism; or old white grandmother) so they would not have looked very hard. They do have other more likely suspects.
Thank the good Lord for the passengers. Otherwise an American flag airline would have lost a plane.
In other news, thanks for posting all those Christmas Carol links, especially Celtic Woman. They are beautiful.
Merry Christmas to you and you family.
"[R]ead William F. Buckley's The Red Hunter, but you will have problems finding it: Amazon shows almost none."
Search for "The Redhunter" instead and you'll find more than a hundred; Abebooks another 70. Apparently it's also available in Kindle and Mobi ebook formats.
Let's have a simple test that everyone can understand.
This is my proposal. Pick 100 (an arbitrary number, but you get the idea) temperature monitoring stations around the world. Predict the average temperature monthly, annually, and for a five-year period. Compute the mean-square error. Post the measurements and predictions online.
If you don't like my experiment, I'm sure there are other ways to test this, but predictions must be compared to measurements, and the details of the measurements (location, instrumentation, methodology) must be available for public scrutiny.
Don't bother telling me what the climate will be like in fifty years if you can't tell me what it will be like next year.
Global Warming and Climate Change
'Chemical and Engineering News' published this on the subject:
It seems as if that Hansen, Mann, et al, and the organizations they represent are still the authorities and the 'deniers' are given little notice other than to mention their arguments and then have Mann, Hansen, and the others featured prominently in the leaked emails dismiss them out of hand. As is the idea that the emails indicate anything other than dedicated scientists trying to prevent themselves from being distracted by a bunch of disgruntled, no- nothing deniers. The 'hockey stick' and the medieval warm period as a local phenomenon have both apparently been completely validated, by the way, as well as confirmation that the medieval warm period was strictly a local phenomenon. By Mann, Hansen, and the other climate experts featured prominently in the emails.
As I pointed out, I am not a scientist. But I can state one thing unequivocally: If there is a crisis and the solution to the crisis requires converting the US and/or the world into a Marxist/fascist command society, there is NO crisis; there is a rationale.
And we are more than neck deep in rationales at the moment.
The science is done, and deniers need to be jailed.
Two thoughts on the lecture to which CP linked. First, the proponent doesn't explain how the climate could have cooled after the CO2 levels reached a high level if CO2 is a significant force to the climate. Wouldn't the climate and the CO2 both continue to increase? Secondly, the comments about the new paleoclimate data agreeing with the CO2 forcing model gets to the heart of the concern about big Climate Science, that the data are being manipulated to agree with the theory.
You can always prove anything if you can make up your data, and generally prove anything if you get to select your data.
'Earth's north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet's core, new research says.'
-- Roland Dobbins
……….Opposition Web sites and eyewitnesses indicated there were a number of casualties, after security forces fired on demonstrators in Tehran. A reformist website, Parlemannews, says a nephew of Iranian opposition-leader Mirhossein Mousavi was killed in the clashes.
Another opposition website, Rah-e-Sabz, says police in some locations have begun to refuse orders from their commanders to fire on the demonstrators…...
We will see. Riots in Tehran are not as indicative as some think. Iran is a large country and the Supreme Leader is far more than the Mayor of Tehran. Cuba fell when the police and army refused to fire; but that's not the usual result of a rebellion. We will see.
One of your correspondents, Mr. Gordon Foreman, provided this: "Jerry, Let me make a brief prediction: For the last 25 or so years, when the mainstream media wanted to refer to scientific findings that have been thoroughly discredited, they have called them "Cold Fusion."
I understand his sentiments, but it may (or not) be a little premature to place 'Cold Fusion' into the 'thoroughly discredited' side of the scientific ledger. At least the 'cold fusion' true believers are, apparently, still doing things the old fashioned, scientific way: conducting experiments and recording data. And surprisingly enough, groups with otherwise respectable credentials continue to run experiments that indicate that if not 'cold fusion', SOMETHING inside the experiment is producing more heat than is being pumped into it externally.
My point is that like 'Anthropogenic Global Warming' being settled science in the face of clearly contradictory evidence, the physics community is equally adamant that 'cold fusion is thoroughly discredited' in the face of, to date, a good number of carefully crafted (though possibly--TBD--flawed) experiments that indicate that such may not be the case.
I, by the way, have no 'cold fusion' axe to grind, other than the wish that it were true and commercially viable.
At least the cold fusion community will provide data on experiments conducted and data collected to anyone interested.
The Navy has never given up on cold fusion; research continues. It's a long shot, but the payoff would be enormous.
Merry Christmas. The FCC gives you and other Angelenos a gift: digital television you can pick up with 99 cent rabbit ear antennas:
And people are ditching cable to save money. Mre competition, it seems, is an unintended consequence of the forced changeoever. More:
In the wake of the transition to digital television, Southland viewers are finding they can get nearly three times as many channels as they once could with an antenna. And rather than the erratic, fuzzy reception of yesteryear, today's rabbit ears are capable of delivering a surprisingly clear high-definition picture.<snip>
With antennas that can cost as little as a dollar, most Los Angeles viewers can now pick up close to 70 channels, up from around 26 before the federally mandated digital switch-over last summer. Nearly a dozen of the digital channels are broadcast in high definition.<snip>
With antennas that can cost as little as a dollar, most Los Angeles viewers can now pick up close to 70 channels, up from around 26 before the federally mandated digital switch-over last summer. Nearly a dozen of the digital channels are broadcast in high definition. <snip>
"Our sales are going through the roof," said Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct, a St. Louis manufacturer of the devices.
Schneider said that sales had nearly tripled since the switch-over, and that he had to add a new assembly line in his factory to meet the demand. The company produces nearly 100,000 antennas every month, thousands of which are sold in the Los Angeles area, he said.
Viewers are also finding they can combine broadcast television with the growing array of movie and TV programming available online.
Mahan of Ladera Ranch dropped his subscription to Cox Cable last year in favor of a pair of high-end antennas and an Internet connection that lets him watch movies through Netflix and TV shows through video websites such as Hulu .com. He even rigged up a device that can record shows directly off the antenna.<snip>
And it turns out that rabbit ears bring in the digital signal nice and clear - more than good enough.
Shasta to Lassen,
Merry Christmas. APOD has a treat for you. It's a panorama of the Milky Way, and it appears to stretch from Mt Lassen to Mt Shasta. Enjoy:
Dear Jerry I know time is very dear, but these stories of people reaching for the stars are well worth the time spent.
Forged in the Stars <http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=09-P13-00052&segmentID=1>
I listened to this, sitting in my car, transfixed by the stories and the telling. These stories read aloud and brought to life by Jay O'Callahan, about the people who looked up at the stars and wanted man's Future to be among those stars. Please take the time to listen to these short stories, you won't soon forget them.
Douglas M. Colbary
<http://www.loe.org/shows/shows.htm?programID=09-P13-00052> <http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=09-P13-00052&segmentID=1> <http://www.loe.org/images/1px.gif> <http://www.loe.org/images/1px.gif> Storyteller Jay O'Callahan (Photo: Charles Collins)
<http://www.loe.org/images/1px.gif> Forged in the Stars <http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=09-P13-00052&segmentID=1> <http://www.loe.org/images/1px.gif> <http://loe.org/audio/stream.m3u?file=http://stream.loe.org/audio/091225/091225A> <http://stream.loe.org/audio/091225/091225A> For the holiday season Living on Earth is proud to present storyteller Jay O'Callahan's new work "Forged in the Stars." O'Callahan was commissioned to write "a love letter to NASA" in honor of the nation's space agency's 50th anniversary. "Forged in the Stars" is the result of almost two years of research, including interviews with astronauts, engineers, and many other NASA employees.
Also In This Week’s Radio Show (December 25, 2009): <http://www.loe.org/images/1px.gif>
<http://loe.org/audio/stream.m3u?file=http://stream.loe.org/audio/091225/091225loe.mp3> <http://stream.loe.org/audio/091225/091225loe.mp3> The full show <http://www.loe.org/shows/thisweek.htm> <http://www.loe.org/images/1px.gif>
Forged in the Stars <http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?
Forged in the Stars <http://www.loe.org/shows/
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IF YOU SEND MAIL it may be published; if you want it private SAY SO AT THE TOP of the mail. I try to respect confidences, but there is only me, and this is Chaos Manor. If you want a mail address other than the one from which you sent the mail to appear, PUT THAT AT THE END OF THE LETTER as a signature. In general, put the name you want at the end of the letter: if you put no address there none will be posted, but I do want some kind of name, or explicitly to say (name withheld).
Note that if you don't put a name in the bottom of the letter I have to get one from the header. This takes time I don't have, and may end up with a name and address you didn't want on the letter. Do us both a favor: sign your letters to me with the name and address (or no address) as you want them posted. Also, repeat the subject as the first line of the mail. That also saves me time.
I try to answer mail, but mostly I can't get to all of it. I read it all, although not always the instant it comes in. I do have books to write too... I am reminded of H. P. Lovecraft who slowly starved to death while answering fan mail.
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