Thursday, December 01, 2011

Anthropogenic Global Warming as the Progressives Long Sought After "Moral Equivalent of War"

The Dallas Federal Reserve in its online publication "Economic Insights" frames the real argument with the UN IPCC and the bevy of central planners supporting radical action regarding Global Warming when describing the environment that Hayek's work responded to in the 20th century.
"The 20th century has seen a single, unifying intellectual struggle play out across its decades, affecting all the earth's peoples. That struggle has been between those who wished the state to impose a centrally planned order on society and those who understood that the best order—and the only one consistent with democracy and individual freedom—is a spontaneous one that does not need imposition. Such an order flourishes only under democratically, or constitutionally, restrained governments that operate under the rule of law. Tens of millions of people have died in this century's wars, perished under oppressive regimes or were put to death simply because they were in the political opposition. Even those who survived have often suffered harsh economic and political deprivation. This is the most visible manifestation of the ideological struggle in which Hayek was a central participant. "  (See link below:  Hayek - Social Theorist of the Century - Economic Insights - FRB Dallas)
My concern about the Global Warming issue has been, from the beginning, that separate from the scientific argument there is a political argument in which, central planners, using the possibility of Global Warming as an excuse, a "moral equivalent of war", seek to impose their political will on the US and the world.  This is not a new idea.  William James, pacifist, philosopher, socialist, utopian and originator of the discipline of Psychology wrote an essay in 1906 entitled "The Moral Equivalent of War" in which he suggested just such tactics to accomplish utopian socialism in the United States of America.  In the essay he described the polarities of militarism, pacifism and socialist utopianism and suggested that the latter two could only be successful if they could somehow duplicate the surrender of individuality and dedication to higher cause that characterizes the military on a war footing.  In so doing he also reveals the elitism inherent in the socialist, pacifist movement and disdain for "inferiors" that has become so evident in contemporary political argument. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Reminder about Climategate

This article is a reminder of the lengths that some may go to to impose their vision.  They may be scientists and their intentions may be pure as the driven snow but they are still fallible humans.

Three Things You Absolutely Must Know About Climategate

Some excerpts from the article at
"...the science involved is being used to justify the diversion of literally trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out fossil fuels. The CRU is the Pentagon of global warming science, and these documents are its Pentagon Papers."
"So what does this all mean? It does not mean that there is no warming trend or that mankind has not been responsible for at least some of the warming. To claim that as result of these documents is clearly a step too far. However, it is clear that at least one branch of climate science — paleoclimatology — has become hopelessly politicized to the point of engaging in unethical and possibly illegal behavior."

Constitutional Process, Impatient Technocrats and Climate Change

As a member of the public being constantly lobbied by the IPCC and our own native technocrats to "do something", and knowing that the "something" would have to be very big, trillions big, without historical equivalent big, it serves us to be skeptical and not to forget Climategate.

The technocrats among us are inclined to scoff and express frustration at the mere mention of Climategate while they claim that the science is proven, the scientific community is of one voice and any dissension qualifies one as a "denier" on the same level as those who deny the historical reality of the Holocaust.

Those among us that review current evidence, pro and con, regarding "Climate Change" and conclude that the debate is still on, see ourselves as exercising reasonable prudence given the eons long history of human fallibility.

The Technocrats demand that we "know nothings" bend immediately to the will of the technologically informed.  Scientists that disagree with the Climate Change promoters are dismissed as "Christians", quacks, and non-scientists in spite of previous achievements.

The ideas that the technocrats see as nothing but obstructionist include:
  • the planet may not be warming (BEST is evaluating data toward this determination);
  • warming may not be anthropogenic; 
  • the planet may be warming as part of a relatively short term trend within a long term cooling trend (see previous post);
  • the world might be warming but that may not be catastrophic to humans, or; 
  • the results of previous warming studies are unclear or untrustworthy because of data manipulation;
  • some portion of the data must be reassessed since those with whom it was entrusted proved dishonest and unreliable, or; 
  • the demanded societal changes may extract too high a price and result in destruction of our economy, or worse, destruction of a rather successful way of life.
These seem valid concerns to me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

There are other models of Climate Change

This is interesting. A four thousand year, peer reviewed, climate model of Greenland surface temperatures which forecasts a long term cooling trend while validating the shorter term one thousand year warming trend within the model.
Humlum et al.'s work is full of details and discussion on how the authors have constructed their analytical models of temperature variations, fully accounting for the large signals from millennial, multicentennial and multidecadal scales of temperature changes covering the late Holocene period.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Does Mohammed Al Baradei belong in prison?

An article in Haaretz claims that Iran is on the brink of becoming a nuclear power.  They will owe a lot to the protection afforded them by Mohammed Al Baradei the Egyptian who formerly headed the IAEA.

 UN nuclear watchdog to release report on activities this week; Iran has carried out experiments in the final stage for developing nuclear weapons including explosions and computer simulations of explosions.

Read the entire article:

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Global Warming: Don't Cry Havoc and Loose the Politicians Yet!

A Resistor acknowledges the possibility or even the probability or even the actual existence of short term (200-1000 years) of warming but resists being stampeded into what could be a cure that is more destructive than the problem.”  Chuck Worrel, comment to his own thread, Nov 2011.

I invented the term Resistor because I am not so worried about whether the science does or does not ultimately indicate the existence of Global Warming as I am the effects of any proposed cure on my beloved USA and Western Civilization.

I hear a lot about the problem of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) but I hear precious little about the proposed solutions and the bureaucracy that would be required to implement any AGW remediation plan.  The fight seems to concentrate on whether or not there is or is not global warming.  The argument generally ignores the fact that implementing the solution, if there is AGW, is likely to be more complex and potentially catastrophic than the AGW problem itself.

It is clear that having a single country, even if it is the USA, pursue solutions unilaterally would be ineffective since the problem, as postulated, is global.  This fact creates a raft of issues regarding control, process and authority across national and international borders.

Therefore, if AGW becomes proven, I want to know what the effects of AGW are really likely to be before I make a decision regarding whether or not it is worthwhile to pursue a cure.  I want factual information to lead me.  To this end I have postulated in various places throughout this post, these questions.

Another issue that I want to see considered is; what and for whom are we planning to pursue a cure?  Many of the AGW people are the same ones who have argued for population control because of global overcrowding.  Actual demographic trends aside, AGW seems to be Gaia's answer to the overpopulation problem.  The Planet plans to rid  itself of some lice (humans).  Why aren't these proponents of population control celebrating and opposing any plan to cure the problem?

Remember, the planet Earth doesn't care about the last 1000 years of climate.  Earth does not operate on a human time line.  The Earth is 4.5 billion years old and has seen much worse.  The Earth does not care about humans any more than it cared about dinosaurs.  Human history is a blip in the timeline of Earth, hardly noticeable.  The Earth is not in trouble.  Warmists and Alarmists believe that humans are in trouble and their idea is that to save humans we must cool the Earth.  It remains to be seen whether this idea represents arrogance or stupidity or prescient self interest.

As discussed below, this problem is too perfect and the likely "solution" is too grand by orders of magnitude.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Assassination Attempt in NYC or Gulf of Tonkin Redux?

The Department of Justice and the White House announced the thwarting of a plot to assassinate the Saudi Foreign Minister today.  Understandably the Saudis are beside themselves, Hillary Clinton wrung her hands and, wonder of wonders, the Obama administration has an excuse to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities just before a Presidential election, an option the administration publicly eliminated some time ago.

I am not much of a conspiracy theorist but I am going to hold fire on this for awhile and see if the White House does the same.  I am skeptical for the following reasons:
  • It is too convenient:
    • It allows Holder to have been "preoccupied" when the Gunwalker memos crossed his desk;
    • It reactivates the option of bombing the Iranian nuclear facilities;
    • It occurs just before the 2012 election cycle and allows O the opportunity to be a War President.  (We seldom replace a President during a major conflict)
    • It creates a convenient crisis for an administration that has repeatedly demonstrated that it will "never let a crisis go to waste".
  • If the Administration is seriously suspected of running an operation to flood Mexico with guns to implement legislative attacks on the 2nd Amendment why would we believe it incapable of this kind of charade as well.
  • The plot itself was rudimentary and amateurish:
    • The Iranian government is very aware of the vulnerability of cell phone and internet communications to NSA and the Patriot Act:
    • There is no cut-out.  The Iranian government routinely uses Hezbollah to take responsibility for terrorist acts and shield direct connection to senior leadership.
    • The Al Quds Force has been in Latin America for over 20 years and has extensive contacts with Mexican drug dealers through the FARC and the Venezuelan government.  They did not need an operative to blindly contact a DEA informant in the Texas border regions where they know that surveillance is pervasive.  They could come from the south.
    • The operative immediately is cooperating?  He lives in the US for decades, reads the newspapers and hasn't lawyered up?
This is very preliminary but at this point I would say the whole thing seems unlikely.

Iranian Plot or Gulf of Tonkin redux?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Secret Video: Dear Leader briefed on "Fast and Furious"

Leaked video recorded President Obama's reaction to the news that Operation "Fast and Furious" was going mainstream.

The President Reacts to News that CBS is covering Fast and Furious

The Left Eats Its Own: Leftist Zombies at Occupy Atlanta

The Left eats its own as they have done throughout history.

Marxism in the form of chanting conformist Zombies, deny Rep John Lewis the opportunity to speak in Atlanta.  Given his civil rights creds, I am not sure the RNC National Convention would not have allowed him to say a few words.

"Many curious citizens and media outlets came to the first Occupy Atlanta event, and were visible shocked and confused by the consistent Marxism employed by the group. People abandoned their individuality and liberty to be absorbed into a hypnotizing collective. The facilitator made it clear that he was not a "leader" and that everyone was completely equal; words often spoken by leftists, but in this case they actually applied their philosophy. Into this surreal and oppressive environment, Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights hero and icon of American leftism, came to speak as has so often done at left-wing rallies and events in Atlanta. He is practically worshiped in Democrat circles, and was visibly stunned to see these Marxists turn him away. It was reminiscent of previous Marxist revolutions in history when those who ignorantly supported the revolutionaries are, over time, purged and rejected for the "good of the collective", when their usefulness has expired."
The "Occupy..." movement revealed as its own true self in a manner that devastates its claims to legitimacy.

The humiliation of Rep. John Lewis by Occupy Atlanta

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Chief Justice Rehnquist on "The Notion of a Living Constitution"

What follows is an excerpt from "The Notion of a Living Constitution" by former Chief Justice William Rehnquist.  I recommend that you read the entire piece.  It is fifteen pages of elegant logic in support of the Constitution.
Should a person fail to persuade the legislature, or should he feel that a legislative victory  would be insufficient because of its potential for future reversal, he may seek to run the  more difficult gauntlet of amending the Constitution to embody the view that he espouses. Success in amending the Constitution would, of course, preclude succeeding transient majorities in the legislature from tampering with the principle formerly added to the  Constitution.
I know of no other method compatible with political theory basic to democratic society by which one’s own conscientious belief may be translated into positive law and thereby obtain the only general moral imprimatur permissible in a pluralistic, democratic society.  It is always time consuming, frequently difficult, and not infrequently impossible to run successfully the legislative gauntlet and have enacted some facet of one’s own deeply felt value judgments. It is even more difficult for either a single individual or indeed for a large group of individuals to succeed in having such a value judgment embodied in the  Constitution. All of these burdens and difficulties are entirely consistent with the notion of a democratic society. It should not be easy for any one individual or group of individuals to impose by law their value judgments upon fellow citizens who may disagree with those judgments. Indeed, it should not be easier just because the individual in question is a  judge. We all have a propensity to want to do it, but there are very good reasons for making it difficult to do.

The great English political philosopher John Stuart Mill observed:
The disposition of mankind, whether as rulers or as fellowcitizens, to impose their own opinions and inclinations as a rule of conduct on others, is so  energetically supported by some of the best and by some of the worst feeling incident to human nature, that it is hardly ever kept under restraint by anything but want of power. . . .
The brief writer’s version of the living Constitution, in the last analysis, is a formula for an end run around popular government. To the extent that it makes possible an individual’s persuading one or more appointed federal judges to impose on other individuals a rule of conduct that the popularly elected branches of government would not have enacted and the voters have not and would not have embodied in the Constitution, the brief writer’s version of the living Constitution is genuinely corrosive of the fundamental values of our democratic society.

Read the whole thing:  "The Notion of a Living Constitution" , William Rehnquist, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 29, No. 2

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Constitution is not a "Living" Document

The Constitution is not a "Living" document as the term is generally understood when uttered by someone who doesn't like what it says. It is an intentionally constructed document that takes as its specific intent:

"... to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, ..."

The Constitution is, fortunately, a document that means exactly what it says about what is permitted and what is not permitted in our form of government. By doing so it succeeds in protecting individual liberty at the cost of some State power. This drives the Left crazy and has for 200 years.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Rousseau, Islam, Voltaire and the Democrats

I had dinner with an old friend a couple of days ago.  During dinner he brought up the the Constitution, the logjam in Congress and made the comment that we should consider suspending the vote for awhile just to get things straightened out.  Not permanently mind you, just for a couple of years, then we would go back to voting.  I asked him if he really wanted to hear my answer.  He made the mistake of answering in the affirmative.

Here is my answer:

The debate going on in Congress and in the Presidential election is a debate of political philosophy that dates back to the approximately 200 years that encompassed the Age of Reason and the French Enlightenment.  On the Left Rousseau is the main culprit. 

Rousseau's concept of a new Social Contract and the General Will have been the guiding lights of the political Left since early to mid 19th century.  Dr. Edward W. Younkins has produced an excellent discussion of these two topics in his paper ""ROUSSEAU'S "GENERAL WILL" AND WELL-ORDERED SOCIETY" at Le Quebecois Libre.  Dr. Younkins describes Rousseau's Social Contract as follows:

          Rousseau ... says that we should seek unanimous agreement with respect to a new social contract that eliminates the problem of dependence on one another while permitting each person to obey only himself and to remain as free as before. ... He calls for a total merger in which each individual gives up his right to control his life in exchange for an equal voice in setting the ground rules of society. Rousseau appeals to people to surrender their individual rights to a new moral and collective body with one will.
          The public person formed by social contract, the republic, has a will he calls the "general will." What it wills is the true interest of what everyone wants whether they realize it or not. When you are forced to obey it, you really are obeying yourself, the true and free you.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Inevitable End Point of Carbon Credits and Offset Trading

What is the carbon credit value for the removal of a human being from the ecosystem? 
Lets face it, the problem isn't fossil fuels it is human beings.  Every single one emits CO2 with every exhalation.  Most of them don't even know how to make a good Latte and are smelly and unattractive.  Forget the Prius, many of them drive big pickup trucks and have ugly children.   
It should be easy to set up a carbon score for different categories of these lower echelon organisms and win bonus credits for taking their machines offline at the same time.  So many points for the human, so much for the a/c compressor, the pickup, the dogs, the cats, the wife, the brats.  Like a video game some carbon credit harvests would be worth more than others.
I know what you are thinking, many of our elite class emit a lot of carbon.  Everybody's favorite Mr. Gore for instance. But he contributes so much to the cause.  By trading credits his emissions become acceptable.  So why not just manage a renewable resource (humans) and let Mr. Gore bag a few credits and entertain his guests at the same time.
Why not cut out all the hard stuff and just go directly to offering a bounty on human carbon credits. Take care of the population problem, save the planet, trade carbon credits to get rich and create a new sport all at the same time.

What could possibly go wrong?
"The reported killing of 23 Honduran farmers in a dispute with the owners of UN-accredited palm oil plantations in Honduras is forcing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) executive board to reconsider its stakeholder consultation processes."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cut Spending or Raise Taxes: Veronique de Rugy weighs in with some FACTS: What a concept!

 This is a breath of fresh air.  Listening to the Debt Ceiling debates has been like sitting in a steam room at the Y with a bunch of guys that went to Wurstfest last night.

The Facts About Spending Cuts, the Debt, and the GDP

Separating economic myths from economic truths

An excerpt from the article:

Raising the debt limit might put off a downgrade disaster in August, but that still isn’t enough—as Standard & Poor’s recent warning made clear. Perhaps the most important shot not heard around the world was S&P’s other admonition: Namely, that the U.S. bond rating will be downgraded in three months, if not sooner, unless we do something about government spending. Beyond raising the debt limit, S&P laid out clear criteria for avoiding a downgrade: 1) reduce the debt by about $4 trillion; 2) agree to a credible plan within three months; and 3) guarantee that this newfound fiscal discipline will actually stick.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Is Global Warming the Next Big Thing or an Existential Threat to Civilization?

edited 7/27/2011

We will eventually know the answer

Eventually the argument about Anthropogenic Global Warming will be settled and become common knowledge.  It will not, however, be settled soon, or by those frustrated scientists demanding that the conversation cease.  It will be settled when scientists on all sides of the argument arrive at the same conclusion from different research and directions of inquiry.  At that point it will all seem to have been obvious.

Scientific results that are replicable, reputable, transparent, open to challenge, empirically defended, characteristics lacking in the current argument, will pile up in the corner of the eventual winning viewpoint.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Real Difference between Democrats and Republicans

A friend posted this joke on his Facebook page.  I routinely fact check jokes because if one is accustomed to using relaxed (sub-par) intellectual standards it will be particularly apparent in a joke where they expect no critical reading of the facts.

In this case I read the joke carefully to gain the full benefit of the humor (which I enjoyed) and to glean the information contained therein.   I check the facts, and if required by the facts, rewrite the joke to reflect the facts discovered.  In this case the facts represented in the joke are wrong, and indicate another conclusion than that represented by the punch line, so I rewrote the joke to reflect the actual facts.

What follows is both the original joke and the rewrite.

 The most important fact was that at least the woman knew she was lost.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Even the Fed thinks Keynes is Dead: White House holding Seance!

The Federal Debt: Too Little Revenue or Too Much Spending

by Daniel L. Thornton and Kevin L. Kliesen
in Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Economic Synopses, 2011-07-07 2011, No. 20

“The rise in the national debt... is entirely a consequence of the federal government’s increase of expenditures without an offsetting increase in revenues. “

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

IMMIGRATION WITHOUT LEGISLATION: President Obama Won't Try to Get Immigration through Congress; Decides to Do It Anyway; ICE Union Votes No Confidence; Memo Undermines Enforcement of Existing Laws

Remember what President Obama told Sarah Brady about gun control:

President Obama is expanding gun control “under the radar,” he reportedly promised Sarah Brady. “I just want you to know we are working on it,” Brady recalled the President saying. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.” (via; “Gun Control by Stealth,” Tait Trussel)

Lawmaking by the Executive through department policy and regulation, seems to be going on with the immigration issue as well as with Second Amendment rights.

Imagine the pre-memo discussion in the White House between the President and the ICE Director, John Morton:

O: John, I have an elegant solution for immigration but I really don't want to let Congress touch it.

JM: I understand Sir. If you send it to the Hill those rubes will just screw it up by legislating whatever the hell they want to. We'll have to do deals about all kinds of crazy, unnecessary stuff, like fences and border control. I know you just don't want to deal with it.

O: That's right John. They want to run things but they aren't President. I am.

Is America the Jewish "Promised Land".. Really?

An interesting article on the Jewish immigration to America and its place in Jewish history.

From the article:
"One Jew – Haym Solomon – quickly recognized the opportunities that the liberal values of the American Revolutionaries might afford future Jews. Solomon put his money where his thoughts were and gave $20,000 to George Washington’s army, making him the largest financier of the American Revolution."
Read the whole thing:    USA: The Jewish Promised Land?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Federal Government Decides to Stack the Deck Against Fracking

National Review includes Kathryn Hartnett White's excellent article about hydraulic fracturing "Fracas About Fracking"

A particular quote to remember while reading Ms. White's article is this one from the President's speech in October to Latino voters (via Allahpundit and The Weekly Standard):
"In a radio interview that aired on Univision on Monday, Mr. Obama sought to assure Hispanics that he would push an immigration overhaul after the midterm elections, despite fierce Republican opposition.
“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us"
 The administration appears to be following up on its stated aim to punish its enemies as the EPA attacks hydraulic fracking and sets up an "endangered" lizard to halt drilling in Texas.  What will these efforts damage.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Six Billion Points of Light

I have been in an ongoing conversation (online) about Global Warming with a friend who has impeccable scientific credentials. He is entirely convinced that CO2 levels are rising. I tend to defer to him regarding the science. He is honest, successful and I have known him most of my life. We agree that facts are facts.  We also agree that:

"No one knows exactly how the climate will change as heat accumulates, or the ocean's food chain evolves as it gets hotter and more acidic." 

Me:   Exactly my point. In geologic time CO2 levels have been much higher in previous epochs. I think it damages science, polity and the ability of humans to dispassionately respond to or examine current conditions when the profiteers demagogue science to enhance their own position, financial or otherwise. Additionally, to claim, as some have said: "We know what needs to be done" in a field that is notoriously inexact (climate) is simply false.

Friend: So, I think we agree on the basics. Although, I'm perhaps more skeptical about how well prepared we are to operate in previous epochs.

Which profiteers do you think demagogue science?

How much more climate science exactness do you want before we assign a price to an assessed risk? Not picking winners. Just letting the free market do its thing.

Previous Epochs:

With regard to previous epochs we know this: We are here (humans) alive and well, the most successful predators in the kingdom, having successfully enslaved all other animals, vegetables, minerals and plants to our (perceived) benefit. We do not operate in previous epochs, we are the result of previous epochs. The debate tends to be about what is to humanity's present and future benefit.

Which Profiteers?.. All of them:

Voltaire & Hayek: Humans are predators who will always work to their own advantage. Humans wish to accumulate power, advantage, wealth, dominance, sex and other worldly goods and services (see Maslow). Humans will always default to the pursuit of their own perceived advantage. The Crisis (any one will do) is always presented as: “We have a “good idea”, give us the power, we know the way, we are the truth and the light, we will fix the problem for you, it may be a little uncomfortable for awhile but trust us.” This inevitably results in the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat,” the revolutionary committees, the Gulag, the Nazi Death Camps, the Death Committees, Purging the Kulaks, exterminating the Jews, killing the apostate Shia, killing the infidel Christians and so on throughout history.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In the Barnett Shale, Technology and Innovation answer Peak Oil Pessimism

A friend queried me about the current discussion that implies that shale gas might not be all it is cracked up to be.  The question is really about “Decline Curves” in gas production and the future of shale gas economics and hence, production.

Here is a link to Arthur Berman's 2009 article, “Lessons from the Barnett Shale imply caution in other shale plays” advising caution in believing the decline curves propounded by investment advisors.

Skepticism is always good practice when dealing with someone who makes money from obtaining yours, so I have no problem with the advice. Investment advisors are salesmen and they will always exaggerate, consciously or unconsciously. It is human nature, one tends to see rosier futures when the future includes themselves. 

Friday, June 10, 2011


Peak Oil has been around a long time and has been consistently in error for a number of reasons, some known and some unknown.

First the unknown: Peak Oil assumes a biogenic origin of hydrocarbons. Here is a link that questions that assumption: 
and another link to a more accessible article on the subject: .
The Russians embraced Thomas Gold's theory of abiotic origins of oil early on and began drilling very deep oil wells greatly increasing reserves and production. It seems possible that there is more than one way that Nature produces hydrocarbons and we are mistaken to look for a single answer.
Data Source: EIA - US Energy Information Administration
Peak Oil, also assumes a zero sum game in terms of known reserves and values reserves based on current production methods. As a result, not so long ago, the Peak Oil theory failed to assign value to shale oils known to reside in formations like the Barnett Shale, the Eagle Ford and Marcellus shales . The application of directional drilling combined with hydraulic fracking promises to reduce domestic imports by a third within 5-10 years with production in these very formations, considered worthless just a few years ago.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Riddle me this: A Global Warming Question

The much discussed hockey stick graph is a graphic depiction of one thousand years of weather data, only a small part of which data is actually observed data. The quality and adjustment of this data has been much debated. 

CONDITIONS: If the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old as determined from the oldest minerals so far discovered, and; the earliest life forms, “protists” a complex single cell with nucleus, appeared approximately 1.8 billion years ago, and; we assume that life forms require “Climate” in its broadest definition to exist, and; we establish the average data measurement period as one year of average high/low temperatures, and; we elect to use the total life of the existence of “Climate” as the overall population of data points, and; we have gathered a sample of 1000 years of "Climate" data:

Q1. Is 1000 years a valid sample size to produce a statistically valid prediction of future “Climate”? (1000 years yields a sample of only 5.56E-07 with a multitude of variables, many unknowable from geological records, most of which are inferred rather than observed.)

Q2. Since Chaos Theory posits sensitive dependence on initial conditions in order to accurately forecast future events, what initial conditions as of 1.8 Bn years ago were used in the climate change forecasting models and to what extent can these models cleanly replicate known historical climate records or even general climate conditions during a geological period between -1.8Bn years and -1000 years.  For instance, the Pleistocene Epoch?

Q3. If you start a climate sample at year 1000 and do a linear regression trend line, the first 1.79999 billion years necessary to determine the actual trajectory of the linear regression is missing.  Therefore, of what value is a climate graph depicting the 1000 years between 1000 A.D. and 2000 A.D. in predicting large scale effects of temperature changes on the planet?

It is therefore evident that the trend line from the 1000 year sample would in fact tell us very little about future “Climate”.  In fact, the absence of "initial conditions" and trend lines for the preceding 1.79999 Bn years would skew the scale of change relative to the elapsed time.

In short, predictions of the consequences of Global Warming from any cause, as reflected in the “Hockey Stick Graph” whether accurate or not, are fatally compromised.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Big Oil does Fracking.. Let's Regulate Fracking!

There is a movement afoot to delegitimize and regulate one of the proven techniques for extraction of natural gas and oil from tight formations. Hydraulic Fracturing is the technique currently attracting attention among the more radical Greens. The environmentalists claim that Fracturing contaminates underground drinking water reservoirs. Current opinion among environmentalists is being driven by a recent Duke University study that concludes that dangerous levels of methane are present in water wells in NE Pennsylvania and adjacent counties in New York as a possible result of hydraulic fracturing.
This article "Shale Fracturing - Water,Nitroglycerin or a Nuclear Bomb" by Gene Powell, Publisher of the Powell Shale Digest, describes various attempts throughout the history of the oil industry to improve flow rates in tight strata by fracturing the producing rock formation. The methods varied from the mundane to the extreme and the clear winner was the most mundane, hydraulic fracturing using sand and water.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I am not aware of credible evidence of pollution of groundwater by hydraulic fracking in South Texas. The images I see of people lighting the methane flowing with water from the faucet, while amusing, are not a new phenomenon. In fact it was these sorts of observations, surface oil seeps and methane in water wells that were early forms of oil exploration in many parts of the country.

I remember stories of this sort from my childhood when I would listen to my father, grandfather and uncles discuss their work in the oil fields. In fact, Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil! includes a scene in which it is oil seeps that tip off the oil baron about the presence of a reservoir under land where he is hunting with his son in Chapter 4.

Oil and gas producing formations being explored in Texas today normally lie several thousand feet below water bearing formations. These formations were not producible until the advent of fracking. The reasons these formations were not producible were largely because they were deep (8k to 15k feet), "tight" non-porous formations through which fluids could not migrate and which would self seal if an attempt was made to extract gas or oil. This lack of porosity and inability for fluids to migrate within the formations (for example the Eagle Ford in South Texas) caused these formations to be excluded and considered enconomically non-productive. That is, until the maturation of hydraulic fracturing to artificially create flow channels between the rock and a drilled channel. Adventurous companies recently tested the new methods in previously excluded formations such as the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale formations and created a new domestic oil boom in various deep shale formations across the country.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Advice Goddess recognizes dhimmihood when she sees it...

The excision of maleness continues unabated.  Upon viewing this I just couldn't get over the thought that if you simply substitute Islam for Woman it would be a near perfect expression of dhimmitude.

Advice Goddess

Monday, April 04, 2011

Culture, Education, Unions, Islamism, Darwin and Marx and.. I'll have fries with that


A question has been nagging me for clarification.  The traditional role of the educator is to impart basic academic knowledge and cultural norms.  This implies two definitions the first is a definition of “basic academic knowledge”. The second, “cultural norms” is more difficult to define and varies from constituency to constituency across the United States. There are, however, in a capitalistic society, a certain small subset of cultural norms that are embedded in capitalism.

Read more after the jump:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tapeworm Tales

When the riots in Greece were ongoing I noticed the events bore an eery similarity to an old joke told by med students about how to remove a tapeworm.

Tapeworms are notoriously hard to get rid of.  The method recommended in the joke is;  Step 1: Anally insert a banana in the patient's rectum daily at exactly the same time each day for 7 days;  Step 2:  On the 8th day the doctor arms himself with a hammer and pliers, positions the patient for insertion and closely observes the patient;  Step 3:  After a moderate delay, the tapeworm, conditioned to receiving its banana precisely on time each day, becomes angry and aggressive and exposes its head and shoulders outside the rectal opening and loudly demands "where the hell is my banana?" at which point the doctor is able to grab it with the pliers and beat it to death with the hammer.

Obviously, the tapeworm, if given the opportunity to escape, or if mollified by additional feeding, will be doubly hard to catch and kill if this first opportunity is botched.  Therefore, it is important to seize the opportunity the first time.

Greece is being bailed out by the EU.  Oops.

Lets make sure we kill the tapeworm in Wisconsin.