Monday, July 31, 2006

Emanuel Responds

"Emanuel discounted the Science piece and said he put considerable effort into accounting for changes in estimating storm strength."

"They ignore the most significant finding from my Nature paper - that Atlantic hurricane activity is highly correlated with sea surface temperature, which is comparatively well-measured," Emanuel said by e-mail from the Queen Mary 2, where he is lecturing on storms. "This cannot be explained away by invoking rather qualitative arguments about data quality."

You have to wonder how much pressure Landsea is under working for the Bush administration given the fact Bush has leaned on them and NASA to water down connections to global warming. Has Landsea become a shill? It looks like it.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Oreskes Responds

My 90-year-old mother tipped me off to this. Scientific Mules AKA Richard Lindzen. Yeah, her name is "Naomi," Taranto. Isn't that part of editing? If you can't get the name right, what chance is there for the science?

Addendum: Her op-ed is listed as "a special to the LA Times" run in the Tampa Tribune. I found no trace of it in the LA Times. Perhaps no part of the new wingnut version?

Dad's Wikipage

The new Wikipage for my father went well and another editor made it even better. I love it when that happens unlike the other debacle I've been involved with there.

Sun, Mars, Earth et al

The latest assault from Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit and company aside from the hurricane attack on reality is it is the Sun causing global warming, on Earth, Mars, and Jupiter. Just because someone such as writes a story doesn't mean it then takes precedent over everything we already know. In this case the wingers are late to the party.

Realclimate Solar Activity

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Heat, Hurricanes Etc.

"What is worrisome," said , Claudia Tebaldi a climate statistician who works at the Boulder research center, "is that climate models all agree on the intensification of heat waves in the future."

Likewise for hurricanes. While a new paper from Chris Landsea suggests past data on hurricane freqency is flawed, "suggests" isn't case closed as some wingervillains are already claiming. Predictions have always been on the low side. The reality is there are more storms than predicted and this is increasing. Same with the temps and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Dad's Official Obit

It took all week for me to get his obituary in the Morning Sentinel due to rigid spam filters at the paper. They screen out any public company like Yahoo, MSN and others. Even the internal contact forms shut me out so I'm wondering why it isn't appearing in the paper and why the editors won't respond. I finally called the night copy desk and ran it past Stephanie. That's how we discovered the problem. They charge a bunch of money to run these now, but due to hassle and technical difficulties on their end she waved the fee. She has my thanks, and dad, my tribute.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


From the rejected comment pile:
Another day Milady and your blog still sucks and you remain unpublished. Keep trying small man with big dreams.

Yeah, this butthead is a real bigtimer. Probably a TOR fandom type.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hottest Ever

That's what the local LA news is saying about today's scorching temps here in the San Fernando Valley: 119 degrees at Pierce College. The warm world is here. Global warming deniers are nuts.

Russell James York Esq. RIP 1922-2006

Bad day. Here in Calif it's 110 and hotter than the hubs of hell. My dad has died from complications of a bladder infection/prostate problem in a Skowhegan, Maine hospital. He was 84. He went to WWII as a medic in the 4th army engineer combat battalion landing at Utah Beach on D Day. He marched from there into the Hurtgen Forest where he was awarded the Silver Star for actions retrieving wounded on a bridge and served with Ernest Hemingway. They both got concussions in the ordeal.

General Harold W. Blakely presented the medal in a ceremony in Prum, Germany. From there he marched to Buchenwald and was among the first to enter the Nazi death camp accompanied by CBS News'legendary Edward R. Murrow. After the war he went back to Waterville, Me and worked at a woolen mill, florist shop and ultimately as a donut maker in a commercial bakery, one of the worst sweatshops I've ever seen. I worked there too.

"How can you stand this?" I once asked him while I watched him work. He just shrugged his shoulders. "What choice do I have," he said.

This is the way it is for impoverished people everywhere. No choice. The old man was extremely outspoken with a sharp tongue and this was offputting in closed mouth New England. Apparently I've inherited this knack. He was quick-witted and well read. He enjoyed opera and anything European which turned off nearly everyone in Maine. In reality he lived his life as a closeted gay man. In the war it was open. I finally outed him and that allowed him to live free in his last 20 years of life. No pain no gain.

Luckily, I visted him often and just had him taped for the WWII veterans oral history project. This record will live forever in the public trust.

Rest in piece dad. You did what all great men did: their best.

Friday, July 21, 2006


I certainly don't understand the sci-fi fantasy writing community. They are close knit and very cliquey. Peggy Noonan would find as little purchase there as at realclimate, although I would like the latter to set her straight after yesterday's assault on science which she clearly has no knowledge of. Teresa Nielsen Hayden, TOR sci-fi editor, finally banned my IP address today from Making Light. I never would have gone back had I not been linked through Wikipedia to a long defamatory diatribe of which I was the focus and she and her minions the purveyors of hate.

Showing up to defend myself a month later brought out the guard hounds. Or are they flying monkeys? Yes. Monkeys "my pretty" are more appropriate. When a group ridicules an man behind his back, then can't comprehend the outrage when discovered, it's very telling as to their insight. I finally told them to shove it in no uncertain terms and was disemvoweled, then banned firming up the correlation between these two Puritanical staples. As a "Jack Mormon" Nielsen Hayden should know about those tactics. Consider this response by a regular.

You really are a big fish in a little pond. There's a whole ocean out there. Feel free make use of it.

To which another commented:

"The extinction of all aquatic species isn't really something to which I look forward to."

And then:

"Fragano: Let's hope so. A Fgrcura Oynpx on the local Faerie throne would not go amiss."

God I hate it when that happens, but what the hell is it?

They're commenting about a fisheries biologist who dedicated his life to restoring fisheries. Obviously clueless about who I am and what I do even though the truth was a click away. Too much work for a fantasyphile I suppose. The group can pile on attacks and insults and the victim can't fight back. That's forumland in a nutshell, because that is exactly what they are: Nuts in hollow shells.

Update: It remains ugly and even uglier. I've been called ugly by this. Yikes. Teresa says I need psychological help. I think she needs instruction in unbiased reporting. Refusing to consider contrary evidence such as who insulted whom first are the tactics of wingnuts. I guess any partisan group can resort to this to avoid self-incrimination. truth is tough; messengers are killed. It's been that way since humans first walked bipedally.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Science Muddles While Refuters Fuddle

In fact, this is one place in which the intelligent-design people have a point. It is unfathomable that complex life forms evolved in tiny increments over time through random mutation and natural selection — that our ancestors are bacteria and our siblings are fish. We know it happened nonetheless because we have multiple lines of evidence: the fossil record, DNA, morphology, embryology and so on. (We even see evolution in action right in front of our noses. If we couldn’t, we wouldn’t be worrying about bird flu

K.C. Cole formerly of the LA Times on reporting science and the stonewalling egos of editors. Now I know why I can't get an editor to hire me as a reporter for being a scientist all these years. They don't want a smarter man in the room. I doubt she would have written this as an employee.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Lou Dobbs Moves on Global Warming

One down many to go.

Making Darkness

I had no idea this was still going on. It seems the war over absolutewrite and the subsequent campaign against the hapless faux agent Barbara bauer will never end. At Wikipedia the same two locals, Karen found here, and a brit going by JulesH, the original author of the article and defending it like one of the Knights Templar against all comers contine to paint a one-sided attack against this fake agent. She doesn't deserve an article period. I gave up after several weeks and threats of being banned at Wikipedia. Other made edits I approved, but linking this colloquy between her and Nielsen Hayden is too much. She's right about one thing on that list at my expense: I won't find a forum I like because the groups are chock full of pissants, zealots and shills for the owner. Let the games continue.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I worked four years as an extra in film and televison. My claim to fame was the Lie Detector Man on Sabrina the Teenage Witch; The Bearded Man on Dark Skies and Henry Silva in The Rat Pack. This story by Jessie Katz of LA Magazine, who guest lectured my Journalism class at CSUN is spot on. Damn nice work.

Sequoia National Monument

So I cruised up to Camp Nelson yesterday at 105 degrees looking for a cool spot. Up the Tule River which is largely inaccessible from the road, past this old town, and on to the Western Divide Hwy. I don't know the exact elevation but it's over 8000 feet or so. I rejected a hike to see the George H.W. Bush Sequoia tree. You gotta give it to Bill Clinton. He made this monument under attack from the same folks Bush supports and won, so he gives the old man a tree. Bush sure never earned the honor with actions in favor of conservation that's for sure. As I passed Ponderosa Lodge my truck hesitated and then gradually lost power. I turned around and limped back to the lodge where it stalled in front of the bar. There was a phone and if you have to break down this was ideal in every way except for a way out. Towing was out of the question this far up from Porterville in the valley.

I went into the store and asked the kid working there what one did with mechanical trouble around here. He looked at me sheepishly and said, "This is a bad place to break down."

"Too late for that news, I just did, I think," I said.

"Ask the guy in the bar."

Right. I thought maybe I had bad ARCO gas or something similar so I bought the only bottle of HEET and poured it in the tank. Then I took out a dirty air filter and banged it around until some of the dust was cleared. It would have to do I thought.

Luckily it started up and idled nice so I took off. There would be no camping up here. I only wanted out at this point. It ran until I started down the grade toward Johnsonville where I again lost power. I was going downhill but you need power for breaking badly. I downshifted, accelerated and it came back and in second gear stayed with me. Once I made it out of the sky road it ran fine. Had it been the fuel filter elevation would have made no difference so maybe it was the air filter after all. It's time for a newer vehicle when that stuff happens.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's Elementary Watson: Fingerprinting

Climate forcings such as CO2 leave traces that can be measured. All of the factors do, and that is the focus of the blog series in Scientific American. It's a good primer for the issue and kills all of the skeptical arguments against it.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Pests Take Over

Overall temperatures in the Rockies — and around the world — are rising dramatically. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that global mean surface temperature increased by 0.6 degrees Celsius (about 1 degree Fahrenheit) over the 20th century. In the Western Hemisphere, the warming was greater than in any other century for the last 1,000 years, and the 1990s were the warmest decade of the entire millennium. The IPCC, which issued its most recent assessment report in 2001, now predicts that global mean temperatures will rise anywhere from 1.5 to 5.8 degrees Celsius (2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit) between 1990 and 2100 — a rate of warming very likely without precedent in the last 10,000 years.
The pine beetle under these warmer conditions can wipe out a forest in record time. And considering how much we have wiped out through overharvesting it's a double whammy. One degree matters.

Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability

Sea-Level implications Contrast this from scientists with that of the return of Bjorn Lomborg the conservative darling. They love it when a lefty defects. Unfortunately, Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist is up to his old tricks yet again, claiming in an interview with Kimberly Strassel of the WSJ that global warming is last on the list of things we can fix with money. What does he cite? 1 to 2 feet of predicted sea level rise by 2100.(see IPCC report) In the context of Al Gore's "25 feet of rise" in the worst case scenario naturally. Hopelessly overblown he says. Well, should the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets melt it would be more than that. Up to 68 meters in fact, which is a serious problem. 10 years is much to soon to fix this he says so to hell with trying. Let's go for AIDs, malaria and the like instead. Like we can't handle both or all five?What BS.

Of course Lomborg is not a scientist, which is why he makes the sloppy characterizations he does. His book was a wingnut thesis, and spoke in broad overgeneralization fallacies exposed and trashed in Scientific American conerning his FACTS. His context was so skewed as to be irrelevant. Numbers of trees versus size and age of trees for example. The only people who believe him are those who know little and have a cross to bear: that of a head in the sand and money in the pocket from selling product affecting change. This is a deniers canard.

This from the same guy, a "political scientist" mind you who said we have more trees now than ever. Except for the fact that most of them aren't old growth fire resistant diverse stands, but mono culture tree farms of toothpicks that burn nicely in global warming fueled fire storms. But hey, what's one or two feet between friends? No worries mate, even if he is Danish.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Clip Shot Artist

That's Ann Coulter whose personal vitriole is sparse on originality according to Media Matters.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


The founders were liberal radicals. The loyalists wanted no war with England. Why upset the sweet financial deal they had? The other third were fencesitters, but patriots like my ancestor Reuben Colburn said no. He risked his land and family's livelihood to fight for an idea: America. We salute them on this day, in which John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died in 1826.
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