Monday, February 26, 2007

C-Span Sells Out

I tried to access the formerly free video on C-Span of Jim Hansen's speech today and got the bad news: Brian Lamb now charges 30 bucks for it two hours after airing. Bummer.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gore Wins!

The Oscar!


Threat To The Planet

Jim Hansen's excellent presentation on global warming.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Return To Lomborg

Consider fellow Dane and Arhus University graduate in biology, Kåre Fog on the errors of Bjorn Lomborg, a non scientist, who hubristically dismisses scientific conclusions by using sleight of handism. Crichton has bought into the ruse of The Skeptical Environmentalist.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Why the Current Global Warming is Not Natural

Wallace: Yes, there have been dramatic climate swings in the past, but with very few exceptions, they have occurred gradually, on time scales of thousands of years.
Some of the most dramatic climate change in the past was the alternation between glacial epochs, or ice ages, like the one that ended 15,000-20,000 years ago, and non-glacial conditions, like we're experiencing now.

The cause of these swings was the subtle variations in the Earth's orbit around the sun due to the pull of the other planets. These orbital changes don't change the total incoming solar energy significantly, but they dramatically change the strength of the sunlight over high northern latitudes, like Northern Canada, during the summer season.

The conditions that favor weak summer radiation in these areas are:

1. A large tilt to the Earth's axis

2. A large departure of the Earth's orbit from a circular shape, so that the Earth is much closer to the sun in part of its orbit than in the other part.

3. The Earth is farthest from the sun during the Northern Hemisphere's summer.

When these three things occur, solar radiation is weak in the high northern latitudes in the summer. Under these conditions, snow and ice that accumulate during the winter don't melt during the summer, so the ice builds up and an ice age results.

The end of the ice age comes when the orbit arranges itself so that solar radiation during summer is very strong. These changes take place very slowly - over thousands of years. In contrast, greenhouse warming is taking place much more rapdily - on a time scale of a century.

Hence ecosystems have much less time to adjust to the changes.

Human civilizations have experienced climate change before, but nothing as dramatic worldwide as we're seeing now.

Why are we convinced the current warming is not due to natural processes, like these orbital changes? First: Because we know greenhouse gases are accumlating in the atmosphere in levels that haven't been experienced in the past few tens of millions of years.

Second: Because the pattern of the observed warming fits the pattern we would expect from warming caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases. (ie- almost all areas of the planet are warming; the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere are warming; the upper atmosphere is cooling; the temperature changes are greatest in the Arctic during winter.)

Third: The warming is much more rapid than most of the natural variations we've seen in the past.


On Climate Models

At a Glance: Climate modelling

*The scientific consensus is that the observed warming of the Earth during the past half-century is mostly due to human emissions of greenhouse gases

*Predicting climate change depends on sophisticated computer models developed over the past 50 years

*Climate models are based on the Navier–Stokes equations for fluid flow, which are solved numerically on a grid covering the globe

*These models have been very successful in simulating the past climate, giving researchers confidence in their predictions

*The most likely value for the global temperature increase by 2100 is in the range 1.4–5.8 °C, which could have catastrophic consequences

One thing is certain: These models can predict the future better than a wingnut can in his head. It's the math stupid. or as one commenter on my novel said, "Everyone knows most conservatives are illiterate," scientifically for sure that is the case.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Crichton on Charlie Rose

Michael Crichton delivered a reluctant defense of State of Fear but still uses the same fallacious reasoning. Hubristically he says he's the only one who has looked at the data, and the catastrophysts or "alarmists" haven't, and are just operating on emotion. Granted some are, but the part I can't understand is his refusal to cite the scientists he's reading, because he does this disingenuously in the book, skewering Jim Hansen.

"We can't know the future," he says and models are "flawed by personal bias." In other words the GCM models are engineered to give a predicted response. "Consensus is not science." Curiously his novel never visited the Arctic, only Antarctica, which fits the confirmation bias e.g. cooling and warming at the same time, thus Huh? We don't really know anything. Crichton says "he talks to the scientists," but that isn't what the evidence shows, since he only uses altered material from paid sceptics. That's a bad source problem.

I'm hoping he'll answer the Rose challenge to debate a scientist on another show. I have my favorites. Stay tuned.


Monday, February 19, 2007

CO2 390 ppm

And climbing at an unprecedented rate.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Winger Science

Times of London Congratulations are in order. They've discovered Phlogiston, and just in time. Here's the explanation of the flaws. Stated simply, cosmic rays and the Sun cycles have had a minute effect on global warming to date. You can almost see these clowns twisting inside out.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Stealing Prose"

miss snark weighs in on the fanfiction debacle. That's her title not mine.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Fanficcer's Dream

Is their pilfered writings of authors' copyrighted characters will somehow catapult them into a paying fiction gig. But please don't bring money into it. While it has happened, this is rarer than a Whooping Crane. I've run afoul of a vehement Ayn Randian freelancer: Cathy Young, who happens to be a fanfiction writer and a columnist at Reason Magazine, the libertarian creation of Virginia Postrel and others.

It's amazing how some defend their actions no matter what just because it's them, so it must be a great noble cause. In this case it isn't. Fanfiction is stealing. Beyond that basic fact, it's lame, and ultimately, perverse. Perversion is the main catalyst for the fans doing it in the first place. She can't let go of Lee Goldberg who writes authorized tie-in novels for Diagnosis Murder and Monk. These are professional works for hire and not comparable to vanity unauthorized jaunts with the literary structure and lead characters. It's a false comparison fallacy.

Consider this diatribe:
Mr. York: having perused that first chapter of yours, I think I know why you're so vehemently anti-fanfiction.
... there was no need to report anything conclusive yet as his bosses at the Department of Interior were under command to downplay any evidence of the "climate change" phenomenon. They'd been instructed to use the softer language by the Baumgartner administration, who held a dim view of conservation, they dubbed as "environmentalism," which now had a pejorative connotation. Government agencies, being what they are as tools of the people, must follow along at least on the surface, but behind the scene, they followed the facts and reported the results regardless of who the political figurehead was at the time.
Your writing skills are roughly comparable to the average "fanficcer" -- okay, discounting the junior high school set -- but you need to feel superior to someone. It's the same reason the "white trash" in the old South were often so vehemently racist: sure they were trash, but hot damn it, at least they weren't n***ers!

A number of fanfic writers have already gone pro and have been signed up by major publishers. Judging by this chapter, at least, I don't see that anywhere in your near future.

Hmm. I don't see a Xena contract either. Contains some sexually explicit scenes, violence, and strong language. I don't even see TOR in your future, but I do see continued support of fellow wingnut libertarian deniers: false sceptics like Ronald Bailey. Is it any accident some readers gravitate to this particular background information in my chapter of Warm Front?

It's obvious why: they disagree with the characterization of the politics.

Too Darn Hot
Common sense in the warming debate Boston Globe

Tough. Reality's a bitch.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Obama's Habit

Sen. Barack Obama better get on Nicorette gum fast because he can't be an advocate of national healthcare and a cigarette smoker at the same time. It's just not going to happen.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Kerry On Climate

For far too long, in the Senate and elsewhere, the issue of global climate change has been neglected or pushed aside as unsolvable, incomprehensible, or simply someone else’s problem.

But the stakes could not be higher, and the reality could hardly be more stark.
Senator John F. Kerry

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Monday, February 05, 2007

It's a Hoax!

Jennifer Marohasy the Brisbane based botanist and climate sceptic does her country a great disservice with her denialism. This is illustrated in this sceptical Op-ed from down under. There is a good reason I used some Aussie deniers in Warm Front as The Kookaburra Consortium. Like the birds, they mock reality. I'm hearing the Song of the Dodo though in their chant.

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Lying Liars

That's what the new fake science Fraser Institute is. Their denier analysis of the new IPCC report is just the same old same old: already disproven crap, which unfortunately, is easy for any conservative to buy as illustrated below. Realclimate points out the sad reality: it isn't true.
The National Research Council, like the official SPM, affirms that recent warming really does appear anomalous in light of the past millennium. The Fraser report obscures this point by cleansing the recent period of warming from their graphs. The discussion of solar variability consists of a lot of vague talk about unexplored possibilities, while skirting the basic problem with solar variability as an explanation of recent warming: There is no observed trend in solar activity of a type that could explain recent warming, and if the problem were an unobserved trend in solar ultraviolet, it would make the stratosphere (where UV is absorbed by ozone) trend warmer relative to a constant-solar baseline. In reality, the stratosphere is cooling strongly, and at about the rate the models predict.

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Wall Street Tards

The Wall Street Tards Let's see the Raelians or NASA, IPCC, National Academies of Science? Duh we'll go with the first. Frggin idiots.

My unpublished response:

Re: Climate of Opinion

"For example, the Center for Science and Public Policy has just released an illuminating analysis written by Lord Christopher Monckton, a one-time adviser to Margaret Thatcher who has become a voice of sanity on global warming."

No, it hasn't and he's not on the panel, and is not recognized as an expert in anything. The two organizations are not equivalent. One belongs to your columnist pete du Pont. Hello! This is typical wingnuttery. You guys will fail. In fact your denial shows you already have. Get some education. Perhaps if your paper had opinion editors who have graduated from college, you wouldn't be having this much trouble grasping reality? What a disgrace to Wall Street and main street. The religion of money in full view. Idiots!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Dog's Life

Author John Grogan is quitting his former life as a columnist, because of the success of his nonfiction dog book Marley and Me? Hello! It's about a dead dog as a baseline. Try the follow up first. What's that going to about? Cat training? And to juxtapose this farcical reality with that of low paid soldiers risking their lives is telling. The audacity is epic: Frey, Brown and Grogan--the winners! Give me a break, what a Barnum and Bailey country this is.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

First Chapters Contest

After quite a long ordeal where I was rejected because I was "a published author" and ineligible, the team at finally recognized their mistake. I should have a chapter of my novel Warm Front posted there today. Feel free to read and comment. It requires registration, which is simple. I expect quite a bit of trollery, but that just goes with the territory. The voting is kind of kooky and open for abuse. Now that I've seen the piece I know why most of the chapters don't retain proper formatting. Hell, they don't retain any indents.


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