Saturday, April 28, 2007

LAT Festival of the Book

Another good time save for a horribly slow crawl over the infamous 405 to UCLA due to an accident; always a possibility here. I saw Jim Taranto, of the who I disagree with on virtually everything, and who failed graduate from my alma mater CSUN, on a panel about the future of news. I didn't see Marc Cooper. That said, the questioner from the audience, a fiesty limelight hog, or "focus sucker" as an old aquaintance from the movie business would say, claiming "the six floors of the WTC couldn't have fallen at that high rate of speed" was hilarious.

"Did they answer the quesion? She asked the audience after giving up on the panel, pleading for supportive affirmation that George Bush ordered the explosives installed, I guess? Jeez.

There were jeers, and calls for her to shut up. I thought it was answered. She's a nut and evidence some of the far left will believe anything in the same way the far right won't believe the easy stuff like science done by the best in the world. Every political persuasion has their pet conspiracies. They have one thing in common: they're both crazy.

The panel which included Mark Halperin of ABC and Jim O'Shea the newly installed editor of the LAT was flabbergasted and let he go on way to long, but it turns out that was the highlight of the day, other than seeing some first time novelists and one old timer: William Kittredge getting the lifetime achievement award. He and his wife, Annick Smith produced A River Runs Through It, one of my favorite films. The Amy Goodman, Greg Palast panel on the state of America today was fun, but they didn't allow enough questions. Palast is an entertainer. He's right, but a bit hyperblized for a mainstream audience, and relies heavily on a keen perception of the obvious to make his points. His main one is Bush et al are for OIL. KPO-phasers on full stun Captain!

Jared Diamond and his sister Susan were interesting, talking about their childhood in Boston. He looks like an Amish elder, but boy, what an intellect. Her too.

Of course all of the crime novelists were around: Connelly; Crais; Cannell and so on. It's so LA.

Tomorrow it's sci-fi with John Scalzi whose blog I've commented on, and the Bill McKibben panel on the state of the natural world.


Friday, April 27, 2007

The "Malfunction" National Forest

That's what we called the Malheur in Central Oregon. A federal judge has ruled yet another Bush-sanctioned rule rollback would impede endangered steelhead and bull trout recovery. See a trend here? Because there is one.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The legends Are Going Fast

Boy, Jack Valenti, gone in a poof. I didn't even know there was anything wrong. Same D.O.B. as my dad. This is a truly legendary generation. I consider it second in sheer greatness only to those born in the 1740's, which includes most of our American founders.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Weather Anomalies

Barton Paul Levenson makes another good, well-supported point in response to the nonsense by MIT's Richard Lindzen:
[[Lindzen said,
"Indeed, meteorological theory holds that, outside the tropics, weather in a warming world should be less variable, which might be a good thing."]]

Then in this case, meteorological theory is wrong. About a year ago I took the monthly temperature anomalies from the satellites since 1979 and divided them at the halfway point. I took the standard deviations of each group, and they were significantly different by F test -- with the variation in the later group higher. Empirically, weather is becoming more variable as the world warms.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Polar Bear Climate Change link Stuffed by Administration

After saying they didn't look at climate change , the Interior Department did indeed consult climate scientists before the listing was announced. One thing is certain: global warming is one helluva conflict. The enemy here are naysayers who deny its existence, and this is dangerous for the world.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut RIP

One of my favorites growing up. He is the Twain of our day.


Monday, April 09, 2007

More Bush Appointee Shenanigans

Julie Macdonald. Pick a department and the same sort of hatchet-jobbing has been going on.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

First Chapters Contest

Well I didn't make the cut. There were bitter battles for votes with the most shameless hustler winning a spot. They botched the announcement badly by leaking an unedited and incorrect list in the morning that readers at didn't find until the afternoon. Then there was a "hoax" speculation for a few hours. Couple that with a hopelesly unstable site unable to hande the traffic and that, as they say, is no way to run a railroad. It was a disaster.

Two Maine writers made it and I'm rooting for them. I fear a much more insidious result.


Forest Rules

A judge struck down the Bush administration's so-called streamlined rules which essentially made endangered species consideration optional. One more apsect of Humpty Dumpty falling apart. The forests already have.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wikipedia Animal House

So the whiny little pisspot college punks at Wikipedia had me blocked over the Barabara Bauer fiasco. Go ahead morons, keep a defamatory article in full view during discovery in a legal case against Wikipedia. Any comments here from those "ediots" will be blocked as spam and junked, although I may quote them so be forwarned. These are forum marauders who will never be published anywhere except the comments at Absolutewrite and Making Light. It's all they have or will ever have.

It's because of dipsticks like these that the online encyclopedia is an unreliable source disallowed by professors on campuses nationwide. Pity the management is so clueless they let it happen while punking anyone who points it out.

Update: It's deleted.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Environment Today

Historic day at the Supreme Court on CO2. We've come a long way baby so look for less denailist drivel. This deal is settled now. Let's fix it while we still can.

But not so fast: On behalf of President Bush, thank you for writing about your concern regarding the President’s recent decision to allow the Secretary of the Interior to modify the leasing status of the North Aleutian Basin of Alaska, known as Bristol Bay.

Allowing lease sales in Bristol Bay will help reduce our dependence on imported sources of energy by increasing access to domestic sources of oil and gas and will also increase the revenues the Federal Government collects from oil and gas companies on behalf of the American taxpayer. The President made the modification with support from Congress and State leaders. Please be assured that lease sales in this area will only occur following a public process that thoroughly studies environmental impacts and provides for public examination, review, and comment.

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Whatever oil there is, it pales compared to the fishery. Remember fish can last forever. Oil never will, and it inperils our existence. Easy choice.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Big Melt

More great reporting from CBS News 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelly. For me, it was like watching my book Warm Front being filmed. His work on Greenland was good too, but this was the culmination of irrefutable proof we are heading into an abyss with sea level rise at the forefront.


Sea Level Rise

My question to Dr. Rahmstorf on the much reviled 20-foot rise claim in Gore's film. It's real.

Since this is in centimetres could you juxtapose these figures with any level of uncertainty with the 20 feet rise should Greenland and the WAIS both melt? I watched Lomborg testify in Congress and this was the one point he made of Gore's film where he claimed it was false beyond any doubt.

[Response: Greenland ice is good for 7 metres and the WAIS for 6 metres of sea level rise. 20 feet is about 6 metres so either ice sheet alone, or half of each, could lead to a 20 feet rise. -stefan]

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