Archives for the month of: February, 2013

Here is a worthy endeavour. I hope all will read and consider. We generally accomplish great things when we all pull together.

Watts Up With That?

Guest post by Dennis Ray Wingo

Introduction

The foundation of all observational science is data. This is true whether the data is temperature measurements from ground networks, satellites, or any other thing in nature that can be observed, quantified, and recorded. After data is recorded it must be archived so that future researchers who seek to extend or question conclusions drawn from that data can go back to the original source to replicate results. This is a fundamental premise of the scientific method, without it we can make no reliable statements about nature and call it science. This is true whether or not the subject is climate change, planetary motion, or any other scientific discipline. This missive is about the supremely important subject of data archival and how you the reader can support our lunar data archival project. First a historical digression.

The Importance of the Recording and Archival of…

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Anthony posts giving evidence that the ocean isn’t warming, just like the rest of the earth. Well, duh. Then here Willis runs the conversion of the heat content anomaly to temperature deviation. Different units, but the same thing. I know Mosh asserts that the “anomaly” measurement isn’t subject to the usual limits on temperature measurement, but I’ll point out that a typical digital thermometer has specs along the line of ± (0.1% reading +1°C). Accordingly, the heat analysis as presented claims that the oceans warmed over the last 20 years 0.1°C ± 1.25°C. Is that a reasonable assertion? Is it even rational?

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Anthony has an interesting post up discussing the latest findings regarding the heat content of the upper ocean. Here’s one of the figures from that post.

pmel 0-700m heat content anomalyFigure 1. Upper ocean heat content anomaly (OHCA), 0-700 metres, in zeta-joules (10^21 joules). Errors are not specified but are presumably one sigma. SOURCE 

He notes that there has been no significant change in the OHCA in the last decade. It’s a significant piece of information. I still have a problem with the graph, however, which is that the units are meaningless to me. What does a change of 10 zeta-joules mean? So following my usual practice, I converted the graph to a more familiar units, degrees C. Let me explain how I went about that.

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I went through the list and categories.I voted for several, and had to research a few to make an informed vote, and skipped a few categories. I don’t suppose anyone has time to keep up with ALL the latest and greatest blogs. So, review, and vote. Of course, WUWT deserves your consideration. Xkcd is always worth a look.

Watts Up With That?

WUWT nominated in two categories. The competition this year is more skeptical than ever!

2013_bloggies_science

This year, the choices are tougher, since there are so many favorites. Last year I thought it was tough because they threw big names in websites into the category (like Mashable, Gizmodo, Engadget, and Tech Crunch) while at the same time combined the separate Science and Technology categories into one new single category.

This year the category strategy seems to be “divide and conquer”.

You may recall that last year there was a clean sweep of the awards by truly skeptical blogs, and the big names were shut out. WUWT also won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

I know this is a tough choice, but if WUWT wins the science category this year, it will make three, and we won’t be eligible to win the award ever again. Success has its drawbacks I suppose. Of course WUWT…

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Wow, thank you, Ms. LaFramboise! Yes, we humans are improving. As CS Lewis said, “You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve. And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth.” (Prince Caspian)

We have a long way to go, but no one can deny we are continuing. Freedom is not only what drives it, it is what makes it all worthwhile. Further, as Gandhi said, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

Thanks for the videos. Hans Rosling is a name I will keep in mind.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Far fewer human beings perish before their fifth birthday than ever before. More of us live longer. This is worth celebrating.

No, things aren’t going to hell in a handbasket. Despite all the fear mongering out there, all the declarations that the poor just get poorer while the rich get richer, the past several decades have been unprecedented in human history.

More of us than ever before now have a chance at rich lives – lives that don’t involve endless backbreaking toil, lives in which our children don’t die before reaching their fifth birthday.

Here’s a new, 3-minute video by Swedish professor Hans Rosling, telling the child mortality success story:

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And here’s that 4-minute classic about the magnificent rise in living standards around the world over the past 200 years:

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As the UK publication Spiked is in the habit of declaring: Humanity is underrated.

So, one might…

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From http://www.OCHEC.com

Oklahoma State House of Representatives

House Bill 1027 – School Voucher

Rep. Mike Reynolds

While written with good intentions, we know that government money does not come without strings attached. Rep. Reynolds made a statement at the Town Hall meeting during Capitol Day, which brought thunderous applause. He stated that he believed that all schools, public, private and homeschools should be free from government control and intrusion. If that is so, then why would he also want to offer government money? With money comes control and intrusion, pure and simple. We need to send a polite, but clear message that money in the form of vouchers is not the best way to help homeschool families simply because of the government strings attached.

Rep. Reynolds has been a friend to home education and it is not our intention to hinder that relationship. We simply disagree with this particular method of “helping” the homeschool community. A tax credit such as the Coverdell Educational Tax Credit would be more useful and without intrusion.

This bill has been assigned to the Budgets and Appropriations Committee. We are not sure at this point which sub committee in which it will land. We are assuming the Common Ed Committee. Rep. Denney has told us that she does not want to hear any homeschool bills in her committee, but, if forced to, she will do her best to oppose it.

Please respectfully and politely express your thoughts to Rep. Reynolds and to the committee members using the contact information below.

Rep. Mike Reynolds:
(405) 557-7337
mikereynolds@okhouse.gov

Common Ed Sub Committee

House Bill 1906 – Equal Access

Rep. Bob Cleveland
Again, this bill was written with well-meaning intentions, however, the implications are far-reaching. This is perceived by some legislators as an “entitlement” bill, which is never a good thing. In addition to the possible regulations this could force on homeschool families, the fact that this bill sets up homeschoolers as a protected or privileged class can lead to more problems. While Rep. Cleveland has added a line in the bill, calling for no regulation of homeschools, we know that this cannot stop politicians and bureaucrats whose desire is to control. If you don’t think this is true, look at our 2nd and other Amendments to the US Constitution being challenged and ignored right now.

This bill has also been assigned to the Budgets and Appropriations Committee. We are not sure at this point which sub committee in which it will land. We are assuming the Common Ed Committee. Rep. Denney has told us that she does not want to hear any homeschool bills in her committee, but, if forced to, she will do her best to oppose it.

Please respectfully and politely express your thoughts to Rep. Cleveland and to the committee members using the contact information below.

Rep. Bob Cleveland:
(405) 557-7308
bob.cleveland@okhouse.gov
Common Ed Sub Committee

Today, 17 February, is Willis’ birthday. I am choosing to write a bit about him. Today is also Gary Bohanan’s birthday. (They don’t know each other to my knowledge.) Gary was born the year before Willis. These two men have many years and are wise in my experience, and both have one characteristic that I admire. Both are as open and honest in their person as anyone I’ve ever known anything about, and both are totally committed to honesty and truth. To me, that is as high praise as I can raise, and I thank them both for enriching my life.
After the summer of 2012, Willis posted very sparsely at WattsUpWithThat until after the first of this year. I noticed. I suspect I was not alone. I missed his insights regarding facts and life.
Now that Willis has found time to write the stories so many of us here at WUWT encouraged him to write, I notice a few naysayers. What’s up with that? I for one thank Willis for his writing and his insights. Time is not free, nor unlimited, and I appreciate the effort expended and given to us.
Another attribute Gary B. has with Willis is intelligence and insight. There is too little of it in the world today; I think it worth acclaim when it shows up. The time to read something Willis wrote is always worthwhile and invariably enriching. Didn’t Galileo say (approximately), “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him”? I apply that to what I read, and with Willis, even if what he wrote has nothing to do with what I thought when I started, I still find a wealth of useful information and insight that I can apply, hopeful to be a better person, and hopefully to pass forward in helping someone else.
With regard to running a blog, I am trying, as can be seen by the fact I reblogged this post to mine. I have only one objective in my blog, and that is to record whatever I think worth recording, for whatever reason. I would post a lot more if I reprioritized my time, but with my crew, well, I’ll keep the family as top priority as well as I am able.
Anthony has a different objective, but not by a lot. Mostly, Anthony’s posting decisions have proven to be worthwhile for millions of online viewers. That is an accomplishment! Anthony has consistently made decisions that millions of readers have approved of, and proven by the page views.
Anthony has chosen to include Willis as an author, moderator, and driver of WUWT, and it seems obvious to me that this was another of Anthony’s wise decisions with regard to WUWT. I am glad of it, and I thank him and Willis for it. I also note that Willis has never chosen to try to set up his own blog (that I have discovered). I see that also as a wise decision, but mostly, it is Willis’ decision. He can, and should, do as he pleases. I applaud his decisions as I have seen them. While I hold Willis with exceptional esteem, I view the other contributors here at WUWT as worthy of my time, and I thank Anthony for hosting them—all of them. The only complaint I ever have pass through my mind related to WUWT is the fact that I seldom have the time to take it all in! I am glad of the cornucopia of styles, subjects, perspectives, and information at WUWT, and I make it a point to visit as often as practical.
For this particular post of Willis’, well, it is another example of Willis’ razor-sharp insight, showing readily how easy it is for people to lie, and how easy it is falsify a lie, at least if you put forth the effort and do a little research. Thanks for the data point, Willis, and happy birthday.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I do love tracing down how numbers kind of ricochet around the web. This investigation started when I ran across a book review in the South China Morning Post of a book called “Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change“, by Andrew T Guzman.

andrew t guzmanFigure 1. Andrew T. Guzman, law professor and environmental activist.

I’ll pass on linking to the book, TWDR, too wrong, don’t read. The book review quotes the obviously overheated author as saying:

Guzman anchors his doom-laden case in statistics. The 10 warmest years since 1880 have all happened since 1998, he says, and cites an estimate that the annual global death toll already sparked by climate change is 300,000.

When I see an unsupported figure like an annual death toll of 300,000 from “climate change”, my urban legend detector starts like ringing like mad. Where have they been hiding…

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June 24, 2009 Originally in American Thinker  (http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/the_regulation_of_essential_el.html)

The regulation of essential elements of life

By Lonnie E. Schubert

The EPA is now considering designating CO2 a dangerous pollutant. The regulation of essential elements of life by our government scares me. It should scare us all. I am devastated by the notion that our own government founded on freedom would regulate and control the most fundamental aspects of life on earth. Regulation on life’s important things is certainly tyranny and certainly will destroy the world, at least the nation and supposed freedom, we leave to our children.
Please, do not regulate the essential elements of life. Freedom is too precious to take it away in such pointless ways.
Carbon dioxide is one of the three essential elements of life on our planet. Despite being arguably THE essential requirement for life, water, sometimes called dihydrogen monoxide, is extremely dangerous, killing even children every year. How much is destroyed every year by floods and rot?
Water is by far the most important energy absorbing gas in our atmosphere. Without gaseous water in our air, our earth would be far too cold to support us. The other gasses that absorb energy contribute less than one-fifth of the total effect we refer to as the greenhouse effect. In short, we generally have too much water where we don’t need it and too little where we do. Are you planning to regulate water also? The potential gains are obvious. If we can reduce water waste and control it in the environment, we can eliminate most of the dangers associated with water.
Likewise, oxygen. This life-essential element is extremely dangerous. Not only can it kill directly, becoming toxic as the partial pressure exceeds 0.3, it kills and destroys by chemically combining with metal and organic material, that is, by oxidation, referred to as corrosion and burning respectively. How many people die each year in fires? How many in structural failures caused by corrosion? Already considering the deaths, dollars hardly seem noteworthy, but the costs of damage caused by oxygen is staggering. Read the rest of this entry »

What a mixed bag here. Still, thanks David Middleton, and thanks Anthony for hosting David’s fact listing. I really like the mix of puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news. I like the mix, and I like the guest authors.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by David Middleton

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama had a few things to say about energy snd I have a few replies.

Pres. Obama: We buy… less foreign oil than we have in 20 [years].

Wrong!!! We buy more “foreign oil” now than we did 20 years ago.

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Good

Watts Up With That?

Luetkemeyer Seeks to Prohibit Federal Funding for Job-Killing UN Climate Change Initiatives 

WASHINGTON, D.C. _ Following last night’s State of the Union Address in which the president pledged to implement a job-killing climate change agenda,U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) today introduced legislation to prohibit the United States from contributing taxpayer dollars to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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Cool or scary, it is noteworthy.

Watts Up With That?

VIDEO: Large meteorite caught on dash cameras in Russia

still-youtube-potapow-614[1]Image from RT video, see below.

People are a little jumpy with news of the close flyby of the asteroid 2012 DA14 tomorrow. This meteor actually hit and destroyed a building. make you wonder is this wasn’t a piece of 2012DA14 that was a fragment that got ejected from the main asteroid by some other deep space collision but was in a similar trajectory out ahead. If so, there may be more incidents like this. It may also be simply coincidence. [UPDATE: NASA has issue a statement on this, see below]

Story from the YouTube description, video follows.

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A series of explosions in the skies of Russia’s Urals region, reportedly caused by a meteor shower, has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cellphones stopped working.

A bright flash was seen…

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Ms. Donna LaFramboise is one of the unsung heroes in the climate debate. She is an investigative journalist doing the hard work exposing the underbelly of the environmental extremist organizations. I applaud her and thank her.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

This blog came into existence because the greens have done their job too well. Their message saturates everyday life to the point where people like me feel compelled to push back.

TripodGirl_window_heart500

WordPress, the company that provides the software and servers on which this blog depends, tells me that yesterday’s blog post was my 500th.

Since April 2009, therefore, I’ve done a significant amount of writing. By way of perspective, here in Canada, those with a full-time, generously paid columnist gig at a daily newspaper, are expected to produce three pieces a week – 12 per month, or roughly 150 a year.

In January, I published 20 blog posts. Most of them were longer than the typical 800-word newspaper column.

In other words, by industry standards, I’ve been working hard recently. I’ve not ever produced content at this rate before. Amusingly, all of this writing is about a topic that, during…

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The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

Douglas Adams

Dr. Deming’s articles are posted at Lew Rockwell’s blog, which describes itself, “The daily news and opinion site LewRockwell.com was founded in 1999 by anarcho-capitalists Lew Rockwell and Burt Blumert to help carry on the anti-war, anti-state, pro-market work of Murray N. Rothbard.” (Rockwell provides a link and LOTS of content on that page. Rothbard looks worthwhile to me, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Rothbard, but I haven’t really looked into him.)

Rockwell looks okay, http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Lew_Rockwell, but I’m reserving my opinion until such time as I can study a bit.

I like Dr. Deming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Deming Being he is at OU gives me a bias. I like Oklahoma. Those of us who lived and grew in the Midwest and South-Central Plains, have an inherited sense about the land and what real extremes are in weather and the like. (http://thislandpress.com/11/14/2012/south-by-midwest-or-where-is-oklahoma/?read=complete )

There is no doubt Deming is brave and willing to speak his mind. I like that.
http://lewrockwell.com/deming/deming-arch.html

So, my two bits: We humans, even us Americans, will continue to burn everything that will burn until it is all oxidized. Given the human track-record, it seems we will come up with alternatives before the things to burn get too expensive. It won’t be windmills, and it won’t be solar, it will be fission in at least a couple of its forms, and we will move to fusion eventually, but later rather than sooner. We just don’t have the engineering-wherewithal to deal with the structural effects of fusion neutrons and energy intensity. We will, but the capability is too far in the future to predict with less than a plus-or-minus of one century. It could easily take three or four centuries to make fusion practical for human needs, but fission is practical right now, and we have several decades of fossil fuel to burn while we convert to fission, and how many centuries can we support ourselves on fission? Many, and probably more than that.

Watts Up With That?

There is an anti-human TV program on the History Channel called Life After People, which portrays the aftermath of the imaginary scenario where all people on Earth suddenly vanished in a rapture-like event tomorrow.

Life_after_people

I’ve often seen it flipping channels, and it has always been my impression that it represents the ultimate utopian vision of radical environmentalists, who see people as a scourge on the planet, sort of a Fear and self loathing in Las Vegas applied to Gaia.

I get word from Dr. David Deming, Geologist at the University of Oklahoma, of an essay he has composed asking about what would happen to people if fossil fuel based energy disappeared tomorrow. Deming asks this simple question: What would happen if we gave the environmentalists what they want?

It is an eye opener for those that really don’t think much about where the energy they use daily comes…

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First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Watts Up With That?

You’ve all heard of a religious “grail quest“, I submit what we have here is an ongoing religious “smear quest”.

The cartoonist (John Cook, purveyor of the laughably named “Skeptical Science”) and the psychologist (Stephan Lewandowsky), the two rightmost people in the photo above, are working together again to smear anyone who has doubts about the severity of the global warming. If making up data for a fake correlation (they never polled any skeptics, only friends) to support the idea that climate skeptics deny the moon landing wasn’t enough, now they are going after HIV and AIDS conspiracy theory. Basically, they think because we reject their ability to perform actual statistical science (by polling a representative population of skeptics instead of friends who support their mindset) that we are now engaged in “counterfactual thinking”. I look at it as psychological projection on their part.

Making up data to…

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