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If one is going to pretend that natural disasters, especially earthquakes, are divine retribution, shouldn’t one consider the sin supposedly responsible? Specifically, is divine retribution more likely because we heat our homes and drive a little slightly bigger vehicle than we need, or is it more likely the result of selfishness and lasciviousness?

Consider some stereotypical jet-setting movie star. If he incurs divine retribution, is it more likely due to his use of his private jet, or is it more likely his devilish personal life and debaucheries?

I think it is silly to suppose God punishes us for our weaknesses, no matter what those are, but we obviously will reap what we sow. I don’t see burning that extra gallon of petrol as sowing the wind. We have significantly bigger problems both now and in the future.

Readily available and affordable fuel and electricity are what lifts the enslaved and impoverished to productive, fruitful lives. Those who condemn fossil fuel ultimately condemn the poor.

Watts Up With That?

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website

Summary: Millions of words were expended reporting about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but too little about the science connecting them to climate change. Here are the details, contrasted with the propaganda barrage of those seeking to exploit these disasters for political gain. Let’s listen to these scientists so we can better prepare for what is coming. Failure to do so risks eventual disaster.

NASA photo of Hurricane Katrina on 28 August 2005 NASA photo of Hurricane Katrina on 28 August 2005.

(1) A politically useful catastrophe: the Left speaks up

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The record-setting twelve-year long hurricane “drought” (no major hurricane landfalls on the US) was just weather. But the Left immediately boldly and confidently declared Harvey and Irma to be caused (or worsened) by anthropogenic climate change. Some of these screeds are mostly rational, just exaggerated or imbalanced. Such as “Harvey Is What Climate Change Looks Like” by Eric…

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I suggest you will be glad you read this somewhat long article.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

food_plates_smPrologue:  This is a follow-up to  a series of five essays that discussed ongoing scientific controversies, a specific type of which are often referred to in the science press and elsewhere as “Wars” – for instance, one essay covered the “Salt Wars1 and another the “Obesity War”.  The purpose of the series was to illuminate the similarities and differences involved in these ongoing controversies, with the final part (Part 5) showing the commonalities with the Climate Wars.    This essay illuminates two important new, potentially paradigm-shifting papers in the field of Human Nutrition and new findings in the Salt Wars that turn that entire field on its head.

Warning:  This is not a short essay.  Dig in when you have time to read a longer piece. 

Human Nutrition — the field of human physiology and health that concerns itself with the…

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All I can say is wow! And, you really ought to read this and watch the 9-minute video.

Regie's Blog

As I type this, Esperanza Spalding is in the middle of writing, performing and producing a 10-song record in just 72 hours! Wow! That’s only three days. Who in the world could ever do that?!?!

Well, as it turns out …I could. In fact, I did. Me and my long time friend Scott Krippayne did this VERY thing four years ago. Well …we didn’t QUITE do this very thing. We didn’t do it in 72 hours. Actually …we did it in 24. Actually, 23 hours and 24 minutes …but who’s counting?

We walked into Studio A (Ben Folds’ place), on Music Row, at 7:15 in the morning. And when we left at 6:53 the following morning, we had written and recorded 10 songs from scratch. That record was called The 24 Hour Conspiracy. And it’s something I’m really proud of. So why didn’t WE get the press coverage and all…

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CO2 is one of three fundamental essential ingredients for life on earth. The other two are dangerous to life, causing death and destruction every year.

Watts Up With That?

Rising CO2 leading to changes in land plant photosynthesis
Suggests that plants have achieved an optimum response to rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere

From the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO

Researchers led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego have determined that major changes in plant behavior have occurred over the past 40 years, using measurements of subtle changes in the carbon dioxide (CO2) currently found in the atmosphere.

The two main isotopes, or atomic forms, of carbon are carbon-12 (12C) and carbon-13 (13C). As CO2 has risen since the late 19th century, the ratio of 13C to 12C in atmospheric CO2 has decreased. That’s in part because the CO2 produced by the combustion of fossil fuels has a low 13C/12C ratio. There are other factors in nature as well, however, that have influenced the rate of decrease in the isotopic ratio. The…

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We are all in this together.

Regie is one of our gifted and creative coworkers, fellow travelers.

Regie's Blog

16 years ago, I woke up to a bunch of phone messages regarding planes and towers. Suddenly, the world stopped. Planes had crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers, in New York City and Washington DC. We were all dumbfounded. Nothing like this had ever happened in our lifetimes. There was blood and carnage and people jumping out of burning buildings.

For the days and weeks and months and years that followed that horrible event, America and the western world grappled with what we were, what we are, what we should do, what we should not do, who we want to be and who we don’t want to be. .

But as years went by, life went on. And our lives went back (remarkably) to what they had been prior to 9/11. We worked. We loved. We got drunk. We got sober. We got married. We got divorced. We…

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I just watched the movie Correspondence (2016) with my wife.

I doubt most people will like.

I suggest you don’t look it up. Don’t read reviews. Don’t look up the trailer. Go with your gut. Watch, or don’t. It is about a love affair with a star, with the universe, but it is supposed to be about a love affair of a middle-aged astrophysics (Jeremy Irons) and a young PhD candidate (Olga Kurylenko).

If you decide to watch it, forget everything. Don’t think. Just feel. It might do for you what it did for me.

Some say I’m too emotional. At times like these, I’m glad of it.

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Emergent phenomena, it is what nature does. Whenever there is a difference, nature finds ways to alleviate it. Self-organizing, self-sustaining, increasingly complex systems are efficient ways to use energy and reduce gradients.

One might call these emergent phenomena living.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I came across a lovely photograph of a “fire devil”, also called a “fire whirl”. I liked it because the photo perfectly exemplified what is wrong with the current generation of climate models.

firedog

What is wrong with the models is that they don’t include any of the vortex-based emergent atmospheric phenomena like fire devils.

Let me start with the concept of “emergent phenomena”. Emergent phenomena are phenomena which:

  • Emerge spontaneously from the background when certain thresholds are exceeded. Below the threshold there are none. Above the threshold, the number emerging can increase very rapidly.
  • Have a lifetime.
  • Move, adapt, and change in response to environmental conditions.
  • Eventually dissipate, fade away, and die out.
  • In addition, emergent phenomena generally are not naively predictable from looking at the underlying conditions.

Here’s a way to understand naive predictability when it comes to emergence. Suppose we were members of…

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The alarmism was just beginning as I graduated. It is hard to believe after so many failed predictions they are still making errant predictions and acting like we are crazy for not pretending the calamities are all around us.

Watts Up With That?

Foreword by Anthony Watts.
This essay is written by a student at the University of Wyoming, who finds herself in the middle of a set of circumstances that are pushing her further into the realm of being a climate skeptic. It is an eye-opening read. I have verified the identity of the student, but per her request (due to the backlash she fears) I am allowing her to write under the pen name of “Clair Masters”


Guest essay by Clair Masters

The class was languid, most kids were on their phones, or surfing Facebook on their laptops. I sat with my notebook open in front of me, empty except for the lecture title at the top of the page. The professor put a slide up on the projector showing a chart relating CO2 and temperature over the course of a few million years, the one we’ve all seen by now. The…

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Nuclear power!

STOP THESE THINGS

Texans have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, over the last week or so.

Hurricane Harvey belted the Texan coast with 130 mph (209 kph) winds and delivered a deluge of biblical proportions.

For some time now, Texas has been the pinup girl for American wind worshippers. With some 21,000 MW of nominal capacity spread over 40 projects, like everything in Texas, wind power is ‘big’.

Except, of course, when the weather turns nasty.

Modern industrial wind turbines do not operate when wind speeds hit around 25 m/s (90kph or 55mph) – Hurricane Harvey dished up a gale double that speed, and more.

In order to prevent their catastrophic disintegration (as seen in the video below) Texas’s turbines downed tools, en masse, (as they are deliberately designed to do) leaving the critical work of providing power to storm battered Texans to its fleet of nuclear power plants.

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I major on today and on individuality. I want everyone to have the same rights, but not everyone can have equal abilities, because that is not the world in which we live.

Earn what you get, and you should get to keep it. Harm none, and don’t take offense.

Most of all, live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

Regie's Blog

There’s a dead end in my family tree.

At around fourteen, I learned that as a newborn, my great-grandfather had been left on a tree stump, outside the cabin of an immigrant German family named Hammenbach (or something like that. It was later shortened to just “Hamm”). They took him in and raised him as their own.

So I don’t know anything about my ancestry or lineage any farther back than a baby on a tree stump, in the late 1800’s. And that’s actually fine by me. I’m an individualist. I don’t feel bound by bloodlines and begats. I believe individualism is a uniquely American trait. And I believe it’s the only thing that truly sets us free. But in America, it’s complicated …

The core seed of Communism isn’t rooted in the belief that the collective can achieve what the individual cannot. That’s just how it’s sold. The core…

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Get the word out.

Remember 03 May 1999? “Get underground or die.” That warning drew ire but saved lives.

Watts Up With That?

My friend John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, has never been known for mincing words. He’s always been a “tell it like it is” kind of guy.

This is what he had to say on Facebook today:

Latest computer spaghetti map on Irma.

Each line is the path predicted by a different computer model. Most hit Florida hard.

Take a trip west and live. It you stay put your ssn on your arm with a sharpie.

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Awesome power.

Watts Up With That?

This was taken earlier today by the new GOES-16 weather satellite, which has been producing some fantastic hi-res imagery of Hurricane Irma, This video, from NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) in Huntsville, AL, tops anything I’ve ever seen.

Here is the same sequence, zoomed out a bit further:

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I consider Blade Runner to be the first on my list of must-see movies. It deals specifically with the horrors of slavery, but mostly, it deals with who and what we are as humans. I look forward to the pending release of the sequel in only a month.

I’ve now seen the movie I’ll forever have listed as number 2 must-see. Ghost in the Shell also deals with who and what we are as human.

What can be done will be done.

The key is respecting individuals as such.

I am my own, and no one, collectively or individually, should be able to take or control anything that is mine. Government is to protect us from those who would take from us or would try to control us. Nothing more.

I recommend Blade Runner with Harrison Ford, and I recommend Ghost in the Shell with Scarlett Johansson.

 

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Pointman always has a point, and he seems to always make it so well.

Pointman's

I wrote an article recently in which I called Google the evil empire of the internet. It’s a conglomerate which of course owns Google itself, Gmail, YouTube, Hangouts and the Android operating systems. Those are just the names you know but they also own other very influential behind the scenes companies like DoubleClick that the average surfer wouldn’t recognise.

It simply owns too much of the internet and is to all intents and purposes totally unregulated. Just like the monopolies and cartels which were rampant in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, it is now routinely abusing its position of market dominance not just to bully its customers, but to force its own political ideas on other parties.

You must think in google approved ways on the internet or you’ll get punished one way or another. Just ask the google software engineer James Damore whom they summarily fired for expressing…

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