Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tea Party Coordination

Thanks to Instapundit hints I was able to locate a coordination site for the Tea Party movement. They are currently featuring The Contract From America.

Welcome to the Contract From America initiative, where you can join your fellow Americans in a collaborative grassroots effort to create a document that offers real change in Washington, D.C. and the state capitals. This website provides you with the opportunity to offer your innovative free market, limited government solutions to our nation’s pressing problems and to vote and comment on the ideas of others. We believe that the result of this grassroots-generated marketplace of ideas will be a document that not only represents the will of the American people, but promotes unique ideas that will breathe new life into the economic conservative movement. We will have a Contract From America for which we are all responsible and in which we feel a sense of ownership. And politicians will have a stark choice: accept and therefore be held accountable to the terms of the Contract From America, or face loss of their seat in 2010.
I signed up.

Naturally I'm plugging small fusion as my first suggestion. And just in case you didn't know (what are the odds?) I'm a Polywell Fusion supporter. Scroll down on this page and vote up Support Small Fusion.

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

The American Thinker has a good article up with the basics.

And the best part? We Will Know In Two Years or less.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

China Is Bubbling

It looks like real estate in China is going through a massive bubble. It is still on the upswing side.

We don’t really have a view on when it will end; [but] we do have a view that this is a bubble. Real estate is very much driven by government policy. This year we have RMB 4 trillion through the stimulus package, another RMB 6 trillion from municipal bonds, another RMB 10 trillion from bank loans. We have RMB 20 trillion in the system and it all finds its way to real estate. If the government next year decides to continue the relaxed monetary policy the market will continue like this, regardless of whether this is wasteful investment or not — people will still buy and we will still be building and selling.

These buildings are not fully occupied and people should be worried about it. I am sure the government is worried about it, but what do you do, they want the stimulus and if you want to create jobs then this is a by-product.
And how much is that worth In $US?
Not to detract from her point, but I should note that I tally the total influx of funds somewhat differently. I think she is double-counting the RMB 4 trillion government stimulus, which was funded half by bank lending and half by municipal bonds. The combined figure, as I calculate it, is more like RMB 16 trillion, or US$2.4 trillion.
So how much is that in US dollars?
BEIJING -- China's economy expanded by 6.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009, official data showed Thursday.

The quarterly growth was the slowest in the past 10 years as the global financial crisis continued to affect the world's fastest-growing economy. It was 4.5 percentage points lower than the first quarter of 2008 and down 0.7 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Gross domestic product (GDP) reached 6.5745 trillion yuan ($939 billion) in the first quarter, Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), told a press conference.
Since the numbers are never as precise as the figures show, let us say that it is $3.8 trillion. And a $2.4 trillion stimulus represents 63% of the GDP. That is a lot. The Chinese can pay for most of it in cash. But that leaves them vulnerable to the next shock in the market place.

So how about an anecdote? Here is one from March 2009.
Today I visited Beijing’s most stunningly dysfunctional, catastrophic mall, called The Place, and all I could think about was what I wrote back in 2006. Made to look kind of like Versailles on the outside, The Place is an irrational maze of stores and eateries that seems to have been designed to turn off and turn away customers. It has stairways that lead nowhere, unmarked elevators that take you to surprising places, not to mention a generally chintzy feeling created by all the faux marble and Grecian columns; it always looked pompous, but now it’s looking seedy and run-down as well.

The Place is around the corner from my office, and this was my first trip back in about two months, I was shocked at what I saw. Fifty percent of the eateries in the basement were boarded up. The cheap food court, too, was gone, covered up with ugly blue boarding, making the basement especially grim and dreary. The two good restaurants there, Ganges and Master Kong Chef’s, were still thriving. The few others that remained seemed to be just hanging on.

That same night I went by The Village, which seemed so cool when it first arrived and now seems so unnecessary aside from the Apple store and a couple of restaurants. Same thing as The Place: lonely clerks looking plaintively out the store windows, eyes begging you to come in and buy something. But no one does. There is simply too much stuff, too many stores, and no buyers. Do you have to be a rocket scientist to conclude this is unsustainable? And to top it off, they are now finishing the second Village mall down the street, across from the Poppa Bear of all disaster malls, 3.3. All I can say is, WTF??

I’m predicting The Place and many of its sister ghost malls, shunned by customers overwhelmed by so many malls to choose from, each selling the same crap that no one can afford nowadays, are going to experience a catastrophe, if they haven’t already, and will ultimately become burnt-out, boarded-up shells. In turn, this is going to throw a lot of fuel on China’s current financial crisis. Real estate will be further cheapened, and the general misery unique to times of deflation will set in. Brother, can you spare a dime?
The author has some ideas on why it got so bad.
I told them this was coming 2.5 years ago and no one listened. The day of reckoning, the moment of truth is here. Even if things pick up, these malls are hopeless. Like the Mandarin Oriental, they will need to be razed and replaced with something useful, like affordable middle class housing (wishful thinking on my part). If not, Beijing could become a city pockmarked with looming dinosaurs, huge husks of once breathtaking buildings, now vacant and decaying, like so many of the Olympic structures.

I kind of understand why this overbuilding happened, as the economy became a vicious inflationary circle. Now we are experiencing the down wave, and it’s just starting. As we crash, The Place and many other useless mega-malls like it will serve only as reminders of the excesses of good times that we fooled ourselves into believing would last forever. Their time has now come. In fact, their demise is long overdue.
The government in China is doing the same thing the government of the US is doing. Trying to reflate the bubble instead of marking down assets to their real value. It will end badly. In the US and China.

Given that the real volatility of the Chinese political system is far in excess of the volatility in the US and we in the US have the safety valve of local, State, and National elections with a range of policies to choose from (Texas or California?), I think there will be a LOT of political upheaval in China in the years to come. They will be so caught up with domestic problems that their opportunities for international mischief such as the current uproar over arms sales by the US to Taiwan will be limited. OTOH they could do what governments the world over do when domestic trouble is serious. Start foreign adventures. Will China go down (for a while) quietly? Or will they make a fuss? Stay tuned.

And another thing. When China crashes it will put a LOT of downward pressure on the price of oil. Unless they go in for oil adventurism.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Solar Powered Government

A wind and solar powered government? I kid you not.

WASHINGTON — The federal government, the nation's largest energy consumer, will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% over the next decade, the White House will announce today.

"It's a real opportunity to lead by example," says Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). "And not just for the environment but to spur innovation and create jobs and savings."

The council says the reduction in energy use in the government's 500,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles will be equal to taking 17 million cars off the road for a year or not consuming 205 million barrels of oil.

Some states, cities and companies have set similar goals, but environmentalists say the federal government's plan is ambitious. "It's a bold target," says Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It's a great deal for the American taxpayers … and a great example for the rest of the country."
I'd like to see them get that up to 100%. Then the government could shut down in the winter when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. Not to mention freezing in the winter without natural gas for building heat. Or burning in summer when there are electrical shortages from a lack of electricity for air conditioning. I could see a real exodus from government service with conditions like that. Why didn't the Republicans think of that?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

An Economics Rap

I'd say this is about the best that can be expected from combining the rap music video style and economic texts. Pretty fly for some white guys.

Books mentioned in this video:

F. A. Hayek - The Fatal Conceit

J.M. Keynes - The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

H/T commenter simentt via e-mail

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Postmodern Robotics

I came across a most interesting discourse on reality. Technical reality to be exact.

Our precise aim is to show that there is no such thing as a robot; that a robot is no more a machine than a statue is a living being; that is merely a product of the imagination, of man’s fictive powers, a product of the art of illusion. Nevertheless, the notion of the machine in present-day culture incorporates, to a considerable extent, this mythic representation of the robot.
Well I have some news for the writer:
Yes. It is true. Robots only exist in the imagination. And yet from time to time factory robots kill people. I guess they were killed by imagination.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is a difference.

The moral is: You need to be more careful around real robots than theoretical ones.
It is a wonder that people who think like that can even flush a toilet. Or understand the need to.

Which reminds me.

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” — John W. Gardner, Saturday Evening Post, December 1, 1962

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Disclosure

Company CEOs that lobby for CO2 taxes or other measures for CO2 abatement are going to be required to tell shareholders about the possible effects of such legislation on their companies.

Washington, DC - Corporate CEOs who have been actively lobbying for cap-and-trade climate legislation may soon find themselves in an embarrassing position thanks to a new Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, says Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project.

The SEC voted January 27 to provide public companies with interpretive guidance that encourages corporations to disclose the possible business and legal impact of climate change to shareholders. Full disclosure will require companies to assess and describe how cap-and-trade legislation can harm company earnings.

"Fully disclosing the business risk of cap-and-trade will embarrass many CEOs who are lobbying for emissions regulations. Shareholders will discover that these CEOs are pursuing legislation that will negatively impact their company," said Borelli.

By issuing interpretive guidance on climate change, the SEC is encouraging companies to fully describe a wide range of business and legal risks posed by climate change on business operations. In these communications with shareholders about business risk, the SEC wants companies to address the following areas: Impact of Legislation and Regulation, Impact of International Accords, Indirect Consequences of Regulation or Business Trends, and Physical Impacts of Climate Change.
I think the added paper work will dim their ardor even if nothing else does.

Bill Gates who is no longer head of Microsoft seems to be ahead of the game.
NEW DELHI — Rich nations' cash pledges to combat climate change must not come at the cost of healthcare spending, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates warned in an interview published Tuesday.

The entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist told the Times of India that money promised at last month's Copenhagen summit to enable developing countries to tackle climate change could cut into healthcare aid budgets.

"I am concerned that some of this money will come from reducing other categories of foreign aid, especially health," Gates told the newspaper.

"With an additional pledge for global warming, the budget of rich countries will be out of balance and they will look to cut down on expenditure."

A total of 30 billion dollars was pledged at Copenhagen for 2010-2012 to help poor countries in the frontline of climate change, and wealthy nations sketched a target of providing 100 billion dollars annually by 2020.
Which is more or less what Bjorn Lomborg said in his 2001 book The Skeptical Environmentalist.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Water Helps

A recent scientific paper says that besides being a greenhouse gas (the most potent and prevalent) variations in water vapor in the upper atmosphere may help cool the planet.

Why the Earth's surface temperature hasn't warmed as expected over the past decade continues to be a puzzle for scientists. One study out earlier this month theorized that the Earth's climate may be less sensitive to greenhouse gases than currently assumed.

Another surprising factor could be the amount of water vapor way up in the stratosphere, according to a new study out Thursday in the journal Science.

Water vapor, a potent, natural greenhouse gas that absorbs sunlight and re-emits heat, is "a wild card" of global warming, says the paper's lead author, senior scientist Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. Solomon was also a co-chair of one of the groups within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that put out the definitive forecast of global warming in 2007.

In the Science paper, Solomon and her colleagues found that a drop in the concentration of water vapor in the stratosphere "very likely made substantial contributions to the flattening of the global warming trend since about 2000."

While climate warming is continuing — the decade of 2000 to 2009 was the hottest on record worldwide — the increase in temperatures was not as rapid as in the 1990s.

The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere just above the troposphere, which is the layer of air here at the planet's surface. (The troposphere goes from the surface up to about 8 miles, and the stratosphere is from about 8 to 30 miles above the surface.)

The decline in water vapor in the stratosphere slowed the rate of surface warming by about 25%, compared to that which would have occurred due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, notes the study. Specifically, the planet should have warmed 0.25 degree F during the 2000s, but because of the influence of the water vapor, it rose just 0.18 degree F.

"We call this the 10/10/10 paper," says Solomon. "10 miles above your head, there is 10% less water vapor than there was 10 years ago."

Why did the water vapor decrease? "We really don't know," says Solomon, "We don't have enough information yet."

The findings are "surprising," says Bill Randel, an atmospheric chemist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who was not part of the study. He said it was surprising how big an effect such a very little change in stratospheric water vapor has had on the surface climate.
If it is part of a feedback mechanism it would mean that the water vapor feedback is less than expected.

If it is related to Galactic Cosmic Rays and the solar magnetic field it would mean that the solar influence on climate is greater than estimated. Either way it reduces the influence of CO2 on the global climate. Which means it is not as bad as we thought.

Osama had better rethink his position on global warming before he becomes a laughingstock.

Illinois Governor's Race 2010

It looks like Adam is endorsed by a Cold War Hero.
Breaking news: Lech Walesa, Nobel Laureate and former President of Poland, has endorsed Republican candidate Adam Andrzejewski (and G F ski) for Illinois Governor.

From The American Spectator:
It’s not every day that a Nobel Prize winner becomes involved in a U.S. election, but Lech Walesa — famed for his Cold War leadership of the Solidarity movement in Poland — will be campaigning this week for a GOP gubernatorial candidate in Illinois.

The former Polish president will be the keynote speaker Friday at a Chicago luncheon fundraiser for Adam Andrzejewski, one of four Republican candidates for governor in Illinois.
Here is Walesa's endorsement letter:
To the People of the Great State of Illinois

It is with great pleasure that I wholeheartedly endorse Adam Andrzejewski for the office of Governor of the State of Illinois. In writing these words I feel particularly touched because, sadly, it is so seldom in the United States that a Polish son becomes involved in politics. But I do not endorse Adam only because of his Polish roots.

I applaud Mr. Andrzejewski’s commendable effort to bring real reform to politics. His insistence on transparency in public life are badly needed not only in the great state of Illinois, but in any democracy. I have heard that Adam’s opponents criticize his lack of political experience. I still remember when some 30 years ago, my opponents were similarly critical of my lack of political background. History has shown, however, that in order to create real change, new factors are sometimes necessary.

Adam Andrzejewski can be that factor for the State of Illinois.

I do hope, that what Adam Andrzejewski can bring change when elected for the office of Governor of the State of Illinois.

Lech Walesa

Former President of the Republic of Poland
My mate was asking me who I liked in the Republican Primary. So I did some research and it looks like Adam is it.

Now do I think he is God's gift. Hell no. But I have grown tired of the current brand of crooks. Time to try a new brand.

The fact that he is supported by the Quincy Tea Party doesn't hurt.
On Friday, January 22, 2010 the Quincy Tea Party packed the house at our Meet and Greet held at the Quincy Holiday Inn featuring a candidate forum that resulted in four candidates signing the Tea Party's Conditional Endorsement.

To view the contents of the QTP Conditional Endorsement click here.

The event featured Adam Andrzejewski candidate for Governor, Don Tracy and Jason Plummer both running for Illinois Lt. Governor, and Kathleen Thomas who is running for United States Senate. These candidates made the commitment to the Quincy Tea Party to support the conservative principles outlined in the groups document.

The QTP also unveiled it's yard sign campaign called the "Tea Party Difference."
I hope Adam lives up to his billing. The Quincy Tea Party site has links to the various candidate www sites. And the sign?

Email Them if you are interested in a sign. Tell them Simon sent you.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Against Fear

Here is a little something to help you deal with your fears.

Litany Against Fear

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
From Dune

H/T BenTC at Talk Polywell

Warmists Gain New Ally

Osama has a new trick in his bag. Global Warming. No. Really.

A new message said to be from al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has blamed global warming on the US and other big industrial nations.
I wonder why he had nothing to say about China? Their CO2 production exceeds that of the US and is doubling every 20 years as they build a better life.
"All industrial nations, mainly the big ones, are responsible for the crisis of global warming," the latest tape says.

"This is a message to the whole world about those who are causing climate change, whether deliberately or not, and what we should do about that."

The tape criticises the administration of former US President George W Bush for not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on combating climate change.

"Bush the son, and the [US] Congress before him, rejected this agreement only to satisfy the big companies."
And yet of all the nations of the world the US is the only one that has reduced its CO2 emissions.

What Is Osama really afraid of? That the cave he hides in will be inundated by glacier melt? That the ice that covers his hideout will melt and he will be prey to soldiers from the West?

I think if Osama can withstand the regular spring and summer melt he will be fine. Unfortunately.
The Siachen Glacier is home to the world's highest crisis region. Here, at 6,000 meters (19,680 feet) above sea level, Indian and Pakistani soldiers face off, ensconced in heavily armed positions.

The ongoing border dispute between the two nuclear powers has already claimed the lives of 4,000 men -- most of them having died of exposure to the cold.

Now the Himalayan glacier is also at the center of a scientific dispute. In its current report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that the glacier, which is 71 kilometers (44 miles) long, could disappear by 2035. It also predicts that the other 45,000 glaciers in the world's highest mountain range will be virtually gone by then, with drastic consequences for billions of people in Asia, whose life depends on water that originates in the Himalayas. The IPCC report led environmental activists to sound the alarm about a drama that could be unfolding at the "world's third pole."

"This prognosis is, of course, complete nonsense," says John Shroder, a geologist and expert on glaciers at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. The results of his research tell a completely different story.

For the past three decades, the US glaciologist has been traversing the majestic mountains of the Himalayan region, particularly the Karakorum Range, with his measuring instruments. The discoveries he has made along the way are not consistent with the assessment long held by the IPCC. "While many glaciers are shrinking, others are stable and some are even growing," says Shroder.
It has occurred to me that people who buy into the catastrophist's fantasy are behaving like children. and in discussing it with a catastrophist I found a prime example.
Just like that fire in my untended fire barrel wouldn't burn down the neighbors shed (this didn't happen, just a metaphor, but I could have come up with other childhood examples where irresponsibility led to bad things).
To which I responded:
Some people made up a story. You are credulous. It scares you to death. And so you act like a frightened child.

When I was on the left I used to be scared of all kinds of things. Because the left is a nihilistic cult. Lebensraum, kulaks, the intelligencia, the bourgeoisie. There was always some enemy. Some one ruining the plan. Sabotagers.

What you are a part of is a variant of the old Lebensraum cult.

Why you want to go there?

When I figured out the game I resigned my commission in the vanguard of the proletariat.


My job is to help people give up their fears. To have courage. Because people living in fear can do some really evil shit with a clean conscience.

"I had to condemn billions to poverty and death because we will be running out of lebensraum due to global warming."
Them lefties are real humanitarians. They have only your best interests at heart.

This book is rather popular among those who no longer wish to be scared:

Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed

And here is another one:

Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming- Why Scares Are Costing Us the Earth

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken

Cross Posted at Classical Values


When Fermi submitted his famous paper on beta decay to the prestigious journal Nature, the journal's editor turned it down because "it contained speculations which were too remote from reality".

From Enric Fermi

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drone Control

And that brings up an interesting bit of information. Gaming improves thinking.
Ongoing research conducted by the Office of Naval Research suggests "that video games can help adults process information much faster and improve their fundamental abilities to reason and solve problems in novel contexts." This as posted at the United States Department of of Defense by Bob Freeman. Freeman quotes Ray Perez, program officer at the ONR's warfighter performance department who gave the following statements during a January 20 interview on Pentagon Web Radio's webcast, "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military." For those who have always been convinced that gaming isn't a 100% negative influence - as the mainstream media continually wants everyone to believe - these findings are for you. Perez says they have discovered that frequent game players "perform 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability than normal people that are non-game players." Perez, who holds a doctorate in educational psychology, is seeking new training techniques that will allow our soldiers "to improve performance on the battlefield." This new war on terror has forced the military to adapt to "deadly adversaries who constantly change their tactics," and this being the case, games could be of great assistance. Said Perez:
"We have to train people to be quick on their feet - agile problem solvers, agile thinkers - to be able to counteract and develop counter tactics to terrorists on the battlefield. It's really about human inventiveness and creativeness and being able to match wits with the enemy."
Perhaps most interesting is the mention of something Perez calls "fluid intelligence," which is the "ability to change, to meet new problems and to develop new tactics and counter-tactics." ...that sounds a heck of a lot like what we always do in many games, doesn't it? Up until now, Perez says fluid intelligence was thought to be "immutable," in that it couldn't be changed or improved. The general belief was that after the age of 20, "most humans had achieved their brain cell capacity, and that new brain cells were acquired at the expense of existing ones." But playing video games have produced "surprising results" during testing and now, the aforementioned belief may be deemed incorrect.
Rigidity in thinking is a common occurrence. You see it all the time in the sciences. Some one finds an anomaly in an experiment and the first thought is "experimental error". And it usually is an experimental error. But the times when it isn't cause revolutions in science. From what I understand Einstein revolutionized physics based on a few anomalies.

Now if some one could come up with an accepted explanation of the Pioneer anomaly and/or the Flyby anomaly there could be a revolution in physics.

There are people thinking of explanations. But you need a fluid mind, because if you are rigidly locked in accepted theories it is difficult to come up with new ones. Or worse yet the ability to accept the overthrow of the old understanding.

Something called the Tajmar effect may have something to do with the Pioneer and flyby anomalies according to this paper:
Can the Tajmar effect be explained using a modification of inertia? [pdf]

M. E. McCulloch

School of Physics, University of Exeter - Stoker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QL, UK, EU and Marine Science & Engineering, University of Plymouth - Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK, EU

received 4 September 2009; accepted
in final form 3 December 2009 published online 5 January 2010
EPL (Europhysics Letters)

Abstract – The Tajmar effect is an unexplained acceleration observed by accelerometers and laser gyroscopes close to rotating supercooled rings. The observed ratio between the gyroscope and ring accelerations was 3±1.2×10−8. Here, a new model for inertia which has been tested quite successfully on the Pioneer and flyby anomalies is applied to this problem. The model assumes that the inertia of the gyroscope is caused by Unruh radiation that appears as the ring and the fixed stars accelerate relative to it, and that this radiation is subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect. The model predicts that the sudden acceleration of the nearby ring causes a slight increase in the inertial mass of the gyroscope, and, to conserve momentum in the reference frame of the spinning Earth, the gyroscope rotates clockwise with an acceleration ratio of 1.78±0.25×10−8 in agreement with the observed ratio. However, this model does not explain the parity violation seen in some of the gyroscope data. To test these ideas the Tajmar experiment (setup B) could be exactly reproduced in the Southern Hemisphere, since the model predicts that the anomalous acceleration should then be anticlockwise.
It is important to have a fluid but sceptical mind. Investigate. Everything is not settled.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Two New Reports Say....

Geoffrey Lean is Britain's longest-serving environmental correspondent, having pioneered reporting on the subject almost 40 years ago. (according to the mast head at Telegraph.UK) Well he has got a hold of two new super scientific reports that say that for sure glaciers are melting and it is all man's fault.

But I don't want to discuss that directly. What I want to look at are some of the comments.

coltek on Jan 27th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Apparently there are also a lot of glaciers that have not heard of this report.
I detect a note of scepticism. But in fact there is a list of expanding glaciers. And that is not the only list. I have a list of twelve more glaciers that haven't heard of global warming. And the first on that list of 12? Himalayan glaciers are growing, not shrinking. Oh. The humanity! How embarrassing for the IPCC. And wouldn't you know it, some folks who do not claim to be scientists have predicted that if the Himalayan glaciers keep growing at their present rate they will cover the Earth in 47,359 years(plus or minus 3.29 months) or less . It is way worse than we thought.
Rocky on Jan 27th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Has anyone noticed that whenever a climate doom claim gets blown out of the water, at least one other “piece of important research” miraculously pops up to take its place within about 48 hours – usually “worse than we thought”?

Coincidence? And of course having seen all the other “peer reviewed” “science” fall by the wayside, we are going to believe this one.
Climate Scientists can work really fast. Peer review (was it reviewed?) that normally takes months can be done in a matter of days if the science is right.
JohnRS on Jan 27th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Just a quick thought Geoff, while you’ve got your investigative journo hat on, who funded the studies at The University of Calgary and World Glacier Monitoring Service?

Not that nice IPCC lot was it?
Or Dr P? Or the WWF?

Perish the thought that there might be a bit of rent seeking going on here!! In the spirit of fairness you will check and let us know though, wont you?

As the Who put it so “We won’t get fooled again
A Classical Music Fan. Me Too!
cheshirered on Jan 27th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Geoffrey, I’m afraid nobody is taking these claims of man made climate change seriously any more.

Well, apart from extremists, eco-nut jobs and those whose job – or reputation, depends on perpetuating the myth.

Glaciers melting, sea ice melting, rain, hurricanes, fluffy bunny wunnies drowning blah blah…heard it all before and back then it depended on what we were told was legitimate, peer-reviewed fully verifiable data that put the science of global warming ‘beyond debate’.

How hollow that claim sounds now.

The credibility of all that previously ’settled’ data has now completely and totally collapsed under the collective weight of Climategate, IPCC data corruption, Pachauri’s inane utterances, deliberate lies and a host of failed computer models that failed miserably to predict the recent halt in rising temperatures and current cooling since around 2002.

There is nothing of this theory left that deserves to be taken seriously, and that includes journalists who refuse to address the obvious deficiencies in their own argument.

In short, it’s over for AGW.
Public support for Catastrophic Man Made Global Warming (CMMGW) even in the USA is dropping precipitously. And speaking of precipitation, time for another song.
Hamish Redux on Jan 27th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I’ve heard that by 2035, or possibly 2350, there will be no polar bears in the Himalayas.
Hamish, it is worse than we thought. They are already gone.
iain on Jan 27th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Mr Lean,

as you can see from the above comments (ALL the above comments!)

A. No one believes this drivel any more.

B. No one cares.

You now have the worst accolade any journalist can have.
You are boring.
Ah a sceptic. (Well it is a Brit paper. And I do like the Brit spelling.)
MSimon on Jan 27th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Crisis in the Rockies? What about the crisis on the Great Plains? Just 18,000 years ago Chicago was covered by a mile of ice. I blame global warming.
Hmmmmmm. That name looks familiar. I think the reference to Chicago in a Brit paper gives the show away. I confess. Guilty as charged.
JohnT on Jan 28th, 2010 at 1:14 am

Gimme all your money – or the glacier gets it!
John has been watching far too many American gangster movies. He must be an Edward G. Robinson fan.
andrewb on Jan 28th, 2010 at 6:54 am

The only way the “World Glacier Monitoring Service” (I can’t believe there is such a specific organisation) is going to get attention and funding is if it cries wolf. 2035 sounds good, but unbelievable… 2350 and no-one will be interested..

SOONER THAN YOU THINK FOLKS! Cheques payable to….
So many cynics. So little time. That is all the fun we have time for now folks. But tune in tomorrow for the next episode of It's Worse Than We Thought.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New IEC Fusion Research Group Opens

Space Ports reports the opening of an IEC Fusion Research facility to develop fusion for spacecraft propulsion.

AVRC has been awarded a contract by Wise County's Industrial Development Authority to manage a $7 million energy research center now under construction in the Lonesome Pine Business and Technology Park [PDF] in Wise, VA focused on the development of inertial electrostatic confinement aneutronic fusion energy at the Appalachia America Energy Research Center along with other projects in a significant energy technology portfilio.

Plans are in the works to conduct a multimillion-dollar research project in Wise to develop fusion technology into a cheap source for everything from electricity to spacecraft propulsion. Invented by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Dr. George Miley, the process involves pumping aerosol boron plasma into a spherical container where it is made very, very hot. The atoms begin to fuse, creating energy.

The project will start small, with about 6-8 researchers, and could employ 20-28 researchers within 18 months.
That is interesting.

Whose work is this based on? George Miley who I mentioned in A New Theory Of Electrodynamics. A look at the AVR page on fusion has some more hints.
The Intertial Electrostatice Confinement (IEC) Fusion Propulsion technology being promoted by AVRC was developed by Dr. George Miley.

Fusion reactions release an enormous amount of energy which is why there is such a large push for research in harnessing the energy for propulsion systems. A fusion propulsion system could have a specific impulse about 300 times greater than a conventional chemical rocket engine. Fusion-powered rockets would use hydrogen as a propellant, which means it would be able to replenish itself as it travels through space.
I wonder how they plan to fuse hydrogen which is very difficult to fuse because it requires converting a proton into a neutron to make the reaction work. Or maybe they just plan to use hydrogen gathered in space as reaction mass and plan to fuse something else. Sort of like a modified Bussard Ramjet.

AVR has a slide show in pdf of their design. It is a variant of a Farnsworth Fusor operating with 600 to 800 volt drive which will burn Hydrogen and Boron 11. I wonder how they plan to make it work with such low drive voltages? Perhaps their plan to begin with a Deuterium-Helium 3 fuel has something to do with it.

This paper [pdf} indicates that they are planning to use the IEC design as just a thruster to start with.
A novel plasma jet thruster, based on Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) technology, is proposed for ultra maneuverable - space thruster for satellite and small probe thrust operations. The IEC Jet design potential offers an unique capability to cover a wide range of powers (few Watts to Kilowatts) with good efficiency while providing a plasma jet that can start with a large diameter but be narrowed directionally to focus on targets The IEC thruster uses a spherical configuration, wherein ions are generated and accelerated towards the center of a spherical vacuum chamber A virtual cathode forms in the high-density central core region, combined with a locally distorted cathode grid potential field, extracts accelerated ions into an intense quasi-neutral ion jet. Thus, the IEC thruster is roughly analogous to a planar electrostatic ion thruster "folded" into spherical form. Estimates suggest that its electrical efficiency would match conventional plasma thrusters, while offering advantages in design simplicity, reduced erosion giving long life time, reduced propellant leakage losses, and high power-to-weight ratio. Heat rejection is eased due to large heated surface areas making the unit especially well suited to high power operation.
That might work. And if it does fusion could come later.

Kind of like the progression in piston pump technology. First you build pumps. Very handy. Then you apply steam and pumps become a power source. Then you figure out how to burn the fuel inside the cylinder and you get an internal combustion engine. Let's hope we can compress the development cycle from hundreds of years to a couple of decades.

For near term fusion power on Earth I like Polywell Fusion. You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

The American Thinker has a good article up with the basics.

And the best part? We Will Know In Two Years

Cross Posted at Classical Values


I was reading a review of a recent US Grant biography, U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth,that had this interesting description of Grant

During his presidency, to be sure, the Democratic press condemned Grant as at once feeble, conniving, and imperious—attacks similar to those that the Democrats had made on Lincoln.
Or George Bush for that matter.

Grant also got undeserved bad press in BHL Hart's classic Strategywhile Sherman got praise. Forgetting that Grant gave Sherman orders and that Grant's job was to pin Lee so Sherman would be free to maneuver. i.e. the classic "hold them by the nose while you kick them in the pants" as recounted in General George Patton's autobiography War As I Knew It.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


From Fred Lapides at Good Sh**. Which is definitely Not Work Safe. So you will have to look him up.

One Laptop Per Child In Haiti

Here is part of a press release on OLPC's work in Haiti
We are doing what we can for the 60 schools that we have been working with in Haiti – primarily planning for the spring after the first phase of rebuilding is underway. We will be sending a group of OLPCorps volunteers to Haiti later this year, and are organizing a used XO drive to recover XOs in the US that can be refurbished and sent to Haiti. Luckily, our Haitian team (technical and in the government) was not hurt in the earthquake, and they are planning to help displaced students get back to school as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, around the US, people (including our own Adam Holt and Tim Falconer) have been gathering in CrisisCamps to brainstorm ways to better use collaborative technology to help groups on the ground. If you are technically-minded, there is a real demand for programmers and interface designers to help some of these projects thrive.
If you are interested in helping use the above link which has the links you will need.

You can also visit their main site at OLPC or their YouTube video channel. Here is their donation page.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A New Theory Of Electrodynamics

I have just sent this out to a group of physicists and scientists to see if it has any merit.

Here is the cover letter I sent:
George Miley of U Illinois, Champaign is involved.

I am passing this on after a cursory review. It was published yesterday. Please give it 5 minutes before you give up. The speed of light bit in the beginning was off putting for me. But it gets explained better later. The equations at first glance are compelling. They are better covered in the second 5 minutes. I'm going to review it more carefully with multiple stops to get a better feel. This is rapid fire and not typical lecture speed.

I'm more at home with engineering but I am at least conversant with all the material presented. I have also introduced the video to Lubos Motl to see what he thinks.
It will be interesting if anything comes of it.

Here are some of the documents in the video:

Evidence of Cold Fusion?

Impulse Gravity Generator?

Gravitomagnetic Field of a Rotating Superconductor
and of a Rotating Superfluid [pdf]

Researchers now able to stop, restart light

The Control of the Natural Forces by Frank Znidarsic [pdf]

BBC News - Boeing tries to defy gravity

Quantum Chemistry - McQuarrie

Tapping the Zero Point Energy

H/T jlumartinez at Talk Polywell

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dear God Please Not Another One

James Delingpole appears to have found another hole in the IPCC "science". You can check out his view of the holes in the science of the Amazon rain forest. I'd rather look at personalities.

It gets even better. The two expert authors of the WWF report so casually cited by the IPCC as part of its, ahem, “robust” “peer-reviewed” process weren’t even Amazon specialists. One, Dr PF Moore, is a policy analyst:
My background and experience around the world has required and developed high-level policy and analytical skills. I have a strong understanding of government administration, legislative review, analysis and inquiries generated through involvement in or management of the Australian Regional Forest Agreement process, Parliamentary and Government inquiries, Coronial inquiries and public submissions on water pricing, access and use rights and native vegetation legislation in Australia and fire and natural resources laws, regulations and policies in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia.
And the lead author Andy Rowell is a freelance journalist (for the Guardian, natch) and green activist:
Andy Rowell is a freelance writer and Investigative journalist with over 12 years’ experience on environmental, food, health and globalization issues. Rowell has undertaken cutting-edge investigations for, amongst others, Action on Smoking and Health, The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, IFAW, the Pan American Health Organization, Project Underground, the World Health Organization, World in Action and WWF.
But the IPCC’s shamelessness did not end there. Dr North has searched the WWF’s reports high and low but can find no evidence of a statement to support the IPCC’s claim that “40 per cent” of the Amazon is threatened by climate change.
Oh. Dear God No. They are just making shit up.

Here is what I think IPCC now stands for:

I Pretend (you) Cough (up the) Coin.

The Anti Nuclear Conspiracy

I found this interesting quote at IntelliBriefs which claims it came from the January 22, 2010 issue of Executive Intelligence Review which is a Lyndon LaRouche property. So take it with a grain of salt. Or half a ton. But the pattern seems to fit.

What was promised by the Atoms for Peace process of U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy—access to the virtually unlimited power potential of nuclear energy, to escape from the colonial legacy of backwardness and poverty—was abruptly sabotaged in the 1970s. This was done under the cover of the anti-nuclear hysteria fostered by Prince Philip's environmentalist movement, and the fraudulent argument that non-proliferation of nuclear weapons required a halt to peaceful uses of nuclear power. Now, the nations of Asia have definitively rejected British imperial dictates, asserting their long-term development to be centered, necessarily, upon expanded nuclear power capacities.

Unfortunately, the West is still mired in the British Empire's muck. While Asian nations are currently engaged in the construction of 43 nuclear plants, the entire rest of the world is constructing only 12. The United States, once the unquestioned leader in nuclear power development, is now constructing but one facility—and that is simply the completion of a mothballed TVA plant, suspended in the 1980s. All of Western Europe is constructing only two plants, while Germany and Sweden have determined to phase out all their nuclear power plants—although the global economic collapse is forcing a reconsideration of that lunacy.

In the United States, 224 nuclear scientists, engineers, and others issued a public letter this week to President Obama's Science Advisor John Holdren, himself an anti-nuclear, anti-science zero-growther, warning that "the world is leaving us behind." The letter reads in part: "Our nation needs to proceed quickly—not twenty or fifty years from now—while the people who pioneered this science and engineering can still provide guidance to a new generation of scientists and engineers. There is no political, economic, or technical justification for delaying the benefits that nuclear power will bring to the United States, while the rest of the world forges ahead."
It does seem to me that nuclear can help bridge the gap over the next 50 or 100 years until we get workable fusion or renewables plus storage become economically viable. Of course there is always coal. The USA has lots of it.

A Disaster Of Biblical Proportions

The UN's IPCC has just taken a few more torpedoes below the water line.

Well it turns out that the WWF is cited all over the IPCC AR4 report, and as you know, WWF does not produce peer reviewed science, they produce opinion papers in line with their vision. Yet IPCC’s rules are such that they are supposed to rely on peer reviewed science only. It appears they’ve violated that rule dozens of times, all under Pachauri’s watch.

A new posting authored by Donna Laframboise, the creator of (Toronto, Canada) shows what one can find in just one day of looking.

Here’s an extensive list of documents created or co-authored by the WWF and cited by this Nobel-winning IPCC AR4 report:
I'm not going to reprise the long list. You can find it at the links provided.

I would like to touch on a few things. First off WWF stands for the World Wildlife Fund. Second I'd like to look at the connection between the WWF and the UK Meteorological Office.
What is not generally realised is that the UK Met Office has been, since 1990, at the very centre of the campaign to convince the world that it faces catastrophe through global warming. (Its website now proclaims it to be "the Met Office for Weather and Climate Change".) Its then-director, Dr John Houghton, was the single most influential figure in setting up the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the chief driver of climate alarmism. Its Hadley Centre for Climate Change, along with the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU), was put in charge of the most prestigious of the four official global temperature records. In line with IPCC theory, its computers were programmed to predict that, as CO2 levels rose, temperatures would inevitably follow. From 1990 to 2007, the Department of the Environment gave the Met Office no less than £146 million for its "climate predictions programme".

But in the past three years, with the Met Office chaired by Robert Napier, a former global warming activist and previously head of WWF UK, its pretensions have been exposed as never before. The "Climategate" leak of documents from the CRU, along with further revelations from Russian scientists, have shown the CRU/Met Office alliance systematically manipulating temperature data, past and present, to show the world growing warmer than the evidence justified. And those same computers used to predict temperatures 100 years ahead for the IPCC have also been used to produce those weather forecasts that prove so consistently wrong.

Scientific method has gone out of the window, to support a theory that looks more questionable than ever.
And what is the WWF telling its Internet readers?
The U.K. Met Office says "it is more likely than not that 2010 will be the warmest year in the instrumental record, beating the previous record year which was 1998."

The Met Office said the record temperatures likely will be driven by "a combination of man-made global warming and a moderate warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon known as El Niño." It noted that this year is the fifth warmest year, based on records extending back to 1850.

"Looking further ahead, our experimental decadal forecast confirms previous indications that about half the years 2010–2019 will be warmer than the warmest year observed so far — 1998," the Met Office said.
Ah yes the experimental models. What he means is computer programs. Unverified computer programs with dodgy codes and corrupted data.

And about the floods and hurricanes that are supposed to descend on mankind if he doesn't mend his ways? Made up.
THE UN climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to a rise in natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny - and ignored warnings from scientific advisers. The report's author later withdrew the claim because the evidence was too weak.

The link was central to demands at last month's Copenhagen climate summit by African nations for compensation of $US100 billion from the rich nations.

However, the IPCC knew in 2008 that the link could not be proved but did not alert world leaders, who have used weather extremes to bolster the case for action on climate change.
And they knew it was bad and did nothing. You know, that is not the only fraud uncovered. We may now be in possession of tens of them. So far. In fact it is looking like the whole IPCC enterprise is a fraud. And that doesn't even get to the bottom of the CO2 emissions trading fraud.

I'd like to go back to Watts Up With That and look at a few comments on the subject.

Evidently the WWF is removing articles they had formerly posted. That is pretty good evidence on its face that they were fraudulent.
Jer (18:34:30) :

I find that most of the links are now inactive. Wondering if this is happening because of the attention. It seems like IPCC referenced material ought to be available.

This one is amusing:
PaulH (18:34:53) :

@Patrick Davis: It might be easier to list what the IPCC got right.

Frankly, if the IPCC were to declare that water is wet I would insist on independent verification from a non-UN/non-WWF affiliated organization before believing it.
Another joker.
Halfwise (18:49:58) :

It is easy to get confused between the World Wildlife Fund and World Wrestling Entertainment. Here is how to tell them apart: One gets crowds wildly excited with staged antics, bizarre plot lines and unbelievable hype. The other stages wrestling exhibitions.
Here is one about the fraud connections. It refers to a rather long comment with links up thread.
Andrew30 (19:04:30) :

pat (18:37:29) : ;

Yes, pat I put that there.

This list of documents goes beyond just one carbon trader.

So was the money and influence from more then one carbon trader being channeled through the WWF to both the CRU and the IPCC?

Has the WWF become no more than and money and influence launderer for Big Carbon?
Here is an excerpt from a comment from A Jones.
a jones (19:30:42) :


As I observed elsewhere this is a great scientific, financial and political fraud. And as with all frauds once the dominoes start to topple the collapse accelerates with terrifying speed.

So fast that I at least can hardly keep up.

And although there is immense inertia in those who have invested so heavily in the fraud, from the political activists to the Meeja to the politicians themselves once there is sufficient impetus in the avalanche they have to give way. The politicians will say they were deceived but acted in good faith, the Meeja never apologises for anything, and the activists will say they were only trying to get a point across, see WWF announcement over glaciers.

Yet possibly for the first time we are seeing what t’internet and the WWW can really do.

The Indian press is hot on the story, something we would have never known even a few years ago.

Isn’t modern technology a wonderful thing?
Yes it is.

Here is a rather long one about conjecture in science.
yonason (19:34:37) :

Shrinking Glaciers, Shrinking Arctic; Science so simple that even Mark Twain could do it.

“Therefore, the Mississippi between Cairo and New Orleans was twelve hundred and fifteen miles long one hundred and seventy-six years ago. It was eleven hundred and eighty after the cut-off of 1722. It was one thousand and forty after the American Bend cut-off. It has lost sixty-seven miles since. Consequently its length is only nine hundred and seventy-three miles at present.
In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period,’ just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
I think Mark Twain ia as good a place as any to put a halt to this amusement. It is hard to get more amusing than that. The good news is that the whole fraud is unraveling. It will be interesting to see what the Watermelons try next.

Green is the new Red!

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Free Speech

It seems a lot of folks are upset by the recent Supreme Court decision on corporate free speech. Let me reprise a discussion at Talk Polywell on some aspects of health care that have a bearing on why corporate free speech is important. The discussion was about life extension and how cooling the body in trauma situations helps prevent damage until treatment can be obtained. Currently such methods only gain you an hour or an hour and a half. It is often enough.


The most common long-duration medical procedure performed in the U.S. is bypass surgery. Traditionally, the patient is put on a heart-lung machine while the surgery is performed. It is believed that the brain damage that results from bypass surgery (bypass surgery almost always reduces patient IQ by around 15 points - this is real brain damage) is due to the heart-lung machine. I do not believe this. However, most of the medical community does and as such, they are very eager to utilize a technology to cool the patient to near zero C such as to eliminate the need for the heart-lung machine.

I expect all hospitals and clinics that do bypass surgery to utilize this technology within 5 years. Of course, it is much better to chelate with EDTA than to under go bypass surgery. However, the FDA and AMA do not recognize EDTA chelation as effective. The reason is economics. Bypass surgery cost $100k, which is paid by insurance. EDTA chelation typically runs around $3k, which is usually not paid by insurance. Since EDTA chelation actually works in 75% of the cases, the medical industry would loose a considerable income stream if EDTA chelation become popular. Since bypass surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S., this presents a significant percentage of the income revenue for the MD's, clinics, and hospitals. They are loath to loose this income stream. Don't be surprised. The medical field and its players are just as greedy, corrupt, and evil as any other private industry or government-funded milieu (e.g. NASA, Tokamak fusion, climate research, etc.).
So I asked:
A lot of this sort of thing was sorted in the electrical industry with UL which was designed to lower insurance losses.

If only we had a medical UL instead of the FDA.

So my question is: why aren't insurance companies pumping for lower cost therapies?
And I got this reply:

I think the recent supreme court ruling on free speech will help to end FDA tyranny.

One would think that the insurance companies would be interested in lower cost therapies. One would also think that an effective anti-aging therapy would be considered a form of preventive medicine. Why the industry is slow to respond to this kind of thinking is not clear to me.

Aubrey de Grey thinks its due to cultural inertia, which we calls the "pro-aging" trance. I think its due to medical bureaucracy and that the industry itself does not favor such an approach because it will lead to radical downsizing. Nothing will down size the medical industry more than an effective cure for aging. Curing aging will do to the medical industry what the mp3 downloads are doing to the music industry.
I think the founders had it right. The answer to bad speech is more speech. With the internet multiplying the venues available for people to speak their minds (you are reading me - an unknown with no access to big media aren't you?) the risks from corporate speech are much less than they were when big media was a one way street.

Update: 1319z 25 Jan 2010

Before you run off to your nearest chelation therapy provider see what Jeff has to say in the comments at Classical Values.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Unions Declare War On GM

In an effort to keep their jobs some unions in Europe have declared war on General Motors. They claim that GM declared war on them first.

BERLIN (AP) -- Employee representatives at General Motors Co.'s Opel unit on Friday slammed the automaker's announcement it would cut 8,300 jobs and close its plant in Belgium as a "declaration of war" on European workers.

Armin Schild, head of the IG Metall union in Frankfurt and a member of Opel's board, criticized GM for lacking a clear and thoroughly financed restructuring concept, the DAPD news agency reported.

"Now, GM is apparently off on the next horror trip," Schild said.

He criticized GM for mismanaging the company for 15 years and called the planned closure of the site in Antwerp, Belgium, "a declaration of war against all European Opel employees."

Opel CEO Nick Reilly announced on Thursday that the company will cut 8,300 jobs across Europe, including 4,000 in Germany, and close the plant in Antwerp -- casualties of the "tough reality" of a shrinking European auto market.
Of course. Declaring war on your employer is always a smart move. A smarter move would have been to ask Obama to bail them out. After all he is very popular in Europe.

Global Warming

The science is scuttled.

Naked Dancing Girls

Trilogy: a nude awakening is a sort of play/happening that has a stage full of naked dancing girls. Hundreds of different ones all together. In the all together.

Trilogy is about many things: body dissatisfaction, dominant masculine hegemony, Germaine Greer.
Well, well, well. If male hegemony can get hundreds of women to dance nude on the stage, I'd say we need more of it.

And in case you need a how to, this book seems appropriate:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Exotic and Pole Dancing Illustrated

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Scientist - I Lied

A lead IPCC scientist lied to get political action.

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’
And there is some evidence he lied for money.

How can people like that sleep at night?

On a pillow full of twenties I recon.

H/T Watts Up With That


Running an ordinary auto on the starter battery is unsustainable. We need to outlaw starter batteries.

Homogenized Sea Level Rise - Another IPCC Fraud

Christoper Booker at has discussed sea level rise predicted by climate models (I hope they are cute) with an expert on sea levels, Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner.

One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC's favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a "corrective factor" of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they "needed to show a trend".

When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as an "expert reviewer" on the IPCC's last two reports, he was "astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one". Yet the results of all this "deliberate ignorance" and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.
And from a little earlier in the story:
Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.
I guess the homogenization method for adjusting the data is not all it is cracked up to be. But OK. Suppose. Just suppose the actual trend was 2.3 mm a year. That is 9.2" a century. If you were by the oceans and laid down by the mean high tide level and stayed there for 100 years (how is that different from dead?) you would have a good chance of dying from drowning from a 9 inch rise if you didn't move. Of course tidal variations might get you first.

So if sea level rise worries you. Don't live near the coast. Don't be like Al Gore who in 2005 bought a house near the coast not too long (one month) before his movie "An Inconvenient Truth" was shown at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. You would almost think he didn't believe his own predictions.

Not Error - Fraud

In my post The Glaciers Are Melting I looked at an an error in the IPCC report that was taken straight out of a popular science magazine, New Scientist. New Scientist did a retraction and the head of the IPCC, railroad engineer Dr. Rajenda Pachauri, defended the "data" despite the retraction. He finally gave in after about a week (weak?) of defense.

The ever lovable Anthony Watts seems to have found out why Pachauri was defending a retracted report.

We’ve covered some of the travails of IPCC Chairman Dr. Rajenda Pachauri here at WUWT in the past couple of weeks. Besides the facts mentioned above, the National Hurricane Center chief scientist Christopher Landsea resigned in 2007 from the IPCC over what he cited as lack of confidence in the science.
I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.
Most notable recently was the bogus claim In the IPCC AR4 that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 that appeared to be based on nothing more than a journalist’s opinion piece, contrary to IPCC rules that reports be based on peer reviewed science.
It gets better. Or worse. Depending on your point of view.
The “IPCC 2035 glacier error” has been used to solicit funds for new projects, and guess where the money goes?

This PDF File is from the EU’s HighNoon website, and shows how the EU set up a project to research the ‘rapid retreat’ of glaciers in the Himalayas based on the bogus IPCC report. Some of the EU taxpayers’ money put into this project has gone to TERI, which is run by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri.
That sure looks bad.

But I have something that looks even worse. From the comes this little gem.
I can report a further dramatic twist to what has inevitably been dubbed "Glaciergate" – the international row surrounding the revelation that the latest report on global warming by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contained a wildly alarmist, unfounded claim about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. Last week, the IPCC, led by its increasingly controversial chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was forced to issue an unprecedented admission: the statement in its 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 had no scientific basis, and its inclusion in the report reflected a "poor application" of IPCC procedures.

What has now come to light, however, is that the scientist from whom this claim originated, Dr Syed Hasnain, has for the past two years been working as a senior employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based company of which Dr Pachauri is director-general. Furthermore, the claim – now disowned by Dr Pachauri as chairman of the IPCC – has helped TERI to win a substantial share of a $500,000 grant from one of America's leading charities, along with a share in a three million euro research study funded by the EU.
How do those people sleep at night? Probably on a pillow stuffed with twenties.

I do think that this kind of corruption will greatly assist the suit filed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association against the EPA's attempted regulation of CO2 emissions.

I'm sure it will put a hole in the arguments of the Communists at Copenhagen. In fact I have a video of the Communists at Copenhagen. There is a really cute Communist about 1:15 into the video.

Green is the new Red!

Yes it is.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Is Wrong With Massachusetts?

I put up a video of Scott Brown in a short discussion with a voter about health care reform.

My first personal complaint about what he said was at the beginning of the video when he says:

"We're past campaign mode"
i.e. I no longer have to lie to win. I guess now that he is elected he can afford to be honest. A real confidence builder in his basic integrity.

Then some folks at Classical Values were saying that I'm asking too much of Brown.

So let me reprise what Brown said in the video. The quotes may not be exactly exact. They are close.

1. Every one is going to get some kind of care

Do I have to?

2. Offer a basic plan for everyone

Isn't that what insurance companies already do?

3. Should we raise taxes?

Hell yes. The economy is doing way too well.

4. Or cut half a trillion from Medicare?

Sure. The plan already has too many doctors. No doctors no patients. I can see vast savings from that. It might also help keep Social Security solvent. A Twofer.

5. Affect veterans care.

VA hospitals are already too good.

Here is his position on health care from his recent US Senate campaign.
I believe that all Americans deserve health care coverage, but I am opposed to the health care legislation that is under consideration in Congress and will vote against it. It will raise taxes, increase government spending and lower the quality of care, especially for elders on Medicare. I support strengthening the existing private market system with policies that will drive down costs and make it easier for people to purchase affordable insurance. In Massachusetts, I support the 2006 healthcare law that was successful in expanding coverage, but I also recognize that the state must now turn its attention to controlling costs.
i.e. in a rich state like Mass. the plan they have is not affordable.

So has he Got Plan? Oh. Yeah. Raise taxes, or cut Medicare, or lower standards at Veterans Hospitals. Or some combination. Sounds like a plan to me.

So how is the Massachusetts Plan doing?
When enacted, MassHealth was touted as the answer to correcting the problem of the uninsured in Massachusetts. Healthcare providers (i.e., hospitals) and insurers were compelled to take cuts in reimbursement upon implementation of the program several years ago.

Today we find that earlier assumptions about cost and utilization were wrong and that enrollee benefits have to be reduced and providers have to take further cuts. Payments to hospitals and physicians for 2009 are deferred until 2010, and 2010 payments until 2011.

According to recent news reports, MassHealth explained that the shortfall is due to increased enrollment, higher utilization of services, and changes in savings estimates that were assumed in the original budget for the program.

The experience in Massachusetts with healthcare reform is frighteningly similar to the battle being waged today in Washington when it comes to healthcare reform.

A recent article points out that states can be useful as laboratories when it comes to new policy. The author points out that “Massachusetts has provided us with an example of a failed experiment in healthcare policy that should be a warning to all Americans as Democrats push to impose something similar on the rest of the nation.”
Scott had to know the State plan was in trouble and instead of suggesting a better National Plan we got vague promises during the election. Fine. He is elected. Can't he think of Something better than to raise taxes? Or cut backs in Veterans Care?

There is more on how the Mass. plan is failing.
* Although the state has reduced the number of residents without health insurance, 200,000 people remain uninsured. Moreover, the increase in the number of insured is primarily due to the state's generous subsidies, not the celebrated individual mandate.

* Health care costs continue to rise much faster than the national average. Since 2006, total state health care spending has increased by 28 percent. Insurance premiums have increased by 8–10 percent per year, nearly double the national average.

* New regulations and bureaucracy are limiting consumer choice and adding to health care costs.

* Program costs have skyrocketed. Despite tax increases, the program faces huge deficits. The state is considering caps on insurance premiums, cuts in reimbursements to providers, and even the possibility of a "global budget" on health care spending—with its attendant rationing.

* A shortage of providers, combined with increased demand, is increasing waiting times to see a physician.
Skyrocketing costs and a shortage of doctors. Something to look forward to I suppose.

Say. I have an idea. How about we look at the National Republican Plan.
What Americans want are common-sense, responsible solutions that address the rising cost of health care and other major problems. In the national Republican address on Saturday, October 31, 2009, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) discussed Republicans’ plan for common-sense health care reform our nation can afford. Boehner’s address emphasized four common-sense reforms that will lower health care costs and expand access to quality care without a government takeover of our nation’s health care system that kills jobs, raises taxes on small businesses, or cuts Medicare for seniors:
* Number one: let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.

* Number two: allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.

* Number three: give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.

* Number four: end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it's good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.
I don't get number three, but all the rest make good sense. I can think of one or two more that might help. Make Medical Savings accounts cumulative so that anything not spent in one year can be rolled over to build a cushion over time. In addition catastrophic coverage plans that cover anything above the out of pocket expenses that the Medical Savings Account would cover.

We can try that for a few years and see if changes or additions need to be made. It might also be a good idea to tighten the borders to reduce hospital's unfunded costs.

But Mr. Brown mentioned none of those. Even after his election.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

They Should Be Paying Us

You see that chart above? It was taken from an article on the missing carbon sink. The graphs in the chart show results for net CO2 emission or absorption from before and after the missing sink was found.

Note the down arrows for North America? That means North America is absorbing more CO2 than it is emitting (at least if I understand the chart correctly). The rest of the world should be paying us for the service we are providing. Or at the very least they should stop hectoring us about our energy generation methods.

But the scientists are still not happy.

Other scientists have also recently come to the conclusion that northern forests, although critically important in maintaining biodiversity, might be less important in slowing climate change than tropical forests. Govindasamy Bala and Ken Caldeira found that tropical forests help cool the Earth in two ways: by storing carbon and also by reflecting the suns warming rays back to space. "Unlike tropical forests, high latitude forests darken the Earth's surface, causing the earth to absorb more sunlight, an effect that is most pronounced in snowy regions. This darkening of the surface has a warming influence that can be stronger than the cooling influence of carbon storage in these forests," says Caldeira. This suggests that removing high-latitude forests would have a net cooling effect on the planet, whereas removal of tropical forests would result in warming.
So if we cut down all the trees in North America it would be better for the planet? Right!

Get the chain saws out boys we have some work to do.

Cross Posted at Classical Values