Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:21 pm

Odds and ends for 11/24

  • Memo to college football’s Bowl Championship Series: Hiring Ari Fleischer to improve your image is like hiring Jenna Jameson to be the spokesbabe for abstinence.
  • Just a few questions for the global-warming deniers who claim the recent hacked scientist e-mails prove global warming is a hoax: “Which studies were compromised, how? Be specific. Cite papers and data sets. What is the evidence? Where is it? What work is affected? How? Show me the evidence that says so. This supposed scandal involves perhaps a half dozen people; how does it affect the work of the 3,000+ others whose work makes up climate science? How does it affect the work that was done before the alleged culprits graduated from university? The work from before they were born? Of the 30,000(ish) studies that make up climate science, which ones are undone? Where is the evidence? Be specific … show us exactly how and why?”
  • BONUS: Newtongate: the final nail in the coffin of Renaissance and Enlightenment ‘thinking’
  • And relatedly: “The number of Americans who believe global warming is occurring has declined to its lowest since 1997, though at 72 percent, it’s still a broad majority. The drop has steepened in the last year-and-a-half — almost exclusively among conservatives and Republicans.” And this Republican invites you deniers to just go right on fooling yourselves.
  • Did I see that right in the paper this morning — that Detroit’s 80,000-or-so-seat Silverdome was sold for $583,000? Yup. I saw that right. Wow. There are more expensive houses within two miles of mine. The thing cost $55.7 million ($222.7 million in 2008 dollars) to build back in the 1970s. I don’t think Detroit real estate can go much lower.
  • Robert Reich, in a nutshell, on what’s wrong with health-care reform without a real public option: “Our private, for-profit health insurance system, designed to fatten the profits of private health insurers and Big Pharma, is about to be turned over to … our private, for-profit health care system. Except that now private health insurers and Big Pharma will be getting some 30 million additional customers, paid for by the rest of us.”
  • Your stupid: Let me show you it: A Democratic Senate aide suggests that people who favor a public option are being “stupid” by criticizing Democratic senators who don’t. With support for a public option at 72%, BuggyQ at First Draft explains who’s really being stupid.
  • Your stupid: Let me show you it, The Sequel: Ezra Klein points out a basic flaw in the argument that the health-care reform bill will increase the deficit so we shouldn’t pass it: “I’m confused by the budget hawks who that take the line: ‘This bill needs to cut the deficit, and I don’t believe Democrats will cut the deficit, but since the actual provisions of the bill unambiguously cut the deficit, then I guess Congress won’t stick to it.’ People who want to cut the deficit should support this bill, and support its implementation. The alternative is no bill that cuts the deficit, and thus no hope of cutting the deficit.(Emphasis added for the C students out there.)
  • Asked and answered; or, Your stupid: Let me show you it, Reloaded: Michele Bachmann, the batsh*t insane congresscritter from Minnesota, asked the other day why Democrats didn’t support her. Because she seemed genuinely puzzled, the kids at TPM put together a photo essay.
  • Strange: I don’t know what’s stranger — that Lincoln, Nebraska, is the second-strangest city in the country or that Nawlins didn’t even make the top 75. (Raleigh was #34, not all that far behind LA at #28; Florida was the strangest state, which will surprise no one who has ever read Carl Hiaasen; and N.C. came in 48th out of the 50 states plus D.C.)
  • Stranger: If Santa got drunk and started Twittering, the results might look like this.
  • I’ve got your newspaper war right here. (Photo NSFW) As my friend Jon Lowder, who tipped me to this, said, “Somehow I don’t see this kind of action breaking out in the heated battle between the N&R and the W-S Journal, but we can dream.”

In fact, I think that’s what I’m going to go do right now. I may or may not blog again anytime soon this weekend, so if I don’t, Happy Thanksgiving to all.


  1. Well, Happy Thanksgiving to you also.

    And for laughs here is a little parody not by Tommy James and the Shondells

    Hide The Decline

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, November 25, 2009 1:09 pm @ 1:09 pm

  2. Now a bit more serious:

    The Real Problem With the Climate Science Emails

    “What’s at stake is the degree of warming associated with our carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, to what extent the earth’s many complex and not necessarily well understood feedback systems may mitigate (or exacerbate) temperature increases. I’ve long been skeptical of the more catastrophic scenarios, because all this carbon used to be in the atmosphere, which probably defines a ceiling on how bad it will get–a ceiling well below “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIEEEEEEEE!!!” That said, I wouldn’t really want to live in the Jurassic, and not just because I’m afraid of hundred-foot lizards. (for example, I am also afraid of the huge flying roaches Palmetto bugs that live in our nation’s more southern climes). So that doesn’t mean I don’t worry quite a lot.

    Bearing this in mind, I think most people–including me–missed the biggest part of the climate emails story. Sexing up a graph is at best a misdemeanor. But a Declan McCullough story suggests a more disturbing possibility: the CRU’s main computer model may be, to put it bluntly, complete rubbish.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:59 pm @ 11:59 pm

  3. If it’s all the same to you, absent further evidence I’m going to continue to put my trust in a large number of degreed, tenured, experienced scientists over a single Megan McArdle, who has proven to be reportorially inadequate, analytically inept and ideologically blinkered.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, November 26, 2009 10:38 am @ 10:38 am

  4. Okay but here is my always reliable 3 degree
    Weather Prediction

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, November 26, 2009 1:36 pm @ 1:36 pm

  5. Oh, come on Lex. There are scores of degreed, experienced, tenured scholars that don’t buy into AGW. Some former true belivers have changed over, like Claude Allègre from France, like David Bellamy from U.K., like Nir Shaviv from Israel. They were the ones who were marching down the aisle with Al Gore at one time.

    Forget Megan MCardle. Please listen to the below audio link of Professor Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric expert from MIT !!

    A distinguished skeptic

    The HuffPo, earlier this year, invited Harold Ambler, a liberal, to contribute a piece on the subject. Well they went balistic at his apostasy.

    Mr. Gore, apology accepted

    “You are probably wondering whether President-elect Obama owes the world an apology for his actions regarding global warming. The answer is, not yet. There is one person, however, who does. You have probably guessed his name: Al Gore.”

    “Mr. Gore has stated, regarding climate change, that “the science is in.” Well, he is absolutely right about that, except for one tiny thing. It is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind.”


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, November 26, 2009 3:53 pm @ 3:53 pm

  6. The consensus remains what it was, and given the risks, I think we ought to listen to the consensus.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, November 26, 2009 9:41 pm @ 9:41 pm

  7. Consensus ! LOL

    “How to Forge a Consensus”: WSJ 11/26/09

    The impression left by the Climategate emails is that the global warming game has been rigged from the start.

    ( Mann suggests keepimg ) “dissent out of the respected journals. When that fails, re-define what constitutes a respected journal to exclude any that publish inconvenient views.

    It’s easy to manufacture a scientific consensus when you get to decide what counts as science.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, November 27, 2009 12:19 am @ 12:19 am

  8. I almost overlooked Frank Tipler a degreed, experienced and tenured Professor of Math at Tulane University.

    Climategate: The Skeptical Scientist’s View

    ” The chemist and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote an entire novel, A Whiff of Death, which revolved around the seriousness of falsifying data to make it fit one’s own theory. In the novel, the fraudster was murdered by a senior scientist who felt very strongly about scientific treason. My own view is that execution is a bit harsh, and that the standard penalty of being dismissed from one’s job is quite sufficient. But Asimov’s novel gives an excellent description of the enormous temptation scientists face to falsify data when the pesky experiments are refuting one’s pet theory — and it is clear from the released emails that most of the world’s leading climate scientists have yielded to temptation and have tried to force their data into agreement with the theory of global warming. They should be fired. ”

    ” One can always trust experimenters who get the right answer when they do not know what the right answer is. One can never trust experimenters who know what the right answer is (human-caused global warming), and who have total control of the only data that can confirm or reject the theory, and whose jobs depend on confirming it.”

    BAM.. BOOM .. BIFF… POW !!!

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, November 27, 2009 6:49 pm @ 6:49 pm

  9. Not only isn’t Tipler a climatologist, he isn’t even much of a logician.

    “Climate science” is the sum total of more than 30,000 studies, dating back decades, many of them redundant and confirming earlier work. An awful lot of the studies would have to have been mishandled or fraudulent, not just one or two or 10, for the conclusion to be wrong. You can’t rule out the possibility that any single study, or even, say, any dozen out of more than 30,000, could be fraudulent. But as Tipler points out, scientific fraud is taken so seriously that the odds against more than a tiny fraction of those 30,000 studies being fraudulent are astronomical.

    Moreover, although the work dates back decades, climate scientists themselves have only been stating with relative certainty that global warming is anthropogenic for a few years. It’s not like someone decided 30 years ago what the answer was and then started shaping studies to fit.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, November 27, 2009 9:55 pm @ 9:55 pm

  10. 30 years ago ? Just four years ago
    We were warned

    “In my view, our approach to global warming exemplifies everything that is wrong with our approach to the environment. We are basing our decisions on speculation, not evidence. Proponents are pressing their views with more PR than scientific data. Indeed, we have allowed the whole issue to be politicized — red vs blue, Republican vs Democrat. This is in my view absurd. Data aren’t political. Data are data. Politics leads you in the direction of a belief. Data, if you follow them, lead you to truth”

    He continues…

    Such fears had been building for many years. In the first Earth Day in 1970, UC Davis’s Kenneth Watt said, “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” International Wildlife warned “a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war” as a threat to mankind. Science Digest said “we must prepare for the next ice age.” The Christian Science Monitor noted that armadillos had moved out of Nebraska because it was too cold, glaciers had begun to advance, and growing seasons had shortened around the world. Newsweek reported “ominous signs” of a “fundamental change in the world’s weather.”

    But in fact, every one of these statements was wrong. Fears of an ice age had vanished within five years, to be replaced by fears of global warming. These fears were heightened because population was exploding. By 1995, it was 5.7 billion, up 10% in the last five years.

    Back in the 90s, if someone said to you, “This population explosion is overstated. In the next hundred years, population will actually decline.” That would contradict what all the environmental groups were saying, what the UN was saying. You would regard such a statement as outrageous.

    More or less as you would regard a statement by someone in 2005 that global warming has been overstated.

    But in fact, we now know that the hypothetical person in 1995 was right.
    And we know that there was strong evidence that this was the case going back for twenty years. We just weren’t told about that contradictory evidence, because the conventional wisdom, awesome in its power, kept it from us.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, November 27, 2009 11:59 pm @ 11:59 pm

  11. Crichton? CRICHTON?? OK, now you’re just being silly.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, November 28, 2009 9:49 am @ 9:49 am

  12. Funny how you just ignored Lindzen, huh.?

    Crichton…, he was prescient.

    Still believe the Rathergate memos were real ?

    As with the Truth about Acid Rain, the MSM Wants to Bury Climaquiddick

    “David Skole, a professor of forestry at Michigan State University, visited the Detroit News offices earlier this month to argue that cap-and-trade legislation would be an economic boon to America. As evidence, he sited the 1990 Clean Air Act, which initiated a cap and trade program for power plant–particulate emissions. “Everyone said it would be too costly,” Skole gleefully announced, “but they were wrong and it worked.”

    In fact, like global warming science today, the “consensus” science in 1990 — which argued that Midwest power plants were destroying Northeast lakes with acid rain — was bunk. So how can Skole (and his allies) boldly stake their claim? Because Washington politicians and their media parrots covered up the scientific evidence in 1990 so that it would not derail the regulation they had long sought. It is a cautionary tale for those who think that truth will win the day after the newly released Climate Research Unit e-mails — a.k.a., Climaquiddick — have revealed fraud in global-warming science.

    The NAPAP (National Acid Rain Precipitation Assessment Project) study published in 1989 — which took ten years and cost $500 million, the most comprehensive federal study ever undertaken — proved that acid rain was a minor nuisance and that passing expensive regulation would do little to address the supposed problem.

    I briefly covered the story in Washington at the time having read alternative media reports in the Washington Times by Warren Brookes and Reason magazine. But, as in Climaquiddick today, the MSM buried the story’s tawdry details. In 1989, I spoke with two journalists who knew of the report’s conclusions, but who refused to report on it lest it jeopardize passage of the Clean Air Act. I interviewed then-EPA Chief Bill Reilly (a green Bush appointee) who dismissed the report. Congress, despite having spent half-a-billion, quashed the inconvenient science. Only one brief hearing was held.

    Months after the regulations were voted into law, 60 Minutes became the first MSM outlet to look into the allegations that acid rain science was a hoax.

    “(NAPAP chief scientist Ed) Krug and then-NAPAP director James Mahoney explained and defended the project’s conclusions,” reported Reason. “Both argued that acid rain is not a crisis. On acid lakes, (60 Minutes reporter) Kroft repeated NAPAP’s belief that acid rain contributes to acidity of only ‘about 2 percent of the surface water in the Adirondacks.’”

    Asked about a New York Times story that claimed acid rain had turned forests in Appalachia into “ragged landscapes of dead and dying trees,” Krug told 60 Minutes, “I don’t know where they got that from. It appears to be another assertion, unsubstantiated.”

    Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz also got wind of the NAPAP cover-up after the fact. Trying to explain why environmental reporters had ignored the scientific evidence that would have precluded $4 billion a year in regulatory compliance, he wrote: “Some reporters say privately that it is difficult to write stories that debunk the conventional wisdom of environmental activists, whom the press treats more deferentially than industry spokesmen and other lobbyists.”

    Fortunately, the alternative press has grown since 1989 and today there are prominent news outlets like Fox and the blogosphere to help report the inconvenient Climaquiddick facts.

    But as with acid rain, the MSM continues to filter out information that does not fit the Big Government green agenda. So that when MSU professor Skole spun his false tale of the Clean Air Act’s “success” before a group of journalists, he could assume ignorance of the science.”

    Do we agree on Red Oak Amber ?

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, November 28, 2009 10:57 am @ 10:57 am

  13. Crichton IS silly. Or was. He’s dead.

    I never claimed the Rathergate memos were real. What I did claim is that there was insufficient evidence to conclude either way. (That being the case, it was wrong for Rather to rely on them, particularly when there was plenty of other evidence of unquestioned provenance and validity.)

    The fact that acid rain was less of a problem than believed 20 years ago neither 1) proves anything in particular about the merits, or lack thereof, of cap-and-trade, nor 2) proves global warming is false. Calling the science names like “Climaquiddick” doesn’t affect the validity of the science.

    Environmentalists and industry alike merit journalistic skepticism. But industry has by far the worse record with respect to attempting to mislead the public intentionally, and the costs of those efforts have included hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives. I won’t argue that excessive environmentalism has never killed anyone, but if it has, it’s a damn sight fewer.

    And, yes, we agree on Red Oak Amber and that its availability in bottles is a GOOD thing. Also, scientifically proven by direct observation.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, November 28, 2009 4:53 pm @ 4:53 pm

  14. Okay.. No more Mr. Nice Guy. I must now use the nuclear option.

    Mark Steyn: Cooking the books on climate

    “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” wondered Juvenal: Who watches the watchmen? But the beauty of the climate-change tree-ring circus is that you never need to ask “Who peer-reviews the peer-reviewers?” Mann peer-reviewed Jones, and Jones peer-reviewed Mann, and anyone who questioned their theories got exiled to the unwarmed wastes of Siberia. The “consensus” warm-mongers could have declared it only counts as “peer-reviewed” if it’s published in Peer-Reviewed Studies published by Mann & Jones Publishing Inc. (Peermate of the Month: Al Gore, reclining naked, draped in dead polar bear fur, on a melting ice floe), and Ed Begley Jr. and “Andy” Revkin would still have wandered out, glassy-eyed, into the streets droning “Peer-reviewed studies. Cannot question. Peer-reviewed studies. The science is settled … .”

    Looking forward to Copenhagen, Herman Van Rumpoy, the new president of the European Union and an eager proponent of the ecopalypse, says 2009 is “the first year of global governance.” Global government, huh? I wonder where you go to vote them out of office. Hey, but don’t worry, it’ll all be “peer-reviewed.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:29 pm @ 7:29 pm

  15. Fred, I say again: 30,000 studies can’t be wrong.

    And Mark Steyn is even stupider than Michael Crichton. At least Crichton had an M.D.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, November 28, 2009 9:29 pm @ 9:29 pm

  16. Tsk, tsk.. this has been a stream of name calling on your part. I guess this is where you say ” Done ” . Well this sorta fits.

    ‘There Was Proof of Fraud All Along’

    “When you enter into a debate with any of them, they always stop cold when you ask an awkward question. ” Hmmmm? Ta ta.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, November 28, 2009 10:11 pm @ 10:11 pm

  17. Thanks for the mention. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    Comment by Jon Lowder — Monday, November 30, 2009 9:31 am @ 9:31 am

  18. No prob, Jon. I gather my Thanksgiving was better, or at least shallower, than yours. Hope all continues to go well.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, November 30, 2009 10:48 am @ 10:48 am

  19. I did not mean to imply that the name calling was directed at me personally( ingnorant, stupid, inept etc ) but at the sources that I cited. Again, though you have been silent on Lindzen..?

    I am about to wrap this up. Here is a nice compendium, by Clive Crook in the Atlantic, on the subject.

    More On Climategate

    “The closed-mindedness of these supposed men of science, their willingness to go to any lengths to defend a preconceived message, is surprising even to me. The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering. And, as Christopher Booker argues, this scandal is not at the margins of the politicised IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] process. It is not tangential to the policy prescriptions emanating from what David Henderson called the environmental policy milieu [subscription required]. It goes to the core of that process.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, November 30, 2009 7:41 pm @ 7:41 pm

  20. I haven’t commented on Lindzer because I haven’t had time to sit through 67 minutes of audio/video. And after spending the weekend at my computer editing 14 minutes of video down to a 30-second radio spot, I don’t expect I’m going to have the inclination anytime soon. I don’t even want to watch the Patriots-Saints game tonight, good as it’s likely to be.

    But here’s my take on this, and I’m going to let this be the last word on the subject unless/until significant amounts of significant new information turn up:

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument, although there’s evidence to the contrary, that EVERYTHING the East Anglia researchers did was fraudulent. That still leaves the work of thousands of scientists, in dozens of research facilities, over a period of decades, comprising more than 30,000 studies, many of them confirming earlier studies, absolutely untouched.

    Until the leading peer-reviewed journals in the field revise their conclusions, I’m not revising mine. Individual scientists, no matter how prominent, aren’t going to change my mind, and crooked polemicists like Megan McArdle aren’t even going to get the chance to try.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, November 30, 2009 8:49 pm @ 8:49 pm

  21. […] Bowl Championship Series, how’s that Jenna Jameson-led abstinence campaign going?: Former Bush White House spokesliar Ari Fleischer compares the current college-football bowl […]

    Pingback by Odds and ends for 12/7 « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Monday, December 7, 2009 10:07 pm @ 10:07 pm

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