Links 5/8/10

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Rats top invasive mammals table BBC

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science Science. Signed by 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including 11 Nobel Prize winners.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill trajectory hindcast/forecast based on West Florida Shelf ROMS Ocean Circulation Group (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck). The site is updated 8X a day with real time data.

Bubble of methane triggered rig blast Associated Press (hat tip reader John M). Far more informative than a virtual puff piece on the same topic at the New York Times.

TRANSOCEAN DEEPWATER HORIZON EXPLOSION-A DISCUSSION OF WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED? Drilling Ahead: A Social Network of Oil and Gas Professionals (hat tip Crocodile Chuck). A great piece.

More of Gulf closed to fishing because of spill PhysOrg

Papandreou: ‘We can do this. We must do this. We will do this together’ FTAlphaville

Cyber attack ‘could fell US within 15 minutes’ Telegraph. While this may be correct, it sounds like an argument for restricting the Internet

Origin of Wall Street’s Plunge Continues to Elude Officials New York Times

SEC Said to Consider New Rules as It Investigates Market Plunge Bloomberg

Two Favorite Moments in Live Crash Media Yesterday Paul Kedrosky. This is hysterical

Mortgage Insurer Turns to Lenders to Police Brokers Wall Street Journal

David Rosenberg: The Economy Is Getting Killed By Too Much Productivity Clusterstock

Coverage of TBTF Amendment FAIL Fails Columbia Journalism Review

Important info on Goldman’s clients Francesco Guerrera, Financial Times

Antidote du jour:

Picture 2

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    1. Keenan

      Number 2 on the list is the sika deer:

      A cervid very similar to the “white tail”, the bane of suburban American gardeners. The popular misconceptions of these creatures is largely the due to Disney’s animations.

      Bambi is essentially a large hoofed rat.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The number one killer of young rats? Humans.

      The number one killer of young pigs? Humans.

      The number one killer of young vegetables? Humans.

      The number one killer of young mesquitos? Humans.

      The number one killer of young fish? Humans

      Does this Bonobo ape need to list more?

  1. burnside

    There has been, so far as I know, little indication that the IPCC and academics with predominantly American associations aren’t broadly in agreement with one other on the subject of anthropomorphic global warming.

    That an American association reasserts that view is hardly an indication that the matter’s well in hand, and certainly not evidence that we are well enough informed to proceed. In essence, the linked article implies that current consensus is sufficient to proceed. I still find an acceleration of embarrassing exposures, questionable methodologies, corrupted data and runaway hedonics surrounding the ongoing discussion.

    It’s sufficiently like the vagaries of birth/death modeling at BLS, or like the artfully spun press releases of Lawrence Yun to leave me a skeptic. The FOMC proceeds on majority opinion. Which has not necessarily made it either right or wise.

    I’ll continue reading minority reports with interest.

  2. eric anderson

    “Climate Change and the Integrity of Science Science. Signed by 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences”

    This piece is basically an appeal to authority, with the august signatories. They assert, “There is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.”

    And yet their model predictions do not match what has actually occurred. From the Climategate emails: Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, writes in October 2009, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t.” And then he blames the data because it did not conform to the model. That is bass ackwards to how science is supposed to operate.

    I too question the data, but I don’t have a model to defend. Instead, I see that raw temperature readings of rural US weather stations have been massively massaged upward for the last 40 years. The raw data show virtually no net warming outside of urban heat islands. Furthermore, documentation of these temperature reporting stations on show that the vast majority of them do not meet NOAA specifications for siting. Either they are too near artificial heating sources, or they are situated on the tops of roofs, or near large expanses of concrete, which will drive the temperature data points artificially upward. In the town where I live, the temperature sensor is near a massive air conditioning unit at the water treatment plant. This kind of sloppy data gathering, because it is so prevalent — and you can see the evidence with your own eyes for site after site at the website noted — calls the whole of global warming research into question. The research apparatus can’t even get the most basic things right.

    The scientists who signed this statement have apparently not drilled down to the raw data on which the alarmist conclusions have been built. Even if their climate models were correct, the GIGO rule applies. The inputs to the models are unsound. But they are unsound in the sense that the temperature data points they are using appear to be already artificially inflated.

    We can’t account for the lack of warming. That is a true statement. There is a lack of warming in spite of temperature data that is massaged upward or data from sites that are in local hot spots. Whatever comes out of a process using uncertain models and faulty data, it cannot be construed as solid science.

    It is self-evidently true that mortals cannot know the future climate with complete certainty. That is reserved for the Creator, and even He may choose not to know. However, what has been trumpeted thus far in the name of climate science, namely that we are heating our world to catastrophe or oblivion, does not even meet even the most modest standards of certainty. If prominent scientists or Nobel Prize winners claim otherwise, it does not change the evidence of poor data collection and manipulation of data.

    1. Jan Perlwitz

      eric anderson,

      But you haven’t brought any evidence. You only have reproduced some unproven claims and assertions not based on facts from the realm of climate conspiracy believers (some “paper” on some global warming denier blog? LOL) that you choose to believe, which stand against a whole body of scientific research with thousands of peer reviewed publications on various aspects of the topic over the last 30 years.

      Global warming deniers are the same to climate science as creationists are to the science of evolution.

      1. zanon

        I have read climate gate letters about using tricks to hide decline, and banning people from journal.

        i have seen that data was faked, cherry picked, and lost

        i have personally seen computer models this is based on and it is total garbage i can assure you

        i have also looked how this whole stinking mess is the funded

        the fact that 255 scientists need to sign paper is proof that it is fraud. real science does not need authority. it is authroity

        1. Francois T

          You haven’t seen Jack!
          You saw emails without any understanding of the context in which they were written, ignore the remainder of the impressive body of evidence available since 1990 at least.

          Your statement reminds me of those patients I had to deal with: they, or their family members would bring with them at the hospital such books as “100 things your doctor doesn’t want you to know” or “Those medications that could kill you”, dead on positive in their belief that information = knowledge.

          Well…I hate to break it to you, but they’re two very different animals.

          And BTW, why is it that a UK commission of inquiry cleared the CRU scientists of any wrongdoing? Another faction of the global conspiracy perhaps?

      2. eric anderson


        It is not evidence because you say it is not? I haven’t gone to the NCDC database to confirm what was written on the “denier blog” (that’s actually an incorrect appellation, but we’ll let that pass), but if you believe it to be in error, then the challenge is upon those who doubt to show that this is false. It is evidence. But like Dr. Trenberth, you simply don’t like the implications of the data, so you call the people who published it names.

        This is not esoteric information. Look at the satellite measurements of global temperature. You cannot explain the lack of warming any more than Trenberth can.

        I’m all for honest data-based science. But as I pointed out, the scientific papers upon which the alarmist conclusions are drawn were founded on bad data. It’s time to head back to the drawing board. That’s hard for people who have swallowed AGW theory to swallow, but there it is. Look at the site and tell me with a straight face that this is the proper way to measure temperature, to gather climate data. Some of the siting borders on the preposterous.

        If all you can do to refute the data is to insult the messenger, you’ve a very weak argument.

    2. Dave of Maryland

      Re: 255 Scientists.

      They do this from time to time. Write some pseudo-manifesto & pass it around to the usual suspects for signature. All it tells us is that 255 people are so daft, or are under so much peer pressure, that they will sign just about anything.

      A legitimate redress would not include extraneous materials. Such as Big Bangs or Evolution. That’s special pleading. That’s the old, “Officer, I wasn’t speeding any more than that other car. No fair to stop me but not him.”

      While “Science” is good & true & noble, it is also a complete abstraction. Policed by no one.

      Scientists, on the other hand, are mean & petty & grubby & ego-driven. Just like Wall Street financiers. Like Wall Street, always looking out for No. 1.

      The Big Bang, for example, is based on the idea of the expanding universe. That, in its turn, was based on red-blue shifts observed in nearby stars a century ago. Which was then presumed to explain red shifts in stars – and, ultimately galaxies – much, much further away.

      The problem is that improved telescopic devices, both optical & radio/infrared, have shown the universe to be bigger than the speed of light can account for. (The speed of light being the upward limit of the presumed red shift.) Astronomers have, as a result, invented a slew of ad-hoc physics add-ons to rationalize their situation. That the majority of everything in existence is somehow “dark”. 255 scientists have just signed a statement saying, show us something better & we’ll believe it.

      But they won’t. Their egos, not to mention their pocketbooks, won’t let them. The famous red shift is based on the belief that space is colorless. But why is that? Why should a million billion trillion miles of space be perfectly colorless? More to the point, HOW could that possibly be? A glass of water looks clear, but really isn’t. A room full of air looks clear, but really isn’t. Why should space be any different? Space, when you look through enough of it, is a dull red. Make that one change & half of what passes for astronomy disappears.

      But astronomers are a clique, one that’s closed to outsiders. And since there’s no way they can actually get out into interstellar space & get first-hand information, astronomers never have to revise bad theory. They can go on, building fantasy upon fantasy. The Big Bang is only one of a number of doofus theories they’ve saddled themselves with.

      I am undecided if astronomers are an extreme case, or if they’re merely typical of the breed. But in either case, Science (that great abstraction) is far too important to be left to the scientists. Heaven help us they stampede us into a panic & we do something really stupid & make a real mess of things. Like invent nuclear bombs or chop people’s brains out or addict the nation on dangerous drugs or needless cesarean births or crippling surgeries. Stripped of its sugar coating, what passes for science is a rather shabby affair.

      Scientists should be made to include their critics, rather than refuse to talk to them. The elitism, the arrogance, the condescension – that’s what you should be looking at. Those are the tell-tale signs of fraud.

      1. craazyman

        You’re right Dave. If they keep looking far enough they’ll finally see the lumeniferous ether, and then they’ll see a little shiny spot, and they’ll squint and zoom in, and they;ll realize it’s the back of their head, shining under the observatory lamplight as they see themselves through the curvature of space.

        The Big Bang. I Kant Imagine that one!

        Every single moment of phenominization is a big bang, Zeno style.

        And anyone who seriously channels global warming realizes it’s a dream-space phantom energized by the breakdown of the global tribal minds and the ascension of a unified group ego structure powered by id energy. The ocean and rising waters are have always been a metaphor for the unconscious, and global warming/flooding/drowning are dream space projections that propagate across the n-dimensional noousphere and form pyschic structures such as global warming fetishism that substitute for the ego/identity breakdown. This is just another ‘end of the world’ delusion, as have frequently happened in history when tribal boundaries dissolve and the id energy is released in an unstructured frenzy. The bonding into tribal collectives — like the 255 or whatever they were “scientists” is also a reaction against the dissolusion of tribal boundaries.

        I’m not saying that dissolusion is bad. On the contrary. It’s as much like saying an apple falling from a tree is “bad”. It’s just the natural progression of pyschic energies. But it is what it is. And so is the Big Bang. Another anthropomorphic projection. I Kant stand it! it’s all so silly. LOL.

      2. Hugh

        The speed of light as a universal speed limit applies only to bodies moving through space-time, not space-time itself. Space-time has no speed limits. Cosmic inflation, Hubble expansion, and black holes are all examples of space-time folding at velocities in excess of the speed of light.

        If say a distant galaxy is moving away from us at greater than the speed of light due to Hubble expansion, its light will never reach us. It has effectively moved outside the event horizon of our universe. It is rather like walking the wrong way on a moving sidewalk. If you are walking more slowly than it is moving, you actually lose ground against it and so never get to its end.

        1. eric anderson

          Aren’t you assuming a tenet of the theory to verify the theory?

          How do we know that space-time is expanding?

          Now, I’m perfectly comfortable with the notion that space-time may be expanding, and that may be a valid explanation for the observations. It would be a far cry from saying we have demonstrated any such thing scientifically. We have demonstrated the possibility of it mathematically, which is another kettle of fish.

          It’s the same with climate models. Models are not reality. Not even close.

      3. Francois T

        “While “Science” is good & true & noble, it is also a complete abstraction. Policed by no one.”

        Such nonsense!

        First off, to have science, you need to be able to reproduce the results obtain by someone else, using the same protocol and methodology. Imagine that! You get policed by reality..gotta hurt, no?

        If results cannot be reproduced in laboratory conditions (such as climate science) one need to have a model that can reproduce the phenomenon under observation. Of course, the models are built by successive iterations, because the object under study is a very complex beast to begin with. Hence, there will be tweaking, revisions and sometimes yes! parts of the models will be abandoned for better ones. This procedure is what the denialists use to accuse the scientists of making the models fit their beliefs.” Actually, the only thing this proves is how dishonest and ignorant of the scientific method denialists are.

        Second, What do you think the term “peer-reviewed” mean? It means that one cannot write whatever they please and expect it’ll pass because they want to. Questions are asked, critics (sometimes dishonest ones) are put forth and explanations must be provided by the authors if they want to be taken seriously and published.

        Third, if science is a complete abstraction, I sugg3est you avoid using a cell phone, drive a car or take any medications…they’re all the products of complete abstractions. One never know: What if they get mega-zapped by the Bitch Fairy and they vaporized unto the void precisely at the moment you need the (completely abstract?) stuff the most?

        1. eric anderson

          You exalt the scientific method of comparing models with reality. You claim models are being refined, improved.

          Tell me, are the new models working better at prediction than the old ones?

  3. RueTheDay

    Yves – I wish you would do a standalone entry on the failure of the SAFE Banking amendment. IMO, the only way the Dodd bill is meaningful is if a handful of amendments out there (like SAFE) get passed. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of feel good nonsense that will do absolutely nothing to safeguard the financial system.

  4. dearieme

    We, the Cartel of Great Scientists, dismiss the very idea that you vulgar proles dare question us. Kneel, we say, kneel.

    1. Francois T

      They’re just asking people to use their heads, open their minds and study the topic for themselves.

      I know, I know! It is too much to ask. It requires time and effort. Better stick with a belief system that comfort the weak and doesn’t bother the lazy.

  5. Skippy

    Pollution and climate change is hard to reconcile with from your couch, back yard or favorite metropolitan area.

  6. Abhishek

    This attack on IPCC is absurd. Even if there was some fudging of data it does not mean their whole thesis that global warming is being caused by humans is false. Its too critical an issue to be fighting over.Even if humans are contributing even 10% to global warming we need to stop that.

    1. eric anderson

      But how much global warming is there, in reality? As I pointed out previously, the original temperature data is surprisingly dodgy.

      And if we were contributing 10% how would you separate that cause from the 90% natural cause? Lastly, if the cost of adaptation is less than the cost of prevention, why not choose the former?

      We either need to kill off the majority of earth’s population, or we need to get everyone back to the level of carbon emissions that stone-age people created. That’s the only way to meet the kind of targets being proposed by climate alarmists.

      It simply isn’t going to happen. Maybe we ought to look at adaptation again.

  7. nowhereman

    “Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence.”

    This is it, this is the argument put forward by the AGWers and it goes like this. Those who do not agree with us are “deniers”, and as a denier, manipulated by “special interests or dogma”. Pay no attention to the scientists that decent, from the AGW view, they are “deniers”.

    Deniers like Dr.Edward Wegman, former chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences, who exposed Dr Manns “hockey stick” graph as a statistical mistake.

    Dr. David Bromwich, president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology

    1. nowhereman

      sorry for the split.
      Who states, “it’s hard to see a global warming signal from mainland Antarctica right now”

      The list goes on and on, and as the tale unfolds, you find that scientists, who dared question the IPCC’s stance on AGW, had their careers and grants affected.

      I highly recommend reading “The Deniers” (The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud* )by Lawrence Solomon, it’s a real eye opener.

    2. Francois T

      Let me get this straight!

      A scientist disagree with Mann’s graph. Is it because he disagree that he should be given more weight than those who agree? Couldn’t he be wrong in his disagreement?

      Don’t you know you history of science? Time and again, there has been renowned scientists who refused new evidence and stuck with their dissent until their death. Some of these were wrong btw.

      Me think you give much more weight to the dissenters because you want it that way. I say that because I haven’t seen one word about those who consider Mann’s graph to be scientifically correct. How about those? Is they ALL wrong?

      Finally, there is this pearl:

      This is it, this is the argument put forward by the AGWers and it goes like this. Those who do not agree with us are “deniers”, and as a denier, manipulated by “special interests or dogma”.

      The special interests part has been documented time and again. Just read “Climate Cover Up”..if you dare!

  8. Ignim Brites

    The Science piece is less about defending the integrity of science than defending its prestige. This is utterly strange. You would think in a democracy the scientific community would welcome the mental engagement of the hoi polloi with science. At least the critics recognize that the work of the climate scientists is important, has the capacity to convince large numbers of people. Of course, it may be that the scientific community recognize that the vast majority of those who accept AGW do so as a matter of fashion rather than intellectual conviction. It is the same with relativity and evolution. The percentage of those who accept these ideas on faith is well above 99. But this begs the question. Why does the scientific community (or, at least the Science scientific community) want to go to the mat on AGW? It is not as though the world hasn’t had recent and extensive experience with the unreliability of models. The recent market turmoil has certainly cast the consensus on economics into doubt. And it is not just a single cold winter that has given people reason to pause about AGW. The past winter seems to confirm the ideas of Mojib Latif that there will be a period of global cooling before the warming resumes. Now, this was not predicted 10 years ago, so it seems likely that the may be other factors unaccounted for in the models. The AGW scientists might complain that it is hard to know and model everything. Well yes it is. Ask an economist. None of this takes a way from the fact that fossil fuels are dirty and carbon dioxide is nasty, except if you are a plant.

    So if the editors of Science really want to address the integrity of science they might want to ponder the following two paragraphs (particularly the second) from a profile of Stephen McIntyre (the deconstructor of the hockey stick – leave it to a Canadian to take umbrage at the false representation of a hockey stick, by an American no less)

    The world of mining is one in which everyone is constantly aware of how engineering results can be tampered with or misrepresented to rip off investors. And in 2003, when McIntyre first saw the hockey stick graph, it reminded him uncomfortably of some stock promoter’s over-optimistic revenue projection. McIntyre asked lead “hockey stick” author Michael Mann for the underlying data and was startled when Mann had trouble remembering where he had posted the files to the Internet. “That was when the penny dropped for me,” McIntyre says. “I had the sense that Mann was pulling together the data for the first time—that nobody had ever bothered to inquire independently into the hockey stick before.”

    To McIntyre, a scientist’s data and code stand in the same relationship to a finished paper that drilling cores do to a mining company press release. “If you’re offering securities to the public,” McIntyre observed in a May 2008 talk at Ohio State University, “there are complicated and expensive processes of due diligence, involving audits of financial statements, independent engineering reports, opinions from securities lawyers and so on. There are laws requiring the disclosure of adverse results.” Peer review in scientific journals is good, he suggested, but it is limited and vulnerable to compromise. “There is far more independent due diligence on the smallest prospectus offering securities to the public than on a Nature article that might end up having a tremendous impact on policy.”

  9. walt

    Bank of America faces $465 million hit from ‘bonus tax’
    By Rick Rothacker
    Posted: Friday, May. 07, 2010

    Bank of America Corp. said in a securities filing today that a British
    tax on bank bonuses could cost the company about $465 million in the
    second quarter of this year.

    The United Kingdom in April enacted a one-time 50 percent tax on bonuses
    paid between December 9 and April 5. The scope of the tax is still
    uncertain, the bank said, but it expects to record a compensation
    expense in the period ended June 30.

    The Charlotte bank’s quarterly filing also warned that the European
    Union financial crisis “may spread and adversely affect global and U.S.
    capital markets.”

    Bank of America said it has $193 million in exposure to Greece’s
    government-backed debt, although it has $205 million in credit default
    protection — a form of insurance — on that debt. It has an additional
    $1.1 billion in exposure to non-government-backed debt in Greece,
    essentially loans to corporations and individuals in the country.

    Among four other countries experiencing “varying degrees of financial
    stress,” the bank had the most exposure to Italy, with $2.3 billion in
    government-backed debt and $7.3 billion in non-government backed debt.

    Among the five countries — Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain
    — the bank had a total exposure of about $3.1 billion to
    government-backed debt, with credit default protection of about $1.3
    billion. In comparison, the bank had total loans and leases of $976
    billion at the end of March.

    Bank of America spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said the bank believes the
    exposure is “quite manageable.”

    “We have been managing down our exposure,” he said. “But it’s important
    to know we’re still supporting our clients in those countries.”

    In today’s filing, Bank of America, the nation’s biggest bank, also said
    proposed financial regulations could “materially adversely affect
    certain of our businesses,” particularly in a time on ongoing economic

    “In this uneasy environment, imposition of new U.S. and global financial
    regulations, particularly significantly higher capital and liquidity
    standards and additional fees, will directly affect the banking
    industry, and may have adverse effects on the pace of economic
    recovery,” the filing said.

  10. emm


    I just wanted to comment on the quality of your graphics. I feel enough respect to actually look carefully at, and appreciate every single one of them. (adverts, etc.)

  11. michel

    Well, if only they could argue logically. The labelling of skeptics as ‘deniers’ is a giveaway. But the killer comes in the last para:

    “Society has two choices: We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively.”

    What makes them think we have two choices? We have a whole bunch of choices. One would be to do more research, this time with proper use of statistics and without cherry picking the data series. Maybe get more clarity and quantification of climate feedback and sensitivity. Another would be to take measures to adapt to the range of possible warmings and coolings that history shows us we might encounter.

    They speak as if there is only one thing to do, without specifying what it is. One supposes that they mean reduce CO2 ppm in the atmosphere by some amount? Well, maybe. We need to know by how much, and with what effect, and what the reason is for forecasting that effect.

    Like, when has CO2 ppm fallen in the past, and driven temperatures down? Just show us, I’m sure we are all ready and willing to invest, if we can just see a prospectus.

    1. Valissa

      “Society has two choices: We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively.”

      This is the same problem I have and agreed on your reasoning. Climate, pollution, economics, and related gov’t and regulatory power are a complex set of intertwining problems that are hidden/masked by this overly simplistic “youre either with us or against us” believer-denier Orwellian polarity. Where is the public discussion on these issues? The silence is deafening.

      I think that the whole focus on “proving” global warming and trying to cram people’s opinions into two buckets is an obvious sign of propaganda… and if you choose the believer bucket then the solution is this huge climate change bill… no shaeds of gray or sub-choises for you. But here will be a bill with thousands of pages, lots of lobbyists furiously at work helping congress to do more looting and hopefully a few bones tossed to the environmentalists and alternative energy folks… enough to get away with calling it Green… (bwahahahaha). NO public discussions of the complex set of issues I mentioned above. Geez.. this is remarkably like the strategy behind the so-called healthcare reform bill.

      This is the problem I have with the whole climate change propaganda. Of course there are patterns of global warming and cooling and humans have effected that – we are mostly arguging about degree. That’s not the real problem although alot of political ink is directed at that. The real issues, those of wealth and power and control, lie in the proposed solutions to global warming, not it’s definition. And make no mistake, the Liberal elites are no less susceptible to the lures of power and the beliefs needed to get there.

    2. Francois T

      “Society has two choices: We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively.”

      What makes them think we have two choices?

      They do not think that; this conclusion was reached after running a decisional matrix about the potential scenarios. An excellent summary can be seen here:

      The author of this video has produced an excellent serie (“How It All Ends”) that is worth viewing.

      How the whole shebang about the scientific process behind the study of complex phenoms can also be seen here:

  12. dearieme

    “Even if humans are contributing even 10% to global warming we need to stop that.” Why?

    1. Valissa

      Exactly! How can one even put a percentage on something this is still so UNKNOWN as this? Climate science still can’t explain how the climate functioned before the industrial revolution, so how are they comparing and producing percentages? It’s all based on abstract theory and modeling… alot like the recent economic problems… wow that gives me comfort.

      Why did the elites take the focus away from pollution and interject global warming into the narrative? My guess is the fear factor… the “threat” of global warming and all that. Vague fears that are hard to quantify are much better for gaining power and control of the masses.

  13. michel

    The thing these guys could do, more than anything else, to bring back credibility to climate science, would be: repudiate the hockey stick. That was bad statistics applied to worse data. As long as they keep putting their heads in the sand and defending either the data or the stats, as long as they keep saying you can ‘get a hockey stick’ in other ways, as long as they keep citing as independent more studies using the same proxies and variants of the method, they have no credibility, and their field does not either.

    They can write all the letters to the editor they want, if they cannot admit the HS is discredited, its game over.

    1. Valissa

      The Hockey Stick memetic push puts me in mind of…

      Two + two = Five

      It remains to be seen whether the masses can adapt to the new math.

    2. John in Boulder

      Frogs. You are all frogs sitting in a pot of slowly heating water discussing how the temperature doesn’t really feel any warmer and therefore it is fine to do nothing.

      Glaciers are receding all over the world. The northern icecap is melting and the Antarctic ice shelves are collapsing. And you need to see the data, as if you can interpret it without someone holding your hand?

      Maybe the acidification of the ocean should be enough to stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. But then you’ll find someone to hold your hand and tell you what you want to hear about that issue as well.

      I think the current version of the human race is no more capable of saving itself than fruit flies in a jar.

      1. Valissa

        Ah yes, environmentalist apocaphilia… not that different from the evangelistic and right wing Christians who believe armageddon is near. Different forms of propaganda with the same purpose, instilling fear in order for some authority to take over. The myth and yearning of “needing to be saved” from something or another comes in many flavors.

        I am concerned about frogs too, but my concern is immediate not potential…

        From an article a couple of years ago:

        Pollution Drives Frog Deformities By Ramping Up Infections
        High levels of nutrients used in farming and ranching activities fuel parasite infections that have caused highly publicized frog deformities in ponds and lakes across North America, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

        Why aren’t our elites aren’t as concerned about the here and now problems of pollution and health toxicity as they are about vague possibilities about future temps and sea levels, which have always changed over time.

    3. Francois T

      “They can write all the letters to the editor they want, if they cannot admit the HS is discredited, its game over.”

      It is discredited…because YOU say so? Because some people say so? Can you at least, provide several credible and legitimate sources (think tanks and blogs need not apply…this is a scientific question, not a philosophical debate) that thoroughly refute the HS graph within the accepted criteria of normal science?

  14. George Booth

    The letter from the august members and Nobel Laureates of the National Academy of Sciences is par for the course; “nothing to see here, just move along”. The amount of “denial”, humbuggery, and sheer, outright hypocrisy on display in this letter is nothing short of breathtaking. To make such a sweeping excuse for the evidently shoddy and ethically compromised “research” of the IPCC and other ACC advocates reflects badly on the standards of the Academy.

    The matter of “anthropogenic climate change” (no longer “global warming”, note) will never be resolved, and can not be discussed on a truly objective and rational basis, until the most ardent advocates approach it with sound scientific research, stripped of conflicts of interest (yes, there are powerful interests at work on the “pro” side as well).

    And for the record, I am not a “denier”, just a skeptic with a long historical memory (remember “nuclear winter” and “global cooling”?). I readily admit the distinct possibility – indeed, the probability – that human activities are having macro-level effects on the earth’s climate and weather patterns. But reliable, verifiable data on the subject will only come from the careful application of scientific methods, devoid of distortions by political agendas, funding conflicts, hysteria, and a pseudo-religious belief in “nature”.

    I will note, too, that I am a financial exec at a tiny, fifth-rate oil and gas E&P company, a fact of which I am not proud. But with respect to climate change, I am not talking my book here, just my convictions.

    On an unrelated note, my dealings with BP have led me to understand just what a poorly-run and ethically vacuous company it is(though this is not true of all of its employees, just its senior management culture). The disaster in the Gulf was likely the result of a combination of many tiny, unconscious acts of professional negligence coupled with an unforeseen – but not unforeseeable – natural event. Much like an aviation accident, I expect that the investigation of the Deepwater catastrophe will show that it was the culmination of a series of minor technical and personal errors, rather than a single gross oversight. I’m not a technical expert, but the engineers I work with have, based on the information from their contacts in the companies involved and their (albeit incomplete) knowledge of the events before and after the explosion, cast suspicion on the quality of the well’s cement job. Perhaps this should be a point of discussion for those of you with more industry knowledge than myself. In the meantime my sympathies go to the fortunate employees who survived, and especially to the families of the eleven dead.

  15. George Booth

    RE: the Deepwater catastrophe.

    The AP article is pretty good, and repeats a lot of the information that’s been circulating within the industry for the past week. Tellingly, among the eleven dead (all of whom, reportedly, were working on and around the drilling deck) there was not a single BP employee. Which is to say, there was no BP “company man” present to oversee what was a fairly critical activity, which is not typical industry practice. Evidently, all or most of the BP employees on the rig were attending the party celebrating the safety award.

  16. michael

    “For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.”

    This is the central point.
    Who has evaluated the risk *in a scientific way*?
    How was the cost/benefit analysis performed? What other risks were compared against it?

    Without all that, it’s just scientists doing politics and demanding “Something must be done!”.

    1. Francois T

      “Who has evaluated the risk *in a scientific way*?”

      Try the US military:

      The report, “Re-energizing America’s Defense,” says the military has found that climate change may lead to domestic and international instability by threatening water and food supplies. In addition, stronger storms caused by emissions could increase the need for humanitarian missions by the military both at home and abroad, which could stretch resources.

      The U.S. military’s Quadrennial Defense Review, an assessment of the international security environment released in February, said climate change may hasten instability and conflicts placing burdens on militaries around the world.

  17. NotTimothyGeithner

    I present my humble defense of modern brown rats. Unlike their cousin the black rat, which inhabited most of the known world prior to the Industrial Revolution back when plagues and crazy diseases ran rampant killing everyone, brown rats do not carry fleas and they do not breed at the rate of black rats reducing the possibility of them wiping out food stores.

    Modern human civilization is completely dependent on the Brown Rat replacing the Black Rat. They are truly man’s best friend.

    1. DownSouth


      I believe Firedoglake, and AP, are barking up the wrong tree here.

      The Halliburton PowerPoint presentation that Firedolake links to is most informative, however, and so I thank you, and Firedoglake, for the link.

      If you will notice from the Halliburton presentation, gas hydrates are a potential problem when cementing surface casing. If they exist, they do so in a zone between the seafloor and about 500 meters below the seafloor. Below that point, because of the geothermal gradient, it gets too hot for them to exist.

      In this well, if they exist, they would have been cemented off long ago behind the surface casing. I am not privy to the well design, but there are probably also one or more strings of intermediate casing as well, and the gas hydrates would also be behind these. So I don’t see any way that gas hydrates could have caused or even contributed to the blowout.

      The prolific volumes of oil and gas that are making their way to the surface are coming from way down the hole, way below the depths where gas hydrates could exist.

  18. nemo

    “Rats top invasive mammals table BBC”

    Where are humans on that list? Number two? I’m amazed the rats beat us.

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