Friday, February 26, 2010

Who Can We Trust?

I'm not ready to pull it all together yet, because there is another topic I need to cover first.

When I first started looking at AGW my conclusion was that although it's warming, I didn't find enough evidence to conclude it was due to man. There were just too many holes in the AGW theory. Now however, it is beginning to look as if we may not even be warming.

There is serious hanky panky going on with the people who keep track of the temperature data.

First you have the decrease in reporting stations over the past 20 years. We have gone from 6000 stations to 1500 stations and the decrease has changed the make up of the global reporting picture. This change affords a lot of opportunity to make mischief. Far more rural stations have been eliminated than urban stations. This by itself would give you a warming bias because of other steps that have been taken as well.

Back in the early 1990s Professor Phil Jones and a colleague, Professor Wei-Chyung Wang of the State University of New York at Albany suggested in an influential paper in the journal Nature that the urban heat island effect was minimal – and cited as supporting evidence a long series of temperature measurements from Chinese weather stations, half in the countryside and half in cities, supplied by Professor Wei-Chyung. The Nature paper became a key reference source for the conclusions of succeeding reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – including a chapter in the 2007 one co-authored by Jones. It said that globally "the urbanisation influence … is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale". In other words, it is tiny.

And when, in 2007, Jones finally released what location data he had, British amateur climate analyst and former City banker Doug Keenan accused Jones and Wang of fraud.

He pointed out that the data showed that 49 of the Chinese meteorological stations had no histories of their location or other details. These mysterious stations included 40 of the 42 rural stations. Of the rest, 18 had certainly been moved during the story period, perhaps invalidating their data.

Those concerns were most cogently expressed to Jones by his ex-boss, and former head of the CRU, Dr Tom Wigley. In August 2007, Wigley warned Jones by email: "It seems to me that Keenan has a valid point. The statements in the papers that he quotes seem to be incorrect statements, and that someone (W-C W at the very least) must have known at the time that they were incorrect."

Wang's defence explains that the colleague had lost her notes on many station locations during a series of office moves. Nonetheless, "based on her recollections", she could provide information on 41 of the 49 stations.

In all, that meant that no fewer than 51 of the 84 stations had been moved during the 30-year study period, 25 had not moved, and eight she could not recollect.

Wang, however, maintained to the university that the 1990 paper's claim that "few, if any" stations had moved was true. The inquiry apparently agreed.

This paper has been used by NCDC to eliminate any adjustment to the temperature of urban settings due to the UHIE (urban heat island effect). Now this goes against common sense. If you've ever seen a lizard or a snake in the summer time you will see them sunning themselves on a rock. The rock warms them up. When humans urbanize they build roads, buildings, etc. and bring in machines that warm the atmosphere. This study said, that these activities do not warm the local climate.

Here is an intersting article that shows what the temperature custodians are doing with the data.

A Pending American Temperaturegate

The values in the table show that the NCDC's rate of increase of temperature, 0.69oC/century, is based on an over-selection of stations with urban locations.

Station Set
oC/Century, 11-Year Average Based on the Use of

Raw Data
Adjusted Data

Rural (48)

Urban (48)

Rural + Urban (96)

Now looking at these numbers we see no adjustment in urban temperatures for the UHIE. But in this case they have adjusted the rural temperatures up! This defies logic. The rural temperatures should be left alone and the urban temperature should be adjust down. The NCDC's treatment has forced the rural value to look more like that of the urban. This adjustment has increase the rural temperatures by a factor of 5.

If you are looking to capture the influence of CO2 on the warming of the planet, you would want to eliminate the warming due to other influences. Evidently this is not the aim of James Hansen, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, etc.

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Working Group 2 (WG2) lead author Stephen Schneider disclosed several tricks of the trade to Discover magazine in 1989. He said:

"To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest." It appears honesty may have fallen along with temperatures in the past 10 years.

I don't trust the temperature data we are getting from NASA. And with this conclusion, you can't really say if it is getting warmer, much warmer, colder or much colder. It appears to me that in an attempt to gin up the alarmism, the AGW proponents have destroyed their credibility. They have indeed become the movement that cried wolf.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What’s happening at the IPCC?

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) according to proponents of AGW, is the gold standard in climate science. Thousands of dedicated scientists working collaboratively to identify and quantify the threat posed by mankind’s use of fossil fuels make the IPCC the most respected scientific organization in the world according to them

Founded in 1988, the IPCC does not perform its own original research, nor does it monitor climate or related phenomena itself. A main activity of the IPCC is publishing special reports on topics relevant to the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Skeptics do not see the IPCC this way. First they point out that rather than a scientific body, the IPCC is primarily a political organization.

One major example of this is that the IPCC procedure required that the chapters had to be made consistent with the summary, rather than vice versa. This is because the ultimate authors of the "intergovernmental" reports are the governments that approve the summary for policy makers. But such a rule puts the scientists in a difficult position, and lead scientists have the unenviable job of rewording his chapter to reflect the wording of the political summary.

In addition it was in the summary after the scientists had gone home that the first mention of global warming being caused by man was breached. At this time, there was very little chance this finding could have been adopted by science, but after this it was a driving force in the climate change industry.

Reliance on unreliable sources

Since the IPCC doesn’t do any of its own research nor does it monitor temperature, it relies on other groups. This has resulted in the shortcomings of other groups tarnishing the IPCC such as CRU and Phil Jones.

Professor Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement. As I mentioned before the Hockey Stick graph is probably the most discredited study in history.

The 2007 Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report says they’re 90% certain global warming of the last 50 years is due to increasing atmospheric CO2. They acknowledge that before 1950 the sun explained over 50% of the temperature increase. As the Summary for Policymakers notes, “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica).”

Exclusion of Antarctica is a convenient omission and makes a mockery of their claim, because it cooled over the period. Their solar explanation for half the change prior to 1950 uses only one part the sun’s effect on global temperature, namely electromagnetic radiation (ER), (heat and light). They were flummoxed by the decrease of temperature from 2002 while CO2 levels continued to rise. Jones now concedes, “There was no significant warming from 1998-2009” and “Neither the rate nor magnitude of recent warming is exceptional.” He also concedes the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than at present. These statements alone completely destroy all claims about the validity of the science and claims of the IPCC.

The Sun They Ignore

Why did they include ER and ignore major solar factors of the Milankovitch Effect and changes in solar magnetism that cause temperature change? The simple answer was to counteract the claim that the Sun was causing warming. Variance in ER for the short periods of record are about 0.15%, which sounds like very little, but theoretical calculations show a 6% variance explains all temperature variance in the history of the Earth. They manipulate the data and models to attribute temperature change since 1950 almost totally to CO2. As Jones explains, “The IPCC models may have overestimated the climate sensitivity for greenhouse gases, underestimated natural variability, or both.”

But the IPCC in its fourth report has taken upon itself to tarnish its own reputation.

Recently there came the admission that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was dead wrong about Himalayan ice melt. In the fourth report, it said it the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. As the scandal unfolded it appeared they knew this was untrue and the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi. TERI was awarded up to $500,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers.

Peer Review—the backbone of science

The IPCC bought the theory of Professor David Karoly that man-made warming was causing the higher temperatures and evaporation in the Murray Darling basin in Australia. A paper published last December by Lockart, Kavetski, and Franks rebuts the AR4 WG1 assertion that CO2-driven higher temperatures drive higher evaporation and thereby cause droughts. The study claims they got it backwards, as higher air temperatures are in fact driven by the lack of evaporation (as occurs during drought

It should also be noted that Karoly’s theory was heavily relied upon in a chapter the IPCC’s 2007 report that was supposed to be reviewed by ... Karoly himself:
“But amazingly, the story doesn’t end with how wrong the chapter was. Professor Franks also pointed out that ... David Karoly, whose work was also heavily cited in WG1 Chapter 9, was its Review Editor.”

The man in charge of the reviewing supervises reviews of his own theory.

At the same time input in the IPCC report are supposed to be carefully investigated and peer reviewed. In one such included claim:

"Concepts considered included alternative aircraft configurations such as the blended wing body and the laminar flying wing, and the use of an unducted fan (open rotor) power plant. The study concluded that these two aircraft concepts could offer significant fuel burn reduction potential compared with a conventional aircraft design carrying an equivalent payload. Other studies (Leifsson and Mason, 2005) have suggested similar results."

What are the other studies? Leifsson and Mason is referenced as: Leifsson, L.T. and W.H. Mason, 2005: The Blended Wing Body Aircraft, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA, accessed 30/05/07.

If you look at the paper you find it is only three pages long, unless you include the pictures pasted in, then it is eight. There are only six references, and four of them are for the five pages of pictures. Of the two real references, one is a presentation the authors gave at a conference.

The IPCC has wrongly claimed that in some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020.

At best, this is a wild exaggeration, unsupported by any scientific research, referenced only to a report produced by a Canadian advocacy group, written by an obscure Moroccan academic who specialises in carbon trading, citing references which do not support his claims.

In one section of this Nobel-winning report, climate change is linked to coral reef degradation. The sole source for this claim? A Greenpeace report titled “Pacific in Peril.” The report relies on a Greenpeace document to establish the lower-end of an estimate involving solar power plants

United Nations report wrongly claimed that more than half of the Netherlands is currently below sea level. In fact, just 20 percent of the country consists of polders that are pumped dry, and which are at risk of flooding if global warming causes rising sea levels. Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has ordered a thorough investigation into the quality of the climate reports which she uses to base her policies on.

A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC's report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of "extreme weather events" such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.


Finally, let’s look at some IPCC “contradictions” (areas where the observed facts contradict the IPCC claims):

Contradiction #1:
IPCC projects global warming at a rate of 0.2C per decade in the early 21st century; so far the first 8 years of the 21st century have shown cooling at an average rate of around 0.1C per decade.

Contradiction #2:
IPCC states that the rate of sea level rise has increased in the latter part of the 20th century, switching from tide gauge records to satellite altimetry; the tide gauge record shows a slight decrease in sea level rise in the second half of the 20th century, as compared to the first half.

Contradiction #3:
IPCC states that changes in solar irradiance since 1750 are estimated to cause a radiative forcing of only 0.12 W/m2, equivalent to a net warming of around 0.02C; several studies by solar scientists conclude that the 20th century warming caused by the unusually high level of solar activity is around 0.35C.

Contradiction #4:
IPCC states that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years, ignoring overwhelming physical and historical evidence of a warmer global Medieval Warm Period. Phil Jones has admitted that this period could have been warmer than today.

Contradiction #5:
IPCC claims that the satellite temperature record has shown a faster rate of tropospheric warming than that at the surface, confirming the anthropogenic cause of warming; both the satellite and radiosonde record show less warming than the surface record.

Contradiction #6:
IPCC models all assume a strongly positive feedback from clouds with warming, resulting in 1.3C of the total assumed 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2C; actual physical observations show a strongly negative net feedback from clouds of around the same order of magnitude; correcting the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity for this factor brings it to around 0.6 to 0.8C, rather than 3.2C.

Contradiction #7:
IPCC states confidently that the upward distortion of the surface temperature record due to the urban heat island effect has a negligible influence of less than 0.006C per decade; many studies from all over the world show that the UHI influence is thirty to fifty times as great as claimed by IPCC.,21985,25401759-5000117,00.html%22//

Up Next—Putting it all together

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along?

One thing is for sure if you post on blogs etc; you will find that not everyone agrees with you. In fact, it appears we must be on different planets the way we differ on issues, facts, and assumptions. Two people can read the exact same thing and come to opposite conclusions. Global warming is a big issue this way, but so too is healthcare, spending policies, the handling of terrorists, etc.

I found an very interesting article today that explains why we seem to be so far apart. It also may explain why bipartisanship is so difficult to achieve.

Here is an excerpt from it:

"Hierarchicalists prefer a social order where people have clearly defined roles based on stable characteristics such as class, race, or gender. Egalitarians want to reduce racial, gender, and income inequalities. Individualists expect people to succeed or fail on their own, while Communitarians believe that society is obligated to take care of everyone. Generally speaking, Individualists tend to dismiss claims of environmental risks because they fear such claims will be used to fetter markets and other arenas of individual achievement. Hierarchicalists tend to see claims of environmental risk as a subversive tactic aiming to undermine a stable social order. In contrast, Egalitarians and Communitarians dislike markets and industry for creating disparities in wealth and power. In fact, they readily believe that such disparities generate environmental risks that must be regulated."

You can read the rest of it here:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


On November 17, 2009 after the server of the Real Climate website was hacked and a copy of the data from CRU at the University of East Anglia was uploaded the world suddenly became aware of a major event in the AGW universe.

It is disputed whether the files were stolen by a hacker or released by a whistleblower. But Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate, said, "At around 6.20am (EST) Nov 17th, somebody hacked into the RC server from an IP address associated with a computer somewhere in Turkey, disabled access from the legitimate users, and uploaded a file to our server.”

The files contained more than 1,000 emails and 3,000 other documents as well as commented source code pertaining to climate change research covering a period from 1996 until 2009. You can read a sample of them here and here

The first reaction by the AGW believers was to try and downplay the importance of the material and to focus instead on the “theft” of the documents. The Norfolk police subsequently confirmed that they were "investigating criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia" with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police’s Central e-Crime unit the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the National Domestic Extremism Team. (NDET).

In the USA, Senator James Inhofe asked Barbara Boxer the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to investigate the matter looking at the apparent discrepancies in the emails with the science of AGW. “You call it ‘Climategate’; I call it ‘E-mail-theft-gate,’” she said during a committee meeting. “Whatever it is, the main issue is, Are we facing global warming or are we not? I’m looking at these e-mails, that, even though they were stolen, are now out in the public.”

The emails were embarrassing to be sure. They showed a number of well known climate scientists as petty, manipulative, turf protecting, self serving, data hiding, activists who talked about breaking the FOI law in Britain rather than turning over their data to people like M&M (McIntyre and McKitrick). In addition the computer code they were using to run their climate model was so amateurish as to be an embarrassment it looked as if it had been programmed by Michael Mann when he was in the fifth grade. Proponents of AGW settled into saying that as embarrassing as the emails and computer codes were “They didn’t negate the science of AGW.”

So that is the question I want to deal with in this blog. Did the emails and other documents negate the science of AGW?

My answer is quick and simple—No. But AGW aka global climate change is a political movement masquerading as a science issue. It stopped being strictly a science question over 20 years ago when James Hansen testified before congress about AGW. And although it didn't negate the science, it did negate a lot of the politics of AGW.

And from the emails that were released we could see a number of other scientists could no longer be called impartial scientists because they have become political activists for their cause. Add to this the obscene amount of money that is given to science to study everything from the effect of global warming on beer, lobsters, coral reefs, polar bears, etc. If global warming were to go away tomorrow, so to would the “warming goose” that is laying these golden eggs for scientists.

It also called into question the portrayal of climate scientists as nobel, hard working people interested only in truth and even the claim that the "science was settled" (this was always a political argument rather than a scientific one). But the biggest problem from Climategate was the charge the warmists used about the skeptics, that is they were hacks of the oil industry who couldn't be trusted and were just in it for the money, suddenly became something the warmists were now forced to defend themselves from with the exception that they were hacks of the global warming cabal.

And in this political movement there is a right side to be on and a wrong side. This was posted on Glenn Reynolds Instapundit on February 15th. It’s worth another look.

A HISTORICAL OBSERVATION ON CLIMATEGATE: As this scandal runs on, it’s beginning to remind me of the Michael Bellesiles scandal.”

“Bellesiles, for those who don’t remember, was a historian at Emory who wrote a book making some, er, counterintuitive claims about guns in early America — in short, that they were much rarer than generally thought, and frequently owned and controlled by the government. Constitutional law scholars who expressed doubts about this were told to shut up by historians, who cited the importance of “peer review” as a guarantor of accuracy, and who wrapped themselves in claims of professional expertise.

Unfortunately, it turned out that Bellesiles had made it up. His work was based on probate records, and when people tried to find them, it turned out that many didn’t exist (one data set he claimed to have used turned out, on review, to have been destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake). It also turned out that Bellesiles hadn’t even visited some of the archives he claimed to have researched. When challenged to produce his data, he was unable to do so, and offered unpersuasive stories regarding why.

Bellesiles eventually lost his job at Emory (and his Bancroft Prize—will the IPCC and Al Gore lose their Nobel Peace Prize?) over the fraud, but not until his critics had been called political hacks, McCarthyites, and worse. But what’s amazing, especially in retrospect, is how slow his defenders — and the media — were to engage the critics, or to look at the flaws in the data. Instead, they wrapped themselves in claims of authority, and attacked the critics as anti-intellectual hacks interested only in politics. Are we seeing something similar with regard to ClimateGate? It sure looks that way to me.”

So with a question that is as politicized as AGW is, the release of this data really does hurt the cause. Add to this the recent scandals or failures by the IPCC and you have a good idea why this movement is dropping faster than an Olympic skier going downhill.

Up Next --What’s happening at the IPCC?

Monday, February 22, 2010

AGW Skeptics and the theory

Yesterday I wrote up the basic theory of AGW. The theory had three parts to it. The first part was the settled science portion. CO2 is a greenhouse gas which when you double the amount, will raise the temperature by approximately 1.2 degrees C. This part is agreed to be all. So then why doesn’t everyone come to the same conclusion?

It is the other two parts of the theory where the Warmists and the Skeptics part company. The second part of the theory has to do with feedback. The release of CO2 alone is not enough to cause the major problems predicted by the global warming advocates. The theory calls for the increase in warming due to CO2 to cause more evaporation of water which increases the water vapor in the atmosphere. Water is the major greenhouse gas so it will magnify the greenhouse effect.

Warmists see the increased water vapor providing positive feedback to global warming. The added water vapor according to them will break up low level clouds and create high level cirrus clouds which add to global warming. These Cirrus clouds will also cause a so called “hot spot” in the troposphere as more heat is captured higher up in the atmosphere.

Skeptics also see CO2 as increasing water vapor, but they see this water vapor acting as a negative feedback. Rather than break up low level clouds, skeptics see the water vapor adding to the low, thick clouds (such as stratocumulus) which primarily reflect incoming solar radiation back into space. This would negate the formation of a hot spot and cool the planet. In addition, these low level clouds will cause rain to fall which also acts as a cooling mechanism to the planet.

In Spencer et al. (2007) found a strong negative cirrus cloud feedback mechanism in the tropical troposphere. Instead of steadily building up as the tropical oceans warm, cirrus cloud cover suddenly contracts, allowing more OLR to escape. Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who directed the study, estimates that if this mechanism operates on decadal time scales, it would reduce model estimates of global warming by 75%.

The science regarding clouds is not well understood. We simply don't know exactly what will happen with additional water vapor in the atmosphere, but the affect could be significant. A 1 percent change in clouds could account for all of the shifts in climate over the past 2000 years.

The Proof

Now there are two checks to see which theory (positive or negative feedback due to increased water vapor) is correct. The first is to see if the predicted hot spot can be found.

Douglass et al. (2007) compared model-projected and observed warming patterns in the tropical troposphere. The observed pattern is based on three compilations of surface temperature records, four balloon-based records of the surface and lower troposphere, and three satellite-based records of various atmospheric layers–10 independent datasets in all.

“While all greenhouse models show an increasing warming trend with altitude, peaking around 10 km at roughly two times the surface value,” observes the NIPCC, “the temperature data from balloons give the opposite result; no increasing warming, but rather a slight cooling with altitude”

So there is no hot spot even though the IPCC says there should be one. As you can see from the figure above, all the models call for increasing temperature peaking approximately six miles up, while there is no observation confirming this.

The only argument I’ve seen from the Warmists on this missing hot spot is one paper which concluded to measure the temperature at altitude as they must, you shouldn’t use thermometers but rather measure wind speed and infer from the wind speed an increase in temperature. If you do this, you can infer a hot spot.

The second “proof” would be to look at the radiation budget. If water vapor is a positive feedback, it would show up as a decrease in the amount of radiation being reflected back into space. This is in fact what all 11 IPCC models show while the actual data from ERBE (purple below) is just the opposite.

In a study done by Lindzen he found with the warming after 1989, the observations characteristically exceed 7 times the model values. If the observations were only 2-3 times what the models produce, it would correspond to no feedback. What we see is much more than this – implying strong negative feedback. Note that the ups and downs of both the observations and the model (forced by observed sea surface temperature) follow the ups and downs of temperature. Alarming climate predictions depend critically on the fact that models have large positive feedbacks. The crucial question is whether nature actually behaves this way? The answer is unambiguously no.

You can read about it here

Skeptics look at the water vapor feedback portion of the AGW theory and see that it falls apart. The feedback apparently is negative feedback, not the positive feedback used in the global climate models.

The "So What" Factor

The next area of the AGW theory is the Paleoclimatology portion. This was the portion that is used to raise the alarm. If the globe was warming, but it had done so before with no serious consequences, the basic response to the alarmists would be “so what?”

Michael Mann is the main character in this drama with M&M (McIntyre and McKitrick) being another important group. Back in the late 1990s, the global warming cabal was gaining ground. For 10 years (today that is not enough to establish anything—it’s just weather) the temperatures had been going up. There was a dedicated group of scientist who saw this as proof of human caused global warming. They had the first two legs of the global warming theory, but were running into the “so what” factor. In fact, when they raised the alarm a great many skeptics not only said “so what,” but pointed out that during previous warm periods in the Roman times and the Medieval times this warming was a boon to humans.

In steps Michael Mann. In 1998 he published his report MBH98 in which he showed a history of relatively flat temperatures to 1900 followed by a sharp increase. The term hockey stick was coined by the head of the NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laborarty Jerry Mahlman.

Almost immediately there was a lot of controversy about this study. Using bristlecone pines as his proxy, Mann indicated that these were excellent proxy indicators of temperature, and due to their age, a profound record of temperature. But other sources indicate this is not the case.

In a NOVA article were these passages:

"It turns out that the bristlecone pine has evolved survival strategies that might make other, less hardy plants, well, green with envy. These strategies help it cope with one of the most flora-unfriendly environments."

Nowhere in the NOVA article does it link temperature and tree ring growth for Bristlecone pines, but it seems clear that water is a major factor in BCP growth.

Next came M&M. You can read about them here:

These two scientist started a crusade to get the data so they could check Mann’s work. For over 10 years Mann refused to allow them to see his data, but they still managed to look at his mathematics. Their criticisms were that Mann et al.'s reconstructed millennial temperature graph (the hockey stick) was an artifact of flawed calculations and serious data defects; in turn, MBH replied that these criticisms were spurious. M&M found the mathematics Mann used would produce a hockey stick even if you put random numbers in.

A series of investigations were done. Mann has claimed vindication, but the truth seems to be something else. Mann cites as evidence of this that his ‘hockey stick’ study was:
vindicated in a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and seeks to back up this assertion by citing the way the media reported this study as ‘Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate’ (New York Times), ‘Backing for Hockey Stick Graph’ (BBC), and so on.

Mann Discredited?

This is, to put it mildly, disingenuous. NAS actually agreed with the McIntyre/McKitrick criticisms. Far from vindicating the ‘hockey stick’ graph, the NAS said that although it found some of Mann’s work ‘plausible’, there were so many scientific uncertainties attached to it that it did not have great confidence in it. Thus it said that:

“uncertainties of the published reconstructions...Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium.’

What Mann also does not say is that a subsequent House Energy and Commerce Committee report chaired by Edward Wegman totally eviserated the credibility of the ‘hockey stick’ study and devastatingly ripped apart Mann’s methodology as ‘bad mathematics’. Furthermore, when Gerald North, the chairman of the NAS panel -- which Mann claims ‘vindicated him’ – and panel member Peter Bloomfield were asked at the House Committee hearings whether or not they agreed with Wegman’s harsh criticisms, they said they did:

CHAIRMAN BARTON. “Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?”

DR. NORTH. “No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report."

DR. BLOOMFIELD. "Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his co-workers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.”

WALLACE:”‘the two reports were complementary, and to the extent that they overlapped, the conclusions were quite consistent.’ (Am Stat Assoc.) in our report

There is a huge amount of writings on the hockey stick. Some ardent warmist defend it even today. But I agree with many skeptics who call the hockey stick the MOST discredited study in history.

Tomorrow Climategate explained


Here is an interesting article in the American Thinker. From what you read in the MSM you would think that the Democrats are once again trying to fix healthcare for all Americans only to have the wicked Republicans block the way. This article demonstrates that as usual, this is not the case.

President Nixon proposed healthcare reform which was nixed by the Democrats and the Unions. UAW President Leonard Woodcock said at the time,

"The American people have shown repeatedly through polls that they insist health care has to be a matter of right. The only way that can be done is through a universal system. And compromises that throw away universality are just unacceptable. We prefer to see nothing come out of this congress than that kind of compromise."

When Newt Gingrich came into office after Hillarycare was defeated, he proposed a fix to Medicare which President Clinton vetoed. Clinton then appointed a commission to look into this which came back was a similar proposal to Gingrich's and Clinton again killed it.

During Bush's term in office he tried to rein in Medicare costs and reform Social Security. He was met with a solid front by the Democrats who stonewalled the proposals til they died.

Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced The Patients' Choice Act in the House of Representatives once in 2007 and twice in 2008. Jim DeMint (R-SC) proposed The Health Freedom Act in the Senate. All killed by the majority Democrats.

You can read about it here:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

AGW the Theory

With Climate Change in the news almost constantly, we are seeing one scandal after another regarding the proponents of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). Anthropogenic means man made and the theory of AGW says that the global warming we have experienced in the past 100 years is due to mankind and specifically our use of fossil fuels as our main energy source.

We will be looking at this over the next few days. Today I want to look at the theory and science behind AGW.

There has been climate change happening since the beginning of time on the earth. If you ask scientist about the melting ice in the arctic, they will tell you the usual part of this is that there is any ice at the two poles. For most of the geological history of the planet, the world was ice free.

At the same time there was a period when the earth was entirely covered by ice. This was known as the Cryogenian period and occurred between 850 and 630 million years ago. In recent history (the last 500,000 years) we’ve experience 4 ice ages each lasting approximately 100,000 years followed by 15,000 year interglacial periods when the planet warmed.

So back in the 1970s when we had experienced 30 years of cooling temperatures, there were some scientists who worried that we were entering another ice age, but then the temperatures started getting warmer.

In 1988 Dr. James Hansen, the head of GISS, testified before congress that the greenhouse gases mankind was emitting into the atmosphere through the use of fossil fuels was causing a warming of the planet. He warned of dire results from this warming.

Here is what he was talking about. By burning fossil fuels mankind puts carbon into the atmosphere in the form of CO2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas whose molecules will capture certain wavelengths of radiation converting them into energy that warms the molecule which in turn warms the planet.

The radiation from the sun is short wavelength radiation. It will pass easily through the atmosphere, but can be reflected back into space by cloud albedo. Low, thick clouds (such as stratocumulus) primarily reflect incoming solar radiation, causing it to have a high albedo, whereas high, thin clouds (such as Cirrus) tend to transmit it to the surface but then trap outgoing infrared radiation, causing it to have low albedo. It contributes to the greenhouse effect. Snow at the poles also has an albedo effect.

Radiation from the sun is absorb by the ground and then reradiated as long wave radiation. The long wave radiation can be absorbed by greenhouse gases. The energy in this radiation warms the greenhouse molecules which will release the radiation in all directions including back to earth thereby warming the surface again.

Greenhouse gases are important for life on earth. They raise the temperature of the planet. Without greenhouse gases the average temperature would be -18 degrees C versus the 14 degree C we actually experience. The main greenhouse gas is water vapor. We know that CO2 is also a greenhouse gas and one molecule will raise the temperature by X while the next molecule of CO2 will raise the temperature by X-a.

We know that CO2 as a greenhouse gas will increase the temperature by 1.2 degrees Centigrade every time you double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (it isn’t linear). This is agreed to by all and is the science that is “settled.” This is the first leg of the AGW theory.

The AGW theory says once the temperature starts to rise due to CO2, more water vapor will be put into the atmosphere as feedback. They see this addition water vapor actually breaking up the low level clouds and forming high level Cirrus clouds that will trap more heat. This in turn will raise the temperature even more and eventually (although the AGW supporters see this as happening soon) you will hit tipping points where permafrost starts to melt, bogs start to warm and all of these give up more and more greenhouse gases causing a runaway greenhouse effect which will raise the temperature even more, melt the ice at the poles and raise the ocean levels by 20 to 30 feet. It is from this that we find the disaster scenarios we keep hearing about in the press. This feedback is the second leg of the AGW theory.

Now to make the above scenario of runaway warming more real, we have to look back on the past and see if the warming we’ve experienced is unique (the Holocene period—approximately the last 10,000 years). Up until the late 1990s we had a temperature record (based on writing at the time and proxies) that said although we are experiencing warming mankind had experienced warming before in the Medieval Warm Period (MWP 800 AD to 1300 AD) the Roman Warm Period (200 AD to 500 AD), and Middle Holocene Period (5000 BC to 3000 BC).

Michael Mann and a number of scientists from the CRU at East Anglia University were all involved in Paleoclimatology focusing on the past 1000 years. Mann came out with his famous hockey stick graph which eliminated the MWP. He declared that any vestige of MWP was purely a localize weather event in Europe and the warming we’ve seen in the past 100 years is without precedent in the past 1000 years. This was the final leg of the AGW theory.

The last 10 to 15 years have not shown any real warming which is a problem for AGW supporters. But they counter this observation by saying the past decade was the warmest ever recorded (in the past 130 years). At the same time, they claimed global warming was happening even faster than they thought and used the melting of Ice in the Arctic to illustrate that point. Finally they said, the general consensus of climate scientists supports the AGW theory and anyone who disagrees is a “denialist.”

Next—The skeptics view of the theory of AGW

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Do As I Say.....

The left always like to charge hypocrisy when referring to conservatives. But hypocrisy is a non ideological trait as revealed by these homea.
The top left one (with the red building) is the "two Americas--one Rich and one Poor" John Edwards home.

The one just below and to the right, is Tom (global weirding) Friedman's small earth saving dwelling who strongly advocates doing something about climate change.

While the bottom house belongs to Nobel Laurette, Academy Award winning Al (Inconvenient Truth) Gore.

I guess this is okay as long as they buy their indulgences err, carbon credits for their conspicuous consumption.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Barack Obama Lessons in Management

One of the management theories I have is that great managers tend to be people who have gone through rough times and learned from their mistakes before becoming a manager.

Managing is one of the most difficult roles a person can hold. They are pulled in numerous directions with the people below them wanting certain things, peers looking for other things and their bosses expecting a third set of accomplishments. With politicians it is even worse with all kinds of constituents wanting different things from the successful candidate. Without having experienced failure and learned from it, many people in order to dismiss the din of requests, fall back into the position of "I'm the boss and this is what we are going to do." It's too painful to listen so they quit listening.

In looking at the apparent management style of Barack Obama, I see a person who hasn't had to deal with failure in the past. Rather than failure he has been held up by those around him and told how very good and talented he is. And the gift that has gotten him this acclaim is his ability to speak and persuade.

One year into his presidency, BHO finds himself below 50% approval and under heavy fire from both opponents and supporters. Opponents see him as taking the country too far to the left and not listening to their protests, while former supporters find he's not holding true to his liberal principles and feel he's listening too much to the right. He finds himself in the classic managerial conundrum of being pulled in opposite directions. His reaction to this is the one you generally see from someone who has experienced nothing but success. He goes back to do what he got him there, speaking. This past year President Obama (according to CBS News) had 411 speeches comment or remarks including 52 specifically about health care; did 158 interviews; held 42 news conferences; and attended 23 townhalls. As you look at this list you see the classic failure of a new manager, he talked when he should have been listening. And when asked about what the problem with the healthcare proposal was, Obama said (in the SOTU) "I take my share of the blame for not explaining health care.”

So what would have happened if BHO had actually experienced failure earlier in his career? Would it have made a difference?

My thoughts are absolutely. Bill Clinton had lost two elections in his career. When he was declared irrelevant by many after the 1994 elections, he reshaped himself as he had been forced to do when he lost his first bid for congress and his first reelection bid as governor of Arkansas. Clinton looked at the results of 1994 and listened to the voters. He then changed his direction reforming welfare, going along with balancing the budget, and declaring the "era of big government is over."

What we are seeing from this President seems to be an arrogance built on the fact that he has never had to face defeat. To look at himself, his agenda, and listen to what the majority of Americans are saying would mean he would have to admit defeat. Instead he rationalize the problem to be, he hasn't explained his agenda well enough.

And while Bill Clinton was able to regroup, it appears BHO is on the road to being a failed one term president.

An added note: To write this blog, I went to google and put in Obama the manager. What I got were of articles about David Plouffe, the manager of his successful Presidential campaign. There was nothing about BHO being a manager either successfully or unsuccessfully.

Some Observations

While many on the left like to accuse climate skeptics of being so stupid that they don't know the difference between weather and climate, it was at James Hansen's testimony over 20 year ago regarding global warming that the advocates cut off the air conditioning, opened the windows on a hot summer day to emphasis their point. It seems they must have felt that congress was stupid enough not to know the difference between climate and a hot day. And it appears they were correct.

And a companion piece to that observation is just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% disagree and say the government does not have the necessary consent. Eighteen percent (18%) of voters are not sure.

However, 63% of the Political Class think the government has the consent of the governed, but only six percent (6%) of those with Mainstream views agree. Again this reinforces the reason why they opened the windows and turned off the air conditioning when they presented the idea of global warming to congress.

That helps explain why 75% of voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and 63% say it would be better for the country if most members of Congress are defeated this November. Just 27% believe their own representative in Congress is the best person for the job.

Once again we are hearing in the media that America is ungovernable. The last time we heard this lamented was during Jimmy Carter's presidency. Does it strike you odd that right after that Ronald Reagan was elected and he seemed to govern America quite well? Perhaps what the MSM should say is that the people of America refused to be governed by incompetent leftists.

Embryonic Stem Cell research
, touted by the left as the magic bullet that would let para and quadriplegics walk again, unlock the secrets to defeating cancer, etc. , hasn't worked out so well. Even after California funded it with 3 billion dollars and W allowed a series of lines to be used for research, not a single therapy has been found using these cells. It seems that these cells can become any type of cells in the body, but have a propensity to become tumors. And many of these tumors have actual teeth in them. In the meantime adult stem cells are continuing to used to treat diseases with a lot of success and not a single tooth growing where it shouldn't.

According to a new study released by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, some of the most liberal U.S. states rank lowest when it comes to personal freedom. …
New York is the least overall free by a considerable margin, followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Maryland. So what is the freeist state in the Union? Sarah Palin's Alaska. No wonder the MSM doesn't like her.

While Democrats lament how frequently the Republicans have used the filibuster this past year, they seem to forget that the Republicans didn't have the votes to sustain a filibuster. In fact what they are counting as an attempted filibuster by the Republicans was anytime the Democrats wanted to cut off debate and used cloture to do it. It reminds me of the child who goes crying to his mother, "Billy hit my fist with his eye."

In our poll on what will happen in the 2010 election: 51% think the Republicans will win both houses of congress; 15% think the Republicans will take the House of Representatives; 30% see the Republicans gaining seats but not taking control; and 3% think the Republicans will lose seats. I want to thank Senator Michael Bennet for casting the vote for the Republicans losing seats.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The movement that cried wolf

The theory of anthropogenic global warming is falling apart, not from the original theory, but by what appears to be a concerted effort to falsify records, data, and conclusions.

AGW was in it's heyday back in the 1990s. The temperatures had gone up for over a decade and the rise in CO2 seemed to match this rise well.

But after 1998, the temperatures flatten out while CO2 kept rising. By this time there was a large industry relying on AGW theory for their survival. From universities to "green" industries, there was a massive lobby for continued government grants and government subsidies. In order to distract people from the fact that warming was not continuing, we kept hearing horror stories from scientific studies and computer simulations that it was warming even faster than we thought and from the ultra extremists that we needed to abandon our life style and dismantle our current energy system (350 movement). And there was no time to waste because we only had 10 years to save the planet. It was a case of the "movement that cried wolf."

2005 was a watershed year for AGW alarmists. The Hurricane season spurred a record number of hurricanes the most noteworthy being Katrina. Al Gore told us this was a result of global warming. That next year he released a filming of his presentation "An Inconvenient Truth," ending up by winning an Academy Award for it. Later he and the IPCC would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts against global warming.

But by this time, the temperatures were not only not rising, but in fact were falling. Several noted scientist predicted that this cooling could last up to 30 years and was being caused by natural causes. Hurricane season came and went without the promised increase numbers and intensity and in fact were on the low side for both.

But the AGW supporters continued to insist that global warming was happening and it would be disasterous. They pointed to warming in the Arctic and the computer models as proof. But other scientist pointed out that the Arctic was actually warm in the 1930s and the temperature today is actually cooler than it was then. And the computer models did not predict the lapse of warming for the past 10 years so it was obvious that they weren't accurate.

Then came Climategate. A treasure trove of emails and computer code from CRU was released (not sure if it was hacked into or a whistle blower released it) in November 2009. And the entire AGW industry started to fall apart.

With examples of petty jealousy, poor record keeping, conspiracies against non-conforming scientists, the use of non-peer reviewed material in the IPCC report, conflicts of interest, and just simply poor science, the AGW industry suddenly found itself in the role it sought to put skeptics in, that is, defending itself from charges of bad science and bad motives. And as this movement goes down, more and more scientists who didn't buy into the AGW theory are coming forward and getting their studies published. In fact here is an article laying out how recent peer reviewed studies disprove the AGW theory.

At last it appears that science is going back to its role to discover truth rather than advocate policies and politics.

More Bad News for the Democrats

In December the Obama Administration announced they had “saved or created” 1.1 million jobs. In January the Obama Administration announced they had “saved or created” 2 million jobs. (It appears December must have been a very good month for saving or creating jobs).

Unfortunately for the Democrats, Americans aren’t buying this “saved or created” story.

Just 6% of Americans believe the $787 “stimulus” created any jobs according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll. Actually when you look at the numbers thrown around by the administration you may have a clue as to why the American public doesn't believe it. And looking at an earlier posting where only 8% of the population believes incumbents should be reelected, this 6% probably makes up about 75% of those who would reelect their congressman.

Formula for Disaster

On a daily basis, Rasmussen polls likely voters on the approval of President Barack Obama. Now many of the left dismiss Rasmussen as a Republican pollster, but he was the pollster than came closest to the actual outcome in both the 2008 and 2004 Presidential races.

Right now President Obama is not doing well. Today's numbers showed that 41% strongly disapprove of the job he's doing while 24% strongly approve for a -17% rating. Overall, 47% at least somewhat approve while 52% at least somewhat disapprove.

Now these numbers don't mean a lot to President Obama's reelection because it is so far in the future, but it does mean a lot to congressional democrats. Both the strongly approve and strongly disapprove are highly likely to vote, but the 36% that don't have strong feelings could easily sit out the congressional elections. And with 2/3 of them at least somewhat approving of Obama's performance (and if all of these vote it still isn't a majority) their failure to vote could be a disaster for the Democrats.

What you hear from Democrat pundits is that if the economy improves and the job picture gets better, Obama's numbers will improve too. While this is true, job creation is a lagging indicator of the economy. And the actual percentage of unemployed Americans is not likely to get better soon as many job seekers have dropped out of the job pool holding the percent unemployed down. Once the job situation gets better they are likely to come back into the market making the unemployment percentage stay relatively high.

Another problem the Obama Administration has is the expectation gap. Obama ran saying he would overcome the partisan divide, stop earmarks, close Guantanamo, block lobbyist from taking jobs in the government, and solve the problem of illegal immigration. This along with his promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 now seem to be at odds with what he is actually doing. Add to this an unpopular healthcare bill he is trying to ram through congress, a seemingly deaf ear to what the people are saying about this and the deficit and you have a formula for disaster.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Judge, Jury and Executioner

Although there is a great deal of controversy about mirandizing suspected terrorists, the Obama Administration has opted for a much more lethal form of warfare using remote control drones.

Avoiding the problems associated with getting information from high ranking detainees, the current administration has increased the number of drone strikes against Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. The administration has denied that a policy determination has been made to emphasize kills over captures, several factors appear to have tipped to just that. The effectiveness of the drones have increased while logistic problems such as where the administration could even hold high value detainees have become problematic.

Although this is one of those cognitive dissonance situations (it isn't alright to use enhanced interrogation techniques, but it is okay to kill terrorists) the strategy appears to be paying off.

Of course it is not without consequences. "A senior commander connected to the Afghan Taliban and involved with the attack against the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that left eight people dead said Saturday the bombing was retaliation for U.S. drone strikes in the Afghan-Pakistan border region"

And the usual suspect are weighing in as well. "In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed today, the American Civil Liberties Union asked the government to disclose the legal basis for its use of predator drones to conduct "targeted killings" overseas. In particular, the ACLU seeks to find out when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killings."

I guess my answer to the ACLU is the legal basis for the use of drone strikes is that we are at war and are trying to kill the enemy (if not why in the world would army's all over the globe be given guns?).

Also complaining about this policy are far leftist as exemplified by the people on the Democratic Underground.

All in all, I can't say that I disapprove of the Obama Administration in this regard. It appears our Nobel Peace Prize recipient is not a bad warrior.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is AGW collapsing?

The internet is ablaze with the story of Phil Jones, the former head of CRU, stating that:

"He also agreed that there had been two periods which experienced similar warming, from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998, but said these could be explained by natural phenomena whereas more recent warming could not.

He further admitted that in the last 15 years there had been no ‘statistically significant’ warming, although he argued this was a blip rather than the long-term trend.

And he said that the debate over whether the world could have been even warmer than now during the medieval period, when there is evidence of high temperatures in northern countries, was far from settled."

Read more about this at :

This is significant. When a proponent of AGW admits what Jones has admitted, it calls into question the science of AGW. If it is not warming now, yet CO2 is still increasing, you have to ask the question "why?'' If the hockey stick is does not really exist, then we've had times when temperature was warmer than today, without disaster you have to ask the question, "why should we change the way we live?"

Add to this the multitude of scandals from the IPCC and what appears to be a warming bias by the GISS in global temperatures and you have the perfect storm.

I'm seeing movement from the proponents of AGW. They have stepped back and are starting to argue we need to do what they wanted to force us to do because of AGW, but now it is because of peak oil, too much dependence on the middle east, etc. Expect to hear more and more about "green jobs," and how it will solve the economic problems and be good for our national security.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How Global Warming is causing blizzards in Washington--the Explanation

With the blizzards in the East Coast we are hearing from global warming fanatics that this simply is another manifestation of global warming. As counterintuitive as this may seem, I wrote this up to explain it.

This is the way science works for the supporters of AGW

Increased warming means higher temperatures and therefore less snow. But increased warming means more water vapor in the atmosphere leading to more precipitation. Therefore AGW can cause big blizzards. So too little snow or too much snow is an indication of global warming.

More warming can mean glaciers will shrink. But more precipitation means glaciers can grow. Therefore if glaciers are growing or shrinking it means global warming is happening.

More warming means more energy for hurricanes and therefore more and stronger hurricanes are in the future. But more warming also means more wind sheer which cuts off hurricanes and can mean fewer hurricanes. So more or fewer hurricanes is caused by global warming.

More water vapor means more clouds and more precipitation. More clouds and precipitation causes cooling which could lead to global cooling. So if it is warming or cooling, it is proof of global warming.

No wonder Al Gore says the science is settled. It predicts everything that has and can happen.

Although this looks like a parody, it isn't. I've seen these arguments by warmists on various sites to explain things that don't seem to compute with global warming.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Throw The Bums Out

"A stunning 8 percent of Americans believe members of Congress should be reelected, a staggering indictment of the legislative branch as Democrats prepare to defend their majority in the midterm elections."

This is earth shattering. Many people have speculated that the electorate is fed up with congress and it appears they are correct.

Typical of news like this, the response from the Democrats and Republicans is different. "Republicans see it as a reason to throw Democrats out of Congress, while Democrats want to blame Republican obstruction for the overwhelmingly negative feelings reflected in the poll."

Of the two explanations, the Democrats have a tougher sell. The Republicans have not been in a position to obstruct the Democrat agenda. The Democrats have a 79 seat majority in the House and up until Scott Brown's election a 60 vote filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

32 members of the House and 6 members of the Senate have announced they will not run. Normally that bodes ill for the party of the people retiring, but in this climate it may be an advantage.

Read more:

Individual Freedom

I just came across a study by Mercatus Center of George Mason University, which calls itself the “first-ever comprehensive ranking of the American states on their public policies affecting individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres." This study came out in May 2009.

One of the findings they came to was that the more liberal the state, the less individual freedom in the state. In fact, New York is the least overall free by a considerable margin, followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Maryland.

The freest states in the country are New Hampshire, Colorado, and South Dakota, which together achieve a virtual tie for first place. All three states feature low taxes and government spending -- and middling levels of regulation and paternalism.

Colorado was ranked the #2 state. We achieved this ranking through excellent fiscal numbers and above-average numbers on regulation and paternalism. Colorado is the most fiscally decentralized in the country, with local governments raising fully 44.5 percent of all state and local expenditures. By percentage of adjusted GSP, Colorado has the third lowest tax burden in the country, surpassed only by Tennessee and Texas. It has resisted the temptation of “sin taxes,” with low rates on beer, wine, spirits, and cigarettes. If you read these numbers and think that this shows Colorado isn't spending enough on its citizens, you are probably more liberal. If you read this and think TABOR is working exactly like it should you are probably a conservative.

On the other hand, Colorado’s smoking bans are among the most extreme in the country, with no exceptions or local option for any locations other than workplaces.

As for those liberal states the study found, “The problem is that the cultural values of liberal governments seem on balance to require more regulation of individual behavior than do the cultural values of conservative governments,” say the study’s authors. “While liberal states are freer than conservative states on marijuana and same-sex partnership policies, when it comes to gun owners, home schoolers, motorists, or smokers, liberal states are nanny states, while conservative states are more tolerant.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Here's an interesting article that will also increase your vocabulary. The word is Zugzwang. Here the first sentence in the article followed by a link to get you there.

"I first encountered the word Zugzwang in a 1985 New York Times Magazine column by the late William Safire. It’s a chess term that means “compelled to move, but imperiled by doing so.” The word’s political implications are profound."

I found entertaining, the statement that Safire used to describe the dilema. ''Don't just do something, stand there.''

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Matters of National Security

Yesterday I noticed a story where Michele Obama said that obesity was a matter of national security.

Now I've noticed that there is a big difference between what liberals and conservative see as matters of national security. Liberals see not only obesity as a matter of national security but Climate Change, right wing anti-immigration views, returning veterans, gun violence, global poverty, anti-abortion demonstrators, human caused disasters, and most recently criticizing Obama's decision to handle terror suspects as criminals with all the protections of the US Constitution.

Conservatives on the other hand see anti-American governments and terrorists (human caused disaster implementers?) as matters of national security and that's pretty much it. But then as any liberal will tell you, conservative are basically simple people.

Top Ten Things Obama should write on his palm

When the left saw the writing on Sarah Palin's hand, they went nuts. To them it showed she was stupid. Nothing was said about BHO's habit of reading not notes but a script everytime he wanted to say something. But a script sometimes isn't enough. You need to have note for things you have trouble remembering or things that are just too important to forget.

With this in mind I've put together a top 10 list of things President Obama should write on the palm of his hand.

10. It's the economy, stupid.
9. Do not use the teleprompter in grade schools
8. Keep head level. The chin up looks too much like Mussolini.
7. Do not laugh when you tell reporters you are not an ideologue.
6. There are 50 states, not 57.

Now for the top five.

5. I am focused solely on jobs (note--try not to laugh).
4. It's now insurance reform not healthcare reform.
3. Put hand over heart during National Anthem.
2. Core-man not Corpse-man

And the number one note that Obama should write on his hand.

1. Blame Bush!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lost Political Capital

When I was younger, I used to play a game called "Blitzkreig." It was a board game that simulated the invasion of Russia by Nazi Germany. The game was set up so that if you were in the role of Germany, you needed to win early because the Russians resupplied at about triple your ability after a few turns.

In one game I was doing quite well. I was approaching Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Moscow with large armies. Now the smart thing to do would have been to consolidate my armies and attack either Leningrad or Moscow. You always want to attack with overwhelming force. But I had large armies at both and wanted to win quickly. So I attacked both at the same time.

In Moscow, I was stalemated. At Leningrad, I was wiped out. I spent the rest of the game retreating since my armies were no longer large enough to mount a realist offensive.

The Obama Administration finds themselves in a similar situation. They gambled too much and lost too much political capital on a healthcare "war strategy" that has resulted in them losing any Republican support and they now have twice as many independents against them as they have for them. At the same time, the country felt they needed (and still need) to focus on the economy. As I did in the game, they have picked the wrong strategy.

And like Hitler after he was bogged down in Russia, they have taken the "don't retreat strategy" even after electoral losses in Virginia, New Jersey and the unbelieveable loss in Massachusetts. They have said they are going to focus on jobs, but Obama is calling a Healthcare summit. If nothing else, this administration has shown themselves to be completely tone deaf.

2010 midterm elections loom large for the Democrat Party. A year ago no one would dream that the Republicans might have a chance to take back the House and even the Senate. Yet now they look like they may be able to do just that.

I invite you to express your opinion in this weeks poll.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Murtha dies at 77

U.S. Rep. John Murtha, an influential critic of the Iraq War whose congressional career was shadowed by questions about his ethics, died Monday. He was 77.
The Pennsylvania Democrat had been suffering complications from gallbladder surgery. He died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., spokesman Matthew Mazonkey said.

The democrats lost a one of the leaders when John Murtha died. He was plagued by scandals all through his 36 years in the house of representatives, but was reelected 18 times.

Murtha was one of the figures in the Abscam scandal in 1980. He was offered a bribe of $50,000 and turned it down, but qualified his refusal by saying, "We do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested and maybe I won't,"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Edge of Insanity

Yesterday I went to see Mel Gibson's new movie, Edge of Darkness. It was a pretty good movie and in its own right a bit prophetic.

This movie was set in Boston. It seems the movie had an evil US Senator from Massachusetts as a major part of the story. Even though when the movie was made, Massachusetts hadn't had a Repubican Senator in 30 years, nor could anyone imagine one especially in the Senate seat held by late Edward Kennedy.

But, Hollywood was one step ahead of the public, because they had this evil Senator from Massachusetts being a Republican. Oh, he looked like disgraced Democrat politician, Eliot Spitzer and not Scott Brown, and he was complicit in murder and what appeared to be treason, but to Hollywood this was the behavior of a Republican rather than a Democrat even in normally left wing Massachusetts.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


The theory of man-made global warming is based upon some very thin strands of evidence. It goes something like this.

The world is warming.
CO2 is increasing.
CO2 is a greenhouse gas
Therefore it must be the cause of the warming.

It takes a coincidence and assume a correlation. But then CO2 isn't the only thing that has increased at the same time temperature has gone up. So has an increase in the height of the average human being, the number of people getting high school and college diplomas, the number of women in the workforce, the percentage of the world population that speaks English, the number of countries embracing democracy, the number of people saying “can you hear me now” into a cellphone and a few hundred other trends that may or may not be causally related to each other.

Another hole in the AGW theory is the fact that although the temperature did rise from the mid-1970s to the year 2000, CO2 has been increasing since 1945. So you have warming 25 years out of 65 years of increasing CO2.

This might explain why we are being bombarded with stories of what appears to be poor science to outright fraud by the scientific organizations that have move from being scientific organizations to being partisan shills (IPCC, CRU, GISS).

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Does it strike you odd:

That in Iran's first space mission they sent up a "can of worms?"

President Obama keeps telling us deficits keep him awake at night while his people tell us they plan to deficit spend our way out of the recession?

As part of the recent investigation of Michael Mann which was started because of the leaked email known as Climategate, the University of Pennsylvania claims they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law. Isn't that how this whole thing got started at CRU?

The same day President Obama talked about his "insurance reform aka healthcare reform" telling the dems "we need to punch it over," we learned that Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams is abandoning Canada's "free system" and was heading to the USA for his heart surgery.

Just when it looked as if Climate Change was falling apart, the left got a new voice to speak out for it. Osama bin Laden said that climate change "is not an intellectual luxury but an actual fact."

Bring it on!

Back in July of 2003, President Bush "taunted the Iraqi groups waging a guerrilla war against US and British troops, saying "bring them on" and vowing that the coalition would not be forced into an early departure."

On Groundhog Day in New Hampshire at a high school President Obama told the GOP to “bring it on." He taunted the GOP "I’ve said to the Republicans, ‘Show me what you’ve got. You’ve been sitting on the sidelines criticizing what we’re proposing; I’m happy to defend insurance reforms,’” he said. “‘I’m happy to have these debates; I just want to see what else you’ve got.’”

I see a lot of Democrats talk about how Obama has tried to change the tone in Washington. It appears his definition of change and what the electorate thought he was going to do is vastly different.

And did you notice we no longer have Healthcare reform. We now have "insurance reform?"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pride goeth before destruction

The AGW scandal known as Climategate shows a disturbing pattern of scientist who have become partisan plotting to marginalize their peers who disagree with them. One of the techniques to do this was to withhold data from them.

Now this not only goes against the scientific method but is also contrary to a freedom of information law that the UK has in place. In fact, it is recognized that these scientists broke the FOI law, but aren't being prosecuted as the statute of limitations have run out on this.

Phil Jones was the director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. He has temporarily stepped down, but appears to be looking to get his old job back.

He was quoted today as saying, "We need to work differently, making more data available and making our assumptions clear. Everything needs to be more and more open and we will be striving to do that in the future."

This quote by Jones reminded me of something. When Saddam Hussein was captured he reportedly said, "I'm the president of Iraq and I'm willing to negotiate."

In both cases, you have defiant people who when cornered suddenly become reasonable.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."