Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Ferengi Factor (Pretend AGW is real, and retire rich!)

"Who cares if nobody has proven
a human influence on our climate?

This is an opportunity for profits!" chief Steven Milloy had a chance to speak last week at a conference sponsored by the Wall Street Journal. The conference was, in Milloy's words, a gathering of industries "that seek to make a financial killing from climate alarmism".

Milloy noted that attendees were remarkably uninterested in the question of whether or not climate change was truly -- for the first time in history -- caused by human activity. Thus, Milloy's attempt to bring the audience's attention to contrary evidence like the graph below went down like a lead balloon.

Rather, the focus remained on the various ways for businesses to maximize profits, assuming no change in the current

If enough corporations begin to recognize a financial interest in keeping public and political opinions where they are right now, it may not matter if science slowly comes around to recognizing the dearth of evidence supporting the AGW hypothesis:

Virtually every speaker at the conference professed that they were either in favor of free markets or that they supported a free-market solution to global warming. But invariably in their next breath, they would plead for government regulation of greenhouse gases and government subsidies for alternative energy.

It’s hard to conceive of any good coming from a public policy in which facts play no substantial role in its development and words have no meaning in its public debate.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Winter 2007-8: It's all in how you look at it

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration presents a straightforward acknowledgment that this winter has bucked the trend of recent years:

NOAA: Coolest Winter Since 2001 for U.S., Globe

The average temperature across both the contiguous U.S. and the globe during climatological winter (December 2007-February 2008) was the coolest since 2001, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. In terms of winter precipitation, Pacific storms, bringing heavy precipitation to large parts of the West, produced high snowpack that will provide welcome runoff this spring.

The Associated Press, looking at the same press release, ignored NOAA's summary and zeroed in on the one thing that matters most to the CoGW:
Winter Has Been Warmer Than Average

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Winter storms and snow notwithstanding, this winter was still warmer than average worldwide, the government reported Thursday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The greatest tragedy of L'Affair Spitzer

All moral and legal issues aside, the scandal enveloping New York governor Eliot Spitzer may have caused some collateral damage to the AGW political agenda in the U.S., to the dismay of true believers. As opined by SolveClimate:
Spitzer's rendez-vous, the night before Valentine's day s'il vous plaƮt, will unfortunately strike a blow at progress on global warming, whether through his resignation, unavoidable distraction if he stays in office, and/or his diminished effectiveness. He has been a Governor who has shown -- in the absence of federal action -- leadership on global warming, which began during his tenure as New York State attorney General, and whose good effect endures.
(Credit: Minnesota Monitor, Free Republic)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Whoever added this blog to StumbleUpon...

Thanks! And, welcome to all who came for a visit as a result.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The planet will be better off if you stay in bed

Reader Kevin J. pointed me to the story of Dutch student Yde Van Deutekom, who is inviting webcam viewers to pay him to stay in bed all day. The wonderfully-named environmentalist site TreeHugger notes the similarity of Yde's quest with this classic Joy of Tech cartoon (click link to see the whole thing), which shows how laziness can be repackaged as an ecological virtue.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Shield your eyes if you're writing a college research paper

Of all the global warming blogs
in all the domains
in all the world...
she comes across mine.

One of the nice things about using a data service like Statcounter is that I usually find out pretty quickly when somebody has linked to this site. Today I found out that I had the distinct honor of being a case-in-point in a college freshman's lab exercise on reliable and unreliable sources of information on the internet.

In case you were wondering, I was singled out as an example of an unreliable source of information on global warming. As soon as I got over the shock and shame at being thus labeled, I read on.

Before I relate why Ms. Cooper determined my site to be unreliable, I thought it might be good to note the qualities that she thinks makes a site reliable and/or credible. To sum up, a reliable/credible source is:
  1. Associated with a commercial publication of some kind; or
  2. Associated with some known organization; or
  3. Associated with a government, military or academic internet domain.
That's about it. It's safe to cite anything that comes from such sources.

How did I fail Ms. Cooper? My sins are threefold:
  1. I use "sarcasm" in the "About the Heretic" section on the sidebar when comparing my credentials to those of Al Gore. I thought of it more as dryly humorous hyperbole, but okay. I guess her complaint here is that by the use of such humor, I have surrendered any claim to objectivity. However, objectivity is not my aim, as I explain in the next item.
  2. In that same blurb I mention that I use this site to present my opinions on the various issues surrounding the global warming debate. I have never pretended that this site was to be seen as a source of original news reporting or original research. There are other excellent sites out there (many linked in the sidebar) which accomplish this quite well. My goal is to analyze what others are reporting as news or publishing as science, and to look at possible cultural and ideological trends therein. So, if I was dinged for not being an original source for news and research results... guilty.
  3. I'm shocked -- shocked! --
    to learn that opinions
    are expressed on this blog!
  4. I publish on Blogspot. To the same extent that anything published on a site ending in .edu, .mil or .gov is deemed automatically reliable, so anything published on is automatically unreliable. In both extremes, the judgment is made without regard to actual content. Although I do work for a university, this site is a personal project of mine and is unrelated to my current work. Too bad. If I was a college professor I could move my analyses to my departmental web page, and by virtue of the .edu domain it seems that my essays would be citeable. Nice racket, if you can get into it.
Please note that I am not accusing Ms. Cooper of attacking my point of view. In fact, she presents fellow heretic as an example of a reliable site.

Ms. Cooper's assignment appears to have been about which kinds of sources should be citeable when writing a college research paper. Fair enough, but I think that the broad generalizations given by Cooper discourage critical thinking.

Better to have the following standard regarding internet sources: Cite whatever you want, but be prepared to defend your choices.

(P.S. Here's a philosophical poser: Was it okay for Ms. Cooper to cite this site in support of her thesis that this site should not be cited?)

Update on the indoctrination of our youth

WJBF-TV in Atlanta brings us this February 28 story of a boy who appears to have a fine future in politics:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger helped a student who fainted at a speech in Sacramento.


The boy and the Governor got a chance to talk later in the nurse's office. The student told the Governor he blames global warming for the incident.