July 3, 2014

HURRICANE ARTHUR

Hurricane Season is from June 1 – November 30 each year. This year’s first hurricane, Arthur (Cat 1), has just formed and is sitting off the coast of SC.


Here is a satellite photo of Arthur yesterday as the tropical storm formed into a hurricane:

It is not projected to make landfall other than perhaps the outer banks (Hatteras Island) of NC. These communities are essentially built on a sandbar and barrier islands jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean and averaging just a few feet above sea level, thus they are susceptible to storms and flooding. In 2003 the Island was cut in half by Hurricane Isabel. The community filled the hole with sand but was damaged again in 2011 by Hurricane Irene. 

Each year there is an average of about two Cat 1 hurricanes, one Cat 2 hurricane, and one major (Cat 3,4,5) hurricane that forms in the Atlantic. However, some years are extremely busy. The following are years with 10 or more hurricanes: 1870, 1886, 1887, 1893, 1916, 1933, 1950, 1969, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2012. 2005 has the record for most hurricanes (15), with 7 of those major. Wilma was a massive Cat 5 hurricane that may have been one of the strongest storms we’ve experienced. Hurricane Katrina (Cat 5) also hit that year which was the costliest natural disaster in US history due to its landfall into low lying New Orleans. Hurricanes don’t always make landfall, many times they form, then blow back out to sea before reaching the US. This is the paths of all the known hurricanes over the last 150 years:

Over the last 100 years a major hurricane (Cat 3,4,5) makes landfall in the USA every 1.4 years on average. However, the last major hurricane to make landfall was Hurricane Wilma (Cat 5) on October 19, 2005. That is 8.7 years ago! This is also a current record of longest time between a major hurricanes to hit the US. So we are “due” for a major hurricane landfall anytime. Hopefully we continue this record trend this year, but the odds are stacking against us.




 __________________________________________________
 Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

June 3, 2014

A FEW CARBON FACTS

A few facts and opinions regarding the renewed push to sensationalize global warming and implement CO2 limits by the EPA and the Obama administration:

1) The world, on average and based on our best measurements, has warmed 0.7 C since the invention of the internal combustion engine in the late 1800’s.  You would have absolutely no way of knowing this, or caring, if you weren't constantly told this was a terrible thing.

2) The world, on average and based on our best measurements, has warmed over 8 C since the last ice age 20,000 years ago.  At that time, most of our country and Europe were under a mile thick layer of ice.  A warming planet is a good thing.  We should rejoice and give thanks that our planet is continuing to warm.  Because one day another ice age will begin, and that will be very bad indeed.

3) Based on our best satellite data, the planet has not increased in average temperature in over 17 years.  This means that you, mister high school senior, who has listened to global warming teaching in science class every year, has experienced absolutely no measurable warming in your whole life!  Think about that for a bit.

4) CO2 is not a pollutant.  It is a molecule that along with water and Sun energy forms the plant life on our planet through the chemical reaction of photosynthesis.  It creates carbon chains using CO2 and is why all life on planet earth is carbon based.  Our mass comes from CO2.  Without CO2 in our atmosphere, life as we know it on planet earth dies.

5) Despite how important it is, CO2 barely exists in our atmosphere.  It is currently at 0.040%.  In the 1950’s when we stared measuring it at Mauna Loa in Hawaii, it was at 0.031%.  This increase is most certainly mainly caused by our burning of fossil fuels.  Nitrogen is 78.030% and oxygen is 20.990% and argon is 0.940%.  There are other trace gases such as hydrogen, neon, helium, krypton and xenon up there as well.  Plants are very happy that we have put more CO2 in the air.  The earth is currently showing signs of greening by satellites.

6) Anytime you burn something you release CO2.  This is the opposite of the photosynthesis reaction.  Animals eating, decomposing organic matter, and all forms of fire use oxygen to combine with the carbon chains and release the energy.  The CO2 molecule is then released to start the cycle over again.  There is no “clean” burning that will not release CO2.  It is not a pollutant.  It is the only and the cleanest form of combustion.  You cannot tell a coal company to reduce their CO2 output unless they reduce their burning of coal.  There is not a magic widget you can put on a factory that makes CO2 go away.  There are many air pollutants that can be released by the burning of coal such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, mercury, etc.  These ARE pollutants and can be removed.  But CO2 cannot.

7) Storms, both hurricanes and tornadoes, are NOT getting worse.  In fact, we are currently experiencing the longest time between major hurricanes to hit the US.  This means we are due for a bad season soon.  Not because of CO2, but because that’s what happens naturally.

8) The oceans levels are NOT accelerating.  The oceans get deeper as ice melts.  This has been happening from the last ice age.  Also, land is not solid, it floats on giant tectonic plates and moves around and up and down. As best we can tell, the ocean gets about 7” deeper every 100 years.  If you build your house on a sandbar at the coast you will eventually get wet, this has nothing to do with CO2 (Matthew figured this out 2000 years ago, Mt 7:24-27).

9) We are NOT experiencing more drought.  Physics demands that warmer temperatures will evaporate more water and hold more humidity in the air resulting in more rainfall.  It is extremely hard to measure because the average changes are so tiny compared to the noise, but we think the US has gotten slightly more rain compared to 100 years ago.  This is good!

One might ask why you keep hearing that these things are happening, even from the President, while I am telling you they are not.  That is a great question to ask!  Simply put, one of us is lying (hint, one of us gets huge amounts of new tax money and power, the other doesn't).

May 19, 2014

BEHOLD!



__________________________________________________

Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

April 23, 2014

CONTROVERSY



__________________________________________________

 Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

April 22, 2014

YOU ARE THE EVIL RICH

Warning, this NYT op ad By Mark R. Rank might mess with your notion of who the “rich 1%” are:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/opinion/sunday/from-rags-to-riches-to-rags.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0

Income inequality is a darling of the politicians who want to make you think there are a few ultra-rich at the top who are taking everything at the expense of the rest of us (and of course only by voting these politicians into more power can it be fixed). But the real story of America has always been its amazing opportunity and mobility.

While it’s true there is a huge gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of Americans, the fact is, these rich aren't the same group of people every year. Americans, during their lifetime, not only regularly, but NORMALLY make it into the top 10% of wage earners! And the vast majority (73%) will find themselves in the top 20% of earners at some point. An incredible 12% (42 million people) will be the “Evil 1%” for a year. Other years, those same Americans find themselves at the bottom or in the middle. Selling a business, cashing in an investment, receiving a big bonus or inheritance, making a big sale, etc. will propel people into the top brackets of wage earners. They will be the “evil rich” people that year. But the next year it will be a whole different group of people. The number of people who are at the very top consistently every year is so small, you can almost count them on your hands!

So, instead of jealously attacking the rich, or voting for politicians who will punish them with ever more taxes, congratulate them on their great year! For, in all likelihood, YOU will be in that group at some point. And shouldn't you be congratulated for decades of hard work which have culminated in a big financial payout? Or should the profits from that business you spent your whole life building and finally sold, or from that large collection of your paintings you sold, or from that huge bonus you got with your promotion after spending 25 years working for the same company be confiscated by politicians so they can “fix” income inequality and make things more “fair”?

__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

April 9, 2014

A WARMING PERSPECTIVE

The following is my attempt to put perspective on Global Warming.  Perhaps it will help illustrate why I don't think the sky is falling and I am unwilling to give politicians the power to regulate CO2 to help "save" the planet.  Share the picture if you like.


__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

June 24, 2013

LET THEM MELT

Oh the poor glaciers are melting... booo hooo!  Whatever will we do without the glaciers?  We will have to rename Glacier National Park and just call it National Park!
Unless you are so crazily arrogant that you believe we can dial in some optimal global temperate like setting the thermostat in our homes, we have two main choices when it comes to earths temperature:  Ice-Ages and interglacial periods.
The history of the planet is ice-ages, but between each one are nice warm interglacial periods.  We are currently enjoying one of those nice warm periods.  Go outside and look around.  Trees, flowers, grass, animals, cities, homes, lakes, etc.  But go back ~20,000 years (a mere eye blink in Earth time) and this is what your local northern skyline looked like:
http://xkcd.com/1225/

 

I choose global warming.
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

June 15, 2013

WARMING "PLATEAU"

Usually, I skim through the NYT’s articles on global warming and move on. They are mostly the same: a sprinkling of real science, sometimes interesting data, but surrounded by the typical alarmism and pseudo-science and the never-ending call for government carbon taxes. But last week’s article was too much.
They finally got around to reporting that there has been no known increase in the earth’s temperature for over a decade. Below is the article and my response.
First some definitions:
Alarmist = Someone who thinks CO2 released from man’s burning of fossil fuels is the main driver of earth’s temperature. The rise in CO2 will cause a rise in temperature which will lead to mass droughts, floods, desertification, starvation, extreme weather, etc. We must limit our use of fossil fuels to keep these things from happening in the future.
Skeptic = Someone who thinks CO2 released from man’s burning of fossil fuels has some effect on earth’s temperature, but is much smaller than Alarmist think. Long term prediction of what weather changes will be in what area are impossible. The cures of forcing current renewable technologies or taxing carbon are more harmful and expensive than using that money to simply adapt to any future changes. We should be responsible with our energy use, but not because we are “killing” the planet.
Denier = Someone who doesn’t believe CO2 warms the planet, someone who doesn’t believe there can be ANY good things about global warming, someone who doesn’t believe the holocaust occurred, or generally about 5-10% of the population of any group who are near completely ignorant and near completely arrogant. This group accounts for 98% of comments on most websites.
And now for the article:

NYT June 10, 2013
What to Make of a Warming Plateau
By JUSTIN GILLIS
As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming. The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.
This only sounds “unlikely” to the readers of the NYT. Readers of the NYT may be remembering when in April 1998 they said, “It is a well-established fact that human activities are heating up the planet and that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come.” Or maybe they are remembering March 2009 when the NYT said, “The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded with near certainty that most of the recent warming was a result of human influences”. When they are told that CO2 from human burning of fossil fuels is THE driving force for the temperature of the planet, and “the science is settled” and there is “97% consensus”, then I can see why the earth not warming lock-step with CO2 levels is surprising and one would get the feeling “we have lucked out”. But, if you read both sides of the issue, you would know that the more we learn about our climate the more we realize we don’t know. And, while CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we are FAR from understanding the earth’s temperature sensitivity to that one variable.

The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists. True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts. But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean.
If more paragraphs where as honest as this one, we would be in a much better and much less politicized position in the climate debate.

As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.
Yes, I assume those “dismissive of climate-change concerns” will make much of the lack of warming. I guess similar to how those pushing climate-change concerns have made much of the warming in the 1990’s. Also, please provide a source backing up your claim that skeptics are using the lack of recent warming to “assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming”. What a ridiculous statement. Greenhouse gases, by definition, are causing warming. Without them the world would be an ice-ball right now. I know what Mr Gillis is trying to say, but setting up this silly straw-man is dishonest. This is what seems to be irresistible to those on the alarmist side in this debate. They seem to be incapable of an honest acknowledgement of the opposing side. Instead, they invent strange caricatures to argue against. Skeptics, for the most part, claim that the sensitivity of the global temperature to CO2 concentration is less then alarmist predict and the cure (carbon taxes/trading, current renewable energy options) will not work or be too expensive. This is much different than saying greenhouse gasses don’t cause warming.

Rarely do they mention that most of the warmest years in the historical record have occurred recently. Moreover, their claim depends on careful selection of the starting and ending points. The starting point is almost always 1998, a particularly warm year because of a strong El Niño weather pattern. Somebody who wanted to sell you gold coins as an investment could make the same kind of argument about the futility of putting your retirement funds into the stock market. If he picked the start date and the end date carefully enough, the gold salesman could make it look like the stock market did not go up for a decade or longer. But that does not really tell you what your retirement money is going to do in the market over 30 or 40 years. It does not even tell you how you would have done over the cherry-picked decade, which would have depended on exactly when you got in and out of the market. Scientists and statisticians reject this sort of selective use of numbers, and when they calculate the long-term temperature trends for the earth, they conclude that it continues to warm through time. Despite the recent lull, it is an open question whether the pace of that warming has undergone any lasting shift.
My goodness! How obtuse and hypocritical can one person be? He must live in a small bubble indeed if he thinks that only the skeptics use selective data! The whole global warming movement has been using selective data and distorted charts and out of perspective information to scare the public into thinking we have a crisis. Virtually every global warming chart I have ever seen starts in the Mid 1800’s. They claim it is because this is when people began pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. But really it is because this was the end of the “Little Ice Age”, one of the coldest times in our planet in thousands of years. Alarmists cherry picking data is rampant. Here is a recent example that I wrote about: http://davesuncommonsense.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-all-weather-is-now-extreme.html
So, Mr Gillis, spare me the lecture on data manipulation. That is what we skeptics have been complaining about for years. The data is (currently) not supporting your theory; you don’t get to ignore it.

What to make of it all? We certainly cannot conclude, as some people want to, that carbon dioxide is not actually a greenhouse gas.
There is that straw-man argument again. Who is claiming carbon dioxide is not actually a greenhouse gas? NOT ONE PERSON. That is a lie. I would understand if this was some blog on the internet. But the New York Times?! They must all have such similar thinking and bias that no one is capable of seeing a sentence like this and realizing how distorted and bogus it is. And it is not as if this is an opinion article. This is supposed to be a science article; it is in the Environment section of the paper.

More than a century of research thoroughly disproves that claim. In fact, scientists can calculate how much extra heat should be accumulating from the human-caused increases in greenhouse gases, and the energies involved are staggering. By a conservative estimate, current concentrations are trapping an extra amount of energy equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima bombs exploding across the face of the earth every day.
Here, Mr Gillis uses the very same techniques he was so critical of just a couple of paragraphs back: using selective and out-of-perspective data. 400,000 Hiroshima bombs? Oh wow, sounds scary! But how about explaining how much heat that actually is compared to the total heat input on the planet? It is a technique used often by the alarmists, I wrote about one example here: http://davesuncommonsense.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-scary-news.html
Using explosives to compare the energy of the earth is silly. The natural energy of our earth’s systems is so staggeringly large that we can hardly comprehend it. The Myth Busters did a great episode where they tried to make a wave they could surf using 200 lbs of TNT. http://youtu.be/_ds0XV3ORmI
It only made a couple of inches of “waves”. So think how much energy is in the ocean waves hitting our beaches every day! If I wanted to scare people, I could say, “The ocean waves are predicted to hit Hilton Head Island with the energy equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima bombs today”.

So the real question is where all that heat is going, if not to warm the surface. And a prime suspect is the deep ocean. Our measurements there are not good enough to confirm it absolutely, but a growing body of research suggests this may be an important part of the answer. Exactly why the ocean would have started to draw down extra heat in recent years is a mystery, and one we badly need to understand. But the main ideas have to do with possible shifts in winds and currents that are causing surface heat to be pulled down faster than before. The deep-ocean theory is one of a half-dozen explanations that have been proffered for the warming plateau. Perhaps the answer will turn out to be some mix of all of them. And in any event, computer forecasts of climate change suggest that pauses in warming lasting a couple of decades should not surprise us.
Exactly. There is a great deal we don’t know and need to understand. However, claiming the computer models suggest that there will be pauses in warming lasting more than a couple of decades is false. Two years ago the climate scientist Benjamin Santer released a paper saying it would take 17 years of a trend (or no trend) to separate the noise from the trend. https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2011/Nov/NR-11-11-03.html
We are currently right at that 17 year mark with no statistically significant warming. Below is a chart that shows all the major computer models of climate compared to the CO2 level and the measured temperature. It doesn’t take a special climate scientist to realize there is more driving the planets temperature than the parts-per-million of carbon dioxide.

The black line is the average of what all the computer models predict based on the CO2 concentration. The red line is the measured CO2 concentration. The dark blue circles are global average temperature as measured by balloon, the light blue squares is global average temperature as measured by satellite. Of the 75 plus computer models, NONE predicted global temperatures this cool at 400 ppm CO2. So obviously, the sensitivity to CO2 is too great in the computer models, or there is other phenomenon we don’t yet understand.

Now, here is a crucial piece of background: It turns out we had an earlier plateau in global warming, from roughly the 1950s to the 1970s, and scientists do not fully understand that one either. A lot of evidence suggests that sunlight-blocking pollution from dirty factories may have played a role, as did natural variability in ocean circulation. The pollution was ultimately reduced by stronger clean-air laws in the West. Today, factory pollution from China and other developing countries could be playing a similar role in blocking some sunlight. We will not know for sure until we send up satellites that can make better measurements of particles in the air.
Um, so we can cure global warming by building more “dirty factories”?

What happened when the mid-20th-century lull came to an end? You guessed it: an extremely rapid warming of the planet. So, if past is prologue, this current plateau will end at some point, too, and a new era of rapid global warming will begin. That will put extra energy and moisture into the atmosphere that can fuel weather extremes, like heat waves and torrential rains. We might one day find ourselves looking back on the crazy weather of the 2010s with a deep yearning for those halcyon days.
Mr. Gillis finally lets loose his inner alarmist. It is as if he is hoping for rapid global warming just so he can be right. And we are warned of “weather extremes” like heat waves and torrential rains! I think the human race has been dealing with heat waves and torrential rains the entire time we have been on the planet. Anyway, it is certainly interesting that the planet has not warmed (that we have measured) in 15+ years. CO2 levels have steadily climbed but not the temperatures. This goes against all of the computer models. So the computer models are wrong. Period. They are not evil or need to be thrown out or ignored, but they are wrong. We don’t have the right formulas in them. So we cannot use them to predict the future. Perhaps with more study and more data we can learn more. But until then I think the following quote applies, “Under highly controlled conditions, children, wild animals, and the weather will do as they damn well please.” __________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

April 8, 2013

LEAN FORWARD!

No matter how many times its proven wrong, this type of thinking never goes away.
 


For those of you who think, "Yeah, that's sounds reasonable".  This is the same "collective" argument that socialist governments have historically used to inflict massive damage on their citizens while the central authority lives in luxury.  The elimination of personal rights, property rights and personal responsibility is an evil that never leads to a social utopia, it leads to tyranny.  This sounds very much like the "Great Leap Forward" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward
Private farming was prohibited, and those engaged in it were labeled as counter revolutionaries and persecuted. Restrictions on rural people were enforced through public struggle sessions, and social pressure.  The Great Leap ended in catastrophe, resulting in tens of millions of excess deaths. Estimates of the death toll range from 18 million to 45 million. Historian Frank Dikötter asserts that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the very foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history." The years of the Great Leap Forward in fact saw economic regression. Political economist Dwight Perkins argues, "enormous amounts of investment produced only modest increases in production or none at all. ... In short, the Great Leap was a very expensive disaster."


Why do people who think like this teach in our Universities, and host at MSNBC?  Well, that's because they want to be part of the central authority, it's a great life if your inside the circle, living off of others work. 
"Invest" in "our" children... who can argue with that....
Read it again:
 "We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities" [government]
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

PLEASE RECYCLE


__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

April 4, 2013

WHY ALL WEATHER IS NOW EXTREME

On March 8, 2013 a paper was published in Science Magazine by Marcott et al http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract
They claimed, using 73 global proxies, they were able to increase the temperature reconstruction from the typical past 1500 years all the way back to the past 11,300 years. And they also reported that the recent rate of warming (past 150 years) is “unprecedented” in the entire time frame. Their graph is shown below: (click to enlarge) 

You can see the dramatic increase in temperature (purple line) that is clearly -shockingly- different in the past 150 years. This gives strong evidence of human caused climate change driven by the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels.

Predictably, the press trumpeted the new study:
“The modern rise that has recreated the temperatures of 5,000 years ago is occurring at an exceedingly rapid clip on a geological time scale, appearing in graphs in the new paper as a sharp vertical spike.”— Justin Gillis, New York Times

“Rapid head spike unlike anything in 11,000 years. Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine organisms to reconstruct global temperatures …. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century.” – The Associated Press

“What that history shows, the researchers say, is that during the last 5,000 years, the Earth on average cooled about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit — until the last 100 years, when it warmed about 1.3 degrees F.” – National Science Foundation

“We’re screwed: 11,000 years’ worth of ­climate data prove it.” — The Atlantic

Well this, of course, was quite an attention getter for those in the climate community and those of us who follow it. Questions were asked, first being, how was the data derived? The 73 proxies were collected from various previous research studies, 31 of these were from ocean layer alkenones that come from phytoplankton. There are chemical properties in the layers that can correlate to temperature. These can give a low resolution temperature profile (averaged over several centuries) of the distant past. One problem with these is when the cores are drilled, the top layers are usually destroyed and scientists must carefully mark and date where the data becomes useful and robust. Typically very few of these proxies can be used for the 20th (or 21st) century, they are better for averaged trends of ocean temps dating back farther.

Had Marcott used this data as published and dated, his chart would have had no sharp uptick. In fact, this is the same data he used for his PhD thesis at Oregon State University in 2011, and his chart then shows no skyrocketing temperature in the past 150 years:

So what happened?

It turns out Marcott RE-DATED a number of the core tops, changing the value of the temperature in the past 150 years and thus CREATED the huge spike in temperature. When challenged he finally confessed, “[The] 20th-century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.” So that means his whole study shows nothing other than the globe has been slowly cooling for the past 7000 years with bumps and dips, which we already knew. All the press releases were wrong. Marcott is now trying to defend his original claim saying that if you overlay our current 20th century thermometer records onto the end of his proxy chart it shows a dramatic spike in temperature. But you can’t just attached two completely different types of records and look at the trend line. His chart is made with low resolution data smearing all the temperature fluctuations over years or even centuries into a single layer with a single datapoint. You can’t compare that to temperature data now taken continuously with computers.

This is a common problem. People using our current computer monitored temperature record and comparing it to records in the past. We have low resolution data for the distant past. The proxies take an average temperature over years or decades or centuries. We have medium resolution data pre-computer era, even the best methods in the recent past used thermometers and were recorded by a person once a day during what they thought was the hottest part of the day. Today, we have high resolution data. A computer continuously monitors the temperature to the 10th of a degree and if it even briefly hits a higher number it is recorded. Obviously we will have lots more “record” highs with this method.

A good metaphor for how comparing this different resolution data will create a “hockey stick” spike is to count the number of curves in Interstate 80 from San Francisco to New York. You start out with low resolution data that averages, do this by looking at a map where 1 inch = 100 miles. This is like looking at a proxy (like ocean layers or ice layers) where one layer = 100 years. Now count the number of curves (each red dot is a curve):

When I counted and did the calculation I got about 0.05 curves /mile (or 1 curve every 20 miles). But now let’s change to high resolution data. As we approach New York, change your resolution so one inch = 1 mile. This is like changing to using computer monitored temperature data:

I now calculate 1.25 curves/mile (or 1 curve every 0.8 miles). OH MY, EXTREME HIGHWAY CHANGES!

Both measurements are “scientific”. But you can’t just directly compare one data set to the other. The road didn’t suddenly become 25 times twistier, you’re just looking at it with more resolution. We don’t have EXTREME weather today; we are just looking at it with more resolution than in the past. 1000 years from now, if we pull up the ice cores or ocean layers, they will show a slow warming or slow cooling just like in the past, not an extreme spike.
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

March 18, 2013

March 6, 2013

OFFICIAL: SKI POLES ARE NOT TERRORIST WEAPON


Well… wonders never cease!
A tiny amount of common sense has made it to official policy at the TSA.  One could gripe about how it took 12 years to decide a golf club or a ski pole was not a terrorist threat, but hey, let’s give credit where credit is due.  Three cheers for the small bit of freedom returned to us from our friendly government!
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

March 5, 2013

HELP STOP THE MADNESS

We worry about our children and how to keep them safe. We worry about their health so we have health classes that teach them proper decision making in eating and exercise. We teach them about drugs and how to avoid them. We worry about drinking so we teach them how to be responsible with alcohol. We worry about them getting in an accident, so we give them drivers education and spend time showing them the proper and safe ways to operate an automobile. We worry about their sex life, so we give them sex education and access to councilors, doctors and birth-control to ensure they make smart decisions. We worry about gun safety, so we create “gun-free” zones, where you can’t talk about, look at a picture of, or pretend to use a gun (real or fake) or you will be expelled… wait, what?!

There is a growing problem spreading across the country of teachers, principals and administrators completely freaking out about “weapons” in what can only be described as hysteria.

1- At D. Newlin Fell School in Philadelphia, school officials reportedly yelled at a student and then searched her in front of her class after she was found with a paper gun her grandfather had made for her.

2- In rural Pennsylvania, a kindergarten girl was suspended for making a “terroristic threat” after she told another girl that she planned to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty toy gun that bombards targets with soapy bubbles.


3- At Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Maryland, a six-year-old boy was suspended for making the universal kid sign for a gun, pointing at another student with one finger out and his thumb up and saying “pow-pow.”

4- In Sumter, South Carolina, a six-year-old girl was expelled for bringing a broken clear plastic Airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets to class for show-and-tell.

5- A 10-year-old boy at Doublas MacArthur Elementary was arrested after police said he brought a toy gun to school. He was charged as a juvenile with brandishing a weapon, suspended from school, and expulsion is being considered.

6- A 7-year-old boy at a Brooklyn Park, Maryland school was suspended for two days after he bit his donut into the shape of a gun and “made inappropriate gestures” with it. A letter was sent home to all parents to “let them know about the incident” and it said that there would be counselors available for any children who were “troubled” by the incident.

7- A 7-year-old at Mary Blair Elementary in Loveland, Colorado was suspended for playing by himself at recess and throwing an imaginary grenade at an imaginary group of bad guys and making a “pshhh” sound of the exploding imaginary grenade.

In most of these cases, sanity was restored only after the facts were reported to the public and lots of pressure was put on the school by the community and blogs/news organizations. We have a responsibility to be vigilant in reporting and pressuring any teacher, principal, administrator, or school board member who thinks this type of witch-hunt is ok.

Some people feel safe with the zero tolerance policy of a "gun free" school. However, like all zero tolerance policies, the result is a complete failure. Children are attacked, belittled, embarrassed, punished and marginalized for completely normal or innocent behavior. If an educated adult can not distinguish between a real gun posing a real threat, and a fake gun or a picture of a gun or a food item in the shape of a gun posing zero threat and zero possibilities of a threat, then that adult does not deserve to be in any position of leadership or power.

All parents and all voters in every school district must take action to ensure that no student is punished simply because of the hypersensitivities of some misguided school official. We do not want a generation of Americans growing up believing that it is a crime against society to even think about a weapon or to see a picture of one. 

Please share this information and contact your local school district to communicate your feeling on this absurd national trend.  For those in this area, the Greenville County School Superintendent is W. Burke Royster. Telephone: 864-355-8860. E-mail: wroyster@greenville.k12.sc.us

February 7, 2013

HOW TO MAKE SCARY NEWS


Jason Box, a glaciologist at Ohio State University (who has been to Greenland 23 times to track its changing climate), gives us a perfect case study on how to make scary news: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/climate-desk-greenland-and-69-feet-sea-level-rise

First, you take perfectly good data (in this case the current area change of ice cover in Greenland). 
Second, you make a chart that zooms in on the data:

Third, you remove any perspective or context.  In this case you don’t tell how much ice there is in Greenland or what that rate of loss means or if it is unusual or how long it would take to all melt at that rate.

Finally, you throw in scary sounding quotes and meaningless statements:

“Humans have already set in motion 69 feet of sea level rise”

And you make scary youtube videos called “Can Greenland be saved?”: http://youtu.be/2r8cHXP8P4A

Scary huh!

So, let me show what happens when, instead of trying to mis-inform and scare, you are trying to educate and communicate.

First, you take the same data, and establish that Greenland is melting at about 130 km2 each year (50 square miles).  You can even show the same first chart.

Second, you communicate how much ice coverage there is in Greenland, about 734,000 square miles of ice.  Also, you communicate that most of the ice sheet is over a mile thick.

Now you can make another chart showing the affect of that melting on the total ice sheet.  At this rate it would take 14,680 years to melt.  At this rate, over the next hundred years, the Greenland ice sheet would drop to 729,000 square miles and total sea level rise would be 2 inches.

Not quite as scary huh?
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

September 28, 2012

THE RESULTS ARE IN

One pesky thing about predicting the future is eventually the future arrives.
 
During the summer of 2007 we had an unusually warm Northern Hemisphere combined with winds that caused a "record" low level of Arctic sea ice.  The alarmist seized on this and warned that soon the Arctic would be ice free.  National Geographic News famously predicted that we could see an ice free Arctic by the end of the summer 2012.  We had passed the "tipping point" and the "Arctic was screaming!".


Well guess what... its the end of the summer 2012 now!  So lets see if there is any ice:


Looks like we just squeaked by with over 1.5 million square miles of ice!

Now, to be fair, we did have another "record" low ice coverage this year.  We have had an unusually hot, dry summer.  The following chart shows that last 12 years of ice coverage.  You can see the previous low ice summer (2007) in black and this year in red.  However, if you begin to look at the pattern, you see it is more random than linear.  This is a common mistake people trying to predict the future make.  The see a trend, and then assume it will continue linearly into the future.  This almost never happens, especially with weather.  It is like seeing that February was warmer than January and March warmer than February, so assuming the earth will continue to warm and by December we will all be dead.


What is really funny, is if you follow the red line back, we had a short "record" high ice coverage at the end of April of this year!

Also, which is usual for nature, far from being in some tipping point, nature is always in a combination of multiple cycles, one balancing out the other.  So, while the Northern Hemisphere has seen warmer weather and less ice, the Southern Hemisphere has seen colder weather and more ice.
But you won't see that on the news!


__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

August 26, 2012

BIBLE ABUSE

When people misquote or take out of context scripture to support their personal view, most are typically and rightfully angry.  The KKK claiming the Bible says whites are chosen over blacks, pastors demanding huge amounts of money with 50 fold "blessings" down the road, people claiming God doesn't want interracial marriage or God hates gays, etc.

So why do we allow the President to get away with it?

President Obama has repeatedly claimed Christianity teaches "I am my brothers keeper, I am my sisters keeper".  It does no such thing.  There is no reference to "sisters keeper" and the only reference to "brothers keeper" is after Cain kills Abel and is confronted by God, he says "Am I my brothers keeper?"  Hardly a Biblical commandment for Federal social programs.

Obama found another verse to butcher, again to argue the Bible is all about government taking from the rich and giving to the poor, and if we were good Christians we would vote for him and not that evil Republican:


“And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone.  And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.  But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.”  It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.”

First of all, Obama can "give something up" to help the poor any time he wants, it's called charitable GIVING!  The Bible is chock-full of wonderful verses and teachings about the blessings of giving to our fellow man and woman in need.  But that is not good enough for Obama, he has to find a quote that makes it sound like the rich are REQUIRED to give up their money.  And of course, not just give it directly to the poor, they must give it to the government, who then decides how to dish it out.
Unfortunately for Obama, this verse has nothing to do with money, it was pulled from the King James Version of Luke 12:48.  In this section, Jesus is teaching about being ready for the return of Christ.  He tells a parable of servants keeping the house while the master is away.  The servants who keep the house ready will please the master when he returns, while the servants who do not will be punished.  One of the disciples, Peter, asks if Jesus is just referring to them or to everyone.  Jesus' reply includes the verse Obama quoted,



The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Jesus is answering Paul's question here by saying: Yes, I am talking to everyone.  I expect everyone to be ready when I return.  But especially those of you who I have given much (knowledge of the truth, time, teaching, spiritual gifts), I expect even more from you and will be angrier with you if you are not ready.

Obama's attempt to turn this phrase into Biblical justification for his personal political views is every bit as insulting and pathetic as the KKK claiming the Bible justifies their views.

If Obama wanted to take a verse out of context, I wonder why he didn't use Matthew 25:28 "For whoever has, will be given more and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."

HA!
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

July 25, 2012

PRIORITIES

"One in 10 Americans still can't find work. That's why creating jobs has to be our number one priority" - President Obama 2010



Obama's words sound reassuring, but his actions speak louder. In the last 6 months, our President has attended 106 fundraisers, gone golfing 10 times, but hasn't met with his own "Jobs Council" even once!  It's almost as if jobs are not his number one priority...
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

July 22, 2012

THE ORDER OF THINGS

God created man to serve Him.  When man tries to have God serve himself, history is full of the resulting destruction.

Man created government to serve him.  When government tries to have man serve it, history is full of the resulting destruction.
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

July 11, 2012

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS UP

Eric Holder spoke in Texas to the NAACP yesterday, July 10. Part of his speech talked about the many states that are passing voting ID laws and how his Justice Department are blocking them because of harm to minorities:
And, as many of you know, yesterday was the first day of trial in a case that the State of Texas filed against the Justice Department, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, seeking approval of its proposed voter ID law. After close review, the Department found that this law would be harmful to minority voters – and we rejected its implementation... Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them – and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.
Here is the invite to the speech:

So its ok to check ID's for a speech, but to elect our leaders its harmful!
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

July 9, 2012

ECONOMICS 101

This seems so simple to me. These are basic laws of economics. But somehow politicians have convinced the majority of people that these laws don't exist. Just give them the power and they can make it all better.
I wish everyone would read this article... several times if needed:

http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/The-Pathology-of-Privilege-Final_2.pdf

There is far too much info in this to do justice with quotes, but here are a few:

This simple idea—that voluntary exchange is mutually beneficial—is at the heart of modern economics.
...
Indeed, a national economy, with all its sophistication and complexity, is simply a very large number of mutually beneficial trades. And a recession is nothing more than a collapse in the number of such trades. Moreover, as individuals expand the number of people with whom they exchange, they are able to consume a wider diversity of products while becoming more specialized in production. Specialized production, in turn, permits greater productive efficiency and allows us to do more with less. It is no exaggeration to say that the expansion of mutually beneficial exchange accounts for the lion’s share of human progress.
...
Think of the thousands of talented lawyers, lobbyists, and strategic thinkers who occupy the expensive office buildings lining K Street in Washington, D.C. All of this talent might be employed in the discovery of new ways to bring value to consumers and to expand the gains from exchange. Instead, many of these smart and hardworking people spend their time convincing politicians to hand out privileges to their own firms or fending off attempts to hand out privileges to their competitors
...
Privilege can also have a profoundly negative effect on innovation. And a lack of innovation, in turn, can disadvantage an entire society.
...
In a classic, sweeping study, economist Mancur Olson went so far as to claim that special-interest privilege can account for the “rise and decline of nations.” As societies grow wealthy and stable, he argued, the seeds of their own destruction are sewn. Stable societies are fertile ground for special interests. These interest groups grow in power and influence over time, and once entrenched, rarely disappear. “On balance,” they “reduce efficiency and aggregate income in the societies in which they operate and make political life more divisive.” Eventually, “The accumulation of distributional coalitions [those that seek rents] increases the complexity of regulation, the role of government, and the complexity of understandings, and changes the direction of social evolution.
...
But we need not look so far for examples. Atif Mian of the University of California at Berkeley and Amir Sufi and Francesco Trebbi of the University of Chicago recently conducted an extensive examination of the political activity of the U.S. mortgage industry and housing interests in the run-up to the subprime meltdown of 2008.101 The authors found, “Beginning in 2002, mortgage industry campaign contributions increasingly targeted U.S. representatives from districts with a large fraction of subprime borrowers.” Analyzing more than 700 votes related to housing, the authors found that these contributions became an increasingly strong predictor of congressional votes. They also found that the share of constituents with low credit scores exerted increasing influence over voting patterns. Thus, “Pressure on the U.S. government to expand subprime credit came from both mortgage lenders and subprime borrowers.”102 Indeed, a slew of policies encouraged the expansion of credit in the subprime market. These policies, of course, benefited the privileged firms as well as the privileged subprime borrowers. But they also fanned the flames of an overheating housing market. For nearly a decade, capital and labor poured into housing and related industries, and when the bubble eventually burst, it threw the United States into its worst recession in decades.
...
As often happens with privilege, the “solution” to this problem involved more privilege.
...
Government-granted privileges are pathological. Privileges limit the prospects for mutually beneficial exchange—the very essence of economic progress. They raise prices, lower quality, and discourage innovation. They pad the pockets of the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the poor and unknown. When governments dispense privileges, smart, hardworking, and creative people are encouraged to spend their time devising new ways to obtain favors instead of new ways to create value for customers. Privileges depress long-run economic growth and threaten short-run macroeconomic stability. They even undermine cultural mores, fostering cronyism, blurring the distinction between productive and unproductive entrepreneurship, and eroding people’s trust in both business and government.

Want to understand how our economy is supposed to work on a simple basic level? 
Read Section I
Want to understand the various ways this can be perverted? 
Read section II
Want to understand why I'm against "over regulation"? 
Read Sec II B
Want to know why conservatives are all bent out of shape about Solyndra? 
Read Sec II D
Want to understand why we need simple, fair, flat taxes? 
Read Sec II E
Want to know why the Government is ALWAYS slower, more expensive and less innovative? 
Read Sec III B and C
Want to get "money out of politics"?  Tired of companies "buying lawmakers"? 
Read Sec III D
Want to understand why people's approval of Government is at an all time low? 
Read Sec III J&K

Outline:
I. The Gains from Exchange
II. TYPES OF PRIVILEGE
     A. Monopoly Privilege
     B. Regulatory Privilege
     C. Subsidies
     D. Loan Guarantees
     E. Tax Privileges
     F. Bailouts
     G. Expected Bailouts
     H. Tariffs and Quotas on Foreign Competition
     I. Noncompetitive Bidding
III THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COSTS OF PRIVILEGE
     A. Monopoly Costs
     B. Productive Inefficiencies
     C. Inattention to Consumer Desires
     D. Rent-Seeking
     E. Distributional Effects
     F. Unproductive Entrepreneurship
     G. Loss of Innovation and Diminished Long-Run Economic Growth
     H. Macroeconomic Instability
     I. Cronyism
     J. Diminished Legitimacy of Government and Business
     K. Lost Social Trust
IV CONCLUDING REMARKS
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

THE NEW LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE OLD

The new energy boom is beginning to explode.  But it is not solar, wind or batteries.  It's oil and gas.  With the new technologies in drilling techniques and hydraulic fracturing, the once "too expensive to recover" oil is now "too valuable to ignore".  And it is very good for Americans!
America (and Canada) are sitting on the world's largest reserves in known oil tar sands, oil shale and fracture required naturals gas!

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/07/08/the-energy-revolution-part-one-the-biggest-losers/
The two biggest winners look to be Canada and the United States. Canada, with something like two trillion barrels worth of conventional oil in its tar sands, and the United States with about a trillion barrels of shale oil, are the planet’s new super giant energy powers. Throw in natural gas and coal, and the United States is better supplied with fossil fuels than any other country on earth. Canada and the United States are each richer in oil than Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia combined.
I predict within the next 20 years, we will be the Saudi Arabia and Iran of the world in terms of cheap reliable energy production.

Oh yeah, the next time you hear Obama (or environmentalists) claim we have 2% of the worlds oil reserves but use 20% of the oil.  It's what is known as a .... LIE.
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

July 8, 2012

ARE YOU MY MOTHER?

My first attempt at a political cartoon.  Taken from one of my favorite books.

Yes, on the surface it's a simple dig at Big Government.  But, I like the deeper philosophical questions it raises.  What does it mean to be a parent, just lay the egg?  Is government really supporting people if it doesn’t even know who they are?  What are the proper boundaries between family and government, are they being crossed, why?  Is the baby bird’s final question fair?


__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

July 6, 2012

GODS HELP

Myth: "God helps those that help themselves."

Somewhere between 70-80% of Americans believe the Bible teaches this, including Christians. This phrase is found nowhere in the Bible and actually is opposite to the teaching of God's Grace (undeserved favor).

Similar themes of this phrase originated in Greece, including one of the Fables of Hercules. The English political theorist Algernon Sidne...y originated the exact version we hear today. Benjamin Franklin also used it in his almanac in 1736 and has been widely quoted. As a deist, Franklin believed in God but that God did not intervene in earth's affairs, so all responsibility was incumbent upon people.

While self initiative is a great thing, don't make yourself sound ignorant by attributing this phrase to God's Word.
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

April 2, 2012

KAYAK TRIP ON ENOREE RIVER

My trip down the Enoree River with my wife:
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

March 11, 2012

RESULTS DO MATTER

It's time we stop judging based on the good intentions of the politicians. Results do matter. The results after spending almost a Trillion dollars on "jobs" are awful. Any business person in the world would be fired. Why are politicians immune?
__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

March 7, 2012

DECENTRALIZED EDUCATION

We asked to move Cacey into advanced classes for next year, this is the response from the teacher:
Cacey only missed the cut on his MAP scores by 3 pts. I think he will do just fine in Advanced. I'll fill out the form and have him sign it. Then I'll put it in guidance. You need to come in … to meet with a counselor and sign it. I'm glad you're moving him up. He needs the challenge and definitely can do it. I just couldn't do it because of the requirements.

So the teacher thinks a kid should be in a certain class, but can’t do it because the government test says he can’t. The parent and the teacher have to sign forms, then meet with councilors and sign forms, then the forms get scurried away to the ivory towers where education bureaucrats give them the official approval.

The purpose of MAP from the website states, “MAP, or the Measure of Academic Progress, is a computerized adaptive test which helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child's academic growth.”

Looks like, as usual, the result is not as intended. Instead of helping improve learning and make informed decisions, it forces kids into boxes and removes all decision making ability. We don’t need more education money… we need more education freedom!

__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

February 18, 2012

UNEMPLOYMENT AND LABOR PARTICIPATION

A look at the following chart and this CBO report:



The baby boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) are expected to have a significant affect on the participation rate in the decades to come.


“During the decades to come, one such development is expected to be a slower rate of growth of the labor force relative to the average growth rate of the past few decades. That slowdown is anticipated to occur primarily because of the aging and retirement of large numbers of baby boomers and because women’s participation in the labor force has leveled off since the late 1990s after having risen substantially throughout the three decades before that.”
However, they are not a large impact right now, for even the oldest of the baby boom generation are just reaching retirement age. The average is at the peak of their careers, in their mid/late 50’s. Those that are retiring early could be 1) well off and able to 2) given early retirement packages due to the bad economy as my company has done or 3) lost their job and on benefits that will permanently move them out of the job market. The poor economy is certainly a driving factor of our current depressed labor participation rate:


“The downward trend since 2000 can be attributed largely to the aging and retirement of the baby boomers. It also reflects a leveling off in participation among women between the ages of 25 and 54—who are no longer participating at higher rates than their predecessors did at the same age—and a pronounced decline in participation among people under 25. Participation has fallen even further since mid-2008, as a lack of job opportunities has caused many people to withdraw from or to remain out of the labor force.”
So how do we know how much? Is the current drop in the labor force just demographics or the economy or other factors? The CBO tries to answer that:


“The effect of demographics on the overall participation rate can be calculated by holding group-specific participation constant at 2007 (prerecession) rates but allowing population shares to adjust in line with CBO’s projections. CBO estimates that the demographic effect has already reduced the overall rate of participation by about 0.5 percentage points since 2007”
So, the aging baby boomers and other demographic affects have reduced the participation rate by 0.5% from 2007. The participation rate has dropped by 2.2% from that time. That is 1.7% or 5.3 million people that left the job market for economic or other reasons.
So is the economy bad and causing people to stop looking for work, or it is roaring back due to Obama’s policies and he just needs more time? The CBO has more to say.



“Two factors are especially important to the current projections of participation in the labor force. The first is near-term economic conditions. Because of the weakened state of the economy, the labor force is currently well below its potential size.”


“In late 2010, the unemployment rate averaged 9.6 percent, more than 4 percentage points above CBO’s estimate of the long-term natural rate. Accordingly, labor force participation has fallen significantly below its trend rate, as some workers (especially men between the ages of 25 and 54) have withdrawn from the labor force in the face of a poor job market and others (especially teens) have refrained from entering. By the final quarter of 2010, the actual labor force participation rate—64.4 percent—was more than a full percentage point below the potential participation rate as estimated by CBO. It also was lower than what would have been expected on the basis of the historical relationship between the labor force participation rate and the unemployment rate.”

“On balance, the recession has a modest downward influence on the participation rate projected for the 2016–2021 period, principally because some men in their 50s who have become unemployed or have left the labor force as a consequence of the recession are not expected to return to the labor force.”

“CBO’s labor force projections reflect the influence of public policies, especially those that involve taxes on labor or that directly affect the incentive to work in some other way”… “CBO estimates that scheduled changes in policies relative to the policies that were in effect in 2010 will reduce the labor force participation rate in 2021 by about 0.9 percentage points, thus reducing the size of the labor force by slightly more than 2 million people.”…“Specifically, changes in the tax code that are scheduled under current law will increase marginal tax rates on labor income (the tax rates applied to the last dollar earned) during the coming decade and, in CBO’s estimation, reduce labor force participation.”

I am certainly not blaming Obama for all our problems. But if he is going to run around trumpeting a drop in U3 unemployment as proof that is policies are working. We should at least look at how much those policies are costing, what is happening to the labor force and are there other factors involved. That is what I am trying to do. Of course my chart is biased, and zoomed in to the most convenient scale factors, and only puts selected information on it. All data can be manipulated to say what you want. I just wish more people were as critical of the “official” data as they are of those on the opposite political aisle.

__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

December 2, 2011

THEY'RE SO SMART THEY SEEM DUMB TO US DUMBIES

I don't intend to write much about "Climate Gate 2.0" It is more of the same, in my mind, proving (not suggesting) that the top climate scientist have been actively manipulating data and publications to promote the man-made global warming alarmism for political and financial purposes. If you wish to read about it, go here: http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/. I do, however, want to point out something in the below attached e-mail... to draw a larger point.

Philip D. Jones
- Climatologist at the University of East Anglia
- Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences
- BA in Environmental Sciences from the University of Lancaster
- MSc and PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
- Research in instrumental climate change, palaeoclimatology, detection of climate change and the extension of riverflow records
- Published papers on the temperature record of the past 1000 years
- Maintained the time series of the instrumental temperature record
- His work was featured prominently in both the 2001 and 2007 IPCC reports, where he was a contributing author to Chapter 12, Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes, of the Third Assessment Report[3] and a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 3, Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change, of the AR4.
- An ISI highly cited researcher
- Awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal from the European Geophysical Society in 2002
- Awarded the International Journal of Climatology prize of the Royal Meteorological Society for papers published in the last five years in 2001
- Awarded the Outstanding Scientific Paper Award by the Environmental Research Laboratories / NOAA

Phil Jones is the cream of the crop. He is one of the top climate scientist in the world. Our leaders listen to him to make decisions on our laws and regulations. His ideas are taught in our classrooms to our children. We rely on exceptionally smart people like this to make decisions for us, to better our lives and our planet.

BUT, as shown in the below e-mail, Phil Jones doesn't know how to make a simple chart in excel, then right click and add a trend line. He can't do it. He needs someone else to do it for him. This seems rather astounding to me. He is so smart that he can predict the temperature of the earth 50 years from now, but can't make a simple chart?! Really?!

So the regular engineer sitting at his desk (me) is better at crunching data than the world renowned climate scientist!

It made me think. All these people we hold up as so smart and so important, they are not. They are normal. And they shouldn't be making decisions for others.

The policeman in a small town is better at making security decisions than Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
The single mother with three kids is better at making her children's education decisions than Arne Duncan, the Secretary of the Department of Education.
The local family doctor is better at making my health decisions than Kathleen Sebelius the Secretary of The Department of Health and Human Services.
The pastor at the local church is better at making charitable decisions than the Welfare Office and Food Stamp Programs.
The career councilor at the local college is better at making job decisions than President Barack Obama and Congress.

Freedom, capitalism, individualism, conservatism. These ideas are based on the truth that millions of people, making millions of personal decisions, will ALWAYS make better, fairer, faster decisions than a few all powerful people at the top. The people at the top simply don't have the access or capability to process all the data on all the people and know all the consequences of the actions.

We need to stop looking at the "leaders" to fix our problems. We have the ability to fix them. In fact, we are much better at it!



From: Phil Jones
Sent: 20 December 2007 13:58
To: Bob Ward
Subject: Re: More nonsense on climate change

Bob,
Quickly re-reading this it sounds as though I’m getting at you. I’m not – just at the idiots who continue to spout this nonsense. It isn’t an issue with climatologists. All understand. If I tried to publish this I would be told by my peers it was obvious and banal. I will try and hide it in a paper at some point. I could put it on the CRU web site. I’ll see how I feel after the Christmas Pud.

I would have thought that this writer would have know better! I keep on seeing people saying this same stupid thing. I’m not adept enough (totally inept) with excel to do this now as no-one who knows how to is here.
What you have to do is to take the numbers in column C (the years) and then those in D (the anomalies for each year), plot them and then work out the linear trend. The slope is upwards. I had someone do this in early 2006, and the trend was upwards then. It will be now. Trend won’t be statistically significant, but the trend is up.

This is a linear trend – least squares. This is how statisticians work out trends. They don’t just look at the series. The simpler way is to just look at the data. The warmest year is 1998 with 0.526. All years since 2001 have been above 0.4. The only year before 2001 that was above this level was 1998. So 2cnd to 8th warmest years are 2001-2007

The reason 1998 was the warmest year was that it resulted from the largest El Nino event of the 20th century in 1997/8. We’ve not had anything resembling a major El Nino event since – they have all been minor.
Using regression, it is possible to take the El Nino event into account (with a regression based on the Southern Oscillation Index). This accounts for about 0.15 deg C of 1998′s warmth. Without that 1998 would have been at about 0.38.

There is a lot of variability from year-to-year in global temperatures – even more in ones like CET. No-one should expect each year to be warmer than the previous. The 2000s will be warmer than the 1990s though. This is another way of pointing out what’s wrong with their poor argument. The last comment about CET is wrong. 2007 will be among the top 10 warmest CET years – it will likely be 2cnd or 3rd.

Cheers

Phil

Ward responds:

Dear Phil,

Thanks for responding so comprehensively. I have plotted the data before, and as you observe, the trend is up but the result isn’t statistically significant, which I think makes it open to attack. I think the problem is that NOAA made the following statement in its report on the 2006 data:

“However, uncertainties in the global calculations due largely to gaps in data coverage make 2006 statistically indistinguishable from 2005 and several other recent warm years as shown by the error bars on the [1]global time series.”
I’m not sure how to argue against this point – it appears to imply that there is no statistically significant trend in the global temperature record over the past few years.

Best wishes,

Bob


__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"

November 18, 2011

PROTEST WITHOUT A CLUE

Great article by by Gary Wolfram, Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Hillsdale College:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2809092/posts

The Occupy movement, Monty Python, Capitalism... its all in there!

__________________________________________________
Please comment: Click "Comment", write comment, on comment as dropdown click "name/url", enter name on top line, hit "continue", hit "post"