Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Up to 50% of Arctic warming caused by black carbon?

Climate Astrologers dealt with the inconvenient non-warming period from about 1940 to the mid-1970s by blaming it on atmospheric aerosols.

In order to make their models 'work' they assigned a figure to the impact of the aerosols.

How did they come up with this figure?

Did they understand the chemistry, quantity and impact of the aerosols?


They simply used a figure that 'corrected' the non-warming period.

THAT is just one of the reasons that I keep pointing out that climate models are the result of massive backfitting, which statistically invalidate them and render them incapable of forecasting anywhere near accurately, as we have seen in the last decade.

A paper has just been released from NASS GISS showing that black carbon is having a significant impact on the Arctic.
An article published this week in Nature Geoscience shows that black carbon is responsible for 50 percent, or almost 1°C of the total 1.9°C increased Arctic warming from 1890 to 2007. The paper by Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space (GISS) and Greg Faluvegi of Columbia University also notes that most of the Arctic warming – 1.48°C of the 1.9°C – occurred from 1976 to 2007. The study is the first to quantify the Arctic’s sensitivity to black carbon emissions from various latitudes, and concludes that the Arctic responds strongly to black carbon emissions from the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, where the emissions and the forcing are greatest.
Black carbon is an aerosol produced from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass and is estimated to be the second or third largest contributor to climate change. Its emissions cause damage in two ways: while in the atmosphere, the dark particulates absorb sunlight and emit it as heat; when it falls back to earth it can darken snow and ice, reducing their reflectivity and accelerating melting.

Arctic warming is more than twice the observed global average surface warming of 0.78°C above pre-industrial levels. According to another study published by Lenton, et al. in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, this increased warming may soon lead to the disappearance of the Arctic summer ice, which would in turn accelerate Arctic warming by exposing darker heat-absorbing water now covered by heat reflecting ice. This would also increase the risk of releasing methane and other greenhouse gases from permafrost and from methane hydrates in the ocean, which could lead to a runaway feedback process.

“Climate conditions in the Arctic are rapidly deteriorating,” said Rafe Pomerance, president of Clean Air - Cool Planet. “This study reinforces the opportunity to control short-lived forcers of global warming including black carbon, methane and tropospheric ozone in order to slow the rate of warming in the Arctic. We cannot afford to allow the shrinkage of the Greenland ice sheet to accelerate.”
Because black carbon only remains in the atmosphere for several days to weeks, reducing it can bring about almost immediate mitigation of warming, whereas decreases in temperature lag reductions in CO2 by 1,000 years or more.

“We need to broaden climate policy to include reductions in black carbon, given its critical role in Arctic warming and overall global warming,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “Black carbon is part of a package of fast-action strategies that can achieve mitigation in the near term and slow Arctic warming, including targeting short-lived, non-CO2 climate forcers such as HFCs, methane, and tropospheric ozone, as well as increasing carbon sequestration through forest protection and production of biochar.”
There are a few comments to make here.

1. Dealing with airborne particulates is an important matter and we should be demanding that China, and other emerging markets (known as BRIC), do more to deal with air pollution.

2. The article invalidates claims that the warming in the Arctic is as predicted by climate models. This black carbon effect is not included in climate models so if they have managed to get a number close to what we see then it's the result of other faulty factors and not reality - in the same way as Hansen Scenario B claimed to be correct for a while but used inputs that did not reflect what actually happened over the period.

3. Expect to see climate astrologers recycling the aerosol argument to explain the current period of cooling that has not seen temperatures rise above those achieved in 1998.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 30 March 2009

Australia is following the rest of the world into deep recession

The Australian economy is in the process of following the rest of the world into a sustained period of economic contraction.

Kevin Rudd's immoral spending of the next generation's wealth on futile projects that will have no positive impact on Australia's financial position is something that will be well covered in history books that are yet to be written on what went wrong and why.

One only needs to look at the Performance of Manufacturing Index for February to see how parlous things are becoming. The construction and services sector indexes have a very similar shape.

Gerard Jackson highlights just how mistaken, and dangerous, the whole thing is becoming:
Recent economic commentary has merely served to demonstrate once again how bad our economic pundits are. Devoid of any critical faculties they relentlessly parrot the fallacious doctrine that consumption is the key to economic recovery. Every movement in consumption and consumer sentiment is monitored as carefully as a doctor notes the pulse of a feverish patient. It never occurs to them to question the method of national accounting. It never crosses their minds to consider that omitting from the accounts the masses of spending on intermediate goods just might be a terrible error, just as they never raise the simple question: "If the accounts are value-added then how can they be gross?"

Failure to see the gross error at work must result in erroneous conclusions. For example, Greg Evans director industry policy and economics at tje Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, claimed that the Rudd Government's initial $10.4 billion spending binge saved the economy from a steep contraction. George Megalogenis — and economics writer for The Australian — argued that the financial crisis was caused by consumers who "closed their wallets across the world in the December quarter" (The live now, pay later trap, 21 March 2009).

From the earliest days of the so-called "business cycle" observers noted that the higher stages of production — particularly the capital goods industries — not only felt the first impact of a recession but the drop in output in these sectors greatly exceeded the contraction in the consumer goods industries. We are witnessing the very same phenomenon today.

If Megalogenis were right then the closing of "wallets across the world" would have preceded the contraction in manufacturing. Yet manufacturing in the US has been contracting for 13 months and for at least 9 months in Australia. According to Greg Evans' logic Rudd's $10.4 billion spending splurge should have seen manufacturing rebound. Instead it continued to contract. The table below shows what an awful state manufacturing is in.

Moreover, we can expect the situation to worsen. In response to a downturn it was the central bank's rule to lower interest rates which in turn would stimulate industry and trigger an economic recovery. In simple English, central banks would 'steer' the economy by manipulating the money supply. It should be stressed that monetary expansion is the heart of this monetary policy.

The following chart shows that the money supply has been comparatively flat for sometime. We can see that in May last year the Reserve raised M1 and bank deposits significantly but then let them go flat again. Of particular interest is that the sudden increase in the monetary base that started last September had no effect on M1 or bank deposits, at least up to January. Should this situation continue one can expect the Reserve to once again lower interest rates.

It should have been obvious to our economic commentariat that faced with a flat money supply manufacturing would eventually contract and that this contraction would not only precede the contraction in consumer spending it would be proportionally much greater. This is borne out by the figures. Manufacturing has suffered a significant decline while in comparison consumption remains stable.

All that Rudd's spending did was to increase consumer purchases. Desirable as this is from the point of view of the consumer it does nothing for economic growth even though it can cause GDP to rise. What matters is not consumption but spending on projects that raises the value of labour's output. This and only this can raise real wages. Encouraging consumption at the expense of savings will retard this process.

Rudd, like Obama, is following in the destructive footsteps of Gordon Brown. Australia, the UK and the US are being led by economic and historical illiterates, men who are criminally ignorant of how free economies functions and the forces that destabilise them. Unfortunately our media commentators are every bit as bad.
At a time when lower taxes, reduced government spending and increased labour force flexibility is needed in order for the economy to right itself Australia's most incompetent ever Prime Minister intends to raise taxes through an emissions trading scheme, increase spending in order to 'stimulate' the economy and reduce labour force flexibility by giving unions increased powers.


People seem to think that Australia's prosperity is a given and that we can fiddle around with economy wrecking ideas such as these without consequence.

The rise of Asian economies over the coming decades will prove this thinking wrong.

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sunday night rock 'n' roll covers

"Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" is a song written by Neil Diamond, whose recording of it on Bang Records reached #10 on the U.S. pop singles chart in 1967.

The song first appeared on Diamond's album Just for You, which came out the same year. The mono and stereo versions of this song differ slightly. On the mono "Just For You" LP as well as on the 45, the strings do not come in until the second verse. It also has a slightly longer fade. The stereo "Just For You" LP version has a shorter fade and the strings come in on the first chorus.

"Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" garnered a second life span when it appeared on the 1994 Pulp Fiction soundtrack, performed by rock band Urge Overkill. Other versions have been done by Cliff Richard (1968), Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (1969), the Biddu Orchestra (1978), and 16 Volt (1998).

The Original - Neil Diamond

Cover version - Urge Overkill (from Pulp Fiction)

(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Reality catching up with Climate Charlatans

The group of people who steadfastly retain their faith in the CO2-as-cause-of-global-climate-catastrophe meme is growing smaller and smaller with the increasing release of new science demonstrating that CO2 is far from the bogey-compound it's made out to be.

This group now almost exclusively comprises publicly funded climate scientists, environmental activists who have hijacked the cause to suit their own political purposes and left wing politicians who see global warming as an ideal cause to increase government control in people's lives.

Professor Philip Stott provides a cogent analysis of the current
state of play and why the Climate Faithful can expect to be disappointed:
Yesterday, a mere 35,000 protesters [by contrast, between 60,000 and 80,000 folk participated in the Peterloo protests of August 16, 1819] took to the streets of London to shout about - er, well - everything, from evil bankers to ‘global warming’ and the urgent need to support motor-car manufacturing. To say that the protest was both inchoate and incoherent would be to understate its naivety. Moreover, it took no fewer than 150 separate organisations, from trade unions to charities, to muster the 35,000 souls. Meanwhile, some 70,000 diehards trekked to Wembley to watch a fairly boring friendly match between England and Slovakia (at least England won 4-0). By contrast, in 2002, the Countryside Alliance persuaded over 400,000 people to march in defence of hunting the fox and country living, a figure confirmed by the Metropolitan Police; and just think of those 1819 Peterloo statistics when adjusted for relative population size. Moreover, the ‘global warming’ contingent yesterday was, as usual, a small, if rather noisy, runt. As ever, it was a case of empty vessels making the most sound.
35,000 is a pathetic turnout, really, especially when one considers that the G20 is being held and there are a more than usual number of protesters in town.

Al Gore describes Global Warming as a 'planetary emergency'. If this were true then why are there so few people who are out and demonstrating?

Consider this. If, by 2050, the planet is going to be a wasteland, or well on the way to being one, due to man's continued burning of fossil fuels then why are governments so blasé in their response? Why don't they ban motor car racing? Night time sporting events that require lighting? Tourism via air travel? Big plasma TVs (such as California is considering)? Or a raft of other 'unnecessary' items?

Imagine that a real planetary emergency existed; scientists had established with 100% certainty that a meteor would hit earth in 2050 with the potential to wipe out a large amount of life on earth.

Wouldn't there be more than 35,000 people marching in the street? Wouldn't the policy response of government be more meaningful than the failed cap-and-trade carbon scheme?
The Five Big ‘C’s

Sadly, I think that neither our politicians, nor the mainstream media like the BBC and The Times, have quite yet grasped how few people are convinced by the ‘global warming’ panic. I speak to many groups around the country, and I am constantly amazed (and encouraged, I might add) by the level of scepticism I encounter. Indeed, I am now more convinced than ever that, despite the hysteria and the manic depressive hyperactivity that will inevitably accompany the run up to the Copenhagen climate meeting in December, we are about to enter the Last Days of the ‘Global Warming’ Grand Narrative. It is surely crunch time for ‘global warming’, as it faces what I call the five Big ‘C’s:

The Credit Crunch: all over the world, important corporations are quietly withdrawing support for so-called ‘renewables’, while targets for carbon, and markets for luxuries like ‘organic’ food, are collapsing. We can no longer afford the indulgences of Green ‘global warming’ utopias. After all, which is the more dangerous? ‘Global warming’, or the massive reordering of the world economy folk demand in its name [“Not in my name!” cry I], likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes? Luckily, it won’t happen;

I've pointed out before that it's not just in the financial world that bubbles are created that need to be cleaned up by way of a recession. Good times are also when some of the world's dopiest ideas take hold. Global warming is just one of them.
The Coal Crunch: during the latest cold snap in the UK, wind power provided a derisory 0.4% to 0.6% of our electricity. Just guess what coal generated? Over 50%. All over the world, we are seeing a resurgence of coal, gas, and oil. There is no choice. The politicians have left the diversification of our energy supplies woefully late. Coal and gas will be Kings once again, and soon. As we read in today’s The Sunday Telegraph: “The Government gives the go-ahead for three new 1,000 megawatt gas-fired power stations in Wales. Each of them will generate more than the combined average output (700 megawatts) of all the 2,400 wind turbines so far built. The days of the ‘great wind fantasy’ will soon be over.” The fatuous jibe of the arrogant and snide UK Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, that opposing wind farms is as “socially unacceptable” as “not wearing a seatbelt”, will surely come back to give him severe political whiplash. No wonder politicians are held in contempt by so many;
Anyone who promotes wind power as the answer to the world's energy needs is an immoral, incompetent misanthrope.
The Colonial Crunch: the idea that the countries of the BRIC(K) [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and (Kenya)] are going to roll over and accept the capping of carbon, and to fall happily in line with the more damaging and expensive delusions of Europe over climate-change policy, is just political hogwash. In reality, of course, Europe itself is backtracking like mad. Developing countries will no longer be lectured to neo-colonially by former weakening colonial powers that constantly fail to swallow their own medicine;
But, but, but...aren't we 'showing leadership' to the rest of the world by slashing our economic wrists? Of course those countries aren't going to do anything. Their leaders would be hung, drawn and quartered in the public square by their own populations.
The Climate Crunch: especially damaging is the inexorable, and probably inevitable, fact that climate itself increasingly fails to fall compliantly into line with the virtual world of the climate modellers. This will severely undermine the whole credibility of the Grand Narrative with the public. In addition, attempts to scare the world sick, like the recent cobbled-together science meeting in Copenhagen, are even concerning some of the more serious scientists involved, like Mike Hulme, Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: “We should let politics decide, without being ambushed by a chimera of political prescriptiveness dressed up as (false) scientific unanimity” - a most brave, and wise, comment. Further, certain of the scientific claims are so far fetched that they are just bringing down ridicule onto the basic science involved; and finally:
I'll go into broken record mode here: climate models have a zero percent successful prediction rate. This must be the case for three fundamental reasons: 1) they're the result of massive backfitting, which statistically invalidates them as predictive tools; 2) they do not include all of the variables involved in determining the climate; and 3) of the variables they do include they incorrectly weight their impacts leading to CO2 being the main driver of their projections.
The Credibility Crunch: in the end, I predict that the real killer crunch with the public will be the ever-widening credibility gap between the rhetoric of the politicians and their appalling hypocrisy and abject failure to be able to reduce CO2 emissions in any meaningful manner. As coal-fired power stations are re-established around the world [without carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS), of course]; as gas flourishes; as tar-oil sands are developed; as car ownership continues to grow; and as politicians, and pie-in-the-sky academics, fly to ever more conferences, the public will call time on the Great ‘Global Warming’ Charade. After all, people now have real problems to face, like losing their jobs and being unable to pay the rent or the mortgage.
Which is demonstrated by the increasing gap between the economy and the environment in public surveys when asked to choose which one governments should focus their attention on.
The ‘Global Warming’ crash is surely imminent. The lever that switched the signal to green, and the branch-line points to the main line, will cause a mighty collision, the fall out from which could be both terrible and fascinating to watch. The Fat Controllers had better be well prepared.
I must admit that I will feel a great sense of satisfaction when the Climate Curtain finally falls.

Politics always lags the public mood so it'll be another few years yet before that happens. I look forward to enjoying the nice bottles of red I've got stored in the cellar just for the occasion.

Parenthetically, the death of Climate Fascism will also weaken the power of the United Nations and that will be a good thing, as well.

(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 27 March 2009

Boost performance of your Windows XP system

I don't know about you but it seems that over time my trusty Toshiba laptop (with beautiful 17" 1680x1050 display) has slowed down significantly and to the point of massive frustration.

I did give myself a performance boost a couple of months ago by exorcising Norton 360 from my machine but even with AVG running it has issues, especially when I have multiple applications running, which is most of the time.

Anyhoo, I wondered whether there was a setting in Windows XP that would give me a performance boost. I hadn't looked before but am happy that I did, as my system is running at least 100% faster than previously.

Here's the change I made...

Right click on
My Computer and select Properties so that the following screen comes up:

Then select the
Advanced tab:

Hit the
Performance button and the following screen comes up:

You can see that it's on the default setting "Let Windows choose what's best for my computer".

Simply select the "Adjust for best performance option" as per below:

Press OK and it's all done.

What this does is turn off a lot of the screen rendering nicities, as you can see from the final image - the ticked options are now all unticked.

My background changed when I did this but all I had to do was restore it to what I had previously and it was fine.

Loading Office, browsers, running my database software is now at least twice as fast.

I'll be doing some tests later on to see how much time my database analysis takes with the changes. I've already done some small tests and it's much better.

Try it yourself.

If it doesn't do anything for you then you can simply reverse the selection.

(Nothing Follows)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Baby boomer parents can't let their children grow up and face reality

I see hundreds of resumes per year and interview a stack of people.

What I see in the Gen-X and Gen-Y crowd is enough to make your head spin. They can't write above the level of a 12 year old or do basic mathematics and have no concept of history other than those events that run down Western civilisation.

But, boy, do they have a terrific opinion of themselves and their abilities.

All of which leads to a level of narcissism and lack of self awareness probably unparalleled in the history of history.

I blame the parents and so does
Victor Rozek:
File this one under "just when you thought you'd seen everything." As the millennial generation comes of age, the 76 million children spawned by industrious baby boomers are entering the workforce. But unlike past generations, they are not coming to the workplace alone. They are bringing their mommies and daddies.

Reliable sources report that corporate mangers and HR departments are being monumentally annoyed by Boomers who accompany their children to job interviews, review their job offers, intervene on their behalf in salary negotiations, and badger the boss when their nestling fails to be promoted. And they can be irritatingly insistent.

Danielle Sacks, writing for Fast Company, reports that "Last year, when a 24-year-old salesman at a car dealership didn't get his yearly bonus because of poor performance, both of his parents showed up at the company's regional headquarters and sat outside the CEO's office, refusing to leave until they got a meeting." Saner minds prevailed, and they didn't get a meeting with the CEO. What they got instead was a meeting with security which, quite appropriately, escorted them out of the building.

Much has been written about narcissistic boomers raising spoiled, self-indulgent children. And why not? More than any other generation, boomers rode the crest of the American experience. They flourished during a time when middle class jobs were plentiful and well paid. Healthcare, education, and housing were affordable. Sun tans were healthy, energy was cheap, credit was abundant, ecological systems were not noticeably collapsing, and everyone thought the party would go on forever. Being the model of self-indulgence themselves, the boomers assuaged their guilt by showering their nippers with toys. Cars, clothes, computers, flat screens, iPods, cell phones, Wiis; the millennials got whatever they wanted (whether they worked for it or not), all the while being told how wonderful they were.

For millennials, the taste of failure was unfamiliar. Coincidentally, school standards fell, allowing kids to graduate with grades they did not earn, while parents were quick to challenge any teacher who dared reprimand or flunk their progeny. High school transcripts were considered so unreliable that many universities began distrusting reports of glowing grades. As a result, when these kids enter the workforce, they are "simply stunned when they get any kind of negative feedback." So says Cindy Pruitt, a professional development and recruiting manager. Sacks writes that one of Pruitt's summer hires broke down in her office after being told his structure on a memo was "a little too loose." Now, for most of us having "loose memo structure" is not career threatening but, said Pruitt, "I practically had to walk him off the ledge." An act of kindness to be sure, because she probably wanted to push him off the ledge.

According to beleaguered managers, millennials are only comfortable receiving positive feedback. They want it early and they want it often, and when it is lacking, watch out for Mom. After a 22-year-old was denied a promotion, "his mother called the human resources department the next day." In fact she called 17 times and left increasingly shrill messages: "You're purposely ignoring us" or "you fudged the evaluation" and then "you have it in for my son." If the company didn't have it in for her son before, they certainly did after.

Hard to know when it all started. Maybe with Nathaniel Branden, the groundbreaking psychologist who began the Self-Esteem movement in the 1970s which, like many worthy ideas, was soon twisted by lesser minds beyond all recognition. Chalk it up to unintended consequences. Brandon wrote extensively about the value of self-esteem in human development. Self-esteem, he argued, was essential to psychological well being, achievement, and healthy relationships. It necessitated six practices: self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living consciously, living purposefully, and living in integrity. Note that these "practices" require that an individual make moment-by-moment choices and has a profound commitment to a disciplined course of action. Thus, self-esteem can be nurtured, but cannot be provided by outside sources such as parents or teachers.

But somewhere along the line, a great many parents and educators came to believe that the best way to nurture self-esteem was to ensure that children not be allowed to fail. And since failure is a frequent by-product of competition, competitive situations were defanged so that losers could feel good about themselves. In little league sports, for example, everybody got to play and, win or lose, everyone was awarded a trophy. From a young age, kids were taught that performance and reward were not linked. Not coincidentally, it was about the same time that fathers started haranguing coaches about playing time for their "stars."

In school, kids grew up being complimented for everything including putting their shoes on the correct foot. When they got into trouble, parents interceded, and teachers who dared discipline kids got into hot water. By the time millennials went off to college, the explosion of personal communication technology made it easy for parents to keep in touch with their kids no matter where they were. Just when young people should have been establishing their independence, they found it difficult to break away from parental influence and easy to rely on it. Sue Shellenbarger, writing for the Wall Street Journal online, reports that "a study at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, set for release at an August meeting of the American Psychological Association, found college freshmen are in contact with their parents more than 10 times a week." That this is a topic for psychologists should serve as a cautionary tale.

Hiring companies are just the latest targets of boomer angst. Shellenbarger recounts the dismay of a recruiter. "It's unbelievable to me that a parent of a 22-year-old is calling on their behalf," says Allison Keeton, director of college relations for St. Paul Travelers. After taking many calls from parents "telling us how great their children are, how great they'd be for a specific job," she's started calling this generation "the kamikaze parents--the ones that already mowed down the guidance and admissions offices" and now are moving into the workplace.

For their part, corporations find themselves coping with four dissimilar generations of employees. They are looking for ways to help them understand each other, while adjusting traditional practices to accommodate an increasingly needy workforce. This being America, they turned to inter-generational consultants in the hope of finding feel-good solutions. Why the other three generations have to be subjected to forced encounter groups is not clear. Maybe corporations could save themselves some money by simply giving the problem kids a time out. Better yet, send the parents to bed without their martinis.

The whys of parental intervention are as complex as individual families, but there are a number of theories. Perhaps boomers simply forged strong and lasting relationships with their children. Perhaps their offspring are hapless and unable to stand up for themselves. But the theory I like best (since I know a number of boomers with dependent adult children) is voiced by Shellenbarger. "Parents may fear kids will never leave the nest and want to give them a push." Statistics support the fact that more adult children are staying home longer. The Census Bureau says "11 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 still live with their parents, up from 8.7 percent in 1980." And with the economy in the tank, more kids will find home-cooked meals and laundry service a pleasant alternative to homelessness.

Ultimately, whether the children of boomers are so unprepared for life that they need their parents to run interference for them; or their parents simply want to ensure their kids get the best possible break, misses the point. As a friend of mine who facilitated personal growth workshops for young adults was fond of saying: "Adults don't have Mommies and Daddies; they have ex-Mommies and ex-Daddies." Perhaps the best we can say is that although all millennials may not have had a happy childhood, a number of them appear to be having a long one.

The notion of an extended period of almost-adulthood during which grownup responsibilities are postponed is a relatively modern invention. Things weren't always thus. In 1793, William Parker joined the British Navy at age 11. A year later, he had his first taste of war. By age 20, he was captain of his own ship.
As far as we know, the Admiralty wasn't pressured by his parents to give him the promotion.
How are these people going to cope with the massive downturn in economic good fortune that the world now faces, which will be made all the worse by unwise, immoral spending programs being undertaken by the world's major economies?

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Request made. Answered.

"God damn America"

So he did.

America is really stuffed for at least a decade after only a couple of months of President Obama's magnificence.

Best wishes to all of my Seppo mates.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 23 March 2009

Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is a cry baby

Apparently, Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is wetting his bed over the thought that his fellow Australians might think somewhat less of him for so enthusiastically promoting the idea of an Internet filter.

Is Conroy a youngest child?

You know the type - the ones that used to go crying to their mother because their older siblings did what older siblings have done for time immemorial - held him down and farted on his head.

Senator Conroy reflects on the extra methane he breathed in as a kid

From the
Sydney Morning Herald:
The Federal Government will begin trawling blog sites as part of a new media monitoring strategy, with official documents singling out a website critical of the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy.

Tender documents issued by the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy reveal it is looking for a "monitoring service for print and electronic media". The department later attached a clarification confirming this included "blogs such as Whirlpool".

Whirlpool has strongly criticised Senator Conroy's plan to filter internet content and his handling of the Government's $15 billion national broadband network. It is a community-run forum devoted to discussing broadband internet access.

Senator Conroy's spokesman said: "Whirlpool … covers a wide range of topics across the telecommunications sector. It and other web sites provide valuable insight into the industries in which we work."

Opposition communications spokesman Nick Minchin claimed it was "extreme" to expand media monitoring activities to blogs.

"Blogs such as Whirlpool provide an open forum … and do play an important role in our democracy. Moves to monitor this space seem an unacceptable use of taxpayers' money," he said.
Not only are we going to suffer slower Internet speed due to the government's filter that is supposed to block child pornography, bomb making sites and the like but we now get a huge does of Big Brotherism as the government targets its politic opponents.

Folks, this is Australia.

We're meant to have a free society.

Why is it always the left that uses the power of the state to impinge upon free speech?

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sunday night rock 'n' roll covers

“Proud Mary” is a song written by American singer and guitarist John Fogerty. It was first recorded by rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (in which Fogerty played lead guitar and sang lead vocals) on the 1969 album Bayou Country. Released as a single in January 1969, it became the band’s first top ten hit on the U.S. Pop chart, peaking at number two, or number one according to some charts. It was the first of five singles that the band released that would reach that peak on the chart, though the group never had a single reach number one, giving them the record for most No.2 singles for a group without a No.1.

The song was written on a steamboat called the “Mary Elizabeth” owned by the Grafton family.

Stylistically, the song merges elements of several genres, including rock and roll, blues, gospel, and soul. Nevertheless, it contains many of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s most characteristic elements, including a repeated guitar riff, “down-home” lyrics, and a guitar solo Fogerty said was influenced by Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the MGs.

The second line of the second verse has generated considerable confusion, and can be considered a type of mondegreen. Listeners have variously interpreted it as “pumped a lot of pain” and “pumped a lot of ’pane”, referring to propane, which is commonly used as a fuel. The controversy was further fueled by Ike & Tina Turner’s cover, in which Tina sings “pumped a lot of ’tane,” referring to octane, the grading scale and chemical in gasoline. The author, Fogerty, finally laid the confusion to rest, saying, “Sometimes I write words to songs because they sound cool to sing. Sometimes the listener doesn’t understand what I’m singing because I’m dedicated to singing the vowel, having fun with the word sounds coming out of my mouth. ‘Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis, pumped a lot of pain down in New Orleans,’ is a good example. I think Tina Turner sang '`tane' instead of 'pain,' as in a contracted form of 'octane'. But I knew what she meant.”

The Original - Creedence Clearwater Revival

The Famous Cover - Ike & Tina Turner

(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Climate models continue to predict higher temperatures than reality

Why anyone can continue to support the IPCC's models' projections when they have proven themselves to have no predictive ability at all is beyond me.

Then again, dogma trumps data for the Climate Faithful and it's important for them to stick together and not admit any faults. The policy is consistent with the lengths they go to in order to protect their data and methods from external scrutiny, which is problematic given it's public money that's funding the research.

There's a reason why I refer to the science of modelling climate as Climate Astrology. It's equally fair to refer to models in the financial markets sector as astrology.

When the models are created almost exclusively by a method of backfitting, as climate models are, it comes as no surprise that they don't work.

The fact is that they can't work.

After only a short period of time temperatures are not only well under the lowest predictions of the IPCC's models but are now expected to fall further at a time when CO2 continues to rise, driving yet another nail into the coffin of CO2-as-primary-driver-of-temperature theory.

Dr Syun Akasofu from the International Arctic Research Center provides an update:
The global average temperature stopped increasing after 2000 against the IPCC’s prediction of continued rapid increase. It is a plain fact and does not require any pretext. Their failure stems from the fact that the IPCC emphasized the greenhouse effect of CO2 by slighting the natural causes of temperature changes.

The changes of the global average temperature during the last century and the first decade of the present century can mostly be explained by two natural causes, a linear increase which began in about 1800 and the multi-decadal oscillation superposed on the linear increase. There is not much need for introducing the CO2 effect in the temperature changes. The linear increase is the recovery (warming) from the Little Ice Age (LIA), which the earth experienced from about 1400 to 1800.

The halting of the temperature rise during the first decade of the present century can naturally be explained by the fact that the linear increase has been overwhelmed by the superposed multi-decadal oscillation which peaked in about 2000.*

This situation is very similar to the multi-decadal temperature decrease from 1940 to 1975 after the rise from 1910 to 1940 (in spite of the fact that CO2 increased rapidly after 1946); it was predicted at that time that a new Big Ice Age was on its way.

The IPCC seems to imply that the halting is a temporary one. However, they cannot give the reason. Several recent trends, including the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the halting of sea level increase, and the cooling of the Arctic Ocean, indicate that the halting is likely to be due to the multi-decadal change.

The high temperatures predicted by the IPCC in 2100 (+2~6°C) are simply an extension of the observed increase from 1975 to 2000, which was caused mainly by the multi-decadal oscillation. The Global Climate Models (GCMs) are programmed to reproduce the observed increase from 1975 to 2000 in terms of the CO2 effect and to extend the reproduced curve to 2100.

It is advised that the IPCC recognize at least the failure of their prediction even during the first decade of the present century; a prediction is supposed to become less accurate for the longer future.
Dr Akasofu is no scientific slouch, either, as his Wikipedia entry shows.

Naturally, the Climate Taliban will play the man rather than the science and accuse him of being funded by Big Oil, driving a gas guzzling V8 or not driving a Prius.

(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 20 March 2009

A bunch of climate change graphs

Here are a bunch of graphs I've cherry-picked from icecap that not only show a clear downward trend in temperature but also demonstrate why it is happening, as well as predicting cooler times ahead.

Solar activity + ocean data suggest cooling

Be10 record proves solar influence

Guest post by David Archibald

A couple of years ago on Climate Audit, I undertook to do battle with Dr Svalgaard’s invariate Sun using Dye 3 Be10 data. And so it has come to pass. Plotted up and annotated, the Dye 3 data shows the strong relationship between solar activity and climate. Instead of wading through hundreds of papers for evidence of the Sun’s influence on terrestrial climate, all you have to do is look at this graph.

All the major climate minima are evident in the Be10 record, and the cold period at the end of the 19th century. This graph alone demonstrates that the warming of the 20th century was solar-driven.

The end of the Little Ice Age corresponded with a dramatic decrease in the rate of production of Be10, due to fewer galactic cosmic rays getting into the inner planets of the solar system. Fewer galactic cosmic rays got into the inner planets because the solar wind got stronger. The solar wind got stronger because the Sun’s magnetic field got stronger, as measured by the aa Index from 1868.

Thus the recent fall of aa Index and Ap Index to lows never seen before in living memory is of considerable interest.

Sun v CO2


How are those hurricanes looking?

More CO2 = fewer hurricanes?

That's a bit unexpected for the Climate Faithful, isn't it?

These data show how inured to reality the climate movement has become.

(Nothing Follows)

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Climate Jihadist Hansen exposes the contempt environmentalists have for democracy

James Hansen - a man who started out as a Climate Fraud, moved into the Climate Lunatic category and now become a senior leader of the Climate Jihad - has now decided that what is holding the world back from taking action on the 'urgent' problem of climate change is democracy.


If that was the case then wouldn't we see action already being taken in non-democratic countries?

China? No action.


Cuba? Hello?

Venezuela? Nothing.

North Korea? Someone already turned the lights out.

Hansen's claim that democracy is the problem should come as no surprise to anyone following the politics of climate science given that the ultimate goal of the Climate Jihadists is to bring down democracy as we know it in favour of socialism.

From that leading source of balanced reporting on climate change (not),
The Guardian:
Protest and direct action could be the only way to tackle soaring carbon emissions, a leading climate scientist has said.

James Hansen, a climate modeller with Nasa, told the Guardian today that corporate lobbying has undermined democratic attempts to curb carbon pollution. "The democratic process doesn't quite seem to be working," he said.

Speaking on the eve of joining a protest against the headquarters of power firm E.ON in Coventry, Hansen said: "The first action that people should take is to use the democratic process. What is frustrating people, me included, is that democratic action affects elections but what we get then from political leaders is greenwash.

"The democratic process is supposed to be one person one vote, but it turns out that money is talking louder than the votes. So, I'm not surprised that people are getting frustrated. I think that peaceful demonstration is not out of order, because we're running out of time."

Hansen said he was taking part in the Coventry demonstration tomorrow because he wants a worldwide moratorium on new coal power stations. E.ON wants to build such a station at Kingsnorth in Kent, an application that energy and the climate change minister Ed Miliband recently delayed. "I think that peaceful actions that attempt to draw society's attention to the issue are not inappropriate," Hansen said.

He added that a scientific meeting in Copenhagen last week had made clear the "urgency of the science and the inaction taken by governments".

Officials will gather in Bonn later this month to continue talks on a new global climate treaty, which campaigners have called to be signed at a UN meeting in Copenhagen in December. Hansen warned that the new treaty is "guaranteed to fail" to bring down emissions.

Hansen said: "What's being talked about for Copenhagen is a strenghening of Kyoto [protocol] approach, a cap and trade with offsets and escape hatches which will be gauranteed to fail in terms of getting the required rapid reduction in emissions. They talk about goals which sound impressive, but when you see the actions are such that it will be impossible to reach those goals, then I can understand the informed public getting frustrated."

He said he was growing "concerned" over the stance taken by the new US adminstration on global warming. "It's not clear what their intentions are yet, but if they are going to support cap and trade then unfortunately i think that will be another case of greenwash. It's going to take stronger action than that."
Isn't lobbying of any form part of the democratic process? Is environmental lobbying somehow more legitimate than corporate lobbying or lobbying by religious groups or the unions or racial groups or the left handed?

Hansen exposes the contempt that the modern day, Big E Environmentalist movement has for democracy. We should be thankful for that and it might help explain why an increasing number of people, when polled, do not believe the Climate Agitprop fed to them via the mainstream media.

This man and his climate models have a zero percent successful prediction rate. His previously touted Scenario B model, which used wrong inputs to be correct for a few years, has now failed miserably given recent cooling, as have all models. That should come as no surprise to anyone who understands how models are created and what their pitfalls are.

As I've said before, Hansen is the modern day Trofim Lysenko. History will not be kind to him.

(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Peter Schiff - Why the meltdown should have surprised no one

Peter Schiff presents at the Mises Institute's 2009 Austrian Scholars Conference on the topic "Why the meltdown should have surprised no one".

It's about an hour and time well spent.

What's key for me in the whole do we do something or do we do nothing debate is that the thing that needs to be done - structural reform - has not even made it onto anyone's agenda yet, which is why I think we're in for many a long year of relative hardship ahead.

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The unintended consequences of environmental policies

Is there an environmental policy implemented in the last 20 years in the Western world that has not had negative unintended consequences?

In Australia the Big E environmental movement has ensured that no new dams have been built leading to water shortages in all of the country's major cities. They've ensured that forests in fire zones are not cleared of fuel, the fuel that led to the massive destruction and death recently, not to mention the millions of animals that perished, in the Victorian bushfire tragedy. The list is almost endless. Of course, they take no responsibility on the grounds that they simply don't care about the impact on people.

Here's a
classic example from Essex County in England:
The contortionist’s skill required to squeeze a car into a tiny modern garage and climb out of a barely opened door will become redundant under plans to allow more generous parking provision on new housing estates.

A decade after the Government ordered developers to discourage car ownership by making it difficult to park, a local authority has produced new guidance that acknowledges that the policy has failed.

Far from reducing car usage, the policy has turned modern housing developments into obstacle courses for pedestrians and cyclists, who routinely find pavements and cycle paths occupied by cars with nowhere else to park.

A study by Essex County Council found that 78 per cent of garages were not being used to store vehicles, largely because a trend towards larger cars and 4x4s meant that many did not fit comfortably inside the space.

Essex has become the first authority to challenge the Government’s anti-car planning guidelines. It has issued draft guidelines that require larger garages and driveways, more parking spaces per dwelling, bigger on-street bays and at least 25 extra spaces for visitors for every 100 homes. The council has discussed its approach with several other authorities interested in relaxing limits on parking.

The new parking standards will be treated as a minimum rather than, as at present, a maximum. Developers will be free, for the first time in a decade, to offer as many spaces as they believe their customers will want.

Garages will have to be at least 7 metres by 3 metres (23ft by 10ft), as opposed to the existing guidance of 5 metres by 2.5 metres. Any garage smaller than the new dimensions will be treated as a storeroom and not counted towards the minimum number of parking spaces. Any home with two or more bedrooms will require at least two spaces.

The council found that planning guidance issued between 1998 and 2001 had created a severe shortage of spaces in many developments. Families had responded not by giving up their second car but by parking on narrow residential roads, blocking access for emergency services and refuse collection lorries.

There are more than 1.5 cars per home in 35 per cent of council wards in Essex. Nationally, there are more homes with two or more cars than there are homes without a car.

The proportion of car-less households fell from 45 per cent in 1976 to 24 per cent in 2006. Over the same period, the proportion of homes with two or more cars rose from 11 per cent to 32 per cent.

Norman Hume, the Conservative-controlled council’s Cabinet member for transport, said: “This new parking guidance is a radical break from the past failed approach which has seen local communities blighted by parked cars. We are effectively asking people whether we should continue living in neighbourhoods that often have the appearance of disorganised car parks or if instead we should look much more closely at how we accommodate the car to allow a better quality of life for our residents.”

The Campaign for Better Transport, which promotes alternatives to cars, said that Essex was undermining a decade of work to help people to become less car-dependent. Stephen Joseph, the campaign’s director, said: “Essex will create a new generation of car-dominated estates, causing congestion and pollution. In the guise of offering freedom, people will be locked into car dependency. Homes will be too spread out to make good public transport feasible.”

Mr Joseph said that Essex should have adopted the approach in Cambridge and Kent Thameside, where clusters of new homes are being built close to dedicated bus lanes offering fast, regular services.

John Jowers, Cabinet member for planning in Essex, said: “Whether you like it or not, you have to live with the car. Rationing parking spaces doesn’t stop people owning cars, it just means they park where it is most inconvenient for everyone else.”

He said that Essex was considering reducing the number of people commuting by car by imposing a charge on workplace parking spaces.
These people would have known up front that this would be the effect of their policy, as the Council would typically allow public comment before legislation is introduced.

How long will it take before environmentalism is considered in the same negative category as fascism?

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 16 March 2009

Best safety poster ever

Nothing to add, really...

....c'mon...who wouldn't swap lives with Hugh Hefner...?

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Sunday night rock 'n' roll covers

"Hey Joe" is an American popular song from the 1960s that has become a rock standard, and as such has been performed in a multitude of musical styles. Diverse credits and claims have led to confusion as to its authorship and genesis. It tells the story of a man on the run after shooting his wife. The earliest known commercial recording, and the first hit version, is the late 1965 recording by the Los Angeles garage band, The Leaves, although currently the best-known version is the The Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1966 recording, their debut single. The song title is sometimes given as "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?" or similar variations.

While claimed by some to be a traditional song, or often erroneously attributed to the pen of American musician Dino Valente (who also went by the names Chester or Chet Powers, and Jesse Farrow), "Hey Joe" was registered for copyright in the US in 1962 by Billy Roberts.[2]. Roberts is the author, and the song may have been written by him earlier. Scottish folk singer Len Partridge has claimed that he helped write the song with Roberts when they both performed in clubs in Edinburgh in 1956.[3] Another source (singer Pat Craig), claims[2] that Roberts assigned the rights to the song to his friend Valente while Valente was in jail, in order to give him some income upon release.

The Original - The Leaves

The Master - Jimi Hendrix

(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

John Stossel's 20-20 Bailouts and Bull

Stossel does an excellent job, yet again, at exposing the truth.

One hopes the Obama camp was watching.

Part 1

2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Video animation of Flight 1549

This video really does show how quickly Flight 1549 got into trouble, how little time the crew had to make decisions and how lucky they all were to have Chesley Sullenberger at the controls.

I do wonder, though, had they made an initial right turn instead of left turn what the outcome would have been given it would have put the Hudson out of reach...

(Nothing Follows)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

1 + 1 + 1 = 5.2% unemployment

What do you get if you add:

A collapse in manufacturing...

plus a collapse in construction...

plus a collapse in services?


A large rise in the unemployment rate.
Nearly 54,000 Australians lost their full-time jobs last month, according to official labour force figures released today, prompting economists to predict a large interest rate cut next month.

The grim data was worse-than-expected, revealing that the unemployment rate climbed to 5.2 percent in February.

Economists are now predicting that the jobless rate could reach 9 percent by the end of 2010.

“The consensus is moving towards a higher unemployment rate,” said Besa Deda, chief economist at St George Bank.

She added that the surprise jump in the number of unemployed people could force the Reserve Bank of Australia to slash interest rates again when it meets next month.

“Today’s unemployment figures, combined with the recent slowing in economic growth, are increasing the pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut rates in April,” she told ninemsn.

Slashing the cash rate by 50 basis points from 3.25 percent to 2.75 percentwould drag interest rates to a new low - under the record low of 2.89 percent in January 1960.
Looking at those market contraction figures why would anyone think that pissing tens of billions of dollars up against the wall on ridiculous so-called stimulus projects that create no sustainable jobs at all is going to either fix the mess we're in or take the blunt edges off it, as I heard one commentator say?

The fan is taking out insurance at being hit by a lot of sh*t in the very near future.

I understand that the premium is extremely high.

(Nothing Follows)