Daily Archives: May 26, 2013

The science is settled, but the warmists aren’t listening

Dr. Joe Bastardi: Global warming is not affecting our weather.

Joe, it seems that every time people somewhere in the world experience a weather-related tragedy or hardship, be it a tornado, hurricane, drought, flood, blizzard snowfall, or unseasonably cold or hot conditions, we see pundits and politicians blaming them on an alarming and unprecedented “climate change” we are causing. Are we really screwing things up that badly?

Joe Bastardi: No Larry, Mother Nature rules! She’s totally the boss, always has been…always does things her way…and not just in America.

First of all, we need to keep in mind that “climate” occurs over at least three decade periods and on a large scale. The 48 contiguous U.S. states we hear most about in the news only constitute about 1.58 percent of the globe. These changing climate and fluctuating weather consequences are driven primarily by natural changes in solar cycles, ocean temperatures, and “stochastic events” such as volcanoes, which I have labeled the triple crown of cooling. The first two occur on various long term cycles; decades in the oceans, and centuries with the Sun. The stochastic events are random wild cards ( just to make it all more fun).

Larry: Seems like we’re always hearing media reports about how weather conditions are getting worse, caused by man-made climate change of course…our carbon-belching smoke stacks, SUV’s and all.

Joe: Part of that appears to be attributable to very short memories concerning times past, and even shorter media attention spans. It seems that “worse” is always more newsworthy than “better”. The fact is that those alarmist claims simply aren’t true.

Larry: As you mentioned, the period between the 1960s  and ‘90s were pretty quiet in comparison with immediately previous times. And you think we’re in for rougher times going forward? If this is the case, I guess we’re going to hear a lot more hot air about a carbon-caused global warming crisis.

Joe: Yes, the particular combination of entirely natural ocean conditions that are developing now are producing a change in the in the entire global weather system. In the Tropics, the main source of heat is slightly cooler to the west of us, while the Atlantic is warm. This sets up a certain pattern of events that is different from the ‘60s through ‘90s.

Why?  That’s because first, the Pacific was cold then, and the Atlantic was cold also. Then when the Pacific warmed, the Atlantic was still cold.   That combination resulted in less overall hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin. For meteorologists, this is entirely logical and intuitive. If the tropical Atlantic is cooler, and the tropical Pacific is warmer, then where will the hurricanes be?

Now those conditions are reversed. Dr. Bill Gray forecasted all of this back in the 1970s.   This shows how despicable the global warming alarmist agenda can be, when the very guy who got the forecast exactly right gets trashed for not agreeing with people who weren’t even around to make their own forecasts, yet claim it’s due to something else.

Larry: It’s difficult for the public to know what to believe and who to trust. We are constantly exposed to terrifying and tragic disaster accounts on television and newspaper features, along with relentless guilt-mongering about how we are causing everything bad that happens.

Joe: Many people are vulnerable to this propaganda because guilt is a powerful influence that some opportunists are all too willing to exploit for numerous reasons that you and I are painfully aware of. Americans, like other people around the world, typically don’t have the information or take the time to put today into perspective with yesterday or last year, much less decades past. It’s unfortunate to downplay or ignore foundations of what came before… lessons from experience. 

 

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If something can’t continue, it won’t

 

Vending line, New York Times

Waiting for their copy of New York Times

Hundreds of patients a day wait hours outside emergency rooms at British hospitals.

900,000 last year.

Paul Krugman, 2009:

“In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.”

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Off to a bitter place

In your dreams

In your dreams

Electric car marketer  Better Place goes dark. 

Better Place Ltd. Sunday said it has filed for liquidation, citing the lack of commercial success of a novel battery-switching system for electric cars that the Israeli company had developed in a partnership with French automotive group Renault SA.

The financial collapse of Better Place … is a blow for Renault and its chief executive Carlos Ghosn, who had championed the technology as one of the pillars of the French auto maker’s ambitious €4 billion ($5.17 billion) electric-vehicle strategy.

Founded by Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi in 2007, Better Place developed a system where electric-car owners could drive their vehicles into a network of stations around Israel and replace the car’s battery with a new one in about the same amount of time it takes to fill a gasoline tank on a regular car.

The “quick drop” system was supposed to remove one of the main obstacles to the adoption of electric vehicles, namely the several hours it takes to recharge a flat battery…..

The project drew global attention, with Mr. Agassi named one of the top people of the year by Time magazine in 2009 while Israeli President Shimon Peres often spoke publicly of the project, touting it as a step toward national energy independence….

Better Place struggled partly because it only had a few dozen battery-switching stations in Israel and Denmark—the company abandoned projects in the U.S. and Australia—while the specially adapted Fluence sedans were too large given the small-car preference of local consumers. The battery-switching system also couldn’t be transposed to other vehicles.

Better Place initially ordered 100,000 cars from Renault but the auto maker has so far sold only about 2,500.

“Unfortunately, after a year’s commercial operation, it was clear to us that despite many satisfied customers, the wider public take up would not be sufficient and that the support from the car producers was not forthcoming,” said Better Place Chief Executive Dan Cohen in a statement.

Renault said it would continue to explore all charging technologies, including quick drop. “This decision does not at all call into question the electric vehicle strategy of the Renault-Nissan Alliance,” the company said in a statement [sell short, now – Ed] ….

Current and former Better Place officials said that poor execution of the company’s strategy rather than the technology itself was the root cause of the company’s collapse.

Uh huh.

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Reading lists for high school

 A reader suggests a poll of parents of what their children are being assigned in high school these days  to learn ’em American history and political science. Feel free to add titles in the comments section about actual books your kids are currently assigned: left, center, rabid right wing? Video games?

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It’s a pity (American) school children won’t read anymore

Brunswick grad readies for harvard

Brunswick grad readies for harvard

If they did, they could be assigned Friedrich  Hayek’ s Road to Serfdom as an antidote to the Howard Zinn travesty, A People’s History of the United States, now taught in our schools as an integral part of warping young minds and steering them into willing submission to the monolith of centralized power.

Over in China, some read it, and know the truth.

In the spring of 1959, Yang Jisheng, then an 18-year-old scholarship student at a boarding school in China’s Hubei Province, got an unexpected visit from a childhood friend. “Your father is starving to death!” the friend told him. “Hurry back, and take some rice if you can.”

Granted leave from his school, Mr. Yang rushed to his family farm. “The elm tree in front of our house had been reduced to a barkless trunk,” he recalled, “and even its roots had been dug up.” Entering his home, he found his father “half-reclined on his bed, his eyes sunken and lifeless, his face gaunt, the skin creased and flaccid . . . I was shocked with the realization that the term skin and bones referred to something so horrible and cruel.”

Mr. Yang’s father would die within three days. Yet it would take years before Mr. Yang learned that what happened to his father was not an isolated incident. He was one of the 36 million Chinese who succumbed to famine between 1958 and 1962.

It would take years more for him to realize that the source of all the suffering was not nature: There were no major droughts or floods in China in the famine years. Rather, the cause was man, and one man in particular: Mao Zedong, the Great Helmsman, whose visage still stares down on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square from atop the gates of the Forbidden City….

“This book had a huge impact on me,” he says, holding up his dog-eared Chinese translation of Friedrich Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom.” Hayek’s book, he explains, was originally translated into Chinese in 1962 as “an ‘internal reference’ for top leaders,” meaning it was forbidden fruit to everyone else. Only in 1997 was a redacted translation made publicly available, complete with an editor’s preface denouncing Hayek as “not in line with the facts,” and “conceptually mixed up.”

Mr. Yang quickly saw that in Hayek’s warnings about the dangers of economic centralization lay both the ultimate explanation for the tragedies of his youth—and the predicaments of China’s present. “In a country where the sole employer is the state,” Hayek had observed, “opposition means death by slow starvation.”

So it was in 1958 as Mao initiated his Great Leap Forward, demanding huge increases in grain and steel production. Peasants were forced to work intolerable hours to meet impossible grain quotas, often employing disastrous agricultural methods inspired by the quack Soviet agronomist Trofim Lysenko. The grain that was produced was shipped to the cities, and even exported abroad, with no allowances made to feed the peasants adequately. Starving peasants were prevented from fleeing their districts to find food. Cannibalism, including parents eating their own children, became commonplace…..

All the while, sympathetic Western journalists—America’s Edgar Snow and Britain’s Felix Greene in particular—were invited on carefully orchestrated tours so they could “refute” rumors of mass starvation. To this day, few people realize that Mao’s forced famine was the single greatest atrocity of the 20th century, exceeding by orders of magnitude the Rwandan genocide, the Cambodian Killing Fields and the Holocaust….

Yet the book is more than a history of a uniquely cruel regime at a receding moment in time. It is also a warning of what lies at the end of the road for nations that substitute individualism with any form of collectivism, no matter what the motives. Which brings Mr. Yang to the present day.

“China’s economy is not what [Party leaders] claim as the ‘socialist-market economy,’ ” he says. “It’s a ‘power-market’ economy.”

What does that mean?

“It means the market is controlled by the power. . . . For example, the land: Any permit to enter any sector, to do any business has to be approved by the government. Even local government, down to the county level. So every county operates like an enterprise, a company. The party secretary of the county is the CEO, the president.”

Put another way, the conventional notion that the modern Chinese system combines political authoritarianism with economic liberalism is mistaken: A more accurate description of the recipe is dictatorship and cronyism, with the results showing up in rampant corruption, environmental degradation and wide inequalities between the politically well-connected and everyone else. “There are two major forms of hatred” in China today, Mr. Yang explains. “Hatred toward the rich; hatred toward the powerful, the officials.” As often as not they are one and the same…..

A saying attributed to the philosopher Lao Tzu, he says, has it that a ruler should fill the people’s stomachs and empty their heads. The gambit of China’s current rulers is that they can stay in power forever by applying that maxim. Mr. Yang hopes they’re wrong.

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Coming our way?

Tod's Pont? Where's that?

Tod’s Pont? Where’s that?

From our Irish correspondent, this tale of impending doom in Greenwich South: After the Jersey shore is ravaged, Hamptonites fear invasion of Snooki and company.

AMAGANSETT, N.Y. — For generations, few beaches in the Hamptons were more coveted and jealously protected than Indian Wells.

Its high dunes and wide stretches of clean white sand have inspired painters and writers, and have fed real estate values of up to $20 million for the mansions that face it. And only cars with the blue-and-white permits of town homeowners can be parked in its lot, giving the beach an exclusive, local flavor.

Then, last summer, they started arriving by bus and by van, including one with an ominous black pirate flag: hundreds of young partyers from parts unknown, hauling kegs and cases of beer with them, guzzling it down fraternity style and, in a couple of cases immortalized in police summonses, relieving themselves in the dunes. The local newspaper, The East Hampton Star, called it The Invasion of the Beery Beach Blanketeers.

Now, in the quieter precincts of the Hamptons, some residents are fearing that the shift in the societal order could be made worse this year by a new wave of partyers, some of them driven north by Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts at New Jersey’s rowdy beaches.

They raise the question with only half-mock horror: Could Nicole Polizzi — a k a Snooki — be far behind, she who came to personify beach-side, drunken, disorderly conduct on MTV?

The worry is less about the newcomers’ origins, they say, than about their tranquility-shattering behavior.

“You don’t want to come across as snooty, but it’s about peace and quiet for all of us,” said Dayna Winter, 49, a registered dietitian and a year-round resident who watched with dismay last summer as some of the partyers tried to entice her 15-year-old niece to join them. (They failed.) “It’s not a party scene; it’s not what we want it to become.”

“With the devastation of Sandy,” she added, “we’re all a little nervous.”

“People want to get out there and they want to get out there in a hurry, and unless they have a helicopter, the railroad’s the best bet,” said [LIRR] vice president for customer service, Joe Calderone. This is not necessarily welcome news for the helicopter set…..

Longtime residents say they have been here before. David E. Rattray, 49, the editor of East Hampton Star, said similar concerns swept Amagansett when a new group of young partyers took over a different part of the beach — which locals named Asparagus Beach, comparing the standing beachgoers to Asparagus stalks — in the 1970s. “It was the same kind of hand-wringing hysteria that ‘It’s the end of civilization as we know it,’ ” he said.

As for Snooki herself, she showed up in Seaside Heights, N.J., on “Today” on Friday to declare, “Everyone’s here and it’s getting rebuilt.”

But an MTV spokesman, asked whether Season 3 of her new show could take her to the Hamptons, said, “You never know where it will take them.”

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Who knew? Al Gore visits the Jersey shore

I got mine, jack

I got mine, jack

Mid-March weather frustrates business owners on what is supposed to be a beach weekend. Next on his agenda? Upstate New York.

“It’s pretty cold out here today,” Yvette Moustaffa told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin, after she was awarded a bag of cotton candy as a consolation prize.

And remember, it can always be worse. Upstate, some areas were seeing light snow on Saturday morning.

UPDATE: 34″ on Whiteface Mountain

michelle-obama-skiing-vail-aspen-michelles-mirror-sad-hill-news-250x202

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This catches on, it’s going to ruin Walt’s finger- tug joke

When all the world (and Walt's mom) was young

When all the world (and Walt’s mom) was young*

How to detoxify a cow fart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Yes, I know this requires the plural form, but the allusion is to When All The World Was Young, by Ferrol Sams. If you haven’t read it, do so now.

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