Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday afternoon tab dump 

Jules takes a look at the latest trend, "social distancing" to avoid exposure to H1N1. Damn, just when I was hoping for intimate physical contact with lots of strangers.

Peak this: The oil industry is on a roll.

The oil industry has been on a hot streak this year, thanks to a series of major discoveries that have rekindled a sense of excitement across the petroleum sector, despite falling prices and a tough economy.

These discoveries, spanning five continents, are the result of hefty investments that began earlier in the decade when oil prices rose, and of new technologies that allow explorers to drill at greater depths and break tougher rocks.

More than 200 discoveries have been reported so far this year in dozens of countries, including northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, Australia, Israel, Iran, Brazil, Norway, Ghana and Russia.

I love the oil industry, which has brought us more prosperity by overcoming more adversity than any other industry in human history.

Think that we can grow our way out of the debt we are piling on? Check out these alarming charts, and know fear.

You and your soul mate enjoy hiking? Go to Germany and do it in the all together. (Via The Jungle Trader)

The real mission of the SR-71 "Blackbird," and a mystery concerning Russian satellite launches.

The New York Times acknowledges that the planet has stopped warming, at least for the time being, and that this presents a problem for politicians who would regulate greenhouse gases. In an almost amazingly balanced article, the Grey Lady even proposes a test:
Underscoring just how little clarity there is on short-term temperature fluctuations, researchers from Britain’s climate change office, in a paper published in August, projected “an end to this period of relative stability,” with half the years between now and 2015 exceeding the record-setting global temperatures of 1998....

A clearer view of whether the recent temperature plateau undermines arguments for dangerous climate change in the long run should come in a few years, as the predictions made by the British climate researchers are tested. Their paper appeared in a supplement to an August issue of The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

While the data do seem to show that the planet has warmed in the last century, the case for immediately and drastic action rests on the predictive power of the climate models. Well, let us start tracking the sensitivity and specificity of those models as they make their predictions, and see whether their track record justifies harsh and expensive regulation now.

Bret Stephens proposes a new rallying cry: "Beggar thy neighbor, bankrupt thy country, appease thy foe." Not quite "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion," but getting there.

A really stupid letter to the editor. A demographic catastrophe delayed is a demographic catastrophe denied, at least for the hundreds of millions or billions of people whose lives were spared by the delay.

Turns out that speaking truth to power is a directional thing:
You have to love the fulminating hypocrisy of the Left. When Bush was in office anonymous leakers were brave patriots, proudly Leaking Truth to Power. I didn't approve of leaks or the leaky leakers who leak them to the media then.

I certainly don't approve of leakers now, even though I detest the [lack of] leadership and direction the Obama administration has brought to this war. But the fact is, McChrystal's report is out there now and those who once wanted the unvarnished truth about war even if it was obtained illegally now want to shield the President of the United States from the pressures of a job he asked for.

I'm confused. Did anybody out there actually believe that the lefty rage over Bush actually involved principles? You did? No, stop pulling my leg like that.

A most excellent righty protest sign.



By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Wed Sep 23, 07:00:00 PM:

I don't believe in the lefty rage over Bush involves principles any more than I believe that the righty rage is over principles. It is not a question of principles for either side, ever.

I've been gone for a couple of days. that'll get your righty engines started. Vrroooom  

By Anonymous tyree, at Wed Sep 23, 11:23:00 PM:

"Did anybody out there actually believe that the lefty rage over Bush actually involved principles?"


Principals? Conservatives have them, liberals hate them.

There are some principaled liberals, but as Tigerhawk explains, they certainly weren't very principaled about the war. I remember when Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) gave tickets to Cindy Sheehan so she could gain admission to President Bush's speech and disrupt it. Now the Democrats act like a member of Congress disrupting a President's speech it a bad thing. No principals.  

By Anonymous Candide, at Thu Sep 24, 12:29:00 AM:

I'm not the one to start wailing, "Liiisten to the Geeenerals!". I supported Bush supremacy over the military and I support Obama's. POTUS makes the final decision.

Having said that, I wish Obama swallow his pride and admit that Bush strategy in Afghanistan was the right one. Obama already toes Bush line on Iraq and he should learn from Bush approach to Afghanistan, all the last year campaign rhetoric notwithstanding.  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Fri Sep 25, 12:51:00 PM:

My offer to bet real money against anyone who thinks warming will not continue in the next decade still stands.

As for those modelers who think there's a temporary natural respite, they don't represent a consensus, and they're also pushing the envelope of what models can do. Short term trends involve a lot of noise, while the signal ratio in long term trends is a lot more clear.  

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