Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday morning tab dump 

It's Saturday morning, and we're much more linky than thinky so let's do a tab dump!

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Weather, not climate.

I hate cancer. It has afflicted and felled many of my relatives, and my father-in-law has been fighting two different kinds this year. But this article raises a serious question, especially as we argue about extending health care coverage to every American. If a marginally more effective chemotherapy agent is shown to prolong lives by only a few months, what price per incremental month of life ought we be willing to underwrite? Ten thousand dollars? Thirty thousand dollars? To me, the most unfortunate thing about the current health care "reform" debate is that no important politician on either side has been willing to address or even ask these very real and important questions.

I admit, if I were to go to the opera, which I would only do to deceive impress some woman, I would go to one that included "voluptuous women dressed in nothing but G-strings and pasties wander[ing] through the audience".

Climate Mulligan (via WUWT). Not the politics in the last part of the excerpt:

The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.

The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.

The Met Office database is one of three main sources of temperature data analysis on which the UN’s main climate change science body relies for its assessment that global warming is a serious danger to the world. This assessment is the basis for next week’s climate change talks in Copenhagen aimed at cutting CO2 emissions.

The Government is attempting to stop the Met Office from carrying out the re-examination, arguing that it would be seized upon by climate change sceptics.

Good on the Met Office for doing the right thing. As for the British government, meh. I would think that not re-examining the data would be more likely to be "seized upon by climate change skeptics," and anybody else with two brain cells to rub together, but the politicians apparently think otherwise. Probably because they are worried that the political window in the United States, in particular, will close in a few months.

Meanwhile, the WaPo is on to the story.


Get a life already.

As previously reported, President Obama is going to Copenhagen on the last day of the big climate summit. This seems like a double benefit -- the American delegation will move heaven and earth not to disappoint him, and if the conference fails Obama can plausibly deny responsibility. Nice hedge. Hot Air, on the other hand, thinks he is doubling down.

More later.


By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sat Dec 05, 09:48:00 AM:

Had you not already used "Fool" for the Montana Senator who nominated his girlfriend for a US attorney position, it could also have been used instead of "Get a life already" regarding Mr. Sullivan and Trig.

That was an appropriate description of the Senator.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Dec 05, 10:12:00 AM:

It is, indeed, fortunate that "fool" Baucus is a democrat, otherwise there would be a great deal of captive media coverage that might be embarrassing to both Baucus and bimbo.  

By Blogger jjm, at Sat Dec 05, 10:37:00 AM:

Here is a fun link about global cooling
“global cooling consensus” CIA document dated 1974
Warwick Hughes

By Anonymous Moody Deep Thinker, at Sat Dec 05, 11:23:00 AM:

Re: Cancer and the incremental cost issue. I am a pancreatic cancer patient. My life expectancy is unknown, but not optimistic. I am on a field trial that is 'incrementally' more expensive and it promises just a few more months of life for me. But in those few extra months it is my only hope of survival as it may also help me last long enough and for this field trial treatment to defeat the cancer. You can bet I am all for that incremental cost.  

By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Sat Dec 05, 12:36:00 PM:

Let's see. The Big One is going to Scandinavia to pick up the War Prize from the estate of the inventor of dynamite, which has killed millions.

Then he is going back a few days later to single-handedly give away the farm, which will result in the deaths of millions.

Perhaps he could go to Sweden in between, and get some real medical attention. Then he could go to the Swiss Alps for some ski-ing in congenial European company. After that, he really ought to see Venice before Global Warming destroys it.

With any luck, he won't have to come back to the US for months. Wouldn't that be nice?  

By Blogger SMGalbraith, at Sat Dec 05, 12:38:00 PM:

From the Post piece re the "Climategate" matter:

Our collective understanding of how the Earth is warming . . . rests on a wealth of scientific information that is very diverse and comes from multiple sources and multiple groups," said Jane Lubchenco, who heads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

They could all be wrong or they could all be pulling off a hoax.

Or they could be right.

Like CS Lewis's trilemma, they all can't be true.  

By Blogger Martin F. Sorensen, at Sat Dec 05, 12:41:00 PM:

There's a new movie coming out, The Pirate Ship, and the previews are heavy on showing the British government trying to stop it, with Kenneth Branagh bellowing words to the effect that they can stop what they don't like! Good timing for the British Meteorological Office!  

By Blogger SMGalbraith, at Sat Dec 05, 12:52:00 PM:

Like CS Lewis's trilemma, they all can't be true.

I'll withdraw that.

Obviously, some AGW believers could be pulling a hoax and some could just be wrong.

It's more of a dilemma than a trilemma.

I just cannot understand how people believe that these revelations by themselves show that all of the other science on this matter can be dismissed. Or ignored. Or is corrupt. Or wrong.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Dec 05, 03:12:00 PM:

A shout out to Moody Deep Thinker. Hang in there.

In your case, incremental cost is a different calculus. Your survival might pave the way to lower cost, more effective treatments for others.

Both my parents died young. If they were around today, one would survive an illness. In the case of the other, we'd at least have an accurate diagnosis within a month -- not two years. The beat goes on ....

I've often thought the FDA process has unduly skewed drug development to big blockbusters by making development terribly expensive. The FDA process isn't good at assessing individual outcomes and efficacy -- It's based more on testing whether giving a drug to large general populations will have serious adverse affects. It's so early 20th century ....  

By Anonymous Moody Deep Thinker, at Sat Dec 05, 11:31:00 PM:

To anonymous;

A humble Thank You. I intend to survive, and contribute. I intend to be on the frontier of the field trial I am involved in.

Here's to helping find a better way for those that follow.  

By Blogger Donna B., at Sun Dec 06, 12:36:00 AM:

To Moody Deep Thinker -- you're doing what you can and that's pretty awesome.

To people like you, my husband owes his current survival of three cancers. Considering the cause and location of those, if there's a next cancer, it's likely to be pancreatic or kidney.

Thank you and good luck.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Sun Dec 06, 06:22:00 AM:

"Good on the Met Office for doing the right thing. As for the British government, meh. "

It is obvious that the full data should be available. Most of it has been available for years.

The British government is shit, and has been since Blair came to power. Ten years of lies, spin, and control-freakery.

However, the quality of the UK government has no effect on the climate.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 06, 02:02:00 PM:

More coming out about CRU, essentially proving definitively that they, Mann and their ilk, fit the science to their opinions rather than approach this issue in the spirit of genuine inquiry. They did this consciously, by avoiding the mention of any facts inconsistent with their preconceived conclusions, by not publishing any basic data, ignoring statistically based analysis entirely and by thuggishly suppressing the work of any critics that emerged.

The NYT still thinks this isn't much of a story, proving again that the Times is dead.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 06, 04:21:00 PM:

"Most of it has been available for years."

Proof please.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 06, 08:13:00 PM:

Repost from below, because believed significant.

For all the heat over AGW lately, I haven't seen much light. The following is an eye opener. Apparently physicists are starting to get into climate science. String theory is going nowhere, so they need a new gig. You have to be really smart to be a physicist and they worship at the altar of the scientific method. From what I've learned lately, I wouldn't let a climate scientist valet park my Ford Escort.

The following link includes a video of a June 2009 70 minute presentation by Jasper Kirby, a physicist at CERN who's mostly been working on atom smashing. If we were back in World War II, Kirby is the kind of guy we wouldn't want to fall into enemy hands. If I was Vannevar Bush, I know where I'd send Michael Mann.


Kirby is working on the idea that the controlling mechanism of climate change is cloud formation driven by cosmic rays which are modulated by variations of the solar wind, which in turn is controlled by sunspot activity. Who would have thought that the Sun might be a big driver of climate change?

I've only watched part of the 70 minutes, but want to come back. I can tell already that Kirby talks like a scientist. He prefaces that he's only got a theory, that it seems to fit the facts, he criticizes his theory as he goes along, and says that he has lots of questions he can't answer without more data. But he is saying that his theory hangs together, fits with a variety of different data, and is explanatory. This is 180 degrees from forecasting TEOFTWAWKI from the rings of a single Siberian tree.

One of his points is that you can't make conclusions about AGW without better understanding the effect of the Sun, because it's potentially an overwhelming factor. No shit.

There's more -- here's the Holy Shit headline. Kirby and others have expected a decline in sunspots for a few years now -- so far validated by experience. Thus they expect that the Earth is entering a cooling period. Reread that last sentence slowly.

The Truth is Out There  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Dec 06, 08:39:00 PM:

Oh boy, watch out now. Nothing pisses off the Church of AGW like the sunspot theory. The actually break out in hives over this one.

Thanks for the link.  

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