The environmentalists’ mission of reverting mankind to the crappy conditions of our pre-historic ancestors seems to be progressing apace. Not only has Europe long-banned bright lights, America will too at the end of the year. Now comes word that the newest eco-toilets don’t even manage to get rid of poo properly.
Welcome to the green future, where we all sit around in dimly-lit rooms smelling our own filth.
The classic definition of science is that it creates theories that are falsifiable. Compare that definition to this story.
Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo, climate scientists at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, say that only about half of the heat believed to have built up in the Earth in recent years can be accounted for. . . .
“The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” Trenberth said. “The reprieve we’ve had from warming temperatures in the last few years will not continue. It is critical to track the build-up of energy in our climate system so we can understand what is happening and predict our future climate.”
This sounds like something I would have written on the write-up for a high school chemistry project when asked, “Why didn’t you get the result you expected?” Of course, in high school chemistry I was running experiments based upon centuries-old fundamentals, and deviance from the expected answer was always my fault. Also, I wasn’t expecting governments around the globe to rearrange their economies based on my results.
My favorite line uttered by a political figure in the last decade, from the great Don Rumsfeld:
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know.
This is true for every aspect of public life, and part of the Hayekian opposition to centralized planning is that unknown unknowns will always foil even the greatest planning.
Nowhere, perhaps, is it truer than in the realm of climate change, which is based on new, highly speculative, and even more highly political science. For example, if there’s one thing we’ve always been taught about global warming, it’s that cows are a serious problem. But now it turns out, that’s at least partly wrong.
Or not; I mean, I’ve no reason to believe there’s not another unknown unknown lurking out there that negates this study. That’s the problem with making dramatic, economy-wide regulations all based on climate change science. If what we know on the subject could fill an encyclopedia, what we don’t know would fill a library.
Apollo posted this at 12:58 PM CDT on Thursday, April 8th, 2010 as Convenient Truth
Al Gore digs his way out of the mountain of snow blanketing the east coast to assuage our fears. See some of us have taken the recent events surrounding Global WarmingClimate ChangeNo Wait Its Global Warming Again Sigh Whatever the Frack Its Called Now to indicate that perhaps we aren’t about to be buried under fast rising seas. Well thank god Al is here to remind us that the Earth is doomed!
He begins thusly:
It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.
Who the hell is he kidding? Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change Skeptics (try saying that 3 times fast) aren’t attacking science (well some are), they are going after people whose malfeasance has done more damage to science than a fleet of Kentucky educated christians ever could.
Al goes on to make the typical noise about foreign oil, but then gets right back to the crux of the matter:
I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion. But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.
The rest of the Op-Ed is the typical pablum about how temperatures over the last decade have been getting hotter. Uh, no. That hurricanes and other weather based natural disasters are getting worse. Uh, no. And calls for the US to be the leaders in the fight against disaster. Please God, no.
Look despite what, Albert Little wants us to believe, the sky is not falling. Those of us who are skeptical of CAGW, aren’t knuckle dragging anti-science young earth creationists. Some of us love science and the process of scientific discovery. It’s because of our reverence for science that we want to hold the charlatans at the University of East Anglia and in the IPCC to the standards science demands. We aren’t saying that Global Warming is over, thanks, have a nice day. We’re saying that more study is needed.
What real scientist would ever say that we should stop researching? Oh yes, the ones that said the science was settled.
Jamie posted this at 11:23 AM CDT on Monday, March 1st, 2010 as Convenient Truth
I’ve lived in some snowy places, but I confess I hadn’t thought of this:
MILWAUKEE — Cities around the country that have installed energy-efficient traffic lights are discovering a hazardous downside: The bulbs don’t burn hot enough to melt snow and can become crusted over in a storm — a problem blamed for dozens of accidents and at least one death.
“I’ve never had to put up with this in the past,” said Duane Kassens, a driver from West Bend who got into a fender-bender recently because he couldn’t see the lights. “The police officer told me the new lights weren’t melting the snow. How is that safe?”
Many communities have switched to LED bulbs in their traffic lights because they use 90 percent less energy than the old incandescent variety, last far longer and save money. Their great advantage is also their drawback: They do not waste energy by producing heat.
…Wisconsin, which has put LED bulbs at hundreds of intersections, saves about $750,000 per year in energy costs, said Dave Vieth of the state Transportation Department. LEDs installed seven years ago are still burning, while most incandescent bulbs have to be replaced every 12 to 18 months, he said.
“With LEDs we have energy savings in excess of 80 percent, and we don’t have to have crews replacing them as often,” Vieth said. “So it’s clear the overall savings are pretty significant.”
In Minnesota, where authorities have upgraded hundreds of traffic lights to LEDs, the Transportation Department occasionally gets reports of an obstructed light. But by the time a highway crew arrives, the wind has often knocked out the snow and ice, said traffic systems specialist Jerry Kotzenmacher. Minnesota is experimenting with weather shields.
One reason there have been so few deaths is that drivers know they should treat a traffic signal with obstructed lights as a stop sign, traffic experts say.
“It’s the same as if the power is out,” said Dave Hansen, a traffic engineer with the Green Bay Department of Public Works. “If there’s any question, you err on the side of caution.”
That this happened is probably just a failure of engineering; an understandable-if-inexcusable and mundane tragedy. That people aren’t moved to fix the lights to prevent traffic delays — to say nothing of injury or death! — is global warming religiosity. That’s scary.
Tom posted this at 5:09 PM CDT on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 as Convenient Truth
Can you think of a dumber parody of a hyper defensive response to Climategate? On the one hand, we have an organization that stonewalled freedom of information requests and has perpetrated something bordering on fraud in order to create the appearance of a scientific consensus that trillions of dollars should be reallocated. On the other hand, we have some unknown hacker who outed these fraudsters. Barbera Boxer can tell who the real bad guy is here.
I’d like to thank the people of California for giving the rest of us a senator with such a keen sense of justice.
One of the editors of Scientific American defends climate change fraudsters. Turns out, the climate change experts only perpetrated fraud because when they said “Jump,” some of us idiot peons didn’t realize it was our job to ask how high.
I’m moving myself from the “climate change skeptic” category to the “climate change denier” category. If there really were a serious problem that threatened the entirety of humanity, scientists who knew about it would realize the gravity of the situation and rationally explain the problem to me. Since that’s not happening — the only thing that is happening is that a movement composed of would-be petty tyrants, asshats, and clowns is screaming at the top of its lungs that I have to let them regulate every aspect of my life or else THE WORST THING IMAGINABLE IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!11! — I think its safe to assume that nothing serious is awry.
P.S. As a new member of the Denier community, I’m looking forward to my check from the “fossil fuel industry.” Thanks, Scientific American, for pointing out that all deniers get paid for being deniers. This is a great alternative cash stream I might otherwise have missed.
Apollo posted this at 1:58 AM CDT on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 as Convenient Truth
I’m always impressed by the global warming lobby’s complete inability to understand human nature. The earth’s temperature is rising, they tell us, so we must change the high consumption lifestyle toward which free men have striven for countless generations and revert to 18th century CO2 output levels. When you realize what that means – less mobility, less meat, a colder house in the winter and a hotter house in the summer, women shaving their legs less often – you realize what a stunningly stupid marketing campaign that is.
Let me rephrase that for the less economically inclined: GLOBAL WARMING WILL REDUCE THE PRICE OF PROSTITUTES!
So you’ve got a choice. You can live in a teepee, eat sprouts, and ride an emission-controlled donkey to your town’s only prostitute, who charges extortionate rates, all so you can sleep soundly at night knowing that coastal villages in Bangladesh aren’t being flooded as badly as they might otherwise be. Or you can live in a big air-conditioned house, eat a steak each night for dinner, and drive a fast car to a red light district that has a wide selection of women at low prices, and send part of the money you save on prostitutes to the Bangladeshi Swimming Education Fund. Like our friends in “Hopenhagen,” I think the choice is clear.
This might be one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. Its dripping with the biases of the writers, in no way illuminates the deep divisions behind the bill, and fails to give equal time to both sides.
No wonder we’re about to damage our economy irreparably.
Some New York-based publication has a story describing how now the new compact florescent light bulbs still suck. This complaint is specifically about how short their lifespans can be if not used “properly.” You probably didn’t know how to properly treat the light bulbs you were buying:
Experts and bulb manufacturers say that consumers need to play a role in solving the problems by learning more about the limitations of compact fluorescent bulbs. The Federal Trade Commission has begun to study whether it should force improvements in the labels of the bulbs.
Better labels might have helped the Zuerchers, the San Francisco couple. Initially, they put regular compact fluorescents in virtually every socket in their home, including enclosed ceiling lamps, dimmable fixtures and areas where lights are turned on and off frequently.
But some of those applications require specialized, more expensive bulbs, something the Zuerchers say was not made clear on the label of their Feit bulbs or on any sign they saw posted at Costco.
Yeah, right. A crappy light bulb is being marketed as the be-all-end-all of the green movement, and it’s Costco‘s fault for not putting up signs detailing that these light bulbs should not be used in most of your household sockets? How many lights do you have that aren’t “enclosed ceiling lamps, dimmable fixtures, or areas where lights are turned on and off frequently”? The crappiness of these bulbs should, but won’t, cast a whole new light on the government’s idiotic decision to mandate them within a few years. One might suspect that environmentalists would be bothered by the government mandating that its citizens use mercury-containing products of questionable life span; one would be wrong. Nope, we’re still on a path to ban the incandescent bulb and give me constant headaches.
I do have a story of the unreliability of CFLs. I bought a rather large one (equivalent to a 175 watt bulb) to put in an outdoor socket back in late 2007. As soon as it got cool here in Austin, the bulb just stopped working. I had used it maybe a dozen hours, tops. Since I didn’t use the light that much, I didn’t bother replacing it. Then one day in summer 2008, it just started working again. It kept working all through this last winter, and we haven’t had a problem with it. So maybe these people complaining about their bulbs being crappy, instead of going through the hassle of finding a way to legally dispose of these hazardous materials, should just leave them in the socket and try again in several months. Anything in the name of saving the environment, right?
Apollo posted this at 4:03 PM CDT on Saturday, March 28th, 2009 as Convenient Truth
Mr. Obama’s transition team said Mrs. Browner’s membership in the organization is not a problem and that it brings experience in U.S. policymaking to her new role.
“The Commission for a Sustainable World Society includes world leaders from a variety of political parties, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who succeeded Tony Blair, in serving as vice president of the convening organization,” Obama transition spokesman Nick Shapiro said.
Fantastic. So the socialist party in Britain supports an international organization of Socialists, and the incoming Obama administration considers this a defense to charges of socialism? Indeed, the fact that she’s a Socialist is a positive! She has experience! Yay!
Of course, when people called Barry a socialist during the campaign, they were ridiculed. Now that he’s creating a new position and appointing a Socialist, we’re supposed to be thankful that she’s got such great experience.
The moves, which follow last week’s withdrawal of the 100W incandescent lightbulb…
Yikes! I’m something of a lighting fanatic, so this probably offends me more than others (I use the particularly inefficient Reveal bulbs), but good-frickin’-grief. Can there be a better metaphor for Europe’s consent to rule by bureaucrats and fealty to environmental extremism than the banning of bright light bulbs?