How do Speculators make money?
Now comes the notion of taxing financial transactions to reduce the return to speculation (link to Paul Krugman). What this tax will do is increase price swings over time. Suppose that the transaction costs of buying and selling oil as well as storage costs come to 10 cent a barrel. In that case, you would have to expect the price to rise by a dime before it would pay for speculators to arbitrage away any expected price increase. Now suppose that you add a tax of 20 cents. Well, of course, the increase in price would have to be 30 cents before speculators will act to limit the rise. Is that good? As usual, Krugman's piece doesn't have what amounts to economic reasoning to defend his position.
Columnist Eugene Robinson on Climate-gate
Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week -- portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories -- does not prove that global warming is a fraud.
If I'm wrong, somebody ought to tell the polar ice caps that they're free to stop melting. . . .
Someone should tell him that "Antarctic Ice Growing, Not Shrinking." Here is also an interesting discussion by David Friedman about Arctic Sea ice. He notes: "the extent of arctic sea ice has been increasing for the last two years."
Examples of what little mainstream coverage of Climate-gate have occurred can be seen here.
Dr. Michael Mann enters the fray:
A controversy over leaked e-mails exchanged among global warming scientists is part of a "smear campaign" to derail next month's United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, one of the scientists, meteorologist Michael Mann, said Tuesday. . . .
Climate change skeptics "don't have the science on their side anymore, so they've resorted to a smear campaign to distract the public from the reality of the problem and the need to confront it head-on in Copenhagen," said Mann, professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University who was the recipient of several of the published e-mails. . . .
Past predictions of the Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia
Scientists Say 2007 May Be Warmest Yet
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER
The Associated Press
Thursday, January 4, 2007; 2:48 PM
LONDON -- Deepening drought in Australia. Stronger typhoons in Asia. Floods in Latin America. British climate scientists predict that a resurgent El Nino climate trend combined with higher levels of greenhouse gases could touch off a fresh round of ecological disasters _ and make 2007 the world's hottest year on record.
"Even a moderate (El Nino) warming event is enough to push the global temperatures over the top," said Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia.
The warmest year on record is 1998, when the average global temperature was 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the long-term average of 57 degrees. Though such a change appears small, incremental differences can, for example, add to the ferocity of storms by evaporating more steam off the ocean.
There is a 60 percent chance that the average global temperature for 2007 will match or break the record, Britain's Meteorological Office said Thursday. The consequences of the high temperatures could be felt worldwide. . . .
The Obama administration's reaction (or non-reaction) to the Climate-gate scandal
It took CNN six days to mention Climategate, only to minimize it. As of yesterday, ABC, CBS, and NBC have yet to mention Climate-gate in their broadcasts. The Climate-gate scandal apparently hasn't had a big impact on the Obama administration. Obama announced after the scandal broke that he was going to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen due (given the conflict with the Nobel award ceremony in Oslo, it was assumed that he wasn't going to go). Carol Browner amazingly claims that there is nothing that she has seen in the emails and other documents that concerns her:
Obama administration climate czar Carol Browner on Wednesday rejected claims that e-mails stolen from a British university show climate scientists trumped up global warming numbers, saying she considers the science settled.
"I'm sticking with the 2,500 scientists. These people have been studying this issue for a very long time and agree this problem is real," said Ms. Browner, who President Obama has tapped as his chief of policy on global warming. . . .
"Stimulus snow job"
State and federal officials claimed that the stimulus money had saved 473 education jobs in North Chicago. But the school district there employs only 290 people. Officials claimed 166 jobs were saved in Wilmette schools. The real number: 0. The 382 jobs supposedly saved in Dolton-Riverdale? That's 142 more people than the school district employs. And on and on.
Across the country, journalists and government watchdogs are finding the same yawning gap between stimulus claim and stimulus reality.
Alabama housing authority officials said that a $540,071 grant would create 7,280 jobs. They were off by only 7,266 jobs, the Birmingham News reported.
ABC News reported that Moore's Shoes & Services in Campbellsville, Ky., claimed nine jobs were created from an $890 grant for nine pairs of work boots for the Army Corps of Engineers. Yes, $890. No zeros are missing.
The California State University system supposedly saved 26,156 jobs -- but that's more than half the university's statewide work force.
The Wall Street Journal found hundreds of reports that, taken together, artificially inflated the stimulus claims by at least 20,000 jobs. College work-study money? Jobs saved! Money spent to give some folks modest raises? Jobs saved! . . .
Climate-gate gets worse
The story has gotten worse since the global-cooling cover-up was exposed through a treasure trove of leaked e-mails a week ago. The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia has been incredibly influential in the global-warming debate. The CRU claims the world's largest temperature data set, and its research and mathematical models form the basis of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2007 report.
Professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU and contributing author to the United Nation's IPCC report chapter titled "Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes," says he "accidentally" deleted some raw temperature data used to construct the aggregate temperature data CRU distributed. If you believe that, you're probably watching too many Al Gore videos.
Mr. Jones is the same professor who warned that global-warming skeptics "have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone."
Other revelations hit at the very core of the global-warming debate. The leaked e-mails indicate that the people at the CRU can't even figure out how their aggregate data was put together. CRU activists claimed that they took individual temperature readings at individual stations and averaged the information out to produce temperature readings over larger areas. One of the leaked documents states that their aggregation procedure "renders the station counts totally meaningless." The benefit: "So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!"
Academics around the world who have spent years working on papers using this data must be in full panic mode. By the admission of the global-warming theocracy's own self-appointed experts, the data they have been using is simply "garbage." . . .
The entire piece is worth reading here. A previous piece in the Washington Times on this topic is here. Even the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has this post up. Computer World adds this note to the discussion:
As someone with a background both in IT and in science (I participated in particle physics experiments as a physics PhD student), I would also add the following lesson to the folks writing scientific code: Don't make stuff up. The released document HARRY_READ_ME.txt contains examples in which the coder, supremely frustrated with the poor quality of his data, simply creates some. Even if the underlying science is sound, "created" data taints the integrity of the entire process. Don't do it, no matter how tempting.
The entire University of East Anglia file with all the emails and other documents is available here. Some emails are available here.
The entire collection of news and discussions on Climate Gate is available here.
Some excellent reporting by CBS online regarding the Global Warming emails
Leftist Judge Erases $525G Mortgage for N.Y. Couple
"Climategate, Sen. Inhofe, Stuart Varney and Ed Begley Jr."
"Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist"
Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.
The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.
Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.
Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers. . . . .
The three SEALs will be arraigned separately on Dec. 7. Another three SEALs — two officers and an enlisted sailor — have been identified by investigators as witnesses but have not been charged.
FoxNews.com obtained the official handwritten statement from one of the three witnesses given on Sept. 3, hours after Abed was captured and still being held at the SEAL base at Camp Baharia. He was later taken to a cell in the U.S.-operated Green Zone in Baghdad.
The SEAL told investigators he had showered after the mission, gone to the kitchen and then decided to look in on the detainee.
"I gave the detainee a glance over and then left," the SEAL wrote. "I did not notice anything wrong with the detainee and he appeared in good health."
Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, spokeswoman for the special operations component of U.S. Central Command, confirmed Tuesday to FoxNews.com that three SEALs have been charged in connection with the capture of a detainee. She said their court martial is scheduled for January.
United States Central Command declined to discuss the detainee, but a legal source told FoxNews.com that the detainee was turned over to Iraqi authorities, to whom he made the abuse complaints. He was then returned to American custody. The SEAL leader reported the charge up the chain of command, and an investigation ensued. . . .
Broad support for Death Penalty in many countries
62 percent of people in the Czech Republic agree with capital punishment
64 percent of people in South Korea agree with capital punishment
At least 60 percent of Mexicans agree with capital punishment
47 per cent of Brazilian would vote to reinstate the death penalty in a referendum, while 46 per cent would vote against it
New Fox News piece: Why You Should Be Hot and Bothered About 'Climate-gate'
Science depends on good quality data. It also relies on replication and sharing data. But the last couple of days have uncovered some shocking revelations. Computer hackers have obtained 160 megabytes of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. These e-mails, which have now been confirmed as real, involved many researchers across the globe with ideologically similar advocates around the world. They were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global warming claims. The academics here also worked closely with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Professor Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit, and Professor Michael Mann at Pennsylvania State University, who has been an important scientist in the climate debate, have come under particular scrutiny. Among his e-mails, Professor Jones talks to Professor Mann about the "trick of adding in the real temps to each series...to hide the decline [in temperature]." Professor Mann admitted that this was the exchange that he had and explained to the New York Times that "scientists often used the word 'trick' to refer to a good way to solve a problem, 'and not something secret.'" While the New York Times apparently buys this explanation, it is hard to see the explanation for "to hide the decline." . . . .
Letter to Stars and Stripes about bases being gun free zones
Bases’ anti-self-defense policy
Stars and Stripes
Letters to the Editor, Thursday, November 19, 2009
The tragic results of victim disarmament were made real with the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. If this were a moral and proper world, as soon as the suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, drew his weapon, every person in the building would have had their sights leveled on him.
U.S. military installations’ immoral and unjust anti-self-defense policy disarmed only the victims of this crime. How many more events like this is it going to take before Defense Department officials realize that victim disarmament costs lives and Congress amends the Uniform Code of Military Justice to require all civilian and military personnel to be properly armed (meaning not simply carrying an unloaded weapon) while on U.S. military installations?
In many states, citizens choose to be responsible for protecting their own lives and property by arming themselves. It is the ultimate expression of patriotism and good citizenship.
Fort Hood is my home station. It sickens me that when my wife needs to go on post she, too, has to surrender her right to defend herself by going unarmed.
Stateside military installations have become the country’s largest gun-free zones (playgrounds for criminals). How many lives would have been saved on Sept. 11, 2001, if people weren’t stripped of their right to self-defense because they wanted to fly? How many lives would have been saved at Virginia Tech, Columbine and now Fort Hood?
Those who advocate policies that guarantee the criminal class has unfettered access to defenseless, potential victims need to change their tune.
Lawmakers and DOD need to ensure that those of us who took the oath to defend the Constitution have the means available to live up to that oath.
Modifying installation policies and the UCMJ to remove all restrictions on carrying firearms would be a small step in the right direction.
Sgt. Brian Singer
Camp Taji, Iraq
Is there a 95 percent chance that the government health takeover will pass?
McConnell sounded more dour in the wake of Saturday's successful motion to proceed, in which all Democrats stuck together to begin debate on the bill.
“Well over 95 percent of the time, I’m told, when we approve a motion to proceed to a bill, the bill is ultimately approved,” the GOP leader told reporters. “Most of the time, when we proceed on the bill, the bill eventually passes.” . . .
Palin's approval ratings on rise
Not that it matters politically because obviously she's a female Republican dunce and he's a male Democrat genius.
But Sarah Palin's poll numbers are strengthening.
And Barack Obama's are sliding.
Guess what? They're about to meet in the 40's. . . .
Everybody thinks 2012 when they think of Palin, who last week pushed Oprah's show to....
... its highest ratings in nearly three years. Remember, though, in 2012 the first hurdles a rehabbed candidate Palin would face are her own party's primaries, where diligent conservatives conscientiously come out to play. . . .
Who holds the US government's debt?
This shows you how much of a burden we are imposing on future generations. Obviously, the White House estimates are relatively optimistic.
"Freshman Dem: Passing health care reform worth losing my seat"
A freshman Democratic senator said Sunday that he will support his party’s efforts to pass health care reform legislation even if that means losing his seat in next year’s midterm elections.
“If you get to the final point and you are a critical vote for health care reform and every piece of evidence tells you if you support the bill you will lose your job, would you cast the vote and lose your job?” CNN’s John King asked Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado on Sunday’s State of the Union.
“Yes,” Bennet bluntly and simply replied. . . .
The "safest" large cities in the US?
Some taxes with the new government takeover
Senate Republicans are pointing out a provision that would tax the makers of swine flu vaccines and drugs. The provision raises $2.3 billion annually from drug makers who sell their products through government programs.
“When everybody is coming together to fight a possible pandemic the last thing the government should be doing is taxing the people who manufacture the vaccines and the drugs to treat H1N1 flu,” said a Senate Republican leadership aide. . . .
This is more than a bit overdone, but this is probably the most critical segment SNL has had on Obama
Editorials from the Washington Times
Gunning for Sarah Palin: Liberal media try to take down a popular conservative
Meaningless stimulus numbers: White House pulls job numbers out of a hat
Bureaucrats regulating corporate pay: Government created a leadership crisis at Bank of America
Broken promises on abortion: Democratic leaders flip-flop on taxpayer funding
An anti-pirate policy that works: Arming merchant ships thwarts piracy
Ethics Panel Issues Qualified Admonition to Sen. Burris, but recommends no punishment
The Senate ethics committee on Friday admonished Sen. Roland Burris (D., Ill.), for making "inconsistent, misleading or incomplete" statements about the circumstances surrounding his appointment to the seat once held by Barack Obama.
The committee didn't recommend any punishment.
Mr. Burris was appointed by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and driven from office after he was accused of trying to sell the Senate seat.
The committee's "Public Letter of Qualified Admonition" told Mr. Burris that while it found no violations of law "Senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct." . . .
Just to remind people about what had happened:
After Blagojevich was arrested on Dec. 9 and charged with public corruption , including trying to trade the Senate appointment for jobs or campaign cash, Democratic leaders in Illinois and Washington -- including Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate leader -- urged the governor not to make an appointment.
Burris, a former Illinois attorney general and comptroller -- but by then a political has-been -- accepted the appointment from the tainted governor, but the U.S. Senate was reluctant to seat him under the circumstances.
Under a deal struck with Senate leaders, Burris agreed to appear before the Blagojevich impeachment panel, the Illinois House Special Investigative Committee , to testify about the circumstances surrounding his appointment.
After he testified, the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that Burris had failed to initially disclose under oath to the House panel that he was hit up for up to $10,000 in campaign cash in three conversations with Robert Blagojevich, the governor's brother and fund-raiser who also now faces federal charges.
Burris released changes to his testimony after the Sun-Times raised questions about his contacts with Blagojevich's camp. . . .
Here is the testimony that got Burris in trouble.
Rep. Jim Durkin: "Did you talk to any members of the governor's staff or anyone closely related to the governor, including family members or any lobbyists connected with him, including, let me throw out some names -- John Harris, Rob Blagojevich, Doug Scofield, Bob Greenleaf, Lon Monk, John Wyma? Did you talk to anybody . . . associated with the governor about your desire to seek the appointment prior to the governor's arrest?"
Burris lawyer Timothy Wright: "Give us a moment." (Wright and Burris confer.)
Burris: "I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed, yes."
Durkin: "I guess the point is I was trying to ask: Did you speak to anybody who was on the governor's staff prior to the governor's arrest or anybody, any of those individuals or anybody who is closely related to the governor?"
Burris: "I recall having a meeting with Lon Monk about my partner and I trying to get continued business, and I did bring it up -- it must have been in September or maybe it was in July of '08 that, you know, you're close to the governor, let him know that I am certainly interested in the seat."
Bipartisan calls for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to resign
Is this going to pose problems for Democrats going into the midterm elections?
Rep. DeFazio: “There was a very interesting slide shown to the caucus on Monday night, and I don’t know who the guy was, some economist. He had polling data. And he said the American people‘s opinion of what we’ve done so far for economic recovery, 90% think its been way too much Wall Street and that’s pretty overwhelming, and only 10% felt it was oriented toward helping real folks with real jobs in the real economy. That is a very troubling number, especially for a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress. I just think that pretty drastic steps are necessary to change direction of the policy. We’ve been fighting with the President’s economic team for months…They don’t believe in infrastructure. They don’t seem to believe in investment. They want a borrowed money, consumer driven recovery…that ain’t happening.”
Why do you think Geithner should resign?
Rep. DeFazio: “I just do not feel that his orientation is other than Wall Street, and has not been other than Wall Street, and will not be other than Wall Street. And quite frankly all the gambling on Wall Street is doing nothing to put people back to work in America and rebuild our economy.” . . .
From the WSJ:
At a Joint Economic Committee hearing in Congress, in which House and Senate lawmakers sit on a panel, Mr. Brady opened up his questioning by telling Mr. Geithner Republicans, Democrats, and the American people had lost confidence in the Treasury Secretary and asked him to resign.
“It is a great privilege to serve this president,” Mr. Geithner responded. “I agree with almost nothing you said.”
Mr. Geithner then took it a step further: “You gave this president an economy falling off the cliff.”
Mr. Brady wasn’t done: “Remind me, Mr. Secretary, what post were you holding when President Obama took office?”
Geithner: “I was the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”
Brady then accused him of “shirking responsibility for the design of this bailout.”
Mr. Geithner said the government’s steps were “absolutely necessary to break the back of this financial panic.” He said without the Obama administration’s steps, “you would have an economy still falling, not growing.”
Brady wasn’t done. “The public has lost all confidence in your ability to do the job.”
Geithner wasn’t done either. “If you look at any measure of confidence in the financial system, it is substantially higher today than when the President of the United States took office.”
Brady: “This is your budget! This is your bailout!” . . .
In an exclusive interview in Investigate magazine's TGIF Edition, Phil Jones, the head of the Hadley CRU, confirmed that the leaked data is real. . . .
Some culling through the hacked emails of global warming advocates, the Bishop Hill website has found some interesting statements.
Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow! . . .
Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122) . . . .
Phil Jones says he has use Mann's "Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series"...to hide the decline". Real Climate says "hiding" was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075) . . .
Mann sends calibration residuals for MBH99 to Osborn. Says they are pretty red, and that they shouldn't be passed on to others, this being the kind of dirty laundry they don't want in the hands of those who might distort it.(1059664704) . . .
David Parker discussing the possibility of changing the reference period for global temperature index. Thinks this shouldn't be done because it confuses people and because it will make things look less warm.(1105019698) . . .
Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FoI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. Also discuss AR4 draft. Mann says paleoclimate chapter will be contentious but that the author team has the right personalities to deal with sceptics.(1107454306) . . .
A discussion of the professionally damaging emails is here. The Herald Sun newspaper in Australia has done an excellent job going through the emails of one Professor Phil Jones, the head of the CRU unit whose emails were leaked.
At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:
Mike, I presume congratulations are in order - so congrats etc !
Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? - our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !
Jones admits he was warned by his own university against deleting data subjected to an FOI request from McIntyre - or anyone:
From: Phil JonesTo: santer1@XXXX
Subject: Re: A quick question
Date: Wed Dec 10 10:14:10 2008
Haven’t got a reply from the FOI person here at UEA. So I’m not entirely confident the numbers are correct. One way of checking would be to look on CA, but I’m not doing that. I did get an email from the FOI person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting emails - unless this was ‘normal’ deleting to keep emails manageable! McIntyre hasn’t paid his £10, so nothing looks likely to happen re his Data Protection Act email.
Anyway requests have been of three types - observational data, paleo data and who made IPCC changes and why. Keith has got all the latter - and there have been at least 4. We made Susan aware of these - all came from David Holland. According to the FOI Commissioner’s Office, IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on, unless it has anything to do with our core business - and it doesn’t! I’m sounding like Sir Humphrey here!
Makes you wonder very strongly what Jones is trying to hide, doesn’t it? Also makes you laugh all over again at his claim once that the data being sought had, sadly, been ... um, lost.
In1212063122.txtm, Jones urges another colleague, Michael “Hockey Stick”, Mann, to join in the deleting - at least of emails about the IPCC’s controversial ARA report on man-made warming which Jones co-authored, and which claimed warming was “unequivocal” and “most likely” caused by humans:From: Phil Jones To: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment - minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!
For years Jones has made clear his determination to keep crucial data from the eyes of sceptics:From: Phil Jones To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Fwd: CCNet: PRESSURE GROWING ON CONTROVERSIAL RESEARCHER TO DISCLOSE SECRET DATA
Date: Mon Feb 21 16:28:32 2005
Cc: “raymond s. bradley” , “Malcolm Hughes”
Mike, Ray and Malcolm,
The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here ! Maybe we can use this to our advantage to get the series updated !
Odd idea to update the proxies with satellite estimates of the lower troposphere rather than surface data !. Odder still that they don’t realise that Moberg et al used the Jones and Moberg updated series !
Francis Zwiers is till onside. He said that PC1s produce hockey sticks. He stressed that the late 20th century is the warmest of the millennium, but Regaldo didn’t bother
with that. Also ignored Francis’ comment about all the other series looking similar to MBH.
The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick. Leave it to you to delete as appropriate !
PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data.
Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !
How impartial a scientist is Phil Jones? . . ....If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.