CO2 changes are found to have smaller impacts on temperature than first claimed

From the BBC:

Global temperatures could be less sensitive to changing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels than previously thought, a study suggests.

The researchers said people should still expect to see "drastic changes" in climate worldwide, but that the risk was a little less imminent.

The results are published in Science.

Previous climate models have tended to used meteorological measurements from the past 150 years to estimate the climate's sensitivity to rising CO2.

From these models, scientists find it difficult to narrow their projections down to a single figure with any certainty, and instead project a range of temperatures that they expect, given a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from pre-industrial levels.

The new analysis, which incorporates palaeoclimate data into existing models, attempts to project future temperatures with a little more certainty.

Lead author Andreas Schmittner from Oregon State University, US, explained that by looking at surface temperatures during the most recent ice age - 21,000 years ago - when humans were having no impact on global temperatures, he, and his colleagues show that this period was not as cold as previous estimates suggest. . . .

The new models predict that given a doubling in CO2 levels from pre-industrial levels, the Earth's surface temperatures will rise by 1.7C to 2.6C (3.1F to 4.7F).

That is a much tighter range than the one produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2007 report, which suggested a rise of between 2.0C to 4.5C. . . .

Labels: ,

Popular Game Show Host Chuck Woolery on Budget Cuts

Cutting spending the easy and fun way.


"Zuckerman scoffs at WH “pro-business” claims"

From July 9, 2010.



Feyrer and Sacerdote's claims about the Stimulus

I have been reading through Feyrer and Sacerdote's paper on the Stimulus (available here), and there were a couple points. It seems to me that their state level results that are very dependent on a couple very small states, namely North Dakota and Vermont. It appears that North Dakota is particularly problematic because 60 percent the job growth that occurred during the time period that you studied was simply due to jobs in the oil industry boom (and presumably there was some secondary job creation from that expansion), jobs which would seem difficult to relate to the Stimulus. In addition, you weight your county level regressions by population, but if you do the same thing for the state level regressions, the results seem to go away. I have used slightly different months, but I believe that the pattern is the same. Sorry that this is hard to read, but the coefficients and t-statistics are in bold.

. reg changeemppop122010to022009 recoveryfundsawardedpercapita if state~="DC"

Source | SS df MS Number of obs = 50
-------------+------------------------------ F( 1, 48) = 5.94
Model | 5.2409e-10 1 5.2409e-10 Prob > F = 0.0186
Residual | 4.2381e-09 48 8.8295e-11 R-squared = 0.1101
-------------+------------------------------ Adj R-squared = 0.0915
Total | 4.7622e-09 49 9.7188e-11 Root MSE = 9.4e-06

c~op12100209 | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval]
recoveryfu~a | 7.69e-09 3.16e-09 2.44 0.019 1.34e-09 1.40e-08
_cons | -.0000224 3.48e-06 -6.44 0.000 -.0000294 -.0000154

. reg changeemppop122010to022009 recoveryfundsawardedpercapita if state~="DC" & state~="North Dakota" & state~="Vermont"

Source | SS df MS Number of obs = 48
-------------+------------------------------ F( 1, 46) = 1.65
Model | 1.0780e-10 1 1.0780e-10 Prob > F = 0.2060
Residual | 3.0137e-09 46 6.5516e-11 R-squared = 0.0345
-------------+------------------------------ Adj R-squared = 0.0135
Total | 3.1215e-09 47 6.6415e-11 Root MSE = 8.1e-06

c~op12100209 | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval]
recoveryfu~a | 3.71e-09 2.89e-09 1.28 0.206 -2.11e-09 9.52e-09
_cons | -.0000193 3.09e-06 -6.25 0.000 -.0000256 -.0000131

. reg changeemppop122010to022009 recoveryfundsawardedpercapita [aweight= pop2010] if state~="DC"
(sum of wgt is 3.0918e+08)

Source | SS df MS Number of obs = 50
-------------+------------------------------ F( 1, 48) = 0.54
Model | 2.5924e-11 1 2.5924e-11 Prob > F = 0.4649
Residual | 2.2924e-09 48 4.7759e-11 R-squared = 0.0112
-------------+------------------------------ Adj R-squared = -0.0094
Total | 2.3183e-09 49 4.7313e-11 Root MSE = 6.9e-06

c~op12100209 | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval]
recoveryfu~a | 3.29e-09 4.47e-09 0.74 0.465 -5.69e-09 1.23e-08
_cons | -.0000182 3.97e-06 -4.58 0.000 -.0000262 -.0000102

Labels: , ,

10-year-old Boy with BB gun saves Mom

A young boy saves his mom from possible death. It took more than a few BB shots to stop the attack, but it worked. From the AP:

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Police in Bellingham, Wash., say a 10-year-old boy defended his mother from an attacker by shooting him in the face with a BB rifle as many as four times.

Paul R. Newman, the man accused of the attack, rents a room in the woman's home and came home drunk and angry Tuesday morning. Police say he kicked in a bedroom door and started choking the woman, according to Associated Press.

Officers say the boy hit the attacker with a board and then shot him in the face with the pump-action BB rifle as he grappled with the woman.

The woman and boy were able to flee to a neighbor's home and call for help.

Newman was treated at a hospital and arrested for investigation of assault and making death threats. . . .


Democrats' "deficit cutting" wish list in Supercommittee: $447 billion in new government spending

Do you think that the Democrats wandered into the wrong committee room? The Committee was supposed to cut $1.2 trillion. By my math, $1 trillion minus $447 billion isn't even half of $1.2 trillion. The Democrats of course object to vouchers for medical care, but are they serious that they don't want any reduction in the federal work force? From the Politico:

In mid-October, with just five weeks until their deadline, each side produced “wish lists” to show where they were negotiating from.

Aides were shocked with what those demands looked like.

House Republicans wanted to repeal Obama’s health care law, implement the controversial House GOP budget drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), save $700 billion by block granting Medicaid, cut $400 billion in mandatory spending, slash another $1.4 trillion in other health care mandatory spending, save $150 billion by slicing the federal workforce and put a $60 billion cap on tort reform.

Republicans were no more pleased to see what Democrats wanted: the president’s $447 billion jobs bill plus well over $1 trillion in new taxes. . . .



Limes are classified as a weapon in the UK?

What is next? Lime registration? From the UK Daily Mail:

A chef was stunned to find she was almost banned from buying two limes from a supermarket - because they could be classed as a weapon.
Marisa Zoccolan, 31, popped into the new Asda supermarket close to her home in Wallsend, North Tyneside, to pick up some groceries, including the citrus fruits.
But when she tried to pay for them at the self-service checkout, the message 'amount exceeded, authorisation required' flashed up.
An assistant then came over and told her that more than one lime was deemed a weapon - because the citric acid could be squirted in someone's eye.
Marisa, a self-employed caterer said: 'I thought they were taking the pip, but the assistant told me the same applied to lemons. . . .

Labels: ,

Climategate 2.0

Watts Up With That has the new batch of emails that were obtained from the UK's University of East Anglia. Watts Up With That describes the emails as: "They’re real and they’re spectacular!"

From Fox News:

"I wasted a part of a day deleting numerous emails and exchanges with almost all the skeptics. So I have virtually nothing. I even deleted the email that I inadvertently sent," wrote Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, according to a December 2008 email leaked to a Russian website Tuesday.
"There might be some bits of pieces of paper, but I'm not wasting my time going through these," the email reads.
The correspondence was one of 5,000 emails stolen from the servers at the University of East Anglia's climate research facility in England and posted online Tuesday. Along with the day-to-day work of science, the emails reveal internal debates, anger at skeptics and even deception from scientists investigation whether man's actions are warming the planet. . . .
According to the December 2008 email exchange, Jones wrote to David Palmer, the information policy and compliance manager for East Anglia's research unit at the time, arguing that unless a fee accompanied a FOIA request for information, he didn't need to bother going to the trouble of replying.
"Dave, do I understand it correctly -- if he doesn't pay the £10 we don't have to respond?" Jones asked. The sum he requested, £10, is worth about $16 U.S. dollars.
"No, we don't have to respond unless we get the £10," Palmer told Jones -- before reading him the riot act over deleting emails, a direct violation of Britain's Data Protection Act of 1998, he said. . . .

What is the Department of Energy doing helping to hide data that they have given to others? From Forbes:

Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails: (1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions; (2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and (3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data. . . .

“Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden,” Jones writes in another newly released email. “I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.” . . .

Labels: ,

Penalties for committing crimes

Most people think of the penalties from crime as involving prison and fines. But they go well beyond that and include lost professional licenses and lost retirement money. Blagojevich will lose his pension once he goes to prison, but the board wants to make sure that he doesn't get the money before he goes there. From the Chicago Tribune:

Convicted ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich will now have to clear a few more hurdles before he would even have a slight chance of collecting a $65,000-a-year state pension.

The General Assembly Retirement System board added the extra layer of scrutiny Wednesday with Blagojevich on the verge of turning 55 in December. That’s when he’s eligible to apply for a state pension.

The move came the same day the Illinois Supreme Court suspended Blagojevich from the practice of law “effective immediately and until further order” by the court. Blagojevich had not been known to even be practicing law, however, and losing his license upon conviction had long been expected.

Typically, a former lawmaker or statewide official would apply for a pension, and the checks start soon thereafter. The board would then review the pensions at a follow-up meeting and give final approval.

But on Wednesday, lawmakers on the pension board decided that any former lawmaker or statewide official convicted of a felony should get more scrutiny before the pension system begins cutting them checks. If Blagojevich applies for a pension, for example, the application would be frozen and the board would hold special meetings to consider it.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, D-Orland Park, raised the Blagojevich issue because the impeached former governor will turn 55 before the panel had planned to meet next spring.

The issue also is complicated because Blagojevich has not been sentenced yet. The sentencing has been indefinitely postponed, and pension board lawmakers did not want to take a chance that Blagojevich would start cashing pension checks in the meantime. . . .

’s based in part on Illinois’ experience with convicted former Gov. George Ryan, who collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in pension before he went to prison. Ryan was making a pension worth nearly $200,000 a year when it was revoked.

Ryan left office and began collecting a pension immediately. Later, Ryan was indicted, convicted, and after a lengthy delay, sentenced. During that time, he collected $635,000 from Illinois taxpayers. . . .


So much for the fuss over the cuts to Defense

From CNN:

Rand Paul: "The interesting thing is there will be no cuts in military spending. This may surprise some people, but there will be no cuts in military spending because we're only cutting proposed increases. If we do nothing, military spending goes up 23% over 10 years. If we [make this cut], it will still go up 16%."

When asked about the "cuts" in growth being devastating Paul said:

“But what I can tell you … is that defense spending will go up $100 billion over 10 years even if we sequester $600 billion, because the curve of spending in our country is going up at about 7.5% a year. All spending goes up.”


iPhone solves robbery

From the LA Times:

A parolee has been charged with robbery after LAPD officers investigating an armed holdup used the iPhone “Find My Phone” application to locate the suspect, who was still carrying the stolen device.

Wilshire division officers responded to a call of an armed robbery Thursday in the vicinity of Sierra Bonita and Rosewood avenues.

The victim told officers that a man had robbed her at gunpoint and ran off with her purse, which contained her Apple iPhone.

Luckily for her, the Find My Phone tracking application was installed, and a local citizen let officers use his computer to track the cellphone to the vicinity of 11th Street and Ardmore Avenue.

A short time later, the officers saw a man in that area who matched the suspect's description and detained him. Officers dialed the woman’s cell number and recovered the phone from the suspect's pocket.

Jason Topper, 34, of Chatsworth, was arrested on suspicion of robbery. . . .

The purse also was recovered. . . .



"Young Scalia carried rifle while riding N.Y. subway"

Some history confirming what I have written about before. From the AP:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia fondly remembers carrying a rifle around New York City as a boy and says outdoorsmen should attack the idea that guns are only used for crimes. . . .

"The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed," Scalia told the audience of about 2,000.

"I grew up at a time when people were not afraid of people with firearms," said Scalia, noting that as a youth in New York City he was part of a rifle team at the military school he attended.

"I used to travel on the subway from Queens to Manhattan with a rifle," he said. "Could you imagine doing that today in New York City?" . . .

Labels: , ,

Why sanctions on Iran are not serious

Sanctions rarely work. They are even less likely to impose a significant cost on a country when other neighboring countries aren't interested in imposing sanctions. If Russia, China, and other countries are refusing to participate, what chance do these sanctions have? From VOA:

Iran and its powerful ally Russia have denounced new Western sanctions on Tehran's financial, petrochemical and energy sectors, calling them illegal and futile.

The U.S., Canada, and Britain each announced new steps Monday to increase economic pressure against Iran in response to international concerns that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday the unilateral measures by the the three countries amounted merely to "propaganda and psychological warfare." He predicted they would prove ineffective, saying Iran's trade and economic ties with the U.S. and Britain are small anyway.

Separately, Russia's foreign ministry called the sanctions "unacceptable and contradictory to international law." Moscow, together with Beijing, has blocked further punitive measures against Tehran from reaching the United Nations Security Council for approval. Four rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran have already been passed.

Washington said Monday it is imposing sanctions on goods and services used by Iran's oil and gas industry to discourage foreign companies from investing in the sector. The U.S. also announced a worldwide diplomatic campaign to encourage countries to buy petrochemicals from other suppliers. . .

Labels: ,


Notice how slow the Federal Government has been to allowing iPhones and other similar devices

For those who think that government moves slowly, here is one more piece of evidence. From the Washington Post:

Citrix Systems and Juniper Networks are among the technology vendors that could benefit from a U.S. government search for ways to secure Apple’s smartphones and tablet computers for the use of federal employees.

Apple’s devices, along with those using Google’s Android software, are drawing interest from U.S. agencies responding to a workforce that increasingly wants an alternative to the Research in Motion BlackBerrys that have long dominated the federal market.

A shift away from RIM could require companies such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix and Juniper to furnish software and security to support wireless de­vices purchased from other manufacturers.

“It’s got to be a monster opportunity for infrastructure and security vendors,’’ said Daniel Ives, a senior vice president and analyst at FBR Capital Markets in New York.

Systems integrators that work with those vendors, such as Computer Sciences Corp., SAIC and Unisys, may also gain, said Tad Anderson, executive vice president of LRW Technologies, a Baltimore-based mobile-security provider.

Several federal agencies are exploring the use of Android-powered phones, and iPhones and ­iPads made by Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple. The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a query last month for a vendor that could control access and secure data for as many as 100,000 mobile-device users. . . .


Caddell and Schoen warn Democrats about next year's election

I met Caddell a little while ago, and I have to say that I admire him a lot. Democrats ignored Caddell and Schoen's advice before the 2010 election, and it seems virtually certain that they will ignore it again this next year. From the WSJ:

When Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election to the White House, both men took the moral high ground and decided against running for a new term as president. President Obama is facing a similar reality—and he must reach the same conclusion.

He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president's accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. . . .


Romney is going to go after Obama as a flip-flopper

I have thought that this is Romney's best case, but he can't even pick the right flip-flops to go after Obama on. I will give you one that everyone has ignored and that is Obama's continual promise during the 2008 campaign to cut "net government spending." So how did that work out? From the National Journal.

Labels: , ,

Charlie Cook's 2012 election predictions

Charlie Cook looks at the math and presents his case here:

In a bell curve of House probabilities, the best-case scenario for Republicans would be no net change. The best case for Democrats would be a gain of about 15 seats. Near the top of the bell curve, the most likely outcome today appears to be a Democratic gain of five to 10 seats. . . .

the best-case scenario for Democrats would seem to be a net loss of three seats. This would take the Senate makeup from 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans to a 50-50 tie. The best-case outlook for Republicans seems to be a net gain of six seats, which would give the GOP 53 seats in the next Senate. At this admittedly early stage, the most likely outcome is a net Republican gain of four or five Senate seats, yielding them a 51-49 or 52-48 majority. . . .



CBS's 60 Minutes on Grover Norquist

Fox News has this take.

Labels: ,

Dutch give up on wind farms, needed subsidies just too big for country to pay

Can't people understand that these massive subsidies make countries poorer? From Reuters:

When the Netherlands built its first sea-based wind turbines in 2006, they were seen as symbols of a greener future.

Towering over the waves of the North Sea like an army of giants, blades whipping through the wind, the turbines were the country's best hope to curb carbon emissions and meet growing demand for electricity.

The 36 turbines -- each one the height of a 30-storey building -- produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 100,000 households each year.

But five years later the green future looks a long way off. Faced with the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says offshore wind power is too expensive and that it cannot afford to subsidize the entire cost of 18 cents per kilowatt hour -- some 4.5 billion euros last year. . . .

But the new billing system will reap only a third of what was previously available to the industry in subsidies -- the government forecasts 1.5 billion euros every year -- while the pricing scale of the investment plan makes it more likely that interested parties will choose less expensive technologies than wind.

The outlook for Dutch wind projects seems bleak. . . .

Labels: ,

Thank goodness that the regulators are there to protect people: "EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration"

At least the penalties are appropriate to the crime. From the UK Telegraph:

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.
Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.
Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.
“The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.
“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.” . . .