Biomass Fuel and the new Environmentalism
Tree huggers? Pshaw! Greenies are hot to cut trees down!
Time to praise CO2 — the miracle gas!
By Paul Driessen
It’s amazing that minuscule bacteria can cause life-threatening diseases and infections — and miraculous that tiny doses of vaccines and antibiotics can safeguard us against these deadly scourges. It is equally incredible that, at the planetary level, carbon dioxide is a miracle molecule for plants — and the “gas of life” for most living creatures on Earth.
In units of volume, CO2’s concentration is typically presented as 400 parts per million (400 ppm). Translated, that’s just 0.04 percent of Earth’s atmosphere — the equivalent of 40 cents out of one thousand dollars, or 1.4 inches on a football field. Even atmospheric argon is 23 times more abundant: 9,300 ppm. Moreover, the 400 ppm in 2013 is 120 ppm more than the 280 ppm CO2 level of 1800, and that two-century increase is equivalent to a mere 12 cents out of $1,000, or one half-inch on a football field.
Eliminate carbon dioxide, and terrestrial plants would die, as would lake and ocean phytoplankton, grasses, kelp and other water plants. After that, animal and human life would disappear. Even reducing CO2 levels too much — back to pre-industrial levels, for example — would have terrible consequences.
Over the past two centuries, our planet finally began to emerge from the Little Ice Age that had cooled the Earth and driven Viking settlers out of Greenland. Warming oceans slowly released some of the CO2 stored in their waters. Industrial Revolution factories and growing human populations burned more wood and fossil fuels, baked more bread, and brewed more beer, adding still more CO2 to the atmosphere. Much more of the miracle molecule came from volcanoes and sub-sea vents, forest fires, bio-fuels use, decaying plants and animals, and “exhaust” from living, breathing animals and humans.
What a difference that extra 120 ppm has made for plants, and for animals and humans that depend on them. The more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the more it is absorbed by plants of every description — and the faster and better they grow, even under adverse conditions like limited water, extremely hot air temperatures, or infestations of insects, weeds and other pests. As trees, grasses, algae and crops grow more rapidly and become healthier and more robust, animals and humans enjoy better nutrition on a planet that is greener and greener.
Efforts to feed seven billion people, and improve nutrition for more than a billion who are malnourished, are steadily increasing the tension between our need for land to feed humans — and the need to keep land in its natural state to support plants and wildlife. How well we are able to increase crop production from the same or less acreage may mean the difference between global food sufficiency and rampant human starvation in coming decades — and between the survival and extinction of many plant and animal species.
Modern agricultural methods steadily and dramatically improved crop yields per acre between 1930 and today. That is especially important if we continue to divert millions of acres of farmland from food crops, and convert millions of acres of rainforest and other wildlife habitat to cropland, for biofuel production to replace fossil fuels that we again have in abundance. Carbon dioxide will play a vital role in these efforts.
Increased CO2 levels in greenhouses dramatically improve plant growth, especially when temperatures are also elevated; rising atmospheric CO2 levels have likewise had astounding positive impacts on outdoor plant growth and survival. Lentils and other legumes grown in hothouses with 700 ppm CO2 improved their total biomass by 91 percent, their edible parts yield by 150 percent and their fodder yield by 67 percent, compared to similar crops grown at 370 ppm CO2, Indian researchers found.
Rice grown at 600 ppm CO2 increased its grain yield by 28 percent with low applications of nitrogen fertilizer, Chinese scientists calculated. U.S. researchers discovered that sugarcane grown in sunlit greenhouses at 720 ppm CO2 and 11° F (6° C) higher than outside ambient air produced stem juice an amazing 124 percent higher in volume than sugarcane grown at ambient temperature and 360 ppm CO2. Non-food crops like cotton also fare much better when CO2 levels are higher.
Research into natural forest and crop growth during recent periods of rising atmospheric CO2 levels, between 1900 and 2010, found significant improvements under “real-world” conditions, as well.
An analysis of Scots pines in Catalonia, Spain, showed that tree diameter and cross-sectional area expanded by 84 percent between 1900 and 2000, in response to rising CO2 levels. The growth of young Wisconsin trees increased by 60 percent, and tree ring width expanded by almost 53 percent, as atmospheric CO2concentrations increased from 316 ppm in 1958 to 376 ppm in 2003, researchers calculated.
University of Minnesota scientists compared the growth of trees and other plants during the first half of the 20th Century (which included the terrible Dust Bowl years), when CO2 levels rose only 10 ppm — to the period 1950-2000, when CO2 increased by 57 ppm. They found that CO2 lowered plant sensitivity to severe drought and improved their survival rates by almost 50 percent. Swiss researchers concluded that, because of rising CO2 levels, “alpine plant life is proliferating, biodiversity is on the rise, and the mountain world appears more productive and inviting than ever.”
Other researchers used historical (real-world) data for land use, atmospheric CO2 concentration, nitrogen deposition, fertilization, ozone levels, rainfall and climate, to develop a computer model that simulates plant growth responses for southern U.S. habitats from 1895 to 2007. They determined that “net primary productivity” improved by an average of 27 percent during this 112-year period, with most of the increased growth occurring after 1950, when CO2 levels rose the most, from 310 ppm in 1950 to 395 ppm in 2007.
How does all this happen? Plants use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide from the air, and water and minerals from the soil, into the carbohydrates and other molecules that form plant biomass. More CO2 means more and larger flowers; higher seed mass and germination success; and improved plant resistance to droughts, diseases, viruses, pathogenic infections, air pollutants, and salt or nitrogen accumulation in soils. Higher CO2 levels also improve plants’ water use efficiency — ensuring faster and greater carbon uptake by plant tissues, with less water lost through transpiration.
More airborne CO2 lets plants reduce the size of their stomata, little holes in leaves that plants use to inhale CO2 building blocks. When CO2 is scarce, the openings increase in size, to capture sufficient supplies of this “gas of life.” But increasing stomata size means more water molecules escape, and the water loss places increasing stress on the plants, eventually threatening their growth and survival.
When the air’s CO2 levels rise — to 400, 600, or 800 ppm — the stomata shrink in size, causing them to lose less water from transpiration, while still absorbing ample CO2 molecules. That enables them to survive extended dry spells much better.
(The 2009 and 2011 volumes of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change report, Climate Change Reconsidered, especially this section, and Dr. Craig Idso’s www.CO2science.org website summarize hundreds of similar studies of crops, forests, grasslands, alpine areas and deserts enriched by carbon dioxide. CO2 Science’s Plant Growth Database lets people search for more studies.)
One of the worst things that could happen to our planet and its people, animals,and plants would be for CO2 levels to plunge back to levels last seen before the Industrial Revolution. Decreasing CO2 levels would be especially problematical if Earth cools, in response to the sun entering another “quiet phase,” as happened during the Little Ice Age. If Earth cools again, growing seasons would shorten and arable cropland would decrease in the northern temperate zones. We would then need every possible molecule of CO2 — just to keep agricultural production high enough to stave off mass human starvation … and save wildlife habitats from being plowed under to replace that lost cropland.
However, even under current Modern Warm Era conditions, crops, other plants, animals and people will benefit from more CO2. The “gas of life” is a miracle plant fertilizer that helps plants grow and prosper — greening the planet, nourishing wildlife habitats, feeding people who crave larger amounts of more nutritious food, preventing species loss, and even warming the Earth a little.
That is an amazing fete for a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that comprises just 0.04 percent of our atmosphere! We should praise carbon dioxide — not vilify, ban or bury it.
Why HAS global warming slowed? Scientists admit they don't know why - but are '95% sure' humans are to blame for climate change
The article below appeared in the mass-circulation "Daily Mail"
Scientists are struggling to explain why global warming seems to have slowed down in the last decade in a leaked draft of the UN's next big report on climate change.
The intergovernmental study claims scientists are 95 per cent sure that humans are to blame for climate change, but presently they have not come up with a unified reason for why global surface temperatures have not risen as predicted in the past 15 years.
According to the unpublished draft document, scientists believe volcanic ash, less heat from the sun and more heat being absorbed by oceans could explain the mystery.
Set for release in October 2014, the AR5 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) includes a number of explanations for the slow-down in global warming.
The Met Office told Fox News that while global temperatures rose quickly during the 1970s, the trend appears to have become flat during the last 15 years, with some parties claiming global warming has stopped all together.
Global temperatures have continued to rise, but at a slower rate since 1998, despite greenhouse gas concentrations peaking due to more emissions created by increasingly-industrialised emerging nations.
The draft reportedly uses complex computer models looking at lots of factors to conclude temperatures could increase by anything from a fraction of one degree Celcius to almost five degrees this century.
Reuters environment correspondent Alister Doyle who said: 'Scientists believe causes could include: greater-than-expected quantities of ash from volcanoes, which dims sunlight; a decline in heat from the sun during a current 11-year solar cycle; more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans; or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide.'
The report supposes the slowing of global warming is due to all these factors in equal measure.
Gabriele Hegerl, a professor at Edinburgh University told the news agency that minor contributions from different sources have combined to slow the rising temperatures in recent years, or the micro trend could is simply a blip in the larger trend.
According to the draft study, scientists are struggling to predict the impact that global warming will have in certain regions, which is not helpful for government planners, who use the IPCC report to inform policies.
Governments use the report to work out how to invest in renewable energy, protect coastal regions from flooding and how to ensure a good supply of food.
While certain areas of the report are currently a little vague, it reportedly says scientists are now 95 per cent certain that humans, and particularly the burning of fossil fuels, are responsible for global warming.
The number is up from the last report published in 2007, which was 90 per cent sure climate change was caused by humans. The 2001 report's figure was 66 per cent and around 50 per cent in 1995, showing that more scientists have embraced the theory of global warming.
Climate skeptics have accused the IPCC of finding figures to support the concept of climate change, but the UN has told Fox News that it is too early to draw conclusions from its draft publication.
The international body said the text will probably change before publication in response to suggestions from governments and scientists at a four-day approval session taking place at the end of September.
The UN said: 'It is therefore premature and could be misleading to attempt to draw conclusions from it.'
When published, the AR5 report, which is the first of three to be released in 2013 and 2014, will likely face intense scrutiny from scientists and climate change skeptics after the 2007 report was widely criticised for sloppy mathematics, including the claim that the Himalayas could melt by 2035 due to global warming.
Nearly 200 governments have signed up to trying to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above per-industrial times, which is seen as the point where dangerous changes including floods from rising sea levels and droughts that threaten food production, could occur.
Climate Reductio ad Absurdum
By Alan Caruba
Recently, three researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, had a study published that claimed that a “substantial” correlation between violence and climate change could be made.
They cited sixty studies from around the world that, according to a BBC World Service article, demonstrated that “even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes, and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.”
Apparently they missed the data on World War II’s Battle of the Bulge or the siege of Stalingrad, both of which were fought in freezing weather. Earlier, Napoleon ran into a similar problem when he wanted to conquer Russia.
We have now reached a point in the Great Global Warming Hoax where pure absurdity is the norm for claims made on behalf of a warming cycle that ended around 1996.
In a Washington Times January 17 commentary, Patrick J. Michaels, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science, wrote, “My greener friends are increasingly troubled by the lack of a rise in recent global surface temperatures. Using monthly data measured as the departure from long-term averages, there’s been no significant warming trend since the fall of 1996. In other words, we are now in our 17th year of flat temperatures.”
Citing the usual scientific data involved, Michaels wrote, “It’s a pretty good bet that we are going to go nearly a quarter of a century without warming.”
Much of the kind of idiotic “scientific research” with which the public has been inundated for decades has been the result of the pursuit of funding that involves “professional advancement”, noted Michaels, and which is “particularly dependent upon a certain view”—proving that global warming is real despite all the evidence to the contrary. Claiming that it is causing a rise of violence around the world is idiotic.
Commenting on the Cal-Berkeley study, James M. Taylor, the Heartland Institute’s editor of Environment & Climate News, noted that the three researchers “claim to apply expert principles of ‘archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology’ in their paper” despite the fact that they ”share the same limited background in economics” to claim such expertise.
Over at ClimateDepot.com, editor Marc Morano said, “Instead of looking at temperature data or other climate metrics to prove or disprove man-made global warming, the global warming activists have now shifted the playing field so rape and murder statistics are now used as some sort of ‘proof’ of man-made global warming. Global warming science has truly morphed to modern witchcraft!”
The only place you will find “proof” of global warming these days is in computer models.
Too often they are those used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and those at NASA, both government entities that are mindful that they better toe the party line if they want their budget requests fulfilled. Despite having the best satellites and computer models available, the National Weather Service would not guarantee its predictions more than three days out and surely not more than a week or two.
It is unfortunate that we have a President who keeps repeating the same false claims about “climate change”—the new name for global warming—despite the fact that they have been disputed and abandoned by thousands of scientists around the world. Worse, claims about “carbon pollution” are being used by the Environmental Protection Agency and other government departments to justify the war on coal in particular and hydrocarbon fuels in general.
Some elements of the press such as the BBC are unwilling to abandon the global warming hoax. This means that the search for new scary headlines with which to sell newspapers and magazines, or increase ratings on the evening news will lead to claims about dramatically rising sea levels or, as Michaels predicts, “acid oceans.”
It is all garbage and the real threat is the billions in taxpayer dollars that are being wasted on so-called “climate change” research or the tons of regulations being written to support the strangulation of the nation’s economy in the name of air and water pollution. We have clean air. We have clean water. We need jobs.
Judith Curry on "motivated reasoning"
"Motivated reasoning" is a polite term for "white lies". So the question is whether scientists should lie for what they see as a good cause. Curry thinks it is allowable but sees that it is arrogant and will ultimately destroy trust in the scientists concerned and maybe trust in science generally. Although she is herself a Warmist, she points out below that such "reasoning" is influential among Warmists
Motivated reasoning affects scientists as it does other groups in society, although it is often pretended that scientists somehow escape this predicament.
Motivated reasoning has been put forward as the reason why educated conservatives reject the consensus on climate change science. This post examines the thesis that motivated reasoning by climate scientists is adversely impacting the public trust in climate science and provides a reason for people to reject the consensus on climate change science.
Microethics vs Macroethics
I have had a draft post on Microethics vs Macroethics sitting around for almost a year. Ideally, I should have completed that post before this one, but an email exchange with Dan Kahan motivated me to write this post instead. So here is a quick overview of my points re microethics vs macroethics. This particular framing of the ethical dilemmas for research scientists came to my attention in context of materials that have been provided to universities in support of training for responsible conduct in research. Research scientists all have the responsibilities to adhere to the principles of ethical research and professional standards as outlined in the document On being a scientist. But what happens when other responsibilities get in the way of these professional standards?
As a researcher, what kinds of responsibilities do you have to
your conscience (micro)
your colleagues (micro)
the public (macro)
the environment (macro)
One can imagine many different types of motivated reasoning across this spectrum of micro/macro ethical responsibilities that can either bias the scientific process or even violate professional standards. Climate science has many examples to provide in this regard.
Scientists may either bias their research in favor of concerns about public policy and the environment in subtle ways, or they may actively work to suppress evidence, and in some instances they may proactively manufacture evidence to discredit their opponents.
To start: Reiner Grundmann at Die Klimazweibel has a recent article entitled Science for a good cause? Excerpts:
"Imagine the following scenario. An atmospheric scientist makes a discovery that seems to challenge a particular model of sea level increase due to global warming. She expects her discovery will be refined through further research, and that, in the end, it will not refute the mainstream view. In the meantime, she wants to avoid giving ammunition to climate skeptics, so she postpones publication. But an ambitious postdoc surreptitiously informs the media about the discovery. The media accuse the scientist of a cover-up and report that key evidence for anthropogenic climate change has been refuted.
How would you react if someone concludes in the following way: ‘The atmospheric scientist was not wrong to withhold the information from the public; she wisely foresaw the danger that it would be deployed in misleading ways and attempted to do her bit for the promotion of public freedom’.
This is not a scenario invented by myself, but by the philosopher of science Philip Kitcher, recounted in a review of his book by Mark Brown. (Science in a Democratic Society, Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 2011; review article by Mark Brown, published in Minerva (51:389–397; DOI 10.1007/s11024-013-9233-y).
In my view this comment exemplifies a problematic attitude not only in climate science but in the social sciences as well. The good cause which allegedly motivates much of the research puts the researcher in a special position. It allows them to dispense with essential standards of professional conduct. It is perhaps not remarkable that we see a ‘leading figure’ in the philosophy of science defend questionable practices which have been modelled (not by accident I suppose) after the famous climategate affair.
The risks for the credibility of science (no matter which branch or discipline) are clear. Anyone who comes across such commentary will take this as confirmation that science can be twisted according to the will of scientists (or elites); that science is constructed (in the vulgar sense of being ‘made up’ and ‘fake’); and that scientists preserve the prerogative of making judgements which data are for public consumption and which are not.
As I pointed out in a recent talk, motivated reasoning is a problem for scientists. It affects scientists as it does other groups in society, although it is often pretended that scientists somehow escape this predicament. The above comment from Kitcher (‘the atmospheric scientists was not wrong to withhold the information from the public’) is a powerful illustration of social scientists falling into the trap of motivated reasoning, justifying the questionable professional standards through recourse to alleged higher ethical standards.
Scientists will only be able to command trust in society if they follow basic professional standards. Prime among them is to publish the results of their research, no matter if they support a desirable storyline or not."
Last year, I encountered a stark example of this. One of my colleagues was thinking about publishing a paper that challenges the IPCC interpretation of the previous pause during the 1940s to 1970′s. My colleague sent a .ppt presentation on this topic to three colleagues, each of whom is a very respected senior scientist and none of whom have been particularly vocal advocates on the subject of climate change (names are withheld to protect the guilty/innocent). Each of these scientists strongly encouraged my colleague NOT to publish this paper, since it would only provide fodder for the skeptics. (Note: my colleague has not yet written this paper, but not because he was discouraged by these colleagues).
What is at issue here is a conflict between the micro ethics of individual responsibility for responsible conduct of research and larger ethical issues associated with the well-being of the public and the environment. Most such examples are related to suppression of evidence including attempting to stifle skeptical research (particularly its publication and dissemination to the public); the Climategate emails provide abundant examples of this.
A more pro-active example of this conflict is the curious case of Peter Gleick and the Heartland Affair. On my post Gleick’s integrity, I wrote:
Gleick’s ‘integrity’ seems to have nothing to do with scientific integrity, but rather loyalty to and consistency with what I have called the UNFCCC/IPCC ideology.
When ‘Heartlandgate’ first broke, I saw no parallels with Climategate. Now, with the involvement of Gleick, there most certainly are parallels. There is the common theme of climate scientists compromising personal and professional ethics, integrity, and responsibility, all in the interests of a ’cause’.
Fuller and Mosher’s book Climategate: The CruTape Letters argued that ‘noble cause corruption’ was a primary motivation behind the Climategate deceits. Noble cause corruption is when the ends (noble) justify the means (ignoble). I think that there is an element of this that can be seen in the Climategate emails, but I think the motivated reasoning by climate scientists is more complex (and ultimately less ‘noble’)
Science true and false
James Isanhart argues that a true scientist is concerned only with the facts but that many scientists are motivated by personal goals. And, as with Warmism, the pseudo-scientists are sometimes most influential. He offers some illustrative history showing that a small minority can be the ones who are ultimately shown to be right and that the politically correct view can be very wrong
1. The first illustrative story is about Arthur Holmes, the greatest geologist of the twentieth century, who despite much scientific opposition, fought for fifty years to convince the scientific establishment of the great age of the earth (~ 4.5 billion years).
Holmes studied physics, not geology. A personage such as Lord Kelvin thought it preposterous that a person with such a limited record of publications should be given any credence.
It took almost twenty years before the geology community accepted Holmes findings which were that the radioactive decay of isotopes of uranium into lead was a constant that could be used to calculate the age of the earth; a scientific fight which eventually transformed the moribund science of geology.
How dare a physicist question the consensus of the geology scientific community? Well Holmes did and he was right.
2. The second story is about Alfred Wegener who held a PhD in astronomy, not geology. He came across a paper which detailed fossils being found in both Africa and South America which were exactly the same. He thought, “How could this be so?”
In 1915 Wegener published his theory about continental drift which later became known as plate tectonics. He claimed about 300 million years ago, the continents had formed a single mass, called Pangaea. Pangaea had split, and its pieces had been drifting away from each other ever since.
Wegener was not the first to suggest that the continents had once been connected, but he was the first to present extensive evidence from several diverse fields.
Reaction to Wegener's theory was almost uniformly hostile from the established scientific club. He persevered by applying the fields of thermodynamics, the emerging field of radioactivity and geology; fields he mastered through time and diligence.
Once again we find established scientist protective of their area of expertise by brutally attacking Wegener’s theory. It was not until the late fifties or early sixties his theory was generally accepted. It’s a shame that he never lived to see his work accepted as Wegener died in 1930.
3. Our final illustrative story happened in the early 1970’s when a young geologist named Walter Alvarez noticed a pronounced layer of reddish clay between two layers of limestone. He took a sample of this clay and asked a nuclear chemist friend of his, Frank Asaro, to analyse it in an effort to better understand its composition.
Frank Asaro the nuclear chemist and Walter Alvarez the geologist determined the clay contained a high concentration of a very rare element called iridium, an element only found in space objects, like meteorites, comets, or asteroids. They immediately came to the conclusion that a large object collided with the earth approximately 65 million years ago causing the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs in a short period of time. It was conclusive, was it not?
However, the paleontological community of scientists thought this information was an outrageous heresy. The ‘accepted theory’ of the time was that the dinosaurs had died out over millions of years, not in a quick extinction. The consensus of the paleontological community was united in questioning this meddling in their area of expertise.
It was around 1990 when a geologist, named Gene Shoemaker, discovered an impact crater near the Yucatan coast of Mexico which had high levels of iridium. When confronted with the crater discovery palaeontologists still had a hard time accepting that they were wrong. Gene Shoemaker noted, “It was like our findings were against their religion.”
Twenty years elapsed between the discovery of the iridium clay layer and the locating of the impact crater before a majority of the paleontological community gave their blessing to this new science.
The final illustrative science story is about Trofim Lysenko, a Russian agronomist during Stalin’s era. Lysenko rejected Mendelian genetics in favour of his so-called hybridization theories.
Lysenko convinced Stalin that Mendel’s idea that genetics determined the nature of a plant was wrong. He used his (Lysenko’s) flawed theory to explain that animal and plant life could be moulded by subjecting them to extremes of heat, cold, drought or wet conditions to change their behaviours, similar to the communist ideology which essential thought man could also be moulded into the perfect communist worker.
The Communist ideology or belief was that men could be taught to be benevolent workers and therefore would not become self-serving capitalists who preyed upon the poor proletariat.
Any true-scientist who dared doubt the Lysenko wisdom was ostracized, marginalized and even sent to the Gulag for being sceptical. (Today if any true-scientist cast doubt on the catastrophic claims made by the small but vocal pseudo-scientists they are denied; access to source data despite FOI (Freedom Of Information) legislation; peer review and publication in science journals. As a result they are marginalized by the pseudo-scientists, left leaning politicians and most damagingly, by the media in general.)
The Russian collective farm system which Stalin initiated during the 1930’s used Lysenko’s bogus theories which resulted in the mass starvation of millions of Russians.
Lysenkoism remained the dominant agricultural practice until the early 60’s after which Khrushchev denounced Stalin and his policies, including Lysenkoism’s bogus crop theories. (In a side note: Yet Khrushchev was the Minister of Agriculture under Stalin when he vigorously implemented Lysenko’s bogus agriculture science.)
Today Lysenko's agricultural experimentation and research is viewed as fraudulent. Lysenko was most definitely a ‘charlatan’ of science whose bogus science led to mass starvation throughout the Russian Ukraine. Well you might ponder the plight of those 20 million poor souls who starved for that era’s ‘pseudo-science’ ?
Why should we therefore give up our right to be sceptical about our era’s leftist experiment to reorganize our complete economic system without a real honest and truthful scientific debate?
Today we find our society torn apart because of these two sides of science. The question is which type of science will prevail?
The true science which follows the Scientific Method of vigorous debate which will ultimately result in arriving at the truth about Anthropogenic Global Warming, or will it be the authoritarian pseudo-science of Lysenko?
What is to be learned about climate science from these vignettes? Sometimes the experts get it wrong and sometimes the non-experts get it right.
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Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here