Sunday, February 26, 2012

An outraged philosopher

An excerpt below from a very self-righteous person. As a philosopher he should both be wary of appeals to authority and know that false premises can lead to absurd conclusions. But he dives headfast into both of those bogs.

There is no reason why a philospher should abjure pronouncing on climate but he should certainly gain some familiarity with the science first. I myself have had papers on analytical philosphy (including moral philophy) published in the academic journals and I reject his conclusions utterly. So where does that get us? It should lead us to the science and there is a token of my familiarity with that in the header to this blog. It would have been nice if our puffed-up philospher had also first gone to the science. I am perfectly capable of reading and understanding academic journal articles in fields other than my own. Surely our profound thinker below could do likewise?

Those who deny the reality, importance, or magnitude of climate change warrant our collective outrage. Whether by action or inaction, their denial blinds us to the risks, vulnerabilities, and threats to our well-being posed by climate change. Insofar as claims of ignorance are becoming increasingly implausible, those who support or propagate the disinformation campaign about climate change are guilty of more than deception. They are guilty of exacerbating risks to our collective well-being and of undermining society.

Readers of this blog will be familiar with the current misinformation campaign waged against climate science. I will, therefore, take it on assumption for our purposes here that both (1) there is overwhelming evidence that climate change is taking place and (2) there is a concerted effort, through activity or negligence, to convince the public that there is no need for action. I take (2) to constitute the essence of what I will call the disinformation campaign about climate change. I take (1) to provide the focus of such a campaign, a campaign focused on convincing any and all that the science of climate change is not worth taking seriously or that the consequences of climate change are too uncertain to justify action.


Greenies are the intellectual descendants of the Nazis

Their eugenics, their false science, their nature worship, their belief in big government and their panic about running out of resources are identical. They would bump lots of us off too if they had the power. See below:

John P. Holdren, the top science adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote in a book he co-authored with population control advocates Paul and Anne Ehrlich that children from larger families have lower IQs.

The book—"Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions"—argued that the United States government had a “responsibility to halt the growth of the American population.”

“It surely is no accident that so many of the most successful individuals are first or only children,” wrote Holdren and the Ehrlichs, “nor that children of large families (particularly with more than four children), whatever their economic status, on the average perform less well in school and show lower I.Q. scores than their peers from small families.”

Holdren and the Ehrlichs published "Human Ecology" with W.H. Freeman and Company in 1973. In June 2000, a study published in American Pyschologist debunked the notion that children in larger families have lower I.Q.s. But when Holdren appeared in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in 2009 for a confirmation hearing on his appointment to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, he continued to argue for the benefits of “smaller families” on other bases.

In "Human Ecology," Holdren and the Ehrlichs concluded: “Population control is absolutely essential if the problems now facing mankind are to be solved.”

“Political pressure must be applied immediately to induce the United States government to assume its responsibility to halt the growth of the American population,” they wrote.

Holdren and the Ehrlichs also called in "Human Ecology" for redistributing wealth on a global basis. “Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being,” they wrote in their conclusions.

In a section of the book entitled, “Solutions,” in a chapter entitled, “Population Limitation,” the future Obama White House science adviser joined with the Ehrlichs in writing: “Any set of programs that is to be successful in alleviating the set of problems described in the foregoing chapters must include measures to control the growth of the human population.”

The authors then questioned the values of parents who have large families.

“Certain values conflict directly with numbers, although numbers may also be considered a value by some people, such as businessmen (who see bigger markets), politicians (who see more political power), and parents of large families,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote.

“Those who promote numbers of people as a value in itself, however, may be overlooking the cheapness such abundance often brings,” they said.

“One form of conflict between values and numbers arises in the choice between having many deprived children or having fewer who can be raised with the best care, education, and opportunity for successful adulthood,” they said on pages 228-229. “This dilemma is equally acute whether it is posed to a family or a society. It surely is no accident that so many of the most successful individuals are first or only children; nor that children of large families (particularly with more than four children), whatever their economic status, on the average perform less well in school and show lower I.Q. scores than their peers from small families.”

In a footnote to this passage, Holdren and the Ehrlichs cite a “[r]eport of a National Academy of Sciences Study Panel” that “includes several articles on the advantages to children of being first-born or in small families.”

In the June 2000 issue of American Pyschologist, a team of authors joined to debunk the notion that smaller families somehow produced higher “quality” or more intelligent children. The team included Joseph Lee Rodgers of the Department of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma, Harrington Cleveland of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina, David C. Rowe from the Division of Family Studies at the University of Arizona, and Edwin van den Oord of the Department of Psychology at the University of Utrecht.

The study these scholars did was based on an analysis of data from actual siblings collected by the federally sponsored National Longitudinal Study of Youth.

“A large amount of publicity has circulated over the past two decades suggesting to parents that they should limit their family size in the interest of, in Blake's (1981) words, ‘child quality,’” Rodgers and his co-authors wrote. “Zajonc (1975) published a popular article entitled ‘Dumber by the Dozen’ that certainly must have led some parents to believe they should limit their childbearing lest they place their children into the diluted intellectual environment predicted for later birth orders, close spacing, and larger families.

“The columnist Dr. Joyce Brothers answered a question sent into Good Housekeeping (February, 1981) by a mother of four asking if she should consider having another baby as follows: ‘Studies have shown that children reared in small families are brighter, more creative, and more vigorous than those from large families,’” the authors noted.

“However,” they said, “the belief that, for a particular set of parents in a modem country like the United States, a larger family will lead to children with lower IQs appears to be, simply, wrong. The belief that birth order effects on intelligence act directly to decrease the intelligence of children born later in a given family also appears to be, simply, wrong.”

“Do large U.S. families make low-IQ children? No,” said the authors. “Are birth order and intelligence related to one another within U.S. families? No.”

In a chapter of a book ("U.S Policy and the Global Environment") published in November 2000, Holdren called for national and international policies aimed at reducing family size as a means of forestalling “global climate disruption.”

“That the impacts of global climate disruption may not become the dominant sources of environmental harm to humans for yet a few more decades cannot be a great consolation, given that the time needed to change the energy system enough to avoid this outcome is also on the order of a few decades,” wrote Holdren. “It is going to be a very tight race. The challenge can be met, but only by employing a strategy that embodies all six of the following components: … increased national and international support for measures that address the motivations and the means for reducing family size.”

At his Senate confirmation hearing in 2009, Holdren said he no longer believed determining optimal population was the proper role of government. However, he did say that appropriate government policies would have the result of decreasing family sizes.

“I think the proper role of government is to develop and deploy the policies with respect to economy, environment, security that will ensure the well-being of the citizens we have,” Holdren testified. “I also believe that many of those policies will have the effect, and have had the effect in the past, of lowering birth rates because when you provide health care for women, opportunities for women, education, people tend to have smaller families on average and it ends up being easier to solve some of our other problems when that occurs.”

The Obama administration has issued a regulation, set to take effect on Aug. 1, that will require all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations, artificial contraceptives and abortifacients without any fees or co-pay. Many American religious leaders, including all of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops, have denounced the regulation as an attack on religious liberty because it will force many Americans to act against their consciences and the teachings of their faith.


German Warmists say that the Arctic ice is melting faster

More prophecy. For those interested in reality, however, see the graph below. that short red line top left is where we are now -- in 2012. The current ice extent is actually quite high compared to recent years. In the most recent reading it was in fact higher than any other year on the graph

Climatologist Jochem Marotzke expects the disappearance of Arctic ice unless we slow greenhouse gas emissions.

The sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing faster than previous climate simulations have assumed. That's the bad news that scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI) and the German Climate Computing Centre in Hamburg brought with them on Thursday.

New simulations of the development of the Earth's climate, however, have shown conflicting results - that means that there is still hope for the salvation of the Arctic ice, but only if the international community subscribes to the aim of holding warming to no more than two degrees Celsius.


Electric car maker goes to court over their vehicle's limited range -- and loses

Tesla and the company's lawyers are nothing if not determined. After a judge smacked down the electric vehicle manufacturer's libel suit against the BBC and Top Gear for comments made about the range of the Tesla Roadster, the automaker rallied with a second, amended lawsuit. It didn't take long for the the same judge to nix the new case, too, saying the amendment was "not capable of being defamatory at all, or, if it is, it is not capable of being a sufficiently serious defamatory meaning to constitute a real and substantial tort."

That sound? It's the smack of the judicial backhand.

The judge went on to say drivers know a manufacturer's claim about range is dependent on driving conditions and habits.

The dustup, as you may recall, began when Top Gear put the Tesla Roadster through its paces on the show's test track. While Jeremy Clarkson lauded the car's acceleration, the segment claimed the vehicle ran out of juice after just 55 miles of abuse. That figure is far south of the 200 mile range Tesla claims for the vehicle. CEO Elon Musk called the show "completely phony" not long after the segment aired and brought out the legal guns. The rest, as they say, is history.


The government-imposed California dust bowl

Of all the problems within California — pension and budget deficits, high unemployment, an over-eager environmentalist agenda and a failed taxpayer-funded green energy firm — add a government-made dust bowl to the list.

Yes, California farmers who produce much of the produce that our nation depends upon are being strangled by a government imposed water shortage. To understand this situation, you first need to know that two-thirds of the state’s water comes from Northern California while two-thirds of California’s population is in the southern part of the state. But the most disconcerting part of the water problems in California involves the very middle of the state — the Central Valley.

The Central Valley can also go by another name: the salad bowl of the nation and quite possibly the world.

Agricultural production in the Central Valley of California accounts for $26 billion in total sales and 38 percent of the Valley’s labor force. Farmers in this area grow more than half the nation’s vegetables, fruits and nuts. In fact, if you buy domestic artichokes, pistachios, walnuts or almonds, there is about a 99 percent chance that they were all grown in California.

But in order for these products to grow, the Central Valley needs water — and the past few years the government has been withholding that vital resource.

Much of California’s water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the federally owned Central Valley Project (CVP) and the California State Water Project (SWP). To understand the size, scope and capacity of these water systems, with California boasting a population of roughly 37 million people, these two projects deliver water to more than 27 million people. The CVP alone provides water to more than 600 family-owned farms, which produce more than 60 high-quality commercial food and fiber crops sold for the fresh, dry, canned and frozen food markets.

However, since both projects are under government control, something of a water war has ensued in California between Central Valley farmers and an environmentalist-driven agenda. The federal government is retaining water in the Delta to protect a three-inch fish called the delta smelt and other salmon species in the name of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Therefore those who depend on California’s unique water systems are faced with an ever-diminishing supply and are forced to make some tough choices.

Due to the limited supply of water going into the Central Valley, farmers don’t know one year to the next how much water they will receive, so they must decide what to plant and what once-productive farmlands to leave fallow. For perspective, farmers have been losing more than one million acre-feet of water annually — enough to irrigate 300,000 acres or a land area roughly half the size of Rhode Island.

This not only affects the prosperity and livelihood of these farmers, their families and entire communities, but the world’s food supply as well. Some farm communities in the Central Valley struggle with unemployment rates as high as 40 percent, which should come as no surprise since more than 50,000 people live and work in these communities dependent on the agricultural economy.

U.S. Congressmen who represent much of the Central Valley have had enough of the government control over the state’s water and introduced The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, H.R. 1837. If passed, this legislation would restore water supplies to the Valley and therefore provide job certainty to farmers and communities and decrease reliance on foreign food sources.

Original co-authors of the bill are California Republican Representatives Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and Jeff Denham. The bill is slated to be debated on the House floor the last week of February.

Along with ensuring water flow back to the Central Valley, this bill also gives CVP water users incentive to pay back the federal government for constructing the project in the 1930s. California needed the help of the federal government to build the project at that time; however, many would now like to see the project belong to those who actually use and pay for the water. This should do nothing but please the government as it is projected to raise federal revenue by $300 million.

This bill also prevents a billion-dollar salmon fishery from being built with taxpayer dollars.

Lastly, a very critical part of the bill provides necessary protection to water users.

“This important legislation is rooted in the 5th Amendment, which protects all Americans against the seizure of private property without just compensation,” says Rep. Nunes. “Today, contracted water that is desperately needed in an economically depressed region, and which has already been paid for, is being taken by the government and dumped into the Pacific Ocean. Congress has a 14th Amendment duty to right this wrong.”

You see, some water users in California had access to the resource before California was even a state and therefore hold senior water rights over federal and state laws. Others had water rights before the state built its project, the SWP, and therefore have senior rights over state laws. But because the state and federal governments work collectively on water standards, and since they each own a different water project, dubious government projects — including the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — are taking over the rights of those who have senior water and private property rights. This bill ends that trend and protects citizens’ rights.

This bill would bring relief to farmers in the Central Valley and those to the north in the Sacramento Valley. Going back to the many issues that plague California, this bill is a welcomed change. It costs nothing, yet restores the rights of citizens, raises federal revenues and puts thousands of people back to work.

To put it in perspective, despite a near-record precipitation level of 198 percent in California last year farmers only received 80 percent allotment of their water supply. This year the situation looks bleak, with farmers expected to only receive 30 percent of their once-promised allotment.

“It’s hard to believe that a government would be willing to withhold water from its citizens in an attempt to protect a fish,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “You might see this behavior from a corrupt dictator in another country, but it should never happen in America.”

In a state like California, water equals opportunity. If that opportunity continues to diminish the state will lose its most productive industry and be left with nothing except a government-imposed dust bowl.


Australian weather watchers confess long-distance vision dodgy

But they can tell us what the temperature will be in the year 2100!

THE weather bureau has revealed Day Seven of its long-range forecasts is wrong most of the time.

The bloopers include a "mostly sunny" outlook one week out from the disastrous Christmas Day hail storms.

"Isolated showers" were the long-range forecast for February 4 last year - the day Melbourne was swamped by flash flooding.

The 40 per cent accuracy rate for Day Seven temperatures is less than what the Day One forecast was 50 years ago, according to data compiled for the Herald Sun.

Weather bureau spokeswoman Andrea Peace has defended the use of seven-day forecasting, but admitted the uncertainty increased dramatically from the four-day mark.

"We use the main global models that are considered to be the best, and there can still be days where even for tomorrow they can all give conflicting results," Ms Peace said.

"The need is still there but people have to understand that it's a guide, it's an outlook and there's a strong possibility that it will change as you get closer to the day."

"Severe weather" was forecast closer to Christmas Day, but thousands of Melburnians were caught out by the storms, with hailstones and flash flooding causing tens of millions of dollars in damage.

Ms Peace said it was difficult to determine the severity of thunderstorms 24 hours out.

The figures show Day One forecasts are more accurate than ever with an 85 per cent strike rate in 2011. And the number of forecast failures - an error margin of 5C or more - was just three last year, 10 times fewer than in 1962. The Day One error margin has halved in 50 years to just over 1C, while the Day Seven forecast averaged a 2.5C error last year.

Ms Peace said technological advances had combined to hone forecasts over the years.

"As we get better computing power, the size of the grids is going to get smaller and smaller, so the computer models will be able to resolve smaller, more localised weather phenomena," she said.



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