Thursday, December 23, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Volokh Corrections #28 and #29: Adler should study environmental groups, Lindgren should review abstracts more carefully
Analysis of unemployment data suggests that extended unemployment insurance benefits have not been important factors in the increase in the duration of unemployment or in the elevated unemployment rate.
First, the extension of UI benefits, which represents an increase in their value, may reduce the intensity with which UI-eligible unemployed individuals search for work. This could occur because the additional UI benefits reduce the net gains from finding a job and also serve as an income cushion that helps households maintain acceptable consumption levels in the face of unemployment shocks (Chetty 2008). Alternatively, the measured unemployment rate may be artificially inflated because some individuals who are not actively searching for work or who are unwilling to take available jobs are identifying themselves as active searchers in order to receive UI benefits.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
This part of the OP interested me, re that either P or As had to be added for the bacteria to grow:
"(21) Agreed, with the proviso that the media be tested and shown to be identical except for the phosphate and arsenate. But this wouldn't mean that arsenic replaced phosphorus in any biological molecules in GFAJ cells, just that the cells needed arsenate for something."
That cells needed arsenate for something would be an interesting finding, I'd guess. And cells need As for something that P does is also implied by this finding.
Is this an area of potential agreement between the original article authors and critics?
(IANAS, BTW, so YMMV)
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who is often critical of mainstream climate science, said he suspected that the changes in Greenland were linked to this natural variability, and added that he doubted that the pace would accelerate as much as his colleagues feared.
For high predictions of sea-level rise to be correct, “some big chunks of the Greenland ice sheet are going to have to melt, and they’re just not melting that way right now,” Dr. Christy said.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
- 2006 (a gubernatorial election year): Democrats in the California Assembly pass AB 32, mandating greenhouse gas reductions. The Democratic candidate for governor immediately supports the bill. After some equivocating, Republican incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the legislation instead of vetoing it.
- 2006-2010: Cap-and-trade consistently discussed as an important part of implementing AB 32.
- October 28, 2010: California Air Resources Board announces cap-and-trade will be part of implementing AB 32.
- November 2, 2010: Voters reject Proposition 23, which would have suspended AB 32, on a 60-40 vote.
- November 5, 2010: Roger Pielke Jr. announces on National Public Radio that "the iron law of climate policy simply says that while people are willing to bear some cost for environmental objectives, that willingness has its limits. And cap and trade ran up against those limits time and again, and it's not surprising that it failed."
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
You can start after minute 1, or at minute 2:30. I need to learn how to edit these things.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
In order for the Attorney General to have "reason to believe" [that fraud may have occurred], he has to have some objective basis to issue a civil investigative demand, which the Court has power to review.....What the Attorney General suspects that Dr. Mann did that was false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the Commonwealth [of Virginia] is simply not stated....
Friday, August 27, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Your last point [failure of skeptics to create an alternative to hockey stick analysis is significant -ed.] is similar to another point you made on this blog that I don't think gets made often enough, or really, ever. If it is possible to construct a plausible, defensible climate model wherein a doubling of atmospheric CO2 leads to minimal warming, it is reasonable to expect that the allied forces of the fossil fuel industry (the largest industry in the world) and the skeptic community could have produced one by now. As Sherlock Holmes might have it, it's the dog that doesn't bark that tells the story.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
The main points that most would agree on as "the consensus" are:
1. The earth is getting warmer (0.6 +/- 0.2 oC in the past century; 0.1 0.17 oC/decade over the last 30 years (see update)) [ch 2]
2. People are causing this [ch 12] (see update)
3. If GHG emissions continue, the warming will continue and indeed accelerate [ch 9]
4. (This will be a problem and we ought to do something about it)
I've put those four points in rough order of certainty. The last one is in brackets because whilst many would agree, many others (who agree with 1-3) would not, at least without qualification. It's probably not a part of the core consensus in the way 1-3 are.
Yep, all of that remains pretty well true, and remains the core....In the years since I wrote that nothing has come along to overturn any of that, and much has come in to buttress it....However, I still think there is room for honest skepticism and disagreement about point 4.... The real argument should be about point 4: that it will be a problem and we should do something about it....I don't know the answer to point 4, and I know that I don't know :-).
Thursday, July 08, 2010
The Water District is pretty unique, combining responsibility for water supply, flood control, and watershed protection. Many water districts have been extremely destructive water-grabbers or dam builders - this one is different, but a lot more can be done to make it even better. It may not sound immediately important, but it does a lot of work, and I've been involved with it as chair and vice-chair of its Environmental Advisory Committee over the years. The elected position occupies a somewhat-vague middle ground between the all-volunteer, supposedly-limited time commitment of most city councils, and the full-time, paid positions at the county and state level.
So will I win? I'll exceed the accuracy level of many campaigners by skipping the false certainty and admit that I don't really know. It would be hard to lose just right now - it's an open seat and I'm the only one who's filed an official Intent to Run. On the other hand, other people are interested and have their own very good qualifications, so we'll see. I do plan to run a serious campaign - I'm very certain of the support of the local environmental community and that I have more experience than any other name I've heard with the District.
Coming back to the relevance to this blog - the Water District is very clued in to climate change, but again it's always possible to do more. I also want to highlight the foolishness of Proposition 23 on the November ballot that would suspend California's premier climate change law, AB 32, on the false pretense that the law has anything to do with high unemployment. I'll be able to make some useful trouble there.
With the campaign effort taking time, I probably will be posting a bit less here, and some of the posting here will be cross-posted from the campaign blog and may be of less interest to readers who aren't from here. I even thought of making Backseat Driving my campaign blog, but many of personal rants are unrelated to the job of the Water District, so I'd rather let people concentrate on the central issues while not hiding the rants that are here.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
So all four hundred members of the list have so far maintained their integrity, but some conservatives are having a little more trouble. Sad-sack cases like Breitbart and Althouse try to gasbag their way into claiming that selling out and encouraging people to sell out are ethical things to do. Others like Instapundit and Transterrestrial have transmogrified way beyond such petty ethical concerns.
I expect we'll soon see a conservative blog reminding the 400 listmembers that each person probably cares deeply about 10 or more people, any one of whom could be in deep financial or medical trouble and need that money. Shouldn't you be able to find the people who are most worthy, she'll wheedle, and you'll only keep what you need rather than some other idiot taking it all for alcohol and prostitutes. These people will be implicitly saying that your soul isn't really worth more than $100,000, because they're selling out their own just for the joy watching someone else go down the drain.
Someday I expect the archives will be made public, but we'll see how many other conservatives first fail the test that they think is being placed just on the Journolist members.
(Kudos btw to The Corner of all places for acknowledging the ethical problem, if somewhat vaguely.)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
As the link mentions, the panels correctly determined that copper exports were driven up by a bubble and saved the money, which came in very handy when the price collapsed. So much for the excuses by many Bush-era policymakers that you can never tell if you're in a bubble until it collapses - you can tell (like the gold price bubble we're experiencing now), you just can't predict exactly when it will collapse.
I think the idea would work better if it begins implementation during a non-recession time period, but I'm not sure that's absolutely required. It would also be interesting whether local level governments could apply it.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
(Background on the good PNAS study here - it found that only a tiny number of active climate researchers are unconvinced about human caused climate change, and that the unconvinced ones don't produce as much work nor are cited by others as much as the mainstream scientists).
I'll cut RP Jr. more slack than I otherwise would, because it's his father being categorized as on the losing side of scientific history, and I'd have trouble maintaining perspective myself in that situation. However, he still needs to be factually accurate, and he isn't when says this:
"What qualifies one to be on the [PNAS study] APHS10 list of skeptics, which I'll just call the "black list"? ....In fact, it turns out that you don't even have to sign an open letter or argue against immediate cuts for emissions. You can simply appear unwillingly on Senator James Inhofe's list."
Actually, no. Inhofe and Marc Morano compiled a list of climate denialists that's as flawed as everything else that the denialists put out, and it included climate believers with the skeptics. RP Jr uses the inclusion of the Inhofe list to discredit the PNAS study, but the PNAS study didn't use the Inhofe list.
Three of us tried to get this clarified/corrected in the comments to Roger's post, with little effect. He says that the study links to one of the co-author's website who relies on the Inhofe list, which provides legitimacy to a flawed (apparently broader) list. He won't fix his post, so far.
Incidentally, he hasn't shown where the PNAS author Jim Prall relies on the Inhofe list, so the entire critique could be wrong. (UPDATE: Roger's additional comments did help with this at least - Prall uses Inhofe's list here, but never used it as the sole source of information on a skeptic, and again it wasn't used in the PNAS study as Roger says it was.)
Moving on from the Inhofe thing, the whole claim that it's "blacklisting" to point out a viewpoint is held by a tiny and mostly undistinguished group means that Pielke Jr. and the other critics object to an attempt to determine the state of scientific opinion. I could imagine this type of analysis could apply very usefully to wholly unrelated scientific questions, but apparently Pielke Jr wouldn't want that to happen.
Finally, an interesting choice of tactics here - during the whole stolen climate emails thing, some people wanted to focus on the privacy invasion and illegal theft, which I thought would be viewed as an attempt to distract people from the content when the content wasn't that bad. Here, denialists and unhelpful types like Pielke Jr. are ignoring the PNAS study content and screaming about blacklists. Maybe it's like the lawyer's saying that if you can't pound any arguments in your favor, pound the table instead.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
There are more valid reasons to be concerned about GMO foods, especially contamination of wild varietals, but the health issue isn't a good one. Nothing like the level of closure that we see on the right, but it's still there.
UPDATE: See the comments - John says we may not be in disagreement on the broader allegation over whether GMO foods are unhealthy.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I feel like an anthropologist watching two alien cultures fight it out. Weird. There have been plenty of dustups on the left, especially during the Democratic primary battles, but they don't seem to be quite this personal.
The other interesting thing is that it seems pretty clear that one side's correct - the non-Schlussel side. The right has shown zero capacity to see the truth when it comes to science, so it'll be interesting to see if Schlussel proves the right incapable of detecting truth in any controversy.
Strange to read the genius John Hawkins, whom I've been glad to ignore for a few years, and suddenly start agreeing with what he says for more than a half-sentence in a row.
I'll just finish by noting that Sadly No and the commenters there seem to completely miss that there are right and wrong sides in that particular battle. They could try being a tiny bit less partisan on the left.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Jeff S., a friend whose PhD in spectroscopy gives him a knowledge base nearing that of my own derived from watching nature documentaries, clarified that the idea required a heat source and that the CO2 be in between the heat source and the camera. Various details about camera operation and the frequencies it uses could also affect the outcome. But the principle should work, and I thought it could be an effective educational tool.
And then, Jeff found that BBC's already done it:
(If the embed doesn't work, you can watch it on Youtube.)
More info here, and a NOVA documentary apparently does something similar (I'll provide an update when I watch it).
What could still be useful is a photo instead of a video, not to mention one that's in the public domain so we could put it up on wikipedia.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
As current global temperatures continue being awful, the Intrade bet between exaggerated warming trends for a ridiculously short 3-year period and no warming clearly supports the high end warming at a 3:1 market ratio right now. A while after my first post on this subject, I contacted Andreas Grafe, one of the people who set up the bet and who works with climate denialist Scott Armstrong.
To Grafe's credit, he did respond to my first email. He says he never had an opinion on the climate issue and just wanted to set up a prediction market as part of his academic work on those markets. He also points out that Armstrong would only expect a slightly greater than 50% chance of winning based on a short time frame, and mentions a longer ten-year time frame on an imaginary-money market (Hubdub) that has now shut down.
However. No response to my pointing out that the IPCC didn't predict a short term rise of .03C/year in 1990, or the differences with modern IPCC predictions. He did say that they wanted but couldn't get a ten year period from Intrade, but I think and said that a three year period is so short to be virtually useless. Never heard back from my second email.
I'd hope that after the Climatebet crowing over "winning" the first 20 months of their bet, that Grafe would distance himself from their nonsense. Maybe he did a little bit, but if he wants to help with useful prediction markets, he needs something better than this.