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User Journal

Journal Journal: Mental Masturbation and Reality 1

New Scientist has just publish a massive op-ed series Special report: Living in denial, which I honestly find offensive.

Whatever they are denying, denial movements have much in common with one another, not least the use of similar tactics (see "How to be a denialist"). All set themselves up as courageous underdogs fighting a corrupt elite engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the truth or foist a malicious lie on ordinary people. This conspiracy is usually claimed to be promoting a sinister agenda: the nanny state, takeover of the world economy, government power over individuals, financial gain, atheism. Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth

My reply to the "New Scientist"
We are not the underdogs here, we are the people who are going to pay the U$trillions in taxes, fees and cost increases and try to survive in a drastically altered economic world. People are starving to death right now, many more are surviving only because of the charitable goodwill of people in the industrialized countries. When it gets to the point that I have to choose between feeding myself or someone who was born in a third world country, well I'm sorry about their luck. When climatology was just Ivory Tower mental masturbation, it was OK that the degree of certainty was on the dodgy side, now that we are talking about trillions of dollars and lives of millions, the certainty required of your data and conclusions from it go up dramatically. You are coming to me with your hand out, you have the burden of proof and you have to convince me to my standards, not yours; and calling me pejoratives doesn't enhance your chances .

User Journal

Journal Journal: Global warming's fatalities 3

Even though Global Warming is so last year in the English speaking world, not everyone is so up to date on the latest fashions and fads and they still worry about it. But this is just tragic on multiple levels.

Argentines Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their children before killing themselves after making an apparent suicide pact over fears about global warming. Their son Francisco, two, died instantly after being hit in the back. But their unnamed daughter cheated death after the bullet from her dad's handgun missed her vital organs. Paramedics rushed her to hospital covered in blood when police alerted by worried neighbours discovered the massacre three days later.
Baby girl survives after being shot in the chest in parents' 'global warming suicide pact'

I hope Jones, Hansen, and Mann sleep well at night oblivious to the effects their cooked data and fear-mongering is having on gullible and physiologically fragile people

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Consensus on AGW

2. The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself - most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC's conclusions on climate change. ...
proxy reconstructions are the basis for the conclusion that 20th century warming is unprecedented. Published reconstructions may represent only a part of the raw data available and may be sensitive to the choices made and the statistical techniques used. Different choices, omissions or statistical processes may lead to different conclusions. This possibility was evidently the reason behind some of the (rejected) requests for further information.Memorandum submitted by the Institute of Physics (CRU 39)

The IOP is a scientific charity with 36,000 members worldwide whose values are "... to demonstrate integrity, objectivity and rigour; a clear drive to benefit society; and the strongest commitment to physics." for a society such as this to have sent this memo to the British parliament is particularly damning to the climate science establishment. I hate to say it but the field of Climatology is so FUBARed that the most reasonable answer is to write-off the $3-4 billion spent on research to date and start over.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Warmest January in 32 years!

Yes that's right, January 2010 is the warmest in the past 32 years as measured by AMSR-E sea surface temperatures from NASAâ(TM)s Aqua satellite. Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. reports that "The global-average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly soared to +0.72 deg. C in January, 2010. This is the warmest January in the 32-year satellite-based data record." and that's from good satellite data not Ratty old ground station data. If it get any warmer we're going to freeze to death.

User Journal

Journal Journal: New perl to the Biosphere

After decades of slowly increasing temperature and increasing CO2, our planet has responded by increasing its Net Primary Production, NPP by 6% (3.4 petagrams of carbon over 18 years, 42% of that increase occured in the Amazon river basin. This increase has been measured by NASA with the SeaWiFS instrument aboard the Seastar satellite . Now our planet is as lush as it has ever been since the end of the medieval warm period. All this could change, it appears that the planet may have stopped warming for the last decade, the PDO is either changing into a cool phase or very due to which could easily start a cooling trend. If that happens, the biosphere could take a serious hit as the planet cools and the cooler oceans absorbs atmospheric CO2.
Even now in Florida Iguanas are falling out of the trees, stunned by the cold and Manatees are huddling around power plant discharges for warmth, In the shallow ocean reefs of the Florida Keys the devastation to the coral is worse than it was in 1977 when it snowed in Miami and the first coral species made it's way to the federal endangered species list.


Journal Journal: How do Climatologists Measure Average Station Temperatures? 2

Yes I am one of those people who constantly ask those stupid questions and frequently I get stupid answers in return. When you get a stupid answer it's normally because you've asked how do we know something that everyone just automatically assumes we know and in reality we don't know. So what is the daily temperature?

If I were tasked with producing an average temperature to represent a given day for official records, I would take either a continuous strip record of the temperatures (best technique) or take numerous discrete measurements such as every 15 minutes and average them together. I think if you asked a 7th grade science classes to come up with a number to represent a whole day's temperature, they would quickly come to a consensus to use a very similar method; and most reasonable people assume the this is how professional meteorologists do it. This professional meteorological data then is used by the professional Climatologists.

  When you ask most people this they go to a table or a website and give you a number and
then report for example, BLACKSBURG VA, on Dec 21, 2008 the average temperature was 29 degrees F, but was it?

Definitions for the data Preliminary Climate Data(Form F-6) define

Maximum temperature. This is the highest temperature (F) recorded for the calendar day.(42 in this case),
Minimum temperature. This is the lowest temperature (F) recorded for the calendar day. (16 in this case) and ,
Average temperature. The sum of the previous two columns, divided by 2, and rounded, gives the value for this column.

This means while we are assuming that the dataset was rich and the reported average consisted of an average of 24-96 data-points per day, they are in fact using two! The main problem is while every day has a maximum and a minimum, they are not equally spaced. It may make sense if the minimum and maximum temperatures were 12 hours apart and the transition from one to the other was gradual, however in my neck of the woods temperatures can and often do change quite abruptly when storm fronts move into and out of the area. Because the "average" they use in the US is not representative of the reality on the ground, any subsequent use of the data taints that product as well.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Missing link in global warming found!

Like many I've found that Anthropogenic caused global warming to be a bit too easy, and the leap from contributing factor to causality to be across a chasm a bit too wide. Researcher Henrik Svensmark's* work on cosmic rays seeding low cloud formation seems to suggest the the influence of the solar magnetosphere in shielding the Earth from cosmic rays and the clouds they form is 1.2 watts per square meter compared to the 1.4 watts per square meter attributed to man-made CO2.

The Danish scientists put together several well-established scientific phenomena to arrive at their novel 1996 theory. The sun's magnetic field deflects some of the cosmic rays that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, and in so doing it also limits the immense amounts of ions and free electrons that the cosmic rays produce. But something had changed in the 20th century: The sun's magnetic field more than doubled in strength, deflecting an extraordinary number of rays. Could the diminution of cosmic rays this century have limited the formation of clouds, making the Earth warmer? reported Lawrence Solomon, in The sun moves climate change

interestingly this would mean that those who are proposing seeding sulfur oxides in the atmosphere to generate clouds would be merely replacing what the solar magnetosphere is blocking.

*Henrik Svensmark is director of the Centre for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish Space Research Institute (DSRI). Previously, Dr. Svensmark was head of the sunclimate group at DSRI. He has held post doctoral positions in physics at University California Berkeley, Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics, and the Niels Bohr Institute. In 1997, Dr Svensmark received the Knud Hojgaard Anniversary Research Prize and in 2001 the Energy-E2 Research Prize.

User Journal

Journal Journal: No electric bill in a year!

Well it's not really that good, but researches at UNLV's Center for Energy Research Have a low/zero energy house built in the Los Vegas Area that not only doesn't have a bill for electricity used for the year, it has four months worth of credit!

Right now, Nevada Power technically owes UNLV for power it generated for the year, but while the utility acknowledges the credit, Boehm said there will be no refund check in the mail.

"But they will bring it (the power bill) down to zero, except for the $6 a month access fee" for using the utility's grid, Boehm said.

The house is a test bed for energy conservation and has everything and the kitchen sink for energy conservation where it is highly monitored and compared to a near identical but conventional house. Researchers hope to identify the most cost-effective techniques and be able to build low/zero energy home for 10% than convention structures. The experiment has finished phase one with limited occupancy and is planned to be treated more like a real home, presently the home used 58% less energy than a traditional home and more can be squeezed out used conventional conservation methods such as CFL lighting.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pejorative scientific terminology denounced by the Pope

The Register reports that Pope Benedict XVI speaking at Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, feels that science not only doesn't conflict with religion, but is in fact "Part of God's plan". Scientists are not only admonished to recognize their limitations, but the Pope feels they have a "moral obligation to accuracy"

This means avoiding needlessly alarming predictions when these are not supported by sufficient data or exceed science's actual ability to predict. But it also means avoiding the opposite, namely a silence, born of fear, in the face of genuine problems,

Others such as Mike Hulme Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, feels there is a "thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric", and further writes in an Op-Ed piece for BBC News

I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric.

It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) sceptics. How the wheel turns. ... What has pushed the debate between climate change scientists and climate sceptics to now being between climate change scientists and climate alarmists?

furthermore Hulme says "The rhetoric of climate change catastrophe is in danger of tipping society onto a negative trajectory," Personally I agree with Hulme, it's hard for me to remain open-minded on these issue when any attempt at reasonable debate turns is flame-fest.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chummer, here phishey, phishey phisey 1

The other day I found a phishing spam in my Gmail account's spam folder. While it's getting rare to get a phishing spam and have the phishing site still operating, this one was. So like many of us curiosity got the better of me and I saved the source code for the web page, and wondered how difficult it would be to write a Perl script to send data to the phishing site. Well the answer is with a few module like LWP, HTTP and DBI from cpan it takes about a 120 lines of well formated legible code, (or 20 as the camel walks). Using a database I already had the little script takes random first and last names, addresses, randomly generated SSNs, passwords, Mother's maiden name etc. and sends it to any website I want it to, even my own!

I named my little script chummer, after the guy who throws fish guts off the boat to attract predators to the people who hold the fishing poles; then it occurred to me that chum was also pretty good at attracting bugs. So now the big question is, If I fall prey the the highly satisfying urge to fill phishing sites up with a couple gigabytes of well formed but bad data using my little test script, Am I breaking the law; and if I am is anyone likely to care?

Does anyone thing I should generalize the program to be more analytical and possibly configure itself to send data to send data to any web application maybe using XML configuration files as part of a general purpose web application testing suite?

The Internet

Journal Journal: The New Internet Version of WMD

We've all chuckled to ourselves as the slashdot effect has brought a server to it's knees and wondered if the site operator made enough money on advertising impression views to counter act the down-time. One good submission to slashdot, usually in a political or ecological hot-button issue is enough to make the servers strain and the pages of comments swell past three or four hundred in what seems like a blink of an eye. What if people started doing this on purpose, to push their political agenda, in a systematic and organized manner? That's what Give Israel Your Support or GIYUS.org seeks to accomplish by enlisting 100,000 people to download and install their client software Megaphone which will alert the users to the existence of on-line polls and comment enable articles so they can voice their opinions en mass. The Register is reporting the GIYUS.org has caused the BBC to modify its polls

"The long-running BBC History Magazine poll posed the question: "Do you think holocaust denial should be made illegal in Britain?" Soon after it was targeted by Megaphone, the poll was pulled."

I have not had an opportunity to test the Megaphone software as its a Windows only solution right now; but I did notice on the GIYUS.org is that the software uses a lot of libraries with varying degrees of openness in their licenses but there is no link to any sources to share back to the community or for security audits. While this seems to be strictly legal, Captain Hook would call it "bad form". GIYUS might be afraid of opposing groups using "their" software to mobile their minions, the reality

  1. is there probably isn't much that can't be put together using the typical OSS toolkits in a matter of days or weeks,
  2. any Anti-Israeli types could use the Megaphone just as easily to disseminate their opposing views.

The generation of opinion is important as GIYUS recognizes,

Today's conflicts are won by public opinion. Now is the time to be active and voice Israel's side to the world. Now is the time to be active and voice Israel's side to the world.

" What happens when an issue has to melt servers to be considered topical, and social networking sites explode into flame-wars and news site opinion polls get hammered into the dirt? Is this a proper use of the Internet or have they created the new Internet version of WMD? On the lighter side, we could all get free hosting, Google Ad-Sense and learn to use words and terms like "nigger-jews" "kikes" then report ourselves to GIYUS.org to generate some traffic!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Metamods on crack! Comments invited! 1

In a story about a ground based telescope, have 10X the resolution of the hubble space telescope,
jrockway (229604) posted Meh. We spent $80 billion to go kill people (erm, I mean get oil. oh I mean liberate the people! that's it!) in Iraq... what's $10 billion to help people understand the Universe?
which was moderated
Starting Score: 1 point
Moderation +1
    60% Insightful
    20% Overrated
    10% Flamebait
which I moderated as Troll and was voted Unfair. Why a troll? Because he posted a purely politicaly slam against the US in a scientific thread. In the future, I'm going to only mod one comment in each thread so that if I'm voted unfair in metamod, I can reply to the unmoderated post. I've been getting mod points twice a week sometimes so obviously I've got karma to burn. Might be interesting to see how many unfairs get moded to +3 insightful.


Journal Journal: Big-ass meteor

Last week on july 17 at approx 10pm EDT, I saw the most awesome meteor of my life. I'm used to seeing meteors as a pin-point source of light moving in the sky, but this was nothing like that. This meteor had a shape to it, it was cigar shaped and about as long as a 1cm would appear head at arm's length. In about a half second it crossed 30 degrees of sky and left a visible smoke trail!

Actualy I was very surprised that it was soundless, I've spent the last week scanning the papers and internet for reports of other sitings or UFO reports but have found nothing.

User Journal

Journal Journal: moderation maina

As anyone can see by my user number, 254554, I've been on slashdot for quite a while. Originaly moderation duties was something I took very seriously, and didn't happen very often either. after a couple of +5 posts, I got mod points about once a month. Now however I'm getting mod points about once a week; thats a lot of work to do properly. It almost seems that the effort to moderate well is greater than the effort that the editors put into editing.

Also I think that everone should have at least one journal entry with comments enabled, especial if they have no email on slashdot; so a message can be left that might be a little too offtopic for a normal thead.

  I've often thought about putting some of the people that have posted stuff that's really pissed me off on my enemies list, then haunt their postings for things that can be modded down, which would burn off some excess karma and get my mod points back down to a reasonable level, or is that what everybody else is doing?


Journal Journal: Sung to "Big Yellow Taxi" 1

"Dont' it seem if you're SCO, you don't know what you've bought or you sold;

They sued IBM and were turned into a Parking Lot."

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