While a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse is harmless to people in its direct effects, in its indirect effects…(it) would almost certainly be far more deadly than a nuclear detonation in a city.
Verifiying Or Debunking Anthropogenic Global Warming
You might have seen this: a German geologist claims he has found credible evidence that someone tampered with weather data assembled by various instrumentalities of the US government. NASA, among other agencies, is said to have changed the numbers so they provided proof that global warming began before 1950. (Read the claims here, and then here, and finally here.) Could he be correct?
Well, possibly. One reason why he might be on target is the fact that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) does have a number of features that parallel some aspects of religious zealotry. In particular, the idea that selfish behavior must be forbidden by enlighted authorities does mirror some historical religious practices; the rationale is a permutation of the concepts of original sin and piety.
Many AGW believers begin with the assertion that mankind’s foolish behavior is harming Nature (some would say humanity is assaulting Gaia), and then call for punitive intervention. Accordingly, enthusiastic activists, inspired by the revelations of science, offer their services as enlightened authorities. These eager law-givers agree to take power, punish evildoers, and impose decency on the ignorant and/or unbelieving elements of the population.
The authoritarian pattern is classic: it even curses unbelievers by labeling them “deniers”, a term that strongly implies a Nazi mentality of hatred and criminal zeal.
Well, it all depends on the accuracy of the data, now doesn’t it?
Yes, but…anyone can fake a graph, or a column of numbers; lies are easy to promote as truth. Then too, the resulting debate can be complex and often incomprehensible. That secondary problem is not caused by a deficiency of intellect; it is the natural result of the fact that most folks do not have the professional expertise that allows rational evaluation. In fact amassing accurate climate data, representing them in undistorted media, and interpreting them properly all depend heavily on good statistical practice. Unfortunately “good” does not mean “obviously correct”, for statistics is a sophisticated field. Specifically…
…statisticians have evolved such an arcane specialization that the layman can be easily hoodwinked by charlatans who pretend to process the numbers correctly. As examples of just how removed climate studies are from everyday experience and how heavily they depend on statistics, consider regression analysis and short-centering. Do you know what those terms mean, and how they relate to the concept of anthropogenic global warming?
Of course you can begin at the beginning — you can read Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion, Climategate and the Corruption of Science (ISBN 978-1-906768355). That could take several weeks, unless you have nothing else to do. That homework assignment would introduce you to the notion that discovering the truth will require the services of objective professional statisticians.
That means one cannot simply read the claims and intuit the truth. Then too, at some point, faith will very likely enter the debate.
So…if you want to understand whether, where and how the villains faked the graphs and what the good guys reported when they practiced science as Karl Popper intended, you have a lot of work to do.
Accordingly many folks tend to side with charismatic gurus who say trendy things. Those who are a bit more interested will not be impressed by rhetorical flourishes, and they will instinctively reject polls of “the experts”.
That cautious approach is still not good enough to insure error-free conclusions. Yes, it is difficult to distinguish the genuine scholars from the publicity-hungry activists, but if you discover credible evidence that you have been lied to, you will have made progress.
Links Courtesy Of The Tramp Abroad
Turkish Airlines Pilots Ferihan Işik (left) and Emel Arman
A historic event: on March 29, 2016, two pilots were the first aviatrices to fly a Boeing 777-300ER from Istanbul to Chicago. Captain Arman has been flying for Turkish Airlines since 1995.
Here’s a collection of the best quips from or about every US president, from Washington to Obama.
We have only one planet…with that fact in mind, lean back, relax, and watch this ten-minute video.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is a United States Department of Transportation agency that can now mandate the installation of leak detection technology on oil and gas pipelines. It is about time.
Operation Acid Gambit was a rescue mission not many people have heard about. It turned out much better than the botched attempt to free the US Embassy diplomats in Iran. Wikipedia summarizes it, and there are two versions of a docu-drama describing the events: this one lasts a half hour, and the ninety minute full video is at this link. (There are a couple of other interesting articles to be found here.)
Imagine a world in which all CEOs were as generous as Hamdi Ulukaya. Watch this video and read an article on Ulukaya’s brand,Chobani. This is the rags-to-riches story of a self-made US-immigrant billionaire…who received no inheritance from his father. This guy remembers his roots and appreciates the people who helped him become very successful.
Here’s how the next US presidential election can be won. It’s simple.
Think about it, everybody: it’s time to drop “going forward” because it’s a vapid, sappy expression, and an irritating verbal tic. Yes!
Thanks go to reader JY for noting the comments of Victor Davis Hanson on the bizarre absurdity of the USA’s “sanctuary cities”.
The word from Hillary appears to be, “Just keep your mouth shut, and they will eventually go away”. Experience in the grubby back alleys of politics has taught her that she’s probably correct.
Reader JW passes along these “lessons from a dictatorial neighbor” that shed light on the current situation in Thailand. Yes, the abortion of Thai democracy is heartbreaking….
This quote was not well-received by this newsletter’s editor: “…racism is the only reason the illegal drugs are illegal and the legal drugs are legal. Nobody could make a rational decision to make tobacco legal and marijuana illegal…that’s all about racism and colonialism”. Oh, my. Well…watch the entire video, and then think seriously about the the rationality of that claim, and about the context in which it is made. This is very important, so do not skip it.
Reader JY reminds that some observers say the mess in the USA is a horror that will degenerate predictably….
Noting what various groups of people are doing to be ready for the future will tell you what they believe is likely to happen. Of course you have read Balko’s book (reviewed here), so you know this news item is something to ponder.
Commentary frets about “the durable political damage” Trump is doing to the Republican party. Peter Wehner, the author of a brief commentary on Trump’s alienation of virtually all Hispanic US voters, is correct: he cites the harm done by Barry Goldwater’s refusal to agree to civil rights legislation. That decision, made over a half century ago, transformed the GOP into a (probably permanently) minority national party…a political entity that cannot count on producing another Ronald Reagan. Well, ultimately, justice and Liberty are always threatened whenever one party enjoys a long-term preponderance of power. Further: the current GOP control of Congress is deceptively weak, for executive, judicial, and administrative powers remain in the hands of the Democrats. Virtually no one notices that the express constitutional mandate granted to the Congress is no longer respected.
Pamela Geller provides a trenchant history lesson for Islam-watchers and Israel-haters. A hat tip goes to reader JY for the link.
Oh: reader JY turns out to be a baseball fan. In itself, that’s not an insoluble problem; this newsletter is a big tent. There is, however, the fact that JY’s mind has strayed into the nether regions…. Well, perhaps he can be located and salvaged.
Witches’ Brew: Holder, Black Lives Matter, and Hillary.
The May 2 to May 8 2016 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek carries an article on an instance of enforcement of US administrative law (“The Cost Of Resistance”, by Dune Lawrence). You recall Prof. Hamburger’s book, Is Administrative Law Unlawful?, because it wasreviewed in this newsletter. Now you can relate the exercise of unconstitutional practice to the unethical activity of an agency of the federal government (namely, the Federal Trade Commission). The need for fundamental reform is pressing, but most of the news media cannot be bothered to report the outrageous depredations of Uncle Sam’s mad dogs. The only people benefitting from this instance of off-the-leash “regulation” are the lawyers on both sides.
How will President Hillary respond to Islamist terror in Africa? The precedent she set in Lybia is not encouraging.
Meanwhile, the US federal Department of Justice carries on, functioning like a well-oiled (but still impossible) perpetual motion machine.
Eric Holder was, in this newsletter’s judgment, possibly the worst Attorney General the USA ever had, and now he’s offering his opinion on the candidacy of Hillary. He’s entitled to his views, even if he was a contemptuous, racist, arrogant fascist when he held high office. (Notable quote: speaking to a member of the House of Representatives, he sneered contemptuously, “You don’t wanna go there, Buddy”.) Now he expects everyone to listen when he proclaims Hillary a good candidate…. Here are the recent details (again).
Whoa! It seems all the problems in the Muddle East are the result of Jewish skullduggery. Who — except third-generation Nazis — knew? Well, never mind. Examine some propaganda provided by exemplary Jew-haters and linked here in order to provide a sense of perspective. This, Pilgrims, is the voice of unreason howling in support of some of the worst people on the globe.
Newt Gingrich creeps closer to a full endorsement of Donald Trump. Oh, my. Gingrich for vice-president? Don’t be surprised, Pilgrims….
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Peter Vincent Pry.