The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bond, Body Types and Health stuff

Ooh. The first whisper about the new Bond movie has been heard. According to Daniel Craig, filming begins late in 2010.


Frank--posting stuff on government officials guilty of theft doesn't move me. What WOULD is if you somehow proved that government employees are somehow more dishonest per capita than employees in the public sector. And if you can't do that, what we're left with is that approximately the same percentage of private and public employees are honest, dishonest, or whatever. With one major difference: a corporation is legally obligated to make a profit. OBLIGATED. That, plus the fact that multi-million dollar bonuses make it possible to accumulate vast money without stealing, suggest to me that the consumer isn't always best served by an organization whose first obligation is not to the customer, but rather the investor or stockholder. Seen entirely too much thievery among corporate types...and that is true even in a situation where, as I said, they don't HAVE to do anything illegal to get frickin' rich. Sorry, but someone who is motivated primarily by money is going to go where the money is.


And so far, except for one bleating from a medical provider complaining about Medicare reimbursement, I've yet to see much addressing my specific question: why is it so important to some of you to stop me from giving my money to a government employee, if I want to buy into Medicare at cost plus 10%? Even that provider executive surely wouldn't complain at the possibility of getting MORE money for the same services they are already providing. The only good objection I can think of would be from die-hard political types who are aligned with those who have sworn to keep the Democrats from a victory. Prove me wrong, please. It's my money. My body. I am a grown-ass man, and I can tell for myself whether I'm getting my money's worth. What is all of this crap about individual liberty, when you are trying to tell me, and millions of others, how to spend our money? Especially if I'm not asking a dime of yours. Please, show me how I'm wrong.


By the way, I have to confess to having an agenda here: I believe that, deep down, those in favor of the private sector have a belief that the people who work there are actually more honest...better, in fact. Not just that private industry is set up to encourage the most creativity, but that there is less thievery (why else mention public-sector graft? Certainly, if one thought there was equal tendency toward dishonesty on either side, the most appropriate thing would be to list problems in private industryas well.) Communistic types would probably claim that private industry is by nature more corrupt. My contention, always, is that people are just people, there will be an equal percentage of assholes on either side, and given that, you make decisions about which services should be in the commons. Note that when people object to socialized medicine, they say things like: "maybe the government should make cars, too!" confusing goods and services...or maybe not confusing them. Maybe counting on the confusion of others, because they are engaged in a culture war, and don't care about the cost. Political creatures on both sides engage in this nonsense, of course.

So to be clear: if you DON'T think there is a difference in the basic honesty of those in the public and private sector, please explain to me why I am best served by a system that DEMANDS they charge more than the cost of delivering the service. And if you DO think there is a difference, kindly explain your reasons.


Insofar as basic body types, and the way they respond to exercise. I would say that an exercise regimen that concentrates on body-weight movement: pushups, situps, pullups, running/walking, swimming, etc--will produce a body that is very natural to your genetics, while equipment-based exercise is more likely to "force" your body into a proportion that isn't quite as natural. Some are lean runner-types. Others blocky lifter-types. Others muscular warrior-types. And others can walk for days, but will always look a little soft. What is NOT natural is puffy couch potato-types. That matches neither hunter nor gatherer. Neither stalking prey nor avoiding predators. And I've known the soft puffy types, and know the kinds of romantic partners they yearn for--and oddly, they are almost always bodies that ARE the bodies that would support hunting, gathering, or avoiding predators. That's what lights their eyes up, quickens their pulse. I think that any body that is in alignment with our animal heritage will then support our emotional life, and our intellectual life.

But...ectomorph? Mesomorph? There are real differences in how our bodies respond to exercise. Better to strive to have over-all ease of motion, as well as high energy and facility at SOME physical activity (of your choice. The "Perfect Template" concept), a sense of health, and when you look at yourself naked in the mirror, you should be the equivalent of what you are attracted to. If not, either change your values, or your behaviors. To have your body and your heart going in opposite directions is a recipe for disaster. you really want to feel that your husband or wife "settled" for you? That you were just the best they could do? Or do you want the sense that they find you utterly delicious?

We only have our bodies for a little while. They should be temples, toys, tools. Far too often, for far too many, bodies are just bags of garbage hauling around their brains and genitals. That pains me.


Marty S said...

Steve: My view on things is quite different than yours and let me try and explain why. Take one element of medical care, drugs. I assume any public health plan will have to pay for drugs. There is no purpose to paying for a poor person to see a doctor if they then can't afford the medication the doctor prescribes. So if the drug companies are private, they have all the same costs and expenses we have now. So the government can't cut costs there unless they control drug prices, but if you control drug price you lower not just the drug company and its stockholders profits, but the incentive and cost feasibility of researching new drugs, so the long term result is fewer new miracle drugs and more people who don't get cures for their illnesses. Drugs is just one example of this dilemma. My juvenile diabetic nephew recently got a newly developed pump implanted that monitors the insulin level in his blood and meters insulin out on an as needed basis, giving him more personal freedom and a shot at a longer life due to better control. People with my philosophy seriously question whether such innovations will continue without the profit motive and see government involvement in health care leading to government control of prices/profits, leading to less innovation and poorer health care for our children

Frank said...


posting stuff on government officials guilty of theft doesn't move me.

You know, context is everything. I posted that in response to Dan's regarding bonuses given to employees at the non-profit health care provider to show precisely your point: That yeah, you may want to point out how the private sector may do something that offends your sensibilities, but I can do the same thing with government.

I could have also provided this which probably would have been more to the point:

The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.
Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months — and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

What?! Bonuses? Greedy bastards. Does the President know?

Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector....

The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed the average federal worker's pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector.

So I was agreeing with what you said:

And if you can't do that, what we're left with is that approximately the same percentage of private and public employees are honest, dishonest, or whatever.

But it's funny that you decided to call me on it but not Dan.

why is it so important to some of you to stop me from giving my money to a government employee, if I want to buy into Medicare at cost plus 10%?

Because of what it would cost to provide you with that choice and the consequences that would result.

You might just as well ask why I'm preventing you from having the choice of buying your car from the Government. Oh wait, bad example...

But you get my point.

The only good objection I can think of would be from die-hard political types who are aligned with those who have sworn to keep the Democrats from a victory.

That's absurd. That's saying that because I disagree with this solution I don't want something done. In fact I do want something done, just not this.

And I'm all about bi-partisanship. And here is my proposal for a bi-partisan solution.

And there is no doubt that the Republicans dropped the ball in this (as with many other things) because they could have passed a more fiscally responsible reform package when they were in charge.

But they started spending like drunken sailors and they paid the price. Now the Democrats are spending like drunken sailors on steriods and they'll pay the price too.

And I propose we keep on firing Congress until we get some grown-ups in Washington.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

I can't speak for everyone who mistrusts government, but what concerns me isn't less honesty, it's more power.

Who'd have thought that helping people to buy their own homes could cause so much damage? And it seemed like such a nice idea to keep people from wrecking their lives with addictive drugs.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"Who'd have thought that helping people to buy their own homes could cause so much damage?"

Means that facilitate home acquisition by those genuinely prosperous enough to afford such would benefit both home buyers and the entire economy. The reverse is true of the current scheme, which apparently facilitated titular home ownership by those lacking sufficient resources to actually purchase them. The "affordable sub-prime homes" fiasco is a classic Socialist snafu born of the disastrous combo of social benevolence and fiscal ignorance.

Having excoriated the sub-prime debacle, I actually think the affair's a smokescreen for far larger and more disastrous Conservative fiscal mismanagement. Two interminable wars, a bloated domestic security apparatus, Greenspan's veritable worship of Ann Rand's vision of markets run amok that magically self-regulate, and a Commander-in-Chief cum failed CEO are far more responsible for America's economic morass than the comparatively paltry Socialist real estate farce.

Dan Moran said...

The "affordable sub-prime homes" fiasco is a classic Socialist snafu born of the disastrous combo of social benevolence and fiscal ignorance.

Hmmm ... I'm going to go with classic conservative snafu born of the disastrous combo of easy money policies (to keep down the price of borrowing, necessitated by Bush's tax cuts) ... and fiscal irresponsibility.

You do remember who was in charge when the housing market ballooned and exploded?

Marty S said...

If one is looking to cast blame for the housing fiasco, one could start by blaming first Carter, then Clinton(with some help from Republicans) for easing loan requirements regulations, or the Bush administration under which the collapse occurred. Or one could blame the greedy bankers for making the risky loans, but anybody who doesn't think that most the blame should fall on people who bought homes beyond their means is fooling themselves. I am sure you can find the poor unfortunate ones who bought homes within their means and then lost their job or suffered some other catastrophe. But I would bet the majority of those in foreclosure are like my niece. She bought a home she really couldn't afford. She got lucky, real estate values shot up. She could have sold the house she couldn't make payments on and with the profits bought a smaller house outright or with affordable payments, but no she borrowed against the equity and then used the borrowed money to make the payments in a type of pyramid scheme until the market collapsed, and now she will lose everything. Poor girl.

Dan Moran said...

I'm looking forward to Bond 23. One of the things I'd love to see (but don't expect) comes out of the bit with Mathis from Quantum of Solace -- Mathis is dying and Bond asks him whether Mathis is his real name or code name. I'd discussed this idea with friends years and years ago -- the idea that Bond is a code name, not a real person, a role that different men have stepped into at different times. One "Bond" retires or dies, and another takes over the job.

It would make sense, on its own terms, of almost everything that's happened in ALL the Bond movies ... the bit where Lazenby's bond quips something like "why doesn't this happen to the other fellow," the casual way Connery's bond deals with Blofeld in the next movie -- he's not the same guy whose wife got killed in OHMSS, and it's business, not personal --

It explains how M, the same M, goes from dealing with Brosnan's "dinosaur" Bond, to dealing with a young "Bond" who'd never killed before and didn't know how he'd look in a tuxedo ...

They won't go there. But I'd love it if they did. It would (as an almost trivial side effect) open the door to cameos by previous Bonds. That would be COOL.

Dan Moran said...


Yeah, one could do all those things. Or one could note that Bill Clinton left behind an economy in good shape, a country at peace, a federal budget in surplus, and a housing market that made sense by historical terms, and that all of these things went to shit in a few short years during a period when Republicans controlled Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court.

Nancy Lebovitz said...


The damage caused by the mortgage deduction starts with redlining. The practice ran from 1934 through 1977. (Dates from Wikipedia) The mortgage deduction made it much easier for anyone who could get a home loan to accumulate capital. However, the banks defined lending for houses in racially mixed neighborhoods as risky.

Result: black people have less chance to accumulate capital, and de facto residential segregation is increased (I think) and maintained (certainly).

Also, you get a sort of investment monoculture, which wasn't changed by requiring the banks to not discriminate and which has contributed to the current crisis.

The thing is, I believe the two biggest non-war disasters caused by the federal government are the war on drugs the effects of the mortgage deduction.

Neither of them were obviously awful ideas. It's just that the government has so much power that even smallish errors of theory and execution get amplified, and interest groups accumulate around programs so that it's very hard to correct mistakes.

Arguing that the mortgage deduction was a good enough idea and the problem was errors in execution misses the point-- that sort of error is part of the system.

So far as health care is concerned, it's possible that whatever reform passes will improve things. I'm not excluding the possibility that it will make things worse.

Partly, it's a question of what sort of deal the medical industries will get, and partly it's a matter of further politicizing medicine. The more centralized the medical system is (and the government, by deciding what it will pay for, will have a large influence), the bigger a political prize getting control of a piece of it becomes. The big fight over abortion is probably only the beginning.

Marty S said...

Dan: Good economic times and bad economic times are not purely the result of government policies and who's in power, but also the result of other forces beyond government control. One has to be careful assigning blame by time period. I have the same problem with the claims of global warming. When, I looked for data on global temperatures, the longest sequence of recorded temperatures I could find started in 1850. The global temperature in this sequence was a half degree higher in 1880 thirty years later with no cars on the road and not a lot of man made CO2 being thrown in the air. The 2005 peak one hundred and twenty five years after 1880 was only another half degree higher than the 1880 peak. So how does this align with concluding that the temperature change we've seen is clearly man made versus the possibility that its merely mother nature doing her thing.

Dan Moran said...


Dan: Good economic times and bad economic times are not purely the result of government policies and who's in power, but also the result of other forces beyond government control.

While this is surely true, there are two indisputable facts:

1. Since the end of the Depression the United States economy has performed better under Democratic Presidents than under Republican Presidents, and it's not close.

2. For generations liberal states have outperformed conservative states, economically, on the health and longevity of their citizens, on crime, on divorce statistics, and on and on. I could revisit this at length, but generations of numbers say that liberals know how to run things better than conservatives.

As to global warming, I'm not going to try to summarize the last thirty years of research (which is what convinced me) in one post. Global warming is a fact. Humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 35% since industrialization began, and carbon dioxide traps heat. When the overwhelming majority of the scientific establishment links this as the causal factor in global warming, and the remnant are almost uniformly conservative mouthpieces, that's really sufficient for my purposes to make a decision.

Marty S said...

While I am on the fence and not convinced one way or another, I would note that most of the overwhelming majority who assert global warming as scientific fact essentially make a living from global warming research or work for companies that would profit from the effort to curb global warming.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"Since the end of the Depression the United States economy has performed better under Democratic Presidents than under Republican Presidents"

I'd question this. The post-WW2 economic boom, possibly America's most prosperous period, took place largely during the Eisenhower Administration. Prosperity's end has been attributed by many historians to the economic fallout from the Vietnam War, which the Johnson Administration fought minus congressional declaration. By foregoing Congress' endorsement, the Democrats also forfeited the ability to enact fiscal measures to compensate for war expenditures. The ruinous fiscal legacy of Johnson's folly reached its zenith in hyperinflation that wrecked the administration of the next Democratic president, Jimmy Carter.

Dan Moran said...


You could note it, but you'd be wrong. I won't ask you for a source for this assertion, since I doubt you have one. I'll just link here.

Only 6% of scientists identify themelves as Republicans. I'm surprised it's that high.


I'm heading out the door, but I'll post some links later today. The numbers are striking.

Marty S said...

Dan: The citation you give 1) relates to all sorts of ecological problems caused by mankind, not just global warning 2) a lot of scientists signing a paper for mankind be better ecologic citizens doesn't having anything to do with how many of the researchers into global warming gain financially from continuing concern about it. Now I definitely don't claim to be an expert in this area. Since you may be better informed or someone else on this blog may be better informed I am curious if any experiment along the following lines has been performed to estimate the effect of CO2 on global warming. Since the atmosphere is about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, .93% argon and a little less than .04% carbon dioxide, fill a large chamber with gas of the above composition provide a constant heat source so that the temperature in the chamber stays constant at about the global average temperature. Now change the gas composition to .05%, 06%, .07% ,.08% co2 and see, given the same constant temperature input, how much the chamber's average temperature increases. This should be done with at least two different size chambers to see if their is a size effect. If such an experiment has been performed and shows that the increases are significant enough to cause the global disasters talked about it would go a long way to convincing me. Otherwise a 35% increase in such a small number is not at all convincing to me.

Dan Moran said...

Marty, I'm not worried about convincing you; I'm mildly interested in convincing people who may not be convinced one way or another yet. On which note, 102 Nobel Laureates and the heads of 50 scientific associations put their names to this:

A broad consensus among the world's climatologists is that there is now "a discernible human influence on global climate."

Climate change is projected to raise sea levels, threatening populations and ecosystems in coastal regions. Warmer temperatures will lead to a more vigorous hydrologic cycle, increasing the prospects for more intense rainfall, floods, or droughts in some regions. Human health may be damaged by greater exposure to heat waves and droughts, and by encroachment of tropical diseases to higher latitudes. The developing world is especially vulnerable to damage from climatic disruption because it is already under great stress and has less capacity to adapt.

There's a solid concensus in this area among real scientists. You could try to put together a list of Nobel Laureates who don't believe that there is human-caused global warming ... but it would be an awfully short list.

Clint Johnson said...

I am a wordy and opinionated git who has trouble editing himself down... so this will be over a couple comments. I apologize in advance.

I'll start with the underpinnings of the state so you can understand where my ideology is grounded.

Any large group of humans needs a minority group that has an overwhelming ability to abduct and kill individuals or any smaller group that may act antithetically to their interests. If that group is removed, there is a descent into a bloody struggle as groups vie for that power. The best we can do is try to establish rules for this ugly inevitability so that it does the least damage while filling that unavoidable power vacuum. So far it looks like democracy is the least harmful method of limiting the damage from the inherent and ugly need so many people have to control others. This certainly doesn't mean democracy should be allowed unfettered influence. It is primarily a way of selecting and hopefully de-selecting the ruling body - there is nothing inherent in the democratic process that keeps it from selecting a horrific minority that goes off the rails and commits mass murder on the level of the Nazis, the Soviet Union and Maoist China.

While we cannot function long without government of some kind, we should be ever mindful that everything they do is predicated on the threat of a grossly inequitable ability to do violence. Most people accept this unquestioningly but we should understand the foundation that the state is built on if we wish to talk meaningfully about what governments sphere of influence should be. Nothing the state has is earned, and nothing it does is untainted. Every dollar, every action and every agreement is extracted with the implicit threat of violence. If the threat isn't enough, they will use whatever level of violence is necessary to ensure your compliance, up to and including killing you. This may be done to make you hand over your property, force you to act as they want you to act or because you have done something that it has proscribed.

Whatever the state does, great good or great evil, is built on this threat of grossly inequitable violence and a willingness to use it. Talk of patriotism, activism and the "social contract" are velvet gloves that this bully slips over its iron fists. Keeping in mind the ugly underpinnings of the state, I contend that the most just and rational way to look at every action it takes is to ask yourself – "Would I, with complete conviction, threaten to beat someone to death to make this happen?" - because that is what it is doing.

If you can convince me that it is otherwise, I will reconsider my libertarian ideology and take another look at the utilitarianism of socialist/fascist systems.

Clint Johnson said...

The moral character of people in politics versus those in business?

I don't think there is a big difference in the basic honesty and integrity of the average government employee and the average private employee. I do think there is a big difference between the elected officials and the businessmen (and women). The incenting factors in business lead to greater honesty and integrity while the incenting factors in politics are geared to whatever gets you elected. The oversight of the private sector by the government can not be understated here and is a primary factor in my reasoning. While the free market does reward cooperation and honest dealings, the state plays a very real and huge part by disincenting lying, fraud and theft. Now do you really believe that that the government can do an equally good job of disincenting such behaviour amongst themselves when they are the most efficacious campaign tools in the case of the first two and the very underpinnings of their power with the third?

Could you imagine what would happen if the government called up the boardrooms of America and told them that they were to police themselves from now on – letting them decide what is wrong, what should be investigated and what should be punished? Now I think that would lead to boardrooms full of rapacious, unethical, deceitful and morally compromised people... can you explain to me why that wouldn't happen in another self regulating group of people that is steeped in power and money?

And you can't separate the money and the power in politics. Money is a means to an end, and in business you have to find a way to earn it while in politics you have to find a way to take it. There is no capitalist in history who wields more money than a top politician... that it isn't their money is irrelevant from a socio-economic perspective. Seeing how many politicians are accumulating a good fortune and/or evading taxes leads me to the conclusion that the spending of other peoples money is the very idea.

Why would anyone not want you to buy into Medicare at cost plus 10%?

Do you really think that the cost that they convey would bear any relationship to its actual cost? While an insurance company will have to continue trying to make their two or three percent profit, the government will simply put a number out, then temporally shift costs, create government-sponsored enterprises that can pretend not be an expense... then tax and borrowing to cover whatever it actually costs. They could charge you half what it costs private insurance to cover you while actually spending three times as much. What you are asking is to pay an artificially low premium while the tax base pays the difference. If there was a truly private and non-profit health care co-operative... now that would be more in line with what you are thinking about.

Actually, the best (albeit immoral) deal under the proposed system is to just pay the fine for not having insurance, which I think is supposed to be something like $750 per year. Then, if you ever do need expensive medical care, go find the company that offers the most comprehensive coverage and sign up. The proposed system would make it illegal to turn you away for a pre-existing condition so you're taken care of.

Frank said...

With reagrds to Global Warming, here' an excerpt from something I wrote recently:

Let's recap: in science you have a theory if and only if you have a model that can be tested against actual phenomena: In other words, you have to be able to predict some behavior in the real world. The models constucted by AGW proponents have never predicted anything which means they do not have the data necessary to create theory.

Due to the stunning failure of the AGW models, scientists have been asking since the 90's for the source data upon which the models were based and no data have been forthcoming.

Now in science, it is important and routine to share data. This is because a basic tenent of science is that experiments (i.e. testing the theory against reality) must be replicable by other scientists. This is how basic science is conducted. This is how scientific knowledge is advanced.

As an example, back in the 80's the Fleischmann-Pons announcement that they had achieved "Cold Fusion" (nuclear fusion achieved at something resembling room temperature, or minimally fusion achieved at something below temperatures of millions of degrees Celsius). This announcement excited many people about the promise of very cheap energy production. Now in this case, Fleischmann and Pons published their data and their experiments as they should. Scientists around the world attempted to duplicate their results and failed. Ultimately it was determined that Fleischmann and Pons had made an error and life moved on without Cold Fusion.

And that is how science is done. Of course, there was no politics involved here and we had ethical scientists who, though wrong about their discovery, acted honorably.

With AGW, the models have been demonstrably wrong for so long with no one on the the AGW side sharing data that the only conclusion one could reach was that they were hiding something: that they weren't really doing science at all. They were in fact politicians.

And the only thing climategate did was reveal this fact in a concrete way.

Now those who continue to support the exaggerated claims of AGW calls us doubters AGW deniers, but that's not the case.

It's not the case because I at least, and I suspect most who understand and respect scientific inquiry, are not deniers of anything other than phoney theories.

I do not deny that Global Warming is occuring; it clearly is occuring.

I don not deny that humans are contributing to Global Warming; it would be very surprising if we were not.

But, in order to make policy decisions we need to know how we are contributing to global warming, how much we are contributing, what the effects of our contirbution are on climate, and how much our actions can affect the outcome.

Frank said...

And, of course, we have to know what it means to "stop" global warming. I mean what are we talking about making the global climate colder? What would the effects of that be? Do we think we can adjust the climate so it is always the same? What are we talking about?

Policy, or at least good policy, needs to be informed policy. And the rabid proponents of Global Warming do not help the serious issues we must confront.

The idea that human produced "greenhouse" gases are the primary cause of Global Warming is clearly wrong. If it were correct, the models produced from this theory would be correct as well.

And we need to know the facts because if it turns out there is nothing we can do to "stop" Global Warming then we need to start to put in place policies that will deal with the inevitable.

In fact, the unproven idea that we can do something about Global Warming is effectively preventing us from mitigating the effects of Global Warming.

Which brings us to the importance of realistically predicting the effects of Global Warming is important from a policy point of view. If we don't know what were really talking about we don't know what we should do.

Now none of this should be construed to mean that we should stop our effort to control things like carbon dioxide emmissions; we should and not just for climate reasons but for national security reasons as well. But knowing more about Global Warming will tell us what the extent of our committment needs to be and over what period of time.

This bad science being propogated by AGW evangelists is dangerous from a number of points of view. First, it degrades the public's appreciation and valuation of real scientists and science and people will be more unwilling to believe correct information in any field when it is presented.

Second it prevents us from good realistic policy decisions as mentioned above.

And third, it restricts funding for real climate science because if you already think you know the answer to a question, why would you pour more money into researcing the answer?

The actions of the "scientists" at the University of East Anglia and elsewhere are deplorable and are anti-science.

But that wasn't anything new that was revealed in these emails.

We've known they have been bad actors for a very long time. I suppose, the new thing, is that now, maybe people will believe us and now, maybe, people will start doing the science again instead of trying to make everyone shut up.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

".. they will use whatever level of violence is necessary to ensure your compliance, up to and including killing you. "

Besides naked violence, Government has another powerful tool to force compliance: persuasion through indoctrination. As Noam Chomsky et al have argued, a defining characteristic of representative systems appears to involve the gradual substitution of violent coercion with persuasion through subtle and pervasive propaganda.

Marty S said...

Frank: You seem to be very knowledgeable in this area, can you point me to anything other than mathematical models, and hypothesis that actually demonstrate how man contributes to global warming. Last night at 11:00 pm the snow was already falling and the weather forecast called 5-8 in of snow. We actually got 2 in. This is the accuracy of weather models predicting a short term event based on models that have thousands of repetitions to be based upon. There has only been one instance of the industrial revolution and I'm sorry, math models based upon the current incident project not eight hours in the future, but 25, 50 or a hundred years are just not convincing.

suzanne said...

there is a vast difference between weather (a day to day local phenom)
and climate (long term picture)

with global warming
the day to day weather will over time
and given whatever are the vagaries of various ocean currents
the jet stream, et cetera

it makes no sense whatever
to say look we're having a cold spell
that means global warming isn't happening

it's a specious argument

Clint Johnson said...

Weather is a small subset of climate. If we can't model this small subset with gross full degree accuracy over hours why would we assume to be able to model the whole with fraction of a percent accuracy over decades?

The chaotic nature of weather may be subsumed in long term climate, making the whole easier to model than the parts. That isn't a given, or even a likely in my mind, so running on that assumption seems somewhat rash.

People should remember that ALL models are wrong. What we need to do is figure out if these climate models get enough right to be useful. I don't think they do yet and so am not very enthused about plunging the planet into a decades long Great Depression II based on them.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"If we can't model this small subset with gross full degree accuracy over hours why would we assume to be able to model the whole with fraction of a percent accuracy over decades?"

The near-complete reliance of global warming research on models and simulation led to Physicist Freeman Dyson's castigation of the methodology of climate studies and dismissal of the need for fiscally drastic mitigation efforts. I've long admired Dyson's work. soaring insights and penetrating critiques, and his denunciation of the methods and possible motives of global warming promoters was pivotal in nurturing my own skepticism about dire climate change.

"not very enthused about plunging the planet into a decades long Great Depression"

The brunt of the economic hardships necessitated by various mitigation efforts would be borne by the Developing World, which would be deprived of the fossil fuels needed for infrastructural development. I refuse to endorse the notion that Africans and Asians altruistically accept poverty on Earth's behalf, while Europe and North America enjoy a free pass to prosperity, having conveniently developed themselves before the global warming siren sounded. IMHO, It's Much better and fairer to fast-track economic and technological development for all nations, which will in turn equip the entire global community effectively and equitably respond to whatever climate changes occur. Further technological advance will also produce effective global warming countermeasures that may enable humanity to repair already existing ecological damage, as well as optimally regulate planetary conditions for all Earth's inhabitants.

Clint Johnson said...

"The brunt of the economic hardships necessitated by various mitigation efforts would be borne by the Developing World, which would be deprived of the fossil fuels needed for infrastructural development."

The way that "Cap and Trade" is being structured shows that they know this will happen and are working under the assumption that the coerced transfer of hundreds of billions dollars from the developed world to the developing will actually be a net gain for them.

I don't agree.

What money isn't syphoned off by officials and bureaucrats at the originating country, makes it past the companies that are being set up to "facilitate" this, past the lawyers and accountants, past the banks that hold and move the money, doesn't build palaces for dictators of the left or right, isn't syphoned off by the officials and bureaucrats at the target country... whatever is left will do as much good as the endless dumping of money has always done.

It will save millions from starving to death and make it very difficult for them to ever rise much above that.

I don't care what colour they are, where they live or what culture they have- if you want to destroy a people give them just enough to get by.

It crushes self respect, removes any great pressure to better their own condition and leaves them with excess time to pursue the more nihilistic forms of "entertainment" that give the illusion of happiness and numb reality.

Even with vast opportunity, education and expectations - that works almost as well for trust fund kids in New York as it does for poverty stricken subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe. They just start from a much higher point and as the saying goes - "Three generations from shirt-sleeves to shirt-sleeves".

I most certainly am not advocating anyone be left to starve to death but we have to find a balance in that whole 'giving a fish - teach to fish' balance. Limited government and a free market is by far the best fishing technique but how do you "teach" that inside a dictatorship with a command economy?

How do you think it would go if I walked up to Mugabe and told him that he was a parasite on capitalism and that he would be much fatter if he allowed the host greater market freedom?

Marty S said...

I would still like somebody who support co2 as a cause of global warmingto explain the following to me. Between 1900-1950 the total change in atmospheric co2 was a little less than 17 ppm(you can google these data) while from 1958-2008 the atmospheric co2 increase approximately 70ppm or about four times as fast, but if you look at the warming trend between 1910 and 1945 the annual rate increase is the same as in the 1958 to 2008 period. How can something be the major source of change in temperature when four times the amount has no additional affect. By the way this is true looking at three different global temperature data sets all from sites arguing that co2 is causing global warming.

Steve Perry said...

Marty --

It sounds very much as if you have made your mind up and don't want to hear anything that disagrees with your belief. Your right, of course, but it does kind of bring up this image of somebody standing on the dock yelling at Columbus -- "Don't go, Chris! You'll sail off the edge!"

Clint Johnson said...

Or standing on the dock yelling "You're gonna take smallpox and influenza over there and decimate their population while bringing tuberculosis and syphilis back here to kill tens of millions!"

Clint Johnson said...

That guy should have been shouting about NEW strains of tuberculosis. Silly man not paying attention to what he is... shouting.

Marty S said...

Steve Perry: I haven't made up my mind at all. I have merely indicated that when I examine the data available to me on the net that it is mathematically inconsistent with the conclusion that CO2 is a major cause of the warming trend in global temperatures. That is based upon the data available to me on the net if one were to perform a regression analysis on ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere and any of the three global temperature sequence the RSquare number from the regression analysis which tells youthe percent of the dependent variable(temperature) explained by the independent variable(CO2 in ppm) would be very low indicating a relatively small effect.
I am willing to be persuaded if anybody can give me a technical reason why this analysis is wrong and CO2 is really important.
What I find interesting is on one site which shows the three data sets they disabuse the skeptics argument that temperatures have cooled since 1998, by modifying the three data series to take into account El Nino, a natural effect. This significantly modifies the data series. So it okay to include non man made effects to improve the case for global warming ,but not to believe that they significantly affect the overall warming trend.

Dan Moran said...


Either the scientists are almost universally corrupt, or the science is real. Since the lights go on when I hit the light switch, I know which one I'm picking.

Dan Moran said...

Marty S said...

Dan: The scientists don't have to be corrupt to be be wrong. From what I have read on the subject what we are working with are mathematical models and simulations based upon both known science and conjectures which extrapolate from what we know. We will know if these correct only after experiments prove they are correct. Now they may actually be correct. The analysis of the data I have found on the net tends to contradict the claims about CO2, but certainly don't disprove them. One possible explanation for a simple regression model of CO2 against temperature failing when the effect actually exists is that a more complex model with more variables, some of which drive temperature down is needed to explain the observed temperature changes. All I am saying is I have not seen or heard the issue discussed or an explanation of this inconsistency given. Evidently no one on this blog has either or they would have pointed me to it. This doesn't mean the explanation doesn't exist, because nobody on the blog is an expert on the subject. But until I am made aware of the answer to my contradictory data, I reserve the right to a degree of skepticism.
One more thing, if the CO2 conjecture is wrong and there is another explanation, not only might we cause a lot of unnecessary problems with the various CO2 based solutions, but we might also suffer the results of global warming because we failed to identify the real cause and act to prevent that from causing the catastrophes we are concerned with

Marty S said...

An interesting article

Frank said...


Either the scientists are almost universally corrupt, or the science is real. Since the lights go on when I hit the light switch, I know which one I'm picking.

Dan. Please. While there is clear evidence of corruption among a small number of evangelical AGW scientists, there is no evidence of corruption being widespread.

However it is not surprising to me that you have not heard much in the way of contrary evidence because part of the corruption of the evangelists is that they spent as much time making sure contrary evidence didn't get published as they did trying to convince people that we are on the bring of disaster. Oh and throwing in some half-assed research when they had time left over.

Marty is absolutely correct, the evidence for CO2 being a driver of global warming is contradictory at best. Ice core samples from the last Ice Age show higher levels of CO2 than exist today. Its a data point that is not explained by the the current "theory" of how greenhouse gases are causal to Global Warming.

There's this

Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, "There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years." Patterson asked the committee, "On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century's modest warming?"

In fact, with the evidence we have and can rely upon, there appears to be a much higher correlation betweeing global temperatures and sun spot activity.

What we do know, now, is that Professor Michael Mann who came up with the famous "Hocky Stick" graph popularized by Al Gore is under investigation by Penn State for doctoring data. We know that the scientists of East Aglia "lost" the tree ring data they said drives their models. We also know that they cherry picked the Russian temperature data so as to show a much more severe increase in global temperatures than the totality of the data would suggest.

And most importantly we know that the AGW climate models have not accurately predicted a single thing so we do not have a theory to explain global warming and that's just a fact.

Inconvenient, but a fact.

You know, even if you missed science class where the scientific method should have been explained, you can learn an awful lot about scientific inquiry by watching House MD. I love this show because a) House's rigorous devotion to the scientific method and b) he's modeled after one of my favorite fictional characters: Sherlock Holmes.

And if you watch House one thing you will learn is that the theory must account for all the symptoms and the theory must be testable.

The current AGW theory fails the House test.

Anonymous said...

for what its worth, global dimming may have had an effect on temperature change during some of those periods Marty mentioned along with differences in the earths orbit relative to the sun, Frank mentioned sun spot activity, there are probably many more factors that I'm ignorant of. Langdon

davidbaer said...

There's a movement to radically change California government, by getting rid of career politicians and chopping their salaries in half. A group known as Citizens for California Reform wants to make the California legislature a part time time job, just like it was until 1966.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.