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One coffee for me too, George January 12, 2009

Posted by dorigo in humor, news, politics.
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Thank goodness he’s going.

George W. Bush, arguably the worst American President in the history of the United States, gave his last press release today. And he said he’s going to change life. Better late than never, one would be tempted to add.

I do not have much to say beyond what I have said in this column in the past. Bush junior has been utterly inadequate to sit in the oval office during the last eight difficult years. What a tragedy to have had him instead of Al Gore!  Fortunately, Barack Obama is going to take over, restoring hope that his great country will rise and lead the world in a better direction than the awful mess W has brought it.

According to the press release, George is planning to be bringing coffee to his wife. What can I say: a more adequate occupation, for sure. No milk on mine George, one cube of sugar. Will he be able to handle that ?

Comments

1. island - January 13, 2009

Oh c’mon, he’s holding a press conference tomorrow where he’s going to inform all of us lowly peasants that he can proudly hold his head up above the lowest approval rating in history because he “ddn’t compromise his principles”… and I guess that it doesn’t matter that nobody else in the world holds them other than his own deviant self… lol

2. changcho - January 13, 2009

I propose him to be the permanent US ambassador to Iraq.

US historians consider James Buchanan (president 1857–1861) to be worse:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan

3. Daniel de França MTd2 - January 13, 2009

The negative character of a president is amplified by the military power at his disposal.

4. Anonymous - January 13, 2009

Oh, he’ll probably fuck that up too, probably spill it on her. The guy is suited for nothing but being the rich drunk cocaine addict he always was.

5. Luboš Motl - January 13, 2009

Thanks to George Bush for his services to the world. And the Czech Republic will surely allow him to use the cube of sugar.

6. Xylem - January 13, 2009

Actually Tommaso and all– i completely disagree he was the worst President ever, for two reasons.

First, because of the illegality of the 2000 election, and many irregularities in the 2004 election, i vowed to NEVER, EVER call that man my “President”. nor do i believe he was the legally elected President of the American people — ever.

Second, and perhaps more significantly, i fully feel his title from now until he dies needs to be “War Criminal Bush”, and nothing different (for many things, but the most, for authorizing torture, and for the invasion of Iraq).

Thus, i don’t compare him to any other Pres. the US has had, and always politely object when people do so.

And following up on this — i, and a passionate minority (for now) of Americans and world citizens, will support any and all efforts to bring him and his henchmen and women to justice someday, somehow, just as Pinochet was.

7. carlbrannen - January 13, 2009

Obama ran on a campaign of “change” but so far, his policies appear to be exactly identical to those of Bush except where it comes to global warming. He’s kept on quite a number of Bush’s advisors. In terms of foreign policy, which is probably what you care about most, you will see no change at all. Obama wants to send troops overseas just as much as Bush and thinks this is going to win in Afghanistan. For that matter, the last Democratic US president bombed his share of foreign countries.

I had a laugh the other day while working on that hadron paper. I had Coast to Coast AM on in the background and noticed that the host sounded like he’d just swallowed a frog. It was George Noory, who was a supporter of Obama. He was interviewing Michael St. Clair, a French astrologer or something like that. He was terrorizing the audience with psychic predictions of global economic crisis which will last until 2020. St. Clair was saying that people would have to become more self reliant, and that big government was history (when the US goes bankrupt).

Noory was eating it all up (talking about decadent society and all that) until St. Clair pointed out that the US candidates who were in favor of self reliance were Republicans, especially Sarah Palin. St. Clair said that the forces of evil and reaction stole the election. He said that with the ongoing economic calamity, Palin was the wave of the future, and that if you don’t know how to turn a moose into mooseburger, you might as well kill yourself now because your useless butt is going to starve. I thought the whole thing was hilarious.

Global warming is the only subject that Obama has not yet retracted on since winning the election. And on that subject, you might be interested to read the series of CERN articles which imply that CO2 caused global warming is junk science, beginning with this one. With the science collapsing, and with low oil prices due to economic problems, what with budget deficits and especially with record cold weather all over the US this year and next, the politics of global warming is fast collapsing.

8. changcho - January 13, 2009

Xylem, I may just agree with you.

“And on that subject, you might be interested to read the series of CERN articles which imply that CO2 caused global warming is junk science, beginning with this one. With the science collapsing…”

Carl B, don’t you think you are exaggerating just a little bit, to put it mildly?

9. carlbrannen - January 14, 2009

changcho,

I used to believe in global warming. It seemed pretty simple. CO2 warms up the planet by reflecting infrared radiation right? But that’s not what the debate is about. The CO2 forcing people believe that extra feedback causes the actual temperature increase from CO2 is 4 or 5x larger than what the simple calculation gives. The subject is too complicated to describe in a paragraph or two. Anyone who thinks they understand the issues after reading a couple articles on it is just another amateur crackpot. The more you study it, the more you will discover that this is quite complicated.

Eventually I took a job as VP of engineering at a company that is building an ethanol fuel plant. I write up analyses of the markets and the science. By the way, I also do the environmental permits. From that point on I had to pay much deeper attention to the issues. It’s not just me. We’ve all concluded that the science has collapsed and the political will to pretend otherwise will also collapse. So we redesigned for a cellulosic ethanol process; we are convinced that there will be no long term government support for converting corn (or sugar, or whatever your favorite crop is) to ethanol. Ethanol needs to be made profitably without government subsidies.

The problem for members of the general public is that the press only reports one side of the scientific debate. They do this for several reasons; the primary one is that the press is quite left wing and slants the news accordingly. The scientists who’ve noticed that the science is broken have little financial motivation to make any noise. All making noise does is get their friends, who have not studied the subject to complain about them. On the other hand, big money is available from government for studying global warming and the best way to keep the money coming is to continue to scare the public.

In the US, there’s been little motivation for most scientists to study the issue because politically it’s been dead in the water. So most of the complainers about the theory have been European scientists and those are the source of the arXiv papers that critque CO2 gobal warming most harshly such as this one.

Don’t ask scientists for their opinion on global warming unless they’ve been paid to study it (like I have), or have bothered to spend a lot of time studying it. Most people who have strong opinions on the subject are actually unfamiliar with even a fraction of the literature and do not understand the basic arguments. As with most things, the opinion of most people amounts to the fact that humans are a social animal and obtain their knowledge socially.

And when you do find those rather rare individuals who’ve actually looked at this at a deep level (and that means reading ALL the papers), do ask yourself if you think that the average climate scientist (who is nothing more than a glorified weatherman) is smarter than Luboš Motl. It’s not about politics, it’s about facts and the facts are not on the side of human-caused global warming.

dorigo - January 14, 2009

Hi Carl,

I am slightly surprised by your tirade. You seem to cast the blame on the “pro-warming fools” who will believe anything after reading a newspaper clip, and distinguish this from those who stand on the other side, who have deeply read all the literature.

I’ll tell you why I think it is perfectly fine to believe in the forecasts of global warming even without having become a global expert, instead. Our society works because there are people, called scientists, who do the research needed to further our understanding on scientific issues, report the findings, build a consensus. We -generic citizens- use that consensus without questioning it because it is not our job. It took years to the scientists to find facts, debate them, and reach a consensus, and we are perfectly entitled to accept their findings: actually, the problem arises when we start questioning it -and that, unfortunately, usually happens for political, or economic, or religious reasons.

So you made your own opinion on the matter by reading a lot of literature. That is excellent, of course, but you are not entitled to look down on those who believe in the scientific consensual view.

Now I will tell you why I believe in global warming. I, too, am a sceptic after all. I believe the science is basically correct for another reason beyond the “consensus”. That is because I have known my father for a rigorous researcher, who studied oceanography, climatology, and climate history for many years in the context of finding out the evolution of the environment of the Venice lagoon. He built his own beliefs on the matter by researching it with care. And he convinced me that the studies are correct, and that the water levels are going to rise by at least half a meter in the course of this century.

Now, I live in Venice, and I would be quite happy if all this were just a global delusion. But I think no individual can rise and stand in front of thousands of serious researchers, not “meteorologists” as you label them, and claim he knows better.

Finally, let me ask you: what do you think would be better for oil companies, climate change or no climate change ? Can’t you see some parallels here with the tobacco industry and the damage of smoke to human health ?

Cheers,
T.

10. island - January 14, 2009

Nope, you’re both wrong because you don’t understand how this anthropic balance is *fixed* between diametrically opposing runaway tendencies, (gaciation vs. the runaway greenhouse effect).

Read Margulis and Lovelock to understand how our biosphere is a *self-regulating mechanism*, and then humble your “free-thinking”-selves long enough to realizing that we *contributing members* of the ecosphere that produced us cannot possibly ever truly violate the balance that we *serve* to enhance.

At best, our intelligence enables us to prevent our greedy selves from getting bitchslapped back into line by nature the hard way, but do not kid yourselves into believing that either side of this debate is any less deadly to mankind if either side ever got things all their way, because too much of a “good” thing, is no less deadly than too little:

Earth-Venus-Mars.

And don’t anybody kid themselves into believing that scientists don’t play politics with science just as much as the fundies do, which is actually a much worse offense to humanity, since they are supposed to adhere to the ideals that T, so naively seems to believe that they do, even after I have given this historically recorded evidence to the contrary, and right here in this forum.

Yep, you’re dealing with a whole nother kind of rotting animal when it comes to the hot-topics of the culture war, and baby, it sure as hell ain’t pretty from the perspective of the axis point of reality where maybe three of us live and wait for the world to quit extending the extremes of their particular righteous brand of ideological insanity.

You can’t fool Mama, and no amount of extremism is ever going to go unchecked long enough change that, as long as the nature’s anthropic balance points remains fixed, but thanks for playin…😉

11. Fred - January 14, 2009

JPL released info yesterday on “the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a new Earth-orbiting NASA satellite set to launch in early 2009.” Hopefully it’ll help us understand a bit more in the near future, but if island is correct maybe it doesn’t matter concerning our carbon footprint’s impact on Earth except for how our personal health is affected.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/oco/news/oco-20090113.html

12. changcho - January 15, 2009

Hi Carl:

“we are convinced that there will be no long term government support for converting corn (or sugar, or whatever your favorite crop is) to ethanol”

Good thing too. The more you push for corn-based ethanol, the higher the food prices; not a good thing, especially for those in the 3rd world.

“…scientific debate.”

This is starting to sound like ID; there is no legitimate scientific debate (well, to be fair with ~ 99% certainty for AGW; 110% for ID).

“…average climate scientist (who is nothing more than a glorified weatherman) is smarter than Luboš Motl.”

Wow – a climate scientist is a “glorified weatherman”. I think you know quite a lot less about climate science than you think you do.

Also, if you think LuMo is smart, then you are entitled to your opinion of course.

Best.

13. carlbrannen - January 18, 2009

That’s right, the climate scientists are not very bright. The hot shots in college go into elementary particles, not climate science.

As long as we’re on the topic of lumping “climate deniers” with the “young earth” crowd, here’s a peer reviewed article dumping on man-caused global warming in a geoscience journal (Geology) that came out today: Is there a link between Earth’s magnetic field and low-latitude precipitation? Geology, January 2009, v. 37, no. 1, p. 71-74, doi:10.1130/G25238A.1

Those of you who haven’t read ALL the literature, who haven’t kept up on what is being published NOW simply don’t know what is going on here. Of course it will be possible to maintain a belief in CO2 as a threat of global warming for years to come, provided you limit what you read and ignore the literature. Heck, I had a physics professor who still thought the USSR was a worker’s paradise in 1982. And I had a professor of geology who, in 1979, didn’t believe in plate techtonics, LOL. But eventually, the weight of the evidence is going to turn most of the scientific community around.

The problem for the global warming believers is that scientists are steadily being converted away from it, but not much is going on the other way. Probably the most famous case is Patrick Moore a cofounder of Greenpeace who now says they’ve disconnected from reality and science. Global warming belief has peaked and it’s now steadily declining.

14. changcho - January 19, 2009

Well Carl, let me just say that first of all it is impossible (even for you) to read all the literature on the subject of climate science. Second, if I had to bet, I would certainly bet on the real experts; I do know at few here and there, and they are certainly very bright, even brighter than some ‘hotshot’ elementary particle physicists (gasp!). Third, I really do think you know a lot less about climate science than you claim; remember, they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

“But eventually, the weight of the evidence is going to turn most of the scientific community around.”

Well, this is how Science works, of course – but it seems that even as more and more evidence for AGW accumulates, you still won’t turn around. Will you?

Best.

15. dorigo - January 19, 2009

Hi all,

just a few notes.

Island, you sound a little bit like yours is religion rather than science, professed by a fundamentalist… Don’t take it personally, but you act like you know everything and the others are poor fools, which is a clear sign that there’s something wrong in your arguments.

Carl, “The hot shots in college go into elementary particles, not climate science.” is a delusion. I think that you do not gain much insight in derating the value of people who devote their time on researching climatology. Another delusion is that “Global warming belief has peaked and it’s now steadily declining.”: the evidence has been piling up steadily, and the belief you quote is that of people who read popular magazines, not that of scientists.

Cheers,
T.

16. carlbrannen - January 20, 2009

Tommaso and changcho,

If you’d found the slightest problem with any of the articles I linked in you’d have given a critique. Since you haven’t, I’m assuming that you didn’t even bother to read them. That or you read them and were unable to disagree with anything they said. Your arguments are basically reduced to accusing me of not knowing anything about the subject but you’ve not bothered to do the slightest homework on it, so why would you think that you are capable of recognizing those who have.

17. dorigo - January 20, 2009

Carl, my objections in #16 have nothing to do with the papers you linked. I am not accusing you of not knowing anything on the subject, but your approach of attacking the evil climatologists by saying they are not smart is not going anywhere.

Cheers,
T.

18. Carl Brannen - June 26, 2009

I realize that academia means “never having to admit you’re wrong”, along with “always assume you know everything despite never having researched it”, but I’m going to link in the latest article on the global warming science scandal at the Wall Street Journal: The Climate Change Climate Change even though you’re not going to bother with reading it. Who knows?

19. island - June 26, 2009

Island, you sound a little bit like yours is religion rather than science, professed by a fundamentalist… Don’t take it personally, but you act like you know everything and the others are poor fools, which is a clear sign that there’s something wrong in your arguments.

Which is a lot of bla bla bla that fails to address any of my points.

How common of you to dismiss me out of hand, Dorigo.

I should have come back to finish this when I had the chance.

20. dorigo - June 26, 2009

What’s this, a coordinated attack to a comments thread dead and buried ? Carl, I will now read the article you link to. Island, sorry to be unable to address your points. You act as if I am a reference point, but sometimes I am just an ordinary guy with an opinion different from yours.
cheers,
T.

21. dorigo - June 26, 2009

Carl, it is a very sloppy article.

The author mixes in general people beliefs with quotes from “experts” (qualified by saying, just quoting off the top of my mind, “participated in a UN report”). Come on. If you believe in Science you know that what counts is hard facts and not what people think. You can do better than that.
Cheers,
T.

22. island - June 26, 2009

LOL… I got hit with an email reminder when Carl posted, so I came back to see what it was about, and got rightly insulted by you!…😉

In so many words.

All I have to say is, walk a mile in my shoes and you would understand why I act like I do… and the factual information that was my post to your guest blog has everything to do with my tude, man.


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