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Archive for March, 2009

>Things I Hate…Surfing

March 31, 2009 4 comments

>I hate surfing.

There. I said it.



Sun, sand and surf have become an iconic part of Aussie culture so it’s no surprise that we have had so many champions including the first world champion, Midget Farrelly, Nat Young, Mark Richards and Mick Fanning along with 7 time female champion Layne Beachley.

I don’t care.

And the fact that I’ve never surfed hasn’t influenced my decision.


I’ve never surfed because I’ve never wanted to.

What has surfing ever done for the world?

Have any pro-surfers, in their post surfing careers, gone on to contribute to society in any meaningful way?

Any brain surgeons? Nope.

Any captains of industry? Nope.

The best you can say is that surfing provides the odd moment of TV news drama when some unfortunate surfer happens to look too much like a juicy seal when a hungry white pointer happens along.

I’m sorry, but surfing is a complete waste of space.

(And don’t even get me started on skateboarding)

(Nothing Follows)
Categories: Things I Hate

>Up to 50% of Arctic warming caused by black carbon?

March 30, 2009 4 comments

>Climate Astrologers dealt with the inconvenient non-warming period from about 1940 to the mid-1970s by blaming it on atmospheric aerosols.

In order to make their models ‘work’ they assigned a figure to the impact of the aerosols.

How did they come up with this figure?

Did they understand the chemistry, quantity and impact of the aerosols?

No.

They simply used a figure that ‘corrected’ the non-warming period.

THAT is just one of the reasons that I keep pointing out that climate models are the result of massive backfitting, which statistically invalidate them and render them incapable of forecasting anywhere near accurately, as we have seen in the last decade.

A paper has just been released from NASS GISS showing that black carbon is having a significant impact on the Arctic.

An article published this week in Nature Geoscience shows that black carbon is responsible for 50 percent, or almost 1°C of the total 1.9°C increased Arctic warming from 1890 to 2007. The paper by Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space (GISS) and Greg Faluvegi of Columbia University also notes that most of the Arctic warming – 1.48°C of the 1.9°C – occurred from 1976 to 2007. The study is the first to quantify the Arctic’s sensitivity to black carbon emissions from various latitudes, and concludes that the Arctic responds strongly to black carbon emissions from the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, where the emissions and the forcing are greatest.
Black carbon is an aerosol produced from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass and is estimated to be the second or third largest contributor to climate change. Its emissions cause damage in two ways: while in the atmosphere, the dark particulates absorb sunlight and emit it as heat; when it falls back to earth it can darken snow and ice, reducing their reflectivity and accelerating melting.

Arctic warming is more than twice the observed global average surface warming of 0.78°C above pre-industrial levels. According to another study published by Lenton, et al. in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, this increased warming may soon lead to the disappearance of the Arctic summer ice, which would in turn accelerate Arctic warming by exposing darker heat-absorbing water now covered by heat reflecting ice. This would also increase the risk of releasing methane and other greenhouse gases from permafrost and from methane hydrates in the ocean, which could lead to a runaway feedback process.

“Climate conditions in the Arctic are rapidly deteriorating,” said Rafe Pomerance, president of Clean Air – Cool Planet. “This study reinforces the opportunity to control short-lived forcers of global warming including black carbon, methane and tropospheric ozone in order to slow the rate of warming in the Arctic. We cannot afford to allow the shrinkage of the Greenland ice sheet to accelerate.”
Because black carbon only remains in the atmosphere for several days to weeks, reducing it can bring about almost immediate mitigation of warming, whereas decreases in temperature lag reductions in CO2 by 1,000 years or more.

“We need to broaden climate policy to include reductions in black carbon, given its critical role in Arctic warming and overall global warming,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “Black carbon is part of a package of fast-action strategies that can achieve mitigation in the near term and slow Arctic warming, including targeting short-lived, non-CO2 climate forcers such as HFCs, methane, and tropospheric ozone, as well as increasing carbon sequestration through forest protection and production of biochar.”

There are a few comments to make here.

1. Dealing with airborne particulates is an important matter and we should be demanding that China, and other emerging markets (known as BRIC), do more to deal with air pollution.

2. The article invalidates claims that the warming in the Arctic is as predicted by climate models. This black carbon effect is not included in climate models so if they have managed to get a number close to what we see then it’s the result of other faulty factors and not reality – in the same way as Hansen Scenario B claimed to be correct for a while but used inputs that did not reflect what actually happened over the period.

3. Expect to see climate astrologers recycling the aerosol argument to explain the current period of cooling that has not seen temperatures rise above those achieved in 1998.

(Nothing Follows)


Categories: Climate Astrology

>Australia is following the rest of the world into deep recession

>

The Australian economy is in the process of following the rest of the world into a sustained period of economic contraction.

Kevin Rudd’s immoral spending of the next generation’s wealth on futile projects that will have no positive impact on Australia’s financial position is something that will be well covered in history books that are yet to be written on what went wrong and why.

One only needs to look at the Performance of Manufacturing Index for February to see how parlous things are becoming. The construction and services sector indexes have a very similar shape.

Gerard Jackson highlights just how mistaken, and dangerous, the whole thing is becoming:
Recent economic commentary has merely served to demonstrate once again how bad our economic pundits are. Devoid of any critical faculties they relentlessly parrot the fallacious doctrine that consumption is the key to economic recovery. Every movement in consumption and consumer sentiment is monitored as carefully as a doctor notes the pulse of a feverish patient. It never occurs to them to question the method of national accounting. It never crosses their minds to consider that omitting from the accounts the masses of spending on intermediate goods just might be a terrible error, just as they never raise the simple question: “If the accounts are value-added then how can they be gross?”


Failure to see the gross error at work must result in erroneous conclusions. For example, Greg Evans director industry policy and economics at tje Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, claimed that the Rudd Government’s initial $10.4 billion spending binge saved the economy from a steep contraction. George Megalogenis — and economics writer for The Australian — argued that the financial crisis was caused by consumers who “closed their wallets across the world in the December quarter” (The live now, pay later trap, 21 March 2009).

From the earliest days of the so-called “business cycle” observers noted that the higher stages of production — particularly the capital goods industries — not only felt the first impact of a recession but the drop in output in these sectors greatly exceeded the contraction in the consumer goods industries. We are witnessing the very same phenomenon today.

If Megalogenis were right then the closing of “wallets across the world” would have preceded the contraction in manufacturing. Yet manufacturing in the US has been contracting for 13 months and for at least 9 months in Australia. According to Greg Evans’ logic Rudd’s $10.4 billion spending splurge should have seen manufacturing rebound. Instead it continued to contract. The table below shows what an awful state manufacturing is in.

Moreover, we can expect the situation to worsen. In response to a downturn it was the central bank’s rule to lower interest rates which in turn would stimulate industry and trigger an economic recovery. In simple English, central banks would ‘steer’ the economy by manipulating the money supply. It should be stressed that monetary expansion is the heart of this monetary policy.

The following chart shows that the money supply has been comparatively flat for sometime. We can see that in May last year the Reserve raised M1 and bank deposits significantly but then let them go flat again. Of particular interest is that the sudden increase in the monetary base that started last September had no effect on M1 or bank deposits, at least up to January. Should this situation continue one can expect the Reserve to once again lower interest rates.

It should have been obvious to our economic commentariat that faced with a flat money supply manufacturing would eventually contract and that this contraction would not only precede the contraction in consumer spending it would be proportionally much greater. This is borne out by the figures. Manufacturing has suffered a significant decline while in comparison consumption remains stable.

All that Rudd’s spending did was to increase consumer purchases. Desirable as this is from the point of view of the consumer it does nothing for economic growth even though it can cause GDP to rise. What matters is not consumption but spending on projects that raises the value of labour’s output. This and only this can raise real wages. Encouraging consumption at the expense of savings will retard this process.

Rudd, like Obama, is following in the destructive footsteps of Gordon Brown. Australia, the UK and the US are being led by economic and historical illiterates, men who are criminally ignorant of how free economies functions and the forces that destabilise them. Unfortunately our media commentators are every bit as bad.

At a time when lower taxes, reduced government spending and increased labour force flexibility is needed in order for the economy to right itself Australia’s most incompetent ever Prime Minister intends to raise taxes through an emissions trading scheme, increase spending in order to ‘stimulate’ the economy and reduce labour force flexibility by giving unions increased powers.

Unbelievable.

People seem to think that Australia’s prosperity is a given and that we can fiddle around with economy wrecking ideas such as these without consequence.

The rise of Asian economies over the coming decades will prove this thinking wrong.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Economics

>Sunday night rock ‘n’ roll covers

March 29, 2009 1 comment

>“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” is a song written by Neil Diamond, whose recording of it on Bang Records reached #10 on the U.S. pop singles chart in 1967.

The song first appeared on Diamond’s album Just for You, which came out the same year. The mono and stereo versions of this song differ slightly. On the mono “Just For You” LP as well as on the 45, the strings do not come in until the second verse. It also has a slightly longer fade. The stereo “Just For You” LP version has a shorter fade and the strings come in on the first chorus.

“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” garnered a second life span when it appeared on the 1994 Pulp Fiction soundtrack, performed by rock band Urge Overkill. Other versions have been done by Cliff Richard (1968), Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (1969), the Biddu Orchestra (1978), and 16 Volt (1998).

The Original – Neil Diamond

Cover version – Urge Overkill (from Pulp Fiction)

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Music

>Reality catching up with Climate Charlatans

March 28, 2009 13 comments

>The group of people who steadfastly retain their faith in the CO2-as-cause-of-global-climate-catastrophe meme is growing smaller and smaller with the increasing release of new science demonstrating that CO2 is far from the bogey-compound it’s made out to be.

This group now almost exclusively comprises publicly funded climate scientists, environmental activists who have hijacked the cause to suit their own political purposes and left wing politicians who see global warming as an ideal cause to increase government control in people’s lives.

Professor Philip Stott provides a cogent analysis of the current state of play and why the Climate Faithful can expect to be disappointed:

Yesterday, a mere 35,000 protesters [by contrast, between 60,000 and 80,000 folk participated in the Peterloo protests of August 16, 1819] took to the streets of London to shout about – er, well – everything, from evil bankers to ‘global warming’ and the urgent need to support motor-car manufacturing. To say that the protest was both inchoate and incoherent would be to understate its naivety. Moreover, it took no fewer than 150 separate organisations, from trade unions to charities, to muster the 35,000 souls. Meanwhile, some 70,000 diehards trekked to Wembley to watch a fairly boring friendly match between England and Slovakia (at least England won 4-0). By contrast, in 2002, the Countryside Alliance persuaded over 400,000 people to march in defence of hunting the fox and country living, a figure confirmed by the Metropolitan Police; and just think of those 1819 Peterloo statistics when adjusted for relative population size. Moreover, the ‘global warming’ contingent yesterday was, as usual, a small, if rather noisy, runt. As ever, it was a case of empty vessels making the most sound.

35,000 is a pathetic turnout, really, especially when one considers that the G20 is being held and there are a more than usual number of protesters in town.

Al Gore describes Global Warming as a ‘planetary emergency’. If this were true then why are there so few people who are out and demonstrating?

Consider this. If, by 2050, the planet is going to be a wasteland, or well on the way to being one, due to man’s continued burning of fossil fuels then why are governments so blasé in their response? Why don’t they ban motor car racing? Night time sporting events that require lighting? Tourism via air travel? Big plasma TVs (such as California is considering)? Or a raft of other ‘unnecessary’ items?

Imagine that a real planetary emergency existed; scientists had established with 100% certainty that a meteor would hit earth in 2050 with the potential to wipe out a large amount of life on earth.

Wouldn’t there be more than 35,000 people marching in the street? Wouldn’t the policy response of government be more meaningful than the failed cap-and-trade carbon scheme?

The Five Big ‘C’s

Sadly, I think that neither our politicians, nor the mainstream media like the BBC and The Times, have quite yet grasped how few people are convinced by the ‘global warming’ panic. I speak to many groups around the country, and I am constantly amazed (and encouraged, I might add) by the level of scepticism I encounter. Indeed, I am now more convinced than ever that, despite the hysteria and the manic depressive hyperactivity that will inevitably accompany the run up to the Copenhagen climate meeting in December, we are about to enter the Last Days of the ‘Global Warming’ Grand Narrative. It is surely crunch time for ‘global warming’, as it faces what I call the five Big ‘C’s:

The Credit Crunch: all over the world, important corporations are quietly withdrawing support for so-called ‘renewables’, while targets for carbon, and markets for luxuries like ‘organic’ food, are collapsing. We can no longer afford the indulgences of Green ‘global warming’ utopias. After all, which is the more dangerous? ‘Global warming’, or the massive reordering of the world economy folk demand in its name [“Not in my name!” cry I], likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes? Luckily, it won’t happen;

I’ve pointed out before that it’s not just in the financial world that bubbles are created that need to be cleaned up by way of a recession. Good times are also when some of the world’s dopiest ideas take hold. Global warming is just one of them.

The Coal Crunch: during the latest cold snap in the UK, wind power provided a derisory 0.4% to 0.6% of our electricity. Just guess what coal generated? Over 50%. All over the world, we are seeing a resurgence of coal, gas, and oil. There is no choice. The politicians have left the diversification of our energy supplies woefully late. Coal and gas will be Kings once again, and soon. As we read in today’s The Sunday Telegraph: “The Government gives the go-ahead for three new 1,000 megawatt gas-fired power stations in Wales. Each of them will generate more than the combined average output (700 megawatts) of all the 2,400 wind turbines so far built. The days of the ‘great wind fantasy’ will soon be over.” The fatuous jibe of the arrogant and snide UK Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, that opposing wind farms is as “socially unacceptable” as “not wearing a seatbelt”, will surely come back to give him severe political whiplash. No wonder politicians are held in contempt by so many;

Anyone who promotes wind power as the answer to the world’s energy needs is an immoral, incompetent misanthrope.

The Colonial Crunch: the idea that the countries of the BRIC(K) [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and (Kenya)] are going to roll over and accept the capping of carbon, and to fall happily in line with the more damaging and expensive delusions of Europe over climate-change policy, is just political hogwash. In reality, of course, Europe itself is backtracking like mad. Developing countries will no longer be lectured to neo-colonially by former weakening colonial powers that constantly fail to swallow their own medicine;

But, but, but…aren’t we ‘showing leadership’ to the rest of the world by slashing our economic wrists? Of course those countries aren’t going to do anything. Their leaders would be hung, drawn and quartered in the public square by their own populations.

The Climate Crunch: especially damaging is the inexorable, and probably inevitable, fact that climate itself increasingly fails to fall compliantly into line with the virtual world of the climate modellers. This will severely undermine the whole credibility of the Grand Narrative with the public. In addition, attempts to scare the world sick, like the recent cobbled-together science meeting in Copenhagen, are even concerning some of the more serious scientists involved, like Mike Hulme, Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: “We should let politics decide, without being ambushed by a chimera of political prescriptiveness dressed up as (false) scientific unanimity” – a most brave, and wise, comment. Further, certain of the scientific claims are so far fetched that they are just bringing down ridicule onto the basic science involved; and finally:

I’ll go into broken record mode here: climate models have a zero percent successful prediction rate. This must be the case for three fundamental reasons: 1) they’re the result of massive backfitting, which statistically invalidates them as predictive tools; 2) they do not include all of the variables involved in determining the climate; and 3) of the variables they do include they incorrectly weight their impacts leading to CO2 being the main driver of their projections.

The Credibility Crunch: in the end, I predict that the real killer crunch with the public will be the ever-widening credibility gap between the rhetoric of the politicians and their appalling hypocrisy and abject failure to be able to reduce CO2 emissions in any meaningful manner. As coal-fired power stations are re-established around the world [without carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS), of course]; as gas flourishes; as tar-oil sands are developed; as car ownership continues to grow; and as politicians, and pie-in-the-sky academics, fly to ever more conferences, the public will call time on the Great ‘Global Warming’ Charade. After all, people now have real problems to face, like losing their jobs and being unable to pay the rent or the mortgage.

Which is demonstrated by the increasing gap between the economy and the environment in public surveys when asked to choose which one governments should focus their attention on.

The ‘Global Warming’ crash is surely imminent. The lever that switched the signal to green, and the branch-line points to the main line, will cause a mighty collision, the fall out from which could be both terrible and fascinating to watch. The Fat Controllers had better be well prepared.

I must admit that I will feel a great sense of satisfaction when the Climate Curtain finally falls.

Politics always lags the public mood so it’ll be another few years yet before that happens. I look forward to enjoying the nice bottles of red I’ve got stored in the cellar just for the occasion.

Parenthetically, the death of Climate Fascism will also weaken the power of the United Nations and that will be a good thing, as well.

(Nothing Follows)


Categories: Climate Change

>Boost performance of your Windows XP system

March 27, 2009 3 comments

>I don’t know about you but it seems that over time my trusty Toshiba laptop (with beautiful 17″ 1680×1050 display) has slowed down significantly and to the point of massive frustration.

I did give myself a performance boost a couple of months ago by exorcising Norton 360 from my machine but even with AVG running it has issues, especially when I have multiple applications running, which is most of the time.

Anyhoo, I wondered whether there was a setting in Windows XP that would give me a performance boost. I hadn’t looked before but am happy that I did, as my system is running at least 100% faster than previously.

Here’s the change I made…

Right click on My Computer and select Properties so that the following screen comes up:

Then select the Advanced tab:

Hit the Performance button and the following screen comes up:

You can see that it’s on the default setting “Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer”.


Simply select the “Adjust for best performance option” as per below:


Press OK and it’s all done.

What this does is turn off a lot of the screen rendering nicities, as you can see from the final image – the ticked options are now all unticked.

My background changed when I did this but all I had to do was restore it to what I had previously and it was fine.

Loading Office, browsers, running my database software is now at least twice as fast.

I’ll be doing some tests later on to see how much time my database analysis takes with the changes. I’ve already done some small tests and it’s much better.

Try it yourself.

If it doesn’t do anything for you then you can simply reverse the selection.

(Nothing Follows)
Categories: Miscellaneous

>South Park explains economics…

March 26, 2009 1 comment

>South Park explains economics…brilliant…

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

(Nothing Follows)


Categories: Economics, TV