Thursday, July 29, 2010

NCAR's atmospheric research program: Objectivity lacking?

On visiting the National Weather Service's forecast page, I noticed the following message at the top of the page:
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will be conducting a survey in Fall 2010 to ask people's opinions about this web page. This survey is not being conducted by the National Weather Service (NWS) or any other government entity. If you are willing to be contacted by email to participate in this web-based survey, please click here (you will be redirected to an NCAR web page).
Atmospheric research is good, I thought, but what is the nature of NCAR's program and is it worth participating? To find out, I went to NCAR's Web page where I found a link to their strategic plan.

The following excerpt was taken from the executive summary of NCAR's plans. Note the highlighted section:
In preparing [the strategic plan update], NCAR staff and community members reviewed current trends in our science and in national and international affairs. Simple extrapolation demonstrates how important atmospheric and Earth system science are to our common future. Human activities are causing large-scale changes in the Earth system—such as alterations in atmospheric chemistry, ozone depletion, and climate change—and population growth during the next century will make the effects of humans on the environment, and vice versa, far more pervasive, complex, and substantial.
As everyone knows, the scientific method involves defining a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis against empirical data, then either accepting or rejecting the hypothesis. The key to the method is for the researchers to maintain objectivity and not be committed to certain outcomes.

That being said, NCAR's characterization of the problem—stated as a fact rather than as a hypothesis—signals a lack of objectivity in NCAR's approach to their research, i.e., NCAR's basic premise is anthropogenic global warming is true and all that remains to be done is to discover what to do about it.

So, unless the researchers are allowed to reject NCAR's basic premise, I doubt NCAR's research will be an improvement over the now discredited IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More AGW hokum

This time the bogus report comes from NOAA.
WASHINGTON – Scientists from around the world are providing even more evidence of global warming, one day after President Barack Obama renewed his call for climate legislation.
The timing of the release from NOAA is obviously the result of a political calculation rather than dispassionate science.
Rising over decades are average air temperature, the ratio of water vapor to air, ocean heat content, sea surface temperature, sea level, air temperature over the ocean and air temperature over land.
It is well-known that water vapor is the major greenhouse gas.
"What this data is doing is, it is screaming that the world is warming," Thorne [of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites] concluded.
Well, okay. But that doesn't speak to the reasons for the warming. Nor, does it speak to the fact that we are currently in the waning phase of the 200-year solar irradiance cycle meaning the globe will soon be cooling. Nor, given that atmospheric water vapor is increased, does it explain why H wants to cut CO2 emissions.

But, never mind all that. Just in case you happen to be dull enough to not be alarmed by the science, they threw in this tidbit:
And a study by Princeton University researchers released Monday suggested that continued warming could cause as many as 6.7 million more Mexicans to move to the United States because of drought affecting crops in their country.
Alarmed now, you racist dullard?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Is Consumers Union pro consumer?

Your $5 will help us target Senators to support a clean-energy plan here at home that finally frees us from foreign oil and polluting energy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Obama addresses his base

H addresses the Netroots Nation convention. Netroots—the term is intended to evoke a grassroots image—is a network of liberal/progressive partisan activists.

After an opening greeting, the video cuts away to a Rachel Maddow clip reciting the list of legislation passed that we all know about. The video concludes with H taking—as is his habit—a poke at the previous administration and exhorts his Netroots base to "keep up the fight" and to "keep holding [him] accountable."

That last bit seems to be an invitation to Netroots to create such a ruckus over some issue that he, the president, will be forced to take some action that would not otherwise be politically feasible.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More leftist propaganda from the Consumers Union

CULogo.jpg  It didn't take long for the Consumers Union—publisher of a nonprofit consumer magazine and, lately, water-carrier for the Progressive agenda—to take advantage of the Gulf spill to push another of the Progessive's agenda items.

In an email with subject line Had enough? They are using corporate bad-boy BP to push enacting the Administration's cap and trade bill.

The email, signed by Shannon Baker-Branstetter of Consumers Union of the U.S., ends with the following promise (threat?)

You’ll be hearing more from us as we push for a comprehensive energy policy that prioritizes clean energy, rewards innovators, punishes polluters, and encourages consumers to put efficiency to work in our homes.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pay no attention to the little man on the dais

Obama spokesman's remarks draw fire from Pelosi

WASHINGTON (AP) - In spite of criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, President Barack Obama's chief spokesman on Wednesday defended his remark that the party could lose control of the House in this fall's elections. He hastened to add that he doesn't think that will happen.
Shh! No! No! There is no problem! What's the matter with him? Democrats, relax. Hit the beach in Florida come November.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Axelrod on Fox News Sunday

David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Sunday today. When asked about the government's response to the AZ immigration problem, he appeared to be quite uncomfortable and went into a defensive posture claiming the US has assigned more assets to cover the border. Senator Kyl later correctly noted that to say "more" has been done is not the same as saying "enough" has been done.

And, Axelrod, attempting to deflect criticism of Holder's suit against Arizona, brought up the tired line:   we can't have a patchwork of fifty different immigration laws.

All that was beside the point. The point is H tried to do just enough to give him cover with the people without upsetting the Hispanic vote.

Come November, he will discover he failed.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Judge Napolitano's misunderstandings

Judge Napolitano, on today's Freedom Watch program, raised two objections concerning government surveillance that I believe are mistaken:    The use of UAVs to monitor our borders and the use of microphones to monitor sounds in our cities.

First, the use of UAVs—drones—over our borders.   The Judge objected to the use of UAVs categorizing them as a tool for spying on citizens.   The counter argument revolves around our expectation that the federal government will control immigration across our borders and, like the use of men on horesback or riding in SUVs, UAVs simply are an enhancement of ability over men on foot patrol.

The Judge also mentioned UAVs flying over metropolitan areas.   While I haven't heard of such a thing, I can see use of UAVs as a legitimate alternative to helicopters to follow fugitives on the run as we occasionally have seen on live TV.   To suspect the federal government intends to use UAVs to conduct 24/7 surveillance on citizens is to engage in Orwellian fantasy.

The second objection raised by the Judge is on microphones some metropolitan areas have installed outdoors, the purpose of which is to triangulate to the location of gunshots.   Here, the Judge—again mistakenly—characterized these microphones as devices for monitoring conversations of citizens on the street.

Judge Napolitano is known for his libertarian approach to government and correctly brings up legitimate issues with federal government overreach.   But, as no-one is perfect, I choose to apply a commonsense filter to his pronouncements.