When It Comes To Global Warming, It's All About Qualifications…. NOT!

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It looks like climate researcher Prof. Patrick Michaels is no longer the “Official State Climatologist of Virginia“. Well, actually that position has not existed “officially” since 2000. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

Mr Michaels is well known to be an independent thinker when it comes to Anthropogenic Global Warming. In layman’s terms (those of the global warming alarmists) he is labeled a Global Warming Denier, even though he has clearly stated that the best explanation for the current 30 year global warming trend is probably due to the extra CO2 emitted by man. Go figure. So he doesn’t deny that warming is caused my man. So why was he fired? Because he doesn’t buy into the angst and “sky is falling” alarmism that is peddled by the likes of Al Gore. He postulates that the warming will not be as damning as the gloom and doomers project, and that there may be some good that comes of it, such as an increase in agriculturally viable land as the earth warms.

Michaels replacement is a guy by the name of Philip J. Stenger. Mr Stenger has been a co-worker of Michaels for the past 25 years. But what are his credentials? One of the main criticisms of Mr. Michaels is that he is not qualified to speak his thoughts about the issues concerning climate change because he has not published anything relevant in the Climate Science press. What’s good for the goose (Michaels) should be good for the gander (Stenger). Here are the google publishing references for Michaels, and here are the same for Stenger. As you can see, Prof. Michaels has been quite prolific and has hundreds of studies published in climate journals, so the above criticism is unjust and false. And you will also notice that Prof. Stenger’s publishing record consists of nine credited publications, most of which have Prof. Michaels as a co-author. If publishing is to be used as a metric in the climate science world, one has much better credentials than the other. This is kind of like the San Diego Chargers replacing one of the all time winningest coaches, Marty Schottenheimer, with a coach that has a losing record, like Norv Turner and we all have seen how well that has turned out so far. From the Daily Progress:

Stenger, a 25-year veteran of the office, said he is happy doing the work and continuing as a research scientist.

and, notes fellow U. of V. Professor James N Galloway:

“Jerry, in my impression, is the guy who made that office work,” Galloway said. “He is so service oriented. He made the climatology office more receptive to the needs of the commonwealth.”

Nine papers in 25 years? Service oriented? Translation: Mr Stenger is a bureaucrat, and they now have a guy in place that will tow the party line of the alarmist global warming crowd. As I mentioned, of “The Official State Climatologist of Virginia”, which had existed since 1980, was kinda abolished in 2000; seperated no doubt due to Michaels contrarian thinking on AWG. Now that he is gone, I wonder how long it will take before the position is reinstated?

One more thing. Another knock on Michaels is that he has taken funding from “evil” big oil companies such as Exxon Mobile. Scientists should not take money from outside sources as this could lead to research bias and conflict of interests; Michaels is bought and payed for, or so the argument goes. Well, NASA’s top Doom and Gloomer AWG climatologist James Hansen was in the news this week because it was revealed that he took money from a George Soros front group Open Society Institute to the tune of $720,000. Here is a list of the money that Michaels is known to have received from outside sources:

  • $49,000 from German Coal Mining Association
  • $15,000 from Edison Electric Institute
  • $40,000 from Cyprus Minerals Company,
  • $63,000 for research on global climate change from Western Fuels Association
  • $100,000 from Intermountain Rural Electric Association

If I’ve done the math right, that ads up to $267,000 from “Big Oil” over a span of several years. Hansen got $720,000 from “Big Soros” in one year, maybe even one day! God knows how much Al Gore is making off his carbon credits scam. Maybe Michaels really IS working for the wrong side of this debate!

PS. Looks like Michaels may have been right about the Ozone / CFC connection… as in, there may not be one. Think he will get any credit if this pans out???

Huge Hat Tip: The Big Brained Lubos Motl

Dipping My Toe Where It Doesn't Belong.

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I realize my blog output has been very slow and anemic this year, and I think I’ve figured out why. I no longer have “Air America” to kick around anymore. For the short time that it was on in the Fresno market, it was an opportunity to hear what people tuned to another reality, apart from mine, thought about the world. I don’t mean that as an insult, it’s just that the average caller on “A. A.” was typically very depressed and pessimistic about the state of the world, and had a world view that reeked of Doom, They seemed to thrive on it. The only thing that would make things better would be if their political party was in charge, and even then the previous administration has made things sooo bad that we may never be able to recover. Though I do have a dark, dank pessimistic side (who doesn’t) it doesn’t dominate my world view. There are too many wonderful and awe inspiring stuff all around us that so few are willing to appreciate to live a life of gloom. I’m sorry, but I just can’t live that way.

This brings me to the reason why I wrote this post. A mercenary security organization called Blackwater has been in the news lately. It has been the object of much derision by the left and much of the media. The tortured and burned victims of the Fallujah massacre, which is cited by many as the beginning of the insurgence in Iraq, were working for this company. I’m not a big fan of having a private firm doing the type of personal security services that should be done by either our military, or the Iraqis, when they are up to it. Regardless, the New York Time has been all over “a Sept. 16 shooting in which at least 11 Iraqis were killed” (that couldn’t be more vague). The incident could be a damming rebuke for the company and its professionalism. But the devil is in the details. Here is an analysis of some of those details, not of the guilt or innocence of the company in this incident, but of what this NY Times article reveals about the level of violence occurring within Iraq. Key quote:

I was under the impression that every time a convoy left the Green Zone it was like the scene in Mad Max II where the fuel tanker (no spoilers in case you haven’t seen it) driven by Max leaves the good guys’ compound. I pictured insurgents leaping off buildings on to the roofs of SUVs, IEDs going off left, right and centre, and suicide car bombs and RPGs coming from every direction.

Where did I get this impression? From watching the TV news and reading the mainstream news websites. It’s almost as if… as if… the media is exaggerating how bad things are in Iraq!

They are operating in a war zone, and many things will happen that are despicable and horrific. This incident may be another Abu-Ghraib. But it may end up being like the Haditha incident, where, save for one, the principals accused of heinous war crimes have been cleared of any wrong doing. Why? Some will argue that it is all part of some sort of government cover-up, but the truth is that the case was far more complex, and less black and white, than the Murtha’s of the world would have it seem. Now I have no qualifications to call myself an expert on anything dealing with Iraq, which is why I haven’t written much about it. But, regardless, we should all step back and wait for ALL the pertinent information to emerge before we make a judgment on this incident.

Hat Tip: Insta-P

He Would Have My Vote….

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if I were normal!

One More Reason Why I'm Against Gun Control

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I would have nothing to eat after church!

Knife Control, on the other hand, I would have no problem with:

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Repeat Monday

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Originally posted June 24, 2006.

Worst Song EVER!!!

♫ …you don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with Jim… ♫

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….especially if Jim just happens to be the Mockingbird that resides in an oak tree in our neighbor’s yard. Mockingbirds and Western Scrub Jays, both of which are common to the San Joaquin Valley, are among the feistiest, temperamental birds out there. I have seen both chasing other birds from their territory, and they will take on much bigger birds, like crows, in mid flight. I have even seen one chasing and dive bombing a hawk on the wing. The drama in this video has taken place at a neighbors house just about every morning this summer. Enjoy!


PS. I have more video of this encounter that I will post soon.

Someone I Admired From Affar Has Passed Away.

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OK. It was not so much a someone as a something… a parrot.

Alex, the African Grey, has passed away. Alex was a parrot that participated in some ground breaking research that changed the way science looked at the cognitive capacity of our avian friends. This amazing bird helped prove that many avians could distinguish between different shapes and colors, and think in ways previously relegated only to humans. Here is an example of an experiment. Dr. Irene Pepperberg, Alex’s human companion and research, would teach Alex to identify three same sized blocks with different colors; one blue, one green, one red. If she told Alex to pick up a block, say the red one, he would choose the right one. If a fourth unfamiliar block colored, say, yellow, was added to the group, and Alex was told to pick up the yellow one, he would chose the yellow one by a process of elimination. He knew what the other block colors were, but since the new block looked different, and had a different name, it is thought he determined it must be the right one. He had a fantastic vocabulary of 150 words, and was shown to understand the meaning or concept behind about 100 of those.

Good Bye Alex. You were an inspiration to us all.

PS. There will be more bird post coming right up.

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader – The BBC, 9/11 Edition.

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brit flag

Here is how the British Leftists the BBC for Kids is explaining the attacks of 9/11. This reads like something out of a Madrasah textbook. If this is how they are teaching the subject to kids, I think I would preffer to be dumber than a fifth grader, thank you very much.

PS. Anyone who wants an excellent primer to the current strain of Islamic terrorism, please read The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright. No, it’s not for fifth graders, but anyone who has read this book, or anything like it, could never have penned that drivel on the BBC site.

PS. A blog-pal pointed out that I misspelled “prefer”. Either I’m a victim of “Whole English“education, or just maybe I AM dumber than a fifth grader!!! 🙂

Sept. 11, 2007

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I wrote this last year on the fifth anniversary. It still applies.

Is it selfish,

To be happy to still be alive?

A day so long ago,

Yet still so close to the heart.

We were all changed, but at least we are still alive.

So many lives lost.

Gone forever but still in our hearts.

I breathe. In. Out. In. Out.

And I thank God I was not on a plane…

In a building…

Or on the streets…

In harms way on that fatefull day.

I cry today for those who were.

So much bitter sorrow.

The taste of anger and fear.

Yet I am here.

So I breathe. In. Out. In. Out.

Sometimes that’s more than enough.

Maybe the spirits of those taken that day,

Or the essence of family and friends who have gone before,

Can feel through me the air I breathe.

So I breathe. In.

Oxygen flows from lung to heart.

And feel the comport.

It brings a smile.

I am happy.

I am here.

We are all here.

More on this later. Must go work now.

Sept. 8, 1930

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Today is my dad’s birthday. Close to a year after his passing, I still think of him a lot; wondering what he might have thought about this or that news story, if he thinks the Padres will make it to the World Series, or reflecting on questions about his life that I never thought to ask him. He would have really enjoyed the new band I’m playing with, since it’s a folk band, and he loved harmonies as much as I do. Sometimes I have a hard time with the concept of “heaven and hell”, but if they do exist, dad was a good man and a good father, and he is surely keeping an eye on things.

This song is for you pop. I love you.

Gentle Hum – by Neil and Tim Finn.