Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Are we past the global warming tipping plateau?
There is a fair amount of new evidence on global climate change in the last 10 or so years. Unfortunately it doesn't fully support the deniers views.
The effects of global warming, a misnomer as it is really global climate change and some smaller areas will see temperature decreases, are clearly in evidence and accelerating faster than predicted. See rate of glacier loss, ice cap reductions and high altitude micro-climes changes.
Global warming as measured by temperatures, actually quite difficult to do in a standard way over long time periods, according to skeptics has leveled off even as CO2 continues an accelerating rise. Other temperature series which include ocean data reportedly show continued increases.
Increasing amounts of CO2 will have limited effects on blocking infrared radiation. Some experiments indicate it is already blocking most of the rays it can.
Putting these together it looks like temperatures may not continue to increase but that we have reached a plateau that is past the tipping point of extreme effects from climate change, warming permafrost and melting glaciers.
The smarter deniers have long since given up arguing against the evidence of warming that is everywhere but just deny it is man caused.
Future climate change regulations will have to not slow down the growth of emissions but reduce emissions steeply to lower the amount of CO2 already present.
Congratulations deniers, there was no tipping point, but we are past the tipping plateau.
A lot of this evidence comes from global warming denier websites and pamphlets, they just haven't put it together in pursuit of their own agendas of reduced government regulation and denying industrialization is responsible.
A lot of this new evidence was presented to me by a global warming skeptic. Most of the stuff presented in The Skeptics Handbook were distortions and special pleadings and smears of scientists and politicians who support the idea of global warming. Her evidence was often incomplete - an ice core that has both ends cut off where presumably only the part that supports her belief that warming temperatures cause rising CO2 was presented. I admit to not being an expert on ice cores and how they measure both temperature and CO2 concentration. A rebuttal to The Skeptic's Handbook explains why rising temperatures lead to rising CO2 and how the ice cores prove they are coupled. A shorter rebuttal of her four points is here.
Her case did not logically hold up and was worse science and more smears than what she accused the global warming warners of engaging in. That was a shame as she did have some evidence that indicates the standard climate change models may need to be revised. It is even possible that CO2 is having only a minor affect on temperature but that warming is something external that is occurring in the solar system.
The real scientists say that I am crediting her data too much, the claims she makes aren't supported. I am pointing out that even if she is right we have to brace for continued climate change.
Her new evidence and interpretation does point to that further temperature rises may be unlikely except for that brought about by the dangerous and accelerating changes in the world ecology caused by the already new temperatures.
Ironically, we had better hope that most of the warming is caused by man made CO2 and we can reverse it. If instead the warming is primarily caused by an unknown factor (solar radiation?) that will be much more difficult to change.
Gary Permalink on 9/30/2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
TPA Blog Posts For 9/28/09
As early voting for the November elections looms on the horizon, the Texas Progressive Alliance says good-bye to September and hello to another weekly blog roundup.
BREAKING NEWS: Natural Gas Development Brings "amazing and very high" Levels of Carcinogens and Neurotoxins to Barnett Shale area! Take a deep breath before you read this study because the findings will take your breath away! TXsharon at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS broke this story and the study evaluation by MacAuthur (Genius) Award winner, Wilma Subra.
This week Left of College Station, Teddy reports on why the anti-choice movement is not about abortion but about the oppression of women. Also, guest blogger Litia writes about asking non-tradition questions about Texas A&M traditions; Litia writes a weekly guest blog for College Station about a liberal teaching in Aggieland. Left of College Station also coves the week in headlines.
Neil at Texas Liberal writes that Socialist candidate for Mayor of Houston Amanda Ulman should run a serious campaign or not run at all. There once was a solid base of socialist voters in Texas and the U.S. Who says that cannot someday happen again?
McBlogger takes aim at people who think that adjusting to climate change is just something that will unfairly hurt the poor.
Off the Kuff contemplates the possible entry of Farouk Shami into the Governor's race.
The old Easter Lemming has a useful post on voting for the Constitutional Amendments in his area.
The Texas Cloverleaf looks at the 22 year high TX unemployment rate. What recession? We're in one?
Agriculture commissioner Todd Staples opened his mouth and out fell a big wad of stupid. Stupid so ignorant that it topped anything Rick Perry or John Cornyn or even Glenn Beck could manage this week. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has it -- if you can stand it.
WhosPlayin followed up on an open records request for internal emails related to Lewisville ISD's decision to ban President Obama's speech to children. The emails, including a racially charged email from a board member to the superintendant, do not paint a pretty picture..
WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on money, energy, and the economy in the Texas governor's race, Perry's cap and trade photo op.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes Rick Perry does his best George Bush cowboy imitation with Ranger Recon.
Over at TexasKaos, boadicea, Warrior Queen, is seeking a pulse, any pulse over at the Tom Schieffer campaign, as she opines that Tom Schieffer Needs Something Original to Offer. It seems that lifting policy ideas from Hank Gilbert is the best he can do right now. Read the rest at TexasKaos.
Gary Permalink on 9/28/2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
New York Times announces Secret Editor to Monitor WingNut News
Concerned they miss terribly important stories like young conservative activists dressing up like pimp and ho and getting spoofed by poor ACORN employees they appoint someone to tell reporters you better cover these new nutty stories.
Where have I seen that before?
Oh yeah, as satire in 2006.
Gary Permalink on 9/27/2009
The moral roots of politics
The moral differences between liberals and conservatives
How this applies to the health care reform debate.
...when Palin threw out the term "death panels," the term struck a chord that had been played many times in recent years. Liberals were flabbergasted, because it's a blatant lie, but it's false only in a logical sense, not an emotional one. And once again, logic has little to do with morality. If a pro-life social conservative asks himself whether Obama is secretly plotting to create death panels, he is not asking whether this is likely to be true, he is asking only "can I believe it," and the answer is usually yes.
Gary Permalink on 9/27/2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Republican Gomorrah - Escape from Freedom to a Glorious Leader
The new Republican party is American authoritarian fundamentalism, the weak and fearful seeking a God and Party of strength.
Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party - a five year odyssey into the new Republican party. Buy at Amazon.com Excerpt:
In the chaotic 2008 Republican presidential primary, the Republican base split its vote between Mitt Romney, the economic conservative, and Mike Huckabee, the social conservative, creating space for John McCain, distrusted by all factions, to emerge. McCain wished to have as his running mate an independent-minded politician who could garner votes outside the Republicans’ increasingly narrow sphere of influence. His intention was to name Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who had been the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2000. But the movement rejected his appeal to pragmatism, threatened a full-scale revolt, and demanded to vet his running mate as a condition for support. From the Last Frontier of Alaska, a self-proclaimed “hardcore pro-lifer” and “prayer warrior,” Governor Sarah Palin, was summoned to deliver to McCain the political elements he had once labeled “agents of intolerance.”
Gary Permalink on 9/26/2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wow, just wow....
The right leaning Washington Post's editor presses his reporters that they are not conservative enough and pulls them from reporting on real billion dollar scandals to chase stories of kids dressing up like a ho and a pimp and being spoofed by ACORN employees.
Balloon Juice has more. I may have mentioned before some of my favorite bloggers are former Republicans.
Gary Permalink on 9/23/2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Spoofing the Spoofer's and the So-Called-Liberal Washington Post
A great majority of the attempts at ACORN offices were turned away.
Many of the ACORN staffer remarks to the bad whitebread young actor activists trying to portray a pimp and prostitute were spoofs. Watch the videos - what urban dweller would think those conservative activists were real?
The videos are heavily edited and the originals are not shown.
The so-called-liberal-media refuses to look at the true story which is how Fox News does no real journalism investigating the videos instead being a branch of the Republican party PR machine.
Only limited coverage has been given to the ACORN staffer who told the bad actors she was a a prostitute, drug user and murderer - all untrue which a simple call to the police revealed which would be the first step of real journalism. Spoofing the spoofers, what a concept.
This seems a typical hard right conservative hit piece. This is not an unbiased ombudsman column.
This comment above supposedly violated the Washington Post's comment policy. OK, it appears the original of this column used a more common word for prostitute which the so-called liberal newspaper does not tolerate.
Gary Permalink on 9/22/2009
The Tort Reform Experience - repost
Bad for users of health care, better for doctors and hospitals is the bottom line. So says research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
#1 Caps of noneconomic damages did not translate into lower health insurance premiums for consumers. Various types of analyses did not alter this finding.
#2 A survey of empirical research does suggest tort reform has constrained the growth of malpractice premiums for providers.
Lowered the growth of insurance premiums which goes directly to the bottom line of health care providers but is a very small component of health care costs.
#3 It is less clear whether doctors change the way they practice medicine after tort reform, although there is evidence of some cost reductions in cardiac and obstetric care.
So if they aren't worried about being sued they perform fewer tests. Not a big health care component.
Some varieties of tort reform could be part of health reform in the few states that this has not occurred. In the states that have had Republican driven tort reform with very low human life costs and noneconomic damages caps it is citizens being screwed and people dying and family being unable to sue the doctors who can go on and do it again. No benefits to health care users but a bit wealthier doctors.
From the abstract of the study:
Principal Findings. Using a variety of empirical specifications, there was no statistically significant evidence that noneconomic damage caps exerted any meaningful influence on the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance.Again - wealthier doctors, more profitable insurance companies with bigger executive bonuses, no benefits to health care users.
Minor edit from 8/15/09 posting.
Gary Permalink on 9/22/2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Who Not to Vote For in Houston's Mayor's Race
Email from Annie's List
Does Gene Locke Respect Women?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
It is Time for FDR's Second Bill of Rights to Be Realized
Vikingkingq has been writing about these forgotten rights since the fourth of July.
Gary Permalink on 9/16/2009
Newest Health Care Option
Medical advice from YouTube - link from Robert Nagle.
Gary Permalink on 9/16/2009
Tuesday, September 15, 20090 comments
Sunday, September 13, 2009
A Prayer for Progressives
O Lord, please give us this day
Some inconsequential distraction
By a powerless right-wing jerk
That we may divert our eyes
From the perpetual-disappointment machine
That is our own party
Which in thine infinite wisdom
Thou hath placed at the nation's helm
To do absolutely none of the things
We'd like to believe they stand for
Amen Gary Permalink on 9/13/2009