The Locker Room

December 1, 2009

"Sky is falling" hysteria due to a .... typo!

Posted by Jon Ham at 3:41 PM

This tells you all you need to know about the global-warming research that has "settled" the question among global-change "scientists": 

According to Prof Graham Cogley (Trent University, Ontario), a short article on the future of glaciers by a Russian scientist (Kotlyakov, V.M., 1996, The future of glaciers under the expected climate warming, 61-66, in Kotlyakov, V.M., ed., 1996, Variations of Snow and Ice in the Past and at Present on a Global and Regional Scale, Technical Documents in Hydrology, 1. UNESCO, Paris (IHP-IV Project H-4.1). 78p estimates 2350 as the year for disappearance of glaciers, but the IPCC authors misread 2350 as 2035 in the Official IPCC documents, WGII 2007 p. 493!

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Heartbeat of climategate scandal temporarily steps down

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 3:28 PM

Phil Jones, central figure in the climategate scandal and one of the IPCC's top climate scientists, is temporarily stepping down from his position as Director of the University of East Aglia's Climate Research Unit. Most of the emails in the climategate were either sent to or from Jones. Research coming from Jone's shop at the CRU has formed the foundation of many of the alarmist claims that have been made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Re: Chicken hawks

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:16 PM

If you've never heard of a chicken hawk, you've never seen one of the best Foghorn Leghorn bits.

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Best letter to the editor competition

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 2:55 PM

Here is my nominee for the best November letter to the editor: 

Hawks being hawks

Surely your No. 23 article "In a Cary backyard, death swoops down" was in jest. If not, what planet do these domestic chicken owners spend most of their time on? If they think they can let their domesticated chickens run around in the open for any hawk, owl or snake to help themselves to, then they may as well feed the neighborhood while they are at it.

Anybody who raises chickens and has sense knows that wild hawks hunt chickens, birds, rabbits and anything else they can catch and carry off. This is why some species of hawks are referred to as "chicken hawks." It is the owners' responsibility to protect these birds from native predators, which thankfully, by the way, abound in Cary.

The fact that the falconer happened to be the one with the bird on that day rather than an endemic hawk hunting across the road is mere circumstance. At least he had the integrity to knock on the door, inform the owners and offer to pay them, which they rudely refused.

Rosalind Ellwood



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Re: Richard Lindzen

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:46 PM


Remember that Richard Lindzen explained to a Carolina Journal Radio audience in spring 2007 why the voices of global warming alarmism are so shrill.  

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Re: DOT Lies, Confusions, Whatever

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 1:45 PM

The thing that gets me is that this Jim Trogdon character evidently really thought -- on some level -- that NC DOT could guarantee private debt without much input or explicit advance approval from the state treasurer. Like NC DOT was just dealing with another vendor, selling pens and copy paper.

I have no doubt NC DOT would very much like this ability and probably thinks it already has it, hence the activity of the past few weeks. But if the state is party to an agreement between construction contractors and lenders over millions in debt, acting as the final guarantor of the loan, I don't see how that does not count against the state's debt limit.

Now if the contractors want to go out and get the financing on their own, finish 485, and then submit an invoice, that is another transaction entirely. But I don't think they could get the financing without the explicit state backstop.

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Our own Marie Antoinette

Posted by George Leef at 12:49 AM

A former student just sent me this Canadian piece on the extensive and costly retinue of people surrounding Michele Obama. It's far greater than any First Lady in the past.

Let's look at this in Keynesian fashion, though. All those functionaries are spending money! Spending money is good! It's what is helping to keep the economy going. Michele is helping to fight unemployment. Why, her own stimulus package is probably saving jobs in Washington -- jobs for hair stylists at elegant salons, for example. Those who attend to her must look good.

The hair stylists will quickly spend the money they earn--who can save in such a pricey town as Washington?--thus creating a high multiplier. Prosperity spreads outward from the White House, thanks to Michele Obama's determination to have a staff commensurate with her importance to the nation.

King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette might have avoided a lot of unpleasantness if they had explained to the hungry and heavily taxed people of France that their extravagant living was actually good for them since without it, they would be even poorer.

Or maybe they tried that and the people didn't believe it.

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Re: DOT lied

Posted by Jon Ham at 12:27 AM

Terry, a fundamental mistake makes the N&O complicit in buttressing the lie. They write:

She expressed enthusiasm and asked DOT officials to work with members of her staff.

That's a flat statement of fact with no attribution, something only a reporter who was present at the meeting could have written. All they needed to do was add "he said" to the end of that sentence to put it on Trogdon. A small thing, but it happens all the time.

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Say it! Say it! DOT lied.

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 11:59 AM

The NC Department of Transportation lied to the public. Period. DOT officials deserve to be skewered.

According to the N&O,

Jim Trogdon, chief operating officer for the state Department of Transportation, said he first outlined the I-485 plan in a meeting with Cowell Oct. 12. She expressed enthusiasm and asked DOT officials to work with members of her staff.

“She said they were excited about the opportunity to work with us on the project,” Trogdon said today.
Thanks to a little government transparency, we now know that State Treasurer Janet Cowell expressed serious concerns about the funding mechanism proposed for I-485. In the weeks before Governor Perdue and the DOT announced the plan, there was no indication that Cowell ever signed onto the plan.

She did the right thing by setting the record straight, rather than rolling over for the DOT.

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Will the CO˛mmunists meeting in Copenhagen mention Climategate?

Posted by Jon Ham at 11:53 AM

Most of the mainstream media have ignored Climategate, the revelation via leaked e-mails that climate-change promoters engaged in rigging inconvenient data, threatening fellow scientists who didn't toe the line, and destruction of data supposedly used to show their science is "settled."

The upshot over the past week or so is that it's clearer by the minute that the warm-mongers are in it either for the billions in government and foundation grant money, for personal enrichment or for the advancement of socialism.

Advance stories about the Copenhagen that have appeared in the national media in the past few days have made no mention of the scandal that calls into question everything that the warm-mongers have been trying to claim. Most global-warming promoters have doubled down and have stubbornly forged ahead, despite the scandal, perhaps knowing that the major media will help mitigate the disaster.

It will be interesting to see how often the e-mail scandal is mentioned at the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference. Don't make a drinking game out of it though. My guess is you'd hardly register on a Breathalyzer afterward.

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Everybody's borrowing, not sure how much is legal

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:19 AM

The state wants to borrow money from a contractor to complete I-485. It already is borrowing money from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits. Now, Mecklenburg County wants to borrow money under authority of the federal bailout recovery act for a giveaway to some unnamed company.

This truly is a new era of transparency, openness, and fiscal responsibility.

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At least one president gets it

Posted by Jon Ham at 11:09 AM

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Richard Lindzen in Today's WSJ

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 10:46 AM

MIT meteorology professor, Richard Lindzen has one of the most concise and insightful articles on the science, and to a lesser degree, the politics of global warming that I have seen. The article is titled "The Science Isn't Settled" and, after reading this article it is difficult to see how anyone but an eco-religious fanatic could claim that it is. For me one of the most revealing passages is in the section where he is discussing the climate models. He explains how the results are manipulated to force fit the model predictions to actual changes in the climate.

So how do models with high sensitivity manage to simulate the currently small response to a forcing that is almost as large as a doubling of CO2? Jeff Kiehl notes in a 2007 article from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the models use another quantity that the IPCC lists as poorly known (namely aerosols) to arbitrarily cancel as much greenhouse warming as needed to match the data, with each model choosing a different degree of cancellation according to the sensitivity of that model. 

And this is not something that had to be exposed from climategate emails. It is apparently a well-known and regularly used technique for force fitting poorly predicting climate models to match the climate change reality.

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What CBO knows about future insurance premiums

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:40 AM

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published its estimate of the Reid Bill's effect on health insurance premiums in 2016. It found that those who purchase insurance on their own would face premiums 10% to 13% higher after reform than they would have without reform - assuming they are even able to stay in the nongroup market and are not forced to take their employer's plan.

The new plans will cover more and will be subsidized with tax dollars from the other pocket, so CBO and other optimists think there will be little chance of people waiting to purchase insurance until they are sick.

The important section of the paper, however, is not CBO's estimate, but CBO's confidence in its estimate.

All of those considerations serve to emphasize the considerable uncertainty that surrounds any estimate of the impact of any proposal that would make substantial changes in the health insurance or health care sectors, given the size and the complexity of those sectors. That uncertainty applies to the estimated effects of proposals on the federal budget and insurance coverage rates, as well as to their impact on premiums.

To bowdlerize a phrase from one of the climategate emails, "i.e., we know with certainty that we know [nothing]."

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A Canadian scientist weighs in on climategate

Posted by George Leef at 08:07 AM

Professor Tim Ball writes here about the revealing scandal, saying that the scientists involved (perhaps that should be "scientists" since their actions betray a completely unscientific mentality) have "perverted science in the service of social and political causes."

Is there any indication, however, that the Obamacrats are planning to pull back on their devastating "cap and trade" legislation now that the argument that we must immediately pass it to prevent climate catastrophe is discredited? If so, I haven't heard about it.

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The impact of supply-side economics

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:50 AM

Some observers express surprise when they learn that John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan adopted similar approaches to fighting a sluggish economy: both pushed for large-scale cuts in marginal tax rates.

The similarity between the Kennedy and Reagan proposals makes more sense once you’ve read Brian Domitrovic’s book, Econoclasts: The Rebels Who Sparked the Supply-Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity.

Though it depends a bit too heavily on economics jargon and theory, thus limiting its appeal, Domitrovic’s book nonetheless tells an important tale of the way in which supply-side ideas came to produce gains for the American economy.

As the author points out, the results were clear once supply-side policies took effect in Reagan’s first term and stayed in place for the better part of a quarter century:

A twenty-five-year run of growth at the rate of postwar prosperity interrupted by one mild contraction: this is surely one of the greatest examples of sustained prosperity in the history of the world since the industrial revolution.

Stabilization was the goal of Keynesianism. Governmental management of the economy would smooth out the cycle of booms and busts. There would have to be trade-offs (the essence of the Phillips curve), such as slow growth in exchange for smoothness and inflation in exchange for unemployment. But there would be no repeat of the Great Depression. And yet, ironically, the greatest stabilization occurred under the auspices of Keynesianism’s relentless adversary, supply-side economics. Twenty-five years of noninflationary growth at a fabled rate, with one recession blip, is a result that Keynesias could have aspired to only in their dreams.

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:42 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Terry Stoops' latest assessment of whether N.C. public school systems are "parent-friendly."

John Hood's Daily Journal focuses on the impact of the Leandro school-funding lawsuit on public education in North Carolina.

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