Monday, February 01, 2016
While Trump may well take Iowa tomorrow, it's widely acknowledged that Ted Cruz has the strongest grass-roots level of organization among conservative evangelicals and other conservatives, in contrast to Marco Rubio's weak organization that relies on media rather than putting people in the field. I'm not absolutely convinced that Rubio's strategy is wrong for this election, but the election's not the only thing that's in play.
Posted by Brian at 2:09 AM
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Given the recent initiation of criminal prosecution against the people who made the defamatory video about Planned Parenthood, I thought I'd quote what journalism says about undercover journalism:
Undercover reporting can be a powerful tool, but it’s one to be used cautiously: against only the most important targets, and even then only when accompanied by solid traditional reporting.And Society for Professional Journalists:
Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public.So they're saying do it rarely, only when necessary, and do it well.
The prosecution against the undercover activists isn't for doing it badly, it's for doing it at all. It would apply equally to many groundbreaking investigations by true undercover journalists. And the line between journalist and activist is a slippery one that maybe doesn't matter (e.g., the people exposing animal cruelty at factory farms).
As a practical matter I don't see a good way to modify the law to say "don't use fake identification unless you're working undercover." That's where prosecutorial discretion comes into play. The grand jury has no role in that discretion and district attorney seemed to ignore her responsibility.
This indictment will be used to keep corporate crimes hidden. Go after these people for doing a bad job via defamation suits instead, but don't ban undercover operations.
Posted by Brian at 2:53 AM
Thursday, January 28, 2016
1. Should RR put up a donation box? After all income is required for trips to AGU, gifts for Ms. Rabett so she allows Eli to go to AGU and housing at AGU. The holes that the Rabett has been hutching up in San Francisco, are, to put it mildly, very 1950s motelish. Not quite rent by the hour but not . . .
2. Or should RR take advertising, which, since it requires that readers actually click on something is not a wealth generating activity either as Eli judges that his Rabett Run Readers are as cheap as he is. Sou appears to make a buck or two from this, but really, how low can Eli and Brian and John sink?
3. All in favor Eli's handing the keys over to Brian and slinking into the twittering sunset raise your paws. You will be ignored.
4. Anybunny interested in a book of RR's best takes showing how Eli was there before there was? Self publishing is a thing these days and one can pray for an Amazon review by George Taki
Posted by EliRabett at 11:50 PM
An easy blog post when Pat Michaels keeps reposting the same old thing, every time a new global temperature is associated with El Niño, or simply when the year after a new record happens to be slightly colder than the previous year. It's a recipe for cooking him, dating back to my early blog years of 2006:
How to cook Tim Blair, Andrew Bolt, and Patrick Michaels
1. Place Blair, Bolt, and Michaels in a large, water-filled pot equipped with a step ladder they can use to escape at any time. Set initial water temperature at average levels.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: We're quite comfortable, thank you!!
2. Increase temperature to an unambigous, new historic high.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: No big deal! Not going to last!
MICHAELS: Want to bet it won't be this warm again?
3. Drop temperature back down, but still far above average.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: See!! Vindication!! There is no potboiler warming! Not a problem!
4. Gradually increase temperature to near or above the historic high.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: We deny it's above the historic high! Deny it!
MICHAELS: And, uh, the bet offer is withdrawn.
5. Keep temperature very high, but a tiny bit below Step 4.
BLAIR/BOLT/MICHAELS: The science behind potboiler warming is bogus, and we'll stay here for as long as it takes to prove it!
BLAIR: I'm not feeling hot - crank it up, people!
BOLT: Me neither!
6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5 until done. Don't worry, they won't use the step ladder to get out. Process will be sped by the fact that their brains were already cooked.
Please, please, please, may some denialist point out to me that we haven't yet repeated Step 2 - just be prepared to put your money where your mouth is about what will happen in the near future.
(Hat tip: Deltoid.)
UPDATE [from 2006]: From RealClimate:
Most bizarre new contrarian claim:So we have repeated steps 2 through 5, multiple times.
"Global warming stopped in 1998".
By the same logic, it also stopped in 1973, 1983, and 1990 (only it didn't)
UPDATE 2016: you'd think the Wall Street Journal would want to publish something original, but maybe they're hard up for content.
Posted by Brian at 1:17 AM
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Eli has been going back through the Rabett Run archives fishing out some old drafts and finding this and that. Here is one of the thats.
THE USE AND MISUSE OF MODELS FOR CLIMATE POLICY * by Robert S. Pindyck
In a recent article, I argued that integrated assessment models (IAMs) “have crucial flaws that make them close to useless as tools for policy analysis.” In fact, I would argue that calling these models “close to useless” is generous: IAM-based analyses of climate policy create a perception of knowledge and precision that is illusory, and can fool policy-makers into thinking that the forecasts the models generate have some kind of scientific legitimacy. IAMs can be misleading – and are inappropriate – as guides for policy, and yet they have been used by the government to estimate the social cost of carbon (SCC) and evaluate tax and abatement policies.Pindyck's is indeed an argument for ignorance. He is quite pessimistic that anybunny, economist or climate scientist knows anything, from discount rate to climate sensitivity to damage functions. Choice of discount rate, of course can yield any answer the mythical anybunny might wish, but according to Pindyke it is worse because even probability distributions for any of these are improbable. Thus IAM's become computer driven fantasy
So what to do. Well, really really bad outcomes are so really bad that it doesn't matter what discount rate you chose if you lose the economy. Pindyck is an economist.
So Pindyck's idea is get a bunch of wise heads together and figure out what the most probable really really bad thing that might happen is and figure out how bad it really would be.
I have argued that the problem is somewhat simplified by the fact that what matters for policy is the possibility of a catastrophic climate outcome. How probable is such an outcome (or set of outcomes), and how bad would they be? And by how much would emissions have to be reduced to avoid these outcomes? I have argued that the best we can do at this point is come up with plausible answers to these questions, perhaps relying at least in part on consensus numbers supplied by climate scientists and environmental economists. This kind of analysis would be simple, transparent, and easy-to-understand. It might not inspire the kind of awe and sense of scientific legitimacy conveyed by a large-scale IAM, but that is exactly the point. It would draw back the curtain and clarify our beliefs about climate change and its impact.Discuss
Posted by EliRabett at 12:10 AM
Saturday, January 23, 2016
So it snows, and Eli digs into the drafts pile to dig this one out.
Eli understands that the old guy is trying to trash him. Eli would be quite happy to talk it over with him, if the old guy wanted to have a discussion, but he appears to want to talk to others without others talking to him and the Rabett is not interested in that. OTOH, we have been hopping about the net and came across the figures from Mark Jacobson's books on Atmosphereic Modeling (link since disappeared) and came across this interesting figure. Looking at it we see that the difference in absorbed incoming solar energy is about a factor of two higher at the equator than at the poles (100% difference) but the emitted outgoing IR radiation above the atmosphere is only about 25% higher at the equator than at the poles.
As near as the team at Rabett Run can make out the large units on the ordinate are 100 W/m^2, which agrees with these measurements of average solar insolation.
What first caught Eli's eye was the implication that radiation and convection move enthalpy from the tropics to the poles. No surprise there. It's called weather. This, of course, is averaged over the year, different cloud conditions and more.
So the bottom line is that even though the temperature difference between the poles and the equator is ~ 50 K, the solar insolation at the surface is a factor of two higher at the equator and the same is true of the emission from the surface as predicted by the Stefan-Boltzmann relation, the amount of energy emitted by the earth in the polar region is only about 25% less than at the equator. Another hmm . . ..
Posted by EliRabett at 1:59 PM
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Eli being a glutton for punishments and carrot was easily led astray by the likes of Barry Bickmore describing a usual Moncktonian perambulation (aka a trip around the mulberry bush). Seeking amusement Eli was going thru the comments at Willard Tony when this appeared in the LCD from Roy Spencer
"The quoted statement is incorrect as it stands. PRTs are used to measure the temperature of the onboard (warm-point) calibration targets. The cosmic background (cold point) is assumed to be 2.7 K (or something close to that..it doesn’t really matter). PRTs are laboratory standard and highly stable, each one being carefully calibrated before launch.
Those two calibration points are used to calibrate the Earth-viewing data.and the AMSR-E calibration is a special case of poor design…the warm target was made of a material with low thermal conductivity. The instrument was designed in Japan by engineers just coming up to speed on the technology, and it should never have been approved by NASA in the first place. But, the instrument was “free” to NASA, so there was less scrutiny. I say all this as the AMSR-E U.S. Science Team leader."Dr. Roy was explaining to the assembled WattKnots how the (A)MSU system works by interpolating the signal between deep space (2.8K) and a hot target. The hot target has a number of platinum resistance thermometers buried in it and a pseudo black body surface (black is the most difficult color). The targets are technically complex. They are not anywhere as laboratory standard nor highly stable as platinum resistance thermometers. Eli's comment which they let through
Posted by EliRabett at 10:16 PM
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Presentation here, with NOAA anomaly .90C. In a teleconference this morning they both said well over 90% certainty that 2015 is the warmest so far (NOAA says 99%), and both expect that 2016 is likely to be even warmer.
So at the top of everyone's mind should, of course, be the status of my bet with David Evans. I'm winning - obviously I'm benefiting from El Nino but there was also a (weaker) El Nino in the 2005-2009 baseline period for the bet.
To simplify the over-complicated bets, there are two that bet against different levels of warming and for each the possibility is to win, lose, or void the bet if the result is close to the middle value of a range. I win both bets if the 5-year GISS average is .81C or higher and lose both if its .71C or lower.
We're only one year in to the 2015-2019 bet, but now the last four years' average could be .80C and I'd still win both. To lose both the four-year average can't exceed .67C. My wild guess at this point is I'm slightly more likely to void rather than win the warmer bet, and will easily win the the less-warm bet. And then it's on to our 15-year and 20-year bets.
And then there's James Annan's bet. I'm jealous, although he says his betting counterparts have not been very communicative in recent years.
UPDATE: David's perspective here (from Feb. 2015, but I expect he'll update it).
Posted by Brian at 12:02 PM