Friday, October 31, 2014

The Rodney Dangerfield of Sciences

Big Climate's Spending on This Election? $85,000,000!

That's right, $85 million!

According to the Wall Street Journal today:

On Monday, The Hill reported that an internal memo circulating among five environmental groups detailed plans for spending to support candidates “who want to act” to combat climate change. “We are on track to spend more than $85 million overall including more than $40 million in just six Senate races,” the memo said. The beneficiaries include Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.), who got $12.1 million, and Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) with $7.2 million.

Earlier this week, I talked about the ludicrous claim that global warming chicken littles had to fight a "campaign of doubt mongering." By far, the big money is on the catastrophic global warming side. 

ADDITION: Not to mention, $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) on 'green' energy which has not added (net) to world energy production! Details here. Of course, this is why the $85 million is being spent -- to get government to mandate purchase of inefficient energy that would no rational person would otherwise buy.

Mindy Cook's Children's Book About Weather

Mindy, my colleague at Mike Smith Enterprises, has written a wonderful children's book about weather. It just charming with glorious illustrations.

She will be at the National Weather Festival in Norman, OK, Saturday from 10 to 2. Please drop by and say hello.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another Great Review of "Warnings"

From David Rapoport in Chicago:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Mike Smith tells a surprising true story about lives saved and a culture changed that reminds us how actions of a few can benefit many.

You can get your copy of Warnings here.

Crash at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport

ICT, as it is known in aviation circles, experienced a Beech King Air 200 crash into the Flight Safety International building about a half-hour ago. Multiple victims are being transported to emergency rooms. I can confirm that firefighters, right now, are trying to enter the building to search for victims. There is now a triage unit set up in case they find additional victims.

The type of aircraft that crashed. 
There are reports that Mid-Continent Drive is closed so you cannot get to ICT for a flight. The airport itself is officially open.

For additional information: , , and .

Update: Wichita fire officials say two killed, five injured and four unaccounted for.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Giant Problems With the Red Cross

In Warnings I talk about some of the problems with the Red Cross' response to Hurricane Katrina. We've also talked about the severe problems the Red Cross had with Hurricane Sandy

Today, there is a report from NPR and ProPublica documenting how the Red Cross put public relations over disaster relief in Sandy

Still unknown is how the Red Cross spent the hundreds of millions raised using Sandy relief as the pretext. They certainly did not spent it on relief services. 

As previously stated, I no longer give to the Red Cross for any reason. The Salvation Army, in my experience, does a great job during disasters. That is where our relief donations go. 

A Paragraph of Misunderstandings

The New York Times has an interview with academic and author Naomi Oreskes pertaining to global warming. Most of the article is what you would expect. But, one paragraph caught my eye:

How does the free market prevent acid rain or climate change? It doesn’t. How do we know about the potential harm to individuals or the environment? Because of science. And how does one prevent harm? With regulation. To prevent regulation, we’ve had this campaign of doubt-mongering about science and scientists.

This is the predictable thinking of someone who has spent her entire life in the fields of academia and policy. On top of a prominent U.S. politician saying several days ago, "Don't let anyone tell you businesses and corporations create jobs," it is worth spending a few moments discussing the above line of thought.

Let's consider line-by-line:
  • How does the free market prevent acid rain or climate change? It doesn’t.
The U.S. is the only nation that met its Kyoto target -- even though we didn't ratify Kyoto -- for decreasing carbon dioxide production. How? Via the increased use of inexpensive natural gas brought to us by fracking. Natural gas not only produces less carbon dioxide (per unit of energy) it also reduces, you guessed it, acid rain. Ms. Oreskes would undoubtedly agree less acid and rain and less CO2 to be good things and they were entirely brought by the free market. If anything, the federal government has been a (net) obstacle to producing more U.S. energy. Last week, Lockheed said it had made a major breakthrough in producing energy from fusion. If confirmed, that means cheap, nearly limitless, carbon-free energy! So, yes, free enterprise is our best hope of solving a myriad of societal problems. 
  • How do we know about the potential harm to individuals or the environment? Because of science.
True. And, I'm proud to be an atmospheric scientist. However, a number of global warming scientists have overstated the harm/urgency of warming due to adding small (compared to what nature adds) amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere. As we have discussed on numerous occasions, global warming is a problem but it is manageable as environmental problems go. These individuals (I call them the "climate cult") do tremendous harm to the credibility of science. 
  • And how does one prevent harm? With regulation. 
As is far too often the case with people who have spent their entire careers in academia, they have no idea of the cost of regulation to the economy, a topic we covered at length last week. Plus, we have zero (yes, literally zero) understanding of the unintended consequences of regulations intended to change future weather. 
  • To prevent regulation, we’ve had this campaign of doubt-mongering about science and scientists.
What campaign? The individuals like myself, Anthony Watts, and Judy Curry (to name three) urging caution are like a few grains of sand on a beach compared to the now $100,000,000,000+ that has been spent (worldwide) on global warming, including spending our tax money on how best to convince the public global warming is an imminent, major problem. The global warming cult wants to believe there is a vast conspiracy because they don't realize all of the exaggeration has indeed hurt their credibility. 

The only way we "lukewarmers" have gotten any traction is that many in the public seem to instinctively sense they are being conned by the cult. Here is another example: Many instinctively knew the government's initial reaction to Ebola in the U.S. was inadequate (even if they didn't know the specifics) and, now, even the CDC has conceded its initial efforts were insufficient. The person on the street is a lot smarter than most academics realize. 

AccuWeather's Game 7 Forecast

For Kansas City…

Is the United States Next?

Many times we have discussed how Europe is farther down the "alternative energy" road than the United States. Here are three headlines from Great Britain the last 24 hours:

Yesterday, witnesses in a Parlimentary hearing (click here for video) blamed the potential crisis on investment in "green" energy rather than reliable nuclear and fossil fuels.

Does the United States want to be next?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An Encore

The Kansas City Philharmonic performed the Star Spangled Banner before this evening's Game 6. Enjoy this encore. The Royals crushed the Giants, 10-0.

Before tomorrow's Game 7, native Kansas Citian and international opera star, Joyce DiDonato, will sing the anthem.

I think it is fair to say the KC performances of our national anthem have outshone those in SFO. I believe you'll be impressed by tomorrow's, as well.

Another Setback for NASA

Looking like a scene from The Right Stuff, the Antares rocket exploded on launch from Wallops Island this evening. The video is below.

Here is the explosion from 3,000 feet.

Tonight's World Series Forecast

I Love Good Science News!

Chocolate Is Shown to Aid Memory

Details here.