Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Burying The Lede

It tends to amuse me when the media promote social causes by using stories which “bury the lede,” that is, which ignore points within the story which utterly refute the point which they are trying to make.

“This is the worst drought in 200 years.” To suggest that it is caused by current human activity raising CO2 levels ignores that the worse drought 200 years ago was not caused by current human activity and happened when CO2 levels were lower. Why do we suppose that, not having caused that drought, we did cause this one? The planet has been having droughts for many centuries.

The Anazazi people, who built amazing cities in the cliffs of the Southwest, disappeared somewhere around the 14th century. According to Britannica, “The Great Drought (1276–99) probably caused massive crop failure; rainfall continued to be sparse and unpredictable until approximately 1450,” which contributed to their disappearance. Did the Anazazi people cause that drought, too?

The most recent is the appearance of “Hunger Stones” in the rivers of Europe. These stones have been exposed by river levels dropping to the lowest levels that they have been in centuries. Back then, people carved notes on the stones recording the severe conditions prevailing when the rivers became that dry. One stone dates from the year 1616 and others from the 19th century.

We were probably burning some fossil fuels in the 19th century, but not a hell of a lot. How much fossil fuel were we burning in the year 1616? And yet when the rivers drop to the same level that they did when we were not burning fossil fuel, we blame the drop on the fact that we are burning fossil fuel.

The rivers dry up when the CO2 level is 280ppm, and when they dry up now we claim that they did so because the CO2 level is 420ppm.

To bemoan that something is “the worst it has been since…” is an admission that it has happened before now, that the condition is not unique. It says that the condition existed when your purported cause did not yet exist. For statement of actual systemic disaster attributable to your purported cause one needs, “this is the worst it has ever been,” which we virtually never see.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Big Weekend Upcoming

Big, big weekend coming up. To start with, Formula 1 goes to Holland (Netherlands). Dutch Grand Prix. Max Verstappen's home course. This is a downforce course, so he won't dominate like he did in Belgium, but Zandvoort is a really cool curcuit.

MotoGP is on television. In case you don't know, this is motorcycles on Formula 1 race courses. They go as fast as 200 mph, and in the turns lean over at 70 degrees. Exciting stuff. Those riders are nuts. They're on NBC Sunday afternoon.

Indycar is on the road course at Portland. It's a really nice circuit and usually provides for interesting competition.

Finally, college football opens with two games featuring what I consider home teams. San Diego State plays in their new stadium against Arizona Saturday, and LSU plays Florida State on Sunday. Both should be fun games to watch.

I have the best wife in the world. She is happy for me to have all these sports to watch and makes her plans around me doing so.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Why do they do things like this?

Mark Wahlberg said he spent 12 hours naked on a pier while filming his latest movie "Me Time." Well, he wasted his time. The movie was probably the worst movie in several decades. I watched about 12 minutes and turned it off. Utter garbage.

Friday, August 26, 2022

A Non-sentient Race

The human race was living in North America 15,000 years ago. The area was still in the throes of the last Ice Age, which would not end for another 3000 years. The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere was 46 degrees, some 11 degrees cooler than it is today.

The human race is still living in North America. Or I think it’s the human race. Sometimes I’m not sure.

Anyway, the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere has risen 11 degrees, a process which not only has the human race survived, but during which it has thrived and multiplied, but we are told that we will be catastrophically destroyed if the temperature rises another 2 degrees.

To repeat a bit; we survived an 11 degree rise, but we will not survive a 2 degree rise. Does that sound a little bit stupid to you? Did we lose our ability to adapt? Or did we merely lose our intelligence?

Since we, apparently, no longer can change ourselves or the way we have been doing things for the past 100 years or so (other than by using electricity to do it instead of “fossil” fuels), we propose to change the way the planet has been doing things for more than 15,000 years.

Sea levels are rising, we are told. I have seen no observable evidence of that in the more than fifty years that I have been going to the beach, but let’s assume that sea levels are rising and will drown our big cities.

Perhaps we should be talking about moving our big cities inland and to higher ground, away from those rising seas. We’re not doing that. Not one person is suggesting that. We are, instead, talking about stopping the seas from rising. I spent time in the Navy. News flash. The oceans are really big.

There was a king named Canute tried what we are proposing. He was a powerful guy, being king of England and Denmark, and Norway and Sweden. He got wet.

Temperatures are rising, we are told, so maybe we should be talking about moving our populations farther north and/or to higher altitudes where it is cooler. Adapting. We’re not talking about that either. Instead we’re talking about stopping the temperature from rising, stopping the entire freaking planet from doing something that it has been doing for more than 15,000 years.

Sorry for being so blunt, but that is just plain stupid.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Government Accuracy

The "Employment Survey" produced by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the economy produced well over 500,000 new jobs last month, which was hailed by the media as proof that there is no recession and that the economy is growing like mad. The stock marked soared.

The "Household Survey," also produced by the BLS, reported that there were only 150,000 newly employed persons filling those newly created jobs. That should have created some suspicion about the jobs report, but it was ignored.

Do economists think that each of the newly employed persons filled 3.33 new jobs?