The “Warmest Year On Record”

#ProTip to “scientists.” We have never been heading into a “known” climate. At least they included some cautionary voices, from people like Christie, Pielke, and Curry, even if they shoved them to the end.

And speaking of Judith, she has some thoughts on the “social costs” of carbon:

The bottom line is: water, food, energy. Heck, even the folks attending Davos get it. People need it and large numbers of people want more of it. And there are more and more people all the time. A single minded focus on reducing CO2 emissions neglects a lot of real problems facing many nations across the globe.

Climate variability and change impacts water, food and energy. But there isn’t much we can do to influence the climate on the timescale of the 21st century — however much we have impacted the climate over the past 70 years or so, those impacts (large or small) will work their way through climate system over the next centuries as the oceans act as a big flywheel on the climate system.

Back to the question posed by Revkin: Will Trump’s climate team accept any social cost of carbon? Well, I hope not.

I hope not, too. The uncertainty is far too great.

[Update a while later]

As usual, the “threats to science” come from the Left.

Medical Incompetence And Junk Science

This is a frightening story. It’s why I try to avoid hospitals at all costs.

I asked Dr. G, who is now his personal cardiologist, if we needed to do anything to prevent his potassium from going so low again. He said, “If he stays off that drug, he will be fine.” To think that he went through all this because his GP gave him a drug to prevent heart attacks!! What a crazy world we live in.

…The blood pressure medication Dean had taken for 20 years was hydrochlorothiazide. It is the most commonly prescribed medication for blood pressure, not because it is safe or effective, but because it is the one insurance companies choose to pay for!

The dietary and general medical ignorance on display, and the rules, are almost criminal. And I’m sure this is the kind of treatment that my father got when he died of his second heart attack, in 1979. And I consider my high blood pressure (with which I’ve been living otherwise healthily for many decades) to be less risk than most of the prescribed “treatments.”

Obama’s “Scandal-Free Administration”

As regular readers here know, it’s a myth:

All of these scandals were accompanied by a lack of transparency so severe that 47 of Mr. Obama’s 73 inspectors general signed an open letter in 2014 decrying the administration’s stonewalling of their investigations.

One reason for Mr. Obama’s penchant for secrecy is his habit of breaking rules—from not informing Congress of the dubious prisoner swap involving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the Taliban, to violating restrictions on cash transfers to Iran as part of a hostage-release deal.

The president’s journalistic allies are happily echoing the “scandal-free” myth.

If it was “scandal free,” it was only because the anointed media refused to report it honestly.

Gene Cernan

He never wanted to be the last man on the moon, and he almost certainly won’t be, but it’s a shame that he didn’t live to see the next man (or woman) kick up the regolith.

But he didn’t cover himself in glory, or make it more likely to happen, when he testified in ignorance against private spaceflight back in 2010 (the headline of the story is incorrect; they weren’t “defending spaceflight” — they were unwittingly attacking it). He was a hero of the Cold War, and should be honored for that, but his passing shouldn’t be an excuse for a new bout of misguided Apolloism from conservatives.

[Update a while later]

“It appears we are condemned to forego the human exploration of the solar system until the full measure of the first generation of space explorers has passed.” It didn’t have to be, and some of that generation, including Cernan (and Walt Cunningham), didn’t help.

Return To Flight

I went to Manhattan Beach to watch the launch. It was a pretty bright day, so it got lost in the light fairly quickly, but the smoke column persisted for a while. I hope that some of the other upcoming Iridium flights are night or (better yet) dusk. Satellites haven’t deployed yet, but that’s all that remains for a total success, including the first successful landing in the Pacific (the attempt last year had a leg issue).

[Update a few minutes later]

And that’s a wrap:

[Update a while later]

Here’s the story from local reporter Sandy Mazza. I like this:

SpaceX officials said they now intend to launch every two weeks.

Make it so.

[Update a while later]

I’d forgotten, but this happened on the thirteenth anniversary of Bush’s announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration. How far we’ve come. Now, if we can only finally kill off the monster rocket.

[Later-afternoon update]

Here’s what I wrote at the time, blogging from a motel room in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, when we were househunting in south Florida. I think it holds up pretty well.

Artificial Hearts

The latest. I think it would be really weird to not have a heartbeat. I hope that they can further improve on the reciprocating ones, rather than continuous flow.

[Update a few minutes later]

Or is this the future? Printable organs will eliminate need for transplants and donors. Also the need for anti-rejection drugs.

Which reminds me: There was a silly article the other day on how self-driving cars will dry up the supply for organ donors. I have this crazy idea that there’s a better solution to the donor problem than relying on random traffic tragedies.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!