Category Archives: Economics

The Global Warming Consensus Claim

Two years later, it continues to not stand up to even the mildest scrutiny:

Consensus has no place in science. Academics agree on lots of things, but that does not make them true. Even so, agreement that climate change is real and human-caused does not tell us anything about how the risks of climate change weigh against the risks of climate policy. But in our age of pseudo-Enlightenment, having 97% of researchers on your side is a powerful rhetoric for marginalizing political opponents. All politics ends in failure, however. Chances are the opposition will gain power well before the climate problem is solved. Polarization works in the short run, but is counterproductive in the long run.

In their paper, Cook and colleagues argue that 97% of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is unremarkable. It follows immediately from the 19th century research by Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius. In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97% refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.

But other than that, it’s a compelling argument.

Yet the warm mongers continue to repeat it, because it fits the narrative.

[Update a while later]

Thoughts from Judith Curry on climate change, Ted Cruz, and “the Stupid Party.”

I agree with her that Cruz’s statements were actually quite reasonable.

[Update a while later]

Don’t ask how bad a paper has to be to get it retracted, ask how bad it can be and still be published.

Use of the “97%” number, at this point, is a sign of someone who is either a liar, or profoundly ignorant about the issues. In either case, such people should not be taken seriously.

SLS

This isn’t a space transportation system; it’s a cathedral:

The foundation that was already there at Michoud was too weak to support the tool. We had quite a job to reinforce it, to dig it out and then put it back so it could hold up the Vertical Assembly Center. To give you context for the magnitude of the new foundation, Louisiana is not known for its hard soil, and the new foundation that we laid for the Vertical Assembly Center would hold the largest building in downtown New Orleans, 1 Shell Square.

For a program that’s likely to fly, at best, twice.

SpaceX In New Mexico

I had speculated after the almost-successful drone ship landings that SpaceX had abandoned plans to do flight testing at Spaceport America, but apparently that’s not the case:

The original plan was to use the site for test flights of the second F9R Development Vehicle, known as F9R Dev2, a follow on vehicle from the impressive Grasshopper and F9R Dev1 vehicles that paved the way for the propulsive landing attempts.

Those vehicles were tested at SpaceX’s McGregor test site in Texas, but were restricted by an altitude ceiling, resulting in the decision to conduct tests at Spaceport America, at much greater altitudes.

2015-03-19 23_21_49-spacex falcon 9 reusable f9r fins – Google SearchNow, based on the advances made during recent missions, it appears SpaceX is hoping to promote the role of Spaceport America, specifically to put the first recovered stage through its paces.

Those tests will be used to find hardware limits, such as how many cycles can be put on a stage, while the second successfully recovered booster would provide the role of qualification testing.

Should the recovery efforts progress, the first launch of a reused booster is likely to occur in late 2016.

Interesting. What I don’t understand is why the helium tanks are a concern for the Turkmenistansat mission, but not for CRS.