Can it continue to work?
I am a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and a Certified Consulting Meteorologist. To the best of my memory I never had a chance to respond to this poll of the AMS membership.
That said, the fact that 70% of scientists say that humans affect the climate is utterly unsurprising. That has been known scientifically since Changnon’s METROMEX study in the early 70′s. The fact that 9 out of ten that publish on the subject of climate believe humans affect the climate is also utterly unsurprising.
For me, the money question was #6, “How worried are you about global warming?” Only 30% answered “very worried.” This would make 70% of the respondents “deniers” since that perjorative term seems to be applied to anyone who does not accept the “IPCC consensus” of catastrophic global warming. A statistically similar number (28%) is not worried or “not very worried” about global warming.
So, you can spin the results any way you want but this survey of a small number of AMS members doesn’t reveal any great concern about global warming.
Yup. All of this talk about consensus is just an attempt to bully people into their socialist “solutions” to a non-existent problem.
Note the implicit but not necessarily valid assumption — that in order to do space activities, you have to launch from your own soil. For instance, I’d bet that Kodiak would be happy to lease some real estate to them for high-inclination launches.
Lileks has a righteous rant on the subject. Buck-sucking fail boxes indeed.
Has anyone actually ordered and received a copy yet?
Well, as you can see in comments, we have disparate results. One person has received it, one is going to next week, and one got a message that it’s a month away. So huh.
Whenever you declare something a positive “right,” it implies slavery on the part of someone else to fulfill it. If we continue on the current path with health care, forced conscription of doctors is inevitable.
[Update a few minutes later]
I liked this:
Another force at work here is the fact that government intervention in health care has for years been sending doctors out of general practice and into specializations that are far removed from Washington’s interference. Obamacare will almost certainly intensify that trend, producing a surplus of specialists such as cosmetic surgeons even as the nation experiences a shortage of primary-care physicians. The legacy of Democratic health-care reform very well may turn out to be cheaper boob jobs, a fitting comeuppance for the boobs who put this program in place and the boobs who elected them.
I think there may be a few fewer boobs next fall.
Both parties have misleading rhetoric about it.
Yes, the purpose of a business is not to create jobs. As he notes, a business that thinks it is is unlikely to succeed. Jobs are a fortuitous side effect of letting the economy grow in a free market.
It seems to make no difference that those challenging the doomsday narrative include some of the world’s most distinguished scientists, or that numerous experts in climatology and related earth sciences have repeatedly gone public with their critiques. To climate ideologues, they’re invisible. “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous,” President Obama tweeted in May.
Really? That’s not what the American Meteorological Society learned from a recent survey of its professional members. Only a bare majority, 52 percent, said that climate change is largely being driven by human activity. Scientists with a “liberal political orientation” were much more likely to regard global warming as human-caused and harmful, the survey’s authors found — in fact, as a predictor of respondents’ views on global warming, ideology outweighed greater expertise. “This would be strong evidence against the idea that expert scientists’ views on politically controversial topics can be completely objective,” the authors observe.
In that light, consider the findings of a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Of 117 global warming predictions generated by climate-model simulations, all but three “significantly” overestimated the actual amount of warming that occurred during the past 20 years. The models typically forecast that global surface temperature would rise by more than twice as much as it did.
Why would so many scientists have relied on models that turned out to be so wrong? The authors propose several plausible explanations — volcanic eruptions? solar irradiation? — but their bottom line is that climate science still has a long way to go: “Ultimately the causes of this inconsistency will only be understood after . . . waiting to see how global temperature responds over the coming decades.”
That understanding won’t be advanced one millimeter by ideologues who thunder that the “science is settled.” Perhaps all those climate models wouldn’t have been programmed to overpredict global warming if the pressure to conform to the alarmists’ view weren’t so pervasive.
[Update a while later]
Global warming “proof” is evaporating:
Mind you, the term “pause” is misleading in the extreme: Unless and until it resumes again, it’s just a “stop.” You don’t say a bullet-ridden body “paused” breathing.
Remarkably, that stoppage has practically been a state secret. Just five years ago, the head of the International Panel on Climate Change, the group most associated with “proving” that global warming is man-made and has horrific potential consequences, told Congress that Earth is running a “fever” that’s “apt to get much worse.” Yet he and IPCC knew the warming had stopped a decade earlier.
Those who pointed this out, including yours truly, were labeled “denialists.” Yet the IPCC itself finally admitted the “pause” in its latest report.
The single most damning aspect of the “pause” is that, because it has occurred when “greenhouse gases” have been pouring into the atmosphere at record levels, it shows at the very least that something natural is at play here. The warmists suggest that natural factors have “suppressed” the warming temporarily, but that’s just a guess: The fact is, they have nothing like the understanding of the climate that they claimed (and their many models that all showed future warming mean nothing, since they all used essentially the same false information).
This is junk science. I would note to Mr. Fumento, though, that educated people knew the earth was round centuries before Columbus.
I’ve had jobs since I was twelve years old.
An asteroid has just hit the aerospace dinosaurs, in Europe, China, Russia, and here.
I didn’t expect the book to be available for purchase at Amazon for another couple weeks. This is the first thing in this project that happened ahead of schedule.
Working on e-versions now.
I’m glad they’re making progress, but I don’t understand why they want a hydrogen engine for a booster, particularly for suborbital. The exhaust velocities don’t match well, and you have a lot of handling and bulk-density issues.
As she says, it’s ludicrous to expect a completely predictable and routine expense to be covered by insurance. It’s all about rousing up the troops in the fake “war on women.”
We’ve come a long way.
Despite the fact that the project is essentially dead, the state is continuing to move forward with eminent domain.
Why you shouldn’t buy one this year.
In addition to the standards issues, I don’t think there’s much content yet.
I’m glad that the idiotic project is dead, but it should have died for sensible reasons, instead of being strangled by California’s (and the federal government’s) own red tape:
Our legal systems are increasingly so cumbersome, so slow and so expensive that they are a serious drag on productivity and growth. Just as teachers unions oppose reforming public schools that cost too much and do too little, professors and administrators fight to preserve a dysfunctional university system, and a multitude of vested interests drive up costs in the health system, the “legal system lobby” is more interested in the financial health and social power of its members than in the public good.
The whole system, both in California and in DC, needs an overhaul.
If he were awoken at 3 a.m. and told he had to make the case for nationalizing the banks by denying he was nationalizing the banks, he would do an entirely creditable job of it, even without a TelePrompTer. The salesmanship for Obamacare represents in microcosm the larger Obama political project, which has always depended on throwing a reassuring skein of moderation on top of left-wing ideological aims.
All politicians are prone to shaving the truth, giving themselves the benefit of the doubt and trying to appear more reasonable than they are. Obama has made it an art form. Bad faith is one of his signal strengths as a politician, and makes him one of the greatest front men progressivism has ever had.
He will never admit his deep bias toward the growth of the federal government for its own sake, or that he doesn’t care that much if Iran gets the bomb, or that he is liquidating the American leadership role in the Middle East. No, no—he is just trying to make government work, giving diplomacy a chance and pivoting to Asia, respectively.
It’s a shame more people didn’t catch on the the con last year.
Here’s hoping that this is the death blow:
California Gov. Jerry Brown can not spend state bond revenues on President Obama’s signature transportation project until the state can identify how they will pay for the entire $68 billion project, a California court ruled Monday. The decision almost certainly spells death for the project.
This August, Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) “abused its discretion by approving a funding plan that did not comply with the requirements of the law.”
Abusing their discretion to not comply with the law is what Democrats do. Fortunately, they haven’t completely packed the judiciary. Yet.
A new one.
I think they’ll find, as they did in Key Largo, that they’ll have to put curtains on the windows for those people who aren’t exhibitionists, and don’t want the dolphins to watch them copulate.
ObamaCare isn’t one:
The technocratic idea is that you put a bunch of smart, competent people in government — folks who really want the thing to work — and they’ll make it happen. But “smart, competent people” are not a generic quantity; they’re incredibly domain-specific. Most academics couldn’t run a lemonade stand. Most successful entrepreneurs wouldn’t be able to muster the monomaniacal devotion needed to get a Ph.D. Neither group produces many folks who can consistently generate readable, engaging writing on a deadline. And none of us would be able to win a campaign for Congress.
Yet in my experience, the majority of people in these domains think that they could do everyone else’s job better, if they weren’t so busy with whatever it is they’re doing so well. It’s the illusion of omnicompetence, and in the case of HealthCare.gov, it seems to have been nearly fatal.
Remember, Obama was a better speech writer than his speech writers, knew policy better than his policy advisors, would make a better chief of staff than his chief of staff. He is the Dunning-Kruger effect personified.
As is noted there, Krugman told us Enron was working fine, too.
I think that the FDA is a much greater danger to public health than DNA testing. It needs to be reined in.
The webcast has started, and they’re currently go for launch in about half an hour. It will take a while before they know if they’re successful, because they have to do a restart this time — it’s a mission requirement.
[Update a couple minutes later]
This is a little annoying. The webcast stalls every few seconds, and I have to hit pause/play to get it going again.
Earlier this year in an interview with the Globe and Mail you described Canada’s development of the oil sands as the equivalent of treating the atmosphere like an “open sewer.” What do you have to say about the findings of Canadian climate scientist and lead UN IPCC author Andrew Weaver, and his colleague Neal Swart, published in the journal Nature, that even if Canada developed all the commercially viable oil in the oilsands, global temperatures would rise by an insignificant 0.03 degrees?
It’s frightening how close this pompous hypocritical math-challenged fool came to being president.
All appearances to the contrary, the managers involved in this debacle aren’t dumb. But they come from a background — law and politics — where arguments often take the place of reality, and plausibility can be as good as, or better than, truth.
What engineers know that lawyers and politicians often don’t is that in the world of things, as opposed to people, there’s no escaping the sharp teeth of reality. But in law, and especially politics, inconvenient facts are merely inconvenient, something to be rationalized away.
When our country has accomplished great things in the past, there has usually been a great engineer running the program: Hyman Rickover with the nuclear submarine program, or Wernher von Braun with the Apollo space program, for example. Rickover and von Braun were famously stern taskmasters, but they did not substitute wishes for reality.
Which may be why they were able to launch submarines, and rockets that astounded the world. While today, we can’t even launch a website.
Of course, they ignore economic reality as well.
The idea that “failure is not an option” is a fantasy version of how non-engineers should motivate engineers. That sentiment was invented by a screenwriter, riffing on an after-the-fact observation about Apollo 13; no one said it at the time. (If you ever say it, wash your mouth out with soap. If anyone ever says it to you, run.) Even NASA’s vaunted moonshot, so often referred to as the best of government innovation, tested with dozens of unmanned missions first, several of which failed outright.
Failure is always an option. Engineers work as hard as they do because they understand the risk of failure. And for anything it might have meant in its screenplay version, here that sentiment means the opposite; the unnamed executives were saying “Addressing the possibility of failure is not an option.”
This is a point I make in the book. Which will be released (finally!) this week, in time for Christmas.
[Update a couple minutes later]
This is a good point as well:
It’s certainly true that Federal IT is chronically challenged by its own processes. But the biggest problem with Healthcare.gov was not timeline or budget. The biggest problem was that the site did not work, and the administration decided to launch it anyway.
This is not just a hiring problem, or a procurement problem. This is a management problem, and a cultural problem. The preferred method for implementing large technology projects in Washington is to write the plans up front, break them into increasingly detailed specifications, then build what the specifications call for. It’s often called the waterfall method, because on a timeline the project cascades from planning, at the top left of the chart, down to implementation, on the bottom right.
Like all organizational models, waterfall is mainly a theory of collaboration. By putting the most serious planning at the beginning, with subsequent work derived from the plan, the waterfall method amounts to a pledge by all parties not to learn anything while doing the actual work. Instead, waterfall insists that the participants will understand best how things should work before accumulating any real-world experience, and that planners will always know more than workers.
This is a perfect fit for a culture that communicates in the deontic language of legislation. It is also a dreadful way to make new technology. If there is no room for learning by doing, early mistakes will resist correction. If the people with real technical knowledge can’t deliver bad news up the chain, potential failures get embedded rather than uprooted as the work goes on.
This is also a crucial distinction between “new” space and old.
Joel Achenbach writes about “old” space versus new.