Category Archives: Business

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.


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.

The Infantilization Of College Students

Even the Left is getting frightened of the brown-shirted monster they’ve created. I find it interesting that this professor has such a lack of self awareness:

Personally, liberal students scare the shit out of me. I know how to get conservative students to question their beliefs and confront awful truths, and I know that, should one of these conservative students make a facebook page calling me a communist or else seek to formally protest my liberal lies, the university would have my back. I would not get fired for pissing off a Republican, so long as I did so respectfully, and so long as it happened in the course of legitimate classroom instruction.

The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slip—not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imagery—and that’s it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and there’s a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance.

He keeps using that word “liberal.” I don’t think it means what he thinks it means.

[Update early afternoon]

The wrong time to coddle:

Between the infantilizing of campus culture and the growing global harshness, something has to give and—hint, hint—it won’t be the real world. The worst thing about the current climate of PC stupidity and mandatory cocooning on campus isn’t the ugly repression it entails. The destruction of free speech and free debate in the institutions that ought to be the citadels of intellectual liberty is a terrible thing and a horrible betrayal of everything universities are supposed to be about. But there is yet a worse consequence: the catastrophic dumbing down and weakening of a younger generation that is becoming too fragile and precious to exist in the current world—much less to fight the real evils and dangers that are growing.

These are the great-grandchildren of The Greatest Generation, corrupted by that generation’s children in the academy and public schools. How we have fallen.