Category Archives: Business

Trump’s Climate EO

Ths hysteria on this from the Left has been some combination of frightening and hilarious.

But in fact, as Roy Spencer points out, the (illegal) “Clean Power Plan” was literally going to increase poverty and kill people, while almost certainly having no discernible effect on climate.

The Static Fire Of The First Core Stage To Be Reflown

is complete. This will be a big week for SpaceX if they get the launch off successfully on Thursday.

[Update a few minutes later]

Meanwhile, while SpaceX is driving down launch costs, a new report is out on the insane program costs of SLS/Orion.

[Update on Wednesday afternoon]

Bob Zimmerman responds to media criticism of his report.


Science On The Hill

The hearing has started, with Judith Curry, Roger Pielke, John Christy, and Michael Mann.

[Update about 10:32 EDT]

Mann uses the BS 97% number, and complains that he’s the only one on the panel “in the mainstream.”

[Update early afternoon]

Here is Judith Curry’s written testimony.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Here is all the written testimony. I’ll refrain from comment.

[Update a while later]

Here’s the story from Seth Borenstein:

At first Mann said he didn’t call Curry a denier. But in his written not oral testimony he called Curry “a climate science denier.” Mann said there’s a difference between denying climate change and “denying established science” on how much humans cause climate change, which he said Curry did.

But there’s this:

Former Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry, who often clashes with mainstream science…

I don’t think she ever clashes with science, but I’m not sure what the hell “mainstream” is in this context.

For Deluded Warmists

A handy primer:

CO2 levels were steady during these wild swings and throughout the Holocene at roughly 280 parts per million (ppm) until 130 years ago when a stuttering increase to 400 ppm today began. In other words, Holocene temperature changes, and the wild variations that preceded them, were not linked to CO2 changes. This prompts the question: if CO2 changes did not drive these temperature shifts, why all the fuss about CO2 emissions?

The answer owes much to the complexity of the climate system and the wish for simple explanations to explain its variability and with which to make predictions. But climate is not simple. There are many interacting parts that make it a ‘coupled non-linear chaotic system’ in which small variations of any part can create big, unpredictable changes. In the search for something simple to blame, like increasing CO2 levels, this ‘coupled non-linear, chaotic’ nature of climate is often played-down, overlooked or ignored. Things like solar variations, ocean heat transfers, cloud cover and the like – things that may well be the main drivers of climate – seldom get the respect they deserve.

The effect of the sun, the sea and clouds on climate is known and accepted – the Gulf Stream being a well known example – but more precise knowledge suitable for computer models is a different thing altogether. But what can be said for sure, is that the sun, the sea and the clouds are all very important and CO2 is only one player in a big game, not the control knob on the Earth’s thermostat. It is true that CO2 contributes to the greenhouse effect, but its heating effect is small (when compared with water vapour, the main contributor) and drops off logarithmically as its concentration increases. The more there is, the less additional heating effect it has.

It’s almost as though there’s some sort of political agenda that has nothing to do with science or reality.

[Update a while later]

This is interesting: Pruitt doesn’t want to attempt to overturn the endangerment finding:

Pruitt, with the backing of several White House aides, argued in closed-door meetings that the legal hurdles to overturning the finding were massive, and the administration would be setting itself up for a lengthy court battle.

A cadre of conservative climate skeptics are fuming about the decision — expressing their concern to Trump administration officials and arguing Pruitt is setting himself up to run for governor or the Senate. They hope the White House, perhaps senior adviser Stephen Bannon, will intervene and encourage the president to overturn the endangerment finding.

Trump administration officials have not totally ruled out eventually targeting the endangerment finding. Conservative groups have petitioned the EPA to look at reopening it, one source said, and the agency may eventually be compelled to respond to the petition. Axios first reported the news of the petition.

“Getting rid of the Clean Power Plan is just not enough,” said Myron Ebell, the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the former leader of Trump’s EPA transition team.

I agree. It was based on junk science. In fact, they should be trying to get a rehearing of Massachusetts versus EPA when they get Gorsuch on the court.

The American Dream

How Utah keeps it alive.

I think that Mormonism is the most American of religions, being home grown. I also think that they’re most likely to be successful space colonists.

[Update a few minutes later]

I hadn’t RTWT when I posted the link, but there are very interesting points in it:

Utah has not entirely escaped the change, but it is relatively insulated; the state leads the nation for marriage and for children with married parents. How do we get Utah’s results without marriage?

“Why don’t we use what we have?” Price asked. “You’ve got this institution that has worked for thousands of years.” And yet, he said, “there’s a reluctance to use the word ‘marriage’ in public policy.”

People who don’t see why you need a marriage certificate to make a stable home for a child may be skewed by their own social position, Price said: “We’re always looking at the wrong group — the high-income group.” He added: “The people who are doing the research are the people who don’t need marriage.”

Utah’s unique religious history not only democratized the relationships between the affluent and the struggling; it also democratized marriage, at a time when elsewhere in the U.S., marriage seems to be morphing into an elite institution. Price thinks that gives the state a huge boost in launching kids into the middle class, and Chetty et al’s data back that up.

This does raise some questions about the viability of Utah’s “compassionate conservative” model outside the state. The vast welfare infrastructure from the Mormon Church naturally makes it easier to have smaller government. Perhaps that could be replicated by other communities. But the values of the Mormon Church may create a public that simply needs less help. That’s harder for another community to imitate. I’m not sure this key ingredient is available in a secular version; I think religion might only come in religion flavor.

How the heck is some state government supposed to get people to marry, and stay married?

Another argument to get government out of the marriage business (and a lot of other businesses).