Category Archives: Political Commentary

The Value Of College Degrees

High risk, high reward.

Anyone who talks about the ROI of a degree without talking about the type of degree, or the relative value of one school over another, is either profoundly ignorant, or fraudulent. The fact is that there are a lot of degrees for which one would have to be a fool to put themselves deep into undischargeable debt to obtain. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t understand that, and are the most likely to get those worthless degrees.

Willie Soon

Strikes back against the inquisition.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s the full statement

I have never been motivated by financial gain to write any scientific paper, nor have I ever hidden grants or any other alleged conflict of interest. I have been a solar and stellar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for a quarter of a century, during which time I have published numerous peer-reviewed, scholarly articles. The fact that my research has been supported in part by donations to the Smithsonian Institution from many sources, including some energy producers, has long been a matter of public record. In submitting my academic writings I have always complied with what I understood to be disclosure practices in my field generally, consistent with the level of disclosure made by many of my Smithsonian colleagues.

“If the standards for disclosure are to change, then let them change evenly. If a journal that has peer-reviewed and published my work concludes that additional disclosures are appropriate, I am happy to comply. I would ask only that other authors-on all sides of the debate-are also required to make similar disclosures. And I call on the media outlets that have so quickly repeated my attackers’ accusations to similarly look into the motivations of and disclosures that may or may not have been made by their preferred, IPCC-linked scientists.

A double standard in the media. What a shock.

Barbara Mikulski

She’s retiring, after four decades.

Among other things, this is significant for space policy. She’s been a strong supporter of NASA over that period (particularly, of course, Goddard Space Flight Center in her home state), and of Wallops. Whoever replaces her as the next Senator from Maryland will probably be as supportive, but will have much less clout, at least initially.

The Soon Et Al Paper

What is right, and wrong with it.

It’s always worth noting that the notion that CO2 is a greenhouse gas has never been in serious dispute, or even that the planet has been warming, in fits and starts, since the end of the LIA. The issue is feedbacks, and the limits of our ability to model them. We will probably get better at that in the future, but we currently suck at it, and it would be insane to base public policy on the models.

An Anti-Scientific Screed

by a supposed climate “scientist.” Even ignoring the “denier” lunacy, this is wrong headed on multiple levels. No, science is not “an expert trust-based system.”

And then there’s this:

You cannot decide that you believe in penicillin or the principles of flight while at the same time disbelieve humans evolved from apes or that greenhouse gases can cause climate change.

I hope he understands climate better than he does evolution. I suspect he doesn’t.

Feynman wept.

Bibi’s Speech

Why it matters:

Close to a decade of negotiations meant to end the Iranian nuclear program is about to culminate in the legitimization of that program and an enriched—in both senses of the word—empowered, and no less hostile Iran. Our government and the media that so often resembles its propaganda organ will attempt to characterize this colossal failure of nerve as a personal victory for a lame duck president and a milestone in international relations. It is important that they lose this battle, that the Iran deal is revealed to the world for the capitulation that it is, that the dangers of sub-letting the Middle East to the Koranic scholars of Qom and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are given expression, not only for substantive reasons of policy and security but also because the way in which the advocates of détente have behaved has been reprehensible.

It’s who they are, it’s what they do.

The Grijalva Witch Hunt

Mark Steyn’s thoughts on the “warmish inquisition”:

Judith Curry has never testified before Commissar Grijalva’s committee. But, because she appeared before some or other committee of the Emirs of Incumbistan, Commissar Grijalva claims the constitutional responsibility to know what travel expenses she received in 2007.

I’ve testified to the Canadian Parliament and other legislative bodies over the years, and I can tell you now I would not accept an invitation to testify before the United States Congress under the terms this repulsive thug demands. Of course, they have the power to compel testimony through subpoenas, and maybe they can compel proof of speaking-fee compensation from 2007, too. But, for all Grijalva’s appeals to “constitutional duty”, the men who wrote the US Constitution did not intend that citizens who come before the people’s house should have to endure a career audit going back eight years (even the corrupt and diseased IRS only demands seven). It would be heartening to think all seven recipients of Grijalva’s letter would tell him to take a hike, but I am not confident of that.

…the naked intimidation of Bengtsson, Silver, Pielke, Soon and on and on is evil, and remorseless. And so, even as the gulf between Big Climate’s models and observable reality widens, the permitted parameters of debate narrow and shrivel.


[Update a few minutes later]

Professor Curry has a lot of links from the past week. It’s been an interesting one.