Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cosmoclimatology, a better theory of climate change

Here is a link to a paper by Henrik Svensmark describing a better theory of climate change.

I find HS's theory credible.

Here are some excerpts.
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Low-level clouds cover more than a quarter of the Earth and exert a strong cooling effect at the surface. (For clouds at higher altitudes there is a complicated trade-off between cooling and warming.) The 2% change in low cloud during a solar cycle, as seen in figure 3, will vary the input of heat to the Earth's surface by an average of about 1.2 W m-2, which is not trivial. It can be compared, for example, with 1.4 W m-2attributed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the greenhouse effect of all of the additional carbon dioxide in the air since the Industrial Revolution (Houghton et al. 2001).

If cosmic-ray counts merely went up and down with the 11-year cycle of solar activity, there would be no trend in the climate. Systematic records of influx to the Earth's surface go back to 1937. Cosmic-ray changes before then can be seen in the rate of formation of radioactive isotopes such as beryllium-10, or inferred from the Sun's open coronal magnetic field. As seen in figure 5, the various methods agree that there was a pronounced reduction in cosmic rays in the 20th century, such that the maximal fluxes towards the end of the century were similar to the minima seen around 1900. This was in keeping with the discovery that the Sun's coronal magnetic field doubled in strength during the 20th century (Lockwood et al. 1999).

Here is prima facie evidence for suspecting that much of the warming of the world during the 20th century was due to a reduction in cosmic rays and in low-cloud cover. But distinguishing between coincidence and causal action has always been a problem in climate science. The case for anthropogenic climate change during the 20th century rests primarily on the fact that concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases increased and so did global temperatures. Attempts to show that certain details in the climatic record confirm the greenhouse forcing (e.g. Mitchel et al. 2001) have been less than conclusive. By contrast, the hypothesis that changes in cloudiness obedient to cosmic rays help to force climate change predicts a distinctive signal that is in fact very easily observed, as an exception that proves the rule.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Science indicating that climate change is not man made

Here is a link to a documentary by Henrik Svensmark providing evidence that Climate Change is not caused by humans.  It was published September, 2015.

Henrik Svensmark (born 1958) is a physicist and professor in the Division of Solar System Physics at the Danish National Space Institute (DTU Space) in Copenhagen.[1] He is known for his theory on the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation as an indirect cause of global warming.[2][3][4] He detailed his work in the book The Chilling Stars as well as the film The Cloud Mystery.

The Trade Deficit Isn’t Big Enough

An old article of mine that puts some aspects of trade in perspective.
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If the anti- trade crowd’s fears are correct then the problem with the trade deficit is that it isn’t big enough.

Consider what the anti-trade crowd might portray as a worst case scenario. In dollars, US prices of everything are above foreign prices for the same things. In foreign currency, foreign prices of everything are below US prices for the same things. Moreover there is no comparative advantage in anything (The comparative advantage constraint is for the Techies. You can ignore it.).

We start with normal trade and suddenly introduce this worst case scenario. Both US and foreign consumers stop buying US goods and increase their buying of foreign goods. Both actions increase the US trade deficit, tremendously. Foreigners now have a huge trade surplus, and. foreign employment goes through the roof. Ostensibly, this is good for foreigners.

Since everyone has stopped buying US goods, US employment heads toward zero. However, US purchases of foreign goods don’t immediately go to zero, because US households have cash reserves that will last awhile.

The anti-trade crowd would characterize this as a disaster for us. They are wrong. While our cash reserves last, foreigners are sending us food, cars, computers, and other things that are useful. They are getting nothing useful in return, only pieces of paper called dollars. They must be keeping their dollars, because the scenario can exist only if they do. The reality is that foreigners have become our slaves.

The anti-trade crowd might counter that this bliss will end soon, because we will run out of money. That presumes our government fails to act appropriately. As long as the foreigners don’t wise up, and they keep hoarding their dollars, then, for all practical purposes, their dollars have been destroyed. Then, it doesn’t matter if our government replaces them, by printing more, and giving them to us. In this manner, we can continue to buy foreign goods, forever.

Evidently, the anti-trade crowd’s worst nightmare really is the closest we in the US could ever come to heaven on earth. If the anti-traders’ fears were real, then we all could retire on as high a standard of living as we wanted. Unfortunately, the anti-traders are wrong.

The problem is that foreigners are not stupid enough to fall for this. They will buy US goods with their dollars. After all, getting something for your work is better than getting nothing. If foreigners start buying US goods, we’ll have to produce them. That, unfortunately, means work for us. Our utopia will collapse.

The end result is that foreigners will buy about the same value of US goods as we buy of foreign goods. But if that’s true, how can there be a trade deficit? Easy, just don’t count some of the foreign buying of US goods. For example, suppose foreigners buy Rockefeller Center with their dollars. Rockefeller Center is not counted as an export, because the foreigners do not ship it home.

The real problem with the trade deficit is its definition and how we misinterpret it. The only important thing is whether foreigners have bought something produced here, not what the something is, and not whether they ship it home. Indeed, it’s better if they buy Rockefeller Center, and leave it here, rather than TV sets that they ship home. If Rockefeller Center stays here, we can extort the foreigners if they don’t treat us right. If push comes to shove, we can expropriate Rockefeller Center back. The same goes for just about all the other things not counted as exports that foreigners buy with their dollars, such as stocks and bonds.

The international trade story has much more to it than the trade deficit. But keep in mind that if the anti-traders are so wrong on this aspect of international trade, they’re probably pretty wrong on the rest of it.

Roper’s Resolve: Critics Seek Dangerous Extensions Of Treason and Other Crimes To Prosecute The Trumps

Here is a column from Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, that shows the lack of regard of many of Trump's critics for freedom and their willingness to sell the Country down the drain for their personal satisfaction from "getting" the Trumps.

The real danger is from the Trump haters, not Trump.
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Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on how critics of Donald Trump have been calling for radical extensions or interpretations of criminal provisions against core figures. The implications for such interpretations of crimes like treason need to be considered by critics.

“So now you’d give the devil benefit of the law!” Those were the words of William Roper in one of the most riveting scenes from “A Man For All Seasons.

He was chastising his father-in-law, Sir Thomas More, for elevating the law above morality. Roper, who was himself a lawyer and member of Parliament, was the face of resolve — and relativism — in the law. When More asked if Roper would “cut a great road through the law to get after the devil,” Roper proudly declared that he would “cut down every law in England to do that.”

After the 50th anniversary of the classic movie, we seem to be living in the “Age of Roper” — and rage. There is a constant drumbeat in the news as experts declare prima facie cases for indictment and impeachment against President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner. Trump has been denounced as threatening free speech, the free press, and even the democratic process.

However, the push for criminal charges could well create the very dangers that critics associate with Trump. Few have considered the implications of broadening the scope of the criminal code and handing the government wider discretion in criminalizing speech and associations. Once you declare someone to be the devil, there is no cost too great to combat him or his spawn.

Trump has certainly become a diabolic figure for many (though his popularity among Republicans remains above 80 percent). This hatred has blinded many to the implications of pulling up the roots of our criminal laws “to get after the Donald.” In particular, they should consider the cost to free speech and the political process if they hand the government the power to criminalize some of this conduct.

The case for free-market anticapitalism

Here is a link to a lecture by Matt Ridley that provides good perspective about free markets, freedom, equality, socialism, and government.

MR is on target.

Some excerpts.
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The solution to crony capitalism is not to make it worse with an industrial strategy or with full socialism, but to break it up and let fresh competition into our cosseted corporatist conspiracy.
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Remember that we have run two very careful randomised controlled trials to see if full-blown socialism or half-hearted free enterprise works better. One in the Korean peninsula, the other in Germany. And the results were unambiguous. Socialism was a humanitarian catastrophe.
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It is my contention that this concept of spontaneous order is the central idea of the enlightenment, brought to a pinnacle nine years later by Adam Smith with his invisible hand and applied to life itself by Charles Darwin some decades later. If the English language can get along without a government, why do we so quickly assume that English society cannot organise itself?

To labour the point, today in London roughly 10 million people ate lunch. Working out just how much of each type of food to have available in the right places at the right time to ensure that this happened was a problem of mind-boggling complexity, made all the harder by the fact people made up their mind what to eat mostly at the last minute.

Who was in charge of this astonishing feat? Who is London’s lunch commissioner and why does he get so little credit? Why is this system not subsidised? How can it be so lightly regulated?
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Comparative advantage takes Adam Smith’s division of labour one step further and explains why free trade benefits everybody, even countries that are the worst at making things, even countries that are the best at making things. But it also, in my view, explains prosperity – what it is and why it happens to us and not to rabbits or rocks.

When I raised Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage in the Lords a few months ago, a Lib Dem peer got a laugh by saying she had never heard of it. What are our teachers up to? How come nobody seems to know that trade is not a zero sum game? How come both Brussels and Washington are entirely in thrall to the kind of mercantilism that was disproved 200 years ago? Do they believe in phlogiston and blood-letting too?
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Milton Friedman said: “Societies that put equality before freedom get neither. Societies that put freedom before equality get a measure of both.”
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I once gave a talk in Oxford and an academic approached me afterwards and said that he was troubled by what I had said, for was it not obvious that the most evil people in the twentieth century were all, without exception, capitalists? Surely I could see that. I looked at him, wondering if this was a trick question. Er, what about Stalin, I said? And Hitler? Mao? Pol Pot?

OK, apart from them, he said.

Is it not bizarre, after the 20th century, that people are so forgiving of the state and so mistrustful of the market?
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Visiting Auschwitz a few years ago I was struck not by what some have called the “industrialisation” of death – after all, it is a surprisingly low-tech place, even for the time. But by the “nationalisation” of death: the bureaucratic central planning and meticulous hierarchical organisation of mass murder, backed by state coercion not just of its victims but of its perpetrators too; to paraphrase Hillary Clinton, it takes a government to do a death camp.

Are the plights of North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo, Venezeula or Syria caused by too much free enterprise? I don’t think so.

The dreadful Grenfell Tower fire was not caused by an excess of free enterprise; it was caused by terrible miscalculations or misregulations in the public sector. This was in a building that was planned, built, owned and managed by the public sector and refurbished by a contractor chosen and commissioned by the public sector according to regulations and guidelines devised in the public sector and in pursuit of a policy of retrofitting buildings with insulation that came from the public sector.

Whatever mistakes were made in the recladding of the building, or in the fire regulations, or in housing people in tower blocks in the first place – they did not come from too much free enterprise.
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Nor was the crash of 2008 caused by too much free enterprise – not if you understand the role played by the Chinese government in driving down its exchange rate, the role played by the Federal Reserve in keeping down the cost of debt, and above all the role of government regulations in forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the sub-prime lending business, where they could fuel a sub-prime boom on the back of government interest rates.

The lie that the crisis was a crisis of free markets, as opposed to crony corporatism, has long been exploded among serious scholars.
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Ties to Russia You Don't Hear About

Here is a link to a New York Post article by Peter Schweizer about ties to Russia - not the ones the media focuses on.

Some excerpts.
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During a heated Fox Business interview with Maria Bartiromo, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chief John Podesta made a series of misleading statements when questioned about his involvement in a company that received $35 million from the Russian government while Clinton served as secretary of state.

On Jan. 18, 2011, a small green-energy company named Joule Unlimited announced Podesta’s appointment to its board. Months later, Rusnano, a Kremlin-backed investment fund founded by Vladimir Putin, pumped $35 million into Joule. Serving alongside Podesta on Joule’s board were senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and oligarch Ruben Vardanyan, who has been appointed by Putin to a Russian economic modernization council.
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When Bartiromo pressed Podesta on the whereabouts of his 75,000 shares of Joule stock, Podesta resorted to Clintonesque semantics: “I didn’t have any stock in any Russian company!”

Notice the rhetorical sleight of tongue there: Joule is based in Massachusetts, not Russia, making Podesta’s statement technically true. Podesta added: “And by the way, I divested before I went into the White House.”

Yet again, it’s not that simple. WikiLeaks documents reveal that when he joined the Obama White House, Podesta transferred his Joule shares to an LLC controlled by his adult children. He also resumed communicating with Joule and Joule investors after leaving the White House and joining Clinton’s campaign. In fact, he received an invoice from his lawyers in April 2015 — a consent request for Dmitry Akhanov of Rusnano USA to join Joule’s board.

Ballet

Here is a link to an unusual example of ballet.

Keep your eye on the dog.

Government at work

Here is a link to another example of Government at work.

New York City makes dog-sitting illegal without a kennel license.  In other words, you are not allowed to leave your dog with a friend while you go shopping.

Why such a law?  Likely because it benefits kennel owners, who get more business, and benefits the City of New York, which gets fees.

Government is not your friend.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fred Goldberg on Climate Change Data and Model Deficiencies

Here is a link to a talk by Fred Goldberg that puts climate change data and models in perspective.

You will learn a lot from FG's talk - and you will never trust the climate change alarmists again.

FG is on target.

Yes Virginia, it is climate hysteria - and worse, dishonesty

Here is a link to a BBC documentary, "The Great Global Warming Swindle", that puts the climate debate in perspective.