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Week of 14 December 2009


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Monday, 14 December 2009
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11:04 - It's crunch week for all retailers, brick-and-mortar and on-line. Maker Shed has done well this year. In fact, it's done superbly, showing significant month-on-month and year-on-year gains in an economic climate where most retailers are delighted to match last year's numbers. But we're still in crunch week, so don't expect much here until next week.

To add to the excitement, I got email from my editor. The good news is that they're going to reprint Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture. The bad news is that my editor needs corrections/edits from me as soon as possible. So, yet one more thing on my to-do list for this week.


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Tuesday, 15 December 2009
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Wednesday, 16 December 2009
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Thursday, 17 December 2009
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09:04 - The now thoroughly discredited Hadley/CRU datasets are further called into question. The Russians are accusing Hadley/CRU of the worst kind of cherry-picking of data. If this article and the linked site can be believed, which I strongly suspect they can, Hadley/CRU ignored half the Russian temperature data, using only the half that supported their preconception that warming is occuring. Furthermore, the data that Hadley/CRU chose to include in their databases is, almost without exception, the lower-quality data, originating from sites that are subject to the urban heat-island effect and sites that had been relocated. In other words, Hadley/CRU chose to incorporate the less reliable half of the data in their datasets and discard the more reliable half.

There's an old saying in computer programming, garbage-in-garbage-out, and it applies no less to science. The global warming alarmists spend a lot of time ridiculing the idea that a giant conspiracy exists to push AGW, but the simple truth is that no such widespread conspiracy is necessary if the data are corrupted at the source by a small group of true believers. And because Hadley/CRU is one of only two or three primary sources for historical climate data, every paper and every climate model that is based in whole or in part on those data--which is to say nearly all of them--is now worthless. The 90% or 95% of climate scientists who are honest, who are real scientists, have been betrayed.

AGW alarmists are now reduced to arguing from authority, claiming that only climate scientists understand the subject well enough to have valid opinions. Bullshit. One doesn't have to be a chemist to recognize scientific misconduct by a chemist who's demonstrably faked his data, nor does one need to be a climatologist to recognize scientific misconduct by climatologists. Any biologist will have deep reservations about the claims of a physicist who refuses to release his data, and vice versa. Any real scientist from any discipline will deeply suspect any supposed scientist who's behaving more like a politician with an agenda than a scientist. To any real scientist, the "trust me, I'm a scientist" argument is anathema.

In short, any real scientist understands scientific misconduct, and that's what we have here. I've spoken privately with a number of scientists, none climatologists, but all qualified in the hard sciences. Every one of them, including those who were formerly convinced of the reality of AGW, has expressed, at a minimum, deep reservations about the conduct of Hadley/CRU, the reliability of their data, and the predictions of the AGW alarmists. Most believe that the current datasets have been corrupted entirely, and that the only solution now is to discard those datasets, along with any papers and models that used them, and to start fresh from the raw data. I agree with them.


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Friday, 18 December 2009
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08:50 - Totally unrelated to my AGW comments yesterday, the forecast here for this afternoon through tomorrow is blizzard conditions, at least by the European definition of that word and certainly by the North Carolina definition. We're to have heavy snow, possibly accumulating to 12" overnight, with sustained winds up to 30 MPH.

Oddly enough, the schools are open today, which was to be their last day before Christmas vacation. Ordinarily, they close on just the forecast of frozen precipitation. The precipitation is to start sometime this afternoon, initially as rain and turning to snow and sleet this evening and snow with sleet and freezing rain overnight. Barbara is going to work through lunch and head home about 4:00 this afternoon.

The real threat is that they've gotten the forecast wrong and we'll end up with mostly freezing rain instead of snow. If that happens, there'll likely be widespread power outages as tree limbs and whole trees are overweighted by the ice and blown over, taking power lines with them. We'll be fine even if that happens. We have a wood-burning fireplace in the downstairs guest area, gas logs in the den upstairs, and a gas water heater. We also have a 6 KW generator.

Of course, it may all come to nothing. We've had similar forecasts in the past and ended up getting nothing. But I also remember the time the forecast was for a light sprinkling of snow and we ended up getting 16".



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Saturday, 19 December 2009
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10:31 - The blizzard dumped maybe 5" (12.5 cm) of snow on us. Areas just 20 or 30 miles (32 to 48 km) to the north and west of us got more, as much as 15". Areas just 20 or 30 miles to the south and east of us got as little as nothing. Still, this is the biggest snow we've had in four or five years. The kids are out on sleds, having a great time. So are the neighborhood dogs, minus the sleds.

In unrelated but generally good news, the Copenhagen climate talks utterly collapsed, at least in the sense that they accomplished absolutely none of their stated goals going in. Of course, these talks had almost nothing to do with climate and everything to do with a UN power grab and money grab. In that respect, I was disappointed in the outcome, with Obama kind of promising that "rich" countries, primarily the US, would contribute $30 billion over the next three years and eventually $100 billion per year to "poor" countries to mitigate supposed climate change. Of course, little of that money will actually benefit those in poor countries. Most of it will go to the UN kleptocracy, with most of the remainder going to third-world dictators.

So now we have a year of breathing space until the next such event, scheduled for December 2010. Fortunately, that year will almost certainly see the AGW alarmists even more thoroughly debunked. It'll also see a mid-term election, in which I expect Obama and the democrats will be handed their heads. At least I profoundly hope this is what happens. I hope the Republicans take control of both houses of congress. Not that I care for republicans any more than I care for democrats, but at least having the republicans in control of congress would keep either party from advancing its agenda too much.

I hope that by the time the December 2010 climate talks convene, the US will take the rational position: we should accept absolutely no limitations on our own output of carbon dioxide, and we should contribute absolutely nothing in foreign aid of any sort, most especially including welfare to poor countries to cope with the effects of so-called climate change, and doubly most especially including any funds to the UN. In fact, it's long past time for the US to withdraw entirely from the UN, throw them out of the US, and tear down their New York City headquarters building.


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Sunday, 20 December 2009
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