Thursday, August 30, 2007

Less than half does not a concensus make

I have been disagreeing with proponents of anthropogenic global warming for a long time. Any research or facts I used to support my opinions met the same retort: "The consensus view is that human activity is warming the planet." Hah! I now can blow that out of the water as well. I have observed critics of global warming being attacked verbally and threatened. Here are a few examples:

Dr. Tim Ball, Chairman of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project:

"I once received a three page letter that my lawyer defined as libellous, from an academic colleague, saying I had no right to say what I was saying, especially in public lectures."[Canada Free Press]

Michael T. Eckhart, president of the environmental group the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) writing to Marlo Lewis, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI):

“It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on."[Washington Times]

Grist Magazine’s staff writer David Roberts:

"When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.”[Grist]

Roger Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research: (note: He is a supporter of Anthropogenic Global Warming)

“The phrase ‘climate change denier’ is meant to be evocative of the phrase ‘holocaust denier’”. U of Colorado

Earlier I promised to blow the consensus thing out of the water and it's time to deliver. From here:

"Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."

The figures are even more shocking when one remembers the watered-down definition of consensus here. Not only does it not require supporting that man is the "primary" cause of warming, but it doesn't require any belief or support for "catastrophic" global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results."

I feel that the tide is changing in regards to global warming. The planet may be warming, but not due to human activity. Temperature monitoring stations are not properly maintained and are not complying with NOAA's own rules, and this is just in the US. Who knows what climate monitoring stations in other countries is like. For more info on climate stations, check out I plan on doing surveys of the three stations in NO, if anyone out there would like to give me a hand, I would appreciate it.

Global warming supporters use computer models to predict future weather on the planet. In no way are these accurate. To forecast the weather years in advance,when a 7 day forecast is a crap shoot, is just an educated guess. Look at how much the hurricane models differ.

One last thing to end my rant. Shouldn't global warming supporters be happy to find out that they are wrong? Rejoice that human activity will not adversely affect the planet. But they don't. Time for an analogy: You see a doctor and he says: "you have cancer". You get a second opinion: "No cancer". Do you (A) Feel better that you will not die of cancer, or (B) Tell the 2nd doctor that you do have cancer and threaten to ruin his career if he persists saying otherwise.

The reason they persist is that they have other goals than just saving the planet. The environmental movement has become the new home for the anti-capitalism crowd. They see environmental regulations as a vehicle to attack "big business". So, don't buy into their propaganda. Global warming is just a passing fad. In 10 years the media will be fretting about something else... global cooling redux?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stand in the place where you are

Gov. Blanco takes the stand today in the St. Rita's trial in St. Francisville. The prosecution has called her and you can bet they will lob some softball questions to her. But when the defense gets to cross examine her, Coach won't be there to whisper in her ear. I would bet better than even money that she cries on the stand. Too bad LA doesn't allow cameras in the court room. That would be some entertaining TV.

Monday, August 27, 2007

There's no crying in baseball...

But apparently Gov. Blanco cried when Mayor Nagin wouldn't take her phone calls after Katrina. This according to a Times-Pic article about Sally Forman's new book. The official wife of the German said "She gives women a bad name." I could not agree more. If Louisiana has ever elected anyone to the Governor's office more unable to lead and make decisions, I can't recall it. But then again, crying got her elected. I firmly believe that her crying about her son that died in an work-related accident during a debate sealed the election for her. Don't get me wrong, I believe she was speaking from the heart and not just pandering to the audience. But that response got her elected.

Her inability to make a decision is her biggest liability and after Katrina it showed. The one thing I fault her the most for was telling President Bush that she needed 24 hours to decide if she wanted to federalize the National Guard. Yes or no, that decision should have taken 24 seconds. She wasted time and that is something a leader cannot do. This was displayed in a radio debate before the election. When asked a question (can't remember what it was), listeners were treated to dead air. Well is wasn't totally quiet, shuffling papers could be heard in the background. Over 30 seconds of dead air. That should have doomed her, but the crying trumped that. Note to voters: When you vote, please make a logical decision and not an emotional one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Help, my brain is melting

Just had to relate this actual event from this morning... BTW I do tech support.

Me: (answers phone) Hi, this is the German. (I actually used my real name)
Caller: My computer is not responding.
Me: Reboot.
Caller: Keyboard is locked, can't do ctrl-alt-del.
Me: Press power button in for 3 to 5 seconds until the screen goes blank, then ress button again to restart.
Caller: Where is the power button?
Me: On the front of the computer.
Caller: Is it by a green light.
Me: (Damn lady, I don't know what your PC looks like) Probably.
Caller: OK. ---end call---

---new call---
Me: (answers phone) Hi, this is the German.
Caller: Did I just talk to you.
Me: Yes.
Caller: I did what you said and the computer is doing the same thing.
Me: You have to press the power button on the computer and not the monitor.
Caller: You mean the button on the computer way over there.
Me: Yes.
Caller: OK. ---end call---

---new call---
Me: (answers phone) Hi, this is the German.
Caller: It didn't turn off.
Me: You have to hold the button in for 3 to 5 seconds til the screen goes blank.
Caller: OK. ---end call---

Me: Please kill me now!
IT department: Laughter...
Me: I went to school for this...?

2.00 to recycle or 2.00 not to recycle

It look like curbside recycling is poised to return to unincorporated JP and Jean Lafitte. I was never a big fan of it in the past. For me the biggest deterrent was that I had to separate the different types of recyclables. I know, talk about hardships, right? The result was that my bin was filled with only paper. I had to pick one because I was too lazy to separate, and paper was it.

The good news is that the committee researching this has recommended that the winning bidder bear the burden of separating the materials. Yard waste will also be collected, although how they recycle yard waste is a mystery to me. Tree branches I can see, but grass clippings?????? * Looks like they plan to compost the clippings for you. Here is a link to a pdf for the city of San Diego recycling program. They also recommend the collection of 5 types of plastics instead of the old 2. The last change is that they recommend that glass be no longer picked up. They cite high cost due to weight and the lack of demand for used glass. I guess its cheaper to just get sand than recycle glass.

It sounds like some changes for the better, if they adhere to the recommendations. Residents were paying $1.87 before the storm and that price must not change dramatically. I think having the contractor separate the waste is worth any increased cost because I think more people will use the service. But if the collection of yard waste pushes the cost upwards of $5.00, then I think that part will be ditched.

I could take this or leave it. I'm not just that worried about it. While I have fluorescent lights in my house and I compost yard waste, I do that because I am cheap. I do it to save $$ on electricity and on buying trash bags, not for the environment. I also drastically reduced my "carbon footprint" when my A/C was out for 4 days last week.

I think that environmentalists could get people to do more eco-friendly things if they touted the ones that will save money. As an example, have you seen the price of "organic" milk. I would never spend that much on a gallon of milk. People are motivated by their self interests and environmentalists must appeal to that if they want to make progress.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Selling like hotcakes

Last night there were three MURDERS IN NEW ORLEANS ™.

Be the first to sign up for the exciting, MURDERS IN NO ™ Tours. Visit all the murder scenes in "Chocolate City ®". These are just some of our offerings:

1. Walking tour of Central City. Almost two dozens sites seperated by a few blocks. Bulletproof vests available for a nominal fee.

2. Bus tours of every murder site in the city. Book soon and be among the first to visit site number 200.

3. Several theme tours are available, among them: drug murders, dead whites that generated outrage, and drug murders.

All tours include commemorative map of the city with the murder locations noted, and your choice of t-shirt: "It's all good"; "Got chocolate milk?"; or "It's the way God wants it to be".

Paid for by the Elect Ray Nagin to something campaign fund.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Memento Mori

When I decided to start this blog, my aim was to focus on this going on in JP first, the New Orleans area second, and anything I found interesting third. I did/do not intend that this become a vehicle for sharing my personal life. I have no desire to bore you to death and must remain anonymous for work related reasons. This is the first, probably only, post to focus on me. Here goes...

Three weeks today, I learned that my sister had died. It was unexpected. She was younger than me at only 28. Makes me think about my own mortality. I've no guarantee as to how long I get to stick around here; I will try to make the most of it.

My birthday is in September. I found a birthday card in her apartment that I presume was meant for me. Her birthday would have been in November; I already bought her present. Weird... I don't know what I will do with that present. I feel somewhat attached to it, even though she never saw it, much less had it.

I wonder if my kids will remember her; they are only 5 and 1.5 years old. I don't remember being 5. I will have to help them remember.

My thanks to all my friends that have offered their support. I also thank my wife, for her I am eternally grateful. I know my parents read this blog and I thank them for raising my sister and I. They succeeded on both accounts.

I miss my sister very much.

Monday, August 13, 2007

1,2,3,... Redlight

JP will soon be installing redlight cameras to increase revenue, er..., decrease accidents at intersections in the parish. The cameras will be installed by RedFlex Traffic Solutions at no cost to the parish. A map of the planned locations can be found here.
The ACLU tried to get on the parish agenda to speak out against the cameras, but were denied time to speak. They argue that even though the tickets issued by the cameras will be civil rather than criminal, they are still illegal. Readers take note, I am with the ACLU 100% on this. This is the type of thing they should be working on, not pretending to be amateur art critics.

The evidence that redlight cameras reduce accidents is weak. Here are the results of several studies from here. Here are a few of the studies listed:

A 2005 Virginia DOT study found:
"The cameras are correlated with an increase in total crashes of 8% to 17%."

A 2006 Winnipeg, Canada city audit found:
"The graph shows an increase of 58% in the number of traffic collisions from 2003 to 2004.... Contrary to long-term expectations, the chart shows an increase in claims at each level of damage with the largest percentage increase appearing at the highest dollar value."

A 2004 North Carolina A&T University study found:
"Our findings are more pessimistic, finding no change in angle accidents and large increases in rear-end crashes and many other types of crashes relative to other intersections."

Other than being illegal (according to the ACLU) and probably increasing the number of accidents, I have several more objections.

1. The owner of the car will be ticketed, not the driver.

2. Do you get a ticket if you move through an intersection to make room for police, fire, or ems?

3. If this is being done to improve safety, why is the data not being reported to the insurance companies?

This whole thing is just a money grab. The number of tickets written is down since the hurricane and the JP police dept. is looking for a way to increase revenue. Shame on the council for rubber stamping this crap. The inevitable lawsuits will end up costing the parish money, just like the State had to pay up for the obviously unconstitutional ban on video games.

If the parish wants to increase safety, reduce accidents, and reduce citations (all of which would reduce insurance rates), increasing the length of yellow lights is a simple and inexpensive solution.

A 2004 Texas Transportation Institute study found:
"An increase in yellow duration of 1.0 seconds is associated with a [crash frequency] of about 0.6, which corresponds to a 40 percent reduction in crashes."

There have been instance where yellow light times have been reduced to generate more tickets.
A 2001 report by the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives found:
"The changes in the yellow signal timing regulations have resulted in the inadequate yellow times. And these inadequate yellow times are the likely cause of almost 80 percent of red light entries."

I plan on going to several of these intersections in the next several days and filming several light cycles at each. After the cameras are installed (supposed to be finished by early September), I will return and see how the yellow light times fared.