Archive for the 'global warming' Category
- The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education (1998). Aaron Swartz was greatly influenced by this book.
- High-carb versus low-carb diet difference influences memory. There were a thousand differences between the diet called high-carb and the diet called low-carb, don’t take seriously the idea that the crucial difference is the carbohydrate difference. That’s just one possibility. The main thing to learn from this study is that your memory is affected by what you eat.
- Climate models predict poorly. “Christy said he believes the models overestimate warming because of the way they handle clouds.” I have said for a long time that too much faith has been put in climate models, which have not been shown to predict correctly.
- Experts and guidebook say toxic plant is edible. Someone who trusted the guidebook died.
Thanks to Jeff Winkler and Tom George.
- Walking after a meal improves blood sugar
- A look at QSers. “Some of the most societally redefining concepts now emerge from edge-thinkers, who are increasingly visible, organized, and effective, in part due to the Web. Even so, whenever I spoke to them or read their blogs, at some point I always wondered, why?”
- Steve McIntyre vindicated. RealClimate says: “That is the most disquieting legacy of Steve McIntyre and ClimateAudit [McIntyre's blog]. The real Yamal deception is their attempt to damage public confidence in science by making speculative and scandalous claims about the actions and motivations of scientists while cloaking them in a pretense of advancing scientific knowledge.” A comment on ClimateAudit: “It’s quite obvious that in 2009 and again in 2011, you shamelessly plagiarised Briffa 2013.”
Thanks to Jazi Zilber and Phil Alexander.
- natural acne remedies
- A mainstream climate scientist has doubts. “We’re facing a puzzle. Recent CO2 emissions have actually risen even more steeply than we feared. As a result, according to most climate models, we should have seen temperatures rise by around 0.25 degrees Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 10 years. That hasn’t happened. In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06 degrees Celsius (0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) — a value very close to zero. This is a serious scientific problem.” What would Bill McKibben say?
- Personal Experiments, a research site where you can sign up for experiments.
- Trouble at GSK Shanghai. The defenses of the accused strike me as plausible.
- Sleep disturbance in a hospital. “Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., I did not go more than an hour without some kind of interruption.” As ridiculous as cutting off part of the immune system because of too many infections (tonsillectomies) and the view that acne has nothing to do with diet.
Thanks to Dave Lull.
- World Health Organization opposes effective herbal malaria remedy
- Increasing potassium intake reduces blood pressure and risk of stroke (experimental evidence)
- How to clearly distinguish thermometer and proxy temperature records.
- Conversation with Edward Jay Epstein about his new book Annals of Unsolved Crime.
- The flavors of fermentation (WSJ). “Recreating naturally occurring fermented flavors in a lab isn’t easy, experts say. “What I marvel the most about is the complexity, especially with something like kimchi,” says Paul Ricciardi, an IFF flavorist.” I believe we like complex flavors so that we will eat more fermented food.
- Ada by Vladimir Nabokov, annotated
- Patient-powered health (BMJ)
Thanks to Dave Lull and Ashish Mukharji.
The person who assembled and disseminated the Climategate emails has now explained his or her actions:
The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to [increase] my trust in the state of climate science — on the contrary. I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact.
Briefly put, when I had to balance the interests of my own safety, privacy\career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades, the first two weren’t the decisive concern.
It was me or nobody, now or never. Combination of several rather improbable prerequisites just wouldn’t occur again for anyone else in the foreseeable future. The circus was about to arrive in Copenhagen. Later on it could be too late.
Most would agree that climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material “might”. The scale will grow ever grander in the coming decades if things go according to script. We’re dealing with $trillions and potentially drastic influence on practically everyone.
Wealth of the surrounding society tends to draw the major brushstrokes of a newborn’s future life. It makes a huge difference whether humanity uses its assets to achieve progress, or whether it strives to stop and reverse it, essentially sacrificing the less fortunate to the climate gods.
We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not away from something and someone else.
If the economy of a region, a country, a city, etc. deteriorates, what happens among the poorest? Does that usually improve their prospects? No, they will take the hardest hit. No amount of magical climate thinking can turn this one upside-down.
It’s easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our “clean” technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized.
Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. don’t have that luxury. The price of “climate protection” with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations.
Conversely, a “game-changer” could have a beneficial effect encompassing a similar scope.
If I had a chance to accomplish even a fraction of that, I’d have to try. I couldn’t morally afford inaction. Even if I risked everything, would never get personal compensation, and could probably never talk about it with anyone.
I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again (although with slight alterations — trying to publish something truthful on RealClimate was clearly too grandiose of a plan .
Even if I have it all wrong and these scientists had some good reason to mislead us (instead of making a strong case with real data) I think disseminating the truth is still the safest bet by far.
From my point of view, the best thing about the Climategate emails is that they were more evidence that mainstream thinking about something can be grossly wrong — that a “crazy” position can be right. My self-experimentation taught me this over and over (e.g., the Shangri-La Diet).
- Johnson & Johnson executives knew about problems with hip implant but did not tell doctors and patients. Surely an example of a larger problem.
- Evidence that smell involves quantum physics. A theory that almost all smell scientists reject.
- From 210 to 160 pounds via the Shangri-La Diet, and still losing.
- In this history of the NFL’s response to brain trauma, doctors, such as Elliott Pellman, acted far more often against player protection than for player protection.
- The Sierra Club has taken lots of money from gas companies. Which makes sense. If you have a lot of money to spend, should you give it to those who agree with you or those who disagree with you? Which recipients will change more per dollar? Peter Gleick failed to understand this. Noam Chomsky is even more confused.
- Overweight associated with lower, not higher mortality. “Relative to normal weight . . . grades 2 and 3 obesity were associated with significantly higher all-cause mortality. . . . Overweight [25 < BMI < 30] was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality.”
The title comes from Andrew Montford’s new book Hiding the Decline (copy given me by author) about Climategate. From an introductory section:
When the figures were published the extraordinary lack of data underlying the blade of the Yamal hockey stick caused a minor sensation. In fact the high point at the end of the graph was shown to have been based on only four trees, and only one of these had the hockey stick shape. McIntyre dubbed it ‘the most influential tree in the world’.
Most of Hiding the Decline is about the inquiries that followed Climategate. I enjoyed reading about smug powerful people making fools of themselves and the fairy-tale-like consternation created by two unlikely events: 1. A non-scientist (Steve McIntyre) gets involved in the global warming debate. As in a fairy tale, McIntyre is free to speak the truth. In particular, he is free to question. Professional climate scientists cannot speak the truth for fear of career damage. 2. The release of the Climategate emails. As in a fairy tale, a sudden burst of truth about bad behavior previously hidden. (more…)
- American Geophysical Union honors Peter Gleick.
- What does using SPSS say about you? (Via Marginal Revolution). I disagree that R users “do not care about aesthetics.” R can make much nicer graphs than other packages.
- Does the Daily Mail website get 100 million unique visitors per month? If so, did Michael Jackson sell one billion records?
- IRB difficulties, social science division
- Unsafe injections: “This can’t happen in the United States, this is a Third World thing.”
- What medication was Lanza on? “It may well turn out that knowing what kinds of guns he used isn’t nearly as important as what kind of drugs he used.”
- Aaron Swartz in his own words.
Thanks to Patrick Vlaskovits.
- ALS patients test promising chemical, collate the results themselves.
- Did you know about “side letters”? New ways that Hollywood makes money by Edward Epstein.
- Parents have stronger immune systems than non-parents.
- Does sewer work improve your immune system? ” Sewer workers think so. “The [sewer workers] that Mayhew met were strong, robust and even florid in complexion, often surprisingly long-lived–thanks, perhaps, to immune systems that grew used to working flat out–and adamantly convinced that the stench that they encountered in the tunnels [while searching for valuable stuff, such as coins] “contributes in a variety of ways to their general health.”
- Steve McIntyre tries to get Science and PNAS to enforce their data archiving policies. Thompson = Lonnie Thompson, an Ohio State climatologist.
Thanks to Adam Clemens, Melissa McEwen, and Navanit Arakeri.
- criticism of Richard Florida
- tea drinking associated with reduced risk of stroke
- James Lovelock changes his mind about global warming. “Having observed that global temperatures since the turn of the millennium have not gone up in the way computer-based climate models predicted, Lovelock acknowledged, “the problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing.” . . . He responds to attacks on his revised views by noting that, unlike many climate scientists who fear a loss of government funding if they admit error, as a freelance scientist, he’s never been afraid to revise his theories in the face of new evidence.”
- The American Psychiatric Association suppresses criticism of the forthcoming new edition of its diagnostic manual, the DSM. (The new edition is DSM 5). The more arbitrary, top-down and evidence-ignoring the actions of health professionals, the greater the value of personal science (= finding out for oneself). Here are criticisms of the new edition.
- More about autism and ultrasound
- Nora Ephron misses butter and bacon
Thanks to Bryan Castañeda and Alex Blackwood.
- interview with Sandor Katz about his new book The Art of Fermentation
- How well do climate models predict?
- Bryan Caplan reviews a book about twins separated at birth.
- UC Davis professor harassed after he criticizes prostate cancer screening. “[UC Davis] officials said the dispute should have been handled internally and that Wilkes should not have published his concerns in a public forum.”
- Andrew Gelman chooses five books about politics.
Thanks to David Cramer.
- A good example of how misleading drug-company-sponsored analyses of drug trials can be. Independent reanalysis by Daniel Coyne, a professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, reached opposite conclusions. Good work, Coyne.
- Coke contains a carcinogen.
- “I used sunflower seeds to lose weight.” Someone else used them to reduce addictions. The link between the Shangri-La Diet and reduction of non-food addictions (smoking, coffee) fascinates me. People start SLD to lose weight and say they become less addicted to smoking, coffee drinking, and so on. One possibility is that by reducing hunger, SLD reduces discomfort. Addictions gain strength from discomfort, often resemble self-medication.
- Steve McIntyre replies to Gavin Schmidt’s claim that McIntyre’s beliefs resemble “classic conspiracy theory”. I used to watch a lot of football — when the 49ers won most of their games. (I am a classic fairweather fan.) I get a similar pleasure reading Steve McIntyre’s posts as I did from watching 49er games.
- Congratulations, UCLA press office! A study that measured the effect of omega-3 by comparing two groups of rats — one gets omega-3, the other doesn’t — is called a study about the evils of fructose (both groups got a high-fructose diet). I am surprised the scientists involved didn’t object to this misrepresentation. The study supposedly shows — according to the press office — that fructose is bad because performance went down when the rats were switched from standard lab chow to a high-fructose diet. Let’s say you start with a diet (standard lab chow) that has a barely adequate amount of omega-3. You feed both groups lab chow for several months. Then you do an experiment in which both groups get 60% of their calories from the lab chow and 40% of their calories from a diet that contains no omega-3. Performance is likely to decline due to insufficient omega-3 no matter what the new diet contains.
Thanks to Tim Beneke.
The main reason Hansen’s 1988 warming projections were too high is that he used a climate model with a high climate sensitivity, and his results are actually evidence that the true climate sensitivity parameter is within the range accepted by the IPCC.
There is no consideration of the possibilities that (a) one or more other parameters were wrong or (b) the model — aside from parameter values — is wrong (e.g., it oversimplifies). Surely you are joking, Mr. Skeptical Science.
Thanks to Phil Price.
- A “safe starch” lowers HDL.
- DIY clinical trials
- omega-3 content versus mercury content of fish: a handy guide.
- Predictions of climate models versus reality. I have only seen careful prediction-vs-reality comparisons made by AGW skeptics. Those who believe humans are dangerously warming the planet appear to be silent on this subject.
- UNESCO’s list of “intangible cultural heritage”. I like to think the items on the list are clues to human nature.
Thanks to David Cramer and Nadalal.
- more health, less profit?
- Long interesting review of Michael Mann’s new book. “The controversy is actually very simple. Mann’s papers give undue focus to a small amount of data.”
- excellent article in The Smithsonian about fermentation. “We’re trying to see if there’s a way to get more of that umami richness and less fishiness.”
- Flaxseed in Human Nutrition (1995 book).
- Spy magazine highlights.
Thanks to Tom George and Mark Griffith.
- Older eyes block blue light more than young eyes, which may cause sleep problems.
- Caroline Rodgers makes a case (29 slides) that autism is often caused by prenatal ultrasound. This link is from the comments on my previous post about the danger of prenatal ultrasound.
- Why did Deep Throat leak the secrets that brought down President Nixon?
- Do bitters make a difference? A taste test. A better test would have been simpler: to ask, many times in paired comparisons, which is better: Drink X with bitters or drink X without bitters?
Thanks to David Cramer, Jahed Momand and Nancy Evans.
- The advantages of raquetball self-education
- Nassim Taleb on British economic governance. I like the idea of a list of firms that will be bailed out.
- Lactofermented mayonnaise. “[Without fermentation this] will only last for about a week in the refrigerator. On the other hand, [if fermented (7-12 hours at room temperature), it] will last about 6-8 weeks or longer.”
- Cosmic rays and cloud formation. Does cosmic ray variation cause global temperature variation?
- Man the opportunist by Melissa McEwen
- WSJ anti-AGW letter writers respond to critics.
Thanks to Ryan Holiday, Matt Cassel, Tom George and Dave Lull.
Gleick might as well have signed the fake document. Mosher identified him as the author almost instantly. The fake memo, unlike the actual documents, put Gleick in a position of prominence in the climate debate, whereas, in his actual encounters with skeptic blogs, Gleick has come across as an erratic and even comic figure. The style parallels came afterwards.
From here. I sat next to Peter Gleick at a friend’s dinner party about five years ago. He seemed to me staggeringly accomplished, not erratic (or comic) at all. Yet recently I too found him to be comic. Remember that famous New Yorker cartoon — “On the Internet, no one knows I’m a dog”? The bitter truth is “On the Internet, no one knows I’m a nice person.” I don’t mean Gleick is not a nice person — if anyone is a jerk it is me for what I just quoted — I mean that his recent actions strike me as weirdly uninhibited.
- Big Pharma versus Parkinson’s disease — perfectly good non-Big-Pharma treatments (ECT, nicotine, caffeine) are neglected in favor of a much worse Big-Pharma treatment (L-dopa).
- Substances high in Essential Fatty Acids, such as evening primrose oil, used to treat allergy-associated problems (case reports). From the 1980s. Other articles from the Foundation for Integrated Medicine.
- Artisanal sake survives the tsunami and makes an accidental discovery.
- Food tour of Tokyo by Jeffrey Steingarten.
- Should England’s Royal Society be taken seriously? Judging by their leaders’ certainty about global warming . . .
- 60 Minutes covers the Anil Potti scandal at Duke University.
Thanks to Allen Carl Jackson, Phil Alexander and Navanit Arakeri.