Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gore-linked Video Fakes Climate Science


CLIMATE 101 from The Climate Reality Project on Vimeo.

The above video includes a supposed "high school physics" experiment that has been shown to be an edited video fake by Watts Up With That? (WUWT)

Last week, while I was in Brugge, Belgium, near the end of my bike and barge trip from Brussels, I received an email from Anthony Watts (owner of WUWT) with a link to a review version of the above exposure of the Gore-linked fake, asking for my comments. As I sat in the Brugge Markt, using a a free WiFi link, I was amazed and pleased to see that Anthony had used one of my graphics in his posting to explain the "Greenhouse effect". (To see it, click on Watts Up With That? (WUWT) and then scroll way down to just beyond the image of the INFRARED HEAT LAMP and you will see the animated graphic credited to me.)

As I read Anthony's posting, which reveals that the supposed "high school physics" experiment in the video was obviously faked, I thought immediately of how Dan Rather got into trouble when he broadcast images of a letter about George Bush's military record that included a superscript "th" that proved conclusively the letter had not been typed in the year it was supposedly prepared, and was therefore a fake. Rather lost his job and reputation. I hope the same happens to Al Gore for being asociated with this type of easily proven fakery.

Ira Glickstein

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Federal Regulation vs American Businesses

[from billlifka] There’s much debate over federal regulation becoming ever more intrusive, more unreasonable and more damaging to the economy. I agree with those who believe the federal bureaucrats have far exceeded their missions and have violated the constitution by usurping powers of Congress. Liberals (progressives) have been attacking the private sector for over a century. Their goal is a socialistic America. Consider my personal experience twenty six years ago. It’s only one of many similar happenings.

At the time, I was engaged in restoring a troubled company. Despite its negative cash flow, this company had a number of commendable characteristics. Having a few less than 500 employees, it was considered to be a “small business”. Small businesses are the real source of employment growth and for other reasons, also, the federal government was trying, in 1985, to encourage small businesses. Another federal goal was to reduce an imbalance of trade caused by much greater imports than exports. This company exported 35% of its products; well above average.

Both federal and state governments encouraged employment of minorities (translate this to be African-Americans) and especially those in pockets of poverty, like inner cities. The company was adjacent to Bridgeport, CT, with its large population of poor blacks. The company employed many of them in electronic assembly. This was not at minimum wage but competitive and union-negotiated hourly rates. Another federal concern, back then, was “Japan Inc. eating our lunch”, especially in the electronic industries. The company was leading all Japanese producers of its product, combined, in market share. (It shared the lead with the subsidiary of a huge American corporation.) The bottom line is that this small company deserved federal support, not its grief.

The company had two export licenses: one for trade and one for samples. The first was for items sold and the other for demonstration product which, eventually, would be returned or destroyed. In the company’s regular review of paperwork, it discovered that a small shipment (about three thousand dollars) had been filed under the sample license, mistakenly. The company reported this to the local Commerce Department office, within a few weeks of the mistake. Nothing was heard from Commerce for over six months. This wasn’t surprising. It was like not feeding a parking meter and showing up at city hall a few weeks later, voluntarily, to pay the dollar owed.

Without warning or discussion, Commerce cancelled the company’s export licenses, fined it $5 million (Like killing flies with a howitzer.) and spread the news to the company’s customers and distributors in federal publications. The company couldn’t raise $5 million or survive losing one third of its business. It appealed the ruling. The accuser was a young, black, female lawyer at Commerce who would not back down a penny. As far as she was concerned, the company was a typically rotten corporation better dead than alive. Her supervisor was empathetic, but powerless for fear of his underling’s political position. Eventually, the company had its U.S. Senator exert his clout; the licenses were restored and the fine reduced to $50K, less than cost of legal fees to continue the fight. That’s one example of regulatory action that is killing American businesses. Cost of filing compliance reports is worse. Over-regulation is a major factor in unemployment.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Score One for the Internet

The other day I was at the clinic to have blood drawn for some tests. I told the young lady poking me with a needle that the blood culture had to be done for 21 days rather than the usual 3 days in order to detect brucellosis. She said that she saw brucella on the order but nothing about 30 days. I insisted that it was necessary, because brucella is hard to detect. I had read that on the internet. She had never heard of brucella, but she went to ask the the microbiologist. When she returned, she said, "Score one for the internet. We would have thrown out the culture after 3 days."

There are only 200 cases of brucellosis in the US. The point is that health care can be improved if the public is educated about how to do internet research properly. My own doctor has never seen a case, although he learned about the disease in medical school. Doctors find patient research on the internet to be annoying, but when done right, patients can contribute to their own diagnosis.

What would you say are the key features of useful amateur internet research?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Global Warming Debate

I participated in a Joint Presentation on Global Warming at the Science-Technology Club, The Villages, FL, on 08 September 2011. My friend Bob Miller was on the AFFIRMATIVE side, which maintains that Global Warming due to unprecedented use of fossil fuels DOES constitute a substantial, near-term danger to human civilization on Earth. I took the NEGATIVE side that it DOES NOT.

Our combined PowerPoint chart set is available for anyone to download at Please use SLIDE SHOW mode to view the presentation because some of the charts are animated.

As indicated in the second graphic above, the debate follows the traditional 1858 Lincoln and Douglas debate format. (The photos show Bob in his younger days and me before I grew my beard :^).

The main difference in the format is that an Audience Participation Question and Comment period has been added between the initial presentations by each side and the rebuttal presentations.

To keep this debate on track, and prevent it from degenerating into a pointless argument about whether the so-called "Greenhouse effect" is real (it is), whether the Earth has been warming over the past century (it has) and, whether humans have any role in that warming (we do), both participants have agreed to the stipulations listed in the third graphic.

In short, we both agree that the "Greenhouse Effect" is real and rising CO2 levels do contribute to that effect, that it has indeed warmed, and that humans actions have some responsibility for the warming.

That leaves the much more important questions for debate:

  • How much has the Earth actually warmed over the past century?
  • How much of that is due to human activities, primarily rising CO2 levels?
  • Does the temperature rise pose any substantial, near-term danger to human civilization?
  • What, if any, drastic action is required to ameliorate human-caused Global Warming?

Ira Glickstein