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George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: nobel prizes for economics on 12/12/2010 15:56:41 MST Print View

Milton Friedman got one too


friedman

there is no “certain” substantive knowledge; only tentative hypotheses that can never be “proved”,but can only fail to be rejected, hypotheses in which we may have more or less confidence, depending on such features as the breadth of experience they
encompass relative to their own complexity and relative to alternative hypotheses,
and the number of occasions on which they have escaped possible rejection.

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1976/friedman-lecture.pdf

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1976/

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: So how far will you go? on 12/12/2010 15:58:32 MST Print View

Tom,
I'm aware of maybe half a dozen climate scientists who for whatever unfortunate reasons, are guilty of serious scientific misconduct. I don't need to name names, go and read the climategate emails for yourself. http://eastangliaemails.com

There are quite a few more who have turned a blind eye to the uncertainties and inconsistencies and followed the funding largesse by producing the 'right conclusions' to their studies, whatever they believe in private. This has to end. Science without integrity is worse than worthless. It twists and biases our perception of reality.

The machinations of the political class are not my chosen area of study, I'm trying to do my bit by helping to formulate a better theory of climate.

A modeled 0.1ph unit variation in the oceans over three centuries during which the earth has been recovering from the little ice age is just not worrying me, I'm sorry, I must have
Imminent! Climate! Alarm! fatigue. Come back with solid data when it turns up.

Edited by tallbloke on 12/12/2010 16:02:04 MST.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
more friedman from same paper re economics... on 12/12/2010 16:05:14 MST Print View

[left off of earlier post]

The importance for humanity of a correct understanding of positive economic
science is vividly brought out by a statement made nearly two hundred years
ago by Pierre S. du Pont, a Deputy from Nemours to the French National
Assembly, speaking, appropriately enough, on a proposal to issue additional
assignats - the fiat money of the French Revolution:
“Gentlemen, it is a disagreeable custom to which one is too easily led by
the harshness of the discussions, to assume evil intentions. It is necessary to be
gracious as to intentions; one should believe them good, and apparently they
are; but we do not have to be gracious at all to inconsistent logic or to absurd
reasoning. Bad logicians have committed more involuntary crimes than bad
men have done intentionally” (25 September 1790).

========

as mark twain said about history not repeating itselt but noted it sure do rhyme

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: So how far will you go? on 12/12/2010 16:13:57 MST Print View

Tom Says:
My feeeling regarding models is that you have to start somewhere, and a model is a good way of beginning to ask the right questions. Gradually, as data from the real world accumulates, the models can be refined and become more useful as a predictive tool. Given the potential gravity of the situation we are facing I, for one, am thankful that the questions are beginning to be asked.


I agree, but I think we need more models based on more different hypotheses, so we can better judge which hypothesis is following reality better. A lot of the objections to minstream climte science revolve around the way it has excluded other possibilities in order to promote a false front of certainty.

Time to get real about this. Our understanding of climate is in its infancy, and climate scientists need to face up to and admit the levels of uncertainty which are really there.

This doesn't play well with politicians who want easy soundbite statements. We will have to disappoint them. A fair re-appraisal of the state of the science will show there is no immediate need for alarm, and there is time to gather better data before deciding what, if anything, we need to do about adaption to natural climate change or mitigation of human activity.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: So how far will you go? on 12/12/2010 16:14:15 MST Print View

"A modeled 0.1ph unit variation in the oceans over three centuries during which the earth has been recovering from the little ice age is just not worrying me, I'm sorry, I must have Imminent! Climate! Alarm! fatigue. Come back with solid data when it turns up."

Yes, you really should start getting more rest. I can sense this thread has taken a lot out of you, these past months.

I would observe, though, that by the time a disruption in the food chain is imminent, we'll all have Climate! Alarm!! Fatigue!!!, only it'll be from hypoxia. :(

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: more friedman from same paper re economics... on 12/12/2010 16:19:36 MST Print View

"The importance for humanity of a correct understanding of positive economic
science is vividly brought out by a statement made nearly two hundred years
ago by Pierre S. du Pont, a Deputy from Nemours to the French National
Assembly, speaking, appropriately enough, on a proposal to issue additional
assignats - the fiat money of the French Revolution:
“Gentlemen, it is a disagreeable custom to which one is too easily led by
the harshness of the discussions, to assume evil intentions. It is necessary to be
gracious as to intentions; one should believe them good, and apparently they
are; but we do not have to be gracious at all to inconsistent logic or to absurd
reasoning. Bad logicians have committed more involuntary crimes than bad
men have done intentionally” (25 September 1790)."

Are you commenting on economics in general here, or Amartya Sen in particular, or both? I'm a little confused in any case as to what your point is.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So how far will you go? on 12/12/2010 16:22:06 MST Print View

"I agree, but I think we need more models based on more different hypotheses, so we can better judge which hypothesis is following reality better. A lot of the objections to minstream climte science revolve around the way it has excluded other possibilities in order to promote a false front of certainty."

I agree 100%. Get your work out there, Rog. I don't think anyone has the answers at this point, and the more questions, the better. Time is of the essence, IMO.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: please see these wet vikings on 12/12/2010 16:36:52 MST Print View

"All the windmills in Britain have been stationary for the last month because their blades are covered in ice. Just when you need more energy, windpower lets you down."

I would never advocate putting all one's eggs in one basket. A mix of technologies is needed so energy is available in all conditions, at all times of year. Wind/solar/geothermal/tidal/hydro and yes, even nuclear, as well as technologies not yet developed, are all options, though the ~30 year lag time to get new nuclear plants on line makes it a medium term solution, though about the right time frame to replace oil and coal. I admit nuclear would be my last choice though...and my preference, like Tom's would, while bringing these alternative technologies on line, to voluntarily reduce our energy requirements via reduced population and consumerism, as well as increasing efficiency in the things we continue to do. Dreams, they say, are free!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Dreams on 12/12/2010 16:56:40 MST Print View

Dreams, they say, are free!

Peter Gabriel: "All of the buildings, all of the cars, were once just a dream in somebody's head."

This assumed physical world we live in, the one we built and govern, could evovle into something completely different if we allow those who imagine it a chance to have their say instead of being called "unrealistic" or "bleeding hearts" or "air headed". Not one of today's developments could have come about without those who dream. Not one.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Dreams on 12/12/2010 17:44:04 MST Print View

Well, as I said, dreams are free, it's the action to make them come true that takes the effort.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: So how far will you go? on 12/12/2010 18:06:00 MST Print View

"I'm aware of maybe half a dozen climate scientists who for whatever unfortunate reasons, are guilty of serious scientific misconduct. I don't need to name names, go and read the climategate emails for yourself. http://eastangliaemails.com"

I don't dispute that, Rog. They got caught with their knickers down and paid the price. Unfortunately they seem to have taken a lot of other conscientious scientists down with them.

"There are quite a few more who have turned a blind eye to the uncertainties and inconsistencies and followed the funding largesse by producing the 'right conclusions' to their studies, whatever they believe in private. This has to end. Science without integrity is worse than worthless. It twists and biases our perception of reality."

No doubt true to some degree, but I have a hard time believing this applies to a majority of climate researchers. But, then, perhaps I am naieve. What would be your estimate of the percentage who have sold out?

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
page after page. on 12/12/2010 19:19:36 MST Print View

Ah shucks Rog.

Find comfort in your smug insults!

Find solace in your dismissive tone!

Wrap yourself in a warm, slightly damp, blanket of your me-against-the-worldness!

(Also, I can't wait to go talk about lightweight backpacking on a global warming net-forum and show them a thing or two! I'll seem so smart! I will dismiss with abandon! I'll make up words that don't exist and boy they'll feel dumb!)

Tiny happy place... engage.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: So how far will you go? on 12/13/2010 01:06:40 MST Print View

Tom says:
I would observe, though, that by the time a disruption in the food chain is imminent, we'll all have Climate! Alarm!! Fatigue!!!, only it'll be from hypoxia


If that were true we would have thousands of years to sort it out. Unfortunately, a serious crop failure due to bad weather hitting 'just in time' monoculture cereal production will cause serious food riots and starvation. I'm sure this is not the way Lynn wants to see nice orderly population control come into effect. We *must* be prepared, and at the moment we are not. As things stand, if Katla blew it's top in Iceland, Britain would be in big trouble. With aircraft grounded and no merchant fleet left, the food imports we rely on would become a logistical nightmare, assuming they were still available to import anyway.

Lynn says:
Wind/solar/geothermal/tidal/hydro and yes, even nuclear, as well as technologies not yet developed, are all options, though the ~30 year lag time to get new nuclear plants on line makes it a medium term solution, though about the right time frame to replace oil and coal. I admit nuclear would be my last choice


Sounds nice but it's not realistic for the UK. If this very cold winter continues (You know, the one I correctly forecast months ago), there is a strong chance we will run short of liquid natural gas and see restrictions on power use. Last year there were a lot of excess deaths among pensioners, some of whom who were reduced to burning books to stay alive. I kid you not. I'm sure this isn't the way you want to see nice orderly population reduction implemented either.

Miguel says
This assumed physical world we live in, the one we built and govern, could evovle into something completely different if we allow those who imagine it a chance to have their say instead of being called "unrealistic" or "bleeding hearts" or "air headed". Not one of today's developments could have come about without those who dream. Not one.


"Democracy is the worst form of government except the others that have been tried."
- Winston Churchill -

Put it up as a manifesto and see how many you can get to vote for it. It seems to me that the arrogance of the greens is that they think they know better than everybody else how we should all live. Yet they base their ideology on unproven science and propagandize with known falsehoods about glacier melt, sea level rise, global surface temperature and epidemiology. One thing you can be sure of is that Al Gore, George Soros and the rest of the green jet set will continue to lord it around the world having conferences in exotic locations before sunning themselves in their electricity burning seaside villas with the big picture windows while the rest of us scrimp and scrape. That kind of hypocrisy has me reaching for my pitchfork. I'm already growing my own veg and avoiding fossil fuel use as much as possible. I don't need these hypocrites to tell me how to live.

Tom says:
They got caught with their knickers down and paid the price.


No Tom, they haven't paid the price. A shell shocked establishment is still in denial and propping up the house of cards by 'exonerating' these people with whitewash Inquiries. The public is looking askance at the naked emperor. Belief in the official line is down to 26% in the UK.

What would be your estimate of the percentage who have sold out?

It's not as black and white as that. Scientists tend to fall in line with the policy statements made by the institutions they are affiliated to, and funded by. Observation of groupthink is not a cheap insult or accusation, it is a sociological fact.

Dave T says:
I can't wait to go talk about lightweight backpacking on a global warming net-forum and show them a thing or two! I'll seem so smart! I will dismiss with abandon! I'll make up words that don't exist and boy they'll feel dumb!


I was a backpacker long before I became an engineer and studied science. I contributed plenty to the backpacking discussion on BPL before this thread was started *by someone else*. When people stop taking an interest in this thread it will die a natural death. Until then, we are having an interesting and passionate debate, nothwithstanding the snide and worthless comments you put into it.

Edited by tallbloke on 12/13/2010 01:25:48 MST.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Dreams on 12/13/2010 02:17:19 MST Print View

"This assumed physical world we live in, the one we built and govern, could evovle into something completely different if we allow those who imagine it a chance to have their say instead of being called "unrealistic" or "bleeding hearts" or "air headed". Not one of today's developments could have come about without those who dream. Not one."

My life experience so far has been one of thing that I was always told would never happen or were impossible actually happening (and I must admit I believed that and I was as surprised as anyone when they did happen): I started uni in the early 80s and it was an article of faith then that:

- the Cold War was unstoppable
- the Berlin Wall would never fall
- apartheid would never peacefully end and Nelson Mandela would never be freed
- and, in the local area, the Indonesians would never willingly or peacefully leave East Timor.

I also spent a lot of time being told that I was naive or a dupe or a fellow traveller for being involved in movements that worked towards ending the Cold War and apartheid. It is a reasonable presumption that I have a file somewhere in Canberra (with some no doubt painfully youthful photos of me clipped to them).

And not very long ago I was being confidently told by American friends that the US would never elect a black president, particularly one whose vice-president was female. And locally that Australia would never elect a female Prime Minister.

(And to stymie the obvious retorts, yes, what followed was often difficult in its own way - but at least, so far, we haven't had vast areas of the Northern Hemisphere irradiated: it would have been lonely down here. And in any case I prefer the new problems and issues to the old ones.)

So, let's dream a little: 5 years from now we won't be pouring carbon into the atmosphere, thereby shortening the time the earth takes to recover from its current surfeit. We will be using solar and other renewables for more of our energy needs. We will be transitioning away from fossil fuels because not only do they release huge amounts of carbon they are a very finite resource. And the oceans won't be becoming less alkaline than its current inhabitants are comfortable with.

What else can we dream for?

Edited by Arapiles on 12/13/2010 02:19:04 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Dreams on 12/13/2010 03:12:31 MST Print View

Arapiles says:
So, let's dream a little: 5 years from now we won't be pouring carbon into the atmosphere, thereby shortening the time the earth takes to recover from its current surfeit. We will be using solar and other renewables for more of our energy needs. We will be transitioning away from fossil fuels because not only do they release huge amounts of carbon they are a very finite resource. And the oceans won't be becoming less alkaline than its current inhabitants are comfortable with.


The nature loving radical in me agrees. The realistic engineer does not.

We cannot transition to 'clean' energy until there is a realistic load capacity in prospect. In the meantime, we need solutions quick, because the lights are about to go dim in the hospitals as well as our homes.

Solar panels require lots of 'rare earths' to manufacture. China has 95% of world production, and the mining causes a lot of river poisoning. And they just threatened Japan and the U.S. with an embargo. Wind power requires a huge input of energy, copper (more dirty mining) and co2 releasing concrete production for infrastructure beyond what the windmills will ever produce in electricity. Not that the electricity they produce enables us to reduce fossil fuel standby capacity because of the unreliability of the wind and the lack of energy storage options. These are the cold hard facts.

Dream about a better future by all means but get real about the present. We can't keep warm and fed with high ideals, good intentions and nice wishes. We have to do the best we can with what we've got. Engineers work hard to find the best compromise they can in the cold light of day. They care about the planet too.

And by the by, I used to go on anti military and anti apartheid demos, and write letters to the Burmese and Indonesian governments through Amnesty International too.

Edited by tallbloke on 12/13/2010 03:35:21 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: So how far will you go? on 12/13/2010 04:14:35 MST Print View

Roger C says:
The effect of cloud cover remains afaik still very hazy (sorry). What else have the models missed? We just don't know, and therein lies the problem.


Three graphs I've just produced plus one I made last year:
The first is the (inverted) Southern Oscillation Index (blue) vs detrended global sea surface temperature (red). The SOI measure the pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin and is an indicator of the El nino/La nina phenomenon which is closely involved in the setting of global temperature, as the reasonable match shows.

.SOI vs T

But we can do better than that. The next graph shows the difference between outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the top of the atmosphere and from the surface, with SOI subtracted against detrended global temperature The improved match suggests that changes in cloud cover are playing an important role here, since albedo affects the longwave radiation flux. Volcanoes such as Pinatubo can cause extra anomalies.

.OLR - SOI vs T

The third graph shows a comparison with the previous graph and a (yellow) curve I have generated from solar activity, the top of atmosphere OLR and SOI. This is work in progress, but once I work in the residual between the blue and red curves on graph 2 representing the cloud albedo changes, I think I might be getting somewhere.

.OLR - SOI - SSN vs T

Beyond that, my friend Erl Happ (winemaker and vine grower in SW Aus) is working out how pressure differences causing the winds which change the cloud base situation arise from oscillations in the arctic and antarctic vortex pressures. We think they arise due to the impact of the solar wind on Earth's magnetosphere, and lunar tides in the atmosphere. The underlying trend is due to solar energy accumulated in the oceans over multidecadal periods when the sun has been more active than average (most of the C20th after 1930), and higher numbers of geomagnetic storms caused by the more turbulent solar wind creating the conditions for large El Ninos to occur.

Last graph: The accumulation of oceanic heat content derived from a cumulative count of sunspot area departing from the long term average:

.sst-ssn-sst

In summary, the hypothesis is that our local solar system space weather is responsible for a lot more of the weather and climate change on Earth than has been realised previously.

Edited by tallbloke on 12/13/2010 04:32:46 MST.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Dreams on 12/13/2010 06:27:10 MST Print View

"Solar panels require lots of 'rare earths' to manufacture. China has 95% of world production, and the mining causes a lot of river poisoning. And they just threatened Japan and the U.S. with an embargo"

The Chinese unofficially restricted exports of rare earths to Japan for a couple of days: they didn't stop selling stuff they'd manufactured using rare earths. Solar panel prices have dropped by half in Australia because of the Chinese manufacturers - and some of the panels are very good. In any case, as a result of their unofficial embargo production of rare earths will be sped up in other parts of the world (including Australia I think).

"Wind power requires a huge input of energy, copper (more dirty mining) and co2 releasing concrete production for infrastructure beyond what the windmills will ever produce in electricity. Not that the electricity they produce enables us to reduce fossil fuel standby capacity because of the unreliability of the wind and the lack of energy storage options. These are the cold hard facts."

And Prius' create more waste than ordinary cars and electric cars are just shifting the point of pollution .... I've heard it before.

So, some alternate cold, hard facts: windfarms are built where the wind is reliable. The people putting billions into them aren't stupid and actually do a fair bit of research on basic things like ... the wind. The carbon footprint of concrete can be reduced by using things like fly ash. A couple of years ago people in rural Victoria were objecting to wind farms - now they're fighting to have them on their properties because of the huge rental fees. Because there are only certain areas that are suitable for windfarms, the landowners in those areas are sitting on goldmines. A bit of a windfall you might say. My parents neighbours may soon be earning more from carbon farming than wheat. Carbon economy? We're already half-way there.

Energy storage? Well I don't know about the UK, but over here standby power capacity is covered by hydro: gravity x several billion litres of water = stored energy.

My view is that a little goes a long way - for example, my few solar panels are already making an impact on our electricity bills because we are exporting more in the day than we are using. We reverse that at night, but even with a net feed-in tariff we are still ahead. Roll on distributed generation.

But it's so easy to be a nihilist - so, are we doomed to just slide quietly to our destruction? Any concrete suggestions?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: So how far will you go? on 12/13/2010 06:46:56 MST Print View

Erm, Rog, I have no idea why you got so defensive about my comment. I wasn't targeting you... just responding to Lynn's comment. I certainly wasn't making a crack at engineers! In fact I was praising them through association. I didn't even specify who was doing the dreaming and how the dreaming was being manifested!

I'm sure this isn't the way you want to see nice orderly population reduction implemented either.

This seems really over the top as a reaction to Lynn's statement. I feel that Lynn was leaving all options open, including (horror!) nuclear power.

It seems to me that the arrogance of the greens is that they think they know better than everybody else how we should all live.

Perhaps as a party, but as a movement that's been growing in the background for more than 40 years there has been a substantial amount of practical, real life work done to solve a lot of problems. I personally worked as an architect for 15 years before giving it up, and my main interest was in green architecture, especially underground design. There has been a lot of headway as problems were encountered, worked on, solutions proposed and implemented, new ideas tried out. It takes time to develop and put into practice new ideas. As an engineer you should know that; the real world brings up previously unforeseen hiccoughs that can only be seen after an idea has been tried. And as you know, one implementation brings up new problems... take for example designing a modular desk around a sheet of A4 paper. The A4 paper is the base around which everything else follows. So you design a drawer in which the A4 sheet fits. The drawer has dimensions and thickness, which must fit into the slot that holds it. The slot and the structure of the desk also have thickness and dimensions, which further distorts the modularity of the design. Then the desk must fit into a modularized office space, but the dimensions of the desk do not match the dimensions of the office, because they were both designed on separate templates. Everything we design and implement in the physical and social world work the same way. Only experience can help us solve the problems.

I'm already growing my own veg and avoiding fossil fuel use as much as possible. I don't need these hypocrites to tell me how to live.

Why are they hypocrites? Don't you think you're being a little extreme? Grassroots movements rarely go beyond the everyday and practical. Most people in the grassroots green movement are interested in just what you are interested in... growing the garden, building the little wind generator, collecting the rainwater, putting in an efficient wood stove. Arguably most of the truly useful developments in self-sufficient passive and active energy solutions have been on a very local and nonpolitical scale, most of it barely noticed by the media, most of it by the average Joe working out of their garage.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: So how far will you go? on 12/13/2010 09:58:15 MST Print View

Miguel says:
Why are they hypocrites? Don't you think you're being a little extreme?


Miguel, here's the quote again, with the hypocrites I'm referring to bolded.

One thing you can be sure of is that Al Gore, George Soros and the rest of the green jet set will continue to lord it around the world having conferences in exotic locations before sunning themselves at their electricity burning seaside villas with the big picture windows while the rest of us scrimp and scrape. That kind of hypocrisy has me reaching for my pitchfork. I'm already growing my own veg and avoiding fossil fuel use as much as possible. I don't need these hypocrites to tell me how to live.

I am not referring to the average Joe working out of their garage, I am the average Joe working out of their garage. And I understand lead times on engineering design too. I was top of the class in critical path analysis. Which is why I'm saying the UK particularly needs to get a grip on realistic power generation solutions NOW if not sooner. The fannying about and prevarication has been going on for years. It has to stop.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Dreams on 12/13/2010 10:01:34 MST Print View

"I've heard it before"

The reason you've heard it before is because it's true, and people keep pointing it out, because numpties keep ignoring the obvious.

Pumped storage? Come on then, how much capacity does the entire pumped storage of Australia have? Let's have some figures on the table here. What is the identified potential, and how much concrete does it require to dam the containments? And where's the water coming from?

Currently in the UK our wind generation capacity is about 5,000 MW, and the wind turbines are generating 189 MW on average, about 0.3% of our total demand. This is not going to keep great aunt Sally warm.

Edited by tallbloke on 12/13/2010 11:02:55 MST.