Ward on Why We Are Going Quietly Nuts

I was out of town without net access for a while, which always makes it tough for me to get back into the bloggy swing of things when I return. But it’s also that I’m still wrestling with my reaction to that Gwynn Dyer Climate Wars piece.

Ken Ward, guest blogging at Gristmill, touched on something today that resonated with my current mood. From Why we are going quietly nuts:

In our hearts we know that what we are doing is futile, but we do not know what else we should or could be doing. The constraints within which we work feel so intractable and out of human scale that we cannot imagine how to break them. Despite our best efforts, Americans just dont seem to get it or they dont care, and we are at a loss to explain this. Unable to influence our own nation, we are further dismayed by the far vaster challenge of altering the trajectory of China, India, Brazil, and the rest of the world.

What are we going to do about this? Those of you lucky enough to think this talk is just lefty alarmism have it easy. Those of us who don’t, though, have a tougher row to hoe.

95 Responses to “Ward on Why We Are Going Quietly Nuts”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    The comments below the Ward article at Gristmill will either lift jbc’s mood, or affirm that cognitive dissonance has taken hold.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    (they mostly disagree with the article)

  3. shcb Says:

    So much fun here but we’ve discussed most of the technical and political issues before so I won’t beat that dead horse. This is the paragraph I liked best.

    Sidelined. Environmentalists are being left in the dust in every area. Although we retain a commanding position in the broad public debate, we are increasingly irrelevant in the specifics. Climate scientists define the problem. Politicians, from Obama to Schwarzenegger, define the agenda. Public education is the province of journalists, educators, specialized media, and web centers. Mass communications is in the hands of consultants to Al Gore. Green building, the one sector where environmentalists did hold a significant share, is being swamped by giants in the construction and building materials businesses. Even critical areas of intellectual inquiry, such as the examination of the roots of climate denial, are underway in conversations between academics and pollsters without our participation, let alone leadership.

    Public education is the province of journalists, educators, specialized media, and web centers.

    yea, and they are all on your side.

    But this is the crux right here

    …are underway in conversations between academics and pollsters without our participation, let alone leadership

    This is what he is really pissed off about, he and his little group aren’t in absolute control of every little tiny detail, and that just drives him nuts.

  4. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I have some kind of random thoughts on this…

    I guess for one, the environmentalists don’t seem to have a plan for this except for everyone to revert to a 19th or 18th century lifestyle, which is unfeasible.

    Part of the problem is being told we’re doomed.

    If I’m doomed, my response is ‘fuck it then, I’m doomed’

    I personally switched over to the ‘greener’ lights, try and make sure all my shit is off, consolidate my trips, etc. But I can’t shut off my electricity and grow my own food, in a lot of respects I’m forced to live within the system I was born into, and try to exert some pressure to change it, but that’s really it.

    Human beings have a capacity to accept doom. Everyone in the city of Los Angeles is doomed, they all accept that.

    Watch those disasters that could end humanity shows on History Channel. Asteroids, supervolcano, magnetic pole shift, openings in the Earth’s magnetic field. All totally dooming and things we can’t effect.

    I remember reading this in 2005. We were doomed if we didn’t fix it by 2006. Now we’re doomed if we can’t fix the entire world by 2010? I guess we’re doomed then.

    If this is really how you look at it, you have to quit your job and shut down these blogs. What’s the carbon footprint of the server lies runs on? Or don’t, because we’re doomed anyway.

  5. enkidu Says:

    The comments area for that link was most interesting. I think the frustration with the situation is natural: we in an untenable situation that continues to slide toward mega-disaster, all the while doing pretty much the same old thing.

    But giving up hope and just doing the same old thing isn’t an option any more. Humans own the planet, it is time we start growing up and owning up to that fact. There are radical thinkers who are contemplating geo-engineering. It’s pretty cheap to nuke a remote volcano or ten to offset rising temps, but the knock on effect of doing so will probably have lots of undesired effects. Better to go directly to the populace and motivate them to change. The populace is ahead of the policy makers.

    You can spray paint slogans on smoke stacks all you want, but coal is still going to be used for power for the next few decades at least. Unless we really get moving on a Manhattan style project to ditch fossil fuels entirely, we’ll all be breathing China and India’s exhaust while the seas rise and agriculture fails.

    But enk, what are you doing about it all? Well, we already do lots, our offices are walking distance. We expanded our garden dramatically. We sold our second IC vehicle. We motivate our children to do more to clean up, protect and change our environment. I’ve been thinking of starting a couple new businesses that are energy focused (I’ll let you know if my ideas are patentable and carbon neutral ;-) I’ve been thinking of volunteering for a local carbon sequestration project. We’ve been urging clients to go more virtual, to think smarter and retool for higher energy costs. We are retooling our business to focus on clean green solutions because that is where the world is heading.

    We can innovate our way out of the mess we’ve collectively created. It will take collective action (no not socialism, or whatever squeaks of outrage you hear from the deadenders) to fix it. If we make clean green tech hip, cool, smart and not too cheap (ie we can make money off it) then expect the next wave to be bigger than the last (not the housing bubble, the tech explosion of the clinton era). After all, these new technologies will be amplified by our newer tech (compute power is incredible, networking awesome, genomics and so on). A shame that CO2 monitoring sat failed to make orbit, a critical setback.

    There aren’t two sides to the ‘debate’. So let’s just stick a fork in the argument that it’s all caused by sunspots or whatever and there isn’t anything we can do about it. We must do something, and we will, but not before it is already happening. Note to fellow earthlings: it is already happening. Get off your collective ass and get going on solutions. Despair is not an option.

  6. NorthernLite Says:

    One thing I have been noticng lately on tv is the increase in commercials from alternative energy companies. There’s one in particular that gave me goose bumps. It was showing a massive solar field in the middle of the desert, it was very cool to see. I’m hoping now that these companies know that they have a strong partner in the government that they’ll pick up the pace with developing more alt. energy. It’s starting to look more promising.

  7. leftbehind Says:

    ,,,and Obama’s direct injection of green technologies into his economic stimulus programs is a step in the right direction as well.

    Ken Ward’s article, on the other hand is disheartening, in that it too much exemplifies the “Chicken-Little-Sky-is-Falling” attitude that has been so counter-productive and which I had hoped had fallen by the wayside. The kind of lifestyle changes required to sustain the environmental change people like Ward want to see are not changes most people are going to be frightened into. They’re changes that will arise as people see the direct benefits these changes bring. Turning environmetalism into an apocalyptic cult does no one any good, and creates opposition and blow-back where none would otherwise be present.

  8. shcb Says:

    I’m curious, my side of the argument says we have been level temperature wise for the better part of a decade with the last couple years and the say they are using the same data that has shown warming over the previous decades. How does your side respond to that? Are they saying my side is just lying or the data is right but it doesn’t matter, or something else?

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    Lefty, I am “shocked” to admit that I agree with your last post.

    shcb, I can only speak for myself, but I lean strongly green.

    Basically I see the world as a big sphere with lots of mass, and incredibly hot temperatures inside under the mantle, and pretty big volume of water on top and a thin atmosphere. There’s lots of room for relative heat to move downwards into oceanic heat sinks (I’d guess a warming of the entire atmosphere by one degree could theoretically be compensated by sending that heat into the deep oceans where the deep ocean temperatures might warm by a hundredth or a thousandth of a degree). Or the heat gets absorbed by the mantle as a heat sink or drifts on on the surface sideways or north / south. This would happen on the global scale, so time lines would be long. Hence a ten year flat data set is not necessarily out of line with a century long trend. What’s pretty clear is that the changes we are seeing on the surface are quite staggering. Changes in bird and fish migratory timing and patterns, both polar ice sheets are seeing changes unprecedented at least since the early middle ages, glaciers are dissappearing, large storm events are more frequent and intense, areas of drought intensifying, the list goes on. I know some of that is media hype, and you know how skeptical I am of what mainstream media puts out for our consumption, but I also have eyes of my own. Winters on the prairies are not like they were when I was a kid, and my dad said the same thing. Nostalgia? Yes, but the temperature and snow data confirms it too.

  10. shcb Says:

    Thanks for that Knarly, but I’m more interested in what the experts on the AGW side are saying, I’m just too busy and lazy to look through all the sites and find that one mention of how they are refuting the stabilization data. All the items you list are interesting, but this whole thing is called “global warming”. Ten years isn’t much but the warming period they are basing this hysteria on was only 20 or 30.

  11. shcb Says:

    Just for grins I tried to find data to support or refute your claim that winters are not what they were. I had a surprisingly hard time finding much data, you know it’s there because the weather talkers are always saying “we are having the … winter since 1948” but it is hard to find with google. I did find data for Chicago, and I would say you and your dad are probably right; the snowfall has been a little below average since 1980, but it was way above average from the ‘50s to the ‘80s, so it seems dramatic when it goes from a very high to below average. The trend line since 1884 has been going up ever so slightly. What is interesting is that last year the snowfall was equal to 1980. So what does all this tell us? Well, I would say it shows that snowfall is effected by temperature changes, that’s not hard to believe, if that is true it shows that there was as cooling period from the ‘50s to the 80’s and that that 30 year cycle may be repeating itself, with or without man’s help. What gets out of step with these two data lines is the third line, Co2.

    You see this is where science diverges from anecdotal statements and religious beliefs, even if those anecdotes or beliefs are correct they may not tell the whole story. Here is a chart I made from the data

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2oeWlJrtfZs/SbEmPKSqSUI/AAAAAAAAAOA/SeRC-y6AjuY/s1600-h/snofall+chicago.JPG

  12. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks shcb, I’ll look at that tonight when I have time. I too want to dig up the data again just for grins, focusing on east slope of the Cdn. Rockies, and if I get to it I’ll share.

    My other thought is that the flatter temperature trend we see now may be the stabilizing effect of the melting of vast sheets of ice. When those are mostly melted (i.e. the sources of “negative” heat are gone) temps may start to increase at or greater than former rates once again, plus you got the thing scientists like to talk about – the loss of ice albido effects. Adding to that is that the next sun spot cycle is forecast to be extreme, so hold on to your tinfoil hat.

  13. shcb Says:

    One thing I am finding interesting in looking into the arctic ice loss is that we have only been measuring it since 1980 which just happens to coincide with the current warming period. The loss of ice in 2007 was a perfect storm of global and regional issues but there was less loss last year. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years. My guess is it will start to have less and less drop as temps cool a bit. Too bad we don’t have data from the last warming and cooling periods to compare

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    Aah, there are clear indicators. Geologists can do wonders with glacial deposits etc, apparently. Also the search for the Northwest passage provides a lot of good information from ships logs about the extent of arctic ice in the latter 1500′s (?) 1600′s and 1700′s. We can also guess a lot from the success of the Norse / Vikings c. 1000 ad. There’s also sea sediment analysis, and probably a dozen other indicators of arctic / antarctic sea ice history that don’t come to my mind right now. The data is there.

  15. shcb Says:

    sure, and even now they say they are using two diminsional area and assuming that equates to the three diminsional volume because getting that third diminsion is too difficult.

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    If that’s true I will have no hope for science ever saving humanity.

  17. shcb Says:

    they can only do so much

  18. NorthernLite Says:

    Talk about mixed emotions! On one hand it’s scary seeing dudes in shorts playing guitars in early March in Toronto; on the other hand I love seeing dudes in shorts playing guitars – it’s just that early March thing that’s kind of erie.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/597590

  19. shcb Says:

    …and a couple years ago we had a 6 foot drift from the back of the house to the barn from December to March…

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    yea but do you have a picture of that with dudes in shorts playing guitars in the drifts?

  21. shcb Says:

    I’m still wondering how your side is refuting the temperatures stabilizing or dropping.

  22. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that “our side” or the science would say that each year would be warmer than the former. The last ten years have been significantly warmer than the long term average, with 2008 being the exception in that it was only slightly higher than the long term average. Compare that with the previous 100 years and we have not seen such a long period of consistently higher than average temperatures before. If ou want to sneer and say that’s moving the goal posts, you’re entled to your sneer, but the statement is simply an attempt to be consistent with the data. So 2008 was warmer than average, are you suggesting a cooling trend because it was not as far above avg. as the prior ten? I’d agree with jbc that we shouldn’t even be having this debate about whether global warming is real or not, but my reason is because of the obvious dire situation of natural environments due to human impacts, there is no time like the present to mend our ways and debating this issue for a few more years while awaiting to see if a new temperature trend develops seems very dumb and irresponsible for a supposed satient species.

    That said, I’m still wondering how “my side” explains the ultra long term data, but that’s probably because I haven’t asked and am too lazy to look it up myself. What do I mean by ultra long term? I mean this: http://www.seed.slb.com/en/scictr/watch/climate_change/images/global_temp2.jpg

  23. knarlyknight Says:

    Couldn’t get raw data from source, but could draw out averages from datafiles. Split 1887-2007 data into 3 periods.

    Calgary Airport (averages for January – March)
    mean temp mean min temp snowfall avg cm
    1887-1917 -8.3 -14.3 42.7
    1918-1947 -6.4 -12.4 56.2
    1948-1977 -7.8 -13.5 62.1
    1978-2007 -5.2 -11.3 50.5

    Conclusion for mid-late winter period: warming with similar avg. snowfalls.

  24. knarlyknight Says:

    damn format

    years on left
    first negative number is mean temperature in degrees C
    second neg number in row is mean min temp in Deg celsius
    third positive number is snowfall average in centimeters

  25. shcb Says:

    No one is claiming the world is not coming out of the little ice age so we are in a general long term warming period. But it is appropriate to discuss this as there is plenty of contradictory evidence to at least warrant a discussion. Look at your data, it shows the same trend as I have been describing with Sagan’s nuclear winter ending in the late seventies, falling just short of a nuclear winter BTW :-) and now this little 30 year upswing. The question is what will the next 30 year tick look like, current temps suggest we are headed for another of Sagan’s winters, but those with so much invested both emotionally and professional want us to think it will buck the trend and continue to rise. It is imperative we act now before any more data comes in that might upset that apple cart. And of course if we enact all this foolishness and return to the stone age and the temps go down they can claim to have saved the world, when the world was perfectly capable of saving itself.

    I’ll tell you what, you can believe whatever you want and profess it from the mountain tops as long as you leave my property out of it. If you want to send all your money to this or that foundation, have at it. But when you want my wallet, I have the right to at least discuss it.

  26. shcb Says:

    This one is pretty good:
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-incurious-case-of-the-carbon-alarmists/

  27. NorthernLite Says:

    “if you want to send all your money to this or that, have at it. But if you want my wallet, I have a right to at least discuss it.”

    Congrats, you now know how millions if people felt about the Iraq war. Sucks, eh.

  28. shcb Says:

    And discuss it you did (thanks for your money BTW). This is an exaggeration, but what people like JBC and Knarly are saying when they say “the debate is over” would be like someone like me that was for the war in Iraq to have said something like “the Arabs attacked us on 911, Kobar towers etc. the Arabs are evil and must all be killed, the debate over whether the Arabs are evil or not is over, 911 proves it”. Anyone that would make a statement like that probably is extremely bigoted against Arabs and is using the attacks to carry out a broader agenda. Agreed? Let me reiterate, that is an exaggeration. What is analogous is the debate is over statement enables people, mainly those in government to damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. We are simply saying “wait a minute, there is some pretty good evidence this isn’t so vital that we need spend a ton of money right now” you see if we aren’t in dire need we can fix the problem in the normal course of business.

  29. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,
    Pleased to hear you take that position. Of course, your “exaggerated” analogy about “hypothetically” calling an end to debate about attacking the Arab world would be far more compelling if the truth wasn’t so close to your supposed exaggeration. Debate was stifled, people speaking out against the war in 2003 were labelled as unpatriotic and ridiculed in public discourse by the hawks who ended up profiting immensely from war related contracts. It stinks. Your hypothetical exaggeration was actually a pretty good paraphrasing of the Republican PR compaign to attack Afghanistan and Iraq.

    As for the climate debate, yea I’ll backtrack and agree the debate should continue, as long as there is agreement to continue to take measures to conserve energy and reduce pollution at a more responsible rate (i.e. faster) rate than we have done so far.

  30. shcb Says:

    Good, that makes sense on several levels; if there is a problem with man made global warming I will be the first to jump on that bandwagon, the evidence just doesn’t make me believe this is a dire need. As I have said so many times I’m beginning to bore myself, and as you know I love to hear me talk, I would love to have a technology that is clean and self sustaining, I have no stake in oil or coal that I know of, some of my rapidly declining mutual funds may be invested in them but not to my knowledge. I have kids in oil so maybe my nursing home selection will be impacted, but that is all. I just want these decisions to be based on sound logic. Mistakes will still be made of course, but there should be fewer if we base our decisions on logic and not emotions.

    If the coal companies are saying something untruthful, it should be shouted from the rooftops, but they should have their say. The next generation’s technology is always produced by the former so let’s not drive a stake through their hearts quite yet. I also want wind and solar to be equally scrutinized. Vestas is building two new plants here in Brighton, one to produce gearboxes and one to produce the blades of the wind turbines. It is generally accepted that you can only produce 10 to 20 percent of your power from sources like wind and solar; Vestas is a Danish company, in Denmark they are producing almost 20% of their power from wind and the grid has become unstable, not a single turbine was erected in Denmark last year. According to Public Service of Colorado we get 0.2% of our power from wind in the Rocky Mountain state so we have a ways to go. But this was in our Todd Creek Village water board newsletter from obviously a Vestas presser “The company projects that by 2020, we’ll use clean electricity for more than 90 percent or our internal energy consumption”. What is “internal energy consumption”? We know it isn’t all our electrical needs state wide or nation wide, that physically isn’t possible, do they mean within their company? Within our little village? They certainly give the impression that they mean all our power however.

    This is the kind of thing you guys complain about from Big Oil and Big Coal, well, there is also Big Solar and Big Wind (no Washington, DC or Shcb jokes please) if you want this new energy industry to work you will have to police yourself as hard as you want to police fossil fuels.

    What say you.

  31. knarlyknight Says:

    Agree, and yes I’m in favour of some regulatory oversight, the more polluting the industry the more regulatory oversight that industry shoud have to pay for.

    I switched my house to 100% electric plus rebuilt the old fireplace, when we got this place it had a an ineffient 40 year old oil burning boiler and the chimney was condemned. Electricity seemed like the way to go because we got so much hydro-electric and it was cheaper than oil or gas and I thought I knew were oil prices were going ($100/bbl to stay). Damn hydro regulator then goes and boosts electricity prices 15% to encourage conservation and introduces a two scale rating so people who use more than some base average household quantity pay a far higher rate – so had I kept heating with oil I’d be paying about the same monthly bill and would have the $2000 or so it ost me to switch to full electrical. The point of that story is that regulators can be very dumb and take a tremendous amount of time and money to still make a dumb decision. That said, I have zero hope of progressive energy policies getting introduced in my area within my lifetime, such as allowing people to invest in their own little solarr panels or wind generator and sell surplus back to the grid. They are doing that on a community based scale, but the regulatory hoops and approval processes make for about a 5 year lead time and so much effort that most people say “why bother?”

  32. shcb Says:

    Government at work. To your first point, I think we do a pretty good job of regulating polluters now and we have the environmental lobby I so easily criticize to thank for that, they did a good job. The problem is they don’t know when to stop. Now I’m not being overly critical here, it is just a fact of life and human nature. I do the same thing; why do you think engineers and inventors come up with new products? One of the primary reasons is so we can justify our existence. Sure the consumer and society benefits from faster computers, more fuel efficient and safer cars, better medical procedures and washing machines that use less water, but make no mistake, we want something to work on so we can eat.

    What we need to look out for is people who started out with a viable mission, say getting coal plants to be less polluting, they then spend the next 20 years fighting little battles that eventually get the plants cleaned up. One day they wake up and realize that they are a world class expert on coal cleanup and the mission is complete, but they are 50 years old and know nothing else, so they keep on keeping on and suddenly some poor guy is out $2,000 for using his head and doing the right thing, converting his house to an environmentally friendly source of power.

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea, damn muggles.

  34. enkidu Says:

    shhhhh knarls! teh troll will hear u! ;-)

    meanwhile, Frank Shaeffer has something he’d like to say (other than that he really can’t do percentages on the fly… the number you are looking for is 6.67%)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy1G1qdvIAI

    After 8 years of having right wing nutters scream traitor! every time you disagree with them (or go on and on with the death threats, violent fantasies and so forth), I am not eager to be calling the other side of the aisle traitors, just misguided misinformed morans.

  35. knarlyknight Says:

    Good link, sums it alll up nicely.

  36. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea, the troll seemed upset that the term was used to describe Dziekanski. Using “muggle” in the previous thread was to allude to the possibility that the Polish guy might never have heard about a tazer before, if so he would have no idea what was happening to him and if so he would be scared beyond imagination by the his encounter with these four dark figures who were not acting like nice policemen but were threatening him and then inflicting an intense pain by “thunderbolts”.

    If I’ve spent so much time reading bedtime stories to my kids, I might as well use the knowledge gained to confound a real live troll.

  37. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    The guy might have never heard of a taser because he’s Polish?

  38. shcb Says:

    they kind of look like a gun, he probably has seen one of those :-)

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    yea, he probably thought it was a gun. It would be shocking to be shot as he was for picking up a stapler and standing there.

    Jayson, that’s funny – thanks for calling me on that. Do you know whether or not tasers are used in Poland? Actually, my speculation was based on an assumption that he came from a small rural area where tasers would likely not be present, but that is wrong assumption as I have learned from wiki that he was from the industrial city of Gliwice, population of 200,000. It looks like a fascinating place, it even shares a “false flag attack” in common with Manhattan: “An attack on a radio station in Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939, staged by the German secret police, served as a pretext for Nazi Germany to invade Poland, which was the beginning of World War II.” ;-)

  40. knarlyknight Says:

    No bites on Manhattan’s false flag. (The fish are getting smarter.) Time to switch bait:

    We’re learning more each day about the degree of insanity inherit in the Bush administration. It had been suspected that lawyers were coerced into providing legal statements that condoned illegal practices, such as torture (a.ka. “harsh interrogation” as a euphemism.) It now appears taht this suspicion was wrong. The truth is worse: the Bush administration sought out and recruited freakish lawyers who held outlandish beliefs in order to justify the administration’s brutal agenda. I’m sure we’ll learn even more as time goes by.

    But Mr. Richman, of Columbia, said any punishment against Bush lawyers is unlikely unless e-mail messages or early drafts turn up proving that they blatantly altered their legal conclusions to fit a policy agenda. Mr. Richman said that would be unlikely for Mr. Yoo, who had pushed an aggressive theory of presidential power long before the administration recruited him.
    “The selection of Yoo was putting in place someone where you sort of had an idea what he would say,” Mr. Richman said. “Most academics are in the center of most things, but there are some outliers. And he was an outlier.”

    from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/washington/09lawyers.html?_r=2&hp

  41. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I tried to look it up. The national police, the Policja are armed at the same level of the American FBI or large city police forces. Poland also has Straz Miejsk, municipal police for individual cities. I could find anything out about their equipment, but in photos they look to have similar equipment to American police.

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    Then there is no reason for me to assume that Polish police do not have / use tasers too.

  43. shcb Says:

    Since the taser discussion is on a prior thread I’ll get back to close to the subject of this thread. I was reading about a little miscalculation of polar ice cap melting, seems the sensors were off a bit, 193,000 square miles, for those of you in Rio Linda that is the size of California… and West Virginia. Now the folks that made the mistake have tried to say that the mistake is not a big deal, that this isn’t an exact science, an oops the size of one of the biggest states and a medium one and it’s no big deal? This is why the American people aren’t in lock step on global warming, the data being used by GW’ers has too many flaws in it.

  44. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I guess that’s the question though. I read about that too. The thing I don’t know is that if it’s a big deal or not. I mean to me, it’s a hell of a lot of ice to miss. But at the same time, I don’t know if it’s a huge factor in the overall model. I know on the surface that sounds dumb, but the conventional wisdom often is. Anyone found anything putting that finding into context?

  45. knarlyknight Says:

    “The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February.” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aIe9swvOqwIY

    That’s 193,000 sq mi out of 5.73 million square miles, or a measurement error of over 3%. As mentioned it was corrected within weeks, so shcb you should not be making a big deal about that.

    Also, you’re off track shcb. Any one particular forecast about any one particular sheet of ice, no matter whether it is the size of California or more, or whether it is growing or shrinking, is irrelevant. You need to look at the big picture and so do the GW’s.

    There was an announcement yesterday or the day before about new findings on ice sheets, and the reason why forecasts of their decline were woeful underestimates about what is occuring and now need to be revised. Story is being sold for it’s impact on sea level rise estimate increases: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5882235.ece

  46. knarlyknight Says:

    Sorry, that times on-line was the wrong link, the article that mentions the change in ice cover forecasting is here, http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/08/climate-change-flooding and this is the key part:

    And key to these deliberations will be the issue of ice-sheet melting. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – when it presented its most up-to-date report on the likely impact of global warming in 2007 – concluded that sea-level rises of between 20 and 60 centimetres would occur by 2100. These figures were derived from estimates of how much the sea will increase in volume as it heats up, a process called thermal expansion, and from projected increases in run-off water from melting glaciers in the Himalayas and other mountain ranges.

    But the report contained an important caveat: that its sea-level rise estimate contained very little input from melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. The IPCC forecast therefore tended to underestimate forthcoming changes.

    “The IPCC felt the whole dynamics of polar ice-sheet melting were too poorly understood,” added Vaughan. “However, we are now getting a much better idea of what is going on in Greenland and Antarctica and can make much more accurate forecasts about ice-sheet melting and its contribution to sea-level rises.”

    From studying satellite images, scientists have watched the sea ice that hugs the Greenland and Antarctic shores dwindle and disappear. Sea-ice melting on its own does not cause ocean levels to rise, but its disappearance has a major impact on land ice sheets. Without sea ice to prop them up, the land sheets tip into the water and disintegrate at increasing rates, a phenomenon that is now being studied in detail by researchers.

    “It is becoming increasingly apparent from our studies of Greenland and Antarctica that changes to sea ice are being transmitted into the hearts of the land-ice sheets in a remarkably short time,” added Vaughan. As a result, those land sheets are breaking up faster and far more melt water is being added to the oceans than was previously expected.

    These revisions suggest sea-level rises could easily top a metre by 2100 – a figure that is backed by the US Geological Survey, which this year warned that they could reach as much as 1.5 metres.

  47. NorthernLite Says:

    knarly,

    shcb doesn’t buy the data from the IPCC or the US Geological Survey. Unless the information is coming from the hard-hitting reporters from Pajama’s Media or Rush Limpdick, it just ain’t worth reading.

    Just an observation I made a long time ago.

  48. knarlyknight Says:

    Good point, he is very discerning.

  49. enkidu Says:

    NL – word.

  50. knarlyknight Says:

    “word reading” ?

  51. knarlyknight Says:

    Pajamas is great! They can summarize a scientific paper to tell you that cosmic rays which make clouds are swept aside by solar flares like a broom. Before that I had thought that the majority of cosmic rays were produced by solar flares, so I have Pajamas media to thank for that. They are also great because they can cut through all the biased B.S. of the scientific community and reach such stunningly concise and thought proviking impartial conclusions as this:

    I’m curious to see how the alarmists try to spin this. They are beginning to sound like little children caught with their hands in the cookie jar, desperate to find a better explanation than that they were stealing cookies.

    Gobbling cookies can make you “big-boned.” Someone should tell that to James Hansen and Al Gore.

  52. knarlyknight Says:

    Here’s a real opinion piece:

    Michael Moore is Wrong

    I like this part:

    It’s not so much that Rush Limbaugh is a leader, it’s that everyone else in the Republican Party are followers.
    And so, you end up with a Republican Party where virtually no one dare criticize Rush Limbaugh (or, okay, sorry, criticize him without apologizing) no matter how reprehensible his words.

    that’s at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-j-elisberg/michael-moore-is-wrong_b_173455.html

  53. shcb Says:

    Actualy, I trust the data with a couple exceptions, I just don’t trust many of the conclusions and yes I trust people like Rosen or Rush more than AlGore, partly because of my bias and partly because I have checked their conclusions and their experts conclusions and I find fewer holes in them than AlGore and his peeps.

    I got on my neighbor’s site (if it weren’t for one big hill I could almost see the NSIDC from my front door) and down loaded every month’s data from 1979 to 2008 and put it in one spread sheet. Here are a couple stats I gleaned. The 193m sq miles lost are only about 3% of the total ice lost every year, and about 1% of the total ice mass, so there is some validity in saying that that number isn’t exceptionally significant. As Knarly pointed out the problem was noticed, although I’m not sure if the guys at NSIDC noticed it, but it was fixed and admitted in an appropriate amount of time. The danger here is that 193m represents 16% of the difference in ice levels of Feb-Mar of 1979 and 2008. Now that that number is out there it will be quoted by activists for years to come, unless the next observation bears itself out.

    The ice sheet size has regained over 30% of its loss from 1979 to its low point in 2006 (2005 season) in just 2 years. Oddly enough this just happens to coincide with the lowering temperatures. Funny how that works, it gets warmer ice melts, it gets cooler water freezes, wow, I may be on to something here. We are also seeing the same thing in Greenland, I saw satellite pictures of, I believe the Helheim glacier from 2004 or 2005 and a current picture, it has regained almost 40% of the length lost in those 2 or 3 years, the Kangerdlugssuaq glacier is also almost stopped and is gaining width at its girth.

    Now are these just short respites from a longer trend of ice melting? I don’t know, but temps and ice melt seem to be following one another and all the while China is still building coal fired plants and Co2 is on the rise and yet there is a lot of evidence that we are cooling.

    But let’s not debate, let’s not study, let’s shoot the messengers. We can’t afford to wait, the window of political opportunity may be closing.

  54. NorthernLite Says:

    This is a MUST watch for anyone who was involved with the Taser Debate:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfJfpBT5fLk

    Enjoy.

  55. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,
    Thanks for doing that research. One thing I find frustrating is that raw data is often difficult to obtain, it’s as if there are gatekeepers who know that everyone now has access to massive computer analysis tools.

    Forgive me for pointing out what may be obvious , but if ice that has been there for centuries melts, and then reforms a few years later, isn’t the new ice almost certain to be merely a thin layer relative to the ice sheet that was sitting there for centuries? That doesn’t matter in terms of the albedo effect, but it does matter and it does matter in terms of the volume of water released into the ocean and it does matter if there is any validity to my idea that the total ice mass acts as a stabilizing heat sink – when air temperatures increase ice keeps the air cool until it is gone – in other words thick ice will aid the stability of the system to withstand temporary warming periods.

  56. NorthernLite Says:

    knarls, did you watch that “stapler” video I posted above? You will laugh your ass off.

  57. knarlyknight Says:

    NL – Yea, it was great, thanks. Nice way to start the day. What I thought was funnier was the real life episode at Braidwood’s commission when the RCMP officers were testifying about the imminent threat that was posed by the stapler. Looking forward tothe sequel in 1 and a half weeks when tjhe senior officer goes on the stand to express his feelings about facing alleged perps with staplers and the lack of stapler controls and no stapler registration program in Canada.

    shcb, I’m not saying anything about this article other than (1) it was interesting and you may find it interesting too; and (2) it sort of rounds out the knowledge and adds a bit of wisdom to the dry facts of changing sea ice levels. http://www.timescolonist.com/Technology/Arctic+killer+whales+benefit+from+global+warming+Researchers/1375320/story.html

  58. shcb Says:

    Knarly,

    If you look at the photos of the ice pack, the ice that melts and reforms every year it is around the edges, the center is more or less permanent. About a third of the ice pack in the north melts and refreezes every year. I used March- February for most of my figures because that is the time frame the ice is at its outer extremes. Since the actual highpoint can occur in either of those months I averaged the two months for each year.

    I have a friend that spend some time in Antarctica as a search and rescue person for the US research facility at the south pole and he said that the ice there is many thousands of years old so the ice at the two poles acts completely different.

    In one article I read the author said that in the next 4 or 5 years we should have a better idea what is going on with the ice. It could be that if global temps continue to decrease we will see ice areas return to 1980 levels. Part of the problem here is that we started measuring the ice in this way at the exact same time the temps started to rise, nothing sinister, just coincidence. Had we been able to make these measurements 20 years earlier maybe we would be seeing a reoccurring trend. Second problem is that if we are going into a cooling period we would like to see ice return to 1980 levels (if that was the high point, we don’t really know that for sure) but we won’t know that for 30 years.

  59. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb – that sounds reasonable to me. Glad we agree that arctic and northern polar ice are different animals too, I’d hate to have to argue that opoint with you!

  60. shcb Says:

    Knarly

    There seems to be a fairly straight forward solution, the Indians will start to eat the killer whales until balance is restored

  61. enkidu Says:

    NL, when I click that link, YouTube says
    This video is not available in your country.

    What was the title or the content?
    perhaps we can search it out over here?

  62. knarlyknight Says:

    Enk, the title of NL link is: “This Hour Has 22 Minutes – Stapler”

    “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” is a tv show, farce comedy and satire mostly of Canadian content.

  63. NorthernLite Says:

    enk, try searching The Goolge for “CBC 22 minutes stapler”

    “This Hour has 22 Minutes” is one of my favourite shows, it’s sort of like Jon Stewart/SNL mashed together and although it’s mostly Canadian, they do some American stuff as well. Watch some of their other videos, you’ll laugh guaranteed!

  64. NorthernLite Says:

    Also, for the record, I get that same message when I try to watch Jon Stewart clips on Comedy Central’s site. I have to go to The Comedy Network’s site to view them. No redirecting, no “Click Here to View…” – very frustrating!

  65. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea, and the Comedy Network site is constrained and confusing in how the clips get loaded for viewing, it’s so frustrating I usually do not bother.

  66. enkidu Says:

    you guys want comedy?
    here you go, today’s Republican IN THE NEWS

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/1472092,gary-skokien-prostitutes-toy-guitar-031109.article

    Ordinarily I wouldn’t bother to point this out amongst the flood of GOOPer foolishness, but when his 5′ 4″ 110 lb wife catches him with two prostitutes in the kids’ playroom gettin jiggy – and then proceeds to give him a beat down with that plastic Guitar Hero ‘guitar’ – why reality and comedy seem to have switched places of late.

  67. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7936137.stm

  68. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7940532.stm

  69. shcb Says:

    Business as usual is dead – green growth is the answer to both our climate and economic problems.

    it’s working so well in California :-)

  70. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb – And the opposite policy is working for … who exactly? Everyone is in the dumps (except maybe Wall street cuz thye have their bailouts) and Washington DC because they live on a different planet. The point was that from this moment onwards, business as usual should be dead because if you are endorsing NON-green growth then you are harming others.

    Besides, didn’t the Bush admin prohibit California from implementing programs a couple of years ago such as certain fuel economy standards or percentage of vehicle fleet that was to be electric?

  71. shcb Says:

    If “green” business makes good business sense then business will do it and it will be good for the economy. But to just say “if it is green it is good for the economy” is just silly. Driving trucks at 10 mph would save fuel, but wouldn’t make good business sense. Filling a container with businessmen and shipping them to China, round trip 2 months, would be greener than filling flight 802 and having them there tomorrow, but that doesn’t make good business sense. What is happening in California is companies are moving out because the cost of doing business is going up with all the inefficient “green” initiatives, not the efficient ones, the few there are.

    Sure everyone is down but we are talking degrees here, California is down more than the rest of the country in large part because of the “green” initiatives. Making green widgets can make a local or state economy richer but only if it makes more money selling the widgets to the have nots than the inefficiencies of using them themselves. But that means someone that isn’t making the widget is seeing a net loss. Unless the green widget is more efficient than the non-green widget in which case you will have business beating a path to that door.

    Now sometimes it is necessary to plunder an economy because of a crisis, times of war or natural disaster for instance, the question is, is this one of those times?

  72. knarlyknight Says:

    Weren’t the big hits to California’s economy were the new home building collapse last year and a catastrophic drought, or was that just hearsay?

    Things that are good for business can be very bad for the economy. As an extreme example, prostitution and drug use may be good for businesses that are engaged in those enterprises, but it harms the economy by undermining the productivity of labour and infliction of other social ills. (Actually GDP may increase as a result of those ills too, but that is more a problem of how economic health is measured rather than the level of economic health.) A less extreme example is the management of a renewable resource, like fishing. What’s good for business is to minimize fishing costs and allow fishing operations at a factory scale. That’s good for the businesses until the resource stock collapses, and then you’ve got an economic shambles and a bunch of highly competitive fishing companies without the means to earn their earning revenues.

    As for businesses adopting green policies that benefit society and the economy as a whole, one simply has to look at the dismal record of the past 50 years or so to see that businesses do not voluntarily add to their costs for the betterment of the economy as a whole or for the the betterment of society, unless regulated to do so or they see the writing on the wall that they will have to mend their ways to avoid changes being imposed.

    You mentioned a “plunder of the economy”, them are fighting words. The plundering took place under the Bush administration with a diversion of resources from infrastructure projects and bread and butter projects which add to the capital and labour productivity and instead wasting trillions on propping up Afghani warlords and laying waste to Iraqi public infrastructures and then spending vast amounts of money to (fail to) rebuild, then when the economy imploded near the end of Bush’s term even more money was plundered from future generations to throw at wall street and the banks. Call it plundering or call it wasteful, I see American spending of borrowed money continuing along an increasingly profligate trend line firmly set by Bush. The main difference now is that now vast amounts of your US government money is being spent on “goods” much of which will build up labour and capital inputs rather than being spent on “bads” that do little more than steal from domestic labour and capital inputs in order to kill people and blow things up elsewhere and make Dick Cheney more wealthy.

  73. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    The ocean acidity thing is actually scarier to me than the ocean levels raising.

  74. shcb Says:

    Jayson,

    I would agree with you that the acidity is more bothersome, just like that belt of plastic in the Pacific is more troubling to me. I find it odd that as temps rise the oceans give off Co2 and yet an increase of Co2 is causing acidity? Maybe it is but giving it 2 minutes of thought, it just doesn’t seem right. One other interesting point that Richard Muller made is that the rise in ocean levels is more likely simply that as the ocean warms it expands, more so that ice is melting. For what that is worth.

    Knarly,

    As for businesses …businesses do not voluntarily add to their costs for the betterment of the economy as a whole or for the betterment of society, unless regulated…

    Really? Someone forced Bill Gates to invent Windows? Someone forced Dell, IBM, Gateway, hell, the people who made the Commodore 64 to make these blasted machines we can’t do without? Now of course government does force business to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do for the betterment of society as a whole but making the blanket statement you did is silly. Also sometimes companies embrace these changes even though it seems to the lay person that they wouldn’t. For instance, air bags in cars. Now the auto industry invented them, and knew they had a good thing and wanted to use it but also knew that the public probably wouldn’t buy them if they were optional; so they were happy to have government force them to put them in cars so they would all have to have to produce them, in this way the playing field is at least even. Once they were accepted the government could stop regulating quite as much because then the more the merrier and people saw side curtain air bags as such a benefit they were willing to pay a premium for those cars.

    I’m not sure what that last paragraph about Cheney has to so with anything, guess it’s therapy for you. But going back to Bush and California regulations, the reason he didn’t allow California to set its own standards is precisely because it will hurt the economy. Car manufacturers, already an endangered species, would have to make many different models and try and hit a moving target of regulations, this would raise the cost of cars dramatically, that is not good for the economy in any way.

    Here is something that that is green and has been good for the economy, aluminum recycling. With the exception of the mining industry everyone benefits and it has been adopted as an industry standard without a lot of government intrusion, some, but not a lot; because it just makes sense.

  75. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, It is clear you don’t get it. You

    You claim what’s good for business is good for the economy.

    I give wide ranging examples that show that not to always be the case.

    You provide counter examples that show it is sometimes the case.

    The conclusion is is that what’s good for business is not necessarily good for the economy. Often what is good for business is very bad for the economy.

    Jayson, its okay man, Republicans will be fine they do not eat coral.

  76. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Well for one, I’ve come to realize, after reading Freakonomics, that the ‘conventional wisdom’ is often wrong about things, due to lack of data or ability to correctly understand data.

    I find it odd that as temps rise the oceans give off Co2 and yet an increase of Co2 is causing acidity?

    I guess that doesn’t seem wrong, after two minutes of thought to me. That article isn’t really talking about warming though, its talking about man increased production of CO2. We’ve argued to death about whether or not if there is global warming, if man is causing warming if its even happening, etc.

    What I don’t think anybody will deny is that human industry and transportation produces a significantly higher level of CO2 than existed in pre-industrial society. This seems more clear-cut. More CO2, more acidity, significantly increased chance of mass extinctions. This seems less arguable situation than global warming, especially if we’re looking at a documented 500,000 year period and can make a measurement.

    The problem that I’m having is that reticence to even begin to invest in less CO2 producing power or industry. Its ‘we can’t do it’ not we’re going to phase it in. I understand that those Reality ads are full of shit and we’re not going to just switch everything to solar in April, but at the same time the voices on the other side of the fence are totally unwilling to hear anything about reduction of CO2.

    The second problem is that it seems like a hell of a gamble. Let’s say the majority of the scientific community is right and we’re headed for a major disaster. If we start a phase in of CO2 reduction measures in industry we’re on the way to avoiding it. If we don’t, we’re totally fucked.

    Its either we maybe fuck up the economy (but we already have an economy that’s a literal house of cards) or we kill 10s of millions. It seems like too big of a gamble.

  77. shcb Says:

    Knarly, you are the one that is using absolutes, not me

    one simply has to look at the dismal record of the past 50 years or so to see that businesses do not voluntarily add to their costs for the betterment of the economy as a whole or for the betterment of society, unless regulated to do so or they see the writing on the wall that they will have to mend their ways to avoid changes being imposed.

    Jayson,

    This seems more clear-cut. More CO2, more acidity, significantly increased chance of mass extinctions. This seems less arguable situation than global warming, especially if we’re looking at a documented 500,000 year period and can make a measurement.

    That may be true but it will more likely be mass evolutions than mass extinction. I have no problem with moving in the direction the greens want to move, and most reasonable people don’t, I just don’t want to wreck the economy doing it because if we wreck the economy we won’t have the money to do the things we need to move down that path. Developing countries are in a unique position to not develop any further until they can do it with tomorrows miracle technologies or today’s green technologies wind and solar for instance but they aren’t, why? Because they don’t have the money. If we go down the wrong path we will have all these monuments to poor investments and all the pollution we have now, that is counterproductive.

    Its either we maybe fuck up the economy (but we already have an economy that’s a literal house of cards) or we kill 10s of millions. It seems like too big of a gamble.

    After watching and living in the plains nature all my life I can say with some certainly that people probably won’t die in you worst case scenario, they simply won’t be born since this process will take hundreds of years. Still not good but this line of thought is a case of the exaggerators being as bad as the deniers.

    Off subject question for you computer guys; when I am at work I can cut and paste small areas of text from Lies.com into Word, at home I have to “cut all” and then paste to a document and then cut and paste to another Word document, is that a setting I can change or is it just that I have the oldest computer world wide in our company (true, the IT guys have told me so)

  78. NorthernLite Says:

    How does providing companies with incentives to open new plants that research and develop new technologies “going to wreck our economy”?

    How does creating the resulting green-collar jobs “going to wreck our economy”?

    How does reducing dependence on mid-east oil “going to wreck our economy”?

    How does developing clean energy right in America, with American workers, “going to wreck our economy”?

    How does a Republican try to give economic advice and keep a straight face?

    Like I told you before, you had your time. Look what you’ve done with it. Step aside and let the next generation pay off your debt, finish your wars, clean up your environmental messes and show you how it’s done.

    Your time and your era’s policies are over. Let it go man, just let it go.

  79. shcb Says:

    The answer to your first four questions is it won’t if the projects are viable.

    To your last three paragraphs, here’s you chance, you own Washington, show me what you got, I haven’t been too impressed so far.

  80. NorthernLite Says:

    Well I’m just throwing this out there, but it may take more than 50 days to accomplish these things. We’ll talk about this in 8 years, then we’ll see whats up.

  81. shcb Says:

    let’s see if he makes it the first 4 :-)

  82. shcb Says:

    besides, congress is poised to be the real screwups here and their test come is, oh, 18 months or so.

  83. shcb Says:

    It may be a long four years for this naïve young man

    A detailed examination of presidential popularity after 50 days on the job similarly demonstrates a substantial drop in presidential approval relative to other elected presidents in the 20th and 21st centuries. The reason for this decline most likely has to do with doubts about the administration’s policies and their impact on peoples’ lives.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123690358175013837.html

  84. shcb Says:

    One more for your dining and listening pleasure
    http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/03/13/tantillo_obama_coke/

  85. NorthernLite Says:

    Whatever you guys gotta tell yourselves bud.

  86. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,

    No, you used the absolute by stating that “what is good for business is good for the economy.” Then I demonstrated that your absolute is often not true.

    You quote my statement that businesses “do not voluntarily add to their costs for the benefit of the economy as a whole or for the betterment of society, unless regulated to do so or they see the writing on the wall that they will have to mend their ways to avoid changes being imposed” That statement is not an absolute, as a business will indeed voluntarily add to their costs if it is in their interests to do so and that may or may not benefit the economy or society. The key is that their decision is based on what’s best for the business – and the business attitude over the past 50 years has been that the people living downstream can go to hell if they do not have a voice or any means to assert their human or environmental rights.

    NL – Obama’s approval rating at 61% is much higher than Bush’s was in early March 2001.

  87. knarlyknight Says:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls/#rcp-avg-904

  88. shcb Says:

    Yes knarly, what is good for business is good for the economy, that may not be good for society, and that is where government steps in appropriately. Also the article says Obama’s approval rating has dropped more than normal, and for all presidents in the last hundreds years or so, not just Bush, they aren’t comparing poll numbers just trends. Salting our red herrings are we?

    Now none of this really matters, poll numbers are just a beauty contest anyway. If his plans work his numbers will get close to Bush’s after 911. But where it does hurt is that so much of this recession is based on perceptions at this point. The bad loans have been defaulted on, the companies have gone belly up, the Ponzi schemes have collapsed. What is left is the gut feeling of Wall Street and Main Street, if people are losing faith in Obama because they don’t have faith in his plan then the plan may fail simply because people don’t think it will succeed. Personally I don’t think it has a prayer of working even if people were for it, which may be the reason people aren’t for it. From that perspective poll numbers are important.

    BTW Bush’s numbers went up in the early part of his administration, but they hovered around 60% until 911, then they went to 90%

  89. knarlyknight Says:

    You people are going to need a lot more than faith in the president to pull out of this great recession any time soon. At the end of Bush’s term we entered the world banking failure scenario of all the doomsday books of the past 30 years. So far things have gone well – gold stable, US dollar holding steady. Let’s hope you and Rush don’t succeed in bringing your country down further to spite a Dmocratic president.

  90. shcb Says:

    If he were to do things I felt would help the situation I would support him. I do support him on many (ok, a few) things. You see I feel the things Peloci and Reid want to do are very harmful long term and really won’t help much short term, and Obama is going along with them. Now there have been items where I think he has lessened the blow a little and I support him there. The bill to allow judges to rewrite mortgage terms is way watered down from the dynamically idiotic duo’s original bill. Now maybe Republicans did something gallant in getting that changed but I think a more realistic scenario is that Obama put his foot down and told P & R they had gone too far.

    I’ll give you another example, you have an accounting degree so you can understand this. Buried in this stimulus package is a section that allows business to expense out new equipment over one year instead of depreciating it out over 7. Now this is a good idea but it is worthless except as a campaign point, P&R can now say they had things in the stimulus bill that would help business. Why is it worthless? Because it is only good for one year! If you want to stimulate businesses to buy new equipment let them expense it out in one year for the next say 5 years with a sunset clause in 7 something like that. Getting a new product to market typically takes more than one year, sometimes as much as 5, and you don’t have a big investment in equipment until later in the process.

    Another one, the mortgage industry was all excited because the bill was going to raise the first time home buyers tax credit from $7,500 to $15,000, it raised it to $8,000 big woop, and it runs out in July (unless they changed the date in the very final bill, I haven’t read that yet). Now this is just a zero interest loan, the homeowner has to pay it off in, I believe 15 years. So the government isn’t out any money, sort of, but that gets more technical so lets just say the government gets repaid. So again P&R and gang can say in the next rounds of debates “we increased the first time homeowner’s tax credit” and the poor sap Republican will have 30 seconds to respond that it was smoke and mirrors.

    He could have vetoed this latest pork bill, but he didn’t, I will give him all the respect he deserves and so will Rush, but he has to earn it.

  91. shcb Says:

    Here is another example, Obama’s advisors are saying that taxing health benefits is not off the table, but it’s not his idea, but he is opposed to it, but not so opposed that he won’t consider it… Now this isn’t such a big deal in grand scheme of things, hell, we know Democrats are going to raise taxes, that is a given, it’s just where, how much and how are they going to spin it as a tax cut. The problem here is the indecision, Wall Street looks at this and says, this is bad for the economy, higher taxes means less money to buy stuff, and Wall Street needs folks to buy stuff right now, and for what? Where is this money going to go? Is it just taking from the folks that still have a job to give to the ones that don’t? Is it for Nancy’s next pork bill? Is it even going to happen? Will Obama veto it? He certainly hasn’t gone against P&R in any way so far. Is he just so inexperienced that he is clueless? Are P&R his superiors? All these questions cause uncertainty and that uncertainty is what markets abhor. So some of his (or are they P&R’s?) policies may help a little, but some of his others are hurting, the question is where is the balance and if his policies were better would there be fewer of them that are hurting. He can have our respect when we feel there are only a very few of his policies that are hurting and the ones that are helping really are.

  92. shcb Says:

    This one is more a poke at you guys Enky in particular, remember how much fun you all had when McCain said the fundamentals of the economy are sound? Well golly gee, here is an Obama economic advisor saying the same thing much, much later. I wonder if the MSM will give her as much grief as they did McCain, doubtful.

    On Sunday, economic adviser Christina Romer was asked during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the fundamentals of the economy were sound. “Of course they are sound,” she replied. “The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology,” she said. “We know that — that temporarily we’re in a mess, right? We’ve seen huge job loss, we’ve seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we’re in a — in a bad situation.” Just a week ago, White House Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag declared that “fundamentally, the economy is weak.”

  93. NorthernLite Says:

    The markets have had their best week in years. Stimulus money is starting to create jobs.

    Thank you, Mr. Obama. Yes we can.

  94. shcb Says:

    It seems to me the reason for this upturn is more due to lending resuming, not so much the stimulus money, has stimulus money been released yet? Don’t get me wrong, the stimulus money will produce some construction jobs, if something is built, someone has to build it, but that doesn’t necessarily fix an economy.

  95. NorthernLite Says:

    Yes.

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