Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Climate Of Anger


The other day, this post about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change generated a lot of traffic to this site. It is apparent that there is a growing climate of anger that is heating up about the insidious infiltration of politics into science.

The combination of "Climategate" at East Anglia University and "Glaciergate" at the IPCC has created a fierce sense of distrust about these organizations within the scientific community and general population. It is the egregious nature of data manipulation and outright lying that has many wanting to throw out the bath water, the baby, and the bath tub... maybe even the bathroom.

Part of the problem may be the sheer magnitude of the effort to understand climate. It has been seen as an almost chaotic system that defies real modelling. Certainly, many aspects of climate phenomena can be quantified, but it is the old blind men describing an elephant situation with which we are faced.

For the past few weeks, I have been communicating with some of the people at NOAA/NCDC who are responsible for providing the historical data used by many, myself included, for analyzing aspects of this climate elephant. When I noticed that data appeared to be missing for the first quarter of 2009, I contacted NOAA and eventually was connected to the person in charge of the data. He responded very quickly by re-running the data which did bring the number of data records in line with expectation. Still, this was almost a year after the fact and that data could have been used without the knowledge that it was incomplete.

While some might argue this is another case of trying to manipulate or hide information, I'm inclined to believe that it is a matter of an organization flooded with so much information and providing so many views of that data that it is overwhelming at times... at s*** happens.

Yet Joe D'Aleo at Icecap thinks something may be rotten there... and I have a lot of respect for Joe's knowledge.

Climate-gate Redux
By Jane Jamison

Climate-gate part I occurred in early December when a still-unknown person posted thousands of e-mails and documents on a scientific website. The e-mails showed that scientists at the leading “global warming” research institute in the world, East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) had “changed” weather data to prove their climate-warming theories, and squelched dissenting opinions from skeptical scientists to maintain credibility for their fraud.

Climate-gate part II begins now: The scientists with website announced findings late last week that not only was the CRU involved in producing fraudulent weather data, but two United States agencies, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have also been falsifying climate reports for years. NOAA, the report concludes, is actually “ground-zero” for the fraud of global warming, not the East Anglia Institute.

Climate researchers have discovered that government researchers improperly manipulated data in order to claim 2009 as “THE SECOND WARMEST YEAR ON RECORD.”

Meanwhile, there are a number of American Meteorological Society members who are upset about their voices being ignored in a recent survey about climate change. The explanation was basically: email problems. That may or may not be the case, but things may be heating up there as well.

Politics and science are bad bedfellows.



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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
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Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)