Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Extreme High Temperatures - State Details (1884-2004)


Additional data is here. Also see right sidebar for information through 2006.

Until the actual data file can be uploaded, this is a .jpg file that shows the 600 monthly record high temperature counts by state. I've banded the warmer periods and shown total records and averages for each period. Click on image for larger view. Feel free to save and print it (it may not print well from your browser).


Because of the anonymous comments regarding lack of usefulness of the data shown above, I did a quick and dirty recut of the columns to group the record counts into "regions"... states that share geography of similar climates. While not a "studied" attempt, it does demonstrate how the data could be used to see where regions are being impacted at different times and look at changes that might cause those patterns such as ocean currents for coastal states, or urbanization in western states, or changes in precipitation/cloud cover in central states. Certainly, looking at a daily record will increase the total points from 600 to around 18,000 which may alter and improve the state patterns somewhat, but I suspect that 600 points is a pretty good sampling for U.S. totals... especially when looking at the time banding of these record events shown in these charts.

As you can see, the "regional" clustering of record temperatures is quite different in the 1930s than the 1990s. Rather than trying to point a finger at one factor... CO2... regional variations can be useful to better understand why influences such as land use may be showing up during one period and not another... or if pollution/aerosols is having a bigger impact in one region than another over time.

What is still not demonstrated
is the connection between the frequency of extreme temperatures and the assertion of CO2 based global warming if it is occurring... at least in the U.S.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Global Warming Without New High Temperature Extremes?


If increasing frequency of new high temperature extremes is an indicator of global warming, how can such warming be taking place if the expected increase in high temperature extremes is not occurring?

Dr. Scott Robeson at Indiana University is considering further investigation of the historical dataset of high and low temperature extremes to see what may not be apparent in the raw data which was discussed over the last two days. That may take a little while, however.

Any analysis of weather over 120 years has limitations when you start considering the variations in the number of observation sites, the methods for collecting data, and the accuracy of the equipment involved. Thus, it is possible that data from the 19th and early 20th century are not good starting points for a dataset of temperature extremes. Of course, the same objection could be made regarding the calculation of average temperatures which is far more complex and, on which, claims of global warming are being made.
Meanwhile, I've prepared two stylized charts (click on them to enlarge) that show mean (average) temperature increasing consistent with the range of temperatures increasing and resulting in many more high temperature extremes than previously... not indicated by the raw data for temperature extremes for the past 120 years.


And, in the second chart, mean (average) temperatures increasing while high temperatures remain relatively steady resulting in some record high temperatures, but not more than experienced at various times historically... as indicated by the raw data for temperature extremes for the past 120 years.


The only way the lower chart would seem to make sense with current IPCC thinking about CO2 as the main driver of overall warming effect, is by minimizing the heat loss during the night while having little impact during the days. This would result in more moderate northern climates and not much impact in tropical areas. This is an issue for the modellers.

I did not consider a third alternative where the range narrows by temperatures at the top falling somewhat and temperatures at the bottom rising rapidly, which seems highly implausible.

I'll let the climatologists, geologists, geographers, et al, fight it out from this point on.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Extreme Temperatures As A Measure Of Global Warming


Yesterday, I posted some graphs of temperature high/low records for the 50 U.S. states. I wanted to be sure that there was no confusion about the information.

The data show records as of 2004 (when the available data ended from the source I used). Some readers may have interpreted the data to be the number of records set during the year, but that is not the case. Therefore, the 30 record high temperatures for 1936 are those that remain records after nearly 70 years.

Also note that there is a bias for temperature records that are most recent. If a record was set and then matched by the same temperature for that month (different year) in that state, the latest date is used. This could cause the record temperatures for earlier years to be understated and somewhat overweight most recent records as a percent of the total. For example, if a (hypothetical) record high of 90 degrees in March 1930 for Oklahoma is matched in 1998, the 1998 data is shown and the 1930 data is dropped.
A commenter at Climate Science cited a post in RealClimate which supports my position that extreme temperatures should be an indicator or global warming if the records are most frequently at the most recent part of the timeline.
Further analysis showed that the absolute monthly maximum/minimum temperature was poorly correlated with that of the previous month, ruling out dependency in time (this is also true for monthly mean temperature - hence, 'seasonal forecasting' is very difficult in this region). Additional tests (Monte Carlo simulations) were used to check whether a spatial dependency could explain the deviation from the iid-rule, but the conclusion was that it could not explain the observed number of records. A similar conclusion was drawn from a similar analysis applied to a (spatially sparse) global network of monthly mean temperatures, where the effect of spatial dependencies for inter-annual and inter-decadal variations could be ruled out (Benestad, 2004). Thus, the frequent occurrence of record-high temperatures is consistent with a global warming.
When you examine the graphs on yesterday's post, you will see that the most frequent period of record high temperatures was from 1930-1954... even after some records set during those years may have been eliminated by new records in later years. While 1998 and 2000 had a high number of records, the decade prior was notably average.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Extreme Temperatures - Where's the Global Warming?



I was looking at our local temperature history and noticed that most of the record high temperatures over the past 70 years were between 1980 and 1990 or between 1950 and 1955, while the record low temperatures were fairly evenly distributed. This graphic shows the 12 months' (not individually identified) record high temperatures and the year that they occurred. Click image to enlarge.

That didn't jibe with current assertions about global warming causing temperature extremes and record temperatures occurring in the last ten years. I thought that it might be a local anomaly so I went to records by state at and got the following samples scattered all over the U.S.


On the recommendation of Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. at the University of Colorado, I created a database from the data shown on the state charts below for all 50 states from 1884 to May 2004 (end of available data from that source). [Also see further explanatory notes regarding these data on tomorrow's post]

This is what it shows (click on image to enlarge):

The chart plots the number of record high temperatures by year for all 50 states. There is a 10-year trendline to help smooth out the data. It clearly shows that, for the U.S., the last 10 years were really no hotter than average (600 data points in 120 years = 5 per year) in creating record high temperatures. It might be worthwhile to take a look at other land masses in this way.

Dr. Pielke also requested another chart showing the low extremes which is shown below.

My comments to Dr. Pielke concerning these data were:
I'm not exactly sure how one might interpret the results of the low temps. Certainly, the 60s through the 80s had their share of record cold with the moving average of about 7-8 per year. The last ten years has seen the moving average fall toward the overall per year average of 5 (600 data points / 120 years).

There has been greater variability (range) on the record high side (30 in 1936) than the record low side (18 in 1917) overall.

How any of the data can substantiate "global warming" is a little beyond me, I'm afraid. There is not a convincing trend of extremes to support the contention that the beginning of the 21st century is markedly different from, say, the 1950s. If the contention that the number of extremes on the high side should correspond to the change toward a hotter climate is correct, then the evidence is not there... or at least apparent to me.

Perhaps the notion that the "global warming" effect is more on the low side (few low extremes) might be hinted at with what is shown, but I wouldn't be comfortable with just a few years at the end; I'd want a couple of decades of low [few]/no low records to support that.
The work file with the database and charts will be available at Climate Science soon if you wish to exam it or use it to compare with other data. For now, it is nothing more than the raw data with two summary charts that raise some questions.


Below are the samples from various states representing regions of the U.S. that I mentioned earlier.

Records by state at Source: National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Sorry, but I just don't see "global warming" in these extremes. It must be happening on some other part of the globe. CO2 is just not doing its job.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Environment, Energy, Economy


In so much of what I have read and even written, there are issues of environment, energy and the economy that overlap and may conflict. It is a difficult challenge to separate much of the particulars into neat categories and identify conflicts or contradictions.

For example, let's look at the issue of oil and it's alternatives.

The use of oil is primarily an economic one. Oil has the advantage of amply supply, great distribution and a transportation market designed around oil products. Oil as an energy source is superior to ethanol in the mileage it delivers per gallon. It has distinct environmental drawbacks from all manner of pollution from spills to emissions that foul the air.
When one looks at the alternatives to oil, the same issues face us. For example, ethanol has been pushed as an alternative fuel.
Ethanol is not a good economic alternative at the present price of oil; it requires significant subsidies, it disrupts the corn market, and does not have a good distribution system. It does not produce as much energy per gallon as gasoline. Ethanol has environmental issues because of emissions of pollutants that cause smog plus it continues to create CO2 which has become a political pariah.
How about battery-powered cars?
There is both a technical and economic issue with batteries as a replacement for gasoline. The range of battery-powered vehicles is limited without a supplemental small engine and overall energy usage may be more than a small gasoline-powered vehicle. Then there is the overriding environmental issue of what to do with the dead batteries.
How about hydrogen-powered vehicles?
Hydrogen gas as the source of power for vehicles sounds great, but there is presently no economical method of producing large quantities of this gas and distributing it for consumption. Furthermore, hydrogen gas is essentially a battery... a storage medium... that requires other sources of energy for production... such as nuclear or coal-powered electricity generating plants which have bad environmental reputations.
So when dealing with issues such as "global warming", one must critically look at the alternatives. Alternatives to oil are just one area of discussion. A similar discussion is necessary for coal... and another for nuclear power.

There are many potential alternatives being tossed around. For example, plasma arc technology is being developed for destruction of virtually all wastes except nuclear waste. Plasma arc incineration plants could be built at current landfills and eliminate the need for further landfills. They reduce all waste to its atomic components and, in the process, creates more electricity than it consumes... one disposal site could power a city and eliminate most environmental threats... while actually reducing the cost of waste management. That's a potential win in all three categories of economy, energy and environment. The problem is that this alternative is only getting a start.

There is a tendency to be one-sided in response to perceived problems. The CO2 alarmists want to focus only on efforts to reduce CO2 whether the efforts have detrimental economic, energy, or environmental side-effects. The rush to action... especially political action is often at the expense of other real human concerns.

Here's one: safe water. With population growing ever faster, the availability of safe water may be more pressing than "solving" the CO2 "problem." It just doesn't have the PR that other issues have.

Economic, energy and environmental concerns need critical and balanced solutions. Otherwise, we can "solve" one area of concern and bring chaos in others.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

99% Correct


This looks long, but you can get through it quickly....

Recently, we installed Microsoft's Office 2007 suite for our small business. After working with it for awhile, I have to say that I highly recommend it as an upgrade to Office 2003. It takes a little while to get used to the new "ribbon" interface, but it is much better organized than the older version.

Microsoft spent a lot of time and effort to gather information about how their customers actually use the Office software and incorporated that knowledge into a superior interface.

That said, let's look at the 1% issue. Here is an example of how they managed to cause a problem while improving their product... and then ignored the problem.

Communication to Microsoft:


First Name: Bruce

Last Name: Hall



O/S: XP Professional

Br: Explorer 7

Country/Region: United States



Outlook Express 6



Ref URL:

O/S: windows nt 5.1

O/S Lang: en-US

Br: mozilla/5.0 (windows; u; windows nt 5.1; en-us; rv: gecko/20061206 firefox/

Br lang: en-us,en;q=0.5



Message: After installing Office 2007, the spellchecker on Outlook Express 6 would no longer work in English... in fact, the English dictionary is not available. We use both Outlook and Outlook Express 6 to keep business emails strictly separated from personal emails.

I've seen that it is a problem associated with the Office 2007 installation, so will you be providing a patch with the automatic updates and when?


Response from Microsoft:

Hello Bruce,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Customer Service.

I understand from your e-mail that the spell checker in Outlook Express 6 do not work in English after the installation of Office 2007. I realize the importance of the issue and look forward to assist you.

As a Customer Service Representative, I can direct you to your support options which include Self-Help Resources and Assisted Support. You may try to resolve the problem on your own using the no-charge self-help resources listed below. However, if you prefer assistance from a Microsoft Support Professional, please choose the Assisted Support option mentioned below.

Self-Help Resources:

You may search the Product Solution Center or the Knowledge Base of self-help articles to resolve your issue using the following link:[p1]

You may also post your issue in the Microsoft newsgroups. For information on how to use the Microsoft newsgroups, please visit the following link:

Assisted Support:

You may work with a Microsoft Support Professional via e-mail, telephone, and for some products, chat to resolve your issue. Depending on how you obtained your software, there may be fees to use the Assisted Support option. Please visit the following link to contact the Outlook Express 6 Support Team:

Please note that if the Microsoft software came from your computer manufacturer, please contact your computer manufacturer directly. Contact information for most major computer manufacturers is available at:

Bruce, if you have additional questions, please write back to us.

Thank you for using Microsoft Products and Services.
My reply to Microsoft's response:

Thanks for your reply.

I was amused, but not necessarily surprised by the response which, in essence was: here are some self-help links where you can get third-party answers.

The problem was identified on the Microsoft site:

The various third-party suggestions included downloading questionable third-party software to altering the registry.

Let’s put this in perspective. Suppose you had a car and took it to the manufacturer's authorized dealer to have the engine replaced (Office 2007). When you drove it home, you discovered that your heater no longer worked, so you called the dealer about it. The dealer then says you can:

1. Check your operators manual for troubleshooting

2. Check online help from customer groups

3. Reinstall part of the old engine that contains a hose necessary for your heater to operate

4. Take your car to the local independent garage to see if they have a fix

I suppose you might wonder about the dealer and the manufacturer.

So when is Microsoft going to have a patch to download and install?


Bruce Hall
The upshot is simple: you can try to fix it yourself or get a questionable "fix" from unknown sources on the Internet, or you can pay Microsoft to help fix a problem they created.

So the conclusion here is that Microsoft is trying and can be trying.


One of my particularly computer-savvy sons wrote the following:
Good analogy, Microsoft support, or the lack thereof, is classically bad. Sorry to hear about the spell check breaking... I just got my copy of Vista and Office 2007 in the mail yesterday and had a nightmare of a time trying to install it. Apparently you can't upgrade from the beta and it took a few hours of deleting registry keys and hidden files and folders all over the place to fully get rid of the beta install.

Terrible work on their part making an un-installer that doesn't actually remove the program and an installer that can't upgrade from the beta version.
Okay, now I don't feel so bad.

Industrial Output or Economy Put Out?


Yesterday at Econobrowser, Dr. James Hamilton posted an article about the declining Industrial Production Index which might have been overlooked in all of the concern about the Federal Reserve and inflation indicators. With the IPI showing a 6-month decline, even if slight, in output, the question was what that meant to the economy. His comment was:

Here's what I think:
Here was my slightly longer comment:

With so many regional variances it is difficult to pinpoint the direction of the national economy based on industrial output, but for someone living in Michigan, the "dip" is more like "the bottom dropping out".

Last year saw more consumer spending than earnings, ergo, we dipped into savings.

Now with the housing markets getting soft to tanking and home prices following (down 10-15% here), depending on location, home owners can't feel too confident about dipping into their "equity"... especially with Dr. B's higher interest rates translating into more expensive borrowing. That translates into less spending and less industrial production.

Inflation is not really the big worry now. We took the hit with oil prices last year and that has rolled its way through product pricing. This year looks like energy prices will roughly parallel last year, so we shouldn't get another jolt there.

So, given business pullbacks, consumer pullbacks, higher rates of foreclosures, and a stubborn Fed chairman, yeah, we could be seeing some longer faces in the near future.

Meanwhile, Toyota could probably pick up Chrysler and Ford really cheaply right now. Or maybe Hyundai might be interested. Can you say "fire sale?"

Can you say "economic cooling?"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Acting to Impact Society


There is more than one way to affect your society. It's been a couple of months, so my wife and I will become activists today.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Climate Drivers


For those of you who don't mind reading more than one-page opinions about how humans impact their own climate, you might try

  • this
  • and this (20+ pages Adobe .pdf file)
Bring your brain with you.

Some interesting facts:
  • Forests cause their own rain
  • Crops in Florida cause their own freezing
  • Higher levels of CO2 in the Great Plains increase overnight minimums, but decrease maximum temperatures
Hey, don't take my word for it, you have to read them.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Global Warming: Whether the Weather Proves It


Recent headlines in the local papers claim the weather is further evidence of global warming. They point to above average temperatures in December and January as manefestations of this. Just what does the short term weather demonstrate?

All of the charts below are from and can be enlarged by clicking on them.

First, the monthly average temperatures (degrees Fahrenheit) for this area. January high/low is 30/16; February high/low is 34/18. Not exactly warm.

The first two weeks of January 2007 were warmer than average with the highest high being 52 on January 1. The lowest low was 25 on January 10. We were sweltering.

The last half of January was closer to normal with the highest high of 38 on January 27 and the lowest low of 0 on January 25.

February has been a different story with temperatures well below both the average high and average low. The highest high was 25 on February 1 and 17; the lowest low was -6 on February 5 (the same day I returned from a Florida trip... brrrrrrrr). The average overall temperature during this period was lower than the average low.

Temperatures are forecasted to return to near normal for the remainder of February.

So, what does all of this prove regarding global warming? From what I can observe, absolutely nothing. But I have been told by reliable sources (commenters at online discussions) that this variability is exactly what you would expect with global warming.

The only problem with that is such variability happens all of the time. Just look back at the record highs and lows for your area and you will see that there is no pattern at all. Weather variability is pretty much random.

The next time you read a headline about warm temperatures being related to global warming, turn the page... the newspaper is wasting your time.

And this has absolutly nothing to do with Global Warming, but you might enjoy it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Global Warming - It's What You Show


In the last two days, I have shown the impact of how data is shown by displaying identical data in different ways that tell dramatically different stories. I will now return to the original temperature graph in its original form (expanded vertical axis) and a similar graph from another source with a similar display of the data. While the two charts below are from different sources, they show the same thing: temperatures have trended up over the past century.

The first chart, which was presented in 3 additional ways, is from Dr. Richard A. Muller, University of California, Berkeley. If you remember from posts the previous two days, the vertical scale is greatly exaggerated in order to show changes that, in clearer perspective, are quite small.

This second chart is from a presentation given by Dr. Timothy Patterson, Carleton University, Ottawa

Click for enlarged view

What's the difference? The first chart is similar to many used to show that our climate is warming and make a connection to the fact that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are higher now than in recent history (but much lower than ice core data).

The second chart agrees and uses roughly the same scaling. Temperatures are higher now than a century ago. And it also shows CO2 levels at the highest level (at least in the last century).

So do the two professors agree? Well, at least partially. They both agree that temperatures have trended up slightly over the past century. But Dr. Patterson has raised a question that many others have, but is ignored by those adhering to the anthropogenic CO2 concept of global warming.
"If CO2 is of such critical importance to climate change why was there a large temperature rise prior to the early 1940s when 80 percent of the human produced carbon dioxide was produced after World War II? When CO2 levels finally began to increase dramatically in the postwar years why was there a concomitant interval of about 30 years of cooling? One would think that if CO2 had such critical control over climate that the relative abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere would be in lock step with global temperature. Many researchers realize the difficulties that are presented by trying to make CO2 the key factor in climate change."
Climate modelers, such as those who write at often simply ignore this as "old news" or some such and say that their models demonstrate that CO2, specifically anthropogenic CO2, is the driver of climate change... global warming, if you will. That's the point, they don't really address the anomaly, they dismiss it... based on a correlation at the tail end of the data.

Now, I can't tell you whether relative sunspot activity (as shown in Dr. Patterson's chart) or other factors that other scientists have identified, such as cosmic rays or phytoplankton, affected the relationship between temperature change and CO2. The point is, the relationship did change. CO2 increased for 30 years and temperatures trended downward for 30 years. Now temperatures have trended upward for 20 years while CO2 increased for 20 years.

What does dismissal of other factors explain? And why, or is, the inconsistency being ignored? And how do the models handle it? As an anomaly that is smoothed out?
In conclusion, there is a great deal of confusion among non-scientists and politicians regarding the nature of climate change and possible global warming. Much data has been presented in ways that, while not intentionally misleading, does mislead and possibly misinform as a result.

For example, in yesterday's chart, I compared a global average temperature to regional average temperatures and asked if the reader thought that a 1 degree C change looked all that significant. The answer is that there is probably no good way to predict, with certainty, if that amount of global temperature change will result in a similar change for all of the regional climates, or if some regions will be devastated while others are significantly improved... or if like the 20th century there are fluctuating changes in weather patterns over decades, but little long term relationship apparent.

In addition to the confusion regarding the significance of changes that have occurred and may occur, there are questions that seem to be ignored or brushed off as "unimportant" in an effort to provide a simple answer to a complex issue.

My hope is that this series of three posts have provided a beginning point for better understanding and discussion stripped of hyperbole and emotion, not only among scientists, but especially among non-scientists and politicians.

Consequently, I have separately emailed Senator Carl Levin from my state, Michigan, who is becoming more involved in the policy and legislation efforts about CO2 and global warming... and have asked him to consider the issues raised here during the last three days. With billions of dollars in the balance, including subsidies and penalties, our lawmakers should be certain of what we will be paying for before sending us the bill.

In order for politicians reasonably to make... or refrain from making... new policies or legislation related to controlling global warming or climate change, scientists need to:
  1. resolve differences in the factors that are relevant in assessing global temperature changes
  2. significantly improve the ability to project climate change by region to determine if changes are detrimental or beneficial to different regions
  3. provide realistic time scales for changes to occur
  4. assess if the focus on CO2 alone is appropriate, needed, and achievable
As Dr. Michael Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said in an article published by the BBC, November 2006:
It seems that mere "climate change" was not going to be bad enough, and so now it must be "catastrophic" to be worthy of attention.

The increasing use of this pejorative term - and its bedfellow qualifiers "chaotic", "irreversible", "rapid" - has altered the public discourse around climate change.

This discourse is now characterised by phrases such as "climate change is worse than we thought", that we are approaching "irreversible tipping in the Earth's climate", and that we are "at the point of no return".

I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric.

It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) sceptics. How the wheel turns.
It's how you say it; it's how you show it; it's what you show... and who you talk to about it.

Wind: S at 12 mph
Humidity: 70%
Mostly Sunny
21° | 11°

Friday, February 16, 2007

Global Warming - A Clearer Perspective


Yesterday, I began to look at the significance of 1 degree C warming over the past century. Today, I want to put that change in clearer perspective.

This graph is adapted from a website by Dr. Richard A. Muller of the University of California, Berkeley. You can click on the graph to see an enlarged image. Note the scale on the left is change relative to a 1950 baseline (approximately 15 degrees C) while the right scale shows absolute (measured) temperatures.

Based on the variation of average annual temperatures at the locations shown... and your understanding of what those climates are like... you can get a clearer perspective of what "warming" has meant... and judge for yourself what that means if the temperatures increase a little more.

Certainly, there will be geographical variations in the impact of any warming or cooling and 1 degree C change on a global scale will probably affect some regions more than others.
But just what those changes might be seem unclear at present... and may be only nominal. For example, the 1930s were characterized by hot "dust bowl" conditions, but the absolute temperatures as shown on the 120 year history were "cooler" than today's average... realistically, there really has been no appreciable change in average global temperature. Climate, quite obviously, is a combination of many factors. Crop failures of the 30s were not repeated in the past decade. There was no "obvious" relationship of warmth to rainfall during this period. Geographic features may dictate part of how a region reacts to temperature changes. Land use will modify the impact . Ocean temperatures and flows will also impact climates. Hot/cold and dry... or hot/cold and wet... were not simply a function of absolute temperature.
Regardless, to put things in further perspective, when glaciers last roamed North America, earth's average temperature probably was much closer to Detroit's than Orlando's.

The present hyperbole is that we might experience more of what happened in the past 30 years... if you can distinguish that on the graph that displays regional climate averages.

Another good post with comments by Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate and Roger Pielke, Sr. of Climate Science is worth reading.

... more tomorrow....

Global Warming - It's What You Show

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SW at 12 mph
Humidity: 84%
Mostly Sunny
21° 16°

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Global Warming - It's How You Say It


Sometimes it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Sometimes it's not what you show, it's how you show it.

I've retired from corporate America, but I've given a lot of presentations to a lot of people and one thing is clear: you can say something to someone, but what you show can tell a much different story... even if you show exactly what you said.

Here are three graphs with data spanning 120 years. All three show the temperature trending upward approximately 1 degree C over that time.

The first comes from a website by Dr. Richard A. Muller of the University of California, Berkeley.

Notice the dramatic increase in temperature over the recent 3 decades.

The next graph is adapted from a website by Dr. Richard A. Muller of the University of California, Berkeley.

Notice the moderate increase in temperature over the past 3 decades.

Enlarged graph available - click on graph

The last graph is adapted from a website by Dr. Richard A. Muller of the University of California, Berkeley.

Notice the negligible increase in temperature over the past 3 decades.

Enlarged graph available - click on graph

What vertical scale would you use to show temperature change over 120 years? Sometimes when something is very small, you have to exaggerate in order to display it in a way that grabs the attention of your audience.

Do your eyes tell you that you are looking at the same data... even though you were told that ahead of time?

What is 1 degree C? Dramatic? Moderate? Negligible?

If you didn't have graphs shown to you, what would you say?

Here's a frame of reference for you. Orlando, Florida has an average annual temperature of 72.4 degrees F (22.4 degrees C) and Detroit, Michigan has an average annual temperature of 48.6 degrees F (9.2 degrees C). If Detroit's annual average temperature increased by 1 degree C, it would still be 12.2 degrees C colder than Orlando.

So, I ask again: What is 1 degree C? Dramatic? Moderate? Negligible?

... more tomorrow...
Global Warming - A Clearer Perspective

Global Warming - It's What You Show

Wind: NW at 9 mph
Humidity: 63%
Chance of Snow Showers
14° | 7°

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Immigration and the GOP


Given the tough talk by some Republicans about illegal immigration, one must wonder about the anemic efforts to address it by the Bush administration. Is there or is there not a security issue? If there is, then why an amnesty program for illegals? Shouldn't illegal aliens be deported? Shouldn't they be stopped from returning?

Why was there more effort to punish two border guards for shooting a drug dealer who was illegally in the country than there is to punish the illegal aliens that are here?

Okay, enough questions. You want the answer so here it is: the Bush administration and the Republican party is deathly afraid of the legal Hispanic citizens being driven into the permanent ranks of the Democrat party... a second minority bloc, if you will. As a result, the Bush administration and the Republican party want to be seen as openly pro-Hispanic and protectors of Hispanic interests in this country. Actions that are seen as remotely anti-Hispanic are to be avoided and disavowed. Hence, two border guards convicted and jailed for shooting an armed, Mexican drug dealer who was illegally in this country (shooting Mexicans will be dealt with harshly). Hence, placing the national guard at the border, but only as observers who cannot actually do anything to stop illegals from crossing the border.

GOP... party of national security... unless it means they might lose some votes.

Some thoughts about immigration:

As the U.S. has matured... ceased expanding its boundaries and become a more stable society... a new sudden influx of immigrants creates a different dynamic than experienced in the 3 previous centuries.

1. Immigrants cannot simply move toward newly opened and free land (e.g., Sooners and 49ers); poor immigrants are shunted to the worst situations until they are able to work their way out.
2. Past immigration, while including "groupings" from various nations, tended to be a mixed bag of backgrounds who were forced to assimilate to the dominant culture (yes, they lived in enclaves, but then dispersed quickly).
3. There was a distinct lack of social programs which may have caused temporary hardships, but the lack of which served as a significant incentive for individuals to adapt to their new surroundings.
4. Immigrants came with the intention of becoming Americans, not with the intention of moving in temporarily in order to funnel funds back to the homeland, use social services while in the U.S., and then return to their homeland when they had accumulated enough money (no this is not necessarily the "norm" for current immigrants, but a phenomenon that has been documented). In other words, past immigrants had a greater commitment to becoming Americans as quickly as possible and worked within the system to do so.
5. Undocumented or illegal immigrants were a very small, insignificant, issue until recently. Past immigrants had to move and work within constraints until they became citizens and they had to pay their share of taxes. With 1/4-1/3 of recent immigrants (about 10 million) entering illegally, the immigration system has broken down and these people cannot be normally assimilated into the population.
6. Without controls that are normal placed on legal immigrants (and citizens as well), the illegal subculture has created various strains on the communities in which they have settled... legal, social, political, and economic.

Immigration itself is not the issue; neither is population growth. Illegal immigration is. The legal infrastructure cannot deal with the illegal masses in an effective manner. What many do to provide social services to illegal immigrants may be called "humanitarian", but it is dysfunctional from a social and economic point of view because it supports a phenomenon that is greatly disruptive.

The best action possible is negative reinforcement for both the illegal immigrants and Mexico which has not only not attempted to control the situation from its side, but actually promote illegal immigration into the U.S. Mexico is sending its problems to the U.S. rather than addressing them there.

Wind: N at 20 mph
Humidity: 74%
19° | 1°

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Open Letter to Michigan Universities



  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • Wayne State University
  • Oakland University
  • Eastern Michigan University
Subject: Improving Educational Opportunities

I have been openly critical about the role of Michigan universities in the overall education process in this state. Particularly, I have criticized the University of Michigan for it's grandstanding efforts which included defying the outcome of Proposal 2 and going to Detroit schools to try to "sell" the students there on the idea of attending UM to boost the percentage of minority students.

My reaction was that if UM (and other universities) were really interested in the academic issues that concern minority students, they would actively work with schools that had large numbers of at-risk students to generate a greater enthusiasm for education with those students. (see 12/26/06 and 12/30/06)

The program at MacArther K-8 University Academy between the City of Southfield and UM-Dearborn is one approach, but competes with existing schools and doesn't address the dysfunctional attitude toward education that has ensnared so many low-income families. Rather than replace exising schools, universities should use their resources (including student interns) to help local schools to:
1. provide non-curriculum information to students and their families concerning the how's and why's of getting from inner-city to inner-circle.
2. critically assess the local schools' approach to gaining the attention and involvement of the parents
3. help local schools develop individualized "game plans" for students with ongoing reinforcement such as campus visits, introduction to various academic disciplines and what those careers are all about, and supplementing the standard curriculum with science or math or social studies "specials"... the "wow factors" that these kids never see and could help light a fire of understanding and enthusiasm under them.
Charter schools may provide very localized and limited help. There is a larger existing problem out there that requires attention and, specifically in southeastern Michigan, your universities have both the resources and the social philosophy to take the practical steps outlined above.

There is no social program or school program that is a "magic bullet", but there are efforts that can make individuals want something their parents don't have and show them how to get it. If they affect even 20% of the students positively, the effort will be more valuable than letting unprepared and unqualified students into a competitive academic situation where they will fail... simply to say the opportunity was given.

Steven Levitt, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, pointed out in his book Freakonomics that it really didn't make any difference if a student from a poorly performing school was chosen to go to a better performing school or had to stay at the poorly performing school. Their academic achievements were, by and large, the same. The key variable is that they "wanted" to go to the better school because they believed it would help their education. They already had a positive attitude toward education, so they performed well regardless of the school they attended.

Rather that focusing on "fixes" to admissions, help fix the attitudes of the students and their families toward education. In doing so, you may also "fix" the poorly performing schools. Then you can offer financial assistance and scholarships to qualified low-income and minority students... and no one is going to criticize you for that.

Wind: NE at 18 mph
Humidity: 67%
17° | 12°

Monday, February 12, 2007

Automobiles, CO2, and Global Warming


Some thoughts about the costs of global warming, transportation, and the environment.

  • Hydrogen powered vehicles would be the cleanest environmentally and neutral regarding CO2 production (for those who subscribe to the IPCC concerns).

    The issues with hydrogen power are:
    1. Large amounts of electricity are needed to produce sufficient hydrogen power to power the world's fleet of vehicles. The only viable alternative for producing large amounts of CO2-free electricity is nuclear power and the concern for nuclear waste disposal make this a politically incorrect choice among environmentalists.
    2. The infrastructure to distribute hydrogen does not exist which means that the spread of a hydrogen-based transportation system would be decades away.
    3. May be significantly more costly over the life of the vehicle than a small, gasoline-only powered vehicle.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells are an alternative to hydrogen gas and do not require a new distribution system.

    Issues with hydrogen fuel cells are:
    1. The fuel cells require additional amounts of electricity from the electric power grid thereby increasing CO2 production from that source (unless created from nuclear power).
    2. The fuel cells degrade and must be replaced over time.
    3. They may be significantly more costly than a small gasoline-only engine for the operating life of the vehicle.
  • Ethanol powered vehicles would reduce the need for oil and would reduce some of the CO2

    Issues with ethanol are:
    1. It is environmentally unfriendly when burned, releasing numerous smog producing gases.
    2. It is agriculturally disruptive and has been the cause of widespread deforestation worldwide as countries attempt to clear land to produce crops that can be used in the production of ethanol.
    3. It is economically unsound because it requires subsidies to make it competitive with oil products while, at the same time, increases the price of crops such as corn, causing hardship among poorer people for whom corn is a staple in their diet.
    4. It is significantly less efficient as a fuel than gasoline which means more of the fuel must be burned than gasoline to travel the same distance.
  • Gasoline/Battery hybrid vehicles offer the promise of improved fuel efficiency, thereby reducing CO2 production for the miles driven.

    Issues with gasoline/battery hybrid vehicles:
    1. They require large battery "packs" which much be replaced and require recycling or disposal of "dead" batteries which may not be environmentally "friendly."
    2. They are much more costly than a small gasoline-only engine for the operating life of the vehicle and only improve overall mileage and total fuel consumption marginally.
  • Gasoline/Electric/Battery hybrid vehicles offer the promise of substantially improved fuel efficiency, thereby reducing CO2 product for the miles driven substantially over present vehicles.

    Issues with gasoline/electric/battery hybrid vehicles:
    1. Battery technology for "plug and play" cars is not sufficiently advanced for production.
    2. They may be more costly than a small gasoline-only engine for the operating life of the vehicle.
    3. They require additional amounts of electricity from the electric power grid thereby increasing CO2 production from that source (unless created from nuclear power).
    4. They require large battery "packs" which much be replaced and require recycling or disposal of "dead" batteries which may not be environmentally "friendly."
For those of you who have read the history of automobiles, you may recall that electric powered vehicles were popular before the advent of a low cost gasoline engine and the widespread availability of the fuel. The clear advantages a quickly refueled gasoline system versus the slow recharging of batteries with limited ranges, killed the electric powered vehicles.

Those who believe that climate end is nigh see no economic cost as too high to eliminate CO2 production from our lifestyles. For them, pick your alternative and buy it. For most, they will be forced to pay significantly more for the "risk management" of possibly adverse effects of global warming.

If they live in the north where during the last month they have experienced well below normal temperatures and, in some areas, overwhelming amounts of snow... that might be a hard sell... even though those who adhere to the belief of CO2 mono-causal global warming say that abnormal cold temperatures are caused by global warming. And abnormal warm temperatures. And more hurricanes. And less hurricanes. And less ice. And more ice.

Locally... it's a really hard sell.

Month Avg.
Feb 34°F 18°F 26°F

Average overall temperature for February 2007 has been about 11°F or 7°F below the average low.


Light Snow
Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 80%

27° | 14°

17° | 11°

Snow Showers
17° | 3°

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Questioning the Consensus is Ranting


During a discussion on another weblog, I was accused of "ranting" when I pointed out that there were respected scientists who questioned the mono-causation theory of climate change, to wit: human produced CO2. This because I provided the link to the Voice of America video which I posted yesterday. It seems it's all been heard before... so that makes it "old news" rather than issues to be addressed.

So now it has come down to this: if you question mono-causation, you are a "denier" who is "ranting."

I find the parallels between this and fundamentalist Muslims and the Catholic Inquisition quite alarming. The "truth" stops here and now! Look no further you infidels.

p.s., don't you find it just a little strange how much fear there is about the possibility that the climate may be moderating?

Wind: SW at 14 mph
Humidity: 73%
Partly Sunny
22° | 16°

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Scientists Discuss Global Warming at VOA


For those of you who would like to actually listen to 3 scientists and an associate editor for U.S. News and World Report discuss the issue of global warming models and the implications of those models, you might want to listen to this 15-minute broadcast from Voice of America. (You'll need RealPlayer)

Original post at ClimateScience by Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., who participated in this discussion.

"Robert Corell, program director at the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment.

Bret Schulte, an associate editor for U.S. News and World Report who writes on environmental issues.

Roger Pielke, Sr., a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dev Niyogi, an assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue University and an Indiana state climatologist. ”

The short interview was very well done and effectively summarizes several of the issues on the diversity of views on climate change.

The video link will only be available until next Thursday evening but the audio and transcript will be available indefinitely."
For those of you who are hoping for a really grim picture of the global warming future, you may be just a little disappointed. But cooler heads prevail in this interview... pun intended.

But I think I'm feeling some warming here. I wonder if it is CO2 or just some old-fashioned cloud cover.

Wind: SW at 9 mph
Humidity: 84%
Mostly Sunny
24° | 9°

Friday, February 09, 2007

Michigan Service Tax Concerns


Also see:

More On Michigan Service Tax Proposal

Michigan Service Tax

The idea of a 2% service tax is appealing to Michigan's Governor Granholm because it avoids having to deal with limitations on taxes that the citizens of Michigan voted into their state constitution. Property tax increases are capped to the rate of inflation... a message that government should learn to live within constraints. Sales taxes are capped at 6%... a message that government can share in good times, but not grab a bigger share in bad times.

Apparently, the message is being ignored.

Besides ignoring the will of the voters with regard to taxes, the Governor has proposed a tax that is likely to be a source of a giant accounting and administrative mess. Are the taxes only applicable to retail transactions or also applicable to business-to-business services? Sales taxes can be audited through inventory records. How do you audit the number of lawns cut or heads of hair cut? The "proof of transaction" disappears in a few weeks.

This seems like a natural incentive to move toward a cash-transaction marketplace. Rather than be satisfied with taxes on the incomes of service providers, the Governor thinks that they ought to collect a fee for the service provider's privilege of earning that taxable income. More than likely, some part time service providers will "go out of business" as far as the state is concerned rather than deal with honestly reporting those extra-hours dollars.

Why not increase fees for government services, as well? How about $1,000 to renew a vehicle license plate? Got to fix the roads. How about a $1,000 enrollment fee for schools... the education is still "free", but the schools need repairing. How about a $1,000 annual fee for filing your taxes? Taxes need to be collected and checked. Can't afford the fee for the license plate? Ride a bicycle or take a bus. Can't afford $1,000 each to enroll your kids? Home school them. Can't afford a fee to pay your taxes? Pay it anyway... you have to pay your taxes.

Fees aren't really taxes, so no one would object to a fee for the real necessities. Would you? I'm sure the Governor wouldn't. Just call it "pay for play" or something like that. The state would just be ensuring that you pay your fair share for the benefits received. Oh, and if you should die in Michigan, maybe the state could have a $5,000 fee for a death certificate. After all, it would be their last chance to collect from you.

Or the State could learn to live within the means of the voters... as the voters have declared.

My comments regarding agreement and disagreement with the Governor:
Where I agreed with the Governor:
  • Contain costs through consolidation of purchasing and other services
  • Reduce prison population by alternative sentencing of non-violent criminals (including use of large fines, as feasible)
  • Provide incentives/penalties for colleges and communities to contain costs related to state funding
  • Re-prioritize budgets to insure basic human services are funded (but not necessarily expanded)

Where I disagree with the Governor:
  • Free tuition for workers who have lost their jobs. There is no guarantee that this effort will provide any positive effect for Michigan. Workers are not required to stay and work in Michigan after completion of their studies.
  • Directing state agencies to clear blighted areas in cities. Rather than use state resources, offer up the property at no cost to firms that will clear and redevelop the areas with specific performance parameters (time, land use, and design)... this has been done successfully elsewhere.
  • Increasing or adding new taxes that will place a greater burden on businesses and residents simply to have the state redistribute the money
I sent an email to the Governor via the State's website to this effect and suggested that she contact Dr. Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago who is a brilliant economist and practical problem solver. Perhaps a truly brilliant and insightful mind might see past the fog generated by thousands of less-than-brilliant advisers. Of course, the Governor could thank me for my less-than-brilliant advice, since I set that up so well.

Wind: W at 8 mph
Humidity: 68%
Mostly Sunny
22° | 10°

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Flip Side Of Global Warming


From the Convocation of Cardinals of the Church of Global Warming: the debate is over.

There, you've read it, so believe it. Well? Come on... even the Boston Globe says so, doesn't it?

By the way, I've got a terrific deal on timeshares in Greenland. Just write. They'll be selling fast.

Thule, GL Forecast - 2/7/2007 7:10 pm [ °F / °C ]

Partly Cloudy
Hi -1°
Lo -5°

Partly Cloudy
Hi -5°
Lo -9°

Partly Cloudy
Hi -9°
Lo -13°

Partly Cloudy
Hi -5°
Lo -10°

Partly Cloudy
Hi 0°
Lo -5°

Plenty of coastal property available... even if the ice cap melts in the next few hundred years or so.

Do you feel warm in here?

Now, if you are interested in words from a really interesting guy about this subject, try here and here and, oh what the heck, here, too.

Locally... a definite warming trend. Hmmm. That does seem to be a relative term.

Wind: W at 14 mph
Humidity: 67%
Mostly Sunny
18° 5°

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

State of the State


Last night, Governor Granholm gave a stirring speech in which she emphasized for nearly an hour how she was not going to let the state fall apart, but was going to "invest" in its future with many new or expanded programs meant to stimulate better education and repair the cities.

Some of the sound bites seemed appealing, if you accepted the rhetoric. Others made you wonder what she was focused on the first four years of her administration. The "new" programs sounded vaguely like her original campaign stumping. Some sounded a little pollyannic such as her plan to widely expand the scope of alternative fuels programs and availability by 2008... which is now less than a year away. Some were good business such as combining city/county purchasing to get volume discounts.

She appealed to our sense of family by saying that she wanted to expand child protection services and add many more workers in that area. She appealed to our idea of rising from the ashes by offering free education for the next 3 years to displaced workers.

We might be in a recession in Michigan and businesses may be folding and homes may be unsalable... but Michigan government was going to fix things.

I waited for the "hammer" and it fell oh so softly near the end when she spoke of the need to make up the lost revenue and how the "naysayers" had to step up [with the money]. She never said "raise taxes," but it was obvious that 2 plus 2 was equalling 7 until that point.

So it boiled down to this: the State is in trouble because, despite her best efforts for 4 years, the economy is a mess and the people need to be bailed out. In order to achieve this bailout, the Governor is simply asking for more of our money which will be redistributed to make this state "miraculously pleasant and healthy" once again.

"Trust me."


Wind: SW at 9 mph
Humidity: 83%
Mostly Sunny
16° | 5°

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Is Warming Bad?


We were greeted by minus 25 degree (F) windchills as we stepped out of the Detroit airport terminal yesterday afternoon. Quite a change from the spring-like conditions of Florida. Fortunately, we had enough layers of outerwear to keep out the cold until we made it back to our vehicle.

But that got me to thinking about the consequences of climate change. Suppose for a second that there were no controversy about anthropogenic CO2 global warming and that the earth, for whatever reason, was warming. Would that necessarily be a bad thing?

It seems that for every bad scenario, there is an offset, or maybe even more than an offset, on the favorable side.

Certainly, milder winters that require less fuel for heating would be favorable... and even reduce the further growth in CO2 production from both heating and automobiles which are less fuel efficient in very cold temperatures. Certainly, longer growing seasons in North America, Europe and Russia would enable a greater diversification of crops and better support a growing population. Certainly, older people would be far less susceptible to deaths related to cold (which would at least offset deaths related to heat). Certainly, wild animals would have a greater survival rate in less severe winter conditions.
The doomsday scenario of all of the polar ice caps melting and flooding coastal areas is a remote possibility in the next millennium, but there will still be a coastline. And Greenland could once again support agriculture and cities as it did with the Vikings a millennium ago.

So, yes, there might be change... but I'm not convinced that the change would be... by and large... unfavorable.

By the way, the actual temperature was -4 (F) this morning when I trudged out to get the newspaper... and my natural gas furnace is doing its best to warm the house, if not the environment. It may get all the way up to the low 20s by this weekend. This is the most prolonged cold period around here in years.

Come on global warming... or at least Michigan warming.

p.s.; some others asking this and other questions

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CO2 Cap and Trade

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.
The Independent (UK)

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)