One day when you grow up, children, you too can be a research scientist who writes papers that tells the world something banally obvious — like, say, that natural disasters make conflict more likely.
Who, exactly, thought natural disasters brought peace?
I don’t think the journalist who wrote this next paragraph asked himself what it means (if anything):
Globally, there was a nine per cent coincidence rate between the outbreak of armed conflicts and natural disasters like droughts and heatwaves. But, in countries that were deeply divided along ethnic lines, this rose to about 23 per cent.
I suspect it means not much (define “coincident”), but if it did, it implies that globally, 91% of wars don’t coincide with natural disasters.
If there is a real message here, it appears to be that ethnic divisions cause wars:
Dr Jonathan Donges, who co-wrote the paper about the study, said: “We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalised countries stick out, compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality.
The good news is that a majority of people are aware of media bias, and are skeptical of what the media tells them. The bad news is that this is just another marker showing the average Western citizen is losing faith in the integrity of so many key institutions.
The activist journo’s have overplayed their hand. They are not even trying…
[July 21st, 2016] A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 20% of Likely U.S. Voters think that when covering a political campaign, most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage. Most (69%) say reporters try to help the candidate they want to win. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The media have lost so much influence. They described Brexiteers as loony, selfish and xenophobic, but more than half the country ignored them and voted for Brexit. Similarly, the US media mocked and denigrated Trump supporters, and continually predicted he wouldn’t stay in the race, and wouldn’t make it through the primaries, and yet he did. Poor pundits keep being surprised by the people.
The key word in this survey is “try” — everyone knows humans have some kind of bias, but the survey asked “do most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage or do they try to help the candidate they want to win?”
Mainstream news has become an advertising forum for big government, but the dumb voters can see through it.
Nearly 50% of US voters think the media is biased against Trump. Nearly 20% say it’s against Hillary.
Readers may find this documentary interesting. I doubt the ABC will be running it. This US election matters to so many people around the world. The outcome makes a big difference to climate skeptics. And it’s about so much more than that. How do we beat corruption?
The film, based on the New York Times bestselling investigative book Clinton Cash by Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer, has sent shockwaves through media. The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, and other Establishment Media have verified and confirmed the book’s explosive revelations about how Hillary Clinton auctioned State Department policies to foreign Clinton Foundation donors and benefactors who then paid Bill Clinton tens of millions of dollars in speaking fees.
The first two minutes tell the Clinton’s narrative. Then the documentary compares the message to the actions.
In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they’ve earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from? Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their wealth through lucrative book deals and high-six figure fees for speaking gigs. Now, Peter Schweizer shows who is really behind those enormous payments.
[Breitbart] Trump won the GOP primary by self-funding his campaign and convincing voters that the lobbyists and other big-money donors would never control him like a puppet.
And Clinton’s selection of Kaine will allow Trump to run on the same themes in the general election by painting Clinton and Kaine as career politicians who have needed—and used—government their for personal gain.
At the GOP convention, Eric Trump, Trump’s son, urged voters to “vote for the one candidate that does not need this job.”
UPDATE: The link still works for me, but may not for others. See comments #8 and #9 below. VinceOz and Evo of Gong.
*Correction, thanks to Bob D. The half billion was not just to the Clinton Foundation but to Democrat powerbrokers etc as well.
Depends what you mean by “life” I guess. Some like the world 2 degrees cooler, and some prefer to keep their heads.
“As we were working together on the challenge of [ISIS] and terrorism,” Kerry said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we–you–are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”
It’s good to know the US will be well defended against an invasion of badly gassed fridges.
Since warming is mostly beneficial this threat is at the Defcon-Toothfairy level. And probably not that high. The extra energy trapped by HFC refrigerant gasses most likely just reroutes and escapes to space through water vapor emissions.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The most important price in our economy is set by a bunch of bureaucrats. They are unelected and unaccountable. But your day to day life is affected by their decisions, as well as your ability to buy a house or for your retirement savings to maintain their value. Some people are wiped out by a mere phrase in a memo. There is a deep Soviet style management program at the centre of all Western economies. It’s time we talked about that ogre.
Vladimir Lenin advocated: “The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.” True or not, we seem hellbent on finding out.
Dark times are coming:
The BIS has rung the alarms. We are warned that the world’s most reckless monetary experiment, which has taken interest rates to the lowest in recorded history, is failing. Central bankers remain silent, not knowing how or when to end what they began, while the political class simply looks on, impotent and mired in its own economic mistakes.
This leaves only the market’s invisible and heavy hand to make the required adjustments. What follows will be indiscriminate, unpredictable, socially far-reaching and, politically ugly.
Central banks drive the economy at breakneck speed
Central banks keep interest rates artificially low. This pumps up a sick economy, by effectively “printing” money. (Technically, it makes money cheap to borrow into existence creating bank “credit”). This is a gold plated Christmas present for high risk speculators, but it’s taken from people who work for their money. It’s like toxoplasmosis for savers — their savings are silently eaten away by inflation as borrowers outspend them with money they did not earn. Savers have to adopt high risk behaviours to stay afloat and keep their purchasing power from sinking in a river of money.
Easy money generates cycles of boom and bust that wipe out life savings. No one can do hourly work for 40 years, then live off the pitiful interest paid on the money saved. Instead everyone has to “invest” and speculate whether they like it or not. And thus do local councilors get eaten by Goldman Sachs traders for breakfast. What kind of culture do we want? Easy credit favours aggressive takeovers, and hostile, predatory market behaviour. Central banks control so many aspects of our lifestyle, yet we can’t vote them out.
More bad debt can’t fix a problem created with bad debt
We’re up to the third round of bubbles. The addiction to easy credit has reached the end stage when each injection is almost impotent. Printing money doesn’t create euphoria, or even growth, it just puts off judgement day.
The “fastest warming place” on Planet Earth wasn’t warming.
A new Antarctic study wipes out 20 years of panic about the West Antarctic Peninsula. All these years while people were crying about penguins, it turns out that the place was cooling rather than warming. Mankind has emitting a third of all its “CO2-pollution” ever from 1998, and there was “no discernible” effect on Antarctica. Indeed, the study quietly finds that even the bigger longer warming that has happened in the last century was not “unprecedented” in the last 2000 years.
In the last decade as this cooling trend was happening in the real world – in the media, the same spot was being described as “one of the fastest warming places on Earth”:
And this sort of news has been going on for years. This was “big deal” once-in-2000 year type stuff:
UK scientists say parts of Antarctica have recently been warming much faster than most of the rest of the Earth. They believe the warming is probably without parallel for nearly two thousand years. – BBC, 2001
But the news in 2016 was a bit of a bomb, prone to being misinterpreted, so the PR Team was pre-armed with excuses, from the first line of the scientific abstract which pretty much says that the peninsula still was one of the fastest warming places on Earth (if you look at warming from 1950 and ignore the last 20 years the study is studying). Great opening line. The abstract also mentions that the Antarctic peninsula is only 1% of the Antarctic (though no one seems to mention that when it was melting).
The cooling is natural and temporary (Hey, how do they know? They know because the models which didn’t predict the cooling are still predictingit will warm).
“The study does not suggest that global warming has been halted…” (because it would not get published in Nature if they did).
It’s just a coincidence that global temperatures “paused” during the same years – this has nothing to do with the “haitus”. (Methinks someone is still hurting from skeptics mentioning “the pause”.)
Here’s a goodie: “It hasn’t cooled nearly as much as it had warmed before,” Steig said. (Like 20-year-trends only mattered before 1998. After that, who cares?)
Trite excuses make subheader status: “Long-term changes have year-to-year variability: researcher” (Like that’s news? No one seems to put that in a sub-heading when it’s a warm year. Is the aim here just to bore people into not reading the article?)
Distractions make subheader status: This news about cooling is not important — what really matters is ____ (insert anything else)____. Eg. The real threat is ocean warming: Leeds researcher
So glaciers could still be melting down this neck of the woods, but there might be natural causes for that too. Likewise oceans may be warming around here as well, but then I don’t suppose anyone at the BBC or ABC will mention the hot magma underfoot.
All those past stories that told us manmade emissions were destroying Antarctica — forget them. We don’t know what the cause is:
Indeed, apparently researchers can’t say that human-caused climate change was doing anything to the Antarctic:
Prof Nerilie Abram, at the Australian National University, said: “For a remote place like Antarctica, where climate measurements are especially short and those year-to-year swings in climate are very large, our records really aren’t long enough yet to see the full picture of human-caused climate change.”
Shame they didn’t mention that twenty years ago.
Perhaps they could speak up about the researchers who are making a fuss about other noisy, short data series? Like these ones: Shattered records show climate change is an emergency today, scientists warn.
It’s important never to be surprised
Scientists get shocked, astonished and amazed at events that are not even as bad as their models predicted. But when things are the opposite of what the models said, these are completely… expected:
Prof Andrew Shepherd, at the University of Leeds, said: “It’s completely unsurprising that in any long-term temperature record there will be a decade of measurements that buck the trend. There are few scientists left who believe that atmospheric warming will be the main cause of Antarctic [ice] instability over the next century.
The warming that models projected, Was flawed, as the skeptics expected, With Antarctica cooling, The warmists were fooling, With data which must be corrected.
Turner et al (2016) Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability, Nature 535, 411–415 doi:10.1038/nature18645
The United Nations has issued a plea for nations to fast-track ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement as some countries are backtracking on support for the deal’s sweeping restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.
How about Thursday?
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged nations to attend a “special event” Thursday where they may deposit their “instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change.”
Progress so far? 177 nations turned up to the Paris party, but only 19 have ratified the agreement in the last six months. It’s not looking good. They need 55 nations which are responsible for 55% of the worlds emissions before the Paris deal gets legs.
Marc Morano, who runs the skeptics’ website Climate Depot, said Tuesday that the cold feet on global warming shows that some countries are realizing the international climate agreement is “not in their best interests.”
“More and more nations are realizing that the U.N. climate treaty is nothing more than an effort to empower the U.N. and attack national sovereignty while doing absolutely nothing for the climate,” said Mr. Morano, who debuted his film “Climate Hustle” during the negotiations in Paris.
He said that the “time has come for a U.S.-led ‘Clexit’ from … the climate treaty.”
In the West we could try to cure cancer faster with research like this, or we could pour billions into making expensive electricity to try to cool the world by 0.01°C for our grandchildren. Hmm. What to do? Which activity is more likely to make citizens richer, happier and more productive?
In this approach (below) bacteria are engineered to find cancer cells, make lots of baby bacteria until they reach a large enough colony size then do a mass self-destructo at the cancer site — releasing a tumor killing drug. A few bacteria survive the micro-apocalypse and they start another round. So far, the researchers haven’t cured any cancers, but they can shrink cancers in mice and extend mousy lives by 50%. One day this might mean cancers can be “lived with”, if not actually destroyed completely.
A critical mass is reached and the colony “bombs”.
So the bacteria can be engineered into neat little machines to manage cancer. But they are still living creatures, so are messy machines. One problem is that evolution tends to make all living machines chuck out bits of DNA that don’t improve survival, so the “survivors” will gradually take over, lose the special engineered addons, and not be so obedient. This approach is not guaranteed to be the right answer. Nonetheless, this sort of research may keep a loved one alive, make a company a lot richer, contribute more tax dollars, save on public health budgets, etc etc.
For perspective, Australia has a $2.4b Emissions Reductions Fund (which is used to make expensive electrons with inefficient solar panels and such-like that the market would not buy otherwise). As a nation we spend about $900m on medical research each year total.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We could double medical research, and halve electricity costs, and have a tax cut.
Synthetic biology used to limit bacterial growth and coordinate drug release
[Sciencedaily] UC San Diego researchers led by Jeff Hasty, a professor of bioengineering and biology, engineered a clinically relevant bacterium to produce cancer drugs and then self-destruct and release the drugs at the site of tumors.