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@cshepley, oh, and BTW, you've been lied to about the supposed 98% "consensus" on climate change. It's a myth. To get such numbers you have to lump together people like Jim Hansen with lukewarmers like me. Read, and learn:

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@cshepley, I have good news for you. There is a consequence to burning fossil fuels, but the best evidence is that it is positive.

Anthropogenic CO2 has a modest warming effect on temperatures, but not to a worrisome degree, and it has a very substantial positive effect on plant growth and crop productivity.

For a very in-depth, authoritative treatment of the warming effect, I recommend Princeton Physicist Will Happer's UNC lecture about the IR absorption and emission characteristics of CO2:

MODTRAN tropical atmosphere calculates that we should see 0.96°C of warming for a doubling of CO2, when water vapor amplification is included; see column F here:
It should be a bit higher toward the poles, because the cooler air is drier, so water vapor feedback has a greater effect.

The NCAR Radiation code calculates 1.8°C of warming for a doubling of CO2 (see column I, same spreadsheet), but that's probably too high.

If you watch the Happer lecture, you'll learn that those calculations are probably based on inaccurate spectral models, which exaggerate the warming effect of additional CO2 by about 40%. Also, those calculations don't take into account likely "negative feedbacks" from water cycle cooling and clouds, which should also attenuate (reduce) the warming effect.

Plus, we've already seen about half of the warming from a doubling of CO2, even though mankind has only increased atmospheric CO2 levels by about 40%, thanks to the logarithmically diminishing effect of additional CO2.

Those are not worrisome numbers. Even if NCAR is right, taking CO2 to 600 ppmv would add only about 1°C, compared to current temperatures, and it is doubtful that mankind will ever be able to get CO2 levels much above that. Such a modest increase in temperature is nothing to worry about.

OTOH, the fertilization effect of additional CO2 on plant growth very beneficial. That's why Scientific American called CO2 the "precious air-fertilizer" (back when their standards were higher).

Prof. Dyson is America's most illustrious living scientist. He has Albert Einstein's old job at Princeton. Prof. Dyson says, "About 15 percent of agricultural yields are due to CO2 we put in the atmosphere. From that point of view, it's a real plus to burn coal and oil."

Hundreds of studies over the last century have proven that elevated CO2 is dramatically beneficial to nearly all plants. For most plants, under the most common conditions, CO2 is the limiting factor for growth. That's why CO2 levels are measured in parts-per-million, in an atmosphere with 21% free Oxygen: because carbon-hungry living things used up all the CO2.

Obviously if there's not enough light, or not enough water (though elevated CO2 helps with drought tolerance too), or not enough of some essential nutrient for a plant, that can become a limiting factor. But the major limiting factor for plant growth on planet Earth is the chronic shortage of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Levels of CO2 far beyond what we will ever be able to achieve in the ambient atmosphere are highly beneficial for plant growth, which is why most commercial greenhouses use CO2 generators to keep CO2 at 3x to 4x ambient levels, at significant expense. They spend the money to keep CO2 levels high because that dramatically improves productivity.

Unfortunately, ambient CO2 levels will never get anywhere near that high. Right now, ambient CO2 averages 0.04% by volume. It might get up to 0.06% someday (though not in our lifetimes), if mankind is fortunate.

Have you ever wondered about the high levels of free oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere?

On Venus and Mars nearly all the oxygen in the atmosphere is in the form of CO2. Free oxygen (O2) is nearly non-existent, because it is highly reactive, and combines with other elements to make less-reactive, more stable molecules, like CO2, H2O, SO2, H2SO4, etc. On Venus and Mars nearly all the oxygen in the atmosphere is in the form of CO2.

But on Earth, 99.8% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is in the form of O2, and only 0.04% is in CO2, even though fires and animal respiration are constantly producing CO2 from O2.

At ground level, there's an average of about 25 times as many H2O molecules in the air as CO2 molecules. Plants need both, but few plants bother to get the water they need from the air.

Why do you think those things are true?

Why do you think that, although 21% of the Earth's atmosphere is O2, CO2 levels are measured in mere parts-per-million? What causes CO2 levels to be so low in the Earth's atmosphere, when they are so high in the atmospheres of Venus and Mars? Have you ever wondered why?

The correct answer is that it's because CO2-hungry living things have stripped nearly all the CO2 from the atmosphere, to get the carbon, releasing the O2 as a waste product. That's why, although 21% of the Earth's atmosphere is oxygen, CO2 levels are measured in mere parts-per-million.

The CO2Science web site has a huge catalog of studies of the effects of CO2 on plant growth, here:

The studies show that nearly all plants benefit dramatically from elevated CO2 levels.

Moreover, there's good evidence that many of those studies underestimate the benefit of elevated CO2:

The first such study that I'm aware of was done nearly a century ago, in Germany. Scientific American wrote about it in 1920:

Prof. Dyson's wisdom and independence are unusual in academia, but in the broader scientific community, outside the cloistered confines of academia and government institutions, skepticism of climate alarmism runs wide and deep. Most privately-employed "real world" geophysical scientists are not climate alarmists:

31,487(!!) American scientists (including engineers in relevant disciplines) have signed the "Oregon Petition," signifying their agreement with this statement:

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@Iamtheman, you're mostly right, except for the "quite nicely" part. It's going to be very messy.

Millions of Americans lost their original health insurance because of Obamacare. Some of them are still healthy, so they could still buy insurance w/o Obamacare. But what of the rest?

What about the millions of Americans whose preexisting conditions will prevent them from buying insurance, without Obamacare? If they now lose their Obamacare policies, they will be uninsured, and unable to buy the affordable insurance they used to have, before Obamacare took it away. What's to become of those people?

Millions of Americans responsibly maintained health insurance for decades, to ensure their insurability. Should those among them whose health has declined be left uninsured, and potentially paupers, through no fault of their own, because of the whiplash damage of Obamacare and its repeal?

That's why "repeal and replace" has replaced "just repeal it" in Republican talking points. We can't leave those people without insurance, and without the opportunity to purchase it.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


It's becoming apparent that Obamacare is a fiscal train wreck, but the real reason the law is vulnerable to such challenges is that it was founded on such weak foundations:

1. When enacted, it was already unpopular, and it was passed without any bipartisan support at all. President Obama broke his promise to be a uniter, rather than a divider. Instead, under his direction, the Democrats rammed a highly unpopular law down Republicans' throats, with even liberal Republicans like Maine's Snowe & Collins voting "no."

In fact, Democrats finished the process of doing so AFTER they lost their 60% filibuster-proof Senate by improbably losing a Senate seat in Massachusetts, because, even in Massachusetts, Obamacare was so unpopular that a Republican was able to win Ted Kennedy's vacant Senate seat by promising to stop Obamacare!

2. Despte the SCOTUS's 5-4 ruling, Obamacare is obviously unconstitutional. Like his namesake 75 years earlier, Justice Roberts lied, to preserve a massive expansion of federal authority and trample the Tenth Amendment, without the necessary Constitutional amendment. But, unlike 1937, this time there was no broad public support for it, to sweeten the bitterness of that pill.

3. The PROCESS of passing Obamacare violated the U.S. Constitution, as well. The Constitution requires that all bills which raise revenue originate in the House, but the Obamacare bill originated in the Senate. (There was also a House bill, but it didn't pass.) The Democrats had intended to remedy that by merging the Senate version into the House version in conference committee.

But then the people of Massachusetts repudiated Obamacare, by electing Scott Brown, and the Democrats lost their ability to pass Obamacare in the Senate. By then, even Collins and Snowe were firmly opposing it. So, instead of trying to work out a compromise which could get even one liberal Republican Senator to support it, Democrats in the House passed the Senate's original bill --again, with no Republican votes at all. (Later, they went back and fixed up the most obvious problems, with other legislation.)

The problem is that that process violated Article I, section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills." Every single word of the Obamacare bill originated in the Senate.

Fundamental restructurings of civil society require something approaching a societal consensus, to be successful. That's why the Framers wisely required that Constitutional Amendments be ratified by 3/4 of the States, and it's why Obamacare is in trouble.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@roidubouloi, as for why liberals are against openness and accountability, it's because, although they don't view dishonesty as a critical moral failure, they still don't like having it pointed out to them. They're not personally bothered by things like the following Obama clip, but they ARE annoyed by conservatives who point such things out:

It is absolutely predictable that liberals who read this comment and play the video clip will NOT be annoyed at President Obama for "...making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States." Instead, they will be annoyed with ME for pointing it out.

(You do recognize that phrase, right?)

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@roidubouloi, transparency is the issue, here. The Left hates it. That's why Obama is so notoriously secretive. That's why communist governments routinely controlled the Press. That's why Phil Jones and Michael Mann were conspiring to destroy climate data.

One of the ways leftists fight openness is by trying to stifle free expression by those with whom they disagree. That's why the Left wants only one kind of big corporation to be allowed unlimited political expression: the notoriously liberal press. 

Another way is by outright censorship of the information outlets under their control. That's why Wikipedia is such a mess. That's why mentioning Frank Lombard & Kenneth Shipp got me permanently banned at IndyWeek. That's why nearly every (liberal) climate activism blog is ruthlessly censored, to prevent even the politest substantive dissent.

Most conservatives don't do that. E.g., the leading (conservative) climate skeptic blogs welcome polite dissent (which is one of the reasons the conservative climate skeptic sites, like WUWT, are so much more interesting, informative & popular than the liberal climate activist sites).

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@roidubouloi, the Koch Bros are more libertarian than conservative, but you probably meant to say Foster Fries, who's a real conservative, and a truly Great American.

But you said "campaign finance." That means campaigns for political office. The Kochs, Fries, George Soros, Sheryl Sandberg, etc., didn't run for office.

Obama and McCain ran for office. McCain disclosed every single one of his donors, and Obama hid the identities of thousands of his -- over a million of them unless they lied, but there's no way to really know. It is very possible that much of his money came from untraceable prepaid debit cards, perhaps from illegal sources, such as foreigners.

There's no way to know, because Obama won't permit release of the information. Transparency and accountability are perceived as obstacles by liberals.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@roidubouloi this is what the Washington Post said about it:

"McCain-Feingold, as the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act is known, prohibited large contributions by wealthy individuals and corporations to national party committees, all of whose receipts were publicly disclosed. But, perversely, the ban on “soft money” left individual and corporate donors free to direct their funds to outside groups, where donations are concealed from public scrutiny."

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


Here's another example. Left-wing UK climate activist Phil Jones emailed left-wing US climate activist Michael Mann, saying that if skeptic Steve McIntyre requests the station data (raw temperature data) under the Freedom Of Information Act, he (Jones) will delete it rather than let McIntyre see it:
Note that to do that without getting in trouble with the law they would have to lie and claim it had been deleted earlier… a prospect which apparently does not trouble them at all.

They obviously knew what they're discussing was wrong; the email subject line was "For your eyes only."

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@roidubouloi, you're kidding, right? For example, McCain disclosed ALL his donors, regardless of size, but Obama concealed all information about what his campaign claimed were more than a million of his donors, saying that their contributions were below the $200 threshold which triggered a legal disclosure requirement.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


Is anyone really surprised by left-wing institutions destroying records to subvert the law?

As usual, conservatives are for transparency and accountability, and liberals are again' 'em.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


Don,  I strongly recommend AGAINST using the Facebook Social Plugin to add support for commenting on your site, unless you want to annoy your site's visitors.

Facebook uses an Orwellian censorship model which will prevent many people from posting comments. The users are given no explanation for why their comments won't post. Rather, it's made to look like a malfunction of  YOUR web site -- and it is only apparent AFTER the users have wasted their time composing their comments.
There's some discussion of this problem here (among many other places):
(Copy saved here: )
Use Disqus, or LifeFyre, or ANYTHING other than Facebook!

4 months, 3 weeks ago on How to Add Facebook Social Plugins to Your Website


@CgfeebeeeJahi McMath had not died at the time of this article, and still has not died 6 months later.  A person cannot breathe if her "whole brain" is dead, and Jahi is still breathing.

She is, however, profoundly disabled.

You're worried about the cost of Jahi's care, which I think is awfully coldhearted. But, even so, you may set your mind at ease. She's being fed through a tube, and she's had a tracheotomy, but, other than that, AFAIK, no extraordinary measures are being used to care for her. She's breathing on her own, and tube feeding is not very expensive.

11 months, 1 week ago on Brain dead 13-year-old tonsil surgery patient to remain on life support


@CgfeebeeeAFAIK, Jahi is not on a respirator. She's breathing on her own, through a tracheotomy.

Did you see the encouraging article about Candice Ivey, which @TacticalTaco posted?

11 months, 1 week ago on Brain dead 13-year-old tonsil surgery patient to remain on life support


"Allegedly brain dead" would be the neutral headline. So-called "brain death" is an inexact assessment. Some supposedly brain dead patients make good recoveries.

1 year, 3 months ago on Brain dead 13-year-old tonsil surgery patient to remain on life support


PEPFAR has saved millions of lives in Africa, and greatly enhanced America's stature and reputation in the world.

Although there's no specific provision in the Constitution for foreign aid, as such, there is discussion of the appointment of ambassadors, and broad authority for Congress to create and fill (or delegate the filling of), lower offices, including diplomatic offices. In the case of ambassadors and other diplomatic personnel, this obviously requires significant expenditures overseas.

Moreover, the USA has a long and continuous record of expending federal money in other countries, for a wide variety of purposes. For example, in 1795, less than 4 years after the 10th Amendment was ratified, the federal government under George Washinton spent about 1/6-th(!!) of its total budget on an (ultimately unsuccessful) effort to try to buy peace with Algeria!

It seems clear that the Constitution was not intended to cut off the federal government's ability to do what was always considered to be one the basic and essential functions of a national government, which is to manage relations with other countries, by whatever means seems wise. That necessarily implies the ability to expend funds overseas on diplomatic initiatives, foreign aid and similar purposes, not just on military adventures, such as the 1801-1805 (undeclared) Barbary War.

3 years, 2 months ago on Foreign Aid Won't Save Africa


This was useful to me. "LogOff Force.exe" did just what I needed, as a replacement for c:\windows\system32\oobe\audit.exe, so that I no longer have to ctrl-alt-del and run task manager and kill audit.exe to get past the bogus "Windows could not complete the installation" message after reinstalling Windows Vista from the restore partition on a Sony VAIO.

The web site seems to be down, but you can find at various websites, such as softpedia.

3 years, 5 months ago on Easiest Way to Shutdown, Restart or Log off - Shutdown Suite