Results matching “malthusian”

Talkin' about the weather - a two-fer

Two great stories 

First - Malthusians and doom-sayers are always wrong - from The Washington Post:

Countries made only modest climate-change promises in Paris. They’re falling short anyway.
Barely two years ago, after weeks of intense bargaining in Paris, leaders from 195 countries announced a global agreement that once had seemed impossible. For the first time, the nations of the world would band together to reduce humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels in an effort to hold off the most devastating effects of climate change.

“History will remember this day,” the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said amid a backdrop of diplomats cheering and hugging.

Two years later, the euphoria of Paris is colliding with the reality of the present.

Heh - the bloom is off the rose. Everyone loves to virtue signal but to actually DO SOMETHING? The very idea gives them a case of the vapors. Buried deep in the article is this admission:

“More than two decades ago, the world agreed to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in our air to prevent dangerous climate outcomes,” said Rob Jackson, an energy and climate expert at Stanford University, referring to the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change that set international negotiations in motion. “To date, we have failed.”

They said that the earth was nearing a "tipping point" and we would have runaway warming if we didn't strictly curtail our activities. All the fancy charts are based on computer models and not actual data. Look at the actual data and we have not warmed in about 20 years.

Second - this little bombshell:

Global land use change responsible for a significant portion of global warming says study
From the EUROPEAN COMMISSION JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE and the “Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. was right” department. I suspect a whole bunch of climate models that don’t take this into consideration, and think CO2 is the dominant climate driver, are going to need to be revised.

Land use change has warmed the Earth’s surface
Natural ecosystems play a crucial role in helping combat climate change, air pollution and soil erosion. A new study by a team of researchers from the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, sheds light on another, less well-known aspect of how these ecosystems, and forests in particular, can protect our planet against global warming.

The research team used satellite data to analyse changes in global vegetation cover from 2000 to 2015 and link these to changes in the surface energy balance. Modifying the vegetation cover alters the surface properties – such as the amount of heat dissipated by water evaporation and the level of radiation reflected back into space – which has a knock-on effect on local surface temperature. Their analysis reveals how recent land cover changes have ultimately made the planet warmer.

“We knew that forests have a role in regulating surface temperatures and that deforestation affects the climate, but this is the first global data-driven assessment that has enabled us to systematically map the biophysical mechanisms behind these processes”, explains Gregory Duveiller, lead author of the study.

I bet that land use is not even considered in most of the models. Talk about not having a good grasp of what is actually happening out there. The full paper can be read online here: The mark of vegetation change on Earth’s surface energy balance

And some good news for once

Most scientists are dystopians and Malthusian in their outlook. Scary "predictions" get attention from the unscientific crowd and get more grant money. Nice bit of news from The Washington Post:

A Harvard professor explains why the world is actually becoming a much better place
In his bestseller “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker described the decline of violence in the world. In his new book, “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress,” Pinker builds a persuasive case that life is getting better across a host of measures. Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education interviews Pinker below.

Looking at the news, we often think things are getting worse and worse. However, in your book, you make the powerful and deeply researched argument that things are actually getting better. Can you please explain this conundrum?

Pinker: Think about it: If you arrived in a new city and saw that it was raining, would you conclude, “The rain has gotten worse”? How could you tell, unless you knew how much it had rained before that day? Yet people read about a war or terrorist attack this morning and conclude that violence is increasing, which is just as illogical. In fact, rates of war have been roller-coastering downward since 1946, rates of American homicide have plunged since 1992, and rates of disease, starvation, extreme poverty, illiteracy and dictatorship, when they are measured by a constant yardstick, have all decreased — not to zero, but by a lot.

But even if civilization is improving from a birds-eye view over the long-term, things can get still worse for many years in the short-term, right?

Pinker: Progress is not the same as magic. There are always blips and setbacks, and sometimes horrific lurches, like the Spanish flu pandemic, World War II and the post-1960s crime boom. Progress takes place when the setbacks are fewer, less severe or stop altogether. Clearly we have to be mindful of the worst possible setback, namely nuclear war, and of the risk of permanent reversals, such as the worst-case climate change scenarios. … Of course life is bad for those people with the worst possible lives, and that will be true until the rates of war, crime, disease and poverty are exactly zero. The point is that there are far fewer people living in nightmares of war and disease.

A thoughtful interview - lots more at the site. Going to have to put in a request for his books at my local library...

Experts say...

From the Sydney, Australia The Daily Telegraph:



So glad I have the horse and mule now that we are out of petroleum...

What is it about Malthusians - they are always wrong

About that Global Warming

First this clip from the 2013 stage spin-off of the Yes, Prime Minister television series:


Now, to Australia for this Malthusian prediction on snowfall - from the Australian Broadcasting Company:

Scientists warn of bad outlook for future ski seasons as climate change affects snowfall 
Skiers and other snow lovers have faced a torrid time in the Australian alpine region lately with hardly any natural snow to enjoy since the start of July.


Research conducted by Griffith University's Environmental Futures Research Institute has warned that snow regions in Australia must adapt to warmer conditions caused by climate change, that is increasingly turning the alpine landscape from white to green.

Study co-author Professor Catherine Pickering said the current trends did not look promising and good years like the recent snow dump had become less frequent.

"The snow cover in the Australian alps is declining and it has declined a lot since 1954 when there was the longest snow course on record," she said.

"We have found that it was originally a 30 per cent decline and now the latest data indicates we have got to a 40 per cent decline over that period.

Of course, boots on the ground measurement (as opposed to computer models) have this to say - from Australia's 9NEWS:

Wintry conditions bewitch and wreak havoc
It's the cold snap that put snowmen on the main street of a Queensland town.

Anyone remember this little nugget from March of 2000 - from the UK Independent:

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
Britain's winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.


However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

The good Doctor Viner is a political hack and a clown, not a scientist. A thing of the past indeed.

Late last month, I blogged about a new study published by Malthusian Paul Ehrlich who cried out: Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.

Now, ten days later, Matt Ridley offers this excellent examination of the data and counterblaste:

Invasive species are the greatest cause of extinction
Of 217 mammals and birds that have died out, nearly all were on islands
My Times column on the causes of extinction:

Human beings have been causing other species to go extinct at an unnatural rate over the past five centuries, a new study has confirmed. Whether this constitutes a “sixth mass extinction” comparable to that of the dinosaurs is more debatable, but bringing the surge in extinctions to an end is indeed an urgent priority in conservation.

So it is vital to understand how we cause extinctions. And here the study is dangerously wrong. It says that “habitat loss, overexploitation for economic gain, and climate change” are the main factors and that “all of these are related to human population size and growth, which increases consumption (especially among the rich)”.

Inexplicably, they have left out the main cause of extinctions over the past five centuries: invasive species. The introduction by people of predators, parasites and pests, especially to islands, has been and continues to be far and away the greatest cause of local and global extinction of native fauna. In his green encyclical, Pope Francis likewise never once refers to this problem. It is the Cinderella of the environmental movement.

Over the past 500 years, we know of 77 mammal species (out of about 5,000) and 140 bird species (out of about 10,000) that have gone totally extinct. There may be a handful more we do not know about, and there are plenty more on the brink. Nonetheless, these are the official total species extinctions for the two groups of animal we know best, as compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Of those 217 species of bird and mammal, almost all lived on islands — if you count Australia as an island — and just nine on continents: Bluebuck antelope, Algerian gazelle, Omilteme cottontail rabbit,Labrador duck, Carolina parakeet, slender-billed grackle, passenger pigeon, Colombian grebe and Atitlan grebe.

Were it not for the efforts of conservationists there would be more, of course. And this is not counting subspecies, or those in extinction’s waiting room — ones that have not been seen for years, but have yet to be officially declared extinct, like the slender-billed curlew. Nonetheless, the extinction rate of bird and mammal species on continents is a few hundredths of a per cent per century.

This is far short of the apocalyptic predictions being made in the 1970s. Paul Ehrlich, one of the authors of the new paper, himself forecast in 1975 that half of all the species in tropical rainforests would be gone by 2005. Yet not a single bird or mammal that we know of has gone extinct in a tropical rainforest.

My point is not to say extinction does not matter, but to try to get at the real cause of the extinction surge, and it is clearly not the growth of human population and consumption, which has mostly happened on continents. Europe has lost just one breeding bird in 500 years, for example — the island-breeding great auk in 1844.

More - the actual cause:

So what is? By far the greatest cause is invasive species, especially on islands. Hawaii has lost about 70 species of bird since contact with Captain Cook: ten times as many as all the world’s continents combined. The cause is man-made, all right, but it’s not because we killed them or destroyed their habitat.

It’s the rats, cats, goats, pigs, mosquitoes and avian malaria we brought with us that did the damage on Hawaii and throughout the Caribbean, the south Atlantic, the Indian ocean and the rest of the Pacific. The dodo disappeared from Mauritius not because sailors ate them (though they did) but because of predation by monkeys, pigs, rats and the like. The Tristan albatross is in trouble on Gough Island because its chicks are eaten alive by introduced mice.

Closer to home, it’s invasive species that are the main cause of conservation problems and local extinctions: grey squirrels, mink and signal crayfish have recently all but extinguished red squirrels, water voles and native crayfish respectively near where I live. Ash dieback, zebra mussels, harlequin ladybirds, Chinese mitten crabs, New Zealand flatworms and muntjac are all causing declines in native British animals.

Misdiagnosing the cause of extinction leads to mistaken policies. Here’s an example. Two decades ago, scientists began to notice alarming declines and disappearances among frogs and toads all over the world but especially in central America. At the time, the hole in the ozone layer was topical, so environmentalists blamed the amphibian declines on ultraviolet rays getting through the supposedly thinner ozone layer.

When sceptics pointed out that the ozone was not thinning over the tropics, many environmentalists fell back on blaming climate change, and for a while the extinction of the golden toad in Costa Rica’s cloud forest was confidently blamed on a changing climate: the first of many extinctions brought about by climate change.

This too proved wrong, and scientists are now agreed that the golden toad’s demise, and that of up to 30 other amphibians in central America, was caused by a chytrid fungus, originating in Africa, to which frogs on other continents are especially vulnerable. How did the fungus reach the Americas? Through the use by scientists of the African clawed toad as a popular laboratory animal. The clawed toad carries the fungus but does not die from it, and has escaped into the wild in many places. Conservation efforts had been misdirected.

Junk science like this is why there needs to be a wide gulf between science and politics - between theory and policy. Ehrlich should have become a universal laughingstock when his initial theories failed so spectacularly. He is useful to the political class so they keep him around - never let a serious crisis go to waste or just the vague potential for one...

I much prefer actual boots on the ground observation, measurement and analysis.

Great headline at Breitbart

Love it! From Breitbart:

Mankind About to Die, Say People Who are Always Wrong About Everything
The UK Daily Mail’s piece about the supposedly impending extermination of the human race would be great fodder for the old joke about how ideologically-blinkered media would report Armageddon: “World to End Tomorrow; Women, Minorities Hardest Hit.”

It’s also a great demonstration about how easily the press can be jerked around by those who know how to exploit its fetishes for sensationalism and bogus credentials. One of the reasons the global warming scam persists, decades into the absolute failure of its vaunted computer models to accurate predict the climate, is that nobody in the media is interested in running stories about how the world is not ending.

Here we have the alarmists taking it up a notch, and the Daily Mail reporting their prophecies of doom without informing readers of a very salient point right up front: the lead “scientist” is a hysteric who has never been right about anything, after decades of peddling apocalyptic environmental prophecies.

Suffice to say, the lead scientist (and I use that term loosely) is none other than Malthusian Paul Ehrlich who has the delightful track record of being wrong about every prediction he has ever made.

The New York Times is running a great series on the Malthusians who 30-45 years ago were claiming that we were reaching a great "tipping point" and if we did not actively work to cut our population growth, we would be in serious trouble.

Needless to say, the population continued to grow and we are doing much better than ever.

From the New York Times:

The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion
The second half of the 1960s was a boom time for nightmarish visions of what lay ahead for humankind. In 1966, for example, a writer named Harry Harrison came out with a science fiction novel titled “Make Room! Make Room!” Sketching a dystopian world in which too many people scrambled for too few resources, the book became the basis for a 1973 film about a hellish future, “Soylent Green.” In 1969, the pop duo Zager and Evans reached the top of the charts with a number called “In the Year 2525,” which postulated that humans were on a clear path to doom.

No one was more influential — or more terrifying, some would say — than Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist. His 1968 book, “The Population Bomb,” sold in the millions with a jeremiad that humankind stood on the brink of apocalypse because there were simply too many of us. Dr. Ehrlich’s opening statement was the verbal equivalent of a punch to the gut: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over.” He later went on to forecast that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that 65 million of them would be Americans, that crowded India was essentially doomed, that odds were fair “England will not exist in the year 2000.” Dr. Ehrlich was so sure of himself that he warned in 1970 that “sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come.” By “the end,” he meant “an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity.”

As you may have noticed, England is still with us. So is India. Hundreds of millions did not die of starvation in the ’70s. Humanity has managed to hang on, even though the planet’s population now exceeds seven billion, double what it was when “The Population Bomb” became a best-seller and its author a frequent guest of Johnny Carson’s on “The Tonight Show.” How the apocalyptic predictions fell as flat as ancient theories about the shape of the Earth is the focus of this installment of Retro Report, a series of video documentaries examining significant news stories of the past and their aftermath.

And of course, once a flaming attention whore, always a flaming attention whore:

But Dr. Ehrlich, now 83, is not retreating from his bleak prophesies. He would not echo everything that he once wrote, he says. But his intention back then was to raise awareness of a menacing situation, he says, and he accomplished that. He remains convinced that doom lurks around the corner, not some distant prospect for the year 2525 and beyond. What he wrote in the 1960s was comparatively mild, he suggested, telling Retro Report: “My language would be even more apocalyptic today.”

What gets me is that this rhetoric is exactly the same as is being used today by the Anthropogenic Global Warming crowd, they just changed the talking points. Everything else is the same, there is a tipping point, we have to do something now to prevent future disaster, this has to be a global coordinated effort (centralized government) and we need to have our daily livelihood controlled by our betters if we are to survive.

That kind of thought was wrong then and it is wrong now. We are doing just fine.

From a population standpoint, we could take eight billion people and put them into Texas and if they were evenly distributed, each person would be about 200 feet from each other person. The Island of Manhattan is three times denser than this.

From an environmental standpoint, an increase in CO2 will boost crop production and more people die from cold weather than from warm.

The Times has more here and The Weekly Standard has a nice writeup here - it's about the benjamins...

A great smackdown to the Malthusians

I just loves me some Malthusians - NOT!

These are the morons who go around telling everyone how we are running out of resources and we are all gonna die if we don't do something big, political, and expensive right now! Anthropogenic Global Warming is a perfect example of this pox.

Tim Worstall delivers a wonderful smackdown writing at The Register:

Limits to Growth is a pile of steaming doggy-doo based on total cobblers
Keeping a technologically based civilisation on the road isn't all that easy. There must be stuff available to make stuff from and there's got to be energy to do the transforming of that stuff. If we posited something like The Culture by Iain M. Banks, where there's a universe of stuff to transform and an entire universe's worth of energy, then there's no real limit to either how rich that society can get nor how long it can last.

Similarly, if all the stuff runs out in a few years' time, as does all the energy, then humanity will go back to being a couple of million hunter gatherers pretty sharpish.

What we'd really like to know, of course, is which version of the universe do we inhabit: one where Paul Ehrlich is right and we all starved in the 1980s, or one in which, around 2300 or so, the Jetsons finally get their flying cars?

Fortunately we've had people trying to work this out for us. One example was the Club of Rome which got together to create a report called Limits to Growth.

This was very much more optimistic than Paul Ehrlich was: this report said that we should all start dying around about now as all the stuff ran out. It's not, as we can see around us, happening quite yet. Yes, people are dying in Ukraine and Syria and so on, but that's from an excess of high explosive being sent their way, not from a lack of it. Never mind, though, the Guardian tells us it's about to start happening real soon now:

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse. Four decades after the book was published, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon

Well, yes, real soon now, no doubt. And the guy who has checked this research must be believed: Graham Turner is a physicist who used to work for CSIRO in Oz. And CSIRO are just great guys: they actually cited me in one of their academic papers so they must be. So, obviously, we should all just curl up and die right now, right?

We mustn't forget these two quotes from Dr. Ehrlich (this link goes to a bunch of great wacko-enviro quotes):

Giving society cheap, abundant energy ... would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.
-- Paul Ehrlich

Hundreds of millions of people will soon perish in smog disasters in New York and Los Angeles...the oceans will die of DDT poisoning by 1979...the U.S. life expectancy will drop to 42 years by 1980 due to cancer epidemics.
-- Paul Ehrlich

Time does a wonderful job of debunking the two logical fallacies used in the Guardian article. They are out-and-out lying to us.

From Oil Voice:

The Bakken gets bigger - likely a LOT bigger
Just when you thought The Bakken couldn’t get any better—it does.

Oil producers are now “cracking the code” on the Torquay, or Three Forks formation below the Bakken, and coming up with incredible economics—these wells are paying back in only seven months.

This news has completely re-invigorated the Canadian side of the Bakken. And on the US side, the Three Forks is causing industry to leap-frog estimates of the amount of recoverable oil available–by about 57%!

It’s hard to imagine that the #1 oil play in all of North America could have such a huge increase in size—usually this happens in increments. This map from the Province of Manitoba shows how much potential theTorquay/Three Forks has—it ranges from 1.5 – 7 x as thick as the Bakken!

Sure sucks to be a Malthusian right now.

A great anti-Malthusian post

I have no animosity towards Malthusians.  I just find it really funny that they are never right.

Great post and a couple of book reviews from al fin next level:

The Future: Problems are Guaranteed; Doom Isn’t
We are living in an apocalyptic age. We have been living in the apocalyptic age for many decades — even centuries and more. Humans are strangely attracted to the apocalyptic mindset. Perhaps the doomer mentality is an intentional but subconscious talisman, meant to protect against genuine doom. But the doomer mentality may also be the sign of a person who has nothing particularly important to do. Wouldn’t it be better if we oriented ourselves toward solving problems, rather than forming echo choirs of whine-o’s?

One of the latest books to counter Malthusian doomerism is Robert Bryce’s book: "Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper”.

In the face of today’s environmental and economic challenges, doomsayers preach that the only way to stave off disaster is for humans to reverse course: to de-industrialize, re-localize, ban the use of modern energy sources, and forswear prosperity. But in this provocative and optimistic rebuke to the catastrophists, Robert Bryce shows how innovation and the inexorable human desire to make things Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper is providing consumers with Cheaper and more abundant energy, Faster computing, Lighter vehicles, and myriad other goods.

…The push toward Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper is happening across multiple sectors. Bryce profiles innovative individuals and companies, from long-established ones like Ford and Intel to upstarts like Aquion Energy and Khan Academy. And he zeroes in on the energy industry, proving that the future belongs to the high power density sources that can provide the enormous quantities of energy the world demands.

… The catastrophists have been wrong since the days of Thomas Malthus. This is the time to embrace the innovators and businesses all over the world who are making things Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper. __ SFLDC Summary

There are reviews of five other books in the same vein as well as links to other reviews of the same six books.

We need to take back the discussion from these idealogues and show to the general public what total and abject frauds they really are.  Their apperance of careful management is just a careful management of apperances. They want to collect as much power for themselves and their cronies as they can --- saving the planet? They are selling us just the sizzle and not the steak.

We need to drive these SOBs into the river.

Malthusians at their finest - Paul Erlich

His book The Population Bomb? Total failure. Any Malthusian prediction? Total failure When all you have is failure, keep plugging along -- from [Newsbusters]( > **Alarmist Paul Ehrlich Predicts Need to ‘Eat the Bodies of Your Dead’**
The zombie apocalypse is nigh! The zombie apocalypse is nigh! > > Well, no it isn’t. In fact, it’s probably as likely to occur as the rest of Paul Ehrlich’s predictions. > > Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist famous for his widely debunked book “The Population Bomb,” doubled down on his climate change and overpopulation fear-mongering with HuffPost Live on May 21. Ehrlich warned host Josh Zepps that the dangers of overpopulation are growing, blaming Republicans and the media for failing to take action. While hawking a new book called “Hope On Earth,” Ehrlich’s co-author Michael Tobias praised Ehrlich’s older, outrageously wrong predictions and said they underestimated the problem. > > Ehrlich, after falsely predicting human “oblivion” 46 years ago, told Zepps humans must soon begin contemplating “eat[ing] the bodies of your dead” after resources are depleted (fava beans and a nice Chianti optional, apparently). > > Despite the fact that this “oblivion,” never came about, he still pushed alarmist predictions. Ehrlich claimed that scarcity of resources will get so bad that humans will need to drastically change our eating habits and agriculture. Instead, we will soon begin asking “is it perfectly okay to eat the bodies of your dead because we’re all so hungry?” He added that humanity is “moving in that direction with a ridiculous speed.” And clearly, this man knows “ridiculous.” > The Population Bomb was published in 1968 -- how he ever got tenure, let alone at Stanford, beggars the imagination. Erlich was also promoting the coming Ice Age along with Obama science czar John Holdren. More [here]( and [here]( These people are absolutely gobsmackingly clueless.

Maybe that will confuse the general public enough that they will get excited again. From the AAAS Science journal:

Let's Call It 'Climate Disruption,' White House Science Adviser Suggests (Again)

First there was “global warming.” Then many researchers suggested “climate change” was a better term. Now, White House science adviser John Holdren is renewing his call for a new nomenclature to describe the end result of dumping vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into Earth’s atmosphere: “global climate disruption.”

“I’ve always thought that the phrase ‘global warming’ was something of a misnomer because it suggests that the phenomenon is something that is uniform around the world, that it’s all about temperature, and that it’s gradual,” Holdren said yesterday at the annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C. (AAAS publishes ScienceInsider.) “What could be wrong with that?”

As though Carbon Dioxide was a bad thing. Just another silly Malthusian.

And not to forget that Holdren has been trying this crap for almost five years. From this September 16, 2010 FOX News article:

White House: Global Warming Out, 'Global Climate Disruption' In

From the administration that brought you "man-caused disaster" and "overseas contingency operation," another terminology change is in the pipeline.

The White House wants the public to start using the term "global climate disruption" in place of "global warming" -- fearing the latter term oversimplifies the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is.

White House science adviser John Holdren urged people to start using the phrase during a speech last week in Oslo, echoing a plea he made three years earlier. Holdren said global warming is a "dangerous misnomer" for a problem far more complicated than a rise in temperature.

What a putz -- he is not a scientist, he is an activist pushing a political agenda.

Malthusians in the news - a good perspective

You may not know the works of Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus but you have certainly heard them from other mouths.

From the Wikipedia entryfor the Reverend:

Malthus became widely known for his theories about change in population. His An Essay on the Principle of Population observed that sooner or later population will be checked by famine and disease, leading to what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe. He wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. He thought that the dangers of population growth precluded progress towards a utopian society: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man".

It is telling that Rev. Malthus saw society as progressing towards a utopian society. The utopian state is also a communist state. It is controlled by central planers, administrated by a huge central government and the general population has little or no representation. They are too stupid to operate independently and must be managed by their betters -- the elite masterminds in government. Needless to say, there has not been one instance of a Malthusian prediction being correct. Matt Ridley at the Wall Street Journal has this to say:

The World's Resources Aren't Running Out
How many times have you heard that we humans are "using up" the world's resources, "running out" of oil, "reaching the limits" of the atmosphere's capacity to cope with pollution or "approaching the carrying capacity" of the land's ability to support a greater population? The assumption behind all such statements is that there is a fixed amount of stuff - metals, oil, clean air, land - and that we risk exhausting it through our consumption.

"We are using 50% more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce, and unless we change course, that number will grow fast - by 2030, even two planets will not be enough," says Jim Leape, director general of the World Wide Fund for Nature International (formerly the World Wildlife Fund).

But here's a peculiar feature of human history: We burst through such limits again and again. After all, as a Saudi oil minister once said, the Stone Age didn't end for lack of stone. Ecologists call this "niche construction" - that people (and indeed some other animals) can create new opportunities for themselves by making their habitats more productive in some way. Agriculture is the classic example of niche construction: We stopped relying on nature's bounty and substituted an artificial and much larger bounty.
Economists call the same phenomenon innovation. What frustrates them about ecologists is the latter's tendency to think in terms of static limits. Ecologists can't seem to see that when whale oil starts to run out, petroleum is discovered, or that when farm yields flatten, fertilizer comes along, or that when glass fiber is invented, demand for copper falls.
That frustration is heartily reciprocated. Ecologists think that economists espouse a sort of superstitious magic called "markets" or "prices" to avoid confronting the reality of limits to growth. The easiest way to raise a cheer in a conference of ecologists is to make a rude joke about economists.

Matt goes on to establish his bonafides and cites numerous examples of his thesis. He then brings up the infamous Club of Rome 1972 book "Limits to Growth" and says this:

The best-selling book "Limits to Growth," published in 1972 by the Club of Rome (an influential global think tank), argued that we would have bumped our heads against all sorts of ceilings by now, running short of various metals, fuels, minerals and space. Why did it not happen? In a word, technology: better mining techniques, more frugal use of materials, and if scarcity causes price increases, substitution by cheaper material. We use 100 times thinner gold plating on computer connectors than we did 40 years ago. The steel content of cars and buildings keeps on falling.

A long and well-thought out article by someone who knows what he is talking about. Matt's website is here: Rational Optimist
Here is his 2010 TED talk Near the end of this 16 minute video, Matt references this essay by Leonard E. Read: I, Pencil -- well worth reading.

The Salmon are back!

But the enviros are not happy. From National Review:
The Pacific's Salmon Are Back -- Thank Human Ingenuity
In 2012, the British Columbia-based Native American Haida tribe launched an effort to restore the salmon fishery that has provided much of their livelihood for centuries. Acting collectively, the Haida voted to form the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, financed it with $2.5 million of their own savings, and used it to support the efforts of American scientist-entrepreneur Russ George to demonstrate the feasibility of open-sea mariculture -- in this case, the distribution of 120 tons of iron sulfate into the northeast Pacific to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom which in turn would provide ample food for baby salmon.

The verdict is now in on this highly controversial experiment: It worked.

In fact it has been a stunningly over-the-top success. This year, the number of salmon caught in the northeast Pacific more than quadrupled, going from 50 million to 226 million. In the Fraser River, which only once before in history had a salmon run greater than 25 million fish (about 45 million in 2010), the number of salmon increased to 72 million.
And a bit more:
In addition to producing salmon, this extraordinary experiment has yielded a huge amount of data. Within a few months after the ocean-fertilizing operation, NASA satellite images taken from orbit showed a powerful growth of phytoplankton in the waters that received the Haida's iron. It is now clear that, as hoped, these did indeed serve as a food source for zooplankton, which in turn provided nourishment for multitudes of young salmon, thereby restoring the depleted fishery and providing abundant food for larger fish and sea mammals. In addition, since those diatoms that were not eaten went to the bottom, a large amount of carbon dioxide was sequestered in their calcium carbonate shells.
But the enviros are unhappy that someone didn't play by the rules:
Native Americans bringing back the salmon and preserving their way of life, while combating global warming: One would think that environmentalists would be very pleased.

One would be very wrong. Far from receiving applause for their initiative, the Haida and Mr. George have become the target of rage aimed from every corner of the community seeking to use global warming as a pretext for curtailing human freedom.

"It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions," Kristina Gjerde, a senior high-seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature told the Guardian. "Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research."

Silvia Ribeiro, of the international anti-technology watchdog ETC Group, also voiced her horror at any development that might allow humanity to escape from the need for carbon rationing. "It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments," she said. "They are a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil-fuel emissions."
I would invite these in-duh-viduals to take a long walk on a short pier. This work was sponsored by an independent Native American nation and the results are verifiable and very positive. That these fools and their ilk can find something to protest speaks volumes for how out of touch with reality they are. This passage really displays their agenda:
Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation.
That it was done for commercial reasons is bad. Can't have anyone making a profit. After all, what would Karl Marx say. And their desire to have it assessed and studied -- guaranteed to be found wanting and they would just say no. Technology like this is simple, cheap, easy to implement and has direct results -- a huge fish run. The Malthusian doom and gloom sayers will loose their traction if stuff like this is allowed to bloom. As I have said before, I have never, ever run into a Malthusian prediction that ever came to pass... Russ George's website is here: Russ George

Out tax dollars at work - NSF's Musical

From The Daily Caller:
Feds spent $700,000 on a climate change musical
It looks like the National Science Foundation has been handing out grants for some unorthodox research projects, according to House Republicans.

This includes $700,000 in funding for a climate change musical.

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith questioned White House science czar John Holdren in a Thursday hearing over whether or not the National Science Foundation (NSF) should have to justify its use of taxpayer dollars to fund projects. Smith pointed out some examples of questionable projects the NSF has funded.
  • $700,000 on a climate change musical
  • $15,000 to study fishing practices around Lake Victoria in Africa
  • $340,000 to examine the �ecological consequences� of early human fires in New Zealand
  • $200,000 for a three-year study of the Bronze Age around the Mediterranean
  • $50,000 to survey archived 17th Century lawsuits in Peru
  • $20,00 to look at the causes of stress in Bolivia
�The Administration�s willful disregard for public accountability distracts from the important issues of how America can stay ahead of China, Russia, and other countries in the highly-competitive race for technological leadership,� said Smith, a Texas Republican.

�All government employees and their agency heads need to remember they are accountable to the American taxpayer who pays their salary and funds their projects,� he added. �It is not the government�s money; it�s the people�s money.�
John Holdren is an idiot and a Malthusian but I repeat myself. My Dad was a physicist and I remember when the National Science Foundation funded real science and not politically correct gestures.

Happy 100th Birthday - Dr. Norman Borlaug

UPDATE: I had forgotten that Penn & Teller did an excellent show on Dr. Borlaug. YouTube is posted at the end. Dr. Norman who? From Wikipedia:
Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 � September 12, 2009) was an American biologist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution", "agriculture's greatest spokesperson" and "The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives". He is one of seven people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor.
Some more:
Biologist Paul R. Ehrlich wrote in his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, "The battle to feed all of humanity is over ... In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." Ehrlich said, "I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971," and "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980."
Ehrlich was a Malthusian and Malthusians are always dead wrong. More:
The initial yields of Borlaug's crops were higher than any ever harvested in South Asia. The countries subsequently committed to importing large quantities of both the Lerma Rojo 64 and Sonora 64 varieties. In 1966, India imported 18,000 tons �the largest purchase and import of any seed in the world at that time. In 1967, Pakistan imported 42,000 tons, and Turkey 21,000 tons. Pakistan's import, planted on 1.5 million acres (6,100 km�), produced enough wheat to seed the entire nation's wheatland the following year. By 1968, when Ehrlich's book was released, William Gaud of the United States Agency for International Development was calling Borlaug's work a "Green Revolution". High yields led to a shortage of various utilities � labor to harvest the crops, bullock carts to haul it to the threshing floor, jute bags, trucks, rail cars, and grain storage facilities. Some local governments were forced to close school buildings temporarily to use them for grain storage.

In Pakistan, wheat yields nearly doubled, from 4.6 million tons in 1965 to 7.3 million tons in 1970; Pakistan was self-sufficient in wheat production by 1968. Yields were over 21 million tons by 2000. In India, yields increased from 12.3 million tons in 1965 to 20.1 million tons in 1970. By 1974, India was self-sufficient in the production of all cereals. By 2000, India was harvesting a record 76.4 million tons (2.81 billion bushels) of wheat. Since the 1960s, food production in both nations has increased faster than the rate of population growth. Paul Waggoner, of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, calculates that India's use of high-yield farming has prevented 100 million acres (400,000 km�) of virgin land from being converted into farmland�an area about the size of California, or 13.6% of the total area of India. The use of these wheat varieties has also had a substantial effect on production in six Latin American countries, six countries in the Near and Middle East, and several others in Africa.
Want an infographic?
And a tip of the hat to Borepatch for the link and this comment:
Alas, today's Left has made him a non-person, because his work made a laughing stock of Paul Ehrlich's "Population Bomb". If only Borlaug had the foresight and wisdom to have been born African-American, or perhaps trans-gendered, all would have been forgiven.
Sadly true... UPDATE: Penn & Teller on Dr. Norman Borlaug:

Water in the news

Malthusians always cry about how we are running out of things. They are always being proven wrong, never seem to learn from history. Here is a story about clean water from the London Daily Mail:
Vast freshwater reserves discovered under the ocean floor which could supply future generations
Vast freshwater reserves have been discovered under the ocean floor which scientists believe could sustain future generations.

Australian researchers claim to have found 500,000 cubic kilometres (120,000 cubic miles) of freshwater buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves off Australia, China, North America and South Africa.

The discovery comes as United Nations estimates suggest water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of the population of the world over the last century.

Lead author Vincent Post, from Flinders University, said: �The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we've extracted from the Earth's sub-surface in the past century since 1900.
These deposits were formed when the sea level was profoundly lower and were trapped by layers of silt and clay when the sea level rose. No global warming in sight...

Peak Oil on the skids

There is a somewhat popular theory first put out by oilman M. King Hubbert in 1956. The Malthusians latched onto it and used it as another club to beat us over the head trying to get us to convert to their dystopian lifestyle. Peak Oil has since been blown out of the water as a fallacy. Three recent events: First -- a major apologist for Peak Oil is shutting down. From The Oil Drum:
An End to Eight Years of The Oil Drum
Dear Readers of The Oil Drum,
A few weeks ago the ISEOF board (The Institute for Energy and Our Future that facilitates The Oil Drum), Euan, Super G, JoulesBurn, and Myself, met to discuss the future of The Oil Drum. A discussion we have had several times in the last year, due to scarcity of new content caused by a dwindling number of contributors. Despite our best efforts to fill this gap we have not been able to significantly improve the flow of high quality articles.

Because of this and the high expense of running the site, the board has unanimously decided that the best course of action is to convert the site to a static archive of previously published material as of 31st July 2013. We will continue to post articles up to this date. Afterwards any articles will be held as a public archive into the foreseeable future, so that others can continue to learn from the breadth and depth of knowledge published by our many authors, over the 8+ history of this remarkable volunteer effort.

We sincerely thank everyone who has been part of the TOD community - authors, staff and especially commenter's and readers - for contributing to the success of the site. It is unusual for a site which is based primarily on volunteer effort to continue this long.
Second -- Australia doesn't need to worry about oil for the near future. From Adelaide Australia's The Advertiser:
$20 trillion shale oil find surrounding Coober Pedy 'can fuel Australia'
South Australia is sitting on oil potentially worth more than $20 trillion, independent reports claim - enough to turn Australia into a self-sufficient fuel producer.

Brisbane company Linc Energy yesterday released two reports, based on drilling and seismic exploration, estimating the amount of oil in the as yet untapped Arckaringa Basin surrounding Coober Pedy ranging from 3.5 billion to 233 billion barrels of oil.

At the higher end, this would be "several times bigger than all of the oil in Australia", Linc managing director Peter Bond said.

This has the potential to turn Australia from an oil importer to an oil exporter.
Wonderful news for our friends to the south. There is a strong body of evidence that oil is being continually manufactured in the Earth's crust. Finally, people in New Zealand are calming down -- from The New Zealand Herald:
$10m freeze on global warming
The Government has proposed cutting $10 million in funding for climate change research in a move described as disheartening for New Zealand's highly capable climate scientists.

Treasury documents showed that Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has recommended scaling back funding for Climate Change Research Grants by $2 million in the next financial year, $3.75 million in 2014/15 and $4.25 million in 2015/16.

This would reduce the pool of funding from nearly $10 million a year to $4.5 million a year by 2016.

The contestable grants were used to finance research by tertiary institutions and government agencies on adapting to climate change, reducing emissions and creating carbon sinks, and tapping into business opportunities which arise from climate change.
I love how the narrative has been switched from global warming to climate change. As if we have any ability to change it...

The environment - a four-fer

First - from the Canadian Broadcasting Company:
4 Vancouver men aim to row the Northwest Passage
Four Vancouver adventurers say they hope to spark discussion about climate change by attempting to become the first people to row the Northwest Passage this summer.

On July 1, the four men will begin their journey in a specially designed 25-foot boat, starting from Inuvik and ending in Pond Inlet, Nunavut on the east coast of Baffin Island in the early fall.

The modern-day explorers say the Northwest Passage has become semi-navigable due to the deterioration of arctic ice from climate change.
Excuuuuuse me but the Northwest Passage has been routinely navigable. Considering that these people are from Vancouver, they should explore their own wonderful Maritime Museum and walk the decks of the St. Roch. From the website:
The St. Roch was the first vessel to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east (1940-1942), the first to complete the passage in one season (1944), and the first to circumnavigate North America.
Second - from The Beeb:
Met Office experts meet to analyse 'unusual' weather patterns
About 20 of the UK's leading scientists and meteorologists are due to meet at the Met Office to discuss Britain's "unusual" weather patterns.

They will try to identify the factors that caused the chilly winter of 2010-11 and the long, wet summer of 2012.

They will also try to work out why this spring was the coldest in 50 years - with a UK average of 6C (42.8F) between March and May.

The Met Office hopes the meeting will identify new priorities for research.
What about their great and all-powerful supercomputers? Weren't these supposed to make their forecasts accurate? Seriously, the Met office has been spending huge stacks of British taxpayer money on two large supercomputers and their forecasts have been completely decoupled from reality. How about admitting that the models do not work and going back to the traditional wet finger in the air and a peek at your barometer... Third - from Melbourne Australia's Herald Sun comes this from Andrew Bolt:
Climate Commission�s dupe: �one in two chance� of no humans by 2100
Retired admiral Chris Barrie is disturbingly prone to alarmism. He tells the ABC he�s read a book, Lord Rees� Our Final Hour, which he says warned we�d be wiped out if we didn�t face �the climate change consequences and some other behaviours that are not so good�:
There�s a one in two chance that by 2100 there�ll be no human beings left on this planet. The planet will exist, but it�s just that my granddaughter won�t be part of it. And I think that�s a pretty alarming statistic, probability, one in two chance if we don�t correct our behaviours.
Referring to the Climate Commission�s report he �assisted� in launching, Barrie adds:
If anybody reads through this report and gets to the alarming conclusion that if we don�t correct our behaviour by the end of the decade, that is in seven years time, then our future looks pretty bleak.
The Climate Commission presents Barrie as some kind of global warming expert, and had him help launch their latest scare report. The ABC did not question Barrie�s credentials or his absurd claims.

Can they explain why?
Typical Malthusian -- making some hand-wringing claim about a future catastrophe too far away for us to reliably experience and the history books will always record them as being dead wrong. But they get their ink in the newspapers of the day. Bad news always sells newspapers... Fourth - from Bloomberg - an inadvertent side-effect of the Ethanol scam:
Gulf of Mexico's Extinction-by-Ethanol
Less than a year after the summer drought of 2012 baked the U.S. grain belt, farmers in the region have been deluged by rain.

Aside from the threat that weather might pose for a second year to the U.S. harvest, the heavy rains may help fulfill of a prediction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: A swath of the northern Gulf of Mexico that each summer turns into a dead zone, drained of oxygen and devoid of life, will be larger than usual.
Dead zone? More:
The dead zone starts innocently enough. Each year, when the snow melts and spring rains fall on Midwest farmland, millions of tons of nitrogen-based fertilizer that was applied to barren fields the previous autumn are washed into Mississippi River tributaries.

In years when there is more rain, more nitrogen ends up in the water -- and vice versa. Last year's drought is considered the main reason the 2012 dead zone covered only 2,889 square miles in the Gulf, the smallest in several years, and down from 6,767 square miles in 2011. If conditions are right this year, the dead zone might occupy an area the size of New Jersey, or 7,800 square miles. Researchers usually take an official measurement in July.
Ethanol? More:
The culprits behind the dead zone are many, but one deserves special attention: corn. Unlike, say, soybeans, which can grow without fertilizer, corn can't grow without it. It takes 195 pounds of fertilizer to grow an acre of corn.

And the U.S. grows a lot of corn -- more than any other country. What's more, 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is devoted to making ethanol, which fuel companies must blend with gasoline under a congressional mandate. The Gulf dead zone is yet another reason for Congress to kill that mandate.
Yeah -- bad for engines, takes more energy to produce than it yields on combustion, makes obscene money for a few crony capitalists (Archer Daniels Midland - I am looking at you). Bad news all around. To keep your tank Ethanol free, check out the Pure Gas website. I use it to buy gas for my smaller engines -- these can get really chewed up by Ethanol. It is hygroscopic so you get a lot of corrosion regardless of what kind of fuel treatment you use. Best just not to buy it...

A Global Warming Climate Change two-fer

First from Yahoo News:
Hey Deniers, Take a Long Look at the Faces of Climate Change
The impacts of a changing climate often seem so big, so complicated, and so global that they're often impossible to truly understand�much less slow.

The ability to miniaturize�to bring the impacts of things like rising sea levels and ocean acidification, the loss of snowpack and habitat loss�down to the individual, local level is hard, and an often overlooked story.

There are dozens of papers published each year focused on forecasting what the world will be like as temperatures and pollution continue to grow. But putting faces to the people and communities already being impacted�real people, experiencing real change�may be the best way to help us focus on what�s happening right now.
And this goes on and on and on and on for fifteen more paragraphs. The author -- Jon Bowermaster -- is a well-known climate changer. What is fun is the 490+ comments taking his 'logic' apart. Some examples:
The planet has been warming and cooling for centuries....that is a fact. The amount of rain and snow recently on the East Coast was worse during the same period in is only a major news story because of the damage to the homes built on the ocean front, at sea level, that were beaches decades ago. Most of these idiots couldn't get flood insurance when they built, now they are finding out why!
No one denies that the world climate is not static. Why don't you "believers" try an honest debate for once?
Since the last ice age peaked 18,000 years ago, the earth has been warming. Nobody seriously denies this. The debate centers on whether this warming is natural vs man-induced. For example, I "deny" that it is 100% man-induced. Does that make me a denier?
Lots more at the site... Second up, we have this from Pete McMartin writing at The Vancouver Sun:
Global warming�s new frightening deadline
In April 2009, the science journal Nature published a paper entitled Greenhouse-Gas Emission Targets for Limiting Global Warming to 2 C.

Its subject was the end of the modern world.

At the time, it attracted little notice. It was a half-dozen pages long. For laymen, its technical content was impenetrable.

The purpose of the paper � researched and written by a team of European scientists headed by Malte Meinshausen, a climatologist with Germany�s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact � was to determine just how much time mankind had left before our burning of fossil fuels would cause catastrophic global warming.

The marker for what would be considered �catastrophic� warming was generally agreed to be anything above a rise of two degrees Celsius in global temperature.
Meinshausen is very much a peripheral character in the pro Anthropogenic Global Warming camp. Anthony Watts runs a website called Watts Up With That that although being a "denier" website, his authors review all the major published work and examine it for statistical accuracy (Micheal Mann's 'trick' to hide the decline) as well as to see how well the models presented track actual boots-on-the-ground measurement. This site has been in continuous publication since November 2006 and has been twice awarded Best Science Blog. I went to the site and searched for Meinshausen and got one hit for this article: Commitment studies belie �consensus� claim that a persistent high level of temperature forcing cannot cause continued warming in which a brief reference to a 2011 communication is made in re the IPCC AR5:
AR5 commitment estimates are higher still, presumably because they project 2010 GHG levels. From the Second Order Draft (p. 12-60):
�Constant emission commitment� is the warming that would result from keeping anthropogenic emissions constant and is estimated for example at about 1�2.5�C by 2100 assuming constant (year 2010) emissions in the future, based on the MAGICC model calibrated to CMIP3 and C4MIP (Meinshausen et al., 2011a; Meinshausen et al., 2011b) (see FAQ 12.3).
Meinshausen is a nobody -- worse, he is a blatant Malthusian. To base a whole hand-wringing column in a major newspaper on O.M.G., we have to stop using fossil fuels NOW to save the planet shows the lack of Pete McMartin's understanding. Only 20 comments but there are some good ones. Climate Change is not about the Earth's Climate, it is about making a few people very very wealthy.

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