November 2009


I always try to go back to basics. So, burning fossil fuels is evil and will lead to runaway global warming that will turn Earth into Venus, according to Al Gore, channeling  NASA Scientist James E. Hansen . Huh? Fossil?  Whenever I read about fossil fuels being evil, I think about where fossil fuels came from. Best I can tell, ancient organisms extracted carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, through the miracle of photosynthesis, created organic compounds and released oxygen into the atmosphere. Over the last 500 million years, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration have declined ten-fold. When we extract and burn fossil fuels we are recycling carbon that belongs back in the atmosphere. If plants don’t get enough carbon dioxide they die. If the plants die, they don’t produce oxygen. Ever tried breathing in an oxygen poor environment?

OK, so we know from considering where fossil fuels came from, that burning them is probably better than not burning them. It helps plant-life, which helps plant-eating life, which helps meat-eating life. Moreover, we know carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere were much higher during the geological periods when fossil fuels were being buried rather than recycled. Given that perspective, I find the idea that carbon dioxide could be labelled a pollutant by the EPA to be ludicrous. That doesn’t stop the moronic greenies; moronic including most Democrats, the President,  and every MSM outlet; from promoting the idea that carbon dioxide is an evil pollutant that needs to be regulated out of existence. Tell that to the plants!

The bigger issue is that, in the carbon dioxide depleted atmosphere of the last few million years, the Earth has suffered ice ages. We have a temporary reprieve. Were we in an ice age, my posting location in Cleveland would be buried under a mile of ice.

The next ice age is the real climate challenge. I don’t think we can put enough carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere fast enough to stop the next ice age, even if  carbon dioxide actually is a greenhouse gas.

On every level, climate research has been shown to be a fraud. The models are bunk and the science is junk. We are being asked to destroy our economy based on this fraud?  No thank you, Mr. President.

The emails are incriminating enough, but the inner workings of the computer models should be enough to sink the whole ship.

Last July I posted the following blog entry at my old blog, Judicious Asininity:

Jim Miller let me know that the source code of NASA computer models used in global warming models was available. I took a peek at the code. Oh my God!!!

I started programmining in 1969. My first language was Fortran. It was a truly dreadful programming language. I still recall my worst error using it. I passed the constant 2 into a subroutine that changed the value to 3. Thereafter, any reference to 2 was treated as 3. Needless to say, a computer program that thinks 2 is 3 is not going to be much use.

The Fortran programming language has gone through many revisions, but it is still a truly dreadful programming language. Modern programming languages, such as Java and C#, work with objects that represent real world entities. Fortran doesn’t have objects. It doesn’t have structure. The snippets of code I looked at seemed to me to be nothing more than sequences of crude hacks. This snippet is typical:

subroutine check_ghy_conservation( flag ),10
ccc debugging program: cam be put at the beginning and at the end
ccc of the 'surface' to check water conservation
use constant, only : rhow
use geom, only : imaxj
use model_com, only : im,jm,fearth
use DOMAIN_DECOMP, only : GRID, GET
use fluxes, only : prec,evapor,runoe
use ghycom, only : ngm,wbare,wvege,htbare,htvege,snowbv,dz_ij
use veg_com, only : afb
implicit none
integer flag
real*8 total_water(im,jm), error_water
real*8, save :: old_total_water(im,jm)
! real*8 total_energy(im,jm), error_energy
! real*8, save :: old_total_energy(im,jm)
integer i,j,n
real*8 fb,fv
ccc enrgy check not implemented yet ...

C**** define local grid
integer J_0, J_1

C****
C**** Extract useful local domain parameters from "grid"
C****
CALL GET(grid, J_STRT=J_0, J_STOP=J_1)

do j=J_0,J_1
do i=1,imaxj(j)
if ( fearth(i,j) <= 0.d0 ) cycle

ccc just checking ...
do n = 1,ngm
if ( dz_ij(i,j,n) .le. 0.d0 )
& call stop_model('incompatible dz',255)
enddo

fb = afb(i,j)
fv = 1.d0 - fb
total_water(i,j) = fb*sum( wbare(1:ngm,i,j) )
& + fv*sum( wvege(0:ngm,i,j) )
& + fb*snowbv(1,i,j) + fv*snowbv(2,i,j)
end do
end do

! call stop_model('just testing...',255)

if ( flag == 0 ) then
old_total_water(:,:) = total_water(:,:)
return
endif

do j=J_0,J_1
do i=1,imaxj(j)

!print *,'fearth = ', i, j, fearth(i,j)

if ( fearth(i,j) <= 0.d0 ) cycle
fb = afb(i,j)
fv = 1.d0 - fb
error_water = ( total_water(i,j) - old_total_water(i,j) )*rhow
& - prec(i,j) + evapor(i,j,4) + runoe(i,j)

!print *, 'err H2O: ', i, j, error_water

! if ( abs( error_water ) > 1.d-9 ) print *, 'error'
if ( abs( error_water ) > 1.d-9 ) call stop_model( ! was -15
& 'check_ghy_conservation: water conservation problem',255)

end do
end do

end subroutine check_ghy_conservation

This is not sophisticated code. It is extracting some preset values, doing some crude calculations, and checking for nonsensical results. It is also full of debugging code that is disabled. That is not a sign of good code.

Fortran is still used because generations of engineers, actuaries and economists and other assorted software amateurs used it. In their minds, switching to more modern software technologies is always less economic than staying in the 1950s.

But, the fact the software technology is primitive should be the least of our concerns. The economy is incredibly complex, but much less complex than weather or climate. Needless to say, the economic computer models didn’t predict our current economic difficulties. Common sense may well have been a better guide; we should all know that economic bubbles always burst.

The fact is that computer modelling of an open system like the economy or the climate is useful for exploring scenarios but useless in predicting what’s actually going to happen. Yet, the opinion makers and AGW advocates have been treating useless computer forecasts as fact. Our President can be counted among those sheep.

I thought the NASA code was poor. The programming at the Climate Research Unit must have plumbed new depths in software quality. The Devil’s Kitchen pointed me to a key hacked document, a text file called HARRY_READ_ME.txt. It records the trials and tribulations of a programmer called Harry as he tries to make sense of the Fortran code behind the CRU climate model. Here’s a typical entry:

I find that they are broadly similar, except the normals lines (which both start with ‘6190’) are very different. I was expecting that maybe the latter contained 94-00 normals, what I wasn’t expecting was that thet are in % x10 not %! Unbelievable – even here the conventions have not been followed. It’s botch after botch after botch. Modified the conversion program to process either kind of normals line. Decided to go with the ‘spc.94-00.0312221624.dtb’ database, as it hopefully has some of the 94-00 normals in. I just wish I knew more.

Devil’s Kitchen has many more such examples. How much confidence can one have in anything Harry & Co. were able to produce from the software disaster they inherited? Yet, the CRU computer models are taken seriously by the IPCC and idiot politicians, including McCain and Obama, and they want to destroy our economy because they believe what the models claim. They’d be better off reading the entrails of sacrificed geese.

The hacked files are devastating. They do as much damage as the Acorn tapes. But I’m wondering whether the release is the work of a hacker or a whistle-blower?

At least crooks use their own money for bribery, not OPM

The news that Harry Reid bought Sen. Mary Landrieu’s healthcare takeover vote with a $100 million dollar bribe is bad enough. What is absolutely disgusting is that he is doing it with our money, but without our permission. Moreover, since the main stream media refuses to do any reporting, most people don’t realize that Harry Reid has his hand in their back pocket fishing for 33 cents in loose change to pay for that bribe. That’s small beer when he does it to one citizen; it is larceny beyond the dreams of any criminal when he does it it 300 million of us; not once, but over and over again.

It was Sarah Palin who quoted the great Margaret Thatcher’s observation that:

The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

I am part way through Palin’s book and one message comes through loud and clear; she understands what Thatcher said. She has made her political career out of fighting the likes of Harry Reid and the corrupt GOP establishment of Alaska.

Ignore the tricks that are used to get the cost below the magic $1 trillion mark. Ignore the fact that government estimates of the cost of their smart ideas are usually wrong by an order of magnitude. Take the $1 trillion as a starting point. What will it cost the average American family? There are around 100 million families in the US. A little simple arithmetic shows that it will cost each American family an extra $1,000 per year, one way or another. For most of us, that extra $1,000 will buy less choice, worse care, and rationing just when we most need medical help.

The reality is that Obamacare will end up costing each family much more than the base number of $1,000 p.a., whether through tax increases, premium increases, or rationed coverage. Moreover, it is inevitable that quality will decline, innovation will stop, people will spend more in pain waiting for routine operations, and the vulnerable will suffer greater mortality rates. That’s how it is when the government runs healthcare.

That’s what she said on Hannity this evening. Funny how Facebook is killing them!

Anyone outside of the orbit of Code Pink and the ACLU would know that trying KSM on the world stage, with all the protections of an American citizen, supported by hosts of lefty lawyers working pro bono, would be a very bad idea. 99% of Democrats seem to think Obama and Holder are “doing the right thing”. Governor David Paterson disagrees:

Gov. David Paterson openly criticized the White House on Monday, saying he thought it was a terrible idea to move alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists to New York for trial.

“This is not a decision that I would have made. I think terrorism isn’t just attack, it’s anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and frustration of New Yorkers who took the bullet for the rest of the country,” he said.

Paterson’s comments break with Democrats, who generally support the President’s decision.

“Our country was attacked on its own soil on September 11, 2001 and New York was very much the epicenter of that attack. Over 2,700 lives were lost,” he said. “It’s very painful. We’re still having trouble getting over it. We still have been unable to rebuild that site and having those terrorists so close to the attack is gonna be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers.”

Paterson also said that the White House warned him six months ago this very situation would happen. He said while he disagrees with the decision, he will do everything in his power to make sure that the state’s Department of Homeland Security will keep New Yorkers as safe as possible.

What is really amazing is Paterson’s claim that the “White House warned him six months ago this very situation would happen.”  The gang that can’t shoot straight decided to drop this bomb on the American people six months ago and didn’t tell us.

Governor Paterson is speaking truth to power. More praise to him.

Former Terrorist prosecutor Andy McCarthy thinks the decision was motivated by a desire to put the Bush administration on trial:

The continuing investigations of Bush-era counterterrorism policies (i.e., the policies that kept us safe from more domestic terror attacks), coupled with the Holder Justice Department’s obsession to disclose classified national-defense information from that period, enable Holder to give the hard Left the “reckoning” that he and Obama promised during the 2008 campaign. It would be too politically explosive for Obama/Holder to do the dirty work of charging Bush administration officials; but as new revelations from investigations and declassifications are churned out, Leftist lawyers use them to urge European and international tribunals to bring “torture” and “war crimes” indictments. Thus, administration cooperation gives Obama’s base the reckoning it demands but Obama gets to deny responsibility for any actual prosecutions.

Today’s announcement that KSM and other top al-Qaeda terrorists will be transferred to Manhattan federal court for civilian trials neatly fits this hidden agenda. Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses — intelligence sources — must expose themselves and their secrets.

Even if Obama and Holder wanted to use the trial of KSM and his fellow terrorists as a Bush-bashing weapon, they chose an incredibly stupid weapon. It’s like the James Bond gag pistol that fires back at the shooter. Here’s why:

  • The trial will serve as a constant reminder to voters of the horrors of 9/11. Obama already looks weak on national security; he doesn’t  needs an electorate reliving 9/11 on national TV.
  • The terrorists are not stupid; they will take full advantage of the chance that Obama gave them to push their Jihadist agenda on the world stage.
  • Terrorist sympathizers may be inspired to act on that world stage,  and kill more New York infidels. Besides organized groups, there are untraceable individuals who may succumb to Sudden Jihad Syndrome and go on an infidel killing spree in New York. Obama wants to risk that?
  • The more the trial exposes American intelligence techniques and sources, the less safe Americans will be. The chances of a major attack increase dramatically. Obama wants a second 9/11 on his watch?
  • Judges, jurors and prosecutors will need 24/7 protection.  How many civilians want to expose themselves to the risks of Jihadist reprisals because the President made a stupid decision? My advice? Just say no. KSM should be dead already, preferably after an extended exposure to actual torture , especially if it involves untreated gangrene.

I think this decision shows that the Obama administration is just like his campaign; all show and no substance.

 

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