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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 April - Quick Notes

IN SPACE - UNSPECIFIED:  In this handout illus...IN SPACE - UNSPECIFIED: In this handout illustration made available on December 5, 2011 by NASA, a diagram compares our own solar system to Kepler-22, a star system containing the first 'habitable zone' planet discovered by NASA's Kepler mission. The habitable zone is the sweet spot around a star where temperatures are right for water to exist in its liquid form. Liquid water is essential for life on Earth. The diagram displays an artist's rendering of the planet comfortably orbiting within the habitable zone, similar to where Earth circles the sun. Kepler-22b has a yearly orbit of 289 days. The planet is the smallest known to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a sun-like star and is about 2.4 times the size of Earth. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19:  Cookies in the sha...WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: Cookies in the shape of lightning bolts, wind turbines and the sun were served during the Newsmaker Luncheon on renewable and alternative energy at the National Press Club April 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. BP Capital Management CEO T. Boone Pickens and fellow billionaire Turner Enterprises CEO Ted Turner addressed the luncheon and said they agree on most things, including global warming, the need to move away from a dependency on foreign oil and the need to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 31: Badaling Great Wall...BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 31: Badaling Great Wall principal venue beijng of the Earth Hour 2012 power switch off on March 31, 2012 in Beijing, China. About 124 Chinese cities joined a WWF worldwide initiative Earth Hour, to call on people to switch off unnecessary lights for one hour tonight, in support for energy-saving efforts and global warming prevention as a shared responsibility. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Graph showing historic atmospheric CO2 concent...Graph showing historic atmospheric CO2 concentrations (from Antarctic ice cores) and recent atmospheric CO2 concentrations (from Hawaii air) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cumulative Vs Annual Emissions (2006) of carbo...Cumulative Vs Annual Emissions (2006) of carbon dioxide (Photo credit: CarbonQuilt)
HEFEI, CHINA - MARCH 26:   (EDITORS NOTE: Imag...HEFEI, CHINA - MARCH 26: (EDITORS NOTE: Image is a digital composite) This composite photograph shows Swan Lake before and during the Earth Hour 2011 power switch off on March 26, 2011 in Hefei, Anhui Province of China. About 86 Chinese cities joined a WWF worldwide initiative Earth Hour, to call on people to switch off unnecessary lights for one hour tonight, in support for energy-saving efforts and global warming prevention as a shared responsibility. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
CO2-srcCO2-src (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Carbon Dioxide SequestrationCarbon Dioxide Sequestration (Photo credit: PNNL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
 co2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic

A significant obstacle to testing the antiquity of the CO2-temperature link is generating accurate records of CO2 and temperature for times in Earth’s past that are tens
to hundreds-of-million years old.
I compare 490 published proxy records of CO2 spanning the Ordovician to Neogene
with records of global cool events to evaluate the strength of CO2-temperature coupling over the Phanerozoic (last 542 my). For periods
with sufficient CO2 coverage, all cool events are associated with CO2 levels below 1000 ppm. A CO2 threshold of below 500 ppm is
suggested for the initiation of widespread, continental glaciations, although this threshold was likely higher during the Paleozoic due to a lower solar luminosity* at that time.

Did Shakun et al really prove that co2 rises preceded late global warming
Right off the bat, a most surprising conclusion in this paper is that the authors claim that correlation proves cause. Simply showing that CO2 correlates with anything surely doesn’t prove that CO2 was the cause. It’s the same kind of mindset involved with the oft-heard claim that if we have had global warming while CO2 was rising that proves the cause was the rise in CO2. Heck, I had hair before CO2 began to rise, but I don’t blame that on CO2.

bkindseth says:
Thank you for raising some excellent questions. I do not feel that you should be reluctant to state, “I will confess here that I don’t believe computer models really prove anything” It should be a stated principle for scientific research that computer models, like statistics, are valuable tools to guide the researcher. Tools, such as brushes or chisels, enable artists to be creative. But scientists are not artists. A skillfull scientist can create a model that encompasses scientific principles, but the scientist can not be creative with this tool to create science. A model can only identify issues that have potential. The scientist should use the results from a model to develop a hypothesis, the first step in the scientific method. The scientist should then develop a plan to collect data that would prove or disprove the hypothesis. Using a model as the final step in the scientific process is not science, it is more comparable to playing computer games.

major9985 says:
Solomon Green says:
April 9, 2012 at 5:04 am
“Unless I am mistaken current CO2 levels are around 392 ppm. Does this mean that we are in for “widespread, continental glaciations”?”
over half a billion yeas ago, the sun was 4% weaker and I think 30-40% dimmer, for the planet to be nice and warm CO2 had to be very high, 8000ppm compared to 390 today. The sun has gradual decreased over this half billion years and science has shown that the concentration of CO2 when compared to the output of the sun equals the temperature of the earth. This graph shows this correlation over the half a billion years of climate data we have http://tinyurl.com/6ppedy6

Phanerozoic Forcing

( comparative co2 reduction and a cooler Sun*. Is that different than reallocation of solar gain from pole to pole during orbital precession ...I expect so, and haven`t chased it down... though tracking sunspot activity in our Cepheid variable might be an interesting pursuit if one had an ability to do so. Think somebody must have modeled or plotted one... lol ) 

Mike M says:
I take the approach – let’s buy into the idea and see where it takes us. Let’s assume it’s all true then logically project how the mechanism of CO2′s “ability” to bring us out of the last ice age is likely to be affecting us right now.
When you look at it that way there are a couple pesky “facts” displayed in the data that jump up and slap you in the face – WHY DID WARMING STOP? It decimates any semblance of a “tipping point”, obliterates the CAGW theory of “positive feedback” and basically shoots CAGW theory in both feet.
If CO2 going from ~180 to ~200ppm somehow launched us into rapid warming ~18K YA then WHY did temperature fall back ~13K YA when CO2 was ~230ppm and, even more perplexing, why did the rapid rate of warming cease 10K YA when CO2 reached ~260ppm if CO2 was responsible for the start of rapid warming when it was under 200ppm?
If CAGW theory was proven true as based on this paper then why aren’t the ocean’s boiling right now at almost 400ppm CO2?
Maybe instead of GHG’s bringing us to some sort of tipping point they drive climate to a FLIPPING POINT? Is it so outrageous to think that maybe our climate is BI-STABLE? Below a certain amount of GHG the climate becomes favorable to stability at ice age temperatures and above that amount it is favorable to stability at present day temperatures. If it walks like a duck…

“One Simple Trick” for Global Warming

what we get are headlines such as this massively misguided example from the Washington Post: “Simple Measures Could Reduce Global Warming.” This is a newspaper that has largely ignored the climate-change story, has refused to connect the dots of the rising number and severity of weather disasters around the world, and has reported straight-faced every stupid climate denial voiced by a Republican candidate or oil-company pseudo-scientist. Now this formerly great newspaper dips its toe in this vital subject by proclaiming that there is an easy fix.

According to the lede sentence, the study concluded that reducing the two pollutants “will slow global warming.” But what the study actually did was to estimate the effects of such things as banning all wood-burning in stoves. Worldwide. As if that’s going to happen. The calculations are of academic interest, to be sure, but how is this more simple, or easy, or likely than, for example, banning all coal-burning in power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?
To fantasize that such measures “will” happen and “will slow global warming” is to indulge in the old round that says, “If we had some ham we could have some ham and eggs, if we had some eggs.”
It’s just another example of journalism lite: the refusal to do the complex, difficult and dismaying stories about the harm our industrial society is doing to itself, in favor of the sunny, stupid stories suggesting there is “one simple trick” that will make it all go away.

 ( Journalism lite is something this writer should recognize ... intimately )

Polar Bears are Endangered?

  Fifty years ago – maybe – the polar bear might have been seriously in danger. Since then it has quadrupled its population, mainly due to hunting restrictions.

But in America, where people are more comfortable with SONY PlayStation than with demonstrable facts, computer models dictate reality to government policy makers. What is worse is that these models have never been shown to be able to predict global temperature.
I practice science and occasionally use models, but I don’t believe that models are an accurate representation of reality. A model only tells you what you the modelers THINK is real – not what IS real.
A climate model is a simplified version of the world, where mathematical relationships between physical properties are calculated by computers. Since the real world is a lot more complex and has a lot more relationships than any computer can reasonably calculate in a practical time-frame, assumptions replace many of the real world’s complex interactions.

 Reading Fanon in Palestine-Israel
This article reads Fanon's death anniversary and Grunis' appointment and inauguration ceremony against one another, as an opportunity to recycle Fanon’s ideas to better situate the place of Palestinians, as a colonized people, within the imagination of Israeli law today. In particular, the article traces the outlines of Fanon's historico-racial schema in Israel/Palestine, emphasizing the legal experience of Palestinians from the Beersheba region, or the Naqab.
...as the world contributes to how the body sees itself, the body is an agent that continually transforms and disrupts the historical world, their mutual constructions always being altered and differentiated. For Fanon, the colonial context describes a historico-racial schema rather than a corporeal one. The colonized self does not contribute to this schema as a full sovereign (i.e., citizen) because in an encounter with whiteness, the black body constructs a self-image that is deficient, owing to signifiers by a white mythos that weaves the black body from "a thousand details, anecdotes and stories" (Weate 2001, Fanon 1967: 89-119).  This article shows how Israeli law functions as a powerful element of a similar white mythos, weaving the ”Bedouin, Palestinian” subject out of anecdotes of comparable mythical proportion.  As a result, the possibilities are similarly thin for Naqab Palestinians to effect free agency and participate fully in the schematization of the historical world they inhabit. The legal status of Palestinians in other locales in Israel/Palestine also reveals how Israeli law is in fact, vis-à-vis Palestinians, not only illiberal and undemocratic, contrary to the claims of certain enthusiasts, but even more harmful. After the Arab Supreme Court Justice stood out like the reluctant elephant in a room full of Hatikva-singing comrades, the liberal and democratic court could be forced to ask very existential questions. Why were the Court's most touted values denied to one of its own members by the larger society, including the legal community?
The heterogeneous strands of Fanon's works can be applied in the Israeli/Palestinian context to speak about the need for an episteme of colonialism to inform the power-knowledge system of Palestinians' habitation, to highlight the shortcomings of national consciousness, and to probe the psychiatric treatment of political prisoners in a colonial context
.....Between 2002 and 2004, the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) sprayed thirty square kilometers of Palestinian agricultural land with the herbicide Monsanto's Roundup. The court found in the Abu Mdeghem case (HCJ 2887/04) that the state's actions were illegal, as they endangered life and violated the dignity of those affected. Yet, blacking out any even-handed reference to the contested status of the land, the court foregrounded Bedouin criminality throughout the decision. On the basis of illegal Bedouin squatting and planting, the court found that the ILA acted in a manner befitting the values of the state and that the spraying had a proper purpose, which was to protect state land. It was because Bedouin illegally squatted and planted on state land and used violence against police enforcing eviction laws that the court then recommended that the State "take determined and uncompromising action” to evict Bedouin squatters and continue with the destruction of crops, but by using tractors and not planes. The myth of mass Bedouin criminality was foregrounded, despite documented evidence that some families were forcibly and illegally displaced by the authorities and had returned, while still others had been ordered by the authorities to live and work on the land under question.
Why is the isolated and embattled Naqab region emblematic of the place of Palestinians under Israeli law? Colonial law is a tool of dispossession, displacement and oppression and functions across the distinct legal entities that have been carefully carved out for Palestinians to facilitate their management. Therefore, dispossession of Bedouin in the Jordan Valley resembles that of not so distant relatives in the Naqab, the South Hebron Hills of Dahriya, and the Jahalin in Area C' east of Jerusalem. Similar legal rationales enable the dispossession of Palestinian citizens in Lydd and Ramleh, while the ban on Palestinian family unification across the Green Line is a legal somersault to keep distinct legal persons in their distinct legal environs. Though, in terms of death-world rulings (Mbembe 2003), these may seem oppression-lite alongside the Court's slow-death (cutting off fuel and electricity) and chop-chop, swift kill (targeted assassinations) rulings vis-à-vis Gaza.
As law functions with similar colonial objectives across the distinct legal environs for Palestinians, we can summarize its mythos-generating activities for Palestinians with differentiated legal statuses. As racial others under Israeli sovereignty, the courts tell us to see Palestinian citizens of the State as “cultural others” who pose a latent security threat, and citizens from the Naqab as criminals. The Israeli courts repeatedly remind us, to the point of badgering, of the proclivity to terror by Palestinians in the occupied territories. The law in practice teaches the Palestinian that he is not what law's ideal holds him to be: equal (Fanon 1963: 89).

Egypt Media Roundup April 9 

Jadaliyya Reports

FDA Warns: Don't Use This on Your Skin  But You Can Put It in Your Mouth in Higher Doses 
April-09-12 11:00 PMBy Dr. Mercola

Has the FDA officially gone mad?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that mercury poisoning has been linked to skin products i.
The products in question are  primarily skin  lighteners and anti-aging treatments, most of which are manufactured overseas  and sold illegally in the United States. 

“Exposure to mercury can have  serious health consequences,” says Charles Lee, M.D., a senior medical advisor  at FDA.
“It can damage the kidneys and the nervous  system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and  very young children.”
...  “You don’t have to use the  product yourself to be affected, says FDA toxicologist Mike Bolger, Ph.D.
“People—particularly children—can get mercury in their  bodies from breathing in mercury vapors if a member of the household uses a  skin cream containing mercury.”
Infants and small children can ingest mercury if they touch  their parents who have used these products, get cream on their hands and then  put their hands and fingers into their mouth, which they are prone to do, adds  Bolger.”

This is a remarkable admission from  an agency that repeatedly has refused to acknowledge the dangers inherent with  dental amalgams, which contain about 50 percent mercury—not silver, as the name  “silver fillings” might have you believe.

What Can Be More Dangerous than Implanting a Neurotoxin in Your Mouth?

The American Dental Association  (ADA) at one time owned the patent for mercury fillings. Both the ADA and FDA  have fraudulently been using the term “silver fillings” for decades. This is  why so few people realize they’re actually walking around with, in some cases,  sizeable amounts of mercury in their teeth! An estimated 75 percent of Americans  are ignorant about that fact that half of each amalgam filling is mercury, and  this is clearly the result of the ADA’s tactical move to popularize the term  “silver fillings.”
The FDA even removed the following statement  from its website: "Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have  neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and  fetuses."
According  to Charlie Brown, national counsel,  Consumers for Dental Choice:

"To conceal the mercury from America’s parents  and consumers, the American Dental Association promoted amalgam as “silver  fillings.”  The term is a gigantic fraud;  amalgam has twice as much mercury as silver.   In Spanish amalgam is similarly promoted fraudulenty, as “amalgama plataThe  ADA’s partner in perpetuating this cover-up is the U.S. Food and Drug  Administration, who cleverly, but deceitfully, says they are called “silver”  because of the color. . The FDA knows better. "  Gold fillings are called gold because of  their material, not color.  Under the  dictionary definition of “silver,” the primary meaning if the material, with  money second, silverware third, and the color fourth or fifth.  That our nation’s consumer protection agency  on devices unabashedly takes the side of the promoter of a consumer fraud is  profoundly troubling.  

If the presence of mercury in skin  cream warrants this kind of prominent action from the FDA, why does the agency  refuse to address concerns about placing 1-2 grams of dental amalgam, half of  which is mercury, into the mouths of children and pregnant women?
How Stress Wreaks Havoc on Your Gut -- And What to Do About It
Hippocrates once said that "all  diseases begin in the gut," and it's also widely known that stress is a trigger  that causes multiple chronic disease processes to occur. These two health  dogmas are actually intricately intertwined, as stress is detrimental to your  gut health, and together stress and a damaged gut can contribute to multiple inflammatory  diseases and conditions
fermented foods and vegetables to heal the gut
In an article published earlier this summer, Live Science collected some easy-to-identify healthful weeds, including:

    Dandelion: The entire plant is edible, and the leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
    Purslane: Purslane tops the list of plants with omega-3 fats.
    Lamb's-quarters: Lamb's-quarters are like spinach, except healthier, tastier and easier to grow.
    Plantain: Not the better-known banana-like plant with the same name.  It has a nutritional profile similar to dandelion.
    Stinging Nettles: If you handle them so that you don't get a painful rash from the tiny, acid-filled needles, these are delicious and nutritious cooked or prepared as a tea.

This is of course how our ancestors ate. They hunted and gathered, and ALL of it was wild. And by all accounts, they were far healthier than we are.

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