Monthly Archives: October 2015

Sea level fraud by the Colorado Sea Level Research Group

The dishonesty of climate scientists: A comparison of the raw data with the published adjusted sea level data reveals unexplained “adjustments” made by the Colorado Sea Level Research Group at the University of Colorado that increase the reported rate of sea level rise without any explanation.

In 2004, the rate of sea level rise for the 1990s was measured at 2.8 mm per year (margin of error 0.4 mm). Somehow, in 2015 that same data for the 1990s now shows the rate to be 3.3 mm per year, adjusted upward 0.5 mm per year, an amount greater than the margin of error noted in 2004. There is no justifiable reason that I can see for these adjustments, and if there is, they have not provided it.

Be sure you click on the link and look at the graphs. They are quite damning.

Note also that when I began my effort to unravel the climate change field back in 2004, I spent a lot of time reading older literature describing then what was known about sea level rise. These earlier published papers from the late 1990s, generally agreed that the rate of sea level rise for the past century had averaged around 2 mm per year. When I started looking at the modern data in 2004, however, the accepted rate was 2.8 mm, but I could find no explanation for why the consensus had upped the number from 2 mm. Nor did any published work explain how the previously published sea level data from before 1990 had somehow changed to this higher number.

They have now upped the rate again to 3.3 mm per year, but have once again provided no explanation as to why. The adjustments themselves are very suspicious, since they all go in one direction. Either they are allowing their biases to color their judgment, or they are committing outright fraud for the sake of selling the idea of global warming.

Either way, this is not science. Until they provide a good explanation for the adjustments, their funding should be stopped, now.

One more thought: Even at higher 3.3 mm per year, the total sea level rise for the next century will be a whopping one foot, hardly something to panic about.

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History: CNBC, the tea party, and this week’s debate

Link here. The essay is a fascinating look back at the factors that generated the tea party movement in 2009, centered greatly on a single commentary that took place on CNBC at the time. The essay then notes how NBC then revamped CNBC’s lineup, making it far more liberal and Democratic, which is why we had what we had at the Republican Presidential debate this past week.

It is very much worth a read, as it gives some very important background to these events. It also makes this point, which I think is quite significant:

[I]t was Cruz’s defense of the entire field, and of all conservatives, that was like a game changing pick six in football. The debate was instantly different. That was the match and the gasoline to another conservative explosion. I contend nothing will be the same in debates any time soon, or in any liberal media interviews for that matter – and this is critical. [emphasis in original]

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An Enceladus close look

Enceladus at 77 miles

Cool image time! The image on the right is the first processed close-up image released from Cassini’s fly-by of Saturn’s moon Enceladus on Wednesday. The resolution is about 50 feet per pixel, taken from about 77 miles away. This surface, in the general area where Enceladus vents lie, reminds me of a thick field of snow that has begun to melt away.

Since the fly-by got within 30 miles, even higher resolution images should follow.

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Greenland ice sheet not covered in soot

The uncertainty of science: A new study of the Greenland ice sheet has found that the darkening sensed there by satellites is not caused by dust and soot deposited by forest fires and industry but was instead caused by the slow degradation of the sensors on the satellites themselves.

In trying to explain the apparent decline in reflectivity, lead author Chris Polashenski, an adjunct assistant professor at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering and a research geophysicist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, and his colleagues analyzed dozens of snow-pit samples from the 2012-2014 snowfalls across northern Greenland and compared them with samples from earlier years. The results showed no significant change in the quantity of black carbon deposited for the past 60 years or the quantity and mineralogical makeup of dust compared to the last 12,000 years, meaning that deposition of these light absorbing impurities is not a primary cause of reflectivity reduction or surface melting in the dry snow zone. Algae growth, which darkens ice, also was ruled out as a factor.

Instead, the findings suggest the apparent decline in the dry snow zone’s reflectivity is being caused by uncorrected degradation of sensors in NASA’s aging MODIS satellites and that the declining trend will likely disappear when new measurements are reprocessed.

In other words, this story is another case of fear-mongering environmentalists and climate scientists (but I repeat myself) prematurely blaming human activity on the destruction of the environment.

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Eutelsat signs a multi-launch Proton rocket deal

The competition heats up: Satellite maker Eutelsat has signed a seven year multi-launch deal with International Launch Services (ILS) using the Proton rocket.

The ILS press release does not state how many launches this contract covers, which makes me suspect that ILS was forced due to competition with SpaceX to give Eutelsat a great deal of flexibility about which launcher it uses with each satellite down the road. The ILS release even admits this. ““With their selection of ILS Proton for this Multi-Launch Agreement Eutelsat has made a clear statement that flexibility and schedule assurance are key discriminators.”

This is still a good thing for the Russians, as it insures them a share in the launch market for almost the next decade.

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Enceladus flyby images begin arriving

Enceladus

Cool image time! The first images from Cassini’s close flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus on Wednesday have started to arrive.

None have yet been processed, though the press release above provided a distant view of the moon’s plumes as the spacecraft approached. The image on the right, showing the moon itself, is one of the flyby I pulled off from the raw image website. Expect some interesting views to appear there throughout the day, with a more detailed press release tomorrow.

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Christians do have a right to religion in Dearborn

Victory for free speech: A federal court today ruled that the First Amendment rights of several Christians were violated by the police when they forcibly removed them from a 2012 Arab-American festival in Dearborn, Michigan when the Muslims there began throwing bottles, eggs and other objects at them.

By an 8-7 vote, the entire 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday said Wayne County, Michigan and two deputy police chiefs were civilly liable to members of Bible Believers for violating their First Amendment rights. The case now returns to a federal district judge to award damages and attorney’s fees.

It is important to understand what happened. The Muslim festival was open to the general public, being held on public streets. All the Christians did was walk through that festival holding signs and preaching the gospel. They were then attacked by a mob, and the police, rather than arresting the attackers, threatened the Christians with arrest if they didn’t shut up and leave. When the Christian refused the police escorted them away.

Watch the video of the event below the fold if you don’t believe me.

The bad news however is that the court only ruled in favor of free speech by an 8-7 vote, and that it was overturning a lower court ruling that had said the police had the right to remove the Christians. These details are further proof that a large percentage of the American intellectual community now believes it perfectly reasonable for the government to silence religious speech, if it thinks it has to, and that it is perfectly reasonable to accept the heckler’s veto when someone wishes to express an opinion that is disagreeable.
» Read more

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High school coach suspended for praying

Fascists: A high school coach in Washington state has been suspended by school officials for praying after football games.

What the coach had been doing was to kneel at the 50 yard line after games and pray for a few minutes. He asked no one to join him.

Kennedy’s tradition started seven years ago when he thanked God for the game and the players after coaching his first game at Bremerton High School. A few games into his private practice, students began to ask the coach what he was doing. “I was thanking God for you guys,” Kennedy remembered saying to his players, according to a Liberty Institute statement. “Then a couple said they were Christians and asked if they could join. I responded, ‘It’s a free country, you can do whatever you want to do.’”

Essentially, the school is telling him that he is not permitted to express his religious beliefs while at work. Sounds kind of unconstitutional to me.

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Fiber optic cable damaged on Mauna Kea

On the same day hundreds of protesters were blocking construction vehicles from reaching the top of Mauna Kea, the fiber optic connection between the observatories on the summit malfunctioned. Workers have now discovered that the malfunction was caused by a damaged cable that police are now investigating.

The report does not provide any real details, so this failure could be quite innocent. That police are now investigating it and that it took place on the same day as the protests however suggests that it was sabotage.

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Yutu still operational after two years

Despite an inability to move, China’s rover Yutu has now set the longevity operational record for rover on the Moon.

Yutu was deployed and landed on the moon via China’s Chang’e-3 lunar probe in 2013, staying longer than the Soviet Union’s 1970 moon rover Lunokhod 1, which spent 11 months on the moon. Its operations have streamed live through Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site, and its Weibo account has nearly 600,000 followers.

Yutu experienced a mechanical control abnormality in 2014, but it was revived within a month and, though it is unable to move, it continues to collect data, send and receive signals, and record images and video.

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Oxygen in Comet 67P/C-G coma

The uncertainty of science: Unexpectedly scientists using Rosetta data have discovered oxygen in the coma of Comet 67P/C-G.

It was not immediately clear where the oxygen came from. The team discovered that water and oxygen were often found together — an indication that similar processes released both molecules. But Bieler and his colleagues ruled out many scenarios in which oxygen arises as a by-product when energetic particles such as photons and electrons split apart water. Instead, the researchers argue that the oxygen is a remnant from when 67P formed billions of years ago, a process that may have trapped the gas in small grains of ice and rock that coalesced to create the comet’s solid core.

But many models of the early Solar System rule this out because most oxygen tends to pair off with hydrogen. Given this affinity, it is tricky to adjust models of the early Solar System to allow for the survival of gaseous O2, says Mike A’Hearn, an astronomer at the University of Maryland in College Park and a co-investigator on Alice. But he adds that it may be possible with the right chemical abundances and temperature conditions.

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45 Republicans vote against Paul Ryan nomination

The Republicans have nominated Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) for Speaker of the House with only 200 of 245 votes.

Those 45 members are enough to block him from getting the Speakership during the partisan floor vote on Thursday — if the 45 GOP legislators maintain their opposition, and if Ryan is not aided by a last-minute bloc of Democratic votes.

During the closed-door conference, Ryan won just 200 votes for the nomination. Former Florida House Speaker Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) earned a whopping 43 votes. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) — who isn’t officially running for Speaker — received one vote. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who dropped out of the Speakership race a couple weeks ago, got one vote as well.

The failure on Ryan’s part to win 218 votes—the threshold for anyone to win the Speakership on the House floor assuming every member of the House is present and voting for a person—is a major embarrassment on his part.

If those who opposed Ryan in this Republican vote maintain that opposition when the whole House votes, the only way Ryan can become Speaker is if he gets Democratic votes. If that happens than either he won’t become Speaker or the Republican Party faces a breakup.

Based on recent events with the budget deal, it might make sense for some of these fake conservatives in the Republican Party to admit their real loyalty and join the Democrats. The conservatives would then probably lose control of Congress, but at least we would know where people honestly stood.

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A mother and father is still the best for kids

Science discovers the obvious: Several new studies have found again that children generally do better in a stable family with a mother and a father than in any other combination.

In recent weeks, a barrage of new evidence has come to light demonstrating what was once common sense. “Family structure matters” (in the words of my American Enterprise Institute colleague Brad Wilcox, who is also the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia). Princeton University and the left-of-center Brookings Institution released a study that reported “most scholars now agree that children raised by two biological parents in a stable marriage do better than children in other family forms across a wide range of outcomes.” Why this is so is still hotly contested.

Another study, co-authored by Wilcox, found that states with more married parents do better on a broad range of economic indicators, including upward mobility for poor children and lower rates of child poverty. On most economic indicators, the Washington Post summarized, “the share of parents who are married in a state is a better predictor of that state’s economic health than the racial composition and educational attainment of the state’s residents.”

I think it amusing that some scientists wonder “why this is so.” I also realize that by stating this obvious fact of nature I and these scientists are being racist homophobes who want to oppress minorities, but who am I to argue with reality?

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Another Obamacare co-op fails

Finding out what’s in it: Utah’s only Obamacare co-op has announced it is shutting down at the end of the year due to lack of funding/income.

Arches, the only co-op health plan in Utah, began offering insurance through the Affordable Care Act in fall 2013, beginning coverage in January 2014. The nonprofit group says it’s ceasing operations because of a lack of funding from the federal “risk corridor” program, which was built into the Affordable Care Act and intended to protect insurance companies from their losses. “As one of the carriers on the (health care) exchange, we stood to benefit by our calculations in excess of $30 million for those ‘risk corridor’ payments,” Tricia Schumann, chief marketing and communications officer for Arches, told KSL. “We did anticipate those cash payments coming in … this quarter.”

The point of the fund was to mitigate losses among insurance companies and co-ops that suffered large financial risk associated with the Affordable Care Act because of unprecedented enrollment for coverage.

However, federal officials announced Oct. 1 that only 12.6 percent of the expected windfall from that risk management fund would be awarded to insurance companies.

In other words, they — and Obamacare — never had a viable profit model (as predicted by conservatives even before the law was passed). Instead, they were depending on large federal government handouts, as mandated by Obamacare itself. The federal government however simply can’t afford to give out that much money, and thus, bankruptcy.

All the more reason to continue to vote Democrat! They cared, even though they hadn’t the slightest idea of what they were doing and thus pushed through a law that was incredibly stupid and damaging. That they cared however is all that matters.

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Ryan to support budget deal

The fix is in: House Speaker-to-be Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) announced today that he will support the two year budget deal worked out by the White House and Republican and Democratic leaders that locks in increased spending and raises the debt limit for the next two years.

I could also say that Ryan’s betrayal of the conservatives in Congress didn’t take long. He didn’t even wait until he was officially elected Speaker. And if you read his reasons for this decision at the link, you will see them for what they are, shallow talking points that mean nothing.

The only good thing about this is — and it isn’t much — is that it will likely provide Ted Cruz some nice ammunition during tonight’s Presidential debate.

That the Freedom Caucus in the House is pissed at the deal and will oppose it also suggests to me that we are getting closer and closer to a split in the Republican Party.

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Get 2 out of 10 questions right and pass!

The coming dark age: A California school district has instituted a new grading scale that allows students to pass with a score of only 20 out of 100.

Some teachers have tried to hang on to the traditional grading system but have been tripped up by a blanket new policy that students, even if they do not hand in homework or take a test, get 50 percent. Under the new rule, it’s possible for a student who skips a test to receive a better grade than a student who takes the test and does poorly. “This is just incomprehensible. I don’t have words,” said Lanny Lowery, who has taught English at Rancho Cotate High since 1980

And then there’s this: NYC schools passing failing students, colleges accepting them.

In other words, you can now graduate having learned absolutely nothing. Should make for an interesting future for the student and the society that student helps shape.

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Comet 67P/C-G has passed peak brightness

Using both ground-based and Rosetta observations scientists have now measured when the comet reached its peak brightness as well as how much material it lost during this orbit’s closest approach to the Sun.

Based on Rosetta’s pre-perihelion measurements that indicate the dust:gas ratio was approximately 4 , that means roughly 80% of the material being lost is dust, with the rest dominated by water, CO, and CO2 ices. (Note: at the time of that blog post an estimate of 3 was made for perihelion, but the actual data has yet to be analysed.) In any case, using 3 and 4 respectively, the total mass loss rate at its peak is likely in the range of about 100,000–115,000 tonnes per day.

Of course, that’s not a huge amount compared to the comet’s overall mass of around 10 billion tonnes. But nevertheless, a very simple calculation reveals that if, for example, the comet lost that much mass continuously for 100 days, it would correspond to roughly 0.4-0.5 metres of its surface being removed in that time.

In other words, the surface lost about 1.5 feet during close approach.

Peak brightness occurred near the end of August, and has been declining since.

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Russia’s ten-year space policy delayed again

The competition heats up: The completion of Russia’s much delayed ten-year space policy plan, originally planned for last year and then planned for November, has likely been delayed again.

The program was supposed to be submitted to the government for approval late last year, but the collapse of the ruble, ongoing launch failures and related mishaps, leadership shakeups at the federal space agency, and an industry-wide reform plan have all conspired to delay the final draft. A draft was expected this summer, but in March a senior Roscosmos official was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying that the proposal had already been significantly altered, and “looks completely different” than it did when originally completed in 2014. The biggest change to the draft was the level of funding dedicated to Russian space exploration over the 10-year period from 2016 to 2025, which was reduced by 10 percent between drafts to 3.4 trillion rubles ($52.5 billion).

Just like the Soviet era’s many repeated five-year plans, expect the goals of this policy statement, once announced, to fail repeatedly. They will have some initial success, but in the end this top-down government program, like NASA’s SLS, will have more to do with creating non-productive jobs than actually building spaceships and rockets.

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ULA shuffles and trims its executive leadership

The competition heats up: In its effort to improve its efficiency and lower costs, ULA shuffled and reduced the size of its executive team.

All these changes are under the leadership of the company’s CEO Tory Bruno, who took over in 2014 with the goal of cutting what company charges for a launch while speeding up its launch prep times. The effort to launch three Atlas 5s in this month is clearly the result of this policy.

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Early Apollo rover prototype sold for scrap

An early test prototype of the Apollo lunar rovers, apparently parked in an Alabama backyard for decades, was sold for scrap and lost when the estate of its owner was liquidated.

“It has come to the attention of the Marshall Space Flight Center historian that you may be in the possession of a prototype of a Lunar Roving Vehicle,” NASA wrote to the buggy’s owner in an August 2014 letter requesting that the LRV be turned over. “Returning the vehicle to the Marshall Space Flight Center would allow MSFC to restore [it] so it might be used for historical and educational purposes.”

Unfortunately, the letter arrived too late. “Upon contacting the current owner,” NASA’s Office of the Inspector General reported in December, “we learned the LRV had been sold for scrap after [redacted] had passed away.”

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Buy the first computer to fly in space!

The first digital RAM computer memory chip to fly in space is up for auction and you can buy it.

As part of its Space Exploration Signature Auction, Heritage Auctions is taking bids for a vintage random access, non-destructive readout 4,096 bit memory plane that flew on Gemini 3. This ferric memory unit was an integral part of the Gemini Spacecraft Computer, which was the first computer installed in a manned space capsule.

Gemini 3 was the first manned Gemini mission and completed 3 orbits on March 23, 1965. The auction goes through November 3, and bidding is presently at $2,000.

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Dawn begins descent to final orbit around Ceres

Engineers have fired up Dawn’s ion engine and have begun lowering the spacecraft’s orbit downward.

The spacecraft is now on its way to the final orbit of the mission, called the low-altitude mapping orbit. Dawn will spend more than seven weeks descending to this vantage point, which will be less than 235 miles (380 kilometers) from the surface of Ceres. In mid-December, Dawn will begin taking observations from this orbit, including images at a resolution of 120 feet (35 meters) per pixel.

They’ve also released a nice mosaic showing the double bright spots in Occator Crater as well as the surrounding terrain.

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The Okinawa missiles of October

Though the story is not confirmed, it appears that in 1962 the Air Force base at Okinawa came mere seconds from launching its nuclear missiles during the Cuban missile crisis.

The most frightening part of the story is this:

According to Bordne’s account—which, recall, is based on hearing just one side of a phone call—the situation of one launch crew was particularly stark: All its targets were in Russia. Its launch officer, a lieutenant, did not acknowledge the authority of the senior field officer—i.e. Capt. Bassett—to override the now-repeated order of the major. The second launch officer at that site reported to Bassett that the lieutenant had ordered his crew to proceed with the launch of its missiles! Bassett immediately ordered the other launch officer, as Bordne remembers it, “to send two airmen over with weapons and shoot the [lieutenant] if he tries to launch without [either] verbal authorization from the ‘senior officer in the field’ or the upgrade to DEFCON 1 by Missile Operations Center.”

Read it all. Quite fascinating, and chilling. A hat tip to Shane Rollin, my web guy, for sending this to me.

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