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Posts Made By: Robert Pasken

December 2, 2006 07:04 PM Forum: Politics

Yet another Big Brother

Posted By Robert Pasken

From an OP-ED piece:

"The new Rosa Parks? Probably not. But Deborah Davis could become an icon for privacy.

Davis is the woman who refused to show her ID to security officers at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood and may be prosecuted for her crime. The center is technically federal property and home to about 7,000 employees and up to 2,000 visitors a day.

The law allows ID checks for those entering federal facilities a post 9-11 and post Oklahoma City bombing reality. But funny thing, Davis wasn't going to the Federal Center. Her feet didn't even touch the ground of the Federal Center (until security forced them to). She was barely passing through, but even that wasn't her choice. She was taking an RTD bus to her job. One of the stops along the way was the Federal Center. Security guards often board the bus and demand to see IDs of the passengers.

Now there may be some reason to check IDs of those who get off the bus at the center, although you'd think they'd get checked when they enter one of the buildings. But it makes little sense to harass the passengers who are staying on the bus to get to their future stop. These folks would rather have no Federal Center stop at all, so they could get to their stop faster.

Americans are under no obligation to carry ID. Although driver's license has become a de facto ID, its purpose is to prove that the operator of the car is licensed to do so. You are not required to carry a driver's license when you are not driving.

Public choice theory comes into play here. Undoubtedly there are a few folks who like being asked for identification. It gives them a sense of security. But for most, it is a mild hassle. The much larger hassle would be to refuse. That would mean they would be dragged off the bus and prosecuted, like Davis. The self-interested decision is to go along like hapless sheep.

I have no idea who Deborah Davis is, what her politics are, or what her reason for taking a stand is. But I commend her for challenging the advancing big-brother state."

September 2, 2007 10:58 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Clinton shocked

Posted By Robert Pasken

Kinda like the shrub and his "supporters" KBR, Haliburton, and Enron

September 25, 2007 05:48 AM Forum: Politics

Re: University censorship

Posted By Robert Pasken

Jim Babcock said:

It is nothing new to conservatives that Columbia University and other liberal institutions censor anyone that strays from the strict socialist dogma of the modern Democrat Party.{820DDE24-39CE-439B-AB09-1758E183E11F}

But CU allowing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak is even worse. From what I have read, the University has decided to lock the press and anyone who may disrupt his speech out. Looks like another opportunity for security to use their stun guns. smile

Anyone who thinks that Universities and liberals are about diversity and open mindedness, must be... well a liberal. wink

IMO he should suddenly and mysteriously get deathly ill or disappear just as he lands on American soil.

More foolishness from a neocon. The head of Columbia introduced Ahmadinejad as a "petty and cruel dictator" Ahmadinejad was heckled during his speech and asked defend his stand on just about everything he and his crowd stand for. So unlike a neocon event. Every defence of his actions he gave was greeted with more heckling. It apppears that there were no restrictions on what was said by the crowd, the press was allowed in and the only security was crowd control So the facts don't seem to line up with what neocons (Again not conservatives, neocons. they are very different things) say would happen. Of course your whole arguement falls apart now. What annoys neocons the most is that they want to limit everyones rights but theirs and just about everyone is ignoring them.

To quote General Douglas MacArthur

"Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear -- kept us ina continuous stampede of patriotic
fervor -- with the cry of grave national emergency... Always there has been some terrible evil to
gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the
exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem
never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real."

January 1, 2008 06:50 AM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Top Ten myths about global warming

Posted By Robert Pasken

Myth #1: It’s cold outside, so that means global warming isn’t happening.

Myth #2: The Medieval Warming Period was at least as warm as the current global temperature.

Myth #3: The reason people think global warming is happening is because of the “hockey stick” graph, which is completely inaccurate.

Myth #4: The Earth is getting warmer because the Sun is getting warmer.

Myth #5: The global mean surface temperature actually decreased between 1940 and 1970, so that means CO2 emissions have nothing to do with global warming.

Myth #6: It’s only a few degrees warmer; that’s not a big catastrophe, is it?

Myth #7: The interior of Antarctica has shown an overall cooling trend in recent years, and there has been a larger than normal amount of snowfall that has actually been increasing the amount of Antarctic snow and ice. If ice mass in Antarctica is increasing, that in itself disproves global warming.

Myth #8: Global warming is caused by natural phenomena on Earth such as volcanoes and trees, not by human activity.

Myth #9: The thermometer record is skewed by the Urban Heat Island effect – because most of the world’s thermometers are in cities, and cities are disproportionately warm compared to the surrounding countryside, that is the explanation for global warming.

Myth #10: We shouldn’t base political and economic decisions on some unreliable “computer modeling” because global warming is too uncertain, the risk to our economy too great.

These myths about global warming have been answered beyond any shadow of a doubt to be false. Suggesting one of these as a reason to doubt global warming puts you in the same category as those who claim that the destruction of the World Trade centers was not an act of terrorism, but a desperate act on the part of the Bush administration.

January 1, 2008 06:54 AM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

More global warming myths

Posted By Robert Pasken

There is no scientific consensus

American scientists don't buy it - 19,000 signed a petition against the IPCC's views and the need for the Kyoto Protocol

This is all within natural variability

It won't affect the United States much - and definitely not in my lifetime

A few degrees more will be really nice - especially for plants!

The scientific models aren't very good at projecting the future

Carbon Dioxide levels are not strongly related to temperature - how could they in such trace amounts?

Satellite measurements have not shown the trends

The observed warming is all due to solar radiation variability, not human activity

Scientists are just exaggerating in order to get more funding

These are from pseudo-scientists

February 21, 2008 06:39 AM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Solar Variability strikes out yet again

Posted By Robert Pasken

tI's widely known that the ultimate driver of the earth's climate system, the sun, has a variable output. Short-term variations and an 11-year solar cycles have been observed, and hints of longer-term cycles appear in the records. It's tempting to speculate that this variability can account for the rise in temperatures that we've seen over the last 50 years; indeed, editorials in business journals and local papers have done just that. But attendees of last week's American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting were told in no uncertain terms that this speculation was badly misguided.

It took a while to get there, though. The first talk of the session came from Dr. Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has explored the possibility of long-term cycles in the sun's output using everything from earth-bound isotope records to observations of other stars similar to the sun. The data she presented suggested a number of possibilities, including a 200 year variability and potentially an even longer 2200-2500 year cycle. Changes in 14C and 10Be fluxes from various locations around the globe's sea floors also suggests a millennial scale variation. The small magnitude of the changes and large uncertainties in the data, however, leave the evidence for these cycles largely suggestive. And, as Dr. Baliunas noted, without a detailed model of a star's internal dynamo, understanding long term patterns is difficult.

Dr. Judith Lean of the Naval Research Lab took a shorter-term view, focusing on what we know about solar variability based on observations made since the advent of the space age. Lean detailed how solar forcings fit into the larger climate system, along with forcings from volcanic eruptions, aerosols, the El Niño southern oscillation (ENSO), and greenhouse gases. Given satellite data, Lean started subtracting various forcings and explored what happens in different layers of the atmosphere. For example, the ENSO had a far larger effect than the sun on the lower atmosphere, while the sun's forcings dominated the stratosphere—except after large volcanic eruptions, in which case all bets are off. Lean concluded that, over the past 100 years, changes in the sun's output have driven the temperature up by about 0.1 K, but greenhouse gases have had a seven fold effect compared to the sun—0.7 K.

The first two speakers focused largely on technical issues, leaving the answers to the big question a bit hard to discern. The final speaker, Dr. Casper Ammann from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, changed that. His message, which he repeated a number of times, is that the increase in temperatures since the 1950s isn't due to the sun and, even if the next solar activity cycle doesn't arrive at all, temperatures are likely to continue to rise.

He got there in part by noting that the signature of the 11-year solar cycle is actually really difficult to detect in the climate; it's apparent only if one takes the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) into account and modern statistical tools are used. While clearly visible, the amplitude of the effect due to the solar variation is still less than 0.1 K. He also pointed out that increased solar activity should warm the atmosphere uniformly; instead, we see an increase of temperature at the surface and mid-troposphere, but a temperature decrease in anything above that. This scenario is exactly what one would see if greenhouse gases were the cause of the global warming.

Dr. Ammann also discussed some climate modeling results. He showed that modern climate models that take into account natural forcings do a rather good job at predicting past climate data—they're all within the uncertainty of the temperature measurements. These models and reality only diverge in the past 50 years and, when greenhouse gas forcings are added in, the two match closely all the way to the present.

The message of the talks was clear: although the sun's output is variable, those variations have occurred over a defined range for the last 50 years, with no trend once the variation is smoothed out. It's not the sun, and the only way to get the rising temperatures we observe is to include greenhouse forcings in the climate models. This wasn't a shock, given that peer-reviewed papers have been saying exactly that, but it appears to be worth repeating, given that newspaper and business journal editorialists are apparently ignoring it.

Incidentally, those who might have hoped that an unexpected drop in solar activity could bail us out were in for some disappointment. Ammann calculated what would have to happen to the total solar irradience (TSI) to counteract the greenhouse gas forcings. Apparently, the TSI normally varies around 1365W/m2 plus or minus 1.4 W/m2. To bail us out, it would have to drop to 1330 W/m2—something that can pretty much be guaranteed not to happen.

May 23, 2008 08:54 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Hypersensitive concern about assassination

Posted By Robert Pasken

The only racist I see is Jim Babcock

May 24, 2008 05:11 PM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Re: Man made GW on Jupiter?

Posted By Robert Pasken

Try reading the article before shooting your mouth off :C

June 24, 2008 01:51 PM Forum: Politics

What the right believes

Posted By Robert Pasken

What the right believes

August 6, 2008 09:17 PM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Re: Global Dimming

Posted By Robert Pasken

Nothing about assessing the future is easy grin If it were then we would all be stock market millionaires 8)

Nothing about aerosols is easy. From a meteorologist/climatologist point of view aerosols are any solid particles or liquid droplets that are temporarily suspended within the atmosphere. Naturally occurring examples are sea spray or sulfate droplets, along with soil particles (dust) eroded by the wind. Some aerosols, like sulfates and nitrates are reflective ("light") and hence increase the planetary albedo lowering temperatures, but they also absorb a little and cause a local warming. Soots ("Dark") aerosols absorb more and darken the earth relative to what it was and so end up warming the planet. Starting in the late 1970's, satellite instruments have detected aerosols routinely with nearly global coverage. The original instrumentation couldn't distinguish between dust and sulfate aerosols. Recent instruments, like the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measure radiation at multiple wavelengths. This allows particle size to be distinguished with greater confidence, which can be used with some assumptions to infer the aerosol species. The instrumentation aboard MODIS allow the amount of forcing by aerosols by type (anthropogenic vs natural) to be determined. I use MODIS data to determine the amount of Saharan Air Layer (SAL) dust that is being incorporated into hurricanes. In the case of hurricane Helene when the natural aerosols determined when the Helene's character changed. It appears the SAL plays a role in how and where hurricanes develop. The current generation of satellite instrumentation is at the heart of recent attempts to reduce the large uncertainty of direct radiative forcing by aerosols. Bellouin et al. (2005; Nature) arrive at a top of the atmosphere forcing of -0.8 ± 0.1 W/m2. While near the center of the range published by the IPCC, this estimate is noteworthy for its comparatively small uncertainty. Yet on the same day, Chung et al. (2005; Journal of Geophysical Research) estimating based upon similarly extensive calculations that the forcing by aerosols at the top of the atmosphere is -0.35 ± 0.25 W/m2. The original version of the PBS/NOVA film shown in the UK by BBC focused mainly on the observational recognition of global dimming. An important aspect of the original film that did not receive much attention in the film is the oft-claimed lack of global dimming in climate models. This led some to assume that climate modelers were ignoring air pollution other than greenhouse gases emissions from fossil fuel burning, which very far from the truth. Another implication was that climate models are not capable of adequately simulating the transfer of sunlight through the atmosphere and the role of clouds, sunlight extinction of aerosols and aerosol effects on clouds etc, and therefore model projections should not be trusted. Of course none of the above is true, as demonstrated by the papers by Chung et. al. (2005) and Bellouin et al.

I took the attached picture during NAMMA RF#9 you can see the SAL as the brown layer above the cumulus deck