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UNIVERSE EXPLAINED

Two comments from reality-based lefty computer teacher Tim Lambert:

the Earth radiates energy to the rest of the universe

And:

we have altered the balnce of energy between earth and the rest of the universe by 1.5 W/m2

Some bloggers presume detailed awareness of events in countries they’ve never visited, but only Lambert claims precise down-to-the-decimal-point knowledge of the entire universe. Hit that link for a comical comments thread, featuring contributions from Currency Lad, among others.

CRAZY LEFTY UPDATE. “Privatisation is political poison in Australia,” writes John Quiggin. “The more experience people have with privatisation, the less they like it.” Take the next step, Quiggler; tell us which industries or businesses should be nationalised. People will like it, apparently.

UPDATE II. A lively to-and-fro continues in comments. Tex emails:

Tim, listen up ...

I just ate a pie. Please ask one of your American blogger friends to also eat a pie, or the earth’s gravitational field will be thrown out of balance, making the earth crash into the sun.

In other news, a computer scientist and ‘dynamite fact checker’ in NSW shows signs of Severe Derangement Syndrome.

That guy really is going beyond parody.

Hey, at least he’s quit his blog-theft project. I met him once, over a few (more than a few) drinks. He bet $50 that John Kerry would win the election. True story: I didn’t collect, because I thought he was a penniless mature-age student.

Posted by Tim B. on 06/07/2006 at 11:12 AM
  1. Tim, Not real sure why you’ve put this up. The phrase; we have altered the balnce (sic) of energy between earth and the rest of the universe by 1.5 W/m2 is a concise way of describing a net heat gain/loss to the Earth system.  May or may not be true, but it’s the right way to describe it.

    Posted by lmassie on 2006 06 07 at 11:22 AM • permalink

  2. That would be the explanation for why Mars is warming up and the poles melting.

    It’s not the sun it’s GW McChimpyBurton.

    Posted by Rob Read on 2006 06 07 at 11:34 AM • permalink

  3. It’s like a trade deficit.  The universe winds up holding the national debt of the earth.

    Posted by rhhardin on 2006 06 07 at 11:44 AM • permalink

  4. You have to look at the root causes of the Martian attacks and ask yourself, “Why do they hate us?”

    Posted by Jim Treacher on 2006 06 07 at 11:46 AM • permalink

  5. Crap! We human-type beings are not only causing global warming, we’re responsible for “universal” warming! Not just melting the polar caps of earth, but thawing out the poisonous frozen atmosphere of Pluto! Not just raping Mother Gaia, but violating, er, Uranus! This looks like a job for: Paco Enterprises - The Next Generation.

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 11:54 AM • permalink

  6. 4. Wonderful.

    Posted by chinesearithmetic on 2006 06 07 at 12:06 PM • permalink

  7. I simply cannot get past Quiggin’s photo. The “beard” is almost certainly
    Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), and should be treated with some kind of copper-based herbicide. Incidentally, I don’t know how it is with people, but the presence of Spanish moss on oak trees frquently indicates that the tree is in decline.

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 12:09 PM • permalink

  8. there’s no such thing as a “balance of energy”. What (I think) he meant was: we have altered the proportion of absorbed energy versus reflected energy from the sun.

    Posted by daddy dave on 2006 06 07 at 12:09 PM • permalink

  9. #2 -

    You know, if the Martian environment is so delicate that simply reflecting a bit more heat (in all directions) could melt that planet’s caps, terraforming should be a breeze - and cost maybe $9.99, after transport charges.

    Posted by BrendaK on 2006 06 07 at 12:34 PM • permalink

  10. the Earth radiates energy to the rest of the universe

    And the universe radiates it back.  In spades.  What’s the frickin’ point here?

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 06 07 at 12:53 PM • permalink

  11. Um, what exactly is wrong with anything Lambert said?

    If you like, it can be explained as “the Earth is radiating more heat away from it”. This would avoid reference to “the rest of the universe”, which seems to be causing you issues. But where else are you expecting the heat to go?

    Stick to picking political fights, you usually win those.

    Posted by ChrisV on 2006 06 07 at 01:18 PM • permalink

  12. I think it would be better to speak of energy flux than energy balance. However, as the amount of energy in the rest of the universe is in fact constant , balance is a technically correct word.

    Posted by Nathan on 2006 06 07 at 01:18 PM • permalink

  13. #11 Chris: Just a guess, but I think the comments are not entirely unrelated to something Al Gore said about us (humans, that is) altering the balance of the universe, or some such thing. If Lambert is saying that the universe is “altered” to the extent that there is a change in the radiation emitted and/or reflected by the earth, that may well be true, but the point is, why would that be relevant in a cosmic sense?

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 01:47 PM • permalink

  14. “the Earth is radiating more heat away from it”

    “the rest of the universe”

    As in this list of galaxies?

    Abell 1835 IR1916
    AM 0644-741
    Andromeda Galaxy (M31/NGC 224)
    Andromeda I
    Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038/NGC 4039)
    Aquarius Dwarf
    Black Eye Galaxy (M64/NGC 4826)
    Bode’s Galaxy (M81/NGC 3031)
    Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy
    Carina Dwarf
    Centaurus A Galaxy
    Cigar Galaxy (M82/NGC 3034)
    Circinus Galaxy
    Draco Dwarf
    Dwingeloo 1
    Dwingeloo 2
    Fornax Dwarf
    Hoag’s object (a ring galaxy)
    Huchra’s Lens
    HVC 127-41-330
    IC 10
    IC 1613
    I Zwicky 18
    Large Magellanic Cloud
    Leo I (dwarf galaxy)
    LGS 3
    M49
    M58
    M59
    M60
    M61
    M65
    M66
    M74 (NGC 628)
    M77
    M84
    M85
    M86
    M87 (Virgo A Galaxy)
    M88
    M89
    M90
    M91
    M94
    M95
    M96
    M98
    M99
    M100 (NGC 4321)
    M102
    M105
    M106
    M108
    M109
    M110 (NGC 205)
    M32 (NGC 221)
    M61 (NGC 4303)
    Maffei I
    Maffei II
    Milky Way Galaxy - home galaxy of Earth, satellites
    NGC 1
    NGC 2
    NGC 3
    NGC 55
    NGC 185
    NGC 147
    NGC 300
    NGC 404
    NGC 891
    NGC 1275
    NGC 1569
    NGC 1705
    NGC 2043
    NGC 2403
    NGC 3109
    NGC 3184
    NGC 3370
    NGC 3628
    NGC 3982
    NGC 4395
    NGC 4414
    NGC 4555
    NGC 4565
    NGC 4881
    NGC 5078
    NGC 5195
    NGC 6822 (Barnards galaxy)
    NGC 7331
    NGC 7742
    Pegasus Dwarf
    Phoenix Dwarf
    Pinwheel Galaxy (M101/NGC 5457)
    RXJ1242-11
    Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy
    Sculptor Dwarf
    Sextans A
    Sextans Dwarf
    Small Magellanic Cloud
    Sombrero Galaxy (M104)
    Southern Pinwheel Galaxy (M83/NGC 5236)
    Spindle Galaxy
    Spindle Galaxy in Draco (NGC 5866, possibly M102)
    Spindle Galaxy in Sextans (NGC 3115)
    Spiral Galaxy ESO 269-57
    Starfish Galaxy (NGC 6240)
    Sunflower Galaxy (M63)
    Triangulum Galaxy (M33/NGC 598)
    Tucana Dwarf
    Ursa Minor Dwarf
    VIRGOHI21
    Virgo Stellar Stream
    Whirlpool Galaxy (M51/NGC 5194)
    Willman 1
    Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte (WLM)

    WOW, are we bad or what?....:). One thing, isn’t the Whirlpool Galaxy the place they make appliances?

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 02:14 PM • permalink

  15. #13 paco: Well yeah, hit the link. The whole Lambert post was in response to a Blair post attacking Gore’s statement. The point obviously is that the EARTH is altered by radiative forcing.

    Maybe Gore phrased it in a bit of a clumsy and grandiose way, but so what? It’s a bit cheap to try to use the way a statement was phrased to make it seem ridiculous, when actually the concept Gore was getting at is quite simple and not esoteric or unmeasurable in the slightest.

    I honestly can’t tell whether Blair understood the concept and is just making fun of the way Lambert was talking, or whether he just didn’t get it.

    Posted by ChrisV on 2006 06 07 at 02:17 PM • permalink

  16. Cigar Galaxy....him, does Al’s pal Bill know of this?

    ALL Dwarf Galaxies are politically incorrect in name. This has been corrected, TO Little People Galaxies.

    Dwingeloo 1
    Dwingeloo 2

    Belong to OZ….:).

    Large Magellanic Cloud

    The absolutely most unimaginatively named Galaxy, I mean even NGC 4565 has more panache.

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 02:27 PM • permalink

  17. ....him, was to be…hmm. Geez, must be all the Galaxy fumes…:).

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 02:29 PM • permalink

  18. Large Magellanic Cloud

    The absolutely most unimaginatively named Galaxy, I mean even NGC 4565 has more panache.

    Posted by El Cid

    Even more absoutely than the Small Magllanic Cloud?

    Posted by lmassie on 2006 06 07 at 02:33 PM • permalink

  19. “clumsy and grandiose”

    That’s kind of the point with Gore

    And fair comment

    Posted by procrustes on 2006 06 07 at 02:34 PM • permalink

  20. Even more absoutely than the Small Magllanic Cloud?

    Absolutely! It also would include the in between sized, Medium Magellanic Cloud .

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 02:40 PM • permalink

  21. So if the earth is radiating away more heat than is absorbed from space, then we MUST have a perpetual motion machine operating on the planet somewhere.

    PAAAACCCCCOOOO.

    Posted by Rob Read on 2006 06 07 at 02:41 PM • permalink

  22. What BS. As daddy dave said, there’s no such thing as a “balance of energy” when describing the energy relationship between the Earth and the sun (much less the rest of the universe). But remember, Gore’s book “Earth in the Balance” makes swampies think everything MUST be in balance or Mama Gaia has a hissy.

    Posted by Some0Seppo on 2006 06 07 at 02:54 PM • permalink

  23. Hmmmm.

    Some bloggers presume detailed awareness of events in countries they’ve never visited, but only Lambert claims precise down-to-the-decimal-point knowledge of the entire universe.

    I posted a comment there.

    Frankly this concept is utterly insane.  So what if the earth radiates energy?  It couldn’t possibly affect any substantial volume of space.  This is like the same silly argument that shining a flashlight into the night sky will result in a photon eventually reaching the far edge of the universe.  Sure it could happen in some crazy insane anything-is-possible fashion.  But so what?

    Frankly if it’s a big deal that the Earth can radiate energy out to the universe, then this mechanism cannot be restricted to the Earth itself and must instead be a property of all planets.  And if the energy radiated by the Earth can actually affect the **universe**, then all of that energy radiating from the trillions of other planets in the **universe** must be affecting the Earth.

    Well what do we have here?  The source for global warming!

    It’s the radiated energy from other planets!

    What utter nonsense.  Frankly I have no idea how to properly express the utter contempt I feel for Tim Lambert and Al Bore.

    Posted by memomachine on 2006 06 07 at 02:57 PM • permalink

  24. I wasn’t able to post on Lamby’s blog, so here’s what a tried to write:

    “CL, it wasn’t stupid. It’s explained in the Wikipedia link. Energy arrives at the earth from the sun, but gets radiated out in all directions i.e. to the rest of the universe.”

    OK, Tim, listen close -

    We understand the concept. The problem is this - Al Gore said, “We are ... altering the balance of energy between our planet and the rest of the universe.” Now, he says this as if we should be concerned, yes? As if it is a problem, yes?

    Now, the universe is very, very big. And our planet is very, very small. In fact, I dare say that an “altered energy balance” caused by climate change would not have a deleterious effect on even the moon.

    Now do you see why Al Gore’s comment, and your defense of it, are absurd? It’s like me saying, “We as a nation need to lose weight, because we are altering the balance of gravity between each other.” It’s true, but it’s also utter nonsense. Which is a summary of globalwarmacoolichanging in general - discrete scientific facts used to spout utter nonsense.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2006 06 07 at 03:00 PM • permalink

  25. #21 Damn! H-e-l-p! I can’t turn the thing off!!!!

    #15 Chris: Maybe Al was referring to the effects on the Earth as opposed to the universe, but if one expects to be taken seriously on controversial matters - especially on matters that are a function of complex disciplines such as physics - I would think that making “clumsy and grandiose” statements is probably not the best way to establish credibility.

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 03:02 PM • permalink

  26. Hmmmmm.

    It’s like me saying, “We as a nation need to lose weight, because we are altering the balance of gravity between each other.”

    Frankly I think it’s more like:

    The Earth’s spin is in danger of becoming unbalanced because someone in Victoria has had a very big lunch.

    There is a very serious level of insanity on the part of the left.

    Posted by memomachine on 2006 06 07 at 03:03 PM • permalink

  27. Hit the balnce button, paco, hit the balnce button!

    Posted by andycanuck on 2006 06 07 at 03:09 PM • permalink

  28. #27: Whew!. Thanks, Andy. So, does it feel cooler yet? I think it’s cooler.

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 03:11 PM • permalink

  29. Not having the stomach for Gore, I’m not sure what he is on about exactly but from memory,  the global warming croud are claiming that additional atmospheric CO2 has trapped an additional 1.5 watts/m2 over the Earth’s surface, hence the Earth will get hotter and hotter until solar imput and re-radiation back into space equalize again.  It’s not utter nonsense. Whether it’s true is another story.  Also, the effect of 1.5 W/M2 is open to debate, but if true the Earth will warm up.

    Posted by lmassie on 2006 06 07 at 03:16 PM • permalink

  30. what balance??...the earth is absorbing more energy these days and is getting warmer…it only gets to throw more radiation into space compared to the old cold days…20 years ago

    Posted by embutler on 2006 06 07 at 03:41 PM • permalink

  31. From the global warming nazi’s bible, the Wikipedia:

    “Total solar output is now measured to vary (over the last two 11-year sunspot cycles) by approximately 0.1%[2][3] or about 1.3 W/m² peak-to-trough of the 11 year sunspot cycle.”

    Further on the same page, it says this:

    “The number of sunspots correlates with the intensity of solar radiation. The variation is small (of the order of 1 W/m² or 0.1% of the total)”

    Wikipedia on Solar Variation

    I don’t know which it is. Maybe Lambert can come over to this site and perform his special brand of wikipedia exegis. This is why the Wiki is worthless in a debate like this. But I digress.

    Taking the Wikipedia at face value, solar variation as measured over the past twenty years is “small” but a carbon dioxide effect of similar magnitude will destroy the planet unless we abandon capitalism now. Is that about right?

    Posted by moptop on 2006 06 07 at 04:09 PM • permalink

  32. Yes, but the increase in reflected energy is all the lefty’s fault.  It that damn tin foil wrapped around their skulls.

    Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2006 06 07 at 04:11 PM • permalink

  33. Come on guys, any of you ever take a science course?  Hopefully Tim’s only point was made in #25.

    Posted by lmassie on 2006 06 07 at 04:14 PM • permalink

  34. I love that he posted the “None Like It Hot!” bit from Futurama to support his argument.  Funny as hell, but not exactly scientific.

    In fact, it looks more like Mr. Lambert is auditioning for membership in Al’s other guest bit on Futurama - the Vice Presidential Action Rangers, “a group of nerds whose sole duty is to protect the space-time continuum.”

    Fry: I thought your sole duty was to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

    Al: That, and protect the space-time continuum!  READ the CONSTITUTION!

    Yes, it was Al doing his own voice.  He still has his sense of humor.

    Posted by Nightfly on 2006 06 07 at 04:15 PM • permalink

  35. The noble pursuit of knowlege and understanding on this issue has been utterly corrupted by politics.

    Posted by chrisgo on 2006 06 07 at 04:27 PM • permalink

  36. This is so inane I scarcely know where to begin. For starters, the Earth radiates exactly as much energy into space as it receives from the sun. It has to—it’s in thermal equilibrium.

    1.5 W/m^2 is a thousandth of solar flux. It’s a minuscule number.

    Lambert is a goon.

    Posted by David Gillies on 2006 06 07 at 04:40 PM • permalink

  37. OZ, they think you have won the ‘OLDESTDerby...

    Australian Mounds May Be Three-Billion-Year-Old Fossils.

    WASHINGTON — Odd-shaped mounds of dirt in Australia turn out to be fossils of the oldest life on Earth, created by billions of microbes more than 3 billion years ago, scientists say in a new report.

    AP via Fox News

    Probably dead leftist microbes, huh? Good on ya’ OZ, knew you could do it…:).

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 04:45 PM • permalink

  38. Tim, Not real sure why you’ve put this up. The phrase; we have altered the balnce (sic) of energy between earth and the rest of the universe by 1.5 W/m2 is a concise way of describing a net heat gain/loss to the Earth system.  May or may not be true, but it’s the right way to describe it.

    Not quite, Imassie.  Earth is radiating 1.5 W/m2, that’s true enough.  But Lambert is using that as proof that global warming is a problem.  For example, Lambert stated:

    Didn’t you understand the wikipedia page I linked to? It tells you that the radiative forcing from increased CO2 is about +1.5 Watts per square metre. Or, in other words, we have altered the balance of energy between earth and the rest of the universe by 1.5 W/m2.

    Correct fact, wrong application, bad logic. Most of that energy comes from the sun (a little from the planetary core).  The greenhouse effect does not create energy; it traps energy, like a blanket of insulation.  The sun has a much higher impact on the universe than Earth….and that ain’t much.

    Therefore, assuming that global warming is a problem, human impact (if any) on the universe is nil. 

    And even if Gore was employing hyperbole, it was terrible hyperbole, something that a presidential hopeful should know better to do.  Especially after his “digital brownshirts” rant a few years back.

    This level of stupidity tells me that a rock is more intelligent that Lambert.  Gore is not much better.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 06 07 at 04:55 PM • permalink

  39. Come on guys, any of you ever take a science course?  Hopefully Tim’s only point was made in #25.

    Yep.  Several of them, in fact.  I’m not a scientist, but I have some small grasp of science.

    BTW, this is
    my reply to Tim Lambert’s idiocy.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 06 07 at 04:59 PM • permalink

  40. #37: Odd-shaped mounds of dirt in Australia turn out to be fossils of the oldest life on Earth, created by billions of microbes more than 3 billion years ago, scientists say in a new report.

    Wronwright, Stoop Davy, they found our old latrines!

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 05:00 PM • permalink

  41. “1.5 W/m^2 is a thousandth of solar flux. It’s a minuscule number.

    Lambert is a goon. ” —post of the day.

    Lambert is a ‘scientist.’ A “computer scientist” as he avers on his blog. Data from Star Treck NG is a computer scientist, a fictional one, since there is no other kind. Lambert teaches a trade.

    Posted by moptop on 2006 06 07 at 05:05 PM • permalink

  42. It’s not on the menu, and you have to ask for it: The Short Magellanic Cloud.

    Posted by ErnieG on 2006 06 07 at 05:56 PM • permalink

  43. The sun radiates energy with hits the earth. Some of that energy radiates energy back to the universe.  Okay at this point we are all agreed.

    If global warming is preventing some of the earths radiation escaping out to the universe, then that must mean there is less of the earth’s radiation hitting the sun. Therefore the sun must be getting cooler and not radiating as much back to earth, thus keeping everything in balance.

    Posted by Zoidberg on 2006 06 07 at 06:27 PM • permalink

  44. Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing!!!!! 

    And the winner is….ZOIDBERG!!!!!

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 06 07 at 06:40 PM • permalink

  45. ErnieG

    It’s not on the menu, and you have to ask for it: The Short Magellanic Cloud.

    Excellent ErnieG….Love it….LOL.

    There are damn few things that I’m really serious about and those, I’d kill for. To old to join anything…but with the U.S., The Brits, OZ, and Canada, just to mention a few, having “homegrown jihadis”, I just may get my shots in, so to speak of course….:).

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 06:47 PM • permalink

  46. Could someone explain to me why Wikipedia (more like wankipedia) is used as evidence for this argument?  As Wikipedia says in its introduction:

    Wikipedia is an encyclopedia written collaboratively by many of its readers. It uses a special type of website, called a wiki, that makes collaboration easy. Lots of people are constantly improving Wikipedia, making thousands of changes an hour, all of which are recorded on article histories and recent changes.

    Where is the authority in that?  Readers post stuff and Wikipedia writes it down as truth; Post-modernism at work.

    Looks like I can now tell the world about the little people living in my fernery.  It will be in Wikipedia so it will all be true. 

    I should write I have a million dollars as well then that will be true too.

    Posted by youngy on 2006 06 07 at 07:21 PM • permalink

  47. Re earth and its heat (otherwise known as the earth’s thermal budget).

    David Gillies - agree with paras 2 & 3, not your first.

    Earth’s heat = [residual energy from planetary formation (eg liquid metal core) + heat from radio active decay (small per volume, v large in total) + energy from impactites + solar flux] - [heat radiated to space + energy lost from dust & gas escape + reflected energy] ...or thereabouts.  The earth is cooling from a net energy perspective - always has and always will until it gets gobbled up by the Sun turning into a red dwarf in a few billion years time.

    Lambert was rabbiting on about reflected solar radiation which is interesting, but nonesense with respect of his argument.

    Our host Tim I think also got the wrong end of the stick (but it was a pointless stick proffered) - the earth does lose net energy (incl heat) to space - but it always has, and so what?

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 07 at 07:37 PM • permalink

  48. On the subject of the utter worthlessness of the Wikipedia

    There is a long article that carefully explains how sunspot cycles relate to the total output of the Sun. Then there is a graph.

    Click on the link and see if you can spot the fraud.


    The scale on the sunspot activity for recent decades is set to a maximum of 300, where it is set to 250 for the rest of the history. This makes recent solar activity appear 20% smaller than it really was, masking that the Sun has recently gotten hotter. Honest mistake? I kind of doubt it.

    Posted by moptop on 2006 06 07 at 07:40 PM • permalink

  49. El Cid @ 37

    That Fox news story is gormless.  I haven’t seen the original Nature article but surely to God somewhere the authors must have acknowledged that the “theory” that the mounds at Shark Bay in Western Australia are fossil algal colonies is decades old and almost universally accepted as fact for just as long.

    I guess the authors sexed up a press release just to get the attention of the vacuous press & it worked.

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 07 at 07:43 PM • permalink

  50. #37: Odd-shaped mounds of dirt in Australia turn out to be fossils of the oldest life on Earth, created by billions of microbes more than 3 billion years ago, scientists say in a new report.

    #40 Wronwright, Stoop Davy, they found our old latrines!—posted by paco

    paco, we wouldn’t have gone back to 3 million BCE if it wasn’t for your flipping the chronotron accelerator 64 times when you thought it was the loo handle.  And naturally, when we got there the Tardis powered down for 48 hours.  Being stuck 3 millions years back in the past, no food, no accomodations, just paco and SDD as company, is not my idea of a fun adventure.

    Posted by wronwright on 2006 06 07 at 07:51 PM • permalink

  51. Re Quiggin: Check out this demolision of his “economic thinking”:

    Savings, jobs and Professor Quiggin’s bad economics

    Posted by niobium2000 on 2006 06 07 at 07:57 PM • permalink

  52. So if the earth is radiating away more heat than is absorbed from space, then we MUST have a perpetual motion machine operating on the planet somewhere.

    SOMEONE left the TARDIS idling in ‘Park’ again…

    Ah, humanity!  We so bad, we baking JUPITER, man!

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 06 07 at 07:58 PM • permalink

  53. SCD

    I guess the authors sexed up a press release just to get the attention of the vacuous press & it worked.

    Why the dirty bastards…:).

    Ummmm, paco, wron, SDD….your latrine story, just turned to shit…LOL.

    Posted by El Cid on 2006 06 07 at 08:18 PM • permalink

  54. Re #48: the scales on that graph are odd, moptop.  There aren’t any wild variations in the graph, so the sudden change is bizarre.  Hard to think that is accidental, especially since NASA’s version of the graph uses a vertical scale of 300 throughout the plot.

    As to using Wikipedia…..I try not to, but it’s one of the few encyclopedias that can be linked to.  I don’t always use it, as I read the article first to see if there are such mistakes.  As an example, I’ve found that anything related to global warming is suspect.  Basic science (e.g., the solar system, electronics) tends to be OK.

    But, yeah, a large grain of salt is called for when using Wikipedia.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 06 07 at 08:40 PM • permalink

  55. When using wikipedia it’s always a good idea to browse the discussion page for any entry. Sometimes it then becomes clear that there’s an ideological war being waged on that entry.

    Posted by SteveGW on 2006 06 07 at 08:56 PM • permalink

  56. Earth First!


    We’ll “do” the other planets later…

    Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 06 07 at 09:09 PM • permalink

  57. The sun is getting hotter.

    Wh’da thunk.

    I suppose the earth’s axis has been changed by the number of people on earth, you know, unbalancing it…

    Posted by kae on 2006 06 07 at 09:10 PM • permalink

  58. #50: Well, listening to you play “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree” on the kazoo for several days on end was no treat, let me tell you.

    Say, O/T, wronwright, but about this “german shepherd” you sold me. Are you sure he’s not a Tasmanian wolf? I named him Rudolph, but he only seems to answer to “Bogan”, and I never saw a german sheperd with stripes before. And the papers you gave me on his pedigree turned out to be old invoices for intergallactic Turtle Wax. Something smells here, and it’s not just the dog.

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 07 at 11:04 PM • permalink

  59. Re #31 (moptop): I posted a response to this at Lambert’s blog but in case you miss it, I’ll repeat the gist of it here.

    Basically, what you have fallen victim to is a mistake that I once made too…and that is failing to account for a factor of 4 correction that one must make when converting from the solar constant to the top-of-the-atmosphere solar radiation.  This factor of 4 is due to the fact that the surface area of the earth (or any other sphere) is 4 pi times its radius squared but the cross-sectional area of the sphere is only pi times its radius squared.  [Another way to look at it is that although 1366 W/m2 will be hitting one side of the earth, none will be hitting the other…which means you are down by a factor of 2.  Furthermore, the radiation hitting the sunny side of the earth doesn’t hit perpendicularly but rather hits at a variety of angles, which then turns out to knock things down by another factor of 2.]

    At any rate, at the end of the day, the top-of-the-atmosphere number to use for the variations in the solar cycle would be about 0.3 W/m^2 rather than 1.3 W/m^2.  Furthermore, these are the 11-year cyclical peak-to-trough variations and the evidence is that any longer-term trends (on the scale of decades to century) are probably even less than this.

    This is why the 1.5 W/m^2 forcing due to greenhouse gases is very significant in comparison to the variations in the solar forcing.

    Posted by jshore on 2006 06 07 at 11:09 PM • permalink

  60. I never use Wikipedia for anything technical.  However, it is useful when you want to find out some things, like for instance, what “milf” means.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 06 07 at 11:21 PM • permalink

  61. RebeccaH — Watching American Pie would have been more fun.

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 06 08 at 12:22 AM • permalink

  62. “We as a nation need to lose weight, because we are altering the balance of gravity between each other.”

    Dude! That’s not gravity, man!  It’s like, AMERIKKA SUX!

    </seanpenn>

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 06 08 at 12:27 AM • permalink

  63. How drunk do you have to be to name an entire galaxy “Dwingeloo?”  Twice?

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 06 08 at 12:29 AM • permalink

  64. #5 paco, is your corporation listed and can I get stock?

    Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 06 08 at 12:32 AM • permalink

  65. Jshore, where did you get the figure “1.5 W/m^2” to begin with? It doesn’t seem to be sourced anywhere.

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 12:35 AM • permalink

  66. May or may not be true, but it’s the right way to describe it.

    I saw a bacteria alter the balance of a see-saw, once.  I mean, it didn’t actually move but he altered its balance…

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 06 08 at 01:24 AM • permalink

  67. Jshore,

    Has Lambert smeared and libelled you yet?

    Posted by niobium2000 on 2006 06 08 at 02:24 AM • permalink

  68. Hmmm, well i graduated from high school in both chemistry and physics and think i can usually pick up on the basics of a scinetific topic pretty well, but i was none the wiser after that wikipedia radiative forcing discussion…  (what a BS name for it anyway)...

    i mean i could watch that BBC doco on Global dimming recently and understand all that, clouds reflecting heat back into space is balancing global warming, shifting weather patterns and stuff, but that wiki article was mostly just gobbildy gook…

    Posted by casanova on 2006 06 08 at 02:59 AM • permalink

  69. Say, O/T, wronwright, but about this “german shepherd” you sold me. Are you sure he’s not a Tasmanian wolf? I named him Rudolph, but he only seems to answer to “Bogan”, and I never saw a german sheperd with stripes before. And the papers you gave me on his pedigree turned out to be old invoices for intergallactic Turtle Wax. Something smells here, and it’s not just the dog.—Posted by paco

    You mean like Lady, the Tasmanian wolf that Andrea owns?  The one she is very fond of, almost as much as those paddles she polishes on a daily basis?  I’m thinking it’s not.  But please be careful when you feed her.  She’s extremely carnivorous (like her former master) and would easily take your arm off if you’re not cautious in feeding her koalas and kangaroos.

    Posted by wronwright on 2006 06 08 at 06:10 AM • permalink

  70. Man, the big ol’ sweaty earth is such a cosmic bully…

    Who gets to name the galaxies?  I’m pretty sure Cynthia McKinney would think those names are sexist and racist.

    Posted by ushie on 2006 06 08 at 06:45 AM • permalink

  71. jshore,

    Does a similar adjustment apply to the Solar Constant itself? If not, why not? Why give a number as a percentage of another number when they are apples and oranges, as you say.

    the evidence is that any longer-term trends (on the scale of decades to century) are probably even less than this

    Exactly what evidence would that be? A link would be helpful. The sunspot activity varies considerabaly. I really would like to know.

    I just take the Wikipedia at face value for the sake of argument because pointing out its errors, distortions, and slight of hand is good sport. Lambert the “Computer Scientist” seems to use it as a primary source, at least in this risable post Tim referred to.

    To utterly dismiss arguments about Solar Variation, when we can see that variations in the solar cycle, based on sunspot numbers correlate pretty well with macro trends in temperature, indicates that there is possibly something wrong with the models.

    (see my post above for Wikipedia’s dishonest presentation of those numbers).

    Using the UN’s numbers when billions of dollars are at stake is also indefensable. This is the same UN that spent the years between the Gulf wars subverting their own sanctions for private profit of UN insiders and political leaders and their cronies in Europe.

    Posted by moptop on 2006 06 08 at 08:13 AM • permalink

  72. I just ate a pie. Please ask one of your American blogger friends to also eat a pie, or the earth’s gravitational field will be thrown out of balance, making the earth crash into the sun.

    No, no, no!  Don’t eat pie!  Eat a banana split with HOT FUDGE!!!!

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 06 08 at 09:14 AM • permalink

  73. Actually, I thought about it and answered my own question on the first one. I have to concede your point of 1/4 scale. The rest of the questions still obtain however.

    If there has been less variation over the centuries than that measured over the past twenty years, how do you explain the correlation between solar output and sunspot cycles, and the variablity of those cycles?

    Posted by moptop on 2006 06 08 at 09:51 AM • permalink

  74. #64 Nilknarf: Unfortunately, due to the lack of progressive vision exhibited by organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Better Business Bureau and Interpol, shares in Paco Enterprises are not currently listed on a domestic stock exchange (if you happen to be planning a trip to Andorra or Bulgaria, on the other hand, it’s a different story). However, don’t despair! If you’ll let me know where you live, I can arrange to have one of my, er, brokers make the exchange of shares for cash at anytime after midnight, preferably under cover of a heavy fog during a general power outage.

    Posted by paco on 2006 06 08 at 09:52 AM • permalink

  75. Moptop, sorry for butting in here, but there actually is something to all this. It takes a bit to explain, though.

    The earth, which is not a system in the usual use of the term, absorbs energy and at the same time radiates energy. Since Gore doesn’t actually understand any of this, he calls this a “balance of the energy between Earth and the rest of the universe,” which I am pretty sure was a phrase from El Santo vs. The Martian Invasion. Since Lambert doesn’t understand it either, he parrots Gore.

    The Earth is warmed up almost entirely from the sun, although its own radioactive core adds a small, but measurable amount to this. Starshine and reflected light from the moon and planets add a bit more, but obviously it’s a very tiny number.

    If the Earth radiates more energy than it receives, then it should get cooler. If it radiates less energy then it receives, it’s getting hotter. Fine so far.

    A claim has been made that every square meter of the Earth is radiating 1.5 W/m^2 less than it receives and generates. This is the claim I’m trying to track down to its source, because if it is true, than it could, legitimately, be a problem. However, I suspect it was simply made up.

    Now, this is where their lack of understanding trips them up. They should not be talking about “1.5 W/m^2”; they should be talking about the total energy being emitted by the Earth. But never mind that.

    This total energy allegedly being absorbed by the entire Earth would be 1.5 x the surface area of the Earth, which is 4 x Pi x (Re^2) where Re is the radius of Earth in meters.

    The biggest single factor in adding energy to the Earth is the heat of the sun. This is alleged to vary, as you point out, by 1.3 W/m^2. This sounds like the same units being discussed for the amount of energy being radiated by the Earth, but it is a different sphere, centered on the Sun and not on the Earth’s core.

    And so the effect we’re really interested in—how much does the energy reaching the Earth vary—is equal to 1.3 x Pi x (Re^2), which is 1/4 the amount, give or take, alleged to be absorbed by the Earth.

    However, from the way Lambert and Jshore are explaining it, it is pretty clear they don’t understand this issue. You have to take what they say and work backwards to make sense of it. It’s as though someone who works four hours a day gets a raise of fifty cents an hour and announces “I am wealthier compared to the entire United States by 12 money-things a day!”

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 10:16 AM • permalink

  76. Sorry, moptop, my message crossed yours.

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 10:17 AM • permalink

  77. John Nowak:
    The Earth is warmed up almost entirely from the sun, although its own radioactive core adds a small, but measurable amount to this. Starshine and reflected light from the moon and planets add a bit more, but obviously it’s a very tiny number.

    This is utter rubbish.  Simple example: how much solar radiation do you think it would take to melt rocks that flow out of volcanoes?

    Perhaps you meant to say “The earth’s atmosphere is warmed up….” ?

    The earth’s core isn’t “radioactive” - in as much as that may imply that earth’s mantle & crust isn’t radioactive.  We haven’t seen samples of the core or outer core but samples from the mantle are found on the surface of the earth and have been analysed in large numbers.  The heat produced by radioactivity in the volume of the earth is considerable.

    The molten outer core is residual energy from the earth’s formation, probably not through radioactive decay, and it too contributes to net heat flow at the surface.

    rant/off

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 08 at 10:33 AM • permalink

  78. Gotcha. The earth’s core isn’t radioactive, but it is, but it isn’t. Makes sense.

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 10:41 AM • permalink

  79. how much solar radiation do you think it would take to melt rocks that flow out of volcanoes?

    nice point SCD… it’s easy to forget how friggin hot it is just a few miles down below the surface. Easy, of course until a volcano erupts.

    Posted by daddy dave on 2006 06 08 at 11:09 AM • permalink

  80. This is utter rubbish.  Simple example: how much solar radiation do you think it would take to melt rocks that flow out of volcanoes?

    I can light a match and set fire to paper. If I leave the paper out in the sun, it doesn’t catch fire. You would therefore argue the match puts out more energy than the sun.

    Anyway, this article

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18725103.700.html

    includes

    Measurements of the temperature gradients across rocks in mines and boreholes have led geologists to estimate that the planet is internally generating between 30 and 44 terawatts of heat.

    or, 30 x 10^12W - 44 x 10^12W. Obviously this is a very imprecise estimate, but if you have a different number, let’s hear it.

    The Earth has a radius of about 6.5 million meters, and the solar constant at earth’s orbit is about 1400 W/m^2. So, the energy absorbed by the Earth from the Sun is PI x Re^2 x 1400 or 1.9 x 10^17W or 190000 terawatts.

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 11:14 AM • permalink

  81. This is probably a dead thread, but I’ve just gotten into the office.
    #77 I would have thought residual heat from the Earth’s formation would have dissipated by now.  Do have a source I could link to?
    #38 Rael Jeff Your criticism of my previous comment was correct, thanks.
    #72 Aussie pies and American pies are not the same thing, so we’ve done screwed up the ballance thing.

    Posted by lmassie on 2006 06 08 at 11:40 AM • permalink

  82. Imassie, the link I put above

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18725103.700.html

    is pretty much about the energy generated by the Earth.

    The most striking thing to me in the article is the enormous uncertainty that presently exists on the subject. Earth’s total internal heat is estimated to be between 30-44 terawatts (an enormous spread) and describes a recent estimate that about 24 terawatts of that might be from radiation.

    It’s even more interesting than that, because the high end of estimate of the amount of heat produced by radiation is actually 60 terawatts, which is substantially higher than the total amount estimated to come out of the core!

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 11:53 AM • permalink

  83. John, mate:

    I can light a match and set fire to paper. If I leave the paper out in the sun, it doesn’t catch fire. You would therefore argue the match puts out more energy than the sun.

    You might, I wouldn’t. 

    I was addressing your comment:

    The Earth is warmed up almost entirely from the sun, although its own radioactive core adds a small, but measurable amount to this. Starshine and reflected light from the moon and planets add a bit more, but obviously it’s a very tiny number.

    ...especially the first phrase, and in particular:  “warmed up”.  Take a nearby chunk of rock hanging in space that doen’t have a molten core.  The moon.  It’s exposed to the sun and without the benefit of filtering atmosphere.  Has it been
    “warmed up” (as a body, not the surface) over the last couple of billion years??

    Like I said, I think you meant to refer to the earth’s atmosphere or maybe the top metre of the earth’s crust as being “warmed up” by the sun.  But not the earth.

    Gotcha. The earth’s core isn’t radioactive, but it is, but it isn’t. Makes sense.

    Point taken.  It was a bit of a blather but the qualification should have made it less so.

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 08 at 12:11 PM • permalink

  84. Imassie @ #81
    #77 I would have thought residual heat from the Earth’s formation would have dissipated by now.  Do have a source I could link to?

    Sorry, no.  As a rule I don’t ‘do’ links or rely on the internet for information in my field.  I just rely on a solid Uni education (pre and post grad) and 30 years in Earth Science to allow me to give an opinion on matters geoscientific.

    ‘Most’ of the heat of formation of the earth has dissapated by now.  The crust and mantle are both mostly solid (and volumetrically the vast majority of the earth).  Geophysical evidence is very strong that there is still a liquid metallic outer core in the earth. 

    I have a feeling I don’t fundamentally disagree with John Nowack but I saw a silly statement (probably more clumsy than ignorant) and went for the keyboard!!

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 08 at 12:20 PM • permalink

  85. SCD
    So, since the core is molten Iron and Iron doesn’t have an isotope, it’s molten because of redidual heat?

    Posted by lmassie on 2006 06 08 at 01:10 PM • permalink

  86. Imassie - Basically, yes is my understanding.  I think iron does have isotopes but not ones that decay radioactively.

    Earth a white to red hot mass (origin I think still contentious); begins to cool and differentiates into crude layers based on gravity (+ forces imposed by rotation) and the differing temperature of crystallisation of various rock forming minerals.  Outer layers cool fastest; some material sinks as it cools, gets re-melted and re-differentiates/sinks/floats via gravity etc; recycling & differentiation goes on & on.  The crust today is essentially the frothy scum of the lithosphere (LOL).

    Iron being heavy (compared to aluminium, oxygen & silica, the other abundant elements at formation) tended to sink & settle most - eventually formed core materials.

    Stayed hotter longer due to insulation of surrounding solid mantle & crust.

    My old geology and geophysics profs would no doubt be turning on their graves (or spinning on their axes!) with that trite little explanation.  Apologies to any current practioners in the field!!

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 08 at 01:34 PM • permalink

  87. moptop (#73):  I am glad that you agree with me now on the factor of 4.  Actually, though, as Tim Lambert has pointed out in a comment on his website, in addition to dividing that solar constant by 4, you also have to multiply it by the earth’s 1 minus the earth’s albedo, or 0.7, which represents the fraction of the solar energy that is absorbed rather than reflected.  So, that knocks the solar part down even a bit more.

    As to the correlation between sunspots and the temperature variations, actually there were a couple of recent papers showing that this correlation is not actually as good as it is purported to be…so it could be in large part coincidence.  However, even if the correlation is real (and noone doubts that the sun was one of the major drivers of climate [if not the major driver] before we started putting significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere), the correlation breaks down after about 1980, with the temperature rising rapidly while the sunspot cycle length stuff does not predict that it should.

    As for your claims of fraud on that graph going up to 250 or 300 in the different panels, another explanation than “fraud” is much more plausible.  Many plotting programs including the one that I use will scale the axes automatically to accomodate the range in the data.  Since the bottom panel was the only one that had data going above 250, the automatic scaling changed for that panel.  I agree that it would be better if all the axes ranges were forced to be equal but to call this fraud is a bit ridiculous.

    And, as for the U.N., just because that organization has some problems does not mean that everything that is in any way associated with it has no credibility.  After all, the U.S. is associated with the U.N.  At any rate, the IPCC conclusions have been endorsed by many organizations including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

    Re #75 (John Nowak): I have no idea why you think your explanation is so superior to mine.  But, hey, whatever works for you.  We agree on the result.

    Posted by jshore on 2006 06 08 at 01:35 PM • permalink

  88. SCD Thanks,
    I did a 5 second Google and found 4 isotopes of Iron, as you said.  One had a half life of 3.1E22 years, whatever that is.
    I do remember seeing an article stating that the Earth formed as a cold dry lump and that radioactive decay caused it to heat up and all the other things you describe. Course I remembered Iron’s lack of isotopes too. Might have to change to a better single malt soon.

    Posted by lmassie on 2006 06 08 at 02:00 PM • permalink

  89. You might, I wouldn’t.

    You did. You claimed that volcanos proved that the Earth generates more heat than it receives from the sun.

    ...especially the first phrase, and in particular:  “warmed up”.  Take a nearby chunk of rock hanging in space that doen’t have a molten core.  The moon.  It’s exposed to the sun and without the benefit of filtering atmosphere.  Has it been
    “warmed up” (as a body, not the surface) over the last couple of billion years??

    How do you heat the surface of a body without heating the rest of it? Is there an insulating layer between the surface and the core? Can you explain this a little better?

    And, incidentally, according to Encarta, the Moon has a core temperature estimated as high as 1600 C.

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 02:40 PM • permalink

  90. Wait, hold on—I think I get it. You’re using “warmed up” to mean “significantly increase the temperature of” and I’m using it to mean “add energy to.” Sorry; flashing back to thermodynamics class.

    In that case, we’re just talking at cross purposes. I do not mean to say “the heat of the sun is melting the core of the Earth.” I mean “the earth receives energy from both the sun and from nuclear reactions in the core. The energy recieved from the sun is much higher.”

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 02:49 PM • permalink

  91. Re #75 (John Nowak): I have no idea why you think your explanation is so superior to mine.  But, hey, whatever works for you.  We agree on the result.

    Mine is better than yours because I understand the geometry behind it.

    Oh, by the way, I completely forgot to ask you: what is your source for the claim that the Earth is absorbing 1.5 W/m^2 more than it radiates?

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 03:02 PM • permalink

  92. JN @ #90

    Thanks for the interp but I still have problems with your phrasing, although now having gone back and read your post at 75 (having got past the ‘warmed up almost entirely from the sun’ bit), am not in fundamental disagreement.

    But I enjoy the occasional nit pick.

    .....  .....  .....

    Have now written 3 versions of extended nit pick, none of which are satisfactory so I’ll spare everyone the bother and go back to feeding my scorpions.

    Except for this:

    You claimed that volcanos proved that the Earth generates more heat than it receives from the sun.

    Why, I never!  I was using that example to show that there must be a thermal source in the earth of considerable greater strength than that provided by solar radiation.

    Now; Bessie, Millie, Tiddles…. time for lunch!

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 08 at 03:15 PM • permalink

  93. Thanks for the interp but I still have problems with your phrasing,

    Yes, me too. It’s a problem with my phrasing. It’s like this: if you boil an egg, take it out of the water, and hold it under a 60-Watt bulb, a thermo geek will say “the bulb is heating the egg.” A normal person would say, “the bulb is not warming the egg. In fact, the egg is getting colder.” The thermo geek will then respond “The fact the egg is getting colder does not change the fact the egg is being warmed by the bulb.” My bad for over-simplifying.

    However, I stand by the napkin-back estimates of how much energy the Earth receives: 190,000 terawatts from the Sun, and somewhere between 30-44 terawatts from the core. The mechanism the core uses to generate energy is in dispute, with radioactive decay very likely a component.

    Posted by John Nowak on 2006 06 08 at 03:45 PM • permalink

  94. Re #91:  I understand the geometry behind it too.  As noted, I explained it more clearly on Tim Lambert’s site.

    As for the 1.5 W/m2, actually that is a number that tells us the radiative forcing due to the extra CO2 that we have put into the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing ).  Technically speaking, it is not the difference between how much the earth absorbs from the sun and how much it radiates for a few reasons:

    (1) There are other greenhouse gases besides CO2 that push the radiative forcing up to 2.4 W/m2.

    (2) There are still other forcings.  The most notable is that due to sulfate aerosols that we have injected into the atmosphere that push the forcing down.  There is considerable uncertainty in this number.

    (3) The earth has partially adjusted to the forcing already by raising its temperature.  So, it is no longer as far out of radiative balance as it would be if the temperature had not risen.

    At the end of the day, I seem to recall the current out-of-balance number as being estimated at about 1 W/m2 although I say that from memory.  This measurement comes from a few recent papers that I believed inferred it from the change in the heat content of the ocean (which is where most of the excess heat that the earth is absorbing is going).

    Posted by jshore on 2006 06 08 at 04:12 PM • permalink

  95. By the way, here is one of the papers that I was thinking of: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/307/5716/1766

    His estimate of the current radiative imbalance is ~0.7 W/m2.  He notes that this in in rough accord with others although there is a fair bit of uncertainty.

    Posted by jshore on 2006 06 08 at 04:20 PM • permalink

  96. JRoff,
    Thanks for the info, I am not as certain as I once was. I wish though that you had included more information on the history of solar activity and how it can be shown to not correlate with temperature when there are so many unknowable forcings that must have been at play as well. It sounds like there were many assumptions made, and many factors held constant based on judgement.

    Wikipedia aught to be scrupulously honest and fair in their presentations on this matter. I design software(gee, does that make me a “computer scientist?”) with a major component of plotting measurements graphically, on which people base quick decisions. Scrupulous care is taken, and much discussion goes into ensuring that the scales are set so that metrics are accurately interpreted. There is no excuse for not immediately correcting such an error.

    As to the UN. I am sorry, but it has the credibility of a proven liar, they squandered it for filthy lucre. There is way too much money at stake to change hands between nations to trust them as a fair arbiter in this matter.

    Kyoto is little more than a tool to suck huge amounts of money out of the US and spread it around among other members of the UN who outvote us in that body.

    Posted by moptop on 2006 06 08 at 05:06 PM • permalink

  97. moptop: 
    Here and here are two PDF files of papers discussing purported correlations between solar activity and the climate.

    See also this article reprinted from the New Scientist.

    Posted by jshore on 2006 06 08 at 06:06 PM • permalink

  98. Hey Tex,

    If you’re in a charitable mood, you should share some of that pie with school kids. The Victorian and South Australian state governments are phasing out ‘unhealthy’ foods such as pies, soft drinks, lollies, and chips in schools:

    http://www.infowars.com/articles/science/aspartame_australia_forces_on_school_kids.htm

    Apparently, doctors want the ONLY liquid drunk in schools to be water. Anything else is unhealthy.

    I even came across a report about this creepy plan to change the diets of school kids where one of the advocates described it as ‘educational’.

    Posted by TimT on 2006 06 08 at 06:28 PM • permalink

  99. #93 JN I appreciate the egg analogy.

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 08 at 11:15 PM • permalink

  100. I never did get thermodynamics, although I recall appreciating the ?second law? where everything tended to maximum randomness.  A great excuse for many neglects.

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 06 08 at 11:17 PM • permalink

  101. 100 Stop

    I recall appreciating the ?second law? where everything tended to maximum randomness.

    We Discordians have a saying: “Entropy requires no maintenance.”

    Posted by Huck Foley on 2006 06 11 at 02:31 AM • permalink

  102. Quiggler says:

    “More interestingly, the government led by Tim’s UK namesake renationalised Railtrack, to widespread applause, a couple of years ago.”

    Is it actually possible that he doesn’t know HOW Railtrack was renationalised or that Railtrack shareholders were not compensated? Does he think the widespread applause was and is due to all the money the British government has had to continue pouring into it, all to absolutely no effect?

    Posted by JerryS on 2006 06 11 at 12:53 PM • permalink

  103. Page 1 of 1 pages

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