Friday, November 29, 2019


Thursday, November 28, 2019

                            WE'RE  VOTING LABOR,  BECAUSE

The “my front room” c omments policy

This site is intended to promote discussion about human society and its interaction with nature. It is written from a socialist standpoint. The focus is on ideas and interpretations: it is not a news or campaigning site. 

One key theme is that ruptures and breakdowns in the relationship between people and nature... should be seen not as the result of human activity in general, or the result of there being too many humans, but as the result of human activity carried out in particular social relations.

It is the capitalist social relations of the early 21st century that are producing the unsustainable economic madness.

Another key theme is that the way that capitalism may be superceded by movements towards socialism – without which the ruptures in the people-nature relationship are unlikely to be overcome – needs to be rethought, not least by socialists themselves...

The site aims to provoke discussion among socialists, but hopefully it is presented in such a way that others will read it too.

Discussion wanted
Please... treat the comments sections as you would my front room. Say what you think; tell us where you don’t agree.  Bigots of all types: get lost.

Climate science deniers, creationists and people concerned that giant purple frogs are eating Manchester: I don’t have the time.Take it elsewhere. Everyone else: let’s have a good conversation...

Comments that don’t conform to the “my front room” policy are deleted.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Bottles of Bordeaux Headed to the
 International Space Station for Aging Experiment
Researchers hypothesize one year in orbit could have an effect on the wine.
By Jelisa Castrodale

A couple of years ago, NASA conducted a first-of-its-kind study to help the agency understand how (or if) the human body could both adapt to and recover from a year spent in space...
Last week, a French entrepreneur and his Luxembourg-based startup literally launched their own NASA-approved study, but instead of splitting up a set of twins, they've divided two dozen bottles of wine, sending half of them to the ISS, while the other half stay here. The general idea is the same, though: Space Cargo Unlimited will wait twelve months, and then compare the wine that aged in space to the wine that didn't.

Both sets of bottles will be kept at a near-constant temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and they'll be untouched for the full year. The researchers have hypothesized that when the bottles are finally opened, there will be subtle taste differences between the two.

"We postulate that keeping these samples for a while on the ISS with this context of microgravity and micro-radiation could impact those bacterias and presumably it could have a positive impact," Professor Philippe Darriet, the experiment's science advisor and one of the University of Bordeaux-based researchers who will analyze the wine when it returns to earth, told Quartz.

Although these are the first bottles of wine to "boldly go…" and all that, it's not the first booze that has gone to space. Budweiser has conducted multiple experiments on the ISS, mostly to see how those conditions affect barley seeds during the malting process...

And in 2011, a vial of unmatured malt from the Ardbeg Scotch whisky distillery was sent to the ISS, and it ultimately spent three years in space. When Dr. Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s director of distilling, finally tasted it in 2017, it definitely sounded...uh...different, with notes of "antiseptic smoke, rubber and smoked fish," and an overall "meaty" aroma.

"When I nosed and tasted the space samples, it became clear that much more of Ardbeg’s smoky, phenolic character shone through—to reveal a different set of smoky flavors which I have not encountered here on earth before," 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

                       WHY DIDN'T WATTS THINK OF THAT ?


  1. The Fast Rotating Planet Earth
    So far we came to the end of this presentation. Its topic was to present the Planet-Without-Atmosphere Effective Temperature Complete Formula:
    Te = [ Φ (1-a) So (1/R²) (β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ /4σ ]¹∕ ⁴ (K)
    This Formula is based on the incomplete effective temperature formula:
    Te = [ (1-a) S / 4 σ ]¹∕ ⁴
    And also it is based on the discovered of the Rotating Planet Spherical Surface Solar Irradiation Absorbing-Emitting Universal Law:
    Jemit = σΤe⁴/(β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ (W/m²)
    Here the (β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ is a dimensionless Rotating Planet Surface Solar Irradiation Warming Ability.
    Φ – is the dimensionless solar irradiation spherical surface accepting factor.
    Accepted by a Hemisphere with radius r sunlight is S*Φ*π*r²(1-a), where Φ = 0,47 for smooth surface planets, like Earth, Moon, Mercury and Mars…
    β = 150 days*gr*oC/rotation*cal – is the Rotating Planet Surface Solar Irradiation Absorbing-Emitting Universal Law constant
    N rotations/day, is planet’s sidereal rotation period
    cp cal/gr oC – is the planet’s surface specific heat
    σ = 5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴, the Stefan-Boltzmann constant
    The Rotating Planet Surface Solar Irradiation Absorbing-Emitting Universal Law is based on a simple thought. It is based on the thought, that physical phenomenon which distracts the black body surfaces from the instant re-emitting the absorbed solar radiative energy back to space, warms the black body surface up.
    In our case those distracting physical phenomena are the planet’s sidereal rotation, N rotations/day, and the planet’s surface specific heat, cp cal/gr oC.
    We had to answer those two questions:
    1. Why Earth’s atmosphere doesn’t affect the Global Warming?
    It is proven now by the Planet Effective Temperature Complete Formula calculations. There aren’t any atmospheric factors in the Complete Formula. Nevertheless the Planet-Without-Atmosphere Effective Temperature Complete Formula produces very reasonable results: = 288,36 K, calculated by the Complete Formula, which is the same as the = 288 K, measured by satellites.
    Te.moon = 221,74 K, calculated by the Complete Formula, which is almost identical with the
    Tsat.mean.moon = 220 K, measured by satellites.
    Earth has a very thin atmosphere; Earth has a very small greenhouse phenomenon in its atmosphere and it doesn’t warm the planet.
    2. What causes the Global Warming then?
    The Global Warming is happening due to the orbital forcing. It is not happening because of the atmosphere. We have the prove – a newly discovered for the Rotating Planet Surface Solar Irradiation Absorbing-Emitting Universal Law:
    Jemit = σΤe⁴/(β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ (W/m²)
    And knowing that
    Jemit = Jabs
    And Jabs = [ Φ (1-a) So (1/R²) /4 ] (W/m²)
    Solving for Te we obtain the Planet without Atmosphere Effective Temperature Complete Formula: = [ Φ (1-a) So (1/R²) (β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ /4σ ]¹∕ ⁴ = 288,36 K
    The calculations made by the Planet without Atmosphere Effective Temperature Complete Formula also correspond to the next conclusion:
    The measured by satellites Earth’s mean temperature T = 288 K is the Earth’s surface radiative equilibrium temperature.
    And… what keeps the Earth warm at = 288 K, when the Moon is at Te.moon = 220 K? Why Moon is on average 68 oC colder? It is very cold at night there and it is very hot during the day…
    Earth is warmer because Earth rotates faster and because Earth’s surface is covered with water.
    Does the Earth’s atmosphere act as a blanket that warms Earth’s surface?
    No, it does not.


Hundreds of Divestment 

Protesters Storm Field, 

Interrupting Harvard-Yale Game

Unequipped with lights, the Yale Bowl descended into darkness Saturday afternoon towards the conclusion of the long contest.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. —
In a double-overtime thriller, Yale defeated Harvard in the 136th rendition of The Game, 50-43...As overtime began, light was scarce and the athletes were competing in near darkness. Fans held up their phones with the flashlights on, seemingly to try and brighten the field. The game ran late due to the return from halftime being delayed as a result of divestment protests. 
A group of Harvard students stormed the field, unraveling signs calling for Harvard and Yale’s divestment from fossil fuels. After about an hour, the protestors were finally escorted from the turf. As security led people off individually, the crowd booed and chanted, “Get them off the field.” 

“You just deal with the circumstances that you have and just deal with it,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “You don’t make a big issue with your team, it just is what it is.”

The 50-43 final score represents the highest scoring contest between the teams ever.


Thanks to David Benson !

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019


Climategate 10 Years On – The Bastards Have Got Away With It


Climategate was the biggest scandal in the history of climate  science ...  I   refuse  to name  the handsome, brave, witty, intelligent, funny, clever, spectacularly  endowed,  bravura writer,  beloved parent, adored husband, and  skilled horseman  responsible for this veritable Scoop of the Century, if not the Millennium.

No, absolutely not. Only from my cold, dead hands will you ever prise this secret information. Unless, maybe you twist my arm just a tiny bit more and Yeah, all right. I admit it. That godlike hero was me.
... Of course, if you believe the mainstream media, Climategate was little more than a fake news story concocted by a small cabal of wicked deniers in order to discredit the noble cause of climate science.
This is a lie and a particularly dangerous lie at that... the heavy lifting was done by people much more diligent and scientifically minded than me, such as Steve McIntyre,  Willis Eschenbach,  Joanna Nova, Anthony Watts,  Lucia Liljegren,  Andrew Montford, Ross  McKitrick,  Fred  Pearce,  Roger  Tallbloke , Christopher Booker...

                         FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE WITH

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, 6– 8 p.m.

Tsai Auditorium

Harvard University Center for the Environment,
GSD 5389: Integrated Design and Planning for Climate Change

Troy Conrad Therrien

Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives at the Guggenheim Museum 

The present architectural discourse about climate change predominantly focuses
on solutions, adaptations, regulations, and other approaches for changing course.  
And, of course, it does — but, architecture can also tell us about our 
climate past.

This lecture incorporates new discoveries ranging from paleoanthropology to the

science of psychedelics, scriptural exegesis to chaos magic, to speculate 
an origin story for architecture that can be used to think through our climate future.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

                                     WALK INTO A BAR

Purchase Climate
In our new issue on the topic of Climate, the Quarterly examines one of the most pressing issues of our present day, as the warming of the planet continues to rise while a capitalist economy reaps the riches at a steep price. 

The foremost question, as editor Lewis H. Lapham poses in his preamble, is: Does capitalism survive climate change, or does a changed climate put an end to capitalism? 

The rest of the issue pursues this and other questions about humans’ relationship to climate since antiquity. Ptolemy foretells the influence of the stars, while Kate LuckieLeonardo da Vinci, and Henry Adams predict the end of the world. John Calvin turns to God for the weather report, while James Inhofe makes an argument with a snowball. A map surveys the influence of our ocean currents and atmospheric winds on more than simply our trade routes; a chart instructs the reader which big-budget “cli-fi” movie he or she is trapped in. Original essays include a history of climate refugees by Thomas Meaney, a report by Astra Taylor on how long we have to prevent total climate catastrophe, Kyle Harper on the volcanic eruption that destroyed the Roman Republic, and Philipp Blom on how the Little Ice Age ushered in the modern world.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

                           GOD HELP US IF THEY HATCH

Add caption
Thousands of egg-shaped balls of ice have covered a beach in Finland, the result of a rare weather phenomenon.

Amateur photographer Risto Mattila was among those who came across the "ice eggs" on Hailuoto Island in the Gulf of Bothnia between Finland and Sweden.

Experts say it is caused by a rare process in which small pieces of ice are rolled over by wind and water.
Mr Mattila... told the BBC.
"There we found this amazing phenomenon. There was snow and ice eggs along the beach near the water line."....

In 2016 residents of Nyda in Siberia found giant balls of ice and snow covering an 18km (11-mile) stretch of coastline.
They ranged from the size of a tennis ball to almost 1m (3ft) across.

                                 HANGOVER  OFFSETS

This Martini Wants to Kill Climate Change 

A carbon-negative vodka company makes its beverage literally out of thin air... 

In 2017, Stafford Sheehan was a chemist working on artificial photosynthesis, coming up with metal-based catalysts that’d mimic the way living things acquire energy from the Sun. He did not expect to create a martini that could save the planet.

Sheehan had an invention, a box that could electrolyze a burst of carbon dioxide and a dose of water. Run all that over a metal catalyst to goose a biochemical reaction, and, presto: renewable fuel made from air. One of the fuels he was making was ethanol, C2H6O, a molecule you might also recognize as the thing that makes you drunk...

“We have a power purchase agreement where we’re powered by renewable energy, and we have solar panels on top of the distillery too,” Sheehan says. That’s what runs the electric boilers that heat the bottom of the still. Air has partnered with a gas provider to deliver CO2, and according to that company’s life cycle analysis it only takes 200 kg of CO2 to deliver a metric ton of same. The company factored in a 10-year lifespan for the mostly steel still, and even bought offsets for the label printing. 

By Air’s math, the process of making a kilogram of ethanol actually removes 1.47 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. Since the 750 ml bottle you might buy (for $65) has 0.236 kg of ethanol in it, that’s about ¾ of a pound.

                     ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT IN
                           THE NATION AND  THE GUARDIAN

Sciences, Publics, Politics: The Trouble With Climate Emergency Journalism

So urgent is the challenge of decarbonizing the world’s economy, almost nothing else matters in comparison, argued town hall co-organizers Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope in a Nation cover story outlining their vision for the initiative. “The US news media, to their great discredit, have played a big part in getting it wrong for many years,” they wrote. But now journalists “need to remember their Paul Revere responsibilities—to awaken, inform, and rouse the people to action.”To avoid climate change catastrophe, the world must rapidly transform its economy away from fossil fuels. But to achieve this historically unprecedented task, the news industry must also transform, urged the organizers of a town hall meeting at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, held on April 30, 2019. The meeting marked the start of Covering Climate Now, a multiyear initiative led by the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) and The Nation, in partnership with The Guardian, to create what they call a “new playbook for journalism that’s compatible with the 1.5-degree future that scientists say must be achieved.” Among the panelists at the event were journalists, including Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Katrina vanden Heuvel, and Chris Hayes, who regularly contribute to the cosponsors’ publications.

As a model for TV journalism, Hertsgaard and Pope pointed to a recent hour-long MSNBC program devoted entirely to the Green New Deal, in which Hayes, the show’s host, explained the details of the plan; interviewed its cosponsor Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) before a live audience; and led a panel discussion of experts who focused on the importance of covering the climate justice story to connect the climate crisis with broader audiences.
For legacy print publications, coverage at The Guardian sets the standard, according to Hertsgaard and Pope, with nine full-time reporters and editors dedicated to climate change. A few weeks after the Columbia event, The Guardian issued a memo upping its commitment to the topic, detailing changes to its official style guide that “more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world.” Climate change as a term is too passive and gentle, said the paper’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, “when what scientists are talking about is catastrophe for humanity.” Moving ahead, climate change would be referred to exclusively as the “climate emergency, crisis, or breakdown.” Similarly, global warming would be referred to as “global heating,” and “climate sceptic” would be replaced by “climate science denier.”
At the close of the town hall, the former PBS broadcaster Bill Moyers announced that the Schumann Media Center, a philanthropy that he leads, would provide $1 million to the Columbia School of Journalism to finance the first year of the project. He urged the journalists assembled to cover the climate crisis in the manner of Edward R. Murrow, who at the start of World War II defied his CBS News bosses by reporting on the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, breaking US media silence about the existential threat of fascism. Like Murrow, journalists must not only document the truth of the climate crisis but also “report on the madness … of a US government that scorns reality as fake news, denies the truths of nature, and embraces a theocratic ideology that welcomes catastrophe as a sign of the returning Messiah,” Moyers argued.


The nondescript Venezuelan Poodle Moth      The  Flannel Moth pussy caterpillar
The  ephemeral careers of many of  President Trump's appointees as ambassadors and EPA and DOE executives raises a deep structural question: after reaching the bottom of the  pork barrel , where can the administration turn for new political cannon fodder?

The answer may lie in Capitol Hill's fondness for  nominees who strongly resemble those in high office, a list that in President Trump's case can be extended beyond Alec Baldwin only by turning to the invertibrate biodiversity of  the tropical wetlands to the South of the fever swamps of the Potomac. 

The Venezuelan  Poodle  Moth , for example, is assured high office by its uncanny resemblence to Vice President Pence,  while the MAGA hat-worthy  Flannel Moth Pussy Caterpillar, Megalopyge opercularis  merits instant Senate confirmation as the spitting image of our  Chief Executive's hair :

These tropical species  are sloly but confidently marching up the Atlantic seaboard in lock step with rising global temperatures. As surely as prickly pear cacti colonized NewYork Harbor in the 1950's, once they get there they will be  enfranchised to vote by Mayor de Blasio like all the other immigrants before them. 

The Administration has until next November to prepare for that electoral contingency by appointing the first of these remarkable migratory creatures Acting Deputy Assistant Administrators of the EPA as soon as they reach the District of Columbia.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

                               ONE MODEL, ONE VOTE :
                  WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG ?

Gavin Schmidt writes about a terrible idea at RealClimate :

Sensitive But Unclassified

... The results from climate models that are being run for CMIP6 have been talked about for a few months as the papers describing them have made it in to the literature, and the first assessments of the multi-model ensemble have been done. For those of you not familiar with the CMIP process, it is a periodic exercise for any climate model groups who want to have their results compared with other models and observations in a consistent manner...

The main focus has been on the climate sensitivity of these models – not necessarily because it’s the most important diagnostic, but it is an easily calculated short-hand to encapsulate the total feedbacks that occur as you increase CO2.

The first public hint of something strange going on, was at the Barcelona CMIP6 meeting in March earlier this year where this graphic showing Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) for the models was prepared:

This showed that quite a few of the models were possibly coming in with sensitivities above 5ºC...

So what should people make of this? Here are some options:

These new higher numbers might be correct. As cloud micro-physical understanding has improved and models better match the real climate, they will converge on a higher ECS. 
These new numbers are not correct. There are however many ways in which this might have manifest: 
The high ECS models have all included something new and wrong. 
They have all neglected a key process that should have been included with the package they did implement. 
There has been some overfitting to imperfect observations.
The experimental set-up from which the ECS numbers are calculated is flawed.
There are arguments pro and con for each of these possibilities, and it is premature to decide which of them are relevant. It isn’t even clear that there is one answer that will explain all the high values – it might all be a coincidence – a catalogue of unfortunate choices that give this emergent pattern. 

We probably won’t find out for a while – though many people are now looking at this.What is clear is that (for the first time) the discord between the GCMs and the external constraints is going to cause a headache for the upcoming IPCC report. The deadline for papers to be submitted for consideration for the second order draft is in December 2019, and while there will be some papers on this topic submitted by then. I am not confident that the basic conundrums will be resolved. Thus the chapter on climate sensitivity is going to be contrasted strongly with the chapter on model projections. 

Model democracy (one model, one vote) is a obviously a terrible idea and if adopted in AR6, will be even more problematic. However, no other scheme has been demonstrated to work better.