Are warmenistas really CFC deniers?

Bookworm Room has up an interesting post about global warming, CO2, and CFCs.   Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry at the University of Waterloo, contends that temperature trends don't track CO2 levels at all well when solar input is eliminated, but they do track CFC levels wonderfully.  Bookworm's readers engage in a spirited discussion of whether CFC emissions used to be a manmade problem that has now largely been solved, since CFCs were largely replaced by new refrigerants by 1989 treaty), or whether human contributions never were that large in comparison with natural sources to begin with.

Shifts & expedients

The pages I'm formatting at Project Gutenberg this morning come from a particularly delightful and useful book called "Shifts and Expedients of Camp Life, Travel, and Exploration," published in 1871.  The authors seem to have seen military service in the Crimea and South Africa, in addition to exploring in Asia and Australia.  They put together detailed notes, copiously illustrated, on the proper provisioning of expeditions, including how to build any number of things on the road, from tents to boots to wheeled carts to rafts to sledges.  A couple of pages for examples:

It will be a little while before the book is finished and posted to the free Project Gutenberg site, but you can see what a wealth of material there is over there.

Price fixing: the endless policy

Argentina is discovering what every other country that's tried to fix prices has already discovered:  whoever's in charge eventually realizes that he can't make it stick unless he dispenses with all those tiresome restrictions on political power and becomes a dictator for life.  It's not Kirchner's fault, though, right?  She had the best of intentions.  She just needs everyone to go along for their own good, and they're not cooperating.  How long  before she figures out she's got to stop her subjects from leaving the country?

Fifty Rules for Dads of Daughters

This is one of those lists that gets passed around because it is heartwarming and because it is supposed to be fairly good advice. It's a surprisingly young man who has written it, if I'm reading his biography correctly!

All of you will have guessed that I'm interested in the list in part as a way of exploring the differences between sons and daughters. How many of these rules would be different if written for sons? Are there other rules you'd advise for sons but not daughters, or especially for sons, that are not on this list?

One that strikes me as an obvious choice is number 7, "She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely." This is not a problem with a son: you are always on his mother's side, even on those occasions when you take her aside later and persuade her to change her mind.


Peter Ferrara has an article in Forbes drawing climate-science lessons from the disgraceful career of Trofim Denisovich Lysenko.  Not caring that much for the tone of the article, and especially of the comments, I'm not going to quote from it.  Instead I'll summarize Lysenkoism as I understand it.  I find it interesting that the public discourse on the "science" of climate change is now so debased that Lysenkoism is being trumpeted as a cautionary tale both by warmists and by skeptics.

Lysenko was a Ukrainian agronomist who discovered as a young man in 1927 that he could improve the sprouting qualities of winter wheat by exposing them to unusual cold and moisture.  He then concluded, on the basis of no apparent (or perhaps falsified) evidence, that the improved qualities of the wheat seed would breed true, such that future generations of seeds would sprout more successfully even without the cold/wet treatment.  This attempt to overturn the principles of modern genetics in favor of the inheritance of acquired characteristics (a throwback to Lamarck) went on to enjoy an enthusiastic, confused, and scandalous vogue in the Soviet Union for several decades.   In 1938 Lysenko was named president of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences, from which position he wielded enormous power in Soviet science.  The Soviet Union showered him with accolades, including seven Orders of Lenin and the title of "Hero of Socialist labor.”

Despite his deep confusion about the underlying mechanisms of genetics, Lysenko continued to implement genuinely helpful agricultural innovations that mitigated, to some degree, the disastrous famines caused by communist policy.  Lysenko's alignment with his leadership's political goals then bled over in the illogical but common human way to his evidence-free assertions about genetics.  So important were his anti-famine successes, combined with his politically correct background as a member of the peasant class untainted by bourgeois education, and his ability to motivate peasants to return to farming in the wake of collectivist confiscation of their farmlands, that Lysenkoism became official Soviet policy under Stalin.  Lacking actual evidence for his eccentric theories, and facing new pressure when his later theories did not pan out (such as the requirement to till the fields to a depth of five feet), Lysenko succumbed to the temptation to use political power to silence his enemies.  Andrei Sakharov charged him with having the arrest and death of "many genuine scientists" on his hands.  Under his influence, for instance, the founder of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences was sent to his death in the gulag.

About a decade after the conclusion of Stalin's reign of terror in 1953, there was a movement toward the restoration of the scientific method in the Soviet Union and a purging of pseudo-science inspired by political fashion.

Truth over theory: it will always lead to better science and generally to better public policy.  My own view, in addition, is that it makes for better people and happier relations among them.  When I see beliefs that can't be maintained in the population except through lies, self-delusion, and force, I see beliefs that belong on the ash-heap of history.  As C.S. Lewis describes the techniques employed by unscrupulous tempters: "You see the little rift?  'Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.'"

Memorial Day

My brothers at BLACKFIVE have many excellent posts to commemorate the holiday. Keep scrolling.

To many of you as to me, it is an important day. All the best to you.

Take this, in memory of one of the ones honored today: the poet Joyce Kilmer, killed in the first World War while he was acting as a scout for the American Expeditionary Force. It is about one of those whom he thought worthy of defense.
As Winds That Blow Against A Star

(For Aline)

Now by what whim of wanton chance
Do radiant eyes know sombre days?
And feet that shod in light should dance
Walk weary and laborious ways?

But rays from Heaven, white and whole,
May penetrate the gloom of earth;
And tears but nourish, in your soul,
The glory of celestial mirth.

The darts of toil and sorrow, sent
Against your peaceful beauty, are
As foolish and as impotent
As winds that blow against a star.

Steyn on the Mundane

Having killed Drummer Rigby, they were killing time: It took 20 minutes for the somnolent British constabulary to show up. And so television viewers were treated to the spectacle of a young man, speaking in the vowels of south London, chatting calmly with his “fellow Britons” about his geopolitical grievances and apologizing to the ladies present for any discomfort his beheading of Drummer Rigby might have caused them, all while drenched in blood and still wielding his cleaver.

If you’re thinking of getting steamed over all that, don’t. Simon Jenkins, the former editor of the Times of London, cautioned against “mass hysteria” over “mundane acts of violence....”

Being jumped by barbarians with machetes is certainly “mundane” in Somalia and Sudan, but it’s the sort of thing that would once have been considered somewhat unusual on a sunny afternoon in south London — at least as unusual as, say, blowing up eight-year-old boys at the Boston Marathon.
The world is changing that way.

A Policeman's Lot Is Such A Happy One

In a story titled "Parking Tickets Issued on Wrecks While Stockholm Burns," the Swedish press looks on in wonder at what their nation has become.
[W]hile the Stockholm riots keep spreading and intensifying, Swedish police have adopted a tactic of non-interference. ”Our ambition is really to do as little as possible,” Stockholm Chief of Police Mats Löfving explained to the Swedish newspaper Expressen on Tuesday.

”We go to the crime scenes, but when we get there we stand and wait,” elaborated Lars Byström, the media relations officer of the Stockholm Police Department. ”If we see a burning car, we let it burn if there is no risk of the fire spreading to other cars or buildings nearby. By doing so we minimize the risk of having rocks thrown at us.”
Swedish parking laws, however, continue to be rigidly enforced despite the increasingly chaotic situation. Early Wednesday, while documenting the destruction after a night of rioting in the Stockholm suburb of Alby, a reporter from Fria Tider observed a parking enforcement officer writing a ticket for a burnt-out Ford.

When questioned, the officer explained that the ticket was issued because the vehicle lacked a tag showing its time of arrival. The fact that the vehicle had been effectively destroyed – its windshield smashed and the interior heavily damaged by fire – was irrelevant according to the meter maid, who asked Fria Tider’s photographer to destroy the photos he had taken.
It's as if the whole country of Sweden has become a university.

H/t: Dad29.

UPDATE: The police are finally roused to action!
Faced by another night of terror at the hands of predominantly immigrant rioters, Swedes grown tired of the police’s inability to put an end to the unrest took to the streets Friday night to defend their neighborhoods.... In the Stockholm suburb of Tumba the police decided to abandon their earlier non-intervention policy as a large group of police officers rounded up and dispersed a group of vigilantes trying to fend off rioters.

The decision to round up vigilantes while, according to Stockholm Chief of Police Mats Löfving, ”doing as little as possible” to stop rioters, met with a wave of protests in various social media and on the Internet.