FM newswire for 9 February, articles for your morning reading

Today’s links to interesting news and analysis.  If you find this useful, pass it to a friend or colleague. 

  1. The elephant was powerful, but preferred to be blind:  “National Insecurity“, Philip Giraldi, 29 January 2010 — About the CIA’s lost intelligence capabilities.  Note Giraldi’s bio.
  2. Gentle implication that the General lies:  “The Afghan Credibility Gap“, Michael Cohen, Democracy Arsenal, 4 February 2010
  3. Too bad we let the Constitution rot away:  “Take the Money and Run“, Radley Balko, Slate, 4 February 2010 — “The crazy perversities of civil asset forfeiture.”
  4. An Army of Davids:  “The global warming guerrillas“, Matt Ridley, 6 February 2010 — “Matt Ridley salutes the bloggers who changed the climate debate. While most of Fleet Street kowtowed to the green lobby, online amateurs uncovered the spin and deception that finally cracked the consensus.”
  5. The Army of Davids marchs ahead, with the news media far to the rear:  “House of Peers“, Mark Steyn, National Review Online, 6 February 2010
  6. Governor plans emergency address on Nevada budget“, AP, 7 February 2010 — “Nevada’s budget is so far out of balance that by one account the state could lay off every worker paid from the general fund and still be $300 million in the red.”

Note that the global warming debate is one of — perhaps the — most powerful examples of an Army of Davids.  The phrase became famous from Glenn Reynold’s book “An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths (2006).   However I don’t see that he has applied this phrase to the David’s who have successfully challanged the global warming crusade.

Today’s features:

(A)  A new paper looks at accuracy of weather predictions, and what this means for long-term climate forecasts
(B)  Today’s website recommendation, since perspective is the key to good intel more often than data.

(A)  A new paper looks at accuracy of weather predictions, and what this means for long-term climate forecasts

A multiple model assessment of seasonal climate forecast skill for applications, D. L. Lavers, L. Luo, and E. F. Wood, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, 2009 — From Roger Pielke Sr’s website.  Excerpt:

“Given the actual skill demonstrated by operational seasonal climate forecasting models, it appears that only through significant model improvements can useful long-lead forecasts be provided that would be useful for decision makers – a quest that may prove to be elusive.”

Abstract:

Skilful seasonal climate forecasts have potential to affect decision making in agriculture, health and water management. Organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are currently planning to move towards a climate services paradigm, which will rest heavily on skilful forecasts at seasonal (1 to 9 months) timescales from coupled atmosphere-land-ocean models. We present a careful analysis of the predictive skill of temperature and precipitation from eight seasonal climate forecast models with the joint distribution of observations and forecasts. Using the correlation coefficient, a shift in the conditional distribution of the observations given a forecast can be detected, which determines the usefulness of the forecast for applications. Results suggest there is a deficiency of skill in the forecasts beyond month-1, with precipitation having a more pronounced drop in skill than temperature. At long lead times only the equatorial Pacific Ocean exhibits significant skill. This could have an influence on the planned use of seasonal forecasts in climate services and these results may also be seen as a benchmark of current climate prediction capability using (dynamic) couple models.

(B)  Today’s website recommendation, since perspective is the key to good intel more often than data.

 

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest.  There are now nearly 700 maps. Maps 1-366 are also available as PDF posters. Use the menu above to find a map of interest.

Afterword

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7 thoughts on “FM newswire for 9 February, articles for your morning reading

  1. “However I don’t see that he has applied this phrase to the David’s who have successfully challanged the global warming crusade.” true, perhaps, but he is certainly a part of that crusade.
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    FM reply: Was Reynolds every supporting the global warming crusade? This is from memory, but I believe Reynolds started closely covering this only in the past few months — and from a sceptical perspective.

  2. “Too bad we let the Constitution rot away: “Take the Money and Run“, Radley Balko, Slate, 4 February 2010 — “The crazy perversities of civil asset forfeiture.”

    So these are cases where the 4th amendment are being violated, right? Therefore the federal government needs to intervene to stop various states “unreasonable searches and seizures”. Seems pretty black and white to me. Who is responsible to uphold this amendment?
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    FM reply: Is this a joke? The Federal Government is the biggest user of asset forefeiture laws.

  3. My understanding from reading Instapundit a lot is that Reynolds does champion the crusaders who challenge the consensus, the conclusions, and the scare. I mean, he links a lot of the same stuff you do, like form ClimateAudit and Watts Up With that.

    heres a post from ten minutes ago: “POLIWOOD: A Challenge to Al Gore: Come Defend Your Oscar.” and from 16 January 2004: “AL GORE’S SPEECH ON GLOBAL WARMING got a rather cool response, not least because of the unfortunate weather when he delivered it, producing headlines like this one: “GORE TALKS GLOBAL WARMING WHILE CITY SHIVERS. Of course, a cold day in January is no more proof that global warming theories are bunk than a hot day in July is proof that they’re correct. But I do wonder why the Clinton Administration didn’t try harder — which is to say, at all — to get Kyoto ratified, if things are as urgent as Gore is saying now.”

    If you search his site, he has a long history of being skeptical or listing articles that are skeptical of so-called warm-mongers. So that’s why I said that even though he didn’t list it in his book, I think he was still apart of the crusade against global warmists, even if he took a subdued role (as in, not editorializing).
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    FM reply: As I said, from memory I disagree that he has often posted about climate sceptics until the past year. The post from 2004 shows only his reflexive animosity to Democrats, not any attention to AGW sceptics.

  4. FM reply: “Is this a joke? The Federal Government is the biggest user of asset forefeiture laws.

    Well, jeez, FM, I didn’t get that from your post! The Radley Balko article talked about Texas and Illinois, not about Federal trespasses. besides, the Federal gov is not undivided. Do all branches have skin in the game? Shouldn’t the Judicial branch be doing something to stop the Executive from doing this? Yeah, I am naive, but come on, let’s talk about where the solutions can be made, not just burning me for my ignorance, or woeing the collapse of the Constitution, or just wishing the American people will make some abstract stand.
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    FM reply: All good points. IMO the rot runs too deep. The Congress, Justice Department and Courts are all participants. The only solution IMO is different representatives. Fortunately we have elections every two years. More on this in a future post.

  5. Nevada is in deep trouble. But what amazes me is how much the Democrats sound like Republicans. They all run around talking about diversifying the economy but neither really has a plan to actually do it! Many have already fogotten that we have already raised the sales tax but revenue continues to fall!!
    The Clark County school district is out of control and doing a terrible job on top of that.

    I have started to suggest some radical ideas to people and they think they just might work. Even the Tea Partiers. In fact I find them more willing to listen than the old elitests. That’s why I’ve been asked to run for office again. Whether it makes a difference we shall see.

  6. The income chart is not truly comparative unless you also consider the cost of living and taxes . A bit like Aesop’s fable about the wolf and the dog – the dog gets plenty to eat but wears a collar and chain.

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