October 18, 2020 Earthquakes / World Weather / Disaster Awareness

It’s a Good Time to Be Born

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen – 18 October 2020

I grew up in a medical household.  My father was one of the leading pediatricians of the Greater Los Angeles, California area.  Every single day I was greeted with pragmatic, practical news on the advances being made in medicine, public health, and especially in the treatment and care of children and their diseases.  And every day, it was plain, when my father came home, if he had lost a patient that day – he was stoic and realistic, but every baby lost, every child that died,  crushed part of him.    That was in 1950.  There was a vaccine for smallpox but almost nothing else.  Children were expected to suffer through measles, mumps, chicken pox and German Measles (Rubella).  We almost all did.  The worst was the dreaded risk of polio. 

Most kids in the United States got through the raft of childhood diseases just fine.   But the death toll of the 1950s would be considered terrifying in the world of 2020.

Dr. Perri Klass tells in a recent article in the New York Times, which promotes her upcoming new book  “A Good Time to Be Born”:

“Despite the crises of 2020, parents can realistically expect that children born today will outlive them. That wasn’t always the case. “

Before 1950?

1800: Demographic research suggests that through to at least the year 1800 more than one-third of children failed to reach the age of five. Despite estimates in 1800 coming with substantial uncertainty, it’s expected that in some countries rates could have been as high as every 2nd child. Let’s think about what this meant for parents of this period. The average woman in 1800 had between 5 to 7 children.1

Parents probably lost 2 or 3 of their children in the first few years of life. Such loss was not a rare occurrence but the norm for most people across the world.

— “From commonplace to rarer tragedy – declining child mortality across the world”  by Hannah Ritchie

In the North America of the 1950s, 4% of children died before their 5th birthday – that seems awful today, but in Europe it was over twice that.  In many parts of the world,   one-in-five or even one-in-four was common – and in Africa, one out of three died before they were five years old. 

What a difference one generation makes. 

Today, less than 1% (0.68%) of U.S. children fail to reach their 5th birthday – and two thirds of those failures are neonatal deaths (newborns aged 0–27 days).  That means if a baby lives through her first month, she will most likely be one of the 998 out of 1000 to make it to elementary school age.

full-sized image

The majority of those neonatal (newborn) deaths are from two causes.  Low Birthweight and Congenital Malformations.   Sadly, often here is little to be done about congenital malformations;  something has gone wrong in the genetic material or in fetal growth – some of these are repairable, some not.   For example, there has been substantial progress in surgical correction of heart problems in neonates saving many infants that would have died in the past. Premature babies get support in life-saving Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).  There has been success with prevention of low birthweight and premature birth through better and more intense prenatal care for mothers and this has been especially important for very young mothers (under 20), older mothers (40 and above), poor and socially disadvantaged mothers  and those mothers with mental and/or emotional problems, such as depression, alcoholism and other substance abuse. 

Postneonatally, the most common causes of death are: Congenital Malformations (like heart valve problems, internal organs that don’t function right, etc), Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Unintentional Injuries (accidents).   There are continuing advances dealing with postneonatal  congentital malformations with surgical and other interventions.  The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement making recommendations about prevention of SIDS reinforced the Back-to-Sleep Campaign and SIDS deaths have been reduced by about 40%.   Aggressive action on safety issues affecting children have reduced accidental deaths – such things as safer crib designs, high chair design, car seats and age-appropriate toys.

As Dr. Klass summaries it:

 “Collectively, as human beings, we changed the game. It took science, medicine and public health, it took sanitation and engineering and safety legislation, and it took many different kinds of education and parent advocacy. And it took vaccines and antibiotics, those 20th century game-changers.”

Vaccines and Antibiotics

Many readers here are of the “pre-vaccines” generation.  We attended elementary schools (kindergarten through 6th grade) in the early 1950s – we are the post-World War II Baby Boomers.  The oldest of us got only small pox vaccinations and then received polio vaccines as they were developed.  We gained our immunity against the five common childhood disease from having them — but our children benefited from the new protective vaccines. 

In 1950, the only effective antibiotics were sulfa drugs and penicillin – and both were “miracle drugs”  saving untold numbers of lives.  Most of today’s antibiotics, or their precursors, were developed from 1940-1962.  These drugs keep our children alive when their bodies are attacked by infections against which they have not yet developed adequate defenses.   Where these antibiotics are not readily and affordably available, child mortality is unacceptably high. 

The role of Public Sanitation in preventing child mortality is seldom understood by the general public in modern Western societies, such as Europe, Japan, ANZO and the United States.  One needs to have experienced the conditions found in the poorer areas of Third World countries to really “get it.”   My local water department issued a “boil water order” last week because some water pipe had broken lowering general pressure in the mains, which “might have” allowed some tiny amount of ground water to enter the water system.  Compare this to:  No clean safe drinking water (unless purchased in a plastic bottle), no flushing toilets, no running water (cold or hot) for hand washing, dish washing, or bathing.   Privies and animal waste washed into the local drinking water supply with every rain.    Rampant childhood under- or mal-nutrition and homes with no windows or window screens thus open to mosquitoes and all the diseases they spread, worsen the situation.  These factors coupled with no or few local health clinics – or a health clinic with no medicines available – lead to the still sadly high child mortality in less developed areas, despite improvements over the last 70 years.   

Those interested in humanitarian efforts to “save the children” should concentrate their giving to organizations that work specifically on these issues: safe drinking water, local health clinics and childhood vaccination, public sanitation and anti-mosquito-borne disease programs.

But for the vast majority of those reading here, those living in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia/New Zealand and the more developed parts of other nations:

“Because, believe it or not, even in 2020, parents in the United States and in many other countries, and not just the very richest, are among the luckiest parents in history. We can, for the most part, hope and even expect to see our children live to grow up, and we live in a society shaped and colored by that expectation. And for all of the anxieties and terrors of this present moment, as parents, we are actually on the lucky side of a divide that separates us from the parents who came before.” — Dr. Perri Klass

It is, indeed, a Good Time to Be Born

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Author’s Comment:

I welcome each and every newborn child I meet with the salutation:  “Welcome Aboard!”  with the knowledge that the ship-of-life they’ve boarded is far safer and kinder and fairer than the one I climbed aboard so many years ago.   It’s not a perfect world, but with faith and hard work, almost all of them will make a go of it and have a good life.

The madness of the moment will eventually pass, probably soon after the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, and things will return to their pre-pandemic boom conditions.

My father, the pediatrician, told every new mother with a new baby in her arms, “That’s a fine baby!”   I do the same, in his honor, because it is true – every baby is a “fine baby”.

Yes, there are other worthy projects that help children: Poverty Vitamins, Deworming Medications and Vitamin A programs, supporting basic educational programs with school kits and program materials and childhood vision programs.    I have been involved in all of these and witnessed a great deal of success. 

If your comment is meant for me, please start it with “Kip – “  so I don’t miss it.  Thanks.

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via Watts Up With That?


October 18, 2020 at 04:24PM

Our new Federal Government

While I was blogging about the grid batteries in South Australia, we got a new Federal Government. It took a while, we were without a functional Federal Government since December 2018 when the then coalition broke up. This new coalition consists of seven parties from four different political groups. This Frankenstein coalition want to be called the “Vivaldi” coalition (after the violin concertos “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi, representing the colors of the four political colors of the groups in the coalition). To make such a coalition work, compromises had to be made and also political presents had to be given.

Probably one of those presents is that the Minister of Energy is provided by the Green party. Our Minister of Energy now is Tinne Van der Straeten and the readers of this blog know her as the politician who managed to increase, ahem, fossil fuel subsidies and the Green party was apparently proud of that achievement.

The new coalition is very ambitious. When it comes to energy, they aim for the closure of the nuclear power plants by … 2025. To put that in perspective, our nuclear plants currently produce almost half of our electricity and this amount of power needs to be replaced within the next five years (it took decades to come to ten or so percent of solar and wind). They want to do this replacement by stimulating intermittent technologies, cooperation with neighbor countries (increased import and export), energy saving and also some gas-fueled power plants will be needed too. At the same time they also want to make energy cheaper, ensure energy security, create more jobs and lower emissions. All this without having to increase taxes…

Our energy Minister wants to promote offshore wind as a national pride (Dutch ahead), beside our most famous export products like chocolate and beer. That might all very inspiring, but generally there is a lack of detail how this goal of closing our nuclear infrastructure could be accomplished. The only thing we hear are some really vague statements that sometimes show that her knowledge of the subject is rather superficial. She however knows the slogans of her party very well. Like for example this tweet (translated from Dutch):

‘Renewable energy is growing into the cheapest way to generate electricity in many places in the world’

We are at a historic tipping point. More than ever it is clear: renewable energy is the future. We are going to seize that future.

It links to the short, superficial and one-sided article Solar and wind energy becomes cheaper than coal and gas (Dutch ahead) in an otherwise good newspaper. It claims that solar and wind energy is at a tipping point (again?) and producing electricity that is cheaper than that of coal and gas in many places in the world. This is based on the data of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

encountered such a claim before. There is certainly a core of truth in it, but there are important nuances to be made.

Firstly, there is no doubt that there are places in the world where solar and/or wind make sense, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will also work in our country. For example, electricity from solar panels make sense in UAE, this because of the favorable location (plenty of sun in the desert and days of roughly the same length due to the proximity to the equator, not much difference between demand in winter and summer, plenty of open space, a different investment climate, and so on. This will however not fly in Belgium, there are less favorable conditions here (we are located more to the North, resulting in a greater difference between day length over the seasons and there is also more demand when there is less sun available, and so on).

Our Minister’s suggestion that we now should embrace solar and wind because these are the cheapest energy sources in many places in the world is misleading. We are not the ones at such a tipping point, but those who didn’t look at the IRENA data would now assume that we are.</pM

Secondly, the material and installation cost is surely lower than a decade ago, but that is just only one element of the total cost. Although the Minister insists that all costs of fossil fuels and nuclear need to be taken into account, for some reason this seems not to be the case for solar and wind. There are things like needed backup capacity, curtailment, strengthening of the grid, land use, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, exemptions and other invisible costs that currently are conveniently not accounted for. Despite the claim that solar and wind generation is cheaper than coal and gas, wind energy and (grid size) solar apparently still are in need of support (even the IRENA report admitted that things like subsidies or feed-in tariffs contribute to that being “cheaper”). I wonder what the end result would be if all costs of the integration of intermittent sources into the grid are being accounted for…

These hidden costs might not be so obvious at first. The integration of intermittent sources on a grid will also have consequences for the (dispatchable) power sources. For example, one of our Minister’s first tasks was visiting the European Commission to … propose a subsidy for gas-fueled power plants used as backup capacity when the sun doesn’t shine and/or the wind doesn’t blow. That those backup plants are in need of subsidies is not hard to understand. They will only work for a fraction of the time and they will also be working at a lower efficiency as a direct result of the intermittent production of solar and wind. So, integrating intermittent power sources on the grid make such backup plant economically less viable, but they can’t be missed to balance the grid. If our Government want such plants to operate in our grid, then they will have to provide support for them, hence the proposal to subsidize them.

Our Minister and the green party triumphantly announced that visit to the European Commission, but for some reason they didn’t mention the proposal… It might be pretty easy to spin the increase of the fossil fuel subsidies as beneficial to poor people, but it will not be that easy to explain the need for additional subsidies for gas-fueled power plants to the supporters and the public.

Hey, but wouldn’t that increase prices of electricity? This would mean that not only solar and wind get financial support, but also the chosen backup strategy do need support. Adding to the operational cost of the grid. Didn’t this Government promise to lower the electricity prices? Well yes, but they are not going to do that in a different way. Not by lowering the operational cost of the system, but by pulling out costs that are currently included in the electricity price. That will surely lower the electricity price, but the costs that are pulled out need to be paid one way or the other by the Belgian people. The overall the cost will be higher, but some elements will not be attributed anymore as energy costs.

This trick makes that our Government might well achieve their goal of lowering electricity prices, but it will not because of the integration of solar and wind, on the contrary.

It will be interesting to see how this will evolve. This is not a strong coalition, it was build on fear of new elections that would probably make the coalition formation even more difficult. I wonder how long those diverse parties are willing to make compromises and stick to their plans. Whatever the case, I hope that they soon release the details how they see it possible to replace roughly half of our power supply in five years. That could get interesting.

via Trust, yet verify


October 18, 2020 at 03:35PM

CBS Climate Fright Night

 by Ron Clutz

The pandemic has sucked the air out of the climatism scare, so the usual suspects are stirring the pot this Halloween season.  Of course many are joining to make up this witches brew, but take for example this CBS News report today: For many climate change finally hits home.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

2020 has been a year of nonstop crises. For a while there, it was almost possible to forget an ongoing crisis that used to have our attention: climate change. But Nature found a way to remind us.

In the Midwest, punishing 100-mile-per-hour winds. In the Southwest, a brutal succession of floods and droughts. On the coasts: a freakish number of devastating hurricanes.

And in our Western states, historic mega-fires that sent a plume of ash and smoke all the way to the East Coast. More than four million acres have burned in California alone. To put that into perspective, that is larger than the state of Connecticut.

In the last 20 years, we’ve experienced twice the number of weather disasters as we did in the previous 20 years. Cost so far? About $3 trillion.

Yes, climate change is back in the headlines.

Wallace-Wells said climate change is not just about warmer weather: “It changes the whole system. Rainstorms are gonna be more intense. The oceans are heating up, which means that hurricanes are gonna become more intense and more frequent, as they already are. There are gonna be extreme droughts, as well as extreme rainfalls.

“It’s just a kind of a scrambling of what had been a very stable system on which we’ve erected all of human civilization.”  And it’s not just unstable weather, it’s unstable us.

“Agricultural yields could fall by half or more over the course of the century if we don’t change course,” said Wallace-Wells. “It affects respiratory illnesses, cancer. It affects cognitive performance, development of children.”

So, there is some good news: more people are talking about the climate crisis; more countries are doing something about it (even China); and last year, for the first time, the price of clean, renewable energy actually fell below the price of burning coal.

On the other hand, we’re getting started far too late.

Pogue asked David Wallace-Wells if the latest developments give him any hope: “If you’re hoping to preserve the planet of our grandparents, there’s no reason for hope,” he replied. “If you’re hoping to preserve the climate as we know it today, there’s really no reason for hope there, either. 

The antidote to this feverish litany of climate cliches is to remember the facts which contradict the alarmists’ appeal to feelings.  A previous post explains why the media persists in this behavior and why they abuse our trust in their slanting of the news. From

Climate Hype is a Cover Up.
Background and Context

Back in 2015 in the run up to Paris COP, French mathematicians published a thorough critique of the raison d’etre of the whole crusade. They said:

Fighting Global Warming is Absurd, Costly and Pointless.

  • Absurd because of no reliable evidence that anything unusual is happening in our climate.
  • Costly because trillions of dollars are wasted on immature, inefficient technologies that serve only to make cheap, reliable energy expensive and intermittent.
  • Pointless because we do not control the weather anyway.

The prestigious Société de Calcul Mathématique (Society for Mathematical Calculation) issued a detailed 195-page White Paper presenting a blistering point-by-point critique of the key dogmas of global warming. The synopsis with links to the entire document is at COP Briefing for Realists

Even without attending to their documentation, you can tell they are right because all the media climate hype is concentrated against those three points.

Finding: Nothing unusual is happening with our weather and climate.
Hype: Every metric or weather event is “unprecedented,” or “worse than we thought.”

Finding: Proposed solutions will cost many trillions of dollars for little effect or benefit.
Hype: Zero carbon will lead the world to do the right thing.  Anyway, the planet must be saved at any cost.

Finding: Nature operates without caring what humans do or think.
Hype: Any destructive natural event is a result of humans burning fossil fuels.

How the Media Throws Up Flak to Defend False Suppositions

The Absurd Media:  Climate is Dangerous Today, Yesterday It was Ideal.

Billions of dollars have been spent researching any and all negative effects from a warming world: Everything from Acne to Zika virus.  A recent Climate Report repeats the usual litany of calamities to be feared and avoided by submitting to IPCC demands. The evidence does not support these claims. An example:

 It is scientifically established that human activities produce GHG emissions, which accumulate in the atmosphere and the oceans, resulting in warming of Earth’s surface and the oceans, acidification of the oceans, increased variability of climate, with a higher incidence of extreme weather events, and other changes in the climate.

Moreover, leading experts believe that there is already more than enough excess heat in the climate system to do severe damage and that 2C of warming would have very significant adverse effects, including resulting in multi-meter sea level rise.

Experts have observed an increased incidence of climate-related extreme weather events, including increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat and heavy precipitation events and more severe droughts and associated heatwaves. Experts have also observed an increased incidence of large forest fires; and reduced snowpack affecting water resources in the western U.S. The most recent National Climate Assessment projects these climate impacts will continue to worsen in the future as global temperatures increase.

Alarming Weather and Wildfires

But: Weather is not more extreme.
And Wildfires were worse in the past.
But: Sea Level Rise is not accelerating.
Litany of Changes

Seven of the ten hottest years on record have occurred within the last decade; wildfires are at an all-time high, while Arctic Sea ice is rapidly diminishing.

We are seeing one-in-a-thousand-year floods with astonishing frequency.

When it rains really hard, it’s harder than ever.

We’re seeing glaciers melting, sea level rising.

The length and the intensity of heatwaves has gone up dramatically.

Plants and trees are flowering earlier in the year. Birds are moving polewards.

We’re seeing more intense storms.

But: Arctic Ice has not declined since 2007.

But: All of these are within the range of past variability.

In fact our climate is remarkably stable, compared to the range of daily temperatures during a year where I live.

And many aspects follow quasi-60 year cycles.

The Impractical Media:  Money is No Object in Saving the Planet.

Here it is blithely assumed that the court can rule the seas to stop rising, heat waves to cease, and Arctic ice to grow (though why we would want that is debatable).  All this will be achieved by leaving fossil fuels in the ground and powering civilization with windmills and solar panels.  While admitting that our way of life depends on fossil fuels, they ignore the inadequacy of renewable energy sources at their present immaturity.

An Example:
The choice between incurring manageable costs now and the incalculable, perhaps even
irreparable, burden Youth Plaintiffs and Affected Children will face if Defendants fail to
rapidly transition to a non-fossil fuel economy is clear. While the full costs of the climate
damages that would result from maintaining a fossil fuel-based economy may be
incalculable, there is already ample evidence concerning the lower bound of such costs,
and with these minimum estimates, it is already clear that the cost of transitioning to a
low/no carbon economy are far less than the benefits
 of such a transition. No rational
calculus could come to an alternative conclusion. Defendants must act with all deliberate
speed and immediately cease the subsidization of fossil fuels and any new fossil fuel
and implement policies to rapidly transition the U.S. economy away from fossil

But CO2 relation to Temperature is Inconsistent.

But: The planet is greener because of rising CO2.

But: Modern nations (G20) depend on fossil fuels for nearly 90% of their energy.

But: Renewables are not ready for prime time.

People need to know that adding renewables to an electrical grid presents both technical and economic challenges.  Experience shows that adding intermittent power more than 10% of the baseload makes precarious the reliability of the supply.  South Australia is demonstrating this with a series of blackouts when the grid cannot be balanced.  Germany got to a higher % by dumping its excess renewable generation onto neighboring countries until the EU finally woke up and stopped them. Texas got up to 29% by dumping onto neighboring states, and some like Georgia are having problems.

But more dangerous is the way renewables destroy the economics of electrical power.  Seasoned energy analyst Gail Tverberg writes:

In fact, I have come to the rather astounding conclusion that even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add them to the electric grid in the absence of very much better and cheaper electricity storage than we have today. There are too many costs outside building the devices themselves. It is these secondary costs that are problematic. Also, the presence of intermittent electricity disrupts competitive prices, leading to electricity prices that are far too low for other electricity providers, including those providing electricity using nuclear or natural gas. The tiny contribution of wind and solar to grid electricity cannot make up for the loss of more traditional electricity sources due to low prices.

These issues are discussed in more detail in the post Climateers Tilting at Windmillshttps://www.youtube.com/embed/ObvdSmPbdLg?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

The Irrational Media:  Whatever Happens in Nature is Our Fault.

An Example:

Other potential examples include agricultural losses. Whether or not insurance
reimburses farmers for their crops, there can be food shortages that lead to higher food
prices (that will be borne by consumers, that is, Youth Plaintiffs and Affected Children).
There is a further risk that as our climate and land use pattern changes, disease vectors
may also move (e.g., diseases formerly only in tropical climates move northward).36 This
could lead to material increases in public health costs

But: Actual climate zones are local and regional in scope, and they show little boundary change.

But: Ice cores show that it was warmer in the past, not due to humans.

The hype is produced by computer programs designed to frighten and distract children and the uninformed.  For example, there was mention above of “multi-meter” sea level rise.  It is all done with computer models.  For example, below is San Francisco.  More at USCS Warnings of Coastal Floodings


In addition, there is no mention that GCMs projections are running about twice as hot as observations.

Omitted is the fact GCMs correctly replicate tropospheric temperature observations only when CO2 warming is turned off.

Figure 5. Simplification of IPCC AR5 shown above in Fig. 4. The colored lines represent the range of results for the models and observations. The trends here represent trends at different levels of the tropical atmosphere from the surface up to 50,000 ft. The gray lines are the bounds for the range of observations, the blue for the range of IPCC model results without extra GHGs and the red for IPCC model results with extra GHGs.The key point displayed is the lack of overlap between the GHG model results (red) and the observations (gray). The nonGHG model runs (blue) overlap the observations almost completely.

In the effort to proclaim scientific certainty, neither the media nor IPCC discuss the lack of warming since the 1998 El Nino, despite two additional El Ninos in 2010 and 2016.

Further they exclude comparisons between fossil fuel consumption and temperature changes. The legal methodology for discerning causation regarding work environments or medicine side effects insists that the correlation be strong and consistent over time, and there be no confounding additional factors. As long as there is another equally or more likely explanation for a set of facts, the claimed causation is unproven. Such is the null hypothesis in legal terms: Things happen for many reasons unless you can prove one reason is dominant.

Finally, advocates and IPCC are picking on the wrong molecule. The climate is controlled not by CO2 but by H20. Oceans make climate through the massive movement of energy involved in water’s phase changes from solid to liquid to gas and back again. From those heat transfers come all that we call weather and climate: Clouds, Snow, Rain, Winds, and Storms.

Esteemed climate scientist Richard Lindzen ended a very fine recent presentation with this description of the climate system:

I haven’t spent much time on the details of the science, but there is one thing that should spark skepticism in any intelligent reader. The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other. They are on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast energetic ramifications. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and reemission of about 200 watts per square meterDoubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.


Say what you want about the liberal arts, but they’ve found a cure for common sense.

By Robert Curry writes at American Thinker Making Sense of Common Sense. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

As we all know, acquiring common sense can be a matter of life and death. I’m thinking, for example, of the teenage boy who swallowed a garden slug on a dare, became paralyzed, and died recently. Because children lack common sense, parents must do what they have always done, trying to instill common sense in their children while at the same time using their own common sense to encompass the growing child.

Becoming a person of common sense has always been a life-defining challenge, but acquiring common sense has gotten a lot more difficult for young people in our time, especially if they have spent some time in our institutions of higher learning. My witty friend Robert Godwin has this to say about that: “Say what you want about the liberal arts, but they’ve found a cure for common sense.”

When I headed off to college, my high school teacher who was my mentor offered me two commonsense rules to follow“Take care to stay well, and choose professors, not courses.” Because of my high regard for him, I took his words to heart. Later, when I saw the problems my fellow students brought on themselves by not getting enough sleep and generally being careless about their health, I understood the practical wisdom of what he had told me. And the second rule helped me more quickly understand the value of navigating my way through college by who was teaching the course rather than by the course title.

For years, I handed on the same commonsense wisdom to young folks I knew when they headed off to college. But I have not offered that advice for some years now. Here is what I tell them now: “They are going to try to knock common sense out of you; don’t let them.”

Post script: From the comments below, Otto was pushing for info regarding volcanoes and the Holocene Climate Optimum. I responded thus:

Otto, I don’t see volcanoes causing the HTM (Holocene Thermal Maximum).
The HTM ended at different times in different parts of the world, but it had ended everywhere by 4,000 BP (BP here means the number of years before 2000) and the world began to cool. Your link refers to the Santorini eruption ending the Minoan warming as well as that civilization.

From Renssen et al. 2012:
“The Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) was a relatively warm climatic phase between 11 and 5 ka BP, as indicated by numerous proxy records (Kaufman et al., 2004; Jansen et al., 2007, 2008; Wanner et al., 2008; Miller et al., 2010a; Bartlein et al., 2011). The relatively warm conditions during the HTM are commonly associated with the orbitally-forced summer insolation maximum (Wanner et al., 2008; Bartlein et al., 2011). However, proxy records suggest that both the timing and magnitude of maximum warming varied substantially between different regions across the globe, suggesting involvement of additional forcings and feedbacks (Jansen et al., 2007; Bartlein et al., 2011). One important additional factor affecting the early Holocene climate is the remnant Laurentide Ice sheet (LIS).

From this we learn three things:

Climate warms and cools without any help from humans.

Warming is good and cooling is bad.

The hypothetical warming from CO2 would be a good thing.

It’s just common sense, after all.

via Science Matters


October 18, 2020 at 02:00PM

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Strong F2 Tornado Hits Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine – Oct. 17, 2020

(Translated from Ukrainian): Today, October 17, at about 2.30 pm in the Lelekivka residential district in Kropyvnytskyi, a hurricane took place.

According to eyewitnesses, everything lasted no more than five minutes.

During this time, the weather managed to break the roofs of houses, damage fences, cut wires, fell trees. People say it was like a tornado.

The weather also affected Balashivka.

The head of the Kirovohrad Regional State Administration Andriy Nazarenko also reported about the terrible weather on Facebook .

“Today’s bad weather has done terrible damage. Kropyvnytskyi was seriously injured. Gusty wind tore down roofs, tore down external structures on buildings. Even destroyed the walls in houses! The hotline receives many calls, “Nazarenko wrote.

Read more (article in Ukrainian): https://glavcom.ua/country/incidents/…