Are the Leaders of the Global Warming Movement Sociopaths?

When I look at the behavior of folks like Algore, there is a pattern that is rather similar to that seen in folks who are Sociopaths. For example, the video referenced in this article:

But first, a digression. There is much confusion of terms about “sociopath” vs “psychopath”; which isn’t all that surprising given that Psychology changes what words they use, and what those words mean, with astounding speed and regularity. (See the Wiki on it for examples of change over time. Note that at one point homosexuality was classed as ‘psychopathy’ by the professionals. One wonders if it was a ‘consensus’…) For my purposes, I’m going to reserve “psychopathy” for those folks with zero moral compass, zero ability to have one, zero “connection” and a broken brain. While “sociopathy”, in my point of view, is someone who may have a glimmer of those abilities, but often leaves them turned off or just doesn’t “get it” why they ought to care. In short, one is crazy and the other is just functionally immoral and lacking empathy.

Now, one reason for pointing out that distinction is that I believe all of us have some capacity to “turn on” or “turn off” brain functions. (Well, at least I know I can and I know many other folks who do at various times, so I think it fair to generalize the ability – though clearly some folks can not “control themselves” and many can’t do it enough…) I mention this for the simple reason that I can choose to meet or not meet some of the “criteria” given for a sociopath. I’m pretty sure I’m not one (for reasons that I’ve mentioned before, in particular the excess of “empathy” that causes me pain, but that I can “turn off” with effort) but there are some folks who would count those abilities in the “are too” side of the checklist. Oh, and I’ve been in a NASA study that set the personality profile selected for shuttle astronauts and had hours of interviews with a shrink and a load of psych tests that all asserted I’m very very normal, but able to control myself and act appropriately in any circumstances. That “right stuff” metric… But there are similarities between “does not care about others” and “can not allow self to care at this moment” that can lead folks astray in their thinking.

So it is quite possible that the folks in leadership positions are NOT sociopaths clinically, but are just able to be “functional sociopaths for the cause” at the moment. Again, perhaps some of that “right stuff”, just for the wrong reasons.

With that preamble, what makes for a sociopath?

Largely, it’s a self centered egotistical person who does not learn from their mistakes and does not give a damn about others as they have low / no empathy. They are also, often, very successful as they don’t care who they crush or how as they climb to the top of organizations and can be very skilled social manipulators. (There is a strong excess of sociopaths and sociopathic behaviour at the tops of businesses and especially governments.)

Has an interesting “checklist” for lay folks. At the end, though, they have one particular idiocy that is horrific. I’ll get it out of the way now:

“Sociopathic tendencies can often be confused with that of conditions such as aspergers or vice versa. The key difference is that sociopaths lack conscience, whereas people with aspergers simply lack theory of mind.”

Completely stupid. Aspergers is being used here as though it were Autism (yet even there we have folks who were / are autistic who have shown they do have a ‘theory of mind’ and knew other folks where thinking, but had other issues) and is asserting that Aspergers folks do not know other folks have a mind (i.e. only conceive of themselves as thinking and everyone else as a kind of prop on stage).

The spouse is a Special Ed. teacher who specializes in such folks and “we talk”. (She also has asserted I’m on the normal side of the cut-off but “on the spectrum” of the behaviors; so “normal with quirks” like high memory function and tendency to over-concentrate on things of interest…) We are both very aware that Aspies quite clearly do have a ‘theory of mind’, just often not liking what those other minds are doing to them… For me (and many others like me) it is TOO MUCH empathy and being too connected to others that’s the issue, not too little. Like Temple Grandin who used her excess empathy for cows to understand them and change the entire industry. Not only had a ‘theory of mind’ but a theory of mind in cows when “professionals” asserted other animals didn’t have a mind. I “talk to bunnies” (and yes, they talk back… it is a very simple tone based language but getting the tones just right is hard; I once had the whole herd scatter when I said “Look up for raptor!” that is just a bit tighter and louder than “I’m here, anything going on?”… they all stopped, looked up, didn’t see a bird but decided to look at me and trust me, then headed for cover; later I got the tone softer and lower and it was the correct inquiry / greeting) and I sometimes talk to other animals. Mammals DO have a mind. Emotionally much like ours, analytically more narrow, less burdened with crazy ideas… most cats are sociopaths, though.) But I digress… So skip that “stupid bit” at the end and it has some nice easy tips.

A sociopath can be defined as a person who has Antisocial Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals. Sociopaths can be dangerous at worst or simply very difficult to deal with, and it’s important to know if you’ve found yourself with a sociopath, whether it’s someone you’re dating or an impossible coworker. If you want to know how to spot a sociopath, then you have to pay careful attention to what the person says or does.

What does one see in those calling out “Denier!!”? The leaders of Global Warming groups?

Disregard for the feelings of others? Check.
Lack of remorse or shame when caught? Check.
Manipulative behaviour? Check.
Unchecked egocentricity? Check.
Ability to lie for goals? Check.


I offer as examples:

Name calling and assertions of “denier” and suggestions of ostracism or bodily / career harm to opponents.

Climategate email and the Hockey Stick debunking (including errors shown). (Also Puchy and his sex poodle book…)

W.W.C. and his rewrites of Wiki; also the rewriting of climate history and “adjustments” of temperature data.

Algore, Puchy, Hansen, and so many more…

And a 1000 and One papers (or likely more) published and peer reviewed that are clearly trash but P.C. “for effect” finding an untold number of things caused by “Global Warming” including both more and less snow and more and less rain and more and less, well, everything. Oh, and that “Inconvenient Truth” movie that was found to be lying by a British court (despite official Britain being very on board with AGW) and forced to include a disclaimer when shown…

And need I even mention the ig- Nobel Prize committee and their awards to Algore and the IPCC and all the folks claiming to be Prize Winners as a hanger on to the IPCC?

The slime, it burns…

So, in conclusion, it sure looks to me like we have clear Sociopathic behaviour in the main / lead participants in the Global Warming scam. (Without even touching on the hidden manipulators like Maurice Strong, Club Of Rome, et. al.). Perhaps it was my “people reader” screaming “Sociopath!” at me when I’d seen these folks that first got me a bit tepid about them. Having met a couple now, it gets worse in person… But my “diagnosis” would be that they do, generally, have a personality disorder. And not one of being capable of “the right stuff” when needed… no, they are “stuck in it” with the wrong stuff.

At least, that’s my opinion as a lay person with little to go on but my own observations of their actions and attitudes. Maybe they are fine folks who love their dog and pat their children on the head… or maybe they just know how to fake it…

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Posted in AGW and GIStemp Issues, Human Interest, Humor, News Related | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Kaliningrad, Crimea, Putin, NATO, and chest thumping

Well, looks like we’re in for a round of Chest Thumping at the international level.

Putin, having had a taster of gathering territory via military means, is now sure nothing will be done to slow him down and he can do what he wants.

NATO, a bit late and very tepidly, is trying to find it’s “courage” with both hands…

The USA, via Obama, is sitting on it’s thumbs
(sporadically swapping between spinning and not…)

All in all, this is an accelerating mess.

I do need to take a moment to praise Al Jazeera. I know, I know. Many folks like to toss rocks at it on general anti-{whatever} principle. I’m compelled to point out that they are generally a much better source of news about the international world than anything “domestic” to the USA (and often more and sooner than the BBC). They are no more biased than Fox, CNN, BBC, whatever either. Their bias is clear, when present. On stories about Islam, Arab states, or Israel: they are clearly and modestly strongly biased pro-Arab and pro-Muslim. Not exactly a surprise. Everything else tends to be fairly ‘straight’. (They often get “rocks tossed at them” by fellow Arabs and fellow Muslims about not being biased enough…) So why mention this? It was on Al Jazeera that I first saw this story. BBC America was running non-news shows. Fox is going on about Noriega and Iran. CNN is presently running commercials… and ‘smear stories’ about “gate crashing” by Secret Service ( i.e. scandal sheet news). But Al Jazeera is covering something that matters to all of the world. Sadly, typical. That’s why I watch them. News all the time, little direct political “commentary”. And NOT stuck on who is sleeping with whom or what pocket which American politician is picking.

With that out of the way, I then went fishing for more confirmation stories.

So this one looks OK:

Associated Press March 17, 2015 | 12:38 p.m. EDT


MOSCOW (AP) — Russia plans to station state-of-the art missiles in its westernmost Baltic exclave and deploy nuclear-capable bombers to Crimea as part of massive war games to showcase its resurgent military power amid bitter tensions with the West over Ukraine.

The Russian military exercises this week range from the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean and involve tens of thousands of troops, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

The Iskander missiles will be sent to the Kaliningrad region that borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania as part of the maneuvers, said a Defense Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to comment publicly.

The official also said Russia will deploy long-range, nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 bombers to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine a year ago.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry said the Baltic Fleet, the Southern Military District and the Airborne Forces have been brought to the highest stage of combat readiness and have started moving to shooting ranges as part of the drills.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme commander in Europe, has termed Russia’s “threats to deploy nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles in Kaliningrad” part of what he called the Kremlin’s “pattern of continuing behavior to coerce its neighbors in Central and Eastern Europe.”

The Kremlin, in its turn, has voiced concern about U.S. plans to beef up its military presence near Russia’s borders. Later this month, U.S. troops are holding joint exercises with forces from EU nations Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Four Polish NATO MiG-29s flew training missions in Lithuania on Monday, under the command and control of an alliance AWACS surveillance aircraft in a small corridor between Belarus and the Kaliningrad region. The mission — described as ‘routine’ by NATO officials — prompted the Russian military in Kaliningrad to scramble half a dozen fighter jets to monitor the exercise.

So NATO is trying to look like they give a damn about the Eastern states, with military posturing. Russia, in response, is putting nuclear capability in the heart of that Eastern area via that bit of Russia that used to be Prussia, then Poland and Germany, and now is an isolated scrap of Russia.

Kaliningrad is the red dot on the left in Eastern Europe

Kaliningrad is the red dot on the left in Eastern Europe

Now the Estonian and other Baltic states have a significant Russian population. Russia would love to connect Kaliningrad to “Mother Russia” and has had a history of absorbing places where it sees a significant ethnic Russian population (even if only recently put there, such as during the USSR era). See the recent annexations in Georgia, Crimea, and now the Ukraine. So it’s a reasonable concern of who is next on the lunch plate.

County	        Russians	Percent
Ida-Viru	106,508	        72.8%
Harju	        173,878	        31.3%
Tartu	         18,362	        12.2%
Valga	           3607	        12.2%
Lääne-Viru	   5624	         9.6%
Pärnu	           6539	         8.0%
Lääne	           1912	         8.0%
Jõgeva	           2147	         7.0%
Rapla	           1313	         3.8%
Põlva	           1006	         3.7%
Võru	           1125	         3.4%
Viljandi	   1255	         2.7%
Järva	            801	         2.7%
Saare	            296	         1.0%
Hiiu	             58	         0.7%
Total	        324,431	        25.2%

Residents of Latvia by ethnicity (2011)
Latvians	62.1%
Russians	26.9%
Belarusians	 3.3%
Ukrainians	 2.2%
Poles	         2.2%
Lithuanians	 1.2%
Others	         2.1%

Though Lithuania, the closest Baltic state to the Kaliningrad Oblast is only 5.8% Russians.

Still, with at least a couple of parts of the various Baltic states having a large Russian population, it is clearly a temptation to Putin. He also knows Global Warming is bunk and is looking to collect more warm water ports and more warm farm land. Though Crimea, while a warm water port, has been a bit snowy and cold this year. In an interesting comment here:

Crimea covered with snow – 18,000 lose power
by ROBERT on MARCH 17, 2015 · 2 COMMENTS
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13 settlements without power

Social network users are uploading photos of a snowy Crimea.

According to the Ministry of Energy, due to adverse weather conditions (strong winds of 20-25 m / s, snow) mass outages occur in the distribution networks of 6-10 kV (GUP RK “Krymenergo”).

Residents remained without electricity in 13 settlements of Feodosia, Kerch, Sudak and Leninsky districts – about 18 ,250 people. Total power outages is 13 MW.

So one year after Russian annexation, the news is about the weather…

Argiris Diamantis points out the unusual nature of the snow. (The Wiki says that Yalta usually has an average Feb. temp of 1.6 C (35 F) so above freezing and this site says March has typically only 3 snowy days…)

Argiris Diamantis says:
March 18, 2015 at 5:30 am
Seventy years ago the Yalta Conference took place in the Crimea, held February 4–11 1945.
Here we see F.D. Roosevelt, the American president, on his way from the airport to Yalta. There was no snow then in February 1945, but seventy years of “unprecedented global warming” later, the Crimea is covered with snow in March and battered by blizzards.

So the folks in Crimea know that it’s not “warm”, as does Putin, as do folks all over the snowy place. Having a European “warmer water” port will be very important to Russia as things get colder over the next decades. I’d not put it past Putin to be playing a long game to recapture the Baltic States into a reformed USSR like “Federation”.

The big question, though, is will Russia and NATO end up “accidentally” going at each other, or will NATO just be a noisy yappy dog that squeals and runs away at the first kick. Especially if the Russian natural gas is shut off… I think Putin will be willing to take that bet.

What do the folks in the Baltic areas think?

Baltic News Network – News from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia » Baltics » Moscow: deployment of NATO forces close to Russian border will carry consequences

Moscow: deployment of NATO forces close to Russian border will carry consequences

«In order to avoid accusations regarding breach of mutual obligations, NATO member states use the principle of deployment of armed forces on a rotational basis, which implies that this is not permanent deployment, but rather having one unit replace the other,» – said the official.

He adds that Moscow does not care whether these armed forced are deployed close to the Russian border on a permanent or rotational basis.

«We will continue following the development of this situation. We have not yet made any decisions in regard to any possible breaches. We will come to conclusions should a need arise. They will definitely have an impact on the military-political dimension of Europe’s security,» – said Ulyanov.

This Monday, the Pentagon announced USA plans to deploy 3,000 of its soldiers in Baltic States in order to take part in massive military exercises there.

Atlantic Resolve operation is planned in order to prove to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia that the alliance continues supporting them.

Pentagon Spokesperson Colonel Steven Warren has said that the delivery of helicopters, transport vehicles and heavy armoured vehicles to Riga has begun. He has also said the operation will last 90 days.

Warren has confirmed that approximately 3,000 have been sent to Latvia.

US General John O’Connor mentioned in Riga that the deployment of armed forces would demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin the collective commitment of alliance forces to come together.

According to O’Connor, tanks and support vehicles will remain in Latvia «for as long as necessary to hold off Russia’s aggression».

So we are playing a game of “rotation” to avoid triggering a violation by having troops there “permanently”, and are pre-positioning a load of tanks. (Frankly, I’d rather pre-position a lot of A-10 Warthog (Thunderbolt) tank killing airplanes, but being old and non-sexy our military is retiring them, sort of, maybe, despite them being the best tank killer we have. Sigh.)

One of my favorite airplanes - The A-10 Warthog (Thunderbolt II)

One of my favorite airplanes – The A-10 Warthog (Thunderbolt II)

At any rate, it’s a game of bluster and “mine is bigger than yours”. One can only hope that avarice and greed does not underestimate “resolve” (and / or that we actually have some resolve, but maybe not feeling the need to show our “little one” still works…)

To me, it looks like Putin has measured up Obama and found him a weak appeaser (rather like everyone else on the planet has sized him up) and sees little in NATO to really worry about any more. Expect to see Belarus continue to act as a part of Russia (it has already snuggled up nicely) and expect attempts to get (through it) connections back to that warm water and the Kaliningrad Oblast. Expect to see NATO make a lot of noise, and not do much, as the USA puts material over there, but doesn’t keep enough people around to matter (or get hurt and look bad in the polls for Democrats).

Expect this to get worse before it gets better. If it gets better. Maybe in 2016…

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Posted in Political Current Events, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

TLT doing something odd – stocks sideways drift slight rise

This following chart is just odd. I’ve looked at thousands of charts over the decades and you get to know what’s “the usual” and what is not. This one has several “odd bits” about it. One, clearly, is that the $US strength is distorting relationships when seen in ROW (Rest Of World) context. The ‘overseas’ things in this chart (EEM Emerging Markets, metals now largely bought by China as they own manufacturing, oil – priced in dollars but sold into world demand, etc.) are dropping largely in similar trends, much of which is really the $US rising. More on that in a moment. For now, here’s the chart:

2 Year chart of US Treasury Bonds vs a selection of tickers.

2 Year chart of US Treasury Bonds vs a selection of tickers.

Remember you can click on it to get a much larger version.

OK, the main ticker is TLT a US Treasury Bonds fund. It’s rising in a nice steady-if-slow way through most of the 2 years on this graph. Then in Jan-Feb 2015 it has a bump. now it has returned to the trend line (back to the SMA Simple Moving Average stack). Odd. Bonds don’t usually jump that much unless something big is going on. I know I was busy and away from the news flow then (ending one job, immersed in teaching Brazilian high school kids English, job hunt and planning a future, etc.) but for the life of me it isn’t clear what happened then. Was it The Fed doing something? The ISIS thing? The POTUS doing a FUBAR? I just wasn’t watching… But there it is in the chart.

Now the indicators (such as MACD and DMI are saying “time to be out” with “red on top” and MACD clearly below the zero line. Yet both are inflecting upward. That can mean a clear buying opportunity IFF you know why the drop from the top happened. And I don’t. Sigh.

Heck, there was even some news about Euroland being on the edge of failure of the currency about then. Perhaps it was a flood of bank assets out of Euros and into $US assets.

So over the last year and a half a huge load of money has moved into US Treasuries (likely from ‘overseas’ as they get the T Bond yield plus the currency move) and now a bubble and drop. Did some Arab oil guy suck out a load of cash? Has some particular other currency stopped the drop relative to the dollar? I don’t know. But it’s odd. The best I can do is look at the chart and notice that USO Oil Fund took a spike-and-hump about that same moment. Oil has been in a perpetual drop for a long time, and here it looks like a lot of short-oil trades were taken off. Perhaps taken off as a pairs trade? Short oil, long bonds? Both trades being taken off at the same time? Gold has a bit of a rise going into that bottom, so perhaps some ‘short oil long gold’ was happening toward the end as they saw the bonds rising from cash flow in? Hard to say, but my guess would be that a Very Large Whale (or 2 or 4 or…) was making a major play in oil and moved out of it. “Oil Bottoming” was in some of the financial news as a question. Now oil is back into a drop, so this could be the “dead cat bounce” at the end of the long decline. Time to watch oil for a ‘bottom weave’ and start to rise (though I think it will likely just lay on / near this point for months to years as the structural increase in supply bites).

JJC Copper looks a bit ‘bottomy’ too. Stopped the decline. A bit of a rise (not quite a DCB shape though). In non-$US terms it likely is a bounce off a bottom and would look like that usual DC bounce shape. I do wish I knew of a similar site to BigCharts denominated in Euros or UK Pounds. It would help at times like this.

For the other lines, not much spectacular to note. US stocks continue a tepid sideways behaviour, but with a bit of rise recently as folks think we’re going to take off again and do fine, thank you all, while the Euro heads toward $US parity. I don’t think so… I’d be willing to ‘trade the ripples’ but the up trend is just too weak to hop on and ride. Also, as soon as the EU get their act together, that Euro weakness can end. Similarly, there’s a whole continent of folks who can not afford that Disney vacation in Florida this year as the Euro is not cutting it. Nor will buying $US goods look very attractive. Other than Apple (where folks will pay near any price for the latest i-gadget) just what does the US sell that will be compelling? So I’m not seeing how a strong dollar helps our corn, beef, pork, wheat, etc. sales nor our manufactures.

EZU and EEM both continue to drop (that’s EU and Emerging Markets) in $US terms. (Again that non-$US chart would help sort out is this a currency artifact or an actual drop in local price terms… but one really does need to guard against changing rubber rulers too often… so measuring in one $US rubber ruler is likely OK after all).

So for me, it looks like the world is having some kind of transition. US oil production forcing oil down and the $US up. The traders hopped on that trend, but may have hopped off at the start of the year. Strong dollar biting the typical US products, but Apple pulling the QQQQ up anyway ( it’s about 20% of the Nasdaq …) and commodities likely near a bottom. Not a “risk on” trade yet, but not a “risk off” trade either.

So time for deeper sector analysis, individual stock picking, and watch much more closely for reversals in trends in things like metals and commodities. Things will likely also be squirrely going into the 2016 election cycle, so short cycles, not multi-year trends, likely to dominate.

All in all, not seeing a reason to commit to any long term strategy just yet. Mostly just seeing a reason to look inside the NASDAQ for particular bits of interest while starting the bottom fishing work on commodities. And watching the EU for any signs it will fail to implode and actually start some kind of economic recovery with Euro strength… but not holding my breath. IFF the EU risk comes off, a swap into EZU and related stocks (from a US POV) could make a great trade as the Euro rises and their stocks grow. Worth watching.

Now that I’ve got a better set of news feeds for international news I’ll be better able to follow the developments. We’ll see. CNBC is doing the “European Close” at the moment and commodities are down, so not showing much follow through on any change to a rise. Talking heads nattering about when central bank rates might rise (as they have been for months). When (if?) that happens stocks will take a hit. Perhaps the 1/2 year of nattering about it is why stocks have been ‘sort of flat’ for the last year-ish.

To me, it looks like we have an overall conflict between the financial view of the economy and the real production view. The financial view is dominated by monetary policy points of view. What is the interest rate and how ‘easy’ is money. The reality view doesn’t give a damn how low interest rates are when you don’t have a job and can’t qualify for a mortgage. Government talking heads are sure that they have ‘nailed it’ with pushing interest rates to zero (or below…) and now the economy ought to take off. The rest of us are staring stagflation in the face and noticing we don’t have a whole lot of money left while we still have a goodly quantity of month. It doesn’t matter if you are a Spaniard with 40% unemployment in some groups, or a USA black male with similar prospects, or even an “overqualified” white male professional with no income. At that point, interest rates just don’t make a damn bit of difference. Now, add in so much regulatory burden that any reasonable business manager is not able to “move” and change things that need changing in any reasonable way, and you have built a structurally stable system with structural failure inherent. The world does not stand still and you must move with it, or perish.

So folks “at the top” are doing “the usual” moving levers in their financial kabuki dance, while the rest of us are bored of the show and would really like to see something of real impact change. But it isn’t. So ‘for a while’ some paper assets bounce up, and down, based on financial dances, but where’s the real change in the real economy? Just not seeing it. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. It is just sort of global ‘hanging on’ waiting for something to happen and hoping for better times.
“But hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith”

So what to do? For me, it’s continued cautious with only short term trades (buy the dips, sell the pops) and sector rotations as things get hot, or not. We’ve avoided a global economic collapse (due to the stupidity of the Democrats in pushing the CRA, the Financial Whiz Kids in finding ways to third party those junk loans globally, and the Republicans in their agreeing to it all just so long as the protections of Glass-Steagall and other regulatory protections were removed) but not yet figured out how to lighten the regulatory death grip on the throat of industry so it can “move”. Socialisms around the globe saw this as an opportunity for more “3rd Way” intervention and the USA went down that road too; but it fails longer term. (Those who are ‘friends of government’ tend to win, though, so love to push that ‘solution’ at the expense of the rest of us.) The USA has started to pull back from that path, but the Obama administration continues to ‘speak it into being’ with Executive Orders and agency Regulations. We’re in a race condition with 2016. And that will be a major shift for America, one way or the other. I can’t see making long term trend investments in that context.

In short: EU land is a mess, and likely to get worse. The UK is trying to decide to decouple from that mess (and face their own, smaller, mess). The USA is heavily conflicted and headed for a wall in 2016, where we either head down the Euro-Socialist path for the next generation or pull back from the edge. The Emerging Markets depend on selling into those markets, so are not liking what they see. Russia and the OPEC nations are heavily stressed on US oil production, and Russia in particular is starting to lash out. (The Arab world was largely funded by oil money and as that gets tight, we will see lots of turmoil -as we have- with more to come). Overall, things are looking “not so good”. The only bright lights I see are a rising India and China about ready to shift to internally driven growth. IFF they can do that quickly, they can become the “engine of growth” globally.

But I’m not seeing that in the charts just yet…

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Posted in Economics, Trading, and Money, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Send In The Clouds…

I was over at TallBlokes and he had one of those “look at this” postings he does. It was about clouds.

Basically it references a paper that says that the albedo of the two hemispheres is identical for all practical puprposes and there most likely is some strong negative feedback that keeps it that way.

Joint analyses of surface solar flux data that are a complicated mix of measurements and model calculations with top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux measurements from current orbiting satellites yield a number of surprising results including (i) the Northern and Southern Hemispheres (NH, SH) reflect the same amount of sunlight within ~ 0.2Wm2. This symmetry is achieved by increased reflection from SH clouds offsetting precisely the greater reflection from the NH land masses. (ii) The albedo of Earth appears to be highly buffered on hemispheric and global scales as highlighted by both the hemispheric symmetry and a remarkably small interannual variability of reflected solar flux (~0.2% of the annual mean flux). We show how clouds provide the necessary degrees of freedom to modulate the Earth’s albedo setting the hemispheric symmetry. We also show that current climate models lack this same degree of hemispheric symmetry and regulation by clouds. The relevance of this hemispheric symmetry to the heat transport across the equator is discussed.

He points over to Climate Etc. as his source:

Where Judith Curry does a very nice job of including quotes of interest, while also having a link to the whole thing and some comments at the end.

The albedo of Earth
Posted on March 10, 2015 | 466 Comments

by Judith Curry

An important new paper finds that the albedo of Earth is highly regulated, mostly by clouds, with some surprising consequences.

The albedo of Earth

Graeme L. Stephens, Denis O’Brien, Peter J. Webster, Peter Pilewski, Seiji Kato, and Jui-lin Li

Abstract. The fraction of the incoming solar energy scattered by Earth back to space is referred to as the planetary albedo. This reflected energy is a fundamental component of the Earth’s energy balance, and the processes that govern its magnitude, distribution, and variability shape Earth’s climate and climate change. We review our understanding of Earth’s albedo as it has progressed to the current time and provide a global perspective of our understanding of the processes that define it. Joint analyses of surface solar flux data that are a complicated mix of measurements and model calculations with top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux measurements from current orbiting satellites yield a number of surprising results including (i) the Northern and Southern Hemispheres (NH, SH) reflect the same amount of sunlight within ~ 0.2Wm2. This symmetry is achieved by increased reflection from SH clouds offsetting precisely the greater reflection from the NH land masses. (ii) The albedo of Earth appears to be highly buffered on hemispheric and global scales as highlighted by both the hemispheric symmetry and a remarkably small interannual variability of reflected solar flux (~0.2% of the annual mean flux). We show how clouds provide the necessary degrees of freedom to modulate the Earth’s albedo setting the hemispheric symmetry. We also show that current climate models lack this same degree of hemispheric symmetry and regulation by clouds. The relevance of this hemispheric symmetry to the heat transport across the equator is discussed.
Excerpts from the Introduction:

There are many reasons why it is important to understand the variability of the Earth’s albedo and the factors that define it:

1. Simple energy balance models of the climate system are unstable to small changes in the amount of energy reflected to space. In these simple models with an albedo overly sensitive to surface temperature, relatively small changes in the absorbed solar energy can swing these models from a near ice-free Earth to a fully ice covered state.

2. It is also speculated that albedo changes potentially regulate the climate system. Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis, exemplified in the study of “Daisyworld”, suggests that regulation of the system albedo by the adaptation of biota of differing albedos to climate change might in fact buffer the system from the instabilities inherent to earlier energy balance models.

3. The reflection of sunlight by clouds provides an important climate change feedback mechanism. Our inability to quantify these feedbacks with any certainty is recognized as one of the major obstacles in climate change predictions .

4. More locally, the Earths albedo appears to be resilient to other internal changes that might otherwise alter the system albedo. Perturbations to the albedo through effects of aerosol on clouds appears to be buffered by compensating processes that restrict local albedo changes to changing aerosol influences. The implications of these more local compensations to concepts proposed to mitigate climate change through geoengineering cloud albedo are thus profound.

5. Regulation of the Earth’s albedo is also central to other important climate feedbacks, including the snow/ice surface albedo feedback as well as cloud feedbacks.

6. It has also been conjectured that the characteristics of the total energy transport from low to high latitudes are insensitive to the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere-ocean system and are determined primarily by external controls such as the solar constant, the size of the Earth, the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and the hemispheric mean albedo.

We show, as in other studies, that the Northern and Southern Hemispheres (NH and SH) reflect the same amount of sunlight within 0.2Wm2. We show clearly how this is achieved as a consequence of reflection from increased amounts of SH clouds offsetting precisely the increased reflection from the larger NH land masses . The spectral distribution of this reflected energy exhibits clear differences between the hemispheres that reinforce our understanding of how the hemispheric symmetry is established.

The albedo appears to be highly constrained on the hemispheric and global scale and over interannual timescales. The hemispheric symmetry is an example of such a constraint, and the interannual variability of reflected energy is another example. The interannual variability is small, mostly regulated by the changes to clouds associated with the main modes of climate variability. Overall, these changes occur in a way that minimizes the global effects of clouds on the albedo, buffering the Earth system from large changes.

We also show that the ability of present-day models of climate in simulating the statistical properties of the energy reflected from Earth varies depending upon the metric used. Models produce a much more variable reflected sunlight than observed and fail to reproduce the same degree of hemispheric symmetry. Simple arguments suggest that a symmetric energy balance implies zero net cross equatorial transport of heat that is also a condition of a steady state. Although Earth is very near this symmetric state, it is out of energy balance, with less outgoing longwave radiative (OLR) emitted from the SH than the NH. This hemispheric asymmetry in OLR contributes to the approximate 0.6Wm2 imbalance observed and is associated with offsetting transports of heat from north to south in the atmosphere and from south to north in the oceans.

And it includes a link to the whole paper here:

J.C. comments:

JC reflections

The implications of this paper strike me as profound. Planetary albedo is a fundamental element of the Earth’s climate. This paper implies the presence of a stabilizing feedback between atmosphere/ocean circulations, clouds and radiation. Climate models do not capture this stabilizing feedback.

The results of this paper also have interesting implications for ice ages, whereby the forcing that is predominant in one hemisphere is felt in the other.

The failure of models to reproduce this hemisphere synchronicity raises interesting implications regarding the fidelity of climate model-derived sensitivity to CO2.

Profound is about what I’d say too. It is clear and strong evidence for a negative feedback loop that has tight parameters on it. (I ommitted a comment about the ITCZ moving, but that’s part of it). The simple fact is that this shows that it does not matter if you have a load of land, snow, or dark southern ocean; the Earth responds by adjusting albedo.

While I think her comment about Ice Ages is carefully worded to avoid the point, I’m going to push one of my own views here. This stablizing effect will, IMHO, be found to exist at non-glacial times, but not during full on glacials. In short, as long as the water evaporates enough, the clouds limit upward heating to a strong degree at just a degree or two above present ( interglacials have a hard lid to the upside, then get swatted back down, hard). During a full on glacial, the extraction of water vapor from the air allows unconstrained cooling to the downside until things are very frozen. Yes, in keeping with her careful wording of “interesting implications” and “felt in the other”; but IMHO it needs more emphasis. We are albedo limited to the upside, but albedo even while plunging to the downside.

This is overall rather in keeping with my description of the present regimen as a “heat pipe earth”, and when a heat pipe gets too cold it freezes up and stops moving heat while the cold pole gets very cold.

Still, it is a very striking set of implications. Albedo is a strong negative feedback system regulating upward thermal excursions. So much so that radically different land and sea ratios, heating rates (solar orbital position presently puts about 8% or so more sun on the S.H. IIRC – see the “equation of time”… that not only tells you how to set your sundials by also where the sun is heating the most…). To have the end result of that and the oceans versus land be effectively nill is impressive.

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Posted in AGW Science and Background | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

The Joys Of Bit Rot

Well, after a couple of days of R & R from the marathon drive, mostly spent unpacking and finding where things have “gone off to”; I’m more or less functional again.

Both me, personally, as I’ve actually gotten some sleep, and me as a technical entity as I’ve been rediscovering the joys of “bit rot”. For anyone not of the geek persuasion, bit rot is what happens to your electronics as time passes and they don’t, quite. “Things change”, and that often means something that worked before is now broken.

So first off, I found that the power to the power strip that had my network gear in it was unplugged. Then, that the GFI for that outlet set was tripped. Folks had “cleaned up” the space some and it looks like they were unclear on the concept of “leave it alone” and “don’t unplug anything”. (They were, however, willing to inform me that “the internet is down” when I was on the other coast, and were unable to take the direction of “find where the power plug goes and make sure it is plugged in all the way to the wall and that the wall socket has power…)

That, however, would not have been quite enough. You see, I had a three level network set up. The ISP router (with passworded WiFi), an internal passworded WiFi with my servers on it, and an open no password WiFi that had “controls” but let you to the internet. It was that “internal passworded” WiFi router that was the issue. It had died. Likely in a fall to the floor when folks were “cleaning”… It was also the center of the internal universe of services. Sigh.


But, the “open internet” was also shut down.

After some amount of new configuring, I had basic internet back up. Then came the joy of bitrot. The most major, really, was finding that several old systems could no longer get to web pages. TLS upgrades have spread through the internet as folks discovered it was better to have a secure new version of security than be backwards compatible with “old browsers”. Fine, unless all you have on those boxes is “old browsers”. So I set out to upgrade the browsers.

No joy. First off, things were bog slow. Second, it’s hard to download a new browser when your old browser isn’t supported anymore…. Finally, some of these systems were set up a decade or two back and apparently are not thought of as worth thinking about. I am presently typing this on a Windoz- 2K box. Attempts to install a newer Opera or Firefox gave me a 32 bit exe to do the install, but attempts to run it gave ‘this is not a valid executable’. Sigh. No, I’m not going to buy a new MS license when I really don’t want to use it anyway and Linux has now gotten “compatible enough”. So a conversion of stuff off of the box is on the cards… Add “Convert everything on W2k box to Linux after building Linux server” to the ToDo list.

But wait, there’s more…

This box had been dual boot Windows / Red Hat (it’s also the GIStemp box du jour). But it has decided to only boot directly to Windows now. OK, another ‘update conversion’ on the ToDo list. Figure out how to get GRUB to show it’s face so I can choose which to boot… This is a ‘way old’ Red Hat, so will not solve my browser modernity issue. It is dedicated to a working GIStemp service only, really. With custom compiler installs and such.

Booting from a SliTaz CD lets me see both disks, so “it’s all there”, just the boot has gone a bit off…

My “boot from CD and screw security it is read-only while browsing” CDs are all now too old to have a browser that is acceptable to the world, so “make new CDs” is a ToDo as well. Except it is hard to make a CD when the drive is in use running the OS, so back to that make Windoz go… It looks like my older Opera is “good enough”, though with a couple of quirks it didn’t have before (like edit postings in WordPress now is ‘jerky’ as they have updated something to not-quite-compatible land), but may be good enough to let me at least download and burn new Disposible Linux CDs. I hope. (I think it has a r/w drive in it and not just a reader… maybe… I used the laptop last time. I’d use the new Mac my spouse uses, except it doesn’t do ‘media’ and has no drives for such things…it’s all about the cloud, you know…)

So downloading a copy of Knoppix started. And took a very long time. Seems that the boundary router is slowly retraining to know what frequencies work best on this wire (normal) and that can take a few days to get to full speed (or so the telco claims…)

Then I found that any page loads with multiple ads and such were awful slow. DNS issues. Found and got started my Raspberry Pi DNS server (in the process discovering one of the two boards was now toast… order more Raspberry Pi boards on the ToDo list…) and set it up. That then lead to DNS Wars…

OK, often folks think the “internet” is slow or the “network” is slow when it really is just that their DNS lookups are slow. In this case the telco DNS servers are not always the fastest. I built a local cacheing DNS server on a R.Pi so as to make that issue go away. Setting it back up was a bit of fun, and I found that a couple of the DNS upstream servers it had pointed to were now gone. Sigh. More bit rot. It is now up, and my tablet pointed at it and it is a nice improvement. But the Windoz box doesn’t like it as it does not have a network name when a reverse lookup is done (that MS seems to think is essential) so it will not use the DNS server as configged. “Add MS garbage to DNS server” added to ToDo list… Looking into the settings on the W2K box showed one interface with hard coded addresses for the dead internal router. Sigh. Changed it to the “open” router (add security to “open” router on ToDo list… Get longer paper for ToDo list added to ToDo list…) and all was sort of good.

Except Opera and other browsers were timing out on things and having “issues” and… well, not good. Looking into it, the hard coded DNS servers in the W2k box were essentially dead and MIA. So it was falling back through a list to things to eventually using the boundary router. I’ve temporarily fixed that via making one interface point to OpenDNS and the other point to GoogleDNS with each having a secondary of the boundary router. Now it’s much much faster and the timouts look to be gone.

And just think, I’ll get to do all this again on the Red Hat side when I get it to boot again…

But for now, I’ve got the “open” WiFi working (it’s a slow link for anyone visiting) but need to find the PW for it to make sure it is handing out sane DNS servers (IIRC it just looked up stream to the boundary router, but the ToDo list has ‘check it’ now…) and I’ve got the direct secure WiFi going with Telco DNS as served from the boundary router directly, and I’ve got my internal DNS server working for everything but Windowz2k. I’ve also got a ‘good enough’ browser / keyboard combo for making some postings, though with questionable security. (Add “make secure workstation” to the priority ToDo list… Linux CD with internal DNS server).

For now, this will do, even if this old version of Opera is a bit quirky with the WordPress editor (and down right freaks out on the ‘new’ beep bop boop crap editor).

One brick at a time the office rises from the ashes of a few years of neglect and comes back to life, as the rotted bits (like rotted ice?) melt away and are replaced with more workable bits. Oh, and Silicon Valley has lots of computer fixit places, so getting a new fan in the old HP Laptop is now on the ToDo list too.

I’m happy to have (now) reasonably fast and stable internet browsing and “good enough” article entry as I work on making the whole thing more sturdy and secure (again). Though maybe a bit less complex this time. Maybe I don’t really need three levels of WiFi and routing ;-)

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Posted in Human Interest, Uncategorized | 9 Comments