Can You Dig It?

Boring Train336

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48 Responses to Can You Dig It?

  1. Good points Bob. Years ago such underground ultra fast trains appeared in sci-fi novels as the preferred high-speed travel on a future earth. Some even used a pumped vacuum to suck the train along like the tubes we had by cash registers in department stores that took your check or credit card to accounting upstairs and returned the purchase approval. There’s certainly a lot to recommend such underground designs. But whether topside or down below, the effect of even a minor earthquake on a fast moving ground vehicle will be spectacular. Would like to have a total cost comparison between the two approaches to see how many lawyers and environmentalists, if any, would be put out of business by tunneling.

  2. Dai Meagher, CPA says:

    I suspect that any accident or terrorism incident on a bullet train would effectively turn the bullet train into a multi-billion dollar paper-weight. There are far greater needs in California than a paper weight.

  3. Ryan Mount says:

    So like mineral rights, property owners don’t have boring train rights?

    Maybe the train might find riches during the boring? Maybe Jimmy Hoffa?

    • Chris Peterson says:

      A. Most people don’t know it but, they don’t own the mineral rights to the ground beneath them.

      B. If memory serves, the Empire mine won a major decision that allowed it to follow a vein of gold under another mine’s claim. So, I doubt that subterranean public domain rights would be much of problem.

      This is, without a doubt, the only boring thing I’ve ever seen Bob come up with.

  4. Steve Frisch says:

    The ‘hyper loop’ is perhaps not as crazy as people think……would save a lot of Bob’s projected tunneling costs :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop

  5. Greg Goodknight says:

    The high speed train is a dead project at the moment, probably never to rise again. It wasn’t environmental or property right objections that has it parked on a spur. From Dan Walters at the Bee:

    “Speed may be critical, because the 2008 bond issue barely passed. Since then, as costs have skyrocketed and its lack of financing has become apparent, public sentiment has turned against the project.

    Without the ballot measure’s restrictions, it likely would have failed, but it’s also evident that as now envisioned, the project cannot meet all of the law’s requirements.

    One of Kenny’s rulings says, in effect, that the state can’t build that short stretch in the San Joaquin Valley without a plan that lays out how a much longer stretch from Merced to Southern California can be financed.

    Since the state has barely enough money for the first stretch, the barrier to meeting the larger financial standard is very high.”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/26/5949966/dan-walters-california-bullet.html#storylink=cpy

    A court directing the State to follow the law it asked the people to vote on and not the law they now wish they had; what will we see next?

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Kinda’ dumb logic being applied there. It’s like my wife telling me I can’t go down to the feed store because I can’t afford a trip to Michigan. Most of the rail lines of today were built a piece at a time, as were our roads.

      And as far as public support; pass any measure and then don’t implement it for years and, of course, public zeal will weaken.

      It’s all part of the same bassackwards thinking that prevails today; that we can’t afford to invest in our future, (education, infrastructure, etc.), because we are focused on feeding the business world rather than on paying taxes for services and community investment. Woe is be if we should ever demand that businesses utilize a sound business model for their only support, rather than feeding off the taxes on the labor that actually makes and handles their products

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        Chris, it’s mostly “prevailing wage” Union porkbarrel jobs, it barely passed with all the financial promises to not start the job without a rational plan to finish it, and it was passed at the height of the global warming frenzy.

        Let me put it this way for you… no one expects the California High-Speed Rail authority to move people as quickly, as cheaply, conveniently or with the same customer satisfaction as Southwest Airlines, or get anywhere close to the total cost per seat of a (for example) Volkswagen Jetta TDI which, if it’s driven from Grass Valley to LA, can actually be used to get around in LA once you’re there. However, the hope is, quoting the Chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority last May, the billions of dollars borrowed from the Chinese will help save the planet and allow us to service the debt:

        “As you may be aware, in 2006, California passed the Global Warming Solutions Act, commonly referred to as AB 32, which called for the state to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and then by 2050 to further reduce GHG emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels. One of the key strategies the state is employing that is critical to reducing GHG emissions is an integrated alternative to single-occupancy vehicle trips. The high-speed rail system, combined with existing transit, commuter and intercity rail systems, as well as strategic land-use decisions, will result in significant reductions in GHG emissions, improving air quality statewide. In its 2008 Scoping Plan, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) listed the high-speed rail system as, “one of the significant state projects,” to make a positive contribution on the issue of global climate change.”

        The new SF-Oakland Bay Bridge span is beautiful, and only cost a bit more than $6 billion. If you think the high speed rail will even come close to the estimated $68 billion, then I have a bridge to sell you. Using a swag from the bridge overrun, don’t be surprised if the rail, if it actually goes forward, will cost $155 billion to start and never come close to a day when the fares are servicing the debt.

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        “It’s like my wife telling me I can’t go down to the feed store because I can’t afford a trip to Michigan. Most of the rail lines of today were built a piece at a time, as were our roads.”

        Those old initial rail segments and roads actually served needs. There’s not a chance in hell that the Fresno-Madera link would be built if the locals were the ones who had to cough up the billion dollars the contract for the first 29 miles cost… before the first overruns… because they aren’t the folks who would be using it.

        • Chris Peterson says:

          And the people in the outer provinces of China don’t use their high speed rail system either but, nonetheless, it serves the country well. Same in France.

          But my point was that we are told we cannot afford to build these advanced systems of transportation because we must use our tax base to guarantee business profits. None of the projects or programs that citizens back in the 80% range can come to pass because business has laid claim to that portion of revenue that would normally be used for such tasks. And having a political system and media that must cater to business interests in order to be viable or elected/reelected means that even when citizens band together and pass for the projects they want, they are never implemented once bribed politicians and corporate propagandists get their say.

          I’ll repeat; if a business doesn’t have a good enough business model to survive, it should perish. Period. I pay taxes to support the employees of Walmart, who are not paid a living wage. I pay taxes to make up for the tax breaks the Walton kids get. And I pay taxes to supplement their building of new facilities. THAT’S why we can’t have high speed rails.

          And skipping the BS laden arguments on whether or not there is global warming, the FACT remains that the air and water in our country is way cleaner than it was 40 years ago. Only those who profit from the old scenario are against that.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Conservatives constantly argue that we must let the market decide, then they spend all of their time, and our money, keeping that from actually happening. It’s a joke that cannot continue.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            I should have said politicians rather than conservatives because it’s a bi-partisan idiocy. Even the term “bi-partisan” has become a joke. They’re ALL on the dole, with few exceptions.

          • rl crabb says:

            Actually, Chris, the biggest hurdle to the bullet express are the gentrified communities between the coast and the valley. (Not in my backyard!) Being the litigious state we are, there are lawsuits waiting around every corner. Guv’ner Moontrain wants to invoke eminent domain, but the courts are generally opposed. If you figure in all the legal challenges, you can bet the project will be tens of billions over budget. In the old days, this was not a problem. The Indians didn’t have lawyers.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “None of the projects or programs that citizens back in the 80% range can come to pass because business has laid claim to that portion of revenue that would normally be used for such tasks.”

            80%? CP, barely 52% of California’s voters approved of the rail project bond for just the down payment in 2008. Current support is thought to be around 40%.

            IIRC China’s high speed rail with separate rails got its push when so many passenger trains were being run that it interfered with low speed freight. That is *NOT* the case in California.

            RL, I love the “Moontrain” moniker. Googling, I found only one political use of it before you, from a captain of industry named William H. Franklin who also has a blog:

            Austerity must mean something different in California than is does anywhere else, because for all of his talk about it, Governor Moonbeam is as committed as ever to build a “bullet train to nowhere” – a high speed line from San Francisco to Los Angeles – which has been his dream since he earned the Moonbeam handle. Its cost to taxpayers is estimated at $68 billion, but those not drinking Kool-Aid say it will exceed $100 billion. The 300-mile distance can be covered by plane in an hour and by car is seven hours, but the Moontrain will cover it two and a half hours and cost $123 one way. A recent poll showed 70% would never or rarely use it and 60% of the taxpayers are opposed to a California version of Amtrak. But it most surely will pass in the Democrat-controlled legislature, which must vote August 1 to authorize $6 billion to build the first 130-mile section of track from nowhere to nowhere in the middle of California’s Central Valley near Merced, a town of 80,000 people known for having one of the highest home foreclosure rates in America. That section won’t be complete until 2028 and the project won’t be complete until 2033 – if ever.
            http://williamhfranklin.blogspot.com/2012/06/california-dreamin.html

            “Governor Moontrain” is yours and yours alone, with no google hits whatsoever, in quotes. Bravo!

            The Chinese version of ‘free market’ Chris admires has been known to steamroller protesters, literally, captured by some of the most grotesque video on the net. I doubt Gov. Moontrain would approve… it’s not the Jesuit way.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Regarding CO2 and clean air, the dreaded Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) has a standard for CO2 in the workplace. No more than 5,000ppm for general workplaces, with a maximum of 30,000 ppm for short term exposures.

            No, the current measured 400ppm isn’t pollution, nor was the 2000ppm that was the average when our tiny ancestors were scampering around looking for dino eggs to eat long before we had Hummers to convert some of that dino carbon back into CO2.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Ah yes, our little word-smithing wonder, Mr. Goodnight.
            You say “barely” 52%? Seeing as how they didn’tt orund it up to that number, it must have been slightly over 52% to be called that, so one could more accurately say “over” 52%.

            And you say, “The Chinese version of ‘free market’ Chris admires”? More of your Fox News pretzel logic. When I point out that their high speed train goes through areas where it’s not utilized, you somehow equate that as a ringing endorsement of their government? Well, isn’t that brilliant. lol

            Likewise; you can take your PPM’s and save them for the Denier’s Convention. Is the water cleaner than it was? Yes. Is the air in our cities cleaner than it was? Yes. And all the corporate, paid-for, minority opinion menusha you’ve copied and pasted to your brain can’t touch that.

            Your opinions are starting to sound like transcripts from an ALEC meeting. Try to remember that “Think Tanks” are where paid hacks come up with illogical conclusions structured in a way to make you think their agenda is in your best interest. The acronym for “think tank” should be “BS”.

            But I do congratulate you on your ability to quote the recipe for the corporate Kool-Aid from memory. No one I’ve ever talked with does it so well, nor with such mindless conviction.

          • Ken Jones says:

            The 5,000 ppm of CO2 quoted from Greg by OSHA is an 8 hour time weighted average for a workplace. The 30,000 ppm of CO2 is a 15-minute (STEL) time-weighted average exposure which is not to be exceeded at any time during a workday even if the 8-hour time-weighted average is below the PEL. These are industrial levels that do not reflect the potential impact of increased CO2 levels on fauna or flora.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            To quote Mr. Sulu, “Oh, my.”

            Sorry CP, I don’t get my news from Fox, with my daily BBC Worldservice and NPR fixes far outweighing the two Fox programs I do watch… the weekly FN Sunday and Wall St. Journal Report, neither of which feature Fox News reporting. I also catch the Sunday talking heads at CBS, NBC and ABC.

            Regarding Ken Jones’ issues with the toxicity of CO2, mammals evolved in a 2000ppm CO2 atmosphere, plants evolved in up to 10,000 ppm CO2 atmospheres and even now, many greenhouse operations inject CO2 into their structures in order to boost plant growth because the current ~400ppm CO2 is far below the optimum for growth.

            In testimony to Congress, Princeton physicist William Happer stated US Navy submarines try to keep CO2 below 8,000 ppm CO2, which is a 24/7 exposure when running deep, but have had few ill effects at levels much higher.

            Oh, and your lungs are exposed to ~40,000ppm CO2 every time you exhale.

            http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=84462e2d-6bff-4983-a574-31f5ae8e8a42

            There is no way in hell we can extract enough carbon fuels from the ground in order to even get to 2000 ppm CO2; we’ve gone from about 300 to 400 in the last century, and have to get to 600 before the first ~1C of global warming from CO2 would fully kick in. 1200ppm for the next ~1C, and that’s assuming Gaia doesn’t respond with more plant mass thriving on the stuff.

          • Ken Jones says:

            Greg I never mentioned toxicity in the comment concerning CO2. Simply pointed out the ppm you stated are based on an industry setting and the parameters. Didn’t relate outside the workplace. “Oh my” indeed.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            KJ, you ended your comment with “These are industrial levels that do not reflect the potential impact of increased CO2 levels on fauna or flora.”

            Besides toxicity, what “potential” impacts were you obliquely referring to?

          • Ken Jones says:

            The potential impacts of increased levels of CO2 will depend on many factors. These impacts could be viewed as positive or negative depending on the type of ecosystem impacted. An increase in growth rates for some crops could be positive while an increase in growth rates of an invasive species could be deemed negative. One answer is really as simple as “it depends”.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            So Greg, you don’t get your news from Fox, except the two Fox shows you watch? Do I have that right?
            And you also read the WSJ, (Can you spell Murdoch?), which still refuses to print findings by prominent scientists who oppose their anti-global warming stance, while printing many stories by the minority of scientists who deny it exists?

            I submit that you would make a terrible scientist yourself, since you clearly have an agenda and dismiss any information that doesn’t support your preconceived notions. Your like one of those think tank wordsmiths only, as far as we know, you’re not paid to be that way.
            You should move to some industrial site, just downstream, and just downwind, under giant power lines, where your water catches on fire from your sink and with a fracking pool in the backyard, and write about the good life.

            Hilarious. Good stuff, bud.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “I submit that you would make a terrible scientist yourself, since you clearly have an agenda and dismiss any information that doesn’t support your preconceived notions. Your [sic] like one of those think tank wordsmiths only, as far as we know, you’re not paid to be that way.”

            Your small minded intellectual bigotry has you blinded, Peterson. I started off believing in AGW because it was all that I’d heard in the news media and I assumed the coverage was fair; it wasn’t FOX or the WSJ (no, I don’t regularly read that, either) that I got my contrary science from, it was journals like Astronomy & Geophysics, GSA Today and Proceedings of the Royal Society A, just to pick where I read three of the papers that pushed me the hardest from Lukewarmer to Skeptic on through to Scoffer, at least for the craziest of the warmist claims, back in early 2007.

            I’m guessing, Peterson, that you’ve never taken a single hard core class in the sciences. You know, something with the Calculus as a prerequisite and loaded with folks majoring in the subject. Engineering with engineers. chemistry with the chemists, physics with the physicists and math with the mathematicians.

            Surprise me. In the meantime, the sun is at a 100 year minimum as measured by magnetic field strength; we live in interesting times.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            So, what was that ten dollar word you used a while back? Ad hominem, I believe. If I have used such language at all, I will bow to the fact that you are much more practiced at it than I.

            Basically, you’re saying that the overwhelming majority of scientists in the world are wrong about global warming because I, personally, have not taken as many science courses as you have?

            Conversely, your implied statement, that you would know better which was the more sound argument because you have taken rudimentary courses in the sciences, is a classic example of Socrates’ Fallacy of Misplaced Authority; ergo; since you learned A, therefore you know B.

            Notwithstanding your beginning statement: that you originally believed global warming was true because you saw it in the news, (which is a bald-faced lie, or are you saying that at one point you uttered the words, “Wow, Al Gore is right”); the entire international discussion is, for the powers that be, one of monetary importance which, although wrong-headed, is certainly more valid than your argument. Your argument is based on political preference, which demonstrates just how absurd one can be on ANY subject dealing with the sciences.

            By the way; I have passed the CPhT national exam, which means I have the ability to exhibit the knowledge of the average MD of the 1950′s, so it’s not a matter of comprehension, it’s the acceptance of the empirical facts documented by over 90% of the world’s scientists who’s principle focus is the study of such things.

            My apologies if it offends you, but I prefer their opinion over your’s.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            After pondering the issue for a time, I’ve come to the conclusion that your denial of global warming on the basis of selective political beliefs is much akin to the denial of evolution by those of a religious group; as neither is willing to concede that there is room for both truths within their reality.

            The obvious flaw in either case is: global warming has no party affiliation, and iguanas never read the Bible.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Passing a Pharmacy Tech exam gives you no credibility in science, Chris. A community college tech level. Even MD’s, as undergraduates, generally take a chemistry appreciation class that chemists, physicists, engineers and even mathematicians can’t take for credits toward their degrees, so the answer to my question is no, you have no clue and have never taken a real science class yourself.

            Regarding your believe there is unanimity among scientists, many were actually asked recently. All full members of the American Meteorological Society with email address were polled. Something like 1800 responded. The results?:”Just 52 percent of survey respondents answered Yes: Mostly human. The other 48 percent either questioned whether global warming is happening or would not ascribe human activity as the primary cause.”

            That’s about half even think it’s mostly human. They didn’t ask the half who thought “mostly human” if they thought the warming was dangerous.

            The most famous survey, the one that found 97%, was based on just 77 anonymous responses on a web survey and 75 answered the questions just as I would; it wasn’t a survey that asked if there was dangerous CO2 driven warming afoot, just if there had been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, and did humanity have anything to do with it.

            ” it’s not a matter of comprehension, it’s the acceptance of the empirical facts documented by over 90% of the world’s scientists who’s [sic] principle [sic] focus is the study of such things.

            My apologies if it offends you, but I prefer their opinion over your’s.”

            Your libel per se, “I submit that you would make a terrible scientist yourself”, is proof that offense is your intent, but your lack of any demonstrable scientific knowledge limits the damage. As Richard Feynman once said, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”; your unbridled enthusiasm for accepting the judgment of experts you have merely been told exist is most certainly not science. That’s politics.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            I stand corrected, oh wise one. Any schmuck can decifer the needed drip rate of a 4-dihydroxyphenethylamine, a neurotransmitter in the catecholamine and phenethylamine families, for a patient of a specific weight expressed in mcg/kg/min at a concentration of 1.6 mg/ml to achieve a rate of 11 ml per hour using simple algorithms, taking into account the mathematical calibration of the chemical’s breakdown/interaction when applied with other solutions. (And do it stat.) Piece of cake.

            But the odd thing is your following statement: that meteorologists carry such a heavy opinion. Talk about a bunch of yahoos with community college degrees! Excellent point though: Got a question about global warming? Ask your local weatherman. That’s funny.

            And the survey question you quote was: is global warming caused by humans? Then only 52% say yes; not taking into account that many of the top scientists argue that point, while the majority agree on the central issue that it is, in fact, happening. So, in your second survey observation; to ask only those who believe it is human-caused whether or not it is dangerous is a worthless query at best. It’s like polling a jury as to a murder conviction, and then only asking those who vote affirmative whether or not the death penalty applies. Ludicrous logic.

            And finally, to point out the obvious fact that you have already made up your mind as to the validity and cause of any such warming, and to note that, because of that, you would make a terrible scientist, is a logical conclusion that you must struggle with whenever you enter into such a conversation. I vacillate between the stated cause of warming, depending on the latest scientific data presented, because I have no agenda outside of a search for the truth, whereas, you are stuck in the premise that nothing out of the ordinary is/was/ or will happen, and I have no doubt that if Fox News said that there WAS global warming, and Pelosi said there wasn’t; you’ be all over it like CO2 on a dying planet.

            Your education may be of V8 caliber, but your political views have you firing on only 4 cylinders.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            And by the way, the aforementioned compound is dopamine, not that I infer any such substance is lacking in your system. The fact that it is a neurotransmitter is purely coincidence, I’m sure.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Chris, it’s clear that since you’re just slipping more deeply into snark, you’ve given up on rationality.

            Cleaning up some of your mess, the AMS is a real scientific organization with peer reviewed journals. They are top heavy with PhD’s, and even the broadcaster approval requires a BS in Meteorology; checking (and choosing Rutgers just because it googled easily) the BS Meteorology degree requires the same lower division physics and math (though multivariable calculus) as the BS Physics does, though Rutgers lets their budding young meteorologists take the same dumbed down chemistry that their biology and premed students take.

            Judith Curry, chair of the department at Georgia Tech, puts it this way:”‘All other things being equal, adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere will have a warming effect on the planet. However, all things are never equal, and what we are seeing is natural climate variability dominating over human impact.”

            In other words (dumbed down for you, Chris), the warming to date due to CO2 is small compared to the natural temperature fluctuations that we’d be seeing even if the automobile had never been invented.

            I don’t mind the scientifically ignorant preferring to believe the snake oil salesmen from their political camps, but I do mind the scientifically ignorant greeting skeptics who do not agree the same way the primates in the zoo monkey cage, feces in hand, greet their smarter humanoid visitors.

          • Anthony Kropotkin says:

            Having sat on the sidelines of this discussion and observing the contention that meteorologists in general are skeptics of anthropogenic climate change, I feel compelled to weigh in with the carefully considered official position of the American Meteorological Society, which can be found here:

            http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2012climatechange.pdf

            Some quotes:

            “Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal, according to many different kinds of evidence. Observations show increases in globally averaged air and ocean temperatures, as well as widespread melting of snow and ice and rising globally averaged sea level. Surface temperature data for Earth as a whole, including readings over both land and ocean, show an increase of about 0.8°C (1.4°F) over the period 1901─2010 and about 0.5°C (0.9°F) over the period 1979–2010 (the era for which satellite-based temperature data are routinely available).”

            “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation. While large amounts of CO2 enter and leave the atmosphere through natural processes, these human activities are increasing the total amount in the air and the oceans. Approximately half of the CO2 put into the atmosphere through human activity in the past 250 years has been taken up by the ocean and terrestrial biosphere, with the other half remaining in the atmosphere.”

            “There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities. This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research. The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. Avoiding this future warming will require a large and rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. The ongoing warming will increase risks and stresses to human societies, economies, ecosystems, and wildlife through the 21st century and beyond, making it imperative that society respond to a changing climate.”

            This statement, released by the American Meteorological Society in 2011, joins the statements of 34 other National Academies of Science confirming human induced global warming and urging nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Well, since you put so much stock in the AMS scientists; here’s their statement from THEIR website on the subject. Feel free to spin this:

            “Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal, according to many different kinds of evidence. Observations show increases in globally averaged air and ocean temperatures, as well as widespread melting of snow and ice and rising globally averaged sea level. Surface temperature data for Earth as a whole, including readings over both land and ocean, show an increase of about 0.8°C (1.4°F) over the period 1901─2010 and about 0.5°C (0.9°F) over the period 1979–2010 (the era for which satellite-based temperature data are routinely available). Due to natural variability, not every year is warmer than the preceding year globally. Nevertheless, all of the 10 warmest years in the global temperature records up to 2011 have occurred since 1997, with 2005 and 2010 being the warmest two years in more than a century of global records. The warming trend is greatest in northern high latitudes and over land. In the U.S., most of the observed warming has occurred in the West and in Alaska; for the nation as a whole, there have been twice as many record daily high temperatures as record daily low temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century.”Climate is always changing. However, many of the observed changes noted above are beyond what can be explained by the natural variability of the climate. It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation. While large amounts of CO2 enter and leave the atmosphere through natural processes, these human activities are increasing the total amount in the air and the oceans. Approximately half of the CO2 put into the atmosphere through human activity in the past 250 years has been taken up by the ocean and terrestrial biosphere, with the other half remaining in the atmosphere. Since long-term measurements began in the 1950s, the atmospheric CO2 concentration has been increasing at a rate much faster than at any time in the last 800,000 years. Having been introduced into the atmosphere it will take a thousand years for the majority of the added atmospheric CO2 to be removed by natural processes, and some will remain for thousands of subsequent years.”

            It’s kinda’ fun being a monkey in a cage, because the supposedly more intelligent humans keep returning on a regular basis for their share of feces. At some point, one has to wonder if they don’t actually enjoy having their nose rubbed in it.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            The key to stopping the hole from getting deeper is to stop digging, Chris.

            The AMS leadership doesn’t poll their membership before writing position papers, and from the latest poll it’s clear there is a greater diversity of opinion in the membership as a whole. The leadership runs the organization, not the science behind it and despite the browbeating by activists, half of the AMS do not buy the IPCC line their leadership espouses.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Just in case you skipped over it, here’s the gist of the statement:

            “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.”

            Gotta’ wonder if your Judith Curry considers the AMS to be just a buncha’ monkeys in a cage. It also makes me wonder how much Georgia Tech receives in contributions from those in the fossil fuel industry. There’s usually a reason why certain scientists have such a radically different opinion than the overwhelming majority of their peers. Just sayin’.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Well, would ya’ lookie here; it seems Ms. Curry doesn’t dispute the science after all, just the organizations:

            “Climate skeptics have seized on Curry’s statements to cast doubt on the basic science of climate change. So it is important to emphasize that nothing she encountered led her to question the science; she still has no doubt that the planet is warming, that human-generated greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, are in large part to blame, or that the plausible worst-case scenario could be catastrophic. She does not believe that the Climategate e-mails are evidence of fraud or that the IPCC is some kind of grand international conspiracy.”

            You say stop digging? Perhaps you haven’t dug deep enough, Greg.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Sorry. Here’s the link to the article:

            http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101101/full/news.2010.577.html

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Your googling should have been restricted to Curry’s website, CP; why settle for three year old opinions from SciAm when she’s writing regularly in her own blog. such as this gem in August, the most recent that mentions Climategate (since you’re so interested in that):

            Mike Hulme describes the lessons that we should have learned from Climategate, and it seems that many in the UK have learned these lessons. I am not at all sure that the IPCC has learned many (or even any) of these lessons, and in the U.S. I don’t see much evidence of scientists having learned anything at all.

            Hulme correctly describes a range of reasons for being skeptical about climate change, and identifies four different aspects around which skepticism can emerge. In the U.S. anyway, the Oreskes’ merchant of doubt meme seems to remain predominant. Intolerance for skepticism and overconfidence remains the order of the as evidenced by the recent AGU Statement on Climate Change. The U.S. media seems to be rather ignoring the climate change issue, with the most significant articles coming from the UK.

            Finally, is it possible for a Tamsin Edwards to emerge in the U.S.? I suspect not; even senior scientists are intimidated by the ‘consensus police’ and don’t want to be subjected to what I have had to put up with (a number of scientists have told me this).

            http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/08/after-climategate-never-the-same/

            Personally, I think Curry makes a mistake by generally ignoring the nuclear physics connection, but then she doesn’t spring from the physics side. Here’s an op-ed treatment of the paradigm shift I discovered in ’07, about 4 years after it was published:
            http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/08/ten_year_anniversary_of_the_climate_change_paradigm_shift.html

            Yes, it’s a rightwing magazine. Deal with it anyway; I generally don’t read it but I was goggling Shaviv & Veizer earlier today and thought it was at a level you might be able to understand. Enjoy.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Very interesting article, and I thank you for that, even though as you admit, it draws radically right wing conclusions not born out by the studies it shows.

            Basically, when you add up the speed of our rotation, the speed we are rocketing around the sun, the speed at which our solar system is moving through the galaxy, and the incredible speed the galaxy is moving through the universe, we are travelling at around 2.7 million miles per hour. As we do so, we pass through different forces in a cyclic order, and some, which the good scientists you note have documented, cause a change in the formation of clouds on Earth due to the effect our sun has on cosmic rays reaching us in a particular cycle over hundreds of years. That DOES help to explain our ice age/green age cycle; it does not, however, explain the sudden rise in temperature over the last two decades, as the article erroneously reports.

            Think of yourself in a carpool traveling east through Kentucky every morning, and as you crest every hill, you are subject to the sun in your eyes and the warmth of it’s glow from the top of the hill to the valley below. Once at the bottom, the car cools, and remains in that state all the way up the western slope until you once again reach the crest of the next hill.

            What the majority of climate scientists argue is that, if you keep the windows rolled up, and everyone in the car is smoking, you will all be choking on the smoke in a few miles. The fact that you are still going through variations in sunlight does not change that.

            Our planet is that car, and until we can get less smoke in the vehicle, our commute through the cosmos will be a disaster for those getting on later in the trip. Meanwhile, you’re sitting in the back seat, coughing with the rest of us, and trying to use cosmic cycles to prove to the rest of us why it’s all a natural experience. At the same time; you’re trying to prove to us that, while puffing cigarettes is bad for our bodies, doing the same to our planet has no effect. In that, you are truly the RJ Reynolds of cosmic science.

          • Anthony Kropotkin says:

            The contention that Ms. Curry makes that there are ‘lessons’ to be learned from “Climategate” would appear to presuppose that there actually was such a thing as a “Climategate”.

            But no less that four independent investigations into the claims by skeptics that scientists at the University of East Anglia falsified data or conspired to cover up contradictory data have shown that no such event ever occurred.

            An early report of some of the studies can be found here:

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2011/08/24/climategate-scientists-cleared-of-wrongdoing-again/

            The following entities have studied the “Climategate” controversy and concluded that no data was falsified or covered up.

            The United States Environmental Protection Agency

            The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

            Pennsylvania State University

            The Inspector General of the United States Department of Commerce

            The National Science Foundation

            And two third part independent science panels convened by the University of East Anglia

            Unfortunately for anthropogenic global warming skeptics there actually was no scandal.

            If there is a lesson to be learned from the conflation of a few braggadocio laden private e-mails from researchers into a world wide conspiracy to pervert science it is that critics of legitimate science will stop at almost nothing in an effort to confuse the discussion and convince the general public that they should ignore the consequences of climate change.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “Braggadocio”, great word, and I so rarely have the opportunity to use it in a sentence myself. Interesting the new sock (AH, is that you?) would mention the EPA… their ranking Climate Change official, the most highly paid person at the EPA, pleaded guilty to fraud and will be sentenced on Wednesday:
            http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/16/21911592-climate-change-experts-fraud-was-crime-of-massive-proportion-say-feds?lite

            “Braggadocio” does not do that fellow justice.

            Yes, wagons were circled and Climategate whitewashed, generally without even talking to the scientists the Climategaters were working against, in concert. It was a perversion of the scientific method that the emails revealed, and the good news is that good but inconvenient papers aren’t blocked from journals with the same reckless abandon as before.

            By google Scholar, the “Celestial driver of phanerozoic climate?” paper by Shaviv & Veizer (2003) now has about 250 citations despite the revulsion by the IPCC brand climate scientists. The economists who wrote the op-ed I linked to presented the science fairly.

            I didn’t have an op-ed telling me to change my paradigm when I read SV03 in March, 2007; I knew a 545 million year record of carbon14 flux correlating beautifully with ocean temperatures was a guarantee that there was a link between the two. The fact that IPCC brand climate scientists were doing their best to ignore it clinched the deal.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            While the crickets sing for the EPA, some may want to read yesterday’s Daily Mail piece on massive Green conflicts of interest in Britain:
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523726/Web-green-politicians-tycoons-power-brokers-help-benefit-billions-raised-bills.html

  6. I was still making an honest living as a reporter when the Bay Area Rapid Transit District was formed, and spent some time covering the issue.

    The proposed district included the six counties bordering San Francisco Bay, with trains looping the Bay and crossing it underwater near the Bay and Golden Gate bridges. The enabling legislation required each county to agree to join the district, and three of them–including my home county, San Mateo–opted out. The big brains on the Board of Supervisors said we didn’t need it because the county’ population would never get big enough to justify the expense.

    San Mateo County’s population was about 200,000 then and is approaching 700,000 now. Doubling freeway capacity by spending a fortune on 280 didn’t solve the congestion problem, but it will cost even more if they ever build a BART link from San Jose to Daly City.

    So much for the vision thing.

    Now I’m hearing the same arguments about the bullet train, even as the state’s population has passed the 33 million mark on its way to 50 million. Does anybody really think we can build enough freeways to move all those people? Does anybody really think the hermetically sealed boxes we call airplanes are an answer? We will come to regret it if we don’t build high speed rail.

    As the philosopher Yogi Berra once put it, “It’s deja vu all over again.”

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      GB, that particular red herring can be used to try to justify any large pork barrel transportation project irrespective of merit. “We didn’t spend enough for BART so we should spend all the money we can on the nation’s first high-speed rail project in a corridor where few are bothering to ride the trains we have now” isn’t a valid argument.

      Without global warming and declining domestic fuel production as motivators (both of these are declining fast), there really is little reason for the high-speed rail line outside of emotional appeals, not to mention the pork.

      • Chris Peterson says:

        You appear to be one of those “forest for the trees” kinda’ guys, Greg; from your PPM in an environmental argument, to your stalwart claims that you, as a citizen, still actually have a say in our supposed democracy. The only place your opinion matters, (and it’s only on a conversational level), is down here with the rest of us niggers.

        The majority of us want to move forward in history; your arguments are always for the status quo, which is ironic from the standpoint that you’re typing on an ever-faster communication device, but you argue that there’s no need for faster physical transportation. You seem to be in a technological bubble that believes, since you can instantly spread your opinion across the globe, somehow that makes your opinion more worthy. It’s not. It’s more meaningless than ever.

        You could be the smartest man on Earth, hell; you could be the second coming of Christ Himself, but unless you were also one of the richest men on Earth, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. You don’t seem to get that. On all subjects, you give give us the opinion of the small minority handed down via their paid-for “experts” on any subject, all of which invariably say the same thing: Keep things as they are, except those that would increase their ever-growing profits.

        THAT was my argument; that “our” democracy is no longer ours. That any money spent outside of the interests of business is vilified as wasteful pork, and that in today’s America, anything having to do with progressing as a society, or even maintaining those things the people value, if not needed by the business community, is trivial, and takes away from the almighty Wall Street we’re all told to worship as our only true saviors.

        From clean water and air, to maintaining and building new infrastructure, if it doesn’t profit big business; it ain’t needed. On the other hand, if it’s infrastructure that profits them, like the Keystone pipeline, then it’s argued that WE are the ones holding up progress. And if, as a rather smart individual, all you use your intelligence for is to memorize and regurgitate their propaganda, however scientifically put, your time here is wasted in the big picture of human evolution and what’s best for us as a society.

        We must deviate from the norm to progress. -Frank Zappa

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          It looks like someone here drank the koolaid, and no, it wasn’t me.

          The science is the science, CP, it isn’t learned by rote, and fortunately, when reading your statement “your time here is wasted in the big picture of human evolution and what’s best for us as a society” (an ad hominem if I ever saw one) I do consider the source.

  7. rl crabb says:

    Here’s one of the latest updates on the Moontrain…
    http://capitolweekly.net/bumpy-ride-bullet-train/

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