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22 June 2015


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The Twisted Genius


You may not be wrong about ebola. SWMBO and I just read this yesterday. The outer shell of the ebola virus can be adapted to carry beneficial medicine into the body, helping to fight such diseases as cystic fibrosis.

And to continue your non-pc thoughts, how about killing the rich and repeating it often enough to make being rich not evolutionarily viable? Of course as a U.S. military retiree, I'm surely among the top few percentage points of the world's rich.


Tidewater replies to Babak Makkinejad,

There is a growing alarm about the East Siberian Arctic Ice Shelf. There are five gigatons of methane hydrates stored there that are at risk of coming up. That is only a small part of the total methane hydrates that are out there. That is enough to cause a great emergency in the northern hemisphere. Or worse.

This could happen at any time.

It seems likely that the Arctic has already entered into a "positive" feedback loop. In other words, the methane release will continue regardless of what one does, or at least, as things stand.

The Arctic has got to cool down.

(What an odd remark.)

Perhaps a large fleet or fleets of caravel satellites with umbrella wings that could stack up in a geosynchronous stratospheric cone like a solar parasol,and moveable, might help.

I do not know the timeline, or exactly what the new systems are, but I am noticing how some surprising real-time technology has come on line. So I need to check--what is the methane read today over the arctic?

You do understand that the methane read doesn't just go up forever.

We are talking something like hard rock geology with regard to Semiletov and his blue-stocking protege (now wife) Shakova,though it happens to be work done from a ship. Geology is pragmatic. Remember exactly what it was that Sir Harry Oakes knew when he was looking at some junk rubbish on one side of a lake that all the other propectors had shrugged and walked away from? How he realized what it would mean if what he was looking at there showed up on the other side of the lake? Humped his pack, this tough Mainer from Bowdoin College, walked around and found it. The greatest gold find in Canadian history. Under the lake! Geology works.

The disturbing news is that the southern hemisphere has been presumed to be a good deal more stable and in the event of a catastrophic emergency like a Mt. St. Helens methane meltown in the Arctic the antipodes were presumed to last a bit longer. And therefore when the methane is discovered coming up out in the ocean hundreds or is it thousands of miles from New Zealand, as I recall it, this should be regarded as part of a pattern of shocking evidence of methane release due to climate change. (And then consider what seems to be happening off the Virginia capes.)

Whatever it is that is causing it is one issue; the work that has been done by among others Semiletov and Shakova from the Russian research ship Academician Lavrentiev has been going on for twenty years, or more. The methane is coming up.

There is an issue about mantle methane.


Babak Makkinejad

I have had this conversation before.

Core samples taken all over earth indicate that have been multiple periods of global warming over the last 2 million years.

That is the central basis of my deep skepticism of the alarmist positions.

Let us for a moment agree that there is massive amounts of methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Ice Shelf.

What is the expected or estimated increase in average surface temperature of the Earth over the next 10 or 100, or 1000 years?

How much more methane can be dissolved in the atmosphere?

Is there any way to deduce or otherwise infer the rate of the methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Ice Shelf a thousand years ago; when Earth was in fact warmer than it is today?

Babak Makkinejad

Ayatollah Khomeini was opposed to abortion but approved contraception.

cville reader

Your memory does not serve you correctly, and there is no contradiction between what Pope Francis says in his most recent encyclical regarding human reproduction and the environment.

That being said, I have my doubts about the wisdom of the Pope wading into climate controversies, which are highly politicized, and on which he has very litte, if any, expertise.

That's all I am going to say on this thread. With all respect to the well-informed posters here, I don't think this is the best venue for this subject.

Babak Makkinejad

The encyclical was called "Humanae Vitae ".

cville reader


At the risk of my violating my stated wish to stay away from this thread, I will add another comment. I know what the name of the encyclical was, but that pronouncement was only further clarification of what had been official teaching of the Catholic Church for many hundreds of years, if not longer.

The timing of Humanae Vitae corresponded with the advent of the Pill at which time the Church sought to further elucidate its existing teaching on the subject.

I am not trying to be preachy here--- when I was younger, I myself had a hard time understanding the reasoning behind that particular encyclical.

I will leave with a parting thought. The Western World is not in danger of over-population. Europe is rapidly depopulating, and will probably become Muslim, if the trend does not change.

What does it say about a civilization, when it no longer has any interest in reproducing itself?


TTG: You don't need to kill the rich, just make them stay on the same planetary lifeboat with the rest of us.

The climate stories fascinate because the scientific findings while approximations and estimates (and subject to constant revision), still show a terrifying trend.

Question is, do we have the political capacity to discuss climate change? I say no. Look at the debate on evolution. Critics of evolution attempt to debunk the science by finding "holes" in the fossil record. Likewise, climate science is subject to wholesale snipping, which most often resembles the "god of the gaps" critique of evolution: If I find one erroneous--or overstated--data point, then the rest of the data must be flawed too.

If one applied this critique to meteorology, every weather forecaster would be unemployed.


How any warming affected the Earth millions of years ago had a much different result than it would now, mainly because we live in a different world. This time there will be not only physical effects, but they will have economic, social and political consequences.

As with so much else, various remedies that do not work will be tried before some are found that actually does something about this problem. Once we get to the starting line....

Babak Makkinejad

I recall reading, a long time ago, of these archeologists recovering the material out of an ancient well somewhere in the Antilles.

And there they came across the remains of sheepskin condoms left over from the days when the Spanish soldiers had been billeted there centuries earlier.

In regards to the Pope's recent encyclical I also rather doubt its efficaciousness.

The religious idea of "Domination over Nature" is so embedded in the Western World (West of the Diocletian Line) that I cannot see how it can be effectively combatted unless one follows the ideas and practices that "gentle heretic" - Saint Francis, who preached to the woods and birds....


Excellent points Babak.

For people who are not aware of the climate history of the earth, this is a great book. btw, this book is not at all political, it's a hard science book about the history of man's attempts to understand the ice ages in the context of larger natural climate cycles.

Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages, by Douglas Macdougall http://www.amazon.com/Frozen-Earth-Once-Future-Story/dp/0520275926/


Pope Francis may not have the same expertise regarding human-caused global warming as do those who research this professionally. Neither do any of the politicians or pundits who are casting aspersions on him for publishing this.

However, I don't see how he possibly can avoid having an official Vatican and Catholic position on anything that is this important in areas where he DOES have great expertise, such as (avoidable) human misery, inequality, and quite literally the end of our global civilization. (I really am not exaggerating when I say this.)

His assessment of the moral dimension in this is very well thought out, completely consistent with Catholic thought, and backed up by VERY good science that was clearly compiled, evaluated, and discussed by good scientists who DO have state-of-the-art understanding of the science behind this issue.

This document cannot possibly be dismissed or ignored by anyone who wants to claim any moral high ground regarding climate change, CO2 emissions, global poverty, habitat destruction, or any related area.

This is a hugely important document, and I think that its importance is nowhere near being realized just yet.

Colonel Lang is absolutely correct in bringing it to our attention and suggesting that we should read it. And after reflection, acting on its imperatives.


The oft quoted definition of insanity. If we just do it a little longer, a little more emphasis, money, etc. It simply is a repeat and expecting a better result than the last train wreck.


I keep on hearing John Prine singing 'Flashback Blues' while reading this thread. 'Happy sailors dancing on sinking ship'


It says many things, but it mostly implies that people can control their fertility. I think it implies that it is difficult to afford children for some people. For others, it means that if they can control when and if they have children, they are happy having just one or two. I don't think that there is much deeper thought about the issue amongst most of those having just one or two kids. (I have family in the Quiverfull movement who feel differently.)



We should read up on how those humans alive 2 million years ago coped with those warmer temperatures. More seriously, the rate of change is at least, maybe more, important that the absolute amount.

cville reader

Colonel Lang is not the author of this piece, and often allows some people to post articles that do not necessarily reflect his own views, which is very much to his credit.

I think you very much overstate the case for whether there is conclusive science as to the effects of climate change. I won't get into the extremely tendentious arguments about who has funded what studies here, or the recent actions of the EPA that have prompted even prominent liberals like Laurence Tribe to cry foul.

As you probably know, the release of this encyclical was meant to correspond with the timing of the upcoming UN climate conference in Paris.

What I would like to suggest is that the kind of global "treaty" (one that apparently Obama thinks doesn't have to be ratified by the US Senate) envisioned by the UN has the potential to introduce the greatest tyranny ever yet seen on this Earth.

For those who think I exaggerate, I suggest they think about how much of their daily living involves either electricity or the use of an internal combustion engine.

How many Americans know that the EPA's Clean Power Plan could increase electricity rates by 30% in the next 5 to 15 years?

Charles Dekle

We love John Prine. He comes to Wolf Trap and the Warner in DC frequently. We have seen him in concert many times. "Paradise" is one of my favorites. And you can't beat "Grandpa was a Carpenter" IMHO.


Lars, you don't have to go back millions of years. The last ice age ended only about 20,000 years ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_glacial_period
Since then numerous civilization have been seriously effected by climate change of the natural variety. How human pollution will effect climate long term remains to be seen. I'm more concerned with how pollution effects human health now, than theoretical temperatures later.

Climatology is a young science that has been heavily politicized, which has skewed basic research priorities. I can think of numerous serious pollution problems that would make better use of some portion of the mega-money being spent on predicting and arguing about what the climate will be like hundreds or thousands of years from now. For instance, those large floating garbage blobs in the oceans.

IMO, people are certainly welcome to believe whatever they wish regarding climate change. I have no desire to convert others to my views, or to argue about them ad nauseum, only to share what I know. I think "intellectual diversity" is a good thing.



No killing needed, just a giant potlatch. Think of the prestige they'll gain.

Babak Makkinejad

No doubt about; I am also opposed to it.

And then there are places like India or Congo or Senegal that people dies early because of the absence of that great invention that has brought so much freedom and prosperity in its wake called "The Internal Combustion Engine".

I have no problem if Econ-Nazis want to go live in the Utopia of No-Internal-Combustion-Engine - perhaps they could join Freedonia?


Here is another useful link regarding ice ages, and is less effort to read than the book I recommended. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age

Take a look at the charts and you'll see the pattern of ice ages over the last 400,000 years. Based on these charts we're about due for another ice age, which was the eco-fear of the 70's.



Here's the one thing that I never understood about why climate change debates always degenerate. I don't think there's any dispute among anyone serious as to whether there are serious climate issues nowadays and that it has great potential to do much economic, social, and political harm (and create a lot of opportunities at the same time). In other words, nobody disagrees that it's a big deal. Where things always go downhill, it seems to me, is that somebody always tries to assign blame, force someone to "pay the cost because it's all their fault," with the obvious response by people to duck having to pay.

Seriously? Do we really want to waste time assigning blame if it really is so serious (which I think it is)? Can't we just recognize that, whatever it is, it is serious and we need to find out what we can do about it, which I think is the least divisive way of going about it. Why is it that someone always has to be blamed for this (or any other problem of the universe)?


PS. I don't mean "climate change" as in big, long term God-knows-whats. I'm thinking about a lot of near-term things that Valissa mentioned below, but with a few things like droughts and desertification and such things added in. Who knows what things will be like centuries from now? But, in terms of how land- and water-use policy might play out for next few decades, that is something of a present day concern....


Charles, got introduced to his music in the early 70s and have all of it. Paradise is superb. Too many great songs to pick from. I played 'Let's Talk Dirty In Hawaiian' for my wife and she laughed hard enough to get tears.

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