Friday, August 5th, 2022
The second most important country in the Western Alliance is almost detached from it, all by the apparently innocuous and meliorist actions of Germany’s peppiest environmentalists.
Conrad Black, Triumph of Davos Man
Wednesday, July 20th, 2022
The virtues involved in being a good driver —the mix of independence and cooperation, knowledge and responsibility — really are virtues well suited to citizenship in a sprawling and diverse republic.
Tuesday, March 15th, 2022
The BoJo Doctrine: Exploit the potential of all renewable energy technologies in this country, from tidal power to hydro to geothermal … Make a series of big new bets on nuclear power.”
Thursday, February 3rd, 2022
I’ve been hoping to read a headline like this: “Ministers urge Boris Johnson to rethink net zero plans as cost of living crisis bites” in The Telegraph.
It’s great to be pushing towards renewable energy sources, not because of the climatist calumny but because of the wonderful fact that renewable energy will eventually become a lot cheaper than fossil fuels ever were. As J. Storrs Hall writes in the his transformative Where is My Flying Car, “Counting watts is a better way to measure a people’s standard of living than counting dollars.”
I do understand that sometimes a fire must be lit underneath our collective feet to get things moving, in this case the tarring and feathering of fossil fuels (an unfortunate phrase to be sure). Without this cultural move little might have happened in renewal energy innovation due to the massive interests of energy incumbents.
Meanwhile national leadership’s responsibility is to get this balance right. Deliberately fostering energy poverty is folly, not to mention sadistic — and has real deleterious geopolitical consequences. Nothing is free, especially that seemingly cost-free thing we increasingly swim in, ie, bullshit, rife with opportunity costs. As pleased as people are to wave utopian ideals and do our little bit, we prefer the political party that enables us to heat our homes.
Thursday, December 23rd, 2021
Israel Hayom reports that Israel has paused offshore gas exploration with Energy Minister Karine Elharrar intoning: “2022 will be the year of renewable energy.”
Israel should keep in mind that her modern Achilles’ Heel is not disunity but overconfidence; and, previous Trojan War reference notwithstanding, should not be looking the gift horse of natural gas in the mouth. Because a prudent energy policy demands a short-, mid- and long-term strategy.
Friday, November 5th, 2021
If Evans-Pritchard is right, the Glasgow Cop26 conference has already set in play wonderful things.
Monday, June 14th, 2021
Mary Catherine Bateson, conversations at Edge [via Hacker News, again].
Tuesday, January 26th, 2021
Ra’anana-based Vertical Field signed with Emirates Smart Solutions & Technologies (ESST) to build a pilot of its vertical farms in the United Arab Emirates. Major cool.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
There is no climate emergency, states the European Climate Declaration, organized by Amsterdam-based Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL) and undersigned by “over 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields”. This on the day the media provided extensive coverage of a speech at the UN by a 16-year-old climate activist. Interestingly, the country with the most signatories is Italy, with 113.
Wednesday, September 25th, 2019
Mototaka Nakamura, who has published a score of climate-related papers on fluid dynamics, has written a small book in Japanese and English entitled Confessions of a Climate Scientist: The Global Warming Hypothesis is An Unproven Hypothesis arguing that we lack the tools to forecast temperature. He writes:
In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.
Sun, ice, oceans, clouds: none are being modelled with any approximation to reality, he writes.
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
This Gates Foundation presentation on global inequality is clear, straightforward, well-written, nicely illustrated with animated graphs, and surely worth the time of anyone who can access it.
Monday, May 13th, 2019
We must be facing this: David Gelertner on giving up Darwin. Like Smith’s invisible hand and even Newton’s laws of physics, these glorious, newly-algorithmic cosmologies — the precursors to our wonder-world of bitty digitalism — aren’t the full explanation.
Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
Our subterranean biosphere is teeming with some 20 billion tons of micro-organisms, scientists discover.
A screed we need: “When Supplements Become Substitutes” by Joshua Mitchell in the redoubtable City Journal. This conceptual framework clarifies much of what Western societies are concerned about regarding themselves.
Sunday, December 9th, 2018
The insect apocalypse is here, reports The New York Times. This seems likely to be what does us all in; indeed most of us already have been.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Species eradication and wiping out animal populations seem to me a more dire problem than mere climate change. It should be our environmental priority.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Now that’s a web site: New York City tree map — every last one, including street view, species, diameter. [via Kottke]
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
How did I not know about ribbonfarm all these years; truly I’ve been living under a rock for ages. Thoughtful, concise, erudite, relevant: Tendrils of Mess in our Brains by Sarah Perry.
Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
Clips from the great British documentary The Great British Year. No need for a BBC license; this is the programme’s web page. Just great stuff.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
From February 2016 to February 2018, global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius, reports Aaron Brown in Real Clear Markets. He notes that “none of this argues against global warming” as “the 1950s was the last decade cooler than the previous decade” but worries that “statistical cooling outliers garner no media attention”.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
On February 19th, Israeli natural gas companies announced a $15b contract with Egypt. These interlocking infrastructure interests enmesh Israel with her neighbors and provide for further possibilities.
Monday, February 12th, 2018
The rather impressive gentleman Craig Mod chronicles a walk along a thousand-year old pilgrimage route in Wakayama prefecture, Japan.
Friday, January 20th, 2017
Headlines say 2016 hottest year ever. Yes, 0.01°C hotter than 2015. But working from statistics that claim a margin of error of 0.1°C! Ah, truthiness.
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
The impressive Mario Loyola, utterly cogent on climate, on The American Interest podcast. The gist: 1) Science has determined that the world is warming, but this has been going on for centuries. 1b) Science has not determined that man is causing this warming, so specific efforts to change our behavior may not have any effect. 2) The planet has undergone countless climactic changes and doesn’t need saving. 2b) Rather, various human communities may need assistance adapting to any temperature rises. So that’s where any money should be going. 3) The climate agreement as signed will collapse because once the costs start kicking in it will be examined more seriously and will fail any reasonable cost/benefit analysis.