Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy (belated) Rita Day!

A year ago yesterday Rita blew through Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. I knew the anniversary was coming, but I didn't even notice as it passed. I think it's time for a retrospective:

September 23, 2005: Gettin' the Hell Outta Dodge. Two hundred miles in ten and a half hours.

September 24, 2005: Saturday, September 24, 2005. Planning the return.

September 25, 2005: Where's my damn money? A rant before returning.

September 25, 2005: Still living like a refugee. Watching TV in Tyler.

September 25, 2005: Sunday, September 25, 2005. The long road home.

September 26, 2005: Monday, September 26, 2005. Surveying the damage.

September 27, 2005: Tuesday, September 27, 2005. Gettin' ripped off.

September 28, 2005: Wednesday, September 28, 2005. No news is good news (because it's all bad).

September 29, 2005: Thursday, September 29, 2005. Enjoying the hospital food.

September 30, 2005: Friday, September 30, 2005. An uneventful day.

October 7, 2005: Friday, October 7, 2005. Internet's back on at the office!

October 17, 2005: Monday, October 17, 2005. The power's back on!

October 18, 2005: Price Gouging. The hospital bill came. Ouch! That hurt way more than the fall.

November 4, 2005: What I learned form Rita. Some people just don't think I'm all that funny.

November 14, 2005: Price Gouging--Reprise. Just as I thought.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

What's that got to do with the price of gas in China?

Just a few days ago I mentioned to someone that it was about time for Mr. Bush to have a chat with his Saudi buddies about getting gas prices down for the upcoming elections. And by golly, what do you know-- they're suddenly saying that gas prices could be closer to $2 than $3 come Thanksgiving! I thought that was sort of odd, since a month or two ago they were telling us that $3 gas was pretty much here to stay, what with increased demand from China and India and the trouble in the Middle East and all that. But I guess China and India have decided to go green, we've built a dozen new refineries, that little mess in Iraq has been cleaned up, and they've worked out a deal on the nuclear showdown with Iran. Or maybe it was something else.

Now give us a kiss, Sweety Darling.


A Discordant Convergence

I've written a few posts in the past about about a particularly virulent strain of political science that goes by the name of "Global Warming." Like this one and this one and this one and this one.

And I've also posted something that touched on the unfortunate decline of MTV from its innovative and creative start into something so wretched that I can't bring myself to watch it long enough to form an adequate description. That would be this post.

So when I saw this, it was just too much to let pass without comment:

Former U.S. vice president Al Gore addresses the audience about global warming at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards in New York August 31, 2006. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES)

Could either possibly sink any lower?

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The Weather, Revisited

A little over a month ago, I commented on this year's Atlantic hurricane season falling far short of what was advertised. Last year, we were repeatedly told that Global Warming was to blame for the record hurricane season, and that this year we were in for more of the same.

After anther quiet month and Ernesto's failure to regain hurricane status before hitting Florida, the good folks at Colorado State have revised their predictions, and now say that we can expect a below average Atlantic hurricane season this year. If I remember last year's Talking Heads correctly, the Colorado State crew was not among those hyping the alleged Global Warming connection, so they're not the ones with a whole lot of explaining to do.

But I would like to hear all those who were insisting that Global Warming would bring us an unrelenting hurricane apocalypse admit that they were just blowing hot air. Come on, admit it, guys. You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Back when Ernesto was on the other side of Cuba, computer models had it anywhere from New Orleans to Greenland in a week. Here's what the computer models were saying four days ago:

Of course, a couple days before that, they all had it heading straight into the Gulf of Mexico:

Which is a long way from where it's going now:

Obviously, we couldn't get that level of precision without really good data and a very clear understanding of the processes involved. And if our understanding of the weather is such that we can devise computer models that can predict a storm's track over about a week with a margin of error of only a couple thousand miles, just imagine the precision involved in models that predict the weather a few decades down the road.

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