Required Reading from Matt Ridley (Update)

An essay on Scientific Heresy by Matt Ridley on Bishop Hills Blog.

Ridley concludes:

In conclusion, I’ve spent a lot of time on climate, but it could have been dietary fat, or nature and nurture. My argument is that like religion, science as an institution is and always has been plagued by the temptations of confirmation bias. With alarming ease it morphs into pseudoscience even – perhaps especially – in the hands of elite experts and especially when predicting the future and when there’s lavish funding at stake. It needs heretics.

H/T to Anthony Watts for the link to this most interesting essay on confirmation bias.

Update (11-02-11,09:35) HERE is a PDF of Ridley’s presentation with the graphics included. Please share this with your family, friends and associates at your social clubs.

Yes, it is time to get real about high-speed rail

Russ Steele

I have written about this before, but now we have some more details that were released today by the California High-Speed Rail Authority

I was commissioned to write about high speed rail for a regional business magazine in the early 2000s. I dug into the details and it was clear to me that the economic numbers did not make any sense. Telling the editor that my article was going to expose these negative numbers,  and it was going to be a negative article, I was give a new assignment. No one wanted to address the real economic issues of high speed rail, until now.

According to an article at the Sac Bee Capital Alert:

GOP Sen. Doug LaMalfa wants to send California’s high-speed rail project back to the ballot in light of revised cost estimates.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority today released a revised business plan projecting that the total cost of the proposed bullet train could be $98.5 billion over 20 years, far exceeding previous estimates.

LaMalfa, a vocal critic of the project, blasted the authority’s earlier cost projections and pledges for federal and private dollars for the project, saying authority members and supporters “have known all along that these targets would not be met.”

This just verifies my initial analysis, the ticket cost was too high when compared to air travel and the ridership numbers could not be justified, base on population and historical use of public transportation. Potential riders would fly or drive before taking a train. 

The California voter was misled the first time around. Now that the  California High-Speed Rail Authority has come clean on the real cost, it time for a redo by California voters.


Another “going green” feel good solution down the drain!

Russ Steele

KQED Climate Watch has the story, painting your roof increases global warming according to a Stanford Study.

Touted as a simple way to combat climate change, white roofs may actually increase global warming, according to a new Stanford study.

Here’s why: the sunlight that bounces off white roofs doesn’t all fly out into space. A lot of it is absorbed by particles of soot and other dark-colored pollutants that float around in the atmosphere (those same particles are already responsible for a good portion of global warming). The particles heat up, just like your house would have, and the net result is a warmer atmosphere. You house might be cooler, but it would be at the expense of heating the planet.

Interesting how ignoring science can produce some interesting results.