Posts tagged ‘HTML’

Short Rant on the New Typepad Editor

I am getting used to the new Typepad editor, but two issues still really cause me to question the sanity of the developers, particularly since this roll out has been going on since June:

  • I cannot believe that a blogging engine -- not a generic text editor or HTML editor, but a purpose built blogging engine -- would eliminate the blockquote functionality from the editor.  Have these guys ever, you know, actually read a blog or two?  We bloggers live off block quotes.
  • How long has the computing spelling checking been around?  A couple of decades?  About 10 minutes into that 20 year span, developers learned from users that in addition to a "skip" button, they probably needed a "skip all" button.  Because if you write a 5000 word post on the banking crisis and use the "Bernanke" in that post 100 times, it is going to be real boring hitting "skip" 100 times in the spell check rather than "skip all" or even better "add to dictionary."  But, the rocket scientists at Typepad did indeed only put in a "skip" option, a bit like Ford building a car in which the windows won't roll down.

Problems With Catastrophic Global Warming Shown in Two Charts

OK, I understand that perhaps my worst flaw in trying to make a point is in being too loquacious.  In a previous post, I showed why estimates of climate catastrophe were overblown by using the earth's experience over the last 100 years as an empirical guide.  Today, I shall try to make the same point with fewer words and just two charts instead.

Scientists have a concept called climate sensitivity which refers to the amount of global warming in degrees Celsius we might expect from a doubling of CO2 concentrations from a pre-industrial 280ppm to 560ppm  (we are currently at about 380ppm today and will reach 560ppm between 2065 and 2100, depending on how aggressive a forecast you want to adopt).

A simple way to estimate sensitivity is from experience over the past century.  At the same time CO2 has gone up by 100ppm, global temperatures have gone up by at most 0.6 Celsius (from the 4th IPCC report).  I actually believe this number is over-stated due to uncorrected urban effects and other surface temperature measurement issues, but let's assume 0.6ºC.  Only a part of that 0.6ºC is due to man - some is likely do to natural cyclical effects, but again to avoid argument, let's assume man's CO2 has heated the earth 0.6 Celsius.  From these data points, we can project forward:


As you can see, the projection is actually a diminishing curve.  For reasons I will not go into again (you can read much more in my original post) this relationship HAS to be a diminishing curve.  It's a fact accepted by everyone.  True climate consensus.  We can argue about the slope and exact shape, but I have chosen midpoint values from a reasonable range.  The answer is not that sensitive to different assumptions anyway.  Even a linear extrapolation, which is clearly wrong scientifically, would only yield a sensitivity projection a few tenths of a degree higher.

What we arrive at is a sensitivity of about 1.2 degrees Celsius for a CO2 doubling (where the blue line crosses 560ppm).  In other words, we can expect another 0.6ºC increase over the next century, about the same amount we experienced (and most of us failed to notice) over the last century.

But, you are saying, global warming catastrophists get so much higher numbers.  Yes they do, with warming as high as 9-10C in the next century.  In fact, most global warming catastrophists believe the climate sensitivity is at least 3ºC per doubling, and many use estimates as high as 5ºC or 6ºC.  Do these numbers make sense?  Well, let's draw the same curve for a sensitivity of 3ºC, the low end of the catastrophists' estimates, this time in red:


To get a sensitivity of 3.0ºC, one has to assume that global warming due solely to man's CO2 (nothing else) would have to be 1.5ºC to date (where the red line intersects the current concentration of 380ppm).  But no one, not the IPCC or anyone else, believes measured past warming has been anywhere near this high.  So to believe the catastrophic man-made global warming case, you have to accept a sensitivity three or more times higher than historical empirical data would support.  Rather than fighting against climate consensus, which is how we are so often portrayed, skeptics in fact have history and empirical data on our side.  For me, this second chart is the smoking gun of climate skepticism.  We have a lot of other issues -- measurement biases, problems with historical reconstructions, role of the sun, etc -- but this chart highlights the central problem -- that catastrophic warming forecasts make no sense based on the last 100+ years of actual data.

Global warming catastrophists in fact have to argue against historical data, and say it is flawed in two ways:  First, they argue there are positive feedbacks in climate that will take hold in the future and accelerate warming; and second, they argue there are other anthropogenic effects, specifically sulphate aerosols, that are masking man-made warming.  Rather than just repeat myself (and in the interest in proving I can actually be succinct) I will point you to my original post, the second half of which deals in depth with these two issues. 

As always, you can find my Layman's Guide to Skepticism about Man-made Global Warming here.  It is available for free in HTML or pdf download, or you can order the printed book that I sell at cost.  My other recent posts about climate are here.

Global Warming Book Comment Thread

I turned off comments on the published HTML version of my Skeptical Layman's Guide to Man-made Global Warming    (pdf here) to avoid spam problems.  However, it was not my intention to forgo the ability of readers to comment.  So I am going to link this comment thread from the bottom of each chapter.

I have gotten several comments back similar to what Steven Dutch says here:

So You Still Don't Believe In Global Warming?

Fine. Here's what you have to do....

  • Show conclusively that an increase in carbon dioxide will
    not result in global warming. Pointing to flaws in the climate models,
    possible alternative explanations, and unanswered questions won't cut it. We
    know carbon dioxide traps infrared and we know climate is
    getting warmer. There's a plausible cause and effect relationship there. You
    have to show there is
    not a causal link. You can do that either by
    identifying what
    is the cause ("might be" or "possible alternative"
    isn't good enough) or by showing that somehow extra carbon dioxide does

    not trap solar heat.

This might be correct if we were in a college debating society, where the question at hand was "does man contribute to global warming?"  However, we are in a real world policy debate, where the question is instead "Is man causing enough warming and thereby contributing to sufficiently dire consequences to justify massive interventions into the world economy, carrying enormous costs and demonstrable erosions in individual freedoms."  Remember, we know monetary and liberty costs of abatement with a fair amount of cerntainty, so in fact the burden of proof is on man-made global warming advocates, not skeptics, who need to prove the dangers from the man-made component of global warming outweigh the costs of these abatements.

That is why the premise for my paper is as follows:

There is no doubt that CO2 is a
greenhouse gas, and it is pretty clear that CO2 produced by man has an
incremental impact on warming the Earth's surface. 

However, recent
warming is the result of many natural and man-made factors, and it is
extraordinarily difficult to assign all the blame for current warming to

In turn, there are very good reasons to suspect that climate
modelers may be greatly exaggerating future warming due to man.  Poor
economic forecasting, faulty assumptions about past and current conditions, and
a belief that climate is driven by runaway positive feedback effects all
contribute to this exaggeration. 

As a result, warming due to man's
impacts over the next 100 years may well be closer to one degree C than the
forecasted six to eight.  In either case, since AGW supporters tend to grossly
underestimate the cost of CO2 abatement, particularly in lost wealth creation
in poorer nations, there are good arguments that a warmer but richer world,
where aggressive CO2 abatement is not pursued, may be the better end state than
a poor but cooler world.

Interventionists understand that their job is not to prove that man is causing some global warming, but to prove that man is doing enough damage to justify massive economic interventions.  That is why Al Gore says tornadoes are increasing when they are not, or why he says sea levels will rise 20 feet when even the IPCC says a foot and a half.  And I will leave you with this quote
from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NOAA) climate researcher and
global warming action promoter, Steven Schneider:

We have to
offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little
mention of any doubts we have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.

Comment away.  I don't edit or delete comments, except in the cases of obvious spam.

Update:  Here is another reason why there is an important difference between "man causes any warming at all" and "man causes most of the warming."

Pig Through A Snake 2

I am using my blog as the publishing platform for the HTML version of my book "A Skeptics Guide to Anthropogenic (Man-Made) Global Warming."  As a result, the next 10 posts are going to big and fat, like a pig passing through a snake. I don't know in which order you are reading the site, so I don't know if you are at the head or the tail of the snake, but I appreciate your patience.

Pig Through A Snake

I am using my blog as the publishing platform for the HTML version of my book "A Skeptics Guide to Anthropogenic (Man-Made) Global Warming."  As a result, the next 10 posts are going to big and fat, like a pig passing through a snake.  Casual readers have my apologies if you find yourself paging through a lot of stuff.

My Global Warming Skeptic Paper Now Available in Print

For those interested in my A Skeptical Layman's Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming, I greatly encourage you to download it for free.  However, I do know that some folks have written about a print version.  I have a print version of my global warming book available now at  It is $16.98 -- that is my cost -- and I warn you that LuLu's shipping options are not very cheap.  I will try to find a less expensive print option, but no one beats LuLu for getting a book set up quickly and easily for print-to-order.


By the way, for those who have sent me emails with comments or errata, thanks for the help! In particular, my BBC/Channel 4 mixup is fixed.

Update:  The HTML version of this global warming paper is here

A Skeptical Layman's Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming

I am releasing version 1.0 of my Skeptical Layman's Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming.  You may download the pdf (about 2.7 mb) from the link above or by clicking on the cover photo below.  In the next few days, I will also be posting an online HTML version as well as offering a printed version at cost.


Update:  The HTML version is here, and the book can be purchased at cost through this link

The purpose of this paper is to provide a layman's critique
of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory, and in particular to
challenge the fairly widespread notion that the science and projected
consequences of AGW currently justify massive spending and government
intervention into the world's economies. This paper will show that despite good evidence that global temperatures
are rising and that CO2 can act as a greenhouse gas and help to warm the Earth,
we are a long way from attributing all or much of current warming to man-made
CO2. We are even further away from being
able to accurately project man's impact on future climate, and it is a very
debatable question whether interventions today to reduce CO2 emissions will substantially
improve the world 50 or 100 years from now. 

I am not a trained expert on the climate. I studied physics at Princeton University before switching my
major to mechanical engineering, where I specialized in control theory and
feedback loops, a topic that will be important when we get into the details of
climate change modeling. For over ten
years, my business specialty was market prediction and sales forecasting using
modeling approaches similar to (if far less complex than) those used in climate.

My goal for this paper is not to materially
advance climate science. However, I have
found that the global warming skeptic's case is seldom reported well or in any
depth, and I wanted to have a try at producing a fair reporting of the
skeptic's position.  I have been unhappy
with several of the recent documentaries outlining the skeptic's case, either
because they skipped over a number of critical issues, or because they
over-sold alternate warming hypotheses that are not yet well understood.  To the inevitable charge that as a
non-practitioner, I am not qualified to write this paper --I believe that I am
able to present the current state of the science, with a particular emphasis on
the skeptic's case, at least as well as a good reporter might, and far better
than most reporters actually portray the state of the science. Through this paper I will try to cite sources
as often as possible and provide links for those who are reading this online,
this report is best read as journalism, not as a scientific, meticulously
footnoted paper.

An outline of the paper is as follows:

Forward: What Are My Goals For This Paper

1: Management Summary

2: Is It OK to be a Skeptic?

of Bias

Climate Trojan Horse

Need to Exaggerate

3: The Basics of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Theory

4: The historical evidence

long view (650,000 years)

The medium view (1000 years)

short view (100 years)

Aerosols, and Dimming

Troposphere Dilemma and Urban heat islands

Computer Models to Explain the Past

5: The computer models and predicting
the future

Dangers in Modeling Complex Systems

Model Outputs Constitute Scientific Proof?

Econometrics and CO2 Forecasts

Sensitivity and the Role of Positive Feedbacks

Models had to be aggressively tweaked to match history

6: Alternate explanations and models



Land Use

7: The effects of global warming

only bad stuff?

melting / ocean rising

& Tornados


and Disease

of the Gulf Stream and Freezing of Europe

Effects of CO2

8:  Kyoto and Policy Alternatives


of the Solutions vs. the Benefits: Why
Warmer but Richer may be Better than Colder and Poorer

9: Rebuttals by AGW Supporters

Please feel free to download and share.  If you find errors, omissions, mistakes, gaps or anything else you would like to comment on, please email me at the address on the cover.  In particular, I have tried to be careful with copyrighted material, but if I have used any of your material without your consent, let me know ASAP and I will remove it.

. 68

Archiving Coyote Blog in Print Form

Recently, I just finished a two-book archive of the first year of Coyote Blog.  Today, I got the books (or blooks) in the mail and they look great!

Coyote_cover_1 Coyote_back_1

Why, one might ask, did I put my blog in a book, when everything is archived by pressing links right over there to the right of this page ------>

The first reason was for my dad.  My dad is 80-something and refuses to join the Internet age, but he would like to read my blog.  So, I produced a couple of volumes of my blog posts to give to him for Christmas.  (See, that's how confident I am that he is not reading this online -- I just published the contents of his present).

The second reason is based more on my having been a part of computers since getting an Apple II back in the late 70's.  Electronic media are not necessarily the greatest for archiving.  I wrote a lot of neat little games on my Apple II.  I wrote programs in college in pascal and assembly language on an S-100 bus C/PM computer.  I wrote programs in SNOBOL on cards for the mainframe at Princeton.  I received hundreds of emails on early CompuServe email.  Anyone know where all that stuff is today?  Neither do I.  Already I remember some cool web sites with content that seems to be gone from the Internet.   There is some kind of reverse-Moore's Law here that, if concocted, would say that the cost and complexity of reading and retrieving electronic files doubles every five years it ages.

So I decided to create a paper archive.  In the end, it cost me about 8 hours in formatting time and $30 in publishing costs to get the first year of Coyote Blog in book form.  For anyone who is interested, here is what I did:

First, I picked a printer.  It was important to do this first, since it determined what format and formatting I had to get the electronic files into.  I first considered BlogBinders.  The advantage of this service is that they can suck all of the content they need right off the web site, really making the process quick.  I decided not to go with them, because (at least 4 months ago) they did not retain any of the HTML formatting.  This means that the blockquotes I make heavy use of just became regular paragraphs.  As a result, a reader could not tell the difference any more between my writing and what I was quoting.  This caused me to look for another option, but you might still want to check it out -- I know their product is maturing so they may have more functionality today.  There is also a Beta going on right now at QOOP Blog Printing that might be a good option soon.

These were the only two direct print from blog options I found - if you know of others, please add them to the comments section.  So, I then turned to the print-on-demand self-publishing world.  CafePress has done a few things for me in the past, but I decided their print on demand was a bit too pricey for this.  Based on a few recommendations, I chose to publish.  I thought their pricing was reasonable, and I liked their royalty and pricing flexibility.  While I don't intend to sell the Coyote Blog archive, I am close to self-publishing a novel and I wanted to give Lulu a test spin.

Once I chose Lulu, I then needed to choose a format.  I knew I wanted a Perfect Bound book, and, scanning the pricing calculations, it was clear the cheapest option was to go for 8-1/2 by 11, since this reduced page count.  Having decided this, I downloaded their Microsoft word template, which made sure that I had all the margins and gutters and such right.

Now came the tedious part.  I wanted the posts to be in chronological order, but my blog displays in reverse date order.  I had to temporarily change the way the blog publishes.  Then, with the posts now in the right order, I just copied and pasted the text right off the site monthly archives into the word template.  I did some trial and error - cutting and pasting out of explorer gave different results than out of Firefox.  Pasting as HTML gave different results than pasting as rich text.  Eventually I got what I wanted.

Now came the really really tedious part.  I went through and did a few different edits, actually working in Open Office writer because I find it easier for this type work than Word:

  • I changed the font from sans serif Arial to a more book friendly serif font (patalino)
  • I deleted posts that had no value without the links (posts like "check this out") and some but not all my frivolous picture posts
  • I added monthly chapter headings
  • I played around with font size and line spacing for readability (remember, the first reader of this will be in his eighties)
  • I added an index with the page numbers for the monthly chapter headings as well as page numbers for may favorite posts.  I did the latter by setting the titles of my favorite posts to "heading 2" rather than "heading 3" for the other posts.  Both had the same formatting, but I told the contents to only index down through heading 2, but not heading 3.
  • I cleaned up a bit of spelling
  • When it was clear the whole was too long for one book, I broke it into two books

(update:  Several people have misinterpretted the "tedious" and "a lot of work".  This was really just minor whining.  The time spent taking the electronic material and finishing it out into a book was about 0.1% of the time it took to actually write the articles the first time around on the blog or that it would take to write a 800 page two-volume tome from scratch.)

Since I was using Open Office, it was easy to just save the final file as a pdf and upload it to Lulu.  Lulu also provided templates for the covers (front and back) and I did some simple work on the covers, uploaded everything, and two days later the books were in the mail.

I have posted excerpts from the files with links below, both word and pdf, so anyone who is interested in trying blog printing themself can see what I did. 

You can see the book here in my Lulu storefront, which has both the electronic and paper versions available for sale.  I am NOT recommending anyone buy it - I just wanted to test Lulu for future projects (verdict:  I was very happy with the entire experience).  The only reason you might buy one is to see a sample if you are considering a similar project.  The cover looks great, and the paper quality is first rate.  The text printing is good but the non-cover graphics printing leaves something to be desired, but that was probably the fault of the source file having low-res graphics.  (update:  Welcome to Blooker Award readers!)

As a final note, in the extended post I have put the text of my forward for the volumes which explains some of the shortcomings of paper blog publishing:

Continue reading ‘Archiving Coyote Blog in Print Form’ »