Ike’s second warning, hint: it is not the “military-industrial complex”

We’ve all heard about Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning to us about the “military industrial complex”. It’s practically iconic. But what I didn’t know was that same farewell speech contained a second warning, one that hints at our current situation with such figures as Dr. James Hansen. This is from the blog “Big Hollywood” It’s worth a read. – Anthony

President Dwight Eisenhower famously referred to the "military-industrial complex" in his farewell address.

Ike’s Not So Famous Second Warning

by Dwight Schultz “Big Hollywood blog”

On Saturday January 17, 2009, during the Fox 4 0′clock news hour, Shepard Smith recalled the anniversary of President Eisenhower’s famous 1961 farewell address to the nation, but he only mentioned one of  Ike’s threat warnings, the one that reminded us to beware of the “Military Industrial Complex.” This warning came from a military man, so it’s been a turn of phrase that slobbers off the lips of suspicious lefty infants shortly after they’re forced to abandon the nipple and accept Marx.

So I shouted at Shepard, “What’s wrong with threat number two, you big beautiful blue eyed capitalist! What’s wrong with Fox News and your staff? There are only two warnings in that speech for God’s sake, if you’re going to honor a historical document maybe somebody could at least read it, and maybe for once in almost fifty years remind us of Ike’s second warning: “…that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” Does anything come immediately to mind when you read that?  Ike goes on, “…Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” And, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

Do you think Ike was warning us that politicians like Al Gore and Barack Obama could cuddle with the scientific technological elite alike and, oh, I don’t know, maybe get behind Obama’s plan to tax your breath?  Do you think that perhaps some time in the near future you might not be considered a person but a carbon footprint … does something like that sound  ridiculous?

Have you seen how fast Obama has placed environmental academic hysterics and socialists in positions of real power? Steven Chu, John Holdren, Carol Browner and others are there to see to it that every exhaust in your life is a financial event favorable to the government.  So how is it that one of Ike’s warnings became famous and the other a historical ghost note?

Above: Watch Ike’s farewell address in its entirety, 46 minutes

It’s really not hard to grasp.  Our educational institutions monitor and control historical information and also educate and train the future guardians of public discourse — the indispensable journalists we read, see, and hear every day. By definition both the media and our nation’s scholars digest information and parcel it out in what should be an honest and thoughtful way. They digested Ike’s warning about the military and saw fit to warn us 10 billion times that the military is bad and needs to be feared and pushed off campus. They digested Ike’s warning about universities, scholars, federal money, science and policy, then gave it to Helen Thomas to scatter on some hot house tomatoes in the Nevada desert. It doesn’t get any simpler.

Think about this: How many times have you heard that the debate over anthropogenic global warming has ended?  When and where was this debate? The mere recitation of the words, “the debate has ended” closed the discussion without you having ever heard it because, get it! It’s ended! Get It! Neat trick! Gore says the debate has ended….McCain says the debate has ended…Obama says the debate has ended …Hanson says the debate has ended, and no one in the media wants to ask, “What debate?” When? Where?  Was there a scientific or political debate… or, God forbid, both, and who was for and who was against?

Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth,” has by now been proven to be almost a 100% big fat lie, and yet there is no media outcry against it or price for Gore to pay because he is supporting the scientific technological elite who want to hold public policy captive to the carbon tax that Socialists and Democrats have wanted since the 1992 Rio summit.

This is a clear example of years of liberal bias in protective favor of the university media structure. It just takes a lot of repetition and a strong ideological preference for saying: American military bad! American university good! CO2 bad! Tax our breath! Raise the tuition! Kick the Marines off campus! Long live man made global warming and the tax dollars we shall inherit from it. STING shall be our band and “Every Breath You Take” shall be our song … revenue streams for eternity.

Repeat after me this slogan … or, if you would rather stick this on the backside of your transportation vehicle , please do and remember, paying higher taxes is patriotic, so breathe baby, breathe for your country, just don’t breathe behind our back and not let us see you, ‘cause we’re talk’n money now, baby! The debate has ended!

…Hmmm?

Warning number two? What warning? Oh, you mean the military thing? We’ve taken care of that. Here’s Matt Damon’s number, he’ll tell you all about it. He went to Harvard you know. Remember, be upscale, don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, breathe! And did I tell you to pay your taxes and act patriotic, especially when they’re going up?

Gotta run, I’m meeting Tom Daschle, Laurie David, Tyrano-Soros and secretary Geithner for lunch.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Politics, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

138 Responses to Ike’s second warning, hint: it is not the “military-industrial complex”

  1. Steven Goddard says:

    One primary reason that the Soviet economy collapsed was because the government chose the technological winners, rather than allowing the marketplace and consumers to decide what was worthwhile technology. The Russian’s found themselves decades behind the rest of the world.

    We see exactly the same pattern now, with the White House and hand-picked academics choosing the technologies of the future.

  2. Bill D says:

    In my work as an editor and reviewer of scientific journal articles, I’ve seen no tendency for academics to give scientists with government jobs any kind of free pass in getting their research published in peer-reviewed journals.

    If we want to derail scientific advances by American scientists, why don’t we just cut off government grants for basic research, such as NSF and NIH? This would effectively stop the education of Ph.d. scientists and would get rid of the US scientific elite in a generation or two. Our nation policy on scientific matters would then probably be firmly in the hands of politicians who ignore science when making policy decisions. It would be a quick solution to the problem of Americans getting more than their fair share of Nobel prizes in science and published articles in scientific journals.

  3. Jon says:

    We see exactly the same pattern now, with the White House and hand-picked academics choosing the technologies of the future.

    A very personal example for me is research into using carbon nanowire alternatives to traditional semiconductor manufacturing. Year after year, you’d hear talks promoting nanowires as the future. But the technology never got very far. Fast forward ten-years and traditional industry methods are now in reach of the benefits without the defects. But meanwhile Billions in government grants have been spent–driven crude reasoning and contrived comparisons to bolster the case for carbon nanowires. Eventually, so much money was tied into this future that the incentives to surreptitiously attach your research to carbon nanotubes went from compelling to necessary, and not buying into the dogma of carbon nanotubes meant your possible avenues of funding were limited.

  4. voodoo says:

    My daughter is working on her PHD in Chemical Engineering at a leading public university. She has been brainwashed by too many years of public education. She thinks her project to build a better solar cell will save the world. She and a bunch of intellgent green zombies are being funded by obese federal grants made possible by Goreism.

    The methods and technologies that her group applies are 30 years old. It is a total waste of money except that the kids learn how to resolve problems that industry addressed decades ago. This is a prime of example of the government picking a ‘winner.’

    It is so sad to see great young minds wasted by educational institutions corrupted to their cores by politcal ideology.

    I keep telling my daughter that her education will start the day she leaves school – but I am just a senile old man that reads Watts Up.

    If you have young children, get them out of public schools.

  5. G Alston says:

    I’m not so sure.

    By military industrial complex he was referring to that which was of use solely for military application. Without the “dreaded military industrial complex” driving technologies that were also useful outside the military, we’d all be discussing this using the postal service in the “N-QB3″ manner.

    Meanwhile public policy is already driven by that elite. e.g. The common man has no way of determining the efficacy of new drugs, the compounds that are in foods, what frequencies gadgets have to be careful not to interfere with, and so on. Where it concerns a technological society, policy MUST be set by an elite* only in that otherwise very few have the time and/or requisite expertise.

    The problem isn’t the elite* but that the elite* are or can be politically tainted (or suspected as such.)

    *elite = group members demonstrating required expertise in the subject knowledge; nothing more than that is intended here.

  6. Robert Bateman says:

    You can feed a politician just about anything, if one talks the talk correctly.
    Hansen fed Gore, who is no scientist.
    And now, Chu is going to feed Obama.
    You can’t have a one-sided opinion monopolizing policy and expect disasters not to happen.
    That is the reason why there are military advisors (plural) who feed all the opinions, angles and scenarios to the Commander-in-Chief.
    What’s Chu going to do, have an AGW argument with himself?

  7. Steven Goddard says:

    Albert Einstein said “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.”

    Academics should do research, and leave technology to people who actually know how to build things that work. BTW – the “Chu Effect” is working marvelously. Since he gave his apocalyptic speech about California dying from drought ten days ago, Kirkwood has received over 10 feet of snow.

  8. Mike D. says:

    Bill D – With all due respect, and I mean that, how many scientific journal articles are from research NOT funded by the federal government?

    I see no problem with cutting off federal government grants for basic research. It would save a ton of money and force universities to train Ph.D.s on their own dime. It might also compel less-than-competent scientists to find other jobs doing something worthwhile within their range of competency.

    The corruption of science by politics is a widely recognized problem. Political Correctness has stifled scientific advancement in numerous fields, not just climate research. Environmental sciences have been thoroughly prostituted to Fed money and have deviated so far from credible science as to be unrecognizable as such.

    It is not surprising that the most exciting and relevant scientific advancements of the last 20 years have been in information technology and medicine, two areas of research dominated by private interests.

    Ike was right. PC science is not science at all. It is Lysenkoism and a drag on the real thing.

  9. J.Hansford says:

    Steven Goddard (22:50:55) : “…We see exactly the same pattern now, with the White House and hand-picked academics choosing the technologies of the future.”

    Yep, good point Steve. It’s not the American way. America didn’t become great by being told what to do….. It became great by allowing people to do what they were best at.

    G Alston (23:41:25) : “…Where it concerns a technological society, policy MUST be set by an elite* only in that otherwise very few have the time and/or requisite expertise.”

    No GA… In a Democratic society that policy MUST be DISCUSSED by ALL. Not just determined by an ‘elite’. There are no “uninformed” in a democracy…. Otherwise you are fulfilling the scenario Eisenhower warned against.

    It is easy to think people are fools GA…. America become the greatest country in the world, by letting it’s “fools” think. Something that was unimaginable in Europe.

  10. Squidly says:

    G Alston (23:41:25) :

    By military industrial complex he was referring to that which was of use solely for military application. ….

    G Alston,

    Are you sure about this? Few people realize that the original speech actually referred to the “Military – Congressional – Industrial Complex”, but Ike was advised by his speech editors to remove the word “Congressional” from his speech, he originally resisted but at the last minute did as he was advised. This presumably so as not to expose the complete loop. I am not certain of the full story behind this, but you should be able to find further information on this subject.

    We are seeing precisely what Ike had warned us about, you know, Halliburton, Black Water, ties to politics and those profiting. I will leave the rest to your own research.

  11. Mr. Kaos says:

    The reason for science’s assent to its lofty status, particularly with ‘progressive’ types is because it serves as a surrogate religion. It helps provide ‘certainty’ & ‘truth’ to live by.

    What the scientific community utters is taken as gospel. Anyone outside of the ‘church’ of knowledge who disputes the claims is a heretic or ‘denier’ of truth.

    No doubt science & technology is seductive. It has enormous explanatory power. (I know, I use it daily.) But it’s a dangerous double edge sword. The infatuation created by with numbers and equations represented through a model can be powerful. They seem to clearly represent, with certainty, how the world works.

    But that certainty is an illusion. Science & its tools cannot represent ‘unknown unknowns’; and often most of the people doing the science don’t fully understand the concept of uncertainty.

    As we have seen many times with applications of models and scientific approaches to finance & the economy the downside of that blind faith can lead to devastating results (e.g. LTCM failure, current credit crisis).

    For those who appreciate the concept of uncertainty can see the same blind faith climate science….and the devastating results could well impact us all if we continue down the path these ‘new priests’ want to take us. .

    Reply: OK, I’m gonna start getting serious about this. Enough with the religious meme of blind faith applied to the opposition, no matter what side you’re on. We are striving for civil discourse at this site. The only reason I did not heavily edit this comment is that it targeted generalities and not specific posters, but even that leeway is coming to an end. If I encounter this pejorative going forward, there will be censorship. ~ charles the moderator.

  12. J.Hansford says:

    …… America became the…

    I can’t proof read fer nuts!

  13. Richard111 says:

    The average human (if there is such a thing) produces 894 grams of CO2 each day.
    Put that figure into you calculators with each national population figure and multiply up by 265.25 to get the annual figure. Then, just for laughs, put in the future predicted population figures for say 2050.

    We need to produce some very efficient carbon sinks pronto.

  14. Ozzie John says:

    If you take this scenario a step further, then we will only ever see evidence to support global warming as any measurement that contradicts this view would simply be removed from the data sets to protect future funding and personal income streams.

    Of course this notion is utter nonsense !

    It would be like the LIA or MWP vanishing from NOAA’s temperature proxy data. Surely not !

  15. Richard111 says:

    Ooops… 365.25.. :-(

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    Bill D (23:11:02) : If we want to derail scientific advances

    It’s not about derailing them, it’s about focusing them on politically driven areas… Finding a way to sequester CO2 may very well be excellent in it’s execution, yet a total waste of time and money when CO2 is shown to be unimportant.

    It would be a quick solution to the problem of Americans getting more than their fair share of Nobel prizes

    Um, given the behaviour of the Nobel committee lately (at least in the Nobel Peece Prize and Literature Prize) I don’t think you want to be advertising that Americans get a lot of their prizes. It’s looking more and more like a “good ‘ol boys” club handing out gifts to friends; less and less like a meritocracy.

    Kind of reminds me of an old movie star selling soap or plastic junk on TV. Their reputation lifts the product for a while, then they get pulled down to just being another pitch man. Sad really. Once their reputation is spent, they are cast aside.

    I’d give it about another decade to become about as prestigious as the Oscar (no, wait, it already is…), better make that the Emmy, drat, no, er, Tony?

    No, this has no smiley face. I did once hold the Nobel in awe. Now it’s just a political tool handed out by hacks. That’s what happens when you spend your reputation to pedal junk. No, the idea that one or two of their prizes might still be based on some merit is not important. Folks just don’t go that fine grained on this stuff. (BTW, this is well understood in marketing. It was in an MBA marketing class that we covered it, in a unit on celebrity endorsements.)

  17. Pierre Gosselin says:

    “One primary reason that the Soviet economy collapsed was because the government chose the technological winners,…”

    Another bigger? reason was the utter inefficiency of centralised planning. The average citizen in Soviet bloc countries spent more than 300 hrs per year waiting in queues! Often for simple staples such as bread, butter and flour.

    In communist East Germany, one had to wait 15 YEARS for a sparkling brand new Trabant car.
    http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/original/trabant.jpg

  18. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Americans don’t realise it, but you’re entering a so-called PERMISSION SLIP SOCIETY.

    Yes, you’re going to need a permission slip for everything.
    - Want to use a normal light bulb – permission slip!
    - Want to eat steak – permission slip please!
    - Want to drive extra miles? – permission slip!
    - Want to fly? – where’s your permission slip?
    - Bottled water? – permission slip please!
    - 1500+ sq. ft. home? – permission slip for that too!
    - Wanna flush the john? – permission slip!
    - Want more than 2 kids? – special permit process!
    - 2-stroke engine of any kind – need a permit!
    - Want to cut down some trees? – cough it up!

    Don’t think this is serious?
    LOL – You think you own your property?
    Wake up you marionettes! They’re coming at you with chains and shackles.

    Wasn’t long ago Anthony wrote up a timely thread about all the eco-regulations and initiatives. And he’s right to point out what kooks you’ve got in the big environmental government posts. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
    Obama didn’t say “Change”,

    He said “Chains”!

  19. Katlab says:

    Off topic — the Vatican will be canonizing Fr. Damien soon. A man who worked with people afflicted with Hansen’s disease. Hmm… Do we have a patron saint?

  20. Mark N says:

    Michael Crichton called it the new “Media-Legal-Political Complex” in “State of Fear”

    I can’t tell the difference between David Cameron(Conservative leader) and Gordon Brown(Labour Prime Minster) when it comes to AGW!

    I made good bonuses and the company profits were up when we started publishing in the relatively new field of international environmental law back in the 90s. This in a contracting industry.

    I para-phrase Alston Chase in Playing God in Yellowstone “when you make science fit the policy you fail, better to make the science determine the policy”

    When it becomes a political debate and not a scientific one you lose me. I cant get away from thinking you’re hiding something and theres that slimy feeling one gets from a politicians handshake.

    This has been a great blog and very educational. Thanks for that.

  21. Alan Chappell says:

    By the sounds of the above posts, the next 4 years will go down in history as “the dark ages” ( and thats got nothing to do with sun spots)

  22. Just want truth... says:

    “American military bad! American university good!”

    It always escapes the writers of these columns that what we are seeing is a morphing of what started in the 60′s. The words I have in quotes are the same type of things I heard back in the early 70′s, “The military is bad, make love not war, put a flower in a soldiers gun barrel. The universities are good because that is where we can do our protests, and have our freedom of speech.”

    I think most people don’t see that the Baby Boomer/ Hippie generation controls American culture, and for the most part, the media. Political correctness is the spawn of what the protesters of the 60′s/ 70′s wanted. There was a militant aura about those protests. They said they wanted “freedom”. But that was not what they meant. What they really wanted was control; they wanted to have the power, the control, that “the man” had. That is, when you have power then you truly have the freedom to do anything you want. You can’t fully have freedom unless you have power. And boy, they have that now. They tell us what we can and cannot say in public. If you go off the reservation and say something that they don’t like, i.e. if you are politically incorrect, you are labeled as an intolerant bigot, or a denier, or some other incriminating name. There is a militant aura that goes along with the enforcment of this political correctness just as there was a militant aura in those protests 40 years ago.

    College students know very well that in the domain of the Baby Boomer/ Hippie, the university, there is political correctness. It’s funny, isn’t it, how topics like politics, and global warming, are lectured by professors in classes that have nothing to do with either? That’s what happens when you have power, when you have control; you have the freedom to do whatever you want, and to do it wherever you want.

    How is it these baby boomers have got in the drivers seat of America? They use guilt. They make you feel guilty about any and everything. They push global warming by trying to make you feel guilty about polar bears, or your car exhaust, or your house that uses electricity from a coal powered plant. They get you coming and going. You can never turn anywhere with their not having already paved your path with guilt. Guilt is their atom bomb–and they’ve dropped it!

    This manipulation by guilt has it’s roots in Kent State. I know it sounds odd for me to say that. But, Kent State was the turning point, their D-Day. (I hope I don’t sound cold.) The guilt from that day made society give those Baby Boomer protesters what they wanted. Society couldn’t say no to them after that, it just didn’t have the heart to. Guilt has been their power source ever since.

    I am a Baby Boomer so I can understand these things. I know the Baby Boomer. Al Gore is a Baby Boomer. Have you notice how Al Gore conducts himself in the same way the Baby Boomers did back then? They had Woodstock, he has Live Earth. They had garbage (“Who’s Going to Collect the Garbage? (1969)”), and ecology (“Artifacts: The Eco-Hippies”), he has global warming. They both sound like they’re cut from the same cloth, don’ they? What we are seeing now is what a movement from 40 years ago has morphed into.

    James Hansen missed being born in the Baby Boomer time frame. But none the less he uses guilt the way they do. What do I mean? Well, for one, he is helping to organize a “protest” in Washington D.C. about the guilt of using coal.

    video about it :

    http://vimeo.com/3268481?pg=embed&sec=

  23. It is not surprising that the most exciting and relevant scientific advancements of the last 20 years have been in information technology and medicine, two areas of research dominated by private interests.
    Kary Mullis was responsible for key medical breakthrough here, and he was a self-taught scientist. He’s worth watching (he’s one of us folks). IT has weird roots, that nobody wants to look at too closely… but there are strange links with Rothwell reverse-engineering.

    Thanks for the requote of this important quote Anthony. Just as I was putting up a page on the story from Seitz and Singer of the alteration to the 1995 IPCC scientists’ report, another key incident that deserves remembering anc checking. I’ve now added Ike’s quote to the IPCC section of my primer (click my name).

  24. JimB says:

    Bill D
    “Our nation policy on scientific matters would then probably be firmly in the hands of politicians who ignore science when making policy decisions.”

    would then?????????????

    Ummm….so not like now, right?

    “It would be a quick solution to the problem of Americans getting more than their fair share of Nobel prizes in science.”

    It seems to me that most people feel the Nobel prize has become much more political in nature…based on…what WAS that movie???

    Oh…yeah…An Inconvenient Truth?…which was made by…wait for it…a politician who completely ingored science and is having a tremendous impact on policy.

    JimB

  25. anna v says:

    Pierre Gosselin (02:13:55) :

    “One primary reason that the Soviet economy collapsed was because the government chose the technological winners,…”

    Another bigger? reason was the utter inefficiency of centralised planning. The average citizen in Soviet bloc countries spent more than 300 hrs per year waiting in queues! Often for simple staples such as bread, butter and flour..

    I have in my former institute a colleague who came from Soviet Georgia, a second generation greek. He had to say the following about the soviet system and how it impacted his village: When they first made off with the feudal masters and the village became the owner of the fields, they organized themselves in a democratic way, counting up the man hours each villager worked and sharing the profits accordingly ( Georgia was the garden of the SU). They started amassing money for the village in the bank and voted to use it to send worthy young ones to study, and generally they were quite happy with the change. Then came centralization.
    The village’s money was taken by the central government and a salary was paid to workers. That was the end of the experiment and downhill from then on.

  26. Mark_0454 says:

    I’m probably way behind on these things, but there is an excellent debate on you-tube. JLF/Reese. John Christy and Wm. Schlesinger.

  27. Shawn Whelan says:

    And now with the economic meltdown, who is going to provide the billions for such foolishness as AGW research.

    Margaret Thatcher

    “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

  28. John Egan says:

    Yikes!

    If you start getting more right-wing claptrap like this, you needn’t worry about any scientific discussion and analysis at this website. I was under the impression that the main purpose of this website was to verify data – especially data relating to climate and weather – and to subject broad conclusions to rigorous challenge outside of the peer-review context. That can and should be done without regard to a person’s political leanings – be they left, center, or right.

    If this website devolves into the kind of name-calling seen in this post, then all of the nasty sobriquets applied by activists in the AGW community will have reason to stick.

  29. Rhys Jaggar says:

    I’ve worked on the interface of UK academia and the commercial world, where Govt intervenes to a greater and lesser extent in different regions.

    My experience there says that the best ‘stimulators’ of regional wealth focus on enabling infrastructure, organisational initiatives and limiting the backing of technologies to arenas where respected commercial players invest side-by-side.

    Yes they play within the rules laid down from the Centre. But they do so in a way which focuses on sustainable wealth creation, not box-ticking initiatives or continuous hand-outs for struggling concerns.

    I think that the same will happen for ‘green technology’, however like in all these situations, many folks often focus on the negative rather than the positive……

  30. dearieme says:

    More amd more I wonder whether your only two top-notch Presidents were Washington and Eisenhower.

  31. JamesG says:

    In fact a true account of history would note that while the USSR economy was bogged down by too much socialism it didn’t actually collapse until they completely abandoned socialism altogether and listened to American free-marketeers (mostly straight out of college). What the Russians didn’t realize was that the US economy was never truly a free-market economy – that’s a myth. The USA is actually very socialist indeed. The ideology therefore espoused by these US advisors had only ever existed in textbooks and it wasn’t the only or even the main reason the US became prosperous.

    In fact no modern economy anywhere is free of socialism and nor did any economy grow without some degree of protectionism – China and Japan being the most recent glaring examples. What the Russian free-market experiment did however prove is that an unfettered market inevitably ends up being run by criminals. And an unbiased look at the US too shows us the most socialist parts of the USA are also the most economically successful. Life just isn’t as simple as we’d like it to be.

    So if you’ re basing your ideas of what makes successful economy and what doesn’t, try to look at the real facts in the real world rather than the myths you attach yourself to through your social circle. And while you are at it, then think about why we are in such an economic mess now? Too much zeal for “the market knows best” dogma perhaps?

    Real world experience seems to show that a little bit of socialism and a little bit of capitalism combined works best. Too much capitalism and you get over-exuberance for debt, takeover fever, rampant criminality and boom-bust cycles. Too much socialism and you get an army of petty bureaucrats putting down roadblocks to progress and people inevitably going hungry.

  32. I find it hard to believe that there are no AGW doubters among the ranks of the American intelligence and military communities. I would think, for instance, that the Navy and the CIA must have their own scientists who know that AGW is not a legitimate concern. These people would be obligated, in good conscience and as good Americans, to tell our president what’s up — even if it meant some risk to their own favored status as advisers.

    If Obama’s actions and words on climate change begin to disconnect broadly, I will presume that part of what happened behind the scenes was precisely this sharing of information.

    I am not counting on it, though. Those of us who think that 30 years of cold, with Putin controlling important energy spigots to Europe, might not be a good thing will need to keep fighting the good fight for the foreseeable future.

  33. Walter Cronanty says:

    John Egan (06:13:10) :

    “Yikes!

    ***
    If this website devolves into the kind of name-calling seen in this post, then all of the nasty sobriquets applied by activists in the AGW community will have reason to stick.”

    The problem is, John, that lately it is getting increasingly difficult to separate the scientific from the political. What this post illustrates is the potential danger to both science and public policy when that happens. I do not believe that this website would be as needed or as popular if it weren’t for the intrusion of politics into science. To ignore political reality is to ignore the elephant in the laboratory.

  34. Robert Wood says:

    Damning evidence, Lucy.

  35. Allan M R MacRae says:

    I hope this modest rant gets past the moderators. Forgive me – it’s early and I haven’t had my coffee yet. I haven’t written much about East Germany, and wanted to record this experience.

    In July 1989, I went on a business trip through Checkpoint Charlie into East Germany during the last months of the Communist regime. The Berlin Wall fell later that year, on November 9.

    Canadians had been fed the Big Lie by our socialist NDP Party leaders (and some of their Liberal Party fellow-travelers) that East Germany was the “Workers Paradise”.

    Some paradise! Raw untreated sewage flowed into every river. Factories poured smoke into the sky and all sorts of pollutants into rivers and streams. Two-stroke Trabant automobiles spewed white oily smoke, so much that you could not see the car you were passing until you were beside it! Rail transportation systems were similarly backward. Industrial design in electrics and electronics had not progressed much past WW2 standards. Some old buildings still showed the scars of WW2. New buildings were covered with rivers of rust, probably since the steel re-bar was placed too close to the concrete surface. In every respect, East Germany was horrid.

    Most importantly, East Germans lived in a constant state of real fear, lest the Stasi (secret police) find them in breach of something (or nothing) and destroy their lives.

    What does this have to do with the topic at hand? Hopefully, not much. But there are disquieting parallels arising in my next-door neighbour, the USA.

    Ike’s “Second Warning” is uncanny, especially in the context of the fraud of catastrophic humanmade global warming. The science is NOT settled. There has been NO debate, because the warmists have no case.

    There is no evidence that CO2 significantly drives recent temperature. CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. There is no evidence that the modest (natural) warming of recent years has been anything but beneficial. On the contrary, the possibility that Earth is entering a natural cooling cycle is much more threatening to humanity.

    Nevertheless, the CO2 Abatement juggernaut rolls on, with easy lies like the “Mann hockey stick” quietly discarded and replaced by easy new falsehoods, like Antarctic warming.

    Electrical energy generation is being severely compromised by false claims that wind power and corn ethanol will actually help – they won’t.

    Reductions on American living standards and personal freedoms can be expected, all in the name of “global warming”. In fact, the world has not warmed for a decade, and global cooling is likely due to the recent phase shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Paradoxically, we are completely unprepared for global cooling, since we are still obsessed with the myth of global warming.

    As an aside, I hate the name “Department of Homeland Security”. Maybe it’s nothing, but it reminds me “Lebensraum”. That, coupled with officious young airport security men shouting at confused old people to “Take off your belt! Take off your shoes!” really puts me off at. If these officious little brats ever start goose-stepping around the airport, it would only make the picture complete.

    Obviously, I dislike excess government authority, and the global warming hoax hands excessive power to those who really want to use it. It is ironic that these power-hungry little people, who want to run our lives, often cannot even manage their own personal affairs.

    Good luck, my beloved America – you’re going to need it in the days ahead.

  36. Mark Hugoson says:

    Charles:

    Your reaction to the fellow that posted on “science” as a “religion” is really off base.

    Please refer to Michael Critchion’s (sp) famous address to the San Fransico Commonwealth club of a few years ago, where he addresses “enviromentalism” as a “religion”.

    Also consider the typical comment, “You don’t BELIEVE in Global Warming?” (Which I have received dozens of times.)

    When I engage in “belief” it has to do with matters of “faith”. Reading, once again, another book on the “revolution” in physics between 1900 to 1930, I clearly find the “elements of religion” in the “old guard” who found concepts of “quanta” and “wave/particle duality” to be abhorent, because of their dedication to Maxwell’s equations, Newtonian mechanics, etc.

    As OBSERVATIONS of repeatable phenomenon were made, and as the new “radical” theories fit, they were forced either to accept, or (in several cases) to get out of the debate by simply passing on.

    Unfortunately, this tendancy towards “dogma” on the part of “elites” has not be eliminated from the human psych. It persists, probably always will persist.

    Thus we will ALWAYS have the need for a little boy to stand up and say, “The KING has NO clothes on!”

    Reply: I am familiar with the use by Crichton and others and I’m not stating an opinion on it one way or the other. As moderator, I take no stand on content of comments or posts, I only attempt to enforce decorum and attempt to maintain this a site as a place where issues are discussed, but posters are not verbally attacked on either side. The problem with the blind faith/religious meme is it is now the equivalent of screaming DENIER!. It is my job to keep this kind of antagonism to a minimum. When I have an opinion on subject matter I make it in a separate post under my username, jeez, aka ~ charles the moderator

  37. papertiger says:

    I can’t help thinking about the GISS world temperature anomoly map, with it’s garish red Arctic ocean.
    We all know, or should know, that it’s a work of fiction.
    Now when the last vestige of the AGW fiction is poised to be proven conclusively and irrefutably wrong NICDC claims there is a malfunction in the ice monitoring machine. But it’s not noteworthy they tell us. Not even worth a blog post from you inactivists, they tell us.

    As it turns out there is a newer more accurate ice monitor already up in space on duty, they tell us. But they don’t want to use it for continuity reasons, they tell us.

    AMSR-E is a newer and more accurate passive microwave sensor. However, we do not use AMSR-E data in our analysis because it is not consistent with our historical data. Thus, while AMSR-E gives us greater accuracy and more confidence on current sea ice conditions, it actually provides less accuracy on the long-term changes over the past thirty years.

    Less accuracy on long term changes! They tell us. SO what could be the problem with that? Except that is will show the long term trends, which were absolutely newsworthy despite being derived from the older inaccurate apparatus, used to launch a thousand thousand “Arctic is melting” climate change scare stories, to keep the political movement alive during a decade when every other world wide trend showed no global warming, when Antarctica has record ice growth, when snows fall in China, Saudi Arabia, Sydney Australia, Jerusalem Israel, Buenos Ares Argentina, when Alaskan glaciers, after a century of retreat change course and start advancing, when we only hear about these wonderful occurances through back channels and first person witness, rather then the news media.

    No Rhys Jaggar. You are going to have to tell me something more then maybe the ‘green technology’ won’t be so bad. You are going to have to do better then imply my focus is somehow faulty, and that I should be looking more on the positive side as zero growth initiative liars and frauds take over this country. Drive it further and further into debt. Mortgaging a future generation while perversely advocating that these future generations would be better off never born.
    It’s your vision that needs correction, not mine. Take off those rose glasses and see the reality.

  38. Ron de Haan says:

    Richard111 (01:38:34) :

    “The average human (if there is such a thing) produces 894 grams of CO2 each day.
    Put that figure into you calculators with each national population figure and multiply up by 265.25 to get the annual figure. Then, just for laughs, put in the future predicted population figures for say 2050.

    We need to produce some very efficient carbon sinks pronto.”

    It is than when people step away from the fear and start to “think” when the “hoax” becomes clear.

    Did you know that a cyclist driving at top speed produces the same amount of CO2 as a car driving at a speed of 30 mph?

    Is it clear to you that a Government that classifies CO2 as a poisonous gas in reality puts a rope around your neck?

    Is it clear to you that the control of CO2 provides a Government with Absolute Control?

    This is Ikes worst dream.

  39. Steven Goddard says:

    During the 1980s and 1990s, academic computer science literature was dominated by claims that the x86 CISC architecture was flawed, and that it would be replaced by RISC architecture. IBM, DEC, Compaq, Motorola, Sun, Apple, Silicon Graphics and others invested tens of billions of dollars in RISC technology. Yet RISC failed in the marketplace. All PCs and Macs being sold now use the academically flawed x86 architecture.

    This disaster cost the founder of Compaq his job, destroyed DEC, cost Apple a decade of wasted time, etc. IBM has disappeared off the map as a PC manufacturer. Academics are absolutely necessary, but are often dead wrong.

  40. Pierre Gosselin says:

    John Egan,
    Are you implying that “right wing” is believing in power to the individiaual and not to the state, free enterprise and not overly state regulated, property ownership and not feudalism, free speech and not censorship, unpoliticised science, and not state controlled science, etc.?

    What wrong with that?
    Or do you like having to get a permission slip from the kno-it-better government for every thing you want to do?

    Think about the guy in Australia who disobeyed the government by cutting down trees to save his home.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/11/weve-lost-two-people-in-my-family-because-you-dickheads-wont-cut-trees-down/

  41. BarryW says:

    Much as I like political discussions and elitist bashing, could we get back to weather related subjects?

  42. Steven Goddard says:

    Ron De Haan,

    I’m an avid cyclist, and I do it primarily to keep my weight down – i.e. burn carbon calories.

    Commuting on a bicycle can be dangerous. Drivers talking on cell phones cause many thousands of deaths every year. Orders of magnitude more civilians get killed by drivers than get killed by people with assault rifles. Hopefully the government will ban cars and phones in order to make the world safe again, like in Neanderthal times – when the climate was sooooo pleasant.

  43. Ron de Haan says:

    Rhys Jaggar (06:18:47) :

    I’ve worked on the interface of UK academia and the commercial world, where Govt intervenes to a greater and lesser extent in different regions.

    My experience there says that the best ’stimulators’ of regional wealth focus on enabling infrastructure, organisational initiatives and limiting the backing of technologies to arenas where respected commercial players invest side-by-side.

    Yes they play within the rules laid down from the Centre. But they do so in a way which focuses on sustainable wealth creation, not box-ticking initiatives or continuous hand-outs for struggling concerns.

    I think that the same will happen for ‘green technology’, however like in all these situations, many folks often focus on the negative rather than the positive……

    Rhys Jaggar,

    I agree that Governments primary task is to take care of infrastructure.
    Government should do this in the most efficient way possible and leave decissions about technology and markets up to a free economy.

    This is unfortunately not the case anymore.

    We are now promoting windmills, a technology from the 16th century to “Green” the economy.
    The Brits know what has happened to their energy bill.

    I prefer some realism and let the market decide which technology wins based on the principle of competition instead of a Government dictate.

    If we leave this path we will soon take a gigantic step back in time, ending up at the wrong side of the Iron Curtain where the favorite color was red.

    Red is now Green.

  44. barry says:

    “I find it hard to believe that there are no AGW doubters among the ranks of the American intelligence and military communities. I would think, for instance, that the Navy and the CIA must have their own scientists who know that AGW is not a legitimate concern.”

    The US, UK and Australian militaries, at least, have run scenarios for possible conflicts arising from global warming.

    This is not to say the militaries are ‘believers’ or ‘doubters’ – this is contingency planning for what is deemed to be a risk worth taking seriously.

    If there were scientists ‘disbelieving’ of AGW theory working in the intelligence and military communities, their voices would be puny against the majority of scientists in those institutions who think differently. For all the brouhaha about consensus and petitions and whatnot, and whether or not you think consensus matters, there is one on AGW, and that is that it poses a real risk in to the modern world. Rightly or wrongly, that is a clear fact.

    Once upon a time we’d just up stumps and follow the weather. Now the globe is locked by states and cities and the infrastructures (like agriculture/water resources) needed to sustain them. The military contingency planning mainly revolves around projected climatic changes that deplete those resources and the flow-on effects to surrounding populations.

    I follow the science and the debate around it very closely. I would not describe the posts above or the top post as ‘skepticism’. Indeed, I was a skeptic long before I lit on to the AGW theory – it is a prerequisite for critical thinking. This thread is all speculation, politics and innuendo. Not a skerrick of science in it. Most AGW ‘skeptics’ give skepticism a bad name.

    I used to follow this blog a bit when it was the science itself that was being questioned. I’ve visited less and less because it has drifted into politics – and now unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. There is still a mountain of science to get through. I’ll have to look elsewhere for useful criticism of that. I look forward to the (public) return of the inspection of US weather stations and the comparison to the NCDC and GISS temperature records, an intriguing and useful service to the debate. I’m not sure why it has been shut down. Don’t we complain about lack of transparency from the AGW crowd? Neither at climateaudit not here can I find a technical discussion the like of which went on at McIntyre’s site last year, updated regularly as station data came in. Photographs are superficial. Please, let’s see some data and analysis, and let’s see it in near real-time. Show the alarmists how it’s done.

  45. AnonyMoose says:

    I find it hard to believe that there are no AGW doubters among the ranks of the American intelligence and military communities.

    Another NASA Defection to the Skeptics’ Camp
    January 29th, 2009 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    Something about retirement apparently frees people up to say what they really believe. …

  46. Craig Moore says:

    Charles the moderator-

    I too find your admonition a bit odd given the writer’s questioning of motives in this opinion column. The column invites wild speculation. In my opinion, this doesn’t belong here given WUWT’s usual fact based argumentation.

    Reply: Yes the column does invite this sort of thing and Mr Kaos wrote in policy generalities so I let the post through uncensored. In trying to enforce civil behavior, I have been discouraging the religious meme from being used for some time. This is a place where opposite sides of issues are supposed to be able to debate without flying accusations of blind faith. ~ charles the moderator

  47. MarkM says:

    I am referring to a post by: Mr. Kaos (01:31:03) :

    This disclaimer was added to the bottom of the post:

    “Reply: OK, I’m gonna start getting serious about this. Enough with the religious meme of blind faith applied to the opposition, no matter what side you’re on. We are striving for civil discourse at this site. The only reason I did not heavily edit this comment is that it targeted generalities and not specific posters, but even that leeway is coming to an end. If I encounter this pejorative going forward, there will be censorship. ~ charles the moderator.”

    I completely disagree with the disclaimer added by the editor. The original article is not about science, it is about policy, it is about governement action, it is about self interest, and the feeding at the public trough by so-called scientists, among other things.

    The fact remains, people who do not have a belief system, or who do not have a goal that is noble, will fall for any idea whether it is relevent or not as long as it promotes their agenda. Watts Up reports on people who have agendas who use so-called science, and so-called consensus to drive their agenda. Exploring the underlying psychology that people use to manipilate for their own good is worth discussing.

    Mr. Kaos’ points were very appropriate to this discussion and were not personal in any way.

    markm

    Reply: See my other two replies above. ~charles the moderator

  48. barry says:

    I was not going to comment on this misframing of Eisenhower’s speech, but I regard it highly and do not like to see it abused, whether by bleeding-heart liberals who reference it every time the military does anything, or whether by belligerent, irrational conservatives who appropriate phrases out of context to whatever cause.

    The blog author (Dwight Schultz) from which the top post excerpted, doesn’t enumerate the speech properly.

    “So I shouted at Shepard, “What’s wrong with threat number two, you big beautiful blue eyed capitalist! What’s wrong with Fox News and your staff? There are only two warnings in that speech for God’s sake, if you’re going to honor a historical document maybe somebody could at least read it, and maybe for once in almost fifty years remind us of Ike’s second warning: “…that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    That is incorrect. The scientific-technological elite comment is part of the first threat – that of the military-industrial complex and associated institutions being powered by its own momentum instead of service to the nation – to liberty and democracy.

    The second warning is this:

    Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

    If the blogger knew what he was talking about, he might have considered that the actual second warning sounds rather like the agonism of the global warming people.

  49. Hank says:

    Great Rant! and great responses. All the academics in the world aren’t as wise as the invisible hand that nurtures the profitable and culls those interesting but ill fated ideas that the world is full of. The problem is that we have a gigantic federal system that makes a habit of running around fertilizing the weeds. I especially enjoyed your use of the word “digest” and the image you create of Helen Thomas.

  50. G Alston says:

    J Hansford: — “No GA… In a Democratic society that policy MUST be DISCUSSED by ALL. Not just determined by an ‘elite’. There are no “uninformed” in a democracy…. Otherwise you are fulfilling the scenario Eisenhower warned against.

    It is easy to think people are fools GA…. America become the greatest country in the world, by letting it’s “fools” think. Something that was unimaginable in Europe.*”

    Just so anyone else who reads what I wrote and comes away with the wrong impression like you did, I’m going to elaborate a bit.

    If you had looked at the “*” and read the rest, I never once intimated that people were fools. What I said was that technologies are so complex that the avg person can’t make informed decisions. “Elite” merely describes the informed group of those who are. It’s not a backroom cabal of 10 people deciding policy. In terms of climate studies, this “elite” runs all the way from yes even Dr. Jim Hansen to Dr. Leif Svalgard and Lucia and Anthony and plenty of others, many of whom are just plain informed citizens and not professional climatologists. The key here is “informed.”

    The average Joe and Jane on the street are busy raising families and their jobs and aren’t able to “vote” on some things because they know nothing about them (it would generally boil down to who’s more persuasive in print and on TV rather than who’s right.) This is even less effective as a way to make policy. Note that Joe and Jane aren’t stupid. They’re busy doing other things.

    Interestingly the makeup of the legislative branch of the US government looks suspiciously close to what I just described. The average worker doesn’t have the time and expertise to have a say in every possible topic, hence we elect representatives whose job (at least in theory) is precisely to acquire the necessary information to be able to make informed decisions.

    By working definition since the foundation of the USA, it’s clear that the opinion of the informed subgroup (a.k.a. what we call the technical elite in this case) takes precedence over the average individual by necessity. If this was a good enough arrangement for the founding fathers…

  51. There is one way out: Come to latin america, you will be wellcome. Any way you´ll have to fly southwards during solar minimun :)

  52. G Alston says:

    Squidly — “Are you sure about this?”

    Reasonably sure. See my post to J Hansford above. It seems likely that Ike being president understood the role of concresscritters, therefore he had to have been referring to that which has no possible civilian use… i.e. it’s a warning of letting the “elite” becoming too insular, of doing those things that are beneficial to the elite and none other.

    Similarly, Jerry Pournelle has an “Iron Law of Bureaucracy” which states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Eventually the second group overwhelms the first.

    Pournelle and Ike seem to be talking about the same thing.

  53. red432 says:

    As a Card Carrying Liberal who agrees that the AGW thing has gone off the rails I wish everyone could show a little respect and empathy for people who disagree with them. I think everyone honestly wants to do the right thing and everyone is influenced by corrupting forces. Richard Lindzen summarized the problem pretty well here:

    http://ecoworld.com/features/2008/10/30/climate-science-is-it-currently-designed-to-answer-questions/

    Among other things, he suggests that science would be less easily politicized if scientists could be more secure in their funding — not having it cancelled if they come to the “wrong” conclusion or (god help them) solve the problem. Some time ago an ecologist friend of mine did a study on the effects of air pollution on on fungus biodiversity. If he didn’t conclude that air pollution hurt fungi, he’d never get the work published and would get no money for further investigations. This conundrum influenced the evolution of the project as you might imagine.

    This problem is also endemic in the Pharmaceutical industry where researchers are under great funding pressure to endorse industry claims and suppress evidence to the contrary. Whistle blowers frequently lose their jobs and are forced to change professions.

    It’d be nice to have less yelling and finger pointing and more thinking about systemic reform.

    As the saying goes “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

  54. timbrom says:

    Katlab

    St Damien? The implications are too horrendous to contemplate.

  55. jeffpollak says:

    Although the scientific community should be doing basic research instead of wasting time with “global warming” we don’t see enough research into out of the box solutions. Energy could be made so cheap that it wouldn’t cause wars and promote poverty. Two areas that the government does not fund enough are superconductors operating at room temperatue and photovoltaic cells that would easily supply enough electricity to run a home with superconductors. I know that nanotechnology will play a big role in this and I’m sure that it is the path to future innovations that haven’t been thought about yet.

  56. MarkM says:

    red432 (09:56:09) wrote:

    “I think everyone honestly wants to do the right thing and everyone is influenced by corrupting forces.”

    “It’d be nice to have less yelling and finger pointing and more thinking about systemic reform.”

    Red432, please expand on the points that you wrote above. Are you implying that we have been yelling and finger pointing on this topic? I have not read any ad hom or personal attacks in this entire discussion. Am I wrong?

    Now, I believe that “most” people want to do the right thing, but “many” want to do what is right for them.

    Remember, in many cases, the pedigree of an idea is more important than the idea itself. It is my belief that in order to reach stage four thinking, the pedigree of any idea must be discussed.

    markm

  57. Smokey says:

    Bill D:

    In my work as an editor and reviewer of scientific journal articles, I’ve seen no tendency for academics to give scientists with government jobs any kind of free pass in getting their research published in peer-reviewed journals.

    As an editor and reviewer of journal articles, how could you be unaware of Prof. Richard Lindzen’s recent paper, which states:

    For a variety of inter-related cultural, organizational, and political reasons, progress in climate science and the actual solution of scientific problems in this field have moved at a much slower rate than would normally be possible. Not all these factors are unique to climate science, but the heavy influence of politics has served to amplify the role of the other factors… This leads to an emphasis on large programs that never end. Another is the hierarchical nature of formal scientific organizations whereby a small executive council can speak on behalf of thousands of scientists as well as govern the distribution of ‘carrots and sticks’ whereby reputations are made and broken. The above factors are all amplified by the need for government funding. When an issue becomes a vital part of a political agenda, as is the case with climate, then the politically desired position becomes a goal rather than a consequence of scientific research… [source]

    Lindzen makes clear that the ‘voice’ of professional climate organizations is 180 degrees out of phase with what the rank-and-file membership thinks. But the average member has no public voice; the media only reports what the organization’s executive council wants reported.

    Eisenhower was right. These organizations have learned how to game the system. And it’s bad business.

  58. Yet Another Pundit says:

    It was a bad idea to publish this item. Some of us want to know the truth about global warming. Others just want their own side to win. Neither Rush Limbaugh nor George Monbiot are good role models for us. Their purpose is to inflame, not to inform. The extremists on both sides misunderstand the motives of the other side. Slandering the other side may make you popular with your own side, but it won’t win any converts from the other side, quite the opposite. It’s a scientific question and science is decided by the people qualified in science. The Libertarian versus Socialist arguments are all counterproductive diversions.

  59. Smokey says:

    Yet Another Pundit,

    I disagree, this article is essential to understanding what is going on behind the scenes. If you want a relatively straightforward explanation of whether the climate is acting abnormally, or is acting as it always has, here’s a reasonable recap of recent climate history: click

    [I am neither pro nor con the organization that published this. But it is a good essay, which makes it clear that the climate varies, and that the variation has not changed despite changes in human activity.]

  60. Steven Goddard says:

    Pundit,

    George Bernard Shaw once said “Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.”

    REPLY: One of my favorite all time maxims. Perhaps it is time for all of us to get unreasonable, see the newest post. – Anthony

  61. Ric Werme says:

    Steven Goddard (07:50:47) :

    During the 1980s and 1990s, academic computer science literature was dominated by claims that the x86 CISC architecture was flawed, and that it would be replaced by RISC architecture. IBM, DEC, Compaq, Motorola, Sun, Apple, Silicon Graphics and others invested tens of billions of dollars in RISC technology. Yet RISC failed in the marketplace. All PCs and Macs being sold now use the academically flawed x86 architecture.

    This disaster cost the founder of Compaq his job, destroyed DEC, cost Apple a decade of wasted time, etc. IBM has disappeared off the map as a PC manufacturer. Academics are absolutely necessary, but are often dead wrong.

    Please, please, please don’t bring up this topic – can’t … resist … Augh!

    Oh well. RISC processors didn’t loose due to one or the other being flawed.

    The two main RISC processors I worked with were Intel’s i860 and DEC’s Alpha. The i860 was designed as an embedded processor for graphics systems but then they got the idea that it was a capable general purpose processor. It wasn’t, and only two companies ever figured out how to restore the processor state when returning from interrupts. Intel wasn’t one of them, one workstation vendor abandoned their product just a few months before they were going to announce it, they were relying on Intel’s support. The i860 was definitely flawed, but not for for anything behind RISC design concepts.

    DEC’s Alpha is a great design and is the only processor where I found the compilers could generate better assembler code than me. It’s fate was partially due to DEC’s traditional “stealth marketing” and partially due to buying in to the promises from Intel about how Itanium would finally replace x86. Their roadmap was years late, but it didn’t matter, somehow many of the RISC vendors had bought into it.

    The memory interface from Alpha was licensed by AMD and was first used in AMD’s 64 bit Opteron, which proved that x86 could grow into a 64 bit processor. That, and schedule slips for Itanium, made Itanium a minor (but expensive) footnote in CPU history.

    Ultimately the reason for x86′s long success is simply because IBM chose the 8086 (actually 8088) for the original IBM PC. That created the market that kept the design alive. Intel has never been very good at designing CPUs, but it really doesn’t matter – the processor choice is immaterial to the end user.

    Anthony – sorry for the long OT post, but “Stevey started it!” Don’t let him talk about DEC’s PDP-10 – I’d be completely unable to resist that one.

  62. Richard deSousa says:

    Hehe… Smokey, the author of your link can’t seem to differentiate between “weather” and “whether.”

  63. red432 says:

    To MarkM: I object to comments such as

    “Have you seen how fast Obama has placed environmental academic hysterics and socialists in positions of real power?”

    “Academic hysterics and socialists” is name calling and Rush Limbaugh is a jerk — he’s as bad as any polemicist of any stripe anywhere. I hope this blog returns to the high ground and great discussion of science.

  64. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Yet:
    One side consistently lies, deceives and panics the public, while the other side does the opposite.

  65. Steven Goddard says:

    Ric,

    Apologies for getting this started, but I beg to differ.

    The reason why RISC failed on the desktop was because x86 processors were able to keep up performance wise – which was not predicted by academics. Your comments about Intel come from the same school of thought which led IBM and others to waste $5 billion on Power PC.

  66. Just want truth... says:

    Anthony and the moderators,

    You guys have my sympathies. It can’t be easy to find a happy medium for comment criteria.

  67. Mikey says:

    I just did an Oreskian study ;) on the front page of WUWT. I count 8 articles which could be described as “science-y”, one we’ll determine as politic-y, and one neither.

    So science still overwhelms, but this one dared to mention how politics may be affecting science. So to the guys who are critiquing it’s inclusion, I’m going to conclude you’re not so much worried about politics overwhelming science on this blog, as you are it’s being discussed at all.

    Sometimes I think the best stuff I’ve learned about the climate scene, I learned from South Park. What I’m hearing hear is the South Park character Officer Barbrady – “Nothing to see here. Move along people”.

  68. Jack Linard says:

    Katlab – we are suffering from modern-day Hansen’s disease.

    In 20 years we will talk of St Anthony of the Thermometer.

  69. Roger Sowell says:

    For a look at one of the U.S.’ first state laws to combat global warming, see my blog entries below. California’s grandly titled Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, aka AB 32, is now being implemented as California’s Air Resources Board finalizes various aspects. This law is what President Obama wants as the template for a federal law.

    Thus far, I have written on the following, and hope to have the Transportation Sector entry finished later today:

    Gasoline Consumption,

    Diesel Consumption,

    Electric Power Generation, and

    Lawsuits to Block AB 32.

    A link to AB 32 is here click.

  70. Jack Linard says:

    RED342:

    I agree 100%. It is totally outrageous to suggest, imply or infer that Obama has filled key science/environmental post with [people] who believe that CO2 is a pollutant.

  71. Roger Knights says:

    “multiply up by 265.25″

    Make that “365.25″

  72. Walter Cronanty says:

    Yet Another Pundit (11:08:34) :

    “It was a bad idea to publish this item….The Libertarian versus Socialist arguments are all counterproductive diversions.”

    I must respectfully disagree. While I certainly would not expect this site to devolve into one where politics is the majority, or even a sizable minority, of posts, to ignore politics would be like a political site which never mentions
    AGW – seriously incomplete. When the “scientists” give us the debunked “hockey stick” and talk of “coal trains of death”, and when the policy makers use these same scientists to take our money and what’s left of our economy to combat the “hockey stick” and “the coal trains” [and to expand and centralize governmental power], then science and politics have formed an unholy alliance that is, IMHO, unhealthy for both science and public policy. With Chu, Holdren, Browner, Hansen, et al. in the positions of governmental power that they now hold, do you really believe science will be served well? Do you believe the “science” they will be feeding the media? Do you believe that the science they espouse will not be politicized? When it comes to AGW, to willfully ignore politics is to willfully ignore half of the “science” AGW is built upon.

  73. Roger Sowell says:

    G Alston

    “Interestingly the makeup of the legislative branch of the US government looks suspiciously close to what I just described. The average worker doesn’t have the time and expertise to have a say in every possible topic, hence we elect representatives whose job (at least in theory) is precisely to acquire the necessary information to be able to make informed decisions.”

    In some cases, elected officials do as you suggest above. However, the U.S. government and its governance has grown so large and so complex that the electeds now delegate (and have for many decades, this is nothing new) rule-making to unelected agencies. Such agencies readily come to mind, as the EPA, SEC, ICC, and hundreds of others. The elected officials also do not have the time nor the expertise to make an informed decision on all issues.

    States work in a similar manner, for example, California’s legislature laid out the broad goals of AB 32, and the governor signed the bill into law, but an agency (Air Resources Board in this case, a part of the California Environmental Protection Agency) with appointed board members are making the regulations. The appointed governing board has a paid staff, and also hires consultants to inform their rule-making decisions. There are procedural rules that allow for input from the public at public hearings. There is an oversight function in the legislature when the rules are created and submitted for approval, but it is rare that the rules are changed at that point.

    The public typically receives information on the activities via the media, so the biases and agendas of the reporters and editors have a big impact. More recently, many hearings are broadcast live over the internet, and the webcasts are archived for viewing at any time. But, not all hearings are webcasted (if that is a word). A few matters discussed in the hearings, such as lawsuits, are closed to the public as a matter of law.

    The Air Resources Board (Board) consists of 11 members appointed by the Governor with the consent of the State Senate. All members serve “at the pleasure” of the Governor. The Board members serve part time, except the Chairperson, who serves full time.

    From this structure of law-making, one can easily see how important it is to have a smooth speaker with a compelling message, but with few technical details, to make presentations at a hearing before elected officials. The details are brought forth at a much lower level, usually at the administrative staff level of the appointed agency.

  74. Just want truth... says:

    “Steven Goddard (23:46:25) : the “Chu Effect” is working marvelously. Since he gave his apocalyptic speech about California dying from drought ten days ago, Kirkwood has received over 10 feet of snow.”

    And it’s still raining/snowing in California.

  75. MarkM says:

    Copied from: red432 (11:32:35) :

    To MarkM: I object to comments such as

    “Have you seen how fast Obama has placed environmental academic hysterics and socialists in positions of real power?”

    Red432,

    The term “hysterics” is over the top – I stand corrected. Do you have more citings from this topic? Are you embarrased to be labeled a socialist? If we people could change our collective human nature, socialism would be a viable economic solution.

    The US Supreme Court has ruled, and the Obama administration is in the process of labeling CO2 as a pollutant. I don’t know at what stage the beaurocratic procedure is at, but it is underway at EPA (so I am told!). Please prove me wrong…please!

    markm

  76. CodeTech says:

    Roger Sowell:

    Webcast is like Broadcast. You broadcast something, you webcast it. And the past tense of webcast is webcast.

    Just an FYI :)

  77. Leon Brozyna says:

    In hindsight, Ike’s warnings seem rather presentient. He also seems closer in spirit to Revolutionary War figures than our current crop of politicians.

    Right now I’m into reading histories of the American Revolutionary War era written by the actual participants. It seems those events were as much about resistance to Mercantilism as they were about the usual simplistic chants of taxation and representation.

    Today, our new version of Mercantilism comes to us not from London, but Washington, DC. and it goes beyond ties between business and government, and now includes ‘guiding’ the direction of scientific inquiry. It would be wise, I think, to remember Ike’s warnings, even if it’s true that such ties resulted in DARPA’s invention, or laying the foundation, of the internet {sorry Al, you really need to clean up that little detail on your resume}.

  78. Yet Another Pundit says:

    Walter Cronanty (12:43:15) :
    I must respectfully disagree. While I certainly would not expect this site to devolve into one where politics is the majority, or even a sizable minority, of posts, to ignore politics would be like a political site which never mentions AGW – seriously incomplete.

    I agree with this. The politics is important. My point was that we need to be taken seriously by the politicians, MSM, and scientists. If they look at the best skeptic blog we want them to see the light, not the political name-calling. The AGW side will be looking for excuses to ignore what we say. Don’t give them any.

  79. Roger Sowell says:

    CodeTech: thanks! I am always grateful to learn from the more technically savvy. Who knew? It is proper to say, “They webcast that hearing yesterday.”

  80. Smokey says:

    Leon B.,

    DARPA may have been the first to come up with the concept of the internet, but the history of scientific inventions is replete with simultaneous discoveries.

    Left alone, the free market will provide better than government direction, and at a tiny fraction of the cost to taxpayers.

  81. tallbloke says:

    Steven Goddard (12:01:44) :

    Ric,

    Apologies for getting this started, but I beg to differ.

    The reason why RISC failed on the desktop was because x86 processors were able to keep up performance wise – which was not predicted by academics. Your comments about Intel come from the same school of thought which led IBM and others to waste $5 billion on Power PC.

    You’re both wrong. X86 won because the public wanted backwards compatibility of software and peripherals. My first net-connected computer was a Risc based sun sparcstation IPC. It’s screen has a resolution of 1152×900. In 1992, when my well heeled friends had 80286 PCs running 640×480 screens, I ran NCSA mosaic and a 14400 modem. It’s still running Red Hat linux, 15 years later.

  82. Leon Brozyna says:

    @ Smokey (13:48:41)

    Thanks for that bit of clarification. That pretty much sums up what I was getting at in that paragraph. While we got DARPA’s networking concept, it is more important that we heed Ike’s warning; the internet would have happened eventually, with or without DARPA.

  83. LifeTrek says:

    Hey, I don’t know why you wouldn’t know this speech — I posted it repeatedly in comments on this very blog over the past year (more often last spring).

    Everybody remembers Eisenhower’s warning about the, “military-industrial complex,” shoot, it has become the siren call of some.

    Few if any recall — and it is never repeated — the second of the two specific warning he made in that very same speech:

    “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    Google search lists at least 4 times, making the same point as the Hollywood blog, but at least the warning is getting out there!

    If you read the entire speech or watch the video above it would sound like it was written today. Amazing prescience for a man of the 1950′s.
    David

  84. G Alston says:

    tallbloke — “In 1992, when my well heeled friends had 80286 PCs running 640×480 screens…”

    Huh? 1992 was the i486 era. The pentium chips came out the following march.

    As for evaluating RISC processors, find out what NASA is using in mars rovers and satellites and such. If RISC based then the academics were likely right and CISC dominated in part due to backwards compatibility. If CISC based then the academics were probably wrong. Generally the winner in the academic world finds use in the high end applications. One assumes that mars rovers may qualify as high end enough for our purpose here.

    So, does anyone here know what powers rover brains? Let’s end the sidebar before someone shouts “BigEndian Jerk!” at me.

  85. theduke says:

    Barry at 8:45 wrote: That is incorrect. The scientific-technological elite comment is part of the first threat – that of the military-industrial complex and associated institutions being powered by its own momentum instead of service to the nation – to liberty and democracy.

    That is a very skewed interpretation of what Ike actually said, which is the following:

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

    * and is gravely to be regarded.

    In other words, he apparently thinks the technical/government complex, which is “largely responsible” for the military industrial complex, is the larger, more pervasive problem. Time has born him out, no? While the military/industrial complex is largely under control, we now have a scientific/technical/governmental complex that has spun out of control. And to make it even worse (this is something Ike did not forsee), it is now an <b international problem with politicians, scientists, activists and radicals all joining up around the world attempting to impose solutions that have yet to be proven warranted.

  86. Ed Scott says:

    Don’t forget the imminent danger of Jackson and the EPA. The Supreme Court of the United States has declared CO2 an atmospheric pollutant and that is a consensus that will be forged into increased taxes.

    Nature is not reality. Political agendas are reality.

    Let us HOPE the CHANGE wrought by this Keystone Kop administration will be survivable.
    ————————————————————-

    Obama’s energy secretary surprised to learn he’s in charge of oil policy

    At a forum with reporters on Thursday, the head of the department that has traditionally taken the lead on global oil-market policy, was asked what message the Obama administration had for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries at its meeting next month.

    “I’m not the administration,” the Cabinet secretary replied. “I will be speaking and learning more about this in order to figure out what the U.S. position should be and what the president’s position is.”…

    The day before, reporters asked him about OPEC output levels after a speech to a group of utility regulators. He responded that the issue was “not in my domain.”

    ———————————————————-
    “Have you seen how fast Obama has placed environmental academic hysterics and socialists in positions of real power? Steven Chu, John Holdren, Carol Browner and others are there to see to it that every exhaust in your life is a financial event favorable to the government.”

  87. barry says:

    this article is essential to understanding what is going on behind the scenes

    This article refers to a particular paradigm articulated by Dwight D Eisenhower in his landmark speeach. If we are to understand what is ‘going on behind the scenes’, we need to see the evidence for it. I am a skeptic by inclination, and so recoil from assumptions forged from little on either side of any debate. IMO, the conspiracy theory about climate scientists is a convenient argument that has little basis, yet is is a woeful staple of the skeptical canon, just as the “9/11 inside job” has captured the interest of a great many people.

    Eisenhower’s parting remarks are sound comments for all time, but that does not mean they pinpoint any old topic.

    The rhetoric is highly laudable. Now show us the substance as it applies to this debate. Although I stick mainly to the science, this political argument seems to be a product of disaffection with the mainstream view on climate change rather than any material evidence. Remember, in the US the consensus on global warming (whether or not you agree with it) has survived successive governments completely antithetical to its conclusions. That is, AGW theory long predates any government enabling. This does not fit within the paradigm Eisenhower warned of – the governmental enabling of a science/technolgy sector for specific purposes that gathers its own momentum beyond its prescribed utility.

  88. barry says:

    While the military/industrial complex is largely under control, we now have a scientific/technical/governmental complex that has spun out of control.

    I see no evidence for that other than innuendo.

    The logic apears to be this – the alarmists are wrong but have great influence, therefore the technical/science sector that deals with climate has spun out of control. There is a large piece missing to this logic, and that is sound evidence. I don’t buy that the (US) government (I am Australian) is largely responsible, because until the recent change of government, US governments have hardly promoted that sector. The Bush administration was eventually won over by the climate scientists. Or surely you’re not suggesting that the previous administration kowtowed to ‘political pressure’ of the UN and the climate science/technology sector. (That’s going to be difficult to make fly)

  89. theduke says:

    “I see no evidence for that other than innuendo.”

    I see little evidence for AGW and that which I do see is highly suspect. And because we have no hard evidence, my contention that a cabal of politicians, international bureaucrats, scientists and environmental groups are pushing us toward adoption of disastrous policies, is– given Eisenhower’s warnings– credible.

  90. Darell C. Phillips says:

    Richard deSousa et al, regarding

    Smokey (11:17:58) :

    Yet Another Pundit,

    I disagree, this article is essential to understanding what is going on behind the scenes. If you want a relatively straightforward explanation of whether the climate is acting abnormally, or is acting as it always has, here’s a reasonable recap of recent climate history: click

    Just so no one here (I hope I’m not too late) offers to “help” Dan Gainor out by contacting him about his “typo” (hundreds before already have), it was an intended misspelling of “whether” as “weather.” In other words, Mr. Gainor did not slip on Sigmund.

  91. barry says:

    Well, I had two entirely reasonable posts directly on the topic deleted. No snark at all.

    I’d be interested to know why. (Particularly as there has been much repetition of arguments above and even off-topic discussion of computer history! How did my posts fall below the standard?)

    I’ll try to reiterate.

    Eisenhower’s comments were about the government enabling of science/technology sectors for specific purposes (ie, WWII), that gather their own momentum beyond their prescribed utility, thus serving their own interests instead of the nation’s.

    This would seem to be at odds with the history of AGW science, which was antithetical to the desires of previous governments. Indeed, the Bush administration may have been the forerunner of successive US governments that did not like what they were hearing, and yet the Bush administration eventually capitulated.

    Referring to a comment above on international ‘pressure’, Is it really reasonable to accept that the Bush government caved in to agitation from the UN? Precedent (Iraq war is just one example, Israel another) would belie that view. Domestically, scientists from many disciplines (not just climate) publicly complained (via petitions etc) that the Bush government stifled scientific findings.

    Eisenhower’s comments are luadable for all times, but that does not mean that they apply to this situation. Here, the AGW bandwagon was under way well before any US government endorsed it – AGW theory arose despite a lack of political enabling from the executive. This is entirely at odds with Eisenhower’s concept – where the government enables a science/technology sector first, and then it ‘spins out of control’.

    Having read much on the matter (despite being more interested in the science rather than the politics), it seems to me that there is little more than innuendo to substantiate the paradigm Ike enunciated. Where is the solid corroboration of US governments first enabling the climate alarmists? Rather, scientists from a great range of discilines (not just climate) complained of political interference and muzzling from the previous administration.

    It is not enough to say that the alarmists are wrong and have much influence therefore the climate science sector has ‘spun out of control’. There is a piece missing to the logic – and that is sound evidence. Otherwise the admontion could be applied to any sector enabled by government. Might as well say the war in Iraq, a costly enterprise of which the central cause was plagued by erroneous assumptions, and of which the execution was deeply flawed in the first 4 years, is therefore a product of an overbearing military-industrial complex. I don’t believe that, but if I was a bleeding-heart liberal, I could as conveniently brandish this ‘logic’.

    Let’s have some substantial details instead of appropriating rhetoric.

    REPLY:
    We’ve had quite a spam barrage recently, it is possible they ended up there. On long comments like the one you’ve written, the chance of triggering the spam filter increases. But this one is fine. – Anthony

  92. barry says:

    I see little evidence for AGW and that which I do see is highly suspect. And because we have no hard evidence, my contention that a cabal of politicians, international bureaucrats, scientists and environmental groups are pushing us toward adoption of disastrous policies, is– given Eisenhower’s warnings– credible.

    ‘Credible’ would seem to be in the eye of the beholder.

    “1. John Tyndall demonstrated in 1859, from lab work, that carbon dioxide was a greenhouse gas.

    2. Carbon dioxide has been rising. This was suggested theoretically by Arrhenius in 1896, backed up tentatively by Callendar in 1938, and shown definitely by Keeling et al. in the 1950s and ever since.

    3. The new carbon dioxide is coming from fossil fuel burning. This is shown by its radioisotope signature. The r.s. of fossil fuel CO2 was first demonstrated in ambi-ent air by Hans Suess in 1955.

    4. The globe has been warming. This is shown by land surface temperature records, sea surface temp. records, borehole temp’s, balloon radiosonde temp’s, satellite temp. observations, melting glaciers, rising sea level, tree lines moving toward the poles, earlier hatching dates for eggs of insects, frogs and birds, and tropical diseases moving into temperate zones.

    5. The output of sunlight and the flux of galactic cosmic rays have not changed for approximately 50 years. But global warming turned up sharply starting 30 years ago.

    So in short, we have theoretical reason to think it’s carbon dioxide, the evidence backs it up, and there’s no competing hypothesis with good evidence.”

    (Quotes added because this comes from a blog, not written by me)

    This is a correlative argument. There is also an empirical basis to the theory of AGW – which is the well-verified lab test of infrared absorption by CO2 –> heating of a volume of atmosphere.

    Though a skeptic must always keep in mind a shred of doubt about even the well-verified phenomena (ie, doubt everything, it is cynical, not skeptical, to proceed as if the well-verified stuff and correlations are entirely unfounded.

    My own position is this: there is strong evidence that industrial emissions of so-called greenhouse gases are warming the global climate. Where I part company with the mainstream view is about the degree to which this is happening. I am no scientist, therefore, in line with reasonable skepticism applied to my own cpabilities I must and do doubt that I am in a strong position to state anything categorically. To do so would mean I am no skeptic, but rather peddling a particular point of view.

    What I find reasonably questionable is the soundness of projections. If I was to align with a particular skeptical climate scientist, John Christy would be the one. Also, in line with Pielke Snr’s comments, I consider that there is not enough emphasis placed on regional change (if any). To paraphrase that eminent and reasonable skeptic, it is not that we know what will happen that should impel us, it is that we do NOT know what may happen. The argument devolves to risk management, for me, not absolutes. I distrust absolutes – from both sides of the fence.

    To bring it back to topic, speculation on a possible overweening science/technology sector must therefore be calculated against plausible risks, not some ‘yae’ or ‘nae’ view on a complex subject. The ‘us and them’ paradigm serves the debate no boetter. The contention that there is a concerted effort from thousands of climate scientists worldwide – in various related disciplines – to pervert the course of science for political/personal/financial gain, is, while remotely possible, just too unreasonable to be sustained.

  93. theduke says:

    Barry:

    It’s not a question of “risk management” since no one even knows if the warming, which has apparently stopped for the time being, will have deleterious effects. How can we conceivably as a race, the human race, spend trillions of dollars and handcuff our most crucial industries when we don’t even know what the result of warming will be? You cannot base massive interventionist programs on speculation. It’s crazy.

    As for the science, I fail to see how the increase of any gas in the atmosphere in the amount of 100 parts per million can have world-wide catastrophic effects. It just seems highly unlikely to me.

    If there is a problem, I would like to be proven wrong. But there doesn’t seem to be much interest in the ruling climatological clique to actually do engineering-grade studies that would determine exactly how much influence on global temperatures tiny increases in man-made CO2 have.

    In debate, its’ customary to identify those who you are quoting. I’d be interested to know who it is you’ve quoted.

  94. MarkM says:

    Wow!
    Barry,

    I read your posts and am quite amazed.

    You seem to be trying to figure out for yourself how much societies should curb free markets and decrease standards of living, on the premise that AGW might be true.

    If I have failed to understand your point, you may need to write another essay for me to read.

    markm

  95. barry says:

    Duke,

    I quoted Barton Paul Levenson from here:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/2008-temperature-summaries-and-spin/#comment-25383

    It’s not a question of “risk management” since no one even knows if the warming, which has apparently stopped for the time being, will have deleterious effects. How can we conceivably as a race, the human race, spend trillions of dollars and handcuff our most crucial industries when we don’t even know what the result of warming will be? You cannot base massive interventionist programs on speculation. It’s crazy.

    Risk management is entirely about potentials, not ‘knowns’ – otherwise it’s not rsk management. If we ‘knew’ what would happen, we’d implemet policies strictly accordingly.

    Goverments worldwide implement risk management on a range of issues with less data, and with uncertain forecasts. What is economic policy based on? What is military contingency planning based on? Infrastructure development? Billions of dollars are poured into these and other portfolios, whch collate data and make projections. It is hardly ‘crazy’ to speculate. It is central to prudent governance. It is crazy to make policy on speculation absent any foundation. This is not the case with climate science.

    As I said above, the militaries of various countries have spent millions on contingency planning for climate-related potential conflicts. There is rarely ‘proof’ that the concerns of the military planners will inevitably eventuate, yet who would gainsay their prudence?

    As for the science, I fail to see how the increase of any gas in the atmosphere in the amount of 100 parts per million can have world-wide catastrophic effects.

    Well, this now devolves to an argument over the science (on which grounds I would happily engage), but that is not the thrust of this thread. I can only repeat (paraphrasing) Pileke’s comment – it is not that we know, it is that we do NOT know what may happen that should impel our actions – that means more funding for climate science (including for the skeptical climate scientists), and until we have a better resoluton on the future, the precautionary principle carries some weight.

    If you can agree with that, then there is much meat for a conversation on what policies are prudent and what are profligate. I am not sufficiently conversant with economic verities or with the science of emissions reductions to contribute intelligently, but I would read with interest a well-informed and reasonable discussion on that.

    I will offer a few points, though.

    1) Oil and coal are not infinite in supply. There will come a time when we have need of alternative energies. The question is not ‘should we’, but ‘when’?

    2) We are reliant on our energy sources in part from unsavoury regimes, who we enable by buying their products. The sooner we wean ourselves, the better.

    3) Industry grows not only by exploiting the resources and technologies that exist, but also by discovering/inventing new resources and technlogies. I am amazed that erstwhile proponents of economic rationalism advocate some sort of ‘protectionism’ for fossil fuel industries. How did these industries grow so fast? With help from government (as well as the hard labour of entrepreneurs). Oil, coal, nuclear – you name it – there has been and is government subsidies to help these industries grow. No reputable capitalist seems to be calling foul on this sort of government ‘intervention’. So let’s deal equally with emerging energy industries and technologies.

    4) All industries are subject to regulation. Industry (in developed countries) does not have carte blanche to pollute rivers, over-harvest the land and sea or expel toxins into the air. Whether it’s mercury in the water table, chemical dumping, nuclear waste, SO2, or CFCs, sensible government regulation balances the needs of societies with the ambtion of businesses. Again, there is much meat for an argument over what s sensible on this topic, but the principle is sound.

    As for the science, I fail to see how the increase of any gas in the atmosphere in the amount of 100 parts per million can have world-wide catastrophic effects.

    An excellent analogy is CFCs and related, ozone-depleting gases. While land-based effects may not have been catastrophic, ozone depletion has made a hole (a deep ‘dent’, really) in the atmosphere above the Antarctic roughly the size of my home country – Australia. This significant effect has been caused by an increase of CFCs and the lke in a few hundred parts per billion.

    The analogy is qualified, of course – it’s a different process (catalysation). But I can easily see how a small change in atmospheric gases can have significant effects.

    And in response to the science on that, which itself was uncertain, internationalprotocols were initiated (Montreal) that did NOT gut the economies of the world. Again, the analogy is qualified – CFCs are not as central to our economies as fossil fuels. But the principle is sound enough. When the government restrained industry – in this case heavily constrained industry – entrepreneurs stepped up and created new technologies and industries that flourished. Are we so feeble that we could not meet the current challenge with hard work and innovation (regardless of whether it may be ‘catastrophic’ or not)?

    There is a dubious ‘alarmism’ amidst the critics of AGW theory – that we are being dragged into some kind of economic Armageddon. This, too, is mystifyingly unfounded. Numerous economic projections on curtailing GHG emissions in line with, say, the Kyoto protocol posit a worldwide loss of GDP of 1% – 2%. Where is all the economic alarmism coming from? I suppose there must be a cataclysmic report somewhere that the uncritical doubters have latched on to – who completely disregard the numerous other reports that posit a more modest loss.

    This one-eyed ‘skepticism’, this economic alarmism adds little of substance to the debate. Hand-waving. Please, cite a credible economic report that projects economic devastation from implementing GHG-reduction policies. I would like to read it. And I wil add it to the canon of economic reports, comparing and contrasting, rather than singling it out and proclaiming “here lies the TRUTH”.

    Completely disregarding AGW, there are sound reasons to encourage a shift to alternative energies. The question remains – “how soon?” It is a pity that more was not done when the economic climate could absorb more vigorous polcies more easily. What if the depression lasts for ten years and fossil fuels become scanty? We may well regret governemt inaction of yore. Then, with AGW on top – because we do not know what may come – I think emissions controls are prudent. How all this is implemented, and to what extent, is the discussion i think we should be having.

    Hopefully, resounding evidence that there is no need to worry about global warming will come along. Until then, I remain skeptical and favour prudent policies.

  96. theduke says:

    Barry: Risk management is entirely about potentials, not ‘knowns’ – otherwise it’s not rsk management. If we ‘knew’ what would happen, we’d implemet policies strictly accordingly.

    I would suggest you start looking into managing the economic risk of implementing all these increasingly drastic programs to regulate industries.

    Read the following:

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20071213/news_lz1e13lowe.html

    It tells me that the state of California is “warming” up to assume control over all building projects in the state and can deny permission to build to local authorities and private developers if the state can somehow “prove” that development of any kind threatens to contribute to “global warming.”

    This is not what you have chosen to describe as “dubious alarmism.” This is a threat to the very existence of freedom, property rights and local control of land use in California.

    When you deprive people of control over local land-use decisions, you are talking about dictatorship.

  97. evanjones says:

    I cannot think of Ike’s MIC warning without physically shaking in rage at the incalculable damage it did to America–and especially to its allies in need.

    I would guess it was worth perhaps three trillion dollars (uninflated 1960 dollars) in value to America’s enemies over the next thirty years alone. Not to mention excess loss of human life. “Just words.”

    America’s “Military Industrial Complex” did more to preserve world freedom (such as it is) than any other agency in modern history.

  98. evanjones says:

    I don’t consider the second warning applicable.

    Gore? Hansen? Ehrlich? Mann? These sanctimonious bozos are neither particularly scientific nor technological. And “elite”? Elite?! Elite, my Aunt Fanny! They are about as elite as W. J. Bryan or Elmer Fudd.

    The real threat–a scientocracy led by REAL minds exploiting technology to its full potential to violate and intrude has NOT developed. No clone armies. No Big Brother. No “obedience chips”. All fully possible. None of them actually done.

    In fact I’m surprised, what with modern technology’s astoundingly dangerous potential, how little actual damage (and what immense material good) it has done mankind so far.

  99. evanjones says:

    St. Thomas.

  100. evanjones says:

    Washington, yes.

    Ike, no.

  101. barry says:

    As I said, Duke, I am for prudent policies. If the Californian land use policies are imprudent (and they seem so to me), and even ethically unsound, then take the fight to city hall. I have no argument with you on this. Case by case.

    This is not what you have chosen to describe as “dubious alarmism.”

    Quite so. I appreciate that you have taken the time to understand me.

  102. davidgmills says:

    Once again we have people not really comprehending the words of a leader with insight. Ike warned of politicians becoming captives of the scientists. Ike had genuine insight on this matter, probably because of the Manhattan project.

    Yet nearly all of the scientists on this blog want to blame or partially blame the politicians for becoming captives. Why not consistently put the blame the captors where it really belongs? The politicians, of what ever political stripe, are in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. If they act they are damned, if they don’t act they are damned. But let’s not blame the scientists too much who put them there.

    Here is the problem Ike was really pointing out. Government, either directly or indirectly, becomes the source of money for scientists. And Ike worried that scientists would be compromised and not speak out for fear of the financial effects.

    He was so right. I just see so many scientists who have sold their soul. Until we get a scientific community that speaks up loud and long and puts their fortunes on the line, we will continue to have politicians who are captive to bad science.

  103. MarkM says:

    Our sailors, airmen, marines, and soldiers with goods produced by the MIC have kept us free and created a world economy whose communication of goods around the world has been unknown before our time. Our standard of living has been increased by the MIC.

    Thanks evanjones for making your point — it is right-on!

    markm

  104. Syl says:

    “Apologies for getting this started…”

    To this day I miss my Commodore 64 and all my Amigas.

    1994 was a very bad year. I got my first PC and Commodore died.

    It’s all my fault.

    Sigh.

  105. Syl says:

    “The real threat–a scientocracy led by REAL minds exploiting technology to its full potential to violate and intrude has NOT developed.”

    Podesta is running around the cable shows as we speak going on about the smart grid technology going forward because of the stimulus. You know, the capability to know how much electricity you use at any moment.

    I’ll need one of gosselin’s permission slips to work all night at the pc, which is my wont, instead of the times other folks do because I might have the heat one degree higher than if I were sleeping at this time.

    Tell me what good this technology is as opposed to our current meters? If they want us to do our laundry at 2AM that’s fine with me, but it won’t be fine with my neighbors and would violate local ordinances.

    It’s not enough to control our total use of energy, now they’re going to dictate time-shifting.

    This certainly feels intrusive to me.

  106. tallbloke says:

    Ah well, I’m from the sticks see. :o)

    Dunno about the mars rover, but I do remember the debacle over metric/imperial conversions which crashed a mars lander. If only they’d used those Texas Instruments sci-calcs with the built in conversion tables…

  107. evanjones says:

    I agree with the specific point. And I object to that sort of intrusiveness.

    But that is pretty small potatoes compared with what the government could be doing if it wanted to. (They could just look at all our electric bills for a start, but they don’t bother.)

    Take GPS. They could–if they so desired–be tracking every move we make. But they don’t. To say nothing of Big Brothering all communications: the gummint has managed (Mostly. So far.) to adhere to the fine line of tapping in when appropriate and staying the heck out when not.

    So far, tech. has been an (almost) unanswered benefit to mankind. None of the real nightmares we have read about have ever developed, including but not limited to nuclear or bio-war or even effective BIG-scale, “James Bondian” terrorism. That may not always be the case, of course, but so far, so good.

    REPLY
    : there are those who would argue that CO2 driven by technology is the nightmare result of the MIC. – Anthony

  108. Retired Engineer says:

    Perhaps we should start a League of Senile Old Men (with apoligies to the female posters, since you never grow old, you don’t qualify :). We could promote honesty, hard work, keeping promises, meeting deadlines, delivering products that do what they are supposed to, not spending what we don’t have, (and reading Watts Up), all those things that are no longer necessary in this New Age World.

    Given our carbon-taxed, resource limited, over regulated future, if I had known I would live this long, I’d have lived faster and died younger.

    Senile Grumpy Old Retired Engineer.

  109. evanjones says:

    I am not too much in disagreement with you (some, but not too much) until you get to resource depletion. My guess is that we will have (at our leisure) voluntarily departed from heavy fossil fuel use long, long before we even being to run short of it.

    Don’t make the same errors concerning resource depletion that the Club of Rome made: Since 1975, it’s a “Next 200 Years”-type future (or better), not a “Limits To Growth”-type future. Even with expanded use of fossil fuels, we have around double (using the pessimistic wiki estimates) the potential reserves of fossil fuel we thought we had in 1975. We are find it (or finding out about it) twice as fast as we are using it.

    Peak oil: Peek and ye shall find.

  110. evanjones says:

    Anthony: Har! Har!

    (I’ll be back to bugging poor citizens at work in furtherance of knowledge now . . .)

  111. Steven Goddard says:

    Ric,

    I have been thinking more about the analogy between the RISC phenomenon and AGW. In both cases, scientists chose to ignore inconvenient facts in order to pursue funding and prestige.

    In the case of RISC, the driving mantra was “memory is cheap.” This is a half truth. Slow memory is cheap, but cache memory is very expensive. Thus the dirty little secret about why CISC runs fast. You can pack a lot more CISC instructions in a small instruction cache, and thus get better performance than RISC at the same price.

    This fairly obvious detail was buried for decades, because computer scientists wanted to feel important and be funded. They convinced many large companies to waste huge amounts of money on a doomed technology.

    Rod Canion started up the most profitable company in the world (Compaq) and left in disgrace because he bought off on the RISC nonsense being spewed by the consensus of computer scientists. Obama beware.

  112. SlyFox says:

    Sign me up for that league. The problem is that only “goups” have sway. The left has created and/or infiltrated a zillion groups and sytematically created the “loudest voice in the room”. In the political calculus driving policy the single voice is not registered, no matter how many there are in absolute numbers. When it gets so bad that the “mob” sikutaneously takes to the streets, God help us.

  113. Jeff Alberts says:

    That’s what happens when you spend your reputation to pedal junk.

    Or “peddle”, even, unless you’re talking about junk bicycles ;)

  114. SlyFox says:

    Your “permission slip” concept alludes to some authority that will manage access. I think it won’t be as obvious as that. I suggest that access will be resticted by price. All those things you listed will be available to those with the $’s. They will also be able to assuage their conscience by purchasing “offsets”. In case you haven’t noticed the class with access tomorrow will be same “elites” (sorry the word strikes the right chord even if it is misapplied) that are driving us down this path today. For the “Joe the plumber” or “retired engineer” types? They will invent some form of green palliative to keep us content.

  115. SlyFox says:

    “Marinated in the sixties”
    Being a “baby Boomer” myself I heartily endorse what you say. Recently I heard a young college student comment that he was sick of the hippies and the cr#@&%p they were teaching. He looked forward to the day the last hippie dies.

  116. superDBA says:

    Sign me up too. We share similar backgrounds, so we can sit around drinking our black coffee (coffee, not that 4 dollar fru-fru stuff), and talk about the good old days.

    Being “not quite retired” and getting further from it by the second, I’ve found that the real world still values the things that you mentioned. It’s only the educational and government employees that live in this so called “New World”.

  117. Dave D says:

    Voodoo:

    I agree! We’ve homeschooled our three boys and it’s shocking as they compete against public school kids. My oldest says University is much easier than what he was doing at home throughout High School. He’s a sophomore now. My middle boy has simlarly earned a full academic scholarship so it’s 2 down and one to go – I’m not paying anything so far! My third – a 14 year old HS Freshman – will probably score around 26-28 on his first attempt at the ACT this summer, then jump into the 30′s when he re-takes it as a HS Sophomore – none of my boys bothered for a higher score their Senior Year… I

    [getting way off topic - please focus]

  118. ijk says:

    Who funded Einstein?

  119. Syl says:

    “But that is pretty small potatoes…”

    It may be, yes, but a small potato here and a small potato there and soon you’re talking about Mr Potato Head controlling your life.

  120. Smokey says:

    barry,

    Every point in your #4 above is questionable. Every single one of them. [citations on request].

    And since #4 is the crux of your argument, you have the burden of showing strong — not flimsy — evidence that you are right about each of those points, and that the current climate is not well within its natural parameters; which is the long-held and well established theory that must be decisively falsified by those believing in the new AGW/CO2 hypothesis, in order for them to gain credibility. So far, they have failed.

    You further state:

    Eisenhower’s comments are luadable for all times, but that does not mean that they apply to this situation. Here, the AGW bandwagon was under way well before any US government endorsed it – AGW theory arose despite a lack of political enabling from the executive. This is entirely at odds with Eisenhower’s concept – where the government enables a science/technology sector first, and then it ’spins out of control’. [my emphasis]

    Please explain how that is not happening right now under the current Administration. Don’t you understand that’s why Eisenhower’s quotes are so newsworthy today??

  121. Ric Werme says:

    You’re touching on areas that are outside of my expertise, so let me just add a few observations that don’t tie together all that well. Tallbloke’s comment about compatibility being important is a key point. DEC’s jumps from architecture to architecture (PDP-11, VAX, MIPS, and Alpha – and that just for Unix). Trying to get third party vendors to follow took a lot of time and was expensive. HP-UX did well because it ran on the same architecture for so long but eventually became an impediment to porting modern codes. Windows ran on Alpha – that failed in part because vendors didn’t want to port to it, in part because Windows was not designed with 64 bit CPUs in mind.

    One reason x86 speeds increased so much is that the volume of sales provided the income to compete with the RISC competition. CPU development is a tremendously expensive undertaking and Intel could afford that and the new fab lines. Your cache size point is somewhat valid, but the code size differential was not all that great. The 64 bit nature of Alpha added noticably to the instruction stream and memory fetches, the many general purpose registers helped reduce some of the x86 overhead.

    The DEC/Compaq “merge” offered DEC to get involved with a PC line that made money, and offered Compaq a high-end line where there was a sizable profit margin. The Compaq/HP merger had a lot more overlap (both had PCs, PDAs, Unixes, printers) and hence was more political. I don’t know much about Rod Canion, he was long gone by the time Compaq and Eckard Pfeiffer bought DEC.

    One thing I forgot to mention is in addition to AMD using Alpha’s memory interface, the demise of Alpha led to many top Alpha designers going to AMD where they implemented the 64 bit extensions in Opteron. That forced Intel to follow suit, and doomed Itanium to its current status of niche processor instead of the new design that was to finally retire x86.

  122. Steven Goddard says:

    Ric,

    A few counterpoints. x86 code density is about 2.5X greater than a typical RISC density, and each instruction does a lot more work than each RISC instruction. As a result, the cache utilization on x86 is much higher than any RISC processor – perhaps 4-5X. CPU performance is limited largely by cache miss rate, thus (in an idealized environment) a 96% hit rate runs only about half as fast as a 98% hit rate, and a 99% hit rate doubles performance again.

    Itanium server sales last year were in the $10 billion range. The volumes may be low, but the cost is very high. Hardly a “niche processor.” Redundancy and stability (RAS) is the selling point for Itanium.

  123. evanjones says:

    True. But the ratio of actual techno-intrusion to potential techno-intrusion has been exceedingly small. (So far.) Smaller than I would have thought, and I tend to be optimistic about these things in the first place.

    I do concede that being on guard against such intrusion helps prevent it from happening.

  124. Eric says:

    Bill D,

    As a scientist, science teacher and physician, your glib sarcasm about the solution is to cut out government funding altogether actually gets at the real problem: nearly every scientist in the nation is dependent on the government for funding and position and credibility, and if they step very far off from the political ‘consensus’ for certain issues, a scientist will lose all three. Indeed, most all scientists are dependent on the scientific-technological elite and its relationship with the political class for training and acceptance into the community, essentially training and admitting only those to the academy who are blindered by the ‘consensus.’

  125. SemiChemE says:

    Steven and Ric,

    I hate to throw cold water on a good debate, but the real reason that RISC was never able to beat out x86 was that NexGen and later AMD and Intel figured out that they could adopt RISC design principles into x86 designs. Basically, they used decoder stages to convert CISC instructions into RISC-like micro-ops, which can run on a RISC-like x86 core. Such a design may take a small performance hit relative to native RISC (eg. 5-10%), but otherwise provides RISC-like scalability. The small performance hit is in the noise when you consider variations in process capabilities (eg. raw transistor performance) and advantages of CISC for certain applications. Add in the backward compatibility of x86 for a large installed base and there was no way RISC could displace x86.

    Having said that, don’t count RISC as dead just because it’s not competitive on the desktop. ARM processors pretty much dominate the low-cost, high-performance market for embedded processors (think iPod’s and SmartPhones). Freescale’s PowerPC chips drive most Cisco routers and thus form the backbone of the internet. And finally, IBM’s Cell architecture drives all three leading game controllers (Wii, Xbox, PlayStation3) and it’s POWER Architecture fuels four of the world’s ten fastest supercomputers.

  126. anon says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while and enjoying it but I’m done, I;m not going to read this anymore.
    This post is entirely too much.
    The hate and irrationality that is expressed by so many of the commenters is shocking.
    while the following is only one quote, it catches the feel of all the comments..

    “…seriously incomplete. When the “scientists” give us the debunked “hockey stick” and talk of “coal trains of death”, and when the policy makers…”

    a couple of scientists do shoddy work, it catches on politically…now all scientiest are worthless??

    use your head

  127. The fact is, anon, that real scientists ARE being dragged through the mud over AGW. The shocking thing is, that too few scientists have the courage to speak up, counter the political hype and stop the madness…

  128. Smokey says:

    anon,

    I think you’re misreading those comments. “Scientists” has quotation marks, indicating that a particular person who uses inflammatory language like ‘coal trains of death’ is abusing their status as a scientist.

    All real scientists are skeptics. But they are also human, and some of them are bought by money, status or ideology. That’s what President Eisenhower was warning us against in his farewell speech.

    The two examples above refer to Michael Mann and James Hansen. They have sold out for personal gain and status. But they are not the typical scientist, who cringes at their perversion of the scientific method.

    Rather than getting upset at someone who refers to others making outlandish statements like ‘coal trains of death,’ or to someone who uses a known false algorithm to promote their “hockey stick” conclusion, your proper target of scorn should be those corrupt scientists who make the great preponderance of honest scientists look devious and corrupt.

    The public tends to generalize, and Mann and Hansen are the prime contributors to the public’s view of scientists. They are always in the news. Those two, more than anyone else, have contributed to the false impression that all scientists are corrupt and political.

    This site points out the truth of the matter. You can see that a lot of serious thought goes into most of these posts. And if you think about it, you will see that the sooner that the false prophets of doom are marginalized, the better it will be for mainstream science and the taxpaying public.

  129. Steven Goddard says:

    Semi,

    Your argument about “design principles” is correct, which is exactly the point – the nearly unanimous “consensus” of academics were wrong. There was never any need to change instruction set architectures for personal computers. IBM threw $5 billion down the drain because of out of control academics, who took one piece of correct information and blew it up into a nonexistent problem and solution. Sound familiar?

    The PC marketplace in the future will be dominated by x86 + Larrabee, Nvidia or AMD GPUs. ARM will be used a coprocessor for lightweight tasks.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10162275-92.html

  130. Steven Goddard says:

    anon,

    The lack of self-criticism in the world of climate science is a primary reason why sites like WUWT and CA exist. Academics can’t bludgeon the energy basis of the world economy and expect that all 7 billion people on earth will go quietly – no matter how clueless the politicians may be.

  131. Richard Sharpe says:

    You have said everything I wanted to say. Superscalar superpipelined architectures have significant performance advantages that are very hard to achieve in a variable cycle count instruction-set architecture. However, microengines can take advantage of such architectures.

    And, although Intel now has an SOC chip based around the Pentium M core, I believe, ARM and the 604 architectures still get most of the embedded design wins, and MIPS is still around in things like the Cavium processors and so forth.

  132. Steven Goddard says:

    Another good example happened today. NASA’s $270 million CO2 satellite failed to reach orbit today because of a computational error, even worse than the Hubble mirror math error. The whole justification for this project was flawed at many levels. You can predict future CO2 levels simply by extrapolating the Mauna Loa graphs. Does the US have $270 million to waste on more NASA theatre?

    Some more NASA highlights:

    It was a science fiction fantasy come true: Ten years ago this summer, NASA announced the discovery of life on Mars.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/08/05/ap/tech/mainD8JAGIEG0.shtml

    New evidence of life on Mars spotted by NASA
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/15/MNV715B3HE.DTL

  133. anon says:

    RE:

    Michael D Smith (04:06:27) :

    The fact is, anon, that real scientists ARE being dragged through the mud over AGW. The shocking thing is, that too few scientists have the courage to speak up, counter the political hype and stop the madness…

    Go back read all the posts. Scientists (Im one) who may disagree have 2 choices, 1) do nothing/say nothing, 2) get wrapped into the lump with the lot who wrote these posts.
    guess what someone who doesnt want to attempt carear suicide is going to do.

  134. SemiChemE says:

    Steven,

    I don’t think you can argue that IBM threw $5 billion “down the drain” chasing after RISC, when they have made many billions selling these same chips for Macs (now defunct), Video game consoles, and High-end Servers. In fact their domination of the high-end computing market (210 of the top 500 supercomputers are IBM machines) is a major reason why IBM is currently one of the most successful IT companies on the planet.

    RISC was the right direction for IBM, not a pipe-dream lead by starry-eyed academics. Sure they over-hyped the doom-and-gloom scenario for CISC in their bid to wrestle the PC away from the dominant market player. But that was just good old fashioned FUD marketing, not bad business. Unfortunately, their efforts put them squarely in the cross-hairs of Microsoft, the grand masters of FUD and the rest is history.

  135. Steven Goddard says:

    Semi,

    Game consoles are sold as loss-leaders. I bought a PS3 when it first came out for less than the cost of a standalone Blu-Ray player.

    IBM’s Power was around long before PowerPC. That is a separate business and is not part of the $5 billion. The server numbers you quoted are Power, not PowerPC. Since PowerPC appeared in 1991, x86 sales have been measured in the 100s of billions of dollars.

    If IBM wanted Mac business, they could have much more cheaply collaborated with Motorola to build a faster 68K. It took Apple years to get their entire OS ported to PowerPC, and then they switched to x86.

    I remember Motorola long-term sales projections for PowerPC from around 1992, and they overestimated by several orders of magnitude.

  136. SemiChemE says:

    Steven,

    You’re right, game consoles are loss-leaders, sold by game companies in anticipation of licensing revenues from game sales. However, the various components (chips, controllers, etc…) are not loss-leaders, but revenue centers for the various companies that make them. If it weren’t so, they wouldn’t bother as they are not entitled to licensing revenues. In some cases these profits are subsidized by the game console vendors, but they are profitable nonetheless. The same is true for Cell phones, which are also loss-leaders, subsidized by the various phone companies, nevertheless, TI and Qualcomm have done quite well selling chips for phones.

    As for Power vs. PowerPC, the original discussion was RISC vs. CISC and my point has always been that RISC was technologically superior and thus has been very successful, which is true. I said nothing about PowerPC. My point was that CISC did not beat out RISC, rather it morphed itself into pseudo-RISC.

    Finally, as for building a faster 68K, Motorola already did that. The 88K line was a flop! In 1991, x86 was deeply entrenched as the defacto standard of the PC market. Only a revolutionary change like the PowerPC had any hope of overcoming the x86/intel/microsoft juggernaut. In fact, the PowerPC did succeed in gaining some market share for the Mac. Ultimately, it failed to displace x86, but the reasons for that were mostly non-technological (eg. Apple pulling the rug out from under the Mac Clone business, especially Motorola’s Clone business, Motorola’s other business troubles siphoning away resources, cut-throat competition between IBM and Motorola for the small Mac business and Apple’s manipulation of both sides, FUD from Microsoft and Intel, etc…)

    Having said all of that, it should also be recognized that Motorola and later Freescale leveraged PowerPC into a very profitable and successful embedded business. I don’t know if IBM lost money on PowerPC, but it should be recognized that their highly profitable POWER business is relatively low-volume, but requires them to operate a state-of-the-art High-Volume semiconductor Fab. Keeping such a fab loaded, even with only marginally profitable parts, such as PowerPC or Cell (for Video Games) is enough to make the overall operation profitable.

  137. Steven Goddard says:

    Semi,

    The features of Power and Itanium (which are currently about equal in revenues) that make them attractive as servers are RAS (redundancy and stability.) Many of those features are being moved into x86, which is why x86 server sales continue to grow while the RISC server sales have peaked.

    As far as PowerPC goes, there were many people at IBM, Apple and Motorola expecting it to be 2-3X faster than x86. In fact, the performance difference was a wash – which killed it on the desktop. Modern x86 chips offers a RISC like core with the cache efficiency of CISC. The orthogonal RISC instruction sets are inherently memory inefficient by design.

  138. Steven Goddard says:

    No one took the bait on the RAS comment, so I will have to fill in the blanks.

    The purpose of RAS is so that people like Anthony don’t have to waste their weekends fixing broken servers. ;^)

Comments are closed.