Quote of the week #9 – "negative thermometers"

qotw_cropped

Image from WUWT reader “Boudu”

Its has been awhile since I had a QOTW, but the last couple of weeks have been full of travel, and I’ve been out of the comment loop until recently. But this response from RyanO to the incorrigible commenter “TCO”, over at the Air Vent left me in stitches:

Negative thermometers ARE sh**. 100% sh**. I shouldn’t even need to say it to make it so. If the math results in negative thermometers, then something is wrong with the math.

Yet, we have ample evidence of negative thermometers (actual surface stations measuring air temperature where the resultant data is inverted after processing) in the Steig et al “Antarctica is Warming” paper, ( Nature, Jan 22, 2009) thanks to the careful analysis of Jeff Id and RyanO

Here’s one view of a negative thermometer:

negative_thermometer

And here’s what they look like in the Steig et al paper:

Bar Plot station weights trends

Jeff Id writes:

It is of course nonsensical to flip temperature data upside down when averaging but that is exactly what Steig et al does. This alone should call into question the paper’s result.

You can read all about it here and here.

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64 thoughts on “Quote of the week #9 – "negative thermometers"

  1. negative thermometers do exist but it is the INVERSE thermometers that are only good on star trek!!!!

  2. It is obvious that a negative thermometer will measure negative temperatures. So using the Kelvin scale, we would start at 0 K and then go to -1, -2 etc. But it would take an infinite amount of energy to achieve negative temps given the theoretical limitations on going below absolute zero.
    But once produced, an object with negative temperatures would suck up an infinite amount of heat from its surroundings which would lead to unstoppable global cooling. But isn’t this the goal of the warmists?

  3. Positives and negatives are used to make averages. What is wrong with the absolute value approach? No smiley face on this keyboard.

  4. Isn’t this a bit like the square root of a negative number?
    Great in theory, but impossible….

  5. So “imaginary temperature” would be at right angles to the real temperature line.
    Useful for measuring imaginary climate, and providing imput into climate models to provide imaginary forecasts of future imaginary climate.
    Can also be used to measure imaginary warming, as distinct from real cooling…
    I suspect that the imaginary temperature line only has positive numbers and can only be used to represent “warming” events.
    Unfortunatly, there does not seem to be “imaginary” carbon emission taxes.

  6. I don’t really see the issue here. Or perhaps I’m missing something. On the unit shown it looks to me as if the lowest temp readable is -100 and the unit is constructed so as to be mounted vertically with the bulb up. What’s the big deal?

  7. anubisxiii! Of course there are square roots of negative numbers – you just need some ingenuity – and an imaginary number to derive one! 🙂
    But I do get your point

  8. Aaron: I’m not sure you were serious. But if you are:
    Mercury freezes at about -39C. That rules it out for -100 F. or C.
    I am not sure what inverting a mercury thermometer would do. Liquids in very fine tubes do unusual things. But I suspect it would just ooze to the bottom.

  9. I would like to see historical plots of the more or less raw data from the negatively weighted stations compared to the same from stations with high positive weights. Since the weights are measures of influence on the PCA solution, it suggests that there are regional influences in the data that are not being accounted for.

  10. I thought at first that it might make sense if the data series were all normalized. Take the series and subtract the mean of that series so all are zero average. Then to PCA / PLS to get T= c0 + c1 T1 + c2 T2 + … Etc.
    But after thinking about it a bit you end up with something wrong if you allow negative coefficents. I guess you should set up and solve a quadratic programming problem to constrain the coefficients to be positive, assuming you are trying to model a set of data…

  11. Aaron (22:19:23) : I don’t really see the issue here. Or perhaps I’m missing something. On the unit shown it looks to me as if the lowest temp readable is -100 and the unit is constructed so as to be mounted vertically with the bulb up. What’s the big deal?
    Um, metals expand with heat, be they mounted up or down. The mercury in the tub will be longer at higher temps. It can’t count down from 100 to 90 to 80 … as the metal expands…

  12. Perhaps just to look at this another way.
    It is the fate of all organisations that their future will ultimately run through a cycle or if they are fortunate, run through a number of cycles, and this applies equally to the media including currently prestigious science publications like “Nature”.
    Some manage to recover and go onto new heights.
    Others disappear, never to be heard from again.
    An organisation’s reputation is acquired over a considerable length of time by sticking to a set of very strong principles.
    Then changes start to take place.
    Sometimes there is not enough flexibility in the thinking of the principals to adapt to new situations and public mores.
    Sometimes there are personnel changes to a leadership that is no longer capable of upholding the previous standards or who take an organisation down a route that proves to be a dead end.
    With the publication of a number of unverified and unverifiable climate papers by Nature such as Steig’s and Mann’s papers and due in part to Nature refusing to uphold it’s own requirements for full disclosure of all relevant assumptions, calculations and data for these climate papers, what we may be seeing is the start of the long downhill decline of “Nature” as major and prestigious science publication.
    This together with the refusal to publish climate papers, apparently due only to a fixed ideological position on climate change, that questions the current “consensus” on global warming and climate change is surely indicative that Nature has entered the nether world that leads to that long slow decline into irrelevancy.
    In a couple of decades, Nature may no longer exist as a science publication even at the lowest common denominator.

  13. The inverted thermometer works just like the univerted one.
    It’s the scale printed on it that is wrong.
    Factory reject.
    In order to get it to read 100 degrees, you have to go find a bucket of ice.
    I imagine at this point that the code for the models has to be spaghettied beyond all recognition. No wonder they won’t show it.

  14. Perhaps they measure latent temperature? Or dark temperature? Or missing temperature? Or magnetic temperature (good for your health!).
    How about bull-o-meter?

  15. Negative thermometers? Are they utilised by those with negative imaginations and negative integrity?

  16. This reminds me of the defence offered by the NAS panel of MBH98&99, the methodology might be ropey but the conclusion could well be right. Its not satisfying science but statistical analysis generally isn’t satisfying.
    Hence I tend to hesitate when presented with arguments about “negative thermometers” as we’re not talking about the real world observations but the artificial treatment of statistical analysis. The significance of such practises is probably little I suspect.
    I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t treat any of this as being of significant importance. I’m dubious of any particular interpretation being held as definitive. I would like to see a more open presentation of statistical analysis including access to all data and source code in order to facilitate a debate on how best to apply a limited interpretative skill, what assumptions are made in order to facilitate a statistical analysis and whether there are errors made in the construction of the analysis (such as general noise producing a particular result).

  17. We are witness to the creation of a new value in the measurement system. This new value is ‘imaginary’ temperature and is similar in concept to ‘i’ for the square root of negative 1.
    I propose that we identify this new value with the designation of little ‘g’ in honor of Albert Gore Junior. Using little ‘g’, it will now be possible to characterize latent heat in the oceans, show that layers of cooler air high in the atmosphere can reflect heat back to the warmer layers below, and prove the hockey stick does in fact exist.
    Applied to values that are ‘warm’, little ‘g’ has the same effect as multiplying by 1 in a mathematical equation. However, on things that are cold, little ‘g’ has the effect of changing the value of cold (at the discretion of the user) to warm.
    For example:
    Record High Temperature x ‘g’ = AGW
    Record Low Temperature x ‘g’ = AGW
    Above Average Hurricane Season x ‘g’ = AGW
    Below Average Hurricane Season x ‘g’ = AGW
    El Niño x ‘g’ = AGW
    La Niña x ‘g’ = AGW

  18. Negative weightings of temperature data does seem odd, but why wouldn’t you use a negative weight of normalized data IF you were compensating for a known warming bias at a particular station? Isn’t the issue with Steig et al’s paper their use of negative weights with no explanations?

  19. g= Mann/Gore constant. Whenever observational data disagrees with the theory of AGW, you simply apply “g” in an AlGorerithim and presto! The data now fits the theory.

  20. Evereybody knows that’s how Scotty made sure the dilithium crystals weren’t overheating.

  21. Has anyone bothered to look at the photo closely? The photo has been doctored. The numbers do not curve as do the gradations and the ink is too black. Under zoom, the editing artifacts are clearly visible around the numbers (similar to jpeg compression artifacts).
    REPLY: Yes, I made the graphic of the thermometer to illustrate the point. Thanks for noticing. There does not exist a thermometer of this type that I know of, but there certainly exists inverted thermometers in Steig et al.
    Both are equally ridiculous. – Anthony

  22. Oh, come on people! Everyone knows that negative temperatures (in degrees Kelvin) are necessary to explain how the Dark Suckers in your house work. We only call them “light bulbs” because that’s what you get after they suck up all the dark.
    ;^)

  23. jeez (21:57:25) :

    anubisxiii
    I think you might be on to something:
    Imaginary temperature.

    And from there, and a climate system that has both real and imaginary temperature components would be called complex. Since we already know our climate is complex, this merely confirms the postulate. Our job is complete.

  24. @ Rich (05:33:55) :
    Of course it is doctored. [snip – just a bit over the top, see my response to Rich above. Anthony]
    /sarcasm

  25. I suppose we should also have a negative barometer, a negative anemometer and a negative odometer.

  26. Although not applicable here, negative absolute temperature (in degrees kelvin) does exist. It is produced by a population inversion as seen in stimulated emission (lasers). The energy required is quite finite. It must be noted that negative temperatures are not below absolute zero, but above infinite temperature. At infinite temperature all levels are equally populated. This follows from a statistical mechanics definition of temperature and does not apply to a largely classical system as used in climatology. Here, temperature can be defined as internal energy per degree of freedom, in appropriate units, which will never be negative. You can, of course, have negative celsius temperatures which could be averaged in the same way as any group of numbers. Except that an average temperature is a meaningless concept! Temperature is an intensive and not an extensive parameter such as volume. If you can’t define a total temperature, you cannot define an average. I also assume that all celsius temperatures in antarctica are negative, so I have no idea what Steig et al are doing. Some sort of strange weighting, no doubt. Cheers.

  27. Negative thermometers are used to measure the negative heat given off by negative energy generators. If we get enough of those negative energy generators going, it will reduce the UHI effect and negate the need to paint our roofs white.

  28. I propose the use of an additional factor to be used in combination with ‘g’. (In fact, I believe Steig, Mann, et all, have been using this factor extensively for years)
    It is known as ‘ff’, and in any climate formula it will be used to modify the measured value (mv) in this way:
    (mv)(g)(ff) = whatever you want it to be.
    ‘ff’, of course, is a situation specific constantly variable value. As Ric Werme has pointed out, you could not expect a complex situation to require anything less.

  29. Pubic ridicule is the best antidote to poisonous lying pretending to be Divine Truth. Thanks to Anthony, Jeff Id especially, and Ryan O; now commenters can pile it on and readers around the world can join in with guffaws.
    Personally, I like this one: John W. (05:54:19) :
    Oh, come on people! Everyone knows that negative temperatures (in degrees Kelvin) are necessary to explain how the Dark Suckers in your house work. We only call them “light bulbs” because that’s what you get after they suck up all the dark.
    ;^)
    And I subscribed to Nature for years; but I stopped a nmumber of years ago. I wonder how many others want a reputable science publication, not “yellow journalism”.
    Finally, Steig’s pretense at measuring Antarctica’s “warming” with only a few, mostly penninsula, stations along with switching some others, I find to be most reprehensible — even with turning some thermometers upside down to get desired results. [snip]

  30. I think we are missing a great opportunity here. I propose a circular thermometer with the bulb at the bottom. High temperatures would be read on the Left side and low temperatures would be read on the Right. If the mercury joins at the top entropy is reached and we are taxed into oblivion.

  31. My father was interviewed by an Italian organization. They put him comment to comment with Stephen Schnieder and they seem to give equal time to both. Perhaps the paradigm is shifting. I do not speak Italian, so I would welcome any translation and information as to whether this is as even handed as it seems. Too good to be true? http://www.avoicomunicare.it/#topvideo

  32. Negative temperature is by definition a condition were energy is absorbed but nothing is produced. This is achieved by most wind turbines.

  33. rbateman (00:53:19) :
    I imagine at this point that the code for the models has to be spaghettied beyond all recognition. No wonder they won’t show it.

    Does their profession not have any kind of quality control procedures that have to be adhered to when using models? Any minimum guidelines for disclosure? Or are they still claiming proprietary rights to the code (which is laughable to me)?
    Lord knows if I do a financial projection with a model, I’ve got pretty specific guidelines I have to follow, and my end-users would pale in comparison to those who write policy based on this.

  34. George (06:50:22) :
    Of course it is doctored. Do you think any member of the AGW church would even ‘touch’ a mercury thermometer? Touch alone is enough to kill you.
    They won’t touch a mercury thermometer but a CFT light is perfectly safe. LOL

  35. I just got in some big crazy battle about how it might be reasonable to have inverted thermometers. There is absolutely no hope that I’ll ever figure people out.

  36. Anthony, thanks for the link to the “perfect thermometer” article. Measurement is the foundation of science, and it’s good to be reminded from time to time that the foundation of CAGW “science” is basically sand.

  37. Someone on the air vent provided a layamn’s explanation.
    The method used by Steig and the others is a form of weighted averaging. It is like trying to determine an average price for gold by taking the values in all markets and weighting them by the size of their own market market. This creates a valid average
    If someone tried to do this and ended up with a negative weight somehow then it would be clear that their is something wrong with his method. Thus the Steig method is in error because it has negative weights. The explanation for the reason that it is wrong is that the method that he uses to determine the weights is sensitive to noise and by truncating the number of PCs at 3, he is introducing noise.
    This is the explanation provided at the Air Vent as I “understand” it.
    The rationalizations being given for possible negative covariances are wrong because this calculation has nothing to do with co-variances. This is a simple averaging.

  38. AEGeneral (09:40:05) :
    rbateman (00:53:19) :
    I imagine at this point that the code for the models has to be spaghettied beyond all recognition. No wonder they won’t show it.
    Does their profession not have any kind of quality control procedures that have to be adhered to when using models? Any minimum guidelines for disclosure? Or are they still claiming proprietary rights to the code (which is laughable to me)?
    Lord knows if I do a financial projection with a model, I’ve got pretty specific guidelines I have to follow, and my end-users would pale in comparison to those who write policy based on this.

    Can you imagine Einstein saying here’s the results of my calculations, but I’m not going to show you the data input or how I processed the data? That’s what we get with these climate models.
    Now how can a computer climate model study be ‘peer-reviewed’ without the actual input and the source code also being included?
    More important, how can the results be replicated? I know, just run the model again with the same inputs and you get the same results. See, it’s verified.
    These models should all be fully disclosed. Inputs, adjustments, full source code and full documentation.

  39. ROM (00:28:56),
    Nature and Science risk going the way of professional wrestling, and for the same reasons.

  40. Well if these guys have their say, soon thermometers will become a forbidden piece of hardware, instead we’ll get the CO2 concentration info… indeed scary “science”:
    “The proportionality of global warming to cumulative carbon emissions
    H. Damon Matthews1, Nathan P. Gillett2, Peter A. Stott3 & Kirsten Zickfeld2
    1. Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1M8, Canada
    2. Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment Canada, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, British Columbia, V8P 5C2, Canada
    3. Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3PB, UK
    Nature 459, 829-832 (11 June 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08047
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7248/abs/nature08047.html?lang=en
    The global temperature response to increasing atmospheric CO2 is often quantified by metrics such as equilibrium climate sensitivity and transient climate response. These approaches, however, do not account for carbon cycle feedbacks and therefore do not fully represent the net response of the Earth system to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Climate–carbon modelling experiments have shown that: (1) the warming per unit CO2 emitted does not depend on the background CO2 concentration; (2) the total allowable emissions for climate stabilization do not depend on the timing of those emissions; and (3) the temperature response to a pulse of CO2 is approximately constant on timescales of decades to centuries. Here we generalize these results and show that the carbon–climate response (CCR), defined as the ratio of temperature change to cumulative carbon emissions, is approximately independent of both the atmospheric CO2 concentration and its rate of change on these timescales.
    From observational constraints, we estimate CCR to be in the range 1.0–2.1 °C per trillion tonnes of carbon (Tt C) emitted (5th to 95th percentiles), consistent with twenty-first-century CCR values simulated by climate–carbon models. Uncertainty in land-use CO2 emissions and aerosol forcing, however, means that higher observationally constrained values cannot be excluded. The CCR, when evaluated from climate–carbon models under idealized conditions, represents a simple yet robust metric for comparing models, which aggregates both climate feedbacks and carbon cycle feedbacks. CCR is also likely to be a useful concept for climate change mitigation and policy; by combining the uncertainties associated with climate sensitivity, carbon sinks and climate–carbon feedbacks into a single quantity, the CCR allows CO2-induced global mean temperature change to be inferred directly from cumulative carbon emissions.”

  41. Antonio San (12:45:24) :

    Climate–carbon modelling experiments

    OK. “Modeling experiments.” When I read that, The meaning I get is that they are running an invalidated, unverified model, and calling the run an experiment. Do I understand that correctly? Are these people really asserting, either explicitly or implicitly, that they don’t have to look at the real world because they can get all the information they need by simulating the real world? If this is what they are doing, could someone please explain in what way, shape form or manner their activity has anything to do with science?

  42. Need I point out that “imaginary numbers” are in fact just that. They don’t exist; except that we defined them to exist. Well nothing else in mathematics exists either so why not imaginary numbers. And the concept of the imaginary being perpendicular to the real is also just a figment of a definition of a method of representing complex numbers whaich also have no real existence.
    So if you want to define “pi” as -[sqrt(-1) ] *ln(-1) , nobody is going to stop you; but trying to calculate that value, to verify if that is correct; well that is a different matter. It is like Cardan’s solution to the roots of a cubic equation; the only case which it can solve is the case of all real roots; but it gives you the roots as complex numbers so you still can’t compute them.
    I had a colleague who had a perfectly rational argument for why it is that we are all born knowing everything; just ask our parents.
    And as our lives progress we gradually discover that some of what we know is no longer true, until finally we know nothing at all, at which time we are due to leave this veil of tears.
    But none of us are born stupid; that we have to be taught; and there are plenty of people who are willing and able to teach stupidity.
    Just try to get a rational question answered over at Real Climate, to see how the Gurus of Stupid hold their disciples rapt attention.
    George; who learns at WUWT.

  43. Speaking of negative thermometers, in standard optical ray tracing software it is conventional to treat ordinary mirrors as being a boundary between two media with refractive indices of +1 and -1, so then if you do that, you can calculate the ray propagation by treating it as simply a refraction across a +1/-1 boundary.
    So what if you have a mirror inside a piece of glass; so the refractive index before the mirror is +n, why not have the index following the mirror be -n, so the ratio of the two is -1 as before.
    So I once asked a ray tracing software vendor, why his program would crash, if I entered a negative refractivew index (other than -1). He replied that it was not relevent since negative refractive index materials do not exist; so he refused to change his code (fortran) so it accepted -n just as easily as it accepted -1.
    So much for him and his now off the market program; we n0ow do have optical materials with negative refractive indices, and the refracted ray, now lies on the same side of the normal as the incident ray.
    You reject a good idea, and you go out of business.

  44. We haev to get the temperature to go up…
    Waitresses cover up against cold as burned Maine coffee shop reopens in tent
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS – 1 day ago
    VASSALBORO, Maine — A topless coffee shop in Maine is now shopless after a fire.
    But waitresses are serving coffee again after the Grand View Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, just north of Augusta, returned to business this week in a tent. One difference though.
    The waitresses are covering up because of a recent cold snap, with many of them sporting sweat shirts.
    Owner Donald Crabtree says the waitresses are volunteering their time and working for tips as he spruces up a couple of rooms that weren’t damaged by the fire that ravaged his shop in a converted motel.

  45. The original Celsius scale was inverted from the one we use today.
    Steam at 0, ice at 100.
    (Yeah, do a Google search for “inverted centigrade scale” and read.)
    So perhaps they were using priceless antique original Celsius
    instruments. More likely they are just fudging the data.

  46. As if to add to those worries about negative temperatures, an Associated Press article today warns about the onset of negative winds. It cites a “preliminary” study authored by Sara Pryor, an atmospheric scientist at Indiana University, and Eugene Talke, a professor of atmospheric science at Ohio State University (sic). Their study “… will be published in August in the Journal of Geophysical Research.” It “…does raise a new side effect of global warming” by claiming that global warming is creating big drops in wind speed (maybe 10% over a decade) in places such as “Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kansas, Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia northern Maine, and western Montana.” Worse yet, the article questions whether global warming therefore may make wind farms uneconomic in places. Imagine that! Is there anything left that can’t be blamed on “global warming?
    Bob

  47. Bob, these atmospheric scientists should have attended lectures by Marcel Leroux and it would have explained the effects they are now blaming on Global warming to them and to the reviewers at the always obliging JGR…

  48. Imaginary temperatures might not exist but they can be useful nevertheless, at least if you also allow imaginary $s. Suppose the complex temperature rise is C=RC+iIC and the complex cost of abatement per complex degree C is the complex dollar amount $=R$+iI$. The total real cost of abatement is the Real part of C*$. Since C*$ = RC*R$ + i(RC*I$+IC*R$)-IC*IR the Real part of $*IC is R$*RC-IC*I$. Since IC and I$ are the imaginary components we can make them anything we want without altering the Real parts of C and $. So if we choose the imaginary components such that IC*I$=RC*R$ the total real cost is zero, which is very cheap. As for the leftover imaginary component we can pass that on to the IPCC. Since the benefit of funding this community is imaginary let it be iIB per imaginary $. The consequent funding to the IPCC would therefore be -IB*(RC* I$+IC*R$). Noting that the imaginary components IB, I$ and IC can be anything at all, including negative numbers, this funding can be anything at all. The Linear Theory of complex temperatures and $s therefore agrees exactly with the possible future costs of abatement of “carbon” emmisions and funding of the IPCC:
    Real costs = $0
    Real funding to IPCC= $anything you want

  49. @davidc (02:54:09) :
    “Imaginary temperatures might not exist but they can be useful nevertheless, at least if you also allow imaginary $s. […] Noting that the imaginary components IB, I$ and IC can be anything at all, including negative numbers, this funding can be anything at all. The Linear Theory of complex temperatures and $s therefore agrees exactly with the possible future costs of abatement of “carbon” emmisions and funding of the IPCC:
    Real costs = $0
    Real funding to IPCC= $anything you want”

    Spot on. My $check for further funding of the of the $urgent $work of the IPCC is in the $mail. ;o)

  50. Lots of fun comments but I think that the main reason they use Celsius is that it looks more impressive. When the worlds temperature goes from 16 degrees to 17 degrees that doesn’t sound like much, but compare to how it sounds going from 289 degrees Kelvin to 290 degrees Kelvin.
    Think of how that chart would look going from 271 to 279.
    A year or two ago I read on-line a newspaper article that claimed that local temperatures had doubled from +2 C. to +4 C. Oh the humanity!!!!!!!!!!!
    PS: I probably got the link from here…

  51. “The consequent funding to the IPCC would therefore be -IB*(RC* I$+IC*R$). Noting that the imaginary components IB, I$ and IC can be anything at all, including negative numbers, this funding can be anything at all. The Linear Theory of complex temperatures and $s therefore agrees exactly with the possible future costs of abatement of “carbon” emmisions and funding of the IPCC:
    Real costs = $0
    Real funding to IPCC= $anything you want”-DavidC
    I hope there is some validity to this theory since I really like the idea of paying carbon taxes with imaginary money. Unfortunately, all our money is likely to be imaginary on our present track. Perhaps that is the necessary corollary to imaginary science.

  52. The following is not so much a negative thermometer, but an addition to the library of how temperature sensors and housings of different design can differ.
    http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/www/IMOP/WebPortal-AWS/Tests/ITR649.pdf
    “A Preliminary Investigation of Temperature Screen Design and Their
    Impacts on Temperature Measurements”
    Jane Warne
    Physics Laboratory, OEB 09 June 1998
    Worth reading to see the magnitude of the differences in overlap periods and the (then, maybe still) inability to explain the discrepancies.

  53. Mike Bryant (05:44:24) : Unfortunately, all our money is likely to be imaginary on our present track. Perhaps that is the necessary corollary to imaginary science.
    Um, not to be painfully pedantic, but technically our present medium of exchange fails the definition of “money” and ought to be properly called “currency”.
    A currency is a medium of exchange. Money adds to the definition that it ought to also be a “store of value”. Back when our currency was silver certificates and our coinage was silver, it was proper to call our currency “money” since the value was properly stored.
    In the early ’60s we dropped the silver from the coinage and cut the link to silver and gold for paper money. At that point our (U.S. Dollar) currency became a “fiat currency” – one that only has value because we say it has value. There is no intrinsic value. A “fiat currency” has no ability to act as a reasonable “store of value” and so is not properly “money” (modulo a painfully pedantic argument about very short time periods of value storage while you cash and spend your cheque…)
    In a very real sense, all fiat currency is “imaginary money” and so it is too late. We already have only imaginary money…
    (And gold has “risen” from $270 / oz to near $1000 / oz in the last few years… )

  54. Jeff Id and Ryan have both modified their opposition to negative weightings of thermometer data. Perhaps you should update the post to reflect that.

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