Why I no longer subscribe to Popular Science

I actually stopped subscribing some time ago, but this would be enough to justify it all over again. Over at the magazine Popular Science, they’ve taken to shaming volunteers on Wikipedia if they don’t “toe the line” on climate change. First, what Wikipedia says about volunteer contributions, bolding mine:

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous Internet volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles, except in limited cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism. Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or, if they choose to, with their real identity.

Hold that thought…

Now look what Popular Science’s Dan Nosowitz has written:

“Meet The Climate Change Denier Who Became The Voice Of Hurricane Sandy On Wikipedia”

But for days, the internet’s most authoritative article on a major tropical storm system in 2012 was written by a man with no meteorological training who thinks climate change is unproven and fought to remove any mention of it.

Nosowitz’ bio on PopSci:

Dan Nosowitz is the assistant editor for PopSci.com. He has previously written for Fast Company, SmartPlanet, and Splitsider, and got his start at the gadget blog Gizmodo. He is also the founder and editorial director of Oh Em Gee., a pop culture criticism collective based in Montreal. Dan holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from McGill University. You can follow him on Twitter.

Pot, kettle, and all that.

Maybe he’ll provide some balance to the mess that climate change is on Wikipedia by telling his readers about the abuses and suspension of climate activist William Connolley on Wikipedia.

Oh, and where the hell is my flying car?

h/t to Verity Jones

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November 3, 2012 12:19 pm

Popsci is great, you’re not

Phil Wilson
November 3, 2012 12:34 pm

I’m not renewing Pop Sci for that same reason among others.

November 3, 2012 12:34 pm

“Dan holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from McGill University.”
well it’s PopSci and Dan runs a “pop culture criticism collective” that knows things about Radiohead (yes I had to verify what that collective does, and it’s incoherent), and radio is something scientific so he’s totally entitled to judge whether Sandy was climate change on steroids. /sarc

November 3, 2012 12:36 pm

I stopped reading the magazine when the emphasis shifted to POP from SCI. Obviously, Mr. Nosowitz was hired to perpetuate that shift.

November 3, 2012 12:37 pm

It always rankles when a scientific illiterate berates me for not subscribing to some scientific conjecture on the basis that it’s me who is unqualified. The burden to be qualified is wholly on the one proposing the conjecture.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
November 3, 2012 12:38 pm

I see another magazine is going (has gone) down the drain!
Popular Science you used to be worth reading! Your no longer even suitable for swatting bugs, get back to balanced coverage of technology and leave out the brain dead editorials.

November 3, 2012 12:42 pm

One comment in the aftermath of Nosowitz’ diatribe nails him to the wall for hypocrisy.
I agree!

November 3, 2012 12:42 pm

Pop Science, not Popular

November 3, 2012 12:51 pm

I tried to improve on an article in Wikipedia in which the previous article was dotted with “needs a citation” notes. I wrote a more comprehensive article with new historical material that I found in some learned journals published by the University of Chicago. My revised article was rejected with the comment that it was based on dubious sources. Later the defensive author of the previous version put in some of the same claims that I had made, but sourced from some trade journals of the education “profession.” I have given up on contributing to Wikipedia.

November 3, 2012 12:53 pm

Perhaps a little trawling of articles published under this Assistant Editors name on subjects he holds no qualification for? It might redress the balance a little …

Roger Knights
November 3, 2012 12:56 pm

Here’s the comment I submitted there:
11/03/12 at 10:04 am
The article stated, “I myself spoke to a hurricane expert about three hours before I spoke to Mampel who told me that the roughly two-degree increase in the water temperature in the Atlantic could have had a major effect on Hurricane Sandy’s strength in the northeast. Mampel doesn’t care. He wasn’t going to mention climate change.”
Here’s what Wikipedia says about the warming of the North Atlantic, in the article on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which indicates that the SSTs may decline after 2015 due to a downturn in the AMO (and implies that current warming is partly due to the AMO):
“The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is a mode of variability occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean and which has its principal expression in the sea surface temperature (SST) field.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
“Relation to Atlantic hurricanes
“In viewing actual data on a short time horizon, sparse experience would suggest the frequency of major hurricanes is not strongly correlated with the AMO. During warm phases of the AMO, the number of minor hurricanes (category 1 and 2) saw a modest increase.[9] With full consideration of meteorological science, the number of tropical storms that can mature into severe hurricanes is much greater during warm phases of the AMO than during cool phases, at least twice as many; the AMO is reflected in the frequency of severe Atlantic hurricanes.[6] The hurricane activity index is found to be highly correlated with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation.[9] If there is an increase in hurricane activity connected to global warming, it is currently obscured by the AMO quasi-periodic cycle.[9] The AMO alternately obscures and exaggerates the global increase in temperatures due to human-induced global warming.[6] Based on the typical duration of negative and positive phases of the AMO, the current warm regime is expected to persist at least until 2015 and possibly as late as 2035. Enfield et al. assume a peak around 2020.[10]”
Here’s where to log in to cancel your sub., which I did over a year ago.

November 3, 2012 1:06 pm

I myself also gave up Popular Science, National Geographic. Up here in Canada I no longer listen to a science program called Quirks and Quarks on CBC. CBC think BBC, the U.S. PBS and Australia’s ABC. That also goes for the discovery channel and Suzuky’s Nature of Things also on CBC. These programs and magazines used to be decent until they turned non science and political. I find with the Internet I can keep my science fad up to date and do not miss the above. Easier to pick and choose on the Internet without having to listen the BS on climate.

November 3, 2012 1:13 pm

The comments below his unbelievably long article gives him plenty of pushback.

November 3, 2012 1:17 pm

Yeah, where is my flying car?
Pop Sci and Pop Mech, when it comes to science and engineering, are the equivalent of People and US magazines, or maybe even checkout stand tabloids.

November 3, 2012 1:20 pm

Wily is no longer topic banned for CC articles. Only the sceptics who were banned remain banned :o)

David Borth
November 3, 2012 1:25 pm

The majority of commenters on Mr. Nosowitz’s PopSci gossip column on Mr. Mampel seemed to be more interested science – even the warmists – although there were a lot more skeptics that weighed in in Dan’s pop puff puffery piece.
Don’t even CAGW types read PopSci any more either? Maybe that’s why they are leaning towards “social, socializing, or indeed socialism based political commentary – they’re desperate.

November 3, 2012 1:49 pm

Anthony – have you seen the Australian Climate Commission skill with graphics first we noticed the one temperature graphic.
“Australian Climate Commission bungles simple temperature anomaly chart”
“Oops Climate Commission graph: Queensland warmed nearly 3 degrees in 50 years?”
But now there is a second which is even worse –
“Australian Climate Commission bungles second temperature chart – already constructed for them by the BoM”

November 3, 2012 2:18 pm

Fresh pressed kale juice was his priority after the storm. What a nimrod!

November 3, 2012 2:22 pm

For this same reason…Scientific American should be shunned.

Dan in Bothell
November 3, 2012 2:25 pm

I used to love Popular Science but I stopped subscribing to it more than 12 years ago as it seemed to me to have changed from its roots. It became less scientific and more about following popular trends! Allso they strayed away from the so called ” guy” stuff like cars, trucks, airplanes etc.

David Jay
November 3, 2012 2:25 pm

Yea, Robert Mueller has managed to get his flying cars on the covers of PopSci for decades. But he has never actually succeeded in making a flying car.
He missed his calling as a publicist.

November 3, 2012 2:29 pm

Part of pursuing that pleasure, was renewing subscriptions to popular magazines such as Scientific American, The New Scientist, National Geographic and Nature. For each of those magazines, and some others, I reached a point where I realised they no longer dealt in big ideas, and the truth to be told, no longer even dealt in science. They’d dumbed down to touchy feely mysticism, a weird sort of political correctness and agenda-driven articles and papers. One by one, as the renewal dates arrived, I cancelled the subscriptions.

November 3, 2012 2:39 pm

I like BarryW’s comment:
“Pop Sci and Pop Mech, when it comes to science and engineering, are the equivalent of People and US magazines”. That’s true, but it’s really secondary.
I don’t read any magazines, for news or anything else. Magazines are always a day late and a dollar short. Anything that I’m interested in, I have already read about online (here for instance), long before it comes out on dead tree.
Anything that you read about in a paper publication is yesterdays news by the time they can get it to you. I can only assume that the people who buy them and read them are not online.

November 3, 2012 2:45 pm

@Roger Knights
You quoted the article:

11/03/12 at 10:04 am
The article stated, “I myself spoke to a hurricane expert about three hours before I spoke to Mampel who told me that the roughly two-degree increase in the water temperature in the Atlantic could have had a major effect on Hurricane Sandy’s strength in the northeast. …”

From Frankenstorm-itis: Five degrees of Separation from Reality and Eleventy Gazillion Joules Under the Sea:

I get a warming of 0.3-0.5°C since (1958)…

So, a non-science major criticizes someone for posting something on Wikipedia about Sandy because it is, among others, allegedly poorly sourced, when the critic himself uses as basis for that criticism a non-sourced assertion that is easily contradicted by publicly available data. Sigh.

November 3, 2012 2:55 pm

Why did I stop reading Popular Science – Editors who brag about their sons homicidal fantasies about killing SUV drivers:
“DURING A RECENT FAMILY DRIVE out of town, my 13-year-old son,
Rex, launched into a diatribe from the backseat, blasting the environ-
mental myopia of every lone driver spewing unnecessary CO2 behind
the wheel of a hulking SUV. (He actually wanted me to bump them off
the road, thus ensuring that he won’t join their ranks until long after he
turns 16.) “Don’t they realize that if this keeps up, Manhattan is going to be
under water before long?” he demanded”

November 3, 2012 3:04 pm

I stopped my subscription 6 years ago (after 20 years) because it became obvious that they had taken on a bias that should have caused them to change the name to “Political Science”. Too bad, they were great. 🙁

November 3, 2012 3:07 pm

You’d probably approve of Dan’s other Sandy story.

November 3, 2012 3:07 pm

[sunshinehours1 says:
November 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm]

Apparently there is very very very good business in the use of science to terrify people (little boys and girls included) about their food, water, electricity, crops and cattle.
“In the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race. That’s our past.”
—Michael Crichton, “Environmentalism as Religion,” (A lecture at the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA, September 15, 2003).

November 3, 2012 3:10 pm

I stopped subscribing to PopSci when I graduated high school. That’s not a criticism of PopSci. They serve a certain audience well.

November 3, 2012 3:19 pm

I canceled my subscription several months ago, after they gave one of the global warming zealots from Grit free reign. But look at the bright side: With Nosowitz on the staff, more of those fascinating alien abduction articles can’t be far off.

November 3, 2012 3:44 pm

Along with several colleagues with terminal degrees (PhDs and MDs in psychotherapy with records of publication in literature) I have for several years now been banned from editing Wikipedia articles on the subject of the Shakespearean authorship question, a topic I have studied for more than twenty years and on which I am a world recognized expert (featured, for instance, in this recent documentary: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Will-Testament/dp/B009VB7XM2). Those responsible for these bannings have no expertise beyond the fact that they have become Grand Poohbahs in the Wikipedia establishment, which functions something like the house that Kafka built. As Adam Gopnick wrote in the New Yorker, Wkipedia (without any help from external pressure) is useless on topics on which “one side is wrong but doesn’t know it.”

November 3, 2012 3:49 pm

Many ‘science’ writers for the populace are those students who didn’t/couldn’t complete a university program in chemistry/physics/biology/geology etc., and ended up completing a program in communications where they are indoctrinated with much of this pc groupthink.

November 3, 2012 4:01 pm

That article, or post, or whatever it is is one of the most repulsive, disgusting examples I’ve yet seen of unnecessary, unwarranted slander and defamation. Nosowitz is a real piece of work, and a shining example of why I won’t ever, EVER pick up a copy of PopSci for any reason whatsoever.
Seriously. It wouldn’t even matter if there was a right or wrong and which side either of these two men were on. Nosowitz should be, at the very least, severely reprimanded, probably discharged, and realistically should be explaining to a judge why he felt the need to write that piece of crap article, trashing a volunteer who is clearly very knowledgeable and passionate.
Disgusting. Foul. Ignorant little man, Nosowitz. I’m certain he wouldn’t know “Science” if it fell out of the sky onto his head.

November 3, 2012 4:31 pm

We expect trash from Popular Science. It is after all the science version of a supermarket tabloid. It’s when Nature, Science, Physics Today et al descend to this level that we have a big problem. And we do.

November 3, 2012 4:32 pm

M says: November 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm
Wily is no longer topic banned for CC articles. Only the sceptics who were banned remain banned :o)

My experience recently at Wikipedia was horrible. I copied Leroux’ threatened biography to my User area, as I’d done with Tim Ball’s deleted bio a year ago. I thought my User space would be a safe space with quiet, ongoing accessibility, and time to reconsider, for Leroux as it was for Ball. This time however all hell was let loose. WMC is not able to delete articles but he sure works together with people who while claiming to have little to do with him, work to the same goose-step. IRWolfie was on the case within hours of my getting congrats for standing up to WP vandalism from two other contributors. Trouble is, I am not familiar with the appropriate WP strategies whereas IRW and WMC are. Thus they could work fast, tire me out, and drive me to say things they could label as offensive, simply because I was unfamiliar and tired. Then they could threaten me with expulsion. Well IRW says he did not threaten me with expulsion but that is sure what it looked like. Oh yes, it was because with all his rapid pursuit of me, I felt harrassed and said so to another WP contributor. Africangenesis, the only decent skeptic editor in question, got banned indefinitely from climate science editing. I got worn out.
Now I see that my WP User Leroux bio has been completely deleted, and with it, the Talk page has also disappeared into the Great Blue Yonder. I’m mighty glad I’ve still got my own wiki, http://climatewiki.org.uk I saved all relevant pages as text files and I have uploaded the deleted Talk page from my WP sandbox bio, so that people can see firsthand some of the sniping that went on, that finally drove me to duck for cover. The Leroux bio I uploaded here (without reformatting)
If anyone here would like to help with Climate Wiki, and help it grow into a real project, please email me and I’ll enable you to edit. It’s still at the beginning and I only have limited time and energy. Unlike WP, this wiki is strictly climate skeptics only.

November 3, 2012 4:42 pm

I was surprised to hear PopSci still existed…thought this dead tree business had gone down with the rest of the content dinosaurs.
Gizmodo is an entertaining site but their content is pretty thin on facts so if this “experience” got him the job at PopSci, in lieu of scientific credentials, even more reason to avoid it.

November 3, 2012 4:44 pm

ps Studying Leroux now, I have the feeling that he of all people might understand the dynamics of Superstorm Sandy. I think his Mobile Polar High concept has a great deal going for it.

November 3, 2012 4:45 pm

pps err…. might understand have understood…. apologies Leroux

David in Michigan
November 3, 2012 4:50 pm

I subscribed to Popular Science for the past 2 years. I did not renew for the same reasons as drWilliams (above @ 3:19 pm). During those 2 years there were exactly 2 interesting and reasonably balanced articles: 1. An interview/profile of Felisa Wolfe-Simon (and NASA) who claimed DNA based on arsenic and 2. An interview/profile of Rossi and his LENR. Two articles of interest minus dozens of biased puff pieces = GOODBYE!

November 3, 2012 4:51 pm

Actually, your flying car is not far from you. moller.com has details.

Chuck Kraisinger
November 3, 2012 4:58 pm

I used to love The Economist, and National Geographic. I’ve dropped those because of the “green tails” added to any random article. Two years ago the boy next door asked me to subscribe to a magazine for a school fundraiser, and I chose Popular Science. I will not be renewing.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
November 3, 2012 5:11 pm

…PS hasn’t been the same since “Say, Smokey!” went away. Best PS do-it-yourself, EVAH, was “PS Builds a Laser….and so can you!” http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer?id=MyYDAAAAMBAJ&pg=230&query=ruby%20laser
The ads in the back were always a scream! X-Ray Glasses etc. I’ve glanced at the modern day Pop Sci but have lost my interest, too much inaccuracy (which is quite a slam for a magazine that broke “polywater”!)

F. Ross
November 3, 2012 5:28 pm

“Dan holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from McGill University. ”
Anyone know just exactly what an “undergraduate degree” is? Seems that the terms ‘undergraduate’ and ‘degree’ would be mutually exclusive. Is it like an AA?

Gail Combs
November 3, 2012 5:42 pm

sunshinehours1 says: @ November 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm
Why did I stop reading Popular Science – Editors who brag about their sons homicidal fantasies about killing SUV drivers:
“DURING A RECENT FAMILY DRIVE out of town, my 13-year-old son,
Rex, launched into a diatribe from the backseat, blasting the environ-
mental myopia of every lone driver spewing unnecessary CO2 behind
the wheel of a hulking SUV. (He actually wanted me to bump them off
the road, thus ensuring that he won’t join their ranks until long after he
turns 16.) “Don’t they realize that if this keeps up, Manhattan is going to be
under water before long?” he demanded”
This underlines one of my recent thoughts. It is only a matter of time before these types of kids grow up and make their “thoughts” a reality. Animal ‘rights’ activism is an excellent example of what happens when this type of thinking is encouraged in the young.
Police: Animal-rights activists vandalized executive’s home

…Red stain was also thrown into the woman’s backyard pool “to remind her of the blood on her hands,”…

Unfortunately this type of thing escalates…
Hooded vandal hurled bricks through their windows

…An animal rights ‘crusader’ has launched an apparent one-man campaign against a number of butcher’s shops.
Six family-run stores in Bristol have been vandalised 11 times over the past eight weeks….

And escalates.
Animal Rights Extremist Camille Marino Calls for Violence

In the wee hours of March 7, 2009, David Jentsch was startled out of his sleep by the sound of an explosion. The UCLA professor ran outside to find his car engulfed in flames….
self-described members of the “Animal Liberation Brigade” claimed responsibility for the firebombing. They also warned ominously: “we will come for you when you least expect it and do a lot more damanage [sic] than to your property.” …

PETA is alleged to contribute to

… the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The two groups are responsible for more than 600 crimes since 1996, causing (by a very conservative FBI estimate) more than $43 million in damage. ALF’s “press office” brags that in 2002, the two groups committed “100 illegal direct actions” — like blowing up SUVs, destroying the brakes on seafood delivery trucks, and planting firebombs in restaurants….

So what does that have to do with CAGW?
Earth Liberation Front: Arsonists For Global Warming

A former University of Colorado student who left academia for the clandestine world of environmental extremism was a key witness against an activist with the Earth Liberation Front in a trial … described to jurors a double life of yacht racing and environmental terrorism with the same shadowy, loose-knit group that torched buildings at the Vail Mountain Ski Resort in 1998.
Kolar testified against Briana Waters, telling jurors that her former friend helped her and three others set a massive fire at the University of Washington.
Kolar also admitted to trying in 1998 to burn down the Wray Gun Club in Wray, one of four arsons she confessed to in her deal with prosecutors….

The University of Colorado….

…Kolar described a path from academic promise to criminal infamy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from CU in 1995, a master’s in astrophysics in 1997, then spent two years working toward a Ph.D. in oceanography, according to university records.
Kolar testified that she got her start in activism as an undergraduate working with the Colorado Public Interest Research Group
, volunteering with Rocky Mountain Animal Defense and teaching at a student environmental center on the CU campus….
This sleepy backdrop for the Waters trial, on a crime that has faded from the memory of many in the Northwest, was thrust into public view Monday when three luxury homes in a posh suburb north of Seattle were destroyed by arsonists who left a banner behind attributing the blaze to ELF….

The real crime is the adults who go free after egging these young people on to committing nasty crimes in their stead. Instead of contributing to society these young people will spend a long time in jail.

The federal arson statute, 18 U.S.C. Section 844(i), renders any arson or attempted arson a federal crime if it affects interstate or foreign commerce. The arson or attempted arson of any property carries a statutory minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years. If any person is injured in the arson or attempted arson, the statutory minimum is 7 years and maximum is 40 years, and if the fire results in the death of a firefighter or other person the defendant may receive up to life in prison, or even be subject to the death penalty….
State courts will look to their own state statutes and sentencing guidelines to sentence defendants convicted of arson. Most states follow the ancient common law rule of considering arson to be, together with murder and rape, the most serious of felony crimes, and so will often impose the maximum allowable sentences.

Actual law: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/federal-statutes
What a terrible waste of young lives these people are promoting. It makes me sick.

D Böehm
November 3, 2012 5:56 pm

Gail Combs,
Glad to see you posting again! I was getting concerned. Now, I’m relieved. So keep commenting, OK? Your posts are always worthwhile reading.
Now if we could just get Smokey to come back, it would be a perfect world. ☺

November 3, 2012 6:13 pm

The Register online tech mag in the UK is another CAGW disaster zone these days. andrew orlowski – who used to bring a sceptic’s eye to the subject – rarely gets to deal with the topic nowadays.
instead, the SF editor for 4 yrs, rik myslewski has stuff such as:
1 Nov: Register: Businessweek: ‘It’s Global Warming, Stupid’
Sandy’s climate change supersizing is controversial ‘only among the stupid’
By Rik Myslewski in San Francisco
We can argue the effects of global warming until we’re blue in the face, citing statistical uncertainties, the cost of mitigation, imperfect climate modeling methods, and many more reasonable causes for caution. But there’s enough evidence to indicate that something unsettling is afoot – and remember, the affects of climate change can be serious: warming seas will crimp your supply of fish and chips and crippling droughts will raise the price of your bacon sarnies.
some previous “work” from myslewski:
US climate-change skeptics LOSING SUPPORT
Most Americans now believe in human-caused global warming
20 Oct 2012 00:28
Last month ties for WARMEST September on RECORD
‘Is it hot in here, baby, or it just you?’
15 Oct 2012 23:33
US trounces UK in climate scepticism jibber-jabber
Surprise! Conservative opinion pieces less balanced than liberal ones
6 Oct 2012
UK ice boffin: ‘Arctic melt equivalent to 20 years of CO2’
Older, more stable ice melting as well
7 Sep 2012
and, when myslewski isn’t writing this rubbish, Register is giving space to an aussie with no scientific credentials whatsoever, richard chirgwin:
Climate denier bloggers sniff out new conspiracy
Moon landing faked ∴ climate science faked ∴ study of conspiracy believers faked
By Richard Chirgwin 7 Sept 2012
embarrassing stuff.

Eric Dailey
November 3, 2012 6:20 pm

One day Anthony, you will wake up and realize that the trend in mainstream media is not an accident of stupidity. Then you can start to learn what is really behind the disinformation and corruption in the popular media. There is lots of documentation of it. It’s an ugly picture but we have to look at it directly before we can contend with it. Good luck.

Reaver Con
November 3, 2012 6:20 pm

Repeating a lie over and over does not make it true. Printing that lie, over and over, does not make it true. I am sick of these self-appointed “smart-people”, trying to tell me that human beings are all so powerful that we can change the Earth. Their hubris is as boundless as the universe itself. Human’s are merely fleas on this world and nothing more.
Yes, we should take care of our home because it provides so much for us. But, the unelected, unwanted, and zealot climate change “politburo” has no authority to tell us how to live our lives.
Those of you who refuse to be “shee-ple” keep fighting the good fight, stand up and speak what you know to be true, that human kind has about as much control over the climate as we have the ability to stop the sun from rising.
You acolytes of climate change, stop pretending you are the smartest people in the room, because you are not. Climate changes has failed peer review over and over again. Your entire belief system is based on flawed science. Maybe if the “settled science” was actually based on finds that were based in the scientific method, more of us “flat-earthers” would by into the doom and gloom your shovel day and day out.
There is nothing worse than a zealot who uses demagoguery and intimidation to further their cause. Your faith in human kind is misplaced as is your belief that human kind is the center of the universe. You have replaced the church of the dark ages who were wrong when they believed that the Earth was the center of everything, you believe that humans are the center of everything. News flash, the Earth was here long before us, and will be here long after it decides to replace with a new version of flea, just like it shrugged off the dinos, it will shrug us off, regardless of our feeble attempts to “protect” it.

Reaver Con
November 3, 2012 6:23 pm

It would be nice if I could actually spell. Don’t you hate that? Type up a nice comment, proof read it, post it, then read it again and find not one, not two, but several typos…. ARRGHHH!!!!

November 3, 2012 6:30 pm

Indeed Lucy Skywalker!
But good things will come from Connolley’s totalitarism… Fighting back!

November 3, 2012 6:38 pm

maybe nosowitz works for the insurance companies – LOL. it’s going to get a whole lot “sexier”!
2 Nov: WSJ Blog: Tom Loftus: What Your CEO Is Reading: Global warming
It’s global warming, stupid. Global warming is real, folks, writes Businessweek’s Paul M. Barrett. Don’t believe it? Then we have a bridge straddling New York’s flooded Zone A to sell you….
***Severe weather gives new urgency to risk assessment. Harvard Business Review’s Andrew Winston takes a slightly different tack, arguing that climate change or no, “in a deeply unpredictable world,” multinational businesses have the obligation to examine supply chains and operations for risks associated with severe weather.
***“Risk assessment is going to get much sexier and much more important to global organizations,” he writes…
not so sexy for those paying! sent this to a cousin in north queensland, australia, asking if the following is true and got an earful back immediately with figures from her friends who’d been phoning in recent days with horror stories:
31 Oct: Herald Sun: AAP: Qld insurers accused of price gouging
INSURANCE companies in north Queensland have been accused of “outrageous” price gouging, with premiums going through the roof…
In one case the premium for a two bedroom home in Mackay leapt from $2642 to $13,616.
In another the premium rose from $1992 to $8133 in a single year for another Mackay home that did not flood in the 2008 “one-in-200-year” rain event.
Examples came from homes, businesses, and farms across the north, including Mackay, the Whitsundays, Bowen, the Burdekin and Townsville, as well as north to Ingham, Cairns, and Port Douglas…
***The Insurance Council of Australia said an independent Australian Government Actuary (AGA) report released on October 19 found no evidence of price gouging.
The ICA said the report found the north Queensland market remained competitive, and current market conditions were more likely to attract new insurers to the region than at any time during the past few years…
obviously the region will attract “new insurers” – what a gold mine!

November 3, 2012 6:48 pm

Prior to about 2008/9, I regularly bought Popular Science and New Scientist magazines, and occasionally National Geographic as well.
In common with many of you here, I stopped buying them when the Global Warming drivel started up in earnest – I simply couldn’t stand it, even though some of the non-climate articles were very good.
At first I tried to ignore the overt climate change stories. But quite often I noticed it was becoming standard procedure for authors to sneak a sentence or two or even a whole paragraph about dangerous climate change into almost any topic they tackled.
Eventually I decided these partisan political activists didn’t deserve my hard-earned cash.
Even sadder for me, because I love science in general and space science in particular, was my exit from The Planetary Society a couple of months ago.
After being a member of that group since 1989, when the late Carl Sagan sat on its board of directors, I could no longer tolerate the fact that Bill Nye had become its leader.
As I’m sure everyone here knows, Nye is nationally-recognised science educator whose nationwide classroom includes millions of American children. He’s also a climate alarmist, subtly disseminating among those too young to differentiate fact from fiction the propaganda gospel according to the IPCC. In that sense, he’s no less contemptible than Gore.
I wrote and told him I had decided not to renew my subscription for that reason, and that Carl Sagan would probably turn in his grave to know the scientific foundations of the Society had been so thoroughly politicised and debased.
Needless to say, no reply was forthcoming. Not surprising. After all, how do you defend the indefensible?

November 3, 2012 7:37 pm

“I myself spoke to a hurricane expert about three hours before I spoke to Mampel who told me that …”
I wonder how many hurricane experts he spoke to before finding one who’d tell him what he wanted to hear?

November 3, 2012 7:50 pm

Here’s you flying car. http://mavericklsa.com/ and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN6IlPBNRMQ Its all over youtube.

Brian H
November 3, 2012 7:55 pm

Sounds like a default market is developing for a genuine science mag. Refugees from the leftist takeover of editorial positions in all the ones that usta be worth reading would make a large subscriber base!

November 4, 2012 12:04 am

I am a frequent critic and former, never to return, subscriber to ALL-POP, NON-science with the following quotes, from “Gagging on Green Garbage”, June 17, 2010 at Canada Free Press….
“Popular Science was a Time Magazine property until January 2007 when it was purchased by the privately held bonnier Group of Sweden. Mark Jannot, the lame editor of this magazine admits in his July editorial that he is a BLINKERED TECH ACOLYTE and has a proven lack of objectivity with regards to the climate change issue”.
Then in “Finite Number of Falling Skies”, Sep 14, 2010 at CFP…
“The October issue of ‘Popular Science’ has a disturbing editorial by Mark Jannot which demonstrates that he is a bad editor, a bad scientist and a bad parent.”
I followed with the “sunshinehour1” quote of that same distasteful Jannot editorial mentioned above. The editorial went further to describe the horror cover of the next months issue, which i suspect reader outraged dampened. The Bonniers are attending Bilderberg members….just sayin.

November 4, 2012 12:21 am

could you please start a science TV channel and a science magazine ?
[Reply: Anthony is more likely to read this if posted in Tips&Notes. — mod.]

Geoff Sherrington
November 4, 2012 4:23 am

The Editor in Chief of National Geographic has recieved an email noting some of the main arguable statements about climate change that appeared in a special edition about global warming in September 2004. It was proposed to him, with examples, that a “ten years later” and “with better instruments” version of NG be produced for September 2014. So far the editor is impressed enough to not respond.
On the basis that there are sins of omission as well as sins of commission, how would WUWT readers feel about writing short, accurate corrections to assist the truth as we know it now and will know it better by 2014? It’s time to start planning now. I’m quite happy to coordinate.
NG continues to carry excellent articles and wonderful photography, but the said September 2004 edition was not among its medal winners. Let’s help them to get it right, eh?

Roger Knights
November 4, 2012 4:23 am

There’s a wonderful partial alternative to PS available free online, Kevin Kelly’s “Cool Tools” site, with weekly updates by e-mail if you sign up for them. Kelly is a one-time editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, and this is in effect its online continuation. It consists of reader reviews of little-known, high-quality and/or unappreciated gadgets. (I wrote a few reviews, one of which, on the virtues of vinegar, stirred lots of comment and was reprinted on Boing Boing.) Here’s a link to its latest weekly issue. (I don’t know what’s happened to its former massive archive.):

gail Combs
November 4, 2012 4:45 am

Brian H says: @ November 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm
Sounds like a default market is developing for a genuine science mag. Refugees from the leftist takeover of editorial positions in all the ones that usta be worth reading would make a large subscriber base!
That ‘ genuine science mag.’ is already here. It is called WUWT.
Why the heck do you think us refugees from Pop. Science, Sci Am…. are now here at WUWT? We are getting our science fix only we get it daily instead of monthly. Much better!

November 4, 2012 6:34 am

Popular Science? Are they still publishing that rag?

November 4, 2012 7:09 am

Bill says: November 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm
Fresh pressed kale juice was his priority after the storm. What a nimrod!
Bill, when I saw your comment it seemed to be an inappropriate use of “nimrod”. My understanding of the meaning was “great hunter”. So, I looked it up and the story is much more complicated than that.
(Being just a Simple Red Neck, I often have to research things I read here!)
Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

November 4, 2012 7:49 am

durango12: “We expect trash from Popular Science. It is after all the science version of a supermarket tabloid.”
Unfair (to the tabloids). The National Enquirer broke the John Edwards story when the whole mainstream media ignored it.

November 4, 2012 7:58 am

pat says: November 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm
obviously the region will attract “new insurers” – what a gold mine!
There is a common misunderstand of what “insurance” is.
There are few of us who would want to carry their own “risk”, i.e. forgo having any insurance at all. So, a large group of people put money in a “pot”. When one of them has a “loss”, it will be paid for out of that “pot”. An insurance company is, in essence, a cooperative to share the burden of risk.
The insurance company has two purposes:
First, it organizes and operates the “pot”. It also invests the money in that “pot” so that it will grow. When one of the insured has a “loss” the Insurance Company makes good on that loss under the terms of the contract. (The Insurance Company takes also takes a cut of the “pot” as their “profit”.)
Second, it calculates the “risk” and assigns a “cost” to that risk. This is called underwriting. Each individual case has a unique risk that can be calculated. A very simplified example: A house built on a 100 year flood plain has a risk of being flooded once in 100 years. The risk per each year is 1% of the value of the house. A FAIR price of insurance in this very simplified case would be that 1%. In another case, you could live on a 10 year flood plain. So the FAIR cost of your insurance would be 10% of the cost of your house. Since Insurance Companies are tightly regulated, “exorbitant” rates probably reflect the REAL RISK IN EACH CASE. It would be UNFAIR to give a particular individual insurance at less than the actual rate because all the other people in the pool would have to subsidize that decision (e.g. to live on a barrier island in a hurricane prone region.)
In these United States, the Federal Government provides flood insurance at very low rates. This means that when some fool chooses to live in a risk prone area, the politicians force the taxpayers to assume the risk created by said fool. When I bought my house, I chose a location some 40 feet above the 500 year flood plain. I resent having to pay for the risk crated by fools making poor choices.
Now, in your post you have implied that the insurance companies were going to make exorbitant profits. If that’s so, I would suggest that you mortgage everything you have and invest in those companies. Then, you too, will be among the filthy rich. But….I expect that you will find that those companies do not make big profits and your investment will be steady but only moderately performing.
Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

November 4, 2012 8:34 am

durango12: “We expect trash from Popular Science. It is after all the science version of a supermarket tabloid.”
Unfair (to the tabloids). The National Enquirer broke the John Edwards story when the whole mainstream media ignored it.
National Enquirer also ended a scientific “Consensus” when it broke the story about Ulcers being caused by the H. pylori bacterium to the general public.

more soylent green!
November 4, 2012 8:34 am

PopSci’s Michael Mann, climate hero and martyr edition was the final straw that led me to not renew my subscription. I need to send them an email to let them know why.

November 4, 2012 9:06 am

I’m amazed no-one has pointed out the obvious, which is that Wikipedia is free to edit, so the PopSci idiot could have simply edited the page he disagreed with – would have been a lot less effort than writing his harrangue, and a lot more effective.

November 4, 2012 9:18 am

I agree Popular Science is disappointing but it’s even more disappointing to me that the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) “Mechanical Engineering” magazine has shown no skepticism at all (that I’m aware of) regarding AGW. Aren’t professionals in any field supposed to offer advice to clients regarding big projects? For instance, if a business owner wants to put in a new AC system, the engineer is supposed to tally up the cooling load himself and install the most economic system for the problem at hand. Instead, the ASME attitude seems to be “yes yes we agree AGW us a horrible problem, whatever our client wants, we can built it”. So people can have their AGW reference battles on the Wiki pages to influence the hearts and minds of young people, but when all is said and done, whoever is the decider gets to decide, whoever is taxed gets taxed, and whoever is the builder gets to build.

James Schrumpf
November 4, 2012 9:31 am

F. Ross says:
November 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm
“Dan holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from McGill University. ”
Anyone know just exactly what an “undergraduate degree” is? Seems that the terms ‘undergraduate’ and ‘degree’ would be mutually exclusive. Is it like an AA?

In the US, an undergraduate degree is a Bachelor’s degree, usually in the Arts or Sciences. My degree is a Bachelor of Science in geology, which means I completed a basic four-year program of study in the field. If I’d gone on to graduate school I could have achieved a Master’s degree (MS) and then a Doctorate of Philosophy (Phd). So we call the BS degree an undergrad, and the others are graduate degrees.
An AA is an Associate degree, which is usually a two-year program of study.
Hope this helps.

November 4, 2012 10:27 am

Mods/Anthony … I ask for a little leeway, please, in my response below … _Jim

Eric Dailey says November 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm
One day Anthony, you will wake up and realize that the trend in mainstream media is not an accident of stupidity. Then you can start to learn …

Uh oh; IMNSHO *this* is why we are in the trouble we are in. Apply Occam’s razor folks (in this case, to be specific, Hanlon’s razor), and realize it is simply ignorance on a grand scale and not some wide-ranging con-spir-acy by spooks and alphabet-acronym ‘agencies’ … 99.99999% of the time it is vested interest, or long-time working ‘practices’ (like ‘PC’) or simply tribal-style held beliefs handed-down as from teacher-to-student that have never been subjected to the scrutiny of logic, or examined consciously, that is, become aware of that ‘something’ within oneself (the awareness), that senses the decisions and awareness of the decision-making power of the ‘executive control’ system in the mind …
Verily, it is the progression from childhood to adulthood where the responses have generally in the past developed from ‘simple reaction’ to ‘thoughtful reflection’ in light of the facts as one grew
in experience and wisdom.
So, please, for the sake of humanity and yourselves, don’t fall victim to the ‘easy answer’, the mind-numbing response that all that is wrong with the world is because “it’s them” …

Pamela Gray
November 4, 2012 11:42 am

That’s nothing. I gave up Sean Connery.

November 4, 2012 12:04 pm

The climate wars have caused me to discontinue regular reading of Scientific American, National Geographic, Popular Science and the AAAS publication of Science News (for which I was a subscriber since 1973). What issue I do pick up are for specific non-global warming topics, and even then my experience has lead me to be very skeptical of the positions in the articles.
When you realise that a meme is being promoted on any topic, all topics are suspect. I understand that the business of magazines is a profit-making one, but I do not believe that writers have to forget critical thinking to make a buck. You can always have a sidebar to recognize the weaknesses of your argument – which for most writers is not “their” argument anyway, but that of their sources, simplified.
The world we thought was to come with flyihg cars was the product of the same uncritical and uninformed opinion that characterises the warmist parade of tears.

November 4, 2012 1:19 pm

Pop Sci has become virtually unreadable with its “modern” page layout and its dumbed down pop appeal. Not to mention its constant harping of green propaganda.
Popular Mechanics, once a second tier, has surpassed them for me.

November 4, 2012 3:14 pm

Doug Proctor says:
November 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm
> AAAS publication of Science News (for which I was a subscriber since 1973).
Science News is not published by the AAAS. It used to be published by something called Science Service, now Society for Science & the Public.
They do have serious issues with the global warming line, especially long time writer Janet Ralloff, who has a strong connection to http://www.sej.org/ , the Society of Environmental Journalists. See http://www.sej.org/initiatives/climate-change/overview for an idea of what their agenda is.
I still subscribe to Science News (since 1969), they’re still more palatable than many of the rest.

November 4, 2012 3:38 pm

Speaking of Science News, they have a reasonably mild article on Sandy’s development at http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/346130 (If that doesn’t work, try their home page.)
It did need a little counterbalance, so I added:

“Climate scientists have calculated that globally rising temperatures could bring more intense Atlantic hurricanes in the future….”
True enough, but do keep in mind that globally, tropical cyclone activity is at a 30 year low. Also, Hurricane Wilma was the last major hurricane (category 3-5) to hit the USA. That was in 2005. This is the longest stretch of time without a major hurricane on record. The old record was 2,232 days, we’re currently around 2,500, and it’s very unlikely we’ll see a major hurricane make landfall in the remainder of this season.
It would be much more interesting to know why the USA hasn’t had a repeat of the landfalls we saw in the 1950s during the last warm period of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, one of the important “risk factors” for active hurricane seasons.

F. Ross
November 4, 2012 3:40 pm

@James Schrumpf says:
November 4, 2012 at 9:31 am
Thanks, it does answer my questions

D D Leone
November 4, 2012 5:02 pm

People still read those magazines? They were great growing up, but today they’re mostly like what ATARI and AMIGA magazines became or otherwise would’ve been if they hadn’t gone tits up.

lurker passing through, laughing
November 4, 2012 6:57 pm

Dan probvably keeps a photo of Chris Mooney, another non-scientist, up next to his mirror.

David Ball
November 4, 2012 8:02 pm

Lucy Skywalker says:
November 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm
I would love to contribute. If you no longer have my email (it is still the same), perhaps the mods would be kind enough to provide it for you. Some guidelines as to how best to format this would be appreciated.
It seems that someone must be funding these fellows that monitor WP full time. I have very little time to spend on WUWT? as providing for my family consumes the majority of my time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone were to fund us so that we could battle the Connellys of the world without having to keep a regular job as well? We could tire them out, I’m sure. More evidence that it is the alarmists who are better enabled than skeptics. If it were a level playing field, ……..

November 4, 2012 9:25 pm

u say:
“Since Insurance Companies are tightly regulated, “exorbitant” rates probably reflect the REAL RISK IN EACH CASE”
June 2012: Yale Forum on Climate Change: Limited Coverage: Climate Change and the Insurance Industry
***MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel now sits on the boards of two insurers, Bunker Hill and Homesite…
***It may come as a surprise to many, but some Americans may already be beginning to pay for climate change through insurance, as the top-level reinsurance costs filter down to premiums.
In an interview with The Yale Forum, John Seo, who founded a pioneering hedge fund, Fermat Capital Management specializing in this area, explained the chain of influence and costs:
“Whether or not a state allows an insurer to acknowledge climate change in their insurance premiums, climate change can still impact insurance premiums indirectly via the cost of reinsurance. Insurers are allowed to integrate the cost of reinsurance in their rate filings. If reinsurers price-in climate change, that is reflected in the premiums they charge insurance companies. Such elevated reinsurance premiums, if they are persistent, are subsequently integrated into insurance premiums…
18 Oct: NoTricksZone: P. Gosselin: Spiegel Slams Munich RE: Distortions Of Weather Extremes Are “Suspicious” And “Irresponsible Hype”
Climate-change bilking by Big Insurance is slowly but surely being exposed by the media. The noose around the climate change scam is tightening…
Reinsurers are cashing in by spreading dubious fears of weather extremes…
30 April: NoTricksZone: P. Gosselin: German Insurance Industry Fanning The Fears Of “Climate Change” – Takes Over At The IPCC To Cash In
Big Insurance penetrates the IPCC
You’ve got to wonder when scientists like Stefan Rahmstorf work hand in hand with the reinsurance industry, writing doomsday reports that help fatten the bottom line. Hartmut Grassl, a climate alarmist, is also connected to Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer.
Reader DirkH points out how the Munich Re has at least two more agents at the IPCC. Working Group II AR5 Writing Teams, Chapter 10 — Key economic sectors and services, Eberhard Faust, Munich Reinsurance Company and an excerpt from a report from Dr Sandra Schuster, meteorologist with Munich Re, Sydney, who has just been appointed as a Lead Author (WG2) for IPCC AR5…
Wikipedia: Hubert Lamb
Climatic Research Unit
In 1971 Lamb decided to base his pioneering research at a university, and he became the first Director of the Climatic Research Unit established in 1972 in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. In 1973 and 1975 he arranged for two international conferences which were hosted in Norwich. At first his view was that global cooling would lead within 10,000 years to a future ice age and he was known as “the ice man”, but over a period including the UK’s exceptional drought and heat wave of 1975–76 he changed to predicting that global warming could have serious effects within a century. His warnings of damage to agriculture, ice caps melting, and cities being flooded caught widespread attention and helped to shape public opinion. He gained the unit sponsorship from ***seven major insurance companies, who wanted to make use of the research of the unit when making their own studies of the implications of climate change for insurance against storm and flood damage…
**”seven leading insurance companies” according to Michael Sanderson’s book, The History of the University of East Anglia, Norwich, page 285
Wikipedia: Climatic Research Unit
The CRU was founded in 1971 as part of the university’s School of Environmental Sciences. The establishment of the Unit owed much to the support of Sir Graham Sutton, a former Director-General of the Meteorological Office, Lord Solly Zuckerman, an adviser to the University, and Professors Keith Clayton and Brian Funnel, Deans of the School of Environmental Sciences in 1971 and 1972. Initial sponsors included British Petroleum, the Nuffield Foundation and Royal Dutch Shell. The Rockefeller Foundation was another early benefactor, and the Wolfson Foundation gave the Unit its current building in 1986. Since the second half of the 1970s the Unit has also received funding through a series of contracts with the United States Department of Energy to support the work of those involved in climate reconstruction and analysis of the effects on climate of greenhouse gas emissions…
He (Lamb) was then known as the “ice man” for his prediction of global cooling and a coming ice age but, following the UK’s exceptionally hot summer of 1976, he switched to predicting a more imminent global warming. The possibility of major weather changes and flooding attracted attention to the unit and sponsorship by major insurance companies wanting to mitigate their potential losses…
2010: RogerPielkeJr Blog:
Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates includes the Catlin Group, which funded the polar publicity stunt (Catlin Expedition) last year and which is deep into carbon credits and “climate change insurance.” Several of these entities have a clear vested interest in the alarmism perpetrated by the IPCC and some of the big players among climate science…
Dec 2008: Uni of East Anglia: Norwich Union (Insurance) sponsors new university chair
Norwich Union and The University of East Anglia (UEA) have announced a new chair within the University’s School of Computing Sciences. The appointment, which is sponsored by the insurer, part of Aviva, will be the Aviva Chair in Insurance Statistics.
The initiative is designed to explore in depth the statistical nature of risk which is fundamental to the insurance business. It is at the core of calculating a customer’s individual insurance premium, for example in determining the flood risk of a home or the theft risk of a car…
The new arrangement will strengthen existing relationships between Norwich Union and the University, and will help to further advance the statistical capability within the business. The initial agreement is for three years…
Professor Vic Rayward-Smith, Head of the University’s School of Computing Sciences, says: “We are delighted to receive this sponsorship. The funding of this chair will strengthen further the already strong relationship between two of Norwich’s most important organisations.
“Statistical techniques are a major research area within the School and for many years, we have worked with Norwich Union helping them to analyse their own customer databases and to develop accurate pricing and marketing strategies.
May 2003: Uni of East Anglia: Norwich Union signs up WeatherQuest
The market for insurance weather services sees a new player this month, as Norwich Union sign up WeatherQuest to provide their weather claims validation information and weather forecast support services.
WeatherQuest, with its headquarters at the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) School of Environmental Sciences, has been providing a pilot service to Norwich Union for the past six months, and following a successful review has now been signed up for a three-year service.
“We’re delighted to be working with Norwich Union,” said WeatherQuest Managing Director, Jim Bacon. “Our experience is that over 30 per cent of weather related insurance claims are not backed up by the weather records, so we believe we’re helping Norwich Union save money as well as providing them with the daily, up to date information they need…
With weather and climate remaining high on insurance agendas, WeatherQuest benefits from close links with UEA’s internationally renowned climate expertise, with both the Climatic Research Unit and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research also being based in UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences.
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Project Duration: April 2001 to May 2003
Contact: Prof. J. Palutokof
Climatic Research Unit
The work undertaken in this project has been extremely limited by data availability.
•HadRM3H data were not made available until April 2002 (12 months into the project timetable) due to delays in the launch of the UKCIP02 scenarios.
•HadAM3H data are still incomplete.
•Access to insurance claims data has proven problematic. This is primarily due to the fragmented nature of the Aviva group (Norwich Union, Commercial Union and General Accident), a consequence of several large mergers. However, Royal Sun Alliance has provided claims data for five storms…
There is broad scope for further work:
The insurance industry in particular would benefit from information regarding windstorm activity for earlier future time slices than the 2080s available currently for HadAM3H and HadRM3H e.g., for the 2020s and 2050s.
Socio-economic scenarios designed specifically for the insurance and forestry industries, taking into account factors such as future building stock distribution, insurance coverage and forest cover, could improve the vulnerability predictions for the future.
2 Nov: ScienceNews: Janet Raloff: Extremely Bad Weather
Studies start linking climate change to current events
In the wake of such events, everyone from insurance companies to Congress, homeowners and government agencies has been asking whether global warming might have played some role. And scientists have been working on ways to figure out just how much of this weird weather has come from natural variability, and how much might be driven by warming from greenhouse gases.
“The breaking of records is the best indication that we’re outside the normal range of simply weather,” argues Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. Under normal variability, regions should experience the same number of high and low temperature records in any given year or decade, on average. “But we did some statistics on the first six months of this year,” he says, “and there were around nine times as many records being broken on the high side as there were on the cold side.”…
***In the Atlantic, hurricane power has more than doubled since the 1980s, (Kerry) Emanuel has found. This change tracks the uptick in sea-surface temperatures there over the last 30 years, which he says “is almost entirely due to greenhouse gases.”
Sep: 2011: Bloomberg/Businessweek: Brendan Greeley: The God Clause and the Reinsurance Industry
(page 4)To that end, Swiss Re has started speaking about climate risk, not climate change. That the climate is changing has been established in the eyes of the industry…
More recently, the company has been working with McKinsey & Co., the European Commission, and several environmental groups to develop a methodology it calls the “economics of climate adaptation,” a way to encourage city planners to build in a way that will be insurable in the future. A study of the U.K. port of Hull looks at potential losses by 2030 under several different climate scenarios. Even under the most extreme, losses were expected to grow by $17 million due to climate change and by $23 million due to economic growth…
(page 5)The God clause includes less each year because every loss event—every catastrophe—reminds them of the hubris of thinking God doesn’t have any surprises left…
(undated, most recent date mentioned 1993)Greenpeace: SWISS REINSURANCE COMPANY BLAMES WINDSTORM LOSSES ON GLOBAL WARMING
“There is a significant body of scientific evidence indicating that last year’s record insured loss from natural catastrophes was not a random occurrence. Instead it may be the result of climatic changes that will enormously expand the liability of the property-casualty industry. …in the light of the magnitude of these losses, it would be prudent for the property/casualty industry to act is if that theory (global warming) is correct…
A pamphlet essay by its General Manager, published this month, concludes that the potential losses as a result of human-enhancement of the greenhouse effect are huge, and that the industry would be advised to assume that global warming is real. ..
As evidence, he cites the 0.6 to 0.7 oC increase in global average temperature over the last 150 years, and the 15 percent increase in the area of Pacific waters where the surface temperature exceeds 26 oC (the temperature above which tropical cyclones can form). (H. R. Kaufmann, Storm damage insurance – Quo Vadis?” Swiss Re, November 1990)…
2004: The Economist: Awful weather we’re having
Why climate change could mean higher insurance premiums
Swiss Re has already plotted out half a million possible storms in North America and the Caribbean alone…
Reinsurance prices are normally calculated on the basis of losses in the past five to ten years, according to Mr Berz at Munich Re, so if warming trends accelerate, price increases could follow with a slight lag…
Climate change could also increase demand for catastrophe (“cat”) bonds…
Such instruments are getting more popular, with hedge funds among the most eager investors: cat-bond issues totalled $1.7 billion in 2003, up 42% from 2002, according to Guy Carpenter, a reinsurance brokerage firm. Cat bonds for other big risks such as flooding could be introduced if climate change creates the need, according to Mark Hvidsten of Willis, an insurance broker…

November 4, 2012 9:56 pm


November 5, 2012 9:34 am

Ric Werme says:
November 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm
My error, I guess. But it’s weird: I have the distinct impression of the AAAS being identified in the inside portion. Is this or was this Society aligned with the AAAS?
Hmmm. Goes to show. Never take your memory for accurate. As if I didn’t already know that ….
On another note, I used to be subscribed to New Scientist, the British version. I found the two mags together an interesting study in cultural character. NS is anti-American (whatever is coming out of America is to be initially distrusted as a product of America-first and big business; Britain has never recovered from its loss of Empire) and anti-technological, in that all technology is suspect for its probable environmental harm. SN I found, in comparison, to be straight-out pro-technology, in that the items were being evaluated for the purposes for which they were designed, not on their possible side-effects. (Nationality had no part in the subject, though of course English-speaking, American subjects received more coverage).
Which is how things should be. First:, does it work? Second, what are the collateral effects? Third , how can we mitigate undesired collateral effects so we can receive the benefits of what it does? An attitude of American culture that has dragged the rest of the world kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
Distrust keeps you back, enthusiasm drives you forward, and being prudent keeps you safe. Admittedly humans are not so good on the third part.

Michael J. Dunn
November 5, 2012 12:00 pm

I’ve read Popular Science since 1959 and all through the years when Von Braun was a contributor, but have stopped reading it in the past decade. I jokingly refer to it as “Popular Seance.” When you can’t tell the advertisements from the feature articles, something has come loose!

November 5, 2012 5:22 pm

Watch now on Infowars with Alex Jones! /sarc

Gail Combs
November 5, 2012 6:16 pm

For what it is worth, Insurance companies took a big hit on 9/11 when the twin towers toppled. Insurance coverage for small businesses was cut left and right. I still insure through an out of state company who has to use Lloyds of London as the only game on earth carrying insurance on my type of business. (lots of fun explaining to the state why I can’t insure with an instate company) I had other friends in business frantically asking who I used as their coverage was not renewed after 9/11.
Insurance companies are also very good at EXCLUDING just what you actually want to cover. For example bites by pit bull dogs is no longer covered in most homeowner policies although other breeds are.

November 5, 2012 11:41 pm

Give an English major a little power, and they go *bonkers*.

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