Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Where Does the Carbon Dioxide Really Come From?

This from Ian Rutherford Plimer, an Australian geologist, Professor Emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne , Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide , and the Director of multiple mineral
exploration and mining companies. He has published 130 scientific papers, six books and edited the Encyclopedia of Geology.

Born: 12 February 1946 (age 67)
Residence: Australia
Nationality: Australian
Fields: Earth Science, Geology, Mining Engineering
Institutions: University of New England,University of Newcastle,University of Melbourne,University of Adelaide
Alma mater: University of New South Wales, Macquarie University
Thesis: The pipe deposits of tungsten-molybdenum-bismuth in eastern Australia (1976)
Notable awards: Eureka Prize (1995, 2002),Centenary Medal (2003), Clarke Medal (2004)

Where Does the Carbon Dioxide Really Come From?

Professor Ian Plimer could not have said it better! If you've read his book you will agree, this is a good summary.

PLIMER: "Okay, here's the bombshell. The volcanic eruption in Iceland . Since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet - all of you.
Of course, you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress - its that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.
I know....it's very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kids "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cent light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs..... well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days - yes, FOUR DAYS - by that volcano in Iceland has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud at any one time - EVERY DAY.
I don't really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in all its years on earth. Yes, folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year - think about it. Of course, I shouldn't spoil this 'touchy-feely tree-hugging' moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keeps happening despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change. And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud, but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and
Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year. Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you, on the basis of the bogus 'human-caused' climate-change scenario.

Hey, isn't it interesting how they don't mention 'Global Warming' anymore, but just "Climate Change"- you know why? It's because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming artists got caught with their pants down. And, just keep in mind that you might yet be stuck with an Emissions Trading Scheme - that whopping new tax - imposed on you that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won't stop any volcanoes from erupting, that's for sure!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What a Black Swan looks like…

This is my chart of the Euro Swiss cross as trading ended for the week today…


These are daily rests. About a 22% fall in less than 30 minutes. The bar after the fall shows that the pull back over a day has been less than stunning. Yet another illustration of how central banks trying to “manage currencies” always ends in tears. And “yay” for the kiwi BTW.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Three aesthetic concepts to engage and stretch your thinking are kawaii, post-irony, and uncanny valley. All are linked in various ways to PC music.  (not “that” PC).

Friday, January 9, 2015

They crossed the diamond with the pearl…

Steely Dan is more than likely the the first rock jazz outfit to recognise and exploit the  80 : 20 rule coupled with the genuine economic strengths of outsourcing done well.  This in March 1975 some 40 years ago – well before it had occurred to any management academic or like goon – although Vilfredo Pareto structured it first in modern times around 1886 in microeconomics.

Fagan and Becker. The ultimate 20% that sourced 80% of the best listening.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The eternal struggle for meaning in a harsh world…

This from the label of my breakfast peanut butter jar:

“COAL FREE: Sending Aussie nuts across the Tasman to be roasted sounds weird right? But that South Island’s got so much hydro power they never turn their lights off! So no stinky coal smoke and no CO2 emissions gives us all a better world to eat Pic’s in.”

Monday, December 22, 2014

Striking a blow for statistics…

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court which stymies the Christchurch City Council’s attempts to impose a 67% of “modern code” rule over older building renovation versus the 34% intended by Parliament is a step some way toward perspective around risk, and respect for statistics not politics and unnecessary fear.

No one is dismissive of the horrors of the earthquake. To misunderstand the meaning of the statistical descriptors of such events and to seek solace and backside cover through upping standards to unrealistic levels adds insult to injury while imposing costs to no great benefit.

In respect of the likelihood of earthquake events nothing has changed. The probability of an event of a specified magnitude remains what it was prior to this event and now, after the event.  Because you saw a head come up in a series of coin tosses does not somehow change the probability of heads or tails coming up next flip.

Much the same applies to the ever misinterpreted “return periods” – just because an earthquake with a 100 year return period (say) has just “happened” does not mean:

  • there won’t be one next year;
  • they were “due for one” because the last was 160 years ago;
  • there won’t be one for 160 years; or,
  • any similar grim or glad warning.

It means that over long periods of time events of this magnitude will be observed, on average, once every 100 years.

The hard questions remain. How much do we want to spend to save a life? Is this area the best place to spend our scarce risk management dollar, does what we are planning to spend match the size of the problem we have.

This calls for use of a concept the legal fraternity fancy themselves as experts in – ensuring proportionate responses to events having regard to the evidence.

Statistics refuse to bow to sensationalism, to justify mad regulators in search of zero risk, bureaucrats trying to hide behind ever tighter regulation, journalists seeking easy stories, construction investors and companies seeking demand for risk proof buildings, material suppliers wanting to sell gold plating and much else besides.

If this is baffling – read more statistics. The cost of being baffled is high.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why being sucked in by “scientific consensus fads” is deadly…

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. By Nina Teicholz. Simon & Schuster; 479 pages; $27.99. Scribe; £14.99. Buy from Amazon.com;Amazon.co.uk
A historical study of how fat came to be demonised, especially in America, by a mix of academics, government officials and food companies, and how the few sceptics who dared take on the fat orthodoxy have been much disparaged for their pains. Detailed in its research and eloquent in its argument, this is the year’s most surprising diet book.