Debt Rattle February 22 2015


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    DPC “Car ferry Michigan Central turning in ice, Detroit River” 1900 • Yellen Confronts Economists’ Ignorance (Bloomberg) • How The Eurozone Could Tear
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle February 22 2015]

    V. Arnold

    Well Ilargi, I’ve got to hand it to you; you supply the best, most complete rundown of what’s happening in the insane-asylum called planet earth.
    Maybe our ancestors were aliens, exiled here so as not to infect the universe.


    Ilargi: either you’re still offshore in a 5 eyes country, or suffering jet lag – oh yea….
    of course, its predigested news pap Sunday! Hang in there, you’re still the best!

    Purveyors of yesterday’s mashed potatoes:
    Reuters 4
    B’berg 3
    BBC 2
    Observer 2
    FT 1
    Spiegel 1

    Ken Barrows

    What is productivity anyway? There’s labor productivity–more output for less labor input. There’s energy productivity–more output for less entropy. There are externalities (social costs) to output. Ah, what a narrow world economists live in!

    Diogenes Shrugged

    This comment is for Nicole. Probably too late to be seen where it belonged – – after the February 22 Great Debate in Melbourne installment – – so I’m posting it here, admittedly a bit late and outside of today’s context.

    You’re probably already familiar with the movement described in these videos, but it all came as news to me. This strikes me as perhaps our most promising avenue for bringing about the reduction-of-scale you advocate in a broad-based way. I’m hoping it can be applied in other countries, as well.

    TAE has routinely featured articles from the global warming crowd, and I’ve been pretty cranky about that fact in my comments here. But I’m adopting Nicole’s point of view now. Nicole’s contributions to the Great Debate in Melbourne (February 20 post) were absolutely brilliant to my way of thinking. Not only did she correctly relegate the climate change debate to its proper irrelevancy, but thereby provided a common ground where both sides of the debate can come to some rational agreement. I thought her commentary was profound, and on a par with what I would expect to hear from the greatest minds in history. That is not hyperbole.

    That said, I do need to quickly mention a couple of things about climate change before I stop speaking about it. With respect to the article on Bangladesh a few days ago, sea level is not rising there. Rather, the ground there is sinking. It’s an important distinction unless your paradigm (global warming) is predicated upon deliberate, systematic deception. Sea levels simply cannot rise in one small part of the world but nowhere else, and a few millimeters cannot submerge a countryside.

    Finally, as new all-time records are set for Great Lakes ice, it’s useful to remember how those lakes formed in the first place (i.e. continental glaciers during the last ice age). The greenhouse effect is real, it is crucial for the continued existence of higher forms of life on Earth, and it really has nothing at all to do with carbon compounds (including methane).

    To all: Be extremely careful what you wish for, especially if you think that only governments are in a position to grant it. If your wish comes true, you might someday wish otherwise, and that wish might be the one that’s impossible to fulfill.


    Re: Bangladesh’s coastal retreat.

    A similar process is underway in a number of other localities where river silt no longer makes it to the sea – due to the introduction of dams and canals. New Orleans certainly falls into that category.
    Another well-documented example is the river Nile. Since the construction of the Aswan High Dam some 40 years ago, the silt has been building up in the Nasser Lake – 800 km upstream from the sea. Eventually, Lake Nasser will become a new Nile Delta.

    The previous dam, (my Egyptian great-granddad Hanna Nassim was the main contractor for the third and final stage) which lies a few km downstream of the High Dam, could not hold back the flood waters and the sluices were opened every year to releasing the flood which carried the silt into the river. This silt coated the whole irrigated part of the country with a new layer – a precious gift from the Ethiopian highlands.

    “Aswan Low Dam”

    The beautiful stone face of this dam was made by hundreds of Italian stonemasons, and they had their own pasta factory.

    Now, the whole of the Nile Delta is suffering from the encroaching Mediterranean. The coast is in full retreat and the salt water is ruining some of the finest agricultural land in the world. Land which used to produce 3 annual crops. The salt intrusion is far more destructive than the actual loss of land.

    Here is another article that conveniently skips over the real story. This is pure and unadulterated propaganda IMHO. They forget to ask civil engineers and hydrologists and historians what is going on, because the truth is not to their liking. They need a gullible and ill-informed public.

    “Nile Delta: ‘We are going underwater. The sea will conquer our lands'”

    The other point that I noticed is that the farmer mentioned had 6 kids. Obviously, that is only making matters worse. I can see no solution when people have so many kids for several generations.


    Gravity is a repercussive algorithm.


    Someone a while back tried to disprove something by claiming that the sea-level is the same in all the world’s oceans – a common-sensual approach. However, this is not so.

    The Mediterranean sea-level is similar to that of the Red Sea – so it has no locks. The Caribbean and the Pacific are quite different and the Panama Canal would have needed locks even if it were not necessary to lift the ships over high ground to reduce the digging.

    Here is a chart showing the changes in sea-level over the past 30 years. I am not sure as to their data sources. In some places, it has apparently risen by 40cm and in other it has dropped by a similar amount.

    “Most people are surprised to learn that, just as the surface of the Earth is not flat, the surface of the ocean is not flat, and that the surface of the sea changes at different rates around the globe. For instance, the absolute water level height is higher along the West Coast of the United States than the East Coast.”

    Diogenes Shrugged

    Nassim, excellent posts.

    The map in your last link shows (generously) a five-inch sea level rise near Bangladesh since 1993. Tides there vary by over three meters.

    A web search for “Bangaladesh subsidence” will turn up plenty of articles showing that global warming and polar ice melt are not the source of the problem there.


    “Sea level is about 20 cm higher on the Pacific side than the Atlantic due to the water being less dense on the Pacific side, on average, and due to the prevailing weather and ocean conditions. Such sea level differences are common across many short sections of land dividing ocean basins.

    “The 20 cm difference is determined by geodetic levelling from one side to the other. This levelling follows a ‘level’ surface which will be parallel to the geoid (see FAQ #1). The 20 cm difference at Panama is not unique. There are similar ‘jumps’ elsewhere e.g. Skagerrak, Indonesian straits.

    “If the canal was open sea and did not contain locks, i.e. if somehow a deep open cutting had been made rather than the canal system over the mountains, then there would be a current flowing from the Pacific to the Atlantic. An analogy, though imperfect because there are many other factors, is a comparison between Panama and the Drake Passage off the south tip of Chile, which has a west-east flow. (The flow in the Drake Passage is primarily wind-driven, but Pacific-Atlantic density must play some role.)

    “Locks are needed in the Panama Canal because the canal climbs over the hills and makes use of mountain lakes. Therefore, locks would be needed even if sea level was the same on the two sides. For example, there are also locks on canals here in England, which is much less mountainous than Panama.

    “Note also that the tides have opposite phase on the two sides of Panama, so, if there was a sea level canal, there would be major tidal currents through it.” (See #3)

    Diogenes Shrugged

    By the way, ignoring tide differentials, I suspect one could row his kayak upstream through the Panama canal without any trouble at all had it been dug deep enough to not require locks. (An eight-inch drop over nearly two miles.)


    “An eight-inch drop over nearly two miles.”
    Actually, I suspect that for a channel of this width and depth, water would be rushing past a lot faster than an olympic kayaker could paddle. I don’t have the time to do the rough calculations. 🙂


    “Although it has been emerging for seven years or more, one of the most extraordinary scandals of our time has never hit the headlines. Yet another little example of it lately caught my eye when, in the wake of those excited claims that 2014 was “the hottest year on record”, I saw the headline on a climate blog: “Massive tampering with temperatures in South America”. The evidence on Notalotofpeopleknowthat, uncovered by Paul Homewood, was indeed striking.

    Puzzled by those “2014 hottest ever” claims, which were led by the most quoted of all the five official global temperature records – Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) – Homewood examined a place in the world where Giss was showing temperatures to have risen faster than almost anywhere else: a large chunk of South America stretching from Brazil to Paraguay.

    Noting that weather stations there were thin on the ground, he decided to focus on three rural stations covering a huge area of Paraguay. Giss showed it as having recorded, between 1950 and 2014, a particularly steep temperature rise of more than 1.5C: twice the accepted global increase for the whole of the 20th century.

    But when Homewood was then able to check Giss’s figures against the original data from which they were derived, he found that they had been altered. Far from the new graph showing any rise, it showed temperatures in fact having declined over those 65 years by a full degree. When he did the same for the other two stations, he found the same. In each case, the original data showed not a rise but a decline.”

    “Republicans To Investigate NASA Over Climate Data Tampering”

    I have no idea why the Republicans are doing this – US domestic politics never did interest me.

    A similar think went on in Australia:

    “The heat is on. Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures’ ”

    My guess is that someone wants us to argue and split us over something that is very long-term so that we forget about the real problems.

    Dr. Diablo

    Thank you for showing me I’m not the only one bringing up the obvious with Bengladesh.

    Sea level variations are fascinating science. You’ve got earth spin, tidal forces, tidal bores, gravitational variation (e.g. weight of ice sheets), density/temperature variations, and my favorite, earth bulge, a 21km rise in sea level over what one would expect from gravity alone. That’s why I was joking about the earth’s rotational force.

    Interesting science and/or theory from that: if the ice accumulates over time at the poles, the earth tends to squish more (as the ice becomes de facto earth crust). At the same time, if the ice vanishes, the earth deflects back to round(er). In theory, this could cause dramatic earthquakes going off on the worldwide fault lines. This could set off the thinner crust of undersea volcanoes, which turns out there are way more than we used to suspect, and still have a terrible hard time tracking. The CO2 from these would hit the atmosphere, heating it, melting the too-much ice that has accumulated. Then the heat from the planet’s oceans leads to increased precipitation over centuries, leading to more cloud formation and counterintuitively, increased glaciation. (Imagine double the snow in a given winter overwhelming a few degrees of additional heat) Glaciation leads to increasing ice packs, then cooling with the white effect, then re-compressing the poles, starting all over again.

    It’s an interesting mechanism that would, again in theory, help explain the cyclical ice ages which go back aeons, in 10,000-year cycles over 100,000 year periods. Pre-man, if I need add, because what caused the rhythmic cycles back then? A lot of science would have to be put into this–and a lot has already–but at the moment it remains an interesting thought experiment in how large and how robust homeostasis is on our little blue ball. –The Dr.

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