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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hockey Stick? Get the enforcer.

From this Kos diary, LoE fristed the conventional wisdom that natural cycles in hurricane activity explain away the above-average frequency of big storms. LoE plotted this graph of activity with a 10-year filter to remove the year-to-year noise:

On this kind of scale, I do not see any of this cyclical activity, but actually notice more of the "hockey stick" behavior well-known to the global warming community.

What does the right wing media think of data like this? Well, as I write this, I listen to Matt Drudge pontificate on his weekly radio show on "real" hurricane data as part of his "Global Warming Emergency Declared!" themed discussion. He goes on to list various Cat 4 and Cat 5 storms that have occurred over the last century, strangely interspersed with condemnations of celebrities like Barbra Streisand who show an interest in current events. Never mind the fact that the exception does not prove the rule in statistics, but bringing in celebs as some kind of elitism metric shows what kind of rejected outlier Drudge himself has become.

But of course, and in any case, we should not worry of what kind of damage these relentless hurricanes could do to our offshore oil infrastructure. In particular according to this industry veteran (I mean he worked on an off-shore supply vehicle for a year in the late 90's) at the Unsolved Mysteries site:
Another lie I'd like to lay to rest is the one about all of the "terrible damage" done to the oil platforms and rigs in the gulf during hurricanes. This is how they justify the price spikes that occur because of lost production. If anyone cared to see this for themselves they could travel the entire Gulf of Mexico in search of destroyed oil rigs and they won't find any- not one. There is a good reason that this is so and that reason is that they are built so well that a hurricane can't touch them. They are designed to withstand 100 year hurricanes and some even to withstand 1000 yr hurricanes. (Cat 5 or higher) The biggest one is owned by the Shell company and and was twice as tall as the Chicago Sears trade towers.
And disregard everything else too:
Everything that we hear about oil from the oil companies is a big fat lie. Have we hit "peak oil" as a good many insist that we have? I'll make a wager with anyone who would care to take the bet. I bet that when oil hits $100 a barrel (I have a hunch that's the target price) there will be no shortage. Any takers?
OK, make the call to the deceased Robert Stack; I guess we can take that unsolved mystery off the list. Actually, with that retro hat of his, Drudge could take Stack's role and they could resurrect the TV show as Unsolved Minutiae.

Monbiot on global warming:
And the government won't act, because to do so would be "an unwarranted intervention in the market".
So why won't the government act? Because it is siding with the dirty companies against the clean ones. Deregulation has become the test of its manhood: the sign that it has put the bad old days of economic planning behind it. Sir David Arculus, the man appointed by Tony Blair to run the government's Better Regulation Task Force, is also deputy chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, the shrillest exponents of the need to put the market ahead of society. It is hard to think of a more blatant conflict of interest.
I see no statistical anomaly in this finding. In other words, you can't reject the statistical outliers when dealing with cronyism in the BushCo world-view. Every piece of data supports their true agenda. You can graph it quite nicely.


Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the government won't act, because to do so would be "an unwarranted intervention in the market".

VS what? All the other ways the various governments act as the iron glove which covers the invisible hand of the market.

10:05 PM  
Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Thanks for this post. I've been wondering lately how the anti-global warming crowd can get away with saying that this latest spike is a "natural cycle". (That is, the scientists. I understand how Drudge gets away with it.)

I don't understand how the data supports "natural cycles" as an explanation. We had a spike in powerful hurricanes that hit land in the 1940's and 1950's. This last century is our entire dataset, for all intents and purposes, and the data over water is crap up until the weather satellites went up. And focusing on hurricanes hitting the east coast is crap, you actually must look at the whole world. Local weather patterns can change; that isn't controversial.

This latest storm season has been intense all over the globe.

12:06 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

How can that guy say that Shell's largest platform in the gulf (Mars) can't be damaged by a Cat 5 when any idiot with access to Google can find pictures of the thing completely trashed by the Cat 4 Katrina ?

2:55 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Anonymous sez: "VS what?"

Perhaps admit that countries do have the salient characteristics of large corporations and run them accordingly? And, in particular, don't load your so-called guvmint up with underqualified cronies?

7:43 PM  
Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...


No Rig Damage? Sheesh.

The 'Typoon' Platform, now upside down:







1:05 PM  

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