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It’s funniest when people die

Roy Spencer’s satire site ecoEnquirer’s article “Global Warming Activist, Journalist, Perish in Antarctica” fooled Fox and others. I’m not sure if a story where a bumbling Prof Schneider freezes to death should fairly be called satire or some kind of revenge fantasy.

Needless to say, this piece of humor doesn’t come close to the level of lulz obtained by Spencer’s previous, truly epic prank, “satellites show the Earth is cooling.” That one took years to expose.

Earth Hour: it’s all about the symbolism

Earth Hour came and went and one Kiwi produced a fine example of Poe’s Law ambiguity. Compare and contrast.

1. Obviously not a serious internet story:

“Power Hour” Trumps Earth Hour in the battle of conservation.

Power Hour was created for those Canadians who don’t care for the environmental movement and think global warming is a “complete joke”. The basic premise behind the Power Hour movement was to have participants turn on and consume as much electricity in their homes as possible during the hour from 8:30-9:30 pm as a stern act a defiance and way to counteract WWF’s Earth Hour campaign.

2. But what about this? Here’s New Zealander Rick Giles, President of Act on Campus:

I’m actually in favour of Edison Hour… generally it is a celebration of technology and the use of energy rather than the opposite, which seems to be the Earth Hour’s promoted idea.”

Bonus quote:

“Do you believe in man made climate change?” “No, not at all… based on, no one has brought the evidence forth that can counter what I understand presently. But I don’t even… Man made climate change. I think my argument is so powerful that it is not necessary to talk about it.

It’s so hard to do satire on live TV. Job well done. Maybe.

Supping from the Cornucopian teat

Nate Hagans, formerly a contributor at The Oil Drum, is off to Goldman Sachs to manage Cornucopia LLC, a new energy and resource hedge fund. He explains his conversion to Cornucopian thinking:

OK – here it is in a nutshell – though I used to think the main problem with economic theory was that it ignored biology on the demand side and ecology on the supply side, I now see the reality is that neither biology nor ecology has incorporated enough economic theory.

How could anyone continue to ignore economic theory? Especially once one considers these pearls of wisdom:

‘The United States must overcome the materialistic fallacy the illusion that resources and capital are essentially things which can run out, rather than products of the human will and imagination which in freedom are inexhaustible.’ –George Gilder

And then there’s Julian Simon, the intellectual powerhouse who liberated Bjorn Lomborg from the reality-based community:

‘On average, human beings create more than they use in their lifetimes. It has to be so or we would be an extinct species. This process is, as the physicists say, an invariancy. It applies to all metals, all fuels, all food, all measures of human welfare. It applies in all countries. It applies in all times.’ Julian Simon and Norman Myers from “Scarcity or Abundance”? New York Norton. 1994. pp.133-134.

“There is no reason to believe that at any given moment in the future the available quantity of any natural resource or service at present prices will be much smaller than it is now, or non-existent.” (Simon in The Ultimate Resource, 1981)

That’s the same Julian Simon who thought that resource limitation won’t be a problem because humans are smart, will one day invent Star Trek replicators and all live on the moon or something. And that’s why global warming is not a problem, but an opportunity.

Cornucopia LLC can help you seize that opportunity. Here are their core tenets.

1) the obvious fact that the environment falls outside of our market system, and therefore excess wealth derived from processing and packaging it, at least for those who have the balls to take it, is basically free.

1b) And God wants us to. (see Genesis 9, verses 1-2)

2) That growth and subsequent profits depends only in very small part on energy, but are primarily based on information, skill and human ambition. That human cleverness is the ultimate resource, requiring nothing but vacuum and time to create (almost) all conceivable value; and that matter and energy will always fall into line if we think about them cleverly enough. Since energy is a human concept, how can it be more fundamental than we are? This finally became clear to me.

3) The generation of financial capital (money) ushers in abundant social, human, natural and social capital as byproducts, but only to the ones near the source. Entropy does exist, just not in energy as I thought. As money is printed, you have to be close to its genesis to reap outsized rewards as the benefits it confers get watered down by the time it trickles into the economy at large.

Cornucopia LLC. Invest now.

Solved, every publishing scientist’s dilemma

It’s a problem all publishing serious scientists have had to face. From which prestigious journal should one seek a rejection letter, Nature or Science? Problem solved, as Nature and Science have decided to merge.

Science and Nature have ended their historic battle for the world’s best basic science articles, agreeing to cease their respective publications and co-launch an open-access, online-only journal with an innovative democratic peer-review system, sources at both journals revealed this morning.

In a novel revenue system funded by a grant from Facebook, preprints will be posted on a special social networking Web site where scientists registered in the newly created Faculty of a Million (trademark pending) can vote for acceptance by pressing a “Like” thumbs-up button or reject the paper by pressing a “Dislike” button. Each vote will cost $1/£1 and multiple votes are allowed. “There’s been criticism that peer review is too elitist, so we’re using the wisdom of the crowds,” says Aima Jouk, the journal’s new managing editor.

An end to elitist peer review? It’s about time.

You can preview the first edition of the new journal here.

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