Le Deluge – David Pascoe

Le Deluge – David Pascoe

When I was a wee, young creature – not so wee as Wee Dave – shortly after I learned to read, I discovered the world was going to end, and there was nothing I (or any of us, I learned) could do about it. The Coming Ice Age was coming! The world was going to freeze, probably solid, my young (and febrile) mind suggested. Earth would be this glittering ball of ice, with people frozen like Otzi or woolly mammoths.

Either that, or the world would go MAD, and everything would disappear in flashes of nuclear light as Slim Pickins destroyed Moscow. Except for the people who survived and got superpowers and got to enjoy nuclear winter like in that classic of post-apocalyptic literature, The Road.

And then the Berlin Wall came down (I remember that) and the USSR kinda fell apart, and the world wasn’t going to end. For a while. Then Kevin Costner made a movie and suddenly the seas were rising, and the plains baking and everything was going to burn up, because Glow-Ball Worming!! Or something. It was a few years ago, now.

Only, apparently, that just isn’t so, despite pretty heavy coverage from, well, everybody. Our very own, um, Guy in the White House was just down in Florida recently playing golf giving a speech about the fact that the climate changes. (I’m stunned, me. And here I thought climate was static. Always were, always gonna be, kinda thingy. Well, you live and learn, I’m given to understand.) This is bad, we’re told, and it will result in great badness. There were also a few jokes, some laughter, and then His Majesty the Bossman jetted off to Rio for dancing and then Paris to meet up with Al-Gor for a party where they burned barrels of kerosene to propitiate the fire demons. Crazy thing, Earth Day.

So the world’s still going to end. I mean, there were the recently televised (in the same way the Revolution won’t be, Komrade) peaceful demonstrations in Baltimore. And some more in Seattle, celebrating May Day, though I’m given to understand that party got shut down by the local police. Spoilsports.

Speaking of Baltimore, and it’s recently unpleasantness, it seems the insipid hordes of social media were working to inflame the already … flaming … um, to cause greater violence between rioters peaceful protestors and Charm City’s finest. Pictures of dead police (later identified as being from countries other than the US) and inflammatory comments. Looks like Twitter’s good for something, after all.

So the world’s falling apart, again, still. Do we have anything to hope for? Well, the Navy Research Lab has succeeded in creating transparent aluminum. There actually seems to be something to the EmDrive, though nobody seems to understand why the thing produces thrust. (Me? I want my reactionless drive. If it works, we can use it to get off this rock.) More importantly, people are pushing back against the Narrative of the Powers That Be, and the True Believers of same are getting more and more outrageous in their attempts to retain power. Meanwhile, the very causes for which they so stridently campaign are starting to eat them. Witness the restaurants in Seattle closing, the independent stores in San Francisco looking desperately for some way to cut costs.

So, per the title, are we about to get swamped? No, not really. Things are lousy, right now. They’ve been bad before, and they’ll be bad again. Is the singularity about to erupt, propelling humanity to a new, permanent golden age? Maybe, but I doubt it. I’m hoping I get my own personal spaceship before I die. We’ll see what happens. The reality is that civilization is a long, long game. The kind that takes generations to play out. It’s why we work, and why we have children. Why we take such pains in raising them. We do what we can, every damn day, and we do it together, with whom we choose (that’s actually politics, no matter what lie some tired, old baggage tries to peddle you). This game often a slog, and a tiring one. Fortunate, then that we have proof that the Blessed Ichor is going to keep us around long enough to win it.

317 responses to “Le Deluge – David Pascoe

  1. There’s a stray ” in the coffee link.

  2. Fortunate, then that we have proof that the Blessed Ichor is going to keep us around long enough to win it.

    Don’t know about the proof — a 404 error page seems more like the work of the one who enjoys throwing monkey wrenchs into the works … 😉

    Last night I told The Spouse that the prospects of a continued national political public discussion in the mode of the late 1960s was just not doing it for me. But what is is.

    Maybe this is a sign that the powers that be are set up to loose their hold.

  3. But I’m sure all of the above disasters could be avoided if we merely subscribe to their preferred government control of out lives.

  4. The real problems in the world are ignored because these imagined disasters are so much easier to make a profit.

    • And none of it can be / should be solved, because then we wouldn’t need those enlightened ones to peddle their bull$@#! solutions.

    •         For most of the Left, the real problem is ‘I’m not in charge.’  They work hard at eliminating that terrible state of affairs.

  5. It’s kind of liberating to know that if the Left really gets the control they want, you’ll be among those shot outright rather than sent to reeducation camps.

    Means I’ve got nothing to lose by taking a lot of the bastards with me. 😀

    Climates change, and they always have. They stop that, I suspect it’ll unleash things even worse, which will make a hell of a story if I can figure out what it would unleash.

    • Given their fixation on rising temps, about the time the Ones Who Think They Know It All find a way to lock the climate, it will be locked during the onset of the next phase of the Ice Age [imagines weather deity going “Anthropocene this, puny humans!”] and they’ll manage to recreate the Proterozoic snowball.

      • Yeah, but that’s too simple.

        I want to really wreck some stuff. 😀

        • Don’t overlook the potentialities in their efforts to reboot the Wooly Mammoth.

          Sure, most likely it will mean mammoth steaks for us carnivores, but that’s only in Human Wave stories; in their hands the Mammoths will probably evolve intelligence greater than ours, learn how to use their trunks to operate complex mechanical devices and initiate war on humanity in defense of Nature’s Rights.

          That lets you go all Mammoth Mad Max, with them flying dirigibiles, firing gatlings and all sorts of stuff.

          • That would be…


            • And thus is born a new genre: Mammoth Steam Punk.

              • They could clone early hominids. That would be potentially interesting. If the guys who think the Neanderthals were smarter than modern humans are right . . . could be very interesting.

                No. I do not have time. I have too many projects on the burner already and I need to finish and publish something before I take on something else! You write it (for any and all values of you)!

                • I think there’s already a “super genius Neanderthal” series or two out– I’d do a realistic one, but I’m afraid it would come across as too preachy. The most likely way they’d do it is to take human eggs, modify human DNA to match the Neanderthal ones, and gestate that– meaning that you’ve got an entire group of people who literally know they were going to be normal, and then someone maimed them so they’d “look” like an ancient phenotype. (Seeing as we’re pretty dang sure modern humans have Neanderthal ancestors, I don’t think the “you’re a different species” thing would cut much mustard with ’em.)

                  • They may have been smarter, but we’re more vicious. I don’t think the two races (Yay, finally a proper use of the word!) would work side by side for long.

                    Now, if you populate a space ship with people who are not only smarter but stronger and less prone to violence …

                    • Or we might just be more open to absorbing strangeness.

                      You know how people these days in tests have been shown to frequently be attracted to “exotic”– familiar enough, but different?

                      What if they didn’t have as strong of a “oooh, like me but different!” reaction, so they didn’t take any non-Neanderthal wives, so they didn’t get any advantages from genetic diversity.

                      So you end up with extremely-xenophobic-as-a-basic-impulse folks…..

                    • Like Romulans from that Trek show about the Stars? Or at least the novels.

                    • FlyingMike

                      Neandertal and previous – they keep identifying surviving Denisovan genes in the modern genome.

                      I think your exotic-is-attractive concept works better than anything else. It would basically be an extension of the get-some-genes-from-the-next-hunter-gatherer-band-instead-of-your-cousin (to be generous) as a drive to introduce genetic diversity at any opportunity.

                    • At one point in Awake In the Night Land, a character reflects on the way that the Neanderthal gave way to modern man.

                      Worth reading in context.

                • Read the “Tuesday Next” novels by Jasper Fforde. Mammoths, Neanderthals, and Dodos all brought back. Neanderthals, though, are sterile.

          • Combtmissionary

            That’s fine, the Evil yet Beautiful Space Princess will use her autoloading carp railguns to defeat the enemy in the epic Mammoth Land Wars.

          • Rob Crawford

            Early Sluggy Freelance — they cloned a mammoth only to learn mammoths were maneaters.

          • The Other Sean

            Of course, once they’re back, we’ll need mammoth tracts of land for them.

          • Piffel about Mammoth BBQ, without Cthulhumari…

        • Look at what happened during teh Dalton Minimum to Switzerland and parts of Austria (anywhere near Alpine glaciers). Villages got wrecked in major ways. Now have that hit, oh, Davos, during one of those world confabs, toss in a few nut-jobs of your favorite persuasion, and hey! Political-environmental thriller material awaits.

    • Let’s see – ‘Snowpiercer’, a rather terrible movie, explored what happened when something to stop Global Warming got way out of hand – it went way too far in the other direction and extinguished life on Earth, except for a polar bear.

      My big problem with AGW is that I’m not seeing any indications of it. Screaming about ‘the science is settled’ and pointing at computer models indicating warming doesn’t much do it, especially when they’re keeping the modeling software secret and ‘adjusting’ the data going into the black box computations so they’re not using the actual historical record, but what they THINK it should be.

      And if you go by the historical record, we seem to be in a cooling trend. Guess it’s hard to really make a lot of money pushing alternative energy schemes (like solar and windmills) when neither work well in the cold. (Solar panels especially don’t work well when covered in snow…)

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Yes, in that movie, a PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE was invented, but their solution to the Ice Age is to put a bunch of people on a train. Why not use the PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE to generate a lot of heat?

      • It does not, in the conventional phrase, accept the conclusions of science, for the simple reason that science has not concluded. To conclude is to shut up; and the man of science is not at all likely to shut up. — G.K. Chesterton

      • When you filter out the short-term noise, the raw-data climate record doesn’t seem to be changing very fast at the moment. Which could mean the climate’s rather stable (and powered by unicorn farts), or that we’re possibly near an inflection point. And the record suggests we might be overdue for another ice age…

        There might be a story in an alternate reality in which the next ice age has actually begun, is recognized, and mankind has a few generations to prove just how adaptable we can be at mitigating the worst effects for most people.

        • Or less than a decade. The more the scientists can refine dating the smaller the time frame for climate shifts, is what I’m hearing.

        • And that pushes a bunch of people into solving the space habitat engineering and other problems, asteroid mining, etc., and off we go.

        • http://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Angels-Larry-Niven-ebook/dp/B005BJTZ1U/

          Unfortunately, this book once read like a love letter to science fiction and a hilarious satire on the green movement. Time has rendered it even more a love letter to the science fiction crowd, and… damnit, you progressives, this is not a frickin’ instruction manual! STOP THAT!

        • Fallen Angels by Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn is rather like that.

        • Everything I’ve seen indicates we’re on the brink of a mini ice age (one estimate was that per long-term trends, we’re in for an 1800s style cool spell starting in about 40 years) and possibly a major one. And the chart of temps vs earth wobble looked suspiciously like an oscillation that’s getting out of hand.

          Historically, cold spells result in crop failure, famine, war, and ‘dark ages’. Warm spells lead to good harvests, prosperity, growth in the arts and sciences, and relative peace.

          The ones who really scare me are those who want to try to “cool the earth” — average cooling of just half a degree could mean another mini ice age, and as little as two degrees a global ice age that never ends. I don’t think it’s coincidence that such schemes come out of the same end of environmentalism as wishes to limit or eliminate humans.

      • And if you go by the historical record, we seem to be in a cooling trend.

        If you recognize blacktop and cement are hot in the sun, yes.
        If you assume that rocks being warm in the sun is a genuine change to “average global temperature,” then there are a lot more hot spots and thus some defense could be mounted for it not being colder, but you’d have to also admit that the positioning of the thermometers is at best questionable.

      • And they somehow build a train that goes around the world. Again and again When anybody who saw Murder on the Orient Express knows that trains in cold climates often get stopped by snowpacks. And they hire one of the ten or so greatest actresses alive and dress her up in a bad Halloween costume. I’ll skip it.

      • How do you account for the worldwide loss of Glaciers then? Not only California and the west coast are seeing a loss of snowpack, which could be explained by drought, but Montana, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, even Antarctica and the Arctic are all effected.
        Doesn’t glaciers that are thousands of years old melting lean toward a belief that the climate is warmer than it has been in thousands of years?

        • I’m not a good person. I’m letting this comment through. Hey, guys, fresh meat.

        • How do you account for the worldwide loss of Glaciers glaciers then? Not only California and the west coast are seeing a loss of snowpack, which could be explained by drought, but Montana, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, even Antarctica and the Arctic are all effected affected.
          Don’t glaciers that are thousands of years old melting lean lead toward a belief conclusion that the climate is warmer than it has been in thousands of years?


          Don’t abysmal grammar and egregiously inaccurate word usage disincline an audience to take a person’s argument seriously?

          Serious logical flaws further diminish the credibility of an argument, as do blatant errors of fact.

          See: nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
          National Snow and Ice Data Center
          May 6, 2015 – In the Antarctic, sea ice extent was the highest seen in April in the satellite record. … region favors more seal cubs being fully weaned before the ice breaks up, increasing their chance of survival.

          Emphasis added.

          • Also:wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/12/record-antarctic-ice-mawson-base-might-have-to-relocate/

            • No one is denying that the Earth is warmer now than it’s been since the little ice age ended in the late 1700s. George Washington would not have to dodge ice chunks crossing the Delaware river in modern times. In fact, it’s been getting warmer relatively steadily since the end of the most recent Ice Age (note: I’m not talking about the animated movie with the sabretooth squirrels – we’re talking real life here). What is at contention is the amplified impact of CO2 on global temperature as predicted by computer climate models.

              It’s all based on the models, and the models can’t predict the present day actual temperatures: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/11/a-few-models-wandered-over-the-pause/. Note they also can’t predict past temperatures given actual measured atmospheric CO2 levels. The only thing they match is the other models published in the annual climate docs from the UN.

              So if they can’t predict the present, and they can’t predict the past, even given a long term warming of the planet that predates coal-fired powerplants and SUVs and basically all measurable anthropogenic CO2, the models are useless, yet they still are used as the premise for all the major changes that must be implemented NOW!!

              The more scientific among those who remain skeptical, as the scientific method demands, insist on actual, reproducable, verifiable proof before blowing up western civilization.

              Sorry if that makes you feel bad.

              • … the models can’t predict the present day actual temperatures

                And a good thing, too, because had the models been correct we’d have already passed the tipping point. Shame, too. Just think: one less global climate conference held inn a balmy climate with attendees flying in on gigantic luxury aircraft, having a carbon footprint

                25,000 metric tons of emissions, according to host nation Mexico. That includes the carbon output of everything – flights by delegates, shuttle rides from the swanky Moon Palace hotel, even food preparation. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
                25 heads of state attended.
                2,457 air-conditioned rooms with double Jacuzzis at the main conference hotel.
                Washington Post, 12/10/2010

                In Lima, Peru:

                Lima climate talks on track for record carbon footprint
                The current UN climate talks will be the first to neutralise all the greenhouse gas pollution they generate, offset by host country Peru’s protection of forest reserves, organisers say. The bad news: the Lima conference is expected to have the biggest carbon footprint of any UN climate meeting measured to date.

                At more than 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the negotiations’ burden on global warming will be about one and a half times the norm, said Jorge Alvarez, project coordinator for the UN Development Programme.

                The venue is one big reason. It had to be built.
                Standing in the midday sun here can get downright uncomfortable, but the Lima sun is not reliable. That’s one reason solar panels were not used.

                For electricity, the talks are relying exclusively on diesel generators.
                Alvarez itemised the talks’ carbon footprint:

                — Construction, nearly 20% of the footprint.

                — Jet fuel burned by the estimated 11,000 delegates and observers who flew in from abroad, about 30%.

                — Local transportation. Organisers hired more than 300 buses since there are no public transit services to the venue. All burn fossil fuels. About 15-20%.

                — Electricity, solid waste treatment, water, paper, food, disposable plates and cups, keeping 40,000 police on high alert, for the balance.

                The 50,000 tons the conference emits is what China as a country emits in three minutes, the US does in five minutes and Peru does in six hours and 40 minutes. It is more than eight times as much carbon as the 2009 Copenhagen talks and twice that of the 2010 conference in Cancun, Mexico, according to the UN.
                The Guardian, UK

                If they were seriously concerned about Climate Change there would be bans on air-conditioning and jet travel, with everybody telecommuting for such conferences.

              • Allison Mclemore

                There is a consensus among most scientists in the relevant fields that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is indicative of increased temperatures. Human activities have increased the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Temperatures have been increasing.

                That does not mean that the two things are intrinsically tied, but it is hard to find experts in the field who do not believe it is.

                Why do you prefer climate warning to be caused by non-human factors?

                The reason I prefer to believe so, and do not think it will “blow up” western civilization, is because I am an optimistic person at heart and a futurist. If we can not only effect the climate, but can track what we are doing that effects the climate then we can presumably control it. If we can control how we effect the climate then we are making our first steps to controlling the climate. If we can control the climate, how much closer are we to terraforming?

                I do not we are able to control the climate currently. We are barely able to track what we are doing to the climate (if the scientists are correct – which may not be true). That ability is something I feel we need to learn, and I believe climatologists and other scientists studying the climate both currently and in the past are on the right track.

                Maybe it is because I try to believe the best of people – and find it hard to believe that a whole field of science is in a conspiracy?

                • Or maybe you didn’t read the “read me” emails. And it’s not the entire field. Only those that get the grants.
                  How old are you? Do you remember when we were all going to freeze? Do you remember when by 2010 we were all supposed to be baking? No? Well, if you did you would believe this is all a lightshow designed to let statists enforce their favored socialist programs. Bake, freeze, the prescription is always the same.

                • There is a consensus among most scientists in the relevant fields that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is indicative of increased temperatures.

                  The most common source of that claim is a survey called the Doran Paper.
                  The Doran paper has been criticised by many sceptics in the past, where a survey of 10,256 with 3146 respondents was whittled down to 75 out of 77 “expert” ‘active climate researchers’ (ACR) to give the 97% figure, based on just two very simplistic (shallow) questions that even the majority of sceptics might agree with.

                  The other source is an infamous review of published papers– which doesn’t actually say anything about how many scientists in “relevant” fields believe a thing– where they classified papers about sun spots being related to temperature changes as supporting anthropocentric global warming.

                  • Also, if one thinks that science is a matter of “consensus”, one is doing “science” wrong.

                    • Especially when they have to decide who is “relevant” and “active,” and then still have to go for argument from popularity rather than being able to offer evidence.

                    • I dunno, Fox — they taught me in High School that “popular” usually equaled “right”.

                      If 4 out of 5 proctologists agree, who are we to challenge the consensus?

                      Please note: the phrase used was “they taught me”, not “I learned.”

                    • If 4 out of 5 proctologists agree, who are we to challenge the consensus?

                      The ones being expected to bear the cost.

                      Oh, wait, that was rhetorical… you know how hit and miss we are with those around here!

                    • The consensus doesn’t share your conclusion.

                • There is a consensus among most scientists in the relevant fields that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is indicative of increased temperatures.

                  The evidence is that the increased CO2 is a lagging indicator. This means increased temperatures cause a rise in CO2, not the other way around. Cause generally precedes effect.

                  As for scientific “consensus” — that argument has been so many times demonstrated asinine that I see no point rehashing the rebuttals to it. At various times the scientific “consensus” held the Earth to be flat and that germs were all in Pasteur’s imagination.

                  Why do you prefer climate warning to be caused by non-human factors?

                  You’ve inverted the question: Why do you prefer climate warning to be caused by human factors?

                  The reason I prefer to believe so, and do not think it will “blow up” western civilization, is because I am an optimistic person at heart and a futurist. If we can not only effect the climate, but can track what we are doing that effects the climate then we can presumably control it. If we can control how we effect the climate then we are making our first steps to controlling the climate. If we can control the climate, how much closer are we to terraforming?

                  Oh please! I am an optimistic person at heart and a futurist is equally an argument for believing i kindly space aliens just waiting for us to develop sufficiently to be handed the key to whirled peas.

                  I have very little faith in the wisdom of humans to control our climate. It isn’t as if we’ve shown an ability to master such relatively simple complex systems as the economy; tackling climate control smacks of hubris and history shows that hubris tends to smack humans up side the head.

                  Controlling the climate and terraforming are radically different things, on a level akin to sawing off a limb and regenerating one.

                  We are barely able to track what we are doing to the climate (if the scientists are correct – which may not be true).

                  Which is an argument against radically reworking the economy by turning control over to a bunch of arrogant greedy bastards who would happily sentence half the world’s population (at minimum) to die miserably.

                  Maybe it is because I try to believe the best of people – and find it hard to believe that a whole field of science is in a conspiracy?

                  That you think it a conspiracy theory rather than analyzing the complex of incentives and disincentives pushing all to a single conclusion demonstrates the lack of depth in your examining the matter.

                • Maybe it is because I try to believe the best of people – and find it hard to believe that a whole field of science is in a conspiracy?

                  You do realize that eugenics was once a highly respected scientific field, right?

                  And that it took people finding out about the Nazi death camps to start to shake a similar faith in how glorious science was obviously right in eugenics, even when they were hauling away the “inferiors” that people knew for “treatment”? (death)

                  Check the history on how those scientists defined “Jewish”– they had non-religious and non-ancestral metrics in place.

                  You want to dismiss that as a fluke– are you familiar with the children of thalidomide?

                  If people here feel like it, they can drown you in horrific examples of how “believing the best” of people in the meaning of jumping on a popular bandwagon is a horrible idea.

                  • I don’t think they have abandoned Eugenics, they’ve merely learned to repackage it.

                    The idea that culture equals race and race equals culture sure seems a form of Eugenics to me, especially as I look at the conclusions drawn from that premise.

                    Further, much of the arguments for aborting Downs’ Syndrome and other “imperfect” prenatal persons seem eugenically based.

                    • That they have to repackage it indicates it was discredited, though– you’ll note that the Nazis were just following the very “scientific” theories of race that justified various arguments of, for example, blacks being an inferior race.

                      They didn’t mean harm, a lot of the horrifically racist junk was an attempt to do good in the light of their oh-so-reasonable scientific theories.

                      Just like killing those believed to have unwanted genetic variations today.

                • There is a very large difference between “I try to believe the best of people” and “I believe people make their own choices best.”

                  The former is a variant on the philosophy of human perfectability that, every time it is tried and followed to it’s logical conclusion, leads to such concepts as “Homo Sovieticus: The New Soviet Man” and Gulags and death camps for those who prove “unperfectable.”

                  The latter, by empowering each individual to make thier own choices, engages the incredible power of aggregate individual choice, enabling a minority that holds views that are more in accord with objective reality to outcompete (and actually convert over, through eaxample of success) a majority holding views less in sccord with reality, even if those views are held “correct” by any “consensus” of current elite, be they the Central Commitee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union or the UN Committee on Climate Change.

                  My advice: Choose your philosophies wisely, looking closely to the end states.

                • Alison, normally I have an entrance exam before I enter into a debate about climate science, because an awful lot of people's expertise about climate science comes from reading Bill Nye the Science Guy — a stand-up comedian with a BS in Mechanical Engineering — and not the actual literature. I'll just note that if you don't know at least conceptually how to integrate a system of partial differential equations and can't explain with some technical detail what sensitive dependence on initial conditions means, you might want to be careful about what pop-science sources you listen to — because most of them can't either. I usually don't bother without the entrance exam any longer because I'm tired to trying to have a scientific argument with people who have adopted an essentially religious position. I'll proceed without in this case, because Sarah's a friend and she asked me to respond.

                  Just to give you a tl;dr here, this is why I suspect you're not approaching this from the point of view of science, making your own interpretation of the facts, but instead are essentially parroting others. You're making a key error that the science denialists almost always make: you're starting from the assumption that anyone who is skeptical of the science denialists, that being that anyone who doesn't buy into the total anthropogenic climate change catastrophe is not looking at the science.

                  This really does become an essentially religious position, and it's defended with religious fervor, as for example see the recent issue with Bjørn Lomborg, who actually does buy into the entire anthropogenic climate change hypothesis, differing only in questioning whether it is the most important problem that ought to be addressed with the massive amounts of money proposed — and so lost funding for a scientific climate center under pressure from the science denialists.

                  So, instead, let's look at this in terms of real science. The core of the modern conception of science is the notion of hypothesis and falsification: a hypothesis is an explanation of a collection of observations. A falsification is an experiment that shows that explanation isn't consistent with some other set of observations. A hypothesis is said to be falsifiable if a feasible experiment can be proposed which, if performed, could potentially falsify the hypothesis. And a theory is a systematic explanation of a set of phenomena; without going into great detail, it can reasonably be said that a theory is based on a collection of hypotheses and forms a structure making a more general statement based on those hypotheses.

                  I won't try to beat this to death here, I just want to have these terms set out well. If you'd like to look more deeply into it, John R Pratt wrote a deeply influential paper in 1964 in Science, "Strong Inference", which I was recommended during my Ph.D. program and which I have recommended in turn probably a thousand times.

                  So, with that set up, the theory on which the climate change debate is based is a chain of inference that goes something like this:

                  There has been dramatic warming over an some interval. Depending on the specifics, it's sometimes looked at as 400 years, sometimes only 100.
                  This warming is correlated with an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
                  This increase in CO2 concentration is the dominant factor in the warming, as demonstrated by climate modeling. These climate models all are based in part on a term for the amount of change in global average surface temperature (GAST) called cliamte sensitivity, or the predicted rate of change of GAST from a change in CO2 concentration. GAST is itself a statistical quantity arrived at through modeling of the overall temperature based on observations from many individual locations over a long time. These models are based on a theory which, for reasons of length, we won't consider here.
                  This increase in CO2 concentration is in turn primarily caused by humans, thus "anthropogenic".

                  And thus, the increase in GAST is primarily anthropogenic in nature.

                  So, now let's examine this chain of inference scientifically.

                  There has been a large amount of warming in recent history

                  Let's be real clear here: no serious commenter has suggested there is no significant warming in the historical period back to about 400 years before today. Now, to some extent, this assertion is subject to criticism as a "no true Scotsman" fallacy — after all, such people exist, and I'm dismissing them as not being serious. But we have actual measurements of temperature back roughly that long. We also have good, contemporary, written records of the weather over a good part of the world.

                  Farther back than that, though, we have to reconstruct the temperatures with proxies, and that has been much more controversial. In particular, the climate reconstructions that have been most influential in the public story about anthropogenic climate change have been those of Mann et al; these are repeatedly cited in, among other things, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

                  Unfortunately, they have also been pretty much completely demolished. The report that should have been the final nail in the coffin was made my an ad hoc committee of the National Academy of Sciences, chaired by Edward Wegman. In the study, it was made clear that the mathematical methods used for reconstructing the temperatures were unsound, and the documentation was so poor that the results couldn't be replicated. Legman himself suffered a series of personal attacks, but the mathematical conclusions of the Legman Report have never been successfully challenged.

                  This is correlated with CO2 concentration

                  Again, that such a correlation exists is unchallenged — at least until recently. For roughly the last 20 years, CO2 concentration has continued to increase, but temperatures have not.

                  This will lead to large increases in GAST

                  This is based on modeling that includes estimates of climate sensitivity. These models have all failed at this point, and a number of recent peer reviewed publications have estimated much lower sensitivity based on the data.

                  This increase is primarily anthropogenic

                  When the sensitivity is lower, however, the case for an anthropogenic basis for the warming is much weaker.

                  This theory of anthropogenic climate change is then generally followed with a further assertion that the consequences of the predicted increase in GAST will be catastrophic. This can't strictly be called either a theory or an hypothesis, since it really entails a whole collection of untestable assumptions, but among these catastrophic consequences that have been predicted are an increase in strong and damaging storms, a dramatic rise in sea levels, widespread droughts and flooding as weather patterns change, leading to famine, mass migrations, and conflict. (Both the increasing severe weather and the sea level change to in fact have testable hypotheses involved, which I'll consider further below.)

                  As a result of these predictions of catastrophe, there have been a number of policy changes suggested. It's important to note that, although the distinction is sometimes lost, these are not scientific statements and can't be directly evaluated as such. Because of this, and for reasons of space, we won't look deeply at these now, but let's just note that the predictions are both extraordinarily expensive — in the trillions of 2015 dollars — and often deeply intrusive. Further, they have the greatest impact on the poor in America and the rest of the developed world, and on people in the yet-undeveloped Third World.

                  The effect of these recommendations would be to reduce the standard of living in the developed world to what we would generally consider poverty conditions, and to doom billions in the Third World to short lives with no hope of improvement.

                  • I am forced, reluctantly, to acknowledge the greater than previously realized (by me, at any rate) warming of the arctic ice, as demonstrated in these headlines in this edition of the Anchorage, Alaska, daily paper which offers irrefutable documentation of the extent of ongoing climate change:

                  • Allison Mclemore

                    Mr. Martin,
                    Thank you for taking the time to explain your position so clearly. I do admit that I do not have the mathematical background to understand the scientific models used by the earth sciences trying to model climate systems. That is why I used the specific examples I did, those being easily verified by amateurs like myself. You have given me much to think about.

              • Allison Mclemore

                Thank you for your response. I have found it very helpful in understanding the viewpoint of people who express skepticism toward the theory of anthropomorphic climate warming.

            • Don’t glaciers that are thousands of years old melting …

              Glaciers melt annually, and refreeze annually as well. While some glaciers have experienced, over a few years time, more melt than accumulation there have been other glaciers — often in the same climatic region — that have experienced greater accumulation than shrinkage.

              As an analogy, the hair on your body does not grow at a uniform rate. While there are a number of factors affecting hair growth it is possible to observe hair in closely proximate areas grow unevenly; this is why a haircut, for example, does not grow out evenly.

              • On a recent cruise up to see the glaciers in Alaska, it was noted to me by the USFS rangers brought on board for Glacier Bay that some glaciers advance, and some retreat, basically based on where the snow happens to fall and accumulate.

                Any one glacier advancing or retreating is what’s known as “an anecdote” which is not the same thing as “data”.

    • And always left unanswered; Would climate change really be bad?

      • And where, and when, and for whom? It’s an ill wind indeed that blows nobody any good.

        • Alpine regions, Scandinavia, and Canada might have some difficulties with a new Ice Age, ditto the Great Plains of the US. North Africa and the Sahara tend to get wetter, coastlines expand as the seas receede . . . lots of possibilities.

          • The research I’ve read showed that the Sahara greens during *warm* periods.

            Also, Siberia might dry out enough to be useful.

            • One problem with warming up Siberia… Northern Siberia has one of the biggest natural gas fields in the world. The containing layer is permafrost. (It’s caused some pretty interesting engineering challenges since rigs generate heat and you really don’t want your cash crop escaping into atmosphere.) Things could get interesting up that way if the permafrost melted (relatively) rapidly. How interesting? Not sure.

          • Maybe my people could be relocated in the new Sahara. And the Swedes and Norwegians and Estonians and so on. I wonder what that part of the world would like of refugee swarms from up north. Well, if they were not welcoming I suppose it’s possible that dire circumstances might bring out some of our ancestral traits (loot, burn and pillage…).

            • Just be careful of sequencing – loot, pillage, then burn. 🙂

              • Oh yes. That works much better.

              • Where’s the raping? I was told there would be raping and to dress appropriately!

                • Er, what do you think will happen if Helga goes along for the trip? Do you really think Mr. Viking will even dare to properly LOOK at the local womenfolk? (Taking their jewelry and maybe good quality clothes is one thing, but probably Helga can manage that on her own, Mr. Viking will wait outside the door to carry the loot once she’s done)

      • It depends.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IIRC there was a case of a climate scientist taking the position that a warming climate wouldn’t be a problem.

        Cries of Heretic was the response.

        • Isn’t that the position Bjorn Lomborg takes? That there is some human caused global warming happening, it’s that big a problem and best ignored while concentrating on several a lot more pressing problems. (I have that book of his, ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’, but it’s been a long time since I read it)

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Don’t remember who it was.

            • Well, he said enough other things in that book too, so it’s not just global warming types who are angry at him, pretty much everybody else is too. And from what I remember he seemed pretty moderate type, he is still an environmentalist, just not rabid enough for something like Greenpeace and co.

              • His take was/is that 1) you should not use environment as a cover for politics and 2) we don’t know enough about the atmosphere and how it works, and since the models are not working, let’s spend that money on things that WILL improve the human condition – like roads, vaccinations, improved crops, and education.

                • What? he’s being sensible? What is WRONG with him??

                  Here’s another fellow, a climate scientist no less, who looks at it from both sides…

                  And I knew AGW was a cult the moment I saw those accusations of heresy… not to mention the leader’s bank balance.

                  • AGW – it’s not merely Sciency, It’s Scientological!!!

                    With apologies to disciples of El Ron, who at least are not (yet) attempting to give their delusions the force of law.

          •         More or less.  He doesn’t think anything technically and politically possible will have any effect on AGW beyond delaying peak warming a few years.  Far better, then, to work on solving problems that can be solved, and to adapt to global warming as necessary.

                    If you grant his assumption that global warming is real and unstoppable, then his conclusions make eminent sense.

    • Agreed, sir. When our President appointed as his first Science Czar the guy who, in the 70s, proposed launching particulates into the atmosphere to create a greenhouse effect to combat global cooling, I was aghast. I may have sputtered something about starting the shooting were something like that initiated. Now some guy is proposing use of lasers to create clouds…

      • We could create mammoths with laser eyes and let them create clouds for us.

        • FlyingMike

          One problem I can forsee:

          Laser Eyed Mammoth: “Oh, is that a tasty vegetation morsel over there that would be good to eat? Let me bring my Mammoth Eyes into focus on that to make sure it’s not a SabreTooth in camoflage.”


          Mammoth: “Darn. That happen every time. I wonder if I can find something to eat with my eyes closed”

    • Joe Wooten

      They stop that, I suspect it’ll unleash things even worse,

      Their whole thesis is false. They cannot stop it, start it, or even change the direction. No one has a clue on how to figure out the climate, and at best they can predict the weather 3 days in advance with about a 30% probability of error. The error rate goes up to 100% when you try to go out past 30 days.

  6. comment

    • Robin Munn

      Witty reply.

      • Misinterpretation of witty with long set of citations for correction.

      • Scathing rebuttal that mistakes “feelings” for “facts”.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Bad pun.

        • Threat of flying carp.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Is there such a thing as a “good” pun? [Evil Grin]

          • Well, if it washes behind its ears and goes to school on time. . . .

            • If the pastor makes it is it a good pun?

              So the story about Jesus putting the demon Legion from the man into the swine: first reported case of deviled ham.

          • Extended discussion of the ways certain NorthWestern Amerindian and various indigenous Pacific cultures employed puns as trade goods, meeting regularly to trade puns and engage in commercial exchanges, a ritual first reported by the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, who named these ritual gatherings for the beer coolers (or, as the New Guinean tribesmen participating called them: Kulas) which accompanied every tribe.

            See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kula_ring

            • The Other Sean

              I knew my cultural anthropology courses were good for something* : Getting an obscure joke about puns!

              * besides helping make sure “has college degree” is in my HR file and resume

            • Malinowski’s path-breaking work, Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922), directly confronted the question, “why would men risk life and limb to travel across huge expanses of dangerous ocean to give away what appear to be worthless trinkets?”
              Short answer: exotic sex.

              • So really, we just need proof of green-skinned girls on Rigel . . .

                • The Other Sean

                  How about Twi’lek dancing girls?

                  • Well, sure. Although I do wonder if either species is actually warm blooded. Mammalian, even, despite the apparent foolishness of that particular questions. The problem I keep having is humanoid aliens. Bipedal, sure, but humanoid? So there are planets out there with identical make-ups to Earth, to the point that intelligent life developed, and can then form sexual attraction to humans, and vice versa? How does that even work?

                    • Jerry Boyd

                      Lonely spacers with sufficient beer make it work.

                    • Given that salt-sea sailors in the era of wooden hulls witnessed walruses sunbathing on rocks and reported having seen beautiful barely clad mermaids, there should not be any doubt of their ability to “make it work”?

                    • Let us meet in the Uncanny Valley
                      And get xenophilially pally
                      You’re just a bit wrong
                      But it’s been so long
                      So light-years from home we’ll make love
                      Weird organs go turgid
                      We just might be allergic
                      But — frustrated urges —
                      You’re just close enough to get off!

                    • As I mentioned in the Diner the other day, “That’s what 151 is for!”

                    • The Other Sean

                      Cross-species reproduction in sci-fi never made sense to me. Recreational coupling, OTOH, seems plausible enough if the life-forms are physically compatible and have a similar aesthetic. It still doesn’t seem super likely, but much more so that genetic compatibility.

                    • We’re talking about humans here. Humans seem to be able to be sexually attracted to anything. (Isn’t that one of the rules of the internet: if you can think of it someone has made porn of it?)

                      If we assume that’s one of the characteristics of intelligence . . . then why on earth wouldn’t there be at least a few aliens who would be into humans?

                      You could have some really weird laws about cross-species consent and which species and genders can have sex where . . . and the customs would of course be different than the laws.

                    • There was a ST:NG episode addressing that question, but I will not recapitulate it here. It was bad. Very bad. Clark Kent “super-telepathy” level bad.

                    • Inside my skull, I’ve just decided that Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons, etc. are all actually human, and some panspermic progenitor race has a really weird sense of humor.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Chris Nuttall had started a story where all humanoid species in the Galaxy were close enough to interbreed (without genetic engineering). They realized that “somebody had been meddling” and there was evidence that the meddling was fairly recent. They were also concerned that the meddlers were coming back. [Very Big Grin]

                      Going to ask Chris if he’s planning to complete that book. [Wink]

                    • That was my thought.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Is that the one where we learn that all humanoid Star Trek species came about because an ancient species started life on their planets?

                      If so, it was Jupiter-Sized Stupidity.

                    • Holly, why do you assume humans are intelligent?
                      Also, why do female aliens always have ‘mammary glands’?

                    • That’s easy, female aliens always have mammary glands because of the evul Patriarchy.

                    • Arrgh. I have realized that the image on that clip is NOT where it starts, which is the scene ending in “Oh that’s not right!”

                    • Donald, I said intelligent, not wise. It takes a certain level of intelligence to screw stuff up the way humans can.

                      I always thought CJ Cherryh handled human/alien relationships rather well in her Foreigner series.

                    • Holly, indeed. I just read ‘Tracker’, I believe #16 of the series. It is, to me, an outstanding example of social-science fiction. The space tech is pretty much in the background, but a race that doesn’t ‘love’ they ‘associate’. Everything that falls out of that difference is so complex and subtle… well, even after 16 volumes there are still new things to consider.

                  • Nah – Twi’lek dancing girls only do it with werewolves and vampires.

                • I suspect even lavendar-skinned girls on Antares* would suffice, provided the dimensions** are right.

                  *Acknowledged that these are actually references to a planetary body and not the named stars. While guys like their women to be hot there are limits.

                  **Dimensions, of course, means the dimension-folding effects of warp-drive allowing transit to the referenced planetary bodies. Shapely, warm, comely bodies, any hue.

                • A brief pause in memoriam of the passing of Yeoman Janice Rand:

                  ‘Star Trek’ actress Grace Lee Whitney dies at 85
                  Associated Press
                  Grace Lee Whitney, who played Captain Kirk’s assistant on the original “Star Trek” series, has died. She was 85.

                  Whitney died of natural causes Friday in her home in the Central California town of Coarsegold, about 50 miles north of Fresno, her son Jonathan Dweck said on Sunday.

                  Whitney played Yeoman Janice Rand in the first eight episodes before being written out of the series. In her 1998 autobiography “The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy,” she wrote that her acting career largely came to an end and she became an alcoholic.

                  She wrote that she struggled with her addiction for many years before getting treatment and regaining her career with the help of Leonard Nimoy, who starred as Spock in the series.

                  She returned for the movie franchise, reprising her role in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” ”Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” ”Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

                  Dweck said his mother would have liked to be remembered more as a successful survivor of addiction than for her “Star Trek” fame. She dedicated the last 35 years of her life to helping people with addiction problems, some of whom she met at “Star Trek” conventions, he said.

                  “Over time, she became appreciative of her short time on ‘Star Trek’ because she developed meaningful relationships with the fans, Leonard Nimoy and other cast members,” Dweck said.

                  Besides Jonathan, she is survived by her other son, Scott Dweck.

                  (N.B. — pictures at article)

          • Yes, sometimes they are punny.

      • snarky analogy based on witty comment.

    • tangent on the comment.

      (cosine on the comment)

    • Stephen J.

      Longwinded attempt to find what may be worth keeping from opposing viewpoint coupled with wishy-washy attempt at self-deprecating humour.

    • Only vaguely related but shiny and nifty-new science story with much squeeing.

    • Terribly late, brilliant and pithy comment with four links that just emerged from moderation (and that repeats the contents of three earlier comments.)

    • Something completely out of left field … or maybe right. Yes right. It’s easy you know.

  7. Combtmissionary

    Did the Navy actually create transparent aluminum, or are you just pulling our legs? Links, anyone? Star Trek wins again!

    On the up side, the world can’t be that bad. Red Dwarf just got renewed for two seasons (11 and 12)!

    It’s cold outside, there’s no kind of atmosphere…

  8. Christopher M. Chupik

    I hope the EmDrive sparks a new space age, but there’s a deeply-ingrained mentality that has to be defeated first. Almost every time some new spaceflight story breaks, there’s always those people who say “We can’t leave Earth until we overcome all our problems on Earth”. Of course, if we wait until we’re perfect, we’ll still be here when the sun swells to engulf the entire inner Solar System.

  9. The Navy Research lab is a tool of the Military-Industrial Complex (of which Eisenhower warned, and he was a Republican ((although he probably would be a Liberal Democrat now, like Lincoln and Reagan, because the TEA Party has pulled the GOP to the extreme Right)) so you have to accept him even when quoted out of context) so the transparent aluminum is probably just a lie to take money away from the proletarian revolutionary masses poor and buy more McMansions and yachts for the Koch Brothers.

    • sabrinachase

      I used to work at the NRL. If there is any institution similar to the Diner, that would be it. My suspicion is they released the news about the transparent aluminum (what, Al03 is news? a.k.a. sapphire) to divert attention to something *else* escaping/replicating/burrowing to the center of the earth. There are only so many times you can say “oops” before people start noticing.
      (True stories: One department at NRL researched barnacle adhesion. I found a full building-within-a-building one day. Complete with roof. It was a weird and wonderful place.)

  10. Unless the Singularity can grow seed corn on the Internet, it ain’t happening anytime soon.

    • The Singularity can do anything, because it is Sciency!!!

      • As Brother DeGrasse-Tyson has foretold! Not like that heretic Kurtzweil. Oh, my Science!

      • I’d poke fun at that, but I’ve had too many science fetishists taking computer science (and not even degreed in it) trying to tell me that I don’t understand science (and, yes, I do have a Chemistry degree) to rise to that bait, tempting as it is.

        • I think computer science is actually more like math than science. And I have never figured out ‘political science’… what is scientific about lying your posterior off?

          • Studying and categorizing how others do it?

          • They wanted to be like the cool kids over in the economics department.
            It really should be changed to “applied history” or “political studies.”

          • Computer science is the intersection of math, philosophy, and applied religion. (Oh, please, let it compile without errors this time!)

            Computer engineering is the intersection of physics, chemistry, philosophy, and voodoo. (Chicken blood is one of the main doping agents for the silicon substrate.) (No, that’s not true – but you wondered about it for a moment, didn’t you?)

          • The good ones could be called ‘know thy enemy and his tactics’ as well as ‘the history of how people try to manage people and win friends and often fail miserably which results in painful burials, sometimes for them sometimes for others.’ Most of the ones I’ve seen, though, are actually advanced degrees in pontification.

      • I wrote a poem about Man moving into a Singularity, and the aliens coming and switching off the computer. Asimov’s didn’t buy it.

  11. [Yawns, sips coffee] I just woke up (my excuse; California.)

    Sarah killed the damn albatross! (book’s done) Yay!

    When my brain engages, I’ll try to come up with transparent aluminum armor to ward off cannonades of puns and carp. Is there a carpal punnel syndrome?

  12. Robert Mitchell Jr.

    Big points for the Yotsuba& reference!

  13. There is no approaching future more bleak than the once The Right People propose to bring about. Every totalitarian state ends in mass murder, famine, and misery. Re-living the Cambrian era would be preferable, even if all we sought to avoid was the smug swinishness of the SJWs.

  14. I’m loving the EM drive. However having been burnt by Cold Fusion I’m reserving my squee for when somebody makes something move with it.

    My iPhone has a transparent aluminum lens aka sapphire. Which is Awesome.

    • Cold Fusion still keeps popping up from time to time, doesn’t seem to be completely buried yet. Might happen to that drive too. I am probably not going to live long enough to know if either (or some other things too) are for sure anything (true, false, something happens but it’s not what we thought it was, something happens but it will never be enough to be of any use, so on)

  15. I mean, there were the recently televised (in the same way the Revolution won’t be, Komrade) peaceful demonstrations in Baltimore. And some more in Seattle, celebrating May Day, though I’m given to understand that party got shut down by the local police.

    Portland split the difference and had “peaceful demonstrations” on May Day.

    • You mean, International Victims of Communism Day?


      • And “Try to draft Jesus’ foster dad into supporting murderous atheism” day. (Feast of St. Joseph the worker.)

        • But wasn’t he a small business owner?

          • Ssssssh, his title says “worker” so they’ll ignore little facts like that.

          • It’s like how “justice” means “what I want to be true based on my notion of that person based on secondary indicators,” rather than “what is deserved by that person as an individual.”

          • But wasn’t he an evil non-union small business owner? TFIFY.

            • Perhaps when he was sanctified (is that what do to make you a Saint?) he saw the error of his ways and became a murderous athiest worker (except that is certainly strange behavior for a Saint.)

              • Actually, St. Joseph the Worker Day was instituted by Pope Pius XII for Christian Democrats, Christian Socialists, et al, so that they could have labor processions to church.

                Basically, it’s the papal liturgical equivalent of Don Camillo doing something to tweak the village Communists.

                • Interestingly, the Italian version is “San Giuseppe Artigiano” (St. Joseph the Artisan). Here’s Pope Pius XII’s announcement from May 1, 1955, to the Association of Catholic Italian Workers, gathered at St. Peter’s Square. The Vatican translators haven’t translated it into English, but you can run it through Google Translate and get an idea.

                  • “In a way that is welcoming to Christian laborers, and almost as if receiving the Christian chrism [of Baptism], the First of May shall become a recurring invitation to modern society to do what is still lacking for social peace, instead of being an awakening of discord, hatred, and violence. Therefore it will become a Christian feastday — that is, a day of jubilation for the concrete and progressive triumph of the Christian ideals of the great family of Labor.

                    “So that such a significance becomes present, and in such a way as to be an immediate exchange for the numerous and precious gifts received from every region of Italy, We are delighted to announce Our determination to institute — as we institute it in fact — the liturgical feastday of St. Joseph the Artisan, assigning it precisely to the day of May the 1st.

                    “Dear laborers and laboratrices, do you like Our gift? We are sure that [you say] yes, because the humble artisan of Nazareth not only represents the dignity of the worker’s [strong] arm before God and the Holy Church, but also will always be the provident guardian of yourselves and your families.”

              • Why, as it happens, I wrote an article about that very subject!

                Which won’t be published until tomorrow night.

                Basically, the difference between a Catholic saint and a Secular one is that the Catholic Church just recognizes that someone’s a saint, based on results; the various secular saints are edited until they fit the desired format…..

              • Not at all strange for the Saints portrayed in the Adventures of Roger Ramius, Space Pirate!

          • Probably used child labor, too.

  16. There was a time when I realized a minute before class that this was the day when we were supposed to have looked up five words in the list at the end of the vocabulary chapter, defined them, give an antonym and synonym, and use in a sentence.

    I had completely forgotten.

    I got an A.

    • I wish I could still find the (college freshperson English composition) vocabulary quiz which demanded we use each of twenty words correctly in a sentence. I looked over the list and I slowly raised my hand to ask if we get extra credit for using all twenty in a single sentence.

      The teacher looked at me, blinked and allowed, “If all of them are used correctly, yes.”

      I got the extra credit. Dang but I wish I could find that quiz!

  17. Happy Star Wars Day! (for those who are still enjoying/enduring May 4th)

  18. Pingback: Raiding Party! | D.E. Pascoe

  19. RealityObserver

    For your enjoyment: https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2015/05/05/rosemont-copper-things-are-not-always-as-they-are-portrayed/

    I was going to apologize for going off-topic. But I was entirely unable to find “the” topic anywhere in this comment thread… (It’s one reason I like the place.)

    • Just think of some posts here as being a sort of topic-less bar. *goes to hide with Meredith Mike [legendary? giant catfish] in enormous lake/puddle now forming behind residence*

    • I knew the thing was likely a hoax the minute I saw that it was not datelined from Goldport or its surrounding area…