atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2533: Global warming is "hidden" by other pollutants.

That's what this Arse Technica piece contends: the warming caused by human carbon emissions is being offset by human particulate emissions (soot, etc) which act to cool the atmosphere.

This looks to me like they're trying to explain away the fact that there's been no observable warming since 1998. As far as such attempts go, at least this one sounds plausible--a lot more plausible than "It's cold because of global warming!" anyway.

But the thing is, the atmosphere is massive. The annual carbon dioxide budget for the atmosphere--human and natural sources--amounts to 206,000,000,000 (206 billion) tons. And of that figure, 6,000,000,000 tons (6 billion) come from man-made sources.

Carbon dioxide is 0.78% of the atmosphere.

(Furthermore, water vapor accounts for up to 5% of the atmosphere, depending on location--obviously over the Sahara Desert or the north pole, there will be less water in the air than, say, over the Amazon Jungle--and water is the king of greenhouse gases.)

The same way it takes a lot of anything to warm the atmosphere (water, CO2, methane, what-have-you) it takes a lot of particulate matter to cool the atmosphere. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, it was a huge, huge erution that pumped a lot of ash and dust (and other aerosols) high into the atmosphere. For example, Pinatubo spewed--in that one eruption!--more sulfur aerosols into the atmosphere than Man had ever managed since he started using fire.

The global temperature anomaly dropped 0.1°. For one year. I think I've explained why I kind of doubt this latest bit of nonsense.

* * *

I'm telling you, Black Eyed Peas SUCK!

* * *

Michael Moore is upset at getting shortchanged $2.7 million for a film that made him $20 million.

Why doesn't he make a "documentary" about creative bookkeeping in Hollywood?

* * *

Roman road found in England. "...[R]emarkably, it shows no sign of the potholes that blight our modern roads."

Yeah? Try running a couple of 18-wheelers down the thing and see how long it lasts.

People like to say, "The Romans built things to last!" particularly when speaking of Roman roads; but those roads only had to deal with people and animals walking on them, and laden carts were the upper limit for axle loading. (Said carts having only friction bearings, meaning you couldn't load them too heavily.) There weren't twenty-ton trucks pounding the crap out of the pavement.

* * *

Obama spends money we don't have on high speed rail we don't need. I'll say it again: if high-speed passenger rail was economically necessary, we'd have it already. Railroads are not shy about investing money when they think they can turn a fat profit--witness the enormous expansion of Union Pacific's major east-west corridor to four parallel tracks, up and down and through mountains--but they also know when something is nothing but a money pit.

That's the entire reason we've got Amtrack: there is no money to be made in passenger rail travel. And if you can't make money on something, it's not economically necessary. Nobody needs this.

* * *

Dick Lugar's time has come and gone.

* * *

It took me long enough, but I figured out what's going on with the place that interviewed me. I now understand everything.

Everything that Og's told me via the back channel--everything!--said, "You floored 'em, kid!"

...except: three weeks and counting.

See, at the interview I was repeatedly told, "The only reason you're here is because [Og] recommended you." Og is their #1 field service guy. They can't replace him; they probably could not find anyone who can do his job--not even two people that could, combined!--certainly not without seriously breaking the bank. And they know it. They're having enough trouble finding people with experience to fill the remaining two of three positions they have right now, for a job ordinary mortals can manage. Finding another Og is virtually impossible, and they know it.

So when he says, "This guy comes with my personal recommendation," they're going to interview the candidate regardless; and then they're going to say to him, "He's impressive! You betcha, he knocked our socks off!" And then they're going to ashcan the paperwork and look elsewhere.

What they're not going to do is to tell Og, "Look, he's no good and we don't want him." Because they don't want to piss off their A-number-one service guy by dissing one of his friends. That doesn't work, not on any level, not even if it's the honest truth told to a straight shooter like Og.

Og has behaved correctly throughout this. He's got to walk a fine line, and I appreciate his position; he's not trying to influence their decision one way or another, which is just fine with me: if I can't get the job on my own merits, there's no point trying to force the issue, anyway.

The company, at the same time, has another problem: they're looking at making a sizable investment in anyone they hire (cell phone, computer, training; to say nothing of the fact that hiring a person is always an expensive proposition) and they'd really honestly prefer to find someone who already knows how to do the work they want done. They don't want to spend time training the guy, no matter how fast he'd pick it up.


According to what they've told Og (and what he's subsequently told me) I'm pretty much the best-looking guy they've interviewed, so far. As of last week, he said, not only had they not made a decision yet, but apparently they hadn't interviewed anyone who looked as good as me.

I obsess about this only because it would solve so many damned problems. (It would create a bunch of other problems--don't get me wrong--but it would solve the ones I have right now, which I've had since about October of 2001.) Rome wasn't burned in a day; everything takes time and in fact having the free time right now is good, because it lets me work on the stuff that needs doing here at home.

It's just the uncertainty that bothers me.

I need income; and that means getting a job--but the last thing I want to do is to get a job somewhere and then turn around a week later and tell the guy, "I'm giving notice, because...." That's a rotten thing to do to anyone, even if it's for a minimum-wage job putting groceries on shelves. The paperwork involved with hiring someone doesn't magically go away because the douche quit two weeks later, nor do the taxes and payments and other costs of hiring someone. And those costs can't be amortized into a couple of weeks.

So what do I do?

* * *

They're predicting bitter cold temperatures tonight. (Must be all those man-made aerosols in the atmosphere.) They said it was supposed to be single digits for a high today, but in fact the high was a respectable 19°, so maybe it won't be quite as cold as they predicted.

Me, I have been suffering from a total absence of motivation. I had planned, last night, to hie myself and the Ruger to the range today; but instead I ended up staying home. There is absolutely nothing that I really feel like doing, so I end up playing WoW instead.

Darkmaster hit 25th level because of that.

I have to admit to some curiosity about what Sailor V will do when he hits the level cap for basic WoW. He passed 51 not long ago; he's going to hit level 60, which is the level cap for the basic game. The upgrade to Burning Crusade is supposedly around $10 or so; will he then plow into Outland and level his toon to 70? Or will he content himself with running around Azeroth and hitting high level instances? (Or just do every quest in the game?) Or will he start a new toon?

Whatever he does, he certainly seems to be enjoying the game, at least.

* * *

I was going to watch some anime last night, but after watching the ep of House, MD that I'd recorded, I realized that it was 1:30 AM. That's too late to start anime!

...was up past 3 AM even so. *sigh* Way to go, anus.

But I've been setting the alarm clock to wake me around 8-ish so I can feed the cats and switch the house to "day" mode (turn off lights, get paper, open curtains, etc) at a reasonable time.

Oh well.

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