16 Aug 2019


Potpourri 2 Comments

==> My latest episode on the Bob Murphy Show is a fun one, where I analyze the cult classic, “They Live.”

==> At IER I coincidentally have a new post talking about Greenland’s ice sheet. Did Trump read my post and then get interested? I’ll never tell. An excerpt:

Wow, the critic seems to have a point! In his model, Nordhaus assumes that the damage from a melting ice sheet comes from rising sea levels. And, as the critic points out, Nordhaus’ calibration assumes that at a 7-meter sea lever rise (SLR), global GDP would only be reduced by 7 percent from what it otherwise would have been. Is that really plausible, since many coastal cities would be underwater?

Yet hold on a second. If you look carefully at the sea level diagram (you can click through the twitter links to get a large view), you’ll see that a sea level rise of 7 meters doesn’t occur for at least another 500 or so years.

Is it really so obvious that in the year 2500, humans would be devastated by certain major cities today being underwater? Over the course of centuries, wouldn’t humans move out of the way? There are already plans for developing floating artificial cities (called “seasteading”), and even with our current technology, portions of the Netherlands can survive being almost 7 meters below sea level right now.

==> I made this list of contrarians, though I think they took down the appendix that contained the names (including mine) after some people got mad.

==> Uh, has anyone heard of these “water bears” before this issue of us dropping them on the moon by accident? I suspect it’s a joke and I’m not going to be the gullible sucker.

==> Lots of people on social media understandably thought this article and the quotes in it were hilarious.

==> On Contra Krugman I hosted the 200th episode all by my lonesome.

2 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. John says:

    Tardigrades are real, as is our fascination with seeing what it takes to kill them. I do have to admit I’m a bit surprised that they were put on a lunar probe, given the substantial probability of a crash. Soft landing stuff on celestial bodies is harder than JPL makes it look. We do this research because it has substantial implications for the panspermia hupothesis and the spread of life, which, of course, you deny.


  2. Tel says:

    If you collect pond water from various places and have a reasonably decent microscope you can find water bears, and plenty of other weird stuff. I found a hydra once but lost it and never found another one. I used to stick everything under the microscope when I was a kid … an excellent habit to get into when you consider where journalism has taken us.

    These days, for not a whole lot of money you can buy surprisingly good USB microscopes that are small and convenient … they turn up on second-hand sales all the time if you want to save a buck. You need a laptop of course and some software to get a picture, but it’s not so difficult.

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