Monthly Archives: September 2013
As I have watched Nebraska football (and actually aware of the game, not my actual age) for the last 52 years experiencing the highs and lows when my beloved Huskers won and lost. I even remember wondering if the hiring of Bob Devaney was the right coach for Nebraska and what did Wyoming do to lose him. Yes, I was most likely mirroring my father’s thoughts as I was not even old enough to do anything but listen on the radio and watch the annual NU/OU football game on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, that was a long time ago.
I distinctly remembering how my father used to get so upset when the Huskers were not winning that most of his children refused to listen or watch the game with him. It was the only time he was anything other than a positive influence on his children’s life. But he would be so pessimistic that we all left the room and found our own radio to listen.
Now I know your question is: What does this have to do with Husker fans? My father was a high school football and basketball coach in the State of Nebraska. In other words he has coaching credentials as a loyal Nebraska Husker fan. He even played football and basketball during his college career. What I am saying is that he played at a level that is advanced beyond most Husker fans and he was also a coach indicating that he has knowledge beyond the typical Husker fan. He was not able to think logically about his Huskers. His emotions got the better of him.
Recently I was reading in a book titled “Unbeatable” about Dr. Tom Osborne’s final years when the Huskers record stood at 60-3. A feat not accomplished very often in college football. One of the comments by a then Husker assistant football coach stated that the only place in the country where anyone spoke negatively of the Husker Football Program was in the State of Nebraska. This speaks volumes about how the rest of the country has admired the program and how temperamental the home crowd is. Husker fans were upset when Dr. Tom could not win a big game and wanted his job even when he was winning more games than Godfather Devaney won every season. Dr. Tom even mentioned in one of his books how he was told after a Bowl victory that if the team had not won he would have lost his job.
Another way of speaking of this enigma is to say that the fans lose one of their precious perceived status symbols they go postal on the coach and his staff. Those perceived status symbols are losing a game, letting a team score on long plays, not getting sacks, etc. They want the Husker football team to represent them as strong and omnipotent enabling them to gloat and boast they are Number 1 on each and every play, game and season. They also have the ability to boast that they all have a friend, family member or know someone on the staff very well. Yet, when I ask and seek further clarification I find out they only wish they did and won’t identify who they know. There is one exception and it is made clear that that source on the athletic department refuses to talk about anything even to his family. Yet the Husker fans are not able to think logically about the Huskers. Their emotions get the better of them.
What does this all say? Husker fans feel that they know everything about BCS level football and how to win each and every game the team plays. They know the game better than the professionals that are doing the coaching and teaching football to the Husker football team. Is the team as good as we want them to be? Does the team still have a shot at winning the Legends Division and the B1G Conference Championship game? The fans were so upset when the team lost to UCLA this year that a two year old audio clip of Bo Pelini talking negatively and using profanity regarding the fans. Even Tommie Frazier was so upset after the UCLA loss that he spoke poorly and without using diplomatic language regarding the defensive coaching staff. Yes, Tommie has great playing credentials, but not great coaching credentials. But the fans started the attack on the football coaching staff over just one game and a trend they perceive is steadfast characteristic of the current Blackshirts. The guy that released the audio clip has yet to identify himself to the public. It is believed that he has a bee under his bonnet and wanted to make life miserable for Bo. As he has not identified who he is makes me believe that to be true and does not want the attention that announcing himself to the Husker World would bring.
My own credentials regarding football are that I played in high school and college. Then I officiated football over 25 years up to and included the NCAA level. Officiating does not allow me to know and understand coaching the game as much as a coach could. Yet, I refrain from criticizing the coaches because I know and understand that they are doing a better than average job of coaching the Husker Football team. Bo Pelini has a very distinguished record in spite of the “Boo Birds” chants and rants. Bo has a team that will run through brick walls for him as he motivates them and teaches them how to be men that will contribute to society.
Years ago when I lived in Tucson I was elected to be the president of the Southern Arizonans for Nebraska Alumni club. At the founder’s banquet when I was elected Dr. Tom spoke to our group and explained to us three factors he searched for when recruiting players for Nebraska. Firstly and foremost the player had to have the intellect to be a college student. Secondly the player had to have the physical talent to play the game of football as the BCS level. Lastly and with the most difficulty he sought players that had the spiritual element to want to win and play as a team at that BCS level. The spiritual element was element that makes guys like Tommie Frazier go out and play his heart out to make the team the best it could be. The more players that had that spiritual element the better the team played.
Dr. Tom stated that he could always get the players to learn how to play the game with his system by teaching using a positive motivation method that worked for him. The last five years were when he was finally able to identify players with the spiritual element that would allow a team to work together and win National Championships that all Husker fans think they should win each and every year.
Husker fans need to recognize that they are living beyond their means with their expectations for the Huskers including the Blackshirts and accept the fact that the team is a top 25 team that with some breaks will become a top 10 team that is what they can use as a measurement that is based on historically Nebraska Football is. The team was so down when Bo Pelini arrived that he has rebuilt the talent level and is learning how to identify how to get the players to play at the Top 10 level he and they want to play. They have to go down a learning curve just as the great coaches and players in Husker History have. Devaney had two 6-4 seasons before his teams won the two National Championships they did. Dr. Tom coached for twenty years before he stared winning National Championships. It takes a special type of coach to do well at Nebraska. He has to get the players to play for him knowing that he is going to give them his best and support them and teaching them to play football and become men at the University of Nebraska. He is definitively one of the better coaches in the BCS level at this time. Are the Husker fans the best at the BCS level they believe they are. Yes, they treat the opponents with respect. It is what we do as Nebraskans. But do we treat each other as well?
In time, I feel that Bo Pelini will have a team win the National Championship. The Husker fans need to not let their emotions get the better or them.
From Thursday’s Daily Telegraph
On Friday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivers its latest verdict on the state of man-made global warming. Though the details are a secret, one thing is clear: the version of events you will see and hear in much of the media, especially from partis pris organisations like the BBC, will be the opposite of what the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report actually says.
Already we have had a taste of the nonsense to come: a pre-announcement to the effect that “climate scientists” are now “95 per cent certain” that humans are to blame for climate change; an evidence-free declaration by the economist who wrote the discredited Stern Report that the computer models cited by the IPCC “substantially underestimate” the scale of the problem; a statement by the panel’s chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, that “the scientific evidence of… climate change has strengthened year after year”.
As an exercise in bravura spin, these claims are up there with Churchill’s attempts to reinvent the British Expeditionary Force’s humiliating retreat from Dunkirk as a victory. In truth, though, the new report offers scant consolation to those many alarmists whose careers depend on talking up the threat. It says not that they are winning the war to persuade the world of the case for catastrophic anthropogenic climate change – but that the battle is all but lost.
At the heart of the problem lie the computer models which, for 25 years, have formed the basis for the IPCC’s scaremongering: they predicted runaway global warming, when the real rise in temperatures has been much more modest. So modest, indeed, that it has fallen outside the lowest parameters of the IPCC’s prediction range. The computer models, in short, are bunk.
To a few distinguished scientists, this will hardly come as news. For years they have insisted that “sensitivity” – the degree to which the climate responds to increases in atmospheric CO₂ – is far lower than the computer models imagined. In the past, their voices have been suppressed by the bluster and skullduggery we saw exposed in the Climategate emails. From grant-hungry science institutions and environmentalist pressure groups to carbon traders, EU commissars, and big businesses with their snouts in the subsidies trough, many vested interests have much to lose should the global warming gravy train be derailed.
This is why the latest Assessment Report is proving such a headache to the IPCC. It’s the first in its history to admit what its critics have said for years: global warming did “pause” unexpectedly in 1998 and shows no sign of resuming. And, other than an ad hoc new theory about the missing heat having been absorbed by the deep ocean, it cannot come up with a convincing explanation why. Coming from a skeptical blog none of this would be surprising. But from the IPCC, it’s dynamite: the equivalent of the Soviet politburo announcing that command economies may not after all be the most efficient way of allocating resources.
Which leaves the IPCC in a dilemma: does it ’fess up and effectively put itself out of business? Or does it brazen it out for a few more years, in the hope that a compliant media and an eco-brainwashed populace will be too stupid to notice? So far, it looks as if it prefers the second option – a high-risk strategy. Gone are the days when all anybody read of its Assessment Reports were the sexed-up “Summary for Policymakers”. Today, thanks to the internet, skeptical inquirers such as Donna Laframboise (who revealed that some 40 per cent of the IPCC’s papers came not from peer-reviewed journals but from Greenpeace and WWF propaganda) will be going through every chapter with a fine toothcomb.
Al Gore’s “consensus” is about to be holed below the water-line – and those still aboard the SS Global Warming are adjusting their positions. Some, such as scientist Judith Curry of Georgia Tech, have abandoned ship. She describes the IPCC’s stance as “incomprehensible”. Others, such as the EU’s Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, steam on oblivious. Interviewed last week by the Telegraph’s Bruno Waterfield, she said: “Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said: ‘We were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of the things you have to do in order to combat climate change?” If she means needlessly driving up energy prices, carpeting the countryside with wind turbines and terrifying children about a problem that turns out to have been imaginary, then most of us would probably answer “No”.
Dialing Back the Alarm on Climate Change – A forthcoming report points lowers estimates on global warming
- By MATT RIDLEY
Later this month, a long-awaited event that last happened in 2007 will recur. Like a returning comet, it will be taken to portend ominous happenings. I refer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) “fifth assessment report,” part of which will be published on Sept. 27.
There have already been leaks from this 31-page document, which summarizes 1,914 pages of scientific discussion, but thanks to a senior climate scientist, I have had a glimpse of the key prediction at the heart of the document. The big news is that, for the first time since these reports started coming out in 1990, the new one dials back the alarm. It states that the temperature rise we can expect as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPPC thought in 2007.
Admittedly, the change is small, and because of changing definitions, it is not easy to compare the two reports, but retreat it is. It is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet.
Specifically, the draft report says that “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS)—eventual warming induced by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which takes hundreds of years to occur—is “extremely likely” to be above 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), “likely” to be above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and “very likely” to be below 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 Fahrenheit). In 2007, the IPPC said it was “likely” to be above 2 degrees Celsius and “very likely” to be above 1.5 degrees, with no upper limit. Since “extremely” and “very” have specific and different statistical meanings here, comparison is difficult.
Still, the downward movement since 2007 is clear, especially at the bottom of the “likely” range. The most probable value (3 degrees Celsius last time) is for some reason not stated this time.
A more immediately relevant measure of likely warming has also come down: “transient climate response” (TCR)—the actual temperature change expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide about 70 years from now, without the delayed effects that come in the next century. The new report will say that this change is “likely” to be 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius and “extremely unlikely” to be greater than 3 degrees. This again is lower than when last estimated in 2007 (“very likely” warming of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, based on models, or 1 to 3.5 degrees, based on observational studies).
Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.
Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places). Increased carbon dioxide levels also have caused and will continue to cause an increase in the growth rates of crops and the greening of the Earth—because plants grow faster and need less water when carbon dioxide concentrations are higher.
Up to two degrees of warming, these benefits will generally outweigh the harmful effects, such as more extreme weather or rising sea levels, which even the IPCC concedes will be only about 1 to 3 feet during this period.
Yet these latest IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity may still be too high. They don’t adequately reflect the latest rash of published papers estimating “equilibrium climate sensitivity” and “transient climate response” on the basis of observations, most of which are pointing to an even milder warming. This was already apparent last year with two papers—by scientists at the University of Illinois and Oslo University in Norway—finding a lower ECS than assumed by the models. Since then, three new papers conclude that ECS is well below the range assumed in the models. The most significant of these, published in Nature Geoscience by a team including 14 lead authors of the forthcoming IPCC scientific report, concluded that “the most likely value of equilibrium climate sensitivity based on the energy budget of the most recent decade is 2.0 degrees Celsius.”
Two recent papers (one in the Journal of the American Meteorological Society, the other in the journal Earth System Dynamics) estimate that TCR is probably around 1.65 degrees Celsius. That’s uncannily close to the estimate of 1.67 degrees reached in 1938 by Guy Callendar, a British engineer and pioneer student of the greenhouse effect. A Canadian mathematician and blogger named Steve McIntyre has pointed out that Callendar’s model does a better job of forecasting the temperature of the world between 1938 and now than do modern models that “hindcast” the same data.
The significance of this is that Callendar assumed that carbon dioxide acts alone, whereas the modern models all assume that its effect is amplified by water vapor. There is not much doubt about the amount of warming that carbon dioxide can cause. There is much more doubt about whether net amplification by water vapor happens in practice or is offset by precipitation and a cooling effect of clouds.
Since the last IPCC report in 2007, much has changed. It is now more than 15 years since global average temperature rose significantly. Indeed, the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri has conceded that the “pause” already may have lasted for 17 years, depending on which data set you look at. A recent study in Nature Climate Change by Francis Zwiers and colleagues of the University of Victoria, British Columbia, found that models have overestimated warming by 100% over the past 20 years.
Explaining this failure is now a cottage industry in climate science. At first, it was hoped that an underestimate of sulfate pollution from industry (which can cool the air by reflecting heat back into space) might explain the pause, but the science has gone the other way—reducing its estimate of sulfate cooling. Now a favorite explanation is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. Yet the data to support this thesis come from ocean buoys and deal in hundredths of a degree of temperature change, with a measurement error far larger than that. Moreover, ocean heat uptake has been slowing over the past eight years.
The most plausible explanation of the pause is simply that climate sensitivity was overestimated in the models because of faulty assumptions about net amplification through water-vapor feedback. This will be a topic of heated debate at the political session to rewrite the report in Stockholm, starting on Sept. 23, at which issues other than the actual science of climate change will be at stake.
—Mr. Ridley is the author of “The Rational Optimist” and a member of the British House of Lords.
A version of this article appeared September 14, 2013, on page C3 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: A Reprieve From Climate Doom.