Day: May 31, 2007


Yes, fight and die for us in the most important war we ever fought, but god forbid, we don’t want you to live with us.

BBC NEWS | UK | Gurkha hero appeals for UK entry

A former Gurkha who won the British military’s highest honour is appealing against a decision to deny him a home in the UK. Tul Bahadar Pun, 84, who was awarded the Victoria Cross during World War II, wants to move from Nepal to the UK for health reasons. But British officials in Nepal told him that he was unable to demonstrate strong enough ties to the UK.

Geez, are these guys morons or what? Is this just plain old “going by the book” incompetence, or something more malign? Anyway, I don’t expect anything more from these people. It’s kinda like how the US lets fewer Iraqi refugees in than Sweden.

Update June 3rd:

All’s well that ends well…

Tul Bahadur Pun, 84, who wanted to move from Nepal for medical reasons, promised to be a “credit” to Britain and expressed “deep gratitude”.

He was initially told he did not have enough British ties to move but was eventually granted a visa because his case was “exceptional”

NASA chief not worried about climate

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the chief of NASA, Michael Griffin

NASA chief not worried about climate – Yahoo! News

I guess I would ask which human beings, where and when, are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now, is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take,” Griffin said.

Nothing more to say other than if I were American, I would first be a little ashamed, I would then start demanding his resignation. This is the chief of one of this country’s premier scientific institutions, one that does a lot of weather and climate research, one that employs the world’s foremost scientific voice on global warming. Here’s what Hansen had to say…

James Hansen, a top NASA climate scientist, said Griffin’s comments showed “arrogance and ignorance,” because millions of people will likely be harmed by global warming in the future.

Wow, he was being kind.

Models underestimate global warming impacts

No, not Tyra Banks and Riyo Mori, climate models that is.

ES&T Online News: Models underestimate global warming impacts

Modelers don’t purposely err on the conservative side, says Marika Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, but some processes “are just not well understood, and because of that have not been incorporated into climate models.” Holland has published model results on the fate of sea ice and coauthored the recent paper showing that ice is melting faster than models predicted. There are many reasons for the underestimates, she says. For example, models don’t fully capture heat transport between ocean and atmosphere, or faster warming as reflective ice gives way to darker, heat-absorbing waters.
But Rahmstorf says that modelers might unwittingly make models more conservative by applying “one-sided filters”, weeding out models that clearly overestimate the changes seen so far, but hanging onto ones “where everything is too well behaved and stable.”

Scientists are human too. The political and social climate in the US have been harsh to people who overestimate the effects of climate change. So, modeling scenarios that deviate significantly from accepted limits or runaway uncontrollably are discarded. Models are sets of assumptions based on underlying theory. If the theory of a particular sub-process is not clearly understood, then the assumptions become subjective. In a social climate that is waiting to pounce on an overestimate as example of negating the entire global warming phenomenon, assumptions made are conservative. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it comes at a price! As more observations come in, it does become clear that sometimes, things are happening faster and at greater magnitudes than our model predicted.

American feed makers used melamine as well

Well, turns out all that China baiting was for naught, because right in America’s heartland, Ohio, some feed manufacturer was using melamine as a binding agent.

Melamine From U.S. Put in Feed – New York Times

Ever since pet food contaminated with an industrial chemical was traced to shipments of wheat flour from China, American officials have concentrated on cracking down on imports.

It turns out the problem was closer to home, too.

Yesterday, federal officials announced that a manufacturing plant in Ohio was using the same banned substance, melamine, to make binding agents that ended up in feed for farmed fish, shrimp and livestock.

Apparently, it is Tembec, a Canadian company with a plant in Ohio. I am sure the effects to humans are not significant, but where’s the control? Where’s the list of things you can’t put in food. More importantly, where’s the list of things you’re allowed to put in? Food being a very easy mode of pollutant ingestion, the ingredients list must be exclusionary, that is, only approved ingredients are allowed. If something is not approved, it is not allowed…