Change of tune in next week’s G20 meeting on Climate Change, a Limerick.

G20 to meet in Black Forest

Sweet unity  no longer chorused

The encouraging word

in the Paris accord

Mnuchin to farce metamorphosed.

(Bloomberg) — Finance ministers for the U.S., China, Germany and other members of the Group of 20 economies may scale back a robust pledge for their governments to combat climate change, ceding efforts to the private sector.

Citing “scarce public resources,” the ministers said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris climate accord, according to a preliminary statement drafted for a meeting that will be held in Germany next week.

The statement, obtained by Bloomberg News, is a significant departure from a communique issued in July, when finance ministers urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.

“It basically says governments are irrelevant. It’s complete faith in the magic of the marketplace,” John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto’s G-20 Research Group, said in an interview. “That is very different from the existing commitments they have repeatedly made.”

The shift in tone comes as U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, prepares for his first G-20 meeting, scheduled for March 17 to 18 in the spa town of Baden-Baden. While European nations including Germany have been at the forefront of combating global warming, Trump has called climate change a hoax.

The Republican president vowed during his campaign to “cancel” the Paris agreement but has said little about the deal since taking office. His cabinet members, meanwhile, have sent mixed signals. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. should keep a seat at the table for international climate talks. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Thursday expressed doubt that humans were to blame for global warming and called the Paris agreement a “bad deal” for the U.S.

The most notable element of the draft is what’s missing. The statement issued after the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in July dedicated 163 words to the Paris Agreement, pushing nations to bring the deal into force, meet emissions targets and fulfill financial pledges. This current draft dedicates just 47 words to the agreement, focusing exclusively on development banks raising private funds, without mentioning government financial support.

Germany, as the meeting’s host, leads the process of writing the statement, which will eventually be adopted via consensus by all 19 nations plus the European Union. The German finance ministry declined to comment on the draft.

“The most charitable thing to say is they’re waiting to see where Donald Trump actually lands by the time they get in Hamburg and thus, doing nothing to annoy the incoming American Treasury Secretary,” Kirton said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who holds the rotating presidency of the G-20, has signaled that she would use the forum to push Trump on climate issues. The two leaders are scheduled to meet in Washington March 14.

“The takeaway is it clearly puts less emphasis on climate finance as a priority than last year’s did,” Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview. “It doesn’t talk about government action. That is a significant step back from what countries agreed to in Paris.”

Full statement: https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2017/03/09/g-20-document-shows-governments-retreating-from-climate-funding

On Data gathering, life. hacking by CIA and Wikileaks.

A tweet can contain up to 140 characters, a limit that is now relaxed, but if each character takes up 8 bits of information (one byte), the it can be said, a tweet is 140 bytes.

The  Authorized version of the King James Bible contains 3,116,480 characters, or about 22,260 tweets. Some people have tweeted that much!

But all the information in the KJV pales compared to the information in every cell of the human body. The numbers will get large, so let us learn about large numbers

One kilobyte is 1000 bytes, Megabyte is 1000 Kb or 1000,000 bytes, Gigabyte is 1000 Mb or 1,000,000,000 bytes, Terabyte is 1000 Gigabytes or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, Petabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, Exabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes,  Zettabyte is 1000 Exabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, —Yottabyte is 1000 Zettabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Back to how much data is in our body. We have about 3,2 billion DNA genome pairs in every cell in our body. there are 4 types, so each pair can be packed into 2 bits, which means every cell in our body contains 800 Megabytes of data, the information equivalent of 250 King James Bibles. Giving there are about 37 trillion cells in our body plus about one quadrillion bacteria in our gut the total amount of information in our body is about 30 Exabytes, most of it duplicated, but yet. In addition, all plants and animals contain DNA, so the total information in the world is staggering, far exceeding the term Yottabyte.

If you are an atheist or true believer in evolution that all this came about by chance plus time plus nothing, especially no sign of intelligent design, the math doesn’t add up.

In 2001 the New York City twin towers were destroyed through a terror attack, and the U.S. response was to collect data to capture terrorists before they could attack. The NSA started to monitor all electronic communication through a program called Prism, starting in earnest in 2007, see fig:

This is in part taking place in a large data center in Utah, housing, it is rumored up to one Yottabyte of collected data.  What type of data do they collect? Check this figure:

The question is this: How much of this is linked to terror?

Then, today I found out via Wikileaks that NSA is not alone is spying on us.

CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs

CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).

The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.

The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.

The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.

Despite iPhone’s minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads. CIA’s arsenal includes numerous local and remote “zero days” developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop. The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.

A similar unit targets Google’s Android which is used to run the majority of the world’s smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year. “Year Zero” shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 “weaponized” Android “zero days” which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

CIA malware targets Windows, OSx, Linux, routers

The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA’s Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”.

Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA’s Network Devices Branch (NDB).

The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB’s “HIVE” and the related “Cutthroat” and “Swindle” tools, which are described in the examples section below.

CIA ‘hoarded’ vulnerabilities (“zero days”)

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or “zero days” to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.

Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.

The U.S. government’s commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities. The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.

“Year Zero” documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA’s cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in “Year Zero” is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts. The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities (“zero days”) possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability. As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.

The same vulnerabilities exist for the population at large, including the U.S. Cabinet, Congress, top CEOs, system administrators, security officers and engineers. By hiding these security flaws from manufacturers like Apple and Google the CIA ensures that it can hack everyone  at the expense of leaving everyone hackable.

‘Cyberwar’ programs are a serious proliferation risk

Cyber ‘weapons’ are not possible to keep under effective control.

While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber ‘weapons’, once developed, are very hard to retain.

Cyber ‘weapons’ are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.

Securing such ‘weapons’ is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces — sometimes by using the very same ‘weapons’ against the organizations that contain them. There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global “vulnerability market” that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such ‘weapons’. Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such ‘weapons’ sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling ‘hacking’ services.

Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booz Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.

A number of intelligence community members not yet publicly named have been arrested or subject to federal criminal investigations in separate incidents.

Most visibly, on February 8, 2017 a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III with 20 counts of mishandling classified information. The Department of Justice alleged that it seized some 50,000 gigabytes of information from Harold T. Martin III that he had obtained from classified programs at NSA and CIA, including the source code for numerous hacking tools.

Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

This is where we are today.  On Saturday, President Trump found out that he had been spied upon in Trump Tower during the election. The Wikileaks revelation lends credibility to this accusation. And of course, CIA can make it appear that the hacking came from, say Russia and then put in some false software, framing the victim.

Yet, all this spyware, hacking and data gathering is simple compared to the wonder of life.

Bill Nye knows nothing of Climate Change Science. A Limerick.

The Roman Northamptonshire wine

was good, not excessively fine.

So it just goes to show

that Bill Nye does not know

of Climate Change past, that’s my line.

During the Roman warm period wine grapes were grown almost up to the Hadrian Wall, The the dark ages came and grapes no longer ripened in England. During the Medieval Warm Period there was at least one cheese farm on Greenland “Gården under sanden”, abandoned as the glaciers regrew, starting the “Little Ice Age”. We are still recovering from the little ice age. 2016 may have been a warm year, but most years since the ice age were warmer. See Chart.Greenlandgisp-last-10000-newWe are still in the sweet spot of a remarkable stable Climate, only more CO2 will save us from a new Ice Age.

Check this video:

It is true that human activity causes climate change, and as for CO2, it is all to the good. Cutting down rain forests in Borneo to produce bio-fuel is not.

Does this make me a denier?

More trouble for Oroville Dam, a Limerick.

More trouble for Oroville Dam

Debris caused a water log-jam

Got a week-long reprieve

to remove the debris.

A scene of increasing bedlam.

The Oroville Dam is in more trouble than thought. Between one half and one million cubic yards of debris is clogging up the diversion pool causing the power plant to be shut down until it is cleared. The debris is all from erosion from the failing spillways which shows the erosive power of water not properly channelled. In addition they continue work on the emergency spillway and will attempt to shore up the breach in the main spillway.

920x1240It is a race against time. The upstream dams are all full, so all the snow-melt will fill the Oroville Dam back in no time, and there is at least one more major rain event coming down the pineapple express. The snow-pack is already way over normal for the season, so both spillways will have to be used again, and soon.

Will they succeed with the task in time?

Keep the bags packed if you live downstream. And please, pray!

The origin of the 97% consensus, a Limerick.

Canard: Ninety-seven percent,

on Climate Change give their assent

that it is getting warm,

and they want to conform

and blame CO2, they’re hell-bent.

pies-public-scienceHow did the 97% consensus come about, and is this claim valid, or do 55% of the public have a point?  The number 97%  stems from a 2008 master’s thesis by student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at the University of Illinois, under the guidance of Peter Doran, an associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences. The two researchers obtained their results by conducting a survey of 10,257 Earth scientists, excluding scientists most likely to think that the Sun,  planetary movements or cosmic radiation might have something to do with climate on Earth — such as solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, astronomers and meteorologists.

To encourage a high participation among these remaining disciplines, the two researchers decided on a quickie survey that would take less than two minutes to complete, and would be done online, saving the respondents the hassle of mailing a reply. Nevertheless, most didn’t consider the quickie survey worthy of response — just 3,146, or 30.7%, answered the two key questions on the survey:

1. When compared with pre-1800 levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2 Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

The 10,257 scientists in such disciplines as geology, geography, oceanography, engineering, paleontology and geochemistry were somehow deemed more worthy of being included in the consensus. The two researchers also decided that only scientists employed by an academic or a governmental institution  would qualify. Neither was academic qualification a factor — about 1,000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, some didn’t even have a master’s diploma.

The questions posed to the Earth scientists were actually non-questions. Nearly all scientists know the planet has warmed since the 1700s, and almost all think humans have contributed in some way to the recent warming — quite apart from carbon dioxide emissions, few would doubt that urbanization,  clearing of forests for agricultural purposes,  or misguided irrigation efforts such as the Aral Sea disaster have affected the climate. When pressed for a figure, global warming skeptics might say humans are responsible for 10% or 15% of the warming; some skeptics place the upper bound of man’s contribution at 35%. The skeptics only deny that humans played a dominant role in Earth’s warming.

Surprisingly, just 90% of the Earth scientists who responded to the first question believed that temperatures had risen — I would have expected a figure closer to 100%, since Earth was in the Little Ice Age in the centuries immediately preceding 1800. But perhaps some of the responders interpreted the question to include the past 2,000 years, when Earth was in the Medieval  or Roman Warm Period, when the climate was warmer than today.

As for the second question, 82% of the Earth scientists replied that human activity had significantly contributed to the warming. For openers, the question is a catch-all, is it CO2, pollution, urban development, cutting down of forests, failed irrigation projects or what? Secondly, how much is significantly?

To get up the percentage of positive responses above the 82% they excluded all the Earth scientists whose recently published peer-reviewed research wasn’t mostly in the field of climate change. This subset reduced the number of remaining scientists from over 3,000 to under 300. But the percentage that now resulted still fell short of the researchers’ ideal, so they chose a subset of 77 scientists that in the last 5 years had published multiple, peer reviewed papers, paid for by their respective academic institutions.

Once all these cuts were made, 75 out of 77 scientists of unknown qualifications were left endorsing the global warming orthodoxy. The two researchers, the master’s student and her prof, were then satisfied.

This claim was picked up by politicians and became truth that could not be disputed or you  were called the scum of the earth, worse than terrorists. Many more surveys, all intended to confirm the original claim

ritchie-2_121416The newer surveys also intended to confirm that it is CO2 that is the cause of Anthropogenic Climate Change. Because the U.N. agency IPCC insists that CO2 is the dominant, if not sole factor affecting Climate Change most scientists, eager to maintain funding tended to comply.

Lately there has been exposed one scandal after another has exposed massive data manipulation, from Climate Gate to changing old temperature tables eliminating the heat waves of the 30’s, just to name a few.

So, is there Anthropogenic Global Warming, and if so, is the cause mainly increasing CO2?

The jury is still out.

 

Obama, the best gun salesman, Trump the worst, a Limerick.

O_bang_a_the_gun_salesman

As gun sales promoter, who won?

Obama or Trump, anyone?

Smith and Wesson did soar,

that was then, but no more.

For gun stocks, the end of the run.

Gun stocks soared under President Obama.  The stock of Smith and Wesson holding Company (SWHC) rose  more than ten-fold. S&Wbig.chart

Since Donald Trump ‘s election stocks have been on a tear, up more than 10%. How did the gun stocks do?

gunstocksThe stock of AOBC (parent company of Smith & Wesson) is down about 32%.

This can only mean that people feel safer under President Trump than under Obama.

The Moffat tunnel, Continental theft of water. A Limerick

What flows through the tunnel of Moffat?

It’s water for Denver’s own profit.

When South-West tries to sue.

Will they win, get their due?

I never was much of a prophet.

The Moffat tunnel in Colorado, built in 1928 is a six mile railroad and water  tunnel that goes under the continental divide. The water tunnel carries up to 105 acre-feet of water per hour to the City of Denver. The water is taken from the Colorado river watershed, which leaves the South Western states with nearly one million acre-feet less water per year.

When the tunnel was built this was not much of a problem, Nevada had less than 100, 000 inhabitants, Arizona less than 350,000 and California about 3.5 million people. Now Nevada has 25 times as many people, Arizona 15 times as many , and California 10 times as many people, all thirsty for more water.

It is time to stop robbing the South-west of water. Yes Denver has its own water problem, but the South West has much greater problem.

Lake Mead water level is now 140 feet below full capacity, and has been dropping about 10 feet per year, and will run dry unless drastic measures are taken. The Moffat tunnel takes away about 6 feet a year from the filling of Lake Mead.

Yes, thanks to this year’s rain, Lake Mead has recovered somewhat, but the long trend is still ominous.

And by the way, this has nothing to do with Climate Change.