Monthly Archives: June 2016

Barbers In Danger Of Being Replaced By Computerization

I am  preparing a blog on some interesting speculation and study on the effect that  robots and computers will have on employment.  A study by Frey and Osborne titled “The future of employment : How susceptible are jobs to computerization”  evaluates some 700+ job categories as to  the  likelihood they will be replaced  by computers and or robots.  The autors have a table that ranks occupations according to their probability of being eliminate by computerization.  For example, in the no. 4 spot as one of the least likely to be computerized is Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers with a probability of 0.0031.  Chemical Engineers are ranked 77 with a probability of 0.017.  Jobs that are most certain to be replaced by computerization are those at the end of the Author’s ranking.  For example,  Tax Preparers are ranked 695 with a probability of 0.99 which is as close to certain as one can get.

What caught my eye were Barbers, ranked 439  with a probability of 0.8  that are considered a near certainty. So I thought I would look into this a little further because my local barber is a friends.  I found the following research underway that most certainly will be worked out and replace him.


Hysteria and DDT

The Pacific Research Institute has released a video entitled “Hysteria’s History: Why is Alarmism so Dangerous?-Part 4“. The video’s purpose is to expose people to the historical progression of environmental alarmism that has often resulted in poor and contradictory policy proposals” This video discusses the ban on DDT. DDT had been very successful in nearly eradicating malaria around the world. Following the ban, malaria deaths skyrocketed.

DDT sprayed indoors, where it can keep  mosquitos in check and have no effect on the local wild life is a responsible action.   But it took skeptics to point this out over and over again before the green movement reeled in their efforts to keep DDT banned.

Hopefully, we skeptics,  showing that the catastrophic global warming movement is more hysteria than facts, will eventually cause the greens to concede in this case as well.






UK Scientist Doubts Decarbonization by 2050 Is Possible. Thinks Other Unfunded Threats Are More Compelling.

M J Kelly, Electrical Engineering Division Department of Engineering, Universtiy of Cambridge has written “Lessons from Technology Development for Energy and Sustainability” and posted on the  Cambridge Journals on Line.

The following is the Abstract from his posting where he sets up the quandary that faces the organizations wishing to decarbonize the planet by 2050.

There are lessons from recent history of technology introductions which should not be forgotten when considering alternative energy technologies for carbon dioxide emission reductions.

The growth of the ecological footprint of a human population about to increase from 7B now to 9B in 2050 raises serious concerns about how to live both more efficiently and with less permanent impacts on the finite world. One present focus is the future of our climate, where the level of concern has prompted actions across the world in mitigation of the emissions of CO2. An examination of successful and failed introductions of technology over the last 200 years generates several lessons that should be kept in mind as we proceed to 80% decarbonize the world economy by 2050. I will argue that all the actions taken together until now to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide will not achieve a serious reduction, and in some cases, they will actually make matters worse. In practice, the scale and the different specific engineering challenges of the decarbonization project are without precedent in human history. This means that any new technology introductions need to be able to meet the huge implied capabilities. An altogether more sophisticated public debate is urgently needed on appropriate actions that (i) considers the full range of threats to humanity, and (ii) weighs more carefully both the upsides and downsides of taking any action, and of not taking that action.


M J Kelly discusses this issue at length in his posting and I suggest you read it in its entirety . This posting will look at conclusions and some suggestions Kelly derives when he examined the current  programs to reduce CO2. He’s not optimistic that decarbonization has much of a chance of accomplishing what the greens want. In fact he thinks the money could be spend better on addressing more immediate threats than those posed by the so-call catastrophic global warming. Here he summarizes his thoughts:

It is surely time to review the current direction of the decarbonization project which can be assumed to start in about 1990, the reference point from which carbon dioxide emission reductions are measured. No serious inroads have been made into the lion’s share of energy that is fossil fuel based. Some moves represent total madness. The closure of all but one of the aluminium smelters that used gas-fired electricity in the UK (because of rising electricity costs from the green tariffs that are over and above any global background fossil fuel energy costs) reduces our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. 62 However, the aluminium is now imported from China where it is made with more primitive coal-based sources of energy, making the global problem of emissions worse! While the UK prides itself in reducing indigenous carbon dioxide emissions by 20% since 1990, the attribution of carbon emissions by end use shows a 20% increase over the same period.

Interestingly, he talks about the UK exporting manufacturing to other nations in order to reduce CO2 emissions.  Then the goods from these nations come back to the UK made in less efficient factories and the attributed CO2 result in an increase in the UK net emissions.     

It is also clear that we must de-risk all energy infrastructure projects over the  next two decades. While the level of uncertainty remains high, the ‘insurance policy’ justification of urgent large-scale intervention is untenable, and we do not pay premiums if we would go bankrupt as a consequence. Certain things we do not insure against, such as a potential future mega-tsunami, 64 or a supervolcano, 65 or indeed a meteor strike, even though there have been over 20 of these since 2000 with the local power of the Hiroshima bomb! 66 Using a significant fraction of the global GDP to possibly capture the benefits of a possibly less troublesome future climate leaves more urgent actions not undertaken.

Two important points remain. The first is that there is no alternative to business as usual carrying on, with one caveat expressed in the following paragraph. Since energy use has a cost, it is normal business practice to minimize energy use, by increasing energy efficiency (see especially the recent improvement in automobile performance), 67 using less resource material and more effective recycling. These drivers have become more intense in recent years, but they were always there for a business trying to remain competitive.

The second is that, over the next two decades, the single place where the greatest impact on carbon dioxide emissions can be achieved is in the area of personal behaviour. Its potential dwarfs that of new technology interventions. Within the EU over the last 40 years there has been a notable change in public attitudes and behaviour in such diverse arenas as drinking and driving, smoking in public confined spaces, and driving without a seatbelt. If society’s attitude to the profligate consumption of any materials and resources including any forms of fuel and electricity was to regard this as deeply antisocial, it has been estimated we could live something like our present standard of living on half the energy consumption we use today in the developed world. 68 This would mean fewer miles travelled, fewer material possessions, shorter supply chains, and less use of the internet. While there is no public appetite to follow this path, the short term technology fix path is no panacea.

Over the last 200 years, fossil fuels have provided the route out of grinding poverty for many people in the world (but still less than half of all people) and Fig. 1 shows that this trend is certain to continue for at least the next 20 years based on the technologies of scale that are available today. A rapid decarbonization is simply impossible over the next 20 years unless the trend of a growing number who succeed to improve their lot is stalled by rich and middle class people downgrading their own standard of living. The current backlash against subsidies for renewable energy systems in the UK, EU and USA is a sign that all is not well with current renewable energy systems in meeting the aspirations of humanity.

Figure 1. (a) The 40% growth of global energy consumption since 1995 and the projected 40% growth until 2035, with most of the growth between 1995 and 2035 being provided by fossil fuels, 21and (b) the cause of this growth is the rise in the number of people living in the middle class as described in the text. 22


Finally, humanity is owed a serious investigation of how we have gone so far with the decarbonization project without a serious challenge in terms of engineering reality. Have the engineers been supine and lacking in courage to challenge the orthodoxy? Or have their warnings been too gentle and dismissed or not heard? Science and politicians can take too much comfort from undoubted engineering successes over the last 200 years. When the sums at stake are on the scale of 1–10% of the world’s GDP, this is a serious business.


*M.J. Kelly (2016). Lessons from technology development for energy and sustainability. MRS Energy & Sustainability, 3, E3 doi:10.1557/mre.2016.3.



Making It Criminal To Be A Skeptic—The First Amendment Is Under Siege

Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) is calling for RICO investigations of skeptics and fossil fuel companies. California legislators writing a bill allowing for the prosecution of climate change dissent—fortunately it died this past  Thursday. Seventeen  State Attorney Generals investigating Exxon. Calls to silence skeptical views are becoming more frequent. A number of major US newspapers are prohibiting discussion of Skeptical views.  This theme parallels the Social Justice Warriors efforts to impose their view of politically correct and thus allowable speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution is under siege by the media and the government itself. The Amendment was designed to prevent the Government from squashing dissenting views and is often considered the medias first line of defense from the government crackdowns such as are common in socialist, communist and dictatorial governments (e.g. Venezuela, China and Iran.)

From an earlier Climate Change Sanity blog:

”Climate science acts like it is fighting a holy war. There are only those who are just and those who must be silenced and stopped at all costs. Anyone who mounts reasonable logical, empirical, or skeptical challenges to the orthodoxy must be ruined, not by counterfactual evidence, but by vicious attack”.

Obviously the warmers are not winning the hearts and minds of free people. One reason for this is that the disinformation primarily comes from the warmers. The predictions of catastrophe are many and they have not come true. And you do not need to be a climate scientist to understand how the warmers continue to get it wrong. The mainstream media is complicit in the distribution of this disinformation.


Look at these postings where you can get some idea of how poor their predictions are:

CAGW Predictions –Zombie And Others

Quotes from the Founders Of the Global Warming Movement

More Green Predictions Are Way Off Base

5 IPCC Assessments Don’t Show Correlation Of Temperature and Severe Weather

How Reliable Are Climate Models?

And some stories of manipulation of Data to get the results they want

Can We Trust the EPA Secrete Science

Doctor Brown and Temperature Tampering

Research Papers Show IPCC Climate Sensitivity Are Too High

And Bjon Lomborg shows how just a fraction of the money wasted on these erroneous green studies could really make a difference in people’s lives:

Bjorn Lomborg Say Global Warming Poor Place to Spend Money

These are just a few of postings on Climate Change Sanity that show you need to be a skeptic.

And please contact you legislators and tell them to protect the public from those who want to take away our First Amendment rights.