Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for March 3rd, 2006

Antarctica is Melting! Not.

Posted by Mark on March 3, 2006

Here’s a list of the latest stories based on a study pre-released yesterday. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well, scaring you is the idea. Here’s my favorite, from the Scotsman:

MELTING Antarctic ice is adding so much fresh water into the oceans every year that it could fill Loch Ness 18 times over, according to scientific research published yesterday.

Well, at least Nessie would have alot more room to move around, I guess. Hope she likes cold baths…

And speaking of cold baths, here are the facts behind the scare stories, from Tech Central Station. It takes some time to wade through, and isn’t anywhere near as fun as the current scare story of global disaster being whipped up right now. But like the kid who insists on poo-pooing the campfire ghost story, I’ll just press on to give you the truth:

So, all the Velicogan and Wahl results really demonstrate is that there are short term variations in the amount of ice and snow covering the Antarctic continent. Other data indicate that over the course of the past several decades at least, that the ocean-land system of Antarctica has been experiencing a growth in the amount of snow and ice there .

Here’s a map showing exactly what’s happening in Antarctica.

Figure 5. In some parts of Antarctica, such as East Antarctica, the ice sheet is thickening (+ symbols), whereas in others, primarily in West Antarctica it is thinning (– symbols). (Source: Vaughn, 2005)..
Antarctica ice.bmp

There is nothing inherently noteworthy about the results of this three year study of Antarctic ice trends. This is not to disparage the scientific work of Velicogna and Wahl. It is to suggest that their paper serves more as a initial investigation into some of the applications of observations of gravitational variations, rather than bearing any relevance to the issue of global climate change and its implications.

Under Required Reading in the left sidebar is a list of Michael Crichton’s speeches. His latest, Fear, Complexity, Environmental Management in the 21st Century should be read by anyone interested in global warming, and the myths surrounding the theory.

Posted in Environment, Politics, Science | 3 Comments »

Dodging a Bullet in Oklahoma?

Posted by Mark on March 3, 2006

This story zipped by so fast you may not remember it. A student blew himself up 170 yards from a packed OU-Kansas State football game on 10/1/05. The claim at the time was the kid was simply a “disturbed loner.” Well, maybe not:

NORMAN – A Norman police bomb expert said Tuesday he does not believe University of Oklahoma student Joel Henry Hinrichs III committed suicide by blowing himself up outside a packed football stadium.

“I believe he accidentally blew himself up,” Sgt. George Mauldin said.

Mauldin said Hinrichs, 21, an engineering student, had two to three pounds of triacetone triperoxide, commonly known as TATP, in a backpack in his lap when it exploded Oct. 1.

When asked if he believed Hinrichs meant to enter the stadium with the explosives, Mauldin replied, “I don’t believe he intended for an explosion to occur at that spot (on the park bench).”

“Some of us will forever wonder what he (Hinrichs) was doing at that time, at that place,” Police Chief Phil Cotten said.

Hinrichs was sitting on a park bench 173 yards from the OU stadium during the second quarter of OU’s night game against Kansas State when the TATP inside his backpack detonated.

“Someone saw him fiddling with it (the backpack) shortly before the explosion occurred. I think he got cocky, and it went off,” Mauldin said.

And there’s more:

Mauldin said investigators found “quite a bit more” explosive material inside Hinrichs’ Parkview apartment on Sooner Drive, southeast of Lindsey Street and Stinson Drive.

A pint-size Tupperware container on a counter was filled with TATP Hinrichs had manufactured, Mauldin said.

A pill bottle packed with TATP with a fuse stuck in it was found behind a computer, he said.

The FBI reported in November that 0.4 pound of TATP was found inside Hinrichs’ apartment. TATP is the most unstable explosive known and is “the explosive of choice” in the Middle East, Mauldin said. “It is so volatile, even a small amount on the tip of a finger will explode if it comes within 8 inches of a match,” Mauldin said.

Investigators also found a quantity of acetone and hydrogen, components necessary for manufacturing TATP, inside the student’s apartment.

“We found evidence of him compressing TATP, which is foolhardy, given its properties,” Mauldin said.

I can’t help thinking of Jayna Davis’ book The Third Terrorist. There is mounting suspicion that Oklahoma has ties to terrorism dating back at least to 1995. Could this near miss in October be another piece of evidence of these ties?

Posted in Crime, War and Terror | 2 Comments »

Video Friday – Have You Forgotten?

Posted by zaphriel on March 3, 2006

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Video, War and Terror | 4 Comments »