Archive for September, 2009

Hemingway & Dos Passos & Spain

September 15, 2009

A review, in The New Yorker, by George Packer of “The Breaking Point: Hemingway, dos Passos, and the Murder of Jose Robles”. It certainly confirms me in my dislike of Hemingway as an unpleasant fellow and a poseur, and my high regard for John Dos Passos , who’s almost unknown these days.  So perhaps I’ll re-read Dos Passos’s USA — even better, George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (which I wasn’t ready for as a teenager).

Thanks to a good blog, The American Scene, for a link to the New Yorker article.

Maybe more on this later– after a very important family wedding.

Forecasting the Earth’s Temperature

September 9, 2009

Anthony Watts maintains a site which is very skeptical of AGW  (Anthropogenic[human-caused] Global Warning).  More precisely, he and his contributors reject the premises that (1) recent warming has been mainly due to human activity, and (2) that such warming, unless we take drastic action, is potentially catastrophic to the earth’s ecology– and thus to us.

Here is a recent posting from  An excerpt:

Recall that only one or two annual data points ago many scientists, as well as the most vocal ‘campaigners,’ dismissed the very idea that the world’s average annual temperature had not changed in the past decade. Today it is an observational fact that can no longer be ignored. We should also not forget that nobody anticipated it. Now, post facto, scientists are looking for an explanation, and in doing so we are seeing AGW in a new light.

The main conclusion, and perhaps it’s no surprise, to be drawn about what will happen to global temperatures is that nobody knows.

I believe that  “deniers” such as Watts make a very credible case.  Of course many people whom I highly respect strongly disagree with this.