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12 Jan 2009
As a soon-to-be meteorologist, you would think I would have been on alert for large and potentially dangerous patches of ice at 8:00 AM outside of well-shaded mathematics buildings located near geese infested ponds. Think again.
19 Nov 2008
PAUL B. FARRELL
30 reasons for Great Depression 2 by 2011
New-New Deal, bailouts, trillions in debt, antitax mindset spell disaster
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 11:53 a.m. EST Nov. 19, 2008
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- By 2011? No recovery? No new bull? "Hey Paul, why do you keep talking about a bigger crash coming by 2011?" Readers ask that often. So here's a sequel to my predictions of 2000 and 2004, with a look three years ahead:
First. Dot-com crash
We pinpointed the dot-com crash at its peak, in a March 20, 2000 column: "Next crash? Sorry, you won't see it coming." Bulls-eye: The dot-com bubble popped. The economy went into a 30-month recession. The stock market lost $8 trillion.
And today, over eight years later, the market is still roughly 40% below its 2000 peak.
Video: Discussing the Great Depression
Dorothy Womble and William Hague survived the Great Depression. They share their stories of living during that time as children. (Nov. 14)
Factor in inflation and the average stock has lost well over 50% of its value. Stocks have proven to be a very big loser, a bad investment for Americans, thanks to Wall Street's selfish greed, plus the complicity and naiveté of politicians, press and public.
Second. Subprime meltdown
We reported on warnings of another crash coming as early as 2004, wrote a sequel, also titled "Next crash? Sorry, you won't see it coming." Yes, we were early, but in good company. We wrote many more warning columns. Few listened.
Subsequent events, notably former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's admission of his failures in congressional testimony, prove that if he and other Reaganomic ideologues weren't so myopic and intransigent about proving their free-market deregulation theories, they could have acted earlier and prevented today's colossal mess. Instead, their ideology kept the bubble blowing, delayed the pop, making matters worse.
So once again, as history proves over and over, ideology trumps common sense, reality and the facts. Greed drives ideologues to blow bubbles. They pop. Crashes happen. The public is collateral damage.
Third. Megabubble cycles
We also detailed the broader, accelerating macroeconomic sweep of cycles last summer in columns like "20 reasons new megabubble pops in 2011." We summarized a long list of major warnings from financial periodicals -- Forbes, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, Economist -- and from the voices of Warren Buffett, Bill Gross, a sitting Fed governor and a former Commerce secretary. Multiple warnings "hiding in plain sight," beginning with a Fed governor warning Greenspan in 2000 about subprime risk.
But the big shocker came from the new Treasury secretary two years before the meltdown: Bloomberg News reports that shortly after leaving Wall Street as Goldman Sachs' CEO, Henry Paulson was at Camp David warning the president and his staff of "over-the-counter derivatives as an example of financial innovation that could, under certain circumstances, blow up in Wall Street's face and affect the whole economy."
Yes, they knew. And still both Paulson, a Wall Street insider, and Greenspan's successor, Ben Bernanke, a Princeton scholar of the Great Depression, stayed trapped in denial and kept happy-talking the public for months after the meltdown began in mid-2007. Get it? While they could have put the brakes on this meltdown years ago, our leaders were prisoners of their distorted, inflexible views of conservative Reaganomics ideology.
As a result, once again the "best and the brightest" failed America and now they and their buddies in Washington and Corporate America are setting up the Crash of 2011.
Now it's time for my 2008 update, a look into the future where things will get far worse during the next presidential term. And given human behavior, especially in the deep recesses of Wall Street's "greed is good" DNA, it seems inevitable that no matter how well-intentioned the new president may be Wall Street and Washington's 41,000 special-interest lobbyists will drive America into the Great Depression 2.
30 'leading edge' indicators of the coming Great Depression 2
Every day there is more breaking news, proof Wall Street's greed is already back to "business as usual" and in denial, grabbing more and more from the new "Bailouts-R-Us" bonanza of free taxpayer cash and credits, like two-year-olds in a toy store at Christmas -- anything to boost earnings, profits and stock prices, and keep those bonuses and salaries flowing, anything to blow a new bubble.
Scan these 30 "leading indicators." Each problem has one or more possible solutions, but lacks unified political support. Time's running out. We're already at the edge. Add up the trillions in debt: Any collective solution will only compound our problems, because the cumulative debt will overwhelm us, make matters worse:
America's credit rating may soon be downgraded below AAA
Fed refusal to disclose $2 trillion loans, now the new "shadow banking system"
Congress has no oversight of $700 billion, and Paulson's Wall Street Trojan Horse
King Henry Paulson flip-flops on plan to buy toxic bank assets, confusing markets
Goldman, Morgan lost tens of billions, but planning over $13 billion in bonuses this year
AIG bails big banks out of $150 billion in credit swaps, protects shareholders before taxpayers
American Express joins Goldman, Morgan as bank holding firms, looking for Fed money
Treasury sneaks corporate tax credits into bailout giveaway, shifts costs to states
State revenues down, taxes and debt up; hiring, spending, borrowing add even more debt
State, municipal, corporate pensions lost hundreds of billions on derivative swaps
Hedge funds: 610 in 1990, almost 10,000 now. Returns down 15%, liquidations up
Consumer debt way up, now at $2.5 trillion; next area for credit meltdowns
Fed also plans to provide billions to $3.6 trillion money-market fund industry
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are bleeding cash, want to tap taxpayer dollars
Washington manipulating data: War not $600 billion but estimates actually $3 trillion
Hidden costs of $700 billion bailout are likely $5 trillion; plus $1 trillion Street write-offs
Commodities down, resource exporters and currencies dropping, triggering a global meltdown
Big three automakers near bankruptcy; unions, workers, retirees will suffer
Corporate bond market, both junk and top-rated, slumps more than 25%
Retailers bankrupt: Circuit City, Sharper Image, Mervyns; mall sales in free fall
Unemployment heading toward 8% plus; more 1930's photos of soup lines
Government policy is dictated by 42,000 myopic, highly paid, greedy lobbyists
China's sees GDP growth drop, crates $586 billion stimulus; deflation is now global, hitting even Dubai
Despite global recession, U.S. trade deficit continues, now at $650 billion
The 800-pound gorillas: Social Security, Medicare with $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities
Now 46 million uninsured as medical, drug costs explode
New-New Deal: U.S. planning billions for infrastructure, adding to unsustainable debt
Outgoing leaders handicapping new administration with huge liabilities
The "antitaxes" message is a new bubble, a new version of the American dream offering a free lunch, no sacrifices, exposing us to more false promises
Will the next meltdown, the third of the 21st Century, trigger a second Great Depression? Or will the 2007-08 crisis simply morph into a painful extension of today's mess to 2011 and beyond, with no new bull market, no economic recovery as our new president hopes?
Perhaps some of the first 29 problems may be solved separately, but collectively, after building on a failed ideology, they spell disaster. So listen closely to "leading indicator" No. 30:
At a recent Reuters Global Finance Summit former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead was interviewed. He was also Ronald Reagan's Deputy Secretary of State and a former chairman of the N.Y. Fed. He says America's problems will take years and will burn trillions.
He sees "nothing but large increases in the deficit ... I think it would be worse than the depression. ... Before I go to sleep at night, I wonder if tomorrow is the day Moody's and S&P will announce a downgrade of U.S. government bonds." It'll get worse because "the public is not prepared to increase taxes. Both parties were for reducing taxes, reducing income to government, and both parties favored a number of new programs, all very costly and all done by the government."
Reuters concludes: "Whitehead said he is speaking out on this topic because he is concerned no lawmakers are against these new spending programs and none will stand up and call for higher taxes. 'I just want to get people thinking about this, and to realize this is a road to disaster,' said Whitehead. 'I've always been a positive person and optimistic, but I don't see a solution here.'"
We see the Great Depression 2. Why? Wall Street's self-interested greed. They are their own worst enemy ... and America's too. End of Story
Someone make me feel better. I cried during my reading of this.
23 Oct 2008
Yes, that's right, he did. Now I confess I could not make it, due to class and crazy exam schedule this week. But many of my friends did attend and had a pretty great time. I am jealous. In a nutshell, Joe spoke about his winter forecast, the gist of which is that he expects a very cold December, is leaning towards an ENSO Neutral to weak La Nina winter, and his analog winters were 85-86 and 95-96.
Here's what he had to say about us at Millersville:
Excerpt from Bastardi's National Weather Discussion on 10/23/08:
I did give my talk at Millersville last night and it was surprisingly well attended given the Phillies were on and this is the heart of Phillies and Amish country. Unfortunately Ken Reeves was not up for going farm to farm and inspecting Dutch draft horses for their ideas on winter, so I could not do what I really went down there to do. ( Remember that old motown song...aint to proud to beg... well if it could help with the forecast I'll do it (lol)).
By the way, if you love forecasting, and want a career in it, this is the place to go. Seriously. Every year they seem to produce the national forecast contest winner, as they routinely rout the powerhouses in that contest. They no longer have team competitions, but one can look at the national rankings and see how good their students do. I am a Penn State grad, and I wrestled here, but look, if Iowa and Okie state are placing higher than us in wrestling, they are better than us. And while I take pride in my PSU degree, the fact is Millersville is on top almost all the time, beating the big boys on the block.
20 Oct 2008
Amazing sky right now in PA!
I'll use the pictures Jesse posted in the photo section, since I don't have a camera:
It looks like this all over. Slight instability and fairly cold temperatures aloft have lead to the development of widespread glaciating mid and high level clouds due to water content converting to ice crystals inside convective turrets. Since ice crystals act as ice nuclei, they grow into snowflakes and fall from the cloud as snow. Of course, the snow does not make it to the ground because it evaporates soon after exiting the cloud --we define this as virga.
12 Oct 2008
AnthonyS, how much influence does mankind have on the climate? What percentage is natural? By volume the atmosphere has 1/10,000th more co2 now than it did in 1750. Hardly a big concern. The left is taking an everyday thing (weather) and trying to tie it to human activity for their own gain. Next they'll be telling us that breathing causes an increase of co2...oh wait, it does!
First, I would like to say that I agree CO2 has a negligible effect on the Earth’s mean surface temperature, and frankly, I find the number of people who think CO2 is the sole reason for anthropogenic global warming startling. The fact is that CO2 is part of a plethora of gasses found at various concentrations, mostly in the lower and middle atmosphere, which act to trap the emission of terrestrial long-wave radiation and re emit it back to the surface. These gasses are essential in keeping the surface temperature of the planet regulated at approximately 288K (59F); otherwise, life would be nearly impossible to sustain because the temperature would only be about 256K (1F). In my explanation below, I will demonstrate, however, that an anthropogenic increase in these naturally occurring gasses has an effect not only on the Earth’s surface temperature, but also on the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere through use of an atmospheric slab model.
Atmospheric Basic Constituents:
The atmosphere is composed of fixed gasses, variable gasses, and aerosols. The fixed gasses remain nearly constant and well mixed. Fixed gasses include: Nitrogen (N2) –78% of atmosphere; Oxygen (O2) – 21% of atmosphere; Argon (Ar) – 0.9% of atmosphere; Carbon dioxide (CO2) – 380 ppb (parts per billion); Neon (Ne); Helium (He); Methane (CH4); Krypton (Kr); and Hydrogen (H2)
Variable gasses are gasses whose concentrations change from one point to another. In the Earth’s atmosphere, these gasses include Water Vapor (H2O) and Ozone (O3).
The Earth’s atmosphere also contains many, many aerosols. These can be dust, dirt, sand, clay – any number of materials that can be lifted off the ground or introduced into the atmosphere.
For the purposes of this discussion, I will concentrate on gasses composed of molecules of three or more atoms that absorb infrared, but not visible radiation, called greenhouse gasses. In the atmosphere, there are four main greenhouse gasses; listed in order of significance, they include Water Vapor (H2O), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), and various Nitrous Oxides (N2O).
Water vapor (H2O) is, by a great degree, the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It accounts for about 30K (54F) of the surface temperature increase the Earth experiences due to greenhouse gasses and their combined influence of all other greenhouse gasses. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second most important greenhouse gas. Its lifetime in the atmosphere is difficult to determine, but is in the range of 5 to 100 years. Methane (CH4) is a reactive trace gas (lifetime 10 yr) that plays key roles in Earth’s climate and atmospheric chemistry. Its infrared activity currently accounts for 12% of enhanced greenhouse forcing, and it participates in tropospheric O3 and OH regulation and in the stratospheric H2O cycle. Tropospheric CH4 has more than doubled during the past 200 yr and the current tropospheric rate of increase is both significant and variable, reflecting varying source-sink strengths. Nitrous oxides (N2O) are greatly influenced by their production in the ocean and exchange across the air–sea interface, since the oceans are estimated to account for at least one-third (4.7–6.3 Tg N2O y−1) of N2O inputs to the atmosphere from all natural sources ( 15 Tg N2O y−1).
While, combined, these gasses make up an extremely low percentage of the atmosphere’s composition, they are profoundly significant.
Applying Greenhouse Gasses to an Atmospheric Slab Model:
To further illustrate the role of greenhouse gasses, imagine an atmosphere that consists of a single, homogeneous slab such as that shown below:
In this model, the atmosphere has an albedo of alpha. We assume the Earth is a perfect emitter of radiation, and hence is a black body at a temperature of T0. The atmosphere is a gray body, a nearly perfect emitter of radiation, with an absorptivity of es for short-wave(solar) radiation and an absorptivity of el for long-wave radiation (radiation emitted by Earth). The temperature of the atmosphere is Ta.
At the top of the atmosphere, Incoming solar radiation (after reflection) is (1-a)S. Radiation emitted by the atmosphere and escaping to space is e ls Ta.4 Radiation emitted by the surface and escaping to space is (1-e l )s T04 (note that absorptivity equals emissivity, so the amount absorbed by the atmosphere is e ls T04, leaving one minus this amount to escape to space. So, the radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere is .
At the Earth’s surface, Incoming solar radiation is (1-a)(1-e s )S0 (note that absorptivity equals emissivity, so the amount absorbed by the atmosphere is (1-a)e s S, leaving one minus this amount to reach the surface.) Incoming radiation emitted by atmosphere is e ls Ta4. Outgoing radiation emitted by surface is s T04. So the radiation balance at the Earth’s surface is .
Solving the radiation balance equations for for Ta and T0, gives the following results:
The figure below shows a plot of these temperatures as a function of e l (for this plot e s is set to 0.1):
An increase in greenhouse gasses results in an increase of e l, and therefore, a monotonic increase in surface temperature, T0. Interestingly, an increase in greenhouse gasses initially does not warm the temperature of the atmosphere, but cools it. Later, however, the slab model predicts it will increase too.
Having discussed the greenhouse gasses found in the Earth’s atmosphere and their respective effects on the climate of Earth, it’s time to take a look at whether or not human activity has increased the level of these greenhouse gasses.
First, a look at CO2 emissions:
Now, look at emissions of other greenhouse gasses:
These graphs were produced with data from individual countries that monitor the output via vehicles, factories, etc. They do not reflect the injection of gasses from natural sources. And as I stated earlier, the gasses don't simply dissipate. They sit in the atmosphere, absorb incoming (solar) and outgoing (longwave) infrared radiation, and emit it back to the surface of Earth in the form of heat through conduction. If the longwave emissivity (absorptivity) increases, so too does the average surface temperature.
25 Apr 2013 - 22:59
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