Category Archives: History

Sea-Level-Rise Acceleration

Judith Curry’s latest thoughts (this is part of a series, to be continued).

The more times goes on, the less concerned I get about climate change (not that it may not change for the worse — that’s always a possibility — but in the sense that we really understand and can predict it). For example, consider the Iceland event of 1783. If that happened today, it would be much larger than anything we’ve been doing with CO2, and it’s entirely unpredictable.

As always, our best bet is to get as wealthy as possible so we’ll have the resources to deal with whatever the future holds. Instead the climate alarmists advocate polices that make energy needlessly more expensive (and hence everything more expensive, inhibiting economic growth).

[Update late afternoon]

Judith’s weekly climate roundup, which is usually interesting.

Columbia Anniversary

It’s been fifteen years. Challenger was the beginning of the end of the Shuttle program, less than five years after the first flight. Columbia doomed it, though it continued to fly for eight more years. But the decision to end it led to the much more hopeful future we have now, with new commercial vehicles finally demonstrating real reusability, and competing with each other to drive down costs.

Here are my immediate thoughts at the time. Click on follow-up posts for a lot more.

[Update a few minutes later]

Glenn Reynolds: We just entered a golden age of space exploration. Why all the pessimism?

More importantly, we’re finally entering an age of not merely exploration, but development and ultimately settlement.

[Afternoon update]

In rereading what I wrote then, I’m surprised at how prescient it was and how well it held up. Including the foretelling of the book that was to come a decade later.

[Update a few minutes later]

Note my comment there at the time:

Who has an operational solution that’s any better than NASA’s?

Who’s been funded to provide one?

The fact that NASA hasn’t done better does not imply that it cannot be done better. NASA operates under significant political constraints.

Note that fifteen years later (and the two people doing this had started two years earlier), that problem seems to have been solved.