September 29, 2015

Rush Limbaugh on Mars.

I'm seeing some mockery of what Rush Limbaugh said about Mars on yesterday's show. Of course, it's taken out of context, as Rush, of course, expects and invites. (I'm sure he'll talk about this on the show today.) Let's look at what was quoted and what's in the transcript and try to figure out if he's ridiculously stupid or comically apt.

First, there was a teaser in the opening monologue. The boldfaced part is what Politico quoted:
Okay, so there's flowing water on Mars.  Yip yip yip yip yahoo.  You know me, I'm science 101 big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I'm all-in.  But NASA has been corrupted by the current Regime.  I want to find out what they're gonna tell us.  Okay, flowing water on Mars, if we’re even believe that, what are they gonna tell us that means?  That's what I'm gonna wait for.  Because I guarantee, let’s just wait and see.  This is September 28th.  Let's just wait and see, don't know how long it's gonna take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow gonna find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda. I don't know what it is, I would assume it would be something to do with global warming and maybe there was once an advanced civilization. If they say they found flowing water, next they're gonna find a graveyard.  And then they're gonna be able to say in the graveyard is a dead advanced civilization.  What killed them?  Well, who knows.  This is a bit, of course, of an extreme exaggeration, but this is what happens.

How many of you remember from the pope's visit a five-year-old girl approaching the pope begging him to keep talking about illegal immigration and immigrants and so forth? How many of you have seen that story, saw the video of it, how many of you are aware of it?  For those of you who are, understand, it was a setup.  The five-year-old girl was rehearsed. The whole thing was planned out.  It's nothing more than a deep public relations campaign.

And so each and every day we are challenged here with just the daily news and trying to determine which of it is real and how much of it is totally fraudulent and made up in order to advance a particular political agenda.  That cannot be denied.  Yeah, you know, the real question, are the waters on Mars rising or falling?  Now that we've discovered flowing water, are the levels rising or falling?  It's wide open.  I know you might think that I'm a little bit off the beaten path here.  Fine and dandy.  You've thought that.  Let's just wait and see.  Give it some time, and I'm telling you this is going to find its way into the left-wing science agenda, which is another element of our life or aspect that has corrupted.  And by corrupted, I mean, what is real is being masked or hidden and is instead being lied about. 
Now, the headline at Politico is "Rush Limbaugh pans evidence of water on Mars as part of 'leftist agenda.'" Not exactly. Rush asserted that NASA is corrupted by the Obama Administration. He prompted us to feel skeptical of NASA's announcement. (I was skeptical when I heard NASA's announcement, because NASA has interest in ginning up support for space exploration.) Rush was predicting that that "a left-wing science agenda" would leverage the water-on-Mars news.

Who exactly did he think would do that — the NASA scientists themselves or various media and political characters? I got my answer to that question in a later segment of yesterday's show — "Climate Change on Mars" —  when Rush took a call from a listener who said he'd seen something on TV that bore out Rush's prediction:
So the ABC reporter, I can't remember her name, did come on and say, "Mars may have been more like earth at one time," but she basically related it to climate change may have brought about its desolate condition now.  She didn't say those words, but pretty much they were equating climate change to Mars' condition now.  And I was just floored when I heard them say that.
Rush actually wasn't that impressed:
This is just an infobabe doing it, and I'll take being right.  I mean, I'm never gonna throw that out.  But until the NASA people say it -- we know the Drive-Bys.  That's why I was curious.  She wasn't interviewing the NASA guy.  She was doing a report on the NASA guy, and she said, she just opined, she just offered that it could well be that there had been climate change on Mars.  Imagine that.  And equating it to, of course, what's happening. There's climate change every freaking place in the universe, for crying out loud.  There's climate change on Jupiter.  The climate's changing everywhere.  Everything everywhere is always changing.  Nothing is static.  Everything changes always.  But I will not be proven right until some NASA guy -- and it'll happen.  Even if he's led to it in questioning by a Drive-By journalist, until an actual scientist makes the claim I will not actually say I've been right yet.
So it wasn't enough for media folk to blab something about Mars and climate change on Earth. And after the break, he said "Well, I think we can proclaim that I have been right." He'd found something in  US News & World Report:
"'Eons ago, ancient Mars had 'an extensive atmosphere,' along with 'an ocean two-thirds the size of the northern hemisphere and a mile deep,' said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA said during a press conference on Monday."  Okay, now, look, how do they know that?  How do they know that there was an ocean two-thirds the size of the northern hemisphere and that it was a mile deep?  We haven't been there.  We haven't probed a mile down on Mars....  This guy, Mr. Green, Jim Green at NASA, may be a perfectly nice guy, but, I'm sorry, the days where I listen to some scientist come out and say, "Yeah, two-thirds of Mars used to be covered with water and it was a mile deep," because what comes next, he's the director of planetary science at NASA, and he said, "After an unknown catastrophe, 'Mars suffered a major climate change and lost its surface water.'"

Now, doesn't that fit amazingly well with the scaremongering they are engaging in about planet Earth?  
It's Rush making the leap there, connecting events on Mars to Earth. The scientist, Green, said nothing about that. And, in fact, it doesn't "fit amazingly well," because the "scaremongering" on Earth is about blaming human beings on Earth. So those who are skeptical about anthropogenic climate change have a better opportunity to manufacture propaganda out the Mars news. As Rush keeps talking — thinking out loud — you can see that he realizes this, but he won't admit it. At some point he arrives here:
The unknown catastrophes here are known, and they're gonna cause us to be flooded by surface water. In 2007, February 28, National Geographic, "Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says."  This is National Geographic eight years ago saying that data that we had collected on Mars now tends to indicate that it's the sun, and not man, that's causing changes on earth.  Do you think anybody today is gonna go back and revisit that story in light of the discovery of flowing water on Mars? 
See? There he is, on the right, using the Mars news for his agenda. The right-wing science agenda. He tries to work his way out of that problem:
This is no different than a five-year-old girl being rehearsed and programmed to walk out to visit the pope in the middle of the street in Washington and hand him a note asking him for his support on illegal immigration.  Sorry, folks, I'm not buying any of it.  The evidence suggests that you shouldn't either.  National Geographic had a long story just eight years ago, same scientists discovered that solar activity is what destroyed Mars.  But now today it's climate change, unknown catastrophe brought on by climate change.  
Huh? "Climate change" is an effect not a cause. It shouldn't be "catastrophe brought on by climate change" but "climate change brought on by catastrophe" (and that's assuming that the amount and condition of the water is part of the "climate").

Rush continues:
I think this is -- word for this -- not "criminal."  But this is dangerously incompetent.  This is the attempted manipulation of people. To me this is hideous, to try to make something like this certain without doubt. 
That is pure raving.
I don't know.  It just irritates the heck out of me.  Unknown catastrophe.  We know that an unknown catastrophe some years ago brought about by climate change destroyed all the water on Mars.  
Why is he getting mad about "unknown catastrophe"? He's acting as though the scientist had made a claim to know. Rush switches to silly and irrelevant comedy — people are going to be saying "Why couldn't they have discovered a Starbucks up there so half of the Looney Tunes on this planet would want to leave." That hints at the monologue that could have been — the one that could have worked — which would not have been about climate change on Earth but about NASA's interest in getting us to support sending people to Mars.

After a commercial break, Rush gets help from a caller who says that the scientist's use of the word "catastrophic" "implies some sort of qualitative judgment," which implies human behavior, because "geologic events are neither good nor bad." Rush takes that point but twists it: "How can something be 'catastrophic' when there aren't any people around to feel the catastrophe?" But the condition of Mars does matter to people. It's our best hope of colonizing another planet.

Rush closes up the segment:
"Catastrophic" events when nobody lives on Mars? Until they're gonna tell us they did. "Yep, and global climate change destroyed them!"  Don't rule it out, folks.  We're dealing here with desperate leftists who will do anything to advance their agenda here on earth.  I know, but don't laugh.  
Desperate leftists? I started out this post thinking I could defend and support Rush, who riffs and takes risks as he thinks out loud. But he couldn't work up the material he thought he was going to find in there and he wouldn't admit it. "We're dealing here with desperate leftists who will do anything to advance their agenda here on earth" — he really does deserve to have that line turned against him. It would be more accurate to say that we're dealing here with a desperate rightist who will do anything to advance his agenda here on earth.

UPDATE: On his next show, Rush addresses the mockery. I read that transcript in "Rush Limbaugh on Mars, part 2."

98 comments:

Fandor said...

Rush, as usual, is right on the money.
The poobahs of climate change will try to loot us once again to prevent us from becoming Mars.

The bleat goes on.

Big Mike said...

Here on earth they "prove" climate warming using tree ring data in lieu of the historical record. When did Mars have trees?

Fabi said...

The fix is when they announce remnants of SUVs and air conditioners on Mars.

tim in vermont said...

My money is on climate change, of course. Mars and Venus were beautiful Earth-like planets, as portrayed in Abbot and Costello movies, then CO2 rose and it all went awry. Maybe not from NASA, but maybe so, but certainly stories founded on the thinnest foundation, built up with speculation will be in the press.

tim maguire said...

I don't know how you stomach Rush. He takes forever make his point, and his point, as you show here, is usually nonsense.

David Begley said...

I don't care about Mars unless that water can used to make Tang.

Nonapod said...

Unfortunately the phrase "climate change" has been corrupted and politicized. To say that over billions and billions of years the climate has changed on Mars or Earth or Venus or anywhere is axiomatic. Ideally Science should be above politics. But NASA has sadly become a fully politicized, and as such there is very real potential that they could attempt to frame a press release in such a way as to advance a specific political agenda. I get why Rush is suspicious. To be clear though, I don't think they've done that with this particular news story yet.

Mark said...

Climate science is currently non-existent. What we have instead is a whole lot of climate posturing. I trust observational data at this point in time. (Actual temperature readings recorded on actual instruments without "adjustments.") "Adjusted" and "inferred" data is useless because the very human incentives to support the settled science are so huge. Everyone knew 40 years ago that humanity would be starving now, and 100 years ago everyone knew there were canals on Mars. 20 years from now climate science may once again be a science, but it will frankly take something else becoming the popular doomsday scenario consensus.

Freder Frederson said...

So you are just now figuring out Rush is a big fat idiot (something Al Franken pointed out almost twenty years ago) and his audience are just, if not even more, dumb.

There is so much wrong with what he said. And who decided that catastrophe implies a man made cause? That is just boneheaded wrong.

rhhardin said...

Rush takes the length of the show to make points. His obligation is to be interesting. This varies by show.

Sudden truth is one way to be interesting.

Going off the mark is a way to be uninteresting.

It's true for everybody.

Laslo Spatula said...

Climate Change wiped out Mars, but everyone knows that toilet paper wiped out Uranus.

Because if planets are involved there -- inevitably -- has to be a Uranus joke.

And most 'Uranus' jokes center around how 'Uranus' sounds like 'Your Anus'.

And 'anus' is almost always funny.

There are meteoroids on Mars, but Uranus has hemorrhoids.

See. That is how it works.

Try making a sex joke about Jupiter or Saturn.

Okay, I will.

I never had sex on Jupiter but I once had sex in the back of a Saturn.

But many might call that cheating, because I am referring to Saturn the automobile brand.

There are unwritten rules.

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

OK, Now that I have read the whole Althouse piece my answer to her is "What's wrong with a little battlespace prep?" If there are no media stories linking what is claimed to have happened to Mars to our home planet, then fine. Rush is guilty of excessive paranoia.

As to causes, what does that matter? Something caused catastrophic climate change on Mars, look what happened! Do we want this for Earth?

It is not that hard a case. That's why I make some effort to cut my carbon footprint. It's why I don't fly very much anymore, among other reasons.

Where Rush is probably wrong is that NASA is doing legitimate science on Mars. They can't help it if there are billionaire funded climate news war rooms twisting every story. I think that it is pretty clear that NASA is fiddling with temp records without a solid foundation in evidence, so that the past keeps getting cooler and the present keeps getting warmer.

Darrell said...

#martianlivesmatter

rhhardin said...

Mars lost its atmosphere and its water when its magnetic field collapsed, which opened it up to the sweep of the solar wind.

On earth (so far! people are playing with magnets so stay tuned) has a magnetic field that causes the charged solar wind to move at right angles and cirle, which eliminates the corrosive effect.

Watch out for Big Magnet ruining the climate.

tim in vermont said...

Everybody who disagrees with Freder is an idiot, and if they have had weight problems in the past, then especially so!

I have listened to Rush for decades, prove I am an idiot Freder.

Darrell said...

NASA should send ClockBoy with a pencil case to take samples.

'TreHammer said...

Long time Rush listeners will recognize his often stated (by him) technique of using absurdity to point out absurdity. If you listen to Rush only once or twice or not very often, he does come off as a jerk and a know-it-all and a blow-hard. In reality, it takes a while, through repeated listenings (something he also says a lot), to get into his schtick and understand his way of thinking.

Brando said...

To borrow the Jon Stewart defense, Rush is just an entertainer. We can't hold him to journalist or pundit standards.

Carol said...

Yeah he treads on thin ice a lot in his scatterbrained rants, but the attempted manipulation by the media really is immensely irritating. Whatever they put out there, I can bet the spouse will start spouting it. He reads the paper every day, after all. And Popular Science. But I don't know what he wants me to do about it.

It's as if some people are not happy unless they think they've convinced you the world is ending. I had my fill of Doom during the Cold War and I'm not going there again. It really is a sick proclivity. The Church's ancient virtues of Faith and Hope were meant to me antidotes to it.

rhhardin said...

And who decided that catastrophe implies a man made cause?

It was the tree in the forest question; if a tree falls and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound.

This in turn in not a question of physics but of the meaning of sound.

It's a catastrophe if the crab nebula blows up, if you live there. Otherwise, not. It's just an aging star doing what aging star do.

rhhardin said...

If you want scatterbrained, visit some old Althouse podcasts.

She's best when interviewed or in blog form.

rehajm said...

I'd give even money on a 1,500 word Sunday NYT 'think' piece before year end.

MayBee said...

How does this make the Muslim world feel more accomplished?

rhhardin said...

I have Rush since 2007 on the HD. It's a shame to stop for no reason, since it's all automatic, but anyway the radio comes on and he's in the background while I work.

The current payoff is that I have all 87 Mark Steyn hostings, at least one of which forms the background sound on weekends.

I favor more days off for Rush. Not every day, just more days. Steyn can wear on you too.

Larry J said...

Nonapod said...
Ideally Science should be above politics.


One would think so, but scientists are human beings subject to the same weaknesses and temptations as everyone else. There are some professions that like to place themselves on a pedestal as being above the weaknesses of mere mortals such as doctors, judges, and scientists. When you dig deeper, you'll find there are some exceptional individuals from those ranks, but the rest desire money, respect, and recognition like the rest of us. There are judges who are nothing more than failed lawyers with sufficient political connections to get appointed or elected to the bench. There are doctors who cheat their patients, insurance companies, and the government to enrich themselves. And there are scientists who'll prostitute their careers to get research funding and to be published. They're no better than anyone else.

Laslo Spatula said...

What does an astronomer and a prostitute have in common?

Besides the fact that both can find Uranus, that is.

Maybe it has to do with how they obtain funding.

Because Science seems to have a lot of Whores.


I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

I think Dune is set in a post apocalyptic universe where the one lesson they learned from the bitter war that they were recovering from was that science and politics are separate and should never mix. It was accepted universally as an article of faith and nobody violated it.

My favorite part is the Pope telling us what "science" to believe as if the trial of Galileo had never happened.

Curious George said...

"Big Mike said...
Here on earth they "prove" climate warming using tree ring data in lieu of the historical record. When did Mars have trees?"

Who knows? But the climate scientists will model them.

Ambrose said...

Of course, it could be as simple as NASA using the Mars announcement to lobby for more and more funding. Funds that will then be used, of course, to refine their climate models in order to educate the public on the need for socialism to combat climate change.

rhhardin said...

Science and politics are separate except for the women.

damikesc said...

They tried using Venus as proof of "what happens when you let the environment get too dirty" (I remember that from school).

NASA has politicized itself. C'est la vie if their word is hardly sacrosanct.

I don't know how you stomach Rush. He takes forever make his point, and his point, as you show here, is usually nonsense.

...because he's trying to let his audience follow the logic tiny step by tiny step.


It also does seem awfully convenient for this to be announced when a movie about Mars and a guy starting a farm there to survive is about to launch.

narciso said...

Well no, it was a cybernetic war, that sparked the mentats, in that series. But Hanson did start mapping Venus.

Phil 3:14 said...

Rush knows his audience.

Titus said...

Fat, unattractive people don't have any credibility...in my opinion.

Look at his fat face? Could you imagine what is ass looks like-and you know he can't see his hog-that is just sad.

Mark said...

Rush leads a lot of people wearing tinfoil hats and spouting off about conspiracies.

most of the post here, apparently.

This will be a fun El Niño winter.

Mark (Not the conservative idiot)

Michael K said...

"NASA has interest in ginning up support for space exploration."

I thought they were on 'the Muslim feel better' case.

Has Jerry Brown heard about this Mars water ?

Mars almost certainly has life and water has little to do with it. It will be found about six feet below the surface and will be a form of Archea, which is found in extreme environments on Earth and probably will be found in comets. They used to called Archeabacteria but they are not bacteria and are a new (very old, actually) form of life. This is from my blog in 2009.

MayBee said...

NASA has not been politicized!!!

Almost everything about this clip is hilarious and sad now.

Nonapod said...

Knowledge is pitiless. - The Orange Catholic Bible

BDNYC said...

Althouse, according to the warming alarmists, climate change is both an effect (brought on by CO2 emissions) and a cause (of hurricanes, drought, rising sea levels, etc).

BDNYC said...

Once the climate has changed in some way due to CO2 emissions, the theory goes, other changes continue to happen in the future that will be bad for human life on earth. Catastrophic.

After a point, the change is irreversible and supposedly feeds on itself.

rhhardin said...

Some climate changes cancel other climate changes.

Paul said...

https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/nasa-comedy-for-the-day/...

No Water...

Once written, twice... said...

Rush Limbaugh deserves more credit than anybody in turning the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement into the home of raving knownothing hillbillies.

EMD said...

Did the "catastrophic event" on Mars change it's orbit? I thought distance from the sun was a very important factor in having the right conditions for life to develop, or maybe that's not settled science.

Nonapod said...

Distance from the Sun is one big factor for life. Mars is technically within our Suns habitable zone (the region around a star where planets of the right mass and atmosphere could have enough liquid water for life), and now we know that there's a small amount of liquid water present on the surface. Although Mars is probably pretty inhospitable for more complex forms of life, we may yet find evidence of simple unicellular life.

Michael K said...

"the modern conservative movement into the home of raving knownothing hillbillies."

Says the Obama voter.

Very amusing.

sykes.1 said...

Every federal agency and probably every state and local agency is corrupt. You cannot trust a single number or alleged fact produced by any of them. And NASA is particularly corrupt and incompetent. They have pseudoscientists who are working on faster than light drives and reactionless drives and arsenic-based DNA. Their weather branch published a largely fabricated temperature time series.

And they cannot put a man in low earth orbit, one of their main jobs.

Larry J said...

Mark said...
This will be a fun El Niño winter.


Of course, any change in the weather is taken as proof of climate change, unless the change is inconvenient. People began noticing a correlation between El Nino events and changes in the weather in the late 19th century. That kind of weakens any claim that weather changes due to El Nino events are caused by human activity.

From Wikipedia:

The recent discovery of El Niño Modoki has some scientists believing it to be linked to global warming. However, comprehensive satellite data go back only to 1979. More research must be done to find the correlation and study past El Niño episodes. More generally, there is no scientific consensus on how/if climate change may affect ENSO


Cultural history and prehistoric information

Average equatorial Pacific temperatures

ENSO conditions have occurred at two- to seven-year intervals for at least the past 300 years, but most of them have been weak. Evidence is also strong for El Niño events during the early Holocene epoch 10,000 years ago.

El Niño affected pre-Columbian Incas and may have led to the demise of the Moche and other pre-Columbian Peruvian cultures. A recent study suggests a strong El-Niño effect between 1789 and 1793 caused poor crop yields in Europe, which in turn helped touch off the French Revolution. The extreme weather produced by El Niño in 1876–77 gave rise to the most deadly famines of the 19th century. The 1876 famine alone in northern China killed up to 13 million people.

An early recorded mention of the term "El Niño" to refer to climate occurred in 1892, when Captain Camilo Carrillo told the geographical society congress in Lima that Peruvian sailors named the warm north-flowing current "El Niño" because it was most noticeable around Christmas. The phenomenon had long been of interest because of its effects on the guano industry and other enterprises that depend on biological productivity of the sea.

Charles Todd, in 1893, suggested droughts in India and Australia tended to occur at the same time; Norman Lockyer noted the same in 1904. An El Niño connection with flooding was reported in 1895 by Pezet and Eguiguren. In 1924, Gilbert Walker (for whom the Walker circulation is named) coined the term "Southern Oscillation".

The major 1982–83 El Niño led to an upsurge of interest from the scientific community. The period 1991–1995 was unusual in that El Niños have rarely occurred in such rapid succession. An especially intense El Niño event in 1998 caused an estimated 16% of the world's reef systems to die. The event temporarily warmed air temperature by 1.5 °C, compared to the usual increase of 0.25 °C associated with El Niño events. Since then, mass coral bleaching has become common worldwide, with all regions having suffered "severe bleaching".

Major ENSO events were recorded in the years 1790–93, 1828, 1876–78, 1891, 1925–26, 1972–73, 1982–83 and 1997–98,[49] with the 1997–98 episode being one of the strongest ever.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Thinking that Rush Limbaugh is smart is a pretty good marker for stupidity.

Smilin' Jack said...

"How can something be 'catastrophic' when there aren't any people around to feel the catastrophe?" But the condition of Mars does matter to people. It's our best hope of colonizing another planet.

Our hope of colonizing Mars is the same as our hope of colonizing any other planet: zero.

And there was no "catastrophe"--Mars's gravity is simply too weak to hold an earth-like atmosphere, so over billions of years it escaped into space.

Mars lost its atmosphere and its water when its magnetic field collapsed, which opened it up to the sweep of the solar wind.

Venus has no magnetic field and is closer to the Sun than Earth, yet its atmosphere is much thicker than ours.

CWJ said...

Maybes wrote,

"How does this make the Muslim world feel more accomplished?"

Muslims of the Bedouin variety have great experience with low water environments, Therefore now that we've found intermittent flowing water, they'd make great astronauts. Send them all to Mars.

tim in vermont said...

Rush Limbaugh deserves more credit than anybody in turning the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement into the home of raving knownothing hillbillies.

Actually, before Rush the Republican Party hadn't held the Congress for decades. What really changed was that Republicans started winning so Democrats have gotten nasty. Even Obama was against gay marriage just a few short years ago. The Democrat party is the party that changed.

tim in vermont said...

But please keep up with the "hillbilly" insult. We will need every bit of turnout this coming election to overcome the walking around money, the illegal immigrant vote, etc, to win all three branches.

Bay Area Guy said...

There's nothing wrong with anyone attempting to "fisk" Rush's comments on climate change. Market place of ideas, Baby!

So, Althouse gets an A for effort.

But, alas, I score the round: Rush 10, Althouse 9

"Climate change" is a political weapon used by the Left to change our economy and culture for the worse. Rush is basically right that when some NASA stooge starts speculating about oceans or droughts or Martian catastrophes, it is transparent that he is merely ginning up fear to: (a) get more funding and (b) push the narrative. We've been down that path before. I ignore all government fear-mongering.

Rush may have been sloppy in parts of his diatribe, but AA's tedious scrutiny misses the bigger picture that Rush largely conveyed.

traditionalguy said...

NASA needs a new impossible dream like a colony on Mars. Their current job of fighting War for World dominion in space with the Chinese is so 1990s.

tim in vermont said...

I am always astounded by how little liberals seem to understand their own motivations. I studied literature, therefore rhetoric, in college, and I think it is a great preparation for understanding politics. Literature is about the manipulation of emotions, like law and politics.

I think the Clinton administration is the first time I noticed the Democrats using techniques of literature, after all, they have the press at their disposal, in politics.

When Democrats speak of a "hostile press" what they mean is that they are not completely cooperative in pushing the administration's narrative on some issue.

garage mahal said...

There ain't no water on Mars and jet fuel don't melt steel!

Michael K said...

"arsenic-based DNA"

Not DNA. The "arsenic bacteria" prefer Phosphate.

The study, published today in Nature2, suggests that just one chemical bond holds the key, and shows that the ‘arsenic-life’ bacteria have a strong preference for phosphorus over arsenic.

“This work provides in a sense an answer to how GFAJ-1 (and related bacteria) can thrive in very high arsenic concentrations,” say Tobias Erb and Julia Vorholt of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, co-authors of the latest paper, who were also co-authors on a follow-up paper that cast doubt on the initial arsenic-life claims.


The Mars findings may be interesting in Nitrogen deficient atmospheres.

Todd said...

rhhardin said...
And who decided that catastrophe implies a man made cause?

It was the tree in the forest question; if a tree falls and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound.

This in turn in not a question of physics but of the meaning of sound.

It's a catastrophe if the crab nebula blows up, if you live there. Otherwise, not. It's just an aging star doing what aging star do.

9/29/15, 8:41 AM


One persons's interstellar catastrophe is another person's progress on an interstellar bypass. It just depends on your perspective...

Michael said...

Garage

Fire melts steel, high temperatures melt steel. Jet fuel does not. So you're right.

Michael said...

Garage

Once written, twice is calling you a Republican.

I Callahan said...

As usual, any mention of Rush brings out the spittle-spraying, braying, moronic leftist trolls who sometimes inhabit the comment sections here. And as usual, they bring much thought, logic and class to the discussion.

ken in tx said...

I think Rush's prediction that this will be used to make a political point about climate change is valid. The middle school and high school text books that discuss the ancient civilizations of the Indus valley, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, openly speculate that they disappeared because they didn't take care of the environment and brought about climate change. Even though there is no historical or archaeological evidence for this, students are being primed to accept this concept and apply it to the modern world.

garage mahal said...

The only political party in the world that denies the existence of climate changes thinks the NASA discovery of water on Mars is a hox. Well done!

buwaya said...

Ken is right, Rush is right, Freder is wrong.
Rush is predicting the rhetorical application of this new information, not the information.
Given the way all science, literature and history have been twisted and rhetoricised for political ends, I respect his prediction. Everything is politics.

rhhardin said...

Rush is covering the water controversy again today, not that I'm particularly paying attention.

Perhaps the Althouse criticism got to him.

Mike said...

"I trust observational data at this point in time. (Actual temperature readings recorded on actual instruments without "adjustments.")"

You don't need the adjustments to see global warming in the temperature record. It's right there. Go to Berkeley Earth and download the raw data. The adjustments make the data smoother, but the trend is right there in the raw data, clear as day.

Limbaugh had a bad history where science is concerned. I can remember listening to him 25 years ago talking about the ozone hole was a natural phenomenon and the effort to ban CFC's was a leftist plot (to do what, I can't imagine). Yet here we are, 25 years later, with the ozone hole shrinking thanks to the CFC ban.

Todd said...

garage mahal said...
The only political party in the world that denies the existence of climate changes thinks the NASA discovery of water on Mars is a hox. Well done!

9/29/15, 11:20 AM


"The only political party in the world that denies the existence of climate changes (sic)" is a straw-man. Everyone KNOWNS that climate change happens, what is in dispute is whether MAN has enough of an impact on the climate to affect it in any significant way. But you knew that...

I Callahan said...

The only political party in the world that denies the existence of climate changes thinks the NASA discovery of water on Mars is a hox. Well done!

No one said anything about Mars' water being a hoax. Not even Limbaugh. Are you that low on ammunition that you have to completely fabricate stuff now?

Michael said...

Garage

Hox with an a, please. I think your reading skills have gotten worse, by the way. And no one is denying that the climate is changing, as it does pretty much every day. The discussion is about whether it is due to human activity and if it is what can be done. I would seriously lay off the weed, dude. It is taking its toll.

I Callahan said...

the effort to ban CFC's was a leftist plot (to do what, I can't imagine).

Apparently, you didn't bother to read any of the comments to the thread, or you'd have an answer to this. NASA needs money, so they create catastrophes to justify higher budgets. NASA has been pretty useless since the moon landing, so I can at least understand the reasoning.

Now why is it a leftist plot? Well, if capitalism can be blamed for the climate, and enough lemmings believe it's to be blamed, then those who want power (the left) will have enough ammunition to fundamentally transform the United States of America (ring a bell?) from a free, capitalistic society to one run like a socialist republic, where those who want power will finally have it.

Seems pretty clear to me...

garage mahal said...

Michael
Check Limbaugh ' comments again. Also, check the comments in this thread. Like the one above mine.

Michael K said...

"they disappeared because they didn't take care of the environment and brought about climate change. Even though there is no historical or archaeological evidence for this, "

Yes, and no mention of the evidence of carnage and thousands of dead with sword wounds from the Aryan invaders who killed them.

Garage the local science expert. The Mars water is still speculation as the streams seen are of salt.

Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues looked at data collected by the CRISM instrument onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for spots where the dark streaks would form. The instrument detects wavelengths of light, in both visible and infrared, reflected from the Martian surface. "At visible wavelengths, the way light is reflected is strongly influenced by iron in minerals - for example rust, or iron oxide, appears red," according to NASA. "At infrared wavelengths, CRISM can 'see' features due to sulfate, carbonate, hydroxyl, and water incorporated into mineral crystals, plus it has greater sensitivity to the kinds of minerals containing iron."

There is probably some form of flow but water is not yet proven. Except by your research, of course.

Fen said...

OnceWritten: the modern conservative movement into the home of raving knownothing hillbillies.

OnceWritten thinks he can shame us into changing our beliefs by calling us names.

Because that's what worked on him. And now the Cool Kids let him carry their books to class and do their homework. He's popular now! Not like those "other" people over there...

damikesc said...

Limbaugh had a bad history where science is concerned. I can remember listening to him 25 years ago talking about the ozone hole was a natural phenomenon and the effort to ban CFC's was a leftist plot (to do what, I can't imagine). Yet here we are, 25 years later, with the ozone hole shrinking thanks to the CFC ban.

Which wasn't natural due to our centuries of study of the ozone layer...oh, wait. We don't have a long history of studying the atmosphere.

damikesc said...

The only political party in the world that denies the existence of climate changes

Nobody denies climate changes. Ice Ages begin and end.

Your party is the one that attacked Global Cooling, Warming, and just generic Climate change with the exact same strategies and proposals.

You're also the party who follows the only scientific theory known in existence that cannot be falsified. That sounds like good science. Really.

Fen said...

No one said anything about Mars' water being a hoax. Not even Limbaugh. Are you that low on ammunition that you have to completely fabricate stuff now?

Garage knows no one said its a hoax. He's using argument by assertion to put you on the defensive, get you talking about whether Rush thinks its a hoax.

And honestly, knowing what we know now about Garage, I really don't understand why anyone gives him the time of day. Or is even civil towards him.

Fen said...

"You're also the party who follows the only scientific theory known in existence that cannot be falsified"

That was just cruel. The IFuckingLoveScience crowd here won't have any idea what you just said. They also go foggy when you say things like "scientific method"...

Michael K said...

The skeptic belief is that the warming trend seen the past 100 years was due to the end of the "Little Ice Age" which has been denied by the Michael Mann fanboys and girls. Before that was "The Medieval Warm Period" that has also been denied by Mann. His fake hockey stick doesn't show it.

This era is known as The Holocene Epoch that will end with the next ice age, which just might be starting if the sunspot minimum continues.

For example, The Himalayan glaciers are growing again after being used as evidence of warming. Even California glaciers are growing.

You will only see that in British newspapers of Fox News.

Their findings suggest the region is contravening the global pattern of glacier shrinkage, which is taking place elsewhere in the Himalayas and around the planet.
The impact of global warming in the region has been controversial since an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report wrongly claimed in 2007 that glaciers in most of the greater Himalayan range could vanish by 2035.


and

But for Shasta, about 270 miles north of San Francisco, scientists say a warming Pacific Ocean means more moist air.

On the mountain, precipitation falls as snow, adding to the glaciers enough to overcome a 1.8 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature in the last century, scientists say.

"It's a bit of an anomaly that they are growing, but it's not to be unexpected," said Ed Josberger, a glaciologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Tacoma, Wash.


Oh yes it is.

Alex said...

Really Althouse? What I find to be "pure raving" is leftists insisting that nuclear power is SUPER-DANGEROUS and we can't possibly deal with the waste(Yucca Mountain), so we have to build over the entire land with solar panels and wind mills. That's first-class RAVING.

Alex said...

garage - name me one Communist nation that has a better track record on environment than capitalist ones.

Michael said...

Garage

The comment above yours supports Limbaugh who, in turn, was somewhat tongue in cheek. Climate change is a religion to you and not about science at all. I respect other people's religions I just don't want them shoved down my intellectual gullet.

rhhardin said...

Rush is arguing and not comprehending a caller about the earned income tax credit that the poor get via an ATM, and arguing about the alternative minimum tax AMT.

rhhardin said...

I'd have mentioned the asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) to help.

Mike said...

"For example, The Himalayan glaciers are growing again after being used as evidence of warming. Even California glaciers are growing."

First link doesn't work. Second is seven years old. And you can find exceptions but 90% of glaciers are retreating.

Again, it's not California glacier warming; it's global warming. You have to consider all of them.

Fen said...

"And you can find exceptions but 90% of glaciers are retreating."

No. They really aren't.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/category/glaciers/page/2/


Michael K said...

See if this link is better.

This one is recent.

For the past seven years, scientists have noted that the Karakoram glaciers have been spreading. Yet it was not clear whether the glaciers were merely becoming thinner, with the same amount of ice, or less, spread over a larger area, or if they were actually gaining mass.

Then there is this one.

But new research suggests that a few glaciers aren't shrinking at all, and may even be growing. Here, a brief guide to this counterintuitive phenomenon:

Which glaciers are growing?
A few glaciers in the Karakoram mountain range along the India-China-Pakistan border are gaining mass, according to a report published in the April issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. "The rest of the glaciers in the Himalayas are mostly melting," lead researcher Julie Gardelle tells LiveScience. "This is an anomalous behavior."


Hope that helps.

MadisonMan said...

Hope this helps.

Definition 1.

jacksonjay said...

Hell, no one mentioned NASA outreach to Matt Damon, that Limey Scott and 20th Century Fox! Once again, government picking winners and losers!

Rusty said...

Eric the Fruit Bat said...
Thinking that Rush Limbaugh is smart is a pretty good marker for stupidity.

Smarter than you.

Rhythm and Balls said...

You know, Tubby and his followers could make things a whole lot easier for everyone by just declaring, beforehand, what findings scientists are allowed to discover and which they are not.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Unfortunately the phrase "climate change" has been corrupted and politicized.

Hmmmm... And I wonder who did that. Certainly not the people demanding that it can't be a reason for changing any lucrative industrial practices that contribute to it. No, it couldn't be those people who corrupted and politicized the term.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Not everything that can't be falsified is a reason for disbelieving it.

I can't falsify my belief that a serial killer will kill again. But to follow the Republican model of climate, we should conduct that experiment just because we can't know for 110% certain that he will - as if absolute certainty was even a possibility in the known universe.

The fact that they don't understand that there are very few absolute certainties - only better and better degrees of certainty, better and better evidence for one position versus the other, proves one thing: They're the ones who can't stomach any form of knowledge that goes by a non-religious model.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The skeptic belief is that the warming trend seen the past 100 years was due to the end of the "Little Ice Age" which has been denied by the Michael Mann fanboys and girls.

Well, that's one skeptic's belief.

My own skeptic belief is that changing an input to a system might very well affect the output of that system.

We could try adding several things to gasoline, for instance. Water, sugar, salt and even baking powder.

Maybe nothing will happen to the way your car's engine works. I mean, that's "the skeptic belief". Change something, affect nothing.

Go try that experiment out. Based on your "beliefs" (as if beliefs had any place in science anyway), the results should astound you.

Michael said...

R&B

But your gasoline example is absurd and off point. If you are familiar with complex spreadsheets you know that minor manipulations can have profound outcomes and you also know that it is quite easy to game the outcomes. Very easy. Thus Mann's hockey stick was immediately unmasked as a fraud. Minor, teensy tiny cheats, can give anyone the results they want. Those tweaks aren't science. They are politics.

BN said...

If they find a fetus on Mars, every newspaper in the world will declare in capital letters, "LIFE FOUND ON MARS!!!"

The next day, after they do a DNA test and discover it to be human, every newspaper on earth will proclaim, "LIFE FOUND ON MARS IS HUMAN!!!"

Who will then step up and do what needs to be done, i.e., kill it and salvage its brain for research?

Patrick Henry said...

the ozone hole was a natural phenomenon and the effort to ban CFC's was a leftist plot

Trace the ban of CFCs with the expiration of the Freon patent. It's very similar to the ban on incandescent lightbulbs and the desire by GE and other manufacturers to improve their profit margins on a super low margin business.

In both cases, big business jumped on the bandwagon to push through legislation that benefitted their bottom line - never-mind questionable science by those with an agenda.

MadisonMan said...

Which wasn't natural due to our centuries of study of the ozone layer...oh, wait. We don't have a long history of studying the atmosphere.

Which wasn't natural because chlorine -- part of a CFC that is liberated in the stratosphere by UV rays -- doesn't normally exist in the stratosphere to destroy ozone catalytically.