Interlude

The Antiplanner came away from a trip to Las Vegas last week with a sense of awe that such a place actually exists and a feeling that Las Vegas is what America will be. At least, the retail portions of America, from WalMart to Krogers to Penneys to Macys, will have to be as exciting as Las Vegas if they are to compete against the Internet. (One retailer who has long understood this is Jungle Jim’s International Farmer’s Market, outside of Cincinnati, but that’s another blog post.)

Unfortunately, I also came away with a bad head cold, so in lieu of a regular post here are some links to some recent PowerPoint shows and other noteworthy articles.

On Saturday, I gave a presentation to the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights in the Seattle area. This file is 78 megabytes and includes my PowerPoint show, the text accompanying each slide, and some videos.

My presentations in Honolulu also have notes and are in either PowerPoint (17 MB) or PDF (6 MB) format, the difference being that the latter has stills where the former includes a couple of videos.

Other presentations given in Honolulu include ones by Wendell Cox on February 28 and a slightly different one on February 29; both are under 3 mb. These focus on the fiscal challenges facing Honolulu (and many other cities). Adrian Moore’s 3-mb presentation focuses on managed lanes and applies to any congested urban area. John Charles’ 112-mb presentation looks exclusively at Portland transit-oriented developments. Finally, architect Peter Vincent’s 68-mb presentation looks at the visual impacts of Honolulu’s planned rail line.

Early this month, the Weekly Standard had an article on Insufferable Portland. About a third of the article is based on Portlandia; about a third on the Antiplanner’s Debunking Portland paper, and about a third is from other sources.

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51 thoughts on “Interlude

  1. FrancisKing

    “Unfortunately, I also came away with a bad head cold, so in lieu of a regular post here are some links to some recent PowerPoint shows and other noteworthy articles.”

    Sorry to hear that, get well soon.

    C. P. Zilliacus Reply:

    I second that.

  2. LazyReader

    Geez don’t even use Las Vegas as an example of anything. Las Vegas is built in the middle of a desert (not even the nice beautiful deserts of southern California Sonora or New Mexico, more like the “you’re child will burst into flames if left in the car for more than 30 seconds), lending the town a permanent air of desperation. Its disorienting layout of streets 12 lanes wide is borrowed from the design of casinos that prevent gamblers from leaving that it’s impossible to cross the street without feeling as if your playing Frogger. Las Vegas evolved as a crude experiment of several elements; the defiance of nature (build lots of stuff, who cares if there is any water or how many die of heat stroke), abnormally cheap land (because smart people were wise enough to not live there, even the Indians we massacred out West said “this place is too hot”), vast empty space for expansion, and the belief that it is possible to win it big. By the mid-1800s, Mormons ventured from Utah into Las Vegas long enough to build a scouting station, but soon decided the extreme heat and isolation from any resources was beyond even their faith and ability to settle. When a U.S. government expedition finally got there, the area around Las Vegas was inhabited by less than a hundred people. The Hoover Dam project on the Colorado river thirty-odd miles from Vegas brought thousands of well-paid federal employees to the area between 1929 and 1935. The state of Nevada legalized gambling in 1931 and for several years Las Vegas benefited by hijacking federal paychecks and when the dam was finished the place dried up again. The army did set up an artillery training range just north of town during WWII, cycling thousands of trainees every couple of months all willing to spend their hard earned federal money on raunchy saloons, casinos and clubs. For all this federal life-support, Las Vegas remained a desert burg. What changed for Vegas was a national syndicate of criminals with skills in the art of grift, deception, murder and controlling vice were prefectly suited to a state where grifting formalized as casino gambling was perfectly legal. The Flamingo Hotel (built by Bugsy Segal) was built with mob money, establishing the template for how Vegas would take shape. He was later murdered for grifting his grifter associates as soon as the Flamingo was up and running, but the experiment of a mob money-machine proved highly successful making more money in legitimate earnings than they could make in other “markets” until the 1970’s brought on the super profitable drug war. By the 60’s the hotel-motel-casinos were beginning to show their age as were the mobsters. To enlarge, refurbish, and reproduce casinos, the mob concocted a scheme for funneling enormous sums of money through the Teamster’s Union in effect they becoming the chief investment bank of Las Vegas as Nevada law made it impossible for publicly-held corporations to own casinos so normal capital was unavailable to the gambling industry. In 1966, Howard Hughes moved to a penthouse in town and began buying up Vegas real estate for reasons that are still largely mysterious to this day (May have something to do with innate fear of germs and love of the clean sterile desert air or his obsessive mania for controlling his surroundings, and that he had the financial means to do it; after all rich people aren’t crazy, they’re eccentric) Hughes ruled his empire in utter seclusion making all his decisions in the outside world by proxy of handpicked morally hygienic Mormon executive aides, a stark contrast to the gangster way of using “muscle” in employee relations. By the late 60’s the gangsters were growing old and happy to sell out to Hughes for tens of millions of dollars to retire in splendor from the hazards of organized crime. Fearing the prospect of a Hughes-dominated city, the state in 1967 rescinded the law that had prevented publicly-held companies from owning casinos and thus began the age of the megaresorts. By the 80’s Gambling rapidly became legalized in many other parts of the United States, creating an enormous problem for Las Vegas; places like Atlantic City, once a small but lovely coastal resort town (like Ocean City), now a crime ridden ghetto, nearly every state has a lottery and Indian gaming. Today Vegas survives the 21st century attempting to purge itself of the past and turning itself into an adult Disneyworld with spectacles set aside for the kids but the scent of winning big always lurked and acts as the principal motivation. If gambling were legal (which the libertarian in me supports but personally depises) Vegas would revert back to what it once was, a dusty little town in the middle of nowhere.

    Scott Reply:

    The point about LV being “wowie zowie” was its appearance (architecture, lights, shows, etc.), not its geography.

  3. bennett

    From the 1st power point, “Portland planners are so intrusive that planners once ordered this church to allow no more than 70 people to worship at one time in its 400-seat sanctuary, saying letting more people in would cause too much congestion.”

    Any planning student takes planning or land use law within the first couple of years in school. They will know that if the churches challenge this in court the City doesn’t stand a chance. I surprised that the City has done this, and I’m also skeptical this is a actual law/policy. I’m looking into it, can anybody provide me with any proof of this?

    bennett Reply:

    p.s. the only information I’ve been able to find thus far is provided by Mr. O’Toole. http://www.ti.org/orlup.html

    I need something with a little more teeth and less hearsay.

    LazyReader Reply:

    Portlands 11th commandment: Thou shalt not cause congestion.

    MJ Reply:

    In Portland’s case, it’s “Thou shalt not ease congestion”.

    bennett Reply:

    I need something with a little more teeth and less hearsay.

    craig Reply:

    I use to live near Sunnyside United Methodist Church and recall in 2000 when it happened, but I don’t have any supporting documents. It is across the street from Sunnyside school. At the corner of Se Yamhill St and SE 35th av.

    The Antiplanner Reply:

    See “Land-Use Officer Decides Her Last Case,” Oregonian, July 6, 2000, available on line if you have a subscription to Newsbank (all Multnomah County library patrons can use Newsbank).

    Short story: The church was offering free meals to homeless people; neighbors objected; took the case to a land-use hearings officer who ordered the church to stop charitable activities at the church and, as an afterthought, said “up to 70 individuals may participate in worship service and Bible study.” The church went to the city council, overturned the afterthought but still was not allowed to do charitable activities at the church.

  4. Sandy Teal

    This is off topic, but too cute to resist posting. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is considering whether a parking spot in front of your house is a “human right”.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/06/human-rights-tribunal-of-ontario/

    bennett Reply:

    Surprised Austin hasn’t taken up this cause. Many neighborhoods in central Austin that are adjacent to commercial corridors have neighborhood associations that have gotten the city to issue permits for on-street parking. They don’t want people parking on “their” street.

    They live in highly desirable neighborhoods, in part (err, mostly) because of their proximity to the commercial corridor. Now parking around the corridor is next to impossible despite the fact that the on-street spaces are completely vacant.

    Street connectivity is a similar issue. Neighborhoods want to limit connectivity, even when presented with the emergency management (fire) issues limited connectivity creates, because people don’t want others driving down “their” street. IMHO, this is the major contributor to why Austin has some of the worse travel times per capita in the nation. In ATX there is usually only one route to take. The grid (or lack there of) has no forgiveness. This is typical of many Texas cities.

    Sandy Teal Reply:

    How much do you think the exclusive parking spot adds to the value of the house in those neighborhoods?

    bennett Reply:

    Well intuitively I wouldn’t think too much because Austin’s zoning requires 2 off-street parking spaces per unit, but in these neighborhoods and with my limited market analysis abilities I’d say at least $2,000.

    LazyReader Reply:

    Didn’t houses used to have parking garages in the back? It used to be the design standard until the 1950’s. You cant avoid the fact if you have a front garage, you’ll have a front driveway and if it’s meant for more than 2 cars it eats up as much as half of your front yard. Pit it in the back and the house can be built forward and closer to the sidewalk for ease and you could still have a big back yard.

    Andrew Reply:

    I actually own half the street in front of my house. It certainly says so in my deed and on the county property map. I can’t see why I would not be entitled to exclusive use of what I own.

    bennett Reply:

    If you own it then it’s yours. If you don’t then it’s not. Pretty simple.

    Sandy Teal Reply:

    Actually you own half the street in front of your house, and the city has a right-of-way for all the property rights except the right to pay taxes on it.

    I am not kidding. Try selling your property under the city right-of-way and you would have to pay somebody to take it.

    Andrew Reply:

    Sandy Teal:

    No, in most of the rest of my town, the property owners do not own the street, the ownership is clearly stated to start at the ROW line of the street, and the streets are municipal property. For myself and my one neighbor, we own half the street and pay taxes on the footage of land accordingly.

  5. LazyReader

    Also recent news: A newly built section of a high-speed rail line has collapsed in China’s central Hubei province following heavy rain, state media reports. About 300 meters (984 feet) of the embankment in Qianjiang city collapsed last Friday, Xinhua news agency says. News of the incident only emerged on Monday. China’s high-speed railway has been expanding rapidly in recent years, having announced to build thousands of miles of dedicated high speed rail. But this is just the latest incident to tarnish the reputation of the new network, after accusations of using defective materials, poor workmanship, failed parts, bribery, corruption. Heavy rain apparently caused the foundations to give way on the railway line, which forms part of the trunk route of the national high-speed network. However internet users in China are not convinced by official explanations and ask if there are flaws in the construction process. Forty people died last summer in a crash on a rapid train line in eastern Zhejiang province and the entire high speed scheme has been dogged with reports of corruption.

    the highwayman Reply:

    Sounds like a washout. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JamhlDxH77k

  6. Dan

    a high-speed rail line has collapsed in China’s central Hubei province following heavy rain, state media reports

    Much more of this on the way, according to all the big reinsurance companies. These companies aren’t sure how they are going to pay all the climate change-related damages, not even counting the climate migrations and related social unrest.

    DS

    Sandy Teal Reply:

    This rail line is less than two years old. How much global warming has happened in two years?

    The big reinsurance companies can’t have any problem with global warming. Whatever problem they could have, they would increase they would increase their premiums to cover the risk. Funny how the free market works that way.

    Dan Reply:

    This rail line is less than two years old. How much global warming has happened in two years?

    Irrelevant and nonsensical.

    The big reinsurance companies can’t have any problem with global warming. Whatever problem they could have, they would increase they would increase their premiums to cover the risk. Funny how the free market works that way.

    Yes, thank you. They see a risk from climate change and they are not sure the free market will cover it. Thank you for clarifying.

    DS

    Sandy Teal Reply:

    Lloyds of London insures against alien abduction, so I guess global warming is more speculative than alien abductions.

    the highwayman Reply:

    You could be abducted by illegal aliens.

    Scott Reply:

    What are “climate change-related damages”?
    Sounds made up,
    How is that fake claim even related to destruction over the course of a few years?
    Imagine climate change over 50 years. That’s much longer than a regular mortgage & has considerable normal wear & tear.

    How has climate changed in 50 years? And to what adverse effects?

    I live in a Mediterranean climate, which has been there for many centuries.
    Please cite where any climate zones have extended or receded.

    Dan Reply:

    Please cite where any climate zones have extended or receded.

    The USDA just published a new climate zone map. There were no zones that receded. Arbor Day did a new one several years ago as well, with a small area getting colder.

    All the gardeners on the planet know the climate is changing.

    HTH.

    DS

    Scott Reply:

    Is that bad?

    Do structures collapse more in the warmth?

    And how is that related to GHGs?

    Algores’ mockumentary has 35+ errors, including mixing up the cause & effect. The CO2 increased AFTER the warming.

  7. FrancisKing

    I’ve finished looking through Antiplanner’s presentation in Honolulu. Most of it I agree wholeheartedly with, but there was one slide…

    Slide 22: “In fact, the light in light rail refers to capacity: light rail is light-capacity rail. Even buses can carry more people than light rail because, for safety reasons, light rail trains must be spaced two or more minutes apart while buses can run every few seconds.”

    As I explained earlier, you can’t run buses a few seconds apart if you’re actually going to pick anybody up. A bus without passengers is useless. So you get 4-6 buses an hour, not one every 4 seconds. Not one every few seconds either. Capacity 1800 pcus/hr/lane, each bus is 2 pcu, so one every 4 seconds at most.

    The light rail unit shown in the slide is articulated and carries a lot more people than any bus. A light rail unit can emergency stop faster than any bus (using an electromagnetic brake). The electromagnetic field ‘glues’ the light rail unit to the rail.

    There are many good reasons not to pick light rail – over-engineering for the number of passengers, with costs to got with it, for starters. But not the assertions in this slide.

    Sandy Teal Reply:

    I agree with your point, but to make the comparisons parallel, don’t trains have to maintain a certain time and distance separation, while buses can stack up bumper to bumper if they get backed up?

    The Antiplanner Reply:

    On a highway, buses can safely be run 6 seconds apart. Studies at Portland State University have determined that, in downtown traffic, buses can stop, pick up people, and leave from bus stops on 22 second intervals. Either way, buses can carry more people than light rail on three-minute intervals, which is the usual limit.

    the highwayman Reply:

    That’s a conga line of buses, with not many people getting on.

    Some thing tells me you rarely travel by bus.

    Andrew Reply:

    On a highway, buses can safely be run 6 seconds apart. Studies at Portland State University have determined that, in downtown traffic, buses can stop, pick up people, and leave from bus stops on 22 second intervals. Either way, buses can carry more people than light rail on three-minute intervals, which is the usual limit.

    Highway bus capacity is irrelevant for real transit operation. A dedicated bus lane on a highway is essentially a dedicated express busway, as in Pittsburgh and Ottawa. This infrastructure cost just as much as equivalent light rail lines. A six second headway is 600 buses per hour, which requires a massive end terminal and at least 20 surface feeder routes. Such a set-up only exists at the Lincoln Tunnel in NYC. I helped set-up a temporary bus operation once using stops every four blocks and 80 buses per hour scheduled down the street intermixed with an existing 15 bus per hour local operation and auto and truck traffic. We had to use a couplet of three-lane one-way streets with timed-traffic lights and on-street parking and deliveries and multiple traffic managers at each end of the line for crowd control and dispatching. Street capacity and reliability was stretched but not broken. Terminal capacity and crowd control on the sidewalks at each end were the real limiting factors. The operation moved around 5,000-10,000 people per hour in the peak direction by using mostly articulated buses. We quickly realized that running 1 bus in 3 non-stop between endpoints and the other 2 local was the most efficient method of moving the crowds and used such a system to speed throughput and avoid congestion at intermediate curb stops. We had to stage two 500 ft. blocks full of buses at one end of the line where we were connecting to a rail line to ensure a sufficient supply of vehicles to move the crowds as connecting trains came in and discharged their load to the buses. The special circumstances of this type of operation are obvious to anyone familiar with normal transit operations.

    Studies by Portland State are also irrelevant. Its much more interesting to look at actual transit operations instead of ivory tower studies. In real life, both bus and streetcar lines on large streets have been run on line-of-sight principles at less than one minute headways. Individual routes have run on headways of 2-3 minutes. Grade seperated trolley and subway/elevated rail routes have also been run on both signaled and line of sight principles with sub-one minute headways. There is nothing magic about a bus operation that a streetcar cannot also do.

    FrancisKing Reply:

    “Studies at Portland State University have determined that, in downtown traffic, buses can stop, pick up people, and leave from bus stops on 22 second intervals.”

    Please post these studies.

    Andrew Reply:

    Slide 22: “In fact, the light in light rail refers to capacity: light rail is light-capacity rail. Even buses can carry more people than light rail because, for safety reasons, light rail trains must be spaced two or more minutes apart while buses can run every few seconds.”

    “Light rail” operates on scheduled less than one minute headways in Philadelphia, with 70 trolley cars scheduled per hour between 36th and 13th Streets. Boston operates 39 trains per hour on the Green line. San Francisco operates 41 trains per hour under Market Street.

    But why let reality intrude on fantasy hate screeds?

    As I explained earlier, you can’t run buses a few seconds apart if you’re actually going to pick anybody up. A bus without passengers is useless. So you get 4-6 buses an hour, not one every 4 seconds. Not one every few seconds either. Capacity 1800 pcus/hr/lane, each bus is 2 pcu, so one every 4 seconds at most.

    An individual in-street bus line on a typical two lane street can run on a headway equal to the longest traffic light cycle on the route, same as an in-street trolley can. Bus and streetcar lines have been reliabily scheduled for years with 3 minute headways in many cities, which is 20 vehicles per hour. On a larger multi-lane street where half or more of each block’s curb line is devoted to bus stops and there is not a particularly large amount of auto and truck traffic, multiple bus lines can be scheduled to operate on sub-one minute headways cumulatively as a group of routes. For example – see Market Street in Philadelphia, First, Second, and Third Aves. in NYC, and elsewhere. SEPTA schedules 70 buses per hour down Market Street, most on 5 different lines that converge onto the central portion of the street.

    FrancisKing Reply:

    “Bus and streetcar lines have been reliabily scheduled for years with 3 minute headways in many cities”

    How much congestion is there on the streets? In the UK, the experience is that short headways like this lead to buses bunching, which leads to failure of the schedule.

    Andrew Reply:

    How much congestion is there on the streets? In the UK, the experience is that short headways like this lead to buses bunching, which leads to failure of the schedule.

    5,000 to 10,000 vehicles per lane couplet per day per mile. The steets are typically major arterial streets in the city with 1 or 2 lanes in each direction in older northeast cities and 2 or 3 lanes in each direction in newer midwest and western cities.

    The schedule cannot fail because a sub-6 minute headway is effectively not a schedule by time but a schedule by frequency.

    If bunching does occur, streetcars and buses are short turned at set locations by the judgement of the Street Supervisors who oversee the actual operation and are empowered to make judgement call tweaks to the operation likethis. For especially dense operations, short turns are typically built into the schedule to automaticakly force a relief of the inevitable bunching caused by random taffic and boarding patterns.

    It seems many people do not realize how transit used to be run and still is run in major cities by SEPTA, CTA, TTC, MBTA, Muni, etc.

  8. bennett

    Mr O’Toole commented: “The church went to the city council, overturned the afterthought but still was not allowed to do charitable activities at the church.”

    First off, thanks for the clarification. As for the above quote, this is likely illegal if the church wanted to contest it. If it was a food bank the city could ban the charitable activities, but being that it is a church the burden would be on the city to prove that the charitable activities are not part of the practice of the faith. The only religious activities that the city can really regulate are ones that are federally frowned upon (think psychedelic/spiritual drugs).

    Sandy Teal Reply:

    I think there is precedent for a lot more regulation of churches. The city probably can’t restrict the number of people attending a service, but I think they can restrict homeless feeding sites. The government cannot make a regulation dependent on whether it is part of the faith because government can’t be the decider of what is part of the faith.

    The need to regulate churches is in urban areas. The typical suburbs and rural areas don’t need to regulate churches because they have space to let property owners do more of what they want to do.

    Andrew Reply:

    The government cannot make a regulation dependent on whether it is part of the faith because government can’t be the decider of what is part of the faith.

    If the activity does not involve actual religious ministry, its simple charity/non-profit activity and can be regulated. There are plenty of court decisions about this. The lesson here is if you are running a soup kitchen, have the people ladling out soup hold a prayer service too as part of the meal. The government cannot tell you what to believe or how to worship, but it can tell you how to act if you are not worshipping.

    bennett Reply:

    Planning law 101. If you regulate religious facilities you’re asking to get sued and you’re going to loose. According to the SCOTUS you cannot restrict activities like feeding the homeless AT CHURCHES if the church can claim that use of the property is in accordance with their faith and the activity is not in violation of federal law.

    Haven’t you every wondered why churches violate almost every zoning law in an urban area? (Previous cover, height, setbacks, parking, lighting, etc, etc, etc) It’s because the law doesn’t apply to them.

    Dan Reply:

    Haven’t you every wondered why churches violate almost every zoning law in an urban area?

    Complete and utter basics aside, churches impose costs on others via uses on their property, and pay no tax to mitigate these costs. It’ll catch up eventually.

    DS

    bennett Reply:

    Dan said: “Complete and utter basics aside, churches impose costs on others via uses on their property, and pay no tax to mitigate these costs. It’ll catch up eventually.”

    It seems like it will catch up to everybody but the churches. I can think of a handful of cases where churches place undue challenges on their neighbors (Love thy neighbor???) and there has no recourse for those affected. Unless you’re talking about karma I’m not convinced these churches will ever get what’s coming to them.

  9. LazyReader

    If your generally concerned about how much warming we’ve had in the last two years. The answer is none. There has actually been no significant warming in the last few years. We have seen a slight increase in average temperature but none significant since 1998 in fact a slower rate. The warming is clearly far below what has been predicted to be. The primary mistake that is it’s not warming at the rate they anticipated only 0.8 degrees Celsius in the last century. Even now compared to events in the recent past, It’s cold! Generally speaking throughout much of Earths history large glaciers are true anomalies. Anarctica didn’t develop its ice until 20 million years ago. Even if you warmed the planet a few degrees you’re not gonna melt Antarctica. Antarctica and Greenland are a byproduct, at the end of the last Ice Age the glacial retreat left the two coldest places still frozen so it’s thousands of feet of ice thousands of feet in the atmosphere where it’s very cold. In Antarctica it is so cold that the slightly warmer seas deposit more humidity in the air, you think it will fall as rain? Take a look at southern hemisphere sea ice, it has been growing ever since we’ve been measuring it with satellites since the 70’s, northern hemisphere ice is declining. For thousands of years since the end of the last ice age, paleo-trees buried and frozen in the tundra of Siberia and northern Europe. We know how warm it had to be in order for trees to grow as far north as Siberia. They grew there for centuries after the end of the last ice age where they do not grow now. The temperature was as much as 12.5 degrees warmer than current. What did that say about sea ice in the Arctic……it was gone completely in the summer. Still the polar bear survived, so did the walrus and arctic mammals. Inuit culture flourished (and farmed that far north) and human civilization as a whole radiated out northward to take advantage of the iceless lands, Greenland actually had some green (grass and trees) and centuries ago they could grow grapes in England with a wine industry that rivaled the French.

    Dan Reply:

    Most of these talking points were refuted years ago; civil society enjoys and gets a hoot out of their recycle rate and marvels at how often they are trotted out as gospel (and uses them to score fun drinking games). OTOH, other talking points here are nonsensical and do nothing to describe reality on the ground. The vast majority of every society on the planet has moved well beyond such amusing talking points…sadly, our political economy is still captured and prevents larger coordinated action.

    Nevertheless, at our current rate of warming, by ~2030-2035 it will be warmer than it ever has been in the Anthropocene, or agrarian age. There will be no precedent to call upon, and hopefully we will cast aside our current ways and actually work together thoughtfully to do something to cope. Public transit will be an ever-more viable option as carbon taxes become widespread, and we should really work together to try and get it right.

    DS

    Frank Reply:

    The West and the PNW specifically continue to cool. Time will tell if this trend lasts. Astrophysicists predict a reduction in solar cycle intensity over the next few decades.

    It’s snowing in Seattle, and March is 2.7 degrees below normal so far.

    Point? “Global warming” isn’t global.

    Dan Reply:

    The West and the PNW specifically continue to cool.

    Like I said, civil society continues to enjoy what gets trotted out as gospel, over and over and over.

    We’ve already discussed how the italicized is lacking in correctness. Yet here it is, trotted out again, easily checked for factuality and realityness.

    Nevertheless, we see the profound changes in the Arctic may be changing winter patterns, with the US having the 4th-warmest winter on record while Yurp and Asia are the opposite. More energy in the system is driving pattern changes, which is why “climate change” is the more accurate term.

    What will unprecedented patterns do to our societies and their ability to cope and coexist, with so much capital tied up in triage?

    DS

    Andrew Reply:

    Obviously it was warmer millions of years ago, because all that CO2 now locked up in coal and oil and methane was then floating about the atmosphere waiting to be taken in by plant matter that would eventually become the fossil fuels we are burning today, and there were no ice sheets, thus giving higher sea levels, thus permitting the formation of stratified fossil fuel bearing rock beds under shallow continental seas.

    Duh!

    The reason the planet is cool and conducive to humans and other mammals instead of warm and conducive to 50 ft. lizards and 3 ft. dragonflies is the reduction of atmospheric CO2. As I told my son in Florida while we looked at a miniature “dinosaur” – i.e. a little 3″ lizard – “My, how the tables have turned!”

    As to evidence like wine in Britain, the Romans brought grapes, and 19th century reforms in trade eliminating protective tarriffs killed it off. There was nothing natural about the industry in Roman times or today and it is hardly evidence of climate change.

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