"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Global Warming - A force so powerful ...

... it stunts black holes

This poster was created by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That ...

... for his post Quote of the Week: ‘global warming stunts black holes’ , in which he was reminded of this line from Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men ...
   “Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!"

If the bottom line of the poster is difficult to read, it says ...
   "Takamitsu Tanaka - The New Scientist - June 9 2012"

Apparently, Takamitsu Tanaka at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and his colleagues developed an explanation ...

... that a prodigious amount of X-rays emitted as the supermassive black holes gulped gas would have heated up the universe. Black holes need cool gas to grow so this would have slowed down the growth of other black holes in smaller protogalaxies, even as the growth of black holes in the most massive protogalaxies continued apace (arxiv.org/abs/1205.6467v1).

"This global warming process could have basically quenched the latecomers," says Tanaka. "The early ones end up being the monsters and they prevent the overgrowth of the rest."

I suspect that Mr. Watts is having a bit of fun at this (admitting that he hadn't even finished his morning coffee - a very dangerous working condition as I have learned many times :-), noting ...

Tanaka probably should have said the “galactic warming process”, and maybe he did, and this could is a misquote by the unnamed author of the article at TNS. Either way, it shows how global warming on the brain tends to create an environment for such ridiculous comparisons to make it to press.

Update 1415 CDT, Sun, 10 JUN 2010 - I put this up a little over thirty minutes ago, and already Mr. Watts has struck out the likelihood of it being a misquote.

A commenter to Mr. Watts post said ...
To be fair, Tanaka might have made the comparison facetiously and New Scientist, being New Scientist, took it seriously.

That too seems reasonable. As I noted above, Mr. Watts could have been having fun and venting at the same time (the two are not mutually exclusive), and probably wishes he'd found justification for using a much more famous line from Jack Nicholson in that movie.

I, on the other hand, have no shame and require no such justification, but will plead that it really does apply to many of the global warming advocates ...

   "You can't handle the truth!"

1 comment:

DB said...

Mr. Watts was not "having fun." Mr. Watts was simply LEAPING TO CONCLUSIONS and eagerly jumping at the opportunity to "discredit the climate change myth." He was SO EAGER to do that that he didn't bother to read the paper first and ended up making a fool of himself when it was revealed the paper wasn't even about climate change at all, then he spent an entire day stubbornly insisting that he was still right and Dr. Tanaka was still wrong, even going so far as to "move the goalposts" and suggest that even if he WAS wrong, it was because Dr. Tanaka cleverly tricked him into being wrong. And his "proof" that Dr. Tanaka did that on purpose was apparently Dr. Tanaka's condescending attitude to "climate change deniers" when he took the time to explain what the paper was - and was not - about. Apparently, Mr. Watts believes that when you call a published PhD "stupid" because of a paper they wrote that YOU DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO READ, you're still entitled to have that PhD go out of their way to be nice to you...and if they're not, that means your accusation was true.


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