Friday, May 1, 2009

SAR #9121

Global warming is our most important accomplishment.

Reality Check: So far this is a "relatively mild" viral strain. How mild is one question, how widespread is another. Even the 1918 pandemic, which killed about 100 million, was lethal in only 2% of the cases. But even if it is just twice as bad as a normal flu season in the US it could kill 80,000. The scary part is the time frame involved, with a normal "flu season" lasting three or four months, verses a pandemic spreading in a few weeks. Remember, the US has a lot fewer hospital beds now, per capita, than the last big flu epidemic, 40 years ago.

Today's Word: Locavore, a person who eats food grown nearby. Used to be called people, now viewed as a temporary fad.

Unprecedented: Scientists say that the actual level of CO2 in the atmosphere is not the major threat, but rather the speed of the change of CO2 levels and the accompanying rapid change in the temperature of the environment. This is not a problem for Intelligent Design/Creationism, but evolution takes time. Generations and generations. "The rate of increase is much faster than only 10-20 years ago. You can almost see the changes taking place. Never before have CO2 levels increased so fast," he said.

Larry, Larry: The Dow was at 14,200. It fell to 6,440. Today it's at 8,168. Get a grip. Yes it is up nicely - 27%. But I'm still down 42%.

Hard Choices: The GOP is engaged in a serious debate over the future of the party. Should it embrace its conservative agenda ever more irrationally, or just disappear all together? All in favor, say "Aye".

Stop and Savor: The headline read: Catastrophic Quarter Is Averted as Job Cuts Help Profits Exceed Estimates. "Job cuts help profits." Why isn't that headline: Job cuts weaken customer base?

What's in a Name: Pork producers and Israel, among others, do not like the calling swine flu swine flu. Okay, why not something we can all agree to dis: Hedge Fund Flu.

Partial Credit: The results of the stress test are being delayed while the banks argue with the Fed over how the essay questions were scored. Maybe they should be graded on a curve.

Are We That Stupid? Because we have done nothing yet, now we must prepare for a world 4° C warmer. This used to be the 'worst case' scenario and is now the best we can hope for, accompanied by abrupt and irreversible climate shifts. And new studies show that it is the total amount of CO2 released, not the emission rate nor the atmospheric concentration that is the deciding factor. The longer we wait to Do Something, the quicker we will have to stop burning fossil fuel. Not cut back, stop. No oil, no coal. And, yes, we are exactly that stupid.

Who Loves Ya? The US Senate rejected the 'cram-down' measure that would have helped homeowners who have mortgages they cannot pay while penalizing investors who have mortgages that aren't being paid.

Factoid: House prices tend to deflate 3% per quarter until housing supply inventory is below an eight month supply. Even if no houses are built, demand is so weak and unsold inventory so high that it would take three years to reach that point. Let's see, 12 quarters at 3% compounded is a further house price deflation of... 40%?

Math Problem: How much potential gain do you see on the up side? How much potential loss is possible on the downside? Are you smarter than Warren Buffet? Why are there no yacht clubs for individual investors?

Porn O'Graph: Continuing Unemployment Continues.


TulsaTime said...

I am old school, we should call the flu by where it started. That would make this the Mexican flu (makes a lot of friends, no?). And remember, the last bad type A outbreak started up mild before shifting to kill mode.

happy happy joy joy.....

Anonymous said...

RE: Larry, Larry:

CK - Thankfully for the purveyors of shitty (criminal) financial products most people can't do math at a 5th grade level anymore (criminal education system). The market would have to go up ~130% from the bottom for people to get even. From 8168 the market would need to rise ~75% more to get even. That doesn't even take inflation into account. People are so far underwater they don't even get the scale. But that's ok, the financial planners say. "Buy and Hold for the long term." "Cost average on the way down." Both are methods for suckers that can't do math to get fleeced.


Steven said...

i learned to stop worrying and love global warming when i realized a simple truth: china will never stop burning coal.

IF said...

"which killed about 100 million, was lethal in only 2% of the cases"

Don't your numbers kind of imply a world population of more than 5 billion in 1918?

CKMichaelson said...

IF - Embarrassingly good point.

Anonymous said...

"Even the 1918 pandemic, which killed about 100 million, was lethal in only 2% of the cases"

So to kill 100 million, that pandemic would have had to infect 5billion people...

Must have been one mean virus to infect the entire world's population (1.8 billion at the time) almost three times over!