Spurious Correlations

   By Bob Shapiro

Correlation is not causation.

That seems like it should be obvious, but in too many cases, otherwise rational people ignore the obvious – largely just because they want to. This is seen in diverse public policy topics, such as Climate “Science,” Constitutional Law decisions, and the benefits of stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

I came across a website with numerous graphs of ridiculous correlation, which I thought you might enjoy. The graphs didn’t cut and paste well, so instead, here is a link – it is well worth the few minutes you’ll spend. http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

Lithium Suppliers Can’t Keep Up with Skyrocketing Demand

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://usfunds.com

Near the extinct volcano known as Monte Pissis, high in the Andes on the Chile-Argentina border, the air is thin and animal life scarce. It’s also a prime location for lithium, the silvery-white metal used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Next year, Tesla plans to make 500,000 electric cars all of which will require lithium-ion-batteries

According to Sam Pelaez, an analyst on our team who recently visited the deposit, the seasonal meltdown of the snowy peaks collects lithium, sodium and other minerals from the soil and underwater hot springs, all of which flows down to the flats and settles—hence the name salt flats or, in Spanish, salares. Over long periods of time, with seasonal temperature variations, the salt builds a crust on top of the “lake,” making for a stunning landscape. Under the crust are high concentrations of lithium.

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Solar Slump: The Sun Was Blank for Two Weeks Straight

[Low sunspot numbers correlate very well with colder times. We have just had 7 higher than average sunspot cycles (11 years each) and temps have been warmer than “usual.” – Bob]

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Over the weekend, we reviewed the state of the solar data for March 2017. Now, there’s a two week straight lack of sunspots, the longest stretch since 2010.

A blank look to the sun on Monday, March 20, and it has now been blank for two weeks straight; image courtesy NASA/GSFC

Overview

The sun is currently blank with no visible sunspots and this is the 14th straight day with a blank look which is the longest such stretch since April 2010 according to spaceweather.com. Historically weak solar cycle 24 continues to transition away from its solar maximum phase and towards the next solar minimum. In April 2010 – the last time there was a two week stretch with no visible sunspots –  the sun was emerging from the last solar minimum which was historically long and deep.  There have already been 26 spotless days in 2017 (34% of the entire year) and this follows 32 spotless days last year which occurred primarily during the latter part of the year. The blank look to the sun will increase in frequency over the next couple of years leading up to the next solar minimum – probably to be reached in late 2019 or 2020.  By one measure, the current solar cycle is the third weakest since record keeping began in 1755 and it continues a weakening trend since solar cycle 21 peaked in 1980.  One of the impacts of low solar activity is the increase of cosmic rays that can penetrate into the Earth’s upper atmosphere and this has some important consequences.

Comparison of all solar cycles since 1755 in terms of accumulated sunspot number anomalies from the mean value at this stage of the solar cycle. Plot courtesy publication cited below, authors Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt

Comparison of all solar cycles since 1755 in terms of accumulated sunspot number anomalies from the mean value at this stage of the solar cycle. Plot courtesy publication cited below, authors Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt

Third weakest solar cycle since 1755
A recent publication has analyzed the current solar cycle and has found that when sunspot anomalies are compared to the mean for the number of months after cycle start, there have been only two weaker cycles since observations began in 1755.  Solar cycle 24 began in 2008 after a historically long and deep solar minimum which puts us more than eight years into the current cycle.  The plot (above) shows accumulated sunspot anomalies from the mean value after cycle start (97 months ago) and only solar cycles 5 and 6 had lower levels going all the way back to 1755.  The mean value is noted at zero and solar cycle 24 is running 3817 spots less than the mean.  The seven cycles preceded by solar cycle 24 had more sunspots than the mean.

Daily observations of the number of sunspots since 1 January 1900 according to Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC). The thin blue line indicates the daily sunspot number, while the dark blue line indicates the running annual average. Last day shown: 28 February 2017. (Graph courtesy climate4you.com)

Daily observations of the number of sunspots since 1 January 1900 according to Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC). The thin blue line indicates the daily sunspot number, while the dark blue line indicates the running annual average. Last day shown: 28 February 2017. (Graph courtesy climate4you.com)

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A German Medical Insider Tells the World How Muslim Refugees Will Use HealthCare to Destroy Our Country

By Re-Blogged From iPatriot

President Trump is right. Remember the “Welcome Refugee” banners the Germans waved just two years ago? Well, read what has happened.

Hospitals are overwhelmed by Refugees and cannot continue to provide care for taxpaying Germans:* A female doctor has stated that German hospitals are struggling to deal with the number of refugees. The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote to the press back home in the Czech Republic, to express her shock at the “unsustainable” situation which she says is now affecting the medical care received by taxpaying Germans. Continue reading

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Sux

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Bizarrely, and unlike almost every other industrialized country, the US has fuel efficiency standards for cars. Each corporation (Ford, Chevy, etc.) has to meet certain fuel economy standards called the CAFE standards.

Let me start by saying that I think that this is governmental over-reach. In virtually every other part of life we let the market decide the required efficiency. We don’t have required efficiencies for gas-fired power plants. More efficient plants occur as a result of the market. We also don’t have required efficiencies for cell phones. If they burn through the batteries, they don’t sell. The market has always handled efficiency quite … well … efficiently.

So I object to ANY automotive fuel standards as both totally un-necessary, and worse, market distorting.

Here’s one important way it distorts the market. “Fuel Economy” is measured in a very curious way. Work efficiencies are usually measured per pound or per kilogram moved. Efficiency would relate to how much energy it takes to move say a hundred kilograms a distance of 10 metres horizontally. If you can move the same weight at the same speed using less energy, you have a more efficient setup.

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Why Free Trade Is Officially Dead

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

G20 Finance ministers meeting in Baden Baden last weekend agreed, on America’s insistence, to drop the long-standing commitment to free trade from the final communiqué. It is hard to know to what extent America’s position is driven by her autarkic view on world trade, or to what extent it is an acknowledgement of the fruitlessness of paying lip-service to an ideal which is never delivered. Doubtless, it’s a bit of both.

It is certainly true that finance ministers in the advanced nations have always shown a protectionist attitude towards international trade, protectionism that has intensified through attacks on American international corporations, which to a large extent can choose where to pay their taxes. The thrust of research by international NGOs, particularly the Paris-based OECD, has been to decry tax competition; however, even though it has bullied tax-havens to supply tax-related information to revenue-hungry states, it has failed to stop multinationals, armed with teams of tax lawyers, from complying with their statist demands.

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PEMEX: Mexico’s State Oil Company On The Verge Of Bankruptcy & Collapse

By SR Srocco – Re-Blogged From https://srsroccoreport.com

Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex, is a perfect example of the ongoing collapse in the global oil industry.  Falling oil prices and declining production are putting severe pressure on the company’s financial balance sheet.  It has been four long years since Pemex posted a small profit.  However, since 2012, Pemex has suffered huge annual losses while its long term debt has exploded.

The result is… Pemex is technically bankrupt.  Now, I am not the only one saying this.  There have been several articles written about horrible financial situation at Pemex.  According to the following article, Mexico’s Largest Company Is Broke:

March 3, 2016:

Mexico’s largest company is broke. The country’s state oil company, Pemex, which is one of the federal government’s main sources of revenue, is losing money and is one of the world’s most indebted oil firms. The company’s production has dropped for 11 straight years now, while gross income plummeted more than 80 percent last year.

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