• pshinnok

BAPB No. 5: Climate, Taylor, Football

Updated: Nov 1

*Bouncing Around Paul's Brain


Updated to make those questioning Paul's prognostical abilities have even more questions (football picks vs. reality).


How to think about climate change


I still haven't figured out how to classify myself on I'm not a denier on whether it's happening and whether my species, generation, and nation are behind it. I'm alarmed about recent disasters like the flooding in Pakistan and droughts around the world. I'm concerned about my place of origin, the Pacific Northwest, becoming marginally livable in the summer due to smoke. I accept scientists' consensus that these events are made worse by climate change.


I'm probably more concerned about the potential impacts around the world than in my neighborhood or country. What happens if Pakistan, which will have more people than the United States by 2050, can't be inhabitated any longer? What if North Africa can't produce food? What if a half billion people in China, Infia, Bangladesh, Brazil and even the United States have to move or grow gills? I don't know what happens, but I have a good guess: civil wars and refugees. These are two problems we're doing an awful job of dealing with right now. Syria's civil war, partly a result of climate change, has been messed up by competing powers (Russia, the United States, and Turkey leading the way) who care way less about Syria than they do about themselves, and is still unresolved. Refugees from Afghanistan, Venezuela, Syria, South Sudan, and on and on, are being preyed on by smugglers and politicians and they're being turned back or persecuted by rich countries that can afford to but choose not to accept them. Hundreds of millions are living in perpetual statelessness and living on relief. If climate forecasts are right, we've got a few decades to figure this out but meanwhile, the world is a frog in hot water and it's getting hot faster than we are coping.


I'm also a skeptic about proposed solutions to climate change. This week we got confirmation we aren't making good progress on our earlier promises. There are plenty of questions about what happens if we ever get serious about implementing alternatives to our coal-, gas-, oil- and electricity-based world. How do we grow food for 7 billion people without petroleum products? It worked a hundred years ago when world population was half what it is now and there were probably 1,000 times more farmers than today. How much of the planet (and indigenous peoples' homes) do we destroy to mine material for car batteries so I can still drive a 9-passenger SUV? How many species do we liquidate when we build more wind farms? So, while I often feel like there's a lot of time and that our species is very good at both creating new technology and adapting to the environment, I am not convinced we both know how and are willing to do it yet.


So, I really only wanted to share an article that raises these questions and shows that the New York Time's Bret Stephens, someone better informed, more conservative, and smarter than I has questions, too. Strongly recommend reading the whole, long, thoughtful piece; it's worth hunting down a physical copy if you are paywalled out of it.


Taylor Swift, Midnights


I'm a Swiftly-come-lately. I'd been aware of her solid song-writing skills (she's written more great breakup songs than the rest of music combined), slow evolution across the genres, gazillions in sales, and rabid fans. But I didn't pay a lot of attention until her pandemic albums folklore and evermore. Usually when I peruse new music it's while working, cleaning, walking, or some other primary activity. When I first listened to folklore, I stopped dead and listened to the whole thing while sitting in front of the speaker. More than once! Since then, evermore and the re-made version of Red came commanded nearly the same attention.


Midnights is both an extension of those pandemic albums and a return to earlier form. Swift is again teaming with Jack Antonoff for production and she's continuing to explore new sounds. However, she's changed focus back to personal narratives rather than third-person story-telling. There are some great songs on Midnights, like Anti-hero and Lavender Haze. These show she can still put words together as well as any songwriter now (or ever) working. These are pop gems that rank among her best. This record strike me as otherwise uneven but fine. Some of it is disappointingly over-produced and the weird vocal effects haven't started to grow on me yet. So far, I agree with the professionals that this is a good album but far from her best. Still, a good Swift record tops a lot of people's best work and deserves a listen or more.


College football week 9 predictions


Last week I got 14 of 16 correct on straight up but only 6 of 13 (ignoring the games I was too chicken to pick against the line). So I'm still not betting on this. Tweaking some numbers based on last couple week's experience, so here's the picks.


Looks to me like Oklahoma's win streak ends at one, but the OSU Cowboys can eke one out against Kansas St. (which hasn't impressed since beating the Sooners). Don't see a lot of upsets, though I am picking Texas A&M to give Mississippi it's second loss in a row. Michigan State should make Michigan work for at least 3 quarters and Cal and Stanford may be closer to Oregon and UCLA, respectively, than the oddsmakers think.


Updated with results 11/1/2022. Good thing I have pension income, because I'm not yet able to support myself gambling. 70% correct straight up in these games, 68% overall. That's fine and similar to what oddsmakers do. However, 35% against the line in these games and 38% overall is something only someone with a huge ego would post. So enjoy! Underlined are correct, italics are incorrect. Thanks to James, David, and Dave for pointing out errors well ahead of the game. I'm asking them to do the picks this week!



Visitor

Home

Line

Winner

Bet On

#1 Georgia

Florida

Ga. by 22.5

Georgia

Georgia

#2 Ohio St.

#13 Penn St.

Ohio St. by 15

Ohio St.

Ohio St.

Kentucky

#3 Tennessee

Tenn by 12

Tennessee

Tennessee

Michigan St

#4 Michigan

Michigan by 23

Michigan

Mich. State

#7 TCU

West Va.

TCU by 7.5

TCU

TCU

#8 Oregon

California

Oregon by 17

Oregon

Cal

#9 Okla. St.

#22 Kansas St

Kansas St by 1.5

Okla. State

Okla. State

#10 Wake Forest

Louisville

Wake Forest by 3.5

Wake Forest

Wake Forest

#10 USC

Arizona

USC by 15.5

USC

USC

Stanford

#12 UCLA

UCLA by 16.5

UCLA

Stanford

#14 Utah

Wash. St.

Utah by 7.5

Utah

Wash. St.

#15 Mississippi

Texas A&M

Miss. by 1.5

Texas A&M

Texas A&M

Notre Dame

#16 Syracuse

Syracuse by 2.5

Syracuse

Syracuse

#17 Illinois

Nebraska

Illinois by 7.5

Illinois

Illinois

#20 Cincinnati

Central Fla.

Cent. Fla. by 1.5

Cent. Fla.

Cent. Fla.

#21 N. Carolina

Pittsburgh

NC by 3

NC

NC

Virginia Tech

#24 NC State

NC St by 13.5

NC State

NC State

Missouri

#25 S. Carolina

S. Car. by 3.5

S. Carolina

Missouri



Visitor

Home

Line

Winner

Bet on

Oklahoma

Iowa St.

Oklahoma by 1.5

Iowa St.

Iowa St.

Baylor

Texas Tech

Tech by 2

Texas Tech

Baylor

Arizona St.

Colorado

ASU by 14

Ariz. St.

Ariz. St.








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