Friday, June 29, 2018

Selected Questions -Answers From All Experts Astronomy Forum (Black Hole Astrophysics)

Question: Hello. I want to know about the basic astrophysics, etc.  laws for black holes, especially the key parameters that define them, including how calculated.  I am also a 'big boy' and can handle any kind of math or physics involved- don't need to be spoon fed!  - Uber Genius, Cambridge, MA

Answer:   A good place to start is by first noting that only three properties are needed to describe most black holes: the mass M, angular momentum L and the electric charge Q. For Kerr black holes, see e.g.

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/K/Kerr_black_hole.html


the properties are only two: Mass M and angular momentum L.  They are electrically uncharged.

In greater generality, let's be clear the same laws for standard physics, e.g. general relativity, Maxwell's electrodynamics, quantum mechanics and laws applicable to matter and radiation, and thermodynamics, also apply to black holes.  For example, in regard to thermodynamics black holes must also conform to the 2nd law which defines entropy, in this case:

S BH  = kA/ 4 L p 2

where k defines a constant and A is the surface area of the event horizon with the Planck length:

 L p    =   Ö G ħc3   

The laws of thermodynamics applied to black holes are also called the "laws of black hole dynamics".  Thus, the first law of black hole dynamics - by analogy to the first law of thermodynamics - is just the standard law of conservation of total energy, now supplemented by the laws of conservation of total momentum, angular momentum and electric charge. (Note: Beware in many texts angular momentum is denoted by 'S'. I denote it by L so as not to confuse it with the entropy, S).

In the case of an infalling electric charge, the first law states that the total charge Q of a black hole - as measured by the electric flux emerging from it - changes by an amount equal to the total charge that falls down the hole, i.e.

D Q = q in


Now, consider in terms of the black hole dynamics what transpires when two holes collide and coalesce.  Begin by first defining P1 and P2, the respective  4-momenta of the two black holes as measured gravitationally or when they are sufficiently separated they have negligible influence on each other. Then:

P1  =  m u i


P2 = mv i

The invariant mass is m,  and respective 4 velocities are:


u   i   = (u 1 , u  2  , u   3   , u  )   

v  i  =    (v  , v 2  , v  3   , v 4 ) 


OR:

 u  i  =   d xi / dt 

  v i   = d x ' i / dt      (i = 1....4)

(P1 and P2 are 4-vectors in the surrounding asymptotically flat spacetime)

Similarly, we let J1 and J2 be their respective total angular momentum tensors (not intrinsic angular momentum vectors) relative to an arbitrarily chosen origin of coordinates, say  C o   in the surrounding flat spacetime.  Similarly, we let P3 and J3 be the total 4-momentum and total angular momentum of the final (e.g. coalesced) black hole.  And let  P r   and J r   be the total 4-momentum and total angular momentum radiated as gravitational waves e.g.

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102

Then:

P3 =   P1  + P2 -   P r      and J3J1   + J2   -   J r

Limiting cases:

We already saw the limiting case for the Kerr black hole, e.g. for which Q = 0

The limiting case of L = 0 applies to the Reissner -Nordstrom geometry

The limiting case of Q = 0 = L  applies to the Schwarzschild geometry.

The last entity is regarded as "dead" in the sense that it is impossible to extract any of its mass-energy. This is because it is neither rotating (L = 0) or charged (Q = 0)

The preceding are all grounded in one fundamental proposition, that a "black hole can have no hair".  I.e. there are no other independent characteristics or physical properties apart from M, Q and L to specify it.

Grandstanding Gowdy Needs To Just Shut The Hell Up - And Let Mueller Investigation Finish


"You all gotta either give us what yuh got or else!"

I told Janice less than a month ago that Trey Gowdy would soon become Trump's top attack dog and quisling again, rivaling Devin Nunes for that honor.  She retorted: "But he said barely a week ago there was no 'spygate' conspiracy as the other Reeps had believed, and the FBI acted with propriety! He also said the Mueller probe shouldn't be shut down!"

Yeah, well that was a while ago and before he took heat from Rush Limbaugh, the Foxites, and other far right media goons.  Now, yesterday, at the House Judiciary hearing grilling of Chris Wray and Rod Rosenstein, we saw the new, brash and bullying edition of grandstanding Gowdy - challenging the Deputy AG to either deliver the goods, or shut the Mueller investigation down.  This South Calinky Trump lackey's exact words?

There’s an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. I think right now all of us are being denied.  Whatever you got — finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart.”


It's pretty choice that  Gowdy  is so exercised about the country  being  "torn apart"  when the GOP  and Trumpie fascists  are  doing  a damned  good job of that on  their own.   The Trump cabal via their  fascist  policies and the GOP for  defending them  and  the pro-  Russian  traitor  occupying  1600  Pennsylvania  Avenue.  So why the 180 degree change?  First, let's recognize the towering hypocrisy given this same goober spent years investigating Benghazi and wasting millions of taxpayer bucks in the process. In addition, some may recall it was during that grandstanding that he accidentally leaked the name of an intelligence source.  But Trey Gowdy obviously has no shame, or sense of irony.

Second, recall at the time of the Benghazi circus, Gowdy told The Washington Post he had "no qualms about how long the investigation dragged on"  because his job was to "report the facts".  Well, what the hell does he think Mueller has done with 4 guilty pleas and 19 indictments? 

The real reason Gowdy is doing his about face is that he knows he's leaving congress and has to make things right with the Radical Right given he is angling for a judicial post.  Having been roasted alive for his "no Spygate" comments, as I told Janice, he now has to go to the other end - and with the other Reepo quislings, order Rosenstein to "finish the investigation" (forgetting it is Mueller's to run, not Rod's) and threatening impeachment or other punishments if the Deputy AG doesn't deliver millions of pages more documents to these assholes.

As one legal specialist put it on CNN this morning, there is no legal basis for this at all, no legal teeth and it's mostly for "political show".  The most these Trump tools in the House will be able to get is a "contempt"  citation, like they did with then AG Eric Holder during Obama's  last term. This prompted blonde bimbo Poppy Harlow to respond: "Yes, a political show which is done on both sides."  Huh? Yet another babbling airhead, who likely thinks or believes the images and audio sounds of kids locked up in Trump's child detention centers ("tender age shelters")  were played by Dems as a "political show".  Which again proves my point that certain media niches, including the WaPo now, are finding it more and more difficult to cover this loathsome administration with a proper perspective.

Too many media nabobs now seem to have fallen to the same blind and shallow standards as Dan Henninger of the WSJ who wrote yesterday ('Teeing Off On Trump', p. A15):

"Psychologists will study for years how a candidate and now president  - whose substantive threat to 'our democracy'  consists mainly of unprecedented boorishness -  drove normally temperate people into a frenzy."

Seriously?  Unprecedented boorishness?  Fracturing families.  Locking toddlers up in cages.  Cheering on Nazis that ran over and killed a demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. These qualify as mere "boorishness"?  Clearly, Henninger fails to see how noisome an op-ed writer he is to defend a traitor put into power by a hostile foreign power. Also one who is arguably at least partly responsible for the slaughter that occurred yesterday at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, given his incessant attacks on the press.  What fucking planet is Henninger living on? Surely not this one.   As I wrote in previous posts, anyone, any American,  not outraged at this ongoing political abomination is not paying attention. I will go further, and assert they don't merit being called Americans or citizens. They more qualify as passive zombies, with the moral percipience of slugs -- like Poppy Harlow.

Confirming his outlandish and deformed perspective Henninger actually had the nerve to write that while the "left" devolves into "frenzies that turn ugly when politics doesn't go their way", the Right  "mostly gets grouchy defining people out of conservatism."

Oh really?   Just grouchy?  Guess you conveniently forgot about all the assassination efforts at abortion clinics, e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2015/12/right-wing-terrorist-dear-admits-guilt.html

 As well as running down progressive protesters (like Heather D. Heyer)  with an automobile in Charlottesville last year, e.g.
Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of people in Charlottesville.Some of the injured tended to after one of the racists rammed them with a car in Charlottesville, VA last August.

Yeah, the Right's minions are just "grouches" when things get testy in the political sphere.   But Henninger's PR piffle, and Poppy Harlow's "two sides" bunkum,  shows what happens when the moral compass of too many gets blunted and desensitized, for whatever reason.  This is what's happening now and the deluge of morally corrupt or despicable acts is not going to halt, certainly not until some form of political balance is restored and we emerge from being a one party state wherein separation of powers is rapidly vanishing.  As I told Janice, we need to toughen up and fight until the bitter end, whatever that might be. We cannot and must not devolve to mere weeping and gnashing of teeth over what this parade of foul vermin is doing to our nation and its reputation.

Gowdy's performance yesterday is but one example, and we can't expect the Right to stop their efforts to torpedo justice or attempt to blunt the moral perspectives of millions.   This is why - in terms of the House Judiciary hearings - it is well to bear in mind Rep. Jerrold  Nadler's words:

"What is really going on here is a bad-faith effort by the majority to interfere in an ongoing investigation."

Time will tell whether we are still a nation of laws and justice, or whether one narcissistic egomaniac can turn the country into his personal fascist fiefdom, to do with as he damned well pleases.

See also:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/sonali-kolhatkar/79894/to-hell-with-civility

And:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/michelangelo-signorile/79897/fuck-civility

Excerpt:

"This week, in a 5-4 ruling of the conservative majority, the Supreme Court dealt a stinging, bigoted blow to justice and equality, ruling for President Donald Trump’s travel ban ― a ban that lower courts ruled unconstitutional by virtue of Trump’s repeated hateful and discriminatory statements against Muslims. A 5-4 anti-abortion ruling came the same day, one day after a ruling allowing racial gerrymandering of congressional districts. And then came Wednesday’s stunning attack on public sector labor unions, another 5-4 ruling.


As if all that isn’t horrifying enough, Justice Anthony Kennedy ― the swing vote on so many issues, including marriage equality and LGBTQ rights ― announced he is retiring, handing Trump the opportunity to put another hard-right justice on the court.


If you care about America and its future, your blood should be boiling."



Thursday, June 28, 2018

Why I'm Not Getting Hysterical Over The Anthony Kennedy Retirement



The closest thing Janice came to being hysterical over a political event was yesterday afternoon on learning that Justice Anthony Kennedy was retiring. "What are we going to do?" she sobbed. "Everything is down the drain now! They will have a permanent conservative majority, all our gains rolled back!"   Trying to calm her down was near impossible and we had to wait until the evening when the usual trio of MSNBC political analysis shows came on.

But sure enough the guest talking heads had solutions for why it wasn't time for a melt down ...yet.  For example, an NAACP guest on 'All In' pointed out that obsession with the numbers was counterproductive given the Dems could block any movement on a new pick by using procedural obstruction. For example, preventing the majority from getting a quorum. But this means all Dem Senators have to be on board.

Then there was Rachel Maddow who expostulated at length on the numbers game, and  the Dems merely having to keep their 49 number strength and picking just one Reep off, probably Susan Collins. (Given Sen. John McCain will be out of the mix still dealing with treatment for brain cancer).  Thus Democrats still have a chance to block the nomination, as long as they can stay united and pick off at least one wavering Republican.  Of course, that could be a huge 'ask'.

According to Maddow:  


"What that means is that if Democrats hold together in one big 'We're not doormats' caucus, the only thing they need to block President Trump from installing his chosen nominee is precisely one Republican vote," she said.


Every single Republican senator — including the pro-choice ones — will have to decide if they want to go down in history as the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion legal in the United States. And I know that seems nuts! But is it more nuts than what happened in freakin' Alabama being the thing that got Democrats to 49 seats? I mean, this is America! Weird stuff happens."


See her solution presented here- with her usual long prep intro:

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/democrats-face-day-1-of-winnable-fight-for-supreme-court-s-future-1265723971591?playlist=associated

Let's not panic or hit the chicken switch until we see the Dems in action. They ought to know that winning both Houses in the mid terms may depend on how they respond to this fascist attempt by Mitch McConnell to diverge from the standard he himself employed to block Obama's pick of Merrick Garland .

'Nuff said!

28-Year Old Democratic Socialist Beats The Dem Establishment & Explains How Medicare For All Is Feasible

Image may contain: 1 person, indoorDems' latest Wunderkind, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,  who won big in New York's 14th Congressional District.
As a Democratic Socialist - member of the Democratic Socialists of America  myself- I was elated on learning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  - who knocked off a 10 term establishment Dem- is also a member.  Incredibly, Ocasio-Cortez was working behind a bar 9 months ago and had helped start Flats Fix, a tacos and craft cocktail spot in Manhattan, before launching her political career.  We're now aware that  the  outcome has been to send Rep. Joseph Crowley down to defeat and an early, unexpected retirement.  Heck, maybe he can get a new gig as a D.C. lobbyist.

That was despite the Dem establishment's candidate having an 18 to 1 advantage in campaign spending.   An 18 to 1 advantage and Crowley lost by 57% - 43%,  which is not exactly close.
In May, encouraged by the activists she’d been working with,  including a group from the Democratic Socialists of America, the 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez filed to challenge Crowley to represent New York's 14th Congressional District.
Most of her limited $300,000 in campaigns funds were spent on bilingual posters, which she said were designed to look “revolutionary," and her viral campaign video, created by a socialist team called Means of Production.   I suspect it was the video which had most impact.
Wifey had informed me of Ocasio-Cortez's upset win the night before, but my initial reaction (before I even learned she was a DSA member)  was more or less ho-hum: Another newbe woman, ousting an old line Dem (likely in hock to lobbyists) and maybe just a flash in the pan. So what's new?
Yesterday morning all that changed when I watched her interview on 'Morning Joe' and beheld a lively,  intelligent and articulate woman who was super confident and could summarize her basic message in 30 seconds. (As co-host Mika Brzezinski put it: "Take note, Dems! You need to reduce your two to three minute messages!")
What most impressed me was how she answered Willie Geist's question of how she would pay for a  “Medicare for All” program, not to mention massive forgiveness of student loan debt.   Geist said those sounded like "endless wrapped Christmas  gifts". She didn't miss a beat and said we needed to re-examine those tax cuts which had created a $1.4 trillion deficit and went mainly to corporations and the wealthiest.  She emphasized that $400 billion of those giveaway cuts could have forgiven all the existing, outstanding student loans in default.
She said all that was needed is the political courage to act.  Of course, that is where the proverbial  bear sits with his buckwheat. 
For some time now I have been hammering on the tax issue and explaining how all the programs regarded as "pie in the sky" by the Right and Dem Neoliberals  -  from Medicare for all, to free college,  to expanding Social Security-   can be achieved by re-ordering priorities.  To attend to all of these, Ocasio-Cortez' solution of redirecting tax cut money is basically correct, as I had earlier brought up the German model, i.e. where budget surpluses are plowed back into the commons and used for social insurance enhancement.   See e.g.
http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2018/02/do-americans-really-want-big-government.html

The question posed in the post header was 'Do Americans Really Want Big Government?'  And the answer embodied in Ocasio-Cortez' model is that they do.   In the link above I cited Germany as an example nation, where our long time friends Reinhardt and Elli live, adding:
 "Germany has among the highest taxes in the world and a habit of heavy state spending."
But can most Americans live with that?  Because for sure what Alexandria is proposing are not freebies, nor can they be paid for merely by redirecting tax cuts. No, because the tax cuts themselves need to be halted entirely so as not to create added deficits - which the scoundrels of the Right will use to cut existing programs.
Thus, it is critical to not only deep six tax cuts, but to increase tax revenues. As Megan McCardle recently put it in a Denver Post op-ed ('What's Really Obstructing Left Wing Dreams'):
"The American Left has developed a fantasy that a large expansion of the welfare state can be financed by taxing only the rich....In fact European welfare states pay for themselves by taxing ordinary people very heavily."
How heavily? UP to 40- 45% in Germany even higher in Denmark, Sweden. McCardle references the top tax bracket would kick in at $45,000/ year if we adopted Scandinavian standards.  But then those nations enjoy vastly superior civilized care levels, as opposed to survival of the fittest mandates. See e.g.

For sure, current American marginal tax rates - certainly for the three middle income quintiles- would need to go up dramatically. (It is likely the best policy to leave the lowest quintile alone and eligible each year for the earned income tax credit). The least tax rate for the next quintile would be 25 percent, and graduating from there to 45 or 50 percent. Say, for $75,000 - 100,000 earners.  (High earners would take 50- 75% tax hits, in proportion to their total incomes, including investments)

Where McCardle is correct is that it's preposterous that we can fund every proposal by "grabbing the same few pieces of high income tax capacity".  No, most sensible people - even Democratic Socialists - realize that's not possible. Which was why many of us strenuously objected extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. E.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2011/08/democrats-must-stop-playing-politics.html

Over many separate posts I had noted that respected sources including The Financial Times had repeatedly pointed out that merely taxing the rich could not support social programs.   And that's absolutely correct. Even the Repukes know higher taxes are the life's blood for preserving Social Security and Medicare, which is why they are always ready to cut them after passing giant tax cut packages.  This isn't rocket science.

Where McCardle is wrong is in asserting we are daft to want to eliminate the cap (FICA) on Social Security taxes.  No, my argument - and I would hope Ocasio-Cortez'-  is that we need that elimination because the existing system benefits mainly the wealthy who don't need Social Security income.  Besides, if taxes are raised to German or Scandinavian levels, Americans need to be able to depend on expanded Social Security benefits - which eliminating the FICA cap would provide. 

But again, are Americans willing to go this route. According to WSJ columnist William Galston ( 'Americans Want Big Government') they are.  Galston cited a poll that showed  58 percent of Americans (the "highest share ever recorded")  agreed that:

"the government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people"

In addition, Galston cited a Pew research poll from last April which showed that for the first time in eight years:

"Americans favored a larger government offering more services over a smaller government providing fewer services."  

This is all very commendable but many of us who are Democratic Socialists also want to see  how our fellow citizens react when faced with actual tax increases on a German or Scandinavian scale.

I believe both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and I can agree that the jury is still out. I, for one, am not yet convinced most Americans can break free of their addiction to tax cuts.

See also:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/natasha-hakimi-zapata/79882/how-a-socialist-latina-millennial-beat-a-wall-street-favorite

And:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/richard-eskow/79881/how-to-cover-a-revolution

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Futile Effort To Misrepresent James Hansen's Climate Predictions From 1988 Continues



 Incredibly, in the face of all the evidence the denier brigade continues its incessant drumbeat to ignore what's happening all around us and regard climate change-global warming as a myth, or at least its predictions as sensationalized and exaggerated. Here in Colorado no one is stupid or ignorant enough to believe either of those tropes. The current drought has seen the least snowpack in almost ten years and all the signs are there for a severe fire season such as we last beheld in 2012-13, e.g.
New Colorado wildfire prompts new round of evacuations
Indeed, the "416 Fire" has already wrought massive destruction in La Plata County and it's only June.  Recall for reference here that an NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) projection given in 2002 forecast the American West would see extended drought, hotter weather and fire conditions into the near and distant future ...on account of climate change-global warming.    Right now seven Colorado counties classify as disaster areas because of the drought and things will only get worse as the summer progresses. Meanwhile, several rivers have reached peak flows, the Rio Grande - which originates in our state - is  down to barely 250 cubic feet per second compared to over 1400 cfs several years ago.

But the global warming "exaggerations"  nonsense keeps churning, the latest appearing June 22,  WSJ, p. A15 by two lackeys from the Libertarian CATO Institute (Pat Michaels, and Ryan Maue).  Of course, according to Libertarian ideology every manjack must cope on his or her own, such as in Puerto Rico after being flattened by Hurricane Maria. You are not supposed to "grovel" to the government for any "handouts", but do what Ayn Rand would have: do for yourself even if it means drinking toxic water out of waste dumps. Hey, at least you won't die of thirst!

According to the CATO pawns all of  James Hansen's forecasts from 1988 were either wrong or overblown by the media.  Hansen delivered three "scenario" forecasts, A, B and C with A based on "accelerating emissions" for CO2, B based on more moderate emissions, and C "the least likely" e.g. only constant emissions commencing in 2000. We now know the last was a pipedream - see top graphic-  given the relentless increase in global mean temperatures.  Despite this,  Michaels and Maue  insist: "scenario C is the winner" because:


"Global surface temperatures have not increased significantly since 2000, discounting the larger than usual El Nino of 2015-16."

But this bejabber flies in the face of the data during that time span and shown the top graphic.  Thus, "14 of the 15 warmest years occurred since 2000." This was including 2014 which "broke all records".

What gives? Are the CATO authors ignorant or just low IQ dupes? Actually, mainly ignorant.  A first clue appeared thanks to Thomas Karl, Director of the National Centers for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a June 4, 2015 paper which appeared in the journal Science.

This concerned inconsistent data treatment, particularly in processing sea surface temperatures - especially as measured by buoys.   This error was likely compounded in conjunction with the misinterpretation of Hadley UK Center future projections on climate that I've already discussed at length, e.g.
http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2013/06/george-will-no-warming-for-last-16.html

I would even venture to say that the preponderance of false judgment by too many (mainly conservatives like George Will, i.e. in his first and only recent appearance on Bill Maher's Real Time) is due to inadequate study of the climate backstory. That includes the role of changing carbon isotope ratios over geological time, e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2010/12/carbon-isotope-ratios-and-climate.html

As Thomas Karl noted, quoted in Eos Transactions - Earth & Space Science (July 1, 2015):

"The biggest takeaway is there is no slowdown in global warming".

Indeed, he added that warming the past fifteen years is the "strongest it's been since the latter half of the 20th century". Putting an exclamation point on that, July that year (2015) was the hottest July since records were initiated.

A good summary of the paper may be accessed at:


http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/noaa-analysis-journal-science-no-slowdown-in-global-warming-in-recent-years.html 



Why the measurement difficulty? Well, because the data gathering and process of analysis are inherently complex.  In order to achieve such a measurement as how Earth's average global temperature is increasing, there's a lot of "sausage making".  First, scientists must combine thousands of measurements from Earth's surface, taken by land instruments, ships. buoys and orbital satellites.

Second, each of these has its own random errors, all of which must be identified. Not only must researchers comb through the data to eliminate these errors, they must also correct for any differences in how each type of instrument measures temperature.

Thus, the authors of the Science paper had to dig into NOAA's global surface temperature analysis data to examine how sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were being measured. SSTs are measured in various ways:
-  collecting ocean water in a bucket and measuring its temperature directly

- measuring the temperature of water taken in by a ship engine as a coolant

- using floating buoys moored in the various oceans

Each technique records slightly different temperatures in the same region so scientists have to adjust the data. In the past couple decades the number of buoys has increased - adding 15% more coverage to the ocean. But because buoys tend to read colder temperatures than ships at the same locations, a measurement bias is introduced which must be corrected for. This was the primary task set out by Karl et al.  They corrected for the bias by adding 0.12C to each buoy temperature.
 


By then combining the ocean data with improved calculations of air temperatures over land around the world, Karl and colleagues found that overall global surface warming over 2000-14 was 0.116C per decade or more than twice the estimated 0.039C starting in 1998 that the IPCC had reported.


 
Basically then the WSJ's  CATO contributors are guilty mainly of rank ignorance in: a) not knowing how sea surface or other global temperatures are processed, and b) failing to appreciate the significance and why the rise in temperatures fully comports with Hansen's model.
All of this also comports with the latest data from the United Nation's World Meteorological Association that notes the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has now reached 403 parts per million.   

Note here that every increase in CO2 concentration by 2 ppm increases the radiative heating effect  by 2 W/m2.  Further, the increase has been by 3 ppm since 2015-16. So no surprise the UN Report concluded:  

 
"Geological records show that the current levels of CO2 correspond to an equilibrium climate last observed in the mid-Pliocene (3 - 5 million years ago) , a climate that was 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer  - where the Greenland West Antarctic Ice sheets melted - leading to sea levels that were 32- 64 feet higher than those today."

This, of course, torpedoes the CATO authors next claim e.g.
"In a 2007 case deposition Mr. Hansen stated that most of Greenland's ice would soon melt raising sea levels 23 feet over the course of 100 years."
Hmmm....looks like Hansen was pretty spot on to me, judging from the UN WMO report!  Indeed, it looks like he was way too conservative, projecting only 23 feet increase in sea level vs. the 32- 64 feet from the WMO report based on now being in a Ploiocene climate (given the CO2 concentration at 403 pm). 
Again, the two CATO clowns misjudge and misinterpret as when they cite a Nature paper  which "found only modest ice loss after 6,000 years of much warmer temperatures than human activity could ever sustain".

Failing to note that the latest findings (June 13, Nature) disclose Antarctic ice melt has tripled since 2007.   They use this to project a 15 cm sea level rise by 2100 - but this study takes no account of the Greenland melting rate - which is accelerating faster from Jokulhlaup (cf. Jokulhlaup Observed in Greenland ice sheet’, appearing in Eos: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union (Vol. 89, No. 35, 26 Aug. 2008, p. 221). The cited paper specifically noted an increased frequency in occurrence of “jokalhlaups”or sudden glacial bursts of melting runoff from glaciers. It was this phenomena that also played a role in the “unusual cracks" that set off the separation of a “chunk of ice the size of Manhattan” (19 sq. miles)from Ellesmere Island in Canada’s northern Arctic. In the case of the increasing Greenland Jokulhlaup we are looking not just at one massive breakoff, but the loss of perhaps 45% of the entire Greenland ice sheet on account of the underground splintering effects producing ever larger cracks in the ice and the inability of it to support the overlying permafrost and other ice. Thus, onset will be sudden and perhaps more like a "terror attack" from nature.
So again,  the CATO authors did not do due diligence in the preparation of their article. Other missteps are also in evidence, e.g.

 
"Have hurricanes gotten stronger, as Mr. Hansen predicted in a 2016 study? No, satellite data from 1970 onward shows no evidence of this in relation to global surface temperature."
Again, wrong.  According to SciCheck, a division of FactCheck.org:

"The most recent analysis of what’s known about the effect of climate change on hurricane activity comes from the June 28 draft of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Climate Science Special Report.  One of that report’s key findings said that human activities have “contributed to the observed increase in hurricane activity” in the North Atlantic Ocean since the 1970s. The Gulf of Mexico, where Harvey formed, is part of the North Atlantic Ocean.

The draft report echoes the findings of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2013 assessment report, which found that scientists are “virtually certain” (99 percent to 100 percent confident) that there has been an “increase in the frequency and intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones since the 1970s” in the North Atlantic Ocean."


Again, this follows logically from the current 403 ppm concentration of  CO2  in the atmosphere which also must be tied to higher surface temperatures (see the graphic again) and also note he planet is currently  subject to a radiative heating effect equivalent to 2.5 x 10 7  TJ injected each year into the atmosphere or roughly 400,000 Hiroshima size A-bombs.   This in turn conforms to the observed  addition of 2 ppm  per year  in CO2 concentrations and an associated heating increase per year of             2 W/m2.    
Result?  The temperature of the planet is currently out of balance by 0.6W/ m2  and this is almost entirely due to the annual rate of CO2 concentrations increasing. This is not due to any natural phenomenon but to human injection of carbon and other greenhouse gases into the planet's climate system. The end result of which is to RAISE global temperatures!

The CATO clowns then dig themselves in deeper, asking:

"Have storms caused increasing amounts of damage to the U.S. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show no such damage measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product"

But that is because gross domestic product is an unreliable measure, given it omits so many "externalities"  i.e. the loss in potable water, electric access after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.  And as noted in the WSJ :'The Hurricane Lull Couldn't Last', (Sept. 1, p. A15):

"The U.S. has seen 20 storms causing a billion dollars or more in damage since 2010, not including Harvey, compared with nine billion-dollar floods in the full decade of the 1980s." 


This definitely shows an alarming increase in damage, never mind the  bogus invocation of % of GDP    As  Financial Times contributor David Pilling explained in a TIME Viewpoint article ('Why GDP Is A Faulty Measure Of Success',  Feb. 5, p. 41):

"Invented in the 1930s, the figure is a child of the manufacturing age - good at measuring physical production but not the services that dominate modern economies. How would GDP measure the quality of mental health care or the availability of day care centers and parks in your area?  Even Simon Kuznets, the Belarussian economist who practically invented GDP, had doubts about his creation."
GDP is supposed to measure the total production and consumption of goods and services in the United States. But the numbers that make up the Gross Domestic Product by and large only capture the monetary transactions we can put a dollar value on. Almost everything else is left out: old growth forests that maintain cooling and act as CO2 repositories, watersheds, animal habitats, e.g. the Everglades, and costs of infrastructure maintenance. But ALL of these count toward  the physical security and welfare of a society, and assume particular import after being majorly impacted in a monster hurricane - such as the type seen over the past decade.
Michaels and Maue claim next that the "list of what didn't happen is long and tedious"  - but I could counter that by asserting the list of my subsequent demolitions of your arguments about Hansen's  "failed" predictions is also long and tedious.  For example, the dynamic duo argue:
"Hansen's models and the UN's don't consider more precise measures of how aerosols emissions counter warming caused by greenhouse gases"
Which is pure poppyock, because we've known for decades - from thermal physics - the effects of aerosols on global warming, and the former don't even make the cut of an ant fart in the wind. In this regard, .one can't forget or omit diffusive reflection and re-transmission of radiation, say arising from particulates . Chandrasekhar in Radiative Transfer, (Dover Publications) shows that for angles of incidence in the range : 0.5 < i < 0.8 radian, diffusive reflection allows the radiation reflected normal to the incidence direction to actually have higher intensity than the original. (E.g. for optical depths 1.0 < < 2.0).

In effect, if conditions in the lower atmosphere incorporate such optical depths (and angles of incidence for scattering, diffusive reflection), on account of increased presence of particulates, aerosols, then we will expect to find an "anomaly" say in the temperature. The most alarming aspect of global dimming in this regard - as made public by global dimming researchers (e.g. Dr Peter Cox) is that it has obviously deceived many (like the CATO clowns) into underestimating the true power of the greenhouse effect, including the role of CO2.
Hence, Michaels and Mauer's tripe is expected only if one hasn't properly reckoned the presence of dimming particulates- aerosols ,  especially their scattering, re-reflection (and hence false albedo effects) into global warming models! 
The key clue to the REAL agenda of the authors and their persistent misdirection is embodied in this remark:

"Why should people world wide pay drastic costs to cut emissions when the global temperature is acting as if the cuts have already been made?"

Actually, my fine pair of CATO clowns, the global temperatures are NOT acting any such way other than in your fevered imaginations.  Again, see the top graphic of continuous increases in worldwide temperatures.  The point here is that Maue and Michaels have exposed their hand as primarily concerned with economic costs, hence they qualify as agnotologists - not climatologists.  Stanford historian of science Robert Proctor has correctly tied this shtick to the trend of skeptic science sown deliberately and for political or economic ends . In other words, the supporters of agnotology - whoever they may be- are all committed to one end: destroying the science to enable economic profit and hence planetary ruin. 
Michaels and Maue fit this profile to a tee, and is the biggest reason why their op-ed needs to be taken with a grain of salt, or ... with the gravitas of a solitary ant fart.