Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wait a minute!!!!

I've been hearing left and right how AGW is going to increase droughts (and generally every other calamity).

From this link:

The World Meteorological Organisation confirmed in a statement that a "very clear" disruptive La Nina current was underway across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, in line with its forecast in July.

It signalled that the event was associated with "climate-related risks" which needed to be assessed locally in different regions around the world.

However, this year's La Nina differed by producing cooler than normal sea temperatures off northern Australia and Indonesian islands -- the opposite of what was expected -- and was unusually combined with separate sea surface temperature shifts in the Indian Ocean.

"The drought that's going on in Australia right now is a very serious drought and it is one of the atypical situations associated with this particular La Nina event," said WMO climate specialist Leslie Malone.

"The textbooks would have said that Australia would have had a problem with more precipitation than they could handle rather than less," she told journalists, underlining that the current La Nina was "untypical"

La Nina usually combines tropical wind patterns over the Pacific basin with cooler than normal sea temperatures off the west coast of Latin America -- where the ocean is currently 1.5 degrees celsius below normal -- and warmer sea temperatures in the western Pacific.


Well, it looks like the textbooks are wrong now! I guess a little more research is actually needed. Apparently the science isn't "settled" on some basic local climatological phenomena.

Why do treehuggers support Kyoto?

Because it makes them feel like they are doing something.

Most self-proclaimed environmentalists have not a CLUE what was written into Kyoto. They don't understand or don't care to understand the negative implications.

They want to just go ahead and steamroll forward their way to "progress."

How do glaciers grow and melt?

An interesting article here.

But, I thought the debate was "over"

But somehow, one way or another, scientists keep issuing papers that contradict the frightful scenarios of the AGW crowd.

Monday, October 22, 2007

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Obama and Durbin Vote Against US Energy Independence

On June 13, 2007, Senators Durbin and Obama (and actually ALL Democrats and the RINOs from Maine) voted against an amendment 1505 (to S.Amdt 1502) to H.R. 6 (Clean Energy Act of 2007).

This bill would have set forth permitting guidelines for the construction of coal-to-liquid plants, specifically those that use the Fischer-Tropsch process for converting coal (or natural gas) to a liquid fuel.

It is a shame that our Senators have once again set unreasonably high barriers for us as a nation to become ever so more independent from the fuel supplied by other nations. My hunch is that Obama and Durbin would say that we should focus our resources on other forms of energy production, such as wind and solar. I also suspect that they'd claim that there are environmental hazards from using coal as a source of energy, as the carbon ultimately takes the form of carbon dioxide after it is used in our vehicles. This, they might claim, is a contributor to global warming, which, they also might claim, is bad.

This is a very sad outcome. This technology has the potential to completely replace our need for foreign oil. Completely!!!! No, it can't happen right away, but this is one of those things that is, well, actually possible.

It is also possible to research solar and wind technologies at the same time, so I hope that is not their excuse.

The carbon dioxide argument is weak too, since we will not reduce our oil imports if these plants are not built. We will still be burning oil and generating carbon dioxide.

The real difference is WHERE WE GET THE OIL FROM! Getting the oil from OUR coal is far more beneficial to our nation than getting oil from foreign nations. Think of the jobs. Think of the national pride. Think of all the tax revenue from the manufacturing process.

This is a vote that is against our National Security, against common sense, and a vote that helps to deepen our roots in the Middle East, Venezuela, and other such places in the world. The Senate really SCREWED UP! You must contact your Senator and express your disappointment.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

20 Reasons NOT to Like the Immigration Bill

From Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama:

Senator Sessions has identified 20 loopholes in the bill that allow illegal immigrants to attain legal status without appropriate penalty. In some cases, immigrants who should be deported are allowed to stay. Here they are.

For your reference, the immigration bill can be found here.

Loophole 1 – Legal Status Before Enforcement
Amnesty benefits do not wait for the “enforcement trigger.” After filing an application and waiting 24 hours, illegal aliens will receive full “probationary benefits,” complete with the ability to legally live and work in the U.S., travel outside of the U.S. and return, and their own social security card. Astonishingly, if the trigger is never met and amnesty applications are therefore never “approved,” the probationary benefits granted to the illegal alien population never expire, and the new social security cards issued to the illegal alien population are not revoked. [See pp. 1, 290-291, & 315].

Loophole 2 – U.S. VISIT Exit Not In Trigger

The “enforcement trigger,” required to be met before the new temporary worker program begins, does not require that the exit portion of U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system first required by Congress in 1996 that is already well past its already postponed 2005 implementation due date – to be in place before new worker or amnesty programs begin. Without the U.S. VISIT exit portion, the U.S. has no method to ensure that workers (or their visiting families) do not overstay their visas. Our current illegal population contains 4 to 5.5 million visa overstays, therefore, we know that the U.S. VISIT exit component is key to a successful new temporary worker program. [See pp. 1-2].

Loophole 3 – Trigger Requires No More Agents, Beds, or Fencing Than Current Law
The “enforcement trigger” does not require the Department of Homeland Security to have detention space sufficient to end “catch and release” at the border and in the interior. Even after the adoption of amendment 1172, the trigger merely requires the addition of 4,000 detention beds, bringing DHS to a 31,500 bed capacity. This is far short of the 43,000 beds required under current law to be in place by the end of 2007, or the additional 20,000 beds required later in the bill. Additionally, the bill establishes a “catch, pay, and release” program. This policy will benefit illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico that are caught at the border, then can post a $5,000 bond, be released and never show up for deportation hearings. Annual failure to appear rates for 2005 and 2006, caused in part by lack of detention space, doubled the 2004 rate (106,000 – 110,000 compared with 54,000). Claims that the bill “expands fencing” are inaccurate. The bill only requires 370 miles of fencing to be completed, while current law already mandates that more than 700 miles be constructed [See pp. 1-2, & 10-11, and EOIR’s FY2006 Statistical Yearbook, p. H2, and The Secure Fence Act of 2004].

Loophole 4 -- Three Additional Years Worth of Illegal Aliens Granted Status, Treated Preferentially To Legal Filers
Aliens who broke into the country illegally a mere 5 months ago, are treated better than foreign nationals who legally applied to come to the U.S. more than two years ago. Aliens who can prove they were illegally in the U.S. on January 1, 2007, are immediately eligible to apply from inside the U.S. for amnesty benefits, while foreign nationals that filed applications to come to the U.S. after May 1, 2005 must start the application process over again from their home countries. Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to have been here before January 7, 2004 to qualify for permanent legal status. [See pp. 263, 282, & 306].

Loophole 5 – Completion of Background Checks Not Required For Probationary Legal Status
Legal status must be granted to illegal aliens 24 hours after they file an application, even if the aliens have not yet “passed all appropriate background checks.” (Last year’s bill gave DHS 90 days to check an alien’s background before any status was granted). No legal status should be given to any illegal alien until all appropriate background checks are complete. [See pp. 290].

Loophole 6 – Some Child Molesters Are Still Eligible
Some aggravated felons – those who have sexually abused a minor – are eligible for amnesty. A child molester who committed the crime before the bill is enacted is not barred from getting amnesty if their conviction document omitted the age of the victim. The bill corrects this loophole for future child molesters, but does not close the loophole for current or past convictions. [See p. 47: 30-33, & p. 48: 1-2]

Loophole 7 – Terrorism Connections Allowed, Good Moral Character Not Required

Illegal aliens with terrorism connections are not barred from getting amnesty. An illegal alien seeking most immigration benefits must show “good moral character.” Last year’s bill specifically barred aliens with terrorism connections from having “good moral character” and being eligible for amnesty. This year’s bill does neither. Additionally, bill drafters ignored the Administration’s request that changes be made to the asylum, cancellation of removal, and withholding of removal statutes in order to prevent aliens with terrorist connections from receiving relief. [Compare §204 in S. 2611 from the 109th Congress with missing §204 on p. 48 of S.A. 1150, & see missing subsection (5) on p. 287 of S.A. 1150].

Loophole 8 – Gang Members Are Eligible
Instead of ensuring that members of violent gangs such as MS 13 are deported after coming out of the shadows to apply for amnesty, the bill will allow violent gang members to get amnesty as long as they “renounce” their gang membership on their application. [See p. 289: 34-36].

Loophole 9 – Absconders Are Eligible
Aliens who have already had their day in court – those subject to final orders of removal, voluntary departure orders, or reinstatement of their final orders of removal – are eligible for amnesty under the bill. The same is true for aliens who have made a false claim to citizenship or engaged in document fraud. More than 636,000 alien fugitives could be covered by this loophole. [See p. 285:19-22 which waives the following inadmissibility grounds: failure to attend a removal proceeding; final orders of removal for alien smuggling; aliens unlawfully present after previous immigration violations or deportation orders; and aliens previously removed. This appears to conflict with language on p. 283:40-41. When a direct conflict appears in a statute, the statue is interpreted by the courts to the benefit of the alien.].

Loophole 10 – Learning English Not Required For A Decade

Illegal aliens are not required to demonstrate any proficiency in English for more than a decade after they are granted amnesty. Learning English is not required for an illegal alien to receive probationary benefits, the first 4-year Z visa, or the second 4-year Z visa. The first Z visa renewal (the second 4-year Z visa) requires only that the alien demonstrate an “attempt” to learn English by being “on a waiting list for English classes.” Passing a basic English test is required only for a second Z visa renewal (the third 4-year Z visa), and even then the alien only has to pass the test “prior to the expiration of the second extension of Z status” (12 years down the road). [See pp. 295-296].

Loophole 11 – Earned Income Tax Credit Will Cost Taxpayers Billions In Just 10 Years
Current illegal aliens and new guest workers will be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit designed to encourage American citizens and legal permanent residents to work. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this loophole will cost the U.S. taxpayer up to $20 billion dollars in just the first 10 years after the bill’s enactment. To be consistent with the intent of the 1996 welfare reforms – which limited new immigrants from receiving public benefits until they had been legal permanent residents for five years – the bill should withhold EITC eligibility from amnestied aliens until they become legal permanent residents. Closing this loophole will save the taxpayers billions of dollars. [See p. 293 after S.A. 1190 was adopted, p. 307, p. 315, §606. All that is required for EITC eligibility is a social security number and resident alien status. Nothing in the bill’s tax provisions limit EITC eligibility. The issuance of social security numbers to aliens as soon as they apply for amnesty will ensure they are able to qualify for the EITC.]

Loophole 12 – Affidavits From Friends Accepted As Evidence
Records from day-labor centers, labor unions, and “sworn declarations” from any non-relative (acquaintances, friends, coworkers, etc) are to be accepted as evidence that the illegal alien has satisfied the bill’s amnesty requirements. This low burden of proof will invite fraud and more illegal immigration – even aliens who are not yet in the U.S. will likely meet this burden of proof. DHS will not have the resources to examine whether the claims contained in the “sworn declarations” of the alien’s friends (that the alien was here prior to January 1, 2007 and is currently employed) are actually valid. [See p. 293: 13-16].

Loophole 13 – Taxpayer Funded Legal Counsel and Arbitration

Free legal counsel and the fees and expenses of arbitrators will be provided to aliens that have been working illegally in agriculture. The U.S. taxpayer will fund the attorneys that help these individuals fill out their amnesty applications. Additionally, if these individuals have a dispute with their employer over whether they were fired for “just cause,” DHS will “pay the fee and expenses of the arbitrator.” [See p. 339:37-41, & p. 332: 37-38.]

Loophole 14 – In-State Tuition and Student Loans
In-state tuition and other higher education benefits, such as Stafford Loans, will be made available to current illegal aliens that are granted initial “probationary” status, even if the same in-state tuition rates are not offered to all U.S. citizens. This would normally violate current law (8 U.S.C. §1623) which mandates that educational institutions give citizens the same postsecondary education benefits they offer to illegal aliens. [See p. 321: 8-31].

Loophole 15 – Inadequacy of the Merit System
The “merit system,” designed to shift the U.S. green card distribution system to attract higher skilled workers that benefit the national interest, is only a shell of what it should have been. Though the merit system begins immediately, it will not increase the percentage of high skilled immigrants coming to the United States until 2016, 8 years after enactment. Of the 247,000 green cards dedicated to the merit based system each year for the first 5 years, 100,000 green cards will be reserved for low-skilled guest workers (10,000) and for clearing the current employment based green card backlog (90,000). From 2013 to 2015, the number of merit based green cards drops to 140,000, and of that number, 100,000 green cards are still reserved each year for low-skilled guest workers (10,000) and for clearing the current employment based green card backlog (90,000). Even after 2015, when the merit system really begins (in 2016) by having 380,000 green cards annually, 10,00 green cards will be reserved specifically for low skilled workers, and points will be given for many characteristics that are not considered “high-skilled.” For example, 16 points will be given for aliens in “high demand occupations” which includes janitors, maids, food preparation workers, and groundskeepers. [See p.260: 25 – p. 261: 20, p. 262, & The Department of Labor’s list of “occupations with the largest job growth” available at www.bls.gov/emp/emptab3.htm].

Loophole 16 – Visas For Individuals That Plan To Overstay

The new “parent” visa contained in the bill which allows parents of citizens, and the spouses and children of new temporary workers, to visit a worker in the United States is not only a misnomer, but also an invitation for high rates of visa overstays. This new visa specifically allows the spouse and children of new temporary workers who intend to abandon their residence in a foreign country, to qualify to come to the U.S. to “visit.” The visa requires only a $1,000 bond, which will be forfeited when, not if, family members of new temporary workers decide to overstay their 30 day visit. Workers should travel to their home countries to visit their families, not the other way around. [See p. 277:1 – 33, and p. 276: 38-43].

Loophole 17 – Chain Migration Tippled Before Being Eliminated
Though the bill will eventually eliminate chain migration (relatives other than spouses and children of citizens and legal permanent residents), it will not have full effect until 2016. Until then, chain migration into the U.S. will actually triple, from approximately 138,000 chain migrants a year (equal to 14% of the 1 million green cards the U.S. currently distributes on an annual basis) to approximately 440,000 chain migrants a year (equal to 45% of the 1 million green cards the U.S. currently distributes on an annual basis). [See pp. 260:13, p. 270: 29 – pp. 271: 17]

Loophole 18 – Back Taxes Not Required

Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to prove they had paid three of their last five years of taxes to get amnesty. This year, payment of back taxes is not required for amnesty. The bill requires taxes to be paid at the time of application for a green card, but at that time, only proof of payment of Federal taxes (not state and local) is required for the years the alien worked on a Z visa, not the years the alien has already worked illegally in the United States. Though Senator McCain’s S.A. 1190, adopted by voice vote, claimed to “require undocumented immigrants receiving legal status to pay owed back taxes,” the amendment actually only required proof of payment of taxes for “any year during the period of employment required by subparagraph (D)(i).” Since the bill does not contain a subparagraph (D)(i), nor require any past years of employment as a prerequisite for amnesty, the amendment essentially only requires proof of payment of taxes for future work in the U.S., not payment of “back taxes.” [See p. 307, and p. 293 as altered by S.A. 1190, amendment p. 2: 19-20.]

Loophole 19 – Social Security Credits Allowed For Some Illegal Work Histories
Aliens who came to the U.S. on legal visas, but overstayed their visas and have been working in the U.S. for years, as well as illegal aliens who apply for Z visa status but do not qualify, will be able to collect social security credits for the years they worked illegally. Under the bill, if an alien was ever issued a social security account number – all work-authorized aliens who originally came on legal visas receive these – the alien will receive Social Security credits for any “quarters of coverage” the alien worked after receiving their social security account number. Because the bill requires social security account numbers to be issued “promptly” to illegal aliens as soon as they are granted “any probationary benefits based upon application [for Z status]” (these benefits are granted 24 hours after the application is filed), an illegal alien who is denied Z visa status but continues to work illegally in the U.S. will accumulate Social Security credits. [See pp. 316:8 – 16, and pp. 315: 32-39]

Loophole 20 – Criminal Fines Not Proportional To Conduct
The criminal fines an illegal alien is required to pay to receive amnesty are less than the bill’s criminal fines for paperwork violations committed by U.S. citizens, and can be paid by installment. Under the bill, an illegal alien must pay a $1,000 criminal fine to apply for a Z visa, and a $4,000 fine to apply for a green card. Eighty percent of those fines can be paid on an installment plan. Under the bill’s confidentiality provisions, someone who improperly handles or uses information on an alien’s amnesty application can be fined $10,000. Administration officials suggest that the bill’s “criminal fines are proportionate to the criminal conduct.” Why, then, is the fine for illegally entering, using false documents to work, and live one-tenth the fine for a paperwork violation committed by a government official? [See p. 287: 34, p. 317: 9, p. 315:6-8, & remarks made by Secretary Gutierrez on Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4:00 May 31, 2007]

Friday, May 25, 2007

More Exposure of the AGW Myth, in Australia

A fine article revealing the overwhelming sensitivity of the AGW scaremongers.

You'll notice from the article, that those who challenge the AGW skeptics don't base their arguments on facts and scientific facts. Instead, they use popularity arguments. For example Jon Faine was quoted as saying "You've got something like, I don't know, the vast overwhelming majority of the world's scientists saying you're an idiot."

When will supporters of AGW use scientific facts to support their debating points?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Amnesty Bill

The 1000 page Democrat amnesty bill is nothing more than an opportunity to drive President Bush's popularity into the sewer. The unpopularity of this bill will be easily focused onto the President by the the Democrat's friends in the MSM. It's too bad our president isn't smart enough to realize this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Democrats Really Showing Their Stuff

As reported in Congressional Quarterly,

However, that flurry of voting has produced only 26 public laws, 12 of which changed the name of a federal building, post office or national recreation area.

Wow!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It's About Time for the UN to Disappear...

The UN has once again proved its fecklessness.

I want a list of the 26 countries that voted in the affirmative!

Common Sense Sometimes Does Prevail

With the daily dose of scaremongering about "extreme" weather phenomena, and the not-so-subtle connections to "man-made" global warming, here is a refreshing story.


Create

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Gardening has many rewards!

And you thought I meant serenity, exercise, sunshine, and fresh fruits and vegetables. But that's not all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Iranian General Gone

Via ABC News . If it is true, this could be very good news!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Global Warming Hysteria Rebutted....

A nice commentary by Tim Ball here.

Additionally, I'd like to add that most of the predictions of AGW disaster scenarios take place in a computer model, in which solar fluxes and feedbacks are inputs. The nature of the inputs has a strong effect on the long term predictions of the model. Furthermore, it is demonstrated by Idso and others that the feedbacks used by the modelers is 6-10 times larger than reality.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The NRSC Pledge

Yes. I've sent the key 9 senators a message to reject the resolutions to criticize the President's plan for the war. Now is the time. We can only hope that the Republicans can muster the courage to filibuster this piece of trash.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Hot Air from the NY Times

From the NY Times,

Exhaustive computer simulations carried out at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., suggest that the Arctic Ocean will be mostly open water in the summer of 2040 — several decades earlier than expected. Scientists attribute the loss of summer ice largely to the buildup of carbon dioxide and other man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

For those of you not aware, computer simulations such as the aforementioned use dozens, if not hundreds of variables which are determined by extensive (and expensive) research. The problem is that nature is a tough beast to predict with a computer, since the intertwining relationship between these parameters is complex. Furthermore, there are always factors not included in the models, for various and obvious reasons: They may be unknown at the time the model is created, there could be uncertainty in the value of the quantity which may render its effect meaningless, it may be difficult to incorporate the effect into the computer program, the resolution of the numerical simulation may be too small to capture effects that affect long-term predictions, etc.

At the end of the day, with enough parameters, a programmer can introduce enough garbage to pollute the solution. To rely on such models is dangerous, especially if you are using them to adjust factors which affect the global economic structure.

It would be refreshing if instead of the same, old, tired, knee jerk reaction to hyperbolic predictions of impending warming disaster, editorial boards would take a basic course in logic and reasoning. Okay, NY Times editors are probably not scientists, but let's pretend they could call one on the phone and get some advice on how to question the results offered by the global climate modelers. Here are just a few questions they could have asked for us:
  • Have global climate models been able to predict the past with accuracy? For example, Data show that between 1930 and 1970 global temperature decreased while CO2 increased. Do the climate modelers accurately predict this phenomenon? If not, why?
  • Given that we are warming since the "little ice age" would the models predict the melting of the arctic?
  • Does the predicted ocean rise rate predicted by the model match measured data for the last century and for the proxy data for the last 6000 years?
Given that the NY Times writes an editorial based on scientific work, I will pretend for a second that I can use a slight bit of scientific scrutiny. I want references to the models they refer to, or a name, or anything. I am not bound to accept that for which I cannot verify myself.

In the second paragraph,
Experts at NASA’s Goddard Institute predict that 2006 will be the fifth-warmest year since modern record-keeping began, continuing a decades-long global warming trend caused, again, by the buildup of man-made carbon dioxide.

They could have simply said, James Hansen, who is a recipient of a disgusting amount of funding to research exactly what he predicts. Why do they shield his identity?

The Interior Department proposes adding polar bears to the list of threatened species because of the accelerating loss of the Arctic ice that is the bears’ habitat. The department does not take a position on why the ice is melting, but studies supporting the proposed listing identify greenhouse gases as the main culprit, adding that if left unchecked these gases will create ice-free Arctic summers in three decades.

It's not clear if NY Times is claiming that the bears' numbers are decreasing. If so, who is claiming this? Further, what is the evidence that the bears would fail to adjust to a slowly shifting climate? I would contend that bears are highly adaptable given their wide range, and that the bears, while perhaps not living on the ice shelves, would live on the shores near the water and would have the same access to prey.

And there is the......

But we knew that.

However, the NY Times predicts calamitously here a story about how scientists were predicting ominous cooling trends.

In another article, the NY times here emphasizes the idea that a cooling trend was on its way, even though the scientists were uncertain about what was actually happening with the climate.


One can only assume that the Senate’s new Democratic leadership is paying attention. California’s Barbara Boxer is the new chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, replacing James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who regards global warming as an elaborate hoax drummed up by environmentalists and scientists in search of money. Ms. Boxer has already scheduled hearings, and there will be no shortage of legislative remedies to consider. All share one objective, which is to attach a cost to carbon dioxide through a cap on emissions.

I'd like to see a shred of proof that Inhofe has claimed that global warming is a elaborate hoax. He has publicly admitted and has written about (easily available online) that the earth has warmed, but that the idea that the primary source of warming is anthropogenic remains to be proven.

So the NY Times is either ignorant or lying. Since they claim to be responsible journalists, I would assume that they are not ignorant of Inhofe's views. Thus, they must be lying.

This is not accidental. Inhofe gives a voice to the people who challenge the GW scaremongers. For debate purposes, he is tactically placed in the position of having the extremist position. I would dare say the extremist is an ignorant person who does not know that the earth is indeed warming or who denies it in its entirety. Or, on the contrary, a person who has an extreme agenda to curtail industrial civilization --- the Malthusians of our time --- the types that link any variation in the weather to man-induced destruction of the planet.

The agenda of the NY Times is clear. By placing Inhofe at the extreme position and the envirowhackos at the other, the only logical conclusion is that the middle ground is a strong effort to curtail CO2 output rates. Who pays the price? Ultimately the rich (Europeans/Americans?) are supposed to pay for this, in an elaborate scheme of transferring money from hither to thither, supposedly which will encourage reduction in CO2 rates because we'll all go to solar. Okay!

The underlying logic is that if people and industries are made to pay for the privilege of pumping these gases into the atmosphere, they will inevitably be driven to developer cleaner fuels, cleaner cars and cleaner factories.


What the NY Times fools don't have a fundamental grasp of is the concept of an order of magnitude. They think that changing to "cleaner cars" is going to have a strong impact of the CO2 emitted? Wrong! They may reduce levels or ordinary pollutants such as NOx, SOx, etc., but CO2 generation is going to be roughly proportional to miles driven, with the proportionality constant most strongly a function of the weight of the vehicle. Period! There are no large gains to be made by doing research, since the thermodynamic efficiency of most engines cannot be increased significantly. Implementing "cleaner" cars will have only a second- or third-order effect on the CO2 generation (per mile driven). I will explain this later in a future article.

A first-order reduction in CO2 is only possible by reducing the number of miles driven, or the number of widgets made in a factory, etc.

First-order reductions in CO2 generation could have been suggested to the public in the editorial, but instead they focused on the misguided notion that a Congressional committee is led by Sen. Boxer is going to have a clue. If the NY Times was really interested in conveying information to the public, they could have suggested a few of the following ideas. Perhaps, lawmakers would hear them:
  • When torn in the decision of buying two similar cars, buy the more fuel efficient one.
  • If you can, use a motorcycles, mopeds, and the like for everyday commuting. They're more fun anyway!
  • Telecommute if you can.
  • Work a 4 day, 10 hour workweek if you can.
  • Convert your vehicle to use natural gas. Gasoline is fine, but natural gas is plenty here in the U.S.
  • When a battery-powered car appears on the market, buy one. The energy required to charge the batteries comes from clean sources: coal/ gas/ nuclear/ hydroelectric, or wind, we would have a large impact on the need for imported oil.
Why is the NY Times so inept.

The NY Times suggests, in their typical pompous manner, that Europe already has the answers --- because we are not sophisticated enough to understand --- nonsense:

This is the path most developed countries have chosen. Europe has imposed caps on industrial emissions, and European companies have begun investing in new technologies and cleaner factories in places like China, partly as a way to meet their own obligations to cut emissions and partly as a way to lead China to a greener future.

These hearings need to be conducted in a thoughtful manner. There has been enough noise, from the Inhofe right and from the doomsayers who see each hurricane as a sign the apocalypse is upon us. But it is also important that Ms. Boxer and her colleagues not lose sight of a fundamental reality: Saturating the atmosphere with greenhouse gases is loading the dice in a dangerous game.

All Europe is doing is paying for the right to pollute. In the final analysis, the rate of CO2 generation is only changed slightly. Of course the growth in CO2 generation by China and India (and indeed Africa in the future) will buck all trends started.

The concluding sentence is revealing. Since the 1880s, the amount of CO2 by volume has changed from 0.0003 to 0.00036. Saturation is hardly the term I would use, but this is a trivial matter compared to the entire tone of the piece which is fraught with an air of certitude, righteousness, pomposity and ignorance.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Innocent until proved guilty? Not at Duke.

Or probably at dozens of institutions. From ABC News, we have

Duke University officials have declined to comment specifically on the academic status of Finnerty and Seligmann, saying only that it is school policy to suspend students charged with felony. [Emphasis mine]

Typical of universities, they treat students as second class citizens. At Duke, punishment is issued solely on the basis of a charge of a crime. No guilt is necessary. At Duke, a student's academic career is less important than insuring that an innocent go unpunished. At Duke, the rule of law is suspended. Why does not Duke have a more reasonable policy such as suspension upon conviction?

I'll tell you why. It is because Duke like almost all Universities in this country, are bastions of hypocrisy. They don't have to have fairness in freedom of speech, fairness in treatment of students, or fairness in policies. In full fairness, I should expand upon this, but will do so at a later date.

Does Duke University suspend professors or staff at the accusation by the state of the commission of a felony? I suspect not!

The punishment of students by suspension is as heinous as the policy of forfeiture laws in which citizens are deprived of property upon the basis of a possible felony, before due process in court is convened.

Duke has made a pittance of the acknowledgement of wrongdoing. They've agreed to have the students return. Duke, in my eyes, owes all three
  • a HUGE sum of money
  • a written apology
  • a change in the policy of suspension without conviction
  • a front row admission to all future classes
  • and finally, permission to address the student assembly publicly upon graduation.
Let's hope Duke University can be brave enough to admit that they were wrong!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year.

This year brings with it my commitment to make daily posts that reflect my thoughts on important issues of the day. Please visit often. Thank you.