Still traveling so not much time to write, but getting ready for a big announcement this weekend. Stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s what’s caught my attention over the past few days.
For those who aren’t yet embarrassed by the GOP Presidential race, here’s the song Rick Perry used to launch his campaign. It seemed too absurd to be true so I checked several sites and this is not a parody. It’s a real thing that happened.
In case you’ve been wondering about that supposed “slow-down” in global warming…
Creepy news about the Chinese government’s efforts to stamp out awareness of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Social conservatives’ worst gay marriage proposals stalled in the Texas Legislature’s regular session. They want to fix that.
Interesting history of how Catholicism became politically acceptable in the US. Fascinating parallels to growing social acceptance of other cultural outliers.
David Jennings at Big Jolly Politics describes Steven Hotze’s continuing fight against the “homosexual lobby” in the Lege.
Doug, a belated question to one of your posts: “…one can help others directly, more efficiently, outside of government.”
If that is true (and I agree that there are many terrific private efforts outside government), how would you deal with the many who are not served – primarily because need outpaces provider ability? We’re talking the good old U.S.A. here, not a 3rd world country. Would you simply let the poor, sick and disabled starve or die?
“The poor will always be with us” is not a catch-phrase. It’s the truth. Would you tell victims of extreme weather or events like 9/11, “you’re on your own”? Or, our vets who return from war theaters and face huge physical and emotional challenges. What constitutes an acceptable role for government help?
This is an interesting effort by some “red” states who are trying to find a “workaround” to the possible loss of federal health care subsidies for their citizens by virtue of an unfavorable SCOTUS ruling. The irony is the magnitude of the effort vs the simple four-word fix.
“Two states — Pennsylvania and Delaware — said this week they would launch their own exchanges, if needed, to keep millions of healthcare dollars flowing after the decision. Both want to use existing pieces of the federal health insurance exchange, like its website and call center — a path that would be far less costly than the way most other states have created their exchanges.
If those plans win approval, many of the other 36 states that stand to lose their subsidies could then pursue a similarly simple strategy.
“I think that’s a pretty easy workaround,” Thomas Scully, the former director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the George W. Bush administration, said about the two states’ plans.
“The administration has a lot of flexibility, potentially, to define a state exchange,” he added.”
All of us who favor greater access to affordable health care for America, need to be open to some of the creative solutions being explored. Of course it’s sad that Congress has refused to be the leader here, but it is too important to too many to not find a workable framework. I have little hope that the SC majority will make the job any easier, however. We’ll see.
On the subject of climate and human impact there on, the 5 stages of denial:
“Stage 1: Deny the problem exists
Stage 2: Deny we’re the cause
Stage 3: Deny it’s a problem
Stage 4: Deny we can solve it
Stage 5: It’s too late”
The deniers give me the impression they greatly fear that should they ever just simply admit that we have a problem, then they’ve just handed the left wing the ultimate blank check to do whatever they wish in solving that problem. The great irony is that this denial is going to make that great fear a SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY (we’ve got a classic Greek tragedy plot going here). You abdicate your rights/ responsibilities in this matter, and others who you may not agree with will step in. Just look at who’s getting on board, and who’s changing their minds and in what direction. They’re not all LWNJ enviro-freaks, not by a long shot. You would be far better off getting behind people like Bob Inglis and going for the most conservative solutions possible. The damage humans are doing to the bio systems (of which putting gigs-tons do sequestered carbon back into the cycle is just a part) will be the most serious issues humanity has ever dealt with. I will never vote for anyone who keeps denying this. Period.
Now for the Sunday comics, Gary Trudeau on “voodoo economics”. Enjoy~!
Just testing. I submitted a post a few hours ago and it didn’t show up. Have I been thrown off the island?
the tribe has spoken.
Earlier I wanted to ask if anyone watched the Beau Biden funeral today. It was very moving. The Biden’s truly exemplify the concept of “family values.”
NO! I missed it, Viking. I will try to find it on the web. Thanks for the info. So sad, such deep personal loss for the Biden family.
It was broadcast live and complete on MSNBC. Here’s the transcript of Obama’s eulogy. A masterpiece. Get out your handkerchief.
Viking, thank you so much. The words were beautiful and deep felt. I loved the quote from
“Patrick Kavanagh, when he wrote, “And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.” A tender, moving address from the President.
The passage that struck me was:
“You know, anyone can make a name for themselves in this reality TV age, especially in today’s politics. If you’re loud enough or controversial enough, you can get some attention. But to make that name mean something, to have it associated with dignity and integrity –- that is rare. There’s no shortcut to get it. It’s not something you can buy. But if you do right by your children, maybe you can pass it on. And what greater inheritance is there?”
This encapsulates so much of what is wrong with American politics today. We have too many attention getters and not enough people who truly want to make the world a better place. We need more Bidens.
“Of course this discussion is all centered around changes in hundredths of degrees.” Ahem.
The worthies at NCEI at would do well to pay attention to the difference between measurement precision and absolute accuracy, not to mention performing a full frequency analysis of the timescale variance in the data. The temperature variances displayed within the time range of the graph may not exceed the signal to noise ratio. A slope interpolated from 1940 to 1970 is negative, suggesting that trends recorded over just a few decades are pretty much meaningless.
As a former student of the science of stable isotope geochemistry directed towards paleoclimatology, I can safely say I wouldn’t have a degree were it not for the fact that climate is constantly varying with time throughout the geologic record. This experience lends one a somewhat jaundiced eye towards all the climate change hoopla.
We know that CO2 is a weak green house gas; we know that anthropogenic CO2 is raising the overall concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. However, CO2 remains very much a minor atmospheric constituent, with concentrations measured in the parts per million. The carbon cycle on this planet is largely biologically mediated; overall CO2 concentration is so low because photosynthesis is so efficient at removing CO2 from the atmosphere. So, while, ipso facto, anthropogenic CO2 would be expected to result in *some* increase in global temperatures, whether that increase would be significant, or even independently measurable, is very much open to debate.
The most troubling aspect of climate alarmism is that it bears all the hallmarks of humanity’s darker bent towards religiosity. I.e., we are ecological sinners, and therefore must do penance by abjuring from the burning of hydrocarbons, hence dramatically driving up energy costs and causing all of us sinners to suffer for our sins. Lost in all this nuttiness is the simple fact that if we have reached the point where we are unconsciously altering climate, we have also reached the point (technologically) where we can actively *manage* climate.
We’ve been managing “climate” on local and regional scales for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Certainly we now have the means to manage the planet’s albedo, not to mention the ability to dramatically stimulate the biologic uptake of CO2. Perhaps instead of figuring out new ways for government to subject the populace to yet more suffering, we ought to be concentrating on developing cost effective tools to *actively* manage global climate. That way, after we’ve observed global temperatures for a millennium or so, and determined whether we actually are raising global temperatures, we can do something about it in a sensible fashion.
As I have posted in the past, one needs to check motivations when it comes to things like this. Tracy would be expected to be a denier, since his job involves finding fossil fuels. Fine, so be it. CO2 is not particularly “minor” as a greenhouse gas goes – true, it is not as impactful on a gram-per-gram basis as methane or other components present at minuscule concentrations. It is not as prevalent at water vapor, though the effects of water vapor have both positive and negative components. Most importantly, the increase in CO2 is almost entirely anthropogenic.
We have not been managing climate particularly effectively over thousands of years; in fact we have been constantly at the whim of famines due to both short term and long term changes in climate. This is not a particularly auspicious harbinger of our ability to manage a planet of 7 billion people with changing sea levels and patterns of agricultural productivity. GOP intransigence (and I’m not placing Tracy in this category) is preventing us even thinking about planning for these disruptions, much less doing anything about them.
“Most importantly, the increase in CO2 is almost entirely anthropogenic.”
Why is this the most important thing? Shouldn’t the most important thing be the effect? What if on balance the effects of more CO2 are positive, and man accidentally made the environment more hospitable? Is that still bad?
“we have been constantly at the whim of famines due to both short term and long term changes in climate.”
Have you ever noticed that famines never occur in wealthy, stable countries? Have you noticed the correlation between abundant cheap energy and wealth? Also, have you ever considered what plants use for food and how they grow better when there’s more of it? Or how they prefer warm over cold? CO2 famines are a scare tactic with no basis in reality.
We’re coming up on thirty years of scary AGW predictions. By now we’re already supposed to have an ice-free Arctic, millions of “climate refugees”, terrible hurricanes, and a host of other catastrophes. Where is all this stuff? If nothing already predicted has come true, why should anyone believe predictions of future horror?
“What if on balance, the effects of CO2 are positive…”
Got anything to back that up, other than wishful thinking?
“Have you ever noticed that famines never occur in wealthy stable countries?”
So far. This period of propersity is a very small segment of human history. It depends of things like good topsoil and enough water that can easily be lost through misuse. It also depends on the current climate conditions. We’re also severely pushing our luck if we keep insisting on adding more people.
And to add to JG’s point, anyone one wants to proclaim that humans are so great at “managing climate” needs to look at the situation in our Western forests. We’ve actually made the fires burn hotter and do more damage thanks to our “management”. The forests were managing themselves just fine until humans stepped in.
Hate America? No
Want to micromanage peoples’s lives? No
Want to transfer wealth to China/India/Brazil/etc.? No
Scamming for grant $? No
Would live to see humans and other life forms survive? Yes
Also is it really a good thing to have quantity at the expense of quality? The research is of course ongoing, but if these result hold, we’re looking at less protein from an important staple crop.
Effects of elevated CO2 on grain yield and quality of wheat: results from a 3-year free-air CO2 enrichment experiment
P. Högy1, H. Wieser2, P. Köhler2, K. Schwadorf3, J. Breuer3, J. Franzaring1, R. Muntifering4 andA. Fangmeier1
Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. TRISO) was grown for three consecutive seasons in a free-air carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment (FACE) field experiment in order to examine the effects on crop yield and grain quality. CO2 enrichment promoted aboveground biomass (+11.8%) and grain yield (+10.4%). However, adverse effects were predominantly observed on wholegrain quality characteristics. Although the thousand-grain weight remained unchanged, size distribution was significantly shifted towards smaller grains, which may directly relate to lower market value. Total grain protein concentration decreased significantly by 7.4% under elevated CO2, and protein and amino acid composition were altered. Corresponding to the decline in grain protein concentration, CO2 enrichment resulted in an overall decrease in amino acid concentrations, with greater reductions in non-essential than essential amino acids. Minerals such as potassium, molybdenum and lead increased, while manganese, iron, cadmium and silicon decreased, suggesting that adjustments of agricultural practices may be required to retain current grain quality standards. The concentration of fructose and fructan, as well as amounts per area of total and individual non-structural carbohydrates, except for starch, significantly increased in the grain. The same holds true for the amount of lipids. With regard to mixing and rheological properties of the flour, a significant increase in gluten resistance under elevated CO2 was observed. CO2 enrichment obviously affected grain quality characteristics that are important for consumer nutrition and health, and for industrial processing and marketing, which have to date received little attention.
Don’t mess with Fly!
Fly, Surely, there are better examples than wheat. You are worrying about climate changing grain composition that has already extensively been modified by man. It is like being concerned that a prostitute might lose her virginity.
“the bread wheat genome has undergone rapid and significant changes, including loss of gene family members during the time it was being domesticated. This is when bread wheat moved from having two sets of chromosomes to multiples of that number — ultimately, the 6 sets seen today.”
I burned a lot of CO2 between this post and my last on a flight from Tokyo, but the anthropogenic release of CO2 matters because it is above and beyond what the natural carbon cycle can absorb. Conceivably we could plant gargantuan fields of ferns to absorb the CO2, but that has not been on the table.
We can rest comfortably in the smug confidence that famines occur only in the third world, a category of country that has existed for a bout 100 years (before that, we were all third world). A bigger question might be why you wouldn’t consider mass famine in a less developed country to be a reason for the modest action needed to counter climate change?
“Surely there are better examples than wheat?”
Wheat is a major staple crop that provides the world’s population with about 20% of its daily protein and calories. That should make it an excellent example. The article I cited above dealt with just one change, CO2 levels. But there is also temperature to consider:
Your arguments about human modifications to wheat (via selective breeding) are a red herring. The whole point of those modifications was been to make wheat as efficient as possible towards the goal of keeping us fed. More CO2 and more heat undermines that.
But if you want to look at other crops, corn isn’t liking increased heat either.
I keep going back to Tracy’s view: “…climate change alarmism is more about people control than climate control…Perhaps instead of figuring out new ways for government to subject the populace to yet more suffering, we ought to be concentrating on developing cost effective tools to *actively* manage global climate. That way, after we’ve observed global temperatures for a millennium or so, and determined whether we actually are raising global temperatures, we can do something about it in a sensible fashion.”
Government mandated seat belts and airbags and countless lives have been saved. Government overreach? Drinking water purification requirements….government overreach?
Smallpox and polio vaccinations. Government overreach? Hazardous chemical disposal, government overreach?
We need cost-effective tools to combat climate change but don’t want government to invest in the research…the government commits tax dollars to subsidize renewable energy sources and we subject the populace to suffering….” Huh??? Surely, if there was ever a justifiable place for government to participate with tax dollars, it would be in improving and securing the environment for all people. Everywhere. In cooperation with other nations. Now. Not in a mellinneum. This is not alarmist; it is sensible.
“A bigger question might be why you wouldn’t consider mass famine in a less developed country to be a reason for the modest action needed to counter climate change?”
It is very much a reason *against* preventing these countries from pulling themselves out of poverty.
Please expand on your comment to JG’s statement: … “why you wouldn’t consider mass famine in a less developed country to be a reason for the modest action needed to counter climate change?”
Doug: “It is very much a reason *against* preventing these countries from pulling themselves out of poverty.”
1mime, famines are the result of poverty and/or crappy government. They just don’t happen to wealthy people who have freedom. For instance, Texas had a massive drought and heat wave in 2011. The result is that beef prices and a few other commodities went up a bit. If Texas were a third world country, millions probably would have died.
One of the keys to wealth is cheap, abundant energy. To to stop CO2 emissions will require more than “modest” changes. You’re going to have to prevent all the poor parts of the world from developing the way we did…with coal, oil, and gas. The other technologies just aren’t there yet. In other words, you’re going to condemn them to poverty for the near future, with all that entails.
Doug: I guess where I’m coming from is not the “hand out” but the “hand up” philosophy. For example, industrialized nations (wealthier) have experienced drought and commensurate water shortages along with other natural catastrophies. (Remember the horrors of the Dust Bowl of the 30s? Belgium’s solution to land subsidence and flooding? Israel’s phenomenal management of water shortages?) Why not share these proven methods? Through a more educated/resourceful/wealthier populace, these nations have been able to either ride things out or develop solutions. Solutions that can be expensive and benefit from a strong central government (FEMA/etc) that can step in to assist in times of extremes. The fact that third world countries lack a strong central government, wealth and an educated population exacerbates an already difficult situation.
America does not have the resources nor the responsibility to make these countries whole but we do have an opportunity to share our knowledge by exporting proven, effective models. Climate change can cause famine as can poor environment management (clear cutting, water pollution, soil depletion, etc – some of which America is responsible for creating in these countries). Hydro power and solar power would be wonderful tools for these undeveloped countries to utilize in the absence of or in addition to traditional fossil fuel technology.
Surely it is a better investment for America to export disease management care (vaccinations, medical care and training, birth control) and environmental management concepts (including potable water) to enable a less advanced people to better manage their unique problems.
In other words: export help and knowledge, not arms. America seems to find money to engage in conflict all over the globe. Why not build alliances based upon helping the less fortunate to improve and manage their own problems? Just as we should not (IMO) be the world’s policeman, nor can we be the world’s problem solver. But we can help and we should.
Most of your response is well above my pay grade, but I can respond to these statements:
“Lost in all this nuttiness is the simple fact that if we have reached the point where we are unconsciously altering climate, we have also reached the point (technologically) where we can actively *manage* climate.”
Isn’t that precisely what alternative energy sources will address? And, teaching people and businesses to responsibly reduce emissions and discharges? To individually and collectively do our respective parts to “manage” our interaction with our environment?
“We’ve been managing “climate” on local and regional scales for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Certainly we now have the means to manage the planet’s albedo, not to mention the ability to dramatically stimulate the biologic uptake of CO2. Perhaps instead of figuring out new ways for government to subject the populace to yet more suffering, we ought to be concentrating on developing cost effective tools to *actively* manage global climate.
I disagree that we’ve been managing climate, positively. What we have been doing is taking our climate for granted and ignoring the consequences of poor management. Our environment and climate is too important to become another political issue. This is definitely something we can and should cooperatively engage on. It’s “everyone’s responsibility”.
I have no doubt that man has the intellectual genius to figure out solutions to many environmental challenges, but if the world’s scientific community feels we have passed the point where what we are presently doing – both in terms of our interaction and current capabilities – has already reached the tipping point, we’re playing catch up – not managing.
I also disagree with your connection between climate change and religion, the “ecological sinner” concept. My simple belief on the subject of climate change/global warming is this: mankind has introduced many changes to our blue marble – many of which are fine things, others not so. Why not approach this subject from the vantage of “first, do no harm”, and each take responsibility to positively contribute rather than damage the world we live in. The acrimonious debate intrudes into sensible, cooperative, common purpose. Surely, we can agree on that.
“I also disagree with your connection between climate change and religion, the “ecological sinner” concept.”
Same here. While that may be applicable to a small, extreme minority, more likely you’re going to find “survival of the human race and Western civilization” rather than “ecological penance” as the primary motivation.
Also Tracy, you’re repeating that tired old mantra that because climate can vary due to non-humans factors, there’s no way human can cause major variance through their actions, so therefore no worries. That does NOT logically follow. Living things can and do cause major changes, the oxygen content of our air is proof.
“CO2 enrichment promoted aboveground biomass (+11.8%) and grain yield (+10.4%)…
“The concentration of fructose and fructan, as well as amounts per area of total and individual non-structural carbohydrates, except for starch, significantly increased in the grain. The same holds true for the amount of lipids.”
Fly, hate to point this out, but we don’t grow wheat primarily as a source of protein. Rather, grains are our primary source of carbs (along with root veggies). Wheat is 10-15% protein, 75+% carbs. (So a 7.4% drop in protein content amounts to about a 1% change by total weight.) If it’s protein you’re after, grow soybeans.
It’s quite obvious from the abstract that increased CO2 has a felicitous effect on wheat’s total food value. And of course, there’s no doubt that with modern hybridization and genetics techniques, any issue with protein content could be readily addressed.
Try being a glass half full guy; you might enjoy it.
“Why not approach this subject from the vantage of “first, do no harm”, and each take responsibility to positively contribute rather than damage the world we live in.”
1mime, I agree with that notion wholeheartedly, and try my best to conduct myself in that fashion. Where we apparently part ways is on our individual assessment of the danger posed by anthropogenic CO2.
As for the religiosity slant, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, there’s a good chance it’s a duck. Of course, those who studiously avoid ducks (i.e., religion) might not recognize a duck if it nipped them on the fanny.
Tracy, Since we are having a sparring exercise here, I read in today’s Houston Chronicle that cadets are not allowed to bring weapons onto the military campuses except for the express purpose of a specific exercise. Why, Tracy?
“Fly, hate to point this out, but we don’t grow wheat primarily as a source of protein. Rather, grains are our primary source of carbs (along with root veggies). Wheat is 10-15% protein, 75+% carbs. (So a 7.4% drop in protein content amounts to about a 1% change by total weight.) If it’s protein you’re after, grow soybeans.
It’s quite obvious from the abstract that increased CO2 has a felicitous effect on wheat’s total food value. And of course, there’s no doubt that with modern hybridization and genetics techniques, any issue with protein content could be readily addressed.”
If you’re looking at it from a strictly American view, less protein in wheat would not be a big deal. But in other places in the world where people have issues with eating regularly, getting enough protein is a major issue, in particular the essential amino acids. That sort of alteration does have the potential to do harm in some poor countries and not all crops can be grown in all places.
“Try being a glass half full guy; you might enjoy it.”
No, I’ll stick to reality, whether the news is good or not.
Tracy and Doug, the handwriting is on the wall.
1mime, I presume you are aware that Norway is a major natural gas producer. Much as in the U.S., increased natural gas production is squeezing out coal. Follow the money.
I am not “against” fossil fuels, Tracy. What I am for is the cleanest fuel we have available. Coal has been around for centuries and it, like oil, will be with us for many future decades. My problem with coal is it’s one of the dirtiest fuels around despite many efforts to make “clean coal” possible.
Norway is not alone in divesting themselves of investment in specific fossil fuels, however, just the latest. In my humble view, the long term will see tremendous utilization of solar, wind, hydro, gas, solid fuel cell, etc… Think of those areas in the world who have to depend upon oil being imported and how much their economies would benefit from renewable energy sources self-developed and managed. That’s all. For that matter, think of the geo-political ramifications of countries not having to depend upon imported energy. I’m not a “tree huger” but I do have a deep respect for the environment, and I try to practice what I preach – (I burn too many lights however (-: so I guess honestly, I am selective in my energy wastefulness.
Mine is not an “us” vs “you” argument; rather, it is an “us” for a better environment for all commitment. And, money is a huge driver but it is not the only driver or the most important driver in anything, from my perspective. It is a fact of life and I try to co-exist whenever possible.
Also, 1mime, I’m all for alternative energy, so long as it costs *less* than current sources of energy. Neither wind nor solar at current levels of technology can make that claim, sans subsidies. Nuclear could make that happen, but we’d have to pull our regulatory climate out of our collective rear end to make that a reality.
In my view it’s not worth lowering the average standard of living for every human being on the planet to address a climate “problem” that may or may not be anthropogenic in nature, if it exists at all. As with most of the left’s schemes, one suspects climate change alarmism is more about people control than climate control. And as was Stalin, the left is quite content to break a few (economic) eggs to make its progressive utopian omelette. Those of us who actually care about people as individuals are less than enthused by the prospect…
OK, Tracy, now you’re getting snobbish. “Those of us who actually care about people as individuals are less than enthused by the prospect…”
So, being a Democrat/Progressive automatically makes you less caring about people? I don’t think so. I could cite a litany of examples but I know how you and Fifty hate my “yadayada” list. It’s embarrassing if you would even acknowledge its veracity.
Think of it this way. America invests over half its entire budget in defense. You really think that’s cost-effective? And, as for subsidies, surely you are aware of the subsidies to the oil and gas industry?
No, I suspect we come from such different sides of looking at things that we will continue to disagree. I’m fine with that until you make statements like above.
Sorry, 1mime, didn’t mean to come off as snobbish, although to be honest, I got the same sense from you in your comment. Go figure! 😉
I’ve witnessed the economic and social carnage wrought wrought by the war on poverty over the course of my lifetime, and can’t help but wonder about the degree of “care” displayed by the left. Similarly, were it not for America’s unique stature in the world (based in no small part on our military capacity), the long shadow cast by the debt of our ever burgeoning New Deal social largess would likely have *already* brought us to our knees, a la Greece. So that’s where my snobbery comes from, I suppose.
Like you, I’m old enough that the coming collapse is not likely to happen on my watch, but I do worry quite a bit about my direct offspring and grandchildren. Ah well, it will be for them to deal with. We’ll just have to settle for blathering about it.
If I came off as being snobbish, that was not my intent. If we could roll back the clock to the years following the Great Depression, try to imagine the incredible challenges faced by FDR when he assumed the Presidency. We probably view the New Deal very differently, but it helped a nation of starving, jobless people get back on their feet only to then face a horrific WWII. We could each argue for and against the need and benefits of our social safety net as it grew – predominantly under Democratic Presidents (FDR & L. Johnson). We can agree that the cost to taxpayers is huge and unsustainable given the current budget priorities and the existing GOP emphasis on priorities. That doesn’t mean the social safety net is “bad”; what it means is our nation needs to have a serious debate over what our domestic priorities should be. Unfortunately, there is no metric for assessing this truth. If every citizen voted, do you ever wonder what the priorities would be? Instead, Conservatives fight tooth and nail to make voting more and more difficult as if by suppression, control will continue to reflect the society they want rather than the society America needs. Ask yourself: Is our current Congress doing the people’s business or the GOP’s business? Does it have to be either or?
The major difference between our personal view of the role of government is that I believe there is a valid, important role for government to play in ensuring not only the safety of our country, but the well being of our people. I assume your view is different. Lifer makes the point in his new book that we are living under an old political structure amid a changed world and refusing to adapt. (Lifer – I hope I’m getting your intent correctly – just 50 pages or so into your new book (-: The social, cultural, environmental and geo-political change happening across our globe is staggering. America is one power, albeit a major one, in a social construct that is at once competitive and mutually dependent via our shared environment and mutual fear of nuclear arms .
So, again, we diverge on global warming, guns, the role of government, and our responsibility to our fellow man. I know what I believe is best and I’m very comfortable with that – just as you are. Like you, I worry about our children and grandchildren and I also worry about other people and our shared environment. The beauty of being aware of the needs of all people (to the extent that is possible) is that it becomes less about “me” and more about “us”. It’s a worthy investment of one’s life and wealth.
“The beauty of being aware of the needs of all people (to the extent that is possible) is that it becomes less about “me” and more about “us”. It’s a worthy investment of one’s life and wealth.”
Agree. But one can help others directly, more efficiently, outside of government.
One last thing for the gang to chew on. With all brilliant propaganda, the best place to start is with a grain of truth. Yes, CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas. Start from there, and spin a magnificent construct designed solely to expand government control over the lives of individuals. Quite brilliant, actually. Were I Ernst Stavro Blofeld, I’d almost certainly wish I’d thought of it myself. TTFN. 🙂
I have to keep reminding myself that this is a GOP blog..I sometimes forget and think maybe it’s folks coming together to exchange ideas not to regurgitate the same talking points. Our world view is certainly different, Tracy, and it keeps things interesting.
“Yes, CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas. Start from there, and spin a magnificent construct designed solely to expand government control over the lives of individuals. Quite brilliant, actually. ”
Someone cites science, and you answer with politics. That is brilliant, but as a summation of what is wrong with the deniers.
politics or science?
Doug, your source is taking that 70s global cooling “scare” seriously. That was never taken seriously among scientists, but rather something that Time, etc. hyped up for headlinss. So definitely politics for your source.
Have you even even considered what it would take for scientists to pull off the scam you keep accusing them of? Seriously, have you? You ought to go do that thought exercise.
“Have you even even considered what it would take for scientists to pull off the scam you keep accusing them of?”
So you’re of the mistaken belief that this is driven by scientists?
Doug, the scientists are saying that human activity is causing a problem. That’s what I take seriously, not what the politicians say. Do you believe the scientists are lying or telling the truth?
*Some* scientists are saying it is a problem. Many are not. A growing number are saying we are entering a cooling phase. The idea that 97% are in lock step agreement is hogwash.
Do some scientists lie? Absolutely. They are human, are they not? Consider Mann’s hockey stick as only one example. Absolutely, clearly fraudulent without a doubt, yet touted at “proof” far and wide, and he is still employed doing climate “science.” If the goal were science, not an agenda, people like Mann and the East Anglia “scientists” would be drawing unemployment.
Doug, re: climate change/global warming – It needn’t come down to a political argument. All of us know that man contributes in a myriad of ways to the climate, whether it is discharge, injection, or “me” keeping lights on because I like the way it looks. The aggregate is the problem.
The debate needn’t be an either/or or us vs them – instead, think about it from a global perspective, as Jack Ma (CEO/Alibaba) is asserting. His message to other business leaders is this: “With vast wealth comes the ability to take a longer term view of the world…Business people like myself are beginning to pay attention to social issues including the environment and taking action and really treating this issue very seriously. And we’re doing it not for P.R. reasons, but because we know it is important. We know it is serious and that if we don’t take action, it will hurt ourselves, our children and our families.”
Mr. Ma shared his rather interesting idea about a WWIII: “The third world war is going to happen, and this war is not between nations,” Ma said during a speech hosted by the Economic Club of New York. “In this war we work together against the disease, the poverty, the climate change—and I believe this is our future.”
Isn’t this exactly the right thing for all of us? Can’t we get to the cooperation level and work on the common ground that exists?
“*Some* scientists are saying it is a problem. Many are not. A growing number are saying we are entering a cooling phase. The idea that 97% are in lock step agreement is hogwash.”
Bullshit Doug. The consensus on this one is very strong. When you get the national science academies saying “we agree with this conclusion”, that means something. But given that you were citing Creighton, it seems that you really don’t understand what a consensus in science is and what it means. Why don’t you give us a citation from an actual scientific, as opposed to political source.
“Do some scientists lie? Absolutely. They are human, are they not?”
The thing about science is, when you publish a conclusion, your work is going to get checked and rechecked, all the more so if you are working in such a high profile field. Lies don’t last long in that intense of a spot light.
” Consider Mann’s hockey stick as only one example. Absolutely, clearly fraudulent without a doubt, yet touted at “proof” far and wide, and he is still employed doing climate “science.” If the goal were science, not an agenda, people like Mann and the East Anglia “scientists” would be drawing unemployment.”
You really need to keep up. I swear you remind me of creationists, who keep repeating talking points that once may have raised a valid question about something not known, but have since been answered/debunked by research, but you guys refuse to read the memo. Plenty of other people have done their own independent reconstructions with different data and different methodologies. The conclusion still holds.
You hate the possible political consequences, so you attack the science. You are trying to shoot the messengers, which has always been an extremely stupid thing to do.
Why does this argument almost always split between conservative and liberal? Tracy’s view that liberals feel guilty of sinning against Gaia is probably correct for some liberals. For the majority on both sides we have to trust those we … umm .. trust.
On the conservative side, some are smart and educated and have made a calculated decision. Others live in coal country or oil country. Some listen to the people to whom they usually listen and repeat that view. Some just like to verbally poke a liberal in the eye.
AGW? I truly don’t know. But it seems we should err on the the side of caution. So we don’t set off cascading releases of greenhouse gasses which causes warming which causes ocean current anomalies which causes …
I figure that if we had continued with alternate energy research with the same fervor we had in the 70s, we could have spent 3-4 trillion dollars on research and still come out ahead. (And possibly saved thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern folk).
And, Unarmed, we would have ultimately ended up with a cleaner environment and in the long term, less cost to the consumer. All research and development loads on the front end….that’s the argument that the pharmaceutical industry uses to justify its huge RX prices. Same is true for many other industries and projects whether it’s GE or Boeing, or alternative energy R&D. There are not many Elan Musks out there so government can play an important role in areas that meet common needs.
I have a degree in geochemistry too.
Although as you say the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is low (measured in ppm), it must be kept in mind that we have gone from 270 ppm to 400 ppm since the dawn of the Industrial Age—a 48% increase within 200 years or so.
In a geologic timeframe that’s practically instantaneous and cannot be solely attributed to natural processes. It’s true that photosynthesis removes a lot of CO2 from the atmosphere, but clearly the natural CO2 sink isn’t keeping up. This is having a significant impact on the oceans, which account for about 80% of carbonate uptake. I’m sure you studied carbonate equilibria in natural waters. The pCO2 is going up and the pH is going down.
Click to access bg-9-2509-2012.pdf
It’s troubling to me that people are fixated on atmospheric data and seem to ignore what’s happening in the oceans. The rapidly changing chemistry of the oceans is having negative impact on sea life. Crustaceans and shellfish are finding it increasingly difficult to form shells, which are after all composed of calcium carbonate. The pH is too low. Coral reefs are disappearing for the same reason. Many fish species have been abandoning parts of their natural habitats and moving to areas with cooler water where there is enough dissolved O2 to breathe. This isn’t a good long term plan.
We only have one planet to live on. Let’s not blow it. I’ve worked in the oil and gas industry for over 35 years (R&D) and am presently retired. Energy companies can adapt and divert resources to renewable energy. We have a lot of very smart scientists and engineers. My former employer is doing so, but is keeping a low profile for now.
viking, I use the term “anthropogenic CO2” in all my comments; I hope you don’t think that I doubt the upward trend in atmospheric CO2 is anything but human caused; I don’t.
People throw around terms like “48% increase” primarily to raise alarm (not that I would accuse you of such a thing). A 48% increase in a very small number leaves you with… a very small number. Let’s express those PPM numbers as real numbers. We’ve gone from a 0.00027 fraction of CO2 in the atmosphere to a 0.00048 fraction. From 0.027% to 0.048%. Less than a half of one tenth of a percent, in layman terms. CO2 is a *trace* gas in our atmosphere. To put it in perspective, the concentration of **Argon** in our atmosphere is roughly 20 times that of CO2. Traditionally, the only reason we care a whit about atmospheric CO2 is because of its importance in photosynthesis.
You are entirely correct to minimize the importance of atmospheric CO2 in comparison to other carbon sinks active in the carbon cycle. Short of a discussion of carbon cycle fluxes and stores that would take days to work through in this medium, suffice it to say the amount of CO2 we’ve introduced into the atmosphere throughout the entire industrial era is a mosquito fart in a hurricane in the grand scheme of things. At issue is the *rate* of that introduction of CO2, which has very much perturbed things away from the prior equilibrium state. Since you bring up “geologic timeframe,” surely you are aware that the mass of all the anthropogenc CO2 ever produced is *utterly* insignificant within the context of the carbon cycle as considered over the geologic timeframe.
Ocean acidification is something to be concerned about, but I trust you realize that in geologic terms the changes in surface water pCO2 and pH are transient effects due to what amounts to instantaneous disequlibria in a system that mass cycles over millennia. If we stopped producing CO2 entirely today, we’d be back to “normal” in the blink of the eye in geologic terms. I.e., it’s a geologic non-event.
It is perhaps worth noting that the potential for global warming induced disassociation of methane clathrate deposits is also something to be concerned about, but I suppose the jury’s still out on that, too. And as long as were talking geologic timeframes, were about due for the Yellowstone hotspot to blow. All of this makes for great disaster movie fodder, but I don’t think it’s really stuff on which we would want to base harmful (to real live humans) public policy.
Given current trends in battery tech, I trust that I’ll be driving a son-of-Tesla vehicle within my lifetime, and hopefully I’ll be upright long enough to enjoy an electric motorcycle, as well. I have little doubt that within a hundred (or few hundred) years we’ll be tossing banana peels into our Mr. Fusion power cans to generate power. Heck, the NIF exceeded break even last year. Hydrocarbons as a source of energy will be obsolete someday, but only when something less costly comes along.
More evidence that the times they are a changin’
Rush relegated to has been radio stations in big markets all over the country. Nobody is interested in racist, bigoted windbags anymore.
Yeah, he only earned $66 million last year.
Yes, well, Limbaugh is a perfect example of “money makes the man”. Sorry excuse for a human being – and I don’t care if he earned 100 million. “How” he’s earning his millions is despicable. I don’t equate wealth as success. That’s not a metric that impresses me.
And even more evidence of change. By Gallup which I always considered conservative.
Extending the thread on a shrinking conservative voter base, The Hill reports that Republicans are getting real nervous that they are finally going to get what they asked for: killing the ACA via SCOTUS. I don’t feel sorry for Republicans one wit; I do feel for the millions who will lose the first health insurance they’ve had. All that noise and wasted energy when if they really cared about people and not power, they would have fixed the problems they feel the ACA presents. Instead, they may have out-smarted themselves. Pity.
Yep, mime. This whole Obamacare thing has been a frustrating, loony, adventure. I am thinking positive thoughts but who knows. If it gets past this trial, don’t forget to continue to call it Obamacare when talking about all the positives it begat. If it is allowed to live, I think I’ll attend every Republican campaign function close to me and ask “when are you going to end Obamacare? Even when the base and the Republican party is trying to forget their stupidity on this subject.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I’m sure all his “ex’s” agree. Poisonous, mean spirited man.
Chris, Are you finally coming out as a Democrat?
Big announcement, huh? Dang. I was gonna ask Chris to be my campaign manager… 😦
Hmm, I didn’t realize a dogcatcher would need a campaign manager (-:
You are obviously not plugged into the pulse of public service.
Yeah, right….been there, done that, Mr. Dogcatcher
Fifty Ohm could not resist coming back with that one.
Tutt, my husband says there’s not much resistance with 50 ohm.
It’s about time you stepped out of the closet!
The NYT did a nice piece on Hillary’s speech to TX Southern U on her ideas about voting access. She’s slowly releasing her campaign ideas. This is a much needed discussion about how to increase voter participation.
“…the speech highlighted the yawning gulf on voting rights between Mrs. Clinton and the Republican candidates for the White House, many of whom have been cynically committed to making voting harder for the most vulnerable citizens. “What part of democracy are they afraid of?” Mrs. Clinton asked.
Me thinks Governor Perry is a little out of touch. I watched the video from Chris’s link. I actually grew up in the culture it depicts. While many of the older people from that culture but not by any means all might be attracted by Perry’s persona the younger people are turned off. They are pragmatic and often much more progressive than Mom and Dad and especially grandma and granddad. They often date and even marry interracial for instance.I get the picture that Perry thinks the whole USA is just a larger Texas. Well it is not. I do not think he is smart enough to cobble together enough of a coalition to even win the primary and for sure not the general election. In my opinion the only candidate that has a chance against Hillary is Jeb. But as he says you have to loose the primary to win the general election. Jeb is a very smart man and he might be able to crack that puzzle.
That puzzle is more or less uncrackable right now.
No republican is electable in the general with the current policies of the republican party. They need to jettison the TP and come back to right of centre in order to have a shot at the oval office again. It’s too late for 2016, they need to start workk on 2020 right now
Fly – OT but thought you’d get a kick out of this. Some buddies for the fly drone.
We’ve all been reading about the looming double digit ACA premium increases. It’s important to note that premium increases are also going to be imposed on private health plans. This puts things in perspective and reduces some of the hype and propaganda constantly targeted at the ACA. The old “fear factor” at work.
Here’s another take from Mother Jones, David Corn:
I bet Chris is moving back to Texas.
I get those emails from Hotze, the HCRP, and the RPT too. There is a sort of gay mafia out there. I went to a council candidate event a few years back and ran into a buddy who’s a member of that tribe. He gave me the backstory on the candidates; here a gay there a gay everywhere a gay gay.
Is that video really official campaign material? WTF? The Texas GOP should look like Roger Staubach, not Ken Stabler. So much for the earnest Baptist.
That Big Jolly guy, isn’t that some kind of nom de plume theft? I was Big for a long time before he was. One of these days I’m gonna kick the Chron in the balls like a Ray Guy punt.
Go get ’em, Big Willy!
On the climate front, even some sectors of Big Oil are acknowledging the writing on the wall:
I anticipate much entertainment in seeing how the conspiracy theorists work them into the mix (although I’m still waiting for them to turn in their homework on why the Defense Dept and the big insurance companies are down with transferring wealth to the 3rd World).
Sadly, not some of the “big boys”.
Note to the guy in charge of changing the lyrics to reflect Rick perry:
Theres a line at the beginning about helping those in need. You must’ve missed that one.
Yeah, and the images and lyrics clearly target Perry’s intended voter base which may be a larger group than we’d like to believe exist.
Little Ricky is so full of shit , I can smell him here in MN.
Damn and I thought I’d be safe in Tennessee!
Speaking of candidates declaring their intentions to run, here is a set of tough questions I want to see all of them answer, especially the hawkish ones:
It’s high time we had an open national discussion about our place in the world and the role we are willing to play.
These questions in particular I want answers for:
“Given the chaos currently sweeping the Middle East and the role of American foreign policy in fomenting it (by overthrowing dictators in Iraq and Libya and supporting, or at least not opposing, Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt, Syria, and Yemen), should the United States continue to promote democracy in the region? Or should we favor stability? (If you deny the premise of the question and wish to maintain that democracy and stability are compatible in the Middle East, a further pair of questions: What do you think would be the outcome of a national democratic election in Saudi Arabia? Would you support a protest movement that called for holding one?)”
That is a particularly nasty catch-22. Given what has happened in Iraq and Egypt and Libya, I can’t see getting stability + democracy without having US troops keeping order for decades. I would also like to ask whether a candidate would support trying to keep together nations like Iraq with warring ethnic/religious factions, or to let those nations naturally splinter along those fault lines.
Outstanding article, Fly. America’s “exceptionalism” view is running full sprint into a world that is not stable nor always amenable to our role as protector-decider. In my view, America lacks the resources, capability, and authority to assume this ever broadening responsibility except in those specific cases which directly impact the nation’s security. And, that’s a “BIG” “except”. Surely, a safer world is one in which there are many nations who share responsibility even if the political structure, i.e. Democracy, is different from our own (which you have to admit is pretty flawed”).
Would that the election process offered an opportunity for the insightful, important questions posed in the article. I’m not hopeful this can happen given historical tradition and the plethora of candidates, but it is the discussion we need. One hopes that college professors are introducing students to this level of discourse because it sure isn’t happening elsewhere.
This paragraph from the article says it all: “Would it not be wiser for us to clarify precisely, and ahead of time, where we see our interests implicated and where we do not? Or, are we really so terrified by the prospect of chaos, of losing (our already far from complete) control of events, that we’re willing to pretend it makes sense to treat a good portion of the planet as our intimate business and responsibility?”
Indeed. One question I didn’t see directly posed was the need for America (and our allies) to re-visit our treaty agreements. Do some need to be changed or eliminated? This should be incorporated in the analysis of our interests as part of the deeper discussion of America’s priorities and commitments. Our country simply cannot afford the ever-growing massive defense budgetary commitment without sacrificing other important domestic needs, such as the oft criticized social safety net. If the American people could vote on their list of budget priorities, It would be interesting to see if defense would be superseded by those programs we criticize as much as we benefit from them. Fifty and others are correct that there is only so much money to spend. It’s time we look at our foreign and defense obligations in light of our own domestic needs and budget accordingly.
Thanks for a great post, Fly, and elevation of the discussion about America’s role in the world and at home.
The way I see it, Europe can shoulder more of the burden/responsibility for their own defense. Keep NATO, yes, but let others, especially Germany, step up and do more. Our presence in Japan also needs review in the same way. We’re probably stuck in South Korea for now, because of that troublesome little nuke-packing cockroach residing in NK. We also won’t be totally free of the ME anytime soon, but I don’t think it will be prudent to do anymore Iraq-style interventions. I’m all for aiding the African Union as much as possible, because I think that Africans resolving African disputes has better long term potential than Americans intervening.
Big annoucement….. he’s running for pres!? 😄
Methinks he is too sane for that! But I would totally vote for him.
From the beginning, when I first discovered Chris’s blog, I felt he had political aspirations, and I think he would do well. I don’t always agree with him politically, but he seems open and willing to consider the ideas of others, and I think he would do well with the minority community. I’ve become rather cynical with respect to politicians, to the point where I think the most we can ask for is to have a good, decent person with noble intentions, even if those intentions don’t always line up with our own.
I agree, Tutta. Since we’re all “guessing” what Chris’ news is, here’s my guess: he’s going to be affiliated in a major way with one of the GOP Presidential contenders…which one will tell us a whole lot about who he feels is the best among them. That’s my guess, but we’ll find out this weekend, right?
Maybe as media consultant or even campaign manager??
Ms. Mime, I wanted to let you know that I’m very impressed with your posts. You write with intelligence, courtesy, and grace.
Thank you, Tutta. I always look forward to your posts as well. There are a lot of people posting here that I wish were my next door neighbors. You are my friends and expand my world in many ways.
Thanks, Mime. I’ve been catching up on my reading but I will continue to make the occasional cameo appearance here.
Pleasure reading or professional, Tutta? I’m always looking for a good read.
Fiction for pleasure, Mime, although I hope to read IDEAS FROM FIRE TO FREUD by Peter Watson, which is an intellectual history of the world, before I’m dead and gone, or before dementia sets in. 😦
Thanks, Tutta, for the reference to Watson’s book. I’ve ordered it…and, like you, it goes on the “stack”. There was an excellent tv documentary series on ideas/events that spawned a series of innovative changes, entitled “How We Got to Now”, by Steven Johnson, PBS. Fascinating and surprising for those who are interested in how things have evolved and why.
I highly recommend it and hope you can still access it.
I go on the stack, too??
Tutt, I’m currently reading Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential.” I’ve always known that you and Mime are a step above me intellectually.
“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?”
One of the states I have always had an interest in is NM, especially the northern part. So, yes, we would be good neighbors. Being the good Democrat that I am, I am the “nurturing” type which you Republicans need, even if you don’t think you want (-: If my life situation changes, I have seriously considered trying NM to see if we “fit”. And, I read for fun, too. In fact, I read fairly broadly. I just don’t have as much time to read as I’d like. I enjoy watching Bourdain on his tv food/travel programs. He does a great job of helping you understand the cultural influences on food.
Nonsense, OV (aka Mrs. Rogers). You are the GERMAN GENIUS!
That’s another book by Peter Watson, Mime. I would post a link, but I’m afraid you may have 1-Click-itis . . .
Obj – Kitchen Confidential, eh? Hah! Bourdain and I are brothers of different mothers. ( Well, without them heroin, and all that…). I’ve been cooking my entire life, have a bunch of chef buddies, and I can tell ya, it’s a great look inside the restaurant business. Makes ya not want to start a restaurant though! Enjoy it – I did!
“Tax my check ’til I ain’t got none”
The all comedians need to be thinking really hard about what kind of really nice Christmas present they’re going to buy for Rick.
He’s putting them out of business. How can anyone make a living mocking a man who regularly says wilder things than any comedian could?
Quoting them verbatim has been working. The jokes, they write themselves!!
I have watched Rick Perry operate here in TX throughout his terms as Governor. He plays the “folksy” cowboy to appeal to those who find this appealing – not me – but he is one mean sob. He is more politically savvy than most know, and has a real hard core. He lacks the depth, breadth, and sensitivity of intelligence to be president. I will never forget how he smacked down his wife for her honest comment about the needs of women. I feel very sorry for her. He needs to ride out into the sunset. Problem is, most of these candidates just don’t know how to do anything but operate in the political system. An interesting analysis of how many retired members of Congress have become lobbyists would be telling. They simply can’t function in the real world most Americans occupy.
“They simply can’t function in the real world most Americans occupy.”
Therein lies the problem with our politics Mime, it’s precisely what this country sorely needs, politicians who can function in the real world that most Americans occupy.