June 10, 2009
Frequent commenter (and all around good guy) Dave’s response to my last post inspired this post. His comment (referring to global warming/climate change/CLIMATE CRISIS!)
Doing something about a problem is better than doing nothing.
I’ve heard this a lot recently. This “doing something” must be important. I guess if you are “doing something”, that means you care. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if “doing something” is an effective way of reducing the problem. It doesn’t matter how much “doing something” costs. It doesn’t matter that “doing something” might actually do more harm than good. The important thing is that you are “doing something”.
A recent example: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama said we had to “do something” (or else) to save and/or create new jobs. If we didn’t do something right now it would get worse. Here are the results:
So much for “doing something”.
I support doing things that may make actual differences, not just feel good measures that, in the end, could do more harm than good.
May 25, 2009
You might remember the famous warning about “the military industrial complex” that President Eisenhower expressed when leaving office:
But yet this quote from that same speech is largely ignored:
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Is it just me or does “global warming” research follow this pattern?
Bjorn Lomborg (my favorite Dane) has an excellent piece in the WSJ on the subject. His main point:
We are told that very expensive carbon regulations are the only way to respond to global warming, despite ample evidence that this approach does not pass a basic cost-benefit test. We must ask whether a “climate-industrial complex” is emerging, pressing taxpayers to fork over money to please those who stand to gain.
May 15, 2009
We’re all going to die! I have proof.
Global Warming May Exceed Infections as Health Threat, from Bloomberg.
“We can’t wait for climate change to bite because we won’t be able to put the genie back into the bottle,” Hugh Montgomery, director of the Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London, said in an interview. “Once catastrophe strikes, it’s too late. We need to create a literate population that is aware of the situation because until we do, there is no hope.”
Yeah. I’d like a literate population too. One that actually understands what “cap and trade” and cost/benefit means. I too have little hope.
Warmer temperatures exacerbate existing health problems, the researchers said. Climate change expands the area that diseases such as malaria can spread, they said, using a map of Zimbabwe to illustrate the range over which the mosquitoes that spread the illness can live now and in a climate-warmed future.
Sorry, Global Warming is the least of Zimbabwe’s problems. I’ll bet you money (but not in Zimbabwe money) that corrupt, ruthless dictators kill more people than global warming ever will.
The world’s population lost 5.5 million years [years? I think he means people] due to premature death and quality of life reduced by disability in 2000, the most recent year the calculation was made, as a result of climate change, the researchers wrote. That’s due to deaths caused by heart disease, diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition and injury from coastal flooding and landslides. Further temperature rises are inflating that number, they said.
5.5 million people died because of a 1 degree increase in temperature over a century? That’s just retarded.
Business Week chimes in: Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
What to do? As usual all is hopeless:
“There are no institutions at the global level who can really deal effectively with devising complex solutions to these complex problems,” added Lancet editor Dr. Richard Horton.
The authors propose adopting policies to reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon biosequestration and to equalize the world’s health systems, among other recommendations.
“equalize the world’s health systems”? Hell no. Equalizing anything means making it worse. Do we really want the average health system in the world?
“We have a moral dilemma: How do we protect the health of the poorest people in the world and allow them to develop,” Maslin said.
No moral dilemma here, asshole. Energy=prosperity. Prosperity reduces poverty. Reduced poverty improves health and the enviroment.
May 3, 2009
I was going to try to write this last night but 3 o’clock in the morning is not a good time to do anything (I barely got that last post off).
Smoking in bars is illegal in Illinois. The great place I went to last night (which shall go nameless) has an “outside” smoking room. Funny thing is that all of the people at the bar were out in the smoking room watching the band play. How is this possible?
First, let me detail for you the Illinois smoking ban law that defines which areas are mandated to be smoke free.
“Enclosed area” means all space between a floor and a
ceiling that is enclosed or partially enclosed with (i) solid
walls or windows, exclusive of doorways, or (ii) solid walls
with partitions and no windows, exclusive of doorways, that
extend from the floor to the ceiling, including, without
limitation, lobbies and corridors.
The way this place figured it out is genius. The smoking room consists of a roof, structural framing and heavy duty plastic for walls (an industrial strength version of what you insulate your windows with in the winter). For heat, there are multiple space heaters and an overhead radiant system (their carbon footprint has to be off the charts). The only ventilation is when someone opens the door.
The band plays, the people smoke, the place is packed, the owner makes money. Fun is had by all and no one seems to mind.
February 18, 2009
Shocking, I know, but this shit is beyond awful. There is no good reason for someone to own a nondomesticated animal. This goes for circuses too. No reason. Wild animals as entertainment is wrong. Suck it Siegfried and/or Roy.