Saturday, March 22, 2008

Now can we stop panicing?

The evidence against global warming and carbon dioxide continues to accumulate as this interview transcript from The Australian illustrates.

Marohasy: "Well, the head of the IPCC has suggested natural factors are compensating for the increasing carbon dioxide levels and I guess, to some extent, that's what sceptics have been saying for some time: that, yes, carbon dioxide will give you some warming but there are a whole lot of other factors that may compensate or that may augment the warming from elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

"There's been a lot of talk about the impact of the sun and that maybe we're going to go through or are entering a period of less intense solar activity and this could be contributing to the current cooling."

Duffy: "Can you tell us about NASA's Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we're now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?"

Marohasy: "That's right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."

The tide may be starting to turn but there's still this to cope with:
"Well-meaning intellectual movements, from communism to post-structuralism, have
a poor history of absorbing inconvenient fact or challenges to fundamental

So we wait and see.
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Income Taxes Are Evil...

From Samizdata: "Income tax is an evil. It is an evil not because it is a tax, but because of the way it works." Find out how it works and why it is evil here. It's as true for the US as it is for the UK.
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Monday, March 10, 2008

The Debate Is Not, Apparently, Over - More Evidence Against Global Warmening

Via Tim Blair, we have this article talking about two hungarian climate scientists, one a former True Believer: "Miklós Zágoni isn't just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary's most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was." Why did he change his mind? Another Hungarian scientist, working for NASA, didn't get the memo about the debate being over and discovered a flaw in the climate models in use:

"Miskolczi's story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution -- originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today -- ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential
equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always.

So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down.

Did NASA applaud their man's work? No. They forced him to resign. Why?
Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple. "Money", he tells DailyTech. Research that contradicts the view of an impending crisis jeopardizes funding, not only for his own atmosphere-monitoring project, but all climate-change research. Currently, funding for climate research tops $5 billion per year.

It's always about power and the money.
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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Global Warming - Follow the Money........

....You'll be surprised where the trail leads (unless you're me that is). The New York Times has a good article by John Tierney today about the influence of money in the Great Global Warming Debate (no, it is not over) and how the skeptics are portrayed (unfairly) as "fronts for big oil" or "tools of big corporations." Where the big money is really being made is on the other side of the debate. He also cites the example of the dietary fat wars of the 70's to illustrate the same phenomenon:
".....the money from food companies was trivial compared with the money being doled out by government agencies. One of the researchers who’d supposedly been bought off noted that he’d received $250,000 from the food industry in his career versus $10 million from government agencies — and wondered why this didn’t make him a “tool of government.”

It's working the same way with ethanol and it worked the same way with recycling. Read the whole thing.
(via Instapundit)
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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Tax Man, Liberty and Democracy

It's worth reading this whole post about tax havens at Samizdata but a couple of points bear emphasizing because they speak to the way our constitutional republic is not the same thing as a true democracy. The latter is nearly pure mob rule. While we elect our representatives democratically, our Constitution is designed to protect individual liberty against the tyranny of straight majority rule.
"....a lot of people make the assumption that wealth is collectively owned if enough voters wish it so and that therefore no-one has the right to flee from the looting intentions of such voters."
And this:
"......democracy and liberty are not the same thing, a point that has been remarked at this blog many times before. For sure, democracy may - may - be the least-worst way to kick out a government and replace it with a hopefully better one, but the idea that freedom comes from letting 51% of the electorate steal from 49% of the electorate has precious little to do with liberty. The right to own property and enjoy its fruits unmolested is as important as freedom of speech or the right to self defence."

This is exactly what deTocqueville was warning about when he said (and I paraphrase) that democracy would only last "as long as it took for the populace to figure out that it could vote itself largess from the public treasury." Perhaps if we take away the keys to the kitty from our elected representatives by enacting the FairTax, we could at least delay this process for a while longer by slowing down their give-aways to favored constituencies.
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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Genetically Modified Potatoes

As we were sitting down to have our dinner, C1D1 exclaimed that her sister's (C2D2) potato was smiling at her. Sure enough, it was. This is a genetically modified red potato, bred to enjoy being boiled and eaten.

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John McCain's Citizenship

I keep hearing callers to radio talk shows raise the question of whether or not John McCain qualifies as a "natural born citizen" because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, then a US territory, now a part of the Republic of Panama. My understanding has always been that as long as one or both of your parents is a US citizen, then any children they have, no matter where they are born, are considered natural born citizens also. As it turns out, the first Congress took care of seeing to it that was made clear:
"The First Congress, in the first law that it enacted concerning citizenship, declared that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens”, with the proviso that their fathers must have resided in the United States at some point. I Stat. 104 (1790)."

Now, can we please get on with discussing real issues?
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