Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Bio-Diesel Makers IdledAs users are discovering, Bio-Diesel fuel is no ecological panacea. Bio-Diesel makers are sitting idle for lack of buyers for their product. But there is a deeper problem with burning our food - economics.
Bio-Diesel can never be cheaper than mineral sources of energy - period. Government subsidies or mandates will be required to make crops a competitive energy source, which just means that they hide the cost or force us to pay it anyway. When any good is sold at a price that is cheaper than the cost to create it, there will be shortages. Best example is water. How can we have water shortages? Take South Florida. They have an average rainfall of about three inches per month (it takes much less than one inch to sustain life and agriculture) yet they still have shortages. If water was priced at what it cost to produce, people would use less of it, but more important, capitalists would build the infrastructure to make more potable water available, before it flows out to the sea. Now favors go out to favored constituents like the Sugar farmers, and tax money is spent on other things. If water were priced close to what is cost, sugar would not be an economical crop there, which would release enough water to double the residential population, and we would have a side order of a clean Everglades. But that is the logical route, not the political one.
The depth of the greed and mendacity of our governing class is beyond full understanding by normal people. The lies and fraud go so deep into government operations that the mind recoils at the thought. Can all politicians be criminals? We reject grokking the fullness of that truth, so we reelect the crooks for term after term.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
More Eco-Fraud from CongressThe greatest flaw in congressional actions is their lack of regard to the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences, especially when it comes to Obamanomics. They do one thing and it always has far reaching effects as their largess percolates into the greater world beyond their cloistered existence. A fine example is contained within the recently passed War Funding Bill. Its stated purpose is to remove less efficient, older cars from the road in favor of more efficient models. Help the poor and all that. But it will do far more than that.
It provides a cash payment of $3.500 to $4,500 for these older cars, when traded in for a new vehicle. Sounds good, right? But what will it actually achieve? It seems to me that many people with older cars can not afford new cars in the first place. Even a Kia will set you back at least ten thousand dollars, so the buyer will be several thousand dollars short of any new car. But with many people able to do so, many of these plder cars will be traded in and disappear from the market. For people who need to buy these older, less efficient cars for their basic transportation needs, the market will have to recognize these artificial trade-in values and lower supply by raising the price of these used cars. Many of these so-called transportation cars today sell for less than one thousand dollars, with quite a few going for two to three. These prices will all rise.
So who will be hurt? Clearly, like most of what congress does, the most vulnerable among us will suffer the most. We live in such a rich country that even most people living at the poverty line own automobiles. The old pickup died, so another one is needed, but instead of being able to pick one up for $750, it will now cost more like $2,000. Our government just committed to spend a cool billion dollars to accomplish this. Nice Change, for those with a little less Hope than the rest of us.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Cracks Appear in His ArmorAlmost five months in, and finally some cracks are appearing in Obama's armor. His stalwart allies in the media, who worked and risked all to help him get elected, are finally beginning to report on negative elements of the rule of The Won. The imperial presidency may just be beginning a return to Earth. Toady has been a breathtaking departure for mainstream reporting on his mendacity.
The AP reports
"His vow sounds reassuring and gets applause, but no president could guarantee such a pledge."In another example of disaffection from Obama by his former supporters, McClatchy runs the headline: "Obama's promise of a new beginning now hollow." The piece goes on:
"If he was a king, he would deliver that, but he's not king,"
Who stole our change?The piece concludes with this gem:
Who hijacked a popular uprising that was going to put a stop to business as usual in Washington, D.C.?
What happened to Barack Obama on his way to the White House?
The Republicans have been so busy trying to paint President Obama as a socialist, as a radical, as a Marxist, as a Muslim, as the Devil, that they haven't even noticed that he has become one of them.
What a difference a year can make. A year ago Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, promising an American electorate disheartened and disgusted by eight years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that he was going to change everything if he was elected President.
His promises of transparency in government weren't worth a pitcher of warm spit. He sent the new, cleaner Justice Department lawyers into court to use the same limp arguments of national security to ask judges to back off on doing their jobs.The decidedly left of center New Republic ran with this one today "The Good and (Mostly) Bad News for Democrats in 2010" with such entries as this:
And bit-by-bit the possibility of change disappeared; bit-by-bit the hope of a renewed and reinvigorated American democracy and way of government faded away. Those who had held a dream in their hand closed their hand and crushed it.
But dark clouds are visible on the horizon. First, the people have little confidence in government as an effective instrument of public purpose. Trust in government remains near an historic low and has not improved significantly since the beginning of Obama's presidency. Only 34 percent think that government should do more to solve national problems, down seven points in the past three months. Sixty-nine percent express "a great deal" or "quite a bit" of concern about the expanding role of the federal government in areas such as automobile companies, corporate compensation, and health care.
Second, people are unsure about Obama's overall economic strategy. Only 46 percent say that they are "extremely" or "quite" confident that the president has the right set of goals and policies to improve the economy; 53 percent are not. According to Pew, approval of the president's handling of the economy has declined by eight points (from 60 to 52 percent) since mid-April.
Third, evidence is accumulating that the administration misjudged the public's reaction to increased spending and rising budget deficits, which now rank second in the list of top concerns in the NYT/CBS poll, behind only job creation and economic growth, and ahead of health care costs as an economic issue. Indeed, Pew finds that concern over spending and deficits is now the most frequently cited reservation about the administration's economic policies. Only 30 percent think the administration has developed a clear plan for dealing with the deficit; 60 percent do not.
It goes on and on. Is the beginning of the end of Obama's honeymoon with our leftist media? We shall see.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Freeman Dyson Taken On AGW HysteriaIn recent news, the war against AGW hysteria found another major ally in Freeman Dyson. Dyson, a towering figure in physics, has taken on Hansen and Gore at the root of their argument, which is the so-called "consensus" that the science is "settled," which gives them the excuse they need to avoid any and all debate on the merits of their theory. Dyson goes right to the heart of that avoidance, and ridicules even the mention of the word "consensus" along with the word "science." His contention is that there is not even an AGW theory, given that there can be no theory if there can be no experiment designed to test it.
In an interview with Yale Environment 360 we can read Dyson's answers, which are so much more satisfying than the way he was portrayed in the New York Times Magazine article that made this issue arise to public consciousness. And his own words are persuasive. He admits that he is no expert in climatology, but is an expert in the scientific method. So he says, most persuasively:
Dyson: I think the difference between me and most of the experts is that I think I have a much wider view of the whole subject. I was involved in climate studies seriously about 30 years ago. That’s how I got interested. There was an outfit called the Institute for Energy Analysis at Oak Ridge. I visited Oak Ridge many times, and worked with those people, and I thought they were excellent. And the beauty of it was that it was multi-disciplinary. There were experts not just on hydrodynamics of the atmosphere, which of course is important, but also experts on vegetation, on soil, on trees, and so it was sort of half biological and half physics. And I felt that was a very good balance.And then this about the basis of the whole kerfluffle - the computer models at the core of every true believer's soul.
And there you got a very strong feeling for how uncertain the whole business is, that the five reservoirs of carbon all are in close contact — the atmosphere, the upper level of the ocean, the land vegetation, the topsoil, and the fossil fuels. They are all about equal in size. They all interact with each other strongly. So you can’t understand any of them unless you understand all of them. Essentially that was the conclusion. It’s a problem of very complicated ecology, and to isolate the atmosphere and the ocean just as a hydrodynamics problem makes no sense.
Thirty years ago, there was a sort of a political split between the Oak Ridge community, which included biology, and people who were doing these fluid dynamics models, which don’t include biology. They got the lion’s share of money and attention. And since then, this group of pure modeling experts has become dominant.
I got out of the field then. I didn’t like the way it was going. It left me with a bad taste.
Syukuro Manabe, right here in Princeton, was the first person who did climate models with enhanced carbon dioxide and they were excellent models. And he used to say very firmly that these models are very good tools for understanding climate, but they are not good tools for predicting climate. I think that’s absolutely right. They are models, but they don’t pretend to be the real world. They are purely fluid dynamics. You can learn a lot from them, but you cannot learn what’s going to happen 10 years from now.
I mean it’s a fact that they don’t know how to model it. And the question is, how does it happen that they end up believing their models? But I have seen that happen in many fields. You sit in front of a computer screen for 10 years and you start to think of your model as being real. It is also true that the whole livelihood of all these people depends on people being scared. Really, just psychologically, it would be very difficult for them to come out and say, “Don’t worry, there isn’t a problem.” It’s sort of natural, since their whole life depends on it being a problem. I don’t say that they’re dishonest. But I think it’s just a normal human reaction. It’s true of the military also. They always magnify the threat. Not because they are dishonest; they really believe that there is a threat and it is their job to take care of it. I think it’s the same as the climate community, that they do in a way have a tremendous vested interest in the problem being taken more seriously than it is.
Lots more stuff where that came from. But even as he shoots down the basis upon which governments around the world are being pressured to act, what is never mentioned is the most interesting to me. The one funny thing about this debate is that the two sides both avoid the real issue. It is not about what bad people did to ruin the climate, and it is not about economic or health outcomes from this or that type of climate change. No, the real debate, the one that Hansen et al refuse to have, is how do we get the idea that humans can, by coordinated action, affect climate, and cause global temperatures to decline. Especially knowing that the real danger to humanity is posed by ice rather than tropical heat, the silence on this crucial issue is astounding.
One side says that we have spoiled our nest and must be punished. The other side says that there is nothing to see here, so move on. But the center of this is humanity taking control of global climate. Never mind that we have enough trouble making tiny changes to weather on a local scale, now let us embark on a grand experiment to alter a planet's climate. Not based on data or experience, but on fervor bordering on religious belief.
Before we go off half-cocked, is it not reasonable to get our facts straight before we make any substantial investment? I know this is heresy to the Hansen/Gore axis, but we really do not have enough data to make any of the prescribed moves to change this thing that, for all we know, may not even be broken. Or it may be but what we do might be the exact wrong thing. Alternatively, if the worst scenarios are about to unfold, there is absolutely no chance that humanity will be willing to invest more than a token amount in the prescribed changes to worldwide human behavior.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Can There Be Peace With Islam?Yes, there is a "Grand Muslim plot to take over the country" - and the rest of the world as well. It is no secret - it is in their holy book. They discuss it, they act on it,and they make little or no effort to hide it. We owe it to ourselves and our posterity to understand this phenomenon, and to resist it.
To speak intelligently about this we must understand the historical lineup of the Judeo-Christian religions. First out of the melange of pagan and other belief systems and superstition came the Jews. The priest class assembled legends and a common origin theory into an organized religion. Their overarching authority was judicial, and they exhorted their subjects (congregants) to do "good works" as a route to a better life on Earth. All in all a pretty good system, and it has lasted for quite a while, but humans could do better. Some of the priests thought they needed a new tool to amass more power.
So along came the Christians with a better idea (actually it was a few rabbis with ambition who started it, but the first Christians had been mostly pagans who converted). Since they had few rewards to give out in exchange for the two things any priest class needs to thrive - money and power - they incorporated a new element the Jews had missed - an afterlife. Now they could promise that whoever gave them lots of money and listened to orders could go to heaven and play with the Lord! What a concept! That business plan has lasted for two thousand years. But there were even more clever members of the priest class being born and dreaming up new ways to acquire money and power.
So came the Muslims. The element they added to the powers of the priest class was total government control. Their new book was not only a book of rules of behavior, expressed as laws with earthly punishments and other-worldly rewards, but a handbook for government, direct control of armies, and a detailed plan for taking over the entire world. They almost made it too. From 632 or thereabouts right up into the Renaissance they took over much of Africa and big parts of Asia, the Iberian Peninsula up to the Pyrenees, and their empire was poised to conquer Europe, until they got to Vienna. At the siege of Vienna in 1683 Christendom mustered a very large force, and they were stopped. Their decline began there and has continued right through WWII. They backed Hitler, and as we all know, that was the losing side in that conflict.
Now they have gone back to their book, and the war against us has been renewed. After a thousand year expansion, the three hundred year hiatus in this war has been trivial to them. They take the long view, after all. Today they attack in little ways, and then they rest. The big weapons they use are religion and population, with a side order of intimidation. The very name of their religion is "Submission." There are no translations of the Koran allowed, so everybody prays in Arabic and understand none of it, except the Arabs of course - the Muslim ruling caste. They marshal their forces through the mosques. Their other weapon, the population initiative, is wielded with some skill. The provide the fecund females to the wealthiest males, in bunches, so that the maximum number of children can be manufactured for use in war. They remove the clitoris of girl babies so that there are fewer barriers to procreation. They divide the entire world into two parts, dar al Islam and dar al Harb. That means that there are only two places on Earth - land of Islam, and land of War. No peace with unbelievers is EVER allowed - only temporary truces. That's why Hamas has stated that, IF Israel will go back to the pre-1967 borders, they will join into a ten year truce, which foolish pols who pretend to be statesmen like to call peace.
Peace with Islam is not possible. Only times of relative calm are allowed by their holy book. Now with the invention of inexpensive weapons with great destructive force they have become extremely dangerous. As long as free and intelligent people fail to see the truth, we will remain extremely vulnerable. We are a selfish people, thus we have relatively few children. It may well be that we need to choose between becoming a Hispanic country or a Muslim one. Easy choice for me - and better than altering our system of government to allow for constant war.