Tag: Global Warming

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The only thing more intolerable than having to do actual work at work is attending mandatory, work-related, after-hour social events. Here is a lesson for all you youngsters out there who are trying to determine if you’re going to have children in the future. In addition to weighing the benefits of future kidney options and […]

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Climate Change Apocalypse

 

You can’t make this stuff up. Hillary’s revelation that during her tenure as Secretary of State she ran the department as though it were an appendage of the Clinton Foundation; Republicans doing their best impression of a Common Core civics lesson to instruct the Iranian leader, when their letter should have been addressed to America’s leader; Democrats, at least many of their multicultural, morally relativistic, blame-America-first acolytes of Jeremiah Wright’s “G. D. America” diatribe, accusing Republicans of treason; and current Secretary of State, John Kerry, trying to get a deal with the Iranians to change their nuclear program timetable from apocalypse now to apocalypse later; the list goes on. The real question is, which among these events should be considered the single most important crisis facing this generation of decision makers?

The answer is, none of the above. In fact, the correct answer is not found on this list, but rather in a speech made by Secretary Kerry to the Atlantic Council on March 12, in between executive denunciations of the leader of our most important ally in the region and negotiations with the world’s most nefarious supporter of terrorism. It’s climate change; specifically, the 97-percent-of-scientists-agree variety of climate change. Indeed, in his words, if we (the world, but mostly the American government) do nothing, “future generations will judge our effort, not just as a policy failure, but as a collective, moral failure of historic consequence. And they will want to know how world leaders could possibly have been so blind, or so ignorant, or so ideological, or so dysfunctional, and, frankly, so stubborn that we failed to act on knowledge that was confirmed by so many studies over such a long period of time and documented by so much evidence.”

Save The World; Eat Your Vegetables

 

imageI spent most of the day reading the newly-released Final Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). This report will form the basis for the next 5-year revision of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, due out later this year. The report is 571 pages long, and I won’t pretend to have read all of it, but I did read major portions. I did not do it for fun; it’s part of my job to know about this stuff.

I was particularly interested to see how the DGAC would handle the fact that, over the past five years, a critical mass of the public has become aware that public health experts have been, uh, “misrepresenting” the evidence for decades regarding dietary fat. There never was much, if any, real evidence that low-fat diets are good for you, or that saturated fat causes cardiac disease (despite the fact that both of these dogmas have been “settled science” since the 1970s.) But in recent years, several studies have been published that make it impossible to push low-fat diets any longer with a straight face, or low-saturated fat diets with much confidence. And much of the public is now aware of this new evidence.

So, I wondered, how would the DGAC handle this problem in a way that saves face?

I Deny I’m a Denier

 

shutterstock_68641195I consider myself to be a skeptic in the matter of man-made global warming. I’m not a denier; I’m not smart enough to be that certain. But, as with a lot of things in life, I’m skeptical. (And see what they did there? By labeling skeptics as deniers, they equate us with Holocaust Deniers. Pretty clever, huh?) Every now and then, I’ll use my Twitter account to send out a tweet poking fun at climate alarmists (see what I did there?). And, while most Twitter users understand the humor, there are those who get very, very angry.

First, they pointedly remind me that I’m not a scientist. That’s very helpful, because sometimes I confuse being a TV game show host with being a scientist. (It’s always embarrassing when I show up for a taping in a white lab coat.) Actually, that’s not the first thing they do; the bulk of them usually start with obscene name-calling. There are two favorites, but Ricochet’s Code of Conduct forbids my being any more specific on the matter. Finally, most of them tell me that they don’t care what such an idiot who hosts such an idiotic program for idiotic viewers thinks about something that 90% (or 94% or 97%) of climate scientists agree on. Of course, the fact that they read my tweet, became agitated by it, and responded to it demonstrates that they truly do care. I find that rather odd, because I’m not sure why anyone would particularly care about any beliefs—or non-beliefs—held by a quasi-celebrity, especially one who doesn’t use his television forum to proselytize (as some are wont to do).

I’m also often reminded by my global warming (climate change?) Twitter buddies that climate is not weather. The fact that it’s extraordinarily cold in particular areas at particular times does not negate their argument. The climate—hockey stick and all—will doom us if we do not act quickly and drastically. I find the climate vs. weather argument interesting because weather events can only prove their point; they cannot disprove it. The historically calm Gulf hurricane period since Katrina—despite predictions of increasingly strong and devastating storms—can be explained away. However, it’s a safe bet that, had the last decade been marked by more violent activity, it would have been more evidence that The End Days were near. Snowless winters in England are a sign of the climate changing times, but when the snow and ice return…well, it’s weather, not climate.

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On my drive to work this morning, the local weather guy on the radio told me it was eighteen degrees.  At first, I knew Lileks could control the weather, and get revenge for my earlier “Gee it’s warm here in the sunny South, nyah nyah” post.  Then it hit me (done to the tune of […]

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Problem One without question is our obesity epidemic. Obese people, through their gluttony, sloth and lack of self-control, are causing untold harm to our society. They are unpleasant to sit next to on buses and airplanes. They snore. They sweat more than you and I. They use more than their rightful share of healthcare resources. […]

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Crises of Climate

 

Over at Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait forecasts impending doom now that the committees that oversee NASA and NOAA (The National Atmospheric Administration) will be chaired, respectively, by Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Plait’s primary cause for concern is that both men are climate change “deniers” (a “staunch denier” in Cruz’s case). More specifically, he cites both of them saying that global warming has paused for more than a decade. As Cruz puts it in an interview Plait embeds:

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I used to believe that the sole role of government is to deliver the mail and defend the shores. I now realize that this is asking too much. Speaking of the mail, have you noticed that you never see U.S. Post Office and DMV employees in the same room at the same time? I’m beginning […]

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MARIJUANA AND PLASTIC BAGS Most of us are old enough to remember when plastic grocery bags were legal but not marijuana. If envy really is the only deadly sin which does not provide even temporary pleasure, then it’s my unhappy lot to look on as Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington (state and District) legalize recreational marijuana […]

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Conservative Turns Tables, Wins Lefty Video Contest to Oppose ‘Big Money in Our Politics’

 

Tom Steyer Ad 2014A funny thing happened to a video contest put on by lefties to highlight the scourge of big money in politics. A conservative video won!

The video with the most votes — by a factor of 20 — highlighted the influence of the biggest individual spender in American politics today: Billionaire left-wing activist Tom Steyer. But we should expect that victory by popular acclaim to be erased from memory by the leftists, Soviet-style. Let me explain.

MoveOn.org and MayDay.us asked the public to “make a 30-second ad to wake up America to the crisis of big money in our politics.” BTW: MayDay.us is a SuperPAC that brags of raising $10.6 million so far this election cycle to… wait for it… “reduce the influence of money in politics.”

The Global Warming Scam: The Beat Goes On

 

For some years now, the President of the United States and his minions have been lying to us about the threat posed to our well-being and our security by global warming. In the next few decades, they say, the temperature will dramatically rise and the climate will change markedly for the worse. The consequences will be dire, and human activity is the cause. We must curb carbon emissions … or millions will die. They have even induced the armed forces to list combating global warming as one of their prime missions.

And the beat goes on. In a breathless report, posted yesterday on the website of Time Magazine, Noel Feeney tells us that “more than 100,000 people are taking to the streets of New York City on Sunday to take part in the People’s Climate March” and that 2,700 similar demonstrations will be taking place in 150 different countries.

Islam Relevant to Obama Administration … But Only When it Comes to Real Threats, Like Global Warming

 

President Obama on Wednesday night — the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — said Islamic religious instruction is wholly irrelevant to the cause of ISIS … which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS, I suspect, would disagree.

But that is not to say that there aren’t elements of foreign policy in which the Obama administration thinks religion — even Islam — is a key component. Secretary of State John Kerry stated on Sept. 3 that “religion matters,” and he’s made it “a mantra” in his State Department and his foreign policy stance.

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  (Note: For entertainment purposes only. – DD) The family I grew up in, like so many American families, was divided politically. On one side there was my mom and two brothers (the conservatives) and on the other there was my dad, sister and me (the right-wing nut jobs). As an adult, the milieu I […]

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A Better Way Forward on Climate Change

 

PethWarmingThe EPA’s new carbon emission rule, which environmental activists are praising as historic and momentous, is built on three big assumptions: First, global warming is happening, and human activity is playing a key role. That even though Earth’s surface air temperature has unexpectedly been flat for 15 years while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to rise. (As I have written, however, the data seem compelling enough to warrant action.)

Second, a cap-and-trade system is an effective way of reducing carbon emissions. While the Obama Administration plan doesn’t specify what action individual states must take to meet their carbon emissions targets, the new rule seems likely to nudge them into creating or joining cap-and-trade programs. But as the Breakthrough Institute has pointed out, “Cap and trade has repeatedly failed because it doesn’t address the main barrier to the widespread deployment of clean energy technologies: the technology-based price gap between new clean energy and mature fossil fuels.”

A recent New York Times piece on cap-and-trade outlines the troubled history of Europe’s Emission Trading System and notes that despite reform, emission permits are trading at just a fourth of the price level “many analysts believe is needed to spur investment in cleaner energy sources.” California’s trading system works better, but prices are still only around a third of the necessary level.

So, Yeah, It Looks Like Cap and Trade is Back

 

PethWarmingIn a plan to be unveiled next week, according to The New York Times, “President Obama will use his executive authority to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent ….” This rule, written by the EPA, will “set a national limit on carbon pollution from coal plants [and] allow each state to come up with its own plan to cut emissions based on a menu of options that include adding wind and solar power, energy-efficiency technology and creating or joining state cap-and-trade programs.”

Right, there’s a menu of options, but it is clear from the story that the easiest path for states likely is the cap-and-trade route where carbon emission permits would be auctioned:

Many states are already researching how to join or replicate the nation’s two existing state-level cap-and-trade plans, both of which bear the signatures of prominent Republicans: Mitt Romney, the 2012 presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former California governor. As governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney was a key architect of a cap-and-trade program in nine northeastern states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Gaia Demands a Sacrifice

 

PoseidonKnowing that things happen for a reason is of central importance to most people. Though the questions “what” and “how” yield immensely more practical answers to most problems, the human mind obsesses most over the “why.” Knowing the why grants us a feeling of control over our circumstances, even if it is often illusory. Understanding the motives behind human behavior allows us to grasp the nature of evil, and, in turn, root it out.  Unfortunately, the search for motives is often the lens through which we try to understand all hardships in life.

The planet has no shortage of ways to try and kill us. We are not safe on land, sea, or sky. The ground beneath our feet betrays us to the order of 134 earthquakes of 6.0 or higher annually.  Nearly 2,000 times a year, rivers and oceans overflow their ordinary boundaries to flood human habitats. And in the U.S. alone, more than 1,200 tornadoes descend from the sky. A planet where fire can literally rain down from above following an explosion that is best measured in megatons would seem accurately described as ‘angry.’   

Without a scientific understanding of the world, it is easy to see why so many ancient peoples ascribed agency to the phenomenon they suffered under, blaming disasters on the gods. Thankfully, science has granted us levels of understanding of the natural world that have moved us past such primitive notions. Hasn’t it?

Pat Sajak at the Center of a Twitstorm

 

SajakI’ve always thought that Twitter has two functions: (1) as a quick & easy forum for companies or public figures, and (2) as something akin to a comedy convention: a place to shoot off your funniest one-liner in less than 140 characters. I only go there for the hilarity, and one of the funniest Tweeters is Ricochet’s own Pat Sajak. Unfortunately, some very self-serious internet dwellers are taking one of His recent tweets very seriously.

Me and Mrs. Jones

 

shutterstock_154817021I have three rules in life that I seldom break, as experience has taught me that no good can come from doing so. (1) I never take myself too seriously. (2) I don’t allow myself to be a burden to other people. (3) I never, ever, read Mother Jones. I fell off the wagon on number three today. In my defense, it has been a slow couple of days for news.

Entering their website is a bit like stumbling upon the unfiltered id of the liberal psyche. All stories warn of impending disasters of a global, or at least national, scale. Warnings of “Big Food” and their corrupting influence on the nation’s dietitians are given a prominent position near an endless string of climate change alarmism stories.  These are buttressed by a never-ending series of articles that chronicle how Republicans are the cause of every one of these oncoming disasters.

This formula is rarely violated. The drum of crises fed by evil conservatives is beat day and night with astonishing fortitude. No amount of exaggeration or distortion is unjustified in the face of the palpable and callous villainy perpetrated by the right. Case in Point: