Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Obama administration intends to rule by fiat if Congress doesn’t submit?

According to a Fox News story today, administration officials acknowledge privately that the EPA’s newly-claimed powers allow the executive branch to function as a dictatorship if it so chooses.

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn't move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a "command-and-control" role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

The warning, from a top White House economic official who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity, came on the eve of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's address to the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jackson, however, tried to strike a tone of cooperation in her address Wednesday, explaining that the EPA's new powers to regulate greenhouse gases will be used to complement legislation pending in Congress, not replace it.

"This is not an 'either-or' moment. It's a 'both-and' moment," she said.

But while administration officials have long said they prefer Congress take action on climate change, the economic official who spoke with reporters Tuesday night made clear that the EPA will not wait and is prepared to act on its own.

And it won't be pretty.

"If you don't pass this legislation, then ... the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area," the official said. "And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it's going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

So.  Obama would prefer that Congress take the actions that the administration demands of it.  But if Congress fails to get its act together, the administration will publicly hold Congress responsible for the economic chaos that will follow.

And that economic chaos is a virtual certainty if the administration resorts to fiat rule through the EPA. Who would want to invest in an economy where regulations are changing suddenly and radically (and almost always to the detriment of businesses)?

Attack of the cannibal polar bears!

Did somebody mention polar bear cannibalism in Copenhagen this week?  I ask because so many people have arrived at this blog in recent days via a search on that topic.  Next to the acronym “AGW”, this is by far the most popular search that results in a visit here.  If you’re one of the folks that arrived in this manner… Well, HOWDY!

For the record, I blogged on the topic more than a year ago.  If any new information has arisen that enhances the then-dubious case for the [novelty of the] phenomenon, please let me know.

UPDATE: Inserted three words in final sentence (between the brackets).  I argued in the linked blog entry that there wasn’t necessarily anything new about polar bear cannibalism.

EPA declares plant food to be a public health threat

A bit late in reporting on this, but hey, this is a blog, not a news service.  But just for the record, here’s what happened on Monday, as reported by the Associated Press:

The Obama administration took a major step Monday toward imposing the first federal limits on climate-changing pollution from cars, power plants and factories, declaring there was compelling scientific evidence that global warming from manmade greenhouse gases endangers Americans' health.

Does anyone else see a logical disconnect here?  Not the Environmental Protection Agency, because they’ve consciously named carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant.  A gas that occurs naturally, the existence of which is essential for plant life – is a dangerous pollutant.

And notice – only “manmade” carbon dioxide seems to be capable of causing global warming.  Oh, and how is it a danger to public health?  They don’t say here, but it’s obvious that they’re playing the Six Degrees game.

So, what kind of powers has the EPA amassed for itself by this “finding”?  The article gives us a taste:

The price could be steep for both industry and consumers. The EPA finding clears the way for rules that eventually could force the sale of more fuel-efficient vehicles and require plants to install costly new equipment — at a cost of billions or even many tens of billions of dollars — or shift to other forms of energy.

It almost certainly goes beyond this.  If human generated carbon dioxide emissions are as dangerous as the EPA says they are, there is no logical or moral reason why the EPA shouldn’t extend its regulatory tentacles into every aspect of our lives.

In other words, this finding will serve as the greatest mechanism ever devised for state control of American people and resources, all in complete, deliberate mockery of the constitutional limits on the powers of the federal government.

It’s almost as if that was the plan.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do I REALLY think that the environmental left is on a QUEST to destroy the world’s economy?

Someone asked me this question in the comments section of a recent post, and I thought it deserved a high-profile answer.

In the banner of this blog I refer to the “quest by the environmental left to destroy the world’s economy” through various means. I was asked: Why would they want to do that? What’s their motivation?

For me to call this the "quest" of the entire environmental left is a bit of hyperbole -- but IMO the characterization is justified because, whether consciously or unconsciously, the environmental left is aggressively pursuing an agenda that can have no logical end other than the destruction of the world economy.

On one hand, I accept at face value their claim to be motivated by concern for the environment. So much of modern civilization is based on customs, technology, etc. that the environmental left feels are harmful to the environment. AGW, real or not, is to them the golden opportunity to remake civilization into a form more to their liking.

On the other hand, many now marching under the banner of environmentalism would in a previous generation have been classified as good old-fashioned Marxists. Their true motivations are economic, not environmental. But overt Marxism is a bit out of fashion in the west, and environmentalism is quite fashionable, so what better cover can one find for one’s war against capitalism? Just think about how many people out there are saying that the only way to lick the climate crisis is to shift more and more of the economy to state control.

So, agree or not, that is why I used these pointed words in the blog banner.

UPDATE: I almost forgot the following point about how AGW is a good cover for Marxists... Think also about how many out there are preaching that the greatest moral imperative of "rich" countries is to transfer increasing amounts of their wealth to poor countries -- with no strings attached.

Monday, December 7, 2009

There was a time when erosion was just erosion

The media are quite deft at taki ng some phenomenon that has been occurring since time immemorial and suddenly attributing it to some alleged climate change consequence that hasn’t even happened yet.

AFP tells the sad story of  Thai fishing villages that are slowly falling into the sea.  This much is real. But what could be causing this?

She is one of 25 million people under threat in Thailand's vast Chao Phraya river delta, which is sinking because of river damming and the clearing of mangrove forests, as climate change pushes up sea levels.

Which of these things doesn’t go with the others?  River damming, forest clearing, rising sea levels: which of these isn’t actually happening today?

The article doesn’t bother to present evidence that the sea levels are actually rising. Every reference to this afterwards is speculation about future sea level increases. 

In other words, there was no legitimate reason to mention climate change at all – except as part of a drip-drip-drip campaign of public scaremongering, most likely coordinated with the ongoing Copenhagen Chicken Little Confab.

Memo to the AGW boosters in the scientific community: you’d get a lot more respect from the skeptics if you would lift a finger now and then to denounce such fraudulent reporting on this issue that is so dear to you.

Then again, as we dig deeper and deeper into the muck of CRU correspondence, we get the impression that the AGW boosters in the scientific community might be too ideologically (or financially) invested in the world they’ve created.  There’s too much at stake – they can’t let the truth get in the way.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

They’re really thinking about a different kind of green

These days, countless businesses spare no effort reminding us how much they care about planet earth. 

Have these companies really become true believers in global warming, or is something else at play here?

I suspect that in most cases, what we see in this July 14 Dilbert comic is a little closer to the truth.

(Click for full size)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

They were okay with the statue, but they drew the line at including an altar and incense

The Tennessee State Senate has, thankfully, rejected a Democrat lawmaker's attempt to have a statue erected in honor of Al Gore's Nobel "Peace" Prize. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports:
A resolution urging that the state Capitol Commission erect a statue on the Capitol grounds in honor of former Democratic Vice President Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize failed on the Senate floor today.

The resolution, which also urged a statue be erected for Nobel Peace Prize winner Cordell Hull, failed on a 15-14 vote with most Republicans voting no. It needed 17 votes to pass.

Earlier, the sponsor, Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, said the measure had “broad bipartisan support in the House.”
I say "thankfully", because we wouldn't want Gore to start thinking that his Nobel Prize actually meant something.

I am generally opposed to permanent public honors (statues, building/street/park names, etc.) of people who are still living. People -- especially politicians -- have a knack of doing things later that make us want to withdraw the honor.

Just as I believe that people will some day regret naming their kid after Barack Obama, so also I believe that some day -- as the alleged global warming "consensus" collapses like the West Antarctic Ice Shelf is predicted to do -- people will regret holding Al Gore in such high esteem.

(Photo credit: National Post)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Soy burgers: Ban them! (#3)

Where were the soybeans grown?

Food miles, people. Food miles!

(Explanation of the "Ban Them" series here)

Reusable grocery bags: Ban them! (#2)

Reusable grocery bags are an indispensable accessory for the eco-conscious shopper. But perhaps the true believers should reconsider the virtue of using them.

Not only do they increase your risk of food poisoning, I'd be willing to bet that your bag was not manufactured locally.

Vendors such as ECOBAGS like to trumpet the fact that their products are manufactured in the USA, but how many miles did the bag travel before it reached the store where you got it?

This very argument is used to discourage the consumption of food that is not locally grown, so aren't you being hypocritical when you use a shopping bag made who knows where?

There ought to be a law.

(Explanation of the "Ban Them" series here)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Water fountains: Ban them!

Yesterday I was taking a walk near my office to shake off my traditional midafternoon drowsiness. My route took me past this fountain, which is part of a retail development.

Somehow, I began to wonder how the global warming true believers would view this fountain. It occurred to me that if they were consistent with their stated beliefs, their reaction might be something like this:
This fountain is an outrage! What a waste of water, just to provide a little selfish enjoyment for people.

And the electricity! Every minute the pumps are running brings us another step closer to the destruction of the polar bear's habitat. I will find out who owns this shopping center and DEMAND that they shut the fountain down IMMEDIATELY.

Come to think of it... the problem is much bigger than this. There are fountains in towns and cities all over the country. If banning incandescent bulbs makes a difference, think about what we'll gain if we can ban water fountains!

I'll call my city council. No, wait. Local governments are a little too sensitive to the voters, and might be reluctant to take an action that is unpopular. Heck, they own a lot of the fountains. Going after this at the local level will yield spotty results.

We need a federal law. The environmental organization I'm a member of has a lot of pull in Washington. I'll give a call to the president of our local chapter and see if he can send my idea up the chain.

But what would we do with the old fountains once they're shut off? We can't let the space go to waste. Oh, wait -- we can let it go to waste! We should dedicate the fountain sites to community composting!
And so on. Absurd, perhaps, but my point is that if the true believers are going to follow their ideology to its logical conclusion, many things we take for granted in our society will have to go.

They might actually agree with the suggestion that water fountains are a wasteful extravagance, but we can go a lot further with this idea, and it's a matter of time before we come across something that even the true believers will be unwilling to surrender.

From time to time I will post candidates for things that should be banned. Look for the BAN THEM label.

Let's take the CoGW at its word and show its adherents what they need to do to avoid being called hypocrites.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hoaxing the media: A parable

If you are inclined to believe whatever the mass media tells you about global warming, it might be worth your while to ponder this May 11 AP story:
When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news.

His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.

The sociology major's obituary-friendly quote-which he added to the Wikipedia page of Maurice Jarre hours after the French composer's death March 28-flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites in Britain, Australia and India. They used the fabricated material, Fitzgerald said, even though administrators at the free online encyclopedia twice caught the quote's lack of attribution and removed it.

A full month went by and nobody noticed the editorial fraud. So Fitzgerald told several media outlets they'd swallowed his baloney whole.

"I was really shocked at the results from the experiment," Fitzgerald, 22, said Monday in an interview a week after one newspaper at fault, The Guardian of Britain, became the first to admit its obituarist lifted material straight from Wikipedia.

"I am 100 percent convinced that if I hadn't come forward, that quote would have gone down in history as something Maurice Jarre said, instead of something I made up," he said. "It would have become another example where, once anything is printed enough times in the media without challenge, it becomes fact."

Why so many socialists love AGW alarmism

As many of you know, I also run a politics and culture blog. I usually post on the various toxic-but-popular "isms" (socialism, Marxism, communism, statism, fascism) over there, but every once in a while something comes along that blurs the boundaries between these blogs.

I've noted before that the manufactured AGW crisis is tailor-made for those who favor state control of people and resources. Today we see this principle in action in the form of a proposal by Mexico, as reported by Reuters (with a dash of TEOTWAWKI alarmism):
Global talks on combating climate change this year might progress best by focusing on Mexico's proposal for a world climate change fund, one of the European Union's top negotiators said.

The talks in Copenhagen to find a successor to the U.N.'s Kyoto protocol from 2012 are seen as the world's last chance to avert catastrophic climate change and the drought, famine and huge migrations of people it is expected to cause.

Jos Delbeke, number two in the European Commission's environment directorate, told Reuters the Mexican approach might offer the flexibility needed to unlock a deal.

"It's not a question of what we like, but of what may work, and the Mexican proposal gives flexibility that may be appreciated by the United States, Japan and by other donors," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a climate conference.

The proposal sees every country in the world contributing to a central pot, with the size of contributions based on a formula that takes account of each country's population, gross domestic product and level of greenhouse gas emissions.

That central pot would then be divided among all countries according to their needs for cutting emissions, building green technologies and adapting to the impacts of climate change -- with investments such as flood barriers or drought resistant crops.

Note in particular the last two paragraphs (highlighted). They can be summarized as follows:
From each according to his abilities
To each according to his needs
Now, where have I heard that before?

To no one's surprise, countries that have already traveled a considerable distance down the socialist road are warming up to the idea....

....especially since the United States, not they, will foot the bulk of the bill.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Deliver us from experts

We have not overthrown the divine right of kings
to fall down for the divine right of experts.

-- Harold MacMillan, British Prime Minister (1957-1963)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Congressional Democrats press their AGW propaganda offensive with expert testimony from... Ashley Judd

Democrats in Congress love to gin up popular support for their causes by bringing in demonstrably nonexpert celebrities to give high-profile, impassioned testimonies.

In this week's episode, we learn that if we don't Do Something Now, we face The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). Let's meet the climate scholars who testified.
Actress Ashley Judd and TV personality Jeff Corwin are urging Congress to spend $7 billion a year to help safeguard America's wildlife from the impact of global warming.
An argument could be made for hearing from Corwin, whose college education is actually related to wildlife. Judd, however, has only a bachelor's degree in French to back her up. Oh, and she owns a farm in Tennessee, and she's certain that "evidence of global warming is already being felt" there.

She was there because of her celebrity status (which adds to the propaganda value of her testimony), nothing more. Kind of like when environmentalists used Meryl Streep as their front person in the effort to bully Congress into banning Alar back in the late 1980s. The Alar scare turned out to be unfounded as well, but the damage was done.

Corwin, for his part, did not disappoint. He warned that we risk the extinction of a third of all animal species on the planet if we don't Do Something Now. Nothing like some good, reckless alarmist predictions to provoke our legislators into reckless policymaking.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why environmentalists may be to BLAME for recent warming

The Register reports on a study by NASA scientist Dr. Drew Shindell suggesting a strong correlation between the fight against acid rain in the 1970s and the abrupt reversal in northern hemisphere temperature trends.
Dr Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies has led a new study which indicates that much of the general upward trend in temperatures since the 1970s - particularly in the Arctic - may have resulted from changes in levels of solid "aerosol" particles in the atmosphere, rather than elevated CO2. Arctic temperatures are of particular concern to those worried about the effects of global warming, as a melting of the ice cap could lead to disastrous rises in sea level - of a sort which might burst the Thames Barrier and flood London, for instance.

Shindell's research indicates that, ironically, much of the rise in polar temperature seen over the last few decades may have resulted from US and European restrictions on sulphur emissions. According to NASA:
Sulfates, which come primarily from the burning of coal and oil, scatter incoming solar radiation and have a net cooling effect on climate. Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates.
So, the reduction in sulfate pollution meant the elimination of a significant counterbalance to increasing soot pollution.

Am I advocating the wholesale repeal of sulfate emission restrictions? Not really -- in fact, I'm not ready to concede any human influence in the climate cycle (hence the blog name). I do note, though, that those who believe in consequential human influence on climate must acknowledge that attempts to "fix" what is allegedly broken can often have unforeseen effects.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Al Gore didn't get the memo

Well, what do you know? Al Gore and I share at least one thing in common: We both left our lights on during Earth Hour on Saturday. World Net Daily reports:

Drew Johnson, the president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, decided to drive by Gore's mansion in Nashville at 8:48 p.m. and records that floodlights were on illuminating the driveway leading up to the main quarter.

"I pulled up to Al's house, located in the posh Belle Meade section of Nashville, at 8:48 p.m. – right in the middle of Earth Hour," he wrote on his blog. "I found that the main spotlights that usually illuminate his 9,000 square foot mansion were dark, but several of the lights inside the house were on."

He added: "The kicker, though, were the dozen or so floodlights grandly highlighting several trees and illuminating the driveway entrance of Gore’s mansion. I [kid] you not, my friends, the savior of the environment couldn’t be bothered to turn off the gaudy lights that show off his goofy trees."

100+ scientists call Obama out on his AGW alarmism

The Cato Institute has published a full-page ad in many newspapers politely accusing President Obama of being factually inaccurate in his climate change alarmism.

Over 100 scientists agreed to lend their names to the following statement (View complete statement in HTML | PDF):
"Few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change.The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear."


With all due respect
Mr. President, that is not true.

We, the undersigned scientists, maintain that the case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated. Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now. After controlling for population growth and property values, there has been no increase in damages from severe weather-related events. The computer models forecasting rapid temperature change abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior. Mr. President, your characterization of the scientific facts regarding climate change and the degree of certainty informing the scientific debate is simply incorrect.
Bravo to Cato and to the scientists who put their professional reputations on the line to challenge the "consensus".

Saturday, March 28, 2009

How we observed Earth Hour

As many of you know, Saturday, March 28, from 8:30-9:30pm local time was designated as "Earth Hour". This event was devised by the World Wildlife Fund as a way for people around the world to show how much they care about the climate change crisis.

Its organizers acknowledge that an event directing people to turn out their lights for an hour is purely symbolic, but they believe that with widespread participation, an important message will be sent to the world's leaders:
This is not so much about saving energy. It is more a massive, global and overwhelming signal to our nations' leaders to say that climate change is important. That it matters a great deal. That we care. Now do something about it!
Climate change is important. It matters. We care. Now, leaders: get out there and send the global economy further into the abyss, all for the sake of unproven, questionable speculations about the role of carbon dioxide in the earth's climate! Yeah!

Not wanting to be left out, our family took care to show how much we care about the climate alarmism that is sweeping the planet. This picture shows how our house looked between 8:30 and 9:30 local time this evening.

Just kidding; I don't even know whose house that is. It's certainly not in our part of Texas.

But we did leave our lights on.

We didn't go out of our way to turn on additional lights, even though theoretically there was a lot of unused electricity out there at the time. We just went about our normal business of living our lives, not being deliberately wasteful, but also not feeling guilty for what we do use.

By now, the west coast of the U.S. is in the 8:30-9:30 zone, nearly completing the event's trek around the world. Interestingly, as early as 6:00pm U.S. Eastern time, Reuters was reporting that a billion people were participating in the event, a number which, as NewsBusters points out, could not possibly have been true at the time the article was posted.
So how does Reuters report that a billion people took part? According to the International Energy Agency, "Some 1.6 billion people, about one quarter of the world’s population, have no access to electricity today." The CIA estimates the world's population at 6.7 billion, so that would mean about 5 billion people in the world could shut off their lights in the global feel-good exercise. For Reuters to be correct in its one billion people claim, one out of five people would have had to participate. Since Earth Hour hadn't even arrived for much of the world at the time Reuters released its report, how can the agency already state as fact that there were a billion participants?

The obvious answer is it couldn't. Reuters made up a nice, round number to buttress its contention of massive worldwide support for Earth Hour. And no doubt it'll be picked up by mainstream media outlets across the country.
WWF did set a goal for 1 billion people to participate, so perhaps Reuters was engaging in a bit of hopeful speculation. Journalistic malpractice, sure, but all in service of a good cause.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Propaganda technique #21744: The misleading appeal to authority

Pet peeve time.

The article I cited in the previous post opens like this:
When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of food, scientists say.
"Scientists say". Perhaps you just breezed by that part of the sentence, but in my opinion it should immediately raise a red flag.

"Scientists say"? How many? Of what field? What are their qualifications? The article only mentions two (technically qualifying for the plural form of the word "scientist"), but the lede is written as if this is the -- wait for it -- consensus opinion.

This doesn't happen only with AGW stories. We also see this phenomenon in reporting on scientific research in many areas -- especially in the areas of food-that-is-currently-bad-for-you and things-that-currently-cause-cancer. The funny thing is that when Research Conclusion B totally contradicts Research Conclusion A just a few months later, the news will will present the story as if simply every scientist who matters now says Research Conclusion B is true.

By attaching "scientists say" to whatever the conclusion of the moment happens to be, the journalist seems intent on leading us to believe that there is no meaningful disagreement with said conclusion in the scientific community.

I could write an article entitled, "Scientists say Al Gore is full of it" -- but I would immediately come under withering fire by acolytes of the CoGW, even though there are certainly scientists out there who believe this.

This may seem like a nitpick, but I think that the continual use of this misleading appeal to authority is part of the reason that such a high percentage of news consumers have bought into the AGW hypothesis.

Al Gore is a poor substitute for Placido Domingo, bloggers say

Planet-hating beef eaters, cont'd.

Sigh. Another day, another article informing us that our meat consumption -- especially western beef consumption -- is killing the planet. This February 16 AFP article even manages to drag in a comparison with the Hitler of the automotive world:
When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of food, scientists say.

Simply switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as leaving the car at home a couple days a week.

That's because beef is such an incredibly inefficient food to produce and cows release so much harmful methane into the atmosphere, said Nathan Pelletier of Dalhousie University in Canada.

Pelletier is one of a growing number of scientists studying the environmental costs of food from field to plate.

By looking at everything from how much grain a cow eats before it is ready for slaughter to the emissions released by manure, they are getting a clearer idea of the true costs of food.

The livestock sector is estimated to account for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and beef is the biggest culprit.

Even though beef only accounts for 30 percent of meat consumption in the developed world it's responsible for 78 percent of the emissions, Pelletier said Sunday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

That's because a single kilogram of beef produces 16 kilograms carbon dioxide equivalent emissions: four times higher than pork and more than ten times as much as a kilogram of poultry, Pelletier said.
By the way, that 1:16 ratio of beef to CO2 emissions cited in the last paragraph seriously undermines the 1:36 ratio claimed by Japanese alarmists in another AFP article we highlighted back in July of 2007.

Kind of makes me wonder if they're just making stuff up.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Go ahead and have another child, you planet-hater

In 2007 we heard about Toni Vernelli, who saw getting an abortion as a moral duty in light of the AGW crisis. We also heard from an Australian researcher who proposed that any family having more than two children should buy what amounts to an excess-child carbon offset to atone for these kids' share in the destruction of the planet.

It's been more than a year, and you just haven't been paying attention, have you? Some of you have even gone ahead and made more babies, haven't you? And let's not even get started on Nadya Suleman, who just birthed octuplets.

Scott Kotler at Psychology Today's blog has a message for you: You're unbelievably selfish, you're a resource thief, and you're a murderer.

Kotler believes that a global population of 2 billion people is the utter limit of sustainability, and that we need to get right on to the task of reducing the human headcount to that level.

His solution: STOP HAVING KIDS FOR FIVE YEARS. Everybody, everwhere. This isn't quite as far-reaching as the solution of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, to wit, that we stop having kids forever, but it is extreme nonetheless.

We have spent the past 4000 years trying to shrug off the nightmare that is Biblical advice. We no longer sanction slavery or believe it okay to stone a woman to death for wearing sexy clothing or any of that other nonsense—but go forth and multiply?

Got to be the worst advice in the history of the world.

And sure, a five year ban won’t fix all of this and it raises some questions as well—like how do we insure that year six won’t produce an influx of offspring?

So here’s my answer: Personal responsibility. A grassroots movement means we mean it. It means people having children in year six would feel shame and embarrassment at their unbelievable selfishness.

And yeah, if you are having children right now you are being selfish. You’re stealing. Stealing from the future. Stealing from the rest of humanity. Stealing from every living thing on the earth right now.


We are soon going to be killing each other over resources, just like we’ve always killed each other over resources—only this next time it won’t be over something to put in our gas tanks. It’ll be over something to put in our belly.

And it won't be an isolated incident, it'll be a global catastrophe.

That’s our future. That’s what happens if we don’t stop having children. In fact, if we don’t stop having children then we’re going to get to meet another bad Biblical idea head on: the four horseman of the apocalypse.

Pestilence, War, Famine, Death.

How can he be any more clear? If you don't get with the program, the death of our planet from climate change will be on your conscience.

(Message cross-posted on C-Pol)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hey, Hollywood! Time to walk the talk!

Writing for Big Hollywood, blogger Iowahawk pokes fun at movie stars whose lifestyles belie their claims to be concerned about the environment:
A Go-Green Guide for the Hollywood Community

More than ten years after the Kyoto accords, our planet continues to careen helplessly toward certain environmental destruction. The skies are choked with pollutants. Adorable helpless polar bears plunge through thinning ice caps. Ben Affleck still can’t find a decent comeback project.

The signs are ominous, but it’s not too late to do something. As a member of the entertainment community, you are uniquely qualified to save our planet from coming climate disaster. But it will take more than raising awareness — it will take action. Have your personal assistant add these 10 to-dos to your Blackberry, and let’s get the Earth on the road to recovery!

1. Reduce Water Consumption. One single dripping faucet or flushed bidet may not seem to be much of an environmental threat, but those numbers really add up when you’re hosting an NRDC fundraiser for Laurie David and all 10 of your bathrooms are in use. When possible, encourage guests to pee in the pool, and remind them that “if it’s yellow, let it mellow.” Unless you’re serving asparagus canapes.

2. “Green Begins At Home.” Whether you live in East Hampton or Topanga Canyon, there are dozens of little things you can do around your compound to reduce your carbon footprint. For instance, tell your groundskeeping crew to plant a tree. Save your leftover foie gras to grow your own homemade organic Botox. Turn off your energy wasting security cameras between 1 AM and 7 AM. If you own a vanity cattle ranch in Montana, email the trail boss and tell him/her to add Beano to your herd’s feed to reduce ozone-depleting methane emissions.

3. Upgrade To a New Gulfstream G550. Next time you take off for Cannes or Sundance or that big Environmental Defense Fund gala, stop and think how much fuel that clunky old G450 is using. Not only does the new G550 have real burled walnut and 10.8% better fuel efficiency, it has smoother ride — meaning 20% fewer annoying turbulence-related Cristal and cocaine spills. And with a maximum cruising speed of Mach 0.885 you’ll never be late for the red carpet at the Palm d’Or!

4. Crush a Third World Economic Development Movement. One of the most pressing threats facing our environment is rising income in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. A generation ago these proud little dark people were happily frolicking in the rain forest, foraging for organic foods amid the wonders of nature. Today, corrupted by wealth, they are demanding environmentally hazardous consumer goods like cars and air conditioning and malaria medicine. You can do your part to stop this dangerous consumerism trend by supporting environmentally progressive leaders like Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe, and their programs for sustainable low-impact ecolabor camps.
The remaining suggestions are well worth the read.

(Cross-posted at C-Pol)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is mandatory recycling destroying the planet?

One adviser to the British government has some heretical opinions about one of the sacraments of environmentalism, curbside recycling, as reported January 28 by The Telegraph:
Peter Jones suggested that an "urgent" review of Labour's policy on recycling was needed to make sure the collection, transportation and processing of recyclable material was not causing a net increase in greenhouse gases.

Mr Jones, a former director of the waste firm Biffa and now an adviser to environment ministers and the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, also dismissed kerbside recycling collections in many areas as "stupid" because they mixed together different materials, rendering them useless for recycling.

He suggested that much of the country's waste should simply be burnt to generate electricity.

"It might be that the global warming impact of putting material through an incinerator five miles down the road is actually less than recycling it 3,000 miles away," he said.

"We've got to urgently get a grip on how this material is flowing through the system; whether we're actually adding to or reducing the overall impact in terms of global warming potential in this process."

(Image credit: Chilliwack, BC)

Vegas: We're concerned about climate change! Really!

Las Vegas' infamous casino district, The Strip, with perhaps one of one of the largest carbon footprints per unit area to be found anywhere, will join others in pretending to be concerned about climate change on March 28. Las Vegas Review-Journal, January 29:
Planned marquee outages on the Strip come along about as often as Megabucks jackpots.

And like many of those slot-machine fortunes, lights-out events on Las Vegas Boulevard typically don't last long.

But on March 28, signs and message boards along the Strip -- the brightest spot on Earth when viewed from space, the lore goes -- will power down for 60 minutes as part of a global event intended to raise awareness of climate change.

Las Vegas is a flagship city for Earth Hour 2009, a World Wildlife Fund movement encouraging individuals, governments and businesses to dim or turn out lights. Casino executives and several local officials, including Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson, gathered Wednesday at a news conference on the south Strip to talk about Southern Nevada's role in Earth Hour.

Getting the Strip in on Earth Hour is a significant move, said David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"When it means something, turning down lights on the Strip is a very touching tribute, and it can be very effective," Schwartz said. "For the Strip to stop anything is a really big deal. The Strip doesn't like to do that."

It will be one of the few times Strip lights have been darkened for specific occasions, such as the deaths of presidents and entertainers.

This time, the lights will fade to honor Mother Earth. And it's not just resort owners on the Strip who'll participate: Nearly two dozen properties off the boulevard are scheduled to take part, including the Palms and properties belonging to Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming Corp.
Once the hour is done (with gamblers inside the casinos perhaps unaware of the spectacle outside), the warm glow of having Done Something To Save The Earth will be replaced by the warm glow of countless neon lights and incandescent bulbs, and The Strip will move on as if nothing had happened.