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)