Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What to do about global warming. Nothing!

Indur M. Goklany, PhD has a guest essay at WUWT refuting the hyperbolic claim that climate change is the most important challenge we face:
Some scientists, media, and, more importantly, eminent policy makers claim that climate change is this century’s most important global environmental problem. ... U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has declared that climate change is "the defining challenge of our age" .... Such pronouncements fuel the quest for rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and concentrations.
Following a very comprehensive analysis of competing factors where "climate change" ranks 13th (at .3% of annual deaths world-wide) he concludes:

... the argument that we should shift resources from dealing with the real and urgent problems confronting present generations to solving potential problems of tomorrow’s wealthier and better positioned generations is unpersuasive at best and verging on immoral at worst.

... If one believes that developed countries have a moral and ethical obligation to deal with climate change, this obligation cannot, and should not, be met through aggressive emission reductions at this time—"cannot" because the planet is already committed to some climate change—and "should not" because the threats that climate change would exacerbate can be reduced more effectively and economically through focused efforts to reduce vulnerability or through broader efforts to advance economic development.

Dr. Goklany’s analysis accepts as given WHO mortality estimates associated with climate change. Since WHO’s assumptions and conclusions are highly dubious and alarmist to begin with, the true ranking of "climate change" on mortality is no doubt much lower than Goklany gives it credit for.

Someone should do an estimate of the effects of global cooling on mortality. Such an analysis would prove that global warming actually saves lives.

Interesting note: Dr. Goklany has the distinction of having had a letter on this subject rejected by Nature magazine which prompted this comment from Benny Peiser:
"One day, someone will have to publish a whole book of all the countless letters rejected by Nature and Science on the global warming debates."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Al Gore, "liar"

Yesterday Al Gore testified before a congressional hearing. Lord Monckton wasn't permitted to speak but Newt Gingrich did a good job of exposing Gore's usual lies and distortions:

Also, here's Lord Monckton with Michael Savage (April 24th about 1/3 in).

Lord Monckton is chief policy adviser for the Science and Public Policy Institute.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Dem "cowards" protect Gore

From this report at WUWT:

UK’s Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, claimed House Democrats have refused to allow him to appear alongside former Vice President Al Gore at high profile global warming hearing on Friday April 24...

... “The House Democrats don’t want Gore humiliated, so they slammed the door of the Capitol in my face,” Monckton told Climate Depot in an exclusive interview. “They are cowards.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And we think we've got problems!

While Canadian "Human Rights" Commissions are bonkers, as Ezra Levant's book makes clear, they're only mildly deranged compared with those freaking crazy Brits:

BRITAIN appears to be evolving into the first modern soft totalitarian

... a campaign to alter people's psychology and create a new Homo britannicus is under way without even a fig leaf of disguise.

... The Government is pushing ahead with legislation that will criminalise politically incorrect jokes, with a maximum punishment of up to seven years' prison.

... In the past 10 years I have collected reports of many instances of draconian punishments, including the arrest and criminal prosecution of children, for thought-crimes and offences against political correctness.

... In September 2006, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, Codie Stott, asked a teacher if she could sit with another group to do a science project as all the girls with her spoke only Urdu. The teacher's first response, according to Stott, was to scream at her: "It's racist, you're going to get done by the police!" ... she was arrested and taken to a police station, where she was fingerprinted and photographed. According to her mother, she was placed in a bare cell for 3 1/2 hours.

... A 10-year-old child was arrested and brought before a judge, for having allegedly called an 11-year-old boya "Paki" and "bin Laden" during a playground argument at a primary school (the other boy had called him a skunk and a Teletubby). When it reached the court the case had cost taxpayers pound stg. 25,000. The accused was so distressed that he had stopped attending school.

... Hate-crime police investigated Basil Brush, a puppet fox on children's television, who had made a joke about Gypsies. The BBC confessed that Brush had behaved inappropriately and assured police that the episode would be banned.

And on and on ....

Godawful! This is what we can expect in Canada if our HRCs are not shut down or seriously reformed.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Iggy's search for Canada

Michael Ignatieff's new book "True Patriot Love" is subtitled "Four generations in search of Canada".

So that's what he was doing for the last 30 years - searching for Canada!

When he left England after 22+ years he was headed in more or less the right direction but wound up at Harvard. After another 5+ years he discovered that I93 north from Boston might lead, with a detour or two, to 24 Sussex Dr, ending his search.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ezra Levant’s new book, “Shakedown”

I just finished Ezra’s new book, "Shakedown". At first I was reluctant to start reading it. I’d read nearly everything he’s written and spoken on the subject of "Human Rights" Commissions and free speech. I religiously follow his web-site along with several others that concentrate on these issues. I’ve written over seventy-five blog posts myself.

But, to my pleasant surprise, once I started reading "Shakedown" I found I couldn’t put it down. There was some new material though, mostly, it was a familiar story. But the familiar stuff was freshly presented, and; the Kafkaesque nightmare that our so-called "human rights" bureaucracy has forced its victims to endure and the threat it poses to our liberty remain endlessly fascinating. Also, reading Ezra’s book has refreshed my contempt for the official "human rights" industry and for its blatant abuses of fundamental rights.

"Shakedown" is an important book that will be instrumental in the fight to force the repeal of Section 13 of the Human Rights Act and the reform of our "human rights" bureaucracies.

One gripe: I expect that I and many, many others will be using "Shakedown" as a reference in the months and years to come. And this is a "book", not a "pamphlet". A useful reference "book" should have an index, which I understand is fairly simple to more or less automatically generate these days. So, Ezra (and/or perhaps your publisher McClelland & Stewart) WHERE THE HELL’S THE INDEX! Or is this just one of those things one comes to expect from Canadian publishers - kinda like crappy sound engineering stands out in Canadian television drama productions.

Update (Apr 19): On his blog today Ezra acknowleged and repeated this review along with a number of others by much more significant reviewers. Thanks for that, Ezra. Your appreciation is appreciated :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

BC’s choice - carbon tax or cap-and-trade

For the upcoming BC election (May 12th), a major campaign issue seems to be "which do you prefer, carbon tax or cap-and trade?" Gordon Campbell’s (idiot) Liberals are defending their unpopular carbon tax against the (idiot) NDP who prefer cap-and-trade.

Lorrie Goldstein hits the nail on the head beginning with this thought:
To paraphrase Kate McMillan at ... you're supposed to pray for an asteroid, not pick a favourite.
Lorrie goes on to explain how both amount to more or less the same thing and, worse, they’ve been tried and failed:

Norway has had a carbon tax since 1991, which Statistics Norway concluded in 2002 had only a very minor impact on emissions. ... Statistics Norway researchers concluded "extensive tax exemptions" was a major reason for the "relatively small effect" of carbon taxes on emissions.

... Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme -- saw emissions rise in its first three years of operation, until they dropped last year not because of cap-and-trade, but due to the global recession.

... In Europe's cap-and-trade markets, governments gave industries free credits to emit carbon dioxide totalling more than their existing emissions. ... This led to skyrocketing energy prices (emitters passed along the costs of the credits to consumers as if they had paid for them) and increasing emissions...

... Despite what politicians claim, neither carbon taxes nor cap-and-trade will lead to more "green" jobs. ...Spain ...has been touted as a model for the world by Barack Obama. Problem is, Spain lost at least 2.2 jobs in other sectors of the economy for every "green" job government spending created and only one in 10 of those jobs is permanent.

This according to a recent study by economics professor Gabriel Calzada Alvarez and three colleagues at Madrid's Juan Carlos University. ... The estimated cost to taxpayers for every "green" job created was 571,138 euros or over $900,000 Canadian.

Thank you, Lorrie! Now, if only we could get the word out to everyone in BC. Unless the major parties get real and stop offering up their "carbon" bullcrap, you’re right - "Better pray for that asteroid".

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adam Smith was no modern liberal

American liberal Alan Wolfe tries to shoehorn Adam Smith into his definition of modern liberalism. An excellent rebuttal follows in the comments (Bulbman1066):

Nothing could be further from classical liberalism than the American "liberalism" of today. The two are polar opposites. Classical liberalism is about the flourishing of the individual and the community through the free action of individuals. Modern liberalism is about government deciding what is good for the individual and imposing its decisions by force. That is precisely what Adam Smith and all the great classical liberals opposed.

The slogan of modern liberlism is "equality", meaning not equality of opportunity but forced equality of outcome. In practice that amounts to efforts by government to hobble the more energetic and intelligent members of society so that that they don't reap "unjust" rewards. The inevitable result is the triumph of the lazy, the stupid and the mediocre. Let me modify that a bit. Under "liberalism" energetic and intelligent people do triumph, but they do so by demagoguery and dishonesty rather than by acting for the benefit of all.

Modern liberalism suffers from several problems. One is the question of legitimacy. Why should a particular class, say Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, Alan Wolfe, and the faculties of the elite universities rule the rest of us? Is Nancy a countesss? Is Alan a duke?

Another problem is that the lust for leveling will likely destroy our society economically. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Affirmative action/political correctness has trashed most of the humanities and social science departments in American universities. But hitherto math and physical science have for most part part escaped unscathed. But since the election of you- know-who the feminist mafia smells blood. They are demanding quotas in math and the hard sciences. You don’t have to have a Larry Summers size IQ to see where that will lead.

What Wolfe doesn’t understand is just how fragile are the achievements of western civilization and how large is the threat posed to those achievements by the Orwellian perversion of the definition of the liberalism.

April 15, 2009 4:00 AM


Update: From Jonah Goldberg.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Obamite apologetics and distractions

Speaking of pussies misguided wimps - wonder when/if Obama et al will find their gonads.

Victor Davis Hanson worries:
... The Obamists better be careful in their serial apologetics, "Bush did it" throat-clearing, and caving to European, Russia, Turkish, etc. agendas. Slowly, but clearly we are establishing a new atmosphere in which the old unpredictability, military preparedness, and deterrence will be lost, replaced by a touchy-feely sort of seminar discussion, laced with atonement, reaction. And then the two-bit pirates who boast "We are not afraid of the Americans" will be the least of our problems.
So does Mark Steyn:
Reuters headline ... : “Pirates Pose Annoying Distraction For Obama.”
So many distractions, aren’t there? Only a week ago, the North Korean missile test was an “annoying distraction” from Barack Obama’s call for a world without nuclear weapons and his pledge that America would lead the way in disarming. And only a couple of days earlier the president insisted Iraq was a “distraction” — from what, I forget: The cooing press coverage of Michelle’s wardrobe? No doubt when the Iranians nuke Israel, that, too, will be an unwelcome distraction from the administration’s plans for federally subsidized daycare, just as Pearl Harbor was an annoying distraction from the New Deal, and the First World War was an annoying distraction from the Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s dinner plans. .........

Friday, April 10, 2009

Today's word: "pussy"

David Thompson picks up on a debate about the meaning of the word "pussy" which, in the comments, he says: "...I'd assumed ... (in the sense of timid, overly delicate, etc) was a corruption of “pusillanimous”.

Well, here's another opinion:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hitchen's mea culpa to Canada

Christopher Hitchens has acknowledged being wrong in his criticism of Canada in the George Galloway affair and points to Terry Glavin for the straight goods.

Terry Glavin:
(UPDATE II: Appended to his Slate column today, Christopher writes: In my last column, it seems I may have done an injustice to the government and people of Canada in the matter of George Galloway's canceled visit to that country. For elucidation, please consult the following blog post. For my part, let me say it was not so much that Hitchens didn't do a lick of homework, but that the references he relied upon - Canada's national newspapers - are what led him astray).
Good for Hitchens.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

“Obama turns left”

That’s a Globe and Mail headline. And the subheading is:

"The U.S. President is putting the state in charge of the economy in the land of free enterprise. Are the 'best and brightest' up to the task?"

Just for starters Obama isn’t "turning" left. He’s been left all along. He was the most left-leaning Senator in Congress. He campaigned on a statist/socialist platform.

Secondly, what makes anyone think that the Obama administration is the "best and the brightest"?

But even if they are, the answer to the question is: NO they are NOT up to the task! Unless, of course, the task is to ruin the economy.

As Friedrich Hayek would testify, the Obama Democrats, like all socialists, suffer from "The Fatal Conceit" which will inevitably lead America further down "The Road to Serfdom".

Former Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean poo poo’d any anti-interventionist nay-saying: "I’m pretty confident. This is not rocket science". No it isn’t. Rocket science is simple-minded child’s play by comparison. Even the (presently poorly understood) climate system is simpler than national and global economies.

And the man entrusted with leading the charge down the road to Hell, Mr. "community organizer", hasn’t managed so much as a Dairy Queen franchise.

Unless Obama "turns right", America is doomed! And so, therefore, are the rest of us.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glavin on Galloway

The George Galloway drama that has unfolded over the past week has attracted attention from every quarter. There are lots of opinions but generally people fall into three camps who contend the issue is, respectively: national security ("keep the idiot out"); free speech ("let the moron in"), or; free speech ("we want to hear our Hamas-loving hero").

Then along comes Terry Glavin who effectively clarifies matters with, of all things, some facts and logic which show that This Is Not A Story About Free Speech. This Is Not A Story About National Security. Nope, it’s about a lazy, incompetent, sensation seeking media.

Mr. Glavin kicks things off by ripping Christopher Hitchens a new one:

Hitchens is not wrong in the substance of the opinions ... It is just that they are wholly immaterial to the matter at hand. ... He didn’t do a lick of homework. He fails, and fails utterly. [It would be interesting to see a reply from the Hitch.]
And the media in general:

This is a media circus of the same sort as the midway freak shows that involve displays of Britney Spears as she’s caught driving her SUV with a suckling infant on her lap, or Amy Winehouse snorting coke in a leaked home video. Dress it up anyway you like, that is the function the Galloway rumpus-making serves the news media.

Glavin then goes on to comprehensively lay out the facts and what actually transpired. You’ve got to read the whole thing because paraphrasing won’t do it justice.

And in closing he saves some choice words for Galloway’s Canadian supporters:

George Galloway is what we used to call a fascist thug. But nowadays, his Canadian fan base, his megaphone-carriers and his booking agents include New Democratic Party MPs, Bloc MPs, the Council of Canadians, the Ottawa Peace Assembly and a legion of student leaders, trade unionists and "anti-war" activists.
Great stuff.

Though it’s hard to refute Glavin’s facts, logic and conclusions about the whole affair, one could still argue that it is still relevant to the free speech issue. It’s relevant because, in spite of the truth of the matter, there’s still a strong perception that Galloway’s speech has been suppressed (even though it wasn’t really because it was televideoed to his Canuck fans anyway). He’s gained some undeserved martyrdom. So I can’t help feeling that it may have been better to let him in and denied he and his supporters publicity. And maybe, but not likely, with more time the media would have been able to do some fact checking and get the story straight.

[via Blazing Cat Fur]