Sunday, January 29, 2006

Let's All Hug

"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." ~ Douglas Adams

Oh what a wealth of blogging subjects there is today, and all from the previously unheard of town of Davos, Switzerland!

Former President Bill Clinton spoke at the World Economic Forum, articulating for the crowd gathered there, what he perceives to be the most important challenges facing the Global community today.

And what, pray tell, does Mr. Clinton consider the most urgent threat to the world, you might ask?

The threat of Global thermo nuclear war posed by North Korea, Iran, and other rogue nations?

The possibility of total annihilation of the state of Israel by radical Muslim terrorist organizations?

Possible future terrorist attacks on America and the wholesale slaughter of thousands of innocent American men, women and children?

More natural disasters effectively jeopardizing the world's energy resources?

Nope. None of the above.

Climate change.

Yes, you read it right. Climate change.

Now, personally, I don't buy this whole Global warming thing, anyway, and even if I did, I wouldn't blame man for creating an environment that supposedly destroys the planet.

According to the Global alarmist scientists, the average temperature of the planet is getting warmer at the staggering rate of 3 degrees Fahrenheit per thousand years, or something like that. Now, if that is indeed true, it certainly isn't an urgent problem.

However, according to most, if not all of the worlds scientists, there is a thing called the 2nd law of thermo-dynamics which tells us that everything in the universe is winding down. In other words, the planet, along with the universe, is irreversibly, yet slowly dying. The sun will eventually go out. It is going out. It could not be getting warmer. If anything, it is getting cooler.

The next most important problem, according to Clinton, is "global inequality." I confess to not fully understanding what he means here, but I am guessing he's talking about the gap that separates rich and poor, majorities and minorities, and the strong and the weak. At any rate, he seems to think that this problem can be solved by all the world getting together and engaging in a dialogue, reaching an understanding of all cultures, and presumably, getting together for a big group hug.

Can't you just feel the love even now? Especially from Hamas and al-Qaida?

To tell the truth, it astounds me, after all this time, that some people still think that these homicidal maniacs will ever listen to reason.


Finally, Clinton lists, as the third biggest problem, the "apparently irreconcilable" religious and cultural differences behind terrorism. And once again, he insists this is a problem that can be solved through appeasement and negotiation.

Well, absolutely! That makes perfect sense!

After all, it has worked so well up until now!


Goat said...

25 years ago these same whackos were warning of a new iceage. The earth has fluctuated in temperature throughout its existence even before the SUV was invented. It is all "nanny state" politics and socialist control of the people having nothing to do with real science as if us ants had some power over nature. So we have warmed a few degrees since the last iceage around 10000 years ago, is that surprising? It was even warmer a mere 1000 years ago during the Dark Ages. Shoot we have trees old enough to tell the story high in the mountains of California and Nevada, gnarled and ancient bristlecone pines alive before Christ and living today. I am an enviro nut, nature lover and these so called experts on the left nauseate me. John Muir is a personal hero of mine and the gauntlet is thrown down to the lefties that post here. First challenge, name the most polluted place on earth?

Sheila said...

Goat....The Soviet Union or now Russia and other countries connected by mutual history.

The soviets never paid attention to ecology. In a manic effort to beat us in the cold war, they polluted so much of the country that important traditional exports like Caviar is all but extinct because of the pollution. Laugh if you must. But Sevruga and Beluga Caviar is none existant except in some companies that froze the product.

The rate of Cancer is out of control. Poor people are eating toxic food from the pollution created by factories that didn't have our laws.

So there is the most polluted contry. Now what's the most polluted place?

I've been following Global Warming and such for years. YOu can strangle the truth for as long as you want. It may take another 65 to 100 years before something catastrophic and permenant happens, but it will happen.

Let me pose this thought though. Whats wrong with developing alternative fuels and actually using it.

By God it will creat new jobs that we need very badly. We're a "retail" not "industrial" ecomony. We have to start working toward recovering our work force and the sharing in profits, within our country.

Lone Ranger said...

If you get a little hot under the collar because of global warming, just move to Europe, where people are dropping in their tracks like popsicles.

We did develop alternative energy, but the Chicken Little environmentalists won't let us build more nuclear reactors. As for wind farms, the so-called environmentalists don't seem to care that they kill thousands of eagles and hawks.

But if you mean NEW sources of energy, hey, as long as we're at it, let's develop starships and a cure for cancer too.

jgf said...

His appeasement talk is starting to sound like Jimmy Carter.

Okay, so climate change will annihilate the human race before terrorism or nuclear war... A few thousand years versus a few days? I just don't get it.

jgf said...

BTW, I linked you.

KEvron said...

man-made or not, an ice age would have devastating global effects. fail to plan....

and as we have never observed what effects industrialization might have on climate change, we should just fail to plan on that issue, as well, yes?


Gayle said...

I agree with goat. In fact I agree with what he said so much I'm going over to visit his blog.

The point of your post seems to have gotten lost in the age-old controversy regarding global warming. I believe the point of your post is that Clinton is overlooking "the threat of Global thermo nuclear war posed by North Korea, Iran, and other rogue nations." You bet your booty he is. He doesn't want to deal with it because he doesn't have any answers. He can speculate on Global Warming quite safely because he knows many people agree with him and he won't be around to take the consequences if he's wrong! Global warming is not an immediate threat, while the possibility of Nuclear War is. So he takes the "safe" road, just as all cowards do. Commendable, isn't it?

KEvron said...

"....Clinton is overlooking 'the threat of Global thermo nuclear war posed by North Korea, Iran, and other rogue nations.'"

there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that president clinton is overlooking these issues.


KEvron said...

"....I'm going over to visit his blog."

check out the parts where he insists centcom is monitoring his blog. too funny!


Goat said...

I have the emails from CentCom to prove it Kevron and I am in regular contact since. Sheila, you are correct, the border region between Russia and East Germany was the centerpoint of Soviet heavy industry and the most polluted place on earth. And Gayle, welcome to the Barnyard, post away.

Goat said...

Next challenge to the lefties, what political persuasion were the soviets?

Goat said...

I have traveled abroad as well as my parents and the US is the cleanest country. We don't need international fake treatys aimed at our economy, we are the world leader already in clean air technology, nuclear, bio-diesel and bio-mass methane production. I drove through Albequerque recently and heard radio broradcasts about woodburning and pollution while viewing crystal blue skys,and, traffic on an empty hiway. I have lived in LA, I know the difference.

KEvron said...

la is in the counrty still, yes?


KEvron said...

"Next challenge to the lefties, what political persuasion were the soviets?"



Mark said...

No, Clinton isn't ignoring those issues. As I said, he believes these problems can be solved by negotiation and appeasement. He pays no attention to the fact that it hasn't worked yet. We tried to reason with Saddam for 13 years and it didn't work.

whit said...

The BBC reported today that British Climate Scientists have issued the most recent in their unending "dire warnings." Their latest is that the Greenland ice cap could melt and sea levels could rise by 23 feet over the next 1000 years.

Everybody, run for your lives.

Erudite Redneck said...

The New York Times

The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.

Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," Mr. Acosta said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."

He said the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all National Aeronautics and Space Administration personnel. He added that government scientists were free to discuss scientific findings, but that policy statements should be left to policy makers and appointed spokesmen.

Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination."

Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed with this characterization, saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings about climate change that point to risks ahead.

"Communicating with the public seems to be essential," he said, "because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic."

Dr. Hansen, 63, a physicist who joined the space agency in 1967, directs efforts to simulate the global climate on computers at the Goddard Institute in Morningside Heights in Manhattan.

Since 1988, he has been issuing public warnings about the long-term threat from heat-trapping emissions, dominated by carbon dioxide, that are an unavoidable byproduct of burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels. He has had run-ins with politicians or their appointees in various administrations, including budget watchers in the first Bush administration and Vice President Al Gore.

In 2001, Dr. Hansen was invited twice to brief Vice President Dick Cheney and other cabinet members on climate change. White House officials were interested in his findings showing that cleaning up soot, which also warms the atmosphere, was an effective and far easier first step than curbing carbon dioxide.

He fell out of favor with the White House in 2004 after giving a speech at the University of Iowa before the presidential election, in which he complained that government climate scientists were being muzzled and said he planned to vote for Senator John Kerry.

But Dr. Hansen said that nothing in 30 years equaled the push made since early December to keep him from publicly discussing what he says are clear-cut dangers from further delay in curbing carbon dioxide.

In several interviews with The New York Times in recent days, Dr. Hansen said it would be irresponsible not to speak out, particularly because NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet."

He said he was particularly incensed that the directives had come through telephone conversations and not through formal channels, leaving no significant trails of documents.

Dr. Hansen's supervisor, Franco Einaudi, said there had been no official "order or pressure to say shut Jim up." But Dr. Einaudi added, "That doesn't mean I like this kind of pressure being applied."

The fresh efforts to quiet him, Dr. Hansen said, began in a series of calls after a lecture he gave on Dec. 6 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. In the talk, he said that significant emission cuts could be achieved with existing technologies, particularly in the case of motor vehicles, and that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth "a different planet."

The administration's policy is to use voluntary measures to slow, but not reverse, the growth of emissions.

After that speech and the release of data by Dr. Hansen on Dec. 15 showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in at least a century, officials at the headquarters of the space agency repeatedly phoned public affairs officers, who relayed the warning to Dr. Hansen that there would be "dire consequences" if such statements continued, those officers and Dr. Hansen said in interviews.

Among the restrictions, according to Dr. Hansen and an internal draft memorandum he provided to The Times, was that his supervisors could stand in for him in any news media interviews.

Mr. Acosta said the calls and meetings with Goddard press officers were not to introduce restrictions, but to review existing rules. He said Dr. Hansen had continued to speak frequently with the news media.

But Dr. Hansen and some of his colleagues said interviews were canceled as a result.

In one call, George Deutsch, a recently appointed public affairs officer at NASA headquarters, rejected a request from a producer at National Public Radio to interview Dr. Hansen, said Leslie McCarthy, a public affairs officer responsible for the Goddard Institute.

Citing handwritten notes taken during the conversation, Ms. McCarthy said Mr. Deutsch called N.P.R. "the most liberal" media outlet in the country. She said that in that call and others, Mr. Deutsch said his job was "to make the president look good" and that as a White House appointee that might be Mr. Deutsch's priority.

But she added: "I'm a career civil servant and Jim Hansen is a scientist. That's not our job. That's not our mission. The inference was that Hansen was disloyal."

Normally, Ms. McCarthy would not be free to describe such conversations to the news media, but she agreed to an interview after Mr. Acosta, at NASA headquarters, told The Times that she would not face any retribution for doing so.

Mr. Acosta, Mr. Deutsch's supervisor, said that when Mr. Deutsch was asked about the conversations, he flatly denied saying anything of the sort. Mr. Deutsch referred all interview requests to Mr. Acosta.

Ms. McCarthy, when told of the response, said: "Why am I going to go out of my way to make this up and back up Jim Hansen? I don't have a dog in this race. And what does Hansen have to gain?"

Mr. Acosta said that for the moment he had no way of judging who was telling the truth. Several colleagues of both Ms. McCarthy and Dr. Hansen said Ms. McCarthy's statements were consistent with what she told them when the conversations occurred.

"He's not trying to create a war over this," said Larry D. Travis, an astronomer who is Dr. Hansen's deputy at Goddard, "but really feels very strongly that this is an obligation we have as federal scientists, to inform the public."

Dr. Travis said he walked into Ms. McCarthy's office in mid-December at the end of one of the calls from Mr. Deutsch demanding that Dr. Hansen be better controlled.

In an interview on Friday, Ralph J. Cicerone, an atmospheric chemist and the president of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's leading independent scientific body, praised Dr. Hansen's scientific contributions and said he had always seemed to describe his public statements clearly as his personal views.

"He really is one of the most productive and creative scientists in the world," Dr. Cicerone said. "I've heard Hansen speak many times and I've read many of his papers, starting in the late 70's. Every single time, in writing or when I've heard him speak, he's always clear that he's speaking for himself, not for NASA or the administration, whichever administration it's been."

The fight between Dr. Hansen and administration officials echoes other recent disputes. At climate laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.

Where scientists' points of view on climate policy align with those of the administration, however, there are few signs of restrictions on extracurricular lectures or writing.

One example is Indur M. Goklany, assistant director of science and technology policy in the policy office of the Interior Department. For years, Dr. Goklany, an electrical engineer by training, has written in papers and books that it may be better not to force cuts in greenhouse gases because the added prosperity from unfettered economic activity would allow countries to exploit benefits of warming and adapt to problems.

In an e-mail exchange on Friday, Dr. Goklany said that in the Clinton administration he was shifted to nonclimate-related work, but added that he had never had to stop his outside writing, as long as he identified the views as his own.

"One reason why I still continue to do the extracurricular stuff," he wrote, "is because one doesn't have to get clearance for what I plan on saying or writing."

Copyright 2006The New York Times Company

Mark said...

Wow. All of that to warn us all about something that will have no discernable effect for the next thousand years, long after the Muslims have blown the world apart because the Democrats made Bush stop wiretapping terrorists, claiming, erroneously, that he was wiretapping innocent Americans.

Well? Why not? It makes as much sense as Global warming, which contradicts the 2nd law of thermal dynamics.

Erudite Redneck said...

Mark, what you don't about a lot is a lot.