Archive for February, 2005

US, “the world’s largest polluter…..”

February 25, 2005

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to periodically repeat the demonstrably true rebuttals to the standard litany about How Evil Is The Texas Cowboy And His Misguided Electorate Who Rejected Kyoto………

This story at Yahoo from Reuters “Science”, about an actually useful climate change agreement, prompts the need to remind everyone (again) (and again, given the fact that most MSM “journalists” don’t do any actual homework on scientific matters, instead relying on a limited rolodex of reliably radical sources to give the expected quotes supporting the story’s “green” theme) of what is true and what is myth.

The story casually repeats what is always said: “The United States, the world’s largest polluter, refused to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol, a landmark U.N. plan to curb global warming by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases.”

By the logic implicit in that statement when made in conjunction with greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, every person alive gains several pounds every day from food and water intake. At the end of a year after eating one pound of food and drinking a quart of liquid, I should weigh at least a thousand pounds more than I did on January 1.

OK, here is reality- again- for those who tend to forget. What shows up on your bathroom scale is not food and water intake, it is food and water intake minus waste elimination and minus the food and water consumed and turned into energy (heat) through the body’s metabolic process. Got that? Good. Ready for the next step?

What counts in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GAG) is not what you emit, but what you emit minus what you consume. When Reuters “Science” tells you that the US is the “world’s largest polluter” they are giving one side of the equation, a good way to flunk math and science even in US public schools.

The fact is, the US is roughly a net zero emitter of GAG, possibly even a net absorber, while the Germans who lecture us on our Kyoto-rejecting sins are part of a land mass that regularly pumps those nasty GAG into the air at a net positive rate that confirms the USA as the environmentally greenest place on earth- because it is literally one of the greenest places on earth.

Iain Murray told us about this three years ago in a “Technopolitics” column:

“A scientific paper published in October 1998 (“A Large Terrestrial Carbon Sink in North America Implied by Atmospheric and Oceanic Carbon Dioxide Data and Models,” Fan et al, Science, Vol. 282, p. 442 ff.) concluded that the North American continent acted as a huge carbon sink, absorbing about 1.7 billion metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year. As North America is responsible for only about 1.6 billion tons of carbon emissions per year, the continent is actually a net consumer of carbon dioxide.

“The same paper, however, found that the Eurasian continent was in a much less healthy state, consuming an “uptake” of only about 100 million tons of carbon per year while at the same time being responsible for 3.6 billion tons of emission. Unlike North America, the majority of the plant life in Eurasia is outside the Temperate Zone. The temperate areas of Eurasia, which include the industrial nations of Western Europe, actually act as a net “source” of carbon. It seems likely, therefore, that all of Western Europe’s carbon emissions (about 1 billion metric tons in total) survive in the atmosphere, unlike North America’s. Europe is actually a net polluter, while North America cleans up its own mess.

“Just how great the discrepancy is can be seen when we look at the effects per person. Under the Kyoto Protocol, America would have to reduce its emissions by about 2.3 tons per person. Europe, with a far bigger population but a far lower reduction target, would only have to reduce its emissions by about 0.4 tons per person. But if we take the carbon sink/ source effect into account, America actually absorbs 0.4 tons of carbon per person while the average European puts out about 2.5 tons each.

Somebody tell the Johns (McCain and Kerry). Of course, Arizona doesn’t have that many trees, and Massachusetts cut lots of theirs down……

More on the principles of carbon sinks and the way they are misapplied in the computer simulations (i.e., model results used by the scaremongers don’t match the real world empirical data) can be found here and here.

UPDATE: Thanks, Hatcher, for defending New England. We are committed to environmental truth, so you are encouraged to visit here and here to see the good news about reforestation of Massachusetts. I’ll have to confine my snarky comments about rich NIMBY environmentalists such as Mr. Kerry to his campaign agaisn the wind farm blocking his view at Martha’s Vineyard: story here.

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Life’s Little Ironies: Austin Miles goes full circle on Bill Moyers

February 10, 2005

In the last week, the intrepid journalists at Powerline (yes, I mean that- the three attorneys who majored in philosophy between participating in general left-wing shenanigans and antiwar protests back in college) broke yet another story, exposing how the laughable Bill Moyers (who, like Franken, Cole, and Ward-not-Winston Churchill, has turned into a parody of himself) lifted a quote from Grist magazine, which had in turn lifted the quote from a book by “former circus ringmaster” and defrocked Assemblies of God minister Austin Miles. The details are all at Powerline, as most details of most everything useful in life may be found (whatever you can’t get here, that is).

The story was essentially regarding Moyers’ allegation that Christian evangelicals (full disclosure: that category includes yours truly) are a bunch of apocalyptic nuts who are perfectly willing to despoil God’s creation (here I expect to be struck down by John Derbyshire for using the other “c” word; I will have more to say in another post about Derb’s disingenuous misstatements regarding intelligent design) because we all want the world to end next week and sweep us up to Glory. That exact point was the citation of Congressional testimony to that effect which has been alleged for the last 20 years to have been offered by Reagan’s Interior Secretary, James Watt, a member of the Assemblies of God denomination.

I’ve seen that alleged quote repeated in print for years as illustration of the idea that center-right conservatives are anti-conservation wackos, so that didn’t faze me at all. What I found interesting, rather, was the author of the book, Austin Miles. I wondered if he, widely cited as a former religious nut who had embraced the virtues of rational agnosticism, was a descendant of a Penn-trained pharmacist named C. Austin Miles. The latter gave up drugs (pun-type reference intended) for a new career as gospel hymn-writer and song publisher for Hall-Mack at the start of the 20th century. Miles’ most well-known song is “In The Garden”, which was my late father-in-law’s favorite song, and is on almost any Christian’s top ten “older hits” list (that would be George Beverly Shea, as opposed to Third Day).

In my searches, I located this bitter diatribe composed by the currently quoted Austin Miles, invective against everything Christian, and obviously reflective of his book Don’t Call Me Brother, which he followed up with Setting the Captives Free: Victims of the Church Tell Their Stories.



But there was also something else strange about the name- because the Google search turned up several links for pieces written by “Rev. Austin Miles” at places like the Bush Country blog, and various evangelical sites. Recent posts, not ten-year old re-hashed archival writings from the days of e-bulletin boards, for example, a post of concern over Islamic proselytizing in public schools. A little more review was in order, and the full story unfolded, here in Rev. Miles’ own words, “Burned out- a refining fire”:

I defiantly left the ministry with a vow never to return. The worst years of my life followed. My rebellion grew to the point that God found it necessary to send me to the pits where I could truly hear His voice……. In the midst of the chaos, God had a Divine plan and used three men and a poodle to get me back on track…… With God foremost in your life, in your work and focus, no man, thing, committee or hierarchy will ever manage to get between you and God again. This is the way it has worked for me.

I would try to impress this upon all Christians: Every soul you encounter, even those who observe you from a distance (such as the supermarket or on the street) has been entrusted to your care. You will be accountable for that soul and how your conduct affected it. A sobering thought and challenge indeed. You never know who may be struggling, even those who appear secure. Don’t let anyone down.

The boot camp required of me was tough but essential. It has proved to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I no longer have the need for man’s approval or acceptance. I am now serving Him on His terms. And the entire ministry today, for me, is joy unspeakable and full of Glory!

For the Republicans among us, he writes regularly at the Bush Country web site, which indicates his candidacy for sainthood, living as he does in Northern California where he is not in the majority, one might guess.

One thing we know for certain- he does not believe that James Watt is an anti-environmental nut. Thus, Moyers not only got the quote wrong, but both of his source’s original non-fact-checked sources have gone completely the other way in an easily verified fashion.

If that doesn’t tell you the difference between the work of “legitimate journalists” such as the felllow at Grist who hasn’t returned Big Trunk’s phone calls, and the corrective powers of the blogosphere, nothing does.



InstaPuerility

February 7, 2005

DISCLAIMER: The post below is intended as gentle and good-natured poking fun at Prof. Reynolds, whose blog is the first one I go to every day. This is post not a slam- it is, perhaps, a tribute of sorts, like TKS’ forthcoming inclusion in the American Heritage Dictionary as creator of “Pajamahadeen”.

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The Super Bowl was yesterday, and the field was full of self-absorbed professional athletes who like to refer to themselves in the third person-

“If TO catches the ball, we win; if they don’t throw to TO, we don’t.” (made-up quote, to illustrate the point)

After the self-aggrandizing third person talk, and then the “royal “we”, we come to the newest phenomenon- the “Blog Prefix Identifier”! This is the newest rage in Brand Identity. For example, an emergent star of the last election campaign was Jim Geraghty of the National Review “Kerry Spot”; he is now fixing to move to Turkey, as reward for his labors, with, of course, “Mrs. Kerry Spot”.

But the king of all is also the originator of the practice, the High Lord of the Blogosphere- of course, Professor Reynolds, the one and only InstaPundit. His household is rounded out by the InstaWife, the InstaDaughter, and so on.

The question: is this new blog-based naming convention a clever branding technique, or the work of the InstaPompous? Do we have here, with the InstaPreponderance of Insta-this and Insta-that the perfect example of the InstaProtoNarcissist? Or just a happy InstaPapa who tells bad jokes as the InstaPunster, and InstaPrattles about a wide variety of topics, for example, blogging recipes (thereafter needing to do some jogging, er, that would be InstaPlodding, in order to avoid becoming an InstaPorker after trying out all the food).

Of course, we get a lot of photography blogging as well, as the InstaPundit morphs onto one of the InstaPaparazzi, taking care who and what he “shoots” around Knoxville- take too much interest in the wrong lovely (just for observational purposes, of course, sort of like Powerline’s Rocketman’s academic interest in reporting on beauty contests), and you may find your self the object of InstaPursuit by a large irate and unjustifiably jealous guy wanting to beat the perfessor to an InstaPulp, after which his carrion would transition into InstaPutrefaction.

One area we don’t generally expect to see covered on the blog, though, is housecleaning. We anticipate that from Lileks, but last weekend Mr. Reynolds became the InstaPurifier as he waxed rhapsodic over an addictive cleaning product (BTW, are we sure that that was happenstance blogging as opposed to the latest clever runs of product placement? First blogads, then product placement? Does Hewitt know about this?)

Cheney was right- the NYT says so!

February 1, 2005

The most ubiquitous swipe taken daily by the denizens of the Left at The Evil Liar BuSh, is the standard “He lied about WMD!”. The number two line is the obligatory reference to Cheney saying, in the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, that we would be “greeted as liberators” by the Iraqi people. The reference is always followed by a mournful recitation of the sins of the occupiers and why we are therefore hated for invading the beloved homeland.

I wonder if anyone else noticed, in NYT reporter John Burns’ story on the historic election, the casual Gray Lady reference acknowledging that Cheney had been very much correct in that assertion:

Burns says, “There had been no day like it since the first American units arrived to the cheers of crowds and the tossing of flowers in April 2003, and that lasted barely 24 hours, as unchallenged looting began to devastate the city.” (emphasis added)

Seems to me that the VP should be out there making a few characteristically amused and understated comments about his finally-recognized vindication.

"Leaving" Iraq

February 1, 2005

I think that there needs to be some sensible strategic reality in the Iraq exit discussions. The real keys are progress and time. No one wants to remain there any longer than necessary- but the goal is not tactical; therefore, “necessary” is likely to be a bit longer than a lot of us wish were the case in our utopian dreams.

Responding to the phrase: “by leaving sizable bases in Iraq after they are no longer needed”- what is the definition of “needed”?

We went into Iraq, in reality (as George Friedman noted in “America’s Secret War”), not because of imminent WMD concerns (as Bush pointed out over and over again from the beginning- WMD was the UN focus), but because it is the single most strategic country in the most problematic part of the Middle East. It is right in the middle of the bubbling cauldron that has Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia as the troubled periphery, and Jordan and Turkey as the other two neighbors. In other words, all the troublemakers are right there within arms’ reach.

Thus “needed” is going to be- by consensus of the Iraqi government AND the USnot when that government APPEARS to the NYT and Howard Dean to be stable, but when it really IS stable- which can only occur when at least two of the primary remaining troublemakers are neutralized.

That means when Iran is opened up, Syria has become “Libyanized” by whatever means are necessary, and the Saudis have pulled their heads out of the sand and recognized that their stability requires ending the pact with the Wahhabi radicals to keep the public “quiet”. (some “quiet”)

If you think about it, those really are the conditions that permit Iraq to be stable and progress.

But the military presence won’t look anything like it does now- instead, there will most likely be division-sized tripwires, a la the Korean DMZ, on the Western and Iranian borders, far away from the cities and very discreet, like the German bases have been for 60 years. Those numbers run in the range of 30,000 troops or so, which roughly matches the best guesses of the likely increased size of the Army.