Thursday, April 26, 2007

Global Warming

Global warming debate 'irrational': scientists

Stephanie Stein. Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 10:00 Local News -

The current debate about global warming is "completely irrational," and people need to start taking a different approach, say two Ottawa scientists. Carleton University science professor Tim Patterson said global warming will not bring about the downfall of life on the planet. Patterson said much of the up-to-date research indicates that "changes in the brightness of the sun" are almost certainly the primary cause of the warming trend since the end of the "Little Ice Age" in the late 19th century. Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on global climate, he said. "I think the proof in the pudding, based on what (media and governments) are saying, (is) we're about three quarters of the way (to disaster) with the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere," said Patterson. "The world should be heating up like crazy by now, and it's not. The temperatures match very closely with the solar cycles." Patterson explained CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential plant food. Billions of taxpayers' dollars are spent to control the emissions of this benign gas, in the mistaken belief that they can stop climate change, he said. "The only constant about climate is change," said Patterson. Patterson said money could be better spent on places like Africa. "All the money wasted on Kyoto in a year could provide clean drinking water for Africa," said Patterson. "We're into a new era of science with the discussion of solar forces. Eventually, Kyoto is going to fall by the wayside. In the meantime, I'm worried we're going to spend millions that could have been spent on something better like air pollution." Tom Harris, executive director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project - an organization that attempts to debunk some of the popular beliefs about climate change - supported Patterson's findings. Global warming assertions are based on inconclusive evidence put forth in science reports that had not been published yet, he said. "The media takes (inconclusive) information that only suggests there could be a climate problem and turns it into an environmental catastrophe," said Harris. "They continually say we only have 10 years left, and they've been saying it for 20 years, and it's ridiculous," he said. "The only reason I got involved in talking to media is that I think our resources are being mismanaged. "Go after something real and tangible like air pollution." After hearing a second scientist say climate change is part of a natural cycle, Elaine Kennedy - a local environmental activist - is interested in investigating the issue further. She looks forward to examining scientific reports that will be published in a couple of months by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "The problem may not be climate change, but the problem is still pollution," said Kennedy. She's not alone in her assertion global warming is a pollution problem. David Phillips, a senior government environment expert, believes there is more than one contributing factor to global warming. There's a human element, as well as natural cycles. Difficult to convince "I'm a man that's difficult to convince," he said. "What convinces me is the large body of evidence, and highly reputable people promoting global warming, who are not lobbyists, but only seeking truth in science. They say the the earth is warming up faster and greater now than in the past." People who are contradicting the global warming reality, Phillip thinks, have their own motives for doing so. "These skeptics are keeping the debate alive (for their own interests). They try to confuse people into inaction," said Phillips. Phillips believes global warming is solvable. "We solved the ozone and acid rain problem. With effort, and a new way of doing things we could solve this one too," said Phillips.

ID- 502332
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Trouble with Alec and Crow

It is hard to miss, even those who claim (or feign) to have no interest or no desire to read or know about such personal issues as Alec Baldwin's bad behavior, lie and secretly pay attention in the dark of night while locked away in their computer room.

What is the trouble with Alec and why does it matter? After all, it is very personal and should never have been made public (the tape). Why? Because this is a man who on December 11, 1998, on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien stated that "if we were in another country... we would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families" - reference to the congressmen involved in the impeachment of Clinton.

Violently aggressive. A joke or not. Find the tirade he left for his daughter. A joke or not. Is everything a joke to Baldwin? Or is everything a joke after the fact!

he argues that it is his ex-wife who has created parental alienation and that caused the outburst. Just like Hyde impeaching Clinton instigated the outburst about killing Hyde and his family. Is everything a joke to Baldwin? Is Baldwin any different from many other spoiled and self-centered actors? I do not believe he is.

Sheryl Crow is not qualitatively different - apparently everything to her is a big joke - after the fact. She spent considerable time considering how to save the planet and came up with the inane idea to use 1-2 squares of toilet paper instead of however many you may use. When that idiotic idea made headlines Crow retorted that it was all a joke!

For Hollywood idiots everything is a joke. For the rest of us, we cannot afford to turn everything into a joke because we are working and raising families and paying taxes and sacrificing so joksters likes Alec Crow can joke.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Al-Qaeda Has Plans ... whether you believe they do or not.

Al-Qaeda Has Plans for the UK

I was wondering tonight, as I sat reading the article linked above - what would I do if I knew for a fact someone was on their way to burn my car at a specific moment during the day. What would I do?

What would I do if I knew that sometime in the next three years someone would break a window in my home? What would I do?

What would I do if I knew someone would crash into my car, sometime while I was driving, sometime in the future?

Some people in this country do not believe anyone is on their way over to burn the car. Some people do not believe anyone would intentionally break a window in my home, although maybe by accident, but the chances were slim. Some people believe that while a car crash may happen, there is no certainty and the best you can do is drive safely, buckle up and not worry about it.

Some people. Some people sound good some times. Some people have good advice some times, but some people are fools when it comes to the greatest issues of their lives.

Someone - al-qaida has told us repeatedly that they want to kill us and or convert us and or destroy us and then convert us. It is not just al-qaida, it is a percentage of Islam, however small, that agrees either explicitly or implicitly with their grand delusions.

One cannot live with those who murder and butcher innocents. They wish to do it again and due to the failure of governments to prevent the spread of deadly technology / weaponry, it will be used against the West.

The article from Times Online suggests al-qaida has a plan to attack the UK.

Some people think it is exaggeration, that al-qaida is bluffing. Some people are trying very hard to be a greater threat than al-qaida.

Mass Shootings More Common Since 1960s

Mass Shootings More Common Since 1960s

Apr 21, 2007. 7:09 PM (ET)By MATT CRENSON

NEW YORK (AP) - Mass public shootings have become such a part of American life in recent decades that the most dramatic of them can be evoked from the nation's collective memory in a word or two: Luby's. Jonesboro. Columbine.
And now, Virginia Tech.
Since Aug. 1, 1966, when Charles Whitman climbed a 27-story tower on the University of Texas campus and started picking people off, at least 100 Americans have gone on shooting sprees.
And all through those years, the same questions have been asked: What is it about modern-day America that provokes such random violence? Is it the decline of traditional morals? The depiction of violence in entertainment? The ready availability of lethal firepower?
Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox blames guns, at least in part. He notes that seven of the eight deadliest mass public shootings have occurred in the past 25 years.
"I know that there were high-powered guns before," he said. "But this weaponry is just so much more pervasive than it was."
Australia had a spate of mass public shooting in the 1980s and '90s, culminating in 1996, when Martin Bryant opened fire at the Port Arthur Historical Site in Tasmania with an AR-15 assault rifle, killing 35 people.
Within two weeks the government had enacted strict gun control laws that included a ban on semiautomatic rifles. There has not been a mass shooting in Australia since.
Yet Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota State Department of Corrections, said the availability of guns was not a factor in his exhaustive statistical study of mass murder during the 20th century.
Duwe found that the prevalence of mass murders, defined as the killing of four or more people in a 24-hour period, tends to mirror that of homicide generally. The increase in mass killings during the 1960s was accompanied by a doubling in the overall murder rate after the relatively peaceful 1940s and '50s.
In fact, Duwe found that mass murder was just as common during the 1920s and early 1930s as it is today. The difference is that then, mass murderers tended to be failed farmers who killed their families because they could no longer provide for them, then killed themselves. Their crimes embodied the despair and hopelessness of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, the sense that they and their families would be better off in the hereafter than in the here and now.
On Dec. 29, 1929, a 56-year-old tenant farmer from Vernon, Texas, named J.H. Haggard shot his five children, aged 6 to 18, in their beds as they slept. Then he killed himself. He left a note that said only, "All died. I had ruther be ded. Look in zellar."
Despondent men still kill their families today. But public shooters like Virginia Tech's Seung-Hui Cho are different. They are angrier and tend to blame society for their failures, sometimes singling out members of particular ethnic or socio-economic groups.
"It's society's fault ... Society disgusts me," Kimveer Gill wrote in his blog the day before he shot six people to death and injured 19 in Montreal last year.
In the videos and essays he left behind, Cho ranted about privileged students and their debauched behavior.
He also mentioned the Columbine killings, referring to Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris as "martyrs." Imitation undoubtedly plays a role in mass shootings as well, said Daniel A. Cohen, a historian at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
"Certain types of crimes gain cultural resonance in certain periods," Cohen said.
So many post office employees gunned down their co-workers during the 1980s and early '90s that they spawned a neologism. To "go postal," according to the Webster's New World College Dictionary, is "to become deranged or go berserk."
The most recent postal shooting was in January 2006 when Jennifer San Marco, a former employee who had been fired a few years earlier because of her worsening mental state, walked into a letter sorting facility in Goleta, Calif., and killed six people with a handgun.
Criminologist Fox speculates that the increasing popularity of workplace killings, and public shootings generally, may be partly due to decreasing economic security and increasing inequality. America increasingly rewards its winners with a disproportionate share of wealth and adoration, while treating its losers to a heaping helping of public shame.
"We ridicule them. We vote them off the island. We laugh at them on 'American Idol,'" Fox said.
But there has also been an erosion of community in America over the past half-century, and many scholars believe it has contributed to the rise in mass shootings.
"One would think that there's some new component to alienation or isolation," said Jeffrey S. Adler, a professor of history and criminology at the University of Florida.
People used to live in closer proximity to their families and be more involved with civic and religious institutions. They were less likely to move from one part of the country to another, finding themselves strangers in an unfamiliar environment.
Even so, the small-town America of yesteryear wasn't completely immune. On March 6, 1915, businessman Monroe Phillips, who had lived in Brunswick, Ga., for 12 years, killed six people and wounded 32 before being shot dead by a local attorney. Phillips' weapon: an automatic shotgun.
Remarkably, violence in today's media seems to have little to do with mass public shootings. Only a handful of them have ever cited violent video games or movies as inspiration for their crimes. Often they are so isolated and socially awkward that they are indifferent to popular culture.
Ultimately, it is impossible to attribute the rise in mass shootings to any single cause. The crimes only account for a tiny fraction of homicides.
And a significant fraction of those who commit them, including Cho, either kill themselves or are killed by police before they can be questioned by investigators.

Impact of global warming looms on the horizon

By Glenn ShawPublished April 22, 2007

In the 1970s as a young scientist at the Geophysical Institute I wrote passionate letters complaining that for the first time in the geologic era man was changing the atmosphere of the planet. I argued that continued dumping of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would be associated with a warming of the entire Earth and pled for attention to this matter. The letters were ignored.
They were ignored because in the 1970’s Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times and countless books and articles were warning of the dangers of global cooling.
Things have changed. Global warming is now being noted, and I in the meantime have become a little skeptical about some of the claims being put forth. I’m skeptical despite the fact that “everybody knows that the science is in.” The science isn’t even close to being in.
A significantly large fraction of the science being done on global climate change is perhaps not wrong, but not enough, a little naive, repetitive and incorporating only a fraction of the complexity required to base policy on. Though we scientists don’t advertise it much, science is often muddled when it is working on difficult new problems and most especially when the problems start to become political. And the issue of global warming has become massively political. Special interests abound. Try getting funding while being a skeptic.
There are many instances in which so-called objective science became crossed up in early investigations. Science advances in paradigm shifts and by falsification. One paradigm shift was made a century ago when Arrenhius discovered that carbon dioxide was warming the earth. Another was made by Twomey twenty years ago; he discovered that pollution affects clouds and rain distribution in ways that promote cooling and though the underlying physics is valid, we know little about it and clouds are poorly parameterized in models.
Let me illustrate how viewpoints on “global climate” can suddenly shift by sharing a few personal examples. Thirty years ago there was a strong consensus when my colleague Ken Rahn and I discovered that the entire arctic’s air mass is contaminated. Up to that point “everybody knew” that the arctic air mass was the cleanest in the world, especially in winter. All the electronic computer modelers had that fact incorporated. Quite the opposite proved to be true. Now we understand that arctic haze is the largest contamination cloud on the planet, so large it could be noticed from Mars. It also has a larger impact on arctic climate than carbon dioxide.
Nor was there consensus, in fact there was a great deal of hostility, when I wrote a paper in 1979, proposing that desert dust blown into the air over the Gobi Desert crosses the Pacific Ocean and makes its way to the Hawaiian Islands. This was an unpopular idea and it made a lot of people angry. One reviewer even wrote, “this idea is obviously erroneous and I reject the paper unequivocally.”
But in spite of that, we got the paper published and now we realize that the dust not only commonly reaches Hawaii, but California and Alaska also. Additionally, this dust contains pollutants in increasing amounts as China expands its industrial activities. The dust impacts climate. None of these things are in the models. These are two examples on which virtually the whole science community had adopted wrong ideas.
There is much more in climate science that we simply do not understand. Believe it or not, nobody has any sustainable theory, other than a few clues, about the causes of the ice ages. They are resonant with some of the orbital movements of the planets, but only roughly so and other things are going on that cause and end these spectacular events. We do not know.
I wish to end this column in a way that may surprise you. In spite of my slight skepticism, global-scale impacts are indeed beginning to loom. We are perturbing Earth’s cloud cover with human-induced condensation nuclei and over exploiting. Concern about the environment is needed and is a clarion call now adopted by increasing numbers of the world’s great spiritual leaders. The interest in “global warming” might yet prove to be a good cause if its end result is promoting conservation and better stewardsmanship of this gorgeous planet.

Glenn Shaw is an atmospheric scientist specializing in global environmental feedback mechanisms. He is a professor of physics at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

If our enemies know the history of Karbala, they will never go to war against us.

An interesting comment for a title. Not mine.

And it does not have to do with the Battle of Karbala, although it is one of the most fascinating battles I have read or learned of, accounts of heroism and cruelty, of compassion and love, and faith. A very interesting man - Ali.

However, this post was not about that battle - it came in an email and while I respect the writer of the email for the logic and reason they display more often than most, I am left shaking my head when I consider the gulf which exists between us. Us personally, us as a culture, and us as religious. A gulf that grows daily almost independent of actions or thought.

This 'title' was part of an email that dealt with the 15 British military personnel held hostage in Iran.

Perhaps they are right and perhaps this writer is correct in making statements concerning the fall of western liberalism and democracy. Perhaps. There are indicators the writer is correct. Sadly.

Note: This, for some unknown reason, is the single most popular post to locate of the hundreds of posts and articles I have made available. Please, whoever - find something else to look for. I used the title line because it was the subject line in an email to me. If it meant anything seriously I wouldn't have used it. I find it very sad that anyone can believe in their faith that much and believe God will guide their righteous fist of anger because most assuredly, if He is about to guide anyones fist it would not be child killers and murderers of innocent women and children on buses and pizza parlors.


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.