Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Sunday, 2017.11.19
Men freely believe that what they wish to desire.

		Julius Caesar

2007.06.11

Cool On Top

As in Cool Roofs:

Over 90% of the roofs in the United States are dark-colored. These low-reflectance surfaces reach temperatures of 150 to 190°F (66 to 88°C) and contribute to:

  • Increased cooling energy use and higher utility bills;
  • Higher peak electricity demand, raised electricity production costs, and a potentially overburdened power grid;
  • Reduced indoor comfort;
  • Increased air pollution due to the intensification of the “heat island effect”; and
  • Accelerated deterioration of roofing materials, increased roof maintenance costs, and high levels of roofing waste sent to landfills.


In contrast, cool roof systems with high reflectance and emittance stay up to 70°F (39°C) cooler than traditional materials during peak summer weather. Benefits of cool roofs include reduced building heat-gain and saving on summertime air conditioning expenditures. By minimizing energy use, cool roofs do more than save money – they reduce the demand for electric power and resulting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Unfortunately, there are tens of thousands of Home Owner Association fiefdoms in the way of making something like this happen. There really are many, many simple solutions to the problem, but how do you whip up a fearful frenzy about white roofs? It’s much more satisfying to smack down a Hummer driver or gloat over that shiny new Prius in the driveway.

2007.06.05

Global Warming – It’s All In Your Microchip

So……

It looks like global warming is a computer problem and not a real problem, what with all the data being based on computer models instead of, you know, actual field science. I’ve made the point before:

For all their credentials, the scientists really don’t know for sure what is happening with the climate. Those that claim to be sure, probably aren’t honest scientists.

[Edit History]

2007.06.07

Matthew Brown, with InterEnergy Solutions, emails with the suggestion to look at Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s web site. I’m finding some excellent information on the site, particularly if you like the kind of detail the news nematodes haven’t the patience or the competence to understand and report.

2007.05.26

From The Context-Is-Everything Department

Brilliant!

Global warming alarmists actually make a great deal of sense. That is, once you imagine that every time they open their mouths they’re talking not about the environment but about Islamic terrorism.

Blair’s entire column is worth the read. A similar column could be written by applying what the Surrendercrats say about Islamic terrorism to global warming.

2007.05.23

It’s Holocaust’s All The Way Down, Baby

If it didn’t happen, why are they working so hard to convince themselves it didn’t?

And on a related meta note, if they don’t fear them so much, why promulgate such contorted logic to suppress them and beat them into submission?

2007.05.22

A Glimpse Of What’s Behind The Democratic Party Mask

Hot Air has a clip of an interview with Michelle Obama on Good Morning America and excellent commentary by Bryan Preston. This exchange caught my ear:

Obama: It’s almost as if people have voted against their best personal interests because they’ve been so afraid of what could happen, ya know. The terrorists are gonna to get us.

Interviewer: Is it not a real concern, though, terrorism?

Obama: It’s an incredibly important concern, but where’s the balance, you know, is really the question. Where is the balance?

Balance. What is she talking about? When in a fight for the right to take your very next breath, a struggle for your very life, balance is not the goal to be working toward. Considering our opponents, it will never come. Yet Mrs. Obama calls for balance. Re-establish sovereignty and then show mercy if it’s the moral high road Democrats seek. This kind of pompous Chamberlain-esque speech is more than a little disturbing.

The Republicans have shown themselves to be more than a little inept when it comes to waging war against Islamic terrorists. But the face behind the Democratic mask is downright frightening. As a party, they are entirely incapable of protecting the interests of America, including it’s foundations of Freedom and Liberty.

Are Greens Helping Heat Up The Planet?

Look what happened here. The environmentalists where on the verge of ending whaling. (H/T Instapundit)

So what went wrong?

One theory, explored in the BBC World Service’s One Planet programme, is that the environmental movement pushed too hard; that its strident calls helped to alienate Japan at the very point where it was prepared to abandon whaling, and to remove a key bargaining tool from the US armoury.

Did the environmental movement harpoon its own ambitions?

I strongly suspect this attitude is poised to rain havoc on the global warming cause. But hey! Al Gore snagged himself a purty golden doll. Feelin’ the love, feelin’ the love…

2007.05.14

Distinctions That Make A Point

It began with a post by Glenn Reynolds on InstaPundit:

THE ANSWER TO THE EXAMINER’S QUESTION [“And for once wouldn’t it be refreshing to see a college president show some real backbone when faced with unreasonable demands from activist minority students seeking exclusive privileges?” – GPE] IS SIMPLE: It’s because people are afraid they’ll blow things up.

Sooner or later, you know, fundamentalist Christians are going to pick up on this lesson, engage in similar behavior, and make similar demands. Because, apparently, it works fine.

To which Bryan Preston posting at HotAir.com took exception:

But he’s wrong that “fundamentalist Christians” are going to take this as a cue to start up their own terrorism to get what they want. And he’s wrong because he starts with an error on the basics: Namely, that Christianity and Islam aren’t the same thing, don’t believe the same things and don’t teach the same things. The foundational texts of the two faiths are very different, and the differences make all the difference in the world.

Reynolds replies that Preston has, quite simply, missed the central idea, he has missed the point Reynolds was making.

Preston correctly points out the differences between Islam and Christianity. But the heart of the matter is deeper than religion. Preston seems to be ignoring fundamental human nature. I suspect Reynolds is thinking in terms of logical conclusions whereas Preston is thinking in terms of faith and ideology. That’s the distinction I see.

I have to agree with Reynolds. My take away from Reynolds’ first post was that, indeed, the fundamental Islamists are ahead of the curve in getting what they want through violence and that one way (take note, I said ONE WAY) that can turn around is if other groups begin to employ similar terror tactics. These groups need not be religious in nature. In fact, Robert Spencer has made the arguement that Islamism is as much a political and social system as it is a religious faith. Reynolds could have made his point by writing “Sooner or later, you know, the Marx Brothers are going to pick up on this lesson, engage in similar behavior, and make similar demands. Because, apparently, it works fine.”

But context is everything. The thought of the Marx Brothers turning violent is laughable. Violent Christians, not so much. Preston concedes this point:

If you want to talk about the Crusades, well, they were defensive wars against imperialist Muslims who were spreading Islam by the sword.

At what point does Preston think Christians (or other faiths, for that matter) will begin to conclude a defensive posture is the needed response to the contemporary imperialist Muslim agenda? Never? His post, aside from seeming to speak for all Christians, suggests Christians will never press to violence. I believe he is mistaken. I’ve certainly had my share if experiences with Christians who’s fervor and “passion” had me making mental note of the fastest escape route. I believe anyone is capable of violence. And I believe there is an undefined critical mass for any group of people after which they will find it quite easy to turn violent. It would perhaps be fair to say that critical mass for Christians is significantly higher than it is for Muslims, nonetheless, it no doubt exists.

An early memory of mine is a picture of Thich Quang Duc, the Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon, Vietnam, in 1963. He sought to “bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnam.” Years later, as I began my own Buddhist practice, this picture came up in conversation following a Zen sesshin I had just completed. I remarked, “I could never do that, set myself on fire.” A senior student replied quite matter-of-fact, “Sure you could. With a strong enough meditation practice, you could.” This struck me in a way that stayed with me and years later I understood. Yes, with a strong enough belief, or will or nerve or call it what you like, the most unlikely of people are capable of the most unlikely of behaviors. My understanding of how such beliefs take hold was further clarified as I worked my way up to Sandan rank in Aikido.

Most people do not understand aggression or violence. And those who don’t often give strong, scary emotions and behaviors blanket labels like “bad” and “evil” and make sanctimonious declarations that they themselves are free from such base drives. The more laughable among them become legislators and work to establish magical laws designed to rid the community of the “bad” and “evil.” They don’t know what they don’t know.

To Bryan Preston: Threatened and pushed far enough, yes, they will.

[Edit History]

2007.05.15

#1 – I made note that if other groups made use of violence to force their agenda as effectively as the fundamental Islamists, you would begin to see concessions made to those groups. Some pro-life advocates have done this as well as groups like the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front. So far, what is different is the tactical scale and that is certainly an area where the fundamental Islamists have raised the bar. What worked for the eco-terrorists in 1998, for example, barely rates as a news item these days given the carnage, gore and destruction served up by the Islamic terrorists on a global scale.

However, there is undoubtedly a tipping point at which Joe Citizen will begin to take matters into his own hands to protect his property and family. I wouldn’t expect this to be some grand declaration. Rather a quite shift.

As far as Christians are concerned, I’ve known many to have made transgressions with the aim of protecting their own interests and with the understanding their sins could be absolved in the confessional or by prayer with their minister. And the ones I’m thinking of weren’t even life threating situations. Do I fault them for this? Not necessarily (assuming their transgressions do not break any of society’s laws.) The basic instincts of human nature are poorly understood by most and the human intellect is easily overpowered by emotions such as fear and anger. It takes training and practice to keep your wits about you in a storm such as a bomb blast in a public area. This is why I think Preston overreaches in his claim that Christians won’t turn violent. I think Preston has what it takes to keep his cool under dire stress. But it is naive to presuppose his strengths are derived exclusively from a common faith and project his capabilities upon others who do not have his training and experience. I would be hesitant to deny those around me the humility to discover their weaknesses and the requisite space to grow and learn.

#2 – Grammar fixes.

2007.05.09

Backtrack Oooopsorama

I remember being impressed with Barack Obama’s speech at the DNC in 2004. But on the campaign trail, he’s become increasingly inarticulate and weak. With increasing frequency, he is leaving a foolish impression. The latest shoe store he has opened in his mouth came during a campaign speech this past Tuesday where he made reference to the recent Kansas tornadoes:

“In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in a speech to 500 people packed into a sweltering Richmond art studio for a fundraiser.

Yes, I must have missed that one. Oh wait! I didn’t. The actual death toll was 12.

After concluding his remarks, he realized his flub and activated the “spin and damage control” neuron:

“There are going to be times when I get tired,” he said. “There are going to be times when I get weary. There are going to be times when I make mistakes.”

Reading the pattern, I’m thinking there are going to be times when Barack Obama isn’t president – like from 2009 to 20013.

[Edit History]

2007.05.10

Grammar fix.

2007.05.06

Viva La France!

With over 85% voter turnout, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy won France’s presidential election by a 6% margin, defeating Socialist rival Segolene Royal. Supporters for Sarkozy “rallied round his cry to ‘liquidate the legacy of May 1968’, end the nanny state, loosen the grip of ‘political correctness’, lesson the power of unions and break the 35-hour week in the name of a nation that wanted to ‘work more to earn more'”. I truly wish President Sarkozy luck, particularly in the June legislative elections, as he works to turn France around. He’ll need it (H/T: LGF):

Mohamed Mechmache, President of AC Le Feu — an association created following the November 2005 riots, has ominously warned that that “France did not understand the message sent during the riots in October and November of 2005.”

I rather think they did. It wasn’t the “understanding” Mechmache and Islamic extremists would rather the French internalize like good little dhimmi.

The long standing policy of acquiescence to an aggressive social invasion have left the French, and many others, with a clouded understanding of how peace is maintained through power. Placating the aggression simply emboldens the aggressor. Returning from such a diminished position is much harder, but it can be done. In this, I wish the French people strength and, above all, perseverance.

2007.05.03

Digg And The Church Of Global Warming

I had been waiting/searching for the past several weeks for a good example of where the global warming hype is likely to end up given it’s current trajectory. This past Tuesday, the diggbats delivered.

If you aren’t familiar with Digg, it’s a community driven site for ranking blog posts and news items. According to Digg.com, “Digg is all about user powered content. Everything is submitted and voted on by the Digg community. Share, discover, bookmark, and promote stuff that’s important to you!” As a blogger, it is fundamentally just another way to drive traffic to your blog. If the digg community likes your post, it gets promoted on Digg.com and web surfers visit your blog.

Simple enough, but a few in the Digg community with way too much time on their hands (the diggbats) have proved to be an unruly bunch playing in a sandbox that itself doesn’t seem to have any rules. At all. Rules of fairness? No. Rules of etiquette? Nope. Full disclosure? Ha! Copyright? Ha HA! Spend some time on Little Green Footballs (search for “Digg”) and you will get a pretty clear picture of what the diggbats are capable of. On Tuesday, the diggbats revolted, repetitively posted (as in thousands of times) copyrighted material and essentially took control of the site once Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose, surrendered to the diggbat pressures and joined the revolt himself.

So how does this map to the global warming zealots? The hysteria and blind actions among a small, yet very vocal and mobile, population of the community, for starters. Their ability to determine the direction of the overall course, for another. Digg’s founder is probably a nice guy. Most of the people working to address the possible issue of global warming are nice people. But, like Rose and the diggbats, the nice people involved with the global warming cause are getting run over by the zealots. I include Al Gore among the zealots.

Gore, like a few in the digg community, is whipping up the frenzy and hype surrounding global warming such that it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a reasoned discussion about 1) the causes and 2) the solutions. In an evengelical, rapture driven environment, it is quite possible, perhaps even probable, that any solutions coming out of such a logic locked irrationality will either have no effect or actually exacerbate the problem if for no other reason than delaying the implementation of a reasonable, workable plan. Carbon credits, for example. I have more faith in the stability of Monopoly money.

Consider this quote by Meg Worby, one of Gore’s environmental evangelists, as it appeared in The Bulletin:

“All of a sudden he just fired up and he wasn’t this smooth politician anymore. His hair, which is usually slicked back, was out of place, he had sweat on his brow, and he was gesticulating wildly. You could feel the energy from the back of the room. It was the moment when I felt I had touched on something real. That was the moment I really felt convinced.”

Wow. Gore must have be expounding some deep and profound thought at the moment. Pray tell, Meg, what lofty yet deep Truth was the Goracle inconveniencing you with at that moment?

“Al Gore was taking us through step by step to show us why the slides were in the order they were and how they build the case. I was trying to keep my concentration going and someone told him that we didn’t have much time left.”

Oh. He was sorting slides. The Gorelettes attending his camps to learn how to evangelize The Message (soon to be His Message) hang on his every gesture, his every syllable. Too bad they’re not holding on to them, stringing them together and then asking themselves if they make sense. That, too, is An Inconvenient Effort.

It gets worse from there. The evangelicals within the Church of Global Warming have openly declared that denying the “truth” of global warming is on par with denying that the Holocaust occurred. In effect, this puts Godwin’s Law into play and all rational discussion ceases. There are those who are even proposing jail time and fines for “global warming deniers.” This isn’t science. It isn’t even rational.

Understanding the problem no longer seems to be relevant. And in my opinion, based on reading the science, the issue is not at all understood. Solutions cannot be proposed to problems that are not understood. You might as well be rolling dice or throwing darts while blindfold. No one seems to be asking the question of whether or not global warming is, in fact, bad in the long term. I’ve said before, the earth doesn’t give a damn so it comes down to how it effects us, the selfish little we on the planet. Sure, there are dire predictions of rising sea levels and such, but the press is ignoring the positives that are occurring naturally from this change. (Exercise for the reader: These are not hard to find, just don’t expect to do your “research” on any of the MSM sites.) What seems to be rubbing people the wrong way is that it is a change in the status quo. “Damn it, the Earth should have a thermostat that man can adjust to his needs, right? Just fix it and fix it NOW. YOU better change YOUR ways so I don’t have to change MINE.”

However, like the diggbats, the belligerently vocal minority within the Church of Global Warming have, in my estimation, taken the wheel of the issue and will drive it in a direction they couldn’t care less about as long as it is they who drive it there. We, the global community, will likely pay the price incurred by the mad few. What this issue needs is a string of three or four years of hard freeze to get it back into rational territory. Maybe then we won’t be force fed incomplete science by a politician and ecological hypocrite.

[Edit History]

2007.05.03

Another representative example of the attitude toward global warming I’m concerned about (H/T Tim Blair):

 Is Global Warming being over hyped? Probably. But the planet needs to get out of the hole it currently is in by a world dominated by the oil and coal industries! The hype is necessary to try and remove the dependency from these money hungry, egotistical, evil SOBs!

For this commenter, it isn’t about understanding and solving the potential threat of long term global warming, it’s about sticking it to the man. For this commenter, it’s about good vs. evil. Where’s the science? Global warming is evolving into a convenient credibility cow on which to paint a personal agenda.

2007.05.02

An Inconvenient Effort

[This post dovetails nicely as an example to my The Truth Never Changes post. – GPE]

After the fourth email with the subject “Fw: FW: FW: FW: No Gas On May 15th …” showed up, it was time for a blog post. Apologies to the senders, some of them are family and friends and they mean well. But thresholds are thresholds and to paraphrase Rodney King, “People, I just want to say, you know, can’t we all just get beyond the bumper stickers?”

The subject line is irritating enough. Nothing says “I’ve thought this through and it’s good stuff” like successive “FW” tags, stacked up like so many cheep slaps to the face from some cheesy interrogation scene staring James Cagney. Besides, scientists have proven that clicking on the “Forward Message” button contributes to global warming.

So here is the message:

NO GAS…On May 15Th 2007

Don’t pump gas on MAY 15Th

In April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of
gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.

On May 15Th 2007, all Internet users are to not go to a gas station in
protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most
places.

There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the Internet
network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up.

If all users did not go to the pump on the 15Th, it would take
$2,292,000,000.00 (that’s almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies
pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May
15Th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for
at least one day.

If you agree (which I cant see why you wouldn’t) resend this to all your
contact list. With it saying, ”Don’t pump gas on May 15Th”

Now let’s dissect it. And I’m so hopping, eye rolly mad, I’m not even going to use anesthesia.

In April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of
gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.

I can’t find any evidence of this. What’s the source of this data? Did the price fall 30¢ over night nation wide or just at Earl’s Corner Gas N’ Go? In fact, I can’t find where it has fallen this much over night ever. It’s a big drop and likely to have been noticed.

On May 15Th 2007, all Internet users are to not go to a gas station in
protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most
places.

The negative command is painful enough, but…my bumper sticker cerebral lobe logic tells me high prices should be a good thing as it means people will drive less, produce less greenhouse gases, reduce global warming and bring about world peace and the long promised utopia. Why the protest? Bring it on! All things connected to fuel prices be damned.

There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the Internet
network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up.

“Member”, eh? Gee, didn’t know I was part of a club. The various research data I was able to google indicated that roughly 40% of these members are children or young adults below the legal driving age. That leaves us with 43 million “members” in a position to fill ‘er up. But, how is it the average cost to fill up a tank of gas is between 30 to 50 dollars? An average would be one number because, well, it’s an average and not a range. So, using the members of the Internet of driving age figure and the average of $30 and $50 ($40) we get a total potential hit to the oil companies of $1,720,000,000. What’s more, the assumption is that this is pure profit for the oil company. There are taxes and costs incurred between the pump in the field and the pump at the gas station – R&D, labor, refining, transportation, etc. All those intervening steps are jobs for regular people with families, needs and dreams. And we all benefit from the taxes.

If all users did not go to the pump on the 15Th, it would take
$2,292,000,000.00 (that’s almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies
pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May
15Th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for
at least one day.

$2.3 billion is almost $3 billion like Danny DeVito is almost 6 feet tall. Anyway, the potential dent is $1.7 billion assuming 100% pure profit and 100% participation by all those driving Internet members. It’s a lucky election day if 50% from such a large pool of potential “customers” can be troubled to vote. The likelihood of 43 million people remembering to not do something is, in my opinion, negligible. And it is highly unlikely they will forego filling up their gas tanks ever again. They will simply fill up on May 16th. Presto! Zappo! the $1.7 billion is right back in the dreaded oil company’s pocket. Somehow, I don’t think the oil companies will mind, much less notice, they waited a day for the $1.7 billion.

If you really care to put a dent in the ol’ evil doing oil company’s revenues, you’ll need more of an effort. And that effort is likely to inconvenience you or otherwise crimp your lifestyle. For example, don’t drive on May 15th but still go to work and run a few errands. It will mean walking, using public transportation, car pooling or riding one of these (highly recommended!) But hey, don’t stop there. Start swapping out those regular incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. And while you’re at it, join the team and track the dent you’re making in the lower left panel of this blog.

I fill up my truck about once every two weeks. So I might accidentally participate in this protest if I happen to not gas up the truck on May 15th. But if I don’t participate, know that I protested for the 7 days before and will likely protest for the 7 days after May 15th. The rest of you slackers will have protested on one day whereas I will have protested on 14 days! Ha! Me feel green.

[Edit History]

2007.05.02

Added some thoughts on how to make a difference that really is a difference.

2007.05.17

Here are some numbers via George Will:

While oil companies make about 13 cents on a gallon of gasoline, the federal government makes 18.4 cents (the federal tax) and California’s various governments make 40.2 cents (the nation’s third-highest gasoline tax). [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s San Francisco collects a local sales tax of 8.5 percent — higher than the state’s average for local sales taxes.

There you have it. The biggest gouger at the pump? Government.

2007.04.29

The Truth Never Changes

Except when it does. The Truth defined by Claudius Ptolemy stood for some 1,400 years before the Truth defined by Nicolaus Copernicus ground Ptolemy’s cosmological Truth to dust. The Truth had changed. When one Truth, however, stands as long and has as deep a roots as Ptolemy’s, it can take a great deal of time to be eroded by the new Truth. Such was the case with Copernicus’ Truth. When so many of a society’s beliefs have been built upon a particular Truth, society is loath to relinquish the old Truth in favor of the new.

It is the same for personal beliefs and what each of us perceive as the “Truth.” An attorney friend of mine leverages this inertia when questioning witnesses in court. He begins with “Would you agree the Truth never changes?” The answer to this question is usually “Yes.” The one exception I know of was when this question was asked of a research MD expert witness. Science types, if they learned the idea of science at all, know the Truth changes. But the average bear believes the Truth, as they understand it, is as solid as a block of stone. My attorney friend then skillfully guides the witness into acknowledging the Truth of the case he is presenting. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

When the battle is between one who knows the Truth changes and one who believe it does not, my money is on the one who knows they are dancing on quicksand.

There are, of course, areas of human experience where the unacknowledged absurdity of immutable Truth make the experience what it is. Take this for example…

The Bean

It’s “The Bean”, as the locals call it, in Chicago. I took this picture last week while there on business. Is it art? Does it reveal a Truth to you?

Most of the visual arts are lost on me. I know what I like. Asian calligraphy and the works of David Lee and Frances Ku are particular favorites. But “The Bean” wasn’t revealing any Truths for me that day. That is, not until I looked no further than my own feet. There it was. The Truth revealed just as clearly as if it had been, well, chiseled in stone.

AT&T Plaza

It’s a commercial. (I did say most of the visual arts are lost on me. That’s probably why I play piano and cello rather than muck about with paint or clay.) But what about this…

Wacker 1

Found this after wandering East on Wacker to Lake Michigan. Again, no Truths were revealed, not even chiseled in stone. But I do know it had puppies…

Wacker 2

I shall leave the subject of Truth from Art alone and instead focus on the Truth that drives, reassures and comforts most of us. It’s the Truth of “reality.” But here again, there is an often unacknowledged contamination of subjectivity. There is the Truth of facts and the Truth derived from those facts, the interpreted Truth.

Just West of where I live can be found baked into the stone footprints from some long dead giant lizard. Virtually everyone agrees to this fact. The footprints are there. The creature, and any such creatures like it, have long since vanished from the planet. Where the Truth of these footprints becomes schizophrenic is in how the fact of those footprints are interpreted. My interpretation, and the resulting Truth I carry around, says those footprints were left there millions of years ago. Others interpret those prints has being no older than a few thousands years, what with the Earth not being older than some particular reference claims. A single Truth of fact with two associated, yet incompatible interpreted Truths.

A popular and politically correct Truth to hang your hat on these days has to do with global warming and whether or not it’s an established fact. My read is that it isn’t. Man’s experience with the weather is just too small a window from which to claim having any kind of clear view of what the global climate is doing. One hundred years ago, some scientists and much of the press was all abuzz with claims that the next ice age had begun.

I believe it is a good thing to reduce the amount of pollution we, as a species, spew into the atmosphere. I’ve believed that since high school when the high pollution alerts in Denver, compounded by the city’s infamous temperature inversions, left the air smelling like a sewer for weeks. Today, even with the population having growing significantly, the air is much cleaner. The global warming hysteria has not deepened my conviction in this regard.

So Al Gore is burning tons of jet fuel to haul is ass around the globe in order to set up circus tents and parade his “An Inconvenient Truth” dog and pony show. (Sidebar: When was it the Academy created a slide show category for it’s award?) I’m left with several questions. Who’s Truth is Gore selling? Inconvenient for whom? How can such a complex issue contain just one Truth? Frankly, I don’t think the Earth gives a damn about us. 4 billion years ago it was a sea of molten rock with no atmosphere. Life has been wiped clean from the surface and recreated anew probably more times than we know. The hysteria about global warming is a self-serving one and those on Gore’s band wagon are more interested about their own skin that saving the planet. The planet will save its self and will do so with the same indifferent cruelty and violence from which it began.

Listening to Gore and his evangelists leaves me with the creepy feeling that the solution to the “problem” of global warming is for others to solve (usually through some sort of sacrifice) so that they can continue living the life to which they have become accustom. (Man, are they going to be pissed if some killer asteroid is discovered for which they can’t buy impact offsets.) Setting the problem to rights, assuming it exists, will take something Al Gore and the eco-elites are apparently incapable of: An Inconvenient Effort.

[Edit History]

2007.05.01

Interesting article from ScienceDaily (“Earth’s Climate Is Seesawing, According To Climate Researchers“) illustrates my point about our window to the nature of Earth’s climate being rather small. For all their credentials, the scientists really don’t know for sure what is happening with the climate. Those that claim to be sure, probably aren’t honest scientists. (H/T Bryan at Hot Air)

2007.05.02

Added link to David Lee’s work at Lahaina Galleries.

2007.04.18

Mass Murder Friendly Zones

David Kopel writes in the Wall Street Journal:

The bucolic campus of Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., would seem to have little in common with the Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City. Yet both share an important characteristic, common to the site of almost every other notorious mass murder in recent years: They are “gun-free zones.”

Then let’s call them what they are: “Mass Murder Friendly Zones”

2007.04.08

Althouse’s Law

[The blue ribbon panel of scientists at the prestigious Java Zen Institute for the Proliferation of Inconsequential Science and Humanities debated long and hard on whether the effects described herein should more appropriately be labeled “Althouse’s Catch,” but in the end settled on “Althouse’s Law.” The simple reason being that law professors ought to have laws named for them. That and a threatened law suit from the Amalgamated Union of Catchers, Baggers, Trappers and Boxers. Since it couldn’t be substantiated that Althouse has caught so much as a single cold in her life, the panel elected to avoid a reckless and litigious war of definitions. Besides, catches should be named after judges. – GPE]

Althouse’s Law: A law of discussions whereby the central point of an argument is increasingly marginalized by exaggerating, accentuating or obsessing on either the example elements of the argument or trivial, yet entertaining, side bars. The most common end result when Althouse’s Law has taken effect in a discussion is that the examples initially used to illustrate the original point or the trivial side bars become themselves the central theme of the argument. The effect of Althouse’s Law is accelerated if the examples or trivial side bars include so called “hot button” references such as breasts, divas or tears.

Similar to Godwin’s Law, when a discussion is trapped by the effects of Althouse’s Law, all meaningful discourse related to the original argument is no longer possible. Left unchecked or unrecognized by those caught in the flow away from the original argument, the extreme and ultimate end of Althouse’s Law results in the unfortunate casting of the unwitting into Althouse’s Vortex1.

Althouse’s Law was named for University of Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse, who’s personal blog was instrumental in elucidating much of the underlying effects described by Althouse’s Law.

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1 Althouse’s Vortex is a theoretical blogosphere construct. There is much anecdotal evidence that Althouse’s Vortex exists, however no one has ever returned from having been caught in such a structure so very little is know about its nature. What is know is that those who claim to “get” Althouse generally end up in the Althouse Vortex. There seems to be a force at work in regards to the Althouse Vortex that is similar to determining whether or not one is a “hacker.” You’re not a hacker until someone else, preferably a recognized hacker, calls you a hacker. Likewise, you don’t “get” Althouse unless someone else, preferably someone on the “gets it” list, says you “get” Althouse. This quandary was at the heart of the debate on whether to call the effect defined in this post Althouse’s Law or Althouse’s Catch.

Evidence of having fallen into Althouse’s Vortex usually comes in the form of repeated ad hominem attacks against a particular author even though the attacker may, in fact, agree with the author.

[For the record, I don’t get Althouse. At all. – GPE]

2007.04.07

The Goracle Thinks

I hadn’t heard that Al Gore was visiting Denver. So he must be thinking about a visit.

Weather Forcast


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