Global Warming Hysteria and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Reading my wife’s Glamour tonight … Yes, I read my wife’s Glamour, but I do not use it like George Costanza.

Anyway, this is the April issue, and there’s an interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a somewhat big cheese in the environmental movement for some time now. He’s asked about global warming and throws out some pretty amazing whoppers. I’ll go through them:

1. “I see no legitimate [global warming] skeptics left in the scientific community.”
– Wikipedia has quite a long list of scientists who oppose the “consensus”, and who might not realize that they’re illegitimate.

2. “In less than 15 years, the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro will be gone.”
– I’m not sure why it’s so important to preserve the snows of Kilimanjaro. Is there some endangered species that depends on these snows for its survival? Must be something cute I guess. Anyway, in a brief search I did find one source that criticizes claims about Kilimanjaro and global warming. But what do you expect from Cato libertarians, anyway? Oops, I found another one — a blog mentioning that global warming is not yet killing the Kilimanjaro glacier. Oh, but that relied on Austrian researchers, and we know they’re in league with the Nazis, right? The blog post references a BBC article that even mentions a slight increase in the ice volume on Kilimanjaro over the past year.

3. “If the Greenland Ice Sheet breaks, much of Florida’s coasts will disappear and New York City will be underwater.”
– Took me a long time to stop laughing when I read that one – for several reasons. Hmm … New York City underwater … isn’t that a benefit? Oops, sentiments of an upstater. But seriously, go to Google and do a search for – nyc elevation. Google says 33 feet (relying on Wikipedia). I checked out the IPCC report for 2007 – this is the Bible of the so-called consensus. Predicts sea level rise of somewhere between 7 inches and 23 inches. The larger number is just short of 2 feet. Well, I’m sure Google/Wikipedia is just off by more than 30 feet. Either that or Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is full of hysterical bullhonkies (hey, did I just create a new word? – Nope – I Googled it and found 109 results).

4. “[Future generations] can expect an altered world. Since so much land across the planet will be underwater, there will be massive problems with environmental refugees, which will ultimately destabilize political systems and create more opportunities for violence.”
– Well for starters, something like 70% of the planet is already underwater. And if New York City won’t be underwater … and since Miami is at 6 feet, it won’t be underwater … and San Francisco is at 52 feet … Mumbai at 10 metres (33 feet) and so on.

Aha! I found one. According to Wikipedia, the El Nouzha Airport in Alexandria, Egypt is currently 6 feet below sea level. Wait a minute … so I guess that one’s already underwater then, right? Strangely, Olympic Airlines (from Greece) appears to have flights to Alexandria on its website. I’m checking online to see if I can find a flight to El Nouzha (airport code is ALY). And it turns out EgyptAir flies into El Nouzha using a Boeing 737-500. I didn’t know Boeing made those as seaplanes.

But wait, I’m not done with RFK Jr.’s hysteria. Massive problems with environmental refugees, which will ultimately destabilize political systems and create more opportunities for violence. Wow! That’s pretty big stuff right there. But then again, there are plenty of refugees around the world already. And the southern US is flooded with refugees from the cold environment of the northern US. Have you ever noticed how many New York delis and bagel shops there are in Florida? I hear even Canadians sneak in down there.

Destabilize political systems — I thought much of the world already had destabilized political systems. More opportunities for violence too. Well, at least he’s not blaming guns this time.

The game plan of the global warming nuts is to grossly exaggerate the dangers. Scream so hysterically that anyone who hears will be frightened. Oh yeah, and you also have to offer no credible solutions.

By the way, if you review my past political history, you will notice that I am a strong believer in conservation, and particularly a big advocate for mass transit – which would help conservation and reduce use of fossil fuels AND reduce drunk driving deaths to boot.

I just don’t think we need hysterical silly reasons for such an approach. And unlike half the global warming idiots, I actually drive a fuel-efficient car – a 4-cylinder with a stick shift. One friend of mine was ranting about global warming. He drives a big car with a V8 and his wife drives a large SUV. I razzed him about it, but they’re good people so I backed off.

Ron Paul and the Times Union’s media bias

**Update: See my most recent article about Ron Paul Media Bias in the Times Union**
Just another quick note about Ron Paul and media bias. I did a quick search on the Times Union website. 47 stories mention Sam Brownback, including several recent ones. 8 stories mention Ron Paul, the latest in February, before he announced. Brownback has slightly more cash on hand than Paul, and he’s running about even with him in the polls – see Wikipedia on the 2008 Republican presidential polls. Paul also has 3 times as many MySpace friends as Brownback. And we all know how important your MySpace friends total is. :-) Paul also is doing well on Digg.com and its listings about the 2008 elections.. Last and perhaps not least, Paul has a YouTube.com channel. Brownback doesn’t even have one. Mike Huckabee is also getting more coverage than Paul, despite having less cash on hand and trailing in a variety of the above ways.

What does the Times Union have against Ron Paul? Or is it not just the Times Union? Checking out Google News, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, it does seem to be a consensus media effort to not talk about Ron Paul. Shame.

More about Ron Paul

I was responding to an e-mail discussion within my family about Ron Paul and figured most of what I wrote would make a good post about why I support him. So …

For any of us looking at any candidate, there will always be issues with which we disagree. The difference between Ron Paul and most others is that he doesn’t hide the positions he thinks others might not like. He is the real Straight Talker.

And his views actually have an intellectual root to them. Some Republicans used to believe in states’ rights. Thus, the Republican position on abortion was that the federal government should stay out of it, and let the states have their own rules. Then the Republicans got power, and they tried, and keep trying, to make federal prohibitions on abortion. I’m pretty sure Paul stands by the old position (I saw him talking about this) and votes against federal regulation of abortion – even though he personally believes abortion should be illegal.

Of course, I disagree with him myself on this issue, and believe abortion is, and should remain, a part of the constitutional right to privacy. Interesting – if you check out his interest group ratings on vote-smart.org: http://votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=BC031929
He gets widely varying ratings from NARAL and the right-to-life groups. In 2005 he actually got a 75/100 rating from NARAL, but in 2003 he got a zero.

The big thing about Ron Paul is his belief in a small federal government. For more than a decade he has been consistent on this issue, basically the lone dissenter from the Republicrat/Demolican expansion of the federal government into everything it can get its hands on.

This view – that federal government should be much smaller than it is today – is at the core of Ron Paul and his campaign. He would describe it as returning the federal government to the role it is limited to by the Constitution. And this core view is the thing about Paul that Steve [my brother] and I really believe in. We may disagree with him on an issue here, or an issue there, but this fundamental issue is something that really motivates us.

One issue that might motivate you, however, is that Ron Paul opposed the Iraq war from the beginning – unlike John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, etc. Consider, for example, his recent speech (it’s short): http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2007/cr041707.htm

And you can see his original opposition statement in December of 2001:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/paul7.html
and his further statement in 2002:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul58.html

Ron Paul has been the most consistent, and the most outspoken, opponent of this war. Compare him to any other presidential candidate, and just about any politician at a national level, and you will find him far and away the closest to the position we all share on Iraq. We opposed it from the beginning, and have consistently opposed it throughout. Ron Paul is the only one who has consistently agreed with us on this. He also opposed the Patriot Act from the beginning, by the way. And on my pet issue, he has also consistently opposed the drug war- for example: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/paul4.html

My political prediction (okay, it’s just a guess), is that Paul will focus on one or two early primary states, and probably just NH. He will not get much press coverage but he’ll get his message out. McCain, Giuliani and Romney will split the mainstream Republican vote (the people who vote Republican because they’re Republican and don’t even remember why they’re Republican), and Paul will win the rest. He might just win NH, or maybe come in #2, and then he’ll finally get national media attention. If he is able to get national media attention on his opposition to the Iraq war, and if – a big IF – he can stay focused on that issue and not allow himself to digress and talk about all the 100 ways he’s different from everyone else, he will become the leading candidate among anti-war Republicans. That would make him a contender.

An idiot reaction to the Virginia Tech shooting

From our local cable news channel: http://www.capitalnews9.com/content/politics/?SecID=285&ArID;=209949

Apparently some idiot members of the New York State Senate have come out with a brilliant plan to address security concerns after the Virginia Tech shootings. And I quote:

“Some of the improvements Democrats are pitching include public address systems for classrooms and dorms, alert systems with panic buttons on campus, emergency phones in every dorm room and lecture hall, and locking down dorms if a situation happened.”

The emphasis is mine. Someone please explain to me why we would need emergency phones now, in a society where everyone has a cell phone.

The Daily News has it a bit different:

“Panic buttons and public address systems would have to be installed in all college classrooms and dorms in New York under a proposal yesterday by a pair of state senators from Brooklyn. … Adams and fellow Democratic state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky are seeking sitdowns with top administrators … to discuss ways to beef up security after the Virginia Tech massacre.”

Well, in that one at least the emergency phones didn’t make that article. Hmm … panic buttons. Again, doesn’t everyone have a cell phone already? I can see it now:

“Oh, darn it, I can’t remember the emergency number … what is it again … 9 … 1 … um …”

And in case you’re thinking that panic buttons will give the location, all our cell phones are supposed to have this feature soon, and many phones already do.

I’d blame this on Democrats being too quick to spend our money, but we know what the Republicans did with our money so this is really a non-partisan boondoggle.

The flag at half-mast and the Virginia Tech shootings

I was dropping my daughter off at elementary school today and noticed the flag was at half-mast. At first I thought maybe Jimmy Carter had died, or Clinton ran across a jealous husband (more likely an angry father). But no, it looks like the flag was lowered for the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting.

I’m a reasonably sympathetic guy and all, but this just isn’t appropriate for putting flags at half-mast. I took a quick look around the web and found some rules that make sense – though I don’t know if they’re official. I put them at the bottom of this post.

The problem here is that we now magnify anything we can find to make it into a national tragedy. I do agree this was a tragedy. As a father of two young girls, and as someone whose brother died in his teens, I completely sympathize with the families in this incident.

But we badly need a reality check. More than 100 people die in a typical day in the US in car accidents. And that’s not just one day. That’s every day. Tobacco kills more people in an hour than died in the VT shooting.

Whether your kid dies in a shooting or they die in a car accident, your kid is still dead. Look back at Vietnam and I’d say you’ve got a national tragedy. Most of us feel the same way about Iraq and that’s still going.

As for those rules on lowering the flag:

First: Only the president of the United States or the governor of the state may order the flag to be at half-staff to honor the death of a national or state figure.

Second, I saw a bunch of situations, including lengths of time, where it’s considered appropriate:

a. Thirty days after the death of a president or former president
b. Ten days after the death of a vice president, the chief of justice or a retired chief of justice or the speaker of the house of representatives.
c.Until the burial of an associate justice of the Supreme Court, secretary of a military department, a former vice president, or the governor of a state, territory, or possession.
d.On the day of and the day after the death of a member of Congress.
e. On Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor all the people who have died while serving the United States & originally called Decoration Day, the flag is flown at half-Staff until noon, then raised to full staff until sundown.