Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let's Have an Honest Anthropogenic Global Warming Debate

The debate on anthropogenic global warming is quite a bit cloudier, thanks to the release of the CRU emails. In the emails, we see 'scientists' discussing ways to help push a political agenda. They do this through using doctored and inaccurate data and intimidation tactics against journals to remove a "troublesome editor." What happened to real science, where scientists reported on facts?

Real science seems to be subverted by something known as 'Post-normal science.' This post-modern approach states science must "re-invent itself as a political tool." The idea espoused by this post-normal science group is, surprise, that the data must be made to fit a specific narrative.

One of the major narrative we're all familiar with is Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). This "Man Made Global Disaster" idea is based on questionable science, science that drops information that doesn't fit their story. In fact, the whole AGW thing is more akin to a religion or political stance instead of real science.

If you want to have a real discussion about global warming, then show us your data and let's discuss why there are two climate events (Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age) are not included in your hockey stick model.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Awesome Visual Aid

Ramirez has a great way of boiling down an issue and presenting it in a manner that makes the issue easily understood. Case in Point:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thoughts on Obama's Recent Speech

Overall, I'm not too impressed with President Obama's speech (full text courtesy of the LA Times). The main issue I have is how his troop announcement came with a timeline. Very bad. Read the notes below.

  1. Paragraphs 5-6 – I’m glad he mentions the international and bipartisan nature of the beginning of the conflict. The US didn’t just ‘go rogue’ in Afghanistan.
  2. Paragraph 8 – Blame Bush comes in. Notice there is no defining the largely bi-partisan vote that went into this decision.
  3. Paragraph 10 (end) – If the efforts have been hampered by “insufficient Security Forces,” then why has it taken so long for Pres. Obama to make the decision to send more? He had information on what was needed before he even officially took office (note the highlighted text in the domestic speech, and see the international press confirmation) .
  4. Paragraphs 21-28 – This actually sounds fairly presidential. President Obama states the case that most ‘right minded’ Americans know. I like the reference to extremists apprehended ‘within our borders.’ Everyone knows the danger to the US, and Democracy, will “only grow if the region slides backwards.” And Obama acknowledges this is a global threat, one that needs more participation from our allies.
  5. Paragraph 33 - You’re giving a timeline for withdrawal already? Really? If you’re going to “tak[e] into account conditions on the ground,” then shouldn’t you leave it at that? What if everything is not copacetic by your deadline? Or, being the intelligent folks they are, what if the enemy simply decides to disappear until after the deadline? And just 2 years? Are you kidding me? That’s not nearly enough time to get the job done. This is troublesome. Of course, the date is no coincidence. July 2011 is basically campaigning season for Presidential candidates. It’s far enough away from the election day to claim “Leaving Afghanistan” as a political victory, while close enough to election day to help ensure security won’t totally go to sh!t before the (possible) reelection for candidate Obama.
  6. Paragraphs 40-43 – I agree with President Obama’s stance on Pakistan. I think we need to have closer ties to the nation if we are to have lasting influence in the region. Concentrating solely on Afghanistan would not solve the problem.
  7. Paragraphs 46-46 – I’m glad Obama puts to rest the whole “Afghanistan is Vietnam” mantra. It couldn’t be further from the truth. His main point, ‘they attacked us first,’ is germane to the whole reason we’re there.
  8. Paragraph 49-55 – So, President Obama wants to include a timeframe to establish a “reasonable cost” so we don’t go beyond “our means?” Why not simply define the objectives and leave when they’re done, instead of informing the enemy you plan to pull out? And does he think we can’t rebuild the economy without cutting costs in the War on Terrorism? He’s sadly mistaken about what will actually help the economy. If limiting the National Debt and building our economy were really more than mouthed words to him, he would work to reassure businesses here at home that his policies won’t put them in the poor house. So far, he hasn’t been a big supporter of free enterprise (Note the sub-heading “Creditors Take Hit”) and contract law.
  9. Paragraph 56 – If the “struggle against violent extremism” won’t be finished quickly, why the heck is he going to cut and run in Afghanistan after only 2 years?
  10. Paragraph 57 – Confront extremists with “pressure and strong partnerships?” Yeah, because that’s worked so well in Iran.