What we Know About Climate Change

A new video from Peter Sinclair who outlines some of the very basic and elementary facts and proofs of man made global warming, and how they are supported.

I’ve known about man made global warming since the 1980’s, when I used to point it out as a good reason for increasing production of nuclear energy to the biomass and other alternative energy proponents in alt.sci.energy while arguing pro nuclear energy. It wasn’t a very convincing argument back then, and even while making it I thought we had a couple of centuries to get there. I would argue by saying that nuclear was inevitable because in a couple of centuries it was the only reasonable source and we would have to use it eventually anyway — why not start now? Not many bought it.

They weren’t buying it back then since at that point the left was highly populist and anti science. They would chant things like “Split wood, not Atoms!” and “The only physics I know is Ex-Lax” at university speeches when real scientists would try to point out that nuclear energy production wasn’t as dangerous as it was portrayed to be in “The China Syndrome”.  That was a loosing battle back then when I watched Amory Lovins and crew shut down Rancho Seco as a large wave of anti-science and unreason swept over the left.

Democrat Bill Proxmire was attacking NASA and other science institutions at every opportunity, new wave cults were taking over the left, and even some secular humanists whom I highly respected were falling sway to anti-science forces for politically expedient reasons around nuclear non proliferation. Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov were not as supportive of increased nuclear energy production as they could have been, and joined with the left on that due to Reagan’s missile defense program among other things. Those were depressing times.

So here we are – thirty years later. We got the worst of outcomes from the left going populist and the right giving up for fiscal reasons – it was cheaper to burn coal. Meanwhile the Nuclear proliferation Djinn was out of the bottle even back then – Pakistan and India now have nuclear weapons, as does North Korea. Iran is on fast pace to get them as well. We also use more of the dirtiest source of power, coal, than ever before.

Politically the forces of populism that created this worst of both worlds scenario have flipped topsy-turvy – the left got a new generation of pro-science rebels and in the face of reality even old guard environmentalists like Patrick Moore who founded Greenpeace, and Stewart Brand of Whole Earth Catalog fame have converted to pro nuclear energy. Some defense oriented Democrats are even beginning to see sense in missile defenses shared with our allies and have put aside knee-jerk complaining about missile defense.

On the right, religious fundamentalists now rule the Republican roost and  anti-science populism has now infested my party. So here comes my mea culpa — for political expediency and because I don’t agree with the approach of cap and trade, because I thought we had much more time, I’ve spoken out against the Anti-AGW movement.

My best attempt at convincing myself and others was back here, and as you can see from the strikeouts, and the other arguments since deflated many times, I didn’t do too great a job. You can even see me repeating denialist talking points in the comments, even though I was really trying to cut down on alarmism. Again, this was wrong.

If there were an article I could retract from my blog that would be the one. I can’t with any integrity just pull it however, I like truth best – so there it is, my guilty moment. Where I didn’t speak whole truths, where I omitted the fact that AGW is very real and measurable right now. It’s made me unhappy for a long time that I would subsume science to politics so easily, so consider this my confession and my attempt to make it right.

My stance on the  issue still hasn’t changed much mind you – I think that the answer lies in high energy environmentalism. If we are to live on a clean planet then cheap and clean energy is the only reasonable means I see to getting there. I can’t support starving people to fight AGW, but I recognize we have to do something and quickly. We can’t wait another century as I had thought — we must start now.

The Sandpit: Tilty and Shifty Without the Rented Lens

No matter what the fellow at True Slant says you have to admire The Sandpit from the sheer amount of labor and love that went into it. Just because Bill likes the scenery chewing Snowstorm as an actor better than both Night and Day doesn’t mean that Coney Island is really better. I mean some people like William Shatner more than the whole cast of Firefly because it’s just so much easier to understand where Shatner is headed no matter what the scene calls for.

I still prefer The Sandpit but would others like it better if it had an occasional close up of someone’s tatts and some sidewalks and a rainstorm?  Hard to say. Much more on how The Sandpit was made in this interview with the artist. More on Tilt shift lenses and process at Wikipedia.

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

There are a lot of synergies at work here – “A flicker and it’s gone” is sung as we see the night lit construction scene at ground zero, and for some others there are probably strange flash backs as different scenes take them back to chapters in Grand Theft Auto IV.

True Fiscal Conservatives Always Charge Their Groceries to State Party Credit Cards…

In the mounting brouhaha over Marco Rubio’s personal expenses being charged to GOP credit cards Hot air has been fast to leap to the defense; after all the darling of the CPAC convention is a true fiscal conservative in the “Duke” Randall Cunningham and J.D. Hayworth mold…

See TNR for more:

Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio charged grocery bills, car repairs and a number of other personal expenses to a GOP-issued credit card during his tenure as speaker of the state’s House, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

The take on this from Charles Crist, Rubio’s opponent here

Florida Dems call for an Independent prosecutor and corruption probe after Sansom resignation.

It appears Rubio double billed the state for some flights as well.

Rubio: It might have been my staffers…. there’s some of that personal responsibility that “True Conservatives” are always harping about…

Rubio’s barber less expensive than Edwards — the definition of fiscal conservatism

The Greater Icepaw Range

Scientists believe that the strange formations of the Icepaw range that resemble a demonic lion’s face or J.D. Hayworth talking about birth certificates were actually created by a large meteor shower. In this aerial photo you can see the formations completely. Local Legend has it that the Spirit of Kasey created them as she chased the evil Squirrell god across the plains….

/ seriously this is a retouched photo of Kasey’s pawprints in ice on my patio…

Kudos to Mark Levin and Bill Bennett

Kudos are due Mark Levin for calling out the Bircher Co-Sponsorship at CPAC, and refusing to speak there because of it. Mark and I probably don’t see eye to eye on some things (Discovery Institute issues likely) but you have to point out when someone’s doing something right.

Of course we also have to point out when Huckabee and Palin are right in the same way…

New Credit Card Rules Bound to Shock Some

New reforms on Credit Cards go into effect today – it’s a good idea to check on changes to your cards:

More here: King 5 News

That helps explain why the industry reacted so aggressively to the legislation. Among the moves it made:

— Resurrected annual fees.

Annual fees, common until about 10 years ago, have made a comeback. During the final three months of last year, 43 percent of new offers for credit cards contained annual fees, versus 25 percent in the same period a year earlier, according to Mintel International, which tracks marketing data. Several banks also added these fees to existing accounts. One example: Many Citigroup customers will start paying a $60 annual fee on April 1.

— Created new fees and raised old ones.

These include a $1 processing fee for paper statements for cards issued by stores such as Victoria’s Secret and Ann Taylor. Another example is a $19 inactivity fee Fifth Third Bank now charges customers who haven’t used their card for six months.

Other banks increased existing fees. JPMorgan Chase, for instance raised the cost of balance transfers from one card to another to 5 percent of the transfer from 3 percent.

— Raised interest rates.

The average rate offered for a new card climbed to 13.6 percent last week, from 10.7 percent during the same week a year ago — meaning cardholders had to pay almost 30 percent more in interest, according to Bankrate.com.

For millions of other accounts, variable interest rates that can rise with the market replaced fixed rates. The Fed is expected to start raising its benchmark interest rates later this year, which would likely trigger an increase on those cards.

Besides making credit more expensive, banks also made it harder to get and keep credit cards. One big reason: Since the financial meltdown, many credit card issuers have been trying to reduce risk.