Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Journal

One of the guys I work with gets a subscription to the Wall St. Journal and brings it to work and then leaves it around when he's done. (Even as this blog is mostly unread, I'm still not gonna be dumb and talk about my job, except to say that I have a lot of time to read. I've already said too much.)

Anyway, so I think the Journal is a fine newspaper and is the best source of financial news this side of London's Financial Times and all that, but their Op-Ed section just gets me steamed every time. Every freakin' time. And I can't ever leave it alone. I try and just read the world news or the business and investing, but I'm like the moth to the flame. I can't help myself. I always go right for it. And I'm always ranting away in my head as I read.

Like when Karl Rove, who's a semi-regular contributor, talks about how politicized the Obama administration is. That guy has got some titanium cojones, I'll tell you. He takes this tone of impartial concern, like he's just calling it like he sees it. No agenda here. Yeah, thanks for you're pearls of wisdom there, Karl. You're a real pal.

Lately they've been hammering what they're calling climategate. This whole slate of e-mails that got hacked from the university of East Anglia's (which, come on, this isn't exactly the center of the dang climate science universe [edited to say, actually it kinda is]) Climate Research Unit. And the e-mail's appear to be pretty damning in one sense, that scientists were trying to manipulate the data for political reasons.

The journal's boys have been arguing that the sole reason is to increase funding of the researcher's own work, and that this goes beyond just this one instance. Just to be clear here, this means there is a worldwide conspiracy (that goes way beyond the university of west bumblenard) of quite insane proportions. The entire IPCC, some 2500 scientists, made all this stuff up just to get money for research.

What I would suggest is that really these researchers may in fact be concerned about the politicizing of the data the other way. And with valid reason. Concern over climate change started back in the early 1980's, but Republicans and the the Oil boys used and still use the tobacco strategy. The science isn't in. It hasn't been proved. The link isn't there. Blah-de-blah-de-blah. And the fact that there's been some leveling trends recently that most of the models didn't predict would be some serious ammunition for the let's-continue-to-externalize-pollution-costs crowd.

Technically, there still isn't absolute proof that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. But here we're talking about the weather. One of the main applications of chaos theory is weather systems. Chaos theory. Need I say more?

And after one of their regular guys goes after this e-mail stuff, a meterologist then says basically that. That the models didn't predict it, that we don't understand the effects of clouds and water vapor, that the weird weather (the once in a hundred year shit that's now happening with regularity) is just our perception and the media's tendency to over blow things.

Here's my point. Okay, say climate change is bullshit. Pollution is still bad. If we fill up our atmosphere with carbon, it'll be like smoking cigarettes when we breathe. So, the planet'll be fine. But we'll all have lung problems and cancer and shit because we don't have clean air. Super. You've really convinced me. I'm gonna write my congressman and tell him not to support the carbon trading scheme.

Which I am, but just to say that carbon trading is nonsense and the Euro market is so full of holes their not really getting anywhere with it. A graduated carbon tax, which, yes, is a tax that consumers will have to pay, is the way to go. We've been externalizing the costs of environmental and social aspects of consumables for a long time. Sometime ya' gotta pay the piper, as my grandma says.

Scientific American recently had an article suggesting that the technology currently exists to legitimately use solar, wind, and wave power to satisfy our energy needs. It's just political will and about 50 trillion dollars (worldwide) that we need. That's a scary number, but just imagine what happens if the reinsurers in London have to stop reinsuring catastrophic insurance. If the governments had to take over reinsuring corporations.

Anway, I'd just ramble right at this moment, so I'll drop the numbers and so pretty hard core scholarship that's getting integrated well. So just now. Just not just right now. Okay then.