Climate alarmists and mainstream media should read entire Muller piece

It’s been hard to be a man-made climate change believer since the Angola email leak. But adherents rejoiced Saturday when Koch-funded scientist Richard Muller wrote about his study bolstering claims of man-made catastrophic climate change in the New York Times.

While the editorial has been widely reported, many in the media need to read the whole thing. They especially need to read where he calls out climate change alarmism.

Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming. The number of hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up; likewise for intense tornadoes. Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice, and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035.

Someone should tell US News, who reported on the story, to read the whole thing and correct
their scaremongering piece published earlier this year Climate Change Could Cause Killer Hurricanes in NYC.

Then they should hit up ThinkProgress, who also reported on the story, so they can correct their Joplin disaster spurs media whirlwind on link between climate change, extreme weather, and tornadoes piece.

Perhaps USA Today can retract their piece on the decline of polar bear populations.

And finally it would be great if the Guardian would address their piece claiming the Himalayas are two seconds from melting.

Then maybe everyone can read where Muller explains that draconian regulation on American businesses won’t fix the problem as long as China continues on its path to industrialization and prosperity.

I expect the rate of warming to proceed at a steady pace, about one and a half degrees over land in the next 50 years, less if the oceans are included. But if China continues its rapid economic growth (it has averaged 10 percent per year over the last 20 years) and its vast use of coal (it typically adds one new gigawatt per month), then that same warming could take place in less than 20 years.

Each one of these stories is based on supposedly reputable climate science. I have a challenge for both the climate-change-believing community and the media: check your facts.

Scaremongering by attempting to link climate change to unrelated problems harms the credibility of climate science and climate reporting.

With an upcoming election and economic malaise occupying people’s attention, and since nearly all suggested fixes will raise energy prices and stall economic growth, there’s a huge burden of proof on proponents of man-made climate change. You can’t afford to be sloppy and lose more credibility if you want people to believe there’s a problem and actually consider your solutions.

The American mainstream has mostly stopped reporting on climate change lately, those at the helm realizing that no one cares right now. The only reason this story is making waves is because of the Koch connection. But if and when it starts up again, be professional enough to be embarrassed by your previous reporting, own up to your mistakes, and check your facts going forward.

Photo by Scott Baldwin.

Sanford Weill, NYT forever wrong on Glass-Steagall because it doesn’t matter

Here’s the New York Times’ editorial board gloating over Sanford Weill’s Glass-Steagall change of heart.

Apparently they both advocated for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act back in the 80s. But pretty much everyone did, which is required for regulation to ever get repealed.

Glass-Steagall was designed to keep banks’ commercial and investment banking separate.

The narrative of the left is that financial regulations like Glass-Steagall are written to keep investors safe from predatory banks. The truth is that vast majority of regulation in any industry is lobbied for by the major players of that industry in order to stifle or prevent competition. Look it up.

Lefties think that the right regulation could have prevented any bad event in any industry.

In this case the narrative is that if Glass-Steagall hadn’t been repealed the housing crisis wouldn’t have happened. No, really. “The 1999 repeal of the Act under President Clinton.. led to reckless lending by banks and an unprecedented housing bubble.” (source)

The dumb. It hurts.

Could Glass-Steagall have limited the severity of the downturn? The New York Times previously said probably, but not by much.

What actually caused the housing bubble and subsequent bank failures by and large had nothing to do with combining banks’ commercial and investment arms.

The government did two things in the 90s that contributed to the great bubble burst in 2008. First, it repealed Glass-Steagall, which allowed banks to combine their commercial and investment activities.

Then, it created Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie and Freddie existed to bail out banks when their home mortgage borrowers defaulted. Now if a banker can, through the power of government, enjoy all the profits from making home loans to anyone and everyone regardless of whether they’ll pay it back, then why wouldn’t he or she lend to literally anyone?

Now which do you think did more to encourage the risky loans that ultimately brought down the big banks?

Image by  Bonnetmaker.

Dawood Military Hospital photos demonstrate how blowback happens

So Buzzfeed, of all places, just broke photos from inside the Dawood Military Hospital. They are horrific.

This to me further indicates that soft foreign military interventionism does not work long term. Who, after seeing horrifying photos of their fellow countrymen literally rotting and wasting away under US care, would not want to take up arms?

If an administration is going to justify invading a sovereign nation by claiming the country’s actions pose an immediate threat to US lives the only thing that country’s military has any right to do is neutralize that immediate threat.

But if that military is not willing to do whatever it takes to fully neutralize that threat, it has to stay home. There is no justification for nation building. There is no justification for long-term occupation. And the consequences of illegitimate occupation are blowback. Because if you’re an Afghani and you see these photos of how your occupiers are treating the soldiers who fight alongside them why would you not want to take up arms to forcibly free yourself of your occupation?

Health Insurance, Chronic Illness and the State

As someone with multiple annoying, expensive, but not life threatening chronic illnesses I was interested in XOJane’s I’M NOT OK: DEALING WITH HEALTH INSURANCE WHEN YOU HAVE A CHRONIC ILLNESS.

While her illness, multiple-sclerosis, is much more dire and expensive than any of mine, I identify with her fear and pain. I know what it’s like to store up expensive medicine knowing I could may be without a way to pay for it.

She says, so eloquently:

I’m lucky and I’m grateful; I’ve always been a grateful girl. I’m so damned grateful for everything I have. I’m also furious and scared: I want something better for everyone else. I’m seeing the cracks in some of what I’m told is the best of what’s on offer: This system is not good enough.

You are damn right. This system is not anywhere near good enough.

Unfortunately, ObamaCare is even worse. It keeps intact everything that has made this system the fucked up mess that it is (tax incentives for employer-provided health insurance, illegal cross-state health insurance market, artificial shortages of medical schools) and adds in more regulations and price distortions that will make it even harder for hardworking Americans to consistently access the world’s best health care.

I don’t oppose ObamaCare because I like our system. I hate it. I am a victim of it. Even as a fully-employed, fairly healthy, young person I am a victim of our system, and my heart aches for the millions of people who are victimized much worse than I am.

I oppose it because I understand that it will victimize me, and many other people as well, worse.

Liberal Christianity should not be saved

The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat asks Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?

I’ve thought a lot about liberal Christianity. He defines it as

Flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes.

I want to focus on those secular political causes. Liberal, progressive or as I’ve heard them called “Red-letter Christians” tend to admirably focus on Jesus’ exhortations to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. But instead of actually going out and buying bread with their own money and feeding people with it, they advocate for progressive government policies aimed at helping the downtrodden.

But helping the poor through government programs is misaligned with Christ’s teachings.

Let’s be clear that using government to feed and clothe people requires first stealing money from other people. Stealing isn’t very Christlike. If there are two ways to help people, gifts freely given or a state stealing from some to give to others, which is more in line with the spirit of Christianity?

Not only is voluntarily giving and asking people to give voluntarily devoid of any ethical drawbacks or misalignment with Christ’s teachings, but it’s also much more efficient and effective than government.

So yeah, Liberal Christianity does seem to be on the downswing, and for good reason. Good riddance.

Photo by mamasuco.