Bob Clarebrough has some useful thoughts on the risk of space flight, for NASA and private enterprise, over at The Space Review. This is a very important topic, and one that I want to write a long post on, when I get unburied from current activities.
“You should be steamed.” Some thoughts from the former head of the Hurricane Center:
What do the skeptics believe? First, they concur with the believers that the Earth has been warming since the end of a Little Ice Age around 1850. The cause of this warming is the question. Believers think the warming is man-made, while the skeptics believe the warming is natural and contributions from man are minimal and certainly not potentially catastrophic Ã la Al Gore.
Second, skeptics argue that CO2 is not a pollutant but vital for plant life. Numerous field experiments have confirmed that higher levels of CO2 are positive for agricultural productivity. Furthermore, carbon dioxide is a very minor greenhouse gas. More than 90 percent of the warming from greenhouse gases is caused by water vapor. If you are going to change the temperature of the globe, it must involve water vapor.
Third, and most important, skeptics believe that climate models are grossly overpredicting future warming from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide. We are being told that numerical models that cannot make accurate 5- to 10-day forecasts can be simplified and run forward for 100 years with results so reliable you can impose an economic disaster on the U.S. and the world.
I always find the religious language amusing. The “believers” seem to take it on faith, because the high priests of Science have ordained, it, while the “skeptics” act like actual scientists.
[Monday evening update]
A call for Climaquiddick whistleblowers. I hope they get a lot. I think that the bastions have been captured.
…the space entrepreneur. Looks like Dave Masten made the cover.
It’s certainly more inspiring than anything that NASA is doing, at least in terms of manned spaceflight.
…and he knows it:
Republicans smell blood. There is a pattern in the Obama administration of dismissing Islamist terrorist attacks as regrettable random acts. In his radio address after Major Nidal Hassan’s slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas, Obama made no mention of terrorism or militant Islam, instead blandly promising that the “ongoing investigation into this terrible tragedy” would “look at the motives of the alleged gunman”.
Hassan was a committed Islamist who had corresponded with the fanatical Yemeni imam Anwar al-Awlaki. In June, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert being watched by the FBI and who had previously travelled to Yemen, murdered a US Army recruit in Arkansas. That rated only a tepid statement by Obama about a “senseless act of violence”.
But the violence wasn’t senseless, it had a calculated objective – just as Abdulmutallab was not, as Obama described him, an “isolated extremist”. No wonder many Americans want to grab Obama by the lapels and scream: “It’s the Jihad, stupid.” Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, clearly struck a nerve when he charged last week that Obama was “trying to pretend we are not at war”.
The White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer eagerly descended into the political fray, responding to Cheney with the obligatory jibe about Iraq and also a litany of examples of Obama’s “public statements that explicitly state we are at war”.
It’s a sure sign that you’re losing the argument when you have to research quotes from your boss’s speeches to prove that he gets it that America is at war. The problem for Obama is that people are now judging him by his actions as well as his words.
There were plenty of actions to judge him by before the election, but the media downplayed them.
The administration is no longer spouting the nonsense that Flameypants was a lone wolf. The president made a speech today admitting that it was part of an Al Qaeda plot hatched in Yemen. But he continues to promulgate the nonsense that this kind of thing is caused by poverty. Andy McCarthy attempts (once again, and probably in futility) to straighten him out:
As Dan recounts, the president also asserted: “We know that [Abdulmutallab] travelled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies.” A few things about that. First, to the extent Obama is suggesting that the terrorism is caused by the crushing poverty, it is worth remembering that Abdul Mutallab — like many jihadist terrorists, bin Laden himself included — is a person of means. The principal challenge in Yemen, like everyplace else, is Islamist ideology, not poverty. Perhaps the president could stop worrying so much about poverty and rethink things like cozying up to the Muslim Brotherhood (and its tentacles in the U.S., like the Islamic Society of North America) and bowing to Brotherhood’s banker, Saudi King Abdullah. Just a thought.
And on the continuing nuttiness of treating this as a criminal matter, rather than an act of war:
The Mutallab case is an unnecessary, insignificant distraction from the real business of protecting the United States. And it is all so unnecessary. It will be forever until we can have a trial of Mutallab, anyway: From here on out, everytime something happens in Yemen, Mutallab’s lawyers will try to use it to their litigation advantage, repeating that the president has so tied Mutallab to terrorism in Yemen that there is no prospect of a fair trial. So why not transfer him to military custody as an enemy combatant, detain and interrogate him for as long as it is useful to do so, and then, in a year or three, either charge him with war crimes in a military tribunal or, if you insist, indict him the criminal justice system? There is no reason to have a criminal case pending right now — it will only tie the president’s hands and be grist for judicial criticism of Obama while he has a war to fight.
I think he continues to look for excuses not to fight the war, and to pretend that this isn’t part of it.
…thanks to ITAR. Fixing this is something that the Congress and administration could do that would be really useful for space.
For Masten. I’ll bet that Armadillo has a lot of exciting things happening this year as well. Stay tuned.
Could health care deform be the issue that causes a political earthquake? My thoughts, over at PJM.
…from Frank J.:
While continuing to trust science, let’s make sure the scientists we’re getting it from aren’t douche nozzles.
I like science — we all like science — but if we’re going to throw a huge wrench into our economy, let’s make sure it’s not on the advice of scientists who treat data like a used-car salesman treats an old Chevy.
Next time we pick a leader, let’s make sure he has more qualifications than a bunch of empty slogans of the sort you’d use to sell carbonated beverages.
Yeah, we won’t get a chance in the next year, but let’s try and do that at least once this next decade. It’s hard, but we can do it. Yes we can.
If we have another economic crisis, let’s not hand a blank checkbook to a bunch of Democrats.
Politicians love spending money — Democrats especially. If we had a problem of having way too much money and needed to get rid of it quickly, you’d be a fool to elect anyone other than Democrats. But if the problem is that we’re running out of money, it may be a bad idea to put Democrats in charge, because their solution to having too little money will inevitably be to spend more money.
He has more.
The Obama option, or the Cheney option?
According to Rasmussen, 58 percent of those polls want Umar Abdulmutallab, also known as the “Panty Bomber”, to be shipped off to Gitmo and have aggressive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, be done to him in order to ascertain what Rasmussen: Most Want Umar Abdulmutallab Waterboarded he knows about terrorist operations. Only 30 percent oppose.
Sounds like a useful campaign issue this fall…
Of course, the real issue is not the interrogation techniques, even if some commenters here want to divert it to that. It’s whether or not he should be interrogated at all. The administration has effectively preempted that by granting him Miranda rights. That will be the campaign issue.