Government, Science and Climate Change

Democrats are up in arms because:

Federal scientists have been pressured by the White House to play down global warming, advocacy groups testified Tuesday at the Democrats’ first investigative hearing since taking control of Congress.
…White House officials for years have micromanaged the government’s climate programs and has closely controlled what scientists have been allowed to tell the public.

Two quick comments:

  1. Liberals will undoubtedly fail to get the biggest lesson to be learned from these allegations, if they are true: Science should not be funded by government because with government funding comes government control.
  2. Bush supposedly authorized a conspiracy to cover up global warming. Government scientists are by their nature creatures of government and therefore liberal, so the official line is “man is causing global warming” even with a supposed conspiracy to stop that liberal wisdom and plenty of independent science to the contrary. What global warming? We’re not going to see temperatures above freezing for over a week even during the daytime. That’s just freaky for southern Missouri and we’re not alone. I think these global warming folks are off their rocker and the seldom heard from Ice Age guys are much closer to the mark.

climate change,global warming,winter,Bush,Democrats

GM: Concepts to Save the Planet

I heard an ABC News report on the current dire straits of the American car industry, which apparently are different from the dire straits the industry has been in for the last 30 years. In passing they mentioned that GM had more models getting over 30 MPG than any foreign manufacturer. (They didn’t mention whether that might be because GM has 5 divisions making essentially identical models with different names.) So, wanting to believe that a great old American company was doing great new American things, like trying to save the customer a buck at the pump, I started trying to find confirmation. Instead I found this review of GM’s electric concept car the Chevy Volt at the Dilbert Blog:

To summarize GM’s Concept:

Someday GM hopes to figure out how to make a big honkin’ car battery, and figure out how to do it economically, and hope the whole project ends up saving more energy than it consumes, or failing in that, hope no one asks how much energy it takes to build the cars…
I’m guessing that the happiest employees at GM are the ones who are working on concepts. That sounds way easier than building actual cars. I’m the sort of guy who would not last long in that department. During meetings I’d be all “Let’s say the car will fly as soon as we figure out how to build an anti-gravity pack that only costs a nickel.” Everyone would stare at me and the room would get quiet. Then I’d say, “And it should be invisible and indestructible, and use no energy.”

Again, the room would get very quiet. There might be some nervous shuffling. Then I’d say, “What’s the matter with you people? Don’t you know what a concept is???”

That would be my last day in the concept department, and in all likelihood, the beginning of my career as a cartoonist.

Yeah, or maybe a career as a blogger…

I’ll throw in two more cents worth. The big concept here is an electric car that can drive 40 miles on a charge. Really? 40 miles? This had best be a luxury car because I don’t know many folks who can afford to own a car that can’t be used on vacation, can’t be used to visit Grandma in the next county, can’t be used for a commute of more than 20 miles and isn’t good for a weekend fishing trip. I’m not totally sure, but I think the kids at Crowder College build a solar car from scratch every year that can go a lot more than 40 miles and have been doing it since the early 80s – I think I’ll be trying to buy theirs before I run out and buy a Volt.

GM,General Motors,electric car,solar car

Walking in a Winter…Wonderland? Yeah, That's It

For anyone who might be wondering where I’ve been…

Three and a half-days with no electric service (and no central heat). A day and a half with no water service followed by several days of “boil orders”. Still no internet service – I’m 30 miles from home as I write this. Six more inches of snow forecast for Saturday. The regularly scheduled programming will resume at a time and place of God’s convenience.

Partial photo set of the damage caused in my immediate vicinity by what is apparently a federally declared “disaster”, the cooking and heating without electricity and the entertainment when TV and internet disappear are here on Flickr. More photos will follow eventually in the same set, but the damaged electric lines sent a power surge past my surge protector and fried the desktop computer with the built-in card reader so I have to go dig up the older USB card reader first. (For anyone a little slow on the uptake, the comment on the photo set is my tongue-in-cheek jab at the folks who blamed Hurricane Katrina on a racist conspiracy. I have yet to see any government official from any level doing much of anything useful in this mess. Which is fine – we had food, water and a wood stove.)

ice storm,winter weather,disaster

Djiboutilicious Newsflash: Politics Could Have Political Ramifications!

“Somalia expert” Ken Menkhaus of Davidson College in North Carolina has some insightful analysis of the US airstrike on Islamic militants in Somalia – there are political ramifications! Apparently Clausewitz isn’t widely read by Somalia experts. Even more insightful – the Somali bastards may not like it:

we can expect to see a negative, potentially fiercely negative, reaction in Somalia and in Somali inhabited parts of East Africa. This will not go down well in Somalia at all

Does anyone really care whether Somalis like us bombing their terrorist friends? We didn’t particularly like it when we sent the US military to take out a warlord who was stealing food out of their babies mouths and they slaughtered those soldiers. If they don’t like it, tough – we still owe them. If they try to do anything about it, we should fire up that base in Djibouti for a few more runs.

Somalia