Over the weekend 2 more people have entered the 2008 Presidential contest. They are Michael Charles Smith (R) from Oregon and Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee (R).
For those that are keeping count that means that there are now 9 Democrats running and 12 Republicans!
My hope is that by December of this year we will be down to 4 and 4, I think that is a much more reasonable field for the American public to digest.
I would predict that the Democratic top 4 will be: Clinton, Edwards, Richardson, and Vilsack.
The Republicans will be: Brownback, Giuliani, Huckabee, and Romney.
These are not necessarily the candidates I’d like to see, but the ones I think will be the front runners.
State Representative Jim Ott, former meteorologist at WTMJ Channel 4 and WTMJ radio for 20 years, weighs in on the global warming debate.
Here is the press release: Some thoughts on global warming
Here is the text:
Some thoughts on global warming…
WHAT WE KNOW:
1) Since 1958 background levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have been monitored at a site in the Hawaiian Islands. The data show a slow but steady increase of atmospheric CO2 levels. Many scientists attribute this to human use of fossil fuels, and feel that if we had data father back, say through the 19th century, the data would show levels began to increase during the industrial revolution. What is often overlooked is that there are also significant natural sources of CO2, including forest fires and volcanoes.
2) CO2 is one of the so called “green house” gases, which means it is effective at trapping energy that the earth emits back to space. Theoretically, with rising levels of CO2 more of this energy should be trapped, and the atmosphere should be getting warmer.
3) For the last 20-25 years or so we have had some pretty warm years. On a world wide basis some of this is determined by satellite data, which has only been available since the mid 1980s. So it is somewhat difficult to know the entire significance of this data, since we are comparing it with average temperature data for earlier years and with things like ice cores and pollen data for times before the invention of the thermometer. I would also note that 20-25 years is too short of a time to say that a climate change is taking place. Never the less, many scientist feel that this warmer than average weather and some of the associated affects like the shrinkage of some mountain glaciers is due to the increased levels of CO2 due to human use of fossil fuels.
THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS ASSUMPTION:
Even if we are witnessing the beginning of a long term climate change in progress (and I think it is too soon to say that we are), there are numerous other causative factors that could be involved. We know this because the earth’s climate has gone through major changes long before humans could have been a factor. To assume that the last 20-25 years of warm weather are due to human activity would be similar to having an effect that could be caused by any of ten different factors, and just assuming that one factor was responsible, and ignoring all others. Part of the reason this attitude is prevalent in the area of climate change is that the other factors are not very well understood, so it’s convenient to latch onto one that, at least in theory, is understood.
The mainstream media has played an important role in fostering the idea that global warming is happening, and that it’s due to human activity and that it will get worse. That’s because much of the nation’s media, like the TV networks, are based on the east coast. Whenever there is an unusually warm weather event there, it is a story to them, and they bring in some climatologist or other researcher who believes that global warming is caused by human activity. When the weather on the east coast is cooler than normal, we do not see reports stating that maybe global warming isn’t happening.
Imagine an observer who was present in North America 10,000 years ago as the most recent continental ice sheet was melting. He would have observed the same thing we have observed for the last 20-25 years, but on a much grander scale: a warming climate that spanned hundreds, and probably thousands of years, and the associated melting of the ice.
All of this was happening without the impact of human activity. In fact, the geologic record indicates that there have been four episodes of continental glaciation in the last million years, and each time the climate cooled enough to form the glacier, and then warmed enough to melt the glacier, without any help from man. Back it the 60’s it was fashionable to assume that human civilization has actually developed in an “interglacial” period, and that someday another continental ice sheet will develop. I believe there are some scientists who still hold this view, but you will probably not hear from them on mainstream media outlets.
But even on shorter time scales we have witnessed some major fluctuations in weather patterns. I wouldn’t refer to these as climate changes, because they are of too short a duration. For example, the 1930s (dust bowl era) were warm years. The 1960s were much cooler. The 1990s were warm years. Why did the 1960s cool off at a time when atmospheric CO2 levels were increasing? Why some were our most brutal winters on record in the Midwest in the late 1970s and early 1980s? No one can answer those questions, but it does make one wonder how we can just assume that the warm 1990s and 2000s were caused by human use of fossil fuels, and no other factors were involved.
THE PROBLEM WITH ACTING ON THE ASSUMPTION OF HUMAN CAUSATION OFGLOBAL WARMING:
If we make (and perhaps act upon) predictions that are based on incorrect assumptions, the predictions may turn out to be wrong. For example, after the devastating hurricane season of 2005 a number of hurricane forecasters assumed that global warming was responsible, and that more of the same was on the way. The mainstream media ate this up, and Gulf and east coast residents braced for the worst in 2006. Of course the 2006 hurricane season was exceptionally quiet, with no major storms affecting the United States.
Why? Could it be that the 2005 season was a normal but perhaps extreme fluctuation of hurricane numbers that has been going on for a long time, the causes of which may be found somewhere in global ocean temperatures or in other poorly understood climate feedback mechanisms? What if as a nation we make decisions on food and energy production that are based on a prediction that we will see a continued warming of the climate in the next 50 to 100 years? And what if it turns out that some of the ignored causative factors in climate change become dominant and we have cooler (or wetter, or drier, or more variable, etc.) than expected weather? In fact some of the overdevelopment of low elevation coastal areas (i.e. the coast of Florida, New Orleans, etc.) has taken place during a time of relatively quiet hurricane seasons. After a few decades without a storm like Hurricane Camille in 1969 it is easy to forget that we can’t assume anything about the weather, and that the coastal areas are affected by hurricanes.
Basically, many of the things we should be doing as a nation are the same whether or not human induced global warming is occurring. For example, it is always good to cut down on air pollution whenever possible. We should continue the search for new forms of energy and not waste what we have since fossil fuels are a finite resource that someday will be used up. We should continue to look for ways to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, even if it means using some of our own resources in environmentally sensitive areas. I believe this can be done in a safe and clean way. We should recycle whenever possible, especially if it can be done in an economically advantages way. And of great importance is the need for continued research in the area of climate change and climate influences. It is only in the last 25 years that we have come to understand the El Niño effect, and there certainly is much more we need to learn about how and why the climate changes. Right now, in spite of some of the definitive statements being issued by the scientific community, and the willingness of the mainstream media to take every warm weather event as proof of global warming, we really don’t know for sure whether or not human activity is significantly affecting the climate, or even if the warm weather is going to continue.
WHAT WE SHOULD NOT DO:
The United States was roundly criticized, both here and abroad, for not signing onto the Kyoto Protocol. This was a treaty that would have required us as a nation to cut down on our CO2 emissions by a certain percentage, while allowing some other nations much more lenient restrictions or none at all. I feel it would have been a major mistake for our country to sign onto such a treaty, and I hope that we will avoid such treaties in the future. Those who are doing the criticizing never bothered to ask exactly what reducing our CO2 emissions by a large percentage would actually mean in terms of lifestyle changes, cost, etc. It’s one thing to say we will decrease our CO2 emissions, but it’s another to say we will only be allowed to drive certain kinds of cars, industry will have to cut production by a certain amount, the cost of gasoline is going to increase by a certain amount, and so on. There are the kinds of issues that should be put before the public; a simple percentage on CO2 reduction tells us nothing.
On this backdrop we must also consider the following:
1) We don’t know if the required percentage reductions were achievable, no matter what steps we would have taken as a nation.
2) We don’t know for sure whether or not human activity is responsible for the last 20-25 years of warm weather.
3) We don’t know for sure whether or not the climate will continue to warm in the future, even if human civilization is having an impact.
4) Therefore we don’t know that even if we were to achieve the required reductions in CO2 emission (at a great cost) that there would be the desired results on the climate.
In summary, there’s a lot we still must learn about climates and climate change, and I feel that continued research in these areas is very important. Making assumptions and predictions without a better understanding than we have now may lead to some incorrect predictions, and therefore improper actions. Assuming that whatever seems to be happening at the present time will continue to happen is a common reaction. After the brutal winters of the early 80s many people assumed we were in for more of the same in subsequent winters. It didn’t happen. Assuming that the climate will continue to warm now and that it’s due to human activity is just that: an assumption. We don’t have all the information we need, and we certainly don’t have all the answers.
State Representative Jim Ott
23rd Assembly District
Should this really be reported to the general public and should any journalist in his/her right mind think this is really newsworthy enough to publish this on the internet? Does this not open us up to the potential of attack?
Plants need not defend against air raids
By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded Monday that nuclear power plant operators do not have to defend against terrorists crashing an airliner into a reactor.
The agency, in approving a revised defense plan for power plants, said operators should instead focus on limiting radioactive release from an airborne terrorist attack.
Watch for them in Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks real soon!!!!
Another Thursday means another country.
Last week I gave a small hint (“give you a run”) that should have lead you to Kenya since this country has been synonymous with world class runners for the last 2 decades.
I’m sorry but I couldn’t think of a hint for this week’s country so you will be on your own. I would give this one an 6 out of 10 rating.
I just finished reading Doyle’s Press release in which he wants to raise taxes on cigarettes and then ban the smoking in all, repeat ALL, public places.
Now many people will be talking about how Doyle is just trying to raise taxes to fix the budget mess he is in and the rest will be talking about how unjust it is to tell business owners that they can’t allow a legal activity to take place in their establishment but I think the story is more about payback.
What Doyle is calling for is a ban on smoking in all public locations including all restaurants and taverns. Think about that for a moment there will be no place where a person could go to have a drink and a smoke…or is there?
What I find interesting is that the ban can not be imposed on Indian Casinos…so the ban will drive business to the casinos where people will not only be able to buy their cigarettes cheaply but will be able to smoke them there as well.
Can you say quid pro quo? The Indians spent a lot of money to get Doyle elected and here he is throwing them a bone. This ban is a bad idea!
Okay I just don’t get it now!
How is it possible that gas prices went up 20 cents in 24 hours?
The price of oil was taking a pounding for 2 weeks and the price of gas slowly made its way down to $2 per gallon and we were told that the reason prices fell slower than oil was due to the inventory that the stations had on hand…flash forward to tomorrow when we will be told that the reason prices jumped so much so quickly was due to the expectant delivery of gas.
So which is it? Is the price of gas determined by: a) the cost of the fuel in inventory? b) the cost of the fuel in the next shipment?
Does anyone out there read “opposition books?”
For instance, as you can tell by my user name I consider myself a Republican I regularly read books by Carville, Franken, Chomsky, and others…Do the rest of you do this?
What books would you recommend for a conservative that would like to get into the mind of a liberal?
From this group come a number of reports each month related to taxes! The most recent report reveals which Congressional Districts, Counties, and Major City Area (MCA) pays the highest in Federal Income Taxes (link here).
An analysis of this data for the counties reveals that WI pays more in Federal Income Taxes than any of our neighboring states:
AP Photo/Albert Seghers
A number of potential Presidential Candidates threw their hats into the ring this weekend…it is getting to the point where we need a score card to keep track!
Well here is a scorecard just for you!
US Senator Christopher Dodd (CT)
Former Senator John Edwards (NC)
Former Senator Mike Gravel (AK)
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH)
Former Governor Tom Vilsack (IA)
Senator Joe Biden (PA)
Senator Hillary Clinton (NY)
Senator Barack Obama (IL)
Governor Bill Richardson (NM)
Senator Sam Brownback (KS)
Former Governor Jim Gilmore (VA)
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (NY)
Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA)
Senator John McCain (AZ)
Congressman Ron Paul (TX)
Former Governor Mitt Romney (MA)
Congressman Tom Tancredo (CO)
Former Governor Tommy Thompson (WI)
Pelosi seeks panel to deal with global warming
Reprinted from the Wall Street Journal
Will Al Gore Melt?
If not, why did he chicken out on an interview?
BY FLEMMING ROSE AND BJORN LOMBORG
Sunday, January 21, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST
Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Last week he was in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.
The interview had been scheduled for months. The day before the interview Mr. Gore's agent thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?
One can only speculate. But if we are to follow Mr. Gore's suggestions of radically changing our way of life, the costs are not trivial. If we slowly change our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming century, the U.N. actually estimates that we will live in a warmer but immensely richer world. However, the U.N. Climate Panel suggests that if we follow Al Gore's path down toward an environmentally obsessed society, it will have big consequences for the world, not least its poor. In the year 2100, Mr. Gore will have left the average person 30% poorer, and thus less able to handle many of the problems we will face, climate change or no climate change.
Clearly we need to ask hard questions. Is Mr. Gore's world a worthwhile sacrifice? But it seems that critical questions are out of the question. It would have been great to ask him why he only talks about a sea-level rise of 20 feet. In his movie he shows scary sequences of 20-feet flooding Florida, San Francisco, New York, Holland, Calcutta, Beijing and Shanghai. But were realistic levels not dramatic enough? The U.N. climate panel expects only a foot of sea-level rise over this century. Moreover, sea levels actually climbed that much over the past 150 years. Does Mr. Gore find it balanced to exaggerate the best scientific knowledge available by a factor of 20?
Mr. Gore says that global warming will increase malaria and highlights Nairobi as his key case. According to him, Nairobi was founded right where it was too cold for malaria to occur. However, with global warming advancing, he tells us that malaria is now appearing in the city. Yet this is quite contrary to the World Health Organization's finding. Today Nairobi is considered free of malaria, but in the 1920s and '30s, when temperatures were lower than today, malaria epidemics occurred regularly. Mr. Gore's is a convenient story, but isn't it against the facts?
He considers Antarctica the canary in the mine, but again doesn't tell the full story. He presents pictures from the 2% of Antarctica that is dramatically warming and ignores the 98% that has largely cooled over the past 35 years. The U.N. panel estimates that Antarctica will actually increase its snow mass this century. Similarly, Mr. Gore points to shrinking sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere, but don't mention that sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere is increasing. Shouldn't we hear those facts? Mr. Gore talks about how the higher temperatures of global warming kill people. He specifically mentions how the European heat wave of 2003 killed 35,000. But he entirely leaves out how global warming also means less cold and saves lives. Moreover, the avoided cold deaths far outweigh the number of heat deaths. For the U.K. it is estimated that 2,000 more will die from global warming. But at the same time 20,000 fewer will die of cold. Why does Mr. Gore tell only one side of the story?
Al Gore is on a mission. If he has his way, we could end up choosing a future, based on dubious claims, that could cost us, according to a U.N. estimate, $553 trillion over this century. Getting answers to hard questions is not an unreasonable expectation before we take his project seriously. It is crucial that we make the right decisions posed by the challenge of global warming. These are best achieved through open debate, and we invite him to take the time to answer our questions: We are ready to interview you any time, Mr. Gore--and anywhere.
Mr. Rose is culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, in Copenhagen. Mr. Lomborg is a professor at the Copenhagen Business School.
I gave you a real easy one last week so I’m not going to even tell you what it was!
This week I’ll give you a run for your money…I’d give it a 8 out of 10 for difficulty.
AP headline: House passes Medicare drug bill
The best part of the whole story is…
“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the legislation was unlikely to result in savings to taxpayers.” (emphasis added)
The President has stated that if this bill reaches his desk he will veto it. The democratic response is:
"The president and his Republican allies have argued that this bill would do nothing. Then why, I must ask, would he bother to veto it?" said Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Let me answer that Mr. Dingell…because legislation for legislations sake is not doing the work of the people. It really is you being selfish and trying to get more press time than you otherwise deserve.
Here are two photos from the AP both photos were taken on Thursday January 11, 2007 at a march on city hall in New Orleans. The citizens are outraged at the current growing trend of violence that has struck their city and are demanding that things change.
This photo seems appropriate…I wonder where it was after Katrina?
(AP Photo/Bill Haber)
But this photo seems odd…especially for this type of rally.
(AP Photo/Judi Botooni)
Do you see it? May be this will help.
I find it funny that one person whats the help from the federal government and the other wants them out!
Last weeks country was a toughie…I know that a few of you looked it up and I’m glad to say that no one spilled the beans…the country was Paraguay!
This week’s country is so easy I am actually a little embarrassed to post it.
It is a 1 out of 10.
I hope that you will be able to post your answer without looking it up!
They asked why I did not support the KRM and without even listening to my reasoning they began to express what a boon this will be to Caledonia.
The response I got was “you need to be a strong leader and support KRM for Caledonia.”
One gentleman decided to point out that the “METRA only costs $5 on the weekend!”
I reminded him that "it costs a lot more than that when you factor in all you are paying in local, state, and federal taxes for it.”
His response was “you are about to get in your car and go out on that slab of concrete…how much does that cost?” and then he briskly walked away.
What he didn’t want to hear is my response that when over 85% of people use “that slab of concrete” then it is worth the expense.
KRM, using better numbers than what they are predicting, will only have approximately 2,700 riders a day. This is through an area that has a population of 854,000 (as of the last census) that means only .3% of the population of the communities that the train goes through will use this train.
Here is the Press Release – Click Here
A BIG "Thank You!" to JELD-WEN Windows & Doors for this great prize!
Rep. Pridemore (R – Hartford) is proposing to limit how long elected State officials can serve by introducing a state constitutional amendment. (link to press release)
While I agree with Rep. Pridemore when he says “people considering an elective office should do so as a public service and not as a lifelong career choice” what harm is there in a legislator serving 16-20 years?
Now for a Governor, just like a president, I can see that there may need to be something in place to prevent an appearance of a monarchy but at this point all State Offices currently have term limits: Reps serve for 2 years, Senators for 4, Governor for 4, etc. They have to go before the voters every so many years and ask for their job back.
Why do we need to have an arbitrary number of years placed on a State Office when this person must face the electorate every few years?
I hope everyone had a Happy Holiday!
Two weeks ago I posted a country that I thought you guys would knock out of the park…I guess I was wrong. The country was Saudi Arabia!
This weeks country is VERY hard…10 out of 10. Good Luck!
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