Archives for the month of: February, 2018

We need to stop analysing history, even yesterday, as good or bad, but rather look at it soberly, describe it honestly, establish the basics of the whys, and simply determine how to proceed and do better. Learn the lessons and avoid the mistakes. It starts in our own lives, not in activism or coercion. Get your own life in order. Make it better. Then help others as they agree.

Advertisements

~
It’s a tough world. We need to be tough.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

SPOTLIGHT: Fixated on sexism and racism, we’re lost in the fog.

BIG PICTURE: In 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson reminds us that the 20th century was “defined by the bottomless horrors of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.” We all know about the six million who perished in Nazi concentration camps. Visitors to present-day Auschwitz find the scale of the evil perpetrated there overwhelming. The rows of prisoner barracks go on and on.

But the atrocities didn’t begin or end with the Nazis. During the 1930s, four to 10 million Ukrainians starved to death in a famine deliberately orchestrated by the Soviet government. Crops were confiscated, and peasants who scavenged in the fields were shot.

During his 30-year reign of terror, Joseph Stalin established a monstrous network of slave labour camps, known as the gulag. Families were shattered, existence was reduced to shivering…

View original post 565 more words

~
My high school age son is not impressed with calls for gun controls.

The World According to a Teen Boy

Imagine you’re at your house and you’re getting ready for bed. (And pretend you’re single with no kids). You come out of the bathroom when you hear something bump downstairs. You go down to see what it is. Do you bring anything with you? Well, you don’t have a gun so you grab your heavy flashlight. You walk down the stairs to find that someone is in your house. What do you do?

a) Do you tell them to get out? They hear you and pull their gun out. If you’re lucky, they wore gloves and a mask and are fine with telling you to stay quiet as they leave. If not, they shoot you because they left behind evidence (fingerprints or you saw them) and need to get rid of you. Or they panic and shoot. ~1-in-3 chance you live.

b) Ask what they’re doing? They hear you and pull their gun out. If you’re lucky, they wore gloves and a mask and are fine with telling you to stay quiet as they leave. If not, they shoot you because they left behind evidence (fingerprints or you saw them) and need to get rid of you. Or they panic and shoot. ~1-in-3 chance you live.

c)…

View original post 532 more words

There is a disappointment and anticlimax after all beginnings. “In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His ‘free’ lovers and servants–‘sons’ is the word he uses…. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them…”

Screwtape

~
Important. Useful.

Watts Up With That?

People send me stuff. Today in my inbox, WUWT regular Michael Palmer sends this note:

My wife Shenhui Lang found and translated an interesting article from 1973 that attempts the reconstruction of a climate record for China through several millennia (see attached).  The author is long dead (he died in 1974), and “China Daily” is now the name of an English language newspaper established only in 1981. I think it would be very difficult to even locate anyone holding the rights to the original, and very unlikely for anyone to take [copyright] issue with the publication of the English translation.

The paper is interesting in that it shows a correlation between height of the Norwegian snow line and temperature in China for the last 5000 years.


A Preliminary Study on the Climatic Fluctuation during the last 5000 years in China

Zhu Kezhen

Published in China Daily, June 19th, 1973 / translated by Shenhui Lang, PhD

Chairman Mao…

View original post 4,803 more words

There is a problem with facts: There are just so many!

This page, https://www.justfacts.com/pollution.asp, is “Just Facts” pollution page.

Pollution is much less problem than most people believe. It was worth worrying about in 1970, but by the early 1980s, not so much. We are past silly now.

Did you know caffeine is toxic in high doses? You probably know that. It will take something like the caffeine in 300 cups of coffee, all at once to kill about half the adults who took so much. (In other words, coffee is quite safe.) Here is the kicker, you’d need more than 300 gallons worth (not cups) of glyphosate (ya know, Roundup) to have the same fatal effect. Yet, we worry about glyphosate use to keep us from starving to death.

Facts are important. People mostly ignore them anyway.

Here is another tidbit: Peanut butter has a very small, but definable potential to cause cancer. We all know peanut butter is safe; we eat mountains of it. Yet, PCBs are about a hundred times less dangerous than peanut butter. 😮 What? PCBs aren’t dangerous? No. PCBs are not worth worrying about at all, not at all. Still, we waste money and fear on it daily.

Honestly, EPA is the most dangerous thing in all the world, at least when it comes to pollution. The world will be a better place without EPA, and we could be rid of it tomorrow if we just had the gumption.

~
Good ol’ Okie common sense and gumption.

Watts Up With That?

Scott Pruitt EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. By Eric Vance, Photographer, United States Environmental Protection Agencyhttps://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-07/scottpruitt16x20.jpg, Public Domain, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

President Trump’s EPA Director Scott Pruitt has upset greens by suggesting that since humans have historically flourished during warm periods, global warming might be beneficial.

Pruitt suggests warming can help humans

Scott Waldman and Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporters
Published: Wednesday, February 7, 2018

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt questioned yesterday if rising global temperatures are harmful to humans, a claim that adds new insight to his alternative views on climate change.

In an interview with KSNV television in Nevada, Pruitt suggested that global warming could be seen as a good thing for people. He said civilizations tend to flourish when it’s warm.

“I think there’s assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing,” Pruitt said.

Recently, Pruitt has…

View original post 215 more words

Too long ago to try to imagine, we humans took our most important step of existence; we became human. It is mind boggling to consider all that had to fall into place to get us that far, and so far still.

Somewhere around 10,000 years ago, we turned a corner that had more to do with climate change than our accomplishment. We benefited from global warming to such extent that not every waking moment need be expended in exertion or contriving to provide for the bare necessities of life for self and family.

With only a modicum of leisure, we started accomplishing remarkable things. We built monuments. We organized. We developed society and governance. Somewhere in there, we gained consciousness and the knowledge of good and evil, we internalized our limitations, our finitude, and in inexplicable ways, God breathed into us.

Sadly, we ignored that divine infilling, rudely, knowing both good and evil, we spent more effort in selfishness and evil than most anything else.

Still, we built.

We innovated and developed.

Somehow, some, only a few, grew beyond selfish spite and malice, and we advanced, sometimes with the help of selfless individuals, sometimes without regard to them.

Tragically, the world simply was a world of haves, and have-nots. The haves had things primarily as a function of power, power and status managed by social structure and supported on the backs of slaves. The situation held for millennia through countless circumstances, cultures, and peoples, held together by what may, though usually with violence underpinning. There are very few exceptions to point out.

Violence was our way. Subjugation of the majority by the powerful was simply the way civilization grew. Prosperity meant toil and misery for most, and a life of ease for the few.

Nearly 3,000 years ago, a spark of truth ignited in more than just a few individuals. It made little difference, and grew in only the hearts of a very few here and there. Regardless, it was seeping into culture. About 2,000 years ago, history turned. Truth took hold, and individuals began to value each other as having the breath of God within, and having some potential spark of truth in all. Everyone was considered of worth, not just the nobles or powerful.

Still, little changed. Though slavery was technically abolished for a while in most of the known world, it was still a situation of the haves and the have-nots, and the have-nots were the essential, subservient support of the haves. Of course, slavery returned with a vengeance, to sufferings untold.

Not long ago, in the mid-1700s, something changed. We developed technology that would replace the slaves and allow all to be free, and this development would facilitate the possibility that all could at least aspire to join the ranks of the haves.

We call that change the industrial revolution, but really, what is was, we learned to burn fuel and harness the energy of the burning to replace the burning of food in the bodies of the subjugated.

Here is the most important fact since: Readily available energy, electrical energy now-a-days, and transportation fuels are the key to the have-nots having enough. Poverty and slavery can certainly be lain at the feet of dictatorial monsters, but for most, it is directly resultant from lack of electricity and transportation fuel.

To be clear, I am equating fossil fuels with freedom. Conversely, I’m equating opposition to fossil fuels with homicide and enslavement.

Though our technological prowess will likely keep fossil fuels dominant in our quest for freedom and prosperity for all, we are running out, and it is getting harder and more energy intensive to extract these resources. We are already seeing diminishing returns. We must develop more efficient energy systems.

We have an alternative that we must pursue immediately while grave suffering can be avoided. Nuclear fission.

Eventually, we will use nuclear fusion, but that is not in our lifetimes. We will be suffering from lack of energy before fusion can fill the gap. Fission is today, uranium, plutonium, and thorium.

We can. We will. It is not a prediction. It is unrelenting reality.

We will suffer in blood and slavery if we wait too long.

I don’t appeal to the pipe dream of renewables. Solar power simply is inadequate. Wind turbines are a grievous atrocity, causing harm in all.

Biomass burning, likewise, is harming far more than is admitted. Filth is the only word appropriate for most of it.

I cannot overemphasize how paramount is the importance of readily available energy, affordable to all and reliable.

While it is inarguable that Greco-Roman thought, and the life of Christ, changed the world to truth, one simply cannot argue that the associated culture and religion(s) are of critical importance. In less than four centuries, the Christian faith affected the lives of over half of the earth’s total population, but within a few more decades, the numbers that could be called Christian dropped to roughly one-third of all humans, and it has been between 20% and 40% for the several centuries since. The Greco-Roman culture cannot be attributed either. It mattered, but it was not essential, not the key.

Truth mattered. Truth was the key. Greece, Rome, and Christians had no monopoly. They simply managed to make it a priority of the powerful. Thus, truth prevailed, but Christian theology gave rise to what Nietzsche so astutely foresaw. We had killed God. We had forgotten our divine attribute, and we were adrift. The blood of hundreds of millions attests to it. Our suffering for it is greatly diminished, but not concluded.

So, what?

What next?

We must stay focused on truth. We must individually take responsibility and not lose sight of our connectedness. We must not overemphasize individuality and individualism. Yet, we are individuals. Our identities do not reside in any group. Each individual’s identity can never be distilled to any externally quantifiable characteristic. It is a hard thing, a hard balance.

Still, the important part for humanity is energy. We are eliminating abject poverty and slavery with energy. We must have reliable electricity and available transportation fuel. Pushing for unreliable, unpredictable sources based on wind and sunshine is no better than trusting unicorns.

We are what we are. We fall, we resort to selfishness and violence when we don’t have better options. Our better options are afforded by readily available energy. Energy is the basis of freedom and incentives that allow cooperation and respect to flourish.

Energy, and freedom. It is the only possible means of advancement. The alternative is suffering, and eventually extinction.

 

Ever notice that for the most part politicians and lawmakers do whatever the heck they want?

They pretend to speak for the people. They pretend to represent our interests, but they just play their power games and do whatever the heck they want. I know there are a few exceptions, but the portion is too small to matter. Even the ones I’m not mad at still play the games; they still just stick it to us any old way that helps them achieve their priorities, priorities that change with the political winds.

On the drive home, I heard some snippets on the radio and composed the following to my legislators. I’ll be surprised if I even get an acknowledgement.

First, I heard on the radio a Democratic congressman blaming everything on the Republicans. Can we stop the childish name calling and blame casting, please? There is plenty of blame to go round, and the problem is spending, not revenue. Focus on the problem and reducing it, not on some preferred band-aid.

I heard on the radio someone claiming “the voters” want higher taxes on oil. Well, no. No, I don’t think they do. I know I don’t.

I really don’t think anyone wants more taxes. Put a volunteer option on the tax forms, and see if anyone donates extra. (I doubt even the outspoken Democratic politicians will.)

Honestly, there are no such things as corporate taxes; there are no such things as taxes on oil. There are only costs to operations, to extraction, and to production. We voters pay for all that no matter what caused the cost. If the oil folks have more taxes, the costs simply go up, and our prices go up to cover it.

I find it disingenuous and deceitful to pretend the gross production tax is simply on the oil companies. No, it is simply on you and me, and we pay it with every tank-full and every heating bill.

I’m good with getting rid of specialty tax laws and exemptions. The leveler the field the better, but let’s be realistic about it. All state taxes come out of the pockets of every Oklahoma citizen, no matter how a given tax is assessed.

We need less spending. We need fewer state programs. We need consolidation in the things we spend on. Mostly, we need the budget reduced.

Figure it out. Do the hard work. Don’t just pass the buck on to me and the rest of Oklahoma’s tax payers and residents.

You can start by repealing the prohibitions. That will lower some budget requirements.

%d bloggers like this: