Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Global Warming and Overpopulation

Reminds me of the scare tactics I read in 1970 in Paul Ehrlich's book, The Population Bomb. In the prologue to The Population Bomb he wrote, "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..."

Ehrlich also wrote, that some parts of the world might see some minor and temporary recovery, but "a minimum of ten million people, most of them children, will starve to death during each year of the 1970s. But this is a mere handful compared to the numbers that will be starving before the end of the century". I must have missed that somehow.

Believing that the United States could only support a population of 150 million, Ehrlich proposed that "luxury taxes could be placed on layettes, cribs, diapers, diaper services, [and] expensive toys..." and suggested giving "responsibility prizes" to couples who went at least five years without having children or to men who got vasectomies. He called for setting up a federal Bureau of Population and Environment to oversee reducing U.S. population growth.

Why did Ehrlich’s predictions fail to come true? Because the model he used, like almost all those who predict dire problems from population, was basically flawed. In a nutshell what Ehrlich did was take population growth for the 1960s and extrapolate it out through the 1970s, but he insisted production of resources such as food and water were at their limits -- both would likely decline, and certainly not increase.

Food production not only increased, but increased faster than population growth, so 27 years after the publication of The Population Bomb, not only are there many more people alive in the world, but they eat more than they did in the past. Water quality, which Ehrlich believed beyond repair, has also steadily improved.

Now it's global warming for the doom and gloomers. Start by reading about the 'Hockey Stick'.

Some information on CFC's.

A great book on the subject by a Distinguished Research Professor at George Mason University and Professor Emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia.

Gee, could this have anything to do with it?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Culture of Corruption-110th Congress style

From: PBS: NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript
January 18, 2006

JIM LEHRER: First, why has it taken so long for everybody to move on lobbying reform?

SEN. HARRY REID: Jim, it's taken a while for this culture of corruption the Republicans have developed to come into fore. The Republican leader in the House, four ethics convictions in one year, money laundering indictment, the Republican leader being investigated criminally and civilly, we have for the first time in 135 years, someone who works in the White House indicted. Safavian, who is in charge of government contracting, the president appointed him, hundreds of billions of dollars a year, led away in handcuffs because of sweetheart deals he had with Jack Abramoff and then you have, as has been talked about earlier in your program, the K Street Project. Think about this, the "pay and play" program. You as a lobbyist, you pay, and we Republicans will take care of you legislatively. That's why it hasn't come to the forefront. The arrogance of power, the culture of corruption has not come to the attention of the American public as it has the past several months.

Amazingly from the LA Times:

It's hard to buy undeveloped land in booming northern Arizona for $166 an acre. But now-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid effectively did just that when a longtime friend decided to sell property owned by the employee pension fund that he controlled.

In 2002, Reid (D-Nev.) paid $10,000 to a pension fund controlled by Clair Haycock, a Las Vegas lubricants distributor and his friend for 50 years. The payment gave the senator full control of a 160-acre parcel in Bullhead City that Reid and the pension fund had jointly owned. Reid's price for the equivalent of 60 acres of undeveloped desert was less than one-tenth of the value the assessor placed on it at the time.

Six months after the deal closed, Reid introduced legislation to address the plight of lubricants dealers who had their supplies disrupted by the decisions of big oil companies. It was an issue the Haycock family had brought to Reid's attention in 1994, according to a source familiar with the events.

If Reid were to sell the property for any of the various estimates of its value, his gain on the $10,000 investment could range from $50,000 to $290,000.

It is a potential violation of congressional ethics standards for a member to accept anything of value — including a real estate discount — from a person with interests before Congress.