That global-warming treaty Al Gore just got us into? It’s going to have a very ugly economic ripple effect. Here are data regarding the projected negative impact of Kyoto on the United States economy, broken down on a state-by-state basis. I clicked on my home state of New York, and promptly got the bad news: 110,000 jobs lost, 18,000 of them in manufacturing; wages down 1.5% to 3.2% (again, manufacturing jobs hit hardest); home heating oil costs up 53%, residential electric rates up 37.7%, and real income down by $342 for every person in the state. Gosh, thanks, Al! You shouldn’t have!
And I wish those were the only problems with the Kyoto treaty. Unfortunately, it gets worse. The United States military requires energy to function properly. According to H. Sterling Burnett’s essay in the October 15 Investor’s Business Daily, the Pentagon has estimated that a 10% cut in its fuel use to reduce carbon dioxide emissions would reduce tank training by 328,000 miles per year, flight training and flying exercises by 210,000 flying hours, and the number of days on board ship in port and at sea for training and naval exercises by 2,000. These reductions would substantially hamper military readiness — adding as much as six weeks to the time air forces and tank corps need to deploy in a time of crisis. The Kyoto treaty would require three times that amount of energy cutting! Burnett also reveals how the White House promised a military exemption would be incorporated into any greenhouse treaty — and then delivered an exemption that only covers “multilateral military operations sanctioned by the United Nations.”
Is global warming even a genuine threat? Those who actually work in the scientific fields concerned seem to doubt it: since this treaty was first conceived in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, scientists have indicated their dissent in petition after petition — the most recent, the “Oregon Petition,” has been signed by at least 17,000 U.S. scientists. The Science and Environmental Policy Project offers good coverage of the suspect science underlying many of the global-warming scaremongers’ claims. Meanwhile, take a look at this summary of an essay by Cambridge University’s Roger Bate (the full text is available through the European Science and Environment Forum — an independent, nonprofit alliance of scientists trying to sort out the scientific research from the political posturing).
Bate reveals how the report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was systematically and deliberately falsified after the peer-review process had been completed. In other words, after the report had been reviewed for scientific accuracy by uninvolved authorities in the field and approved as being good enough science to be published, the UN-funded climatologists responsible for “editing” the report made drastic changes that substantively altered its conclusions. They deleted sentences like this one:
- “None of the studies has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
and replaced them with others like this one:
- “If the observed global mean changes over the last 20 to 50 years cannot be fully explained by natural climate variability, some (unknown) fraction of the changes must be due to human influences.”
Now, I know editing — ask me about my day job sometime — and if that’s “editing,” baby, then I’m a Democrat. It isn’t, of course. It’s a conscious and cold-blooded perversion of the original paper’s interpretations and conclusions. Bate cites Dr. Frederick Seitz, former head of the US National Academy of Sciences, as claiming, “In more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community … I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report” (Wall Street Journal, 12/6/1996).
What it all amounts to is that the UN global-warming fanatics have taken science demonstrating, or at least strongly suggesting, that their hysteria is unfounded, and have deliberately falsified it (“edited,” my foot) to convey just the opposite. It is dishonest, it is sick, and it is junk science of the worst order. It’s also what Gore’s precious treaty is based on. Which means it’s the reason your home state is going to suffer those rising costs and falling incomes I described above.
(Sites to try for more information on global warming include the first-rate, recently revamped Global Warming Information Page ; the American Council on Science and Health’s relatively neutral-toned position paper on global climate change; and the influential journal World Climate Report.)
One for the holiday shopping list
This is quite odd. I’m not at all sure the people running it realize how odd it is. But ’tis gift season, and many of you are probably getting a bit desperate over your shopping right about now, so here goes. The Original Conservative Coffee Company conceives of itself as a right-wing alternative to Starbuck’s, Peet’s, and other gourmet coffee brands. And maybe they’re not so crazy. It’s true: Starbuck’s et al tend toward pretty crunchy branding, which can most definitely get on the nerves of anyone easily irritated by that sort of Body-Shop-esque endangered-species/indigenous-cultures chic. If that includes you and yours, then here’s your high-end coffee alternative for Christmas cheer. Blends include American Entrepreneur, All-American Mom, 2nd Amendment, Say Hey Paula & Monica (“satisfying and sweet, with no apologies”), and the endangered-species commemorative Spotted N.O.W. Blend. And you’ve got to give the Company big points for dedicating a special blend to Al Gore — decaf, natch. I figure there’s bound to be something here to amuse or annoy everyone on your list.
Update on alternative medicine
Two weeks ago I reported that herbal medicines, like conventional medicines, may cause problems such as side effects and interactions with other drugs. “Alternative” treatment modalities such as herbs can indeed be as or more effective, and are quite often safer, compared with conventional ones — but, unfortunately, not always.
One other key point you may want to consider is that alternative practitioners are not accountable in the same ways as ordinary doctors. Malpractice law and the various forms of recourse ordinarily available to patients will probably not apply if anything goes wrong. Here’s an extensively documented tale of one woman’s harrowing medical ordeal with the well-known holistic doctor Christiane Northrup, MD, who made an egregious mistake in her treatment. The mistake itself is scary enough; what’s worse is how chillingly this woman’s attempts to hold her doctor accountable for the error turned out. In short, caveat emptor.
Hostess may have marketed Twinkies to minors
One for my old bête noir Kelly Brownell here:
- According to a controversial Federal Trade Commission report released Tuesday, food manufacturer Hostess may have intentionally marketed “Twinkies” — a dangerous snack cake linked to obesity and hyperactivity — to minors. “There is substantial evidence supporting the claim that, for decades, Hostess has carried out an aggressive marketing campaign with the goal of promoting Twinkie use among underage consumers,” the FTC report read. “… As a result of Hostess’ targeting of minors, millions of young bodies have been exposed to potentially harmful substances such as fat, sugar, cholesterol, polysorbate 60, calcium sulfate, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and caramel color.” [...] Among the questionable Hostess marketing tactics the FTC report cites: positioning Twinkies billboards in the direct view of schoolyards, airing Twinkies ads on Saturday-morning TV and, most notably, developing and aggressively promoting “Twinkie The Kid,” a smiling, lariat-wielding cowboy cartoon mascot. …
Yeah, this story still counts as parody, but for how long? Get your laughs over at the satirical “newspaper” The Onion , but don’t ignore that twinge of uneasiness this piece may create in you.