Thursday, August 20, 2009

SAR #9232

How do you recover from something that's still happening?

Quick, Name Four GOP senators are reportedly afraid that an investigation into torture during the Bush administration would threaten the ’security of all Americans’, especially high ranking members of the Bush administration.

At Last... Dems plan to go it alone on healthcare. Plan to? They've been quite alone since day one.

Democracy in Action Our Man Karzai and the power elite (aka warlords) in Afghanistan are committing vote fraud on an epic scale, far worse than Florica, while the government forbids journalists from reporting on the Taliban's rather successful bombings aimed at keeping voters at home. Out of this is going to come “the free expression of the people” in forming another US puppet government. As long as the flow of US dollars and opium is not disturbed, it will be yet another victory.

Successful Surge: A sudden surge of violence in Baghdad left 95 dead and nearly 600 wounded. At least US troops were doing neither the killing nor the dying.

Quit When You're Ahead: The left would do well to stop pointing out how silly the GOP is being about health care. The more the far right gets besmirched, the more Obama can move to the center and away from the left – because the left is the choir and they're not going anywhere. The left should leave the far right alone and start making noise about what they want – or else they don't have a chance of getting it.

The List: Current deflationary indicators.

Numbers Racket : Global climate change science daily becomes increasingly well established and increasingly dire in its predictions. The growing consensus is not that we must stop putting CO2 into the atmosphere – its that we must stop today and begin lowering CO2 from the present 387ppm to below 350 as quickly as possible to prevent feedback loops from prompting abrupt, irreversible, and probably catastrophic warming.

Cash for Clunkers, Part II: World trade has shrunk so much that it's cheaper to junk container ships on the beaches of India, Bangladesh and such than to keep them afloat. More container capacity has been junked so far this year than used to go through Oakland in the 1960's when it was one of thw world's largest ports.

Dirty Commiess, Socialists, Obamaites: Studies consistently show that nonprofit nursing homes provide better care than money grubbing private homes. How can that be? That's contrary to everything the GOP and the for-profit health care people say.

Cracked Mirror: The allegation is that American industry is falling behind not because of ineffiencies, but because the federal government has not done enough. Gee, I thought American industry was falling behind because they'd shipped all the production overseas in search of lower wages, higher profits and to get away from having to pay health insurance.

Another Brick in the Wall: Scientists have found that plants grown in higher temperatures, with the added UV-B and water stress expected as the globe warms, produce more methane. Methane traps more heat, etc.

Porn O'Graph: Don't spend it all in one place...


TulsaTime said...

Funny how Obama can be socialist, fascist, AND communist all at the same time. Those black helicopters will have to be rainbowed on the inside to cover all the bases.

New round of price speculation in oil seems underway. Are the evil alpha seekers in for another round of firm lecturing again??


Unknown said...

Well, this is a particularly depressing edition of SAR...

Tom M said...

"Studies consistently show that nonprofit nursing homes provide better care than money grubbing private homes. How can that be?"

Non-profit doesn't mean they don't make money, it only means they don't show profits or pay taxes. People are still getting rich. SAR is usually good at picking up on shell games. You missed this one.

Bill said...

This article describes just how poor the administration's strategy has been on healthcare reform. It's a must read for anyone interested in the long-standing geographical differences within the Democrat party.

The following line sums it up well.

"It's almost as if the President has absolutely no experience in dealing with the United States Congress whatsoever.

If the President is unaware of the history of his own party, what else is he learning on the fly?

By the way, passing healthcare reform via reconciliation is a pipe-dream.

Bill said...

Regarding climate change, does it strike anyone as odd that President Obama offered $2 billion in loans and guarantees to Brazilian oil producer Petrobras to drill off Brazil’s shores — while supporting a moratorium on offshore drilling in the US.

Even more odd is that Obama had the opportunity to offer the exact same amount of money to an American company for nuclear (green) energy production just three weeks earlier. Did they get the cash for their zero-emission energy industry venture? No, apparently because George Soros didn’t invest in USEC.

Here's the Washington Post article on the USEC denial:

To summarize, Obama found $2 billion of taxpayer money to fund an expansion of oil production in Brazil. However, he cannot find any money to keep HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE to support nuclear energy in the US by keeping the USEC plant in operation in Ohio, a state that will get hammered by his cap-and-trade proposal.

Can anyone defend these actions? I'm genuinely confused.

And another thing, when Greenpeace admits to exaggerating the effects of climate change, who are we supposed to believe?

K Ackermann said...

TT said: "Are the evil alpha seekers in for another round of firm lecturing again??"

Haha. That reminds me of the joke about unarmed Brittish bobbies: "Stop! Or I'll say stop again!"

Bill said: "And another thing, when Greenpeace admits to exaggerating the effects of climate change, who are we supposed to believe?"

First, when you get your information from a site with the subtitle "The True Cost of Global Warming HYSTERIA", you have to know that there is a good chance it discusses things from one point of view.

Second, it is always wise to actually read or view the source material cited. I watched the BBC video of Gerd Leipold and it was very informative. It's worth the watch, and lays waste to how the blog you cite portrays the interview.

Third, don't just believe anyone, look up the issues yourself. This is a good start, and it references a ton of stuff to dig deeper.

Learning about the physics behind it is very useful to understanding it too. For instance, skeptics love to point out that water vapor has higher energy absorption in the infrared band than CO2, and that is true. The thing is, water vapor also condenses (as rain etc.) which re-releases the energy, so it is net-neutral for holding heat. CO2, on the other hand, does not have a liquid state. It stays in the atmosphere as a gas holding heat longer. It is eventually absorbed by the oceans, or consumed by plants, but the absorption rate by water decreases as water temperature rises.

Nobody cares if the temps go up a few degrees. Even if the oceans rose and wiped out all coastal cities, life would go on. The problems come if temps go up enough to trigger any of the many self-reinforcing feedback loops. If temps go up enough, the permafrost starts thawing out, and it will release huge amounts of CO2 that are trapped there, making temps go up even further. If temps go up enough, the oceans begin to expel CO2, rather than absorb it.

Personally, I hope there are other regulating mechanisms that kick in, as there have been times in the past when the earth warmed and then cooled. The problem is, those times did not have continuous emission of CO2 as we do now.

There is a quick smell test for this issue, and that is to look at motivation. Why would a scientist stake his or her reputation on something that is false? Why would an oil company want to supress or discredit a report?

Bill said...

Thanks for the link and your comments. I included that to elicit a response from CK.

But how can anyone explain Obama's behavior? It's completely out of character for him on several levels.

More importantly, why the heck is he seemingly undermining our nuclear power initiative? There are 52 reactors under construction worldwide right now, but none in USA!! Italy, Spain, UK, Holland, Czech Republic, all have announced new or restarted nuclear programs.

What is his strategy to wean us off coal? What's the point of electric cars if it simply transfers oil to coal? It addresses peak oil but may actually increase CO2.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Bill - I thought KA was doing quite well. I'd have sent you to for the science stuff (or to my son, but he charges too much!)

As for explaining Obama - he's a politician. Like many, I was sucked in at first & would still like to believe... but, no, he's a politician.


K Ackermann said...

Bill, I don't know what Obama's issue with nuclear is. He played it down while campaigning too.

The (increasingly) cynical part of me wonders if the banks told him not to go near it because of the lucrative oil futures market.

I don't know if you are familiar with the Pebble Bed reactor design, but it's not like your father nuclear reactor. It employs passive safety, meaning all controls can fail and it will not go critical. The spent fuel "pebbles" can be handled without gloves and disposed of easily. The plants are gas cooled, meaning no expensive cooling tower or pumps that can fail.

MIT basically handed China all the research it had done on pebble bed reactors, including the full characterization of the fuel pebbles. They appearently did this after suspending the program. Their last report was in 2001, and opened with this statement:

"The Modular Pebble-Bed Reactor (MPBR) is an advanced reactor concept that can meet the energy and environmental needs of future generations as defined under DOE’s Generation IV initiative. Preliminary research has concluded that this technology has an excellent opportunity to satisfy the safety, economic, proliferation, and waste disposal concerns that face all nuclear electric generating technologies."

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Bill/KA - as long as you play nice, I thought I'd watch for a while. But a couple of comments are in place:

On Obama - what Krugeman said in "Obama's Trust Problem." today.

On nukes - pebble beds is about as promising and still vaporous as thorium reactors - maybe good, maybe not. Overall, nukes are not the answer; they were 20 years ago, if we had started building them then, but we didn't and now it's too damned late.

And the $2 billion is just another handout, having nothing to do with the promises made.

fajensen said...

But how can anyone explain Obama's behavior? It's completely out of character for him on several levels.

Easy - Obama has NO visible character of his own, he is simply an empty canvas which everyone paints in their own image.

That is also why so many agrees with him and even likes him - even though all he has done is an Embrace & Extend of the Bush/Cheney policies ;-)

K Ackermann said...

Overall, nukes are not the answer; they were 20 years ago, if we had started building them then, but we didn't and now it's too damned late.

That is the kind of statement that scares me. It also makes me wonder if I am kidding myself - something I try not to do.

I don't see us reducing emissions otherwise. Do you really think it's too late?

What really galls me is that the US used to rise up to meet challenges. In one swoop, Obama could have mandated an emergency timeline for the conversion to electric transportation, and mandated that all new electricity generation be carbon free. Put it on a war footing of 5 years.

We would have zero unemployment, and be on our way to a real substantial drop in emissions.

I'm glossing, of course.

He could have leveraged this crisis into something positive. There is nothing positive in the way it is being handled.

Bill said...

Thanks a bunch for your responses. I have to disagree with the conclusion that the window has closed on nuclear power. It's green, proven, reliable and safe.

I agree that Obama's a fraud. He has no leadership qualities, no respect for the truth and apparently no vision other than maximizing his power.

He won by exploiting and fomenting divisiveness, then lying that he could and would bring us together. Instead, he has amplified it.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Yes, KA, I think it's too late - on several fronts. We've made no start on energy for a post-oil world. We're still trying to escape global climate change without changing the lifestyle and economic system that caused it. There's no agreeable solution to the population problem. Nukes (Bill) cannot be built on the scale and at the pace needed - by the time we start the oil to provide the mining and moving will be rare.

Thus SAR.

And Obama could have done more, but not to the level some would like without nationalizing the guard.