Friday, March 28, 2008

Weekend Musings

By Alan Caruba

The April 7 edition of Business Week takes notice of a new Harris Interactive poll that asked 1,304 U.S. adults to name the most influential role models for today’s youth. Of the role models, 31% said entertainers were the most influential and 19% said athletes were. Presumably, the other 50% were spread out among a variety of others such as teachers, family, et cetera.

When asked if they could name a scientist, only 11% of the adults could come up with Stephen Hawking, the physicist, and there is a strong likelihood it is because he appeared as a character in an episode of The Simpsons. Three out of four adults admitted they don’t have a good understanding of science.

BW thinks there might be a correlation between this ignorance of scientists and the reason why U.S. high school students rank 16th out of 30 nations on standardized science exams.

I think it’s because this generation of adults are the product of the same schools their children are attending. With a dumbed-down curriculum, it should come as no surprise they have little knowledge and probably less interest in science than their kids. It also explains why they are so easily duped to believe the discredited “science” offered to justify the global warming hoax.

Operating on the assumption that, since the media is full of stories and mentions of global warming it must be real, they are easily duped and, of course, so are their children.

The Brits Lose Their Stiff Upper Lip

I have friends in England and like reading Melanie Phillips’ blog. She writes for The Spectator and is both brilliant and ruthless in her examination of how utterly servile her fellow Londoners and Brits have become in the Nanny State called Great Britain. This is particularly true in the many ways they are yielding to the incessant demands of their large Muslim community.

Just about every aspect of their lives is determined by some government program and demand. The latest is London Mayor Ken Livingston, known as Ken the Red, who has a plan to charge drivers of what are deemed to be the most polluting cars $50 a day to enter the capital. He is expected to be reelected on May 1st. This, in itself, demonstrates how spineless Londoners have become since their glory days of standing up to the Nazi bombardment. There is already a congestion charge for vehicles that emit more than 225 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Livingston would triple the current charge of $16 charge per day. (Consider too that New York's Mayor Bloomberg and others are advocating a similar charge.)

It’s worthwhile reminding ourselves that CO2 is a very minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere and is essential to the growth of all vegetation. British drivers are being robbed and intimidated at the same time.

The Air as the Enemy

The March 31 edition of Business Week noted “The Elusive Cost of Cutting Emissions.” Proving that the Brits aren't the only morons paying for the nonsense of so-called greenhouse gas emissions (CO2).

“In mid-March an analysis by the National Association of Manufacturers found that the U.S. would lose more than $631 billion in gross domestic product in 2030 if Congress enacted the leading bill” on cleaning the air apparently to the point where anything airborne is judged to be a threat to all life. “If Congress enacted the bill, electricity and gasoline prices would double according to NAM’s figures. Naturally the Environmental Protection Agency had to respond, saying that gross domestic product would suffer to the tune of only $250 billion.

Pause now and think about this. Both NAM and EPA are talking about “billions” in losses to the economy if the new clean air legislation becomes law. Can this nation afford such losses? I think not.

Running Out of Food

With everyone correctly obsessed about rising food prices and a few people actually making the connection between the government’s requirement that billions of gallons of ethanol be made from corn and soy, you’d think the obvious impact would cause somebody in the U.S. government to try to reverse this catastrophe. But no.

Given the ceaseless twaddle about “climate change”, you’d think someone would take some time to learn about the role weather plays when it comes to farming. The fact is America’s wheat stocks are at their lowest ebb since before World War II. The price of soybeans is way up and, as Roy Roberson of the Southeast Farm Press recently reported, “One bad production year could mean disaster for the agriculture infrastructure of the U.S.” or to put it another way, we’re one drought away from some seriously hungry and angry voters.

In Asia, they’re running out rice. Considering it is the main staple of their diet, this is yet another cause for folks in charge of governments there to worry.

If the winters get colder and longer—as I think they will—the weather and its impact on agriculture around the world is going to cause food riots sooner or later. This stuff isn’t made in a factory. Wheat, soy, rice, and other grains have to grow out of the ground somewhere.

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