Browsing All Posts filed under »politics«

Will the Climate Deniers Finally Discover El Niño?

July 22, 2014


An El Niño event could seriously damage the denier narrative, unless… Remember 1998?  That was a very good year, as Old Blue Eyes might have said.  It could well be the best, most important year ever if you are a climate change denier.  In 1998 world-wide surface temperatures got so high that it took at least […]

Tossing Bottles at the Wall

December 7, 2013


Concerning Welfare and Welfare Bums You talk about people on welfare and immediately you have a chorus of other people explaining how they (or sometimes their parents) avoided it because of some sense of pride and enterprise which made them (implicitly) above welfare.  I was too good for that. I was taught better than that. […]

Merry Christmas! It’s the 5 Week Month

December 5, 2013


It happens four times a year and always at Christmas.  Every welfare recipient knows about it, the dreaded five week month. Welfare recipients live from Wednesday to Wednesday, because cheque day is always on Wednesday.  Sometimes it’s four weeks away, and you have maybe $50 a week after rent and utilities to get through those […]

Fumbling the Climate Change Story – Again

October 9, 2013


A short while ago the latest IPCC report came out.  This is edition 5, building on four previous ones.  More than 2000 scientists were involved in compiling it.  About 9200 peer-reviewed studies were considered, which together represent more than 2 million gigs of numerical data.  This is major stuff.  Okay, the politicos may have influenced […]

Why We Eliminated the Death Penalty in Maryland

September 1, 2013


A Message from Governor Martin O’Malley State of Maryland, Office of the Governor Thank you for contacting me regarding your support of repealing the death penalty in the State of Maryland.  As you may be aware, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 276 – Death Penalty Repeal – Substitution of Life without the Possibility of […]

Bubble, Bubble, Oil and Trouble

May 19, 2013


The Inevitable Carbon Bubble We know that climate change is with us and getting worse.  97% of climate scientists say so, as if wasn’t already obvious.  A new study by John Cook of Skeptical Science says that 97% of their published papers say so as well. (See The body of peer-reviewed scientific literature effectively is science.  […]

Mama Remembers 400

May 13, 2013


A little discussion with Mama about the meaning of 400 parts per million. Mama was looking through the bones of her extinct children the other day (Mama doesn’t keep photographs) and pulled out a strange skull, gigantic, tusks attached to its lower jaw. “Deinotherium, what a lovely name.  Of course, Deino never heard it since […]

Genetics and the Decline of Sparta

May 3, 2013


The quest for genetic purity may have been Sparta’s Achilles heel. When I encountered Plutarch’s Lives a decade or two ago, I was surprised to find an old history lesson embedded there.  I was surprised because Plutarch is not what I would call a reliable source.  He presents Romulus and Remus (who were supposedly raised […]

Commie Ants at the New York World’s Fair

May 2, 2013


Human society and the power of co-operation in nature At the New York World’s Fair in 1964, Stephen Jay Gould encountered an ant farm display in the Hall of Free Enterprise* with the label: Twenty million years of evolutionary stagnation.  Why?  Because the ant colony is a socialist, totalitarian system. One is inclined to wonder […]

Of Posies and Republicans

May 1, 2013


The Aztec Tactic I’ve written before how conservative disdain for environmentalism runs so deep that some will deliberately waste energy out of little more than spite. (See Denial Means Never Having to Turn Down the Thermostat.) A recent Grist article asks the question Why Do Conservatives Like to Waste Energy? I think it’s a kind […]