Taken out of context, it may look like video game Bioshock Infinite is an attack on American history, patriotism and the Tea Party. In fact, for the first few hours of play the game does feel like that. You play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton officer who has a massive debt he can only repay by fulfilling a mission to rescue a teenage girl from a tower prison. There its resemblance to fairy tales ends and its horror story begins.
The game is set in 1912, in a city called Columbia up in the sky. It’s a city of separatists who see themselves as true patriots and their leader as a true savior. A few hours into the game, and I’ll try not to spoil anything until page two, you run into these mechanized boss characters.
If this is an attack on the American founders, it isn’t subtle. Notice the sign behind the beast. Called a Motorized Patriot, it’s a combat robot George Washington wielding a crank gun against the protagonists while he spews phrases that sound vaguely Biblical. During chapter loads, the developers offer a helpful hint for killing them: You should shoot them in the back. How nice.
So is this game, then, an attack on patriotism?
I haven’t played it all the way to the end yet (but I’m very very close), but the answer has to be no. Bioshock Infinite is first and foremost a first-person shooter’s science fiction take on the multiverse theory, with some color taken from the mess that is American politics.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away to those who have not played it yet, so if you’re playing the game and don’t want anything spoiled, don’t click on the next page.
This graph should change the debate over global warming forever.
Pay close attention to what happens to the black line before and after the vertical white line. Everything to the left of that line was pieced together by global warming advocates after the fact. Their predictions going forward — to the right of the white line — have been proven wrong. If they were right, the black line would track with the pink and red areas. It doesn’t.
The source of this graph is the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The effect of publishing this graph has been swift. Global warming advocates are backtracking.
Academics are revising their views after acknowledging the miscalculation. Last night Myles Allen, Oxford University’s Professor of Geosystem Science, said that until recently he believed the world might be on course for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than five degrees this century.
But he now says: ‘The odds have come down,’ – adding that warming is likely to be significantly lower.
Prof Allen says higher estimates are now ‘looking iffy’.
Yesterday Piers Forster, Climate Change Professor at Leeds University, said: ‘The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’
And Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said: ‘The models are running too hot. The flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two.’
James Annan, of Frontier Research For Global Change, a prominent ‘warmist’, recently said high estimates for climate sensitivity now look ‘increasingly untenable’, with the true figure likely to be about half of the IPCC prediction in its last report in 2007.
Global warming as it has been sold politically by alarmists like Al Gore is science fiction. He got rich, the rest of us have gotten stuck with the tax and energy bills. Governments including our own have invested vast sums of money imposing a “greener” economy, based on previous predictions that have now turned out flat wrong.
President Obama intends to double down on his bad green investments while he kills off the US coal industry and imposes a regime that, in his own words, will cause energy prices to “skyrocket.” He and his EPA chiefs should be hauled to Congress for hearings, using the graph above as Exhibit A against them.
“FOIA” has harshed the climate hysterics’ mallow again. Wattsupwiththat is scanning the new emails for gems.
Update4: An email showing some insight on the beginning of the use of the word “denier” along with some demonstrated coziness with media activists.
Update5: Mike Mann rages and releases the attack dogs Monbiot, Romm, Media Matters and others in response to a perfectly valid and polite inquiry from the Wall Street Journal, suggesting a smear before the reporter even write the story.
Update6: From Junkscience.com, who spotted this exchange: Wigley accuses IPCC and lead authors of ‘dishonest presentations of model results’; Accuses Mann of deception; Mann admits
Update7: From Junkscience.com, Briffa worries that manmade environmental change distorts tree-ring analysis.
Much more at the link. And away we go…
“FOIA” addresses some of the conspiracy theories behind the Climategates.
I don’t expect these remaining emails to hold big surprises. Yet it’s possible that the most important pieces are among them. Nobody on the planet has held the archive in plaintext since CG2.
That’s right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil. The Republicans didn’t plot this. USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK. There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.
“FOIA” is a lone individual, acting for the greater good by exposing the powerful. Once upon a time, Hollywood made movies about this sort of thing. Well, when they acted from a certain point of view, anyway.
America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.
Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”
The admiral commands an area that stretches from California across the entire Pacific to India. He’s not a scientist.
“The ice is melting and sea is getting higher,” Locklear said, noting that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the coast. “I’m into the consequence management side of it. I’m not a scientist, but the island of Tarawa in Kiribati, they’re contemplating moving their entire population to another country because [it] is not going to exist anymore.”
As noted, the admiral isn’t a scientist. His strategic thinking is the consequence of junk science, though.
Officers at the level Locklear has reached tend to be political creatures, that’s how they get commands. Locklear’s thinking therefore reflects the Obama administration’s thinking.
h/t Weasel Zippers
The longfaced new Secretary of State, John Kerry, delivered his first major address today. It was not on the recent North Korean nuclear tests or the ongoing strife in the Middle East or the rise of China. It was on global warming aka climate change.
Secretary of State John Kerry gave his first major foreign policy speech today. In his address, delivered at the University of Virginia, he discussed tackling climate change.
“We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate,” said Kerry, according to prepared remarks.
“And let’s face it – we are all in this one together. No nation can stand alone. We share nothing so completely as our planet. When we work with others – large and small – to develop and deploy the clean technologies that will power a new world, we’re also helping create new markets and new opportunities for America’s second-to-none innovators and entrepreneurs to succeed in the next great revolution.”
Kerry called for collective action to deal with this problem.
And so forth. I’m sure you can imagine his dull tones and his deadman delivery as well as I can. John Kerry is a spectacularly unimpressive man and a dreadful public speaker, easily one of the worst in politics today. The Democratic Party has abdicated American foreign policy, as a party. They’re just not interested in it. It’s hard to blame them, really, since a majority of the American people can’t be bothered with foreign policy either.
As for Kerry’s scientific acumen, a plurality of scientists have pretty much abandoned the idea that humans are making things hotter. Not that we should conduct science by poll, which is itself as much art as science. But politicians like Kerry and his boss apparently never will let go of the idea that they can literally save the world. At least, from the internal combustion engine, if not the mullahs and assorted other madmen roaming the planet.
As predicted, I was correct when assuming that Tatler fans would write a better caption than the Drudge Report for the photo that was the subject of our latest and extremely successful Photo Caption Contest. However, I could not have predicted the huge number of captions that exceeded my expectations!
So to celebrate all your creative energy there are three different categories of winners.
The first category is Politically Themed Captions and here are the winners:
Just imagine what I could do if I wasn’t on vacation most of the time. B. Obama. Submitted by weo
A picture of Barack Obama descending to Earth from Mount Olympus. Submitted by David W
After four years of the Obama economy, the US is no longer able to afford to keep the heavens in repair. Submitted by rbj
Obama: “If I was a planet and had a sun, this is what it would look like.” from RockThisTown (a Caption King)
Meteor strikes Russia – Obama adds the country as a stop on his next apology tour and blames Bush. Submitted by Scottch
And this one submitted by Chris Henderson was not exactly a caption, but a winner anyway:
Let’s see: - Smokes - Very dense - Gives off a lot of hot air - Flashy outside, but not much inside - Leads to the destruction of the local economy – But enough about Obama, a meteorite hit Russia.
Our next category is Just Plain Humor and the winners are:
“Somebody get Bruce Willis on the phone!” Submitted by Alyric
Actual CNN headline: Too much Global Warming in Russia attracts asteroids. Submitted by Adi (a Caption King)
(Adi really was quoting CNN but only added Russia to the headline.)
From that wild and crazy Henderson family (Don the father and Chris the son, both Caption Kings) we have these four winning entries:
Of course it’s a movie. It’s Skyfall! Chris Henderson
I’m from [CRATERS R US,] Is this where I break ground?
I just love crashing a Communist party, Molotov cocktail anybody?
To Russia, with love from the Cosmos. All from Don Henderson
Finally, we have the grand winner’s circle of Heavenly Themed Captions. These submissions deserve extra credit because they actually answer the contest question, “So what is the meaning of it all?”
God is not taking the Pope’s retirement easily. Submitted by rbj
Scottch, already an earlier winner, submitted the greatest number of winning Heavenly captions, so Scottch is our Grand Prize Winner with these fabulous entries:
God is apparently NOT amused.
Lightning striking the Vatican, meteorite hitting Russia, another hitting Cuba………Just my way of saying “Can you hear me now? ” ……God
In other late breaking news, for some reason lots of Russians have suddenly gotten religion!
That whole Book of Revelations thing …….no, I wasn’t kidding.
Congrats to Scottch, our new reigning “Caption King.”
But woe to us if we ignore our first and last Caption King of Kings, cfbleachers who submitted the following winners:
You say you want a Revelation, well you know…
Lent. Fast AND Furious.
Lucifer’s Lightnings and Michelangelo’s Meteors take the field for the final game of this World’s Series.
Apparently, Heaven Can’t Wait.
You know, that crazy guy on the street corner may finally be right.
(Yes, that may be true and perhaps the answer to our contest question.)
Thanks for playing along and we will see you all next time a photo is worthy of a Tatler Photo Caption Contest!
In response to the tragic news that a meteorite struck Russia resulting in damage and injuries, Drudge Report posted the caption, “This is not a movie,” under the photo that is the subject of our latest Tatler Photo Caption Contest.
Now, as always, I am confident that Tatler fans can, and will, write much better ones. However, there is a theme to our current contest.
Besides a meteorite striking Russia, consider all the other cosmic events that have occurred today and in the last few days:
Lightning struck the Vatican just hours after the Pope announced his resignation. (The subject of our last photo caption contest and here are the winning entries in case you missed the post.)
This afternoon, an asteroid had a record breaking pass by planet Earth, the closest and largest ever recorded.
And now, late today, there are reports that a space rock crashed into Cuba.
So what is the meaning of it all?
Are these four events only a coincidence or is there something more. (Cue Twilight Zone music.)
That is the caption theme our VIP judges will be looking for in the winning entry.
(But of course you are free to write whatever you like!) Just abide by our rules of “be nice and stay classy because the media is watching.”
Have fun and don’t forget to look up to the heavens for inspiration.
This is so wrong, but also so funny.
PC Magazine has more:
Was this a viral marketing effort from the producers of The Walking Dead? No, it seems as though some industrious hackers breached the station’s emergency alert system, and sent out the bogus warning about zombies attacking the living.
“Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that there was an emergency in several Montana counties,” the station said in a Monday statement. “This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency. Our engineers are investigating to determine what happened and if it affected other media outlets.”
The message kicked off like any other emergency alert – with the dialup-esque bleeps and tones and an alert crawl atop the screen. But rather than warning about a weather emergency or some other plausible situation, a menacing voice came on to warn people about zombies.
Whoever did this obviously has some braaaaains.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is trying once again this Congress to get her assault weapons ban renewed, said in a tweet this afternoon that more than 10,000 calls were made to senators’ offices yesterday by Faiths Calling to Prevent Gun Violence.
The coalition said Friday that “millions” were set to participate in the effort to call on Congress for stricter gun-control laws.
Participants included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches representing 37 Christian denominations, the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish movements, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, PICO National Network, the Islamic Society of North America, Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House, and many others. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism led the effort.
“On this issue of dire importance to the safety of all of our children and communities, the broadest array yet of faithful Americans is joining together in one chorus to call on Congress to pass sensible solutions to the epidemic of gun violence that has long plagued our country,” said Rachel Laser, deputy director of the Religious Action Center.
Callers were asked to promote universal background checks for all gun purchases, bans of semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, making gun trafficking a federal crime, and improving access to mental health services.
Leaders in the coalition made an appeal to President Obama and Congress on the one-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting to “endorse reasonable steps taken to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people through measures such as ensuring and enforcing universal background checks for gun purchases, collection and publication of relevant data on gun violence, and other constructive measures that will limit gun violence.”
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is supposed to be strictly scientific. So why, then, is it accepting financial sponsorships from the activist group World Wildlife Fund?
If only disposal of all tyrants was this voluntary.
Fresh off the Islamic Republic swearing that it really did send a monkey into orbit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has volunteered to go to space himself, reports Mehr News Agency this morning.
On the sidelines of a visit to a space exhibition, Ahmadinejad said “sending living things to space is the result of Iranian efforts and dedication of thousands of Iranian professional scientists.”
“I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists,” the president said.
“We should admit that some do not tolerate Iranian greatness and growth. Iranians has incited devils’ hatred by Iranian idealism, perfectionism, and being human.”
Yesterday, Mehr decried the U.S. for not believing that it had launched a monkey into space.
“When White House Spokesperson appeared quite nervous and agitated before reporters and expressed US concerns over Iranian astronaut monkey’s health, it was quite revealing,” the Mehr report said, adding illustrative space monkey photos to prove the Iranian government’s point.
Team Obama may want to reconsider their frivolous pursuit in stemming the speed of so-called global warming. On January 23, PR Newswire wrote that, “a group of 20 ex-NASA scientists have concluded that the science used to support the man-made climate change hypothesis is not settled and no convincing physical evidence exists to support catastrophic climate change forecasts.”
H. Leighton Steward, chairman of CO2isGreen.org as well as the educational non-profit, PlantsNeedCO2.org, makes the following comments regarding the TRCS posting, which can be found at www.therightclimatestuff.com:
- The science of what is causing global climate change or warming is clearly not settled and never has been.
- There is no convincing physical evidence to support the man-made climate change hypothesis. The standard test of a hypothesis is whether it is supported by real observations, which seems to have been ignored by climate alarmists.
- Claims made by proponents of catastrophic man-made warming are dominantly supported by non-validated computer models and the output of these models should not be relied upon by policy-makers. Some TRCS team members have been making critical decisions using complex computer models for decades.
- There is no immediate threat of catastrophic global warming even if some warming occurs. The sea level is not going to suddenly begin a steep acceleration of its 18,000-year rate of rise. Global sea level rise is not currently accelerating despite what climate change alarmists claim.
- The U.S. Government has overreacted to a possible catastrophic warming. The probable negative impacts to the economy, jobs and an increased cost of food, transportation and utilities will be severe and hurt the poor and middle class the most. Real experiments show that Earth’s habitats and ecosystems could be damaged if CO2 levels are actually reduced. Environmentalists have been grossly misled to believe CO2 is a pollutant.
- Empirical evidence shows that Earth is currently “greening” significantly due to additional CO2 and a modest warming.
- Money saved by abandoning a premature rush to lower CO2 emissions could be better spent by continuing research on alternative energies that are not currently competitive or reliable.
Legendary teevee man Sir David Attenborough admits that he is a maximum misanthrope.
He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.
Well if the natural world is doing it anyway, what’s the problem? Isn’t that Darwin in action?
What we see here is both the incoherence and the agenda of the global warming, stop all development crowd. If humans are mere accidents of nature, then anything we do is natural. The left will push that line or a similar one when it comes to sexuality and other social issues. But when it comes to developing the world around us, then they don the moral scold cap and tell everyone how wrong and even evil we all are. Or that we’re a plague that must be controlled. We only become moral agents in their eyes when it’s convenient to use morality as a mace to beat us with.
University of Graz (Austria) professor Richard Parncutt has no training in the hard sciences. He’s a professor of systemic musicology. He also claims that he opposes the death penalty for murderers, on the logic that killing killers does not bring the dead back to life.
But on his university’s website, he wrote out a lengthy and quite logical argument proposing the death penalty for those who hold an opinion that differs from his, on the subject of global warming. Or climate change. Whatever they’re calling it this week.
Parncutt wrote the piece, then heard from critics and lawyers and probably from his employer, the University of Graz. So he retracted it, and replaced it on the university’s web site with an apology intended to make the professor sound harmless as a kitten. His university surely called him into the dean’s office for a chat.
Too late, Professor Parncutt, the Internet is indelible. You may read his proposal to wield the power of the state to kill people over their scientific opinions here. It’s chilling for its cheery call to kill. Parncutt writes:
If my argument is correct, it has clear political consequences. Here is a scenario for what might happen if my argument is broadly accepted, both democratically and politically.
- The universal declaration of human rights and every national constitution would be amended to include the rights of future generations. Incidentally, that would also make national debts illegal, because they oblige future generations to pay them. Getting rid of national debts would in turn solve an important aspect of the “global financial crisis” (more), which currently belongs to the list of common excuses for not investing money in the prevention of GW.
- The proposed legal change would be announced and widely publicized for an extended period before it came into force. During that time, GW deniers would have a chance to change their ways and escape punishment.
- The police would start to identify the most influential GW deniers who had not responded to the changed legal situation. These individuals would then be charged and brought to justice.
If a jury of suitably qualified scientists estimated that a given GW denier had already, with high probability (say 95%), caused the deaths of over one million future people, then s/he would be sentenced to death. The sentence would then be commuted to life imprisonment if the accused admitted their mistake, demonstrated genuine regret, AND participated significantly and positively over a long period in programs to reduce the effects of GW (from jail) – using much the same means that were previously used to spread the message of denial. At the end of that process, some GW deniers would never admit their mistake and as a result they would be executed. Perhaps that would be the only way to stop the rest of them. The death penalty would have been justified in terms of the enormous numbers of saved future lives.
After logically working through the numbers of dead he believes global warming “deniers” will be responsible for, and therefore why said “deniers” deserve to die, Parncutt concludes that future generations will regard him as a hero.
Right now, in the year 2012, these ideas will seem quite crazy to most people. People will be saying that Parncutt has finally lost it. But there is already enough evidence on the table to allow me to make the following prediction: If someone found this document in the year 2050 and published it, it would find general support and admiration. People would say I was courageous to write the truth, for a change. Who knows, perhaps the Pope would even turn me into a saint. Presumably there will still be a Pope, and maybe by then he will even have realised that condoms are not such a bad thing! And by the way 2050 is rather soon. Most people reading this text will still be alive then.
I don’t want to be a saint. I would just like my grandchildren and great grandchildren, and the human race in general, to enjoy the world that I have enjoyed, as much as I have enjoyed it. And to achieve that goal I think it is justified for a few heads to roll.
All this from a gentle music professor. If Parncutt does nothing else with his life, he has solved the question of how the Nazis and the Islamists and the Communists and the eugenicists all became such systematic and successful mass murderers.
To paraphrase the big haired guy on Ancient Aliens, I’m not saying it’s aliens, but…just look at the thing. It looks like something Sigourney Weaver would want to nuke from orbit.
Archaeologists digging near Mexico’s Sonora desert have discovered what appears to be the burial ground of an early Mesoamerican society, including signs of deformed skulls.
According to a story at Past Horizons Archaeology, the burial ground consists of 25 individuals; 13 have intentional cranial deformation and five also have dental mutilation, cultural practices which are similar to those of pre-Hispanic groups in southern Sinaloa and northern Nayarit, but until now, have not been seen in Sonora…. Archaeologist Cristina Garcia Moreno, director of the research project…said that, “Cranial deformation in Mesoamerican cultures was used to differentiate one social group from another and for ritual purposes, while the dental mutilation in cultures such as the Nayarit was seen as a rite of passage into adolescence. This is confirmed by the findings at the Sonora cemetery where the five bodies with dental mutilation are all over 12 years in age.”
The main significance to archaeologists is that the discovery suggests the presence (or influence) of Mesoamerican societies much farther north than previously believed.
And we hear about this just a day before the world is supposed to end. Uh huh.
It’s not the end of the world as we know it, and NASA feels fine.
The National Space and Aeronautics Administration has come a long, long way under the stewardship of President Barack Obama. The agency was once a world changer that put humans on the moon, developed or encouraged technological innovation on a vast scale, and put a collection of telescopes into space that have fundamentally changed our understanding of the universe. It has long been my opinion that the Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer space telescopes are America’s answer to the pyramids of ancient Egypt and will stand the test of time as paradigm-altering pieces of technology and efforts to understand the nature of the cosmos. Long after we’re gone, people will still be learning from the data those telescopes have collected and delivered.
What has NASA done lately, though? Well, the Mars rovers and orbiters are amazing, but the fact is we can no longer even get humans to space without the Russians. And apparently we’re left to see the US space agency gloat over debunking something the Maya may or may not have believed hundreds of years ago.
This, I humbly submit, is sad.
I’m not blasting NASA here. I get what they’re doing with this video — getting into headlines on a story that millions are closely watching, and trying to do science in a cool way in a time when science just is not cool. The agency is doing its best to cope with an administration that has been hostile to its true mission of exploration, discovery, and keeping the United States ahead of everybody else and in the lead to keep hold of the highest hill available. Since its founding NASA has played a vital national security role. Obama tried changing the agency’s missions to some sort of Islamic outreach program, and has scuttled the shuttle fleet without a serious thought to advancing us toward the next human spaceflight platform. His campaign slogan was “Forward,” but under his watch the space agency has gone backward. This is a shame. The moonshot astronauts point out that we’ve lost a great deal of space flight talent along with these decisions, some of which will go into the private spaceflight industry and that’s good, but much of which will just evaporate. That’s not good.
But hey, at least we’ve proven the Maya were all wrong, or something.
The expensive hybrids were parked in the New Jersey port, where Hurricane Sandy turned them into time bombs.
Approximately 16 of the $100,000+ Fisker Karma extended-range luxury hybrids were parked in Port Newark, New Jersey last night when water from Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge apparently breached the port and submerged the vehicles. As Jalopnik has exclusively learned, the cars then caught fire and burned to the ground.
Our source tells us they were “first submerged in a storm surge and then caught fire, exploded.” This wouldn’t be the first time the vehicles, which use a small gasoline engine to charge batteries that provide energy to two electric motors, had an issue with sudden combustion.
The vehicle, despite only being in limited production, has already experienced numerous fires due to equipment failures and electrical shorts. How, exactly, they caught fire after being submerged in sea water is unclear. It’s possible the salt water caused a short that led to a fire.
Calls to Fisker and the Port Newark Container Terminal have not been returned as of publication time.
Fisker released a statement noting that at least there were no injuries. That’s because these cars weren’t sold and therefore weren’t in anyone’s driveway.
Why President Obama prefers hybrid half-coal powered cars to gas powered cars remains something of a mystery.
Subheadline: Meghan McCain, still an idiot.
Political analyst Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), is challenging widespread GOP skepticism about climate change in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“Political analyst” is being very generous. Meghan McCain’s opinion would not be sought after if not for who her father is, and the fact that she consistently embarrasses him with her ignorant statements, ill-advised tweets and posing as a Republican while in fact being a silly and vapid person.
“So are we still going to go with climate change not being real fellow republicans [sic]?” McCain wrote, via Twitter, around midnight as the storm was slamming ashore.
McCain’s father has advocated for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and co-sponsored cap-and-trade bills several years ago.
However, substantial numbers of Republicans now dispute widely held scientific views about global warming and the extent of humans’ contribution.
It’s not just Republicans who doubt the political taxation campaign that has come to be called “climate change.” (The climate itself does change, as it always has and always will until the Sun burns out. That’s not politics, it’s science. But “climate changes,” as it has become a political issue, is hokum.) It’s people who think for themselves, who doubt “climate change.” People who have kept track of Climategate and watched Michael Mann falsely claim to have won a Nobel doubt “climate change.” People who know who Mann is (I suspect Miss McCain is not among them) and who understand the significance of his easily debunked lie, doubt “climate change.” Mann is the “hockey stick” guy. If he lied about winning Nobel, what won’t he lie about?
Only 18% of Americans even rank “climate change” as their top environmental priority. Meghan McCain is the leftist media’s stooge and useful idiot. Nothing more, nothing less.
After a day in which the president called his rival a “bullsh***er” and in which we learned that the secretary state was part of a plot to scapegoat a filmmaker to distract us from a terrorist attack that killed four Americans, I don’t know about you but I need some reassurance that our future will be brighter than our present.
I’m not sure that this is it. In fact I’m pretty sure that this video is a harbinger of the brutal droid wars to come. In the video below you will see a flying robot organize other robots on the ground into carrying out tasks either by themselves or in groups. It’s equal parts cool and absolutely horrifying.
And of course, I want a bunch of them to use to mow my lawn and things like that. So I’m conflicted.
And the Japan Times is very very enthusiastic about the government’s huge new tax hike.
The new tax covers all forms of fossil fuel including coal, oil products and natural gas. It is designed so that ¥289 will be imposed on one ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The tax rate will be set at a low level at first and then gradually raised in three stages — October 2012, April 2014 and April 2016.
The tax will take the form of a surcharge over existing oil and coal taxes. For example, ¥250 will be imposed on one kiloliter of gasoline or kerosene from Oct. 1, rising to ¥760 in April 2016.
The new tax will increase the costs of doing business and the financial burden on consumers because the increased costs will be passed on to prices of such items as electricity and gasoline.
It is important for enterprises and consumers to realize that they have been responsible for carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of global warming, and shed the feeling that they are victimized by the environment tax.
The start of the tax should be viewed as a chance for them to participate in combat against global warming. Some industries are against the environment tax. But they should realize that their activities have caused environmental deterioration. It is clear that they should follow the “polluters pay” principle.
And so forth. The editorial never details the drag on the frail Japanese economy resulting from the energy tax. It mentions it, but then quickly scolds everyone engaging in any activity that uses fossil fuels. It never contemplates how a full green regime in Spain helped drive that county to the brink of catastrophe. Instead of considering the economic impact, the Japan Times opines:
The rise in fossil fuel prices due to the introduction of the environmental tax is expected to accelerate energy saving and the shift to renewable energy sources. All revenue from the tax will be used to strengthen efforts to save energy and to promote green energy sources. It is hoped that the tax will facilitate technological innovation by encouraging enterprises to find opportunities for improving energy savings and developing green energy sources. It is estimated that the environment tax will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.5 to 2.2 percent in 2020 from the 1990 level.
The government should inform the public of the significance of the new tax and its subsequent effects. It should also consider changing oil and coal taxes into a full-scale environment tax based solely on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted.
And solar-powered unicorns will fly out of the emperor’s hindquarters!
Along with South Korea, Japan is the lynchpin of America’s strategy to keep the peace in Asia. America needs an economically strong Japan as a counterweight to China in the Asia-Pacific region. These taxes will weaken Japan.
More: Fed chairman Ben Bernanke hearts the Japanese economic model, which has delivered economic stagnation for about 22 years now. Great.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) delivered what his office termed a “major address” in the Senate yesterday. Kerry used that address to argue that “climate change” is every bit as much of a threat as the Iranian mullahcracy’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons and long-range missiles to deliver them.
“I believe that the situation we face, Mr. President, is as dangerous as any of the sort of real crises that we talk about – today we had a hearing in the Foreign Relations Committee on the subject of Syria, and we all know what’s happening with respect to Iran, and nuclear weapons and the possibility even of a war,”
“Well, this issue actually is of as significant a level of importance, because it affects life itself on the planet,” he said.
Kerry went on to say that you can’t even say “climate change” in public anymore, thanks to a “concerted campaign of disinformation.” “Climate change” replaced “global warming” a few years ago as the preferred term, when scientific data failed to show a warming of the planet, and when Al Gore’s “global warming” alarmist speeches were consistently interrupted with blizzards. Fabricated evidence uncovered in the Climategate emails further damaged the “global warming,” now “climate change” cause. Kerry never addressed the falsified data in his speech.
Kerry, who has never held a private sector job, married twice for money, is not a scientist and has no formal scientific experience whatsoever, went on to lob a smear at those who disagree with him.
“We have in effect, with respect to climate change in America today, what is fundamentally a flat-earth caucus, a bunch of people – some of them within the United States Congress itself – who still argue, against all the science, all the evidence, they argue that somehow we don’t know enough about climate change, or they argue that the evidence isn’t sufficient, or they argue that it just is a hoax.”
Smears are nothing new to John Kerry. He returned from service in Vietnam to build his political career accusing fellow servicemen of systematically committing war crimes and atrocities “in a fashion reminscent of Jenjis Khan.”
Meanwhile, Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons and is ramping up the threats to annihilate Israel.
Report: Tree Ring Evidence Says Earth was Warmer in the Roman Period and Has Been Cooling Ever Since
Researchers from Germany, Finland, Scotland, and Switzerland examined tree-ring density profiles in trees from Finnish Lapland. In this cold environment, trees often collapse into one of the numerous lakes, where they remain well preserved for thousands of years.
The density measurements correlate closely with the summer temperatures in this area on the edge of the Nordic taiga; the researchers were thus able to create a temperature reconstruction of unprecedented quality.
The reconstruction provides a high-resolution representation of temperature patterns in the Roman and Medieval Warm periods, but also shows the cold phases that occurred during the Migration Period and the later Little Ice Age.
In addition to the cold and warm phases, the new climate curve also exhibits a phenomenon that was not expected in this form.
For the first time, researchers have now been able to use the data derived from tree-rings to precisely calculate a much longer-term cooling trend that has been playing out over the past 2,000 years.
In case you’re wondering, the scientists who conducted the study are warmists themselves. So when they say the following, it’s significant.
‘This figure we calculated may not seem particularly significant,’ says Esper, ‘however, it is also not negligible when compared to global warming, which up to now has been less than 1°C.
‘Our results suggest that the large-scale climate reconstruction shown by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) likely underestimate this long-term cooling trend over the past few millennia.’
What drives the cooling trend? The relative distance between the earth and its sole energy source, the sun. Warmists consistently downplay earth-sun relationship and even ignore the sun’s cyclical activity patterns.
- Are Liberals the New Squares? By Roger L Simon. What makes modern liberalism the mess that it is today is that it’s composed of people who desperately wanted to be cool in high school — but never were.
- I Oppose Barack Obama Because He’s Black, by Andrew Klavan. Hell toupee: Sam Donaldson is onto me…
- Occupy Oakland Protests in Favor of Child Sex Trafficking, by Zombie. Just when you thought they couldn’t sink any lower.
- Silicon Graffiti: Where Krugman Has Gone Before, by Ed Driscoll. In which we take to the final frontier to observe a Nobel Prize-winning economist calling for an alien invasion of planet earth. Twice.
- A Nation of Paper, Not of Men, by Andrew C. McCarthy. That illegal immigrants are not legal on “paper” is all that matters, Mr. President.
- What Happens to Unwanted Dogs When They’re Not Adopted, by Julia Szabo. HBO’s One Nation Under Dog pulls no punches in calling for real change in how America treats man’s best friend.
- Tom Cruise Is 20 Years Too Old for Rock of Ages, by John Boot. When was the last time you saw club-going kids get excited about a 50-year-old rocker?
- Which Former President Does Barack Obama Most Resemble? By Roger L Simon. His name is …
- The New Yorker’s Liberal Illusions about Barack Obama, by Ron Radosh. Mythmaking.
- Born, Again, in Wisconsin: Rebirth of the GOP, by Gary Wickert. The GOP began here as the anti-slavery party, and now reunites here under fiscal conservatism.
- Meet the Radical DOJ Lawyer Suing Florida to Keep Foreigners on Voter Rolls, by J. Christian Adams. This latest outrage from Obama’s embattled attorney general marks a new corrupt low.
- 10 Years After High School Are Millennials Finally Ready to Cash Their Reality Check? By Dave Swindle. A new musical comedy reinvents Friends, The Breakfast Club, and Judd Apatow to challenge today’s recession-era Generation Y.
- Holder: ‘We Want to Talk About Fast and Furious… What, the Ninth Time?’ By Bridget Johnson. Repeatedly warning of a “constitutional crisis,” the attorney general faced a resignation call today and tried to defend his appointments to probe intelligence leaks.
- Prometheus and God, by Andrew Klavan. Is this a good sign for our culture?
- Gulp: Bloomberg’s Stunning Nanny State Overreach, by Joe Hicks. Insulting your intelligence, stealing your liberty.
- Passing Obamacare the Chicago Way, by Michael R. Shannon. Big Pharma told to support passage of Obamacare, “or else.”
- Two Reasons to Be Happy with the John Edwards Verdict, by Andrew C. McCarthy. Here’s hoping Attorney General Holder decides to leave well enough — or, better, overkill enough — alone.
- What to Say When You’re Handed the Obama-Is-Good-for-Israel Talking Points, by Barry Rubin. Oh, and did I mention that during a second term he won’t need to worry about fundraising or running for election again?
- Would Anyone Be Surprised if Aliens Landed? By Walter Hudson. Twenty percent of people worldwide already think they’re here.
- Meet the Radical DOJ Lawyer Forcing Florida to Keep Foreigners on the Voter Rolls, by J. Christian Adams. Meet Elise Shore, voter ID critic, Barack Obama election campaign contributor.
- GOP Alternative to DREAM Act Sets Up Intraparty Clash, by Bridget Johnson. Some see the push as taking the lead on reform where Obama has failed, but longtime conservatives on the issue say no way.
- America Gets a Wake-Up Call, by Roger L Simon. Cloward-Piven out of ineptitude: behold the embarrassing May unemployment numbers.
- Quelle Horreur! PJTV’s Poliwood Takes on Cannes, Kathryn Bigelow and Aaron Sorkin. Video at link.
Like good little leftists who have swallowed enviro propaganda whole. When democracy doesn’t give you what you want — and in their case, most of them can’t even vote yet — take it to court.
Alec Loorz turns 18 at the end of this month. While finishing high school and playing Ultimate Frisbee on weekends, he’s also suing the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
The Ventura, California, teen and four other juvenile plaintiffs want government officials to do more to prevent the risks of climate change — the dangerous storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, and food-supply disruptions that scientists warn will threaten their generation absent a major turnabout in global energy policy. Specifically, the students are demanding that the U.S. government start reducing national emissions of carbon dioxide by at least six percent per year beginning in 2013.
“I think a lot of young people realize that this is an urgent time, and that we’re not going to solve this problem just by riding our bikes more,” Loorz said in an interview.
The youth — represented, pro bono, by the Burlingame, California, law firm of former U.S. Republican congressman Paul “Pete” McCloskey, a co-founder of Earth Day — filed the suit, Alec L. et. al vs. Lisa P. Jackson, et. al, in May of last year. Defendants include not only Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson but the heads of the Commerce, Interior, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Agriculture departments. This Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Wilkins, an Obama appointee, will hear arguments on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint.
While skeptics may view the case as little more than a publicity stunt, its implications have been serious enough to attract the time and resources of major industry leaders. Last month, Judge. Wilkins granted a motion to intervene in the case by the National Association of Manufacturers, joined by Delta Construction Company, Dalton Trucking Inc., Southern California Contractors Association, and the California Dump Truck Owners Association.
“At issue is whether a small group of individuals and environmental organizations can dictate through private tort litigation the economic, energy, and environmental policies of the entire nation,” wrote National Association of Manufacturers spokesman Jeff Ostermeyer in an email. Granting the plaintiffs’ demands, he added, “would carry serious and immediate consequences for industrial and economic productivity — increasing manufacturing and transportation costs and decreasing global competitiveness.” The manufacturers’ legal brief says the restrictions being sought “could substantially eliminate the use of conventional energy in this country.” It also argues that the plaintiffs haven’t proved they have a legal right to sue.
Eh, since when did the law matter? Lawyers write the laws, lawyers find ways around the laws.
By the way, these kids didn’t think up this lawsuit on their own.
While teenagers serve as the public face of the lawsuit, the idea itself came from Julia Olson, an attorney based in Eugene, Oregon. Olson founded an organization called Our Children’s Trust after watching the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth while she was seven months pregnant. Her idea to invite kids to become plaintiffs in a suit against the government was partly inspired by her colleague Mary Christina Wood, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program at the University of Oregon. Wood has spent her career studying the public trust doctrine, most recently devising a strategy she has dubbed Atmospheric Trust Litigation to apply that theory to the climate.
The kids are props. Big Green, James Hansen et al are all hiding behind them, pretending that Gore’s movie is anything other than science fiction.
From the mischief makers at Disrupt the Narrative. President Obama’s relentless pursuit of failure in “green” energy isn’t solely about energy or even about economics. It’s about building a religion, and building it bigger, widening the corridors and adding more lanes…
Solyndra. Ener1. LightSquared. Solar Trust. Obama plays with piles of money, and we get to pay. Just think of it all as a tithe, donated to the Environmental Church of the Televangelist in Chief, paid at the point of a gun.
Crystals dating to medieval times show that the last warming period wasn’t confined to Europe. It was global, and it had nothing to do with CO2 emissions:
A team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York state, has found that contrary to the ‘consensus’, the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago wasn’t just confined to Europe.
In fact, it extended all the way down to Antarctica – which means that the Earth has already experience global warming without the aid of human CO2 emissions.
‘Ikaite is an icy version of limestone,’ said Lu. ‘The crystals are only stable under cold conditions and actually melt at room temperature.’
It turns out the water that holds the crystal structure together – called the hydration water – traps information about temperatures present when the crystals formed.
This finding by Lu’s research team establishes, for the first time, ikaite as a reliable way to study past climate conditions.
From the ikaite crystals takes in samples off Antarctica, Lu’s team deduced that the medieval warming period was global. That contradicts the UN IPCC and Algore dogma, which states that the medieval warming was localized to northern Europe.
Just a guess here, but the medieval warming and the little ice age that followed it probably line up well with the solar activity cycle. That big orange thing in the sky has much more to say on our climate than anything we do.
So last night after the hotly contested Alabama and Mississippi primaries, I unwind with an hour or so of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens.
We all unwind in different ways. If there’s no soccer on I usually hit the History Channel. The scenery and pyramids and other vistas they show on Ancient Aliens are timeless and striking. And, the show is one of the funniest on TV.
The ancient astronaut theorists (AAT), as they are called on Ancient Aliens, hang their mind-expanding theory that space aliens visited earth long ago and set various ancient civilizations on scientific paths, and that we humans may be alien offshoots ourselves, mostly on this guy.
I don’t know about you, but he just screams “credibility” to me.
So I’m watching the show last night, and Giorgio Tsoukalos, pictured above, is on about how some ancient Mayan king is depicted on his sarcophagus as if he’s launching in a space ship. It’s in a carving on a massive stone slab that was found in 1948 in the bottom of a Mayan pyramid. Wouldn’t that be something if Giorgio is right?
Mayan pyramids are astounding feats of organization and design. The carving of King Pakal is an amazing work of art and craftsmanship. The king seems to be sitting in a chair and fiddling with a bunch of stuff around him, with his feet on pedals of some kind. Weird stuff.
The Pakal sarcophagus engraving is so compelling that a model maker decided to build a very detailed 3D rendering of the space capsule it might depict, and they showed that 3D rendering on Ancient Aliens.
Clearly the AAT theorists see that sarcophagus and think “space capsule.” The AAT folks could also have decided that Pakal was sitting in a barber’s chair, or that the artists who probably spent decades carving that sarcophagus lid popped a little peyote and got creative, or he was chilling on his throne, but that’s a whole lot less sexy than putting the king in a space ship. They didn’t address what looks like it must have been a very painful neck position. And whatever one thinks of Giorgio and his gravity defying hair, one must admit that the model is very well done. I wouldn’t mind having one on a shelf in the background of my PJTV Skypes. Thousands of years from now, assuming the model survives, no one will have any trouble figuring out what the model maker was hoping to convey.
But I’m puzzled by a couple of things. We’re supposed to believe that the ancient aliens put a Mayan king at the controls of a spaceship. How did they train him for that? Well, maybe they just let him sit in the pilot’s chair but didn’t let him flip the main switch. So the lid could be the Mayan version of the diplomatic photo-op. The AAT folks, though, interpret some stuff at the bottom of the engraving as if it depicts fire from rocket engines, so the engraving suggests that Pakal piloted the craft (and that the aliens used some form of combustion propulsion, at least for flight within the atmosphere). That seems inefficient for such an advanced civilization, but fine, whatever. We’re supposed to believe, though, that the aliens only left behind stone carving as a way of communicating this momentous event. Stone carving is a very pedestrian means of communication, that fit the Maya better than it could have fit spacefaring aliens, and let’s be honest, the engraving is quite ambiguous. Is Pakal in a space capsule? A barber’s chair? On a throne kicking back? What’s up, Pakal? But put that aside. What really bothers me is that, having put Pakal at the controls of a spaceship, the aliens didn’t think to bequeath him some shirt technology? You can ride in our rocket ship, the aliens seem to be saying, but no shirt for you. Supposing they let Pakal fly the craft, there was the possibility of a crash. A flame retardant jump suit of some kind would have made sense. A kilt sans top, not so much.
Kind of seems like a glaring oversight on the aliens’ part, if you ask me.
When Consumer Reports took the car out for a test spin recently, however, the Karma did not perform as planned. The consumer company bought a Karma from a dealer for the purpose of putting it to the test. And in a video now posted on its website, Consumer Reports auto engineer Tom Mutchler explains what happened.
“It is low, it is sleek, it is sensuous. It’s also broken. Right here in the middle of our driveway. The car doesn’t go in gear. It doesn’t move,” he says.
The new car had to be towed away.
That’ll probably hurt its score.
Exit question: Which is the worst performance: catching on fire, dying on a drive test, or turning into a big, beautiful brick?
- Fakegate: Can’t Hide This Decline, by Rand Simberg. Peter Gleick adds yet more fraud to the warmists’ resume.
- Redefining the American Dream … Downwards, by Richard Fernandez. Poverty as a policy goal.
- Han Shot First! By Ed Driscoll. Bill Whittle’s newest video is a reminder that Oceania has always been at war with East Alderaan.
- The Follies of Thomas Friedman’s Third Party, by Ron Radosh. Third parties give the victory to whomever third-party voters like the least.
- ‘Chemtrails,’ Ron Paul, and the Cost of Conspiracy in Arizona, by John Nampion. Ever wonder about those white lines in the sky?
- The Futility of Trying to Wish Iran into Being Rational, by Bridget Johnson. The “rational actor” was emboldened enough today to talk about its own preemptive strikes.
- God Bless America? Remembering 1993′s Falling Down, by Kathy Shaidle. How far has the revenge fantasy devolved in the past 20 years?
The fakery done to make the Heartland Institute appear to be lying about global warming matters for one reason: It’s proof that the global warmists/changist/disruptionsists are willing to lie to advance their goals. Thanks to the shenanigans that went on at East Anglia we already knew that, but the forging of documents to smear Heartland take the story into Dan Rather and the National Guard territory. Not only are they quite capable of plotting to “hide the decline,” they’re evidently just as capable of smearing their opposites. To make the obvious crystal clear, what they’re doing on both ends of this story is not science.
That leads me to discuss why the story doesn’t matter all that much, in terms of the overall climate debate. The fact is, Heartland and East Anglia just do not occupy the same space in the public’s consciousness. East Anglia, where the decline was hidden, was the global warming movement’s inner sanctum. It was held up as above reproach, just reporting the alarming facts. Being honest here, I had never heard of the Heartland Institute until the fake memos were leaked. Heartland has never been analogous to East Anglia. The lead of East Anglia’s emails portrayed an institution rotten at its core, peddling pseudoscience and hiding its real data from the public that had paid for that data to be gathered. If anything, the fakery done to Heartland has enhanced its reputation just by elevating awareness that they exist and were deemed enough of a threat for someone to hack them and forge a memo to smear them.
For my own part, Heartland has had nothing at all to do with my views on climate. I came to be a skeptic of global warming alarmism because I actually spent several years in science, on the production team for the Hubble Space Telescope. Science is a humbling occupation, or should be. As we discover more about the universe around us, we constantly see our cherished assumptions challenged and often shattered. When politicians and Hollywood actors with no backgrounds in science at all run around shouting “The sky is falling! The science is settled!” they’re showing none of the humility that we ought to attach to real science. They’re betraying the arrogance typical of their fields. Their own statements and behavior should spark skepticism in healthy minds.
I’ve also been close enough to real science to see when it can go awry, when the press release and the news cycle get in the way of what the science actually says. Individual scientists’ ambitions, jealousies, grudges and alliances also play too great a role in what gets respect and funding and what doesn’t. I’ve seen it when a major NASA official reacts with a sneer to a new finding simply because that official hadn’t heard of the scientist who wrote the paper. That aspect of modern science doesn’t get talked about enough — how personalities and the media can and do distort the scientific process in large and small ways every day. And related to that, not enough attention gets paid to how the government grant process dictates what gets research dollars and press boosts after the fact. When you have, at one end of the process, politicians demanding action on some so-called scientific issue, and on the other end, those same politicians influencing which projects get the grants, you have a potential conflict of interest and an open door to corruption. We saw that corruption in the leaked East Anglia emails.
Yes, I read Kathy’s anti-Star Wars, and sci-fi and computer games, piece in bemusement. Consider this my polite reply.
When Star Wars first came out in 1977, it stirred the chords of my then six-year-old heart like nothing ever had before. The buzz about the film went on for months, all through the year, and when I finally saw it in the theater in late 1977, it didn’t disappoint. It was glorious — fun, macho, funny, dazzling — a ticket to another universe. The experience was incredible. The buzz continued straight through to The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, and Return of the Jedi in 1983. It’s fair to say that Lucas’ arts dominated my childhood, but more importantly, the films he churned out in that period were actually good films. Empire’s foreshadowing, defeats, pacing, and twists make it one of the greatest films of its decade, if not the 20th century.
But here’s a little known fact about Star Wars: More than just being a series of two very good films, a pair of decent films and a pair of bad films, it bequeathed a whole industry. I’m not talking about the parallel marketing of the toys, many of which I used to own and now wish I still did because they would be worth a pile of money. I’m talking about Photoshop, and the broader digital imaging industry.
Photoshop was created by brothers John and Thomas Knoll. John Knoll was on the ILM team that breathed life into the Star Wars universe. He wanted to improve ILM’s processes for flying TIE fighters around and creating light sabers and blaster bursts. His brother, Thomas, was a coder on early Apple computers. Thomas built the code for a program that allowed Apples to manipulate photos. John saw the program’s true potential, and together they built Photoshop. Today it’s one of the most useful and ubiquitous programs on the planet, a powerful tool for serious photographers, artists, editors and hobbyists alike. I owe much of my career at NASA and in blogging to Photoshop and After Effects, and thus to Thomas and John Knoll, and thus to Star Wars. Not because I go around dressing up like a storm trooper (I never have, don’t, and never will) but because the team behind Star Wars helped advance and democratize the technology behind the film making industry. Photoshop led to Premiere, to Avid, to Final Cut, and back to Avid and Premiere and iMovie and Movie Maker and to editing video on your iPhone, and also to the broadening improvement of more advanced programs like Maya and Lightwave. Would Apple have become the preferred brand of digital artists if Photoshop hadn’t existed? Or would it have died as many other early computer brands did? ILM and its competitors, and some of us in the digital arts industry who never worked for any of the big effects houses, have pushed relentlessly to expand what computers can do for film, which has in turn led to more powerful computers and cheaper digital video technology. This impact on our daily lives isn’t as profound as the impact the space program has had on the technology we use every day in the first world, but it is far reaching and has enabled an awful lot of success for an awful lot of people.
I’ll grant that the SW prequels until Revenge of the Sith are awful films (Revenge goes in the “decent” pile, along with Jedi, though the Darth Vader “Nooooo!” nearly kills the whole film and Lucas seems determined to ruin the good ones now). They’re lifeless, predictable bores, not just because we know what that little boy turns into, but because the dialog is awful and, other than Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine, all of the performances are terrible. Lucas is a great vision man, but his directing skills just don’t exist. He should hand the writing over to someone like R. A. Salvatore and the directing to, well, just about anyone. Go play with your spaceships, George.
The annual “historic agreement” to meet again later — wait, sorry, that’s “to save the planet” — has been agreed, to the also-annual teary-eyed hugging and standing ovations by EU delegates, at “COP-17,” the negotiations to replace the expiring (after 2012) Kyoto Protocol.
On its face, the summary is that the rest of the world agreed to let Europe continue binding itself until some later date. Yesterday, ClimateWire reported that a fund was established to administer the fund agreed in Copenhagen two years ago. Oh.
AP tells us that “a separate document obliges major developing nations like China and India, excluded under Kyoto, to accept legally binding emissions targets in the future,” meaning in a separate document China et al bound themselves to bind themselves later. [So....uh, they bound themselves for later? No. They bound themselves to bind themselves later. THIRD BASE!]
Oddly, no one seems too proud of this latest “breakthrough,” described as countries binding themselves to bind themselves later. The UN isn’t providing what the Telegraph tells us is a whopping two-page text. Takes awhile, you see.
The State Department doesn’t seem too keen on trumpeting their latest “historic agreement,” either, but the home page’s Daily Press Briefing does offer “New Photovoltaic Project Inaugurated At U.S. Embassy in Athens” and “Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Receives South-South Cooperation Award for Partnership.
So whatever it was it was less historic than these advances. Or no one wants to draw too much attention.
American Tradition Institute director of litigation Chris Horner first filed a FOIA request with NASA for records on Hansen’s outside employment in February, but the Obama administration initially fought the request, even litigating the matter in court.
Then, all of a sudden last Friday, the Justice Department sent Horner the documents he had requested.
A January 20, 2009, document shows that the Canadian law firm Ackroyd LLP retained Hansen to prepare a report “regarding the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions from the Joslyn Oil Sand Mine.”
Ackroyd represents the Oil Sand Environmental Coalition (OSEC), a group fighting to stop oil sand development. Federal government employees are not allowed to accept money for expert testimony in proceedings before a court or agency of the United States. But Hansen was testifying before a Candian court, so as long as he disclosed the payments, the agreement should have been legal.
It is still unclear how much money Hansen received from Ackroyd, however, since his 2010 financial disclosure form did not list them as a source of income. Neither does his 2009 form. There is also no record of his disclosing any travel expenses related to his 2010 oil sands testimony in Canada.