Tag Archives: environment

Global Warming: Can’t Have It Both Ways

Watch this video first:

It seems the main argument being espoused here by these assorted bloviators and blowhards is that global warming means, backed by the latest “models”, warmer winters with less snow, less ice, less of all that nasty stuff we just got a foot and a half of here in Chicago.
You can’t have it both ways: Warmer winters with less snow cannot equal global warming at the same time that colder winters with more snow equal global warming. To claim this is the case is to demonstrate the factual illegitimacy of your cause and the moral bankruptcy of yourself.

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Today’s Interesting Stuff: 10/12/2009

Where’re the headlines?

Interesting
Interesting

Reason.org reports on a study published in October 2008 in the Journal of the American Medical Association which busts the balloon of “common knowledge” regarding who clogs emergency rooms and doesn’t pay.

Show of hands: who believes it is the uninsured who use a disproportionately high amount of medical care in US emergency rooms while paying a disproportionately low amount of their bills?

I did. In the face of a lack of public evidence to the contrary and because it sounds plausible. It passed the “stink” test.

Well, it’s deodorant is wearing out and the reek of the rotted corpse is becoming harder and harder to conceal.

(R)esearchers at the University of Michigan … concluded that “available data do not support assumptions that uninsured patients are a primary cause of overcrowding, present with less acute conditions than insured patients, or seek [emergency room] care primarily for convenience.”

(P)atients with public insurance, such as Medicaid and Medicare, are more likely to crowd into emergency rooms for minor complaints than are the uninsured. Only about 17 percent of E.R. visits in the United States in the last year studied were by uninsured patients, about the same as their share of the population.

Additionally:

A 2007 study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine looked at charges and payments for 43,128 emergency department visits between 1996 and 2004. “What surprised us was that uninsured patients actually pay a higher proportion of their emergency department charges than Medicaid does,” reported co-author Reneé Hsia, a specialist in emergency medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. “In fact, 35 percent of charges for uninsured visits were paid in 2004, compared with 33 percent for Medicaid visits.”

Read the whole story here.

In other words, it’s the people already on that paradigm of balanced care, the public option, that are the dead weight on the system. They are leeches. They suck eagerly at the public teat like so many thirty-year-old, basement dwelling, XBox playing nerds living off their own mother’s inability to to force their children to grow up.

In nature the parent birds push their own children out of their nest in a fly or fall choice.

We humans have compassion and a sign of a healthy society is more likely found in their care for their poor rather than the lack of the poor. But to forcibly take from the productive members of society and play the enabler to the myriad sponges found around every willing and leaky faucet is not to help but to kill.

“Where are the headlines?”  a friend asked.

With the wonder of the internet and the example of Big Government and the slaying of the beast ACORN in recent weeks, we must embrace this truth about a fundamental change in our society: we are the 4th estate.

Each and every one of us have the power, through viral spreading of messages through the networks of facebook and youtube and twitter, myspace and orkut, blogs and the wider web, to build a story, however under-reported in the mainstream media, into a tsunami which cannot be ignored by those we’ve sent to do our bidding in DC and statehouses across this nation.

Are you doing your part in this brave new world?

Government Is Big

Bringing home the glory in the Duh! category today, the Washington Post, reporting on Obama’s Executive Order mandating federal agencies monitor and decrease their greenhouse emissions and environmental footprint, noted the government is big.

Administration officials said they could not estimate the federal government’s carbon footprint, since it has never been measured before, but the government ranks as the nation’s largest energy consumer. It occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles and employs more than 1.8 million civilian workers.

Read the whole story here.

Very big.

500,000 buildings?

Five Hundred-Thousand buildings?

What in heaven’s name have we allowed the government to do in order to meet our needs for an accountable system of government?

I feel like Frankenstein’s creator: “It’s ALIIIIVE!”.

And well I should. After all, as an involved member of this greatest nation on God’s green earth I’m one who votes and talks, exercising the rights guaranteed by a Constitution won with the blood of thousands and defended by the blood of millions. And therefore I’m responsible, maybe not for the problem directly, but for the solution certainly.

I’m not one to get into the whole green thing. The clerk at Bed, Bath & Beyond said she wanted to use the bamboo kitchen utensils I was checking out because she’d heard they were more environmentally friendly. I told her I used them because they work better than regular wood utensils, nothing green about it.

But here’s something real greens and conservatives and concerned citizens across the country can all get behind: cut back on the footprint of the government by cutting back on the government.

In a galaxy far, far away…

…where President Obama lives. He was joined recently by the members of the Nobel Prize Committee.  It’s probably more true to say they’ve been there all along, considering who they like to reward.

But breaking information regarding the nature of that world has come to light courtesy of a small, fuzzy friend”

The Real Winner

Ironic Surrealism has the lowdown on the real winner of the Nobel Peace Prize:

The real Peace Prize winner.
The real Peace Prize winner.

Chipotle And The Beneficent Free Market

This is a slight commentary on Chipotle (the restaurant chain) and how it symbolizes the significant superiority of the free market economy and accompanying extreme wealth and their many benefits to the world at large.

Have you eaten at Chipotle? If not, you should.

It’s not really Mexican food, per se.

It’s more like Starbucks does Mexican food. We all know Starbucks isn’t really coffee, but it’s still really good and we’re willing to pay a lot for it.

Chipotle uses fresh ingredients and a limited number of choices in an efficient and modern atmosphere to serve quality food at reasonable prices.

Kinda like Henry Ford: You can get anything you want at Chipotle, so long as it’s a burrito (not completely true, but I’m suffering under a plethora of metaphors and similes today. Sorry).

Anyway, it’s good. I like it. My wife does too. And lots of other people too.

Chipotle uses it’s efficiency structure, derived from it’s owner, McDonalds Corp’s,  excellent experience at high-volume, low-cost supply-chain infrastructure management to maintain significant profits while maintaining reasonable prices.

Unless they were making tons of money from us eager eaters, Chipotle would not be able to be such a force for good so far as the environment is concerned.

Chipotle uses it’s leverage with it’s sour cream supplier, Daisy, to make sure the cows that give their milk to the Chipotle sour cream cause are not fed any hormones of any type. A non-hormone injected cow will not produce anywhere near the same amount of milk as one who is kept hormone-high. Which means that the “cleaner” milk costs more. If Chipotle were not making tons of money, it could not afford to reqire this better milk.

I probably couldn’t taste the difference between hormonal sour cream and non-hormonal sour cream, but I’m happy to be enjoying stuff that doesn’t  cause so much trouble to the cow.

Chipotle’s beef, pork, and chicken likewise come from free-range animals not injected or force-fed. This means the amount of usable meat from each animal is much less than ones that are artificially “enhanced”, lowering the profit and raising the cost of each animal.

All because I pay 5.35 for my loaded steak burrito, all these animals are able to enjoy better lives and provide me with my enjoyment in a more natural, healthful way.

Could an eatery in a poor nation support the same level of “sustainable” resource management?

It’s not that we can compel them to behave in a certain way. If the way they raise their cows raises the costs beyond what their economy can support, they’ll starve.

In a hierarchy of needs, basic human needs come before animal comfort. If feeding the cows in destitute South American and African nations means the people will be able to afford beneficial red meat while saving more money so their sons and daughters can attend school, that’s a trade worthwhile.

As their education level rises, their production will speed, efficiency will rise, and the average wealth of their economy will increase until they can afford places like Chipotle and the less efficient, but more friendly methods of production.

So don’t hate the economy, your wealth and ease, or the rampant consumerism that drives much of our lives these days. It’s not all good, but it’s far from all bad. Americans give and give and give more, by orders of magnitude, than anywhere else on the planet. We produce more per unit of labor, and we own more per person than anywhere else, and it leads to a continued cycle of growth and giving.

By working hard and excercising a responsible or even an irresponsible level of gratitude to God for His beneficence to us in giving to those without, we cause more good.

God did not punish the men who used their business acumen to double His granted funds, neither will He begrudge you trying hard, with ethics and moral behavior, to maximize your economic potential.

Now go and sin no more. And eat at Chipotle.

Why Hurry?

Words to truly live by: “Hakuna Matata”

Yes, I’m really off my rocker this time: words to live by courtesy of a Disney movie? Of course!

I’ll take my wisdom where I can find it.

In the news today there is a mea culpa without the “mea culpa” bit.

The media can make or break a story: report a sensational bit of blood however far-fetched it is and the Evening Alphabet Soup can lend credence to the slimest of fabrications.

Take HPV and the vaccines released recently: overnight there was a frenzy about how every young girl needs to get these vaccines. Especially the part about government knowing best: parents who did not want to have their little girls inoculated against sexually transmitted diseases (because every father who loves his daughter is a pervert) were considered worse than priests in the ‘dark ages’.

I don’t have daughters (yet) and I would be against inoculating for any sexually transmitted disease. It’s not that I want them to contract them, it’s that odds are heavily against their needing such a vaccine. Your children may be animals without self-control, but that’s no reason mine should be too.

Well, the media loudly proclaimed that every little girl needs a lollipop and Gardasil, and now they can eat it: the efficacy of the drugs are being questioned, seriously.

I’m not too concerned about one little dust up over some popular (and cash-cow if it were mandated) drug. I’m concerned about the idea that anything good must be rushed.

From the innocuous: Anybody watch “The New World” and like it? (raises hand) I loved the fact that this movie takes it’s time to tell a rich and moving story. Sit down and watch it. Turn off your clock and turn the DVD player around so you can’t see the time. Forget your appointments. You’ll have to. And you’ll find yourself enjoying it almost like you’d enjoy a good book. No instant gratification here.

To the important: The environment. Important? Yes! Jump to seeding the entire sky with silver oxide to force moisture accumulation to jump-start carbon dioxide processing? Not on your life. It will not be over today or tomorrow (despite what the Evening Alphabet Soup’s favorite movie says. We have time to work together to increase our energy efficiency and continue our amazing work managing this amazing planets incredible resources better than we have. That is one thing this nation has done better than anyone else.

To the political: Change for change’s sake. Heh. Have I got some excellent ocean-front property in Kansas to sell you.

So, while all y’all are running about like chickens with your heads cut off screaming about how the sky is falling while rubbing the lump the tennis ball left you. I’ll be over here getting things accomplished.

Quiet please! I’m enjoying this thunderstorm.

Also on StopTheACLU.

Global Warming: Is there really a scientific consensus?

As most of you know, I wrote a note about global warming not too long ago. A friend of mine wrote a note himself with a different focus than mine, arguing that global warming is well documented and those who oppose it are sticking their heads in the sand. I’m sure he knows more than I do, but in the interest of discussion, clarity, and knowledge, I thought I would share these articles I found and see what you all think of them.

Apparently there was a big UN report that 2500 scientists from around the world signed off on claiming that global warming is in fact occurring, it is caused by greenhouse gases, humans are most definitely the cause, and it has a detrimental impact on the environment. I don’t know if this is one of the consensus studies commonly studied but the articles I read lead me to believe that, as is so often the case, the real story is far more complicated and nuanced (or just different). So with that I have two links, one to a blog, the other to an article. The blog I found helpful because it was written by a scientist who worked on some NASA reports a while ago. He gives a good background explanation of how these large reports tend to work. If you have time I would read him. The other article talks about how the actual IPCC report was put together and why the claims can be misleading. Let me know what you think and without further bloviating (yep, I do watch O’reilly from time to time):

Blog:
http://thecoloradoindex.typepad.com/the_colorado_index/2008/07/the-ipcc-is-lyi.html

Article:
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7553&page=1