More inconvenient truths

Christopher Peterson writing in The Australian about a recent broadcast on ABC Radio National, that featured an interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs:

Duffy: "Can you tell us about NASA's Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we're now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?"

Marohasy: "That's right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."

Duffy: "The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?"

Marohasy: "That's right ... These findings actually aren't being disputed by the meteorological community. They're having trouble digesting the findings, they're acknowledging the findings, they're acknowledging that the data from NASA's Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they're about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide."

Duffy: "From what you're saying, it sounds like the implications of this could be considerable ..."

Marohasy: "That's right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer's interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point."

The evidence is piling up like cord wood, and the fable we've been told about anthropogenic global warming will likely prove to be just that.

The FDC would like to remind readers that the climate does not react to the spin of politicians, scientists, environmentalists, or anyone else. The climate will be whatever God intends.


The Laffer Curve, Part 3

Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at The Cato Institute, has posted Part III (the final installment) of The Center for Economic Prosperity's three-part series on The Laffer Curve on You Tube.

The crux of this tutorial demonstrates why a dynamic-scoring model of tax revenue estimating is much more accurate and realistic than Congress' static-scoring model.

The FDC linked to the first two videos in this series: #1 & #2

But the static vs. dynamic scoring doesn't just apply to economic tax-rate policy and the Laffer Curve. Methinks this static-scoring analysis is the folly of the global warming alarmists climate models, the Peak Oil crowd predictions of oil drying up, Paul Ehrlich and the population control advocates predictions of chaos, and so on.

H/T: Larry Kudlow


UW climatologist: "I'm willing to bet large sums of money that we will have a bottom in this cool period and we'll see the long-term trend again."

Here in Oregon it has been a cold winter with snow packs several feet above average in The Cascades. The Oregonian this morning had another masterful spin piece to soothe the worries of the local alarmists that this is just a temporary situation - stay tuned for more anthropogenic global warming.

Of course, the alarmists want global warming. They say they don't, but really, they do. Because, if anthropogenic global warming doesn't really happen, then they would look really foolish - and they really want to be able to say they told us so. Nevermind, that some perfect average cozy temperature is the supposed goal, right? Well, The FDC knows that's not the goal. The real goal is centralized planning of the use of all energy and emmissions, and the redistribution of the wealth to pay for it all. But I digress.

Anyway, Philip Mote is a climate scientist at the University of Washington quoted in today's Oregonian:

"If La Nina goes away and the long-term temperatures are still below average, I'll eat my hat."

We'd like to see that.

He went on to say:

"I'm willing to bet large sums of money that we will have a bottom in this cool period, and we'll see the long-term trend again."

Did you hear that Planet Gore? Did you hear that Rush Limbaugh? That sounds like a man who needs to put his money where his mouth is. This could be fun. El Rushbo would get his buddy Roy Spencer on board, and turn up the hype machine to 11.

Tony Blair: Bush is "colorblind"

Following Sen. Obama's Tuesday speech on race, Jonah Goldberg has a post over at The Corner:


“Obamaniacs think conservatives just don't get it, that we're mired in the past, that we are motivated by old passions and bigotries. We can't get swept up in the Obama "movement" because we don't want or can't imagine a post-racial America, blah, blah, blah, blah. The truth, as Ross suggests, is that we very much can imagine a post-racial America.”

And here’s a perfect example of what Goldberg is talking about. This is from a recent article, previously discussed in this space, written by Bob Geldof, when Geldof accompanied President Bush on his recent tour of Africa:

Geldof: "I spoke to Blair about you before I came on the plane."

Bush: "Tony Blair? What'd he say?"

Geldof: "He said you don't see color. To remember that you employed the first black secretaries of state, that your worldview had changed since you began, and that Condi was a big influence with regard to Africa."

That’s the kind of colorblind The FDC, Goldberg, and many others would like to see. I don’t think that liberals really want that.


David Mamet: Why I'm No Longer a Brain Dead Liberal

The Wall Street Journal's David Henninger writes about David Mamet, who wrote a piece in the Village Voice last week titled, Why I'm No Longer a Brain Dead Liberal - which likely caused The David Mamet Society to disband immediately. Drudge noticed, most ignored it though - but it clearly struck a nerve with some.


As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.

He goes on:

the synthesis of this worldview with which I now found myself disenchanted: that everything is always wrong.
But in my life, a brief review revealed, everything was not always wrong, and neither was nor is always wrong in the community in which I live, or in my country. Further, it was not always wrong in previous communities in which I lived, and among the various and mobile classes of which I was at various times a part.

And on:

And I began to question my hatred for "the Corporations"—the hatred of which, I found, was but the flip side of my hunger for those goods and services they provide and without which we could not live.

And on:

I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism.

David, here at The FDC, Sowell, Friedman, and Steele are some of our biggest heroes. If I may, I'd also like to suggest you read Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource II.


President Gore? It could happen

The FDC posted about this possibility here one month ago, and John Derbyshire over at The Corner reminds us that it is still in the cards.

On the other hand, considering that The Goracle has amassed about $97 million more dollars to add to the about $3 million he had when he left the Vice Presidency he may not want to. This AGW gig is paying pretty handsomely. Afterall, he's got some irons in the fire that will pay off hugely if his wished for climate policies are successfully mandated.

The Obama Bargain

Shelby Steele, writing in today's Wall Street Journal:

How to turn one's blackness to advantage?

The answer is that one "bargains." Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer's race against him. And whites love this bargain -- and feel affection for the bargainer -- because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence.

This is how Mr. Obama has turned his blackness into his great political advantage, and also into a kind of personal charisma. Bargainers are conduits of white innocence, and they are as popular as the need for white innocence is strong. Mr. Obama's extraordinary dash to the forefront of American politics is less a measure of the man than of the hunger in white America for racial innocence.


...bargainers have an Achilles heel. They succeed as conduits of white innocence only as long as they are largely invisible as complex human beings. They hope to become icons that can be identified with rather than seen, and their individual complexity gets in the way of this. So bargainers are always laboring to stay invisible. (We don't know the real politics or convictions of Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan or Oprah Winfrey, bargainers all.) Mr. Obama has said of himself, "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views . . ." And so, human visibility is Mr. Obama's Achilles heel. If we see the real man, his contradictions and bents of character, he will be ruined as an icon, as a "blank screen."


Series of blunders turned the plastic bag into global villain

According to The Times Online this conclusion was arrived at:

...based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Fifteen years later in 2002, when the Australian Government commissioned a report into the effects of plastic bags, its authors misquoted the Newfoundland study, mistakenly attributing the deaths to “plastic bags”.

The figure was latched on to by conservationists as proof that the bags were killers. For four years the “typo” remained uncorrected. It was only in 2006 that the authors altered the report, replacing “plastic bags” with “plastic debris”. But they admitted: “The actual numbers of animals killed annually by plastic bag litter is nearly impossible to determine....Attacking plastic bags makes people feel good but it doesn’t achieve anything"

In a postscript to the correction they admitted that the original Canadian study had referred to fishing tackle, not plastic debris, as the threat to the marine environment.

In the words of the great 20th century American philosopher, Emily Litella:

"Never mind"
You can add plastic bags to the dust bin of environmental alarmism - and please make sure that dust bin is lined with a plastic bag since they are virtually harmless.
Let's examine the other contents of the dust bin while we're at it:
1. DDT
2. CFCs

Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright

There's much discussion in this country today regarding Sen. Barack Obama and his association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright at the church the Obama's have attended for the past twenty-plus years.

One telling sign about the potential fall-out is all of the hand-wringing going on over at the Daily Kos.

Poster Silverfox:

"The story is pretty damning when looked at through the eyes of the general populace....The context of these sermons appear to be a real liability for the Obama campaign, as he has not only embraced Rev. Wright, but more importantly (and the point will be made by the GOP) continued to attend the church where these types of messages were being dispersed (thus giving his implicit agreement with the general concepts). I am starting to fear that we (with the help of the media) may have forced out John Edwards a tad too early during the primary and we may end up in a very tough fight for a White House that should be easy pickings."

A commenter to the post:

This is big.
Obama's gonna have to deal with it and it's not going to be pretty. It cannot be wished away.
bugscuffle on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:02:24 AM PDT

One of the unintended consequences of the MSM's non-vetting of the Democratic candidates is that eventually the dirt on a particular candidate will get out...eventually. In the case of Obama it may have gotten out too late, i.e. after he's already been deemed the Democratic nominee (although not formally at this time). On the other side of the coin the Republicans get sufficiently vetted by the MSM with glee, notwithstanding a potential "October Surprise" if the Democratic campaign has dirt that has not been leaked to the MSM.


Al Gore & Big Green

Chris Horner over at Planet Gore:

"...Gore, who left office worth less than $3 million, had just plunked $35 million into a particular “firm that selects the private funds for clients and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products.” Mr. Gore and his advisors are savvy enough not to place all of his wealth in one fund, it seems — the same sources report this wealth as “well in excess of” $100 million. It’s been a good seven years. Mr. Gore also has a position in a Silicon Valley “green” venture capital outfit — another group of people investing in companies that would be worth real money in an America with Gore-favored environmental policies."

Now, Gore is always trying to marginalize so-called "global warming deniers" by saying they are supposedly funded by Big Oil. In his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, Gore trots out an old Upton Sinclair line:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, if his salary depends on him not understanding.”

Gore could have just as easily been talking about himself.

A reader over at Planet Gore makes the same point. Well, actually that reader was yours truly.

Election '08 results inadvertantly leaked!


The shadowy puppetmasters are likely not happy the Diebold Corporation, makers of the AccuVote voting machine among others has inadvertantly leaked the results of the election this fall. The winner? John McCain, of course. Those that weren't privy to the conspiracy were pretty close to cracking open the whole story anyway.

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Hat tip: America's Finest News Source


FDC Global Temperature Climate Model

OK, The FDC is the first to admit that nobody on the staff is a climate scientist. But, we are at least as qualified to practice climate science as say...Al Gore.

So here goes. In the past year, the earth's average global temperature has cooled between .65 and .75 degrees Celsius. Erring on the side of caution let's use the .65 degrees Celsius number. If that change is extrapolated out in a computer model, then the...Wait a minute! Gore always uses the worst case scenario, so we we do likewise.
OK, let's start with a comfortable, balmy 21.1 degrees Celsius (American readers: 70 degrees Fahrenheit), and subtract out an annual temperature decrease of .75 degrees Celsius, in 100 years, the average global temperature will be -53.9 degrees Celsius (American readers: 65 degrees Fahrenheit below zero).
Brrrrrrr, that's mighty cold. We're talking about icebergs in Hawaii, the extinction of those cute camels, and who knows what else.


Mrs. Clinton lives to fight another day

And you know she will. She will not give up the Democratic nomination until Sen. Obama pries it from her cold, dead fingers.

Tomorrow morning's Wall Street Journal Editorial:

"...after her victory yesterday in Ohio and a nailbiter in Texas, we see little reason that the New York Senator shouldn't fight on."

Of course.


The Fallacy of Peak Oil

There's an interesting discussion going on over at Planet Gore: Peak Oil.

As The FDC is a student of Julian Simon as well as Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell , and have learned from these teachers that the theory of Peak Oil is...well, a bunch of hooey.

I suppose that there is some finite amount of oil in the earth, but from an economic standpoint that is totally irrelevant. The idea of Peak Oil and that someday the gasoline pumps will just run dry is a popular concept among those with a casual understanding of supply and demand. But, casual knowledge of supply and demand doesn’t cut it. Casual obeservers don’t quite understand the miraculous role that prices play in the supply and demand equation – not to mention the role prices play in the incentives created to go out and discover more oil when higher prices dictate that it is needed. Low oil prices will dictate that lots of oil is not discovered – yet. Just as I have no need to have a lifetime supply of groceries available to me at all times, the world doesn’t need to acually discover now a well there is no economic need for - yet. When will this unknown well be discovered? If you guessed when the Central Planning Committee decides we need it, move to the back of the class. If you guessed when prices dictate and create incentives for further oil exploration(AKA, the Invisible Hand), move the front of the class.

The grocery example again: I’ll probably need to buy some groceries to feed myself for the second week in May of 2023. Why don’t I go out and buy them now? The easy answer is that I don’t need them now, because I’ll go out and buy them when I need them in 15 years. Right now, I’ve made the rational decision to apply my monetary resources to other goods and services that I’ve deemed are more important to me and my family in the nearer future. The groceries that I’ll need 15 years and three months from now is irrelevant. I am, however, applying some of my resources to more long-term needs, i.e. my retirement and my kids college education – because that is not irrelevant even at this time. But, as far as my groceries are concerned, I’ll just keep buying them about a week or so before I need them. But, of course, if the store has a real good sale on some items that are not perishable, I’ll probably stock up. There’s that miracle of prices again. Oil supply isn’t much different.

As I said, a casual knowledge of supply and demand won’t cut it here – the Peak Oil nuts are just going to have to read a few serious economics books to wrap their brain around this concept.

Julian Simon:

More people, and increased income, cause resources to become more scarce in the short run. Heightened scarcity causes prices to rise. The higher prices present opportunity, and prompt inventors and entrepreneurs to search for solutions. Many fail in the search, at cost to themselves. But in a free society, solutions are eventually found. And in the long run the new developments leave us better off than if the problems had not arisen. That is, prices eventually become lower than before the increased scarcity occurred.

A column by Nansen G. Salerit on tomorrow's Wall Street Journal Editorial Page agrees:

In fact, we are nowhere close to reaching a peak in global oil supplies.

Given a set of assumptions, forecasting the peak-oil-point -- defined as the onset of global production decline -- is a relatively trivial problem.


Buckley & Reagan: Qualities of Conservative Greatness

Bruce Walker at The American Thinker has written a column about the two men who most epitomized the conservative movement in America.


Buckley, a deeply religious man, realized that all political problems are ultimately moral problems, and all moral problems ultimately religious problems. The attempt to expunge God from politics, therefore, was the first step toward totalitarianism and the sort moldy social jelly that it Europe today.

Reagan also put God above all else. Buckley and Reagan, however, were not the sort of political-religious leaders like Huckabee. Neither man would have said a word about Romney's Mormonism. The God of Buckley and Reagan had very long arms. It was a God that Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Christians each recognized well. This God was concerned about unborn children, but just as concerned about souls trapped in the Gulag.

Walker concludes:

Buckley and Reagan were men of great gifts, but it was not their gifts alone that made them great. What made them great was certainty of moral purpose and absolute fearlessness in defending without equivocation what they knew was right. Nations always need such men. America particularly needs such men now.