Wednesday, May 31, 2006
COLUMN IS REALITY-BASED
* The Easybeats leave for London in 1966;
* And the Easybeats return from London in 1969. The intervening three years appear to have been enjoyed.
CAR CLEANSES PLANET
KERRY WON NEW YORK
Red state/blue state differences noted:
Children exposed to intense urban air pollution while in the womb are 2.9 times more likely to be developmentally disabled at age 3, a New York study says.
The Columbia University research found 42 of 183 children exposed to the highest level of exhaust fumes from vehicles and power plants scored an average 5.7 points lower on cognitive tests administered at age 3.
Hmm. It’s possible inner-city types may be inclined towards idiotic environmentalism due to their brains being polluted.
Interesting developments in Sizzleville:
Police sent reinforcements to the troubled suburbs of northern Paris yesterday after a night of rioting revived fear of a return to the violence that raged through France’s immigrant housing estates last year.
In another sign of continuing racial tension, the Government also ordered an inquiry into an anti-Semitic black group that staged an aggressive march through the Jewish quarter of the capital.
I blame proposed French employment policies.
THROATS AT RISK
Media-related death threats! Harry Hutton gets in on this year’s zoomiest trend. Similar crankiness is evident locally, where a column by SMH blogger Jack Marx was widely misunderstood. Matters are now in the hands of the police.
AND THEN SHE’LL CHASE THE POOL GUYS IN SANTA MONICA
Headline: “MILF to hunt down Islamic militants in Mindanao.”
APOCALYPSE SCREAMER DENOUNCES EXTREMISTS
Al Gore—this year’s Michael Moore—cranks up the stupid:
US President George W. Bush’s administration was a “renegade band of right-wing extremists”, former US vice president Al Gore said ...
I wish. Inspired by Mr. Tipper, Iowahawk presents Ten Things You Can Do To Save The Planet:
One of the most pressing threats facing our environment is rising incomes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Only a generation ago, these proud dark people were happily frolicking in the rain forest, foraging for organic foods amid the wonders of nature. Now, corrupted by wealth, they are demanding environmentally hazardous consumer goods like cars and air conditioning and malaria medicine. You can do your part to stop this dangerous consumer trend by supporting environmentally aware leaders like Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro to foster an economy of sustainable low-impact ecolabor camps.
You’ve already hit the link, so it’s kind of redundant to insist on reading the whole thing.
SHOUTY AUSTRALIAN JOINS CNN
My old Time pal Michael Ware lands a fine new job:
Michael Ware, the TIME magazine Baghdad bureau chief who gained renown for in-depth coverage of the insurgency in Iraq, will join CNN as a correspondent based in Baghdad, it was announced today by Tony Maddox, senior vice president of international newsgathering operations.
I think at least one other US network was also chasing him. Whatever you make of Ware’s dubious perspectives on Iraq, there’s at least one massive positive here: with Ware in Baghdad, CNN will never revert to Eason Jordan-era concerns over government access—for the simple reason that Ware couldn’t care less about government access. Which (generally) is a good thing. I look forward to his coverage of the insurgency’s extinction.
(Via Florida Cracker, who observes: “Every time Al Gore gets on a plane, a polar bear drowns.”)
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Popular Science investigates: “Can tinfoil hats actually prevent the government from reading your thoughts?”
DEFECTS WILL DESTROY US
“It’s a shame that environmental action is a partisan issue,” writes the Michigan Daily’s Theresa Kennelly. “Democrats and Republicans both breathe the same air, and only if the federal government steps in to combat rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions will we maintain an ample supply of fresh air for everyone to breathe.”
Otherwise we’ll all choke to death! Kennelly’s premonition is brought about by Al Gore’s new movie, in which the wooden (it’s a compliment) ex-VP promises total doom unless we elect a tree as Jesus and recycle our housepets. Further views on Gore and his cinematic adventure:
* Actor Leonardo DiCaprio: “Go See ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ when it comes to your town! Gore is funny, engaging, open and downright on fire about getting the surprisingly stirring truth about what he calls our ‘planetary emergency’ out to ordinary citizens before it’s too late.”
* Climate guy Dr. Robert C. Balling Jr: “The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in December 1997, giving the Clinton-Gore administration more than three years to present it to the Senate for ratification. Given Gore’s knowledge and passion for global warming, you wonder why the vice president didn’t seize on the opportunity of a lifetime?”
* The Kansas City Star: “Al Gore’s fortune and soaring Google stock could help him launch a White House race anytime he likes, Democratic insiders tell the New York Post’s Deborah Orin. Gore has served as a senior adviser to Google since 2001.”
* The Guardian’s Gary Younge: “Where was this Al Gore six years ago when he stood for president? Indeed where was he 14 years ago when he stood for vice president? Where was he when Clinton signed Kyoto but would not honour it? Where was this Al Gore when big business was bankrolling his campaign?”
* The NYT’s Paul Krugman: “Al Gore and others who hope to turn global warming into a real political issue are going to have to get tougher, because the other side doesn’t play by any known rules.”
* Jay D. Homnick on Gore’s Saturday Night Live turn: “Gore not only jested, he attempted to laugh. Look at the two pictures in the USA Today article about his appearance; have you ever seen a more strained and ghastly rictus?”
* Jonah Goldberg notes Gore’s claim that his 15th summer was spent “study[ing] the existentialists — Sartre, Camus” at the Cannes Film Festival: “According to David Maraniss’ biography of Gore, the former vice president’s 15th summer was spent working on the family farm. Remember those stories about how Al Sr. said, ‘A boy could never be president if he couldn’t plow with that damned hillside plow’? That was the same summer. Apparently, Poppa Gore thought a boy who couldn’t both plow a field and parlez French existentialism could never be president either.”
* The New Hampshire Union Leader: “It is conveniently forgotten today that former Vice President Al Gore, among other leftists, once advocated that the government artificially raise gas prices to discourage oil consumption. With the market having set gasoline at an average price of just under $3 a gallon, some interesting things are happening. For one, leftists are proclaiming their outrage at the high price of gas.”
* Al Gore: “We face a challenge in the conversation of democracy that we must be up to in order to save the climate balance on which our civilisation depends.”
* More Gore: “Will there come a time decades from now when our children or their children will ask of us, ‘What were they thinking? Why didn’t they react? Didn’t they see the evidence? Were they too distracted or too busy? Didn’t they care?’”
* The Guardian’s Richard Smith: “As I write, Al Gore is doing his pitch on global warming at the Hay Festival ... I have no confidence that our species will survive. Selfishness means we cannot make the changes we need to make: people will not give up their cars, their foreign holidays, their central heating, their meat-eating and all the other pursuits that guzzle energy and poison the planet ... these are the defects that will destroy us.”
SYDNEY MEETS, PARIS TOASTS
Ned Wynn is in town. Just walked home from meeting this charming Californian polymath—in the company of James Morrow, Rafe Champion, and the Wogblogger—and am now frozen by insufficiently-warm global warming. Oh, to be in in Paris, where the cars are once again burning!
CEASE ACTIVITY, EARTHLINGS
Poor people are urged to stay put lest their scurrying to and fro offends Gaia:
The growing number of people who migrated from developing countries to over-populated Western states in search of a better life was damaging the planet and could be avoided, a think-tank said today.
Governments and aid agencies should encourage families to stay put by tackling environmental degradation, such as the spread of deserts, that forces many to leave …
I’d be surprised if “deserts got too big” was a common motivation to leave these places.
In addition, migrants typically increased their ecological footprint – the damage each person inflicts on the environment – by moving from low to high-consuming countries.
The ecological footprint of someone from Bangladesh increases sixteen-fold if he or she emigrated to the US, while that of a Somali citizen rises more than thirteen-times when he or she migrated to Britain.
So it would be massively beneficial, earth-wise, for Americans and British to find new homes in Bangladesh and Somalia. The report’s British authors should set an example by moving to, say, Jambaluul.
UPDATE. Cuckoo comments: “On matters environmental, I note that Tim Flannery (palaeontologist) is described by the Age today as an ‘environmental scientist’. He must’ve been taking night classes.”
Monday, May 29, 2006
HOMOSEXUALITY BAD, SEX ED EVIL, ETC
Whoa! Progressive types will be furious about this. Well, they would be, if Christianity was involved instead of Islam.
More bad environmental news:
Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy. The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday.
Which is actually good news for bears and other delightful woodland creatures:
Unlike humans, many animals don’t have adverse reactions to poison ivy, according to an expert in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “In fact, for woodpeckers, warblers, vireos and many other birds, poison ivy’s berries are a preferred food,” says Jim Finley, professor of forest resources. “Deer, black bears, muskrats and rabbits eat the fruit, stems and leaves. For these animals, poison ivy’s eye-catching early-fall color will act as a food marker rather than a poison warning.”
Black bears are listed as threatened or endangered in five US states, are rare in Missouri, and protected in Kentucky. Long may they thrive on global warming’s ivy bounty.