May 30th, 2009

#1577: Why doesn't this surprise me?

fail owned pwned pictures

Yeah, that's Target for you. *sigh*

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So here we go with the predictions of eco-doom. Again. These are more of the same predictions which have never been right.
Experts have a stark warning: that unless we change course, the "perfect storm" of population growth, dwindling resources and climate change has the potential to converge in the next century with catastrophic results.
On or around the first "Earth Day" in 1970 they predicted that all three of those things would happen much sooner than 91 years from now; they were predicting some of it for 1985. (Unless my math is faulty, 1985 was 15 years after 1970. Anyone have a calculator?) "Climate change" meant the impending ice age, not global warming, but eco-loonies have oscillated between warming and cooling as the impending doom of Man since we even knew about ice ages.

The main problem with their "perfect storm" is that our resources aren't dwindling, the climate is behaving naturally, and we can handle population growth.

Resources: just as an example, experts confidently predicted that we only had 30 years' worth of oil left "at current usage levels" in 1978. It's 30 years later, we're using more than ever, and we keep finding more oil. One would presume that we will eventually find all the oil there is and use it up; but there are vast reserves which aren't being tapped for political reasons such as the oil off the coast of the United States.

I figure that we have perhaps another 50, 60 years as a petroleum economy before we start switching to other energy sources. You can pick your reasons: increasing prices of petroleum, the discovery of better ways to generate and store energy, alien invasion, WTF-ever. We're not going to be burning fossil fuels forever; all we need is a decent and practical replacement for gasoline. (Problem is, of course, that gasoline has more energy pound-for-pound than TNT does. It also tends to release that energy at a rate which is safer and more convenient for fueling commonplace powerplants, and will only explode under certain conditions which one must make an effort to create.)

Climate: we don't know what the hell the climate is doing, nor do we know why it's doing it. We think the Earth is in an extended interglacial period; we don't know why. The Earth warmed a lot during the 20th century; most of the warming of the 20th century occurred before 1940. It stopped warming after 1998 and now is showing a decline--and we don't know why. (It sure as hell isn't human carbon emissions.)

Population growth: best guess is that world population will stabilize somewhere north of nine billion if nothing changes. Capitalism seems to have a moderating effect on population growth; as people get healthier and wealthier they tend to have fewer children; the population growth rate of the "first world" countries is effectively zero.

Nine billion people is sustainable; with what we know about agriculture now it is eminently possible for us to support that many people. We're not going to run out of resources any time soon, and we can adapt to a changing climate.

So we can chalk this one up to "gotta scare the sheeple again!" and leave it at that--it's nothing but the same tired nonsense we get periodically from the lefty watermelon eco-nazi crowd.

Besides, what these kinds of shows amount to is more of a "ZOMGWTFBBQ I might not be able to get my double-espresso mochaccino at Starbucks on 4th ave!" reaction, not "Say your prayers, gentle folk, for we all die tomorrow" prediction. Oh no, global warming might flood Manhattan, and then where could I get that low-fat pastrami that the local deli makes that no one else has? "Civilization", to the people who made this show, consists of contemporary urban life in big coastal cities; these people won't even recognize farmers from Nebraska as being part of the same civilzation or even country. I should not expect them to understand that even without New York and Los Angeles life and civilization will continue.

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Some US states are already rationing health care even before medicine has been socialized.

Oregon is the lead example.
Oregon, for example, has become the first government in the world to draw up a formal procedure for rationing health care, shifting priorities away from life-saving measures to more politically popular treatments, Health Care News reports.

The state health care program for low-income people ranks treatments for various diseases and conditions in order of priority. If a treatment ranks 504 or lower on the scale, no treatment will be authorized.

Some of the ailments that will not be covered include such serious conditions as vocal cord paralysis or deformities in one's upper body and limbs. However, therapy for youthful conduct disorder, pathological gambling, mild depression and mood disorders are covered.
And so the "politically correct" disorders take precedence over actual medical problems!

And if Obama gets his way we can expect all health care in the US to be like that. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Anderson, but let's be honest: at 74 you're not going to be walking all that much longer, anyway, so why do you need a hip replacement?"

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Big surprise: White House wants to shut up critics of the stimulus. The White House wants actively to stop people from being critical of the stimulus package and its effects on the economy.

Oh, that pesky "first amendment" thing? Well, that doesn't apply when the one has important things to accomplish!

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It's going to be June soon, and the temperature last night was around 45°. The daytime temperatures have been averaging somewhere near 76° if you include the outliers, and yesterday it was around 70-ish for most of the day.

45°, for late May, is chilly IIRC.

It's been the wettest spring on record, though. Cold and wet--are we turning into Scotland?

Aye, 'tis so, me lad, and don't ye forget it!

...maybe not.