Monday, August 18, 2014

What You Didn't See On The News: Evening Edition!

Posted By Rich Kozlovich

The articles posted may or may not reflect my views, but they're meant to stimulate thinking. 

Asia

War Is Boring Chinese and Russian fighter pilots have been testing their skills in an unprecedented series of maneuvers in southeast Russia. Some observers have billed the Aviadarts exercise as a Russian Top Gun—a reference to the U.S. Navy’s fighter tactics schoolhouse, which the sailing branch established after losing a shocking number of pilots during the Vietnam War. The reality is not as straightforward, but it’s significant that Moscow is inviting foreign fighter jocks—the Chinese, namely—to test their mettle against the best Russia has to offer.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama convened nearly fifty African heads of state in Washington, DC for the first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. As the largest event ever held between a U.S. president and African heads of state, the summit was the most visible expression of the Obama administration’s efforts to reengage Africa, which began with the president’s trip to the continent in the summer of 2013. This pivot to Africa is being driven in no small part by a desire to counter China’s growing influence on the continent.

Climate Change

From “The Hill”, even California Democrats aren’t buying the climate BS Obama and Holdren are selling on drought: (h/t to WUWT reader “Green Sand”) Voters don’t hear the words “climate change” when Democrats in competitive races in California explain what’s …

Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which continues to rage and has now claimed the lives of more than 1100 people, offers some big lessons for America.

Economics

I think it’s pretty clear that Keynesians and their votaries in the media have learnt nothing from the last recession. Their absolute faith in the fallacy that consumption drives economies is sufficient proof of that. Time and time again I keep reading that consumer spending is 70 per cent or so of GDP which means, according to them, that if consumer spending falls the economy will slide into recession. Austrian economics has continually pointed out how dangerously wrong this view is. What really matters is total spending, of which business spending is by far the largest and most important component. The problem is that the commentariat unthinkingly swallowed the fallacy that including spending between stages of production would be a case of double-counting with the result that national income figures seriously underestimate actual spending….

*Böhm-Bawerk: Austrian Economist Who Said “No” to Big Government* We live at a time when politicians and bureaucrats only know one public policy: more and bigger government. Yet, there was a time when even those who served in government defended limited and smaller government. One of the greatest of these died one hundred years ago on August 27, 1914, the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk.Böhm-Bawerk is most famous as one of the leading critics of Marxism and socialism in the years before the First World War. He is equally famous as one of the developers of “marginal utility... more »

 It's not going to happen tomorrow, in a year or even five years. But it's conceivable, even likely, that within ten years, the U.S. dollar will cease to become the reference currency for international transactions. The reason for this is that the U.S. government and American judges have politicized the dollar to an extreme in a world where the country backing it is no longer as dominant as it once was.

Energy

Policy makers can never resist the urge to “just do something.” And it never works. Energy policies are faddish. From the energy-independence moonshine of the corn-ethanol scam to the latest 645-page slate of regulations the EPA wants to inflict on the domestic electricity-generation sector, the supposed threats have varied. Back in the 1970s, the claim was that we were too dependent on Arab oil (a claim that we continue to hear today). These days, in addition to the never-ending blather about “energy independence,” we have the spurious claim from the Obama administration that yet another layer of EPA rules on U.S. industry will make a dramatic difference when it comes to global climate change……

If wood-burning power stations are less eco-friendly than coal, we are getting the search for clean energy all wrong - On Saturday my train was diverted by engineering works near Doncaster. We trundled past some shiny new freight wagons decorated with a slogan: “Drax — powering tomorrow: carrying sustainable biomass for cost-effective renewable power”. Serendipitously, I was at that moment reading a report by the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the burning of wood in Yorkshire power stations such as Drax. And I was feeling vindicated. A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to re-grow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles’ lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates……

Wind energy produces costly, intermittent, unpredictable electricity. But Government subsidies and mandates have encouraged a massive gamble on wind investments in Australia - over $7 billion has already been spent and another $30 billion is proposed. This expenditure is justified by the claim that by using wind energy there will be less carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere which will help to prevent dangerous global warming.  Incredibly, this claim is not supported by any credible cost-benefit analysis - a searching enquiry is well overdue. Here is a summary of things that should be included in the analysis……..

There's an excellent article in the Copenhagen Post which I'm going to reprint here in full. It's by a retired high court judge called Peter Rørdam. I'm reprinting it because apart from the place names, every last detail applies to the UK wind industry too. And – from what I've seen personally – the Australian one. And the US and Canadian ones as well.  The reason the industry is so corrupt is quite simply that without the lies it tells as a matter of course and without the cosy stitch-ups it arranges with regulators and politicians at taxpayers' expense, it simply would not exist…….

The central climate fallacy is that the unknowns are known - By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
What is science for? Its end and object is to stretch out a fumbling hand for the truth by a humble and eternally-unsatisfied attempt to constrain uncertainties.

The scientific method is hungry curiosity, followed by acute observation, followed by careful measurement, followed by the meticulous application of pre-existing theory to the results, followed by the detailed drafting and reviewed publication of a hypothesis, followed by other scientists’ attempts to overturn the hypothesis, which is either discarded or slowly accorded credence to the extent that it has survived the process of error elimination……

The Big Lie of the “Consensus View” on Global Warming By Michael Stroup Filed under Global Warming on July 30, 2014 with Leave a Comment How often do you read or hear the claim that a “scientific consensus” exists that global warming is directly affected by mankind’s actions? This influence is called “anthropogenic global warming,” or AGW. Further, how often do you hear how people who fail to agree with this AGW consensus are “deniers,” akin to someone who believes the Earth is flat. The informed critics of AGW deniers will cite a scholarly review of the climatology literature that reveals how 97% of the climate science community supports the AGW theory. But, if you read the paper for yourself (it is only six pages long, with some simple graphs), you will see that these critics are lying. Here is the gist of this influential study:…

Europe

Britain's Role in Europe Is to Be a Pain Clive Crook
If I were a Scot, I'd be leaning toward voting for independence in next month's referendum, on the logic that the advantages of self-government outweigh the drawbacks of being a small state. How does that logic apply to Britain's choice about remaining a member of the European Union?

Foreign Policy

Genocide! A Christian Holocaust - Alan Caruba
Syrian victims of Islamic State slaughter By Alan Caruba In the last century and now this one, I have lived long enough to have been alive when the Nazis killed six million European Jews and another five million other “enemies of the state” that included unionists, homosexuals, Seventh Day Adventists, and any others that ran afoul of that hateful and hate-filled regime. There were genocides in the last and this century. The killing of Kurds by Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator who used poison gas—a weapon of mass destruction—against them is largely forgotten by everyone but the…..

Why We Fight Wars Paul Krugman
A century has passed since the start of World War I, which many people at the time declared was “the war to end all wars.” Unfortunately, wars just kept happening. And with the headlines from Ukraine getting scarier by the day, this seems like a good time to ask why.

I wonder what it says about the modern “progressive” mindset that Paul Krugman can only imagine two reasons to wage war: for profit or for the political advantage of the leader who initiates hostilities. He (rightly) debunks the idea of waging war to make money in most cases, but is sympathetic to the idea that some leaders initiate hostilities to bolster domestic support–he thinks Vladimir Putin is one such today and that the Chinese leaders could be another example in the future although why he thinks that George W. Bush belongs in the same category is unclear.

Media and Science

Joel O’Bryan writes in WUWT Tips and Notes The LA Times has the follwing lead story on it webpage: “Climate change reflected in altered Missouri River flow, report says” http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-missouri-river-20140817-story.html Quoting from the LA Times, “Climate shifts may be causing …

Middle East


The Common Enemy in Iraq - George Packer
The New Yorker Suddenly, a common enemy has joined mutually distrustful players in the making of a coalition against ISIS—just the kind of multilateralism that the President favors. As this month’s events bore out, such an effort requires American leadership. Obama said as much in his August 7th speech, but it’s easy to sense his reluctance to get dragged back into the sinkhole of Iraq and the region. The speed with which he declared the Yazidi crisis over—while thousands of people, including those too old or too weak to walk, remain behind on Mt. Sinjar—suggested a de... more »

Barack Obama has spent most of his presidency trying to narrow Bush’s war on terror. But with the new campaign in Iraq, the big war is back.

Russia

Vladimir Putin now seems to be relying on the Eddie Murphy "wasn't me" excuse, no doubt with the understanding that having a bald-faced lie exposed by independent witnesses matters not when the rest of the world seems unwilling to do anything about it.
Putin Doesn't Fear Alienating the West - Stephen Blackwell
The National Russian president Vladimir Putin shows every intention of keeping the world guessing about his ultimate intentions in Ukraine.

Scientific Integrity is an Oxymoron

Even more troubling, why does a waste of time study like this get funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program? I don’t want defense money going to modeling studies on fish and streams that tell … more »

 

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