April 25, 2017
The pros and cons of carbon dioxide
Pros? Well then, now that I've "outed" myself as "anti-science"...
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (read: self-interested government bureaucracy) has concluded that carbon dioxide (CO2) is an atmospheric "pollutant" that is subject to regulation - by them - under the Clean Air Act. Their power grab has been deified by a SCOTUS ruling that such a policy is, somehow, not Unconstitutional. As a result of that, not to mention a relentless campaign to vilify CO2 and the "fossil" fuel consumption that emits it, the approval rating of this little molecule is in the toilet. Which is surprising because the biological process of photosynthesis is one of the few components of a classical education that has not been eliminated from our schools. Somehow a public perception exists that while plants are good, the primary contributor to plant life is bad. Recent congressional testimony sought to put a dent in this "science-based" belief:
There are many other byproducts of combustion that really are pollutants, in that they have measureable harms to many forms of life, from plants to humans. But those have been regulated nearly out of existence - a fact I am not sorry to acknowledge. But let's not ignore that CO2 is the opposite of a pollutant - it is an essential compound for cellular growth of plants, and therefore animals, and therefore all mankind.
April 7, 2016
After recently learning [first comment] that former long-time Democrat Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish has changed his registration to the eevil Republican Party and is running for his old seat, I also discovered that he's been writing columns for the Boulder Weekly newspaper. Here is an excerpt from a great one of those, and it involves the principal reason he decided to challenge an incumbent commissioner at the polls.
Government should pay a decent respect to people's fears and concerns. But it should also pay a decent respect to scientific fact, the imperatives of successful agriculture, and the truth.
I'm old enough to remember a time when people who thought this way were not principally called "Republicans," they were called "human beings."
January 6, 2015
It Was a New Day Yesterday
I may have a new hero:
Feeling Detached From The Production Of Your Food? Blame Jethro Tull
In the early 1700s, Tull introduced planting equipment that allowed farmers to grow their crops in rows and cultivating equipment for hoeing the weeds that grew between them. This innovation dramatically increased the amount of land that one farmer could tend. For thousands of years the production of food was the full time occupation of all but a small, elite proportion of the population. Starting with Tull's innovations, Western civilization was on a track towards an agriculture system that required less and less hand labor. Since then there has been a steady stream of innovation that has further enhanced the productivity and efficiency of farmers thus freeing up the rest of the population to do other things.
I agree with every single word in this excellent and fact-filled piece. But, they see it as a bad thing.
December 24, 2014
Picture this: Kevin, a college student from a solidly middle-class family in Washington State, is at a food bank with a friend who sometimes picks up donations there. A woman with a clipboard approaches them. "Are you college students?" she asks. When they say "Yes," she asks a second question: "Did you know you're entitled to food stamps?" And then she says, "Let's get you signed up. We can get you $200 today."
We can debate the safety net. But I suspect we all might agree that paying SNAP recruiters on commission is evil.
Merry Christmas. Hat-tip David Boaz
April 10, 2014
Thank you Senator!
Senator Harry Reid (Hypocrite-NV) vigorously defended federal funding for a Cowboy Poetry Festival in his state 3 years ago, slamming Republicans who sought to cut it from the federal budget as "mean spirited."
He might feel that move has come back to haunt him, as the manager of a ranch under siege by the Obama Administration's Bureau of Land Management for letting cattle eat desert grass, as the family has done since about 1870, seems to have benefited from the event.
"They're trying to take our stewardships,
I wonder who he would say is more "mean spirited" - Republican legislators or armed BLM agents engaged in cattle rustling?
February 3, 2014
Love is in the air!
This Dodge Ram guy's favorite Super Bowl commercial? Chevy trucks.
I called it the PETA favorite.
September 18, 2012
Government Business Boondoggles, Alaska Style
This article from Alaska contains some nice illustrations of just how truly, truly awful-terrible government can be at business. Oh my, how easy it is to pony up huge sums when it's not your own money. We're not talking a mere few millions of dollars here and there, folks. No, in Alaska they do things big:
Point MacKenzie Dairy Project — early 1980s
Tipsy on a strange brew of Alaskan pioneering spirit, burgeoning oil revenues and Soviet-style top-down ambitions, the state set aside 15,000 acres of mostly well-drained forest and spent millions installing a grid of new roads and power. More than 2,000 people bid on 31 tracts, including 19 slated to be working dairies with 100 to 150 cows each.
The article has six fine examples, so here's one more taste:
Anchorage seafood plant
The stench of dead fish is part of life in a state that's home to some of the nation's richest fisheries, but this deal stunk to high heaven.
Well, the government is pretty good at building soccer fields, anyway.
July 5, 2012
The GOOD News for Colorado
Please ignore the headline and refer to the end of this AgJournal article-
Back at the Colorado Climate Center, however, Doesken is a little more optimistic. “If we’re going to have extreme heat, the last week of June and the first couple of weeks of July is historically when the most intense heat is recorded,” he said.