Sunday, January 30, 2005

Historic Day for Democracy and Liberty

History will mark today, January 30th, 2005, as the day democracy gained its first foothold in the Arab world. Despite threats of bombings and beheadings, the people of Iraq stood in long lines to cast their first-ever free ballots. Early figures place turnout at about 72% nationwide, a figure far higher than the naysayers would have thought possible. In fact, the turnout, if these numbers standup over the next few weeks, are higher than the best voter turnout ever seen in a presidential election here in the United States.

It must be very difficult for those on the left who so wanted this election to be a 'bust'. But once again, freedom and democracy win over hate and fear.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

More on Global Warming

A discussion of the economic component of the debate on global warming, by David Henderson, visiting professor at the Westminster Business School.

Excerpt: (credit: Greenie Watch)

In an official document headed 'Principles governing IPCC work', which can be viewed on its website, the role of the Panel is specified as being:

... to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impact and options for adaptation and mitigation. (Italics added).

Thus the responsibilities of the IPCC include that of advising and informing its member governments on the economic factors that may bear on 'human-induced climate change'.

The economic aspects are sometimes viewed as incidental or peripheral. For example, in a recent exchange in the House of Lords (15 July 2004) Lord Whitty, replying for the government to a question put by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson (now Lord Lawson of Blaby), said that

... the scientific basis for, and the physical effects of, climate change are virtually unchallenged by any serious scientists. The economic calculations are subject to some degree of dispute. I am happy to urge people to engage in discussing these questions, but they do not undermine or threaten the basic conclusion that, unless we do something, this world will get dangerously warmer.

This is a misleading statement. For one thing, economic considerations, and criteria, are relevant to deciding what form the 'something' that 'we do' should take. For another, projections of global warming are based on projected atmospheric concentrations of CO2, which in turn are based on the projections of CO2 and related emissions which emerge from the SRES; and the emissions figures themselves are linked to SRES projections of world output, world energy use, and the carbon-intensity of energy sources. In these latter projections economic factors are central. True, they act in conjunction with demographic and technical factors, but these are themselves subject to economic influences. If and in so far as the treatment of these latter influences is open to question, the basis for IPCC projections of global average temperature changes cannot be taken as assured.

Here is the whole article.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Global Warming

The debate over Global Warming has been heating up, so-to-speak, and we at the LTS have been following the developments with keen interest. On the one hand, we have what seems to be a majority of the scientific community accepting as fact the the view that global warming is a primarily a human-caused reality through our burning of fossil fuels and the subsequent release of CO2 in the atmosphere. On the other hand, there is a significant yet minority body of scientists who believe that the Earth's climate is far too complex to fully understand, let alone make definitive statements about what we should do or not do about it. That the atmosphere is getting slightly warmer there is no doubt, but concensus has not, in our view, been reached on whether this is a natural or human induced condition.

The "Bible" on global warming from the majority view is the Third Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. The IPCC is a UN-sponsored organization charged with investigating global warming and its causes. This report (the 4th is due soon) says essentially that the Earth is warming, and that human activity is primarily responsible. The IPCC and their reports are the basis for the Kyoto Protocols, an international treaty not yet (and not likely to be) ratified by the United States. [For more detail the IPCC website has links to all their reports.]

However, new research has lead some scientists to suggest other causes of global warming. One possible alternative is solar activity, usually sunspot activity. Increased sun spot activity coincides with past warm periods, and could be part or all of the warming source seen today.

Another alternative could be changes in ocean temperatures as known currents shift. Changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Decadal Oscillation (SDO), and others can raise or lower atmospheric temperatures.

Some climatologists claim that the models used to predict climate change are seriously flawed, and don't accurately take into account aerosols in the atmosphere.

This a complex debate, and since we are not scientists we can only report what we see, hear, and read about the subject. We will continue to report on this important subject as the situation warrants.

Some links that can help inform on this important subject:


Reid Bryson

Competitive Edge Institute

IPCC Scientist withdraws from panel under protest

Does the Mainstream Media Report Accurately on Iraq?

We have often written about our dissatisfaction with the mainstream media (MSM) and its reporting from Iraq, but we were stunned when we saw this long but very astute commentary in the World Tribune by the US Army's LTC Tim Ryan. LTC Ryan lays out specific examples of why the MSM is not only not giving the American People and the world the whole story, but that they are actually impairing the Coalition's ability to complete their work. It is our belief that the MSM doesn't necessarily do this consciously, but that since they are generally biased to the left, that they believe the war should be going wrong and seek validation of their beliefs. The Rathergate story is similar. Since Dan Rather and CBS News believed the story, they didn't want to let the facts cloud their journalistic judgement.

Here is the full article.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Global warming

Saw this great post today regarding global warming.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

It's been a long time since our last post

Yes, it has been. We had to take a much-needed break from blogging since we exhausted ourselves during the election.

With our batteries now recharged, we will resume blogging at least on a weekly basis. So come back for more fun soon!