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Palm Trees Growing in Greenland

   I look at a lot of science press releases, just trying to keep abreast of the triumphs of the human mind and the total failure of the human will -- of the rapid destruction of the natural environment even as we find more and better ways to understand it -- and one of the big puzzles is that some people still are not concerned about global warming. Almost every day I get a bulletin from some science publication with a headline like Ferns Thriving Above Arctic Circle, or Sailboat Reaches North Pole, Finds No Ice, or Gorillas Discovered in Antarctica. I don't know about you, but it bums me out to hear about all the college kids celebrating Spring Break in Nome.

    A few weeks back, when I flew to Japan, we passed over northern Canada, over that vast, roadless, treeless, mottled terrain of glacial lakes and tundra, and I swear if I squinted I could see alligators swimming around down there. Maybe they were crocodiles. I'm just saying that's a red flag.

    Autumn is about two weeks late this year, seems like. The weather has been in the 70s, T-shirt weather, which would be pleasant if it weren't for the constant scientific studies saying that, at current rates of global warming, the planet will be 125 degrees hotter, on average, by the year 2050. And now read this press release from eurekalert this morning:

    "As the spectacular New England fall foliage gives way to another of the region's infamous winters, many wonder what this year will bring. Long-time residents think winter just isn't what it used to be in New England. And mounting evidence from a series of studies suggests they're right. The total number of days of ice on the region's rivers has declined significantly in recent decades and particularly in the spring, according to the latest US Geological Survey (USGS) research."

  Not enough ice! That's a common complaint these days in New England and other places. Winter's not bitter enough. Also the fabled New England ice industry, where laborers cut chunks of ice from ponds and ship them around the country and to the tropics, has been going downhill dramatically since roughly 1875. It's almost as decrepit as the newspaper industry.

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 8, 2005; 7:21 AM ET
 
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Comments

Hurray for the earth entering into one of its warming cycles. With the price of natural gas what it is, it works for me.

Posted by: LB | November 8, 2005 11:29 AM | Report abuse

A while back, I stopped in at the Greenbelt mini-museum (Greenbelt (Maryland) motto: "We were founded by communists, just to see what would happen.") They had a display on sports in Greenbelt from the founding in the Depression 'til today. One displayed item included a pair of strap-on ice skates, noting that a popular winter activity in the 30's was skating on Greenbelt Lake, also noting that this is no longer possible, as the Lake no longer freezes over in winter sufficiently for skating.

There no longer is any real question as to whether global warming is happening. Temperatures are slowly and steadily increasing worldwide. Recall what we hear about hard winters during the Revolutionary War, the Delaware freezing over, things like that. It's hard to understand now, because the climate isn't like that anymore.

The questions about global warming are whether it's our fault, and when will it stop. After the Little Ice Age in the 1600's, it's obvious that the world would warm up. Are we just seeing a natural warming, or something more? Even if it isn't our fault, there still are prudent steps we should take. The longer we wait, the bigger the problem is that we need to correct, if it turns out that we really are strongly influencing the climate. Limiting warming will be a lot easier than reversing it. Since it takes decades for the world to heat, small actions taken now can have a big influence, for good or ill, in 40 years.

The scariest, although least likely scenario, is a runaway Greenhouse Effect. Warming climate vaporizes more water; if it stays in gaseous form rather than condensing, it is an effective greenhouse gas, further rasiing the temperature, etc. In a few centuries, Earth becomes Venus. We don't understand how well or poorly the feedback effects of cloud-formation and precipitation act to control climate in a scenario in which we force the temperature higher by our fossil-fuel exhaust. The chances of this scenario are very low, but the price is very high -- the end of terrestrial life. It seems like an unwise bet to take.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

". . . an example of the smiling-boiled-frog phenomenon is provided by our own culture. When we slipped into the cauldron, the water was a perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold . . . For fully half our history, the first five thousand years, signs of distress are almost nonexistent. The technological innovations of this period bespeak a quiet life, centered around hearth and village -- sun-dried bricks, kiln-fired pottery, woven cloth, the potter's wheel, and so on. But gradually, imperceptibly, signs of distress begin to appear, like tiny bubbles at the bottom of a pot.

"What shall we look for, as signs of distress? Mass suicides? Revolution? Terrorism? No, of course not. Those come much later, when the water is scalding hot . . . Not agriculture. One particular *style* of agriculture . . . that has been the basis of our culture from its beginnings ten thousand years ago to the present moment . . . For its complete ruthlessness toward all other life-forms on this planet and for its unyielding determination to convert every square meter on this planet to the production of human food, I've called it *totalitarian* agriculture.

". . . Totalitarian agriculture was not adopted in our culture out of sheer meanness. It was adopted because, by its very nature, it's more productive than any other style . . . It represents productivity in a form that literally cannot be exceeded . . .

"Totatlitarian agriculture is the fire under our cauldron . . .

". . . For some four decades the water has been boiling around the frog. One by one, thousand by thousand, million by million, its cells have been shut down, unequal to the task of holding on to life . . . The frog is dead."

-- From "The Story of B," by Daniel Quinn


[Or, to put it more succinctly, as Joel did yesterday: "Our society has really gone downhill ever since the invention of agriculture, if you ask me."]

[But maybe he was just taking the mickey out of the anti-agriculture movement, i.e., maybe there was some umbrage to be taken. But maybe not. My motto is, if in doubt, take no umbrage.]

Posted by: Dreamer | November 8, 2005 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes, global warming is bad. We should fix it.

While we're fixing that--can someone please explain why Dick Cheney is arguing FOR torture? Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Gitmo aside, I thought we were the nice guys.

Besides the obvious inhumanity of it, won't other nations take the cue from Herr Cheney and start torturing our people?

Posted by: Karen | November 8, 2005 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

". . . an example of the smiling-boiled-frog phenomenon is provided by our own culture. When we slipped into the cauldron, the water was a perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold . . . For fully half our history, the first five thousand years, signs of distress are almost nonexistent. The technological innovations of this period bespeak a quiet life, centered around hearth and village -- sun-dried bricks, kiln-fired pottery, woven cloth, the potter's wheel, and so on. But gradually, imperceptibly, signs of distress begin to appear, like tiny bubbles at the bottom of a pot.

"What shall we look for, as signs of distress? Mass suicides? Revolution? Terrorism? No, of course not. Those come much later, when the water is scalding hot . . . Not agriculture. One particular *style* of agriculture . . . that has been the basis of our culture from its beginnings ten thousand years ago to the present moment . . . For its complete ruthlessness toward all other life-forms on this planet and for its unyielding determination to convert every square meter on this planet to the production of human food, I've called it *totalitarian* agriculture.

". . . Totalitarian agriculture was not adopted in our culture out of sheer meanness. It was adopted because, by its very nature, it's more productive than any other style . . . It represents productivity in a form that literally cannot be exceeded . . .

"Totatlitarian agriculture is the fire under our cauldron . . .

". . . For some four decades the water has been boiling around the frog. One by one, thousand by thousand, million by million, its cells have been shut down, unequal to the task of holding on to life . . . The frog is dead."

-- From "The Story of B," by Daniel Quinn


[Or, to put it more succinctly, as Joel did yesterday: "Our society has really gone downhill ever since the invention of agriculture, if you ask me."]

[But maybe he was just taking the mickey out of the anti-agriculture movement, i.e., maybe there was some umbrage to be taken. But maybe not. My motto is, if in doubt, take no umbrage.]

Posted by: Dreamer | November 8, 2005 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

". . . an example of the smiling-boiled-frog phenomenon is provided by our own culture. When we slipped into the cauldron, the water was a perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold . . . For fully half our history, the first five thousand years, signs of distress are almost nonexistent. The technological innovations of this period bespeak a quiet life, centered around hearth and village -- sun-dried bricks, kiln-fired pottery, woven cloth, the potter's wheel, and so on. But gradually, imperceptibly, signs of distress begin to appear, like tiny bubbles at the bottom of a pot.

"What shall we look for, as signs of distress? Mass suicides? Revolution? Terrorism? No, of course not. Those come much later, when the water is scalding hot . . . Not agriculture. One particular *style* of agriculture . . . that has been the basis of our culture from its beginnings ten thousand years ago to the present moment . . . For its complete ruthlessness toward all other life-forms on this planet and for its unyielding determination to convert every square meter on this planet to the production of human food, I've called it *totalitarian* agriculture.

". . . Totalitarian agriculture was not adopted in our culture out of sheer meanness. It was adopted because, by its very nature, it's more productive than any other style . . . It represents productivity in a form that literally cannot be exceeded . . .

"Totatlitarian agriculture is the fire under our cauldron . . .

". . . For some four decades the water has been boiling around the frog. One by one, thousand by thousand, million by million, its cells have been shut down, unequal to the task of holding on to life . . . The frog is dead."

-- From "The Story of B," by Daniel Quinn


[Or, to put it more succinctly, as Joel did yesterday: "Our society has really gone downhill ever since the invention of agriculture, if you ask me."]

[But maybe he was just taking the mickey out of the anti-agriculture movement, i.e., maybe there was some umbrage to be taken. But maybe not. My motto is, if in doubt, take no umbrage.]

Posted by: Dreamer | November 8, 2005 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking about packing up and moving to Venus (my employer has a very liberal teleworking policy).

By the time I get settled there and am ready to visit my old friends on Earth, conditions ought to be about the same on both planets.

For those who get all queasy about terraforming planets ("It's tampering with Nature!") - hello!? We're already doing so here (well, not so much "terraforming" as "hellaforming"), can't we start over with a fixer-upper in the same neighborhood?

If somebody helps me get started on Venus now, I should be able to make it more or less like Miami by the end of the century.

I'll need a vacation on Tempel-1 every now and then to visit the Bar.

Please note that I resisted using the term "hot chicks" in this comment.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking about packing up and moving to Venus (my employer has a very liberal teleworking policy).

By the time I get settled there and am ready to visit my old friends on Earth, conditions ought to be about the same on both planets.

For those who get all queasy about terraforming planets ("It's tampering with Nature!") - hello!? We're already doing so here (well, not so much "terraforming" as "hellaforming"), can't we start over with a fixer-upper in the same neighborhood?

If somebody helps me get started on Venus now, I should be able to make it more or less like Miami by the end of the century.

I'll need a vacation on Tempel-1 every now and then to visit the Bar.

Please note that I resisted using the term "hot chicks" in this comment.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double-post -- it was long enough the first time.

Also, SCC entry:
Totalitarian, not Totatlitarian.

Posted by: Dreamer | November 8, 2005 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking about packing up and moving to Venus (my employer has a very liberal teleworking policy).

By the time I get settled there and am ready to visit my old friends on Earth, conditions ought to be about the same on both planets.

For those who get all queasy about terraforming planets ("It's tampering with Nature!") - hello!? We're already doing so here (well, not so much "terraforming" as "hellaforming"), can't we start over with a fixer-upper in the same neighborhood?

If somebody helps me get started on Venus now, I should be able to make it more or less like Miami by the end of the century.

I'll need a vacation on Tempel-1 every now and then to visit the Bar.

Please note that I resisted using the term "hot chicks" in this comment.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 12:10 PM | Report abuse

They were mosquitoes, Joel. Great BIG mosquitoes.

For refernce, see the film, 'Snow Walker'

Posted by: dr | November 8, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

And to think of all the bags of ice that never made it to New Orleans. How the New England ice industry must have suffered--to give up the frozen stuff--and for its intended purpose just to have melted away!

I'm not investing in Roche and its Tamiflu--nosireee! My money is on everything teeny weeny--as in itsy bitsy yellow-polka dot bikini. String bras, string underwear, string bikinis, string sausages, string theory (my apologies to Brian Greene), smoke-em'-out and string-'em-up political rhetoric! How could I not, given the latest media reports.
***

In advance of the onslaught of global warming, San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger has announced plans to turn Alamo City into a giant margarita factory--considering that San Antonio is the original home to the margarita. In cooperation with the Rio Grande Valley Fruit Growers Cooperative, area farmers and ranchers near the state's southern border are converting thousands of acres to lime production.

"It's gonna be hard to experience the effects of global global warming when you're in Margaritaville," said Mayor Phil Hardberger at a recent press conference. The source of the leak is unknown but it has been reported that San Antonio's Convention and Visitor Bureau is in secret negotiations with northern ice harvesters and making strong bids on commodity futures of frozen water in Minnesota, Maine, and Canada.

Also, restaurants near the Alamo have been in secret discussions to negotiate trade deals for polar bear steaks and patties. A former staffer on Capitol Hill said Davey Crockett did kill him a b'ar when he was only three.

Tourists will remain uninformed that the mystery meat to be served in downtown restaurants is polar b'ar. "Given some caliente barbecue sauce flavored with burn-your-bum chiles, the average consumer will never guess the difference in the meat," said renown chef Emy LaGasse.

A nationwide billboard campaign and is under way as well: New and Improved! San Antonio--once known as the country's "Sweatiest City"--is now even "Sweatier" than ever!!!" Sun! Fun! Stay! Play! All-over body burn at no extra charge! Get in on this specail offer now while it lasts! (Offer void when icebergs return.)

Posted by: Loomis | November 8, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, thank you for bringing up an excellent point. even if human activity isn't the cause of global warming, shouldn't we still be doing something to decrease our pollutive, oil-dependent ways? if we are the "good guys" as Karen points out (and we all hope), this seems like the right and moral thing to do.

Posted by: ghettoMuppet | November 8, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, thank you for bringing up an excellent point. even if human activity isn't the cause of global warming, shouldn't we still be doing something to decrease our pollutive, oil-dependent ways? if we are the "good guys" as Karen points out (and we all hope), this seems like the right and moral thing to do.

Posted by: ghettoMuppet | November 8, 2005 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking about packing up and moving to Venus (my employer has a very liberal teleworking policy).

By the time I get settled there and am ready to visit my old friends on Earth, conditions ought to be about the same on both planets.

For those who get all queasy about terraforming planets ("It's tampering with Nature!") - hello!? We're already doing so here (well, not so much "terraforming" as "hellaforming"), can't we start over with a fixer-upper in the same neighborhood?

If somebody helps me get started on Venus now, I should be able to make it more or less like Miami by the end of the century.

I'll need a vacation on Tempel-1 every now and then to visit the Bar.

Please note that I resisted using the term "hot chicks" in this comment.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 12:13 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, thank you for bringing up an excellent point. even if human activity isn't the cause of global warming, shouldn't we still be doing something to decrease our pollutive, oil-dependent ways? if we are the "good guys" as Karen points out (and we all hope), this seems like the right and moral thing to do.

Posted by: ghettoMuppet | November 8, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Trolls in Typepad today...

Andy Warhol once said that if you repeat an element enough times it becomes art, but this is ridiculous!

Posted by: Loomis | November 8, 2005 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean we should be buying ocena front property in Arizona?

Posted by: dr | November 8, 2005 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, I think in Harlan Ellison's anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions," there was a story with this wonderful phrase: "Does it amuse you, the thought of a world destroyed by herds of farting cows?" The world in question, of course, is this one. The author of that story envisioned a runaway greenhouse caused by our agriculture, not by our industry, but nevertheless the author understood the concept of runaway greenhouse before it became common currency. It may have been R. A. Lafferty, not an author normally associated with hard science speculation.

For the agricultural boodlers -- I have used this reference in science talks to school groups (paraphrasing to avoid the word "farting" in talking to children) and I have had it pointed out to me that cows primarily produce methane by belching, not by farting.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Where is the vertical hold knob?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 8, 2005 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I understand that we could curb our industrial, pollutive, oil-dependent ways but, I am not sure of the agriculture slant. Other than gaseous emmisions from bovines, I have not heard that agriculture was the leading culprit in our climate crisis.
I was under the impression that growing things was good for the planet. How can we improve agriculture in order to ice skate on the Deleware?
(I am curious due to my ignorance, not to be argumentative).

Posted by: esskay | November 8, 2005 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking this has got to be more than a Typepad problem. Perhaps Linda's "Trolls in Typepad" comment encouraged someone to do a little cuttin' and pastin' of ScienceTim's comment?

Of course, I could be wrong. It could just be a gremlin in TypePad, rather than a real live troll.

Posted by: Tom fan | November 8, 2005 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking this has got to be more than a Typepad problem. Perhaps Linda's "Trolls in Typepad" comment encouraged someone to do a little cuttin' and pastin' of ScienceTim's comment?

Of course, I could be wrong. It could just be a gremlin in TypePad, rather than a real live troll.

Posted by: Tom fan | November 8, 2005 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I understand that we could curb our industrial, pollutive, oil-dependent ways but, I am not sure of the agriculture slant. Other than gaseous emmisions from bovines, I have not heard that agriculture was the leading culprit in our climate crisis.
I was under the impression that growing things was good for the planet. How can we improve agriculture in order to ice skate on the Deleware?
(I am curious due to my ignorance, not to be argumentative).

Posted by: esskay | November 8, 2005 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I didn't count -- what, was that seven posts? Or more? I kept trying to post, TypePad kept coming back with an error, so I thought my post had gone nowhere. I'm so embarrassed.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible all of these multiple postings are heating up the TypePad and contributing to climate change?

Posted by: Bayou Self | November 8, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It was ten. Two earlier and then eight in a row!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 8, 2005 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't be embarrassed, ScienceTim. *I'm* embarrassed for thinking it was a troll!

[Sometimes my work at the FBBI makes me crazy.]

Posted by: Tom fan | November 8, 2005 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible all of these multiple postings are heating up the TypePad and contributing to climate change?

Posted by: Bayou Self | November 8, 2005 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It was ten. Two earlier and then eight in a row!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 8, 2005 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't be embarrassed, ScienceTim. *I'm* embarrassed for thinking it was a troll!

[Sometimes my work at the FBBI makes me crazy.]

Posted by: Tom fan | November 8, 2005 1:16 PM | Report abuse

!sdrawkcab gnitnirp s'ti won ,taerg

Posted by: yaksse | November 8, 2005 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Karen:

I officially don't have time to participate in this boodle for the time being, so thank you for keeping the torture topic active--that's not only my pet topic, but you made a point that I have made in the past, using a name that I have used in the past. I'm feeling all deja-vu-y.

Posted by: Reader | November 8, 2005 1:24 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:25 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:26 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:28 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:28 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:29 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:30 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:30 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:31 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Repetition is the cornerstone of understanding...
Repetition is the cornerstone of understanding...
Repetition is the cornerstone of understanding...
Repetition is the cornerstone of understanding...
Repetition is the cornerstone of understanding...
Repetition is the cornerstone of understanding...

Posted by: esskay | November 8, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

TypePad STINKS!

Let's see how many times this gets repeated.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

With this few comments today (little did i realize that most were multi-posts)it is not intimidating to pop in. Although, it is sad that this topic doesn't get the boodle as ramped up as past boodle topics...

I say we do have a modicum of control on the Greenhouse issue- There would be fewer farting (or belching) cows if we fed them Bean-O (Kidding) if we were all vegitarians... (and in a bonus two for one special - we could reduce the risk of bird flu by decreasing the demand for chickens!!! - damn I am brilliant, perhaps I should take on the World Peace issue???)

I read an interesting statistic somewhere (qualifiers - factoid not vetted through the journalistic regulatory requirement of three sources: me, myself and I) It take a half an acre to support the food needs of a vegitarian and 10 acres to support a meat eater...

Hmmmm... I wonder how many acres for a frutopian?

Posted by: LTL | November 8, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

With this few comments today (little did i realize that most were multi-posts)it is not intimidating to pop in. Although, it is sad that this topic doesn't get the boodle as ramped up as past boodle topics...

I say we do have a modicum of control on the Greenhouse issue- There would be fewer farting (or belching) cows if we fed them Bean-O (Kidding) if we were all vegitarians... (and in a bonus two for one special - we could reduce the risk of bird flu by decreasing the demand for chickens!!! - damn I am brilliant, perhaps I should take on the World Peace issue???)

I read an interesting statistic somewhere (qualifiers - factoid not vetted through the journalistic regulatory requirement of three sources: me, myself and I) It take a half an acre to support the food needs of a vegitarian and 10 acres to support a meat eater...

Hmmmm... I wonder how many acres for a frutopian?

Posted by: LTL | November 8, 2005 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I think the lack of comments is more due to frustration with TypePad than a lack of caring about the topic.

I believe that I read that if we all switched over to vegetarianism it would destroy the world ecomony. Not to mention that we would have a cow and chicken popuation explosion, causing an increase in methane.

Also, it would likely increase this totalitarian agriculture thing (that I need more of an explanation on). However, the 1/2 acre to 10 acre stat may invalidate that reasoning.

Posted by: esskay | November 8, 2005 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the earth is warming, except where it is getting colder. Glaciers are retreating, except for those that are growing. It may be due to human action, or it may be a naturally occuring climate change. We can't predict the local weather more than a couple of days out, and not very well at that. What makes any of us think that we can predict climate change 10, 20, 50 years into the future.

Posted by: alt_ideas | November 8, 2005 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the earth is warming, except where it is getting colder. Glaciers are retreating, except for those that are growing. It may be due to human action, or it may be a naturally occuring climate change. We can't predict the local weather more than a couple of days out, and not very well at that. What makes any of us think that we can predict climate change 10, 20, 50 years into the future.

Posted by: alt_ideas | November 8, 2005 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the earth is warming, except where it is getting colder. Glaciers are retreating, except for those that are growing. It may be due to human action, or it may be a naturally occuring climate change. We can't predict the local weather more than a couple of days out, and not very well at that. What makes any of us think that we can predict climate change 10, 20, 50 years into the future.

Posted by: alt_ideas | November 8, 2005 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the earth is warming, except where it is getting colder. Glaciers are retreating, except for those that are growing. It may be due to human action, or it may be a naturally occuring climate change. We can't predict the local weather more than a couple of days out, and not very well at that. What makes any of us think that we can predict climate change 10, 20, 50 years into the future.

Posted by: alt_ideas | November 8, 2005 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't think predicting current weather patterns and long term trends are the same thing...

You can say that people are generally driving faster these days with out pointing to that red honda civic and identify them as a speeder for that stretch of 495 between RT 50 and RT 66...

(apologies to those non DC-ans who don't get the joy of our traffic in their daily adventure called life)

Plus there are clear and quantifiable indicators of a trend (aka the permafrost in AK retreating by some unprecidented amount).

By the way, I really miss spell check, it is hard to sound reasonably informed when you can't be sure you spelled vegetarian right...

Posted by: LTL | November 8, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Without fully investigation this or even thinking it through, I will ask a question:

Why is it that my republican friends seem to be the ones in denial about global warming? Is it just that anything to do with the environment is off limits? It seems that the more right-wing they are, the more they argue the point.

I admit to being naïve at times but, why is this such a politival issue.

My most conservative acquaintance points out a story in which several planes were stranded on the ice in the Arctic (or Antartic. This was several decades ago and they are now covered in forty feet of ice. this is her 'proof' that global warming is a myth.

Posted by: esskay | November 8, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think predicting current weather patterns and long term trends are the same thing...

You can say that people are generally driving faster these days with out pointing to that red honda civic and identify them as a speeder for that stretch of 495 between RT 50 and RT 66...

(apologies to those non DC-ans who don't get the joy of our traffic in their daily adventure called life)

Plus there are clear and quantifiable indicators of a trend (aka the permafrost in AK retreating by some unprecidented amount).

By the way, I really miss spell check, it is hard to sound reasonably informed when you can't be sure you spelled vegetarian right...

Posted by: LTL | November 8, 2005 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't think predicting current weather patterns and long term trends are the same thing...

You can say that people are generally driving faster these days with out pointing to that red honda civic and identify them as a speeder for that stretch of 495 between RT 50 and RT 66...

(apologies to those non DC-ans who don't get the joy of our traffic in their daily adventure called life)

Plus there are clear and quantifiable indicators of a trend (aka the permafrost in AK retreating by some unprecidented amount).

By the way, I really miss spell check, it is hard to sound reasonably informed when you can't be sure you spelled vegetarian right...

Posted by: LTL | November 8, 2005 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Completely off topic. Did anybody else see that JA was quoted yesterday in Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Day"? Does this mean that the proverbial father of our mother tounge knows that he can speak English? Write it, even? Wow.

Of course, the word was "detritus" as in,
"The blog originated ... as a catch basin for mental detritus, for the kind of stuff not good enough for print, but too good to waste on casual conversation." (Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post, August 21, 2005)

I tried to use simple email to forward a copy to JA, but the e-trolls were running amuck.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | November 8, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi alt_ideas: actually, the track record is that predictions for weather are pretty good, but only for a few days out, as you say, but predictions for climate do very nicely over periods of several years. The difference is that weather is precipitation happening now (or not) whereas climate evaluates the average properties over a period of time. What you may feel at your particular location at any given time is not representative, but the global average temperatures are pointing in one direction, upwards. That's not talking about climate models, by the way, those are actual measured temperatures. You may choose to believe that the current trend will end tomorrow, but that would be a pretty foolish assumption. That would be like assuming that gravity is going to stop working just when you choose to step off a cliff.

As you say, glaciers are receding, except for where they're ... oh, right, I haven't read about any glaciers that are growing faster than ever. Name one. The weekly news magazine of the American Geophysical Union regularly has articles showing with very obvious photos that huge amounts of ice have converted to water. Glacier-based ecologies are endangered. Glaciers in Europe and North America are unequivocally receding, a lot. Glacier National Park is on track to become glacier-free pretty soon at current rates.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll give up meat when you pry my cold dead fingers off of my steak knife.

Posted by: LB | November 8, 2005 2:13 PM | Report abuse

SCC: political, not politival (the V is way too close to the C on the keyboard).

Also, (or Antarctic) was missing a )

Posted by: esskay | November 8, 2005 2:13 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of northern New England, I can say with some reasonable assuredness that the winters seem to have remained just as bitter. although i do not doubt the seriousness of global warming and its consequences, I would appreciate it if it hurried up just a little bit. I know of no one who isn't worried about affording heat this winter.

And as a sort-of-off-topic, has anyone read Ken Kesey's Sailor Song?

Posted by: LP | November 8, 2005 2:16 PM | Report abuse

just the usual crap!

just the usual crap!

just the usual crap!

Posted by: temecula | November 8, 2005 2:23 PM | Report abuse

We had a meeting in Houston not so long ago of folks who were calling for action to deal with global warming. A local conservative-leaning radio talk show was on as I drove home. After making fun of the anti-global warming people, the host put on an expert to dispute the notion. It was a fellow who had written a book and who said he was eager to debate the other side. I'm sorry, but I do not remember his name.

He then explained that the anti-global warming people were nuts because it was going to warm up anyway and the action they called for wouldn't change anything.

The host thanked him for shooting down that dumb ol' global warming myth.

And I'm driving along thinking that the host kinda missed something there.

Posted by: Bayou Self | November 8, 2005 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I see everything twice!

Posted by: the soldier in white (kurosawaguy) | November 8, 2005 2:48 PM | Report abuse

then shut one of your eyes

Posted by: LB | November 8, 2005 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The thing about the supposed heat up of the earth is that these predictions are all based on models of the climate. AKA, you're hoping that a computer wiz programmed the thousands of variables correctly and has a sound method of predicting the effects of this warming including increased cloud cover that tends to cool the planet. There's no model out there yet that can take previous data and correctly model the climate we see now, yet we're supposed to shake in our boots when these same models show huge warming in 100 years?

As to the Arctic, you'll see that the temperatures rose to historic levels, not recently but between 1918 and 1938. Then the Arctic cooled again until the mid to late 1970s. The warming is going up again and we're almost to the peak seen in 1938. Since the industrial revolution int he early 1900s, we've been spewing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere at increasing rates year by year, so shouldn't this correlate to increase temps every year? Why were there 30 years of cooling?

It seems the cause and effect needs to be worked out.

Posted by: Lil Jimmy N. | November 8, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't pay much attention to the climate modelers, even though they often are right, because they don't talk a language I can understand. I like empirical evidence, so I pay attention to the guys who deal in that fare. The fact is, glaciers worldwide are receding, some have disappeared. There may have been a temporary warming in the Arctic 80 years ago, but Arctic glaciers in Alaska and Canada persisted. They aren't persisting now, they're disappearing. That's not modeling, that's observables.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The reason that the greenhouse gases have risen so much in recent years has a lot to do with the rise of Howard Stern. As he speaks, the gasses are emitted from all orifices, yielding an overpressure of 6.98 monostatins.
This, in turn, gives rise to Howard. As Howard rises, so do the gas emissions, which are hot. They are hottest in equatorial zones.

If we ever let him near the poles, we will all drown

Posted by: dontblameme | November 8, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Trolls running amok! Sorry about Typepad. We have to ride it out. We have to keep faith. I would get down into the innards of this thing and tweak the doohickey and clean out the detritus and fiddle with the deelybopper, but I don't have the right tools. I remember back in the old days, a blog came with "Works In a Drawer," you could just pull out all the wires and stuff and play with them.

Posted by: Achenbach | November 8, 2005 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow. That was scary. Does everyone get that strange screen with the little number-recognition test and the statement about how it is there to ward of automated robots? Or did my comment have a certain "automated robots" quality to it?

Posted by: Achenbach | November 8, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Good points, ScienceTim.

I think a lot of people prefer to be in denial about global warming and other evidence that we live on an overpopulated planet that is overutilizing its natural resources. People prefer to believe that "everything will turn out OK in the end," that nothing bad could happen to *us*. It was OK and understandable that something bad happened to the dinosaurs and caused their extinction, but the idea of a similar catastrophe happening to humanity is unacceptable, unthinkable. Hence, as Joel said above, "some people still are not concerned about global warming." Besides, we've become so accustomed to our particular way of life.


"The world will not be saved by old minds with new programs. If the world is saved, it will be saved by new minds -- with no programs."

-- From "The Story of B," by Daniel Quinn

Posted by: Dreamer | November 8, 2005 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Tx for the giga-worded thought and the expected robo quote.

I agree heartily with this approach

Posted by: dontblameme | November 8, 2005 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I *love* the new anti-automated-robots feature. Among other things, it allows one to preview before posting! (But I always panic that I won't get the letter/number sequence correct, even though *I* know I'm not an automated robot. Kind of like feeling nervous around policemen even though you know you haven't committed a crime.)

I assume we have Hal to thank for this latest improvement? If so, "Thanks Hal!"

Posted by: Tom fan | November 8, 2005 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your 4:01:07 post, Tom fan.

I thought I was the only one getting the fisheye. And you are one of the few above reproach, right? So I am in good company!!

Posted by: temecula | November 8, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Careful, Boss. Fiddling with the wires could turn out bad. I'm still trying to live down the time I tried to "fix the stereo."

Posted by: CowTown | November 8, 2005 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Open the pod bay doors, HAL. HAL?

Posted by: Dave | November 8, 2005 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Don from I-270 writes:
"I tried to use simple email to forward a copy to JA, but the e-trolls were running amuck."

Joel writes:
"Trolls running amok! Sorry about Typepad."

Oh, shades of Miss Run Amok! (She not of the nation of the Maniatuck, but much too closely entangled with the a member of the Patawomeck!)

FYI:

http://www.takeourword.com/TOW131/page2.html

From Rodney:
My friends and I were discussing the origin of the phrase run amuck. One person believes that it comes from Fiji, though most of us believe it is rooted in Anglo-Saxon. Can you shed some light for us, please?

We have to be careful about shedding light here in power-shortage-stricken California, but we'll see what we can manage [see, global warming also impacts the Golden State--actually Enron became the Golden State until they won the Betty Crocker Most Cooked Books Award.]

The word, which can be spelled amuck or amok (the latter being preferred), derives from a Malay word, amoq, defined as "engaging furiously in battle, attacking with desperate resolution, rushing in a state of frenzy to the commission of indiscriminate murder."

It was first borrowed by the Portuguese as amuco, and we find it in a Portuguese work of 1516. Its first appearance in the English record is in 1663, when the Portuguese form amouco was used. It was not until 1772, in the writings of the explorer Captain Cook, that we find the English form amock.

The amok spelling appeared in 1849. The phrase run amok dates back to 1672, when it was run a mucke in the work of Andrew Marvell. In 1859 Thoreau used it in his Walden Pond: "I might have run 'amok' against society, but I preferred that society should run 'amok' against me.

Posted by: Loomis | November 8, 2005 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, Dave. I can't do that.

Posted by: HAL (aka Curmudgeon) | November 8, 2005 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The reason you hear people occassionaly saying that some glaciers are growing usually stems from the fact that the ice cover of Greenland is getting thicker. It is, but it's also shrinking at the margins. Since there's more moisture in the air (no longer locked up as ice), there's been more snowfall, hence more ice packing. But the Greenland ice sheet is not a glacier; it's a big bowl of ice.

Posted by: PeterK | November 8, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Robots, eh? I always have problems with those text-recognition things, because sometimes I can't figure out what the letters are supposed to be. I feel very illiterate--like my computers saying, "HA! You don't know your letters!"

Posted by: jw | November 8, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"Soylent Green is p e o p l e!"

Posted by: Chucky Heston | November 8, 2005 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Help! Automated robots! Run for your lives!

Posted by: Bayou Self | November 8, 2005 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, one other thing. I think that environmentalists that talk about saving the planet or saving the earth need to make their message crisp. Earth, the planet, is a big ball of molten nickle & iron, covered with a thick mantel of molten rock, covered in turn by a thin layer of solid rock and water, covered in turn by an infinitesimally thin layer of biologic stuff.

The planet isn't going anywhere. It's going to keep whirling around the sun for a very long time. It's HUMANS that need to be saved, along with assorted other bags of chemicals such as dogs, swordfish, lobsters and dragonflies. And it only looks good for the dragonflies.

Posted by: PeterK | November 8, 2005 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I always liked the taste of Soylent Green, as well as the movie.

It's a good concept.

Let's have a pilot in the Washington area.

Posted by: temecula | November 8, 2005 5:18 PM | Report abuse

This just in. When I posted that dumb remark about running for your lives from the Automated Robots, the thing posted normally, without hitches, without belches and with no observable detritus.

My yelling apparently scared away all those headaches. You're welcome. Anytime. Just doing my part. De nada.

Posted by: Bayou Self | November 8, 2005 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, a couple of days ago, I was thinking, "I think it's time for an Ape-athon!"

Soylent Green and The Omega Man could be the opening acts.

Posted by: jw | November 8, 2005 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I know exactly what you mean, jw. It's a bit like one of those color-blindness tests -- the ones with all the red and green dots. I used to love those. My husband, who *is* color-blind, hates them. Once we were at Chipotle, and they had a picture on the wall of a chipotle that was designed to look like one of those tests. He felt it was mocking him. He didn't think it was very sensitive of Chipotle to hang the picture up in their restaurant.

On a later visit, I noticed that the offending picture was gone. Maybe someone complained. Or maybe it was stolen (which I could understand -- I was kind of tempted to steal it myself, it was so great).

Posted by: Achenfan | November 8, 2005 5:22 PM | Report abuse

[The text-recognition thing, I mean -- not the Ape-athon thing. Although that *is* a good idea.]

[Also, last time I posted, there was no anti-automated-robots feature. Denied!]

Posted by: Achenfan | November 8, 2005 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Off-topic, but...

Breaking news at the NYT:

By DAVID STOUT 4:49 PM ET
WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 - A newspaper report that the Central Intelligence Agency had set up secret American prisons in Europe for the interrogation of terrorism suspects drew calls today for investigations into who leaked that information.

The C.I.A. itself asked the Justice Department to look into the matter, according to government officials familiar with the unfolding episode. And on Capitol Hill, Republican Congressional leaders called for lawmakers to investigate the affair.

Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Senate majority leader, and Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois wrote in a letter to intelligence committee chairmen that leaking such information "could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences" for the security of the United States.

Help me sort out the logic of this:

CIA asks Justice Department to investigate leak of news of existence of overseas prisons.

These overseas prisons have been holding foreign "persons of interest."

Government source speaks to Dana Priest at the Washington Post, who breaks the story last Wednesday.

Overseas prisons possibly use torture techniques on prisoners in eight foreign countries.

Bush says, "Anything we do to that effort, to that end, in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture."

Top Republican Congressional leaders worried that leaks of this information could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences.

Top Republican Congressional leaders are not worried that torture of detainees in these prisons could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences.

******
CIA asks Justice Department to investigate leak of name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.

Former Ambassador Joe Wilson makes trip to Niger,a t the behest of the CIA, to investigate alleged yellowcake sales.

Several government sources speak to a handful of national reporters about Wilson's undercover CIA wife both before and after Wilson writes NYT op-ed.

Saddam Hussein shown to have no weapons of mass destruction.

Top Republican Congressional leaders not worried that waging a war with dubious intelligence, at best, could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences.

Top Republican Congressional leaders worried that leaks of this information could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences...for their administration.

Posted by: Loomis | November 8, 2005 5:28 PM | Report abuse

And you thought that you had problems with the fall back to Standard Time? Check out the dateline on this story...(and no, I didn't monkey with it.)

Republicans Demand Probe Into Prison Leak

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 6, 2005; 5:22 PM


Congress's top Republican leaders today demanded an immediate joint House and Senate investigation into the leak of classified information to The Washington Post that detailed a web of secret prisons being used to house and interrogate terrorism suspects.

The Post's story, published Nov. 2, has led to a rash of new questions about the treatment of detainees and the use of so-called "black prisons" in Eastern Europe and elsewhere by the Central Intelligence Agency. The issue dogged President Bush in his recent trip to Latin America.

Posted by: Loomis | November 8, 2005 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't you love capitalism? The Supreme Court, in a rare spasm of progressivism, ruled that a meat processor must pay their workers for the time in between donning their protective clothing and walking to the processing line. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

Posted by: CowTown | November 8, 2005 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - got distracted by work for a bit...

By the way the nearly 8 miles of glacier on the peak of Kilimanjaro have significantly receded in the past 25 years, I was there so I got to see it... And yes while I was modeling, it was only my fab outerwear not evidence for the gread recede.

Perhaps male pattern baldness (another thing that is receding at an alarming rate) can be tagged to global warming... THEN the republicans will jump on board with the program!!!!

Posted by: LTL | November 8, 2005 6:00 PM | Report abuse

great recede...

Posted by: LTL | November 8, 2005 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I saw a swell graph years ago that compared summertime temperatures in Washington, DC with the rate at which legislation was passed related to global warming. Years of hotter temperatures had more bills about global warming. Congressmen think that a 1C temperature increase is no big deal until they start personally sweating.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 8, 2005 7:09 PM | Report abuse

jw, I'm in for the Heston Ape-a-thon.
"Soylent Green", "Omega Man", "Planet of the Apes", and "Return to the Planet of the Apes (love the ending)".

I would also ask that the Heston Ape-a-thon Committee consider "Ben Hur" (tough to beat a good chariot race), and "Grey Lady Down".

My brother in-law and I had a Zombie night week before last: "Dawn of the Dead", "Day of the Dead", and "Sean of the Dead (which gets a special bc award for best use of Queen music)".

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 8:21 PM | Report abuse

In a chemical engineering class I had, we had to debate whether the US should sign the Kyoto Protocol. As most of my classmates, I was firmly on the pro side of this issue. However, I had to debate the con side. To cut a long story short, in completing this debate, I convinced myself that we should not sign the document. It appeared that most of the scientific information you can find firmly supports the fact that the temperature is not increasing with spikes in the greenhouse gas emissions. It appears as though the warming cycle we are headed into currently is just that part of the cycle of the earth.

Posted by: cloudy | November 8, 2005 10:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC: What I remembered as "Return to the Planet of the Apes" is actually "Beneath the Planet of the Apes". This movie all works out in the end, as jw would say.

Linda, I wouldn't describe the pattern your compliation reveals as logical. Consistent, yes.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 8, 2005 11:38 PM | Report abuse

...with the current WH reportedly running
with the idea of "making your own reality"
it should be a cinch to just declare this
global warming debate as just not being
real.....so there...no problem....this is
the same WH that saw a big mushroom cloud
coming back there in pre-iraq war time...
the same WH that has seen no need to halt
the enviromental rape of coal country in
the eastern usa....the same WH that is
willing to open large swaths of western
federal lands for exploitation and human
intrusion as also the alaskan wilderness.
...the same WH that has a torture and
prisoner treatment/disappearance set
of policies that stalin would have felt
comfortable with........................
and bush2 now states "we do not torture"
so i wonder if that is so would he submit
his family to the process we are using?
would dick cheney submit his family to the
policy and process he so ardently seems
to promote?..............................
now to learn that the congressional GOP
watercarriers want a high powered looksee
into who leaked the cia "blacksites"story..
not into the secret prisons or the torture
policies....but who leaked the story?....
at some point one hopes the GOP that is so
hot on morality,piety and pureness of its
love of life may be called upon to explain
how those oft shouted values square with
defending torture,doing the gulag thing
and subverting endorsed laws and treaties
to promote policies that were the chinese,
iranians or syrians to implement would be
seen as terrible and condemnable.........
this WH needs a reality check............

Posted by: an american in siam.... | November 9, 2005 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Toto, we're not in Kansas, and I for one am damn glad we're not! Good grief. Were I a Kansas parent at this point I would be seriously investigating home schooling. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 9, 2005 8:46 AM | Report abuse

testing

Posted by: Anonymous | November 9, 2005 8:54 AM | Report abuse

some local news that I am sure will be national at some point today:

All eight of the Dover, PA. school board 'Intelligent Designers' were voted out of office yesterday.
The eight new school board members all ran opposed to teaching the subject in science class. They did leave open the possibility of teaching it as a humanities elective.

Posted by: esskay | November 9, 2005 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you on that, k-guy.
Thanks for pointing that nugget out, esskay.

Hmmm. I wonder if ID will be the subject of Kit of the Day?

Avast! May the noodly appendage of the FSM be upon ye.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 9, 2005 9:23 AM | Report abuse

This is off the topic but need to be stopped.

Civil Rights Groups Blasted for Role in Farrakhan's March
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
October 14, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - Conservative African Americans charge that liberal civil rights groups lined up to support and participate in Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's "Millions More Movement" on Saturday, are getting a free pass in terms of media scrutiny.

"Farrakhan has said some radical things, and yet the media continues to give him a pass," Shelby Steele, a conservative African American from the Hoover Institute, told Cybercast News Service.

Steele believes that liberal civil rights groups and individuals such as the National Urban League, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, all of whom are expected to participate in Farrakhan's march on Saturday, should be held accountable for Farrakhan's controversial and allegedly racist statements of the past.

Steele said those black representatives should also be asked about Farrakhan's remarks implying that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were the result of a U.S. government conspiracy and that New Orleans levees were intentionally blown up after Hurricane Katrina in order to flood the section of the city housing poor blacks.

"[The media] would not give the (conservative) Heritage Foundation a pass like that if the Heritage Foundation identified itself with [former Ku Klux Klan leader] David Duke. The media would be all over it, but they are not with Farrakhan," Steele said.

Jesse Lee Peterson, the founder and president of the conservative African American group Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), also slammed the media for not scrutinizing the liberal civil rights groups affiliated with Farrakhan's march.

"[The media is] giving them a pass and they have done that for the last 40 years or so. If [the liberal civil rights groups] were white people and a white organization was saying the same things, the media would not give them that much support. But because they are black, they are allowed to get away with it," Peterson told Cybercast News Service.

"Just as we would treat the Ku Klux Klan if they had a rally, in the same manner we should treat Louis Farrakhan and the so called Millions More Movement, because all he is doing is drawing in angry young folks and older people and building on that anger and dividing the races in America," Peterson explained.

Peterson has labeled Farrakhan an "American Hitler" in his book "Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America."

'Too white'

Farrakhan, while speaking at the National Press Club Thursday in Washington, D.C., indicated that the liberal civil rights groups participating in Saturday's march had expressed no objections to his controversial remarks. Among other things, Farrakhan suggested that black Americans should not donate hurricane relief money to the American Red Cross because the organization was "too white."

"No, no one has, [expressed unease]" Farrakhan responded. "And there is a reason that they have not," he added, explaining that the liberal groups agree with him about the need to monitor relief organizations in New Orleans, whose workers lack sensitivity toward minorities, according to Farrakhan.

"The NAACP, the [National] Urban League, and a host of black leaders, met in Washington D.C. at Howard University, called by Mr. Bruce Gordon of the NAACP [and] Mr. Marc Morial of the [National] Urban League," Farrakhan continued.

"And they want FEMA to be monitored. They want the Red Cross, the United Way, all of these that have received so much from the compassion of the American people. Where will that money go?" Farrakhan asked.

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are scheduled to participate in Saturday's march, including CBC chairman and U.S. Rep. Melvin Watt, a North Carolina Democrat, Rep. Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat and Rep. Albert Wynn, a Maryland Democrat.

A CBC spokeswoman refused comment when asked about Farrakhan's controversial remarks. The National Urban League also refrained from commenting.

The NAACP only indicated that it would have a "contingent of people at Farrakhan's event Saturday." Calls to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were not returned by press time.

Farrakhan and his followers on Saturday will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March in Washington, which by most estimates at the time, attracted far fewer than the one million people Farrakhan had expected.

Whats going on here why is this happening???????

Posted by: mike | November 9, 2005 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Mike, do you mean why are you obsessed with reverse racism and someone expressing his constitutional right to say dumb things in public? Only you and your therapist can answer that, with some help from Jesus. Of course, Jesus was a Jew, so maybe you have a problem with that too.

Posted by: jw | November 9, 2005 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Some of these comments are exactly why this issue is confused. Only very few numbnuts think the earth isn't in a warming phase. Those people are nutjobs and don't need to be listened to. The actual argument is whether our greenhouse gasses are causing the warmup or if it is a natural process. The consenus is indeed that we do have a warmup on our hands.

In the late Ordovician period, the earth experience an ice age, yet CO2 levels were more than 4,000 ppm higher than they are today. If you look at a graph of CO2 levels and average temperature of the Earth from the Cambrian period through the current Tertiary period you'll find that CO2 and temperature really don't match well. In fact, you'll find that right now we're in quite a cool spell for the Earth.

Of course the glaciers will recede during any warmup. They aren't going to stay static, and I'd figure that a receding glacier is much better then an expanding one. Humans can handle warm much better then cold.

So the question is, do we wreck our economy through energy rationing (which is the only way to reduce emissions until better technology comes along) hoping that CO2 is causing the warmup even though the fossil record shows that not to be the case? Or do we allow the Earth to warm and hope that it really isn't us that's doing it?

Posted by: Lil Jimmy N. | November 9, 2005 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I thought we had a hat trick going--Kaine wins, Corzine wins, Ahnold's four ballot initiatives lost--until I read esskay's note about the Dover, Pa., clean sweep. So now it's a double hat trick. Can't wait for November '06.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 9, 2005 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Those who seek to inject religious beliefs into public life always assume that it is their particular belief system that will be used. A few weeks or months in Asia or the Middle East might be beneficial in such cases. Alternatively, we could teach all belief systems, including Wicca, Krishna, Buddha, Islam, three kinds of Judaism, the Native American Church, Rastafarianism, 57 varieties of Christianity, AND THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 9, 2005 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I would really like to see buddhism somehow integrated into evolutionary theory. Could there be a connection between old souls and improvement of the species?

Posted by: jw | November 9, 2005 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Should Buddhism be capitalized? Or, more importantly, would a Buddhist capitalize buddhism?

Posted by: jw | November 9, 2005 9:49 AM | Report abuse

jw, check out Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks, Rip Torn, and Meryl Streep. It deals with the afterlife. I especially liked the Past Lives Pavillion hosted by Shirley MacLaine.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 9, 2005 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon writes:
"I thought we had a hat trick going--Kaine wins, Corzine wins, Ahnold's four ballot initiatives lost--until I read esskay's note about the Dover, Pa., clean sweep. So now it's a double hat trick. Can't wait for November '06."

November '06 will be interesting, FOR SHORE. But look at Tuesday's decision by the Sunflower State's Board of Education approval of new public school science standards that cast doubt on the theory of evolution, and the overwhelming support in Texas for an amendment of the state constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The residents of New Jersey, Virginia, California are littorals (or coastal dwellers) and to an extent so is Dover, Pa., not far from York, Pa., and the Susquehanna River. I'd like to think of this "divide" in terms of Jared Diamond's book, "Gun, Germs, and Steel," with the proposition that those who are coastal have a greater wash of ideas floating among them (and greater movement of their citizens), as opposed to the landlocked central part of the country, probably somewhat more homogenous, rather than heterogeneous, in terms of both population demographics and ideas. Very simply reduced by this frame of thinking, the coasts are more liberal, while the interior of the nation is more conservative.

And the press nattering today will certainly revolve around whether these handful of elections are bellwethers, with implications for '06. Do you think the cost of fuel and the war and its ramifications will remain the hot-button issues for '06?

BTW, Curmudgeon, you told us a little about yourself the other day. One lingering question: Do you work in an editorial capacity for "The Dark Side" as you call it? I'm too curious by half, but a simple "yes" or "no" will suffice for me.

Posted by: Loomis | November 9, 2005 10:10 AM | Report abuse

jw:
You ask, "Could there be a connection between old souls and improvement of the species?" I've wondered the same thing.

Also, did you see that article about the Dalai Lama in the Style section this morning? (Well, maybe you did; maybe that's what inspired your Buddhism [yes, capital B] comment.)

An excerpt:

"His recent book, 'The Universe in an Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality,' tries to make the case that modern science and Buddhist thought have surprisingly similar aims, methods and sometimes conclusions -- though he resists efforts to see the world in purely material terms. (Some of his thoughts about limits to the theory of evolution when it comes to how life and consciousness began earned him a rather harsh book review in the New York Times, including a suggestion that he was proposing a Buddhist version of intelligent design.)

"During yesterday's session, some of those parallels between Buddhist thought and cutting-edge science were on display.
Wolf Singer, director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, explained how his research has found that neuronal coordination within the brain is key to human understanding and performance -- a conclusion that Buddhist thought intuited long ago."

[I'm gonna have to read that book.]

Posted by: Dreamer | November 9, 2005 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I love 'Defending Your Life'! What a great movie.

Posted by: jw | November 9, 2005 10:19 AM | Report abuse

And I STILL haven't read Tom's old-souls book. But it's definitely on my list. I've always been intrigued by reincarnation, and whether the same souls keep running into each other lifetime after lifetime. Maybe the reason I can understand what Ricky Gervais is saying on Extras, and my girlfriend can't, is because I was British in a past life?

Posted by: jw | November 9, 2005 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The origin of the word "bellwether" is quite facinating. It actually has nothing to do with predicting or forcasting the weather, as one might think from its current usage--describing an indicator or forcaster of future events.

The term bellwether is derived from the middle English "bellewether". In middle English, a "wether" was a castrated ram; therefore a bellewether was a castrated ram with a bell tied around his neck, used to lead a flock of sheep.

So one could say that when you refer to something as a bellwether, you are saying that it is an impotent event without importance, which the masses nevertheless let their decisions be guided by. Because they're, um, all sheep. Bah.

Posted by: Loomis-fan | November 9, 2005 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, you wanted to know my connection to Gen. Nat. All I can say is that I come from a long line of Greenes and Crawfords in upstate NY, Binghamton-Endicott area, (an ancestor supposedly worked on the Hudson River chain and boom connected with Benedict Arnold's treason) and my mother-in-law is a member of one of the two most geneologically obsessed groups in the country, the DAR (the other being the Mormon church). She has probed my line back to Adam and assures me that N. Greene and I are familia. My wife is related to Chas and Wm Bent of Colorado- Bent's Fort and all that.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 9, 2005 10:58 AM | Report abuse

jw:
You still haven't read Tom's book?!?!?!?

But seriously (and I should warn you that the following story is a little creepy):

I had a disturbing dream when I was a small child that has stayed with me to this day and that has left me open to the possibility of reincarnation. I must have been somewhere between 2 and 4 years old at the time. In the dream, I was with my younger brother, only it wasn't my brother. We were both grown men -- poor farmworkers, I think -- in a barn or cellar in the French or Italian countryside (not sure which). Suddenly something bad happened -- a fire, a flood, or an explosion, not sure which -- and we suffocated, and then I woke up. I knew that I had "died" in the dream. At the time, I probably had no knowledge of concepts such as "French," "Italian," or even "cellar." I'm not sure how many of the details I have added as I've grown older. (Still, how did I dream such a thing at such a young age? And why was I so sure that the other person in the dream was my brother?) I do know that I woke up feeling really frightened, although for some reason I never mentioned the dream to my parents, or to my brother (it's possible he was only a baby at the time).

I also used to have a lot of dreams about being a soldier when I was really young. Maybe it was a result of watching too much TV, but I don't know -- being a girl, I was more inclined to watch girly shows and programs about animals than war movies.

Weird.

Posted by: Tom fan | November 9, 2005 11:16 AM | Report abuse

jw- it seem you must be a racist to let things like i posted happen. or you must be a DEM. Why is it when a white man say somthing about the topic of blacks its racism. when they are clearly stealing money. If it was a white group doing the above it would be all over the media. i think you and you dem friends need a check-up from the neck-up. This country is going down the tubes with dem stupidty and racist groups towards whites. And yes Jesus was a white jew. I have no problems with jews or anyone else as long as the game is played fair. Dem dont play fair. Dems are racists towards whites and jews!

Posted by: mike | November 9, 2005 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The littoral zone idea is an interesting correlation. Works in South Africa with Cape Town vs. Pretoria. But in the U.S.A. , the western settlers of the 1840's are the conservative fundamentalists gumming up the works now.
P.S. Don't tell Cheney about the boiling frog trick

Posted by: Wild Bill | November 9, 2005 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"...check-up from the neck-up." I have discovered Mike's identity...the Rev. Jessie Jackson!

Posted by: jw | November 9, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Mike-- I think the real reason that people aren't all over Farrakhan for his statements is because they're expected out of him. He's been saying the same thing since the 60s. How often do you hear when David Duke makes a racist statement?

The media only seems to like to spread the comments of those that we don't expect it from or when they are said in a forum that has nothing to do with the racist comment (Kanye West during the NBC Katrina-thon for example).

I don't think its part of any larger plot, just some editors' idea of what is "news".

Posted by: TulsaFan | November 9, 2005 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Loomis: yes, but hopefully not for long. Am going to try to get back to working for the Sons of Light instead of the Sons of Darkness. I work (as a contractor) for a small, relatively unpolitical, not-especially controversial agency (thank goodness). Most of the boodle would generally approve of it, though with a few understandable quibbles here and there (me, too).

My wife is DAR (though not at all active in it)--she's a descendent of Col. John Moore of Rev. War fame in Manchester, NH, and his father-in-law, Col. John Goffe, the original Fr. & Ind. War Ranger Battalion commander (Rogers' Rangers was the other battalion, and more famous, viz. the Spencer Tracy movie, etc.). Col. Goffe and his men were the original "Yankee Doodles," so named by the Brits because of their ratty uniforms, etc. (the Redcoats yanked the Rangers' doodles, which was the name for their pigtails). Manchester was known as Goffe's Mills when it was first built. The Moores and Goffes were descended from British Gen. William Goffe, who was one of Cromwell's generals and one of the 82 men who signed the death warrant that executed Charles I. When the Restoration came, Gen. Goffe and all the others fled for their lives; Goffe and another fellow came to the colonies, and hid in a cave for several years (!) while Charles II's men hunted all over the world for them. One day about 10 years later, Indians attacked the village of Nashua, and were about to win when an old hermit who was said to live in a cave outside the town appeared from nowhere, led the defense, and drove off the Indians. It was, of course, the fugative Gen. Goffe.

So I am married to a woman who has the blood of regicides in her veins. Consequently, uneasy lies this head who wears the crown in our family, and I promptly take out the trash when I'm told.

If that hasn't thoroughly slaughtered this boodle, I'm ready to go back to the infield fly rule.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 9, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Lil Jimmy N: I couldn't agree more..

>

The issue is not only if the process is natural or not, but also whether it is global or not. The data is not consistent across N. America, much less the globe.

The link between atomspheric CO2 and warming has not been demonstrated to be a cause and effect relationship. In addition, natural processes may have an even greater impact than human ones. I seem to recall having read that the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo in the Phillipines released more CO2 into the atmosphere than all of human action in all of history up until that point.

We kid ourselves when we think that the earth won't shake us off like it did the dinosaurs and we delude ourselves if we think that we can change the ultimate outcome.

Posted by: alt_ideas | November 9, 2005 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Who are you going to believe, scientists, or Exxon? The oil companies (i.e., the current administration) is NEVER going to say, "we need to make changes," even if they had proof that we were headed for disaster. Even though there are scientific doubts as to the causes, extent, and inevitability of global warming, I tend to have a hostile view to people who would gladly kill our planet (and me with it!) in exchange for a bigger earnings dividend.

I think something similar happened in the California election: some of the proposed amendments might have been useful, even essential, but the Greedy Man who proposed them needed to be rebuked. Even at the cost of cutting off one's nose ...

Posted by: mizerock | November 10, 2005 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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