Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Global Warming--on Mars?

Now this is interesting. According to the latest information coming back from the Mars Global Surveyor, the red planet has been getting warmer over the past three years. Which obviously means one of three things:

1. Earth’s evil corporate polluters have found a way to beam their greenhouse gas emissions to other planets, or

2. Dick Cheney and his Halliburton buddies are intercepting the signals from the orbiter and are putting their own spin on it, or

3. Global warming is taking place on a solar-system-wide level, and has something to do with the strength of the sun, and not the presence or absence of something in the earth’s atmosphere.

Discussions - 30 Comments

I think it’s pretty obvious that Bush is somehow to blame for this. Talk about getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

How naive. Everyone knows that Bush is too dumb to pull off something like this. Clearly it has to be Dick Cheney. Or Leo Strauss. Oh, wait, Strauss is dead. It must be Rumsfeld, backed by the Carlyle Group. And the Bavarian Illuminati.

John:

Or the two might not be connected whatsoever? I am not a big fan of environmentalists’ global warming crusade, but your argument falls short.

Perhaps there are nonhuman causes for global warming, this could be true, and it could also be true that on Earth there are human causes aggravating the nonhuman causes, etc. I think we need more data on Mars and how quickly it is warming up before we can come to any conclusions. If Mars and the Earth were warming at the same rate (taking into account the fact that Mars is farther away, less atmosphere, etc.) then I think your argument would stand, as it is your assertion means little.

Steven knows that it is due to methane gas from cattle. Isn’t that funny?

I refer to Steven Heyward, by the way. Of course, the temperature on Mars could also be inversely associated with Bush’s approval ratings! Now THAT is funny!

Ohhh, It’s just gotta be those evil Mars Rovers, we put there. Just think how much the man-made pollution has increased on Mars in the past few years! I mean, it must be zillions of percentage points!

And think what that temperature increase will mean for the planet! What about the impact of sea-level rises?

Oh.. um... yeah... Never mind!

DRK

You know, I think Lt. Dain is actually Fung resurrected. I see the same bi-polar swings between reason and bitter, illogical mockery. FreudJung...please have the decency to be who your are and drop this silly "Lt. Dan" name.

Or, if you notice Dain’s slip in comment 7 above, perhaps Lt. Dan is really "Lt. Dain" who would of course just be another version of Dain, when he’s dressed up in an old uniform he picked up at Goodwill.

Ok, ok, I wrote it before my first cup of Joe. Gimme a break. I honestly think that "Lt. DAN" might be Fung. OK?

Lt. Dan is sillier than "fung"?

I must admit that I am considering a new name. Not "fung," but something that doesn’t offend veterans. It wasn’t meant to offend, but I recognize that it did. I’ll reappear at some point with a new name. i was considering Benedict, since Dain has called me a traitor for disagreeing with him, but it takes too long to type. maybe "Ben." or "dict". Probably not "dict."

Didn’t I learn in school that the sun, which is just another star, goes through several stages, in it’s life cycle, where it becomes more intense, over a function in time. Is it possible that this is what is causing this phenomenom?

I can think of an alternative spelling (and pronunciation) of "dict" that would fit you to a T.

First of all, who cares who Lt. Dan is? Second, Mr. Sparks, as you pointed out Mars is farther away from the Sun than Earth. Therefore, temperatures on Mars should be rising at nowhere near the rate they are on Earth (unless there are some weird properties in CO2 I don’t know about). If this Mars stuff can be verified, then I think the Gaia worshippers out need to rethink their policies.

I assumed scientists could develop a formula to account for the distance of Mars, its less hearty atmosphere, etc. and could figure out if Earth and Mars are warming at the same rate. If they are then this would probably mean that man made pollution has little to do with the Earth’s global warming. However, if Earth were warming at a faster rate than Mars then it would seem that pollution is responsible for some global warming. Then the question is whether this increase in the rate of global warming is significant enough to worry about, and whether reduction of pollution would even matter (does it really matter if some life dies a year or two earlier?).

This all presupposes that there is a common cause for the global warming of the Earth and Mars. That was my objection to John’s reason #3. We lack the data to know for certain. For all we know, global warming on Mars could be caused by little green men who eat cheese and burp, and the fact that Earth and Mars warming rates are the same or similar would merely be a coincidence.

Steve, I don’t think we disagree here. It is no doubt the case that we lack data to know for certain what is causing the earth to become warmer. The willingness of so much of the scientific community to latch on to the greenhouse effect is largely a failure of imagination regarding alternative possibilities. The evidence suggests that the earth is getting warmer, but this has been going on since the end of the "little Ice Age" of the 14th-17th centuries. Average temperatures today are likely about where they were during the late middle ages (a time when, obviously, there were no internal combustion engines). The idea that the sun itself goes through phases, in which the amount of heat it throws off varies, strikes me as a viable alternative explanation--at least as a good reason for questioning the greenhouse effect hypothesis. And certainly, it’s a good reason to be skeptical of the notion that the way to fight global warming is to impose Kyoto-like standards on industry.

It is too bad we cannot privatize air. If we could, most likely unnecessary pollution and waste would cease.

Property rights are often justified (in a utilitarian way) as the best way to promote efficient use of resources. People almost always waste and misuse what is owned in common because costs are not fully charged to or paid by the user. Regulations attempt to create artificial markets, but because they are not real markets, they are controlled more by political, and less by economic forces, and this results in allowing inefficiencies for the politically well connected.

The best example of my private ownership theory is water. Anyone would much rather drink tap water than water from Lake Erie. This is because tap water is "owned" by the public and treated to give value (in terms of healthiness and taste), not dirtied up anymore than needed, and cleaned when dirty. An even better example is bottled water (truly private) to Lake Erie or tap water. As soon as politics becomes involved in markets, inefficiencies will result.

It’s too bad we can’t just privatize EVERYTHING, huh??

My guess is that Cindy Sheehan would like to blame this on the sulfur from all of the bombs dropped in Iraq.

Policeman Moser, in a brilliant piece of scientific speculation, mixes up stars and planets! Now that’s what I call superior scholarship.

Mr. Sparks,
As usual, I find your argument to be poorly drawn. In the first instance, "public ownership" of tap water is hardly a good example of the benefits of private ownership. Why? Well, because it is often (although not always) a PUBLIC good. Which means the very quality you are referring to is actually the result of politics (in a general sense). And purchasing bottled water is quite possibly one of the most irrational purchasing decisions that Americans make. $40 dollars a gallon (or more). In the same light, privatization of either water or air in the utilitarian sense you seem to be dreaming of is hardly reasonable either. I can think of no way to divide those resources in a way that is compatible with the free market (assuming we could suspend reality here and discuss privatizing air). It is for this reason that we developed a special set of ’laws’ for certain items -- collectively called "the public trust doctrine" (Let’s all thank the roman emperor Justinian!!).

Your water example is not a good one for many reasons. Some of them are more theoretical. Some of them are more practical. Drilling a well is a good way for an individual to ’privatize’ his water resources (albeit this becomes tricky when we are not in a rural setting). But, drilling a well does not mean you will get good clean water. There are unsafe, unclean, and unpleasant private wells all throughout the state. At the same time, Lake Erie is no longer the dirty contaminate of the 60’s. It provides drinking water to nearly 11 million individuals. Moreover, we saw as recently as last year that the quality of the lake had improved so much that in certain instances the water of the lake was cleaner than municipal water supplies.

My point? You should watch who you wag your finger at with pointed remarks that "your assertion means little." Because the longer your talk, the less you make sense. Every time.

I certainly prefer Moser’s trivializing approach to the global warming phenomenon (shared by the majority of the oil and gas industry). I don’t want to have to think beyond the tip of the gas pump and my wallet when I fill up the Navigator to go on a Sunday drive. Mr. Moser’s approach makes me feel better, thus I accept it and will read - or at least display on my coffee table - all the Beltway books that support it. A scholarly equivalent to comfort food - chicken soup for the brain?

I don’t know, Chris L, are you any better? You automatically assume that carbon-based fuels are about to destroy the biosphere, but the evidence is very thin (you might want to review the land-based, balloon-based, and satellite-based temperature readings and get back to me).

As for "beltway books" that can’t be trusted, since you are one of those cynical, conspiracy-minded Leftists, has it never occurred to you how little grant money and prestige are available to climate scientists who DON’T find anything to worry about? Nice double-standard, I must say. I guess you are just as guilty of believing only the science that confirms your prejudices.

Sonya:

You attack my examples, and my combative rhetoric, but do little to disprove my point that private ownership of goods results in less waste, more efficiency, and greater value.

I believe your well example actually proves my point. People with wells usually pay for expensive water treatment systems, softners and the like so that they may use the water. Yet people do not go out and throw salt in streams in order to make them better. The difference between the two is private ownership. People take care of water when they own it, by analogy they would take care of air if they owned it.

If Lake Erie has become cleaner it is because of environmental regulations that attempt to simulate private ownership, not because Lake Erie has become more of a commons. Also, I seriously doubt that Lake Erie provides drinking water for 11 million people before the water is treated. Treating water is another form of ownership, and this further proves my point; the closer goods come to being owned by people the more valuable, less wasteful, more efficient, etc. they are.

Finally, I am aware air cannot be privatized. It cannot be because it is impossible to take possession of it (exclude others from using it without one’s permission). That is why I started post #16 with the statement "it is too bad we cannot privatize air."

Does anyone else think that Dain is a total, complete, genuine, grade-A asshole?
Because I certainly do!

I wholeheartedly concur, Chia Pet!

You are being way too harsh on Dain. He’s actually a great asset to this stagnant little den of pseudo intellectuals and cheerleaders.

Dear Chia pet-

Please don’t use that language on this site!

Sorry, I forget that the little babies on here can’t handle naughty words, so they use comic book techniques like "f*** off!"
Then when people read it, they know EXACTLY what the "missing" word is supposed to be, but they don’t have to suffer the offense of actually having to read the letters! Makes tons of sense.

I just love when someone who lacks the courage to use his or her own name when commenting on a blog accuses people of being "little babies" who "can’t handle naughty words."

You’re the one who needs to grow up. It’s all about showing a minimum of respect for your audience. If you can’t do that here, go find another blog to bother.

But that IS my real name, Moser. My parents just LOVED those things!

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