Hussein Gets Pissed, Refuses To Answer Hamas Question: “Just Let Me Eat My Waffle”

Israel Says Carter Effort At Cease-fire With Hamas FAILED!

Sunspots and a possible new ice age

Sunspots and a possible new ice age

Thomas Lifson
There is some serious evidence accumulating that we may be on the brink of not just global cooling, but an ice age. Sunspots are historically correlated with temperature on earth. During the Dalton Minimum, beginning in 1790, the number of sunspots was low, as the earth’s climate turned cold for a few decades. At http://www.spaceweather.com/ you can see live images of the sun taken from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory in space. Right now there is but one tiny sunspot.

Phil Chapman, geophysicist and astronautical engineer who lives in San Francisco, writes in The Australian about the frightening prospect that this year’s ferocious winter and decline in average  temperature is the herald of serious cooling:

 

The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.
It didn’t happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.  [….]
That the rapid temperature decline in 2007 coincided with the failure of cycle No.24 to begin on schedule is not proof of a causal connection but it is cause for concern.

It is time to put aside the global warming dogma, at least to begin contingency planning about what to do if we are moving into another little ice age, similar to the one that lasted from 1100 to 1850.

There is no doubt that the next little ice age would be much worse than the previous one and much more harmful than anything warming may do. There are many more people now and we have become dependent on a few temperate agricultural areas, especially in the US and Canada. Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it.

Millions will starve if we do nothing to prepare for it (such as planning changes in agriculture to compensate), and millions more will die from cold-related diseases.

 

Unlike Al Gore, I would never claim that the science is settled and that the data are all available. We need to watch the sunspot activity, and keep our fingers crossed that the world is not entering a new “little ice age.”

 

If we are entering a period of low sunspot activity and global cooling, then the changes demanded by Warmists, especially the conversion of crops to fuel use, would be catastrophic. But I doubt Al Gore’ Nobel Prize will ever be revoked. The fraud Rigoberta Menchu still has her Peace Prize, after all.

 

Hat tip: Bryan Demko

Earth First! (People Later)

Earth First! (People Later)

By David Bueche

I drove by a Protestant church recently that had the following moral exhortation on their lawn marquee:

“Saving the world, one light-bulb at a time.”

 

Wow!  Talk about a test of faith.  Don’t think you’re going to slide through the gates of heaven without renouncing Satan’s bulbs — not a chance!

 

Later that week a Liberal friend asked me, “Do you believe in global warming?”  As I contemplated my answer I was struck with conflicting images – a Senate sub-committee, and a child asking about Santa.  To his credit, he stuck with me through my multi-part response.  To wit:

 

  1. The world has been warming since approximately 1650 when it reached its latest low and almost dipped into a modern Ice Age.  This episode is well-recorded and notable for its misery as crop yields declined, economic activity contracted, and people were generally extremely cold.  On the lighter side…  you could ice skate on the Thames.  But all in all, not a good trend…
  2. The world is now the same temperature as it was in 1000 A.D.  We’ve basically climbed out of the trough that we descended into for 650 years and now enjoy the same general climate as feudal rulers and Vikings a millennium ago.   (“Beautiful day wouldn’t you say Erik?  This is pillaging weather Gefhert – pass me that mace!”)
  3. Theoretically, there is some incredibly complex formula that explains weather, temperature and climate.  We will probably never comprehend it in any great detail in the lifetimes of any of us. If ever.
  4. Since we’ve only been in the carbon footprint game for a short period, there are obviously other big levers which control climate, (as evidenced by the repeated warming and cooling of the planet — the majority of which preceded humans entirely). 
  5. If you were omniscient and could see this formula, there would probably be a legitimate factor in the equation representing human emission of CO2 through industrial processes and agriculture.  It is quite possible that this factor is a very minor influence on the equation as a whole.
  6. It is our influence on this possibly trivial climatic input that is being debated. 
I asked what brought all this to mind.  In short, why the long face?

 

What followed was the standard global warming litany: Crop failures, rising tides, malaria in Vermont, people dying of heatstroke during the endless summer, etc., etc., etc…

 

I countered each point with one of two arguments:

 

  • This problem already exists and can be solved more efficiently by directly focusing on it than by attempting to manipulate the global climate – (For example, malaria can currently be eradicated for pennies on the dollar, and will never be a problem in Vermont)
  • This “problem” is not really a problem at all.  It either doesn’t exist, or is the lesser of two possible outcomes. (For example, a warmer world will cause a slightly higher incidence in summer heatstroke, which will be completely negated by the decrease in winter deaths due to cold.  The modeling that’s been done, [for what its worth], actually shows an overall net decrease in mortality in the “warmer world” scenario due to the fact that humans adapt more readily to heat than cold).
At some point along the way I realized I was making him angry.  It wasn’t that I was being abrasive or disrespectful.  I was responding point by point to each of supposed global warming calamities.  “We can fix all this stuff now,” I said.  “No need to give up your SUV, no buildings underwater, no tribes of cannibals living in the burned out skeleton of Baby Gap.”  This should be good news, correct?

 

That’s where you’d be wrong.  The thing you need to realize is that all these supposed outcomes are a smokescreen.  Most global warming activists don’t really care about people being fed or preventing malaria.  If that’s what they were concerned about they would focus on that.  Trying to address world hunger by worrying about CO2 levels is about as direct as trying to become a famous actor by waiting tables in a Hollywood restaurant, (actually that may be a little too pessimistic but you get the picture).

 

The “science” of global warming is nothing more than a cover for their irrational emotional needs.  It’s religion for people who are too cool to go to church.  All that yearning, the need for something bigger, transcendent: Hey the planet’s heating up and I’ve been placed here to save it!

 

When Al Gore says, “The Earth has a fever,” no one calls him on his cartoon personification — as if the Earth has a temperature it prefers. 

 

Compare this to GW’s comment that Jesus Christ was his favorite philosopher – “Oh what a sad misguided fool.  He still believes in God.  And this is the guy who’s running our country?”

 

To borrow a phrase, (as I have liberally in this post), from the brilliant statistician and eco-philosopher, Bjorn Lomborg, visualize the people living on Earth 100 years from now.  Let’s imagine that they can reach back in time and speak to us, give us some feedback on the world we’ll be leaving them.  What do you think they’d ask us to focus on?  Where would they have us concentrate our scarce time and energy? 

 

A world in which hunger and AIDS have been eradicated or  a world where the sea level is 6 inches lower?

 

A world free of Jihad where everyone lives under some form of representative democracy, or a world that is 2.1 degrees cooler in the months between October and March?

 

A world with 10% more polar bear habitat or a world where even the poorest or the poor have clean water and a sanitary place to go to the bathroom?

 

These are our choices.  We can’t do everything.

 

And frankly, to hear people who are so wealthy that they’re clinically obese from excess food and leisure time yammering on about what kind of light-bulbs they use, while other people are literally starving to death…  It’s beyond bizarre.  It speaks to a frightening level of self-deception that seemingly intelligent folks engage in en masse.

 

Which brings us back to the church I saw.  Is this what passes for morality today?  Is this what constitutes a courageous stand?  Is this honestly the best we can do? 

 

Do you know how much the sea level rose since 1850?  1 foot

 

And what did we do?  How did we handle this catastrophe?  Well, actually, we didn’t notice that it was happening — that’s how horrible the climate change we experienced was.

 

Do you know how much the UN’s IPCC panel predicts the sea level will rise by 2100?  One foot.* It may be the same nightmare we went through last time. Or maybe half the nightmare.

 

So next time you fret about whether your car is Gore compliant or if you’re protecting your precious Gaia by buying carbon offsets for your private jet, think for a minute about how it would look to our friends a hundred years hence, or better yet, to a little kid in present-day Africa or Asia who’s starving to death.

 

Maybe we ought to return to an elemental truth the folks a hundred years in our past knew clearly and without reservation. 

 

People come first – the Earth can take care of itself.

 

* Projected sea level rise in 21st century:

Source – UN IPCC Report (4th Assessment – 2007)

sea level rise scenarios

Graphic (from WikiPedia)
This shows different ranges of sea level rise predicted using 6 different scenarios, (coolest to warmest).  It’s worth noting that the “high-end” scenarios are probably unrealistic in that they factor in “business as usual” with no switch to alternative fuels, conservation efforts as a result of price, etc., (many of which are actually happening now due to the increase in the price of oil).  If we take the mean of each range we get, (coolest to warmest):

 

  • 11 inches
  • 13 inches
  • 12.5 inches
  • 13.5 inches
  • 14.5 inches
  • 16.5 inches

 

If we drop the high and low estimates as outliers and take the mean of the means of the remaining 4 estimates we get –

 

  • 13.4 inches

 

Obama’s Plan for NASA

Obama’s Plan for NASA

By Lee Cary

As the legend goes, when the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in what is now Mexico in 1519, he ordered the boats that brought him and his men there to be burned.  Obama seems to have something similar planned for NASA.

Although the MSM has largely ignored Barack Obama’s plans for NASA, the issue is likely to bubble up during the general election campaign, if he’s the Democratic nominee.  Here’s why.

 

There’s a potential confluence of two events – one possible and one planned: an Obama presidency and a mission shift already underway at NASA. 

 

The Space Shuttle program will end in 2010.  The Constellation program is not scheduled to begin manned flights until 2015.  Meanwhile, NASA faces dramatic job reductions among its 21,000 labor force at the close of the Shuttle Program.  For example, the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, FL faces a cut of 8,000 contractor jobs. The Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans could lose 1,300 of its 1,900 jobs.

 

The Constellation Program is the follow-on to the Shuttle program. NASA is in the early development stage of the new Ares 1 rocket and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).  The plan is for them to take astronauts to the moon which will become a staging area for the eventual exploration of Mars. (For a brief overview of the program see a three minute NASA video here.  And, an eleven minute CBS “60 Minutes” report on the project here.) 

 

Cortez, according to the story, burned his boats to force his men to move inland with no option of going back. The Shuttle program is, metaphorically, like Cortez’s boats. After 2010, the Shuttles are gone. The Constellation project will provide the vehicles for the next big step in space exploration. That is unless Barack Obama becomes our 44th president.

 

The last paragraph in his 15-page “Plan For Lifetime Success Through Education” reads:

 

“Barack Obama’s early education and K-12 plan package costs about $18 billion per year.  He will maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent an increase in the deficit by offsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government.  The early education plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years, using purchase cards and negotiating power of the government to reduce costs of standardized procurement, auctioning surplus federal property, and reducing the erroneous payments identified by the Government Accountability Office, and closing the CEO pay deductibility loophole.  The rest of the plan will be funded using a small portion of the savings associated with fighting the war in Iraq.” (highlight added)

 

Something interesting happens in the Obama campaign document entitled “Barack Obama’s Plan For American Leadership in Space.”  The “something” is that there’s nothing in there about “American leadership in space.” It states,

 

“As president, Obama will support the development of this vital new platform [CEV] to ensure that the United States’ reliance on foreign space capabilities is limited to the minimum possible time period.”

 

Translated into English, that means that he’ll maintain the Constellation project at a minimum $500 million per year budget as the band takes an extended break between sets, taking their instruments with them.  And for how long does the U.S. postpone a new space transport capability?  Obama’s answer is the “minimum possible time period.”  (Now is that in human or dog years?)

 

In the meantime, the U.S. space program sits on the tarmac. This will free-up funding for his aggressive plans to federalize pre-school.  (For one non-MSM explanation of what that’s about read here.)  Note that the final three paragraphs of Obama space plan are not about space exploration at all. They’re about his education plan wherein he will:

 

  • Recruit High-Quality Math and Science Teachers
  • Enhance Science Instruction
  • Improve and Prioritize Science Assessments

 

Back to the Cortez analogy.  The space boats are being burned on schedule as the Shuttle program phases out.  The way forward is on the Ares 1 rocket and the CEV – Cortez’s guns and horses.  But Capitan Hernando Obama says, “Men, let’s keep the guns clean and the powder dry, but not feed the horses for five years while we sit here on the beach and hope.” 

 

In the meantime what happens to NASA’s cadre of scientists for five years?  The answer is they move on because putting the Constellation Program on hold for five years is tantamount to killing it.  (Would you want your dentist to perform a root canal on you after she returns from a five year sabbatical as a lifeguard in Tahiti?)  Those scientists that can, retire. Many of those that cannot retire find jobs elsewhere – maybe teaching High School math for Obama, or working in China’s space program.  Then, at some indefinite “minimum” time down the road, the U.S. space program restarts and they come back.  Or not.

 

In the meantime, how do our astronauts get to the International Space Station?  Simple, they hitch rides on Russian space craft until the Chinese enter the space transport competition. 

 

USA Today quoted Obama’s perspective on the space program.

 

“We’re not going to have the engineers and the scientists to continue space exploration if we don’t have kids who are able to read, write and compute.”

 

By the same logic, we should also suspend medical research grants and close down the National Institute of Health because we’re not going to have physicians and biologists if we don’t have kids who are able to read, write and compute.  Yes? 

 

During the Q. & A. session at a campaign stop in Wyoming, Obama was asked about the nation’s space program.  Here’s a revealing account of his response written by Greg Zsidisin, the person who asked Obama “Why are you specifically pitting the space program against education, and where’s the vision in shutting down the [human] space program?   

 

“‘I grew up on Star Trek,’ Obama said. ‘I believe in the final frontier.’ (Huh?)
“But Obama said he does not agree with the way the space program is now being run and thinks funding should be trimmed until the mission is clearer. (It’s actually much clear than his intentions toward Iran and nuclear weapon.)
“‘NASA has lost focus and is no longer associated with inspiration,’ he said. ‘I don’t think our kids are watching the space shuttle launches. It used to be a remarkable thing. It doesn’t even pass for news anymore.’  (Neither do heart transplants. So…should we stop them?)
“Obama seemed to resent my question. A little later, he addressed another on energy, and spoke of the need for an alternative energy effort. He concluded by turning to my direction and saying pointedly, ‘And that, sir, is what our next Apollo Program should be.'”

 

So there it is. The Global Social Worker aims to shift funds from space exploration to federal pre-schools.  Or is it to an alternative fuel?  Hard to figure.  

 

All this suggests the most poignant irony of this entire campaign season. 

 

Barack Obama, the candidate who has often been portrayed by some in the media as Kennedyesque, would leave the space exploration legacy of JFK sitting idle on the beach. Watching the boats burn.  

 

A New ‘Green’ Body Count Begins

A New ‘Green’ Body Count Begins

By Steven Milloy
Fox News | 4/22/2008

Food riots caused by rising food prices have erupted around the world. Five people died in uprisings in Haiti, perhaps the first of many casualties to come from the fad of being “green.”

Food riots also broke out in Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ethiopia. The military is being deployed in Pakistan and Thailand to protect fields and warehouses. Higher energy costs and policies promoting the use of biofuels such as ethanol are being blamed. “When millions of people are going hungry, it’s a crime against humanity that food should be diverted to biofuels,” an Indian government official told the Wall Street Journal. Turkey’s finance minister labeled the use of biofuels as “appalling,” according to the paper.

Biofuels have turned out to be a lose-lose-lose proposition. Once touted by the greens and the biofuel industry as being able to reduce the demand for oil and lower greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels have accomplished neither goal and have no prospect for accomplishing either in the foreseeable future.

The latest research shows that biofuels actually increase greenhouse gas emissions on a total lifecycle basis. Add in that taxpayer-subsidized diversion of food crops and food crop acreage to fuel production has contributed to higher food prices and reduced food supply, and biofuels turn out to be nothing less than a public policy disaster.

 

The situation is not likely to get any better any time soon, as cutting the farm subsidies and tariffs on sugar cane-based ethanol imports that have fueled the ethanol craze seems to be yet another third rail of U.S. politics.

Biofuel proponents hope the reliance on food crops to produce biofuels is temporary, and they point to a future where non-food biomass (such as corn stalks and grasses) is used to produce so-called cellulosic ethanol.

But in addition to the fact that the technology for producing cellulosic ethanol on a cost-effective basis is nowhere near ready for prime time, the greenhouse gas footprint of cellulosic ethanol likely will be far worse than that of corn-based ethanol.

It’s one thing to transport relatively compact corn kernels to be processed into ethanol; it’s quite another to transport bulky biomass. The bulk problem would require a multitude of cellulosic ethanol plants to be built around the country — a project that could be quite costly and difficult to locate given the phenomenon of NIMBY-ism and the problem of plant emissions making it more difficult for states to comply with federal air quality standards.

States that don’t meet those standards don’t get their much-needed federal highway funds. Food riots are only the tip of the green iceberg. We might also expect energy riots to erupt one day.

The world has an ever-growing population that needs more and more energy, but the greens are doing everything they can to constrict the world’s energy supply.

As the Sierra Club campaigns to shut down our coal-fired electricity capabilities, the Natural Resources Defense Council campaigns to prevent nuclear power from taking its place. The demise of coal-fired power and the blockage of increased nuclear power will increase the demand for supply constraints on, and the prices for, natural gas.

But then again, environmental advocacy group Earth First perhaps is helping to alleviate the looming natural gas crisis by campaigning against power plants that use the fuel. In a recent campaign against a South Florida power plant, an Earth First campaigner stated that the environment ought not be threatened “so that people can fuel their greedy energy desires.” “Just say ‘no’ to electricity,” seems to be the bottom line of eco-think.

Even wind power is becoming more and more politically incorrect. Environmentalist-friendly Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley this week announced that wind farms will not be allowed on state lands because they are eyesores.

Considering eco-activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s long-standing opposition to a wind farm off the coast of his family’s Hyannis Port, Mass., compound as well as environmentalist concerns that wind farms kill wild birds, it seems that the future of wind power is uncertain.

The environmentalist effort to tie our energy policy knots already is producing results. The availability of electricity in the Washington, D.C., area is so fragile that Maryland officials already are planning for summertime rolling blackouts starting in 2011.

In California, officials are so concerned that a recent state legislative proposal would have provided local utilities the power to control thermostats in new homes and businesses. Although this effort failed, it’s not that hard to imagine that, one day, all homes will have their electrical use controlled by local utilities — no doubt run by your local green energy czars.

Millions in the developing world have died and continue to do so from the greens’ campaign against pesticides such as DDT. Nothing less should be expected from their new campaign that threatens global food and energy production.


Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams.

Keeping Hamastan Afloat

Keeping Hamastan Afloat

By P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | 4/22/2008

When recently Israel’s government agreed to let Russia provide 25 armored personnel carriers to the Palestinian Authority, there was a lot of unhappiness in Israel’s defense establishment—and for good reason. They remembered how back in 2001 Israeli forces had to destroy about ten of the APCs in Gaza that had been supplied to Yasser Arafat there in the 1990s.

And as became clear in Gaza on Saturday, not all of those older APCs had been eliminated. Early in the morning one of them rammed through a fence between southern Gaza and Israel near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and was quickly followed by two jeeps—disguised as Israel Defense Forces jeeps—carrying explosives that blew up an IDF watchtower and wounded 13 IDF soldiers. 

 

Still another APC approached a crossing slightly further north and was blown up by an IDF tank.

 

It was what the head of Southern Command, Major-General Yoav Gallant, called Hamas’s most ambitious attack since the 2005 disengagement. Carried out under the cover of fog and a mortar barrage, the attack could have taken a much higher toll in killed and kidnapped soldiers without the quick response of the Israeli forces at the scene.

 

Various motives have been ascribed to the attack. Apart from the aim of killing Israelis—always popular not only with Hamas but among Palestinians generally—Hamas is said to be frustrated at its failure so far to get Israel to release large numbers of terrorists in return for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped in a 2006 attack also near Kerem Shalom. Hamas is believed to be eager for further kidnappings to up the pressure on Israel.

 

Hamas is also said to be trying to break Israel’s partial blockade of Gaza. The Kerem Shalom crossing is used to transfer humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Almost two weeks earlier non-Hamas Gazan terrorists attacked the Nahal Oz fuel terminal just north of Gaza, from which Israel pumps fuel into the Strip, and killed two Israeli civilian workers there.

 

More likely, though, than an attempt by Hamas and its comrades to force Israel to end the blockade is an attempt to force Israel to make it total, in the hope of causing a true humanitarian crisis in Gaza resulting in greater international sympathy for Hamas and possible international intervention. Israel has indeed closed some of the crossings temporarily, but appears to be planning to reopen them while tightening controls.

 

In other words, the situation is rich in the bizarre and morally absurd as Israel fights to supply food, fuel, and so on to a hostile population whose elected representative—a terrorist organization—fights to prevent the supplies from getting through. The two Israeli civilians killed at Nahal Oz could be said to have died for the cause of supplying Gaza. Last Thursday in yet another incident terrorists fired at a fuel truck there.

 

Yet Israel, while bracing for further border raids, is still refraining from a large-scale operation against Hamastan even though 2008 has seen mounting casualties. The previous seven years of rocket and mortar attacks killed only about a dozen Israelis (though injuring many more and terrorizing thousands). But this year a total of eight soldiers and three civilians have already died in stepped-up ground attacks by Gaza terrorists or in engagements with them (along with one civilian killed in a rocket attack).

 

However, it is said that Israel —barring an attack that would be judged truly intolerable in scope—still wants to hold off on a strategic move against Hamas because of too many grandiose events coming up. Next month President Bush is supposed to visit, and he’s expected to be looking for “progress in the peace process” and not for background noise of Israel waging a serious war on terror in Gaza.

 

And later that month Israel will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, also considered too gala an occasion to be spoiled by such hostilities. After that it will be summer—ideal weather for war with its long days and short nights, and some Israeli analysts say that is when Israel will finally act against the growing, Iranian-backed and supplied menace on its southwestern border.

 

Meanwhile, as bad-boy ex-president Jimmy Carter proclaimed Hamas to be peacefully disposed toward Israel, it was also reported on Monday that “defense officials said Israel did not plan to alter an earlier decision to permit the PA in the West Bank to receive 25 APCs from Russia, despite the use of an armored vehicle in the Kerem Shalom attack.”

 

As current PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, prepared to leave for this week’s visit to the White House, President Bush could rest assured that his PA was once again being “strengthened” in an approach probably only slightly less loco than what Carter himself would favor.


P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Tel Aviv. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.