Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is the gig up for the global warming alarmists?

Sen. James Inhofe just released a new minority report from his committee that has a list of the growing number of scientists - all of them in climate related fields - who consider themselves skeptics of the AGW hypothesis.

The number is now 650. Many have given statements, some of which call the global warming scare a complete scam. There are Nobel Prize winners and IPCC members among them. \

Bottom line, the sham of the so-called "consensus" is being revealed. But will the alarmists retreat? Don't bet on it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What is a dollar?

What does a dollar represent? 

It's a store of value. It represents a future claim on a good or service that someone is willing to sell for that amount. But that is obvious.

But drill down a bit further. These goods and services that are bought and sold with these dollars - what are they "made of?" All sorts of things, obviously. Raw materials, labor, capital equipment, brainpower. 

But on a deeper level, every good and service in our economy is really made of energy. Any product that has been manufactured can be thought of as an accumulation of various forms of energy that are manifest in the physical product.  The raw materials took energy to mine or produce, and the capital equipment for the manufacturing process had to be itself be manufactured, and the raw materials for it had to be extracted, processed, sold, delivered, stored until used, etc. 

The products themselves had to be inventoried, packaged, sold, delivered, inventoried again, and sold again. Every step of the way, for every material in the good, used energy as its base component.

So a dollar can be thought of as a future claim on the sum total of societies' production of energy. 

Why am I going through this admittedly pedantic and abstract exercise? Because it is relevant right now, due to the fact that so many people don't seem to understand this truth, which is resulting in some very harmful decisions being made.

If a dollar is a store of energy, would you give that dollar up for anything less than a dollar's worth of energy? Of course not - that would be stupid. It would be a waste of energy. But that is precisely what our politicians are requiring us to do. 

Worse, they are pretending that they are doing this to SAVE energy! 

For example - under the new alternative energy mandates, the state of Oregon is giving all sorts of tax incentives to stimulate wind and solar energy production. The energy produced from these projects costs as much as four times per kilowatt hour than energy produced through conventional means (hydro and/or natural gas.) 

So, by government mandate, we are spending four times as much in energy to produce electricity. That is BAD for the environment!

The very policies that the politicians and the environmentalists claim are good for the environment are actually harming it. They don't understand economics. They don't know what a dollar represents. 

Friday, December 05, 2008

The sad descent of Jack Bogdanski

I remember when I saw the very first post on Jack Bogdanski's blog about Sarah Palin not being the real mother of Trig. It was right after McCain chose her, and I was in studio preparing for my radio show with my co-host Marc Abrams.

The post linked to Daily Kos, which had this series of pictures that supposedly "proved" Sarah Palin wasn't the mother, but that Bristol Palin actually had Trig. I looked at the pictures, and shook my head. "Just another wingnut conspiracy theory at DailyKos," I thought.

But I read Jack's post and it looked as if he actually believed it. I showed it to Marc, and together we looked again at the pictures and read the "proof." Marc dismissed it all out of hand.

But not Jack Bogdanski. No, Jack went on a virtual Jihad. He went all-in on the Palin story, and to this very day he continues to offer up "proof" that Palin faked her pregnancy.

Now, this concerned me quite a bit, because as you may know, Jack Bogdanski had very recently agreed to be Marc Abrams' stand-in for the 30% of the time or so that he is out of town and unable to do our Sunday morning radio show. I had serious reservations about someone co-hosting my show who was so publicly marginalizing himself.

The next time Jack was on, we mixed it up pretty good. It was still hard for me to take seriously - it seemed so inexplicable that a guy of Jack's stature would so publicly lead the charge on a ridiculous theory that had such thin documentary evidence. I mean, this guy is a law professor at Lewis & Clark, for God's sake. And he has cast himself squarely with the lunatic fringe, and not at all quietly.

We discussed it several times, and I even posted aabout it here on this blog. I let Jack know I thought this obsession was seriously unhinged, such as the post in which he discussed at some length the shape and size of Bristol Palin's breasts. Creepy!

But he's gotten even more obsessed with the theory as time has gone on. I can't explain it. The most recent development was a post this week on his blog teasing a "Breaking Development"in the Palin conspiracy. A BLOCKBUSTER!

What was it? More pictures of Sarah that showed her not looking very pregnant. But she was wearing black on black, and she was posing in a way that could easily hide whatever bulge in her belly existed at the time. The photos were hardly conclusive. Some women carry children and hardly show it.

But no, for Jack, these pics are open and shut defacto proof that Sarah Palin is not the mother. And this guy is teaching mush headed liberal students up at Lewis & Clark how to be lawyers!

Well, it is sad. Jack's blog has a lot of good things about it. He exposes a lot of fiscal stupidity at the City of Portland. He is one of the best sources for that kind of thing.

I am saddened that he is destroying his own credibility with this obsession. Even his friends and fellow liberals are telling him that he's off base. But he seems so bought into the theory now, so dug into his position, that he's not coming off the ledge.

In his recent post on the issue, I posted a comment under the name "worried about jack," in which I again pointed out that he is dangerously unhinged on this thing. I of course knew that he would know who posted it - I had already on several occasions both in person sitting across from him on my radio show and on this blog commented on his flight to lunacy.

And now he is calling me a coward for not posting under my name. Whatever.

The upshot is: for reasons not wholly unrelated to this issue, Jack Bogdanski will no longer be my part-time co-host on Kremer & Abrams.

For his sake, I hope he can calm down on this ridiculous conspiracy theory in time to save his own credibility.