March 17, 2007

Mini-Column of the Day: Steve Forbes on Al Gore, Globaloney, and Globalarmism

Too bad this is a subscription-only link; it’s about two-thirds of the third item there:

The Academy awards ceremony may have hailed Al Gore as a prophetic hero, but history will treat him as the personification of an incredible delusion: the idea that carbon dioxide emissions fundamentally affect the Earth’s weather patterns.

While much of the media treats this theory as catastrophic fact, the fact is it ain’t–it’s an unproved theory. Over the last few decades carbon dioxide emissions have risen, and there has been a slight increase in the Earth’s temperature. Ergo, goes the theory, it must be cause and effect and–ergo, ergo–we must take draconian measures to reduce the emissions, even if that means sharply cutting our standard of living and massively increasing bureaucratic controls over our lives.

Green socialism has now replaced the Red variety.

As near as anyone can figure, the Earth’s surface temperature increased 1 degree Fahrenheit in the 20th century. But about half of that increase came before 1940, when carbon dioxide emissions were a fraction of the level they are today. Temperatures declined slightly after 1940 until the mid-1970s, even though emissions were increasing. In the real world this would be pretty flimsy proof of a cause-effect relationship. But human beings are prey to hysteria and delusions. Gore-ites have taken to calling doubters of their apocalyptic vision “global-warming deniers,” a demagogic allusion to “Holocaust deniers.” Doubting climatologists are often hounded in government and in academia.

You’d never know from all the shrill hullabaloo that weather patterns have been changing for about as long as the Earth has existed. From about A.D. 900 to 1300 the Earth’s temperatures were even warmer than they are today, which is one reason Greenland was named Greenland. Southern England in those years was a wine-growing region. Last we looked, however, there was no evidence of knights in shining armor having ridden around medieval Europe in SUVs.

….. This hysterical belief in unproved theories is not new. ….. In the 1970s most experts were convinced the Earth faced imminent mass famine. In the first half of the 20th century many educated people believed in eugenics …..

Thankfully, despite all the widespread misconceptions about weather, we are not going to submit to Gore-ite socialist global government regulations. In fact, some good may come out of this: a major push for nuclear power–a proved, ultraclean, nonemitting energy producer.

I wish I could be as sure as Forbes is that “we are not going to submit to Gore-ite socialist global government regulations.”

It’s also a good thing Forbes put “may” into his last sentence. Despite its widespread use in France and other countries, the hard-core leadership of the enviro movement in the US isn’t about to concede to nuclear power being employed in the US after decades of preventing even the thought of it. That’s because to them it’s not about finding workable solutions — it’s about freezing us in time (or worse) and stopping all development, the consequences be damned.

Consolidated Congressional and Senate GOP Ratings

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:31 am

Here they are:


I was going to do a long-winded commentary on this, but the results sort of speak for themselves, so I’ll just explain how it was done.

First, the spreadsheet lists the raw scores the 14 Ohio and other local congresspersons received (all 11 GOP from Ohio, the two from SE Indiana, and Davis from Northern Kentucky) for each of the five ratings covered in previous posts:
- Part 1 — National Journal
- Part 2 — National Taxpayers Union (NTU)
- Part 3 — Americans for Tax Reform (ATR)
- Part 4 — Club for Growth (CFG)
- Part 5 — American Conservative Union (ACU)

Next, it assigns a standing to each person’s score. To avoid biasing the results, where there were ties, I used the average of the places instead of the lowest place. This is why, for example, the 7 reps who all got 100% from ATR were scored as 4th place — the average of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. If I had considered them all as 1st place, they would have been ranked too far ahead of the rest of the group. Similarly, the three congresspersons with 95% from ATR were 8th, 9th, and 10th, so their average placement is 9.

Finally, it adds the five different place scores. The lower the grand totals, the better.

Pence came in clearly head and shoulders above anyone else, followed by a group of four that were pretty closely bunched (Chabot, Boehner, Schmidt, and Sodrel). The rest ranged from acceptable to pretty unimpressive.

Any Democrats reviewed in the House would have fallen miles below the lowest-rated GOP House members, which is why none were included.

Three notes:

  1. It would take up too much space to explain in full detail, but the National Taxpayers Union and Club for Growth ratings both had what I consider to be a significant level of bias. Both heavily weighted certain votes; Club for Growth’s weights ranged from 1 to 7, while NTU’s, if consistent with last year when I received the full underlying detail, ranged from 1 to 70 (that’s right). National Journal also weighted theirs, but the range was only 1 to 3.
  2. Club for Growth’s ratings also ended up giving double credits and double penalties because of its use of the NTU scores as part of its own scores. That’s because it evaluated many of the same votes NTU did, and then separately gave points for the NTU score. I believe this was done to “dramatize” the difference between those who CFG feels are doing well and those who they believe are not. Don’t get me wrong, as CFG is generally doing the Lord’s work when it comes to promoting policies and supporting candidates who are pro-growth and pro-prosperity — but the ratings came off as a bit artificial to me.
  3. Finally, two of the ratings (National Journal and ACU) considered “non-economic” foreign policy issues, while the remainder primarily stuck to economic and domestic issues. You can see for yourself whose situation improves and worsens in those two ratings.

Readers and commenters are welcome to draw their own conclusions.


UPDATE: I will add one thing. It seems pretty obvious that at least as far as Steve Chabot is concerned, the National Journal survey is a real outlier, and that in reality Chabot’s record is much closer to Pence’s than Boehner’s.

UPDATE 2: Make that two things. At least a couple of people have told me that they really have a problem with the National Journal’s ratings (but remember, I have a problem with NTU, and a double problem with CFG, and believe that their problems are perhaps as important in the “opposite” direction of National Journal’s). Those who feel that way about National Journal might want to know that if it were excluded, the Ohio standings would be almost the same. The only changes would be that Schmidt and Tiberi would switch 3rd and 4th places, with Schmidt in 4th by herself; Gillmor would move to 5th, and Oxley would go to 6th. Chabot’s place would still be at the top of the Ohio delegation, but by a very wide instead of narrow margin.

UPDATE 3: All right, now three — I missed that Tiberi and Oxley were tied overall, and made the changes to reflect that to both the spreadsheet and Update 2.

Positivity: Technology helps save Glen Este wrestler

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:57 am

From suburban Cincinnati:

Last Updated: 5:28 pm | Sunday, March 11, 2007

It’s been a number of years since Glen Este High School placed defibrillators throughout the building. In January, this action might have saved a life.

A freshman wrestler complained of chest pain during warm ups at practice Jan. 12, then collapsed on his way to the trainer’s office.

Football coach Zac Taylor arrived on the scene first and administered CPR. Taylor said it seemed at first like the boy was having a seizure, but it became evident that he was really struggling to breathe.

Trainer Ken Rushford arrived and administered rescue breathing. The boy’s heart stopped and Rushford delivered a shock with an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). The shock didn’t immediately revive the athlete, but might have been the reason he was revived after leaving the scene with paramedics.

“Using that AED early enough can kind of jump start the heart again and that’s what his cardiologist said contributed to saving his life – being able to shock him quickly,” said Rushford.

The boy spent a week in intensive care and more than another week undergoing cardiac testing and it was determined that he has a rare genetic heart disease. The 15-year-old had surgery to install a cardiac pacemaker and cannot play contact sports anymore.

Taylor said that afternoon at Glen Este High School was intense and scary.

“You’re sitting there looking at the kid on the ground and there’s nothing you can do,” Taylor said. “You’re thinking to yourself, we’re going to lose a kid right here in front of us.”

Rushford, who never had to use a defibrillator before, said the AED’s are located in selected spots around the school and he brings one to all athletic events he works.

“You go through all the practice questions and go over it hundreds of times,” Rushford said, “but you can never really prepare for the pressure situation and how stressful that is.”

The boy is fully recovered from the surgery and his younger brother, who also inherited the disease, does not need surgery.

“I’m just thankful he was at school instead of home because if he was here he wouldn’t have lived,” said the boy’s foster mother, Peggy Seward.