Thursday, June 22, 2006

Let's see here...

The Administration declassified some documents stating that Coalition forces in Iraq found somewhere in the neighborhood off 500 artillery shells loaded with mustard gas and nerve gas. Comes to between one and two tons of lewisite and sarin.

This is news? Let me whip out a Ouija board and we can ask a whole bunch of metabolically-challenged Kurds if this is news.

With amazing predictability, a certain ... segment ... of the political spectrum has decided that this doesn't really count as "mass" destruction.

Me, I'm just a redneck, but I figure that one metric ton of a substance that requires less than a milligram to Kill 'Dog Dead is pretty far up there in the "mass destruction" category.

But that's just me.

The National Academy of Sciences has declared that they're "pretty sure" that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.

When asked how warm was the Earth prior to the last 2,000 years, the N.A.S. responded by annoucing that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.

When asked if the statement: "The Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years" meant that the Earth was warmer than it is now at 0 B.C. and before, the N.A.S. responded by announcing that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.

When asked if the statement: "The Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years" meant that the Earth was warmer than now during the height of the Roman Empire, the Hellenistic Period, the Inca Empire, the Aztec Empire, several squillion Egyptian Pharoahs, Odin-only-knows how many Chinese Emperors, and various random cultures between the Tigris and Euphrates and/or south of the Himalayas, the N.A.S. responded by sticking their fingers in their ears and announcing that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.

When it was pointed out that the fine print in the N.A.S. report indicated that the study was certain only for the last 400 years, and that the temperatures of the years before the last 400 were still only an educated guess, the N.A.S. responded by announcing that the Earth lalala warmest lalallalala 2000 years lalalalala GLOBAL WARMING!

Said announcement followed by rioting Congress-critters, hyper-ventilating Hollywood-critters, and much solemn sermonizing by plastic Media-critters.

*sigh*

LawDog

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Howdy, Officer Lawdog!

I agree that the sarin and mustard in these amounts do constitute WMDs. However, one minor point, lewisite is an arsenic compound (C2H2AsCl according to wikipedia). Mustard gas has a formula corresponding to (C4H8Cl2S). According to wikipedia, lewisite has been used as an antifreze for mustard gas.

They both are blister agents and thoroughly unpleasent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewisite)

BTW, thank you sir for writing one fine blog.

Jim Gwyn

Harrison said...

I'm still waitin' for someone to explain what happened to Global Cooling.

Anonymous said...

As someone pointed out, the left are attempting a Jedi mind trick - "these are not the WMD's you're looking for."
And of course, the martian ice cap is shrinking, because Bush didn't sign off on Kyoto. It has nothing to do with solar cycles.

Cybrludite said...

Harrison,

Glad to know I'm not the only one who remembers when car exaust and spray-cans were going to trigger the next ice age after a few bad winters in the '70s.

Anonymous said...

And, AND, of those 400 years, 250 or so of them were ice-age years.

Jon said...

I'm wondering who provided the data records for the temperatures of the last 2000 years. From my recollection, the thermometers used until the last few years were analog devices that were only as accurate as the user that read the device. Considering the arbitrary nature of most folks, I'd think any temperature trends in fractions of degrees would be considered statisticaly irrelevant. Then again, if I was bound and determined to promote my agenda, I'd find these anomolies useful to obfuscate and incite fear.

Anonymous said...

The same folks who cannot accurately predict whether I will get rained out of a trip to the park next week somehow get more accurate when they try to tell us all what the weather will be like 100 years from now?

I don't think so ...

markm said...

I don't know about the Earth, but it's pretty obvious that Greenland was warmer 1,000 years ago, when Vikings were farming where the snow never melts now.

Jon: thermometers were invented less than 400 years ago. Before then, you can try to infer temperatures from tree rings, geological evidence such as ice cores and scrapes left by glaciers, and now and then a possibly relevant historical record - such as whether a particular area could be farmed, records some monasteries kept of glacier advances and retreats, or the occasional remark giving the date of a first snowfall or when crops were planted in the spring.

All this stuff depends heavily on interpretation, but AFAIK, there is a clear enough picture of a mini-ice age hitting at least Europe to Greenland (that is, the area where most of the historical data was recorded), starting after the Viking era and lasting until the 1800's. Then there's other info that shows changing climates but not temperatures - the droughts that starved out the Anasazi settlements, the gradual decline of the Sahara from a sparse forest to sand dunes where even grass won't grow. So is the Earth warming? Duh, we're coming out of an ice age, of course it is. Is that a problem? If you find that Alaskan winter temperatures are nice and comfortable, it might be for you, but the rest of us might prefer our winters a little warmer.

More seriously, the climate is always changing, with or without human influence. We can't predict the changes, we have very little control over them, but unless we impoverish ourselves with foolish attempts to stop Nature from changing, we have lots of ways to adapt to the changes. If the summer is too hot, buy an air conditioner. If it stops raining where your food grows, irrigate or buy food from wherever the rain moved to. If the sea level rises, move or learn from the Dutch. If you're an American city built below sea level in a hurricane-prone area, most of your levee building funds were diverted over the years by a corrupt and incompetent government that most third-worlders would be ashamed of, you just re-elected them, and you don't have the sense to move to higher ground, then you can drown and be damned to you...

Anonymous said...

Howdy!

If you're having as much fun watching folks spout off about how the government can fix the planet (like they've solved everything else), you may enjoy this: http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/index.html

Now, I'm an engineer so I have actually had some training on how a large system can work. This gent is right on the money. I'd particularly recommend the perusal of
"Fear, Complexity, Environmental Management in the 21st Century". It's a masterpiece.

-- Loudog