Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ever Notice How ...

So, it being Sunday I will comment on Jack Kelly's PG column today. Before I do that, I want to mention that I took Steve Goreham's book "Climatism" out of the library and i am slowly making my way through it. That book was addressed in a 2PJ post back on June 1st, it is basically supposed to be the climate skeptic's response to things like "An Inconvenient Truth" and the various IPCC reports.

But first I want look at Jack Kelly today. For the last few weeks I have suggested that Mr Kelly is trying to either court or support the Tea Party, but this week I would put a different slant on things. In this column, Jack Kelly seems to turn into a mean spirited Andy Rooney. He rants about a couple of barely related environmental issues, sounding a fair bit like the famous 60 Minutes curmudgeon.

Kelly starts by complaining that a plant in Virginia that manufactured incandescent light bulbs is closing, putting 200 people out of work. I don't cheer that, but I do wonder where Kelly's concern is for the other 15 million (or more) unemployed Americans, many of whom have been unemployed for many months.

Kelly goes on to whine about CFL's. They're too expensive, they have mercury, they can trigger migraines. But when Kely says the bulbs cost five times as much, Kelly doesn't say the use a fifth of the energy, and last five times as long. Plus it is possible to buy the CFL bulbs in bulk at Walmart or Home Depot, so they only cost maybe twice as much. As for the mercury, if you don't break the bulbs, it will never be an issue. If you do break a bulb, apparently instead of contacting your state department of environmental protection you should just open the window and maybe turn on a fan. And avoid eating Tuna, because the mercury coal powered electric plants generate is getting into Tuna, which can cause the same or worse brain damage that a broken CFL. The migraine thing is interesting only in that it blew up as an issue in January 2008, before fizzling out. It seems like the only way someone would link migranes and CFL's is if they one did cursory research (showing what Kelly really thinks of his readers).

Kelly then tackles the DDT ban of the early seventies (clearly the fault of Obama and Pelosi). Apparently DDT is not harmful after all, because a doctor of agricultural bacteriology (who was on a committee at the National Academy of Science; now conservatives trust the NAS?) thought that Rachel Carson exaggerated the effects of DDT. I would hope that DDT was banned based on scientific studies, not just Rachel Carson's book (during the Nixon administration). Kelly brings up a resurgence of bed bugs and malaria. Now, bed bugs are unfortunate, although I would rather find alternatives than sleep on a DDT-treated mattress (I will freely admit I don't know how DDT figures in bad bug control). As for malaria, in turns out that international treaty specifically allow DDT to be used in disease vector control and in fact the liberals Obama and Pelosi have our government apparently paying other countries to use DDT to control malaria. So Kelly either didn't actually research DDT very well, or did and decided to deliberately lie to his readers.

These were odd topics for complaints, moderately dated and somewhat trivial and/or incorrect. And Kelly manages to make himself whiny. Plus no mention of 9/11. Could it be Jack Kelly just doesn't care about people who actually kill Americans?

I wanted to say at least a little bit about "Climatism". I am only midway into chapter two. In chapter one, Steve Goreham complained about AL Gore, James Hansen and a Brit named Nicolas Stern. He also supposedly disproves eight "disasters" of global warming. Looking at just one, Goreham talks about how all three of his villains predict a twenty foot rise in the ocean level. Goreham admits in the same paragraph that the IPCC itself says about seven inches (at least, maybe 15 inches by 2100). The IPCC notes that that is enough ice in one part of the Antarctic to create that twenty foot rise, but they don't think it would occur in this century

Now I will admit that James Hansen and especially Al Gore are given to hyperbole. But I don't think exaggerations (accidental I would say, Goreham would probably say deliberate) have any effect on the validity of the actual climate science. So far, by calling attention to other's predispositions to believe that climate change is man made, he has managed to mostly call attention to his only predispositions. More later.

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