View 712 Tuesday, February 07, 2012
We’re still under the weather here, and I’m going to take Roberta out to Kaiser in a few minutes, so this will be late. I have a big bag of good mail to present, and I made a lot of notes at the breakfast table.
The Small Pournelle Jobs Plan
The Pournelle Jobs Plan. This is easy to implement: in every legislation or regulation that exempts small business from the regulation, double the size of the exemption. If it applies only to businesses with more than 10 employees, that becomes 20. If 20 it becomes 40. Fifty becomes 100, and 100 becomes 200. This will have the effect of allowing successful small businesses to expand without incurring new and more stringent regulations. It could create a lot of jobs, and I don’t see much of a downside.
The House could pass this in a week, and let the Democrats argue as to why it should not pass the Senate.
Another of my notes is on the climate debates: so far we have on the one side a group of scientists and others who point out that the data do not support the AGW hypothesis predictions, and the AGW Believers have responded by attacking the credentials of those who point out that the data don’t match the predictions. That’s pretty irrelevant. Why do I need scientific credentials to point out that your own data do not match your predictions?
When I was a Marxist back in undergraduate days, we had a debate phrase we used often: “Before you attack your opponent’s motives, answer his arguments.” I thought that was right then and I think it now. Of course when I questioned some of the Marxist predictions I got denunciations from my former colleagues, thus proving that it was a catch phrase. And gee, I thought they meant it. I did. Ah well.
But the data keep coming in, and so long as you actually believe in science rather than merely Believe, it’s getting hard to ignore.
The current policies are based on assumptions.
1. The Earth is in fact steadily warming; not only is the cold not coming back, but AGW is overcoming the ‘natural’ trend of the past 200,000 years toward glaciation.
2. That warming is caused by CO2 and the cooling from 1320 to about 1800 was caused by something else; volcanism, perhaps, rather than solar activity. A seldom discussed corollary is that we can ignore volcanism as a determinant of the future.
3. Warming is bad, not good. There is some discussion of this but no big grants to do definitive studies that I know of.
4. People in the West – USA, Europe, perhaps Japan – can do something about this even if the Chinese and Indians are Deniers and will continue to burn fossil fuels.
5. What we can do will be cost effective: that it won’t bankrupt us while accomplishing little to nothing. At least if we bankrupt ourselves and fail it may be easier to live under more primitive conditions if it’s warm. The worst would be that we bankrupt ourselves, stop warming, and we have no way to combat the cold.
Admittedly I have been a bit whimsical there, but the questions are serious, and I see little discussion of them. Most of the “defense” of the “consensus” position on AGW is that those who don’t believe it are incompetent and not worthy to be part of the great climate science community – and probably take oil money. Government grants through universities are not corrupting. Oil money corrupts.
“Well, you know, it turns out that our Founders designed a system that makes it harder to change than I would like sometimes.” Barrack Obama, onetime lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago, currently President of the United States.
I would have thought that anyone who spent much time studying the Convention of 1787 would be well aware that the system was one of checks and balances, designed to resist quick ‘reforms’; and that it took a long time and a lot of effort to distort it as far as it has been distorted. What this does make clear is that the President is not unhappy with what he has done so far, but he is saddened by the fact that the Constitution resists his reforms and changes; and given the chance he will impose more of his will, through any means necessary.
We’re back. Fortunately we didn’t waste much time or money – ours or our physician’s – in discovering that what we have is bad cases of the common cold, and what we need is painkillers, rest, and chicken soup. This will end. It’s a matter of endurance. I got some takeout soup on the way home. I’ll go out for a chicken and other ingredients in the morning. Too tired now. I make a good chicken soup in the pressure cooker. Of course I tend to make too much, but that’s not a severe problem.
I have some good books to read, and I ought to learn patience. Sort of. If you have a cold buy one of my eBooks. It won’t cure your cold but then nothing else will either, and a good book will take your mind off your problems. Of course so will Tuesday night TV I suppose.
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.