Picture 2

Picture 2

Jan 19, 2017

Global Warming Doesn't Meet Its Burden Of Proof

How accurately do the man-made global warming models predict future climate temperatures? Is there any statistical significance to the predictions?
The burden of proof is on the man-made global warming alarmists. They are the folks who want to spend huge amounts of money to fight the phantom menace, so they have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that global warming is occurring, that man's activities are causing the global warming and that their solution, getting all of our energy from renewable energy sources, is the most cost effective solution to the global warming problem. So far, I don’t think global warming alarmists have met any of their burden of proof.

If global warming was a scientific theory without a political program attached to it, it might be easier to believe that its proponents were not cooking the books.  However, when you read something that says initially the data didn't fit the hypothesis, so the data was adjusted, it tends to lessen scientific credibility a lot.  That's exactly what this sentence says: "the apparent slowdown was due to measurement errors that, when corrected, show that global temperatures have risen steadily."  If you also notice that the Climate Research Unit fought off a Freedom of Information lawsuit requesting a copy of their unadjusted raw data by saying that it had accidentally been erased, you begin to think something very unscientific is going on.  Then you notice that scientific papers that find evidence that global warming is not happening are suppressed and their authors' careers are destroyed, global warming begins to look more like a religion that science. 

The cost of changes that the alarmists want to impose is staggering. In the US, 33% of our electricity is generated from burning coal. To meet the Paris climate goals, we will probably have to scrap all coal fired generators. This represents trillions of dollars in investment. Another 33% of electricity in the US is generated from burning natural gas. Mean green organizations want all of these generators closed as well. The US gets 20% of our electricity from nuclear power. Almost all nuclear generators in the US are over 20 years old. Over half are over 30 years old. The number of nuclear plants decommissioned in the last several years easily outnumbered the new nuclear generators.

Assuming that any global warming we see is man-made, the answer is nuclear power, which emits no carbon at all. But alarmists don’t like nuclear power. Assuming you don't like nuclear power, then we have to build a lot of dams, probably killing a lot of snail darters and other endangered fish. We also have to carpet sunny places like Death Valley with solar collectors without regard to the possible extinction of obscure lizards. We also have to build wind turbines and kill literally tons of migratory birds and ruin the view from Martha's Vineyard. We also have to build a lot of high voltage transmission lines through everybody's back yards to move the renewable power from where it’s generated to where it’s used. But the environmentalists, who fervently believe in global warming, fight all of these things. 

Assuming you don't like any of these options, you have to assume a miracle happens in order to stop the carbon. Or we can go back to 19th century technology and live in an Amish paradise. I’ve personally mucked out barns. Horses have a major pollution problem. The expense of all of this gets obscene. The flimsy justification for the economic ruin that the fight against global warming will cause, is a statistically insignificant anomaly. Good luck with the politics of flimsy justification, miracles and economic ruin!

Jan 8, 2017

Obamacare: A Legacy Unsustainable Death Spiral

Obamacare passed with no Republican votes. Democrats made all of the false promises. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." There was no way either of those statements could be true under the law that the Democrats passed. Everybody except Nancy Pelosi knew it. She "had to pass it to see what's in it." Democrats made all of the enabling regulatory decisions, like the contraceptive mandate. Democrats own Obamacare.

Obamacare is in a death spiral right now. As rates go up, fewer, sicker, people sign up, then rates go up more. Obamacare was designed to be a huge government health subsidy program, but Democrats claimed that it wouldn't need subsidies. So Marco Rubio made them put it in writing. One of the funding bills says that there will be no insurance subsidies from the government. That's why all of the low ball rates have bankrupted the made-for-Obamacare coop insurance companies.

There is no way an individual insurance market can be sustainable without a prior condition exclusion. Everyone just waits until they are sick to sign up. 
The penalties for no insurance would have to be almost as high as the cost of the insurance to induce people to buy the insurance.

The program also didn't allow rate differences by age. This was designed to force younger and healthier people to subsidize older, sicker people. Unfortunately, the younger and healthier people are having trouble finding jobs in Obama's crummy economy, so they can't afford the overpriced insurance.

The Democrats brag that they have a plan. The Democrats say the Republicans don't have a plan. The problem is that the Democrats' plan is a gigantic failure, so it's not a real, sustainable alternative. The Republicans want to use free market mechanisms to lower the overall costs of healthcare in the economy. The Democrats say that's not a plan, because the government has no active role. Given how badly the government has messed up healthcare under the Democrats' Obamacare plan, do you really want the government to be more involved in any new plan?

One area the federal government might fix is in the supply of medical care. You do not need to be a full-fledged MD to see patients with ordinary complaints like sore throats, runny noses or minor injuries. In the US Military, these functions are handled by Physicians' Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. Perhaps the new healthcare plan should establish federal licensing requirements for Medicaid recipients that would allow them to be seen by Physicians' Assistants and Nurse Practitioners whether the state licensing laws allow it or not.

Another thing Congress could do is limit malpractice awards in Medicaid cases to no more than twice the economic damages. This would lower the cost of delivering healthcare to the needy. The federal government should also set up high risk pools for people with uninsurable preconditions.

The government could mandate published prices for procedures for both doctors and hospitals. The statistics should include both the list price and also the average price paid by private insurance as well as the average price paid by government sponsored insurance. If the government can force nutritional labeling standards on food products, it should be able to force published price lists on hospitals and doctors. The trend away from first dollar health insurance coverage is well under way. The federal government should take steps to lower built in costs, increase information available to consumers and encourage price competition.

Using Lessons from the Plains Indian Wars to Beat ISIS and the Taliban

We need to remember the lessons learned from our victory over the Plains Indians in the 1870's, 1880's and 1890's. We didn't win by winning hearts and minds. We removed the basic economic support of the Indians, the American bison. We systematically exterminated the huge herds of American bison, almost to the point of extinction. American Indians depended on bison for food, shelter (using hide for tepees), and bedding.

In Afghanistan, this would mean exterminating the opium poppy. We would also need to bomb trucks transporting opium products to market. We need to shut down opium production because opium finances the Taliban and other Islamic terrorist groups.

Please note that ISIS started rapid decline once the coalition started bombing their oil production and the tanker trucks that took ISIS crude to market.  ISIS made somewhere between $600 million and $1.2 billion annually in oil sales before we decided to bomb their oil field, refineries and tanker trucks.  Now they are falling apart because they have no money.

An army, even a guerilla army, marches on its stomach. An army needs money to buy food, ammunition and other supplies. To defeat an insurgency, you need to cut off their source of supplies. For the Taliban, that means stopping their opium sales.

 If it’s a question of preventing starvation, the US is very good at distributing food. If food was only available in Afghan government controlled territory, we would be able to put the Taliban out of business in short order. That's what Indian Reservations were intended to be, places where the US government would distribute food. Unfortunately, the corruption in 19th century politics made many reservations death traps because the Indian Agents stole the food and sold it.

Many of the disasters of the last 8 years were the result of inaction ordered by the Smartest President Ever. The Taliban is enjoying a run of success now because Obama limited the targets coalition aircraft could attack to just Taliban shooting at friendly forces. Attacking Taliban gathering for an attack wasn't allowed. You can't win a war if you fight it with one hand tied behind your back.

We are now wasting the lives of hundreds of highly trained Iraqi Counter-terrorism troops because we are not willing to flatten Mosul in order to take it. The civilians inside Mosul had their chance to resist ISIS. They had more than enough arms and men who knew how to use them. The residents of Mosul welcomed ISIS when they arrived. We should not be sacrificing lives to preserve ISIS sympathizers. If we are getting hostile fire from a building, we should flatten the building. At this point it doesn't matter who ISIS has in there with them. Using human shields is a war crime. ISIS members are war criminals. Hostile fire from any building makes it a military target. Any human shields killed or wounded are the responsibility of ISIS, not the US.