We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I adore Elizabeth Warren. That is, I detest her politics and don't wish to see her appointed to any powerful commissions, but she was one of the finest teachers I ever had, and quite apolitical in the classroom.
About the coal plants: The current natural-gas boom in the US levels the fuel cost of Gas vs Coal, whereas up until recently coal had a big advantage. The other costs of operating a gas plant are cheaper, as is the cost of construction.
So if gas plants are cheaper to build, cheaper to maintain, and cheaper in fuel cost, who would be building new coal plants?
Dangerous food!! Name one. Without exception every food every type of food has been declared to be bad or good and after some time positions have been reversed. Did you notice that just the other day popcorn was declared to be better for you then fruits and vegetables!! The government and for that matter nutritionist don't KNOW what food is "good" or "bad" for you. All they know is the amounts of various nutrients (or lack of nutrients). There is no bad food and there is certainly no magic food. All the rest is voodoo and personal bias.
Good thing Leonard Pitts sets me straight over who's black and who's white. Otherwise, I would have labeled Oprah Winfrey as a successful black person instead of the privileged white billionaire Pitts implies she is. And I would not have known those millionaire pro athletes who dominate the rosters of the NBA and NFL were really privileged whites instead of the black people they appear to be. But then Pitts' logic puzzles me: do Affirmative Action policies compensate blacks for our nation's past social ills or do they serve to transform them into privileged whites, in which case why do we continue to allow such harmful policies to exist?
JFK: I remember many years ago reading that London's Heathrow airport was ofter called Thiefrow. Further, "Dancing Aztecs", a book by Donald Westlake, starts with a guy with coveralls, a clipboard, and a white van who works the airports as a thief, sometimes for hire, and this hire goes wrong. Very funny, and highly recommended.
Pitts. I used to read his columns on the web; gave them up when the became a grievance-monger.
"The observed response of the climate to more CO2 is not in good agreement with predictions."
As Zachriel [obliviously[ noted above, this is because of all the things we were told circa 1991-2008 could not possibly affect global weather, like the Sun.
Yes, we are affecting climate. Yes, temps have been rising (since anout 1800. accelerating circa 1850...). As to how much we are affecting it or in which direction with what part of our activities, well...
I was amused/disturbed not long ago by the serious proposition to stall warming by putting aerosols and particulates into the atmosphere - you know, the stuff we were supposed to stop allowing because they were "linked" to warming as well as being pollutants?
You may have missed the point. Gas fired electrical generation may be cheaper then coal. If that's true then the market would choose to not build new coal fired plants. But what the EPA is doing is quite different. They are requiring that viable and cheap coal plants be closed and replaced with new and arguably expensive gas fired plants. This translates into high electric prices for consumers. Why not let existing plants continue to operate until they are obsolete and must be replaced?
John A: I was amused/disturbed not long ago by the serious proposition to stall warming by putting aerosols and particulates into the atmosphere - you know, the stuff we were supposed to stop allowing because they were "linked" to warming as well as being pollutants?
Actually, particulates tend to cool the planet. http://apollo.lsc.vsc.edu/classes/met130/notes/chapter16/mtpin_tseries.html
Volcanos make for good natural experiments, and have helped to determine climate sensitivity.
Wigley et al., Effect of climate sensitivity on the response to volcanic forcing, Journal of Geophysical Research 2005.