horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Friday, April 15, 2005

John Stossel is 80% brain dead.

Stossel did a great report on free speech a few years back, so I know that there is part of his brain that works just fine. Perhaps with therapy we can get the other 80% of his mind that seems to be brain dead to recover enough to understand science and the scientific method.

ABC's Stossel falsely accused Media Matters of "smearing" him, continued to misrepresent facts on global warming.
In fact, in his op-ed, Stossel never acknowledged, explicitly or implicitly, that global warming is a real phenomenon, although he did approvingly quote Crichton's dismissal of global warming as "just another foolish media-hyped scare."

More important, the studies Media Matters cited did not conclude simply that the earth is warming, but also that this warming is occurring "as a result of human activities," according to the NAS. In 1996, IPCC also concluded: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." (Media Matters quoted these findings in an earlier item on Stossel and Crichton, to which we linked in the item Stossel criticized.) In his op-ed, Stossel went out of the way to undermine this claim:

Stossel and Crichton ( who is nowhere near being qualified to seriously discuss global warming ) need to take one tiny little baby step forward to see over their inflated delusional egos that while some global warming is natural and has occurred over time, that the escalting rate of the burning of fossil fuels over the last 100 years has kicked that rate up to an unsafe level. Not to mention that in the long run for many obvious reasons we'd be better off with cleaner sustainable sources of energy.
Nuclear may even be the way to go on energy.
How clean, green atomic energy can stop global warming
Burning hydrocarbons is a luxury that a planet with 6 billion energy-hungry souls can't afford. There's only one sane, practical alternative: nuclear power.

We now know that the risks of splitting atoms pale beside the dreadful toll exacted by fossil fuels. Radiation containment, waste disposal, and nuclear weapons proliferation are manageable problems in a way that global warming is not. Unlike the usual green alternatives - water, wind, solar, and biomass - nuclear energy is here, now, in industrial quantities. Sure, nuke plants are expensive to build - upward of $2 billion apiece - but they start to look cheap when you factor in the true cost to people and the planet of burning fossil fuels. And nuclear is our best hope for cleanly and efficiently generating hydrogen, which would end our other ugly hydrocarbon addiction - dependence on gasoline and diesel for transport.

Bet on it, whatever dim bulbs like Stossel or Crichton think, the era of fossil fuel dependence and the environmental degradation and wars that go with will have to end.
And the worst - by far - is yet to come. An MIT study forecasts that worldwide energy demand could triple by 2050. China could build a Three Gorges Dam every year forever and still not meet its growing demand for electricity. Even the carbon reductions required by the Kyoto Protocol - which pointedly exempts developing countries like China - will be a drop in the atmospheric sewer.

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