Thursday, July 09, 2009

Are they for it because they know it won't do anything?

So, I was reading an unusual comment thread about the climate change bill the House just passed. It was unusual because most of the people commenting thought the whole issue is a scam. It has all the appearances of a scam, but most people don't seem to notice this.

One commenter pointed out that if the level of CO2 is too high, then shouldn't the most rational approach be how to reduce the level in the least expensive way? The current plan calls for reductions in the output by the industrialized world and increases by the developing world. So what this all means is that there won't be any reduction in CO2 already in the air! Even the rate at which it is added will increase, but a little slower than without the plan. It is known that there are ways to directly take CO2 out of the atmosphere, like seeding the tropical oceans with iron for instance. Other ideas ignore the CO2 and go directly to its supposed problem: Warming. Why not produce a multitude of mirrored glass or plastic balls that can float around in the oceans reflecting light out into space?

A follow-up comment by a reasonable non-AGW sceptic was that the iron idea is good, but there could be unforeseen consequences. Well, isn't that a feature rather than a bug? If the CO2 capping will have any effect, won't it also be subject to possible unforeseen consequences?

Hasn't this occurred to anyone else?

If the current global cooling (since 2000 or 2002) continues and CO2 does actually warm things, then won't hard restrictions carry the risk of precipitating an ice age?

Update: Even a fanatic like James Hansen thinks the House bill is worthless.

Ghost Town

My wife and I stumbled upon Ghost Town last night, just because it happened to be on. We hadn't heard of it before but it has Ricky Gervais in it and that was enough.

The first thing that struck me was that there is a woman who finds out her husband is cheating on her the same day as he dies. I had come across a similar couple of stories in real life where this kind of thing happened too. There was football player Steve McNair whose wife only found out about his infidelity because of and soon after his murder. And then there was a New York Times piece on a woman who discovered multiple affairs by her husband after he died. She confronted the other women and eventually wrote a book about it, Perfection. So, it was an interesting coincidence seeing a movie with a similar plot device just now.

The movie was pretty funny. Ricky Gervais does what he does as usual and does it well. The side roles are really what put the movie over the top. Greg Kinnear does well as a slightly oily, but always charming schemer--the unfaithful husband. The widow is played by Téa Leoni. The thing about her is that every movie I see her in, I end up being surprised by how good she is. Maybe the fact that she is so pretty lowers the acting expectation, but the acting is first-rate. There were lots of other great bit parts: The doctor, the hospital lawyer, the dentist's receptionist and especially Ferris Bueller's best friend.

I instantly recognized Alan Ruck as someone I have seen before, but where? My wife was shaken: It can't be Cameron because that guy is middle-aged looking and if he is old...No! it is too horrible to contemplate.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

An off-day in more than one way

I have Wednesdays off and so I like to get two things done on these days: Go for a long run and accomplish the kind of stuff normally done on weekends--like mow the lawn. Unfortunately our kid wrangler called-in sick, so I took them to swim team/lessons and tennis.

This ate up half the day, but I still managed to roast some coffee, go to the Post Office and apply for the kid's passports and go grocery shopping.

Later I did my Landing Strip 020 run 11.8 miles. Done in 1:30:09, which comes to 7:38/mile and I am happy with that.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

One busy 4th

A long, fun, tiring day...

First thing, my wife dropped me off at the start of the John Carson 2-miler. There is an Einstein Bros. Bagel place there, so she picked-up breakfast to bring home to the kids.

While I ran the race, she went back home, fed the kids and came down to the town green to occupy our chairs so they wouldn't get moved again. The race is the first attraction for spectators of the parade.

The end of the race is very close to where they were sitting, so after the race I came over and made sure that they were all well-situated. I ate some snacks handed-out at the end of the race: Potato chips, watermelon, orange juice and a piece of watermelon thus composed my breakfast. After my snack, I decided to jog the two miles home and saw from my stopwatch that the race had only begun one hour earlier.

I got cleaned-up and changed, then just relaxed for a bit by checking out the internet tubes. To my pleasure, the results of the race were already posted to Cool Running! Sweet. Then I got the dog and walker her back to the town center. We got there just as the parade ended, but this was fine since Meenah got a needed walk and I was able to help bring stuff back to the car--parked nearby.

Once home, grandparents and in-laws soon showed-up and we had lunch. We had a simple lunch of watermelon, chicken salad, blondies, strawberries and chips. Then, off to the swim and tennis club. The kids swam and played with the toddler in the baby pool while a game of Scrabble was had by the adults. It was late in the afternoon by the time we left the pool.

Dinner prep was hectic even as many of the items were prepared ahead of time: We had potato salad and roasted potatoes since Aja cannot abide mayo. Grilled corn-on-the-cob, grilled shrimp, grilled flank-steak, Italian white beans in a ragout, green salad with home-made roasted garlic dressing and bread.

There was still time to go see fireworks! Every year Acton puts on a big show in their NARA park. It is a nice setting: There is an amphitheater and this year there was a band doing Rolling Stones covers. The park is hilly, but there are only small decorative trees and the places between and nestled by the hills are sloped only enough to prevent the ground from being soggy. One whole side of the park is a pond of several hundred yards in length. It is a very nice setting for a big event.

While waiting for the fireworks to begin, we looked at the stars come out. I noticed a satellite crossing the sky. The brightness was occillating as it tracked along. I couldn't decide if the cause was high level clouds or perhaps it was rotating space junk.

The park itself doesn't have much parking, but there is a path through some woods that leads to a huge office park. So, people can park there and then walk through the woods. The organizers make it easy by stringing-up lights along the path. Well, it is easy in theory, but try and keep track of kids, in the woods, with 10,000 other people all trying to go down a path 8-feet wide. It is fun for people who can kind of go-with-the-flow. For people who are panic-prone, I can only imagine the 1000 deaths they must go through.

We were home an hour after the last firework went off*. We gave the kids some cookies and milk and then they washed-up and hit the sack.

*As we walked through the woods, several times a rocket or two would go off. We don't know the cause, but suspect that officials discovered (a few at a time) of shells that didn't get fired. They probably figured it was best to just set them off. People along the path would make jokes like, "Hey, what does this button do"? and so forth.