Monday, November 23, 2009

Global Warming e-mails hacked: a roundup

In the area of politically-sensitive science, the big news this weekend has clearly been the hacking of e-mails from East Anglia University's (UK) Climate Research Unit (CRU). About a decade's worth of e-mails were posted online by the hackers, including e-mails from some of the world's most prominent promoters of the idea of manmade global warming (anthropogenic global warming, or AGW). These men are not only very prominent supporters of this idea, but their data and analyses form the core of much of the understanding of global warming. They're also at the center of the problem with calibrating tree ring measurements to temperature, which erupted a couple of months ago.

The e-mails show some reprehensible behavior for scientists to be caught in: exchanging information about papers they're refereeing, trying to bully a journal's editor, covering up inconvenient data (how to hide a dip in temperatures), and worst--deleting e-mails requested under Britain's Freedom of Information Act.

I'll surely talk more about this later, but for now I want to post a roundup of the major blog posts about this. In no particular order...

Pajamas Media's Charlie Martin
Belmont Club/Pajamas Media's Richard Fernandez
Ace of Spades part 1
Ace of Spades part 2
Andrew Bolt (Australia)
Tim Blair (Australia) part 1
Tim Blair, again
Tim Blair, part the umpteenth (now with swag!) (No, seriously--you can buy your "Hide the decline" T-shirt here!)
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey
Jules Crittenden
Pajamas Media's Charlie Martin (with a detailed list of the interesting e-mails)
Pajamas Media's Ed Driscoll
Ann Althouse on the Washington Post's coverage (it's not bad)--plus, a Thomas a Becket reference!
Roger Pielke
Aaaaand the Washington Post.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I've got two words for you: IN! SANE!

That's my reaction to reading about this new regulation on the sale OR ACQUISITION of any unlabeled wood or wooden products.

This is so incredibly broad, it seems that being given (note--not just buying, but even acquisition!) a toothpick could subject you to prosecution, if that toothpick does not carry a label as to the genus and species of wood it's made from. Or paper--the regulation even lists paper explicitly. Furthermore, even if they decide not to prosecute you, they can still confiscate the materials.

Un. Be. Lieveable!

Friday, November 06, 2009

One more on Honduras...

Again, from Commentary's "Contentions" blog.

Commentary on the Honduras deal

Jennifer Rubin discusses the deal on their blog. She thinks the State Department realized they were out on a limb with the ridiculous threat not to recognize this month's presidential elections, and this is their way of stepping back from the edge.

A Victory for Honduras?

The other day, I had been disappointed to read that Honduras had been bullied into accepting a US plan to reinstate Zelaya, contrary to their constitution. But now the practical meaning of this deal is getting worked out, and it doesn't seem too bad. Apparently, the US has taken back its threat not to recognize the Nov. 23 presidential elections, even if Zelaya is not back in power. That was the biggest stick in our arsenal, because Honduras might have been able to weather a few months of sanctions, as long as it could expect a return to normal conditions once the new president was inaugurated.

A threat of apparently endless sanctions was a shocking one and ridiculously reasoned. Now the US has apparently backtracked, and while we still say "Zelaya should be returned to power," we're only going to require that Honduras vote on whether to accept him back. Well, didn't their congress & supreme court do that to begin with? No matter. The outcome will be similar this time, and it will allow them to be welcomed back into our good graces.

The only justification for our sanctions I could find anywhere was one analysis that said the Organization of American States has an item in its charter that says no [democratically elected?] leader can be deposed without a trial. Since the Honduran constitution doesn't have a mechanism for impeachment, there was a conflict between their constitution's rules and the OAS'. Since this certainly wasn't an antidemocratic military coup (which the OAS rule is designed to prevent), the rest of us should have looked at this as a mere technical violation and suspended any enforcement of it. Instead, we acted as if the OAS rule was the more fundamental one and tried to make them violate their own constitution.

Well, I say that, but I think the Obama administration's actions can't be laid at the feet of a stubborn commitment to OAS rules and procedures. [giggle! snort!] Zelaya is an emerging leftist, and I'm worried they liked him and his policies enough to see any action against him as a threat.

Anyway, Zelaya has realized the implications of the new deal and understands this won't force Honduras to reinstate him at all. Let's hope not.