Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is it really Science?

..."Even Phil Jones, the CRU director at the centre of last year's 'Climategate' leaked email scandal, was forced to admit in a littlenoticed BBC online interview that there has been 'no statistically significant warming' since 1995.

One of those leaked emails, dated October 2009, was from Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the US government's National Centre for Atmospheric Research and the IPCC's lead author on climate change science in its monumental 2002 and 2007 reports.

He wrote: 'The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can't.'

After the leak, Trenberth claimed he still believed the world was warming because of CO2, and that the 'travesty' was not the 'pause' but science's failure to explain it.

The question now emerging for climate scientists and policymakers alike is very simple. Just how long does a pause have to be before the thesis that the world is getting hotter because of human activity starts to collapse?"

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fiscal Fix: Discussion

NPR is reporting that much of the meaningful cuts in the "Fiscal Fix" that were released a few weeks ago are not popular among a majority of voters and many lawmakers. I wanted to comment on ONE of the items in the report that I think is exactly what we need, although potentially hard to swallow.

One of the recommendations by the commission was reducing tax rates for every into 3 brackets ranging from about 12% - 24% (from what I remember) and in turn eliminating the mortgage tax break for homeowners. I think this is great.

For one this option removes the government incentives to borrow money, especially for housing. Even without directly addressing the problems with Freddie and Fannie lending, this would move governmental influence away from the mortgage market, eliminating the false incentive that writing off the interest on our loans is doing us a bit favor.

Also, lowering the overall tax rates for EVERYONE, and getting rid of tax breaks further eliminates governmental influence in the markets. Everything becomes much more simple. We pay our taxes, and we don't have to jump through hoops and spend all our resources looking for breaks and loopholes....although I still think a "fair tax" might be the way to go.

The fiscal commission does fall short in some areas, but the tax changes seem positive to me. The Healthcare legislation (Obamacare) will surely need to be removed to also save money. We must get the bearacracy out of the way, if we really want to save money. When people are spending money that is not theirs, they will not be nearly as careful with it as we would ourselves.