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Just stuff

More geek joy. I just want to know if they would actually PLAY with them...

Last night Barb and I went to a real portrait studio and had a lovely series of portraits done; the nice (gay) gal gave us all our proofs and a good deal on a package, and we splurged on some framed shots, as well -- spent far more than we should have, but they really came out nice. I have to see about scanning a few -- they do have the photographer's mark on them, after all.

Op-Ed Columnist
Going Cheney on Climate

Published: December 8, 2009

In 2006, Ron Suskind published “The One Percent Doctrine,” a book about the U.S. war on terrorists after 9/11. The title was drawn from an assessment by then-Vice President Dick Cheney, who, in the face of concerns that a Pakistani scientist was offering nuclear-weapons expertise to Al Qaeda, reportedly declared: “If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping Al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.” Cheney contended that the U.S. had to confront a very new type of threat: a “low-probability, high-impact event.”

Soon after Suskind’s book came out, the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, who then was at the University of Chicago, pointed out that Mr. Cheney seemed to be endorsing the same “precautionary principle” that also animated environmentalists. Sunstein wrote in his blog: “According to the Precautionary Principle, it is appropriate to respond aggressively to low-probability, high-impact events — such as climate change. Indeed, another vice president — Al Gore — can be understood to be arguing for a precautionary principle for climate change (though he believes that the chance of disaster is well over 1 percent).”

Of course, Mr. Cheney would never accept that analogy. Indeed, many of the same people who defend Mr. Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine on nukes tell us not to worry at all about catastrophic global warming, where the odds are, in fact, a lot higher than 1 percent, if we stick to business as usual. That is unfortunate, because Cheney’s instinct is precisely the right framework with which to think about the climate issue — and this whole “climategate” controversy as well.

“Climategate” was triggered on Nov. 17 when an unidentified person hacked into the e-mails and data files of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, one of the leading climate science centers in the world — and then posted them on the Internet. In a few instances, they revealed some leading climatologists seemingly massaging data to show more global warming and excluding contradictory research.

Frankly, I found it very disappointing to read a leading climate scientist writing that he used a “trick” to “hide” a putative decline in temperatures or was keeping contradictory research from getting a proper hearing. Yes, the climate-denier community, funded by big oil, has published all sorts of bogus science for years — and the world never made a fuss. That, though, is no excuse for serious climatologists not adhering to the highest scientific standards at all times.

That said, be serious: The evidence that our planet, since the Industrial Revolution, has been on a broad warming trend outside the normal variation patterns — with periodic micro-cooling phases — has been documented by a variety of independent research centers.

As this paper just reported: “Despite recent fluctuations in global temperature year to year, which fueled claims of global cooling, a sustained global warming trend shows no signs of ending, according to new analysis by the World Meteorological Organization made public on Tuesday. The decade of the 2000s is very likely the warmest decade in the modern record.”

This is not complicated. We know that our planet is enveloped in a blanket of greenhouse gases that keep the Earth at a comfortable temperature. As we pump more carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases into that blanket from cars, buildings, agriculture, forests and industry, more heat gets trapped.

What we don’t know, because the climate system is so complex, is what other factors might over time compensate for that man-driven warming, or how rapidly temperatures might rise, melt more ice and raise sea levels. It’s all a game of odds. We’ve never been here before. We just know two things: one, the CO2 we put into the atmosphere stays there for many years, so it is “irreversible” in real-time (barring some feat of geo-engineering); and two, that CO2 buildup has the potential to unleash “catastrophic” warming.

When I see a problem that has even a 1 percent probability of occurring and is “irreversible” and potentially “catastrophic,” I buy insurance. That is what taking climate change seriously is all about.

If we prepare for climate change by building a clean-power economy, but climate change turns out to be a hoax, what would be the result? Well, during a transition period, we would have higher energy prices. But gradually we would be driving battery-powered electric cars and powering more and more of our homes and factories with wind, solar, nuclear and second-generation biofuels. We would be much less dependent on oil dictators who have drawn a bull’s-eye on our backs; our trade deficit would improve; the dollar would strengthen; and the air we breathe would be cleaner. In short, as a country, we would be stronger, more innovative and more energy independent.

But if we don’t prepare, and climate change turns out to be real, life on this planet could become a living hell. And that’s why I’m for doing the Cheney-thing on climate — preparing for 1 percent.

It is impossible to get a Thunder Dragon.

There's something to be said about the horribleness of getting bamboo under one's fingernails. I was reaching down into one of our bamboo wastebaskets and jammed one loose edge under my nail and it hurts like OMG WTF OUCH. Plus despite cleaning and peroxide, it's gotten infected so typing hurts, too.

I spent a good part of today sitting at my desk with my brain drifting off into the netherworld while going "so . . . tired . . ." I woke up when I got home. We went out and got a tree. It's very tall.

Silhouette is telling me he's starving but he won't eat what I give him. Finicky cat. He apparently doesn't like Select Cuts of Chicken and Beef. (In a pouch, yet.)

I created a teriyaki chicken/pork dish with brown rice and a wine teriyaki sauce. Came out good!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 12th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
I have not been able to get any 'new' egg since Halloween. Despite there being less than 200 people online today, I was unable to get one of three ice eggs dropped.
Dec. 12th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
They go REALLY fast, those three new ones! I was actually able to pick up a couple of unusual abandoned ones, but those Thunder Dragons are hard to catch. I haven't seen the new "too hot to touch" or the "icicles" ones as adults.
Dec. 12th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
I have only seen the thunders as babies.
Dec. 12th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
COM has a couple of adults. She's already breeding them (but says she can't get an icicle or magma, at least).
Dec. 13th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
hahaha, I always try to wait 'til I get an egg before I go looking for what they grow up to be. Don't want to be spoiled, you know.
Dec. 13th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Well, yes, but sometimes (like on one's friend's page), they do appear when they've grown up. I don't know what either of the other new ones look like.
Dec. 13th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
One of my friends managed to pick up the lava egg this a.m.
Dec. 12th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
No cat that has ever owned me would play with those things while humans were watching. The boxes they came in, maybe...
Dec. 12th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Well, as ThinkGeek points out, they ARE made of cardboard. *g*

But I have learned that every cat has his/her own favorite toy, and very rarely do they overlap. All of Kojiki's favorites gathered dust after he died because Cairo and Silhouette (and then Cuervo) prefer other things. You never can tell...

Dec. 12th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
yay to the pictures

i believe bamboo under nails was a torture during Viet Nam.

I have the thunder. I can't get the icicle or magma
Dec. 12th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yep, definitely torture. Ouchie.

I saw you'd gotten some of the Thunders (and they appear to breed true, but I can't get them on the abandoned page, either); I can't touch icicle or magma, either. They all go instantly.
Dec. 12th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
and i thought there was one 'brigher than the sun' which I've NOT seen period on anyone's page. I'm beginning to think i imagined it.

in a week i'll be at my parents on high speed. I can try to give you one if you want
Dec. 12th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, either this one or this one start out as eggs "brighter than the sun," but I haven't seen one in the Cave in a long time, now I think about it. They seem to have stopped dropping gold and silver, too.
Dec. 12th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
that's those dragons? Eh those i have.

i haven't seen a metallic in forever and my own metallics won't breed
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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