Tuesday, January 30, 2007 

Obama Not as "Green" as He Would Like You to Think

Future Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama might not be as "green" as he appears. And I don't mean "inexperienced." Last year Obama came under fire from conservatives for giving a series of speeches on the need to reduce carbon emissions by breaking America's addiction to SUVs, while arriving and departing in a GMC Envoy. When the story broke, Obama's press secretary, Tommy Vietor, issued a statement saying that Obama liked to roll in a Flex-Fuel SUV, which suggested that he was indeed practicing what he preached. Unfortunately for Obama, many clever conservatives did their research and found out that the GMC Envoy does not come equipped with Flex-Fuel technology.

But now, Obama's committment to being Green is being challenged by environmentalists on both sides of the aisles (Washington Post article here). In a Grist article entitled, "Even Stevens?" reporter Amanda Griscom Little descibes the problems environmentalists have with the "Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007" co-sponsored by Obama and Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning. According to the article, "Coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology uses a highly energy-intensive process to convert coal into diesel fuel for cars or jet fuel for airplanes -- an appealing prospect to the coal industry in Obama's home state of Illinois, but not to [environmentalists] and others concerned about global warming." Little goes on to explain the problems with CTL technology:
David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center, has supported coal gasification as a viable alternative to coal-burning power plants, but explains that CTL is not as promising an alternative to conventional gasoline or biofuels. "Coal-to-liquid is, in the best-case scenario, no worse for the climate than oil-derived gasoline -- and no better," he says. The best-case scenario assumes that CTL producers find a way to capture their carbon emissions. Problem is, none of the current CTL projects actually involve carbon capture. Without that step, the climate impacts of CTL fuel are far worse than those of gasoline. According to an NRDC analysis, a 35-mpg car powered by the CTL fuel that's currently available would generate as much carbon dioxide pollution as a far less efficient 19-mpg car that runs on conventional gasoline.
The Bunning-Obama bill "which would expand tax incentives for CTL and help jumpstart the industry with public-private partnerships, was first introduced by the senators in spring of last year." It appears that for Obama, regional politics trump environmentalism. It will be interesting to see how many of his Democratic collegues will support the bill and undermine the Dems climate control promises. One thing is for sure: Obama's "100 percent approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters for his environmental voting record in the Senate last year" is certain to decrease this time around.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, January 28, 2007 

John Kerry Reporting For Duty Once Again

Unfortunately, Kerry's duty these days includes offending the very Americans he claimed to want to serve two years ago and misrepresenting the facts about his own country. After Kerry's claim of a "botched joke" pretty much did in his potential 2008 Presidential run, he now seems to be in a full spiral downhill. This week the "John Kerry Self-Destruction Tour" stopped off in Davos, Switzerland, where the world's leaders are gathering for the World Economic Forum.

Kerry, while sharing the stage with the former President of Iran Mohammad Khatami during a discussion entitled, "The Future of the Middle East," took the opportunity on foreign soil nonetheless, to blast away at American foreign policy. Kerry said, "So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East - in the world, really. I've never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today." He added, "When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy."

What's most hypocritical and duplicitous about this statement is that Kerry actually favored not ratifying the Kyoto treaty, along with the rest of the Senate in 1995. In a unanimous 95-0 vote, the Senate passed the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which stated the following:
Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--
(1) the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, which would--
(A) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period, or
(B) would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States; and
(2) any such protocol or other agreement which would require the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification should be accompanied by a detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that may be required to implement the protocol or other agreement and should also be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy of the United States which would be incurred by the implementation of the protocol or other agreement.

Additionally, Bill Clinton never submitted Kyoto to the Senate to be ratified and even Al Gore admitted that he would not ratify an ammendment until it had been written to include developing nations as well.

So basically, Kerry voted against it before he voted for it. Duplicity and Hypocricy - John Kerry style. So to recap - Kerry lied and whined - all on foreign soil. What a great American!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 

"Studio 60" And the New Attack on Christianity

If you haven't noticed, I love a little controversy. Sometimes my wife will ask me why I watch a particular program or read a particular book and I always tell her, "It's like watching a train wreck." I can't seem to take my eyes off of disaster or controversy. And maybe that is the reason why I continue to watch the new show on NBC, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

Every week the writers of "Studio 60" find some way to attack Christianity. Often times it is an adolescent attempt at humor based on ignorance and arrogance. And usually it revolves around one of the central characters, Harriet Hayes (played by Sarah Paulson), a confessing Christian who seems to walk a tight line between saint and sinner. In the first episode of the series, we find out that Harriet has been involved in a relationship with the very anti-Christian writer of the fictional show, Matt Albie (played by Matthew Perry of "Friends" fame). In another, Harriet gives an interview in which she notes that homosexuality is considered a sin in the Bible and later finds herself in a physical altercation with three gay men.

In last night's episode, Harriet again finds herself embroiled in controversy as Albie tries to find a way to swallow his pride and donate money to an abstinence-only education program via an online auction in order to win a date to an awards show with Harriet (who he is finding himself falling in love with once again). Albie argues with Hayes about the effectiveness of abstinence-only education and at one point he blindsides her with "evidence" from a study that shows that those who signed abstinence pledges were more likely to become infected with a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). Harriet reacts by smiling and continuing to discuss with him what she originally desired to talk about, almost conceding his point.

The problem with Albie's evidence (or should I say Aaron Sorkin's, given that he is the Executive Producer and has a penchant for attacking all things Christian and conservative?), is that it is based on a faulty report that has been discredited by several other studies, most notably by the Heritage Foundation (article accessible by clicking here), who examined not only the study itself, but the methods of data gathering used by the two authors, Peter Bearman and Hanna Bruckner. The Heritage Foundation found numerous problems with the Bearman and Bruckner study, including the sampling, the data interpretation, and the overall reporting of the results. Essentially, what they found was the study showed (yet under reported the fact) that "On average, individuals who took virginity pledges as adolescents were 25 percent less likely to have STDs as young adults than non-pledgers from identical socioeconomic backgrounds." Other independent studies have show even wider differences between those signing abstinence pledges and those not signing.

The point of bringing this up is that we shouldn't be surprised to see such shotty writing and willingness to attack Christianity at every level. The actions and beliefs of Christians have been under attack since its inception with the resurrection of Christ. Christians have always been cast off as ignorant, puritanical, and naive, yet Christianity has continued to grow and thrive amongst criticism. This new attack on Christianity led by the media outlets who no longer seem to fear repercussions will likely continue. Political pundits, talk-show hosts, and even sit-com writers will probably become more and more comfortable making fun of Christians, telling the easily-duped masses how much more dangerous Biblically-minded Christians are than Islamo-fascists who seek to impose Sharia Law on all lands.

So, how do we prepare for this new attack? We shore up the troops, we encourage one another, we train. And most of all we seek to bask in the hope of the return of Christ, our Commander-in-Chief who will judge all the nations with equity and bring all things into submission under His feet.

About me

Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates