Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Big List #3

Okay, irregular feature. Or something. I had a hard time coming up with anything that really interested me, or that I thought would be interesting in general - and then had two or three land all at once in the last couple of days. So here we go with the third installment...

China Sacks Plastic Bags

From the Mother Jones enviro-blog The Blue Marble comes a report by way of Reuters announcing that China has outlawed the plastic bags you get at places like groceries and other places of business. The post notes that China, before the ban, went through 3 billion of those little plastic bags every day, triple the amount gone through each day in the United States.

To Read Or Not To Read?

A report from the National Endowment for the Arts, which I read about in Poets & Writers magazine, To Read Or Not To Read shows an alarming downward trend when it comes to reading good old fashioned books in the United States. Adults are busy these days, trying to make ends meet in an economy where the vast majority of the wealth is being stolen by the upper one percent, but it’s sad that kids aren’t reading that much anymore, either.

Oh, Moses Smell The Roses!

So it’s possible that Moses may have been under the influence when he went to go tell it on the mountain? Not the kind of thing you can ever prove, of course, but it’s certainly interesting to ponder. I’m not big on musicals...but I would love to see John Waters take this idea and put some songs to it and cast Will Ferrell as Moses. Naturally, biblical scholars are skeptical. The journal in which the article appears seems to be brand new and looks like the kind of thing that you won’t be able to find at your local bookstore - but you can go here to download the PDF if you can’t find a copy of the journal. I read a bit of the paper at work tonight, and it’s really interesting. Outside chance I may come back with a longer post on just this, after I finish reading the paper.

Christ The Lord: The Road To Cana

So how many of you who know me well are scratching your heads at this point? Believe it or’s true. I’ve had my ups and downs with Anne Rice’s writing, but the first novel in this series, Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt was pretty good. You can find a page full of notes on the first novel on her website.

That’s No Moon...It’s A Space Station

This is the article that goes with the picture I posted yesterday from MSNBC. It’s a pinwheel in space called WR 104 and is actually two massive stars in orbit around each other - and one of the pair is particularly unstable. When that unstable star goes supernova, some say that it could release a gamma ray burst. What’s interesting about this particular star and its potential gamma ray burst is that it seems to be pointing directly at good old planet Earth. Said gamma ray burst could theoretically obliterate something on the order of 25% of the ozone layer - contrasted with the 3-4% erosion of the ozone layer that we humans have achieved by pumping toxic gases into the atmosphere and pretending that global warming doesn’t exist.


Prime Mover said...

Ok I'll bite.

1) Plastic bags, more than the U.S.? What in the hell are they using so many bags on?

2) Uhh, the top one percent has always been making shit loads of money, since the dawn of capitalism. Look at your screen, now your keyboard, then your TV, then your car, then the bar across the street, then the movie theater, then your cell phone, that's the reason why people don't read as much as they use to. I don't read as much as I used to and I turned out just TV.

3) Back in those days everyone was on moonshine. Will Ferrel? I'm sure he won't act anything like Ron Burgendy. I do adore John Waters though.

4) Anne Rice - God love her I could never get into her books.

5) And your worried about SUVs owned by Republicans destroying human life. How can we ignore that global warming doesn't exist, the mainstream media reports on it everyday? Take this quiz on global warming, you'll have fun...

Ever watch The Universe on the History Channel? Good stuff.

John-O said...

Interesting quiz. The broader science, however, does not make it okay for people to poullte the air and water and fill up the land with garbage. You and I know that, but a lot of people don't - and then there's the subset of humans who will use information of the kind in the quiz to convince people that there are no environmental consequences to human behavior.

People do not treat the environment well. If it takes global warming alarmists going way over the top to convince people of that, it's a price worth paying. It's sad that it comes to that, but there is no aspect of the level of stupidity in people (especially Americans) that is not sad.

Remember what Mr. Hilmer used to say about behavior? Think of what you're about to do, then multiply your action by 200 - will the result be good or bad? I still think about that - and I know that I don't live a perfectly "green" life. But I do what I can - and I try to find ways to do better. I think everyone should. Maybe one day people will evolve into more thoughtful creatures and the global warming alarmists can call it a day. But until that day comes, give me the liberal tree-huggers every time.

Prime Mover said...

I definately agree with you that we have a responsibility to the environment, having grown up in the country, check that, wilderness for the first 14 years of my life I came to have a great appreciation for the great outdoors. I was even pissed off when a cluster of trees near our subdivision was wiped out for a soon to be Wal Mart. But I just don't agree with alarmist telling the masses we are all going to die due to global warming if we don't change our wicked ways, that bugs me a lot, especially since there are a ton of flaws in their science and they have no proof that we will die as a result, or if things will even get worse. I just think the way the alarminst are going about it will do more harm than good in the end, especially if Al Gore and his scientist turn out to be wrong (1 hurricane making landfall in the U.S. since 2005, the southern hemisphere having the coldest winter in 40 years in 2007, etc.) Greg Easterbrook wrote a great piece here about environmental standards going up, not down.

To me the whole we need to reverse global warming rings hallow. How can you reverse something that we don't know if we are causing? Besides, I fear more things from space like that pin wheel and asteroids/comets will kill us before global warming ever could. But that's just my opinion.

jmsmdm said...

I have to agree with Prime mover on this count. It's interesting I had this discussion with my sister in law last month (she's an enviornmental scientist) and she agrees with me. Her quote "human beings are too full of themselves, if they think they are causing global warming. No one can prove the earth is still not warming up from the last ice age" (or going back down - from recent evidence). I wrote a paper about global warming in 04 while for an enviornmental geology class at IUPUI. I disagreed with the professor of the class about his views of global warming and still got an A on the paper due to the fact that I supported my views. Do I think that people are hurting the enviornment? Yes. Do people like Al Gore spew incorrect facts? Yes (I still believe that Gore's "compound" makes him a hypocrite).