Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Garbage in, Garbage out

One of the basis for all talk about anthropogenic global warming was the "hockey stick graph" developed by of Messrs. Mann, Bradley, and Hughes. The IPCC used it in its 3rd Assessment but the 4th Assessment did not use it as the graph was controversial. Recent studies that tried to reconstruct the graph have shown that the hockey stick graph is not altogether truthful.

As the Wegman Report says:

While the work of Michael Mann and colleagues presents what appears to be compelling evidence of global temperature change, the criticisms of McIntyre and McKitrick, as well as those of other authors mentioned are indeed valid.

"Where we have commonality, I believe our report and the [NAS] panel essentially agree. We believe that our discussion together with the discussion from the NRC report should take the 'centering' issue off the table. [Mann's] decentred methodology is simply incorrect mathematics …. I am baffled by the claim that the incorrect method doesn't matter because the answer is correct anyway.

Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science.

The papers of Mann et al. in themselves are written in a confusing manner, making it difficult for the reader to discern the actual methodology and what uncertainty is actually associated with these reconstructions.

It is not clear that Dr. Mann and his associates even realized that their methodology was faulty at the time of writing the [Mann] paper.

We found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling.

Overall, our committee believes that Mann's assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.

[The] fact that their paper fit some policy agendas has greatly enhanced their paper's visibility… The 'hockey stick' reconstruction of temperature graphic dramatically illustrated the global warming issue and was adopted by the IPCC and many governments as the poster graphic. The graphics' prominence together with the fact that it is based on incorrect use of [principal components analysis] puts Dr. Mann and his co-authors in a difficult face-saving position.

As Phelim McAleer & Ann McElhinney say:

Once again, the facts have refuted global warming hysteria. Radical environmentalists who love to hate fossil fuels have stretched the truth so many times that it's a wonder anyone believes them.

H/T: Not Evil Just Wrong

Cash is better

Oh, no. This is not the obligatory post about Typhoon Ondoy. I will not write about it unless people stop the blame game -- politicos blaming the government and government (plus others) blame us (you know, anthropogenic global warming and climate change). But these people did their part quickly without hesitation, without complaining.

But I will say this: I thought LPG- and CNG-powered hybrid and flex-fueled vehicles were cleaner and more economical? Then why did US authorities through the Cash for Clunkers program accept these types of vehicles to be turned in for cash (to be buy new cars)? Oh, cash is better of course.

One rule that all clunked cars needed to adhere to was a maximum rating of 18 MPG from the federal government, right? What wasn't required was that the clunked car be considered dirty. After all, it's pretty clear that CNG vehicles burn clean, but that didn't stop 232 of them from meeting their sodium silicate solution-induced death.

We looked through the official, but as of yet unverified, list (PDF) of trade-in cars that were clunked using the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers) and found that the aforementioned CNG vehicles, 1,779 flex-fuel vehicles and 24 LPG vehicles found their way to the recycler thanks to CARS. Which alternative-fuel models were most dumped? Which single hybrid took a dive?

Here's the top ten list.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What MSM won't report

Did you know that the GWA's were dealt a blow in a climate meet in Geneva last week? The MSM did not report any of this. As usual.

But they have their work seriously cut out if they’re ever going to recover from the speech given at the UN world climate conference in Geneva last week by Professor Mojib Latif of Germany’s Leibniz institute.

“Latif is one of the leading climate modellers in the world. He is the recipient of several international climate-study prizes and a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has contributed significantly to the IPCC’s last two five-year reports that have stated unequivocally that man-made greenhouse emissions are causing the planet to warm dangerously.”

Yet in Geneva, Latif was forced to admit that all those An-Inconvenient-Truth-style fantasy projections showing global temperatures rising inexorably with C02 levels were wrong. The world is getting cooler, not warming. It will continue to cool, Latif reckons, till 2020 or possibly 2030. By how much he doesn’t know: “The jury is still out.”

Which begs the rather obvious question: if the IPCC’s doomsday computer models didn’t predict this cooling phase, how can we be sufficiently confident in their other assertions to start basing major economic and social policy decisions on them?

H/T: James Delingpole

"Global warming, I said."

What people will go through:

We braved the flood to buy food and ciggies to last until tomorrow morning... cars parked on the street are half-submerged in water. The sari-sari store owner told us that today's San Antonio flood is the worst in 10 years.

Food, okay. But what are the cigarettes for? And then he says:

"Global Warming..." I said.

C'mon. You puff away till morning and you blame this weather disturbance to global warming. You are funny. Tee hee. Do as I say not as I do.

More finding a link that does not exist, here (Kaning mga tao dili ra ba jud mo too ug global warming ... ) and here (global warming global warming global warming. please don't say we weren't warned.)

Ondoy, you come just in time. Maybe we can tell the folks in Copenhagen in December about this

Friday, September 25, 2009

In support of the narrative

So what else is new?  The global warming / climate change alarmists are at it again.  Alarmism is moved by the desire to cut population.  Plain and simple.  As reported in Breitbart:

Giving contraceptives to people in developing countries could help fight climate change by slowing population growth, experts said Friday.

More than 200 million women worldwide want contraceptives, but don't have access to them, according to an editorial published in the British medical journal, Lancet. That results in 76 million unintended pregnancies every year.

If those women had access to free condoms or other birth control methods, that could slow rates of population growth, possibly easing the pressure on the environment, the editors say.

Here we go

This is the start:

Some 2,000 urban poor in Manila’s Tondo district will be doing their bit for energy conservation and climate change when they exchange their incandescent bulbs for more efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), in Asia’s first massive bulb swap to be conducted by the Department of Energy and Asian Development Bank on Saturday.

Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes and Director General Xianbin Yao of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department, with several partner organizations, will lead the swap ceremony. They will visit households to witness the installation and switching on of CFLs.

The swap is part of the government’s campaign to distribute 13 million CFLs in selected areas and replace the less efficient incandescent bulbs.

The question is, how much will global temperatures decrease because of this?  Can DOE give us a PEEP at the computations?  What do the manufacturers of CFL's get from this program?

"Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the UN General Assembly on Thursday. Another of those truly "presidential" speeches coming out of the UN (despite being the UN):

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.

I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.

Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?

This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?

And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?

A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.

What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong.

History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.

Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.

It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.

The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.

It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances – by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.

The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?

Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?

The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing – absolutely nothing – from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.

In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians – Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.

Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.

Delegates of the United Nations,

Will you accept this farce?

Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.

If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us –my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of Israel wants peace.

Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples – a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.

We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.

We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.

But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachibility of mankind" is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Klaus, not Santa.

Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, delivered this speech at the UN on September 23, 2009.  Really Presidential! PDF here.  What he says about climate change issue (emphasis mine):

It has its territorial or geographic aspects as well. We have to pay attention to the needs and interests of all kinds of countries. Global economic development will benefit from a removal of barriers, not from creating new ones because they would substantially complicate the access of poorer countries to foreign markets and their ability to develop by their own means. Economic recession and large increases of public debt have reduced the possibilities the world can use today in order to meet such ambitions, as the fight against the climate change.

I do not intend to go into details of this issue here now, we should carefully follow the scientific debate and pay attention to the costs and benefits of our decision. I do, however, want to emphasize that the measures proposed to combat climate change represent another heavy burden, for both the developed countries which are falling into deep fiscal deficits now and for developing countries and this is in a situation when the rich countries, often pushing this agenda at international forums, are losing their ability to compensate the poorer countries for the impact of these additional costs.

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not being truthful or simply ignorant?

Sunstar's editorial of September 21 entitled Church’s use of RH bill issue says:

Surely, a presidentiable’s stand on population control, which is the sore point in the Reproductive Health Bill’s content, does not define his character or ability to lead.

But by putting too much emphasis on the issue, the Church and pro-life groups have tended to downplay the other important concerns of governance that presidential hopefuls need to have a stand on.

Surely, a president can’t just pay lip-service to the Church’s cause against population control and then commit other objectionable acts like raiding the government coffers or abusing people’s rights.


Still, it would be good for the faithful if the Catholic Church hierarchy would come up with holistic and objective criteria to guide them in assessing the qualifications of candidates instead of giving them narrow-minded views.

The Church tries to be very consistent with its teachings.  It will mobilize her faithful against what ills persons and society and will work toward what are true and good.   There is no compromise.  The Church in her pastoral duty will guide the faithful toward their final end -- Heaven -- even as the faithful are still in this world.  Elections and the faithful's participation in the political arena are only two of the many concerns for the Church.  One who says that the Church only looks at a political candidate (who has signed up though, they have just signified their intent to run, right?)  in his support or rejection of the RH bill is not being truthful or simply ignorant.

Why do I say this?  The CBCP has given us pointers in the past.  The CBCP wrote a pastoral letter in 2004 that I reprint in toto below that already gives us the points to consider in choosing a candidate (boldface mine):

(Pastoral Statement on Elections 2004)

Elections are a crucial moment in our continuing task of nation-building. They are a “timely opportunity to transform society by electing wise, capable and upright leaders.” (Oratio imperata) It is a time when we can institutionalize further People Power through the informed and responsible choice of local and national leaders by millions of Filipinos here and abroad.

Despite disturbing talk of massive frauds and unconstitutional measures being contemplated by various political groupings, we assert once more that the vigilance and concerted action of ordinary citizens would be the best guarantee of maintaining honest, orderly and peaceful elections. Are we ready to defend our democratic way of life through the constitutional process and the rule of law?

It is in this light that we emphasize the importance of safeguarding the election process. We highly endorse citizens’ groups such as PPCRV, NAMFREL, and others to work closely with COMELEC, the military and PNP and public school teachers in maintaining a neutral and non-partisan role in ensuring the electoral process. We also note that the voters’ list in many places has not yet been made available by COMELEC and neither has the supply of indelible ink been assured. Will this problem be solved before election?

The electoral process is also a time when we can state that we cannot be neutral against corruption in its various forms, e.g. vote-buying and vote-selling, taxation by the NPA of political candidates and ordinary citizens, misuse of public funds, etc. This fight against corruption is a gospel imperative.

Even as we focus on election-day itself, we also remind voters of their right and duty before elections to discern and choose candidates based on certain criteria. At least three basic criteria are to be considered:

First, is the candidate a person of competence, i.e. in terms of leadership experience, professional qualifications, and record of governance? Second, is the candidate a person of conscience, i.e. with personal integrity, transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights? And third, is the candidate a person of commitment to a vision and program of action on key issues such as family and life, environment, illegal drugs and gambling, justice, peace and order, poverty alleviation, education, etc.?

Beyond elections, there is the greater challenge for all citizens: to continue monitoring winning candidates in order to ensure transparency, accountability and people empowerment for good governance. We have been praying for clean elections; we continue to pray and work for reconciliation and the solidarity that is essential to nation-building.

“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all.” (Gal 6:9-10).

Obviously enough the Church will not campaign for or against any candidate, although there is nothing wrong that some members of the Church may give their opinions about a candidate well within the sphere of canon law and laws of decency.  It is up to us to determine for ourselves whom we will vote for.

On the editorial's take on a "better approach", the Church may change its way of doing things, but she will never compromise doctrine with people surveys.  It is just not her style. 

To understand some more why the Church is concerned about the RH bill and what it will do to the moral life of the faithful, it would be for good reading this and this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stabat Mater

The Church commemorates today the Sorrows of Our Lady. In the Holy Mass, the congregation recites or sings the Stabat Mater. This goes out to all mothers and mothers-to-be who are always heroic for us.

I'd say Mother = Heroic.

Special intentions for those mothers who are suffering at this time:

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

When my body dies,
let my soul be granted
the glory of Paradise. Amen.

Latin text found here.

A consequence

I thought thought this would be a better lede:

Of having a saint for a mother:

Saint's daughter hopes to follow her mother's example of loving life

Laura Molla, daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, is pictured during an interview with Catholic News Service. Her mother, an Italian doctor who sacrificed her own life for the life of her child, was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2004. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Many people might say their mothers are saints but very few have an official church declaration to back it up.

Fifty-year-old Laura Molla, daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, is one of those people.

St. Gianna, often called the "pro-life saint," was canonized in 2004 by Pope John Paul II for having put her unborn child's life before her own. In 1962, when she was pregnant with her fourth child, doctors discovered a large ovarian tumor that required surgery. Although surgical procedures at the time called for removal of her entire uterus, Gianna Molla, 39, insisted surgeons only remove what was necessary and allow her baby to live.

She pleaded with family and doctors: "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate. Choose the child, I insist on it, save the baby."

Of legislated reproductive health programs. What else could it be? This did not stop "pregnancy crises" from happening.

Jill Stanek:

Planned Parenthood Naples began aborting today

This morning dawned with security guards and deathscorts ready and willing to usher mother in to the Naples, FL, Planned Parenthood to abort their babies....

Friday, September 11, 2009

After so many days

I was away in Bukidnon when I learned of Ted Kennedy's death. Even as I had wanted to check the Net for stories, the internet access there was at GPRS speed and so I did not.

Coming home from the seminar, I watched some clips of the funeral service and wondered what a great send-off it was for a man who seemed to have been on the wrong side of Catholic teaching most of his life. While I understand that we cannot judge the state of a person's soul (we read that Ted was visited by a priest many times during his last days, and so he may have 'fessed up, and that's that) and so the funeral mass was a most Christian/Catholic thing to do, I felt that perhaps some (even Catholics) would react to that liturgical event, maybe confused. But I left it at that and prayed for his soul.

Today I read Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture and the concerns I had then were given light.

In part, Lawler writes:
The great, unanswered question hanging over the congregation in Mission Church, and in the minds of the millions who watched the funeral Mass on television, was how the Catholic Church could arrange such a highly public tribute to a man who, over the years, was arguably the most powerful political opponent of the Catholic position on the central moral issue of our time: the battle to protect human life.
Read all here. Or here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Metallica rock can make me write

She says

MY high school classmates and I found a very good reason to support the Reproductive Health Care bill yesterday. Our argument doesn’t need to be articulated in words; we only have to bring those who oppose the passage of the bill to a charity center in Pasil, Cebu City.

At the Missionaries of Charity, we saw how unplanned pregnancy in a poverty-stricken household can bring to a child—poor nourishment and health disease. Those of us who have children knew what to tell them when we got back, and those of us who have none knew what to tell our mothers.

I would in fact come to a different realization:  that a legislated reproductive health and population development program (as the HB 5043 proposes) will only repeat the "bitter harvest of broken homes, shattered lives and a demographic winter that has replaced the old myth of an exploding population with the grim reality of irreversible depopulation."

The babies are brought to the center to be nursed back to health, she says.  But this is the way we treat the sick and elderly, to nurse them back to health, right?.  Why should unhealthy babies require less?   Most of those who get sick do not want to become sick.  They do not plan their illnesses, but they got sick nevertheless.  And when they do, we bring them to hospital to bring them back to health.  I am sure even if the sisters have their hands full, they are happy doing what they do.

How many children there now were born because of the failure of artificial contraception?  A one-night stand that turned "awry"?    How many kids are there because neighbors (and barangay health workers) have pressured the parents that they can no longer care for the additional children?  How many children were placed there because of changes in family circumstances, and not necessarily only because of lack of means?

Is it the sight of the malnourished kids that breaks our hearts (and think of the RH bill)?  But, how many children from rich families sick in hospital now appear similarly to those kids in the sisters' care center, and yet we never think that we could be better off without them, nor think of the RH bill?

Makes me think:  If what I write disgusts people, will the world be better off if my Mom and Dad did not have me, or if they had me, and still what I write disgusts people, would the world be better off if my government shut me up? 

No need to answer.

N.B.:  I don't like Metallica rock either.  But I probably won't think of the RH bill if I hear this noise, err ... music.  80's music rock!


Barbara Lilley writes why we should have children (from Mercator via IChooseLife):.

  • Children keep you honest
  • Children don't care if you're the perfect height or weight, just as long as you love them 
  • Children keep you young 
  • A hug from a child can warm your heart 
  • Children show you your own negative qualities that need to be changed 
  • A child's laugh makes you smile too (and sometimes even join in) 
  • Children remind you how much fun colouring can be 
  • One day, your child will be toilet-trained, your dog will forever need you to pick up after it 
  • Children don't leave wet furballs lying around for you to step in 
  • Breastfeeding brings you closer to your baby-it is not slavery. Scratch that-feeding your baby brings you closer to your baby-whether breast or bottle-fed 
  • Children only kill desire in a marriage if you let them – get creative 
  • Riding the merry-go-round with your children reminds you how to be a kid again 
  • Little faces that light up when you walk through the door-whether you've been gone for five hours or five minutes 
  • Snuggling in bed reading together 
  • Crayon drawings on the refrigerator door 
  • Swelling with pride at your child's accomplishments-whether it's learning to ride a bike or graduating from high school 
  • Having someone to pass on family traditions to – or creating new ones 
  • Mother's Day cards that say, “You're the best Mom in the whole world!” 
  • Father's Day cards that read, “To the world's greatest Dad!” 
  • Hugs and kisses, just because

Monday, September 07, 2009

"Social control"

Update: The second part involves the right-to-reply bill pending in Congress. The thesis being that RTR could impact on internet usage similarly to proposed cyberspace regulation. I commented on RTR in a previous blogpost.

Alexander Villafania writes part one of his "‘Social control’ better than legislation" in the PDI on September 6. If not for the heading Internet in the Philippines, and that the piece falls under technology, I would have thought it was about the Reproductive Health Bill. Well, it isn't, but it talks about the moves by Congress to regulate cyberspace in the Philippines through legislation.

An issue he writes of:

More than anything else, the said bill by Senator Madrigal also opens a can of worms, according to Winthrop Yu, a director for the Philippine Internet Commerce Society (PICS) who also spoke at the DLSU forum.

He stressed that if passed with the specific section on ISPs unrevised, the Anti-Child Pornography Bill could become a control mechanism for governments to look into private records of ISP clients, with the premise that the government is merely looking into alleged child pornography.

“That makes ISPs liable for alleged child pornography, which could stifle their business,” Yu said.

Privacy is a concern indeed. But this is pretty much one of the points raised by groups that oppose the proposed RHB in its present form. The choice of parents in many aspects cannot be too different from the privacy argument of those who oppose one way or the other proposed cyberspace regulations.

Congress does not want to be inconsistent. If it wants government to dictate choices of parents and families with respect to "reproductive health", why should it desire the opposite with regard to individual's choices in cyberspace?

Let's see what part two says.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Carbon footprint: still at it?

A news report says that the Cebu subsidiary of Ayala is pushing a "green" management system. Well and good. Then comes the part that says:

Carbon footprint

As part of its sustainability program, CHI will start calculating this year the carbon footprint—or the amount of carbon dioxide one generates, measured by the amount of electricity consumed, distance traveled on a motorized vehicle (car or plane)—of each employee. The activity is meant to raise the awareness of CHI employees on how their activities contribute to climate change.

Monera said CHI will eventually require employees to reduce their carbon footprint. But the company has to educate employees before establishing benchmarks and setting targets, he added.
What? They are still at it.

I have no problem with the protection of the environement, but as Steven Milloy says, despite "lack of evidence, the solitary term "man's carbon footprint" manages to concretize the notion of mankind producing indelible damage upon the Earth while in the process of stampeding its flora and fauna."

Milloy says:

CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas in the atmosphere that is measured in parts per million, or ppm. The vast majority of CO2 emissions, about 97 percent, comes from Mother Nature.

CO2 is nowhere near the most important greenhouse gas; water vapor holds that distinction. An astounding 99.9 percent of Earth's greenhouse gas effect has nothing to do with manmade CO2 emissions.

If that's not enough, we can look at graphs of the historical relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperature. Ice core data going back 650,000 years show that global temperatures increase before CO2 levels. Data from the 20th century indicate no particular relationship between CO2 emissions and global temperature.

Finally, there is no scientific proof that the current level of atmospheric CO2 or that levels projected by the United Nations -- about 700 ppm by 2095 if no greenhouse gas regulations are put in place -- has or will cause any harm to the environment.

Alarmist gloom-and-doom forecasts also are based on nothing more than the rankest speculation dressed up as computer models that remain wholly unverifiable.

Yet, despite all this lack of evidence, the solitary term "man's carbon footprint" manages to concretize the notion of mankind producing indelible damage upon the Earth while in the process of stampeding its flora and fauna.

For any effective critique of global warming hysteria, we have to move beyond these powerful yet baseless buzz words that undermine any rational case in which they are found.

For another protest about carbon footprint, see Wendell Krossa.

In part:
CO2 does not cause dangerous global warming. Rising levels of CO2 follow warming periods and do not precede or cause warming periods. See the Vostok Ice Core research at http://www.co2science.org/articles/V6/N26/EDIT.php (http://www.co2science.org/articles/V6/N26/EDIT.php) . Oceans, which hold 90 times the CO2 that is in the atmosphere, release CO2 as they warm and this increases atmospheric CO2 levels. The CO2 increases tend to lag behind warming periods by about 800 years.

CO2 is a tiny part of the greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect ( http://geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html (http://geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html) ). The warming effect of CO2 gets lost among other much larger natural climate drivers. Human emissions of CO2 are even tinier (1 part per 100,000 parts of the atmosphere) and a human fingerprint causing warming is even more lost among natural influences. The human contribution to climate warming, if it were statistically detectable, would amount to nothing more than “a fart in a hurricane”. Natural climate drivers with strong, clear correlations to warming/cooling periods include cosmic rays ( see Henrik Svensmark’s The Chilling Stars ), solar flare cycles, related cloud cover, ocean current decadal oscillations ( changing current patterns ), earth’s 100,000 year wobble, and others.

CO2 levels have been as high as 7,000 ppm in the past and no dangerous global warming occurred. During the Late Ordovician Period ( some 400 million years ago ) CO2 levels were 4,400 ppm and Earth was as cold as it is now.

There is no scientific reason for us to worry about contributing to increasing CO2 levels. We do not need to reduce our carbon footprint. We do not need to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere or decarbonize our economies. As the 31,000 plus scientists who signed the Protest Petition have stated, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth” ( http://www.petitionproject.org/ (http://www.petitionproject.org/) ).

To demonize carbon/CO2, as environmentalists have done, is to demonize life itself. This is ridiculous hysteria and entirely unscientific. The only way to fully understand this movement is to recognize that it is ideologically-driven extremism gone utterly mad. The real goal of green activism is to slow, halt, and even reverse economic growth and development. The anti-carbon movement uses carbon as a proxy to fight growth and the human enterprise. But the Green movement in demonizing carbon has become anti-green, anti-life, and anti-nature.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Way too much time in their hands

Or should it be: Way too much time WITH their hands.

UNESCO produced a 98-page report entitled "International Guidelines on Sexuality Education: An evidence informed approach to effective sex, relationships and HIV/STI education."

And as Foxnews reports:

U.N. Report Advocates Teaching Masturbation to 5-Year-Olds

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
By Joseph Abrams

NEW YORK — The United Nations is recommending that children as young as five receive mandatory sexual education that would teach even pre-kindergarteners about masturbation and topics like gender violence.

The U.N.'s Economic, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released a 98-page report in June offering a universal lesson plan for kids ranging in age from 5-18, an "informed approach to effective sex, relationships" and HIV education that they say is essential for "all young people."

The U.N. insists the program is "age appropriate," but critics say it's exposing kids to sex far too early, and offers up abstract ideas — like "transphobia" — they might not even understand.

"At that age they should be learning about ... the proper name of certain parts of their bodies," said Michelle Turner, president of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, "certainly not about masturbation."

Turner was disturbed by UNESCO's plans to explain to children as young as nine about the safety of legal abortions, and to advocate and "promote the right to and access to safe abortion" for everyone over the age of 15.

"This is absurd," she told FOXNews.com.

Sister Toldjah wrote about this too and I link to her comment about what is also happening in the US.

I wish I could say that I was shocked by that report on the UN, but I’m not – because it’s the very same thing advocated by SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) – an organization which boasts they they “provide countless resources to help educators, advocates, and parents secure supportive public policies, provide high quality education, and help our youth become sexually healthy” – in their “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (pages 51-52).”

And SIECUS aren’t the only “sex ed” organization out there that promotes the sexualization of our children at very young ages. I’ve written about others here.

While I’m deeply concerned about what the UN is pushing for, I’m even more concerned about what’s being taught on the sex ed front here in America. If you have a child who is enrolled in the public school system, it goes without saying that you should keep a close eye on what they’re studying and learning – especially as it relates to sex education. It’s unfortunate, but these days you simply can’t just trust that a school system will have the best interests of your child at heart. Stay alert, stay informed, and most importantly, stay in tune with your child’s course load. Sometimes the only thing standing between them and certain “progressive” educators who think they know best how to “prepare” your child for the “real world” is you.

I am continuing to sound the alarm on RP's Reproductive Health Bill.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Give and take

While the "demand" for hybrid engines, batteries, and cars rise, the supply for components for these engines and batteries should decrease as well. It is a give and take. What happens when the supply is lost? Reuters reports, in part:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods.

That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells.

Worldwide demand for rare earths, covering 15 entries on the periodic table of elements, is expected to exceed supply by some 40,000 tonnes annually in several years unless major new production sources are developed. One promising U.S. source is a rare earths mine slated to reopen in California by 2012.

Among the rare earths that would be most affected in a shortage is neodymium, the key component of an alloy used to make the high-power, lightweight magnets for electric motors of hybrid cars, such as the Prius, Honda Insight and Ford Focus, as well as in generators for wind turbines.

Read all here.