Thursday, March 22, 2012

"The little color wheel is flashing across a black screen"

Elizabeth tells us in a novel, friendly way about confession, the sacrament that serves us well this Lenten season.
Right now, there is no heavy truck careening toward you. There is no doctor pointing out the shadow of a deadly blood clot. There is no airplane heading toward the building where you sit at your desk. Right now, there are signs in every parish yard reminding you that you will lose everything. They say “The Light is On for You.” Right now, you are being invited — begged really — to bathe in grace of the sacrament of reconciliation.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cat's eyes, anyone?

Lead author of a new paper, S. Matthew Liao, has something to say.

Even as he says the starting point of this paper is the anthropogenic cause of climate change, well, ok, of global warming, his realization that man should be able to "mitigate", with his intellect and will, with a bit of voluntary "re-engineering", and not by Big Government autocratic push for "change" (read:  consensus), is what we have seen and said long before (maybe not so much about the re-engineering thing though).  

Nevertheless, any modifications to the body as to the extent of human re-engineering may have serious ethical repercussions that need looking into more deeply.  It would seem that they know that they are treading on shaky if not very sensitive ground.
Taking a look at this from the perspective of deep ecology---is there something to be said for the idea that because climate change is human caused, that humans ought to be the ones that change to mitigate it---that somehow we ought to bear the cost to fix this?

Liao: That was actually one of the ideas that motivated us to write this paper, the idea that we caused anthropogenic climate change, and so perhaps we ought to bear some of the costs required to address it. But having said that, we also want to make this attractive to people---we don't want this to be a zero sum game where it's just a cost that we have to bear. Many of the solutions we propose might actually be quite desirable to people, particularly the meat patch. I recently gave a talk about this paper at Yale and there was a man in the audience who worked for a pharmaceuticals company; he seemed to think there might be a huge market for modifications like this.
Read the rest of the interview here or from the source here.

More from the interview:
Judging from your paper, you seem skeptical about current efforts to mitigate climate change, including market based solutions like carbon pricing or even more radical solutions like geoengineering. Why is that?

Liao: It's not that I don't think that some of those solutions could succeed under the right conditions; it's more that I think that they might turn out to be inadequate, or in some cases too risky. Take market solutions---so far it seems like it's pretty difficult to orchestrate workable international agreements to affect international emissions trading. The Kyoto Protocol, for instance, has not produced demonstrable reductions in global emissions, and in any event demand for petrol and for electricity seems to be pretty inelastic. And so it's questionable whether carbon taxation alone can deliver the kind of reduction that we need to really take on climate change.

With respect to geoengineering, the worry is that it's just too risky---many of the technologies involved have never been attempted on such a large scale, and so you have to worry that by implementing these techniques we could endanger ourselves or future generations. For example it's been suggested that we could alter the reflectivity of the atmosphere using sulfate aerosol so as to turn away a portion of the sun's heat, but it could be that doing so would destroy the ozone layer, which would obviously be problematic. Others have argued that we ought to fertilize the ocean with iron, because doing so might encourage a massive bloom of carbon-sucking plankton. But doing so could potentially render the ocean inhospitable to fish, which would obviously also be quite problematic.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Godspeed, Champ+

You are in better company now, Champ!

You will be missed Laddie!  and Joe's with the welcome committee.

Update: Laddie will be laid to rest on Saturday morning, March 17.  Happy that I will be there to send him off, but sad with his passing.  Intercede for us, Champ!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

You go girl (woman)!

"That the whole world may recognise the contribution of women to the development of society".

This is the general intention of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for March.  

Today, we also celebrate International Women's Day (ever wonder why today's image is this?)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Duty to warn

Another ingenious defense for pro-life counselors outside abortion clinics.  Methinks this works for any pro-life cause outside of the abortion issue.
I also point out that from a medical viewpoint, the charge of trespassing a business holds only if that business is legitimate. In this case the medical “business” of aborting babies cannot be legal because: a) It is not proper medical practice; women are never given any alternative to abortion to “treat” a very wide range of problems, b) It is not conducted by a physician acting in good faith, (they don’t know the results of their procedure because they don’t do long term follow-up and they don’t keep up-to-date on the scientific literature etc. c) There are no scientifically established benefits to abortion, d) There are many harms and hazards. e) They don’t inform the patient fully and accurately so don’t obtain an informed consent, f) They don’t try less invasive and more reversible treatments first. Moreover, if it is, as they claim, a “business”, they cannot: charge the medical insurance scheme and taxpayers for costs, (large doctors fees etc) and they are using false advertising. In short this “business” only harms women and does so at taxpayer’s expense.
Using “duty to warn” as a defense for counseling pre-abortion women, might encourage a wider variety of people to follow their conscience or scientifically determined convictions to protect women from harm and to defend innocent life. Let us pray they will.

Monday, March 05, 2012

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

As we find a lull in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona at the Senate, Congress will now have time to focus on some important bills since they will have the numbers to conduct business at the House.  About a month's worth of sessions were "wasted" as many congressmen found themselves front seats at the impeachment court.  Or elsewhere (I believe some others had better things to do; good for them).

Obviously, I also believe one of the more pressing bills that they might tackle is the RH Bill.

I only hope they look at what is happening in the US, especially the disregard of the conscience objections/protections through their national health care law, and the subsequent junking of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act at the US Senate.

Congress need not look so far as to see that the RH Bill if passed into law will have the makings of a mess as they have in the US concerning the conscience rights and abortion (even in the context of abortifacient contraceptives), sex education and HPV vaccines even for the very young.  

And with parallelisms with BHO and BSA in social issues, the fear is not far-fetched.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to Heaven, with good deeds. (Not original to me.)