Monday, December 31, 2007
2) Go after every anti-deficit thinkers and hopefully they’ll buy my special coffee cup collection.
3) Make sure parents of deaf babies seriously think about cochlear implants and cued speech.
4) Do more vlogging using my voice instead of blogging because it’s easier and the right thing to do.
5) Do less deaf-related blog topics and more on non-deaf related blog topics because doing non-deaf topics are much more cerebral, enlightening and fun to do.
6) Put a deaf cat on a 400 watts stereo speaker and crank up the bass just to see what happens. How about a deaf hamster?
7) Force closeted militant deaf people out into the open for their radical ideas (note the lower “d”).
8) Book more rooms at the Marriott hotel for my business trips in 2008.
9) Fudge my Sitemeter on the number of hits until I reach 2 million like this guy?
10) Make sure everybody gets a free UbiDuo communication device and help get rid of expensive ASL interpreters everywhere.
11) Make a 2007 “Best and Worst comments” blog piece like I did earlier this year.
12) Open up my Haloscan comment and allow all kinds of foul language, idiotic comments, personal attacks and so on without any moderation control whatsoever.
13) Donate some of my money to AGBell for a worthy cause.
14) Reach a word discrimination goal of 98% because my current 95% isn’t so hot.
15) Buy a new cell phone with more bells and whistles.
16) Help end the cruelty of seeing deaf dogs and cats by getting them implanted.
17) Help re-establish a Cued Speech Center on the campus of Gallaudet University.
18) Help put together the first ever oral club at Gallaudet University.
19) Buy a digital hearing aid that comes with artificial intelligence software enabling me to hear people thoughts.
20) Form a “Paotie and Kokonut” coalition for critical thinkers only to join.
Now, overall I haven’t thought of what I really wanted to do in 2008. Usually I just wing it and see how it goes as each day goes by, week by week, and month by month based on inspirations and ideas that come to me. Although, I do have a few goals in mind but I ain’t gonna say what those are. Yet I welcome each New Year looking forward to learn and do more things as I have always done in the past. And I hope people don’t take things too seriously in 2008 like they did in 2007 that hinges on conspiratorial reactions and paranoia. It was simply an ugly thing to watch is all I can say. Unity it wasn’t.
Here’s to 2008. Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
To Dr. Robert Davila and those who may share my concerns.
I couldn't help but notice in a recent Alumni eNewsletter "Green Gallaudet invites alumni to make the world a greener place" (see http://tinyurl.com/335nl6 )
and a very recent newsletter announcement in Inside Gallaudet “Gallaudet to join Focus the Nation’s fight against climate change” (http://news.gallaudet.edu/?ID=12431 ) that have caused me some concerns lately. Though I'm glad to see that there are initiatives being undertaken on how we can go "green" using responsible, common sense practices and goals. We all want clean air and water. We all want to see healthy and productive lands. No one is denying that. People want to see environmental conservation efforts at the local and regional scale because results are relatively quick. However, I am quite concerned that bias or one-sided teaching is possibly being introduced to undergraduate students over the supposed man-made "global warming" issue. For one, this is because "global warming" was mentioned along with a link to "Focus the Nation" seen in the recent Alumni eNewletter.
"Focus the Nation is exploding because, across the country, educators and students at every high school, college and university understand that we have just a few short years to act decisively to hold global warming to the low end of 3-4 degrees F."
The key words, "...a few short years." This smells of preying on the uninformed by introducing hysteria with hyperboles, not to mention a way to make a buck by jumping the bandwagon scare of this supposed "anthropogenic global warming."
Climate change is a climate system that we have no real control over. For Gallaudet University to align, politically and environmentally, with an organization that uses hysteria and dire warnings should not be in the best interest of Gallaudet University when it comes to unbiased and neutral teachings. Nor should this be in the best interests for undergraduate students when crucial critical thinking skills are important rather than to be swayed by emotional hysteria.
In fact, in Gallaudet University's Monitoring Report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (September 14, 2007) specifically emphasized "Critical Thinking" in a new curriculum that "draws on best practices in higher education, articulates specific, assessable learning outcomes, offers unprecedented opportunities for collegial interfaculty collaboration, and integrates learning across disciplines." One of the five expected outcomes is "Critical Thinking" where it states "Students will summarize, synthesize, and critically analyze ideas from multiple sources in order to draw well-supported conclusions and solve problems."
Still, in a very recent Inside Gallaudet newsletter it also describes one student’s fear about the supposed anthropogenic global warming will have in the future.
“Student Earl Terry, chair of Green Gallaudet’s FTN planning committee, feels that addressing this issue is incumbent upon his generation. 'It’s very important for us to do something about [global warming] because if we don’t, our children will suffer,' said Terry.”
And in the same article it boasts of a special guest trained to give presentations based on that of vice president Al Gore in the film “An Inconvenient Truth” who completed an intensive three-day “Climate Project” training session to become certified to give the presentations. Yet, this is ironic considering that Christopher Monckton of Brenchley produced a detailed report that listed a total of 35 errors in Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth”
Our understanding on the complexities of our climate system, the Earth itself and even the sun are still quite limited. Scaring people into submission is not the answer to get people to change their environmental ways. Scaring students at Gallaudet University isn't the answer either when they cannot develop their own critical thinking skills on their own.
I fear that Gallaudet University has not taken the steps to ensure students are on the path of self-sufficiency to learning when it comes to critical thinking skills on issues such as climate change. Or in this case, the claims of global warming caused by anthropogenic means that would lead to worldwide catastrophic environmental events or so say the proponents for Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” For Gallaudet University to associate with such an organization such as "Focus the Nation" whose main thrust is to induce or produce a “climate of fear” by blaming the human race as the cause of our global warming. There is no real basis for this. There is a growing body of scientific literatures outlining that this not to be the case. People simply need to be careful about using the "scientific consensus" meme by saying that there were very "little dissent among scientists worldwide." Not so when you have one analysis of a peer-reviewed literature that was done very recently showed just the opposite of what some people have been saying.
“A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. ‘This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850,’ said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.
Other researchers found evidence that 3) sea levels are failing to rise importantly; 4) that our storms and droughts are becoming fewer and milder with this warming as they did during previous global warmings; 5) that human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many people as heat; and 6) that corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate.”
Just as well, in December 2007, a team of over 100 prominent international scientists, who warned the UN, that attempting to control the Earth's climate was "ultimately futile."
Then we have a peer-reviewed International Journal of Climatology that was published in a December 2007 issue said that climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that “ observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability. Therefore, climate change is ‘unstoppable’ and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation. And that the results are in conflict with the conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also with some recent research publications based on essentially the same data.“
And again in December 2007 over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming and that climate skeptics appear to be expanding rather than shrinking.
Other than that, there are many examples of other studies on time lags between rise/fall of temperature prior to the rise/fall of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. A few examples of research results include:
* Indermühle et al. (GRL, vol. 27, p. 735, 2000), who find that CO2 lags behind the temperature by 1200±700 years, using Antarctic ice-cores between 60 and 20 kyr before present.
* Fischer et al. (Science, vol 283, p. 1712, 1999) reported a time lag 600±400 yr during early de-glacial changes in the last 3 glacial–interglacial transitions.
* Siegenthaler et al. (Science, vol. 310, p. 1313, 2005) find a best lag of 1900 years in the Antarctic data.
* Monnin et al. (Science vol 291, 112, 2001) find that the start of the CO2 increase in the beginning of the last interglacial lagged the start of the temperature increase by 800 years.
Now, if Earth was suffering under an accelerated greenhouse effect caused by human produced addition of CO2, the troposphere should heat up faster than the surface of the planet, but data collected from satellites and weather balloons do not support this fundamental presumption even though we are seeing higher CO2. We ought to see near lockstep temperature increments along with higher CO2 concentration over time, especially over the last several years. But we're not.
In keeping up with Gallaudet University new efforts on transparency, I sincerely hope you will find the time to ensure that Gallaudet University’s best interest is to teach and provide materials to students in a neutral manner and allow students a chance to form their own conclusions through critical thinking. Neutrality is very important when it comes to teaching science by separating facts from fiction. For Gallaudet University to tie itself to an organization that prides itself on inducing a “climate of fear” when it comes to “global warming” without any real regards or acknowledgement that earth or climate science is complex and still in its infancy. We still do not fully understand the involvement of water vapor, a major greenhouse gas, which play a much bigger role than that of CO2
(see http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Evans-CO2DoesNotCauseGW.pdf ).
Dr. Davila, you said, “Our goal then and now is to create a stronger, more united community with a more rigorous academic curriculum to better prepare our students to thrive in the new, global economy,” in an Inside Gallaudet announcement about the Middle States Commission on Higher Education who unanimously voted to remove Gallaudet from probation (see http://news.gallaudet.edu/?ID=12229 ). That is what many people would like to see students do at Gallaudet University and that is to do rigorous, independent academic work.
I have posted this email letter as an open letter in my blog for all to see (http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/ ). And I hope Gallaudet University will approach students from a teaching neutral point of view so they can develop their own critical thinking skills. I have written a few emails to Gallaudet University about their April 2007 Earth Day global warming presentation at Gallaudet University that was set up with the help of students and faculty members (see http://news.gallaudet.edu/?id=11005 ). I expressed concerns that there were no efforts to present facts (see examples in this email) and realities about our limited knowledge of our own climate system when it comes to causal relationships with that of our Earth and sun that help directly and indirectly induce climate change (i.e. warming and cooling). But with the recent collaboration and support to continue with global warming teaching using Al Gore’s movie and it’s talking points can only mean that future efforts to present an open view without politics involved will not happen. This is what concerns me the most.
If you need more information or would like to discuss more, please do not hesitate to contact me.
BIOGRAPHY: 11 years of professional work in earth science involving groundwater, geology, atmospheric pollution, wildfire effects on watersheds, post-wildfire mitigation planning, hydrology, and groundwater and surface water modeling. He holds a bachelor degree in mathematics (Gallaudet University, 1991). He also holds a M.S. degree in Geology (Univ. of Idaho, 1999) with emphasis in geophysics, hydrogeology and groundwater contaminant modeling while as a fulltime graduate student for 5 years.
Emails sent to.
Dr. Robert Davila, president of Gallaudet University – Robert.Davila@gallaudet.edu
Sen. Wayne Allard – http://allard.senate.gov/ (emailed via official website)
Sen. Thomas Harkin – http://harkin.senate.gov/ (emailed via official website)
Sen James M. Inhofe - http://inhofe.senate.gov/ (emailed via official website)
Dr. Caroline Solomon (biology) - email@example.com
Dr. Michael Moore (Chemistry) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Henry Snyder (Physics) - email@example.com
Middle States Commission on Higher Education - firstname.lastname@example.org
Just makes you wanna say...."Ewwwww!" But I'm sure they were just trying to help suffocate the fires? No?
Hat tip: Somebody in Kalifornia.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Let’s suppose a Deaf couple wanted to ensure on having a deaf baby via IVF should taxpayers foot the bill for their decision to have a deaf child’s expensive education (e.g. school for the deaf) and interpreters? Should the financial responsibility be 100% upon Deaf parents versus over those who, by chance and not by IVF, give birth to a deaf child? Let’s try this from a different viewpoint. Suppose a mildly retarded married couple (fully independent) wanted to increase the potential on conceiving a baby who would also be born mildly retarded. Would this be acceptable? The same for dwarfism and so on.
Indeed a heavy question. If a couple purposely set out via IVF to have a baby with a certain desirable but shortcoming traits should they ought to pay for all expenses related to education, special needs and medical attention for that child should the state and insurance ought to pay for a planned and desired “disability” knowing the inherent cost is likely to be much, much higher? Who is ultimately responsible for future costs for these “specially designed” children? Whose financial responsibility would this belong to? The parents or government?
Now, let’s turn this around. Suppose a Deaf couple use IVF to screen out any genetic deafness and instead look for an embryo that doesn’t have genetic deafness in order to have a hearing baby? How would that be wrong? If Deaf parents already decided to have their Deaf child implanted with a cochlear implant like in Sound and Fury then there is no reason to think that Deaf parents will not want to ensure on having a hearing baby via IVF. Dr. Jamie Grifo thinks so,
One of the nation's leading experts in reproductive medicine, Dr. Jamie Grifo of New York University, believes parents should be able to decide whether or not to have the procedure.
"Parents should certainly have a say in how they should be able to make decisions about how to conduct their reproductive lives, rather than leaving it up to some regulator or legislator," he said.
Certainly, in theory, parents ought to conduct their own reproductive decisions and not that of the government or regulator. But I guess the core question comes down to would be whether parents who plan on having a “disabled” child via IVF ought to bear all future expenses related to the child’s disability. It's a choice between reproductive rights versus financial support.
So, the "Stop Eugenics!" is asking the government of UK to stop this Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill because they (i.e. "Stop Eugenics!") believe also in the concept of pro-life as a whole? I'm curious if that's the case.
But let's suppose instead the UK parliamentary comes up with a bill outlining that anyone who uses IVF procedures to purposely plan and deliberately conceive a baby with a disability much like the parents' will not receive any financial support for medical, education and other services (e.g. BSL interpreting), over those who child born by chance to have a disability? What then?
Slippery slope indeed.
While at the same time it is interesting to see it say "11 sets are left" in the current website. This dire "11 sets are left" wordings for those potential Deaf Life collectors haven't changed since at least 2001. This means that no one is interested in buying a complete set or that the asking price is simply too high. I think it's the later. The price is simply way too high. Maybe Matthew will come around and try and "correct" it by "updating" it to say that there are "3 sets are left" or something like that after I post my blogpiece. Or perhaps, if he's smart, he'll lower the price. You know, Matthew Moore, you can put your "complete set" into a PDF full color digital format and sell it "cheaply" using secured online downloads.
But really, compare that to National Geographic's back issues prices where a single issue cost $6 per magazine for those after 1986. For Deaflife, after 1988, it's $14.58 each if you plan on buying the whole package set for $1750.00. It's a steal, I guess. Depending on who you ask.
Though I prefer National Geographic magazine since I'm a subscriber. It's much more educational and enjoyable to read. So, who is getting screwed here?
Did an oral deaf woman, while growing up, impressed Virginia May Binns of her ability to speak and read lips enough so that over years decided to leave a good portion of her estate to Gallaudet Univesity thinking the money will help more deaf people to learn to speak and read lips? The money will help fund the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center?
To Amy McGlone, Binns was something more.
McGlone lived a few houses down from the former bacteriologist and daughter of prominent city residents Frances Stoner and Charles D. Binns. In her youth, McGlone visited Binns in her Charles Street home nearly every day to play with the dogs.
Born partially deaf, McGlone communicated with Binns by reading her lips. She said Binns was surprised at first that she could speak.
"She was a remarkable woman," McGlone, 31, said.
Binns was 89 when she died in February 2006. She spent the last years of her life at Hughes Home on Caroline Street.
"I think it's great," McGlone said of the donation.
As a young girl, McGlone spent summers at Gallaudet workshops to learn different communication techniques.
Binns' gift will be used to support Gallaudet's newest building, the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center.Was Binns somehow mislead about what she thought her money could do for at Gallaudet University? I couldn't help but wonder what the stipulations were for Gallaudet University on exactly how the money will be used to support the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center (main website is down, link is to an archive site)?
Now, didn't some students protest over this planned building because it appears to represent "audism"? While others did not see it as a problem to have that building? Even Davila said that "the SLCC is very much a deaf and ASL-centered building." You can go here and see the what the building looks like and see who else has donated (start on page 31 to see donations so far though not up to date). Check out the floor plans, too.
Will Gallaudet University maintain its "ASL-only" campus when it comes to communicating or will there be someday a cued speech center on the campus of Gallaudet University ? Gallaudet University already has a Cochlear Implant Education Center. Would it be fair to surmise the direction Gallaudet is heading when it comes to cochlear implant, speech center, ASL, cued speech, the expanding technology to help with communication access and so on? What will the campus' communication be like in 2028, 20 years from now? More use of speech and less signing, or the opposite? Will Virginia May Binns' money help Gallaudet University or not?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
If you want to purchase your very own (or for that "special" person in your life) "Warning: Deficit Thinker" coffee mug gag gift then stop by at my special Cafe Press Kokonut's Store and buy one today for only $13.99! Also, in my store there are several other items for sale as well. Look around and see if you like to buy one of my products.
So, are you a coffee addict and not a morning person? Then perhaps you are indeed one of those "Deficit Thinkers."
As for me, I don't drink coffee and I'm a morning person, too. So I cannot possibly be a "Deficit Thinker."
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
UPDATE: Choose carefully ya'll. And honestly, too. It may just reflect poorly (or not) on your decisions between outright censorship (and control over contents and power) versus the free exchange of ideas for all to see and share that makes America great. I'm watching this with great interest, folks.
UPDATE II: JJ (human editor of DeafRead) said this in my comment box:"Pro-Oral posts WILL ALWAYS BE ALLOWED on deafread."
I am assuming that the above comment is really JJ's.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Words like “deficit” and the prefix “dys” are tinged with negative connotations. The prefix “dys” comes from "dus" (bad) spoken by people of Greece starting about 1000 B.C where "bad" modifies the word. And, of course, deficit means “inadequate” or “insufficient.”
It’s easy to toss those words around when you have lived only from one perspective while growing up. No one perspective is the same with each person. People have different viewpoints, perspectives, and life experiences whose own reasoning may be just as valid as the next person’s. Just to be fair, I believe everybody has a bit of a “deficit thinking” in themselves, including Deaf people, depending on the subject, of course. You see, it’s easy to call somebody a “deficit thinker” but then again that person may be exhibiting that very same “deficit thinking” as well. It may be even worse! Sort of like when a person accuses somebody by pointing a finger at him and in response you get 20 fingers pointing back at the accuser. I’d just be careful to use those words the next time. Better yet, don’t use them at all. To me, those words are meaningless psychobabble and are worthy enough to have them drop kicked over a football field goal when it comes to deaf-related discussions. It simply doesn’t help the situation. I have no need to use those words at all. It's full of generalities and solves nothing. And so it stops here for me.
Each blogger or vlogger has a way of expressing their opinion based on their personality, life experiences, educational background, and such that lead them to their own preferred communication style. It is what suits the blogger rather than to try and suit the audience. Though it's amazing and amusing that people continue to whine or complain over something they have no control over the contents of other people blogs. Sometimes they complain because they don't understand what was written. Or complain because they misconstrue or misinterpret. Though people are not forced to read other people blogs. And if so happens you don’t like what’s being said or how it’s being said then don’t go to that blogsite again. A simple solution for a simple mind.
Now, I have no qualms if people choose not to read my blogs. It is their right. It doesn’t affect me or how I write my blogs or the topic I choose to write. My blog is geared towards both deaf and hearing audience. What I write is enough to encourage people to come over and read my blogs. My audience (hearing, hard of hearing and deaf) continues to grow regardless if one decides not to read my blogs anymore since I cover a lot of topics (deaf and non-deaf) when it comes to blogging. I write because I enjoy writing. I write because it forces me to learn new things by doing tons of research, mostly in the science and technology arena. What I write also helps inform and educate many others. The internet is my library when it comes to academic learning. It's a great and handy tool to have because it's a big world out there. Life isn't so simple nowadays.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
So what was all that talk about "inevitability" really about?I don't think it was the Clinton campaign, well maybe to an extent thinking Hillary did that on her own with Bill's help, but perhaps it's Robert D. Novak's doing back in 2005 on talks about a pre-planned "inevitiablity" by "well placed Democrats" that Hillary would be the president in 2008:
Maybe it reflected the impression the Clinton campaign itself was trying to create; political reporters and pundits have long ascribed that strategy to the campaign even as candidate and staff insisted they weren't taking anything for granted.
Robert D. Novak:
Savvy Dems in LA say no to Hillary run
By ROBERT D.
BACK EAST, well-placed Democrats have agreed that the party's 2008 nomination is all wrapped up better than three years in advance. They say that the prize is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's for the asking, and that she is sure to ask. But here on the left coast (Los Angeles), I found surprising and substantial Democratic opposition to going with the former first lady.
Remember the Plame story? And whose supposed fault that was? And now will they try and place the pin on Novak as the originator on the concept of "inevitability" and planted it for the media? I guess Liberals and their favorite MSM outlets will soon find a reason to go after Novak again as their favorite whipping boy.
According to a book on “The Evolution of Deficit Thinking: Educational Thought and Practice” (by Richard R. Valencia, which is an interesting read on the history of how that concept came about) the definition of “deficit thinking” is:
“Deficit thinking is tantamount to the process of ‘blaming the victim’. It is a model founded on imputation, not documentation.”Imputation essentially means acts of accusation.
And further in the book it also defines “deficit thinking” as a form of oppression:
“..that deficit thinking is a form of oppression – that is, the cruel and unjust use of authority and power to keep a group of people in their place.”John makes an arbitrary and vague charge against those who harbor “deficit thinking” ought to be removed is in fact highly ironic considering the definitions of what “deficit thinking” means. Though the book also talks about "deficit thinking" as a form of "psuedo-science."
"process of false persuasion by scientific pretense"Now, DeafRead is free to do whatever they want on which blogs or vlogs to accept and publish the links when it comes to deafness related issues. I have no real complaints or qualms on what they do. Just as vloggers and bloggers are free to post what they want and moderate comments as they see fit.
Ain’t free expression great in America?
But to promote or instigate for the limitations on the free exchanges of ideas and concepts just because people happen to not like what’s being discussed sets a dangerous precedence. But that’s only if government does that and interferes with that freedom of expression and speech. Personal ownership, however, of a blog or website, the person is essentially free to do what he or she wants when it comes to discussed contents. But if people are not allowed greater access that can help lead to discussions about certain ideals, concepts and even myths then how can people learn? Isn’t this about learning and being fully informed in order to make an informed decision on what’s going on? Separate what's real and what's not? Who decide for who here? Isn't this all about balance?
Perhaps it's time that John (and others who are behind him on that idea) needs to point out publicly in his blog on exactly who those “deficit thinkers” are and explain to DeafRead editors or the owner why they must be removed from DeafRead and on what grounds. Which blogs need to be removed because of the contents? Which blogsites need to be removed? Which bloggers need to be removed or banned because discussions happen to revolve around topics that they do not like surely must be big enough of an excuse or justification for removal or banishment? Is John (and others) advocating to DeafRead editors and the owner that their policy or guideline ought to be revamped? And include a section that “Deficit thinking is not allowed”? Exactly what do you mean by "deficit thinking"? Who is really being desperate here, John? Is this imagined futility that bad when it comes to discussing various deaf or deafness related topics?
I’m sure readers of DeafRead will want to hear more about this suggestion of yours, John. And I'm sure readers will be looking forward to your list of names of those you (and others) feel need to be removed or its blog/vlog content removed because it rankles you.
The ball is in your court. You made the first imputation. Use your time wisely.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
This is not surprising when you have readers who are content on believing a story byline and body of article but for others they would prefer to dig deeper to see exactly what’s going on and the real story. The bonus for me is that I am already familiar Kyoto protocol and the history it had with the United States. I knew right away the Think Progress story was nothing more than skunk reporting.
So, allow me to help you if you’re not familiar with all this thinking that Bush caved in. Heck, it's hardly the case while I slap my knee! It's the other way around folks. I suggest you read my blog or else you might end up looking more like a fool.
Let’s start with Associated Press who used a simple but somewhat misleading subject headline “Bali Climate Talks Reach Agreement” (the red bold is my emphasis) as well as a misleading body:
World leaders overcame bitter divisions Saturday and agreed to reach a new deal on fighting global warming by 2009, turning a corner in mankind's race to stave off environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures.
The contentious, two-week U.N. climate conference on the resort island of Bali ended with the United States, facing angry criticism from other delegations, relenting in its opposition to a request from developing nations for more technological help fighting climate change.
And then we have CNN with an outlandish and decidely misleading subject headline, “U.S. Agrees to Bali Compromise” along with, again, a misleading body (again, bold red is mine for emphasis on the misleading written material):
The United States made a dramatic reversal Saturday, first rejecting and then accepting a compromise to set the stage for intense negotiations in the next two years aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.But let's look at Time’s reporting which describes accurately what had transpired today. Read carefully what the victory was about which was a victory for Bush (and even the Clinton administration). If you know your Kyoto protocol history and the United States you’d understand (which I will explain next and look at the bold red to see where this agreement was about). Time’s subject headline “Who Won and Lost at Bali”:
The U.N. climate change conference in Bali was filled with emotion and cliff-hanging anticipation on Saturday, an extra day added because of a failure to reach agreement during the scheduled sessions.
The final result was a global warming pact that provides for negotiating rounds to conclude in 2009.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the pact "a good beginning." "This is just a beginning and not an ending," Ban said. "We'll have to engage in many complex, difficult and long negotiations."
The roadmap is essentially the beginning of a beginning. The negotiations to come have a specific end date - 2009 - and for the first time, dismantles what the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Yvo de Boer called "the Berlin Wall of climate change," the idea that only the rich nations need to take responsibility for fighting global warming. Both developed countries [sic]
The two sides still have different responsibilities, with developed nations ready to take on more quantifiable emissions cuts, and developing nations preparing to take on less specific national actions, but no country is left behind. That matters because the majority of future carbon emissions will come from the developing world, and no climate deal can work without the participation of China and India. "The developing nations of the South are on the same road as the North," says Peter Goldmark, director for the climate and air program for Environmental Defense. "They're using the same roadmap."
Bringing the developing nations on board made it possible for the U.S. to join. (per the Byrd-Hagel resolution - Kokonut)
As I said before this is really a victory for Bush (and even Clinton) because in the first Kyoto Protocol attempt the Clinton administration, with support from then Vice President Al Gore and 95 senators, refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. And now we have developing nations that are agreeing to participate in emission cuts.
India and China, which are exempt from Kyoto's emissions cuts, have no plans to submit to those mandates any time soon, though China is the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The U.S. has also consistently rejected Kyoto. This has been true throughout the Bush years, but it was equally so during the Clinton ones. In 1997, the U.S. Senate adopted the Byrd-Hagel Resolution by 95-0, urging the Clinton Administration not to sign any climate-change protocol that "would result in serious harm to the economy." In 1998 Al Gore signed the Protocol. Yet President Clinton, who was in Montreal yesterday to scold the Bush Administration for its inaction, never submitted it to the Senate.
Hagel explains it well here:
Questioner: Back in 1997, you were a co-sponsor of a nonbinding resolution in the Senate. Did you mean, then, to kill the Kyoto climate treaty, or did you mean to change it?
Hagel: Well, if you go back to that time when Sen. [Robert] Byrd [D-W. Va.] and I introduced the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, it was to put the Senate on record as to what kind of environmental treaty the Senate would ratify and what kind of an environmental treaty we would not ratify. It's a very simple, straightforward resolution. It says the Senate will not ratify an environmental treaty ... if it does not include all the nations of the world in some way, and second, if it does economic damage ... to our country. Those are the two guidelines.
It was not set out to specifically kill Kyoto. Most of us knew at the time that Kyoto wasvolunteered to work against Kyoto." And he came up with the phrase "Kyoto is not fair," which was an effective way to talk about it. Did you think at the time that Kyoto was not fair?
Questioner: You did. We spoke to Frank Luntz, pollster and strategist, and he said, "I volunteered to work against Kyoto." And he came up with the phrase "Kyoto is not fair," which was an effective way to talk about it. Did you think at the time that Kyoto was not fair?
Hagel: I did think it was not fair, because it did not include all the nations of the world. ... Only 30 nations of the world, essentially, were given mandates as to roll back their manmade green[house] gas emissions to some 5 to 7 percent below those 1990 levels. But it did not include nations like China, South Korea or India. Most nations of the world were left out. So how was that fair?
The obligation was all on nations like the United States. Many European nations were essentially held harmless because, for example, the British were using natural gas and discarding coal because of the large natural gas fields of the North Sea. And they were under the 1990 levels, emissions levels, by a significant percent. Many of the nations in Europe, their economies were way down, and so their emissions were way down. It was nations like the United States that really would have been hit hard on this. And so yes, I thought it was unfair.
The media will typically downplay all of this by not acknowledging that this was really a win for the Bush (and Clinton) administration and America, because it was they who insisted that developing nation participate and make any agreements on emissions cuts in the future by coming to the table, such as China and Indian who are big polluters. It’s about unfair economic advantage to any one nation.
As a note, China is now the number one polluter of the world, and not the U.S. And if you notice the picture, I challenge you to find a city in the United States that spews so much gunk out where China has a serious respiratory health problems as a result of the massive polluting that comes with rapid growth. The same kind of growing pains the United States had from the early 1930s through the 1970s. We’re better off now than we did during the 1970s and we continue to improve as we go along.
Let’s continue with Time’s reporting on Bali which included more information that most media have thus so far ignored! (note the bold red which are my emphasis on exactly what the conference resulted in which had nothing to do with agreed to specific emission cuts or figures):
The Bali roadmap contains no specific commitments or figures on the emissions reductions that developed countries will need to take, beyond language that "deep cuts" will be needed. Earlier in the week the EU fought hard to include a specific target of 25 to 40% cuts for developed nations by 2020, and a need to halve global emissions - two figures cited by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) latest assessment of global warming science. Neither made it into the final text, thanks largely to determined opposition from the U.S., although a footnote points to the IPCC report. For environmentalists who had hoped that the recent avalanche of data underscoring the rising crisis of climate change might prompt tougher action, Bali was a disappointment. "It was a rather weak deal," said Meena Rahman, chair of Friends of the Earth International. "It's compromised."
Not everybody was happy with the result. Canada was especially disappointed with the conference result as reported by The Canadian Press with the subject headline “World reaches vague climate deal after day of high drama at UN talks” (look for my emphasis in bold red):
Canada helped gut some of the substance from a world climate-change deal and then expressed regret Saturday when the final agreement was ultimately watered down even more than it had hoped.
Environment Minister John Baird hailed as a positive step a United Nations agreement to seek a new global climate-change treaty by 2012.
But he expressed regret that the agreement was almost completely stripped of any reference to numbers and targets which would have been the starting point for the discussion.
So, we had 4 news media outlets reporting on the Bali UN climate conference with one reporting it, surprisingly so, accurately on what the whole story was about which would be Time Magazine. The other two (AP and CNN) made it as if Bush caved in. Hardly. And then the The Canadian Press reported accurately the disappointed by those realizing that no emission numbers and targets were reached in this conference.
Now, I can understand that many are not familiar with the Kyoto deal and why the United States refused to participate in the first place which started with President Bill Clinton first. It’s no wonder that Think Progress tried to make this as if it were a victory for Bali UN climate conference but in all actuality it was a victory belonging to President Bush (and Clinton). It was they who didn’t see the purpose on joining in on talks on reducing emission because other developing countries were exempted from emissions cuts. That was the key why the Kyoto protocol was never agreed to. There were shortcomings. Before the U.S. would participate in the NEGOTIATION the agreement was that China and India, and other developing countries, should not be exempted from future emission negotiation set to expire by 2012.
And now you know the whole story. A lesson in all this? Know your history first and realize that the mainstream media have a way of distorting and mis/disinforming readers on what the whole story was about. Those who have sniggered in (false) glee about the supposed “victory” today thinking that the U.S. caved in need to learn to hold their glee. The victory was really the other way around. The U.S. made no agreements or concessions on numbers, figures or targets when it comes to cutting down on emissions.
The U.S. only agreed to come aboard and negotiate further because the Bali UN climate conference agreed that developing nations ought to be partipants in negotiating their own emission cuts. And this opens the door to further negotiations on global climate-change treaty by 2012. And this doesn’t mean that the United States will agree to such cuts either. Just the fact they are now agreeing to come to the table for future talks on possible emission cuts.
Now, if you think I'm done. I'm not. More than 100 prominent scientists from around the world signed their name to a letter to the UN climate conference in Bali about the futility in trying to stop global warming through CO2 reduction efforts (bold red emphasis is mine).
"It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables," the scientists wrote.
"In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is ‘settled,' significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming," the open letter added. [EPW Blog Note: To read about the latest peer-reviewed research debunking man-made climate fears, see: New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears - LINK - & New Peer-Reviewed Study Finds: "Warming is naturally caused and shows no human influence." (LINK) - For a detailed analysis of how "consensus" has been promoted, see: Debunking The So-Called "Consensus" On Global Warming - LINK ]
The scientists' letter continued: "The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions."
"The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by government representatives. The great majority of IPCC contributors and reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts," the letter added. [EPW Note: Only 52 scientists participated in the UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers in April 2007, according to the Associated Press. - LINK - An analysis by Australian climate researcher Dr. John Mclean in 2007 found the UN IPCC peer-review process to be "an illusion." LINK ]
I agree. It's akin to you stepping onto the train track to try and stop an oncoming train by yourself. Putting a thousand people on track won't help either. It's better to adapt than to change something that's beyond our control which something what scientists said in a signed letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN climate conference in Bali.
Being ignorant doesn't help. Being properly informed helps. Jumping in with glee about the Bali UN climate conference thinking President Bush caved in doesn't help either but only makes you more of an uninformed fool. Learn to stop while you're ahead.
“This is America. When ordering, please speak English.”
No problem. But for some, it is. Boo hoo. But if you look at this picture you can see the sign that says "Management Reserves the right to refuse service." It's been in his window for 20 years. It's a typical sign seen in many restaurants all across America. They do have the right to refuse service. After all, it is their business. But the city is making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to Joey's "This is America. When ordering, please speak English" sign which does not imply that services will be refused if one doesn't speak in English. How will you know until you try? Although he's asking customers to please speak in English and take into consideration the fact that they are, after all, in America. Just as you would in France, please speak French, after all you are in a country that speaks French as a national language.
And in the spirit of "English only" story, I, too, have instituted another rule for people who comment in my blog by putting in a "comments in English only" rule. Now, granted. No one has tried to comment other than English but suppose one did, I would then reserve the right to delete it. After all this is my blog and this is America. And English is the majority and national language of use.
God Bless America! And Semper Fi!
Friday, December 14, 2007
The author of the website and I exchanged emails regarding the signing question and his efforts to reach out to people on showing another way of saying "thank you" to the U.S. troops . The exchanges were, of course, positive, encouraging, and above all courteous. It was clear that the video already made isn't going to change seeing that the number of hits has taken off over the last few weeks. More people are blogging about it as seen here, here and here. In other words, the train has pretty much left the station. At least Scott, the author of the website, was able to clarify in his website that the signing wasn't meant to be the ASL "Thank you. "
Please note that there has been some debate as to whether this sign is a recognized sign from American Sign Language. With the utmost respect to those who know and use ASL, we are currently consulting several authorities on ASL to come to a resolution on that issue. We will update this page with our findings. In the mean time we would suggest that you use this sign only to thank those who serve, and do not assume that who use ASL will recognize this sign.
In the video it showed people using the sign, the nodding of the heads in appreciative approval, smiling, and even mouthing the words "Thank you" as a gratidue of thanks to U.S. soldiers in view of them. It is those positive combinations that make them understandably clear on what the gesuturing/signing is all about. A show of thanks coming from the bottom of their hearts.
I have seen hearing people use their hand(s) over their heart as a way to express gratitudes and thanks so it is no surprise that hearing people do have their own brand of gestures and signs such as Chinese or Italian. But will Deaf people complain about other signs or gestures like the "hang loose" sign (shaped like the letter "Y") that can be used as way to say "thanks"? Maybe we should use that sign instead for the troops? Cannot hearing people come up or use their own variations of signs and gestures to suit their own expressive needs? Or must they contact authoriative sign language linguists before going forward with their own homemade signs? Or are Deaf people trying to make a statement that they are the owners of signs and gestures and hearing people must seek their approval first? Do they have a corner market on signs and gestures? Just thinking out loud here. Though I believe it wasn't Scott's intention to "slur" the use of certain ASL signs. To him and many others, it made a lot of sense to sign that way as way of saying thanks from the bottom of their heart.
Now, for those who sent out nasty, hateful or hostile (not negative but just plain hostile) emails to the owner of the website, The Gratitude Campaign, perhaps they ought to take the time to write and apologize to him for sending him rude emails. At least Raychelle was courteous during her email exchanges with him in the hope to make a difference. But as I have gathered already, the train has left the station and that the sign/gesture for "thank you from the bottom of my heart" will remain on The Gratitude Campaign website as far as I can tell.
By the way, the picture seen at the beginning of my blog? It's an Italian sign/gesture for "che puzza." Just don't make too much hay out of that picture. I just added it for effect.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Whooooooo! (alien noise)
Earth resides in a galaxy called “The Milky Way” where our Solar System with our sun (it’s a star, too, folks) is home among billions of other stars going about spinning together on a pinwheel shaped galaxy. One galaxy has billions of stars (or suns). But there are possibly billions of galaxies in the universe according to many astrophysicists. That would be, using our math, billions times billions make what? A lot of stars. Something like a septillion stars (that’s a “1” followed by 21 zeros) out there. We don’t even have that many sand particles on our planet that even come near it. It is just unfathomly huge. So, what are the odds of finding a similar planet among all those stars that has a similar Earth-like system containing carbon-based life forms? Or home to beings similar to us? Do they even exist? And if the possibility that they do exist where a whole different race of highly intelligent beings may be intellectually light years ahead of us then chances are, of course, that no Deaf/deaf people would exist on that planet. But why would that be the case? Could it be that since they’re a highly advanced race of people they would view deafness as unnecessary and perhaps even cruel to have? Perhaps it’d be a civilization so advanced that equality is required for all where no forms of disability would exist (i.e. no Alzheimer, Parkinson, paralysis, hearing loss, blindness and so forth). Maybe they’d be so advanced that everybody communicates telepathically instead and that the ability to hear or speak would not be required? Or perhaps instead they have a universal spoken language that everybody uses. I can’t see how or why an advanced race of beings with their scientific and technological knowledge thousands to million of years ahead of us would allow a variety of disabilities to exist or persist.
Something to ponder, folks. Meanwhile, I have a light beam to catch. And keep your snit level down to a minimum, folks.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The changing ice conditions in the Arctic are poorly understood by scientists. Now they have to contend with the fact that from late October into early November of this year (2007) the Arctic had a record-setting pace of re-freezing of ice!
...according to the NASA Earth Observatory. Some 58,000 square miles of ice formed per day for 10 days in late October and early November, a new record.
Welllll, I'll be durned! Record re-freezing of ice! Now what will these scientists say about that? And for the Northern latitudes (that's us and all the way up to the North Pole for you Santy lovers) winter is just barely getting started and the freezing will continue in the Arctic ocean until Spring.
This is all about the media's ability (with nods from their political friends) to manipulate public perception since they are basically an easy and ignorant lot to begin with. Dr. Tim Ball says it well:
Exploitation of fear by environmental groups was explained well in Crichton’s book, State of Fear. He could also have written a book titled, State of Knowledge. Most people know very little about the natural world and how it works. This lack of knowledge is easily exploited and coupled with fear makes it an even more powerful manipulative tool. The idea that knowledge is power isn’t new, but that is the positive side. Lack of knowledge is the negative side and makes you very vulnerable. As Derek Bok said, “If you think education is expensive - try ignorance.” Ignorance allows presentation of natural events as unnatural or normal events as abnormal.
While the media were out preying on public fear on the gloom and doom on disappearing Arctic sea ice they conveniently ignored reports that the Antarctic (i.e. South Pole) winter sea ice extent was the greatest on record. Now, will the sea ice extent for the Arctic become greatest on record, too?
So much for all the Oscars out there who continue to do the chicken little dance. But knowledge is power, folks.
Climate changes constantly and I don't see anyone disagreeing on that aspect. Yet there is a difference between local and regional pollutions that affects us readily. This is something we can do about (i.e. air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, etc). What many people do not know is that scientists (over 19,000 American scientists - see here and here, and here in a letter ) signed a letter that question (or don't believe) CO2 as being the main driving agent on climate change and cause catastrophic climate results. There are so many factors and parameters involved on the interplays that influence climate change. We are still "green" on learning these hugely complex interactions. And this is an emerging science.
Water vapor is a greenhouse gas that makes up much more of the atmosphere than CO2. Yet we don't understand fully how these things work and why, and how it affects other climatic patterns. It's deeply complex and anyone who says they understand everything that need to be understood is lying through his/her teeth. And the funny thing about CO2 being labeled as a "pollutant" because it isn't. We exhale (and the animals, too) CO2. Maybe we need to slap a carbon tax on people for breathing too much CO2? No more exercises for you exercise freaks! Or tax overweight or out of shape people who exhale too much CO2 after walking around some.
Using scare tactics in order to pass laws and introduce taxes to force people to reduce CO2 will not work. Especially if scare tactics are based on false premises and disinformation. Just plain disengious and sets a dangerous precedence. It's like shoot first and ask questions later.
For those people who utter the words "choose carefully" are nothing more than hypocrites themselves. They are polluters. too. If they exhale CO2, then they are polluters. Use plastic? They are polluters. Burn biofuels? They are CO2 polluters. Buy food? You're a polluter of CO2 and everything else. It'd be better to "choose carefully" on who are neighbors will be and I'd be more concerned about nuclear/chemical/biological war than global warming which has been warming and cooling for eons. Way before man was around. People don't even see that logic at all. Because they choose to be ignorant on earth science, be knee jerkers and let politics be their "truth." A bad combo.
Michael Crichton (best known for his novels but also a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a former postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies) warned his audience of the dangers of "consensus science" in a 2003 speech,
"Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
"Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.
In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."
Indeed. It's not about "deniers" but about questioning CO2 as compared to, for example, water vapor in the atmosphere.
With all the attention given to the CO2 content of the atmosphere it is purplexing that the water vapor content is ignored when a change in the water vapor content from 3.0 percent to about 2.96 percent has the same effect on global warming as if all the CO2 in the atmosphere disappeared. If in fact the water vapor content of the atmosphere does fluctuate between 2 percent and 4 percent the attempt to relate global temperature to the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere is hopeless without information on water vapor content.
The situation is even more extreme than what was presented just above because the greenhouse gases vary in their effectiveness in absorbing thermal radiation. A molecule of H2O is 50 percent more effective or efficient in absorbing radiation than a molecule of CO2. If the molecular compositions are weighted according to their relative radiative efficiencies this is what the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere looks like (see graph colored in blue).
Just be careful on how you choose words like "deniers" which conjures up images of the Holocaust and how people have denied it ever happened. And be careful on justifying the use of emotion over logic in a debate. It reflects poorly on you as a knee jerker. There is no "consensus" in science. Just verifiable and reproducible results. It's all about manipulating perception of an already clueless public.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Now, don’t get me wrong. Recycling makes sense. Practicing conservation and requiring efficient use of energy make sense. Fighting local and regional pollution that have more immediate effects on people’s health make sense. But to go out and protest or bring about awareness on global warming (as supposedly caused by human beings) does not make any sense at all because the dynamic interaction is extremely complex and unknown between sun, earth, water, wind, and the land in terms of heat exchanges, latent heat, deep ocean water circulation, climate patterns, upper layer circulation, water vapor (which is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere), the sun’s fluctuating energy output which is cyclical, how precipitation affects temperature which acts as a cooling agent for surface and atmosphere, and so on. Carbon Dioxide is never known to be a climate driver. Ice cores have shown that it was temperature that goes up first, which causes CO2 to rise as well. There are so many problems with this global warming (as caused by human beings) climate scare that people simply do not think but rather prefer to follow lemmings instead without discussing the rational for doing so along with supporting arguments. As a start people can look here about global warming (as not caused by human beings).
I’ll be looking more into this EcoDeaf and I welcome any members of EcoDeaf to discuss this global warming (as supposedly caused by human beings). It’s better to be informed and aware than not.