US News & World Report lauds Ron Sims for his leadership on global warming. (Seattle Times maintains its silence.)

US News & World Report cover on global warmingIt has been a week since King County Executive Ron Sims proposed an Office of Global Warming, and still no peep out of the Seattle Times recognizing his extraordinary vision on this issue. Back in 1988, when as a councilman Sims first proposed a similar office, the Times editorial board ridiculed his warnings as “hyperbolic clouds of rhetorical gas.” 18 years later, with the scientific consensus firmly on his side, the Times refuses to acknowledge Sims’ steadfast (and prescient) environmental leadership.

Of course the risk for local media when they stubbornly refuse to give local issues and leaders the coverage they deserve, is that they leave themselves open to being scooped by their national colleagues. And that’s exactly what happened this week, when US News & World Report hit the newsstands with a cover story on global warming that prominently features Sims and his decades-long efforts to prepare King County for the local impact of climate change.

KING COUNTY, WASH.–From a chopper buzzing the forested foothills of the Cascade mountains just outside Seattle, County Executive Ron Sims describes this as “a good year.” The craggy canvas below is a gorgeous bottle green. The lakelike reservoirs are nearly full. Crisp-white snow caps much of the Cascade Range. It’s everything one would expect in this cool, water-rich corner of the world. But residents here worry that the “good years” are becoming increasingly rare. According to scientists at the University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest has gotten warmer by 1.5 degrees since 1900, about a half-degree higher than the global average. That might not seem like much, but the effects are being noticed here, particularly in the amount of snow in the Cascades. Since 1949, snowpack in the lower mountain range, a primary source of water for the area, has declined 50 percent, raising the odd specter of water shortages in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

The culprit is unusually warm weather, which is melting snowpack and changing the precipitation cycle. More water is falling as rain–and being lost as runoff–and less is falling as mountain snow, a natural banking system that holds the precipitation until the spring, when it melts to fill reservoirs for the dry summer season. “Our water system is based on snowmelt,” Sims says. “But we’re continually losing huge volumes.”

The problem snapped into focus over the past two years, when the state was hit by a severe drought–the kind of extreme weather fluctuation that scientists expect will become more common as temperatures climb. The governor declared a statewide emergency. Ski resorts closed. Rivers and reservoirs fell to dangerous lows. For Sims, the water crisis was a worrisome sign of things to come. “How are we going to meet the needs of people and fish,” he asks, “when the snowmelt is going away?”

It’s a question haunting the 58-year-old Sims, who has made fighting the effects of climate change a central theme for much of his 10-year tenure as county executive. The quest puts him on the front line of what is shaping up to be the next battle in the climate-change wars: preparing for and adapting to a warmer climate.

Sims has always been willing to expend political capital on issues ranging from tax restructuring to health care reform to avian flu preparation, and he has once again put himself on the front line, this time in the battle over how our region should respond to climate change and other environmental threats. The controversial Critical Areas Ordinance and Brightwater sewage treatment plant are both partially intended to help buffer the county from the impacts of global warming, while light rail and other policy and infrastructure initiatives that promote urban density provide the added benefit of making our region more energy efficient.

This is the type of vision to which you’d think our local punditocracy might at least occasionally pay passing lip service, but while opinion makers often decry the lack of leadership from our elected officials, any attempt to exercise the very same is more often than not sneeringly dismissed as arrogance or folly. In the case of Sims and his initiatives on global warming, it appears that our local editorialists simply can’t see the forest for the trees that some property owners claim they should have the right to clear-cut come hell or high water. (Or both.)

But while the Times refuses to recognize Sims’ efforts to think globally and act locally as more worthy of praise than ridicule, national publications like US News are lauding him for his pragmatism.

Adaptation is more effective, experts say, when it’s handled at a regional level. That’s why a growing number of communities, in the United States and elsewhere, aren’t waiting. Sims is a good example. “Nationally, you have an administration that fights scientists,” he says. “We have said the key is to listen to scientists, not politicians.” Sims made good on his word by hiring the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, a group of climate and Earth scientists who quickly highlighted the problem of melting snowpack–estimating that the area’s water supply could drop 20 million gallons a day in the future, even as demand is expected to rise. So, in April, the county broke ground on a new sewage plant, to be equipped with a $26 million facility to recycle and purify sewage into water clean enough for agricultural and industrial use, freeing up potable water for use in homes, restaurants, and businesses.

A lack of water could also leave much of the region in the dark. About 90 percent of Seattle’s energy comes from hydropower dams in the Columbia River Basin, which extends into Canada. If the annual snowpack continues to drop, a greater percentage of the supply will belong to Canada. For now, eco-friendly Seattle says that there’s little it can do other than continue to explore wind power and promote conservation.

The heavily forested area abutting Seattle, meanwhile, is by design. While all fast-growing counties in Washington employ urban growth boundaries to stem sprawl under a state law, Sims has been especially aggressive in implementing it in King County–imposing stiff environmental restrictions on private land, like requiring that green buffers remain around waterways and limiting development in some areas. Two years ago, the county purchased the development rights to 90,000 acres of working timberland for $22 million. The trees act as a huge carbon sink, absorbing greenhouse gas emissions but also functioning as a vast sponge, soaking up all that precipitation now falling more as rain than snow while relieving pressure on area levees. Controlling the development rights also means the rivers running through the land will be there to tap as a future supply for potable water.

The scientific consensus on global warming is overwhelming, so much so that Michael Shermer devotes his “Skeptic” column in the June issue of Scientific American to explaining his “cognitive flip” on the issue.

It is a matter of the Goldilocks phenomenon. In the last ice age, CO2 levels were 180 parts per million (ppm)–too cold. Between the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution, levels rose to 280 ppm–just right. Today levels are at 380 ppm and are projected to reach 450 to 550 by the end of the century–too warm. Like a kettle of water that transforms from liquid to steam when it changes from 99 to 100 degrees Celsius, the environment itself is about to make a CO2-driven flip.

In his film “An Inconvenient Truth“, Al Gore makes an impassioned plea that it is not too late to cut carbon emissions and forestall some of the very worst consequences of global warming. But it is too late to avoid climate change entirely, as it is already taking place.

Rising temperatures and sea levels are perhaps the single greatest crisis facing our world, our nation and our region. It is time we start supporting our political leaders who are facing this crisis head on, rather than ignoring or reviling them for it.

Comments

  1. 1

    natasha spews:

    Drought is a relative term. Drought for a Douglas fir means something very different than drought for an actual desert plant. They’re not as adaptable as human beings, like much of our other native vegetation. Consider this 2004 fact sheet on Doug fir death in Oregon citing water stress as a cause for decreased pest resistance and greater mortality.

    The threat isn’t becoming a desert overnight. The threat is that logging and development reduce overall water infiltration (which depends heavily on root penetration of the soil), steadily decreasing the overall amount of moisture retained in the region. Increases in erosion and river sedimentation (which leads ironically, to flooding) follow, with moisture-retaining organic matter being lost from the soil. It wouldn’t take that much of a drought to start reducing the health of the native forest and the pests would follow. If you look down while flying over the mountains of California, you’ll see vast dead patches where bark beetles have destroyed stands of native pine. Cue increased risk and intensity of forest fires. More moisture and organic matter is lost. If some of those fires take out forest cover on steep slopes, the risk of erosion is increased even more, raising the possibility that enough topsoil would be lost to forbid significant tree regrowth. Throw in a couple warm winters where we don’t get much snowpack, leading to another round of big fights between the farmers on one side and the fisherman, conservationists and Natives on the other about how the state’s water should be divided between wheat and salmon. God forbid, let’s say some pawn of state developers boots Sims and repeals the rules on maintaining vegetation cover around waterways. The water in them heats up a little more, evaporates a little faster, and fish stocks drop lower, which would also tank the part of the forest nutrient cycle that depends on fish. With more lawns (which are about as impervious to infiltration as blacktop) and bare soil, runoff rates increase. More organic matter is lost from the bare soil and with additional rainfall, more of it forms surface crusting that further resists both infiltration and the establishment of plant roots. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    It wouldn’t happen overnight, but given a decade or so of bad weather and poor land management, you would begin to see noticeable changes in local ecosystems. Not that I think you’ll believe me. You obviously neither know nor care to learn much about this subject beyond the degree of out-the-car-window observation that allows you to say ‘but it’s so wet here *now*, surely nothing could change that.’ It could go to hell all too easily in any number of ways. I’ve been hiking up and down the I-90 corridor in spring and it’s just not that difficult to notice the difference in temperature and moisture beween some of the abrupt transitions between stands of preserved forest and housing developments or otherwise disturbed areas.

    When the average global temperature was 7 degrees cooler, this region was covered in thousands of feet of ice. ‘Little’ changes can be significant.

  2. 2

    natasha spews:

    righton – Maybe you don’t fully understand the phrase climate change?

    Also, Sims is talking about not only issues to do with snowpack but with keeping the land area around streams covered with native vegetation so that it can retain the water that falls on it in the wet season and let it slowly trickle out thereafter instead of just running right off. Streams and rivers don’t come out of mystical, ever-flowing pipes. They’re part of watersheds, which means that they’re the low-lying points that drain or shed water accumulated by snow and rainfall as well as leachate or runoff and aquifer seepage. These are the places where the water comes from when the water isn’t falling out of the sky. When the land can’t retain water in either ice or soil, then it rushes off towards the ocean much sooner after falling from the sky.

    But I wish it was all as simple as you suggest. We could just tell those poor people suffering drought in Kenya to go to the rivers and streams. I wonder why they didn’t think of that?

  3. 3

    righton spews:

    natasha,
    maybe you live in fremont and thus don’t understand…

    yeah, reduced snowpack is bad, but since we have near Zero capacity that is mountain reservoir (ok, we do have chester morse) we are super dependent on the streams. I’d rather dam a river and enjoy its supply, than stick a garden hose in a creek and hope for adequate water.

    Question; have you EVER driven past our major rivers, in the driest part of any summer, and not seen tremendous water flow?

  4. 4

    My Left Foot spews:

    Still not man enough to come out from behind your computer screen, eh Cyniclown?

    Investments? Rental property? We are all so impressed. Not thrilled with Bush2? Big shock. Nearly 75% of the country is unhappy with him. He has been nothing short of incompetent and a buffoon. His stance on global warming is short sighted, but like Alfred E, Neuman, why should he worry. He will be long gone before the true effects are felt by a world he left worse off than when he got here.

    But I digress, come on out and play, Cyniclown. Who are you and what do you stand for? Wait, this is just entertainment to you. Not an exchange of ideas or a place for discussion.

    Carl Grossman
    Liberal, Progressive Democrat (and out in the open, PROUDLY)

  5. 5

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Natasha-
    One way to leave the world more healthy than the way we found it is for all KLOWNS to stop driving, consuming and breathing.

  6. 6

    natasha spews:

    righton – Did you happen to miss the part of the post where it was explained that those rivers are fed for part of the year by snowpack, which has shown pronounced decreases over the last few years in line with global trends? Big dams can’t entirely fix that.

    I can’t think of anything worse to do to future generations than to leave the world less healthy and productive than when we found it.

  7. 7

    righton spews:

    i thought this post was about doofus Sims noting that global warming meant seattle would have no water…

    you idiots/sims buttboys forget that we have mammoth rivers, that coudl easily be dammed and we’d never, never, never go dry.

    i’d sacrifice one moss infested valley for our future. think of the children.

  8. 8

    righton spews:

    Natash;
    sorry, no chance that warming will turn Snoqualmie pass, or darrington or any nearby slope into a desert, incapable of holding water.

    while i’m sympathetic w/ the global issue (adding 5 degrees to a hot guatamalen is likely the end of their existence), up here, all we gotta do is take some land (emminent domain, yeah), and build a dam.

    Use your brain man, drive up there some late september at its driest, add some warmth from global, and its still got tons of water.

    Our garden hose method isn’t capable of supporting our population. Yeah, LA is ugly, but if it relied on the garden hose, you’d have about 5,000 people living there.

  9. 9

    natasha spews:

    splooze – Global cooling is actually a possible long-term outcome of global warming. And by cooling, part of what’s meant is the re-glaciation of northern Europe and northern North America due to a halting of ocean circulation patterns precipitated by glacial meltwater changing seawater densities. I’m not cogent enough right now to translate that out of geekspeak, but you can get very good explanations elsewhere by people who’ve done so, there are pictures even.

    Anyway, the actual effects of global warming could have been masked for the last few decades due to global dimming. That link isn’t peer-reviewed either, but it contains enough references to make any person’s inner geek jump for joy.

  10. 10

    natasha spews:

    Seattle Mom – Your concern for the political fortunes of Democrats is touching, truly. But people seem capable of understanding these issues just fine, even people in 3rd world countries. It’s amazing how the prospect of being flooded out of your home can focus the mind.

    The IPCC modelers, as you refer to them so offhandedly, represent the cream of the world’s PhDs on this subject who’ve been publishing peer-reviewed research for years. Research that any of their colleagues would be happy to tear to shreds in public for reasons ranging from the good of the profession to jostling over tenure. In science, there are serious consequences to being full of bs. Years of painstaking study and deliberation by an international cast of thousands went into the IPCC reports and models. The Pentagon took them so seriously that our nation now has defense strategy documents drawn up based on the best available climate change scenarios.

    Bastardi, who has a bachelor’s in meteorology and works as a weatherman is asking questions that mean nothing. They’re pointless and misleading.

    Yes, CO2 has been higher in past eras, such as before the carboniferous era when vast quantities of plant material accumulated in anaerobic swamps, taking their carbon out of general circulation and eventually turning into coal. All of the past events that buried significant amounts of living tissue before they had a chance to decay in atmosphere, turning into coal or oil, removed CO2 from circulation. Even more amazingly, this entire planet used to have an atmosphere like that of Venus; hot, heavy and high in CO2 and methane. It doesn’t anymore because living things evolved photosynthesis, steadily increasing the amount of carbon that spent at least part of the time in a solid state and not warming the planet. As they colonized the oceans and then the land, they had progressively greater effects as the planet’s total biomass increased.

    So get this: The climate we have right now is due to the action of living things. It didn’t start out that way and it doesn’t have to continue that way. Living things have had an effect on climate for a very long time, so it isn’t remotely far fetched to claim that humans could, as well. In fact, carbon levels have been rising since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

    Areas that used to be tropical are now icy he says, and this is true. Because the continents have moved since then. Moved. For example, Antarctica used to be part of what was the world’s only continent and a little bit farther North. Once it was unhooked from the rest and settled over the South Pole, its climate continued getting colder until we have the Antarctica of today. World climate overall cooled down after that separation, nor was it the only change in alignments that altered world climate.

    This is what Bastardi’s assertions are equivalent to: Looking at a graph of the surface temperature of a person who lived in Minnesota, noticing a continuous 2 week spike during January and saying that it proves that body temperature is unrelated to climate. In the meantime, ignoring evidence that the person in question had vacationed in Florida during the time in question.

    Here are the numbers, from The Nature and Properties of Soils: Thirteenth Edition. Brady NC; Weil RR. (2002) by Prentice Hall. Nature and Properties is a standard and widely used soil science text based on peer-reviewed research of the sort that Bastardi and MTR both seem allergic to. From Ch. 12:

    “[G]lobally, the release of carbon from soils into the atmosphere is about 62 Pg/yr [Ed. Pg is a Petagram, or 10^15 g], while only about 60 Pg/yr enter the soils from the atmosphere via plant residues. This imbalance of about 2 Pg/yr, along with about 5 Pg/yr of carbon released by the burning of fossil fuels (in which carbon was sequestered from the atmosphere millions of years ago) is only partially offset by increased absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the ocean. … [L]evels [of CO2] have increased from 290 to 370 ppm during the past century alone. …”

    If you do the simple math, that means that humans are releasing 2.5 times as much CO2 as natural decomposition through our burning of fossil fuels alone, notwithstanding that decomposition itself has speeded up as average temperatures increase. Elsewhere, the text notes that significant amounts of CO2 being released are from “a net loss of organic matter from the world’s soils,” which is exacerbated by clearing forests and natural grasslands to convert them to agriculture or otherwise develop them. They note that improved soil management could assist the climate crisis by sequestering more carbon, but “can only buy time.”

    Here’s something else for naysayers who doubt that people can influence the climate or the carbon cycle significantly…

    Primary productivity is the transformation of CO2 into sugar through photosynthesis, the solidification of atmospheric carbon and the engine of life as we know it. Humans are already co-opting at least 31-50% of terrestrial primary productivity out of terrestrial ecosystems (Vitousek, et al., 1986 and Vitousek, et al., 1997). Land transformations account for approximately 20% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions (Vitousek, et al., 1997).

    This is the substance of the ‘debate.’ Humanity has a vast and far-reaching influence on the world as we know it. I’d like to emphasize that phrase, as we know it, as in “life as we know it.” The condition of earth’s climate, as well as the ecosystems it sustains, as it has been for the last few thousand years is the set of circumstances that favors our species and all the growth and advancement we’ve racked up during that time. We like to think we’ve overcome nature, but all we’re doing is burning down our own house. Our only house.

    And I don’t need a weatherman to tell me how this wind blows.

    Vitousek PM, Ehrlich PR; Ehrlich AH; Matson PA. (1986) Human appropriation of the products of photosynthesis. BioScience, 36(6):368-373.

    Vitousek PM, Mooney HA. (1997) Human domination of Earth’s ecosystems. Science, 277(5325):494-99.

  11. 11

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Mr. Cynical is a bit different than MTR, but he fits the general approach. Mr. Cynical isn’t as disciplined in staying on message, but if you look carefully at his posts over time you’ll notice a politically astute underlying story line. He’s not here merely to play around, although it can often look like it because of his goofy riffs.
    Like MTR, Mr. Cynical goes for the very simple message: With global warming it’s that the science isn’t proven. Again, to get there he pretty much puts his hands over his ears and yells, “I can’t hear you!” This may seem absurd to us, but it plays quite well to the “fuck you boys.”
    Mr. Cynical is more prone to tantrums than MTR. However, this has proven to be a handy tool to bully people who are not used to dealing with such adolescent behavior in fellow adults.
    In addition, Mr. Cynical does an excellent job of projecting onto “leftist pinheads” his own bigotries, e.g., using science to bolster his political agenda rather than to better understand the world.
    Like MTR, what makes Mr. Cynical so successful is that he seems utterly unconscious of the depravity of his behavior. Indeed, he glories in it. Perhaps, like JCH he sees these as “carpet bombing” missions against the enemy. We aren’t people – we’re targets.
    Commentby Green Thumb— 5/29/06@ 7:05 pm

    GreenThumbUpHisAss—
    So now you are a Psychoanalyst??? Did you go to Central Washington with Ron Sims??
    You are nuts pal.
    If you think this Blog is anything more than having fun, YOU need the Psychoanalyst!!
    Anyone who thinks anyone who posts here is somehow Paid or Directed by some powerful force to do this is also NUTS!!!!!
    You probably believe in the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and that it was a missle (not a plane) that hit the Pentagon!!

    I work at home on investments and have rental properties.
    I’m no fan of George Bush and never have been.
    I think you LEFTIST PINHEADS are even loonier!

    I’m really intrigued by your obsession with the importance of HorsesAss.Org. All it is is a lauching pad for political rumors and muckraking that the Seattle P-U picks up on rarely and twists into facts.
    The Seattle P-U is dying.
    Read Joel Cornholey’s pathetic piece. Joel sounds like a dying elephant in the graveyard bellaring one last testimonial to himself. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....oel29.html

  12. 13

    Lee Atwater spews:

    Because you need us. There is no other way to sell this insane agenda. I can do this for you — and still have time to keep my guitar chops up.

    What a bunch of geeks!!

  13. 14

    splooze spews:

    5 seconds with Google will get you all the chi square you seem to think someone should look up for your lazy ass, Mark. You and your ilk will continue to deny the obvious in any case.

    Seattle Mom, a few fringe scientists in the 80’s got a lot of global cooling play in the media and it is still apparently convincing to some, but then frogs never notice the slow boil in any case. Theories are not that hard to grasp. Consider gravity.

    I’m still waiting for the people who think global warming, or even global cooling, is all in God’s plan to prove to me that God even exists. When they do, I might listen to them a little more carefully.

    I have little sympathy for arguing that some topic is too complicated for “average” voters to care about. It is true that all too many voters make subconscious decisions, but that does not mean any issue can’t be raised to a level where it can consciously resonate with “average” voters. Why do you think Karl Rove is considered a genius?

  14. 15

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    MTR,

    I am quite familiar with what a chi-square analysis is. I’ve literally been doing the suckers since I was 14 when I tested out pseudorandom number generators I coded up myself.

    The purpose of a chi-square analysis is to take a sample set and determine the statistical relevance of its deviance from the mean. It is not the best process available for testing (for more info, see Knuth’s “Seminumerical Algorithms”), but is popular becuase it’s not computationally expensive to run and doesn’t require a lot of terribly complex math.

    What I do not understand is what your infatuation is with the chi-squared analytical method. Everyone is arguing that the changes in temperature are fairly small (1-2 degrees over 100 years). If you look at temperature changes due to observed conditions, and then norm this against seasonal changes, they will turn out to be “statistically insignificant”, which is I think the point of your argument.

    Rather than trying to bluff these nice people with statistical methods you don’t understand yourself, why don’t you try the direct approach and say “A difference of one or two degrees is nothing. Go suck a lemon and let me drive my SUV.”

    Or are you more interested in being a bully than in having a discussion? That’s sure the way you come across.

  15. 16

    Seattle Mom spews:

    Green Thumb’s got no answer to the Joe Bastardi question. Why do today’s IPCC modelers have such an inflated view of mankind that they think that we’ll have a greater effect on the earth now than natural processes have had in the past?

    The energy from the sun and the natural processes of the earth have a far greater impact upon the earth than anything mankind can generate. But Green Thumb doesn’t want to argue the facts. He simply dismisses any and all studies that question the validity of the IPCC modelers. Studies done by some of the best climate scientists in the world.

    Try convincing the average Joe that remembers all the rhetoric from the 80s that we were entering the next Ice Age and the rhteoric from the 90s that there was a giant hole in the ozone layer that he should modify his behavior today given a slight possiblility that there might be global warming problems in 100 years. This is all wasted political capital. To the degree that Democrats strongly embrace Global Warming will be to the degree that they are not taken seriously in the coming elections.

    Even if it’s absolutely true, it’s just too far fetched for the average voter to give a damn. Uphill battle that will only hurt the fight for concrete issues like Gay Marriage, Abortion rights, etc.

  16. 17

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    How long does one of the 44 million uninsured Americans need to wait for a heart murmur evaluation from a doctor? As it turns out, much longer than a Canadian. I’ll leave it up to our genius trolls to figure out how long.

  17. 18

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 26: Cite some peer reviewed studies that back up ypur position on global warming. Let us review the studies you are basing your opinions on so we can evaluate the verity of your words.

  18. 19

    Spanaway Grandma spews:

    I just knew it! That nice young man Mark Kennedy tells it like it is and you all try to kill him!

    Let me give you a piece of my mind, you Godless communists! Mark Kennedy is a man of the Lord! He knows the good book backwards and forwards and even upside down (when he’s in Australia).

    Mark Kennedy had a vision. God told Mark to share with all of the people that global warming is a communist hoax!

    Shame on you for your evil conspiracies against our prophets! You lay a hand on Mark Kennedy and God will strike you down!

  19. 20

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    ode to vagina lips

    take yourself out, mark
    take yourself out
    you’re a bore and prick
    a miserable republican dick

    so take yourself out mark
    take yourself out

    goodbye welsher–you lost again, jerk.

  20. 21

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Hey, vagina lips MTR. Current theory posits the sun will expand and burn the earth up to a crispy tostido some millions of years in the future. This is global warming maximus. Please demonstrate how a chi square analysis is necessary to demonstrate this widely held hypothesis.

    Can’t do it? Does that make you a moron? No, suprisingly it does not. You are, by definition, a moron. Ergo, you cannot be “made” into one.

    QED

    Oh, and by the way, if chi square analysis had any bearing on the confidence level of the hypothesis, then by golly, someone would have done so. Further, it is reasonable to assume that if the analysis supported the null hypothesis that your bully boy fuckwad NRO conservative freak show would have published it widely. The fact that they have not definitely closes this case. Your question is a red herring. A particularly ignorant one of lunatic proportions.

    Your ignorance of economics has been well demonstrated on this blog. Now you have added science to this dismal record. You really are pathetic. Do us all a favor. Shoot yourself–and for christ’s sake, don’t miss.

  21. 22

    Harry Tuttle aka Voter Advocate spews:

    94

    Actually, argumentum ad populum>/i> refers to a popular fallacious belief that many or most people share, such as evolution is just a theory and there must be some other explanation. There is a great deal of evidence that evolution is true, but it cannot be prove conclusively.

    Deciding that empirical evidence and expert opinion proves that a propositon is valid is called good sense. Newton’s laws of physics do not work in space as they do on earth, but that does not mean they are not valid, only incomplete. Consensus doesn’t make something correct, but the theory that humans are causing unprecedented climate change is a better explanation than any competing theory to explain the growing mass of evidence – coming from dozens of disciplines of science and millions of different observations. Such consensus among scientists is a tremendously powerful thing, for it indicates the strength of a theory.

    Arguing, as you do, that if something has not been proven true, it is therefore false is know as argumentum ad ignorantiam. You need to identify just what this alledged natural mechanism is because absent a force of some sort, there will be no change in global energy balance. So natural or otherwise you should be able to explain this mysterious cause. Secondly, explain how a 30% increase in the second most important Greenhouse Gas does not itself affect the global temperature.

    I originally asked for that explanation yesterday at 4:30PM, so you have been dodging the question for 28 hours now. Tick tock, MTR, tick tock. If your statistical analysis hobbyhorse “refutes” global warming modelling, why has there been a 30% increase in C02?

  22. 24

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Harry @ 93 provides us with textbook example of argumentum ad populum.

  23. 25

    Harry Tuttle aka Voter Advocate spews:

    When over 100% of 75% of scientists and all of the recognized organizations in the scientific community acknowledge global warming, or global climate change, is real and that a cause is human endeavor there is no debate. Trading barbs with naysayers has no benefit.

    We are fortunate to be one of the first cities to get An Inconvenient Truth on the day of general release:

    WA Seattle 2-Jun Guild
    WA Seattle 2-Jun Pacific Place

    I’ll be going to do my part in assuring that this film has “legs”. Do the same to blot out the noise of the oil industry whores.

  24. 26

    K spews:

    MTR- You proved nothing. For one who has such an inflated opinion of his debating skills, you have no idea what proof is. Why should any of us perform your statistical analysis? Did you read any of the links in the last thread @ 49? Did you read the Scientific Amewrican link GOldy gave? You flatter yourself a bit much, you silly fool.

  25. 27

    Green Thumb spews:

    To those with half a brain, MTR’s approach can seem embarrassingly crude. Do not be fooled! This is actually a sophisticated attempt to sway public opinion.

    The centerpiece of MTR’s approach is that he never veers from his talking point. Do a “find” of everything that MTR has written in the last few days. He’s better than Bush’s last press secretary in staying on message.

    Also note that the message is so simple and direct that anyone can understand it. By the same token, you’ll never see MTR display any “weakness” in his rhetoric. No empathy, no ambivalence, no effete civility. He is the alpha male incarnate.

    All that may sound rather vulgar if you are a middle-class professional with graduate training. But we’re not the ones these guys are targeting. In fact, we’re merely their props.

    Investigative reporter Ross Gelbspan has documented that the fossil fuel industry’s decade-long, multi-million-dollar propaganda campaign against global warming regulation has focused primarily on reaching “older, less-educated men . . . and young low-income women”.

    Now, I obviously don’t know whether MTR and Mr. Cynical work directly for the fossil fuel lobby. But whatever their affiliations, their basic approach is cut from the same cloth. It’s really quite irrelevant whether they are paid operatives or volunteers who get sent the daily talking points. These guys are part of the daily right-wing noise machine, and they mean business.

  26. 28

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    My name is Mark Kennedy. I am a membah of the great Kennedy clan from the great state of Mahsachusetts. I make my own laws and am accountable to no one.

  27. 29

    My Left Foot spews:

    Cyniclown,

    We are still waiting for you come out from behind your computer and your momma’s skirt.

    Carl Grossman
    Liberal Democrat and proud to stand and be counted.

  28. 30

    bill spews:

    Also, he has clearly ignored Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ data that is showing temperatures going back a few thousand years which is enough to show trends. The problem is not the total change in the last couple of decades, its the rate of that change which has not happened at all in the last ten thousand years. I would say its kinda suggestive.

  29. 31

    My Left Foot spews:

    Cyniclown @ 76,

    Like your heroes Bush, Rossi, DeLay et al…. You ignore what you don’t like and throw in a dash of name calling to bolster your opinion. You are a pussy of the highest order. Back up your “insightful” opinions with your name. You have no backbone. A man, as my father told me, means that you stand and say what you believe, no matter the consequence. If you know you are right, you have an obligation to speak and stand up for your opinion.

    The problem is you are not man enough.

    Go fuck yourself!

    Carl Grossman
    Liberal Democrat and proud to stand and be counted.

  30. 32

    bill spews:

    Joe Bastardi has a bachalors in meteorology from Penn State and is the ‘Expert Senior Forecaster’ for Accuweather. He has a history of criticizing the National weather service for being to conservative in their forcasting methods. He is not, however, a climatologist, and his opinion on this topic is about as relevant as your average computer programmers.

  31. 34

    My Left Foot spews:

    Mark @ 72,

    Why don’t you identify yourself? You have lots to say, so stand up, be a man and back your words with your name?

    Carl Grossman

  32. 35

    LeftTurn spews:

    MTR will be begging for proof of global warming even when he’s drowning in a sea that results from the melting of the polar caps. He’ll be demanding his chi squared analysis and he’ll be busily trying to prove what a master bater (I mean master debater) he is while also fighting for his last pitiful breath. And in the end, nature will win, pathetic idiots like MTR and his extremely unfortunate offspring will properly loooooose. And the world will be a better place for it. I say bring it on. If it kills me I’m okay with it as long as it kills off the righties too!

  33. 37

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Thumb – So show us the science. Real science with math and rational analysis. Not here worship. Not a bunch of gullible doofuses. Let’s start with a simple chi squared analysis that shows current temperatures are beyond historical norms. Isn’t that the foundation for the whole discussion?

    Since you can’t provide any proof, and I suspect you wouldn’t know it if it bit you on the ass, how did you decide to get behind this movement? Because your heros do?

  34. 38

    My Left Foot spews:

    Dear Joe Bastardi @ 69, (come on, that can’t be a real name)

    Mr. Cyniclown, a consevative asshole, has cited you as an expert on global warming. Could you please state your education and relevant experience relating to global warming? And reporting or predicting weather patterns for Cow Pattie, Mississippi will not be accepted.

    Thank you,

    Carl Grossman
    Liberal Democrat and proud to stand and be counted as such

  35. 39

    Green Thumb spews:

    Mr. Cynical, please provide us with the citation for that fine essay. That is, if you dare.

  36. 40

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Read this KLOWNS–
    Meteorologist: Put Global Warming in Context

    By Joe Bastardi
    June 30, 2005

    Our knowledge of the past should serve as a foundation for actions in the present. While not dismissing those who are concerned about global warming, I am disturbed that they often base their conclusions on data that, in the context of time, are only a grain of sand on the beach. They cite temperature changes from the last 10, 50, or 100 years, ignoring the fact that climate history and cycles didn’t start 10 years or even 10 centuries ago.

    Nothing that is happening today is new or different. I have yet to have a global warming “true believer” tell me why over the past hundreds and thousands of years, before any significant or even detectable human influence, there were periods where carbon dioxide and temperature levels were well above those of recent experience. There are also places in our northern plains that have been covered with glaciers at one time and tropical rain forest at others, all without man’s influence. There is no reason to think that this can’t happen again no matter what we do. Anyone with a true understanding of climate history knows that the relatively small changes experienced over the last 100 years could easily be “natural.”

    After ignoring the past, some analysts then use computer projections to predict temperatures for the next 100 years or more. It is astounding to see people put so much faith in these man-made computer models, yet ignore the actual facts of the past. As someone who has made a living at pointing out the folly of worshipping the false idol of atmospheric models, I find these projections to be a classic case of being blinded by the lure of the latest technological fad. Perhaps this is the most telling difference between those who are accepting of the “global warming hypothesis” and those of us who are skeptical. The former tend to base their conclusions on the guesses of computer models. We skeptics focus on actual climate history and conclude that nothing out of the ordinary is occurring.

    I consider myself an environmentalist. Steps should be taken to make sure we use God’s blessings with a sound sense of stewardship. This is the role of science, to provide us with the information necessary to make intelligent decisions. The advancement of science in all areas necessitates open dialogue.

    Unfortunately, I fear that the policies being promoted in the name of global warming are not being driven by a search for scientific truth, but by a political agenda. Many great scientists, more gifted than I, have had their voices muffled when they dissent from what might be considered the “politically correct” version of the global warming story. For example, there are many climate scientists whose work uses actual climate data from satellite and weather balloons and shows little to no warming. Global-warming alarmists and most of the media, despite the fact that these are the most reliable data sets available, routinely ignore their work. This is just one of many examples that could be cited. As a scientist, I find it discomforting to see people trying to shut down debate on this matter by ignoring research that doesn’t fit preconceived conclusions.

  37. 41

    My Left Foot spews:

    Cyniclown,

    Identify yourself you chickenshit waste of human flesh. You spout and you hide. You call everyone names. You, who claim to be so holy, step out and identify yourself. Be a MAN, stand behind your words. You are cowering behind your computer screen, you spineless pussy. At least your hero, Sharkansky puts his name out there. If you were half the man your mother is you would stand up and be counted.

    You can count me…..when we can we count you chicken livered son of bitch….

    Carl Grossman

  38. 42

    bill spews:

    do I gotta say it again redneck? Railguns.

    You moron, noone really believes you have even been to college unless it was polisci.

  39. 43

    Green Thumb spews:

    Bill, you state the case quite clearly. The trouble with talking rationally to these guys is it won’t make a bit of difference.

    The reason why is that these folks aren’t here to have an honest discussion. They are Republican and corporate operatives whose overarching goal is to implant “memes” into public discourse. It doesn’t matter if those memes are true or relevant. All that matters is that they accomplish specific, poll-tested goals.

    Do not for a second assume that the “hypocrite” meme came out of nowhere. This is part of a coordinated strategy to blunt the acclaim that Gore is getting for his movie, and Sims for his policy initiatives.

    If you can’t win on the science, and don’t have a very good argument on the policy front, then resort to personal attacks.

    The good news is that whether Gore or Sims rides a bike is really quite irrelevant to whether their policy proposals should be seriously considered.

    On that score folks like Mr. Cynical and MTR really have nothing meaningful to offer except white noise.

  40. 44

    Green Thumb spews:

    Mr. Cynical is a bit different than MTR, but he fits the general approach. Mr. Cynical isn’t as disciplined in staying on message, but if you look carefully at his posts over time you’ll notice a politically astute underlying story line. He’s not here merely to play around, although it can often look like it because of his goofy riffs.

    Like MTR, Mr. Cynical goes for the very simple message: With global warming it’s that the science isn’t proven. Again, to get there he pretty much puts his hands over his ears and yells, “I can’t hear you!” This may seem absurd to us, but it plays quite well to the “fuck you boys.”

    Mr. Cynical is more prone to tantrums than MTR. However, this has proven to be a handy tool to bully people who are not used to dealing with such adolescent behavior in fellow adults.

    In addition, Mr. Cynical does an excellent job of projecting onto “leftist pinheads” his own bigotries, e.g., using science to bolster his political agenda rather than to better understand the world.

    Like MTR, what makes Mr. Cynical so successful is that he seems utterly unconscious of the depravity of his behavior. Indeed, he glories in it. Perhaps, like JCH he sees these as “carpet bombing” missions against the enemy. We aren’t people — we’re targets.

  41. 45

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Cyn – All I’ve been doing here is asking them to prove through a very elemental statistical analysis whether current temperatures are higher in a statistically significant way than historical norms before I started driving my big luxury SUV.

    I’ve gotten no answers and I never will. Because the data doesn’t exist. My guess is that most of them don’t know what I mean by “statistically significant” and have no fucking idea what a chi squared test is or how to do it.

    So I’ve proven that global warming is a religion. That kind of knocks the whole foundation out of what they’re saying, and they sure don’t like it when one of their betters does that.

  42. 46

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Thumb – Actually, I’m trying to get you moonbats here to stop for a minute and examine what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The fact of the matter is that you have no understanding whatsoever of the science and math behind all this. And without that, you can’t possibly make an intelligent decision.

    I’ve illustrated quite clearly over the past couple of days that global warming is a form of librul religion. That’s OK if you want to do that. But let’s at least be honest about it.

  43. 47

    dj spews:

    Mark the Thieving Redneck

    “Lots of name calling.”

    What…you mean like “Mark the Redneck is a fucking ignorant thief”? That kind of name calling.

    Nobody takes you seriously because you are a thief. You steal from Goldy, so we will just taunt you until you pay up.

  44. 48

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    MTRK–
    It’s difficult to get these highly emotional LEFTIST PINHEADED KLOWNS to focus on any science. That’s what Evergreen College spits out…..Ecology Degrees with no Hard Science.
    Ecology is the “QUEEN” in their Power-Grabbing Social Engineering Chess Game. They grab a few facts and trends and voila…..WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

    They are kinda fun to KLOWN around with though.

    Can you picture some of these KLOWNS like GreenThumbUpHisAss and LeftTurd?? Now we have a new KLOWN called LeftNut hopping mad. Whenever they feel intellectually trapped, they merely scream I HATE BUSH and KARL ROVE IS EVIL!
    It’s pretty hysterical……and embarrassing for the real Democrats to be remotely affiliated with.

  45. 49

    Green Thumb spews:

    84 illustrates MTR’s basic MO. To those us us with a shred of scientific background, his brash dismissal of the single largest scientific enterprise in human history can seem . . . strikingly ignorant. Yet to those without scientific training and a distrust of society (what a Democratic pollster refers to as the “fuck you boys”), MTR’s attitude can be viewed as heroic.

    By the same token, MTR is quite successful in turning an extraordinarily complex issue into a black-and-white, us-and-them dynamic. Al Gore is gullible. Are you gullible too?

    Also interesting is MTR’s bullying style. I’m curious as to whether Winger Central trains people to be this way or they pick natural bullies. Either way, the bullying style can throw off balance folks who are used to civility in their daily professional lives.

    Please note: It doesn’t matter how this conversation ends. Whatever Carl Grossman’s response, MTR has gotten his back point across. Just as importantly, he has successfully conveyed the right attitude.

  46. 50

    bill spews:

    Talk about irrelevence, so you’re saying if you can compare a politicial to a comedian they cant possibly be right on an environmental issue?

    Incidently, it takes two min to check a quote on IMDB, the actual quote is:

    Yea, that’s right! That’s right! We bad!

  47. 51

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    So Carl Grossman who’s proud to be a liberal…

    Tell me, how did you decide to get behind the global warming cause. Obviously science had nothing to do with it. Is it because you are as gullible as your hero Algore?

  48. 52

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Thumb – I’m just asking a simple fucking question. Trying to keep you guys focused on one simple question. Once we get beyond that, we can move to weightier issues like the difference between correlation and causation.

    But you can’t come up with even a shred of evidence to back the whole foundation of global warming. You know I’m right and you just hate the fact that I’ve proven you to be a gullible fucking idiot along with the rest of the moonbats here.

  49. 53

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    bill – Umm…. stay away from scientific debate OK? Just do what you’re told…

  50. 54

    HRH spews:

    47 – 49

    No, no, no. Don’t give us that “not up to me to prove you wrong” horseshit. This is a liberal blog. You made the assertion, multiple times, so back it up. Go ahead, we (or at least I) dare you. Prove to us that you’re right about the whole issue. The onus is on you, you’re posting here with assertions that fly in the face of scientific consensus. If you “base your beliefs on solid math and science” as you seem to imply, then tell us what that solid math and science that has led to your belief that global warming is hogwash.

  51. 55

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    SIMS and GORE……..
    The greatest Black & White Comedy Duo since Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder.
    I can just picture these 2 KLOWNS dressed up like a couple stupid Woodpeckers in a 2006 Environmental Remake of the Komedy Klassic “STIR CRAZY”!!!!!!!!!!!
    “WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!”WE BAD!!

    They will probably end up in jail too…just like Pryor and Wilder.

  52. 56

    bill spews:

    redneck, let apply your logic to another field. Since the theory of gravity is only a theory and cant be demonstrated by the chi squared approach, you should ignore it. I mean its only a theory, and if it cant be proven why waste money following it?

    Hang a 500 lb weight over your bed using 100 lb test fishing line. Why waste money preparing for some unprovable disaster, go for the cheap stuff. Let us know how that works out for you, ok?

  53. 57

    My Left Foot spews:

    Dear Mark (I can’t get my head far enough out of my ass to see the forest for the trees) the Redneck,

    READ THE US NEWS ARTICLE? There is your scientific evidence.For the love of God man, think! Read! Use your head for something other than spouting the lies and rhetoric of the RightWingNut party.

    OH, and in the spirit of Horsesass.org, GO FUCK YOURSELF AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON.

  54. 58

    My Left Foot spews:

    Just wondering what if: What if Richard Pope shut up? How would that affect global warming? What if Cyniclown shut up? What would the net effect then be on global warming?

    I suppose that next they will be telling us that the war in Iraq is over and hostilities have ceased.OH, wait, nevermind….

  55. 59

    bill spews:

    Cynical, you are right, Sims isn’t an expert in climatology. Now since most climatologist do agree that there has been some sort of climatic change over the last couple of decades or so, regardless of the source, but disagree over the likely extent of those changes, don’t you think it makes sense to hire an expert to see if there is something we might need to do in the event that the problem is severe?

    redneck, I have no interest on defending a theory that is generally accepted by scientist that specialize in a particular field (ok, you can find a biologist that disagrees with finding outside their field, thats called appeal to irrelevent authority). Since this is accepted theory, you do in fact carry the burden of proof.

    Note, this is not a statistical proof, its a conglomeration of three different affect, the climatic change (that is not disputable), the greenhouse gas theory, and the effects of pollution/CO2 on the climate.

    Further redneck, since you have in the past demonstrated a fundamental inability to follow an arguement that has more than about 4 steps in it, I have no interest on showing you the steps to the pool when you are drowning much less show you research finding; find it your own damn self.

  56. 60

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Algore and Don Ron Sims King…..
    Kind of like Gene Wilder and Richard Prior, huh??
    2 goofy KLOWNS doin’ what they do best….Goofin’ around!

  57. 61

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    When is Hypocrite Sims planning to sell his Limo and take a bus!!
    That would mean some actual personal sacrifice on his part however. Wouldn’t want to inconvenience Ron in pursuing his dream of being Mother Earth’s best homeboy!!

  58. 62

    Mr. Cynical Jr. spews:

    Dad, that’s pretty good. You’ve said for years that your degree was in wanking. You said you were too ugly and clumsy to get any chicks, and didn’t get laid until right before graduation.

    So why are you being so “hard” on that guy Sims? How do you, with your “BA” in wanking, have enough expertise to tell everyone here that they are completely, absolutely wrong?

    Come on, dad. You know how to do a few things. But hard science? About what, Wesson oil? GIVE ME A BREAK!

  59. 63

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Roger has eaten a few too many Hot Chili Peppers.
    Obviously with all his ranting & spewing, his Sombrero is on too tight!

  60. 64

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    And another thing—-
    I welcome some damn Global Warming.
    I’m tired of freezing my ass off the end of May and paying for heating my home!

  61. 66

    Dave\'s pal spews:

    I’d like to get back to Richard’s point about Darcy Burner being a hypocrite who talks a good line but is a gas hog.

    That’s not the way it is with Dave Reichert. Like any cop, Dave walks his talk. At the beginning of the campaign Dave took a strong stance against global warming. He said he would not use ANY carbon during the campaign.

    Dave delivered on that promise. He walks. He rides a bike. He rides a horse. And to get back and forth from that other Washington, he flies like a nun.

    It’s true – Dave wears a specially designed hat that allows him to glide from coast to coast.

    Sure, it takes more time to get back and forth. And Dave does need to wear a diaper during such a long trip to avoid shitting on anyone. But that just shows what kind of guy he is.

    I’m proud to call Dave my pal, even if the hat does like a little queer.

  62. 67

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    GIMMEE A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sims was born in Spokane, Washington. He graduated from Lewis and Clark High School and attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg, where he earned a B.A. in “psychology”.

    SIMS has an undergraduate degree from CENTRAL WASHINGTON IN friggin’ PSYCHOLOGY!!!!!!!!
    Show me where in his vast resume, Sims has become an expert in GLOBAL WARMING???
    How much HARD SCIENCE did Ron take to get his CWU PSYCHOLOGY degree??!!!

    I appreciate Ron’s desire to be “famous” for something….but this is yet another Sims stretch that doesn’t reach!

  63. 68

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    So I think I made my point… for two fucking days, I’ve been asking a real basic question and required an analysis that would take less than 30 minutes. No one has been able to answer the question. You’ve hurled all kinds of insults and called me all kinds of names but the basic question remains unanswered.

    Clearly, none of you base your decisions on science. None of you take the time, or even have the intellectual background to make an informed decision.

    Yet, you are vociferous in your belief in global warming. So it begs the question… “Why”. If you don’t base your beliefs on solid math and science, what do you base it on? Near as I can tell you make your decisions based on what famous people believe simply because they are famous and are as gullible as you.

    So since you can’t answer the science question, let’s change topics. Tell me how you form your beliefs. No wrong answers here… I just want to understand the religion of librulism.

  64. 69

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Mass hysteria….from what I’ve seen here, global warming is a mental disorder. There’s certainly no science or math behind it. Not a fucking shred…

  65. 70

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    You guys are the ones making the assertion, not me. Not up to me to prove you wrong. You gotta prove you’re right if you’re going to make such kooky suggestions.

    I’m not looking to solve the entire problem here. I just want some evidence that current temperatures are outside normal variation. The easiest way to do that is using a chi squared analysis. That’s all I want. I won’t even issue the bigger challenge to prove causality between temperatures and human activity yet. I just want to see a rigourous analysis of the temperature data.

    Whole board here full of gullible idiots. Not one of you has shown even a shred of evidence to a question that is fundamental to the whole issue. I suspect most of you don’t even understand the question. Do any of you even know what a chi squared analysis is?

  66. 71

    Barb R spews:

    Bless you, Mark Kennedy. You are such a blessing. Somebody needs to stand up to the America-hating communists!

    If God meant for global warming to happen, then that is His will. I don’t know why people need to second guess God, do you Mark? Why can’t we just bask in his love and forgiveness?

    One of the other commenters said you are running for office. I’ll support you any day!

  67. 72

    HRH spews:

    “Fascinating… I ask for a real basic fundamental simple analysis and not one of you can come up with even a shred of evidence.”

    Listen, Redneck, if you’re so fucking smart, why don’t you come up with some irrefutable proof that global warming isn’t real? You seem so convinced that the whole concept is just “junk science,” why don’t you just go ahead and tell us, beyond any doubt whatsoever, why it’s such a load of bollocks? And while you’re at it, you could also prove that the only probative issue is whether “temperatures we’re seeing now are beyond historical norms.” You might want to show us your scholarly credentials in atmospheric science, or some other evidence that you are intimately familiar with the entire state of the research — pro and con — on this topic.

  68. 73

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    George W Bush is a lying sack of shit who defamed a true war hero: John Kerry!!!!!!!!

    What a lying sack of miserable crap!!! And Republicans voted for this cowardly suckass creep EN MASSE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. 74

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 36: Why don’t you just give us a link to your favorite source of Republican BS? I’m not going to waste the precious moments of my life reading your loose bowel BS!!!!!!

  70. 75

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Fascinating… I ask for a real basic fundamental simple analysis and not one of you can come up with even a shred of evidence. Lots of name calling. Lots of hero worship. No science. None.

    A bunch of fucking sheep. Useful idiots all of you…

  71. 76

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Ron Sims is in a newswothy magazine and so is the mayor of Spokane!!!! Gay self-hating Republicans rule!!!!!!!!— like Senor Cynicola!!!!

  72. 77

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Ron Sims RULES , and yet the former Republican gubernatorial candidate is NOT the Governor of WA and is more unpopular than Rikki Lake!!!!!!

  73. 78

    dj spews:

    Mark the Thieving Redneck,

    Ummm…Mark…you don’t really know what the fuck you are talking about. There is no “one analysis” that can conclusively demonstrate OR falsify global warming. That just ain’t how science works, you stupid fuck.

    But, in any case, you are a low-life crook—you stole $100 from Goldy, and nobody is going to engage you in serious discussion until you make good on your bet.

    So pay the fuck up or go the fuck away, asshole!

  74. 79

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 23: Be honest!!!!!! It is

    Mark the Phyliss Schlafly!!!!!!!!!

    You would cut a boner off with a box-cutter if you ever saw one!!

    Which you won’t — you bubble haircutted freak!!!!

  75. 80

    Green Thumb spews:

    Bill @33:
    How could any thinking person disagree with you? It’s not a white-and-black discussion. Of course, there are many different ways to weigh costs and benefits. For example, conservative economists enjoy shooting down global warming prevention strategies by arguing that the costs far outweigh the benefits.

    The devil is in the details — which, in turn, are grounded on underlying assumptions on a variety of fronts. Change even one of the assumptions and the calculations can change, perhaps even dramatically.

    I don’t think that a typical, instrumental cost-benefit analysis is adequate to the task at hand. A big reason is that it tends to filter out “normative” questions, such as what right do we have to impose on future generations a permanent and irreversible hazard without their consent?

    At the end of the day, global warming is ultimately a political rather than an economic issue.

    Of course, such a discussion is totally beyond the wingers who lurk on this blog and pollute the discussion with their various smear campaigns.

  76. 81

    My Left Foot spews:

    Mark @ 81,

    Thank you for proving my point. No backbone. Not man enough to do anything but mock others from behind your monitor. By the way, when you graduate high school, there is a position with vast potential awaiting you at Jack In The Box.

    Go fuck yourself.

    Carl Grossman
    Liberal Democrat and proud to stand and be counted.

  77. 82

    howcanyoubePROUDtobeanASS spews:

    Is it just me, or is anyone else ashamed of the fact that we as a nation are a leading world power, and yet we’re so backward that we are one of the few nations on this planet that can afford universal healthcare and haven’t provided it to our citizens?- Commentby Schizophonic (D. John)— 5/29/06@ 2:39 pm

    That a universal, that is government-run, health care system would be preferable to the present is also ludicrous. Remove the incentive for doctors to treat patients, for drug research to yield new (profitable) drugs and for patients to take responsibility for their own health and you’ll end up with a system in which patients die waiting for care.

    Kinda like the socialist utopia of Canada…

    June 16, 2005
    Canadian Health Care A Contradiction in Terms
    By Steve Chapman

    To critics of the American health care system, Shangri-La is not a fantasy but a shimmering reality, though it goes by another name: Canada. Any debate on health care eventually arrives at the point where one participant says, “We should have what Canadians have. Free care, universal access and low cost — who could ask for more?”

    Well, plenty of people could ask for more — starting with the Supreme Court of Canada. Last week, ruling on a challenge to the health care in the province of Quebec, the court sent a clear message south: Don’t believe the hype.

    The program, said the court, has such serious flaws that it is violating constitutional rights and must be fundamentally changed. And the flaws, far from being unique to Quebec, are part of the basic structure of Canada’s health care policy.

    No one doubts that the American model has serious defects, particularly rising costs and lack of access to medical insurance. But anyone who thinks the Canadians have come up with a magical solution is doomed to disappointment.

    The dirty secret of the system is that universal access is no guarantee of treatment. Sick Canadians spend months and even years on waiting lists for surgery and other procedures. In 1993, the average wait to see a specialist after getting a doctor’s referral was nine weeks. Since then, according to the Fraser Institute of Vancouver, it’s increased to 18 weeks.

    The typical patient needing orthopedic surgery has time to get pregnant and deliver a baby before being called. The Supreme Court cited the testimony of one orthopedic surgeon that 95 percent of patients in Canada waited over a year for knee replacements — with many of them in limbo for two years.

    In some cases, the delay lasts longer than the person enduring it. Or as the Supreme Court put it: “Patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care.”

    Not only does the government subject its citizens to painful and even fatal delays in the public system, it bars them from seeking alternatives in the private market. You see, it’s illegal for private insurers to pay for services covered by the public system.

    That policy is what forced the Supreme Court to order changes. “The prohibition on obtaining private health insurance,” it declared, “is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services.”

    The program has created a gap between supply and demand that is wider than Hudson Bay. Its failings, however, go beyond that. The single-payer approach, for example, is often held up as the only way to simultaneously control costs and deliver quality care.

    In fact, Canada has somehow managed to do neither.

    After adjusting for the age of the population, the Fraser Institute compared 27 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that guarantee universal access to health care. By some mysterious alchemy, Canada has proportionately fewer physicians than most of these nations but spends more on health care than any except Iceland.

    It would be a dubious feat to control costs only by depriving people of treatment. But to forcibly deprive people of treatment while letting costs surge is no achievement at all.

    Admirers of our good neighbor to the north say the United States pours money into all sorts of fancy equipment but doesn’t get better results by such measures as life expectancy. But life expectancy is affected by multiple factors, including education, crime rates and diet — with health care playing only a modest role. In those areas where modern medicine can make a big difference, the United States does very well.

    Take breast cancer. In Britain, which is famous for its socialized system, close to half of all victims die of the disease, according to a recent Cato Institute study by John Goodman, head of the National Center for Policy Analysis. In Germany and France, almost one-third do. In Canada, the figure is 28 percent — and here, it’s 25 percent. Our mortality rate for prostate cancer is 67 percent lower than Britain’s and 24 percent lower than Canada’s.

    The usual story we hear is that the health care system next door provides first-rate care to all, at low cost. The realities — dangerous delays, bloated expenditures and mediocre results — are not so appealing. American liberals may not welcome evidence that the single-payer model works far better in theory than in practice. But for that, they can blame Canada

    ***

    HillaryCare in Tennessee
    The disaster that might have been for the entire country.

    Monday, December 6, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

    We think it was Justice Brandeis who said the states should be laboratories for reform. Regarding health care, Tennessee tried a decade ago and the price is now coming due. Hillary Rodham Clinton should call her pollster if she plans on carrying the state in 2008.

    In 1994, Tennessee passed what was then a very hot New Democrat idea–call it government managed care–a version of the reform the former first lady was also pitching nationwide. TennCare promised the impossible dream of politicians everywhere: Lower health-care costs while covering more of the “uninsured.” They got the impossible, all right. After 10 years of mismanagement and lawsuits, TennCare now eats up one-third of the state’s entire budget and is growing fast. Governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, is preparing to pull the plug and return the state to the less lunatic subsidies of Medicaid.

    The TennCare concept was for the state to operate like an HMO, providing health insurance to those who needed it and paying the premiums for those who couldn’t afford it. The idea was even sold as a cost savings because it would provide “managed care” (volume discounts, preventative care, etc.). TennCare opened enrollment to hundreds of thousands of people who did not qualify for Medicaid, even to some six-figure earners. Costs quickly exploded, and despite attempts to tighten eligibility rules the program still covers 1.3 million of the state’s 5.8 million people.
    The skyrocketing costs led previous Governor Don Sundquist, the Republican who had inherited the program, to try to impose a state income tax. His efforts failed, fortunately, but in 2002 Mr. Bredesen was elected promising to cut TennCare’s costs.

    That, too, has been impossible. Left-wing legal activists have sued the state with impunity to underwrite the cost of nearly unlimited care. A Nashville non-profit called the Tennessee Justice Center has hamstrung reforms for years by suing to enforce a series of consent decrees, some of which predate TennCare.

    Prescription drug costs alone increased 23% last year, as there are effectively no limits on the number or types of drugs the system will pay for. If a doctor prescribes aspirin, TennCare pays for it. Ditto for antacids for heartburn and other over-the-counter products. If TennCare denies a claim for a drug or any other type of care, an appeal can be filed for next to nothing. Fighting each appeal costs the state as much as $1,600 in legal fees. With 10,000 appeals filed every month, it’s often easier and cheaper to pay a claim, regardless of the merits.

    TennCare is now in worse shape than it was a decade ago. Three of the 11 privately run Managed Care Organizations that insured TennCare patients and administered the program have fallen into receivership. Amid the legal wrangling, Blue Cross Blue Shield all but pulled out of the program. Today the state has assumed all the insurance risk and pays most of the premiums.

    ***

    Canadians Face Long Waits for Health Care
    Sat Mar 19,12:40 PM ET Health – AP
    By BETH DUFF-BROWN, Associated Press Writer

    TORONTO – A letter from the Moncton Hospital to a New Brunswick heart patient in need of an electrocardiogram said the appointment would be in three months. It added: “If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies.”

    The patient wasn’t dead, according to the doctor who showed the letter to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. But there are many Canadians who claim the long wait for the test and the frigid formality of the letter are indicative of a health system badly in need of emergency care.

    Americans who flock to Canada for cheap flu shots often come away impressed at the free and first-class medical care available to Canadians, rich or poor. But tell that to hospital administrators constantly having to cut staff for lack of funds, or to the mother whose teenager was advised she would have to wait up to three years for surgery to repair a torn knee ligament.

    “It’s like somebody’s telling you that you can buy this car, and you’ve paid for the car, but you can’t have it right now,” said Jane Pelton. Rather than leave daughter Emily in pain and a knee brace, the Ottawa family opted to pay $3,300 for arthroscopic surgery at a private clinic in Vancouver, with no help from the government.

    “Every day we’re paying for health care, yet when we go to access it, it’s just not there,” said Pelton.

    The average Canadian family pays about 48 percent of its income in taxes each year, partly to fund the health care system. Rates vary from province to province, but Ontario, the most populous, spends roughly 40 percent of every tax dollar on health care, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

    The system is going broke, says the federation, which campaigns for tax reform and private enterprise in health care.

    It calculates that at present rates, Ontario will be spending 85 percent of its budget on health care by 2035. “We can’t afford a state monopoly on health care anymore,” says Tasha Kheiriddin, Ontario director of the federation. “We have to examine private alternatives as well.”

    The federal government and virtually every province acknowledge there’s a crisis: a lack of physicians and nurses, state-of-the-art equipment and funding. In Ontario, more than 10,000 nurses and hospital workers are facing layoffs over the next two years unless the provincial government boosts funding, says the Ontario Hospital Association, which represents health care providers in the province.

    In 1984 Parliament passed the Canada Health Act, which affirmed the federal government’s commitment to provide mostly free health care to all, including the 200,000 immigrants arriving each year. The system is called Medicare (no relation to Medicare in the United States).

    Despite the financial burden, Canadians value their Medicare as a marker of egalitarianism and independent identity that sets their country apart from the United States, where some 45 million Americans lack health insurance.

    Raisa Deber, a professor of health policy at the University of Toronto, believes Canada’s system is one of the world’s fairest.

    “Canadians are very proud of the fact that if they need care, they will get care,” she said. Of the United States, she said: “I don’t understand how they got to this worship of markets, to the extent that they’re perfectly happy that some people don’t get the health care that they need.”

    Canada does not have fully nationalized health care; its doctors are in private practice and send their bills to the government for reimbursement.

    “That doctor doesn’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay the bill,” said Deber. “He knows that his bill will be paid, so there’s absolutely nothing to stop any doctor from treating anyone.”

    Deber acknowledges problems in the system, but believes most Canadians get the care they need. She said the federal government should attach more strings to its annual lump-sum allocations to the provinces so that tax dollars are better spent on preventive care and improvements in working conditions for health-care professionals.

    In Alberta, a conservative province where pressure for private clinics and insurance is strong, a nonprofit organization called Friends of Medicare has sprung to the system’s defense. It points up the inequities in U.S. health care and calls the Canada’s “the most moral and the most cost-effective health care system there is in the world.” “Is your sick grandchild more deserving of help than your neighbor’s grandchild?” It asks.

    Yes, says Dr. Brian Day, if that grandchild needs urgent care and can’t get it at a government-funded hospital.

    Day, an English-born arthroscopic surgeon, founded Cambie Surgery Center in Vancouver, British Columbia — another province where private surgeries are making inroads. He is also former president of the Arthroscopy Association of North America in Orlando, Fla.

    He says he got so frustrated at the long delays to book surgeries at the public hospitals in Vancouver that he built his own private clinic. A leading advocate for reform, he testified last June before the Supreme Court in a landmark appeal against a Quebec ruling upholding limits on private care and insurance.

    George Zeliotis told the court he suffered pain and became addicted to painkillers during a yearlong wait for hip replacement surgery, and should have been allowed to pay for faster service. His physician, Dr. Jacques Chaoulli, said his patient’s constitutional rights were violated because Quebec couldn’t provide the care he needed, but didn’t offer him the option of getting it privately.

    A ruling on the case is expected any time.

    If Zeliotis had been from the United States, China or neighboring Ontario_ anywhere, in fact, except Quebec — he could have bought treatment in a private Quebec clinic. That’s one way the system discourages the spread of private medicine — by limiting it to nonresidents. But it can have curious results, says Day.

    He tells of a patient who was informed by Ontario officials that since Ontario couldn’t help him, they would spend $35,000 to send him to the United States for surgery.

    Day said his Vancouver clinic could have done it for $12,000 but the Ontario officials “do not philosophically support sending an individual to a nongovernment clinic in Canada.”

    Canadians can buy insurance for dental and eye care, physical and chiropractic therapy, long-term nursing and prescriptions, among other services. But according to experts on both sides of the debate, Canada and North Korea (news – web sites) are the only countries with laws banning the purchase of insurance for hospitalization or surgery.

    Meanwhile, the average wait for surgical or specialist treatment is nearly 18 weeks, up from 9.3 weeks in 1993, according to the Fraser Institute, a right-wing public policy think tank in Vancouver. A Fraser study last year said the average wait for an orthopedic surgeon was more than nine months.

    Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Liberal government has pledged $33.3 billion in new funding to improve health in all provinces and territories over the next 10 years. But critics aren’t impressed.

    “It won’t make a difference,” said Sally C. Pipes, a Canadian who heads the conservative Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco. “They need to break the system down, or open the system up to competition.”

    Pipes is a big supporter of the Bush administration proposal to allow Americans to divert some of their payroll taxes into medical savings accounts. She claims the two-tiered system feared by Canadian liberals already exists because those with connections jump to the head of the medical queue and those who can afford it can get treated in the United States.

    “These are not wealthy people; these are people who are in pain,” said Pipes.

    Another watershed lawsuit was filed last year against 12 Quebec hospitals on behalf of 10,000 breast-cancer patients in Quebec who had to wait more than eight weeks for radiation therapy during a period dating to October 1997.

    One woman went to Turkey for treatment. Another, Johanne Lavoie, was among several sent to the United States. Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 1999, she traveled every week with her 5-year-old son to Vermont, a four-hour bus ride.

    “It was an inhuman thing to live through,” Lavoie told Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

    “This is the first time someone has decided to attack the source of problems — the waiting list,” said Montreal attorney Michel Savonitto, who is representing the cancer victims. “We’re lucky to have the system we do in Canada,” he told the court. “But if we want to supply proper care and commit to doing it, then we can’t do it halfway.”

    An estimated 4 million of Canada’s 33 million people don’t have family physicians and more than 1 million are on waiting lists for treatment, according to the Canadian Medical Association. Meanwhile, some 200 physicians head to the United States each year, attracted by lower taxes and better working conditions. Canada has 2.1 physicians per 1,000 people, while Belgium has 3.9, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

    The World Health Organization (news – web sites) in 2000 ranked France’s health system as the best, followed by Italy, Spain, Oman and Australia. Canada came in 30th and the United States 37th.

    Alberta Premier Ralph Klein is pushing what he calls “the third way” — a fusion of Canadian Medicare and the system in France and many other nations, where residents can supplement their government-funded health care with private insurance and services.

    But some Canadians worry even partial privatization would be damaging.

    “My concern is that the private clinics would only serve to further drain the scarce physician resources that we already have,” said Dr. Saralaine Johnstone, a 31-year-old family physician in Geraldton, a papermill hamlet in northern Ontario.

    “We first need to guarantee that everybody has access to quality health care,” she said, “and we just don’t have that.”

    ***

    Canadian Health Care Is No Model for U.S.
    Claims That Canada’s Single-Payer Health System Is More Efficient or More Compassionate than Ours Are Just Plain Untrue
    Written By: Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
    Published In: Health Care News
    Publication Date: June 1, 2004

    When one travels through Canada, as I regularly do, one cannot help but enter into frequent discussions on the pros and cons of health care in Canada versus the United States. The quiet, self-effacing Canadians cautiously vent their discontent with a system that, while apparently free for the individual citizen, comes with many drawbacks.

    From a health standpoint, the Canadian system’s greatest failing is the unconscionable delay citizens must accept to obtain serious medical procedures. From an economic perspective, the costs of the system are extravagantly higher than reported by the government’s suspect accounting system.

    Hidden Costs

    Pierre Lemieux, an economist at The University of Quebec, wrote in the April 23, 2004 issue of the Wall Street Journal, “The Canadian system is built around a compulsory public insurance regime that provides most medical and hospital services free.” Lemieux adds that the system is not, of course, free for the Canadian taxpayer. Twenty-two percent of all taxes raised in Canada are spent on its health care system.

    Last August, the New England Journal of Medicine reported health care spending absorbs only 10 percent of the Canadian gross domestic product, compared to 14 percent of U.S. GDP. The Journal credited Canada with being more efficient in the application of administrative costs–but the real difference is explained by the fact that U.S. citizens are permitted to pay privately for health care services, while such spending does not take place in Canada. In Canada, it is illegal to seek or convey private medical assistance.

    Canadian health insurance is compulsory, monopolistic, and administered by the various provincial governments under strict control of the federal government. It is illegal for a Canadian citizen to carry private insurance coverage for any health care services covered by the government. Physicians are told by the government how much they can charge for their services; drug prices are set by the government. The supply of medical services in Canada is completely rationed, with no significant private alternative.

    The alleged “low cost” of Canadian health care is thus no less a fraud than it was in the Soviet Union. Canadians may not pay the price in dollar terms … but they pay a steep price indeed in terms of care denied or delayed and the poor quality of service provided by unhappy medical practitioners whose incomes do not match their skill and training.

    Take a Number and Wait

    Long waiting lines are the worst flaw in the system. The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, calculated in 2003 the average Canadian waited more than four months for treatment by a specialist once the referral was made by a general practitioner. According to the Fraser Institute’s work, the shortest median wait was 6.1 weeks for oncology (cancer) treatment without radiation. In some provinces, neurosurgery patients waited more than a year. A simple MRI requires, on average, a three-month wait in Canada.

    Long waits for critical care are an uncalculated cost of the Canadian health care system. A price tag could easily be calculated by determining how much patients would be willing to pay to reduce or eliminate these waiting times. We do this calculation on a regular basis in the United States in determining the charges for all services provided. In the U.S., we choose to pay higher prices in order to get more immediate care; in Canada, patients have no choice but to wait.

    Three-Tier System

    My own personal contacts with Canadians support a recent article in the Montreal Gazette, in which a Canadian woman described the frequent rudeness of unionized Canadian medical staff as compared to the “kindness, discretion, and professionalism” of staff members in U.S. hospitals. Few Canadians can afford to experience health care in the U.S. and thus make this comparison.

    In his Wall Street Journal article, Lemieux quotes Professor Livio Di Matteo of Lakehead University in Ontario describing a three-tier system of health care in Canada. The very rich, DiMatteo pointed out, can go to the U.S. for rapid, personalized, high-tech treatment. A second tier, consisting of well-informed, aggressive Canadians, knows how to navigate the government system to gain every possible advantage, like getting to the head of the queue.

    The third tier are the unconnected citizens, who make up the vast majority of patients in the Canadian health care system. They must suffer the slings and arrows of a system notoriously oblivious to anguish, discomfort, humiliation, and other affronts perpetrated by unfeeling bureaucrats on patients whose pain is most definitely not felt by those in charge.

    A Quebec physician, Dr. Jacques Chanoulli, is suing the Canadian government for not allowing patients to pay for better care. The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case in June. At the same time, 10,000 breast cancer patients who had to wait an average of eight weeks for post-operative radiation treatments over the past seven years have brought a class action suit against Quebec’s hospitals.

    Free-Market Alternatives

    The demand for better health care has spurred innovation in Canada and overseas.

    Two Indian nations, for example, are planning to build private hospitals on tribal lands, where the Canadian government’s laws do not apply.

    Private hospital companies in India are seeing tens of thousands of patients a year from outside that country’s borders. The largest of these firms, Apollo Hospital Enterprises Ltd., has seen 60,000 foreign patients in the past three years. Terry Salo, a Canadian resident of Victoria, British Columbia, availed himself of hip replacement in Madras, India after waiting more than a year for the “free” service in his home province.

    Similarly, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore have taken the lead in the field of “medical tourism,” supplying low-cost, high-quality procedures to more than 600,000 patients in 2003. An article in the May 3 issue of the Chicago Tribune reported Poland’s entry into the field, encouraging travelers to seek out lower-cost dental care while visiting Poland.

    Kerry Would Clone it

    What is happening in Canada and other countries with socialist health care systems is relevant to the current political debate in the U.S.

    Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies for the Cato Institute, reported on the group’s Web site that Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry’s health insurance proposals amount to sweeping socialization of the U.S. health care system.

    That ought to alarm Americans, who should have no interest in seeing their health care deteriorate to the level of Canada’s “free” system.

    ***

    Canada’s Medical Nightmare
    Written By: Robert J. Cihak, M.D.
    Published In: Health Care News
    Publication Date: September 1, 2004
    For decades, Canadians have cast pitying glances at us poor American neighbors who actually have to pay for our medical care while they get theirs for “free.”

    Yet the major candidates in Canada’s recent national election both agreed the country’s health care system is failing. They made the usual socialist diagnosis of “not enough money.” None of the candidates mentioned government control as what ails the Canadian system.

    On this side of the border, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), with presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, also from Massachusetts, in tow, promotes Canadian health care to U.S. voters, in the hope we too can have “free” medical care.

    High Costs, Low Quality

    A July 2004 study by the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, Paying, More, Getting Less, concluded that after years of government control, the Canadian medical system is badly injured and bleeding citizens’ hard-earned tax dollars. The institute compared health care systems in the industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and found Canada currently spends the most, yet ranks among the lowest on such indicators as access to physicians, quality of medical equipment, and key health outcomes.

    One of the major reasons for this discrepancy is that, unlike the countries in the study that outperformed Canada–Sweden, Japan, Australia, and France, for example–Canada outlaws most private health care.

    If the Canadian government says it provides a particular medical service, it is illegal for a Canadian citizen to pay for and obtain that service privately. At the same time, the Canadian government bureaucracy rations medical services. According to another Fraser Institute survey, Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada (13th edition, October 2003), a Canadian health care patient, on average, must wait 17.7 weeks for hospital treatment. Those who live in Saskatchewan waited an average of 30 weeks, those in Ontario a relatively expeditious 14 weeks.

    Dying in Queues

    In 1999, Dr. Richard F. Davies, a cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, described in remarks for the Canadian Institute for Health Information how delays affected Ontario heart patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft surgery. In a single year, for this one operation, the doctor said, “71 Ontario patients died before surgery, 121 were removed from the list permanently because they had become medically unfit for surgery,” and 44 left the province to have the surgery, many having gone to the United States for the operation. (According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 33 Canadian hospitals performed approximately 22,500 bypass surgeries in 1998-99.)

    In other words, 192 people either died or became too sick to have surgery before they could work their way to the front of the line.

    In a May/June 2004 article in the journal Health Affairs, researcher Robert Blendon and colleagues described the results of a survey of hospital administrators in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, the United States, and Canada. Fifty percent of the Canadian hospital administrators said the average waiting time for a 65-year-old man requiring a routine hip replacement was more than six months. Not one American hospital administrator reported waiting periods that long. Eighty-six percent of American hospital administrators said the average waiting time was shorter than three weeks; only 3 percent of Canadian hospital administrators said their patients had this brief a wait.

    Bare-Bones Health Care

    Barring epidemics and other disasters, fewer than one out of 10 people in prosperous societies will face a major medical crisis in any one year. Those suffering people, however, are the ones who need help the most, and the aging of the baby boomers in the United States makes it likely more serious illnesses will afflict more Americans in the next couple of decades. The kind of minor health care services the Canadian system provides well are not what America’s aging Baby Boomers will need most urgently in years to come.

    America’s health care system already includes too much Canadian-style bureaucratic delay and inefficiency. For example, the slow acceptance by Medicare and Medicaid of medical innovation, their exacting paperwork requirements, delayed and low payments of claims, and the threat of overzealous prosecution by health care bureaucrats are driving doctors out of business and giving patients fewer medical options.

    Fixing those flaws would seem to be a much more promising prospect than a further move down the road Canada has followed to high costs and low quality of health care.

    ***

    The Problems with Socialized Health Care

  78. 83

    LeftTurn spews:

    REPUBLICAN Chuck Hagel said on Meet The Press yesterday that things are WORSE not BETTER since Bush started the Iraq war. I love it when republicans tell the truth!

  79. 84

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Regarding your last sentence,Goldy, you must remember that over half your fellow citizens are , at best, forty years behind the curve.

    All the things you speak of, Goldy, were weekly topics of the Smother’s Brothers Variety Hour which you may may have missed as you were asleep in the Rock of Ages when it was on TV.

  80. 85

    bill spews:

    K, while I would agree with the outcome you’ve proposed there, I really cant help thinking that you’re presenting a variant of Pascal’s wager with all its accompanying problems. Specificly, you have ruled out varying degrees of global warming and varying mitigation plans. Nor are you allowing a weighting of those options, in any real cost benefit analysis, you need to weight the outcomes to find the best benefit for potential costs.

  81. 86

    Schizophonic (D. John) spews:

    Wait. You’re accusing WHO of rigging elections? Oh my god.

    Go choke on a pretzel.

  82. 87

    SP Fan spews:

    Amazing, he can rig elections and profess the global warming fallacy to his liberal comrads.

    It must feel good to be liberal. Why don’t you all abort yourselves and save the planet!

  83. 88

    Schizophonic (D. John) spews:

    And as far as providing healthcare for children, again – a great idea.

    Is it just me, or is anyone else ashamed of the fact that we as a nation are a leading world power, and yet we’re so backward that we are one of the few nations on this planet that can afford universal healthcare and haven’t provided it to our citizens?
    It’s sad and pathetic.

    Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I believe in this nation. I believe it was founded by brilliant people who were WAAAY ahead of their time. The ideals that this nation were founded on are still near to the hearts of the real patriots in this country. No amount of backroom deals, propaganda and influence peddling will change that. Ergo, eventually, you Move America Backwards folks will have spent all of your political capital and the little credibility you may have started with, and we will finally be able to move forward as a nation.

    And at risk of degenerating this thread by hurling a richly deserved epithet at some of you greedy shortsighted losers on this thread: I hereby extend a heartfelt FUCK YOU! This nation is better than you are. You don’t deserve to live in a nation that treats you as well as the USA does. Especially since you are trying to destroy it for a few tax-cuts you will never be rich enough to recieve. Bastards.

    Regards.

  84. 89

    Spanaway Grandma spews:

    Mark Kennedy, you hit the nail on the head. A chi squared analysis disproves beyond a shadow of a doubt global warming.

    It started with a math error way back in the late 1950s that went unnoticed. Entire scholarly careers were built upon that error, so once it was discovered it had to be all hushed up.

    Mark, you should get a Nobel Prize for exposing the lie about chi. It takes a lot of courage to go public about this conspiracy, because your life is in danger.

    If I were you I’d stop using your real name. I think you should also stay in contact the Mike McGavick campaign so that if anything should happen to you we will know the truth.

    God speed.

  85. 90

    Schizophonic (D. John) spews:

    MTR,

    Here comes the clue train, last stop YOU!

    The reason nobody takes your challenge seriously is because you are asking for a statistical analysis in order to back up current scientific consensus about global warning.

    Statistics are a politicians tool more than anything. There are liars, damned liars, statisticians (sp?)

    Keep sticking your head in the sand MTR. If you have your way that sand will be underwater sooner or later. heh

    Regards.

  86. 91

    Rev. Hedley spews:

    I agree with Mr. Mark The Redneck Kenneday. Global warming is God’s will. He is punishing all of the sinful behavior on earth, particularly here on the Left Coast.

    Global warming is God’s wrath against perversions such as homosexuality and sex for non-procreational purposes.

    If we really wanted to stop global warming we would adopt God’s Plan for America.

    That’s why I’m voting for Mike McGavick. I have prayed deeply about this and God has told me that Mike McGavick will lead the crusade against sin in America. The Hour is Late! Repent ye Sinners!

  87. 92

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    K – How ’bout looking at facts first. Let’s convince ourselves that the problem exists first.

    Since you’ve downed the kool aid, surely an intelligent feller like you did the chi squared analysis. Can you post it here so we can all see it?

    Really, it’s not a trick question. I promise… no rakes in the park this time…

  88. 93

    Howard Boyce spews:

    I agree with Dick Pope. My property value will sharply increase if it gets warmer and sunnier here in SeaTac. I grew up in Los Angeles and really miss the palm trees. I want to grow them here. If we grow enough palm trees we might be able to steal the movie industry from Hollywood.

    Think of what our beaches will look like. All those babes with deep suntans walking upon our shores. Coastal water as warm as a bathtub. We’ll be able to film Baywatch II here!

    Come on, folks: Life is about change! The seasons change, continents rise and fall, and the polar ice caps melt. Instead of fighting change we should embrace it.

    While we’re at it we should listen to Mark the Redneck and exterminate all of the Muslims.

    I think Dick Pope should run for governor and Mark should be his running mate. That would be an unbeatable pair!

  89. 94

    K spews:

    Let’s try this again from the last thread:

    I’ve always thought the prudent aproach to global warming would be to weigh risk and reward. We live in a world where we often must make decisions with some uncertainty. THere are four potential outcomes:
    1. There is global warming and we do nothing about it
    2. THere is global warming and we attempt to mitigate it
    3. There is no global warming and we do nothing
    4. There is no global warming and we needlessly attempted to mitigate it.

    THen look at risks and rewards. Attempting to mitigate global warming involves reducing emissions ( a general air benefit) and moving toward alternate energy sources. What’s so bad in either case with reducing our dependance on foreign oil?

  90. 95

    Mark The Redneck Kennedy spews:

    Geez, it isn’t a trick question. It isn’t even that hard to do if you have the data in front of you. I’d like one of you kool aid drinkers here to show me a chi squared analysis which shows that temperatures we’re seeing now are beyond historical norms.

    Wouldn’t you want to know that? Wouldn’t you want to see with your own eyes the data and the analysis before getting on board the global warming train? Or are you content to be lead around by the nose by kooks like Algore.

    Maybe one of you Ron Sims fans could ask him where he got his data. Surely a leader with “extraordinary vision” would have proof before going on with something like this? Or is he just a useful idiot too?

  91. 96

    Republican National Committee spews:

    SLIGHT CLARIFICATION:

    One of our associates, Richard Pope states that you can take carbon out of the atmosphere by clear cutting a national forest and building lots of houses.

    We agree with this sentiment. That is why we seek to dismantle the Endangered Species Act and other key laws that environmental extremists have used to keep the forests locked up.

    However, Richard failed to mention that the only way to stop global warming is to remove every single tree from Washington state. That would result in enough of a reduction in carbon emissions to offset most of the new oil refinery production in Texas coming online within the next few years.

    We recognize that this would modestly change the landscape, so would propose mitigation strategies such as the “planting” of vast forests of plastic trees. Tourists would still flock to your beautiful mountains, the logging industry would boom like never before, and global warming would be delayed for six months.

    We see this modest proposal as a win, win, win for all of Washington’s citizens. That’s why it is important for you to elect Mike McGavick to the U.S. Senate!

  92. 97

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 19: Blah blah blah blah blah……….. You are so full of shit , Richard Pope!!!!!

  93. 98

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Why don’t you suck my dick, Richard Pope????!!!!!! The algorhythms of Google produce the superior results of a Google Search!!!!!!

    And in addition , they will not RAT YOU OUT TO THE FUCKING FEDERALISTAS, who are watching every move you make.

    Why are the REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN AFRAID OF THE FEDERALISTA SPYING???????????

    wHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE!!!!!!!!???????

  94. 99

    Richard Pope spews:

    Higher CO2 levels help cut down on hunger. When there is more CO2 in the air, plants grow faster. Same principle works for corn, wheat, and apples as works for growing marijuana. Crop yields are much higher at present than they were in previous decades. And a lot of this is due to the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

  95. 100

    Richard Pope spews:

    If we want to reduce carbon content of the atmosphere, we need to have more tree farming operations. If you prevent logging in a national forest, it is in net carbon balance. The mature trees use the same amount of carbon dioxide that they produce.

    However, if you clear cut a national forest, you can build lots of houses and make lots of paper out of the trees. That carbon stays out of the atmosphere. Plant some new trees, and as they grow, they will take carbon out of the atmosphere.

    It is a great way to take carbon out of the atmosphere to balance all the carbon we are adding due to fossil fuels.

  96. 101

    Richard Pope spews:

    How much extra carbon emissions does “Drinking Liberally” create? Think of all the gasoline consumed by people driving there — especially Darcy Burner’s long round-trip from Carnation to Seattle. Think of all the fossil fuels that have to be burned in the production of the beer and other consumables.

    Goldy needs to take the initiative himself to curtail carbon emissions and global warming. Cancel “Drinking Liberally”. And get Darcy Burner to do all of her campaigning on foot or by bicycle. Set an example, and maybe the voters will follow …

  97. 107

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    re 10: Why don’t you bite my weenie? But before you do that, CITE your sources , you piece of loose bowel!

  98. 108

    Observer spews:

    Hey Gorditos la la la…..

    You schtick is old already.

    Goldy-

    The Global Warming shit is just that. Horseshit. Why don’t you go back to your “Whhhhhhhhhyyyyy are they closing myyyyyyy schooooooll” whine. Ronnie doesn’t see anything more in this than opportunism and a power/money grab. Did he promise some to you?

  99. 109

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Have you come yet , Mr. Cynical? We are waiting for your incredibly prescient obscurantist postopolies!!!!!!!!!!

    PLEASAEAO!!!!!!!!!! Clear the air with your omniscient wisdomo!!!!!!!!!!

  100. 111

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    Some of the Swift Boat Dickwads have recanted. What will they say about why they became Swift Boat prevaricatoros????????

  101. 112

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    These turd heads are trying out their material to see what they can make fly for a while.

    Kerry has not forgotten about the “Swift boat Dick Heads for $$$$$”!!!!!!!!!!!

    This expose may show up this season to reinforce the message that REPUBLICANS are liars!!!!!!

  102. 114

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    How do you like them apples , Senor Cynicola? A Black Dem. political man from WA State with a long term publicly acknowledged commitment to the common good via opposition to global warming receiving some National coverage!!!!!

    Fuck you !! Senor Cynicola!!! I will not mourn you as your political Caisson marches into the obscurity of yesterday and HOPE grabs the steering wheel on the MAGIC BUS of the FUTURE!!!!!!!!!!

    Rot in HELL!!!!! YOU piece of CRAP!!!!!!!!!!

  103. 115

    GORDITOS DE LOS ALBERTO spews:

    See, Senor Cynicola, I TOL’ you!!!!!!!!! We speak with the voice of the living — not of the dead. Jesus is on OUR side, NOT YOURS, because we seek to enhance life— not death!!!!!!!!

    You look pretty foolish now!!!!!

  104. 117

    Green Thumb spews:

    Newspapers like the Seattle Times are losing the circulation battle because their coverage is increasingly out of touch with contemporary issues. They really are stuck in a past that no longer exists.

    This is why blogs represent such a powerful challenge. Here’s Goldy, a guy without journalism training doing a blog in his spare time, yet he’s repeatedly scooped what is supposed to be the largest and most respected bastion of mainstream journalism in the state.

    If the Seattle Times’ management can’t figure things out on their own, it’s time for rank-and-file reporters to bring the message to them. After all, out-of-touch coverage = circulation declines = layoffs.

  105. 118

    Yo spews:

    Here’s an inconvenient question for Al Gore: WHy doesn’t he sell the several hundred thousand dollars of Occidental Petroleum stock he controls? Isn’t he a big contributor to alleged global warming????