Wednesday, March 11, 2009


How can the average American be informed without being swallowed up into the He Said/She Said type crap that goes on between the political parties in this country? It is easier to shut it out and focus on your own life. I know, I did it for years. The problem is that by shutting it out and not paying attention people get elected through sound bytes rather than facts. If you are like me, waking up late in the game, it is all overwhelming and it's easy to feel helpless. Even though I want to go back to not thinking about any of this, I can't.

The whole stem cell thing is really getting to me. I cannot stand to hear misinformation constantly being fed to the public. President Bush only had a ban on federally funded embryonic stem cell research. He actually allowed federally funded research limited to already existing embryos. Privately funded research has been ongoing. Great strides have been made in adult stem cell research that is very promising. Much more so than embryonic stem cell research. The push is because in theory the embryonic cells can be programmed to become any kind of tissue whereas the adult stem cells are more limited. That research has showed that the embryonic stem cell created tissue forms tumors. I just don't get the mentality that sees government funding of research as a right and/or the lack of government funding as impeding progress.

Furthermore, what is with the U.S. providing funding for abortions in other countries? Not only do those of us that are against abortion have to participate in it through our taxes here in the U.S. but now, throughout the world? Isn't there something wrong with this picture?

What about Cap and Trade bills? These measures would set limits on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. The effect of such a cap would be to impose rationing of coal, oil, and natural gas on the American economy. That would increase energy costs and do considerably more economic harm than environmental good. Interestingly, nearly every European country that is a participant in the Kyoto Protocol has higher emissions than when the treaty was signed in 1997 and they are rising at a rate faster than the U.S. For consumers, cap and trade means more expensive gasoline and electricity as well as net job losses in energy-dependent sectors. Such energy cost increases act as a regressive tax on the poor. Is this something that should be aggressively sought in our current economic circumstances?

There is so much going on that it is impossible for me to take it all in. It seems to me that there should be some sort of prioritization where the most critical issues are taken care of first. We all knew we were in for a change but those changes are so many and so fast that my head is spinning. Ugh... sorry, it seems my post is just a rant today.


One Salient Oversight said...

Regarding "Cap and trade" - yes, the idea behind it is partly to increase costs for petroleum based energy. The world has not done good by the Kyoto protocol, not least because of the influence of oil companies and coal companies on politicians to keep things that way.

But if anthropogenic global warming is real - and climatologists are united in the fact that it is - then the world must wean itself off CO2. The changeover to alternative energy sources is certainly a cost, but it is one that the world can easily afford, especially considering the alternative.

Two Dogs said...

I agree with OSO, AGW is real, no matter what any scientists and thermometers say. When it gets colder it is AGW.

Cap and Trade is idiotic, Kyoto was seriously the dumbest idea ever promoted on an international stage and that includes blaming Israel for Muslim terrorism.

Conservative estimates of the effects of C&T are the immediate loss of around three hundred thousand jobs, ending with a net loss of over ten million. It is a wonderful idea. No one will have to work.

Roland Hulme said...

It's a good rant, CB!

Stem cells is an interesting one. I think Two Dogs is wrong about the super tumors, but scientists have basically eliminated the need to use embryonic stem cells. They can be cloned or come from cord blood. My conservative friend CK wrote a good post on it, with a link to a Washington Post article saying the entire debate is null and void.

As for carbon capping... It seems like, if you'll excuse the expression, pissing in the wind.

China and India are churning out more carbon than ever - offsetting much of the benefit of capping American emissions.

It's a game we ALL need to play to make it effective.

I want to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but for more practical reasons. The carbon cap is a deeply shifty project I am highly skeptical of.