The humbling of America 4

Reuters reports:

China landed an unmanned spacecraft on the moon on Saturday [December 13, 2013], state media reported, in the first such “soft-landing” since 1976, joining the United States and the former Soviet Union in managing to accomplish such a feat.

The Chang’e 3, a probe named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys.

China has been increasingly ambitious in developing its space programs, for military, commercial and scientific purposes. …

“The dream for lunar exploration once again lights up the China Dream,” Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

China dreams of “becoming a major global economic and political power”.

In its most recent manned space mission in June, three astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, part of Beijing’s quest to build a working space station by 2020.

The official Xinhua news service reported that the spacecraft had touched down in the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, after hovering over the surface for several minutes seeking an appropriate place to land. …

The Bay of Rainbows was selected because it has yet to be studied, has ample sunlight and is convenient for remote communications with Earth, Xinhua said. …

For more than a decade, China has been modernizing its economy and developing in areas long dominated by the West particularly the United States.

China is also developing its own satellite system to rival the U.S. GPS [Global Positioning] system and has sold satellites to other countries.

And further reports:

Iran said on Saturday [December 14, 2013] it had sent a second live monkey into space and brought it back safely, the latest demonstration of the country’s missile capabilities, state news agency IRNA reported.

“President Hassan Rouhani … congratulated Iranian scientists and experts on successfully sending a second living creature into space,” the news agency said.

Iran said it launched its first monkey to space in January.

Rouhani used Twitter to mark the latest event, a demonstration of rocket power that is likely to cause concern in the West and among some Gulf states, which are worried about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The West worries that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to use dispatching nuclear warheads to a target.

In contrast to these developments, America is using the National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) to make Muslims feel good about their – non-existent – scientific achievements, on instructions from President Obama, as its “foremost” mission, we recall.

ABC news reported on July 6, 2010:

The White House and NASA today defended comments by National Aeronautic Space Administration administrator Charles Bolden about reaching out to the Muslim world – comments that conservatives criticized as undermining NASA’s mission.

A few days ago, in Cairo, Bolden told Al Jazeera that when he became the NASA administrator, President Obama charged him with three things: “One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering — science, math and engineering.” …

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York interviewed former NASA administrator Michael Griffin … who called Bolden’s stated charge for NASA a “perversion of NASA’s purpose.”

“NASA was chartered by the 1958 Space Act to develop the arts and sciences of flight in the atmosphere and in space and to go where those technologies will allow us to go,” Griffin said “That’s what NASA does for the country. It is a perversion of NASA’s purpose to conduct activities in order to make the Muslim world feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.” Griffin made clear he was criticizing the policy, not Bolden, whom he praised. …

Commentator Charles Krauthammer called Bolden’s comments “a new height of fatuousness. NASA was established to get America into space and to keep us there. This idea of ‘to feel good about your past scientific achievements’ is the worst kind of group therapy, psycho-babble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy.”

The humbling of America is a large part of Obama’s agenda, and he is spectacularly succeeding in it.

He dreams his adolescent dreams in a private Bay of Rainbows all his own.

Moments of the sun 0

Our text and the video it refers to come from an article in Investor’s Business Daily, by Andrew Malcolm.

He starts with a delectable irrelevance about a man who didn’t take much notice of the sun when attributing the warming of the earth to humankind:

Former journalist, former representative, former senator, former vice president, former husband, former cable channel owner, former inventor and former environmentalist barker Al Gore has obviously given up the global warming game. It’s amazing what a few hundred million petro-dollars will accomplish.

Malcolm is alluding of course to Al Gore’s sale of his TV company to Al Jazeera.

But now we turn to the sun:

Our Sun has reached middle age as stars go, about four billion years old. It’s grown about 6% in that time and — oh, look, Albert was sort of right about one thing — increased its surface temperature about 300 degrees. You probably didn’t notice. …

In another 4.5- to 5-billion years, right about the time Obama’s national debt will be paid down, our Sun will have used up all its hydrogen fuel. That begins a very long, very nasty decay process that involves cataclysmic things like collapsing and expanding in size out to envelope its three closest planets–Mercury, Venus and — oh-oh — Earth. …

Scientists know all this because, thanks to a generation of space telescopes like Hubble, we can watch the slow-motion decay of other distant suns, even though they may well actually have disappeared by the time the light of their decay story reaches Earth.

NASA is also studying our own star. The Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched three years ago. Even though it’s circling the Earth at nearly 7,000 miles an hour and the Earth itself is moving through space about 46 miles every minute, the observatory can stay focused on the Sun.

It snaps a “photo” of the Sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths.

This new NASA video includes images at the wavelength of 171 angstroms. … The sun particles you see are a little more than one million degrees Fahrenheit.

The four-view of the Sun near the video’s end includes additional wavelengths.

A couple of things to watch for in the fast-moving video below: At 1:11:02 you’ll see the largest solar flare of this cycle, from Aug. 9, 2011. At 1:28:07 watch the frozen Comet Lovejoy flash by on a very close encounter of the solar kind on Dec. 15, 2011. …

And at 1:51:07 that black dot zipping by in the upper left is Venus passing between Earth and the Sun, as it does every century or so. …

NASA constructed this video by taking two images per day from the observatory’s first three years.

Scientists chose this light range to allow views of the Sun’s increased activity over three years of its 11-year activity cycle. The video’s elapsed time also allows human eyes to detect the Sun’s 25-day rotation. (If it looks like the Sun tilts at times, it’s not. It’s the spacecraft rolling to recalibrate focus.)

 

Posted under Climate, Environmentalism, Science, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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The science of man-made climate change NOT settled 5

On March 28, 2012, fifty former employees of the  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed a letter to Charles Bolden, NASA’s Administrator.

Here is most of it. It can be found in full at Powerline:

Dear Charlie,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself. …

In particular, the “unproven remarks” are being made by James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, of whom John Hinderaker of Powerline writes:

One of the world’s four or five leading global warming alarmists is James Hansen, [who], traveling in China, denounced the United States and hailed China as the world’s “best hope” to stave off global warming. Hansen described Americans as “barbarians” with a fake democracy, and urged China’s rulers to lead a boycott of the United States in the hope that it would bring our economy to its knees.

The reputation of NASA took a hit when President Obama redefined its foremost task as “reaching out to the Muslim world”:

In a far-reaching restatement of goals for the nation’s space agency, NASA administrator Charles Bolden says President Obama has ordered him to pursue three new objectives: to “re-inspire children” to study science and math, to “expand our international relationships,” and to “reach out to the Muslim world.” Of those three goals, Bolden said in a recent interview with al-Jazeera, the mission to reach out to Muslims is “perhaps foremost,” because it will help Islamic nations “feel good” about their scientific accomplishments.

What scientific accomplishments would those be?

Another dreary pointless congress of the greedy feeble-minded 11

Another UN conference  on “climate change” with the ulterior motive of setting up a world government to redistribute wealth from prosperous Western countries to the bank accounts of Third World tyrants is running now in Durban, South Africa.

As we hoped and expected, Lord Christopher Monckton is there, speaking out as he constantly does against this conspiracy:

Mainstream science, politics, bureaucracy, academe, banking, business, media – all were of one mind. The West, so the playbook ran, must be shut down at once to Save The Planet from “global warming”, er, “climate change”, um, “climate disruption”, no, “extreme-weather events”, ah, that is, “energy-security challenges”. …

I find myself … in Durban among the creatures of “consensus” for the annual UN climate gabfest. Yet the party line was wrong. … Every dire prediction that the usual suspects had made with such sneering arrogance has failed.

Just look. Professor “Phil” Jones of the “University” of East Anglia had to admit … that there had been no statistically-significant “global warming” for 15 years. …

Arctic sea ice was supposed to be gone by 2013. Then it rebounded. Then it was going to reach a new low on 15 September this year …. [but] Antarctic sea ice has been on the up throughout the satellite era. Global sea ice shows little trend in 30 years.

Polar bears were supposed to be headed for extinction. … Today there are five times as many polar bears as 70 years ago.

Kilimanjaro has been losing ice since 1880. …  “Global warming” could not have caused the recent ice loss … The summit temperature, monitored by satellites, has not changed. Now the glacier is growing again.

Sea level is the big one. James Hansen of NASA, who made more than $1 million out of the climate scare last year alone, had predicted it would rise imminently by 246 feet. Was he right? No. The increase over the past eight years, according to the Envisat satellite, was at a rate equivalent to 2 inches per century. Not meters, not even feet. Inches. Two of them. Per century. …

Malaria was going to spread because of “global warming.” Yet the terrible leap in mortality from 50,000 to 1 million child deaths a year occurred a generation ago, when the Environmental Defense Fund – which, with Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund, spent $1 billion of taxpayers’ and donors’ cash on anti-Western pseudo-enviro propaganda last year alonesuccessfully campaigned for a worldwide ban on DDT, the only effective agent against the mosquitoes that carry malaria.

When the Board of the EDF met to plan the DDT ban, its then legal advisor, Victor John Yannacone Jr., begged it to ban only outdoor use: DDT sprayed inside houses would harm only the mosquitoes and spare the children. The then chairman, furious, fired Yannacone on the spot. As he left the room, someone said: “That’s the last time we employ anyone who knows any science.” That ban has killed 40 million children.

Extreme-weather deaths are down sharply. Global tropical-cyclone and hurricane activity is almost at its least in 30 years. Severe tornadoes have declined. Patterns of drought and flood remain as unpredictable and as devastating as ever. Bangladesh and nearly all of the Pacific atolls are gaining land mass, not losing it.

Net primary productivity of trees and plants worldwide is up. If you want a greener planet, add as much CO2 to the air as you can. Your emissions are also helping to stave off the next Ice Age. It’s already 6000 years overdue.

Yet the dreary, wasteful, pointless congresses of the greedy feeble-minded continue. The Bali Road-Map to Nowhere. The Copenhagen World-Government Treaty that collapsed as soon as it saw the light of day. The Cancun Concordats to establish 1000 – yes, 1000 – new bureaucracies: the structure of the unelected world government that every ex-politician from Gore and Chirac to Attali is demanding.

Everyone says nothing will happen at Durban. That worries me. It suggests the process of building a totalitarian global junta by what one UN official at Cancun called “transparent impenetrability” – publishing documents of such prolix length and complex obscurantism that no one can understand a word and yet no one can later deny the information was available – will invisibly gather pace. …

We like “transparent impenetrability”! Could we suspect that the UN official who invented it had a sense of irony?  No – too unlikely.

The Marxists’ wet dream …  is global totalitarian dictatorship. … But the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and I are in Durban to stop them. So perhaps you’re not going to have it after all.

It’s good to know that a Committee and the noble lord are defending us from world totalitarian dictatorship. But it would be better if the United States, which should be and can be and was always meant to be the truly powerful defender of liberty, had a president and administration that would put an end to the UN and a stop to all its evil schemes forever.

The UN must be destroyed.

Financing the fantasy 15

The immense and imminent threat of “global warming”, supposedly caused by humanity’s feckless ways, has been exposed as a fantasy.

So now the alarmists, who cannot admit defeat because they profit so hugely from their warmed-up panic, cry “climate change” instead.

Sure, the earth’s climate is changing. It’s forever changing. Who’s surprised? And who on earth wants to pay to know more about it?

Pay we do, however, and lavishly, whether we want to or not.

According to Art Horn, meteorologist, about $4 billion of tax-payers’ money will be spent this year – “wasted” as he bluntly and fairly puts it – on climate change research.

Here’s his account of where the money goes:

What can we cut out of the federal budget to make any kind of dent in this enormous pile of borrowed money? We could start with the vast sums of cash being wasted on climate change research.

This year, your government will spend in the neighborhood of $4 billion on global warming research, despite the fact that there has been no global warming since 1998, and despite all of the billions that have been spent so far yielding no conclusive evidence that using fossil fuels to make energy has any significant effect on Earth’s temperature.

The human component of carbon dioxide that is injected into the air each year is very small, on the order of 3%. Half the carbon dioxide emitted into the air by human activity each year is immediately absorbed into nature. Carbon dioxide is 8% of the greenhouse effect; water in the air is 90% of the greenhouse effect. By volume, carbon dioxide is currently at about 390 parts per million in the atmosphere, increasing at about 2 parts per million annually. In other words, carbon dioxide is increasing at a rate of .5% per year. Since human activity adds 3% of the carbon dioxide that gets into the air each year, the human component of the increase in carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year is 3 % of .5%, or just .015%.

Check the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2011 budget request, and go to chapter 15: Climate Change in the FY 2011 Budget. The numbers are staggering. In 2011, your government will spend $10.6 million a day to study, combat, and educate about climate change.

The big winner in the climate change money train is the National Science Foundation — they are requesting $1.616 billion. They want $766 million for the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program, a 15.9% increase from their last budget. They also need another $370 million for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), an increase of 16%. They say they also need another $480 million for Atmospheric Sciences, an increase of 8.1%, and Earth Sciences, up 8.7%.

Oh, and $955 million for the Geosciences Directorate, an increase of 7.4%.

The second largest request for money in 2011 comes from the Department of Energy. They say they need $627 million for things like funding for renewable energy. The request represents a whopping 37% increase from last year! …

Let’s get NASA in on the parade! For 2011, NASA wants $438 million to study climate change, an increase of 14%. NASA’s total Earth Sciences budget request is actually $1.8 billion. …

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is looking for $437 million for climate research. This is an increase of 21.4% from the previous budget. This includes funds for regional and national assessments of climate change, including ocean acidification. Once again, another meaty bag of money to tap into for researchers, who have nice cars and big houses and need to keep up the payments.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is also interested in robbing the climate change vault — they say they need $244 million in 2011. Of this total, $171 million is for the Climate Change Adaptation initiative. …  Another $73 million is needed for the New Energy Frontier initiative. The goal of this program is to increase solar, wind, and geothermal energy capacity. …

Of course, there’s more. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants $169 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions …

Is there any government agency that does not get some climate change funding? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants $338 million for climate change programs. They want $159 million for climate change research, up a whopping 42%. They also want another $179 million for renewable energy, an increase of 41%! The USDA’s climate change efforts are supposed to help farm and land owners adapt to the impacts of climate change. Yes, really.

Redundancy on top of redundancy, piles of money on top of piles of money. All to study climate change, which, according to the theory, should be warming us rapidly, but, according to the data, has stopped.

Ours is a highly adaptable species. Human beings have survived climate changes for hundreds of thousands of years. Guess we could struggle on as usual without financing exorbitantly expensive investigations into a phenomenon we know perfectly well we cannot control.

Obama the stooge 3

Is it possible to doubt that Obama is passionately devoted to Islam when he has made it glaringly obvious in his speeches and his deep obeisance to the “King” of Saudi Arabia; has deliberately alienated the US government from Israel; and has given an instruction to NASA administrator Charles Bolden to find – as a priority, rather than space exploration which has been all but totally abandoned – “a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution [in fact, non-historic and almost entirely mythical – JB] to science and math and engineering”?

Here’s further confirmation of his profound concern for, and involvement with, Islam in news from Creeping Sharia:

The U.S. ambassador to Kenya has publicly urged Kenyans to vote in favor of the proposed constitution, including the kadhis [sharia] courts, arguing that passage is key to keeping Kenya stable. …

The Obama admin may have spent up to $10 million tax payer dollars supporting the proposed Kenyan constitution that includes provisions for sharia courts.

Kenya is also where Obama’s cousin Raul [Raila] Odinga promised sharia law during his Kenyan campaign, and then waged violent attacks leading to hundreds of deaths to steal a position after a failed election.

For background to the issue of sharia courts in Obama’s ancestral home Kenya, and more on Obama’s support  for his terrorist cousin Odinga, see this January 6, 2008 article at Atlas Shrugs:

Obama’s ties to Kenya run deep. He knows the political landscape. Why would he back such a violent, dangerous man who made a pact with the Muslims to institute sharia? Obama’s bias for his fellow Luo [Raila Oginga Odinga] was so blatant that a Kenya government spokesman denounced Obama during his visit as Raila’s “stooge.”

Raila Oginga Odinga has … a scheme to carry out a second coup attempt in Kenya (his first attempt in 1982 failed) …

Those who have an interest in Kenya witnessed the post-party-nomination violence a couple of weeks ago in Oginga’s strongholds. People who chose to vote against anyone his party chose were killed.

For a few days both Nairobi and Kisumu were literally ablaze. Candidates who escaped the violence and who chose to run on parties other than the party Oginga was running on had to publicly step down when Oginga attended their rallies and publicly asked them to step down and support his party. …

[In 2003] Muslim leaders in Kenya [were] threatening armed conflict if the new Kenyan constitution [did] not enshrine Islamic courts (known in Kenya as Kadhi courts).

The US Ambassador to Kenya is Michael E. Ranneberger. In a recent speech in honor of International Women’s Day, he said:

I want to emphasize that the United States is strongly committed to promoting the rights of Kenyan women and their increased participation in all aspects of social, political, and economic life. This is a highly important dimension of the strong and growing partnership between the U.S. and Kenya.

Under unalterable sharia law, a woman’s testimony is half as valuable as a man’s; a woman may inherit only half as much as male heirs; a woman can be divorced at the whim of her husband and she does not have a right to keep her children; if a woman is raped she can be convicted of immorality and the punishment may be stoning to death. These are just some of the ways in which sharia law subjugates and victimizes women.

Apparently Mr Ranneberger sees no need to square his “commitment to promoting the rights of Kenyan women” with his urging Kenyans to adopt a constitution that would establish sharia law.

Such is US diplomacy in the era of Obama.

Reaching for the moon no more 1

It is not difficult to see what Obama likes and does not like, wants and does not want, and what is the general thrust of his world-view and political agenda.

He likes climate change. It’s an ideal cause for the far left, because if only people can be hoodwinked into believing that it constitutes a threat to all life on the planet, government can claim that it must be dealt with by forcing us to change the way we live. Dealing with it can hugely tighten government control – not just by the US government but by some global uber-body that can enforce subjection world-wide.

He likes Islam. There’s a pile of evidence for this: his Cairo speech, his bowing to the “king” of Saudi Arabia, his reluctance to interfere with Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, his reaching out to Syria … the full list would be long.

He does not like American military superiority, or American exceptionalism in any form, including its superiority in space exploration (with its potential for enhancing military power).

On January 27, 2010, the Orlando Sentinel reported that:

NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

When the White House releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020. The troubled and expensive Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for its bigger brother, the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to take humans back to the moon.

There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases, no Constellation program at all.

The White House will direct NASA to concentrate on Earth-science projects — principally, researching and monitoring climate change — and on a new technology research and development program that will one day make human exploration of asteroids and the inner solar system possible. …

The White House budget request, which is certain to meet fierce resistance in Congress, scraps the Bush administration’s Vision for Space Exploration and signals a major reorientation of NASA, especially in the area of human spaceflight.

“We certainly don’t need to go back to the moon,” said one administration official.

Everyone interviewed for this article spoke on condition of anonymity, either because they are not authorized to talk for the White House or because they fear for their jobs.

But Indonesia and other Muslim countries will be getting US help with launching rockets?

On February 16, 2010, the same paper reported that:

Barack Obama has asked NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden to “find ways to reach out to dominantly Muslim countries” as the White House pushes the space agency to become a tool of international diplomacy.

Specifically, he talked about connecting with countries that do not have an established space program and helping them conduct science missions. He mentioned new opportunities with Indonesia, including an educational program that examines global climate change.

“We really like Indonesia because the State Department, the Department of Education [and] other agencies in the U.S. are reaching out to Indonesia as the largest Muslim nation in the world. We would love to establish partners there,” Bolden said.

Shutting the new frontier 4

The most innovative nation in all the world and all history is the United States of America. One of its greatest characteristics – the product of its liberty – has long been its driving energy to look forward and upward, to reach new heights, to achieve ever more and better understanding of our universe. In nothing was this vision proved so spectacularly as in the exploration of space, the landing of men on the moon, the search with ingeniously devised spacecraft, loaded with technological marvels, ever further through the galaxy.

The leftists now in control don’t like it.

Charles Krauthammer writes:

Within months, Russia will have a monopoly on rides into space.

By the end of this year, there will be no shuttle, no U.S. manned space program, no way for us to get into space. We’re not talking about Mars or the moon here. We’re talking about low-Earth orbit, which the U.S. has dominated for nearly half a century and from which it is now retiring with nary a whimper.

Our absence from low-Earth orbit was meant to last a few years, the interval between the retirement of the fatally fragile space shuttle and its replacement with the Constellation program (Ares booster, Orion capsule, Altair lunar lander) to take astronauts more cheaply and safely back to space.

But the Obama 2011 budget kills Constellation. Instead, we shall have nothing. For the first time since John Glenn flew in 1962, the U.S. will have no access of its own for humans into space — and no prospect of getting there in the foreseeable future.

Of course, the administration presents the abdication as a great leap forward: Launching humans will now be turned over to the private sector, while NASA’s efforts will be directed toward landing on Mars.

This is nonsense. It would be swell for private companies to take over launching astronauts. But they cannot do it. It’s too expensive. It’s too experimental. And the safety standards for actually getting people up and down reliably are just unreachably high.

Sure, decades from now there will be a robust private space-travel industry. But that is a long time. In the interim, space will be owned by Russia and then China. The president waxes seriously nationalist at the thought of China or India surpassing us in speculative “clean energy.” Yet he is quite prepared to gratuitously give up our spectacular lead in human space exploration.

As for Mars, more nonsense. Mars is just too far away. And how do you get there without the stepping stones of Ares and Orion? If we can’t afford an Ares rocket to get us into orbit and to the moon, how long will it take to develop a revolutionary new propulsion system that will take us not a quarter-million miles but 35 million miles?

Of course, the whole Mars project as substitute for the moon is simply a ruse. It’s like the classic bait-and-switch for high-tech military spending: Kill the doable in the name of some distant sophisticated alternative, which either never gets developed or is simply killed later in the name of yet another, even more sophisticated alternative of the further future. …

Moreover, there is the question of seriousness. When John F. Kennedy pledged to go to the moon, he meant it. He had an intense personal commitment to the enterprise. He delivered speeches remembered to this day. He dedicated astronomical sums to make it happen.

At the peak of the Apollo program, NASA was consuming almost 4 percent of the federal budget, which in terms of the 2011 budget is about $150 billion. Today the manned space program will die for want of $3 billion a year — 1/300th of last year’s stimulus package with its endless make-work projects that will leave not a trace on the national consciousness.

As for President Obama’s commitment to beyond-lunar space: Has he given a single speech, devoted an iota of political capital to it?

Obama’s NASA budget perfectly captures the difference in spirit between Kennedy’s liberalism and Obama’s. Kennedy’s was an expansive, bold, outward-looking summons. Obama’s is a constricted inward-looking call to retreat.

Fifty years ago, Kennedy opened the New Frontier. Obama has just shut it.

Rings and moons 0

A tiny moon, Epimetheus, is seen above Saturn’s rings and in front of the large moon Titan.

See all 28 of NASA’s space pictures of the year 2009 here.

Posted under Miscellaneous, Science by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 5, 2010

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A thing of spit and cobwebs 0

Man-made Global Warming was a thing built with the spit and cobwebs of cynical political manipulation and ingenuous credulity.

Warmists are struggling ever more frantically to defend their myth. No wonder. Not only reputations but whole industries have been built on it and TRILLIONS  have been invested in them. Governments have distorted economies because of it. Untold millions of people have been so convinced of it they cannot swallow the fact that it has been exposed as untrue. It is  believed in by many as a religious faith, and like any religious faith it may long continue to hold them in its spell.

The great economist Walter Williams writes about this at Investor’s Business Daily:

John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, in an hourlong television documentary five-part series titled “Global Warming: The Other Side,” presents evidence that our National Climatic Data Center has been manipulating weather data in the same way as the now-disgraced and under-investigation University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit. The NCDC is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its manipulated climate data are used by the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, a division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. …

Mounting evidence of scientific fraud might make little difference in terms of the response to man-made global warming hysteria. Why? Vested economic and political interests have emerged where trillions of dollars and social control are at stake. Therefore, many people who recognize the scientific fraud underlying global warming claims are likely to defend it anyway.

• Automobile companies have invested billions in research and investment in producing “green cars.”

• General Electric and Philips have spent millions lobbying Congress to outlaw incandescent bulbs so that they can force us to buy costly compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).

• Farmers and ethanol manufacturers have gotten Congress to enact laws mandating greater use of their product, not to mention massive subsidies.

• Thousands of major corporations around the world have taken steps to reduce carbon emissions, including giants like IBM, Nike, Coca-Cola and BP, the oil company. Companies like Google, Yahoo and Dell have vowed to become “carbon neutral.”

Then there’s the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange that plans to trade in billions of dollars of greenhouse gas emission allowances. Corporate America and labor unions, as well as their international counterparts have a huge multitrillion-dollar financial stake in the perpetuation of the global warming fraud. Federal, state and local agencies have spent billions of dollars and created millions of jobs to deal with one aspect or another of global warming.

It’s deeper than just money. Schoolteachers have created polar-bear-dying lectures to frighten and indoctrinate our children when in fact there are more polar bears now than in 1950. They’ve taught children about melting glaciers.

Just recently, the International Panel on Climate Change was forced to admit that its Himalayan glacier-melting fraud was done to “impact policymakers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

What would all the beneficiaries of the global warming hype do if it became widely known and accepted that mankind’s activities have very little to do with the Earth’s temperature? I don’t know, but a lot of people would feel and look like idiots.

I bet that even if the permafrost returned as far south as New Jersey, as it once did, the warmers and their congressional stooges would still call for measures to fight global warming.

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