Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ownership and the Body

Public Ethics Radio: Anne Phillips on Ownership and the Body

Phillips identifies a fatal flaw underlying what is called Libertarianism in the USA.
Her analysis suggests why it became most popular among male teen agers.

Friday, April 3, 2015

"Global Warming" - A new age religion for the 21st Century

From my in process book:

Bray and von Storch (2007) report the result of asking over 500 climate scientists to respond to the statement, "Climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes." The mean of 3.62 for their 2003 data was in the middle of their scale, where 1 indicated “strongly agree” and 7 indicated “strongly disagree.” The nearest rating to the mean score was 4, indicating ambivalence or impartiality. 

Similarly, there appears to be a large amount of disagreement in the joint conclusions of scientific advisory bodies. Holland (2007) notes the lack of support by the US National Research Council for the alarming conclusions of the IPCC. He states that two exhaustive and independent peer-reviewed studies by professionals, reporting under oath to the US House of Representatives have contradicted the findings of the IPCC. We conclude from this that the scientific bodies are not in agreement about climate change and its causes.

Finally, Essex et al. (2007, p. 1) state, "there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming." They argue that "any physical meaning is born by changes in energy instead of temperature" (p. 10). They conclude, "A given temperature field can be interpreted as both 'warming' and 'cooling' simultaneously, making the concept of warming in the context of the issue of global warming physically ill-posed" (p. 1). In effect, they argue that the key term, "temperature" being used in the climate debate has no meaning in this context and that "global warming" is an oxymoron.

Bray D., von Storch, H. (2007). The Perspectives of Climate Scientists on Global Climate Change. Geesthacht, Germany: Institute for Coastal Research. (GKSS 2007/11) URL: <>

Holland, D. (2007). Bias and Concealment in the IPCC Process: The “Hockey-Stick” Affair And Its Implications. Energy & Environment, 18(7-8), 951-983. URL: <> (Downloaded Dec. 16, 2010)

Essex, C., McKitrick, R., & Andresen, B. (2007). Does a Global Temperature Exist? J. Non-Equil. Thermod., 32, 1-27. URL <>
 (Downloaded 3 April 2015)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State

It is Professor Wills' thesis that acquisition of the bomb gave the president vast power—not only to use the bomb, but it also became the model for the covert activity and overt authority of the government we now have. And this, writes our speaker, upsets the balance of powers as set forth in the Constitution by giving the president more authority than originally intended by the Founding Fathers. He argues that, whatever the justification for its manufacture and use, the bomb was built unconstitutionally and the precedent which this set endures to the present day.
In the last few years, increasing battles against centralized power have erupted from many quarters. George W. Bush left the White House unpopular because of what many saw as his abuse of power. And although Barack Obama has promised change, the momentum of an expanded executive bureaucracy is not easily reversed.
The powers given to the president since World War II, followed by the needs of the Cold War and the war on terror, all make a vast and intricate structure that may not be easy to dismantle.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the “War on Terror”

This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs. And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.