Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) created waves when he dismissed the influence of Fox News host Glenn Beck, saying, “Only in America can you make that much money crying.” Beck commented on his radio show by responding, “Lindsey Graham hating my guts is probably the highest honor I’ve ever received. Judge me by my friends and judge me by my enemies. Thank you, Lindsey Graham.” Today on Fox News Sunday, host Brett Baier — standing in for Chris Wallace — stood up for his Fox colleague and asked Graham, “Are you saying that Glenn Beck is bad for America?” Graham rejected that characterization, but said that Beck did not speak for conservatives or Republicans:
GRAHAM: No, I’m not saying he’s bad for America. You got the freedom to watch him if you choose. He did a pretty good job on ACORN. What I am saying, he doesn’t represent the Republican Party. You can listen to him if you like. I choose not to because, quite frankly, I don’t — I don’t want to go down the road of thinking our best days are behind us. We need to act decisively.
People are genuinely upset with how much money we’re spending up here. But at the end of the day, when a person says he represents conservatism and that the country’s better off with Barack Obama than John McCain, that sort of ends the debate for me as to how much more I’m going to listen. So he has a right to say what he wants to say. In my view, it’s not the kind of political analysis that I buy into.
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This is a bit regrettably Friedmanish of me, but last night I wound up randomly meeting a young South Korean guy at a bar who’s in Stockholm as an exchange student and I asked him why he wanted to come to Sweden. He said Swedish people speak English very well and he wanted to improve his language skills. So I asked why he didn’t come to America where we speak better English than the Swedes (no offense) and don’t share Sweden’s perverse aversion to spicy food. He said it was too hard to get a visa to study in the USA.
You hear more and more stories like this in recent years and it’s just very hard for me to see the percentage in adopting visa policies that deter young, educated Asians from coming to the United States. From the very beginning our country has always derived powerful benefits from “brain drain” effects in which a healthy proportion of smart people from all around the world want to come here. There’s no good reason to throw that away.
In the face of seemingly accelerating climate change, some have proposed tackling the problem with geoengineering: intentionally altering the planet’s physical or biological systems to counteract global warming. One such strategy “” fertilizing the oceans with iron to stimulate phytoplankton blooms, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and export carbon to the deep sea “” should be abandoned.
So begins a recent Nature opinion piece, “Ocean fertilization: Time to move on” (subs. req’d, excerpted below) by four researchers and oceanographers.
The more you know about geo-engineering, the less sense it makes (see Science: “Optimism about a geoengineered ‘easy way out’ should be tempered by examination of currently observed climate changes”). The most “plausible” approach, massive aerosol injection, has potentially catastrophic impacts of its own and can’t possibly substitute for the most aggressive mitigation — see Caldeira calls the vision of Lomborg’s Climate Consensus “a dystopic world out of a science fiction story.” And for the deniers, geo-engineering is mostly just a ploy — see British coal industry flack pushes geo-engineering “ploy” to give politicians “viable reason to do nothing” about global warming.
Geo-engineering is a “smoke and mirrors solution,” though most people understand that the “mirrors” strategy is prohibitively expensive and impractical. One of the few remaining non-aerosol strategies still taken seriously by some is ocean fertilization. This Nature piece explains why it should be abandoned: