January 2007 Archives

Please tax me more! Seriously!

January 24, 2007

I am not an economic theorist. But sometimes I like to pretend that I "get" economics. And that I get political theory. So I'm going to talk about government regulations for a moment. If that sounds boring... well, yes it is, but these are things that make the world go round.

Science vs. Religion: A Way Forward

January 18, 2007

Way back in November I had entry discussing "science vs. religion", lamenting the growing "evangelism" of science. Since then I've been meaning to followup with a continuing theme of fundamentalism: specifically, agreeing that religious fundamentalism often stands in the way of applying scientific progress to social development and knowledge. I do not argue that with this group of arch-atheists. Perhaps I will come back to that theme another time. But today I want to look at the way forward — agreement on climate change.

For the Reverend Martin Luther King...

January 15, 2007

Today, "MLK Day," I would like publicly to remember the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a man with more than just dreams, a man who better than just about any American of his century knew that hard work and sacrifice can truly shape reality in the direction of our dreams. He was a man whose philosophy I have admired even if I do not explicitly agree with all his religious views. He was an imperfect man, with some well-documented flaws — but knowing this makes him no less the hero. Rather it makes him a human hero instead of a merely mythologized one.

Help Stop Genocide in Darfur

January 5, 2007

I know you're aware that the situation in Darfur is horrible — and has been so for several years now. Hundreds of thousands dead. More refugees than any country other than Palestine or Afghanistan. A weak insurgency (with combatants who really need to put down their arms) countered by a government propped up by high oil prices and tacit Chinese support… a situation in desperate need of real peace keepers. That's where we are today, about three years into the conflict.

Wal Mart Promoting Lower Energy Consumption

January 2, 2007

Wal-Mart has decided to put their massive supply-management/manipulation machine to work promoting compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs are probably the most effective easy strategy for an individual to reduce their carbon footprint. They use a quarter of the energy and last at least four-times as long regular light bulbs (incandescents) &mash; and that means far less electricity and far less carbon dioxide created. The government Energy Star web site has a good overview.

Some complain that they don't like the light — well, you get used to it pretty quickly, and they've made great strides in improving the quality. Ikea has cheap/good bulbs, and they take the bulbs for recycling (that's the biggest drawback to these bulbs — like all fluorescents, they have mercury and should not be thrown into the garbage). If you care at all about the potential impact of global warming, then replacing most if not all of your bulbs with CFLs is a no-brainer.

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