Monday, February 12, 2007

Angry White Dixie Chicks

You ever wonder how messed up the three Dixie Chicks must be these days?

They won a ton of Grammy's last night. I didn't watch, of course, but the news has all sorts of gloating stories about "vindication," etc.

The news is a product of the press.

The Grammy's are a product of the Music Industry.

Both of these, as you well know, are in a near free-fall. Why? Because they aren't credible, likeable, or believable. The Dixie Chicks getting recognition and cover time by the Grammy's and the Press is akin to Ted Nugent getting "Hunter of the Year" from the NRA. It means everything, if you care about the group that's recognizing you, and absolutely nothing to anyone else.

The Dixie Chicks had to cancel whole swaths of their 2005/6 tour. Big chunks of the USA spoke with the only voice that matters - their wallets - and told them "what you did was wrong, and how you're responding is only more wrong."

We've come to learn that their nemesis, Toby Keith, is about as liberal as I am conservative. He's a democrat. The difference is: contrary to the image he likes to project, Toby Keith is a gentleman. He learned early on that you don't mix work and politics. He has, in basic terms, class.

Would I vote for him, were he to run for office? Depends upon the office. Probably not, but that's based wholly on issues. Would I let him watch my kids, or take care of my dogs, and would I do the same for him? Based on what I know of him now, I'd say "yes." He seems like the kind of guy you could have a meal with and actually enjoy the conversation.

The Dixie Chicks? Not a chance. And there is zero chance that I'd let them watch the dogs, either.

In general, you don't let children watch children, and how these girls continue to behave is childish. When a child acts childish, that's expected. When an adult acts childish, it's uncomfortable at best, and deeply unsettling at worst. The Chicks' behavior falls somewhere on that continuum.

So have your laugh, girls, and enjoy the fact that your comrades have recognized you. Perhaps for a day or two it will hide the fact that you really did have what Toby Keith still has - people listening to his music - and you threw it away.

"Hollywood," to coin a term for the establishment that you are basically now a part of, doesn't really like Country Music. Don't believe me? Look how they treat their own. They throw cheap statues at an album that sold so poorly that the tour had to be canceled.

Maybe instead of birds feet, the chicks can tatoo little flags on their feet for this. It would represent how they ignored reality and instead just planted the flag and declared victory...


Carbon, for Morons

I read an article over the weekend about how breathing did NOT account for any global warming. In this moronic article, the author indicated that "since you're breathing oxygen that plants have given off, and only putting in carbon that you have consumed, it's zero sum."

Next time you hear someone say something favorable about a "liberal arts education," laugh right at their face. Perhaps these people can tell you all about James Joyce, but they don't understand even High School chemistry.

Global Warming, we are told, is being caused by a spike in CO2, Methane, and quite a few other "greenhouse gasses." Obviously that's true. We're also being told that the planet is getting warmer because of measurable solar activity. This is also true, and documentable, although for some bizarre reason people want to believe one or the other, but not both.

Humans, unlike any other animal that has ever lived on this planet, build things. We farm, we build, we invent, etc. And these activities take carbon that is in the ground, and put it into the air.

What's not true, however, is that this human *activity* is the only human impact on the greenhouse gasses. Just our *being here* is moving a lot of carbon that would have stayed in the ground into the air. How this is passed off as "a closed cycle" is completely beyond me, and it should be beyond anyone with brains.

Let's talk about a closed system that consists of a tree a living human, and a human in a space suit. The tree breathes in CO2 and breathes out O2. The human does exactly the opposite. Let's presume perfect balance - the tree breathes in 100% of what the human breathes out, and vice versa. As for the human in the space suit, his carbon is 100% represented in this system, but he is breathing into a space suit so his breathing is not.

Now let's turn off the space suit, open the mask, and let the spaceman breathe into our closed system.

The human breathes in the O2. So does the spaceman. They both breathe out CO2. The tree breathes it in - but only to its capacity, which is 1 human's worth. We've added zero carbon to the equation, but suddenly there's twice as much CO2 being produced - more than the tree can handle, in fact.

There are six billion humans on the planet. If you map CO2 to human population growth, the slopes are virtually identical.

Part of this, of course, is because those humans take carbon from the ground (Oil, coal, etc.) and burn it into CO2. Part of it is because those humans eat chicken and beef and pigs, which also generate CO2. But a lot of it is simply because those humans breathe.

They take carbon that was in the ground, eat it, and breathe/burp/fart it out as CO2. Human CO2 is identical to automobile CO2, and coal burning to CO2, and natural gas burned to CO2. It's CO2, and it's in the atmosphere, and whatever trees and plankton are there to absorb it have to absorb it - or not.

To presume that humans don't *directly* contribute to global warming is simply asinine.

Moreover, do you know what the largest greenhouse "gas" is? Water vapor. That's right, steam (technically it's vapor, but it's very similar). As the planet gets warmer, even slightly, the amount of vapor coming off the oceans spikes and creates a massive layer of insulation. It's also a layer of potential energy, which is why we see things like Oswego's killer snowstorm today, but I digress.

Tell me, what other animal "mines" for water? Deer? Bears? Monkeys? Nope, only us. Only humans have the ability to drill deep into the Oglala aquifer and release water that has been there for millions of years, pulling it to the surface and releasing it into the environment. For every cup of carbon (oil, etc.) that a human uses in a day, how many gallons of water does that same human use? One or two showers a day, three cups of coffee, a big pot of pasta boiling, running the dishwasher, running the washing machine, washing the car, etc.

Those aquifers out in the dessert aren't replenishing. They can't. They are too deep and too ancient. Surface water can't percolate that deep. And to the degree that some water *is* getting in to them, it's hardly enough. Oglala, for example, is being drained 100X faster than it's replenishing.

Nationally it's like we're pulling a new Lake Erie out of the ground every year, and just flinging it into our lawns, showers, toilets, etc. - largely to evaporate.

Yes, people cause global warming, but it's not from where you think. Just being here and being civilized is all that it takes.