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Recent columns, essays,
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condemns backward Muslims (London Times)
General Musharraf said that the Islamic world was living in
darkness. Muslims had been left behind the developed world because
they had not invested in education and technology. Today we
are the poorest, the most illiterate, the most backward, the most
unhealthy, the most unenlightened, the most deprived and the weakest
of all the human race, he told a science and technology conference
on Saturday. The time had come for Islamic nations to take part
in collective self-criticism. Once such an assessment is made,
it would not be difficult to realise that the entire Islamic world
was far behind the developed world, he said.
Toll in Mideast Mounts as Recriminations Spiral (NYT)
In an audacious attack on a West Bank outpost on Tuesday night
[Feb. 19], Palestinian gunmen killed six Israeli soldiers and
then escaped, stunning an army that had already been reeling from
the deaths of seven soldiers since Thursday. It was the most lethal
attack on Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in more
than 16 months of fighting. In apparent reprisal, Israeli forces
attacked Yasir Arafats official compound in Gaza City early
today, killing at least four members of his elite guard, Palestinian
Invokes Religion In US War on Terrorism (WP)
Civilized people Muslims, Christians and Jews
all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity
is the Creator,Ashcroft said in prepared remarks released
by the Justice Department. Civilized people of all religious
faiths are called to the defense of His creation. We are a nation
called to defend freedom a freedom that is not the grant
of any government or document, but is our endowment from God.
Czar Issues Warning (WP)
Much like the airline industry before Sept. 11, high-tech
companies, customers and government agencies are well aware of security
vulnerabilities but are reluctant to pay to fix them, President
Bushs top computer security adviser said Tuesday [Feb. 19].
Its just a matter of time before terrorists use those flaws
to launch a cyberspace equivalent of the Sept. 11 attacks on critical
national infrastructure such as the electricity grid, said Richard
Clarke, the Bush administrations cyber security czar.
Farrakhan condemns U.S. war on terrorism (SacBee)
In a long history lesson illustrated with maps flashed on
the stadiums giant TV screens, Farrakhan explained that the
war on terrorism in Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern and African
conflicts, were instigated by the United States because of its insatiable
appetite for oil. If the truth were known, there would
be a Nuremberg trial for American presidents, he said. I
cannot allow them to use the American solider, black, brown and
poor white, to fight a war that is unjust and wrong. Farrakhan
added that true patriots should speak out against bad policies.
He also noted no Muslim leader could call a holy war against America,
but President Bush, by infuriating Muslims, can summon the
whole Muslim world against the West by how you prosecute this war
Mixes Jokes With Tough Talk (NYT)
Earlier in the day [Feb. 19] in a speech at the Richard
Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., Mr. Cheney spelled
out in greater detail why the administration must stop Iran, Iraq
and North Korea from continuing to develop or pursue nuclear, chemical
or biological weapons. A few of our friends in Europe are
hesitant to join in condemning what the president has called the
axis of evil, states and terrorist allies arming to
threaten the peace of the world, Mr. Cheney said. But
the evidence is compelling.
Targets Overlooked (ABC)
In the weeks before Sept. 11, both the FBI and the CIA were
almost certain an attack by Osama bin Laden was coming. But it turns
out both agencies were much more focused on U.S. targets overseas
than at home, and missed or failed to connect at least three signals
of what was going on in their own backyard.... All three clues
Moussaoui, the flight school alert from Phoenix, the two al Qaeda
men at large were forwarded weeks before Sept. 11 to the
analysts at the joint CIA-FBI counterterrorism center in Washington.
to deal with the American goliath (Andrew Rawnsley)
Relations between America and Europe, their oldest and most
natural allies, are descending to a nadir not seen in more than
half a century. Chris Patten lambasts the simplistic
Bush; the French Foreign Minister scoffs at the hyperpuissance;
the German Foreign Minister huffs about being treated as satellites.
When Americans can be bothered to listen, which is rarely, they
dismiss as effete appeasement the European wincing over George Bush's
blast at the axis of evil. Americans react and
quite understandably by asking who saved Europe from the
evils of first Nazism, then of Stalinism. Europe fears that America
has become a swaggering behemoth; the Americans despise Europe as
an axis of whingers. And both are broadly right.
Big Three are in denial: News media show Bias (L. Bracher
If a segment of our society is captive to a limited ideology,
are those voters disenfranchised from the democratic process? Citizens
vote one way, but if they had access to other ideas or viewpoints,
they might arrive at a different decision or choose another candidate.
Dems make plans to circumvent campaign (The Hill)
As comprehensive campaign finance reform nears its expected
enactment, House Democratic lawmakers have already adopted strategies
for redirecting the flow of large contributions to outside groups
aligned with their party, a move they hope will help them regain
control of the Chamber.... Reform legislation sponsored by Reps.
Chris Shays (R-Conn.) and Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) that passed the
House last week bans soft money but allows federal lawmakers to
raise funds in $20,000 increments for outside organizations as long
as those groups are nonpartisan. The loose restrictions
would allow party leaders to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars
for such groups.
at Last! (In November) (George Will)
Opinion polls invariably show negligible public interest in
campaign-finance reform, but almost every congressional district
has at least one newspaper hot for reform. Media cheerleading for
the bill has been relentless.... The media know that their power
increases as more and more restrictions are imposed on everyone
elses ability to participate in political advocacy.... The
bills authors say soft money is (a) scandalous and (b) not
to be tampered with until after they have re-elected themselves.
That is, they refused to ban soft money until they have spent all
that their parties have raised and will frenetically raise until
the Love of Money (Ben Stein; yes, that Ben Stein)
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, as a result of a mass of
securities frauds in Silicon Valley and in the Drexel Milken world
and in the S&Ls, there were hundreds of securities law
private class action suits against managers, directors, lawyers,
and accountants. The recoveries in these cases were in the tens
of billions. The accountants were called to account and hated it.
Their insurers on their malpractice policies hated the suits. So
did Silicon Valley. The defendants did a smart cost-benefit analysis.
They figured out that they would be better off if they got new laws
to hinder lawsuits against them than if they actually went to the
immense trouble of doing their work properly. It was far cheaper
to pay campaign contributions to Congress than to forgo their freewheeling
ways. So money was paid, promises were made, and the law was changed
Buchanan, Demand Debate Reform (CNS)
Two former presidential nominees Monday called for the formation
of a new commission on presidential debates that would include more
than just Republicans and Democrats. Green Party nominee Ralph Nader
and Reform Party nominee Pat Buchanan, both of whom were on the
2000 presidential ballot, believe they and their parties were excluded
from the debates prior to last year's election because of a two-party
Industry Wants to Quash Privacy Rules in the Name of Security (FOX)
Bank lobbyists are pushing for federal aid to overturn consumer
privacy laws on the grounds that they impede attempts at trapping
terrorists. The industry is appealing to Homeland Security Director
Tom Ridge and legislators for federal money to block state privacy
protection laws that prohibit banks from sharing information without
permission. Bankers say such regulations could prevent them from
alerting authorities of suspicious activity.... But some state leaders
dont buy it, saying state laws make adequate exemptions for
law enforcement. They suspect bankers are exploiting the national
security issue to disguise what theyre really after: the freedom
to sell customer information for profit.
the outrage? (Frank Gaffney Jr.)
Until Thursday [Feb. 14], the argument was that an investigation
at this time would distract the agencys personnel from the
war on terrorism. Then suddenly, on Valentines Day, everything
changed. The [Congressional Intelligence] Committee chairmen expressed
their commitment to in Mr. Grahams words, Let
the chips fall where they may, whether its individuals, institutions
or processes. For his part, [CIA] Director Tenet announced
that he welcomed the inquiry, saying: Its important
we have a record. It is a record of discipline, strategy, focus
and action. What, it might reasonably be asked, prompted such
an apparently complete reversal since it seems the demands on the
U.S. intelligence community to ferret out and defeat terrorists
are as great as ever? There appears to be only one explanation:
The fix is in.
turns away from the weaklings of Europe (Irwin Stelzer)
Some in Washington are arguing that there is an unfortunate
coincidence of timing: the War on Terror has made clear Europes
impotence at precisely the time that it has demonstrated Americas
overwhelming technological advantages. At least, thats how
an increasingly self-confident White House team sees things. The
military weakness of Europe is only one factor that is causing the
EU to be seen as irrelevant. Administration officials are convinced
that Europe is completely inward-looking, obsessed with tweaking
the various bureaucratic institutions that are known here as Brussels.
They contrast this with outwardlooking America. While Europe fusses
over Macedonia and the problems of French farmers, America is developing
new, innovative long-run policies towards countries that really
matter in the 21st century China, Russia, India.
the right side of history (Mark Steyn)
Sixty years ago, another simple-minded absolutist was in unilateralist
overdrive. George Winston Bush was in Downing Street filling the
air with inflammatory cowboy rhetoric about a monstrous tyranny
never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.
Meanwhile, on the Continent, EU Marshal Chris Pétain was
deploring this crude talk of the abyss of a new Dark Age
as frankly unhelpful and certainly not as effective as constructive
engagement with moderate elements in the Third
Reich. At decisive moments in human history, someone has to be simple,
someone has to be primal. For two crucial years in the mid-20th
century, the British Empire played that role alone, and in so doing
saved the world. This is one of those moments. If Osama had had
a nuke on 11 September, hed have used it. Maybe Saddam wouldnt,
maybe hed be more rational. But, honestly, Id rather
not wait to find out.
has performed 3 exorcisms to ward off devil (Yahoo India News)
Pope John Paul has performed three exorcisms during his 23-year
pontificate, including one as recently as September, one of the
Catholic Churchs leading exorcists said on Monday. Father
Gabriele Amorth told Italys La Stampa newspaper that the Pope
had carried out his first exorcism in 1982.
on East Coast Raises Worries of Water Rationing (NYT)
Through the dry, cold nights and almost balmy winter days,
across snowless mountains and under desert-blue skies, a record-setting
drought has settled over the New York region and much of the East
Coast, raising fears of a spring and summer of water rationing,
dying plants and mud flats where water and life once ran. Water
experts who have pored over records for precedents for the current
situation are using words like wild and scary.
Not only is the Eastern Seaboard feeling the effects of a dry fall
and winter, but those are just the latest dry seasons in a dry spell
that began in 1998. Unlike most droughts, the current one stretches
in an almost unbroken line from Georgia to Maine.
to Earth (BBC)
This is what scientists are calling the most detailed colour
image ever made of the entire Earth. Composite satellite images
showing the cloud-free Earth have been made before, but Nasas
latest image beats all others in terms of accuracy and the amount
of data that went into it.
and Psychics Hail Rare Time Symmetry (Yahoo! News)
Two minutes past eight on Wednesday night [Feb. 20] marks
a millennial mathematical curiosity with time and date forming a
rare triple palindrome 20:02, 20/02/2002 reading the
same backwards and forwards. John Cremona, pure mathematics professor
at Britains Nottingham University, said the last time that
date and time were aligned in this way was on the morning of November
11, in the year 1111. He said that the time, date and year would
be palindromic again in 110 years, at 12 minutes past nine in the
evening of December 21, 2112 or 21:12, 21/12/2112.
of more permanent interest
The Left Undermined Americas Security (David Horowitz)
Underlying the Clinton security failure was the fact that
the Administration was made up of people who for twenty-five years
had discounted or minimized the totalitarian threat, opposed Americas
armed presence abroad, and consistently resisted the deployment
of Americas military forces to halt Communist expansion. National
Security Advisor Sandy Berger was himself a veteran of the Sixties
anti-war movement, which abetted the Communist victories
in Vietnam and Cambodia, and created the Vietnam War syndrome
that made it so difficult afterwards for American presidents to
deploy the nations military forces.
cost of academic integrity (Walter Williams)
College budgets depend on admitting warm bodies. That means
we cant expect college administrators to do anything to stop
unprepared students from being admitted, courses dumbed-down and
fraudulent grades given. Boards of Trustees tend to be yes-men and
women for the president, so we cant expect anything from them.
The money spigot needs to be turned off.
Alumni, foundations and other charitable donors not to mention
taxpayers should be made aware of fraudulent practices and
Plains vs. The Atlantic: Is Middle America a backwater, or a reservoir?
The combination of progressive taxation and urban real-estate
prices ensures that almost nobody on the coasts has more spendable
income than the highest paid people in Franklin County or the rest
of rural Red America. People here in Missouris small towns
can buy a beautiful older home for less than $100,000. Brooks makes
much of the fact that he literally could not spend more than $20
for a meal in Franklin County. The fare in Red America is a bit
limited. You cant buy one of those meals with a dime-sized
entrée in the middle of a huge plate, with some sort of sauce
artfully squirted about. But you can buy a pound of prime rib for
ten bucks. Class-consciousness isnt a problem in Red America,
because most people can afford to buy everything thats for
that the classics speak to everyone (Katherine Kersten)
For 35 years now, weve been hearing that the classics
the great books of the Western world are largely irrelevant
in todays classrooms. Why? Most were written by dead white
males. Obviously, then, they can hold little meaning for females
or for black or Hispanic kids. Everyone knows that if young people
are to be moved or inspired, they need books whose authors look
like them. Try telling that to the students at Wilbur Wright
College, a two-year community college in a working-class neighborhood
in Chicago. Students at Wright are predominantly black, Hispanic
or from immigrant families. Wright is for kids who arent ready
for four-year colleges. Yet students there are flocking to a Great
Books program and lining up to read authors like Plato, Cicero and
Green Matrix (Diane Alden)
The people who rule the green matrix seek to centrally plan
our lives. They have adopted the same philosophy as those who drove
the peasants off the land in Russia. They are of the same mind as
the Red Guard in China. They are willing
to sacrifice science, the truth and freedom, as well as the well-being
of humans and the environment, in order to promote their utopian
vision for the world a vision that considers man a cancer
on the land. Strangely, the term green
matrix comes up in many of their studies, claims and policy
papers. But this isnt a movie. It is the new totalitarian
the Muslims Misjudged Us (Victor Hanson)
Two striking themes one overt, one implied characterize
most Arab invective: first, there is some sort of equivalence
political, cultural, and military between the West and the
Muslim world; and second, America has been exceptionally unkind
toward the Middle East. Both premises are false and reveal that
the temple of anti-Americanism is supported by pillars of utter
out grammar (Linda Chavez)
I learned how to diagram sentences in elementary school
or what we used to call, appropriately, grammar school.... Progressive
teachers and their professional associations, especially the National
Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), believe diagramming sentences
is make-work that bores students and turns them off to writing.
So they banished diagramming from the classroom years ago, along
with most grammar instruction.
Toward Bias: A Neo-Conservative Critiques the Media (Poynter)
The media, notably certain powerful big city dailies
and the network news divisions that generally follow their lead,
reflect a worldview that is not only distinctly liberal in character,
but hostile to those who hold alternative views.
Education of Abraham Lincoln (Eric Foner)
He read incessantly, beginning as a youth with the Bible and
Shakespeare. During his single term in the House of Representatives,
his colleagues considered it humorous that Lincoln spent his spare
time poring over books in the Library of Congress. The result of
this stunning work of self-education was the intellectual
power revealed in Lincolns writings and speeches.
Days in September (WP)
This series is based on interviews with President Bush, Vice
President Cheney and many other key officials inside the administration
and out. The interviews were supplemented by notes of National Security
Council meetings made available to The Washington Post, along with
notes taken by several participants.
Boys (Amy Benfer)
Suddenly, the debate among researchers is focused on the boys:
Are they behind because of the girl empowerment movement? Are they
being shortchanged in the classroom simply because they are boys?
News: Fair and balanced coverage requires diversity of opinion (Cathy
Neither Goldberg nor McGowan allege a deliberate vast left-wing
conspiracy to distort the news. Rather, they convincingly argue
that news coverage is often influenced by a knee-jerk bias stemming
from the journalists own views on political and social issues.
and Diversity in American Religion (Alan Wolfe)
No aspect of life is considered so important to Americans
outside higher education, yet deemed so unimportant by the majority
of those inside, as religion. The relative indifference to religion
in higher education may be changing, however, as a wide variety
of social and intellectual trends converge.
Trouble With Self-Esteem (Lauren Slater)
There is absolutely no evidence that low self-esteem
is particularly harmful, Emler says. Its not at
all a cause of poor academic performance; people with low self-esteem
seem to do just as well in life as people with high self-esteem.
In fact, they may do better, because they often try harder.
We Don’t Marry (James Q. Wilson)
“Marriage was once a sacrament, then it became a contract, and
now it is an arrangement. Once religion provided the sacrament,
then the law enforced the contract, and now personal preferences
define the arrangement.”
This Views Column
A Tale of
Three Doctors and What it Tells Us About the Environmental
Movement (Part One)
No, theyre not physicians, the three doctors of this Tale.
They are the following:
R. Ehrlich, Ph.D., Bing Professor of Population Studies
at Stanford University and president of its Center for Conservation
L. Simon, Ph.D. (1932-1998), Professor of Business
Administration at the University of Maryland and Distinguished
Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute; and,
Lomborg, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Statistics at
the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
Population studies? Business administration? Statistics? Yawn.
No... wait... these gentlemen, their ideas and their writings,
are at the center of an international fracas.
Doctor One. Ehrlich appears first in this Tale,
all the way back in 1968: in that year, his book The Population
Bomb was published. It sold 3,000,000 copies, and got the
author a guest spot on The Tonight Show.
In his book, Ehrlich proclaimed that the battle to feed all
of humanity is over. And we lost that battle: In the
1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death
in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date
nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate....
Later, in 1974, he and his wife Anne published The End of
Affluence. We were still facing an impending apocalypse:
the book warned of a nutritional disaster that seems likely
to overtake humanity in the 1970s (or, at the latest, the 1980s).
Due to a combination of ignorance, greed, and callousness, a situation
has been created that could lead to a billion or more people starving
Ehrlich, of course, has not been able to say I told you so.
And, fortunately, it does not seem that he will ever be able to
Doctor Two. Simon comes into the Tale in 1980.
Fed up after more than a decade of similar apocalyptic pronouncements,
he published Resources, Population, Environment: An Oversupply
of False Bad News in the June 17, 1980, issue of Science.
His article began with something of a manifesto, and has earned
Simon the epithet The Doomslayer:
False bad news about population growth, natural
resources, and the environment is published widely in the face
of contrary evidence. For example, the world supply of arable
land has actually been increasing, the scarcity of natural resources
including food and energy has been decreasing, and basic measures
of U.S. environmental quality show positive trends. The aggregate
data show no long-run negative effect of population growth upon
standard of living.
(Arable land is land capable of being cultivated for
food production. And the strange double negative scarcity...
has been decreasing required, I surmise, by
the terms in which his opponents had been framing the discussion
means that the known supply of natural resources
has been increasing.)
Ehrlich wrote a letter to Science in response to Simons
article. But they engaged their argument in quite a different way
later that year. In response to a proclamation from Ehrlich
If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England
will not exist in the year 2000 Simon publicly proffered
a real wager: he was willing to stake $10,000 that the cost
of non-government-controlled raw materials (including grain and
oil) will not rise in the long run.
Ehrlich and two colleagues took the bet. (They thought, it is said,
that it would be easy money.) The raw materials they chose were
chromium, copper, nickel, tin, and tungsten: they expected all of
these materials to become scarcer and, thus, to rise in price over
the following ten years.
They were wrong, and Simon won the bet, as detailed in a remarkable
by Ed Regis in Wired, Feb. 1997:
Between 1980 and 1990, the worlds population
grew by more than 800 million, the largest increase in one decade
in all of history. But by September 1990, without a single exception,
the price of each of Ehrlichs selected metals had fallen,
and in some cases had dropped through the floor. Chrome, which
had sold for $3.90 a pound in 1980, was down to $3.70 in 1990.
Tin, which was $8.72 a pound in 1980, was down to $3.88 a decade
Now, Ehrlich has been wrong, over and over and over again, for
decades, yet he has won world-wide acclaim for being some kind of
prophet. He should be a gambler: he loses every hand, but
somehow manages to win the game.
Simon, having merely the available facts and demonstrable history
to back up his contrary opinions, lived somewhat in the shadow of
his acclaimed opponent. He published quite a few books, which only
won him opprobrium for daring to say, in effect, that The
Good News is That the Bad News is Wrong. As Regis put it
in his Wired article:
Naturally, he received a fair amount of bad press
for all this heresy, particularly for his pet claim that what
the world needs most is lots of additional human beings. Theyre
not just mouths to feed, he argued. Newborn babes grow up to be
creative adults; they turn into individuals who contribute and
achieve, who give back far more than they ever take.... Resources
come out of peoples minds more than out of the ground or
air, says Simon. Minds matter economically as much
as or more than hands or mouths. Human beings create more than
they use, on average. It had to be so, or we would be an extinct
Yes, Simon received naturally? bad press
for his good news. This is a theme to which we must return. Now
lets bring this Tale closer to our own time.
Doctor Three. Lomborg is a late comer to the Tale
with the publication of his book The Skeptical Environmentalist
Whats the connection between Lomborg, on the one hand, and
Ehrlich and Simon on the other? The connection is the very article
on Simon by Ed Regis that I have quoted: Lomborg read it and was
aghast that Simon had the impudence to say that all the doomsayers
were wrong, and that facts and historical trends show them to be
wrong. Lomborg believed the doomsaying and, being a statistician
naturally keen on facts and historical trends he took
Simons effrontery as something of a professional challenge.
So, Lomborg and some of his associates set out to prove Simon wrong.
Instead, they discovered that the facts do, indeed, tend to prove
that Simon, The Doomslayer, is largely right, and
the doomsayers, like Ehrlich, are largely wrong.
I have not read The Skeptical Environmentalist. But
Lomborg wrote a series of three articles, published the first week
of September 2001, in The National Post, a Canadian publication.
In them, he lays out the case in brief that he lays out at length
in his book, also published that month. (These articles are no longer
available at the URLs I have for them.)
In the first article,
Sep. 1, Lomborg sets forth what he (following Simons
lead) calls The Litany:
We are defiling our Earth, we are told. Our resources
are running out. The population is ever-growing, leaving less
and less to eat. Our air and water is more and more polluted.
The planets species are becoming extinct in vast numbers
we kill off more than 40,000 each year. Forests are disappearing,
fish stocks are collapsing, the coral reefs are dying. The fertile
topsoil is vanishing. We are paving over nature, destroying the
wilderness, decimating the biosphere and will end up killing ourselves
in the process. The worlds ecosystem is breaking down. We
are fast approaching the absolute limit of viability.
He wastes no time in setting the record straight about The
It does not seem to be backed up by the available
evidence. We are not running out of energy or natural resources.
There is ever more food, and fewer people are starving. In 1900,
we lived for an average of 30 years; today we live for 67. According
to the UN, we have reduced poverty more in the last 50 years than
we did in the preceding 500, and it has been reduced in practically
He proceeds to dispute almost every aspect of the doomsayers
- agricultural production, and food consumption, in developing
countries have actually increased in the past 30 years;
- in the last 200 years, food prices have decreased by 90%;
- the rate of population growth increase has been declining for
- air and water are becoming less and less polluted with every
- species are not becoming extinct at a rapid rate; and,
- widely held forecasts of global warming are overly pessimistic.
In his second article
in the series, Sep. 3, Lomborg takes a closer look at our resources,
and oil in particular our dependence on it, and our fears
of running out of it.
It seems that we have been running out of oil as long as anybody
In 1914, the U.S. Bureau of Mines estimated that
supplies would last only 10 more years. In 1939, the U.S. department
of the interior predicted oil would last only 13 more years. In
1951, it made the same projection: oil had only 13 more years.
As Professor Frank Notestein of Princeton said in his later years:
Weve been running out of oil ever since I was a boy.
Though consumption has, of course, increased dramatically, we now
have more known reserves of oil than ever before. This is the case,
too, with other natural resources: though we use more and more of
them, we have more left over for the future. Why? Because we discover
more and more of them and learn ways to use them more efficiently.
In the last article
in the series, Sep. 5, Lomborg basically accepts the premises
of a 2001 report sponsored by an agency of the United Nations, but
thinks that many conclusions drawn from the data are outlandish:
he says we have to sort reality out from the hyperbole. And he argues
that some of the proposed cures for global warming could
be worse than the problem itself:
Despite our intuition that we need to do something
drastic about global warming, we are in danger of implementing
a cure that is more costly than the original affliction: economic
analyses clearly show that it will be far more expensive to cut
carbon dioxide emissions radically than to pay the costs of adaptation
to the increased temperatures.
Indeed, the Kyoto Protocol would require that the developed world
spend astronomical fortunes to produce only a minuscule effect on
the environment by the end of this century, money that Lomborg argues
would be much better spent improving conditions in the developing
A spate of articles preceded and accompanied the publication of
The Skeptical Environmentalist. But Lomborg has been
in the news again lately and that will be the subject of
the rest of this column, which will continue in the next issue of
What would we do without professors? If not for one Clyde
Ebenreck, a philosophy professor at Prince
Georges Community College, I would never have suspected
that terrorism lives within our own souls here in the
Thats what Ebenreck wrote
in response, Feb. 19, to the question Is the U.S. fight
[against terrorism] consistent with the concept of a just
.... Until the Klan is rooted out of our American
souls, until homophobia is driven from the consciousness of our
youngsters, until wealth no longer buys government favors, terrorism
in this country will be alive and well.... So the Taliban has had its rule restricted, the Taliban
are not and were not the terrorists. Terrorism lives within our
If the Taliban are not terrorists, but terrorism is within our
American souls, why has the professor not seen fit to move to Afghanistan,
say, where people are apparently much finer human beings than we
horrible Americans are?
Its not because he wants to stay here and fight what he thinks
is the good fight. Oh, no. He would have to give up the conveniences,
privileges, and luxuries that his life as a professor
at an American college affords him. Where on the Earth is there
a more privileged, pampered, insulated bunch of people than on Americas
campuses among the professional academics? (Hollywood? Okay. But
Note well, Ebenreck is not complaining about the Ku Klux Klan,
which has indeed committed acts of terrorism against fellow Americans,
and is justly condemned: he is complaining about the Klan in our
Professor, there is no Klan in my American soul. Terrorism does
not live in my American soul.
Speak for yourself. Or is that, indeed, exactly what you are doing?
As have been many Americans and, I trust, men of good will
around the world I was saddened, and troubled, and angered,
by the senseless murder of Daniel Pearl, a reporter for the Wall
Dannys death is a terrible reminder, like
so many others since last September 11, that evil still stalks
this world. Danny was no soldier or spy, as his killers claimed
in their e-mails. He was a noncombatant, an American journalist
trying to understand and explain the Islamic world to his readers.
His death is an act of barbarism for its own evil sake. (WSJs
Opinion Journal, Feb. 22)
My heart goes out to his wife and family, his friends and colleagues.
For two years in the mid-1990s, I sat in a cubicle
next to Danny Pearls in the Washington bureau of the Wall
Street Journal.... Dannys best friend at the paper, who
also sat beside me I was sandwiched between the two
was a spirited Muslim named Asra Nomani. (Timothy
Noah in Slate, Feb. 21)
Requiescat in pace: may he rest in peace.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince
who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble,
such as never has been since there was a nation till that time;
but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose
name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who
sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting
life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who
are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and
those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever
and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book,
until the time of the end. (Daniel