Showing posts from February, 2008

We Don't Know What We're Doing - Part II

I just finished reading a book called The Ingenuity Gap by Thomas Homer-Dixon His basic premise is that things are very complicated and we don't know what we're doing. In the previous post, I wrote about the grand experiment on our planet - considerably risky since we have so little knowledge of the ramifications of our actions. Today however, I would like to discuss economics.
First, the “market” is not a force of nature. It’s a man made concept. It seems obvious, but to hear free market advocates talk about it, one might think it’s as natural and inevitable as the weather.
Do the “experts” really know what the heck is going on? These experts – financial analysts, media stars on CNBC, get paid a lot of money because they supposedly have insight and analytical skills that allow them to predict what the market, and elements of the market, will do.
The expert’s track record indicates one of two things to me: either they are grossly incompetent or corrupt. Let’s consider three rela…

We Don't Know What We're Doing - Part I

I read a book recently called The Ingenuity Gap by Thomas Homer-Dixon. His basic premise is that the world is a complicated place and we really don't know what the heck we're doing. And, we'd better get smart quickly before we really screw things up.

I also read on Yahoo that ranchers, farmers and timbermen in Africa and South America are burning 60 acres of tropical rain forest every MINUTE! Consider this: the state of Illinois is 57,000 square miles. At the rate of 60 acres a minute, they are burning a rain forest the size of the state of Illinois every 424 days!

The Yahoo article states that 20% of all manmade CO2 emission are due to this burning. That's more than all the planes, trains, trucks and automobiles combined. It's second only to the burning of fossil fuels for electricity and heat. So, if we can get nuclear technology back in business, this might be the #1 source of CO2. Plus, the burn of the rain forest is a double-whammy: the forests absorb and store …

Spring Can Start Now

Spring can start next week as far as I'm concerned. We've had more snow this winter than we have had in a decade or so. I'm tired of it. I didn't go to work yesterday (I work occasionally at our local library in the computer room) because the library closed early due to the snow. We really didn't get too much (around 5"), but places north of us got 10" - 12". And, while we have a day or two respite from the snow (more supposedly Friday night / Saturday), there is no relief from the cold for weeks. What ever happened to global warming? Where did it go? It makes me want to buy a big - no, not big, GIGANTIC - SUV and just let it idle in the driveway.