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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • "Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively, the pacifist is pro-Nazi." -George Orwell, 1941

    Similarly, those who wanted to do exactly nothing about Saddam Hussein, were objectively, pro-Bathist.

    • Well, here's one way to look at it. This summer around 10,000 people (this is a conservative estimate based solely on some undertakers, the total will be higher) died in France alone, not to mention the rest of the EU, due to global warming entailed by CO2 emissions. Which country produces half of the world's CO2 emissions for 5% of its population? How many casulties does one thing need make to count as a WMD? Should one support a war to gain access to the means of producing more emissions?

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

        • ...due to global warming entailed by CO2 emissions.

        This has not been proven.

        In any case, the EU produces a great deal of Green House Gasses itself and is not meeting it's own commitments to reduce those emissions.

        I wonder why ElfFina didn't volunteer to give up it's own contracts with Saddam Hussein that gave them access to an inexpensive means of producing more emissions? Or, why France has diplomatically tried to reassert those same contracts?

        It's easy to find fault, except when the fault is with

          • It's easy to find fault, except when the fault is with yourself.

          When I said this, I didn't know how much blame could be laid directly at the feet of the French Government and Society. An article in the Independent highlights the negligence of French institutions here [independent.co.uk]:

          As a political storm raged over blame for the deaths, President Jacques Chirac called an emergency cabinet meeting and promised an inquiry to examine "with complete openness" the failings of the health and welfare system.

          Half the victim

          • Hey jordan, there are a number of things which you say that I think I address (or not, but at least talk about) in, as of now, my latest journal entry, so I won't go into detail about them here (unless there's good reason, and I unfortunately won't have much time to answer in a timely fashion, sorry about that).

            First and foremost, I in no way contradict the fact that the current french government completely failed to deal with the situation that occured this summer. Two major warnings were given to them, one long term and another short term. The long term one was the UNO conference on climate change in 2001 that described in much detail very precisely what happened this summer not just concerning old people but also problems relating to water supply, tourism distribution (France being the number one touristic destination with over 60 million people per year, most of which during the summer, you can understand the economic importance of the problem despite its apparent triviality), or energy production to quote a few, saying that the likeliness of those problems occuring in the first decade of the century was above 90% due to global warming. The short term one was simply the heat wave, to which the government started acting upon after it had lasted five days, and even though all forecasts had seen it coming. Oh, and there's this long-term meteorological prevision center we have that politicians normally fight to be very proud of. Last January, they predicted this would be the hottest summer ever known. None of the politicians seem to be interested in their former pride today.

            So there's no doubt about that part. At least a chunk of them, if not the entire government, is likely to pay its political career to that (of which I and the article you quote have only covered superficialities) in the month(s) to come. I hope. On to equipment. Yes, there was unsufficient equipment. But why? Well, simply because it was never needed. French hostpitals and old people's homes are well-equiped with what they normally need. But I don't think you appreciate what has just happened. It wasn't just a few slightly warmer days. It was over two weeks of beating heat records every day. Honestly, I'm unsure how to make it clear just how unusual, and in fact "scary" even for very healthy people, it was. The day maxima were beaten several times. But beating them once is nothing, it happens every so often. The problem is beating them several days in a row, ie having more record-beating days in two weeks than there were total in a century. And it's not just the day maxima, the night maxima were simply unheard of. The previous record was measured in the 1870s and by and wide considered to be very much dubious. We nevertheless went way over that, and in non-dubious manners.

            So why weren't hospitals equiped? Because they don't normally have to. And by normally, I mean that in the most warm summers, they have special rooms and special equipments to deal with what are "normal" summers. But this was nothing like it and they were overtaken by it. Really. It has been terrible. I don't know how much news you got about it over there, but it was serious -- not a problem with the hospitals. To put it simply, the main issue was that hyperthermia is cumulative. That is, when there are normally one to two days of excessive heat in a year, some weak people still handle it well. But when it is twelve days in a row, each day tired them more and hyperthermia quickly becomes very frequent. The first three days of the heat wave were normal in terms of mortality, the fourth day shows a ten-fold increase. The hostpitals weren't equiped to deal with a heat wave both so long and so strong because it had never happened, by any measure.

            So all I mean, and meant in the previous comments, is do give thought about it. Numbers of people don't make reason but the US is the only industrialized country in which people will claim that CO2 has nothing to do with it. That may mean something. No I don't think that Americans are monstrous. I mean not at all to insult, harm, or anything wrong. But seen from here it does, and to anyone, sound a lot like teaching creationism in school as it happens in various places, or like saying that garlic and olive oil are all that's needed to fight VIH (as claimed until recently by the South African government). There may be something worth listening to in there. Or at least, out of sheer honest doubt, to burn just a little less oil.

            --

            -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]