2.16.2006

Heatup Roundup: Clearing the decks edition

I'm away for a long weekend in the Sierras and their diminishing snowpack, so here's some stuff:

• Guess who's to blame for New Orleans. Go ahead. Wrong! It's the victims! Here's the money quote from No se nada:

If we want to reframe Katrina more intelligently we might as well be honest: Katrina's real name is Gambling Addiction. Accepting the risks and rewards before beginning the game, some of us are willing to gamble by living in hazardous areas.
It's a little more subtle than that, but still, stupid people! Trusting the Corps of Engineers! (Having said that, I know that I am, to some extent, culpable when my house collapses during the earthquake I know is coming. But it doesn't let everything else off the hook, as this post seems to imply.)

Roger Pielke Jr. still on the "what is science, what is policy, what is science policy" beat. Overall thrust seems to be that he hates scientists who make a lot of noise and frighten the horses: "And because the issue is so politicized only the most high-minded and responsible scientists will avoid getting caught up in mud slinging. " That, my friends, is a sniff worthy of Margaret Dumont. William Connelly finds this attitude (though not this specific post, as far as I know) "beastly." Whoa, dude! Put down that mud!

Robert Frank (warning: TimesSelect) has a nice piece on why gas taxes would be good all around, and why they won't happen anytime soon. The amen comes from Environmental Economics, free-markety dudes who are not usually aligned with panicky green guys like me.

• For fans of alt-power (you know, with the hipster glasses and the old Yo La Tengo posters), some news here, here, and here. I'm glad I'm not a scientist so I don't have to assess the validity of these things!

• Oh, and Greenland's melting. Decent summary here. Kevin Drum is worried about it. Very few of my fellow-travellers on the leftish-moderate-what have you side are, however. This surprises me, yet does not delight.

I'll see y'all when I'm back at sea level.

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