Friday, August 3, 2007
Last week, WN predicted that if news mogul Richard Murdoch was successful
in acquiring the WSJ, its editorial policy on climate would not get
greener. Several readers, however, pointed out that Murdoch may have had
a recent epiphany on climate. Indeed, Monday's New York Times quoted a
May 8 Murdoch speech, "Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats."
To demonstrate his conversion, he went out and bought a Prius – for a lot
less than it cost him to buy Dow Jones. "The debate is shifting," he
said, "from whether climate change is really happening to how to solve
it." Is that enough to change the WSJ? I don't know.
Debate on The New Directions for Energy Independence, National Security,
and Consumer Protection Act begins today. The 720 page bill has a lot of
good stuff, but fails to boost the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
standard. John Dingell, the Representative from Chevrolet and Ford, who
chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, killed any increase in
CAFE. That sets up a Conference fight with the Senate, which included an
increase in its version. Dingell will probably win. The rest of us will
A Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker and two mini-submarines planted the
Russian flag on the sea floor at a depth of 2.6 miles. No one takes that
flag stuff seriously anymore, but the North Pole has more recoverable
resources than the Moon.
How can it be that 30 years after the Viking landings on Mars we still
don't know if there is life on our nearest neighbor? What have we been
doing? Life to which we are not related may be the most important quest
in science. It would put in perspective the foolish philosophical musings
about “purpose” that over the ages led to spilling the blood of countless
millions - and still takes lives. Perhaps then we could get on with
making the most of the wonderful cosmic accident of life on Earth.
Phoenix is not meant to search for life, but to see if conditions on Mars
justify a search. If all goes well, Phoenix will touch down in the
Martian arctic in May, 2008. Thirty years ago, two Viking Landers put
Martian soil in nutrient solutions and analyzed evolved gas for evidence
of life. It seemed positive, but was later identified as just a chemical