Will Al Gore make billions if cap and trade passes?

I spotted this story over on Steve Milloy’s Green Hell blog.

He writes:

Al Gore’s venture capital firm has invested $6 million in a software company that stands to make billions of dollars from cap-and-trade regulation — further fueling controversy that Gore lied about his profiteering from cap-and-trade to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee during testimony in April.

Hara Software sells software to help track greenhouse gas emissions. The market for such software is now about $2.5 billion dollars in size, and is expected to grow by a factor of ten to $25 billion if cap-and-trade legislation is enacted, according to Hara CEO Amit Chatterjee.

…Gore is also under fire for lying to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) at the same congressional hearing about his relationship with Goldman Sachs.

My post featuring the video of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn grilling Al Gore on his investments is here.

Debate: June 11, 2009 in Toronto: Tony Costa vs. Habeeb Alli

Christianity vs. Islam debate

Tony Costa e-mailed me to notify my readers in Ontario about a debate scheduled for this Thursday!

Details here.

  • Date: June 11, 2009 @ 7 PM
  • Place: 4140 Finch Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario
  • Price: FREE!

For some background, check out my post on the doctrine of the Trinity.

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity

Other debates on Christianity and Islam featuring William Lane Craig

Opponent
Debate Topic
Audio
Video
Jamal Badawi The Concept Of God In Islam and Christianity Audio Video
Shabir Ally Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? Audio Video
Shabir Ally The Concept Of God In Islam and Christianity Audio Video
Shabir Ally Who Is The Real Jesus? Audio Video

Courtesy of ChristianJR4 who maintains a full list of Bill Craig debates here. I helped to sponsor the last 3 of those debates!

Could the building blocks of life have emerged spontaneously on the early Earth?

The origin of life

There are two problems related to the origin of the first living cell, on atheism:

  1. The problem of getting the building blocks needed to create life – i.e. the amino acids
  2. The problem of creating the functional sequences of amino acids and proteins that can support the minimal operations of a simple living cell

Normally, I concede the first problem and grant the atheist all the building blocks he needs. This is because step 2 is impossible. There is no way, on atheism, to form the sequences of amino acids that will fold up into proteins, and then to form the sequences of proteins that can be used to form everything else in the cell, including the DNA itself. But that’s tomorrow’s topic.

Today, let’s take a look at the problems with step 1.

The problem of getting the building blocks of life

Now you may have heard that some scientists managed to spark some gasses to generate most of the 20 amino acids found in living systems. These experiments are called the “Miller-Urey” experiments.

The IDEA center has a nice summary of origin-of-life research that explains a few of the main problems with step 1.

Miler and Urey used the wrong gasses:

Miller’s experiment requires a reducing methane and ammonia atmosphere,11, 12 however geochemical evidence says the atmosphere was hydrogen, water, and carbon dioxide (non-reducing).15, 16 The only amino acid produced in a such an atmosphere is glycine (and only when the hydrogen content is unreasonably high), and could not form the necessary building blocks of life.11

Miller and Urey didn’t account for UV of molecular instability:

Not only would UV radiation destroy any molecules that were made, but their own short lifespans would also greatly limit their numbers. For example, at 100ºC (boiling point of water), the half lives of the nucleic acids Adenine and Guanine are 1 year, uracil is 12 years, and cytozine is 19 days20 (nucleic acids and other important proteins such as chlorophyll and hemoglobin have never been synthesized in origin-of-life type experiments19).

Miller and Urey didn’t account for molecular oxygen:

We all have know ozone in the upper atmosphere protects life from harmful UV radiation. However, ozone is composed of oxygen which is the very gas that Stanley Miller-type experiments avoided, for it prevents the synthesis of organic molecules like the ones obtained from the experiments! Pre-biotic synthesis is in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario. The chemistry does not work if there is oxygen because the atmosphere would be non-reducing, but if there is no UV-light-blocking oxygen (i.e. ozone – O3) in the atmosphere, the amino acids would be quickly destroyed by extremely high amounts of UV light (which would have been 100 times stronger than today on the early earth).20, 21, 22 This radiation could destroy methane within a few tens of years,23 and atmospheric ammonia within 30,000 years.15

And there were three other problems too:

At best the processes would likely create a dilute “thin soup,”24 destroyed by meteorite impacts every 10 million years.20, 25 This severely limits the time available to create pre-biotic chemicals and allow for the OOL.

Chemically speaking, life uses only “left-handed” (“L”) amino acids and “right-handed” (“R)” genetic molecules. This is called “chirality,” and any account of the origin of life must somehow explain the origin of chirality. Nearly all chemical reactions produce “racemic” mixtures–mixtures with products that are 50% L and 50% R.

Two more problems are not mentioned in the article. A non-peptide bond anywhere in the chain will ruin the chain. You need around 200 amino acids to make a protein. If any of the bonds is not a peptide bond, the chain will not work in a living system. Additionally, the article does not mention the need for the experimenter to intervene in order to prevent interfering cross-reactions that would prevent the amino acids from forming.

The progress of science

As science has progressed, the discoveries have proved out the need for a Creator and Designer in every area – the big bang, cosmic, galactic and stellar fine-tuning, the Cambrian explosion, etc…. and even the origin of life.

“More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance. New lines of thinking and experimentation must be tried.”

(Dose, Klaus, “The Origin of Life: More Questions Than Answers,” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1988, p.348.)

Meanwhile, atheists are left to have blind faith that the progress scientists have made during decades of research will be miraculously overturned by new evidence that their beloved unobservable Flying Spaghetti Monster, (peas be upon him), did it. Hey! Don’t blaspheme against the non-supernatural powers of his noodly appendage! (Two Ph.Ds in biology will not save you from the wrath of the Darwoid cultists!)

To see how bad this gets for atheists, watch this video where Dawkins says that unobservable aliens evolved somewhere else and then seeded the Earth with life. He has no evidence that these aliens did evolve (no fossil record), and even worse, he does not know whether they even exist. Nevertheless, that is the state of atheism today – an unobservable Flying Spaghetti Monster evolved somewhere else and seeded the Earth with life.

What else could have happened?

Further study

One of my favorite resources on the origin of life is this interview from the University of California with former atheist and origin of life researcher Dean Kenyon. Kenyon, a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, wrote the textbook on “chemical evolution”, which is the view that chemicals can arrange themselves in order to create the first living cell, without intervention.

This interview from the University of California with another origin of life researcher, Charles Thaxton, is also one of my favorites.

You’ll need Quicktime to see the videos, or buy the videos from ARN. (Kenyon, Thaxton) I have both of them – they rock!

Meet two conservative women who are better than Sarah Palin

I noticed a story up at Hot Air about that Hollywood idiot David Letterman making fun of Sarah Palin, and it occurred to me to remind my readers that we have better women who can represent our views, among them Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn.

First, let me just say that Sarah Palin is NOT conservative on issues like private schools and vouchers, as well on global warming. While Michele Bachmann took time off to homeschool a bunch of her children, (she has 5 natural-born and 23 foster children), we all know about Palin’s weaknesses with her children.

Let’s see what real conservative women can do.

Representative Michele Bachmann
Representative Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann

Her official blog is here.

Her video clips are here.

Here is a sample video – she wants to drill in ANWR so that we can all pay less for gas. (If you click on the video to go to YouTube, they’ve got an HQ button for high quality!)

Here is another sample video – she can defend capitalism and the rule of law as articulately as Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams might. (If you click on the video to go to YouTube, they’ve got an HQ button for high quality!)

Her most recent issue is trying to stop the Democrats from giving money to ACORN while they are charged with criminal offenses, such as voter fraud. Here she is speaking with Glenn Beck on that very issue.

Representative Marsha Blackburn
Representative Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn

Her official blog is here.

And here is a recent video clip where she exposed Al Gore’s financial reasons for supporting cap and trade.

I noticed that the Heritage Foundation featured a video clip of her today regarding health care.

Why do Democrats live far beyond their means?

Republicans typically enjoy massive support from people who actually know how the world works, namely, small business owners, investors and entrepreneurs. But do Barack Obama and his new Supreme Court nominee know how the world works?

Sonia Sotomayor

Let’s look at Obama’s Supreme Court nominee first.

Here is what she says:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

So she discriminates against people based on sex and race. There are words for people who discriminate against others based on sex and race.

The American Thinker reports on how she lives within her means: (H/T Commenter ECM)

Sotomayor’s annual earnings come to $196,000 a year ($170,000 a year as an appeals judge and $26,000 for part-time teaching). She has served as an appeals judge for 17 years. This service was preceded by lengthy tenure at a corporate law firm of Pavia and Harcourt, where she was a partner, and presumably was well compensated.

Yet after a career that has spanned 25 years, Ms Sotomayor only has one thousand dollars in net savings. As reported in the New York Post, Sotomayor’s bank account holds $31,985. Her credit cards debts are $15,823, and she has $15,000 in unpaid dental bills. That leaves her with $1,162. Sotomayor’s total assets, revealed as $708,068, consist almost entirely of equity in her Manhattan apartment.

And here is what it means for us:

If confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, Ms Sotomayor will be ruling on numerous cases that involve investors, savers, corporate profits, business regulation, and related free-market issues…. the fact that Ms Sotomayor, after so many years of highly paid professional work, has no savings or investments and no experience or apparent “empathy” with savers or investors, should be highly troubling to the tens of millions of Americans who do have investments, 401Ks, and personal savings.

And here is how this has affected her previous rulings:

In one of her most important rulings (as reported in the New York Times), Sotomayor ruled that corporations must address environmental concerns in the most radical manner without consideration of the cost. If one particle of pollutant remains to be removed, even at the cost of bankrupting all of the companies in the S&P 500 index, that particle must be removed. If a small business has failed to purchase the most advanced equipment available to address environmental concerns, even if the price of that equipment is one hundred times the revenue of the business in question, the equipment must be purchased. That is how much “empathy” we can expect from Judge Sotomayor.

If she is confirmed, she will probably hurt our free market capitalist system, and the liberties grounded by it. The more that the court hurts business and commerce with judicial activism, the more we lose our jobs, our incomes and our liberty itself.

Barack Obama

Now, let’s take a look at how Obama lives. First of all, it’s well known that Obama was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth and went to all the best private schools, where he snorted expensive cocaine. And he awarded massive taxpayer grants to the hospital where his wife worked after her salary was nearly tripled.

The National Review reports:

One of Obama’s Earmark Requests Was for the Hospital That Employs Michelle Obama.

Dan Riehl notes, via Amanda Carpenter, that in the list of earmarks he requested, $1 million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was put in in 2006.

You know who works for the University of Chicago Hospital?

Michelle Obama. She’s vice president of community affairs.

As Byron noted, “In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office.”

The NY Daily News reports on how well the Obamas live within their means. (H/T Sweetness and Light)

A close examination of their finances shows that the Obamas were living off lines of credit along with other income for several years until 2005, when Obama’s book royalties came through and Michelle received her 260% pay raise at the University of Chicago. This was also the year Obama started serving in the U.S. Senate.

In April 1999, they purchased a Chicago condo and obtained a mortgage for $159,250. In May 1999, they took out a line of credit for $20,750. Then, in 2002, they refinanced the condo with a $210,000 mortgage, which means they took out about $50,000 in equity. Finally, in 2004, they took out another line of credit for $100,000 on top of the mortgage.

Tax returns for 2004 reveal $14,395 in mortgage deductions. If we assume an effective interest rate of 6%, then they owed about $240,000 on a home they purchased for about $159,250.

This means they spent perhaps $80,000 beyond their income from 1999 to 2004.

The Obama family apparently had little or no savings during this period since there was virtually no taxable interest shown on their tax returns.

These numbers clearly show the Obamas were living beyond their means and they might have suffered financially during the decline in housing prices had they relied on taking ever larger amounts of equity from their home to pay the bills.

And what did the Obamas learn from this?

But in 2005, Obama’s book sales soared and the royalties poured in. Michelle explained, “It was like Jack and his magic beans.”

Without those magic beans, the Obama family would have eventually suffered the consequences of too much debt.

President Obama has never faced consequences in his private life when it comes to managing money. He always had enough money simply by borrowing more and more. And just when things got tight, those magic beans came along to save the day.

I guess this explains Barack Obama’s fiscal policy and his surprise at the consequent surge in unemployment. But he can count on his new judge to back him to the hilt in all of his unconstitutional interventions in the free market – neither of them knows the slightest thing about saving and investing… just borrowing and spending.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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