30 November 2007

Housekeeping

To post comments on this blog from now on, you must use your full name. No pseudonyms, nicknames, noms de plume, or online personae. Don't be a coward. If you have something to contribute to public discourse, take responsibility for it. You know who Mylan and I are; why should we and the other readers not know who you are? Think about it.

29 November 2007

Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon on Climate Change

There are no experimental data to support the hypothesis that increases in human hydrocarbon use or in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing or can be expected to cause unfavorable changes in global temperatures, weather, or landscape. There is no reason to limit human production of CO2, CH4, and other minor greenhouse gases as has been proposed.

We also need not worry about environmental calamities even if the current natural warming trend continues. The Earth has been much warmer during the past 3,000 years without catastrophic effects. Warmer weather extends growing seasons and generally improves the habitability of colder regions.

As coal, oil, and natural gas are used to feed and lift from poverty vast numbers of people across the globe, more CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. This will help to maintain and improve the health, longevity, prosperity, and productivity of all people.

The United States and other countries need to produce more energy, not less. The most practical, economical, and environmentally sound methods available are hydrocarbon and nuclear technologies.

Human use of coal, oil, and natural gas has not harmfully warmed the Earth, and the extrapolation of current trends shows that it will not do so in the foreseeable future. The CO2 produced does, however, accelerate the growth rates of plants and also permits plants to grow in drier regions. Animal life, which depends upon plants, also flourishes, and the diversity of plant and animal life is increased.

Human activities are producing part of the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. Mankind is moving the carbon in coal, oil, and natural gas from below ground to the atmosphere, where it is available for conversion into living things. We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of this CO2 increase. Our children will therefore enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are blessed.

(Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon, "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide," Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 12 [2007]: 79-90, at 90 [parenthetical reference omitted])

28 November 2007

Fourth Anniversary

I started this blog four years ago today. Where did the time go? There have been 74,220 visitors to the blog. That's an average of 50.8 per day (counting the leap-year day of 2004). The blog's readership has increased each year. Here are the figures:
First year: 12,007 visitors
Second year: 14,655 visitors
Third year: 16,158 visitors
Fourth year: 31,400 visitors
Thank you for visiting. I will try to pick up the pace of my posting. Mylan vows to do the same.

Addendum: Here is the blog's first post. Here is the first-anniversary post. Here is the second-anniversary post. Here is the third-anniversary post.

From the Mailbag

Dear Animal Ethics bloggers:

We posted a story today about Matthew Hiasl Pan. I hope you’ll take a look.

Thanks, and all best,

Jessica Bennett
Blog Editor
Beacon Press

27 November 2007

Twenty Years Ago

11-27-87 . . . Today—the day after Thanksgiving—is traditionally the busiest retail sales day of the year. Needless to say, I stayed away from the stores. But I saw on television that certain animal-rights activists demonstrated against the wearing of furs. It was obviously orchestrated; and it succeeded in getting television, radio, and newspaper attention. The message is that wearing fur is wrong. Apparently, the primary consumers of furs these days are young, career-oriented women. They consider furs a luxury item, a sign that one has “made it” in the business world. They’re also soft and feminine, which plays into another tradition besides conspicuous consumption. One woman on television, trying on a fur, exclaimed “I wouldn’t mind finding this under my Christmas tree!”. I agree with the protesters that producing, selling, buying, and wearing furs is wrong. I’m not sure I agree with their tactics, however. Demonstrations may raise people’s consciousness, but they also alienate. We need empirical studies to determine which effect predominates.

26 November 2007

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

It is disappointing that our government plans to keep approximately 550 chimpanzees in the laboratories where they reside, rather than provide them a sanctuary they deserve (“After Hard Labor, a Soft Landing,” special Giving section, Nov. 12).

Many chimpanzees in American labs are simply being warehoused—some for more than 50 years—wasting taxpayer money that could be spent better to help alleviate and cure human diseases.

The use of chimpanzees for research has declined significantly in the last decade mostly because of high costs and growing public opposition to relying on these animals in invasive experiments.

It is time to retire chimpanzees in labs to sanctuaries like Chimp Haven.

Kathleen Conlee
Washington, Nov. 13, 2007
The writer is a program director at the Humane Society of the United States.

25 November 2007

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Child Matadors Draw Ol├ęs in Mexico’s Bullrings” (front page, Nov. 19):

It is so sad to see children being taught to torture and kill calves. For what? The tradition and glory of bullfighting? Please!

Bullfighting is simply prolonged animal torture. Most children start life with a love and reverence of animals. Cruelty and disregard for them are taught. In this country, this lesson is usually less direct: that it is somehow logical to teach kids to love and respect animals while feeding them animals that have been raised and slaughtered in genuinely terrible conditions.

Our world would be a much better place if we could teach our children respect for all living creatures.

Edward L. Machtinger
San Francisco, Nov. 19, 2007

Note from KBJ: I would replace "living" with "sentient." How do you respect a plant?

24 November 2007

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “The Bluefin Slaughter” (editorial, Nov. 17):

As a young man I was privileged to work for and to know Capt. Charles A. Mayo II of Provincetown, Mass. He was the legendary sport fishing captain of the Chantey I, II and III, the inventor of skip baits and a lover of the oceans.

On a late summer day in the 1960s, we stood on McMillan wharf in Provincetown harbor watching as the Silver Fox came steaming into port after setting the first purse seine around a school of giant bluefin tuna in Cape Cod Bay. My recollection is that it took an additional two beam trawlers to help Captain Silva bring in his catch of 600,000 pounds of tuna he had captured in one set of his net.

Captain Mayo told me to remember that day as the beginning of the end of tuna in the North Atlantic; how prophetic and how sad a day it was. Incidentally, the catch was all sold for cat food at less than 10 cents a pound.

We need to stop making holes in the world’s oceans.

Stephen E. Goldsmith
Wailuku, Hawaii, Nov. 17, 2007

22 November 2007

From the Mailbag

Hi Mylan,

We just posted an article "Top 50 Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in the World." I thought I'd bring it to your attention just in case you think your readers would find it interesting.

Either way, thanks for your time!

Amy S Quinn

14 November 2007

From the Mailbag

Hi Keith—

In case you want to put a link on Animal Ethics—here's a post about traditional Eskimo whaling and the perennial question, what to eat for Thanksgiving dinner. Complete with recipe!

Jean

11 November 2007

Jimmy Carter, Cat Murderer

Those of you who think highly of Jimmy Carter might find this interesting.

08 November 2007

Moment of Zen

"I did not become a vegetarian for my health. I did it for the health of the chickens." Isaac Bashevis Singer

Animal Altruism?

Dolphins appear to have saved a human from a shark. See here.

01 November 2007

Statistics

This past October was the best month ever for this blog, in terms of number of visitors. There were 3,404 visitors during October, which is an average of 109.8 visitors per day. The previous record for monthly visitors was 2,825. If you're the author or publisher of a book on animal ethics, please send me a copy so that I can add it to the bibliography.