February 6, 2007 [LINK / comment]

More on global warming

In today's Washington Post, Anne Applebaum has some refreshingly sensible words about the recent global warming conference. She grants, as I do, that global warming is a serious problem, and she praises Europeans for recognizing this.

The question now is whether these same Europeans will start taking the solutions seriously. If so, they must begin by abandoning the bankrupt Kyoto treaty on climate change and encouraging the United States to do so, too.

Exactamundo. For some unfathomable reason, very few people seem to grasp how irrational Kyoto's emissions ceilings are, or how stupid it is to grant special exemptions on greenhouse gas emissions to countries like India and China on the grounds that they are poor and underdeveloped, when they are driving U.S. industries out of business already! Applebaum calls for a simple solution that will yield positive side-effects in terms of revenue: a carbon tax. That's what I've been saying!

Writing for canadafreepress.com, Dr. Timothy Ball spells out "The Cold, Hard Facts" on global warming. (Hat tip to Barcepundit.) He claims:

Global warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science.

This just goes to show that disagreements among scientists are a normal occurrence, and the matter is not definitively resolved. As the author states, "consensus is not a scientific fact." He also makes a valid point that many universities these days -- especially ones that depend on public money -- are becoming bastions of dogma. I was also quite pleased that he cited Thomas Kuhn, author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; that's one of my favorite works. I have a hard time believing, however, that the world scientific community could be engaged in such large-scale deception. (One can't help wondering, moreover, if it might be in Canada's own interest to promote global warming.)

Apple vs. Apple: It's over

Apple After a quarter of a century, Apple, Inc., formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., has reached a settlement over the use of the "Apple" trademark and name with Apple Corps, the Beatles' record company. This may facilitate making Beatles songs available for purchase at the Apple Music Store. (The second 45 RPM vinyl record I ever bought was "Hey Jude / Revolution," back in 1968, and I vividly remember the green apple label.) The dispute first arose in 1980, when Apple was still an upstart home computer company. Apple Computer agreed to stay out of the music business, but of course that commitment went out the window when iTunes and the iPod came out. See BBC and apple.com. I wonder if last month's decision to drop "Computer" from Apple, Inc.'s name was prompted by anticipation of the resolution of this dispute? I also wonder if the deal may have been motivated by Apple's desire to protect itself from certain European governments who want to dismantle the Digital Rights Management (DRM) system that binds the iPod to iTunes, preventing unauthorized copying.

UPDATE: Steve Jobs' "thoughts on music" are quite relevant and well worth reading. If Apple gives up its proprietary DRM (called "called FairPlay"), there is no way it can guarantee to recording companies that the licenses they grant will be protected. He notes that Microsoft ("Zune") and Sony have their own proprietary DRM systems. If Apple were to give in to the demands, it would unleash a tidal wave of digital theft. Jobs observes:

Its [sic] hard to believe that just 3% of the music on the average iPod [that is purhcased from iTunes] is enough to lock users into buying only iPods in the future. And since 97% of the music on the average iPod was not purchased from the iTunes store, iPod users are clearly not locked into the iTunes store to acquire their music.