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HERETICAL SCIENCE: Everyone knows that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to warmer global temperatures, right? Not according to a paper by scientists at the well-known Scripps Institution of Oceanography published in prestigious Science magazine last month. After examining ice core samples from Antarctica that contained tiny air bubbles from three different ages thousands of years ago, they concluded that during past periods of warming, the Earth warmed, and then carbon dioxide levels rose, not vice versa. Since our last Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago, and the socalled Little Ice Age of mild cooling ended centuries ago, it would make sense that carbon dioxide levels would be rising now as the earth continues to warm. The problem for environmentalists: This theory means that the earth’s warming has little or nothing to do with human activity. But don’t count on Vice President Gore to reassess his position on global warming any time soon.
MORE REGULATION: CPSC Monitor, published by Consumer Alert, has come up with an excellent example of unnecessary government regulation. In 1996, Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Anne Brown gave a Chairman’s Award to the American Furniture Manufacturers Association (AFMA) for revising voluntary standards for bunk beds. “We are a regulatory agency,” she said at the time. “But we prefer to work voluntarily with industry. It is a pleasure to recognize AFMA for helping make bunk beds safe.” The CPSC followed the mandate of Congress, which requires the agency to rely upon voluntary industry standards instead of government regulation whenever possible. But now CPSC wants to impose government standards on bunk beds. “Injury data show that fatalities due to entrapment in some structural component of the bed average about ten deaths per year,” says the CPSC Monitor. “But nearly all of these deaths are either on beds built before the adoption of the voluntary standard, or occur because very young children, many as young as two or three years old, are being placed in the upper bunk:’
DOG GAMES: Stung by previous criticism of some very controversial films, the co-chairmen of movie distributor Miramax, a division of Wait Disney, have decided to personally buy the distribution rights to a new film that almost all Christians will undoubtedly find offensive. Trying to insulate Disney and their company Miramax from criticism, Harvey and Bob Weinstein will personally distribute Dogma, a just-completed movie written and directed by independent moviemaker Kevin Smith. Dogma features a foulmouthed 13th apostle, a Skeeball-obsessed God played by a woman, a female descendant of Jesus who works in an abortion clinic and a Christ who does not hang from the cross but offers a thumbs-up salute. Upsetting particularly to Roman Catholics, the movie also indicates that Joseph and Mary had sexual relations. The movie stars Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Alanis Morissette, all extremely popular with today’s teenagers. Affleck, according to Premiere. magazine, lobbied Harvey Weinstein not to abandon or change the film. If the movie comes out in its current form, “There will be a really intense storm,” Independent Film Channel host John Person predicted to Premiere.
ACCOUNTABILITY ERA: In California, the Compton Unified School District will display letter grades for each of its schools at the front entrances of the school buildings. The grades will not be based on academic achievement, but on the physical state of each school, including the condition of textbooks, bathrooms, water fountains, and the like. The grades, ranging from A to F, also will consider the level of parental involvement. “We’re in the era of accountability,” Karen Hall, principal of Anderson Elementary School, told the Los Angeles Times. The school district got the idea from Los Angeles’s restaurant rating system.
TU RATINGS DROP: “Despite the first federal budget to produce a significant surplus in nearly three decades, last year most members of Congress could not break the old addiction to tax-and-spend legislation,” reports the National Taxpayers Union (NTU). “The average lawmaker voted less than half the time to reduce or control the size of the federal government and its burden on taxpayers.” In 1998, the average House member garnered 39%, down from 43% in 1997. The Senate average went down to 41% from 53%. Though the House Republican average remained steady at 56%, the Senate GOP went from 75% to 63%.
Copyright Human Events Publishing, Inc. Apr 16, 1999
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