Inside Blogotics

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Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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As 50 percent of the surviving Fab Four, plus a knight of the realm, Sir Paul McCartney has an enormous responsibility to guide our lifestyle choices.

He recently has gone on a kick about meat (his first wife Linda also was known as an animal rights and vegetarian crusader), pushing for “Meat-Free Mondays” and citing a U.N. report that cows cause 18 percent of the worlds carbon emissions.

Michael Deacon of the Daily Telegraph, cheeky as only a Fleet Street reporter can be, explained that the reason is that “to put it plainly … cows break a stupendous volume of wind.”

“Sir Paul’s solution is that we eat less meat.… I fear there is a flaw to his logic. Because if we eat less meat, the cows will live, and thus continue blowing” methane into the atmosphere.

“The truth is, Sir Paul, that there is only one way to save our planet from these dangerous beasts: Kill them. … So let us rise as one and join the fight against climate change today: The farmers must keep slaughtering and the burger-bar customers must keep eating. The cycle must never stop, lest our toxic bovine foes overcome us,” he concluded, tongue firmly in cheek.

Blinded by science

Remember how President Bush supposedly suppressed scientific findings in favor of ideologically predetermined conclusions?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, at least according to a little-noticed report at CBS News’ technology site CNet late last week.

“The Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government, according to a series of newly disclosed e-mail messages,” Declan McCullagh reports.

“Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty ‘decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.’

“The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail to a staff researcher on March 17: ‘The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward … and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision,’” CNet reported.

“Alan Carlin, the primary author of the 98-page EPA report, said in a telephone interview on Friday that his boss, McGartland, was being pressured himself. ‘It was his view that he either lost his job or he got me working on something else,’ Carlin said. ‘That was obviously coming from higher levels.’”

The EPA criticized as “entirely false” any “claims that this individual’s opinions were not considered or studied.”

The 98-page report is available online.

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