- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2007

Keeping cool

“Hotter summer weather can indeed be fatal, as Al Gore likes us to remind audiences by citing the 35,000 deaths attributed to the 2003 heat wave in Europe. But there are a couple of confounding factors explained in [Bjorn] Lomborg’s new book, ‘Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming.’

“The first is that winter can be deadlier than summer. About seven times more deaths in Europe are attributed annually to cold weather (which aggravates circulatory and respiratory illness) than to hot weather, Dr. Lomborg notes, pointing to studies showing that a warmer planet would mean fewer temperature-related deaths in Europe and worldwide.

“The second factor is that the weather matters a lot less than how people respond to it. Just because there are hotter summers in New York doesn’t mean that more people die — in fact, just the reverse has occurred. Researchers led by Robert Davis, a climatologist at the University of Virginia, concluded that the number of heat-related deaths in New York in the 1990s was only a third as high as in the 1960s. The main reason is simple, and evident as you as walk into the Bridge Cafe on a warm afternoon: air-conditioning.”

— John Tierney, writing on “ ’Feel Good’ vs. ‘Do Good’ on Climate,” Sept. 11 in the New York Times

Going nowhere

“I found myself cornered by a Republican Iraq war vet from the National Guard who sincerely wanted me to understand that when the news media or congressional Democrats talk about drawing down troops, or withdrawing altogether, they are, explicitly, siding with the enemy. ‘It’s either victory or defeat,’ he said, and if U.S. troops leave Iraq, that means unequivocal defeat. …

“Set aside for the moment whether he’s right. The important thing, for the future conduct of U.S. foreign policy, is that his sentiment remains widely held, in numbers large enough to help ensure that no matter what you may hear on the campaign trail between now and November 2008, the U.S. troop deployment in Iraq will likely be an issue in the 2012 election and beyond. To paraphrase that old country song, we ain’t going nowhere.”

— Matt Welch, writing on “Iraq forever,” in the Sept. 11 issue of the Los Angeles Times

No substitute

“I’ve known Laura [Ingraham] for a long time: first as a crusading young journalist at Dartmouth, then as a rising young law clerk, next as a television host, and now as one of America’s leading stars of talk radio. She has always been brilliant and brave, but over the past three years — uncoincidentally coinciding with her triumphant struggle against cancer — she has gained a new eloquence. …

“Laura’s show is truly very funny, but it is also very sophisticated and smart. For all that we are supposed to denigrate the evils of life inside the Beltway, there’s no substitute for being connected and knowledgeable.

“Best of all, Laura’s radio persona remains remarkably untainted by ego. Radio is no medium for the bashful, of course, but when I listen to Laura, I hear the voice of someone who has much to share — but also never pretends to know all the answers.”

David Frum, writing on “Our Laura,” Sept. 11 at NationalReview.com

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