Joined October 24th 2008

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NoaIzumi's Blogs

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Recent Posts

Danish Wind Farm
Wind Farm in Denmark

With the Waxman-Markey bill passed in the House and headed for the Senate here in the US, cap-and-trade is once again a popular topic among right-wing bloggers. I had a three-fer all picked out, one from American Thinker, one from David Limbaugh over at, and one from the Investor’s Business Daily. Then I ran across these two articles (from the same author) and just couldn’t resist. (I’m sorry, but when you write these kinds of distortions, half-truths, and outright lies in a piece, you’re asking for a ripping. When you publish said piece on a site with a pseudo-populist name like “Regular Folks United”, you are sitting up and begging for that ripping.)

Cap and (Be)Trade, by Bjaffe

“According to an MIT study, the total cost to businesses to purchase carbon credits from the government will be about $366 million annually

Someone really needs to update their files. For one thing, the study doesn’t look at the Waxman-Markey bill at all; in fact, the study came out in April 2007, before Waxman-Markey was more than a gleam in a California Congressman’s eye.

MIT Report (PDF file)

In addition, the actual projected revenue under Obama’s original cap-and-trade plan was $80 billion per year, not $360 billion.

The Obama budget

Finally, as most people know by now, instead of being sold in an auction, under Waxman-Markey 85% of the carbon credits will be given away, as in free, as at no cost to American businesses.

PolitiFact’s take on the matter:
Really Long Link

“Around the world, this has been tried, and has failed. According to a report issued by the Heartland Institute, 12 of the 15 EU nations who signed onto the onerous Kyoto treaty have failed to meet their carbon reduction targets

Um, doesn’t that mean that 3 of the 15 did meet their targets? And some countries, such as France and Germany, failed to meet their goals, but still made significant reductions in CO2 reductions. In some cases, Kyoto was tried, and failed. But in other cases, Kyoto was tried, and succeeded.

UN Report on Changes in Greenhouse Gases (PDF file)

The Greatest Hoax in History

“The entire green movement is based on a lie – which is that the climate should remain as it is right now. The climate does not work that way; it is not a static system with a set temperature and set global conditions”

Except that no one claims that. Even Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth acknowledges natural climate change before and during modern times. The claim is not that the climate doesn’t change due to natural causes, it’s that rising CO2 is currently causing the climate to change, a claim supported by the fact that the natural causes don’t seem to be causing the change.

Really Long Link

“The most prevalent greenhouse gas in our atmosphere is water vapor – accounting for about 60-70 percent of greenhouse gases. Yet still, we are told that Carbon is the main source of the problem. And to prove it, scientists use a computer model that is programmed to accept carbon as the primary warming agent in our atmosphere”

Um, no, to prove it, we look at basic physics. The amount of water vapor has not been changing drastically, because it has such a small residence time in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, stays in the atmosphere for decades, and it’s carbon dioxide that has been pumped out to excess.

Really Long Link

“but there is a way to regulate carbon, and it involves attacking productivity”

It is a way, but is it the only way? If you measure productivity by GDP, in terms of GDP per units of CO2 emitted, the US is near the bottom of the First World list. Ireland emits less than half of the CO2 the US does for the same amount of GDP. Sweden emits less than a third. And they’re not the only ones.

Wikipedia article

I mean, c’mon, Bjaffe, would you use your imagination, please? Nuclear power, increased use of natural gas, increased energy efficiency for machines and transport vehicles, all of these cut CO2 emissions without sacrificing productivity, and all of these are things we can do today.

“using the environmentalists’ own global warming models and assumptions shows a maximum temperature reduction of 0.09 of one degree Fahrenheit by the year 2050 if every target of the bill is met”

This one is true. But, A) This assumes that no one else will do anything at all, and the countries that have cut their emissions will go back to pre-Kyoto levels. This is equivalent to seeing a fire that threatens the whole neighborhood and refusing to pick up a hose because you’re worried about being the first to use water.

And B) No matter what we do, even if we stop all CO2 emissions tomorrow, we’ll still be in for some warming, because of the thermal inertia in the system. In the same way that a blanket on a cold night takes a few minutes to warm you up as the heat from your body builds up, increased greenhouse gases have a lag time. And then there’s all the extra heat and CO2 stored in the oceans that has yet to be released. It’s not a choice between no warming and warming, it’s a choice between moderate warming and more extreme warming.

And why the cut-off at 2050? Does the world end in 2051? (I thought it was 2012.)

Gristmill has more to say on this subject.

Really Long Link

“Given that this bill does nothing for the environment, but will cripple economic production”

Readers of this blog will know what’s coming, because they’ve seen it before. Denmark, the UK, France, Germany, Iceland and Sweden all cut their emissions to below 1990 levels in this decade. Every single one of those countries enjoyed an average GDP growth rate of over 3.7% per year between 1990 and 2007. Iceland and the UK even grew at a faster rate than the US and Canada did. Granted, GDP growth is not the only way to measure economic well-being, but if you can’t cut carbon dioxide without hurting the economy, there should be some evidence from those six European countries. There doesn’t seem to be any.

Wikipedia article

“Add in the fact now that the EPA suppressed a report that contradicted the environmentalist case for such regulations”

“Suppressed” a report that included no original research, and was mainly a rehash of debunked arguments.

RealClimate: Bubkes

“Bubkes” indeed. There’s nothing wrong with being against the cap-and-trade plan, or even cap-and-trade in general, but it would be nice to see a new argument once in a while.

Anime Classroom: Omiai

July 11th 2009 23:33
Anime, educational? Sure!

In anime, an omiai is a big deal. When Ken Nakajima thinks his beloved Miyuki is going on an omiai in You’re Under Arrest, it spurs him to finally ask her out after months of admiring her from afar. When Nyamo-sensei of Azumanga Daioh is offered an omiai by her mother, she agonizes over the decision before finally agreeing. But what exactly is an omiai?

“Omiai” is one of those Japanese words that’s difficult to easily translate, since the concept is pretty foreign to Westerners. It is usually translated in English as “arranged marriage”, but that’s not quite right. It’s more like a blind date, but it’s not the same as what Westerners think of as a blind date. When a young person has decided that they are ready to get married, a meeting is set up by a go-between (nakodo), usually a family member, with a suitable potential partner, and both people are given photographs and general information about each other. The first meeting includes the young people, the parents, and the nakodo, and is usually quite formal. If this goes well, the couple decides to go out, on their own this time. The third date is usually considered decision time, by which both parties should know whether they want to take the next step.

An excellent example of an Omiai is the subject of the episode, “Ota’s Afternoon of Puzzlement” in the mecha series Patlabor. Labor pilot Ota isn’t exactly a ladies man, and his aunt sets him up with a nice woman whom she knows through a friend. The initial meeting includes all four, and although the first meeting doesn’t go too well (Ota falls into the pool as he and the young lady are strolling through the garden), she agrees to a date. In spite of Ota’s nervousness, things seem to go smoothly, and by the third date, Ota is apparently ready to ask the girl to marry him. (Unfortunately, Ota doesn’t get his happily ever after this time, but I strongly recommend the episode; it’s one of my favorites.)

Omiai used to be standard practice in feudal Japan among the samurai class, to whom marriages were critical for clan alliances. They’re less common now, but are still significant (between ten and thirty percent of marriages in modern Japan are the result of omiai), which may seem strange, but it makes sense for certain people. If you’re a dedicated salaryman (or woman) spending 80 hours a week at the office, an omiai is a perfect alternative to the relatively random dating scene. In addition, a person of a certain age who is still unmarried is more often than not looked on with some suspicion (being a loner is not generally considered a good thing in Japanese society), increasing pressure to tie the knot.

Not everyone goes for it, of course, and an omiai is often something done for the parents rather than oneself. Linna Yamazaki of Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 is a case in point. She’s blind-sided with an omiai by her parents when she goes home for a visit, and goes along with it for their sake, but is decidedly NOT happy about it. The guy does turn out to be a cutie, but in the end, Linna has to go her own way.
Screenshot of Bubblegum Crisis 2040
Linna at her omiai

Screenshot of Bubblegum Crisis 2040
Alone time for the couple

Screenshot of Bubblegum Crisis 2040
The apologetic rejection

It’s not always quite such a serious matter. Mika-sensei of Doki Doki School Hours goes on an omiai mainly for the fancy dinner she’ll get.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been absent the past few weeks. I was on a trip to northern Europe (specifically a cruise through the Baltic Sea), and as much as I’d like to say it was a business trip to ascertain the availability and popularity of anime and manga overseas (and claim a tax deduction for the expenses), it was strictly tourism. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t pick up a few little tid-bits I can share.


OK, it’s not anime, but it is still worth checking out. I caught Destino as part of a lecture series on the ship. The short film was a long-lost project between Walt Disney and artist Salvador Dali, recently discovered and completed by Walt Disney’s nephew. It’s a silent animated story with musical accompaniment, in the same vein as any of the Fantasia movies. The plot is a romance, following a guy and a girl (or a god and a girl, or a god and goddess; it’s hard to be certain) as they try to find each other. Dali’s paintings form the basis of the animation, making for a visually rich (and strange) experience. And the song by Armando Dominguez (written specifically for the film) is a perfect fit.

See the trailer here.

Really Long Link

The Forbidden Planet megastore

My travels took me to London before my final flight home, and after reading in the Lonely Planet guide that this store was a “massive trove of comics, sci-fi, horror, and fantasy literature” and “an absolute dream for anyone into manga comics or off-beat genre titles”, I knew I had to check it out. It’s conveniently located near the Tottenham Court tube station (maybe a four-five minute walk away), and while I’m not sure I’d call it an absolute dream (in my dreams, the manga is all free), it is not to be missed if you’re in the neighborhood. It has figures, DVDs, books, manga, and a well-stocked graphic novel section. It’s basically your friendly local comic book store, but with a bigger selection of stuff than you’ve ever seen. As mentioned, the graphic novel section was particularly impressive, and the manga section also had a number of titles, such as Akira, that are a little rarer nowadays.

So, by all means stop by (you know, if you should have an interest in that sort of thing).

Of course, you don’t actually need to go physically:


Anime Review: Perfect Blue

July 9th 2009 00:50
We're back! With one of the best anime movies ever made.

DVD cover, Perfect Blue

[ Click here to read more ]

The claim of water vapor being 95% of the greenhouse effect is still seen every so often, and can be traced to one source:

West Virginia Fossils
[ Click here to read more ]

A lot has been written about the cost of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade plan currently making its way through Congress. The Heritage Foundation has the most often cited figure of $9.6 trillion dollars. That’s the total loss to United States GDP between now and 2035, as HF figures it.

Son of Waxman-Markey: More Politics makes for a Costlier Bill
[ Click here to read more ]

Anime Review: World of Narue

June 15th 2009 20:52
World of Narue DVD cover

It’s a story of boy meets girl. Well, boy meets alien girl. When Kazuto starts dating Narue, he knew she was from outer space, but he never expected to deal with alien terrorists, bureaucrats who want to take Narue away from Earth, and sentient robots. Can love truly conquer all? It’s a direct hit to your heart!

[ Click here to read more ]

An Arctic Cornocupia? Well…

June 9th 2009 21:00

Anime Review: Porco Rosso

June 8th 2009 18:28
Porco Rosso DVD cover

The Adriatic, 1929, a world of air pirates, mercenaries, and high-flying adventure. Porco, an ace pilot cursed with the face of a pig, is of this world, but when he defeats the pirates once too often, they bring in American pilot Donald Curtis to clip his wings. Curtis becomes a rival in love as well as in the air, and only with the help of young mechanic Fio can Porco defeat him, and just maybe end his curse.

[ Click here to read more ]

Free Manga!

June 5th 2009 03:14
Manga fans, I swear by my special edition Black Lagoon dog tag necklace, I kid you not. Many (and by many, I mean several hundred) of your favorite mangas are on-line, available for reading, free of charge, no registration required. (The Really Long Link isn't working for some reason, so you'll have to cut and paste)

[ Click here to read more ]


Recent Comments

Comment by NoaIzumi
on A timeline of America's next 10 years

July 19th 2009 16:12
Reading this, I just have to say thanks. Best satire I've seen in weeks.

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Stop Cap and Trade

July 19th 2009 16:04
"India and China who care much less about pollution than we do"

Really? How much is "much less"?

Energy Policy of China

Note the sections "National Action Plan on Climate Change", "Renewable Energy Sources", "Energy Conservation", and "Public Opinion".

Energy Policy of India

Note "Energy Conservation", "Alternative bio-diesel sources", "Wind power showcase", "Nuclear Power", "Solar Energy", and "Policy Framework".

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Why Are Single Women Attracted to Married Men?

July 11th 2009 23:42
My father had a similar experience. Once my mom became pregnant with me, he became more attractive to her friends, and two of them even seriously came on to him.

I suppose he had proven himself to be a fertile male, or maybe it was just jealousy?

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Anime Review: Perfect Blue

July 10th 2009 19:15
This viewing was the first time I'd noticed the Mima-in-MeMania's-hand shot, and as I said, it made me do a total double take. Perfect Blue is one of those movies that you can watch repeatedly, and each time you notice something else.

I gained a whole new respect for Mima after this. She may not pilot a giant robot or beat men to a pulp, but she's one of the toughest women in anime.

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Warning: This Joke is Not Politically Correct

June 8th 2009 20:00
Politically correct, definitely not.

But still funny as hell. Keep 'em coming!

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Anime Review: Nausicaa of the Vally of the Wind

June 4th 2009 17:34
It's a good introductory film to the Miyazaki franchise.

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Fehrenbach

June 4th 2009 00:24
I saw your blog. It means a lot to me that I could add to it.

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Rape Case Reveals Chinese Regime's Dilemma

May 30th 2009 01:26
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Everyone should know about this.

Corrupt officials (allegedly) taking advantage of their position. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on The upcoming clash of points of view

May 29th 2009 21:44
A debate with SL? You're braver than I am. I will be following with interest.

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Comment by NoaIzumi
on Star Trek (the original) Trivia

May 29th 2009 01:07
When I first heard about it, I started listening for it, and while Captain Kirk came close sometimes ("Mr. Scott, you may beam us up."), I can to a large extent confirm that it is true.

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