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April 28, 2016


You are cutting Jan Kailuweit way too much slack. Why didn't he just answer your survey? Because he just took a $1,000 contribution from the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce who also endorsed him. If that's not a hotbed of climate change deniers, I don't know what is. He also recently got a $1,000 contribution from the local Realtors association, another group that is totally devoted to car culture and suburban sprawl. Climate change be damned. He's a big phony. You should call him out in your Snark blog. He pretends to be what he is not. He's for the 3rd Bridge! That alone disqualifies him as anyone who really gives a hoot about climate change.

Brian, Tom Andersen here. The answers to all three questions are a resounding yes.


A favorite quote of mine is Emerson’s observation that foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of small minds. I keep this resting on my shoulder to whisper gently into my ear that I may be a prat. But it is silent now - so here goes:

When candidate Kailuweit, rather than answer your question, talks moralistically about his low carbon footprint, I am reminded of Dick Chaney’s comment about conservation being morally honorable but not a sound basis for an energy policy. I’m unsure from Kailuweit’s response whether he understands why we adhere to or postulate moral principles. The way he answers I could conclude that keeping a low carbon footprint has the moral weight of waiting for the walk signal.

For us, a low carbon footprint is a moral imperative related to the effect the carbon footprint has had and has for the future. Kailuweit diminishes a moral imperative into a pious platitude.

Now: am I being a small-minded hobgoblin to wonder if the casual absence of thinking about the basis for his values affects how he would approach issues of public policy, finding ways to vote in accordance with the Commercial Street oligarchy rather than to consider this moral obligation of governance: “No government is legitimate unless it subscribes to two reigning principles. First, it must show equal concern for the fate of every person over whom it claims dominion. Second, it must respect fully the responsibility and right of each person to decide how to make something valuable of his life.” (Ronald Dworkin in Justice for Hedgehogs.)

Tokarski sits on the fence, unwilling to do anything until he searches out unbiased sources. Now here I'm wondering about another foolish consistency: Where and why does he stand where he does with respect, say, to a third bridge, land use, or income inequality, questions that apply to candidate Bednarz.

Bias, evidence, facts, and truth determine how we view the world around us and how we react to the world.

I'm getting old and my observation is that the only thing concrete out there is bias, and that evidence, fact, and truth are increasingly difficult to get agreement upon because each are driven by one's bias.

The very terms have differing meanings depending upon whether you using them in faith, logic, philosophy, law, or science.

We make decisions based upon evidence.

We weigh the evidence to determine whether or not it has sufficient weight to make the decision at hand (is the contractor reliable? Did he shoot the sheriff?).

Evidence cannot be rejected because its source has a bias that differs from mine. On its face, and without corroboration, it may lack credibility.

We will never achieve anything except polarization if we base the validity of assertions upon the bias of the individual making the assertion.

Motive rightfully makes us skeptical of assertions, but we have the obligation to weigh the evidence on standards other than the bias of he or she who makes the assertion.

Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Perhaps this is why so few in power bother to think.

At least ten fingers point at us as the cause of global warming.

1. Humans are currently emitting around 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

2. Oxygen levels are falling as if carbon is being burned to create carbon dioxide.

3. Fossil carbon is building up in the atmosphere. (We know this because the two types of carbon have different chemical properties.)

4. Corals show that fossil carbon has recently risen sharply.

Another two observations show that CO2 is trapping more heat:

5. Satellites measure less heat escaping to space at the precise wavelengths which CO2 absorbs.

6. Surface measurements find this heat is returning to Earth to warm the surface.

7. An increased greenhouse effect would make nights warm faster than days, and this is what has been observed.

8. If the warming is due to solar activity, then the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) should warm along with the rest of the atmosphere. But if the warming is due to the greenhouse effect, the stratosphere should cool because of the heat being trapped in the lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Satellite measurements show that the stratosphere is cooling.

9. This combination of a warming troposphere and cooling stratosphere should cause the tropopause, which separates them, to rise. This has also been observed.

10. It was predicted that the ionosphere would shrink, and it is indeed shrinking.

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