Amazon Fires Not a Burning Issue

It’s not just the Amazon, though. Africa, Siberia, and Indonesia are also apparently going up in smoke. Claims The New York Times, “in central Africa, vast stretches of savanna are going up in flame. Arctic regions in Siberia are burning at a historic pace.”

Any reader of the New York Times and other mainstream media outlet would be forgiven for believing that fires globally are on the rise, but they aren’t.

In reality, there was a whopping 25 percent decrease in the area burned from 2003 to 2019, according to NASA.

Between 2003 and 2015, the area burned in Africa declined by an area the size of Texas (700,000 square kilometers or 270,000 square miles.

And against the picture painted by celebrities and the mainstream media that fires around the world are caused by economic growth, the truth is the opposite: the amount of land being burned is declining thanks to development, including urbanization.


As for the myth that the Amazon is the “lungs of the Earth” providing “20% of the world’s oxygen,” it appears to have been invented by a Malthusian Cornell University scientist in 1966, according to the George Mason University environmental philosopher, Mark Sagoff.

“In the 1960s, when ‘lungs of the earth’ was the big reason to save the rain forest,” Sagoff told me yesterday, “I got interested in it as a scientific question. I found no evidence that any tropical rainforest contributes to the net oxygen budget of the world.”

Sagoff sent me a 1966 an article by Cornell University scientist LaMont C. Cole in the journal BioScience. In it, Cole claimed that, as a result of burning fossil fuels, “the oxygen content of the atmosphere must start to decrease. I wish I could estimate how near we are to that frightening compensation point…”

In 1970,  climatologist Wallace S. Broecker explained why there was nothing to be frightened in an article in Science in June 1970. By 2000, he explained, burning fossil fuels would deplete just 0.2% of the Earth’s oxygen.

Schiff Moves The Impeachment Goalposts & Hides The Whistle Blower — Bookworm Room

As the Pelosi-Schiff progressive impeachment push falls apart, it seems ever more likely that the “whistle blower complaint” and the IC IG’s handling of it was a deep state hit — a seditious act of unlawful manipulation of the law. The Left’s impeachment narrative is falling apart. This was supposed to be about a “quid…

Schiff Moves The Impeachment Goalposts & Hides The Whistle Blower — Bookworm Room

Trump refuses to participate in the Democrat’s Star Chamber impeachment — Bookworm Room

Nancy Pelosi is not conducting an impeachment. She has turned the House into a modern day Star Chamber. The President’s attorney sent the House a letter yesterday notifying them that Trump will not participate in the wildly unconstitutional Star Chamber like proceedings that Nancy Pelosi has misnamed an “impeachment inquiry.” I’ve included the text of…

Trump refuses to participate in the Democrat’s Star Chamber impeachment — Bookworm Room

“Affordable” Health Care

Don Boudreaux makes a very important point: “Health care” is not an all-or-nothing affair.

One of my favorite examples [of meaningless statements] comes from the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, who asserted, in his Thanksgiving Day 2004 column, that “half the country can’t afford health care.”

This statement is neither right nor wrong. A statement must be meaningful to be right or wrong. But this statement is meaningless.

Friedman writes as if health care is a well-defined thing that someone either gets or doesn’t get — sort of like pregnancy. You either are or you aren’t pregnant.

But health care, like most things in life, is not like pregnancy. It comes in an enormous range of degrees. At one extreme is the amount and quality of health care that Bill Gates might purchase — personal physicians and pharmacists, each devoted exclusively to Gates; monthly physicals conducted with the most advanced technology; immediate transportation in a private jet to the world’s finest hospitals for treatment by the world’s most acclaimed physicians; and recuperation at luxurious Swiss resorts attended round-the-clock by a staff of doctors, nurses and dieticians of unparalleled excellence.

Now imagine the opposite extreme — the case of someone who can afford no health care at all. This horribly unfortunate person would not only be unable to visit a physician to check out that runny nose or that blurry vision, he could not afford even to buy over-the-counter antihistamines, aspirin, cough drops, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, reading glasses, Band Aids, athlete’s-foot spray, vitamins, toothpaste, condoms, or any of the many other health care and personal hygiene products for sale in every supermarket.

Cafe Hayek

My own comment on this article:

Some seven years after this column saw print, the FDA approved the TAVI — Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implant — for human use. Two months ago, I underwent this procedure.
I had originally been scheduled for open heart surgery to replace a defective valve, but this option was taken off the table when I was diagnosed with cancer. At the time this column was written, there would have been no plan B (unless you count waiting for the valve to deteriorate to the point where it killed me, a plan I don’t really like).

But now, fourteen years after this column was written plan B was to insert a device through the artery in my groin and expand it over the defective valve.

I was out of bed and on my feet less than 48 hours after the valve replacement. I’m very happy with how well the procedure worked, and I can say I’m a big fan of 21st Century medicine.

At the turn of the century, this procedure was not available at any price. Even Bill Gates would not have been able to buy it, because it would have involved funding a major research program. Now, I fully expect the price of this procedure to drop (I didn’t have the nerve to ask in my case), and to become the default procedure for treating defective heart valves.


Certain politicians and social critics would have us scandalized that the annual income of CEOs of large corporations is often several times that of the employees who work in those companies. Is it unfair that executives make substantially more than a middle manager, an executive assistant, or an assembly-line worker? How are those salaries determined? Is significant income disparity unjust? To consider these questions, let’s take a look at the unique role and responsibilities of a chief executive officer.

Supply and Demand for Talent

You probably recall from Economics 101 that prices are determined by the interplay of supply and demand. Labor pricing, or compensation, is no exception.

Large corporations compete for experienced, proven, high-performing CEOs to run their companies. The directors of a corporation make the subjective determination of recruiting executives and setting their compensation. But that compensation package is often highly negotiated.

A friend of mine has claimed American CEOs are overpaid because CEOs in Japan are paid much less, and still do a good job.

He has yet to explain why corporations haven’t decided to save money by recruiting CEOs from Japan.

I Am a Climate Researcher, and I Love Fossil Fuels

“To call the very foundational energy blocks of our society ‘evil,’ and then deprive developing countries of the same fossil fuels, is hypocrisy of the highest order.” “Fossil fuels have single-handedly pulled the majority of people out of poverty in India, my country.” Global warming skeptics like me often get accused of getting “dirty oil money” for writing in support of fossil fuels.

Source: I Am a Climate Researcher, and I Love Fossil Fuels