Archive: 07/2011

Grover & the Stone Wall

PAUL OLSON
UNL EMERITUS PROFESSOR

Swedes are good. Norwegians and Danes are pretty good. I grew up speaking Swedish and English until my parents noticed I could understand their off-color jokes and theological musings. Then no more ‘Swede-talk.’ But Scandinavian is still good. I feel a twinge of pride when Sarah Palin attacks European socialism because I know that she is attacking Sweden, my people. I feel a certain adrenaline rush when Robin Soderling wins a match or Bjorn Borg appears in the tennis stands or Liv Ullmann makes a subtle philosophic point with the blink of a beautiful eye in a Bergman film. And when the Swedish-born Pia Sundhage plays Bob Dylan to her U.S. women’s soccer team, I am ready to get up and dance. So much for my cultural chauvinism.

Read more

Who are theses Climate Change "Deniers"?

With virtually the entire U.S. suffering under a massive heat wave (Nebraska is seeing heat index readings of 117 degrees F.), drought-stricken Texas shipping its cattle out of state to graze, and Phoenix, Arizona just having experienced a 5,000-foot-high and 100-mile-wide dust storm the likes of which hasn't been seen since the Dust Bowl, you'd think skepticism about climate change would all but have evaporated under all this heat. But despite of the scientific consensus of 97 percent of the world's climatologists that human activity (largely through the burning of fossil fuels like coal and tar sands oil) is warming the planet and fostering extreme weather events all over the world, the climate skeptics and deniers are as vehement and vitriolic as ever. Climate change, to them, is still an "Al Gore hoax" -- a scam being foisted on a gullible public by tree-hugging, 'Big Government'-loving liberals.

So, if the overwhelming majority of international climate scientists are on board with anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming and advocating immediate steps to address the danger, who are these other guys? What are their credentials?

To answer those questions, 350.org-Nebraska researched the backgrounds of the most well-known climate skeptics claiming scientific authority and prepared the following report.

Read more

Midlands Voices: Cuts in defense spending need not imperil military

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD
FRIDAY JUNE 17, 2011
BY JOHN D. DAVIE

The writer, of Dunlap, Iowa, is a retired sergeant major in the U.S. Army.

In a June 11 Public Pulse letter, retired Capt. George Autobee opined that “former House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) is absolutely right that the defense budget cuts now being proposed in Washington, D.C., would hurt our national security.”

Read more