Prejuízo garantido a curto prazo

Relatório da Navegação Aérea de Portugal “chumba” Ota

O futuro aeroporto da Ota terá uma validade de 13 anos, muito abaixo dos 50 previstos pelo governo, segundo um relatório da Navegação Aérea de Portugal (NAV), revela hoje o semanário “Sol”. O documento, a que o jornal teve acesso, dá conta que o aeroporto da Ota atingirá a capacidade máxima em 2030, ou seja, estará saturado em apenas 13 anos, já que a inauguração está prevista para 2017.

Segundo o estudo da NAV, cuja mais recente versão data de Janeiro, não será possível efectuar aterragens e descolagens em simultâneo, ainda que o aeroporto tenha duas pistas, e o máximo permitido é de 70 aviões por hora, contra os 80 desejados pelo governo.

Aliens cause solve global warming

marcel_debris1.jpgUFO science key to halting climate change: former Canadian defense minister

A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change, a local paper said Wednesday.

“I would like to see what (alien) technology there might be that could eliminate the burning of fossil fuels within a generation … that could be a way to save our planet,” Paul Hellyer, 83, told the Ottawa Citizen. Alien spacecrafts would have traveled vast distances to reach Earth, and so must be equipped with advanced propulsion systems or used exceptional fuels, he told the newspaper. Such alien technologies could offer humanity alternatives to fossil fuels, he said, pointing to the enigmatic 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico — which has become a shrine for UFO believers — as an example of alien contact.

“We need to persuade governments to come clean on what they know. Some of us suspect they know quite a lot, and it might be enough to save our planet if applied quickly enough,” he said.

Real ID Act

Na Wired, National ID Card Rules Unveiled:

Homeland Security officials released long-delayed guidelines that turn state-issued identification cards into de facto internal passports Thursday, estimating the changes will cost states and individuals $23 billion over 10 years. The move prompted a new round of protest from civil libertarians and security experts, who called on Congress to repeal the 2005 law known as the Real ID Act that mandates the changes. (…)

However, many difficult questions, such as how state databases will be linked or how homeless people can get identity documents, were left unanswered by the proposed rules. Citizens of states that don’t abide by the guidelines will not be able to enter federal courthouses or use their identity cards to board a commercial flight.

Sophia Cope, a staff attorney at the centrist Center for Democracy and Technology, says the rules only mention privacy once. “The Real ID Act does not include language that lets DHS prescribe privacy requirements, so there are no privacy regulations related to exchange of personal information between the states, none about skimming of the data on the magnetic stripe, and no limits on use of information by the feds,” Cope said.

The Real ID Act, slipped into an emergency federal funding bill without hearings, originally required states to begin issuing the ID documents by May 2008. The proposed rules allow states to ask for an extension until Jan. 1, 2010. (…) Maine has already declared it will not follow the rules, and other states are close to joining that rebellion. In Congress, a bipartisan coalition is forming around bills that would repeal portions of the Real ID Act, but it is unclear if today’s rules will slow or accelerate these efforts.

Nota: mais detalhes no artigo do CNET, Homeland Security offers details on Real ID

Put the funds where the pocket is

É consensual e ninguém minimamente sério (i.e., tipos cuja prima da vizinha do sobrinho do cunhado tenha acções da Exxon não têm direito a opinar, a menos que concordem) o pode negar mas, pelo sim pelo não, é melhor continuar a confirmar repetidamente as coisas acerca das quais já temos certeza absoluta, não vá o diabo tecê-las – que é como quem diz, não vá o pessoal ficar com a sensação de que há um grau de incerteza tão reduzido que isto deixe de parecer uma coisa respeitável e passe a ser visto como um excelente negócio de troca entre o que o político quer ouvir e o que cientista deseja receber.

À atenção dos defensores dos direitos das mulheres

Father killed family for being too western

A father killed his wife and four daughters in their sleep because he could not bear them adopting a more westernised lifestyle, an inquest heard yesterday.

Mohammed Riaz, 49, found it abhorrent that his eldest daughter wanted to be a fashion designer, and that she and her sisters were likely to reject the Muslim tradition of arranged marriages. (…) Riaz, who had spent all but the last 17 years of his life in the North West Frontier region of Pakistan, met his Anglo-Pakistani wife when her father sent her to the sub-continent to find a husband. (…)

After Mrs Riaz’s father died she “suddenly felt less beholden to Mohammed”, a friend said. “She started to develop her own circle of friends and allowed the girls to express themselves in a more western way.” She began to work with women who felt suppressed by Asian culture and many saw her as a role model for young Asian women.

Female Pakistani minister shot dead for ‘breaking Islamic dress code’

Zilla Huma Usman, the minister for social welfare in Punjab province and an ally of President Pervez Musharraf, was killed as she was about to deliver a speech to dozens of party activists, by a “fanatic”, who believed that she was dressed inappropriately and that women should not be involved in politics, officials said. Mrs Usman, 35, was wearing the shalwar kameez worn by many professional women in Pakistan, but did not cover her head.

The attack happened in Gujranwala, 120 miles southeast of Islamabad, where the minister’s office is based. As Ms Usman, 35, stepped out of her car – where she was greeted by her co-workers throwing rose petals – the attacker pulled out a pistol and fired a single shot at close range, hitting her in the head. She was airlifted to hospital in the provincial capital Lahore, but died soon afterwards. (…)

Mr Sarwar appeared relaxed and calm when he told a television channel that he had carried out God’s order to kill women who sinned. “I have no regrets. I just obeyed Allah’s commandment,” he said, adding that Islam did not allow women to hold positions of leadership. “I will kill all those women who do not follow the right path, if I am freed again,” he said.

Outros caminhos para a Índia

Para além do conselho do António Amaral, outra leitura importante para evitar alguns “espantos” de Cavaco Silva na Índia teria sido este capítulo do Index of Economic Freedom, publicado há um ano atrás:

Grassroots Capitalism Thrives in India de Barun S. Mitra [pdf]

Ingenuity, a spirit of enterprise and innovation, has helped most Indians, particularly those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, survive strangulating economic policies. Being a pluralistic democracy has actually helped to moderate some of these economic policies, allowing people to bend oppressive regulations. Reinforcing the pluralist democracy is a free press. Notwithstanding the ideological fervor of the intelligentsia and the rhetoric of the political class, there is a point beyond which the government cannot impose rigid economic regulations. Where such regulations are indeed laid down, there is a point beyond which enforcement agencies cannot implement the laws on the ground. That is the way it has always been. While the dominant political party adopted the doctrine of a “socialistic pattern of development” in the mid-1950s and sought to implement Soviet-style five-year plans, a large part of the Indian economy continued to function virtually outside the scope of the law. Today, 15 years after economic liberalization, experts estimate that 30 percent–40 percent of the Indian economy continues to be in the informal sector. This informal economy reflects India’s true economic potential. (…)

This brief survey provides a glimpse of the culture of entrepreneurship that prevails in India. If these grassroots capitalist entrepreneurs were freed from the shackles of bureaucratic economic regulations, they could well take India to the top of the development ladder. It would not be too farfetched to suggest that there is hardly any country in the world today where informal-sector economic activity is as diverse and as widespread as it is in India. This activity is an unrealized potential just waiting to be harnessed.

Há diferenças entre o mediático e o científico (2)

E a prova disso é que mesmo entre os que são da opinião de que existe um aquecimento global fortemente influenciado pela actividade humana se encontram investigadores que são suficientemente realistas para conseguir distinguir algumas questões importantes. [Leitura complementar: Novo relatório aponta para menor impacto humano no aquecimento global]

Chaotic world of climate truth by Mike Hulme, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Climate change is a reality, and science confirms that human activities are heavily implicated in this change. But over the last few years a new environmental phenomenon has been constructed in this country – the phenomenon of “catastrophic” climate change. It seems that mere “climate change” was not going to be bad enough, and so now it must be “catastrophic” to be worthy of attention.

The increasing use of this pejorative term – and its bedfellow qualifiers “chaotic”, “irreversible”, “rapid” – has altered the public discourse around climate change. This discourse is now characterised by phrases such as “climate change is worse than we thought”, that we are approaching “irreversible tipping in the Earth’s climate”, and that we are “at the point of no return”.

I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric. It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) sceptics. How the wheel turns. (…) Continue a ler “Há diferenças entre o mediático e o científico (2)”

Há diferenças entre o mediático e o científico

Climate of Fear by Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT [o artigo é de Abril de 2006]

There have been repeated claims that this past year’s [2005] hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science–whether for AIDS, or space, or climate–where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis. Continue a ler “Há diferenças entre o mediático e o científico”

Interferências

Puro veneno

A opinião geral na Europa está sempre muito direccionada para dar especial atenção a todos os crimes chocantes e merecedores de indignação que são cometidos nos EUA, especialmente porque existe a ideia subjacente de que a defesa pessoal com o uso de uma arma de fogo é, de alguma forma, moralmente ilegítima – esta deve ser proporcionada única e exclusivamente pelo Estado – e que a não observação desta regra de ouro conduz inevitavelmente a um desastre social. Paralelamente, junta-se o preconceito de que nos EUA os pobres são uma espécie de excluídos da sociedade aos quais não é proporcionada (repare-se na indelével marca estatista do verbo na voz passiva) qualquer qualidade de vida em comparação com o paraíso idílico que estes encontram em solo europeu ou em qualquer outro local onde se esteja a “construir” uma sociedade “a sério”.

Assim, quando há um homicídio (ou múltiplos homicídios) numa escola secundária americana onde um maníaco desata aos tiros com uma arma qualquer, a culpa é inexoravelmente da segunda emenda da constituição americana, que não postula os princípios de uma sociedade civilizada mas antes a de uns cowboys do velho oeste, do lóbi da National Rifle Association e, em simultâneo, da desumanização da sociedade consumista americana, do desespero total de quem não tem forma de sobrevivência e por aí adiante.

Continue a ler “Interferências”

Isto dava mais uma lei da blogosfera (2)

É praticamente garantido que quem critica alguém por implícita ou secretamente defender tendências anarquistas, perfilhar uma ideologia anti-Estado ou ter um pensamento irredutivelmente determinista e absoluto acabará, mais tarde ou mais cedo, por criticar a mesma pessoa por implícita ou secretamente defender um ditador ou estadista autoritário, dar importância à circunstância histórica, fazer comparações políticas e opinar com base na incerteza sobre as alternativas possíveis, alternando com a crítica original quando der novamente jeito.