Monday, June 22, 2015

Stuff below the headlines

Pope lauded for being a scientist with an MA in chemistry who is pushing global warming based on science, of course, prays in front of a fake relic.

Pope Francis touches the case displaying the Shroud of Turin, the 14-foot linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy.
 (Alessandro di Marco / European Pressphoto Agency)

carbon 14, the fact that early bishops thought it was fake, and the problem that the picture has faded and can barely be seen (whereas when it first was "found" the pictures were bright) suggest fakery.

No, having a degree in chemistry doesn't make one an expert at every scientifically related field, and of course being a pope makes on infallible in faith and morals when you expound on the traditional magisterium. It does not make one infallible in politics or social policty.

A priest's editorial in the paper yesterday here was an example of the spin. His "spin" was that evil capitalism is making the world "poorer" ignores the facts. Reality check: The poor on their farms are not poorer than the past. The gap is worse because the rich are richer. 

and yes, the slums are terrible but maybe people moved there from the picturesque rural areas because life was better than life on the farm where they starved periodically and died prematurely from disease and were old at age 50.

and many of the slum problems are due to family breakdown, alcoholism/drugs, etc. Which are religious problems.

Maybe the church needs to imitate Wesley and the Pentecostals who actually reform lives in these areas, rather than send in do gooders to give stuff away and then tell the gov't not to put in all those polluting factories to give the poor jobs.

The answer is not polluting factories, but factories that are safe. But of course, it's cheaper for factories to bribe officials too look the other way when they pollute than to reduce pollution. So again, the problem is morality more than evil capitalism.

If the Philippines is poor, it is because of corruption. Yet China, despite corruption and pollution, has managed to lift itself out of poverty since they allowed capitalism to thrive. So do the Chinese prefer to breathe dirty air or to have mass famines that kill millions every decade or two?

Statistical charts here suggest poverty is decreasing.

from the economist:

Poverty rates started to collapse towards the end of the 20th century largely because developing-country growth accelerated, from an average annual rate of 4.3% in 1960-2000 to 6% in 2000-10. Around two-thirds of poverty reduction within a country comes from growth. Greater equality also helps, contributing the other third. A 1% increase in incomes in the most unequal countries produces a mere 0.6% reduction in poverty; in the most equal countries, it yields a 4.3% cut.China (which has never shown any interest in MDGs) is responsible for three-quarters of the achievement. Its economy has been growing so fast that, even though inequality is rising fast, extreme poverty is disappearing. China pulled 680m people out of misery in 1981-2010, and reduced its extreme-poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to 10% now.

It's like the complaints of food wasted: the major cause of wasting food is poor storage. Plastic, pesticides, and proper storage is the answer. Refrigerators stop food wastage. Maybe even start nuking food to increase shelf life and safety. And don't forget corruption: After a hurricane destroyed the crop two years ago a lot of politicians here got money to import food, and then stored it away where it rotted. No problem for the politicians, who already had taken their share and would have been forced to sell the rice with little profit. By storing it, they got rich and the poor got nothing.

as for the terrible trash: Well, that's what happens when folks throw things away and the gov't doesn't bother to dispose of them properly.

But the "greens", who often live in cities and are from affluent families, are happy, as are "activists" who can "save" their favorite poor people from the horrors of becoming middle class.

semi related item: 400 thousand year old skeleton's teeth showed evidence of air pollution. 
Yeah. Cooking over wood inside a cave or house tends to lead to a smoky environment.

also semi related: The first American slaves were Irish.

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