Sunday, January 15, 2006

In today's NY Times:

  • From Louis Uchitelle:
    Mr. Nordhaus is the economist who put the subject back on the table with the publication of a prescient prewar paper that compared the coming [Iraq] conflict to a "giant role of the dice." He warned that "if the United States had a string of bad luck or misjudgments during or after the war, the outcome could reach $1.9 trillion," once all the secondary costs over many years were included.

    So far, the string of bad luck has materialized, and Mr. Nordhaus's forecast has been partially fulfilled. In recent studies by other economists, the high-end estimates of the war's actual cost, broadly measured, are already moving into the $1 trillion range.... "We did not have to fight this war, and we did not have to go to war when we did," Mr. Stiglitz said. "We could have waited until we had more safe body armor and we chose not to wait."
  • Leave it up to Brooks to praise blowhard Biden.

  • And more silencing of science and facts by this administration:
    NASA has quietly terminated the Deep Space Climate Observatory, citing "competing priorities." The news media took little notice. Few Americans, after all, had even heard of the program. But the entire world may come to mourn its passing.
    The better experiment when it comes to global warming was to be the climate observatory, situated in space at the neutral-gravity point between the Sun and Earth. Called Lagrange 1, or L1, this point is about one million miles from Earth.
    Development began in November 1998 and it was ready for launching three years later. The cost was only about $100 million. For comparison, that is only one-thousandth the cost of the International Space Station, which serves no useful purpose.

    Before Triana could be launched, however, there was a presidential election. Many of the industries favored by the new Bush White House were not anxious to have the cause of global warming pinned down. The launching was put on hold. -- Robert L.Park, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland.
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