1 trillion is a far bigger number than you realize

      Big numbers get bandied about so casually these days — thousands, millions, billions, trillions — that we tend to lose a sense of their true meaning. They all seem to blur together as if the differences among them are almost negligible. Almost nobody, for example, seems to have been terribly surprised at President Trump’s stated desire to spend a trillion dollars to rebuild America’s infrastructure. A trillion dollars!  That’s a lot of money,  but big numbers don’t shock us as much...

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Does Irma embarrass climate-change deniers?

  At this writing, much of the state of Florida is bracing for a direct hit this weekend by Hurricane Irma, which raises a few interesting questions: What do the inveterate deniers of climate science think of all this talk of doom and gloom? How will these skeptics explain away the havoc Irma is expected to visit upon the Sunshine State? Is Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who ordinarily is a skeptic when it comes to climate alarmism, going to apologize for his previous senselessness? Why should residents of Scott’s state heed his warnings...

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Here’s why evening newscasts are so depressing

  For virtually all of my adult life, I’ve been a regular viewer of early evening newscasts on ABC, CBS or NBC, and I’ve discovered in recent years that the commercials on these programs generally are more depressing than the news. I’ve lived alone for years now, leaving me free to switch among the TV channels all I want, which I regularly do during the news programs airing at 5:30 p.m. here in the Central Time Zone. I flip around a lot on the chance that one of the networks will feature a worthy news story that...

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Percentage of white Christians in America is declining

  If you get the impression that America is not what it used to be, you’re correct to an extent that probably would surprise you. USA Today, in a report on a new study, says this: White Christians accounted for 80% of the U.S. population when Jimmy Carter was president; that number had dropped to 54% by 2006, and white Christians now make up only 43% of the U.S. population, as the number of people unaffiliated with any religion has swelled. Wow! Those numbers are shocking even to me, and I pride myself as one who usually pays a lot...

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Are Harvey and Irma teachable moments on climate change?

  This past Friday, I posted here an argument that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, coming in quick succession,  might provide a good opportunity for Americans to ponder the effects of climate change on such disastrous weather events. But perhaps I was a bit hasty in coming to  such a conclusion. Oh, I still believe that climate change was a contributing factor to these storms. But I probably shouldn’t expect that public opinion on climate matters will now undergo a major shift. In an essay published earlier today on the website Axios,...

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What if another big storm hits Texas next week?

  As I write these words on the afternoon of Friday, September 3, the people I’m watching on the Weather Channel at the same time are discussing the chances of a new hurricane named  Irma slamming into the Gulf Coast of Texas late next week. Irma is forecast to become a scary Category 4 storm when it reaches full strength. That likely would make it a strong semblance of Hurricane Harvey, which wreaked terrible calamity this week in various locales in Eastern Texas, especially in Houston. But even if Irma doesn’t show up in...

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