Dr. J. Roger P. Angel is the Director Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory, Regents’ Professor of Astronomy and Optical Science at University of Arizona. Dr. Angel’s declaration purports Space shade might reduce the amount of solar energy that hits the Earth. He declares that smaller flyers could be assembled and launched from Earth (L-1 orbit) in stacks of a million at a time, unlike the earlier ideas for heavier structures launched from the moon (Science Daily, 2006).
Dr. James R. Fleming is an author and Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College, Maine. Dr. Fleming questions whether climate engineers contemplated not only the human consequences, but also the relationship between humans, politics, ethics, and nature. He wrote in The Wilson Quarterly that the primary reason the scientist community has been sotto voce (intentionally lowering one’s voice as if the truth may shock or offend) is the unknowingly and astonishingly idea of sunshade (Fleming, 2007).
Are Space Shades the Answer to Global Warming?
No. In the argument for Space sunshade, there are exorbitant-unknown variables.
In 1816, the United States, Canada, or Europe did not experience a summer. The Tambora volcano, for example, sent at least 36 cubic miles of pulverized rock into the atmosphere (Alfred, 2009). The article juxtaposes the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruptions with the sunshade.
Are these identical, or, are they at least sufficient for the intended outcome?
This parallel creates a faulty analogy because Dr. Angel’s reasoning uses a comparison to prove its point. This comparison attempts to persuade readers into assuming that the dust and sulfates from the eruption could be unerringly recreated with the sunshade. The spacecraft, however, would form a long, cylindrical cloud with a diameter about half that of Earth, 10 times longer, and aggregate Space Sunshade about 20 million tons. Even though, Dr. Angel constructs this idea from previous technologies; he cannot be certain that these shades would infer equivalent results.
To prove whether Space sunshade, which reflects solar heat back into space before it can warm Earth, can or will re-fabricate a natural phenomenon (a volcano) to decrease Global Warming, Climate Engineers must study three keys arguments:
(1) What are the consequences of sunshade to the environment, particularly, crops?
(2) Is Global Warming hype?
(3) Do a cost-effective treatment exist to cool the Earth other than the Sunshades’ 350 trillion-dollar cost?
Dr. Angel argues for Space sunshade in case of a climate crisis. For argument’s sake, let us assume that the sunshade is the answer.
How would they impact crops?
Scientists know that climate change negatively impact crops. Recently, scientists (Carnegie’s Julia Pongratz and colleagues) have taken Dr. Angel’s sunshade concept and applied it to global crops. The results showed that sunshade geo-engineering increased crops in most regions (Science Daily, 2012). Further evidence, however, undermines Dr. Angel’s position because the model predicted that geo-engineering would still harm some crops.
Pessimistic of Global Warming (releases of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide) believes other factors are warming and cooling the Earth. Some even dismiss Global Warming solely as political hype.
Scientists and citizen scientists must consider alternatives because Dr. Angel’s proposal (carbon-scrubbing) is costly but cheaper than the sunshade. This proposition assumes that carbon-scrubbing is nearly or equally effective as scientists expect the Space sunshade.
From my vantage point, evidence shows that the Earth is warming. At bottom, that evidence is insufficient whether Global Warming requires sending Space sunshade to rectify it.
For the reasons stated above, the scientist community should reject sunshade unless new evidence surface that is less harmful to crops and more effective than carbon-scrubbing.
Alfred, R. (2009, April 9). April 10, 1815: Tambora Explosion Triggers ‘Volcanic Winter. Retrieved from Wire.com: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2009/04/dayintech_0410
American Policy Roundtable. The Great Global Warm Up Arguments Against Global Warming. Retrieved from Aproundtable.org: http://www.aproundtable.org/tps30info/globalwarmup.html
Fleming, J. (2007, Spring). The Climate Engineers. Wilson Quarterly. Retrieved from Colby.edu: http://www.colby.edu/sts/climateengineers.pdf
Muller, R. (2011, October 21). The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism. Retrieved from Online.WSJ.com: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html
Science Daily. (2012, January 12). Sunshade Geoengineering More Likely to Improve Global Food Security, Research Suggests. Retrieved from Science Daily:
Science Daily. (2006, November 6). Sunshades Might Be Feasible in Global Warming Emergency. Retrieved from Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061104090409.htm
What kind of lawyer do you want to be? Believe it or not, you can begin to answer this question today. Not ten years from now or at graduation or even on your first day of class, but today. Today is the first day of the rest of your professional life.
We encourage you to consider the application process the beginning of your legal career.
How well-informed are Americans about bioengineered food? According to some food scientists, Americans most likely eat genetically modified ingredients like honey, rice, corn, soybean and cotton seed oil. Although this list is not comprehensive, a quick internet search reveals several genetically modified organism (GMO) lists.
What is GMO? Genetically modified organism comprises of altering food at the molecular or cellular level. Most crops are genetically engineered to tolerate the pesticide spray on the crops. GMO-produced corn (Bacillus Thuringiensis, or Bt, a biological pesticide) reduces the amount of mold in Fusarium.
In addition to food scientists, medical scholars, lawyers, and consumer advocates heavily contest this much-debated topic. Henry I. Miller and Gregory Conko proclaim that GMO is safer for the consumer and better for the environment than non-GMO crops. While Jeffery M. Smith argues that GMO Foods are dangerous to societies’ health, and government should remove the crops from the marketplace.
From my vantage point, the issue gives rise to human welfare and safety; and, less about economic growth and competitiveness. Miller and Conko, who insist that GMO are safe, even illustrated a 1692 event: the Salem Witchcraft Trials. They contend that recent evidence can link the Salem events to ergot poisoning. According to both scholars, GMO would have prevented the symptoms that blighted the Massachusetts’ residents.
Even if, GMO prevents poisoning or contamination, are consumers to assume that prevention is tantamount to safety in the 21st century crops? Should society generalize that since GMO could have prevented the Salem Witch Trails, GMO are safe?
Despite Miller and Conkos’ persuasive hypothesis, scientific evidence demonstrates that animals who ate GMO suffered immensely with elevated blood sugar levels, bleeding stomachs, swollen testicles, and slower immune system than non-GMO animals. Other standard lab-rats revealed large mammary tumors, severe liver and kidney damage, cancers and death after consuming GMO corn than non-GMO lab rats. Of course, this proposition assumes these animals were initially healthy beings before consuming GMO because the readings were silent on this issue. If the animals were healthy at the onset, then these results are troubling.
Miller and Conko fail to refute the overwhelming side effects on animals from GMO’s consumption. How would Miller and Conko refute these side effects? Perhaps, they would reveal countering evidence that rebut these side effects and validate their findings.
Smith, to a lesser extent, cited a pro-GM scientist saying rats with GMO had massive system health problems. Smith’s contention appears logical until he supports the argument asserting the scientist’s stellar reputation. Now, this accolade does not contradict his argument. But, Smith’s use of a logically fallacious argument (appeal to accomplishment) undermines Smith’s argument. Even scientists with a stellar record can provide illogical claims.
Further evidence divulges that when presented with both GMO and non-GMO food, some animals chose the non-GM food. On the surface, this appears as valid reasoning also. Quite possibly, the animals may have preferred the same smell, texture, and taste as the non-GM food.
In either case, Miller and Conko presented a slightly stronger argument against GMO as compared to Smith. However, Miller and Conko cited “scientist agreed gene-spliced crops and foods are better and safer for consumers.”
Which scientist? Does this assertion include all scientists? Later, the scholars declared that since the new product now resists predation and plant disease, it is better for consumers. If GMO is better since it allegedly resists predation, better how and for whom? Can consumers make that leap and generalize?
Next, Miller and Conko discusses GMO’s “five years of excellent results.” What were the results? What were the negative results or were all the results positives? Who conferred the excellent results? These and other questions will aid in this dialogue.
Conversely, I espouse their argument that manufactures may encounter civil liability. If they knowingly omitted product that may diminish exposure to contamination, manufacturers could face liability. Also, if manufacturers added GMO to products without consumers’ knowledge, and that product caused severe illness to consumers, then manufactures could confront liability.
Food scientists state two vital reasons that societal fears led to the overregulation of GMO crops: (1) Americans already ingest these foods; and, (2) two decades of scientific studies attenuated the safety of the genetically-altered foods.
In spite of the food scientists perspective, manufacturers, agriculturists, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration owe consumers a duty to prevent harm from product liability or design defects. Even though, GMO Manufacturers have rights to offer a new product that may reduce contamination in the agricultural industry, those manufacturers also have a right to present their product to consumers without slander from the opposition.
Nevertheless, the agriculturists and manufacturers industry should notify consumers of GMO ingredients. These quandaries give rise to the H.R. 3553 Genetically Engineered Food Right-To-Know Act. H.R. 3553 is a compromise to GMO. Under this provision, manufacturers must designate GM crops accordingly. Also, in this act, manufacturers and agriculturists should label genetically modified ingredients. If GMO manufacturers or the agriculturist fed animals GMO, the product then must also be labeled.
Consumers, ultimately, should decide whether they desire to ingest GMO. While many consumers have voiced their opinion to Congress, other consumers have failed to exercise all due diligence about GMO Foods. To some extent, bioengineered foods are ambiguous and require further research, or at the very least, labeling.
- Genetically modified foods: Who has to tell? (latimes.com)
Leaders: Born v. Made
An emerging lad loses his mother at a very young age, declines inwardly from its hardships, and refuses to join the family business (farming). This gentleman neither had the pedigree, the birthright, nor the attribute that exemplifies leadership. But low-level apprenticeships led those fledgling steps toward transforming industrial production in the 20th century: A 2007 Forbes article, Are Leaders Really Born identifies him as Henry Ford.
This question is a fallacy: False Dilemma. The Either-Or fallacy says either a leader is born or made. This fallacy forces the actor to select one or the other when, in fact, it can be both. So, even if we accept the claim that a leader can be made, are they born?
If born, this concept, then, implies that he or she possess leadership qualities even at a young age. But, what are those characteristics? What’s more, which assets are visible even in its rudimentary stages? Some possibilities are independent thinkers, confidence, and knowledge of right from wrong (integrity). To validate the molding-young-leaders theory, we should consider studying preschooler’s leadership traits.
In the meantime, if made, then how do we begin to develop a leader? This sojourn might entail only two phases: (1) Decide, and (2) Apprenticeship. Well, the first step is to acknowledge the problem. In this case, first, resolve that he or she desires to lead. What follows is essentially training. “A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him” (Maxwell, 1999, p. 109). This tutelage could include a mentor, formal education, and leadership roles.
Whether born, made, or both – the depth and breadth on this topic will endure.
Barnes, J. A. (2005). John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and Legacy of a President.
New York: AMACOM.
Cropf, R. A. (2008). American Public Administration: Public Service for the 21st Century. New
York: Pearson Education, Inc.
Jones, G. (2007). Organizational Theory, Design, and Change (6th edition). Lebanon: Prentice-
Lussier, A. (2010). Leadership: Theory, Application and Skill Development (4th edition). New
York: South-Western College Publishers.
Maxwell, J. (1999). The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader. Tennessee: Thomas Nelson
Maxwell, J. (1999). The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Powell, P. (1996). My American Journey. New York: Random House Publishing Group.
Varghese, S. (2007, November 29). Are Leaders Really Born? Forbes.
Yaverbaum, E. (2006). Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Successful CEOs. New York:
Barnes & Noble.
The modern public administration should include a legal foundation: qualified immunity is insufficient.To discuss whether qualified immunity is sufficient, both public administration and qualified immunity’s definition takes precedent. Robert A. Cropf, a public administration scholar, defines the former as the managerial and political processes that occur in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches for the purposes of creating, implementing, and assessing public policy. Admittedly, ambiguous to define; however, this explanation entails all branches of government.
Next, it is necessary to ascertain immunity’s definition. That is, three conditions that public officials must satisfy for exempt from penalties….: (a) a promise not to prosecute for a crime …; [and] (b) public officials’ protection from liability for their decisions, according to William C. Burton. Subsequently, what is qualified immunity? Justice Scalia, United States (U.S.) Supreme Court, deftly applied the qualified immunity’s test: “performing discretionary functions… shielding from civil damages liability as long as their actions could reasonably have been thought consistent with the rights they are alleged to have violated…. Although [this court], in narrow circumstances, has provided officials with absolute immunity (Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635 ). “If they meet the court’s test, then administrators will receive protection.
Absolute immunity’s proponents claim that public administration does not require blanket protection. Granted, blanket protection is not required by all administrators, but it is sufficient in limited circumstances (i.e., national security, diplomacy, et cetera).
The exigency unaided exposes administrators to lawsuits that cause interruptions on several fronts. Rather, other scholars, Rabin and Hildreth declare that the sources of many administrative obligation and imperatives found in the Constitution, laws, rules, and executive orders. Because this underpinning invariably comprises the legal environment’s expectations, as opposed to merely public and administrative law, this discourse should have a profound impact on public officials.
Their careers typically range from policy, diplomacy, politics, regulation, and national security. Evidence affirms that public administration programs should consider shifting the courses’ focus to the legal environment and to the public-sector risk management. In this case, the profession’s broader perspective will increase the public administrators plight.
The legal foundation’s juxtaposition, as well as the managerial-political tutelage, is an effective solution for the contemporary administrator. On the one hand, the courts created this test; and, if these actions are within the scope of reason, managers then may receive protection against civil damages. On the other hand, to illustrate, in Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd, a U.S. Citizen sued the former attorney general, John Ashcroft. This case holds on an unconstitutional arrest.
In March 2, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument and the defense claimed qualified. On May 2011, in an 8-0 decision, since Ashcroft did not violate a clear established law, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a judgement: reversed and remanded.
The Legislative and Judicial Branches, therefore, should extend this immunity for modern public administration. But qualified immunity does not shield public administration from a law suit.
- Editorial: Qualified Immunity, Unqualified Doubt (nytimes.com)