Like Father, Like Son

Recently Ohio State offered a football scholarship to Adam Griffin, making him the 19th player in the class of 2010.  Griffin is a running back, defensive back and kick returner whose team, Columbus DeSales, played in the Ohio Division III football championship game in the fall.  He also happens to be the son of the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner in history and an Ohio State legend, Archie Griffin.

I think it is wonderful that Coach Tressel decided to offer a scholarship to Griffin.  Ohio State has been well served by children of former stars who have played for the Buckeyes.  Those players well understand the importance of Buckeye football traditions and help to provide a living link between the glory days of the past and the current high level of performance.  I also think that kids who follow in the footsteps of illustrious fathers feel a special incentive to make their own, positive contribution, and I have no doubt that Adam Griffin also feels that way.  I’ll be interested in following Adam Griffin’s career with the Buckeyes and watching him blaze his own path with the team.

A Hot Topic (Cont.)

Another article has raised significant questions about the data underlying the global warming hypothesis.  In this instance, the questions relate to whether recorded temperatures are accurate gauges of climate trends, or whether they may reflect distorting factors such as surrounding development, changes in locations of measuring devices, and changes in land use.  One scientist who has studied the records says that apparent increases in temperatures are explained by local factors affecting temperature recording stations. Anyone who lives near a city experiences the effect of development on temperature; it is always a few degrees warmer downtown, where heat is trapped and then radiated by roads, sidewalks, and buildings.

Of course, the fact that the recorded temperatures may not, in fact, be accurate does not mean that “global warming” is not occurring — it just means that the temperature data may not be a reliable basis for reaching that conclusion.  It also suggests that policymakers should approach global warming issues with a healthy skepticism, and that scientists need to take a fresh look at reports, like the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that now seem more like political arguments than objective scientific evaluations.

A Hot Topic (Cont.)

A Hot Topic (Cont.)

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A Hot Topic

An Ill Wind Blows No Good

The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University has tracked “stimulus bill” spending on wind power — nearly $2 billion in all — and the results are not pretty.  It turns out that nearly 80 percent of the money spent has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines, creating thousands of jobs overseas rather than in America.  Americans apparently are getting temporary jobs erecting the machinery at the wind farm locations here in the United States, whereas employees of factories in places like China and Vietnam are getting the bread-and-butter blue collar manufacturing jobs that so many Americans crave.  Even Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senator from New York, thinks that the stimulus wind power spending has been a jobs creation bust.  And in the meantime, the $2 billion spent on the wind projects was all borrowed money on which American taxpayers will be paying interest to holders of American debt, in places like China, for years to come.  And, it may well be that wind power projects will have to be subsidized by the government well into the foreseeable future, too.

This story is not that much of a surprise, given the dismal track record of the pork-laden, poorly considered stimulus bill.  But it also should be a lesson to wary taxpayers as Congress discusses new “jobs” bills.  (No one on Capital Hill wants to use the word “stimulus” ever again.)  Simply appropriating money for “feel-good” government projects, like the wind power projects in the stimulus bill, doesn’t necessarily create jobs in America.  The only sure way to meet that goal is to identify and fund projects that necessarily will involve work, from beginning to end, that must occur in America.  Infrastructure improvements would be good examples.  An even better approach would be to encourage appropriate development of America’s oil and natural gas resources, which would have the effect of creating jobs in America while easing our dependence on foreign energy sources.

After the “health care reform” disaster, Congress is now talking up a “jobs agenda,” hoping that they will have some accomplishment to point to when the reelection campaigns gear up in a few months and unemployment continues to linger at or above 10 percent.  Let’s hope any such legislation is done in a more thoughtful way that actually meets the desired goal of putting Americans back to work.