Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kerry-Lieberman: esoteric knowledge

I hope that all the U.S. readers have already memorized the new, 987.654321-page law penned by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman,
American Power Act (PDF, full text).
It's a very simple, intuitive, comprehensible, and concise piece of text. As a homework exercise, try to use the document above to prove that it's impossible to steal $1 billion from the system by a simple trick. Easy?

Shakespeare would be proud about the prose, e.g.
2 1702(h) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C.
3 16512(h)) is amended—
4 (1) by redesignating paragraph (2) as para-
5 graph (3); and
6 (2) by inserting after paragraph (1) the fol-
7 lowing:
9 ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall
10 charge and collect a loan guarantee retention
11 fee from each advanced nuclear energy facility
12 project described in section 1703(b)(4) to which
13 the Secretary has made a guarantee under sub-
14 section (a).
16 ‘‘(i) GRACE PERIOD.—The Secretary
17 may not charge or collect a loan guarantee
18 retention fee from a project described in
19 subparagraph (A) until the date that is 5
20 years after the date on which construction
21 of the project is completed.
22 ‘‘(ii) FEE STRUCTURE.—With respect
23 to a project described in subparagraph (A),
24 the rate for the loan guarantee retention
25 fee shall—
It looks like a web page by Nigel Cook. Multiply the page above by 987.654321 to have an idea about the beauty of the proposed bill. If you wonder why the document has 987.654321 pages, it's because if you ask 8.00000007 blondes to read it, each of them will have to read 987.654321 / 8.00000007 = 123.456789 pages. ;-)

Aside from the random page above, let me choose another cute piece of law:
12 (11) if unchecked, the impact of climate change
13 will include widespread effects on health and welfare,
14 including—
15 (A) increased outbreaks from waterborne
16 diseases;
17 (B) more droughts;
18 (C) diminished agricultural production;
19 (D) severe storms and floods;
20 (E) heat waves;
21 (F) wildfires; and
22 (G) a substantial rise in sea levels, due in
23 part to—
24 (i) melting mountain glaciers;
25 (ii) shrinking sea ice; and ...
1 (iii) thawing permafrost;
That's a lot of consequences that must occur if the carbon indulgences are not sold. I wonder who will enforce all these paragraphs. Is the U.S. Congress or the White House obliged to ignite all the wildfires, melt glaciers, and flood cities? Or is Nature required to obey? What will the enforcement forces do to Nature if She refuses? :-)

Entertainingly, the bill continues:
2 (12) the most recent science indicates that the
3 changes described in paragraph (11)(G) are occur4
ring faster and with greater intensity than expected;
5 (13) military officials, including retired admi-
6 rals and generals, concur with the intelligence com-
7 munity that climate change—
8 (A) acts as a threat multiplier for insta-
9 bility; and
10 (B) presents significant national security
11 challenges for the United States;
The paragraph (12) looks like "you shall love one God only".

In (13), we learn that military officials concur that global warming is worse than Al Qaeda. What happens to the military officials who violate the law and confirm that AGW is a pile of rubbish and Kerry and Lieberman are being imbeciles? Will they be arrested or executed for having violated this law? :-)

More seriously, what I am saying is that laws should normally determine how people and institutions of the government co-exist. They shouldn't be describing the opinions of the authors and their favorite retired generals about the floods in the year 2054. ;-)

Sean Carroll who calls the draft esoteric knowledge suggests that Stephen Spielberg and Jay Rosen should establish a news channel that would explain the bill.

If even guys who can run the Universe backwards and remember the future as easily as they remember the past have a problem with this simple bill, it might be hard, after all.

Well, indeed, I would like to know how many people have actually read the draft, at least once. If the number is between 0 and 2, is the hidden assumption that the 0-2 authors of the text are infallible so that they can design a 987-page mechanism to meaningfully redirect trillions of dollars?

What is comprehensible are the plans - that make the communist 5-year and Nazi 4-year plans modest in comparison. This is the carbon emissions in 2010:

By 2020, the emissions have to drop by 17.031415926535 percent below the 2005 levels (a number that was surely calculated by a unique, canonical procedure to save the world). In ten years, the emissions will look like this:

Finally, by 2050, the emissions have to drop by 83.0271828183 percent below the 2005 levels. They will look like this:

Of course, the accurate numbers were jokes. In reality, the numbers are 17% and 83%, exactly. Note that the sum of 17% and 83% equals 100% - that's neat! In the same way, the sum of 2020 and 2050 equals 4070. Kerry and Lieberman have clearly done a great job. :-)

Good luck, America! ;-)

Glenn Beck shows how Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs, and the network of their friends will make you a happy citizen of the global carbon-free village.

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