Tags: NASA | Global | Warming | Remarks | Chris Christie Nods Off During Springsteen | Sean Diddy Combs | Promising New Fuel Source

NASA Slammed for Global Warming Remarks; Chris Christie Nods Off During Springsteen

By    |   Sunday, 15 April 2012 01:53 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Scientists Denounce NASA's 'Unproven Remarks' on Global Warming
2. Sean 'Diddy' Combs Offers 'Power Lunch' for Auction Winner
3. 'Dumb Law' Blocking Promising New Fuel Source
4. Digital Printing Technology Aiding Counterfeiters
5. Economic Malaise Slowing Americans' Movement
6. Chris Christie Caught Dozing at Springsteen Concert
7. We Heard: Scott Rasmussen, Best and Worst Jobs

1. Scientists Denounce NASA's 'Unproven Remarks' on Global Warming

Fifty top scientists, astronauts, and engineers who have worked for NASA are attacking the space agency's stance that manmade carbon dioxide is responsible for global climate change.

Seven Apollo astronauts and the deputy director of the space shuttle program are among the experts — with more than 1,000 years of combined professional experience — who have signed a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

The letter begins: "We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS that manmade carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data.

"With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

"The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA's history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements."

The signees charge NASA with advocating an "extreme position" on climate change "prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers."

They conclude: "At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA's current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself."

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2. Sean 'Diddy' Combs Offers 'Power Lunch' for Auction Winner

Music industry titan Sean "Diddy" Combs is volunteering his time in a "Dare to Dream" auction sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Combs is a Grammy Award-winning rapper, singer, and record and film producer with his own line of apparel and fragrances. Forbes estimates his fortune at $500 million.

He is joining several other entrepreneurs offering a one-on-one "power lunch" with the highest bidders in the auction.

NFTE, an international nonprofit organization providing entrepreneurial education programs for young people in low-income communities, announced: "These motivated entrepreneurs have all realized fantastic success in their fields. Now you can pitch your best business plans to these entrepreneurs, get their feedback and support NFTE all at once in the Dare to Dream Auction."

An auction winner can "spend an hour power lunching" and "elevating your business pitch" with Combs, NFTE proclaims, noting that Combs has been named "One of the Most Influential Businessmen in the World" by Time magazine.

Other entrepreneurs taking part in the auction include Steve Case, co-founder of American Online; Bobbi Brown, founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics; Daymond John, founder of the fashion brand FUBU and star of ABC's "Shark Tank"; and restaurant mogul Danny Meyer.

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3. 'Dumb Law' Blocking Promising New Fuel Source

A new technology that could revolutionize the fuel industry is being curtailed by a federal regulation that Forbes magazine calls a "dumb law."

At issue is the production of ethanol, which is added to gasoline purportedly to reduce pollution and reduce America's reliance on foreign oil.

This year Americans will use 14 billion gallons of ethanol, made from 5 billion bushels of corn — one third of the total U.S. crop — grown on 33 million acres of farmland. And since 2005, when Congress required that ethanol be added to gasoline, U.S. corn prices have tripled, according to Forbes, contributing to higher food prices across the board.

The Dallas-based chemicals company Celanese has developed the technology to produce ethanol by tearing apart and recombining hydrocarbons found in America's plentiful supplies of natural gas and coal.

"The problem isn't science. It's Washington," Forbes observes. "Thanks to the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) law, gasoline refiners are mandated to blend so much plant-based or renewable ethanol into the gas supply that it prevents Celanese or any other fossil-fuel-based ethanols from even competing for the market."

Now 13 congressmen led by Pete Olson, whose Houston-area district is home to Celanese's largest plant, have introduced a bill allowing ethanol made from natural gas to substitute for some corn-based ethanol mandated by the RFS law.

"We would prefer not to have the RFS at all," an Olson spokesperson told Forbes, "but this is a step in the right direction."

Meanwhile Celanese is building a plant in Texas designed to produce less than 6 million gallons of ethanol a year. The company is also building a plant capable of producing 80 million gallons a year — in Nanjing, China.

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4. Digital Printing Technology Aiding Counterfeiters

Counterfeiters of U.S. currency are increasingly relying on computer-based technologies including digital printing to produce their bogus bills.

"The widespread use of personal computers and advancements in digital printing technology has provided more individuals the opportunity to manufacture a passable counterfeit note with relative ease," Government Security News reports.

The magazine refers to a "tidal wave" of counterfeiters making bills with a computer and digital printing.

The Secret Service estimates that 61 percent of the counterfeit money passed domestically in fiscal 2011 was produced using digital printing, compared with less than 1 percent in 1995.

The agency said last year it made 2,673 domestic arrests and 280 foreign arrests for counterfeiting offenses, seizing more than $70 million in counterfeit currency before it entered circulation and helping to remove more than $115 million in bogus bills from circulation.

In one recent case, the Secret Service arrested a Washington man seeking to trade thousands of dollars in counterfeit currency produced by digital printing in exchange for a .357 caliber handgun.

Authorities reportedly paid the man $800 in genuine currency for about $6,500 in counterfeit bills. The bogus $20 and $50 bills were on uncut sheets of paper, with four bills to a sheet, and were missing security features like a watermark. He was arrested when he agreed to provide another $8,000 in counterfeit bills for the handgun.

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5. Economic Malaise Slowing Americans' Movement

It's a notable consequence of the slow economic recovery in the aftermath of the recession: Americans are increasingly staying put.

"Domestic migration" — the movement of Americans from one county to another within the United States — was down sharply last year, according to new figures from the Census Bureau.

In 2011, 590,000 people moved between counties. That's significantly fewer than the annual rate between 2000 and 2009, which was 1.08 million, and peaked in 2006 at nearly 1.62 million.

"The continuing low rate of domestic migration has been reinforced by the economic malaise that has kept job and income growth well below levels that would be expected in a more genuine recovery," Wendell Cox writes on the New Geography website.

The new census figures also reveal that contrary to published reports, Americans are not abandoning the suburbs and moving back into inner cities.

As recently as April 5, CBS News reported: "Stung by high gasoline costs, outlying suburbs that sprouted in the heady 2000s are now seeing their growth fizzle to historic lows, halting American city dwellers' decades-long exodus to sprawling homes in distant towns."

In fact, over the past year the "core counties" of major metropolitan areas — the urban centers of the metro areas — lost 67,000 people who moved to other counties in the United States. Suburban counties, on the other hand, gained 49,000 domestic migrants, and exurban counties gained 49,000 domestic migrants.

However, core counties gained significantly more migrants from other countries than did suburban and exurban counties, and had greater "natural growth" — the number of births minus the number of deaths.

The Los Angeles metro area, for example, lost 50,500 domestic migrants, but gained 54,700 international migrants and added 96,100 residents due to natural growth.

The fastest-growing metropolitan area last year was Austin, Tex.; followed by Raleigh, N.C.; and Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio in Texas. Metro areas that lost population include Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Providence, R.I.

Concluding his analysis of the census figures, Cox — a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris and author of "War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life" — observes: "Until the nation returns to normal economic growth, many young who would otherwise move are staying put, as well as young families that would be looking for larger houses.

"The driving factor in the more modest domestic migration trends observed today could well be necessity rather than desire."

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6. Chris Christie Caught Dozing at Springsteen Concert

"Born to Sleep" one wag quipped, playing off Bruce Springsteen's hit song "Born to Run" after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was caught nodding off at a Springsteen concert.

Christie is a big fan of fellow New Jersey native Springsteen and claims to have attended more than 100 of the rocker's concerts. But the governor was seen snoozing at Monday night's concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.

"The governor was very active during the show," one eyewitness told the New York Post. "Bruce started talking about 'supporting food banks in New York and New Jersey,' and 'how people have been hit hard,' and Christie was riveted. Then Bruce performed 'Rocky Ground,' and Christie visibly started fading."

The Post reported: "A picture shows the hardworking Republican, dressed in a casual blue shirt, resting his head on his hand, apparently taking a disco nap."

Meanwhile Christie's popularity across the river in New Jersey is anything but fading. A new Quinnipiac survey shows his approval rating at 59 percent, an all-time high, compared to 36 percent who disapprove.

The governor receives a 92 percent approval rating among Republicans, and 64 percent among independents.

"Whether Gov. Christopher Christie is traveling the nation, campaigning for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, or traveling to Israel to tout New Jersey business, his job approval rating at home in Trenton continues to climb," said Maurice Carroll, director of the poll.

The Weekly Standard observed, "For a conservative Republican like Christie to have the support of nearly 60 percent of voters in Democratic New Jersey is phenomenal."

Christie is believed to be a strong contender for the vice presidential nomination on a GOP ticket headed by Mitt Romney.

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7. We Heard . . .

THAT the WOR Radio Network will begin syndicating three daily vignettes hosted by noted pollster Scott Rasmussen beginning on April 16.

Three original one-minute editions of "The Rasmussen Report" feature will be made available to affiliates each weekday, and will also air on the network's flagship, News/Talk WOR-AM/New York City.

"Scott has fast become the go-to guest for many of our programs when we want to let our listeners know where the country stands on the important headlines," said WOR VP/GM Jerry Crowley. "We are thrilled to now take our relationship with him to this next level, and share his fantastic radio content with radio stations across the country."

Rasmussen is founder and president of Rasmussen Reports and author of the new best-selling book "The People's Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the National Debt."

THAT newspaper reporter has been cited as the fifth worst job by CareerCast, which ranked the best and worst jobs of 2012.

TV and radio broadcaster is also ranked among the 10 worst jobs.

"As the digital world continues to take over and provide on-demand information, the need for print newspapers and daily newscasts is diminishing," CareerCast stated.

CareerCast evaluated 200 jobs based on work environment, physical demands, stress, hiring outlook, and income.

At the bottom of the list, at No. 200, is lumberjack, followed by dairy farmer and soldier.

The best job? Software engineer, followed by actuary and human resources manager.

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