Quotes to Ponder

Revolutionary Islamism is the main strategic problem in the world today. Terrorism is the main tactical problem.
Barry Rubin, Radical Islamism: An Introductory Primer

“…the structure of the bargain required to be struck between [Israel] and the Arabs seems inherently irresolvable. For whatever appears to be even minimally adequate…for Israel, seems to be totally inadequate… for the Arabs“.
Martin Sherman, The Politics of Water in the Middle East (Macmillan,1999), p. 94

” …the maximum that any government of Israel will be ready to offer the Palestinians and still survive… is much less than the minimum that any Palestinian leader can accept.”
Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland, former head of Israel’s National
Security Council, The Future of the Two-State Solution 2009

“I think that this is the first war in history that on the morrow the victors sued for peace and the vanquished called for unconditional surrender.” Abba Eban, to the UN on 1967 Six-Day War. (HT: NL)

“If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” Abba Eban (HT: NL)

Accepting other suggestions.

The demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies – much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two.”

Benny Morris – letter to the Irish Times (H/T: MN)

“Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction — out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East — is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.”

Thomas Friedman, Campus Hypocrisy (H/T: MN)

Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Abba Eban (H/T: SG)

Nota Bene: I have a longstanding nitpick with this quote, and I just heard an interesting variant on it yesterday. First, the nitpick. Ebban is being a liberal cognitive egocentrist: these seem like opportunities for him because they’re positive-sum deals that allow everyone to move on. How bourgeois.

For the Palestinians, these are not opportunities, they’re traps into which, were they to fall, they would never recover from the humiliation. In their zero-sum minds where if Israel wins anything, they lose, they’re not “missing an opportunity,” they’re avoiding defeat.

On the other hand, they never miss an opportunity to dump on Israel, no matter how self-destructive or irrational.

Abbas calls Goldstone “My brother, Richard Muhammad Goldstone,” even though the report strengthens his deadly enemies in Hamas (far more deadly than Israel).

Fayyad develops a plan for statehood “alongside Israel” that welcomes the destruction of Israel in the back door, and ramps up a cognitive war campaign to delegitimize Israel in Europe.

Like Europeans with their moral Schadenfreude truffles of Anti-Zionism, the Palestinians are addicted to their hatreds and vendettas. Except where Europe is like a fat man with a 300 Cholesterol count, still popping the truffles at every turn, the Palestinians and other Jihadis are mean and hungry.

54 Responses to Quotes to Ponder

  1. SE says:

    Hmm. Wouldn’t you say that it is the culture of Islam as most commonly practiced [and not revolutionary Islamism, a problematic term] which is the main strategic problem in the world today?

  2. noah says:

    My two favorite Abba Eban quotes:

    I think that this is the first war in history that on the morrow the victors sued for peace and the vanquished called for unconditional surrender.

    If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.

  3. Stuart Green says:

    Another Eban quote (there is no shortage):

    “Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

  4. E.G. says:

    Stuart Green,

    It’s a classic. No pondering potential.
    Happy New Year to you – any news about your book?

  5. Stuart Green says:


    Thanks, and greetings right back at you. No news so far. At this point I’m just looking for a book agent who’d be willing to respond to me. Admittedly, I’ve been distracted by work, family and extra-curricular activities lately, but still not even a tickle. I’ll turn the heat back on in a couple of weeks.

    Ciao from bella Napoli,

  6. E.G. says:

    Ciao Stu,

    With all the Natale fun, just beware not to turn into a Napolitano! ;-)

  7. Hard Rain says:

    “WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, DHAHRAN An Iraqi air-raid shelter was hit by American bombers. Initial estimates from Baghdad of the casualty figures ranged from 40 to 1,500. This illustrates a persistent problem in the Middle East. The Zero was invented by the Arabs, but so were the next six or eight zeros after that. Americans should be warned that you will hear a lot of numbers coming out of this part of the world, but don’t count on them.” – P.J. O’Rourke, from “Gulf Diary” in the book “Give War a Chance”.

  8. noah says:

    Hard Rain, excellent point. The “massacre of Jenin” comes to mind with the “numbers game” the Arabs play.

  9. Hard Rain says:


    More recently, one need only see the Goldstone Report debacle. Yet again, outsiders dupe themselves and take Arab casualty reports at face-value.

    What did old Charles Enderlin say? “That’s their culture, they exaggerate.” or something to that effect…

  10. Eliyahu says:

    Martin Kramer gives a good example of an Arab witness before goldstone’s commission adding on a zero or two. See link:


    by the way, the zero in math was invented by Hindus in India and later transmitted to the West by Arabs.

  11. Margie says:

    My favourites: two with a common theme:

    “The demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies – much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two”

    Benny Morris – letter to the Irish Times

    Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction — out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East — is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest” Thomas Friedman

  12. Michelle Schatzman says:

    The show alluded to in the last part of the post has been broadcasted on a network called France Ô (with a circonflexe accent, i.e. a little hat on top of the capital “O”, to differentiate it from a zero. So, I had the opportunity to learn about this network. It is indeed a network owned by France Télévisions, and until now, it is available in non-metropolitan France and the Paris area. Non-metropolitan France is made out of

    – the French Caribbean (Martinique and Guadeloupe islands, plus a piece of Saint-Martin/Sint-Maarten.)

    – French Guiana (a good trivial pursuit question : does France have a common border with Brazil? the answer is… yes)

    – La Réunion : an island in the Indian Ocean

    – New Caledonia and the french Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean

    – a number of smaller islands and a slice of the Antarctic.

    France Ô does not only cater to the inhabitants of the french départements d’Outre-Mer, i.e. Guadeloupe, Réunion, Martinique and French Guiana, but also to the people coming from these areqas and living now in Metropolitan France.

    I was not able to check that the movie Gaza-strophe was broadcasted on France Ô yesterdy night, but the site of the movie http://www.gaza-strophe.com/ says that it will be broadcasted on Feb. 10th.

    Funny that the Hamas propaganda is geared towards the french areas mostly populated by people of african origin whose ancesters suffered slavery! Via a french network. But the mother network, i.e. RFO (Radio-France Outre-Mer) is known for harboring a bunch of antisemites.

    By the way, I did not know the site jssnews.com.

  13. E.G. says:


    The good news is that it doesn’t reach Polynesia!
    Now, this territory seems to benefit from a different status than the other territories. None of which can be considered as occupied. Not even disputed.

  14. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Hey, why doesn’t it reach Polynesia? This would be terribly unfair! It does reach Polynesia, it’s just that there are much fewer people in Polynesia than in the 4 Départements d’outre mer.

  15. E.G. says:

    Oh JOY!
    At least in that not-very-populated paradise even less people possess TV.

    Anyway, around Paris most sat-dishes are not turned towards the Eiffel tower, but rather the Maghreb. The success of this piece of victimology is going to be on the net.

  16. Cynic says:


    If you are still tuned into this channel :-) would you comment on this
    Affirmative Action A La Français

    M. Sarkozy, taking populist advantage of this unsurprising fact like any unscrupulous politician, is supporting a proposal that 30 per cent of students should be taken, ex officio as it were, from poor backgrounds.
    One way to achieve this ‘target’ is to change the nature of the entrance examination, which emphasises, among other things such as science and mathematics, modern languages (essentially English) and a knowledge of general culture such as history and literature.

    I thought that that France was one country that was attempting to maintain its educational standards.

  17. E.G. says:


    I thought that that France was one country that was attempting to maintain its educational standards.


  18. Cynic says:


    I thought that you Oxfordians were more composed than that.
    Imagine, rolling on the floor laughing.
    Tsk, tsk.

  19. E.G. says:


    I realise you were expecting an understated chuckle. However and nevertheless a ludicrous statement such as yours inevitably induces any thinking person left on Earth (or on the Cambridge pastures, which is what really matters) to burst out laughing.
    I leave you the choice between the Floor and the Fauteuil. The Field is a tiny bit too Frozen for mi’ old bones these days.

  20. Cynic says:


    Dust thou by any chance joust or project, sir? :-)))))
    (or on the Cambridge pastures, which is what really matters) to burst out laughing.

    Not mooing?

    Anyway, hoping to get a serious reply from Michelle would not be by way of impugning the modus vivendi whatever it may be.

  21. Michelle Schatzman says:


    France is not attempting to maintain its educational standards, and far from it. What has been done, during the last 30 years or so, which saw a significant increase of the number of pupils between the ages of 14 and 18, is that in most schools, the standards have been lowered, in order to accomodate the lowest tier of pupils. But not in all schools, and in a given school, not necessarily in all possible curricula.

    The cognoscenti know the tricks to get their kids into classes with high standards. Let the kid take german as a first foreign language. Or even better, chinese or japanese. Let the kid be in an international or european lycée or collège. Find the appropriate mixture of general studies and art, or music, or whatever, which will keep junior away from bad habits and low requirements.

    The tricks are not known to most people. Another way of escaping bad habits is to put the kid in a catholic school – which costs very little, since almost all catholic schools have a contract with the state, which pays all the teachers. The catholic schools are better at imposing order, because they are usually smaller, and they know the pupils better.

    But globally, the french schools have been diving to very low levels.

    On top of that, the higher education system is dual. On one hand, there is a competitive system, where you need to apply and be accepted and on the other hand, there is a non competitive system, where every student who asks can register. The competitive system contains

    – The classes preparing the entrance to the main engineering and business schools. This preparation takes place in high schools, after graduating and is very intensive.

    – The main engineering and business schools, where one enters after competitive exams, whose difficulty is proportional to the reputation of the school.

    – Medical schools and subjects related to medicine, viz. pharmacy, midwifery, physical therapy. At the end of the first year of study, there is a highly selective exam, and students choose their field according to their rank. Nursing education is done mainly by private schools, which supposedly select their students, but we are lacking nurses, so this is not really selective.

    – A good part of higher technical education in places called Instituts Universitaires de Technologie (IUT), depending from universities, but quite autonomous in universities. Also in high schools after graduating, in classes called STS (sections de techniciens supérieurs).

    The non competitive system is made out of the universities, in sciences, humanities and law. Law has kept rather high standards and the selection takes place when students fail or drop out. The level in science and humanities has been lowered, but the result is not more success. The result is that fewer and fewer good students go to university, and instead choose to go into the competitive system. The situation has become absolutely terrible. A few days ago, I was sitting beside a colleague who had a package of exams to grade. I looked at the subject, which was quite elementary (math, first semester of first year), and my colleague commented as follows : the first question had been treated in all details in an exercise session, and the students were warned that it owuld be part of the exam. Almost nobody answered correctly. Questions 2 to 4 were things to be learnt : classical theorems and definition. The students had received the list of questions to learn. Most did not answer. The remainder was made of entirely classical exercises. A few days later, my colleague taught to these same students and told them in very clear terms that this behavior was not admissible. They simply did not react.

    In fact, selection also takes place in universities : students fail, and drop out.

    Now, to put into context the Affirmative action à la française, the Sarkozy declaration concerns the competitive part of the system : it turns out that in the top tier of the competitive system, namely what are called Grandes Ecoles, the proportion of students whose parents do not belong to the upper middle class and above is desperately low. Of course, this is scandalous, and has been known for a long time. In fact, this proportion has significantly decreased during the last 60 years. 50 or 60 years ago, it was not exceptional for the son of small peasants or industry workers to enter the Ecole Normale Supérieure or the Ecole Polytechnique. It has become an exception.

    So, what Sarkozy declared is that the Grandes Ecoles should have 30% of students receiving a fellowship. Stated in this fashion, the criterion is in fact almost met : the number of fellowships has been increased, through the addition of a zero level. The higher the level, the higher the value of the fellowship. At the zero level, the students don’t have to pay fees, which anyway are quite low in France (200 to 1000 euros per year, except in private business schools, which can be costly). In order to have this kind of fellowship, you don’t have to be really poor, jut to be three siblings in higher education, and to study away from home : with a monthly income of 5000 euros for the family, the conditions are satisfied.

    Therefore, I expect that the government will simply add another level, say 0 minus, where the students will be dispensed of half of the fees, and thus, the level of 30% students with fellowships will be reached.

    I guess that now, many frenchmen (and women) on the right and on the left are completely convinced that Mr Sarkozy is talking, but not acting.

    So, let him talk, and I hope that in next election, in 2012, we get a more interesting choice of candidates to the presidency of the republic. But I’m not very optimistic.

  22. E.G. says:


    Now you see why I was ROFLing?
    And Michelle is too lenient.

    BTW, Cambridge’s red cows don’t dare moo nor fart.

  23. Cynic says:


    Well at least Michelle responded graciously.
    Now imagine her reaction if I’d come out ROFMing about French Education and Sarkozy.
    At least in my case there would be no reference to a “nation of shopkeepers” :-)

    By the way is LOWing permitted at Cambridge?

  24. E.G. says:


    What’s LOWing?

    As Michelle graciously explained, maintaining educational standards is far from what’s been happening. I’m sorry I inadvertently offended you by expressing my hilarity (and nothing else) about what seemed a naïve comment.

    In addition to what Michelle wrote, I’d like to highlight another aspect. I believe that what was possible 30 years ago – a Vietnamese immigrants’ son, arriving aged 12 with no French, and passing not only the entry exam to the prestigious école polytechnique but also the exit ranking competition, enabeling him to pursue his studies within the very élite “école des mines de Paris” – is still possible today. And his parents are… shopkeepers.

    Until some 2 years ago, there was a tiny family-owned Chinese restaurant in my neighbourhood and I used to see their 2 kids do their homework during the afternoon hours (when Ma and Pa were cooking and selling take away, but not serving, food).

  25. Cynic says:


    Sigh! What’s LOWing?

    Is this where I take my revenge Oxfordian?

    As a white ox would I like to see him, which, snorting and lowing, walketh before the plough-share: and his lowing should also laud all that is earthly!
    Thus Spake Zarathustra


    Pava, uneasy, began lowing, but when Levin put the calf close to her she was soothed, and, sighing heavily, began licking her with her rough tongue.
    Anna Karenina

  26. Cynic says:


    You did not offend sir, but inadvertently amused and inspired me to joust.

    And then of course conjuring up visions of you ROLfing had me guffawing on postulating on where in Oxford I would best be served to witness such an act. Of course Monty Python comes to mind.

  27. E.G. says:


    That was a tricky one!
    Your display made it seem smsish…


  28. Cynic says:


    I did not realise that my writing in this instance was rather obtuse.

    In a manner technological progress has narrowed visions and sms seems to be destroying the ability to apply a language in all its capacity to express those soul satisfying nuances.

    I’m of an age now where I cannot keep up with all the acronyms and as it is, it’s difficult remembering ordinary words to satisfy the pleasure of subtlety.

    By the way my wife on observing the guffaws wondered out loud whether it is advisable for me to continue reading this blog. :-)

  29. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Cynic and E.G.,

    I have not been particularly gracious with the french educational system. The example of the son of vietnamese shopkeepers is quite appropriate : the Vietnamese know the value of study, and they transmit it. Some other immigrants don’t. A large part of the originally french population doesn’t either. It is not difficult to debunk the utilitarian motivation : work well at school and you’ll have a job. You may work well at school and not even get a job.

    A better argument could have been : work well at school, and you’ll learn interesting stuff, which will open your mind and put you better in charge of your own destiny.

    But this motivation does not work either, once most of school curriculum is controlled by the utilitarian vision, which tends to make school less interesting.

    Anyway, we have descended too low, and a majority of the French cannot hear this argument anymore.

    2009 was a year of unrest in the universities, as I mentioned above. I remember an interesting discussion with a colleague, who said that we just had to give the exams to the students, since they missed a large number of teaching hours due to strikes and were not fully taught the curriculum. I tried to explain that changing the numbers on the thermometer does not change the temperature, but perhaps it was too much of an applied argument to work out.

    Right now, in France, some people come back to a number of interesting observations:

    – France is the only country in the OECD that pays more per high school student than per higher education student.

    – The french schooling system is mainly geared toward the selection of an elite, and not toward the education of the average student. But now, the elite is really too small, and it is a problem.

    – One of the main vices of the selection of the elite is that your success in some competitive examination at the age of 20 or so is going to determine your lifelong place in society. I believe that what you do at the age of 20 is not as important as what you will do during the forty next years.

    Let me not get too depressed by this picture. Or I might stop being gracious…

  30. E.G. says:


    A bit O/T Jetez un œil ici:

  31. E.G. says:


    You’re spot on in #30.
    The main problem is indeed that one’s future is determined somewhere between age 16 and 20 (if one doesn’t work well enough in the 2 years preceding the Baccalaureat/ A-levels, his/her chances to move up the organisational or state bureaucracy hierarchy are very slim).
    But is lowering admission and teaching standards the appropriate solution to this deterministic problem?

    French schools (from elementary on) used to be one of the country’s main motors ensuring integration of both unprivileged classes and immigrants’ children.

  32. E.G. says:


    Please reassure Missus, I seldom refer to myself (and much less to others) in such vocal Hamoriko terms.

    Reminds me the story of the American tourist’s telegram to her parents in the US “SEND MONEY NICE AMERICAN EXPRESS”. Nothing nice about the Amex office. Except its location in Nice ;-)

  33. Cynic says:


    What’s with the filters? I tried to comment in the Apocalypse thread but wordpress won’t have any of it.

    I wanted to To let Michelle know that there is some mathematics to be “peer” reviewed in the the link I provided in that thread #53 about German Scientists “trashing” the CO2 connection (as opposed to the French Connection?) Pardon

  34. Cynic says:


    By any chance were you referring to this
    Atar Trio – Hamoriko ,song by Argov


  35. Cynic says:


    I like this one

    So soothing compared to the catatonic presentations now the rage.
    By the way, WRT to sms MTV for me reads Empty Vision!

  36. E.G. says:


    Definitely! Iya-Iya-Iya!
    I completely forgot Sasha’s oldie. Thanks!

  37. E.G. says:


    I’m so glad it’s re-interpreted. I recall the old version (Yona Atari?)

  38. E.G. says:

    Yes Cynic,

    It was Yona Atari, in Shlomo HaMelekh & Shalmay HaSandlar (in which the song, originally written for another play – Queen Esther – was introduced). Couldn’t find it on video, so here’s another interpretation – with Sasha himself.


    BTW, Altherman’s lyrics for the play are a masterpiece. Here’s a medley (with Yona!):

  39. Michelle Schatzman says:


    could you give me more precise directions to the post you mention in your #34? Which thread are you precisely referring to? I’m of course no peer to any climatologist, just being a poor female jewish provincial applied mathematician (and hopefully not physically nor psychically challenged).

  40. Michelle Schatzman says:


    I’m afraid that I disagree with your The main problem is indeed that one’s future is determined somewhere between age 16 and 20 (if one doesn’t work well enough in the 2 years preceding the Baccalaureat/ A-levels, his/her chances to move up the organisational or state bureaucracy hierarchy are very slim).

    The reason why I disagree is double

    (1) there are simply not enough slots in the elite system, so that very smart and hard working people get rejected for no real good reason. There is also a rather silly hierarchy inside the elite : if you enter such and such school, you are supposed to be much better than if you enter another school.

    (2) yes, if one realizes the necessity of hard work and quality education between the ages of 16 and 20, one will open doors for one’s own future. But it is not enough to open doors, one has also to enter. I know a significant number of people who went through this elites french educational system and never did anything in their life. They just stopped working, and ils se sont reposés sur leurs lauriers (they rested after their early successes).

    There are also late bloomers, particularly among girls, or people coming from poor and uneducated families. It seems to me that the business of education is to help all the beautiful flowers to flourish, and all the juicy fruit to mature, by bringing them food and stimulation.

  41. E.G. says:


    We don’t disagree at all. Mine was a description of the present system. If you don’t do well enough in high-school, you’re out of the best ranked higher education establishments. And yes, I too know people who, once “inside”, got un poil dans la paume de la main (lazy). Fortunately, they’re a minority (at least in my milieu).

    Yes, late bloomers have practically no second chance. All the less so given the poor employment situation.

    But lowering admission thresholds will not solve the problem, IMHO. What can/do you do when you have an autistic-like student? S/he just sits in your class and does nothing. You’ve done your best to find out whether s/he understands the matter(s) under discussion – apparently not. You’ve tried sparing some time to give her/him a few more explanations (the whole class can benefit from it), to no avail. So now what? You go on with the curriculum, leaving Autistic to his/her world, or do you go back to the basics (ex-curriculum) to try get Autist and eventually a few others, slightly more communicative, to the course’s beginning level?
    What about the bright 2 in that class?
    (and I leave out the disciplinary problems)

  42. Michelle Schatzman says:


    regarding your #31, it is known that the SNES is a union of thugs. They won big recently : the ministry of education reformed teachers education, apparently increasing the number of necessary years in higher education, and raising salaries.

    Apparently : the new system is so idiotic that no one who has ever worked in teachers education believes it can work. Moreover, one of the main idea in the soon to be defunct system was that, during their first year as teachers, the new kids had the opportunity to teach a reduced load, and be advised by older teachers on the practical aspects of teaching. This is basically suppressed, and the idea is to save money : if you pay only teachers who teach full load, you save money, don’t you? OK, the new kids won’t be happy before their difficult pupils, but who cares, as long as, on paper, you can put a teacher before each class? On top of it, before entrance into the teraching profession, the students will be offered the opportunity to teach about 100 hours, which is very little. But not all the students, and the compensation system is, to say the least, obscure.

    Guess who voted for this clever reform? The SNES (Syndicat national des enseignants du second degré). Guess who voted against? The SNESup (Syndicat national des enseignants du supérieur), which is the higher education most important union, and belongs to the same confederacy as the SNES.

    How sweet…

  43. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., so I misunderstood your #32. Thanks for all the clarification.

    And yes, we do have a problem when the teacher has to manage a group with wildly different levels. I know about that. I’ve been dreaming for years to be able to start a section of mathematics for the grands débutants, i.e. university students who do not understand math but have to learn it in order to fulfill their professional choices.

    I’m not teaching anymore (bad health etc.), so I won’t have that opportunity, but I’m dreaming of the following contract : we take you at the level you are, and you work according to our instructions and with substantial contact and support by the teaching staff. If you don’t work, you are expelled, and there won’t be any second chance for registration with us. Our judgment will be based essentially on your efforts and your dedication.

    I’m pretty sure that we could save quite a few good minds from darkness and ignorance, by implementing this kind of contract. Alas, ’tis not done.

  44. E.G. says:


    Count on the SNESses to never ever accept your dream.
    And you can also count on too many French of certain foreign descent to demand good notes for no effort (presence in class is already a big concession).

  45. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., even many French of highly french origin demand good grades for no effort. Could one conclude that the French of a certain foreign descent assimilate, but mostly to the worst aspects of french society?

  46. E.G. says:

    I concluded that, in the name of the principle of égalité, since some French of a certain foreign descent claimed and got the “good notes for no effort” treatment, the French of very French descent felt entitled to claim the same. Here’s for tirer vers le bas or draw towards the low law.

  47. Cynic says:


    It was the apocalypse-again-daniel-kalder-on-current-trends-with-an-assist-from-rl thread.

    Comment #53

    As for
    I’m of course no peer to any climatologist, just being a poor female jewish provincial applied mathematician (and hopefully not physically nor psychically challenged).

    there is no need to denigrate your abilities. It is a matter of treating the laws of thermodynamics.
    One doesn’t need to be a climatologist to criticize the chemistry of CO2 when mathematics is applied. :-)

    You should give thanks that you are not a peer to some of those climatologists given their beliefs and core emotions.

  48. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Come on, E.G., didn’t you see the large grain of salt in my #40? I thought that it was larger than your screen. Did I undershoot? Oh my, my, my…

    OK, I downloaded the article by Gerlich and Tscheuchner (115 pages), and I am pretty sure that it will hard for me to give a scientific opinion. I may be peerless, but I am no physicist, and my knowledge of thermodynamics may not be good enough.

    Nevertheless, I will try – no promises, OK?

  49. Cynic says:

    Oy Michelle,
    You addressed E.G. instead of me #40.
    Sorry your grain of salt was not big enough to overcome empathy. :-)

    I know that I’m the one psychically challenged as I seem to have forgotten most stuff I studied and my technical books which I “lost access” to would most probably prove difficult to read now.

    As to the problem at hand, there has been much cause to create doubt in the minds of those who at least question before accepting or rejecting.
    It is amazing that some ascribe to CO2 the ability to destroy the planet when it only forms less than 5% of “greenhouse” agents and the anthropogenic contribution is only some 3% of that, while water vapour is responsible for 95%.
    Of course they couldn’t sell vapour offsets in the hope of drying out things – Here I want to mock and sarcastically describe things in terms of Prohibition in America and I envision that French actor (short little guy, can’t remember his name) who usually played the role of a policeman in comedies, leading a gang producing contraband water.
    Told you I’m psychically challenged.

  50. E.G. says:


    You’re not referring to Pater Sellers as Inspector Clouseau, are you?

  51. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Oy Cynic, all my apologies for this terrible confusion. I know I’ve seen an argument about CO2 and water, it is a classic thing, and I promise to explain, because it is not terribly difficult.

  52. Cynic says:

    Mon Dieu E.G.,

    Does Pater Sellers resemble Louis de Funès?

    The shock of such a contrast restored my memory.

    Oy Cynic, all my apologies for this terrible confusion.
    Why are you apologizing? For confusing me with E.G.?
    Is there something I don’t know? Should know?

    Here’s an interesting display of figures by physicist Dr. Fred Singer
    Water Vapor Rules
    the Greenhouse System

    By the way it seems that now some have picked on Nitrous Oxide as the bad boy
    Laughing Gas Knocks Out CO2

    In the face of ever mounting evidence that CO2 is incapable of causing the level of global devastation prophesied by climate change catastrophists a new villain is being sought.

    A scientific discussion of N2O can be found here http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/7/11191/2007/ when criticizing the use of bio-fuels
    N2O release from agro-biofuel production negates global warming reduction by replacing fossil fuels

    Lots of confusion especially among legislators.

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