Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

I received a comment on my last post, the content of which suggested a more, shall we say, “liberal-minded” individual, and so I took the liberty of clickin’ on over to his(her?) site.  Turns out, the guy’s not only a Progressive, but one who figures that people who let Pres. Bush finish his duly-elected term without taking matters into their own hands are getting what they deserve.  People like this guy confuse me.  He’ll be rolling along on a pretty good rant, actually making his case cogently, to the point that I find myself thinking that he might almost have something there, and then in the space of one comma and a preposition, he switches back to spewing the typical BushHitlerChristoFascist all-you-people-are-stupid claptrap.

It’s almost like some sort of Tourette’s syndrome.  Talking along, making headway, laying out a pretty good case, and then BAM, totally blows his credibility by spouting mainstream Prog party propaganda.  Frustrating.

But I digress.

This blogger, like so many others, can’t seem to see the philosophical disconnect between (on the one hand) suggesting that military service members accused of war crimes are prima facie guilty simply because they are in the military, and then on the other hand getting all twitterpated about someone holding much the same view towards a group of Muslim Imams behaving erratically before boarding a US airliner.

He/she also seems to suggest that holding a belief that service members accused of war-crimes or atrocities are entitled to a fair and capable defense in their trials is akin to being an apologist for their actions.  His view seems to be that attempting to provide for the defense of those accused of indefensible actions, equates to endorsing or condoning the actions themselves.

But, as said before, his view is also that these individuals are “CLEARLY” most likely already guilty, so why bother worrying about whether or not they receive a fair trial?  Dare I draw a parallel to the Duke Hockey-rapist case?  Hmmm, perhaps I dare.

To such as these (as a member of the military) my viewpoint about actions in Iraq are inherently suspect, as I’m “one of them,” and am probably incapable of being truly objective since I’m too close to the issue.

But apparently, being a heterosexual, I’m also unqualified to talk about gay issues, and being a male, I’m ill-equipped to opine on feminism.

Yet so many liberal commentators are so quick to assume a disdainful “those people” kind of attitude about the military, handily enabled by never having served themselves.  Of course not.  It would be morally reprehensible to support the Bush junta, and all that. Yada. Yada.

What seems inescapable to me in these cases is the fact that this viewpoint must therefore be based solely on socialization, on a progressive culturalization, as there is little-to-no personal experience on which to base the view.  This is also known as, “talking out your ass.”

You can see this same paradigm at play in the always-popular “church and state” debate.  Allowing religious (read: Christian) organizations equal access to public facilities is somehow equated to the Federal government prejudicially promoting or enabling the Christian worldview; some sort of special dispensation from the radical Christian syncophants who’ve taken over the government (I guess).  Again, in this case, “equal” access is gerrymandered into excluding certain groups, so that “public” and “equal access” applies only to those groups within the accepted milieu.

This is the country he wants to “rebuild” (after of course, tearing down the one we have now)?  I suggest that perhaps he does not want to “rebuild,” but in fact to create something new.  A phoenix from the ashes, asitwer.  I also suggest that this is rather like burning down a house to get rid of your termite problem; standing amidst the smouldering ashes, hands on hips and a proud smile on your face, as you state with a definite air of satisfaction, “THERE!”

You see these types of worldviews so often represented by editorialists and commenters at places like Democratic Underground, DailyKos, and Huffington Post.  Something akin to the idea that the country must be “rescued” from the vicious abuses of the Republicans, an oppressed people to be brought out of the Conservative dark ages into the Progressive’s New Dawn..if they can cure the sheeples of the ills wrought by years of right-wing mind control, making them see the errors of their ways, etc., etc.

As Jeff Goldstein is able to state so eloquently, by establishing yourself as the moral arbiter of what is right and good and true, and then in turn applying the same methods you so profess to hate against those with the temerity to disagree with your positions, you delegitimize your “moral authority,” whether you choose to see it or not.

There is a great divide between presenting a suggested worldview, and defending an acceptable worldview.  By establishing the narrative in the context of an acceptable worldview, you automatically discount any views outside the consensus.  You quickly transition from comparing viewpoints, to requiring conformity with a predetermined worldview — often with dogmatic intransigence.  Any dissent is labeled as radicalism, irrationality, and of course, bigotry, homophobia, et. al.

Is this the country our blogger friend wants to “rebuild?”  A country where conformity to the corporately established meme is rewarded, and viewpoints held outside the approved consensus are viewed as threats to be destroyed?  Wait a minute….isn’t that exactly the sort of thing of which the Progressives accuse the conservatives/Republicans?  Don’t they write about how Bush’s authoritarianism is putting gays and progressive editorialists at risk as He ratchets down on dissent?  You know, the Christo-fascists, “Rethuglicans” (Oooh, ooh.  You’ll love this one I saw on another site –“Rape-publicans.”  Nice.) and jack-booted stormtroopers rounding up the brave Prog underground and shutting down lefty websites wholesale?  You know, like they did with…uh….uh…..uh…

He seems to hold that dissent for dissent’s sake is a noble and encouraged undertaking. Activism for the sake of activism; not so much to seek change, as to express displeasure with the status quo.   Sure, whatever, ok.  Free Speech, and all that.  The problem lies when that activism, that dissent crosses from expressing your view to suppressing other views.  When you come to see your viewpoint as the only morally correct or defensible view, you are that much more likely to feel little compunction about shouting down counter protesters, defacing or destroying competing signage or handouts, or even physically threatening others.

You have gone from presenting your view to purging the marketplace of alternative views.  You have gone from the free exchange of ideas, to intellectual gatekeeping.

Therein lies the crux of my argument.  Progs do not want equanimity for all, but rather, THEY want to be the ones crafting the narrative.  They do not want a level playing field, they want to turn the tables.  On the surface they vilify what they see as conservative methods of thought control, disenfranchisement, and quelling dissent, when in fact, their real disgruntlement is not with the METHODS being used, but rather, that the “wrong” philosophical underpinnings are driving them!

Progs have no problem quelling dissent, and cutting certain “unacceptable” viewpoints out of the public forum, because they see themselves as “protectors” of the social narrative.  There is little room for any type of “dissent” among the progressive elite.  Whether it’s global warming, gay rights, abortion, or any number of other topics, there is an “acceptable” viewpoint, and then there is the “bigoted, hateful, exclusionary” viewpoint.  I think it’s pretty clear which is which.

This, to me, is the fundamental dissonance at play here.  In true Godwin-esque fashion, Progs continue to use the timeworn Nazi analogy to lay all manner of ills at the feet of the conservatives, equating the Patriot act to the burning of the Reichstag, and Homeland Security to the Brown Shirts.  Then, in the same breath, they will suggest that certain groups or religious viewpoints are inherently suspect, that soldiers accused of war crimes are presumptively guilty, and that the marginalization and exclusion of certain worldviews is not only accepted, but required for the preservation of a truly “enlightened” society.

I’m sorry, but I sort of lost track of the distinction between the two in there somewhere.

Advertisements

I have yet another disturbing and deeply intimate personal revelation to make here on my own little corner of Blogtopia:

I wash plastic spoons.

You know, those crazy picnic spoons you buy by the bag for $1.29 in the paper-towel and napkin aisle? I reuse them. I take them in my lunch, so if I lose one, or if it gets just too nasty after I nosh down my Dinty Moore, well, I can chuck it. But I usually don’t.

And do you know why? Of course not.  Then you’d be either a psychic or a stalker.

It’s not because I’m poor, and can’t afford real metal implements, and so need to stretch the flatware until the next batch of food stamps roll in. Which, don’t get me wrong, I’ve DONE, so don’t think I’m busting on anyone who does have to do that, cuz I feel your pain, trust me.

I do it because {{gulp}} I’m really a…{{shudders, hangs head, heavy sigh, etc}}…tree-hugging enviro-groopie at heart.  

Yes, this is my shame. I’m not quite in the chain-myself-in-a tree and bathe-in-a-bucket-for-a-week category, but I don’t throw away plastic spoons because…they’re plastic. They don’t break down in landfills, and they give off flurocarbons when incinerated.

And you know what else? I snip the rings on soda carriers, too. Yup, so little dolphins and nesting terns don’t get their little snouts caught all up in an empty Pepsi bra.

I compost.  I pick up trash on the street when I’m out running.  I even recycle! Oh, the SHAME!  How will I ever face my other earth-despoiling conservative friends again? Or my Christian wacko “we’re gonna be raptured, so why not burn this place to the ground while we CAN” counterparts?  Such humiliation.

I know, I know, it’s only supposed to be liberals who care about the environment.  Conservatives are all about strip mining and dredge fishing and “isn’t the hole in the ozone a good thing cuz then it’ll let out all the greenhouse gases?” 

What can I say, I’m a rebel.

Bush orders rules meant to curb greenhouse gases

So, Pres. Bush rolls over for the greenies.  {{heavy sigh}}

But, more than the carefully calculated political capitulation, what really bothers me about the linked article is what inspired the move:  a Supreme Court ruling no less.

Last month, the Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration for its inaction on global warming. In a 5-4 decision, it declared that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases qualify as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act and thus can be regulated by the EPA.

The court also said that the “laundry list” of reasons the administration has given for declining to do so are insufficient, and that the EPA must regulate carbon dioxide, the leading gas linked to global warming, if it finds that it endangers public health.

Now, I’m no Rhodes Scholar, but neither am I Forrest Gump, and I must admit to a bit of confusion as to how exactly it has become the Supreme Court to makes such declarations!  I’m sure, if I took the time to look it up, that none of the Bio’s of the currently presiding Supremes includes degrees in atmospheric chemistry or environmental sciences.

Which, I think, is born out in the fact that under this “ruling,” the Supreme Court has just declared Carbon Dioxide a pollutant.  A toxin.  Something that might endanger public health.

So. Let’s all get on the bandwagon now to completely eliminate carbon dioxide, that toxic greenhouse gas bringing about the grim specter of global warming! 

‘Cept that, well, for this little thing called photosynthesis.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it.  It’s part of the process whereby plants convert CO2 into O-X-Y-G-E-N.   You know, that OTHER atmospheric gas on which all manner of life forms on this planet depend to remain “life” forms.

 Now please.  Some smart lawyer type like Patterico clue me in to how exactly it is that the Supreme Court can just up and arbitrarily declare this kind of stuff?  Strikes me as a bit imperious.  More of a “Hear Ye, Hear Ye” kind of thing.  Dare I say, a royal proclamation?  I believe we call it, “Legislating from the Bench.” 

In related news, the EPA has just announced that in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling, it will be levying taxes and/or fines on anything which creates Carbon Dioxide as a bi-product of something they call “respiration.”  Decomposition and ocean electrolysis are also being considered for extensive and burdensome regulation as well. 

Developing….

More and more I read about “the coming collapse,” the global crisis looming on the horizon due to the grim spectre of global warming. Doomsayers and alarmists paint an apocalyptic picture of great famines and drought, with bloody wars fought over diminishing pools of resources and countries scambling to lay claim to whatever they can, defending what they have with force, conducting raids to steal water or food to support their dwindling populations.

All based on the “science” of global warming.

I have to wonder if “we” aren’t creating a self-fulfilling prophecy?  I can’t help but wonder if this kind of shrill alarmism won’t, in fact, be a greater contributer to these future conflicts than any actual impacts of global warming? 

By continually painting the darkest picture, the drum-beaters of climate change apocalypse are building this public perception of doom, a perception which may very well drive people to pre-emptively take actions to “protect” themselves against the “coming collapse.”  Countries begin to view their neighbors not all trading partners or allies, but as competitors, consumers of ever-dwindling resources.   Conflicts heat up over oil fields or control of river sources.  It becomes and us-vs-them mentality.  Hoarding and fear driving prices to incredible levels, economic failure due to the inability of the average person or small business to pay these higher prices…all brought about by the carefully managed bugaboo of global warming.  Not because there really ARE any droughts, or because sea-level really DID rise 20 feet, but merely because people will have been bred by propoganda to believe it’s going to happen, and so react to the perception, rather than the reality.

And there’s no actual proof that the earth is going to dry up and blow away because of global warming.  But it sells papers, and it serves the agenda of those who want to use radical environmentalism to further their own agenda of eroding national sovereignty.  Global warming is just the latest tool used by those who want to break down the things which makes this country great, and make us accountable to the ever-more oppressive socialist rules of some all-powerful international body.  In my cyncial way, I don’t really believe that the loudest doomsayers are really all that concerned about global warming or the environment.  They are just cagey enough to know a good vehicle to drown out the truth of their intent beneath more fear-based, consensus-driven rhetoric.

We run the risk of creating a crisis where one need not exist buy giving into our fears, rather than using our brain.  That’s right, that’s what I am saying:  we face potentially greater peril from the global warming movement than from global warming itself.

Well, bite me.  ‘Cuz I ain’t buying it.

Or… “Debunking Global Warming Hysteria Made Easy.”

In the interests of full disclosure, let me admit full on and up front that I am not a scientist.  I don’t have the technical credibility to contradict a prevailing school of thought on global warming on any kind of scientific or academic basis.

However.  I AM fairly proficient at stringing words and thoughts together in a coherent and rational fashion, (better than most I might most humbly add) and therefore I AM qualified to blow big, gaping, ragged holes in others’ poorly executed attempts at obfuscation.

Take for example this latest example of the-sky-is-falling promotion of global warming as the next Black Plague: 

Data indicate warming far worse than thought
Summer ice could disappear as soon as 2020, leading scientist reports

Yes, yes, now is when you are supposed to wring your hands and tremble in fear.

“What’s happening to the Earth as a whole is a catastrophe, and the disappearance of Arctic sea ice has got to be one of the first indicators of the catastrophic changes,” Wadhams told ITN’s Lawrence McGinty

Do you hear that?  CATASTROPHIC CHANGES ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

If the findings — which were collected by measuring the ice with three-dimensional sonar equipment and assessing water temperature and salt levels — are confirmed, they would represent a significant acceleration of the damaging effects long predicted from global warming (my emphasis)

Uhm…er, uh ‘scuse me?  “IF THE FINDINGS ARE CONFIRMED?!”  So, uh, I take that to mean that you pulled together this carefully crafted piece of journalistic excellence based on a single source of unsubstantiated data?  Oh but wait, it gets better.

In a sign that the cycle is expanding year-round, measurements by the Snow and Ice Data Center showed last month that the winter sea ice this year was the second smallest on record.

Follow the link.  The worst year was LAST year.  Which would, uh, seem to me to suggest that things improved this year.  But really, don’t let that distract you from the impending DOOOM!

The effects of accelerated global warming would be more broad around the globe, the panel said, warning that 20 percent to 30 percent of plant and animal species were at increased risk of extinction. Some parts of Europe could lose up to 60 percent of their species by 2080, it said.

In addition, as many as 130 million people could face severe food and water shortages across Asia by 2050, the report said. By the 2080s, wheat could disappear entirely from the African continent.

Again, I’m not a scientist, but how do we extrapolate what the next 80 years will hold based on data from only the last 20?

Walt Meier, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, called Wadhams’ 13-year projection “extreme, but not completely implausible,” and cautioned that the thinning could simply be the result of “compression of thicker ice into a smaller region.”

“It’s dangerous to extrapolate into the future, especially from such a short period,” Meier told MSNBC.com on Tuesday.

Well THANK you for a voice of reason. What happened to that whole “scientific consensus” thing?  Oh, but wait.  Follow the link in this article, and you get another Meier’s quote.

“This long-term trend, which seems to be accelerating, is really an indication of a warming, and the only way you get the warming is with greenhouse gases,” said NSIDC research scientist Walt Meier.

The only way? Nothing else contributes to GW but the evils of man-made flourocarbons?!  Uh….yeah.  Even I know that’s utter codswallop.

“Even the most stringent mitigation efforts cannot avoid further impacts of climate change in the next few decades,” the (U.N.) report concluded.

Well, then screw it!  Why worry?  It’s already too late.  WE’RE DOOOOMED!  Then does that mean you’ll shut up now?

This is why a great number of people, traditionally the more conservative voices, tend to hold on to a bit a scepticism about the scope and severity of the global warming phenomenon.  There’s no doubt that we are in a warming trend, and that areas traditionally ice-bound are melting at unusual rates or amounts.  It’s the CAUSE which bears greater scrutiny.  And it’s the kind of shrill, thinly-substantiated alarmism in this article that does the most damage to the credibility of the “pro-warming” movement.

By way of comparison….

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17630368/page/2/

Scientists think variations in Mars’ orbit and tilt drive the planet’s climate over time, though a few astronomers have speculated about how the Sun’s activity could be partly to blame for warming on several planets.

In addition to warming from the atmosphere, ice-thawing heat could come from the core of Mars, analogous to the plumes of heat that cause volcanic eruptions on Earth. But evidence from the new radar study suggests the Martian crust is icy cold and rigid.  (all emphasis mine)

Uh….isn’t that what a large swath of the global warming deniers (myself included) have suggested might be happening on earth?  Obviously they talked to the wrong group of scientists.  You know, the one’s not included in the “most scientists agree” category.  I’m sure this lot will be roundly censured and marginalized any second now.  That’s right, can’t have planetary climatologists mucking up the global warming debate with wild scientific conjecture like this, now can we?!

The global warming hysteria is, IMHO, driven to a large extent by those who already have a vested interest in believing the worst about the evils of capitalism or westernism.  The tea-house liberals who wear their Birkenstocks and drink their tofu herbal smoothies…all the while conveniently keeping out of consciousness how those goods might have made it to the Trader Joe’s (not on donkey or horse-drawn carriage, I assure you)…are the ones quickest to raise the alarm about the terrors of global warming. 

Those skeptics among us, those slightly less prone to fits of emotional whimsy and thus less susceptible to random alarmism, require a better standard of proof than these kinds of gasping catastrophism and often mutually contradictory “scientific” analysis; studies in many cases cherry-picked to paint the darkest picture, not out of any genuine concern for the poor peoples of Africa, but for the sole and express purpose of pushing forward the radical environmentalists’ long-running agenda

On the OTHER hand…

Posted: January 18, 2007 in Blitherings, Global Warming

One just MIGHT get the impression that there is something, shall we say, “out of the ordinary” going on..

25 dead as storm batters Europe

Winter storms kill 66, chill Sun Belt states

Freeze destroys California’s citrus crop 

150,000 still powerless after Northwest storm

Washington state braces for record flooding

Things that make you go, “Hmmmm….”

I’m pretty sure that the crushing snowfall and rampant ice storms are a clear sign of approaching global warming related catastrophes.  Things get any hotter around here and they’ll be ice skating in Florida.

Oh, and that minimum wage increase thing?  Based on personal experience, I can assure you that forcing small businesses to pay more money for their employess is a zero-sum game.  If they pay more in one area, they will be forced to cut in others.  They may not lay people off, but they will cut things like, oh say, medical benefits.  So, you’ll still have a job, but you may work less hours, and you won’t have medical.  Sure, technically you’re getting paid “more,” but it will nowhere near offset the cost of going out and finding your own health insurance.

So, the funny thing, that’s right, the downright gut-busting hilarious thing about this whole deal is that it might just end up driving MORE people to seek government assistance.

Or maybe, that’s the idea?  Dependent people are easily coerced (read: controlled).