One person's view of an "eloquently expresses" is another's definition of the rantings of a naive idiot. So, Naomi Wolf wrote that "eloquent expression". Looks very similar to this, I guess "eloquent expression". And, several others if one took the time to look around.
Most "nut-jobs" are at least original in their ramblings, but it seems these "American" and "Bush" haters have trouble having an original thought and just run around parroting (in education we call it plagiarizing) each other.
Of course, Fascist America will always protect their rights to express their opinions...no matter how moronic they may be
"Such a template..."
Ah...now an observation I can agree with..."a template..."a far cry from an "eloquent expression". More akin to a "chain letter".
Yes, I could argue with points in the "template" chain letter....I could also visit the local mental institution and argue with the residents...but I think I'll pass
One thing I would note though is that the title of your post, James, may be seen as inflammatory to Americans , in contrast with the content that related the ideas to the UK. I noted in another controversial thread that post titles , endlessly replicated through Re: xxxx, do seem to raise the temperature.
I was intrigued why Naomi Wolf, an American, had chosen the Guardian as her outlet. Has she published these ideas in the American press?
Something that has struck me about recent discussions of how anglophone they were. what is not being said?
I think we have to work harder at making this an international forum rather than protecting Americans (or others) from what might be perceived by them as nasty remarks. The UNESCO Principles of Tolerance talked about active tolerance - a good thing IMHO.
It's one thing to make remarks about historical events and another to criticize internal government policies of a country to which you have no connection.
The British and American governments have "criticised the internal government policies of a country to which they have no connection" to the extent of invading it, killing thousands of its people, and executing its head of state...
If American bashing bothers you, just close you eyes and try to imagine Omaha Beach on D-Day. That usually works for me.
Is it OK if a real-American makes nasty remarks about our country? I would be glad to do so with impunity!
In domestic politics, as in domestic violence, as in domestic software, there is a healthy aspect to bashing the rich and powerful--be it America, Microsoft, Bush, Blackboard, or privileged white males like myself. Go ahead, throw a cream pie in my face!
My favourite was this one of Jeremy Clarkson, the style icon of boy racers everywhere
He is a mildly amusing (for about 10 minutes) presenter of a motoring show called Top Gear, who seems to use similar scientific references to Chris Lamb - and is a better entertainer than political commentator IMHO.
I live not too far from Chris so could be risking getting f2f pie
> This pie thing is a total plot by the leftie greens already mentioned
As a bit of harmless amusement I think it's great, but as a means of political expression (given that the site is all about Leftist 'activism') it shows that these people have no actual arguments which they can present to the public for debate so can only resort to childish tricks to get attention and disrupt the activities of the grown-ups.
> I live not too far from Chris so could be risking getting f2f pie
I would never dream of such ungentlemanly conduct!
>>(given that the site is all about Leftist 'activism')
Another way to get attention and disrupt discussion of grownups is labeling or namecalling. Let's avoid that here. I dislike being labeled racially (hey nigger/honky/gaijin) or politically (red/blue/green). These issues are too complex anyway to be assigned to some movement. They are important and I like it when you take time to present your arguments and reasons.
I had a look through my posts where I enquired about the American right to bear arms. I tried to avoid offence in what I said but since offence is subjective to some extent, that is not always possible.
On the more general point of whether or not the domestic policies of a country should only be discussed here in the Social Lounge by those from that country, I suggest you start a new thread if you wish this to be considered.
In other words, opinions that are, in your view, unfavourable of the US and or its citizens are bad and should not be allowed (particularly when uttered by non-Americans). Doesn't that represent an element of the message the contested article takes up? Being tolerant of dissent and defending the freedom of speech, even for people you loathe, even to the point of defending the right to insult, is a great democratic value that America has often championed in the world. Are you saying only Americans have that right?
I love the idea of America and I am quite fond of a number of US citizens that I have met. The USA has given the world many good things. However, the USA has its flaws too like any other nation and since the US are the reigning superpower and also throw their weight around, economically and militarily, they will naturally encounter criticism. High trees catch much wind. The international influence of the United States, be it economical, political or cultural is enormous. Part of what the US government does, of what the US produces, etc. has an influence on my country and thus on my life. I never heard any American complain when I have praised the positive influences, I don't expect them to deny me the right to criticise the negative influences.
My country is small and modest, therefore you will find few discussion threads about the flaws of Finnish society, which do exist. However, you are welcome to criticise my country and I will be glad to meet your criticism (and refute it if I can), but I will never deny you the right to ventilate it. If you disagree with, for example, the foreign policy of our present government, I will not see that as an attack on my person or on my country as a whole and I will not accuse you of Finland-bashing.
Having said this, however, don't you think you are going a little too far with your comments about the "tolerance for American bashing in this Forum"? I mean, one of the values that is supposed to be more quintessentially American is precisely freedom of speech and you are proposing that we should have no tolerance for criticism of the US (at least when those criticizing are non-US citizens)?
I agree with Paul. You can argue that the criticisms are unfounded, wrong or whatever but you don't have to be a citizen of a country to be able to criticize any aspect of that country.
By saying the things you say, you remind me a lot of what I don't like about Europeans: (sweeping generalization here ) they are very quick to criticize the US and they call Americans nationalistic/jingoistic if they show annoyance with their criticisms but they are extremely defensive and nationalist when their countries are criticized.
Mind you, I really don't want to make this become a repetition of that "infamous thread"
1. A couple of examples of this hypocrisy. Many French citizens will be all self-righteous about the US and their foreign policy but will purposely remain in their ignorant bliss about French foreign policy in Africa (which doesn't change much whether the socialists or the gaullists are in power). Most Spaniards and most of the press in Spain are very vociferous about the lack of human rights in Guantanamo and wonder out loud how a country like the US can permit this but at the same time they choose to ignore all reports about people being tortured by the police in Spain. The difference between Spain and the US in this respect is that in the US the issue of Guantanamo has been openly and heatedly debated in public forums.
How about this for a test? Obviously, if you live in a country that is already totalitarian you will probably not be able to see this discussion, let alone post to it. However, if you wanted to post to it but some outside influence held you back, then maybe the process has already started.
To borrow from the above thread:
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
Hermann Goering, Speaking at the Nuremburg Trials
You may find this "
Actually I think the term “Fascism” is complete wrong given the points the author was attempting to make in the article. The correct title should be “Totalitarianism American, in ten easy steps.” The author’s inability to tell the difference between a “fascist” state and a “totalitarian’ state is an indication of her base of operations, which is strongly left to center. It also is an indication of her total political naivety and lack of sense of history. Yes, she is a Rhodes Scholar, yes she graduated from Yale, but I doubt severely if she every read “The Gulag Archipelago”. If she did she would understand the real meaning of “gulag”.
It always amazes me that people are so quick to invoke the term “fascism” or to compare actions of a government or group of people. Nothing that the United States has done since 9/11 even remotely resembles the atrocities of the fascist regimes of the past. Nothing. To assert so simply waters down history and dilutes the facts.
Don’t get me wrong. American is not flawless. We have made some huge mistakes in the last five years and it will take a long time for our country to rebuild its standing in the world. But we are not fascist. Not even close.
The mere fact that the author can have her work published without being hauled off to a “gulag” by gangs of “angry young Republican men” is proof that she is completely off the mark.
However, I think it is no coincidence that her article was published by a British paper in the week leading up to Blair's tenth anniversary as prime minister. I detect a reflective mood in Britain that goes beyond left/right, good/bad. This article in the Independent reveals the complex responses that Blair's leadership has provoked:
Compare "On the 10th anniversary of Tony Blair's election as Prime Minister, an exclusive poll reveals 69 per cent of Britons believe that, when he leaves office, his enduring legacy will be the bloody conflict in Iraq"
"Despite public hostility over Iraq, 61 per cent of people believe that he has been a good Prime Minister overall, with only 36 per cent thinking he has been a bad one."
You talk of a 'sense of history': Wolf's article is a somewhat clumsy attempt to compare current events with the past but as Santayana said "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" so let's give it a try. Britain's (limited) connection with Guantanamo Bay is a source of shame for me, and I welcome public debate on the issue. It's not enough to say that gulags were worse.
Blair didn't listen to the people who marched against war in 2003 and IMHO that will achieve greater significance in how he is viewed in time, despite this general satisfaction with his premiership overall.
Britain's (limited) connection with Guantanamo Bay is a source of shame for me, and I welcome public debate on the issue. It's not enough to say that gulags were worse.
I understand the sense of shame and bear some of that too. My biggest beef with the detention facilities is the length of time it is taking to make a decision on the combatants disposition. I value the concept of the "speedy trail" and hate the thought that someone, even a terrorist responsible for the death of civilians, would languish with out due process.
I never did understand why Tony Blair threw his lot in with George Bush so wholly. I do know this. On the Friday evening after 9/11 while the WTC smoke was still visible just east of my house, George Bush address both houses of congress and the American people. t was a good feeling to see Mr. Blair in the balcony. I turned to my wife and said "at least we're not alone..."
I agree wholeheartedly with Frances. I was proud to support America (I put a message of support on my own website at the time - okay, only a small gesture, but a gesture all the same) and I was proud that my country supported America.
Unfortunately an idiot President aided and abetted by an idiot Prime Minister conspired to use the support engendered by that dreadful act to push us into an unjust, unjustified and unwinnable war which will ultimately make America's Vietnamese adventures and our troubles in Northern Ireland look like a Saturday night pub brawl.
Actually I think the term “Fascism” is complete wrong given the points the author was attempting to make in the article. The correct title should be “Totalitarianism American, in ten easy steps.”
A valid point - the Left have long been quick to use the word 'fascist' against anyone to the right of Marx in order to tar them with the brush of Nazism.
Personally, and possibly incorrectly, I've always tended to regard 'fascist' as meaning totalitarian, and 'Fascist' as the parties of Hitler and Mussolini. It's a bit difficult to draw that distinction verbally though! A bit like 'conservative' and 'Conservative'.
I don't think there's anything sinister to be read into the title of the Department of Homeland Security (remember who else was keen on the word "homeland") - the British department which deals with domestic issues is called the Home Office, and always has been.
It's interesting that this woman thinks America is being pushed into fascism - I think the world is actually being pushed into socialism (an equally authoritarian regime) under cover of 'environmentalism'. Green is the new red. The reduction in CO2 emissions required by this new religion will push our industrialised economies back into the dark ages and prevent the emerging economies of the Third World from ever emerging. The "carbon points" system being suggested in the UK will effectively give everyone the same (low) standard of living, because no matter how much money you've got you won't be able to spend it because you'll have the same number of points as someone with far less money. This would be bad enough if it was actually necessary to 'save the planet', but the whole Global Warming thing is a political phenomenon based on junk science, designed to force through high taxation and restrictions on our personal freedoms and standard of living - socialism by the back door.
Let's see how Global Warming stacks up against some of the criteria given by Naomi Wolf:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy. That's easy - "The Earth's getting hotter and we'll all die".
3. Develop a thug caste. The 'environmental' movement is full of people who vandalise and intimidate - we're getting increasing numbers of attacks on 4x4 cars in the UK, and a few weeks ago a Land Rover dealership was destroyed in an arson attack.
4. Set up an internal surveillance system. Britain is the most watched over country in the world - we have security cameras on every street corner, which are being linked into a national number plate recognition system. If that wasn't enough to track our movements, plans for compulsory Road Pricing (required to reduce car use and so prevent global warming) will put a tracker in every one of our cars, so we can be charged every time we go out, which will also allow the authorities to track the movements of every single vehicle, 24 hours a day.
7. Target key individuals. "Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they don't toe the line." Many academics have been threatened with job loss or the loss of research grants if they don't conform to the political orthodoxy of Man-made climate change.
8. Control the press. The Press is under great pressure to conform to the official line. Fortunately the British Press has a long tradition of being independent (and in some cases just bloody-minded!), and increasing numbers of articles and editorials are being printed which disagree with the basic principle that we are changing the world's climate. The exception to this is the BBC, which dutifully peddles the latest apocalyptic scaremongering whenever someone's computer model predicts that the Earth will be a barren waste by next Tuesday unless we all go on the bus. This brings us neatly to:
9. Dissent equals treason. Anyone who dares to question the orthodoxy is howled down and accused of "climate crime". Fortunately some brave people are standing up to the risk of character assassination and speaking out, but if some of the more extreme environmentalists had their way they would be regarded as traitors. A recent programme on Channel 4, "The Great Global Warming Swindle" is due to be released on DVD, in opposition to Al Gore's Oscar-winning work of fiction "An Inconvenient Truth", and there have been calls for it to be banned, or at least heavily edited.
There's an element of control-freakery amongst most politicians and bureaucrats, and it's particularly noticeable at the moment in Bush's right-wing Republican party and Blair's (supposedly) left-wing Labour party which seeks to micro-manage everything we do down to the smallest detail.
I don't think Bush is a fascist - he's an idiot, but with the exception of having got us involved in an unjust and unwinnable war (with the enthusiastic co-operation of our own idiot Prime Minister) I don't think he's been significantly worse than most other Presidents. The worry is that whoever replaces him will embrace the myth of global warming and push America and the rest of the world into socialism, which having been rejected at the ballot box in democracies and by freedom fighters in the Soviet Union may be forced onto us in the disguise of 'saving the planet'.
Start a war, have an environmental catastrophe, tell them terrorists are going to kill them all..... the only limit is the imagination! That'll keep them all in line!
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
“The undeserving maintain power by promoting hysteria”
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.”
William Pitt, Prime Minister
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
Hermann Goering, Speaking at the Nuremburg Trials
I think Goering put it the most clearly though!
OK, it is true that coinciding with the fall of the Berlin wall socialist ideologies have gradually fallen out of fashion and generally the same kind of people who used to spouse those ideas have now become vocal in the environmentalist camp (ironically, despite the fact that Soviet nuclear plants were the most unsafe and that the track record of socialist countries in environmental issues was abysmal, there was not a lot of criticism from most socialist/communist parties).
But isn't the same true to some extent about support for Open Source? Most socialist oriented and left-wing people in general tend to display something akin to religious fervor for all things open source. Should everybody who is not a socialist be against the Open Source concept just because most socialists or left-wingers support open source? Sure, some high executives in Redmond are trying to cast the debate in these terms. If this is so (which I don't believe it is), what is a conservative boy like you doing in a place like this?
What I mean is obviously that the two things you are talking about are totally independent. I think it is really sad (and dangerous) that the whole debate about environmental issues is becoming another one of those left vs. right things. If you have any respect for serious science and independently of whether the most pessimistic forecasts are the ones that turn out to be accurate or not, you should think a little bit more before you talk because it does have some serious consequences. This is not a matter of beliefs and I don't want to risk the future of my children just because some people want to make an ideological crusade of what should be strictly a scientific and factual debate. You are doing exactly what you accuse others of doing. Left-wingers are making 'environmentalism' a religion, true. But it looks like you and others are making another religion of anti-environmentalism.
The fact that you dislike socialism or left-wing causes should not blind you to the fact that the world is in deep trouble if people don't get their act together and take measures to slow down global warming and other environmental dangers.
We cannot take measures to slow down global warming, because we're not causing it. If every human being, every power station and every car were to disappear from the planet tomorrow it would have no effect on the world's climate.
Paradoxically the global warming thing was actually started in the 1980's by the then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Some scientist had come up with some findings that suggested that temperature and CO2 levels might be linked (which it turns out they are - changes in temperature lead to changes in CO2 levels, not the other way round) and she jumped at this and funded research to try to prove that CO2 caused climate change because it gave her a reason to push her plans for more nuclear power stations, which she wanted because by reducing our reliance on coal and oil it would break the power of the National Union of Miners which had brought down the Conservative government in 1974. How ironic that the global warming myth which is being used by the Left was actually started by a politician on the Right whom they hate!
Incidentally, the global warming thing has been moved to a new thread by a mod - you'll find it at http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=70460 if you'd like to continue the discussion. See you there!
I think the important thing is whether human factors are increasing the problem, making the warming much more dramatic than the natural cycle. That is what the scientists are saying, after all--not that humans are causing the warming.
Even if it were true that wind, nuclear, solar, bio-energy, etc. were available only to the rich (I guess Brazil is rich?), the rich (whoever they are) contribute more greenhouse gasses than the poor, so it would be cool if "they" started using cleaner energy.
*Developing tidal energy systems could do tremendous good for Bangladesh, for instance, convert their greatest liability into an asset, providing both flood control and cleaner power.
The 'prestigious' scientists are the ones who get quoted in the media, who go to Global Warming conferences, who appear on TV, etc etc. The non-prestigious scientists (and there are thousands of them, all just as qualified) are the ones who say "Hang on, this isn't right". Because Global Warming is the new religion they don't appear in the media putting the other side of the argument, in fact anyone who does dispute the validity of Global Warming is subjected to personal attacks (as is happening here, for example - "You are a really confused person" and "knee jerk right wing crazies").
As for "denying the undeniable", what is undeniable is that the changes in temperature happen BEFORE the corresponding changes in atmospheric CO2. Find me another branch of science where the effect happens 800 years before the cause and I shall believe in Global Warming, but I'm not holding my breath.
I don't think it's a Left/Right thing at all, it's a Left/Non-Left thing (which to those on the Left is Left/Right!). The political Left have seized on Global Warming and pronounced impending Armageddon if we don't implement what are in effect extreme Socialist policies.
Some illuminating quotes on the subject...
“The answer to global warming is in the abolition of private property and production for human need. A socialist world would place an enormous priority on alternative energy sources. This is what ecologically-minded socialists have been exploring for quite some time now.”
Louis Proyect, Columbia University
“Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?”
Maurice Strong, Head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro
When the Left make pronouncements like this, is it surprising that it becomes a Left/Non-Left issue?
Rather than wasting money trying to prove the impossible and crippling our industrialised economies in pursuit of Left-wing ideology I would much rather we concentrated on improving the lot of Mankind, especially in the developing nations. Let us build flood defences, let us build schools, let us bring clean water to people currently drinking out of bacteria-ridden puddles, let us bring health care to people who have to walk for two days to find a doctor, let us use science and technology to help feed the world's starving. And let us throw Global Warming Theory into the fire where it belongs.
>to Global Warming conferences, who appear on TV, etc etc. The
>non-prestigious scientists (and there are thousands of them, all just as qualified)
>are the ones who say [...]
Come on, Chris, so then: the Holocaust really didn't happen. The only reason many people believe it happened is because the 'prestigious' historians who claim it happened are the ones who get quoted, who get published in mainstream academic presses, etc. etc. The non-prestigious historians (and there are thousands of them, all just as qualified) are the ones who say the theory of the Holocaust is really a creation of the evil forces of international Zionism. Ah, and of course, come to think of this, Darwin's theory of evolution is also the creation of anti-God evil forces. The only reason many people believe it is that the 'prestigious' scientists that support it are the ones who get quoted in the media and are hired by universities (and of course, as everybody knows, the Media and universities are all under the control of the Marxist-Zionist international lobbies).
Chris, with the exception of some politically biased nutty conspiracy theorists now most mainstream scientists have come to accept the validity of the latest UN assessment of the role of humans in global warming. This study has found "with “high confidence” that greenhouse gas emissions are at least partly responsible for a host of changes already under way, including longer growing seasons and shrinking glaciers."
C'mon, Chris, are you saying that humans are having no noticeable negative effects on the environment whether it is via greenhouse gas emissions or via the release of other polutants and toxic materials in the air or the water? You are saying that we should not try to reduce this as much as possible (and I do leave a lot of room to interpret "possible")?
>Find me another branch of science where the effect happens 800 years
>before the cause and I shall believe in Global Warming, but I'm not holding my
Nobody denies that it is true that there is a pattern of increase of temperatures that has been in effect for the last 800 years. But what "your scientists" have not managed to explain is how what was a VERY slow and gradual increase in temperatures has rapidly accelerated at an alarming speed in the last decades. Any person who is 40 years old has been dying for the last 40 years. You are saying that just because this is true, nobody can claim that a car accident can be the cause of death of a 40 year old person? or that smoking, exposure to toxic substances or a bad diet can contribute to his/her death because this person was dying anyway?
>in fact anyone who does dispute the validity of Global Warming is subjected
>to personal attacks (as is happening here, for example - "You are a really
>confused person" and "knee jerk right wing crazies").
This is as "personal" as you want it to be. When I talked (using the plural) about "knee jerk right wing crazies" I was referring to this whole movement of greenhouse effect deniers not to you personally and I think the label is very mild, to tell you the truth. I definitely think you are confused for the reasons I mentioned in my previous posts. I don't really care whether there are a bunch of knee jerk *left* wing crazies that have adopted the "global warming thing" as their cause or religion. I agree with you here. I think this is a fact. But I do think you are very confused because you are confusing this fact with another fact: that greenhouse gas emissions are at least partly responsible for a lot of the really bad things that are starting to happen and that if we don't do anything about it, it can get much, much worse.
For your information, I'm not proposing socialism as the solution for this problem. Actually, if the Soviet Union or China had won the Cold War, we would arguably be in way deeper shit than we are now. The environment is usually way more polluted in industrialized countries that had socialist regimes than in capitalist countries.
Come on, Chris, so then: the Holocaust really didn't happen.
Of course it did, it's a matter of historical fact, not a prediction for the future, and it was clearly caused by Man. However, with the exception of Germany itself, anyone can stand up and say "The Holocaust didn't happen", present his evidence, and the rest of us will weigh the evidence and then call him an idiot. In the case of global warming it's a matter of interpretation and prediction. The global warmers are entitled to put their view, but in the present climate anyone seeking to put an alternative view is vilified in the press, has government research grants cut, and so on. Why would the global warmers be so keen to silence those who disagree with them? Why not let the public see both sides of the argument and let them make up their own minds? It couldn't possibly be that if they're allowed to see both sides the public might come down on the wrong side, could it?
some politically biased nutty conspiracy theorists
Er, you mean like the 17,000 scientists, including more than 2000 of the world's leading climatologists, meteorologists and planetary/atmospheric scientists, who signed the Oregon Petition, from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which said There is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause in the future, catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere or disruption of the Earth's climate? Or Philip Stott, Professor of Biogeography at the University of London, who said The attempts of environmentalists to bolster the myth of human-induced 'global warming' by the cynical, nay gleeful, exploitation of non-equilibrium climatic events is downright immoral. Or perhaps you mean Kary Mullis, Winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, who said Global warmers predict that global warming is coming, and our emissions are to blame. They do that to keep us worried about our role in the whole thing. If we aren't worried and guilty, we might not pay their salaries. It's that simple. Or maybe Professor David Bellamy, a well-known and respected British scientist, who said Global warming — at least the modern nightmare vision — is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world's politicians and policy makers are not. How about Chris Landsea, one of the lead authors on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who resigned two years ago saying I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. I could go on. Are all these people politically biased nutty conspiracy theorists? Or are they decent honest scientists who don't buy in to the global warming thing?
greenhouse gas emissions or via the release of other polutants and toxic materials in the air or the water? You are saying that we should not try to reduce this as much as possible
You're lumping two different things together to try to get me to either say "yes we should" and thereby implicitly accept the 'need' to reduce CO2 emissions, or say "no we shouldn't", in which case you can castigate me for saying we don't need to reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide etc which is released into the atmosphere. But... I'm going to separate them again! Yes we should reduce the amount of pollution we cause, the matter at issue is whether CO2 is a pollutant or not. Once we agree that it isn't we can concentrate our efforts on reducing real pollution instead of beating ourselves up over imaginary pollution.
what "your scientists" have not managed to explain is how what was a VERY slow and gradual increase in temperatures has rapidly accelerated at an alarming speed in the last decades
I think what you're referring to here is the Mann 'hockey stick' graph, which shows a sudden increase in recent years. Mann won't release the code or the algorithm for his program, he'll only release the full program, but other researchers have used his program and found that you get the classic 'hockey stick' shape whatever numbers you put in - even from a random number generator. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=404455f4-c3be-4792-a0f9-a1ed1790ea77
The following three graphs may serve to put the current global temperature into perspective, as they show global temperatures over the last thousand, ten thousand, and one million years:
There have been numerous periods in the past where the temperature has been higher than it is now and there the rate of increase has been much higher than the current claimed rate of increase (on occasion as much as 6C over 70 years, whereas the current claimed warming is a tenth as much over twice as long), and all without Man's influence.
Wherever you look there's evidence that the climate changes all the time, and frequently much faster and to greater extremes than at present, and all perfectly naturally and predictably. To claim that Man is causing the current slight increase in temperature is to ignore the evidence of several million years and claim a rather arrogant degree of power for a lifeform which in a geological timescale will come and go in the blink of an eye.
But I couldn't stop myself, Chris, from noticing a couple of things that some people might not notice with a cursory reading of your posting.
First, the Oregon Petition was put forth around 1999. The label "world's leading climatologists" is a very subjective appreciation, perhaps of your own, whereas this label applied to the team of scientists behind the more recent UN report, I believe, has a much more objective basis. At any rate, without starting a quarrel here about which scientists are better, I would like to note that this "petition" started as follows:
"We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind."
We could probably discuss the part about hindering the advance of science and technology but claiming that a reduction of greenhouse gases would "harm the environment" and "damage the health and welfare of mankind"?? You accuse the "other" scientists of alarmism, catastrophism and fear-mongering but what is this? I cannot really go over the qualifications of each one of the people who signed this petition but frankly they don't sound like very serious scientists to me. They sound more like people with an ax to grind. I can also get into conspiracy theories and feel inclined to consider the possibility that there was some money and financial interests involved in the signing of this petition.
Furthermore, I find the following in the Wikipedia: The article [that accompanied the petition] states that "over the past two decades, when CO2 levels have been at their highest, global average temperatures have actually cooled slightly" and says that this was based on comparison of satellite data (for 1979-1997) and balloon data from 1979-96. At the time the petition was written, this was unclear. Since then the satellite record has been revised, and shows warming."
Prestigious (maybe not for you) scientists and experts on climate change like Raymond Pierrehumbert have said that the article in question was full of "half truths" and "designed to be deceptive by giving people the impression that the article…is a reprint and has passed peer review." Do you have any knowledge of how many of the scientists that signed that petition have changed their opinion after more data have become available?
As I said, I did not want to spend too much time with this because I really can't afford it and so I cannot comment on the other people you cite one by one. However, I can say about Chris Landsea that he does not question the greenhouse effect, he just questioned the links other people were establishing with specific increases in the strength of hurricanes.
As for Philip Stott, I think that he does qualify as politically biased nutty conspiracy theorist.
Ah, and one last thing. You should perhaps have been a bit more explicit about the source of the graphs you link: The Association of British Drivers. I would say that the ABD is hardly an unbiased, reliable source. Do you, perhaps, belong to the ABD?
I think I'm going to let serious scientists continue to debate on these issues and hope that the scientific method really works and can help us all make the right decisions.
Do you, perhaps, belong to the ABD?
Yes, in fact I'm on the National Committee of the ABD. We didn't invent those graphs, we simply report them so that the public can see the other side of the science (the scientific side). Of course, there are those who would rather that those inconvenient truths remained hidden from the public.
Interesting link you posted about the ABD - thanks! The main objection to us on that site seems to be that we're 'libertarian'. What's wrong with liberty? It's enshrined in your Constitution, isn't it? This is getting to the crux of the issue - climate change, or its misrepresentation, gives the anti-libertarians the excuse to take our freedoms away. We're not going to give them up without a fight - which, in a democracy, we'll probably win.
We're aware of the quote from Richard Brunstrom. This is the man who has been dubbed the "Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban" by sections of the British popular press, and who allows hard drugs to be sold openly on the streets of his force area but pursues drivers exceeding speed limits with an enthusiasm bordering on the obsessive. We're really glad Brunstrom doesn't like us - if he did we'd know we were doing something wrong!
The ABD's website, for those who want to read the full story about climate change (written by one of our members who is himself a climate scientist) is at www.abd.org.uk
Are you sure the head of road policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers allows hard drugs to be sold openly on the streets? I don't have confirmation from independent sources but I find that a bit hard to believe. Less hard to believe than that greenhouse gasses are partly responsible for the global warming, though
Speaking as a young American, I'm glad to finally see someone so effectively articulate everything I've felt and observed thus far from the Bush administration. It is so blatantly a case of developing fascism. To put it succinctly, Bush is taking too many liberties with our liberty.This article lays it out in clear form. Bush practically recites Orwellian law. The advertised agenda this "War on Terror" is so explicitly War is Peace ideology. Not to say that terrorism isn't a problem or a threat. It is. But attacking the symptoms is painfully futile. Taking the time to understand the cultural source of the problem is essential- an elementary knowledge of Islam would have avoided some of the major headaches created by ignorant military moves (like destroying their temples and relics, and other foundations of their identity). And it's very hard for me to believe that they didn't do their homework- I mean, how difficult can it be to find a knowledgable source on Islam culture? It's not as if one could study it in a book or even ask an immigrant or practitioner of that culture. Too much of their negligence seems delibrate.
Media control is obvious too. During the California recall, I watched the debate between the more prominent candidates. I was relieved to see Schwarzenegger acting so absurdly ignorant and obnoxious. I felt safe. No idiot would vote for the inarticulate one who glazed over actual issues with broad generalizations and dismissed any opposition with his macho talk of Hummers. He made a fool of himself. No interpretation needed there. The next morning, I became more than highly suspicious of governmental control over the media. It's either that or complete idiocy on the media's part. Let's suppose the former, which perhaps infers a bit of the latter. Nowhere in the news did anyone call him on his behavior. I actually heard people remark that he articulated himself well; they praised him for the remark about Hummers. Maybe I didn't look hard enough in the news, I'll concede that. But I live in the leftist environment that is the San Francisco Bay Area. I shouldn't have to look. Something was and still is amuck.
Whenever I reopen 1984, study WWII, or even study the fall of Rome, the parallels always stifle me. Frankly, I'm terrified for the future.
I'm not sure why Bush (and his poodle Blair) took us into the war in the first place. I suspect he may just have wanted a war which he could win.
After 9/11 there was a general, and understandable, feeling that America should strike back in the face of such an atrocity, so they invaded Afghanistan. There may have been some justification for that, as I think bin Laden had training camps there and also had a headquarters there, but the operation was a bit of a washout. Apart from killing about 8,000 of the world's poorest people it achieved nothing - Al Qaeda is still flourishing and bin Laden himself is still in excellent health.
I have a feeling that after that failure Bush wanted a war he could actually win, where he could be a Great War Leader and then have a victory parade when he'd won, so he looked around for a suitable target, and I think that Saddam was chosen because it would be a winnable war with few political complications, as not many other nations would feel like coming to his aid. The Weapons of Mass Destruction turned out to be Weapons of Mass Distraction, because they didn't exist - despite several years of searching they've found nothing more destructive than a hand grenade. Saddam wasn't operating outside his own borders (he'd learned that lesson ten years earlier in Kuwait) and wasn't supporting terrorists, especially Al Qaeda. In fact Iraq was pretty well an Al Qaeda-free zone because he wouldn't have anything to do with them, so any Al Qaeda members found in Iraq had a very short life expectancy. There's a lot of Al Qaeda in Iraq now though!
On the run-up to the war it was clear that Bush was going to invade Iraq whatever happened. Whenever Saddam complied with an ultimatum (okay, grudgingly and after the deadline had passed, but he complied) a new ultimatum was issued. Bush was determined to have a war. And, of course, our idiot Prime Minister went along with him, because he wanted to strut the world stage as a Great War Leader as well. Their joint press conferences were sickening, Blair standing proudly behind a lectern bearing the seal of the President of the United States (Why? He's not President of the USA), grinning smugly and looking like a ventriloquist's dummy. You could practically see Bush's hand up his backside.
Having decided to take Saddam out the US military went about it in the worst possible way, by blasting their cities to rubble and killing thousands of civilians. Any support for the invasion amongst Iraq's own population will have evaporated very quickly once their relatives started dying. You can't expect people to love you when you've killed thousands of their countrymen. It should come as no surprise that people are flocking to become 'terrorists' - even those who were hostile to Saddam will now be even more hostile to America and Britain.
A better approach would have been to deploy special forces to deal with Saddam and to target specific military threats, if any existed. During the Malaysian conflict of the 1950's or 60's the British launched a campaign called 'Hearts and Minds', which involved sending the SAS into Malaysia to win over the people. They worked with them, helped build hospitals and schools, and generally got the people on their side. If any Communist insurgents came to a village looking for shelter and support the villagers would get a message out and the insurgents would have a brief and eventful meeting with the SAS. The result? We won, because the people were on our side. We won, and with so few casualties that the then Foreign Secretary, Denis Healey, has said that we won the war "with fewer deaths than on the roads on a Bank Holiday weekend". Contrast that with the disaster in Vietnam and the current fiasco in Iraq.
Having said all that, I'm not convinced that Bush is a fascist. He's certainly an idiot, and for reasons best known to themselves he and his stooge Blair deceived us into a war which was unjust and unnecessary, was carried out in the worst possible way, and is ultimately unwinnable. We sowed the wind, and we will be reaping the whirlwind in the form of military losses in Iraq and terrorist attacks at home for years to come.
I think Bush and some of those behind him are totalitarians and will use the war on terror as an excuse to exercise control over their own people. The Blair government is one of the most totalitarian and controlling we've ever had, as they introduce more and more surveillance and legislation into our lives. We already have more CCTV cameras watching us than any other country in the world, and there are plans for vehicle tracking (under the guise of road pricing) and identity cards. And it's supposed to be a Labour (ie slightly left of centre) government!
These people are simply big kids playing RISK with the British and American Military. To Wolfie et al. Iraq was just a place on the map with lots of oil and a weak army.
I'm not convinced about that. Saddam would have been delighted to sell us oil, the reason we weren't getting his oil was because we'd put an embargo on it (except that I think we were allowing him to sell some in order to get enough foreign currency to buy medical supplies or something like that).
As soon as we took the embargo off we could have had all the oil we wanted, without risking the tenuous peace of the whole Middle East and the lives of tens of thousands of our soldiers. What we've got now is hatred for us throughout the region and the risk that whatever government we eventually set up in Iraq may choose to sell it to Russia or China rather than us.
I agree with you that they're playing RISK with our soldiers and that they chose a country with a weak army, but I'm not sure that oil was at the back of it, because we seem to have made our long-term oil supplies from Iraq (and indeed the rest of the mainly-Muslim Middle East region) less secure rather than more. Oil may have been the motivation, as you say, in which case they were incredibly badly advised, but I still suspect that Bush and Blair wanted to play at Great War Leaders in the style of Roosevelt and Churchill. Bush had seen his father fighting Saddam ten years earlier and saw how easy the Iraqi army were to defeat and so settled on them for his own war, but forgot that there's a massive difference between kicking an army out of someone else's country where the population are on your side and invading a country where the whole people will be against you and will resort to guerilla (aka terrorist) tactics.