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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
A couple articles this week indicated the growing chasm between those who want an honest and open discussion of the science behind the global warming hysteria and those who want suppress the dissenters and even treat them as traitors (as well as showing how disconnected the American media is from the truth). The first, by Christopher Booker in The Daily Telegraph (the leading British newspaper), highlights the recent attacks on one of the world's leading polar bear experts merely because he won't toe the line on climate change.
[O]ne of the world's leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week's meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with those of the rest of the group.

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.
Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week's meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor's, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: "it was the position you've taken on global warming that brought opposition".

Dr Taylor was told that his views running "counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful". His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as changes in the radiation of the sun and ocean currents – was "inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG".

So, as the great Copenhagen bandwagon rolls on, stand by this week for reports along the lines of "scientists say polar bears are threatened with extinction by vanishing Arctic ice". But also check out Anthony Watt's Watts Up With That website for the latest news of what is actually happening in the Arctic. The average temperature at midsummer is still below zero, the latest date that this has happened in 50 years of record-keeping. After last year's recovery from its September 2007 low, this year's ice melt is likely to be substantially less than for some time. The bears are doing fine.
That scientists are telling other scientists to stay away just because their findings aren't politically correct shows just how far science has fallen in recent years. Sad, isn't it?

The second article comes to us from this side of the pond, written by the feeble-minded Paul Krugman at the New York Times.
So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.
In other words, we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?

Well, sometimes even the most authoritative analyses get things wrong. And if dissenting opinion-makers and politicians based their dissent on hard work and hard thinking — if they had carefully studied the issue, consulted with experts and concluded that the overwhelming scientific consensus was misguided — they could at least claim to be acting responsibly.

But if you watched the debate on Friday, you didn’t see people who’ve thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they’ve decided not to believe in it — and they’ll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.
Given this contempt for hard science, I’m almost reluctant to mention the deniers’ dishonesty on matters economic. But in addition to rejecting climate science, the opponents of the climate bill made a point of misrepresenting the results of studies of the bill’s economic impact, which all suggest that the cost will be relatively low.

Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?

Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.
Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.
It seems Krugman, like most of his leftist brethren, can no longer contain his inner tyrant.


Chris A said...

Isn't it funny that in the last article quoted, Krugman uses the term "deniers" to identify those who question global warming? This term is usually used in connection with those who deny that the Holocaust ever happened. It is obvious to me that his whole "treason against the planet" argument is intended to shame people into accepting his religion. I say "religion" because these guys are taking this solely on faith irrespective of real science, and they are ready to start a holy war over it. Weak-minded indeed.

To Krugman's credit, he is one of the honest monetary economists out there. He has a really good handle on what the government has done with respect to TARP and all that. He should stick with that.

Steve Martin said...

The natural tendency of people on the left is towards totalitarianism.

They cannot stand debate. They cannot stand criticism.

Hence, the argument is settled on "global warming", "climate change"...whatever.

Dave Hodges said...

Chris, the first step in silencing dissenters is to give them a name that is displeasing and call them that name over and over again. Arguments are irrelevant.

With the "Holocaust", all you have to do is question the total number of jews killed and you are suddenly a "denier" who should rot in a jail cell. It is tantamount to turning the subject from historical inquiry into a religion. The same is true with this "global warming" nonsense. If you have data that contradicts the official lie, then you are a heretick, an infidel.

So their tactics are just to call people names, and believe it or not, this works more often than many of us would care to admit. Nowadays, to win an argument, all you have to do is scream, "Racist! Homophobe! Anti-Semite! Conspiracy Theorist! Denier!" and you automatically win the debate. It's quite a spectacle to watch.

Darius, if you haven't read this gem by Michael Crichton, it is essential reading on this topic.

Another excellent blog to follow is that of Patrick J. Michaels. Excellent stuff there as well.

Darius said...

Dave, I have that Crichton speech to the left in my global warming links. :) It is fantastic! I don't think I ever highlighted it on this blog, perhaps I'll do so.

Chris A said...

Dave, I know exactly. And I have been called many of those names.

And just a note on that "conspiracy theorist" epithet (as it has come to be known); in order for someone to rightly fit that description, they would have to be putting forth some kind of theory. I have, for years, questioned the government's official account (more like a fairytale in my opinion) for years, and that automatically gets me branded as such - even when I have not put forth any actual theory. I have only said that their version is quite implausible in my mind. Given the government's history of lies and their philosophy of secrecy, is that really such a stretch? And I have been met with extreme hostility from people who say, "So what are you saying? That Bush planned the whole thing? Conspiracy theorist!" I'm only saying that I don't believe the government's account. Parts of it may be true, but a whole lot of it is complete nonsense. If I were investigating it, there would be a lot of people I'd like to talk to, but even that wouldn't constitute a theory.

But you know what? I don't care what people call me. I think homosexuality is gross and unnatural, and as a Christian I think it is an absolute abomination to God. I think Judaism is a false religion. What else can you think if you believe the Gospel? Does that make me a homophobe and a racist anti-Semite? According to some people it does, but I really don't care.

Dave Hodges said...

Chris: "Given the government's history of lies and their philosophy of secrecy, is that really such a stretch?"

Right on! I have this conversation frequently with people:

Me: Do you think that government corruption is possible?

Him: Oh, yeah!

Me: Do you think that the government is capable of acting against the people in a tyrannical fashion?

Him: Of course!

Me: Do you believe everything you see on television unquestioningly?

Him: No way!

Me: Have you ever investigated intimately the details of JFK's assassination/9-11/Waco/Rudy Ridge/&c.?

Him: Well, not really.

Me: Is it possible that the government was covering something up in those situations?

Him: No way, you crackpot lunatic! Why do you hate America?


It is unbelievable.

Speaking of which, I am an aerospace engineer, have studied 9-11 for the last four years, and have come to some interesting conclusions. But at the end of the day, I don't really know what happened. I just know that the line of crap that they fed us in the aftermath is, well, a line of crap.

Chris A said...

Yeah, I'll even take it one step further. And once again I'm not putting forth an actual theory about anything, but let me ask this question that could be asked:

Do you think the Joint Chiefs of Staff would engage CIA in terrorist acts in American cities that would be blamed on a foreign state in order to build support for war against said foreign state?

Of course, to this question you would get an emphatic NO most of the time. You could follow up with:

Have you ever heard of the declassified Operation Northwoods document, where that exact scenario is spelled out in black and white?

Am I coming up with a theory that the U.S. government carried out terrorist acts against its citizens on 9/11? No, I'm just saying they had planned to do such a thing in the past. No one can deny that. Had McNamara signed off on the idea, they might have actually followed through with their plans.

Dave Hodges said...

Yeah, the Operation Northwoods stuff is some pretty damning evidence. And it's just so incredibly convenient that after Kennedy refused to go along with it that some crazed, lone gunman happened to kill him out of the blue (only to get killed himself a few days later). All these crazy lone gunman coming out of nowhere and doing random stuff!

Here is Michael Hoffman on more crazed lone gunmen in our times that just appear out of nowhere.

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