Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

07/13/2009 (6:22 pm)

Angling For Global Governance

“We’re got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing — in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” Colorado Senator Tim Worth, 1990

It is increasingly clear that world leaders are using climate change and the world-wide economic crisis to move nations toward world governance. In his speech last week comparing the climate change battle to WWII, Gore noted that the awareness of human-caused climate change will help to bring about global governance. This mirrors a declaration made back in 2000 by France’s President at the time, Jacques Chirac, before the UN Convention on Climate Change at the Hague. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper echoed their sentiment at the G8 Summit last week, among a huge pile of socialist disinformation demanding ongoing government intervention. Listen:

Harper seems to favor an international financial regulatory system in which individual nations respond to an international review board, and he seems to expect that that review board will have, as one of its goals, the normalization of the world’s economic behavior. He claims, incredibly, “This will not interfere with national sovereignty,” but imagining international regulation that changes global economic balances without interfering with sovereignty is like imagining taking a shower without getting wet. It is also true that the claim that we need economic systems operating in a manner that is transparent, in the light of the Obama administration’s handling of the TARP funds, is nothing better than a very bad joke; but the real issue here is international redistribution of wealth and control of economic behavior.

The fact that power-hungry politicians at the G8 Summit and at UN meetings have used climate change as a wedge issue to increase their power does not necessarily mean that the scientists are wrong who claim that humans are warming the planet, but it does make it doubly important to examine their claims under a powerful microscope, and it makes it essential that we oppose the politicians with sound political moves, not just scientific discussion. It happens that I, along with a growing number of scientists, do see the evidence pointing less and less toward human-caused warming, and more and more toward natural variations in the earth’s climate. However, it also happens that the politicians driving this movement do not care a whit about facts, so long as they obtain the power. Opposing them on scientific grounds only helps insofar as the science helps oppose them on political grounds.

The common thread between Gore’s call for governance and Harper’s is anti-capitalism. It has been the case since global climate change became an issue in the early 1990s that the incipient tyrants of World Socialism have been using climate change as one of their favorite issues to produce global governance; the recent economic crisis immediately became further ammunition in the same quest. To Harper, as to Gore and Chirac, everything is about abolishing independent business behavior. If a problem occurs in the economy, capitalism is the culprit. If the globe warms up, capitalism is the culprit. If the globe cools down, capitalism is the culprit. If a tyrant oppresses his people in the middle east, capitalism is the culprit. If anybody dares to object to their agenda of global governance, capitalism is the culprit. The pattern is clear; whatever the malady, the cause is capitalism, and the cure is for the nations of the world to give more power to them.

Who are they? They are so-called “progressives.” The point of abolishing capitalism is to permit the unitary establishment of their new, global religion, of which they are the undisputed priests. They, and they alone, know what we, the unenlightened, must do to Save the Planet, Prevent Economic Chaos, and Bring World Peace.

They imagine that because their religious system does not contain any specific deity (other than themselves) that it is somehow exempt from the excesses we all have come to expect from the application of religion to political dominion. They are deluded; all the worst excesses will follow the institution of their system, which is as much a faith-based system as any that has ever been touted. CS Lewis famously observed, in his essay The Abolition of Man that no tyranny is so oppressive as that instituted for our own good. Tyranny instituted for the good of the tyrant will rest while the tyrant is satisfied; tyranny instituted to cure us of our “wrong” thinking takes no vacations. Liberty, being the soul’s right to breathe, is what produces hope for improvement; the first and greatest victim of the coming universal tyranny will be, ironically, hope.

Beyond the simple but crucial matter of tyranny, however, it is also the case that governance based on wrong ideas produces destructive results. Lyndon Johnson’s wrong-headed War on Poverty was not a disaster merely because it wasted some $6 trillion dollars (although that was a disaster) but because it enslaved millions, even entire generations of poor people, to the government dole. The sexual revolution was not just a disaster because it produced a lot of behavior some of us consider immoral but because millions of people are suffering venereal diseases, poverty, and/or relational mayhem as a consequence of that behavior. Rampant environmentalism already is causing starvation among the world’s poor as wrong-headed ethanol policies distort the world’s grain prices, and taxes on carbon designed to discourage the burning of fossil fuels will sink billions of people into grinding poverty around the world. The tyrants will not care, they’ll have their power, but the institution of global governance under “progressives” will produce immense suffering.

If governments instituted among men derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, I want to make it clear that no global government of any kind will ever hold just power over me; I do not consent, and I will not consent. And since an unjust law is no law at all, I declare now that no law arising from such a government has any authority over my behavior. Free men and women everywhere need to take a pledge of independence, and need actively to withhold their consent from such government. It will become necessary to form a free government that recognizes no international authority to manage its economy.

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16 Comments »

July 13, 2009 @ 8:36 pm #

Phil, your conspiracy interpretation of the various proposals for international regulatory systems does not strike me as a fair interpretation of the evidence. To be honest, it seems more a product of your inability to imagine that anyone who evaluated the available evidence impartially could disagree with you in good faith.

For example, you’re not convinced that human activity is warming the planet. Okay, I get that. The overwhelming consensus of climate scientists not withstanding, you’re not convinced. So be it.

But what if you were convinced that human activity was warming the planet and that the warming would have the dire consequences that climate scientists are predicting? Would you oppose an international regulatory scheme to attempt to deal with it?

To hazard a guess – I don’t think so. Only a fool would rule out, in advance, the only way to solve a problem threatening to destroy the world for our grandchildren – and you’re no fool. You know about the problems with free riders and the tragedy of the commons. You’d want a mandatory scheme governing every actor on the planet, period.

But that means you must think President Obama and the other world political leaders do not genuinely believe that human activity is warming the earth. If they did, the worst you could say about their proposals is that they are based on misinformation. You would not accuse them of trying to foment a socialist revolution. They would instead be acting responsibly (albeit erroneously).

The fact that you alternatively conclude that the leaders you mentioned are merely grabbing for power tells me that you completely discount the possibility that they are actually worried about global warming – despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of scientists are warning them about its dangers.

That reveals a level of confidence in the rightness of your own opinions that I simply can’t achieve.

Joe

July 13, 2009 @ 10:37 pm #

Phil,

What is your objection to collectivist measures to correct market failure?

Markets are not perfect. They sometimes fail to provide what we need. A purely free market educational system will price many children out of an education. We happen to believe that everyone benefits from having our fellow citizens educated to a minimum degree, so we socialize education.

What’s wrong with that?

Yes, one might complain that running it through the government gives the government too much power, and that a voucher system would introduce market innovation while decreasing the power of government officials. But that’s, at best, an argument that we could design our system of socialized education better – voucher systems are still collectivist in essense. It doesn’t prove that we shouldn’t socialize education.

The bottom line is that an unregulated free market will not educate everyone’s kids, or supply health insurance to elderly people at prices they can afford. Many Children cannot be educated at a profit derived from a price their parents could afford. A profitable premium for health insurance for the elderly would be too expensive for most people.

So we do these things collectively, in the form of public education and medicare. We could arguably design better systems, but you seem to object to doing these things collectively at all.

What’s the basis for your objection?

Joe

July 14, 2009 @ 8:25 am #

Joe,

I think what Phil is saying, and what I myself agree with, is that the grab for power is not because they do not believe in what they are saying. Indeed, their drive to achieve power is precisely BECAUSE they believe they are right. No Tyrant (or rather very few) ever believe they are doing anything other than what is best for people. Where we disagree is that I really do not think they are right.

The grab for power is not for power’s sake alone, it is so that when they have the power to regulate (or in their minds SAVE) the environment, they will also have the power to regulate and change all those other things they want to change. Climate is the foot in the door so they can enter the room and really get to work. Whether it is the inherent “unfairness” of capitalism (in their minds), Abortion for all at any time, or public monies for gender reassignment. The goals are not the same, but the means by which they will use to achieve these goals is- the accumulation of power in their hands, because they know how to run their life better than you do.

On the socialized medicine front, how do you square your belief in the wonders of a socialized system with the fact that when Canadians have to wait too long for care due to demand in Canada, they come to the US and spend their money here in our supposed Pit of Unenlightenment? Or the vast disparity in cancer survival rates between our system and those that are socialized?

Actually the wait times very well illustrates our arguments of socialism creep. Ok, one would say fairly easily that the reason for the long wait times (probably one of the biggest problems in socialized medicine) is because of a lack of trained personnel. So you need more doctors and nurses. W

hy do more people enter a field in a capitalist system? The demand for trained personnel drives compensation up because of the need to hire more people. Hospitals compete for the best doctors, so people train better, want to go to better schools so they can earn the highest salaries as a return on what they they have invested (all of the time and money in school and training.) The more demand goes up, the higher the compensation, the more people want to enter the field because of the money that can be earned there. Also the better the compensation, the better doctors you get because people of great ability choose professions that will allow them to not only use their gifts, but also get a fair return on their gifts. However, if the money you can earn does not offset the very high investment causes, people begin to shirk from becoming doctors because it is simply not worth it. You have a huge amount of debt you pile up with no easy way to offset it.

In a socialist system, if the demand for doctors is still the same, but the rewards for becoming one are not as great, so people choose another, more rewarding, profession. So what do you do? You still need doctors because healthcare is still a given right. Your demand is fixed but your supply is just not there, so what do you do? Lower the standards so that more people can become doctors? Well, that will most likely (and does) result in lower quality of care provided. You can only lower your standards so much before there is no point. A pig is still a pig, even if you call him a doctor.

So what, if you are a socialist, is the next thing you will have to do? You have to start choosing who you want to be doctors and who you don’t. You find out who the best people are and match their profession to their skills. All you have to do is take their self-determination away.

Sound crazy? It is. However, socialists these days know they cannot go the full monty with it without people seeing what they are doing and getting them to stop. So they have tried to hybridize Capitalism with Socialism (this is most countries that have socialized medicine today.) China has gone to the fullest extent with this by using a free market system to finance a Totalitarian system of government. Throw in a little Nationalism and what do we call that? Fascism. This is why it was always hilarious to hear people say that Libertarian-Traditionalists (what I call Modern Conservatives) were Fascists. Fascism and Communism are two identical houses, just built differently. They both have as their end a lack of self-determination by the people, with all governing decisions made by a few, even if it is for the “good” of all.

A Pure socialist government does not really work either, simply for the same reason a hybrid does not work, it goes against the nature of Humans. Hybrids work better because they use human nature to an extent, but in the end it always come down to this: People do not like being told what to do and believe (what to think). We are just onrey that way.

(This went pretty far afield, but because of it’s impact on 20th century history (and even modern history), I have always been fascinated with Fascist-Pure Socialist theory. The system sucks, but it has had, and still has, a huge effect.)

July 14, 2009 @ 10:00 am #

A good post dealing with the limitations of Socialism from a psych blog I read frequently:
http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2009/07/the-limits-of-reductionism.html

July 14, 2009 @ 1:33 pm #

Horatio,

I understand the basics of market mechanisms and incentives. Neither I nor any other progressive I know – or have read – including Obama – is an advocate for socialism.

I merely pointed out that markets are imperfect – they fail in certain (important) cases. When this happens, collectivist measures are justified.

Citing a poorly designed collectivist project such as the Canadian health care system – assuming that it is indeed as bad as people say – most of the evidence presented is anecdotal – is not an argument against collectivist projects. It is an argument against badly designed collectivist projects.

For example, I think our system of public education is poorly designed – particularly in terms of how it is funded. I would not oppose a voucher system, provided that the poorest kids got the biggest vouchers. But A publicly funded voucher system is still a collectivist system. I want to know why anyone would oppose such systems when a free market cannot provide a good that we all recognize?

As for politicians grabbing for political power to impliment their policy visions, what’s wrong with that? That seems to be the entire point of democratic politics?

Also, you seem to think socialism is an all or nothing proposition. However, there is a big difference between socializing health insurance and socializing medical care. The difference is that health care providers’ interests are alligned with patient need; health insurers interests are directly contrary to the purpose of health care.

There are, of course, problems with government run health insurance. The government won’t really negotiate the price for services; it will, in effect, set the prices. And miss set prices will result in problems (shortages of various kinds – or overuse. But these kinds of problems are inherent and managable.

Finally, you worry about the “socialism creep.” But you seem unconcerned about market failure. Socialism will never move into areas where markets are efficient. Virtually no one – and certainly no one with any significant political power, want it to.

Joe H.

July 14, 2009 @ 3:00 pm #

J.W.H,

What “overwhelming consensus” on AGW are we talking about here? Are you referring to the IPCC report from the UN?

July 14, 2009 @ 3:11 pm #

Phil, your conspiracy interpretation of the various proposals for international regulatory systems does not strike me as a fair interpretation of the evidence. To be honest, it seems more a product of your inability to imagine that anyone who evaluated the available evidence impartially could disagree with you in good faith.

Allow me to echo your complaint about my repeated suspicions that you have not been honest with me. From the first time we communicated, you’ve been hammering this NONSENSE that I’m somehow closed to the possibility that I could be wrong on any matter, and also closed to any facts that contradict my point of view. It is false. I do not accept it as a valid criticism. And you’ve been trying to pin this on me since we began talking. I’m tired of it. KNOCK IT OFF.

If you REALLY think that’s what I am, then you should leave and not come back, because I’m certainly not going to adjust anything on your say-so. In any case, though, it’s a closed topic here.

The overwhelming consensus of climate scientists not withstanding…

This is provably false, and the impulse to repeat it (without support, and in fact without truth) marks you as the sort of partisan who genuinely does not care nearly as much about truth as about public-relations impressions.

I’m curious, Joe: does the fact of the existence of a petition signed by 30,000 American scientists disputing the claim that human activity is a) warming the planet, or b) producing harm thereby, in any way affect your assessment that “the overwhelming consensus” of climate scientists falls in the direction you claim? (And please keep your answer within the bounds of “consensus of scientists.” The truth or falsehood of particular scientific claims is not at issue, only the claim that the opinion on one side of a contended issues represents an “overwhelming consensus.” Numbers of scientists who hold a particular opinion does not bear on truth or falsehood of a position, but does bear on what the consensus of scientists is.)

I wholeheartedly recommend that you purchase and read Lawrence Solomon’s book, The Deniers, based on his extended journalism investigating why certain scientists persist in resisting the “overwhelming consensus” of the scientific community. (Hint: his research led him to assess that there was, in fact, no consensus, and never had been.)

Would you oppose an international regulatory scheme to attempt to deal with it?

To hazard a guess – I don’t think so. Only a fool would rule out, in advance, the only way to solve a problem threatening to destroy the world for our grandchildren – and you’re no fool.

This statement incredibly posits the assertion that the ONLY PLAUSIBLE MEANS to solve “a problem threatening to destroy the world” is to impose international regulation. Forget your opinion regarding which approach is BEST; the claim you’re making is that yours is the ONLY PLAUSIBLE approach.

And you have the nerve to accuse ME of “inability to imagine that anyone who evaluated the available evidence impartially could disagree with you in good faith.” No wonder you accuse me of this so persistencly; you’re projecting.

You know, we managed to avoid self-destruction by means of nuclear war without imposing international regulation on nuclear weapons. Do you care to revise your assessment that international regulation is the ONLY WAY to solve the (alleged) problem of pollution, in the light of that?

The fact that you alternatively conclude that the leaders you mentioned are merely grabbing for power

You make an error here that I constantly have to remind Jim W about, and which I hear leftists of all stripes committing constantly in their arguments. Liberals, progressives, and leftists in general, when arguing, like to pretend that yesterday does not exist, and that the only information in evidence is the information we see today. For some reason, the concept of a “track record” pertaining to a politician does not have any value. I can’t fathom why you think so.

The article in question begins with Al Gore. The first time Gore made the claim that “The debate is over” about climate change was 1992 — before the debate had even really begun, and with virtually no facts in hand. I don’t have the slightest question that Gore was using the claim for political purposes. The only alternative I can imagine is that the man is such a complete loon that he’s not capable of assessing scientific facts at all. His movie is a masterpiece of disinformation, and I found places in it where it is apparent to me that he actually knows that what he’s saying is false (ask me if you want further explanation). The Dimmock decision, over in the UK, placed his film in the “political propaganda” category without even considering the claims of skeptical scientists; they dismissed the plaintiff’s expert testimony entirely, and found Gore’s film scientifically inaccurate based entirely on the claims of the defense’s expert testimony, which was in effect the official pronouncements of the IPCC.

We can go far beyond Gore, however. Proponents of World Socialism have been proposing world government for any number of reasons since the 1960s, and in fact since long before then. Why would anybody familiar with the relevant history find it insupportable that these folks, who have been grabbing one wedge issue after another for at least 80 years, and which have published handbooks explaining how to do it, would be using current science and economics as a wedge issue now?

And not that I think you’ll actually agree, but there is no necessary connection between WHAT position a person holds, and HOW he holds it. You keep saying “You’re PARTISAN,” but your evidence is mostly that I take a position with which you disagree. I’m sorry, but disagreeing with Joe does not make my position untenable. I provide what I consider valid support for the claims I make. If you want to dispute me, state your contrary facts, rebut the ones I’ve presented, or point out the flaws in my reasoning. I’m not nearly so partisan as you think I am; I just haven’t found YOUR arguments particularly persuasive.

July 14, 2009 @ 3:44 pm #

A purely free market educational system will price many children out of an education. We happen to believe that everyone benefits from having our fellow citizens educated to a minimum degree, so we socialize education.

What’s wrong with that? …The bottom line is that an unregulated free market will not educate everyone’s kids…. Many Children cannot be educated at a profit derived from a price their parents could afford…

So we do these things collectively, in the form of public education

Boy, did you pick the wrong topic.

Joe, the United States of America produced the most literate population in the history of the world using a completely private education system. President Jefferson took a survey of US literacy while he held office, and concluded that 99.5% of American citizens could read, write, and cipher sufficiently to be called “literate” during his presidency. If you’ve read “The Federalist,” or if you’ve seen tests from that era, you know that what they considered “literacy” was a great deal more stringent that what we require of our high schoolers today.

In those days, education was the responsibility of parents. Public schools did exist in some localities, but only for the poorest of the poor, who could not afford any sort of tutor for their children. Studies of the period suggest that students achieved levels of erudition light years beyond what we require today, spending less than 1/4 the amount of time in classrooms than modern students spend. All with private tutors and private schools, chosen and paid for directly by parents. (Comparable results are being obtained today by home schoolers.)

The modern public school system was not introduced until the 1840s in Massachusetts. The claim then was similar to the claim about health care now — that since some small percentage of the population could not afford proper education, and since wealthy people could educate so much better, it was necessary to provide universal education for all. The same problems were being addressed: access for the poorest, and inequity across the system.

And the result of public education is the same as the result wherever publicly-funded health care has been tried:

1) The quality of education sinks to the lowest common denominator. Instead of everybody receiving an education the quality of which reflects their economic situation, everybody in the socialized system receives an education comparable to what the POOREST received in the free-market system.

2) The wealthy still obtain a better education; but far fewer of them can afford to do it.

3) The level of education overall continues to decline, so that even the level of the poorest is not achieved by the system as a whole after it has been in use for a while.

Contrary to the roughly 10% who had difficulty obtaining an education under the private system in use in the 1840s, today some cities’ public school systems graduate students 35% of whom are functionally illiterate — and that’s after a huge percentage has dropped out.

Is that an improvement over the private system?

I will, any day, with all my heart, without the slightest hesitation, put the results of a COMPLETELY private education system WITH NO REGULATIONS AT ALL against the results of the best public school system you can devise. ANY DAY. ANY TIME. There is no comparison. Socialism is a complete failure in EVERY venue it has ever been tried. The best results are obtained by allowing free individuals to make their own consumer choices.

July 14, 2009 @ 3:45 pm #

Joe,
Any system of government, any regulatory scheme, anything designed to be run by human hand is going to be fundamentally flawed. Why? BECAUSE PEOPLE RUN IT. As Chesterton wrote in answer to an editorial posing the question of what was wrong with the world. “Sir, I am.” People are squirrelly. Well meaning perhaps, but squirrelly.

Second, I am not denying some fundamental flaws in a Free Market economy, but I attribute those to the exact point I made above. It is not a perfect system, but it is better than the alternative.

Like Churchill said: “Democracy is not the best form of government, it is merely the least worst.” I would go further and say that a democratic system coupled with a free market system is the least worst of all worlds, but there will still be problems as long as people are around. These two systems (as the framers intended for government and the way the free market works) work with human nature to smooth out the bumps. However, there will still be bumps as long as the stars burn and the world turns.

And as far as Socialist/Communist creep goes, I tried to make this point but was not really clear. People who love regulation as a means to their own ends do not stop with what they set out to do. Once you posit that the huddled masses cannot decide for themselves on a single issue what is best, and only you an enlightened few do, it is only a short step to other things.

If the people cannot see that “obviously” universal collectivist medicine is the key to solving the healthcare problem, then how can they decide for themselves on the issue of climate change. You have already assumed the power to do what you want. You have already accepted your judgement to tell people what they HAVE to do on another issue. If you are positive you are right, why not go ahead and fix everything. After all, you have the brains, and you know what is better for them than they do.

Take a look at how pervasive the climate change bill is. This is a bill ostensibly targeted at global warming. However, in order to get at what they say they want to take care of-climate change- they are going to take a truly insane amount of power into the government. POWER WILL BE USED, for good or for ill. People just cannot help themselves.

One side note to power corruption. There are only a handful of people (the ones I can think of are literally less than 5) who have had the reins of ultimate power in their hands and have surrendered them. George Washington is the best example.

We do not have a George Washingtons right now.

July 14, 2009 @ 3:55 pm #

“The article in question begins with Al Gore. . . . I don’t have the slightest question that Gore was using the claim for political purposes. The only alternative I can imagine is that the man is such a complete loon that he’s not capable of assessing scientific facts at all.

Phil,

Your quote illustrates precisely what I’ve been trying to get you to see. Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for his work in this field. A Noble Prize! Granted, it was the Peace Prize, not a Science Prize. But they don’t give Nobel Prizes to people for work on a pressing human concern like climate change unless there is a very strong scientific concensus that climate change is a problem.

And yet, the only alternative you can imagine to his intentionally deploying propaganda solely for political purposes is that he is a complete loon! And you’re not even trained as a climate scientist.

Remarkable! But okay. I’ll leave you alone in the future.

Joe

July 14, 2009 @ 5:48 pm #

I must also point out that “scientist” is not the same thing as “climate scientist.” I’m also guessing that the term “scientist” is pretty loosely defined for the purpose of the petition, and the signers include a lot of people not trained, or not fully trained, in any science, much less climatology.

In addition, estimating conservatively that 1% of the US population qualifies as a “scientist” of any sort, that leaves us with 3,000,000 scientists. 30,000 is 1% of all scientists.

Okay, I concede there is some controversy among ” the scientists” on this issue.

But there is virtually no disagreement among climate scientists that are not affiliated with carbon producing industries.

That’s why Gore won the Noble Prize.

Joe H.

July 14, 2009 @ 6:48 pm #

Joe, Noble Prize’s just aren’t what they used to be. Dale…

July 14, 2009 @ 8:51 pm #

Joe,

You imagine that I hold the positions I do because it is “the only alternative I can imagine.” That describes none of my positions. I reach conclusions based on evidence.

Gore is a remarkable instance. I can explain to you the science behind each of Gore’s charts, and where he goes wrong. I can quote the actual research in some cases, while in others I would have to look up the reference, but I’m aware of the principles at work. I can explain to you which of his illustrations imply violations of basic physical laws. I can explain where his claims exceed even the claims of the IPCC. And yet, you claim I reject him because of my ignorance! Your evidence for this? “He won a Nobel Peace Prize.”

So, I’m supposed to allow you to tell me what a biased fellow I am, because I don’t accept “He won a Nobel Prize” as proof that he’s right on the money — when I can explain to you in intense, gory detail just how BAD his science is, and what the science actually says, at specific points of the film? Why, exactly, would I do that? Am I supposed to forget what I know, because other people have given this lying sack of shit an award????

Joe — I read discussions of Naomi Oreskes’ paper surveying research in the field of climate change. Then I read Benny Peiser’s review of Oreskes’ paper. And with that knowledge in my head, I heard Al Gore, in his movie, describe Oreskes’ paper as “surveying 10%, a sample” of the research. The 10% figure proves he had read Peiser’s review — which had explained that Oreskes, who represented her paper as an exhaustive review of all articles on the subject for the past 15 years, made a search error resulting in an underreporting of a full order of magnitude. That is not “a sample.” That’s an error sufficient to invalidate her research. If Gore does not know the difference, he’s too fucking ignorant to be reporting on scientific topics; if he does know the difference (which I have to believe, because he’s got a graduate degree and he claims to know the subject) then he’s an out-and-out liar — he’s representing an error of a factor of 10 as though it was a scientific sample. There are no other logical alternatives.

And that’s just ONE error in Gore’s movie. There are dozens. His temperature history is a chart that did not survive peer review. His chart showing the correlation between temperature and CO2 was known AT THE TIME THE FILM WAS MADE to show temperature driving CO2, not the other way round as Gore represents it. His video clip where he’s describing the melting of glaciers shows a glacier calving ice, which is what glaciers do when they grow. There is no legitimate researcher on the planet who attributes the absence of snow on Kilimanjaro to global warming — because the temperatures are still below freezing at the top of Kilimanjaro, even though the snow is gone. Lake Chad is drying up because of over-watering crops in the basin, and regional variations. There are not more storms now than in the past, nor are storms more violent, because of global warming or because of anything else; there are FEWER storms worldwide now than earlier in the century. There are no know instances of polar bears drowning because of too much distance between ice floes, or for any other reason. If you leave ice in a glass and let it melt, the glass does not overflow, like Gore’s illustration indicates; the level of the water in the glass stays exactly the same. And so on.

Given that I can explain where Gore goes wrong because I actually understand the science, can you see why I have to conclude that the Nobel Prize committee was motivated by political bias when they gave him that award? Explain to me what other alternative I have.

If you want to defend his science, let’s get into the specifics; if you can show me where I’m wrong, I’ll gladly admit error. But don’t give me other peoples’ conclusions and then tell me I have to go along. That’s just bullshit. I actually know something about the topics.

July 14, 2009 @ 9:03 pm #

Joe –

The way you dismiss my observation about the 30,000 scientists is pretty telling.

Did you ask for a link so you could research the matter yourself? That’s what I would have done.

Did you read other peoples’ comments about the petition, and hear what’s being said about it by people on both sides of the issue? That’s what I would have done.

Did you even read comments from people on your own side of the issue to see what THEY are saying?

You did none of those things. You postulated some criticism of the site’s definition of “scientist” out of thin air. Then you invented a statistic about the US population, and calculated a raw number based, not on working population, but on total population, so it’s meaningless. And THEN you posited a conspiracy theory of your own — one that is so easily debunked that I can’t even believe you raised it.

And you’re calling me biased, and yourself, open-minded.

I do not believe you’ve earned the right to call me “partisan.” Please do not do it again.

If you ever decide to treat the matter the way I would have if our positions had been reversed, here’s the link where you can read about the petition project, and read the research behind it. http://www.petitionproject.org/ I don’t expect you to accept it at face value; I expect you to use the link as a starting point for your own research about whether the project is valid or not. That’s what I would have done with it.

July 14, 2009 @ 11:42 pm #

… Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for his work in this field. A Noble Prize! Granted, it was the Peace Prize, not a Science Prize. But they don’t give Nobel Prizes to people for work on a pressing human concern like climate change unless there is a very strong scientific concensus that climate change is a problem. …

Comment by Joseph W. Huster

Right Joe,

… and I guess they don’t give Nobel Peace Prizes to murderous little terrorist bastards like Yasser Arafat, unless there is a very strong consensus that they truly support peace.

Don’t overplay that Nobel Peace Prize card, Joe.

July 16, 2009 @ 1:06 am #

Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for his work in this field. A Noble Prize! Granted, it was the Peace Prize, not a Science Prize. But they don’t give Nobel Prizes to people for work on a pressing human concern like climate change unless there is a very strong scientific concensus that climate change is a problem.

HAHAHAHA…

So Joe’s a comedian.

That Nobel prize was just a bunch of liberal progressives giving a fellow liberal progressive a gold star.

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