Monday, February 26, 2007


An email from Robert D. Brinsmead []

One of the great achievements of the US Constitution was the separation of church and state, religion and politics. We take this for granted so much that we often fail to see the truly revolutionary nature of the American Revolution and its great contribution to the world. This revolution went way beyond anything that was achieved by the Protestant movement in its break from Rome. It is much easier to see now, in hindsight, how this mingling of "iron and clay" corrupted both religion and politics. In our time, the same thing has happened with science. In the whole global warming debate, science has become politicized. Scientists have become advocates for certain agendas - they have become believers and crusaders, forgetting that science moves forward and makes progress by skepticism rather than by the preservation of some status quo or some consensus position.

Politics by its very nature has to be cognizant of majority opinion and must be amendable to consensus. Real science pays no attention to such things as consensus, political correctness or orthodoxy - as exhibited by the church's opposition to Galileo or Darwin. All the evils of the failure to separate church from state are now being exhibited in this very corrupt mingling of science and politics. This has corrupted science in the same way as a similar union corrupted the Christian religion.

A few years ago Paul Gross (University of Virginia) and Norman Levitt (Rutgers University) wrote Higher Supersition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science. Among other things it contained a very insightful chapter on environmentalism. The book was almost prophetic. If updated, it could be subtitled, The Academic Left and its Capture of Science. My remarks here are not intended as an attack on the academic Left. Science in the grip of conservatism or the academic Right is just as evil. Galileo and Darwin are proof of that. It will take the same kind of vigilance to keep science separate from politics as it has historically taken to keep religion out of politics.


A letter to "Nature" magazine from Mike Hulme, Tyndall Centre, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia. He was awarded, jointly, the Hugh Robert Mill Prize in 1995 by the Royal Meteorological Society


Your coverage of the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) working group included some exemplary Editorial and News headlines: "Light at the end of the tunnel", "What we don't know about climate change" and "From words to action" (Nature 445, 567 & 578-583; 2007). These convey the message about knowledge, ignorance and action that would be expected from a leading journal writing for a scientific readership.

Communicating science to wider, public audiences, however - in this case on matters of important public policy - is an art that requires careful message management and tone setting. It seems that confident and salient science, as presented by the IPCC, may be received by the public in non-productive ways, depending on the intervening media. With this in mind, I examined the coverage of the IPCC report in the ten main national UK newspapers for Saturday 3 February, the day after the report was released.

Only one newspaper failed to run at least one story on the report (one newspaper ran seven stories), but what was most striking was the tone. The four UK 'quality' newspapers all ran front-page headlines conveying a message of rising anxiety: "Final warning", "Worse than we thought", "New fears on climate raise heat on leaders" and "Only man can stop climate disaster". And all nine newspapers introduced one or more of the adjectives "catastrophic", "shocking", "terrifying" or "devastating" in their various qualifications of climate change.

Yet none of these words exist in the report, nor were they used in the scientists' presentations in Paris. Added to the front-page vocabulary of "final", "fears", "worse" and "disaster", they offer an insight into the likely response of the 20 million Britons who read these newspapers.

In contrast, an online search of some leading newspapers in the United States suggests a different media discourse. Thus, on the same day, one finds these headlines: "UN climate panel says warming is man-made", "New tack on global warming", "Warming report builds support for action" and "The basics: ever firmer statements on global warming". This suggests a more neutral representation in the United States of the IPCC's key message, and a tone that facilitates a less loaded or frenzied debate about options for action.

Campaigners, media and some scientists seem to be appealing to fear in order to generate a sense of urgency. If they want to engage the public in responding to climate change, this is unreliable at best and counter-productive at worst. As Susanne Moser and Lisa Dilling point out in Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007), such appeals often lead to denial, paralysis, apathy or even perverse reactive behaviour.

The journey from producing confident assessments of scientific knowledge to a destination of induced social change is a tortuous one, fraught with dangers and many blind alleys. The challenging policy choices that lie ahead will not be well served by the type of loaded reporting of science seen in the UK media described above.

Right warning, wrong crisis

According to the renowned climatologist Al Gore, the world is facing a crisis. Unless that crisis is resolved, the world is in serious trouble. The crisis, of course, is "global warming," and solving the crisis is simple. All it will take is the destruction of the United States, or at least the liberty and the technology that have made the United States what it is. "Never before," Gore recently intoned on the subject, "has all of civilization been threatened. We have everything we need to save it, with the possible exception of political will. But political will is a renewable resource."

There are, unfortunately, a few flaws in Gore's pseudo-logic. Despite the best efforts of the socialists who are using global warming as the latest means of stifling dissent and establishing their version of benign totalitarianism, there are an increasing number of legitimate scientists and climatologists who are not only questioning the entire premise of Gore and his accolytes, but who are presenting evidence to the contrary, that natural forces, like the sun, have a far greater impact on climate than anything man does.

In which case, the political will Gore speaks of is nothing more than incredible hubris. Despite all the technological advances that have been made in the last half-century, mankind remains as helpless in the face of the forces of nature, whether it be a hurricane or a tornado, an earthquake or a volcano, a blizzard or a heat wave, than did his prehistoric ancestors. The only difference now is that thanks to the technological advances, mankind is better able to adapt, and if the "political will" Gore speaks of can successfully implement the totalitarianism he and his ilk seek, further advances will be limited.

It is worth remembering, after all, that Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, was also a Gore accolyte, and had in his cabin a copy of what he deemed his bible, Gore's book "Earth in the Balance."

But as the global warming debate, despite the best efforts of its advocates to end all debate on the subject, continues to heat up (pun intended), it is pushing from discussion a very real, and more imminent, threat. That threat is international terrorism and the foremost purveyors of that threat, Islamofascists.

A threat to civilization? Although the Islamofascists seeking to impose Sharia law on the world, to establish a new Caliphate, don't look at it that way, their method of imposing that law is a threat. After all, under Sharia, women have only limited rights. Those who do not accept Islam must accept dhimmi, second class citizenship, and be willingly subject to Islamic regulations designed to make them feel "subdued." For those who accept Islam, there can be no turning back. Conversion from Islam means death.

Considering than Iran, or at least the Iranian leadership personified by Mahoud Ahmadinejad, is determined to build a nuclear device, it would seem that the greater threat to civilization would be the detonation of such a device in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, London or Paris, or New York or Los Angeles. The Iranians are not alone in their desire to destroy Western civilization. That has been the stated goal of virtually every Islamic organization, from Hamas to al-Qaeda to Hezbollah to the PLO.

More frightening has been the tacit acceptance of such aims by the politically correct. Recently, the Democratic National Committee, at its winter meetings, invited Husham Al-Husainy to deliver an invocation. Although the invitation may have been made in the name of politically correct diversity, there was nothing politically correct, nor diverse, is Al-Husainy's invocation.

An unabashed supporter of Hezbollah, even to the point of leading demonstrations against Israel's fight against the terrorist organization in Lebanon last summer, Al-Husainy essentially offered a prayer of conversion to the assembled Democrats, asking for guidance "to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom." The former are those who follow Islam; the latter include non-Muslims, particularly Jews.

The only "crisis" stemming from the perceived global warming threat is how far the socialist totalitarians will be able to advance their agenda. The real threat is that in not aggressively confronting Islamofascism, civilization, particularly Western civilization, is going to find itself coping with a nuclear attack and jihadist terrorism.


Reincarnation of the Reds

Primitive man worshipped nature and imbued inanimate things with human qualities. So do environmentalists. James Lovelock, one of the movement's godheads, and the godfather of the Gaia hypothesis, imbued the earth with mystical powers. The Lovelock-inspired concept of "planetary consciousness" is really a philosophical excrescence of Animism, "the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls."

Nature worship is a form of this Fetishism. Primitives worshipped idols and amulets, but also conferred divine honor on the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, trees, and animals; air, fire, and water. Environmental animists … la Lovelock believe that to tamper with one aspect of the interlocking system of "organisms, surface rocks, oceans and atmosphere" is to tempt fate. To quote Lovelock's adoring acolytes at the New York Review of Books, this balance is now being disrupted by "our brief binge of fossil fuel consumption." Reduce ocean levels of algae and "teeming billions will perish," or so they say.

Most of Lovelock's earlier gloomy predictions have not panned out, but this has done nothing to cool the reverence he receives from media. They, like Lovelock and his ilk, aim not to "save" man, but to subjugate him to Mother Earth. Indeed, major media have had a good reason for pushing apocalyptic climate-change theories for over a century. "A global central planning authority is implicit in all potential international efforts to combat alleged global problems," explains economist George Reisman. Environmentalism is socialism revived; the Greens are the Reds reincarnated.

More here

Greenies, want to save the world? Stay home

Australian columnist Caroline Overington wishes Greenies would do as they say

If we are to believe the opinion polls - and I suppose we must - then we in the West have descended into a state of near total panic about the impact our lives have on the planet. We know that we are using an incredible amount of the world's resources and we feel quite guilty about it. But what to do?

None of us really wants to give up our luxurious lives (by which I mean having a car instead of a horse, a house instead of a cave, a mobile telephone that is not an empty can on the end of some string). On the other hand, we do want to protect the environment. As it happens, you can apparently do both. Last week, I was asked to write a story about the ways in which Westerners could continue to live like kings but not feel so guilty about it. All one needs to do is buy what are known as carbon credits, which then can be used to offset the damage your lifestyle is doing to the planet.

If that's not entirely clear, let me explain it further: you can keep your four-wheel-drive and your babies can get about in disposable nappies, you can have a big house and travel by aeroplane, but you must accept that in doing so you are damaging the environment. Enter carbon credit companies. They come to your house, estimate the size of your "climate footprint" (that is, how much damage your lifestyle is doing to the planet) and put a price on it. For the average family, let's say it's $600 a year. You give that amount to any one of these companies and they will use the money to install energy-saving light bulbs in other people's homes. You haven't reduced your emissions but someone has, and therefore you can live a little less guiltily.

Under a similar program, you can offset your mother's farts or even your cat's farts (flatulence contains methane and therefore heats the planet) by paying money to green companies that will spend it on water-saving shower heads or planting trees to suck carbon out of the atmosphere. Now, when the story about cat farts and carbon credits appeared on the front page of this paper last week, I got quite a few emails, one of which said: "If you really want to end the damage done when your cat farts, wouldn't it be easier to put a sword through the cat." That's not very kind, is it? Another said people should keep their money and just learn to hang clothes on the line instead of using the dryer all the time.

The point they were making, I think, was that if global warming is a problem - we know it is happening, we know it's man-made, but the jury is still out on how much of a problem it's going to be - we in the West need to do more than pay green companies to offset foul smells made by our domestic pets. As any greenie will tell you, we would need to radically change our lifestyle.

The problem with this, however, is that a sudden, radical change to our lifestyles would destroy the economy. Any action we take would not necessarily save the lives of people who don't yet exist - that is, our children's grandchildren - but it would certainly kill real people right now in parts of Asia and Africa who depend on Western decadence for their incomes and their survival.

Also, I'm not sure that even the most committed greenie actually wants to make radical changes to their lifestyle. An example: I live in the Sydney beachside suburb of Bondi. In summer, the streets are flooded with backpackers, most of whom would claim to be travellers, not tourists, and would also claim, I'm sure, to be very concerned about the planet. Yet most of them arrive by plane. They travel across Australia in the cheapest, dirtiest VW vans they can find (most fuelled with leadedpetrol).

Sometimes they park these vans on the streets outside our home and, rather than pay $20 to stay in a backpacker lodge, they sleep in them. On hot nights, they keep the engines - and the airconditioning - running. Fumes pour out the exhaust, choking local cats. In the morning, they get up and pee and poop in the gutters.

Then they head down to the local internet cafe, where they use computers manufactured by enormous corporations, with operating systems made by Microsoft, and they send emails back home to their folks, doubtless complaining about the gap between the rich and the poor. All of this is OK, I suppose. But how come almost every single one of these Kombi vans have stickers on them that say things like: "Save the Planet"?

To the backpacker, that would mean: no more travelling to Thailand, Vietnam or Burma, or whatever is the fashionable place to be. It would mean no more driving in Kombi vans across the desert; no more jet boats out to the Barrier Reef; no more drinking mass-produced beer straight from the can, which is all the Bondi backpackers do all day.

The other sticker you often see on Kombi vans is: "Magic Happens." But it doesn't. It just seems that way. You flick a switch on the wall and the lights come on. You press a button on the toilet and your waste gets flushed away. You get a job, you save money, you get to travel places on planes and drive around in Kombi vans. It's not magic. It's progress. And it's bought to you by capitalism.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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