Saturday, February 24, 2007

It had to happen

Now climate change "deniers" are not only evil Nazi types but are also psychologically inadequate. Not a shred of research evidence for any of the assertions is offered, of course. Has the author below or anybody he quotes ever interviewed a single "denier"? There is no evidence of it. It is just armchair theorizing -- which can be used to justify anything. But the author is Dick Meyer, editorial director of, so I guess that makes it authoritative:

So what is it that makes some human brains dismiss or ignore global warming and others, far fewer, feel worried, threatened and called to action? Answering this question properly is probably far more important to future behavior and policy than endless arguments about how hot it will be in Cincinnati in 2077.

Charles Darwin explains a lot of this. Global warming simply does not present the kinds of stimuli that the human nervous system evolved to respond to in order to survive threats from bears, lightning, rolling boulders and mean cavemen. Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist who wrote "Stumbling on Happiness," summed up evolutionary psychology's perspective by noting how global warming lacked four traits "the human brain evolved to respond to."

First, the threat is not human and we "social mammals" are especially sensitive to dangers from other humans - and dangers that are intentional (terrorism) rather than accidental (floods). Similarly, homo sapiens respond with greater instinctive power to threats that violate group sensibilities or "moral emotions;" global warming doesn't spawn visceral feelings (for most) of something "indecent, impious or repulsive."

Third and most obvious, the threat of global warming is far, far away, not immediate, not something that makes you duck or twitch. In fact, a person really has to use the analytic brain hunks to get in a global warming lather, not the affective or emotional mechanisms that detect common threats and risks. As another scholar said, "risk is a feeling." Statistics and reports don't enter the brain through feeling portals. So after Hurricane Katrina, polling found concern about global warming ticked up.

Similarly, climate change is gradual. Indeed it is invisible; there are no "affective" sights and sounds to switch on the neurological special alert system - no infernos, poxes, pests and plagues.

The problem with the Darwinian angle here is that it doesn't explain why some human brains do feel threatened and worried by global warming and some don't. The biggest variable here is probably simple anthropology: as social mammals, we use the group to survive and thus tend to share the beliefs of our own group.

In modern society, groups are intangible and amorphous; they aren't discrete tribes gathering walnuts and spearing bison. Group ties are as often emotional or even ideological as geographic or even familial. You may identify, with varying degrees of self-consciousness, as a Catholic, a Green, a Jew, a small businessman, an African-American, a geek, a recovering alcoholic, a Republican, a liberal, a lesbian, an Italian-American, a Blue Blood, a Texan, an artist or a stamp collector. Most people cross-pollinate.

But these group affiliations are likely to be a strong determinant of your feelings about global warming (feelings you will call a "position"). Do you think global warming is an urgent problem because you are a Democrat or are you a Democrat because you think global warming is an urgent problem? Some variant of the former is most likely, I'm sorry to report.

Scandinavians and Germans have been the most alarmed and politically active about global warming. Why? Diet? Too much existentialism?

Compared to other countries, Americans display an unusually large disconnect in describing themselves as environmentalists by being broadly unwilling to support voluntary restraints and vigorous laws and regulations. (This comes from a paper called "The American Paradox" by Dale Jamieson of New York University, part of a fascinating collection of papers on "Global Warming: The Psychology of Long-Term Risk" in the July 2006 edition of a journal called, "Climactic Change.")

Group identification not only orients specific positions but what might be called the distribution of alarm. Elke Weber, also writing in "Climactic Change," notes that societies have a "finite pool of worry." Neither a group nor an individual can stay at red alert about terrorism, salmonella, bird flu, identity theft and global warming. We don't prioritize threats and risks rationally; we do it emotionally and through the genius or dumbness of crowds.

On top of all this very cool psycho-babble are some common-sense factors that keep global warming from triggering our inner worry monkeys. It's a hard problem to solve; OK, the world is warming, but it's not like you can go out and buy a Glock, duct tape or Cipro and do anything. Global warming is also the classic other guys' problem: leave it for the next generation; let the Chinese cut their pollution then we'll talk. It is also susceptible to optimism: American ingenuity will fix it.

"Global warming is a deadly threat precisely because it fails to trip the brain's alarm, leaving us soundly asleep in a burning bed," Daniel Gilbert wrote.

Scientists, economists and "ists" of all sorts have probably done all they can do to trigger our humanoid alarm systems. American politicians will probably hurt, not help. Bizarre and inconvenient as it sounds, effective and affective warnings and information about global warming will likely come from novelists, moviemakers and comedians.



Patriot Post are taking action. See below:

Please join fellow Patriots and sign this petition to Stop Albert Gore and Reject the UN's Global Warming Treaty (see text below). Gore is reenergizing the movement advocating Kyoto compliance. We urge you to sign this petition today, and reject Gore's advocacy for UN control of the U.S. economy.

In order to encourage serious consideration of this issue by the Bush administration and Congress, we must collect over 100,000 signatures. Please sign and then forward this invitation to all of your family members, friends and associates.

To sign this petition online, go here.

If you don't have Web access, you can sign this petition by sending a blank e-mail to: sign-stopgore@PatriotPetitions.US

Petition Text:

To President George Bush, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

We urge the United States Senate to reject the 1997 United Nations Kyoto Protocols Treaty purporting to address global warming by constraining economic growth in the United States while allowing unmitigated growth in 129 other nations, included two of the largest world economies in China and India.

The Senate overwhelmingly rejected this Treaty (95-0) by way of the Byrd-Hagel Senate resolution in 1997, which objected to the lack of any "specific scheduled commitments" in regard to the CO2 output of "developing" countries."

We reject the Orwellian solutions proposed by Albert Arnold Gore and others who claim that the Kyoto Protocols must be adopted to stop global warming. The science of climate change is very imprecise, and current trends in climate change may have little or nothing to do with production of so-called "greenhouse gasses" such as carbon dioxide.

Albert Gore's solutions will only impede the advancement of scientific and technological innovation, and would impoverish hundreds of millions of people around the world.


A lot of Americans would LOVE a bit of global warming at the moment

This week-perhaps emboldened by the groundhog predicting an early spring-Old Man Winter came roaring back, blanketing much of the nation with a sheet of ice. In fact, a number of residents of the Midwest and Northeast felt as if they were living in a new Ice Age, thanks to a thick coat of ice that brought vehicular traffic to a standstill.

As they shivered amid wind-chill levels well below zero, it must have come as a comfort that Al "Global Warming" Gore is once again at work, trying to free the world from the tyranny of temperatures above the freezing mark.

Gore announced plans this week for a series of musical concerts designed to, in Gore's words, "solve the climate crisis." His accomplices in this mission of misguided mercy include musical artists ranging from the rapper Snoop Dogg to American Idol star Kelly Clarkson.

Venues for the "Live Earth" concerts include Shanghai, Sydney, Johannesburg, London, and yet-to-be-determined cities in Japan, Brazil, and the U.S. The campaign behind this effort is ironically titled, "Save Our Selves."

Gore was quoted as saying, "We are launching SOS and Live Earth to begin a process of communication that will mobilize people all over the world to take action. The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement. We hope to jump-start that movement right here, right now, and take it to a new level on July 7, 2007."

Earth to Gore: It's 12 degrees outside. Are we really suffering from global warming-or just a liberal propaganda campaign that's now gone musical?

It's heart-warming to see musical artists come together for a good cause-after all, what would Labor Day be without the Jerry Lewis Telethon? But fighting muscular dystrophy is one thing-fighting Mother Nature is quite another.

By trying to cast Mother Nature as an extremist, environmentalists such as Gore are trying to hide their own extremism. Their solution to the earth's problems is to regulate businesses out of existence. They'd sacrifice American jobs to save a single tree, and they often put animals on a pedestal above human beings. It's a world view that's positively frightening but, unfortunately, there are no rock concert promoters around who are willing to stage a musical extravaganza to combat environmental extremism.

Since when does a failed Presidential candidate have such pull with the music industry? I don't hear of Ross Perot getting the Black Eyed Peas to sing for his pet projects.

When the worlds of music and politics embrace, it is often a scary proposition for us all. Look at how many folk groups credited themselves with ending the Vietnam War. Forget military strategy and political acumen, to their way of thinking, it's four-part harmonies that determine victory or defeat on the battlefield.

I can only hope that, when the SOS concerts roll around, this week's deep freeze will be fresh in the memories of Americans who might otherwise be hoodwinked by the global warming crowd.



Buying organic food grown locally may sometimes be more damaging to the environment than nipping down to the supermarket for produce that has been driven hundreds of miles across the country, a new study suggests. Research looking at the environmental impact of food from farm to the plate and beyond suggests that locally-grown food may not be as environmentally friendly as it's said to be. Similarly, long-distance transportation may not deserve the demonisation it has received for the emissions of carbon dioxide it generates. However, scientists questioned the growing use of aircraft to carry foods around the world.

The findings, from a study commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to guide policy on which types of food production and consumption to encourage, prompted a furious response from the Soil Association, which promotes and certifies organic food.

The report concludes that so little is known about the overall environmental impact of any food produce that it is impossible to say which are the most environmentally friendly. But while the merits of some organic products were recognised by the study, researchers pointed out that others cause more damage than non-organic items.

Academics from the Manchester Business School, at the University of Manchester, carried out an assessment of 150 of the best-selling foods for the survey, dubbed the Shopping Trolley Report. "There is no clear-cut answer as to whether purchasing an organic or a conventional trolley of goods has more or less impact environmentally," they said. "For many foods the environmental impacts of organic agriculture are lower than for conventionally-grown food. "However, the evidence suggests that for some environmental themes organic agriculture has higher impacts than non-organic."

They said that calculations of every aspect of a food product's environmental impact - a life-cycle analysis - needs to be carried out to decide which forms of production are best. Factors would include uses of land, water, fertiliser, transportation, packaging and refrigeration. The impact of organic milk was singled out for doubts about its environmental-friendliness because, while having higher levels of nutrients and needing less fertiliser, its production generates more carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, it takes up 80 per cent more land.

Neither, said the researchers, was buying locally produced food a guarantee of being environmentally-friendly when considering the transportation system, particularly bulk haulage. They suggested that the best thing consumers could do to reduce the carbon footprint of food production and consumption was to leave their cars at home and walk or get public transport to the supermarket. "The available data suggests that, looking at UK food transportation as a whole, the environmental impacts of car-based shopping are greater than those of transport within the distribution system itself," the report said. "The environmental impact of aviation are important for air-freighted products but such products are a very small proportion of food consumed."

Professor Ken Green, who led the study, said: "If you are concerned about the carbon footprint of foods, there can be a good case for importing some of them even if they can be grown in the UK. The evidence available so far shows that local is not always the best option for the environment."

The Soil Association criticised the authors for ignoring many of the benefits of organic production, such as improving biodiversity, and accused them of relying on an inapproporaite study which looked at a type of organic farming that is not used in Britain. It said: "Organic farming is much better for the environment than industrial methods."


Windmill idiocy: "The problem with wind energy is that it is always fluctuating. The physics of windmills make it worse because output varies with the cube of the velocity. A 20 percent increase in wind speed will double output in a few minutes. Under these circumstances, large numbers of windmills are viewed by grid operators more as a liability than an asset. Unfortunately, where the wind is predictable, it doesn't co-ordinate very well [with] demand. The wind blows strongest at night and in the spring and fall. Electrical demand peaks in the daytime and summer and winter. This is why claims about wind's installed capacity have to be met with a grain of salt. At best, windmills produce electricity less than one-third of the time. Over the last ten years, California's 1500 MW have averaged only 25 percent of their 'nameplate' capacity. During peak summer demand it was only 9 percent. Germany has found its windmills producing only 6 percent of their nameplate capacity during hot summer days.... Still, as long as those windmills are turning, they must be producing some electricity, right? Unfortunately, even this may not be true. Because wind power is so unpredictable, fossil fuel plants must be kept running all the time anyway for backup."


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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