Friday, March 4, 2011

The Mother of All Climate Change Deniers

Fair and balanced ?

On his weblog, The Reference Frame, Lubos Motl (European anthropomorphic climate change denier or as he prefers to be called: climate realist) discourages people from using Wikipedia to learn about Global Warming. It's easy to see why he would have that opinion, when you read the entries (from various Wikipedia sources) below:

Climate change denial is a term used to describe organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons.[1] Typically, these attempts take the rhetorical form of legitimate scientific debate, while not adhering to the actual principles of that debate.[2] Climate change denial has been associated with the energy lobby, industry advocates and free market think tanks, often in the United States.[3][4][5][6][7] Some commentators describe climate change denial as a particular form of denialism.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

and

The Royal Society conducted a survey that found ExxonMobil had given US$ 2.9 million to American groups that "misinformed the public about climate change," 39 of which "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence".[4][37] In 2006, the Royal Society issued a demand that ExxonMobil withdraw funding for climate change denial. The letter, which was leaked to the media, drew criticism, notably from Timothy Ball and others, who argued the society attempted to "politicize the private funding of science and to censor scientific debate."[38]

ExxonMobil has denied the accusations that it has been trying to mislead the public about global warming. A spokesman, Gantt Walton, has stated that ExxonMobil's funding of research does not mean that it acts to influence the research, and that ExxonMobil supports taking action to curb the output of greenhouse gasses. Gannt stated, "The recycling of this type of discredited conspiracy theory diverts attention from the real challenge at hand: how to provide the energy needed to improve global living standards while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions." [39]

and

In 2005, the New York Times reported that Philip Cooney, former lobbyist and "climate team leader" at the American Petroleum Institute and President George W. Bush's chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality, had "repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents."[41] Sharon Begley reported in Newsweek that Cooney "edited a 2002 report on climate science by sprinkling it with phrases such as 'lack of understanding' and 'considerable uncertainty.'" Cooney reportedly removed an entire section on climate in one report, whereupon an oil lobbyist sent him a fax saying "You are doing a great job."[8] Cooney announced his resignation two days after the story of his tampering with scientific reports broke,[42] but a few days later it was announced that Cooney would take up a position with ExxonMobil.[43]

and

Several journalists have argued that efforts to downplay the significance of climate change resemble the campaign by tobacco lobbyists, after being confronted with new data linking cigarettes to cancer, to shift public perception of the discoveries toward that of a myth, unwarranted claim, or exaggeration rather than mainstream scientific theory. In 2006, The Guardian discussed similarities in the methods of groups funded by Exxon, and those of the tobacco giant Philip Morris, including direct attacks on peer-reviewed science, and attempts to create public controversy and doubt.[10]

Steve here. My own views on all this stuff is that what we are or are not doing to the atmosphere is dwarfed in comparison to what we are doing to the oceans. Both happen because of Industry  (which most certainly includes ExxonMobil) ... BUT .... Industry exists to feed the needs of the population.

And therefore it is that VERY THING ===> POPULATION, that is the problem, in the ultimate analysis.

So what are we to do?

Don't ask me, I'm the question man, not the answer man. But a few ideas nevertheless ...

1) If you don't have kids, commit to not having any. Easy to say, tough to do. I love my kids, I can't imagine life without them. Then there's the "human right" to procreate. This has already been challenged, in China, with its one-birth per couple policy, since the 1960's. It's worked too, for China. India is about to eclipse China in population, if they haven't already done so.

2) If you have kids, don't have any more, and encourage the ones you have already not to have any. Again, really tough. See above.

 3) Go green, that is to say, conserve. Don't have to drive? Good, don't then. Consolidate various trips into one long safari so to speak. The Internet is loaded with ideas on how to do this and many other things to be a true conservative, plus there is the good old common sense we're all born with, in varying degrees, natch.

4)  Educate the masses. Poor people, who by far make up the bulk of humanity, tend to have more sex, which leads to more babies. They also lack proper education re birth control. An educated masses is a more careful masses. Of course, going down this road also leads to controversial policies and politics.

5) Get off this planet and expand into space. We'll do this I'm sure, over the next few centuries, but it will be a footrace to see if we don't kill ourselves first, probably with some nasty biological agent that escapes from a lab. ONE advantage of space exploration is we'll need a lot more people working than are working now to do it right, and that can happen with better education (see 4) above), which would lead to lower unemployment and a better life for everyone.

6) Eliminate corporate taxation. Corporate taxes hurt everyone, because you know darn well those costs will just be passed on to the consumers, i.e. and to whit: each of us. Corporate taxes just slow everyone down. They're especially BAD on the medium-sized and small businesses. The large corporations hire armies of accountants to make sure they pay as little as possible, if any at all (read "The Firm" by John Grisham for more on that, plus as an added bonus, it's far more entertaining than the Tom Cruise film which covers only 2/3's of the book). 

Then again, the money the big firms  pay the Accountants to save said taxes is an expense in itself and therefore to a great extent: a waste, except of course, for the Accounting industry. ;-) On the other hand, but in a very small way, it's worth it for the big firms, because those Accountants save them a lot! Meanwhile, back on the farm ... the little guy is still getting screwed, because he can't afford those Big 8 Accounting firms (or is it 7 now, thanks to Enron?).

My point is people have to pay twice. People as individuals are taxed on their income, and when they pay say, gasoline taxes, they get hit again. And for what? To keep government Accountants employed? That's like saying we need tolls to pay the pensions of toll takers. Please, what is being produced here, other than misery all around? Better to pour that money into better education, would be my ride. Let those toll takers learn how to teach, and the Accountants teach how to conserve. That would be IMO a much better use of resources, otherwise, it's like giving Army grunts busy work: In the morning dig a big hole, in the afternoon fill it in. Who wins? Nobody, not even the hole.

In the long run and regarding the Energy companies such as Exxon-Mobil and their disinformation ways, what are you going to do? I'd drive to a protest rally to complain about their antics, but I'd have to use their product to get there, and that my friends, is the great irony. 

On the lighter side and a bit off-topic, check out this latest "America's most viral video", which should remind us of why we fight, whatever we fight:

6 comments:

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Denying climate change is the same as denying this law of thermodynamics: "Work produces energy loss in the form of heat".
It is a well-known problematic which engineers know far too well. The less you produce heat with a transformation process, the more you are good at your stuff. And we all know it is IMPOSSIBLE to reduce energy loss so to attain 0% production of heat. From the chemical point of view, this problem should be turn into production of gazes with green-house effect, thus indirectly into heat, but the issue remains the same.

I feel quite amazed by those who stand on their line saying it can't be true, as they are in turn telling us : "Thermodynamics is a legend".

Aren't they judging the same law of thermodynamics with which to have a motor running, so straightforwardly, the reason why they are selling oil worldwide?

Best,

Steven Colyer said...

I don't find it amazing so much as yet another example of capitalism run wild. The capacity of human beings to sell bullshit to legislators never ceases to amaze me. Anyway, if the BS doesn't work, there's always money. :-(

The core of all this is Big Energy's utter disgust of pollution control equipment. China doesn't have the problem, as the PRC lets the companies do whatever they want - hence, the Yellow River dries up before it reaches the ocean, it's that polluted.

Another problem with pollution control equipment, above and beyond the fact that the cost of same cuts into profits, is that the cost will ultimately be passed on to the consumer - yet another "hidden tax" on us all.

But, I'd rather pay that tax than corporate tax, as corporate tax will only send me to the poorhouse, while the pollution tax will make it less likely my children are born with 3 eyeballs, or one or none.

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

As you say it so well, we should greatly worry about what is happening nowadays in China, as China is told to be the big trashcan of the World.

Steven Colyer said...

Well, it's not just China, right? When is was The Soviet Union, Russia was bad too, yes? Even America before the 60's and all this "green" stuff.

China is at a crossroads. They made money selling to the USA and Europe, partly by taking the blue-collar jobs that made those places great, then without jobs we didn't buy as much, so they didn't sell as much.

Anyway, I just saw in TIME magazine yesterday that America went from 1st to 10th in prosperity in the world in the last 4 years. Thanks, Bush. Top six in order are Norway, Denmark, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden if I recall correctly. Canada's ahead of US. China and Russia are way way down. Only prosperous countries can afford pollution control, I guess.

Steven Colyer said...

Eureka and Egads! By Jove I think I've Got it!

Click on the below link for the Prosperity Index that shows America's fall, as well as the rankings of the other nations:

http://www.time.com/time/interactive/0,31813,2057225,00.html

Anonymous said...

George Carlin On CO2 Fear Mongering EnvironMENTALists

“And the greatest arrogance of all: “save the planet”.

“I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths.”

“Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.”

“The planet has been through a lot worse than us. “

“Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages …”

“The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!”

“The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.”

“The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does.”