Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Convenientest Truth . . .

I saw An Inconvenient Truth the other day, about the same time that the IPCC released a study predicting grave consequences due to human-caused global warming. As documentaries go, it is reasonably good. The parts featuring Al Gore's presentation are compelling and disturbing. Those featuring Gore's pensive off-stage thoughts are somewhat less so. I have always found Gore to be an unappealing person -- he seemed to be an ambitious, publicity hog even when he was a junior member of Congress. However, he seems to be less robotic and more human in the aftermath of his defeat/victory/whatever in 2000.

The global warming debate is odd in that it appears to be between climate scientists and rightwing pundits. Columnist, Mark Steyn utterly dismisses the recent report with such claims that thirty years ago, sciences was predicting "global cooling" (here addressed by Real Climate) and that:
. . . if you really don't like the global weather, wait half-a-millennium. A thousand years ago, the Arctic was warmer than it is now. Circa 982, Erik the Red and a bunch of other Vikings landed in Greenland and thought, "Wow! This land really is green! Who knew?" So they started farming it, and were living it up for a couple of centuries. Then the Little Ice Age showed up, and they all died. A terrible warning to us all about "unsustainable development": If a few hundred Vikings doing a little light hunter-gathering can totally unbalance the environment, imagine the havoc John Edwards' new house must be wreaking.

The whole column is simply pulled from Steyn's . . . fertile mind, with not even the second cousin of an argument to be seen -- though he does managed to get in digs against Gore and John Edwards.

Gore's documentary has now been nominated for an Academy Award, which if it wins, will drive these guys into fits of hysteria. For those disinclined to watch the former veep bloviate, even in a good cause, for 96 minutes, Stephen Colbert produced a shorter and funnier response: The Convenientest Truth.

UPDATE: I should also provide a link to this Townhall column by Burt Prelutsky. The opening paragraphs are about turtles in the toilet and how every teen who gets killed is supposedly an honor student, or something like that. The rest is, like Steyn, fact and argument free:
The other big lie that’s caught on in a big way is global warming. I suspect this is strictly an urban legend because in rural America, farmers have the experience and the commonsense to recognize the cyclical nature of climate.

Because of the unusually cold winter we’ve been having here in Southern California, I’ve given a good deal of thought to the subject. What I find so fascinating about it is that Al Gore’s disciples are able to explain all types of weather as a result of it. If it’s unseasonably warm, we not only know why, but we know we can lay the blame on those rotters driving their gas-guzzling SUVs to the supermarket. It might even sound reasonable if you were unaware that changes in the earth’s weather occur on an irregularly regular basis, and that just a short time ago these same junk scientists were warning us about global cooling and the impending modern ice age.


Anonymous said...

Paul Ehrlich was the father of both the global warming and global cooling theory. His education was in insect research.

Clark, this is Ehrlich's Wikipedia page.... (cut and paste to tool bar if link doesn't appear on blog). I cannot urge you enough to read about him and what a loony Malthusian anti-human he is.

Here are a couple of his predictions...."According to Ehrlich, the United States would see its life expectancy drop to 42 years by 1980 because of pesticide usage, and the nation's population would drop to 22.6 million by 1999 ". That is cut from the Wiki article.

One dissapointment, the Wiki article didn't have his most famous dumbfuck asinine prediction......That England would be frozen and starving (more or less) by 2000. He made that prediction in the early seventies. He, of course, never gets called on it, and up until just recently NBC news trotted him out over and over again as an "expert" on all weather matters. The only thing consistent about this jackass is that he has been wrong about every thing. The heirarchy of the eco movement is anti-population growth zealotry personified.

I never forgot when I read that the biggest contributer to the Sierra Club one year was British Petroleum, or that the now-legendary (and closed) 16 Volts blog pointed out that big-oil funded the nuclear energy protest hippies all throughout the seventies.

Blake Wylie said...

Here's a non-rightwing pundit:

Blake Wylie said...

Proper link for above comment

Sean Scallon said...

Climate has occured without man so much as lifting a finger. It does occur naturally and what we are going through right could very well be natural climate change. That is still a legitimate argument.

Having said that, it's probably a good idea anyway to have a more balanced energy policy away from complete dependance on fossil fuels. It's better for the environment in the long run without the scarring one receives with drilling for oil or digging for coal on a large scale basis. Balance is a good thing. It's also good for America's long-term political and strategic interests. We cannot extracate ourselves from the Middle East and separate ourselves from Mecca if we are complety dependent on Saudi Oil or view defend the Persian Gulf oilfield like they were Indiana. A true conservative believes in conservation and balance.

The problem for conservatives is for too long they went around denying global warming even existed at all, took money from oil companies to produce studies denying its existance and like shameless libertarians insist that there can be no limits placed on human behavior or the all-precious American way of life as if I'm going to die if CAFE standards are increased. Now they have to admit that global warming is taking place or look like fools which puts them at a disadvantage against the extreme envrionmentals who really do hate human beings.

We need to find the right balance between PETA and Jim Inhofe. That's where true conservatism lies.

O'Reilly said...

Well there is, at least, one free market / libertarian economist, Edwin G Dolan who makes a "Lockean" case for his fellow free marketeers NOT to ignore global warming. See his PDF here.