Thursday, February 9, 2012

Then What??

This is such a sweet, sentimental video.  Barack and Michelle look like they came out of Hollywood Central casting and it's so touching, it makes even me feel a little weepy though I realize it is treacle.  In the next video, also adorable and amusing, in a cloying, premeditated fashion, Michelle promotes her program to combat childhood obesity.  Exercise is good, and sitting on your butt watching teevee eating junk food is bad, of course.  But to focus on that is a convenient way of blaming the victim.  It's likely that the obesity epidemic has quite a bit to do with endocrine-disrupting chemicals that permeate our environment.  What about the growth hormones given to dairy cattle that get into the milk and cheese kids eat?  Where is that issue, or the fact that Barack appointed a vice president from Monsanto to head the FDA???

I won't copy it here, but I would like to highly recommend an essay from Mother Jones about a rare breed, a courageous iconoclast scientist named Tyrone Hayes, who defiantly refuses to be intimidated by industry threats.  He works ceaselessly, with a refreshingly perverse sense of humor, to expose the dangers to our ecosystem from chemical pollution.

Following is a video of professional denier Robert Bryce, during which he is asked whether he receives money from the fossil fuel industry.  You can find the background at the ChecksandBalances project.

Bryce is a perfect example of what I wrote about after the denialpalooza Heartland Conference in Washington last July - that deniers are essentially correct in that climate change activists and scientists aren't honestly leveling with us.  Almost uniformly, they try to make out like it's possible to effect a transition relatively painlessly to clean fuel, if only we would, collectively as a society, invest in it.  Deniers know the idea that we can replace fossil fuels with green energy - without simultaneously severely curtailing consumption - won't be nearly sufficient to control climate change to the extent necessary to avoid catastrophe, presuming the science is accurate.  Peak-oilers know it can't be done, and that's why so many of them are climate deniers, as well.

However, that lack of candor - or wishful thinking - doesn't negate the contention that climate change is real, and caused by human activity, which is the other side of the coin Bryce advocates, quite stupidly, but lucratively.  He's obviously a tool of the fossil fuel industry, parroting what they want to advertise.  Here is part of his biography in wikipedia:

"In an October 6, 2011 op-ed published in the "Wall Street Journal" and entitled "Five truths about climate change"[20] he wrote: "The science is not settled, not by a long shot. Last month, scientists at CERN, the prestigious high-energy physics lab in Switzerland, reported that neutrinos might—repeat, might—travel faster than the speed of light. If serious scientists can question Einstein's theory of relativity, then there must be room for debate about the workings and complexities of the Earth's atmosphere".
By the way, that analogy he makes to neutrinos is about the most sophomoric imaginable.  Jeez!

The science IS settled, in the sense that, although there are still endless details to ascertain, it is demonstrably proven that climate change is occurring, and humans are causing it.  Unfortunately many climate scientists and activists shy away from the mass extinctions that inevitably occur when climate changes and the infernally complex web of interdependent species becomes unravelled.

The most pertinent quote from him, in wiki:

"The key issue about global warming – and the one that precious few are willing to discuss in depth – is this:  if we are going to agree that carbon dioxide is bad, then what? " 

The question he frames "then what?" is actually despicably immoral, because essentially he's saying, well, even if you're right that CO2 is changing the climate, and there's no way to slow it short of jeopardizing a well-oiled, luxurious lifestyle, who wants to do that?  SOMEONE is going to adapt sacrifice, and so the "key issue" is only masked as "then what?", it is really "WHO"???  His answer may be implicit but it is clear - let it be the poor, and the children.

Which makes him a deeply, profoundly cynical, and pathologically heartless criminal.


  1. Just two more telling examples of how the thinking person needs to extricate themselves completely from the whole left-right spectrum. There no longer is any place you may reside there and still be "right." The only way to even hope to be able to see the way things really are these days is to completely jettison political ideology.

  2. If I recall correctly, the mass extinctions occurred without man's intervention or participation - the timeline is that old. Which goes to show it has happened without our precipitating it. To claim the science is settled is to ignore something which climate scientist and warmist Roger Pielke Jr. - unlike his dad, the climate scientist who says bollocks to the whole proposition - notes himself : science presentation is affected by politics. Else I'm sure I wouldn't know what to make of the pronouncements from David Suzuki for instance, when the Suzuki Elders plainly state past fluctuations in co2 must be considered in evaluating our current situation - and then what seems moments later there is another castigation of the mislabeled 'deniers.'
    The only thing I deny is if that lot knows whether they are punched or bored -just like the Reich Wing.
    What Bill says too : in a biPartisan Tyranny Left and Right are false generalizations which accomplish nothing in understanding individuals or the manipulations of the monied.


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