Friday, October 12, 2007

If I gave you the truth, would it keep you alive?


Editorials in newspapers written by anonomous writers are especially, since the writers hide behind, well, their anonymity. Still, you'd think some Right-winger genius would be happy to own this slam of Gore's Nobel Prize:
Former Vice President Al Gore, who says he "used to be the next president of the United States," has won the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing scary half-truths, flat-out errors and politically inspired schemes about global warming. We congratulate Mr. Gore and hope it's some personal consolation.

Nevertheless, we're uninspired as Mr. Gore takes his place alongside Yasser Arafat and Kofi Annan, similarly honored with credentials of similar substance.

Nice. Note the obligatory dismissal of the award itself, by mentioning Arafat. Don't forget, pal, they also gave one to that paragon of Right-wing ideology Henry Kissinger.

As far as "scary half-truths, flat-out errors", let's just see now. Anonymous editor continues:
The errors "arise in the context of alarmism and exaggeration in support of (Mr. Gore's) political thesis," said High Court Judge Michael Burton. He ruled teachers must alert children to the errors.

The judge said Mr. Gore is wrong to claim global warming will cause sea levels to rise 20 feet and that increases in CO2 precede warming when they actually come afterward. Inconvenient truths don't stop there. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, has compiled point-by-point refutations of Mr. Gore's hype and alarmism.

No, not really. Here is the above quote in context:

  1. Mr Chamberlain persuasively pointed out in his skeleton (at paragraph 7(c)):
  2. "Scientific hypotheses (such as the hypothesis that climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of greenhouse gases) do not themselves constitute "political views" within the meaning of s407, even if they are doubted by particular political groups. But, in any event, nothing in the 1996 Act (or elsewhere) obliged teachers to adopt a position of studied neutrality between, on the one hand, scientific views which reflect the great majority of world scientific opinion and, on the other, a minority view held by a few dissentient scientists."
  3. Of course that is right, and ss406 and 407 are not concerned with scientific disputes or with the approach of teachers to them. However, as will be seen, some of the errors, or departures from the mainstream, by Mr Gore in AIT in the course of his dynamic exposition, do arise in the context of alarmism and exaggeration in support of his political thesis. It is in that context that the Defendant, in actively distributing the film to all schools, may need to make clear that:
  4. i) some or all of those matters are not supported/promoted by the Defendant [s406].

    ii) there is a view to the contrary, i.e. (at least) the mainstream view [s407].

  5. Mr Chamberlain also rightly points out, at paragraph 7(a) of his skeleton that:
  6. "The Film is intended to be used by qualified teachers, not as a substitute for, but as a supplement to, other teaching methods and materials. The original Guidance, prepared by a panel of experienced educationalists, identified those parts of the Film's scientific presentation where further context or qualification was required and provided it, with suitable references and links to other reputable sources of information. It encouraged teachers to use the Film as a vehicle for the development of analytic and critical skills. It did not attempt to hide the fact that some scientists do not agree with the mainstream view of climate change and even made reference to The Great Global Warming Swindle (together with a website containing a critique of it)."
  7. However, for those same two reasons set out in paragraph 19 above , the teachers must at least be put into a position to appreciate when there are or may be material errors of fact, which they may well not, save for the most informed science teachers.
  8. I have no doubt that Dr Stott, the Defendant's expert, is right when he says that:
  9. "Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate."
Yep. Funny how #22 was left out of the editorial.

Here's the punchline:
Global warming alarmism serves those opposing free-market economics and its fossil-fuel reliance and those seeking power and profit by gaming the system once they force rule changes. Neither motive is in most peoples' interests.

Look, idiot. Free-market economics promises to deliver one thing only: PROFIT. No social justice, no righting of wrongs, no scientific breakthroughs, just profit. And the only gaming of the system today is traders, speculators, and wealth pundits who tout stocks and make fortunes for the investor class.

Instead of calmly discussing climate change, and the clear reasons for it, the Conservatarian free-market worshippers will lie and cheat, and produce conflicting research:
Mr. Gore's award will spur more alarmist momentum. To balance the scales, we recommend CEI's A Skeptic's Guide to An Inconvenient Truthat www.cei.org and the book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalismby CEI senior fellow Christopher Horner

That's this CEI:
CEI calls itself "a non-profit, non-partisan research and advocacy institute dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government." The Boston Globe has called it "one of Washington's feistiest think tanks." CEI's commentaries frequently appear in media venues such as ABC's 20/20, American Spectator, Christian Science Monitor, Consumers' Research, Crossfire, Forbes, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, Moneyline, New York Times, Policy Review, PBS, Reader's Digest, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Washington Times. It postures as an advocate of "sound science" in the development of public policy. In fact, it is an ideologically-driven, well-funded front for corporations opposed to safety and environmental regulations that affect the way they do business.

. . . The head of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Michael Sanera, sent out an email last March looking for kids who had been "scared" by environmental education:
I have been contacted by ABC News," Sanera wrote..."A producer for John Stossel...needs examples of kids who have been 'scared green' by schools teaching doomsday environmentalism ... (He needs kids and/or parents to appear on camera.) I have some examples, but I need more. Would you send out a notice to your group and ask if they know of some examples.

You get the idea. Ideological hacks, corporatist jerks, and useless tools.

In the end, the criticisms in the Judge's lawsuit are trivial. A complete analysis was done by Tim Lambert at Deltoid. Read the whole thing.


(Title lyric by Seether. They recorded their first major label album at the last studio where I was on staff. Lovely guys, very nice.)