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Friday, October 13, 2006

Global Warming Deniers Think People Who Believe Science are 'Narrow Minded,' 'Hate-Filled,' and have 'Psychological, Spiritual, and Moral Issues'

Global warming may be the most important issue the United States is doing nothing about. There are bright spots -- state and local governments are taking steps. But at the federal level, we've seen no leadership at all. In fact, one of the first of many lies George W. Bush told the american people was that he'd deal with carbon emissions. In September of 2000, candidate Bush released this statement:

"Governor Bush will work to develop legislation that will establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of carbon dioxide."

In March of 2001, he wrote key senators, "I do not believe that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a ‘pollutant’ under the Clean Air Act." His promise to reduce carbon emissions lasted a little over a half a year before he did a complete 180 and opposed mandatory reductions.

After lying about his commitment to addressing global climate change, Bush set about denying that global warming was even a problem. In April of 2004, Bush -- up for re-election -- needed to hide his lousy environmental record. The Observer obtained an email to Republican Congressmen advising them on how to lie about climate change.

The memo - headed 'From medi-scare to air-scare' - goes on: 'From the heated debate on global warming to the hot air on forests; from the muddled talk on our nation's waters to the convolution on air pollution, we are fighting a battle of fact against fiction on the environment - Republicans can't stress enough that extremists are screaming "Doomsday!" when the environment is actually seeing a new and better day.'

Among the memo's assertions are 'global warming is not a fact', 'links between air quality and asthma in children remain cloudy', and the US Environment Protection Agency is exaggerating when it says that at least 40 per cent of streams, rivers and lakes are too polluted for drinking, fishing or swimming.

It gives a list of alleged facts taken from contentious sources. For instance, to back its claim that air quality is improving it cites a report from Pacific Research Institute - an organization that has received $130,000 from Exxon Mobil since 1998.

The memo also lifts details from the controversial book The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg. On the Republicans' claims that deforestation is not a problem, it states: 'About a third of the world is still covered with forests, a level not changed much since World War II. The world's demand for paper can be permanently satisfied by the growth of trees in just five per cent of the world's forests.'

The memo's main source for the denial of global warming is Richard Lindzen, a climate-skeptic scientist who has consistently taken money from the fossil fuel industry. His opinion differs substantially from most climate scientists, who say that climate change is happening.

This is the Republican mindset -- if the public perception is that there's no problem, there's no problem. There's nothing on Earth that a good PR campaign can't fix. They seemed trapped in the moment, unable to see that a future exists. As much as the neocons pride themselves on being pro-active, they're pretty much just reactionaries. They do no long-range planning -- the occupation of Iraq being a case in point.

In their effort to change reality by changing perceptions of reality, they've pretty much destroyed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On tuesday, Jim Cornehls, a professor at the University of Texas-Arlington, told Raw Story, "People need to understand how driven this administration is. Decisions are made on a belief system rather than on good science."

According to Raw Story:

Political appointees are one way the Bush Administration controls research. Some believe they are there to push the administration’s agenda, said Michael Halpern, outreach coordinator for scientific integrity at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Almost 10,000 senior scientists came out in 2003 expressing concern at “levels never before seen” over the government’s misuse of science. Halpern explained that there have been cases of misuse of science in other administrations, but now policy makers don’t have the best science to begin with, which means they can’t make the best decisions.

According to Halpern, case studies have pointed to many examples of changing data, massaging numbers, or manipulating reports. “This type of misuse of science [makes scientists] feel unable to speak,” he said. “The quality coming out of the agency will suffer.”

The damage is greater than just bad science -- obviously, uninformed and gullible people are falling for this line of BS. Here's Mark Noonan from Blogs for Bush on a blurb for a book about global warming and PR. The blurb writer suggested that anti-global warming PR firms be tried in a 'sort of climate Nuremberg.' Harsh words, sure, but really no more than a call to hold dangerous people accountable.

It is an asinine proposal from a man who clearly has some pyschological, spiritual and moral issues to work out - but it is typical of leftwing thinking these days. Here in a nutshell is all the narrow minded, hate-filled bigotry of the left - a mindset which holds that opposition to leftist opinion isn't just wrong, but is deliberately evil. In this poor man's line of thinking, it isn't just a difference of opinion on global warming, but that those of a different opinion are deliberately and with malice aforethought sabotaging efforts to halt global warming.

He thinks the writer's crazy. No big surprise. After all, I think Noonan's crazy -- but I have a better case for my assertion. He says more than once that global climate change is a matter of 'opinion.' But it's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact. Not only is the administration screwing up the environment with its campaign of denial, it's screwing with people's heads. This guy seems to believe that you get to choose what 'reality' you believe -- that facts and opinions are the same thing. If the administration and the lobbyists pulling the strings are right, why do they have to pressure scientists to alter their findings? This is the same sort of confusion about facts and opinions that allows people to deny evolution.

Is this campaign of denial 'deliberately evil', as Noonan puts it? Of course it is. Hiding the fact that we're heading toward disaster because it's going to cost someone money to avoid that disaster is practically the definition of evil. These PR firms are the same ones who'd hidden data from the public proving smoking caused cancer, while arguing that it was safe. That campaign of distortion and secrecy cost people their lives and so will this one. If that's not evil, what is?

According to Reuters, inaction on global warming will cost $31 trillion in damage by 2100. A headline in The Guardian reads, " Water for Millions at Risk as Glaciers Melt away."

But we're the crazy ones. This is all just a matter of opinion -- despite the fact that we can measure it. This might come as a surprise to some on the right, but when you can definitely measure something, it exists. The Guardian piece tells us that 99.99% of all glaciers are shrinking. Is that a matter of opinion or is that a matter of fact?

We aren't going to get anywhere as things are until we can get fools to wise up. Since that's not likely to happen, we need to get fools out of government.


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