Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

So is Anti-GMO Equivalent to Nazi Book Burning?

The idea that those that oppose GMOs through direct action are equivalent to Nazi book burners is a troubling notion.  It is based on two simplistic premises that science is neutral and that the advancement of knowledge is good.  However, the premises contradict each other.  If science is neutral, and science has the goal of the advancement of knowledge, then to my mind the advancement of knowledge can be neither good nor bad, just the uses to which it can be put.  Any thinking person can agree that although science may be neutral, scientists and everybody else, are not. That corporate greed can undermine the neutrality of scientific results should be a cautionary tale to us all. 

Consider that Nazi science was neutral, but the scientists were not. It is clear that Nazi science, although neutral, was often also immoral. Scientists could agree to go on wholeheartedly with the experiments, or sabotage them. The scientist as a Nazi would go on with experiment in good faith.  The scientist as a moral person would find any way possible to disrupt it.  So the question is who, if any, are the real Nazis in this debate?

Discussion over honest differences of opinion in the arena of scientific ideas is the way knowledge advances.  Theories change on as experiments warrant. However, as with a medical trial, the experiment stops when the precautionary principle suggests that harm could be done.

As the patient is on the operating table, the GMO supporters argue that the patient will die without the operation.  They argue that the anti-GMO people are causing the patient to die by halting the operation and saying that anti-GMO people are doomsayers. The death of the patient is itself a theory open to debate, as is the efficacy, morality and safety of the operation.  This makes the GMO supporters not only the doomsayers, but also immoral by openly violating the precautionary principle.

Global Warming And A Sustainable Society

How you live in a community, and the direction you wish it to take, needs to be based on ethical, not scientific  principles.  If you attempt to base your society or personal decisions (or the solution of  ills) on science alone, then I can see it going nowhere other than to falsify the attempt as an immoral enterprise and ultimately to  result in the corruption of both science and society.

Science only hypothesizes on how things work, not why they should be one way or another.  That “why” is a question outside the realm of science. True science is for the most part value free , its results are independent of your opinions of them, but no human community can be so maintained without values. When you allow your social agenda to be hitched to a scientific theory, then you endanger both the community and the science when the scientific theory is falsified.

A good example of what I mean can be seen in global warming, or what I prefer to call climate change. Those that advocate scientific models touting to show global warming also happen to be socially progressive.  Indeed, it is a guiding principle of progressives that we need to model our society on a more sustainable framework. It would be truly unfortunate for progressives in this noble goal to be dismissed because they push sustainable solutions based on a false scientific model.

The values we hold in science must be separated from those we hold in community.  The former only tells us how we know something, the latter tells us what we should do with that knowledge. A sustainable lifestyle is an appropriate goal independent of any result of climate change.  That the science of climate change has gotten muddied by political, economic or other social concerns threatens to invalidate all in the mix.

Many know what constitutes scientific knowledge, fewer can give an adequate account (without dogma) of what is moral.

The Inquisition of Climate Science: A Scientist Exposes the Business of Denial

Galileo faces the Roman Inquisition who, without evidence, demand he recant his statements on heliocentrism. by John Atcheson James Lawrence Powell’s The Inquisition of Climate Science is a straightforward, thorough and well-researched account of the assault on climate science. The book is scholarly, yet entertaining, as a quick review of the titles in the Table […]

by John Atcheson in Climate Progress

James Lawrence Powell’s The Inquisition of Climate Science is a straightforward, thorough and well-researched account of the assault on climate science.

The book is scholarly, yet entertaining, as a quick review of the titles in the Table of Contents reveals.  Among the best are:  “Toxic Tanks” (think tanks), “An Industry to Trust” (in which he contrasts the oil and gas companies’ and Insurance companies’ positions on global warming), “Climategate: Much Ado About Nothing” (in which he drives yet another wooden stake in the heart of this travesty and dispatches other “gates”).

Powell’s account is – pardon the pun – intelligently designed to thoroughly debunk the baseless dogma and diatribes coming out of the denier community. [more]

via The Inquisition of Climate Science: A Scientist Exposes the Business of Denial.

I have just one thought here on the above:

Note the difference between denial and skepticism.  The former is the dismissal of science, the latter is its heart.  The denial is really the denial of the diagnosis made by the doctors of science.  We can just ignore the problem as the denier would, however, most of us would rather take some form of treatment, no matter how painful.  

The skeptic may ask for a second opinion, especially on a terminal diagnosis.  Also, the skeptic might ultimately prefer an alternative medicine route, rather than a more conventional treatment.  However, even the skeptic in the face of evidence will often become a reasonable patient and look at all alternatives, and seek to use some combination of treatments which he trusts based on the evidence. The denier, if he never moves though anger and bargaining to acceptance, will just hope he is not wrong, rather than returning to a healthy skepticism and weighing the available options in the face of death. 

I am not saying that there is not bias (and money) on both sides of this argument.  I am saying that in the name of the precautionary principle we need to start doing what is good for a sustainable world.

FOX Newscasters Have Been Reduced to Carnival Geeks. Fox is Not News

FOX Newscasters Have Been Reduced to Carnival Geeks. Fox is Not News

Free Speech is only free when it is not backed by front groups supported by makers of products you are shilling. So the suppression of FOX NEWS would not be an abridgment of the right to free speech . Mascarade news designed to sell products is  commercial speech, which is not free at all. If it is proven that you have unfairly undercut competition by misrepresentation, then this may be prosecutable.

In a similar manner news is not news unless it is separate from commentary and stands on its own without the filter of editorial talking points. To give the appearance that your opinion is news would appear also to be a form of commercial speech.  If you promote a millennial point of view garnered only from tainted sources and advertise gold, for example, then this is commercial speech. It has also been said that FOX news only uses incestuous sources.

News also is generally reported without high drama and emotional appeals where possible. Reporting of “grassroots” organizations that are funded by billionaires with ties to FOX and orchestrating these “grassroots” organization’s crowds is being and making the news, but it is not news. Reporting entrapment you have arranged on a group you have done nothing but misrepresent and use their own information against them, is not news. Reporting this “news” with appeals that would make carnies blush is so abhorrent that I would say that FOX newscasters have been reduced to carnival geeks, but the commentators are the real freaks. When FOX backs a movements and a party based on fear, then they can only stand for fear and ballast reporting.  Maybe they used Glenn Beck’s spelling for their slogan? So when they distort, you decide as they report all the news that fit to fake.

Fox is not news, nor is it entertaining. What FOX is, is reality TV gone wild. The cheap faux reality presented at ‘fair and balanced‘ FOX sounds more Orwellian than Orwell these days. All the expert pundits are just hired guns that follow the party line like good whore mongers. None of this is surprising as their conservative backers move more toward a fascism, politely called corporatism.  The favorite media tool of corporatism is projection, accusing their potential opposition of what they are actually doing themselves. It is done preemptively at FOX  lest anyone notice that Rupert Murdoch has no clothes.

Maybe a little history and a bit of smoke might help. Consider  the parallels between Keith Rupert Murdoch and William Randolph Heart. They are astounding.  Take such items as the illegality of hemp and Global Warming.  Hearst championed hemp’s ban for the same reason Murdoch had the two reporters fired that did the report on Monsanto.  That reason is corporatism.  So how is hemp related to global warming?  Monsanto now, like Dupont back in Hearst’s time, and now, have a vested interests in the illegality of hemp and FOX comes up with reasons to discredit anyone that objects. Similarly, Murdoch has a vested interest in global warming denial.  This corporate bias can also be seen by Murdoch’s flip flop on the climate change theme after a corporate deal with a Saudi prince, he selectively had allowed some parts of his “news” organization to champion climate change skepticism, then they did a total turnaround. Obviously Murdoch’s ideals are only based on what he considers best to make a profit. Clearly for his reality, read news, to always have a Right wing bent, his world view must be one of a Reptilian shape shifter. The stories in Murdoch’s media, like Hearst’s media, are as real as they say they are.  Their pseudoscience is firmly backed by the science of profit from human frailty.

Yet this is just the start of the parallels of Murdoch with Hearst and their strange mix of politics with faux news.  They both inherited a struggling newspaper from their father.  They both were leftist before they went right. They both made their name with tabloid journalism.  They both have been noted as ruthless competitors.  They both are warmongers. One can go on, but in the end we can reduce it all to one word: rosebud.

Other than that, why would anyone even consider boycotting Rupert Murdoch?

I Contacted one of my Senators to Support Climate Change Legisation. This is What he Wrote Back:

September 14, 2009

Dear Mr. West:

Thank you for writing and expressing your support for strong climate change legislation. I share your concern about the harmful impacts climate change is having on the environment and I believe it is necessary to curb climate-altering emissions in order to protect the environment for our and future generations.

Scientists tell us that carbon emissions are causing dramatic changes in global climate. These changes could ultimately lead to ecological disasters, including species extinctions, floods, and increasingly severe natural disasters. Such change could have damaging effects on people, too – as sea levels rise and droughts become more severe, it could come increasingly hard to feed the world’s growing and hungry population. Communities who live on the margins of health, especially those in the developing world, will be the hardest hit by climate change and also the least able to adapt to cope. I am concerned by this imminent and potentially catastrophic threat, and I believe that we must do everything we can to minimize it.

Experts tell us that burning fewer fossil fuels is a critical component to fighting climate change, which is why I have made increasing our country’s energy efficiency a top priority. I introduced the Save American Energy Act (S. 548), which would reduce energy demand and save money through energy efficiency measures, including offering discounts and rebates for Energy Star appliances, installing programmable thermostats, and properly insulating homes and businesses. These energy efficient measures would curb our energy demand and save Americans hard earned money and the technologies exist today to achieve the increases in efficiency that my bill demands – all we need do is create incentives for their implementation. I have also voted to increase automobile fuel economy, a move that would save 10.7 billion gallons of gas annually by 2020. With smart changes, like these improvements in efficiency, our nation can grow our economy while shrinking our dependence on petroleum, reducing fuel costs, and protecting the environment.

Balancing both environmental and economic concerns in any climate change proposal, such as a cap and trade program, is critical as well, and I believe Congress can both successfully protect our natural resources and strengthen the economy with appropriate reform. I look forward to voting on a bill that gets America running on clean energy, ends our dependence on foreign oil and includes energy incentives that help businesses create jobs and consumers realize the benefits of clean energy without seeing their costs rise.

Climate change matters to all of us and we need smart, pragmatic policies now if we are to address this crisis. We cannot afford to delay action in the hope that a “silver bullet” will save us: there will be no perfect new technology to produce infinite energy, no special sponge to take carbon out of the air, no global air-conditioning system. It takes lots of smart changes in the ways that we make and use energy to fix this problem, and we need to approach this complex problem from every angle possible.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can ever be of assistance to you on this or any other matter.


                                                                                                                                        Charles  E. Schumer
                                                                                                                                        United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at . Thank you.

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