Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Word of Mouth

How’s This for Word of Mouth?
© 2007 - Ross Williams

We ran out of stamps last weekend, and on the way home from the farm store I stopped at the post office for a roll of the conveniently-priced first class stamp. I used my debit card, which I had signed on the back like a good little do-bee. The postal clerk took my card, looked at the back of it, and asked me for identification.

This annoys me. This, in fact, insults me.

I glared at the postal clerk. Somewhat taken aback, he offered this rationalization: “It looks like someone had tried signing this, but it’s worn off…”

No, I have a large, sprawling signature that does not fit in the quarter-inch tall strip available to hold it.

The reason I had gone to the farm store was because the chickens were desperately low on chicken feed. While there I found a bag of beet pulp feed, and I decided to try that for the sheep. They love it. Finally, a use for beets that doesn’t include turning the mashed potatoes red.

This was the major piece of the Saturday morning errand-running before we took to the pasture and tended to the new lambs. Spring ritual. We’ve had two sets of twins so far this year which, with the typical mortality, has yielded three lambs. Two boys and a girl[1]. There are two other ewes in the flock, both in what should be their first breeding. I’m expecting a couple singles here before too long.

In any event, the boys we’ve already got need to be castrated, all of them need their tails docked, their color-coded earring, and a tetanus shot. Busy busy.

This year, the older kids were going to round up the lambs and take turns holding them while I tagged and injected, and they’d get a chance to work the castrating bander. So after being insulted at the post office, we came home and started getting the livestock accoutrement ready for the afternoon.

When I went to the cupboard in the barn, though, the castrating bander was broken. The critical piece of equipment for docking tails was severely cracked. Well, double-damn. If I’d known that sooner I could have picked up another one at the farm store – twenty-seven miles up the road in Litchfield. I’m not going back there now, I thought to myself. We’ll tag and inject today, and see if we can make the broken bander work. If not, I’ll pick up another one on the way home from work at the other farm store in the area, and do the rest of it next weekend.

Well, we couldn’t make the bander work. As soon as I put a band on it and flexed it, the one arm broke clean off, leaving two of the four prongs on the ground at my feet. Can’t dock tails like that, let alone neuter the boys.


Ah, well, it was a cheap bander in the first place. Plastic. Under ten bucks. The all metal, heavy-duty bander costs around twenty-five. Two years ago I figured that with a small flock and only anticipating a handful of uses one time a year, the plastic one would suffice. Guess I was wrong.

So yesterday I went to the smaller farm store kinda sorta between the office and home. I found the castrating bander, the heavy duty metal one, and picked up a package of hypodermic needles to go along with it, and took them up front to check out.

Out came my debit card.

The one I signed on the back.

…in my large, sprawling way.

The check-out lady looked at my debit card, and looked at it again, and asked to see some identification.

I glared at her as well. I cannot overemphasize this: I really, really, really, really, really, really hate being insulted.

You insult me, chances are real good that I’m going to end up insulting you in fairly short order, and how you conduct yourself is critical at this juncture. I believe in payback-in-kind, in kindness and incivility both. And if you don’t like being insulted ...? don’t insult me in the first place. Couldn’t be simpler.

The reason I’m insulted when I have identification demanded of me is because I find it offensive to be told, essentially, that I must justify myself. In so many words: “We don’t trust you.” It smacks of a quasi-nazi police state tactic: “Papers, mein herr?!?”

First of all, we are supposed to be free citizens in a free country; freedom means not having to justify yourself to anyone. Second, if you want my business, the best way to get it is to not insult me and make me jump through your hoops. I’m not a trained poodle.

The check-out lady I glared at … she didn’t bother rationalizing her insulting behavior. She simply refused to make eye contact. That’s the best way to go, frankly. Simply accept that you just insulted me, and act contrite.

And don’t let it happen again.

Unfortunately, I know better than that; it will happen again. And again. And again. And again and again and again.

It’s happened so often that I know the insipid explanation that would be used against me: it’s for my protection.

If there’s one thing I hate more than being insulted it’s being lied to. Lies carry with them the implicit insult: “You are so stupid that you will believe this cockamamie excuse.” While that may be the case for the majority of those being lied to, it’s not the case for me and you do not have the option of telling me that indulging your financial paranoias protects me from anything. I have made, and will make again, major scenes in public involving raised voices and much profanity when idiot clerks tell me that I’m being given a neo-nazi grilling “for my protection”.

I don’t care who or where. You do not have the option of lying to me.

When a person makes a purchase with a credit card, he’s either authorized to use that card – i.e., he’s the guy who owns the card[2] – or he isn’t. The ratio is roughly 10,000 to 1. The vast, vast, vast majority of credit card purchases are authorized. The problem is in the rarest of rare cases where a credit card has been lost or stolen and someone else is using it.

Experts on credit fraud are fully aware that the items most commonly purchased using someone else’s credit card are not consumable items like groceries or gas, nor are they the large-ticket consumer items like big-screen televisions. Most credit fraud is seen, naturally, in the purchases of postage stamps and sheep castration equipment. It was only natural that I’d be pulled to the side twice in two days to have latter-day Waffen demand that I justify myself.

But here’s the way it works: when I get my credit card statement[3] and I see purchases I didn’t make, I call up the credit card company and tell them, “I didn’t make charge number umpti-ump” and they won’t pay it. I keep my money, and either the bank or the store doesn’t. I’m protected. Who isn’t protected is the bank or the store. The store is out the merchandise that was improperly purchased, and they might also be out the money for it.

So when the clerk demands that I justify myself by providing identification to prove that I’m the owner of the credit card, he’s not protecting me, he can only be protecting the store – by annoying and insulting me: the customer. My initial response is to glare.

Which means that if he tells me he’s protecting me while he’s protecting the store instead, he’s lying to me: the customer. At that point, I do much more than glare.

Clerks tend to do one of a few things when I glare at them in these situations. First is to acknowledge their insult; they look away and remain silent. Good clerk! The second is to make an excuse along the lines of “the signature’s worn off…”. This is an exercise which is not so entertaining as a full-fledged fan dance, but which serves the same purpose: cover your ass. But the last option, alas …

If the clerk decides to respond to my glare with “…but it’s for your protection…”, he will be doubling the insult by calling me stupid on top of it, and I will dive into full-on righteous indignation[4]. And no one wants that, not even me.

So the way it will go is this: if you own or run a store and you want to have customers, then you’ll probably need to accept credit cards. Many people don’t carry any more cash with them today than is needed for incidental purchases. If you’re going to accept credit cards, then implicit in that is accepting the risk of credit fraud.[5] To catch one case of credit fraud, the clerk would have to nazily interrogate 10,000 customers with credit cards in their hands. Maybe it’s just me, but the risk/reward/effort-to-achieve-reward equation doesn’t balance out.

If the merchant doesn’t want to accept the risk of one credit fraud and instead force 10,000 customers to indulge the proprietor’s paranoias, the cost of that is, first, sermons like these from me; second, many people would rather shop elsewhere than to explain why they don’t want to come back to the store that just insulted them, and the store will lose some number of customers; and third, if the stores where I am insulted do not apologize for insulting me after I tell them about it, they will also lose me as a customer.

But I won’t go away silently.

I’m expecting apologies forthwith from the Postmaster at the Edwardsville IL post office and from the Big R Rural King in Highland IL. You’re on the clock, folks.

[1] The boys are named Stew and Basil, the girl is Curry.
[2] which is to say: he pays the credit card bill
[3] or, with the debit card, my bank statement
[4] hissy fit, whatever
[5] even by accepting cash, the proprietor accepts the risk of counterfeiting, so financial fraud is already part of their landscape. To pretend otherwise, for merchants to suddenly balk at a different form of financial fraud and thrust the customer into the spotlight of the merchant’s paranoia, is disingenuous at best and self-serving bullshit at worst. Grow up, folks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Open Wide

Open Wide and Say "Duh!"
© 2007 – Ross Williams

I was reading online news last week when I came across an article by the junk science guy: Steven Milloy. If you're a liberal you hate him; if you're a conservative you love him.

Personally, I like him in small doses.

Last week he was lauding "The Great Global Warming Swindle", which is a BBC film, ostensibly as retort to Al "Internet" Gore's cautionary fairy tale "An Inconvenient Truth". Having seen neither film, but having seen what passes for documentary in our shock-n-awe age – last night I watched an eye-rolling piece on The History Channel about how the Bermuda Triangle is really the result of a small black hole somewhere inside our planet – I do have a bias.

My bias is this: documentarians are not uncommonly idiots.

Milloy described the Swindle thus: "Global Warming", as an anthropogenic event[1] is hyperbolized, which the wisdom of the 23rd century, inhabited by Star Trek, The Original Series, will realize.

Whoda guessed, eh?

Indeed, the term "global warming" appears to have been invented in 1979 by the arch-conservative British politician, Margaret Thatcher, herself. Remember, in 1979 the planet was still in the middle of "new ice age" hysteria; winters were colder and longer-lasting, summers cooler and wetter, and Paul Ehrlich was still convincing millions of college kids and other dingbats that the draft on the back of their necks was the first sign of a major human die-off that would kill hundreds of millions within the decade.

Ol' Maggie had no time for such nonsense. She had a nation to run, and getting energy for that nation was the first order of business[2]. But she was a conservative and thus didn't like labor unions ... particularly the labor unions that dug coal out of the Welsh countryside. And she was a conservative and thus a xenophobe [as we are expected to believe] ... so she didn't like buying oil from those pesky Arabs. What she wanted to do instead was make electricity by splitting atoms into bits. This would keep British Pounds in Britain, but keep them from union laborers; instead they’d go to rich British industrialists and their atomic engineers.

So she claimed that there was more CO2 in the atmosphere than ever before – which is correct, of course. And this “more CO2” was mostly from burning fossil fuels – which is also largely correct. But to scare her Parliament into going along with her anti-coal union, anti-Arab oil move, she claimed this new CO2 would end up causing the planet to heat up to disastrous consequences.

Thatcher invented a whole new crisis called "global warming". Climate cycles being what they are[3], it would only be a short while before the colder, wetter Earth was replaced by a warmer, drier Earth and she would be considered correct. Indeed, by the mid 80s, Gaia had kicked up the thermostat. "Global warming" was cut out of whole cloth by Thatcher's self-serving political cynicism. Her legacy has been to place a "Kick me; no, really, I mean it" sign on the backs of first-world conservatism for decades to come.

How ironic.

Now, of course, the UN has jumped onto the Global Warming bandwagon[4] with both feet, and those feet would seem to be taking root. Thus it was jarring for me to read this morning that one of the many, many bureaucratic arms of the UN – the FAO[5] – is reporting that one of the crucial pieces of eco-alarmism is reversing itself … albeit slowly.

This isn’t mere alarmism, though; it is also a crucial piece of the “global warming” alarmism. We’re cutting down fewer trees across the planet today than we have been in the past[6].

The tree-huggers are winning. I like trees, so … yay!

The findings are that, by region, more equatorial clear-cutting is being offset by deliberate reforestation in the temperate zones. Such reforestation is directly tied to the growing prosperity and wealth of nations in those regions.

It was a short article, so that about covers the stated findings.

But that’s not all this one article says; some people paid attention in school and know how to determine what seemingly random facts actually mean. India and China are reforesting, and offsetting the massive deforestation in Indonesia. India and China are industrial, profit-making nations; Indonesia is not. Do the math.

The US has long-ago reforested, old-growth forest giving way to managed-forest notwithstanding; Japan, for being so small and well-peopled, has vast forests as well. Across the globe, the capitalist nations – or, with the example of China, quasi-capitalist – know the benefits of trees and also have the money to plant them. Backward nations, full of socialism or other forms of grand economic incompetence, use trees for fuel or the land under trees for farming, and … goodbye trees.

What does this mean? It means that socialism is a failure, not only in terms of pure profit, but in terms of the ecological, environmental benefit that can be purchased with the profits generated – socialism doesn’t make money. It can’t. Socialism is profit-neutral in theory, but many of the ideological freaks who insist on choreographing modern socialism are actually profit-hostile. Ask any anti-globalization zealot how he thinks his dream world would be underwritten if not by the corporate profits dependant upon globalized commerce? Even Chavez is paying for Venezuela’s unskilled worker’s paradise with globalized oil revenue.

What else does this trend toward reforestation mean? You only need to have paid attention in high school and college [and retained what you learned], and further paid attention to what the “global warmers” have been hypothesizing in order to hoist them on their own petard.

As the article on the FAO report says: deforestation directly contributes 18% of the anthropogenic carbon to the atmosphere annually. Yet the Kyoto treaty would have us reduce our carbon output by only 5 to 7% – to 1990 levels – by 10% if we’re going to go back to a pre-9/11 economic output. We could do that in a trice, and then some, by reforesting. And that’s one of the many things the US pointed out in the early Kyoto talks: deforesting nations are putting out a disproportionate amount of carbon relative to their economic output[7], and while many industrialized nations put out more carbon per capita, they put out less carbon per dollar GDP, and are – with respect to the US, Australia, Canuckia and Japan, specifically – close to carbon-neutral or are actually net carbon sinks. Some of the world’s biggest CO2 makers are also the worlds biggest CO2 absorbers. These countries have been making profits for so long that they can afford to replant all the trees they cut down [or, in Canuckia’s case, never got around to cutting down since it was too much trouble and too cold anyway].

Nations like the former Soviet Bloc, nearly all nations in sub-saharan Africa and Latin America, on the other hand, have never made a profit, and most are treeless or becoming that way. In Africa and Latin America especially, the nations are so profitless that they tend to be on World Wide Welfare. They’re deforesting a Paris on a daily basis, a Great Britain annually. And it ends up mostly as smoke.

Which means atmospheric carbon.

Wanna meet the goals of Kyoto tomorrow? Stop Indonesian, African and Brazilian rain forest obliteration today.

But wait! That’s not all.

Think about the answers to these questions: Where is virtually all of the world’s net deforestation taking place? Where does the sun spend most of it’s time? What happens when you stand under a tree? and then what happens when you step out from under the tree and stand in the sunlight? …while on the equator?

What do you think happens to the earth when it steps out from under that same tree? and what do you think happens to the air just above the surface of the earth when all this is going on?

As the global warmers have been telling us, it’s not only the heat-absorbing properties of atmospheric carbon dioxide which is heating the planet, but the radiative heating of the planet’s midsection – the equatorial region. The place where most deforestation is now occurring.

If we are to believe the global warmers – and they desperately want us to – then we have to accept some of the underlying scientific realities they are constructing their globally warm house of cards from. …and so do they. The Laws of Thermodynamics cannot be broken. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed; merely altered. And if we are to believe Einstein, matter and energy are interchangeable, so energy can neither be created nor destroyed, merely changed.

So when sunlight strikes the earth, the light energy is transformed into heat energy, and it warms the earth which radiates that heat to the air above it. Every cat napping in a patch of sunlight knows this.

And every 4th grader knows this: when sunlight strikes the leaves of a tree, the light energy is changed, by the process of photosynthesis, from light into sugar. C6H12O6. Many 4th graders can even recite the chemical equation. Six CO2 molecules combines with twelve H2O molecules to create one sugar molecule and six oxygen [O2] and six water [H2O] molecules.[8]

Every 4th grader can tell you that plants eat CO2 and poop O2 and water. If we want less CO2 we want more plants. We’ll all breathe easier.

So what happens when the sunniest part of the planet – the equator – cuts down its trees in orgiastic glee and goes from being a plant sugar factory to being a radiative heat factory because the incompetent governments of equatorial nations are clinging to outdated economic despotism? All that sunlight which used to be converted into sugar is now being converted into radiative heat.

Who thinks the planet will warm up as a result? Raise your hands…

We haven’t even gotten to my gluttonous SUV or America’s petro-rapacity, either.

Nor have we gotten to the fundamental fallacy of reforesting in the temperate zone to make up for deforesting in the tropics. The planet is round like a ball, not round like a cylinder. Sunlight strikes the temperate zone at an angle and it needs, by definition, many more trees in the temperates to convert the same amount of sunlight into CO2-munching sugar as opposed to radiative heat. When China plants trees, it helps their soil erosion problems and their timber industry and slows the encroaching Gobi Desert, to be sure, but it means bupkus to the planetary damage done by Indonesia’s massive jungle-clearing. “All of Asia” is not a unitary environment.

Nor have we gotten to the lack of correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature, either in the geologic record or in modern meteorology – CO2 levels increase after the temperature does. Nor to the nearly direct correlation between tropic-zone deforestation which began in earnest in the mid-seventies and the phenomenon of “anthropogenic global warming” which began around a decade later.

Rarely in any collision of human desires – be they social, cultural, political or scientific – are any of the participants completely bereft of sense, value or validity. And that’s pretty much my position on this monumental Clash of Titans.

Is the planet warmer now than 40 years ago? Almost certainly.

Is it partly because of mankind? Mankind affects everything it touches, so very, very likely.

Is it only because of mankind, as proposed by many of the global warmers? Mankind is trivial in power to cosmic and geological forces, and there are many periods of global warming concurrent with human history, largely unexplained, and preceding human industry, so almost certainly not.

Is it because of the increased CO2? Probably in part.

Is it only because of increased CO2, as stated by many, many, many? Almost certainly not.

Are there factors which have been glossed over, or ignored, or trivialized for reasons ranging from lack of research funding, to lack of knowledge, to lack of political will? Absolutely.

Are there other factors which have been expanded, and magnified, and hyperbolized for reasons ranging from single-minded devotion to a specialty, to overwrought crepe-hanging, to ox-goring political demagoguery? Open wide and say “duh”.

These are manifestations of standard human behavior across time. But the solution has been hinted at:

Global warming, along with all other major forms of environmental armageddon from which we’ve been hiding in the broom closet for the past two generations, will go away once we all start turning a profit. The FAO understands this, though I doubt they realize they do.

[1] i.e., manmade
[2] besides taking back the Falklands, naturally
[3] i.e., cyclic
[4] gravy train, whatever
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Agriculture_Organisation
[6] http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/03/19/environment.forests.reut/index.html
[7] i.e., profit
[8] For the pedants in the audience who are going to say that this explanation is overly simplistic – as if modern global warming theory isn’t drawn in crayolas itself – a part of the solar radiation is absorbed by atmospheric components [mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide – and mostly water vapor], a part of the solar radiation is absorbed by plants as heat [you stick a plant in the sunlight, it will warm up just as surely as the napping cat], and only a portion of the solar radiation is transformed into sugar. But the point they are desperately attempting to dodge here is that in the absence of the huge canopy of tropical rainforest, NONE of the solar radiation is transformed into sugar, and it’s all left to turn into heat. Nice try, guys.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Talking the Double-Talk
- or -
The Iceman Cometh and Goeth At Will

© 2007 Ross Williams

I was looking up a reference last week when I happened upon a quote relating to the belief common among, um, "climatologists" of the sixties and seventies. This common belief held that the planet was quickly descending into a period of global cooling so drastic that within the lifetimes of many people then alive we would be experiencing a new ice age and decreased agricultural production, famines, mass starvation and human die-offs in the hundreds of millions.

It was all part of the chic cataclysmicism in vogue at the time. The human race was a suicide waiting to happen: doomsday clocks ticked in thunderous, nuclear-tipped tocks; we'd breed ourselves into a neomalthusian nothingness[1]; if we didn't do ourselves in, then the late, great planet earth would save us the trouble[2]; and ecologically ... well, let's just say that we created a witches brew of DDT, Agent Orange and overhead power line radiation, and we were going to stew in the cauldron.

As opposed to the prevailing wisdom of today which never, ever goes on the hysterical benders that the intellectual pioneers of the previous generation took us on[3]. Alar was a bad dream, after all, or possibly a one-woman, two-act morality play performed on the Congressional Stage[4]. Religious[5] and secular[6] armageddons never fight for control of the front page and we particularly haven't adopted an equal-n-opposite quasi-scientific response to the New Ice Age.

...which is tangentially how I happened upon the quote I found. I was looking up a reference in Wikipedia – the user-written online encyclopedia – and there it was. Wikipedia is generally reputed to be an accurate and up-to-date source of reference material for the tech-savvy. And it normally is. But it falls prey to the same sort of ego-tripping bigots and charlatans as everything else[7]. …just far more rapidly.

The reference I found was a statement made by the National Science Board back in the dark ages of the 1970s, when dinosaurs roamed the halls of higher learning. The National Science Board was one of the premier touters of "global cooling" and the New Ice Age, and they wrote whole treatises upon it, explaining in patronizing detail how the short-sighted social, political, economic and industrial expedience of the day was turning the planet into an ice cube.

But Wikipedia is user-written, and most of today's users – like most of any days people, actually – are in lock-goose-step with the popular cultural orthodoxy and therefore accept "global warming" on its face. It is monumentally mortifying to today’s global warmers that just a scant generation ago the planet was doomed – doomed I tells ya – to an inevitable future as an earth-cicle when everyone just knows that its true calling is to be, instead, a briquette in some cosmic barbecue.

So one of Wikipedia's user/editors managed to find the one mediating qualification in the National Science Board's report from 1974, and declared, with the stroke of his 'enter' key, that a generation chock full of pseudo-scientific chicken littling about an ice age didn't academically count for some reason; it was really all the prelude to the real science of global warming ... where the planet is a few short decades from self-incineration.

Out of the ice-box and into the gas grill, as it were.

Imagine: the National Science Board prattles on and on and on for pages about how industrial pollution, particulates and aerosols, were increasing the planet's albedo and reflecting solar radiation back into space, how this industrial pollution was driven by materialism and commercialism, how it was effectively open-ended with no known [and presumably, therefore, none at all] feed-back mechanisms, and at the penultimate paragraph where the National Science Board sums up its fear-mongered prophecies, it tacks on a single sentence which says, in effect, "...unless something else happens instead."[8]

Umpteen paragraphs of gory, self-righteous detail about how we're doomed to live in suburban igloos, and one sentence saying "But maybe not", and it’s even-steven? It's really a declaration of "global warming"? It was “taken out of context”? Thousand of pages of harangue over the span of a few decades is “taken out of context” by leaving off the one sentence that admits “well, we could be wrong”.

No, Mr Wikipedia "contributing editor", it’s not “taken out of context”; but your pretentious rationalization is disingenuous, self-deluded ass-covering, so at least there’s that going for it.

Another Wiki-editor, or possibly the same one, trivialized the eminent scientist, Stephen Schneider, and his early-seventies orthodoxical ice age pan-handling by declaring that Schneider’s prediction of global cooling to the tune of 3.5 degrees celsius did not in fact constitute an actual prediction of global cooling. Schneider declared that unless particulates and aerosols were reduced by proliferating nuclear power plants, the planet would cool by 3.5C. There hasn’t been a nuclear power plant built in the US in over 30 years, so Schneider’s prediction would seem to be wrong.

But in a presto-chango bit of political face-saving, his prediction was declared not a prediction.

When is a prediction not a prediction? When the soothsayer is still alive and saying the opposite sooth, of course. Schneider had his fingers crossed as he wrote his quatrains, apparently, as he is now one of the primary mouthpieces of “global warming”.

How Schneider managed to ingratiate himself onto several national scientific boards by playing both sides of the academic fence is beyond me. But that’s what he did. In the seventies, when it was cool to be an ice-agist, he cherry-picked the data available to him which predicted impending cold weather to scare the gullibles into buying long johns. Today, when you’re a hot A-lister if you fret about “global warming” and can correctly use the term anthropogenic twice in an evening, he’s using the convenient data to scare the same gullibles into bathing in SPF-80.

He explains himself, in oft-quoted demagoguery, thus: “…we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”[9]

Groovy, huh? With as often as Schneider’s quoted as saying that his scientific purpose is to bamboozle us for his peace of mind, he hasn’t seemed to suffer any professional indignities because of it. He escaped in the Paul Ehrlich lifeboat for sinking careers.

Schneider’s self-described fear-mongering has done for science what many Democrats claim George Bush has done for American foreign policy. And, never fearing to tread where millions of feet have trod before, a few prominent Democrats are themselves doing to climate science what they claim Bush has done to foreign policy[10].

If extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice[11], but extremism in response to terrorism is terrorism[12], then what is extremism in the acquisition of research grants?

There would seem to be quite the quandary, here.

But never fear the scary scenarios offered up in simplified, dramatic statements. Those pushing “global warming” have given themselves the standard, one-sentence out just in case the planet limps into the 22nd century without seeing billions drowned in new oceans of melted glaciers, and huge sections of the world’s most productive farmland failing to succumb to desertification.

The Al Gores and the Stephen Schneiders can flip right past the millions of pages of “documented evidence” they’ve been citing which claims that global warming is real and inevitable when it becomes false and hyperbolized, and say thermohaline circulation[13]. They could thus claim they were really predicting a normal climate all along and that they were once again taken out of context.

Much the same as the New Ice Agers did when “global warming” came up.

For some reason, people think science is hard to understand. Just cover your ass and dance.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Population_Bomb
[2] http://www.nhne.com/specialreports/srnhneearthchangemap.html
[3] http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/03/06/nasa.asteroids.ap/index.html
[4] http://www.yale.edu/opa/v31.n17/story3.html
[5] http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/03/05/korea.elbaradei.reut/index.html
[6] http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/02/27/un.climate.plan.ap/index.html
[7] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,257340,00.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling#1974_and_1972_National_Science_Board
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Schneider#Public_understanding_of_science
Also: Discover, pp. 45–48, Oct. 1989; also American Physical Society, APS News August/September 1996
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_inconvenient_truth
[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater#U.S._presidential_election.2C_1964
[12] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181030,00.html
[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation