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April 19, 2008


Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* A couple of days ago I wrote about a Yale art student who claimed to have impregnated herself, then aborted, as an art project.

I'm not sure why I bothered. I should have known that uber-satirist Iowahawk would pounce, offering an "advertisement" for the "Dynamic Transgression" method of art instruction.

(If you're in the mood for potty humor, be sure not to skip the coupon at the bottom.)

* Seattle's suburbs got upwards of six inches of snow last night. I've never experienced snow here later than April 3rd or thereabouts (though I heard that we got a late-April snow in 1972).

I can visualize the forthcoming headline:

New Ice Age Sign of Global Warming -- Gore



posted by Donald at April 19, 2008


Yes, first I lost my seedlings to the slush a few weeks back here in Queen Anne, then the snow pasted my replacements.

I want global warming now. After all, if the icecapes melt I've got waterfront property here on Queen Anne.

Posted by: vanderleun on April 19, 2008 8:08 PM

It is oddly funny to me... how those most calling for change can accept it in anything but the weather.

Posted by: Luther McLeod on April 19, 2008 10:37 PM


Im not kidding when I say this..........a Russian scientist has went on record stating that the warming period between 1970 and 1998 (the years have been getting cooler since 98') were the very predictable results of the solar cycle. He states that in 2012 the sun will begin a regressive cycle that will last until about 2040, and that a real cooling will probably start to be felt around 2015 (a few years into the new cycle).

He didn't state we were heading for another ice age or anything, but that global temps would get a degree or two or three cooler by 2040. This might mean snow a month later in the spring in coming years and the first snows a month or so earlier............along with cooler falls and springs.

Global warming probably looks very real considering the 1970 through 1998 data, but keep in mind that temps got cooler from 1940 through 1970, so much so that in the seventies another ice age was being predicted. Parting shot...........I think alot of the global warming people just want to reduce the number of people on the planet as their primary objective.

Posted by: g on April 19, 2008 11:31 PM

Sigh. For the very last time, I will endeavor to try and provide readers with an accessible resource to read about the various global warming denialists' discredited theories.


The following is highly relevant to Mr. Pittenger's "one day of snow equals global cooling" nonsense:

The flaw in this interpretation is in drawing conclusions about long term climate change over a relatively short period of 13 months. Particularly when a large portion of that cooling occured over one month (January 2008). Only over a period of years to decades can you confidently discern climate trends. Otherwise, you run the danger of mistaking weather for climate.


Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on April 20, 2008 5:05 AM

The AGW crowd has got it covered already. Less talk of warming, more of climate change, instability etc. In a few minutes, on an unseasonably cold, wet night in northern NSW, I'll be able to see a doco on our SBS multiculti network. It's about a new ice-age brought about by collapse of the gulf-stream brought about by...well, I'm sure you can guess.

SBS specialises in hagiographies of people like Mao and Castro, as well as exposes of Bush, Cheney etc from some network or other in France or Germany. (They also offer up a lot of stuff on Hitler and his cronies, hoping we've forgotten that vegetarian Adolf was a radical and a socialist...and Stalin's chief collaborator in 1939.) Nonetheless, SBS can always be relied on for some AGW boosting, usually described as a 'science' programme. Tonight's should be a hoot.

Vaclav Klaus is so right. The great global Cause changes form, but it's the same self-loathing authoritarians promoting it.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on April 20, 2008 5:51 AM

Peter -- I was making yet another feeble effort to be funny.


In my view, the warming crowd has been doing exactly what you complained about. Every hot day, hurricane, whathaveyou is touted as another sign of disaster. Ignored is that fact that northern Europe and Greenland were warmer 1,000 or so years ago than they are now. Downplayed are historic climate cycles. Recently the local paper had a piece on "alarming" data whose annual observations go back only 35 years or so. This should be given consideration. Instead, there is a considerable effort to shut up critics and eliminate Karl Popper-type science in the name of an "emergency" that requires even greater government control to resolve.

Will someone please tell Algore that virtually no science is "settled"; he should stop using that claim. We need rational discussion and not political/media driven panic.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on April 20, 2008 10:06 AM

Except that "rational discussion" generally means endlessly questioning the scientific consensus regarding AGW because some skeptical scientists can always be found who deny AGW ... just as there are who argue against evolution or offer "proof" that the Twin Towers had to be blown up using carefully placed charges meaning 9/11 must have been perpetrated by a cabal within the U.S. government or by Jewish extremists. "Rational discussion" also means blather about evil liberals using climate change to force socialism down the throats of the unwilling. "Rational discussion" also mean labeling anyone who does accept AGW as a probable fact as either an idiot who has been duped or an evil commie trying to dupe everyone else.

The real issues have to do with how we approach energy production, consumption levels, deforestation and other areas under human control that are highly likely contributors to global warming. Do we view this as an opportunity to stimulate new R&D for sustainable approaches to energy production, transportation and the like or do we dig in our heels and defend existing technologies, industries and the status quo? I, for one, favor robust R&D to develop sustainable and de-centralized energy sources along with a dramatic reduction in fossil fuel consumption paired with making that consumption as clean as possible. Does that make me a "self-loathing authoritarian"?

Posted by: Chris White on April 20, 2008 5:28 PM

Chris -- Hate to tell you this, but the very nature of science is endless criticism. Hypotheses and theories need to be phrased so that they can be tested and disproved; the destruction of invalid ones is how science advances. To the degree that hypotheses and theories stand up under empirical attacks, their credibility is increased.

The problem is not global warming adherents being attacked, but it is the skeptics who are often dismissed out of hand and essentially being told to shut up. This is not a flat-earth situation. The science and data on the warming matter are not all that mature and the issue is by no means "settled."

If someone wants to fund R&D, that's okay with me. But I'm not okay on increasing government power and crippling economies based on possibly flimsy evidence. When Algore sells his big Tennessee house, moves to a shack in northern Alberta, totally gives up jet travel and renounces politics, I might be a tad more inclined to believe him.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on April 20, 2008 6:03 PM

Here in Australia two magnificent alternatives to fossil fuels - nuclear and hydro - have been savagely opposed by the same environmentalists who promote AGW scares. They tend to be violent - or, in their own words, 'passionate' - and employ the kind of reasoning that, for example, equates an AGW skeptic with a Twin Towers conspiracy theorist.

These people don't want an energy-rich society that gives too many people too many choices. (The standard they set for themselves, of course, may be a little different: around these parts there's a joke that an environmentalist is someone who's already built his beach house.)

I don't run a vehicle, don't take a cent I don't earn, and live on bamboo-clad acres that make me outrageously carbon-negative...and my opinion on the Green movement still stands: self-loathing authoritarians.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on April 20, 2008 6:12 PM

Robert Townsend,

You can find out all about the real agenda behind the green dictators at this website:

It should make your jaw drop. It will answer all your questions as to why the green brownshirts do what they do.

The ignorant Chris Whites of the world forget that so-called scientists thought that bleeding a patient was a good remedy for their various illnesses, or that feeding them lead an mercury would cure them of other illnesses. In other words, the guy is not only ignoreant of science, he's ignorant of history too. Its no wonder--people worship what they don't understand.

Since 1998, the earth has been cooling while CO2 emissions have been climbing, because solar cycles drive climate, not CO2 levels. The ignoramuses don't know that.

The average CO2 level in the atmosphere to day, 400 ppm, is far bleow the historical average of 1000 ppm, even though we are burning hydrocarbons like crazy. That's because humans only contribute 3% of all CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere. The other 97% is emitted or absorbed by the oceans, depending on the temperature, which is driven by solar cycles. Don't tell the ignoramuses that.

And high CO2 levels are great for plant life, which is great for all the life that feeds on vegetation, which is great for all the life that feeds on other animals. In short, life thrives in a higher CO2 environment. But don't tell the ignoramuses that.

You can't convince them that CO2 HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO WARMING OR COOLING AT ALL, ZERO, NONE. It was sipmly chosen as the bogeyman to gain totalitarian control over the energy use of humankind. These people are communist dictators whose Utopia consists of depopulating the planet, and that means you (and them too, though the don't know it--useful idiots!)

"I'm just trying to make the earth better, I'm just trying to make us all safer and healthier and better off. I'm saving lives." Just like the communists in Russia, China, and elsewhere were creating Utopia? Save us all from your fucking solutions and mind your own business for a change, eh?

No Chris White, you are a proponent of the largest genocide operation in human history, where the elites are trying to kill off about 6 billion people. Read the link above, ignoramus "civil libertarian". Tell me what you think then.

Posted by: BIOH on April 20, 2008 8:00 PM

Gooooollllly, as Gomer used to say, I had no idea that " the very nature of science is endless criticism." Thanks for pointing that out.

But seriously, you say on the one hand "it is the skeptics who are often dismissed out of hand and essentially being told to shut up" and follow that with a suggestion that "Algore (so mature) sell his big Tennessee house, move to a shack in northern Alberta, totally give up jet travel and renounce politics." Now, correct me if I misread this, but isn't this dismissing him out of hand and telling him to shut up? Pot meet kettle.

While I may be accused of jumping the gun in this particular thread, the accusations here on 2 BH about how anyone who does accept the scientific consensus (granted, not absolute, incontrovertible, fact, but solid consensus none-the-less) that AGW exists is some sort of extremist is well founded. Right/libertarian voices can (and do on a regular basis) make all sorts of over-the-top, insulting, demeaning comments about those who disagree with them, but left/libertarian views immediately get chastised and lectured about "the nature of science" or by inference called "self-loathing authoritarians." It kind of puts a damper on "rational discussion", doesn't it?

Do higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have a "greenhouse" effect retaining more heat? Do ice core samples show steadily increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere that track the Industrial era? Is the Arctic ice field shrinking each summer? Are glaciers around the world in retreat? Are these reasonably well accepted as facts or merely the opinions of mindless kooks intent on ... on ... what? Oh, right, forcing a totalitarian socialist regime on the planet.

I would think that someone as critical as you of the New Class elite might also see that the "crippling economies" argument is precisely about keeping the elite, well, elite. As I said above and in previous threads on the topic, I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to the planet I call home. Therefore, I favor clean, decentralized, sustainable power sources [e.g. solar, geo-thermal, hydro, wind, tidal]. I favor strong conservation and efficiency efforts. I also recognize there is no free lunch and that a green philosophy carried to the extreme calls for one to kill themselves and be buried without embalming. Does that mean efforts to do better than we are should be avoided because the extreme is illogical?

Posted by: Chris White on April 20, 2008 8:14 PM

Chris -- The nature of science is endless testing.

As for Gore, if he truly believes what he says, he should act as though he really believes it; any of the proposed acts would probably do. All he's done so far is something about carbon credits, which does not strike me as a serious act; I want to see real sacrifice that proves his good faith. Lord knows he wants us to start sacrificing.

As for the rest of it, we get the chance to vote this fall on offices high and low and then live, uneasily or not, till the next election round.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on April 20, 2008 8:48 PM


The issue isn't even whether the science is right or not. The issue is whether the science is definitive enough to justify making ANY economic sacrifices in the near to medium term.

Moreover, if the error bars on future climate change are large enough (say, plus or minus 50 years) it might be worthwhile waiting.

Why? Because any distortions in the economy cripple our chance to react in efficient economic and technological fashion.

Imagine if we had severely throttled car production in 1925 on the accurate, but incomplete prediction, that doing so would have restrained pollution, congestion, and accidents. I suspect that economic growth in the 20th C. would have been so much worse that the effects of most global warming scenarios would seem Pollyannaish in comparison.

Even if the state of the art were VASTLY better -- it is the link between technology and the economy that is relevant. And that is certainly NOT well understood. [Consider the environmental damage caused by naive encouragement of biofuels by Europe. You can't dismiss this by saying Our new initiatives will all make sense!


Posted by: anti-environmental on April 20, 2008 10:23 PM

Habitat destruction is 1000 times worse for the environment than global warming.

Posted by: James on April 21, 2008 2:42 AM


Sorry, but the essence of science is not endless testing. No scientists are still repeating the Michaelson-Morley experiment to see if on the 100,00th repetiion it might turn out differently. No one is still testing to see if Lavoisier's discovery of oxygen was correct.

The alternate theories explaining global warming, such as solar cycles and such have been seriously examined by the proponents of anhropocentric global warming, and have been found wanting.

The scientists who have concluded that global warming is caused by the combustion byproducts of fossil fuel consumption have been very diligent in testing their hypotheses and those of their critics.

Most of the self-labelled skeptics are frivolous contrarians who are shills for the oil industry. When one of their alternate theories is discredited, they merely originate another, or find some spurious data point with which to try to prove that global warming is a hoax.

Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar. The science involved in global warming is really not very difficult to understand, unlike quantum mechanics. The amount of empirical evidence gathered is enormous, and it supports the conclusion that human activity causes global warming. The alternate theories have been examined and have been proven invalid.

If an industry as important as the oil industry found it financially beneficial to have people believe the earth is really flat, we'd suddenly have a cadre of round earth skeptics. That doesn't mean that there is any legitimate reason to take them seriously.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on April 21, 2008 5:46 AM

BIOH once again resorts to SHOUTING, insults, links to anti-environmental propaganda, simplistic science, and claiming that environmentalists are really communists in disguise seeking to kill off 6 billion people. Is that what passes for "rational discussion and not political/media driven panic" around here?

As for Al Gore, I am no great admirer and I'm more than willing to grant that he has political baggage, but so what, who cares? George W. Bush has used his two terms to hobble the EPA, work behind closed doors with the oil lobby to determine national energy policy, shifted costs related to oil cleanup from the private sector to the taxpayers, advanced the interests of the forestry industry on public lands ... and on and on it goes. It would certainly help global warming skeptics if all those who do want to address the issue retreated to solar powered cabins, stopped traveling except on foot, and were perfect examples of every aspect of their underlying "live light on the planet" aspirations. Of course, that would take them out of the public arena entirely, which may be what you really want.

As for the economic sacrifice argument ... I just don't buy it. "Sacrifice" from whom, the oil companies, the auto industry? Perhaps in some utopian world there are no government subsidies for various sectors of the economy, but not here and now. Perhaps in some ideal world good sense and the free market will make the economy perfect for one and all, but that ain't likely in our lifetimes. What we do have is a situation in which choices are made to subsidize certain sectors at the expense of others. We subsidize big energy companies in ways that further our over-dependence on fossil fuels or nuclear power, both of which keep energy control and profits in the hands of the elite few to the detriment of the planet and the populace. Why would shifting the advantage to sustainable, preferably decentralize, energy sources lead to sacrifice? This argument carries as much weight as it would have had it been made against automobiles and petroleum when the world moved by horses and burned whale oil. Surely there were economic sacrifices made then by stable and livery concerns, whaling captains, etc. Granted, any time there are changes there will be losers, but there will also be winners.

Posted by: Chris White on April 21, 2008 7:18 AM

Peter -- My sentence with the words "endless testing" was shorthand for a world view of the sort Karl Popper explained. And I wasn't going to reproduce pages of Popper in a comment.

The point being that essentially nothing is permanent in science. No, experiments aren't repeated all the time. But evidence/data/whatever is observed and considered. Physics seemed pretty well explained in the late 1800s. Theories and data corresponded for many phenomena. And then the lid blew off.

That was because some physicists were looking at things from a different angle. But they, too, has to construct their hypotheses in such a way that they could be disproved by contradictory evidence.

As for global warming, the data are shaky and in many cases have too few observations to be conclusive. NASA had to re-do its data recently due to an error. Even the UN recently admitted that the Earth hasn't really warmed in the last 10 years. The past 12 months have been the coldest in a decade or more. Snow in Baghdad. Unusual cold in Australia, south China. True, one year or even 10 don't mean much when climate swings can last hundreds of years. Which is why Algore's panic over 20-30 years of temperature rise makes me skeptical.

Sorry, but evidence is not conclusive that we are doomed.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on April 21, 2008 10:42 AM

While recognizing that analogies are far from ideal, still, let's try this as an exercise.

Let's say when you put your child to bed one evening she feels a little warm to you. You use the trusty digital thermometer and it reads 98.7º F. No big deal, you basically ignore it. Over the next month or two you end up monitoring her temperature a few times getting 98.7º, then 98.8º. You don't bother calling the doctor just for this since you aren't seeing any other symptoms, but at her next checkup you mention it. This trend continues for the next couple of years. Her base temperature rises to 99.1º F and she is beginning to experience a few aches and pains that may be related. It is becoming at least a minor concern.

Your doctor does some research and finds that the literature on BTRS (Base Temperature Rise Syndrome) is somewhat limited because it is a fairly new phenomenon. The consensus medical opinion is that too much corn in the diet causes BTRS and, if left unchecked, BTRS will steadily accelerate with detrimental effects on various internal organs. Still, some doctors think that the link to corn is weak and suggest it may be the result of fluctuations in the magnetic field. The consensus holds that once a "tipping point" temperature of around 100.5º is reached BTRS will accelerate, perhaps rapidly, probably leading to major organ failures and possibly death. Again, there are some doctors (many doing studies for the corn industry) who think this alarmist who urge a "wait and see" approach.

Do you attempt to limit corn in your daughter's diet, knowing that corn is, in one form or another extremely prevalent in the modern diet? Or do you take a "wait and see" approach?

Posted by: Chris White on April 21, 2008 5:24 PM

R&D into more decentralized, renewable energy sources just so we can get away from such a dependence on unstable and theocratic countries for their oil is reason enough for me to support most green energy efforts.

I'm truly baffled that more of the rugged individualistic right-wingers don't see it from that angle. We are TOTALLY DEPENDENT on the state (ours and others') for our energy sources. Wouldn't it be nice if that dependence could be reduced even a little? Or is that too hippy-dippy for you?

Posted by: JV on April 21, 2008 6:12 PM

"While recognizing that analogies are far from ideal..."

Whew. Got that one right.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on April 21, 2008 6:15 PM

Cars are great! Oil is wonderful!

One of the surest ways to spot an environmental loony is to watch for the demonization of cars and oil. I love cars and oil. The popular music business lives on cars and oil... not to mention planes, trains and on and on.

The most immediate answer to our energy problems is to defeat the encironmental obstructionists' attempt to prevent oil companies from drilling for oil in the U.S.

I trust oil company engineers and executives (and believe me I've known quite a few of them) one hell of a lot more than I trust the Chris Whites of this world. That doesn't mean that I worship at their altar. They are fallable and self-interested, like all humans.

Chris White has asserted on this board some sort of in depth knowledge of, among other things, litigation, the chemical industry, agriculture, the oil industry and R&D efforts in the energy industry.

And he says I'm full of shit. Chris, you don't have a clue what you're talking about. I have some knowledge of all the industries I mentioned above through working for the executives and engineers in those industries. The notion that you hold that these people are evil conspirators who don't care about what they do to other people and the environment is just sanctimonious crap. You are just a loon.

Indeed, you are a commie, just as I originally said. Another of the defining characteristics of a commie is the stupid assurance that your bonehead ideological purity substitutes for actual knowledge of the real world. The only thing you know about these issues has been derived third hand through ideological tracts. Believe me, it's obvious.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 21, 2008 6:44 PM

Hmmm, I guess I should take a page from BIOH and instead of offering imperfect analogies to make a point I should approach this in a more reasonable and logical manner.


Sorry. I got carried away there for a moment. There's a solid consensus about AGW? Deny it exists or argue that consensus is not the same as established fact. Someone opines that there are many reasons beyond AGW to move toward a different approach to energy? Ignore them. Someone suggests that prudence still suggests we attempt to do what we can to moderate any deleterious effects our fossil fuel consumption may be having on the planet? Call them names or accuse them of genocidal tendencies. Someone gets a bit excited or sarcastic after the insults? Lecture them about being overly political and not panicking. So much for "rational discussion."

Posted by: Chris White on April 21, 2008 7:27 PM

Hey, we're being treated to another one of ST's performances, in which we get to sit back and let him rant in an artistic manner not meant to be taken as rational argument. While this one is good, I miss the references to Woodstock present in his best work. It's his Yoknapatawpha County.

Posted by: JV on April 21, 2008 8:01 PM

All I did was back up my arguments with facts. Chris White and the global warming crowd have never offered one fact that proves their POV. Not one.

There is no link whatsoever between that demonstrates CO2 causes warming. None. All evidence points to the fact that CO2 rises or falls due to termperature increases and decreases, not the other way around--just like warmer and cooler air will hold more or less water vapor or oxygen. There's no difference between CO2 and other gases--NONE! And temperature increases AND DECREASES follow solar cycles perfectly. Who-da thunk that the sun causes the earth and other planets to warm up and cool down? I mean, its a gigantic nuclear fireball in the center of the solar system. What's that got to do with the great environmental catastrophes of cow farts and plastic bags? The sky IS falling. Sackcloth and ashes for everybody!

But see, if the sun causes the earth to warm and cool, then we can't do anything about it. And that means we can't dictate our lifestyle choices to other people. Pity us, the skinny, enlightened, turtlenecked dictators, who live with the pain of seeing our bene-violence rejected by the masses. If only they realized our brilliance and let us run their lives. But maybe there's a way around that!

By the way, water vapor is the most potent heat entrapping gas on earth. And the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere is 40,000 parts per million. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is only 400 parts per million, of which only 3% is generated by man. So water vapor is 3,330 times more important to global warming than man-made CO2. Anybody who thinks that man-made CO2 is responsible for heating and warming cycles is basically an idiot. Sorry if that ruffles the feathers of the proudly ignorant, but that's the facts.

Save your bullshit claims of prudence for others who are just as ignorant. Mind your own fucking business and leave everybody else alone. If you really knew how to create a Utopia, you wouldn't be so concerned with dictating everybody else around. Its a big lie to say that you would be happy if we all polluted less. You would have been the same sourpuss if you lived 200 years ago. Only then you would have tried to kill all the horses because of all the pollution caused by their farts and dungpiles. And there would have been too many people then too, especially the families and children of those who disagreed with you.

You're exactly what you say you hate. Exactly. If you want to reduce world population, go look in the mirror. Charity starts at home, I say.

Posted by: BIOH on April 21, 2008 10:03 PM

Do we all agree that the one and only reason hateful theocracies such as those in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and hateful socialist dictatorships such as the one in Venezuela, require more than a passing anthropological interest is because we need their oil to sustain our lifestyles? Do we also agree that continued dependance on oil as the primary source of energy, regardless of where it comes from, as the most populous nations on earth come into the modern age with all its demands for energy, will not only not be sustainable past our grandchildren's' generations, but will make oil in our own lifetimes just too damn expensive. (See the $4.00 per gallon prices at the Safeway gas station in my sleepy California town; and that's with my 3 cents off for being a loyal Safeway customer.)

Or are those things just more socialist conspiracies?

Posted by: JV on April 22, 2008 2:55 AM

btw, I'm also one who believes nuclear power is the way to go right now. Viva la France!

Posted by: JV on April 22, 2008 2:58 AM

The point being that essentially nothing is permanent in science.

That's sophistry. Newton's laws of motion are still valid for non-relativistic velocities of moving objects. Kepler's equations for the description of elliptical planetary orbits are still valid. Both were formulated centuries ago. For all practical purposes, they are permanent.

As for global warming, the data are shaky and in many cases have too few observations to be conclusive. NASA had to re-do its data recently due to an error. Even the UN recently admitted that the Earth hasn't really warmed in the last 10 years. The past 12 months have been the coldest in a decade or more. Snow in Baghdad. Unusual cold in Australia, south China. True, one year or even 10 don't mean much when climate swings can last hundreds of years. Which is why Algore's panic over 20-30 years of temperature rise makes me skeptical.

You make two specific assertions without proof or even a citation. If the UN made such an admission, it would be headline news. You are skeptical of the work of hundreds of scientists in various disciplines who have reached the same conclusion, but not skeptical of the same old discredited denialist fallacies. That's your bias.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on April 22, 2008 3:14 AM

"Chris White and the global warming crowd have never offered one fact that proves their POV. Not one."

Why the hell did you even bother posting anything after that? Do you think anyone's going to read it? SHOULD anyone read it? Your claim that the "global warming crowd" haven't offered one "fact" that "proves" their POV is ludicrous; assuming, of course, you mean that they haven't offered one piece of evidence to support their claims. If you actually meant the words you used, that they haven't offered a single FACT that PROVES their point of view, then yes, you're right, as there's absolutely no way that a single fact could prove anything even remotely complicated, and just as there's no way you could offer a single fact proving anything like what you're claiming.

Posted by: i, squub on April 22, 2008 8:59 AM

Any links to views that support the consensus of AGW have been ignored or labeled propaganda by BIOH, who (along with some others here) will no doubt continue to deny the validity of any facts presented that support the AGW POV.

Here's the lead in to a Sept. 2006 BBC article, "Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms."

At the heart of the article is this: ""Ice cores reveal the Earth's natural climate rhythm over the last 800,000 years. When carbon dioxide changed there was always an accompanying climate change. Over the last 200 years human activity has increased carbon dioxide to well outside the natural range," explained Dr Wolff.

The "scary thing", he added, was the rate of change now occurring in CO2 concentrations. In the core, the fastest increase seen was of the order of 30 parts per million (ppm) by volume over a period of roughly 1,000 years.

"The last 30 ppm of increase has occurred in just 17 years. We really are in the situation where we don't have an analogue in our records," he said."

Now, if the CO2 level rises only because it tracks rises in temperature caused by solar activity and has nothing to do with our use of fossil fuels (combined with deforestation) isn't it odd that the unprecedented rate of increase has occurred precisely during the industrial era?

Do we depend on the greenhouse effect to keep the planet warm enough to support life? Yes. Is water vapor the greenhouse gas with the highest ppm level? Yes. Do the different greenhouse gases have different rates of efficiency in retaining heat? Yes. Are CO2, methane and nitrous oxide far more effective as greenhouse gases due to their efficiency? Yes. Do significant changes in CO2 levels (not to mention similar rises in the other major greenhouse gases of methane and nitrous oxide, along with deforestation, paving and other manmade changes in albedo) track the Industrial era with fossil fuel as the major source of energy? Yes.

But then these are not facts that support the AGW POV ... oh, wait, yes they are. And I consider climate change and its effects to be as much my business as BIOH's and will respectfully decline his suggestion that I kill myself. Just as I deny his and ST's suggestions that my right to express my views in this oh so respectful and rational discussion, make me a "commie" intent on world domination. What was that Donald said about "political driven panic"?

Posted by: Chris White on April 22, 2008 9:35 AM

The left has fed us one world ending hysteria after another throughout my lifetime. What is it about the left that leads it to continue peddling hysteria?

Chris, the BBC isn't a realiable source of anything. It's a liberal propaganda outlet.

You are, indeed, a commie. You've insisted on restating my reasons for asserting that you are. You are a classic case of the syndrome of "good intentions." The causes you love sound so good to you, seem so lofty and wonderful that you believe that the solutions that you want implemented should be implemented forthwith.

The commies have always been fascinated by their own "good intentions." Bolshevism was a Utopian movement. Every Utopian movement begins with lofty intentions. Human history has shown pretty conclusively that Utopian movements always end in disaster, murder, poverty and destruction.

I don't believe that the people running out oil, pharmaceutical, legal and oil companies are evil people out to ruin the environment and destroy people... because I've met and worked with some of them. I believe that they are far more competent than you are. In fact, I know that they are. I am thousands of times more confident that people actually working in these fields will come up with realistic solutions through day to day experience than I am in your ideals.

It is the idealism that you bring to this discussion that is crazy and dangerous. This is what marks you as a commie. And, no matter how many times I tell you that your "good intentions" are a pile of BS, you won't understand. The "good intentions" crap is intoxicating to the sanctimonious do-gooder commie.

You aren't really interested in the day to day problem solving of building cars, constructing highways and delivering fuel. You are interested in your halo. Commies always wear that halo.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 22, 2008 10:14 AM

OK, I'm going to venture in here very trepidatiously ...

* I'm about as wussy-Green as can be, but I'm not going to get hung up on Global Warming. 1) I have no particular expertise. None at all, really. 2) Predicting the future ... Well, who exactly is good at that? And why aren't they investing in motion pictures? 3) I was deep into Greeniness for years, and I came to be very wary of the mainstream Sierra-Club-Gore-ites, who struck me as a bought-and-paid-for, power-driven, Primarily-Political branch of the leftie-ish side of the Dems.

* If Global Warming there be, the most powerful force driving it is population growth. Vast amounts of new pollutants simply wouldn't be generated if we weren't generating new billions of people. Yet you don't hear the Gore-ites going on much about population growth. Funnily enough, there are funding reasons for this. (Read: rich people who have donated tons of dough to the Sierra Club on the express condition that the Sierra Club drop its traditional concern about population growth. Sell-outs.)

* That doesn't stop me from thinking that some of the eco-crowd make an awful lot of good points, though. It just makes me resentful of the Sierra-Club-Gore-ites. And it makes me wonder, with considerable annoyance: Why on earth have we let them take over the role of spokespeople for the eco-vision? The eco-vision is a potentially wonderful and fascinating (and useful) thing. The Gore-ites have turned it into a laughing-stock.

* Small bit of defiant assertion here: Some of y'all are making wild generalizations about Greenies without understanding that Greenies come in many different flavors. You like lakes that are swimmable? You get a kick out of manatees? You like visiting national parks? Federally-subsidized clear-cutting strikes you as stupid in so many ways you can't count 'em all? Well, it's Greenies of various sorts who are responsible for the "good" side of all the above. Loads of Greenies have done an awful lot of good work that the rest of us should be grateful for. When my wife grew up in Pasadena, the smog was so bad it caused asthma in kids. When I grew up near Lake Ontario, the lake was so horrendously polluted no one could swim in it, and fish pulled from it were considered poison. The air in Pasadena is nicer these days; Lake Ontario can now be swum in. Thank you, greenies.

* A lot of you seem to think of Greenies as killjoys. I'm happy to agree that some of them are, and that many of the public-face greenies are. But that isn't true of many of the others. Many Greenies I've known are anything but regulation-loving totalitarians and killjoys. Many are among the most shit-kicking, freedom-lovin', pleasure-enjoying people I've ever run into. They like wilderness, dogs, grass-fed beef, ducks, clear air, artisanal beer, good company, hunting, fishing ... Robert Townshend likes mocking the killjoy Greenies (which is great, btw), but he doesn't strike me as non-green himself. So the main contrast isn't between green and non-green, it seems to me. It's between boring-green and shitkicking green. Gotta love that bamboo Robert lives with.

* I like cars as design, I marvel at 'em as engineering, I sometimes enjoy driving around in 'em. But I really, double-D despise the way America has given itself over so enthusiastically to car culture. I'm appalled by the way so much of life consists (for most Americans) of driving thru traffic from one parking lot to another. Sprawl and minimall strips strike me as hideous. The tiny remaining number of traditional city-town-village living situations available in the country strikes me as an annoyance and an embarrassment.

* The way so much of our foreign policy is subservient to oil interests really leaves me aghast.

* The amount of energy, money, and power we devote to servicing car culture appalls me.

* I'm a little mystified by those who see our particular brand of car culture as being some inevitable expression of the general public's free will. The federal government has been involved for a looooonnnnnnng time in actively and officially promoting car culture. One example: Eisenhower's Highway Act of 1956, which was apparently the largest public-works project ever undertaken in all history up to that time. That's a huuuuuge subsidy to car culture. As is the maintenance of it, as is our governent-subsidized commitment to road-building everywhere and always, as is our decades-long commitment to hovering around the Persian Gulf. I mean, we're talking trillions of dollars of government guidance, steering, and commitment. We're talking massive amounts of rules and regulations favoring car culture. I mean, I don't mind people saying that they like cars or car culture. I may think they're nuts, or just resign myself to the fact that there's no explaining taste. But I'm going to dig in my heels a bit when people start to make the argument that American car culture is good because it has been the the story of people freely expressing their preferences in a neutrally-umpired environment ... That just hasn't been the case.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 22, 2008 11:30 AM

ST – Seemingly, in your mind, anyone who espouses the notion that things could be changed for the better means they've fallen into a Utopian fallacy and, as communism was a Utopian fallacy they must, therefore, be nasty commies intent on destruction of all you hold dear ... like cars and oil. This may make for amusing rants to be enjoyed for entertainment value, but as a logical or rational argument it leaves a lot to be desired. For example, Democracy is a Utopian movement, Christianity, indeed all religions, are Utopian movements, in fact, depending on how one defines "Utopian" virtually all socio-political philosophies can be labeled Utopian. What does that have to do with anything?

And, ah yes, the BBC (along, no doubt, with the NYT, Washington Post, NPR, indeed all of the MSM, all Ivy League universities, the U.N., etc. etc. etc. ... in short any source that does not share your POV) is dismissed as a "biased liberal source" which you can then ignore or belittle. Rather than attempting to offer divergent data or evidence that reputable scientists have refuted the findings cited, you simply declare the BBC a "biased liberal source" and pretend you've "proven" by that declaration that whatever they present is, by definition, liberal propaganda with no basis in objective reality. What a crock.

I am sure that the people you know in the pharmaceutical, legal and oil companies are perfectly ordinary human beings who love their families and who do their jobs the best they can with no evil intent to ruin the environment and destroy people. I also think, however normal and honorable the individuals who work for those industries may be, that the ultimate, indeed only, goal for corporations is to make profits for their shareholders. If that results in harm to others (the cost of which does not exceed the gains on the company balance sheet) then so be it. Why we subsidize these industries rather than putting efforts into cleaner technologies and sustainable energy sources is beyond me ... except for the notion that the amount these industries spend on lobbying efforts and the revolving door between government and these industries has something to do with it.

But then again, I'm just a sanctimonious, halo polishing, do-gooder commie ignoramus trying to run everyone's life; a self-loathing authoritarian proponent of the largest genocide operation in human history ... trying to kill off about 6 billion people.

Donald, tell me again how "we need rational discussion and not political/media driven panic."

Posted by: Chris White on April 22, 2008 11:30 AM

Wow, Donald.
With one very short sentence you generated an awful lot of heat. Trying to figure out how I could harness all that energy for my domestic electrical needs.
If I had one of those wind-driven turbines in my backyard, the heat from this discussion would surely heat the air enough to turn those propellers.

Keep up the heated conversations.

Posted by: DarkoV on April 22, 2008 11:55 AM

Quite obviously, I believe that the car culture is a very wonderful thing. The Interstate Highway Act was originally conceived to provide for military mobility. Ike also foresaw the civilian dimentions of the Interstate highway system because he observed the Autobahn in Germany. Since I've traveled that system so thoroughly, I believe Ike was right. The system is a terrific infrastructure and the great uniter of our nation.

Michael, it's certainly true that the highway system was designed by the government. It's also paid for by very high gasoline taxes. User taxes at their best. I have no pretension to scientific expertise, but my personal experience tells me that in a vote, your views about the dominance of cars would lose about 90% to 10%. Americans truly love cars. I don't think that this is the result of either subsidies or indoctrination. If my family is any indication, and I think that it is, Americans love cars just about more than any other consumer item you can name. NASCAR, Harleys, car shows, bike shows... you name it... Americans devote a very considerable portion of their leisure time to cars, by choice. You are in a tiny minority, although you are blinded to this by living in Manhattan. Americans, given the income, would buy more and more cars. And so would I.

While oil certainly plays a large role in our foreign policy, I think that the U.S. will remain deep in the Middle East by default whether or not we ever consume another drop of Middle Eastern oil. Here's one issue where a lifetime in Manhattan can really distort the vision. The U.S. is the good guy. We are the only superpower capable of policing the world and ensuring democracy. We make awful mistakes... sure. We have an enormous mission to accomplish. Enormous mistakes are inevitable. The coastal vision that we should transcend nationalism is not, in my view, desirable and practical.

Chris, what in the world makes you think that CEOs, executives and stockholders aren't thinking about the good of the society in general? And, why do you assume that trying to produce a profit is likely to harm society? Answer: more of the commie BS. CEOs, corporate lawyers, executives and stockholders (at least large ones) are decidely liberal, in the old pre-1960s sense. Ronald Reagan was absolutely on target when he said that the creation of wealth is the surest way to protect the environment. When people become wealthy and educated, they become environmentalists. It's simple.

The environment, by the way, is fine. Michael, as a well read person, you should know that cities are amazingly clean in comparison to what they were in the 1700s or 1800s. New York City and London were open shit holes two hundred years ago. I grew up around factories and farms. The old factory belt is incredibly cleaner than it was in the 60s. I still correspond with farmer friends from childhood in Illinois. They are, and always have been, deeply concerned with their stewardship of the earth.

The American way is the answer to environmental problems. I know that it is considered too corny to say this. Look, I live in the most liberal communities in America, so I understand the snobbery stuff. Ordinary working class Americans are incredibly smart and capable. Leave it to them. Stop prosetylizing. It's unnecessary.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 22, 2008 12:35 PM

Chris White,

"Now, if the CO2 level rises only because it tracks rises in temperature caused by solar activity and has nothing to do with our use of fossil fuels (combined with deforestation) isn't it odd that the unprecedented rate of increase has occurred precisely during the industrial era?"

Okay, one last time for the thick-headed:


Is that clear enough for you? You might as well tell me how much dirt they found in the sample, and say that dirt causes global warming (what about global cooling? does dirt cause global cooling?) because there's no proof for that either.

See, there's two kinds of logic, deductive and inductive. Deductive logic starts out from a first premise, assumes its true, and simply seeks out those facts that reinforce the first premise. Inductive logic is based on gathering evidence and making observations, mulling them over, and then coming up with a premise based on data.

You are a deductive thinker, just like all religious believers. The global warming crowd of liars has got to you first, and implanted the first premise in your head that CO2 is a poison gas. So you are only able to think about how much of this "poison" is in the atmosphere, and how it must be reduced, because you are simply incapable of inductive thought. You go to your priests to tell you what the science is because you can't think for yourself, period. Anybody who hears that a gas that is necessary for life and that has existed on earth since the beginning is now a noxious poison, and that we have to totally change our lives around to get rid of it should be somewhat skeptical. What changed so much? What's really going on, what are people's motives, what's the real science?

For people who can think inductively, we just ask and make comparisons. So I ask, how is CO2 different from oxygen, water vapor, nitrogen, and other trace gasees in the atmosphere? Don't they absorb heat from the sun too? Why aren't we told that they are a problem since they are also "greenhouse gases"? And the answer is that CO2 does not behave any differently from the other gases at all. Where is the data on levels of other gases in the atmosphere over the course of the last 800,000 years, for example? Why CO2 specifically? And the answer is that CO2 was chosen by the environmentalists because burning hydrocarbons produces (H2O and)CO2 (why not H2O as a poison?), and environmentalists hate our industrial society that burns hydrocarbons, ergo, CO2 is a poison.

You are basically a chump. If you read the article, you will see that they say that higher CO2 levels accompany climate change, not that they cause it. They also don't tell you that lower CO2 levels accompany climate change also. And its just a flat out lie that CO2 levels are unprecedented. You could easily find that out if you looked at past data. But you don't, because you rely on environmental priests to tell you what to think. Did you ever think to question the magic number 800,000 years? I bet you find out why they cut the study off at that point. But you are intellectually lazy, so you won't check into it.

I've already told you the accepted science on CO2 how many times? It has no effect on temperature. Zero. It follows it, not causes it. It was selected as a poison by the environmentalists to promote their beloved communism and totalitrianism, because they want to control everybody, and they always have. You refuse to question your first premise because you can't think--you just parrot. But more importantly, you're just a tinpot tyrant at heart too.

The Global Warming scam is just a world depopulation and global government plan of gigantic proportions. I told you to look into the website It's all spelled out there. But you won't because you can't think or cope with being so wrong about anything--you're too vain.

Posted by: BIOH on April 22, 2008 1:33 PM

ST -- The [interstate] system is a terrific infrastructure and the great uniter of our nation.

The nation held together pretty well before the Interstates.

Americans truly love cars.

Sure. But that has nothing to do with whether the government should be working expensively and wholeheartedly on behalf of car culture. 90% of Americans really-truly love action-adventure movies. Fine with me. But would you argue that, because 90% of Americans love action adventure movies, the government should do everything in its power to encourage the creation and exhibition of action-adventure movies?

The coastal vision that we should transcend nationalism is not, in my view, desirable and practical.

I think you may have things turned around. The global-policeman, "free-trade" everywhere, enforced-at-the-point-of-a-battleship, World Bank thang is what's attempting to transcend nationalism. Talk about Utopian. Enjoying our good fortune, getting on with life, letting Korea and the mideast do what they will, getting out of NATO, making sure our currency doesn't get debased, patrolling our own borders ... That may be more in line with a traditional kind of nationalism.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 22, 2008 3:01 PM

BIOH -- I'm enjoying your arguments and learning from your points. But you're 'way off in you characterizations of the eco-crowd. You write, "It was selected as a poison by the environmentalists to promote their beloved communism and totalitrianism, because they want to control everybody, and they always have." I've known a few enviros who have some resemblance to that picture, but I've known loads and loads who don't resemble that picture at all, not one little bit. Lots of them just like lizards, or swamps, or clean air; some of them are so "don't step on me" libertarian that the Libertarian Party could learn a lot from them. Anyway, why not call your whipping boys "the Global Warming Crowd," or something like that? I'm pretty eco, but even I wouldn't have much trouble with that.

Hey, Brenda Walker shows one righty-ish way of being green.

Don't let anyone ever tell ya there's only one way to root for nature...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 22, 2008 3:11 PM

Environmentalists can even be flamboyantly un-PC. Read up a bit on Garrett Hardin, Edward Abbey, the Social Contract Press, and Joe Guzzardi.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 22, 2008 3:28 PM


So they love nature--CO2 makes the green stuff grow. More CO2, more green stuff.

More green stuff, more animals, more O2 for the oxygen breathers. Its a big win for everybody.

CO2 is not a poison gas--its a life giving gas. Reducing CO2 emissions won't have any effect on climate because 97% of all CO2 is released or absorbed by the oceans. And CO2 is only 0.04% of all atmospheric gas, so even if you factor in the oceans, its not important at all. Even if you don't like hydrocarbons, the greenies won't let us use hydroelectric dams or nuclear power to get rid of the smog and air pollution. They stop all legislation in that regard. Now they are mandating that food be used for gasoline (biofuels)(!) and people are beginning to starve to death around the world. When people start dying because of their stupidity, I really don't give a crap what gr(w)eenies think.

Unless your friends like spending the vast majority of their lives planting, weeding, fertilizing crops with animal manure, and harvesting, with almost no external energy, and living like they do in third world counties without access to electricity, gasoline, books, entertainment, and health care, then they'll have to deal with a non-pristine world. Tough. And they can also start supplementing their liberal arts educations with some science education so that aren't suckers for totalitarian communists masquerading as Mother Teresas.

I'm real sorry that people can't think clearly, or compare and contrast what they hear on TV with science and reality. But that's their problem, and its high time that they stopped making their problems everybody else's problems. I mean, if they defer to experts all the time, then why not defer to those epxerts that gave them such a high quality of life, rather than those who want to make them live like third world shack-dwellers?

See, they think that all the limits are for everybody else, and not for them. They're all for their own personal liberty, until it comes to something they don't like, then they turn into dictators. This "CO2 is poison" crap is going to kill off a lot of innocent people. Its already starting and we haven't even begun to stop burning hydrocarbons. Can you imagine the hundreds of millions of people who are going to die over this nonsense when it really kicks in? Over what--over a fantasy, a lie, a fable! How sick is that?

Check out the site I referred CW to . The so-called "Climate Crisis" is just a world depopulation plan. Its all right there. I keep recommending it and nobody reads it, but you should, because its going to get a whole lot worse.

Posted by: BIOH on April 22, 2008 4:00 PM

BIOH - Simply repeating a point, over and over in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS ... "CO2 HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH CAUSING TEMPERATURE INCREASES--ZERO, NONE, ZIP, NADA" ... without backing up your assertion with reasonable sources is not credible. I've made a number of attempts to answer that included links to various articles that discuss the science. Here are two quotes from a pair of science education (not political advocacy) sites:

"Those gas molecules in the Earth's atmosphere with three or more atoms are called "greenhouse gases" because they can capture outgoing infrared energy from the Earth, thereby warming the planet. The greenhouse gases include water vapor with three atoms (H2O), ozone (O3), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4). Also, trace quantities of chloro-fluoro-carbons (CFC's) can have a disproportionately large effect."

"Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases. It consists of one carbon atom with an oxygen atom bonded to each side. When its atoms are bonded tightly together, the carbon dioxide molecule can absorb infrared radiation and the molecule starts to vibrate. Eventually, the vibrating molecule will emit the radiation again, and it will likely be absorbed by yet another greenhouse gas molecule. This absorption-emission-absorption cycle serves to keep the heat near the surface, effectively insulating the surface from the cold of space.

Carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitorus oxide, and a few other gases are greenhouse gases. They all are molecules composed of more than two component atoms, bound loosely enough together to be able to vibrate with the absorption of heat. The major components of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) are two-atom molecules too tightly bound together to vibrate and thus they do not absorb heat and contribute to the greenhouse effect."


ST – you ask, "What in the world makes you think that CEOs, executives and stockholders aren't thinking about the good of the society in general?" Let's start by looking at the tobacco companies. What was the medical science on connections between smoking and lung cancer? How long did the companies fight to keep that evidence from the public? What did they do about limiting minors' access to their product? What was their response to liability claims? Closer to this discussion, how about the auto industry and safety issues? Or the way that auto and oil companies bought numerous mass transit companies, including many that were both profitable and effective, only to drain their coffers and then dismantle them, leaving the private auto the only viable choice for most individuals? How do you feel about corporate decisions to move their manufacturing to China and their financial holdings to the Cayman Islands? Does that show their dedication to the social good or to profits over the social good? You claim to know all sorts of CEOs and such, ask them what is their fiduciary responsibility and how they balance that with doing social good. Hey, as a final example for why I think corporations are thinking about short term economic gains, not the good of society in general, look at what happened over the past feew years as the financial industry gained the de-regulation they asked for. "R" word, anyone?

Posted by: Chris White on April 22, 2008 5:39 PM

In the early eighties, a project to dam the Franklin and Gordon rivers in Tasmania was defeated with the election of the Hawke federal government. The direct trade-off was more coal. (An indirect trade-off, of course, was more imported petroleum.) People were too busy celebrating and writing folk-songs to give that small matter any consideration. The 'saving' of the Franklin is still considered an 'iconic watershed'. Even conservatives had no interest in opposing the general triumphalist mood. A keen bush-walker at the time, I recall asking friends of different political colours why they opposed the dam. No one answered sensibly, or seemed to feel any need to answer sensibly. It was as if the the burgers of Sydney's prosperous north had decided to take a kind of adventure-holiday in their minds.

Green thinking had succeeded in replacing hydro with coal-burning...and had successfully penetrated the nation's 'consciousness'.

So now Australia, uranium-rich Australia, still waits for nuclear power. And waits...

Posted by: Robert Townshend on April 22, 2008 5:52 PM

To be fair to Chris, though I don't agree with him 100%, I don't think he was calling for an unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy to rule over the world's energy use. THAT would be authoritarian. In that sense, at least one of the responses to him was rude and uncalled-for.

But don't get me started on how utterly, horribly BAD the current Kyoto-esque policies are for everyone except the insiders who manage to profit from them.

Posted by: Sam_S on April 22, 2008 10:52 PM

Jeez, where do you begin and end with a scientific illiterate like Chris White?

Hey guy, ALL gases in the atmosphere absorb solar radiation, not just gases with three atoms! The radiation from the sun comes from the entire electromagnetic spectrum, which involves far more than just the small range of infrared radiation. UV and other higher energy radiation (x-ray, gamma, whatnot) is absorbed by nitrogen and oxygen, which make up 99% of the atmosphere. Infrared radiation is picked up by the larger molecues due to the relationships between the wavelengths of the radiation and the size of the molecules in question. And the higher end radiation carries lots more energy than the lower end radiation, so N2 and O2 are that much MORE responsible for the warming of the atmosphere. All gases absorb, scatter, and reflect radiation. The quoted stuff you posted is one-sided, misleading propaganda, which you ate up with relish.

So almost all of the radiation absorbed by the atmosphere, which warms the air, is done by the two most abundant gases, nitrogen and oxygen, which make up 99% of the atmosphere, and account for more than 99% of heat absorption, since they catch the high energy stuff. Almost all the rest is due to water vapor, and a negligible amount to CO2, of which 97% is naturally occurring and we can do nothing about.

Your whole theory of global warming from coal and oil is absolute bullshit, and anybody with half a brain could open up a basic physics or climate textbook and figure it out. But you can't think or question anything involving science because you are totally ignorant of it. TOTALLY IGNORANT!

I couldn't give less of a crap about what you pulled off a website because you have aboslutely no ability to understand what you are reading. Anybody who took a basic physics class understands that the electromagnetic spectrum involves far more than just infrared radiation, But you don't. That should be the tipoff right there.

I have presented fact after fact after fact after fact, and you say I haven't because you just don't agree with the facts. You are just a parrot. You can't evaluate what I'm saying because you can't distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to basic science. You are incompetent to make a rational judgement on the issue. Sorry it hurts you pride, but that's the truth.

I'll let you in on a little secret. You worship science like a God, because you think that science guys are rational and basically well-meaning. But most science guys are just like everybody else. Maybe 10-20% give a real shit about ethics and live that way. The other 80-90% will sell themselves out to various degrees and rationalize it later. There is almost no money at all in the sciences for the "disinterested pursuit of the truth". Almost all money comes from corporations and government that wants a certain outcome, so they get it because they pay the bills. ALL THE MONEY COMING IN FOR CLIMATE RESEARCH FROM THE BIG CORPORATIONS AND GOVERNMENT IS PRO-GLOBAL WARMING. There doesn't seem to be a debte because none is allowed, just like the liberals in the liberal arts. Your science wizards are the same guys I took classes with and studied with, so I know and you don't.

Global warming is a fraud. Period. And now because of edilble-crop biofuels promoted by idiots who don't know anything, people are now starving and dying in a number of countries around the world. Pat yourself on the back, because its guys like you, "well-meaning" and "prudent" activists, who are directly responsible for the policies which are killing them off. You're such a humanitarian and civil libertarian, aren't ya? Kind of hard when the cognitive dissonance sets in, eh White?

Posted by: BIOH on April 22, 2008 11:59 PM

Anybody ever read "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Kuhn? Great application right here in this thread.

I want to support some of what Michael says and some of what BIOH says, but first I want to say that much of the rancor in this subject comes from a failure to make a certain distinction: There is a "conservationist" view of environmental concern, and an "environmentalist" view, which should probably be more properly called "political-green".

For the conservationist (which I am, mildly, and it looks like Michael may be), there are many good reasons to reduce oil consumption and various forms of environmental damage. They fall under the general category of good stewardship, and in the case of oil, an additional kicker for throwing billions at hostile regimes.

But they are missing the essential element of the political greens--the need for control. There is a vast difference between urging, educating, even shaming or scolding, people into being more careful with our environment and resources, and attempting to gain political control over them.

Kyoto and its political offshoots are about political control, not good stewardship. And certainly not good science. Calling skeptics "shills" for anyone identifies the writer immediately as a hack, and a dishonest slanderer to boot. There are reputable and politically neutral scientists in Scandinavia, South America, and even Russia, lots of them, who have scientific findings contrary to the IPCC. Their funding is lower, and their public profiles are certainly lower, but that's because the trend of funding is the other direction at present. Besides, did anyone ever sell newspapers by shouting "Things are pretty normal this year." ?

All the scary models the IPCC produced have failed utterly and completely in predicting actual temperatures. Way outside the 95% confidence interval. In any other science, that would spark a complete reworking of the science and the assumptions behind it. But like I said, it's about political power, not good science.

Now, Michael, don't be so hard on car culture. It's a huge country with relatively few people, and they like to go places. We would be a horse culture without the cars, and in fact there were predictions that Manhattan would sink under the weight of horse manure before the car came along. Yes, malls suck, and traffic jams are worse, but that's far from the full story. And don't blame it on Eisenhower--people loved their cars well before that, and if you look at the era of Cords and Auburns, you'll see it was quite a passionate affair. (I would however like to see some more cultural support for alternatives -- I'm way more into bike culture than car culture, much as I like cars).

Posted by: Sam_S on April 23, 2008 2:38 AM

"Hey guy, ALL gases in the atmosphere absorb solar radiation, not just gases with three atoms!"

But only the greenhouse gasses have the property of retaining the infrared radiation they absorb.

Chris White demonstrates decent scientific literacy. You don't.

Even the most prominent denialists don't attempt to dispute that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and has a role in regulating the earth's temperature. They argue that other factors account for he rise in global temps.

You are the only person arguing that CO2 has no greenhouse properties. Even the denialists who are scientists wouldn't argue that, since they'd be laughed off stage in an instant.

You're a fatuous idiot.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on April 23, 2008 2:49 AM

I do not claim to be a scientist. Rather, I am an interested citizen who reads various articles and watches or listens to diverse programs on the topic. Here is a quote from the Dec. 2004 Science magazine obtainable on line that addresses the issue of what the scientific community believes:

" The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme, IPCC's purpose is to evaluate the state of climate science as a basis for informed policy action, primarily on the basis of peer-reviewed and published scientific literature (3). In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities: "Human activities ... are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents ... that absorb or scatter radiant energy. ... [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations" [p. 21 in (4)].

IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members' expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements. For example, the National Academy of Sciences report, Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, begins: "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise" [p. 1 in (5)]. The report explicitly asks whether the IPCC assessment is a fair summary of professional scientific thinking, and answers yes: "The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue" [p. 3 in (5)].

Others agree. The American Meteorological Society (6), the American Geophysical Union (7), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) all have issued statements in recent years concluding that the evidence for human modification of climate is compelling (8)."

So, I am faced with the question, do I trust the IPCC, NAS, AMS, AGU, And AAAS when they all say the preponderance of evidence shows AGW to be real and connected in large part to greenhouse gas emissions, or do I accept BIOH's insistence that 'CO2 HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH CAUSING TEMPERATURE INCREASES--ZERO, NONE, ZIP, NADA'?

Hmmm, call me an ignorant scientific illiterate, but I'll go with the alphabet soup of world science organizations over the screaming of BIOH.

Posted by: Chris White on April 23, 2008 8:23 AM


As someone who has lost numerous family members to cancer, including my wife, I've got to say that your example of corporate conniving... the tobacco industry... is damned silly.

My wife was well aware that cigarette smoking causes cancer. I told her for 20 years.

My aunt, Wilma, who was born prior to 1920, also knew that cigarette smoking causes cancer. In popular culture, and in song dating back for quite a while, cigarettes were commonly called "coffin nails."

What exactly could corporate executives have hidden?

I'm not saying that evil and self-serving individuals do not exist within corporate offices. Certainly, they do. Like any other group of people, some are good, some are bad and some are indifferent.

The corporations are bad because they promote smoking gambit is a real pile of crap. Everybody knows, and has always known, that cigarette smoking kills you. Knowledge of that just doesn't stop some people from smoking.

And, even though I've lost numerous family members, including my wife, to cancer... partly as a result of cigarette smoking... I still think that people have the right to smoke cigarettes. And, I don't think that tobacco executives are to blame if they decide to smoke.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 23, 2008 9:59 AM

And a note for Peter Winkler:

The use of the terms "denier" and "denialist" does a lot to convince me that the people promoting the global warm scare are moved by something other than scientific observation.

After all, the use of the terms is an attempt to attach the same disdain as would be attached to a "Holocaust denier."

Anybody who resorts to these tactics is immediately suspect, in my view. I discredit just about anything a person who uses these tactics says.

I smell a rat when I read those words. The person using those terms has an agenda that has nothing to do with the environment.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 23, 2008 10:03 AM

Peter Winkler,

Being a fat(uos) idiot yourself, you wouldn't know that infrared radiation is not the only kind of radiation emitted by the sun. In fact, visible light, UV, gamma, x-ray, radio, and microwave radiation are also emitted. The various atmopsheric gases absorb different kinds of radiation. Man made CO2 is, by any measure, a miniscule, non-existent factor in determining earth's temperature. Sorry if you guys have no argument for that fact and I make you look (appropriately) stupid.

The big factor in warming the atmosphere is also not just the absoption of electomagnetic radiation from the sun, but also the heat radiated by the earth's land itself, which warms all the atmospheric gases. Since 99.999% of all atmospheric gas is not man-made CO2, that makes it a non-factor. Its estimated that only 20% of the electromagnetic radiation of the sun absorbed by the atmospheric gases directly, but about the same percentage or more is radiated by earth after the land absorbs the electromagnetic radiation and returns it to the air as heat, not electromagnetic, energy. That's why snow cover is a big deal in winter, as it just reflects so much electromagnetic energy back into space, the land doesn't warm up, and all the heating caused by that is lost.

You know, both you and Chris White are total nitwits. Why anybody would listen to a freelance writer and a modern art huckster talking about science issues is beyond me. You are both moldy 60's and 70's communists who have absolutely no clue about anything, and demonstrate that here on a regular basis.

You come to me with the bullshit propagated your political activist and ethnic activist groups, you're gonna get it right back in your face, guys. I'm not buying it, and I'm going to expose you for the ignoramuses you are. Stick to your lasts, shoemakers. Leave the thinking for the big boys.

Posted by: BIOH on April 23, 2008 11:52 AM

Chris White,

More than 20,000 scientists have now signed the Oregon Petition which criticises AGW as ‘flawed’ research and states that “any human contribution to climate change has not yet been demonstrated.” Dr Chris Landsea resigned from the IPCC because he “personally could not in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”

The IPCC claims that more than 2,500 respected scientists and policy makers collaborate to write its climate change assessments but less than a tenth of these ‘experts’ actually hold qualifications in climatology, most were in fact educated in the political and social sciences. The panel that edits and approves the reports are appointed by the United Nations, and more than half are actually UN officials.
Dr Richard Lindzen, who is a genuine climate expert, resigned from the IPCC process after his contributions were completely rewritten by the panel:

"It's not 2,500 people offering their consensus, I participated in that. Each person who is an author writes one or two pages in conjunction with someone else. They travel around the world several times a year for several years to write it and the summary for policymakers has the input of a handful of scientists, but ultimately, it is written by representatives of governments and environmental organizations, each pushing their own agenda." - MIT's Professor of Atmospheric Science Dr. Richard Lindzen on the IPCC report.

Czech President Klaus stated:
“It is not fair to refer to the UN panel as a group of scientists. The IPCC is not a scientific institution. It's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavour. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists, and UN bureaucrats, who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment."

Asserting that ‘the science is settled’, along with the constant shrieking by alarmists like Al Gore, reveals that Global Warming is being used to push a hidden agenda. They are not really interested in the science at all. Proclaiming that “climate change is real” ignores the Earth’s constant, natural warming and cooling cycles.

Also, for the hopelessly naive:

In the United States the only operating carbon emissions trading market is the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). Coincidentally, Al Gore’s hedge fund, Generation Investment Management, is the largest shareholder in CCX. Now that’s what I call a conflict of interest! The most vocal Global Warming alarmist is the largest shareholder in the USA’s only operating ‘carbon market’.

All the organizations you mentioned are headed up by politicians with degrees, because that's just how these organizations work. They're mostly political because they lobby for government and corporate money. They simiply follow the money, and all the money is pro-global warming. I'm sorry if you don't know crap about the scientific community and how it works, and how amoral many of them can be, but that's how life is.

Posted by: BIOH on April 23, 2008 12:09 PM

ST – I am sorry for your family losses to cancer. While I know better than to expect you to debate/discuss topics in a logical and coherent fashion, nevertheless I at least attempt to do so. You asked me, "what in the world makes you think that CEOs, executives and stockholders aren't thinking about the good of the society in general? And, why do you assume that trying to produce a profit is likely to harm society?" I offered tobacco companies as an example of an industry that clearly puts their profits above the good of society. Their denial for decades of the obvious link between smoking and cancers, funding contrarian researchers, fighting in the courts to keep from accepting any liability, all while the costs of the cancers they contributed toward were borne by others, seemed to me a pretty good example of the phenomenon. I'm libertarian enough to believe, as you do, that adults have every right to smoke and the tobacco companies have a perfect right to make a profit selling tobacco. This means, however, that tobacco companies profit while they knowingly harm society through selling and advertising an addictive, cancer-causing product. This seems a reasonable answer to your questions. While I also agree that the individuals who work for corporations run the gamut from saints to scoundrels, many corporations themselves ... if they were actually individual citizens as their legal status makes them ... would best be described as sociopaths.

BIOH – I have not said "the science is settled" nor have I defended Al Gore. I have said ... and referred to a number of backing sources ... that the consensus within the scientific community is that global warming is taking place (something that even Dr. Richard Lindzen accepts as a fact, not a theory or opinion) and that mankind is contributing to it, especially through our use of fossil fuels that release greenhouse gases. My opinion, therefore, is that it behooves us to move away from fossil fuels. For this and other reasons I favor major efforts in conservation and efficiency wherever possible and development of alternative, sustainable, decentralized energy sources, ideally ones that are minimally polluting. Why this position is so abhorrent to you is beyond me, other than your own inflated egotistical sense that you and only you have the ability to take a position or that those who disagrees with you must, by definition, be "total nitwits."

Posted by: Chris White on April 23, 2008 6:32 PM

"Being a fat(uos) idiot yourself, you wouldn't know that infrared radiation is not the only kind of radiation emitted by the sun."

You’re changing the subject. Gamma radiation doesn’t warm the earth’s surface. Neither does light in the visible spectrum. The absorption or transparency of various gases to parts of the em spectrum other than ir is irrelevant.

"CO2 is not a poison gas."

Sure it is, for aerobic organisms. Let’s put you in a sealed chamber and fill it with a 100% CO2 atmosphere and see how long you thrive.

I'm a freelance writer. So what? Who the fuck are you, head of the MIT physics department? You won't even sign a name to your comments.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on April 23, 2008 8:12 PM

Peter Winkler,

You're wrong about only infrared radiation warming the earth's atmosphere. UV and other radiation does too. You really need to do some research there guy. And cosmic rays are important for cloud formation, which is a HUGE impact on weather and climate. Get a clue.

Also, a major cause of atmospheric warming that is never mentioned in the "Global Warming Stable of Lies for Gullible Idiots" is that the radiation absorbed by earth heats the land, which in turn heats the gases in the atmosphere as the heat is exchanged back into the surrounding air. That's a huge amount of energy, especially since land is far more dense than air. Have you ever seen the heat waves bouncing off the land during a summer's day? Did you know that snow cover makes a huge difference in air temperature during the winter months? Until I pointed that out to you guys, YOU NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE, FROM ANYBODY, ANYWHERE. But the differential heating of the air from land and sea and various locations above and below the equator is what drives air masses and the weather itself! How does that not get discussed?

See, I've got you and Chris White over a barrel now, scrambling for facts and calling me names because you can't find any way to refute me.

When the conversation started, your so-called "facts" were easily disproved because you thought only CO2 and other "greenhouse gases" absorbed solar radiation. You were wrong. You thought that man-made CO2 was a huge and growing part of the atmosphere. You were wrong. You also had no idea about the heat radiated from the earth's land mass warming, which is huge. You were wrong. You thought that the IPCC was a scientific body. you were wrong. Etc.

All you two know is what you read in the paper. Chris White is so clueless he can't even argue with me about facts--he just cites an alphabet soup and doesn't even try to think for himself. Lindzen says the consensus is FALSE, so who gives a crap about a false consensus? What's the TRUTH?!

CO2 is not a poison gas. It is the most important life-giving gas on earth, period. CO2 doesn't exist in isolation, Winkler--get it through your head already. The world is a complex system.

There's no way to ever say that CO2 causes climate change for a simple reason--to do so, you would have to hold all the other factors that affect climate constant while you vary CO2 levels to see if your hypothesis is correct. And that simply is impossible to do, totally impossible. And all those science whores you list who say otherwise know that to be true--its the basic scientific method. They're liars, to a man, and don't you forget that.

I don't have to be head of any physics department to know physics. The most important part of science is looking for patterns, skeptical thought, and the search for alternative ways of explaining things, not credentials. The fact that one of you writes for a living and the other sells paintings doesn't really mean anything, except for the fact that almost nobody who choses those fields ever studied science or engineering in any depth. They are too hard for most liberal arts types, so they give up and do what they like. That's actually rational, but it doesn't help when it comes to figuring out how things really work.

This is my last post on this post. I've refuted you guys on every point. You've got nothing, and you know it, and you hate how it feels to be wrong.

Posted by: BIOH on April 23, 2008 11:50 PM

BIOH, twice in your comments you stated that people are starving/dieing because of edible-crop biofuels. This concerns me. In all sincerity, I'm asking for some sources for that info. I thought the only edible crop being converted to fuel in any quantity was corn. I've read about riots in various countries because of rising flour and bread prices, and about rice shortages, but I haven't seen anything about corn shortfalls, or food-shortage related deaths. If you could provide me with any info, I'd appreciate it.

Posted by: Julie Brook on April 24, 2008 8:33 AM


The farther down you go in the comments section, the crazier and angrier the comments get. So, I'll keep it brief.

I looked up the term "coffin nails" as it applied to cigarettes. According to various sources, the term was already in use in 1880.

You may have grown up in a different world than I did, but the folk wisdom of my community in the 1950s was that smoking killed you. This was before the Surgeon General's report. I am at a loss to believe that any person in this world did not know that smoking kills you.

So, I am always aghast at those juries who confer huge rewards on some smoker who claims that he was conned into smoking by the tobacco companies. The executives of smoking companies earn their living by, guess what? Selling cigarettes. The allure of smoking cigarettes is, in many ways, the same as riding a Harley... looking death in the face and laughing at it. Doesn't Harley make motorcycle riding look glamorous and fun in its ads? Have you ever seen a Harley ad that featured a dismembered rider splattered across the highway?

Take a look at teenage kids on the street. They want to be bad like adults, so what do they do? They smoke cigarettes.

Sorry, but I don't buy your "big, bad tobacco executives" story. Every smoker who has ever died from cancer made the decision to smoke with full knowledge that smoking would kill him. Including my wife.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 24, 2008 9:03 AM

ST - You asked why I think many companies are concerned only with profit and not social good. I answered with the example of tobacco companies who knowingly sell 'cancer sticks' or 'coffin nails' and who denied for decades the link to cancer as 'unproven'. To claim that this was not a logical response to your quesitons does you no credit. It makes you appear willfully obtuse.

BIOH - Apparently your lack of a liberal arts education means you have difficulty understanding the definition of 'consensus'. Consensus means the agreement of a majority, it does not mean unanimous agreement. You and Dr.Lindzen are part of the minority who disagrees and you're welcome to your POV, but that does not make the majority view FALSE simply because you yell loudly that it is. Furthermore, you can no more PROVE that the consensus is FALSE than they can PROVE they are correct. I operate on the assumption that the consensus is most likely to be correct, absent compelling evidence that disproves it. You have offered nothing sufficiently compelling or credible that leads me to change my view.

Anyone who IS capable of reading English and understanding all the words would find your parting shot filled with odd assertions. For example, your bit about "You also had no idea about the heat radiated from the earth's land mass ..." If not in this particular go round on the topic I've previously discussed "albedo" and the way in which deforestation and the loss of glaciers and polar ice functions to alter albedo accelerating global warming. And albedo is ....? Oh, that's right the way in which heat is absorbed or reflected by the planet surface. Simply tossing about slurs and insults when anyone disagrees with you is far from reasonable ... either as science or as a contribution to Donald's call for 'rational discussion'. Or your comment that "the most important part of science is looking for patterns ..." Would that include the pattern of temperatures rising in an accelerating fashion during the Industrial era? Or the dramatic changes in the Artic sea ice? I quess not.

Posted by: Chris White on April 24, 2008 2:03 PM

You are such a confused man, Chris. Do-gooderism does that to people.

Part of the "social good" is supplying consumers with what they want.

So, it's clear that you really hate cigarette executives, but it's also clear that there have always been and will always be cigarette consumers who want cigarettes. What I really said is that I think you are wildly credulous to actually believe that anybody was ever loony enough to believe that cigarettes didn't cause cancer.

Somebody has to sell, market and glamorize cigarettes, because consumers want cigarettes. They will continue to want cigarettes, despite your Puritanism.

Once again, you are just offering up the conventional paternalism of the liberal. Everybody knew, long before the Surgeon General's report, Chris, that cigarettes killed smokers... a fact that you keep ignoring. No, I'm not willfully obtuse. I reject as damned stupid your contention that tobacco executives ever had anything to hide about cigarettes. They obscured and papered over what cigarette smokers didn't want to hear. You would do the same thing if you had that job. Any sane person would. Pimps don't tell their clients that their whores have VD. Who wants to hear that when they're out to get laid? Pimps serve a useful social purpose... supplying customers with whores. Sombody has to do it.

So, what in the world are you trying to say? I find the plaintiff attorney's who conned juries into huge awards against tobacco companies far more menacing than tobacco executives. This shilling was just a way to con juries, who are already wont to award big awards against corporations, into paying out huge awards to plaintiffs. It is simply a lie that any smoker was ever in the dark about cigarettes. This lie was invented by plaintiff's attorneys for the sake of returning huge jury awards.

If I were on one of the tobacco juries, I would have sent the plaintiffs packing. They and their attorneys were just rank liars looking for a payday.

You find yourself, Chris, in the same position as those who prohibit marijuana. Should the people who supply marijuana be criminalized?

Somebody's got to pimp cigarettes, just as somebody's got to pimp marijuana and whores. We're all pimps to a certain extent, and pimps serve a "good" public purpose. They are supplying consumers with what they want.

You are a typical liberal Democrat... always in favor of plaintiff's lawyers shaking down corporations. Plaintiff's lawyers are among the biggest contributors to the Democratic Party. Plaintiff's lawyers are the backbone of the obstructionist environmental movement that continues to prevent us from drilling for oil in the U.S. More than anybody, plaintiff's lawyers can be blamed for the price of a gallon of gas.

I used to work for these lawyers. I don't think, like you, that people who oppose me politically are evil. These plaintiff's lawyers certainly cause a tremendous amont of harm... often while they think they are doing good. I didn't care about this while I worked for them. Somebody has to work for them... and they paid me good money to do it. I worked for them even though they did many things that struck me as dead wrong.

You need to learn some fatalism. The flaw of your do-gooderism is that you have no idea how much harm can be done by trying to fix up the world. Steve Sailer has a great video titled "We've Got to Do Something" up on his sight. Go look at it. You might learn something, although I doubt it.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 24, 2008 3:41 PM

ST: Chris, what in the world makes you think that CEOs, executives and stockholders aren't thinking about the good of the society in general? And, why do you assume that trying to produce a profit is likely to harm society? Answer: more of the commie BS.

Chris White: Let's start by looking at the tobacco companies. What was the medical science on connections between smoking and lung cancer? How long did the companies fight to keep that evidence from the public? What did they do about limiting minors' access to their product? What was their response to liability claims?

ST: No, I'm not willfully obtuse. I reject as damned stupid your contention that tobacco executives ever had anything to hide about cigarettes.

So all that Brown & Williamson / Jeffrey Wigand stuff was made up? Tobacco executives were honest about what was in their cigarettes and why, and what the knew about what was in them?

You ARE being willfully obtuse. It's a very simple question you asked, and Chris gave a very direct answer. You've twisted everything around in the course of your various performance pieces here so that you could pretend the original question wasn't answered.

The fact that people want cigarettes has absolutely no bearing on whether or not they aid the "good of the society in general." There are a lot of people who would like to have nuclear weapons. If a company made money by manufacturing, advertising, and selling those weapons to those people, would that also be for the good of society in general? Manufacturing cigarettes is not something anybody does to better society.

Remember the point here: corporations concern themselves with making money. They do not put the public good above that pursuit; you've just said so yourself in about 12 different ways. (Pimps don't help society by helping with the spread of VD. Illegal drug dealers don't help society by selling drugs.)

And, yes, I see your response already: We're all pimps to a certain extent, and pimps serve a "good" public purpose. They are supplying consumers with what they want.

Even you put "good" in scare quotes; but you're not being willfully obtuse at all. So yes, I'll certainly agree with you there. If you want to rearrange the meanings of the words we're using here, then it's definitely a public "good" to sell nukes to terrorists. It's definitely a public "good" to dump poison in somebody else's back yard. It's definitely a public "good" to spread AIDS.

Posted by: i, squub on April 24, 2008 7:23 PM

squub, you've gone fruity. Your macho gland is completely engaged and you've lost it.

Yes, selling nukes is clearly the same as selling cigarettes.

My point is quite simple. I don't buy the BS that cigarette executives ever "deceived" smokers about the dangers of cigarettes. Those dangers have been well known for at least 130 years, and probably longer.

So, yes, cigarette executives served the public by selling them cigarettes. Yes, they minimized the risk and glamorized smoking. That's how you sell people. Selling cigarettes was and is legal.

Now, I'm going to abandon this post.

Your goat is severely gotten, squub... or whatever the hell you are. Go take a laxative and you'll feel better.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 24, 2008 8:19 PM

Well if I can make you abandon this post then I'll count myself as a success. Yippee!!

"So, yes, cigarette executives served the public by selling them cigarettes. Yes, they minimized the risk and glamorized smoking. That's how you sell people. Selling cigarettes was and is legal."

Sounds like we agree on all points there. Leave the "good" out of serving the public and we're speaking the same language. That IS exactly how you sell people. There's no possibility for that ever going wrong.

As far as my macho gland and laxatives... good one. Ha ha ha. I've been p0wnz0r3d.

Posted by: i, squub on April 24, 2008 10:11 PM

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