"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Done with global warming

This is not exactly how I wanted to end my hiatus (in all honesty the hiatus is still on, I just find myself with a few minutes while I wait for my printer to spit out a hundred-page document with all the speed and efficiency of a Gutenberg printing press), but I'm going to make my final, be-all end-all, comprehensive statement on the issue of anthropomorphic or anthropological or apatosaurus global warming and be done with it. Limited time and more pressing and relevant subjects that I take much greater pleasure in writing about mean that Al Gore and his manbearpig are no longer welcome here.

Bottom line up front: the subject line says it all. I'm done with global warming. The constant stream of revelations showing just how corrupted the science and the process behind it are lead me to the conclusion that until all these clowns who've made a pretty decent living off scaring the rest of the planet with ominous threats of rising oceans, shrinking forests and extinction are turned out into the streets and replaced with a new crew that starts from scratch, this country and the world as a whole should address the many more pressing problems we all face. In the last few months, we've gone from Gore and Co declaring the debate "settled" and warning that the planet had only a few years left to live, to the sudden and startling admission that the global temperature has actually cooled over the last ten years. Then we learned that the AGW powers-that-be wanted to sweep this cooling trend under the rug because it might convince those dumb rubes who make up the tax-paying public to stop subsidizing their lucrative grants. Any scientist who disagreed with this questionable but "settled" science was to be shunned by the rest of the community and barred from academic publications. As a few enterprising reporters dug a little deeper, we learned that not only was cooling data "tricked" into actually proving warming, but that all the original data that AGW claims were based on had been, um, lost. Oops. Then there were those pesky Himalayan glaciers that weren't melting nearly fast enough to disappear by 2035. And those Chinese climate monitoring stations that, like so many congressional districts receiving stimulus funds, don't actually exist. Exist or not apparently doesn't matter at this juncture, because the original data from them has been, um, lost as well. That damn global warming, it ate my homework!

These clowns aren't fit to run a paper route, let alone dictate to the world how big their carbon footprints get to be. And to think, the AGW crowd won countless accolades and awards, received millions and millions of dollars in funding (and royalties), and somehow got the right to equate anyone who disagreed with the lunatic fringe that denies the systematic extermination of European Jewry during the Holocaust. These people were going to tell us how much electricity we could use, how big our cars could be, how many sheets of toilet paper we should limit ourselves to. Their hypocrisy was always rank (one look at the electricity bill for Al Gore's estate or the number of SUVs lined up outside the Copenhagen conference was proof enough), but the flimsiness of the science it was based on is truly stunning. So I'm done hedging my bets and expressing my guarded skepticism that AGW maybe exists, maybe it doesn't: if this is the best climate changers have to offer, I'm no longer buying anything they're selling. Their product is shoddy, their packaging mediocre, and the whole thing looks like the delivery guy played football with it.

Now before I'm labeled as some polar bear-hating, climate change denying Luddite, I will add one caveat: I'm not a complete tool when it comes to things like pollution, new energy sources, etc. I'm quite aware of the effects that sewage, industrial waste, and carbon emissions can have locally and regionally. Lake Ontario, on the shores of which I grew up, has beaches that are unswimmable because of the pollution level in the water. As a helicopter pilot flying around the San Diego area, I've seen some pretty striking views of the smog cloud that hovers over the city (and anyone who doesn't think that's a big deal should look at pictures of Beijing's smog, which is thicker than the marine layer that rolls in on SoCal every night). These things are real and established ("settled" if you will). I'm all about trying to make the air cleaner and lakes swimmable. I'm also about not enriching terrorist states by buying their oil. I'm happy to find ways to reduce the size of landfills and reprocess whatever waste we can. I recycle (not as much as I could, but then I'm sure we're all guilty of that). What I'm not about is having unelected technocrats decide just how much civilization is good for me and then regulate everything from the number of children I can have to what light bulbs I use in order to make the non-tax paying, non-voting, and by all accounts non-sentient Mother Earth happy that she'll be one degree cooler a hundred years from now. I'm not about an ecological politburo enforcing global solutions to problems that are local and regional. I'm not about democratic and productive countries transferring huge amounts of their capital to political and economic basket-cases. And I'm most certainly not about getting lectured by the ChiComs, Hugo Chavez, or - of all people - Osama bin Laden about how my society, which is free, prosperous, and contributes disproportionately to the freedom and prosperity of others, needs to stop being free and prosperous because the side effects are melting glaciers (false), rising global temperatures (false), and every evil thing from poverty to political repression. Most of the above are simply excuses for otherwise inexcusable acts of violence, repression, and power-hoarding.

There are certain things we can do to reduce pollution, improve the quality of our environment, and safeguard our own national security. Some of these things only apply locally (wind power, for example, might be a great idea for the Twenty-nine Palms area because it has consistently strong mountain winds. Bree might not think so because she's terrified the windmills will attack her, but thus far their aggression has been contained. Regardless, wind won't work everywhere like, say, Minnesota, where it's so cold the windmills freeze. Oops. Wish a real scientist had looked into that before millions of dollars were spent. Hope you guys stocked up on firewood). Some apply regionally or nationally (nuclear power could cover the energy needs of our whole country cleanly and reliably and has no geographic restrictions). More energy-efficient cars have the double bonus of reducing smog levels and cutting down the revenue stream of adversaries (like Iran) and dubious friends (Saudi Arabia). But rarely is there a global, one-size-fits-all solution. Even if there is, chuckleheads like Al Gore and the IPCC have forfeited any claim to finding it. And I'm of the opinion that allowing dynamic and free societies to invest and research in their own ways will ultimately lead to breakthroughs - some of which will be unexpected and unpredicted, as many of the best breakthroughs are - that can accomplish many of the climate changers' goals without gutting civilization as we know it.

There. Global warming, I am done with you. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. We now return to our regularly scheduled hiatus.


Winefred said...

Hey, Massachusetts! Wake up! Liberals, HELLO? Ian just did a redneck rant. Are you out there? Matt? MATT?

Bree said...

Fine. When the windmills uproot their animatronic roots and eat me and my child alive, don't say i didn't tell you so.