climate partisanship

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar talboito says:

    Your criticism of Will, et. al. is that they’re dishonest hacks.

    Your criticism of Gore is that he sells DVDs.

    Hardly is this a moral equivalence to be “on the other hand”ed.Report

  2. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I think Gore uses dishonest tactics as well, actually, which also happen to help him sell DVD’s. Like purchasing carbon credits from a firm he is part owner of…or like the very notion of carbon credits, the new green version of indulgences and equally absurd…Report

  3. Avatar Patrick says:

    If you think that “Science” has proven anything beyond a shadow of a doubt, may I suggest the works of Charles Fort?

    Most conscientious scientists would tell you that “good enough, until something better comes along” is the best standard they can manage.Report

  4. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Well, exactly Patrick. The point I’m making is that regardless of any doubt about say, the cause of climate change, or the methods we should take, a healthy dose of concern would do us all good. It certainly can’t hurt to cut back on emissions can it, except possibly financially, and isn’t that worth the cost in the long run? Isn’t the outcome should the skeptics be wrong a far worse one than the other way around?Report

  5. Avatar Patrick says:

    It certainly can’t hurt to cut back on emissions can it, except possibly financially, and isn’t that worth the cost in the long run? Isn’t the outcome should the skeptics be wrong a far worse one than the other way around?

    Except possibly financially? Interesting choice of words in this economy.

    The worst possible outcome, should the skeptics prove wrong (and I am not one of them) is that the earth becomes a greenhouse hell similar to Venus, unable to support life. But what are the odds of that happening, and when will it happen? Balanced against that, we have the certainty of more legacy manufacturing industries going bankrupt, and taking Freddie’s beloved, but uneducated, workers with them. While India and China ramp up CO2 emissions to exceed the pace of any reduction in our emissions.

    Now the Venusian analogy (which I recognize you’re not using, but I’ve seen it elsewhere), or tidal waves hitting Manhattan, seem most unlikely, but they’re theoretically possible. Nonetheless, advocates for green energy etc. do their cause a disservice, indeed play into the hands of skeptics, when they speak of unlikely worst case scenarios. Better, I think, to take the model of Bjorn Lomborg, a non-skeptic who has concluded that the costs of radical environmental reform outweigh the benefits, but who treats the cost issues and the opposition seriously, and discuss why the benefits outweigh the costs.

    I find it difficult to take millenarians of any stripe seriously, unless they’re speaking of the planet’s ultimate fate, in which case they should advocate for asteroid-based missile defense, more space telescopes, and space migration.

    Add in advocacy for genetic engineering and pharmacological intelligence increase, and you have Robert Anton Wilson.Report

  6. Avatar Patrick says:

    Sorry, that should have been “missile-based asteroid defense.” Although the idea of asteroid-based missile defense does appeal to my inner geek.Report

  7. Avatar MikeF says:

    The worst possible outcome, should the skeptics prove wrong (and I am not one of them) is that the earth becomes a greenhouse hell similar to Venus, unable to support life. But what are the odds of that happening, and when will it happen?

    I don’t think any serious scientist believes that runaway global warming is even remotely possible; there is positive feedback with warmer temps leading to more water vapor (which is a GG) but other effects shut down the warming as the planet’s radiative wavelengths change.

    There are a lot of potentially disastrous results of global warming, though, and good chunk of them do appear to be reasonably feasible. There’s plenty of uncertainty, and some positive effects are also possible, but the sheer number of somewhat-likely-and-disastrous possible outcomes makes a pretty strong case for pro-action.

    I do think a lot of the proposed solutions are inelegant and not attractive from an economic standpoint. Which, and this dovetails with your space geekery, is why I favor building a giant space parasol to shield the earth from some adjustable percent of solar radiation. Some of the other engineering-based solutions to global warming are pretty cool too.Report

  8. Gores film An Inconvenient Truth is full of lies. Not exaggerations. Not errors.
    Lies!

    Al Gore air brushed out the little ice age and the medieval warming periods from his graphs in AIT. We wouldn’t want people knowing that the earth was two degrees celsius warmer than it is now during the medieval warming period. Somehow man survived without the use of central cooling. Gore left off the little ice age because he wouldn’t want to demonstrate that the warming trend he talks about began at the end of an ice age.

    He also stated that sea lever would rise by 20 feet by the end of the century. Even the UN IPCC (harldy conservative on this issue) estimates only 4 to 36 inches.

    Gore also suggested that the Aral Sea has dried up because of global warming. In actuality it has been drained for the irrigation of cotton crops.

    Gore claims that for the first time ever, a significant number of polar bears had drowned. First of all, they can swim around fifty miles. Secondly, the researchers at one of America’s most respected think tanks the Competitive Enterprise Institute tracked down the study Gore was quoting and found that only four polar bears had drowned during severe storm conditions.

    Furthermore, he quotes a quickly debunked paper suggesting there is a 100% consenus among scientists that athropogenic global warming is real. Here are a few scientists who must have missed the memo:

    http://www.hootervillegazette.com/GlobalWarming.html

    It is worth noting that a UK Court ruled that AIT contained many errors and should not be shown in public schools without a warning about the errors.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/10/09/court-identifies-eleven-inaccuracies-al-gore-s-inconvenient-truth

    I find it interesting that Al Gore talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. He jets around the world in his private plane. He rides around in gas guzzling limousines, and has a compound so wasteful of energy that it needs its own power grid. His houseboat more than likely isn’t that energy efficient either.
    I suppose conserving energy and fighting global warming is for the little people. Let the peasants drive the small dangerous energy efficient cars, I’ll drive what I want.

    Al Gore was worth about $2 Million Dollars when leaving office and is worth over $100 Million now. He’s laughing all the way to the global warming bank. It’s a pity some are too gullible to see it. As one of my favorite SNL characters might have said “global warming has been bery bery good to him.”

    By the way, the flat earthers were the ones who refused to debate. “The debates over, we have a consensus.” Sound familiar? If anyone is a flat earther, it’s Al Gore.

    Everyone who has seen An Inconvenient Truth should view The Great Global Warming Swindle in order to get a more balanced view of the true state of the science on this issue.
    You may view it by visiting:

    http://www.hootervillegazette.com/Videos.html

    It is the first video listed.

    Happy Viewing,
    Dash RIPROCK IIIReport

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