Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Ellen Goodman's Holocaust Hot Air

A look at No change in political climate - by Ellen Goodman

On the day that the latest report on global warming was released, I went out and bought a light bulb. OK, an environmentally friendly, compact fluorescent light bulb.
Thus illustrating the narcissistic impulse I have alluded to in other posts. Hey, Ellen, I've had them all over my non-progressive household for years.

Even the Prius in our driveway doesn't do a whole lot to reduce my carbon footprint, which is roughly the size of the Yeti lurking in the (melting) Himalayas.
Ah, and you have a Hybrid, too. Nice way to work that in with a little bit of self-deprication thrown in to show us that you're really humble about your image in the mirror. "Hey, at least I'm trying." Ever see the South Park episode, "Smug Alert"?

By every measure, the U N 's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change raises the level of alarm.
That would likely be due to the fact that it's the entire reason for its existence.

I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny.
But you can't. And I'm slightly impressed that you didn't. Well ... not quite.

Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.
Which is totally the same thing, right? I mean, denying something that actually happened that is well documented from the inside (Nazi documents) and outside (what Allies found when they came across the camps) and from people who were there -- it's totally the same as denying that something that crude and practically useless climate models have predicted that hasn't happened and there's no documentation of it at all ... since it's in the future. Yeah, Ellen, I'm followin' ya.

But light bulbs aside -- I now have three and counting --
Three??!! (and counting!) Woah, Ellen, you must really be concerned. You and the Eiffel Tower folks.

I don't expect that this report will set off some vast political uprising. The sorry fact is that the rising world thermometer hasn't translated into political climate change in America.
No, that got set off a long time ago, and it's gathering strength every day because of daily articles like yours asserting that it's fact when it isn't. (oops. Denier! Denier!) And it's a "sorry" fact, you know, since it's "true" and all.

One reason is that while poles are melting and polar bears are swimming between ice floes, American politics has remained polarized.
Ah, the blame America bandwagon. And this has never happened before, either. The Climate™ is in Fragile Balance™ and a change in just a degree or two means Certain Disaster™ for the Environment™. It couldn't possibly be something that has gone in cycles since the beginning of life on earth and before. No, no. Polar bears have always been able to saunter casually from Alaska to Siberia, and it's a tragedy that they can't anymore, and it's all our fault. Why, it's their right!!! Never mind the fact that the earth has been both dramatically warmer and dramatically colder than even the worst predictions of the various climate models -- all without human intervention. Shhhhh!!!! It doesn't help The Agenda™!

As Ross Gelbspan, author of "The Heat is On," says, "when people are confronted with an overwhelming threat and don't see a solution, it makes them feel impotent. So they shrug it off or go into deliberate denial."
I have a different theory: When people are confronted with an overwhelming threat and don't see a solution, many of them blame themselves -- because if it's something we're doing, then there's something we can do about it. It's psychologically easier than shrugging it off.

It also provides opportunities for moral self-righteousness. If I'm doing something about it and you're not, I'm better than you! Look, I buy compact flourescents and I drive a Hybrid!

Michael Shellenberger, co author of "The Death of Environmentalism," adds, "The dominant narrative of global warming has been that we're responsible and have to make changes or we're all going to die. It's tailor-made to ensure inaction."
Inaction? Au contraire. It's tailor made to appeal to people to buy in to for those who wish to set themselves apart from The Mainstream™. Alternative culture. Protest culture. And the Left accuses the Right of fear-mongering.
In addition, maybe we can turn denial into planning. "If the weatherman says there's a 75 percent chance of rain, you take your umbrella," Shellenberger tells groups.
Disregarding the fact that there are a lot of people who don't -- the weather man has a much better track record for forecasting today's and tomorrow's weather than it does a week or a month out, and as far as a year goes, fugeddaboudit. Five or Fifty years? The weatherman also has much more to lose. Tomorrow comes every day, and people will remember tomorrow what he said today. How many people remember the Global Cooling theory of the 70's and its urgent calls for policy change?
Even people who clutched denial as their last, best hope can prepare, he says, for the next Katrina.
Global warming should produce less severe hurricanes due to a warmer upper troposphere. But I know, Katrina Was Caused By Bush Not Signing Kyoto™ is an Established Fact™. Or so we are daily instructed to believe. Oh, and it's not because Clinton didn't sign it. No no. Besides, Al Gore did sign it, even though it was only symbolic and meant ... nothing -- but a political stunt.
The report is grim stuff.
The report won't be out until May. The politically motivated "Summary for Policy Makers" is. And there was no question that it would be grim before work on the report even started.
Can we change from debating global warming to preparing?
That's what progressives are desparately trying to do right now, because an actual debate on global warming leaves them a little short on facts. Confronted with facts they quickly change the subject to the motives of those presenting them rather than critical consideration of whether or not they're actually, you know ... true. Big Oil! Corporate Facists! Industry Stooges!

Grant whores.

Oops. Did I say that? Wow, lookie, I can call people names, too!

Narcissists. "I am angry and important!"

Yep. I guess I said that, too.
In America what matters now isn't environmental science, but political science.
Well, at last there's something we agree on.
We are still waiting for the time when an election hinges on a candidate's plans for a changing climate.
Who, excactly, is "we", Ellen? I'm thinkin' ... Democrats. Or maybe Socialists. But I repeat myself.
That's when the light bulb goes on.
And by that time you'll be up to, what, five?

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