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Satire: Man Made Global Warming, Like The Existence Of God, Is A Proven Scientific Fact — Jesus Demands That We Believe

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According to an Associated Press Science writer,

When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid.

Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it.

"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," [President Elect Obama] said . . .[on 14 December] after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. "We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way."

I reject the notion, conceivably implicit in the article, that it is all former President Clinton's fault. His carbon dioxide and methane emissions were, on a global scale, minuscule. The Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy leads only to muddled analysis; indeed, nothing former President Clinton may have done in the Oval Office could have contributed even slightly to the present horrific Global Warming mess. We must all share the blame, and behave accordingly. If no action is taken promptly, not only the Earth is damned; even innocent Mars may be seriously at risk; so may be all of the other planets in our solar system; yea, perhaps even the entire Universe. Issue must be taken, respectfully, with President Elect Obama's assertion that

Because the truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources — it's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.

While doubtless well meaning, MMGW (Man Made Global Warming, not the far less threatening Murdering Muddler George W.) is too important for reflection and delay. Fortunately, President Elect Obama's new science advisers are on the ball.

Colleagues say the post is well-suited for Holdren, who at Harvard went from battling the spread of nuclear weapons to tackling the threat of global warming. He's an award-laden scientist comfortable in many different fields.

We can only hope that Mr. Holden is as successful in combating the threat of MMGW as has been the case in combating the threat of nuclear proliferation; MMGW is far more threatening.

Since as President Elect Obama says, "we all believe" in Real Science and in MMGW and therefore believe that "the time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," it is plainly obvious that we must all accept without question the thoughtfully considered position of former Vice President Gore: the present calamitous situation is "the equivalent of a five-alarm fire that has to be addressed immediately." Those who are skeptical of MMWG, all of whom wear tin foil hats and are wickedly misinformed, should chill out, sit down and shut up. Right Now. Not only that, they should confess their sins, promise to sin no more and do penance. We must save the world, now! Undeniably, later will be too late.

We must not consider, even for a moment, what the pernicious debunkers claim. They are ideologically impaired and not even one of them is a Real Scientist. The Truth is not in them. And, obviously, we must not consider anything reported by Faux News:

Scientists skeptical of the assertion that climate change is the result of man's activities are criticizing a recent Associated Press report [linked above] on global warming, calling it "irrational hysteria," "horrifically bad" and "incredibly biased."

They say the report, which was published on Monday, contained sweeping scientific errors and was a one-sided portrayal of a complicated issue.

"If the issues weren't so serious and the ramifications so profound, I would have to laugh at it," said David Deming, a geology professor at the University of Oklahoma who has been critical of media reporting on the climate change issue.

The fact that Faux News even suggests that MMGW concerns are overblown proves conclusively that MMGW is not only real but that it is the greatest threat facing the world.

According to BBC, some scientists assert that the world in 2008 has been cooler than at any time since the turn of the century, even though 2008 still ranks among the 10 warmest years on record. If the BBC analysis means to suggest that MMGW does not threaten us all, right now, it is a tissue of lies. As noted in the ABC report linked above, "Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it." This is true even though (according to a table in the BBC report) temperatures failed to increase in 2005 and decreased in 2006, 2007 and 2008. We need only consider the Undeniable Truth. Even in the unlikely (and ideologically unacceptable) event that there has been global cooling of late and may be more later, it's all a snare and a delusion, as the BBC report suggests. Although computer models "suggest that natural cycles may cool the Earth's surface in the next few years," these cycles simply mask the warming impact of rising greenhouse gas levels. Mother Nature, poor girl, may be making a valiant effort to hide her pain, but we all know that it is real and probably fatal unless we intervene, right now.

Moreover, even MMGW skeptics, base and rabid jerks though they may be, must not claim that all members of the Church of Global Warming are nuts. That is true of only a very few. Indeed, only one True Believer has thus far been clinically diagnosed as insane. "The patient had . . . developed the belief that, due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people through exhaustion of water supplies." Only the deniers are consistently nuts. When the President of the Czech Republic last year suggested that Former Vice President Gore is crazy, and claimed that MMGW is a "false myth," he himself must have been suffering from MMGW induced dementia (Man Made Global Warming Dementia Syndrome or MMGWDS). Even the redundancy of the phrase "false myth," as used by President Klaus makes this obvious.

The debate about MMGW is now over, as it properly should be. Thus Spake Obama. President Vaclav Klaus should hang his head in abject shame and seek psychiatric help. Lunatic views contrary to those of the Real Scientists are hurtful, and must be recanted. The very existence of humankind — and quite probably even life on Mars — are at stake.

Non-Satirical Postscript

The point of this attempt at satire is neither that global warming is not occurring nor that if it is, it is unrelated to human activity. The point is that "faith" and "belief" are religious rather than scientific concepts. We do not (and in any event should not) build roads or dams or subsidize various industries based on "faith" or "belief." Nor should the collective we (i.e., the Government) base other collective actions on faith and religious-type beliefs. When that happens, the consequences tend to be undesirable.

We do not "believe" that the Earth is round; we have long had irrefutable evidence that it is. There is no need for belief or for faith — although there once was for the proposition that the Earth is flat. Many hypotheses are less certain than the roundness of the Earth, yet we accept them. For example, we accept the notion that gravity exists, even though scientists continue to debate such questions as why and how. Religious doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth, Transubstantiation and the Trinity — and now man-made global warming as it is currently being presented — are different. Before moving expensively and precipitously to stop global warming, more attention should be paid to the why and how of it.

Regardless of whether global warming is occurring, and regardless of its causes, it makes sense to clean up the environment for lots of other reasons. Some of the clean-up may diminish whatever man made global warming there is; some may not. All environmental clean-up efforts cost scarce resources, and some are more costly than others; some have better cost-benefit ratios than others. Choices must be made. In choosing between those clean-ups which may impact favorably on global warming and those which may not, we should not be moved by hysterical scenarios based on what have become secular religious beliefs. Nor should we truncate the discussion because there is an alleged "scientific" consensus or because it is the politically correct or expedient thing to do.

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About Dan Miller

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan,

    An interesting read. One of the problems that science shares with the society around it is that ideas come and go, and as they do the “proof” behind them often goes “poof”. Once upon a time, the universe was held to be in a steady state, having existed forever. Now it is acknowledged to have had a beginning, even if the identity of the Beginner is yet under dispute, and even if the idea that the beginning was actually The Beginning is disputed as well.

    For many years, scientists did not dispute the slow evolution posited by Darwin. Indeed proof that the slow evolution concept of Darwin was not necessarily true sat languishing in a scientist’s drawer for decades. He feared to release it, lest he lose his sinecure.

    So the “Church of Global Warming”, and its pope both deserve careful scrutiny.

    Having said all of this, there is the concept of “global dimming” of the sun’s light that explains why many of the predicted effects of global warming have not occurred. If partial efforts are made at cleaning the air, such that the sun’s light comes in even more strongly than it does now, many of these predicted effects of global warming do show themselves. Europe’s increasingly erratic weather can be blamed on the partial clearing of air pollutants which increase the sun’s light over Europe.

    All in all, Dan, while “Global Warming” is and has been a good cash cow (cows and their flatulence, by the way, supposedly increase the pollution of the air), it may actually be true – but mitigated by other forms of pollution which are generally off the popular radar – like jet fuel that cuts the amount of light reaching the planet. In looking at global pollution, one needs a truly global view – in the most catholic sense of the word – and people are generally incapable of such broad vision.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well written, as usual, Dan, although your satire rather hangs on there actually being a pervasive quasi-religious fanaticism regarding global warming in the politico-scientific community (now there’s a tortured sentence I never thought I’d have call to write).

    Beware men of straw.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Also tin men and cowardly lions.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy and all the other global-warming-deniers, a variation on “Pascal’s wager”:

    If we do all we can to mitigate global warming, and the whole thing turns out to be a hoax on the grandest scale, yes, there will be a lot of economic damage, and America will suffer somewhat economically.

    But if we do NOT tackle the global-warming problem, and the whole thing turns out to be true, THEN what?

    In other words, you’re willing to gamble modern human civilization just to ‘protect the American economy’.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Glenn,

    Read the last two paragraphs of my comment again, please. You will see that I do not really doubt global warming at all. Google up “global dimming” and you will see why global warming seems so problematic.

    I do appreciate Dan’s satire though on the new orthodoxy – it stands – along with the many mistakes that scientists make trying to get it right – as warning that the boys in the lab coats may not quite have it down like they think they do.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen,

    If you will re-read my non-satirical postscript, you may find that I do not deny either that there has from time to time been global warming or that human activity may have caused an indeterminate amount of it. What I find offensive is the notion, espoused with religious fervor, that MMGW definitely exists, that if steps are not taken immediately to check it there will be horrific consequences, that carbon dioxide (and probably methane) emissions are clearly the primary cause of climate change, that anyone who contends otherwise is being silly or worse, and that the debate is over.

    As noted, cleaning up the environment is a good thing; it is rather a mess in many respects. It would also be a good thing to solve lots of other problems: cancer, poverty, starvation, unemployment, nuclear bombs, land mines, war, illiteracy, racism, tribal conflict, piracy, etc etc etc. Choices have to be made, and every one of them requires the expenditure of scarce resources; they are, to that extent, mutually exclusive.

    Often, the law of unintended consequences rears its ugly head. Surely you remember all the furor over DDT, and the at least modestly heroic efforts to eliminate it and the deaths it was thought to cause; DDT probably did cause many deaths. Unfortunately, many more deaths seem to have resulted from the resurgence of insect borne diseases, such as malaria, than were caused by spraying with DDT.

    I take a skeptical view of the claims by Former Vice President Gore and others, now seemingly accepted by President Elect Obama, that the MMGW problem is “the equivalent of a five-alarm fire that has to be addressed immediately.” You spent a long time in the Navy. Was promoting hysteria a useful way to attain good results?

    I submit that MMGW is not tantamount to a five alarm fire, and (as noted in the article) the world seems to have got cooler rather than warmer over the past three years. Let’s take a deep breath, consider what alternatives there are and which would be the most productive expenditures of resources. Assuming that there is a major MMGW problem which must be addressed promptly, it might also be useful to determine with more certainty what the root causes actually are, so that they can be addressed most effectively. That is unlikely to happen if the debate is declared over.

    Finally, you claim that I am willing to gamble modern human civilization just to ‘protect the American economy. Even leaving aside the probability that the economy is a major part of modern human civilization, it seems that any adverse impact on the U.S. economy would “trickle down” very noticeably to most other economies, even if (as seems unlikely) the U.S. were the only country to take action.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ruvy, you say and I agree,

    while “Global Warming” is and has been a good cash cow (cows and their flatulence, by the way, supposedly increase the pollution of the air), it may actually be true – but mitigated by other forms of pollution which are generally off the popular radar – like jet fuel that cuts the amount of light reaching the planet.(emphasis added)

    The problem is that when science ceases to be scientific and becomes result-driven, the “may” becomes even more problematical.

    Here is one example of this sort of thing. In April of 2007, a Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Technical Report was released. The Summary purported to “summarize” the IPCC Report released in half a year later, in November of 2007. One of the authors of the “summary,” Stephen Schneider, spoke with refreshing candor about science and the need for media attention in October of 1989

    On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both. (Quoted in Discover, pp. 45–48, Oct. 1989; for the original, together with Schneider’s commentary on it misrepresentation see also American Physical Society, APS News August/September 1996.

    According to the linked Canada Free Press article, the “summary” was consistent with this position, although less so with the November 2007 Assessment Report. Effectiveness in promoting an agenda can be misleading, particularly when the desire for effectiveness overpowers the desire for objectivity, and even more so when the underlying document itself is based on a result-driven analysis.

    The Assessment Report is highly technical and is not light reading. It is not the stuff of media reports, so a summary was probably necessary. A summary based more on the desire for objectivity, and less on the desire for “effectiveness” in promoting an agenda, would have been better. As it is, reliance upon the “summary” by the media and hence by the rest of us — particularly policy makers — is misplaced. Result-driven “scientific” studies and unfortunately successful efforts to grab media attention do not make for reliable “science.”

    As Ruvy also observes, the boys in the lab coats may not quite have it down like they think they do. Back in 1971, Mr. Schneider co-authored a “scientific” report the conclusion of which was as follows:

    [I]t is projected that man’s potential to pollute will increase 6 to 8-fold in the next 50 years. If this increased rate of injection… should raise the present background opacity by a factor of 4, our calculations suggest a decrease in global temperature by as much as 3.5 °C. Such a large decrease in the average temperature of Earth, sustained over a period of few years, is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age. However, by that time, nuclear power may have largely replaced fossil fuels as a means of energy production.

    Apparently, the same sorts of pollution now credited with causing cataclysmic global warming were then credited with causing cataclysmic global cooling, and an ice age.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan,

    That is why I pointed out the global dimming business. The climatic predictions of raising temperatures should be coming true – and are not. This means one of two things. Either the predictions are flat out wrong, or some factor has not been properly considered.

    Global dimming deals with a factor that most of the boys in white lab coats have failed to consider, and in addition deals with one of the very few benefits to emerge from the Arab attack on the World Trade Center – the downing of all planes flying over the United States for three days, and the resulting clearing of the air of residual jet fuel pollution.

    Pollution is real, and its effects are real – and are a whole hell of a lot more complex than most of us are able to comprehend. I’m making a prediction here, and I believe it will come to pass. Judaism has a concept called tikkún ha’olám – repair of the world. That concept will mean, in large part, the cleanup of the awful mess Man has made of this planet. There is an awful lot we have to answer for in our faulty stewardship of the earth and our mis-exploitation of it.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    In other words, you’re willing to gamble modern human civilization just to ‘protect the American economy’.

    Why stop now?

    BTW Glenn, I have been researching a lot about the wars waged for years against the third world population and against democracy by our own CIA etc.

    Remember your position that we are the watch dog of Democracy? It will be difficult to uphold that myth when I demonstrate that we have been crushing democracy all over the globe in order to make way for western multinational corporations to exploit people everywhere.

    Really, we don’t need the military you proposed we did. The entire world would be safer (and more liberated and free) without our “help”.

  • Nelson

    Come along little children and drink of thy holy cool aid and be free! Global warming is quack science at best. I remember the next Ice age forcast a few years back. Look outside, nobody knows nothing!

  • zingzing

    ahh, nelson… haaa-haaa.

    joke’s on us all.

  • jamminsue

    Dan,you say: Regardless of whether global warming is occurring, and regardless of its causes, it makes sense to clean up the environment for lots of other reasons.

    This is a sane and excellent point of view. There’s a reason our mothers told us to clean up after ourselves when we were children. Now humanity needs to listen to mom.

    Happy Holidays!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Thanks, jamminsue

    Dan(Miller)

  • pablo

    Cindy 9


    Remember your position that we are the watch dog of Democracy? It will be difficult to uphold that myth when I demonstrate that we have been crushing democracy all over the globe in order to make way for western multinational corporations to exploit people everywhere.”

    Don’t let Nalle see this! hehehehehe. Nice post Cindy.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Pablo –

    Heard on KPTK, a local radio station, on the message that America’s invasion of Iraq sends to other nations: “Be nice, or we’ll bring democracy to you, too!”

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    As I’ve said before, promoting democracy makes no sense and has mostly not been what we’re doing. It’s like trying to sell someone cable when they don’t have a TV yet.

    Traditionally what we’ve done best exporting is capitalism, which lays the groundwork for eventual development of democracy.

    Dave

  • pablo

    [Entire comment deleted by Comments Editor. Pablo, engage with the ideas not the personalities. Thanks.]

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen,

    That might scare the Hell out of some of them — Venezuela, Cuba, China, North Korea, etc.– if it were a creditable threat; which it wouldn’t be.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, now you’ve confused me. Exporting capitalism? Where on this Earth has the USA done that? Most places have been practising that since before the existence of the USA.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I see you guys have managed to slide away from talking about pollution, global warming and all the issues associated therewith. Shit stinks too bad, eh?

    Heh! Why am I not surprised?

    Truth of the matter is, kids, that cleaning up the shit that Man has left here is one of the very few problems that are amenable to being solved to some degree on a blog site.

    Capitalism, democracies, foreign invasions and the like make great bar discussions, but nothing aside from pissing in the bar’s toilet ever gets done….

    Carry on!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ruvy,

    Although I have written two articles about MMGW, I must confess that it primarily interests two groups of people: those who believe that (other?) people are primarily responsible for global warming, and those who suspect that MMGW is a fraud. Nobody else seems to care much, one way or the other. Unfortunate, perhaps, but pretty common.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Dan – Interesting comment. That got me thinking (and I’m going off the top of my head here) that it’s similar to abortion. If you really stop and think about global warming, and you believe it, you can’t be half-heartedly against it. It means that millions of people are going to die. You’d have to be inhuman to approach that idea calmly. Similarly, abortion, if you think about it, is either a necessary option or a holocaust. So most people feel a little weird about it, but don’t think about it much. Those that do become militant.

    I guess I’m saying that global warming isn’t approached as a religion, but with the fervor appropriate to a looming catastrophe – which is right, unless it’s wrong.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    The ‘exporting democracy via invasion’ comment was meant sardonically and is more of an indictment against the Bush administration than anything else.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baronius,

    I like the analogy, but have some difficulties with it. Those who insist that drastic steps be taken to curb MMGW rely on science (or quasi-science, depending on one’s view) to support the theses that it is happening and, as you say, that millions of people are going to die because of it. Those who argue that human activity is not a primary cause of whatever global warming there may be rely on science (or quasi-science, depending on one’s view) to support the thesis that it is not happening or that man’s activities are an insignificant cause. Were it clear that millions would die due to MMGW were drastic action not taken immediately, I do not think that many of the “MMGW deniers” would consider this result acceptable. By the same token, were it clear that bad things will not result from global warming, or that man is not a significant cause of it, I don’t think that many proponents of drastic actions would be interested in taking those actions.

    On the other hand, those who vigorously oppose abortion do not rely on science (or quasi-science) for the proposition that it terminates either life or the potential for life; there is no need for science to show that; it is a given. Those who favor freedom of choice in the abortion arena equally recognize (without the aid of science) that it terminates either life or the potential for life. Presumably, they have made the value judgment that freedom of choice is more important and that the State therefore should not interfere. The same could be said in the context of assisted suicide.

    Judgments about whether abortion should be permitted seem to be based on moral or religious perceptions; judgments about whether and to what extent MMGW is occurring, and the consequences, seem to be based on scientific analysis, distorted in one direction or another to comport with ideological beliefs or other notions which seem to me to be quasi-religious in nature.

    As to MMGW, it strikes me that the cart has been placed squarely before the horse; we would all be better off if the science of it were not distorted by moral or ideological views. Then, the debate (if any) about what (if anything) should be done about it could focus on the moral or ideological aspects. I suspect that there would be substantially less debate were this to happen.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen,

    I recognized that; I was just being snotty. The Devil made me do it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    The ‘exporting democracy via invasion’ comment was meant sardonically and is more of an indictment against the Bush administration than anything else.

    Too bad that it didn’t start with Bush (the later) or even Bush (the former).

    One of the biggest differences between Bush and the rest of them is that Bush is the first one too say, “Yeehaw, stand back, we’re gonna do whatever the fuck we want in your country and if you don’t like it you’re gonna wish you did.” That plus trying to remove any checks on his power and being so blatant in his style.

    Whereas in the past, most presidents didn’t much call attention to what has been standard policy for a long time. Most media carried almost nothing about it.

    Hey, did you hear the one about East Timor? Never heard of it? No surprise there, neither have most people who believe we are the good guys.

  • Clavos

    Too bad that it didn’t start with Bush (the later) or even Bush (the former).

    Too bad also it didn’t include Kennedy and Johnson, for their “democratization” of Vietnam.

  • Cindy D

    RE #16

    Dave,

    Traditionally what we’ve done best exporting is capitalism, which lays the groundwork for eventual development of democracy.

    Friedman is dead Dave. I suggest we bury him. Sounds like you’re channeling him to me. He was known for his lies where his libertarian views were concerned. He answered pre-made “tough” questions, with pat theoretical answers. They were no answers at all. I have collected some of these questions/answers as examples.

    I agree with you, the first-world (led by the U.S.) has been exporting its own brand of “Capitalism” and not democracy. And seeing that is what I think makes you a thoughtful person. But they’re not doing it because, as Friedman said, free markets are requisite for the development of free society. And still believing that is what I see as one of your biggest limitations.

    The U.S. has wrecked budding social democracy in third world countries, so that it can install or promote regimes favorable to first world flavored Capitalism (what is in its own interest). This is what people need BEFORE they can achieve democracy? They need powerful nations to ruin their democratic choices in the name of helping them to “eventually” be “free”? What kind of blind does a person have to be to believe that?

    Belief in the gospel of the “free market” is a “faith” that denies reality. It is worse than any other religious practice I can imagine.

    I really think you support liberty. You should question your beliefs Dave. Perhaps your faith requires that you don’t look for or directly at the evidence. I hope you try to push past that.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos – One wonders what course the Cold War would have taken if the Vietnam War had never happened. I really don’t know.

    Cindy – One wonders how many conservatives realize that Iran and Indonesia are honest-to-goodness democracies, and that for the upcoming elections in each country, the moderates have made great strides and may take power…but just as attacks against the U.S. causes our nation to vote more conservatively, threats of invasion or other punitive measures by America causes other countries to lean more towards their respective nationalist right wings.

  • STM

    If the Vietnam War had never happened, Clavos would never have got his Aussie titfer. Every cloud has a silver lining. Making it home in one piece is the first, getting a hat was the second, ending up as a regular on BC the third.

    Cindy, you are wrong, wrong, wrong about East Timor – the US military didn’t “invade” East Timor – the Australian military did.

    It had nothing to do with the exporting of democracy as you might perceive it … the East Timorese were invaded by Indonesia in the 1970s after being granted independence from Portugal.

    The invasion was a brutal, bloody affair, and the Timorese have hated them ever since.

    The East Timorese, simply, wanted the Indoes out … but the Indonesians didn’t want to go.

    If you know anything about what went on there at the time prior to the Australian landings, you wouldn’t be suggesting that the occupation by the Aussies was in any way bad.

    There were armed gangs of pro-Indonesian Timorese supported by Kopassuss, the Indo special forces, going around killing the localals. Massacre after massacre would be the best way to describe it.

    The East Timorse asked for Australian help to regain their independence, and they got it and much of it was done through diplomatic channels with the backing of the UN. It wasn’t unilateral.

    What’s happened since probably has more to do with what’s happened there in the past four decades than about what’s happened recently.

    The role of the Australians was mainly to secure East Timor, nullify the role of the pro-Indo forces and make sure the Indoensian armed forces stayed away, especially Kopassus, and to protect the locals aligned with the pro-independence movement.

    That’s what they did, surprisingly in the end with the help of the Indonesian government, and they did it well. Bloodshed has been kept to a minimum there, unlike some other places, despite the recent dramas.

    Yes, they are having their problems … but they’ll be resolved. Life is better there now than it was under the Indo occupation (and yes, it WAS a second colonial occupation … because the Timorese were never part of what is now modern Inonesia).

    I’d rather have Australians with an inherited 1500-year history of genuine social democracy around helping to rebuild a country than to be under the boot of the Indonesians – who are only now really moving towards a genuine democracy in the past 10 years and who may or may not remain that way, given the history of Indonesian dictatorship.

  • Cindy D

    Clav,

    Too bad also it didn’t include Kennedy and Johnson, for their “democratization” of Vietnam.

    It does in my book Clav.

  • Cindy D

    Stan?

    Cindy, you are wrong, wrong, wrong about East Timor – the US military didn’t “invade” East Timor – the Australian military did.

    I’m wrong? I think you are reading into my comment. Please reread my post. I never said the U.S. “invaded” East Timor.

    The U.S. was complicit in the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia and supported it throughout, Indonesia being “a major center of multinational corporate activity”.*

    Suharto: A Declassified Documentary Obit
    National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 242

    Washington, DC, January 28, 2008 – As Indonesia buries the ex-dictator Suharto, who died Sunday at the age of 86, the National Security Archive today posted a selection of declassified U.S. documents detailing his record of repression and corruption, and the long-standing U.S. support for his regime.

    The documents include transcripts of meetings with Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, as well as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Vice-President Walter Mondale, then Vice-President George H. W. Bush, and former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke.

    *First quote from this article:
    East Timor: Media Turned Their Backs on Genocide

  • Cindy D

    And Stan,

    It had nothing to do with the exporting of democracy as you might perceive it…

    I think you misunderstand my position. I would never say the U.S. is exporting democracy, unless I was being ironic. That is the propaganda used when the U.S. is actually…

    …propping up anyone who supports its economic policies regardless of who they are and even when they are dictators who are busy crushing democracy or the sovereignty of small countries. In some cases it has installed dictators who have crushed socialist, popular communist and social democratic movements or rebellions.

  • Cindy D

    Ruvy,

    I am sorry for moving the conversation away from the environment. The truth is I was about to post something from a UK study and I started to look at global dimming, as you suggested. Soon I wanted to barf. I gave up and, like a coward, changed the subject.

  • STM

    Ah sorry, Cindy, I have misread you … I thought you were talking about the Australian military occupation, and subsequent deployment of INTERFET, which was actually done to secure East Timor’s independence FROM Indonesia a few years back.

    As you will appreciate, it is very close to home in this part of the world and Suharto hasn’t been a popular figure. Australians were outraged at the Indonesian invasion in the 1970s, and the story of the Balibo five – the Aussie newsmen massacred by Indonesian troops in East Timor during the 1970s invasion – remains a story here to this day.

    We were as a nation very much at odds with the US in its support for Suharto, while remaining cognisant a) of our very close ties to the United States, which is our major ally, and b) the fact that Indonesia is our closest neighbour and that we are a part of the region, not a part of Europe or the new world.

    In fact nearly all Australian military planning until recently has been done with Indonesia at the forefront of our minds. Suharto was looked on kindly at first and at least ended Konfrontasi, Indonesia’s armed confrontation of Malaysia (starting in 1962), when he succeeded Sukarno … a war that we were actively sucked into in this country and which appeared to have set the stage for what was to come.

    But then came East Timor at Suharto’s order in 1975.

    Thankfully, they are steering a different course up there in Indo these days but it remains a volatile place and a perceived danger in some ways despite the fact there is much more inter-governmental co-operation with Australia on such things as investigating the Bali bombings, joint military exercises and practical aid for the tsunami survivors and for those suffering up there in subsequent catastrophes.

    Sorry again Cindy, I did misread you.

    Season’s greetings.

  • STM

    The US initially had high hopes for Suharto and supported him and the indonesian armed forces in the 1965 overthrow of Sukarno as a way of ending Konfrontasi and ending near anarchy in Indonesia, but as usual, the way it has done in south and central America, didn’t look beyond the short-term to what Suharto might do and what he might become – just another tinpot dictator, backed by the US, trampling any vestige of human rights.

    He was in the same league as that other south-east Asian dictator/strongman, Ferdinand Marcos – everything, in fact, the US says it’s opposed to.

    Sukarno had been highly critical of the West, and saw an independent Malaysia as a parliamentary deomocracy as simply a continuation of British imperialism (and thus US interests) in the region – which was a gross misreprentation of what the Malysian people wanted to carve for themselves (which they’ve done, and how).

    Suharto turned out to be just as bad as Sukarno, just in a different way. No one should ever forget his human rights abuses.

  • Cindy D

    Stan,

    I am pleased to hear that Australia news coverage was robust.

    Here is one of the things our media did (with its pitiful almost non-existent coverage) from the link above re the media @ #32. They treated it as if it was a Indonesian colony or province that had rebelled:

    Three recent reports from East Timor (Philip Shenon, New York Times, 4/21/93 and 4/24/93, and Colin Nickerson, Boston Globe, 6/29/93) are indicative of this problem. In all three, the dateline is given as “Dili, Indonesia.” Shenon even refers to Dill [sic] as the “provincial capital.” It is difficult to imagine either paper referring to “Kuwait City, Iraq” or to Kuwait as an Iraqi “province” during Iraq’s occupation.

    …but as usual, the way it has done in south and central America, didn’t look beyond the short-term to what Suharto might do and what he might become – just another tinpot dictator, backed by the US, trampling any vestige of human rights.

    Indeed, America, with all its CIA intelligence, “didn’t look beyond the short-term” for greater than 20 years…just like in Central and South America. America did not look beyond its own agenda and its current trade agreements are having disastrous affects, as it is still busy not “looking beyond the short-term” caring about anything but its own economic agenda, but that is another story.

  • STM

    It was robust, all right … five newsmen gave their lives reporting on the invasion in 1975, and we’ve never let up about it since. Nor the invasion itself.

    Mind you, it IS only 400 miles north of this country, so it’s a fairly hot issue. I can understand given the geographical distance that American media might not report on it, but IMO that’s a worry in itself.

    I’ve found when I’m in the US that the news you get is mostly about America.

    We might do pages of world news in our papers here, while in some cases in America, even in the big national broadsheets, there’d be a couple of short, offbeat stories. Any other foreign news you might have found was actually about America anyway … what US forces were doing somewhere, or a visit to somewhere by the state department.

    Ordinary Americans absolutely need to know MUCH more about the world than they do, and what role their government plays in world affairs, and who’s doing what and to whom, since all these things are interconnected and the US doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but until eveyone’s up to speed, it’s going to be a long slow process.

    I suspect that’s changed a bit in recent years, but there’s a ways to go.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    I started to look at global dimming, as you suggested. Soon I wanted to barf. I gave up and, like a coward, changed the subject.

    Just curious. Why?

  • STM

    Calling all Americans …

    This is a message from the future

    It’s already Christmas Down Under.

    Season’s greetings from Australia (1.10am, December 25).

    I’m off to bed, waiting for Santa. Hope your Christmas Eve turns out to be as good as mine was.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    STM,

    And a Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas to you!

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    Merry Christmas Stan!

  • Cindy D

    Ruvy,

    In a nutshell, my understanding before I fled reading about it. It said that if we clear up the things that cause global warming (emissions and such that have been blocking the heat and having a cooling effect), we will be allowing more warming into the atmosphere and will accelerate global warming like crazy.

    I can’t even bear to see any of the arguments. Not right now.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy D,

    It is a complex subject, involving a plethora of variables, some of them unknown or disputed. That’s one of the reasons why the proponents of MMGW find it necessary to

    to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.(See my Comment #7for link and rest of quote)

    There is no known cure for this malady, other than perhaps to get rid of bumpers.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    Thanks Dan Miller. It’s all so overwhelming.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Thank You Cindy D — that it is all so overwhelming is the basic essence of the article.

    At the risk of being politically very incorrect, Merry Christmas.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    Merry Christmas Dan Miller! Political incorrectness! YAY!

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    STM –

    I’ve found when I’m in the US that the news you get is mostly about America.

    That’s why I’m so grateful for the internet, so I can get news from OUTside America’s borders.

    In the latest issue of The Economist, Henry Kissinger notes that the coming years will see the end of America’s hubris…and as unpatriotic as it may sound, I think it’s about doggone time we joined the rest of the world.

    I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I think the rest of you would like it here – we’ve had 12-14 inches of snow before today, and we’re now in the process of getting 2-6 more, so much that my youngest son is now sick of it – especially after he got to shovel the hundred-foot-plus driveway…and he’ll get to do it some more today (again, with my help, of course). But it sure is good watching him learn to work a shovel! :)

    We were watching three does eat the leaves from the trees in our yard – they can’t get to their normal food anymore…but that will change soon, because the normal Seattle weather of gray, gloomy skies and rain will be here Friday, and I’ll be glad to see it!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I read somewhere that while the measures taken to eliminate CFCs a few years back appear to be having some success in solving the original problem – ozone depletion – there seem to be some potential knock-on effects in regard to exacerbating climate change.

    Oy, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Bet that kid with his finger in the dyke wished he was an octopus.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And Glenn, I hope your weather forecast is broadly accurate, because I’m supposed to be flying to Portland on Friday and last time I checked, most flights into and out of PDX were being cancelled…

    Season’s greetings to you and yours!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Doc,

    If you are flying out of San Francisco, you may want to buy some certified carbon offsets. They are available at the airport. Do hurry, the supply is limited.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Ditto to you, and have a safe flight!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan,

    Alas, on this occasion I used money offsets* to purchase a ticket on what under normal circumstances is a prohibitively expensive flight out of my local airport. SFO is, however, my airport of choice for international travel and I would be interested in such a purchase: not because of carbon offsets (the plane is going to fly and pollute with or without me) but because the projects being funded seem to be very worthwhile in themselves.

    * Credit card reward points.

  • Clavos

    Merry Christmas all!! (I will NOT use “Happy Holidays!”)

    Stan, where Christmas comes first in all the world, I hope you and yours have the best one yet!

    Dan, Cindy, Ruvy, Jet, Dave, Chris, Bar1 and Bar2, :>), Doc, zing, Mark E, Glenn, Condor, Cannon, and all the names I may have left out:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  • Cindy D

    Wishing Clav a Merry Christmas in politically incorrect colors! Woohoo!

  • STM

    Thanks for all your wishes, yankee/pommy dudes.

    It’s mayhem here … it’s 8am Christmas morning in sunny Oz. Not too hot outside yet. Hoping it stays that way. Woken at 6.15 by the garbage men collecting the Christmas Eve rubbish, followed by my daughter, and then the dog. Wife getting over fairly extensive Corona hangover :)

    Santa’s been, presents opened. My daughter has half the local shopping mall piled up on the couch.

    Me: I got the COMPLETE set of Aubrey/Maturin novels in hardcover, by Patrick O’Brian. Yes! Plus Dexter seasons 1 and 2, which I’ve seen but could watch again any time.

    Also, nice new boardshorts from my son (21) who went out and spent all his own money for the first time on other people.

    Dog got a packet of Schmacko’s dog chews, and is on the second one already.

    Going out for seafood lunch on the harbour at midday.

    Hopefully my wife will have recovered by then, or it won’t be pretty.

    Hey guys …. have a great one!

  • Mark Eden

    Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah. Peace to all you folks.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Once upon a time, long ago and on a different thread, I (or maybe it was someone else) suggested that human blubber from liposuction procedures be considered as an alternative fuel source. And all praise be to Mani, it happened.

    Liposuctioning unwanted blubber out of pampered Los Angelenos may not seem like a dream job, but it has its perks. Free fuel is one of them.

    For a time, Beverly Hills doctor Craig Alan Bittner turned the fat he removed from patients into biodiesel that fueled his Ford SUV and his girlfriend’s Lincoln Navigator.

    Unfortunately, this is illegal in California

    Bittner is being investigated by the state’s public health department.

    Although it’s unclear when Bittner started and stopped making fat fuel or how he made it, his activities came to light after recent lawsuits filed by patients that allege he allowed his assistant and his girlfriend to perform surgeries without a medical license.

    Excessive regulation will be the downfall of all progress.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Cindy D

    [Merry Christmas] and PEACE to Mark Eden!

    Mark,

    I’ve started a list of occupations and solidarity responses on my blog. If you find any more in your travels would you let me know? My e-mail is there.

  • Mark Eden

    Absolutely can do!

  • Cindy D

    Dave,

    I couldn’t get everyone here a Christmas present. So, I only got one for you. Here is:

    The Milton Friedman Choir

    singing

    The Corporation

    (It sounds very Christmassy too!)

    I transcribed the words so you can sing along if you like Dave!

    Milton Friedman on corporations says,
    Corporations have no social duty,
    Except to those who own their stock,
    The corporation really has no choice.

    Milton Friedman on corporations says,
    Corporations are amoral,
    Corporate conscience is impossible,
    The corporation really has no choice.

    So for those who want corporations virtuous,
    It’s not possible. That is unless,
    It makes some cash for the shareholders,
    The corporation really has no choice.

    So if you want your freedom,
    Let the corporation seize the day,
    There really is no better way,
    Let’s privatize, choice is the way,
    Let corporations run the schools,
    Let the free market make the rules
    Choose to privatize, I say.

    From kindergarten to senior high school,
    Today the parents have no choice,
    But in the future, they will choose their schools,
    Competition will make all the rules.

    So if you want your freedom,
    It’s a corporate world today,
    There really is no better way,
    Let’s privatize I always say,
    Let corporations run our schools,
    Let’s use free markets as our tool,
    Privatize I always say.

    From student to client to customer,
    Let’s get this school stuff straight,
    Let markets rule us, state’s should not school us,
    Now we’re free to choose.

    We’ll retrain our teachers and purchase our players,
    For business is business and school is school,
    And freedom to choose says Friedman,
    Or you will lose says Friedman.

    Freedom is freedom says Friedman!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS DAVE!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan,

    It boggles the mind that the legislature here in California still can’t agree the State budget for 2008, but can somehow find time to pass legislation on the off-chance that someone might seek to power their car on human off-cuts.

    What a world, what a world…

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Stan: I got the COMPLETE set of Aubrey/Maturin novels in hardcover, by Patrick O’Brian

    Ooh, you lucky Aussie bastard you. Which it’s on my list as well. ;-) Here’s hoping…

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Thanks, Cindy. Excellent Christmas libertarianism.

    You ought to write up this story about the teenager murdered in Greece and the reaction for BC, btw.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Okay Dave. I will do that. It’s going to be a lot easier than the million part article on Capitalism I’m wrestling with.

  • Condor

    “Too bad also it didn’t include Kennedy and Johnson, for their “democratization” of Vietnam.”
    Clavos

    Thanks Clavos, and may I point out that “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can for your country” actually turned out to mean that JFK was going start up a war, hence drafting the American youth, hence sending them to a war zone so a bunch of them could join him at Arlington National. With LBJ’s help of course.

  • Clavos

    I know, Condor. I was one of them…