Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fill in the blanks

Consider the following diatribe against the system that I found on the web:
If a contest were held to award the most scientifically baseless, politically oppressive, morally bankrupt, economically destructive environmental farce, the hands-down winner would be the theory of global warming.

Whenever a major action is being dictated, especially at the national level, you should ask yourself, "Who benefits?" If your answer includes arrogant "scientists," trendy politicians & faceless corporate bureaucrats, you can safely assume that scandal is not far behind. Obviously these do-gooders will proclaim that you are going to benefit because they are doing you a big favor; one you don't remember requesting. If you're starting to feel queasy, good.

When I began studying the theory that greenhouse gases were affecting the climate, I found less & less, not more, credibility. What I did find however is that people who will make money on this scandal support it, & choose to deny or ignore the facts. This trend continues at an accelerating pace.
This sounds like pretty routine stuff, right? Actually, I've edited a few words: the bold words have been replaced as follows:
  • "theory of global warming" was really "the banning of CFCs."
  • "greenhouse gases" was really "CFCs"
  • "climate" was "ozone layer"
The point here is that the arguments you hear about climate change are just a re-run of the arguments over ozone depletion. And when the next environmental issues comes up, just replace the bold words with whatever is necessary to attack the science of that issue. You see ... it's easy to be a "skeptic"!

7 comments:

EliRabett said...

Wanna bet that I can find a similar diatribe against second hand tobacco smoke, acid rain, etc. But, of course, we have already had that discussion

Anonymous said...

Don't keep us in suspense. Where did you get the original? Google isn't revealing it on the web (Google does not know everything).

Would like to read the original.

Anonymous said...

Never mind. Found it when I added the word 'ozone' to quotes you posted. The original appears to have been written by a Paul V. Sheridan, identified as being associated with Dr. Detroit Motorsports in Detroit,
Michigan.

I found it online here (http://cypherpunks.venona.com/date/1994/04/msg00813.html) identified as being reproduced from a 1994 issue of The Spotlight, a newspaper run by the anti-semitic and white racialist Liberty Lobby. Liberty Lobby no longer exists.

Your point appears on closer examination to be that AGW skeptics are parroting the arguments of bankrupt anti-semitic, racist institutions, simply changing the topic from 'ozone' to GW.

Was this intentional?

Regardless, perhaps you realize that you can add many topics in place of ozone to the Liberty Lobby screed. For instance, one could write:

"If a contest were held to award the most scientifically baseless, politically oppressive, morally bankrupt, economically destructive environmental farce, the hands-down winner would be the theory that mercury causes autism.

...When I began studying the theory that mercury causes autism, I found less & less, not more, credibility. What I did find however is that people who will make money on this scandal support it, & choose to deny or ignore the facts. This trend continues at an accelerating pace."

Or:

"If a contest were held to award the most scientifically baseless, politically oppressive, morally bankrupt, economically destructive environmental farce, the hands-down winner would be the theory that silicon from leaking breast implants causes connective-tissue disease.

...When I began studying the theory that silicon causes connective-tissue disease, I found less & less, not more, credibility. What I did find however is that people who will make money on this scandal support it, & choose to deny or ignore the facts. This trend continues at an accelerating pace."

Etc.

The failure of a racist, anti-semitic group to write a convincing screed on ozone actually says not a thing about AGW, one way or the other.

Burn said...

The argument Dessler is making is the arguments by skeptics of global warming are so superficial they can be exchanged with the arguments of the skeptics of the ban on CFCs. So yes he does realize different issues can be put in there.

Andrew Dessler said...

Anon.-

You bring up a good point. I agree that the failure of those opposed to CFC regulation to produce any credible scientific arguments does not automatically mean that the same can be said for the arguments against AGW. However, if one investigates the science, it turns out that the parallels are exact ... in other words, the arguments against AGW are exactly as good as the arguments against CFCs.

Also, the fact that this text was associated with a racist group was not known to me when I wrote this, so don't read anything into that.

Regards

EliRabett said...

I'm not sure why the fact that Freedom Form is racist is relevent here. They were also reliably radical right, which is the point. You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dessler, thank you for the clarification on the 'racist group' bit. As for the arguments on CFCs being "exactly as good" as those on AGW, that would be in the eye of the beholder, would it not? There are so many arguments, with such varied levels of sophistication, that I would be reluctant to lump them all together. A personal preference, perhaps.

EliRabett, it appears that you are confusing the Freedom Forum with the Liberty Lobby, two groups that had/have extremely, extremely little in common. You remark about dogs and fleas is similarly misguided, as the Liberty Lobby was never in any form associated with the U.S. conservative movement (indeed, even to associate with the Liberty Lobby would render a person unemployable with conservative organizations) and certainly not with anyone discussed on this blog or elsewhere as a climate change skeptic. If your larger point is that all conservatives and/or AGW skeptics are disreputable (dogs), that is a prejudice of your own that has no bearing on the validity of issues relating to CFCs or AGW.

In my experience, those whose views are clouded by prejudice rarely see any issues clearly, be they on the left or the right.