Saturday, February 03, 2007

The global warming "perfect storm" of deceit

From The New York Times:

PARIS, Feb. 2 — In a grim and powerful assessment of the future of the planet, the leading international network of climate scientists has concluded for the first time that global warming is “unequivocal” and that human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.

They said the world was in for centuries of climbing temperatures, rising seas and shifting weather patterns — unavoidable results of the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

This is the setup. In every con you have to have a setup. There needs to be a problem so that the con artist can sell you a solution. In River City the trouble started with "T" And that rhymed with "P" and that stood for "Pool". The answer was a boy's band and the whole thing ended with Robert Preston kissing Shirley Jones down by the walking bridge.

In the 21st century the Big Con being perpetuated, this time by matchstick men with graduate degrees, is global warming. We have a certified grade-A PROBLEM. The Earth is heating up and even though it was hotter in the Middle Ages and the effect of that past warming was to make the planet a better place for people, plants and animals THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT. No particular reasons are given why it will be different this time. It just will. Take their word for it [John Cleese voice] They're Qualified!

Now you can't just present the problem to have a successful con. If all you do is tell people that the sky is falling and then shut up they won't give you any money. You have to propose a SOLUTION to the problem in order rake in the green. See:

But their report, released here on Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said warming and its harmful consequences could be substantially blunted by prompt action.

There is a problem and it is serious, but if we just consume big healthy doses of the elixir which they just happen to possess in abundant supply we will get all better. To understand the snake oil which we are being encouraged to buy we need to understand the team of confidence artists who are attempting to swindle us and what it is that motivates them.

Group one is the aforementioned scientists. The goals which this group seeks are grant money from governments, foundations and business and prestige (getting articles published in the popular press, getting interviewed on the Sunday morning shows, being called to testify before congress and so on). Money and prestige, in that order. Inventing a problem which isn't really there means that you can research it till the cows come home and any "solution" which you eventually come up with (just before you sense that the money is about to run out) can be said to solve the problem because all the bad stuff that was never going to happen anyway, which you said was going to happen, won't happen. You can take credit for the fact that New York City was never flooded, even though New York City was never in any danger of being flooded.

This is like the tarot card reader telling you that disaster will strike next Tuesday, then when nothing happens next Tuesday telling you that you were more careful because of the warning and changed your destiny and that will be $99.95 please.

The next group of con artists are the left-wing politicians. They do not really believe in global warming on a personal level. If they did they would use their power to enact the drastic measures which the problem's supposed seriousness calls for. For example nuclear power emits no greenhouse gasses and is perfectly safe.

As an aside isn't it funny how the American left worships at the alter of everything French desiring the US to imitate them in their foreign policy, their lack of morals, their almost total abandonment of any kind of theistic religion, yet ignores the one thing in which they legitimately are smarter than we are, the fact that almost all of their electricity is generated by nuclear power?

No, the left-wing politicians do not believe in catastrophic human-caused global warming but it does present them with an excellent opportunity. The American political left has long envied the success of socialist parties in other nations like Cuba, China, The Soviet Union and now in Venezuela. Of course it is necessary to understand that they measure success by the amount of power that socialist politicians can gather to themselves, not by how well the average person in a socialist country lives - by that standard socialism is the greatest failure in the history of the earth, even the deified kings of the ancient world did better by their people than modern leftists.

Getting the population to believe that the world will end unless government is granted draconian powers to tax and regulate is just what the doctor ordered for elites who have infinite faith in the power of government to create Utopia (as long as the elites are in charge). The more power that the legislature has over American economic activity the more corporations desiring to do business in America will need to purchase favor from congress. This gives politicians more leverage over corporate America.

This does much more than generate campaign contributions, although that it nothing to sneeze at. It generates an enormous amount of political patronage which legislators are able to control and dole out in exchange for votes. For example a corporation whose boardroom and executive suites are filled with African-Americans, Hispanics and women, which provides on-site day care and provides generous domestic partner benefits is less likely to be regulated out of existence.

Another group of flimflam men pushing the catastrophic man-caused global warming urban legend is the private environmental groups like Greenpeace and The Sierra Club. If the government buys into the scenario of imminent ecological disaster which they have been peddling that dramatically increases their stature. They were right all along! This guarantees their leaders lots of face time on cable TV and the Sunday Shows. It attracts huge numbers of new members and an avalanche of donations. Money and numbers give them a more prominent place at the Democrat Table O' Power and a bigger slice of the pie to munch upon while they sit there.

Then finally there is the mainstream media. To the media disaster makes good copy. Fewer and fewer people are watching the network news broadcasts and the nation's daily broadsheet newspapers are on life-support and the families are standing around the hospital room openly eyeing "the plug". Offering the great unwashed the chance to tune in or read all about the coming apocalypse just might do the trick when it comes to bringing back some readers or viewers.

The media tried 20 years ago to generate some doomsday buzz with the specter of global cooling. This had the benefit of just possibly being true. The earth is overdue for another ice age and the Antarctic ice sheet was getting thicker then (and it still is, BTY). But the looming glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere didn't do the trick because, if it is happening, humanity isn't the cause of it and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it. A catastrophe which no one can be blamed for and which a higher capital-gains tax won't cure just isn't sexy enough.

The truth is that the media doesn't care what the disaster du jour is as long as it interests people enough to raise ratings or sell papers and magazines. The barometer of when global warming will have run its course will be when the media drops it and moves on to the next THREAT WHICH ENDANGERS YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN.

All of these groups are each pursuing their own self interest. In the modern world the academy has become a giant brothel where roughed and powered scientist/whores try to line their pockets by figuring out what the government/foundation "John" wants and doing it for him better than all the other over educated bang-tails on the street corner. Politicians who wish to magnify their power by exploiting any situation which they can spin into a crisis are only too happy to fund any area of research which will frighten the soccer-moms into voting them back into power and forking over ever larger chunks of their, and their husband's paychecks. And "journalists" who only want to keep their newspapers, magazines or TV shows going for a few more years, until they retire, so that they won't have to go out and get real jobs (because the only thing most of them are really qualified for involves memorizing the phrase "would you like fries with that?) are only happy to serve as a megaphone for latter-day Chicken Littles because fear sells.

What these groups have in common is that they inhabit the fever swamps of the post-modern socialist left. All of them share a mostly unexamined belief in the power of government to do good if only granted the power to do so. This faith in the power of "progressive" government to fashion a better world is the animating myth which allows them to lie, cheat and steal without viewing themselves as liars, cheats or thieves. Like the Medieval Churchmen who lined their pockets by selling counterfeit relics and filled their pews with bogus miracle stories and justified all of it by claiming that they were "funding God's work" and "building the faith of the flock" the modern priests of Gaia fleece their flocks while telling themselves that it is all for their own good.

The propensity of mankind to find an amazing level of coincidence between God's will and whatever happens to be profitable at the time is legendary. To do well by doing good is a temptation which most cannot resist.

I cannot close without mentioning the largest group of global warming fantasists of all. The average man-in-the-street who buys into the alarmism. If it weren't for the great mass of people who were simply unwilling to think in depth about anything more serious than what video they wanted to rent that evening charlatans like Al Gore would be laughed off the stage.

The fact that so many average people will allow themselves to be influenced in any way by the spin machine being run by the media/political/academic axis means that the nation will always be walking along the ragged edge of true disaster. If anyone has any practical suggestions for getting the public to wake up and start paying attention during any time other than the month leading up to a presidential election I'd love to hear them.