And a little puppy shall lead them — greenies, children and cute animals

I suspect that this has been happening for a while, but I only became aware of it now:  my kids’ science classes are using animals as a way to bring children into the environmental, global warming movement.  This is more than lonely polar bears standing on shrinking icebergs, an iconic warmist image that ignores entirely the fact that the world polar bear population is, in fact, quite robust.  My son’s most recent “science” project, which was ostensibly to understand how to graph data, focused entirely on endangered species.  At the same time, a neighbor child was taking a poll about some vanishing whale population, which ended with the child (very sweetly and earnestly, I might add) lecturing us about the exactly numbers of whales existing in 1580, versus their virtual nonexistence now.  She was taken aback when I asked her (nicely, I assure you) how we know the exact number of whales in 1580.  (More on that point later.)

My sudden awareness that it’s not just polar bear pictures but whole curricula that are being aimed at children targeted a free form cascade of thoughts in my brain.  I’ll share those thoughts with you here.  Pardon my obvious incoherence.  I’ll probably develop this theme over a series of posts, and hone my thoughts a bit better.  Also, I would very much appreciate your corrections and comments.

First, it seems to me that modern environmentalists are using the endangered species list, not to protect animals, but to stop humans.  What I discovered when I helped my son do the computer research on the various animals that he had to study was that some of the animals he was looking at were, in fact, doing very well.  There is no doubt that, back in the 1970s, when people first started getting worried about animal populations, many of these animals were on the verge of extinction.  Since then, animals such as the wolf, the polar bear, the eagle, and the mountain goat, to name but a few, have had population increases, some so much that they’ve been removed from the endangered species list. (Other animals, interestingly, aren’t doing well despite massive and economically costly efforts.)

The environmentalists ought to be celebrating these victories, because they are indeed victories.  Instead, despite the fact that, numerically speaking, the animals are doing well, the environmentalists are adamant that they are still endangered.  When local communities affected by the onerous burdens of the Endangered Species Act try to challenge an animal’s listing, the environmentalists go haywire.

One could say that the environmentalists are just making a distinction between the fact that a species is no longer trembling on the verge of extinction and a species that is actually robust.  The former is still worthy of consideration; the latter . . . not so much.  I think, though, that there’s more going on than over-caution.  The Endangered Species Act  stops humans in their tracks.  Depending on an animal’s habitat, humans cannot build homes, factories or farms.  They cannot hunt or fish.  In other words, for environmentalists, it sometimes seems that their hysteria has more to do with stopping humans than it does with protecting animals.

Second, the data on which the kids rely is suspect.  A good example is a post dedicated to debunking Bjorn Lomborg, the man who claims that polar bears are doing okay.  In his book, Cool IT : The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming), Lomborg says that “[m]oreover, it is reported that the global polar-bear population has increased dramatically over the past decades, from about 5000 members in the 1960s to 25,000 today, through stricter hunting regulation.”  After rightly taking Lomborg to task for the phrase “it is reported,” debunker admits that Lomborg’s numbers come from a New York Times article, which itself airily refers to unnamed sources.  Here’s what the debunker has to say (emphasis in original):

Well here is a named expert, Dr. Andrew Derocher again:

The early estimates of polar bear abundance are a guess–there is no data at all for the 1950-60s. Nothing but guesses.

Think about that:  “Nothing but guesses.”  My little neighbor girl is lecturing me about the whale population in the 1580s, versus today’s population, but even for polar bears in the 1950s and 1960s, we have nothing but guesses.  How can we know the population was vanishing by the 1970s, if we have no idea what it was before the 70s?  All that really seems to matter is that the world population is about 25,000 today, which seems like a robust number.

The other problem with the debunkers is that they’re invested in a polar bear narrative that is predicated on climate change.  While Lomborg was talking real numbers — 25,000 today, regardless of the 1960s — the debunkers are hypothesizing worst-case scenarios based upon global warming.  Since warming seems to have stopped, the hypothesis is wrong.   (I can’t find my link for that right now.  I’ll add it later.)  Additionally, as many have pointed out after the failed “Rapture,” the Left is much given to apocalyptic scenarios, none of which (yet) have occurred.

Third, when we were kids, the environmental education was focused on human populations deliberating killing animals.  We were made to understand that, for every fur coat, a cute little baby seal got clubbed.  That was actually a very real cause-and-effect.  Stop wearing fur coats and they stop clubbing those cute little guys.  (In the same way, the 19th century saw some bird populations brought almost to extinction, until women were encouraged to change their hat styles.)  Now, children are presented with the more amorphous “climate change,” which is an imprecise “science” at best, predicated on an inaccurate theory.  Direct cause and effect is impossible.

What remains unchanged, but is getting lost in the global warming noise is our obligation not to have industrial strength abuse of animals for frivolous reasons.  The current debate in California is about a ban on shark fins, which are a Chinese delicacy.  I’m no vegetarian, and have no problem whatsoever with eating any part of the shark one wants.  (Although having once had shark fin soup, I hope never to have it again.  Ever.)  The problem — and the proposed law’s target — is the way in which shark fins are collected:

The law takes aim at a practice known as finning, in which a shark’s fins and tails are cut off before the animal is thrown back into the ocean to die. Supporters say that businesses in California have skirted a U.S. law banning the practice by buying fins collected in international waters and noted the catastrophic collapse in the worldwide shark population in recent years.

That strikes me as an indescribably cruel practice and one that humane people ought not to countenance.  To me, that’s a very reasonable environmental stand to take, one based on measurable cause and effect:  Finning is animal torture.

Fourth, the line between animals and humans gets ever smaller, as is demonstrated by PETA’s latest initiative to use in its advertising the criminal case of a woman who put her baby in the microwave.  This is part of the whole “Holocaust on a plate” campaign that makes animals have the same values as humans.  I love my dog.  I admire animals.  I respect their place in the grand scheme of things.  I think we have an obligation not to waste them or torture them or willfully or carelessly destroy them.  But they are not humans.  They exist at a different level, and it is a terrible mistake to try to anthropomorphize them or dehumanize us.

Fifth, not only are animals being used to advance climate change ideology, they’re apparently also being used to advance gender issues.  If cute little other species can have inchoate gender identities, why can’t we?  Well, primarily because we’re not cute little other species.  We’re humans.  And while there are definitely humans who are born with mixed up hormones or body parts, that’s not normative.  Such people should never be bullied, and they should be accorded the respect due all humans, but they shouldn’t be the template for sex education in American schools.

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.

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Comments

  1. Charles Martel says

    Mike Devx: “So is it a deliberate diversion?  Or is it a mis-reasoning?”

    Either. Both. Who cares anymore? Trying to reason with a wall does no good for you or the wall.

    SADIE: My fervent prayer is that my wife and I wind up the in the same old folks’ home as you. I intend to die from laughter and this will grant me my wish.

  2. says

    And Z cut and pasted the first sentence in my deliberately-pedantic-as-a-joke paragraph, not the second sentence, which was:

    He did that about those “heinous/reprehensible decreases in British crimes” thing too.

    Trying to reason with a wall does no good for you or the wall.

    In H2H training, we were told to go through the wall.

  3. says

    Mike Devx: Folks, I’m frustrated.  If you read #45, I hope you thought my argument was about bias and advocacy.  What Z just wrote (above) has *nothing* to do with bias and advocacy.

    It has everything to do with *your claim* concerning bias and advocacy, though. 

    Mike Devx: The UK links are compromised because the entire UK government has already taken an advocacy position on the issue.  The UK – and to a far worse extent the EUroids in Brussels – have become advocates for AGW and direct money, as advocates, to a particular viewpoint. 

    This is what is called handwaving. You refuse to even consider a result from an independent government inquiry, because the U.K. has taken a position on climate change. They also advocate for cancer research and the Earth’s movement. Does that mean they can’t investigate a cancer researcher or geophysicist?

    Not only has there been a government inquiry, but there were independent reviews by the Science Assessment Panel, NOAA, Pennsylvania State University, an independent review panel, a total of nine investigations. 

    To discount all of these means to imply that there is an international conspiracy of scientists, politicians, educators and politicians. The more plausible explanation for why they all agree is that they actually examined the evidence and reached the same conclusion. 

  4. says

    Mike Devx: It is not necessary that you do so, but there is sufficient reason to justify doing so.

    Yes, you say that, but the only reason you give is because they have taken a position on climate change. Again, the most plausible explanation for why every major scientific organization in the world is warning about climate change is because the evidence supports it.

    Ymarsakar: He did that about those “heinous/reprehensible decreases in British crimes” thing too.

    You were given many opportunities for clarification. Your answer was killing millions of Leftists would lower the crime rate. You called it a proposal. 

  5. abc says

    Devx,

    I am actually really confused now.  You hold the same position as Exxon Mobil and the Koch Brothers, who have even more money and power than the scientific organizations by multiple orders of magnitude.  So you will understand my own skepticism that you really have taken this view in spite of those larger organizations’ own propaganda.  Moreover, the same levels of money and power are held by similarly situated scientific research institutions that study cancer or build nuclear bombs for our government.  So please explain why you have singled out climate scientists, as opposed to cancer or nuclear researchers as being uniquely worthy of disbelief, and why you happen to hold the same positions as Exxon and Koch, but you have also reached this interesting position without being unduly influenced by anyone’s power and money.  You see, from my perspective, your story doesn’t add up.  You lack the specialized knowledge to evaluate the science, but you selectively apply your rule for disqualifying expert groups on the basis of their holding power and influence. 

    My working theory is that conservatives are natively pro-business, and climate research argues that businesses need to take on additional costs, which conservatives are allergic to as a general rule.  Conservatives who are deeply religious also apparently believe that God has made a covenant to not destroy the earth again, so they reject any science however firmly established that conflicts with that biblical view.  I don’t know whether these apply to you specifically, but they could be part of the explanation.

    You’ll have to give me a better understanding of your apparently selective disqualiification of scientists (climate versus cancer or nukes) and you strangle like-mindedness with organizations whose power and influence greatly exceeds NASA, NOAA, East Anglia and the like…  That is, if you would deign to talk to moronic liberals like Z and I who simply demand that people keep their facts and logic sound and consistent, since we, unlike conservatives, are not blessed with inherently superior knowledge of the world that doesn’t require such consistency and factual support…

  6. Danny Lemieux says

    Oh noooooo….the dreaded Koch brothers and….BIG OOOOIL! 

    ABC then provides the following…”My working theory is that conservatives are natively pro-business, and climate research argues that businesses need to take on additional costs, which conservatives are allergic to as a general rule.  Conservatives who are deeply religious also apparently believe that God has made a covenant to not destroy the earth again, so they reject any science however firmly established that conflicts with that biblical view.  I don’t know whether these apply to you specifically, but they could be part of the explanation.”

    This is so full of silly caricatures, it really is hoot! You need to get out of your social bubble, ABC.
     
     

  7. Mike Devx says

    You hold the same position as Exxon Mobil and the Koch Brothers, who have even more money and power than the scientific organizations by multiple orders of magnitude.  So you will understand my own skepticism that you really have taken this view in spite of those larger organizations’ own propaganda.

    A study funded by Exxon Mobil or the Koch brothers faces the same advocacy problem.  You clearly see the advocacy problem for *them*, as your comments above show.  But I wonder if you can see the advocacy problem on your side of the AGW debate.

    > You lack the specialized knowledge to evaluate the science, but you selectively apply your rule for disqualifying expert groups on the basis of their holding power and influence.

    The nitty-gritty, yes.  The vast majority of people are unready to critique the in-depth science for a scientific study in *any* field.  (They have PhD’s and years of study and it shows.  It reminds me of a senior-level class in Astronomy I once took because I was interested.  My Physics-103 level of understanding left me hopelessly unready for the thermodynamics physics in that class.)  

    However, I can follow with ease the arguments on both sides, where they’re arguing support for their conclusions at a higher level.  Apparently, the 99% of us who lack the deep science in a field are supposed to throw up our arms in surrender, and say, “L’il ol’ me, I can’t figger out all those dang numbers, so I’m just going to have to trust every word these scientist gods say.”   Blind trust.  That used to be how most of us behaved, too, back in the day when we thought a scientist would rather saw off one of his own arms rather than fudge the data to meet the expected results.  We used to trust them.  There’s less and less trust these days, I think for good reason.

    Take a step back.  At its core this is not an argument about AGW itself.  It’s about the seizure of trillions of tax dollars from the people, in order to fight AGW.  You’d better have a damned solid, unassailable position, to do *that*. 

    So the AGW science ought to be unassailable before we commit that kind of treasure to an effort.  What if the science is flawed?  Trillions of dollars to fight a phantom?  Trillions of seized dollars to fight a problem that might not really exist?

    We’ve been through the core AGW issues before.  The biggest problem for me was that from 1990-present, their models predict behavior, and the predictions were so far off the actual climate data coming in that it was ridiculous.  Nothing matched!  Skeptical scientists with the same level of training as AGW proponents raised issues that looked valid.  

    There are also serious concerns that man-made global warming has been overestimated.  It doesn’t help when decades of effort on “species extinction” – an area of study very similar to AGW, but not yet with an effort to use trillions of dollars to fight a problem – now have to be revised because they’ve realized their basic assumptions about extinction rates were ridiculously, outrageously wrong.  By a factor of almost three.  Being *that* wrong on AGW rates would end the entire AGW debate.

    A reasonable position to take, then:  STOP!  You’re not forcibly taking trillions of dollars from the American people until the science is on more solid footing.

    And then you get ClimateGate at East Anglia:  All the data has gone through a series of transformations – and then they deleted the source data!  Several scientists tried to reconstruct the whole chain – one spent two years before giving up and leaving the program.  It couldn’t be done.  Various emails look like smoking guns about the data manipulation, and about suppressing the AGW debate, and about making sure that the articles accepted for peer review are to be only the articles in support of AGW.   It was devastating.

    So now we’re to the point of your post #41 that has generated the rest of this thread, and the studies you cite, exonerating the ClimateGate culprits, where I believe they have severe advocacy conflicts.   

    ——

    So it’s not really about the science.  By all means, continue the science and move it to better, more solid footing.  Answer the critics.  Take all the funding you want – voluntary funding.  Even the usual levels of forced taxpayer funding.  (If we have to put up with that in other fields, we have to put up with that here, too.)   But, no, absolutely not:  We’re not going to let you seize trillions of dollars of taxpayer money to “fight AGW” world-wide.  No.  Too many questions, too much shoddy science,  too much evidence of potentially criminal falsification of the science.

  8. Mike Devx says

    And, oh yes, the original issue here, Book’s own post:

    Leave the children out of the debate!
    Stop propagandizing the children with one side of the argument.
    Leave the kids alone!!!

  9. says

    Mike Devx: and then they deleted the source data!

    The source data is actually collected by a number of independent agencies around the world. Much of the data is proprietary. That data is still available, but you have to collect and collate it. That data, and newly collected data, is under constant scientific scrutiny. 
     

  10. says

    Mike Devx: The biggest problem for me was that from 1990-present, their models predict behavior, and the predictions were so far off the actual climate data coming in that it was ridiculous.  Nothing matched!

    This is an exaggeration, and there is no scientific support for your position. Though far from perfect, climate models are largely predictive with ranges, and there is no model that works without accounting for anthropogenic forcing. One discrepancy was the level of tropospheric warming, but new data shows that the models were correct, and the older observations were in error.
     
    Mike Devx: By all means, continue the science and move it to better, more solid footing.

    That’s what they’re doing. And the more they study it, the more certain scientists are that humans are changing the climate.

  11. abc says

    Mike,
    First, the kids are not going to be left alone.  They must be taught.  They should be taught was is factually accurate.  What Book wrote is factually inaccurate and should not be taught.  Pretty simple.
     
    Second, your argument on AGW makes little sense to me.  You say that what Exxon writes and what East Anglia writes are the same and should be treated as such, but that isn’t true.  Exxon’s research is never published in peer reviewed and relevant science journals, and not because of a massive conspiracy on the part of scientists, but because it is bad science.  If you don’t recognize this difference, then you cannot understand anything about AGW or any other science debate.  Authority matters, and independently verified authority matters a lot.  That independent verification also means that it isn’t blind trust, unlike your blind trust in your own (as you admit) more limited understanding of the science or (worse) many conservatives’ blind trust in the propaganda put out by Exxon and others.  That independently verified authority is what East Anglia and other climate research organizations have and Koch/Exxon lack.  This is a critical point that you ignore.  that is a mistake.
    Also, your write:
    “At its core this is not an argument about AGW itself.  It’s about the seizure of trillions of tax dollars from the people, in order to fight AGW.  You’d better have a damned solid, unassailable position, to do *that*…So the AGW science ought to be unassailable before we commit that kind of treasure to an effort.  What if the science is flawed?  Trillions of dollars to fight a phantom?  Trillions of seized dollars to fight a problem that might not really exist?”

    What if the science is right and we do nothing and the worset case scenarios–the ones that the Pentagon worries about–actually happen?  You selectively do the game theory analysis that should be done honestly and openly covering all the risks, but you don’t do this to protect the narrative, apparently. (The other possibilty is that you really aren’t bright enough to see that you’ve only done partial work, but that would be rude of me to suggest, so let’s stick with the bias charge…)

    Here is the game theory analysis, in simplified form:

    1. We do nothing and the science on AGW is bogus, we have bet big and won big.  It can happen.  It is not a conservative way to invest money, much less the only place we can live in the universe, but whatever.

    2. We do something and the science on AGW is not bogus:  we have hedged big and won big.  This is the conservative way to invest money, and, according to many, the even more prudent way to handle an irreplaceable asset (the earth).

    3. We do something and the science on AGW is bogus:  we hedged big and lost on the hedge.  This is what we all do who buy life insurance and live to see it never cashed or buy fire/car/casualty insurance and never suffer the loss.  It costs money to insure, but it is perfectly rational behavior.  The losses are a cost of doing business, and of sleeping at night.  If it is not crazy behavior with replaceable assets, then it certainly is not with irreplaceable ones.

    4. We do nothing and the scient on AGW is not bogus:  we didn’t hedge and lost huge.  This is what you advocate, since you are certain that the scientists are wrong.  If you were omniscient, then I would agree with you, but you are not, so you’ll have to understand my skepticism.  Further, you are not authoritative on the risks (which requires scientific skills and knowledge that you–and I–lack), so I don’t see how you can assert not only that this is not about the science, but that you can distinguish good science from bad with the stakes this high.  Your only partial analysis of the game theory around this issue is not a good start, by the way…
    “We’ve been through the core AGW issues before.  The biggest problem for me was that from 1990-present, their models predict behavior, and the predictions were so far off the actual climate data coming in that it was ridiculous.  Nothing matched!  Skeptical scientists with the same level of training as AGW proponents raised issues that looked valid.”

    Actually, this is not true.  The models understated the warming over the period that you describe.  You can find info on this at the website and its many links, which is why I provided it to you.
    “There are also serious concerns that man-made global warming has been overestimated.”

    By whom?  I just stated what the models have done, and it wasn’t overestimation.

    “It doesn’t help when decades of effort on “species extinction” – an area of study very similar to AGW, but not yet with an effort to use trillions of dollars to fight a problem – now have to be revised because they’ve realized their basic assumptions about extinction rates were ridiculously, outrageously wrong.”

    Whose predictions?  EO Wilson is identifying major extinctions occuring now, and he hasn’t retracted anything.  Please state sources, so I know what and who you are talking about.

    ” By a factor of almost three.”

    Hard to evaluate a number without sources, context, etc.  Given what you wrote previuosly, you’ll understand my skepticism of what you just wrote, especially since you are not a credentialled scientists with relevant expertise.

    ” Being *that* wrong on AGW rates would end the entire AGW debate.”

    Assuming away the problem, until you can source the authority for this.
    Mike continues:  “A reasonable position to take, then:  STOP!  You’re not forcibly taking trillions of dollars from the American people until the science is on more solid footing.”
    It is not a taking if the following are true:

    1.the taking is to address harm done by fossil fuels that is not incorporated into market prices.  (classic negative externality that every economist, including Friedman and Hayek, would say requires a tax.  Not a taking in that case; or

    2. insurance to prevent even larger amounts of damage, which luckily can come in the form of activity that we ought to be doing anyway, like finding more efficient and cleaner fuels, increasing energy efficiency, etc.

    Your argument assumes as exclusive the conclusion you want to make.  That is not good or honest logical reasoning. 

    “And then you get ClimateGate at East Anglia:  All the data has gone through a series of transformations – and then they deleted the source data!  Several scientists tried to reconstruct the whole chain – one spent two years before giving up and leaving the program.  It couldn’t be done.  Various emails look like smoking guns about the data manipulation, and about suppressing the AGW debate, and about making sure that the articles accepted for peer review are to be only the articles in support of AGW.   It was devastating.”

    Nothing you just wrote is true.  Please state the source of this account, and why that source is authoritative.  You spent a lot of time arguing why independent scientists who you otherwise would trust if they were doing cancer or nuclear research are suddenly dishonest because they are independently verifying climate resaerch.  But you don’t even mention the source of this little fiction.  You’ll understand how my skepticism is moving toward cynicism at this point…

    For the record, I have listed 8 independent investigations that say your story is wrong.  I think you might want to provide me a few names and sources, so that it doesn’t look like you demand a higher evidentiary bar than you yourself are willing to submit to.
    “So now we’re to the point of your post #41 that has generated the rest of this thread, and the studies you cite, exonerating the ClimateGate culprits, where I believe they have severe advocacy conflicts…So it’s not really about the science.  By all means, continue the science and move it to better, more solid footing.  Answer the critics.  Take all the funding you want – voluntary funding.  Even the usual levels of forced taxpayer funding.  (If we have to put up with that in other fields, we have to put up with that here, too.)   But, no, absolutely not:  We’re not going to let you seize trillions of dollars of taxpayer money to “fight AGW” world-wide.  No.  Too many questions, too much shoddy science,  too much evidence of potentially criminal falsification of the science.”

    There is not voluntary funding at NIH, so do you avoid using medicines that are developed from their basic research?  Do you avoid investing in publicly traded biotech and pharma companies that rely on that data, or the data of compulsorily funded universities?  I don’t understand the double standard, and you still really haven’t addressed that.

    Instead you believe reports from people with far less credibility and not only take those accounts (e.g., scientists falsifying data) on faith but expect us to as well, given your lack of sourcing or evidence from “objective” “uninterested” sources.  Strange hypocrisy going on here.  And all of this while the “conservative” position under game theory is the opposite one of what you conclude.  You are taking the risk-seeking position, pointing to bad data, while ignoring more credible data, on a questionable and selectively-applied theory of which experts to trust or not trust.  Why are you doing this?  The answers, I think, lie deeper…

  12. Mike Devx says

    Me, via abc: “It doesn’t help when decades of effort on “species extinction” – an area of study very similar to AGW, but not yet with an effort to use trillions of dollars to fight a problem – now have to be revised because they’ve realized their basic assumptions about extinction rates were ridiculously, outrageously wrong.”
    abc: Whose predictions?  EO Wilson is identifying major extinctions occuring now, and he hasn’t retracted anything.  Please state sources, so I know what and who you are talking about.
    me, via abc: “ By a factor of almost three.”
    abc: Hard to evaluate a number without sources, context, etc.

    Not so very difficult.  C’mon man, you’re educated!  It took me 30 seconds to google “extinction rates invalid wrong” and retrieve one of the articles:

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/species-extinction-rates-have-203632.aspx

    Is that really beyond you, to do the same?  (Sometimes me provides the links, and sometimes me don’ts.  Too bad.)

    abc: Given what you wrote previuosly, you’ll understand my skepticism of what you just wrote, especially since you are not a credentialled scientists with relevant expertise.

    Professor Snark engages in the usual endless series of putdowns.  (As an enjoyable little exercise, go back above to abc’s post and count the putdowns.  Oh, yeah, I forgot – conservatives don’t know how to count that high.  Limited number of fingers and toes, you know.)  I’ll give you a clue, abc:  Your putdowns almost never affect me.   You hit me with *exactly one* putdown at one point – and I’m never going to let you know which of the thousands of putdowns it was – that it took me almost 48 hours even to admit to myself that you’d managed to royally piss me off.  You were so wrong in your perception of me that it was breathtaking – but finally I just considered the source.  But you got me once! Congrats.

  13. Mike Devx says

    As one blogger put the point on the extinction-rate press release put it: (who I consider far better-informed than me):
    The point is not that we should ignore environmental concerns. The point is that we should be wary about claims that massive social and economic changes are necessary simply because the scientific consensus of the moment claims they’re desirable. Like the medical claims about salt I mentioned in my earlier post, and like this latest news, the consensus of the moment can turn out to be seriously flawed.

    Many of our arguments here recently have surrounded the worth of “the consensus of moment”.

    Anyway… the quiet season is almost over.  Issues surrounding Israel are going to heat up dramatically, and the 2012 political season is almost upon us.  I’m done contributing to “digression pollution” here.  If I’ve nothing further good (factual or entertaining) to add, I’m just going to have to remain silent.  Intelligent readers can decide who’s more right without having to wade through the endless back-and-forth.

  14. says

    abc: 3. We do something and the science on AGW is bogus:  we hedged big and lost on the hedge. 

    Actually, there are a number of secondary benefits. Conservation, for instance, reduces costs, increases efficiency and reduces the problem of waste disposal, regardless of whether it helps the climate.

  15. says

    You called it a proposal.

    Leftists support mass murder, child rape, regular rape, Muslim crime, Jihadist crime, and just regular basic crime.

    That’s fact, not theory. Is reality so harsh that you can’t handle it Z. Your theories safeguard you from what exactly?

  16. abc says

    Mike,

    First, I think I supply more links and sources than most.  So cut a little slack.  Further, it’s hard to comment on the UCLA/Nature study if I don’t know what you are referring to.  You understand, I think, the need to have specific facts, right?

    Second, that article you linked to said that the rates of observable extinctions remains worrying, and you ignored that other key point.  The authority I referenced, EO Wilson, has spoken of observed extinctions, not predicted ones, the subject of the article claiming overestimation.  So you choose to ignore a serious, observed problem that alone justifies action on AGW and other environmental issues by pointing to an overestimation on predicted ones.  I don’t understand that logic, in light of what we’ve discussed.  This is like observing that you have an existing heart problem but ignoring it because the doctor was wrong about the predicted impact of this on your left ventricle, is it not? 

    Third, you engage in non-sequiturs and misstatements:

    Mike writes, first quoting me:  “abc: Given what you wrote previuosly, you’ll understand my skepticism of what you just wrote, especially since you are not a credentialled scientists with relevant expertise.
    Professor Snark engages in the usual endless series of putdowns.  (As an enjoyable little exercise, go back above to abc’s post and count the putdowns.  Oh, yeah, I forgot – conservatives don’t know how to count that high.  Limited number of fingers and toes, you know.)  I’ll give you a clue, abc:  Your putdowns almost never affect me.   You hit me with *exactly one* putdown at one point – and I’m never going to let you know which of the thousands of putdowns it was – that it took me almost 48 hours even to admit to myself that you’d managed to royally piss me off.  You were so wrong in your perception of me that it was breathtaking – but finally I just considered the source.  But you got me once! Congrats.”

    How is it a putdown to call you what you admit you are not?  And why can you be skeptical of biased parties that have verified data while I cannot do the same with biased parties that lack such data?  And how do the putdowns, if you choose to take them as such, weaken the rest of my argument?  Is your skin so thin that you cannot simply rebut the argument, or are you evading??

    Finally, readers can only sort through the back and forth if both sides are held to the same standard of proof.  You haven’t met mine, nor answered my questions.  I hope the readers here will not the double standard.

  17. Charles Martel says

    Mike, I agree. The tactic here that Z and abc are practicing is an endless, tedium-inducing back and forth. It’s very much an Alinsky-ite tactic and it certainly makes me wonder where the Dynamic Duo gets all the time it apparently has on its hands. (I am a self-employed writer and work on and off throughout an 18-hour day. What do Z and abc do?)

  18. says

    Mike Devx: It doesn’t help when decades of effort on “species extinction” – an area of study very similar to AGW, but not yet with an effort to use trillions of dollars to fight a problem – now have to be revised because they’ve realized their basic assumptions about extinction rates were ridiculously, outrageously wrong.

    The species extinction rate is far above the background extinction rate, as the authors of the study you cite make clear. EO Wilson’s original estimate had a range of a factor of 10, so the study doesn’t change the fact that the Earth is going through a great extinction event.

    Your misunderstanding on this is much like your misunderstanding of climate change science. Yes, scientists are always adjusting their models and theories. They are always admitting they were wrong about this or that aspect of the theory. There are all sorts of anomalies. That’s the strength of science. In the case of climate change, scientists have only become more confident in their conclusions.

    That’s the miracle of the scientific method, that we can reach some tentative conclusions in the midst of great ignorance about the universe. 

     

  19. abc says

    Charles, it is not Alinsky.  It is credentialled scientists doing work.  If they forced you to take it all lock stock and barrel, then you’d believe in AGW to get your cancer drugs.  Lucky for you, you can sully the name of scientists for political reasons and suffer nothing for it.  What works to create Rituxan also works to create AGW research and conclusions.  Please state why you selectively believe in science when the process is the same. 

  20. says

    I’ve wondered about A through Z’s time myself.  I’ve also noted that the tactic is to keep everyone else engaged.

    I enjoy it a lot, because there is a huge amount of information and analysis flowing through here, but the imagine I get is of one of those machines that automatically pops out tennis balls (relentlessly, no sweat, minimal skill or logistics), while the real player runs around the court, getting sweaty.  Of course, the real player also gets stronger and more skilled, so there is something to be said for the set up.

    I do appreciate that A and Z, like the tennis machine, don’t get mean.  They’re relentless, but Z is imperturbably good humored, while A merely gets a bit sarcastic and snarky, which is allowable at this blog.  (It’s got to be allowable, considering that I, myself, am a snark and sarcasm practitioner.)

  21. says

    I’ve wondered about A through Z’s time myself.

    uho. Book’s starting using wording close to my own. You know what that means Martel and Danny. You two better be on your best behavior next time you meet her… or something Terrifying Powerful may happen.

    I’ve also noted that the tactic is to keep everyone else engaged.

    Z’s self stated strategy is to control what information is being presented so as to manipulate what readers and internet visitors are seeing and thinking upon. True conservatism, rather than the reactionist conservatism of Republicans or Sarah Palin, as I would phrase it given Z’s self-stated comments.

    Z doesn’t present extreme emotional ranges here because none of these issues impact him personally or challenges his ethics/morality. If you ask Martel, that would be because Z doesn’t have any ethics or morality aside from utilitarianism. Though I am undecided at this matter.

    while A merely gets a bit sarcastic and snarky

    I mostly skip A’s comments, as they don’t contain anything relevant to my concerns. For example, that one time I wrote about how experts are employed by the government for specific reasons, A came back and assumed I was talking about the “experts” he named and called “experts”. In point of fact, I didn’t even know who he was talking about since his “expert” was in a comment I never read. It amuses me to see where people will go using logical arguments, when the entire base of the argument rests upon the assumption that I was commenting in reply to A’s “experts” when in fact I never read whatever A had to say about her experts to begin with.

    I usually never employ long form strategies on blogs and correspondence formats because the time intervals are unpredictable and the interest levels are usually far below the minimum required to keep a constant conversation going over a long time.  Z’s lack of what some humans would call inability to tire of hashing over the same dead horse, is both a form of long range strategy and a form uniquely suited to long strategies targeting Z.

  22. Charles Martel says

    abc, as Book has so capably pointed out, your tactic is to simply change the topic to keep the thread going. Ergo: I was remarking on your Alinsky-like manner of discourse, not its content.

    Mike Devx, et al., has done a fine job of refuting your steady stream of URLs and authorities, and keeping his remarkable good humor in the face of your congenital sullenness. But like him, I see that you will continue pleasuring yourself on this topic no matter what we say in response since your goal is disruption, not elucidation.

    By the way, abc, what is your profession? (Given the wild uneveness of their writing, we already know Z is several people, whom some here theorize is an academic or Asperger syndromer and naive college students he holds in thrall.)

  23. abc says

    Book:

    “I’ve wondered about A through Z’s time myself.  I’ve also noted that the tactic is to keep everyone else engaged.”

    Right on.  As long as both sides keep up their end of the bargain, by supplying accurate facts and sound logic, one asymptotically approaches the “truth” on a matter–or, to put it in better terms, one achieves an answer with a higher probability of being right.  That is why everyone ought to be engaged.
    “I enjoy it a lot, because there is a huge amount of information and analysis flowing through here, but the imagine I get is of one of those machines that automatically pops out tennis balls (relentlessly, no sweat, minimal skill or logistics), while the real player runs around the court, getting sweaty.  Of course, the real player also gets stronger and more skilled, so there is something to be said for the set up.”
    But the end, ultimately, is not to win the game, but to become a better player.  Similarly, the end shouldn’t be to defend a partisan position, but to figure out what the right answer is, regardless of partisan beliefs or interests. 

    “I do appreciate that A and Z, like the tennis machine, don’t get mean.  They’re relentless, but Z is imperturbably good humored, while A merely gets a bit sarcastic and snarky, which is allowable at this blog.  (It’s got to be allowable, considering that I, myself, am a snark and sarcasm practitioner.)”

    I lack Z’s discipline, so I am glad that Book doesn’t confuse sarcasm with disrespect.  If I didn’t care, I’d go somewhere else…which, I know, many here wish I would have done long ago…

    Charles,

    “abc, as Book has so capably pointed out, your tactic is to simply change the topic to keep the thread going. Ergo: I was remarking on your Alinsky-like manner of discourse, not its content.”

    Wrong.  Alinsky, I believe, talked about propaganda.  I am citing scientific facts.  There is a big difference, and it DOES relate to the differential content (misleading with falsifications versus enlightening with facts) of Alinsky and Z or myself.
    “Mike Devx, et al., has done a fine job of refuting your steady stream of URLs and authorities, and keeping his remarkable good humor in the face of your congenital sullenness.”

    Which source did he cite that refuted the many that I cited?  In what universe does the lack of proof refute scientific proof?

    “…But like him, I see that you will continue pleasuring yourself on this topic no matter what we say in response since your goal is disruption, not elucidation.”

    One cannot use facts and logic, apparently, to disabuse someone of a faulty position that they didn’t use facts and logic to formulate.  And as an aside, I take no pleasure in observing this trait in you and others, nor in my useless attempts to change it–your comments to the contrary notwithstanding.
    “By the way, abc, what is your profession? (Given the wild uneveness of their writing, we already know Z is several people, whom some here theorize is an academic or Asperger syndromer and naive college students he holds in thrall.)”

    What is yours?  For once, I think you ought to answer one of my questions before I respond to your queries.

  24. says

    Martel, maybe the real reason why they mis-attribute claims to the wrong authors is due to the simple fact that they don’t read all of what you write. They only read the parts they want to read and leave the rest out, like one of those picky Whole Foods eaters.

  25. abc says

    Y,

    “maybe the real reason why they mis-attribute claims to the wrong authors is due to the simple fact that they don’t read all of what you write…”

    Or maybe I read what was written and just didn’t read the name above the quote.  Both are possible.  Given that I responded to what was written, maybe my theory holds and yours doesn’t.  But feel free to point out what I obviously didn’t read…

    …and while we’re at it, and since it’s related.  Please state clearly what “scientific proof” you were referring to when you wrote:  “Marty here [he] is basically implying or even stating outright that those “scientific facts” of yours are in fact, and in reality, propaganda.”

    For the record, I couldn’t call what “Marty” wrote propaganda, since he offered nothing that had scientific data and a name or peer-reviewed journal name attached to it.  It wasn’t even enough to call propaganda, actually.  I think “Marty” was falsely comparing the reporting of scientific proof with Alinsky propaganda tactics, which are not the same thing at all.  Or, maybe, YOU confused who wrote what and are mixing up with my claim that Mike has offered no scientific proof or sources at all.

  26. says

    Well there you have it folks. They don’t even bother to know who you are before reading your stuff and rejecting it as untrue.

    It could be from anyone, in their view. All would be equally X. Unless you’re a Harvard grad or Ivy Tower affiliate.

  27. abc says

    Y, first, the idea matters much more than who said it, don’t you think?  Second, you DO understand that I wrote that YOU had confused who said what, not me, don’t you?  Try to avoid the vices you criticize in others…  And, for once, try to rebut an argument, rather than merely throw ad hominems.  You do know that there is a difference, right?  I mean I hope that I am not expecting too much in your case…

  28. says

    Y, first, the idea matters much more than who said it, don’t you think?

    I don’t think I even need to respond to A given his self-incrimination. Anything you say or do will be used against you in the court of Bookworm Room. 

    This narcissistic idea that other people exist only to fulfill some sick need of A here is beyond the pale. But unexpectedly normal and to be expected amongst the alliance of the Left. They even have members in them that think they don’t belong, even as their parent institutions do.
    To avoid contradicting yourself, conservatives care about ideas but we don’t actually forget people’s names that we are talking to. Else we’d attribute Mao and Obama’s ideas to Instapundit or Neo-Neocon. LibProgs care about the authority where ideas come from. And you, A, more than most.

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