Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well, that settles it, then!

It's official. US Conservatives have lost all touch with reality. Why? Well, according to "Mainstream Conservative," a Rasumssun POLL clearly establishes that climate change is a hoax.

He quotes the poll; I follow suit:

Forty-four percent (44%) of U.S. voters now say long-term planetary trends are the cause of global warming, compared to 41% who blame it on human activity.

Seven percent (7%) attribute global warming to some other reason, and nine percent (9%) are unsure in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
I find it bizarre that anyone who is NOT actually a climate scientist claims certainty on this matter. It's one reason I rarely remark on the matter, bu apparently silence breeds this level of stupidity. I can't imagine what William F. Buckley would have had to say, but it would not have been complementary to this brand of "Mainstream Conservatism."

Or Barry Goldwater, for that matter.

There is much that I would disagree with in terms of priorities in the statement illustrated above, but not a thing in terms of principle. And yet, while claiming the right to the legacy of "Mister Conservative," no single movement in modern politics has done more violence to Constitutional principles and individual liberty that the sort of "mainstream conservatism" that "Mainstream Conservative" advocates.

As far as I'm concerned, the proper role of a responsible conservative IS that of skeptic. It is about not being stampeded by social panics or losing one's brains in the face of crisis. And always, always, ALWAYS to ask, even when the need is indisputable, "what will this cost and how shall we pay for it?"

Nonetheless, let us remember that the most important matter to a genuine Conservative is value; an assessment of things that are of tangible and transcendent importance. Conservatives in their hearts know that one neither can nor should try to preserve everything; that indeed, not only is change inevitable, it's often desirable - so long as changes are implemented prudently and intelligently.

Prudence, caution and respect for intelligence was cast to the winds with the onslaught of Reganism; a triumph of feelgood populist appeals to nativist truisms and exceptionalist thought over the obvious, if sometimes inconvenient truths that arise from cause and effect. Clearly, cheerleading that twaddle for thirty or more years clearly leads to genetic damage. Crowing that public opinion PROVES that "global warming is a myth" proves just how utterly fucking consciously stupid you have to be to be a "Reagan-Thompson-Palin conservative."

It's an opinion poll! Even if the poll is scientifically valid in itself, all it measures is what people believe. It cannot and does not say anything as to whether that belief is accurate. To assert otherwise is the worst sort of cargo-cultic magical thinking, and that is without factoring in the depth of the bullshit we all have to wade through to get to the facts.

Even if it were that the result of an honest difference of INFORMED opinion, instead of the result of years upon years of bullshitting and propaganda, dating back to the seventies of "science" bought and paid for by the oil and coal industry - it still would not be worth a fart in a high wind. Why?

This is the sort of matter that is true or not regardless of what you, I or anyone believes.

It's true or not regardless of what your climate models say, or what data set you have, honest, cooked or falsified entirely. The only thing that will inform you what a prudent, conservative, rational response to any emergent issue is as many hard, cold facts as possible. Agitating against the people who are actually doing the science to get the facts we need is utterly criminal stupidity.

Right now, I state no solid opinion as to whether anthropogenic inputs are a significant factor in climate change. I state that because I understand something "Mainstream Conservative" does not: I have not the slightest qualification to HAVE such an opinion.

Indeed, the matter is of such mind-boggling complexity that no single scientist can possibly have a good enough handle on it to do more than contribute to a scientific consensus.

That scientific consensus exists and that scientific consensus states with very little equivocation that climate change is occurring - and that it is highly probable that our actions have contributed to it. In other words, we have a choice between the highly informed widespread consensus of thousands of experts using the best information and best simulations possible - as opposed to a few well paid "contrariness" and the "skeptical review" of people who also tend to believe The Rapture is immanent and that the fossil record is ALSO a hoax.

My opinion - for what it's worth - IS based on going to the the data to the degree that I can digest it at all - and seeking out as many different sources as possible. That leads me to assume that betting against the current scientific consensus is akin to trying to improve two pair on the draw. You might actually do it often enough to think it's worth betting on. If it's a small pot, it's worth the risk. But in case you haven't looked around, we are all in. And you don't go all in on two low pairs in the face of a possible straight flush.

The data persuades me that, for whatever reason, we ARE facing a significant global climate change, there WILL be much more severe weather, there WILL be significant changes in fertility, ocean currents and weather patterns may change and if we do not start planning and acting now, we will have a catastrophic situation on our hands within twenty years.

Of course, I could be wrong. So could all the climate scientists. There could be mechanisms at work that they have never observed or understood. No one understands that better than they do. But we are at a point now where we must act on what we now understand. We cannot wait to be certain, because that certainty will be established by the very events we need to be prepared for.

And, what's the worst case if the worst does not occur? We will have transformed our economy by massive investment in green or at least green-er tech, we will of necessity broken the monopoly on energy currently held by energy cartels and therefore made not just ourselves, but the entire world much more secure.

All wars are resource wars; any rumor to the contrary is bullshit for the plebes. For examples of what sort of bullshit - consult any statement by Donald Rumsfeld.

It's criminal if he was manipulating us and the pinnacle of incompetence if he believed what he said with a straight face; either way, it's pretty damn clear that confidently asserting something does not make it come true. And it doesn't matter how many "warbloggers" and "mainstream conservatives" believe your bullshit. Why? Because facts are facts, reality is reality, cause leads to effect and shit rolls downhill no matter WHAT your chief economist says.

We will also have to address the issue of a secure food supply and to do that, we will again have to restructure the way things are currently done. Again, concentrated control over monoculture food supplies are disasters waiting to happen - an observation of fact that should transcend any political viewpoint, and is certainly a compelling state interest of every state that wishes to REMAIN a sovereign state.

This situation is global, and we simply do not have the luxury to afford widespread pissing matches over water, oil or food. Not when we have the knowledge and technical ability to address these things for far less than such wars would cost.

And - fortunately - we have the knowledge to do this, if we can sweep distractions, denial and disaster capitalism aside. Because - let me be absolutely clear on this - while one may be legitimately and properly skeptical about the worst case scenario, it is absolutely bizarre to suggest that climate change is "a hoax." Climates change.

We have benefited from a long period of relatively stable climate, but that appears to be a somewhat uncommon thing. And there's rather a lot of evidence in the fossil record to suggest that not only do climates change, they can change rather rapidly. When they do change rapidly, those creatures that do not adapt - die. Rapidly.

It would be a shame to die from sheer ignorance and stupidity in the face of the inevitable - but that is often the way of things.

But, if you honestly believe that this is all a hoax with the sole intent of separating you from your jacked-up assholemobile - if you are certain enough to bet your life, your fortune and family - than I do encourage you to invest in waterfront property on the California or Gulf Coasts. Hey, once this hoax is busted, it's going to be worth a fortune!

1 comment:

bill_finger said...

Ha. I still don't understand how saving the planet became a partisan issue. Though I have a harder time understanding why anyone would proudly call themselves a conservative.


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