The main point, though, is that the fuss over the global cooling chapter in Levitt and Dubner’s new book is the first occasion, I think, where the refutation of specific errors has taken a back seat (partly because, in this case, it’s so easy) to an attack on contrarianism, as such. The general point is that contrarianism is a cheap way of allowing ideological hacks to think of themselves as fearless, independent thinkers, while never thinking (in fact reinforcing) the status quo.
I think from a standpoint of pure rhetoric the key issue here is that you need to correctly identify the status quo. If your position is that we should allow people polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses to continue doing so unchecked, then you’re reenforcing the status quo. That’s fine. Sometimes the status quo is right. Sometimes all the money and political expediency and the overwhelming biases of the political system are on the right side. But still, if you take up the side of the status quo and join forces with the politically and economically powerful, you don’t get to don the mask of the bold truth-teller willing to speak out against ingrained prejudice.
"Carbon dioxide is the right villain," says Caldeira, "insofar as inanimate objects can be villains."
Its plans to break up Ontario Hydro's monopoly and end support for nuclear power were endorsed in 1984 by the leaders of the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario New Democratic Party, the two opposition parties at that time. Later, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, led by Mike Harris, formally adopted Energy Probe's positions in its Common Sense Revolution. Under this model, the grid would be operated as a separate regulated entity while the generating units would operate in a competitive marketplace.
Yeah, he draws sweeping conclusions and can be more than a little breathless where it's probably not deserved, but he does a decent job pointing to research and researchers where you can find out more if you decide you're interested in diving into the topic with a higher degree of rigor.
I wish I could remember which brilliant acquaintance of mine asked whether climate change deniers were doing the rational thing by speculating in under-priced coastal land.
The science is real and scary, as far as we can tell. But the movement is a religion, and that kind of creeps me out. I have made my peace with it, as I wholly agree with its goals, but I don't really like it.
- what's I'm responding to here is Levitt and Dubner's characterization of the climate change movement as a religion, which is exactly the feeling that bothers me about it,
Example: the C-word exhibition at the Arnolfini in Bristol, which I saw the other day. It was - and I say this as someone with a strong green streak - absolutely insufferably self-righteous, mixing up attacks on air travel and car use with attacks on medical innovation
Diogenes/deanc - don't get me wrong, I don't think that the artist/activists should be stopped, are everywhere or are as much of a threat as the well-funded denier lobby. I'm just saying that they do exist.
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