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Lileks on fire
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 27, 2007

OK maybe that's a poor choice of a title since James Lilek's topic du jour is Global Warming TM. And Lilek's doesn't disappoint.

Taking a cue from the "High Holy Mass" that was the Academy Awards, or so he dubs it, he takes off on the new religion of environmentalism and, as always, highlights its absurdity with humor:
The debate is over! Stop Questioning Authority! Oh, perhaps you think it's wise to conserve and recycle; perhaps you think it's common sense to explore alternative energies. Perhaps you've come to suspect that the climate is changing. That is, after all, what climates do. You might believe all these things — and still be a heretic.

The demands of the faith are specific and exacting. You must believe that climate change is largely the fault of man — specifically, lard-bottom Americans driving around for no reason in cars the size of Spanish galleons. You must believe the change will be catastrophic — billions will be killed when the jet stream reverses and knocks everyone over, or drowned when a ceaseless series of Katrinas backs up the Mississippi and sends tsunamis across the heartland.

You must believe that this disaster can be prevented with fluorescent light bulbs, whirring cars that run on pixy dust, methane traps strapped to the hindquarters of cows, and magic federal dollars that invent new forms of energy by virtue of being congressionally bequeathed. You must believe that ruining the American economy will somehow convince India and China to ruin their own.

Any skepticism brands you an Enemy of the State — actually, an enemy of the State of Fear, which is required to bring about far-reaching change, like a one-car-per-family limit or mandatory limo pooling at the Oscars. Skepticism makes you a flat-Earther, a Luddite, a Holocaust-denying creationist oil-company stooge who would rent the Exxon Valdez and troll the Arctic, shooting polar bears marooned on ice floes.
Joe might want to store that last line away for use in other environmental threads as he attempts to satirically beat the moonbats to the punch in the comment section.

Pixy dust. China and India. I love it. But fear not great believer, Lileks also has researched the steps necessary to convert the unconverted (and, one assumes, the heretics) and presents them as a sure fire (ack, there's that word again) way to "convince the ignoramuses".
Step one: an important movie. Just as "The China Syndrome" and "Silkwood'' made us all dampen our drawers over nuclear power, so "An Inconvenient Truth'' will awaken our desire for clean, carbon-free energy sources, like — well, let's move on.

Step two: a concert. It worked wonders for the anti-nuclear power movement in the '80s, so ... nevermind.

Step three: a meaningless symbolic gesture. The latest craze is the lights-out movement, in which entire cities are encouraged to turn off all the power to show they care. And then turn it back on again, of course: let's not be drastic.

Paris did it a while ago; Sydney will have a light-free "Earth Hour'' March 31st, and there will soon be a national day to shut off all computers in America. Except for banks and NORAD and hospitals and, or course, news outlets.
Got that folks ... enlightened countries will be unlighted.

Gee, says Lileks, if that's the case:
Why, look at those satellite photos of North Korea at night. State control of energy usage, no industry, no cars, no messy pointless "freedom'' to hurt our one and only Mother. Seen from above, it's utterly dark.

They're years ahead of the rest of us.
LOL!

Amen brother! Preach it!
 
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Comments
You are RIGHT McQ I am stealing that phrase...Lileks is the King, the rest of us just his court jesters.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
. . . oil-company stooge who would rent the Exxon Valdez and troll the Arctic, shooting polar bears marooned on ice floes.
Sounds good to me. Think we could rent the Exxon Valdez for such a trip?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Oh please.

The science is settled. Anyone who doesn’t believe it is only ignoring the proven science because of their own ignorant bias.

After all, Prof. Erb said so.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’m just curious: how many of the regulars at this blog have actually seen "An Inconvenient Truth"? I’m genuinely curious.

/Netflixed it about a month ago
 
Written By: badger
URL: http://
I saw it and it sucks ! the debate on that is now over!
Because I said so! NYAH! NYAH !
 
Written By: d
URL: http://
There is no chance I will ever watch that movie. Albert does not need another buck perpetuating his time in the spotlight.
 
Written By: Grandersnack
URL: http://
The debate is over! Stop Questioning Authority! Oh, perhaps you think it’s wise to conserve and recycle; perhaps you think it’s common sense to explore alternative energies. Perhaps you’ve come to suspect that the climate is changing. That is, after all, what climates do. You might believe all these things - and still be a heretic
But are you carbon neutral? You can waste as much energy as you can and pollute as much as you want in your gigantic mansion, as long as you buy offsetting carbon credits to plant a tree somewhere!

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’ll probably see it at some point so I can make informed rebuttals of Al’s points on my new global warming site, but I don’t want to spend any money to do so.
 
Written By: Matt
URL: http://intermissionphoto.com
How many carbon credits would you have to buy to offset the use of a case or so of .30-06, I wonder?

No reason, just wondering...
 
Written By: Firehand
URL: http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com
Huh. I always thought it was TMI, Chernobyl, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Ivy Mike that put a damper on nuclear power. Who knew it was actually the shadowy Hollywood conspiracy that claimed that victory?
 
Written By: pangloss
URL: http://
Now here’s something we can all get behind...

CHEAT NEUTRAL
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Well, I am just delighted.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
The latest craze is the lights-out movement

I live about 5 miles from a nuclear power plant that is lit up like a Christmas tree every night. They can’t participate in the "lights-out movement" because they are required by OSHA to maintain the same lighting conditions.

You see it’s all about safety. Turn off a bunch of city lights and watch the crime rate go up. I’m just waiting for rape victims to be called "martyrs for Climate Change."
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Yo - check out Al Gore’s electric bill for his Tennessee estate for the month of August last year - more power sucked up than the average American household for an entire year in a single month.

Yeah buddy.
Of coure, you have to take that in context you know, according to his dupe spokesperson.

I’m sure there’s a good reason Al can use so much power on his estate, and I’m sure it has to do with ’good causes’.
The rest of us should feel privileged to sit in the heat, and the dark if need be, to assure the power is available for Mr Global Warming.

http://www.tennesseepolicy.org/main/article.php?article_id=367

Drudge
http://www.drudgereport.com/flash.htm
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
hmmmm hmmmm hmmmmm - how inconvenient, eh badger?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
How many carbon credits would you have to buy to offset the use of a case or so of .30-06, I wonder?

If they are made in China or India, it may cost you nothing.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I’m just curious: how many of the regulars... have seen "An Inconvenient Truth"?
Not until it comes out on cable, but then, I’m predisposed not to pay for any of Hollywood’s swill unless I’m convinced it’s a worthy (of an $8 entry fee) film. Ancillarily, I dont buy the print screeds - from any quarter.

So Badger, why do you think this is important?
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Let me guess, - because until we’ve seen it we can’t judge.
Now, the fact that I disagree with the essential ’truth’, that man is the primary cause of Global Warming, is an inconvenient one.

So, no, I won’t be paying to support Al in this venture. He’s going to have to pay the electric bill on the property without my help.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Huh. I always thought it was TMI, Chernobyl, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Ivy Mike that put a damper on nuclear power.
Of the 5 things you mention, 3 are bombs (which has little to do with power generation), 1 is an almost-disaster (TMI) and 1 real disaster. The disaster was due to some mix of bad reactor design and bad operator skills.

Engineering and training problems can be fixed. Propoganda telling the world that nuclear power is bad is difficult to counter.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
3 are bombs (which has little to do with power generation)
Of course. Now someone tell Iran that. And India, Pakistan, North Korea...

Nuclear energy and nuclear weaponry will never be separate in people’s minds, and with good reason.
 
Written By: pangloss
URL: http://
Nuclear energy and nuclear weaponry will never be separate in people’s minds, and with good reason.
Really? Because I’d be willing to bet that position is just wrong.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I asked because I’m curious. I think trying to make a point about the answers given would be unfair, given that I said that curiosity was my primary motivation in asking.

The Tennessee Policy hit-piece of course fails to mention that Al Gore’s house utilizes solar panels and wind generation. It doesn’t mention that citizens of Tennessee tend to use more power than average Americans due to the combination of the state’s hot summers and cold winters (most states only have one) and that the Gore family has consistently offset their carbon footprint by funding enough carbon reducing projects such that they are carbon-neutral. link

Now, I won’t try to make hay out of the fact that very few people have seen Inconvenient Truth, since Gore doesn’t present any original findings and the data he uses is available for free online. But it’s pretty lame that you and others believe that this is what honest debate looks like: taking stories published by obviously biased sources, ignoring or just never bothering to seek first-hand reports contradicting or clarifying the reality of the situation, and acting like that’s the end of the story. That all of the scientific evidence and models demonstrating the reality of global warming are mistaken because some website told you that Al Gore takes really long showers or something.

How many blogswarms do you see rising up against skeptics like James Inhofe or Michael Crichton based on such easily debunked and ultimately irrelevant smears? Maybe I don’t check memeorandum enough, but I haven’t seen any. That’s because our side actually has solid science on its side, and doesn’t have to grasp at straws.
 
Written By: badger
URL: http://
The argument that Gore’s carbon offsets make it all hunky dory are ludicrous, though its at least better than him doing nothing.

First, currently there are not an unlimited number of carbon offsets or green power available. Therefore by using so much electricity in an overly large home, he is crowding out others who would like to buy them, when he could easily reduce his usage by living more modestly. Secondly, there are moral hazard effects to some carbon offsets. Finally, there is leadership by example.

That said, I have some ideas for carbon offsets that I could get behind. (Maybe these already exist?)

http://redatheblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/carbon-offset-ideas.html



 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"I’m just curious: how many of the regulars at this blog have actually seen "An Inconvenient Truth"? I’m "

I read his first book, "Earth in the Balance", and I am not about to put myself through that again, and I am sure as h*** not going to pay for it.

**************************
" Of the 5 things you mention, 3 are bombs (which has little to do with power generation),"

BUT EVERY REACTOR IS JUST A BOMB WAITING TO HAPPEN! DON’T YOU SEE?

**************************

"The Tennessee Policy hit-piece of course fails to mention that Al Gore’s house utilizes solar panels and wind generation."

And he STILL uses more ADDITIONAL electricity in a month than the rest of us do in a year. What on Earth(Deities are always capitalized, ne?) is he doing in there?



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"I’m just curious: how many of the regulars at this blog have actually seen "An Inconvenient Truth"? I’m genuinely curious."
"I think trying to make a point about the answers given would be unfair...Now, I won’t try to make hay... But it’s pretty lame...[makes point originally intended by asking question]"
Are you really a lying sack of sh*t, or just another limousine liberal, ala Gore? In case you missed the point [and you did] the science is not so solid on "your side". You have been victimized by the Liberal Narrative. You need to broaden your sources - dropping by QandO is a good first step.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
That’s because our side actually has solid science on its side, and doesn’t have to grasp at straws
.

That’s the whole point....consensus ISN’T science.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Of course, just because a bunch of people go into a room and agree on something doesn’t make that thing science. But when those people are the preeminent climatologists from all over the world and they produce a (free and online) report outlining the scientific principles and observations supporting their conclusion, that most certainly is science. But that’s not my point. Do you think that the endless ad homenim attacks against major global warming advocates in skeptic-dominated forums such as this is a sign of strength of the arguments of the climate skeptic movement?
 
Written By: badger
URL: http://
...it’s pretty lame that you and others believe that this is what honest debate looks like...
I remember debates I had with greens years ago - but when cleaning up on earth day (picking up trash on some stretch of byway) rolled around, those with whom I was "debating" were too hung-over to actually help out.
I know of no one who disputes global climate change. It’s been happening for millions of years. It’s the anthropogenic component that us heretics are uncertain of. And I certainly have no respect for some fat-cat politician, burinig a thousand times more energy than do I, who scolds me about my carbon footprint.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
It looks like Gore has a heated pool for one thing.

I think anybody who makes a movie called "An Inconvenient Truth" should be willing to inconvenience themselves a bit by not swimming in winter and just having a normal pool.

How about his garage door opener? Pretty convenient, huh, Al? Best to get a hand cranked model. Hey, it will be your chauffeur doing the work anyways.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
My "broadened sources" seem to be calling me a "lying sack of sh*t" for no reason. I count this as just another example of the vile personal attacks that substitute for real debate so often on right wing blogs.
 
Written By: badger
URL: http://
My "broadened sources" seem to be calling me a "lying sack of sh*t" for no reason. I count this as just another example of the vile personal attacks that substitute for real debate so often on right wing blogs.
Well we can certainly agree on that ... there’s no reason for that sort of rhetoric or attack and Fulton knows it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"My "broadened sources" seem to be calling me a "lying sack of sh*t" for no reason."
I merely raised the issue of badger’s veracity. In my neck of the woods, that hyperbolic phrase is seldom used seriously. I’m playing the victim card. Picking on country folk for their lack of language skills is a form of scalping. Also, the reason for my questioning badger on this point was quite evident. Note that his response was not substantive.
No, "I" count this as just another example of the vile personal attacks that substitute for real debate so often.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
No, "I" count this as just another example of the vile personal attacks that substitute for real debate so often.
Uh huh. And sometimes we can be too cute for our own good. Look ... maybe you didn’t mean it in the way it was taken, but at least 2 of us saw it as a problem. This is a written medium Bob, as you well know, and sometimes things we think we’re relating don’t come across as we intend. Believe me, I know that better than anyone. ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
nothernoob: There was no substantive response to offer, since it wasn’t at all clear what you were supposed to be accusing me of. You deliberately edited my quotes to make it look like I’m using the responses people gave to my question to beat them over the head as being ignorant or something. You deliberately remove the portions of my post where I point out that it doesn’t really matter whether or not someone watched Al Gore’s movie:
I won’t try to make hay out of the fact that very few people have seen Inconvenient Truth, since Gore doesn’t present any original findings and the data he uses is available for free online
That’s the full quote. You didn’t want to present it in full because then you wouldn’t be able to call me a "lying sack of sh*t" and then pretend that it’s a term of endearment.

This will be the last response to any post from you until I receive an apology for your dishonest and mean-spirited attacks.
 
Written By: Badger
URL: http://
"...an apology for your dishonest and mean-spirited attacks."
Ugh, I don’t get the "dishonest" part, but I surely am guilty of mean-spiritedness. I apologize for that and hope that you can respond to my comments in the future. I abhor Dowdizing quotes; except for the purpose of humor. I did not take your meaning from the phrase you quote in refuting me, but then, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
It is Mr. McQuain’s forum and he says that I am beyond the envelope (or words to that effect). I apologize for that too.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Apology accepted. I look forward to tearing apart your posts in the future ;)
 
Written By: Badger
URL: http://
So, for all intents and purposes, Gore uses much more energy then the average family anywhere.

He’s got all this green-energy that he uses, that isn’t in his monthly bill. And STILL has a $1,200 buck average monthly bill.

CONSERVE Al, CONSERVE.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://inactivist.org/blog/keith_indy
So, for all intents and purposes, Gore uses much more energy then the average family anywhere.
Personally I think he’d growing pot in the pool house. Isn’t excess electrical use one of the signs? ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It is Mr. McQuain’s forum and he says that I am beyond the envelope (or words to that effect). I apologize for that too.
Thank you, Bob ... much appreciated and very gracious of you. Now back to the "wars."
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
HOW MANY CARBON CREDITS ARE A COW’S FART WORTH?
 
Written By: d
URL: http://
Perhaps these examples are the type of vile comment that Badger was referring to above?
”Now it is one thing to close comments, another thing to erase them, but something else altogether different to actually “edit” the thread to give a false impression. That seems to be what has been done here. To what purpose and on whose orders is not known.
So far, the nearly 400 commenters whose words have been erased from The Huffington Post are, well, “unvailable for comment.””
Oh wait, he was referring to another entire blogosphere.

 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Perhaps these examples are the type of vile comment that Badger was referring to above?
I’m sure Badger is aware that vile comments aren’t exclusive to the right side of the blogosphere.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I absolutely agree with McQ that personal invective is not the exclusive property of the right although I believe that it’s more commonly found at the blogger level (as opposed to the comments level) than on the left. I don’t think that the Huffington Post comments were really great examples of what I was saying because they’re really not trying to make an argument or launch an ad homenim attack against someone in order to undermine their arguments/beliefs. I doubt it would take you long to find a more suitable example though.
 
Written By: Badger
URL: http://
...although I believe that it’s more commonly found at the blogger level (as opposed to the comments level) than on the left.
To maintain this belief, you’d have to rebut Mr. Frey’s post.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
" Hey, it will be your chauffeur doing the work anyways."

Chauffeur? Perhaps you should think of it as a very convenient car pool.

**********************

" Believe me, I know that better than anyone. ;)"

What? Now you think you are better than the rest of us? That kind of elitist ad hominem slur is unacceptable.

Good Day, Sir!

****************************

" call me a "lying sack of sh*t" and then pretend that it’s a term of endearment."

In some circles it is a term of endearment. You are being culturally insensitive. Report immediately for multicultural training.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Well, bains, I could have cited that example. However, I thought that the language of that post was a little strong and might have been offensive to someone here.

sarcasm/humor alert
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
bains: that post is an accusation that Greenwald is being hypocritical, not that he is making personal attacks. It has nothing to do with the frequency with which bloggers of different political persuasions make personal attacks. This would be the same Glen Greenwald who I rarely see a right-wing blogger respond to without the words "sockpuppet" "cabana boy" or "Brazil" appearing (Frey’s post is, admittedly, a welcome exception).
 
Written By: Badger
URL: http://
that post is an accusation that Greenwald is being hypocritical, not that he is making personal attacks. It has nothing to do with the frequency with which bloggers of different political persuasions make personal attacks. This would be the same Glen Greenwald who I rarely see a right-wing blogger respond to without the words "sockpuppet" "cabana boy" or "Brazil" appearing (Frey’s post is, admittedly, a welcome exception).
And of course Greenwald never stoops to the level of calling people liars, crooks, dishonorable, corrupt or various other pejorative terms, eh?

Then we could talk about Ms. Marcotte and at least half of the Kos diarists (not commenters, diarists).

Seriously Badger, if you think bloggers on the right are worse than bloggers on the left, I’m left to believe you haven’t read much of the leftosphere.

Both sides, in my estimation, have their share of vile bloggers.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
bains: that post is an accusation that Greenwald is being hypocritical, not that he is making personal attacks.
Au contraire Badger, Patterico’s post is about Greenwald’s hypocrisy regarding vitriolic personal attacks. He points out several examples of invective coming from highly-read left bloggers, not just the commentors within those sites.
Both sides, in my estimation, have their share of vile bloggers.
Agreed. Further, it is folly to argue otherwise - That was my point Badger (admittedly, not made very well initially).
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
McQ,

You’re right, and I need to revise what I mean by personal invective. What I meant in the context of the comparison is that, in my experience, right-wing bloggers are more likely to make ad homenim attacks or personal attacks that serve as a substitute for substantive ones (such as this whole Gore power bill hoopla). If Greenwald presents evidence of someone making untrue statements, and then calls them a "liar" that’s harsh, but at least it’s substantive and isn’t trying to be something it’s not.

I didn’t mean for this to turn into a big debate. I don’t extend my claim beyond my own observations, which aren’t scientific. I tend to avoid the more extreme websites on both sides anyway, so there are blind spots on my tally sheet.
 
Written By: Badger
URL: http://
If Greenwald presents evidence of someone making untrue statements, and then calls them a "liar" that’s harsh, but at least it’s substantive and isn’t trying to be something it’s not.
It’s more than "harsh" (and it certainly isn’t substantive) if it’s untrue and Greewald has been caught in a lot of untruths.

I guess, in some cases, "invective" and "substantial" are in the eye of the beholder.

Probably a function of confirmation bias. ;)
I tend to avoid the more extreme websites on both sides anyway, so there are blind spots on my tally sheet.
I do as well, but as a blogger I’m sometimes forced into reading them as I research a post. I think you’re smart to stay away from them. Harpies are harpies no matter their biases or ideology and few, if any, really ever add anything to a conversation.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
personal attacks
Gee, I don’t know, telling me I’m being a bad person with all the CO2 I produce strikes me as a personal attack, but that’s just me.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Gee, I don’t know, telling me I’m being a bad person with all the CO2 I produce strikes me as a personal attack, but that’s just me
See, I knew we’d agree on something eventually.
 
Written By: Badger
URL: http://

 
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