8 10 2007

I’ve just finished reading an article in Reason Magazine called, “Green with Ideology”.  You can find the article following this link:

The article is very well-written, and adds evidence to my own observations about Environmental Extremism- it has become both religion and political ideology. I highly recommend reading the article and all of the published works mentioned in the article. That way, you can make up your own mind.

With that last sentence, I have completely and irrevocably severed any possible connection to the Environmental Extremist movements. Like most religions, Environmental Extremism cannot tolerate dissent- or even the possibility of an open mind. Any deviation from the core doctrine becomes heresy, and the offending heretic must be hunted down and destroyed- preferably by physically removing the heretic from society, but destroying the heretic professionally and economically will suffice. Even worse than the heretic are those who dare to point out inaccuracies and mistakes (and outright fabrications) in the core doctrine. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself why meteorologists who question the global warming doctrines of Environmental Extremism risk losing their professional accreditation. Do the research yourself.

Whenever fanatics of any political stripe are exposed for the hypocrites and charlatans they truly are, they invariably fall back on claims that their actions were taken in the interest of the public good. “It’s for the children!“; “We’re just trying to make the world a better place!“; “The planet is in danger!” I admit that those claims sound better than, “I was just following orders“, but they are equally ineffective as a defense to anyone still capable of thinking for him or her self. These claims are inevitably smokescreens for those who desire to force others to accept their will. Since they can’t convince everyone else to believe as they do, the fanatics try to gain their goals through deceit- by claiming to be doing something for your own good.

If I knew that a man was coming to my home with the fixed intention of doing me good, I would run for my life!

The attitude of the Environmental Extremist- like their cousins among evangelical Christians, Scientologists, Republicans, Democrats, etc- that they have the right to force you to do what they think is best for you whether you like it or not, is the most dangerous belief system on the planet. They- the enlightened few- have the blessings of Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Zarathustra, Al Gore, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster to make decisions for you. I have a word for this attitude: bullshit.

I’ll make my own decisions about what is best for me. What’s best for me is to mind my own business. I don’t poke into the affairs of other people, and I expect the same in return. If you want me to believe as you do, you had better try to do so by means of good example. Anything else will have exactly the opposite effect.

Since I live in the Shallow South, I am constantly beset by small-minded fools demanding to know my religious philosophy. If I’m feeling particularly political, I might just ignore them. Otherwise, I’ll say, “None of your damned business!” Other favorite replies include: Born-Again Heathen, Reformed Church of Satan, Frisbeetarian (when you die, God throws your soul up on the roof and can’t get it down), Pastafarianism (all hail his Noodly Goodness), or Militant Agnostic (I don’t know and you don’t either). I think the best definition of my religious philosophy would be Universal Infidel. Whatever you choose to have faith in, I choose to disbelieve.

Note that I spoke only of faith and religion. I can’t abide either one. Faith and religion demand that I allow God to make my decisions for me. I’m perfectly capable of making my own decisions, thank you. I do not require the assistance of Angry Invisible Sky-Man and His Zombie Offspring to make up my own mind. I can get along with science and hard evidence. From these, I can draw my own conclusions. If later evidence shows these conclusions to be wrong, I can change the conclusions to fit the facts. This alone sets me apart from the swarms of empty-headed True Believers.

What are the facts? Again and again and again—what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”—what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

For those of you who are Environmental Extremists, take the quote above to heart. If you want me to believe in your religion, show me some hard evidence. Questioning evidence is part of the scientific process. If you don’t like it, quit claiming to be the result of the scientific process and own up to your religious ideology. If your ideology is only concerned with “saving the planet”, then alternatives to your methods should be warmly embraced, not demonized and attacked as heresy. The available evidence (public writings, speeches, words, and deeds by the Environmental Extremists and their spokespeople) seems to point to a far less noble agenda than “saving the planet”. If there really is another reason for your stated goals, tell the world what those reasons are. If the rest of the world agrees with you, getting what you want will be much easier. Of course, the most likely result would be that the rest of the world does not agree with you- in which case you are merely trying to impose your religious ideology on everyone else.

With that, I will leave you all with a relevant quote from Rudyard Kipling:


Macdonough’s Song

WHETHER the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth—
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.

Whether The People be led by The Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote—
These are things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.

Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give,
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King—
Or Holy People’s Will—
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!

Once there was The People—Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
Once there was The People—it shall never be again!

Current Status: Crotchety

Current Music: Mercy Street, by Peter Gabriel



4 responses

13 10 2007

Good timing. Al Gore has been recognized, on the world’s stage, for his contribution in helping the world avoid war by bringing attention to man made global warming. A Nobel peace prize for preaching environmental doom that hasn’t even been raised above the realm of a theory is about as close as we can get to establishing scientific validation to bolster a religious icon as you can get. Introducing the first Environmental Pope, Albert the infallible.
What a strange time we live in; proof is not valid but consensus is considered a law of nature. Well I say, it’s about time to form a consensus that the world is flat, that way maybe all the smart people can migrate to the other side. We can leave this side’s environment for those who wish to live in harmony with nature. The other side can bend nature to our will. Then visit out flipside friends and see whose is better off. What an experiment that would be.

19 10 2007

Hm, the article is interesting, but very frustrating. First off, who do you put in the ‘environmental extremist’ category? Certainly, a lot of ‘earth first’ folks – but they’re such a tiny minority, they’re literally the ‘fringe’.

Also, I’m down with some libertarian ideas, but this guy (Ronald Bailey) has his own crank to turn. He’s from the ‘government regulation = bad’ camp. There’s a lot more to him bashing the environmental movement than he’s letting on.

All I can say is that there really isn’t any legitimate debate on climate change; there’s denial and there’s obfuscation, but the science is pretty solid. As for extremists, I’m totally with you. ‘Fundamentalist’ *anything* pisses me off. Cheers!

22 10 2007

If your idea of “debate” on any particular subject is to put your fingers in your ears and shout “LALALALALALALA!I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”, you are an extremist.

If you automatically and willfully ignore any possibility that your views may not necessarily be correct, you are an extremist.

If your response to any contradictory evidence is to vilify, punish, or destroy the source of the evidence, you are an extremist.

When faced with factual evidence contradicting your opinion, if you refuse to believe the evidence exists, you are an extremist.

If you attempt to FORCE others to believe as you do, you are an extremist. You are also my natural enemy.

Take a hard look at the people involved in the environmental movement in this country. See how many of them fit the descriptions above (often more than one).

Anyone who wants to convince me that a given point-of-view is correct will have to use reason, logic, and the scientific method. Most of the environmentalists I have spoken with or listened to are unwilling or unable to use these three methods. Furthermore, most of the environmentalists getting media exposure are rabid, “destroy-any-contrary-opinions” types.

Contrast this attitude with Bjorn Lomborg’s sobering and rational discussion of the cost-benefit analysis. The point of the article I linked- which you neglected to address in any way- was that the environmental movement (or at least those environmentalists with greatest access to the media) is getting very extreme in response to Lomborg’s criticisms. Use my definitions above to analyze the environmentalist response to Lomborg in the article.

23 10 2007

Yeah, I’ll agree with your definition of extremist. Most of the people I know that are involved in environmental causes would *not* fall under that label – but I do know a few… My guess is that when people feel powerless and are convinced they are *right*, some move to extreme actions & words (of course that applies to politics, religion, etc., etc., as well).

I’ve read enough of the science (the summaries anyway) to convince me of certain things. If someone disagrees with me, I can live with that. Then again, I’m not a scientist with a reputation to uphold/maintain. The problem with climate change & global warming issues is that it ‘bleeds’ *way* outside science. Ideology, religion and big money keep fucking with the data – I think that’s safe to say.

I did read the article, but said all I cared to: “interesting, but very frustrating”. I’ll elaborate.

The writer digs back 30 – 40 years in order to build ‘straw man’ arguments about how staunch environmentalists have a history of being wrong, but stick together (if they agree with each other, in principle). Bailey’s jumping into a pissing match between scholars and taking sides. Referencing studies of studies which I’ll never wade through, he cherry-picks quotes and data and seems to expect me to agree with his conclusions.

*This* is supposed to alarm me? Scientists are critical of each other’s work? If Bailey wanted to write an article to make me rally to Lomborg’s side, he could have stuck to peer-review reactions and public debate. Was Lomborg ‘shouted down’ by his colleagues? I don’t know – could be. His Danish colleagues in the social science think so – but not many others do. Bailey’s idea of scientific writing looks like this: “Lovejoy was wrong 20 years ago, therefore his critique of Lomborg is baseless.” He might want to review his idea of science & reality – it is not constant, it is always growing and changing. And quite a bit has changed since he wrote that article in 2002.

So, I guess I can’t use your “definitions above to analyze the environmentalist response to Lomborg in the article”, except to say that Ronald Bailey is a crappy debater. Despite that, it *does* seem like Lomborg got the shaft. Maybe. But an attack by ‘extremists’? The dude was accused of scientific dishonesty, not impeached because of a blowjob.

Wikipedia has an interesting entry on him here:

Damn, I can ramble on when I’m tired… Uh, sorry. Honestly, I just pop by here from time to time to stimulate my brain. Besides, aren’t little brothers supposed to annoy the big brothers? … Futhermore, “reality has a well-established liberal bias”. Cheers!

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