Thursday, April 18, 2013

Global Hot Air

So my brother e-mails me all the way from the Philippine Islands, where he lives, to say he figures this global warming stuff is a smoke screen for something... He asks me if I have any ideas about what's going on. I don't know.

I reply that here in the Alberta oil patch if the average person writes into the newspaper letters section to express any skepticism at all then there is sure to be an emotional insulting reply, from another person, accusing him of being a stooge for an oil company. Hence no one will write in anymore. So that's it for public responsibility.

I said that a (local?) syndicated journalist wrote that it is OK for journalists to be biased on this issue—  although normally journalists hold on dearly to their ethics. Except in this case. So that's it for responsibility from the fourth estate. (journalists)

Which leaves only the scientists, those who traditionally, regardless of their community passions, strive to be scientific when it comes to science. Unfortunately I read in the paper how a local university professor did not go to a conference of his peers back east. He said he would be extremely unwelcome for his views on whether or not global warming was caused by carbon dioxide. So that's it: "Objective" scientists will object to someone expressing "his" views rather than respond by analyzing "the" views.

I told my brother it's like being in one of those science fiction societies where the hero and his pals are the only ones who know of X. I take comfort from President Harry Truman, a history buff, saying philosophically, "We go through such hysterias on occasion; nobody knows why."

If individuals on the far side of the globe are starting to ask questions, then maybe the Dark Side is not so monolithic. Dawn will come. As President Lincoln said: This too shall pass.

Sean Crawford,
Jedi Knight,
Spring 2008/13

Update: Today, April 22, 2013, the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources is reported as being stonewalled by the New York Times, in the Calgary Herald. It seems that "according to Oliver and his aide, he sent a 550-word op-ed or letter to the editor to the NYT—sent to various inboxes—but it was never published...the (NYT) also has a huge staff and surely must screen for letters that come from government officials who are rebutting several pieces that have run on their editorial pages.

So, there are two possibilities here. Either the editors read Oliver's letter and didn't like that it exposes their shoddy fact checking, or ...

So, Oliver is hoping that his meeting with the New York Times today will help set the record straight."

It is an open secret that many are opposed to the Keystone pipeline not on the merits of 21st century pipeline technology but as a way to combat tar sands and global warming. It looks to me like the media is still biased—although, as I said, normally journalists  believe in ethics.

~By "syndicated" I mean she was also published in the Sun for two other cities.

~The professor story, by Licia Corbella, ran November 30, 2005 on page 4 of the Calgary Sun.

~Regarding science, my Smokers essay of September 2011 refers readers to Michel Crichton's speeches on his web site. He quotes the UN climate report at length, and documents how climate data from a European site "has been changed." Back home on the farm we called that "has been falsified."

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