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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sound and Fury, Signifying Politics

As regular readers will know, one of my favourite poems is F.R. Scott's W.L.M.K. As we draw to a close on this rather miserable decade, I'm reminded of one of that poem's stanzas:

Only one thread was certain:

After World War I

Business as usual,

After World War II

Oderly decontrol.

Always he led us back to where we were before.

That is Canadian politics over most of this decade. Since February of 2006 the Conservatives have been at about 36% in the polls, where they are now. The policies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper are not very much different from those of Jean Chretien, except the latter was able to balance the budget consistently. The National Post covers the last decade in politics. 

Posted by Richard Anderson on December 31, 2009 | Permalink


Comparing Harper to Chretien is simply wrong. The latter was a corrupt and conniving professional politician whose 11 years in office amounted to nothing. He may have escaped Adscam personally but no one else did. He lied about Iraq but so many believed him that he got away with it. On the whole, Chretien ought to rank as the second worst PM Canada ever had, second only to Pierre the Terrible. He gave his successors a lemon, which Martin and especially Dion, have not been able to repair. Thank goodness too - The Green Shift would have been an economic disaster of the highest order.

Harper, on the other hand, has made strident gains despite holding minority governments. He aided the military in superb ways, he cut the GST, and repaired relations with the US. Best of all, he prevented Kyoto without raising the issue. His use of an alternative plan prolonged the debate for years. Now that climate change has been exposed as a hoax, Harper succeeded in winning that debate. Thank God too. Everyone owes their job, home, health care and education to Mr. Harper. For this he should rank as one of the best PMs Canada ever had. Sure he disappoints but he is certainly heading in the right direction. I hope that in 2010 he gets the majority government that he so properly deserves.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-31 7:52:21 AM

"Now that climate change has been exposed as a hoax, Harper succeeded in winning that debate."
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-31 7:52:21 AM

I hope you are right. It seems though the rest of the world has ignored the hoax and is pressing on anyway.

Posted by: TM | 2009-12-31 9:29:40 AM

Then the joke is on them. Fortunately this will sink the Liebral/NDP/Green Party. The best they could do is say how Mr. Harper "failed" to lead. They're clearly wrong - he actually did what he should have done = ignore the whole Copenhagen conference. he gave it what it was worth: nothing.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-31 10:27:12 AM

"Now that climate change has been exposed as a hoax, Harper succeeded in winning that debate."

Fortunately people like you two idiots who think like this are disproportionately old. You will all be dead soon and your retarded ideas will die with you.

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2009-12-31 10:32:22 AM

"The best they could do is say how Mr. Harper "failed" to lead. They're clearly wrong"

Hes following the US's lead on climate change. STFU already.

Posted by: Baker | 2009-12-31 10:34:18 AM

Furthermore hes cut health care, hes helped create a ridiculously big deficit, and further wants to send Canada into the red with bill c-15 which they themselves did not study for cost, impact, or effectiveness. Horrible PM. He's shat the bed, now must prorogue to clean it up. I don't like him!

Posted by: Baker | 2009-12-31 10:40:05 AM

Until or if that 36% ever gets close to or greater than 50% and represents actual support for reversing statist growth, the PCs can only "rule" as centrist liberals. They are, in effect, governed from the majority opposition. Harper simply gets to spin his "liberal" agenda as if he actually controlled it. He only controls the magnitude of movement, not the direction. He certainly makes a better Liberal leader than Iggy. It is a waste of a good libertarian background though.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-12-31 11:06:32 AM

John, yes indeed.

Posted by: TM | 2009-12-31 3:35:51 PM

"Fortunately people like you two idiots who think like this are disproportionately old. You will all be dead soon and your retarded ideas will die with you."

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2009-12-31 10:32:22 AM

Well thought out response. I guess that means you will also be dead soon eh? DrLiberty, I presume you believe global warming is happening, is human caused, and humans can and should do something about it. Such a task is many times more difficult and complex than, say, ending poverty. Do you really think our governments CAN end global warming even if they want to? I sure don't. And when I consider the evidence revealing global warming as a hoax, to even try seems more like a convenient cover for income redistribution than anything else.

Posted by: TM | 2009-12-31 3:45:33 PM

These "libertarians" should support Mr. Harper's stand against Kyoto. They claim to oppose what they call "statism". If so, then Kyoto was the biggest power grab ever - it would require government regulation of just about everything to ensure that the "planet wouldn't overheat." By insisting on absolute devotion to an abstract idea, no wonder they're so bitter. God Bless Mr. Harper for saving the country, the people and the economy from certain disaster. It makes any other disappointments seem irrelevant by comparison.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-12-31 4:45:15 PM

"God Bless Mr. Harper for saving the country, the people and the economy from certain disaster"

I think the jury is still out on all of that.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-12-31 5:37:21 PM

A Harper government has been pushing legislation to do away with the gun registry. He also has stopped Kyoto and the carbon emissions program from coming into effect. Three, he cut the GST from 7% to 5%. He has more aggressively pushed free trade then any previous Canadian leader(including Mulroney and Martin). Five, he is the first prime minister in recent history to pass tougher sentencing guidelines for criminals. Until Harper, all of our recent prime ministers(Martin, Chretien, Mulroney, Clark, Trudeau, Pearson, and Diefenbaker) have had a record of coddling criminals. The PC's, like the Liberals and NDP, refused to pass tough on crime legislation. It left small parties like Social Credit as the only one standing up for law abiding Canadian citizens.
There is a lot more that I wish that Harper would do. One, establish a flat income tax rate of 10% or 15%. Two, permanently do away with transfer payments. Three, privatize all remaining crown corporations. Four, do away with human rights council. Five, put back the death penalty for murderers and rapists. Six, pass a federal concealed carry law. Seven, pass legislation for charter schools and school voucher programs. Eight, advertise to U.S. companies the low tax financial benefits of moving operations to Canada. Nine, passing legislation to restrict closed shop policies of some public service unions. Ten, defund all public funding of abortion. Eleven, pass an unborn victims act that makes people who attack a pregnant lady and kill her baby subject to murder charges. Twelve, pass a castle doctrine style self defense law. Thirteen, disband all government agencies that deal with native reservations. Let tribes form partnerships with private sector. These are my lucky 13 that I hope would pass if Harper ever wins a majority. Many will say that these things have little cahnce with even a majority Conservative government. However, I also know that none of these things has a chance with a Liberal or NDP government. Harper is not perfect. In comparison though, he is far better than the pro-Kyoto, anti-GST cut, soft on crime Liberals and NDP.HArper still stands head and shoulders aboe phonies like Clark and Mulroney(both Liberal wannabes)!

Posted by: Theo | 2009-12-31 5:44:13 PM

John Chittick hit the nail on the head. If one is honest, it is impossible to place all the blame for the huge and growing deficit on the CPC minority government. As immoral as this deficit is, the blame belongs even more to the opposition parties. Yes, the ones that demanded yet even more government spending. Again if we are honest, we must admit to having no idea of what the CPC government would have done, had they had a majority without need to pander to the big-spending socialist opposition parties.

As for people such as DrLiberty who believe in man-made global warming/climate change, one has to ask what actions and steps have they taken personally to reverse the trend. I suspect that it amounts to zero, as all their energy is spent in preaching to others while demanding more and bigger government. The truth is that reform or change begins with oneself.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-12-31 6:25:50 PM

"As for people such as DrLiberty who believe in man-made global warming/climate change, one has to ask what actions and steps have they taken personally to reverse the trend"

Posted by: Alain | 2009-12-31 6:25:50 PM

First off I work hard to counter inane ad hominem or fallacy arguments that types like you present that which conveiniently ignore the staggering amounts of polution we unleash in our sphere.
Secondly I personally don't in anyway shape or form create a market for any meat product,by-products or any product where ant animal part is used.
I don't wear leather, the emissions daily from a tannery are immense for the gain, just so people can pretend they look good somehow. I buy local product if I can, why buy something from China if you don't have to.
I don't fly in planes as much as I possibly can like the rest of the self serving world. in this regard I strongly believe in "user pays" just like everything else that causes carbon and other polution to be created at an alarming rate for no real purpose. (trip to mexico for instance). Regarding meat if you want to cause the immense polution you do, then you should be taxed accordingly, nevermind false freedom, user pays, so as to curb your appettite for destruction of where other live as well.
I cannot mention everything I consciously do to be less impactful but, these few minor efforts alone make me personally far less impactful on the water supply, and the COST and well being of the food supply, never mind how many less chemicals have to be created to process that poison and what ever else passed off as food, Ie: antibioitics, feritilizers, and lets not forget energy and everything else that skips my mind at the moment. Meat eaters drive up the price of all food, so they should have to entirely subsidize what it is they want to eat, instead of poisoning the earth to do it, but not without mooching from those who don't eat meat first.
What Alain and many others do amounts to a cop out, I wonder if it the same common trait in men which statistically makes them less likely to see a doctor for an illness before it is too late.
I see a correlation, so its my prognosis that others won't until it is unmanageable.

Posted by: Vegan | 2009-12-31 8:22:41 PM

Vegan, your participation in electronic media indicates that you are far from being the purist you claim to be. As for the destruction of life, by being alive you are destroying life, just as by eating plants you are also destroying life. Try coming down to earth with a bit of common sense and balance, for such an example would be far more effective than all your dogmatism.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-01-01 11:47:38 AM

"As for the destruction of life, by being alive you are destroying life, just as by eating plants you are also destroying life."
Try coming down to earth with a bit of common sense and balance, for such an example would be far more effective than all your dogmatism.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-01-01 11:47:38 AM

You make no sense at all with your ad hominem response, but why should I be surprized your are not at all what I would call intellegent.
I should try coming down to earth, you tried to defend plant life, but ignore the screeches of living breathing animals, this makes you an earthly monster. Maybe if your kids die miserably some how, then maybe you will understand that by living callously you created the consequences of a society that doesn't respect life in any form. You are comparing the raising of farm animals which take thousands of pounds of grain per animal, for a very little return in meat or any by product, with the few hundred pound it takes to sustain the life of a human. You could feed four humans for what it take to raise one cow that cannot sustain the life of one human for very long. I am not talking about saving lives I am talking about not creating life which in turn dooms us all because of inefficiency, or cause and affect.
You Alain should never discuss common sense until you possess some, otherwise you appear as foolish as you do here replying to that which you seem to know very little about.
I do not claim to be pure or a "pureist, pure doesn't exist in my mind or world, that is more subjective, indoctrinated bullshit that your accepting brain has sucked up like a needy sponge.
Your beliefs like pure, is pure fallacy, because pure doesn't exist, we are all bad guys. If you want to watch film by a great symbolic film maker who is not negatively subjective towards race, or nationality,but who jabs at who we have become study a Guy ritchie film. The mans films are nothing but continous symbolic statements, Rocknrolla was brilliant in its messages throughout, but I digress.
Everything for you Alain has to be in black and white, this is what watching tv has done to your objectivity,made it unable to understand that the way almost everything is portrayed on this side of the world isn't really a reflection of the worlds reality, it s very slanted and somewhat delusional.

Norm Chomsky believed:
"Chomsky believes that science is a good way to start understanding history and human affairs:

"I think studying science is a good way to get into fields like history. The reason is, you learn what an argument means, you learn what evidence is, you learn what makes sense to postulate and when, what's going to be convincing. You internalize the modes of rational inquiry, which happen to be much more advanced in the sciences than anywhere else. On the other hand, applying relativity theory to history isn't going to get you anywhere. So it's a mode of thinking."

If you had what you call common sense in regards to posulating an argument the inane plant reference would have never been uttered as a defense.

Posted by: Vegan | 2010-01-01 1:17:02 PM

Vegan, I hope your spelling and grammar are not indicative of your intelligence. You do possess a lot of opinions, but opinions do not reality make. Being an admirer of Chomsky explains a lot. Have a happy new year.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-01-01 1:47:04 PM

Vegan, I would guess many, if not all, your claims about how much we are damaging the earth are not fact. Rather they are likely opinion. If you had your way you would be intolerant of opinions other than your own, and would use force to make those like Alain and myself abide by your dogma. You would be a dangerous politician.

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-01 4:58:48 PM

"These "libertarians" should support Mr. Harper's stand against Kyoto. They claim to oppose what they call "statism"."

~Zeb, guys like DrLiberty are not libertarians. have you learned nothing about libertarianism from this site? you've been here long enough to know better than to think that a libertarian would support an international welfare transfer scheme.

Posted by: shel | 2010-01-01 8:09:25 PM


of all the words you spelled wrong, "intelligent" should not have been one.

good god man, get some animal protein, EPA, DHA, and some sat fats into your head, and lay off the inordinate amounts of starches and sugars. you're embarrassing yourself.

...and you can't feed your brain with B12 from colon bacteria.

Posted by: shel | 2010-01-01 8:23:59 PM

Shel, I don't think I ever said I supported Kyoto. I simply said that those who don't believe in man made climate change are retards. The evidence for it is overwhelming yet they cling to the idea that it is a myth for a variety of ridiculous reasons ranging from political to biblical. I will not bother laying this case out here as anyone who is still unconvinced has long given up on using evidence and reality to shape their world view and I am not a psychologist.
I actually do however agree with you that there are some potentially undesirable effects of a worldwide collaboration on climate change. Unfortunately those on the right have made clear through their insane ramblings on this issue that they are not interested in serious discussion on this (on increasingly any) issue. As s a result there is relatively much more representation from the left in these discussions and the losers are those in the middle who want some a balanced approach and are instead left to choose between two rather extreme sides. On one are people claiming that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by big science and the weather network in an effort to sneak in a worldwide socialist revolution under our noses, on the other those who claim that life on Earth will cease to exist within the century if we don't all stop consuming all carbon, all meat, and give hundreds of million dollars to third world governments, but not to worry because the switch to this new world will not only not cost anything it will in fact lead to more prosperity. Both of these views are of course not true and border on the insane. Global warming is real. It will cost money and resources to combat. But this money outlay easily passes any reasonable cost-benefit analysis.
To reiterate however, and this is the take-home message of this post, if those on the far left get their way in this it will be the fault of the right. They are the ones who have removed themselves from the conversation.

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 12:03:55 AM

"To reiterate however, and this is the take-home message of this post, if those on the far left get their way in this it will be the fault of the right. They are the ones who have removed themselves from the conversation."

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 12:03:55 AM

You make some good points but this one is a little off. If the left is so smart I would expect them to have a healthier skepticism about the science and the solution. Surely they wouldn't just take their toys and go home would they?

And there are people, not all from the right, that are speaking up. But there is so much silencing of them that they can't be heard very well.

Anyway, the evidence is not as overwhelming as you say in my opinion. The only times in history where there was so much "consensus" in the science community was back in the good old days when the earth was flat.

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-02 12:19:26 AM

Alain: "As for people such as DrLiberty who believe in man-made global warming/climate change, one has to ask what actions and steps have they taken personally to reverse the trend. I suspect that it amounts to zero, as all their energy is spent in preaching to others while demanding more and bigger government. The truth is that reform or change begins with oneself."

Well for starters I sold my old 93 Explorer to the junkyard and bought a 4 cylinder car, upgraded my attic from R-15 to R-50 with blow-in cellulose, put my car's block heater on a timer bought the most efficient hot water heater when mine went, turned my thermostat down 2 degrees, replaced the worst two windows in my house and sealed up the rest and plastic them in winter, planted a garden in my yard, began shutting my computer down at nights. I cut my personal energy use by about 50%. As you can see it didn't take anything revolutionary. I was able to save some money and I don't even think I got infected with socialism during the process.
Change does begin with oneself. Since I realize that global warming is real I have taken responsibility and have tried to reduce my own. To the extent that anyone is calling for bigger government their argument would fall to pieces if more individuals would take personal responsibility. I fear many who instinctively oppose any attempts at legislation on environmental concerns do so not because they believe in individual responsibility but rather because they fear being forced to in some way account for their lack of it.

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 12:27:31 AM


There is a healthy amount of scepticism, it’s science that’s what they do. Any scientist who could disprove global warming would get immediate notoriety, certainly more than if he or she are only one of the masses supporting a commonly held view. But despite this there is not any serious scientist arguing that the core idea of human-idea of human caused global warming isn't real. There are disputes about scale, timelines, and some secondary effects, but the core idea remains almost entirely unchallenged. To the extent that people do rise to question the accepted consensus far from being silenced they are given nearly equal time in news coverage in an attempt to provide "balance" as though reality should be offset with a healthy dose of bullshit.

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 12:44:30 AM

"To the extent that people do rise to question the accepted consensus far from being silenced they are given nearly equal time in news coverage in an attempt to provide "balance" as though reality should be offset with a healthy dose of bullshit."

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 12:44:30 AM

Maybe. But I am skeptical of this. The recent email and data scandal involving some of the top global warming researchers in the world, went almost completely unreported. These emails revealed that there appears to ahve been systemic silencing of those opposed to the global warming dogma.

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-02 12:53:10 AM

As for the flat-Earth analogy it perfectly proves my point. It is the kind of ridiculous idea that can become accepted by large numbers of people if they take the word of those they believe they should trust instead of examining the best available evidence for themselves.
Indeed the idea had long since been scoffed at by serious intellectuals of the day long before Columbus made his voyage. The masses however were more difficult to persuade largely because the idea was coming from those who were outside of the circle of established authority. With little imagination one could draw lesson for today from this.

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 12:55:33 AM

The Greeks, Aristotle and Pythagoras in particular, believed that the earth was round 2,000 years before Columbus. The idea was lost for hundreds of years. Moreover, he did not set out to prove that the Earth was round - he tried to find a fast route to India in order to bypass the Muslim dominated Near East, blocking Europe's access to spices. So the Flat Earth analogy is ludicrous, but it will be used by self-appointed intellectuals to allege that their critics are not scientists. It shows their shallowness and desperation to defend their now discredited "global warming" idea.

Even if all the science worked, the proposed solution of wealth transfer will not. It cannot. Doing so would make no difference at all, even if widespread opposition was overcome. Threats to social services and the economy would convince people that the whole idea was a scam, which it clearly is. So all the effort put forward in defending this idea has been a waste of time. I recommend stopping now, rethinking your positions, and coming up with a half-way reasonable solution. You people lost this round through arrogance, contempt and derision. Way to go, "scientists." Get out of the lab sometime.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-01-02 7:56:22 AM


maybe i misunderstood you when i thought you were in favour of silly notions like Kyoto and cap and trade. the following, however, is not true:

"But despite this there is not any serious scientist arguing that the core idea of human-idea of human caused global warming isn't real"

the consensus is not in. we don't know if the earth is warming by our hand, or if it is going through a natural cycle.

my point is, even if we are the cause of agw, to give so much personal and economic liberty to the state in order to fulfill the dreams of environmentalists, statists, politicians and rent seekers is to invite contempt.

environmental laws are fine (pollution control, corporate cleanup of affected land), but carbon dioxide is not pollution; and if we're worried about it, let the natural markets dictate innovation and green tech. gas is expensive, and i'm probably going to get a Smart car.

let the natural laws of supply and demand do the work, not statist parasites. socialist do-gooders f:)ck with nature and always make things worse.

Posted by: shel | 2010-01-02 8:17:10 AM

Intelligent Design?
Noam Chomsky
Khaleej Times, November 6, 2005

President George W. Bush favours teaching both evolution and "Intelligent Design" in schools, "so people can know what the debate is about." To proponents, Intelligent Design is the notion that the universe is too complex to have developed without a nudge from a higher power than evolution or natural selection.
To detractors, Intelligent Design is creationism — the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis — in a thin guise, or simply vacuous, about as interesting as "I don’t understand," as has always been true in the sciences before understanding is reached. Accordingly, there cannot be a "debate."

The teaching of evolution has long been difficult in the United States. Now a national movement has emerged to promote the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools.

The issue has famously surfaced in a courtroom in Dover, Pa., where a school board is requiring students to hear a statement about Intelligent Design in a biology class — and parents mindful of the Constitution’s church/state separation have sued the board.

In the interest of fairness, perhaps the president’s speechwriters should take him seriously when they have him say that schools should be open-minded and teach all points of view. So far, however, the curriculum has not encompassed one obvious point of view: Malignant Design.

Unlike Intelligent Design, for which the evidence is zero, malignant design has tons of empirical evidence, much more than Darwinian evolution, by some criteria: the world’s cruelty. Be that as it may, the background of the current evolution/intelligent design controversy is the widespread rejection of science, a phenomenon with deep roots in American history that has been cynically exploited for narrow political gain during the last quarter-century. Intelligent Design raises the question whether it is intelligent to disregard scientific evidence about matters of supreme importance to the nation and world — like global warming.

An old-fashioned conservative would believe in the value of Enlightenment ideals — rationality, critical analysis, freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry — and would try to adapt them to a modern society. The Founding Fathers, children of the Enlightenment, championed those ideals and took pains to create a Constitution that espoused religious freedom yet separated church and state. The United States, despite the occasional messianism of its leaders, isn’t a theocracy.

In our time, the Bush administration’s hostility to scientific inquiry puts the world at risk. Environmental catastrophe, whether you think the world has been developing only since Genesis or for eons, is far too serious to ignore. In preparation for the G8 summit this past summer, the scientific academies of all G8 nations (including the US National Academy of Sciences), joined by those of China, India and Brazil, called on the leaders of the rich countries to take urgent action to head off global warming.

"The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify prompt action," their statement said. "It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions."

In its lead editorial, The Financial Times endorsed this "clarion call," while observing: "There is, however, one holdout, and unfortunately it is to be found in the White House where George W. Bush insists we still do not know enough about this literally world-changing phenomenon."

Dismissal of scientific evidence on matters of survival, in keeping with Bush’s scientific judgment, is routine. A few months earlier, at the 2005 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, leading US climate researchers released "the most compelling evidence yet" that human activities are responsible for global warming, according to The Financial Times. They predicted major climatic effects, including severe reductions in water supplies in regions that rely on rivers fed by melting snow and glaciers.

Other prominent researchers at the same session reported evidence that the melting of Arctic and Greenland ice sheets is causing changes in the sea’s salinity balance that threaten "to shut down the Ocean Conveyor Belt, which transfers heat from the tropics toward the polar regions through currents such as the Gulf Stream." Such changes might bring significant temperature reduction to northern Europe.

Like the statement of the National Academies for the G8 summit, the release of "the most compelling evidence yet" received scant notice in the United States, despite the attention given in the same days to the implementation of the Kyoto protocols, with the most important government refusing to take part.

It is important to stress "government." The standard report that the United States stands almost alone in rejecting the Kyoto protocols is correct only if the phrase "United States" excludes its population, which strongly favours the Kyoto pact (73 per cent, according to a July poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes).

Perhaps only the word "malignant" could describe a failure to acknowledge, much less address, the all-too-scientific issue of climate change. Thus the "moral clarity" of the Bush administration extends to its cavalier attitude toward the fate of our grandchildren.

Posted by: MIT Professor Noam Chomsky wrote | 2010-01-02 9:40:46 AM

Wasn't it the Senate in 1997 - during the Clinton administration, and Al Gore presiding over it, that voted 95-0 to impose strict conditions on the implementation of Kyoto?

Just asking.

If so then any subsequent inaction is not solely blamable on the Bush administration. Chomsky, the ally of Holocaust deniers, is wrong AGAIN.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-01-02 10:11:46 AM

Zeb you use to poop and pee your pants, does everybody mention that about you?
Can't professor Chomsky have an opinion that differes from yours even if it is about the holocaust?

I think you missed the intended message of his philosophy completely. It is a hypothesis about why YOU and others think the way you do, and I think it a meritorius assumption. :))

Posted by: MIT Professor Noam Chomsky wrote | 2010-01-02 10:38:48 AM

No, I definitely do not favour Kyoto. Cap and trade has some potential merit though it also raises serious concerns about the method of initial distribution and the favour it gives to existing companies over start-ups. That touches on precisely the larger point I was trying to make. There are real problems that may arise with any solution. As long as we who are most concerned about these problems act like children by denying obvious facts that are inconvenient to us we will not be included in these discussions to have our voices heard, nor should we as long as all we have to say is pseudo-scientific bullshit. Can any of the climate change sceptics on this blog find me even one peer-reviewed paper that disputes the core idea of human induced global warming?

MIT professor Noam Chomsky wrote(Vegan?),
Dr. Chomsky always good for a quote, unfortunately he talks out his ass a lot. To blame George Bush for the US not meeting its Kyoto targets is inconsistent with history and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the American political system. First of all Kyoto was ignored not only by Bush, but also Clinton and now Obama. At least Bush was honest about his lack of support for it. Clinton and Obama engage(d) in the most deplorable form of double speak imaginable about the issue, using it as a wedge issue to paint the Republicans as backward and out of touch with youth voters whilst making no real attempt at engaging either the congress or the American people on the issue and assuring polluters they would be left unscathed by any legislation. The second problem is that enacting Kyoto in the US would require both houses of congress to agree to it. This is an impossible task due to the apportionment of votes, particularly in the senate. It takes senators representing only 13% of the American people in order to vote down a bill (in fact less due to ability to filibuster). These 13% come from the most backward places in North America. Places like Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, Idaho, Arkansas, Utah, etc. These people believe the world is 4-6000 years old and have barely accepted that germs, not demonic possession, cause diseases. They are at least a century away from accepting any current science such as global warming.

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 11:23:38 AM

Here is Zeb's out context statement regarding Chomsky and the Holocaust, seem like a ethically rational argument to me.

QUESTION: But isn't it curious that they're using the old Jewish stereotypes, the money coming out the pockets, the beards, the hooked nose?

CHOMSKY: I've often noticed that the cartoons and caricatures are very similar to the ones you'd find in the Nazi press about the Jews, very similar.

QUESTION: What dimension does the Holocaust play in this equation? Is it manipulated by the Israeli state to promote its own interests?

CHOMSKY: It's very consciously manipulated. I mean, it's quite certainly real, there's no question about that, but it is also undoubted that they manipulate it. In fact, they say so. For example, in the Jerusalem Post, in English so you can read it, their Washington correspondent Wolf Blitzer, I don't recall the exact date, but after one of the big Holocaust memorial meetings in Washington he wrote an article in the Jerusalem Post in which he said it was a great success. He said, "Nobody mentioned arms sales to the Arabs but all the Congressmen understood that that was the hidden message. So we got it across." In fact, one very conservative and very honest Zionist leader, Nachem Goldman, who was the President of the World Zionist Organization and who was detested towards the end because he was much too honest -- they even refused to send a delegation to his burial, I believe, or a message. He's one of the founders of the Jewish state and the Zionist movement and one of the elder statesmen, a very honest man, he -- just before his death in 1982 or so -- made a rather eloquent and unusual statement in which he said that it's -- he used the Hebrew word for "sacrilege" -- he said it's sacrilege to use the Holocaust as a justification for oppressing others. He was referring to something very real: exploitation of probably the world's most horrifying atrocity in order to justify oppression of others. That kind of manipulation is really sick.

QUESTION: That disturbs you and...

CHOMSKY: Really sick. Many people find it deeply immoral but most people are afraid to say anything about it. Nachem Goldman is one of the few who was able to say anything about it and it was one of the reasons he was hated. Anyone who tries to say anything about it is going to be subjected to a very efficient defamation campaign of the sort that would have made the old Communist Party open-mouthed in awe, people don't talk about it.

QUESTION: I ask you this question because I know that you have been plagued and hounded around the United States specifically on this issue of the Holocaust. It's been said that Noam Chomsky is somehow agnostic on the issue of whether the Holocaust occurred or not.

CHOMSKY: My "agnosticism" is in print. I described the Holocaust years ago as the most fantastic outburst of insanity in human history, so much so that if we even agree to discuss the matter we demean ourselves. Those statements and numerous others like them are in print, but they're basically irrelevant because you have to understand that this is part of a Stalinist-style technique to silence critics of the holy state and therefore the truth is entirely irrelevant, you just tell as many lies as you can and hope that some of the mud will stick. It's a standard technique used by the Stalinist parties, by the Nazis and by these guys.

QUESTION: There's tremendous support for Israel in the United States at least in elite groups. There's also on another level a very steady, virulent anti-Semitism that goes on. Can you talk about that?

CHOMSKY: Anti-Semitism has changed, during my lifetime at least. Where I grew up we were virtually the only Jewish family, I think there was one other. Of course being the only Jewish family in a largely Irish-Catholic and German-Catholic community--


Posted by: Vegan Lobo | 2010-01-02 11:44:13 AM

Good Dr., knowing what you do about the business of government being run by big American business, why would inaction by three presidents surprize you?
How about I pose the argument this way. Meth is only created by US Big Pharma ingredients that are sold over the counter. Instead of removing it from the market or over the counter governments ignore the corective measures and scapegoat the issue by making everybody believe that the only way to stop the problem is to get tough on crime (induviduals), ie: more prisons and police. The vast majority of society doesn't realize the problem could be solved over night, but the American government cannot tell who controls it what to do.
Big oil and all its interests are the only reason change for the better can never be acheived by emission control standards. I believe the house will go which ever way the wind is blowing because of their whorish nature, and it is them who tell the dead heads in the states you mentioned, which way to vote.
Even if we don't agree exactly on everything, you are obviously not often anyones fool either. :)

Regarding Chomsky,I find him brilliant, but thats not to say he guides me.

"The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see."
Ayn Rand

Posted by: Vegan Lobo | 2010-01-02 12:04:27 PM

DrLiberty I commend you for the steps you have taken and are taking - that in accepting personal responsibility. Yes, I reject the man-made climate change ideology, as it has not been scientifically proved. Once you mix science with politics and dogma/ideology you no longer have science. At the same time I have never stated that we can pollute the earth, air and water without consequences. So instead of pushing the climate change hoax, we would be better to use our resources and technology to protect our own environment.

As long as the idea of success amounts to the number of toys we have, we are indeed in trouble. Materialistic consumerism is at the root of the problem in my view. That is one of the reasons why I would prefer a consumer tax instead of income tax. Existing political parties or government are not the solution, since communists, socialists, and all other political movements at present follow pretty much the same kind of bigger-is-better economics. Of course the Left being different in supporting wealth redistribution; otherwise the model is the same.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-01-02 2:24:16 PM

Yes, I reject the man-made climate change ideology, as it has not been scientifically proved.
Posted by: Alain | 2010-01-02 2:24:16 PM

Hey sitting duck, you believe in god and all the "ideology" associated with god but discount measuralbe science of modern times which is increasing.
Would the DENIAL sum Alains reasoning?
Alain tries to explain how science breaks down for him, but neglects to mention that for him an input of all data is not required to come to set in stone position. Nothing would constitute as proof, that the problem, he think he knows better.
Why would someone with no wealth to speak of be concerned if someone wanted to give him some of the redistribution wealth?:)

Posted by: Vegan Lobo | 2010-01-02 6:18:24 PM

Terrifying the population Noam Chomsky


Posted by: Vegan Lobo | 2010-01-02 8:56:33 PM

Alain- "Once you mix science with politics and dogma/ideology you no longer have science."
I agree with that. I guess where we disagree is which one of us is doing this.
It is interesting that you say you would favour a consumer tax instead of income. I think there is an opportunity to accomplish this and help the environment at the same time. A Pigovian tax on polluting goods (setting aside for the moment contentions over the definition of polluting) fully offset by tax cuts to income and investment removes the disincentive created by this tax from things that we want such as employment and savings and imposes it on things we don't want, what we would broadly call pollution. Taxes are bad, but to the extent that they are needed this is one of the most efficient way of collecting them.

Also would people please stop speaking of the free market solutions to environmental concerns that do not involve government. These concerns are by definition market failures. This is not a left wing idea. It is very well accepted concept among even the most right leaning neo-classical economists. It occurs whenever you have a good that is public access, that is a consumptive non-exclusionary good. Most environmental resources (such as air, water, and even oil) fall into this category in their natural state and so there is no efficient free market solution regardless of the measurement criterion (efficiency, Pareto, used. That is why these need regulation. Even economists as left-leaning as Milton Friedman claimed that one of the few legitimate uses of the state is in the mitigation of neighbourhood effects, what we today refer as externalities.

Posted by: DrLiberty | 2010-01-02 10:54:12 PM

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