Nasty And Clumsily Written, But Still Spot On

OK, tell us what you really think of the grand international sporting event about to take place in China.

The Olympics are a fount of corruption and chicanery anyway, upholding no ideals and promoting no good ends anyway. Plus, they’re boring.

Yep. Source here.

Whatever Shall We Do With And To These People Who Claim Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Is Not A Fact?? Punish Them, Or Shut Them Up…Or How About Both? Decisions, Decisions….

It’s grisly. Some people are actually debating how to censor those who speak scientific truth to faith-based mythology.

The problem for these authoritarian hysterics is how to “balance freedoms.” That seems reasonable, doesn’t it? After all, fair is fair, and balance implies an attempt to provide something for everybody.

Well, it’s not fair — it’s deceitful and fake. It ignores completely the fact that AGW believers want to discredit and silence those who point out the absurdities of the AGW myth. That’s not “balance,” any more than it would be “balance” to prevent Christians from trying to convert atheists.

How far are the AGW alarmists willing to go? This far:

…let’s ask: what would happen if denial of both a) human-caused climate change and b) the dangers of such rapid change, were to be censored? If the science is beyond reasonable doubt, and miscommunication and denial leads to damaging inaction, should it not be censored? Beyond reasonable doubt is all we need to put someone in prison, or in the US, put them to death.

Can words be dangerous? That is, I believe, “proven (sic) beyond doubt”. Think of the propoganda (sic) of the Rwandan radio station Rwanda RTLM, that incited the death of thousands. And think also of the inaction of the international community’s inaction fuelled (sic) by a control of the discourse around what was happening in Rwanda.

Words are what we use to shape law and uphold law. As Freud said, “words are deeds”.

So what should we do?

I’m an advocate for something stronger. Call it regulation, law, or influence. Whatever name we give it, it should not be seen as regulation vs. freedom, but as a balancing of different freedoms. In the same way that to enjoy the freedom of a car you need insurance to protect the freedom of other drivers and pedestrians; in the same way that you enjoy the freedom to publish your views, you need a regulatory code to ensure the freedoms of those who can either disagree with or disprove your views. Either way. While I dislike Brendan O’Neill and know he’s wrong, I can’t stop him. But we need a body with teeth to be able to say, “actually Brendan, you can’t publish that unless you can prove it.” A body which can also say to me, and to James Hansen, and to the IPCC, the same.

(Which is of course peer-review in the academic/scientific world. Why is it not trusted?)

The above passages are the voice of a True Believer working out a policy of repression that will identify the heretics, reduce their impact by limiting their ability to speak and write, and ultimately empower increasingly dictatorial bureaucracies. This is what totalitarianism looks like when it is born and plans its growth.

Note, please, the sappy logic in the sloppy language. It is not possible to “incite deaths,” though you can incite murder. How do you “fuel inaction”? (There’s an energy-waster with a huge carbon footprint, for sure!) The author says he “can’t stop” an enemy of his from writing, but then explains that he wants to form an organization to do exactly that — “I won’t bite you, but I’ll sic my dog on you!”

Hang on, there’s more. While this guy bemoans the “control of the discourse around what was happening in Rwanda,” he immediately promotes a stringent control of the discourse around AGW. That’s properly called “breathtakingly blatant, stunningly stupid hypocrisy,” Folks. And who can show that peer review is “not trusted”?

A full rebuttal of this True Believer’s appalling verbiage would go on for pages. The refutation of brief lies and terse evil notions must always be lengthy. Nevertheless here is a truncated outline of the ethical and scientific verities:

0. Past issues of the PenPo contain considerable information on this topic.

1. AGW is not a fact because about 5% of all atmospheric CO2 is of human origin (a draconian reduction of that 5% would accomplish no climate change and devastate humanity), and CO2 levels rise and fall after, not before, temperature levels. Causes cannot follow their effects. Global warming does occur, because it is caused by an increase in the sun’s radiation. We seem to be entering a cooling period now, but we cannot be sure of that. Prediction of tomorrow’s weather is depressingly unreliable, and prediction of climate is not possible.

2. Conflating science with repressive politics is not just an epistemological error, it is grossly unethical. “Hitler wrote a book, gave speeches, and slaughtered millions; I have opponents in the academy who say CO2 is not the villain. Hitler should have been silenced. Everyone who disagrees with me on CO2 must be prevented from presenting their arguments, for I am predicting catastrophe.” Hitler accomplished what he did because he was a powerful fascist. The pattern re-emerges in this proposal for censorship of science.

3. Time after time, AGW True Believers insist that the science is on their side, and cite polls to prove it. Science dare not proceed by consensus, as any student of the history of medicine can attest. Quoting Sir Alexander Fleming: “Penicillin sat on the shelf for thirteen years, while I was called a quack.” Jenner, Lister, Pasteur, Warren and Marshall…the point is obvious, and trenchant not just in the field of health. Science is not conducted by herd instinct.

4. Peer review reinforces and upholds the state of the art, and does little to enhance it. Innovation cannot function properly when an orthodox hierarchy controls information.

5.”You can’t say that if you can’t prove it” is deliberately misleading as a proposed guide to the control of information. Proof is a matter of logic, not science. It is not possible to prove much at all in science; all scientific knowledge is conditional, even the fundamental understandings of physics (as Newton would testify, if he could). “Prove it” actually means, “Convince me.” A failure to convince the censors is not an occasional event in the history of science.

6. The evolution of ideas will be stifled if jurisprudential notions are implemented as the fundamental principles of the acquisition of all knowledge. If John killed Mary, that is an event the truth of which is absolute. A prosecutor would try to convince a jury of that truth. Science, however, does not seek to prove truths. It develops theories and laws that are the best current explanations for phenomena. The very idea that behind some super-theory lies a truth that can be ultimate, absolute, totally known and fully understood (like the truth of the fact that John killed Mary) is certainly wrong. Science is not about juries — it’s a continual attempt to understand something that, at base, is incomprehensible and inexplicable (as Goedel and Turing showed).

Each of us can decide which path to choose — faith or reason. Some will follow Al Gore into the inane world of Chicken Little, a nightmare where the government regulates thought, word, and deed in pursuit of impossible goals (we can’t turn the sun’s radiance up or down). Others will insist that one does not vote on the properties of a chemical, or force truth to defer to ideology.

AGW is the doctrine of a cult. A cult moves directly toward absolutes, reveals them, preaches them, and brooks no opposition. Cults always seek political power. Those that gain it are the most dangerous organizations mankind has ever devised.

The authoritarian author of the quotes above plans to deny you a choice to avoid his cult. Men like this are well-intentioned, to be sure, but like the cultists in Hitler’s service who wanted to do the right thing — cleanse the earth of dangerous Jewish vermin — they are evil. They are also well-groomed, and good spellers. Yet they are the enemies of Liberty, and that makes them evil.

The Penguin Post Internet Website Potpourri: Something Here Will Interest You

The solar system is special; unique? Maybe. We are probably alone.

For those interested in history, medicine and pharmacology: foxglove and the heart.

Two websites: Lest we forget.

Like historical photos? Old New York in black and white.

New developments in Neanderthal genetics. Amazing stuff.

Astronomy: a surprising supernova.

Eggs as part of a weight-loss regimen.

For those who remember what Jerry Garcia gave us.

Heavy, heavy science for the rest of us: funny but scary, too.

Horrors! Will The Penguin Post, That Esteemed Purveyor Of Wit And Wisdom, Be Proved Wrong? Er, Ah, Well, Gosh, It Could Happen

Events require that the PenPo announce that John McCain could, and just might, defeat The One. This in spite of the claim in PenPo Number 6 that Obama is the way to bet.

Yes, you read that right: McCain could win, and now that possibility looks like an embryonic probability.

It’s clear that Obama should be far ahead at this point, yet he is not. That’s odd, as the circumstances could hardly be more favorable for The Obamessiah. He just returned from a triumph in Europe, and Hillary’s bitter supporters have yet to lunge at his throat (they will, they will). Simply everybody hates Bush and wants the GOP thrown out. Obama’s press is excellent, with few doubters daring to suggest that just maybe the presumptive candidate is not, er, terribly qualified or knowledgeable.

All things considered, Obama should be at least ten percentage points ahead.

So why is the senator from Mexico, affectionately known by his constituents as El Cabron Viejo and disdainfully known by his opponents as Rino J. McCensor, doing so well??

Though unable to solve that puzzle, the PenPo sees the Obama campaign as at risk.

Here’s why. Assume Obama’s people are pressed to explain their man’s surprisingly limp performance. If they say what comes naturally to them, namely hint that racism is responsible, a lot of voters are going to recognize that slander for what it is…and vote accordingly.

President McCain? Probably not. He eroded his base in the GOP long ago. Still the Republican is obviously not the underdog he was, and if the Obama camp blunders….

Two Distinctly Different Approaches To Urban Warfare

The British tried a “soft” approach in Iraq, in the important southeastern city of Basra, and accused the US military of being reckless, too quick to violence, and inhumane. Then the British pulled out and were replaced by US troops. This long post details the way things unfolded, developed, deteriorated, and were eventually concluded. It permits an accurate comparison of British vs. US tactics and results. A short version is available, as well.

It’s interesting to read the sneering and contemptuous comments made by the soldiers of the Queen. The USA’s military is a disgrace, to hear them tell it, and everybody should do things the British way. Read it all and see whether you agree.

Oh, here’s something a bit tangential, but still interesting: a couple of Iraqi webloggers are upset with perfidious Albion and spell it out without using diplomatic language. Some will blame Bush, of course.

What In The World Is This Doing In The Penguin Post??

It may have something to do with the human need to get together and have fun. Whatever. Enjoy the site!