Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
A couple weeks ago I had noted, again, that the political movement known as “climate change” f.k.a. “global warming” has very little to do with instigating beneficial effects on the environment or culling malevolent effects on the environment, and a WHOLE lot to do with regulating each other. I had made this point by comparing it with another recent disaster, one in which all or most of us have (theoretically) some stake in the problem, and which had been known to really kill people.
…through Mad Cow Disease, we can already analyze our own behavior with regard to real threats to ourselves and to our families. When we understand the danger is real, we leave it to the people whose job it is to understand what’s going on and what to do about it. We do not grab each other by the lapels and shake each other and make nonsensical noises about “everybody coming together.” That is not how we address real dangers, even when those dangers are faced by “all of us.” When we address real dangers, we put the emphasis on FIXING THE FREAKIN’ PROBLEM and the man-across-the-street can behave in whatever manner he chooses to…we don’t care what he does. We don’t even give a rat’s ass whether he believes in it or not.
I said it, Al Gore and Tom Brokaw proved it.
Throughout the interview, Brokaw talked about the need for Americans to sacrifice in order to fight climate change four times, once implying that everyone believes we must suffer pain for the cause:
I don’t think anyone doubts that we have to make some profound changes in this country and make some tough decisions and maybe even suffer some pain…
He later suggested that people will just have to deal with the problems that would arise:
Is it time for American politicians, Republicans and Democrats and independents alike, to say to the American people, “We’re going to have to go through some pain here; $4 gasoline, it’s a price that you’re paying. We’re going to have to get through this. You can’t expect the government to bail you out. We’re going to have to move to another level in which we can produce alternative energy, and you’re going to have to live with that.”
It’s supposed to be all about cause and effect, but nobody ever puts it that way. As in, “if we make these sacrifices the temperature will go up 0.6 degrees over the next fifty years instead of 8.5 degrees and here is why 0.6 degrees will be manageable…”
In fact, nobody comes out and says we’re going to LIVE if we make these sacrifices. They say “we can do this” all the time. It’s the “this”; nobody says what exactly that is.
Brokaw speaks for perhaps hundreds of well-known luminaries in his prattle. He doesn’t think “anyone doubts that we have to make some profound changes in this country,” and yet he has to throw out his meaningless bromides about self-sacrifice four times. Why repeat it four times if everyone already understands this is the case?
Where is our payoff for this sacrifice? Where’s the view-screen we can all watch, with nervous anticipation, biting our fingernails to the quick, wondering if we’ve sacrificed enough to save the world for our children? When “How’re We Doing?” is the operative question, and we desperately, oh so desperately, want to know what the answer is, we can look for a record of our behavior in…stock prices. If they’re up, we’re up, if they’re down, we’re down. They’re printed in the newspaper every day. Okay then! Where’s the thing we check every day to see how we’re doing in the battle against climate change?
Surely there must be an awful lot of pressure on some panel of experts to produce a regular, validated reading of today’s mean global temperature. Don’t we have the technology to produce that statistic on a daily basis? Well then I would expect there must be a lot of pressure on someone to make that technology possible. We need to know, dammit! Nothing else matters, right?
No, the only “scientific” body I know of that labors under such a burden, even in theory, is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They do not behave in any manner similar to what I have in mind. They do produce regular assessments, but when Assessment X is less alarming than Assessment X-1, I do not see any frenzied analysis of what it is we did that must have worked, so we can do a whole lot more of it. Instead, all I see is a bunch of scientific (?) debate about whether there’s still a “consensus” or not, when there isn’t one.
The climate change political movement endeavors, and endeavors hard, to regulate mindsets and behaviors. This is bound to be a labor running high on effort and low on results, since it seems reasonable to posit in 2008 that most of us have our minds made up on this issue, and we’re not likely to change it — in either direction. And here’s the truly amazing part: This effort to win converts, in which there are few or no potential converts to be won, is not carbon neutral. Quite to the contrary — if you’ve been witness to more than a few debates about Al Gore’s house and lifestyle (see link to Brokaw’s program, above), you know one of the most reliably delivered tropes to be offered in defense of Mr. Gore, is that he has to spew all these greenhouse gases to “get the message out.”
So to recap: What we are trying to do, is not to save the planet but instead to promulgate a self-sacrificial mindset. And we are polluting the environment to get that done.
It’s inherently dishonest, partly because we’re poisoning the environment while demanding all this congratulation from ourselves & strangers for saving it. But also because we’re demonstrating what good people we are, to these strangers, through this virtue of self-sacrifice — NOT by exercising self-sacrifice ourselves, but by telling third parties they have to do it.
Because the truth of it is, not only does nobody want to do the sacrificing; nobody really wants to have anything to do with anybody who has been sacrificing. Changing light bulbs in your house, is about all the “sacrifice” you can make while still working your way up the pyramid by doing it. Nobody thinks you’re being chic when you stand there at the crosswalk waiting for the light to say “walk.” Nobody thinks your car is cool because it’s a two-door that gets lots of miles to the gallon. People respect big cars, with stepladders on the side, with air conditioning. Lots of air conditioning.
Trust me on this: Bicycling doesn’t ratchet up your appeal, in any way. It makes you sweaty, and when people see your spandex ass out there, their thought, first, last & in-between, is “that asshole is in my way.” And it shows. You are not their friend and they don’t want you to be. Bums soaked in their own urine are just as desirable on the social ladder, as bicyclists soaked in their own sweat. Nobody wants to look at sweaty people, and climate change f.k.a. global warming is really all about what we want to look at. It is fashion. We want to see people babbling their platitudes about “we all must be ready to sacrifice,” but we want to see those people immaculately made-up, with every hair in place…beautiful people. The way people look when they tumble out of an enormous SUV with the air conditioning cranked way up.
We do not want to see people making sacrifices. We want to see people telling other people to make sacrifices. It’s that beautiful, beautiful message — which we do not want to take seriously ourselves, and we do not want anyone we know to take that message seriously either. The appeal lies in watching that beautiful message do a lot of flying around, to be absorbed and obeyed by total strangers who aren’t as good as we are.
Whenever someone talks about climate change f.k.a. global warming and tosses around a talking point or two about how we’re all in it together, what they’re stating is the exact opposite of the truth. It is about social stratification. It is about some of us being better than others.
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