Thursday, February 08, 2007

"No debate about that stuff? Bullshit."

Alex here. As I said in the last episode, global warming is a recipe for an argument, and was is it ever. Parallels to holocaust denial. Rationalizations for the social marginalization of global warming skeptics. The fulfillment of Godwin's law.

As I've always said, it's the kind of topic that takes average friendly people and somehow finds them standing on a table spitting in anger. Apparently we're past the realm of rational debate.

Well maybe it's my turn to get mad. Maybe it's my turn to say "hey, you're not the only one with a viewpoint." I'm sick and tired of the level of disrespect and intolerance we see for opposing viewpoints on this topic.

Well guess what, this is the 21st century. This is democracy. The way you know freedom of speech is alive and well is when you're hearing something that makes you uncomfortable. The way you know science is alive and well is when you're hearing something that makes you uncomfortable. Opposing views are essential. We need them for the health of science. We need them for the health of society.

Let's keep science strong in this country. You can start by challenging people when they say "there is no more debate about this issue."

There's a tenet of modern justice that says: "it is better that some guilty persons go free than one innocent go to jail." I would argue that this is just as important in science. Sure skeptics have been wrong... but so has the establishment. If we shut down minority views, we have an all-expenses paid trip back to the middle ages.

My biggest worry is that we're headed for totalitarianism on climate change.

So what about the title of this post? It's a quote from Penn and Teller's new show "Bullshit," and they did an episode on this very topic: environmental hysteria.

Environmentalist: "There's no debate that the glaciers are melting, that the oceans are warming up, that species are going extinct, that forests
are dying off, there's no debate about that stuff"

Penn and Teller: "No debate about that stuff? Bullshit."

Other points they make:
  • There's a tendency among environmentalist groups to resort to emotionalism.
  • Nobody's going to listen to you if you say the world's not coming to an end. If you say the world is coming to an end, you get headlines.
  • They send someone out to an environmental rally to get people to sign a petition to ban the dangerous "di-hydrogen monoxide" (aka Water). Many people sign.
Relevant Links:
Penn and Teller: Bullshit! Environmental Hysteria [Watch]
Godwin's Law

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Episode 15 - Faith-Based Warming

Topics Covered:

Reach out and touch faith: Alex's demarcation of the science of global warming.

Relevant Links:

Wikipedia: Global Warming
CTV: Global Warming
Wikipedia: IPCC
Security Catalyst: In-Depth with Punchscan

Friday, September 29, 2006

Episode 14 - Unlikely!

Topics Covered:

Seeing Red: Rally in support of Canadian military presence, Afghanistan president addresses parliament, Pakistan president weighs in.
QP Antics: Heckling in the House of Commons? Unlikely!
Clinton vs. Fox: Willy does his best Jeremy Paxman impression.
Misc: New Brunswick swings Liberal unproportionately, Tories review the Liberal leadership candidates, RCMP commissioner grilled over Arar.

Relevant Links:

CBC: RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli

The Star: Memo Shows Tories Fear Ignatieff Most

Wikipedia: New Brunswick General Election

Friday, September 22, 2006

Episode 13 - The 13th on a Friday

Topics Covered:

Actual Canadian Politics: Access to information leak, Do not fly list, Liberal leadership update, NDP call Afghanistan withdrawal, School shooting spawns gun registry debate.
Plus a Few Tangents:'s capitalistic philanthropy, Closed parking lots.

Relevant Links:

National Post: A Chill in the Air
CNEWS: U.S. no fly list snagging Canadians
Wikipedia: Liberal Leadership Convention

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

PHB Cartoon #4

Monday, July 24, 2006

Episode 12 - Podfading, Bam!

Topics Covered:

Target Market: Eco-capitalism at Ottawa Bluesfest, Predictive markets and collaborative wisdom, Click fraud and the Yahoo stock bomb, The long tail of markets.
All About Voting: Preferential voting, Strategic voting, and Proportion representation.
Israel & Lebanon: Understanding the end game, The (a)symmetry of the war measures, Western reaction and sentiment, Fighting autonomous groups instead of nation-states.

Relevant Links:

Slate: Middle East Buddy List
Wired: The Next Green Revolution
Wired: The Long Tail
Wikipedia: Lebanon-Israel Conflict

Guardian: How could both sides have blundered so badly?
Cenimar Predictive Market

Sunday, July 23, 2006

PHB Cartoon #3

And I think it's going to be a long long time... for peace, that is.

PHB Cartoon #2

This one's from way back in the winter during the election. I did it for Rick Mercer's photo challenge and entitled it "Miss Accountability." -Alex

PHB Cartoon #1

No worries... the PHB's are alive and well. We were actually all geared up to record a show on Friday until we got a Skype call from an American colleague. Alas, California tech drowned out any hope for Canadian Politick that day.

In the mean time, here is the first in a series of PHB satire cartoons!