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
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