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The Vision of The Annointed

Thomas Sowell wrote Vision of the Anointed in 1995, and didn’t mention climate change. Yet such is the insight of the man that what he wrote was prescient, pertinent and 100% applicable 15 years later. Our battle today follows a similar pattern to  battles over many other social policies. Sowell discusses The War on Poverty, sex education, affirmative action, discrimination, crime, infant mortality. They’re unrelated to climate science, yet the tactics repeat ad nauseum.

We fight to test policies with empirical evidence through polite discourse, while those who want influence and money have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to muddy the search for truth. The anointed substitute baseless declarations, flawed assumptions, and irrelevant motivations for real arguments.

How many areas of public policy have a genuine, no name-calling, clean cut debate about what works and what doesn’t?

Vision of the Anointed, Thomas Sowell

Just like Earth’s atmosphere, it’s the feedbacks that matter.

Self Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

Dangers to society may be mortal without being immediate. Once such danger is the prevailing social vision of our time–and the dogmatism with which the ideas assumptions, and attitudes behind that vision are held.

It’s not that these views are especially evil or especially erroneous. Human beings have been making mistakes and committing sins as long as there have been human beings. The great catastrophes of history have usually involved much more than that. Typically, there has been an additional and crucial ingredient–some method by which feedback from reality has been prevented, so that a dangerous course of action would be blindly continued to a fatal conclusion. Much of the continent of Europe was devastated in World War II because the totalitarian regime of the Nazis did not permit those who foresaw the self-destructive consequences of Hitlers’ policies to alter, or even to influence, those policies.

In earlier eras as well, many individuals foresaw the self-destruction of their own civilizations from the days of the Roman Empire to the eras of the Spanish, Ottoman, and other empires. Yet that alone was not enough to change the course that was leading to ruin. Today, despite free speech and the mass media, the prevailing social vision is dangerously close to sealing itself off from any discordant feedback from reality.

Even when issues of public policy are discussed… often the conclusions reached are predetermined.

To a remarkable extent, …empirical evidence is neither sought beforehand nor consulted after a policy has been instituted.

The title of Chapter 4 sums it up:

“The irrelevance of evidence”

Sowell calls those who make predictions which are proven wrong time and time again “the Teflon Prophets” — no failure can stick to their reputation. He writes about  Galbraith, Ehrlich, and the Club of Rome.

He also writes about a vision so all-pervasive it has been the wallpaper of modern western discourse.

“This vision so permeates the media and academia, and has made such major inroads into the religious community, that many grow into adulthood unaware that there is any other way of looking at things, or that evidence might be relevant to checking out the sweeping assumptions of so-called “thinking people”. Many of these “thinking people” could more accurately be characterized as articulate people, as people whose verbal nimbleness can elude both evidence and logic. This can be a fatal talent, when it supplies the crucial insulation from reality behind may historic catastrophes.”

“As Hannah Arendt has pointed out, transforming questions of fact into questions of intent has been the great achievement of twentieth-century totalitarians. It is a dangerous achievement which has survived the collapse of both fascist and Communist empires and has become a hallmark of much of the Western intelligentsia.

The stakes are too high to have a scientific, disinterested, discussion.

What is at stake for the anointed in their discussions of public policy issues is their whole image of themselves as people whose knowledge and wisdom are essential to the diagnosis of social ills and the prescription of solutions. To believe that their knowledge and understanding are grossly inadequate for what they are attempting–even if everyone else’s knowledge is also grossly inadequate for such ambitious social engineering–would be to bring their whole world crashing down around them. They must believe that they know–and that they know better than others.

It is about moral superiority

“One of the most important questions about any proposed course of actions is whether we know how to do it. Policy A may be better than policy B, but that does not matter if we simply do not know how to do Policy A. Perhaps it would be better to rehabilitate criminals, rather than punish them, if we knew how to do it. Rewarding merit might be better than rewarding results if we knew how to do it. But one of the crucial differences between those with the tragic vision and those with the vision of the anointed is in what they respectively assume that we know how to do. Those with the vision of the anointed are seldom deterred by any question as to whether anyone has the knowledge required to do what they are attempting.”


“The presumed irrationality of the public is a pattern running through many, if not most or all, of the great crusades of the anointed in the twentieth century–regardless of the subject matter of the crusade or the field in which it arises. Whether the issue has been ‘overpopulation,’ Keynesian economics, criminal justice, or natural resource exhaustion, a key assumption has been that the public is so irrational that the superior wisdom of the anointed must be imposed, in order to avert disaster. The anointed do not simply happen to have a disdain for the public. Such disdain is an integral part of their vision, for the central feature of that vision is preemption of the decisions of others.”

Utter certainty has long been the hallmark of the anointed.

“In the anointed we find a whole class of supposedly ‘thinking people’ who do remarkably little thinking about substance and a great deal of verbal expression. In order that this relatively small group of people can believe themselves wiser and nobler than the common herd, we have adopted policies which impose heavy costs on millions of other human beings, not only in taxes, but also in lost jobs, social disintegration, and a loss of personal safety. Seldom have so few cost so much to so many.”

The book focuses on social policies of the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s. It’s a clean concise text discussing techniques the Anointed use to steer public discourse away from inconvenient facts, or to muddy things with a flood of irrelevant or bogus statistics. Sowell points out that most of the great philosophers were once a part of the prevailing vision of their day, yet rose above: Friedman, Popper, and Hayek among them.

There’s a collection of favorite quotes from Vision of the Anointed here.

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University

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  • #
    Mark D.

    We fight to test policies with empirical evidence through polite discourse, while those who want influence and money have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to muddy the search for truth. The anointed substitute baseless declarations, flawed assumptions, and irrelevant motivations for real arguments.

    It’s a clean concise text discussing techniques the Anointed use to steer public discourse away from inconvenient facts, or to muddy things with a flood of irrelevant or bogus statistics.

    With just two paragraphs a good writer can say so much!


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  • #
    pattoh

    I guess the damage is done when an idea or hypothesis gets picked up & championed by self important “cognisiti” who see a cause as means of self promotion or other ends.

    For those in Australia, a couple of Cartland Style politicians spring to mind .


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Utter certainty has long been the hallmark of the anointed.

    It was that utter certainty that turned me into an instant skeptic. The idea that the science is settled and no debate is possible contradicted everything I knew about science.

    Our only hope is to overwhelm them with political opposition. It has begun here. Now we face the great test — will the people’s resolve hold?


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  • #
    grayman

    (Seldom have so few cost so many so much) That alone rings so true through out history that it should be on every one of the worlds academic biuldings and tatooed on a few forheads. The common sense aproach should always be used but the anointed ones do not seem to have common sense. Policy A might be better than Policy B but if both are looked at with thought, both plans would do more more good when combined to work out what part of each plan has real merit and would actually work in the real world. An example is the USA health care plan that was passed, Some of the plan has real merit and do some real good for the masses bur other parts of it just plane SUCKS and will not work out at all. This Bipartisanship that politicians keep talking about would actually work if they would sit down and figure out what is good for the country and not what is good for the party, this would be a good thing if they could get it through thier thick skulls, But that would be to easy as they want the power and prestige so they can say look what i did for you, sorry but no thanks. This all can be applied to climate science as well as politics and many other areas of life! But NO that would mean having to say I am not the only one with good ideas out there.


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  • #
    Nick

    Instead of arguing on “thier” terms. Why not come up with an argument of our own?

    Co2 is at, historically, dangerously low levels?…

    Source

    Why have Co2 concentrations crashed?
    What are the implications of low Co2 concentrations?
    How will farm productivity be effected?
    How will our timber industry be effected by slow growth, due to low Co2 levels?

    The time may have come to stop countering CAGW crowd’s own arguments. What been happening, so far, is similar to engaging an irrational teenager when those famous “It’s not fair, because you hate me” words come out. Why would you?

    Has the time come for us to use our maturity?


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  • #

    A commenter at Andrew Bolt’s blog put me on to Thomas Sowell, and for that I am extremely grateful. Sowell cuts through the rhetoric that pollutes public discussion on so many topics.
    His collection of short pieces EVER WONDER WHY? is very easy to read. I recommend it as a first book for anyone interested in Sowell’s writing.
    Sowell has also been interviewed several times by Peter Robinson at Uncommon Knowledge.


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  • #
    Mark Allinson

    “They must believe that they know – and that they know better than others.”

    I have often marvelled at the attitudes of the faithful followers of CAGW, like Clive Hamilton, or DavidR on the 75 opinions thread below. Incontrovertible statements of fact are treated as mere opposing opinions, unworthy of response. It gives me a truly creepy feeling, like being challenged by a pack of relentless, remorseless, mindless, komodo dragons, impervious to reason or compassion.

    It is a constant source of amusement to me to hear the term “Progressive” applied to such folks. It is very hard to imagine a more regressive mind-set than this return to reason-despising blind faith, which is a rejection of all that science stands for and has accomplished. In fact, from now on I will refer to them as “Regressives”.

    Returning to the quotation above, can anyone tell me how this attitude differs from that of fundamentalist religious believers, like the Taliban? Both groups have their fixed beliefs, and everyone else is a mere infidel. No wonder there is a tacit fellowship between the Regressive Left and Islamic extremists – they recognise their shared mind-set of blind faith and anti-rationalism.

    Both of these groups want to destroy the West, and so I will oppose them both to the very last drop of my blood.


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  • #
    Tony Windsor

    Has anyone on this thread read ‘Scared to Death’ by Christopher Booker and Richard North? Although I have not read Sowell’s book (but will purchase with the book tokens given to me at Christmas on the recomendations above) there are parallels with the thesis of the Booker/North book which details what happens in practice when the ‘Annointed’ achieve power and the minority view is rubbished or disregarded.
    Thanks for this; I am sure Jo would approve!
    Tony


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  • #
    Jim Barker

    Gregoryno6:
    January 20th, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for the pointer at Ever Wonder Why. Just ordered it.

    Jim


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    The anointed ones seem to be getting desperate. That may well push them to overreach and trigger a nasty backlash. That’s what’s happened to Obama. We need to be prepared to take full advantage of every misstep they make.


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  • #
    Speedy

    Mark @ 7

    “Regressives” – I like it! It suits them to a tee.

    A recurring theme through the Sowell’s writing is the arrogance and egotism of the annointed. Ever seen a humble Warmist?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Some extraordinary events are occurring with the weather patterns.

    If you put the satellite cloud cover map over the sea surface temperture map, there is a couple of areas in the oceans in the arctic that are pumping evaporation due to the warm water and dense cold air. Also to the ocean level is dropping due to the drawing of water from it due to the massive evaporation.
    Also the sea surface temperature cold around the equator is expanding.

    Sounds like Science Fiction but it is happening.


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  • #
    Graham Richards

    To understand what all the talk of policy is about, what the actual objectives of individuals or parties are, you have to understand the philosophy of Georg HW Hegel.

    Once you can recognise the tools used you may be able to “see” a politicians real objective however devious & immoral it may be.

    http://spktruth2power.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/illegal-immigration-the-hegelian-dialectic-in-action/

    If this link is not working just ‘google’ Hegel.


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    John Brookes

    Nick@5: You obviously don’t think AGW deserves to be taken seriously, but countering an argument you don’t like by mounting a comically ludicrous one of your own is surely not the way to go!

    So how long have the anointed been with us, and what agenda were they pushing in the 1700′s, 1800′s etc? In retrospect, how do we tell if someone from, say, 1850, was one of the anointed? Was William Wilberforce anointed? Charles Darwin? Abraham Lincoln? Napoleon?

    I guess the most famous of the anointed is Jesus, and he was full of strange ideas, like loving your enemies and such stuff. No wonder the good old pragmatic Romans didn’t like him.


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  • #
    wes george

    Nick @ 5 has a great observation.

    Our academic and media elites hijacked the climate debate from the very beginning in the 1990’s and manipulated it for their own cultural war against middle class values. It’s not a conspiracy, not the organized kind, but a gestalt, a zeitgeist. A culture that always hated we the people from the beginning has appropriate a whole branch of science as a political weapon. It’s an elite culture of intellectuals as Sowell so aptly notes. They’re thin on the ground really, mixed in with thick numbers of rent-seekers, technocrats, wannabes, useful idiots, pollies, entrepreneurs, a few crims and yes, many truly well-meaning, if utterly deluded, innocents that want no more than to make the planet safe for whales and polar bears.

    It all began at the end of the Cold War, when in quick succession the Berlin Wall and then the Soviet Union fell. The collectivist authoritarian economic model had spectacularly failed on the world stage. Global free markets of goods, services, property, and most of all, free expression of ideas were ascendant. The classical liberalism preached by Hayek, Popper and Milton Friedman ruled the day.

    But Marxist theory, while down and out of power, still ruled the academic roosts where the hatred of private property, Christianity, technological progress and individualism remained a powerful brew. Beyond the campus gates, Marxist theory had been shown to be an ineffective political philosophy when compared to modern democratic capitalism. In fact, everyone now knew that Marxism in its various forms had starved, gulagged, shot, tortured and ethnically cleansed about 100 million people to death since the Bolshevik Revolution. The collectivist critique of democratic capitalism had lost all moral authority.

    Since the 1960’s a consilience between Marxist intellectuals and environmentalism had existed in the West. But in communist nations environmental activists were usually killed or jailed. Only after the collapse of communism, did most Marxists recognise that the environmentalists had a useful critique of capitalist democracies and consumerism that they could hone with Marxist political theory into a powerful political force. Economic freedom might be the happiest system for the most people, but if it was depleting the Earth scarce resources and polluting the environment perhaps it wasn’t sustainable. (Never mind that command economies had much worse environmental records then democracies for obvious reasons)

    Then came the CAGW hypothesis. Now there was scientific evidence that that capitalist democratic freedom was going to literally destroy the climate of the whole planet unless a whole new kind of socio-economic system was installed!

    One of Marxism fundamental tenets was that Capitalism (individual economic freedom) was unstable and would ultimately self-destruct in a cycle of great depressions but modern economic science stabilized the capital cycle, proving Marx wrong. The CAGW hypothesis was hailed as the ultimate scientific verification of Marx and Engel’s original theory, even if only right for the wrong reason. Capitalism was going to self-destruct. Leftist academics were elated! Spirits rose from the dead. Class warfare could be revitalized. Big Oil and Tobacco versus the children of Gaia… Instead of Workers Unite, the new battle cry was Save The Planet! (…from economic freedom.)

    Authoritarian command economics may have failed miserably in competition with democratic capitalism, it may have lost moral authority by murdering 100 million people in the 20 th century, but if individual economic freedom was going to lead to a climate apocalypse then suddenly collectivism could be put back on the table as a reasonable solution to a scientifically validated environmental threat. A whole new generation could be indoctrinated with a new revitalized version of Marxist theory, a Green socialism.

    That’s how the culture wars of last century morphed into the so-called Climate Debate in a nutshell. Those who would have expanded government to control all aspects of our lives in any case have simply latched on to the highest moral ground they could find– Saving the planet from an apocalypse. And along the way they appropriated both science and the weather as political battle-axes against economic freedom. If they’re successful, they’ll come after our democratic rights too.

    So, Nick@ 5 is right. We must take back the narrative from climate thugs. We got to let everyone know that it’s not really about the science at all, but political control of the economy and with it every aspect of every one’s individual life. The science behind CAGW has been debunked. But the true believers don’t give a damn. They never gave a damn about the science, beyond its usefulness to their political agenda.


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  • #
    John Brookes

    Good stirring post Wes. I see this sort of stuff on Dockerland, where the purple army fight the good fight against the evils of the AFL and the Wet Toasters. But just because your argument looks like the ramblings of a passionate football supporter denouncing their arch rivals doesn’t mean you are wrong!

    Anyway, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. We live in a world of scarce resources, because there are an awful lot of us. Sooner or later, some form of enforcable international agreement on the sharing of some of those resources will become necessary. The atmosphere as a place to dump CO2 is one such resource. AGW is a trial run, and our inability to get agreement on combating this doesn’t auger well for the future.

    But I don’t really mind, as I’ll be dead in 30 or so years, so if AGW proves to be a problem, it won’t be for me.


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  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    There was recently on BBC4 a programme called “The Joy of Stats” http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00wgq0l/The_Joy_of_Stats/. It is an excellent programme and is well worth watching if you have access (I’ve watched it twice). At about 37minutes in there is a quote from Prof Michael Marmot of UCL about correlations (specifically it was to do with the correlation between smoking and lung cancer):

    What a good scientist does, if he comes up with a correlation is try as hard as she or he possibly can do to disprove it, to break it down, to get rid of it, to try and refute it; and if it withstands all these efforts at demolishing it and it’s still standing up, then cautiously say we might have something.

    Now that is precisely not what all those IPCC climate “scientists” have done with the correlation between CO2 and earth’s temperature. That’s why they aren’t good scientists.


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    JPeden

    What is at stake for the anointed in their discussions of public policy issues is their whole image of themselves as people whose knowledge and wisdom are essential to the diagnosis of social ills and the prescription of solutions.

    Right, and some of these self-chosen ones are even so sure of the likewise self-annointed truth of their obviously inherently brilliant ideas that they seem to especially enjoy the perseverations of old, failed apocalypic views – such as catastrophic Malthusian population growth and fatal resource scarcity – views which, strangely, have never managed to envision the potential for any further technological progress whatsoever, but which humans have instead shown themselves capable of, again and again.

    For example, take John Brookes

    We live in a world of scarce resources, because there are an awful lot of us. Sooner or later, some form of enforcable international agreement on the sharing of some of those resources will become necessary. The atmosphere as a place to dump CO2 is one such resource. AGW is a trial run, and our inability to get agreement on combating this doesn’t auger well for the future.

    Yes, and thus the Totalitarianism necessary for “helping” at least some of the simple people of the World to continue to exist at a more correctly reduced, “natural” lifestyle, follows quite automatically for those such as John, who alone are capable and deserving of their envisioned rightful, annointed omnipotence.


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  • #
    Len

    The term “Christ” means the annointed one. It is from the Greek. In Hebrew it is the Messiah.People like Clive and Julia Gillard, in their own minds, have no need of Jesus. They are their own annointed one.


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  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    I should have stated that the programme “The Joy of Stats” was presented by Prof Hans Rosling, the Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker. Check him out. The programme can also be seen at http://www.gapminder.org/videos/the-joy-of-stats/


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  • #

    Jim @ 9
    Glad to be of service.


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  • #
    Concerned Jew

    Kevin Trenberth is inciting hate speech against those who question the science of global warming, by calling them “deniers”. Trenberth is promoting hate speech by attempting to label those skeptical of global warming as “holocaust deniers”.

    See his recent speech here, where he maliciously labels global warming skeptics as “deniers”: http://bit.ly/dFeMdM

    Calling someone a “denier” just because he/she questions the science of global warming is deeply offensive, especially to Jews. Since when has hate speech been ok? Calling a skeptic a “denier” is just like calling a gay person a “faggot”, or calling a Black person a “nigger”. But this is exactly what Trenberth is doing and getting away with, because no one in the climate science community has the cojones to stand up to him.

    And note the timing of the release of his speech–just a few days after the Jared Loughner shootings! I think Trenberth did this on purpose: to encourage unstable individuals to physically harm global warming skeptics–people like the eco-terrorist that took people hostage at the Discovery Channel office.

    So here is my request: please shame KEVIN TRENBERTH for inciting hate speech against global warming skeptics (which is 2/3 of the US population, according to recent polls). In whatever way you can. Stop this guy before his hate speech causes physical violence against global warming skeptics.

    Thank you,


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  • #

    Roy Hogue @ 10,

    That’s right. Don’t let a good misstep go to waste.


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  • #

    Those who would have expanded government to control all aspects of our lives in any case have simply latched on to the highest moral ground they could find– Saving the planet from an apocalypse.

    You forgot to mention the Red Threat which has now morphed into the War on Terrorism. Don’t confuse socialism or communism with statism. This ‘anointed’ attitude surfaces whenever people make the statement: “People/They are so stupid”. No, not all left wingers are tree hugging communists and not all right wingers are bible carrying gun nuts.

    Getting past the whole anointed issue is learning to live with the fear that someone or something, at anytime, can destroy the worldview you cling to so desperately. Let’s hope it’s through mere dispassionate reasoning and nothing more devastating. This, to me, is the one fear that begets nearly every other fear.

    The day sceptics(mostly on the right but, some libertarians too) can get past this whole communist plot nonsense, the sooner the circus will be over and we can hitch a ride with the carnies to the next town. Then we can enjoy the rides and bright lights all over again. Sigh…


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  • #
    rukidding

    Sooner or later, some form of enforcable international agreement on the sharing of some of those resources will become necessary.

    John Brooks
    What a nice little Marxist you are.When you come for my fossil fuel be sure and bring a gun.


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  • #
    John Brookes

    I said:

    Sooner or later, some form of enforcable international agreement on the sharing of some of those resources will become necessary.

    I’m a bit surprised that people find this objectionable. Wasn’t it a scarce resource called oil that we of the west went to war in Iraq for? Sadly for the baddies there, their guns were not as good as ours.

    But I guess the US doesn’t want any sort of international agreement, because it is used to just taking what it wants. Funny thing though, the good ol’ USA didn’t like it when the Poms ruled the world and took what they wanted…


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  • #
    OzWizard

    To John Brookes @ 15:
    For your own peace of mind, stop listening to so-called ‘economists’. You are conjuring imaginary terrors in your own mind by repeating their incantations (“We live in a world of scarce resources, because there are an awful lot of us”).

    The term “resource scarcity” was invented to scare small children and the gullible. Instead of trembling before the scary monster, look him directly in the eye and you will discover he is no more than a masterly crafted magical illusion.

    The sufficiency (or otherwise) of what can legitimately be considered ‘a resource’ at any given point in history has nothing to do with the number of people on the planet being ‘high’ or ‘low’ (relative to what?). Even what constitutes “a resource” can clearly change over time. Because it varies over time, the concept of “a resource” is not easily grasped; it changes with changing human needs; it changes with human attitudes, and with changing knowledge and with developments in technology. You may also notice that, although the quantity of any available resource is finite, it is none-the-less huge and generally sufficient to meet our global needs at a given time.

    The major problem with ‘resources’ is matching their generous availability with the human need for them, not their absolute quantity. That is a distribution issue, fundamentally related to fraudulent misuse of our decrepit 300-year-old bank-controlled credit mobilizing system.

    If you want to be afraid of anything, be afraid of people who can convince the entire world that the current mechanism which controls resource distribution (the unit of price measurement ) is itself “a scarce resource” which should have a price placed on it. Fear those who, by artificially restricting the quantity of ‘price unit devices’ they make available, can increase the price of those price units (which only they are allowed to manufacture) to any level they choose.

    Once you realize that all elected governments of the world presently kow-tow to people who can weave such ‘magic’, you might be inclined to direct your talents towards devising and implementing a correction of that flawed resource distribution mechanism (and suitable punishments for those who continue to conceal the fraud at its foundation).


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  • #
    BobC

    John Brookes:
    January 21st, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Wasn’t it a scarce resource called oil that we of the west went to war in Iraq for? Sadly for the baddies there, their guns were not as good as ours.

    But I guess the US doesn’t want any sort of international agreement, because it is used to just taking what it wants. Funny thing though, the good ol’ USA didn’t like it when the Poms ruled the world and took what they wanted…

    You don’t really care if what you say is true or not, do you? Just as long as it makes you feel morally superior, eh?

    Not only are you not morally superior (to most anyone), but you are dumb to boot.

    Show that the US has taken any of Iraq’s oil — or shut up.

    (Of course, that would take some integrity — I don’t expect you to do either.)


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Why do lefties still claim we went to Iraq for the oil?

    Because it’s an obvious motive and makes for a good shady premise. Unfortunately, evidence to support it doesn’t exist, and not from a lack of people looking.

    Trouble is, ideologues like John Brookes don’t want to give up on their narrative, and don’t try to confuse them with the truth, they can’t handle it.

    If we were after the oil, we’d have got it by now. If the war was about making money, Bush would have gone in hard, imposed a media blackout, shelled the country flat, killed everyone who got in the way, then called in Exxon to extract and Halliburton to provide infrastructure. We would have bled the place dry and burned what was left over… but we didn’t. Instead we deposed their dictator, freed the country, set up democratic elections and stuck around to ensure they got back on their feet before we left them. All without ever touching a drop of the damn oil.

    How inconvenient for the Brookes’s of this world!


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    And Wes at #15 – that’s the best “pocket” essay on our situation I’ve read for a long time. Spot on!


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  • #
    Eddy Aruda

    @ John Brooks

    I have good news, the sky is not falling! There is no resource shortage. Approximately 70% of the world is covered in water. It is the misanthropic greens that stymie every effort to build the necessary infrastructure to get the water delivered to where it is needed.

    Oil? The world was supposed to run out of oil years ago. Instead, the total amount of reserves kept increasing. We will someday see peak oil. We cannot say with any degree of certainty when that will occur because we do not know how much oil remains to be discovered. There are currently enough reserves of oil, gas and coal deposits (which can be converted into oil) to keep the world going for the next 200 years.

    The United States invaded Iraq because it was a threat to world peace. If Saddam Hussein would have been allowed to annex Kuwait and Saudi Arabia he would have been in control of half the world’s oil supply. If the oil flow from the Persian Gulf were to halt people would die, governments would fall and a nuclear armageddon would have loomed ominously. In essence, the very existence of the human race was in jeopardy. The weapons of mass destruction justification for war was based on misinformation promulgated by the Butcher of Baghdad himself. He wanted the Iranians to think he had them in order to deter an attack on the strategically vital Shatt al-Arab waterway through which most of Iraq and Kuwait’s oil flowed to the tankers in the Persian Gulf.

    Every country wants to insure its own survival. Will we see wars in the future waged to secure strategic resources? If past is truly prologue we probably will. Humans have conquered and plundered their neighbor ever since we humans quit being hunter gatherers. Be an optimist, John! Think of your life as if it were a glass of water. Instead of seeing the glass of water half full or half empty realize that there is 50% of the glass remaining to be filled and start filling your glass! You do not want to sit around to the end of your life just being depressed and staring at the half full glass, do you?


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    Eddy Aruda

    Speedy:
    January 20th, 2011 at 11:57 am
    Mark @ 7
    “Regressives” – I like it! It suits them to a tee.
    A recurring theme through the Sowell’s writing is the arrogance and egotism of the annointed. Ever seen a humble Warmist?

    I have never seen a “humble warmist”. However, humble warmists ranks number one out of the ten shortest lists in the world! ;)


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    BobC

    Try reading the book, John — before you make an even bigger fool of yourself. It’s amusing to imagine a debate between Sowell and yourself. There’s no way to make it fair, even if Sowell was heavily drugged.

    John Brookes:
    January 20th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Nick@5: You obviously don’t think AGW deserves to be taken seriously, but countering an argument you don’t like by mounting a comically ludicrous one of your own is surely not the way to go!

    So how long have the anointed been with us, and what agenda were they pushing in the 1700′s, 1800′s etc? In retrospect, how do we tell if someone from, say, 1850, was one of the anointed? Was William Wilberforce anointed? Charles Darwin? Abraham Lincoln? Napoleon?

    I guess the most famous of the anointed is Jesus, and he was full of strange ideas, like loving your enemies and such stuff. No wonder the good old pragmatic Romans didn’t like him.

    As to “comically ludicrous”: Nice logical argument there John. It would be of (perhaps clinical) interest to have you describe the mental mechanism you use to come to these conclusions.

    FYI:

    CO2 starvation may have caused the extinction event at the end of the Miocene, 6Ma.

    The only “tipping point” (due to CO2) that the world has approached in the last 400Ky is the concentration of CO2 where biosystem collapse would occur — about 150 ppm. Owners of commercial greenhouses know of the danger (to the plants) of growing plants in an enclosed space without CO2 generators. A medium-sized hydroponics garden can clean the CO2 out of your basement in a few hours — photosynthesis stops and the plants soon die.


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    BobC

    John Brookes:
    January 20th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Sooner or later, some form of enforcable international agreement on the sharing of some of those resources will become necessary.

    I’ve got the solution for you John! Why wait until later to renounce your freedom, when you can subject yourself to the “enforceable sharing of resources” right now by moving to Cuba!

    Write and let us know how it works out.


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    As for going to war in Iraq for oil – Anne Coulter’s comment on that sticks in my memory.
    “Let’s say these Hollywood celebrities are right and this is a war just for oil….we need oil, why not go to war just for oil. What do Hollywood celebrities think fuels their private jets? How do they think their cocaine is delivered to them?”


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    Jim Barker

    If a glass is half-full or half-empty, it may be the wrong size glass.


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    John Brookes

    Eddy:

    The United States invaded Iraq because it was a threat to world peace. If Saddam Hussein would have been allowed to annex Kuwait and Saudi Arabia he would have been in control of half the world’s oil supply. If the oil flow from the Persian Gulf were to halt people would die, governments would fall and a nuclear armageddon would have loomed ominously. In essence, the very existence of the human race was in jeopardy.

    Exactly. If Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were to make the ridiculous decision to cease oil production, the US would invade them, even though the US is a great respecter of property rights. Saudi Arabia has, in my opinion, a far worse human rights record than China, and it too is not a democracy, but as long as they sell us oil, they are OK.


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    John Brookes

    BobC:

    As to “comically ludicrous”: Nice logical argument there John. It would be of (perhaps clinical) interest to have you describe the mental mechanism you use to come to these conclusions.

    Its really very simple. Look at the graph of atmospheric CO2 levels linked by Nick@5. Look at the time scale on the bottom. Now note the last 3 million years – the time that some sort of humans have been around. Its barely a blip on the far right hand side of the graph. A blip during which (on the graph at least) CO2 levels have been below present levels.

    So to draw the conclusion that the current atmospheric CO2 levels, which are (on the graph at least) higher than any during the existence of the human species, are really dangerously low, is ludicrously comical. Wouldn’t you say?


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    Eddy Aruda

    John Brookes:
    January 21st, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    If Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were to make the ridiculous decision to cease oil production, the US would invade them

    If Saudi Arabia and Kuwait ceased to produce and sell oil their governments would collapse. Their primary source for hard currency is oil revenues. The US produces 25% of the world’s GDP and consumes 25% of its energy. If the oil stopped flowing it would almost be as bad as trying to live without air, water or food. Oil is paramount to modern society. I live in a very liberal area. Yet, I see very few people riding their bikes to work. The more CO2 (plant food) in the air the better!

    I would love to see a reality show featuring Al Gore and the Hollywood elite living a life without the benefits provided by oil, gas or coal. No running water, no central air or heating, no plastic, fertilizer or the thousands of other items made from petroleum and natural gas. If they want to “go green” I would really enjoy watching them “go camping” for the rest of their miserable, pathetic lives.


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    wes george

    Waffle @ 24,

    You’re right mate, Communist plots are total nonsense…It’s more like a circus full of scary carnies!

    Allow me to borrow a technique from true believer DavidR: Appeal to Authority…

    I’ve spent my whole life surrounded by Thomas Sowell’s “anointed ones”, moving in academic/media “elite” circles on three continents, trafficking in ideas and words.

    My tertiary education, which occurred at more than one elite university, had endued me with Marxist political theory, as almost all my professors were at least influenced by some variety of Marxism in their own philosophy. That’s just the way it is in the upper echelon of our academies. It’s not a conspiracy, but a rather dotty, insular culture. We all read from the same canon. Even if a student were never to hear or read Marx at our most elite institutions they would unconsciously absorb the gestalt by osmosis.

    Sure, at university, and in our media, eccentrics and divas abound, and to quantify most academics as consciously Marxist is to err, but the academic/media complex, as a whole, if given political power would create an authoritarian socio-economic system in a heartbeat. And from there, as history shows, suppression would beget repression until we ended up in a totalitarian dystopia, just like the idealistic Russian revolution ended in the dull grey statist nightmare of the Soviet Union. Few of our “anointed ones” aim for this results (although, make no mistake, a minority still actually believe a dictatorship of the proletariat is a necessary cleansing step! See William Ayers, President Obama’s mate.)

    As a youngun straight out of school, I began my career as an environmental theorist for a major green NGO. My team’s assignment was to craft a popular culture image, to attract converts to the ranks of our organization’s unpaid foot soldiers. We set about the task as an effort to fold Hegelian dialectical analysis, appropriated Christian mythological themes and Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis into one easy-to-grok, sugar-coated wafer that reeked of teen spirit and XTC. Something you could almost dance to. The suits thought our campaign ingenious.

    Promoted and let loose on the streets, I learned how to direct protest and channel “grass root” discontent. I was a minor leader, a minor green philosopher composing pamphlet screeds, eco-fanzines, organizing warehouse raves for funding. I burnt a few years hanging out in coffee shops and inner city bohemian circles debating the meaning of existence with artists, punks, anarchists, greens, wobblies, skinheads, stock brokers, gays, poets, fundamentalists, Creationists, futurists, hackers, and all kinds of students of everything. One day I woke up to the truly radical “trans-natural” implications of the Gaia Hypothesis and suddenly realized where we are in history. I realized every thing that I believed about nature, history and human destiny was wrong…

    So I got a real job. To this day few seem to understand that ultimately the Gaia Hypothesis will someday be the undoing of the Greens because of the way it redefines the relationship between humanity and nature is the antithesis of all eco-socialists hold dear. But I digress…

    So, No, Waffle, there is no communist plot. There are no conspiracies. No secret cabals. There doesn’t have to be, because there are ideological Strange Attractors, CAGW is one of these systems, so is Marxism, maybe even “Climate Skepticism.” There are complex systems of cultural values that work chaotically, but holistically, to move society with a power that is far greater than the sum of their parts. Google Tea Party.

    Today the tides that move human consciousness are accelerating. The spirit of our times is transmuting into something our “anointed ones” no longer know how to control or contain. They’re in panic mode. That’s what this whole bloody struggle has always been about… control of the Climate Change taking place between our ears!


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    John Brookes

    Now that really is a good rant Wes!


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    Mark Allinson

    Wes,

    As with your post @15, this (@40) is another enjoyable and valuable contribution. Thank you.

    No, I agree, there is no conspiracy, because the entire educational system is now suffused with this red dye. Any individual who has been through the system, from primary school to university, will most likely emerge with a distinctly crimson hue. A few, of course, will resist and react against the red-wash, but the system will soon reject them with low grades, or as unsuitable material for a teaching position. So the system is self-reinforcing.

    I think that possibly only a powerful existential threat to Western democracy could change this culture of the morally immaculate anointed ones – or is it already too late?


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    Louis Hissink

    Eddy, Actually the US doesn’t really need to invade the Middle East – after all thy are already there, but the reason they are there is because of the biotic oil belief of fossil fuel.

    It isn’t of course and deep under the existing coal deposits exits even larger petroleum deposits that come from the mantle – Tommy Gold’s theory etc.

    If the US and Europeans actually started to realise that they might have petroleum reserves underfoot at home, as it were, they would not be in the invidious position they are in, having to kowtow to arabs for oil.

    But biotic oil theory has a stranglehold on the lefty intellectuals among us, as does CAGW theory, and that’s the real tragedy. Fossil fuel and CAGW are fundamentally intellectual contrivances, not physical facts.


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    rukidding

    Great news John on the ABC midday news there could be enough shale and coal gas to last another 250 years.Now isn’t that great news now we can all have all the energy we want.
    Had to laugh though the very next item was how Brazil’s coffee crop could be effected by climate change.
    Could just not let one fossil fuel story go by without mentioning climate change.
    Good old Aunty.:-)


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    Trying to speak generally, which is what I failed to do after my first sentence. ;) I think we need to get past the whole “us vs them” mentality. I read both left and right blogs and in the comments of most articles on both sides is a strange sense of powerlessness. Yes, people have good reason to be disenfranchised but there’s always something we can do about it. One thing that riles me up about messages similar to The Vision of the Anointed is the propensity of the author to construct their own monsters.

    We do create our own realities and will see what we want to see. For example; I overheard someone on the bus the other day describing how ruder society has become. My New Years resolution two years ago was to simply smile more at people. Since then I’ve noticed are marked increase in politeness and amenity in all my daily interactions.

    My point is, while it’s good to be aware of corruption and, dare I say it, evil in the world. We should not dwell on it. Or, worse still, adopt a victim mentality to it. So, here’s one from Ghandi:

    Be the change you want to see in the world.


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    JPeden

    John Brookes:
    January 21st, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I said:

    Sooner or later, some form of enforcable international agreement on the sharing of some of those resources will become necessary.

    I’m a bit surprised that people find this objectionable. Wasn’t it a scarce resource called oil that we of the west went to war in Iraq for?

    No, John, the “Mother of All Inspections” was necessitated precisely because a “form of enforcable international agreement” existed as per Saddam Hussein’s Gulf War I surrender accords regarding WMD inspections; which he violated for the last time when he refused to fully comply with U.N. res. 1441 which preceded the last U.N. inspection; and thus Iraq became subject to res. 1441′s “serious consequences”.

    I’m not saying the U.N. officially endorsed the Iraq invasion – it remained mute and then later did support the invasion non-militarily. But all Saddam Hussein had to do to at least throw a big monkey wrench into the invasion was to fully comply with res. 1441.

    Apparently the omnipotent George Boooosh managed to convince even Saddam that he had WMD’s.

    The WMD problem related to Islamofascist terrorism, not oil. The U.S. still has plenty of oil within the confines of its own territory. Now Obama and his merry band of Totalitarians are the ones who are making it “scarce” – hey, just like they want to do with Health Care and everything else that works and is wealth creating or sustaining: especially the individual, free-thought mind.


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    Llew Jones

    Here’s the top 15 countries that the US got its oil from in 2010. It was about the same at the time Bush invaded Iraq to implement the “Iraq Liberation Act 1998″ along with one or two other objectives. That act when passed by Congress was signed into law by Bill Clinton.

    As always liberals or progressive are sloppy with the facts and invariably are only partially informed on whatever topic they address, including climate science:

    1. CANADA
    2. MEXICO
    3. SAUDI ARABIA
    4. VENEZUELA
    5. NIGERIA
    6. RUSSIA
    7. ALGERIA
    8. COLOMBIA
    9. ANGOLA
    10. VIRGIN ISLANDS
    11. KUWAIT
    12. ECUADOR
    13. BRAZIL
    14. UNITED KINGDOM
    15. IRAQ


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    John Brookes

    So how come when Wes does a good post he gets three thumbs up, and when I congratulate him on it, with not the slightest qualification, I get two thumbs down?


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    grayman

    John some here just do not like you. I for one enjoy at times your comments as sometimes they are thought provoking and then some are just plain silly but all and all you do at times give good arguments. Just remember that you are posting at a IMO a more condervative leaning blog. Myself am an independent voter and do not vote party platforms but what the canadite has to offer, no not bribes, but offer the people of district that will help them instead of hinder them.


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    BobC

    wes george @ 40:

    “ideological Strange Attractors”
    I love it! You may just have created a meme here. Any quantitative theory of sociology would have to be chaotic, so Strange Attractors would be a necessary part of it. It invokes the perfect mental image. Your own life trajectory illustrates it well — you were orbiting the Gaia-Green-Marxist attractor, but a seemingly random set of circumstances sent you into an escape trajectory to an entirely different attractor.

    John Brookes: I gave you a thumbs up on 41. Credit where credit is due.


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    Roy Hogue

    @39,

    I would love to see a reality show featuring Al Gore and the Hollywood elite living a life without the benefits provided by oil, gas or coal. No running water, no central air or heating, no plastic, fertilizer or the thousands of other items made from petroleum and natural gas. If they want to “go green” I would really enjoy watching them “go camping” for the rest of their miserable, pathetic lives.

    Now there’s a reality show I would watch.


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    BobC

    John Brookes:
    January 21st, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Its really very simple. Look at the graph of atmospheric CO2 levels linked by Nick@5. Look at the time scale on the bottom. Now note the last 3 million years – the time that some sort of humans have been around. Its barely a blip on the far right hand side of the graph. A blip during which (on the graph at least) CO2 levels have been below present levels.

    So to draw the conclusion that the current atmospheric CO2 levels, which are (on the graph at least) higher than any during the existence of the human species, are really dangerously low, is ludicrously comical. Wouldn’t you say?

    One of these days, John, you’re going to surprise me with a well-constructed, logical argument.

    Today is not the day.

    The claim that high levels of CO2 are dangerous (End of Mankind, according to Chomsky) is based on the predictions of a theory which:
    1) Ignores the fact that the Earth has done quite well with CO2 levels much higher.
    2) Has never exhibited any predictive skill, whatsoever.

    Now, that is what I call “comically ludicrous”, although you seem to find it compelling.

    On the other hand, the idea that the current CO2 levels are dangerously low has evidence to that effect:
    1) We know from actual experiments that photosynthesis (and hence biosystem collapse) occurs when CO2 concentration reaches ~150ppm.
    2) In the last several glaciations, CO2 concentrations got to as low as 180ppm. In the last several million years, CO2 concentrations have been at their lowest levels ever, since life evolved.
    3) Interglacial periods (such as we are currently in), where CO2 levels have peaked higher have been temporary and short lived. Most of Mankind’s existence has been during glaciations.

    Additionally, experiments have shown that most plants are operating in CO2 “starvation mode” and can greatly increase their productivity (and use less water) under highly elevated CO2 concentrations.

    The fact is that, during most of Mankind’s existence, the Earth has been skating on the edge of a precipice (bio-system collapse). That this hasn’t happened (and hence we are here) does not allow one to conclude that there is no danger.

    I admit, there doesn’t seem to be any immediate danger, due to the current interglacial. Ice core data, however, strongly suggests that this is a temporary condition, and we may be faced with catastrophic consequences for civilization if we don’t prepare for the next glaciation, and that may well include maintaining an artificially high CO2 concentration (if we can figure out how to do it — might need to move all agriculture to enclosures).

    This is speculation, but it is based on known facts. That does not qualify as ludicrous.

    What is ludicrous, is speculation based on falsified theories.


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    Mark Allinson

    The fact that CO2 has been singled out as the great poison of our era fits the picture I have of the Regressive Left – or at least a large contingent within that movement. I believe that their apparent love of Nature is in fact what Freud called a “reaction formation” – a psychological defence mechanism wherein the opposite of what is felt is asserted.

    Young boys, for instance, feeling the first stirrings of hormonal development, will defend their conscious, tough-boy egos by loudly complaining about “girl germs, yuck”. In the same way, those who have profound problems with the ways of Nature may hide their negative feelings behind a wall of exaggerated love and concern. Most supporters of the Regressive Greens, as we know, live in the cities, and appear to love Nature from a distance.

    In 1973, Murray Rothbard wrote an essay on “Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature”. The entire Leftist program is involved with the idealism of correcting Nature’s inequalities. The sexes have their innate differences, which is a fact strenuously opposed by the Leftist “Blank Slate” (tabula rasa) theory, which states that all gender differences are socially constructed. The Leftist obsession with race and their demand for abortion and euthanasia are expressions of the same disguised opposition to Nature. In short, the Left opposes Nature at every turn.

    CO2, as we know, is the sine qua non of life on this planet. So when the theory of CO2 as deadly poison arrived, I was not at all surprised. It fits perfectly with the Leftist hatred of Nature, and their accompanying loud reaction formation. I mean, can we really believe that it is a true love for the world of Nature which wants to afflict bird-killing windmills on every rural view, or fill new “Gaia friendly” light bulbs with deadly mercury?


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    Mark D.

    love of Nature is in fact what Freud called a “reaction formation”

    Weird! when I read that the first time, I thought it said “erection formation” I suppose THAT was Freudian……..

    Sorry :)


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    Mark Allinson

    Ha! Yes, Mark D – slips of reading, slips of the tongue – the unconscious will have its say, despite our conscious intentions.

    Like the time a presidential aide introduced “Gerald Fraud”. Hard to take something like that back.

    As someone said, “A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.”


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    Eddy @ 39
    What about this?
    COMING SOON – ALARMIST SURVIVOR!
    Al Gore and David Suzuki team up against Bob Brown and Clive Hamilton in the newest and REALEST reality show! Two teams working with only the technologies of the ancient past to warn mankind that it has to change its ways.
    No TV! No radio! No flights to distant lands!
    They’ll talk! Shout! Command! Maybe they’ll even plead! And they’ll do it all dressed only in the skins of animals they trapped and killed themselves! You won’t want to miss this!

    Actually, you probably will want to miss it. Bob Brown in koala skins? Bleeeeah


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    Tom

    Calling someone a “denier” just because he/she questions the science of global warming is deeply offensive, especially to Jews. Since when has hate speech been ok? Calling a skeptic a “denier” is just like calling a gay person a “faggot”, or calling a Black person a “nigger”.
    There is another name for the tactics being used by the likes of Kevin Trenberth and co, who are running the catastrophist movement: dog-whistle politics. Do you remember who last used this smear in Australian public life? Pauline Hanson and One Nation.


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    Eddy Aruda

    Louis Hissink:
    January 21st, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    It isn’t of course and deep under the existing coal deposits exits even larger petroleum deposits that come from the mantle – Tommy Gold’s theory etc.

    Thank you for your comments, Louis! I always enjoy reading them.

    The biogenic/abiogenic debate continues and it will be interesting to see what the future holds. The real question is: how deep can they go? In addition to the technological challenges, the Earth gets warmer the deeper you go. Eventually, the temperature and pressure is too great for hydrocarbons to form.

    Gregoryno6:
    January 22nd, 2011 at 11:56 am

    ROTFLMFAO! Actually, I would get a cheap thrill from watching my favorite ecoloons make a go of it!


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    Mark

    I can’t remember where it was that I read it (long ago) but the Russians never subscribed to the biogenic origin theory. It seems that when they “capped off” what they believed was an exhausted well, they would sometimes find on reexamination that more oil had appeared.

    Too deep for me.


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    John Brookes

    Tom@57:

    Calling someone a “denier” just because he/she questions the science of global warming is deeply offensive

    So what would you call someone who deliberately and obtusely refuses to see any merit in the arguments of the “opposition”?


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    Mark D.

    I don’t know John…….what do you like to be called?


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    Eddy Aruda

    John Brookes:
    January 24th, 2011 at 7:02 pm
    So what would you call someone who deliberately and obtusely refuses to see any merit in the arguments of the “opposition”?

    Rajendra Pachauri!


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    Mark Allinson

    This issue of the absolute rightness of the anointed ones in the climate academy is a common one throughout science. Here is a passage from an essay on the current dogma of the Big Bang theory in astronomy – anything here sound familiar?

    “Big Bang cosmology is typically presented as established fact; instead of the data and observations that do not fit serving to motivate scientists to more carefully evaluate the Big Bang, the observations are sometimes arbitrarily dismissed because true believers conclude they must be wrong. This situation illustrates the Kuhnian hypothesis: although the opinion of some astronomers is that as evidence against the Big Bang accumulates, this evidence is often explained away or dismissed, sometimes by ostracizing the astronomers who are uncovering the evidence. Unfortunately, though, the tenacity with which this worldview is held prevents an objective evaluation of the evidence, both that in favor, and that against this belief (Spetner 1997).”

    Paradigm shifts in scientific realms are as strenuously opposed as changes to religious dogmas, and for the same reasons. Those “true believer” scientists whose careers are built around a certain theory will defend that theory against mountains of conflicting data. Security, both financial and psychological, depend on maintaining the faith. And the AGW faith is bound to be a strong one, since it involves a fundamental political aspect as well as scientific.


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    Mark

    Mark Allinson #63

    Yup, so true! Big Bang is another big fraud to my way of thinking. This notion of a period of “rulelessness” just to make the theory work is utterly laughable.

    Another bunch of rent seekers who need a stretch of honest work. Dung beetles serve a more noble and worthwhile purpose than these fraudsters.


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    What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade-off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens, no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghan people are killed or displaced?

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2k7xXxdUJ0


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    Mike S.

    Loved this – Sowell is one of my favorite authors. My two favorites of his are The Vision of the Annointed and an earlier book, A Conflict of Visions. The latter is an absolute must-read for anyone trying to understand the political/cultural/ideological conflicts of the current age.


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    BobC

    Jill Gwilt:
    January 25th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade-off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens, no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghan people are killed or displaced?

    I used to think Ron Paul was a rational person — but then, I never really listened to him before.

    The goal of invading Iraq was to overthrow Hussein and install a democratic government with the least loss of life possible. You can argue that we had no business doing this; or that it was an impossible or foolhardy goal — but to argue that we did it in order to kill a specific number of Iraqis you would have to be living in another reality.


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