Friday, December 06, 2013

Harsh truths

Awhile back, some were attempting to compare ObamaCare to the Iraq War.  We didn't make that comparison and I shared why in this snapshot.

At the Guardian, Stephan Lewandowsky is now comparing an aspect of the Iraq War to 'climate change.'  His touch is unsteady -- it  wavers and quivers like a tuning fork throughout.  But the main charge is "media failures."  He refers to claims about WMD and a false link between 9-11 and Iraq.  And then the little bitch wants to whine about how the press isn't covering this or that on 'climate change.'

Little bitch?

I may be a bitch.

I may be the biggest bitch you ever meet.

But I'm not a little whiny bitch, that's for damn sure.

Meaning I don't flee to safety because something's controversial.

Global warming.

That's the term.

Little bitches can't stand by it, it's too 'controversial' now.  But that's what happening.

And if you lack the guts to use the term that describes what's taking place, you really have no business castigating the media for anything.

"Climate change" is incorrect.  It's a sweeter sounding term.  And the media prefers it because,  as Edward Schumacher-Matos (NPR) explained in 2011, "What reporters cannot do is take the next step and assume what the best policy response should be.  This is something for all of us to decide on our own, and collectively as a nation.  Use of the term 'climate change' does not prescribe any action, or encourage any inaction, and so is correct to use."

So for reporters, doing reporting, you might make the argument that 'climate change' is the term to use.  But for advocates for the safety of the planet?

No.  That would be stupid.

In the article, Schumacher-Matos quotes an NPR reporter insisting that people react the same to both terms (no, they don't) and that scientists prefer "climate change" (no, they don't).  The reporter's idiotic claim that scientists prefer "climate change"?  It's rejected the minute scientists speak and it's noted that Dr. John P. Holdren (Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) calls it "global climate disruption."  And NASA argues that the global warming is a term for the surface but the term for the larger aspects of changes is "global climate change."

Maybe if the term "global climate change" or the term "global climate disruption"  was used, Schumacher-Matos wouldn't idiotically type, "This is something for all of us to decide on our own, and collectively as a nation."

You can't address global warming or global climate disruption or global climate change "as a nation."

It's a global issue.

Either the world works together on this or there's really not much point.

'Climate change' is a nice sounding term, stripping the horror of what's taking place from the cataclysmic event as well as stripping the need for global work on this issue, rendering invisible the need for international treaties and international agreements.

Civilization would not have progressed as far as it has without agreements on how we use the oceans.  We need similar agreements on how we use the ocean, the land, the planet itself.  This is a global issue.

The stupidity of those using 'climate change' is exactly why I don't identify as an environmentalist and, as 'climate change' began to emerge, went back to the term ecologist.

I don't believe in EZY solutions like, "If you can spare five minutes today, you can save the planet! Sign these online petitions!"  Your regional parcels and bundles don't interest me and I don't get the idiot's high out of NBC's Go Green campaign.

Ava and I addressed that in July 2007 with "TV: Global Boring:"

Ann Curry also sat down with Sting and Trudie and this was instructive. Trudie, in response to a generic question about the environmental problems in Ecuador, began discussing the rates of cancer and noted that the problems were caused by Chevron dumping "18 billion gallons of toxic waste." Curry, who slouched and slumped throughout the broadcast in a silky number, immediately had to insist, "You know Chevron says the Ecuadorian oil company is actually responsible." After that childish nah-nah-nah moment, Curry then quickly switched the topic to 'personal stories.' She wanted to hear personal stories.
And that's really why this three hours of broadcast crap should have come with a sticker warning (and why so many names boycotted it). This isn't about responsibility, this is about consumerism. Two other sit downs (one with 'consumer reporter' Ann Thompson, the other with Mike Bloomberg) allowed NBC/G.E. to promote G.E. light bulbs. But it was on display throughout the broadcast. The environment can be saved if you -- and apparently only you -- will do your part. Rosario Dawson, introducing Kanye West, actually managed to break from that script (and the script was enforced according to two people who participated in Live Earth) noting, "If we all vote with our pocket books and vote with our ballots" we could solve the problem. For that minor straying from the script, Dawson was bad mouthed. The ones who deserve to be bad mouthed are all the dead and dying celebrities that continually promoted the environmental problems as something to be fixed by just stocking your homes more wisely.
It also needs to be noted that every commercial break ended with a plea for you to text (on a cell phone) a message. Where do the cell phones end up and what is necessary for their manufacture? Those are environmental issues but the feel-good nonsense wasn't interested in that. By texting words like "home" and "share" you could "Do your part and answer the call and," most important apparently, "you may get your name on TV." "Join others around the world," the same annoying segment noted but we didn't see "others around the world" listed in the crawl during the musical performances. We saw a lot of California, a lot of Florida, some Texas, some New Jersey, Puerto Rico (which is a US territory) and, once, Dublin. Those segments (which again, were broadcast after every commercial break though they weren't supposed to be, themselves, commercials) always ended by noting, "Standard message rates apply."
Big Business was all on board with this special. It's the perfect message for them: If everyone would just buy (more expensive) light bulbs, we could end environmental pollution!
We believe in global warming and believe the cause is man-made; however, we're not so stupid to believe that the toxic air so many of us now breathe came about due to individuals.
The special repeatedly broadcast it was up to you to fix the problems that you have caused but "you" was a funny sort of plural that never included Big Business. (Needless to say, the words "Hudson River" were never mentioned on a G.E. aired special.) While individuals can make a difference with the choices they make, it's also true that until Big Business (and, no, Bloomberg, the taxi cab industry in NYC is not Big Business) is forced to stop polluting, individuals taking actions in their own homes are merely slowing global warming, they are not preventing it. And the special, the alleged environmental special, had no time to address that. (Again, Trudie raised that very real issue and was shut down by Ann Curry and told to stick to 'personal stories.')

Maybe Ava and I made a mistake?

Maybe, in that 2007 piece, outing that Al Gore cheated on Tipper overwhelmed our critique of the individual-as-consumer-model for 'addressing' global warming?

The media had stayed silent, after all, from the 80s through 2010.

The piece  certainly led to yet another nasty e-mail from Bob Somerby's best friend.

But Al hosted the nonsense and, honestly,  everyone knew about the cheating since he was a senator but no one wanted to talk about it.  Gary Hart they destroyed in the same period.  They were gunning for Gary because he was too independent and had popular support but not the DNC support.  In 1992, the media knew as sure as I did about "E" and they were all up in Bill Clinton's sex life -- real and alleged -- but looked the other way on Al and "E."  Why?  Al Gore was a US Senator.  Bill was just a governor of a state that the eastern establishment media didn't respect.

And for the record, I first heard it from an AP reporter when I asked, 'Why did the Gore campaign just send E to a state Clinton will never carry?'

E was important to the campaign, or that's what all of us donors had been told.  (We were told that so we wouldn't question why this staffer was always at the big events when even Tipper wasn't always there.)

E was sent to the loser state in the final weeks of the campaign because, AP reporter explained, a few media inquiries had scared Gore and his inner circle into fearing that the affair was coming out.

And how did E respond to being exiled?

She got into a very public affair with the (unmarried) head of the county's Democratic Party.  Made a point of telling the national campaign that she didn't need them to pay for a hotel room any longer because she was at his bachelor's pad (I wouldn't normally use "bachelor's pad" but his designed home had no kitchen -- no stove), made sure it got back that every evening at six p.m. she was drunk off her ass and stayed that way for the rest of the night and managed to roll into county headquarters (often in the day before's clothes) around 11:30 a.m. and would then proceed to insult any state, county or city politician (incumbent or not) and the state she was standing in.

From a casual whisper of an AP reporter in the early fall of 1992 to election day 1992, E became the biggest backstage story of the campaign.

That's not true.

It was the day after the election, when E showed up at campaign headquarters not just hung over but drunk and drinking from a bottle of booze that she decided to 'really' let the county headquarters know how much she hated the state, hated them, etc.  And that stunt, more than any other, is why E did not become part of the White House team after Clinton-Gore won the 1992 election.

So the earlier sentence should read, "From a casual whisper of an AP reporter in the early fall of 1992 to the day after the 1992 election . . ."  Although if I were going to take the time to edit, I'd probably change "casual whisper" to "careless whisper."

Again, the media had stayed silent from the 80s through 2010.

And really isn't that what Lewandowsky's arguing here?

He tries to argue that the media was the same on Iraq as it is on 'climate change.'

But he's offering governmental claims on Iraq.

That the media repeated -- not reported because reporting requires healthy skepticism.

That's not the same thing as the media not reporting on some study.

The same thing would be Jean-Marc Ayrault dismissing the damage that is taking place and the media running with his quotes and presenting them as fact or at least as not worth serious questioning.

That would be the same thing.

His efforts at drawing links only get weaker as the piece goes along.

For example, he writes:

There are also similarities. In both cases, a link can be drawn between misinformation and the likelihood of warfare. Together with colleagues, I reviewed the literature on this relationship in a recent paper using the Iraq War and climate change as case studies. We report a reasonably clear link between the acceptance of misinformation and support for the Iraq War, both before and after military action commenced. In one U.S. study, belief in misinformation—that is, the existence of WMDs—was the most powerful predictor of support for the Iraq war. Belief in WMDs quadrupled the likelihood of support for the war. 

I disagree.

Polls aren't polygraphs.

I think a more apt description of those poll results are that support for the illegal war -- in polling -- was determined by party identification (and by bad 'reporting').  And I think that's demonstrated by the flip-flops in polling since Barack became president.

What I'm saying is, Republicans wanted to support Bully Boy Bush.  WMD?  They'd cite as their reason. But if something else had been offered, they would have cited it as well.

It had nothing to do with WMD, it had everything to do with party identification.

You can see that especially with the polling when NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden's revelations were first in the news and the polling found a flip on the issue.  Whereas, under Bully Boy Bush, Democrats were outraged and Republicans were minimizing the illegal spying, now you saw Democrats minimizing.

They can give any excuse they want.

They can create a noble lie to tell themselves.

But the reality was, Democrats supported what a Democratic president did after being opposed to it when a Republican White House occupant did the same.  (And vice versa.)

We've all lied to ourselves.

I did for many, many years.

I kidded myself that my party stood for something.

It doesn't.

It stands for winning elections.

That's it.

If we're out of power, we'll hear various leaders insist that if they're given control of a house of Congress or the White House, things will really change.

But, as we saw in the 2006 mid-term elections, when we gave the Democrats control of both houses of Congress, they didn't end the Iraq War as Nancy Pelosi had promised.

In fact, Nancy (my Congressional representative) stated they would end the war if the voters would just give them one house of Congress.

In the end, the Democratic Party hierarchy made the decision that Iraq had won them both houses of Congress (that was a major upset) and could be used as 2008 campaign issue as well.  So there was no point in ending the illegal war.

My party has a few strong elected officials -- past and present -- but as a whole, it stands for nothing except winning elections and it will spin or lie to do so -- over and over.

What it won't do is seriously improve the lives of Americans.

The same is true of the Republican Party.  Which is why we need real third parties.  (Acting like the little sister of the Democratic Party does not make the Green Party a third party.)

But that's too much honesty.

In the end, they'd rather keep us all stupid.

So we write dumb pieces like Lewandowsky, filled with false comparisons and inadequate and incorrect terminology.

If he ever wants to get serious in talking about the destruction of the planet, he may have something to say.  At present, he's about as helpful as Care2 online petition.

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