Showing posts with label Al-Gore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Al-Gore. Show all posts

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Great Harold Lewis Resignation Non-Event.

I followed the global warming discussions, back when it was a true controversy among climatologists, probably from about 1980 to some time in the 90s -- casually, not being invested one way or the other -- picking up Scientific American in the doctor's office or when I was in a library.  Like other scientific debates it went from "Hey, some people think this and have this evidence" to "Looks rather convincing" to Yeah, but ..." to "Yeah, it's probably true" to "Everybody who can read the literature is convinced". It was a normal scientific debate, it went from speculations to apparent solidity much the same way the continental drift debate went a couple of decades earlier. Now I did, just the other day, see a guy in a ballcap that "Stop Plate Tectonics", but I suspect he was being ironic. Climate change didn't seem particularly political back then. When did it turn into the supposed giant conspiracy?

Hal Lewis may be quite competent for an ex-physics professor of no great distinction who's been retired probably 20 years, or he may be losing his marbles. It's not uncommon at that age for even truly brilliant people to get somewhat obsessed with how bizarrely different the world looks from when they were young and think it's all going to Hell in a hand-basket. Hell it's hard for me to think about "hooking up", and it pains me to hear someone say "one of the only" -- an expression people didn't use 15-20 years ago (It is tending to replace "One of the few").

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beck and Limbaugh, like Terrorists, Prefer Soft Targets.

In most of the conservative media world, I submit that if anyone has a really, really good argument that they don't like, they will simply ignore it. It seems very worthwhile to test this:

The test case has to do with some old news. The strongest arguments against waterboarding and like interrogation techniques were made by Matthew Alexander, who using typical law enforcement interrogation techniques as seen on The Wire or Prime Suspect found and helped destroy Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who was for a while the most wanted man in Iraq -- the genius of "Al Qaeda in Iraq" who dreamed up decapitating people on webcam, as well as Robert Baer, a veteran CIA operative in the mideast who is so not soft on terrorism and general middle east badness that he was almost put on trial in Washington for almost coordinating a plot to kill Saddam Hussein by anti-Saddam Iraqis back in the Clinton Administration. It would be hard to find two people more passionately critical of the trashing of Geneva conventions - why? because they almost lead to losing the war in Iraq and certainly lead to escalating the violence to the tune of several thousand dead.

But it's so much easier to pick on Al Gore or Jeremiah Wright or Sean Penn.

Using google Advanced Search: (add "")

  • Wright "God Damn America" ==> 13 hits
  • Alexander "how to break a terrorist" ==> 0 hits
  • "al gore" "global warming" ==> 1350 hits (far fewer if "climate change substituted; only 1 I think with "climategate")
  • "al gore" "global warming" ==> 192
  • "al gore" "climate change" ==> 127
  • "al gore" "climategate" ==> 19
  • wright "god damn america" ==> 6
  • alexander "how to break a terrorist" ==> 0
NO mention of "robert baer" on or

Some more searches:

  • "Robert Baer" ==> 9
  • "Jeremiah Wright" ==> 788
  • "Matthew Alexander" ==> 0
  • "How to Break a Terrorist" ==> 0
  • Alexander "How to Break a Terrorist" ==> 0
  • Wright "god damn america ==> 789
  • "Robert Baer" ==> 13
  • "Jeremiah Wright" ==> 968
  • Robert Baer ==> 1 (in followup comment by subscriber)
  • "Jeremiah Wright" ==> 445
  • Wright "God Damn AMerica" ==> 1180
  • Alexander "How to Break a Terrorist" ==> 0