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Who’s Afraid of Global Warming

The other night I watched a very eerie program on HDNet. The eeriness was a report on this new, I mean old, energy that is clean and green. In fact while watching this show I was reminded continuously (by the miners) that we need to do something about global warning and this was as clean as it got.

T
he Cap Times had a piece on a Madison climatologist who called global warming a bunch of hooey. In all honesty I do get the same feeling about the science on global warming that I did with Bush’s Reading First and other initiatives. While Bryson does bring up some interesting criticisms I think he hits it on the head when he says,

“There is a lot of money to be made in this,” he added. “If you want to be an eminent scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can’t get grants unless you say, ‘Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.'”

For the past month or so in the Nation’s Alexander Cockburn has been giving us his contrarian views on global warming. Cockburn argues along similar lines as Bryson and he points out scientists like him are the norm. Cockburn points out its the computer modelers, the beneficiaries of 2 billion dollars a year in grants, who are really pushing for global warming. Cockburn’s strength is not so much in his skepticism but where it leads us.

In fact, when it comes to corporate sponsorship of crackpot theories about why the world is getting warmer, the best documented conspiracy of interest is between the fearmongers and the nuclear industry, now largely owned by oil companies, whose prospects twenty years ago looked dark. The apex fearmongers are well aware that the only exit from the imaginary crisis they have been sponsoring is through a big door marked “nuclear power,” with a servants’ side door labeled “clean coal.”

Yes, that clean and green energy from the World Report on HD Net was all about nuclear. Every time the uranium miners would talk about nuclear power, they reminded us how serious global warming was and how uranium was our way to promise land.

I believe in global warming because of its truthiness (truth from the gut) not its truthfulness (truth from science). What’s important to take from skeptics like Bryson and Cockburn is the role of money, particularly nuclear money, in the global warming scare. As was crystal clear in watching this show, global warming is the new code word for uranium mining.

So, the next time you say global warming remember there is someone out who hears nuclear.

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One response to “Who’s Afraid of Global Warming

  1. jody

    Interesting but creepy.
    I delayed reading The Long Emergency because at the point that “everyone” was reading it I was becoming personally quite aware that the “left” social circles were as dogmatic and prone to buzz-wordism as any other group can be. There are ideas you put on like this year’s fashions to show you are ‘cool’. It was really turning me off and “everyone’s reading it” mean “jody won’t be”. (What are YOU wearing to the prom?)

    I sucked into the Wal-Mart Hate orgy pretty good, and am embarassed about that. Because then later, when it started to seem a bit too limited and frenzied and I was getting annoyed by the knee-jerk attitudes and shallowness, I happened to read a piece that was promoting the ideas of propaganish behavior for the left. That piece cited the Wal-Mart wave that swept liberals as a really successful “campaign”. It was held up as an intentional alt-media model that had significantly altered perceptions and then took on a life of it’s own with the minions of the populace taking up the job willingly and obediently. Basically to prove how hip they were. That Wal-Mart model was going to be used again to move the people where whoever-the-fuck wants them moved. None for me, thanks.

    I may not be describing this good, but you get the idea. So that creeped me out. Other things I saw at that time period added to the creeped-ness. I do seriously beleive it is a mess out there, and that we cannot POSSIBLY underestimate the amount that we are being jerked by people with vested interests in ANY crusade or belief system. The left, instead of being critically aware of these trends, analysing them and SOMEONE extrapolating where this might take us all, is blindly emulating. The right has gone insane in it’s lust for power, the left, similarly lusting, is trying really hard to go as crazy. The left is just as anti-critical thought as the right.

    I beleive these impulses are the result of capitalism run wild. I am not totally anti-capitalism, but what is it but a social system based on maximizing human greed and agression without heed to fellow man or physical consequence? That is all it is and is at the level of a religion for too many. Whether in politics or business, greed is the god. Combine the two and god help us.

    So re: Wal-Mart – it is ludicrous to focus on one company and portray it as Satanic like the framers of that social/media campaign did. Demonizing one small portion of a sick system only serves to identify a scapegoat to draw off frustration, pacify people and make them feel like they are “doing something” by not going to one store (Big Hairy Deal) and leaving the system that spawned and supports the corp. unexamined. Wow. Big social movement. But the people who were promoting the “networking” aspects felt energized at the prospects for more successful future campaigns of that nature – and we are the waves of grain blown by every wind.

    Okay – so The Long Emergency. The guy is persoanlly irritating, makes insane leaps and moral judgements on things like the iraq war and has enough of his personal quirks on display to make it kind of a bumpy logic trip and unever read. I cannot say I admired his intellect overly much. But, his over-all point was interesting and I guess the making of that point WAS the point, so he gets a “pass”.

    BUT all the while reading it I kept thinking something I would NEVER have normall y thought – “If this is how it’s going to go, what else can we do but re-examine nuclear?”

    So this post really resonates with that private reaction I had within my own thoughts.

    once again I appreciate posts that are not re-hashes of the media (why bother? we already know) or self-serving grandstanding for personal career or party. Though I have been away from reading blogs for the most part and might stop again – still, you are doing nice work.

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