Thursday, July 27, 2006

The other shoe just dropped

Well, you knew this was coming: Now that Al Gore has just about gotten the most attention climate change science has ever gotten in the United States, the coal, oil, and gas industry is going to fight back with a propaganda blitz. From Ross Gelbspan:
Big coal -- in the form of the National Rural Electric Association, Koch Busted Industries, American Electric Power, the Southern Company, the National Association of Manufacturers and others are planning a major blitz against efforts to fight global warming....

The "Vampire Memo" from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) draws on the work of such industry-funded skeptics as Pat Michaels, Fred Singer, Robert Balling and Craig Idso -- as well as such ideologues as Richard Lindzen and William Gray who have long been laughingstocks in the community of mainstream climate scientists. It notes that the IREA alone has paid Michaels at least $100,000 -- and is soliciting more money for Michaels et al from other coal outlets. Among other initiatives, the memo notes that several of the participating companies are planning to finance a major film to counteract the influence of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."...
Okay, but this is where it gets funny. I didn't know it, but apparently I'm motivated by my dream of eating more Tofu. Now, tofu can be tasty, but apparently I'm crazy for the stuff:
According to the memo, environmentalists' efforts to combat global warming would realize the environmentalists' "dream of an egalitarian society based on rejection of economic growth in favor of a smaller population, eating lower on the food chain, consuming a lot less and sharing a much lower level of resources much more equitably."...

The campaign is basically the resurrection of a similar campaign launched by the Western Fuels (coal) Association in the early 1990s -- long before the state of climate science was mature. ...But given the warnings of the world's leading climate scientists -- that humanity has 10 years or less to avoid passing a "point of no return" -- they are displaying a truly sinister disregard for us and our children. Unchecked, global warming will trash our planet and truncate our future -- all because of the truly sinister and truly unconscionable pursuit of profit. This, in short, represents the triumph of greed over the most basic human instinct -- that of survival.
Actually, as I've written before, my environmentalism is often in conflict with my belief that what the universe needs is more people, a belief I maintain in the face of every possible fact and reason. Hey, at least I'm not a creationist. I can only square my belief that humans are nifty, and more humans is niftier, by hoping some day for a mass exodus from the planet, to leave the Earth as a garden to recover from our presence.

And yet very next post below this one I talk about being a "realist". Man, I'm conflicted.


Adrian MacNair said...

We need more humans in the western world... but I don't think you'd find too many people agreeing we need another Chinese and Indian person.

North of 49 said...

But we do need more Chinese and Indian people, Adrian, to replace the ones there that immigrate here. (Which, by the way, means there will be more humans in the western world. Aren't you pleased?)

And not just Chinese and Indians, oh my no. Koreans and Filipinos and Pakistanis and Sri Lankans and people from every eastern country in the world! And don't worry, really, some of them will be so close to white even you won't be able to tell.

Anyway, after a couple of generations of intermarriage and enthusiastic baby-making they'll all just be various shades of beige, and palefaces like me (and you, I'm guessing) will be venerated curiosities. Won't that be cool?