Thursday, April 22, 2010

A case of self-parody

Now, nobody goes to read the Corner for the broad intellectual debate. But this is a little funny. Mark Levin, a man who manages to make Jonah Goldberg look like an honest broker of knowledge, wrote a crappy book with an especially crappy chapter on climate change. Jim Manzi, a conservative who nevertheless takes some interest in the facts of anthropogenic climate change, responds.
I’m not expert on many topics the book addresses, so I flipped to its treatment of a subject that I’ve spent some time studying — global warming — in order to see how it treated a controversy in which I’m at least familiar with the various viewpoints and some of the technical detail.

It was awful. It was so bad that it was like the proverbial clock that chimes 13 times — not only is it obviously wrong, but it is so wrong that it leads you to question every other piece of information it has ever provided.

Levin argues that human-caused global warming is nothing to worry about, and merely an excuse for the Enviro-Statists (capitalization in the original) to seize more power. It reads like a bunch of pasted-together quotes and stories based on some quick Google searches by somebody who knows very little about the topic, and can’t be bothered to learn.
Oh man, I love that line about a clock that chimes 13 times. Manzi was doing this all in the spirit of intellectual honesty among ideological colleagues: legitimate self-criticism is a key part of a vibrant movement, right?

Wrong. The reaction to Manzi's post has been blunt, to say the least. Let's just say Manzi will be joining Frum in the outcasts.

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