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Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Science & Technology | 13 comments

Cognitive Dissidents

Hassan I Sabbah, the first Grandmaster of the cult later called “assassins” is reputed to have said: Nothing is true, all things are permitted.

Which is a very convenient and logical formulation: destroy facts and truth, and anything can be justified. Traditionally we in the West have viewed this with extreme suspicion — for reasons which ought to be obvious to the Reader.

And yet, today, the obviously “liberal” and, therefore utterly unreliable BBC reported this:

World’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News

[photo]
Coral reefs are subject to “multiple stressors” that
could destroy many within a human generation

The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists.

In a new report, they warn that ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history”.

They conclude that issues such as over-fishing, pollution and climate change are acting together in ways that have not previously been recognised.

The impacts, they say, are already affecting humanity.

The panel was convened by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), and brought together experts from different disciplines, including coral reef ecologists, toxicologists, and fisheries scientists.

Its report will be formally released later this week.

“The findings are shocking,” said Alex Rogers, IPSO’s scientific director and professor of conservation biology at Oxford University.

“As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the oceans, the implications became far worse than we had individually realised….

Now, even though the panel of experts represents literally hundreds of years of advanced scientific education, the snarling moonbats were able to debunk their unreleased findings without even bothering to read them. From the [in]credibly-named ‘BigFurHat’ at iOwnTheWorld.com:,

Okay, Can We Officially Say These People Are Insane?

Bla, bla, bloopety bloop. The usual tripe, ice sheets, global warming, sea levels rising… right? […] the CO2 scam is just a giant global money transfer scheme.

Antarctica – Wilkins ice shelf collapse 2009

And Right Wing News writer William Teach weighs in:

Uh Oh: Tiny Traces Of Gas Necessary For Life Will Kill The Oceans
June 21, 2011 – 9:29 am

So says Climate Alarmist Louise Gray: World’s oceans move into ‘extinction phase’

[quotes selectively from BBC above]

The scientists, gathered for a workshop at Oxford University, warned that entire ecosystems, such as coral reefs, could be lost in a generation.

So, the corals, which have been around for billions of years, and have survived ice ages, and, most notably, much, much warmer periods which saw much higher levels of CO2, could be killed off within 20 years? Yes, they are all nuts. But, they have to put out more and more dire predictions (notice that this is a “preliminary report”, which is unavailable for viewing. Said information comes from a press release) in order to attempt to keep people bought into their insane cult, and keep getting money and power….

And it’s ABSURD to think that the Passenger Pigeon would ever go extinct, or that the buffalo would skirt the edge of same. Nuts.

Yeah. Because you know, if you’re a retail store manager and a science fiction fan, you know a LOT more about multidisciplinary climate, ecosystem, biology, etcetera sciences that all those gosh-darned SMARTYPANTS.

Take THAT! you @#$# eddycated smartypants!

Expecially when you haven’t read the as-yet unreleased report but are merely reacting to a BBC report — from a reporter who, stupidly, specializes in environmental reporting when all he had to do was ask William Teach and Big Fur Hat and everybody could have saved the price of all those conferences and all the data gathering and research that preceded them.

Nothing is true, all things are permitted.

And THIS writer weighs in with the logical and fact-based conclusion that …  well, let him put it to you in his own inimitable manner :

Saving the world and the ocean, one activist opinion at a time – another NGO flap, this one duped global media
Posted on June 21, 2011 by Anthony Watts

It seems the alarming story of “Ocean extinction has started in our time” making the rounds of the alarmist blogs and gullible media is nothing more than an unpublished, unchecked opinion, and some pal review amongst activists at a three day conference…

At first, I thought that, below the screenshot, that was the entire posting, taken up  with typical snarky comments. But no. He quotes OTHER bloggers to “prove” that all the scientists present were actually evil ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS who were using fake science to bamboozle that stupid worldwide liberal press.

And, using the finest ad hominem reductionist reasoning (there is someone connected with GreenPeace, therefore ALL participants are GreenPeace), the entire science, conference, conclusions and science are neatly made to disappear down the snark hole. Poof!

[Again, without having so much as READ any of the science; if one is going to dispute scientific conclusions and data, one is required to have seen it first. Otherwise, we may, justifiably, aim our literal and metaphoric flatulence in the direction of the ignoramus, no matter how seemingly erudite their “reasoning.”]

Because, evidently, sitting in your granny’s basement in Pig’s Knuckle, Arkansas gives you magic eyes and if you find others who agree with you, it MUST be true.

The world IS flat, it turns out.

Throughout 2010, Hoft was CONSISTENTLY able to
“correct” crowd estimates at Tea (and counter-Tea)
Party events on Atlantic AND Pacific coasts
without ever leaving St. Louis, Missouri.

And the posters are far more erudite than their commenters — which you are free to read, although I don’t recommend it, any more than I recommend that when the Jehovah’s Witness shows up at the front door, you invite them in for a lively discussion of belief systems and theology.

Nothing is true, all things are permitted.

Now, before the false equivalence is reflexively played, yes, there are too many on all sides of the POLITICAL argument (scientific consensus, oddly, doesn’t seem to hold the same self-validating principle that amateur consensus does) who jump to conclusions not supported by the data or take the ofttimes garbled news stories and headlines as gospel truth.

for centuries anatomical dissection was prohibited for religious reasons,
costing countless lives that might have been saved, but for ignorance

But, in the exercise of reason, we CARE about facts. We care about analysis, and we CARE that we might be wrong, and have the intellectual honesty to be capable of changing our minds when BETTER information appears.

But we do not engage in solilpsistic reductionism — secretly realizing that in deductive logic, ALL conclusions are based, eventually, on assumptions that cannot be proven.

Let me give you an example of cutting to the chase: I will accept what you argue WHEN you prove to me that YOU exist.

Which you can’t, if I am firmly believing otherwise. I can rationalize any “proof” you wish to provide out of existence.

But, for the sake of survival, we use INductive logic and reasoning, and we need to pay attention to “truth” and “facts” however ultimately imperfect those turn out to be.

Too many, right now, have adopted the reductionist approach to logic, coupled with superstitious beliefs that are equally (if not more so) prone to being analyzed, snarked and quiffled out of existence with a knowing chuckle and, in groups, loud guffaws.

It is something, but it is not science, nor is it reason, which is very TOUGH on a nation whose political roots are deeply intwined with the Age of Reason and/or The Enlightenment.

MacBeth’s Witches

Happily, this is not confined the the USA. Meet the Boko Haram of Nigeria:

Boko Haram opposes not only Western education, but Western culture and modern science as well. In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf stated that the belief that the world is a sphere is contrary to Islam and should be rejected, along with Darwinism and the theory that rain comes from water evaporated by the sun.

It would seem easy to dismiss to Boko Haram, except that they’re increasingly violent and successful in their attempt to impose their “reality” on Nigeria:

From the Christian Science Monitor, today [emphasis added]:

Boko Haram attacks show new range, sophistication

Recent attacks by Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram drive home to politicians the need to bring isolated northern Nigeria into alignment with the government.

By Alex Thurston, Guest blogger / June 21, 2011

Last week, Nigeria’s Boko Haram movement claimed responsibility for a bombing at the police headquarters in the capital Abuja. Boko Haram has struck outside of its base in the Northeast before, but the Abuja bombing and other recent attacks have shown that the group is expanding its geographical range and increasing the sophistication of its attacks, sometimes coordinating multiple strikes at once.

Another example of these trends came yesterday in Katsina State, which is slightly west of the center of Nigeria’s upper North (map), and a fair distance from Boko Haram’s stronghold of Borno State (map). Accounts of the attack vary slightly, but here is AFP’s report:

Suspected members of the radical Boko Haram Islamist sect on Monday staged simultaneous bomb and gun attacks on a police station and a bank killing seven people, witnesses and local journalists said.

The dead included five policemen, witnesses said, in an attack coming just four days after the sect bombed the country’s police headquarters in the capital Abuja killing at least two….

Now, an accelerating death of ocean life and ecosystems is IMPORTANT, and, potentially far more damaging than the Boko Haram’s bombs. But the same mechanism is in play, and in neither case — domestic or foreign — are its effects benign or, perhaps, survivable.

Skulls from Cambodia’s killing fields

The simplest definition of sanity that I know is the ability to know what is real, what is NOT real, and what is not known whether it is reality or unreality.

It seems a fundamental distinction that we seem increasingly incapable of making.

The problem is, “Reality” doesn’t give a tinker’s damn as to whether we use our faculty of reason to anticipate and deal with crises. It is happy to roll over our pipe-dreams with all the consideration that the steamroller gives an unlucky frog.

Or, in the words of the great Spanish painter Goya: The sleep of reason breeds monsters.

Goya — the sleep of reason breeds monsters

Courage.

UPDATE 5:25 PM PDT – Al Gore is quoted in The Hill, and the Same Bloggers attack in the same manner.

======

A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • Hemmann

    Mr Williams

    You do acknowledge objective truth, don’t you. You know, the kind you may wish to disagree with?

    You accuse Mr. Watts of oversimplification and snarkiness, yet you fail to see his simple point. The authors of this story,

    “The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) was established by scientists with the aim of saving the Earth and all life on it.” This is directly from their web site.

    Please read the direct quote from this orgs Director:

    ” “The findings are shocking,” said Alex Rogers, IPSO’s scientific director and professor of conservation biology at Oxford University.

    “Its report will be formally released later this week.”

    Its worse than we thought (they considered)

    ”…As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the oceans, the implications became far worse than we had individually realized.”

    “We’ve sat in one forum and spoken to each other about what we’re seeing, and we’ve ended up with a picture showing that almost right across the board we’re seeing changes that are happening faster than we’d thought, or in ways that we didn’t expect to see for hundreds of years.”
    ” These “accelerated” changes include melting of Arctic sea ice and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, sea level rise, and release of methane trapped in the sea bed.”

    BUT at the end. – It is too early to say !!!!

    “The IPSO report concludes that it is too early to say definitively.”

    If you take sitting around comparing “what we’ve seen” as any form of scientific data analysis, you are laughingly wrong.

    I respectfully offer you advice; try seeing that agreeing with someone’s opinion does not mean you should not remain objectively critical.

    Nice elitist rant, btw
    thanks

  • Your ad hominems merely prove my point, gentlemen.

    Thank you.

  • SteveK

    Another great rank Hart but again I think you’re in for a lot of:

    “He quotes OTHER bloggers to “prove” that all the scientists present were actually evil ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS who were using fake science to bamboozle that stupid worldwide liberal press.”

    from TMV corporate shills… Especially the guy who manages a district office of a major oil industry drill bit and sundry supply business. 🙂

    The first comment in your thread pretty well sums up the intellectual level of the majority of the ‘nutters’ around here.

  • Thanks, Steve. It was becoming fairly apparent.

    Still, proving my point would seem polite and felicitous. (That, or, reading with incomprehension.)

  • Hemmann

    “Your ad hominems merely prove my point, gentlemen.”

    What ad hominem from one of the only two comments you had to comment upon.

    If a call for objective analysis sans pre-conceived conclusions, is personal attack, I’d suggest you don’t understand what a personal attack is.

    You know, like SteveK calling us nutters.”

  • Dr. J

    Kudos to TMVs eight editors that few posts as unreadable this one make it through.

  • DLS

    It’s probably not worth re-posting the better links on the concept and threat of global warming (the truth, not leftist BS) in cases like this where some are simply ineducable and possibly worse, still.

  • @Hemmmann

    (I assume that you meant to add a question mark to your query regarding “ad hominem”):

    “Nice elitist rant, btw”

    Always happy to be of assistance.

    The additional ad hominems, after my statement in your question were confirmatory but not necessary to my original thesis. Again, thanks.

  • DLS

    Dr. J. wrote:

    Kudos to TMVs eight editors that few posts as unreadable this one make it through.

    While Michael Stickings can still take the trophy for being fulminant as well as vicious for no reason, he’s been upstaged in the floridity department (and Stickings is logical at times, at least, for Christs’s sake).

  • DLS

    Dave Hemmann wrote:

    What ad hominem from one of the only two comments you had to comment upon.

    It was yet another instance of illogical leftists’ misuse of nomenclature of logical fallacies — it’s a staple here on TMV as well as elsewhere among lefties (especially the more emotional).

    (Ironically, the false ad hominem accusations, if intelligently constructed — which I doubt; it looks obviously the opposite) itself can be considered a pathetic form of ad hominem, attacking the critic by making a false insinuation about what he said [and about him] rather than to answer the well-earned criticism itself.)

  • DLS

    Dave Hemmann wrote [tweaked; you’ll see why]

    a call for [faddish left-politics] [avec] pre-conceived conclusions

    Well, we can rely on something that isn’t floridly psychotic for better perverse entertainment than the article starting this thread.

    Hype-and-worse huckster, exaggerator, sensationalist, “climate change” long-standing political fad celebrity superstar Al Gore:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-of-denial-20110622?page=1

    He’s the celebrity preacher in the global-warming religious hierarchy, of the religion (and giga-church) that has devils (logical and rational people, “Polluters and Ideologues*”, US-Western economy and society, coal as well as hydro and nuclear power, the latter two of which are a solution to the problem he grossly exaggerates), idols (the Earth as they view it, solar and wind power, replacing autos with bicycles and walking, etc.) and apocalyptic fables (since the 1960s) to scare the easily fooled and led, to seek salvation and lefty Heaven (sought since the 1960s).

    Note that Gore managed to lose the debates, then the election in 2000 to Dubya, of all people, and the public really didn’t like Obama’s and the Congressional Democrats’ lunge to the left, as we saw in the 2010 elections, and if I were the President, or the Congressional Democrats,I would not stupidly shift left to ameliorate Mr. Gore’s concerns, at least not until after 2012, in the name of “saving the planet” (or “assuaging our liberal guilt”).

    * He’s a celebrity superstar by being a global-warming ideologue as well as preacher and opportunistic Crusader, to say the least.

  • SteveK

    Hype-and-worse huckster, exaggerator, sensationalist, “climate change” long-standing political fad celebrity superstar Al Gore:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-of-denial-20110622?page=1

    Quite a review of the Rolling Stone article DLS except you seem to have missed what was actually said:

    Is the climate crisis real? Yes, of course it is. Pause for a moment to consider these events of just the past 12 months:

    Heat. According to NASA, 2010 was tied with 2005 as the hottest year measured since instruments were first used systematically in the 1880s. Nineteen countries set all-time high temperature records. One city in Pakistan, Mohenjo-Daro, reached 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature ever measured in an Asian city. Nine of the 10 hottest years in history have occurred in the last 13 years. The past decade was the hottest ever measured, even though half of that decade represented a “solar minimum” — the low ebb in the natural cycle of solar energy emanating from the sun.

    Floods. Megafloods displaced 20 million people in Pakistan, further destabilizing a nuclear-armed country; inundated an area of Australia larger than Germany and France combined; flooded 28 of the 32 districts that make up Colombia, where it has rained almost continuously for the past year; caused a “thousand-year” flood in my home city of Nashville; and led to all-time record flood levels in the Mississippi River Valley. Many places around the world are now experiencing larger and more frequent extreme downpours and snowstorms; last year’s “Snowmaggedon” in the northeastern United States is part of the same pattern, notwithstanding the guffaws of deniers.

    Drought. Historic drought and fires in Russia killed an estimated 56,000 people and caused wheat and other food crops in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan to be removed from the global market, contributing to a record spike in food prices. “Practically everything is burning,” Russian president Dmitry Medvedev declared. “What’s happening with the planet’s climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us.” The drought level in much of Texas has been raised from “extreme” to “exceptional,” the highest category. This spring the majority of the counties in Texas were on fire, and Gov. Rick Perry requested a major disaster declaration for all but two of the state’s 254 counties. Arizona is now fighting the largest fire in its history. Since 1970, the fire season throughout the American West has increased by 78 days. Extreme droughts in central China and northern France are currently drying up reservoirs and killing crops.

    Melting Ice. An enormous mass of ice, four times larger than the island of Manhattan, broke off from northern Greenland last year and slipped into the sea. The acceleration of ice loss in both Greenland and Antarctica has caused another upward revision of global sea-level rise and the numbers of refugees expected from low-lying coastal areas. The Arctic ice cap, which reached a record low volume last year, has lost as much as 40 percent of its area during summer in just 30 years.

    Or were the basic points of the article what you were referring to when you said Al Gore was a:

    • Hype-and-worse huckster,
    • exaggerator,
    • sensationalist,
    • “climate change” long-standing political fad celebrity superstar
  • So, Mr. Simpson, how did you know HEMMANN’s first name was Dave?

    Interesting “tell.”

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