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Author Topic: Dissecting brownlashers  (Read 1532 times)
FirstAscent
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August 30, 2011, 04:35:28 PM
 #1

The disservice brownlashers do the world community at large, to put it bluntly, is disgusting. For starters, let's take a look at this prominent purveyor of anti-science and his organization:

http://heartland.org/press-releases/2004/05/29/heartland-president-addresses-common-sense-environmentalism

Virtually every sentence in Joseph L. Bast's essay can be shown to be either manipulative, misleading, or guilty of presenting falsehoods and non-facts. Contradictions can be found, if one wishes to read the whole thing. This kind of propaganda is ubiquitous and unfortunately, convincing to those who choose to seek their learning material based upon what they want to hear.

In addition to dissecting the content of the essay's message, it would be interesting to show who funds the organization behind the message.

Without a doubt, there will be an attempted defense of the above cited essay, and I can already anticipate some of the ones who will make that attempt.
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FirstAscent
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August 30, 2011, 07:06:29 PM
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We can begin with the second paragraph of the second section, although there's plenty of material prior to that worth dissecting.

Quote
For example, the world is getting cleaner and safer over time. Not just a little: dramatically. All six air pollutants tracked by the EPA--sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, lead, and particulate matter--have all fallen to levels below what they were back in the 1940s, when reliable measurements first started.

He is implying several things here:

1. Regulation is not necessary. Look! The world is getting cleaner and better with time.
2. There are no environmental issues to be concerned about.

This is just one example of many misleading tactics employed by these propaganda organizations. With regard to point number one, he is failing in a big way to acknowledge that it is precisely because of ever more stringent regulations that these reductions in pollution have occurred. The Heartland Institute, and many like it, are fervent supporters of minimal regulation.

With regard to point number two, Bast's statement is delivered to imply that going forward, there is no reason to be concerned about environmental harm, as things by themselves are improving. This statement is designed to imply that those engaging in environmental research are alarmists, which happens to be a buzzword amongst these organizations.
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August 30, 2011, 07:17:02 PM
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It is strange how he lists that but leaves out the fact that pollution controls helped with that improvement.

He does make some valid points though.  Giving individuals the right to sue for pollution instead of just relying on prosecutions would be cumbersome for business as every greedy lawyer would be trying to make up cases but the idea is not totally off the wall.  There is no near term shortage of coal or gas.  The subsidy for nuclear power is just bonkers waste of money.

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August 30, 2011, 07:51:22 PM
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It is strange how he lists that but leaves out the fact that pollution controls helped with that improvement.

I don't think it's strange at all. His agenda is to call into question the value of regulations, thus it is predictable that he would leave that out. His argument suffers from bragging about the results of successful application of stringent regulations, while trying to imply that those results are natural consequences of ignoring those individuals and institutions who called for the regulations.

Moving on to the fifth paragraph, second section:

Quote
A third truth I’ve discovered is that we will never run out of fossil fuels. According to Robert Bradley, president of the Institute for Energy Research, estimated global reserves of oil are sufficient to last 114 years; natural gas, 200 years; and coal, 1,884 years. What kind of person doesn’t think the human species will have figured out a way to switch over to fusion or some other yet-to-be-discovered fuel source 18 centuries from now? Someone who hasn’t read Ayn Rand or watched a Star Wars movie, I’ll bet.

He is stating that it is a truth that we will never run out of fossil fuels. He really believes that? Or does he just believe his audience will believe that? In the second sentence, he comes close to contradicting his first sentence. But even so, who exactly is Robert Bradley? Ahh, he's the president of the Institute for Energy Research, which if you're even a half wit, wouldn't take you too long to discover its agenda, and who it is affiliated with. I think it would be interesting to see how much peer review Bradley's publications have been subjected to.

As for the third sentence, I will acknowledge that research into alternative sources of energy has a good chance of yielding clean energy - but such research is only likely to be forestalled by statements such as those made by Bast. As to the notion that those who aren't fans of Ayn Rand are the types who can't visualize alternative energy, well, that's just absurd.
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August 30, 2011, 09:55:11 PM
 #5

Next item on the list is the Oregon Institute petition. Before getting into it, if anyone here wants to take a preemptive stab at defending it, feel free to do so.
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August 31, 2011, 03:11:47 AM
 #6

Now let's take a look at the Oregon Institute petition. Joseph Bast writes in the third section, first paragraph:

Quote
Mr. Pope also talked a little about global warming, which is the fourth thing I’ve learned something about. The audience nearly shouted him down when he claimed, during the question and answer session, that 95 percent of climatologists believe mankind is causing global warming. The audience was right: 17,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Institute petition saying there is no need to adopt policies to prevent or postpone climate change. The last survey of state climatologists in the U.S. found a large majority of them didn’t believe global warming was a threat.

First, Bast claims that a climate change scientist, who is trying to tell the audience that 95 percent of climatologists stand behind Global Warming, was shouted down by the audience. How is being shouted down significant and relevant, given the venue? Answer: it is not significant.

But Bast claims it is significant, because of the Oregon Institute petition. What is that, exactly? Well, apparently, it is 17,000 (actually 31,000 by the latest count) scientists making the claim that Global Warming research and its results show no real indication of actual global warming. That would sound like a pretty compelling document, don't you think? Unless of course, we can call into question the integrity of the petition. If we can, then it would seem to be pretty damning for those using it as a vehicle to undermine Global Warming research.

We can start by actually looking at the names of those who signed the petition. It stands to reason that if the signers of the petition are climatologists and well published, any Google search of their names would turn up published research by them. Certainly, there main call to fame wouldn't be their appearance on the petition, would it?

Do your own random Google searches, if you will. Here's the list:

http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p333.htm

What did Scientific American have to say about the petition? ( source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Petition )

Quote
Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition —- one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers – a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.

Apparently, the deeper you want to dig, the more you'll find that the Oregon Institution petition was a sad and misguided attempt (and obviously dishonest) to create an official sounding document which would hopefully show that there is significant disagreement amongst climatologists in regard to anthropogenic global warming. That's bad enough. But then we have individuals and "institutes" (such as Bast and Heartland) who wish to trot it out as being the final say so.

Just imagine: organizations like Heartland (which we will continue to expose as being a propaganda machine which disseminates false and misleading information), can and will provide their mailing lists of fervent anti-believers in real science to petition creators, encouraging signatures of PhDs - never mind that it's a PhD in veterinary science, who happens to be a supporter of organizations like Heartland, as an example - so that a document such as the Oregon Institute petition can then be cited in their propaganda.

If you wish to see how another organization (Science Magazine) interprets whether there is a consensus on Global Warming, you can read this article:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/1686.full
AyeYo
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August 31, 2011, 02:30:50 PM
 #7

^ Good info on the Oregon Institute petition.  That'll come in handy in future debates.  Keeps this thread going, it's educational for those of us that don't keep up on science news.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
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August 31, 2011, 04:26:04 PM
 #8

Next up is the Heartland Institute's publication Environment & Climate News. Tell me, exactly, how and why the Heartland Institute is an authority on climate science? Perhaps, if you would like to pride yourself on being a bit of a skeptic, as I'm sure the Heartland Institute and Bast himself would encourage you to be, the first thing you should be skeptical of is the motive of an institute funded in large part by Exxon Mobil and believers in property rights, a self proclaimed libertarian "Think Tank". Why have they taken it upon themselves to publish a periodical entitled Environment & Climate News?

Seriously. Where are the credentials? Let's see who the editor of Environment & Climate News is. His name is James M. Taylor:

http://heartland.org/james-m-taylor

The first paragraph from the above link states:

Quote
James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism with a circulation of approximately 75,000 readers. He is also senior fellow for The Heartland Institute focusing on environmental issues.

Note the term "sound science". Is James M. Taylor's work regularly published in the scientific community and peer reviewed? Perhaps the Heartland Institute should be a little more careful when employing the term "sound science".

It's really rather funny. We can see that he has a degree in law. Here is some further information on him:

http://www.desmogblog.com/james-taylor

It states the following:

Quote
Taylor previously served as a legal analyst for Defenders of Property Rights. He has been an intern at the Cato Institute, and a member of the Federalist Society.

He previously served as managing editor of CCH Incorporated's disability law publications. Prior to that he was a legal analyst for Defenders of Property Rights.

We can see that he has been quoted in some Forbes articles. Forbes, by the way, is also known to be a brownlasher. And apparently, Taylor did a little stint at the Cato Institute. Surprise, surprise.

I'm sure we could go on all day. Let's take a look at how James M. Taylor likes to be interpret some data:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/james_m_taylor_hides_the_decli.php
FirstAscent
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August 31, 2011, 04:28:16 PM
 #9

^ Good info on the Oregon Institute petition.  That'll come in handy in future debates.  Keeps this thread going, it's educational for those of us that don't keep up on science news.

Please contribute.
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August 31, 2011, 04:28:53 PM
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FirstAscent/AyeYo you have resorted to taking to yourself. Are you feeling ok today? Maybe you can ask your doctor to increase your medication?
FirstAscent
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August 31, 2011, 07:30:35 PM
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FirstAscent/AyeYo you have resorted to taking to yourself. Are you feeling ok today? Maybe you can ask your doctor to increase your medication?

You're a moderator?
hugolp
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August 31, 2011, 07:58:24 PM
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FirstAscent/AyeYo you have resorted to taking to yourself. Are you feeling ok today? Maybe you can ask your doctor to increase your medication?

You're a moderator?

You see under my name where there is a G then an L then an O then a B then a A then another L. That means Global. Keep learning more letters and you will find out.

And you dont need to change between your AyeYo nick and your new clone.
AyeYo
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August 31, 2011, 08:02:46 PM
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FirstAscent/AyeYo you have resorted to taking to yourself. Are you feeling ok today? Maybe you can ask your doctor to increase your medication?

You're a moderator?


Obviously they were hard up for mods, so took whatever angry kids volunteered.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
FirstAscent
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August 31, 2011, 08:05:37 PM
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And you dont need to change between your AyeYo nick and your new clone.

How funny. I'm not AyeYo.
FirstAscent
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August 31, 2011, 08:08:09 PM
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Obviously they were hard up for mods, so took whatever angry kids volunteered.

Hey, in case you haven't heard the term 'brownlash', read this:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_n6_v56/ai_18844577/

I can't stand the disservice they do the world and science.
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September 06, 2011, 12:47:21 AM
 #16

I have come to the conclusion that all those Global Warming deniers have either fled the forum or don't want to get into a sparring match here. I was hoping they would, for the benefit of those on the fence, and for the fun of exposing bad propaganda.

Oh well.
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September 06, 2011, 05:22:05 AM
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I have come to the conclusion that all those Global Warming deniers have either fled the forum or don't want to get into a sparring match here. I was hoping they would, for the benefit of those on the fence, and for the fun of exposing bad propaganda.

Oh well.

I'm on the fence as I've said before, simply because I haven't bothered to research the matter.  I would like to see a debate between you and those who think global warming is not anthropogenic.  Perhaps if you make a new thread with a more descriptive (and less pejorative) title you would get better results?
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September 06, 2011, 08:30:48 AM
 #18

The disservice brownlashers do the world community at large, to put it bluntly, is disgusting. For starters, let's take a look at this prominent purveyor of anti-science and his organization:


When exactly did science become a question of blasphemy and a moral stance that one must either be "pro" or "anti"? Science is power, plain and simple, and it is filled with the same type of corruptions that motivate much of religions, corporations governments and all human modes of power over others. Want to test this theory? Take a look at the groups that fund the wages/grants of scientists in this age.
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September 06, 2011, 03:53:45 PM
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The disservice brownlashers do the world community at large, to put it bluntly, is disgusting. For starters, let's take a look at this prominent purveyor of anti-science and his organization:


When exactly did science become a question of blasphemy and a moral stance that one must either be "pro" or "anti"? Science is power, plain and simple, and it is filled with the same type of corruptions that motivate much of religions, corporations governments and all human modes of power over others. Want to test this theory? Take a look at the groups that fund the wages/grants of scientists in this age.

Despite the fact that oil companies fund scientific studies (both to find oil and to disprove global warming), the scientific community at large is not finding a lot of evidence that anthropogenic global warming is not happening. Oil companies use science successfully to find oil (a demonstration that science works), and they also use science to try and demonstrate that anthropogenic global warming does not exist, but due to the effective peer review method of science, their studies with regard to AGW come up short against the vast data which shows AGW is real.

Science is not the corruption of power you believe it to be. You'd like it to be that, I suspect, because it's revealing something that does not agree with your political ideology.
FirstAscent
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September 06, 2011, 03:57:48 PM
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I have come to the conclusion that all those Global Warming deniers have either fled the forum or don't want to get into a sparring match here. I was hoping they would, for the benefit of those on the fence, and for the fun of exposing bad propaganda.

Oh well.

I'm on the fence as I've said before, simply because I haven't bothered to research the matter.  I would like to see a debate between you and those who think global warming is not anthropogenic.  Perhaps if you make a new thread with a more descriptive (and less pejorative) title you would get better results?

The thread title is quite apt, given the nature of those engaging in deception and misdirection. If one chooses to manufacture fake documents, mislead with words, and claim to be environmentally aware through the publication of newsletters, but obviously have a political agenda antithetical to the environment, then one deserves to have his propaganda and organization put under a microscope and dissected.
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