Anti-Science: The National Post on Climate Change

Raise the Hammer‘s latest issue is out, and I have an article in this one – finally!

As support for action on climate change continues to grow, some influential people are carefully cultivating what they call “climate change skepticism” in order to make meaningful progress on the environment politically impossible.

These climate change “deniers”, as an impatient public in the mood for change has started calling them, fall into three categories: those that maintain climate change is not happening, those that say it is not our fault, and those that say there’s nothing we can do about it.

Actually, these are not really categories. They’re more like stages that fit neatly into the “denial, anger, acceptance” model.

The National Post’s Lorne Gunter was in the first stage a mere five years ago. In 2002 he wrote Five things every Canadian should know about Kyoto, starting with “The Earth isn’t warming”.

Then he hedged his bets by following up with number two (“If the Earth is warming, it is not necessarily a bad thing”) and three (“Even if warming is real, there’s a good chance humans are not the cause”).

Mr. Gunter clearly knows his own mind, because his article of 2002 neatly predicted where he would stand now, in 2007: global warming is real. But it’s not our fault.

You can read the full article here.


Cheney’s Clout

Crooks and Liars has a hilarious bit from Jon Stewart about Cheney’s clout. Well worth watching.


There’s intolerance…and then there’s this

This year’s Super Bowl generated a fair amount of controversy, though nothing like the Janet Jackson debacle, because of Prince’s half-time performance and an ad by Snickers that showed two men kissing.

Now we have a chance to read some of the more ridiculous complaints that were sent in to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), courtesy of The Smoking Gun, featuring such gems as:

It was obscene to show Prince, a HOMOSEXUAL person through a sheet, as to show his siluette while his guitar showed a very phalic symbol coming from his below-midriff section. I am very offended and I would preffer not to have showed it to my 4 children who love football. One of them has hoped to be a quarterback and now he will turn out gay. I am actually considering to check him for HIV. Thanks CBS for turning my son GAY.

This is a commercial during super bowl. It was a candy bar commercial that showed two guys kissing. My husband was in the kitchen when our son said, “What the ?!” My husband rushed in to see the men kissing. This violates our religious beliefs and exposes our children to obscene and disgusting material that they are taught are wrong. I want something done about this!!

Thankfully, not all of the featured complaints are along these lines:

I find it highly unacceptable to have a family watching a sporting event only to find Prince stroking, manipulating and fondleing his guitar behind the curtain. This image only made him look extremely large which made the rest of us feel small, and unable to perform this evening.

In other controversy that revolves around homosexuality and the words used to describe it, conservative writer Andrew Sullivan responds to conservative commentator, writer and far-right whackjob Ann Coulter’s use of the word “faggot” to describe Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards:

Coulter’s defense of the slur is that it was directed at an obviously straight man and so could not be a real slur. The premise of this argument is that the word faggot is only used to describe gay men and is only effective and derogatory when used against a gay man. But it isn’t. In fact, in the schoolyard she cites, the primary targets of the f-word are straight boys or teens or men. The word “faggot” is used for two reasons: to identify and demonize a gay man; and to threaten a straight man with being reduced to the social pariah status of a gay man.

The only people who think about gay sex more than horny gay people are the conservatives, Christians and controlling parents who despise it (or merely claim to, as scandals involving evangelical Christian leaders have shown).

Any kind of social contact that involves the company of people of the same gender must be an exercise in paranoia for these people. Thankfully, I’ve never had to share a tent or a locker room with any men who are this concerned about homosexuality or the appearance of it. Doing so must be like walking on the eggshells of hyper-masculinity.

I’m an optimist about social progress, and I think I may live to see a time when all this seems as tragically absurd as segregated washrooms for black people. Right now, it’s just tragic – and unacceptable.


Winter Waves

There were some pretty big rollers coming in off Lake Ontario after the storm on the weekend. I managed to grab this shot of one breaking against a big hump of snow (and got some wet feet in the process).

Wave Thump

I’m alive but things are crazy. Hope all is well with you.

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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