Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 18, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE EMERGING ENVIRONMENTAL MAJORITY....The original environmental movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s was led by a coalition that might seem like an odd one by today's standards: hunters and fishers who were concerned about exploitation of the wilderness allied with urban reformers concerned about public health. That alliance, which survived for nearly a century, died 40 years ago when liberals started supporting curbs on hunting and gun rights, and outfits like the NRA were transformed from hunting safety groups into explicitly political organizations. Since then, environmentalist has been a dirty word among the mostly rural and mostly conservative "hook-and-bullet" community.

Today, though, both sides are starting to rethink their split. At the same time that the Sierra Club has been reaching out to hunters, the hunting and fishing community has started to become seriously concerned about the Bush administration's rapacious support for drilling and mining on public land support that helps big corporate contributors to Republican coffers but steadily eats away at wilderness land used by hunters and anglers.

But as Christina Larson reports in "The Emerging Environmental Majority," there's a bigger issue brewing that might finally re-cement the old alliance:

It's global warming that will almost certainly "be the glue that brings everyone together," as National Wildlife Federation president and CEO Larry Schweiger puts it. Last year, Lake Erie did not freeze, leaving ice fishermen scratching their heads. The Waterfowlers' Guide to Global Warming (PDF), published last summer by NWF, explains how climate change could produce droughts across the Midwest and evaporate the region's "prairie pothole" wetlands vital duck-breeding grounds. Global warming recently made the cover of Trout, the magazine of Trout Unlimited; the article cited a Pew Center study that found that a 4.8 degree temperature increase could halve trout habitat in the Rocky Mountain Region (trout thrive in cold water).

Because the potential effects of the problem are so sweeping, the threat and lately, the reality of climate change has become a top concern across a broad spectrum of organizations. Evangelical Christians are calling for carbon reductions. An agricultural coalition, 25 by '25, is pushing for renewable energy. Insurance companies are calculating potentially catastrophic losses. Sportsmen are gathering data on shifting habitat and changing stream flows. "I think we've reached a tipping point in public awareness," says Steven Williams, president of the Wildlife Management Institute, adding, "Sportsmen want a seat at the table."

As more and more people begin to realize that the scientific debate over manmade global warming really is over, I think we can expect to see more shifts like this. It's a real opportunity for the liberal community to expand its reach.

Kevin Drum 2:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (341)

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It's actually about time for some congressional hearings where we subpoena eco-terrorist liberals like Schweiger and force them to admit what they'd really like to do to our economy and our reproductive right to bear children.

Wild trout are enjoyed by small minority of Americans. Mostly liberal elite movie directors with paid fly fishing guides trying to enter some transcendental trance state of oneness with nature. The majority of us will be better off when all those lakes in Wisconsin support warm water tillapia farms. A cheap, low mercury source of protein that libertarian fish farmers will use to improve the nutritional status of the same low income Americans that you liberals are supposedly so keen to help.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

As more and more people begin to realize that the scientific debate over manmade global warming really is over...

Is it? I think the debate on global warming is, but anthropogenic? There's some smart folks that feel otherwise.

Posted by: Red State Mike on April 18, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: hilarious parady!

I very much fault the Democrat "leaders" for not making an issue of this long ago. as usual the beltway insiders who think they know how to run the party are the last to figure out anything that matters.

Posted by: my cat on April 18, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

It writes itself!

"It's actually about time for some congressional hearings where we subpoena eco-terrorist liberals like Schweiger and force them to admit what they'd really like to do to our economy and our reproductive right to bear children.

Wild trout are enjoyed by small minority of Americans. Mostly liberal elite movie directors with paid fly fishing guides trying to enter some transcendental trance state of oneness with nature. The majority of us will be better off when all those lakes in Wisconsin support warm water tillapia farms. A cheap, low mercury source of protein that libertarian fish farmers will use to improve the nutritional status of the same low income Americans that you liberals are supposedly so keen to help. "


Posted by: dont do it on April 18, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, I don't think that turns out to be sustainable in the long term. Some lakes, sure. All lakes, no. Besides, we do not have a serious hunger problem caused by lack of available food in this country.

Kevin, your priorities are skewed. The point is not that "It's a real opportunity for the liberal community to expand its reach," but rather that it's a real opportunity to save our collective butts. In the process, we will likely end up not so much expandind as redefining the liberal community, probably for the better.

Posted by: trilobite on April 18, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Howard Dean get his backing from the NRA, in part, by using such an approach in Vermont? I have vague of someone saying, "he brought together the greenies and the hunters--birkenstocks and bullets."

Posted by: theorajones on April 18, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think you've only captured half of the picture: in the rural West, there's increasing common cause between environmentalists and conservationists, but on the coasts those two forces are increasingly in conflict. To take the current example of the proposed Cape Cod wind farm, urban interests do get pitted up against exurban interests. That both are "liberal" shouldn't paper over the division.

Posted by: Chris on April 18, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, I think it doesn't matter what kind of coalition is put together. Indeed, we could have 99.9% support among alll Americans for entering and enforcing something like Kyoto and it wouldn't matter.

Bush

1. Does not believe in global warming. Period. End of discussion.

2. Believes fervently that The Rapture is right around the corner, so what's the sense in saving anything?

3. Is absolutely beholden to big corporate donors like Exxon--which spent $500 million setting up bogus think tanks and "research" groupd to churn out fraudulent anti-warming propaganda.

Bush and his Republican bootlickers will not do a damn thing about warming, no matter what the public thinks or wants.


Posted by: Derelict on April 18, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

The 'hook-and-bullet community' will be a lot happier when some method of protecting regulation from industry interference is developed, something that would obviate changes in administration.

Of course, criminalizing all corporate participation in politics would be a great start.

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Derelict, Bush is a lame duck. And as recent events have shown, even the Republican Congress is willing to defy him when their constituents make their feelings known. True, a veto-proof environmental bill with teeth is unlikely, but it's also not clear Bush would bother to veto.

Posted by: trilobite on April 18, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosc,Red State Mike and the rest of the right wing party faithful need to take notice it is your planet going down the tubes not just the liberal elite's. I am a Colorado fighing guide nad my customers are Republican by about 7 to 1. The idiots that hink politics is the answer to global warming ared the same ones who still proudly support their W stickers. You should after all you think like the W, once you make a mistake you stick by it.

Posted by: Captainmike on April 18, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

The issue of Global Warming is about to get a lot more mainstream. Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" is coming out soon. Check out the trailer at www.apple.com/trailers

Posted by: wrldtree on April 18, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Humble prediction: As Al Gore's campaign to promote his new environmental movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," picks up steam, he will also have found the one issue that will unite lots of liberals, many independents, and even a few conservatives, in creating support for presidential candidate Gore in '08.

Then again, it may be wishful thinking on my part. However, I can't think of anyone more qualified to tackle the one global problem of our century than President Gore.

Posted by: Aris on April 18, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Trilo--lame duck he may be, but I notice that the Republican leadership still jumps to his every command. Witness Bill Frist first proposing legislation, then coming out and condemning his own proposal after Bush told him to.

Maybe after November we can see some change, but the craven Republican majority we now have will never, ever act against Bush's wishes.

Posted by: Derelict on April 18, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Were liberals 40 years ago really supporting curbs on hunting? And on guns used by hunters (those who want to eat the animal afterwards, not mop it up)?

I wasn't around then, but I find that hard to believe.

Posted by: theo on April 18, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

The American way to interact with nature is to knock the old bitch around to show her who's boss.
-- William Irving Thompson (paraphrased)

Posted by: ogmb on April 18, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz - typical College Republican troll. You obviously no nothing about fishing. Wild tilapia don't build up large amounts of mercury.

Farm-raised tilapia, like all farm-raised fish, do build up large concentrations of pollutants in their flesh, mostly from living in shit-infested farm water. You see, most farms can't keep the water clean, so the farm fish swim in and eat their own feces.

Sorry, but I'll take my fish wild. You can eat your farm-raised shit burgers.

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 18, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK


As fake tbrosz knows, hard SF supergenius Robert Heinlein predicted that we would have libertarian tilapia farms...in space.

It's in his classic Have Space SuitWill Travel, in the scene after the matriarchical shemale orgy and before the polylineal hepta-gendered incest scene.

Posted by: theo on April 18, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Welcome to the garden party. While the conflation of the Environmental Movement(TM) with the general left, including "animal rights" groups, continued apace over the last few decades, groups such as Ducks Unlimited continued their conservation efforts, leading the DU becoming one of the top wetlands preservation groups in the world.

Just as with the evangelical environmental movement, it'd behoove everyone to not jump to conclusions about how people approach a particular problem because of a caricature of their beliefs. Not all hunters and fishers (in fact, only a tiny minority of us) view the wild as a playground to be used and thrown away. Remember, Theodore Roosevelt both established more national parkland than all of his predecessors and was an enthusiastic hunter and fisher.

Posted by: Rick on April 18, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

As more and more people begin to realize that the scientific debate over manmade global warming really is over...

As more and more irresponsible statements are made like this one, the credibility of the left becomes weaker and weaker.

Seriously Kevin, I doubt you have done a thorough check of all the climatology models and found that there is no doubt that global warming is a manmade phenomenom.

Global warming: obviously happening.
Manmade global warming: subject to interpretation of very difficult data to separate out.

If manmade global warming is true, unscientific statements like Kevin's actually hurt more than they help. It sounds too much like previous alarmist statements which have thoroughly trashed the liberals credibility in the eyes of the even thinking conservatives.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 18, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin opines: the scientific debate over manmade global warming really is over.

Let's see what a real (and well credentialed) scientist has to say.

From the the April 12th WSJ (subscription required -- reprinted in full)

Climate of Fear

By RICHARD LINDZEN
April 12, 2006; Page A14

There have been repeated claims that this past year's hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science -- whether for AIDS, or space, or climate -- where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion. Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less -- hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.

So how is it that we don't have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It's my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton's concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann's work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so before his work could be replicated and tested -- a task made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis. The scientific community's defense of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National Academy of Sciences -- as well as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union -- formally protested, saying that Rep. Barton's singling out of a scientist's work smacked of intimidation.

All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Sen. Al Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists -- a request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry.

Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without review as being without interest. However, even when such papers are published, standards shift. When I, with some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an "Iris Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2. Normally, criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the journal to which the original authors can respond immediately. However, in this case (and others) a flurry of hastily prepared papers appeared, claiming errors in our study, with our responses delayed months and longer. The delay permitted our paper to be commonly referred to as "discredited." Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves. In 2003, when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming -- not whether it would actually happen.

Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears, is essential to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers.

Mr. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

URL for this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114480355145823597.html

And you wonder why I think Kevin is a moron?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 18, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's in his classic Have Space SuitWill Travel, in the scene after the matriarchical shemale orgy and before the polylineal hepta-gendered incest scene.


Finally, a great reason to catch up with Heinlein!

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

The idiots that hink politics is the answer to global warming ared the same ones who still proudly support their W stickers.

Captain Mike, there is a difference to Glabal Warming and Anthropogenic Global Warming. Do you know what that difference is? One can believe in the first and have serious doubts about the second. The models used to estimate anthropogenic global warming do not jibe with the observed facts as to what part of the atmosphere is warming at what rate, suggesting that while yes the globe is warming, the reasons are up in the air.

Posted by: Red State Mike on April 18, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

1. I'm pretty sure that's a parody tbroz, but it took me a minute.
2. theo: I was, they weren't, you're right. Nevertheless, because a large number of affluent urban liberals aren't involved in hunting and fishing, the "brand" obscures all relevant facts. Just look at how the press reacted when avid duck hunter John Kerry went duck hunting. And he never shot anybody.

Posted by: C.J.Colucci on April 18, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

"It's a real opportunity for the liberal community to expand its reach."

Not really. Like the smog in LA, once everyone understood, smog control became the norm, neither liberal nor conservative. Once something is acknowledged as an essential public commons, then most of the philosophies except the anarchists allow for government regulation.

Posted by: Matt on April 18, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

while yes the globe is warming, the reasons are up in the air.

Best accidental truth-telling of the day!

Posted by: craigie on April 18, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Ever notice how the anti-global warming arguments follow a pattern similar anti-evolution and anti-HIV AIDS arguments? They cover a whole spectrum of slowly but surely backpeddling positions.

Posted by: jefff on April 18, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Another factor to bring disparate groups together is the exploding deer population in the East. Many liberals living in suburban and rural parts of such states as PA, NJ, NY, & CT are happy to see hunters blasting away at the ever-hungry deer.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 18, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Free the warm water tillapia!

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 18, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, there's always going to be an intra-eco war between the visionaries and the NIMBYs.

Witness the killing of the Cape Cod wind farm -- with both Kennedy and Kerry on the side of the devils.

Environmentalism is *not* about property values.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

>Let's see what a real (and well credentialed) scientist has to say.
>Mr. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

No, Mr. Lindzen is primarily a shill for the oil and coal industries, and has been for years now. He's been their whore to the tune of $2,500 per day in fees.

A point-by-point rebuttal of his op-ed by actual, working climate scientists can be found HERE.

Hey, next can we post sections from the Gospel according to Judas? Oh wait, Kevin already did that with the Patrick (ask me about anal) Moore, a nice local PR whore from my own home town, who's been a on-his-knees sellout for 20 years and the media still pretends to have not caught on. Lindzen's acceptance of huge "consulting fees" and paid speaking tours makes him of a kind, and likewise, this has been so for many years, yet much of the media still pretends the man is full time working scientist.

And, I would note that urban, left-liberal enviros and hook&gun clubbers are not mutually excusive categories. I've always been in both, and I'd suggest that most if not all pacific northwest/BC fisherman are now, as the salmon are in big trouble here, and the public is not even allowed into the public forests most years now due to the fire risk (abnormally high temperatures in recent years, also leading to pine-beetle infestations).

One big thing that needs to happen - is in fact long overdue - is the enviro movement needs to clean house of the extreme PETA crowd. The issues are almost orthogonal to each other. It's like the shotgun marriage of libertarians and control-women anti-abortionists on the right. But it's no longer (if it ever was) in the interests of the issues at hand; it should be no more a requirement to be a neo-hippie to be a serious enviro than it should to be christian in order to be conservative.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 18, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Lindzen's dishonest WSJ editorials have been debunked in the past. I'm not sure why he bothered to write another one.

In a 2001 editorial, he greatly misstated the conclusions of a National Academy of Sciences report.

Posted by: keptsimple on April 18, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers:

Even Lindzen's not confident enough in his assertions to put his money where his mouth is. Ever wonder why people think that people who stamp their feet and deny man-made climate change are morons?

Posted by: Rick on April 18, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, those pages were all razor-bladed out of my library's copy. Would you type them in for us cld?

Posted by: jerry on April 18, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hedley:

The problem there being rampant overdelopment.

And as we all know, every new McMansionite in a neighborhood punched out of farmland a year and a half ago is *against* suburban sprawl.

Why think of what the overcrowding would to to his children's schools ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

One problem is that the so-called environmental movement has a lot of cross-currents of its own. For example, there is (or was) a group of population control advocates who came to the logical conclusion that if we are to maintain a reasonable human population in the U.S., we need to do something about immigration. Nobody has ever challenged their mathematics or models, only their motives (an example of the left using the most popular trick from the right). Likewise, the minority of hunters and fishermen and the scientifically literate folks who understand that nuclear energy is part of the prescription.

What might come out of this is an environmentalism that is more centrist in its social views, avoids the anti-capitalism of the lefty side of the enviro movement, and tries to build common cause among gun-nuts, tree huggers, wild eyed liberals and shifty eyed conservatives alike. It would take the realization on the part of the left that old fashioned gun collectors are not the same as murderers and rapists and (more convincingly), there isn't much we can do about disarming the American public anyway, considering the huge number of guns already in private hands.

One thing for sure: It cannot be run by the current group of corporate organizations, with all their vested interests in trying to terrorize people over genetically modified crops and minor levels of pesticide residues.

Posted by: Bob G on April 18, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

As more and more people begin to realize that the scientific debate over manmade global warming really is over, I think we can expect to see more shifts like this. It's a real opportunity for the liberal community to expand its reach.

Unfortunately, many of the hook & bullet crowd shudder when someone mentions that their lifestyle of the F-250, or Yukon Denali combined with a 3,500 SF house in the exurbs might have something to do with that global climate change. I live in the heart of central NY and it's nothing to see these people driving massive trucks/camper/boat convoys to the Adirondacks every weekend. Who then complain that the fishing sucks in the acid lakes, then they blame the government.

Posted by: ChrisS on April 18, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think that it's important not to deride hunters because they could possibly shift to the Democratic side (albeit temporarily). I can see my father, a staunch Republican, perhaps voting Democratic if it were presented to him properly. Here in Western PA, where deer hunting is big, big, big, people are so skittish about their guns being taken away (as if anyone could do that even if they wanted to) that they knee-jerk reject anything coming from a Democrat's mouth. This would take some finessing, but could ultimately prove successful for the Democrats if they try it (and sound legitmate).

Posted by: kgb on April 18, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

"However, even when such papers are published, standards shift. When I, with some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an "Iris Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2."

Errm, didn't Bing et al. pretty much shoot Lindzen's 'iris effect' dead in 2004?

Posted by: Urinated State of America on April 18, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

The marriage-of-convenience "environmentalists" -- driven by protecting their own property values and scenic vacation spots -- are, IMHO, a bigger problem than the neo-spiritualists attempting to sustain a vision of Nature in a world gone crazy with modernization.

Yes, political alliances are important. Yes, Howard Dean got the hunters and the Greenies together to preserve a huge chunk of upstate Vermont.

But philosophically, like with Libertarians and social conservatives, there's virtually zero genuine commonality.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

The scientific debate over whether or not there is any "manmade global warming" is hardly over. So far as I can tell, there seems to be some kind of consensus that there is some measurable global warming, but no consensus at all over how much, its causes, whether the trend will continue or not, what the consequences are likely to be or, last but not least, any kind of cost/benefit analysis for any of the various proposed restrictions on economic activity that assorted chicken littles have suggested as a cure for whatever the problem might or might not be.

Posted by: DBL on April 18, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Just like to underline exactly how bad the forest die-off up here is getting. Remember that BC is bigger than texas or California, for scale.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 18, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see what a real (and well credentialed) scientist has to say.

Yes, by all means let's look at what one scientist that Norman chooses from the Wall Street Journal op-ed has to say. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: ckelly on April 18, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Understand also that PETA crazies are not working from an environmentalist perspective. They're profoundly *humanistic* and reject animal cruelty because they *anthropomorphize* animals.

Anyone who respects nature knows how goddamn cruel she can be to individual creatures.

Also, hunters are only anti-environmental when they hunt for sport and their own egos, using the latest high-tech weaponry and equipment. It's not contradictory to environmental principles at all to cull a herd because it's unsustainable, or to hunt individually, provided you're prepared to eat and use what you've killed.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, those pages were all razor-bladed out of my library's copy. Would you type them in for us cld?

If you mail it to me, I'll type it.


and tries to build common cause among gun-nuts, tree huggers, wild eyed liberals and shifty eyed conservatives alike


That golden mean between the wild-eyed and the shifty-eyed would be --the bug-eyed. Like Bart Simpson. And is that not truly the average American, our perfect inner self? A sort of ground zero of our national soul?

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Also, hunters are only anti-environmental when they hunt for sport and their own egos, using the latest high-tech weaponry and equipment.


e.g. Trigger Dick.

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

101 in Dallas yesterday...


Set a record.

Posted by: ckelly on April 18, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

"40 years ago when liberals started supporting curbs on hunting and gun rights"

Once again, Gullible Kevin takes over, parroting a right-wing falsehood about liberals so that he can sound "balanced".

Liberals NEVER supported curbs on hunting. Liberals NEVER supported curbs on gun rights for hunters.

Posted by: dan on April 18, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

dan:

Not true. Liberals (and conservationists) certainly *do* support *limits* on hunting, as well as for the sorts of weapons used.

Remember the controversy over the assault rifle ban? Remember the arguments that the NRA made against it? That it was limiting common hunting weapons? Remember the left's response: That nobody needs a submachine gun to kill Bambi?

Kevin stated the issues correctly.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Anthropomorphic Global Warming is real. Ultimately, and soon, it won't be a liberal or conservative.

The scientific debate about its existence is over. What is currently open to debate is the extent. Currently, we're looking at a minimum of 1.5C by century's end. With 4C at the outside. As James Hansen has pointed out, the last time temps were 3C warmer than now, seas ran 25m (100ft) higher. Goodbye Florida. Delaware. Louisiana. Eastern Shore Maryland and Virginia, Coastal Carolina and Georgia. And that's just locally.

Bangla Desh would be a virtual memory. Much of SE Asia would look like an archipeligo. London would begin somewhere near Regents Park. Westminster Abbey would be under water. Far under water. As would Cambridge University. (Norfolk is only a couple of feet above sea level for miles and miles inland.)

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 18, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

O.K. I stand corrected.

Liberals have tried to curb the rights of PSYCHOPATHIC hunters.

Posted by: dan on April 18, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

For something else that blurs the left/right spectrum:

Americas Four Deficits

While the United States and other countries confront many shared challenges, perhaps the most urgent issue for America is our deteriorating financial condition and worsening long-term fiscal outlook. I should point out that a long-term fiscal imbalance isnt just a U.S. problem. A 2005 European Commission report warned that because of the growing old-age dependency ratio in the EU, there is, and I quote, a risk of unsustainable public finance emerging in about half of the EU Member States.

Fortunately, the UK is not one of the referenced countries. In fact, the latest long-term finance report published by the Treasury, shows that the UK does not face the same challenges as the U.S. and selected EU countries.

The difference is in the scope and potential impact of the U.S. situation. The truth is that the United States now confronts four interrelated deficits with serious implications for our standard of living at home and our role in the world.

Read the rest at:
America's Fiscal Future beginning at a third of the way down the page.

Posted by: NeoLotus on April 18, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Lindzen is trotted out by the global warming skeptics, but fellas, poor Prof Lindzen is an empty shell these days. Ive seen him try to give a science seminar and fall flat on his face. As pointed out by Davidoff in a link above, Lindzen's mind has ceased to be flexible in the light of new data. He is starting to sound like the anti-evolutionist pseudo-scientist crowd, who persist in making arguments even after they have been discredited.

It didnt have to end this way. I have watched how another persistent global warming skeptic in the scientific community has quietly re-oriented his research interests toward carbon sequestration. (There is no funding incentive in this particular case, BTW, the dude is too senior for that) He will never admit that he was wrong in the past. However, actions speak louder than words.

Posted by: troglodyte on April 18, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

we're looking at a minimum of 1.5C by century's end. With 4C at the outside. As James Hansen has pointed out, the last time temps were 3C warmer than now, seas ran 25m (100ft) higher.


And it's not going to stop, or go away. So what do we do with all the excess water?

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hunting has been regulated for a lot longer than 40 years.

Posted by: jefff on April 18, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

dan:

And see now the problem that creates. Hunters who use high-powered semiauto rifles (and even semiauto shotguns which in a non-hunting context would be called "street sweepers") don't by any means consider themselves "psychopathic."

They think that the urban liberals who support bans on these weapons simply don't understand the sport of hunting -- and this isn't entirely untrue or simply a matter of NRA propaganda.

High-density urban areas *naturally* have different priorities and views of gun ownernship than low-density rural areas. Howard Dean's genius was to recognize this and table gun control as a national issue, letting states and localities decide for themselves.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Reading the comments, I note the threads that make partisanship such a dirty word these days. There are certainly points of common ground between hunters, fishers, environmentalists, gun control advocates, second amendment absolutists even the PETA folks. At a minimum we all share a single planet and Dumbya's brief reference to Mars a few years back notwithstanding, this will be the only planet any of us reading this blog will ever have. It is the ability of the politicians to polarize and the willingness of the sheep, er I mean public to be polarized, which prevents the sort of middle of the road compromises which would be in all or almost all of our best interests. No I am not a Liberman apologist, but I certainly have mixed feelings on the issues raised and believe that there should be a common ground. Example, PETA has got to be about as far out there on the left as any group and the NRA certainly has many members who hunt and have bumper stickers about guns and cold dead hands on their SUV's. While the extremists may never come together, it is certainly more humane treatment of deer to have hunters shoot them, espescially does, than to have them slowly die of starvation in overcrowded deer yards assuming we ever have a harsh winter again, or be maimed by the thousands to die, slow lingering deaths after running into vehicles if we don't. Neither hunters nor environmentalists want to see ducks go the way of the carrier pigeon and as noted duck hunters are the leaders in preserving habitat for ducks in the midwest flyway. Even the a-holes who insist on driving vehicles 10 times larger than necessary--I personally suspect that they have a little insecurity about their anatomy- presumably want to keep driving their behemouths and should realize that a more efficient, less carbon based technology would extend their use. Those corporate types with the McMansions who worry about the effect of sprawl on their children's class size, might be susceptible to an appeal to take some steps to preserve the planet for their children. None of this is possible if polarization occurs and the split between hunters and environmentalists referenced was no accidental drifting apart, but the careful calculation of politicians who use fear to create wedge issues. Apparantly everyone does agree that the earth is warming and unless someone can trot out an acceptable model that suggets greenhouse gases are countering this trend (more cloud cover, less sunlight hitting earth, more snowfall in northern latitudes leads to greater reflection, whatever) than doesn't it make sense to try and reduce those emmissions whether they caused the warming in the first place or not? Do we shut down civilization to do so? Of course not, but it is simply irresponsible to pretend the issue doesn't exist.

Posted by: terry on April 18, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

And you wonder why I think Kevin is a moron?

Actually, no, we don't wonder why Norman Rogers thinks Kevin is a moron.

Not even a little.

But we do wonder why you so enjoy getting fucked by the liars running our country.

Posted by: obscure on April 18, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Why global warming caused by humans is categorically denied:

Natural global warming = it is nature's will, so corporations should do whatever they want to the planet.

Anthropogenic global warming = if warming is happening because of or at least influenced by humans, we have to help the poor people hurt worst by floods & droughts and do something about the polar bears.

Short term profits vs. long-term quality of life? Greed always wins.

BTW, what's with the claim that the human race can't do anything to the earth? We might not be able to knock the planet out of orbit, but we can cause massive extinctions, destroy mountains and fill valleys, create lakes and deserts, and nuke the hell out of it. It's ridiculous to think that all our activity DOESN'T influence the biosphere one way or the other.

Posted by: Librul on April 18, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

troglodyte:

And the history of Lindzen is a textbook example of what Thomas Kuhn described in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" as the result of an ongoing paradigm shift.

Scientists are human. They've built their lives around paradigms of knowledge their work has supported.

When these paradigms start to shift, some scientists cling to the old views as a drowning man does to a sinking lifeboat ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why DID 'urban liberals' go anti-gun about 40years ago?

As someone raised in an anti-war (Vietnam era) household, I still can't fathom what the reasoning was.

If Gore had merely adamantly defended the 2nd Amendment, he would have picked up West Virginia and Tennessee -- and won the Presidency in 2000. Florida woulda been moot. Did he REALLY think the urban liberals would have voted Bush?

And what woulda been so hard about defending ALL of the Bill of Rights? It's there for a reason. It defines us as a nation. It means what it says. And buying into the deep and viscous sophistry that we can read into the Constitution whatever we want, that a mere comma can invert the 2nd Amendment and turn its historical origin and plain meaning on its head -- is a recipe for failure. It's a capitulation that paves the way for the Orwellian likes of Bush.

If lawyers and Justices can ignore the plain meaning of the basic principles, then Bush can feasibly claim the world is upside down -- without reasonable challenge. It's not enough to sit idly by waiting for a Supreme Court decision to right the ship of state.

In short, left and right are libertarians all, conservative and liberal alike -- only when politicians tack to the mis-named "center," compromising to the seat of power as fast as you can by clothing themselves in a false moderation -- only then do our glorious leaders achieve an irresponsible and radical departure from the rule of law, from the moral values and legal principles that define us as a nation, and from any semblance of national security or accountability, both before the law, and to the people.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on April 18, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

t's actually about time for some congressional hearings where we subpoena eco-terrorist liberals like Schweiger and force them to admit what they'd really like to do to our economy and our reproductive right to bear children. -tbrosz

Umm, Like Bush, the Liberal, drilling in Alaska?
Money for who? How can you be an 'eco terrorist' if you leave nature the way you found it? How is Bush a Conservative in the energy sense? Or Government? Eco Terrorism, what about depleted uranium? What about all the sick soldiers from this? What about those that died?
Why do you "CONS' always put money before life? and Nature after Oil? The Star Wars project in Alaska? Thats Eco-terrorism? Billions spent in alaska for a bridge that goes nowhere? and your Worried about Wasted money?

WTF? We spend millions daily on Missiles and Decoys, The V22 Osprey is useless yet they keep funding that POS. Eco-Terrorism is Privitization, YOU DO REMEMBER what happened during the Last Round of Robber Barons?
and AGAIN the Neo-Cons Were Democratsm the Cheney and Bush are Christian Zionists, and the Neo-Cons are Zionists... Who, what, where and why the Trolls such as Tbrosz key on the Word "liberal" is beyond me.
He is actually supporting the Neo-Liberals. WTFU tbrosz..

I'll pick cotton, and grow my own food before I will let the Robber Barons Ruin America again with it's slums and poverty..They are Pigs and certainly not worthy of the name 'Human'

4 legs good Two legs Better

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 18, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

terry:

I've fundraised for an environmental group working on the sprawl issue in New Jersey. There is something irreducably *absurdist* about getting a large check from a McMansionite to lobby to prevent more McMansions from sprouting up. It's not environmentalism that motivates these casual $100 contributors. It's not love of nature per se, or a healthy respect for the arrogance of anthropocentric solutions to every problem. It's THEIR property values and THEIR Quality of Life(tm). The other stuff are half-understood abstractions.

Ultimately, it does come irreducibly down to a fundamental contradiction between long-term and short-term thinking.

Why *else* oppose a wind farm off the coast of Nantucket?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Cohen's op-ed in Post today is a nice illustration of how Bushlickers can be brought to their senses by the truth. (At least some of them, but definitely not the idiots that troll here.)

Posted by: lib on April 18, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

In short, I'm an anti-war, ecologist progressive who believe in the Second Amendment. I'm also a Constitutional conservative.

When did the defining document of this country, the Law of the Land, become so confusing to "liberals"? That Amendment is part of the package -- as is the historically factual method by which this country was founded.

It should NOT be somehow confusing to learn that the hook-and-bullet crowd ARE, and have ALWAYS been, conservationists. Just read a little Aldo Leopold. Or Frances Hamerstrom, his first female Ph.D. student.

Better to be a fully participating component in the broader ecosystem than to pay the butcher $24 to keep the blood on his hands -- and "off" of yours.

Point is, there's a HUGE contingency of natural allies just waiting for the other side to come to its senses. It works both ways.

Virtually every real duck hunter and angler I've EVER met had a conservation ethic deeply ingrained in their psyche.

That excludes the likes of Dick Cheney, of course. Who, btw, engendered EXTREME levels of anger and derision in among "conservative" hunters -- i.e., libertarian Democrats AND Republicans in the Upper Midwest who have MUCH in common with 'urban liberal blogger' types. It's a very short step to making a reasonable appeal to this segment of the American voting public.

But ya gotta get info out that competes with FOX. And you can't indulge the already too-indulgent urban liberal when it comes to something like gun rights. Clinton had the model right -- and addressing the root of the problem, rather than the tool -- shouldn't be so damn difficult.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on April 18, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Tbrosz please send me money, you spend much on weapons to kill other people, you say your GOD makes you do this. Yet I have done nothing to deserve that which you wish upon me, other than a name..Thus you will kill me here, or kill me there, would it not be more 'conservative' to not use Bombs Tbrosz? Why not just round up all these names, these WORDS, that so bother you, because GOD tells you to hate a Word, and House and fatten them? Surely you could feed many a Human, names of groups that is, because if you use only names they don't appear to be human, now take these 'Names' and ridicule them, torture them, abuse them.. For I know that you being a compassionate Conservative, that it would be cheaper and Kinder if you were to first house me, then kill me slowly, perhaps with Fatty Foods? The American Way of Death? Surely that is Cheaper than training fighter pilots? And its much cheaper than a Cruise Missile? right tbrosz?
kill Me Cheaply, isn't that the Kind Compassionate Christ that you Have true Faith in? Remember Tbrosz I am not a Human, no, I am a name of but a word. Tell me before you Kill Me Tbrosz, what does your Gods Face look, and his voice sound?
Surely You have spoken with him, if he hath commanded you to Kill? Aye But Im Poor thus I must die, even though Jesus turned the Tables of the money changers, its you that are correct Tbrosz, listen not to the words in your bible from Jesus, List to thy Money Changers Tbrosz, they surely will not guide you to the path of enlightenment.

Posted by: Poor Soviet Jew on April 18, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz thinks Marxist[communist] Capitalism is Christian?

Wow, what an oxymoron, no wonder the Trolls all speak so unstably.

'Marxism Destroys Nationalsim' --Karl Marx [Actually Carl Levy]

It took what about 200 Sumthin Years?
Fools. Capitalists don't care about Poltical parties other than to corrupt both sides..

Posted by: Poor Soviet Jew on April 18, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

SombreroFallout:

Well, I'm one of those urban liberals who believes that the Second Amendment -- as its purpose is articulated in English republican theory -- has been totally outmoded by technology. There is no "bulwark against tyranny" when the state citizen militias have been absorbed into the National Guard and we already have a standing army (which the Framers dreaded) equipped with mortars and tanks and hand grenades and things that not even the staunchest Second Amendment partisan would argue that citizens have a right to own.

The Second Amendment was written during a time when any reasonably-equipped blacksmith shop could fabricate army-quality artillery. I'd personally support a repeal movement -- but that's just me.

And I also think that any hunter who uses a high-powered semiautomatic scope rifle is a pansy.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Were liberals 40 years ago really supporting curbs on hunting? And on guns used by hunters (those who want to eat the animal afterwards, not mop it up)?

I wasn't around then, but I find that hard to believe. Posted by: theo

It's hard to believe precisely because there was no environmental movement forty years ago. In 1966, the concept of "ecology" wasn't even part of the lay vocabulary.

While there are outliers that would ban all hunting, they are a miniscule minority. However, this never stopped the nutbag fringe of the NRA from coflating gun control with bans on hunting, as everyone knows 9MM handguns with 15-round clips, the AR-15, the AK-47, and "street sweepers" are just fine hunting weapons. In fact, I think most "old timers" put them right up there with Claymore mines and 120mm mortars.

Posted by: Jeff II on April 18, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Ahh Hell the words Conservative amd Liberal have both been so overdefined, and attacked, as to not MEAN Squat.

Its TWO Factions operating under one Economic Powerhouse...A Privatised Powerhouse. A Corporation where the Parties are but an Illusion.

Sheet, I am a Professional Aircraft Mechanic and have been so since 1987, I Live In Texas, The "Conservatives" here in this state are mostly Hypocrites. They Drink as much, smoke as much, lie as much, cuss as much as everyone else in this DAMN State. I drive a Old Honda because its good on gas and paid for, I have NO PAYMENTS!!, Im more Conservative than the conservatives, Yet Because I dont care for Bush as a President Im a Liberal? Come on Guys,,WTFU.
What is a Liberal nowadays Really?
Jerry Springer? Chomsky? Welfare Recipient? Homosexual? Drunk? Stupid? Christian? Baptist like Cinton? WTF??

Im a Soverign Citizen, this Liberal Sheet means nothing to me..either you stand on your two feet or you don't.

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 18, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone mentioned the New Yorker piece this week about Gore and his new campaign?

Posted by: PW on April 18, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Feckin Groupies, conservatives and liberals, nattering naybobs of nonsensical tripe.

Either they are, or are not worth a damn. If your worth a Damn, fine come in sit down have a Beer, talk to me, If you come in with that chip on your shoulder git the feck out of my house and dont you come back, because you aint worth a damn if you can't stand on yer own feet.

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 18, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Waterfowler's guide....?

Which reminds me, in the Bahamas Kentucky Fried Chicken is named "Kentucky Fried Fowl".


You may do with this information whatever you like...


Mmmmm, coffee....

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 18, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Understand also that PETA crazies are not working from an environmentalist perspective. They're profoundly *humanistic* and reject animal cruelty because they *anthropomorphize* animals.

Anyone who respects nature knows how goddamn cruel she can be to individual creatures.

I give small contributions to PETA on ocassion, because I want to support their investigative work and the organization's unparalelled ability to publicize animal cruelty incidents and expand public awareness. I'm also a vegetarian for moral and sustainability reasons--as opposed to health reasons. I don't hunt. I don't fish. I don't wear leather. Does that make me a "crazy"?

I don't anthropomorphize animals. I just want to minimize the amount of suffering and death that my life inflicts on other creatures. I reject animal cruelty because I think inflicting cruelty on other creatures is objectively wrong when one has the option not to.

From a public policy perspective, I don't oppose hunting or angling. Hunting is probably practically necessary now, given the white-tailed deer population explosions that North America exhibits. (Explosions caused by the decline of top predators such as wolves, a decline caused in turn caused by habitat loss, overhunting, and ranching...)

The reasons I do not advocate animal cruelty or animal murder are personal reasons. In general, I do not advocate government coercion of my viewpoints on animal welfare and animal rights--public awareness and public choice are far better, in my opnion. I support an individual right to firearms. I vote Democratic because it's the lesser of two evils, and because the Greens are in diarray and infested with anti-intellectuals. So, what does that make me?

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on April 18, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

They can take away my weaponized anthrax when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I told you a long time ago to buy land above the fall line.

Glad to see a growing awareness that climate change is real and that it won't be good for anyone.

Now let's do something about it, if we can.

Posted by: slanted tom on April 18, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

The scientific debate about its existence is over.

One good sign of an emerging dogma. Another sign is when dissenters are no longer considered just wrong, but evil.

You obviously no nothing about fishing. Wild tilapia don't build up large amounts of mercury.

Wasn't me fretting about mercury. I still like a nice grilled swordfish steak now and then. Let's see someone farm those.


BTW, Lake Erie didn't freeze in 1952, 1982, or 1997 either, but what the heck.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Which reminds me, in the Bahamas Kentucky Fried Chicken is named "Kentucky Fried Fowl".


Yes. Yes it is. And in New York it's called 'Manhattan Possum'.

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Would fake tbroszs please make their fakery more explicit from now on? Many seem to fall for it and waste a lot of emotion attacking the idiocy of the posts.

Posted by: lib on April 18, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Three names among the Democratic Party we should be considering front and center in regard to this-- Bryan Schweitzer, governor of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia (who ushered strong environmental regulations into law with wide support) and of course Al Gore. These three have both been ahead of the curve on environmental issues and as you point out, Kevin, environmental awareness is now popular and of central importance to voters in both parties. It's a proven vote-getter.

The increasing tornado damage and dangerous hurricanes are a big issue as you note. But I think that Americans of all stripes are getting frustrated with the over-development of the cities and the 'burbs and the damage to wildlife and natural places. I've noticed that evangelical Christians have also joined hunters and fishers as environmentalists. Although the most hard-core Dispensationalists like former Interior Secretary James Watt, still seem to welcome environmental ruin as a way to hasten the Armageddon battle, the rank and file among evangelicals seems to be developing a genuine environmental consciousness.

Such support from the right, joined with the left, makes environmental protection a potent issue for candidates who embrace it. Dems like Schweitzer, Warner and Gore will benefit enormously from their stands in the coming years, and we should embrace them as well.

Posted by: Swift Swede on April 18, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

whatever became of the MIT climate scientist who was a global warming sceptic and who was always the jewel (only jewel) in the wingnut attacks on climate science? I believe his first name is Richard, and his last name had a z in it somewhere.

Posted by: David on April 18, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

You obviously no nothing about fishing. Wild tilapia don't build up large amounts of mercury.

Wasn't me fretting about mercury. I still like a nice grilled swordfish steak now and then. Let's see someone farm those.

Mercury accumulates toward the top of the food chain. Tilapia are vegetarian and (regardless of the source of the vegetation or whether they eat their own poop) are pretty low in mercury. Swordfish are about 10th order predators and can be quite high in mercury. As long as tbrosz is not pregnant or lactating it shouldn't be a problem. Mercury associated memory issues in older adults are not as big a problem as developmental issues in children.

Posted by: toast on April 18, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

whatever became of the MIT climate scientist who was a global warming sceptic and who was always the jewel (only jewel) in the wingnut attacks on climate science? I believe his first name is Richard, and his last name had a z in it somewhere

Lindzen? He had a recent editorial in the WSJ (April 12th). http://www.realclimate.org/ wasted some electrons posting point by point rebuttals.

Posted by: toast on April 18, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

The scientific debate about its existence is over.

One good sign of an emerging dogma. Another sign is when dissenters are no longer considered just wrong, but evil.

P-U.

You just pulled that "evil" from where the sun don't shine.

As it so happens, really nasty people are using the issue in verrrry nasty ways, but that's not about dissent. There is no scientific dissent. Lindzen's been trying to find a mechanism that would, if it existed, counter the effect of green house gases to produce a lower equilibrium. He isn't denying the effect of green house gases. And Lindzen keeps his discursive, advocacy work separate from his scientific work. He hasn't published anything which asserts that AGW isn't happening. (I believe he's more or less one of the low enders. One of the 1.5C guys.)

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 18, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Wyatt:

Well, those are certainly respectable views, and as a professional environmental activist of course I've worked with lots of people who are sympathetic to the idea of animal rights. But I do believe that the ethical issues are more complex than they seem.

First off, I don't believe in destroying or defacing property, or making terroristic threats. PETA has been implicated in that, cf. the recent conviction in England. I don't think wrecking some society lady's mondo-expensive fur coat by chucking indelible dye on her is a particularly intelligent form of public protest.

Secondly, while you may consider yourself well-grounded in the philosophy of animal rights, these organizations as a matter of politics *must* make use of anthropomorphic imagery to convey their cause to the public -- or any pro-animal organization, for that matter. No suprise that the World Wildlife Fund's logo includes a cuddly panda, or that the the biggest cause-celebe animal atrocity involves clubbing huge-eyed baby seals ...

And of course virtually all laboratory animals have anthropomorphic characteristics, which is precisely why we use them to test products for humans or experiment on to gain insight into human maladies. This does inevitably lead to a kind of species-ism. A lot less outcry against, say, frog vivisection than cat vivisection. In the larger scheme of things, are cuddly 'n' furry mammalian critters more worthy of protection than reptiles, amphibians or even insects? And if they are ... why? If you admit that they are, aren't you implicitly sanctioning the kind of hierarchy which leads to the anthropocentrism which allows instrumental, systemic animal cruelty to begin with?

I think it's possible to make distinctions. I'd be willing to strongly oppose using animals to test cosmetics on, but I'm in favor of using them to test vaccines or for cancer research. At the end of the day, I think reducing human pain outweighs the increase in animal pain. *Gratuitous* animal pain, however, is something I think we all can live without. There are other ways to determine hypoallergenic cosmetics.

As for ALF and/or ELF -- I think these organizations do damage to the environmental cause and should be strongly repudiated. Mass SUV arson isn't exactly friendly to the environment.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

toast:

Swordfish, like tuna, is taken in moderation. I just discovered tilapia a while ago, and it's damn good. My kids don't like fish (other than my daughter eating fish sticks *gag*) so I don't get it as often as I like. My wife likes lobster. I still say that's eating a bug. I notice she doesn't order it whole, so at some level, she must agree.

Fish farming has its place, and properly done (there are some good things being done with open-ocean fish farming in Hawaii) it's fine.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'll agree with Tbrosz that the debate about the causes of global warming isn't quite over.

But those who deny a role for anthropomorphic global warming are looking like aether defenders circa 1902.

On thin ice, so to speak...

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 18, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

I don't intend to hijack this thread into a discussion of animal rights. I think the message here is that the extreme seriousness and the urgency of anthropogenic global warming is such that anyone who cares, for whatever reason, about preserving the ability of the Earth to support life, needs to get involved in addressing the problem.

Having said that ...

Bruce the Canuck wrote:

One big thing that needs to happen - is in fact long overdue - is the enviro movement needs to clean house of the extreme PETA crowd.

rmck1 wrote:

Understand also that PETA crazies are not working from an environmentalist perspective. They're profoundly *humanistic* and reject animal cruelty because they *anthropomorphize* animals. Anyone who respects nature knows how goddamn cruel she can be to individual creatures.

To address Bruce's comment, PETA is not an "environmental" group and does not represent itself as one (as I understand rmck1 to be acknowledging). PETA is an animal protection organization. Regardless of whether or not you believe PETA's views are "extreme" or "crazy", saying that the environmental movement needs to "clean house" of PETA is like saying the environmental movement needs to rid itself of the ASPCA. It is a total non sequitur.

In response to rmck1's assertion that PETA "crazies ... reject animal cruelty because they *anthropomorphize* animals", to "anthropomorphize" means to inappropriately attribute human charactistics to that which is not human (I understand that it was originally a theological term referring to the fallacy of attributing human characteristics to god).

In fact, PETA "crazies" (and I am a card-carrying PETA "crazy" myself) "reject animal cruelty" because (1) they recognize that animals have the ability to suffer and (2) they care about the well-being of animals and want to protect them from suffering, particularly from suffering inflicted on them by our fellow human beings.

To argue that this constitutes "anthropomorphism" is to argue, against both science and common sense, that the ability to suffer is a uniquely human ability which is not found anywhere else in the animal kingdom. If that's what you are arguing, then the burden of proof is most certainly heavy upon you.

To respond to rmck1's dismissal of the desire to protect non-human animals from human-inflicted cruelty because "nature" can be "goddamn cruel ... to individual creatures", this is an equally valid argument for dismissing the desire to protect humans from human-inflicted cruelty, since after all "nature" can be "goddamn cruel" to individual humans, too. Since earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, famine and disease can kill thousand of human beings, why object to thousands of human beings killed in wars? Why object to murder? Isn't that the same argument?

The difference between PETA "crazies" like myself, and my fellow commenters Bruce the Canuck and rmck1 is simply that PETA "crazies" care about -- which is to say value -- different things, or value things differently, than you fellows do.

It is the nature of the human community that its members have different values, care about different things, and act accordingly to realize whatever they value.

But at this point, pretty much anyone who values anything needs to wake up to the problem of anthropogenic global warming and do what they can to address it.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Lobsters are closely related to bugs.

As crustaceans, they're part of the phylum (I think it's phylum) arthropodae, which includes insects, arachnids (spiders) and myriapods (centipedes).

Sort of like what cockroaches are going to look like in a century after Bush nukes Iran and triggers the Big One.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin, and I think it's the result of Fox news and others that we think of environmentalists as all being PETA people. Anyone who keeps cats knows that animals inflict suffering and death on each other as a routine part of the natural world.

However, I suspect there is as much of a split between responsible hunters and the Dick Cheney school of canned hunting as there is between PETA and the liberals worried about global warming. We're only going to get the responsible ones at most from either side. How many people is that really? Why does Fox News have an audience in the first place?

Posted by: Diana on April 18, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

One good sign of an emerging dogma.

[continued from an earlier post]

Shame on you for misuse of a word. "Dogma" is a tenet of faith. That would apply to the folken who would deny AGW. The evidence for AGW overwhelms dogma here. It's really simple.

1. The physics behind green house gases is old. It's been known since the 19th century.

2. The increase in green house gases has been measured and the sources identified (human activity).

3. The temperature has increased in a matter which matches the predictions.

So, your job as a "dissenter" is to posit a mechanism or mechanisms that would NEGATE the known physics behind green house gases AND provide for the energy which has produced the measured rise in temperatures. Got that? I'll repeat a) NEGATE the known heat trapping of green house gases and b) provide a separate heat source for the rise in temperatures.

That's it. Do that and you'll win several Nobels and the carbon misanthropes will reward you beyond your wildest dreams.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 18, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist makes some good points.

"Animal rights" covers a wide range of positions, including reasonable calls for things like good farming practices (getting McDonalds to improve their requirements in this area was a major victory), and workable alternatives to animal testing. Unfortunately, it also includes a fringe of people who do things like destroy animal testing labs.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Derelict wrote:

2. [Bush] Believes fervently that The Rapture is right around the corner, so what's the sense in saving anything?

Nonsense. That just continues the James Watt urban legend, revived and later retracted last year by Bill Moyers. Here's an explanation of why it's nonsense:

http://tinyurl.com/3xcqw

Posted by: YetAnotherRick on April 18, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who respects nature knows how goddamn cruel she can be to individual creatures. Posted by: rmck1

"She"? What's that nonsense? Nature is a shemale cross-dresser. Fooled you, didn't he?

Posted by: Jeff II on April 18, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

"It's a real opportunity for the liberal community to expand its reach." Or Kevin could just as well have said - "It's a real opportunity for the conservative community to expand its reach."

Shouldn't we all, Kevin included, be looking at this emerging majority as a means to help the environment, rather than as a means to expand a particular political ideology? Isn't that precisely what broke this grand coalition apart before? Conservatives left because liberals opposed gun ownership rights, fair use of public lands, and curbed hunters' rights in general.

Once again, it appears that Kevin takes a vitally important issue and first considers the best way to leverage the issue to help liberals. Reminds me of his infamous post about Iran where his main concern was regarding how Democrats should respond politically, rather than express concern for Iran, Israel, the US, or the rest of the world.

Although he writes pretty words to the contrary, Kevin is an out and out idealogue. It's obvious that the hunters and fisherpersons and insurance companies and evangelical Christians he refers to care more about the environment than Kevin does, inasmuch as they are willing to outreach to liberals and don't appear to be trying to figure out how to leverage this new coalition to promote a conservative ideology. Kevin is the one who is trying to figure out how to spin this to help liberals - the hunters and christians appear to be concerned about the environment.

Posted by: sunbeltjerry on April 18, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: I'd be willing to strongly oppose using animals to test cosmetics on.

That's good. Fortunately that practice has been virtually abolished, in large part as a result of the campaigns that PETA and other animal protection organizations ran against major cosmetic companies from the 1980s through the 1990s.

I find that many people who think of PETA as "extreme" are not very well informed about the work that PETA actually does. For example, PETA negotiated an agreement by McDonald's to establish animal welfare standards for producers of meat that McDonald's buys, including cage-size requirements for chickens. This was a long and tough negotiation, backed up by PETA's campaign of protests at McDonald's restaurants, board meetings and so on, for which PETA was castigated as a "welfarist" sellout by many in the animal rights movement.

And indeed the actual standards that McDonald's agreed to will result in fairly trivial improvements in the conditions of the animals. But this agreement established the principle that fast-food restaurant companies -- starting with the biggest kid on the block -- are answerable and accountable to public concern for better animal welfare standards and more human treatment of the animals from whom they obtain meat, dairy and egg products. Now pressure can be brought on McDonald's to improve the standards they've agreed to -- since they've already agreed to the principle that there should be such standards and shown that they are responsive to public pressure on this issue.

And of course, with that agreement in hand, PETA immediately turned its attention to Wendy's and other fast food chains, saying "OK guys, McDonald's has agreed to this, why won't you?"

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

For all those global warming skeptics out there--

The National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Geophysical Union have all issued statements saying that burning fossil fuels are almost certainly causing global warming.

Virtually everyone on the planet--bowhunter or vegan, herbivore or omnivore, 2nd-amendment absolutist or communist--is going to get hurt in some way because of global warming.

Posted by: Arthur on April 18, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Diana wrote: ... I think it's the result of Fox news and others that we think of environmentalists as all being PETA people.

Who knows what Fox News says, but I don't know why anyone would think of "environmentalists as all being PETA people." PETA is not an environmental organization. It is an animal protection organization. Most of PETA's focus is not even on "wildlife" issues but on animals in captivity that are used for food, research, entertainment, fur, companion animals, etc.

Perhaps you are confusing PETA with Greenpeace, which is an environmental organization, and engages in some of the same "colorful" protest tactics that PETA does.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II:

But "she" had such nice *jugs* ... damn ... oh well :)

tbrosz:

Agreed. The ethics are complex and involve making choices and instrumental tradeoffs.

SecularAnimist:

As compelling and well-grounded as your argument is, if I endorsed it I'd have to oppose abortion. Regardless of whether or not a fetus counts as a "human life" or at what point it becomes one, clearly it is *some form* of life with an autonomous nervous system which can experience pain when forcibly terminated.

But because I believe that the mother's autonomy outweighs the indeterminate ontological status of the fetus -- I believe that any cruelty done to it serves a higher end, and therefore I am morally untroubled by all but late-term abortion.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Environmentalism has been associated with entities that believe humans aren't the pinnacle of creation.

God-fearing folks, like our president, believe that nature is ours to exploit.

The environmental movement is not about hippies versus conservative cranks. It's about what we'll be leaving for our children and generations to come.

We may not be responsible for some of the global warming; but we are responsible for the countless synthetic toxins that have polluted the global environment.

Depleted Uranium is one toxin that I get particularly worked up about. Spewing tons of the stuff all over the Mid-East is an awful legacy of our tax dollars.

Environmentalism is really about waking up to the fact that soiling our nest is not a very good idea.

To the thread posts above, I agree that PETA is extreme. Violence of any kind is rarely justified.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 18, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Now pressure can be brought on McDonald's to improve the standards they've agreed to -- since they've already agreed to the principle that there should be such standards and shown that they are responsive to public pressure on this issue.
-SecularAnimist

Now who can put pressure on McDonald's to get rid of the Teflon on their paper sandwich wraps. It degasses in contact with the hot sandwiches. Might not be so good for you.

Posted by: slanted tom on April 18, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: As compelling and well-grounded as your argument is, if I endorsed it I'd have to oppose abortion. Regardless of whether or not a fetus counts as a "human life" or at what point it becomes one, clearly it is *some form* of life with an autonomous nervous system which can experience pain when forcibly terminated.

Let me be clear: you are entirely free to care about whatever you care about, and not care about whatever you don't care about. No one can tell you what you "should" care about.

Having said that, if you do care about the suffering of sentient beings, then with regard to abortion, if and when a human fetus reaches the stage of development where it has the capacity to experience pain, then the abortion of such a fetus by a method that would cause it to experience pain is something to care about. However, this need not mean that you have to "oppose" abortion. It might mean that you would prefer that abortions occur at the earliest possible stage before the fetus develops the capacity to experience pain, or that methods of abortion be designed so as not to cause pain to a late-stage fetus.

(I don't have a link to this, but I recall recently reading of a scientific study which concluded that the vast majority of aborted fetuses have not yet developed the capacity to experience pain.)

It is an unfortunate fact that many thousands of healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are killed in shelters all over this country ever year, simply because there are no homes for them. This is a controversial practice among people who care a great deal about animals. However, what is not controversial is the agreement that if such killings are to take place, they should be done gently and painlessly, i.e. by "humane euthanasia". The method regarded as most humane is a lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital which is painless and fast acting. Some animal protection organizations, including PETA, are still working to ensure that shelters that do put down animals adopt this method rather than older, traumatic and cruel methods such as gassing animals to death with carbon monoxide.

It seems to me very reasonable that people who want abortion to be legal and readily available to any woman who wants one might still be concerned about the potential for late-stage fetuses to experience pain and insist that methods of abortion of such fetuses be as painless as possible.

Having said that, I don't think that a woman facing the decision of whether to abort an unwanted pregnancy is in quite the same position as someone deciding whether to eat chicken or tofu for dinner.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Tom Nicholson: To the thread posts above, I agree that PETA is extreme. Violence of any kind is rarely justified.

I don't know what "violence" you are talking about. PETA is a legal, nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charity, and it is a nonviolent organization. Perhaps you are confusing PETA with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Giving a fetus a good zap of cocaine or heroin would probably abort it at almost any stage, and, really, it would feel no pain.

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz, To each his own. I'll eat thing that look like bugs, slugs, and spiders but I won't touch frozen lima beans.

BTW, oyster farmers are pretty hard corp environmentalists.

Posted by: toast on April 18, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

I started out saying that I didn't intend to hijack this thread into a discussion of animal rights and I've already written too much that does just that. Happy polly logies.

Global warming is real, it is caused by human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, it is already having extreme and frightening effects on the entire planet, it is reinforcing itself through tipping points and feedbacks, it is proceeding far more rapidly than anyone expected, it is accelerating, and it threatens the ability of the Earth to support life.

That's the message that everyone needs to get. Everyone from sport hunters to anti-hunting animal protectionists can do something about it.

I recomend reading Nicholas Kristof's article "The Big Burp Theory of the Apocalypse" in today's New York Times op-ed page. It's a good thing that such articles are starting to appear prominently in the mainstream press. In contrast, the recent global-warming denial articles by George Will and Robert Novak published in the Washington Post's op-ed pages are reprehensible examples of bought-and-paid-for fossil fuel industry propaganda.

And the RealClimate website (www.realclimate.org) is the best place on the web that I have found to keep informed on real climate science and to see the falsehoods of the climate change deniers thoroughly debunked by scientists who know what they are talking about.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

I can't help myself.

rmck1 wrote: But because I believe that the mother's autonomy outweighs the indeterminate ontological status of the fetus -- I believe that any cruelty done to it serves a higher end, and therefore I am morally untroubled by all but late-term abortion.

Do you believe that the hideous cruelty done to 8 billion chickens raised and slaughtered for food every year in the USA alone to produce cheap, greasy, pathogen-contaminated, unwholesome meat "serves a higher end"? What "higher end" would that be?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist:

Well-parried analogy with animal euthanasia. Even if putting down strays is a controversy in itself, it's possible to agree that if it's to be done, it should be done in as painless a way as possible.

You're certainly correct that PETA isn't ALF -- just as Greenpeace isn't ELF. I don't think there's a soul on this board who would advocate the kind of destructive actions that either group carry forward.

However, I think that PETA made a strong image with the public which has overridden its much worthier work with McDonalds which you outlined above. And that was the anti-fur campaign.

I think that really struck a nerve in libertarian-minded people who feel that buying and wearing firs is of a different order than raising and butchering animals for furs. PETA, of course, used the whole Eichmann-is-guilty logic against the *consumers* of furs as necessary for the whole process, and with that, I think they lost a bunch of public credibility. People to this day remember PETA as the group that threw dye on celebrities' clothing ...

Plus, there's also the recent conviction in England where a branch of PETA made terroristic threats against employees of an animal research clinic, as well as the ongoning case in New Jersey, which also includes property damage, if memory serves ...

And yes, both these cases involved branches of PETA, not ALF.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still waiting for all the cheap-talk liberals to get their butts out of their SUVs and start tooling around town in smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Posted by: Pat on April 18, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's possible that we can realistically do anything about global warming, aside from trying to make the best of it. I'm not advocating pollution, which I think is wrong from any point of view, but the first dominoes in global warming have gone over and if all our pollutive activity stopped now it will still be a very long time before those dominoes stop falling over.

So I think we have to find a way to work with it, instead of advocating the impossible and trying stop it outright.

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

I like chicken :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

What "higher end" would that be? Posted by: SecularAnimist

Dinner?

Posted by: Jeff II on April 18, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by cld at 4:55pm ...we're looking at a minimum of 1.5C by century's end. With 4C at the outside. As James Hansen has pointed out, the last time temps were 3C warmer than now, seas ran 25m (100ft) higher.

And it's not going to stop, or go away. So what do we do with all the excess water?

Silly boy... not to worry, the excess water will all evaporate and we'll all have the humidity that Houston, New Orleans, and Orlando enjoy today!

Plus, the Army Corp of Engineers have a lot of experience in construction of a levee system to keep the coast from flooding!!

Seriously though, I'm not seeing any comments from residents of Buffalo, Minneapolis, or Fargo complaining about Global warming!! :-)

Posted by: pencarrow on April 18, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

If we're going to get historical, it's worth remembering that the great environmentalist coalition that formed a century ago had another important (some might say even crucial) dimension, namely racism/nativism.

The person who embodied all of these elements, gave them form and shape, was Madison Grant, whose 1916 The Passing of the Great Race was a polemic in favor of stopping immigration into the United States (indeed it was a crucial text in getting the door slammed on immigrants in the 1920s) on the grounds that the American landscape needed to be preserved for "Nordics." Earlier he had, via his friendship with Teddy Roosevelt, been a key influence on the conservation movement, founding the Save the Redwoods league, helping to create national parks such as Glacier and Denali, and cofounding the Bronx Zoo. (It was Grant who had the idea to put Ota Benga, a pygmy, on display in the Bronx Zoo.)

The point is that Grant's interests in conservationism and eugenics were flip sides of one coin, both assuming the need for various types of stewardship over their charges. Grant saw the Nordics as basically another endangered species, and wanted to use the power of the state to preserve the wilderness for white people.

Grant is often cited as a prominent example of how racist-fascist ideas weren't simply a German invention, but it's also worth noting that the Nazis were also ardent environmentalists.

None of this should be taken to imply that environmentalism is underpinned by racism, or that it cannot exist without racism. But what it does underscore is that the question must be asked exactly WHO are we supposed to be preserving the planet for? Pardon me if the answer "subsequent generations" seems to beg more questions than it answers.

I believe in carbon restrictions, and I recycle, and I try to avoid using a car as much as possible. But the truth is that any serious environmentalism -- that is, an environomentalism designed to actually lead to sustainable human activity, rather than impact other than a small marginal percentage designed to assuage the conscience of Volvo drivers -- needs to take on the whole issuea of consumerism and wealth distribution and in order to have any

Posted by: Nils Gilman on April 18, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

PETA is probably the most successful animal rights organization ever, in terms of both consciousness-raising and concrete changes to improve the way animals are treated.

The only people PETA seems to have lost credibility with are those who never gave it any in the first place....

Posted by: waylon on April 18, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Lake Erie didn't freeze in 1952, 1982, or 1997 either, but what the heck.

You may not want to be shooting your mouth off about the Lake Erie thing, lest a native Michiganian add some actual context to your glib remarks. Hmmm, I wonder what what was different about this year from those years in the past that Lake Erie didn't freeze over?

Could the lake failing to freeze over be just one of many unusual effects recorded on the Great Lakes last few years that would suggest something more than just a routine, periodic occurrence? Could it be part of a systemic change in which the various effects are beginning to amplify one another?

You'd never know it from your post.

[cue frantic googling]

Posted by: Windhorse on April 18, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

That's pretty interesting, placing the origin of environmentalism within the same matrix of thought as The White Man's Burden.


But what it does underscore is that the question must be asked exactly WHO are we supposed to be preserving the planet for? Pardon me if the answer "subsequent generations" seems to beg more questions than it answers.


Our successor species. I think homo sapiens will be effectively off the map within a 150 years, or less.

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Global warming is real,"

True.

"it is caused by human activities,"

Global warming seems to be caused in part by human activities and in part by natural climate variation. It is not known how much is attributable to each cause.

"primarily the burning of fossil fuels,"

With respect to the human-caused part of global warming, true.

"it is already having extreme and frightening effects on the entire planet,"

I guess that depends on what you mean by "extreme and frightening." The terms are subjective and emotional and don't really say anything meaningful.

"it is reinforcing itself through tipping points and feedbacks,"

What tipping points?

"it is proceeding far more rapidly than anyone expected,"

This seems very unlikely.

"it is accelerating,"

Evidence?

"and it threatens the ability of the Earth to support life."

Lots of things threaten the ability of the earth to support life. The relevant questions concern the magnitude and probability of the threat.

Posted by: waylon on April 18, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

waylon:

Well, that might well be true -- but we're still factory-raising animals and we're still using them for medical research.

Eradicating either of these things would give you, ohh, probably less than the people who supported Nader in 2000.

As for their public image -- hey look, I work for environmental groups. The image is out there, cited by several different folks on this thread -- all of whom identified themselves as enviro-sympathetic.

Whether or not its an accurate view of PETA in terms of its overall accomplishments is kind of besides the point. Once again -- two major court case involving both terroristic threats and property destruction -- by members of PETA.

Nobody needs to make this stuff up.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote: there's also the recent conviction in England where a branch of PETA made terroristic threats against employees of an animal research clinic, as well as the ongoning case in New Jersey, which also includes property damage, if memory serves ... And yes, both these cases involved branches of PETA, not ALF.

No, those cases involve an organization called SHAC which is an acronym for "Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty", Huntington being a company that conducts animal testing. SHAC is not only not a "branch" of PETA but it is not affiliated with PETA in any way.

rmck1 wrote: I like chicken :)

Do as thou will shall be the whole of the law.

Have you ever seen how chickens are raised and slaughtered? You might not like to eat their flesh after you have seen that. If not out of compassion for the chickens, then out of concern for the consequences to your own health of eating such stuff. The UPC website I linked to above has videos. You would like to know where your food comes from and how it is produced, wouldn't you?

And then there is the role of factory-farming poultry in the spread of bird flu ...

So do as thou will, and remember that your chickens will come home to roost.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

That's pretty interesting, placing the origin of environmentalism within the same matrix of thought as The White Man's Burden. Posted by: cld

Not really. You can't compare the conservationist movement of the late 19th and earl 20th Centuries to the "ecology" movement that began in the latter part of the 20th Century. Conservationist really weren't all the scientifically inclined, and much of the science they had was wrong. "Conservationist" thought the draining the Everglades was a good idea to "conserve" all the flooded land.

Posted by: Jeff II on April 18, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote: Once again -- two major court case involving both terroristic threats and property destruction -- by members of PETA.

As I noted above, that is incorrect. Those cases involve another organization, not PETA.

Back on topic, Kevin wrote: As more and more people begin to realize that the scientific debate over manmade global warming really is over, I think we can expect to see more shifts like this. It's a real opportunity for the liberal community to expand its reach.

I have to agree with someone who commented earlier that this is an unfortunate and in my opinion shortsighted and rather crass political spin -- for global warming, which threatens all life on earth, to be framed as an "opportunity for the liberal community to expand its reach."

If anything, it is an opportunity for everyone to realize that some things transcend our comparatively petty and insignificant human arguments about "liberal" and "conservative" and what have you. Imagine that.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

Okay ... if I misremembered those two recent court cases, then it's a brainfart and I humbly apologize to you and to the supporters of PETA.

But what you're citing with chickens exemplifies the ... creepiness of the PETA PR campaigns.

I hung out with a bunch of grad students last year, and somebody got ahold of a PETA video called "Unnecessary Fuss." The picture on the cover was of a monkey immobilized in a stereotaxis machine.

Watching it was like watching "Faces of Death." Animal snuff porn.

This is hardly the sort of thing that promotes public awareness with the sort of people you'd like to get on your side ...

Creepy is creepy is creepy. You don't need to watch films of Dr. Mengele's experiments to know that they're immoral.

Bob

Posted by: progbob@shell.skyweb.net on April 18, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh shit ... here comes even *more* spam from that stupid slip of the fingers ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

"Well, that might well be true -- but we're still factory-raising animals and we're still using them for medical research."

It took a long time to get rid of slavery, too.

"Eradicating either of these things would give you, ohh, probably less than the people who supported Nader in 2000."

The fact that there isn't yet enough public support to "eradicate" them obviously doesn't mean that there won't be in the future. Rome wasn't built in a day. In the meantime, more modest goals of improving the conditions of factory-farmed animals and reducing the use of animals in medical research are certainly feasible. Thanks to organizations like PETA, many such modest improvements have already been achieved.

"As for their public image -- hey look, I work for environmental groups. The image is out there, cited by several different folks on this thread -- all of whom identified themselves as enviro-sympathetic."

You can certainly speak for yourself. You shouldn't presume to speak for Americans in general on this matter.

Posted by: waylon on April 18, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Pat wrote: I'm still waiting for all the cheap-talk liberals to get their butts out of their SUVs and start tooling around town in smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.

I drive a 1991 Ford Festiva that gets 40 MPG around town and 50 MPG on the highway. I've had this car for 13 years. How's that?

But then, I'm not a "liberal", I'm one of those PETA "crazies".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a left-wing socialist, a scientist, a humanist, atheist, and I think Global Warming is basically bullshit. There is no scientific consensus, and the dissenters are being maligned with ad-hominem attacks rather than reasoned refutation. I have a great deal of experience with complex modeling of chaotic systems, and anyone who tells you we know "for sure" is selling you a bill of goods. This is heavily political and paradigmatic. If you don't understand Kuhn, you should read up on it.

The earth may be warming (but even that simple point is disputed), but any claims that we know for sure that it's due to human activity, and the subsequent claims that we know how to reverse it are simply guesses. They might be true they might not. If true, the course of action is not obvious.

Don't believe me, see for yourself. Spend about an hour reading both http://realclimate.org and http://climateaudit.org . One of them has a much more reasonable tone than the other. One is very much an echo chamber.

Secular Animist -- I appreciate 90% of what you do for this site, but in this case you are just spewing bullshit, and even worse, you are using the Fox-News Straussian tactics of the enemy you claim to despise. Makes me sad to see you do this...

Posted by: xmd on April 18, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

waylon at 7:51pm wrote: Global warming seems to be caused in part by human activities and in part by natural climate variation. It is not known how much is attributable to each cause.

That statement is false. There is no known or proposed "natural climate change" mechanism that can account for observed global warming, and the observed change is entirely in accord with the results predicted from anthropogenic increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

That false statement, along with the rest of your comments in that post, reveals ignorance of the science of global warming. I do not say this in any hostile way.

I suggest that you educate yourself. The RealClimate.org website is a good place to start. There is also an excellent summary of developments in climate change science in 2005 here.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin

Suddenly the whole world is going to have a green epiphany and become a bunch of tree-huggers. Yeah, right, keep dreaming your looney dreams.

The fact is, liberal boy, that there is ZERO proof that man is causing global warming. It is the height of arrogance to believe that man can change the earth. And have you ever heard of carbon sequestration? Do you even know what that is?

Posted by: egbert on April 18, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

If you believe in the Gaia hypothesis why would you not say that anthropogenic global warming is Gaia's way of curing Her Ice Ages?

Posted by: cld on April 18, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

xmd wrote: Global Warming is basically bullshit. There is no scientific consensus, and the dissenters are being maligned with ad-hominem attacks rather than reasoned refutation.

That is false. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is real, that it is happening now at a rapid and accelerating rate, that it is caused by human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, and that its likely consequences are gravely dangerous to life on earth, not to mention human civilization.

xmd: The earth may be warming (but even that simple point is disputed), but any claims that we know for sure that it's due to human activity, and the subsequent claims that we know how to reverse it are simply guesses.

There are no credible scientists who dispute that the earth is warming. The warming is a matter of empirical observation, not theory. Objections to that were raised in the past have all been shot down by subsequent observations.

There are few -- increasingly few -- scientists who dispute that the observed warming is due to human activity, and of those there are none who have been able to offer an alternative explanation that is in accord with the observed warming, which is entirely in accord with the anthropogenic hypothesis.

xmd: you are just spewing bullshit, and even worse, you are using the Fox-News Straussian tactics of the enemy you claim to despise.

That sure sounds to me like I'm "being maligned with ad-hominem attack".

You are simply wrong in what you say about global warming. That's not an attack, it is just a statement of fact. You are wrong.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 18, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist -- Strong claims require strong evidence. You seem quite sure of yourself. I challenge you thusly:

1. Please explain for the audience the meaning of, and your answer to the "divergence problem".

2. Please stake a claim on whether you believe the "hockey stick" graph is accurate or not.

3. Assume that all AGW theories, models, and data are completely accurate, then answer this question: have we reached the "tipping point" (the point at which no amount of reduction in human-released CO2 can reverse the warming trend). After answering "yes" or "no", then please follow up with a justification of where we should be spending our money to deal with the consequences.

4. Suppose we know for sure that the tipping point has been reached, and runaway climate change has began, do you support the use of ground-burst nuclear weapons to use the "nuclear winter" effect to bring climate back into the range we prefer. If no, please explain.

Posted by: xmd on April 18, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis:

This isn't "Nobel Prize" material. It's just a wide range of scientific thought.

There have been cyclic temperature changes over the past hundreds of thousands of years, tracked mostly by ice core analysis. You can see a typical graph here.

It's obvious that CO2 tracks temperature. It's also obvious that there is a regular cycle involved here. It is not obvious whether high CO2 causes the temperature cycle, or the other way around. A number of astronomical and other reasons could account for the temperature cycle, including solar variations. Other astronomical theories involve orbital cycles of the Earth, but are less certain than the solar variation theories. I can't think of anything off hand that could create regular CO2 cycles that would then drive temperature, but that doesn't mean such things don't exist.

We're not only near the peak of a warm cycle, but we're coming off a minor cold cycle that ended in the middle 1800s. This coincided with the "Maunder Minimum" in solar activity, but the connection is not certain.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Something else to keep in mind is that even if there were absolutely no problems with CO2 in the atmosphere, there are other very good reasons to get ourselves weaned off of fossil fuels over the next decades, and there's no doubt about the existence of these reasons.

The political baggage (sometimes lethal) associated with the world's major producers would be one.

The value of petroleum as a manufacturing resource (instead of just burning it) would be another.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"That statement is false."

No, the statement is true.

"There is no known or proposed "natural climate change" mechanism that can account for observed global warming,"

Substantiate this claim (by "observed global warming," I assume you mean "all observed global warming.") Even if it were true, it would not support your claim that the statement I made is false.

"and the observed change is entirely in accord with the results predicted from anthropogenic increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations."

There are a wide range of predictions of climate change from a given increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. As I said, no one knows how much of observed global warming is attributable to human rather than natural causes.

"I suggest that you educate yourself. The RealClimate.org website is a good place to start. "

Yes, it's an excellent website. If you think there is material on that website that establishes your disputed claims here, present it.

Posted by: waylon on April 18, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK
xmd: you are just spewing bullshit, and even worse, you are using the Fox-News Straussian tactics of the enemy you claim to despise.That sure sounds to me like I'm "being maligned with ad-hominem attack".

In case that was unclear : I am attacking your argument, saying it is uses emotions rather than facts, e.g. you claim consensus by repeating statements from the popular press (the same popular press you often decry), you make unjustifiable black & white claims such as "no credible scientists" etc.

You are probably a fine person, and I respect most of your views, and I think we are basically on the same side. However, I depart with you on this issue, as I don't like your tactics, and I think your science is very weak. You are using the tools of the fascist (appeal to emotion & group-think, quashing dissent).

I personally would take your argument a little more seriously if you brooked some dissent, allowed that there may be some uncertainty in our understanding, and that with uncertainty should come a healthy dose of skepticism and review before we act. If you are so certain of your views, then what harm is there in little old me asking a few difficult questions?

Posted by: xmd on April 18, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

I personally would take your argument a little more seriously if you brooked some dissent, allowed that there may be some uncertainty in our understanding, and that with uncertainty should come a healthy dose of skepticism and review before we act. If you are so certain of your views, then what harm is there in little old me asking a few difficult questions?

Like I said, one sign of a developing dogma is anger and condemnation from its adherents when someone questions it.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"That is false. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is real, that it is happening now at a rapid and accelerating rate, that it is caused by human activities,"

No, there is a strong scientific consensus that SOME PART OF observed global warming is due to human activities. No one knows how much is caused by human activities and how much is caused by natural mechanisms.

"principally the burning of fossil fuels, and that its likely consequences are gravely dangerous to life on earth, not to mention human civilization."

Please produce your proof of an "overwhelming scientific consensus" that the "likely consequences" of human-induced global warming are "gravely dangerous to life on earth, not to mention human civilization."

I am challenging you to prove this specific claim, not some weaker assertion, such as that global warming poses some degree of risk to human civilization.

Posted by: waylon on April 18, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz -- strangely, on this point, we agree. On the other 99%, not so much. :-)

Posted by: xmd on April 18, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the quest for environmental sustainability is already underway-it's part of the Millennium Goals set by the UN. The US government is the only one not on board with this endeavor, although President Bush promised the $5 billion would be raised by 2006 (only $3 billion has even been asked for). The Borgen Project is working on putting the Millennium Goals back on the White House's radar.

www.borgenproject.org

Posted by: Nichole on April 18, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

planting cypress trees down the middle of a hot dry interstate in texas , or planting a maple tree in hot weather blackland prarie of texas. everything that is native to the right part of a reigon that will grow well in its own place they want to put it somewhere else and wonder why the lakes are going dry each time a new housing developement with those two story type hay barn designs , with a 31/2 ton ac when they should have at least 8 ton ac. in three years the foundation crumbles at the corners , because there are no building codes that builders have to go by , if you have a hammer a saw and a bucket of nails you are a builder . every one should be born with a lever action 45.70 and a 44.40 single action revolver for hunting . every city should be surronded by a rain forrest , have i left anything out ? ?

Posted by: WATCHIN DUMASSES on April 18, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

xmd wrote:

I personally would take your argument a little more seriously if you brooked some dissent, allowed that there may be some uncertainty in our understanding, and that with uncertainty should come a healthy dose of skepticism and review before we act. If you are so certain of your views, then what harm is there in little old me asking a few difficult questions?

But, prior to writing that, xmd wrote:

Global Warming is basically bullshit. There is no scientific consensus, and the dissenters are being maligned with ad-hominem attacks rather than reasoned refutation.

Which leads me to ask-

Are you on drugs?

Why don't you go read Paul Krugman's NYT column from yesterday. Let us know what you think.

Thank you.

Posted by: obscure on April 18, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

PETA got lumped in with the rest of us. Not sure why. I have been a hunter and fisherman all my life, I'm 63, and have been a lib all those years. My daughter-in-law considers me some kind of a monster for eating venison, wild goose, and salmon; yet she is a BushBot. Go figure!

Posted by: jim58 on April 18, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Did you notice that the Bushies have lost the "Field and Stream" vote? How did they do this? By claiming that we're not losing wetlands by counting artificial lakes and golf course water hazards as 'wetlands'.

Seriously.

The Prairie Angel

Posted by: Arachnae on April 18, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Global warming isn't bullshit.

There is a scientific consensus that global warming is occurring, and that some or most of the recent (last 50 years or so) global warming it is attributable to human causes.

Beyond that, there isn't much of a consensus about anything.

There is no consensus about how much temperatures will increase in the future.

There is no consensus about what effects a given temperature increase will have on sea levels, precipitation, agriculture, diseases, etc.

There is no consensus about the appropriate policy responses to global warming. There is broad agreement that it is desirable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but how much to reduce them by, how quickly, and how much we would be justified in spending to achieve a given level of reduction, are matters about which there isn't anything close to a consensus.

Posted by: waylon on April 18, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Right... So some little people over there are going to get together with some little people over here.

What of it?

Posted by: Exxon on April 18, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Problem is, even though the enviroment always gets in the top ten of peoples concerns, it always ranks well below the economy and foreign policy ect in those rankings.

It was an interesting article, but this hunter/fisherman is not about to vote democrate because of parts per billion.

Posted by: Fitz on April 18, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

this hunter/fisherman is not about to vote democrate because of parts per billion.

This hunter/fisherman's grandkids aren't gonna be doing so much hunting or fishing, then.

I'm no hunter, but I've lived in a part of the world that treats hunting as a religion, and has had no serious collective governmental effort to conserve wildlife or preserve the environment. It's let hunters hunt as much as they want, and let mining, farmers and other commercial interests move into wild lands more or less at will. As a result, that part of the world has almost no wild animals left, and the hunting way of life is about to die out.

That part of the world is West Africa.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 18, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Obscure wrote:


Which leads me to ask-
Are you on drugs?

I do enjoy a snifter of brandy at new years, why?

Why don't you go read Paul Krugman's NYT column from yesterday. Let us know what you think.
Thank you.

I like Paul's writings, and I would love to read it, but NYTimes is charging for opinion pieces now. The blurb on his piece is "To understand why Exxon Mobil is a worse environmental villain than other big oil companies, you need to know about how the science and politics of climate change have shifted" so it's probably relevant. Got a link?

Posted by: xmd on April 19, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

So the MOONBATS were right eh?

Not to worry AL, and Tbrosz, because I will fill you in on the 'MoonBat' thing. You See They call their God 'E' thats EL, or ELOHIM, which of course is the Same as ADONAI or 'God' or Hamesh. They Say Elohim. The Same is found in Hebrew. With no Vowel Points YHWH, with Yahweh. Same thing found in Hebrew. Of course this means really the Hand[s], or the Yid[s]. Why the Hands?

Im sure you can visualize this famous picture of two hands, the index finger of each about to touch, and the Light, the Spark, of Life.

IHAEOU

Now you also see some of these 'moonbats' call their Master 'Z'..Now this is not a Spaceman from mars, but yet another name for the Big Guy. Here you will find they use, many unknowingly, AETZI. This comes from John 1;1 The Final Word, or Last Word. AETZI or 'Z' for short.
"My Master is 'Z'" some might say. So moonbats are not 'GODLESS' as Anne Coulter Ignorantly Professes to 'Know' [X^B


Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on April 19, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Here you go, xmd. But first, let's revisit your opening gambit:

Global Warming is basically bullshit. There is no scientific consensus, and the dissenters are being maligned with ad-hominem attacks rather than reasoned refutation.

Now, some excerpts from the Krugman column I referenced:

Global warming emerged as a major public issue in the late 1980's. But at first there was considerable scientific uncertainty.

Over time, the accumulation of evidence removed much of that uncertainty. Climate experts still aren't sure how much hotter the world will get, and how fast. But there's now an overwhelming scientific consensus that the world is getting warmer, and that human activity is the cause. In 2004, an article in the journal Science that surveyed 928 papers on climate change published in peer-reviewed scientific journals found that "none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."

To dismiss this consensus, you have to believe in a vast conspiracy to misinform the public that somehow embraces thousands of scientists around the world.

And so I ask you, WTF is your problem?

Posted by: obscure on April 19, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

obscure,

Could you be a dear and just paste in the whole thing? Haven't gotten to see Krugman in ages.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Bushs stubbornness and inability to change even when change is a political necessity, can be understood by seeing the situation through the belief system he lives by, which Ill call Bushism, although he certainly didnt invent it. At the top of Bushism is its version of the Christian religion. The virgin birth and the resurrection are absolutes to Bushies, so already we have established that faith trumps rational enquiry. Next in line is absolute faith in a market economy, social Darwinism, military force and a pro-business anti-environmentalism.

It may seem crazy that these disparate beliefs came to be structural elements of Bushism, but there they are. Like all closed belief systems, Bushism is a house of cards. The believers have not framed it that way in their own minds, but subliminally they understand its fragility, and so they defend every part of it to the last, fearing that if any of the supporting elements is seen to be weak, the whole house will collapse.

The good news for us is, they are right. Even as more and more people come to see how rotten the structure is: how incompetent Rumsfeld is, how dangerous their chicken hawk toughness is and how threatening global warming is, their belief system will not allow them to change. To paraphrase Lao Tsu, a tree that cannot bend, must inevitably break. My hope is the whole edifice will collapse and leave a void into which the progressives can step. Eventually, we may see Bushism as a last gasp of an ancient way of seeing life and we will thank him for demonstrating so clearly that it could never succeed.

Posted by: James of DC on April 19, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

obscure posts citing a NYT Krugman article... In 2004, an article in the journal Science that surveyed 928 papers on climate change published in peer-reviewed scientific journals found that "none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."

To dismiss this consensus, you have to believe in a vast conspiracy to misinform the public that somehow embraces thousands of scientists around the world.

The problem with most such surveys is similar to problems of polling, i.e. what was selected and how representative was it. The research that went into the Science study you cited was based on a very specific search for "articles" which yielded the 928 papers surveyed.

An example of a similar "survey" which yielded a different conclusion is noted in the reference below. Here the broader search was done using the search words "climate change" which yielded nearly 12,000 papers over the same 10 year period as the Science journal surveyed.

http://www.staff.livjm.ac.uk/spsbpeis/Scienceletter.htm

I won't speculate whether this is a typical Krugman article that selectively cites a reference to support his position or just a lack of solid "googleing" to validate the reference, but I think that the earlier posts by "xmd" are more solid than Krugman's contribution.

Posted by: pencarrow on April 19, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Krugman needs a fisking too.

Krugman says: "Over time, the accumulation of evidence removed much of that uncertainty. Climate experts still aren't sure how much hotter the world will get, and how fast. But there's now an overwhelming scientific consensus that the world is getting warmer, and that human activity is the cause."

No, there is not an overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is "the" cause. There is a scientific consensus that human activity is a cause, but not necessarily the only one. A significant amount of global warming may be attributable to natural variability in the climate rather than human activity.

As the National Academy of Sciences put it:

Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earths atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes are also a reflection of natural variability.

Note, "likely," not "certainly." Note "mostly," not "completely." Note the statement about natural variability.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

Part of the problem in this is the way it plays to the most characteristic trait of the conservative mind, to insist that they are not responsible for anything.

Encountering it, or thinking they've encountered it, many liberals reflexively overcompensate in the opposite direction.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

Some thoughts for Bob and Jeff--

The hunting community is actually generally pretty apathetic about gun rights. 80% of gun owners don't hunt, and they see the gun rights movement as a political evil since it means more of those pesky black people they don't like so much getting to own guns.

As for Bob's analysis of the 2A, complete bullshit. 1) The national guard is NOT the militia, nor is it intended to replace or supplant it. There is ample caselaw to this effect and the laws of most states include a definition of militia that includes able bodied citizens of a certain age, not a federalized force like the Nat'l Guard. 2) Heard of this place called Iraq? Able bodied citizens can easily stymie a powerful military with small arms and improvised explosives. The 2A is indeed a bulwark against tyranny; that's really an ancillary benefit, the real idea of the 2A is to ensure that when you do show up for militia duty, you actually have a gun to use and know how to use it.

Want to make sure no Democrat wins another election anywhere, ever? Get a 2A repeal movement started.

As for Jeff's concerns about 9mm handguns with 15 round "clips" (anyone who knows shit about guns knows autopistols have magazines, not clips), your argument is irrelevant. The 2A says nothing about hunting and has nothing to do with hunting, and whether a weapon is useful for hunting is not relevant to anything. The hunting red herring is Democrat codeword for "I'm too stupid to really see how gun control hurts us, but I think I'm supposed to be for it...so maybe if I say this the NRA won't oppose me and I'll dupe a few extra voters." In other words...it's precisely what Dems should NOT be saying.

As for Global Warming, there are still some skeptics on the Theory of Evolution as well. And they're idiots too.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 3:50 AM | PERMALINK

Able bodied citizens can easily stymie a powerful military with small arms and improvised explosives.

If it's a foreign occupying military, sure. Unfortunately, the Shiite militias weren't able to do such an effective job of "stymieing" with their small arms and improvised explosives when they actually were fighting a tyrannical government - one headed up by a fellow named Saddam Hussein. Now that they have a democratic central government, on the other hand, backed by a foreign occupying force that can't tell who's with them and who's against them, they're doing a pretty good job of "stymieing" any attempt to make the country governable.

None of this has anything to do with hunters and environmentalists. Environmentalist gun control advocates don't generally object too much to people owning .22 rifles, especially when they're the type of people who register those guns and get hunting licenses to use them. PETA environmentalists may have a problem with hunters, but I'm unclear why they're more upset by hunting than by pig farming, which probably kills an order of magnitude more animals, and forces them to live in miserable conditions in the meantime. Dredging up the 2nd amendment in this context is just a conservative big-industry gambit to defeat environmentalists and outdoorsmen.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 19, 2006 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

SombreroFallout:

Well, I'm one of those urban liberals who believes that the Second Amendment -- as its purpose is articulated in English republican theory -- has been totally outmoded by technology. There is no "bulwark against tyranny" when the state citizen militias have been absorbed into the National Guard and we already have a standing army (which the Framers dreaded) equipped with mortars and tanks and hand grenades and things that not even the staunchest Second Amendment partisan would argue that citizens have a right to own.

The Second Amendment was written during a time when any reasonably-equipped blacksmith shop could fabricate army-quality artillery. I'd personally support a repeal movement -- but that's just me.

And I also think that any hunter who uses a high-powered semiautomatic scope rifle is a pansy.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 18, 2006 at 5:31 PM

Bob / rmck1:

You're incorrect on one point and miss a few other points.

Technology can never make the Second Amendment obsolete. Only a politically accountable and responsive government can do that, one that doesn't put its own citizens at risk.

Your National Guard example, incorrectly characterized by the Supreme Court, merely proves the point that the Second Amendment is needed as a counterweight to a form of Government that possesses too much power relative to its Citizenry.

When the National Guard can be used to abuse the Citizenry, as was the case in the Katrina disaster -- when as you say "there is no bulwark against tyranny' " then that IS indeed a problem. The Second Amendment IS that "bulwark against tyranny," it is there specifically to ensure the continued existence of other nine Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Now, you may not LIKE that. But a closer acquaintance with American history and its defining characteristics might be helpful to you. No one argues that Joe Blow should have howitzers. But until our glorious leaders adhere to their obligations -- and to their country's national interest -- its becoming the wiser and more prudent course of action.

Keep in mind you're talking to about as close to a pacifist as you can get.

In short, the "tyranny" that the right to bear arms against is just as much an internal threat one as it ever was an external threat.

Dear, dear Bob!

It takes only one example to prove the point. In the days just prior to the invasion of Iraq, protesters who knew that Bush was lying about WMDs in Iraq -- his ludicrous "evidence" was debunked in major mainstream news sources -- gathered in Lafayette Park to exercise their right to free assembly and to free speech.

Highly patriotic. Those American Citizens were clubbed down in the streets by DC cops. They broke no laws. They posed no threats. Yet instead of being respected, or listened to, they were ignored. Rather than sparking a political debate between Congress and the WMD experts, between Bush and the country he presumes to serve, they were ignored. YET THEY WERE RIGHT on the evidence for war. And our national security would today be preserved if Bush had followed the counsel of his own citizens.

It was the DC cops that broke the law that day. And if anyone had listened to those courageous citizens, then maybe Bush wouldn't be claiming the dictatorial powers inherent in tyranny, but utterly anathema to any form of democracy. If those DC cops had been brought to heel, forced to obey the law and respect our country and your countrymen Bob, on that day, then the structures of governance that define us as a nation would not be so warped beyond recognition overall.

But the Washington Post DID NOT speak up for the Constitution that day, nor the next. NO ONE in DC spoke up for the Constitution, nor for the Bill of Rights, nor for the American Citizens who demanded their exercise that day. Nor did any resident of DC, not a single WMD expert, nor military analyst, nor any elected pol speak up for American national security that day. Because that's what those citizens, clubbed in the street, were doing.

And every aspect of this country would be better served if their voices had mattered.

In short, the only reason we're in this mess is because of the sophistry that allows you to cavalierly and thoughtlessly fritter away the very basis, foundation, and rationale for even having a country called America.

As long as lawyers and others can be so delusional as to pretend that anything about the current state of affairs resemble "America" as it is culturally or legally defined, then we are in deep, deep trouble, and Bush wins the day. We've got a guy eagerly using death squads, who's already in Iran with military forces, who's doing God-knows-what in this country -- and you'd like to assist him in further degrading the factual and legal basis with which Americans have resisted tyranny here at home?!? For shame.

Fly that flag upside down.

And remember, this is coming from someone who was raised in a pacifist, anti-war, liberal, religious, family-values kinda household. We got on well with the Vietnam vet / town jailer next door. So don't sit there and rationalize yourself as "liberal." Just hand in your rights and turn yourself in to KBR/Halliburton's no-bid "detention camps" when the time comes.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on April 19, 2006 at 5:48 AM | PERMALINK

Oh Yeah,

One More Thing: If Al Gore had adamantly defended the Second Amendment -- he would have won West Virginia AND Tennessee in 2000.

Florida would've been moot.

Bush would never have been Preznit.

Now what's so hard about standing up for the Bill of Rights in its entirety.

Instead, Gore chose to indulge "urban liberals," for no appreciable gain, and for no real rationale, unless you count the unsubstantiated bigotry that "urban 'liberals'" are right or somehow smarter.

Gore learned the lesson of 2000. Why can't you?

Bob, an any others that attack the Second Amendment with conventional and erroneous thinking, ought to consider joining with their fellow liberal-progressives to defend the substance of this country, and its Constitution.

Because you're lending credence to the labels "wooly-headed," "unprincipled" "liberal." There's a reason Gingrich got away with turning it into a pejorative.

I mean, really, what will you stand up for?

Posted by: SombreroFallout on April 19, 2006 at 6:24 AM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: "For the record", my comments weren't intended as a wholesale slam at animal rights as a cause. More frustration at watching environmental groups confuse their agendas.

Spending energy and political capital trying to ban black-bear hunting, for example, when the animals as a species are clearly not endangered - they just find the practice ugly. Or the overweening focus on individual "troubled orcas" as objects of sympathy, often actually harming the health of the species in the process - which is a more difficult issue for people to deal with.

The point is that the two "causes", whatever their merits, are best served by keeping them seperate. Control of the enviro movement by a limited range of sub-cultures is a continuing problem for it, and animal-rights issues creeping into some of its campaigns is a symtom of that. It harms the ability to form large coalitions for more the really important issues, such as global warming and species extinction.

Not to say the "cute factor" hasn't saved a few species, but many more are at risk from the larger trends.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 19, 2006 at 7:35 AM | PERMALINK

Just a note: Those Mid-Western potholes are *not* about breeding for migratory waterfowl. They're essential because they function as 'rest stops' for rest and particularly feeding to sustain the continental migrations.

Without them the waterfowl will fail to complete the journey to their southern wintering grounds. They'll die by the thousands of starvation and exhaustion. The the young, the fledglings born over the summer, will die off first and there goes the replenishment of the breeding stock.

Farmers have been destroying them at such alarming rates that more than 95% are gone or permanently damaged.

This is precisely one the issues before the SC re what is or is not a wetland which can be federally protected.

The Gulf refuges are in deep distress. Salt water incursions from Rita have done enormous damage to the coastal marshes and we've had a huge shortfall of rain to help the desalinization process.

Vast destruction going on in the northern reaches of Canada from mining, logging, and extraction (diamonds and oil sands and such) are killing off the summer breeding grounds.

Say goodbye to the great migrations. Ecological pressure and destruction of habitat at both ends as well as the middle will doom this incredible feat for all time.

When they're gone they're gone for good.

And I shed no tears for all the fat cat 'sportsmen' (oil company executives and their pocket pols and Supreme Court cronies) in particular) who jet in for sport and then have the temerity to call themselves 'environmentalists' or 'conservationist'.

Posted by: CFShep on April 19, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, your comments would give pause to anyone who hasn't read 3 or 4 discussions of the issues and evidence. After that, they'd be aware you were simply throwing up dust. Or maybe you're unaware of the evidence and issues and you're loath to actually look into it.

waylon, as for natural variability in the weather, no climate scientist has ever discounted natural variability. Are you imagining the scientific community smiting the foreheads and gaping with a look of wild surmise on their faces, "Natural variability! Man, why didn't we think of that?!!" If you put your BOLD letters in a different part of your post, you'd see that you've conceded the game.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 19, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Sombrero Fallout:

> You're incorrect on one point and miss a few other points.

Well, understand that I'm only speaking for myself. While I
think my argument from a historical and theoretical perspective
is entirely sound and sensible, I'd never practically advocate
dismantling *any* aspect of the Bill of Rights, because that
would be the ultimate slippery slope. Take down one Amendment of
the Big Ten and people will start thinking of tinkering with the
rest. As much as I despise the Second Amendment on innumerable
grounds, repealing it would be one terrible precedent to set.

> Technology can never make the Second Amendment obsolete.
> Only a politically accountable and responsive government
> can do that, one that doesn't put its own citizens at risk.

Well, you're dead wrong. According to English republican theory,
*no* government is exempt from the temptations of tyranny, which
is why the right of *another* revolution if necessary is implicit
in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
That's not the grounds upon which one opposes the Second Amendment.

But before we examime just why the Second Amendment is useless save
as a matter of pure tradition, let me contradict my above statement
for the sake of argument; consider for a moment the *Third* Amendment.
Do you even know what it says? If you don't, no biggie; there is
exactly *zero* law which cites it. It's moribund, defunct and has
never been used; if it were repealed tomorrow nobody'd ever miss it.

The amendment prohibits the government from requisitioning private
homes to billet (house) US troops. Like the Second, the Third was
conceived when the thought of a standing army, idling in peacetime
at government expense, was considered a grave threat to liberty.
Everybody had memories of the marauding armies of the English and
French, lording it over towns and crapping all over private property.

Well, today we have a standing army housed at government expense.
But you'll notice that the Constitution only gives Congress the power
to *raise* a professional army (contrary to national mythology, it was
the Continental Army and not the Minutemen who won the Revolutionary
War) in times of national emergency. The idea was that the army would
disband in peacetime, and the frontier would be kept safe by the state
militias. The Framers felt that professional officers were would be
tempted to stage coups -- why our military is civilian controlled.

> Your National Guard example, incorrectly
> characterized by the Supreme Court,

Hey, I'm with the Supremes there. Because the Supremes are with
history and utility. Far better to have a federalizable, professional
fighting force than a bunch of un-well-regulated "citizen soldiers."

Always best to leave soldiering -- a difficult task which
requires a diverse and practiced skill set -- with professionals.
The Framers thought that patriotism would be all it would take.

The Framers, on that point, proved to be (uncharacteristically) wrong.

> merely proves the point that the Second Amendment is
> needed as a counterweight to a form of Government that
> possesses too much power relative to its Citizenry.

Nobody's arguing against the right to resist an unjust
government. Nor would guns (and other weapons), as a
practical matter among freedom-loving people, somehow become
unavailable in case they ever proved to be needed to resist the
government, Second Amendment or no Second Amendment. Prohibition
certainly didn't prevent America from being awash in booze.

But here's a little history lesson: The militias were for the most
part pretty useless -- when they weren't a pain in the ass. George
Washington used the US Army to put down the Whisky Rebellion and
Shay's Rebellion -- both fed by "citizen militia" ideology -- and
drunken rabble-rousing. Not for nothing was "well-regulated" included
in the Second Amendment. That the Court interpreted "The People" to
mean the States as opposed to individuals (in Miller 1933) is correct.

And while a few states had a decent militia tradition up to the Civil
War, for the most part the Framers' vision of citizen soldiery fell
by the wayside. Some of that is because weapons were unreliable until
Colt took Eli Whitney's interchangeable parts and managed to build
a mass-producible rifle and pistol. But mainly because the sons of
farmers had more urgently profitable uses of their time than spending
their weekends drilling for no pay. Government-supplied rifles rusted
in sheds. The ones who showed up were layabouts. The townfolk who'd
make the best leaders were otherwise engaged. Who could blame them?

> When the National Guard can be used to abuse the Citizenry,
> as was the case in the Katrina disaster -- when as you say
> "there is no bulwark against tyranny' " then that IS indeed
> a problem. The Second Amendment IS that "bulwark against
> tyranny," it is there specifically to ensure the continued
> existence of other nine Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Well, no. The true bulwark against tyranny isn't enshrinable
on any goddamned piece of paper -- even one as sacrosanct as the
US Constitution. That is, in fact, the precise message of the
Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-
evident ... " Well, if they're self-evident, then they cannot be
taken away from free people. This means that the right to resist
the government, when it deviates from these self-evident truths,
is implicit through the very nature of unalienable rights.

Obviously, no standing government is going to *allow* its citizens
to take up arms against it. It's going to pass all kinds of batshit
laws and promulgate all kinds of crazy rulings. But if these begin
to enslave the people, then the people have the sovereign right to
breach these laws in the name of rights which are inherent in us.

In other words, if Revolution becomes necesssary, don't expect
even the US Constitution to protect you. Look to the more
metaphysical spirit of the Declaration to be your guiding star.

> Now, you may not LIKE that. But a closer acquaintance with American
> history and its defining characteristics might be helpful to you.

Heh :)

> No one argues that Joe Blow should have howitzers.

Actually, some Second Amendment purists do just that. They take
the "bulwark against tyranny" argument to its logical and literal
conclusion and argue that if the true purpose of the Second Amendment
is to protect us from Uncle Sam, then we have the right to have
all the weapons Uncle Sam has -- up to and including nukes.

To which I reply "what part of WELL-REGULATED don't you understand?"

> But until our glorious leaders adhere to their obligations
> -- and to their country's national interest -- its
> becoming the wiser and more prudent course of action.

What exactly is the wiser and more prudent course of
action? That American society is awash in guns? That
our per-capita homicide rate dwarfs all of Western Europe?

I support gun control because if "guns don't kill"
-- they surely make it easier. But just as guns
in themselves don't kill -- guns in themselves will
never serve as any "bulwark against tyranny" when
that bulwark is embossed in our hearts as free people.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Sombrero--actually you can buy tanks, howitzers, mortars, etc. They're just heavily, heavily taxed by the NFA of 1934 (really more of a tax act than a firearms act).

Antigunners love using that sort of hyperbole (but you can't buy nukes/grendades/Abrams tanks) because they think they can establish a slippery slope with which to deny grandma the pistol she keeps in her nightstand. Too bad that's bullshit and unsupportable; those arms aren't useful to criminals and private citizens who would want them for lawful purposes generally find them to be a bit pricey...but in any event there's no bearing either way on your 2A right to own a rifle, shotgun, pistol, or revolver.

Brooksfoe--actually the Shia didn't do too badly by SH, it's becoming increasingly clear that the Kurds and Shiites were able to make it so that SH really only had control in the Sunni (read: more secular and Arab dominated) areas of Iraq. SH's grasp on power was tenuous and required him to stifle the very civil war we're starting to see over there. I'm not sure what you're after here, but if you don't think domestic uprisings that are armed can be successful against their intra-country opponents, Ho Chi Minh might disagree with you. I guess you're trying to argue that the Shia were more successful against us than SH, which means we Americans could fight off the Brits but not our own army. Seems a silly analogy, because the Shiites had established a detente more or less with the Sunni community that we upended. The Shia might not have been mad enough at SH to really be a stick in his eye, but it looks increasingly like they don't like having us around anymore.

Gimme a break, man--history is replete with "insurgencies", uprisings, and political movements that were able to resist tyrannies of all stripes (domestic and non) because they were armed. The Japanese cited the fact that most Americans were armed as why they ruled out an invasion of the continental US early on. There's simply no merit to the idea that an armed populace in the US isn't more likely to be able to resist tyranny. Of course it is.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz,

There have been cyclic temperature changes over the past hundreds of thousands of years, tracked mostly by ice core analysis. You can see a typical graph here.

Did you even look at your own graph?

What is obvious to me is there was some sort of non-human-induced cycle of atmospheric CO2 from a low of 180 ppm to 300 ppm, but the latest cycle has CO2 going up to 370 ppm and it hasn't peaked yet.

The argument from global warming rejecters started out as "there is no such thing as global warming" but has recently changed to "Okay, there is global warming, but maybe humans are not to blame."

The fact that CO2 has overshot previous limits says there is something different going on this time.

But CO2 rejecters, who used to say "maybe nothing new is happening" are now saying "maybe the Earth can fix this new thing automatically."

I imagine the next pronouncement will be "We'll have problems but maybe they won't be that bad." After that we'll hear "Why didn't you warn us about this coming problem?"

Posted by: Tripp on April 19, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

You're dead wrong as a matter of law. I forget the name of the statute, but it was passed in the mid-60s and it directly prohibits civilian owernship of military weapons, starting with machine guns (with a few exceptions for gun collectors).

Military explosives are verboten.

I've debated this many times with gun collectors and the info was passed on to me by Second Amendment partisans.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

And history is also rife with *cough* examples like the Balkans after Tito.

Your point?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

You're talking about the Gun Control Act of 1968. I'm not wrong; you can still get the weapons, but you have to jump through hoops and it costs lots of money. Not really the relevant point.

Not sure what you're after re: the Balkans, but my point was simple--you've got a lot better chance of resisting tyranny and oppression if you're armed than if you're disarmed.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

No, I am not wrong. There are various levels of taxes for gun dealers (and anybody can be a gun dealer if they fill out the forms and I think pass a background check), but there are several classes of military weapons which are unownable by civilians at any price.

And when a society is awash in guns (Iraq in per capita terms is the most weaponized country in the world) with several sectarian groups all battling over the same pie, it's a lot easier for it to slip into civil war than if weapons were less easily available.

Imagine Iraq with, say, one AK-47 per family and no freely lootable ammo dumps.

You honestly think the violence level would be anywhere near as high -- or the government still this far out from forming?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Anne Applebaum has a column here about the opposition to almost all new energy sources, including renewable.

Sometimes it looks like the only thing an energy source has to do to gain opposition from some people is threaten to be workable.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 19, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Tom, you know that article breaks my heart ...

NIMBY has truly become BANANA(s) ...

BANANA = Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

The apotheosis of a LULU (Locally Undesirable Land Use).

On flippin' steroids. I've never felt so much Kennedy hatred in all my lifelong liberal existence. Kerry hatred, too.

To which I say: Boycott Nantucket! Heh, not that will have much meaning to anything ....

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Well, sure. Nuclear tipped Tomahawks aren't going to be found on eBay no matter what tax stamp you pay for. But you are wrong about most conventional military stores--you can get munitions for old tanks, 40mm grenade launchers on AR15s, etc...the loopholes and taxes just make it impractical.

As for Iraq, you're simply being an idiot. Ever heard of Rwanda? Wipe all the guns out magically, and people still find ways to kill each other. Your pipe dream of a completely disarmed society is bullshit. It's never existed, never will exist, and frankly we wouldn't want it to exist. People will find ways to attack their enemies and arm themselves. The choices are simple in the real world--arm yourself or be a hapless victim. There is no third choice.

Iraq is fucked in no small part because we fucked it up; it's three rival tribes strewn together by the last gasps of the British imperialistic dream going down the drain, and an example of the ethnic strife that characterizes the third world. Even if you could spirit the guns away, people would find other ways to kill when they need to kill.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

It's a stupid debate anyway--even if a disarmed Iraq was the answer to the violence there, it's completely impractical. There's no pragmatic way to get there. Even if I were to concede that getting rid of guns was the answer, there's always going to be someone to resupply the people who want them.

There were tens of thousands of people in ethic cleansing debacles in the 90s who'd still be alive if they could have provided some sort of armed resistance. Perhaps a civilised world might require fewer arms...but until that day, advocating the forcible disarmament of oppressed peoples is morally reprehensible.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

*rolling eyes*

Why do gun nuts insist on debating straw men? Maybe because you, umm, sense the unimpeachable morality of what I'm trying to get at and it makes you a little uncomfortable?

I didn't say take away all weaponry. Obviously people have a sovereign right to defend themselves.

I said imagine if Iraq had only 1 AK-47 per family.

In a country of 22 million, that's still one helluva lot of AKs out there ...

The answer to too many weapons isn't more weapons, Jesus ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

I've actually read through a very detailed FAQ on the Gun Control Act compliled by a gun dealer and enthusiast.

You can't get grenade launchers (or claymore mines) at any price, either. Nor *live* obsolete tank munitions -- although I bet you could get old tank shells emptied of explosive.

Nothing in the realm of high explosive is available for civilian purchase. There's a whole separate category for it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, rmck1 - typo ...
"Nothing in the realm of high explosive is available for LEGAL civilian purchase."

Posted by: kenga on April 19, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

If any change is to happen the American people need to make far more noise and let their elected representatives know that they are ready for major change. The current cost of gas at nearly $3 might actually be the spur needed to effect change.

Posted by: Swagy on April 19, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

The point was that the antagonism to developing almost ANY energy source is widespread, going far beyond Cape Wind. If you look at the quotes in the link, I think their issues are more political than environmental.

One really helpful thing that would encourage alternative energy sources is pulling some of the regulations and other barriers down that prevent their development.

There was a huge hassle some time back here in California with power companies opposing connecting local power sources (solar, wind) to the grid for power sell-back. I haven't tracked it in a while, but I think that got sorted out.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 19, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Well, calling the issue "political" (what public issue *isn't* political?) isn't terribly helful. To wealthy folks living in million dollar homes on Nantucket, it's certainly a quality of life issue.

They don't want their view impeded. They don't want whatever background noise it might create. The issue with birds and whales way well be trumped up ...

But bottom line, they think their property values will decline. There position is perfectly cogent as they see it.

Of course, a property value decline in this case is based on subjective aesthetics, backed by tradition and history. Wind farms are "new." They don't want to take the chance that they might learn to love them, as they love the power boats and lighthouses ...

Or in other words -- the very worst kind of reflexive conservatism.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

"PETA environmentalists may have a problem with hunters, but I'm unclear why they're more upset by hunting than by pig farming, which probably kills an order of magnitude more animals, and forces them to live in miserable conditions in the meantime."

Are "PETA environmentalists" more upset by hunting than pig farming? I don't see any evidence of that. Why can't they be upset by both? I am.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Wild trout are enjoyed by small minority of Americans. Mostly liberal elite movie directors with paid fly fishing guides trying to enter some transcendental trance state of oneness with nature. The majority of us will be better off when all those lakes in Wisconsin support warm water tillapia farms. A cheap, low mercury source of protein that libertarian fish farmers will use to improve the nutritional status of the same low income Americans that you liberals are supposedly so keen to help.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 18, 2006 at 3:03 PM |

HEY!

Keep yer mitts off our 14,927 lakes!!! Every last one of them!

And you can keep our mitts off, and your feet out of, every last inch of our 10,000 miles of coldwater trout streams.

Liberal movie director my Wisconsin ass!!

God yer ignernt!

And, just an FYI, but farm raisin' your protein in fish farms isn't gonna help ya much as far as mercury contamination and/or other pollutants.

Wouldn't do a thing for the other folks eatin fish from the lakes, either.

To quote Red Forman: "Dumbass!!"

Posted by: SombreroFallout on April 19, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

"As for Iraq, you're simply being an idiot. Ever heard of Rwanda? Wipe all the guns out magically, and people still find ways to kill each other. Your pipe dream of a completely disarmed society is bullshit. It's never existed, never will exist, and frankly we wouldn't want it to exist. People will find ways to attack their enemies and arm themselves."

Societies in which firearms are rare are not only not "bullshit," they're quite common. Britain, Japan and Australia are obvious examples. America could also become such a society, and probably will eventually.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sombrero:

That was fake tbrosz :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery Davis:

"waylon, as for natural variability in the weather, no climate scientist has ever discounted natural variability. Are you imagining the scientific community smiting the foreheads and gaping with a look of wild surmise on their faces, "Natural variability! Man, why didn't we think of that?!!"

Er, noooo. I'm pointing out that the scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human causes.

"If you put your BOLD letters in a different part of your post, you'd see that you've conceded the game."

Incomprehensible.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,
It's not a strawman--the slippery slope between taking some of the guns and all of them is steep. Which gun to take? How to decide? How to do it without creating a worse situation vis a vis the opinion of the American presence?

You're chasing down a bullshit, impossible, pragmatism-be-damned pipe dream of an argument with no connection to reality, and you're talking about my strawman? Insanity.

The problem isn't that there are too many weapons. The problem is that Iraq contains three rival ethnic groups thrown together by imperialist powers fighting over limited resources and sectarian religious issues. Taking away the guns isn't going to fix that (whose to take? How many? How to take them? What to do when those disarmed folks are abused by armed ones?), and I'm not sure what that has to do with the fact that, here in the US, quixotic gun control efforts do little more than help the GOP keep winning elections.

It seems to get people all hot and bothered to say "the problem is too many guns!!" It gets people who don't think clearly about the impracticality of a gun-free world and the absolute futility of gun grabbing all excited and willing to offer up their own freedoms, but in a pragmatic sense it's a useless thing to argue about since guns aren't going anywhere. Nor should people be denied the means of self defense.

As for what you can't and can own, read up:

http://www.ar15.com/content/legal/nfaFAQ.html

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Tom/real tbrosz:

A number of astronomical and other reasons could account for the temperature cycle, including solar variations. Other astronomical theories involve orbital cycles of the Earth, but are less certain than the solar variation theories.

I don't know of anyone who studies Pleistocene climate who doesn't think orbital cycles are the major control on climate over the last couple million years. The effects on solar insolation are small and the feedbacks are strongly affected by both the size and position of unstable carbon reservoirs and the the distribution of snow and sea ice. Prior to 1.2 million years an approximate 40,000 year cycle predominated -- apparently related to the northern hemisphere maximum insolation cycle and its control of sea ice/snow/glacier distribution. After 1.2 million years a 100,000 year cycle became dominant -- probably intermediated by solar insolation at low latitudes (maximum temperature during the year -- alternates March and September) and it's effects on tropical sea surface temperatures and subtropical mode water production. The 100,000 year cycle is visible in some tropical sediment cores prior to 1.2 million years but didn't apparently control global climate and global sea level. The 40,000 year cycle is evident before and after 1.2 million years globally. What happened at 1.2 million years. Well, the planet has been gettin cooler over the last 2 million years -- and at about 1.2 million years fluctuations in ice volume (and sea level) have become larger. A new feedback -- apparently related to carbon storage and release -- is operating that didn't operate before. The connection to low latitude insolation may point toward cylical temperature variations in shallow intermediate water (and it's effects on marine methane clathrates) or to global weather patterns that are associated with tropical warm pool extent, depth, and temperature (i.e. El Nino / Southern Oscillation).

The synchonous nature of global climate and astronomical cycles (calculated by taking into account our newest information on the solar system -- masses, distances, positions, etc.) is not really a matter of debate anymore. Strange ideas about cycles in extra-solar system ion fluxes are usually traced back to a physicist that is really only dabbling in the subject.

The nature of the feedbacks and the mechanism by which they effect global climate is still not very well understood. I've been studying it peripherally for at least 10 years and I seriously don't know how to integrate all the data on the subject. Most researchers studying the subject choose a relatively narrow corner of the field and very few people have an integrated view. I'm unable to assess the accuracy of those that do pretend to understand it all. It certainly isn't something you can read up on in an evening or two and blog about.

A good reference you might want to read is "The Glacial World According to Wally" By Wally Broecker. He's pretty focused on the North Atlantic (which is overplayed in my mind) but he's a bright guy, has amusing quotes, and has a good understanding of our level of understanding. It was available as a free pdf from Lamont-Doherty but I can't find it today.

Posted by: toast on April 19, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

"It's not a strawman--the slippery slope between taking some of the guns and all of them is steep. Which gun to take?"

The vast majority of them, preferably. Police, military and other security forces should still be allowed to have them. And maybe the general public should still have access to rifles and shotguns under strict controls. But other than that, we should get rid of all of them.

"You're chasing down a bullshit, impossible, pragmatism-be-damned pipe dream"

Huh? They did it in Britain. They did it in Japan. They did it in Australia.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

waylon,

You say, "Incomprehensible", but you're concession acknowledges the human hand in Global Warming. Once you admit that, all we're doing is haggling about your price. As the joke goes.

Currently, at the 95% certainty level, the temperature rise attributable to human contributed CO2 is pegged between 1.5C and 4C by the end of the century. The old naysayers have huddled around the lowest figure. A rise of 3C, according to Hansen, would be the threshold for outrageous catastrophes: his climate model is the geologic record and 3C warmer means a rise in sea level of 25meters. I don't want to imagine 4C, but that's also within the 95% certaintly span. The midpoint, 2.75C, is uncomfortably close to the 3C of Hansen's nightmare.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 19, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Waylon:

It's also not bullshit that there are plenty of well armed countries without a violence problem (heck, even Moore's Bowling for Columbine admitted that). Canada, Switzerland, Finland, etc are awash with guns. Sure Japan and the UK are pretty shy on guns, but they're also without much demand for them. They are homogenous societies with lower crime rates with or without guns (though it's interesting that the total ban isn't helping the UK control crime at all).

What's the implication that people like you don't like? That its the people, not the guns. Guns are value neutral objects.

As for your desire that only agents of the state have them, that's what we call a POLICE STATE and it's what leads to innocent people dying when they can't defend themselves from tyrants. Good thing people like you weren't in charge in 1776 or we'd all be speaking English...and eating crumpets.

Why should we get rid of them? Bad guys will still get them no matter what (your fabled UK gun free pipe dream has seen an INCREASE in gun crime and violent crime since the total ban) and we'll be defenseless. Bad idea. If you don't want one, don't buy one. But don't try to legislate me into defenselessness. More people use guns to defend themselves than for criminal purposes (even the most conservative studies find that defensive gun use outpaces criminal use). Why should we make easier victims of ourselves?

You think the Iraqis buying guns to protect themselves from jihadist hitmen and deathsquads and rival ethnic genocide teams will appreciate us forcibly disarming them? Geezus you must be daft.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis,

"You say, "Incomprehensible", but you're concession acknowledges the human hand in Global Warming."

Since I never said or suggested that there isn't a "human hand" in global warming, I'm not "conceding" anything. I'm merely pointing out that global warming has causes other than human activities, and that attributing all global warming to human action is a misrepresentation of the state of scientific opinion.

"Currently, at the 95% certainty level, the temperature rise attributable to human contributed CO2 is pegged between 1.5C and 4C by the end of the century."

Cite? What is the scientific community's evaluation of the probability of a temperature rise at the high end of that scale?

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK


Waylon,

Wait a second here. There is almost-universal scientific agreement that global warming is happening, and that humanity's activities are significantly contributing to it. There may be a little bit of disagreement about what the specific
consequences may be--how much, for example, will the east coast flood? What proportion of Florida will be submerged under the Atlantic and gulf waters? Where exactly will droughts strike? But there is near universal consensus in the scientific community that the results of global warming will be bad.

Perhaps the planet is warming up naturally--but its also almost universally acknowledged among scientists that humans are contributing to global warming, and that the consequences for most living things on the planet will be bad. If you're a hunter, that means less wildlife.


Let me ask you

How many more hot, dry summers with record-breaking temperatures

How many unnaturally warm winters

do you have to endure before you change your mind?


If Theodore Roosevelt--hunter, rancher, outdoorsman--were alive today, he would be leading the battle against global warming.

Posted by: Arthur on April 19, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Here, here Arthur. Very true.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Arthur,

"Wait a second here. There is almost-universal scientific agreement that global warming is happening, and that humanity's activities are significantly contributing to it."

Right. That's what I said. I also said that there is a scientific consensus that a significant part of global warming may be caused by natural variability, not human activities.

"There may be a little bit of disagreement about what the specific consequences may be--how much, for example, will the east coast flood?

No, there isn't merely "a little bit of disagreement." There's no consensus at all about how much temperatures will rise. There's no consensus at all about the effects of a given temperature rise on sea levels, rainfall, agriculture, etc., etc.

"But there is near universal consensus in the scientific community that the results of global warming will be bad."

I doubt this is true, either. Do you have a citation to offer? The net effect of a modest rise in average global temperatures may be beneficial. But it's not a purely scientific question, anyway. Global warming may benefit some countries and harm others. Whether the benefit outweighs the harm is a social/political issue as well as a scientific one.

"Let me ask you How many more hot, dry summers with record-breaking temperatures How many unnaturally warm winters do you have to endure before you change your mind?"

Change my mind about what?

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

waylon,

Cite: IPCC Report

(Note: my memory was off for both the low and the higher range.)

"For the end of the 21st century (2071 to 2100), for the draft SRES marker scenario A2, the global average SAT change from AOGCMs compared with 1961 to 1990 is +3.0C and the range is +1.3 to +4.5C"


Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 19, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Come on Waylon,

Let's take the issue of melting glaciers. Since the planet is warming, it's clear that the icepacks covering Greenland and Antarctica are going to be melting. Do you believe otherwise? If those melt, there is going to be a substantial inundation of the eastern seaboard. This would include much of the heavily populated Florida coastline, much of the east coast, and quite a bit of one of the most heavily populated areas on the face of the earth, New York City. Can you find a single study that says that melting Antarctic and Greenland icepacks will not lead to substantial coastal flooding?

You don't have to have a Ph.D. in fish studies to realize that it's going to be bad for trout.

If it gets warmer, you are going to have massive die-offs of coral reefs.

Our planet's living things are designed to live in a certain range of temperatures--and if we start screwing around with the thermostat, there's going to be a lot of extinction going on.

Can you find me two studies that say that global warming will be good for the planet? Studies that are funded by Exxon/Mobil or by the coal industry don't count.

Posted by: Arthur on April 19, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis:

It's hard to decipher that sentence.

What does "for the draft SRES marker scenario A2" mean?

What does "the global average SAT change from AOGCMs compared with 1961 to 1990" mean?

Perhaps if you provide a URL or link I can invetigate further.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Arthur,

"Let's take the issue of melting glaciers. Since the planet is warming, it's clear that the icepacks covering Greenland and Antarctica are going to be melting. Do you believe otherwise?"

I believe that a higher average global temperature will likely cause some melting of polar ice, yes.

"If those melt, there is going to be a substantial inundation of the eastern seaboard."

No, that depends on the degree of melting, amoung other things. If the melting is modest, a "substantial inundation" is unlikely.

"If it gets warmer, you are going to have massive die-offs of coral reefs."

Another completely unsubstantiated statement.

You're making broad, sweeping, categorical statements and not providing any scientific evidence to support them. If you look at the actual scientific literature, you will find that most findings are tentative and provisional, and expressed in terms of probabilities or possibilities, not as categorical statement that such-and-such will definitely happen or not happen.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK


Waylon,

Not to beat a dead horse here, but coastal flooding of New York City, Tampa, Miami, and New Orleans--as well as numerous small-and mid-sized cities along the east coast--would be the largest humanitarian and economic crisis in the history of the U.S. What would be some of the benefits of global warming that would offset the tremendous burden of having to resettle these refugees?

What benefits would sportsmen derive from hotter stream and lake temperatures?

Posted by: Arthur on April 19, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Not to beat a dead horse here, but coastal flooding of New York City, Tampa, Miami, and New Orleans--as well as numerous small-and mid-sized cities along the east coast--would be the largest humanitarian and economic crisis in the history of the U.S."

That would depend on the scale of the flooding. Obviously, the scale of flooding from a small increase in sea levels is going to be much less than that from a large increase in sea levels. Again, there is no scientific consensus about how much sea levels will rise from a given increase in temperature, and no scientific consensus about how much temperatures will increase.

"What would be some of the benefits of global warming that would offset the tremendous burden of having to resettle these refugees?"

Potential benefits of global warming include increased agicultural productivity and decreased energy costs.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Rwanda!

Sebastian, "Which gun to take? How to decide?"

How about the strictly constructionist view? Any gun invented after the Second Amendment was written.


Shooting a machine gun into a crowd and running is a lot easier than running into the crowd and choking each one of your victims personally.

If I shot you with a gun you'd be dead. If I shot you without a gun you'd just look funny.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Now that I think of it, inundation of the seacoasts will mean a tremendous amount of pollution added to the ocean. It's not just the US. It's everywhere. China. Calcutta. Tokyo. Russia.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

For people who are advocating the Second Amendment as a counterweight to governmental tyranny, do you actually advocate threatening the government with your weapon?

Are you saying that armed insurgency is a part of your First Amendment privilege, supported by the Second Amendment?

What precedents in US history do you have that this is a legitimate course?

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Google is your friend, waylon. Had you plugged the quote into their search field, you'd have been directed to the IPCC report.

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/339.htm

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 19, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

By the dry, almost psychopathic lack of emotional connection as he debates risks to our world as if it were some stock portfolio, I nominate waylon as the current most likely manifestation of the poster formerly known as DonP.

How risks to the planet are weighed is heavily influenced, I find, by the lifestyle values of the debater. Often references will be made to "economic costs" or crocodile tears shed for the poor in the developing world.

But the reality is it's inefficencies, large personal vehicles, and large houses with little-used space - and the demands of consumers in places like India and China to follow that example - that are at stake. Those values are no more than cultural preferences, not absolutes of personal wealth.

Other societies, in europe or japan say, have preferences that are different than that of north america's, and their energy consumption at a high quality of life, democratically chosen based on different values and traditions, is a fraction of ours. Further improvements are possible from there via technology.

It's pyschotic and selfish in the extreme to take virtually any risk of distrupting, for thousands of years, the viability of our planet and its biological heritage, for the sake of the consumer fashions of one generation.

Besides, there are more issues at stake than global warming. Oil is also a primary cause of global conflict and presents a continuing risk of igniting a 3rd world war, this time with nuclear weapons in play. That risk is real, though people like to pretend that cold war legacy is behind us.
Nuclear power is linked to that weapon production, and coal or tar sands have their own local and more global costs, beyond carbon emmissions.

Reducing fossil fuel dependence and chasing after consumer value shifts, efficiency, renewables, energy storage methods, and advanced nuclear (fusion, thorium) in about that order, has multiple long and short term benefits. Its simply the prudent path to take. And anyone who cries "social engineering" at the first part is either dishonest or ignorant about how we our values got this way in the first place.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 19, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure how the strict constructionist view (frankly I'm not wild about constructionalism, but here goes) would support any weapon built after 1783 being unallowable. The language doesn't really address what weapons are or are not allowable, and certainly provides no date stamping parameter.

As for advocating threatening the government, I certainly don't. That is, not until it becomes a tyrannical govt that greatly violates our personal and civil liberties, that unjustly denies us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and generally becomes oppressive. Then I believe the govt should fear the people, not the other way around.

What precedents in US history do you have that this is a legitimate course?
Somebody get this guy a history lesson: if it weren't for a revolution against a tyrannical established governing body, we wouldn't have a Constitution or a sovreign nation in the first place.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK


Waylon,

By taking that stance--that there's a chance that flooding won't be that bad--you are gambling with the lives and livelihoods of New Yorkers, Louisianans, Floridians, Texans, Bangladeshis--basically anyone who lives in low-lying coastal areas.

What if it turns out (and it's quite likely that it will) that the flooding is a bit more than you had anticipated? Are you going to throw yourself into relief work to help out?

What is the best-case scenario for coastal flooding, by the way?

And where do you get the idea that agricultural productivity will improve? Can you cite some studies? Isn't it just as likely that a second dust bowl would devastate the lower great plains? Iowa is already one of the most productive places on the face of the earth--is making it hotter going to make it more productive?

Posted by: Arthur on April 19, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

The strict constructionist view claims to respect only what the authors meant in the most literal way, so anything that wasn't around or literally referenced isn't in there. In their view. In practice those people never get farther than their own contemporary English usage so their pretence is simply phony throughout.

You agree, then, that you are an implicit threat to the nation, therefore an abortion clinic bomber is guilty of nothing but excercising his civic duty?

Those people certainly think they're being oppressed.


Somebody get this guy a history lesson: if it weren't for a revolution against a tyrannical established governing body, we wouldn't have a Constitution or a sovreign nation in the first place.


The United States was founded on March 4th, 1789 with the ratification of the Constitution. That country that lost its' colonies was England.

You can't get history off the TV.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

That was fake tbrosz :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK"

Doh!!!

FAKE tbrosz!

... is he an ally or an ironist?

I still think he shouldn't be gettin ideas about those lakes. Large trout; small cricks.

Trout fishing in America.

Stalking the elusive walleye.

Germania Marsh.

Posted by: SombreroFallout on April 19, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: If you look at the actual scientific literature ...

Yes, let's take a look.

A 2005 study published in the journal Science examined 244 marine glaciers in Antarctica and found that glaciers across the Antarctic Peninsula have been melting at unprecedented, accelerating rates.

Cook, A.J. et al. "Retreating Glacier Fronts on the Antarctic Peninsula Over the Past Half-Century." Science 308(5721): 541-544. 22 April 2005 at www.sciencemag.org

The study measured glacial cover over several decades and found that 87% of the 244 Antarctic glaciers have retreated. Cook et al. combined several research methodologies, including aerial photographs and satellite imagery, to assess the state of Antarctic Peninsula glacial ice cover.


Two scientific studies published in 2005 signal that the oceans are getting more acidic and that marine organisms' ability to survive will be compromised.

"Ocean Acidification Due to Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide." The Royal Society. 30 June 2005 (Ref 12/05). PDF available at www.royalsoc.ac.uk/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13539

Orr, James C. et al. "Anthropogenic Ocean Acidification Over the Twenty-First Century and Its Impact on Calcifying Organisms." Nature 437: 681-686. 29 September 2005 at www.nature.com; Parks, Noreen. "Ocean Acidification Bad for Shells and Reefs." Science. 28 September 2005 at sciencenow.sciencemag.org

The Royal Society paper establishes that oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, resulting in ocean acidification. The study states that, in the last two centuries, oceans have absorbed roughly half of the amount of CO2 emitted by fossil fuel use and cement production. This assimilation of carbon dioxide has caused ocean pH to be reduced as hydrogen ion concentrations increase.

Orr et al. conclude that higher ocean acidity will be devastating to the marine environment within a short period of time -- within tens of years instead of hundreds of years. Basing analyses on 13 global carbon models assuming "business-as-usual" trends in greenhouse gas emissions, their conclusions are that the oceans will be undersaturated in calcium carbonate: leading to increasing difficulty for shelled organisms to create skeletons and shells. By 2050, with increasing CO2 concentrations and increased acidity, the problem will be severe in the polar waters of the Southern Ocean. By 2100, all of the Southern Ocean and the sub-Arctic Pacific Ocean levels will be undersaturated with calcium carbonate.


A study conducted in 2005 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) reveals that climate change will significantly impact the global food supply.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). "Impact of Climate Change, Pests and Diseases on Food Security and Poverty Reduction." Special event background document for the 31st Session of the Committee on World Food Security. Rome. 23-26 May 2005 at www.fao.org/clim/default.htm. PDF available at www.fao.org/clim/docs/CFS/CFS.pdf; MS PowerPoint available at www.fao.org/clim/docs/CFS/Presen.htm.

The study quantified crop damages using spatial soil and climate data and then overlaid projections for productivity potential under a changed climate. The results project a loss of 11% of arable land in the developing world due to climate change, including a loss of cereal production in 65 developing countries (for these countries, the loss equates to roughly 16% of agricultural GDP in 1995 dollars). The study suggested that some of the losses would be offset: "new" land available at high latitudes could become available in Russia, Northern Europe, and North America. However, the distributional effects would, overall, be quite negative.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck

"It's pyschotic and selfish in the extreme to take virtually any risk of distrupting, for thousands of years, the viability of our planet and its biological heritage, for the sake of the consumer fashions of one generation.

This statement is pretty meaningless. We're not taking "virtually any risk." What are you advocating, exactly? That Americans should immediately reduce their per capita carbon emissions to the European level? Japanese level? Chinese level? African level? Or what? Where do you draw the line, and why?

"Reducing fossil fuel dependence and chasing after consumer value shifts, efficiency, renewables, energy storage methods, and advanced nuclear (fusion, thorium) in about that order, has multiple long and short term benefits."

"Chasing after." What does this mean, exactly? What concrete, realistic, politically-feasible policy changes do you propose? All alternative energy sources also have problems. There is broad agreement that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but no consensus on how much or how fast or how to do it.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffery Davis,

"Google is your friend, waylon. Had you plugged the quote into their search field, you'd have been directed to the IPCC report."

It's not up to me to search for your sources, Jeffrey. You need to provide them yourself.

"http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/339.htm"

I see that you truncated the sentence you quoted from to omit the description of the B2 scenario, under which the high end of the predicted temperature increase is over 1-degree celsius less than the value you quoted (3.4 vs 4.5).

What other scenarios (in addition to A2 and B2) did the IPCC propose? What was the maximum predicted temperature increase under those scenarios? What probability did the IPCC estimate for each of the scenarios? What probability did the IPCC estimate for the high-end temp increase for each scenario rather than the middle or low-end?

You seem to have cherry-picked the worst-case temperature increase from a broad range of scenarios proposed by the IPCC. This does not inspire confidence that you are interested in a rational and impartial presentation of the scientific evidence and scientific opinion.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Waylon -
Coral reef die-off is not merely substantiated, it is BEING DOCUMENTED NOW!
Go ask NOAA why they've begun satellite monitoring of Australia's great Barrier Reef. In addition to the Meso-American barrier reef system.
Google "coral bleaching" which, by the way, is a direct result of increased water temperatures.

Tip to anyone who dives, snorkels or ever plans to, and wants to see colorful thriving reefs:
GO DO IT NOW. 10 years may be too late. Definitely too late for large chunks of every reef system in the world - Indian Ocean, Micronesia, Australia, Caribbean, Central and South America, Galapagos Islands, you name it.
The only question now, in 2006, is how much will still be there in 2007. and then 2008, 2009. etc.
Even the Cuban reefs, in better shape than most of the rest of this hemisphere due to low-tech agricultural practices and limited development, can't survive high temps.
Goodbye ecosystem.

Posted by: kenga on April 19, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"Yes, let's take a look."

I notice you didn't provide the source for this alleged piece of scientific literature. Could you please cite the paper your quote is lifted from.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

>This statement is pretty meaningless. We're not taking "virtually any risk."

You're right, we're taking a great deal of risk. Far more than is our moral right.

>What are you advocating, exactly? That Americans should immediately reduce their per capita carbon emissions to the European level?

Absolutely. Canadians too. Combine that with encouraging relevant technologies in energy production, storage and consumer-end efficiency to be put into practice, and the whole world could probably live at that level indefinitely.

>What concrete, realistic, politically-feasible policy changes do you propose?

Raise the CAFE standard. Eliminate exemptions for SUVs and light trucks. Eliminate tax breaks (subsidies) for same and apply that $ to hybrids, smart-cars, and lithium-polymer "hypercars". Redirect congressional pork from freeways funding to transit. Tax carbon, and apply the $ to buy carbon sequestering credits. Where needed, fund urban renewal, to make residential use of older neighbourhoods near urban cores more viable.

Fund the materials research facility that is needed in parallel to the ITER fusion demonstration plant. Ditto new, safer thorium reactors, if such a thing is possible. Create a garunteed market for renewable energy via government's energy purchasing.

Fund demonstrator projects for long distance superconducting energy transmission, which would allow load-leveling between wind, solar, and hydro-electric storage; that could enable those sources to feed up to 25% of the market before their intermittency is an issue. Create a x-prize like set of grants and prizes for more efficient lighting. Ditto standard, swappable lithium-polymer vehicle batteries, which are a far more practicle and efficient technology than hydrogen.

All of this together would cost a fraction of a single war in the middle east.

> All alternative energy sources also have problems.

Far less, and fewer, than do the on-the-horizon fossil fuel sources such as tar sands and coal, never mind maintaining a huge standing military to ensure access to the oil those idiots in the middle east are sitting on.

>There is broad agreement that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but no consensus on how much or how fast or how to do it.

Is that an excuse for the current lack of seriousness on the issue? We don't even go after the low-hanging fruit yet, or properly fund the demo projects needed.

Much of this also applies to Canada; our current (minority) government is also filled with oil-patchers, and the previous one was more talk and PR projects than action where it counts.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 19, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

The strict constructionist view claims to respect only what the authors meant in the most literal way, so anything that wasn't around or literally referenced isn't in there.

In the most literal translation, arms is left purposefully vague. They were trying to make it clear that the implements of war are to be accessible to the average private citizen such that he could be prepared if the need arose to defend the nation from oppression (whether foreign or domestic in nature). I really don't see how there's any basis in any construction for what you're trying to suggest, constructionalist or otherwise. Can you name a single constructionalist who thinks that way? Perhaps I'd recant if you could, but it's academic anyway. I think the 2A says what it says and you don't need to be a constructionalist to think that; I also think the idea that the Bill of Rights is an a la carte menu is dangerous and foolish.

I reject your facile comparison of me to an abortion clinic bomber. I don't take up arms to reduce the freedom of others or attack innocent civilians, I do it to protect myself and my family and to protect the ideals of our Constitution from oppressors. I'm no threat to the nation. Agents of the government who would replace freedom with oppression and tyranny ARE a threat to the nation (George Bush--this means you) and I'd take up arms to protect the NATION from these sorts of folks. If you can't see the difference, you're a sophmoric clown. I think it's unlikely our govt will morph into something that would require an armed insurrection, but we need to have that threat in reserve in order to keep the politicians in line. The tree of liberty needing to be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants and all...(I never cease to get a kick out of the fact that Thomas Jefferson would have wholeheartedly agree with my pro-RKBA positions).

Not sure what your last comment is supposed to mean; if it weren't for armed insurrection, we wouldn't have had a nation to ratify the Constitution in the first place.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

You seem to have cherry-picked the worst-case temperature increase from a broad range of scenarios proposed by the IPCC.

No. There are worse ones. On that page.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 19, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

waylon -- right on, keep fighting the good fight.

others -- look, you don't seem to get it. What waylon and I and others are against, the "thing" that I'm saying "Is Bullshit" is this alarmist, self-assured attitude that says we know exactly what is happening with the climate, and therefore we know exactly what to do.

"Not to beat a dead horse here, but coastal flooding of New York City, Tampa, Miami, and New Orleans--as well as numerous small-and mid-sized cities along the east coast--would be the largest humanitarian and economic crisis in the history of the U.S."

Hogwash. Even if this scenario is true, we are talking about an increase in sea level that occurs over one hundred years. 25m / 100y = about an inch a month. Anyone who can't out of the way of that "tidal wave" probably deserves to be culled from the species.

Now, would it be quite expensive to adapt our coastal cities to such a sea-level increase? Surely. But it's also probably going to be quite expensive to completely cut out carbon emissions as well (within 10 years, as some of the super-alarmists seem to be suggesting is necessary).

I think it's possible for reasonable people to look at this scenario and say "Hmm, I wonder what the best course of action is. Some people say we've already crossed the tipping point, which means that it's too late to reduce carbon emissions. Some folks say we have another 100 years or so. Either way, millions of people are starving to death RIGHT NOW as we speak. Shall I buy another Prius, shut down the coal fired power plant, or perhaps consider getting sanitary water to impvoershed parts of Africa".

It's complex folks, and simplistic answers won't do.

Posted by: xmd on April 19, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

"By taking that stance--that there's a chance that flooding won't be that bad--you are gambling with the lives and livelihoods of New Yorkers, Louisianans, Floridians, Texans, Bangladeshis--basically anyone who lives in low-lying coastal areas."

We're "gambling" with their lives and livelihoods whatever we do. Resources are finite, and there are many potential risks to people's lives and livelihoods that need to be considered.

"What if it turns out (and it's quite likely that it will) that the flooding is a bit more than you had anticipated?"

What do you mean, "what if?" If that happens, it happens. What if, instead of being flooded, the east coast is hit by a giant meteorite? What if an east coast nuclear plant melts down? What if terrorists explode a nuclear bomb on the east coast?

"What is the best-case scenario for coastal flooding, by the way?"

No flooding

"And where do you get the idea that agricultural productivity will improve? Can you cite some studies? "

I didn't say it "will" improve. I said it's a poential benefit of global warming. See, for example, this paper

Quote:

Major agreement and consensus:

Over the next 100 years and probably beyond, human-induced climate change as currently modeled will not seriously imperil aggregate food and fiber production in the US, nor will it greatly increase the aggregate cost of agricultural production. Most assessments have looked at multiple climate scenarios. About of the scenarios in any given assessment have shown small losses for the US (increased cost of production) and about have shown gains for the US (decreased cost of production) [1].

"Isn't it just as likely that a second dust bowl would devastate the lower great plains?"

I don't know, but I doubt it. I don't know what probabilities have been assigned to various scenarios.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

xmd - I suppose you feel the tobacco companies were fighting the good fight too? The asbestos alarmists?

There is no fucking certainty. There is however, pretty sure. And if you're pretty sure the chamber is loaded, is it a good idea to put the muzzle of that revolver in your mouth and pull the trigger again?

Wait, let me correct ... we can be fucking certain that human beings have had ZERO impact on climate in the past, and we can be fucking certain that dumping billions of tons(1 ton = 2000lbs) of greenhouse gases(gas is very light, too!) into the atmosphere on an annual basis DOES NOT HAVE ZERO IMPACT on observed changes in climatic patterns.

We sure as hell don't need simplistic answers like "it's complex folks and simplistic answers won't do."
So fucking what? You have to start somewhere.

An inch a month translates into a foot a year. If that doesn't concern you, I'm not sure there's much hope you'll be able to understand the complexity of the situation anyway..

Posted by: kenga on April 19, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"Absolutely. Canadians too. Combine that with encouraging relevant technologies in energy production, storage and consumer-end efficiency to be put into practice, and the whole world could probably live at that level indefinitely."

How have you made this determination? And why the European level, rather than, say, the Indian level, or the Chinese level, or the Indonesian level, or the African level? You just seem to be drawing an arbitrary line with no serious scientific justification. And how are you going to get Americans to move en masse to Euro-sized homes, cars, etc.? How are you going to get them to give up their air conditioners and giant refrigerators and big-screen TVs and other energy-hogging possessions?

"Raise the CAFE standard. Eliminate exemptions for SUVs and light trucks. Eliminate tax breaks (subsidies) for same and apply that $ to hybrids, smart-cars, and lithium-polymer "hypercars"."

I think these and some of the other things you mention are good ideas in the abstract, but the devil is in the details. How much should we raise CAFE standards? How much should we subsidize hybrids, etc. (we already do subsidize them)? Remember, these have to be politically-feasible proposals, not pie-in-the-sky idealism, if they're intended to be serious.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: I notice you didn't provide the source for this alleged piece of scientific literature.

That is incorrect. My post cited four "pieces of scientific literature", and gave the sources.

Here they are again:

Cook, A.J. et al. "Retreating Glacier Fronts on the Antarctic Peninsula Over the Past Half-Century." Science 308(5721): 541-544. 22 April 2005 at www.sciencemag.org

"Ocean Acidification Due to Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide." The Royal Society. 30 June 2005 (Ref 12/05). PDF available at www.royalsoc.ac.uk/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13539

Orr, James C. et al. "Anthropogenic Ocean Acidification Over the Twenty-First Century and Its Impact on Calcifying Organisms." Nature 437: 681-686. 29 September 2005 at www.nature.com; Parks, Noreen. "Ocean Acidification Bad for Shells and Reefs." Science. 28 September 2005 at sciencenow.sciencemag.org

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). "Impact of Climate Change, Pests and Diseases on Food Security and Poverty Reduction." Special event background document for the 31st Session of the Committee on World Food Security. Rome. 23-26 May 2005 at www.fao.org/clim/default.htm. PDF available at www.fao.org/clim/docs/CFS/CFS.pdf; MS PowerPoint available at www.fao.org/clim/docs/CFS/Presen.htm.

The descriptive summaries of the above-cited four "pieces of scientific literature" which I quoted came from a survey entitled "Climate Science 2005: Major New Discoveries" by Kelly Levin and Jonathan Pershing, published earlier this year by the World Resources Institute.

From the introduction to "Climate Science 2005: Major New Discoveries":

2005 was a year in which the scientific discoveries and new research on climate change confirmed the fears and concerns of the science community. The findings reported in the peer-reviewed journals last year point to an unavoidable conclusion: The physical consequences of climate change are no longer theoretical; they are real, they are here, and they can be quantified.

In this short paper, WRI reviews some of the major discoveries from the past year. Taken collectively, they suggest that the world may well have moved past a key physical tipping point.

In addition, the science tells us the effects of climate change are at a scale that adds enormous urgency not only to the efforts to prevent additional change, but equally important, to efforts to adapt to the impacts already occurring.

Finally, the science makes it clear that additional climate impacts will result even if emissions of greenhouse gases are halted immediately.

A wide body of scientific and technical literature was reviewed in the preparation of this paper, including key general science journals (Nature and Science), several technical journals (Geophysical Research Letters, Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Ecology Letters, Ecology, Environment International, and Journal of Climate) and material from key web sites and international organizations (RealScience.org, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. Department of Energy, and others).

Each scientific paper is briefly described, along with the full citation to the original paper, and a short comment regarding the implications of each discovery is offered.

You are of course free to read for yourself the numerous "pieces of scientific literature" cited in that survey and decide whether they have been accurately summarized in the survey, and form your own opinion as to their implications, which may differ from my opinion or the opinions of the authors of the survey.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Try this, a simple thought experiment. Replace all instances of the phrase "global warming" with the phrase "terrorist threat from Iraq", and all instances of "cut greenhouse gasses" with the phrase "invade Iraq". I hope that most of you can see that your method of argument is precisely the same one that was used by the pro war corporate media in the runup to the war. Lots of talk about "consensus," about "tipping points" and "imminent threat." Those of you who are now arguing for taking immediate, drastic action against global warming are (if memory serves) the same folks who were arguing that the Iraq threat was over hyped and that we should slow down and think things over.

Anyone who can, with a straight face, trot out that "928 to Zero" article published in Science, obviously doesn't understand what a Manufactured Consent looks like (go read some Chomsky, it'll do you some good).

The extreme left and extreme right use identical tactics, and both should be scolded and ignored when doing so.

Posted by: xmd on April 19, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

>How have you made this determination? And why the European level, rather than, say...

Yes, those enviros, always plotting to move people straight from their McMansions to mud huts.

Fillibustering and strawmen. It is clear that at least levelling off emissions growth is prudent, and it will take decades to achieve meaningful reductions. The system has huge momentum. How far to reduce below the current level of emmissions is a debate that doesn't need to conclude for at least a decade after the first iteration of serious efforts has begun. Plus, every step from our current situation has independently-justifying side benefits in terms of geopolitics.

And efforts should begin at the top of the economic heap, not the bottom, because the marginal utility of emissions is lowest there. So debates about "keeping the poor poor" are irrelevant at this stage. Never mind the obvious lack of sincerety of such concerns on the part of most of those fronting them when emission cuts are proposed.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 19, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

heh.
Frothing and typing leads to mis-typing:
... we can be fucking certain that human beings have *insert "not" * had ZERO impact on climate in the past ...

xmd, let me ask you.
Which do you think would be more expensive to the US(and just the US for purposes of this thought experiment):
- re-tooling our society to drastically cut fossil fuel usage, deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and resource consumption, and attempt to mitigate the impacts of the climate change that is being observed and potential future impacts that are being projected?
or
- relocating everything that is less than 20 feet above mean high tide? (hint - this includes every US Navy base on the planet, nevermind every other coastal city in the US. How do you suppose that will affect shipping?)

There's little question that sea levels are rising and will continue to do so. What is at issue is how much, accelerating at what rate, and how much time do we have to put the worse case scenarios into the realm of improbability.
It's not impossible that we could see a 2 or 3 foot rise in the space of several months - it just depends how fast the ice falls into the water.

Posted by: kenga on April 19, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

kenga wrote: Coral reef die-off is not merely substantiated, it is BEING DOCUMENTED NOW!

See for example:

Climate Change Shattering Marine Food Chain
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service
April 11, 2006

Excerpt (emphasis added):

One-third of the coral at official monitoring sites in the area of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have recently perished in what scientists call an "unprecedented" die-off.

Extremely high sea temperatures in the summer and fall of 2005 that spawned a record hurricane season have also caused extensive coral bleaching extending from the Florida Keys to Tobago and Barbados in the south and Panama and Costa Rica, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Watch.

High sea temperatures are also killing parts of Australia's 2,000-kilometre-long Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest living reef formation. As summer ends in the Southern Hemisphere, researchers are now investigating the extent of the coral bleaching. Up to 98 percent of the coral in one area has been affected, reported the Australian Institute of Marine Science last week.

"The Great Barrier Reef has been living on this planet for 18 million years and we've undermined its existence within our lifetimes," says Brian Huse, executive director of the Coral Reef Alliance, a U.S.-based NGO dedicated to protecting the health of coral reefs.

"Twenty percent of Earth's reefs have been lost and 50 percent face moderate to severe threats," Huse told IPS.

The economic value of reefs globally is estimated at 375 billion dollars, he says.

Coral reefs are uncommon, found in less than one percent of the world's oceans. However, they are considered the tropical rainforests of the oceans because they provide home and habitat to 25 to 33 percent of all marine life. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) considers coral reefs one of the life-support systems essential for human survival.

In my opinion, anyone who is not "alarmist" about what global warming is doing to the life of the oceans (by warming and acidifying the waters) is not paying attention.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"The descriptive summaries of the above-cited four "pieces of scientific literature" which I quoted came from a survey entitled "Climate Science 2005: Major New Discoveries" by Kelly Levin and Jonathan Pershing, published earlier this year by the World Resources Institute."

That's not a scientific paper, and the "World Resources Institute" is not a scientific organization, it's a political and social advocacy organization. I want to see what the scientific literature says, not the WRI's spin.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"Yes, those enviros, always plotting to move people straight from their McMansions to mud huts."

I repeat: Why the European level, rather than, say, the Indian level, or the Chinese level, or the Indonesian level, or the African level? You just seem to be drawing an arbitrary line with no serious scientific justification. And how are you going to get Americans to move en masse to Euro-sized homes, cars, etc.? How are you going to get them to give up their air conditioners and giant refrigerators and big-screen TVs and other energy-hogging possessions?

"It is clear that at least levelling off emissions growth is prudent, and it will take decades to achieve meaningful reductions. The system has huge momentum."

Yes.

"How far to reduce below the current level of emmissions is a debate that doesn't need to conclude for at least a decade after the first iteration of serious efforts has begun. "

Now you're contradicting yourself. If the degree of reduction isn't a debate we need to conclude now, then there's no reason to take seriously your claim that Americans and Canadians should reduce their emissions to the European level.

"And efforts should begin at the top of the economic heap, not the bottom, because the marginal utility of emissions is lowest there."

Those at the bottom of the heap vastly outnumber those at the top, so they probably provide the richest source of emission reduction.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

xmd wrote: Try this, a simple thought experiment. Replace all instances of the phrase "global warming" with the phrase "terrorist threat from Iraq", and all instances of "cut greenhouse gasses" with the phrase "invade Iraq". I hope that most of you can see that your method of argument is precisely the same one that was used by the pro war corporate media in the runup to the war.

On the contrary.

The Bush administration has systematically suppressed information that would inform the public about the reality of global warming, the fact that it is caused by human activities, and the dangers it presents -- going so far as to employ a former lobbyist for the petroleum industry to delete references to global warming from government publications and preventing government scientists from speaking to the media on the issue.

Similarly, the Bush administration systematically suppressed information from the intelligence community that called into question the public assertions of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell et al that "mushroom clouds" over US cities from supposedly "reconstituted" Iraqi nuclear weapons were an imminent and grave danger.

The corporate-owned mainstream media uncritically bullhorned the Bush administration's assertions about the supposed "imminent threat" from supposed Iraqi WMD and the supposed connections between Iraq and terrorist groups, and systematically marginalized, ignored, ridiculed and/or questioned the patriotism of those who called these claims into question.

The corporate-owned mainstream media has systematically portrayed the scientific realities of anthropogenic global warming as "controversial", typically spending as much column space or airtime on the views of bought-and-paid-for fossil fuel industry climate change denial shills as they do reporting the views of the scientific community, where there is an overwhelming consensus that global warming and consequent climate change are real, are happening now, are caused by human activities, and are extremely dangerous.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: That's not a scientific paper, and the "World Resources Institute" is not a scientific organization, it's a political and social advocacy organization. I want to see what the scientific literature says, not the WRI's spin.

I did not claim that the survey I linked to was a scientific paper. I specifically said that it was a survey of the scientific literature:

I wrote: The descriptive summaries of the above-cited four "pieces of scientific literature" which I quoted came from a survey entitled "Climate Science 2005: Major New Discoveries" by Kelly Levin and Jonathan Pershing, published earlier this year by the World Resources Institute."

I did, however, cite four scientific papers, which are among those reviewed by that survey.

The survey cites numerous papers and studies from the scientific literature on climate change published in 2005 and in many cases provides links to the original literature where it is available online.

If you wish, you can ignore the summaries and discussions of implications in the survey, and simply go to the original scientific literature that it cites. Even if you disagree with the conclusions of the survey authors, you may still find the survey useful as a reference to the recent scientific literature on climate change.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Having posted several off-topic comments yesterday regarding animal rights and the animal protection organization PETA, on a thread about climate change, I commend to your attention this fortuitously timely article which links the two topics:

Meat-Eaters Aiding Global Warming?
By Lee Dye
ABC News
April 19, 2006

Excerpt:

Your personal impact on global warming may be influenced as much by what you eat as by what you drive.

That surprising conclusion comes from a couple of scientists who have taken an unusual look at the production of greenhouse gases from an angle that not many folks have even thought about. Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, assistant professors of geophysics at the University of Chicago, have found that our consumption of red meat may be as bad for the planet as it is for our bodies.

If you want to help lower greenhouse gas emissions, they conclude in a report to be published in the journal Earth Interactions, become a vegetarian.

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that both researchers are vegetarians, although they admit to cheating a little with an occasional sardine. They say their conclusions are backed up by hard data.

Eshel and Martin collected that data from a wide range of sources, and they examined the amount of fossil-fuel energy - and thus the level of production of greenhouse gases - required for five different diets. The vegetarian diet turned out to be the most energy efficient, followed by poultry, and what they call the "mean American diet," which consists of a little bit of everything.

There was a surprising tie for last place. In terms of energy required for harvesting and processing, fish and red meat ended up in a "virtual tie," but that's just in terms of energy consumed. When you toss in all those other factors, such as bovine flatulence and gas released by manure, red meat comes in dead last. Fish remains in fourth place, some distance behind poultry and the mean American diet, chiefly because the type of fish preferred by Americans requires a lot of energy to catch.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

>Now you're contradicting yourself. If the degree of reduction isn't a debate we need to conclude now, then there's no reason...

I'm saying that halting increases in emissions should be past debate now, yet we're far from that trend. Settling the issue of how far to reduce (rather than allow continued emmissions growth) can be done on the way to that initial goal. Support for my own position is strong enough, in my opinion, that it could (or should) win that debate.

Anyways, it would probably take every measure I mentioned, and possibly not even then, to turn things around to downwards trend on a decade time scale.

>Those at the bottom of the heap vastly outnumber those at the top, so they probably provide the richest source of emission reduction.

Re the undeveloped vs developed world, this is simply false. Our per-capita emissions are vastly more than rural people in China, India, Africa, etc.

For urbanites in rapidly developing regions of China and India, the best we can do is to have started to set an example, and have proven technologies in hand within as short a time as we can manage (we can also then sell them the expertise). Moral authority is a serious roadblock; right now we have none.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 19, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"I did not claim that the survey I linked to was a scientific paper."

I said: "If you look at the actual scientific literature ..."

Which you quoted, and then responded: "Yes, let's take a look."

And then quoted your "survey," which is not a piece of scientific literature.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

"Climate Change Shattering Marine Food Chain
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service
April 11, 2006 ..."


Sorry, but the "Inter Press Service" is not a scientific organization, and the text you quote is not from a piece of scientific literature, either.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"The survey cites numerous papers and studies from the scientific literature on climate change published in 2005"

Even in the dubious event that your "survey" is reporting the content of the papers it cites correctly, it's hard to know what your point is.

Here are some of my basic points:

1. The claim that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is solely attributable to human activities is false. The scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human activities.

2. There is no scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of this century. Different scientists have proposed different possible scenarios, some of which predict a small temperature increase, and others a larger one.

3. There is no scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in temperature. The environment is extremely complex, our understanding of it is very limited, and the effects of temperature rises on everything from rainfall patterns to crop production to sea levels is poorly understood.

4. There is no scientific consensus regarding the appropriate policy responses to global warming. This is in part because policy is not scientific issue, but a political/social one.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Waylon wrote: Which you quoted, and then responded: "Yes, let's take a look." And then quoted your "survey," which is not a piece of scientific literature.

Yes, I did write "let's take a look" at the scientific literature. I then quoted a survey that cited and discussed four specific "pieces of scientific literature" directly relevant to points about climate change that had been touched upon in earlier discussion: the melting of glaciers, the effects of global warming on marine life, and the effects of global warming. I cited those same "four pieces of scientific literature" again in a subsequent comment, posted above at 6:17PM today.

Here they are again:

Cook, A.J. et al. "Retreating Glacier Fronts on the Antarctic Peninsula Over the Past Half-Century." Science 308(5721): 541-544. 22 April 2005 at www.sciencemag.org

"Ocean Acidification Due to Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide." The Royal Society. 30 June 2005 (Ref 12/05). PDF available at www.royalsoc.ac.uk/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13539

Orr, James C. et al. "Anthropogenic Ocean Acidification Over the Twenty-First Century and Its Impact on Calcifying Organisms." Nature 437: 681-686. 29 September 2005 at www.nature.com; Parks, Noreen. "Ocean Acidification Bad for Shells and Reefs." Science. 28 September 2005 at sciencenow.sciencemag.org

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). "Impact of Climate Change, Pests and Diseases on Food Security and Poverty Reduction." Special event background document for the 31st Session of the Committee on World Food Security. Rome. 23-26 May 2005 at www.fao.org/clim/default.htm. PDF available at www.fao.org/clim/docs/CFS/CFS.pdf; MS PowerPoint available at www.fao.org/clim/docs/CFS/Presen.htm.

The survey -- which I clearly identified as a "survey" in my 6:17PM comment -- cites, links to, summarizes, and discusses the implications of numerous "pieces of scientific literature".

If you are genuinely interested in the scientific literature on global warming, the survey that I linked to above is a useful resource for accessing that literature, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the survey authors' views of the implications of that literature.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: Sorry, but the "Inter Press Service" is not a scientific organization ...

From the Inter Press Service article that I quoted and linked to:

Extremely high sea temperatures in the summer and fall of 2005 that spawned a record hurricane season have also caused extensive coral bleaching extending from the Florida Keys to Tobago and Barbados in the south and Panama and Costa Rica, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Watch

[...]

High sea temperatures are also killing parts of Australia's 2,000-kilometre-long Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest living reef formation. As summer ends in the Southern Hemisphere, researchers are now investigating the extent of the coral bleaching. Up to 98 percent of the coral in one area has been affected, reported the Australian Institute of Marine Science last week.

[...]

There is no debate about the fact that the oceans are becoming more and more acidic due to climate change, says Scott Doney, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the U.S.

[...]

The calcium levels have already declined in many parts of the world's oceans and by 2100, 70 percent will no longer be able to support cold corals, says John Guinotte, marine scientist at the Marine Conservation Biology Institute in Washington State.

[...]

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"I'm saying that halting increases in emissions should be past debate now,"

Why? Where is your cost-benefit analysis demonstrating that halting increases in emissions is so important that it should be "past debate?" And what timescale are you proposing for this halting? A month? A year? A decade? By mid-century? Or what? Why should this be "past debate?

"Settling the issue of how far to reduce (rather than allow continued emmissions growth) can be done on the way to that initial goal. Support for my own position is strong enough, in my opinion, that it could (or should) win that debate."

Well, since you haven't offered one iota of actual evidence for your own position on how far to reduce emissions (apparently, to the European level, but not beyond), it's hard to take this claim seriously, either. You just seem to have adopted the arbitrary position that the current European level of emissions is about right.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Again, what is your point? Do you dispute any of the four points I make above? If so, on what basis?

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: This guy's got to be a lawyer. This sort of debate-club fillibustering has to be either a product of that - or of Don P. People actually concerned with policy or scientific issues don't debate like this.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 19, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Global warming, nuclear power, animal rights and gun control. Is there a term comprehending these as the same subject?

I nominate Quality of the Future Issues. The linkage is the attitude toward them. It isn't like terrorism, or immigration, or even corporate culture. The argument is more about the terms of life we accept to live by.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"Re the undeveloped vs developed world, this is simply false. Our per-capita emissions are vastly more than rural people in China, India, Africa, etc."

It is not false. Per capita emissions alone are not the relevant standard when the size of the groups is so different. China and India together have more than 8 times the U.S. population, and are rapidly industrializing. The greatest potential for limiting or reducing future greenhouse gas emissions lies with countries in the developing world.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

If you believe in the Gaia hypothesis, then it isn't reasonable to see human life as separate from it, and therefore it is not reasonable to see the human contribution to global warming as being outside the Gaia scheme. Since the pattern of warming is also increasing desertification, which would be threatening to Gaia, that can't be right, so the solution must be at hand, and as far as I can tell, the only other new element is the rising sea level.

The only way for the seawater to get into the deserts is for us to pump it there, and the only reasonable method we have for doing that is nuclear powered desalination plants.

If you believe in Gaia, this is the only rational solution.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

"This sort of debate-club fillibustering ..."

Yeah, asking you to provide actual e-v-i-d-e-n-c-e and expert opinion in support of your assertions is clearly unreasonable....

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: Even in the dubious event that your "survey" is reporting the content of the papers it cites correctly ...

I would like to know the basis of your opinion that the accuracy of the survey I cited is "dubious". Have you read any of the scientific papers that the survey cites and found that the survey's characterization of them was inaccurate? Or is that an a priori opinion?

waylon continued: ... it's hard to know what your point is.

I can't imagine why you would say it is "hard to know what my point is." I have stated it very clearly several times and you seem to have understood it well enough to disagree with it.

My point is that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is real, is happening now, is happening with a rapidity that is both unexpected and unprecedented in recent geological history, is caused by human activites which are increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" in the Earth's atmosphere to levels not seen in hundreds of thousands or millions of years, and is already triggering multiple self-reinforcing feedbacks; and that the climate change caused by this anthropogenic global warming is gravely dangerous to life on Earth, in the worst case threatening mass extinctions comparable to those of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction 251 million years ago when 70 percent of land species and 90 percent of marine species became extinct.

The survey I cited links to numerous articles from the recent (2005) scientific literature on global warming and climate change, which I regard as supporting the opinion I expressed in the previous paragraph.

You are free to read the original articles that the survey cites, many of which are available for
free online, and form your own opinion as to their implications.

waylon wrote: Here are some of my basic points: ...

I appreciate your concise and clear summary of those four basic points. I think that all four of them are wrong, by which I mean that they are inaccurate characterizations of the scientific consensus regarding global warming and climate change.

If you have citations to the scientific literature which you feel support your characterization of the scientific consensus (or lack thereof), please cite them.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: Yeah, asking you to provide actual e-v-i-d-e-n-c-e and expert opinion in support of your assertions is clearly unreasonable....

Considering that when one provides such evidence and expert opinion, you ignore it and dismiss it out of hand, it seems unreasonable that anyone should waste their time providing it to you.

Not to mention that you have so far produced not one single piece of evidence, or expert opinion, or cited one single "piece of scientific literature" to support your own assertions.

In your comment posted at 7:31PM, you summarized with admirable clarity four "basic points" that are your assertions about the state of the scientific consensus (or lack thereof) regarding global warming and climate change.

Where is the "actual e-v-i-d-e-n-c-e", the expert opinion, and the citations to the scientific literature, that you bring to the table to support your own assertions?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

>asking you to provide actual e-v-i-d-e-n-c-e and expert opinion in support of your assertions is clearly unreasonable....

You're not asking for that. What you've been demanding from SA is closer to a 50,000 word report complete with footnotes, and I for one am not going to spend all evening on that. You could have easily followed her links, and the references therein, and you've clearly made no attempt.

You're simply avoiding the stage of synthesizing information to reach an opinion on what action to take. Going round and round, with no real purpose other than to keep a debate going, possibly as a form of play, not even attempting to resolve it towards a no-action position.

So either your sincerity on the whole issue is doubtful, or you believe the the no-action position is a losing one, and the next best position is pressing the reset button on the debate as often as you can get away with. For sure Don P behavior.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 19, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian, "I really don't see how there's any basis in any construction for what you're trying to suggest, constructionalist or otherwise. Can you name a single constructionalist who thinks that way?"

I certainly can't, they're all gun nuts, part of my point was the strict constructionism is phony and that if they upheld what they profess to believe that would be the outcome.

Not sure what your last comment is supposed to mean; if it weren't for armed insurrection, we wouldn't have had a nation to ratify the Constitution in the first place.

The point in that is that the 18th century English Empire was a different country, with different circumstances, the precedents of which have almost no application to the present day. Our nation has a very fast and completely regular electoral cycle, every two and every four years. I don't know of any country that has a faster electoral cycle, certainly not one as large as ours. The whole reason to have it that fast is to eliminate altogether the view you've espoused. Consider: Nothing in our history has ever disrupted this cycle. What would happen if it did? Fifty million people driving to Washington simultaneously, would be the least of it.

The present moment is a very important test. In 2004 the White House had a team of lawyers trying to figure out some way to delay the election and they couldn't. In 2008 Our Great Leader will realize he faces spending the rest of his life in court or fighting off subpoenas, and what then? Do you plan to shoot him?

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"My point is that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is real, is happening now, is happening with a rapidity that is both unexpected and unprecedented in recent geological history, is caused by human activites"

As I have already documented, there is no scientific consensus that global warming is caused only by human activity. Human activity is one cause of global warming, and natural variability in the climate is another. It is not known how much of global warming is attributable to human activity rather than natural variability.

"... and that the climate change caused by this anthropogenic global warming is gravely dangerous to life on Earth, "

Show me the alleged scientific consensus for this claim.

"I appreciate your concise and clear summary of those four basic points. I think that all four of them are wrong, by which I mean that they are inaccurate characterizations of the scientific consensus regarding global warming and climate change."

Then you need to show us the following:

1. The alleged scientific consensus that global warming is caused solely by human activities. I have already quoted the National Academy of Sciences statement refuting this alleged consensus.

2. The alleged scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of the century.

3. The alleged scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in termperature.

4. The alleged scientific consensus on the proper policy responses to global warming.


Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck:

"You're not asking for that. What you've been demanding from SA is closer to a 50,000 word report complete with footnotes,"

Nonsense. I am asking him (and you) for evidence to back up your assertions. For example, SecularAnimist could support his claim of a "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused only by human activities and not by natural variability by quoting a statement to that effect from the IPCC, the NAS or some similarly reputable scientific organization. Of course, considering that both the IPCC and the NAS have already said that a significant part of global warming may be caused by natural variability rather than human activity, it's going to be rather hard for him to do this.

"You're simply avoiding the stage of synthesizing information to reach an opinion on what action to take."

Different people have very different opinions on what action to take. Some advocate immediate and extreme measures to try and reduce global warming, while others believe modest and longer-term actions are wiser. Some believe the focus should be on reducing emissions, while others believe the focus should be on accommodating existing or increasing emissions. Those who advocate reducing emissions have very different ideas about how this should be done, and by how much. Those who advocate accommodation also have very different ideas about how to do this. There is simply no consensus on the appropriate policy responses to global warming, other than on very broad goals, such as the desirability of some reduction in greenhouse gases over some period of time.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Global warming: obviously happening.
Manmade global warming: subject to interpretation of very difficult data to separate out."

Wow, be sure to let us know when you come around and admit the truth. Someone up-thread mentioned backpedalling, and damn, that is right on:

- There is no global warming
- There is global warming, but it isn't man-made
- There is global warming, it is man-made, but there's nothing we can do about it so let's party like it's 1999 !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on April 19, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: As I have already documented, there is no scientific consensus that global warming is caused only by human activity ... I have already quoted the National Academy of Sciences statement refuting this alleged consensus.

You have not "documented" any such thing.

The single paragraph that your post time-stamped 4/19/2006 2:42AM attributed to the National Academy of Sciences without providing a link or citation to the document from which it was excerpted, or even the name of the document or the date of the document's publication, reads as follows (emphasis is my own):

Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earths atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes are also a reflection of natural variability."

So the single paragraph that you assert "documents" your assertion about the state of the scientific consensus actually says that human activities are causing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations to increase, that this is causing the Earth to warm, that this warming is in fact being observed, and that "changes" (unspecified in this paragraph) observed over several decades are "likely mostly due to human activities". It also says that we cannot "rule out" natural variability as a contributing factor.

While it clearly and straightforwardly asserts that human activities are causing empirically observed global warming by increasing the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases, it does not assert that "natural variability" has actually been shown to be a contributing factor; it merely allows that that possibility cannot be "ruled out".

If you are looking for a clear statement of, in my words, the "scientific consensus that global warming is real, is happening now, [and] is caused by human activites which are increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases", then you have already provided it.

You have provided no "documentation", evidence, expert opinion, or citations to the scientific literature to support the four "basic points" you posted at 7:31PM, except a single paragraph, which supports my view rather than yours.

Nor do I see any indication that you have examined or read the materials that I have previously cited, including the numerous articles from the recent (2005) scientific literature that are linked to from the survey that I cited.

Let me be very clear, since you seem to have trouble with this point: I am not suggesting that the survey itself is "scientific literature" or authoritative. But the articles it has gathered are the scientific literature, most of them published in peer-reviewed journals or the product of national or international scientific bodies. Ignore the summaries and conclusions of the survey's authors if for some unspecified a priori reason you believe them to be "dubious", but read the articles from the scientific literature that it links to. You will be better informed if you do read them.

And I see no reason to spend more time providing you with additional references if you choose to ignore and dismiss out of hand and unread the references I have already provided.

At this point, with all due respect, it seems to me that you are arguing just for the sake of arguing, and not holding up your end of the argument very well at that.

So I bid you good night.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"So the single paragraph that you assert "documents" your assertion about the state of the scientific consensus actually says that human activities are causing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations to increase, that this is causing the Earth to warm, that this warming is in fact being observed, and that "changes" (unspecified in this paragraph) observed over several decades are "likely mostly due to human activities".

That's right. And that directly contradicts your claim of a "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused solely by human activities.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"You have provided no "documentation", evidence, expert opinion, or citations to the scientific literature to support the four "basic points" you posted at 7:31PM, except a single paragraph, which supports my view rather than yours."

Since I am not the one making the disputed claims that there is a "scientific consensus," I don't need to provide documentation. You're the one who is making those claims, so you need to document them. I'm waiting.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Come on, Waylon,

If you read the NAS report carefully, it says that humans are contributing to global warming. That is what it says. No amount of sophistry can conceal that fact. The American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society have likewise said that humans are almost certainly causing global warming. Once you accept that, then you would have to accept the idea--assuming that you believe that you are your brother's keeper--that we have a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions. And, surprisingly, a good deal can be done, relatively painlessly and cheaply, to reduce CO2 emissions. Reducing them more substantially, of course, would have serious economic costs, but so would the alternative to restricting carbon emissions--which would entail constructing giant dikes to prevent Florida, the Netherlands, southern Louisiana, Bangladesh, Mobile, New York City, London, coastal Chinese cities--well, just think of it--a huge chunk of the world's population lives near the coast--subsidizing the construction of giant seawalls worldwide would cost trillions of dollars.

And you still haven't refuted the point that it's bad for brook trout!

Posted by: Arthur on April 19, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

> It's not a strawman--

Yes it is, bro. You're cool (pardon the pun) on GW, but you're
a frothin' NRA IDEOLOGUE here, my friend. You are completely
off the planet and heading towards the Kuyper belt ...

I'm the reasonable guy. Shit, did you read what
I wrote to Sombrero upthread? Check all those
American history and Constitution references?

> the slippery slope between taking some
> of the guns and all of them is steep.

BULLSHIT. You're trying to argue that it's impossible to regulate
guns. YOU CITED THE STATUTE that regulates machine guns and military
weapons (Gun Control Act of 1968). Plus, the Supremes, in the most
significant (and one of the very few) Second Amendment case(s) ruled
that "the rights of the People" refers to the respective states, and
not individuals. You don't even *have* a Constitutional basis upon
which to own guns as a private citizen according the the SCOTUS.

> Which gun to take? How to decide? How to do it without creating
> a worse situation vis a vis the opinion of the American presence?

Common sense. I personally supported the assault rifle ban, but
Congress overruled. Okay then -- I'm willing to hold off and try
again. But the point, my friend, is that a ban is CONSTITUTIONAL.

> You're chasing down a bullshit, impossible, pragmatism-be-damned
> pipe dream of an argument with no connection to reality, and
> you're talking about my strawman? Insanity.

Here's a mirror, bro. I'm not the one arguing that it's somehow
categorically impossible to regulate gun ownership. THAT'S the
extremist position. I'm not talking about taking away single-shot
hunting rifles or shotguns. I'm not even talking about a national
law to prohibit state concealed carry laws. For the most part, I
follow Howard Dean on the issue and am content to let localities
decide. I wouldn't base my vote for the president on a hardcore
pro gun control stance -- and cringed when Kerry tried to make the
assault rifle ban an issue, because hunters feel passionately about
squeezing off *lots of rounds* when they stalk Bambi. I think they're
sick, cowardly pussies, but that happens to be a personal opinion.

> The problem isn't that there are too many weapons. The
> problem is that Iraq contains three rival ethnic groups
> thrown together by imperialist powers fighting over limited
> resources and sectarian religious issues. Taking away the
> guns isn't going to fix that (whose to take? How many? How
> to take them? What to do when those disarmed folks are abused
> by armed ones?),

*rolling eyes* Once again with the STRAW MAN. Dude, the entire
country of Iraq is a WEAPONS DUMP. WTF do you think one of the main
missions is on every patrol by the Coalition forces and the ISF?

WEAPONS CONFISCATION. Once again -- hear it, this time -- nobody's
talking about leaving anybody unarmed. But one AK per family ought
to be sufficient, don't you think? It's what we think. It's what
the Iraqi government thinks. TAKING AWAY THE EXCESS GUNS is a key
part of the mission. Excess guns wind up in the hands of bad guys.

> and I'm not sure what that has to do with the fact
> that, here in the US, quixotic gun control efforts do
> little more than help the GOP keep winning elections.

That's why I'm grateful to Governor Dean (who I supported in '04)
for de-nationalizing the issue. It was an albatross around our
necks. New York City should have the option to impose tougher gun
control laws than Utah might find appropriate, for obvious reasons.

> It seems to get people all hot and bothered to say "the
> problem is too many guns!!" It gets people who don't think
> clearly about the impracticality of a gun-free world

Gun-free world. What, you've been listening to XTC's
English Settlement lately? ("Melt the Guns" is actually
a rather peppy li'l tune. Great chord progression :)

> and the absolute futility of gun grabbing all excited and
> willing to offer up their own freedoms,

As if my or anybody's freedoms depend on guns ... shit boy, why
don't you reread the Declaration of Independence and get back to
us once you've sussed out the concept of "inalienable rights."

> but in a pragmatic sense it's a useless thing to argue
> about since guns aren't going anywhere. Nor should
> people be denied the means of self defense.

Well, it's nice to know that it's American generals who are
making the decisions and not some pro-gun extremist. It is
precisely the most practical thing to do to get rid of all
the excess weaponry in Iraq -- and that's what we're doing.

cld:

> For people who are advocating the Second Amendment as a
> counterweight to governmental tyranny, do you actually
> advocate threatening the government with your weapon?

Not while the government still has sovereign authority of the people.
But it's our authority to give -- and ours to take away, too.

> Are you saying that armed insurgency is a part of your First
> Amendment privilege, supported by the Second Amendment?

Well, that's what Shay's Rebellion and the Whisky Rebellion thought
before General George Washington had a little talkin' to with 'em ...

> What precedents in US history do you
> have that this is a legitimate course?

There are no historical precedents, of course. If there were,
we'd be living in a different Republic. But it *is* implicit
in the Declaration of Independence. We are endowed with certain
unalienable rights. Nobody *gave* them to us. We were born with
them. That means that if this government slides into tyranny, we
not only have the right, but also the obligation to resist it --
according to the theory of revolution set out by our Framers.

And that of course means, as Malcom sez, By Any Means Necessary.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Arthur,

"If you read the NAS report carefully, it says that humans are contributing to global warming. That is what it says."

Right. For the umpteenth time, I do not dispute that humans are contributing to global warming. What I am disputing, amoung other things, is SecularAnimist's utterly false claim that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is caused solely by human activity. He just quoted a statement from the NAS that directly contradicts his claim of such a consensus.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

waylon: Since I am not the one making the disputed claims that there is a "scientific consensus," I don't need to provide documentation. You're the one who is making those claims, so you need to document them. I'm waiting.

You are the one making disputed claims that there is no scientific consensus. I dispute your claims. They are wrong. You need to document them. You have not only utterly failed to do so, you have not even attempted to do so, and you now assert that you have no need to document them. This is not argument in good faith. This is dishonesty and intellectual slovenliness.

I have provided links to the scientific literature that I assert supports my statements about the scientific consensus. You have not even bothered to examine that material. That is not argument in good faith. That is dishonesty and intellectual slovenliness.

From the statement of Robert T. Watson, then the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, at the resumed Sixth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, July 19, 2001:

"The overwhelming majority of experts in both developed and developing countries recognize that scientific uncertainties exist, however, there is little doubt that the Earth's climate has warmed over the past 100 years in response to human activities and that further human-induced changes in climate are inevitable."

Here are portions of the National Academy of Science's "Summary" of its 2001 report "Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions" that you chose to omit, the first sentence being from the very paragraph that you selectively quoted:

Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century [...] The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue [...] Global warming could well have serious adverse societal and ecological impacts by the end of this century, especially if globally-averaged temperature increases approach the upper end of the IPCC projections ...

From the Preface to the IPCC's Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis:

A detailed study is made of human influence on climate and whether it can be identified with any more confidence than in 1996, concluding that there is new and stronger evidence that most of the observed warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

And the scientific consensus that global warming is real, is happening now, is caused by human activities, and presents a serious danger to life on Earth has only grown stronger in the five years since the above statements and reports were issued in 2001.

Your "disputed assertions" about the lack of scientific consensus are wrong and in this discussion you have proved yourself utterly unable to support them with any evidence at all, while ignoring the voluminous evidence that I have presented showing them to be wrong. This is not argument in good faith. It is, as Bruce the Canuck has written, typical of the behavior of Don P -- argument in bad faith for no other purpose than the sake of time-wasting argument.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

waylon:

That's a strawman. I'm personally not very well-versed on global warming (it's a complex subject), but I don't think I'm taking too much of a risk in putting words in SA's mouth by saying that *of course* he believes that there's both a natural and an anthropogenic component in global warming.

The relevant question is -- is the anthropogenic component driving a process that's going to negatively impact the lives of millions of people in the forseeable future?

I'm sympathetic to the people who answer YES on that question.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

bob, "That means that if this government slides into tyranny, we
not only have the right, but also the obligation to resist it --
according to the theory of revolution set out by our Framers."


Yes, but I think we can resist them pretty effectively without firearms. Weapons fire begets weapons fire and no one ends on the high ground.

In fact, I think we're obligated to approach such a thing non-violently, by the very nature of the ideals the Founders displayed in constructing our system in the first place.

In the 1860s it was the villains who took up arms, and they weren't the villains just because they lost.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

waylon wrote: And that directly contradicts your claim of a "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused solely by human activities.

Please quote the post from me in which I wrote, quote, "global warming is caused solely by human activities." You cannot, because I never wrote that.

Again, this is typical Don P behavior: misprepresent what I wrote, then demand that I produce "evidence" to back up what I never wrote. This is the behavior of an ill-mannered juvenile who is not interested in serious discussion, but only in impressing himself with his ability to "win" arguments, by whatever dishonest means it takes.

I never "ruled out" (in the words of the NAS report) that some other factor might make some trivial contribution to global warming.

Here's what I actually wrote, in my first post on the subject at 7:21PM yesterday: Global warming is real, it is caused by human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, it is already having extreme and frightening effects on the entire planet, it is reinforcing itself through tipping points and feedbacks, it is proceeding far more rapidly than anyone expected, it is accelerating, and it threatens the ability of the Earth to support life.

Here's what I wrote on the subject at 8:12PM yesterday: There is no known or proposed "natural climate change" mechanism that can account for observed global warming, and the observed change is entirely in accord with the results predicted from anthropogenic increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

Here's what I wrote on the subject at 8:24PM yesterday: There are few -- increasingly few -- scientists who dispute that the observed warming is due to human activity, and of those there are none who have been able to offer an alternative explanation that is in accord with the observed warming, which is entirely in accord with the anthropogenic hypothesis.

Of course it cannot be "ruled out" that some unidentified, unknown, unproven "natural" cause is contributing to global warming; neither can it be "ruled out" that space aliens are deliberately warming the Earth through some magical undetectable technology to make it more habitable for themselves before they invade. But the role of unspecified, unidentified "natural causes" is nothing but speculation. No such "natural causes" have been identified or proven to have a role.

Here's what the scientists say:

The National Academy of Sciences: "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earths atmosphere as a result of human activities ... changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities ... Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century [...] The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue."

The IPCC: "... there is new and stronger evidence that most of the observed warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".

Robert Watson, former Chair of the IPCC: "The overwhelming majority of experts ... recognize that scientific uncertainties exist, however, there is little doubt that the Earth's climate has warmed over the past 100 years in response to human activities and that further human-induced changes in climate are inevitable."

The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that global warming is caused by human activities. Case closed.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

I have come to agree with Bruce the Canuck. "waylon" is really Don P.

Don P, posting under that name, long ago convinced me that he is a thoroughly dishonest individual who has nothing better to do than waste people's time -- my time -- with long, drawn-out, pointless, argument for the sake of argument, during which he engages in every imaginable form of fallacy and dishonesty.

And I, like other frequent commenters on these threads, long ago stopped engaging Don P when we recognized -- at considerable cost in our own, precious wasted time -- that his argumentation was bogus.

So, Don P, not wishing to be deprived of his juvenile "sport", began posting under other handles -- in this case "waylon" -- to lure people back into the same long, drawn-out, pointless, dishonest arguments that he wasted our time with in the past.

Well, I admit I've fallen for it. Between yesterday and today, I have spent a great deal of time that I could ill afford to squander, going back and forth with "waylon", at first thinking that he was an honest individual who had arrived at different conclusions about global warming and the scientific consensus on the issue, and that perhaps something might be gained by a serious discussion with him.

But at great cost in precious time, I have concluded that "waylong" is the same old Don P, engaged in the same neurotic and pointless time-wasting bullshit as ever.

I'll do my best not to fall for that scam again.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 19, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"You are the one making disputed claims that there is no scientific consensus. I dispute your claims."

Yes, I know. You claim there is a scientific consensus. So produce your evidence of this alleged consensus. I'm waiting.

The quotes you provide in the rest of that post, like all your other quotes, are completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. None of them state that global warming is caused solely by human activity, let alone that there is a "scientific consensus" to that effect. That is your claim. I'm still waiting for you to substantiate it, as well as the other three claims you have made about an alleged scientific consensus that I have disputed.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK


Ok, then, if humans are contributing to global warming, then we have an obligation to carefully examine what we can do to reduce our contribution. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that much of the recent spike in temperature is a natural fluctuation, and that human-generated CO2 is just accelerating the process of heating. Shouldn't we try to limit our contribution? Likewise, if I wake up to find that an arsonist has set my barn on fire, I should certainly make an effort to remove my cans of gasoline from the barn before they catch on fire and make the conflagration even worse.

Here are some suggestions for reducing reliance on carbon

1) Higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars. Environmentalists have been pushing for higher CAFE standards for years, only to be stymied by lobbyists from the big 3 automakers. The irony, of course, is that Detroit would have been a lot better off if it had lost the legislative battle over CAFE standards--right now, Detroit is having a hard time getting people to buy gas-guzzling SUVs, while foreign automakers, who have been investing in hybrid technology, are selling high-efficiency hybrid cars like hotcakes. Had higher CAFE standards been in place, Detroit would have been forced to produce higher-efficiency vehicles, and would have been much better prepared for the current situation, which features a deadly combination of high gas prices and fuel-efficient vehicles made by their competitors.

2) Going nuclear. Yeah, I know, there are problems with safety and waste disposal, but the technology has gotten much safer.

3) Gasifying coal before burning it, which allows for much lower carbon emissions from burning coal.
4) Taking some of the billions we spend on highways and putting it into mass transit--trains, buses, etc, which are far more fuel-efficient. Sure, taking light rail may deprive you of some of the sense of power and freedom that you experience when driving your car to work, but personally, when I am stuck in traffic on I-64, I don't feel particularly powerful or autonomous.

Again, there are myriad ways of saving energy, some of which are relatively painless or which have useful side effects. Using less gasoline, for example, makes it more difficult for Saudi Arabian princes to subsidize Islamic extremist organizations.

Why not use your powerful intellectual talents to use examining the issue of energy conservation and alternative sources of energy?

Posted by: Arthur on April 19, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"Please quote the post from me in which I wrote, quote, "global warming is caused solely by human activities." You cannot, because I never wrote that."

I can, because you did.

Me: "1. The claim that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is solely attributable to human activities is false. The scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human activities."

You: "I appreciate your concise and clear summary of those four basic points. I think that all four of them are wrong, by which I mean that they are inaccurate characterizations of the scientific consensus regarding global warming and climate change." [emphasis added]

If you believe this point is "wrong," then you believe that it is true that there a scientific consensus that global warming is solely attributable to human activities.

So where is this consensus that human activity is the sole cause of global warming? Produce it! Since you've already quoted a statement from the NAS that directly contradicts your claim that human activity is solely caused by human activity, I don't know why you're bothering trying to defend the absurd claim any more.

And I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your other three claims of a "scientific consensus" that I dispute.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes it is, bro. You're cool (pardon the pun) on GW, but you're
a frothin' NRA IDEOLOGUE here, my friend. You are completely
off the planet and heading towards the Kuyper belt ..."
That's bullshit. I refuse to change what I believe just so I can be different from the NRA. Sorry, but the traditional Democratic Party stance on gun control is morally wrong (denying people the means of self defense is just wrong) and costs us votes. So if you think you're insulting me or adding any merit to your outlandishly incorrect arguments by mentioning the NRA as though its some sort of insult, you need to clean out the bong water.

"BULLSHIT. You're trying to argue that it's impossible to regulate
guns. YOU CITED THE STATUTE that regulates machine guns and military
weapons (Gun Control Act of 1968)."
What a stupid nonsequitor. Just because I can mention the law that attempts to regulate guns doesn't mean said law is particularly effective. In fact, regulating guns is just as doomed to failure as regulating drugs, prostitution, gambling, booze, or any other fungible commodity the public demands.

If gun control worked, DC and Baltimore would be the two safest big cities in America instead of the two most dangerous. Ignore the fact that the sky is blue all you like; the facts are there for any reasonable person to see--gun control hasn't worked because it can't possibly work.


"Plus, the Supremes, in the most
significant (and one of the very few) Second Amendment case(s) ruled
that "the rights of the People" refers to the respective states, and
not individuals. You don't even *have* a Constitutional basis upon
which to own guns as a private citizen according the the SCOTUS."

Wrong again. Look up the Miller case, where the court clearly failed to support the common antigun argument that the 2A applies to State Militias or the Nat'l Guard. It's difficult to argue with people as misinformed as you, I spend as much time educating you as I do considering if any points you raise have any merit. Sorry I'm not being nice to you here but it's been a long day and my tolerance for people spouting off misinformed opinions is wearing thin. If you read up on Miller, you'll note the Court said: "The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. "A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline." And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time." Bada bing baby--militia is all of us able bodied folk, and Miller makes it clear that we can own military weapons. No wonder the antigunners tend to not take the tack you're taking. If you wanna keep going down this path, you're going to have to concede that I have to turn in daddy's old breech load bird gun but I get to have an M60. Note, Miller only required evidence that the weapon contribute to the efficiency of a well-regulated militia. The Court never said the defendants had to belong to a well-regulated militia. In other words the Miller case interpreted the Second Amendment to mean one has the right to own militia type weapons.


You're probably referring to Presser and ignoring the fact that it doesn't actually say what you think it does, where the court said in dicta that "It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the States; and, in view of this prerogative of the General Government, as well as of its general powers, the States cannot, even laying the constitutional provision in question [the Second Amendment] out of view prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the General Government."

In short the SCOTUS has ruled that A) we are the militia and B) we can have militia type weapons. Score one for me. Pretty clear to me that AWBs are not constitutional according to SCOTUS. In any event, they're also useless as criminals use AW's in less than 1% of all crimes anyway.

"Here's a mirror, bro. I'm not the one arguing that it's somehow
categorically impossible to regulate gun ownership. THAT'S the
extremist position. "
It's not extreme to note that gun control has failed miserably. All it does is make sure that I'm disarmed while the person doing me harm, who is willing to flout your silly little laws, is armed. Fuck that. The extreme position is suggesting we owe it to society to make easy victims of ourselves. As I noted on my website today, why do you think we have an epidemic of car jacking in DC when 500 yards away in Northern Virginia we don't? Could it be that crooks know people in VA are going to shoot back?

If you want to be disarmed, great. But quit forcing your stupid decision on me. That's not democracy, it's not freedom, and it's not justice. No wonder Republicans keep beating us.

One weapon per family in Iraq. What a nice idea. You're still being an idiot. How to regulate that? We couldn't even do that here, let alone there. How to prevent the illicit arms trade there? Good fucking luck.

You really, really, REALLY need to come back to reality. You're giving me a migraine with your lack of pragmatism.

"As if my or anybody's freedoms depend on guns ... shit boy, why
don't you reread the Declaration of Independence and get back to
us once you've sussed out the concept of "inalienable rights.""
We won our freedoms with guns. We've protected our freedoms with guns. The fact that we could do so again helps keep us free. Hitler and Tojo weren't defeated with spitballs. One of the perks of your idiotic position on this point is that you get to enjoy the freedoms afforded you and protected for you by people who carried guns, and you don't have to be particularly grateful.

I can't think of any right more inalienable than the right to self defense. All the other rights protected by the BOR don't mean much if you can't protect your own life and stay alive.

Guns save lives. Get over it.

As for getting rid of excess weaponry, I'm all for disarming terrorists, felons, and people who would commit ethnic cleansing wherever possible. But I'm not so stupid as to think that as soon as we're gone, someone's going to make a pretty penny re-arming people who want to project force. If we prevent even a single innocent Iraqi from defending himself, that's a moral crime. We can't even keep badguys in DC from having guns, I dunno why you're deluded enough to think we'll be able to do so in Baghdad.

As for your Malcolm quote, I wish he was still alive so he could joyfully bitchslap the stupid out of you. Firstly, he'd agree wholeheartedly with my position; secondly, just what do you think is implied by "by any means necessary"? You think it really means "any means but not with guns?" If so, you're even dumber than I thought.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 19, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Here, again, are your four disputed claims of a "scientific consensus."

1. You claim there is a scientific consensus that global warming is caused solely by human activities.

2. You claim there is a scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of the century.

3. You claim there is a scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in termperature.

4. You claim there is a scientific consensus on the proper policy responses to global warming.

You've already disproven your claim 1, with a quote from the NAS. Do you have anything to offer in support of 2, 3 or 4?

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

cld:

> "That means that if this government slides into tyranny, we
> not only have the right, but also the obligation to resist it --
> according to the theory of revolution set out by our Framers."

> Yes, but I think we can resist them pretty effectively
> without firearms. Weapons fire begets weapons fire
> and no one ends on the high ground.

Well, no, cld. I hate to be put in the same boat with hardcore gun
rights advocates like Sebastian -- but it's pretty clear that if
the Colonists were unarmed there never would have been a Revolution.

> In fact, I think we're obligated to approach such a thing
> non-violently, by the very nature of the ideals the Founders
> displayed in constructing our system in the first place.

Well, you can't read that out of the Constitution, nor any of the
Federalist papers. Our Framers weren't Gandhi. They included the
Second Amendment because they felt "a well-regulated militia [was]
necessary for the security of a free State." But it's also true
that their concern here was less about guaranteeing that individuals
have an unlimited right to own any kind firearms they want, than
it was about vesting the day-to-say security of communities in local
authorites rather than a centralized standing army. The Second
Amendment is about guaranteeing local power over federal power. The
Framers lived though the depredations of the King's standing army.

Of course, the ideal of the Minuteman, the "citizen soldier,"
didn't pan out the way the Framers had envisioned it. The volunteer
state militias proved to be an ineffective force, and were assimilated
into the professional National Guard, which can be federalized when
necessary. If you're going to have effective soldiers, you need
to feed them, train them and swear them to a single authority.

> In the 1860s it was the villains who took up arms,
> and they weren't the villains just because they lost.

They were the villians because they represented and/or supported
the King -- simple as that. And many of these people were hardly
"villians;" they emigrated to Canada and became solid citizens there.

The thing about rebelling against sovereign authority that
people are missing is that if it becomes necessary, it can't be
*institutionalized*. It's, by definition, a right claimed outside
of the system, because the right is inherent in people and not in any
form of government -- even ours. That's why a reading of the Second
Amendment as guaranteeing citizens a right to stick their rifles in
the noses of Federal authority every time they disagree is flat-out
absurd. It's the Declaration of Independence that merely *alerts*
us to this right, because we were born to it, and thus no piece
of paper, no Federal court, can ever grant it or take it away.

So yes, an armed revolution against our current government
would naturally be entirely illegal and unconstitutional.

But the Framers might very well agree that it was a step taken
correctly if our government got too intolerably Big Brotherish.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

"I'm personally not very well-versed on global warming (it's a complex subject), but I don't think I'm taking too much of a risk in putting words in SA's mouth by saying that *of course* he believes that there's both a natural and an anthropogenic component in global warming."

SecularAnimist explicitly denied that he believes there's a natural component. And not only that, but he claims there's a "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused solely by anthropogenic causes.

"The relevant question is -- is the anthropogenic component driving a process that's going to negatively impact the lives of millions of people in the forseeable future?"

Well, that's one relevant question. Other relevant questions relate to the magnitude and type of the potential negative impact, the magnitude and type of a potential positive impact, the timescale over which any impacts will occur, and how we should respond to these potential impacts. Those are all complex and difficult questions, and there isn't anything remotely close to a consensus about what the right answers are.

Posted by: waylon on April 19, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Waylon:

1) To merey cite "anthropogenic" factors in global warming is to admit that they're separable from natural processes. Otherwise, we'd all just be talking about global warming as some sort of unitary phenomenon.

2) Don't confuse a political consensus with a scientific one. Not merely SA, but UrinatedStates, Jeff Davis, deCascadian, Arthur and many others here are in command of the relevant facts and have cited study after study revealing this scientific consensus. I'm inclined to take their words that they're merely relaying this information.

3) I'm also not inclined to argue for the sake of arguing. As others have noted, your rhetorical strategies are entirely too Don P-ish for this to be a constructive debate.

Therefore consider my piece on this issue said.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 19, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

"1) To merey cite "anthropogenic" factors in global warming is to admit that they're separable from natural processes. Otherwise, we'd all just be talking about global warming as some sort of unitary phenomenon."

I'm not sure what this has to do with the point. SecularAnimist denied that global warming is caused by natural climate variations at all. He claims it is solely caused by anthropogenic factors, and that there is a "scientific consensus" to that effect.

"2) Don't confuse a political consensus with a scientific one."

Er, I'm not.

" Not merely SA, but UrinatedStates, Jeff Davis, deCascadian, Arthur and many others here are in command of the relevant facts and have cited study after study revealing this scientific consensus."

Revealing what scientific consensus? The alleged "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused solely by human activities? SA is the only one here who has made that ridiculous claim.

He has also made three other ridiculous claims about various alleged scientific consensuses regarding global warming. I list all four of them in my post of 11:19pm.

Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

What if we pass laws to combat global warming and the bulk of scientific opinion turns out to be wrongit is just a natural cycle? What have we lost? Nothing. In fact, it is very much in Americas economic interest to keep up with the green technologies that are sweeping the globe. Without legal coercion, American companies will never take their heads out of the sand and compete in this area. We'll also get cleaner air and water out of the deal, which is a pretty good thing in its own right.

What if we not pass laws to combat global warming and the bulk of scientific opinion turns out to be right? Armageddon is here!

The choice is rather stark. How can there be a difference of opinion?

Posted by: James of DC on April 20, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Revealing what scientific consensus? The alleged "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused solely by human activities? SA is the only one here who has made that ridiculous claim.

Don P,

You are one sick fuck.

Posted by: obscure on April 20, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

James of DC,

"What if we pass laws to combat global warming and the bulk of scientific opinion turns out to be wrongit is just a natural cycle? What have we lost?"

Depends on the type and severity of the laws. What laws do you propose? If this is a serious comment, I assume your proposals will be at least somewhat politically realistic, not pie-in-the-sky "ideals" that don't have a chance of being passed into actual law.

"In fact, it is very much in Americas economic interest to keep up with the green technologies that are sweeping the globe. Without legal coercion, American companies will never take their heads out of the sand and compete in this area. "

Patently untrue. American companies are already competing in this area. EnergyStar-compliant appliances. Compact fluorescent light bulbs. Hybrid cars. Low-water washing machines. High-SEER-rated heat pumps. Renewable-energy power plants. And so on and so forth. But it is often difficult to persude consumers to buy these products because the cost savings are marginal or take a long time to accrue.

"What if we not pass laws to combat global warming and the bulk of scientific opinion turns out to be right? Armageddon is here!"

Where may I find "the bulk of scientific opinion" predicting "armageddon?"


Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I'm drunk. As usual.

Posted by: obscure on April 20, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

bob,

The Second Amendment came about during a period of serious debate over how to create the currency, when there was no American currency and everyone just continued using pounds. The argument against the standing army was clinched by it being pointed out that there was never going to be any money to pay for it. Therefore the burden of national self-defense shifted to the states, along with monetary creation. But they didn't actually have any money, either, so they settled on a militia, a sort of fantasy army.

When they actually needed an army during the early period, they never tried to use the militias, they established actual state armies, but the laws stayed on the books because it made great fodder for the State's Rights people and have hung around ever since like herpes virus.

That the colonists were armed isn't relevent. That wasn't the United States. The question is about how we do things in our system, a system that provides for fast governmental turnover specifically to avoid a threat of insurrection. The Founders had just had one, they knew how to make it effective and they knew how to work against it and that's why our electoral cycle is so fast.

Where has the idea of an armed citizenry as a bulwark against tyranny been successful? The Middle East is armed to the teeth and always has been and they've hardly ever had anything less than tyranny. What about India? Hardly armed at all, but successfully rid themselves of the British Empire, and that's why I wrote that we are obligated, as a part of our citizenship, to approach any conflict like a prospective governmental tyranny non-violently, that it's the very nature of the ideals the Founders displayed in constructing our system in the first place.

(this next part is where you were typing too quickly --that's the 1860s)

Our system was made to institutionalize, and regulate, rebelling against sovereign authority. At the time they could rely on the simple fact that if there were really severe disagreements there were plenty of wide-open spaces to move in to.

And that's why an insurrection that gets as far as actual violence, or gets even close to it, de-legitimizes itself, as with our most recent act of domestic political violence, the Republican riot in Miami where they stole the 2000 election.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Too tired, that doesn't scan well. Last paragraph above looks better as

"An insurrection that gets as far as actual violence, or gets even close to it, de-legitimizes itself, as with our most recent act of domestic political violence, the Republican riot in Miami, where they stole the 2000 election."


Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

Alright. The rhetoric here has gotten entirely too hot, so I'm
going to radically pare down this thread, ignore all personal shots
and focus on the essentials. As you're a Democrat, we should be
saving our ammo (so to speak) for the real opposition. As you've
seen in my post to cld, we don't fundamentally differ on the nature
of self defense in a republic founded on inalienable rights.

> (denying people the means of self defense is just wrong)

As I have stated repeatedly, I'm not denying anyone the means of
self-defense. I argued against the Second Amendment as an exercise
but I have no intention of actually advocating its repeal; I do
believe that, as the so-called state militias are no longer a
relevant force (and they were a harbor for right-wing whackjobs before
the McVeigh atrocity disgusted the weekend warriors and they dropped
off the public radar screen), the militia argument is no longer
relevant when discussing gun control. Certainly "well-regulated"
local defense isn't vouchsafed by merely private gun ownership.

> "YOU CITED THE STATUTE that regulates machine guns
> and military weapons (Gun Control Act of 1968)."

> What a stupid nonsequitor.

That's non sequitur. Heh :)

> Just because I can mention the law that attempts to regulate
> guns doesn't mean said law is particularly effective.

So if a law is occasionaly broken, that means it's ineffective?

> In fact, regulating guns is just as doomed to failure
> as regulating drugs, prostitution, gambling, booze,
> or any other fungible commodity the public demands.

What you're doing here is conflating regulation with prohibition.
Banning booze doesn't work -- does this mean we can't regulate
DWI? Is busting people for DWI an exercise in futility because
some people will *always* somehow manage to drive drunk?

I'd never support banning guns because it would have precisely
the same effect as Prohibition. And I'm all in favor of
decriminalizing recreational drugs, at least the softer/organic
kinds (pot and shrooms). Same with prostitution; legalizing
it would take away a lot of the abusiveness and exploitation.

But even with drugs and prostitutions, I'd support a strong
regulatory and tax regime. Lassiez-faire is hardly an answer.

Guns crimes, however, are far less often victimless. While again,
I don't support an outright ban, I strongly support all gun regs
on the books and would eagerly back a federal assault rifle ban.

> If gun control worked, DC and Baltimore would be the
> two safest big cities in America instead of the two most
> dangerous. Ignore the fact that the sky is blue all you
> like; the facts are there for any reasonable person to see--
> gun control hasn't worked because it can't possibly work.

Well, I'm sorry, but this argument is both extremist and
absurd. In order to have to make it, you have to imagine what
DC and Baltimore would be like with *less* gun control. If
you believe there'd be less violent crime, well you're entitled
-- but you can't possibly prove it empirically, much less get
the police chiefs in those areas (or any major metropolitan
area, for that matter) to endorse your reasoning here.

Miller: I won't go into a song and dance with you. Let me simply
quote "The Meaning of the Constitution," by Angela Roddey Holder:

"One part of the 'common law' or basic legal system that we
inherited from England was the right to self-protection, which
implies the right to own and bear arms. However, this right
is not guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution and if
Congress chose to do so, it could place heavy restrictions on
the interstate sale of weapons. The purpose of this amendment
is to provide for the effectiveness of the militia, which would
presumably protect the citizen against unconstitutional usurpation
of power by the federal government. This amendment alone does not
give all citizens the right to own weapons to use for duck hunting
if Congress wishes to restrict that right. It merely prevents the
federal government from disarming the members of the National Guard."

Now this is a college text and granted it's a little outdated ('83,
right at the start of the Renquhist Court). You might disagree
with this interpreation, which is fine. I happen to agree with it.

> It's not extreme to note that gun control has failed
> miserably. All it does is make sure that I'm disarmed
> while the person doing me harm, who is willing to
> flout your silly little laws, is armed. Fuck that.

Well, once again this argument is unprovable, thus absurd. I'd
suggest to you, though, that it's also entirely counterintuitive.
How many times have you been in bars where violent arguments have
broken out? (One of my local joints has a big bouncer who scans
everybody with a metal detector on Friday nights.) If they have,
it's at least *as* likely that gunshots would have rung out
had either of them been armed. Or would you claim that the
bar owner is somehow brainwashed by gun control advocates
for employing a bouncer with a metal detector?

Is waving my own legally registered gun in the face of a drunken
macho loser a defusing gesture, or a provocative gesture? Do I
want to take the chance of being accidentally shot because some
macho loser can't hold his liquor? Fuck *that*, my friend.

> The extreme position is suggesting we owe it
> to society to make easy victims of ourselves.

Absolutely. Which is precisely why I support gun control. If it's
less likely that odious elements have weapons in my vicinity, it's
less likely I'm going to be shot. Also much less likely that someone
more physically adept than I knocks the gun out of my hand and uses
it against me. Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of
gun violence happens in the home with peoples' own legal weapons.

> As I noted on my website today, why do you think we
> have an epidemic of car jacking in DC when 500 yards
> away in Northern Virginia we don't? Could it be that
> crooks know people in VA are going to shoot back?

Wow, you must be fairly new to this issue. There's been much
research done on why some areas have more gun violence than others
(Mike Moore's Bowling For Columbine is an extended essay on this
subject). The consensus is that the single most important variable
is population density, followed by various more difficult to define
cultural factors. You realize that it's legal to own an artillery
piece in Switzerland? Nobody seems to think this is a problem.
Why? Because the Swiss are ... the Swiss. They have an experience
of direct, local, participatory (not representational) democracy
that's centuries older than our own Revolution. And plus
Switzerland is one of the more homogenous countries in Europe.

America -- like Iraq -- has very heterogenous cities.
There's an element of distrust between groups that's much
higher than in suburban areas. If you want to argue that
homeowners in suburban Virginia are likely to be civil with a
concealed carry law, I'm not prone to disagree. But to imply
from this that a concealed carry law in DC would lower the amount
of carjackings is pure wishful thinking. No urban police chief in
a densely populated city supports concealed carry, end of story.

> If you want to be disarmed, great. But quit forcing your
> stupid decision on me. That's not democracy, it's not freedom,
> and it's not justice. No wonder Republicans keep beating us.

Fine. Don't come anywhere *near* me if you have a gun on you.
As far as I'm concerned, you're an accident waiting to happen.

> One weapon per family in Iraq. What a nice idea. You're
> still being an idiot. How to regulate that? We couldn't
> even do that here, let alone there. How to prevent the
> illicit arms trade there? Good fucking luck.

Hey, don't bitch at me. Go write a letter to Rumsfeld.
Express your angst to General Casey. This is policy, and
as far as I'm concerned it's probably been one of the more
sensible things we've tried to do in Iraq. The idea, my
friend, is to try to break the cycle of violence. One less
available weapon = one less excuse for a revenge killing.

Criticize this policy if you like. But don't call it impractical.
It's one one of the very few ways we have of staunching the bleeding.
Unless you'd like to advocate simply walking away from stacks
of AKs in somebody's basement and unguarded weapons dumps.
If so, your level of cynicism is too caustic for my blood.

> You really, really, REALLY need to come back to reality.
> You're giving me a migraine with your lack of pragmatism.

You're giving yourself a migrane by attempting to force
reality into your neat little anarcho-libertarian worldview.

> "As if my or anybody's freedoms depend on guns ... shit boy, why
> don't you reread the Declaration of Independence and get back to
> us once you've sussed out the concept of "inalienable rights.""

> We won our freedoms with guns.

No, we won our freedoms with ideas. Guns without
ideas (i.e. inalienable rights) gives you ... Somalia.

> We've protected our freedoms with guns.

True, but also exaggerated. As a country we've never been invaded.
Even losing Pearl Harbor wasn't an external threat to our domestic
liberties. We've done a lot of protecting of corporate interests
with guns (go read Marine general Smedley Butler), and we certainly
helped free Western Europe with guns. But don't overstate the case.

> The fact that we could do so again helps keep us free.

What keeps us free is believing in inalienable rights. Guns are only
a tool, ultimately no more or less important than the Constitution --
but in times of less than total war, the latter trumps the former.

> Hitler and Tojo weren't defeated with spitballs.

But neither did they directly threaten *our* liberty. We took on the
burden of liberating the Western world for a large and complex set of
reasons -- and most of them were right. Not all of them, though ...

> One of the perks of your idiotic position on this
> point is that you get to enjoy the freedoms afforded
> you and protected for you by people who carried guns,
> and you don't have to be particularly grateful.

Ahh, the Jessup speech from A Few Good Men. I
love the smell of Jack Nicholson in the morning :)

"My buddies died FACE DOWN IN THE MUD to defend your ... family
restaraunt" --John Goodman as Walter Sojic in The Big Lebowski.

Leaving aside the military and police (who do protect my liberty)
civilians who carry guns don't defend *my* freedom. They simply
make it more likely that I might get shot in a gun accident.

> I can't think of any right more
> inalienable than the right to self defense.

Agreed. You've heard of martial arts? Pepper spray?

> All the other rights protected by the BOR don't mean
> much if you can't protect your own life and stay alive.

Which is precisely why depending on a weapon which so often causes
lethal collateral damage unless operated with an exceedingly
high degree of skill and self-control is not something I want
to vouchsafe as the single most important guarantor of freedom
for the general populace. There are other forms of self-defense.

> Guns save lives. Get over it.

Guns take lives. Get over it.

> As for getting rid of excess weaponry, I'm all for disarming
> terrorists, felons, and people who would commit ethnic
> cleansing wherever possible. But I'm not so stupid as to
> think that as soon as we're gone, someone's going to make
> a pretty penny re-arming people who want to project force.

This is the classic libertarian/anarchist cynic's argument
for why we shouldn't have any laws *at all*. "What's the
point? Don't those cops know that if they bust that dealer
and confiscate his big bag of heroin, that other dealers are
going to make a pretty penny on all that addiction out there?"

Heh, forget guns. Why criminalize *insurance fraud*. Shoplifting.
Kidnapping. You just *know* it's gonna keep on happening ...

> If we prevent even a single innocent Iraqi
> from defending himself, that's a moral crime.

Right. And what about the moral crime that comes
from allowing weapons to flow without interdiction?
How many innocent deaths will *that* cause?

If you calculate the odds that a weapons sweep is going to
leave some innocent undefended against the lack of weapons
sweeps which will serve to arm everybody to the teeth -- it's
obvious which side wins on the "least harm" moral calculus.

> We can't even keep badguys in DC from having guns, I dunno why
> you're deluded enough to think we'll be able to do so in Baghdad.

Once again, that trusty ol' straw man. It's not a matter of keeping
*all* badguys from having guns, which obviously would never happen.
Just most. Enough to make an appreciable dent in the crime rate.

> As for your Malcolm quote, I wish he was still alive
> so he could joyfully bitchslap the stupid out of you.

Well, he obviously wouldn't, because in my response to cld, I was
arguing the position that the right of revolution is inherent in
our founding documents -- a position which we both should share.

> Firstly, he'd agree wholeheartedly with my position;

No, I don't think so. I think if Malcolm were alive today, he'd
support urban gun control like every sensible person save perhaps
for the odd grandiose gangsta rapper. Malcolm at the time was
talking about defending the civil rights movement from assassins
and from cops who were too quick on the trigger. Would Malcolm
have advocated Rodney King whipping out a Tec 9 and spraying the
LAPD? No. Malcolm was a leader, not a nihilist or a gangbanger.

Whole different context, my friend.

> secondly, just what do you think is implied by "by any means
> necessary"? You think it really means "any means but not
> with guns?" If so, you're even dumber than I thought.

Of course not -- especially since the famous poster of Malcolm
with that quote has him with a semiautomatic rifle in his hands.

The point here is that when civil society breaks down and a
revolution genuinely becomes necessary, it's entirely pointless
to speak of the constitution, court decisions or statutes. Nor
is it worth worrying about whether or not we'll have enough guns,
even if we *did* manage to enact even tougher Euro-style gun
control here, or for that matter, repealing the Second Amendment.
Prohibition didn't stop the booze from flowing and a total ban on
guns in America would hardly stop weapons from stockpiling, either.

Revolution happens *outside* the system. There is no institutional
support for revolution hidden inside the Second Amendment. If the
Second Amendment exists, it exists to defend the current regime.

If we need to go outside that regime because the ideals of the
Framers have become hopelessly corrupted, that's another story
entirely. The government certainly wouldn't approve -- but
the Framers might well smile down on the new American patriots.

And yes -- that's when guns would become critical to their success.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 20, 2006 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

cld:

No fundamental disagreement. Our laws certainly weren't set up to enable violent revolution.

My point to Sebastian is that inalienable rights go deeper than the constitution, deeper than our form of government, and because the cannot either be granted or taken away, they allow the possibility that if our form of government because hopelessly corrupted into tyranny -- then of course we have the right to resist, and violently if necessary.

But that's an entirely extra-constitutional, extra-governmental response. You are absolutely correct to note that our government was set up precisely to channel those sorts of rebellious impulses and bleed them of their toxicity long before their buildup ever reached that point.

There is no right of armed rebellion against the government enshrined in the Second Amendment.

That right is enshrined in our hearts, and should the time ever come when it's necessary to act on it -- no Constitution would ever have anything to say about it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 20, 2006 at 3:33 AM | PERMALINK

because hopelessly corrupted = became hopelessly corrupted

Posted by: rmck1 on April 20, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

"the militia argument is no longer
relevant when discussing gun control. Certainly "well-regulated"
local defense isn't vouchsafed by merely private gun ownership."
I'd argue it is; the SCOTUS has decided that the police do NOT have a responsibility to protect us, and we are largely on our own. The existence of the right to form militias is still important, even if the need isn't there at presenst. We have a bill of rights, not a bill of needs. And you don't simply surrender those rights just because the politics of the day make them irrelevant. That's the first step in the slide toward fascism.

And I can't say it enough, you're simply wrong--the protecting of gun ownership is indeed central to both the protection of liberty from all sorts of tyranny, and a basic civil right. Putting aside the militia issue (since the 2A doesn't say you can have guns when you're in the militia, it says you can have guns so that if we need a militia it'll be useful), over and above the rights guaranteed by the COTUS, self-protection is a basic civil right, an inalienable human divine animal type right. Denying the means is denying the right itself.

"So if a law is occasionaly broken, that means it's ineffective?"
Occasionally broken? Oh my god you need to step down from the ivory tower you're typing in and come to Baltimore for a day. The only people who are disarmed are the average joes walking the street on the way to work--there isn't a criminal anywhere who can't get a gun.

But what measure would we actually decide the law IS effective? The prevention of gun crime? Baltimore and DC are the two most violent cities in the US, yet we don't allow anyone to carry guns. If gun control was effective, it would be here. It's not.

"What you're doing here is conflating regulation with prohibition.
Banning booze doesn't work -- does this mean we can't regulate
DWI? Is busting people for DWI an exercise in futility because
some people will *always* somehow manage to drive drunk?"
Now you don't sound so stupid. I don't have a problem with outlawing criminal behavior with a gun just like I don't mind DUI laws. But preventing me from carrying a defensive weapon is the same as not letting me drive because I might drive drunk.

"Guns crimes, however, are far less often victimless. While again,
I don't support an outright ban, I strongly support all gun regs
on the books and would eagerly back a federal assault rifle ban."
Once again it's tough arguing with someone who doesn't understand the basic facts of the issue. AWs are used in fewer than one percent of crimes; criminals overwhelmingly prefer concealable handguns. Banning AWs violates the 2A, does nothing to reduce crime, and denies people a variety of sporting weapons (look up competition with AR15s sometime, it's actually fun stuff) that they lawfully use every day.


"Well, I'm sorry, but this argument is both extremist and
absurd. In order to have to make it, you have to imagine what
DC and Baltimore would be like with *less* gun control.
"
There's nothing extreme in pointing out that gun control ISN'T working here. And I can imagine what it would be like, there was no gun control in the 50s and 60s in Baltimore, and violent crime was way, way less.

Frankly I don't care whether the crime would drop or not if CCW was legalized. All that would change is that law abiding citizens would be able to protect themselves. In the end, crime probably would go down because violent criminals prefer unarmed victims. Surveys of convicted felons have overwhelmingly found that they prefer meeting up with cops than private citizens who will resist.


"If
you believe there'd be less violent crime, well you're entitled
-- but you can't possibly prove it empirically, much less get
the police chiefs in those areas (or any major metropolitan
area, for that matter) to endorse your reasoning here."
Bullshit. Law enforcement overwhelmingly supports letting private citizens who are properly vetted and trained carry. To the tune of about 75% support in the LEO community.

"Now this is a college text and granted it's a little outdated ('83,
right at the start of the Renquhist Court). You might disagree
with this interpreation, which is fine. I happen to agree with it."
Of course you do, because you're a sap willing to surrender a little slice of freedom in the misguided hope that it might bring you a little safety. If Ben Franklin were here, he'd pick up bitchslapping the stupid out of you when Malcolm was done. Frankly I'm envisioning the scene in Airplane where people line up to club the hysterical idiot, but instead of passengers I see the founding fathers, civil rights leaders, and the victims of crime lining up to edumacate you.

"Well, once again this argument is unprovable, thus absurd. I'd
suggest to you, though, that it's also entirely counterintuitive.
How many times have you been in bars where violent arguments have
broken out? (One of my local joints has a big bouncer who scans
everybody with a metal detector on Friday nights.) If they have,
it's at least *as* likely that gunshots would have rung out
had either of them been armed. Or would you claim that the
bar owner is somehow brainwashed by gun control advocates
for employing a bouncer with a metal detector?"
You're being an idiot again. You do realize that 40 states have shall issue CCW laws? How come not ONE of those states has seen an increase in such violence because it lets private citizens carry? You hear this tired bullshit all the time from people like you, "if we allow citizens to carry there'll be blood in the streets". Except that that has NOT happened anywhere in the 40 CCW states. Practically everyone is strapped in Virginia, but it has one of the lowest crime rates going. Why? Because people willing to register their intent to carry, get trained, and get licensed are NOT the types to cause mayhem in the streets with guns. If you're of the mindset to be a gun criminal, you're not going to leave your fingerprints and an application fee with the state police. Duh. That's what's counterintuitive. You really don't know shit about this issue, do you? You need to spend some time on my website and educate yourself.

For starters, most CCW laws don't let you carry in bars. Secondly, anyone who does pack in a bar is a criminal idiot, and he's going to carry there whether I'm allowed to carry elsewhere or not.

"Absolutely. Which is precisely why I support gun control. If it's
less likely that odious elements have weapons in my vicinity, it's
less likely I'm going to be shot. Also much less likely that someone
more physically adept than I knocks the gun out of my hand and uses
it against me. Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of
gun violence happens in the home with peoples' own legal weapons."
Less likely? If it's less likely, why are you more likely to be shot in Baltimore or DC than in Miami or Alexandria or Jackson or Houston? Gun control isn't stopping anyone from carrying. Your likelihood of being shot has to do with the people around you, not whether there is gun control laws on the books. Why? BECAUSE CRIMINALS IGNORE THE FUCKING LAW YOU BUMBLING IDGIT. Anyone willing to rob or murder you isn't going to sweat a few months in jail over a petty gun charge.

"But to imply
from this that a concealed carry law in DC would lower the amount
of carjackings is pure wishful thinking. No urban police chief in
a densely populated city supports concealed carry, end of story."
First of all, that's not true. Recently the chief of police for a large Missouri town admitted his opposition to CCW laws was wrong, as allowing people to carry has been a "non-event". Some chiefs are beholden politically to their Democratic party bosses, and toe the party line. But law enforcement overwhelmingly supports letting us carry.

http://www.gunfacts.info/pdfs/gun-facts/4.0/GunFacts4-0-Screen.pdf

Go there, see page 52. Law enforcement overwhelmingly does NOT support gun control.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

As for whether guns would stop carjackings, of course they would. You must not be from around DC. The population density in NoVA is higher, the people richer, and the cars nicer, and not to mention closer to the city in NoVA than in PG, County MD. Why aren't criminals going after the cars in VA? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE PEOPLE THERE ARE ARMED. They go after people in DC and PG County because those folks are disarmed.

You're a crook--do you want a victim carrying or not carrying? Yes or no is the only acceptable answer.

"Fine. Don't come anywhere *near* me if you have a gun on you.
As far as I'm concerned, you're an accident waiting to happen."

"You're giving yourself a migrane by attempting to force
reality into your neat little anarcho-libertarian worldview."
I'm not the one who's worldview is "darn it, if we just give three decades of failed policies a little more time they might start working!"

Again, no wonder the GOP keeps winning.


You're an idiot. You're more likely to be killed by a fall, a fire, or drowning than you are to be accidentally shot. I've owned and carried guns safely for years since I'm properly trained. Criminals aren't I'll grant you, but they still carry guns daily.

"No, we won our freedoms with ideas. Guns without
ideas (i.e. inalienable rights) gives you ... Somalia."
You're not only an idiot, you're a bigoted racist idiot. People in Somalia have ideas, they also have a history of being invaded, colonized, raped, and beset by civil war. We won our freedom with ideas? You're right, the British left because we had better ideas.

How stupid can you be and still use the internet?

I won't go into your facile misunderstanding of the importance of defeating the enemy in WW2. It shows your blind allegiance to the "guns are evil" mantra, but it's not really relevant.

"Leaving aside the military and police (who do protect my liberty)
civilians who carry guns don't defend *my* freedom. They simply
make it more likely that I might get shot in a gun accident."
Properly licensed CCW holders aren't more likely to get you shot; criminals are.

Your inability to distinguish between a lawful gun owner and a criminal is your biggest problem. Studies have shown that CCW permit holders are safer with our guns than cops are! We actually train more (my brother's a cop, trust me on this). CCW permit holders accidentally shooting anyone is so rare as to be nonexistence. You have any facts to show otherwise? Didn't think so.

"Agreed. You've heard of martial arts? Pepper spray?"
Sure, I'm a pretty good martial artist. I'm also aware that martial arts A) aren't for everyone, B) take a lot of time and effort, and C) aren't as effective against armed assailants as wielding a weapon.

You watch too much TV. Not everyone can be or should be Steven Seagal. The DOJ agrees with me, it's study found that armed resistence to crooks is your best bet. Unarmed resistance might get ya killed. The bad guys are going to have guns no matter what; if you're thinking we can all just Bruce Lee them to death, you've stepped up from pot to Grade A crack.

"Which is precisely why depending on a weapon which so often causes
lethal collateral damage unless operated with an exceedingly
high degree of skill and self-control is not something I want
to vouchsafe as the single most important guarantor of freedom
for the general populace. There are other forms of self-defense"

Demonstrate for me that collateral damage from people protecting themselves is a serious public safety threat in any of the 40 Shall Issue CCW states. Hint: you won't be able to, because each of those states has found that permit holders are NOT unsafe with their guns.

"Guns take lives. Get over it."
Non lethal guns wouldn't be much use. Since Americans use guns more often defensively than crminally, I'll take my chances. And if you're still laboring under that idiotic idea that "guns are more likely to hurt you or your family than stop crime," you need to read up:

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgaga.html

"Once again, that trusty ol' straw man. It's not a matter of keeping
*all* badguys from having guns, which obviously would never happen.
Just most. Enough to make an appreciable dent in the crime rate."
So why hasn't it happened in 30 years of gun control? Why do 99% of law enforcement officers agree bad guys will get guns no matter what? Hell, I've even gotten a BATF agent to agree that gun control is futile at a gun show. What you're hoping for is NEVER going to happen.

"No, I don't think so. I think if Malcolm were alive today, he'd
support urban gun control like every sensible person save perhaps
for the odd grandiose gangsta rapper. Malcolm at the time was
talking about defending the civil rights movement from assassins
and from cops who were too quick on the trigger. Would Malcolm
have advocated Rodney King whipping out a Tec 9 and spraying the
LAPD? No. Malcolm was a leader, not a nihilist or a gangbanger."
Now you're really stepping on your dick. I wrote my senior philosophy seminar paper on Malcolm. I've read every word he's ever spoken, written, and thought. Twice.

Trust me, Malcolm would NOT support the disarming of the populace most at risk from crime in urban America. He certainly wouldn't advocate a police state where only agents of the govt. have guns. You would. He's smart. You're a dangerous idiot who would trade freedom for the false sense of security that "da pohleese will protect me."

Sorry I'm not nicer to you. But this whiff of authortarianism I get from you is rather un-democratic and I just can't abide anyone who favors only agents of George Bush's govt. being armed.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

One last thing and then I'll let it drop. (Until the next time.)

If you're a skeptic you've got to be a skeptic for a reason. Otherwise, you're simply playing the John Cleese part in the Monty Python Argument Sketch. Why wouldn't the physics of greenhouse gases be the process behind the observed rise in temps? Tbrosz posited natural variability. But "natural variability" isn't a specific entity. It references a whole slew of things which have specific observed measurable effects. Things change for specific reasons. Changing the temperature of an enormous amount of water and gases requires a source of heat. What is that source? What would be the mechanism for dispersing it around the globe? Remember there are calculatable budgets of energy associated with green house gases. And these energy budgets track the observed rise in temperatures very well. A skeptic really does have 2 challenges. Account for the observed rise in temps. And dismiss the physica and calculatable effects of green house gases.

Remember, "An argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes." One can't simply say "I doubt it" and produce a tenable position.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 20, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

That said, I do feel like I've been a bit harsh.

Tell ya what, you're welcome to come over to my site (www.progunprogressive.com) and defend your gunbanning ideas there. I moderate the site, and I'll enforce that everyone be much more polite than I have, and I'll gladly stay out of the discussion completely.

I think you'll find it edifying that in the progressive community, the respect for entirety of the constitution and the recognition of gun rights as civil rights is growing.

Give it another generation, as the old school of the Democratic Party dies out, and the Schumers and Kennedys go by the wayside, and more and more states enjoy Shall Issue CCW laws without increased violence...gun control will die out as a policy we advocate. I intend to make it happen.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting as "waylon" and using a fake email address to hide his actual identity, continues to lie, as is his consistent and common practice.

He misrepresents what I have written, then demands that I produce "evidence" to support claims that I have never made. I never posted any claim that there is a scientific consensus that has absolutely ruled out any contributing role for some yet unidentified "natural" factor in empirically observed global warming. I never used the word "solely" which he has repeatedly and falsely attributed to me (a classic strawman fallacy).

On the other hand, his repeated claim that "The scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human activities" is a misleading distortion of the scientific consensus. The NAS report from which he selectively excerpted one single paragraph merely says that natural variability cannot be "ruled out" -- it most certainly does NOT say that any such cause has been identified or shown to play a role in global warming, nor does it even say that there is a strong reason to believe that such unspecified factor plays a role. And the full report makes clear that anthropogenic causes are sufficient to explain the observed global warming, and there is no need to invoke any speculative "natural cause" to explain it. Indeed, the entire thrust of that report, as well as the 2001 IPCC report, is its focus on anthropogenic global warming and the scientific evidence which establishes human activities as the cause of global warming.

He refuses to examine or respond to the evidence that I do provide, simply declaring it "dubious" or "irrelevant" without providing any reason for either of those characterizations.

He misrepresents the conclusions of scientific bodies by selectively quoting from reports (i.e. the single paragraph he quoted from the 2001 NAS report, from which he deliberately omitted key sentences, not to mention omitting key statements from other sections of that report).

He continues to post disputed assertions and not only provides no documentation, evidence, expert opinion, or other support for them, but has actually declared that he has no obligation to provide any support for his claims -- while, as noted above, refusing to even examine the information that I have provided.

As always, he proves himself to be a fake, phony, dishonest bullshit artist, profoundly ignorant of the subject matter at hand (in this case, anthropogenic global warming and the scientific consensus regarding same), who is not interested in serious discussion, only with impressing himself with his ability to waste other people's time with fallacies, falsehoods, and puerile argument for the sake of argument.

He has got nothing. He has no data, he has no evidence, he has no expert opinion, he has no citations to any scientific literature to back up his baseless assertions. All he has got is "proof by assertion", and various falsehoods, misrepresentations and fallacies.

He has wasted more than enough of my time with his dishonesty.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"He misrepresents what I have written, then demands that I produce "evidence" to support claims that I have never made."

I haven't misrepresented your statements at all. You claimed that all four of my points are "wrong." This includes my first point that there is no scientific consensus that global warming is solely caused by human activities. You said this assertion is wrong, and then you refuted your own statement by quoting the NAS stating that a significant part of global warming may be caused by natural variability, and that human activities are only "likely" (not "certainly") to have caused "most" (not "all") of global warming.


I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of the century.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in termperature.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus on the proper policy responses to global warming.


You can't substantiate any of these ridiculous claims, can you? Because you're just making things up out of thin air.

Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting under the handle "waylon" and using a fake email address to hide his identity, continues to post thoroughly dishonest garbage at 12:34PM.

He continues to lie about what I have written. He continues to lie about the NAS report -- the one and only document he has referenced in support of his own assertions, a document which plainly (even when he selectively quotes it) does not say what he claims it says.

He continues his fake, phony posturing that he is "waiting" for me to post evidence to support my statements, when in fact he has repeatedly refused to examine or respond to the numerous citations that I have already posted.

He continues his fake, phony, fraudulent pretense of being interested in serious discussion, when in fact he is only interested in wasting my time with his puerile fallacies and falsehoods.

As I wrote earlier, I am not going to waste any more time on this dishonest, fake, phony, and clearly ignorant fraud.

If anyone else is still following this thread, here are some additional links regarding the scientific consensus on global warming.

New Data on Climate Change Worries Scientists
by Charles J. Hanley
April 29, 2005
The Associated Press

Excerpt (emphasis added):

Climate scientists armed with new data from the ocean depths and from space satellites have found that Earth is absorbing much more heat than it is giving off, which they say validates computer projections of global warming.

Lead scientist James Hansen, a prominent NASA climatologist, described the findings on the planet's out-of-balance energy exchange as a "smoking gun" that should dispel doubts about forecasts of climate change. A climate specialist from Germany called it a valuable contribution to climate research.

Hansen's team, reporting yesterday in the journal Science, said they also determined that global temperatures will rise by 1 degree Fahrenheit this century even if emissions of greenhouse gases are capped tomorrow.

If carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping emissions instead continue to grow, as expected, things could spin "out of our control," especially as ocean levels rise from melting Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the researchers said. International specialists predict a 10-degree leap in Fahrenheit readings in such a worst-case scenario.

[...]

"There can no longer be genuine doubt that human-made gases are the dominant cause of observed warming," said Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University's Earth Institute. "This energy imbalance is the 'smoking gun' that we have been looking for."


Just what is this Consensus anyway?
By Dr. William Connolley (Senior Scientific Officer and Climate Modeller with the British Antarctic Survey)
December 22, 2004
RealClimate.org

Excerpt (emphasis added):

We've used the term "consensus" here a bit recently [...] without ever really defining what we mean by it. In normal practice, there is no great need to define it - no science depends on it. But it's useful to record the core that most scientists agree on, for public presentation. The consensus that exists is that of the IPCC reports, in particular the working group I report (there are three WG's. By "IPCC", people tend to mean WG I). Fortunately that report is available online for all to read at http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/. Its a good idea to realise that though the IPCC report contains the consensus, it didn't form it. The IPCC process was supposed to be - and is - a summary of the science (as available at the time). Because they did their job well, it really is a good review/summary/synthesis.

The main points that most would agree on as "the consensus" are:

1. The earth is getting warmer (0.6 +/- 0.2 oC in the past century; 0.1 0.17 oC/decade over the last 30 years (see update)) [ch 2]

2. People are causing this [ch 12] (see update)

3. If GHG emissions continue, the warming will continue and indeed accelerate [ch 9]

4. (This will be a problem and we ought to do something about it)

I've put those four points in rough order of certainty. The last one is in brackets because whilst many would agree, many others (who agree with 1-3) would not, at least without qualification. It's probably not a part of the core consensus in the way 1-3 are. Most (all?) of us here on RealClimate are physical scientists - we can talk sensibly about past, present and future changes in climate, but potential impacts on ecosystems or human society are out of our field. If you want to see the IPCCs own summary, it's here.

Other things we have mentioned in other posts come in as supporting evidence. That the increase in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic is so obvious that few people question it and in consequence few people rebut skepticism of it (though Eric has done so recently here; and the IPCC mention it). That the recent increase in temperature is unprecedented in the last 1000 years [...] is one (but by no means the only) line of evidence indicating that recent change is likely to be unnatural [...]

The skeptic attitude to consensus usually starts with "there is no consensus". That's wrong, and they usually retreat from it to "but consensus science is meaningless", and/or "consensus has nothing to do with science". The latter is largely true but irrelevant. The existence of the consensus doesn't do a lot to determine what science is done; it doesn't prevent contrary lines being explored. But the consensus view does come into the tricky interface between science and policy, and science and the media.

The existence of the consensus shouldn't be used to hide the fact that there are areas of doubt. Climate models clearly aren't perfect. There are questions about the differences between surface and tropospheric temperature trends. Conversely the existence of some areas of doubt shouldn't be used to try to hide the many areas of understanding and agreement.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

"SecularAnimist,

"He continues to lie about what I have written."

No, I'm not lying. You claimed that all four of my points are "wrong." This includes my first point that there is no scientific consensus that global warming is solely caused by human activities. You said this assertion is wrong, and then you refuted your own statement by quoting the NAS stating that a significant part of global warming may be caused by natural variability, and that human activities are only "likely" (not "certainly") to have caused "most" (not "all") of global warming.

Your latest set of quotes are just more irrelevance. Not a single one of them supports any of your disputed claims about a "scientific consensus."

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of the century.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in termperature.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus on the proper policy responses to global warming.

Stop wasting time by quoting reams of text that have nothing to do with the claims you made that I dispute.

Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

I must say your thought that there is an inalienable right to shoot stuff is remarkable. What do you propose to shoot? The Constitution? The Lincoln Memorial?

You plead self-defense and say it's an inalienable right of humanity independent of law or the Constitution, and the Second Amendment, just by existing, recognizes this.

If you allow the legitimacy of such an idea then government and society will be in a constant state of threat since that will be the underlying default of social activity, the most fundamental thing. That isn't self-defense, that's chaos. In such a state of inherent threat the government will naturally come to respond as if it were under a threat. You create the very problem you anticipate, which may explain something of the cognitive dissonance of 'small government' Republicans who promptly try to create a police state once in power.

If you are saying the sovereignty rests not just within the people but within a potential exercise of a right to kill the government, that's the same as saying the sovereignty of a government rests in its' right of judicial execution which is what Isaiah Berlin identified in the work of Joseph deMaistre as the first point in the development of fascism.

If you were attacking the US government, what would you be attacking? Streets, bridges, the Post Office? Would you shoot people? In that you would be taking the idea of executing someone as the essence of your sovereignty, based on your lone judgment, --and you would say this is not the view of an abortion clinic bomber?

We the People. . . refers to the collective body of the citizenry, not chaos.

I think it may be that the reason fascism keeps coming up so naturally in these conversations is because of that one fundamental misconception that is allowed to fester unchecked, and the Second Amendment continues to exist only as a means of the corrupt and evil to sow fear and alienation in society.


I should say here that I don't advocate a blanket ban on private ownership. People in the hinterlands will always need to have something that can stop a bear, and there should be some provision for hunting if only to keep the deer in check (though that theory could use some work).


If I were walking down the street with a gun in my pocket I'd be terrified. What if someone found out I had it? Suddenly every other idiot in the room who also had a gun would be staring at me, and not with 'respect'. They'd be staring at me like I was some idiot who might suddenly pull out a gun.

I just wouldn't feel comfortable.

Sovereignty does not reside in an individual as part of their individuality, but in them as a part of society.


Is it that gun ownership gives the owner a sense of responsibility? Think of this try holding some other guys' dick in your hand think about.

Now you're responsible.

You really are.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

--think about it.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Consensus grows on climate change
By Roger Harrabin
March 1, 2006
BBC News

Excerpt:

The global scientific body on climate change will report soon that only greenhouse gas emissions can explain freak weather patterns.

Simultaneous changes in sea ice, glaciers, droughts, floods, ecosystems, ocean acidification and wildlife migration are taking place.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had previously said gases such as CO2 were "probably" to blame.

Its latest draft report will be sent to world governments next month.

A source told the BBC: "The measurements from the natural world on all parts of the globe have been anomalous over the past decade.

"If a few were out of kilter we wouldn't be too worried, because the Earth changes naturally. But the fact that they are virtually all out of kilter makes us very concerned."

He said the report would forecast that a doubling of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere would bring a temperature rise of 2-4.5C, or maybe higher.

This is an increase on projections in the last IPCC report, which suggested that the rise could be as little as 1.5C.

The current (not 2001) scientific consensus according to the IPCC: only greenhouse gas emissions can explain climate change, and a doubling of GHG concentrations (from pre-industrial levels) will cause greater temperature increases than predicted in the 2001 IPCC assessment report, increases of 2 to 4.5 degrees centigrade, or higher.

Global warming is caused by human activites -- principally the burning of fossil fuels -- that increase the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A doubling of that concentration from pre-industrial levels will cause temperature increases from 2 to 4.5 degrees centigrade, or more. This is the scientific consensus.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

On self-defense.

Yes, we have an inalienable right of personal self-defense, but that's not the same thing and doesn't imply that we have a right to defend ourselves with nerve gas or assault rifles.

Within our system sovereignty resides in the collective will. If a government became so odious as to subvert the system of the expression of the collective will it would no longer be the government, it will be entirely negligent, it will have abdicated. The First Amendment allows so many natural avenues of expression that a non-violent resistance to such a thing would be unstoppable. What would they say if a few million people drove their cars into the street and left them there? How many cops would really go along with a police state?

Those places that are so lousy a violent resistance may be justified are wholly different in the first place, and in places like 18th century France that citizenry could hardly have been described as armed.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

From the statement of the American Geophysical Union (Eos 84 (51), 574 (2003)) on "Human Impacts on Climate", December 2003:

Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate. These effects add to natural influences that have been present over Earth's history. Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century.

The scientific consensus is that "natural influences" cannot explain observed global warming. Only the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases can explain observed warming.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

From "The Science of Climate Change", a joint statement issued in May 2001 by the Australian Academy of Sciences, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, Caribbean Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, French Academy of Sciences, German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, Indian National Science Academy, Indonesian Academy of Sciences, Royal Irish Academy, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy), Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Royal Society (UK):

The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science [...] we support the IPCCs conclusion that it is at least 90% certain that temperatures will continue to rise, with average global surface temperature projected to increase by between 1.4 and 5.8oC above 1990 levels by 2100. This increase will be accompanied by rising sea levels, more intense precipitation events in some countries, increased risk of drought in others, and adverse effects on agriculture, health and water resources.

[...] It is now evident that human activities are already contributing adversely to global climate change. Business as usual is no longer a viable option.

We urge everyone - individuals, businesses and governments - to take prompt action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. One hundred and eighty-one governments are Parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, demonstrating a global commitment to "stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at safe levels". Eighty-four countries have signed the subsequent 1997 Kyoto Protocol, committing developed countries to reducing their annual aggregate emissions by 5.2% from 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

The ratification of this Protocol represents a small but essential first step towards stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. It will help create a base on which to build an equitable agreement between all countries in the developed and developing worlds for the more substantial reductions that will be necessary by the middle of the century.

It is the consensus of the scientific community that global warming is happening now, that it is caused by human activities, that it is already having adverse effects, that average temperatures will increase by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees centigrade above 1990 temperatures by the end of the century, that this additional warming will have severe adverse effects, and that "more substantial reductions" in GHG emissions than those mandated by the Kyoto Protocol will be necessary by the middle of the century to stabilize climate. Further, the scientific community "urges everyone ... to take prompt action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Get this,

http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2006/04/never-saw-nothing-at-all_20.html

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/8821721/detail.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06110/683609-57.stm

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

From a position paper of the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London:

Global climate change is increasingly recognised as the key threat to the continued development and even survival - of humanity. Here, we give the context obtained from earth history, as the pattern of global environmental change in the past provides an indispensable context to establishing likely trajectories of future climate change. We find that the evidence for human-induced climate change is now persuasive, and the need for direct action compelling.

[...]

The threat to humanity is clear: such a disappearance of living space (with some 100 million people living within less than 1 metre above present sea level) would represent a virtually impossible burden to a human population that is already struggling to feed itself, and is set to add another three billions to its numbers this century.

We note that it may not be the amount of sea level rise, as its speed, which may be catastrophic for a large section of humanity. The geological record shows that the melting of icecaps does not proceed smoothly, but occurs in fits and starts. Thus, the last retreat of the great ice-sheets included at least three episodes where sea level rose some 5-10 metres within the space of a decade. This is because a modest sea level rise can destabilize the edge of a mass of land ice, causing large parts of it to rapidly slide into the sea.

The consequences of such a sea level rise would be calamitous, comparable (and perhaps including as a consequence) a global war. Unlike a world war, though, civilization cannot get back to normal afterwards, as much of the landscape will have been drowned, effectively forever. We consider the threat to be imminent, the timescale of the global changes seeming likely to include the lifespans of our children.

[...]

We therefore add our voices to those urging more serious attention, and action, from national and international bodies. The central problem is one of the massive transfer of carbon from beneath the ground into the atmosphere, caused by humanitys enormous demands for energy, and current dependence on fossil fuels to supply by far the greatest part of this energy.

The consensus of the scientific community is that global warming and climate change are happening now, that they are caused by human burning of fossil fuels, that global warming is "the key threat" to the "survival of humanity", that sea level rises of 5 to 10 meters within the span of a decade are possible and have precedent in the geological record, that such sea level rises caused by anthropogenic global warming would be "catastrophic", "calamitous" and comparable to a "global war". Moreover it is the consensus of the scientific community that "serious attention and action" is required to address the "central problem" of the ongoing increase in atmospheric GHG concentrations as a result of humanity's burning of fossil fuels.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Don P posting as "waylon" and using a fake email address to hide his identity, wrote: No, I'm not lying.

Yes, you are lying. It's what you always have done on these threads. You are a fake, phony, dishonest, deeply ignorant poseur who has nothing to offer but repeated, unsupported dogmatic pronouncements of your ill-informed opinions, falsehoods, fallacies, misrepresentations, distortions, and just plain bullshit.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Woah ... If I'm caught in the crossfire directly between the pro-gun ideologue Sebastian and the virulently anti-gun cld, I must be the one in this picture with the reasonable position, eh? :)

cld -- there is no reason we should be disagreeing on this. Go back and re-read my posts to Sebastian. Guns are only a technological artifact; they aren't in any way inherent in our inalienable right to self-defense. Gandhi didn't say don't shoot the British, but it's okay to smash their skulls in with a lead pipe or stab them with a sword.

Likewise, the Second Amendment doesn't even mention guns. If pepper spray were common in the late 18th century, its meaning might well be construed to include it in the category of "arms."

The only thing I'll say -- and I'm repeating myself -- is that guns were indeed essential in overthrowing the British. No two ways about it; they were the state-of-the-art personal weaponry of that age. And as I have also said, that doesn't mean that the Second Amendment implies that we have a right to threaten the government with force to express our will. The Second Amendment was designed to facilitate a common defense without relying on a standing army -- that's the historical context. It turned out that voluntary miltias weren't much of a fighting force, and so were disbanded all throughout the 19th century and absorbed into the National Guard at the turn of the 20th.

If they'll be a revolution, it will happen *outside* the system -- and have nothing to do with our wrestling over the Framers' intent or the true meaning of the Second Amendment. It's pointless to talk about revolution in the context of government theory. And that's all I really need to say about this, as I've said it about four times previously. As it should be patently obvious, I share your distrust of guns as a "magic bullet" of public safety and political comity. Any idiot knows -- and that includes our pro-Second Amendment ground forces all up and down the chain of command -- that the fact that Iraq is awash in weapons is part of its problem and not part of the solution. That's why disarming Iraqis (while leaving them with the means for self-defense) is a big part of the program over there with which even hardcore opponents of the occupation can agree.

Sebastian:

I really don't know where to begin, but let's start with history. You're simply wrong about the state militias. They were supposed to be the permanent force; it was the standing federal army that was supposed to be temporary, called up in times of national emergency. Well, what happened? The country began changing. As it moved west, frontier self-defense became less relevant to the original 13 colonies. The settlers were obviously their own de-facto militias, well-regulated or otherwise. Because the threat from native Americans, the British and the French was vastly diminished, there wasn't the common glue of threat to inspire able-bodied men to drill every weekend with rifles. Farming and trade became more important to them than serving as an unpaid, unprofessional defense force. Due to this -- and also the problems of untrained, undisciplined young men playing Minuteman with government rifles -- it became apparent that professional defense forces were simply more useful in the settled states.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 20, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

As for Malcolm -- I've read Alex Haley's biography. The post-Mecca Malcolm would be inclined to agree with me, because the post-Mecca Malcolm had an epiphany and began to see how violence begets violence if the cycle isn't broken.

The pre-Mecca Malcom was a hotheaded young man with a head full of conspiracy theories and hardcore ideas. If you want to claim him as a patron saint, then you put yourself in the company of ideologues and curdled idealists who see the world in only black and white. That you attacked me for citing his phrase "by any means necessary" demonstrates precisely this lack of subtlety in debate, because I used the phrase in its precise, unambiguous meaning, to make the point to cld that violence is inevitable in a revolution to overthrow the government. We shouldn't have had a dispute about it, but you saw a cheap opportunity to toss an ad hom and couldn't pass it up.

As for visiting your site, I'm sorry sir, but I'm profoundly uninterested. Your views are so ideological, so prone to provoke headaches and gastric distress at disagreement, that watching you debate guns is like watching waylon/Don P debate global warming. Your lack of civility has caused me to doubt your statistics and sources at face value. You cite the Bush DOJ and pro-gun websites, GMAFB. I don't even believe that 40 states have CCW laws, but if I happen to be wrong (and I always allow for the possibility that I might be wrong on a matter of fact), doubtless those 10 remaining states comprise the coasts and contain the lion's share of the congiguous US population.

{continued}

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 20, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote: ... watching you debate guns is like watching waylon/Don P debate global warming.

Oooh ... that's gotta hurt.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not quite so anti-gun as 'virulently', but I am anti-error. Because it's wrong.

The error the Second Amendment and the fantasia surrounding it promulgate in our society is pernicious and severe and needs to strongly addressed. I don't agree that there is an even mean between my position and Sebastian's, he's wholly in error and not a trivial error but one that threatens societal cohesion in a fundamental way and to say there is a compromise with this is to be wholly in error with him.

But I am not altogether against private ownership, just 99% of it, especially for people who do not live in the same neighborhood as grizzly bears or lions.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

Let's move on to crime stats. You keep citing Baltimore and DC. Forgive a touch of Northeastern chauvanism, but NYC is a tad more significant than either as the quintessential metropolis.

In the 90s, NYC had a famous drop in crime rates which has been remarkably sustained to the point where NYC remains one of America's safest cities. Many theories have been put forth for it. Was it Guiliani's focus on "quality of life crimes," the "broken window theory" of how neighborhoods decline in civility? Was it community policing? The decline in crack cocaine use? There's also the Freakonomics view -- highly controversial -- that it's a result of a missing population since abortion became legal. But whatever the matrix of factors, one thing remains beyond dispute:

This did *not* occur because gun laws were liberalized, even slightly.

Interesting also that you mention Baltimore and DC, because they're both close to the Virginias. One of the most obnoxious things that NYC cops have to contend with is gunrunners who buy weapons in bulk from places where guns are easier to obtain and sell them out of car trunks to criminals. Guns, as you know, are fungible. Well perhaps the Balto/DC crime rate is facilitated by those wonderful loose gun laws that make Virginians so much safer with their concealed weapons. If so, it's a gigantic and rather nauseating example of suburban cultural imperialism -- and an argument for nationalized gun control.

Now let's take LEOs. Once again, I simply don't believe you. Best case, you're cherry picking your examples. I have a bit of experience with this because I used to fundraise for police organizations. The FOP took a lot of grief for endorsing Clinton and the assault rifle ban.

I am a lot less impressed with what a police chief has to say in Missouri than I am in what police chiefs have to say in NYC, LA, Detroit and other culturally non-Southern or Western areas with the densest populations. Of course you have to invoke the conspiracy theory (which I've heard from gun proponents before, of course) that the urban police chiefs -- by far the strongest supporters of gun control in the LEO community -- are somehow beholden to Democratic politicians. Oh really? Where's the quid pro quo that would make these police chiefs go so far as to abandon the best interests of their rank and file? Where's their secret love for Ted Kennedy and Carolyn McCarthy?

{next up -- CCW and drunk driving}

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 20, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, we have an inalienable right of personal self-defense, but that's not the same thing and doesn't imply that we have a right to defend ourselves with nerve gas or assault rifles. "
This is simple really--denying the people the effective means of self defense effectively denies them the right. No one's arguing that you have the right to nerve gas or atomic weapons, but clearly small arms are the useful and common tools that average citizens can use to protect their lives and homes. The FF's writings made it clear this is what they believed (Jefferson wrote you should have your pistol as your constant) companion on your walks) and there's nothing unreasonable with using small arms to defend yourself. Much as I don't mind prohibitions against yelling fire in a crowded theatre, I don't mind reasonable restrictions on weapons you can own. That said, restricting me from owning rifles, shotguns, and handguns is simply unreasonable. They're common militaria, and useful for self defense.

"cld -- there is no reason we should be disagreeing on this. Go back and re-read my posts to Sebastian. Guns are only a technological artifact; they aren't in any way inherent in our inalienable right to self-defense. Gandhi didn't say don't shoot the British, but it's okay to smash their skulls in with a lead pipe or stab them with a sword."

The reasonable point of view (and I get a kick out of you guys referring to me as an "idealogue", I'm advocating the most pragmatic reality-based position here) is that "arms" can mean a lot of things, and will change over time. Someday technology will make guns obsolete, and the new defensive technology should enjoy similar protection. Sticks and rocks gave way to swords which gave way to bows and arrows which gave way to guns which will someday give way to phasers and stun weapons. This is a good thing.

"And as I have also said, that doesn't mean that the Second Amendment implies that we have a right to threaten the government with force to express our will"

No, it sure doesn't. But it does ensure that when the government threatens US that we can do something about it. Important distinction there.

"I really don't know where to begin, but let's start with history. You're simply wrong about the state militias. They were supposed to be the permanent force; it was the standing federal army that was supposed to be temporary, called up in times of national emergency. "

I don't know where I said anything to the contrary that makes you think I'm "wrong", but I'm pretty well versed on the militia thing (being a 2A lobbyist in my part time, and a history major in school I can assure you that I've read up this just a weeeeee bit). The founding fathers were generally averse to standing armies in general, so I'd say "permanent force" is a mischaracterization. However, your position only clarifies my case--the 2As intent clearly was that the militia be ready and willing and able, and the SCOTUS agrees (read up on Miller, which CLD chose to ignore because it's devastating to his position).

http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html

Good reading on the militia. In short, the 2A doesn't require you to be in a militia in order to own or carry guns. If they wanted it to say that, THEY WOULD HAVE FUCKING MADE IT SAY THAT.

And for the last time, just about every state has a law that makes it clear the militia has two parts, the organized part made up in part by the Nat'l Guard, and the unorganized or reserve, which is everyone else. The Nat'l Guard does NOT supplant the militia.

I don't disagree that the need for the militia may have waned, but like any other right there's no means test. Rights are rights, the need for them may ebb and flow, but that doesn't mean you should surrender them at ebbtide. You keep them around for the next time you may need them.

It's a stupid argument anyway; the 2A doesn't say "you can have a gun when you're in the militia". It says you can have a gun so you're useful to the militia. Even if we accept the SCOTUS's position that the weapon must be militarily useful to be protected, that doesn't mean you need to be in the militia to have it. And I don't think people like CLD really want to start going down that route anyway. I'll take my M60 in olive drab camoflauge thanks.

"As for Malcolm -- I've read Alex Haley's biography. The post-Mecca Malcolm would be inclined to agree with me, because the post-Mecca Malcolm had an epiphany and began to see how violence begets violence if the cycle isn't broken."

Talk about bringing a knife to a bazooka fight. Trust me on this, no where in Malcolm's writings or speeches did he ever recant his belief that it was wise for the black community to practice with arms and be prepared. You couldn't be more wrong. Please drop it, you're continually revealing yourself to be someone who'll pass comment on something he knows nothing about.

"We shouldn't have had a dispute about it, but you saw a cheap opportunity to toss an ad hom and couldn't pass it up."

Sorry but anytime someone quotes one of my heroes out of context, I'm going to correct them.

"As for visiting your site, I'm sorry sir, but I'm profoundly uninterested. Your views are so ideological, so prone to provoke headaches and gastric distress at disagreement, that watching you debate guns is like watching waylon/Don P debate global warming. "

Your loss. You're profoundly uneducated on this issue and yet you keep tossing out uninformed banter like it's going out of style. If you choose to not consider alternative viewpoints or to update your outdated facts, you only harm yourself.

"You cite the Bush DOJ and pro-gun websites, GMAFB."

Feel free to provide rebuttal information if you can. There are plenty of antigun sites, but their info is routinely debunked. There's a reason that conservatives, moderates, a growing number of liberals, and libertarians are all moving away from gun control--the facts simply don't support it.

"I don't even believe that 40 states have CCW laws, but if I happen to be wrong (and I always allow for the possibility that I might be wrong on a matter of fact),"

You are indeed wrong. You don't want to believe it because it hurts your feelings and doesn't support your "guns are evil" paradigm, but the reality is that a CCW wave has swept the country in the last 15 years with no ill effect. 40 states have shall issue laws where any law abiding, trained, vetted citizen can carry. Of the remaining ten, only TWO don't let anyone carry now.

Go to www.packing.org or check out this little map: http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php

You're so uneducated on this issue you don't even realize that most of the US (including California, New York, and other major population centers) let people carry guns, to the tune of over 40 states. Of the remaining ten that aren't shall issue, four are reluctant to issue (Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, Mass) and a couple are generally close to shall issue.

Thanks for revealing how little you know about CCW laws.


"doubtless those 10 remaining states comprise the coasts and contain the lion's share of the congiguous US population."

Wrong. See above.


"Oooh ... that's gotta hurt."

Secular, don't be ridiculous... Why would it hurt to have someone obviously far less educated than me on the issue insult my take on it? It's like Jessica Simpson saying that Albert Eintein isn't so smart...I'm sure Albert wouldn't care any more than I do.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"The error the Second Amendment and the fantasia surrounding it promulgate in our society is pernicious and severe and needs to strongly addressed. I don't agree that there is an even mean between my position and Sebastian's, he's wholly in error and not a trivial error but one that threatens societal cohesion in a fundamental way and to say there is a compromise with this is to be wholly in error with him. "

And yet when called out on that error, when I cited the relevant caselaw that showed you're wrong, you had nothing to say. I can back up my case with the writings of the FF's and caselaw. You got nuttin.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

"The current (not 2001) scientific consensus according to the IPCC: only greenhouse gas emissions can explain climate change,"

Your quote is from a BBC news report, not from an IPCC document, and even the news report does not state that "only greenhouse gas emissions can explain climate change." That statement is your invention.

You yourself already quoted from a NAS document stating that human activity is merely "likely" (not "certainly") to have caused "most" (not "all") global warming, and that natural climate variability may be a "significant" cause of global warming. That statement directly contradicts your claim that global warming is caused solely by human activity.

When are you going to to admit this?

Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian: Secular, don't be ridiculous... Why would it hurt to have someone obviously far less educated than me on the issue insult my take on it?

I merely meant that being compared to Don P a.k.a. "waylon" is, in my opinion based on my own experiences with Don P, a pretty harsh rebuke.

I didn't mean to comment on whether or not it was warranted. In all honesty I don't know anything about the issues that you, cld and rmck1 are discussing so I am not qualified to comment on the merits of the debate.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Let's move on to crime stats. You keep citing Baltimore and DC. Forgive a touch of Northeastern chauvanism, but NYC is a tad more significant than either as the quintessential metropolis."

Fine, let's talk about NYC. Take Manhattan out of the picture (the most densely patrolled real estate in the world that's also the richest) and consider the surrounding burrougs. Suddenly the picture isn't so rosy for your case.

"Interesting also that you mention Baltimore and DC, because they're both close to the Virginias. One of the most obnoxious things that NYC cops have to contend with is gunrunners who buy weapons in bulk from places where guns are easier to obtain and sell them out of car trunks to criminals. Guns, as you know, are fungible. Well perhaps the Balto/DC crime rate is facilitated by those wonderful loose gun laws that make Virginians so much safer with their concealed weapons. If so, it's a gigantic and rather nauseating example of suburban cultural imperialism -- and an argument for nationalized gun control."

Glad you brought that up. How come VA, awash in guns, isn't having a violence problem but DC and Baltimore are? Why? BECAUSE THE PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT. Nat'l gun control punishes people who do nothing wrong for the sins of a few. Very undemocratic. Talk about cultural imperialism.

The fact is crooks in MD don't need to go to VA to get guns. You can buy them here.

The fact that VA and PA don't have a violence problem and we do is clearly an indication that the problem is the people, not the guns.

"Now let's take LEOs. Once again, I simply don't believe you. Best case, you're cherry picking your examples. I have a bit of experience with this because I used to fundraise for police organizations. The FOP took a lot of grief for endorsing Clinton and the assault rifle ban."

No, I'm not. I've provided multiple sources that indicate that LEOs don't support gun control. You haven't provided one that indicates that they do. Here in MD the Maryland State Police testified AGAINST a renewed AWB. Rank and file officers don't support gun control, because often a police officers life is saved by an armed citizen. Armed citizens make their jobs easier and safer.

You're simply unafraid to lie, baldfaced. And I'm happy to keep exposing you for it. There is no evidence, NONE that suggests LEOs aren't on my side. The honus is on you to suggest otherwise.


Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"The scientific consensus is that "natural influences" cannot explain observed global warming."

I have not claimed that "natural influences" alone explain observed global warming. You're arguing against a statement I did not make.

You have claimed that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is caused solely by human activities, but you have not produced one iota of evidence for this alleged "consensus," and the NAS statement you quoted directly contradicts your allegation.

When are you going to admit this?

Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"The consensus of the scientific community is that ... that global warming is "the key threat" to the "survival of humanity",:

Ha ha ha ha! Yet another ridiculous claim of a "scientific consensus."

Show me your proof that "the consensus of the scientific community" is that global warming is "the key threat to the survival of humanity."

Note that a "position paper of the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London" does not demonstrate a "consensus of the scientific community."

Also, I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of the century.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in termperature.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus on the proper policy responses to global warming.


Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

DonP, posting as "waylon" and using a fake email address to hide his identity wrote: That statement directly contradicts your claim that global warming is caused solely by human activity. When are you going to to admit this?

The word "solely" is yours, introduced by you into the discussion for the sole purpose of creating a pretext for a long drawn out pointless argument for the sake of argument. You lie every time that you claim that I ever used it. You are a liar. You are a repetitious liar. When are you going to admit this?

Don P posting as "waylon" wrote: You yourself already quoted from a NAS document stating that human activity is merely "likely" (not "certainly") to have caused "most" (not "all") global warming, and that natural climate variability may be a "significant" cause of global warming.

That's not what the NAS report says and you know it. It is loathesomely dishonest of you to misrepresent the paragraph that you yourself first quoted here, when anyone reading this can simply scroll up and see that you are lying about it.

What the NAS report said is that "we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes are also a reflection of natural variability."

Of course it cannot be "ruled out" that some as yet unidentified, unproven "natural variability" may be contributing to global warming. Neither can it be "ruled out" that natural variability, in the absence of anthropogenic GHG climate forcing, would be currently causing the Earth to cool. And in fact there are scientists who think that would be the case.

You are misrepresenting what that paragraph says in order to deliberately distort the import of the NAS report, which is that human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, are increasing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and thus causing the Earth to warm.

As the BBC news report I quoted said, a source within the IPCC told the BBC that the IPCC "will report soon that only greenhouse gas emissions can explain freak weather patterns [i.e. climate change - SA] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had previously said gases such as CO2 were 'probably' to blame."

The scientific consensus that human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, have increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and that this is the cause of observed global warming was strong in 2001 when the NAS and the IPCC issued their major reports. That consensus has strengthened in the five years since then to the point where it is now overwhelming.

Also, during that time, no "natural variability" has been identified that could possibly be responsible for the observed, rapid global warming, and improved climate models and empirical studies have confirmed that anthropogenic GHG climate forcing is sufficient to explain the observed warming, so there is no reason and no need to invoke any yet unknown "natural variability" to explain it. And indeed, as I mentioned above, there is a body of scientific opinion that in the absence of anthropogenic climate forcing, the "natural" tendency of the Earth at this point would be some slight cooling.

You have brought nothing to this discussion but lies, misrepresentations, distortions, fallacies, willful ignorance (ignoring or dismissing on dishonest grounds the numerous references that I have cited, and pretending you are "waiting" for them), dogmatic repetition of ill-informed, unsubstantiated opinions, and fake, phony rhetorical posturing.

You are a complete waste of time. You have always been a complete waste of time, Don P. That's why everyone who engaged in discussion with you in the past on this site stopped doing so -- because you are nothing but a dishonest fraud who likes to impress himself with his ability to waste people's time with bullshit. That's why you have to hide your identity behind a variety of different handles and fake email addresses to get anyone to engage with you.

But even when you do that, your characteristic pretentious phoniness eventually makes it clear who you really are.

You long ago lost this debate. You are a loser. Every time, you are a loser.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting as "waylon" and using a fake email address to hide his identity wrote: Also, I'm still waiting ...

No, you are not. You have lost this debate and you know it.

You are completely unable to respond to the numerous citations from numerous scientific bodies that I have already cited to support my views. You have been reduced to cutting and pasting your lies from previous posts.

You have cited only one document in support of your claims, and despite your transparently dishonest distortions of what it says, it clearly contradicts your claims. And that is the one and only reference you have offered.

You've got nothing. Nothing at all. You are not "waiting" for anything. You are trying to salvage your ego in the face of abject and ignominious defeat in this debate. You have lost. You are a loser. As always, Don P, you are a loser.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Secular,
Point taken about your remark, I wasn't familiar with Waylon's style. No harm done.

And nice work in the GW argument. Now you know how I feel when someone like my antigun opponent makes a remark like "I don't believe you that there are 40+ states that let you carry"...

When you're arguing with someone so obviously divorced from the facts, it's hard to be patient.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"The word "solely" is yours,"

You claimed that there is a "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused solely by human activities. I said: "The claim that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is solely attributable to human activities is false," and you responded that this statement is "wrong."

If you now wish to retract your claim that my statement is wrong, go ahead.

Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

that doesn't mean that the Second Amendment implies that we have a right to threaten the government with force to express our will"
No, it sure doesn't. But it does ensure that when the government threatens US that we can do something about it. Important distinction there.

Important distinction here: it's the Republicans who might threaten us, not the government. Apocalyptic daydreams only inspire them.


It says you can have a gun so you're useful to the militia. Even if we accept the SCOTUS's position that the weapon must be militarily useful to be protected, that doesn't mean you need to be in the militia to have it.

The sentence in question is "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

To understand this we have to start at the beginning, We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The word 'People' refers to the corporate body of citizenry and is used in this sense at every point thereafter in the Constitution. It does not refer to private individuals in their private capacity. The Constitution says little or nothing about your private life, it only addresses your life in society, therefore your ownership, as a private matter, isn't addressed. The only question answered in the Second Amendment is that the capacity of the corporate body of citizenry of a state will be allowed to keep weapons. It doesn't say where, or how or whether or not the individual state may further regulate any element of private ownership.


And yet when called out on that error, when I cited the relevant caselaw that showed you're wrong, you had nothing to say.

I honestly didn't notice that. What do you refer to?

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

Yet again, none of your quoted text supports the claims you have made that I have challenged.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of the century.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in termperature.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus on the proper policy responses to global warming.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that "the consensus of the scientific community" is that global warming is "the key threat to the survival of humanity."

Stop wasting time by quoting statements that do not address the claims of yours I list above.

Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

The word 'People' refers to the corporate body of citizenry and is used in this sense at every point thereafter in the Constitution. It does not refer to private individuals in their private capacity. The Constitution says little or nothing about your private life, it only addresses your life in society, therefore your ownership, as a private matter, isn't addressed. The only question answered in the Second Amendment is that the capacity of the corporate body of citizenry of a state will be allowed to keep weapons. It doesn't say where, or how or whether or not the individual state may further regulate any element of private ownership.

No. The first half of the amendment is a justification clause; if your argument were to hold, we'd also have to argue that 1st Amendment rights, 8th Amendment rights, etc. are also collective and not individual rights. The courts have clearly held that that isn't the case re: other amendments(thank you 14th Amendment), but haven't gotten around to giving the 2A fourteenth amendment protection explicitly. Hopefully they will eventually.

You're also ignoring Emerson, where the 5th ckt did insist the amendment does convey an individual right. If you care to find a contradictory ruling from another ckt, I'd be happy to consider it. The SCOTUS hasn't yet ruled on this issue, but given it's current makeup I like our chances more and more. Too bad they probably won't hold the same way on abortion rights. :( There have been about 300 relevant cases at the federal and state level, and only about 10 have failed to hold that the 2A confers an individual right in the same way the other amendments do. The phrases Right of the people to peaceably assemble, right of the people to be secure in their homes, enumerations herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people, and the powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and and to the people all are generally construed to protect the rights of individuals. However, I'm supposed to believe the right of the people to keep and bear arms refers to the state? Hogwash. In case you're in a 5th ckt bashing mood, the 8th ckt agreed with the 5th in a later case (US v. Hutzel).

Even if I accept your unfounded (and generally rejected assessment by the courts) assessment, there's little caselaw that would suggest how the collectively owned guns would be doled out. As such, it's generally left to the states today anyway...

But as our friend was happily misinformed about, more than 40 states allow some or all of their law abiding citizens to carry.

I honestly didn't notice that. What do you refer to?
My bad. I was refering to my exchange with Bob re: the Miller case.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

The thing you advocates of the collectivist interpretation of the 2A never seem to address: if the FF's wanted it to be a collective right, why not make it explicit? If they only wanted people in uniform to have guns, they could have said so explicitly.

Justification clauses were quite common in that day, and its awful how people choose to misconstrue them. An analogy: An informed electorate being necessary to a free republic, the right of the people to learn to read shall not be infringed.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting as "waylon" and using a fake email address to hide his identity, wrote: You claimed that there is a "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused solely by human activities.

Like I said, you are a repetitious liar.

I wrote at 8:24PM on 4/18: "There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is real, that it is happening now at a rapid and accelerating rate, that it is caused by human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, and that its likely consequences are gravely dangerous to life on earth, not to mention human civilization."

I have repeated that assertion several times and backed it up with numerous references to the scientific literature and statements issued by scientific organizations (which you have been completely unable to respond to).

I never used the word "solely". The first use of that word in this thread was by you, at 7:31PM on 4/19, when you asserted "The claim that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is solely attributable to human activities is false. The scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human activities."

I never made any such claim. I never used the word "solely". You lie every time you say that I did.

You introduced the word "solely" into the discussion solely as a pretext for launching into one of your typical, dishonest, pointless arguments fo the sake of argument, by which you impress yourself with your ability to waste people's time with bullshit.

When I asserted that your statement was wrong, I was referring to your assertion that "The scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human activities."

That statement is wrong. It is a deliberate distortion of the scientific consensus as of 2001, as stated in the NAS report you cited, which simply said that "natural variability" could not be "ruled out" as a contributing factor.

As I have discussed at length, nothing can ever be entirely "ruled out" as having some effect on the Earth's climate, including the possibility that "natural variability" would be causing the Earth to cool in the absence of a human influence. But no such "natural variability" has been demonstrated to have any role in the observed, drastic, rapid and unprecedented global warming of recent decades, while at the same time anthopogenic forcing is entirely sufficient to explain it.

And while your statement was a distortion of the scientific consensus as of 2001, it is baldly and blatantly false with regard to the scientific consensus as of 2006. In 2001, as stated by the NAS and IPCC reports issued that year, there was a strong scientific consensus that human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, are increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and that this is the cause of observed global warming. ALL of the science -- ALL of it -- since 2001 has confirmed that consensus, which is now overwhelming, as the next major report from the IPCC, due out in 2007, will say. There are NO known "natural" factors that can account for the observed warming. It is caused by human activities.

You have lost this debate. You have nothing but your repetitious lie in which you try to attribute your words to me. You are a fake, a phony, a fraud, and a bullshit artist.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry about my ugly formatting in that last post. The part that starts with "No."

To clarify, the 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Under what construction could that possibly not confer an individual right? No court has held that it doesn't to my knowledge.

From the 1st Amendment: or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Clearly that conveys an individual right. How could you possibly argue that only states can petition for redress or peaceably assemble?

The tenth amendment is I think fatal to your collectivist interpretation of the 2A: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Notice! They make a clear distinction between the states and the people. If they wanted a collectivist second amendment, it would read the "right of the states to keep and bear arms...", not people.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting as "waylon" and using a fake email address to hide his identity, wrote: Stop wasting time by quoting statements that do not address the claims of yours I list above.

I have posted numerous references to the scientific literature that directly support the statements that I have made about the scientific consensus regarding global warming. You have been completely unable to respond to them, except (as usual) by pretending that I haven't posted them.

You are a clown, Don P. You are a fake, phony, dishonest, pretentious clown who has proved himself incapable of serious discussion of any issue, and who is only able to waste people's time with idiotic sophistry and pointless argument for the sake of argument.

You have lost this debate. An ignominious and humiliating loss. You lost it because you have nothing. You have nothing but lies, misrepresentations, distortions, willful ignorance and silly, pretentious rhetorical posturing to bring to it in the first place.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 20, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

The First Amendment, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That's 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble'. As a group.

The Eighth Amendment, Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The word People doesn't even occur here. Did you really mean Eighth?

All of these things refer to public behaviour and public action.

For a hundred different reasons, almost all of them within the argument of States' Rights, the Second Amendment has found a succession of trivial and misleading renderings over time that have built a phony tradition, like Conservatism, that is little but the perpetuation of fraud.

These cases are incredibly sensitive to their historical and local context, more so than any other topic that is recurrently before the Court. I don't think there is any other subject where the context is more generically ignored. What looks like a chain of successive reasoning is more like a daisy chain of every different cheese in France. Seen all at once, it's quite a stink.

Don't let it go to your head.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

if the FF's wanted it to be a collective right, why not make it explicit?

They thought they were. It's clear in the general English usage of the day.

An analogy: An informed electorate being necessary to a free republic, the right of the people to learn to read shall not be infringed.

Something wrong with that?

I agree the Fourth Amendment does confer an individual right, but the use of the word 'people' is in its' collective sense, that's why the word 'persons' is also used in that sentence, otherwise, why have it there?

The Tenth Amendment, The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Not all the People lived in states, and they couldn't be sure something like the states they knew would have been the form of organization the undeveloped territories ended up in.
There is a clear distinction between States and People and a distinction between the State and the People in it, just as we do not have to fear our government, just the Republicans in it.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

"When I asserted that your statement was wrong, I was referring to your assertion that "The scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human activities."

Your claim that my statement is wrong did not refer to that sentence alone. You said my "point" is wrong. If my point is wrong, then there is a scientific consensus that global warming is "solely" attributable to human activities. This is your absurd claim.

But the NAS statement also directly contradicts your claim that the second sentence is wrong. The NAS stated that natural variability is a possible cause of a significant amount of global warming. This obviously contradicts your claim that the statement "The scientific consensus is that a significant part of global warming may be attributable to natural variability rather than human activities" is wrong.

In addition, I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the magnitude of the temperature increase by the end of the century.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus regarding the environmental effects of a given rise in termperature.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that there is a scientific consensus on the proper policy responses to global warming.

I'm still waiting for you to substantiate your assertion that "the consensus of the scientific community" is that global warming is "the key threat to the survival of humanity."


Posted by: waylon on April 20, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

That's 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble'. As a group.
Great, then as a group we can have weapons? Me and my brother the cop are a group. Fair enough. If you really want to try to split that hair, it's only going to help me--because in that context it's still people as private citizens and not agents of the state. Either the phrase refers to the state or the people (in groups or individually). Don't try to split that hair with me, you're being facile--does it not CLEARLY talk about petitioning for redress as well, which is clearly an individual right.


These cases are incredibly sensitive to their historical and local context, more so than any other topic that is recurrently before the Court. I don't think there is any other subject where the context is more generically ignored. What looks like a chain of successive reasoning is more like a daisy chain of every different cheese in France. Seen all at once, it's quite a stink.
I see you've changed your strategy. Since it turns out the caselaw doesn't support your position, you're going to belittle instead of flaunt it. Nice strategy you got there--but the tradition of gun ownership isn't anything that stinks. The only thing that stinks is small minded idiots trying to pretend it doesn't exist and that the majority of law abiding gun owners should surrender their rights because of the misdeeds of a few.

You do realize that CCW holders have been studied to be less violent and less likely to commit crimes than the general public? Even if all 50 states went shall issue (they almost have, it's been such a non event evidently you've missed it completely), it wouldn't matter--criminals aren't going to bother to register their fingerprints, get a background check, get trained, pay a fee, etc. They're just gonna carry. Law abiding citizens with guns aren't the people you should worry about. If you want to keep bad guys from having guns, I'm right there with you. But don't do it in such a way that you deny me my rights.

They thought they were. It's clear in the general English usage of the day.
Ridiculous. Bullshit of the highest, most succulent variety. They mention the state, states, the government, Congress, etc repeatedly throughout the BOR and the COTUS as it was written. In the plain language of the day, they used a justification clause to explain a reason (and not the only reason, but an important one) that a right was to be protected. The preamble to the 2A would have read much differently if they wanted a collective right. They could have made it say, in the language of the day, "A well regulated militia being necessary, the right of the states to keep military stores and weapons" or some such. They didn't. The sooner you get over that, the sooner Democrats can give up the gun control ghost, quit wasting time on a prohibitionist scheme that punishes the innocent along with the guilty, and stop losing elections.

I agree the Fourth Amendment does confer an individual right, but the use of the word 'people' is in its' collective sense, that's why the word 'persons' is also used in that sentence, otherwise, why have it there?

Sophmoric at best. They use the word persons in the context of houses, papers, and effects. In other words, you can't have cops rummaging through your pockets as you walk down the street. Regardless, collective sense or not, that right protects individuals. When a cop violates the 4th and arrests you after an illegal search, you don't have to demonstrate allegiance to any group in order to enjoy 4th amendment protection. Whatever it is you hope to gain by suggesting that people refers to a collective body there is pointless--the point is, people refers to PRIVATE CITIZENS, NOT THE STATE. There's no reason it would be different for the word people as it appears in the 2A.

Not all the People lived in states, and they couldn't be sure something like the states they knew would have been the form of organization the undeveloped territories ended up in.
Not sure why that's relevant, but it's clear the founders saw the importance of distinguishing between private citizens (the people) and the govts of the states. They did it all over the BOR, including the 2A. For your collectivist 2A to work, how in the FF's time could that be? You really think people as distrustful of the excesses of tyrants really would be comfortable with only letting the state decide who has guns? That's unsupportable, nowhere in their writings will you find support for that idea. If you could, the anti's would use it constantly.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

Well, bro, you're preening. Basking in your own alleged expertise. Believe me, I've debated my share of gun proponents and I know the MO.

You guys are a subculture that tries to pretend that you're mainstream, but you're not. You're obsessed with firearms. You know everything about them, all the history, all the statutes -- and you conflate this with common sense. It's the exact same MO as the milbloggers prior to the Iraq war. *We* don't know. *We're* civilians. *We* have never been in uniform. *We* have never fired a gun. *We* wouldn't know an AR-15 from a derringer, etc., etc., etc.

Well, turned out the milbloggers were proven wrong in a rather large way. Expertise -- no matter how detailed, passionate and extensive -- simply doesn't trump common sense.

Why do I distrust you? First, you're an advocate. Every source you've linked has been adamantly pro-gun. You have an agenda. I'm just a hobbyist debater. I claim no special knowledge of the subject. I'm open to convincing -- but I'd need to be convinced by someone who's willing to relate to some of my premises rather than reject them out of hand. If you want me to believe your stats, you might source them from an academic journal or a recognized impartial compiler of statistics. You don't try to convince liberals by linking to NRO -- why should it be different with firearms skeptics?

You claim I talk out my ass. I'm merely being properly skeptical -- but I'd watch that accusation. Where do you get the idea that The Bronx has different gun laws than Manhattan? You'd think that a faithful daily reader of the NYT would have picked that up. Most boroughs of NYC (save Staten Island and parts of Queens) aren't all that less urban. Did you make that up? You sure don't live locally.

It's not like we haven't experienced pro-gun dissemblers before. Kevin likes to debunk a blogger -- forget his name -- who's been caught twisting facts. One of his escapades involves a study that allegedly shows how areas with CCW have lower crime. Forgive me if my memory here isn't sharper; maybe someone else will recall the name.

Likewise with Macolm. We wouldn't have had that scrape had you read me in context to begin with. But oh, how you know Malcolm. He's your *hero*. You know what that tells me? -- that you can't be objective about him. He's up on a pedestal; end of discussion. The reality, of course, is that Malcom was a complex and flawed individual whose thinking underwent a significant change before the end of his life. But you'd prefer a reified poster boy. Intellectual rigidity.

As for CCW laws not including bars -- that's fascinating. It seems to repudiate the very nature of having a CCW law to begin with. After all -- where do you think it's most likely that you'd encounter violence with strangers? It's also funny, too, because I used to debate a pro-gunner who lived in Utah. His locale was in the midst of an attempt to allow guns in schools and churches. See, to him -- carrying is carrying. Not carrying under any circumstances is tantamount to turning your soft underbelly to the wolves. He'd call you a sellout.

DWI also happens to be fairly analogous to metal detecting bar patrons and ejecting those with weapons. It's proactive. Prior to the recent DWI regime starting in the 80s, people would get *indignant* for being stopped while drunk. But Officer, I was just weaving a little and my house is only three blocks away. No harm, no foul. Often, if you knew the cop or were convincing enough, you could get the cop to take your keys and let you walk home. That was the 70s. Not anymore. Why?

Because even if you blew a .08 and your house is down the street means that you'd make it home safely with 95% certainty, the remaining 5% chance is socially intolerable. Strictly based on statistics, not likely personal behavior. Oh did libertarians hate the new DWI regime.

I feel the same way about guns. I don't believe owning one would improve my chances of survival. The rare chance I might be able to point it at a bad guy would not override the chance that it might be used against me by an intruder. After all, sleeping with it under the pillow is uncomfortable. Forgive me for not existing in the same factual universe as you, but it's my understanding that the vast majority of gun violence happens in the home, with people that you know (kinda like most car accidents happen within three blocks of your residence. Counterintuitive, but there you have it.) If I had kids, forget it. Johnny playing with Daddy's gun I believe is the single biggest cause of gun accidents. Hence all that fuss about trigger locks. Which, of course, impede their effectiveness in a clutch situation (where's that goddamn key?)

You'd counter no doubt with gun safety training, that *cough* deathless mantra of the NRA. Eddy Eagle and all of that. Well, you're also a cynic with a jaundiced view of human nature, given your lack of faith that gun laws can be enforced effectively. So allow me to extend that brand of cynicism to the capablity of people to learn how to use guns safely. I believe there's an upper limit which doesn't exceed 50% of the population. There are coordination issues, panic issues. There are people like myself who were born without steroscopic vision and thus have a hard time judging depth at distances. And there are also some people who are simply careless and irresponsible about everything. Not the sort who exist in your gun club, of course. They've been weeded out.

But we're not talking about your gun club, Sebastian. We're talking about social policy. You'd like us all to be responsible for our personal safety by carrying weapons.

And that's where I fundamentally part company with you. Though I'm not ruling it off the table, it's still doubtful that a ream of facts from sources I'd respect would change my mind. As Ayn Rand might phrase it, I reject your epistemology, Sebastian. You're a radical individualist. You believe that because you've mastered gun safety, everybody should be able to. It's the same sort of navel-gazing worldview that allows people in trailer parks to vote Republican because they believe in their hearts that someday they can get rich.

Well, I majored in American studies and sociology. I have too much respect for the way people *actually* behave to buy into it. None of your cop anecdotes about how happy they are to encounter armed citizens ring true, nor do I believe that there's been a "CCW revolution" that's vastly reduced crime in America. It sounds like propaganda and until I read it from a source I consider unbiased, I'm no more likely to believe it than I am that private healtcare accounts will fix the healthcare crisis. I know ideology when I smell it.

Right now, you need to explain two things if you're going to continue this discussion. You need to explain how 1) lax gun control in the Virginias somehow doesn't affect the amount of guns in DC and Baltimore (because criminals buy them there and transport them across state lines) and 2) why it is that NYC's crime rate dropped all through the 90s and is holding steady despite not liberalizing its gun laws. If you claim that the other boroughs have liberalized, then please *prove* it. And even if you can, explaining Manhattan's lower crime rate would be sufficient.

Everything else is just blowing smoke off a muzzle.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 20, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Well, bro, you're preening. Basking in your own alleged expertise. Believe me, I've debated my share of gun proponents and I know the MO."

Sorry man, but it's readily apparent I know more about this shit than you do. I'm sure there are things you know more about than me. But you've wandered into my sandbox, and I'm not going to feel sorry for basking in the fact that I'm better at this subject than you are. Don't take this the wrong way, but in my brief lobbying experience (including testimony before the MD house of delegates and Senate) I've had a chance to argue with some professional (as in do it for a living) anti-gun activists. To quote My Cousin Vinny, I've seen you argue [this subject], trust me, you're an amateur.

"You guys are a subculture that tries to pretend that you're mainstream, but you're not. You're obsessed with firearms. You know everything about them, all the history, all the statutes -- and you conflate this with common sense."

I'm not mainstream? There are 60-70 million gun owners in the United States. That's as large as a voting bloc as you'll find save for the AARP. Gun grabbers are the minority bloc pal, I can assure you. If you're gonna try to play the numbers game, good luck--we got the guns and we got the numbers, with apologies to Jim Morrison's famous line.

If I'm supposed to feel sorry for you or think less of my opinions because I *happen* to be a gun hobbyist and know more about the subject then you, well, fuck that.

"You don't try to convince liberals by linking to NRO -- why should it be different with firearms skeptics?"

Because the anti-gun lobby cooks it's numbers even worse. The CSGV and the VPC make statistical errors and distort facts in such a way as to make John Lott look like the straight and narrow. They lie constantly because the facts aren't on their side. It's sad really.

Sorry that you don't like my sources, but you wanna know something? I'm as liberal as they come. I support legalized drugs, an end to the criminalization of prostitution, I support gay marriage, an end to the Iraq war, the impeachment of Bush, the protection of our environment, and I believe in activist govt. I used to BE AN ANTI-GUNNER. Until one day I actually went out with a friend and shot a gun. Then I was intrigued and shot more. Then I bought one. Then I bought another.

Then, with my gun up in my room legally locked away, I was mugged on my doorstep. The guy told me to walk down the street and not turn around...I was sure I was going to be shot in the back. It struck me that my only option was to pray the guy missed. I had no other option. The police responded and said that anymore the baddies just shoot to not leave witnesses, and that I was lucky.

I realized then that people should have the option. I don't wanna go around shooting people, but if someone decides that my $20 is worth more to them than my life, I should have the option to protect myself.

"Where do you get the idea that The Bronx has different gun laws than Manhattan? "

I don't have that idea. What I was pointing out is that the non-Manhattan burroughs are much more violent. Manhattan is the most expensive real estate on the planet with the highest concentration of cops anywhere, populated by the richest, most decadent people anywhere. No surprise it's not violent. Subtract it from the picture and NYC isn't the antigunners haven you think it is. Ask my brother almost beaten to death by two muggers in the Myrtle Willoghby area in broad daylight. Flushings is no picnic.


"It's not like we haven't experienced pro-gun dissemblers before. Kevin likes to debunk a blogger -- forget his name -- who's been caught twisting facts. One of his escapades involves a study that allegedly shows how areas with CCW have lower crime. Forgive me if my memory here isn't sharper; maybe someone else will recall the name."

You're talking about Lott. Yeah, his methods have been questioned, but I prefer Kleck. He too used to be an anti-gunner, but he's a criminologist whose study of the issue lead him to recant his pro gun control positions.

"Intellectual rigidity."
Yawn...yeah, I'm rigid. I'm rigid in that I simply reject people with facile, superficial understandings of a person they gleaned from a book that are dead wrong; since I know that subject a little better than you as well, I'd think you'd drop it at this point.

"He'd call you a sellout."
Maybe he's right. But even my cop brother can't carry while drinking. I might be a sellout, but I don't have a problem with the law not letting you drink and carry any more than it lets you drink and drive. It's a fair compromise that doesn't unduly restrict a freedom. DUI laws don't restrict my freedom to drive any more than CCW laws that don't let you carry drunk restrict your right to self defense. If you don't wanna be disarmed, don't drink in public.

That said, the bad guys don't give a shit. They carry anyway.

What you have to realize about gun control laws is they only affect people who will follow the law in the first place. Much the same way the speed limit doesn't keep my car from going more than 65mph. You choose to obey that law or not.

"I don't believe owning one would improve my chances of survival"

Then don't buy one. But the stats don't agree with you, and neither does common sense. When you're a crime victim, you probably call the cops. Those guys carry guns. If guns don't help you, why do they carry them? Duh.

If you don't want one, don't buy one. But don't inflict your choice on me anymore than Terry Randall should get to inflict his abortion nonsense on my wife.

"There are people like myself who were born without steroscopic vision and thus have a hard time judging depth at distances. And there are also some people who are simply careless and irresponsible about everything. Not the sort who exist in your gun club, of course. They've been weeded out."

Yawn again. Dude, gun accidents are actually exceedingly rare. As for most gun violence occurring in the home, I've already debunked that. If you don't care to agree with Kleck's debunking of that, great. But the reality is that defensive gun use outweighs criminal gun use. Even the most conservative estimates of DGU outweigh the number of criminal uses. Most DGU doesn't involve a shot being fired. Why should all the people who enjoy the benefits of guns be denied that life saving virtue because of the misdeeds of a smaller number of people? That's not just.

"You believe that because you've mastered gun safety, everybody should be able to. It's the same sort of navel-gazing worldview that allows people in trailer parks to vote Republican because they believe in their hearts that someday they can get rich."

No, I believe that A) in all of the 40+ states that allow citizens to carry, it hasn't increased the danger to the general public (still waiting for you to demonstrate that it has) and B) since I'm a good liberal, I don't have a problem with mandated training for those who want to carry legally. What's wrong with that? You act like gun safety is hard to master. It's not. You can teach it to an 8 year old. There are 4 basic rules that any idiot can follow and understand. CCW permit holder abuse of guns and gun accidents are so rare as to be non-existent. I'd like to see you prove otherwise. The most gun happy state I can think of, Florida, has had fewer than 0.1% of its issued permits revoked for criminal behavior of any kind. If allowing people to carry was such a problem, you wouldn't see that sort of thing.

"None of your cop anecdotes about how happy they are to encounter armed citizens ring true, nor do I believe that there's been a "CCW revolution" that's vastly reduced crime in America. "

And yet you can't provide even ONE STAT that demonstrates I'm wrong about the LEO community's attitude toward civilian carry. It doesn't ring true because you have a ridiculous, dare I say intellectually rigid revulsion re: guns, so you can't bring yourself to fathom that not everyone hates guns as much as you do. The reality is that the LEO community supports civilian carry because they know the bad guys are a minority amongst good people. It doesn't ring true because you want to believe guns are evil soooo badly.

It doesn't ring true to the neocons that the globe is getting warmer or that Iraq didn't have WMDs...well, tough shit. You're in the same boat.

"You need to explain how 1) lax gun control in the Virginias somehow doesn't affect the amount of guns in DC and Baltimore (because criminals buy them there and transport them across state lines)"

Well, for one, you can still buy guns in MD. You just can't carry them loaded legally (a law the crooks don't care about). MD hardly has lax gun control. Yet criminals still get guns. They get them from dealers who flaunt the law, a few are stolen, and a bunch from straw purchases which are almost impossible to effectively police. It's not just VA's fault.

If YOU want to continue the discussion, why doesn't VA have the same violence problem? There are lots of poor people and big cities there...but the bad guys know the good guys might shoot back.

"2) why it is that NYC's crime rate dropped all through the 90s and is holding steady despite not liberalizing its gun laws. If you claim that the other boroughs have liberalized, then please *prove* it. And even if you can, explaining Manhattan's lower crime rate would be sufficient."

Already addressed Manhattan.

Crime dropped everywhere in the 90s. What would be more interesting to me is you explaining why crime ALSO dropped in places where CCW is legal.

Look, you can have a place with lots of guns and no crime, a place with lots of guns and crime, and a place with few guns with no crime, and few guns and lots of crime. The point is that social conditions and demographic issues dictate crime trends, not the presence of CCW laws.

Society isn't going to mend itself overnight...but we should still be allowed to protect ourselves in the meantime.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 20, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

That wasn't facile.

This is facile: 'that wasn't splitting a hair, that was the hare that split'.

It has nothing to do with individuals as agents of the state. It's more like the state as the agent of the population to provide for the common good.

then as a group we can have weapons?

As society we can have weapons.

I see you've changed your strategy.

I haven't changed my strategy, I've never addressed that before. I'm not going sift through 300 convoluted court cases with you. It's more practical to describe the history of a thing like that all at once. In this instance, where any separate case may have been correctly decided, stringing them all together in support of a subject that has been rendered altogether opaque by 200 years of misuse by Tories trying to destroy the US. The 'tradition' of this particular thread of law is little more than a history of lying about it.

You do realize that CCW holders have been studied to be less violent and less likely to commit crimes than the general public?

I don't know if that's true or not, it's totally irrelevant to the topic at hand .


They thought they were. It's clear in the general English usage of the day.

Your response here is unresponsive. The question is the understood usage of the word 'People' in a legal document in the second half of the 18th century.

The Fourth Amendment, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The word 'persons' is in here twice. The word 'people' comes first. 'The right of the people', who? The people the collective body of citizenry, or society at large.
This identifies what we're talking about. Then, 'to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects'. The term 'their persons', meaning individual bodies, makes a contextual distinction from the usage of the word 'people' earlier. Winding up with 'and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.' As if it weren't clear enough already, 'the persons or things to be seized.' is clearly referring to individuals. If I were wrong it would read 'the people or things to be seized.' But it doesn't.

You really think people as distrustful of the excesses of tyrants really would be comfortable with only letting the state decide who has guns?

You've misunderstood the historical context of the establishment of the United States. It was altogether unique. Nothing this radical or idealistic had ever been attempted. The governments of the states were governments of the People, sovereignty came from below, it did not beam down from the top. (Another reason why religion is not recognized in the Constitution, despite centuries of Tories trying to sneak it in the back door.)

Nothing like a Democracy this democratic had ever been attempted before, and certainly not with our enshrined scale of personal liberty. Everywhere else in the world it was autocracy. Autocracy of an extremely unattractive kind. Even England, the freest country in Europe would have seemed radically uncomfortable for us today.

More importantly, those who support the Second Amendment in this way are being played for patsies and have always been played for patsies.

Posted by: cld on April 20, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

Looking back above I fear I may have been too strenuous and I want to assure you I aim never to be personal, but to be clear.

What you might say to someone in person, just idly, can sound just awful in cold type.

Posted by: cld on April 21, 2006 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

cld:

Whatever you thought you said, bro -- I assure you that I didn't take offense.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 21, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

As society we can have weapons.
You're still not addressing the clear implication of the use of the people in the other amendments and the clear distinction they make between the people and the state. They mention Congress, the United States, the states, etc. constantly. They use them in juxtaposition to "the people" clearly making the distinction between the state and the people in various places in the COTUS. Society having weapons does NOT mean the state having weapons. Why do you even think that's a credible argument to make? These people were clearly fearful of tyranny and the state having the power to oppress at the point of a gun, why would they write that only the govt. could have guns? Gun control wasn't even an issue then. You're simply not making any sense.

A society is made up of people. A society having weapons means people having weapons. How else would you divvy them up? You really think the FF's wanted the state to store and house them and then hand them out? That certainly wouldn't be practical and there's no evidence in the FF's writings that they support that sort of thing.

I don't know if that's true or not, it's totally irrelevant to the topic at hand .
It is true (every time you've questioned me in such a manner I've had to slap you around with facts, you still want more after that 40+ states thing? Gimme a break. Trust me, it's true.) And it's relevant because the FF's vision of the armed, responsible, private citizen endures today.

As if it weren't clear enough already, 'the persons or things to be seized.' is clearly referring to individuals. If I were wrong it would read 'the people or things to be seized.' But it doesn't.
You still can't address the fact that if they wanted the govt or the state to have the guns, it would say "the state", not "the people". They made it clear they saw a distinction between the state and the people. Read the 10th amendment again, genius.

Find me one example in the writings of the FF's for a collectivist interpretation of the "the people" in the 2A. Good luck. We won't hold our breath.

You've misunderstood the historical context of the establishment of the United States. It was altogether unique. Nothing this radical or idealistic had ever been attempted. The governments of the states were governments of the People, sovereignty came from below, it did not beam down from the top. (Another reason why religion is not recognized in the Constitution, despite centuries of Tories trying to sneak it in the back door.)
I'm not misunderstanding shit! That's exactly what I'm saying! Once again you're making my case for me. Sovereignty from below means the people giving the govt power, not the govt giving people power. It means private citizens distinct from the state with liberties that can't be taken away by the govt. How better to ensure that than with armed citizens? If you want power to come from below, making sure only the govt. has guns is NOT the way to do that.

More importantly, those who support the Second Amendment in this way are being played for patsies and have always been played for patsies.
You want to surrender your ability to resist tyranny and to defend your home and homestead to the govt, and I'M THE PATSY? You're a bigger idiot than I thought. I was just starting to think I wanted to be friendly with you, but you're being illogical and suggesting something that has no basis at all in the writings of the founders nor in the actualy COTUS itself. You're the patsy here, pal.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 21, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/editorial/14073361.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

In case you're wondering if I'm shitting you; even in shitkicking dirty cowboy boots Bush country, the CCW permit holders are less violent than the rest of us. The money quote:

The department [The Texas Dept. of Public Safety] also says that concealed-carry licensees' frequency of arrest for violent offenses is only 17 percent that of the general public. The rate for non-violent offenses is even lower: only 7 percent.

Yeah, yeah, I know, that's only Texas. But that pattern repeats itself everywhere.

Even here in MD, where CCW is all but totally restricted to business owners and ex cops, there is no record--NONE--of any CCW permit holder committing a violent crime.

I'd like to you demonstrate that CCW holders are a threat to public safety. Not some ninny handwringing about "guns are evil and an accident waiting to happen", but actual statistics that demonstrate that CCW permit holders are more dangerous than the general public.

It's counterintuitive to think otherwise: anyone with the mindset to commit violent crimes isn't going to pay a licensing fee, get trained, get a background check, leave fingerprints with the police, etc.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 21, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/demographics.htm

There's a link to the raw Texas data.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 21, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/stats/cw_monthly.html

There's the numbers for Florida. Less than half of 1% have been revoked for any reason. The bottom line--people with licenses aren't the people you need be worried about.

Posted by: Sebastian on April 21, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

> Sorry man, but it's readily apparent
> I know more about this shit than you do.

Donald Rumsfeld knows more about the military than both of us.
Does that make his views on Iraq any more correct than ours?

No? Really? Why ...

> I've had a chance to argue with some professional (as in do it
> for a living) anti-gun activists. To quote My Cousin Vinny, I've
> seen you argue [this subject], trust me, you're an amateur.

Considering that this isn't an area of expertise for me and
that I haven't had a serious gun debate in a decade, that
I am using no sourced information -- just common sense and
historical knowledge -- I think I'm holding my own pretty well.

> I'm not mainstream? There are 60-70 million gun
> owners in the United States. That's as large as
> a voting bloc as you'll find save for the AARP.

No, you're not mainstream. Gun ownership is common, but that hardly
means that every gun owner is an NRA partisan who wants gun ownership
to be more common than it is, or who pines for assault rifles. Most
gun owners are casual hunters, or just inherited their guns from their
Dads. I've looked at wikipedia, the number of CCW licensees is a
drop in the bucket (50k in Florida in a state of several million).

> Gun grabbers are the minority bloc pal, I can assure you.

"Gun grabbers" is an NRA mythic exaggeration. Advocates
of gun control don't support confiscating weapons, save in
the one case of assault rifles, which was a law passed by
Congress, so recently our views on that were in the majority.

> If you're gonna try to play the numbers game,
> good luck--we got the guns and we got the numbers,
> with apologies to Jim Morrison's famous line.

No, you don't. This is a nation of 300 million. You're less
than a quarter of us if you're counting gun owners. Far less if
you mean social crusaders who believe that more guns = less crime.

> If I'm supposed to feel sorry for you or think less of
> my opinions because I *happen* to be a gun hobbyist and
> know more about the subject then you, well, fuck that.

If you feel sorry for me you have issues. And as
Frank Zappa sez, Wisdom is not Knowledge, Knowledge
is not Information, Information is not Truth, etc. ...

Nothing wrong with being a gun hobbyist. Everything wrong with
having your enthusiasm bias your perception in an argument intended
to apply to all of society. I mean, I compose music. If I tried
to shove what I like down people's throats nobody would talk to me.

> "You don't try to convince liberals by linking to NRO
> -- why should it be different with firearms skeptics?"

> Because the anti-gun lobby cooks it's numbers even worse.

Jesus, what do you think I meant -- go from one biased source
to another one biased in the opposite direction? This isn't Fox
News :) Fair and Balanced doen't equate to objective. Maybe you
ought to try an *un*biased, academic source, with no axe to grind.

I went and scoped out wikipedia on CCW. It isn't always
100% accurate every moment, but it *is* self-policing.

> I'm as liberal as they come. I support legalized drugs,
> an end to the criminalization of prostitution, I support
> gay marriage, an end to the Iraq war, the impeachment of
> Bush, the protection of our environment, and I believe
> in activist govt. I used to BE AN ANTI-GUNNER.

Right. Like an ex-smoker, an AA member, a former atheist --
there is none so zealous as a former sinner who has Seen The Light
(Thank you, Jesus). One of the main reasons why I'm resisting you
so strenuously. I have this aversion to being *preached at* :)

Truthfully, you're more libertarian than I am. I'm hardcore on the
First Amendment and I don't believe in persecuting the perpetrators
of victimless crimes, but I have much more faith in the power of
government than you do -- and less faith in the power of individuals
to do the right thing. I have a social, not individual, analysis
of social problems. You tend to argue in anecdotes -- your brother
said this, the police chief of Missouri said that. I prefer more
rigorous methodologies and try to appreciate causal matricies.

> "Where do you get the idea that The Bronx
> has different gun laws than Manhattan? "

> I don't have that idea. What I was pointing out is that the
> non-Manhattan burroughs are much more violent. Manhattan is
> the most expensive real estate on the planet with the highest
> concentration of cops anywhere, populated by the richest, most
> decadent people anywhere. No surprise it's not violent. Subtract
> it from the picture and NYC isn't the antigunners haven you think
> it is. Ask my brother almost beaten to death by two muggers in the
> Myrtle Willoghby area in broad daylight. Flushings is no picnic.

An island of effete zombies ... too exhausted by postmodern ironic
detatchment, too neurotically introverted, too played out from extra
dry martinis and oxycotin to work up the energy to mug each other ...

Oh my word, which Woody Allen movie did *this* come from :)

You know, I had a response to this but then some idiot housemate
flipped my breaker and I lost it. Sigh ... you've obviously never
heard of Clinton (that's midtown), where my old girlfriend lived all
through the 90s in a $450/mo. rent controlled walkup. Or Alphabet
City ... or Harlem, for that matter. It's not all gentrified TriBeCa
and the Upper East and West Sides, y'know. Lotta solid working-class
people live in Manhattan (lotta poor, too). And the crime rate was
off the scale in the 80s. NYC went from one of the most unsafe
cities to one of the safest in the span of a decade, and as I've
said, nobody's come up with the definitive explanation for why.

One thing that can be ruled out, though, is that the
gun laws didn't change in that time. Guiliani and
Bloomberg didn't/don't support easily accessible CCW.

> "Intellectual rigidity."

> Yawn...yeah, I'm rigid. I'm rigid in that I simply reject people
> with facile, superficial understandings of a person they gleaned
> from a book that are dead wrong; since I know that subject a little
> better than you as well, I'd think you'd drop it at this point.

"Gleaned from a book?" What ... dude ... was Malcolm your cousin
or something? You studied him in college. So you read the Haley
book twice while I read it only once, is that it? Jesus ... forgive
me for commenting on Your Hero(tm). I couldn't possibly feel him as
*deeply* as you do. Carramba. If you didn't jump on my perfectly
correct usage of "by any means necessary" I wouldn't be going there.

But listen to yourself. You really do sound silly and defensive.

> "He'd call you a sellout."

> Maybe he's right. But even my cop brother can't carry while drinking.

Well this is illustrative, because first off, it shows the regional
differences in gun attitudes. Utah, of course, was once nearly at
war with the federal government (over Mormon polygamy). Secondly,
it shows that the CCW philosophy cannot be absolute. In exactly
the one place where you might get accosted by some obnoxious,
testosterone besotted stranger who thinks you're lookin' at his
girlfriend and actually *need* the security of a weapon, is the
one place that you're thrown on the mercy of the big guy at the
door with the metal detector -- who protects us all, collectively.

I'm glad to have learned, btw, that CCW doesn't give anyone the
right to brandish their gun to use it to make idle threats --
that these things are criminal offenses in most jurisdictions.

> If you don't wanna be disarmed, don't drink in public.

Well, if you accept that, then the right to bear arms is not absolute.

And so the slope starts slipping ...

> That said, the bad guys don't give a shit. They carry anyway.

And they might be drug addled enough to shoot you regardless.

> What you have to realize about gun control laws is they only
> affect people who will follow the law in the first place.

But this is a slippery slope which is true of every law passed.
Because some people will always break the law, does that mean that
laws are useless? Seems to me to argue the opposite -- that breaking
the law should be made as difficult and as costly as possible.

> "I don't believe owning one would improve my chances of survival"

> Then don't buy one. But the stats don't agree with you,
> and neither does common sense. When you're a crime victim,
> you probably call the cops. Those guys carry guns. If
> guns don't help you, why do they carry them? Duh.

They're paid to take the risk. A gun, in my home, creates a series
of added risks. And people notoriously miscalculate risk. We're
more likely to be terrified of flying than driving cross country
even though the odds of crashing are orders of magnitude greater
in a car -- because as the driver, we're the captains of our fate.

Same psychological deceptiveness with owning a gun. It gives
us a sense of security because we're allegedly in control of it.

> If you don't want one, don't buy one. But don't
> inflict your choice on me anymore than Terry Randall
> should get to inflict his abortion nonsense on my wife.

Well, this is the gun grabber straw man. I'm not interested in
taking away what anybody conceives to be their essential method
of self defense. But I'd like to know whether it's objectively
effective for the majority of people. And I have my doubts ...

> Dude, gun accidents are actually exceedingly rare.

Well that's an extremely callous thing to say. There are
plenty of gun accidents in the news. Plus, anyone who's hit
without a direct intent qualifies as an accident; include all
collateral damage. In areas where there's gangbangers, there's
gunplay and people get clipped. I'd *love* to see you argue how
CCW would deter getting hit in a random driveby shooting ...

> As for most gun violence occurring in
> the home, I've already debunked that.

No you haven't.

> If you don't care to agree with Kleck's debunking of that, great.

I haven't seen it.

> But the reality is that defensive gun use outweighs criminal gun use.

You define away the problem by calling "gun use" something
other than, well, the use of a gun -- as in its actual firing.

> Even the most conservative estimates of DGU
> outweigh the number of criminal uses.

Exactly. And is the gun used mostly against intruders? Couldn't be.
Gee, then who else is it used against? Intimates? Family members?

This is so interesting. First, you argue that most gun
violence doesn't occur in the home. Now you're arguing
that "DGU" outweighs criminal gun use. So you must include
DGU as meaning every time you pick up your gun and don't fire
it -- since of course gun violence doesn't happen mostly in the
home. You've made violent gun use *evaporate by definition*.

Look, if a woman's in an abusive relationship and feels safer
carrying, I'm not going to work up the rhetorical spit to argue
that she shouldn't. But it worries me, because until such time
that they build a gun that can read the owner's fingerprints or
some other biometric coding, I worry that the dude's going to grab
it and use it on her. You can only use a gun as a deterrent with
the same person so many times before it becomes an idle threat.

> Most DGU doesn't involve a shot being fired.

Well, I'm concerned with the shots that *are* fired. You don't
seem to want to talk about those for some *strange* reason ...

> Why should all the people who enjoy the benefits
> of guns be denied that life saving virtue

A cold-eyed cost-benefit analysis. If you want to believe
that you're safer, far be it for me to argue that you aren't.

Perception is reality. That's the beauty of radical individualism.

> because of the misdeeds of a smaller number of people?

Because people are imperfect and accidents happen. Wouldn't be
such a big deal save for the fact that guns can kill and seriously
injure. And that includes some criminal-minded asshole who
happened to get a hold of my legally licensed firearm. That,
of course, wouldn't be included as a gun crime *among* legally
registered users if s/he took it by force, theft or subterfuge.

> That's not just.

Neither are innocent people getting
shot with guns stolen from legal owners.

> No, I believe that A) in all of the 40+ states that allow
> citizens to carry, it hasn't increased the danger to the general
> public (still waiting for you to demonstrate that it has)

According to wiki, CCW laws are extremely varied and often vary
within states. I don't believe that CCW *licensees* are the
problem, as they're by definition the good guys. And I'm willing
to entertain the notion that CCW has, in certain specific areas,
reduced crime in that particular area. But I also think that there
are places where either CCW isn't responsible for a reduced crime
rate, or where it *can't* reduce the crime rate. CCW, for instance,
would be irrelevant in the poorest inner city neighborhoods where
everybody's packin' to begin with and the people can't afford the
lessons and the licensing fees (once again, CCW is utterly useless
to protect against driveby shootings). And, since that's where most
gun crime occurs, I see CCW as primarily a tool of suburbanites.

My biggest fear with it is basically the increased volume of
guns -- some of which get stolen and wind up in the wrong hands.

> and B) since I'm a good liberal, I don't have
> a problem with mandated training for those who
> want to carry legally. What's wrong with that?

In theory, nothing. Especially if it included an exam that
a potential gun owner had to pass before they could carry.

> You act like gun safety is hard to master.
> It's not. You can teach it to an 8 year old.

Yeah, but no 8 year old would be responsible
enough to be trusted with a firearm.

> There are 4 basic rules that any idiot can follow and understand.

Provided, of course, that they're
listening and not looking out the window.

> CCW permit holder abuse of guns and gun accidents are so rare
> as to be non-existent. I'd like to see you prove otherwise.

CCW is also uncommon, and self-selected by people who take
guns very seriously. But you appear to be proselytizing
for a mass version of it, and that makes me nervous.
Just on the analogy of, you know, automobile accidents.

> The most gun happy state I can think of, Florida,
> has had fewer than 0.1% of its issued permits
> revoked for criminal behavior of any kind.

I wouldn't expect it to be otherwise. But consider,
also, that if gun crimes were committed by those
weapons that were stolen and/or turned on their
owners, they wouldn't be included in those stats.

> If allowing people to carry was such a
> problem, you wouldn't see that sort of thing.

Again, it's not the people who are registering for these weapons
at the relatively low volume that they are currently. It's that
1) it's fairly useless in the highest-crime areas among the people
who live there, 2) the more people start carrying, the more accidents
will start happening, 3) the increased volume of guns of which a
percentage inevitably work themselves into the wrong hands and 4)
that the lower crime rate may have been caused by some other factor.

> And yet you can't provide even ONE STAT that demonstrates I'm
> wrong about the LEO community's attitude toward civilian carry.

To be honest, I wouldn't know where to look and this thread has
already consumed enough of my time for me to start randomly googling.

I've heard *anecdotes* from you. The Missouri police chief. The
Maryland state trooper who oppsed the AWB -- which is an entirely
different issue (troopers don't often live in the city, and I'd
only expect cops who deal with drug gangs to get up in a lather over
"ugly guns" like Tec 9s and street sweepers. The NYPD were annoyed
when they shifted from their .38s to Glock 9mms because they were
less accurate -- but it was forced on them by the drug gang arms
race. Ask the Baltimore police chief if he supports CCW in the city).

Police chiefs in large urban areas are the ones whose opinions
are most relevant on this issue. I am *extremely* suspicious of
the idea that cops like armed civilians, because cops tend as a
rule to dislike people taking enforcement matters into their own
hands. But hey, if your brother toldja so, who am I to argue, right?

And I know for a fact that our state FOP supported the AWB.

> It doesn't ring true because you have a ridiculous, dare I say
> intellectually rigid revulsion re: guns, so you can't bring
> yourself to fathom that not everyone hates guns as much as you do.

I have a *moral* revulsion to people getting maimed and killed by the
appalling rate of gun violence in this country, which is the highest
in the developed world. But hey -- Michael Moore demonstrated in
Bowling For Columbine (which I happened to catch the tail end of
tonight, coincidentally enough. It was beautiful to watch him
torture Charlton Heston :) that it isn't the amount of guns per se
in American society, as Canada's loaded with 'em, too. The reasons
are more cultural (a wealth of insight is provided in Richard
Slotkin's Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in 20th Century
America). And an intellectual revulsion to the denial thereof.

> The reality is that the LEO community supports civilian carry
> because they know the bad guys are a minority amongst good people.

The reality is that this is a sweeping generalization. Again,
urban chiefs are the ones whose views are relevant. I don't expect
cops in smaller cities in Southern and Western areas to be too
opposed to CCW, again, for cultural reasons. But in areas with
gang violence, in depressed inner cities, in dense and heterogeneous
populations, I'd expect them to have a different set of opinions.

> It doesn't ring true because you want
> to believe guns are evil soooo badly.

People are fucked up, and the road to Hell
is paved with the best of intentions.

> It doesn't ring true to the neocons that the
> globe is getting warmer or that Iraq didn't have
> WMDs...well, tough shit. You're in the same boat.

Because your brother and a Maryland police chief said so.

> "You need to explain how 1) lax gun control in the Virginias somehow
> doesn't affect the amount of guns in DC and Baltimore (because
> criminals buy them there and transport them across state lines)"

> Well, for one, you can still buy guns in MD. You just can't
> carry them loaded legally (a law the crooks don't care about).

Well gee, if you have such a big crime problem in Baltimore, and CCW
is working so well in Virginia -- why don't you just pass a CCW law?

> MD hardly has lax gun control. Yet criminals still get guns.

Because, as you just said, they can be bought in Maryland.

> They get them from dealers who flaunt the law, a few are stolen,
> and a bunch from straw purchases which are almost impossible
> to effectively police. It's not just VA's fault.

I'm sure West Virginia shares some responsibility, too. What
this argues for is the Brady Bill -- background checks, limits
on bulk gun purchases and stiff penalties on sellers for
violation. Also that bill that would require all guns to carry
a unique forensic signature that can be traced to the dealer.

> If YOU want to continue the discussion, why doesn't
> VA have the same violence problem? There are lots
> of poor people and big cities there...but the bad
> guys know the good guys might shoot back.

I don't know enough about the differences between
Maryland and Virginia to comment -- but you'd have to
factor them out to definitively draw that conclusion.

> Already addressed Manhattan.

Heh :)

> Crime dropped everywhere in the 90s.

Exactly. In NYC, which didn't change its gun laws.
And in the vaunted heartland of the "CCW revolution."

> What would be more interesting to me is you explaining
> why crime ALSO dropped in places where CCW is legal.

Because the most significant factors had nothing to do with CCW.

> Look, you can have a place with lots of guns and no crime,

Canada (assuming by "no" you mean "little").

> a place with lots of guns and crime,

America.

> and a place with few guns with no crime,

Western Europe.

> and few guns and lots of crime.

Crime without guns? Where ???

> The point is that social conditions and demographic issues

Don't forget cultural factors like a frontier heritage and
the wisdom gained from a long, bloody history with warfare.

> dictate crime trends, not the presence of CCW laws.

Agreed. Fancy that :)

> Society isn't going to mend itself overnight...but we should
> still be allowed to protect ourselves in the meantime.

I have no problem at all with someone like yourself,
who's well-versed and responsible, carrying a gun.

But laws are designed for the mean, not the exception.

But if more than 1% of the population stars packin' legally
(Florida's percentage), then I think we'd all have cause to worry.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 21, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting as "waylon" wrote: I'm still waiting ...

You are still completely unable to respond to the references that I posted yesterday to support my views. You are still, absurdly, pretending that they are not relevant. You still have nothing to offer but lies, misrepresentations, distortions, fallacies, willful ignorance, dogmatic repetition of ill-informed, unsubstantiated opinions, and fake, phony rhetorical posturing.

You are still making a fool of yourself with each and every one of your inane and dishonest posts. If you want to continue making a fool of yourself, be my guest.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 21, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

"No, you're not mainstream. Gun ownership is common, but that hardly
means that every gun owner is an NRA partisan who wants gun ownership
to be more common than it is, or who pines for assault rifles. Most
gun owners are casual hunters, or just inherited their guns from their
Dads. I've looked at wikipedia, the number of CCW licensees is a
drop in the bucket (50k in Florida in a state of several million)."
My god you're an idiot. Did you not read the link on Florida I provided? There are way more licenses than that.

There are 60Mil gun owners...and only about 20% of them. Most gun owners are NOT hunters.

Every time you open your trap you say something painfully stupid.

""Gun grabbers" is an NRA mythic exaggeration. Advocates
of gun control don't support confiscating weapons, save in
the one case of assault rifles, which was a law passed by
Congress, so recently our views on that were in the majority."

"No, you don't. This is a nation of 300 million. You're less
than a quarter of us if you're counting gun owners. "
You're an idiot. I'm really sorry for anyone who is exposed to your blather.

In a nation of 300mil, how many of those are adults? Of the adults what % owns guns (hint: it's large). Of the remaining that don't, how many favor your point of view?

It's a small number. Why else would gun control only serve to help the GOP keep winning elections?
No, it's not. Most prominent gun control advocates advocate confiscation as an end goal. And confiscating lawfully used AWs is confiscation, period. Why can't you call a spade a spade?

"You tend to argue in anecdotes -- your brother
said this, the police chief of Missouri said that. I prefer more
rigorous methodologies and try to appreciate causal matricies."
No I don't you FUCKING ASSHOLE. I've provided links to stats collected by state govts, studies, facts, and corrected your factual errors on numerous occasions. I'm getting tired of pointing out what an idiot you are.

"Well, if you accept that, then the right to bear arms is not absolute."
I never said it was. It's hard arguing with someone who can't even correctly characterize the various positions here. It doesn't have to be for my advocacy of CCW rights. What gives you that idea? Something else you pulled from your ass I guess.

"But this is a slippery slope which is true of every law passed."
Yeah, but the difference you're not seeing is that some laws, while difficult to enforce, don't deny an important freedom. It's hard to enforce the speedlimit, but we don't lose an important civil right because the speedlimit is 65. It's hard to enforce guncontrol, AND in the process we deny innocent people their rights. Not that you care about people's rights or anything.

"They're paid to take the risk. A gun, in my home, creates a series
of added risks. And people notoriously miscalculate risk. We're
more likely to be terrified of flying than driving cross country
even though the odds of crashing are orders of magnitude greater
in a car -- because as the driver, we're the captains of our fate.
Same psychological deceptiveness with owning a gun. It gives
us a sense of security because we're allegedly in control of it."

It's a negligible risk. One that you can easily control on pain of legal jeapordy. If you don't want to take the risk, don't buy or carry a gun. But if I'm comfortable with it, why deny me the right?

"Well, this is the gun grabber straw man. I'm not interested in
taking away what anybody conceives to be their essential method
of self defense. But I'd like to know whether it's objectively
effective for the majority of people. And I have my doubts ..."
It is. Guns are your best bet for self defense from violent attack. I've provided multiple links that establish that point. If you don't care to read them, your loss.

"Well that's an extremely callous thing to say. There are
plenty of gun accidents in the news."

I'm not being callous, I'm pointing out that gun accidents are rare compared car accidents, drowning, death by fire or falling, etc.

Just because it's news doesn't mean it's numerically significant. And I don't think there are a lot of gun accidents in the news. Lots of intentional shootings yes. But accidents no. If it bleeds, it leads.

"No you haven't...I haven't seen it."
Because you don't read anything that doesn't jive with your preconceived view. I posted a link to the Kleck debunking of the "guns in the home" bullshit. Read it and weep.


"I'd *love* to see you argue how
CCW would deter getting hit in a random driveby shooting ..."
It wouldn't, but that's pretty rare. You watch too much fuckin TV. Turn off the law and order and consider some stats. What percentage of gun deaths are people accidentally shot in drive bys?

"Exactly. And is the gun used mostly against intruders? Couldn't be.
Gee, then who else is it used against? Intimates? Family members?"

Try anyone who would do you harm. Robbers, intruders, stalkers, road ragers, rapists, etc.

"This is so interesting. First, you argue that most gun
violence doesn't occur in the home."
Gun violence happens everywhere is my argument.

"You can only use a gun as a deterrent with
the same person so many times before it becomes an idle threat."
This is classic nonsense from the "guns aren't useful" school of thought. The gun is only an idle threat if the bearer isn't willing to use it. That's on each individual.

You can only bring a gun to bear if your life is in immediate jeapordy. What you're positing is a non-problem.

"Well, I'm concerned with the shots that *are* fired. You don't
seem to want to talk about those for some *strange* reason ..."
We can talk about it all you like. I have no problem with people shooting to protect their own lives. Any other use is criminal and should be prosecuted.

"A cold-eyed cost-benefit analysis. If you want to believe
that you're safer, far be it for me to argue that you aren't.
"
The stats are with me.

Ask yourself this: why don't you hear about cops walking a beat getting mugged very often?

Criminals would prefer people think like you do. They'd prefer you to be unarmed. I've been mugged. You can ask the guy who mugged me (he gets sentenced next month) if he'd prefer me to have had a gun or not. Think real hard about this one for a second genius.

"Perception is reality. That's the beauty of radical individualism."
Nice to know you prefer the iron grip of statism and fascism over individual choice. Don't ever let me hear you say you're pro-choice. About anything.

"Because people are imperfect and accidents happen. "
So we should probably ban cars, lawn mowers, and baseball bats too. Duh. Each of these things, including guns, is a tool that can be used for good or for evil. Each of them can kill when accidents happen or when people have evil in their hearts.

Some of us would prefer to combat evil rather than beg for our lives. You're in the latter category. The reason I think you're an asshole is you're trying to legislate me into your category from the former. It's amazing what fascist assholes we liberals are (sometimes).


Posted by: Sebastian on April 21, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Neither are innocent people getting
shot with guns stolen from legal owners."
If those victims were armed, they'd have a better chance at resisting.

Stolen guns only account for about 10% of crime guns according to the BATF.

Once again, you think you're holding your own against me, but on each points I know the facts of the matter and you're engaged in emotion-laden, unsupportable rhetoric...like a screaming kid in the candy aisle at the grocery store who just found out mommy isn't buying him a twinkie. "Waaaaaaah!!! I just hate guns so much!!"

"My biggest fear with it is basically the increased volume of
guns -- some of which get stolen and wind up in the wrong hands."
Geezus on a fucking stick. For the last goddamn time, CCW has nothing to do with the volume of guns. It simply means you have the right to take it from your home and protect yourself outside your home.

Provided, of course, that they're
listening and not looking out the window.

> CCW permit holder abuse of guns and gun accidents are so rare
> as to be non-existent. I'd like to see you prove otherwise.

"CCW is also uncommon, and self-selected by people who take
guns very seriously. But you appear to be proselytizing
for a mass version of it, and that makes me nervous.
Just on the analogy of, you know, automobile accidents."

No, I'm simply suggesting that the laws in the other 40+ states that seem to work fine be applied in MD, DC, NJ, etc, the last few holdouts. I'm not suggesting everyone carry. I'm suggesting that you have the CHOICE in the matter if you're qualified. Your argument is like saying me being prochoice means I want EVERY WOMAN to get an abortion. Which is ludicrous. Then again, your entire position is ludicrous.

"I wouldn't expect it to be otherwise. But consider,
also, that if gun crimes were committed by those
weapons that were stolen and/or turned on their
owners, they wouldn't be included in those stats."
Any evidence to suggest that's even a statistically significant occurence?

Do you have any stats to back up ANY of your positions? Not that I can tell.

"Again, it's not the people who are registering for these weapons
at the relatively low volume that they are currently. It's that
1) it's fairly useless in the highest-crime areas among the people
who live there, 2) the more people start carrying, the more accidents
will start happening, 3) the increased volume of guns of which a
percentage inevitably work themselves into the wrong hands and 4)
that the lower crime rate may have been caused by some other factor."

My God you're full of shit. Would you please quit posting about things you know nothing about?

1) the people in high crime areas like Baltimore (where I live asshole) could most use the protection offered by a defensive carry piece. All the bad guys are carrying here, but unfortunately we law abiding citizens are forcibly disarmed by a bad law that only lets business owners carry. The bad guys can safely assume I'm not carrying. They'd think twice if they thought there was a possibility I was carrying. Your premise is completely unsupportable.

2) For the last fucking time, gun accidents are rare. Carrying a gun holstered properly doesn't make it any more likely than an accident will happen. Most accidents happen when people are playing around. CCW permit holders are a serious bunch. You have any evidence to support the idea that in the 40+ shall issue states, CCW holders have seen an increase in accidents? Any?

You act like CCW is some unheard of thing. What you fail to realize is that outside NY, NJ, DC, and MD, it's actually quite common. If there was anything to your argument here, there'd be evidence to support it.

3) People who have CCW permits don't give their guns to criminals. You're a complete idiot. If I was going to let a criminal have my gun, I wouldn't go through the CCW permit process. CCW has nothing to do with the volume of guns available.

4) Even if you're right the lower crime rate is caused by other factors, the obvious point is that crime went down everywhere in the last ten years even as most states went from no-carry to Shall Issue. Gun carrying citizens who are lawfully registered don't increase crime, and probably decrease it.

"To be honest, I wouldn't know where to look and this thread has
already consumed enough of my time for me to start randomly googling."

So you freely admit to being too lazy to try to look up some stats or evidence to support you position?

At this point it's clear you're a troll idiot who's not worth anymore of my time.

"I've heard *anecdotes* from you. The Missouri police chief. The
Maryland state trooper who oppsed the AWB -- which is an entirely
different issue"
You've also seen a mountain of evidence that I've compiled for you from Shall Issue states, you've seen percentages of LEOs who support civilian carry, etc.

" (troopers don't often live in the city, and I'd
only expect cops who deal with drug gangs to get up in a lather over
"ugly guns" like Tec 9s and street sweepers."

Actually the police here in Baltimore freely admit that fewer than 1% of the guns they confiscate are assault type weapons.

" I am *extremely* suspicious of
the idea that cops like armed civilians, because cops tend as a
rule to dislike people taking enforcement matters into their own
hands. But hey, if your brother toldja so, who am I to argue, right?"

I've already shown you the facts repeatedly. Cops favor civilian carry. That's not even debateable. Not even close. CCW isn't taking the law enforcement into our own hands, it's having the means to protect your life from deadly assault. That's it. Every state that allows CCW (40+ of them) make it clear that your permit doesn't deputize you. You're not an LEO. You're just someone entrusted with the responsibility of protecting yourself.

Cops can't be on every corner, nor would we want them to be.


" The NYPD were annoyed
when they shifted from their .38s to Glock 9mms because they were
less accurate -- but it was forced on them by the drug gang arms
race. Ask the Baltimore police chief if he supports CCW in the city).""

You don't know much about guns. Glocks are extremely reliable and at contact distances (most gun fights are 21 feet or less) they're every bit, if not more accurate, and carry more firepower. .38 is a shitty round to bet your life on. 9mm isn't much better, which is why most police forces have gone to .40SW.

And I have asked the Baltimore police chief his opinion. And Baltimore's mayor (Democrat Martin O'Malley). I've been in their presence at a news conference and asked them that very question. They both went on record as supporting CCW carry by private citizens properly licensed.

So stick that in your pipe and schmoke it.

This is like Lennox Lewis beating Pee Wee Herman around. I feel sorry for you at this point. You've been exposed as someone who'll gladly comment on something he knows nothing about and still pretend to be an authority.

"The reality is that this is a sweeping generalization. Again,
urban chiefs are the ones whose views are relevant."

Fuck what the chiefs want. Their job is more political than law enforcement--they have to make the politicians who dictate their employment terms are happy. I'm more interested in what the rank and file duty officers who have to deal with crime have to say. And it's not a generalization, it's a fact that I've backed up with multiple sources.

"Because your brother and a Maryland police chief said so."

This from the guy too lazy to look up any evidence to contradict the stats I've provided on LEO opinions about CCW permits. If you're so sure you're right, how come there's no significant movement to repeal the CCW permitting provisions in the 40 Shall Issue states? If CCW is such a disaster in Miami, Houston, Jacksonville, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, etc. then why aren't those urban police chiefs speaking out about it and giving you the opinions you'd need to combat what I'm saying? Because CCW is a non-event to them.

In your own mind you've got this whole thing figured out. Too bad the rest of the world completely contradicts what you think. The reality is the facts on the ground support my position in every way, and I'm kicking your teeth in gleefully.

"Well gee, if you have such a big crime problem in Baltimore, and CCW
is working so well in Virginia -- why don't you just pass a CCW law?"
We're trying. www.marylandshallissue.org and www.progunprogressive.com

It's getting closer each year. In 1990, there were 10 Shall Issue states. Now there are 40. The national trend is on my side.

"I'm sure West Virginia shares some responsibility, too. What
this argues for is the Brady Bill -- background checks, limits
on bulk gun purchases and stiff penalties on sellers for
violation. Also that bill that would require all guns to carry
a unique forensic signature that can be traced to the dealer."
We already have all that. Strange that your dream solution isn't doing much. And gun forensics isn't as simple as you seem to think it is. A gun's ballistic fingerprint changes as you send more rounds through it. Guns are made of metal, and metal wears with use. Also, criminals can simply file parts to modify the fingerprint or replace the parts.

"I don't know enough about the differences between
Maryland and Virginia to comment -- but you'd have to
factor them out to definitively draw that conclusion."
Quick geography lesson--NoVA and MD (PG County) surround DC. It's basically one contiguous metropolis like NYC. Thanks to cars and public transit, crooks could just as easily go to VA as MD. They choose MD. Why? Because they know Virginians are a lot more likely to shoot back.

"I have no problem at all with someone like yourself,
who's well-versed and responsible, carrying a gun."
And I have no problem with the law requiring competency before you get a permit just the same as driving or flying a plane or being a masseuse or a chiropractor or a doctor or a dog groomer. The problem being that the most dangerous members of society won't bother...but if it makes you feel better I'd agree to a reasonable training regimen if it got MD CCW rights tomorrow.

"But laws are designed for the mean, not the exception."
As you yourself admit, CCW permit holders are a small percentage of the population. We tend to be a small percentage (I have a VA permit, had to get trained) so it's not hard to write laws that don't let every idiot pack legally.

"But if more than 1% of the population stars packin' legally
(Florida's percentage), then I think we'd all have cause to worry."
As long as the requirements aren't loosened, we'll be fine.


Posted by: Sebastian on April 21, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian:

> I've looked at wikipedia, the number of CCW licensees is a
> drop in the bucket (50k in Florida in a state of several million)."

> My god you're an idiot. Did you not read
> the link on Florida I provided?

Sure didn't. But I did look at wikipedia.

> There are way more licenses than that.

There are. I misread the page, my apologies. 50k is the
number of women registerd in FL. Over 800k have been issued
permits and 289k are licensed and registered as of '04.

> There are 60Mil gun owners...and only about 20% of them. Most gun
> owners are NOT hunters.

And only 20% of them are *what*?

> Every time you open your trap you say something painfully stupid.

Then why are you responding to me? It's not like this is a pro-gun
site or anything. You have no peanut gallery cheering you on here.

> "No, you don't. This is a nation of 300 million. You're
> less than a quarter of us if you're counting gun owners. "

> You're an idiot. I'm really sorry for anyone who is
> exposed to your blather.

60mil * 4 = 280mil. Your point?

> In a nation of 300mil, how many of those are adults?
> Of the adults what % owns guns (hint: it's large).

I don't know, Sebastian. How many of them *are* adults?

> Of the remaining that don't, how
> many favor your point of view?

My "point of view," leaving aside the crusading for CCW, isn't all
that different from yours. Again, I follow Howard Dean in agreeing
that gun control should be tabled as a national issue and don't
like to see it brought up in presidential campaigns. I have my
own personal views, but politically I'm not a gun control crusader.

And regionally, my views are entirely within the mainstream
of my state and the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

> It's a small number. Why else would gun control
> only serve to help the GOP keep winning elections?

Why does gay marriage only serve to
help the GOP keep winning elections?

I certainly feel less strongly about gun control than I do about gay
rights, but gay marriage is an equally non-winning issue for the Dems.

> No, it's not. Most prominent gun control
> advocates advocate confiscation as an end goal.

That's paranoia-inducing disinformation and I think you know it.

> And confiscating lawfully used AWs is confiscation,
> period. Why can't you call a spade a spade?

Take it up with the SCOTUS. As I said, AWs were an exception.
No doubt they wouldn't be viewed as a "militia weapon" in the
Miller framework, but I'm just guessing as to the legal reasoning.

> "You tend to argue in anecdotes -- your brother
> said this, the police chief of Missouri said that. I prefer more
> rigorous methodologies and try to appreciate causal matricies."

> No I don't you FUCKING ASSHOLE. I've provided links to
> stats collected by state govts, studies, facts,

You cited sources that you yourself admitted
were biased and then said you did this because
gun control cites were even *more* biased.

I was asking for sources that were *un*biased. And I found wikipedia.

> "Well, if you accept that, then the
> right to bear arms is not absolute."

> I never said it was.

Nor did I say you did. I brought it up as an intriguing side point.

> It's hard arguing with someone who can't even
> correctly characterize the various positions here.

While it's not particularly challenging, it's
a bit less than edifying to argue with someone
who is so defensive and so personally abusive.

> It doesn't have to be for my advocacy of CCW rights. What gives
> you that idea? Something else you pulled from your ass I guess.

This is the last point of yours I'll address.

You may claim expertise on the subject matter, but your command
of dialectic discourse leaves something to be desired. You can
support CCW and agree that you shouldn't carry in bars (or churches,
schools, etc.), just like you can drive and support DWI legislation.

What this means is that you agree that the state is entitled to
curtail what you consider to be a Constitutional right based solely
on the statistical potential that it *might* be abused -- just like
driving drunk may but doesn't have to cause an accident. Nobody says
that you're going into a bar with a gun to look for a fight. Nobody
says that you're going to get shitfaced and lose your self-control.
And certainly there are reasons for being on your guard in that place.

By accepting this principle, you accept the principle of gun control.
You yourself said that my purist Utah friend may be right if he calls
you a "sellout" (which was, of course, only a wisecrack which you
responded to seriously.) And I think this is why this makes you so
uncomfortably defensive -- because it leads to a slippery slope. If
bars, why not ... sporting events (lotta testosterone unleashed and
beer drinking there, too). Shopping malls ... you get the picture.

But now I'm done with you Sebastian. I take great pleasure in
informing you that I didn't finish reading the rest of your message.
Like I said, I'm no expert -- and sometimes I get my facts wrong --
but I am a gentleman in debate. It's a shame that your intolerant
abusiveness lost you an opportunity to persuade a person who, since
he *doesn't* have a wealth of facts at his fingertips, could have
seen the wisdom of your position with a little patient common sense.

But life's too short to put up with gutter invective and
ad-hom attacks. Have a good weekend bro; I mean you no harm.
But nothing spells insecurity (either personally or in your
rationale) like abusiveness. Truthfully, this is a much
bigger problem that Democrats have than any particular policy
position. It's that issue activists tend to be insufferably
self-righteous and unable to endure even the mildest dissent.

If feeling superior is more important than winning supporters, take
a good hard look in the mirror before you damage your cause again.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 21, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

You're still not addressing the clear implication of the use of the people in the other amendments and the clear distinction they make between the people and the state.

Point out one example.

No, I won't wait, let's actually look.

After the Preamble the next occurrence is in Article 1, Section 2, The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Yes, that's People in the sense of 'corporate body of citizenry', or society at large or however you'd like to term it in the collective sense. We know this because the next sentence reads, No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Having brought up the People collectively it now describes the necessary qualifications an individual Person must have.

Then People appears in the First Amendment, as we have seen. In the Second Amendment. The Fourth Amendment.

The Ninth Amendment, The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Indeed.

The Tenth Amendment we have covered, but this has been an important point of obfuscation. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The comma separating 'or to the people' makes that a secondary thought, a default in case the People in question might not be living in a state, but in an unorganized territory. Sovereignty arises from the People and creates the legitimacy of the State, this is why we have it that the right of the People, in the collective sense, to have weapons shall not be infringed, that is, infringed by the Federal government. If they were addressing an individual right, they would have used the word 'person'. The People, in the collective sense, have a recognized right to provide for their collective self-defense, but the instrument of their sovereignty, the State, may arrange private ownership as it sees fit.

This is why there is no right of the individual to private ownership. Private ownership is a privilege. Like a fishing license.

The Seventeenth Amendment, The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

I think that's clear.

And that's it. Every use of the word People in the US constitution.


Your next part remains irrelevant.

You want to surrender your ability to resist tyranny and to defend your home and homestead to the govt, and I'M THE PATSY?


Yes. You're not defending anything but promoting fear, anxiety and distrust which will only be reciprocated. You create a problem that didn't exist.


The conservative 'tradition' and the Republican party has its' origin in the Tories who were, ahem, Left Behind, when the British capitulated. Those people thought the British were winning, until, all of a sudden, they were gone and they abruptly found themselves totally outside the new establishment. So they turned to every kind of secondary forum they could find, which is why we have such a rich history of bluenoses, busybody churchgroups, and school boards. They also had to deny their Toriness, so they insist on their reactionary views as tradition and have spent the last two hundred years working on a 'tradition' as an alternative to every value of the Founders, a 'tradition' that is simply treason.

A couple of weeks ago there were articles about a scientific finding that the social conservative personality is anti-social, complaining, and unable to successfully work with any people but themselves. In classes they try not to cooperate in any subtle way available to them, and with everyone else trying to cooperate, their subtle schemes of non-cooperation often succeed in getting them a lot of attention.

This is really the character that motivates the whole history of States' Rights arguments, and the center of the States' Rights arguments is the Second Amendment and its' habitual use as a source of institutionalized fear and tension.

The ultimate product of this is George Bush, and that's why gun lovers are being used as patsies.

Unless you're a social conservative yourself, then you're just being you.

Posted by: cld on April 21, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Sebastian,

Some longer thoughts on this matter from above, I've stitched them together here to have them all in one place,

The Second Amendment came about during a period of serious debate over how to create the currency, when there was no American currency and everyone just continued using pounds. The argument against the standing army was clinched by it being pointed out that there was never going to be any money to pay for it. Therefore the burden of national self-defense shifted to the states, along with monetary creation. But they didn't actually have any money, either, so they settled on a militia, a sort of fantasy army.

When they actually needed an army during the early period, they never tried to use the militias, they established actual state armies, but the laws stayed on the books because it made great fodder for the State's Rights people and have hung around ever since like herpes virus.

That the colonists were armed isn't relevent. That wasn't the United States. The question is about how we do things in our system, a system that provides for fast governmental turnover specifically to avoid a threat of insurrection. The Founders had just had one, they knew how to make it effective and they knew how to work against it and that's why our electoral cycle is so fast.

Where has the idea of an armed citizenry as a bulwark against tyranny been successful? The Middle East is armed to the teeth and always has been and they've hardly ever had anything less than tyranny. What about India? Hardly armed at all, but successfully rid themselves of the British Empire, and that's why I wrote that we are obligated, as a part of our citizenship, to approach any conflict like a prospective governmental tyranny non-violently, that it's the very nature of the ideals the Founders displayed in constructing our system in the first place.

Our system was made to institutionalize, and regulate, rebelling against sovereign authority. At the time they could rely on the simple fact that if there were really severe disagreements there were plenty of wide-open spaces to move in to.

An insurrection that gets as far as actual violence, or gets even close to it, de-legitimizes itself, as with our most recent act of domestic political violence, the Republican riot in Miami where they stole the 2000 election.

I must say your thought that there is an inalienable right to shoot stuff is remarkable. What do you propose to shoot? The Constitution? The Lincoln Memorial?

You plead self-defense and say it's an inalienable right of humanity independent of law or the Constitution, and the Second Amendment, just by existing, recognizes this.

If you allow the legitimacy of such an idea then government and society will be in a constant state of threat since that will be the underlying default of social activity, the most fundamental thing. That isn't self-defense, that's chaos. In such a state of inherent threat the government will naturally come to respond as if it were under a threat. You create the very problem you anticipate, which may explain something of the cognitive dissonance of 'small government' Republicans who promptly try to create a police state once in power.

If you are saying the sovereignty rests not just within the people but within a potential exercise of a right to kill the government, that's the same as saying the sovereignty of a government rests in its' right of judicial execution which is what Isaiah Berlin identified in the work of Joseph deMaistre as the first point in the development of fascism.

If you were attacking the US government, what would you be attacking? Streets, bridges, the Post Office? Would you shoot people? In that you would be taking the idea of executing someone as the essence of your sovereignty, based on your lone judgment, --and you would say this is not the view of an abortion clinic bomber?

We the People. . . refers to the collective body of the citizenry, not chaos.

I think it may be that the reason fascism keeps coming up so naturally in these conversations is because of that one fundamental misconception that is allowed to fester unchecked, and the Second Amendment continues to exist only as a means of the corrupt and evil to sow fear and alienation in society.


I should say here that I don't advocate a blanket ban on private ownership. People in the hinterlands will always need to have something that can stop a bear, and there should be some provision for hunting if only to keep the deer in check (though that theory could use some work).


If I were walking down the street with a gun in my pocket I'd be terrified. What if someone found out I had it? Suddenly every other idiot in the room who also had a gun would be staring at me, and not with 'respect'. They'd be staring at me like I was some idiot who might suddenly pull out a gun.

I just wouldn't feel comfortable.

Sovereignty does not reside in an individual as part of their individuality, but in them as a part of society.


Is it that gun ownership gives the owner a sense of responsibility? Think of this try holding some other guys' dick in your hand think about it.

Now you're responsible.

You really are.


On self-defense.

Yes, we have an inalienable right of personal self-defense, but that's not the same thing and doesn't imply that we have a right to defend ourselves with nerve gas or assault rifles.

Within our system sovereignty resides in the collective will. If a government became so odious as to subvert the system of the expression of the collective will it would no longer be the government, it will be entirely negligent, it will have abdicated. The First Amendment allows so many natural avenues of expression that a non-violent resistance to such a thing would be unstoppable. What would they say if a few million people drove their cars into the street and left them there? How many cops would really go along with a police state?

Those places that are so lousy a violent resistance may be justified are wholly different in the first place, and in places like 18th century France that citizenry could hardly have been described as armed.

Posted by: cld on April 21, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

In summation then, gun ownership is not a right, it's a privilege.

Posted by: cld on April 21, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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