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Allow me to reprint a paragraph with some fill in the blanks:

These ____ programs have been conducted in a spirit of crisis, as though the advance of _____ presented an extreme peril justifying any means to combat it. This of course is a distortion of the facts, and if the communities that have endured the ____ had been familiar with the earlier history of ______ they would surely have been less acquiescent.

I’ll buy a Zweigles for anyone who can identify the author of this paragraph and what the author was warning us not to panic against? It sounds an awful lot like a “Global Warming Denier” merely cautioning us to use some sense when it comes to thinking about policies to deal with a warming planet. The answer and brief analysis is below the fold.

That was none other than Mother of the Environmental Movement Rachel Carson. She was cautioning us not to freak out due to problems of Japanese Beetle infestations in the United States. The irony here is simply incredible. In the space of a short paragraph she manages to:

  • Warn us against the use of “Crisis” mongering. I am sure I have never encountered a global warming alarmist using such language and tactics. ┬áNor have we seen it in politics. Nah, never.
  • Warning us against distorting facts to make our case. I’ve never ever heard of that before. Nope, not ever.
  • Encouraging us to think about our history in terms of our ability to adapt to the crisis, and about the extent of the problem vis-a-vis how bad it might have been in the past.

Part of her discussion here described how conscious government actions to deal with the Beetle infestations actually made things worse, and she invoked the idea that “we have no idea” what the future consequences of our interventions would be. Plus in several places she repeated how costly our chemical interventions were, and how other ways of adapting to the Japanese Beetles would be just as (if not more) effective and also save a lot of money. So, would I be right that if Ms. Carson were alive today she would remain consistent in her position and offer a moderate stance on what to do about Global Warming? What would her acolytes say about such a passage? I know – “it’s just different” when it comes to the whole entire planet.

4 Responses to “Global Warming Denier”

  1. RIT_Rich says:

    Its always easy to take this stance for the “other guy’s” argument who you disagree with. Its hard to put your argument under the same scrutiny. Environmentalists love this double standard (and sometimes, so do we)

  2. Mark Lipstein says:

    I always thought Carson had thought in the same vein as today’s Environmentalists…

  3. Harry says:

    I could guess the author, knowing what you are reading, but did not get the beetle part.

    The fallacy is the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. There has been an increase in the number of flying pigs, and we have noticed that it is getting warmer in some places around the world. Therefore, we should spend all of Americans’ money to reduce the number of flying pigs.

    It does not matter how Carson, or the Pope, or a majority of concerned scientists think; that would be an argumentum ad gerundum.

    It also is fallacious to attack Al Gore for his logical ignorance, his general ignorance, or his Machavellian ethics; argumentum ad hominem.

    Who knows whether Earth is warming? Relatively recent data suggest it may be so. That is not the question.

    Wintercow’s review of Silent Spring refers to Rachael Carson’s doubts about how to handle a Japanese beetle problem, something complex but far simpler than controlling the weather.

  4. Rod says:

    The free market approach would be to discover a use for Japanese beetles and to be able to take them to the hardware store to “recycle” them. Their shiny outsides must be useful for something, like reflective paint on road signs or license plates. Maybe they could be made into jewelry for the tattoo and body piercing crowd. They would blend right in with those snake tattoos that come up out of the collar. Use a beetle for a tongue stud. There is no limit to how beautiful this would make your old lady.

    And what kind of psychedelic effects those beetles would have if you smoked them?

    Back when we had cattle, we used to curry manure balls from the animals’ tails, and I had this idea of dipping them in polyurethane and making organic jewelry out of them. One could also make fake dreadlocks out of the tail hair — a perfect thing to wear on the beach to look like either Bob Marley or Bo Derek.

    Like Kudzu and those asian carp that are about to invade Lake Michigan, you never know what will happen when you introduce new species to a habitat.

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