[lit-ideas] Re: Speaking of weapons technology...

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 17:19:54 -0800

Irene wrote:

> I just got ripped off by Home Depot ($255 worth and there's nothing I
> can do about it).  This experience confirms to me what I've been
> saying all along, that people love to hurt one another, in any way,
> shape or form they can do it.

Home Depot gave me $250 dollars worth of trees whose leaves had fallen off. It
cost us $15 to have a (possibly) illegal immigrant and his sister haul them to
our place in their (possibly uninsured) pickup. So, the world owes you $35.

> The only end to all this escalation will be, ironically, in my
> opinion, global warming, which may bring the world together to fight
> what will in the near future become a worldwide emergency.  Or it
> will  just ignite more war, who knows.  Even if it manages some
> cooperation, by then it will be too late.  Yeah, I know, dooming and
> glooming again, except it's true.  Regarding global warming,
> virtually all scientists are in agreement it's happening and
> happening now.  Only the oil and related companies are still saying
> it's not happening.

There are some certified nut cases, like the trash novelist Michael Crichton,
who think that environmentalism is the result of a plot by leftist-fascists who
want to take over the world. Or something. I haven't read State of Fear, of
course, but I know what I like.

Only Exxon, I think, of the major oil companies still waffles about global
warming. In 1997, in a speech at Stanford, the CEO of British Petroleum
admitted that human activity could increase the earth's temperature beyond a
disastrous tipping point. He even cited Karl Popper.

'Karl Popper once described all science as being provisional. What he meant by
that was that all science is open to refutation, to amendment and to
development.

'That view is certainly confirmed by the debate around climate change.'

In 1997 BP pulled out of the Global Climate Coalition, a disinformation group
founded in 1989 by various large corporations, 'a voice for business in the
global warming debate.' In 2000, Daimler-Chrysler, Texaco and General Motors
all pulled out of the GCC. Of course, it may all just eyewash, but at least in
public these companies (I think Ford also) agree that global warming is
happening and that it's a generally bad thing.

So, perhaps the balance in the 'balanced views' is not quite so openly
dismissive of the very idea that global warming has a human face, or at least a
human smile, as Irene thinks.

Out here, most noxious gasses are produced by morels decaying deep in the
forests.

Robert Paul
Reed College

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