Global Warming and American Ambivalence

Without going into too much detail – though I should as I really need to post more – or at least I think I do here’s some of what I’ve been thinking about recently:

Why is it so hard for people to accept that the world might be getting warmer?

People have a difficult time accepting change. This seems especially true if it upsets their pretty little world view. The data shows the world is warmer now than it has been in the past 400 years, probably in the past thousand and mostly likely for hundreds of millennia. On the one hand it really doesn’t matter why it’s getting warmer – the fact is that the world is getting warmer and it is going to cause huge ecological changes that are unlikely to be beneficial to humanity. We need to do something about it. If it is caused by humans we need to clean up our mess, if not we need to address how to handle it. Either way I don’t see the powers that be doing anything but business as usual. Suffice to say that I live somewhere where 100 degree summer temperatures are common and I sure as hell don’t want them to feel, well, any more hellish.

Which leads me to wondering why Americans are so ambivalent about their government?

This one baffles me quite a bit. The irritating thing is that we get scared by one terrorist attack on our country and we just hand over our privacy and our rights, turn over the keys to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and say “Hey, help yourself to whatever you want. Oh, and don’t forget to turn the lights out when you leave.” The state of affairs in the United States, I don’t think, has ever been so bad except perhaps right before the War Between the States. The peoples of any other democratic nation and even a few that aren’t so democratic would be up in arms over they way things have been going. Frankly I think most people now feels like their hands are tied, they don’t trust the voting machines so don’t feel like they can elect better officials, their afraid to speak up for being labeled unpatriotic or sympathetic to terrorists or worse treasonous. Come on people – wake up and smell the ashes of your freedom – it may already be too late. If you don’t do something who will?

If you know me you know I don’t claim to be a leftist, rightist or centrist. To me the issues are too complex, not black and white at all, but you know I hate hypocrisy, stupidity (being defined here as not thinking for yourself – God-of-your-choice forbid you expend the energy), fundamentalism, and unjustness, all of which lead to that ego-centric black and white world view. If you’ve read this blog before you already know how I feel about right winger who have elevated semantic manipulation to an art form that makes any one who disagrees with their close-minded view look bad. I encourage you all to look for hypocrisy surrounding them and call them out on it. Here are some examples:

Direct Hypocrisy – From the Colbert Report

Lynn Westmoreland, a Congressman who’s co-sponsored a bill to require the display of the Ten Commandments in the House of Representatives and the Senate is unable to name the Ten Commandments. Here’s a video of Stephen Colbert interviewing Georgia Representative Lynn Westmoreland. After a few minute of chit-chat, Colbert says, “What are the Ten Commandments?”

Stephen Colbert: What are the Ten Commandments?
Lynn Westmoreland: What are all of them?
SC: Yes.
LW: You want me to name them all?
SC: Yes.
LW: Unnnnnn.
LW: Unnnn. Don’t murder. Don’t lie. Don’t steal.
LW: Ummm. I can’t name them all.

This is particularly irritating. What a waste of tax dollars. Do his constituents want the Ten Commandments displayed in the House of Representatives and Senate? Do they visit often? Is it a church? That’s not even mentioning the fact that it violates one of the underlying principles of this country: separation of church and state. There’s a reason that was put in place to begin with, specifically, and I’m sure most people have long forgotten, that when our ancestors left Europe to live here they were leaving counties where the rulers claimed divine right for their rule. As soon as there is no more separation of church and state we might has well just have a despotic king.

Un-justice – Found in News of the Weird

Wheelchair-confined Richard Paey committed almost exactly the same violations of Florida prescription drug laws that radio personality Rush Limbaugh did, with a different result: Limbaugh’s sentence, in May, was addiction treatment, and Paey’s, in 2004, was 25 years in prison. Both illegally possessed large quantities of painkillers for personal use, which Paey defiantly argued was (and will be) necessary to relieve nearly constant pain from unsuccessful spinal surgeries after an auto accident, but which Limbaugh admitted was simply the result of addiction. (In fact, if Limbaugh complies with his plea bargain, his conviction will be erased.) Paey’s sentence now rests with a state Court of Appeal. [Tampa Tribune, 2-8-06]

Now, how the hell is that just? I guess Richard Paey should have claimed to be addicted. Obviously he should have been wealthy enough to afford a better lawyer, but as he’s confined to a wheelchair I guess he just sits around a day long talking… oh wait a minute… maybe we should put him on the radio instead; he’s at least as qualified as Rush.

Anyway, so now I try to post more – this, frankly, barely scratches the surface or the fleeting thoughts that go through my mind.


I'm anti-entropic, radically-skeptic, and generally optimistic. I dislike stupidity - mine and others. I dislike hypocrisy even more so. I do not believe anything.

Posted in Politics, Rant, Science, Spiel

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