Haven't posted for a while. I'm discouraged with current happenings at all levels: local, regional, national and global. It seems we are at an ideological turning point and the socialist forces have gone "All IN" with their chips. They are not going to let a "Good crisis" go unexploited. I think we will move in the direction of BIG government in a BIG way.
Most annoying to me, because I am a mechanical engineer and somewhat learned in the thermal sciences and scientific method, is how the socialist and environmentalist have united to exploit the Global Warming idea to achieve their compatible goals. Even though it all unproven theory they have managed to exploit the ignorance of the masses to launch the largest governmental power grab in history. The greatest VICTIM of all, our MOTHER EARTH, exploited and despoiled by the ruthless greedy Capitalist, not to mention the spoiled American middle class with their excessive and over indulgent consumerism. These villains are easy to point at and accuse because they have no collective voice in the debate. The Elites control the microphone. Their message is an endlessly repeating mantra. Most middle class Americans are riddled with guilt over their so called excesses, the big SUV, the few extra square feet in their house, the thermostat set to low, the occasional steak dinner, etc. BAAADDD Americans, shame on you.
Who else but Big Government can fix all this and deliver us. "We are in good hands".
There are some bright lights out there. They get little media spotlight but if you search you can find them. This little story is an example. See how one ordinary man, with a an extra ordinary amount of courage, stands up in a crowded room and speaks out. The link is here but I copied the short story here in its entirety.
My Confrontation with a Global Warming Climate Change Activist [UPDATED]
[UPDATE: It was the opinion of a reader from this synagogue that my depiction of it was too harsh and painted it in a bad light. Therefore, I would like to clarify that, politics aside, this is a wonderful place with a history of doing good for its students, its congregants, and community. I have worked there for many years and I wouldn't be working there if I felt otherwise. It was never my intention to use this post to disaparage this synagogue, only to express my distaste for what I view as politically-slanted programs.]
This was a very exhilerating evening. The synagogue at which I teach invited a global warming climate change alarmist to give a presentation to our 8th-10th graders. Actually, it’s the second climate change speaker in two years. (This synagogue, a Reform institution, is hopelessly left-wing.) When Al Gore’s famous movie came out, a Greenpeace activist was invited to show and then give her spiel.
Tonight, the guest who came was from the Climate Project. I never heard of them until this week, so when I visited their site, I couldn’t believe it. This was an army of volunteer Al Gore clones who go all over the country indoctrinating young skulls full of mush[*] about the dangers of climate change, and who publish propaganda about Big Oil, Big Auto, bought-off skeptics, greedy Republicans, etc.
Admittedly I chickened out of the Greenpeace presentation from two years ago. I was neither a parent nor a teacher of an 8-10th grader, so I just skipped it. But I did send an email to the rabbis expressing my concern that what had been done to our students was not religious education but rather political indoctrination. The message clearly didn’t have an impact.
This time, I decided to stay. Hell, if G’tmo terrorists can handle the world-class baklavah (as reported this week by Mark Steyn who has been subbing for El Rushbo), then I can handle an hour-long presentation by a climate change enviro-wacko.
During the presentation I sat in the back with a small group of teachers and parents who were skeptics like me. We watched in amazement and gave each other appalled looks every time this presenter showed another slide borrowed from An Inconvenient Truth. All the drowning polar bears, the flooding rivers, melting glaciers, rising oceans were there. Then came the graphs with the temperature increases and CO2 increases, the puffing smokestacks and vehicle-packed highways, the exploding population rates and the America-heavy coal and oil consumption. You get the picture.
The final slide of the presentation was the best part. No, it was not Al Gore lecturing us on high. It was … ready for this? Barack Obama, posing in D.C. with Abe Lincoln behind him.
Nahhh, this isn’t a political presentaiton. It’s purely of religious, moral value.
At least this is what the powers that be at the synagogue keep telling me.
But there was one thing that bothered me more than the heartbreaking slides of bodies floating in flooded rivers in China and devastation from Hurricane Katrina, and more than the glaringly slanted defense-attorney-style delivery (it seemed from the presentation that the history of the planet Earth started around 1950).
It was that so many of these slides and so many utterances by the speaker caused a crowd of about 80 young people to gasp in horror.
This person was really getting to them.
Anyway, I survived the hour-long presentation and slide show. When it came time to hear questions, I raised my hand and said,
“Thank you for your presentation. Doing this often, you’re probably used to every crowd having at least one climate change skeptic.”
“I’m that person. And if you came and saw the house I lived in you’d know I wasn’t being paid by Big Oil to have my position.” (That drew a laugh or two.)
Then, with the entire audience of about 80 kids turned around facing me, I started by saying that I understand that, as a presenter, she’s coming with a certain agenda: Just like a lawyer in a courtroom she is going to say certain things and not say certain things, and say things a particular way. I then addressed the kids and told them they owed it to themselves to go home and do their own research and look at all sides of the issue.
I then said that her slides had a lot of emotional impact on the kids, but that a lot of them gave false or slanted information. I called her on the drowning polar bears. Aside from pointing out the fact that their Latin name is Ursa Maritimus, I noted research concluding that of the 13 species of Canadian polar bears, 11 are stable or increasing in number.
I also got the chance to address a slide of two side-by-side shots of melting Mount Kilimanjaro—one shot from around 1970 and one from now. I told the crowd, who was now paying full attention to me, that the mountain had already lost more than half its glacier surface area in the 50 years prior to Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro in 1936 than in the 70 years since. (Check on-line, inter alia, the works of Bjørn’s Lomborg).
Finally, I argued the factories belching black smoke into the sky was misleading. Simply by exhaling, I asked the kids to notice that what’s coming out of my mouth is invisible! More laughs, and even some aaah’s and hmmm’s. I added that I was of course not a fan of factories puffing black smoke into the sky but whatever that was, it was not CO2. I also specified that even though she had correctly included water vapor among the Earth’s greenhouse gases, she never said it accounts for about 75% of the greenhouse effect and is perfectly natural. CO2 is a fraction of fraction of all greenhouse gases, and human-made a fraction of a fraction of that. If she had mentioned this, her entire premise would have been shattered—which of course is why it was never brought up.
To the speaker’s credit, she was very courteous and respectful and she allowed me go on for quite a few minutes uninterrupted. I should also mention that even though she might be a GW hysteric, she was far from hysterical; she was quite calm and delivered what would have been considered a very successful business presentation or courtroom defense.
What followed my monologue, however, was something that took me truly by surprise. Quite a number of kids in the audience were giving me the thumbs up and silent-clapping. Some parents were too. There was even one parent behind me who had her hand raised in preparation to continue my argument with the presenter [UPDATE: Bzzt. No. Turns out she was preparing to argue with me! Ya can’t win ’em all.], but her kids, who were in the audience, were begging her not to start trouble and embarrass them!
In a nutshell, it was a thrilling and bumpy ride. Did I sabotage this presentation? Probably. Were some people in attendance, like my boss, angry at me for making waves? Maybe a little.
But the response I got from the kids was worth it. There might be hope for some of these young skulls full of mush[*] after all.
One battle down, several more to go.
[* For those of you unfamiliar with, and therefore possibly offended by "young skulls full of mush," the phrase is simply a euphemism meaning impressionable young minds which, according to its coiner Rush Limbaugh, are easily indoctrinated to accept politically-laced but factually-baseless information.]