Servant of the Wank

by Henry on June 13, 2007

!http://www.henryfarrell.net/lewankh.jpg!

I didn’t think they made them like this anymore. Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, tries to figure out how many denialist cliches can be squeezed into a “single 700 word op-ed”:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/9deb730a-19ca-11dc-99c5-000b5df10621.html . The results aren’t edifying.

One exceptionally warm winter is enough – irrespective of the fact that in the course of the 20th century the global temperature increased only by 0.6 per cent – for the environmentalists and their followers to suggest radical measures to do something about the weather, and to do it right now. … Al Gore’s so-called “documentary” film … The author Michael Crichton stated it clearly … global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem. It requires courage to oppose the “established” truth, although a lot of people – including top-class scientists – see the issue of climate change entirely differently. They protest against the arrogance of those who advocate the global warming hypothesis and relate it to human activities. … I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. …The environmentalists … do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. … Does it make any sense to speak about warming of the Earth when we see it in the context of the evolution of our planet over hundreds of millions of years?

_Und so weiter_

Update – I somehow neglected to quote the best bit – Klaus’s exhortation to “resist the politicisation of science and oppose the term “scientific consensus”, which is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority.”

Deluge of Dershowitz

by John Quiggin on June 13, 2007

For some reason, Alan Dershowitz has been everywhere I’ve turned lately. Until a few years ago, I knew of him, very vaguely, as a celebrity defence lawyer (OJ Simpson’s, IIRC) with the civil libertarian views that generally go with this role. Then after 9/11 he apparently underwent a massive change in views, emerging as a supporter of torture, detention without trial and so on. I remember reviewing a book refuting his (very weak) case for torture. But shmibertarians of this kind are so common I didn’t pay him much mind.

Right now, though, it seems as if I can’t get away from him.

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Rorty’s Rhetoric of Anticipatory Retrospective

by John Holbo on June 13, 2007

I like Richard Rorty, but will say a bit in defense of the negative line taken by Damon Linker in his TNR piece. Well, actually, I don’t have access, so I haven’t read it. I’ll respond to the bits available at Matthew Yglesias site, which dovetail nicely with thoughts I’ve had about Rorty’s liberal politics, quite independently of anything Linker says or thinks. [click to continue…]