From Brian in the comments, a rare bit of sanity on the big oil/big business propaganda campaign which the Bloggers For Exxon like to call 'Climategate'. It is not clear to me that this was a computer hack - the documents seem to have been gathered by somebody on the inside (and the computer hack story created to protect the thief). I imagine some oily fellow from the Big Business Interests found a disgruntled employee and offered a multiple of his or her annual salary for a collection of internal documents, knowing that any such documents can be spun into debunking propaganda.
Let's make no mistake, this is an organized Big Business campaign. It is no coincidence that the 'hack' was revealed just before Copenhagen. It is no coincidence that the same crew behind all the other extreme right-wing propaganda campaigns is at it again. Copenhagen never had much chance, but Exxon and its fellow travellers wanted to make sure nothing at all would come out of it.
We're moving rather rapidly into a Dark Age, and the blogosphere has a lot to do with it. Somewhere along the line it was decided that the conspiracies, which traditionally involved politics and economics and race and religion, extended to scientific conclusions themselves. The idea that science rests on 'theories' has created the crazed idea, based on no more than a pun, that science and anti-science are of equal intellectual validity. Thus, for example, the destruction of science education through such means as treating creationism as the equal of science (and of course the destruction of science education is accelerating the coming of the Dark Age).
There are other factors involved. Americans have made a number of horrible choices involving Wars For The Jews and their economy, and see their Empire sinking fast. Initiatives to restrict human activity that is causing climate change, connected with the source of the Empire's power, energy, are perceived as attacks on the existing power structure and thus attacks on American power. Similarly, the same efforts create the uncomfortable feeling among the rich and powerful that the existing social order, with them on top, will be altered. Thus, they turn the media over to attacks on science in an effort to put a stop to change.
Perhaps the most important factor is the selfishness which is the spirit of the age, a selfishness associated with the entitled baby boomer generation. This selfishness is coupled with anti-science and the free rider problem to create a monster. We see it with the anti-vaccination nutters. Due to the fact that epidemics have largely been eliminated in the first world, in large part through mass vaccination campaigns, they have the luxury of taking the free ride and refusing to inoculate their children while wallowing in anti-scientific nonsense. If a real epidemic shows up, watch them fight through the line to be first for the inoculations! They are just selfish and stupid and self-obsessed.
Americans, selfish and stupid and self-obsessed to the extreme, and living in a temperate environment, don't feel threatened by climate change, and of course feel no empathy for other people or for future generations. They thus will look for any excuse to prevent progressive change - we see the exact same phenomena in the silly American health care debate - and in a country with debased science education pseudo-scientific attacks on the scientific consensus are not a surprise. Of course, the joke is on the Americans. Other countries are already improving their economic efficiency by learning how to manufacture with less energy. These countries will be the new first world. Many Americans have bought into cheap real estate developments along coastal plains, and many more have decided to live in deserts made habitable only by air conditioning and exhausting the water supplies, supplies which are going to disappear even more quickly with human-caused climate change. The first change that the selfish and foolish boomers will notice is a rapid increase in property insurance rates, as insurance companies will start to charge for the losses caused by climate change. These insurance price increases will work their way through the entire economy, raising the prices of everything. There is no free ride from head-in-the-sand stupidity.
I am personally bothered by the intellectual deterioration in conspiracy theory. The Bloggers For Exxon are making fools of themselves, being dragged around by the nose by one of the most obvious Big Business propaganda campaigns I have ever seen. Climate change problems are coming fast, and everybody will soon be able to see what fools these bloggers are (perhaps I'm being charitable as I imagine a lot of them are being paid off to spread the lies). If you can believe it, many of them claim to be opposing the scientific consensus for the reason that some rich people might be able to make money off the solutions! We wouldn't want to ruin our socialist paradise!
The Dark Age is coming, and its coming due to anti-science, stupidity and selfishness. The blogosphere, touted by the geeks as being the salvation of mankind, has become a tool for Evil, and is making things worse.
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