November 16, 2007

Why Conservatives Are Skeptical of The Global Warming Consensus

This came up in the comments to this post on Jim Frasier's excellent site.

The leftie narrative is fairly predictable, conservatives are reactionary pigs who are driven by greed and ignorance while the enlightened lefties motives are as pure as the driven snow.

It is true that the healthy skepticism the right has had for the global warming hysterics IS reactionary in a way.

The environmental movement was pretty much taken over by lefties, especially after the fall of the USSR.

Leftism has never worked, instead it has rendered millions of innocents dead, wrecked economies and left the most "successful" nations it was inflicted upon with weak economies and on a demographic death spiral. After, Robspierre, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, 130 million people dead, and at best malaise and general dispair you'd think there would be a re-examining of premises....

....but, like mid 19th century Christian apocalyptics trying to distract attention from the great disappointment, the lefties watchword has become "next time fer sure".

For a time after the end of the cold war however, this was a hard sell.

So to foist their utterly unworkable philosophy on the rest of us they embraced global warming as an excuse to force anti capitalist (and often anti American) policies through that would never pass political muster in this country.

The policies that the "greens" tend to advocate are the same old authoritarian, planned economy boondoggles that have been failing for 80 years.

Kyoto, (like many of their solutions)  is about hyperregulating the private sector. Additionally, given that treaties are binding for the US (but for Europe, not so much) Kyoto in particular is a way to hurt America and thereby give rather more socialistic Europe a leg up on us and perpetuate the lie that socialism is in any way competitive with a basically free market.

This has as much a political and idealogical bent as any on the conservative side.

Additionally, despite their claim to impartiality, academics are frequently left leaning by nature. Given the demonstrable, imperical non-workability of leftism in experiment after experiment from De Sade to Pol Pot this seems strange. However, on a spreadsheet or math equation it seems like a good idea...when divorced from the chaotic variables that are human nature. This left leaning bent is in part because academics tend to exist in a fairly Malthusian and state supported environment (they depend upon grants from a growth restricted limited budget that is frequently dependent upon public financing) and have limited interaction with the day to day operations of a capitalist economy.  This is conducive to focusing on certain types of research (for which there is often much rejoicing) but makes them very unsuited to performing the sort of cost benefit analysis the solution to this problem requires.

Conservatives can additionally be forgiven for skepticism when the boosters of global warming hysteria behave in ways that indicate they don't seem to believe in it themselves. The lefts approved approach is idiocy like Kyoto,which the Europeans who signed it are cheating on, and which ignored major polluters like China and India. (China recently surpassed the US in net CO2 emissions). The left has historically opposed nuclear power, OWWEOL*, supports unworkable boondoggles like ethanol,# and fly around the world lecturing about global  fricking jets.@

The Bush administration, for all its many, many faults has pushed fuel cells, nuclear power, as well as thermal depolymerization and other biodiesel projects. Significantly he has gotten a CO2 agreement that includes (albiet tentatively) China (and therefore is relevant...quite unlike Kyoto).

Bush has therefore done more practical good in this regard than those who are identified with this cause.

As I've pointed out before there are worse eco-problems than global warming.  Global warming is a perfect storm of solar heating of the whole solar system, coming out of an ice age and CO2 emissions...all at he same time. However, things like acid rain, mercury in the environment,the ecological collapse of the oceans and poisoning of groundwater supplies are almost entirely anthropogenic in nature and are IMHO both more pressing and more directly able to be influenced by human actions.

None of this means that conservatives like myself seriously believe that global warming is not real nor that we don't want to cut emissions.

I and many conservatives support fossil fuel carbon taxes as opposed to the carbon caps/ carbon credits that are just Ponzi scheme vaporware. We support nuclear power, and with the scads of cheap carbon free energy that can provide the thermal depolymerization plants and other biofuel processing plants it can make possible. The current administration is also looking at SSPS arrays for the first time since the early 80's. While I'm skeptical of this technology for several reasons it is not indicative of ignoring energy alternatives.

It is true that there are ignoramuses on the right who deny any anthropogenic component to this issue or even that warming itself is apochryphal. They are given a good deal more exposure than cranks would normally warrant in part because the media likes to use them to discredit the right.

More here, here and here.

*(OWWEOL= Offshore Windmills Within Eyesight of Lefties)

# Yes I know, conservatives do that too...we are most displeased.

@ Why don't they use blimps...blimps are cool! Hell they could use an actual Zeppelin !

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:01 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 07, 2007

One Final Note on the Strike Thing

In the comments to the previous post on the writers strike, Pete Zactiev makes an analogy to computer engineers work on software like LINUX. Pointing out ( I think) that the writers are generally not the creators of these shows and are analogous to someone tweaking a computer OS the writers case by writing episodes.

I don't think this exactly follows. The writers are doing the actual creation of the shows, without them there is no marketable product. A software engineer is an engineer. He/she gets the program which is essentially a customizable machine or toolkit. The kit IS the finished product. The IT person then uses the kit/program to fit to the needs of their employer.  

However, his is an interesting analogy. It certainly follows certain recent trends and that bothers me.

Nations that don't have strong intellectual property protections CAN of course produce scads of stuff.

But they have, internally, serious disincentives to actually create anything beyond refinements of existing products. Despite some cursory enforcement China is piracy central and this is in no way limited to digital media.

This is potentially a huge issue. I firmly believe that one of the reasons the "West" leapfrogged everybody else was that those nations tended to have strong IP laws. Those nonwestern nations that adopted such ideas succeeded and those that didn't fell behind

 Invention and progress depend upon intellectual property law. The reason this nation prospered was because it was friendly to creators. The founding fathers, included several writers, Jefferson and others were inventors, Washington was a civil engineer and Franklin was all of the above. They were renaissance men. They made sure that the nation rewarded its creative individuals with royalties or somesuch. In fact the founders 14yr + 14yr copyright which is used to argue for not extending copyright must be taken in context with the 33 year average lifespan of the day. The founders were  sure enough that this was important and both Federalist and Republican governments built this up over the ensuing 20 years or so.

   This concept is largely responsible for the historic aberration that is the modern world.  Given the nature of digital media such concepts may be untenable, but we should tread lightly for we abandon them at our peril.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:32 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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November 06, 2007

More on the Strike

 Colleen Doran has a long, informative post on the math, misperceptions and reality of the writers strike here. Roger Simon has more here. and this comment over at LGF is probably pretty close to the truth.

The situation here is so utterly backwards from a regular strike that many peoples knees are jerking backwards.

I am no fan of unions.

 I've crossed a picket line and dealt with threats, pursuit, intimidation and since, the union won that one, a bit of harassment. I am not ashamed of that period of my life. Last week I was finally forced to join that union because of my recent injury. Not a happy Ken. Now that I've signed on the dotted line I could (in theory) get in trouble for non-haiographic blogging about Unions.

I also know voice actors who have taken low end jobs (generally better than no job) for start-up-shoestring Anime companies that could not pay union rates. They helped get the anime industry off the ground in the US. Of course, being "scabs" they must now work under pseudonyms if possible, in Canada, or not at all. One told me she gets harassed occasionally. Closed shop SUCKS! I have a good deal of respect for these guys.

This writers strike, however is not typical.

The writers are the creators, the investors of the creative capital and they are fully entitled to compensation for that. 4 cents per 30 dollar DVD and naught for downloads does not cut it. The production companies are essentially middle men. Yes they take the writers work toproduce and market it, but for any given story, the writer is the only piece of the equation that cant be changed.
 It's not about weather they produce crap (and 90+ percent of TV and movies certainly is fits that description). The writers produce a commodity of value (someones watching it) they are damned well entitled to a percentage of the proceeds given that without them there would be no proceeds.

Bottom line the writers are in the right.

If anything the arguments again the  writers getting a percentage of their new media earnings smack of leftist arguments about information wanting to be argument that all of us on the right should be very wary of.

This is not about politics, it is about right and wrong.

I wish my fellow conservatives could realize this.
Injustice is injustice no matter who it happens to. To determine your sympathy for the victims of theft based on their politics is to become like the vile denizens at Kos or Democratic Underground.

We lost the 06 election in part because we became like the Dems in the area of earmarks, and corruption, we became what we most opposed.
It seems some of us have decided to extend this trend to questions of right and wrong too.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 10:06 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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November 05, 2007

Another Good Mark For Fred

I'm rather unimpressed by the Republican field as most of the strongest candidates have their strengths well balanced by other qualities, and the shallow end of the field actively scare me.

The Dems all actively scare me.

This is quite a good point in my book for Fred Thomson though.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:02 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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