Culture War Dispatches

from a Progressive People's Republic

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hamburgers kill polar bears

Derrick Jackson thinks that eating meat is endangering our planet. ("One less burger, one safer planet" 4/15/08)

With fatal food riots in poor nations, and with China rapidly approaching Western levels of consumption, we in the obese United States must redefine what constitutes, to borrow from McDonald's, a "happy meal." Scientists are concluding that along with more fuel-efficient cars and curbing industrial pollution, the simple act of eating less meat could help slow global warming.

"For the world's higher-income populations, greenhouse-gas emissions from meat eating warrant the same scrutiny as do those from driving and flying," according to the authors of a study last fall in the Lancet.

So eating meat, driving and flying "warrant scrutiny"? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Pope bashes Bush

The Globe “news” story on the front page found a way to turn the Pope’s visit into an anti-Bush global warming story; your headline claims, “Benedict may discuss warming…Stances have differed from those of Bush.” You quote an Archbishop: the Pope “will insist on the moral imperative that all, without exception, have a grave responsibility to protect the environment.”

This is a typical global warming alarmism tactic: accuse those who disagree with a political program to limit CO2 of not caring about the environment. No one has explained adequately how limiting a non-toxic gas essential for plant growth puts you on the side of helping the environment.

Furthermore, the Globe overlooks the many significant criticisms the Pope has expressed of global warming hysteria. His speech on December 12, 2007 “condemn[ed] climate change prophets of doom,” calling them “scaremongers.” The Daily Mail reported: “The 80-year-old Pope said the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind.”

Is the Pope’s stance on global warming really fundamentally at odds with that of President Bush?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Intolerance in Flyover Country

I was talking to friend who listens to NPR a lot and she said, it really bothers me how those people in the Midwest are so sure that they are right. There's an intolerance that I find troubling. I wasn't sure what she was talking about, so I asked where she meant. She answered, "Of course, it's strange, because when I go to Ohio to visit my relatives, the people there are so nice." I asked her if she really thought the liberal Democrats in New England were open to other (more conservative) points of view. She seemed relieved to think that the center of our country might not be inhabited by fanatics.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vote with your wallet

A bumper sticker spotted in my neighborhood says, "I'm for Solar Power and I Vote."

It's a perfect summation of environmnentalism. Not: "I'm for solar power so I bought solar panels for my house." Rather: "I'm for solar power, so I'm going to use the government to force you to pay for it."

Friday, April 04, 2008

Gad Zooks!

Douglas Zook’s letter on Plum Island displays everything that is wrong with global warming alarmism, in sharp contrast to the letter on the same subject by John A. Bewick. Mr. Bewick makes the sensible conclusion that “Anyone who lives on [a barrier beach] should do so at his or her own risk, not that of the taxpayers.”

Professor Zook, however, brings global warming into the argument, starting with the completely unfounded claim that global warming “will promote more damaging coastal storms.” He then incites class warfare, saying that the Plum Island’s “grotesque beachfront mansions” are bringing on their own destruction by being excessively luxurious. Finally he uses the moral authority of his totalitarian crusade to bring in the power of the state, demanding that “the land should be taken by eminent domain and made an extension of the Parker River Wildlife Sanctuary.” It’s frightening—he sees Al Gore’s movie and thinks he has the right to have someone's house demolished. It confirms Czech President Klaus’s fear that “the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now [is] ambitious environmentalism.”

The most frightening words in this letter are Professor Zook’s title, “Professor of science education and global ecology, Boston University.” Some education.