Global Warming

Aquarian Weekly 2/7/07 REALITY CHECK


Polar IceGeorge W. Bush is an oilman. Make no mistake about that. To write or utter anything about an energy crisis and the President of the United States and avoid that slice of information is tantamount to discussing Martin Luther King’s contribution to the Civil Rights movement and fail to make the distinction about his race. – “Oil Men To The Rescue” Reality Check 5/30/01

Superstition does not hit the cut-off man. – Joshua Prager “The Echoing Green”

There is no rational adult alive who really thinks there hasn’t been some form of global warming. They know it, believe me. They just don’t want to admit it for various reasons – selfish political nonsense or pride or some other goofy notion. It’s like the whole Adam & Eve thing. No one really buys the traditional creationist theory as actual truth. They may want it to be true, they may even need it to be true, but they know, intellectually, quite obviously, that it isn’t. This self-con is also not unlike the Flat Earth Society. They know the earth is round, but they choose to believe otherwise. I choose to believe I play centerfield for the Yankees. The fact remains I do not. But we are not discussing illusionists or fanatics today, but those who absolutely must accept global warming as fiction: Oil Companies.

This is why during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing this past week (revenge of the Democrats!) it has come to light that big oil lobbyists and henchmen of the Bush Administration – bankrolled by and jam-packed with Oil Men – suppressed scientific panic-speak on the accelerated global warming dangers. And they did so by completely rejecting, changing, or expunging scientific facts from the record, thereby keeping the results from mandating any shift in the torrent of cash flow pouring into their insatiable coffers.

Makes sense to me. Stringent regulations and panic will only decrease profits. This cannot stand. Decreasing profits to a business tycoon is tantamount to someone offering to remove your vital organs to help the neighbor’s lawn grow. There really isn’t any point in discussing it. Science? Fuck that. Money beats science every time. These guys would tell you the sky is chartreuse and Oswald acted alone if it could keep the federal government off their backs. And ecology? It’s voodoo, jack. Ecology is the study of available resources yet to exploit.

It is the same battle we’ve been waging for almost ten years in this space: The Beautiful Lie or the Ugly Truth?

The Oil Men stance: If we have to move heaven and earth to keep the spotted owl alive, then why can’t we do so for us?

Legislation imposing controls on industrial carbon-dioxide emissions is a death knell to these people. They would sooner sell their children into slavery than allow that to happen, something Lee Raymond, former chairman and CEO of Exxon/Mobile suggested to his attorneys in the autumn of 2002. The whole global warming thing may be a political football to conservative spokesmen or liberal protestors, and a fun debate at parties, but it is Armageddon to Oil Men.

For Scientists?

Oh, it’s big doings. Scientists live for this shit. They love bringing the doom. More times than not they’re off-the-wall, and this is what emboldens the delusional global warming opposition. Face it, scientists can get wacky with catastrophe and then nothing comes of it. Sometimes though, like quite apparently with global warming, they nail it.

Thus, here is the nagging problem for the Oil Men: Scientific theory is debatable, but scientific fact is not. Evidence also throws a big rusty wrench into the thing. Global warming used to be theory, now it is fact. Network news cameras capturing chunks of glaciers splashing into the Artic Ocean takes all the wind out of the Oil Men sails. So those who once vehemently denied the existence of global warming now spin the argument to its pertinence, shifting it from whether there is such a thing and whether it is happening or not to how bad it will be and how soon it will start to damage our way of life, and, most importantly for the Oil Men, how much the use of their product is contributing to it.

The federal government enters here.

Scientists employed by the government, and paid for by the rest of us who don’t happen to own oil concerns, claim that for the past five years some 435 times, not two dozen or occasionally, but 435 times there was some form of government interference or “pressure” to back off the presentation of findings regarding global warming. Of the 1,600 scientists having anything to do with government work, 308 responded to an independent survey on the subject of “government censoring of pertinent environmental information”.

Here’s the breakdown: Forty-three percent of respondents reported edits during review of their work that changed the meaning of their findings. Forty-six percent felt administrative requirements impaired climate-related work. Sixty-seven percent said the environment for federal government climate research is worse now than five years ago.

In other words: Scientists say, “Your house is on fire.” Government officials change it to “A slight incendiary incursion of timber particles.” Or “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

There’s pretty much enough evidence here to safely conclude that the Oil Men of the private sector who put the Oil Men in charge of our government have been getting their money’s worth. Good for them, and for George W. Bush, but not so much for us.

Why is it good for Bush? Well, for starters our Boy President wouldn’t have been born on third base and thought he hit a triple if not for Daddy’s oil money. He doesn’t get a free ride into and through Yale and the National Guard or own a baseball team or run companies while snorting half his salary through his nasal passages without it. He damn sure would not have broken every standing record for campaign coffers without it. And there is no possible way he could be president without it either.

Look, I know how business works. I know how politics work. It’s human nature under a gargantuan microscope. And it is basic human nature to mask bad tidings with cuddly images and superstitious ranting. But the truth still exists. And sometimes the truth is a bummer. It’s a bummer for all of us who like our Hummers and the SUVs. It’s a bummer for those who gain the windfall for the sales and operation of said items. But it doesn’t change the facts and the evidence. Evidence, whether suppressed or bellowed from the rooftops or slapped together in an Al Gore documentary, speaks volumes for rising climate changes, damaged ecosystems, fluctuating ocean current patterns, and a real threat of flooding.

I’m not sure what we’re going to do about it. But that discussion only begins when we rid ourselves of the fantasy.

It is the same battle we’ve been waging for almost ten years in this space: The Beautiful Lie or the Ugly Truth?

Apply it here.

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