Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Left's "Two Minute Hate"

In his classic novel, 1984, George Orwell writes of the "Two minute hate": a periodic event in which members of the Party are gathered together before a video screen featuring images of Emmanuel Goldstein and his followers: the enemies of the State. Participants are worked up into a frenzy of hatred and vitriol directed against people who, later in the story, turn out to be completely fictional.

So worked up do the participants become during the Two Minute Hate that they even attack the telescreen in front of them. The object of this political ritual is to solidify the support of each individual to the Party by uniting them in hatred against its enemies.

For the increasingly strident Tolerance Police, the rhetorical equivalent of the Two Minute Hate is becoming a daily event.

The most recent object of their hate is State Rep. Jim Gooch of Kentucky, who landed himself on the national news by holding hearings at the state capitol questioning one of the left's new dogmas: global warming. The telescreen is turned on, images of Gooch, ensconced in his chair as head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee appear before the audience (courtesy of the KET), and then they start into their jeering and cursing, eventually working themselves up to such a fever pitch you wonder whether they'll hurt themselves.

It is becoming a frequent, and increasingly alarming sight.

Now I too am against the rape of the environment, particularly as it manifests itself in things like mountaintop removal. Besides being bad stewardship of the land, it's just plain wrong.

To say that global warming is happening, or that global warming is the result of human activities--or that it can be corrected by human actions whether it was caused by them or not--are not unreasonable positions, whatever you think about their accuracy. What is unreasonable is the level of personal acrimony and ad hominem vitriol that are increasingly being employed by those who believe these things.

In a recent Louisville Courier-Journal editorial Gooch was term a "a global warming denier." Ooh. Did you catch the rhetorical allusion there? Sounds very similar to "Holocaust denier" to me. So now people who have legitimate beefs with the mistake-riddled rhetoric of Al Gore are akin to David Duke.

Got it.

"Jake" over at Page One Kentucky, an increasingly intemperate voice of the political left in Kentucky, insists, "Rep. Jim Gooch needs to resign immediately." Why? Because this "embarrassment," this "uneducated...fool," this, ...this "idiot" disagrees with "Jake" on a controversial environmental issue.


Then there are the gals over at "Kentucky Women: Power, Passion, and Politics" (with an emphasis on the "Passion"), who recently announced, "Speaker Jody Richards, it's time for Rep. Jim Gooch to be removed off this committee!" A suggestion in response to which Speaker Richards kindly patted them on the head and told them he didn't think he ought to do that, and didn't they have some cookies to go bake or something?

Okay, he really didn't say that last part, but it would have been fun to see their reaction if he had.

And besides, you don't "remove" someone "off" something, you just "remove" them--one possible reason the word 'Grammar' does not appear in their title along with the words 'Power', 'Politics', and 'Passion'. And why should we be such sticklers about a linguistic trifle?

Let's cut to Larry Dale Keeling. Larry, are you there? Go ahead Larry:
Introducing the main speaker at an interim legislative committee meeting Wednesday, Chairman Jim Gooch mistakenly pronounced what should have been a silent 's.'

As a result, Viscount ("v’-kount," according to Random House Webster's College Dictionary) Christopher Walker Monckton became a "vizz (rhymes with fizz)-count."

Although Rep. Mike Cherry, D-Princeton, got it right when he later addressed Monckton, several other lawmakers on the panel repeated the "vizzcount" mistake often during the course of a lengthy meeting.

Thanks for that report Larry. The Herald-Leader's Larry Dale Keeling will be back next week with a report on he, personally, pronounces the words 'Versailles' and 'Athens'.

In the Two Minute Hate there is no time for reasoned discourse or for the presentation of evidence for your position, which is why none of Gooch's critics even bothered to offer any in any of their criticisms of him.

The sole exception was Randall Patrick, the editorials editor of the Winchester Sun. He at least made the attempt, although not a very spirited one. "Maybe the reason the chairman didn't invite any scientists," said Patrick, "is because it's hard to find one who doesn't believe global warming is happening at an alarming rate and is caused in large measure by the burning of carbon fuels."

C'mon, Randall, how hard did you look? Ever heard of
Reid Bryson, Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography and of Environmental Studies, Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research, The Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (Founding Director), the University of Wisconsin, Madison? Huh?

Apparently not. It just so happens he's widely regarded as the father of climatology. Here's what he says, despite his nonexistence:
All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.
Or how about Carleton University science professor Tim Patterson, who says that global warming will not bring about the downfall of life on the planet, and that much of recent research indicates that “changes in the brightness of the sun” are almost certainly the predominant cause of global warming since the end of the “Little Ice Age” in the late 19th century?

He must be imaginary too.

And what about Timothy Ball, professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg and Chairman of the National Resources Stewardship Project in Canada, a group that argues that "CO2 is very unlikely to be a substantial driver of climate change and is not a pollutant," and that "global climate change is primarily a natural phenomenon..."?

Want more? Go visit the NRSP's website for a long list.

And why should Patrick mention scientists who he could easily have googled on the Internet when he could simply repeat discredited claims by Al Gore about "an article in Science magazine in 2004 found that out of 928 randomly selected peer-reviewed articles that have been published in scientific journals over a 10-year period, not one doubted that human beings are the cause of climate change"?

Is Patrick aware that
an English social scientist reviewed the methodology used in that study and found that the author did not actually read all 928 studies, but only the abstracts? In reality, only about 50 of those studies said it was a crisis, and some actually disagreed, the remainder saying it was unknown.

Does that prove the global warming is not a problem or that humans aren't contributing to it? No, of course not. But it does prove that there is a legitimate debate in the scientific community about it and that people who disagree with the scare talk on global warming are not ipso facto a bunch of crazies.

But it's hard for people to know this, so loud is the screaming and hollering during the Two Minute Hate.

1 comment:

solarity said...

Both the CJ and HL reflect the standard smug liberal orthodoxy. Exuding an intolerance born of self-important hubris, journals on the left gladly depict conservatives as despicable, dangerous or dim-witted--frequently all three. Easy to realize, therefore, why ideological foes are vilified, sometimes demonized. The less critical among us absorb such inanity, investing emotional capital in lies.