More “Do Something!” Climate Change Hysteria!

The New York Times published a serious opinion piece that argues that one good way to save the planet from climate change is to shrink the human race. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Smaller people leave less of a carbon footprint. Brilliant! Thus, writes,

Thomas Samaras, who has been studying height for 40 years and is known in small circles as the Godfather of Shrink Think, a widely unknown philosophy that considers small superior, calculated that if we kept our proportions the same but were just 10 percent shorter in America alone, we would save 87 million tons of food per year (not to mention trillions of gallons of water, quadrillions of B.T.U.s of energy and millions of tons of trash)….Short people don’t just save resources, but as resources become scarcer because of the earth’s growing population and global warming, they may also be best suited for long-term survival (and not just because more of us will be able to jam into spaceships when we are forced off this planet we wrecked)….When you mate with shorter people, you’re potentially saving the planet by shrinking the needs of subsequent generations. Lowering the height minimum for prospective partners on your dating profile is a step toward a greener planet.

You can’t mock people like this enough. They don’t have any practical solutions for preventing what they fear, so instead, in a “We’ve got to DO SOMETHING!” frenzy, they propose nonsense and people actually take them seriously, because they are also in a state of media propaganda-induced terror. I ultimately decided that now was an ideal time for Sidney Wang to make his first Ethics Alarms appearance of 2023, but I was sorely tempted to use this (From “Dr. Cyclops”)…

or even this, from a comic fantasy about how women could finally take over the world… Continue reading

Thoughts While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report, #4: Imagine…If John Lennon Had Graduated From Harvard

If John Lennon had graduated from Harvard (and not been assassinated, of course) he might have written the ridiculous insufferable screed I just read in my anniversary report. I knew the author as a freshman, and did not enjoy the experience: the fact that he appears to be just as big a jerk today as he was when he was 18 confirms my long-held conclusion that maturity is a myth and most people don’t change as much as we would like to think.

Of course this guy is obsessed with climate change. He is downcast about the “prospects for the future of human civilization,” seeing “pending catastrophe” due to our “abuse of Mother Nature,” and there’s “very little time” to turn things around. No, Al Gore was not in my class.

Millions are going to die, “water wars” will rage, nuclear wars are inevitable, and hoards of climate-displaced refugees in the millions will roam the earth. Everyone must reduce their carbon footprint to zero–ZERO!—immediately, “not next year, not in five years, but now” or we are doomed. That means, this expert says (I can’t figure out what his real area of expertise is, but I don’t care, either), going cold turkey on fossil fuels and buying electric cars or, presumably, using bicycles and roller skates. Airplanes are right out, I guess.

He goes on to lecture on the need to abandon “tribalism,” self-interest, nations, success (“tribal dominance”) basic human aspirations and ambitions, all of it, because it is these maladies that have brought us to this perilous state. I’ll give him credit for one thing: at least he realizes that the kind of ascetic existence that he demands of humanity can’t possibly occur under the current governmental and societal structures, though he never has the guts to come right out and say what he’s advocating: world dictatorship by some body or individual who is wise and beneficent. For that would be the only way his formula for survival could ever be carried out, and that formula is exactly as absurd as Lennon’s lyrics in “Imagine.” It can’t happen, won’t happen, and most important of all, shouldn’t happen. Two and a half pages and 2,000 words of environmental, utopian virtue-signaling, all culminating in an urgent, indeed hysterical exhortation to not only do the impossible and impractical, but also do it without any reasonable assurance that such radical measures will work.

Good plan!

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Climate Change Media Hype, 2022

The more I think about it, the more the Wuhan virus fiasco strikes me as a microcosm (not too micro, unfortunately) of the climate change hysteria. Both are “Do Something!” debacles; both have demonstrated that those who argue for lock-step compliance with ideologically driven “science” don’t understand the science they demand we bow to. And, as we have seen, the policies applied to both problems have proved to be irresponsible, reckless, expensive, and destructive. Nevertheless, a substantial portion of the population remains brainwashed by climate change hysteria, even those individuals with brains one would think are too substantial to wash, much like the once sane and competent Americans who wear masks alone in their automobiles and while walking their dogs. I am seeing this in my college reunion report, as I slog through hundreds of life stories. A majority of them express terror at the looming climate apocalypse. Their solution is massive “structural change”…you know, “one world” government, though few are bold or honest enough to say so clearly.

Aiding and abetting the hysteria that is so useful to those who find democracy an inconvenience is the mainstream media. Just as it hyped the risks of the pandemic, never clearly explaining that the virus was overwhelmingly a mortal threat only to the already sick, elderly or obese—all the better to justify shutting down schools, businesses, social interaction and the economy, the news media continued to exaggerate and misrepresent the effects of climate change in 2022. Continue reading

WaPo’s Environment Scold Earns a “Jacques Brel” For Halloween!

As the Ethics Alarms glossary explains, the Jacques Brel is a special Ethics Alarms award bestowed on those who evoke the late, great French troubadour’s observation, “If you leave it up to them, they’ll crochet the world the color of goose shit.” Seldom have I encountered a more deserving recipient than Washington Post environment reporter Allyson Chiu, who was allowed by apparently standard-less editors to inflict on the world her essay, “How you can make more socially conscious Halloween candy choices.”

To be fair, it isn’t quite as obnoxious and deranged as the article I encountered a while back that instructed climate change phobics to carefully divide the plies in each roll of toilet paper to double the utility of each roll (and save trees, see), but its headline is funnier. What has to happen to someone—indoctrination, a bad experience at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory—to think like this?

Here are what some of Allyson’s fellow travelers tell her to relay to readers:

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More Strange Tales Of The Great Stupid: Attack On The Mona Lisa

Silly me. I thought actor James Cromwell (“Babe,” “The Queen”) super-gluing himself to a Starbucks counter to protest the high price of vegan milk was the dumbest protest I had heard about in years, and it turns out that it wasn’t even the dumbest protest this month.

At the Louvre last night, a man disguised as a handicapped woman was rolling past Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in a wheelchair when he leapt to his feet and threw a custard pie at the painting. Why? Can’t you guess? He attacked the lady with the ambiguous smile to protest climate change, of course!

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PM Ethics Shadows, 4/12/2022: Civil War Memories, Crazy Climate Change Terrorists, Someone Figures Out That BLM Is A Scam, And More [Corrected]

The Civil War started on this date in 1861, as Southern forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor. That’s about all that needs to be said. All wars are ethics nightmares, but none has had more ethics ramifications for this country, from the lives sacrificed to end slavery, to the war crimes of Andersonville, and the total war tactics of Sherman, to the myriad instances of astounding courage, cruelty and incompetence on the battlefields and the ongoing debate about how best to glean the right ethics lessons from them. (Tearing down statues is not it, though.) The Civil War took away our greatest POTUS, Lincoln, and gave us Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison and McKinley, Civil War veterans all. The one non-veteran in the sequence, Grover Cleveland, is an ethics controversy himself because of it: Grover paid someone else to take his place in the draft. And yet….try asking the nearest college grad to give you the dates of the Civil War. I asked a Cornell law grad and former associate of one of the most prestigious law firm in the nation once.
She guessed “Somewhere in the 1930s, right?”

1. I’ll take “Unethical environmental fanatic nutballs, Alex!” Adbusters, a self-described “international collective of artists, designers, writers, musicians, poets, punks, philosophers and wild hearts” posted instructions on how to deflate the tires of “rich people’s” gas-powered vehicles. [Pointer: JutGory] “Wedge gravel in the tire valves, leaflet the SUV to let them know the tires are flat and why it was done, and walk away. It’s that simple,” the group said in a tweet. The group cautioned “to avoid targeting vehicles with disabled stickers or hangers.” That’s considerate of them…

This is what climate change hysteria does to people who lack ethics alarms. Here’s what they want you to leave on the windshield when you disable a car:

2. Good. Now what took you so long? On the Huffington Post, progressive opinionater Stephen Crockett authored a rueful essay bemoaning the fact that Black Lives Matter is apparently a racket. (Please note that this space figured that out years ago, and it wasn’t hard.)

He writes, Continue reading

“Don’t Look Up”: Insulting, Arrogant, Incompetent…But Revealing!

Now we have an all-star movie to graphically illustrate the critical life-skill principle that bias makes you stupid. It is “Don’t Look Up,” the creation of once-clever writer-director Adam McKay, who was responsible for some of the funnier Will Farrell movies before he decided that woke politics was his destiny. He recruited a glittering list of outspoken Hollywood progressives (Leonardo Di Caprio, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Tyler Perry, etc.) to mouth the script of his insufferably smug satirical allegory about “climate change denial.” Did anyone involved with this movie actually think anything in it was funny? I find that difficult to believe. It is so obvious from the start that we are in for a politically motivated rant by people who just aren’t anywhere near as smart as they think they are, including McKay.

The tell is that the main character is played by DiCaprio, is one of Tinseltown’s most prominent “We’re all going to die!” climate change hysterics, so you know what’s coming from the second you realize what he’s doing. See, Leonardo plays a scientist who figures out (with a crucial assist from graduate student Lawrence) that a big comet is hurtling toward a direct collision with the Earth, and that all life will be wiped out as a result. The certainty is 100%, and there is a little more than six months before it’s dinosaur time for the human race. Aha! The actor is joining McKay to make an analogy between an unequivocal existential threat, the familiar “huge space object is about to destroy the planet’ plot behind blockbuster films like “Sudden Impact” and “Armageddon,” and the materially different problem of global warming, which whatever happens is definitely not going to destroy life on Earth or human civilization. It is also a theoretical threat far, far from “100% certainty,” though people like McKay won’t accept that, and believe anyone who does is a moron determined to kill us all.

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Ethics Hero: Michael Shellenberger

Michael Shellenberger was a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” and he was and is the founder and president of Environmental Progress. Now he has a  best-selling  book, Apocalypse Never, published at the end of last month. I haven’t read it, and I wouldn’t have the expertise to know whether it was right or wrong. It could be that he is violently rejecting the official climate change hysterics line to fill a profitable contrarian niche, though that would be out of character based on his reputation. It may just be that he is telling the truth, and exposing what was, or should have been, pretty evident for a long time. As he puts it his article,

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening, it’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30, so I may seem like a strange person to be saying this.

But as an energy expert asked by the US Congress to provide objective expert testimony and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as an Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Well, we knew that, didn’t we? The usual people denied it, but was so, so obvious that from Al Gore on, this was science weaponized for political and partisan purposes, by scientists seeking grants and peer approval. One doomsday prediction after another came and went, one model after another failed, and yet the refrain persisted. Climate scientists who were tempted to break ranks were intmidated: as galileo demonstarted, it is not a field often distinguished by courage and sacrifice. Shellenberger writes,

“[U]ntil last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an ‘existential’ threat to human civilization and called it a ‘crisis.’ But mostly, I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.”

The cancel culture is after Shellenberger even as I write this, for he’s perceived as a traitor.  Forbes, which initially published his mea culpa, pulled it down after being bombarded with social media protests, then gave no substantive explanation for why. Well, they really didn’t have to, I suppose.

Shellenberger lists “some facts few people know,” such as,

  • Humans are not causing a ‘sixth mass extinction’
  • The Amazon is not ‘the lungs of the world’
  • Climate change is not definitively making natural disasters worse
  • Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003
  • The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska
  • Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have declined in Britain, Germany, and France from the mid-1970s
  • Netherlands is becoming richer, not poorer while adapting to life below sea level
  • We produce 25 per cent more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

…and more, then later lists some of the conclusions from his book, among them:

  • Factories and modern farming are key to human liberation and environmental progress
  • The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land
  • The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium
  • 100 per cent renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5 pc to 50 pc
  • ‘Free-range’ beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300 pc more emissions

…and he asks, “Why were we so misled?”

We know the answer to that, too.

The Terrifying And Unethical Dissent Of Judge Staton In “Juliana vs. the United States”

This is why all Americans should be grateful for President Trump’s judicial nominees.

In 2015, a group of 21 children (<cough> I’m sure this was the children’s idea, aren’t you? Sure you are) filed  a lawsuit that came to be known as Juliana vs. the United States. This pure abuse of the legal system to engage in climate change hysteria  grandstanding asserted that the government  was violating their constitutional rights by not sufficiently addressing the climate  change crisis. The case should have been thrown out years ago, but last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals finally did it.

Well, good. The fact that it took this long was a disgrace, and the result of “Think of the children!” pandering. The 9th Circuit being the residue of judicial activism and liberal bias that it has long been, however, it couldn’t restrain itself from writing, “The panel reluctantly concluded that the plaintiffs’ case must be made to the political branches or to the electorate at large,.”

panel concluded. Whoever one the three judge decided that the word “reluctantly” belonged there should be forceably retired.  “The panel reluctantly concluded that the United States Constitution does not permit courts to dictate national policy, nor citizens, especially those without voting privileges, to bypass our system of governance because they disagree with its policies” is what that word is telling us, and a judge who regrets how the separation of powers operates to that extent does not belong on the bench. Maybe they belong in President Elizabeth Warren’s cabinet, as she announced this week that she would eliminate student loan debt “on day one.” Lord, this woman is a shameless liar!

But I digress. Sorry. Warren’s name is becoming like “Niagara Falls” to me in the old vaudeville skit….

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Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/21/2019, Because Nobody Reads The Blog On Saturdays After Noon

Have yourself a Merry Little Four Days Before Christmas!

1.  Miss America Ethics. Wait…the winning Miss America’s “talent” was performing a chemistry experiment? I read that, but Ann Althouse picked up on the absurdity:

Now, I think pouring those chemicals into flasks could be done by just about anyone. It’s not like playing the piano, singing, and dancing — all of which take at least some talent and a lot of practice, but the woman in question, Camille Schrier “has two undergraduate science degrees and is studying a doctorate in pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University.” She made a stage show out of real achievements that just happened not to be in the performing arts.

That wasn’t the main ethics problem with the whateveritis, though. The problem is that this thing is an archaic beauty contest pretending to be something else, just like the winner’s “talent” wasn’t a talent. Did you see (if you were foolish enough to watch it) any plain, overweight or unattractive women up on the stage? I didn’t. Does that mean there aren’t any smart, talented women who don’t look like they belong in a Victoria’s Secret special in feathers and wings? Gee, I guess so.

2. There has been a lot of comment here and elsewhere about this weird story…the man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for stealing an LGBTQ flag hanging at the United Church of Christ in Ames near Des Moines, and set it on fire outside a strip club. Much of the commentary involves finding it inconsistent that burning an American flag is considered free speech, but this guy burned an LGBTQ flag, so he was sent to jail.

Weeelll, that’s not quite accurate. Flag-burners bring their own flags; this guy stole one. Flag burners do their conflagration in demonstrations; you can’t just burn stuff in public. Prosecuting this as a hate crime, however, nicely shows what’s wrong with hate crime laws. And 15 years is indefensible. I assume that sentence won’t stand. This isn’t a freedom of speech case, though. Continue reading