Lest Thine Nose Groweth
I went to the "Shrill Alarmism Conference" this weekend in San Francisco. There were a couple of old-school alarmist seminars: "Nuclear Power is Evil" and "OMG We are All Going to Run Out of Oxygen and Die if Another Tree Falls in the Amazon Basin". They were pretty good, but they didn't get me all that alarmed. It was more of that "the situation is hopeless, although not yet bad" kind of alarmism that just doesn't get me going anymore. Sure, they correctly blamed human beings for all the ills in the world, but what crazy alarmist group doesn't do that these days?
But then I got to see the Global Warming seminar by Albert Gore. This crackpot theory has something for everyone! Conspiracy theorists can say that big oil is suppressing information to get money. Environmentalists can say it is an important issue to them because they care more about the Earth than anyone else living on it. Non-scientific types can ignore historical data and say that simulation models predict our imminent doom.
I've got to tell ya, I was getting seriously alarmed over global warming. And my voice was becoming almost as whiny as the veteran shrill alarmists. But then things started to go wrong. I noticed that Albert kept stretching the truth, or he would outright lie. And every time he did this, he looked just a little different. I had my camera at the ready so see if you can see the change too. Here's where he just finished telling us that the hottest year on record was 2005 (it was 1998):
And here is where he said that there is no longer any reason to debate the issue (scientists not getting paid to say global warming is occurring disagree).
This kept on continuing until finally his nose poked me in the eye (I was in the third row) and I had to leave. If my PhD in German Fairy Tales taught me anything, it's how to spot a terminal case of Pinochioli-itis. It was so sad to watch, as there is no known cure, unless he is made of wood. I guess it's possible that he is, though.
It totally brought me out of my alarmist rage high quickly. It's easy to tell when this happens to you because suddenly you are capable of logical thought and reasoning again. Oh well, I'm off to the "Republicans are evil selfish greedy fascist murdering racist imperialist chickenhawks who don't even like their mothers" seminar. Ah, the sweet smell of englightened bigotry. That ought to get me going again!
Update: John Stossel puts forth the proposition that the shrill alarmists are nothing more than shrill alarmists.