Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Lying, Cheating Do-Gooders

Guest Commentary by Edward Cline:

An unusually trenchant article ran on MSNBC on November 15, “Do-gooders can become the worst cheats: Study says that sense of moral superiority might lead to rationalizing bad behavior.”

“In the new study, detailed in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers find that when this line between right and wrong is ambiguous among people who think of themselves as having high moral standards, the do-gooders can become the worst of cheaters.

“’The principle we uncovered is that when faced with a moral decision, those with a strong moral identity choose their fate (for good or for bad) and then the moral identity drives them to pursue that fate to the extreme,’ said researcher Scott Reynolds of the University of Washington in Seattle. ‘So it makes sense that this principle would help explain what makes the greatest of saints and the foulest of hypocrites.’

“Why would a person who thinks of himself as honest cheat? The researchers suggest an ‘ethical person’ could view cheating as an OK thing to do, justifying the act as a means to a moral end.”

The rest of the article focuses on college students and employees who rationalize their cheating on tests and in the workplace. But, if we accept the premise that cheating is a form of lying – that is, of faking reality – and focus instead on more notorious “do-gooders” who pose as individuals imbued with and moved by “higher” moral standards, whom does the phenomenon remind one of? Hillary and Bill Clinton? Al Gore? Mitt Romney? Michael Bloomberg? John Edwards? Ted Kennedy?

The Journal article did not define the concept of “moral.” It simply implied that the “superior” morality was one of altruism and sacrifice. The “moral identity” of most politicians today is linked to that morality. Some of them are sincere (and the more dangerous for it), while others are pragmatists who adopt a second-hand “identity,” and pose as moral men. And, in the name of that morality, both kinds are willing to cheat, lie, and steal their way to power. Power is the end that justifies their means – which includes faking reality.

And because they are willing to cheat and lie in the name of that “superior” morality, so they can “do good,” they exempt themselves from any moral judgment. Their supporters exempt them from it, as well. After all, they rationalize, their idols have “sacrificed” their alleged reputations to pursue and impose “the good” on all who are not professional “do-gooders.”

The cheating and lying can have disastrous consequences and affect the lives and livelihoods of uncounted millions.

The myth (or religion?) of anthropogenic global warming is an example of the ends justifying the means, in this instance, of fudging statistics and scientific data – or completely omitting pertinent data – in order to convince others of the cause and consequences of global warming. Although the myth has been propagated for over a decade (and before it, the myth of global cooling), it reached a crescendo with the debut and marketing of former vice president Al Gore’s Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, for which he also netted a Nobel Prize, shared by the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

It is not so much a myth as a conscious fabrication to advance a collectivist ideology and politics. Gore’s motive for making the movie and seeing it publicized and endorsed by the scientific community is compatible with the motives of those who agree with its conclusions and seek the same end, which is the drastic subordination of industrial civilization to the “needs” of an undisturbed, climatically static, “unviolated” earth.

Whatever the extent of Gore’s “study” of the subject of global climate change, he cannot help but have encountered data and arguments that contradicted his own thesis that man is wholly responsible for increases in carbon dioxide output into the atmosphere. The data and arguments are ubiquitous. These data and arguments were ignored, misrepresented, or suppressed in order to weave a “credible” fairy tale of anthropogenic global warming and to put it over the whole world with the least opposition and a minimum of rebuttal.

(Gore also authored a book, The Assault on Reason, his manifesto for remaking the world but chiefly a bully pulpit for attacking the “radical” and religious right, and for venting his spleen against President Bush and his administration. In both the book and in the “documentary,” it is Gore who not so much “assaults” reason, but dispenses with it.)

No honest scientist (or is the adjective redundant?) would resort to such fraud, but a career politician with frustrated political ambitions and pretensions of wanting to “do good,” one with a congenital need to wield power over others, would stoop to such a tactic. In his attempt to fake reality by “scientifically” blaming man for catastrophic climate change, Gore needed to lie. His greatest enemies were truth-tellers in the scientific community, and reality itself.

Dr. Tara Smith, in her seminal study of Ayn Rand’s moral philosophy, Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, remarks in her discussion of why Rand dismissed all social reasons for why one must adhere to the virtue of honesty:

“…Rand…contends that the only effective way of achieving objective values is through refusing to fake things – regardless of how successfully a person might be able to fool others. Others’ perceptions do not dictate reality any more than one’s own do….Rand’s case for honesty, in sum, is this: Because reality sets the ultimate terms of a person’s survival, reality – rather than one’s own or others’ beliefs or wishes – must command a person’s paramount allegiance. Faking reality is futile….” (p. 88, softcover)

Gore has been successful in fooling and frightening countless people, and has been aided in this mass deception by others who share his desire to wield power, and who, at the very least, wish man to do penance for the “sin” of existing, and at the very most, wish him to cease to exist.

The fudging of statistics and scientific data by Gore and other past advocates of man-caused global warming has been exposed in numerous papers and testimonies, and the thesis itself refuted.

Even while Gore’s “documentary” was in production with the help of his Hollywood sycophants, the London Daily Telegraph of September 4, 2006, featured an article, “There IS a problem with global warming…it stopped in 1998,” by Prof. Bob Carter, a geologist at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.

“For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact that, drawn from official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

“Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society’s continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

Al Gore was not, of course, mentioned once in the Daily Telegraph article. At the time, he was a political has-been not yet launched by the news media and Hollywood as a prophet of environmental doom.

In many scientific papers, one finding is that an increase of carbon dioxide trails a rise in average global temperature, not the other way around, as Gore and his yea-sayers assert. That is, carbon dioxide does not cause temperature rises. Its greater or lesser presence is entirely dependent on temperature, and what causes global temperature reductions and increases is not understood. It is…unknown.

The papers, studies and reports that debunk anthropogenic global warming are as numerous as the frequent sanctimonious urgings of the teleprompter reading news anchors on ABC’s “Good Morning, America.” A search on the Internet using the terms “Global warming scam” will turn up about a dozen. For example, to pick one at random, The Heartland Institute in Chicago, in February 2003, published “Eight Reasons Why ‘Global Warming’ is a Scam.” Two of those reasons deserve mention. No. 3 reads:

“Global climate computer models are too crude to predict future climate changes. All predictions of global warming are based on computer models, not historical data. In order to get their models to produce predictions that are close to their designers’ expectations [read wishes], modelers resort to ‘flux adjustments’ that can be 25 times larger than the effect of doubling carbon dioxide concentrations, the supposed trigger for global warming. Richard A. Kerr, a writer for Science, says ‘climate modelers have been “cheating” for so long it’s almost become respectable.’”

That is, the “do-gooding” modelers prefer to fake reality by spiking their non-historical “data” with flux adjustments, which guarantee their a priori conclusions with bells, whistles, and red danger flags. For them, wishing makes it so.

No. 4 of the Heartland report is a minor shocker, and stresses that global warming alarmists cherry-pick statements from a supposed authority, the IPCC:

“The IPCC report [Climate Change 2001] did not prove that human activities are causing global warming.” That is, it concluded that predicting the weather ten years from now is as chancy and unreliable as predicting next week’s. But the “public” panel is composed of politicians and bureaucrats, not of the scientists who contributed to the report, many of whom have resigned in dissent from the IPCC or contested the veracity of the panel’s politically correct statements.

Another paper found by a random search is Derek Kelly’s “The global warming scam” from the Asia Times of February 25, 2005, when Al Gore’s “proof” of man-caused global warming was just a slide show. Kelly presents a chronology of climate change covering 15,000 years, beginning with the last major glaciation period and ending in 2005. He shows, stage by stage, that glaciers advanced and retreated in this period, that sea levels rose and fell, and that average global temperatures also rose and fell, together with carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. And most of these changes occurred long, long before the Industrial Revolution with its smoke stacks and internal combustion engines.

“4,000 years ago to A.D. 900: Global cooling begins. The Arctic Ocean freezes over, mountain glaciers form once more in the Rocky Mountains, in Norway and in the Alps. The Black Sea freezes over several times, and ice forms on the Nile in Egypt. Northern Europe gets a lot wetter, and the marshes develop again in previously dry areas. The sea level drops to approximately its present level. The temperatures on the surface of the Earth are about 0.5-1 degree cooler than at present. The causes of this period of cooling are unknown.”

In every one of the nine periods described by Kelly, which altogether is a climatic roller-coaster ride, the causes of the climate changes are unknown and are understood only in terms of post-event observations. One of his conclusions is that the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the better, since it and the warmth accompanying it promote life. Among other things (although Kelly does not mention them), growing seasons in Canada would be longer and more productive, while the inhabitants of south Greenland are now able to grow much of their own food instead of having to import it.

What scientists like Kelly and honest, objective journalists like Bob Carter (author of the Daily Telegraph article cited above), not to mention their unheralded and besieged compatriots in science and the news media, do not understand about the “moral identity” of anthropogenic global warming alarmists is that, fundamentally, the alarmists are at root man-haters. That is their “identity,” which is “driven” by an anti-life philosophy.

Even if they “pursued that identity to the extreme,” as Scott Reynolds in the Journal expressed it (as they must pursue it to its logical end) and succeeded in destroying Western civilization and reducing the survivors of that collapse to huddling around campfires in a post-apocalyptic wilderness, the man-haters would even object to the smoke rising from those fires to “pollute” the atmosphere.

Note that when volcanoes spew billions of tons of super-heated gases into the atmosphere, when earthquakes or tsunamis crumble whole regions or erase whole coastlines, and when wild fires destroy thousands of acres of forest and kill countless animals, the environmentalist “do-gooders” have little or nothing to say, especially not about the cost in human lives. But let an oil tanker accidentally spill its cargo into San Francisco Bay and a few fish and fowl perish as a result, they are ready to kill in the name of “protecting” nature.

The lying, cheating “do-gooders” at large today may claim that their intentions are benign. But, it is their “good” intentions which must be examined, grasped, understood in all their ramifications, and exposed. Their solutions require force and fraud. That ought to be enough to indict the “custodians of the earth,” who also wish to lord it over us in prisoner road gangs, or be our executioners.

Once that is done, it will be seen that the “do-gooders” are neither saints nor hypocrites, but vicious predators who seek man’s subservience to unconquered “nature,” or his extinction.

Crossposted at The Dougout

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