Grey Thoughts
Neo-env Watch - Rhetoric Exposed
Andrew Bolt reveals how the neo-environmentalist movement thinks. It's a pity so many people forget how dishonest people can be in pursuing their irrational agenda.
Professor Stepen Schneider, US global warming consultant, today (in The Age):

We cannot dismiss the possibility of potentially catastrophic outliers and that includes Greenland and West Antarctica [ice sheets breaking up], massive species extinctions, intensified hurricanes and all those things. There’s at least a 10 per cent chance of that. And that to me for a society is too high a risk … My value judgement when you’re talking about planetary life support systems is that 10 per cent, my God, that’s Russian roulette with a Luger.

Professor Schneider, global warming alarmist, in 1996:

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

Yep. Distortions, lies and spin. The clues are all there, and always have been. Claiming certitude about non-experimental science. Denying there is a debate. Ignoring contrary evidence. It sounds just like evolution.

(HT: Tim Blair)
Neo-env Watch - Where the Debate Will Go
Tim Flannery, Paleontologist (Yes....his expertise on fossils of Australian mammals is a great boon to climate change knowledge), Australian of the Year and neo-environmentalist typifies the new type of leftist environmentalist. Over a decade ago, Flannery was peddling the sky is falling rhetoric of over-population. Like most neo-env's though, he doesn't practice what he preaches. You see, even though over-population is a 'major problem', and Australia's 'sustainable' population is 6 to 12 million, yet Flannery has fathered 2 children.

Of course, this touches on the real issue at hand. Neo-env priests like Flannery, think that people are not positive influences. They think of Joe Blogs as a drain, not a producer. This is why they want to decrease this drain. Just as Flannery and his church are working hard to get governments to enforce their war on warm, so to will they leverage off their successful climate change propaganda to push the over-population issue. Taking their beliefs to their logical conclusion however, means that solutions to the over-population issue will have to be enforced. This forced depopulation is already started to become mainstream, for instance, as Dr John Reid said on ABC's ockhams Razar
n the discussion of human impact on the biosphere, two separate but interactive issues are being conflated. These two issues are climate change, due to the emission of greenhouse gases, and the excessive demand for resources, due to overpopulation. (Bear in mind, population and consumption, like mass and energy, are interchangeable qualia.) Unchecked, both climate change and the overuse of resources are at the level of 'catastrophic' on the scale of their impact on the biosphere.

But the problem of climate change is solveable by means we can discuss. We can talk about alternative sources of energy, carbon trading, energy-efficient buildings and a host of other technological fixes, including esoteric notions such as a sunshade-in-the-sky, as discussed recently on The Science Show.

By engaging in this discussion, we can feel at least we are addressing the problem. And as long as we feel we are doing something about climate change, we can relegate to the back-burner having to think about the much more confronting, unmentionable problem of how to reduce the human population.
Notice the link between over-population and climate change. Dr Reid continues
I believe the problem of overconsumption/overpopulation will not be solved by civil means, as the United Nations Millennium Ecosystems Assessment optimistically suggests. By the time there is consensus that drastic action must be taken to reduce over-consumption, it will be too late.

Consider just a few examples of the measures people will have to accept: First and foremost the notion of steady economic growth – every year an increase in the world's GDP, as The Wentworth Group of Scientists and the Stern Review envisage – will have to go into reverse. We in the affluent world will have to accept substantial reductions in our standard of living to allow space for the poor, mainly in Africa, to improve their nutrition and health status.

To achieve this, income and wealth distribution within our societies will have to become much more equal. The higher up the tree one is, the greater the sacrifice one will have to make.[Emphasis added]
Note the socialist ideal of equalising wealth and the reference to 'not being solved by civil means'. I'll come back to that.
Stringent measures will have to be put in place to reduce water consumption, particularly in countries like Australia where water is a scarce commodity. Using potable water to cool industrial processes and as wash-water will have to stop, and this includes air-conditioning equipment in large buildings, power station cooling towers, paper mills, dairying and agriculture, etc, etc.

And forget the idea that water can be used to grow cotton in Australia. I have heard it argued that the return on the cost of the water is higher for cotton than the return on the same water used to grow food. This is the private-benefit-at-the-expense-of-public-cost argument, and it won't wash!

[emphasis added]
Yep. Another socialist alarm just went off. The government will have to step in to enforce these things, because we can't have private industry benefiting from the use of water, even if they pay for it! Obviously other countries will have to grow cotton for clothes etc and push the water problem elsewhere (Of course, importing from overseas will have to be done by sail boat in future). Instead we should use our water in a more inefficient manner by trying to grow food crops.

Contrary to a recent forecast that the world's fleet of fossil-fuel-burning motor vehicles will triple over the next 50 years, the fleet will have to be reduced to no more than about 10% of the present number.

Perhaps water meters that turn off automatically after a household's daily ration of water has been consumed will be fitted to every house.

Meat will be rationed to no more than, say, 200 grams per person per week.
Yep. So if there is an accident in someones place and they lose all their water, they can go thirsty. And everyone has to become a pseduo-vegetarian too, eating all those inefficiently grown food crops instead. But it gets even better.

Municipal authorities will provide allotments so that people can grow their own fruit and vegetables. We could turn some iconic sports arenas into vegie gardens.

And private property rights will be severely curtailed to prevent landowners from engaging in environmentally-damaging behaviours. And many, many more such infringements on what we now regard as our rights will have to be accepted.
More government owned land! Less private property, more government control....the socialist ideologue is coming on strong. All in the name of protecting our environment and future of course! is all 'scientific'

If we do not delude ourselves, and if we accept the calculations made by the Global Footprint Network and WWF (and I know of no scientific analysis that refutes the basic validity of the model) there is only one ineluctable conclusion. The population of the world must be very quickly reduced to 5 billion (that is, if 6 billions equals 120% of capacity, then 5 billions equals 100%). And then, as the average level of affluence rises, fairly quickly reduced further to, say, 2 to 3 billion.
You gotta love the 'i know of no scientific analysis' line. Classic rhetoric. Deny there is any opposition, and if called on, either say it isn't 'scientific' or that you merely didn't know about it.

Reid's solution? A virus in the water, targetted at affluent (Burgeoise?) regions, to make a large proportion of the planet infertile. It is the only 'humane' way you know. (I would lay money that he supports abortion because it is a women's right to choose, but here he advocates true government interference in reproduction) But what about the aging population problems this will cause?

Dealing with a healthy aged population would be manageable [Talk about deluded - AG]. If all the world's aged were like the 80- to 90-year-old Okinawans, we could probably manage quite well. But dealing with an ageing population beset by the consequences of over-eating the wrong food and under-exercising will be an order of magnitude more difficult. Societies will not be able to provide the healthcare services needed to keep large numbers of unhealthy old people alive.

A triage approach will be necessary so that scarce medical resources go to those who can contribute most to the long-term viability of the planet. Consequently, many middle-aged-to-elderly people will die uncomfortable deaths. Not every problem is solveable.
So much for 'humane'. 'Uncomfortable'? Pathetic. Of course, the environmentalists obviously will be contributing 'most to the long-term viability of the planet', so they have to get the medical treatment first.

Dr Reid thinkgs over-population is a 'self-evident fact'. From that I guess he really means to say is that it is self-evident to the highly intelligent, well educated, elitist neo-env's like himself, and everyone else is just ignorant, deluded or wicked. He doesn't explain why the dire predictions of 40 years ago by similar chicken little over-population moonbats (It was 'self-evident' then too!) did not come to pass?

Moonbat neo-env's are not new, but now with climate change they have scared the population and some governments into taking their crazed ideas more seriously by foisting unscientific 'evidence' and other rhetoric as unarguable 'scientific' evidence for their position. Watch for more and more rhetoric about population reduction and totalitarian controls using the same climate change rhetoric. it is only a matter of time.

(HT: Tim Blair)
Tim Flannery and the War on Warm
It's official. Australia has been sucked into the war on warm. Tim Flannery, a paleontologist who is an outspoken neo-environmentalist (neoenv) has been made Australian of the Year.

Flannery and his neoenv coalition of the chilling have spread lies and fear with their imminent threat rhetoric. Clearly, given the focus on fossil fuels, this War on warm is all about the oil. All the whilst, Flannery and his flunkies are lining their own pockets with lucrative contracts given out to help fix the non-existant danger they have created with their own policies.

People's basic freedoms continue to be eroded by this neoenv movement, with fines and 'taxes' being imposed on the general public, forcing them to tow the war on warm line. Free speech is being taken away as people who disagree with this neoenv administration are being silenced to allow the big lie to continue.

Worse still, this war of warm doesn't look like ending anytime soon. It is a quagmire of geological proportions, that is needlessly costing the tax payers billions of dollars.

We need to impeach Tim Flannery and his neoenv goons now...if only we could find a peach tree.

Tech Tags:

Enviro Irony Watch
Tim Blair links to (and dissects) an Age opinion piece from Tracee Hutchinson. Check out Tim's post, but there was something incredibly ironic in Tracee's post that I had to point out. In complaining about the hot temperatures (in summer...who woulda thought), she laments
Then we watched as the heat-fuelled madness boiled over in a suburban drag race, spilling its pent-up youthful angst inside a video store. It was the kind of thing locals said they'd never seen before. They were shocked and dismayed at this sobering kind of first.
She then concludes her post saying
Because this week some people chose to take personal responsibility for the problems that have begun to challenge the way we live and some people chose the mealy-mouthed path of me-focused complaint.

Which one were you?
Did you catch that? First, it was 'heat-fuelled madness' and 'pent-up youthful angst' that caused criminal behaviour. It was all the heats fault don't you know...How Tracee can then talk about personal responsibility is beyond me. Personal responsibility would not be blaming criminal behaviour on the weather (or the full moon? Do we now have 'swelter-wolves' as opposed to 'were-wolves'?).
More on Science and the Bible
Yesterday, I posted my thoughts about the conflict or perceived conflict between science and the bible. I just wanted to restate, hopefully with more clarity, the main point.

As science is inherently tentative, scientific theories will have to at some point contradict what the bible says. Science can and is often wrong. Theories change, sometimes radically. By simply modifying our interpretation of the bible to match current scientific theories, we are downgrading the status and authority of the Bible.

Note this does not mean that the Bible talks about every possible scientific idea. Nor does it mean that our interpretation of the bible can never be wrong. What it does mean is that if the only reason you have for reinterpreting the Bible is some scientific (or even philosophical) theory, then you are on shaky ground. This is more so the case when the scientific theory is not experimentally based.

What I mean by not experimentally based is that the theory cannot be tested in a lab, where researchers can change variables and control the environment in order to rule out alternate causes. Without these sorts of experiments, scientific theories and hypotheses become far more assumption based.

For example, evolution talks about how various different kinds of animals are related to each other. The problem is, you cannot run an experiment to see if reptiles evolved into mammals. Even the fossil record, where you can compare the skeletons of various reptiles and mammals does not tell you they are related. At best, the fossil record could show similarities between the two kinds of creatures, but this similarity does not require they be closely related by evolution, or even just closely related. There could be many other explanations as to why the two kinds of creatures have similar bone structures, and without an experimental way to rule out these explanations, it is impossible to say with confidence that they are closely related by evolution.

What this means is that modifying biblical interpretation for these sorts of scientific hypotheses is unwarranted.

Ironically, those who tend to alter the Bible's meaning based on science also enable philosophers of science to deny that appealing to a creator is scientific. This isn't simply because it is a supernatural claim, but because there is nothing additional to add to current scientific problems. The claim itself doesn't expand our scientific investigation, but merely acts as a tack on to existing theories. As my philosophy of science lecturer said "Creationism isn't science because it doesn't undertake any problem solving activities".

Think about that for a second. If we can modify our biblical interpretation to respond to any scientific theory, then there can be no scientific questions we need to investigate coming from the Bible. There would be literally, no problems to solve. Science however, works on trying to solve problems. Attempting to predict or explain things that we observe. Without this component, something is rendered non-scientific.

Note that this means that having problems and failings is part and parcel of science and scientific theories. This is one area where I disagree with Young Earth Creationist (YEC) organisations who claim that evolution is falsified because of problems with certain things. Evolution may be a lot less plausible because of the huge quantity of seemingly intractible issues, but at least according to more recent philosophical understandings of science, this does not mean it is 'falsified'

YEC does indeed have scientific problems to solve, things they have yet to explain, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Take for instance radiometric dating. The RATE project attempted to solve the problem for YEC that it appears that billions of years of radioactive decay has taken place, yet YEC claim that the Earth is under 10,000 years old. This problem drove scientific research, and the RATE project found many lines of evidence that supported the idea of accelerated decay.

The challenge for YEC is to continue and find more answers to scientific problems (they have a lot of catching up to do), so much so that it becomes clear to more scientists that YEC answers more problems, explains more observations and is more coherent than particles to people evolution. A lot of progress has been made, but much more research is needed.
Undercover Mosque Documentary
A documentary filmed undercover in mosques in the UK has shown clearly extremist preaching from supposedly moderate Islamic organisations. Some of the summary
He captures chilling sermons in which Saudi-trained preachers proclaim the supremacy of Islam, preach hatred for non-Muslims and for Muslims who do not follow their extreme beliefs - and predict a coming jihad. "An army of Muslims will arise," announces one preacher. Another preacher said British Muslims must "dismantle" British democracy - they must "live like a state within a state" until they are "strong enough to take over."
The investigation reveals Saudi Arabian universities are recruiting young Western Muslims to train them in their extreme theology, then sending them back to the West to spread the word. And the Dispatches reporter discovers that British Muslims can ask for fatwas, religious rulings, direct from the top religious leader in Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mufti.
Saudi-trained preachers are also promoted in DVDs and books on sale at religious centres and sermons broadcast on websites. These publications and webcasts disseminate beliefs about women such as: "Allah has created the woman deficient, her intellect is incomplete", and girls: "By the age of 10 if she doesn't wear hijab, we hit her," and there's an extreme hostility towards homosexuals.

Whilst this is no suprise to me (or little green footballs), I predict the general response from the left/socialist's will be to rail against such an invasion of privacy and move even more towards appeasing in tryign to work out how to 'live in harmony' with these extremists.
Science and The Bible
There is much heat in the debate about science versus religion. Most of the historical 'cases' that highlight this clash are plain old false, but I won't go into these as the real point of this post is to look at the 3 options you have when science seems to clash with what the bible says.

1) Our scientific hypothesis about the observed facts is wrong
2) Our interpretation of what the bible says is wrong
3) The bible is wrong

Atheists go for option 3. Theistic/Old age Evolutionists take option number 2. Young earth creationists take number 1 or 2, depending upon how clear the bible is.

An example of option 2 would be when people complained that turtles didn't have voices, yet the KJV in Songs of Solomon 2:12, talks about the voice of the turtle. Yet when you look into the more recent, better translations, the word the KJV translates as 'turtle' is actually turtledove.

Whilst consistent Christian's are not able to choose option 3, the problem with the current approach of long age theistic evolutionists is that the inherent imperfection of written communication allows for a tiny amount of wiggle room. As such, any hypothetical scientific observation or theory could be found to be 'consistent' with the bible by reinterpreting the normal or straight forward meaning of the text.

If you take this approach however, especially on the basis of 'new' observations or theories, you have no firm foundation for believing anything the bible says. I.e. What you believe the bible says today could be considered wrong tomorrow based on some new scientific finding. Worse, what the original receivers of the text believed was wrong, because they didn't have the new knowledge to 'correct' their faulty interpretation. Worse still again, science continually changes, sometimes radically, it's theories. Reinterpreting the Bible to match a theory which itself will change in 10 years leaves us with no confidence in any interpretation.

A second issue is that this makes the bible unfalsifiable and stops investigation. Any apparent conflict with the bible is resolved by changing what we think the bible means, not investigation of the evidence to see if another theory which agrees with the bible could equally or better explain the evidence.

To be serious about the Bible and science, you need to accept the text of the bible is true, based on the knowledge of the original audience.
Sam Harris and Reason
Sam Harris has faith. Faith that God doesn't exist. Faith that his opinions on morality are better than the bibles. Just check out the second part of a debate with Andrew Sullivan. Some of his comments are worth highlighting
How difficult would it be to improve the Bible? It would be trivially easy, in fact. You and I could upgrade this “inerrant” text—scientifically, historically, ethically, and yes, spiritually—in this email exchange.
Ethically and spiritually upgrade the bible? This presupposes his own views of ethics and spirituality are correct. What evidence does he have for this? Certainly not science. Science can't give value judgements like ethics. This is Sam Harris' faith. He believes he is the highest authority.

Anyone who thinks he knows for sure that Jesus was born of virgin or that the Qur'an is the perfect word of the Creator of the universe is lying. Either he is lying to himself, or to everyone else. In neither case should such false certainties be celebrated.
Sam Harris is either using a double standard here for someone 'knowing for sure' or he is simply begging the question by assuming his atheistic worldview is correct. Put another way, Sam Harris cannot 'know for sure' that any of his own views are correct or he assumes they cannot 'know' Jesus was born of a virgin because it never happened. Either way, this isn't a logical position, but a faith position.

Religious moderates—by refusing to question the legitimacy of raising children to believe that they are Christians, Muslims, and Jews—tacitly support the religious divisions in our world. They also perpetuate the myth that a person must believe things on insufficient evidence in order to have an ethical and spiritual life.
I would propose that Sam is presupposing what things can be counted as evidence when he talks about 'insufficient evidence'. Yet what evidence does he have that his own views of what counts as evidence is true? Once again, it appears that Sam simply has faith that his own view is right and the vast majority of the world who disagrees with him is wrong. Sounds familiar?

Perhaps Sam should check the mirror for the sort of fundamentalists that he rails against.
Euro Notes High on Cocaine
In a somewhat amusing study, it seems that 100% of euro notes are contaminated with Cocaine. Compare this with the paltry 65% of US notes contaminated.

I've heard of people smoking money, I guess I now know why.
Sam Harris - Atheist or New Ager?
Sam Harris, the outspoken 'atheist' who wrote such anti-religious best sellers such as "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation", has been busted by secular humanist writer John Gorenfeld. It seems our 'rational' friend Mr Harris believes in psychic phenomena and reincarnation.

This meme started when John wrote a piece on AlterNet on Sam Harris's faith and support for torture. Sam Harris and others have responded saying that it has all been taken out of context.

John however, links to a youtube video for evidence. Check out 4.38 on this youtube video from the Beyond Belief debate. (Plus a bonus link to a netradio appearance by Sam (clink on the sam_harris.mp3 link) which is also quite enlightening.

As John says
The problem is that the man on TV proposing new intolerance for “preposterous” beliefs is himself gullible when it comes to “spooky stories,” the evidence for which is shockingly corny (i.e., eerie birthmarks).

Yep. Everybody has faith. There is no other choice. You have to wonder how Sam Harris knows Christianity is false if he thinks there is evidence for reincarnation.
Sly Conversion
Sylvester Stallone has become a Christian and has included a strong Christian message in the latest Rocky series.
Sylvester Stallone, of “Rocky” and “Rambo” fame, has come back to his Christian roots, in a conversion experience that he says has released him from the pressures of the world.

“The more I go to church,” Stallone said, reported Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, “and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to His Word and having Him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now.”

Stallone’s new movie, Rocky Balboa, is the latest and final chapter in the ‘Rocky’ series, reflecting the star’s conviction that life is about following Christ, not battling it out alone.

Billion Year Old Whoops
Creation Safari has the scoop on a recent change of dating in the geological world. The Barberton greenstone belt, in South Africa, has been previously interpreted as the Earth's most ancient submarine hydrothermal vent deposits, at the decrepit age of 3.55 billion years. (Note: and used as the basis of research and hypothesis into early life) The geological formation has been redated to the pleistocene era, which is around 1.8 million years old. Yep, they have redated it to around .05% of it's original date. Of course, how reliable this new date is, is unknown as no doubt it is based on it's own assumptions.

A few geologists I know made the point that all this billions of years stuff doesn't help them in their practical work. This is just another example of the irrelevance of the old age dates to real geology, otherwise, how do you explain that a figure that was wrong by over 99.9% caused no problems in practical geology?

For bonus research, check out the wikipedia article on this formation. Note the matter of fact way that the 3.5Bya dates are given and the great just so story telling that accompanies it. I'll bet you money that this belt was dated using radio-isotope dating. Whoops.

You can see the full article here.
Crazy Thoughts on Marriage and Committment
Whilst channel surfing tonight, I flicked onto the reality show 'The Bachelor'. Why women would degrade themselves on this show I don't know, but then, why would I pretend to really understand women anyway.

So on this show, there were 3 women talking about the 'bachelor'. One turned to the other and said that the bachelor was the same age as her last boyfriend who had committment issues, and she was glad that the bachelor had been married because that means he was seeking to commit.

Think about that for a second. A man who has been married 'till death do us part' and obviously gotten divorced, is considered as someone with no committment problems. Crazy.
Quick Links From the Culture War
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is being increasingly seen as anti-semitic and dishonest. The NY Sun has a damning article about HRW's complicity in the pathetic ambulance missile story and how it condemns Israel whilst giving Hezbollah a pass. The HRW report on the ambulance incident makes it clear it has no evidence, and worse, that the evidence is against a missile attack, but they still maintain that the ambulance was attacked by a missile from an Israeli drone.

Maureen Condic, at First Things has a great article on what we really know about Embryonic Stem Cell research (ESCR). Let me summarise...we know that they don't work when trying to treat non-embryo's. Read the whole thing.

Spain has started using sex selection Eugenics to avoid the chance of a mother passing on a genetic eye disease.

The leftist media and entertainment industry continues to bash Bush and the right. The latest case, Spiderman.

With all the figures being thrown around about casualties in Iraq, civil war and the like, it seems that less people are dying today in what is called 'war', than in Saddam's rule, even using conservative figures.

Leftists always complain about the religious right being anti-science when they morally oppose research like ESCR, yet get researchers trying to help farmers by working out how to stop Ram's being homosexual, and it is the homosexual lobby who wants to 'stop' science. The question isn't who is trying to stop scientific progress, but whose morals are being used to rule society. There is no moral neutral ground.

Update: It seems this Ram/homosexual research story was a lie put out by PETA who is conducting a campaign against the researchers in question. I, and the reporters who wrote the stories are quite sheepish about it all.
Post-Secular Countries
Both Holland and Russia seem to be turning back from their atheistic ways. Holland is a very interesting case, as they were quite far down the secular humanist road. So what happened? Well, corporate prayer for one thing. In 10 years it blossomed, amongst a society that felt prayer was an irrational and ineffective practice, to a point where now trade unions lobby to have a workers right to organise prayer recognized. But how could this be? The intellectual left has always thought their view was one which would never falter, that once secular humanism got rid of religion, it would never return. Such unrealistic fantasies have trouble when meeting the reality of human existence and spirituality. Some of the change can be attributed to immigration however
Analysts usually focus on the one million Muslim immigrants and their offspring who have made the Netherlands their home since the early 1950s. But in the past decade, Muslim immigration has been overtaken by a larger stream of immigrants, namely Christians from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. An SCP estimate puts the number of Christian immigrants in Holland at around 700,000-- and rising fast. Recent immigration reports suggest that for every new Muslim moving to Holland, there are at least two new Christian immigrants.
It should also be noted that these increases are not in the liberal churches, but in those churches who haven't changed with the secular times, but instead kept faith with the fundamental realities of orthodox Christianity.

Russia however, has seen ever more marked change towards Christianity.
Briefly, it states that at the end of 2006, 15 years after the fall of the atheistic Soviet Union, 86% of the population believes in God, and only 16% consider themselves atheists...The percentage of those who are ‘churched,’ defined as those who attend churches at least once a month and regularly partake of the mystery of Holy Communion, is also rising. In the ‘perestroika’ years,it was around 4%, and that has now risen to 10-12%.
It's enough to give your marxist professors nightmares.

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