The Story of Stuff - Another Error Ridden Propaganda Piece
A friend emailed me through a link to 'The Story of Stuff' (TSOS) which after having the unfortunate tenacity to watch, and after I stopped retching, I decided to look into a couple of the 'facts' so blithely proclaimed in this anti-capitalistic, 'progressive' mockumentary.
Whilst I might be tempted to check all of the claims made in the film, I'll just start with a couple of early claims....
1) America spends over half of it's budget/tax on the military.
A quick look at wikipedia shows that this is obviously wrong. (Scroll down to 'How Congress Spends' diagram) Health and Human services spends more, and also increased more in the last year, so there isn't even a trend towards spending half the budget.
2) Around half of the top 100 budgets/sized organisations are companies (With TSOS so unbiasedly picturing the small government man polishing the shoes of the much larger company man)
CNN lists the top 500 companies and the CIA lists the GDP of every county. Whilst remembering that there are not that many countries (the 100th ranked country has a GDP of only 35 billion - so really this is just a propaganda claim anyways), a quick squiz at both charts show just how wrong TSOS is. The 66th top country has a GDP of 98 billion, and the 34th top company has a revenue of 97.5 billion. Making the split 66/34, not 51/49 as TSOS makes out.
And this is just the first two factual claims of a one-sided propaganda piece.
If you are looking for education, not indoctrination, ignore the story of stuff.
Update: Lee Doren has created a comprehensive rebuttal of The Story of Stuff's errors and propaganda. Be Sure to check it out.
Bad Arguments in Global Warming
In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore makes the claim that Big Oil buying scientists is the only reason there are any scientists who are man made global warming skeptics. Other global warming scaremongers echo this cry..."the debate is over - except for a fringe group of scientists funded by Big Oil." ..."It was just the same with smoking and health".
The problem with this attempt to link the tobacco companies attempted perversion of science with global warming realists is this. Tobacco had no where to go for profit....Oil companies can always diversify into 'clean energy' and carbon trading (Much like Al Gore is using the global warming scare to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars)
It comes as no surprise then, that Enron, a huge Oil/Natural Gas company, financed a lot of attempts to create a global warming consensus. It seems 'Big Oil' does have a hand in the debate, but it is on the side of the alarmists. (And yes...NASA scientist James Hansen worked as a consultant to Enron in their efforts to make billions of carbon trading and kyoto).
So...whose science is dodgey now?
Why Man-Made Global Warming is not Science
With pseudo-science, you commonly see failed predictions ignored. Falsifiability is thrown out the window, not because of some limitation of method, but because it is inconvenient.
A recent presentation by scientists to the European Geosciences Union General Assembly certainly shows that the predictions of the IPCC do not model reality, and thus fail scientifically.
Even though man-made global warming (AGW) is such an important claim, this simple verification process has not really been undertaken previously, another indication that the AGW claims are not about science, but an irrational belief.