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MARCH 3, 2014
About Ernest Partridge's Essay:
Debate Creationism vs. Evolution? Why Bother?
From OpEd News
Here's my argument FOR creationism:
A man finds a Rolex watch in the beach sand. He does
not exclaim and say: "What wonderful random forces brought this watch
into being". He KNOWS it was created. Yet.... the human body, infinitely
more complicated than a Rolex watch is a result of RANDOM coincidences?
I can't believe that.
Granted, much of the Bible is not scientifically
accurate, many of the verses are parables. Jesus, himself, taught in
parables. The Bible should not be interpreted as a science book, but a
book of spiritual guidance. Just my opinion.
Reply to Bob Gormley:
"Yet.... the human body, infinitely more complicated
than a Rolex watch is a result of RANDOM coincidences?"
You're selling the universe short.
J. Edward Tremlett
Reply to Bob Gormley:
But while the Rolex watch just wears out and stops
working if a watchmaker doesn't fix it, the human body constantly
rebuilds itself, at least until it has fulfilled it's biological
function to replicate. So the creation is within, not an external force,
and has been going on for billions of years before anyone decided to
cobble together a bible, or manufacture an outside Agent.
This Ham has as much credibility in his dating and
superstitions as Harold Camping, so why is he still getting air time?
Reply to Bob Gormley:
I didn't find even one bit of science in what you
said. Just gut feelings. I suppose you were born knowing everything. The
while science of biology is based on a study of evolution and this also
If you want to present your ideas using facts I would
like to see them. By the way I am a biologist and a physician.
Reply to Hosea McAdoo:
Right, I didn't use one bit of science, I didn't need
to. Yep, I was born knowing everything (sarcasm). Maybe there is a
higher science you aren't aware of. " The while science of biology is
based on a study of evolution and this also includes medicine." I have
no idea what the previous sentence intends to be saying.
Prove to me that the human body is a product of
random occurrences. You can't, no one can. It's just a theory based on
faith , just like creation.
Reply to Bob Gormley:
Judging from the text and context, I think the
statement should read:
"The whole science of biology is based on a study of
evolution and this also includes medicine."
It was Theodosius Dobzhansky who said that "Nothing
in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." That is one of
the great virtues of evolutionary theory - that it singularly,
elegantly, and flawlessly explains all the observations of biology. That
is why virtually every biologist, ecologist, geneticist, paleontologist,
etc, believe evolution to be true - because it explains so much, and has
not been falsified in 150 years, and counting. Indeed, all new
scientific discoveries, particularly in genetics, support and confirm
Maybe I can't "prove" to you that "the human body is
a product of random occurrences"; but I can demonstrate to the
satisfaction of a reasonable, and reasonably intelligent, person that
chimps and humans have a common ancestor. The bible doesn't predict that
fact of nature; but evolution does...
Reply to Bob Gormley:
Perhaps the best way to deal with this apparent
dilemma is to decouple science from religion (or metaphysics). Riddles
are interesting (were we born 15 minutes ago with a memory was always a
favorite when I was young) but science rests on uncertainty whereas
faith (religion) is not so stymied by the possibility of being "wrong".
Let the compelling need to explore, to be curious and test rigorously
proceed uninhibited by the need some have for ending the conversation
with unwavering belief.
In any case the best resolve is to reconciling these
matters as forming human nature - the desire for certainty (comfort in
say the hereafter) and curiosity (the creative play of exploration).
They can co-exist as long as fundamentalism (scientism / creationism) is
Biblical literalism is a form of epistemological
fundamentalism, which is motivated by a psychological need for rational
"certainty". It is not enough to recognize that you have good empirical
evidence and coherent logic supporting your tentative conclusions. These
people need to believe that their knowledge is rationally certain, not
subject to doubt, and their conclusions are not subject to change in the
light of new evidence or a more coherent explanation of the evidence.
Young Earthers are far from alone in the camp of
epistemological fundamentalists. Darwinists believe in evolution by
random mutation and natural selection, even though there is zero
evidence in the fossil record that those mechanisms drove evolution. The
evidence of the fossil record contradicts Darwinism, but fundamentalists
continue to hold onto that rock that their faith is built upon. They
invent all kinds of Rube Goldberg logic to convince themselves that the
evidence really "does" support their theory.
Global warmers are "certain", beyond the possibility
of reasonable doubt, that humans burning fossil fuels are causing the
Earth to warm up. Are they aware that we live in the geological era
called the Holocene, which is an interglacial period within the
Pleistocene era of ice ages and interglacials? Earth has been undergoing
dramatic global cooling and global warming cycles for the past 3 million
years. What caused the global warming that ended all those previous ice
ages? Were our ancestors who walked with dinosaurs burning too much wood
in their caves?
Lots of people have their certainties, and are
convinced that they know things "for sure".
Mark Twain said, "It ain't what you don't know that
gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so."
Everybody has their "facts". Some of them might even
be true. Rational understanding recognizes its inherent uncertainty. But
then rational understanding is not built from "facts" that are true "fer
sure". It is built from logically coherent explanations of the evidence.
Young Earthers, Darwinists, and global warmers have
two things in common. They are certain of the truth of their theories,
and their theories do not explain the evidence.
Ernest Partridge Replies
With all due respect, I submit that you simply
do not understand how science works. Those who do understand the
history and methodology of science, will conclude, contrary to
popular opinion (yours and Bob Gormley's included), that science is
not "just another dogma."
You assert that "Young Earthers, Darwinists,
and global warmers have two things in common. They are certain of
the truth of their theories, and their theories do not explain the
evidence." While that "certainty" may apply to some naive
"Darwinists and global warmers," most of these individuals are as
ill-informed as "young earthers" and they too do not understand
science. Few if any active scientists are included in this category.
For these scientists, the evidence validates their theories -- your
dogmatic assertion has that connection totally reversed. Again,
that's how science works. If a paper submitted to a scientific
journal is not supported with replicable evidence or citation of
same, it will surely fail peer review and never be published in such
a journal. And justly so, for such a paper would not be
The widespread belief, prominent among the OEN
responses to my essay, that "science is just another dogma" is
refuted by these fundamental features of science:
Scientific activity is public and
replicable. "Once-only" anecdotal or hearsay "evidence" does
not qualify as science.
Science is cumulative, building upon
Science is systemic, coherent and
comprehensive. Its components are mutually supportive.
Relativity theory and evolution are prime examples of these
Science is empirical and experimental.
Scientific assertions (contrary to
your claim) are fallible and falsifiable.
The order of scientific inquiry
proceeds from evidence to conclusion. Dogmatists already
"know" the truth, and thus seek out "evidence" to support
their foregone and unassailable conclusions.
In science, as in criminal justice,
the burden of proof is on the affirmative.
I haven't the allowable space to expand upon
and explain these criteria. Fortunately, I have done so in my essay,
"Is Science Just
However, one of these criteria,
"falsifiability" deserves elaboration for it bears directly on your
comments. Put simply, for an assertion to be scientifically
acceptable it must implicitly describe what it would be like to for
that assertion to be false. If the assertion is well-grounded, then
evidence will show that such a conceivable falsification does not
exist in the real world. We know what kind of geological and DNA
evidence would refute evolution. We also know what kind of evidence
would refute anthropogenic global warming. But that data can not be
found in the rocks or genes or ice cores or tree-rings, etc. Thus
evolution and global warming pass the falsification test. But both
these theories remain in principle forever open to falsification
should verifiable contrary evidence be forthcoming. Thus , due to
its fundamental structure, science is non-dogmatic. Even so, some
scientific principles are sufficiently established to be well beyond
reasonable doubt. These include gravity, heliocentrism, Newton's
Laws of Motion, relativity and evolution.
As for Darwinism, this is not current science.
The theory of evolution is current science, which has "evolved" from
Darwin's work more than a century and a half ago. Darwin, for
example, knew nothing about mutations or DNA. But he did correctly
note that there is variation within species. That, along with
natural selection, served to explain "the origin of the species." A
great deal of (falsifiable) scientific research since then has
enriched and advanced Darwin's original insights. As for your claim
that "the evidence of the fossil record contradicts Darwinism," this
is flatly false as any competent historical geologist would tell
Regarding climate change, I must be brief.
More than 98% of the thousands of active climate scientists endorse
anthropogenic climate change. I have often asked the deniers to
explain how these thousands of scientists can be wrong. Those who
bother to reply offer no plausible explanation. For much more about
this, see my
"How to Talk to a Climate Change Denier."
Reply to Derryl Hermanutz:
Good points. Like I said none of us can prove what we
believe in. I can't prove creation, but I can see what makes the most
sense to me based on what data I have available to me. Likewise,
Darwinists can't prove the theory of evolution either.
I think the mistake some people have is that science
is the only valid method to determine the truth. Science AND spiritual
insight helps make a better decision.
Are scientists locked in a box? Are science deniers
locked in a box?
Reply to Derryl Hermanutz:
Sorry, Derryl, but to lump believers in evolution
together with Young Earthers as "epistemological fundamentalists" is
very wrong, verging on a category error.
In the first place, biologists and other scientists
START with the observed and observable evidence, and fashion an
explanation (evolution) that is the basis of prediction and is subject
to falsification. Young Earthers, by contrast, start with an ancient
text (that did not have the benefit of "modern", heliocentric,
knowledge) and try to make the observations fit their belief system.
These are two very different epistemological approaches.
Your observations related to the disciplines of the
biological sciences and climate science seem to be devoid of actual
knowledge of the facts and the evidence. To say that "there is zero
evidence in the fossil record that [random mutation and natural
selection] drove evolution", and that "the fossil record contradicts
Darwinism", is spectacularly uninformed. The fossil evidence for
evolution, by itself, is extremely compelling; and when conjoined with
the genetic evidence, it is incontrovertible. You would do better to go
find the rabbit fossil in the Pre-Cambrian rock strata than so
disrespectfully to disparage the considered epistemological judgments of
hundreds of thousands of highly educated scientists.
Oh; and the theory of evolution explains "the
evidence" better than anything you can offer. Thought experiment for
you; on a piece of paper, write down everything you "know" about
biology. Maybe two pieces of paper? In either case, ask yourself: which
explains these observations better: evolution, or the bible? Beware;
it's a trick question...
Creationism and evolution both require blind faith. To date, neither one
can tell us how the world actually came into being, and hence, how
people came into being. Woops. If you believe in one or the other, then
you have the "proof" that YOU need. However, the proof that you need is
not always identical to the proof that other people need.
Ultimately, I think that it is fair to say that the
jury is still out on both philosophies. It will remain out for the
remainder of my life, and no doubt your lives as well.
Which begs the question: Why worry about things that
we have little or no understanding of? Just live life as you see fit and
get on with living. How it all started does not change the fact that it
all will, most likely, end in death or self destruction.
In the beginning time did not exist although God did.
So he created the laws of physics including the speed of light and what
people call gravity which is actually the property of mass curving
space-time. (He may also have formed multi-universes, since Heaven is
not to be found in ours.)
The rest evolved (as part of an eternal plan?) when
time stared to pass, once the so called big-bang began. The Bible is an
old-fashioned means for explaining this, so that less broad-minds could
grasp some of the reality (which is a big subject, itself).
Does this theory conflict with either creationists or
evolutionists? Can anyone show that this simple theory is wrong?
I Forgot to answer the question. The reason for providing explanations
about how the universe got going is so that we can find our place in it
with better assurance, and consequently be better at organizing our
lives to meet what should be mankind's universal needs.
Very well said, Ernest! Thank you! Hopefully the next time such a debate
is held, your excellent points can be incorporated into the arguments
You depict Ham as belligerently ignoring the
possibility of being wrong, and yet you make the same mistake yourself.
"Why bother"? Please, bother. How can you critically analyze your own
theories and interpretations without counterarguments? Debates such as
this aren't supposed to figure out who is right and who is wrong.
Perhaps debates like this exist for us to analyze our own faults,
weaknesses in our theories on origins.
If there is a reason at all not to bother to have
this discussion, let it be because neither side has a credible concrete
fact to their name. They are both globally leading theories and should
be dealt with in respect. So please, show some respect.
Reply to Ben Piña:
I have to respectfully disagree with your premise(s).
If you had bothered to READ THE ARTICLE, you'd have seen that the last
quarter of it gave several reasons for evolutionists "to bother" to
debate creationists. Maybe you just missed them; but they are pretty
obvious, and actually very well prepared by the rest of the article.
Indeed, in an important way, Mr. Partridge extends and improves the
debate with some important concepts that Mr. Nye did not emphasize in
the live debate..
Debates such as this ARE supposed to figure out who
is right and who is wrong. By "such as this", I mean a debate between
two points of view that are mutually exclusive; it is not possible for
the world to simultaneously be 6000 years old and 4.5 billion years old.
Someone is right, and someone is wrong. When both sides give their best
arguments for their belief, critical listeners can decide which is the
stronger argument, and thus who is right and wrong.
Evolutionists are well known for saying, "Sure, I'll
change my mind; just show me a rabbit fossil in Pre-Cambrian strata!"
But if you saw the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, you will
remember Ken Ham being asked, "What evidence could change your mind
about evolution/age of the earth?", and he basically said "Nothing can
change my mind." While you may admire the strength of his religious
faith, that is an untenable attitude for any scientist to maintain.
Finally, while I can agree that the Young Earthers
have no "credible concrete fact to their name", scientists have a great
deal of evidence that is as solid as a rock. In fact, it IS rock! You
could learn a lot from rock!
It was refreshing to see Ken Ham make mincemeat of
the intellectually dishonest Bill Nye. The ridiculous notion that
'happenstance' and millions of years just so happened to develop the
minute details of life itself flys [sic] in the face
of intelligence. Anyone who gave a 'thought' to the majesty of life
itself from the insect world, to animals, to humans and somehow embraced
evolution is not thinking in the first place. That alone should make the
deniers of a creator pause and reflect and perhaps ask God to reveal
himself since you apparently cannot see the forest for the trees for the
evidence of creation before your very eyes. If the deniers still want to
believe you came from primordial soup then we should still be seeing
that today but since it's never happened, it's a figment of the deniers
About Bernard Weiner's Essay,
"Crisis in Capitalism: Who Are the REAL 'Takers'?"
engendered more than 600 reader responses. Here is a sampling of some of
You make good points on what can be done from a Keynesian approach to
our economic situation to rectify the long recession, and many others
have made similar proposals. But how will you ever implement these
We are living in the era of "Citizens United" where money is the main
determinant of a candidates success. Those holding economic power today
will not allow candidates to even broach the subject of taxation to
alleviate the crisis. And in an information environment where mainstream
broadcast media is firmly in the grasp of the corporations, your message
will only be heard on the internet. No candidate with a platform
supporting your proposals will receive the funding to wage a winnable
campaign and the media will turn a blind eye and deaf ear to such a
On top of these factors, sad to say, the American public is either
dumbed down or too afraid to fight the economic forces that are
pauperizing our society. I can even see the possibility of a fascist
movement arising from our economic and political dysfunction, as
suggested from the likes of Chris Hedges. Such a movement will have a
nationalist economic program that is antithetical to your advised
As I see it our prospects are for either a prolonged recession of
economic stagnation resulting in the end of the middle class or a Tea
Party fascism that will destroy the essence of our republic, with an
equally disastrous economic outcome, but with a police state to keep
Bernard Weiner replies:
it's going to come easily. And, as I wrote, this major
social/political transformation can happen only if and when there is
a bottom-up popular/populist demand for it that not even unfriendly
politicians can ignore. I share all your reasons why this
"revolution" cannot possibly take place -- but not to try would be a
moral abdication of our responsibility as citizens and humans.
Thanks for writing.
Dear Dr. Weiner,
I read your essay with interest, and I agree with you that we're
approaching a tipping point in America, as we were in the 1930s.
Unfortunately, many of the solutions you suggest are simply the same old
fixes to patch up capitalism a little longer that started with
Roosevelt. While I can understand concerns about the form that a
revolution might take, I believe you know as well as, and perhaps better
than, most that it's capitalism itself that is the problem, and fixing
it is no solution.
In the long view, it's all part of the process. As a reminder, both
socialism and communism are, in most of the world, longstanding and
recognized political forces, and so are they here in America as well. It
is true that the American oligarchy has resisted and attacked us
fiercely, and we're currently in somewhat of a disarray -- but we're not
gone. As a communist, I submit to you that we know revolution is coming.
We hope for a peaceful one.
People are getting hungrier. It's just a question of when - and we're
Thank you for your timely and thought-provoking essay.
Bernard Weiner replies:
getting hungrier. It's just a question of when..." Yep! And who
knows, maybe all the fix-it patches will weaken it further.
A little humor: "Capitalism is that economic system where man
exploits man. In communism, it's just the reverse."
Thanks for writing.
Have you looked into the work of Richard D. Wolff and Gar Alperovitz?
I say this because, unless we advocate for democratizing the workplace -
as the Worker Cooperative does - and leave Capitalism's few at the top
in place to make all the workplace decisions, human behavior tells us
that the few at the top are free to exploit. At Worker Coops there is a
fettering of Capitalism at the local level, within the workplace ...
through the workplace votes.
What are your thoughts regarding this?
Brian Marc Schatz
Bernard Weiner replies;
Alperovitz are filled with good ideas. Question is how to implement,
on a large enough scale, to make a difference. Thanks for writing.
Great article in Truthout on Capitalism and I guess what would be
considered a pitch for socialism. To bad you got it wrong, but you
already know that.
When ideology overrules common sense then you get what you ask
for...right? And, what you are asking for makes no sense.
Americans do need help and part of that help would be to get the
government out of the way, out of their pocketbooks, and then you would
see money actually flow back into the system. But, you already know
We both know that a RESET is coming. Most likely sooner than later, and
when this one hits people are going to die based on past history.
Fingers will point and the true crisis will be upon us.
Welcome to the Fourth Turning. The Crisis Turning. Hope you and your
family are prepared?
Bernard Weiner replies:
like you were interested in having a civil debate -- based on a
well-reasoned set of principles -- and then you had to blow it up
with your insulting closing line. Sad. But thanks for taking the
time to write.
You are right on target, Bernard. Our economy is crawling along because
the 1% are not and do not need to spend their money. The rest of us are
suffering and the Republicans are insisting on cuts to the 99% who
spend. It is insanity and pure greed. Also stupidity, as you point out.
I love your "basic income" ideas. Our income tax system needs to be
turned back into a true progressive system. Keynesian economics always
works and "trickle down" economics is a farce.
"In our own time, we're still suffering the after-effects of a
semi-permanent economic depression fueled by greed and the lack of
tough, appropriate regulation of the finance and banking sectors."
I disagree. These don't need regulated - they need to be completely
replaced. The money system needs to recreate how money is circulated and
it needs to be operated like the public utility it is. Bitcoin may
succeed or fail butsomething will replace the current system.
Capitalism is a work in progress, an experiment, and a game at best.
Like all games, limits are set when the ideal size of the playing field
has been established. Since money must be fluid and moving, like blood,
like a shark, to stay alive; the rules --about how much can end up
inactive in one place before the play is over-- need to be arrived at. I
think it's small to vilify the system or its winners. Remember, it's a
game in which 'fair' and 'unfair' have yet to be established. --
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with socialism - other than so many
people being ignorant of it. Take a close look at the Scandinavian
countries - Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, all doing very well in
spite of their social inclinations. There is nothing wrong with sharing
the pie with everyone. The problem with capitalism is: destructive greed
- I have mine, you look after yours. Lack of social conscience.
Great article. One more suggestion, a massive infrastructure program
which includes fixing the bridges, school and creating a smart grid.
Also the country needs a massive buildout of solar farms and wind
turbines via/vis an infrastructure bank.
wtf? Rachele Maddow is not progressive; she is a corporate tool, who
only says what her corporate masters let her say. never disses the fake
left like Obummer and Hilary. Abbey Martin and Thom Hartman -- they are
progressive, and regularly skewer our fake liberals and fake liberal
media corporate conservatives.
AWESOME piece that really gets to the heart of it:
What do we all
really know is right and what do we want?, and if we don't get it we
will get revolution. Amazing encapsulation in such a short summary. Keep
it up, Mr. Weiner. I have been reading and supporting all Progressives
since 2006. You are right on target. And I hope to read more of you.
No one and I mean NO ONE ever asks the question "where is the money
coming from?". If your philosophy can't answer this question your
philosophy is useless.
(Responding to RichardRichardTS:)
troll and I mean NO CONSERVATIVE TROLL will ever acknowledge the 1% have
all the money they need plus all the money everyone else needs.
If your philosophy blinds you to what is plainly visible your philosophy
Did You Read The Whole Article?
The billions that
went to bail out the banksters & ensure their year-end bonuses came from
the US Treasury. Take money from all the various Pentagon black budgets.
Put a sales tax on stock market transactions. Restore the tax cuts the
uberwealthy got from babyBush. Close out subsides to Big Oil, Big
Agriculture, Big Pharma. There's plenty of money, flowing like a river
in springtime. Redirect that river. End the steady privatization of
legitimate government functions. We have a choice before us: Barbarism
i agree. we do not
have capitalism in this country. crony capitalism, as you describe, is
failing all of us because tax dollars, the people's money,are trickeled
upward and disappear into the pockets of the power elites in DC and
their chosen cronies. great for them bad for us. and the divide just
gets wider and wider with each consecutive administration.
The solution is free-markets. Keynesian "economics" doesn't fix shit.
Government is the cancer here, not the solution.
Until we do have free-markets, I'm for some genuine austerity. Cut more
taxes for everyone, repeal hundreds of thousands of regulations, abolish
federal agencies, (including, but not limited to-the CIA, NSA, FBI, DEA,
DHS, DOE, ATF, ICE, etc.) end all subsidies, end all foreign aid, end
all foreign bases, end every war, end the drug war, and so on.
If you libertarians would put the joint down and get straight and run
the wish list of libertarianism to its conclusion they just might see
that it IS Feudalism. I call it Nuevo Feudalism.
I can speak about
this philosophy because I was a Libertarian for decades being in at the
beginning and rationalizing it's faults. It is a faith.
The problem with a totally free market is simple
Them as has, gets.
If you have a lot of money, it is easy to get more
As an engineer I call this positive feedback.
Also as an engineer I know that this is inherently unstable.
Such a system simply concentrates the money to fewer and fewer people.
As a student of history I also know that it doesn't normally get that
As described by
Adam Smith the system simply moves in that direction until the rich use
their financial power to change the rules to ENSURE that the plebs don't
A totally free market leads straight to an aristocracy.
there is no capitalism in this country. not for a long time. when
beltway politicians take public dollars and funnel them to wealthy
corporations in the guise of subsidies, tax breaks, tax credits and a
WHOLE different tax rate for their kind of money,a free market
capitalist system does not exist.
I will never shut up! I will never roll over and play dead -- not when
so much is at stake. People's lives are being put at risk just for
greed. The planet that keeps us alive is being destroyed for profits by
It's one thing to want to be filthy rich, it is another thing thinking
polluting, poisoning and destroying our food air and water, oceans to be
rich is OK. It's not as if these rich MFkers aren't able to be more
responsible for protecting people and the planet! They have enough money
to do that. But they are lunatics. They think they are immortal! That's
what is so horrible - the destruction that goes along with their
endeavors to attain wealth- leaving a trail of destruction and death
behind them, and that's NOT OK! There can be such a thing as responsible
...This is our form of Capitalism: for every job there are 3 people
looking for a job and hundreds of thousands have stopped looking. tens
of thousands perhaps millions are considered disposable trash. People
have no value but corporations want the same rights as people and now as
nations but in reality the majority is considered disposable garbage. So
what will people do? Starve and die in the gutter? Die quietly in the
night? This is the corporate mentality and the corporate agenda they are
working for. A complete lack of regard for people's lives yet the NSA is
so busy spending tens of billions supposedly there to "protect" us!!!!!!
THIS IS A GREAT
AND THE 1% ARE THE BIGGEST TAKERS OF ALL. PREDATORY PARASITES WHO WOULD
LET MILLIONS DIE AS THEY SUCK OFF OUR ECONOMY!!!!!
...This form of Capitalism is not tempered as it is in other developed
nations where workers get paid a good wage as in Germany for example
where Walmart is forced to pay its workers much more and unions are
represented in the govt. The form of capitalism in the U.S. is killer
Capitalism and behaves in a predatory way that hurts people, the economy
and the environment. This cannot be sustained without destroying our
nation, people and the planet. There needs to be a balance for a healthy
society to survive. There needs to be a moral base, it can't just be
feed them poison, let them starve and kill the planet -- that is what is
happening and this is insanity. This is why the world is being faced
with extinction. The last two issues of the New Yorker have an extensive
article about this by Elizabeth Kolbert -http://www.newyorker.com/repor...
...I noticed that other than Sen Bernie Sanders of VT we don't hear
anything from the progressive caucus in Congress, so what's the deal? I
called one of the reps and asked why they never speak out and the person
on the phone seemed very uncomfortable and wanted to get off the phone
right away. That person sounded scared. I wonder what kind of threats
they are experiencing?
Get to the point: tax the rich like we did in the 1960s. It is this
simple. All of the bluster and bulljive generated is a diversion from
this simple truth.
Most people don't even get what pitchforks represent! And as far as a
populist revolution, good luck. Our society is amusing itself to death,
drugged on video games, pop culture, porn, sports, Facebook and the
internet in general.
I totally agree with Dr. Weiner's points (couldn't have put it better
myself) but your points are also stated well. Until the people wake up
en masse, very little is going to change. It may take incremental steps
unless something totally unexpected happens. One step that might help us
get started in this cause is to reverse the terrible Citizens United
decision by the SCOTUS. It's hard for the masses to buy the same amount
of "free speech" that the plutocrats can with just a stroke of the pen.
There are several states which have come forth and have stated they
support a constitutional amendment to overturn this decision. That might
be a starting point….Bernie Sanders is working toward its repeal as
well. I think there are several groups working toward ending it.
Mr. Weiner is merely arguing for reform within the present (hopelessly
corrupted) system. That this is so is proven by his dismissal of
socialism as "highly unlikely," a tacit denunciation of the only
effective antidote to the infinite evil of capitalism. Then by citing
Democratic Party activists he tries to evoke a sense of hopefulness in a
political process that has repeatedly proven itself nothing more than a
cruel charade since the 1963 coup that elevated Lyndon Banes Johnson to
the presidency. Thus Mr. Weiner reveals himself as yet another
propagandist for the capitalist status quo. Nevertheless those of us who
are socialists should be heartened by the escalating efforts of our
opponents: the One Percent aristocracy Mr. Weiner so obediently serves
is clearly frightened. The pivotal question is whether its legions of
soldiers and federalized cops will follow orders or stand down in 99
Percent solidarity, as their Petrograd counterparts did at the Neva
River bridges on 8 March 1917.
...The USian One Percent -- like its counterparts in pre-revolutionary
France and Tsarist Russia -- is arrogance personified. Hence they
believe all they need do is throw us bones of pseudo-placation -- Mr.
Weiner's or Ms. Maddow's sorts of reassurances, more candidates like
Obama the Orator who promised change and then became Barack the
But while the Ruling Class quakes at Socialist Kshama Sawant's victory
in Seattle and recognizes in it the potential of a nationwide third
party movement, their arrogance blinds them to the fact our hunger will
no longer be assuaged by their lies and manipulations even as we
ourselves are awakening to the implications of our 99:1 numerical
The historical parallel is Tsarist Russia, with this period in our
development analogous to the time between 1905 and 1917. Beyond the
obvious institutional differences, the grass-roots conditions are eerily
similar. Our 1905 was the Occupy Movement. No one can say what year will
be our 1917 or what spark will ignite it, as did a spontaneous strike by
the 5,000 women of the Lesnoy Textile Works, who boiled into the streets
of Petrograd to protest the firing of five Bolshevik union organizers
and so began the revolutionary process that, eight months later,
culminated in what John Reed so aptly described as Ten Days That Shook
(About the extremely wealthy and their supporters:) It's called
psychopathy, you can't assume they have a shred of decency in them,
their brains literally function differently. They do not, nor can not
comprehend the suffering of anyone. They have no conscience, if they cry
it's only for themselves or for getting caught. They don't genuinely
love anyone, they don't feel empathy, or compassion. Lack humanity.
Violent revolution is our only alternative!
It's a sad truth: We, as a society, are still a long ways from that
violence, but from a cold, historical perspective, revolt against
ruthless government oppression has only been surrendered after a bloody
conflagration. If the general population were capable of comprehending
how the ruling elite perceive us, it would be quite frightening.
Not that long ago we were openly referred to as the Great Unwashed, Joe
Six Pack, John and Mary Lunchbucket and "little people". Now we are
simply a product "American people". A term of rank disparagement bereft
of our patriotic stature and role as citizens. "We The People" bleed,
suffer and die for our country and when we return we are treated as
I clearly don't understand even though I repeatedly try. The wealthy
became wealthy by squeezing the middle and lower classes until they have
drained every red cent they possibly can from them through deception,
fees, fines, overcharges, cornering us into contracts, raising the cost
of oil production, redrawing voter districts, and so on. They don't own
everything, why can't we charge them a rich man's wages for the services
they need from us to survive. Why aren't we cleaning the air and water
and handing their companies, corporations, and share-holders inflated
bills for the associated damages. It's like we are paralyzed or
something. I'm tired of seeing quarterly earnings with skyrocketing
profits and then having them raise prices when they are down just a bit
to guarantee profits next quarter.
I hate to see a revolution, but it seems the 1%er's and politicians just
don't understand the seriousness of their terrorist crimes against the
people. I guess they think their black belt classes and body guards will
protect them. I think we can do this peacefully and quietly. It is
(Respone to timetoriot:)
I hope someone
comes up with a better viable alternative than the "violent revolution"
you so cavalierly advocate.
The "establishment" has all the heavy weapons and spying capabilities.
You sound like an "agent provocateur" that wants the people to stick
their neck out so it can be easily whacked off… I wonder who you really
Well we could also resort to many multitudes of calls to Obama and our
reps and big protests as they have done and are doing in the Ukraine and
Korea where tens of thousands of protesters are coming out not just once
but over and over and I don't mean camping out, I mean consistent large
protests on an ongoing basis and tens of thousands of calls to Obama
202-224-3121 and your rep 202-224-3121- I believe big public out cries
make a difference. But no one should expect instant results - violence
does not achieve good results….
Corporations are on a big free ride at the expense of the majority, our
environment, our health, safety and welfare and our economy and the very
survival of the planet! All they want is to take the money and run with
zero interest in the consequences of their actions.- And now
corporations want the same rights as nations minus any oversight,
regulations, accountability, protections, rights or laws for the people
via the TPP- and on top of no accountability for anything they also want
the right to sue ANYONE OR ENTITY that impinges on their profits no
matter how harmful to anything and everything!!!! This is a corporate
free for all and Obama- Yes Obama has agreed to fast track this very
destructive trade agreement that will have and is already having
devastating impacts on nations like Canada and Australia.
History suggests that the 99% are 'farting-against-thunder' (pardon the
base expressionism) if we're hoping that the 0.01 are going to want to
relinquish - even a fraction of their ill-gotten gains to engender a
more financially-pluralist society. Avarice grounded in self-interest is
more often than not horribly intoxicating, dulling any vestiges of
compunction of even the brightest intellects. I fear that, once again,
‘le-guillotine’ will be the final solution to stop the madness of
...It worked when Mother Jones led a parade of children cross country to
remind Teddy Roosevelt that children,t he future cirizens of America,
needed food and shelter. NOW!
Ir worked in cities where the city bought back the housing with eminent
domain. It will work when even more media actually start telling the
truth about climate change, fracked water, GMO foods.
We need to cut the war money and do like ancient Greece. If the general
lost he had to leave the country and people voted whether to go to war
Governments have to get the money out to smaller groups too. When that
happens the quality of work improves and for the cheats and dissemblers
have no where to hide then in smaller groups.
The French Revoultion was gutting its own people and, one day, the one
straw too many broke that camel. A war against Iran or in Africa -- in
our time, that could be that straw.
People need to remember that all those soldiers with no jobs do know how
to use all kinds of weapons. Everything starts with one unexpected
moment -- there's a Mr. Bouazizi in every nation. When there is no hope
-- then that's starts the revolution and that kind of movement is really
hard to stop.
The prez is all talk. He's still pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership
Agreement. And siding with corporations every chance he gets. His
bullshit doesn't register as anything but empty platitudes. Sen. Sanders
has a much more credible take on capitalism. The Pope I think is
Now capitalism has reached the metastatic phase; there's nothing left to
devour but itself.
PITCHFORKS ! it is un-American to allow remedial misery to continue. the
swiss have proposed that everyone gets a basic monthly income.
Absolutely NOT Hard-Line Capitalism, and definitely not Starbucks'
Breakfast Blend. My vote is for the Capitalism With a Human
Face/Democratic Socialism Blend.
David J. Capers
Corporate capitalism has failed over 90% of us. Time for a
What's with this "new blend"? It's sounds like a trick to me. I'll vote
for straight socialism. That has the most "human face" to me!
The bank bailout is admittedly around $800 billion starting with Bush
and ending with Obama, this is a min. estimate. what if we had
capitalized from the bottom up instead of the other way. Give every
family in the US 1 million bucks, what is that 200 million? Homes saved
and paid off, college paid, auto's bought, businesses started etc.etc
etc. This puts the size of the theft (done with full intention) in real
perspective. This country is been completely taken over by criminals.
Rama Singh Khalsa
The discussion in this article is good, and pretty sound, from a very
simplistic, thirty-thousand foot level, but from the very first sentence
there is a huge issue. That is, there is not a crisis of capitalism,
there are two crises caused by capitalism: the accumulation crisis and
the ecological crisis. Capitalism as a world-system has been on a
decline since the 1970s, but what continues, in the guise of capitalism,
is the neoliberal economic mind-set that Obama is all about, and so will
be any President in this country until the people wake the hell up from
their opulence-induced haze. Obama has made things way, way worse, and
he will do more before he leaves, such as the TPP. Look it up. We have
to merge the crises of capitalism into a dialectic unity and then we can
really begin to get at the real issues, which are labor,
territorialization, resource extraction, and financialized capital.
Millionaires are receiving billions in taxpayer-funded support every
year that helps them pay for everything from child care to bad debts to
boats and vacation homes. People who individually earned more than a
million dollars in 2009 even managed to collect a total of nearly $21
million in unemployment insurance.
(Charles Dickens:) "In pure capitalism, things like child labor laws,
Social Security, anti-discriminatory hiring practices and a minimum wage
have no place. Capitalism rejects all government intervention in
economic matters." If you think that is a good thing, remember that
Oliver Twist is based on a real life story. http://money.howstuffworks.com/capitalism1.htm
Brian Schatz To fix and repair Capitalism, I like what Richard D Wolff
and Gar Alperovitz have to say.
Democratize the workplaces and the banks.
Examples are: Worker Cooperatives (Evergreen, Mondragon, Arizmendi,
Isthmus) and State Banks (the Bank of North Dakota)….
And with Capitalism, we have always had a mixture of market based
capitalistic exchanges with socialistic entities. All countries using
capitalism have this mixture with some having more and some having less.
The Ron and Rand Paul Libertarians pine for a day of pure Capitalism
where every exchange is done in the market. Everything is privately
owned. Everything, even the military, the police and the fire
department. There is no government except for the courts and for the
If you want to travel down a road, you will have to pay a toll. If the
proprietors rig all the roads they own and raise your price, you hire a
In a Libertarian World it will be lawsuit land where Joe is suing Mary
because her road was too expensive for the fire truck to come down, so
her house burned down and she prepaid them with her yearly fire fee but
didn't know they were boycotting that expensive road and took the long
way around to save money.
Mr. Bernard Weiner,
Have you ever asked
yourself why - despite experiencing the Keynesian policies of Roosevelt
- America ended up in the hands of 1% ? Have you learned any lessons out
of this ? Keynesian policies are only knee jerk reactions - compromises
- by ruling classes which will be reversed at the most immediate
instance. If you are for a change you have to overthrow the system and
remove these classes.
Else this cycle of fooling and looting by capitalists will continue.
About Ernest Partridge's Essay:
"How to Talk to a Climate Change
You should read this short Kindle book:
How to Cure a Climate Change Denier.
It explains the Climate Change Deniers point
of view and what information they are asking for to 'cure' them.
This is a bit of the 'blerb'
[sic] from the book advertisement:
The author once lived
in an off-grid eco-community, grew much of his own food and
was an active member of Greenpeace. Over the past few years
he has lost his faith in anthropogenic global warming and
become a Climate Change Denier!
This factual book
explores what it took to turn an eco-warrior into a ‘denier’
and, crucially, what evidence he needs climate scientists to
publish to help him believe in anthropogenic global warming
Ernest Partridge replies:
I might read the book, and I might
not. But I confess that I have little patience
remaining for climate change deniers.
I am not a climate scientist, so I
rely on the opinions of those who are. And as I noted
in my essay, of the thousands of active climate
scientists around the world, 97% to 98.5% affirm
anthropogenic climate change. Presumably, most of the
remaining two to three percent are skeptics, not
deniers. These remarkably consistent figures are from
three independent surveys. The conclusion of these
scientists follows from millions of hours of research
reported in peer reviewed scientific publications. This research is not repetitive:
like evolution and relativity theory, the conclusion of AGW converges from a variety of independent research
strategies, including ice core and sediment core
analysis, tree rings (dendrochronology), computer
modeling, laboratory simulations, historical records
(temperature, rainfall, etc.), and much more.
On the other hand, all the climate
change denial articles that I have encountered are
unscientific, utilizing a myriad of common fallacies and
outright falsehoods. And if you look to the funding
source of these articles or their publications, you will
likely find the Koch Brothers or the oil and coal
Perhaps the author of this book, Paul
Caruso, is different. But judging from my past
experience, I cannot be hopeful, and I am reluctant to
take on the claims of yet another AGW denier. I have
done my homework and published my responses. Perhaps the time has come to move
The challenge of my essay remains:
Provide me with solid, scientifically verifiable
information that AGW is false. And provide me with a
reasonable explanation as to how an entire global
community of scientists have unanimously come to this
allegedly false conclusion. And spare me the ad hominem
attacks, the fanciful and baseless hunches, the
conspiracy theories, the out-of-context citations, and
the phony "surveys."
After looking at numerous denier
arguments, I am close to equating AGW denial with claims
that the Bible is “inerrant," that the earth was
created 6000 years ago, that all the terrestrial species
were once crammed into an ark, or that the earth is
flat. Curious, but not worth the attention of serious
scholars and scientists.
The Crisis Papers
Still More from Aaron Press:
Apologies for the delay in replying – I have been working away
for a few days with little spare time.
I just wanted to pass on a couple of excerpts from the book.
“In 2009 a survey by Peter Doran and
Maggie Kendall Zimmerman of the University of Illinois,
reported the results of an opinion poll that 97% of
scientists thought that mankind was having a significant
impact on the climate. They polled 10,257 earth scientists
and 3,146 responded. Out of those 3,146 they selected a
group of just 79 individuals, 97% of who had, presumably,
given the correct answer. The results were very widely
reported and are often used as supporting ‘evidence’ that
CO2 can warm the climate. So the widely reported claim that
97% of scientists agree about global warming was obtained by
carefully selecting just 79 individuals.”
And, the consensus amongst scientists may not
be as unanimous as you have been led to believe by the media.
This website http://petitionproject.org/ lists over 31,000
American scientists including over 9,000 PhDs who have signed a
petition saying that…
“There is no convincing scientific
evidence that release of carbon dioxide, methane or other
greenhouse gases can or will, in the foreseeable future,
cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere or
disruption of the earth’s climate. Moreover, there is
substantial scientific evidence that increases in
atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects
upon the natural plant and animal environments of the
So that is 31,000 scientists who think that
CO2 is beneficial compared to 97% of a group of 79 individuals
that don’t. Those are facts using actual empirical data – not
projections made by computer models.
Another fact is that if you download the temperature data for
the last few hundred thousand years (freely available on the
internet and not questioned by anyone) you discover that we are
currently experiencing the coldest ‘warm period’ for at least
the last 420,000 years. But with the highest levels of CO2.
If you look at the latest IPCC report they have reduced the
sensitivity of the climate to CO2 dramatically.
If you don’t know what a ‘null hypothesis’ is, why all science
uses it, and why it casts doubt on the global warming theory,
you need to read that book.
Ernest Partridge Responds:
I am familiar with these rebuttals, and unimpressed.
Somewhere among my papers is a response to this rebuttal of
Doran and Zimmerman. However, I am disinclined to go scrounging
for it right now. So let’s put that one aside. It is redundant
in any case, for there are several additional surveys with the
For example, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change.”
From the abstract:
we use an extensive dataset of 1,372
climate researchers and their publication and citation data
to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most
actively publishing in the ﬁeld support the tenets of ACC
outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientiﬁc
prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are
substantially below that of the convinced researchers. (
In Environmental Research letters (May, 2013),
“Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in
the scientific literature,” John Cook and associates report
(in the abstract):
We analyze the evolution of the
scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW)
in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944
climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global
climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of
abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW,
0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of
global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW,
97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are
causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we
invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to
abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers
expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated
papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the
consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors'
self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers
expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time.
Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting
the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of
the published research.
As for the infamous Oregon Institute of Science
and Medicine “petition of 30,000,” it has been widely denounced
as shameless concoction. Among the signatories are Mickey Mouse
and Elvis Pressley, and numerous individuals who were not asked
to sign, a few of whom requested in vain that their names be
Media Matters observes:
Several environmental groups
questioned dozens of the names: "Perry S. Mason" (the
fictitious lawyer?), "Michael J. Fox" (the actor?), "Robert
C. Byrd" (the senator?), "John C. Grisham" (the
lawyer-author?). And then there's the Spice Girl, a.k.a.
Geraldine Halliwell: The petition listed "Dr. Geri Halliwell"
and "Dr. Halliwell." Asked about the pop singer, Robinson
said he was duped. The returned petition, one of thousands
of mailings he sent out, identified her as having a degree
in microbiology and living in Boston. "It's fake," he said.
"When we're getting thousands of signatures there's no way
of filtering out a fake," Robinson, 56, said in a telephone
interview from Oregon. A May 1, 1998, AP article reported
that the petition also bore the signatures of "Drs. '[Maj.]
Frank Burns' '[Capt. B.J.] Honeycutt*' and '[Capt. Benjamin
Franklin "Hawkeye"]Pierce'" -- three characters from the hit
only .1% of the individuals on the
list of 30,000 signatures have a scientific background in
Climatology. To be fair, we can add in those who claim to
have a background in Atmospheric Science, which brings the
total percentage of signatories with a background in climate
change science to a whopping .5%. The page does not break
out the names of those who do claim to be experts in
Climatology and Atmospheric Science, which makes even that
.5% questionable... This makes an already questionable list
seem completely insignificant given the nature of scientific
About this petition, The National Academy of Sciences
wrote: “The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead
scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support
for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review
of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers
experts in the field of climate science.” OISM did not disclose
how many petitions were sent out, and thus what percentage
For much more (with numerous links) see: Greenfyre’s
“The Oregon Petition.” Also:
"scrutinising the 31,000 scientists in the OISM Petition
Project," Skeptical Science.
If this is the quality of Caruso’s argument, then I need read no
Pardon my bluntness, but quite frankly I don’t have time for
this. Or young earth creationism. Or Biblical inerrancy. Or
I’ve shot a full morning on this reply. No Mas!
Thank you for your reply and I’m sorry that it took you so
I would like to remind you that you asked me to ‘spare me the ad
hominem attacks’ and point out that I am an atheist who doesn’t
believe anything without supporting empirical evidence.
I won’t get bogged down in how many scientists support which
argument because ultimately it is a red herring as the consensus
of scientific opinion has often been wrong before. I personally
know a number of skeptical scientists (including two
climatologists) and who turned me into a skeptic.
The argument that many of those scientists are not
climatologists is also a red herring as climatology is applied
physics, combined with stats and computing. I have read many an
article by professors of physics who complain that the climate
models have got some of the basic physics wrong, and by
statisticians who are derisory of the statistical methods that
some climate scientists use.
Computer experts (my area) point out that climatologists have a
fundamental misunderstand of what computer model are capable of.
They don’t tell you anything about the future – they only tell
you about the consequences of your assumptions. You have to
compare the results to empirical evidence and adjust you
assumptions repeatedly before they have any worth.
If you look at the scenarios that the IPCC produced in AR4, CO2
has increased by much more than expected but temperatures over
the last 17 years have not. That means that the models were
inaccurate and the IPCC have revised the sensitivity of the
climate to CO2 downwards as a result.
The position of the ‘sceptical’ community is:
1). Climate change is real and happening. It has been happening
for 4.5 billion years now and if you download the data and graph
it you can see that it is changing more slowly now than many
times in the past.
2). Anthropogenic CO2 contributes to global warming but the
sensitivity of the climate to CO2 is lower than ‘alarmists’
claim. The IPCC has taken a major step towards that point of
3). The currently proposed solutions to ‘global warming’ are
more damaging to the environment than the warming itself. (E.g.
forests are being cut down in Indonesia to grow palm oil for bio
Regarding the alleged funding of skeptics by big oil. Take a
look at the stats for global energy production for 1990 and
today. The global warming theory means a shift away from coal
towards oil and gas (renewables are still irrelevant on a global
scale). The oil and gas industry (globally) are probably the
single biggest beneficiary of this theory. But if you know where
this alleged funding is available I will start a skeptical
website and give you half the funding that they provide.
Science could reasonably be described as the ‘art of
skepticism’. All progress in science has been the result of
someone taking a skeptical look at an established fact.
Anthropologists, archaeologist, geologists, biologists etc can
prove that the climate was warmer during the mediaeval warm
period. I know that there are lots of websites that will cast
doubt on this but go and look at the source data for yourself.
We don’t know what caused previous warmer periods except that it
was natural variation so we don’t know what effect that
variation is having today.
Finally, I will just give you one link
to a comment by an infra-red astronomer who has been unable
to detect the back welling infrared radiation that CO2 should be
causing and now feels able to speak out because he has just
It’s people like you with your McCarthyist anger that are
scaring these people into silence.
There is no need to reply – you are a believer and I am an
empiricist. Without supporting empirical evidence which
disproves the null hypothesis of natural variation and am
unlikely to become a believer.
And Ernest Partridge responds -- Again:
I'll say it again: I am not a climate scientists. So
I rely on the conclusions of those who are. I know my
limits. But I am also an empiricist, and those thousands of
scientists base their conclusions on empirical evidence. If
they did not, their papers would not be published in
legitimate scientific journals.
If 98% of climate scientists affirm AGW, it follows that 2%
do not. You managed to find a few of the two-percenters. So?
As I said in my essay, I am unimpressed by the "scientists
have been known to be wrong" argument. True, science is
imperfect. But scientific error, when corrected, has always
been corrected by better science. Show me the "better
science" that overwhelms the conclusions of the
authors of the 9,137
peer-reviewed scientific papers (vs. exactly one
dissenter) published in 2013. I submit that you have not.
Otherwise, you seem to be hinting at Explanation-1 of my
essay: "a world-wide conspiracy of thousands of scientists"
(including, apparently, the editors and referees of numerous
scientific journals). If so, show me the evidence of this
"conspiracy." If there is no conspiracy, pray tell how those
scientists can all be wrong -- among them, scientists who
are fully aware of the limitations of computer modeling,
statistical analysis, and the other objections that you have
And yes, I am familiar with the Null Hypothesis. I own a
Ph.D in Philosophy. I fail to see the relevance of the Null
Hypothesis to this issue.
With that, I will quit. As I said, I don't have time for
this -- particularly for a point-by-point rebuttal of your
Besides, the tone of our exchange ("McCarthyist anger") is
beginning to get ugly, and I have no taste for that.
Permaculture Research Institute -- Australia)
This article is also a part of the problem. This ‘me, and ‘them’
delusion. Both sides caught in a ‘I am right, you are wrong,’ situation.
By this kind of attitude, all that happens is that both side become more
set in their stance. Trying to fight your oppose into the ground be it
with logic, fists or condemnation creates more anger, more polarisation.
Only by seeing all beings as the same as us, with the same problems,
worries and desires to be happy, can we let go of our desire to prove
something. You may see this as a naïve view, but, there we have if.
Fighting our corner merely causes yet more conflict
Ernest Partridge Replies:
had insisted, “maybe Hitler has a point, lets hear
his side” today we’d all be speaking German and saluting the
While I am sympathetic to the aversion to a “I’m right, you’re
wrong” attitude, can’t we agree that some facts are settled? Among
them: evolution, the shape of the earth, the existence and abject
evil of the holocaust, etc.
And with 98% of climate scientists agreeing that climate is
changing and human activity is primarily responsible, can’t we
include anthropogenic climate change among these settled issues?
There comes a time when further discussion is moot and action is
urgently required. E.g., England in 1940. If the Brits at the time
The “two-sides-to-every-argument” attitude has crippled US
journalism, which now refuses to stand for anything at all.
Of course, if the issue is a live one, by all means let’s hear
both sides. But on some issues, once the evidence is assessed there
remains no grounds for reasonable doubt.
In the face of a growing global emergency, the post-modern
slogan “there are no facts, only opinions” is a recipe for disaster.
Which means higher taxes to
pay for cleaner air or maybe voluntarily cutting our usage of the
combustion engine. Not easy when we humans have been conditioned to
equate making money with making a living. We here in Brasil are taxed
out the ass. Most our tribute goes to line the pockets of politicians,
multinationals. and other shadowy figures .Saw 40 % of American who can
work can´t find work. How will they pay for emissions reduction?
Emissions reduction will be sold to us as a new tax. Btw what about
Fukushima? It is a time bomb that is continuously going off. Fukushima,
Climate Change, DU(Depleted Uranium), Fracking, GMO´s, Vaccines, Wars,
tyranny and a host of other sinister things to control and or kill us
(all Species)…Pick your poison. My feeling is a paradigm
shift is occuring at this moment. Not sure we two leggedS
will see the other side.
If you win the day Ernest, than what? A huge push to press governments
and multinationals to cut emissions of all sorts. How and with what
means. Many of us know the climate is changing. We see it everyday in
front of us. Are we going to create more laws to stop the increase in
Anarchy? Police departments don’t prevent all crime and fire
departments don’t prevent all fires. The solution? Abolish all law
enforcement and fire prevention? Of course not. The rational
response is reform, not abolition. The remedy for bad
government is good government.
Shawn, I share your suspicion and distaste for corrupt
governments. But what is the alternative
As for taxation, in a just political economy, the poor and
middle classes would pay less taxes, and the corporations and the
wealthy would pay their fair share — i.e., much more. In the US, tax
rates on the wealthy and corporations have been slashed as the top
one percent have grabbed more than half of the national wealth.
Restore the tax rates of the Eisenhower era, cut the military budget
in half (leaving the US military still far and away the most
powerful on Earth), and recover for public investment the cash
looted by the plutocrats, and there will be plenty of resources for
reform, repair, research and development.
How likely is that? Not very so long as the corporate
oligarchs remain in power. Sad to say, Shawn, I share your
As Lomba rightly points out this type of ‘I’m right because these people
say so’ serves no purpose other than attempt to polarise people on one
side or the other.
I have no doubt climates change. If they didn’t the world would be
I have no doubt that the sun has the biggest the fastest the most
effective impact on climates around the world. Without it there would be
no climate to change as the planet would be dead.
As for the CO2 is a pollutant argument being pushed on a permaculture
site which would beggars belief. CO2 is required for plant growth that
is not in doubt.
As for the CO2 produced by man how on earth is this measured?
How on earth can it be separated from natures CO2?
What happens when nature ‘burps out’ a larger amount of CO2 than
‘normal’ or locks more CO2 away than ‘normal’?
Why is the head of the IPCC a railway engineer and not a climate
But beyond all this what I cannot understand is why those who believe
that man made carbon dioxide production is changing the climates of the
earth do they not seem to be able to see that the obsession with carbon
dioxide has quite literally knocked the man made pollution problems off
the ‘front page’.
Ernest Partridge Replies:
This “CO2 is necessary for life, therefore there is no climate
crisis” argument is getting tiresome. I’ve heard it time and again,
and it remains as fallacious as ever.
The problem is that it is a half truth. The first part, “CO2
is necessary for life” is the truthful half. And no sane person
disputes it. What follows the “therefore” is patently false.
Of course, CO2 is a good thing. But it is possible to have too
much of a good thing. Water is necessary for human (and all) life,
but you can drown in it. There are numerous chemical elements and
compounds which are necessary for life which, in excess, are
poisonous. E.g., iodine.
Phytoplankton, the foundation of all aquatic life and the
source of half of the atmospheric oxygen, requires CO2. But an
excess of atmospheric CO2 is increasing the acidity of ocean
(carbonic acid) which in turn is killing the phytoplankton. “Too
much of a good thing.”
With no CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth would be much colder
and there would be no life. With an excess of CO2, primarily the
result of fossil fuel consumption and deforestation, the atmosphere
is heating along with the ocean.
These are scientific facts. Deal with them!
As for the question, “how is atmospheric CO2 measured”? Google
“Keeling Curve” to find your answer.
I’ve read all the comments on this site to date. But with
these three replies, I’ve about shot my bolt.
Many of these comments can be answered by reading my essay and
considering the central question: “How can 98% of active climate
scientists and their mountain of confirming research and data all be
wrong?” Provide me with a plausible and scientifically sound reply,
and I will take notice.
Thank you Bill. The arguments for & against climate change are
extremely tiring so I don’t really have an opinion on the here & now. I
know climates change constantly, my husband works in a coal mine (!!!!)
& seeing all the different layers of coal, then soil, then coal again,
goes to show the see saws of our climate over the billions of years.
Instead of spending so much time arguing about climate change, which
much as some can’t admit, may be proved by computer models but Mother
Nature may have different ideas, perhaps we should spend the time
working on things we know, such as getting rid of plastic, reducing
chemical use & improving our agricultural practises. If man-made climate
change is happening, doing all this will do more to help than
Australia’s 5% carbon tax.
Agreeing with all the comments above, some food for thought written
by Robert M. Carter, a Research Professor at James Cook University
(Queensland) and the University of Adelaide (South Australia). He is a
palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental
scientist with more than thirty years professional experience.
Sigh. Really? You agree with Bill here?
Did you even read the article? What is your counter-theory? What
evidence supports your belief, because that is all it is… belief. To
(supposedly) read this article and make such a statement means you are
quasi-educated like Bill. The theory of gravity is built on the same
firm foundation as that of Anthropogenic Climate Change. I dare you to
deny gravity, because it doesn’t give a hoot what you believe. Sorry,
you cannot escape basic, natural laws!
I’m beyond anger with this sort of lazy thinking…I’d actually feel
sorry for you if your ignorance and arrogance were not so dangerous! And
Lomba the relativist uber alles! Krikey! You sound as though you have
studied Buddhism and duality but lack understanding. So what if we are
all the same? First and foremost, you are physical, material, and
grounded in being. Return to your cave saddhu.
Next contestant step right up! fixie knocks em down!
I kind of agree with Shawn. Dr Partridge your article is completely
correct but who cares what “they” think? I want to know what I can do
here and now, in my own life to make any kind of difference. I believe
that once I am doing it my neighbours will copy and somebody else will
copy them and eventually the government will get the idea. That’s how
society works. But what is it? What can I do to at least stop adding to
I agree with the comments above. Sad to see the PRI keeping on going
with this Malthusian climate change stuff. People are increasingly
“denying” (or just not being convinced of) anthropogenic climate change.
There is a scientific debate about the issue which is made complex by
the statistical nature of the arguments, but we shouldn’t use concepts
like “scientific consensus” to decide the matter.
Notice how all the “solutions” to climate change put forth are 100%
based around taxation and finance, (see the Chicago Mercantile Carbon
Exchange) and never about for example, local permaculture projects.
I would have thought that the permaculture community would have a
healthy level of skepticism about backing any
governmental-corporate-banking solution to the “climate crisis”. But
this is all that we have, you either believe in climate change and thus
support carbon taxes being paid to JP Morgan to create derivatives which
are going to save the world, or you are a “denier”.
Personally as a non scientist I am not convinced that CO2 drives the
climate, rather the theory that solar activity is the most important
factor looks most likely to me.
For the laymen like myself a 17 year “pause” in global warming needs
a better explanation than “the heat went into the ocean” for this
Putting that aside though the Malthusian aspect is important to
consider. The doomsday scenarios which seem to be always just around the
corner probably do a lot of harm to the permaculture movement in the
long run. Historians note that powerful finance oligarchs frequently
resort to the philosophy of Thomas Malthus in order to justify keeping
populations in conditions of feudal serfdom. A paradigm of control
which, if you look at the 85 richest people who own more wealth than 3.5
billion people (google it), might be attractive to our current crop of
oligarchs. In fact look at those 85 people and see how many of them are
lobbying for climate change. Also note how these people are as pro war
as they are concerned about climate change. A good example is George
Soros’s website Avaaz, but equally look at how Tony Blair, Rupert
Murdoch and Monsanto campaign for climate change. Not that we want to
fall for guilt by association, but the point is worth noting.
Instead of promoting Malthusian negativity (Peak oil/climate change
etc) which has as it’s core principle “humans are bad/humans are the
problem” the permaculture community should be promoting the liberating
idea that permaculture brings about self sufficiency and abundance.
Permaculture allows human existence to thrive independent of the
psychopathic madness of the government-corporate system. Obviously that
is not to say that there are not negative problems that need attention,
but from my point of view it seems that all the environmental issues
which used to be talked about have been subsumed over the past decade by
the climate change crowd. Lets embed solutions into all of the problems
we discuss, this is playing to our strengths.
So in conclusion I would say somewhere in all of this the problem is
”While Carter did not deny that the payments took place, he
declined to discuss the payments. Carter
“emphatically denies” any suggestion that his scientific opinion on
climate change can be bought or swayed by funding.
Wikipedia: In 2012, documents acquired from The Heartland Institute
revealed that Carter was paid a monthly fee of $1,667 (USD), “as part of
a program to pay ‘high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly
counter the alarmist [anthropogenic global warming] message
made a lot of sense to me while confirming to me the pointlessness of
ever wasting energy on an argument involving this subject.
This article (
However, “winning” an argument will always be an exciting and easy
way to achieve satisfaction and distraction in a scary, complex world.
Reading the entire article was beneficial to me (and my sanity), so I
would recommend it to most who have their mind open to this. It all
feels well summarized in the following paragraph:
“The difference is that both financial crisis and peak oil are far
more personal and immediate than climate change, and so are far bigger
motivators of behavioural change. For this reason, addressing arguments
in these terms is far more likely to be effective. In other words, the
best way to address climate change is not to talk about it.”
As an AGW skeptic (I don’t deny climate change, I don’t deny that human
activity has some impact on climate – I am skeptical that there there is
significant human impact on the global climate) I will take the bait.
Firstly, if you want to talk to an AGW skeptic, don’t call them a
climate change denier. Calling people names (“denier” is a very negative
word) will start off any attempt at dialogue on the wrong foot. Instead,
listen and attempt to understand what they actually believe. That said,
let me answer the three questions.
1) This is the paper by John Cook et al. title “Quantifying the
consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature”
[This is a dead link. Try it yourself. EP].
To answer the question, I would respond – have you even read
the paper? I would suggest that you take a look at Table 3 and tell me
what percentage endorsed “No AGW position” (look it up for yourself.
Hint, it’s greater than 50%). I think that answers your questions as to
whether or not 98% of the 10,000 active climate scientists in that study
endorse the position; you can easily see for yourself the answer through
reading the article. So, on to the next question.
2) If you provide me a link to the report so that I can see it for
myself (not a link to a political website), I’ll happily acknowledge its
3) By saying that the previous two questions don’t add anything to
the debate. Firstly, even if there is a consensus of scientists, that
doesn’t actually matter at the end of the day. Scientists are not
equivalent to science (an appeal to authority or “Argumentum ab
auctoritate” is a logical fallacy). Science is a process by which a
hypothesis is made, a (falsifiable) test for that hypothesis is created
and then observations are compared to the hypothesis.
Computer simulations are not proof, they are hypotheses. We can
compare them to observations and even non-scientists can see that most
of them have been falsified.
I would like to pose a number of questions back.
1) Do you acknowledge that computer simulations are a hypothesis, not
2) Do you acknowledge that the predictions made by computer
simulations are falsified if they do not match actual observations?
3) Have the IPCC models been falsified by the 15+ years of lack of
global warming (accompanied by continually rising CO2 levels) or the
4) Can this blog get back to permaculture?
Interesting point of view Jo (Wikipedia: 2012 documents revealing Carter
payments to counter alarmist messages) How are the “alarmist” scientists
funded to come to their conclusions, who by, and to what brief or
Taking Gregs’ point a moment further, about computer simulations
being hypotheses, not proof, the Met Bureau computer models give us
different/altered weather predictions every day….what does this mean?
Also, I believe our time sample of existing records is way too small for
the current speculation to be useful. Honing in on one scapegoat, is
missing a whole range of opportunities for actual solutions. Too much
argumentive hot air is expelled, Ernest, (exhausting out our limited
resources further…) when what really is useful, is revegetating the
earth to keep it cooler and moister. Permaculture is one of the better
solutions, the quiet achiever!
There is a very powerful argument that ‘deniers’are correct. We are told
that our very best scientific brains are desperately worried that
anthrpogenic pollution will destroy the world. Yet they all seem to
blandly accept that the world population will double in 40 years. Now we
can foam at the mouth and demand that we close coal fired power
stations, peppercorn our world with wind farms et al, but if the
population keeps doubling every forty years we will NEVER reduce
pollution. Why then are the scientists not demanding population control
if they really are sincere in their beliefs?
Hello there, i can’t believe this topic still has enough fuel to keep
But I’m going to give my two pence worth anyway. Quite frankly as a
human being trying to live as close to nature as possible and living as
off grid as possible, while raising 2 children, i don’t care if its man
made or not !.
Id much prefer it not to be man made, so the scoundrel of the
corporate world won’t have permission to flog the poor even more, but
there's not enough conclusive science out there or we would have a
definitive answer one way or the other. All i hope for is that people
start to care for this planet like our ancestors did, live a little more
in the garden/forest/jungle/park than in there houses with there heads
The reason I’m on the PRI website is because it fills me with hope
because like minded people “ARE” watching nature and adapting to it,
without the incentive of money we do it because we care!!!.
i find it quite offensive when people tell me about climate change,
as if its some big secret. For some of us who have been watching it for
20 or so years, we know!. We’ve seen it every season for the last
however long!!!. so please let it rest, and just look after the planet
because you care not for the incentive of money. Anyway peace love and
dirty fingers to both sides of this quite silly argument.
(From The Smirking Chimp)
I have not followed this issue in every detail but there is no doubt
there are significant changes taking place the past few decades. a lot
of it is linked to increased greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
but that alone does not account for a variety of global changes. and it
is true beyond doubt that use of fossil fuel is contributing to
greenhouse gas. however, how much it adds to other sources is debatable.
and solar cycles are another unknown set of reasons for these changes.
and finally, while the arctic ice cap is melting, in other places the
ice cover is getting thicker. or the unprecedented early snow fall last
month on the northern plains, like some kind of “ice age” beginning.
we can analyze ice cores and measure and compare temps, but for trees
and animals acclimated to a narrow range of climactic conditions, they
will seek new habitat as these conditions change. and we are finding a
lot of this right now around the world.
I do not think you will find places where the ice cap is getting
thicker, not unless you are referring to seasonal changes. Deniers love
to talk about how the Antarctic cap is increasing in size. That
reference is to surface area. Meanwhile, the total ice in Antarctica
continues to shrink at an alarming rate.
Sea ice is very difficult to observe over large-scales “Sea ice turns
out to be a very complex and variable medium that is very difficult to
observe over large-scales.” (Guy Williams -- Australian Academy of
thank you, dirt, for some counterpoint here. as to climate change, i
believe, if i remember correctly that right now the ocean is warming,
but there is disagreement as to the cause. in some places, plants and
animals are seeking new habitat due to changing climate.
as to “deniers,” these folks have a variety of reasons and for the
“drill, baby drill” set it is mostly ignorance.
i consider myself to be an observer and look for research that goes
against the grain. for myself, i am cautious about forming conclusions
or making an argument. that’s not in my nature.
for one thing, getting bogged down in an argument about climate change
diverts attention from what is a distressing problem -- modern culture
is turning our planet into a wasteland. the uncertainty of what can be
done to effectively control climate is one thing. what can be done to
stop the ungoverned production of toxins and polluting the environment,
on the other hand, is a certainty.
I Used To Travel A Lot. Globally Even. Everywhere I've been, the story
is the same: Our climate is changing.
Look, put your intellect maybe two points higher than that bag of gas
rush limbauer, the climate REALLY IS changing.
I see it everywhere I go.
Think about that. I Travel.
Everywhere is different.
I'm writing this from Homer, Alaska. This will be the eighth day of
NOVEMBER. The SECOND week of November, and the snow has not fallen. We
are getting ready to set a record concerning this.
What ??? How can anyone think this is NOT happening ???
Jeezuz christ, it's IN OUR FACE .
It is happening every where I go. The climate IS changing.
Some Dude in AK
About Ernest Partridge's Essay:
The Harder They Fall.
(From The Smirking Chimp)
We all know this was just the latest in an order of 'political hits' by
fat Tony,not Soprano...Christy.
Interesting to note that 'Big Chris'
was once in the Fed Gov US Attorney in the region, how many toes did he
step on there. How many are out to pay him back?
Christie is a thug.
Take it from one who knows Gov.
Christie is nothing more then a Fascist thug. I just got done winning a
battle against him and am in another one against him right this moment.
He can and will fall. The toady MSM is no longer giving this bully a
pass. The battle I'm fighting against him right now is one in which he
has threatened to overturn a local election and force our town into a
Federal Project we don't want. He has also told us we're stupid and that
we will sign the 40 yr. contract that goes with the Project, or else!.
We're resisting so far. I pray this evil bastard quits , but if he
doesn't God help us. His revenge on all of us will be nasty. Remember,
Hitler was arrested once and put in jail and came out stronger then
ever. America is ripe pickings right now for bullies and demagogues and
Christie is both.
Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, one in eight East German citizens
were informants for the Stasi. But when the people poured into the
streets and the army refused to fire on them, the regime was finished.
...the Red Army refused to fire on the protesters, the coup collapsed.
It won't be the army that will make the choice to fire on American
protestors, it will be America's militarized police forces...And as we
saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina many of our police officers
will fire at will.
The R voters LOVE, LOVE, LOVE bullies.
cheney and his sock monkey would be canonized if it were up to them.
And all the R braintrust has to do is create some stink to smear on
whoever the D is for their bully to win this time around.
And the Ds haven't exactly given anyone reason for enthusiasm.
AND, by the time of the prez campaign primaries, everyone will have
forgotten this little kerfluff. CC may or may not be the R nom, but it
won't be this thing that makes or breaks him
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his dirty little secret... NEW
it is true that as of recent, the voting public seems to go “brain dead”
as soon as they get in the voting booth. no other way to account for
people we elect to public office.
somehow voters want a guy who looks “presidential,” a guy who talks loud
AND carries a big stick. in a recent convo, a person told me the reason
OBAMA failed was his “style” that he appeared to be disinterested and
disengaged, instead of appearing to be in charge. (i replied he never
had any intention of working for something better than what we got.)
CHRISTIE seems to be a “take-charge” type of guy, that he’s on the
field, in the game, and not simply watching from the sidelines like
OBAMA gets tagged. but his dirty little secret is being first whispered
and now spoken openly, that while he may be in the game, he is bending
the rules and hiding a lot of tactics for which the “ref” didn’t blow
it’s true, as one writer suggests, voters have a short memory, unless
they feel they have reason to be vengeful, and then it could be a matter
of, as we say, revenge is a dish that is best enjoyed cold. in this
case, CHRISTIE may be in for some serious downside.
(From OpEd News)
Events are overtaking this article.
The Mayor of Hoboken has reported that
the Christie administration attempted to trade federal aid for a
development contract. The floodgates are opening, and more disclosures
The NJ Federal Prosecutor has taken up the Hoboken case.
The long knives of the GOP are out for MSNBC.
This promises to be exciting. Hamlet Act I. How many bodies will litter
the stage when the curtain finally comes down?
More disclosures? As of right now it is still in question whether or not
it really happened or if this is just another attempt by liberals to
attack a conservative at an opportune time.
Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of bullies like Christie and I think he
is a jerk, but closing a bridge is nothing compared to all the garbage
Obama has been up to and good decent people should be going after him,
not some governor of a state.
I do not understand why people are making a mountain of Christie's
bridge closing when there are far more serious scandals surrounding
Obama? Here is a photo I found online tonight being sent around the net
to illustrate the point:
Ernest Partridge replies:
Just what are you suggesting?
Suppose (as I don't for a moment) that Obama is culpable in all the
cases that you and your attached image indicate.
Does this give Christie license to plug up the GWB as an act of
spite, or to withhold federal relief funds for Hoboken in an effort
to extort a building permit from the Mayor?
Logicians call this the "tu quoque" ("you're another") fallacy. Or
as they say in Jersey: "So's yer old man!"
Since Obama's behavior does not exculpate Christie, I won't answer
to all your well-worn right-wing accusations. Just two. As for the
others, my silence should not construe agreement.
First, the so-called "IRS scandal." Investigation of the IRS office
in question revealed that the IRS investigated more
liberal/progressive organizations than conservative/right-wing
organization. As a result, several of the "leftist" groups were
denied tax-exempt status. None of the right-wing groups were denied
tax exemption. Those are simple, verifiable facts. Check it out. If
there is a "scandal," the left, not the right, is the victim. Not
that any of these facts deter FOX (so-called) News, or the
right-wing screech machine.
As for Benghazi, this was at worst a blunder -- as I will concede.
With alert intelligence and competent response, it might have been
avoided. Kinda like the 9/11 attacks and the response to hurricane
Katrina. But Obama did not plan or intend the attack and the death
of the four Americans. Christie, on the other hand, is accused of
intending the GWB fiasco and the extortion of Mayor Zimmer. In the
former case he (or his staff) succeeded. The latter case, they
failed, to the everlasting credit of Mayor Zimmer.
I have a long list of complaints against President Obama. But
that wasn't the subject of my essay. Maybe another essay.
My point is that Christie should not be a center of attention used a
side show diversion to get any of us off Obama. To me closing a bridge
is nothing. It happens all the time and the only reason anyone cares
about this one is because it was probably politically motivated rather
for construction or emergency reasons. Still, no big deal.
As for Bengazi it was far more than a blunder:
BOMBSHELL: PENTAGON 'DIDN'T KNOW' BENGHAZI ANNEX EXISTED
Page 28 of the 85-page report states:
"With respect to the role of DoD and AFRICOM in emergency
evacuations and rescue operations in Benghazi, the Committee
received conflicting information on the extent of the awareness
within DoD of the Benghazi Annex. According to U.S. AFRICOM, neither
the command nor its Commander were aware of an annex in Benghazi,
"However, it is the Committee's understanding that other DoD
personnel were aware of the Benghazi Annex."
Page 77 of the report further divulges that Gen. Carter Ham,
then-commander of U.S. Africa Command, "was not even aware there was
a CIA annex in Benghazi at the time of the attacks."
Continued the Senate report: "We are puzzled as to how the military
leadership expected to effectively respond and rescue Americans in
the event of an emergency when it did not even know of the existence
of one of the U.S. facilities."
It should be an impeachable offense. And the IRS did target tea
party groups. That is a scandal for a democrat president to use tax
dollars and federal agencies like that. And then there are the
killer drones murdering around the globe. American government has
become unjust and tyrannical, but let's all jump on a governor for
closing a bridge. Whoopie!
Reply to Bill Johnson:
There is a second logical fallacy here - the false dichotomy.
There are plenty of resources to do both. Why chose? It will take an
impeachment to get rid of Obama - not that easily done. Meanwhile, as
for Christie an ounce of prevention right now is worth the proverbial
pound or 300 ...
The fatter they come