I just finished Michael Crichton's fascinating book, "State of Fear". The book tears apart the mythology that surrounds the whole "Global Warming" debate. In the book one of the characters makes the claim that the military-industrial complex has given way to something that he calls the Political-Legal-Military (PLM) complex. He makes a convincing case that politicians, lawyers and the media form an unholy alliance in support of one another designed to keep the public in a constant state of fear in order to control the masses and to build their own power base.
Case in point - environmentalism. With little proof other than manipulated data, junk science, media support, a flood of litigation and hysterical legislation environmentalists have convinced Americans to believe something for which there is precious little evidence - namely that human activity is heating up the temperature of the earth and will cause an ecological disaster.
They cite temperature studies that look like they show dramatic increases in temperature over the past few years. What they don't tell you is that since about 1850, the climate began warming after a 400 year long "little ice age". They say the Antarctic ice cap is melting, but don't tell you it's been melting for the last 6,000 years. They say we've threatened the world by not signing the Kyoto Accords, but don't tell you that those Accords would most negatively impact the US economy and would at the best, most optimistic scientific guess would reduce the global mean temperature by an infinitesmal .004 degrees (that's 4/1000 of a degree) in the next 20 years.
In the 80's there was a wave of hysteria over magnetic fields generated by power lines. Laws were passed, millions of dollars in lawsuits won and a wave of media attention focused on the 'crisis'. Now the same folks that were screaming about power lines and televisions generating magnetic fields are walking around 20 years later with magnets strapped to their arthritic joints because suddenly magnetic fields are good for you.
After environmentalists (and their lawyers) went after the popular pesticide DDT, legislators banned it even thoug scientists had actually proved DDT wasn't as harmful as believed by the environmentalists. The media covered the DDT scare and convinced the public that DDT was going to kill us all. So farmers switched to parathion which is very toxic (several hundred farmers died from parathion poisoning in the wake of the DDT ban) and more than 50 million people (mostly children in third world countries) died from malaria after DDT was taken from use in mosquito control. That's more people than were killed by Hitler and Stalin TOGETHER! But no one has suggested a Nuremberg trial for the environmentalist community. No one calls them murderers, despite the consequences of their actions.
In the past election, we saw two parties go at it hammer and tongs, each trying to convince the American people that they should fear what would happen if the other party were to come to power. Their accomplises in the legal profession will pluck from the debate, new opportunities to make money filing lawsuits and the media cheerfully documented the whole disgraceful exhibition.
The upshot of the whole thing is that Americans are once again fearful for the economy (despite it being the strongest economy in decades). They fear unemployment though it's so low that employers have difficulty finding people to hire. They believe crime is rampant even though it's decreased by better than 10% of the past decade. They believe we are not safe from terrorists, even though we haven't had a successful attack here since 9/11 (and they believe that the Iraq war is the reason we're in more danger at home).
Oh well, we see what we want to see and we hear what we want to hear and usually what we want to see and hear is what everyone else is seeing, hearing and believing. It makes us feel safe and like we belong. "Everybody knows it" is the most pathetic reason to believe something I can think of.
Unfortunately, much of what we all accept as truth is merely what everyone else believes. We seldom think about why we believe it. We go to church on the same day everyone else does and don't think why. We believe things as Christian doctrine that are not found in Scripture, but are borrowed from pagan tradition. We hold unexamined ideas about people because of their beauty (or lack of beauty), race, socio-economic status, the car they drive or the clothes they wear.
So in this past election, one party was more successful at convincing us of what we should fear. This bunch is angry and frustrated from being out of power for so long. My bet is they'll be looking for retribution and it won't take long to be calling for the president's impeachment. Rumsfield went down today. They'll go after Bush and Cheney next. Just wait!
Just one man's opinion....
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