May 22, 2009

Hysteria From the Skeptical Side of the Fence (Part 2)

[Read Part 1 here]

Dr. Edward F. Blick's recent 24-page paper, Global Warming Myth and Marxism is less than coherent. It's final paragraph confusingly refers to itself as a book. When I examine the copyright statement at the bottom of page two, I discover the following: "© 2009 by Southwest Radio Church of the Air...No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner...for more information, write Southwest Radio Ministries..."

Whatever larger project this paper has been drawn from, minus its opening notes, bibliography, and graphs, there are only 13 pages of generously-spaced text here. But if one were looking for a reason to dismiss skeptics of global warming, it's difficult to imagine a more damaging 13 pages.

This is not a calm, rigorously-argued, carefully-footnoted essay. For one thing, Dr. Blick is fond of exclamation marks. I count 27 of them. On page 12 there are five. On page 13 there are four. While he frequently accuses other people of extremism, his own language falls well short of even-handed or neutral.

Some version of the word "extremist" appears three times on page four, along with "fanatics" and "wackos." On page five he refers to Barack Obama as "a Marxist president," describes the media as "Marxist," and dismisses a former United Nations' Secretary General as "a Burmese Marxist."

Dr. Blick refers at least thrice to "green Nazis." People he disagrees with are "liars" and "corrupt" and guilty of "fraud." He attributes incendiary quotes to individuals yet fails to provide any source so that the reader might make their own judgment about whether the quote has been fairly reproduced or used out-of-context. He ridicules Al Gore's college grades but does not say how he came to be in possession of such information. He alleges that NASA's activist scientist, James Hansen, received "a $250,000 gift from the charity of [John] Kerry's wife" but again fails to indicate how he knows this.

Are there some valid points amongst all this sound and fury? No doubt. But although Dr. Blick claims to be interested in what a "reasonable person" might think, this is a text guaranteed to alienate reasonable people.

If you want to convince me that global warming theory is flawed, don't muddy the water by quoting scripture and talking about "intelligent design."

If you want me to take your views seriously, please don't besmirch the gem that is American democracy by offhandedly referring to "the Marxist coup that took over our country on January 20, 2009" - Barack Obama's inauguration day.