Three Stupid Things in the News
Sometimes something in the news is so stupid and/or obvious that it makes me say “D’oh” and roll my eyes simultaneously. Frankly, it’s painful, I may strain something someday doing this. Here’s today’s: “Iraqi MPs fear hasty withdrawal.” Well, no shit, when the US pulls out of Iraq the members of the Maliki government more than likely will be hanging from lamp posts within hours. I’d be afraid, I’d be very afraid. Heck, I’d be stuffing my bags with US dollars and looking into real estate in Monaco.
Similarly General Petraus, in command of US forces in Iraq, said that it is going to take at least 9 or 10 years to finish the job in Iraq. Why doesn’t he just come out and say the situation is hopeless? I mean, we can’t stop the sectarian violence in America, ten thousand or more gang members are murdered every year in US inner cities. We’re going to fix a similar but vastly worse problem in a country we have vastly less understanding of? He went on to compare Iraq to the British problems in Northern Ireland. (Insert new laptop as a result of forehead smacking damage here.) I mean, not only is the situation in Iraq far worse and much more complicated that what the British faced in Northern Ireland, his staff neglected to tell him that the situation in northern Ireland was only solved when the British government swallowed their pride and sat down at the negotiating table with their enemies. General Petraus is either a complete ignoramus, or he is assuming the typical American listener is. I am not reassured in either case.
A new study has shown that the theory that the sun is causing global warming is not backed by the evidence, the sun has in fact been cooling since 1985 yet global temperatures are spiking upwards faster every year. “This should settle the debate,” said Mike Lockwood, from the UK’s Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory. Mr Lockwood might understand science, but he clearly doesn’t understand human nature. Nothing will “settle the debate” because hard core global warming deniers are like evolution deniers, their position is based on their religious beliefs and faith. This will help with people who are genuinely open minded, but most of them long ago realized that the scientific evidence for human caused global warming is overwhelming.
Still, it’s heartening, and in many parts of the world people are indeed starting to take action to reduce carbon emissions. And remember, if they’re wrong, all that happens is that we have more efficient cars and appliances, and fewer coal burning power plants. If we follow the advice of the global warming deniers and do nothing, and they turn out to be wrong, a few already filthy rich people will continue to get richer while the rest of us will be screwed beyond belief as the ice caps melt, the world’s great rivers dry up, and the sea levels rise. Your choice.
(The above historical image of the World War Two Baker Jumping Armoured Car is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. Several attempts were made during or before WW2 to build an armoured car or a tank(!) that could jump over minefields. Even when they didn’t land upside down, the impact was so jarring that the crews were often injured and/or incapacitated. Turns out it was…a stupid idea. Some of us could have figured that out without spending a pile of money testing the idea.)