Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Three Stupid Things in the News

with 7 comments


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.)



Written by unitedcats

July 11, 2007 at 10:48 am

7 Responses

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  1. There was a lovely article in one of the big magazines (The Atlantic?) a couple of months ago. It was all about the potential investment opportunities flowing from global warming.

    There will be winners and losers, don’t ya know, and the winners stand to make a bundle. If you can’t beat global warming, might as well profit by it.


    July 11, 2007 at 11:17 am

  2. You should say Doh and roll your eyes now US is winning the war in Iraq and Al Qaeda is on the run says Senator Joe Lieberman. You can laugh as well.


    July 11, 2007 at 12:48 pm

  3. The sun has been getting colder since 1985? So, in essence, the Earth was colder, while the sun was hotter?


    July 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm

  4. Any withdrawal of the US military from Iraq at this point will be solely to placate the wrath of the American people. There are now more ‘private contractors’ (read mercenaries) than there are US military. The war can now be dragged out indefinitely with the help of Blackwater.


    July 11, 2007 at 6:24 pm

  5. Stephen: Well, there’s always people who will cash on opportunities, unfortunately if the situation continues to deteriorate climate wise none of it will matter in the long run. Interesting though.
    QB: I can’t laugh anymore, even at the people who are still talking this way. At least not tonight.
    Fayed: In essence the Sun does not appear to be a forcing factor in global climate change, at least not in regard to the current warming.
    Diane: Actually, the decision to withdrawal may not be made in Washington. We are not all-powerful, and that the more we act like we are, the less powerful we become because we are limiting our own options. Any attempt to privatize the war would make the situation even worse, I don’t think it’s realistically possible. I still fear that if the situation continues to deteriorate Bush will go for broke…and attack Iran. God help us all if he does.


    July 11, 2007 at 8:35 pm

  6. hi,

    I feel it’s about time the Northern Ireland (NI) peace process was shown for what it really was.

    The reason it didn’t turn back to violence with all the problems in getting the supposed dual government up and running, is due to one thing that most people don’t like mentioned. That is 9/11.

    Now you might be asking what 9/11 and Islam terrorism has to do with the NI solution.

    This comes down to where did the IRA get the majority of it’s funding. I think you all know the answer to that, so with 9/11, the american funders felt less comfortable in giving money to there Irish brothers so they could blow up the English. Also having lived through the IRA years, and remembering them. It shows how much bull the war on terror is. Ok there is a different dimension with the Islamist’s with suicide bombers, but…..

    you have my email if you want me to explain more.


    July 12, 2007 at 3:04 am

  7. Very good point, I may email you. I hadn’t made the direct 911 connection but it makes sense and is consistent with what I know. A number of insurgencies/wars have been ended rather quickly when one side or the other was cut off from its source of funding and thus finally had incentive to sit down and work things out. The horrible El Salvador civil war being an excellent example off the top of my head. And a lot of people, including me, think that Israel will finally sit down and settle the issue with the Palestinians the day after the US stops giving Israel blank checks. Thanks for your insight.


    July 12, 2007 at 6:09 am

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