Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lesser Evil?

I've been slogging away at the hotel and trying to line up a paralegal job. But through the haze some new, dumb arguments of the center-right have oozed through.

"There's no debate about man-made global warming. It's real. The question is, to what extent it happens. And we can do something to lessen it. That's the science."

"People want a balance, they don't want hardline ideology anymore."

"For right now the public wants entitlements in place. We can adjust/correct/reverse them after we win the election. Then we can make the case to the American people as to what needs to be done in the long-term."


Anthropomorphic Global Warming was dropped on us as a whole theory, that is, that human pollution was creating a greenhouse atmosphere, and that we could physically observe it to be happening. Now that's fairly universally exploded, proponents are reduced to arguing that a possible statistical correlation makes up for the total lack of observable physical phenomena.

I always wondered why, if human pollution caused greenhouse effects, why there wasn't belts of heat matching the belts of smog. Smog certainly has areas of intense density and sparsity--you see lots of smog over Mexico City, and you don't see much smog over the central Atlantic. The bulk of pollution in Africa, for instance, is centered on the capital cities-- Third World countries generally see the bulk of the population explosion centered around colonial trade centers, and not in the bush. But there isn't a band or belt of higher temperatures. The argument was that at some level, a model predicted a uniform raising of global temperatures. Well, the atmosphere doesn't work that way. Look at Pinatubo. Look at Chernobyl. Look at the smog in Mexico City.

Statistical models have been telling us for nearly a century that Americans have 2.3 or 2.1 kids. That fraction of a child exists only in the statistical model--and in silly jokes--but when it comes to AGW we're suddenly told that a statistical fluke is very real, and it's meteorology that's flawed for not finding it in the real world. Nuts. The map is not the territory.

If there's no physical process that produces AGW, then statistical models that say it must be out there, are just wrong. And we don't need to form national consensus around phlogiston.

"People want a balance, they don't want hardline ideology anymore."

This is sadly a growing hardline ideology on the Republican side. The Democratic party isn't losing voters to the new moderation--it's growing its rank and file. What the center-right doesn't get, is that I can be a Not-Democrat by calling myself an Independent, and I don't have to try to excuse any Republican to family and friends. That's where the GOP is stuck--a majority of Americans don't like Democrats, but they won't rally behind Republicrats who will do what the Democrats do, only sloppily and haphazardly. There seems to be only one medicine for this malaise, and it is constant defeat of people who plan on losing the argument.

AGW, entitlements, earmarks...proven failures, open wounds...

The center-right, in forging a "New" party, propounds two basic axioms:

1. Republicans can't shape public opinion, they can only react to it. (the "demographics timebomb" crowd is especially adamant on this one.)

2. Let's just win, and then worry about policy. Entitlements will bankrupt us, but let's just win. AGW isn't real, but let's just win.

A political machine that will do the wrong thing, to wield power, is capable of any excess. There's nothing a Socialist Democrat would do out of sincere zeal that a New Republican would not do out of calculated greed.

And that being true, who's really the "lesser evil"?