Monday, December 19, 2011

And now for some eugoogoolizing about the planet ...

Here's a sampling of Bob Carter's careful, scientific vocabulary, on view in Warming denialism is in the political eye of the beholder, at your ABC.

Well it better be yours, because there's bugger all chance it belongs to the pond.

Skeleton building, flimsy straw of special pleading arguments casuistically set up for later routing, army of straw climate men, wearisome catalogue of hypothetical disasters, uncomfortable feeling, imaginary woes, the infamous Al Gore, mind-numbing list of scares, old and discredited, recalcitrance about warming alarmism, post-modern science, suffocatingly strong paradigm of political correctness, make-believe world, if you tickle me any more I shall explode, just like reading a Robert Ludlum (or should that be Michael Crichton) novel, deadly dull repetition that is the time-honoured basis of successful propaganda, peroration, depart even further from reality, warming alarmism, assassinated the characters of hundreds of highly qualified and meritorious scientists, all-too-real climate elephant, rusted-on alarmist Bjorn Lomborg, global warming meme ...

And so on and so forth, as rhetorical and political and ideological and full of zealotry as anything his chosen enemy Robert Manne might muster.

Naturally Carter generated a lot of hits - well over six hundred at time of writing - and as a corollary it can be said that the Murdochisation of the ABC, courtesy The Drum, under Mark Scott and the Drum's editor, Jonathan Green, is now almost complete ...

Don't publish insights, just publish the controversy and enjoy the bounty of trolling and flame wars.

Meanwhile, if you want reporting of scientists in the field, making observations, rather than rhetorical flourishes worthy of a Lord Monckton, you could always head off to stories like As Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks.

It seems interesting things are happening to the permafrost, but will the permafrost predictability of Bob Carter's writing ever thaw enough to take note of them?

The funniest thing is that Carter exudes rhetorical certainty, of the kind he finds most irritating in Manne and Gore and others. The end result is a bit like watching a Protestant and a Catholic having a theological debate. Well I suppose it's a kind of science ...

Of course Carter might well be right, and the wisest course might be to do nothing. Just crank the population of the planet up to ten billion, and maintain the looting and the pillaging at the highest material level possible to ensure everyone has access to a McMansion ...

Talking of risk management, remind me not to replace the battery in the fire alarm ... it'll produce a pleasant silence, as well as getting the pond out of earshot of Carter's outraged screeching ...

I suppose this is The Drum's solution to any future energy crisis. Generate plenty of heat, and don't worry too much about the light being a little dim ...

Meanwhile, it seems everyone has an anecdote about Christopher Hitchens - the pond has none - and everyone has an anecdote about Kim Jong-il - the pond has none - and would providing yet another link to various scenes from Team America constitute formidable journalism?

It seems so, at least on your ABC.

As for Hitchens, in his usual way the reprehensible Bob Ellis spends most of the time rabbiting on about Ellis's previous inspirational thoughts in Mr Valiant-For-Truth, gone too soon.

Yep, it's the lead feature in the opinionated opinion part of The Drum, and another example of your ABC - not the pond's - at work. Not that we encourage the art of tweeting, but this one hit a mark:

Zoolander? Well in his finer moments, Zoolander was responsible for deep insights, like:

Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty ...

And just so you don't get upset about the spelling:

Derek Zoolander: Or are you here to tell me what a bad eugoogoolizer I am?
Matilda: A what?
Derek Zooland: A eugoogoolizer ... one who speaks at funerals.
(Matilda looks at Derek, confused)
Derek Zoolander: Or did you think I was too stupid to know what a eugoogooly was?

Meanwhile, in a special edition, John Donne penned this poem for the antipodes:

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Australia
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Read it several times before you head off to read the likes of Gerard Henderson, prattling on in his usual Polonius way in Asylum seeker tragedy: why the figures speak for themselves.

As usual, there's a wondrous capacity for historical revisionism and John Howard worship, which perhaps reaches its peak in this little par:

Initially the Howard government's approach was too harsh. Towards the end of his period in office, Howard relaxed the administration of mandatory detention, while maintaining a red flag warning to people smugglers.

No doubt when thinking as a child, and issuing warnings to children, it's tremendously useful to blather about red, green and amber flags (what, no traffic lights?)

And if you have a tendency to nausea, you might do well to avoid David Penberthy's hand-wringing in Killed with kindness: onshore processing is a deadly policy.

The level of delusional hysteria mounted in the Australian media in relation to boat people is roughly proportional to the hysteria to be found in the United States in relation to Hispanics flooding into the Mexican border states, and over-turning all that's good and pure and true about white America.

It is possible to discover some more considered thoughts on the matter, as with Dilan Thampapillai's What if we can't stop the boats?

The notion that in a time of upheaval, regional wars, regional tensions and sundry tyrannies, people might still keep coming to Australia, whether by boat or plane, or to Europe, or to the United States, never really seems to be considered by those with a set of ideological fixations.

It's always nice to read someone able to carry a logical argument beyond the political boundaries. Take it away Dilan:

Professor Bob Birrell has suggested that we should withdraw from the Refugee Convention. Regrettably, his aptitude for demographics does not extend to the law. In its substance, Birrell's suggestion is a bit like saying 'crime is still happening so let's abolish the Criminal Code'.

And this:

Criminalising unauthorised arrivals is not a feasible option. Australia is a country committed to the rule of law. The rule of law has at its heart a commitment to substantive justice. There is a big difference between the rule of law and rule by law. This should be obvious, but any solution to the asylum seeker problem should not destroy the moral fabric of Australia or its legal system.

And this:

This brings us to the other solution that tends to get floated in conservative circles; towing back the boats. There is one obvious drawback to towing back the boats, should the boats sink and should anybody drown, then the Australian officials who ordered and carried out the towing might face criminal liability under international law.

And this:

If we do tow boats, and if when they begin to sink, Australian officials take the asylum seekers on board their vessel, then they will officially be in the custody of the Australian Government. That is, unless we excise our own navy and coastguard services from the Migration Act. I am not sure if there is precedent for this option. This brings us back to square one.

And this:

Now if the boats keep coming why don't we just admit that we cannot stop them. We can merely slow their progress. Perhaps that isn't catchy as an election slogan, but at least it's true.

Oh wait, it was a piece in The Drum, thereby doing serious damage to the pond's ABC thesis.

Yes, one out of three ain't so bad ... but we could have done without Bob Carter eugoogoolizing warming alarmism ...

(Below: because Australians don't get out much, no one seems to know what happens down Mexico way, or in Europe, so here's an alternative perspective, the first two with similar themes - the second cartoon reads "We have a problem: in order to built an anti-immigrant wall, we need to hire a thousand illegals".)

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