Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A "tech" company offering environmental advice?

I first heard of Steven Milloy (Tech Central Station) through Front Page Magazine's environmental archives section. I tired of the one-sided environmental extremists expositions, and my general cynicism towards politics (and environmental bias) kept asking telling me to look elsewhere. More importantly to me, it doesn't follow a common sense flow. Granted there are environmental organizations with motives, but hiring a "tech" company to give out valid projections on the environment is odd to say the least. Because tech company's usually concentrate on, well, technology. I understand the need for some development, but this breaks the common sense law that the environment need not some form of environmentalism to protect the environment. I would assume the last thing Nat'l Park protection needs is human interference of any kind. But simply to leave it alone and let nature run its course. A columnist once said the environment needs technology to better protect it. That may well be true given technology breeds the need for more technology, and once poverty is removed from the globe, so to will the need to mistreat the Earth for human survival. However, this certainly isn't a sacrosanct postion, and I for one am a 'back to basics' kinda person. When administrations tell the new media we need to remove trees from Nat'l Forests to prevent further fires, I know this isn't factual. Not because I knew the exact details that trees have fire protections naturally built in them in the form of thick barks, but because my generally applied understanding of life is a naturalist look. Therefore, human-induced (for a lack of a better word) removal of trees makes fires more prone because the Earth (and the Universe) was already created in a perfect state before humanity conquered it. Trees have built in survival mechanisms just like humans to disease.

Anyhow, after my ramblings what I'm trying to say is I don't disagree with all of Steven Milloy's assertions because he does have some fine points. But the Middle Ear will not tolerate those who discredit science and the environment for the sake of political gain. And it isn't as important to me to read every word of his as it is to know his final position will always be anti-environmental.

Crooked Timber
But worst of all is when think tanks deliberately propagate inaccuracies, misinformation and downright lies in order to muddy policy debates, and create the appearance of doubt where there isn’t real grounds for it, not only engaging in suppressio veri but suggestio falsi. It’s this that Mooney identifies as having happened thanks to Exxon’s funding of global warming ‘skeptics.’ There are grounds for debating the appropriate policy response to human-caused global warming, but not for debating whether it’s a real phenomenon. Exxon’s funding of think tanks and astroturf groups has had the (presumably intended) effect of creating an appearance of debate, through whistling an opposition into existence out of thin air. However, there isn’t any serious scientific debate about whether human-caused global warming exists and is important – quite simply, these organizations are being funded by Exxon to cloud the public debate, and block political action. Not to further the real debate, but to prevent it from starting.

Jim Norton's Correcting Myths from Steven Milloy
Environmental Defense: Guess Who's Funding the Global Warming Doubt Shops?
ExxonMobil's $8 million in donations

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