Political Climate
Oct 13, 2007
The Future Is Not What It Used To Be

By Quentin Hardy, Forbes

Last July I was privileged to be in Aspen, Colo., where 10,000-square-foot luxury log cabins aspire to the soaring Rockies, billionaires tool Priuses to private jets and the world’s powerful gather for cold salmon and big truths. And they were feeling bad.

About 20 of us--including venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and Washington strategists--were asked to imagine the year 2050. With few exceptions, our predictions were a grim amplification of all of today’s worst headlines: global warming, famine, unending terrorism. Not much different, I’d guess, from what gets forecast at most salons and dinner parties when the talk turns this way: The future as a Mad Max movie, only without the style and thrills.

What’s going on here? We were, by almost any measure of space or time, a group others would kill to become--affluent Americans in 2007. We are longer-lived and with access to more knowledge and experiences than any king or pope who has come before, nevermind the lives of the countless billions whose ordinary tragedies are collectively called “history.” This much luck should make us hug ourselves with delight.

Having slipped catastrophes like the 1914-1945 worldwide conflicts (with 100 million dead), or the nuclear threat of the 44 cold years that followed, there are also reasonable grounds to believe we can work out our problems. The daily advances in science and technology lend hope that on balance things can be even better. Except that we do not feel that way.

The alarming news of the present, raised to a level of continual urgency, has taught us to think of the future in terms of continual catastrophe. It affects some more than others--my friends in Aspen are very well-informed people. In my newsroom days...you read a lot of the stories, and maybe your heart broke enough to scar over, but you gained the perspective to resume some kind of normality. Experience taught that our close world of work and loved ones continued on pretty well. Perhaps we can learn to do that again in our thoughts about the future of the planet. I suspect that it will be harder to gain the necessary experience, though. You only get to play out the next 50 years once. Read more here.

Oct 12, 2007
Producers of Gore’s Film Asked to Return Oscars

By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

As media in America fall all over themselves with glee at the thought of the Global Warmingist-in-Chief winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Wednesday’s findings by a British judge that Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” contained nine material falsehoods has prompted a request to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to strip the movie’s producers of the Oscars they received in February for “Best Documentary.” How delicious.

As reported by The West Australian Friday: A conservative think-tank in New Zealand has written to the president of the America’s Academy Awards asking that the Oscar awarded to the director of an Inconvenient Truth be taken back. Former New Zealand MP Dr Muriel Newman, director of web-based think-tank the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, said she had taken the measure in response to a British High Court ruling Thursday.

“With the release of the British High Court judgement overnight that found that ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was littered with nine inconvenient untruths, it is clear that Al Gore embellished the truth to create dramatic effect (see story). Given that the Oscar Award was presented in the documentary category and not the drama category, the only appropriate action now is for the Academy to rescind the Award as it was clearly inappropriately classed as a documentary.

“The truth, as inconvenient as it is to Al Gore, is that his so-called documentary contained critical distortions that are quite contrary to the principles of good documentary journalism. Good documentaries should be factually correct. Clearly this documentary is not."This situation is not unlike that confronting sports bodies, when their sports “stars” are found to be drug cheats. In such cases, the sportsmen and women are stripped of their medals and titles, with the next-place getter elevated. While this is an extremely unpleasant duty, it is necessary if the integrity of competitive sport is to be protected. “Just this week Olympic gold medal winner Marion Jones has been stripped of her titles and medals.  “If the integrity of the Academy Awards is to remain intact, is wholly appropriate that Al Gore be stripped of his ‘Best Documentary’ film Oscar.  Read more here.

Oct 11, 2007
It Is Still “the Economy Stupid”

By Michael J. Economides and Joe D’Aleo

The biggest effect of man-made global warming is that it brought to the mainstream what used to be considered as radical ideological dribble. Time did it first and then, not to be outdone, Newsweek upped the ante in a cover story that was one of the vilest, most venomous pieces of propaganda masquerading as journalism. Deniers were denigrated to, at least ogres or worse, oil-company stooges.

“It’s the economy stupid” is what made us support Bill Clinton because he proved to be a pragmatist Democrat. That’s great when a socially liberal man realizes that a strong economy is essentially to the solution of most social problems.

What is rarely mentioned in the recent arguments is that the facts simply do not matter. If those that have taken sides were honest they would admit it readily. World jealousy and envy of the biggest culprit, but also the most successful nation of the era is not even disguised. The trouble is that these sentiments have been repeated recently often by many Americans and the press. Is the America-hating American back in vogue?

Thus, whether global warming is happening or not (a heated debate and clearly not the much ballyhooed “scientific consensus”) or whether it is anthropogenic, a preposterous argument in our view (and we have made calculations) are not really the issue. It does not matter whether Gore’s statement in his documentary that “nine of the ten warmest years were in the last decade” has been repudiated with nary a whimper from the already convinced press. Nor does it matter that a very large number of thermometers measuring the trumpeted warming are badly and prejudicially positioned.

It should not surprise people that the global warming ideology that portrays America as materialistic, a hog of world resources is exactly the rallying cry of Osama Bin Laden.

We should not be apologetic for our lifestyle, the fact we enjoy the highest standard of living, something we earned. Should we be ashamed that Americans have the highest per capita productivity in the world?

We are sure nothing of consequence will happen. The economy, ever resilient, will debunk alarmism and will eventually zero in on the right solution. It’s just the noise, stupid.  Read full essay here.

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