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As I understand it, the climate modellers are using Newtonian mechanics to simulate a coupled nonlinear chaotic system.

Somebody please tell me this isn't true. Is it that bad?

For background on 'chaotic systems', here

It isn't true Pamela.

This is old news, but for a humorous look at "Environmental Hysteria," take a look at this Penn and Teller video. It's from a show they do called "Bullsh*t!":

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4480559399263937213&q=bullshit

Here's one they did on recycling:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7734998370503499886&q=bullshit

I realize it's Penn and Teller and not a rigid scientific documentary, but they hilariously call a spade a spade and show that -- contrary to what the "experts" are currently claiming -- the "debate" is alive and well, and will be for many years to come. As it should be.

I also realize that the recycling show deals with the US, but I wonder if the same economic dynamics apply in other parts of the world. Many of us suspect that much of the recycling we do is actually more wasteful and harmful than useful (I suspect this every time I *clean* some of my garbage before throwing it away, and every time I get in my car and drive across town to take my "paper" and "glass" garbage to the paper and glass recycling containers -- which is pretty much required where I live, or else the "garbage police" (i.e., your nosey neighbors) will cluck at you).

I haven't been on this blog very long, but I already detect a problem.
If anti-Americanism is wrong, so is pro-Americanism. America is a country, an entity, not an ideology you can be for or against. Critics are right to chastise the lockstep orthodoxy of European anti-Americanism. But I, as a critical American, know that there is plenty wrong with the US, and that it is not being brought out by David and Ray.
America is indeed contributing disproportionately to pollution. And many Americans, including John Kerry (who I campaigned for) are still not getting it right, as when he made his misguided statement that we should drive our big ole SUVs to our little hearts' content.
A mention was made of Karl Popper, and indeed many of the errors brought out by the blog in the German MSM are errors of logic and critical thinking. But so is an exasperated pro/con mentality. We need a little fuzzy logic here.

I haven't been on this blog very long, but I already detect a problem... But I, as a critical American, know that there is plenty wrong with the US, and that it is not being brought out by David and Ray.

I also detect a problem. You have not yet understood what this blog is about.

>> America is a country, an entity, not an ideology you can be for or against.

Of course it is. Although I would call it an idea.

>> John Kerry (who I campaigned for) ...

Please accept my heartfelt disgust.

--America is a country, an entity, not an ideology you can be for or against. --


???????????????????????

Someone needs to delve into USS Clueless' archives about Americans by birth and Americans by heart.

America is an ideology, we are the original rogue nation.

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation...."

It wasn't just physical.

You're in/from Boston, you should know that.

Know all men by these presents

Ah, Jon Kerry. The emission control- less picnic yacht Scaramouch, the 6,000 square foot Beacon Hill town house, the 8,000 sq. ft Nantucket beach mansion, the Colorado ski mansion, the Washington mansion, the Pennsylvania mansion, the large Gulfstream jet…and so forth.

A veritable hero of environmentalism.

What was that old saw about taking only pictures, leaving only footprints? For the little people I suppose.

We also contribute disproportionately to global production. Plus, we're a net carbon sink.

But you have to realize, we're more right that wrong, that's one reason why they don't like us.

My first engineering assignments 55 years ago were the measurement and control of emissions and the increasing the efficiency of operations. My jub was not unusual in the field, it is what engineers do.
When some libarts parveneu "discovers" pollution and immediately starts prescribing, he shows his ignorance of what maks stuff go and grow.

Please accept my heartfelt disgust.

Aw c'mon. That was uncalled for. So she's politically liberal/Kerry supporter. That's a disqualification for what, exactly? She's intelligent, she's civil and she's contributed some good stuff.

But Cynthia I do disagree. This is not a pro-American blog. It's a media bias blog, primarily German media. As so much of the media bias is anti-American the rebuttals you read here will be 'pro' American just by the fact they're rebuttals.

Yes, America is an 'entity', but that is not the sum total. There is an underlying ideology - I use the term quite deliberately - and I would think you would understand that to be - how does one say? - 'self-evident'.

You are right, Pamela. I wanted to express my disgust for Kerry, not for all of his supporters and I didn't want to insult Cynthia personally.

@CB

"If anti-Americanism is wrong, so is pro-Americanism."

Feel free to point out all the pro-Americanism you refer too. Also, I'll let you define "anti-Americanism" as that goal post seems to shift alot.

"America is a country, an entity, not an ideology you can be for or against."

Spend some time reading the thoughts and memoirs of the founders of the US Constitution (Jefferson, Adams and Franklin to name a few). Their ideolgocial ideals are as revolutionary today as they were 232 years ago.

"Critics are right to chastise the lockstep orthodoxy of European anti-Americanism."

Great. I would also chastise, even more so, the lockstep orthodoxy of the American leftists anti-Americanism.

"America is indeed contributing disproportionately to pollution."

How much is disproportionately and how was it measured? Will it stand up to empirical analysis or we simply have to take accept the data on faith?

"We need a little fuzzy logic here."

No. We need clarity, reason and honest debate. The anathema of political discourse, especially democratic party, and any topic that has been politicized.

@CynthiaBoston:

I think your statement is that America isn't an ideology is disingenuous. America, as a nation, was founded on a certain ideology and pursues this ideology. The two are quite closely connected, so therefore it is certainly no problem, if one believes in and supports this ideology, to be for the ideology and therefore favor a country that represents this ideology. So being pro-American isn't wrong in and of itself. I dislike the ideology represented by certain countries in the world that it is OK to kill or oppress minority members of the population because they are the "wrong" or "inferior" sex, religion, whatever. I therefore say that I am against these countries. If they change their ideology, I will change my stance towards them. But taking the side of an "entity" that represents an ideology in a moral or political debate is certainly not improper, as you should be aware, since you said you campaigned for John Kerry, who is also an entity, and not an ideology. Presumably you supported him (i.e. were "pro-Kerry") because he stood for values you also stand for (he represented an ideology/had an ideology you also have). If you want to show that your comment above was correct and America really has no ideology whatsoever behind it (as some said about the esteemed John Kerry), then go ahead, but simply stating that it is wrong to be pro-American isn't going to cut it.

Not that it really matters, since, as Pamela and a few others above pointed out, the point of this blog isn't to be pro-American. Nor does it serve to deny that America has made and does make mistakes. To me it doesn't seem to be David's or Ray's intent to tell people how they should think about America's every policy, or what is right or wrong with it. The basic idea is that people relying on German media get a very skewed, very negative set of information about the US, and they attempt to bring some balance and perspective to the picture. One can hear the argument that, for example, global warming is blown hugely out of proportion and used as a tool to bash an American administration that the German media dislikes, and still come to the conclusion that it would be better if the US did more to reduce CO2 emissions. At the heart of most of the articles/postings is the desire to show the German MSM's reports for what they are: self-serving half-truths, bad caricatures, and stereotypes of America. You can read more into it and say that the media is pushing these misrepresentations for a reason, which might be because of their own ideology. In which case it would be fine for this site to be against that, without necessarily being pro-anything, except maybe pro-evenhandedness or pro-truth. And just as a final word, I disagree with your statement that more fuzzy logic is needed. I look at fuzzy logic as a bad thing, and think there is quite enough of it in the world already.

@Mir
I wanted to express my disgust for Kerry
Oh, well, in that case, sweetie, express away!
:)

'no clever name', very well done, pleased to make your acquaintance.

Well, I damn sure hope America is an ideology, because for me it's the only acceptable one that came around within the last 400 years or so.

I can also see why Mir shot from the hip on that one. It seems there are indeed some people in the US trying to make sure the above point will be a thing of the past. This would not only be bad for those of us Europeans who think about making the trip across the ocean, but in fact for the whole world.
In some ways direct comparisons might be invalid, in many other ways what you see in semi-socialist Europe today is what you would see in "Post Kerry" / "Post Hillary" America. Often when I meet those Americans who kinda "apologize" for Bush and take out their Kerry sticker, I would like to shout into their face "LOOK AROUND YOU. IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK." Sometimes today's Democratic party can frighten me. If someone would ask me "Who shot JFK?" my guess would be Hillary and John, while Jimmy was making the plan (would also fit in nicely with the two shooters theory). ;)

I'm not a scientist so I do not pretend to know the answer, but I think we should note a few things:
Is global warming happening right now? Yes it, is. I think there is not much doubt about that fact.
Now the warming seems to have started around 1850, which is the time when the industrial revolution was in full force and lots of man made CO2 was getting emitted into the atmosphere. CO2 does cause global warming. Ergo...

Wait, not so fast. As we know, climate has been changing WITHOUT any human interference, by similar margins as those proposed today. That may very well be the case today as well. Just because we produce more CO2 doesn't mean that this is the major reason for the warming. Others like solar activity, release of methane etc may be just as important. Maybe dominantly so. In that case we will just have to adapt.

Reduction of CO2 still is a good thing. But let's do it without the hysteria. Let's focus on energy saving, because energy is the pressing issue here. Let's reduce our dependence on Russia and the Middle East.

But lets not cripple the world economy by doing things that probably won't change much (if anything) about our climate.

We can save so much energy without hurting our economy at all. Do you need TV standby? Can't you buy a car that uses 5 litres per 100km instead of 10? Sure you can. And it won't affect your quality of life.

Via Bros. Judd:

Experts question theory on global warming

Anil Anand

New Delhi, February 11, 2007

Believe it or not. There are only about a dozen scientists working on 9,575 glaciers in India under the aegis of the Geological Society of India. Is the available data enough to believe that the glaciers are retreating due to global warming?

Some experts have questioned the alarmists theory on global warming leading to shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers. VK Raina, a leading glaciologist and former ADG of GSI is one among them....

When the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at his finger- Lao Tse

Let's lay off the ad hominem attacks, especially since my short (too short) absence was due to being laid up with a boozillion rhinovirus cooties and not to wounded feelings. You wouldn't want my immune system to further deteriorate, would you? Mir might.

So I don't know what this blog is about? It's called Davids Medienkritik, and with astounding perspicacity I deduce that a German named David wants to critique the media of his country. This has in fact, as of my exposure to the blog a very few months ago, become: "Spiegel Online sucks!" and "Krauts really, really mean to Amis! Poor Amis!".

But:
1) Is anti-Americanism the only problem with the German media?
2) Is only the MSM open to criticism? Technorati tells us that there are a trizillion blogs- some of them have to be good. Again, my razor-sharp mind concludes that many of them stink (present company excepted).
3) So we're focussing on anti-Americanism. The concomitant of anti-Americanism in Europe nowadays is often being soft on Islamism. Have seen nothing about this since I've been on this blog. While laid up, read Melanie Phillips' Londonistan, in which she points out the outrageously biassed nature of the BBC re Israel and Palestine. Why isn't DMK addressing coverage of Muslims and Islam? Fear? And if it is fear, doesn't this also point to shortcomings of "new" media?
4) So I'm a bad ole lefty from Mass. And our hosts are right-leaning admirers of my country. Presumably, in favor of unrestrained markets and free enterprise and the profit motive. So, David und Ray, is not Spiegel Gruppe a free enterprise in a (very strong) market economy driven by the profit motive? Who are you to interfere with their laissez-faire catering to the Germans' appetite for crap? Are you a closet lefty?
5)DMK point out the anti-Americanism of the German MSM not so much by what they (MSM) say but because of their undue emphasis on America and everything negative about it, in a very unsubtle and unnuanced manner. Hasn't DMK become the mirror image of this?
Finally, America is an entity and not an ideology, Constitution and Declaration notwithstanding. These are the ideological underpinnings, not the thing itself. Also, we know within a reasonable margin of error that America is contributing disproportionately to pollution (and China is too). To say that we can't measure this exactly does not preclude such a comparative statement. And (really) finally, fuzzy logic is a real branch of logic that pre-dates Aristotle and has modern applications in things from air conditioning to subway systems. Look it up.

I'm going back to bed now.

Jesus. It's "Col. Klink" or whatever his name was.

"The world" isn't scared of the entity, "the world" is scared of our ideology.

When Europeans say, "you argue like an American," they're not talking entity.

@Sandy P.
About the US being a net CO2 sink - you have read my post refuting that claim, including the sources I gave, haven't you?

Cynthia,

Who are you to interfere with [Der Spiegel´s] laissez-faire catering to the Germans' appetite for crap?

Here´s a quote for you:

Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. ...

Immanuel Kant

The heirs thereof?

Five not insignificant questions above, and no answers.
So I rest my case, new media is perhaps not so new. Biassed blog, censorship (Gunter, guilty of BWG, Blogging While German, and who knows what else), no real dialogue, preaching to the converted.
Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose.

@ Cynthia

Hope you're recovering from your flu. There's an epidemic in Germany right now and so far I've been spared.

I don't know if you have read the blog's "Mission Statement"; I agree with it wholeheartedly. There is definitely an anti-American bias in German media which needs correction. The Mission Statement also makes clear that the bloggers are not in this to incite hatred against Germans.

However, my political views do differ from the bloggers'. I voted for Kerry; it was a vote of protest. I opposed the Iraq War as an ineffective response to Islamist terrrorism. (And it is a disgrace to send U.S. soldiers to Iraq without the resources they need, no matter what one's stand is on the war.)

I call myself pro-American. One of the most perfidious actions of the White House Jacobins is to denigrate Americans like myself as unpatriotic for being against the war. Creating a climate of fear and fraudulence, while cosying up to business interests. That's shameful.

I just hope that when historians get around to documenting the excesses of this administration, they won't devote all their attention to G.W. Bush, but take into account the people behind him, the lesser lights like Feith, the ones who fed false information into the pipeline, the ones who set up Colin Powell at the U.N.

9/11 was as significant a wake-up call as Pearl Harbor. But this war against Islamist terrorism is an entirely different kind of war. It is primarily a war of intelligence--this time, the fox, not the hedgehog, will be the winner. It's a profoundly moral war, a war fought for a moral end--against an unscrupulous, totalitarian, pseudo-religious ideology--and because it is, the war has to be fought by moral means--no renditions, no torture except in truly exceptional situations.

And Americans can't continue to live in denial, driving SUV's and watching re-runs of "24" while the poor and underprivileged, and mercenaries, are sent off to fight their battles. That might even mean reinstating the draft--with no exemptions like the one Cheney made use of.

As for the original subject of this thread, I am pro-environment. The bloggers' point is well taken that the science is subject to manipulation. But the majority expert opinion is that global warming is real and anthropogenic. As a lay person, I compare my own position to a passenger's on a ship: if the majority of the officers on the bridge believe that the ship's heading toward a field of icebergs, with a minority arguing against it, saying that the evidence is insufficient and that changing course would inconvenience passengers and incur costs, then by all means change course, especially if there aren't enough lifeboats.

I wouldn't call myself a lefty, Cynthia. I'd sum up my political philosophy as follows: "Swerve neither to the right nor to the left, and avoid every evil thing." But I just want you to know that you're not quite as alone as you think you are with your views on the war and the environment.

I started reading this blog back in November. I had just read a "Zeit" article by Peter Schneider on alleged American hypocrisy--talk about ad hominem statements. Actually, Schneider is fairly reasonable--some might even, after his statements following 9/11, call him more a friend than an enemy of the U.S. And, compared to nutcases like Peter Zadek, he is. And while it was a prejudiced hack that wrote that article, Schneider's written other things I consider worth reading.

Peter Schneider led me to Google "anti-Americanism and the German press" and I came up with Medienkritik. The bloggers' politics differ from my own in some respects but to my knowledge they're the best bloggers on German media distortion of America. That's why I read this blog and contribute to it. I can't support the bloggers all the way but, call them over-the-top neo-liberals if you will, they're still performing a valuable service not only for Americans but also for Germans.

Thoughtful, well-balanced post, Paul. Didn't have the flu, a mere cold. I came to this blog exactly the way you did, by googling "anti-Americanism and German press" exactly as you did, but in my case, after having met a real live contributor (perhaps ex-contributor by now) to our good friends at Spiegel Online, living, alas, right around the corner from me.

David and Ray are contributing and performing a valuable service to Americans. I'm not so sure where the Germans are concerned. That's why I spoke of preaching to the converted.

I stand by my contention that America is a country and not an ideology. This is not easy to wrap your mind around. Let's try this: Italy and Catholicism are very closely associated, but they are not the same. Same goes for Fascism. Germany and Nazism are very closely asscociated, but not the same (despite Adolf and his 1000-year-Reich). Cuba and Communism ditto, despite Fidel and Socialismo o Muerte!- socialism or death (which one Cuban wag painted over to read Socialismo es Muerte, Socialism is death). I'm harping on this because I think it's essential and at the root of the twin mistakes of anti- and pro-Americanism. And I repeat my assertion that this blog is pro-American.

You also mirror my feeling on Islamism and the war on Islam. That was one of my points to David und Ray, to which they are not responding. perhaps they have the flu.

Finally, dear Franzis. I know Kant quite well, and his theory of the individual's moral autonomy and responsibility. But as I have suggested, DMK is a sort of mirror image of Spiegel (no pun intended), a counter ideology. Autonomy cannot be givne to you either by Spiegel or anti-Spiegel. And that's why, Paul, it's sort of good to be alone. And hard, too.

Finally, lest we forget how bad the American media can be, remember the immortal words of the Eagles: "dirty little secrets, dirty little lies/got our dirty little fingers/in everybodys pie... we all know that crap is king, give 'em dirty laundry.


Cynthia, I think at least part of the answers to the questions you've asked you will find by reading the mission statement. As far as David and Ray not responding, I can assure you, as a long-time reader of this blog, they do not duck any questions or shy away from discussion. Furthermore, the author of the thread, in this case David, monitor their own comment sections. I suppose they do have lives outside of DMK.

As far as question #3 goes, you just haven't been around long enough. Just look through the archives a bit--try, for example, the time period of the Danish cartoon incident or the French riots. There has been also many discussions about this in the comment section.

I think the premise in your 4th question is off. Just because someone supports free markets and enterprise, doesn't mean anything goes and that there are no morals involved. If an action is wrong...it's wrong, and should be criticized. This topic has also been discussed here in the past.

Finally, America is an entity and not an ideology, Constitution and Declaration notwithstanding. These are the ideological underpinnings, not the thing itself.

Without the underpinnings does the entity exist? Perhaps they are one.

Also, we know within a reasonable margin of error that America is contributing disproportionately to pollution (and China is too).

I suppose that depends on what you're using as a benchmark...per capita, industry, economy... Furthermore, what is the trend?

James W.:

Mission, schmission. We're not talking Albert Schweitzer at Lambarene', here. Is the "mission" a closed, static, non-evolving thing? Have our hosts donned pilots' jackets, landed on the USS Clueless, and proclaimed "Mission accomplished?".
I think I'm being ducked.
As for question 3, it would have been very, very hard to ignore the Danish 'toons (the Boston Globe tried). But over a period of a few months I have yet to see much about Muslim appeasement and the related distortions in the media. Instead, over the same time period, my eyes have been opened by two books (published in the US, tellingly): Bawer's While Europe slept and Phillips' Londonistan. Some examples of revolting acts of ass-kissing. Bawer: Muslim students have refused to draw right angles in geometry class because a right angle can be seen as half a cross. Phillips: British banks have withdrawn piggy banks because the little pseudo-porkers might offend Muslims; Muslims have been granted specially-designed public housing with toilets that don't face Mecca (a sort of demented, religious fanatic, state-subsidized feng shui). And all this co-exists with American and Israeli flags being burned, trampled, waved about with swastikas on them. Bush being called Hitler, and everything associated with America systematically trashed.
"Without the underpinnings does the entity exist? Perhaps they are one." I don't think so. This is very, very complicated. Even the question of personal identity is mysterious. Here's something from one of my favorite writers, George Orwell: "What do I have in common with that boy whose picture is on my mother's mantel? Nothing, except that I happen to be the same person". If personal identity is hard, imagine the identity of a country with 300+ million.
I can assure you that in all my (Internet) life I have NEver written such long posts. A certain Teutonic heaviness is creeping upon me. Before I turn into Hegel, I'm logging off.

Is the "mission" a closed, static, non-evolving thing?

You're starting to sound like Stephen Breyer and others who claim, "the Constitution is a living, breathing document..." Even if the mission statement would evolve, it may not evolve into what you want it to.

I think I'm being ducked.

I don't believe it. I would be surprised. I've seen David and Ray take on much more. I'm sure there is an explanation. You can also email them. I do know this, recently David and Ray divided the task of monitoring the comments section because of their full schedules.

More about #3:
Cynthia, I just gave you a few obvious examples...the list was, by far, not all inclusive. There are others like Burger King withdrawing its ice cream cones because the lid supposedly resembled some Arabic inscription for Allah. Look, if you scroll down the right column until you reach categories, I think you will find much of what you're looking for...to include: Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, Al Jazeera, Guantanamo, Haditha, Hamas, Islam, Irak, Iran, Israel, etc.... I find it great that you've had your eyes opened to the true threat of radical Islam--welcome to the crowd here at DMKO. There are many books that you won't find in German book stores...especially, if it's something positive about Bush or the US, or anything that might show that the WOT is a worthy cause (people might be encouraged to believe that Bush is right). But, you can buy the entire Michael Moore collection (thank you Amazon). Again, this is a topic that has been discussed many times in the past.

I guess we'll have to disagree about America being an ideology, an idea if you will. As an American living outside of the country for almost 20 years perhaps lends me a different perspective. Maybe, it's less about, or not only about, the individual and more, or as much, about the entire package.

On to more recent threads...

Cynthia. I jumped into this because it is not just about success, it is about values too. Fearful and superstitious peoples end up low and stupid.

Der Spiegel sells more copies on the streets than to subscribers, what makes it a tabloid. Adjust your expectations.

Do you fear David Kaspar is caught in a script of reinforcing victim mentality by playing the David in perpetual revolt against the media Goliaths of this country?

I think I´m beginning to understand your concern, I will pick this up on the Kurt Volker speech thread.

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In which country?

India, as the website suggests, or the U.S.A., as a websearch for the name of the act suggests?

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