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Thomas Schelling: Nobel Prize winner…and complete wacko

July 20, 2009

I know, by now, I shouldn’t be surprised by the global warming crazies out there. I just can’t seem to ever get my head around the fact that people actually believe this crap.

This morning I read part of a truly loontastic (I’m calling Merriam-Webster about this gem of a made-up-word) interview with Thomas Schelling in The Atantic. In the interview he was asked, in so many words, how we can set our self-interest aside to facilitate action against climate change for the greater good of the world. This is how he concluded his answer:

But I tend to be rather pessimistic. I sometimes wish that we could have, over the next five or ten years, a lot of horrid things happening — you know, like tornadoes in the Midwest and so forth — that would get people very concerned about climate change. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.

So because there are still enough rational people around, who won’t give in to global warming scare tactics, deadly natural disasters should befall them? That’s a lovely sentiment, don’t you think?

But really, that wasn’t the most disturbing thing I read. Instead, it was Schelling’s blatant hypocrisy with regard to unborn life. In answering the same question I mentioned above, he said this:

Well, I think you have to realize that most people have very strong moral feelings. I think in a lot of cases they’re misdirected. I wish moral feelings about a two-month old fetus were attached to hungry children in Africa

He never openly condones or endorses abortion in the interview, but I sense (and I believe correctly) a general disdain for people who believe in the right to life. He also seems to assume that people who have a strong moral inclination regarding abortion don’t generally also transfer such moral feelings to starving children, which is preposterous. Now, compare his statement with this one he made earlier in the interview:

By 2080 or 2100 five-sixths of the population, at least, will be in places like China, India, Indonesia, Africa and so forth. And what I don’t know is whether Americans are really willing to understand that and do anything for the benefit of the unborn Chinese.

So I am to assume that it is ok for me to be concerned about how global warming will affect unborn foreign children, but it is somehow inappropriate to extend concern to unborn children in general who are never even given a chance at life? To be honest, it infuriates me that I can be chastised for believing that life is sacred and shouldn’t be destroyed, but it’s ok for lefty wackos to use a modified ‘right to life’ argument to further their agenda.

I’ve always chuckled when people say that liberalism is a mental disorder, but today, I think it might actually be true.

~T the D

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    July 26, 2009 4:25 pm

    Andrew Sullivan had strong views on abortion until the assassination of Dr Tyler made him think and ask for testimonies.

    You can find them on his blog.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/fs/esearch.php?sort=time&source=sullivan&words=abortion+personnal&btnG.x=39&btnG.y=2

    Do yourself a favor and take the time to read this before posting on that topic again.

  2. T the D permalink
    July 26, 2009 5:37 pm

    Sarah, I was commenting on Thomas Schelling's views, not Andrew Sullivan's. So maybe you should read a bit more carefully next time.

    ~T the D

  3. BEB permalink
    August 25, 2009 11:43 am

    I'm "liberal", pro-choice and I think Thomas Schelling sounds like a total idiot & jackass.

    As far as global warming, only a tiny (yet vocal) minority of respectable scientists think that global warming isn't a real phenomenon or that it isn't exacerbated by human activity.

    "Since 2007, no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion."

    Or do you think the scientists are all part of some big conspiracy to foist the myth of global warming like some of my more loony friends actually believe?

  4. T the D permalink
    August 25, 2009 12:49 pm

    BEB – If you're going to quote something it might behoove you to cite where you took it from.

    ~T the D

  5. BEB permalink
    August 25, 2009 1:01 pm

    Meant to link to that specific quote on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    I know, I know, WP isn't an absolute source of truth.

    But it's true, to the best of my knowledge. If you can find *any* respectable scientific body that dissents on global warming, please fill me in.

  6. T the D permalink
    August 25, 2009 1:16 pm

    You may want to give some serious thought to reading this:

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm#Message5984

    It's a study put together by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

    They have also gathered more than 30,000 signatures from scientists who dispute claims that humans create catastrophic warming of the planet.

    And those are just scientists in the United States.

    30,000 hardly seems like a tiny minority to me.

    ~T the D

  7. BEB permalink
    August 25, 2009 3:06 pm

    That paper is not peer-reviewed, making it highly suspect at best.

    Take a look at the background of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine:

    Sourcewatch: Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

    They mailed this petition out to a huge number of scientists. And it's not even clear the 30,000 they claim to have signed it isn't just an outright fabrication.

    Check this out:

    When questioned in 1998, OISM's Arthur Robinson admitted that only 2,100 signers of the Oregon Petition had identified themselves as physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, or meteorologists, "and of those the greatest number are physicists." This grouping of fields concealed the fact that only a few dozen, at most, of the signatories were drawn from the core disciplines of climate science – such as meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology – and almost none were climate specialists. The names of the signers are available on the OISM's website, but without listing any institutional affiliations or even city of residence, making it very difficult to determine their credentials or even whether they exist at all.

    So: 2,100 scientists who would actually have the credentials to sign this petition. Out of 500,000 PhDs in the USA. Yes, very much a tiny minority.

    Sorry, try again. 🙂

    The OISM seems like a fringe group, run by crackpot conservative Christians. Hardly a scientific body I'd put much validity in.

  8. T the D permalink
    August 25, 2009 3:42 pm

    And what do you have to say about the unreliability of surface temperatures being recorded?

    http://static.cbslocal.com/station/wbz/wbz/2009/may/SurfaceStations.pdf

    They're poorly located, they're not accurate, and they're being used to 'prove' global warming exists.

    A far better method for collecting temperature data is by weather balloon, which takes temperatures in the lower troposphere, not the surface of the planet.

    The fact is, in a 2 decade period, temperatures in the lower troposphere showed little to no warming trends.

    http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd06oct97_1.htm

    If you won't accept a study because you think looney right-wingers are behind it, then what do you have to say about the techniques for collecting temperature data being flawed?

    The very data collected to prove your point is tainted.

    ~T the D

  9. BEB permalink
    August 25, 2009 4:03 pm

    I'll have to take time to read that whitepaper later tonight. If his evidence for tainted data is true, then I'd reconsider.

    But it appears from a quick look into Anthony Watts that he is hardly a bastion of solid science:

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/01/05/anthony-watts-up-with-that-anti-science-denier-website-weblog-awards/

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/01/05/anthony-watts-up-with-that-anti-science-denier-website-weblog-awards/

  10. T the D permalink
    August 25, 2009 4:17 pm

    At any point you are welcome to provide me with solid evidence that global warming is a true and documented trend on our planet.

    So far I've seen nothing.

    ~T the D

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