“Death panel” as fiction

August 22, 2009

Odd observation: Electronic searches of H.R. 3200, ‘”America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” find that the word “death” occurs only twice in the bill, on pages 588 and 596.

On page 588, the reference is to fines to a “skilled nursing facility” for lapses in care that result in the death of a patient. On page 596, again the reference is to a fine to a nursing facility for a lapse in care that results in the death of a patient.

In each case in which the word “death” occurs, the context is a fine for causing death.

The word “mortality” occurs once, on page 620. It occurs in a section that requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to set priorities in national health care quality improvement, and to give priority to ideas that “have the greatest potential to decrease morbidity and mortality in this country, including those that are designed to eliminate harm to patients.”

In the only case in which “mortality” occurs, the context calls for reducing mortality.

Don’t take my word for it. Go search the bill yourself.

Critics appear not to have read the bill.  When writing fiction, sometimes it’s best not to be bound by reality.  However, when one is not bound by reality, one is writing only fiction.


MomsRising Healthcare Truth Squad

August 22, 2009

I get e-mail.  In all the discouraging folderol on the health care debate, it’s nice to know that a few people are carrying the torch for democracy and good republican government like these ladies.

Red caped mothers and others in Baltimore, before the U.S.S. Constellation, campaigning to dispel false rumors about health care reform, on August 19, 2009.  Image from MomsRising.com

Red caped mothers and others in Baltimore, before the U.S.S. Constellation, campaigning to dispel false rumors about health care reform, on August 19, 2009. Image from MomsRising.com

Watch for the ladies in red capes.  Barney Frank won’t ask what planet they spend their time on, I’ll wager.

Note links to more information, or to join in their merriment, in the letter.

Faster than a toddler crawling toward an uncovered electrical outlet and more powerful than a teenager’s social networking skills, moms across the country have been fanning out to dispel the unfounded rumors, misconceptions, and lies about healthcare reform.

MomsRising Healthcare Truth Squad members, dressed in red capes, have been distributing powerful truth flyers across the nation to passersby to educate them about what healthcare reform will really do, and about how it will help to ensure the economic security of families across the country.

“I must admit that I don’t normally wear a cape in public, but it was oddly empowering.  We knew we were having an impact on the larger conversation about healthcare when a news camera starting following us around. I definitely recommend life as a superhero,” say Donna, a cape wearing SuperMom for Healthcare.

*Let’s give our caped myth-busting moms some “online backup” by Truth Tagging friends with healthcare reform myths & facts today–it’s a virtual distribution of the same facts that the MomsRising Healthcare Truth Squad members are handing out in-person:

http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/o/1768/tellafriend.jsp?tell_a_friend_KEY=4728

It’s going to take thousands of super heroines speaking up in order to get the healthcare debate back on track. We can’t all be out on the streets in capes, so please take a moment now to spread the word and bust some myths via email to friends and family by clicking the link above.

Why’s this so important to moms right now? Over 46 million people in our nation don’t have any healthcare coverage at all, including millions of children. Not only are families struggling with getting children the healthcare coverage they need for a healthy start, but 7 out of 10 women are either uninsured, underinsured, or are in significant debt due to healthcare costs. In fact, a leading cause of bankruptcy is healthcare costs — and over 70% of those who do go bankrupt due to healthcare costs had insurance at the start of their illness. Clearly we need to fix our broken healthcare system!

Don’t forget to help put some more truth into the mix of the national dialogue on healthcare reform right now:

http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/o/1768/tellafriend.jsp?tell_a_friend_KEY=4728

Onward!
–Kristin, Joan, Donna, Ashley, Julia, Dionna, Katie, Anita, Sarah, Mary, and the entire MomsRising Team

P.S.  We’ve been hearing so much positive feedback about our caped crusading moms that it might be time to lead a giant march of moms on the National Capitol Mall.  Tell us what you think: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/bust-a-myth-tag-a-friend-with-the-truth-about-healthcare/

P.P.S.  Want to get more involved with the MomsRising Healthcare Truth Squad members? Click here: http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/o/1768/t/9251/signUp.jsp?key=4284

P.P.P.S. When you go to the Truth Squad Tag page, you can also see a video of our MomsRising Healthcare Truth Squad in action wearing capes! http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/o/1768/tellafriend.jsp?tell_a_friend_KEY=4727

Here’s the video:


More evidence of climate change: Arctic methane hydrates evaporating

August 21, 2009

It’s a pretty picture, but it should strike a bit of fear once you know what it is.

New Scientist explains:

Sonar image of methane plumes rising from methane hydrates on the Arctic Ocean floor; image from National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (Britain)

Sonar image of methane plumes rising from methane hydrates on the Arctic Ocean floor; image from National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (Britain)

It’s been predicted for years, and now it’s happening. Deep in the Arctic Ocean, water warmed by climate change is forcing the release of methane from beneath the sea floor.

Over 250 plumes of gas have been discovered bubbling up from the sea floor to the west of the Svalbard archipelago, which lies north of Norway. The bubbles are mostly methane, which is a greenhouse gas much more powerful than carbon dioxide.

The methane is probably coming from reserves of methane hydrate beneath the sea bed. These hydrates, also known as clathrates, are water ice with methane molecules embedded in them.

The methane plumes were discovered by an expedition aboard the research ship James Clark Ross, led by Graham Westbrook of the University of Birmingham and Tim Minshull of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, both in the UK.

Fortunately, the methane is not making it out of the water — yet.  The gases are absorbed before they get to the surface — but that increases ocean acidity.  If, and when, the methane hits the atmosphere, it will contribute to greenhouse warming of the planet.  This could create a runaway heat effect:  Warmer waters cause hydrates to release methane to the atmosphere, which causes the atmosphere to warm more, faster.

Scientists have not dismissed all other possibilities, but methane hydrate melting is the most likely cause:

Cohen cautions that the Arctic methane may not be from hydrate, but could be coming from the methane’s primary source, which might be deep within the Earth.

If that was the case, the warming of the West Spitsbergen current may not be to blame.

He says that the large amounts of methane being released make this unlikely, however: “If the methane is all primary, it would be an unprecedented amount.” So the idea that the hydrates are at least partly to blame is more plausible. “It’s not definitively proven, but it’s certainly reasonable,” he says.


End the hoaxes, part 2a: Great need for health care reform, Flagler County Free Clinic

August 21, 2009

Health care professionals and legislators struggled with the need for reform of health care for the past 40+ years.  Tweaking of specific, small parts produced no great reduction in health care cost inflation.  More millions of people fall out of the pool of people who have access to health care in a timely and affordable way.

And yet people claim not to see the need?

Faith Coleman of Flagler County Free Clinic: Faith Colemans ordeal as an uninsured cancer patient drove her to help others without health insurance. (CNN Image)

Faith Coleman of Flagler County Free Clinic: "Faith Coleman's ordeal as an uninsured cancer patient drove her to help others without health insurance." (CNN Image)

Meet Faith Coleman.  She was a young nurse, delivering health care for many different employers, when she was struck with kidney cancer.  Since she worked part time for so many, no one offered her health insurance as an employee.

Faith Coleman could mortgage her home for the $35,000 to save her life.

Her cancer is in remission.

But she then organized health providers in her town to take care of others in her situation.  Week in and week out, more than a hundred people show up to her essentially free clinic, trying to crawl out of the cracks in the health care delivery floor.  CNN featured the story.

I have been given another chance, and I felt that it was important for me to make a difference and to help other people,” she said.

So after her recovery in 2004, Coleman approached Dr. John Canakaris. The local physician with 60 years of experience had been treating the indigent population for years. Canakaris was eager to reach more patients in need.

The two worked together to establish the Flagler County Free Clinic in Bunnell, Florida, which provides medical care for the uninsured. It has treated more than 6,700 patients.

The clinic opened its doors in February 2005, with eight volunteers treating eight patients. Since then, it has expanded to 120 volunteers who see about 80 patients every other weekend. Coleman said she’s seen an increase in the number of patients at the clinic, which serves people who meet federal poverty guidelines.

Go read the story, look at the videos, and help out where you can.

One sure-fire way you can help:  Stand up for health care reform. We need it now.  In Texas, each person with health care insurance pays $1,800 a year to mend the holes in the safety net — we need to reduce that cost (for my family, that’s $7,200/year).

Stand up for health care reform now, and stand against the hoaxes claiming we have no need, or that expanded programs won’t help.


Pritchett confesses scare tactics, shows lunacy

August 21, 2009

I sent my response to Lou Pritchett[Free Republic folks:  Be sure to read that response to Pritchett.  A typical corporate people-hating hack -- if you think he sympathizes with you, you're more than a few flakes shy of a full box of Ivory] He responded in e-mail:

Since my ‘you scare me’  letter got your shorts in such a knot I hope the following two will increase  the discomfort. Lou Pritchett

PUBLISHED IN FLORIDA TIMES/UNION  NOV. 6, 2008, A FEW DAYS AFTER THE ELECTION

Farewell America–We’ll  really miss you!

Farewell to  the America we have loved for two centuries and hello to a new far-left driven president who promised change and will most likely deliver on it,

Farewell, to an  America  driven by individuals with strong work ethics to one which will resemble French, German, and British societies where big government, big welfare, union controlled labor,  four  day work weeks, ten  week vacations are the rule. Societies which constantly ask  “—where’s mine?”

Farewell to capitalism, job creation, lower taxes, smaller government, fewer entitlements, safer cities, personal responsibility  and sound work ethics.

Farewell to adequate military defense spending to protect us from our enemies who wish and plan  to kill us.

Farewell to  close ties with our  best and  only friend in the middle east—Israel.

Farewell to maintaining a conservative Supreme Court.

Farewell to any chance of keeping Health Care out of the hands and control  of   government.

Farewell to the famous American standard of living–a magnet to the world.

Farewell to conservative ‘talk radio’  as an antidote to the biased media. The Fairness Doctrine will return.

Farewell to any hope for educating our college kids in something other than liberal mush.

Today is truly a sad day for millions of Americans as they slowly  allow the election results to sink in. Today, for the first time in modern history,  America took a giant  step toward changing not only  the direction,  but the entire  character of the country from  free enterprise driven  to  big  government driven.

Our only hope is to start now planning and building a strong conservative base which can  reclaim the Presidency and Congress in four years and start repairing the damage. God help us if we fail.  Lou Pritchett  (www.loupritchett.com)

PUBLISHED IN FLORIDA TIMES/UNION  AUGUST 3, 2009

Take heart America!   In only six months President Obama  has finally awakened the ‘600 pound average American gorilla’  by his  “Ready, Fire, Aim”  approach with the auto industry, the unions, the banks,  Guantanamo, health care, czars, credit cards, and energy. His strategy of deliberately overloading the system with program after program designed to both confuse and deceive the public is right out of the anarchist play book and clearly proves how dangerous he, his administration and his  agenda are.  A universal truth states that the best indication of what a man will do in the future is what a man has done in the past. Given this,  another three and a half years of Obama will be totally disastrous, both financially and morally, for this country. Our only hope is to dump the Congressional clowns and elect adults in 2010 in order to stop the bleeding and then to finish the job by sending Obama back to the thing he does best–community organizing—in Chicago in 2012. Failing this, we fail our children and we fail our country. Lou Pritchett

“Anarchist handbook?”  Well, if Lou Pritchett is reading such things, you can bet it’s not because he wants to know what anarchists might do to him.  He’s looking for tactics.

Some of the things he claims he fears now, a rational patriot might hope for.  Talk radio replaced by fair discussion?  Certainly George Washington would have been encouraged by that.

If Pritchett goes on long enough, he starts making Obama look good.  Sunshine does not favor the pathogens.

Voltaire’s prayer still applies; one worries when so many come up looking so foolish, however.

One wishes Pritchett would go back to lecturing businesses on how to partner with Wal-Mart.  The cynic in him appears to have abandoned all hope in any entrepreneurial spirit left in America.  Too bad.

Can somebody get Pritchett a library card?


Alaska’s salmon go missing. Why?

August 21, 2009

It’s one of those environmental mysteries that would be fun and intrigueing, were it not so worrisome.

Alaska’s King Salmon disappeared from traditional river runs this year.  Again.

From Reuters:  A sockeye salmon scurries through shallow water in the Adams River while preparing to spawn near Chase, British Columbia northeast of Vancouver October 11, 2006.  REUTERS/Andy Clark

From Reuters: "A sockeye salmon scurries through shallow water in the Adams River while preparing to spawn near Chase, British Columbia northeast of Vancouver October 11, 2006. REUTERS/Andy Clark"

Reasons could be one of many, or several:  Changing ocean currents, pollock fishing accidental catches of salmon, plankton blooms, conditions on the rivers, competition from “ranched” salmon.

Consumers may see only the rise in price and a change in labeling in the supermarket.

Effects on employment and food supply in Alaska are huge, and crippling.

Canada fisheries are affected, too.

Climate change probably plays a role, in any scenario anyone poses:

“It’s quite the shocking drop,” said Stan Proboszcz, fisheries biologist at the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. “No one’s exactly sure what happened to these fish.”

Salmon are born in fresh water before migrating to oceans to feed. They return as adults to the same rivers to spawn.

Several theories have been put forward to try to explain the sockeye’s disappearance:

* Climate change may have reduced food supply for salmon in the ocean.

* The commercial fish farms that the young Fraser River salmon pass en route to the ocean may have infected them with sea lice, a marine parasite.

* The rising temperature of the river may have weakened the fish.

The Canadian government doesn’t know what’s killing the fish, but believes the sockeye are dying off in the ocean, not in fresh water, based on healthy out-migrations, said Jeff Grout, regional resource manager of salmon for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

In this case, even a small change in climate can have huge effects on ecosystems and specific populations of animals.  It’s one of those climate change issues that climate change skeptics and denialists prefer not to talk about at all.  If, as they allege, concern over climate change is entirely political, driven by bad information and false claims from over-active environmentalists, these problems should not exist at all.

But the problems do exist.  A fishery that had been stable for 50 years previously, the entire time it was tracked so carefully, suddenly becomes fishless.  Watch those rivers and fisheries.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Pamela Bumsted.

Help save the salmon; tell others:

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Lou Pritchett, you make me fear for my nation – an open letter to a former soap salesman

August 20, 2009

It looks like an internet hoax, but it’s not. It’s worse than that.  It is a triumph of cynicism and pessimism wedded to false claims, crafted to impugn a good man.  Lou Pritchett’s letter is scary because he appears to believe it, and others may, too.

It usually comes with this line:  “Subject:  Letter from Procter & Gamble Exec to Obama.”  It may be entitled “An Open Letter to President Obama.”  It’s a letter filled with rant and inaccurate claims against Obama.  But it demonstrates something troubling.  It’s a letter from a guy who should know better, from a guy who can read newspapers and check facts for himself, but a guy who has been suckered in by every false and calumnous claim made against our President.

In short, it’s a letter from a supreme cynic, who has every reason to know better but appears to refuse to think.

Below the fold, I post the letter completely as it came to me, and I respond, with an Open Letter to Former Soap Salesman Lou Pritchett.

Read the rest of this entry »


Intelligent design in science classes: Two views

August 19, 2009

Texas’s ACLU chapter’s convention on August 1 featured a lively and informative session on intelligent design.  It might seem like it was set up as a debate, but as the video shows, the two views complemented each other surprisingly.

Presenters were Liberty Legal Institute’s Hiram Sasser and Barbara Forrest, a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University, the premier chronicler of the creationism wars in the U.S.

Help others to see:

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Does Idaho exist? Does McDonald’s sell French Fries?

August 19, 2009

Fun discourse on the nature of what we know, and how we know it, at Alaska blog What do I know?

Steve makes his point with solid commentary on the birthers, gay marriage, and health care reform debates.

Why don’t other philosophers — Beckwith, Monton and Dembski come to mind — adopt similarly rational views?

As one born in Idaho, I love the title.  No, you can’t see my birth certificate.  You don’t think Idaho exists?  Where, then, do the McDonald’s French Fries come from?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Dr. Bumsted.

Share this story; who can prove Idaho exists?

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How about another cup of coffee? (Global Warming Conspiracy)

August 18, 2009

Encore post from September 17, 2007 — maybe more appropriate today than ever before.

Found this on my coffee cup today:

The Way I See It #289

So-called “global warming” is just

a secret ploy by wacko tree-

huggers to make America energy

independent, clean our air and

water, improve the fuel efficiency

of our vehicles, kick-start

21st-century industries, and make

our cities safer and more livable.

Don’t let them get away with it!

Chip Giller
Founder of Grist.org, where
environmentally-minded people
gather online.

Starbucks Coffee Cup, The Way I See It #289 (global warming)

Look! Someone found the same cup I found!

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Quote of the Moment: George Washington, “to bigotry, no sanction”

August 17, 2009

August 17, 1790, found U.S. President George Washington traveling the country, in Newport, Rhode Island.

Washington met with “the Hebrew Congregation” (Jewish group), and congregation leader (Rabbi?) Moses Seixas presented Washington with an address extolling Washington’s virtues, and the virtues of the new nation.  Seixas noted past persecutions of Jews, and signalled a hopeful note:

Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free citizens, we now (with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events) behold a government erected by the Majesty of the People–a Government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance, but generously affording to All liberty of conscience and immunities of Citizenship, deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language, equal parts of the great governmental machine.

George Washingtons reply to the Newport, RI, Hebrew congregation, August 17, 1790 - Library of Congress image

George Washington's reply to the Newport, RI, "Hebrew congregation," August 17, 1790 - Library of Congress image

President Washington responded with what may be regarded as his most powerful statement in support of religious freedom in the U.S. — and this was prior to the ratification of the First Amendment:

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily, the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Below the fold, more history of the events and religious freedom, from the Library of Congress.

Read the rest of this entry »


End the hoaxes, part 1: Health care costs cause bankruptcies

August 17, 2009

Health care costs, especially coupled with lack of adequate insurance even for insured people, drove our nation to the brink of economic collapse.

We need health care reform now, to help get our economy back on its feet.

“Unless you’re a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country,” says lead author Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School, in Cambridge, Mass. “If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that’s the major finding in our study.”

Woolhandler and her colleagues surveyed a random sample of 2,314 people who filed for bankruptcy in early 2007, looked at their court records, and then interviewed more than 1,000 of them. Health.com: Expert advice on getting health insurance and affordable care for chronic pain.

They concluded that 62.1 percent of the bankruptcies were medically related because the individuals either had more than $5,000 (or 10 percent of their pretax income) in medical bills, mortgaged their home to pay for medical bills, or lost significant income due to an illness. On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance and $17,749 who had insurance at some point.

Overall, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy had health insurance, they say.

“That was actually the predominant problem in patients in our study — 78 percent of them had health insurance, but many of them were bankrupted anyway because there were gaps in their coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services,” says Woolhandler. “Other people had private insurance but got so sick that they lost their job and lost their insurance.” Health.com: Where the money goes — A breast cancer donation guide.

Personal bankruptcies played a large role in the banking crisis of late last year and early 2009.  Personal bankruptcies played a huge role in the collapse of mortgage securities markets, which prompted the banking crises.

If anything, current proposals do not go far enough in reforming insurance.

“To ignore the fact that medical costs are an underlying problem of the economic meltdown we’ve experienced would be to turn a blind eye to a significant problem that we can solve,” she said [Elizabeth Edwards, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress].

Edwards was joined by Steffie Woolhandler, a co-author of the Harvard study [discussed above] who sharply criticized current reform efforts.

“Private insurance is a defective product that leaves millions of middle-class families vulnerable to financial ruin. Unfortunately, the health reform plan now under consideration in the House would do little to address this grave problem,” Woolhandler said.

Without new legislation along the lines of the Democratic proposals in Congress, our nation faces economic doom.

Phony assertions of “death panels,” phony assertions of “creeping socialism,” phony claims about bad care in England, Canada and France, are all tools that help push our nation to economic failure.

Please do not be hoaxed.

Do a good deed today: Share this information

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Quote query: Where did Boorstin write this?

August 17, 2009

Daniel Boorstin, Librarian of Congress, Information Bulletin January 2003

Daniel Boorstin, Librarian of Congress, Information Bulletin January 2003

According to several sources, Daniel Boorstin, the late historian and former Librarian of Congress, wrote:

I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.

Does anyone know in what book or essay, or speech, he wrote or said that, and when?


Frederick Douglass Book Award nominees (read ‘em!)

August 16, 2009

What to read this year for U.S. history?

Kevin Levin at Civil War Memories notes three worthy candidates for outside reading, for student projects, and other good use (I’ve stolen his whole post — you’d do well to go visit his site and see what else he has):


Out+of+the+House+of+BondageI‘m a little late in posting this, but wanted to point your attention to the three finalists for this year’s Frederick Douglass Book Award that is sponsored by Yale’s Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition.

The finalists are Thavolia Glymph for Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge University Press); Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton and Company); and Jacqueline Jones, “Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf Publishers).  The prize comes with a generous check of $25,000.  I’ve read both Annette Gordon-Reed’s book (a National Book Award winner) and Glymph’s study.  Although the publisher sent me a copy of Saving Savannah, I have not had a chance to look through it.   My money is on Glymph’s Out of the House of Bondage.


New junk science movie: “Not evil, just wrong”

August 16, 2009

I warned you about it earlierCrank science sites across the internet feature news of another cheap hit on Rachel Carson and science in movie form.

“Not Evil, Just Wrong” is slated for release on October 18. This is the film that tried to intrude on the Rachel Carson film earlier this year, but managed to to get booked only at an elementary school in Seattle, Washington — Rachel Carson Elementary, a green school where the kids showed more sense than the film makers by voting to name the school after the famous scientist-author.

The film is both evil and wrong.

Errors just in the trailer:

  1. Claims that Al Gore said sea levels will rise catastrophically, “in the very near future.”  Not in his movie, not in his writings or speeches.  Not true.  That’s a simple misstatement of what Gore said, and Gore had the science right.
  2. ” . . . [I]t wouldn’t be a bad thing for this Earth to warm up.  In fact, ice is the enemy of life.”  “Bad” in this case is a value judgment — global warming isn’t bad if you’re a weed, a zebra mussel, one of the malaria parasites, a pine bark beetle, any other tropical disease, or a sadist.  But significant warming as climatologists, physicists and others project, would be disastrous to agriculture, major cities in many parts of the world, sea coasts, and most people who don’t live in the Taklamakan or Sahara, and much of the life in the ocean.  Annual weather cycles within long-established ranges, is required for life much as we know it.  “No ice” is also an enemy of life.
  3. “They want to raise our taxes.”  No, that’s pure, uncomposted bovine excrement.
  4. “They want to close our factories.”  That’s more effluent from the anus of male bovines.
  5. The trailer notes the usual claim made by Gore opponents that industry cannot exist if it is clean, that industry requires that we poison the planet.  Were that true, we’d have a need to halt industry now, lest we become like the yeast in the beer vat, or the champagne bottle, manufacturing alcohol until the alcohol kills the yeast.  Our experience with Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, the Clean Air Acts and the Clean Water Act is that cleaning the environment produces economic growth, not the other way around.  A city choked in pollution dies.  Los Angeles didn’t suffer when the air got cleaner.  Pittsburgh’s clean air became a way to attract new industries to the city, before the steel industry there collapsed.  Cleaning Lake Erie didn’t hurt industry.  The claim made by the film is fatuous, alarmist, and morally corrupt.

    When the human health, human welfare, and environmental effects which could be expressed in dollar terms were added up for the entire 20-year period, the total benefits of Clean Air Act programs were estimated to range from about $6 trillion to about $50 trillion, with a mean estimate of about $22 trillion. These estimated benefits represent the estimated value Americans place on avoiding the dire air quality conditions and dramatic increases in illness and premature death which would have prevailed without the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act and its associated state and local programs. By comparison, the actual costs of achieving the pollution reductions observed over the 20 year period were $523 billion, a small fraction of the estimated monetary benefits.

  6. “Some of the environmental activists have not come to accept that the human is also part of the environment.”  Fatuous claim.  Environmentalists note that humans uniquely possess the ability to change climate on a global scale, intentionally, for the good or bad; environmentalists choose to advocate for actions that reduce diseases like malaria, cholera and asthma.  We don’t have to sacrifice a million people a year to malaria, in order to be industrial and productive.  We don’t have to kill 700,000 kids with malaria every year just to keep cars.
  7. “They want to go back to the Dark Ages and the Black Plague.”  No, that would be the film makers.  Environmentalists advocate reducing filth and ignorance both.  Ignorance and lack of ability to read, coupled with religious fanaticism, caused the strife known as “the Dark Ages.”  It’s not environmentalists who advocate an end to cheap public schools.
  8. The trailer shows a kid playing in the surf on a beach.  Of course, without the Clean Water Act and other attempts to keep the oceans clean, such play would be impossible.  That we can play again on American beaches is a tribute to the environmental movement, and reason enough to grant credence to claims of smart people like Al Gore and the scientists whose work he promotes.
  9. “I cannot believe that Al Gore has great regard for people, real people.”  So, this is a film promoting the views of crabby, misanthropic anal orifices who don’t know Al Gore at all?  Shame on them.  And, why should anyone want to see such a film?  If I want to see senseless acts of stupidity, I can rent a film by Quentin Tarantino and get some art with the stupidity.  [Update, November 23, 2009: This may be one of the most egregiously false charges of the film.  Gore, you recall, is the guy who put his political career and presidential ambitions on hold indefinitely when his son was seriously injured in an auto-pedestrian accident; Gore was willing to sacrifice all his political capital in order to get his son healed.  My first dealings directly with Gore came on the Organ Transplant bill.  Gore didn't need a transplant, didn't have need for one in his family, and had absolutely nothing to gain from advocacy for the life-saving procedure.  It was opposed by the chairman of his committee, by a majority of members of his own party in both Houses of Congress, by many in the medical establishment, by many in the pharmaceutical industry, and by President Reagan, who didn't drop his threat to veto the bill until he signed it, as I recall.   Gore is a man of deep, human-centered principles.  Saying "I can't believe Al Gore has great regard for real people" only demonstrates the vast ignorance and perhaps crippling animus of the speaker.]

That’s a whopper about every 15 seconds in the trailer — the film itself may make heads spin if it comes close to that pace of error.

Where have we seen this before?  Producers of the film claim as “contributors” some of the people they try to lampoon — people like Ed Begley, Jr., and NASA’s James E. Hansen, people who don’t agree in any way with the hysterical claims of the film, and people who, I wager, would be surprised to be listed as “contributors.”

It’s easy to suppose these producers used the same ambush-the-scientist technique used earlier by the producers of the anti-science, anti-Darwin film “Expelled!

Here, see the hysteria, error and alarmism for yourself:

Ann McElhinney is one of the film’s producers.  Her past work includes other films against protecting environment and films for mining companies.  She appears to be affiliated with junk science purveyors at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an astro-turf organization in Washington, D.C., for whom she flacked earlier this year (video from Desmogblog):

Remember, too, that this film is already known to have gross inaccuracies about Rachel Carson and DDT, stuff that high school kids could get right easily.

Anyone have details on McElhinney and her colleague, Phelim McAlee?

More:

Related posts, at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

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