March 25th, 2009

The Vindication of Time

photo credit: loquenoves

For years, those predicting the mess we’re currently in have been labeled as “doom and gloomers,” seen by the placated proles as negative worriers that are disconnected from reality. This label has, of course, been used throughout the ages, most notably applied to prophets calling people to repentance and boldly pointing out the sins of the people. Warnings of future calamity are not nearly as endearing as present platitudes of praise, and thus those painting a picture of long-term catastrophe are shunned and reviled.

Such myopia, however, fails to realize that time vindicates the prophets. While their long-term projections may be unfathomable or painful in the short-term, the progression of time and unfolding of events nevertheless shows that they were right all along. Whether one’s source of information is God or a common sense understanding of the cyclical nature of history and the inevitable consequences of our current actions is inconsequential. Any person’s implausible prediction that ultimately comes true was likely a point of mockery among many when first suggested, and in the resulting development of events, that person and his prediction become vindicated.

It’s important to note here that contrary to popular belief, hindsight is not always 20/20. Any historical event is rife with numerous interpretations and assertions of motive, indicating that there is rarely any general consensus on any given issue. While predicting future events is an understandably difficult task to reliably achieve, one would think that understanding past events would not be so problematic.

But problematic it is, for those who criticized prophetic proclamations in previous years rarely, if ever, admit their fault when proven wrong. Rather, hearts are hardened and minds are blinded to that point that the individual refuses to see what is eventually plainly visible. Miracles are written off as mere coincidence, and mistakes are justified with excuses and shifted blame. Truth presented in plain and simple terms is intentionally disregarded and disbelieved, as the person would rather not admit their fault. But truth need not be popular and generally accepted to be correct:

The holy prophets have not only refused to follow erroneous human trends, but have pointed out these errors. No wonder the response to the prophets has not always been one of indifference. So often the prophets have been rejected because they first rejected the wrong ways of their own society. …

Prophets have a way of jarring the carnal mind. Too often the holy prophets are wrongly perceived as harsh and as anxious to make a record in order to say, “I told you so.” Those prophets I have known are the most loving of men. It is because of their love and integrity that they cannot modify the Lord’s message merely to make people feel comfortable. They are too kind to be so cruel. I am so grateful that prophets do not crave popularity. (Spencer W. Kimball, via Quoty)

The vindication of truth that time manifests does not necessarily mean that it will be all-convincing and easily understood. That people today can claim to believe that the Holocaust did not occur, for example, is a simple (though disturbing) proof of this fact. But for those paying attention to unfolding events who have faith in a certain predicted outcome, the confirmation of that faith is a validation that the path they are pursuing is the correct one. Having a 20/20 hindsight and correctly understanding past events is crucial if we are to recognize authoritative voices among the current cacophony of opposing opinions and chart a correct course for our future.

41 Responses to “The Vindication of Time”

  1. rmwarnick
    March 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    For years, I’ve been saying the economy was in bad shape because wages were flat, debt and poverty were rising, and more and more people were losing their health insurance. I said the housing bubble would collapse like every other bubble in history. I was worried about the consequences of deregulation ever since Enron. But the right-wingers told me everything was fine, and I was suffering from “Bush derangement syndrome.”

    Now the right-wingers say the collapse of the economy was the fault of the Democrats!

  2. Connor
    March 25, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    The left/right thing gets so tiresome. Who are right-wingers? Am I? I’ve never claimed that it’s the Democrats’ fault. Both parties are so riddled with corruption that focusing on one party’s faults only allows the other to advance its own.

    It’s just yet another example of misunderstanding history and the influencing factors that led to where we are at. We didn’t get here because of a lack of regulation, flag wages, and poverty. We got here because of easy money, enabled by the Federal Reserve and fractional-reserve banking. Without these two things, the booms and busts would be far more moderate and more easily overcome. The things you describe are the symptoms, not the root cause.

  3. Clumpy
    March 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    I think this might be a different debate :).

  4. Reach Upward
    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Prophetic utterances are not always very clear.

    Sometimes yes: get a year’s supply of food, clothing, and where feasible fuel. That’s pretty easy to understand. Not necessarily easy to do, but easy to understand. The clarification that this command does not imply impending cataclysm, but means that we will be better off regardless of whether the future holds good or bad times is also quite easy to understand.

    Sometimes no: Read through Isaiah, for example. The scriptures tell us that those that are in tune with the Spirit will understand the words of the prophets. While that is true, even the LDS Bible Dictionary admits that understanding Isaiah is a challenge.

    Some modern prophecies have also been less than clear. Some of them to the point that a number of events over the years could be ascribed to be fulfillments of the prophecies.

    While the scriptures call non-believers to repentance, I feel empathy for them when they don’t see prophecies fulfilled in the way that believers do. However, I also think that believers sometimes err in their understanding as well.

    Understanding and applying prophetic statements sometimes takes a great deal of personal effort. All are invited to this work. But it is no easy task.

  5. Josh Williams
    March 25, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Such myopia, however, fails to realize that time vindicates the prophets.

    However, if time is the test of a prophet, then “prophesy” has no value, being indistinguishable from any other statement made in the present.

    It’s important to note here that contrary to popular belief, hindsight is not always 20/20. Any historical event is rife with numerous interpretations and assertions of motive, indicating that there is rarely any general consensus on any given issue.

    But, doesn’t this statement necessarily exclude your previous statement about time vindicating prophets?

    I’m glad that you’re familiar with hindsight bias, but because of another, particularly nasty cognitive bias, the “bias blind spot”, it’s impossible to compensate for one’s own hindsight bias. This is one of the reasons why I treat claims of prophesy with the most cautious of skepticism. The burden of proof is just so huge.

    But already, you and I have given two good arguments about time and history not being a good test of prophesy.

    But if not, then how? How can we have any faith in prophetic claims, if we have no means of establishing predictive power?

    This is why the scientific concepts of “accuracy and repeatability” are so central, against extraordinary claims of prophesy. I won’t lecture you on these concepts. In my my experience, many who are said to be prophets can pass either test, accuracy or repeatability, but none can pass both.

    While I feel that, in general, scientific and religious thinking are not at odds with each other, the subject of prophesy is one area where they MUST be.

    Predicting wars, natural disasters, and the downfall of governments is easy. That’s pretty much what happens to all governments. Such a claim is highly repeatable, and highly repetitious. This is the reason why horoscopes are superficially convincing, due to the repeatability of their claims. (If you don’t bother asking “how?” and “how much?”)

  6. Josh Williams
    March 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    But problematic it is, for those who criticized prophetic proclamations in previous years rarely, if ever, admit their fault when proven wrong.

    This is a vacuous accusation. The same is true of those who believe in a claimed prophet, when faced with compelling evidence of his/her innacuracy. This only shows that people are reluctant to change their views.

  7. Kelly W.
    March 25, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    Connor, that was a thought-provoking post. What you wrote is true. Even after vindication, the nay-sayers won’t admit they were wrong. Reminds me of when I proclaimed, way before we ever even started bombing Baghdad in the Shock and Awe display of our bombs, that WE WOULD NEVER FIND ANY WMD IN IRAQ because they didn’t exist! The U. S. mainstream media parroted Cheney’s claims that Saddam had the world’s worst weapons ready to use them against us, but the German media was proclaiming just the opposite. The German media wasn’t spouting rhetoric and fear like we were, but were citing sources and proofs that there were no WMD in Iraq. I proclaimed that Cheney and Bush would be proven wrong, and I was certainly vindicated. But even to this day, after all recognized media sources now claim that I was correct, people still think I am an unpatriotic rebel, even though I was correct and they were wrong! Just goes to show you they still can’t handle the truth.

  8. Kelly W.
    March 25, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Connor points out the “Holocaust deniers.” Supposedly a Holocaust denier claims the Holocaust did not happen????? Connor, have you actually studied this out? We have simply and ignorantly labeled them Holocaust deniers and have wrongly accused them of claiming they believe the Holocaust never occured.

    My study has shown this to be wrong. Those people we label Holocaust deniers are not actually claiming it never happened, they claim instead that it did not happen exactly the way our US media claimed it to have happened.

    As we all know, in war, Truth is the first casualty. This is apparently true to some degree in how the Holocaust was reported to us and how we perceive it to have happened. The Holocaust “deniers” have some very good points and sources and facts to support their research into the actual facts of the Holocaust. They don’t dispute it actually happened, they only dispute the exaggerated figures and facts we have come to believe today.

    There is a very good comparison happening right now in front of our very eyes. Iraq War supporters claim that only a few thousand Iraqis have been innocently killed by the war, while Iraq War protesters claim up to 1.5 million Iraqis have been killed. Niether side actually denies that innocent deaths are happening, but there is some very reasonable dispute over which side is most correct.

    A person we incorrectly label as a Holocaust denier is simply questioning some of the exaggerated claims of the accepted line of beliefs, not whether any of it happened at all or not.

  9. Dima
    March 25, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    Kelly–you quote “Holocaust deniers” but Connor actually didn’t use that phrase. He wrote “people today can claim to believe that the Holocaust did not occur”.

    I see what you are saying and it is an interesting point–but while you are right that many that fall under the label “Holocaust denier” might just be disputing the details, Connor specifically identified those that deny that it happened at all. Certainly people like that exist too.

    Once again, hindsight really isn’t 20/20. There is a bias to ANY written history whether intended or not. Its funny when people call a specific news network “biased”. Of course it is. What a network chooses to report (or not report), the words they use to describe something, the timing of a particular report–all of these things show a bias no matter who is reporting it or what their agenda may be. The best we can do is study a variety of sources.

    So as I see it, it is all really a search for the truth–whether studying history or watching the news. And as Connor has explained–understanding the past is crucial to knowing the outcomes of current events.

  10. Tom
    March 26, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    It’s funny you used the word ‘prole’. I am in the middle of reading 1984 for the first time. When I saw the word, I knew immediately what you meant.

  11. JHP
    March 26, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    So, how do you feel about the global warming gloom and doomers? Are they right or wrong? How should we react to their assertions?

  12. Clumpy
    March 26, 2009 at 11:10 am #

    Man, if I was trying to win people over to my cause, I might not bring up “Holocaust deniers have some great points!”

    Though Kelly’s point is valid that some “Holocaust deniers” merely question certain historical details, nearly all people I’ve met who make a big deal out of questioning aspects of the Holocaust eventually regress into denying it entirely and subsequent anti-Semitic ramblings.

  13. Connor
    March 26, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    So, how do you feel about the global warming gloom and doomers?

    The same way I feel about pretty much anything Al Gore has a hand in. 🙂

    Of course, doom and gloom is only vindicated when it’s based on truth and is proven in the long run to be correct. The more outlandish claims of the global warming camp have been repeatedly and consistently discredited. Indeed, the more time that passes, the more data we collect and the more disproven their assertions become. That’s not a good track record…

  14. rmwarnick
    March 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Climate change theory has been “repeatedly and consistently discredited”? By who, Glenn Beck??

  15. Connor
    March 26, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Climate change theory has been “repeatedly and consistently discredited”? By who, Glenn Beck??

    That’s the second pejorative mention (here’s the first) of Glenn Beck by you in ten days. You seem to be like the third grader with a crush on a girl who, in denial, belittles her instead. I disagree with Beck on a number of issues, but your trite mentions of his name grow tiresome quickly.

    If you’re genuinely interested, you might start out reading Al Gore’s errors. Then consider this commentary on some ironic 2008 news stories. Then consider the tactic of Gore spewing his propaganda to young children, trying to persuade them to reject the wisdom of their parents and follow his path.

    And as the cherry on top, this story is worth a good laugh.

    There’s plenty of content out there discrediting the myth that humans are causing global warming. And yes, some of it is mentioned by Glenn Beck (gasp!).

  16. rmwarnick
    March 26, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Thanks for the links. Here’s a little bit of reading for you. Governor Huntsman’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change.

    There is no longer any scientific doubt that the Earth’s average surface temperature is increasing and that changes in ocean temperature, ice and snow cover, and sea level are consistent with this global warming.

    …Based on extensive scientific research, there is very high confidence that human-generated increases in greenhouse gas concentrations are responsible for most of the global warming observed during the past 50 years.

    …Ongoing greenhouse gas emissions at or above current levels will further alter the Earth’s climate and very likely produce global temperature, sea level, and snow and ice changes greater than those observed during the 20th century.

  17. Yin
    March 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Not to propagate this tangent too much further, but this is my personal favorite from portions of an article by John Coleman, the founder of the weather channel:

    It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

    Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minutes documentary segment.

    I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

    In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious.

    I think that last sentence definitely applies to this post. Read the entire article here.

  18. Josh Williams
    March 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    While we’re on the topic of climate change science…I did have a look at some of the links you provided, Connor. I did a little bit of digging.

    The first like comes from the Center for Science and Public Policy, or CSPP. Oddly the website makes no mention of who funds the group, nor does it mention any sort of disclosure policy. This raised my eyebrow, but could also be a mere oversight. More interesting is the fact the president of SCPP is one Robert Ferguson, who among other things, was previously executive director of Frontiers of Fredom Institute (FOF). FOF is well known to be a front group basically funded by the tobacco and fossil fuel industry. This, combined with the lack of disclosure, and a number of other suspicious items makes me suspect that SCPP is more of the same.

    (The tobacco industry is notorious for using front groups to create confusion about the health risks associated with smoking, but other industries use similar tactics as well. Basically, Big Tobacco pioneered the technique in the, then outsourced it to other industries. )

    More about how to identify a front group.

    The author of the second link is a reporter running an op-ed column, not a climate expert, and as such is not the best source material.

    Of course Gore is a propagandist. His opponents are probably Bigger ones. One has to ask “Qui Bono?,” who benefits from promoting global warming. Certainly gore himself, maybe the wind and solar industry…..I thought they’d be too busy trying to be profitable to fund propaganda. Climate scientists who promoted the idea aren’t making many friends, though they’ve been around long before their critics got rich……. touring around the country and lobbying.

    That clip about Pelosi was hillarious….:-)

  19. Josh Williams
    March 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Gore doesn’t always have his facts and figures straight….not surprising from a from politician and lobbyist. IMO I don’t think he’s acting in bad faith.

    It’s true that there’s a lack of general consensus among climate and earth scientists. That is, the severity, long term effects, and potential costs of human induced climate change, not about it’s existence

  20. Carborendum
    March 26, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    Gore has never given a straight answer to anyone who has challenged his position on global warming. Even when asked multiple times in the same sitting.

    As far as man-made global warming:

    I’ve looked at the science. It has some basis in correct theories. And like the hindsight bias, one can look at the data an make it fit the theory. Or the data can equally fit other theories for global warming. But the bottom line is that the globe is so much bigger than we give it credit for and the variables so vast and numerous that it is difficult for even the greatest minds on the planet to really grasp all of it.

    How can an average person even hope to understand it all to the point that they will be willing to make life-altering decisions based on it?

    Like Josh, I ask Qui Bono?

    When Gore was derided for having a blatantly non-green household, he finally decided to add solar panels, et al. But then his consumption from grid power still went up. Yes, his usage went so much higher that the increase in usage exceeded the amount his solar panels provided.

    Further accusations flew. His defense. Well, I spend a lot of money investing in green energy, so that makes up for my usage.

    So, what he’s publicly admitting is that he makes money if you buy green power.

  21. Carborendum
    March 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    Those that question man-made global warming have only asked questions. Most don’t outright deny it. Yet they are put down as, yes, holocost deniers.

    And all the facts that the opposition puts out are actual facts (don’t get technical–it’s called hyperbole).
    Yet several items I’m aware of prove that those that promote the hysteria are eager to twist facts and outright lie about the data to support their side. Why?

    I’ve found some believers in man-made global warming that have actually looked at the science and the data and made a decision to believe in it. Fine, more power to you. We have an honest difference of opinion.

    But the vast majority that I’ve come across have NEVER looked at the data or the science. They don’t even understand the science, never heard the data. Yet they defend the position with religious zealotry.

    Those that question that man is the culprit actually have some data, actually have studied it. Very few that I’ve come across have NOT studied it out. I find this pattern disturbing.

    When the 2007 IPCC report came out, the statement was,”Now we know that man is the cluprit behind global warming.” That was all I heard. I did a lot of research because of one question not being answered: WHAT NEW EVIDENCE, THEORY, ARGUMENT, OR SITUATION HAS BEEN INTRODUCED THAT BRINGS US TO THIS CONCLUSION?

    No one had an answer. All that was said was,”A bunch of scientists got together and decided it.” Gee, that’s very convincing. Now that I’ve read more about the report and read several parts of it, I realize that the report didn’t really make a great argument at all.

    It is no wonder we are going on this tangent. It is the perfect example of an issue that can only be concluded after enough time has passed. Until then we can argue till doomsday (maybe literally).

  22. Carborendum
    March 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    Remember that prophecies are not for vindication, for the reasons stated in previous posts. They don’t convince those who don’t already believe. Prophecies are to help believers prepare.

    Since about the 50s this country has lost things to believe in. God’s popularity is down. Constitutional popularity is down. Family values is down. Public virtue is down. etc. etc.

    What is left to believe in? Oh, that’s right. Government and the environment. Is it any wonder that people follow Obama with religious enthusiasm? Is it any wonder why people cling to global warming alarmism with religous zealotry?

    Members of Congress have publicly stated that the cap and trade system will not do anything for global warming, yet they just feel they have to do something.

    Why? Because they don’t believe in anything else. Now, go ahead and make the claims, “Hey, I believe in God or . . . but I also believe global warming is something we need to do something about . . .” uh huh.

  23. jasonthe
    March 26, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    Al Gore (one man) is a propagandist, and climate change “believers” are too “gloom and doomy” negative (why they gotta be like that?!) … So obviously, we must avoid taking responsible action to be stewards of our own planet. Brilliant.

    And ironically, this “logic” is expressed in the comment thread of a post on prophetic vision and truth being shown to us “in time.” Prophesy, or even accurate scientific prediction is something that always meets resistance from traditionalists who want proof in something that may only prove to be true when it is too late to take back the skepticism and resistance to change. Common sense is put aside for protecting the status quo in the face of uncertainty.

    Again, ironic, as acting in an opposite fashion is required to place faith in prophecy, and also make educated decisions working with reality as we understand it, to the best of our knowledge.

  24. Connor
    March 26, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    So obviously, we must avoid taking responsible action to be stewards of our own planet. Brilliant.

    Right… because disagreeing with people who ignore solar cycles and instead claim that we are destroying the planet with our excessive carbon footpring necessarily and always means that we are gas hogs, litterbugs, and greedy, wasteful, non-recycling people.

    How you can make such a connection is beyond me. Who here has advocated being poor stewards of our planet?

  25. Carborendum
    March 26, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    Not me.

    But here’s an interesting story that both supports and rebuts Jason’s claim–huh??).

    The other day, my son was making a batch of herbal tea. Reading the box, he found that the company was making the claim of being “green” by omitting the string and label from the bag.

    His response was,”Great! Another company trying to save the planet.”

    I realized that I’d taught him WAY too much cynicism for his age (he’s 9). I sat him down and explained to him that there was nothing wrong with the company wanting to omit the string and paper. There isn’t even anything wrong with them thinking that was somehow helping the planet. In fact, it is a very productive way to be a good steward of the planet.

    Who wants an unnecessary piece of string on the tea bag? What purpose does it serve anyway? And if the company can save some money in the process while still giving the customer what they want, more power to them. That’s capitalism. We’re all for that. (I can just see another tangent on capitalism now).

    Where I think things go too far is when people are so concerned about carbon footprint that they want to monitor how much we breathe. Yes, I’ve actually heard such things in person. The guy in the cube next to me at work is one who proposed such a thing. What do you want me to do? Stop breathing?

    I get the impression that if I were a forest creature, he would be fine with me breathing. But since I’m human, he thinks we are viruses on planet earth and should be eliminated. THIS is what I don’t like about the “save the planet” crowd.

    Look, I want to take care of the planet as much as anyone would want to take care of their home. But the level of alarm that I’m getting from this crowd is just too much. It’s overblown and uncalled for. Often it even creates more problems than it supposedly solves.

    As an example, if I see that recycled paper is only 5% more than regular paper, I’d buy it for that reason alone. But what I see at the store is more than twice the cost of regular paper. How can they possibly justify that cost? Don’t they realize that if it costs that much more, most of the cost is energy? Thus, by producing recycled paper, they are expending more CO2 in making it than they claim to save by recycling. Does this even make sense?

  26. Josh Williams
    March 26, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    Thanks, Carborendum.

    No, I’m not going to ask you to show me a sign….:-)

    I’ve seen the data, understand the science too, and I’m persuaded that the theory that Homo sapiens is artificially changing the climate, is accurate.

    I’d like to think that I’m not a dogmatical person, nor have a fervent need to believe in something for it’s own sake-merely to gratify my ego. (Knock on wood…) Nevertheless I believe many things besides the existence of manmade global warming.
    You’re right, sometimes you can only disagree at the end of the day.

    Don’t try to set up nonreligious people as straw men. To say such people have nothing valuable to believe in is a false dilemma.

  27. rmwarnick
    March 27, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Carborendum doesn’t believe enough people have looked at the science. Well, in my day job I am working with GCM outputs, mapping climate change effects in terms of average temperature and precipitation. I have read a lot of the scientific papers, which BTW are readily available on the Web. When around 90 percent of the scientific community gets behind the conclusion that human-caused global warming is a 90 percent or better certainty, I find that convincing.

  28. Carborendum
    March 27, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    Don’t try to set up nonreligious people as straw men. To say such people have nothing valuable to believe in is a false dilemma.

    I listed SEVERAL traditional things to believe in that have been feeling a demise recently. Religion was only one of them. There are plenty of things to believe in that will edify the human spirit and motivate people to become better and productive members of society.

    But when issue after issue is sidelined, minimized, ridiculed, even persecuted, we’re not left with much that really inspires. Without a source of inspiration, we tend to manufacture things to believe in. It is inevitable.

    You may not find religion valuable to you. But you should at the very least be reasonable enough to admit that it provides a source of inspiration for billions to reach out and be more, do more. I’ll grant that sometimes this goes awry with terrorists, the crusades, and such. But by and large most world religions have been a more stabilizing (read peacemaking) influence on society than not.

    Mankind was born with an innate desire to find purpose and/or meaning, a source of inspiration. If one’s upbringing is such that it crushes this tendency, we either have a criminal or an utter failure in life.

    EVERYONE, including atheists, have something to believe in. Otherwise, religious or not, they will either be wastes, or crimminals.

  29. rmwarnick
    March 27, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    “Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong. Believe in it!”

    Who said that?

  30. Carborendum
    March 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Context, Warnick. Context.

    He was talking about

    1) Politicians who only go with whichever direction the wind blows and change their positions accordingly. He was condemning them for not taking a stand on something so we really knew where they stood, and we’d know who we were voting for.

    2) People who are so easily swayed by the most superficial arguments. The addage, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” applies here.

    His point was that even if he disagreed with you, he’d at least know who he was dealing with. He also condemned those people that didn’t take the time to even get involved or research enough to formulate their own opinion.

    Glenn has on numerous occasions stated that he applauds the individual that is still looking at things and studying them before making a judgement. But he can’t stand the people who just don’t care. Just give them their American Idol, Xbox, and internet.

    I simply cannot abide useless people.

    All the people that contribute to this blog (I agree with or disagree with) at least you have an opinion. Most have studied things out. You have reasons, logic, a position. But some people I recently met with, we tried talking about anything deep and they just blew it off. But they got so excited about something that happened on the latest iteration of “Survivor”.

    Since we no longer watch TV, the conversation was filled with a lot of silence.

  31. rmwarnick
    March 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    You’re talking about a guy who recently went on TV and introduced a dead fish called “Larry” who he claimed is printing money for the U.S. government. I believe he’s nuts.

    But not watching may be a sensible choice, especially Faux News Channel.

  32. Carborendum
    March 30, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Maybe he’s nuts, maybe not. Who knows — the vindication of time.

    But I was referring to one statement that you quoted that was taken out of context.

    Give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m just sayin’.

  33. vontrapp
    March 30, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    rwmarnick, seriously, if you want anyone to pay any attention to you you better get off this Glenn Beck vendetta. The guy says a lot of things, so any argument on this blog has a high probability of being traceable to the Glenn Beck show. It’s an outrageous silliness that you labor so diligently to find these connections only to throw out GLENN BECK!! as a QED. Get a life.

  34. Carborendum
    March 30, 2009 at 12:17 pm #


    Re: post #27. 90%??? Somehow I doubt it.

    Give some NEUTRAL sources that indicate those numbers you’re giving me. MY research says that it is barely above 50% of the experts believe there is a little above a 50% chance that is is man-made. Even the IPCC report indicates the likelihood is little better than 50/50.

    If you really do spend your time studying the climate, I’ll ask you a question that I’ve asked close to 50 people and have only received one answer. If you can answer it, I will give you a whole mess of brownie points.

    In a true greenhouse, conduction and convection are prevented from depleating heat. But radiation works the same both ways.

    With the earth, there is no conduction or convection to outerspace anyway. So the only possible barrier is to radiation. Not only that, but with radiation, the hotter an object is, the higher the rate of energy release.

    Since the vast majority of our energy comes from the sun, why is it that the “blanket” of greenhouse gases allows heat in, but does not let it out?

    BTW, the I’ve got the answer, and it went a long way in swaying me towards your POV. But why was it that of all the people I’ve asked, only one person was able to answer it? If you can answer it , great. You work in the profession. But the average person caught up in this hysteria doesn’t even get it. Do you?

  35. Carborendum
    March 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    OMT, I cite your recent posts against Glenn Beck as proof that you’re perfectly willing to take things out of context and do little research as long as you can support your own preconceived notions with partial facts.

  36. rmwarnick
    March 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm #


    I know how the enhanced greenhouse effect works, and apparently you do too. I don’t answer quizzes or hypotheticals.

  37. Carborendum
    March 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    Uh-huh. This is just what I’m talking about. People just can’t answer this simple question. (yes, can’t. not won’t).

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m still somewhat agnostic about this issue. But I certainly don’t think it is as bad as people say. And I don’t believe it is worth the estimated $1Trillion / yr that it will cost the US alone — nevermind other countries — to truly combat it.

    The one person that was able to answer it was also agnostic about this issue, but he leaned towards believing it.

    He also believed that we had already passed the point of no return back in the 60s (or was it 70s?). “The experiment has been done. It will just take another decade to collect the data, then another decade to analyze it. All the stuff you see going on right now is just supposition. No one knows. But we may find out in our lifetimes.”

  38. rmwarnick
    March 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    As for the supposed $1 trillion cost, ask yourself: When it comes to energy conservation, pollution reduction and wise use of our natural resources, shouldn’t we be doing all these things anyway? Even if they won’t reduce the greenhouse effect?

    I expect to see savings, by the way. For example, wind turbines are by far the cheapest source of electricity. Solar has gotten a lot cheaper, and it’s a close second.

    One more quote. Who said: “If you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.”?

  39. Carborendum
    March 31, 2009 at 7:25 am #


    See comment #25.

  40. Connor
    March 31, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    rmwarnick’s Glenn Beck crush (obsession?) continues unabated, apparently.

    …shouldn’t we be doing all these things anyway?

    That’s not the right question. The right question is: “Should the government be forcing people to do these things?” I have no problem recycling and prudently using the Earth’s resources. This I do of my own volition. But when I see governments itching to ban TVs, certain “environment-unfriendly” detergent, black cars, and uninflated tires, then I think we’ve crossed a line into global warming religious fanaticism.

  41. Carborendum
    March 31, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    rmwarnick’s Glenn Beck crush (obsession?) continues . . .

    I don’t see anyone here quoting Glenn but Warnick.

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