samedi, mars 04, 2006

Suzanne Lévesque

À Libre-Échange, l'imbuvable table ronde téléquébecquienne, appuyée à sa droite (est-ce possible) par Mario Roy, la bien connectée Suzanne Lévesque révèle sans gêne sa classe sociale: "Avant [le roman révisionniste de Michael Crichton sur la pollution humaine], j'angoissais beaucoup en me levant avec le réchauffement climatique, maintenant j'angoisse moins"

La fille des deux autres mentionne le mot 'rossignol' dans une chronique sur un film d'art, Mario Roy y va d'un commentaire de sous-mononcle sur la grippe aviaire.

What about the contrary worldwide consensus of scientists that global warming is a man-made disaster in the making? Crichton's answer: "If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus." As I suppose in the old consensus that the earth is flat.

Crichton's is not actually a thesis that the displaced folks in Louisiana and Texas can concentrate on at the moment in the wake of Katrina and Rita. Yet for his polemic on global warming, Crichton has become something of a hero to the groups fighting hard to stop anything like the Kyoto treaty.


The well-endowed think tank, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy, honoured Crichton with an invitation to Washington to address its members - not on the novel, but on science policy in the 21st Century. The point of that was to embrace Crichton's attack on what he calls the pseudo-science of global warming.

The sceptics on global warming needed this kind of reinforcement. They have mostly been keeping quiet after the ferocity of Katrina and Rita, widely blamed in the press on the unusually hot waters of the Gulf.

Senator James Inhofe [Republican chairman of the Senate Environment Committee]'s previous best effort was this: "With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phoney science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it."

The senator did not explain quite how 2,000 top scientists in 100 countries could have been persuaded in 2004 to produce a rare consensus that gas emissions left unchecked will produce a series of catastrophes. Nor is he likely to try and explain in the post-Katrina atmosphere.


Smear tactics

All the delaying tactics, denials and obfuscations bring to mind what happened in 1974 to two American scientists, Professor Sherwood Roland and Dr Mario Molina. They coolly set out the evidence that the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigeration, aerosols and air conditioning were eating at the ozone layer which protects mankind and plants from dangerous ultraviolet radiation.

They were at once smeared as scaremongers. The manufacturers ran an all too successful campaign to fog the issue. A lazy media bought into it. The public got bored and bamboozled. And as they did so, millions more tons of the pollutant were added to the atmosphere.

Thirteen years later when the world finally woke up to an ozone hole bigger than anyone had predicted, there was a swift international agreement - led by the US - to find alternatives to the CFCs. In the meantime, great damage had been done.

Crichton's conspiracy theory, Harold Evans, 7 octobre 2005 voir aussi Noam Chomsky

Du présent blogue:

“People generally do not favour action on a non-alarming situation when arguments seem to be balanced on both sides and there is a clear doubt. The weight of impressions on the public must be balanced so people will have doubts and lack motivation to take action. Accordingly, means are needed to get balancing information into the stream from sources that the public will find credible. There is no need for a clear-cut ‘victory’. ... Nurturing public doubts by demonstrating that this is not a clear-cut situation in support of the opponents usually is all that is necessary.” lien

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