Monday, October 13, 2008

Fear, fear and more fear - even though we have 'nothing to fear but fear itself'

While The Blade embraces the statement from President Roosevelt about having nothing to fear when it comes to promoting socialism and Presidential candidate Barack Obama, it again contradicts itself by actually promoting fear of doom and destruction when it comes to our survival.

Over the last two days, I've blogged about our paper's publisher, John Robinson Block, and his love of socialistic ideals when it comes to FDR's new 'bill of rights.' I've documented how elected officials have fallen in line with this thinking as they promote Obama's candidacy. The underlying message is that Obama offers 'hope' and 'change' and we should 'embrace' him.

But then the paper comes along with this article on global warming,
Climate change called certain and most predictions are bad, Even Ohio's namesake buckeye said to be at risk, to stoke the fear of its readers that life, as we know it, is doomed.

"If the threat of more West Nile virus, smog, contaminated water, higher food prices, invasive species, toxic algae, lake level declines, and deaths from heat waves isn't enough to wake up people to problems associated with climate change, consider this: Ohio might lose its namesake nut to arch rival Michigan.

That's right. The buckeye.

Some fear the buckeye tree won't be able to handle the state's warming climate and will instead adapt to a more moderate climate in Michigan, a cruel fate of irony for Ohio's official tree.

But that may be the least of the region's concerns if other predictions about climate change come true - forecasts that go well beyond reduced opportunities for skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and other forms of winter recreation."

According to the article, we could have difficulty growing crops, with more insects and too much rain at the wrong times combining to destroy them. We'll bounce between drought and floods, will have extreme heat, including winters that could be as much as 10 degrees warmer (and how a warmer winter is a bad thing is still beyond me).

"That, of course, is if no major changes occur soon to curb greenhouse gases."

Yep - if we do nothing, we'll have more hurricanes and forest fires and more species will become extinct. We'll lose our tourism because we won't have as many fish to catch and animals to hunt. Ducks, trout and salmon will decrease while evaporation could even threaten our ability to get fresh water from Lake Erie. With warmer temperatures, we'll get more algae which will kill the fish, smell terrible and decrease our waterfront property values.

(Of course, the smell we have from the extension of the treatment plant down the street will have no impact whatsoever on our property values here where I live on the edge of the Maumee Bay.)

And let's not forget smog, which they say poses a real threat to everyone's health, or the prediction that people with allergies will suffer more.

"We are facing threats to the life support system of the Earth," said Mr. Schneider, one of America's top climatologists and a key figure in the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's Nobel Prize-winning work in 2007.
Failure to pass meaningful legislation to address climate change "could put the planet and our country at risk of even bigger and graver consequences," (U.S. Rep. John Dingle, D-Mich.) said.

Be afraid - be very afraid. That's the message of the article, even using "a dire forecast" as one of the article sub-headings.

So, while we're supposed to reject 'fear' about everything else, we're supposed to embrace 'fear' about the climate? The contradiction is not only obvious, it's irreconcilable.

I know the climate is changing - Earth's climate is cyclical, demonstrated by the glacial grooves seen on our Lake Erie Islands. It's obvious that this area was cold enough in the past for glaciers to exist, and it obviously warmed - without the help of humans contributing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Personally, I think I might like a warmer climate where I am. It would save me from having to move to a warmer climate in the future. And who's to say that today's temperatures are what is the best? Are they the ideal we should strive toward, or are they just what we have adapted to?

All the 'issues' raised in the article have more to do with how humans have responded to the current cyclical climate and seem to imply that we would not be able to adapt if anything changed. I reject that idea completely.

Humans today are more equipped, in terms of our acceptance of change and our technological advances, than we have ever been. We have the knowledge, the resources and the ability to respond to just about anything, include a warming and/or cooling planet. We have the ability to live at the poles and in the desert and everywhere in between. While we're not yet at the depths of the oceans or in the expanses of space in terms of long-term habitats, it's not a matter of ability so much as it is a matter of funding to be able to do so.

So, if my property is a bit bigger because the lake level is a foot less, is that really such a bad thing? I think I might like warmer summers and winters, as well.

The Blade wants you to believe that the issues they list are problems. But we can just as fairly see them as opportunities. The Blade wants you to fear these things because it leads to more government control and mandates in order to make you safe. At the same time, they want you to reject the fear that is supposedly coming from conservatives when it comes to the political campaigns and, instead, embrace more government control, mandates and a new 'bill of rights' to make you feel safe.

So in one area they tell you not to fear, government will take care of you. In the other area they tell you be very afraid in order to justify government taking care of you.

Perhaps they're not so contradictory after all.

1 comment:

Tim Higgins said...


Wait a minute, let me get his straight. The oceans will rise, but the lakes will fall. It will be warmer in North America, even though the proposed melting icecaps will probably shut down the Gulf Stream, causing massive cooling. Droughts and hurricanes will both occur (as if they don't already), and the timing will prove that global warming is reeking havoc on its perpetrators. West Nile virus will be on the increase, in spite of the fact that the deer populations are being killed off in the changing environment and by evil hunters. And to top that off, now I have to worry about Michigan taking over Buckeye production.

When are the dogs and cats going to start living together?

In none of this however, is the level of radiation produced by the sun (the chief producer of light, heat, and radiation on this planet for those who don't know)ever discussed. Instead, somehow Barak Obama is going to save us by some yet undisclosed plan.

Perhaps the only fear we have, is about the nonsensical ranting of an absentee newspaper publisher.

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