Monday, June 13, 2005

Today's Independent

Below is a picture of the front page of The Independent today. The quality is not great, because I could not find a picture of it on the web, and so had to scan it in myself. It is not clear from the picture, but the blue corner of the flag is comprised of $ signs and I've included the text which comprises the stripes below the photo. To those who are reading this back home, while it clearly lacks the subtlety of the BBC or the style of The Guardian, this is precisely the type of anti-American propaganda that regularly infests the media here in the UK.




From The Independent, in the stripes:

"THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTES 4 ER CENT OF THE WORLD POPULATION – IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A QUARTER OF ALL CARBON DIOXIDE EMISIONS – AMERICAN CITIZENS RELEASE MORE CARBON DIOXIDE EVERY YEAR THAN ANY OTHER NATIONALITY – THE HIGHEST OF ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, AND MORE THAN CHINA, INDIA AND JAPAN COMBINED – AMERICANS USE 50 MILLION TONS OF PAPER ANNUALLY – CONSUMING MORE THAN 850 MILLION TREES – THERE ARE MORE THAN 200 MILLION CARS AND LIGHT TRUCKS ON AMERICAN ROADS – ACCPRDING TO THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, THEY USE OVER 200 MILLION GALLONS OF PETROL A DAY – MOTOR VEHICLES ACCOUNT FOR 56 PER CENT OF ALL AIR POLLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES – A STUDY PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION IN 2002 CONCLUDED THAT PEOPLE LIVING IN THE MOST HEAVILY POLLUTED METROPOLITAN AREAS HAVE A 12 PER CENT INCREASED RISK OF DYING OF LUNG CANCER THAN PEOPLE IN THE LEAST POLLUTED AREAS – 32 OF THE BUSIES US AIRPORTS CURRENTLY HAVE PLANS TO EXPAND OPERATIONS – EVERY YEAR US INDUSTRIES RELEASE AT LEAST 2.4 BILLION POUNDS OF CHEMICALS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE – DESPITE HAVING JUST 2 PER CENT OF KNOWN OIL RESERVES, THE US CONSUMES 25 PER CENT OF THE WORLDS OIL PRODUCTION – 16 PER CENT OF THE WORLD OIL PRODUCTION GOES INTO AMERICAN CARS ALONE – APPROXIMATELY 160 MILLION PEOPLE LIVING IN 32 US STATES LIVE IN REGIONS WITH SMOG AND SOOT LEVELS CONSIDERED DANGEROUS TO HEALTH – THE NEW CLEAR AIR INTERSTATE RULE AIMS TO CUT SULPHUR DIOXIDE BY 73 PER CENT AND NITROGEN OXIDE BY 61 PERCENT IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS – AROUND 50 MILLION NEW CARS ROLL OFF US ASSEMBLY LINES EACH YEAR – THERE ARE ALREADY MORE THAN 20 MILLION FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE VEHICLES ON US ROADS – MORE THAN 1.5 MILLION GALLONS OF OIL WERE SPILT INTO US WATERS IN 2000 ALONE – ONLY 1 PER CENT OF AMERICAN TRAVEL IS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT, AN EIGHTH OF THAT IN THE UK AND AN EIGHTEENTH OF THAT IN JAPAN – AS MUCH AS 5.99 TONNES OF CARBOND DIOXIDE IS EMITTED PER AMERICAN PER YEAR, COMPARED WITH .31 TONNES PER INDIAN OR .05 TONNES PER BANGLADESHI – THE US HAD 16 MAJOR OIL SPILLS BETWEEN 1976 AND 1989, WHEREAS FRANCE SUFFERED SIX AND THE UK FIVE – THE AVERAGE AMERICAN PRODUCES 864KG OF MUNICIPAL WASTE PER YEAR, ALMOST THREE TIMES THE QUANTITY OF RUBBISH PRODUCED ANNUALLY BY AND ITALIAN."
Posted by Hello

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, i think the question is not wether it is propaganda, but if it the truth. But of course, truth does not seem to be your worry. Keep the good job moron.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Mark Miller said...

"AMERICAN CITIZENS RELEASE MORE CARBON DIOXIDE EVERY YEAR THAN ANY OTHER NATIONALITY"

The reason it can be interpreted as propaganda is that it doesn't present a clear argument. It's just meant to hit you, one brick after the next. Notice the line above does not say "American citizens release more pollution into the air every year than any other nationality". In fact it doesn't say this anywhere. It says "carbon dioxide". I understand why that's a concern, however, we've been reducing our pollution levels over the last couple decades. It would be reasonable to argue that China has surpassed our level of pollution, in fact. We get reports from time to time of "pollution clouds" that literally waft over from China across the Pacific. We can detect them on our west coast! Maybe the same happens with U.S. pollution. I haven't heard of it though.

The other part of it is it's clearly meant to give the impression that the U.S. is responsible for all that's wrong with the environment. It doesn't have to say it explicitly. We get it. However if it were giving a true measure of what needs to be done to make the world environment cleaner, it would not only need to list the environmental sins of the U.S., but of other countries as well, because surely we are not alone in environmental degredation. Russia would be a great subject. In terms of environmental responsibility in their past, they have the worst record of just about any country.

4:06 AM  
Blogger mamapajamas said...

Anon: "Well, i think the question is not wether it is propaganda, but if it the truth. But of course, truth does not seem to be your worry. Keep the good job moron."

Are you sure? Are you absolutely sure about CO2?

Fact: There is global warming, even more dramatic than on earth, on MARS! Explain in detail how are US CO2 emissions causing this. This should be interesting...

Fact: There are scientists now working on the theory that global warming is causing the CO2 increase, not the other way around. These scientists are marine biologists who say that the overwhelming majority of the atmospheric CO2 is caused by biological activies in the oceans, not human activity. Warming, ie: good weather conditions in the oceans, is causing an increase in this activity, creating more CO2. The CO2 is causing an increase in marine plant life (plankton, seaweed and such), fish are gorging themselves on this new bonanza, creating more biological activity, and so on. This will go on until we go into a cooling cycle.

Fact: There has NEVER been a "scientific consensus" that global warming is caused by increased CO2 in the first place... merely a consensus that temperature increase and CO2 increase seems to be happening simultaneously. More and more people are looking at the "global warming causing the CO2" point of view.

Fact: We have had an extrordinary number and intensity of solar flares in the last decades. The SUN seems to be heating up. News flash: The sun dumping billions of tons of superheated matter into our upper atmosphere is GOING to affect the climate, whether we cut CO2 emissions or not.

Fact: CO2 may not be the boogyman people seem to think: It could be PROTECTING us from the solar activity. The global warming on Mars is MUCH more dramatic than that on earth in spite of its distance from the sun because of its thinner atmosphere, so something in our atmosphere is protecting us. This would be greenhouse gasses reflecting the heat back out into space, so it COULD be the CO2... ie: Mother Nature protecting herself. Don't you think it would be a good idea to find out what is protecting us that Mars lacks before we go off half-cocked?

Fact: Think of CO2 as airborne plant food, and you'll be closer to the truth of this situation. For all the complexity of the global warming scenario, think of your elementary school science: Plants breathe in CO2 and expire oxygen. More CO2 means more plants, which means more greenery expiring oxygen. This is a cycle that will work itself out when the sun cools down.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"AS MUCH AS 5.99 TONNES OF CARBOND DIOXIDE IS EMITTED PER AMERICAN PER YEAR, COMPARED WITH .31 TONNES PER INDIAN OR .05 TONNES PER BANGLADESHI"

So the folk at The Independent would be happy to live the life of a Bangladeshi? I guess none of them have cars or take foreign holidays.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Richard John said...

Yes, I think the fact that America's large posterier is an inviting target is one of the reasons why Global Warming has got such legs as an "issue". Such topics usually exhibit the following characteristics:

(a)There is usually some form of doom or gloom.

(b) Capitalism is at fault. Or Globalisation.

(c) American is always the worst offender

(d) It is simple to explain in emotional and there is a clear "right" vs. "wrong"

We do have a couple of long runners on the go at the moment.

Candidate #1 - Global Warming.

A runner with form and a good pedigree. Ran past its predecessor - "the coming ice age" with aplomb in the 1990's. Most noticeable outcome is large grants for scientists and finally something in Britain that can be blamed for the weather.

http://thebarn-esher.blogspot.com/2005/05/why-i-just-dont-yet-buy-global-warming.html

Candidate #2 - Poverty in Africa

Now here you have a tailor made case. It has to be said that it is inconvenient that those well governed East Asian states have done very well over the past 30 years (before which time they were as poor as Africa) and I don't believe we are pouring aid into Singapore as we speak.

RJ

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Steve Mac said...

It's saying that the 25% of world pollution produced in the US is somehow worse than the far larger amount (75%, three times as much!) Pollution that is produced by the rest of the world simply because only 4% of the world's population produces it. It's also saying that this is a particularly selfish, money hungry, destructive 4% of the world population, making the pollution somehow worse. It's saying look at them (not yourself), blame them (feel good about yourself), hate them (It's all their fault!)... It's propaganda because of the message.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous e m butler said...

It's interesting they compare the US 6 tons of co2 to bangladesh but not to britain.. The brits do 3 tons per year...No slackers there

3:41 PM  
Anonymous criminallyvulgar said...

MOTOR VEHICLES ACCOUNT FOR 56 PER CENT OF ALL AIR POLLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES

What? Because the Brits don't drive right?

'The principal source of carbon monoxide in the UK is road transport, which currently accounts for 75% of the emissions of some 4.1 million tonnes per year.'

From here: http://www.sefton.gov.uk/content-3775

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Mark Miller said...

To Richard John-

Thanks so much for your link! Through it, I got to another blog, which led me to a speech by Michael Crichton I've been looking for for a few months. Crichton is a great speaker on this subject!

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Mark Miller said...

Actually I'd like to quote from one of speeches Crichton gave to the Commonwealth Club on Sept. 15, 2003. It sums up my feelings about the problem with environmentalism today:

"Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe. . . .Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them."

Crichton likes environmentalism fine, so long as it's scientifically based, using the scientific method, not speculation dressed up like science.

8:43 PM  
Blogger mamapajamas said...

Crichton is great on the topic :). I LOVE the fact that he isn't an environmentalism critic, but in fact merely interested in seeing that the hogwash is replaced by real science. I love his idea of throwing out everything and using only double-blind testing.

The business I listed in my last post are all things that I found by going out on the internet and LOOKING for other scientific papers on global warming. You won't find them in the mainstream media... you have to LOOK for it.

I've been suspicious of global warming claims (not warming itself per se, but the "blame America first" viewpoint set off an alarm in my mind) since the "coming ice age" hoo-raw back in the early '80s suddenly reversed into "coming global warming" based on computer models.

At the time I knew absolutely nothing about the environment, BUT I have been involved with computers in one way or another since 1969, when "telecommunications" meant giving a computer tape to a courier to drive over to the satellite uplink. And I KNOW for a fact that computers can NOT do what they're claiming.

NASA computer models of planetary orbits work because the math has been proven for thousands of years. We've been watching the motion of the planets for as long as we've been looking up, and there's a massive backlog of planetary data going back to ancient Babylon. Thus, when we sent out the Voyagers, they encountered the planets they were supposed to when they were supposed to. NASA understands gravitational wells, orbital paths, and solar winds. All of those things have been watched and mathematically reckoned for a long time.

However, we do NOT have all of the specifics for climate models, and whatever the computer programmers THINK they're doing, the fact is that the computers are merely repeating back whatever the programmer told it to do. If the programmer thinks CO2 is causing global warming, that's what the computer will show us. If the programmer thinks something else is causing global warming, that's what the computer will show us. If the programmer thinks there is no global warming at all, that's what the computer will show us, so this works both ways-- it will make the same error no matter what your political view of global warming might be. The computer can only tell us what the programmer tells it to tell us.

Question: Where will the moon be in the sky relative to Miami Beach on June 15, 2010, at 10:48 PM EDT?

Computer: (instantly rattles off sky coordinants of moon at that time relative to the given latitude and longitude of Miami Beach).

Question: How will CO2 increases affect the climate?

Computer: Huh? What do you mean? What's the value of "CO2" relative to the value of a given temperature? What do you MEAN you don't know? I have to have mathematical values for those things, or I can't do this!

And that's the problem. We have the solid math to answer the first question, but there's too much we DON'T know about CO2 to answer the questions the computer needs to make a reasonable evaluation on the second. So far, the programmers have been inputting GUESSES! GIGO... garbage in, garbage out!

It's nothing more than Gee Whiz technology for the computer-inept.

6:14 AM  

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