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Follow-up to: Zealots have no place in an adult conversation

I recently wrote about a blogger on TPM that called for the jailing or execution of people that did not think as he did on the subject of global warming. I compared him to the zealot that recently assassinated an abortion doctor while the man was worshipping in his church.

The post had a comment of the person who says that he wrote the article. In that comment he apologized. In the comment, Insolent Braggart says that he is not a professional writer, which is hardly an excuse. I am not a professional writer either, just a former engineer turned salesman. It does not take a professional to know that spewing hatred in the form of calling for jailings and executions for thoughts and beliefs is wrong. There is also a post on TPM that says that he apologizes.

While I don’t know if the author actually commented here or not (the Internet is relatively anonymous), I am sure that TPM would only post an apology written in the first person if it was written by the author in question.

His apology makes reference to the abortion doctor so he may have read my comments.  I just don’t know and I have learned that one cannot take everything written on the web with certainty.

While the apology is relatively sincere, I do have some issues with it. He tries to make himself even more important and say that now that he has apologized for his hatred remarks (and calling for executions is fairly close to hatred, in my opinion) he is better than a conservative that has never apologized.  Whatever happened to just saying your sorry and shutting up?  Why take on the air of superiority because of your apology?

I hope that I am never moved to write on the subject of hatred and such condescending attitude again. While the opinions on both sides are quite strong, it is only through constant and open discussion without the fear of persecution and disdain will we eventually arrive at the correct resolution regardless of which theory on the subject is correct.

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2 Responses to “Follow-up to: Zealots have no place in an adult conversation”

  1. Maybe you are correct in that I should have just apologized and shut up. My apology was sincere – as I never really meant for anyone to lose their life or their liberty for their thoughts.

    What sucked for me was despite all the attention this drew (by far the most for anything I’ve ever written) my perfectly valid point was never addressed. Obviously – that’s because the focus was on the language I used.

    But of the hundreds of global warming deniers and conservatives who read the article – not one of them responded with an answer. So I’ll give you the chance.

    What if you’re wrong. The science says you probably are. What if we need to take action NOW to stop what most legitimate scientists know is an impending catastrophy. We won’t be able to replace the loss of life on this planet with an “oops – sorry”.

    If we’re counting the number of scientists who believe global warming is an imminent threat vs the number on your side, my side wins. Also if you are looking at the credentials of the pro global warming scientists vs the deniers, it’s not even close. And if you look at the MOTIVATIONS of some of the deniers – any objective person would see those as questionable (considering who’s paying their salary)

    I will admit that it’s possible that the threat may not be as urgent as some would say. But if I’m wrong – no one dies. I would hope you could see that your position gives the World a lot more to lose than mine.

  2. First, lets be clear. I don’t know for sure which “side” is correct. So your first characterization is incorrect. I am a confirmed undecided on this entire issue. There are many points on both sides of this argument that make an incredible amount of sense and have some factual basis. The basic problem is that all of the really good science that either side discusses cannot be easily and readily dismissed by the other side. This goes for the deniers and the doomsdayers. The holes in both arguments are so big that you could easily drive a belching and polluting Mack truck through them.

    If you are on this site because you are looking to pick a fight with a denier that thinks we can burn everything and anything, you are simply wasting your time. Similarly, if you want me to vomit out the doomsday drivel that Kofi recently put out then you won’t find that here either.

    I do question your basic argument here though. Your argument is similar to the weak Christian argument to the religious agnostic. You are basically saying that it doesn’t hurt anything to believe so why not believe.

    This argument is a fallacy. It will cost trillions of dollars in upfront expense to turn off carbon dioxide pollution. It will cost more trillions of dollars every decade to maintain our industrial complex level with the higher cost of ‘green’ energy. This multiple trillion expenditure comes at a severe cost that includes the loss of life. No trillion dollar expense doesn’t come with a corresponding opportunity lost cost and therefore a loss of human life.

    So how does it compare? I don’t know. The estimates for global warming are 1 million people in the next hundred years. I hope that this 1M doesn’t include my or mine and it likely doesn’t since I live in the US, have a good job and can afford to do the things necessary to care for my family. Most of the people that read this blog are in a similar situation and will not suffer directly to the point of death from global warming. As Kofi correctly points out – it is the poor of all nations that will be hurt.

    But it is the poor that are hurt by very real threats today that can be solved with much less investment than the investment required to reverse global warming. There are real, solveable, and imminent dangers today that could be solved except for the money. Today, in Africa alone, approximately 150 per 100K, will die each year from malaria. Worldwide, 1 million people die from malaria each year. That means in the same century that will kill 1M people due to GW, malaria will kill 100M. The cost of treatment (and saving) of these victims is far lower than a trillion dollars. So by not treating malaria and treating global warming instead, you are in effect, condemning 99 million people to death.

    An even tougher argument can be made for AIDS which is currently claiming about 2 million deaths per year. This is a 100% preventable disease (although it is not curable and doubtful that it will ever be curable). It is also a disease that is currently able to be controlled and does not need to cause death in most cases if the sufficient drugs are available. How many millions of people will die from AIDS because the resources of the industrialized nations are put at a severe strain due to global warming?

    So to summarize, we can spend our money to save lives that are in danger from enemies we know and understand and yet we do not do it. Instead we are spending resources to solve a possible problem and the argument for that problem has some rather severe scientific holes.

    So your argument is incorrect. If you are wrong about global warming – people die. People will die anyway but shouldn’t you be fighting for the cause of AIDS funding and malaria nets and medicines? And maybe you do give your talents to these and other causes but the vast majority of the doomsdayers do not.