BMEWS
 
Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Sunday - July 15, 2007

Polarization

\Po’lar*i*az"tion\, n. [Cf. F. polarisation][1913 Webster] 1. The act of polarizing; the state of being polarized, or of having polarity.

Selections from Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward:

Polarization: anteposition, confrontation, disparity, division, hostility, mutual repulsion.

(Thanks to the Hypertext Webster Gateway at http://www.bennetyee.org/)

- - -

I think the Thesaurus’ words were more what I was thinking of. Angles of reflection of light aren’t really what this post is all about.

Rather, it has to do with the (mostly) childish attitudes that come from the various camps when it comes to the issues of the day. It can range from “Nuke ‘em ‘til they glow” to “Can’t we all just get along?” to what it means to have single-tiered health care in Canada to what exactly is going on with our environment.

Children with asthma are now commonplace. It wasn’t like that when I was a kid. We seem to bump into people with life-threatening nut allergies on a more regular basis. It wasn’t like that when I was a kid either. So tell me, are we just getting better at diagnosing these ailments, or is there really an increase? If there is, have we brought it upon ourselves?

Quite frankly, I don’t know.

The reason I don’t know is because you can’t get a bloody straight answer out of anyone.

Environmentalists would have us believe that the cause is and has been our presence on this fragile planet. Anti-environmentalists (is there a better word?) would counter that we have more trees today than in any time in history.

Good God - are trees toxic after all?

Nobody seems willing to come forward and say things like “it’s not such a good idea to dump raw sewage in the river, but on the other hand, spraying for bugs ain’t such a bad idea”.

And that’s what’s missing. Middle-ground.

I’m not talking about feel-good crap like “carbon credits” either (quite easily the biggest scam since $60/bbl oil).

No, I’m talking about the rational discourse that is and will be required in order to solve any of the environmental problems we might have. This discourse does not involve one side or the other jumping up and down screeching “I told you so!” each time another (possibly pseudo-) scientific report hits the stands.

2005 was one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons on record. Lives lost - billions in repairs. But uh-oh, here comes 2006. The “experts” get trotted out claiming *this* season will be the worst ever. Um, nope. It was one of the lightest. Looks like ‘07 is going to be closer to ‘06 than ‘05 too. No worries. Let’s stage a putzch at the weather service. Can’t have contradictory ideas, can we?

But why is it different? Why is it we can experience such a dramatic lessening of the environmental conditions that cause hurricanes from one year to the next? Why that quickly? Isn’t weather supposed to be long-term? What happened?

Well, the truth is - are you ready for it? - the truth is WE DON’T KNOW.

There. I said it. An admission of meteorological ignorance from a lay person. About as rare as hen’s teeth, if you ask me, but an admission anyway. Funny part, it wasn’t that hard to say (or type).

We live in a world where weather pontification rules. It’s either “yer fer us, or you’re agin us”.

And it’s crap.

Anybody and his dog can use one-sided trumped-up statistics to support his claim, and they do. And they’re trotted out on the evening news for their 60 seconds of fame and, assuming they can get in a word edgewise with the politically-motivated show host, a five-second sound bite.

This problem isn’t about sound bites. It’s about a) Is there really a problem?, b) If so, how big is it?, and c) If it’s threatening us, what do we do about it?

I’m going to admit ignorance again, and say I don’t have the answers to “a”, “b”, or “c”. I do, however, know what the answer *isn’t*:

  • Threatening/censuring those that don’t believe in man-made global climate change, including those at the scientific and academic levels
  • Planting trees to “offset” smog-belching machines instead of making those machines more fuel-efficient
  • Partisan support of flawed “treaties” that punish developed nations and enrich third-world dictatorships or regimes
  • Pretending there’s nothing to talk about



  • Polarization: opposite ends. Just what you need for rational discourse.

    Ask me “weather” I’m dreaming. (Or having a nightmare, for those that might have seen the holographic Al Gore).


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    Posted by Somnambulist57   Trinidad and Tobago  on 07/15/2007 at 02:32 PM   
    Filed Under: • Environment •  
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