Rain

Lou Paulsen wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Wed Nov 15 18:35:33 MST 2000




-----Original Message-----
From: E.C.Apling <E.C.Apling at btinternet.com>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 2:32 PM
Subject: RE: Rain



>The real questions to be asked are
>1. does global warming really exist?
>(see <http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2000/surface1.htm> to
see
>how dodgy the evidence is)


Ah, if only it were as simple as that.  Yes, if you go to that link, you
find an article which appears to be written by a real scientist, with a
degree, who does indeed claim to have shown how dodgy the evidence for
global warming is.  However, as you well know, there are many articles on
the other side, also by real scientists.  Many real scientists have written
in support of manifestly false propositions.  We Marxists know that we have
to deal with the real world, with scientific discovery.  How do we Marxists
who are not trained climatologists proceed in dealing with this debate?
Well, ideally we expand our parties until at some point we have trained
Marxist climatologists among our ranks.  But short of that?

Well, we ought at LEAST to do what we CAN do, what we are TRAINED to do,
which is to look at the class forces behind the knowledge which is being
presented to us.

The article cited by Apling to establish the "dodginess" of the global
warming evidence is by an Australian scientist named John L. Daly, and is
presented to us on the website of something called the "Greening Earth
Society".  This society takes the position that carbon dioxide is our
friend.  The more, the better.  It will make plants grow and expand food
production.  Burning fossil fuels is good for us all.  We are assured that
pouring CO2 into the atmosphere by burning coal and oil has only good,
food-producing effects, and has NO bad, climate-affecting effects.

Well, how "dodgy" is the website?  How "dodgy" is this society?  It has six
or seven scientists on its advisory board.  Who is the president of the
society?  He is the head of a trade federation of coal companies.  Here is a
link to a debate between the coal/CO2 man and a conventional
environmentalist:
http://www.me3.org/issues/climate/me3wfdebate.html

What does class analysis tell us?  It tells us that coal companies have a
material interest in telling the working class that there is no problem with
burning large amounts of coal.  If there really is no problem, they will
tell us that truthfully.  If burning coal will destroy all humankind in 100
years, they will still tell us there is no problem, such is their greed for
profits.  So do we really acquire much information when a coal industry-run
website tells us that global warming is not dangerous?  No, we acquire no
information at all.

Well, what about John L. Daly?  Is he a respected scientist?  Is he the
world's best climatologist?  Where does he publish?  Well, among other
places, he publishes on a website called borderlands.com, along with many
other practitioners of 'fringe' science and pseudoscience.  Here, for
example, he shares a page with some people who say that the HIV virus, as it
is called, does not cause AIDS: http://www.borderlands.com/main1.htm

Am I in favor of uncritical acceptance of the standards of academia?  No.
But I also recognize that in the real world there are cranks, crackpots,
lunatics, and liars who are rejected by academia.  This does not make their
views correct.  I have had self-identified Marxists assure me that that the
Holocaust did not take place, that there may be some truth to anti-Darwinian
"creation science", and so forth, the proof being that the imperialist
bourgeoisie says that the Holocaust took place and that evolution is a fact.
But in fact the bourgeoisie is not like the people in logic problems who
"tell only lies" and thus are infallible guides to the truth if you only
take care to invert their sentences.

In trying to find out the truth of things, we should never rely on the
statements that the bourgeoisie make to the masses; but we can sometimes be
guided by the statements that the bourgeoisie make to each other, in
periodicals which the workers are never intended to read.  Here, for
example, is an article in The Economist, a periodical of, by, and for the
bourgeoisie:
http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=422858

Its tone is thoughtful, even mournful.  The authors assure their bourgeois
readers: "The broader question of whether global warming itself is real, and
whether mankind is playing a significant role in it, is no longer seriously
contested—except by scientists on the fringe."  This is not something they
would have liked to be true.  But it is the reality, they say, and we
bourgeois must face the facts and not engage in wishful thinking.  Well, can
we always trust The Economist?  Of course not.  But what are the class
reasons for their lying to their own class about this?  Can you think of
any, E.C.?

Now, you may still not believe that global warming due to human activity is
a fact.  But - and here is the main point - what touched off the thread was
David Welch's posting to this list of an article (which I have forwarded to
you) in a communist paper which assured the workers that global warming is a
bourgeois lie.  Furthermore, the author clearly misunderstood all the
scientific issues involved.  I wrote to say that this is bad practice.  If
in fact there is real doubt about global warming, why not hold a
working-class conference on the matter, or establish a task force of workers
and the oppressed to examine the issue?  But if we are going to make
pronouncements on the matter, we have to have better evidence than Welch
had, or, I think, than you do, E.C.

Lou Paulsen













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