Guns, climate and growing up

Every now and then someone who ordinarily makes a fair amount of sense writes something that serves only to remind us that even the extraordinarily smart can be extraordinarily wrong. So it was with Sam Harris‘s defense of gun rights, The Riddle of the Gun.

First, Harris insists that “the correlation between guns and violence in the United States is far from straightforward.” He doesn’t really attempt to bolster that argument with relevant facts, though, and there there’s little point in an all-too-easy exercise in debunking. In fact, that’s not even his central thesis. No, that would be good old-fashioned defeatism, which seems to me to be more and more a defining characteristic of American culture.

For Harris, because there are so many guns in the United States (300 million is the most widely quoted figure), it just doesn’t make sense to try to do much beyond making sure everyone who has one knows how to use it responsibly.

Guns are everywhere, and the only people who will be deterred by stricter laws are precisely those law-abiding citizens who should be able to possess guns for their own protection and who now constitute one of the primary deterrents to violent crime. This is, of course, a familiar “gun nut” talking point. But that doesn’t make it wrong.

No, it’s wrong because it doesn’t hold up to even cursory scrutiny. Sean Faircloth, a former assistant state attorney general, offers one of a near infinite number of possible counterarguments here and Greg Laden offers some valuable historical context here.

Harris, a philosopher and neuroscientist, admits to a penchant for target shooting, and he suffers from the same stubborn, child-like refusal to accept the fact that life is sometimes hard. And just because something is hard is no reason for not trying. I am reminded of my six-year-old son, whose response to challenging tasks is often “But I can’t!” As his father, I often know he can, but convincing him not to give up is among the most challenging tasks either of us face these days.

Yes, a handgun buyback program isn’t likely to be effective in the short term. But such programs have worked elsewhere (Australia being the most recent example), so it’s just not rational to give up without even trying. And yes, doing something about the hopelessly ambiguous and atavistic Second Amendment won’t be easy, but the Constitution has been amended before, against comparable opposition. So again, don’t try telling us there’s no point in organizing what may be a decades long-campaign.

The whole affairs brings to mind one of the common arguments against doing something about global warming. The world is hopelessly addicted to fossil fuels. True. There’s enough easily accessible volumes of the stuff in the ground to tip the climate into some new equilibrium much less hospitable to civilization as we know it for the next 100,000 years. Also true. And all of the alternatives are more expensive. Yes, and yes and yes. But does any of that mean we shouldn’t even try to make the switch to clean renewables?

“It’s too hard, Daddy!”

When did America come to embrace defeatism? Somewhere between the last moon shot and Ronald Reagan’s first term, is my guess. Of course, it’s no coincidence that defeatism in the face of an overwhelming need for change always seems to bolster the profit margins of the secure and wealthy. Still, I suspect there’s something else at work here.

Chris Mooney has written about the evidence for a physiological basis for conservatism, which is now intimately associated with defeatism. Dan Kaheman makes the case of two types of thinking, one adapted for surviving on the Paleolithic plains of Africa, and one for civilization (although he doesn’t put it that way). But all of this dances around the essential fact that civilization is all about overcoming our ancient programming. We may not be designed to take the long view, and walk the hard path, and set aside our gut instincts in the face of carefully reasoned argument, but that’s what mature and responsible people – and societies – do.

Nothing give fills me with more pride than seeing my son try again, even when he isn’t sure he’s going to succeed. Even when he’s almost sure he won’t. It’s called growing up.

Comments

  1. #1 Nick
    January 4, 2013

    Change the constitution or accept a democratic vote. ie One side would have to put up or shut up.

  2. #2 Karl
    January 4, 2013

    Yep, it’s hard for folk to admit that they don’t have the capability to understand why other folk like guns. I suppose that’s why they try to equate gun owners to children or criminals, it makes it easier to overcome their lack of empathy.

  3. #3 LCarey
    January 4, 2013

    Nick & Karl, Wow – talk about lack of empathy!!!!!! “Folk who like guns” are apparently incapable of understanding (empathizing with) how the rest of us (some of whom also enjoy target shooting and hunting, by the way) might be rather upset about 20 first and second graders being shot (some up to 11 times each) with a military grade assault rifle equipped with a high capacity magazine. Lots of folks hunt in my neck of the woods, and NONE OF THEM use (or would dream of using) such a weapon. The only reason to support the wide availability of such lethal high-tech weapons is the deluded belief that our freedom is reliant on a bunch of heavily armed make-believe soldier-insurrectionists ready to go to war with the “gubbiment”, rather than actual democracy, where people argue rationally and vote. But you obviously don’t empathize with that view, do you?

  4. #4 Wow
    January 4, 2013

    Uh, why do people like guns?

    Really.

    Why?

    And remember, it has to be in such a way that keeping the gun locked up at the shooting lodge is not acceptable.

  5. #5 Wow
    January 4, 2013

    The second amendment is easy to solve.

    Do the same as the Finns.

    You get the gun as part of your national service. It remains with the job, you don’t get to take it and the weapons home.

    And since the 2nd is about a “well regulated millitia”, if the millita itself is hypothetically inimical to the people making up the millita, you’re already fubar’d beyond any wit of man to unravel.

  6. #6 Vince Whirlwind
    January 4, 2013

    Karl, some folk don’t have the capability to understand why other folk like cannabis.

    Unlike guns, cannabis is illegal.
    Unlike guns – which kill 3,000 people every year – cannabis kills precisely zero people each year.

    This is all about people who are subject to incoherent beliefs and incapable of accepting the need for change based on evidence-based analysis and policy-making.

    Gun crime and gun deaths plummeted in Australia as a result of some of that sound policy-making. It was introduced despite the loud opposition from a minority of vacuous retarded reactionaries. They were wrong. You are wrong.

    It would be nice to live in a society governed by people with better ideas than people like Karl.

  7. #7 Mike Olson
    January 4, 2013

    I enjoy target shooting. I’m not a child, a criminal or a conservative. I agree that guns are more dangerous than smoking pot. However, suggesting that pot killed no one, or that there are not health issues associated with smoking pot is more than a bit irrational.

  8. #8 ildi
    January 5, 2013

    First of all, Vince said nothing about any health issues associated with smoking pot. Vince said cannabis kills zero people each year. I did a google search, and the first seemingly objective source I came across was the Guardian, citing a study “Deaths Related to Drug Poisoning in England and Wales, 2011 | 29 August 2012″ which purportedly says that cannabis caused 7 deaths in 2011. I looked at the actual study; cannabis by itself doesn’t show up in any of the tables, and I found two references in the text: “Deaths involving cannabis were also very low (seven deaths in 2011) and usually involved more than one substance.” and “Where more than one drug is mentioned on a death certificate the death will be counted in more
    than one category in Table 3. For example, if both heroin and cannabis are mentioned, the death
    will be recorded once under heroin and once under cannabis.” Table 3 has no stand-alone category for cannabis.

    Google scholar turns up a Canadian study published in Harm Reduction Journal, 2012, titled “It Can’t Hurt to Ask; A Patient-Centered Quality of Service Assessment of Health Canada’s Medical Cannabis Policy and Program” that starts off:

    Background
    According to the United Nations Office for Drug Control
    and Crime Prevention (2001) [1] cannabis is the
    most popular illicit substance in the world. Despite the
    high rate of recreational use and over 5000 years of
    medical use, there has never been a substantiated case
    of death resulting from cannabis overdose [2].

  9. #9 Wow
    January 5, 2013

    “I did a google search, and the first seemingly objective source I came across was the Guardian”

    Which is a UK paper.

    In the UK smokers of pot, unlike in the USA, mix tobacco with the resin and smoke that.

    The paper merely proves smoking tobacco is dangerous.

  10. #10 Wow
    January 5, 2013

    “I enjoy target shooting.”

    Then leave your gun at the shooting lodge, locked in the safe there for you.

  11. #11 ildi
    January 5, 2013

    In the UK smokers of pot, unlike in the USA, mix tobacco with the resin and smoke that.

    The paper merely proves smoking tobacco is dangerous.

    No, this was worse than that; they are disingenuously reporting 7 deaths due to cannabis overdose, when the reality is that people were overdosing on heroin or barbituates or whatever and also had cannabis in their system. By that logic, they should be testing people for caffeine levels when they overdose on alcohol and reporting annual caffeine overdose deaths.

    This is from wiki:

    The LD50 of caffeine in humans is dependent on individual sensitivity, but is estimated to be about 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass or roughly 80 to 100 cups of coffee for an average adult.

    OTOH, I’m having trouble finding an LD50 for cannabis. Merck lists an LD50 for Marinol, which is a synthetic cannabinoid ingested orally in sesame seed oil, as 1270 mg/kg for male rats and 730 mg/kg for female rats. I don’t know what that translates to for humans. I do remember reading stuff from back in the day when scientists were trying to establish an LD50 for rats by filling their containers with smoke, and found the were dying of smoke inhalation before they ever croaked from the cannabis itself.

  12. #12 Mike Olson
    January 5, 2013

    In a different online conversation, several years ago, I mentioned that very idea. A central location where guns could be stored. As to leaving it locked up in the shooting lodge, what are you proposing that is currently available? As far as Finland goes, they don’t leave their weapons in a lodge, they do hunt, they do target shoot, they do require permits and they are having issues of gun control. I’m going to hazard a SWAG, as well: Namely, 1) pretty much any intoxicating substance possesses dangers…claiming OD as the only issue is really skirting the issue. 2) If you are drawing smoke into your lungs aka hot gas and small solid particles, you will have long term health effects.

  13. #13 Wow
    January 5, 2013

    Mike, I’m pretty sure it’s the Finns, but it could be the Swiss.

    However, the vast majority of “gun owners” do not use them for hunting, they use them solely as part of their military service. They don’t even (for the last several years) keep rounds in the house, even when they kept the gun itself there.

    Which is why they have given up carrying the guns home at the end of a stint of service.

    Most gun owners don’t use them for hunting. A VERY small minority do. And most of those in the houses of three people and 10000 reindeer.

    In the USA many gun clubs already have a safe for putting guns of members in securely. Part of the fees includes insurance for loss too, which helps a hell of a lot.

    Re your #2, there’s less burnt in a USA style spliff.

    And most of what will put you down is the tar which is also lower in weed resin than tobacco.

    Lastly, nicotine is far more addictive (chemically) than even LSD.

    There’s none of that in a USA style joint.

  14. #14 Wow
    January 5, 2013

    I must have been thinking about another report on reefers, then, ildi

  15. #15 Mike Olson
    January 5, 2013

    Your info on marijuana actually sounds pretty solid, compared to other things I’ve read. I’m just suggesting that any given intoxicant has dangers. As to firearms….I live in a fairly rural area, and most gun owners aren’t hunters here. But, most folks don’t have ready access to a gun club. I would be the first to admit I’d give up my guns for life to bring back twenty kindergartners. Having said that, I admit to empathizing with the notion of being penalized via the actions of the few. I am not attempting to engage in over blown rhetoric, but I was once told that is how fascism works: a thief runs into a store, if the police can’t determine who it is…kill everyone to ensure wrong is punished. My point being a complete ban on guns or draconian measures do seem over the top considering they do have viable hunting and other recreational uses.

  16. #16 Shaun
    January 6, 2013

    I’m from Australia and we do not have a complete ban on guns. You can join a sport shooting club if you were so inclined. People who need a gun (e.g. farmers) are also able to get them.

    Mike, we may have severely restricted a very specific freedom (gun ownership), but I live my life with almost 0 fear of gun violence which increases my freedom to do everything else. On balance, I think that our gun control laws increased my net freedom.

  17. #17 Wow
    January 6, 2013

    ” I’m just suggesting that any given intoxicant has dangers.”

    Hell, OXYGEN is toxic. You CAN die from too high an O2 level and free radicals are the result of oxydation.

    And the thing is it’s NOT the actions of a few. Look at the number of gunshot wounds and deaths in the USA.

    It’s the actions of a hell of a lot of people.

    And facism doesn’t work like that, Mike. Whoever used that was either similarly lied to or was lying to you.

    Facism is what you have in the USA today.

    The state working for private interests not the public’s interest.

    What you’re talking about is a police state. And to see that in your country already, look at the wiretapping law changes, terrorism laws brought out, and the Assange/Manning debacle.

    And guns haven’t stopped a single bit of it.

    Indeed, since most of these things were set up during Bush’s terms, they were applauded and insisted on by those who claim loudest their need to own guns to put the state back in its proper place.

    And those same gun toting idiots ALSO think that Assange should be summarily executed and Manning executed for treason (despite it not being treason).

    The problem is as much that the large majority of those who demand their guns are very much the lunatics in the asylum. 60% of gun owners give the remainder a bad name.

  18. #18 Mike Olson
    January 6, 2013

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, look, I’m the guy who wanted to pass around a petition banning Dihydrogen monoxide. But, to suggest that marijuana use is the equivalent of oxygen sounds like the remarks of someone severely defensive about their intoxicant of choice. As it stands I’ve listened to folks really bang on beer because it is alcohol and alcoholics are worse than those who habitually use marijuana. Having said that, your statements regarding current American government as a fascist state sound, to my ears, overly strident. On the other hand I do think that fear of terrorism created a climate in which we, as a people, allowed our civil liberties to be seriously eroded. We need people to be more involved in our governments decisions and to actually pay attention to what is going on. As is, consider this: do you honestly believe we would have been at war or even gone to war if we still had a national draft or a required year of national service? If that were the case every citizen would have a hand in our foreign policy and it’s inherent dangers. Americans are pretty insulated from the decisions of its government. Regarding gun control, which was the main topic: on a very personal note, the weapons I use are bolt action or lever action rifles, pump action shotguns, and single action revolvers. I personally don’t see why anyone needs automatic weapons, large capacity magazines, or, for that matter, in the end pistols in general….even a good shot can barely hit the broad side of a barn with one. If those folks really were concerned about “home defense,” they’d either get a pump shotgun or one of those little 410 gauge pistols….you don’t have to be an expert, it will hit anything in front of it, about the length of a hallway, and most folks aren’t being over run by combat teams…so the five rounds should be more than sufficient to meet their paranoia. As to defense against the government….if you are really concerned about the government coming for you…their weapons are already massively better than yours….learn hacking skills, tech skills, and science, I’m not suggesting that our government needs to be over thrown…simply that in a modern world truly defending yourself requires mad tech or science skills most folks don’t even have. Consider that you can get a radio control plane that operates pretty much like a drone at your local hobby store…..that skill and an ability to make more is more dangerous than a rifle.

  19. #19 Wow
    January 6, 2013

    Mike, H2O and O2 are entirely different.

    O2 is a reducing atmosphere. It’s corrosive. It destroys biological tissue and kills organisms.

    H2O isn’t anywhere near as reactive and is a generic solvent hence entirely useful.

  20. #20 Wow
    January 6, 2013

    And I think you’re being both alarmist and getting well off topic going on about home made drones.

    The only way for those to reliably hurt people with one is to crash it into them. Shooting from it isn’t even vaguely on the cards.

  21. #21 Mike Olson
    January 7, 2013

    Wow, you really oughta read the petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide. I’ve got a pretty good idea how O2 works. As well as a functional sense of humor. Also, if you really want to talk about intoxicants, forget O2 and go to nitrous.

    Crashing into something with a flying object brought down to large towers. Diesel fuel and anhydrous did a lot of damage in Oklahoma city. Without going too far, learning to fly remotes and scaling up, doesn’t seem to be beyond the pale. To go further, it wouldn’t have to go far, and could be assembled near it’s target. Look, I’m no criminal nor am I a terrorist. Discussing this on the internet makes me more than a bit uneasy. I definitely don’t want to hurt anyone, nor do I want to give anyone any ideas.

    Frankly, however, most crazies out there don’t want to take the time to learn chemistry or how to operate somewhat complex pieces of equipment. They just want a weapon with a large capacity, ease of operation and rapid rate of fire.

    They aren’t trying to make a statement or to further a cause or to protect others…as a person would in war time situations or in rebellion against purported fascist overlords..

    The only people willing to learn chemistry, biology or genetics are folks who want to grow or manufacture drugs.

    The psychos want to kill the most unarmed innocents they can in the least amount of time possible while firmly affixing their own face to the disaster they’ve caused.

    My point isn’t really to be alarmist. Simply to point out that folks who see themselves as being protected from Big Brother, or invading commie hordes because they have their pappy’s squirrel gun really don’t understand modern military capability or in many instances their woeful lack of physical preparedness in the event of such situations.

  22. #22 Mike Olson
    January 7, 2013

    My bag: I’m confusing anhydrous and ammonium nitrate.

  23. #23 Wow
    January 7, 2013

    “Wow, you really oughta read the petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide”

    I’ve read several.

  24. #24 Wow
    January 7, 2013

    “Crashing into something with a flying object brought down to large towers.”

    OK, you’re talking for the sound of your own voice here.

    Irrelevant bollocks, go ahead and enjoy yourself, I won’t bother reading any more.

  25. #25 Mike Olson
    January 7, 2013

    Sensitive, very sensitive. No one else has a point but you. But, you won’t read this anyway, right? I’m hurt that a dope smoking, apologist who fails to acknowledge his bad habit is capable of harm and engages in acts of pedantry won’t speak to me anymore. Sorry dude. I thought we were having fun.

  26. #26 Mike Olson
    January 7, 2013

    BTW, forget the fascist: It’s the computer hacking/harassing 12 steppers you really got to look out for.

    Here’s a clue: The big secret is, “accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.”

    If you can’t do that for whatever reason: you will die insane in prison.

  27. #27 Radical Rodent
    January 12, 2013

    Mike, you have picked the wrong person to try and have a sane and rational argument. However, look on the bright side – you have yet to receive person insults and recommendations for self-harm (but if you are persistent, you will!).

  28. #28 Wow
    January 12, 2013

    NWOR too.

  29. #29 Radical Rodent
    January 13, 2013

    But reply you do, even if you either can’t spell or don’t know correct English.

  30. #30 Wow
    January 13, 2013

    Hey, look, if “just a theory” is so damn uncertain, go jump off a high building, safe in the knowledge that it is only “consensus” that says you’ll fall down to your death.

  31. #31 Radical Rodent
    January 13, 2013

    Blimey, that didn’t take long!

    Not sure where you found the “just a theory” quote; can’t find it on this post; nor any reference to “consensus”.

    Actually, falling off buildings (or anything else, for that matter) is an observable fact. The theory is an attempt to explain the phenomenon; if you do not know the difference between observable fact and explanatory theory, perhaps you need to educate yourself a bit more.

  32. #32 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “Blimey, that didn’t take long!”

    What? You did?

    Cool.

    So I guess you’ve shown “only a theory” is safe, huh?

    Oh, no, you didn’t.

    You’re a coward without the courage of their convictions.

    I guess it’s easier to be confident when you’re not at risk and others are.

    Well, if you’re a psychopathic nutter like you, Raddled Rodent.

  33. #33 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “Actually, falling off buildings (or anything else, for that matter) is an observable fact”

    Birds.

  34. #34 Wow
    January 30, 2013

    Oh, and the greenhouse effect is an observable fact.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence

  35. #35 Radical Rodent
    February 2, 2013

    …the greenhouse effect is an observable fact.

    Yep. Cannot argue with that. Have never argued with that. NASA highlighted that in one sequence, stating: “Without an atmosphere our planet would average a frosty 0°F”[sic]

    So, what is your point? Other than to return to your usual ploy of pouring scorn and vitriol on anyone who may not hold the same opinions as you cling to.

  36. #36 Wow
    February 4, 2013

    Other than to return to your usual ploy of pouring scorn and vitriol on anyone who may not hold the same opinions as you cling to.

    Redundant Rat, that’s just complete bollocks and you know it.

    Tell me, just because I think 1+1=2, do you think someone INSISTING it was “Elephant” would not deserve scorn?

    No, you’re a tiresome denier troll of old and want to pretend that all the nasty was by someone who whupped your pseudo-intellectual contrarianism in nothing flat.

  37. #37 Radical Rodent
    February 4, 2013

    I’m sorry, Wow, but what IS your point?

    So far, you have merely shown the depth of your contempt for those who have expressed opinions that you appear to take objection to.

    You raised a quote – “just a theory” – as if it had some relevance to the argument of this particular blog, and as if it was a quote from this blog.

    Your responses to almost everyone on this blog with whom you disagree would have made them cringe just a little. LCarey made just one comment; I doubt he/she has bothered visiting again after reading your vitriol. The same could well be said of ildi and Shaun; Mike Olsen seems to have persisted, in the (vain) hope of persuading you to consider that others may hold different viewpoints from yourself. Alas, I doubt even he will be bothering to see if there has been any progress, which is a shame.

    So, apart from your obvious desire to throw as much offence as you can muster against those with whom you disagree, what exactly is your raison d’etre?

    (BTW, there is a school of thinking where 1+1=10)

    p.s. I have really thought of myself more of a mouse than a rat.

  38. #38 Radical Rodent
    February 4, 2013

    Another point: having never laid claim to being an intellectual, I cannot be a pseudo-intellectual. Your arguments do seem to go around in tight, little circles.

    Not too sure what you think I am “denying”, here, either.

    Perhaps you should wipe your spittle-flecked screen clean, and actually read what people are saying on these blogs.

  39. #39 Wow
    February 4, 2013

    “I’m sorry, Wow, but what IS your point?”

    Is what my point?

    If you want the point of some post here, point to it.

    “So far, you have merely shown the depth of your contempt for those who have expressed opinions that you appear to take objection to.”

    So far you’ve just doubled down on the same idiot lie as before.

    “persuading you to consider that others may hold different viewpoints from yourself”

    I already know this happens.

    Whereabouts do you get this fiction that I didn’t know this?

  40. #40 Wow
    February 4, 2013

    “Another point: having never laid claim to being an intellectual”

    Yet your past has been one of you decrying those of people who have spend their lives trying to understand something, because they DARED decide something that you thought meant COMMUNISM!!!!

    And think they are wrong merely because you don’t understand it.

    So in what way is “never claiming to be an intellectual” of any valid point whatsoever?

    You didn’t come here to learn, but to shout down.

    “Not too sure what you think I am “denying”, here, either.”

    Your past on other threads. Where you deny all sorts of inconvenient truths.

    And the fact that you’ve only ever whined about me on this thread. To no point.

    “Perhaps you should wipe your spittle-flecked screen clean”

    Sorry, those flecks of spit must be on your side of the screen. Mine has none and in any case, they don’t appear over the internet, so your belief that you can see someone else’s spittle on their screen should have give you an idea that the problem was over your end.

  41. #41 Wow
    February 4, 2013

    PS why is it that anyone you’re attacking must be spitting (spluttering?) in your mind?

    Is this standard-form projection again?

  42. #42 Wow
    February 4, 2013

    To see why Rabid Shrew here is so all “outraged” on your behalf (year, right, only that idiot thought it would work…), the problem is he got butthurt here on this thread:

    http://scienceblogs.com/classm/2012/02/21/peter-gleicks-alleged-crime

    which he had to respond to because he’s a little randroid who hates AGW because it means his libertarian ideals don’t work.

    That’s why he turned up here too, because it’s about climate too.

    But after the rogering of his pseudoscientific BS on that thread, he thought he’d double down on the fake concern troll instead.

  43. #43 Radical Rodent
    February 5, 2013

    Wow: calm down, dear. Calm down.

    Your extrapolation of very limited information is quite a sight to behold. I suspect you to be a politician. From your response to this, and other, posts, it is not difficult to imagine you ricocheting of the walls and ceiling as you scream invectives at the screen.

    …anyone you’re attacking…I’m attacking? I am attacking no-one; I came on here to offer some support to those who are being subjected to your “reasoned” arguments. As that is tantamount to lighting the blue touch-paper, perhaps I should not have done that.

    As for my “hatred” of AGW, I am sure that anyone who goes to the site you highlight will find it difficult to find any hatred emanating from me, other than to object to the theft of a genuine concern for political and personal gain. I also find the “A” of AGW a little suspect. Global warming is happening; I can accept that. The planet has warmed and cooled in the past, without any help or hindrance from humans; why is this particular period any different? Nothing you or any like you have shown me have persuaded me that this is any different from similar periods in history. By how much has the world warmed in the past 30 years? How does that compare with, say, the period from 1910 to 1940? Or 1840 to 1870? Even without viewing it in graph form, I would be very surprised if it showed a slope significantly steeper than either of those two periods.

    Finally, libertarian ideals (whether mine or anyone else’s) do work, and are utterly untouched by “AGW”. There is a clue in the word itself: I am sure that even you should spot that. I am not sure which side of the Atlantic you are from, but on both sides, “liberty” is an ideal that most people treasure and aspire to.

    p.s. “Rabid Shrew”. Ha ha! I like it; nice touch!

  44. #44 Radical Rodent
    February 5, 2013

    As for your insistence that I am a liar (though have yet to produce evidence to support your claim – which could be your downfall, should I challenge you in a court in pursuance of libel action), and despise me for it (amongst so many other reasons), what is your opinion of those of your persuasion who openly admit that they have and are lying, “to motivate action”?

  45. #45 Wow
    February 5, 2013

    Wow: calm down, dear. Calm down.

    Ah, yet more pretend from you?

    Try refraining from pretend, there’s a good little boy.

    I’m attacking? I am attacking no-one;

    So you’re not writing your posts then?

    I came on here to offer some support to those who are being subjected to your “reasoned” arguments.

    No, you came on here to argue against AGW and to attack me.

    I also find the “A” of AGW a little suspect

    That’s because you don’t like it.

    But reality doesn’t give a fig.

    I am sure that anyone who goes to the site you highlight

    which is this site, this blog….

    will find it difficult to find any hatred emanating from me

    Other than your hatred for the idea that AGW is real.

    The planet has warmed and cooled in the past, without any help or hindrance from humans; why is this particular period any different?

    Because this time humans are doing it. Duh.

    Even without viewing it in graph form, I would be very surprised if it showed a slope significantly steeper than either of those two periods.

    Which is why you, as any denier worth their spittle does, cherry pick.

    Here’s the temperature graph for you:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png

    Nothing you or any like you have shown me have persuaded me that this is any different from similar periods in history.

    Which is why you get called a denier. Because you deny the evidence before you if you don’t like it.

    Finally, libertarian ideals (whether mine or anyone else’s) do work

    Yeah, they worked for the bank owners.

    The financial system itself and moreso the people living in it, not so much.

    and are utterly untouched by “AGW”

    Except that you libertards insist that there must never be government (except to hold up the needs of the corporation), but AGW requires coordinated action which requires governance. And AGW is an externality that lebertarian screed does not deign to admit exists.

    “liberty” is an ideal that most people treasure and aspire to.

    Libertards like yourself are not for liberty. The only liberty they want is the liberty to own slaves.

    You’ll never see a libertard insist on the removal of patents, copyrights or tort law.

  46. #46 Wow
    February 5, 2013

    though have yet to produce evidence to support your claim

    That blog link I posted gives plenty of evidence. And you’ve supplied many extra lies today too.

    which could be your downfall, should I challenge you in a court in pursuance of libel action

    Yeah, Staring Mad Lord Monckton does that too: dire threats of legal action followed by yet more threats.

    No action.

    Same here. For the same reasons too: the claims are valid.

  47. #47 Radical Rodent
    February 5, 2013

    *sigh*

    I really should listen to those who advise: Never argue with a fool; he will drag you down to his level, and beat you with experience.

    The reason I will not bother taking you to court for libel is because what you say has no effect on any other part of my life; if it did threaten harm, I might be prepared to go to the expense and inconvenience of court.

    You have very little appreciation of scientific thinking, and you obviously have no idea what liberty is. If you are not prepared to enlighten yourself just a little, there really is not much hope for you; let the state make all your decisions for you; you will be so much safer that way.

    Goodbyeee!

  48. #48 Wow
    February 5, 2013

    Look, face it: you’ve lost.

    Concern trolling is all you’re left doing because you can’t actually manage anything more intellectually challenging.

    Sucks to be you.

    (PS isn’t that the second flounce? Don’t let the revolving door hit you on the arse when you flounce out, M’kay?)

  49. #49 Wow
    February 5, 2013

    “The reason I will not bother taking you to court for libel is because what you say has no effect on any other part of my life”

    And the truth of the statement makes any claim null.

    And you’re just trying to bully, not actually willing to do any work.

  50. #50 Radical Rodent
    February 5, 2013

    Feb 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM | TinyCO2

    Just the sort of thing going on in the comments here: http://scienceblogs.com/classm/2013/01/04/guns-climate-and-growing-up/

    I know I shouldn’t but find it just too irresistible.

    (Would help if I was good at debate, though – mind you, perhaps it is my own vanity to think that responses are appropriate.)

  51. #51 Wow
    February 5, 2013

    Would help if I was good at debate, though

    Would require some material that stood up to scrutiny, though. This is rather your problem: you don’t have any and don’t really think it’s needed. All you have to do is concern troll, you think, and you’ll be able to get your own back on me.

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