Tolerating Dissent; Tolerating Skeptics

Andrew Davey has set a new record for comments generated with his post on Global Warming.  I think we’re all well over 70 now as I write this and its been an extraordinary debate.

Our friend Matt Cunningham has stated the those of us on the left who believe man is contributing to the increase in greenhouse gases and global warming are intolerant of those individuals who don’t see a connection.

However, intolerance of dissenting voices to whatever degree its true or not, is not an exclusively liberal, Democratic or leftist phenomenon.

Here’s something Matt wrote today in a post about State Senator Dick Ackerman:

“Since the Governor, the titular head of the Republican Party in California, has shed whatever GOP principles he may have had, thank goodness Ackerman and his Caucus are standing and fighting for them. And given the weight of pressure being brought to bear on them to break ranks, it is a tribute to Dick Ackerman’s leadership skills and example that none has – except for Sen. Abel Maldonado (R – Weaksisterville).

Note: Maldonado is the only Republican senator to break ranks and vote for the budget that vast majority of legislative memebrs wants.  Note 2: Matt is overusing the phrase “weak sister” a lot these days; my sister would kick my ass if I were to use that.  She fights dirty.)

Over on Flash Report. Jon writes this: Oh yes, this is a good time to ask again for  the Governor replace his Chief of Staff with a Republican.  Susan Kennedy is charming, smart, and witty — and a Democrat.  We believe a Republican Governor should have a Republican Chief of Staff.  (Note: Susan is doing a hell of a job)

and this: So now, here we are, where legislative Republicans in the State Senate are making bold stand for a few very modest reforms that any fiscal conservative would applaud, and the very Governor whom I supported is now barnstorming around the California, attacking those very Republicans who are standing for fiscally conservative programmatic changes in order to reduce projected budget deficits in outlying years. 
 
What happened to the Governor who stumped as a fiscal conservative?
 
Make no bones about it, the legislation that has been proposed is not the state budget.  It is a proposed state budget, and it is one that is not acceptable to 2/3rds of the legislators in both houses. (NOTE: this is factually incorrect, the proposed budget is not acceptable to slight more than one-third of the legislators in both houses).
 
What needs to happen here is not having the top Republican officeholder in the state traveling the state, berating legislators of his own party (Note: berating Democrats is perfectly fine with Jon), but the Governor should be working with legislative Republicans and negotiating a budget that works for everyone – yes, even Senate Republicans.
 

The real story of the budget impasse is how Senate Republicans no longer trust their party’s governor to whittle the budget down and their party’s governor doesn’t have the power or testicular fortitude to twist a single arm; someone call in the stunt double.

So in a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, I think both Democrats and Republicans can tolerate dissent within their own parties just fine.  Chris, Andrew and I  have all lined up behind different presidential candidates and we disagree on a number of other issues; but disagreeing on small points means we haven’t lost sight of the big picture.

  26 comments for “Tolerating Dissent; Tolerating Skeptics

  1. August 14, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Our friend Matt Cunningham has stated the those of us on the left who believe man is contributing to the increase in greenhouse gases and global warming are intolerant of those individuals who don’t see a connection.

    Ay! That’s not what I said. Tjis was my point:

    The Left has no tolerance for those who express skepticism about:

    1) the existence of climate change/global warming

    or

    2 )the extent of global warming

    3) the Left’s heavy-handed, command-and-control approach to dealing with it.

    Andrew has been the example par excellence by simply dismissing anyone who disagrees with any statement he makes regarding climate change as being irrational and “living in a fantasy world.”

  2. Aunt Millie
    August 14, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Ay! That’s not what I said. Tjis was my point:

    The Left has no tolerance for those who express skepticism about:

    1) the existence of climate change/global warming

    Jubal, here’s the problem.

    The science journalist of Reason, one of the most respected skeptics and one who reads all of the literature , has stated unequiviocally that your point number one is not working anymore.

    He’s late to the party, but he’s finally acknowledged reality.

    You, on the other hand, are still with the Deniers, and can’t quite get it.

    Why should we listen to points two or three of your specious arguments?

  3. August 14, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    He’s also pointed out that IPCC predictions about things like sea level increases and surface temperature increase change:

    There is good news of a sort in the 4AR Summary. Researchers believe in most scenarios that average global temperatures and sea level rise are likely to be somewhat lower than previously projected. Let’s look at earlier IPCC projections to get a sense of how climate change findings have evolved since 1990. Although each report stated its projections in ways that make it somewhat difficult to make direct comparisons, here’s the gist of them. In 1990, the FAR found that computer climate models projected that global mean surface temperature could increase by about 1 degree Celsius above the present value by 2025 and 3 degrees Celsius before the end of the next century. The “best estimate” for sea level rise due to melting glaciers and thermal expansion was about 60 centimeters (25 inches) by 2100.

    In 1996, the SAR lowered the projected increase in average global temperatures by 2100 of about 1.0 to 3.5 degrees Celsius (1.8 to 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 with a best estimate of 2 degrees Celsius ((3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The SAR forecasted that sea-level could rise between 15 to 94 centimeters (6 to 37) inches by 2100 with a best estimate of 50 centimeters (20 inches). In 2001, the TAR widened the projected range of projected temperature increases by 2100 to 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius (2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit). On the other hand, the TAR dropped its estimates of sea level rise by 2100 to 9 to 88 centimeters (4 to 35 inches) with a mean estimate of 45 centimeters (18 inches).

    The predictions from this science keeps changing as the computer models are changed. Is it so much to ask to keep on open-mind about what further research will turn up? That the science might change? That we may discover, for example, that solar activity or volcanic activity have much more impact on climate change than human activity?

    There’s nothing specious about those arguments, Aunt Millie. If you’re going to be intolerant of those who disagree with you on the extent of climate change or the nature of its impact, then it is you who are the Denier.

  4. Aunt Millie
    August 14, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Absolutely, I keep an open mind about the range of problems, but there is a baseline that is inconsistent with denial, and the sources you ballyhoo are obviously garbage, as minimal review of the science and the scientifically informed skeptics will easily establish, just as minimal research show that the site that you trumpet are bullshit.

    Tell me that bullshit is a beautiful, scented turdblossom and I will deny it. Just as I insult your oh so tender ears with my directness.

  5. August 14, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    That’s one thing I’ve never understood about Lefties: this confusion of profanity and obscenity with truth, eloquence or “directness” — as if saying “bulls–t” is a sign of intelligence and good character.

  6. Aunt Millie
    August 14, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    Bullshit is as bullshit does, and you have watched the Republican President and Republican Congress shit all over every principle that fiscal conservatives and patriots held dear.

    Bless your tender, naive ears.

  7. Flowerszzz
    August 14, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    It is not about naive ears it is about just being plain rude. No one is attacking you. When someone attacks you personally…please bullshit all over them.

  8. Andrew Davey
    August 14, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Dan-

    Thanks for pointing this out. And thanks for giving the true meaning of “tolerance”.

    Aunt Millie-

    If you were using that “profane” language to personally attack other people, then I’d have a problem with that. But you don’t do that, so I appreciate your directness and your clear, straight talk. Thanks for “keeping it real” here at The Liberal OC! :-)

  9. d'Anconia
    August 14, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Aunt Millie:

    First of all, Jubal has stated more than 3 times that he is not trying to convince anyone that climate change isn’t happening, therefore he is no “denier”.

    Further, if we could get past this “alarmist” vs. “skeptics” rhetorical b-shit (as you continuously eloquently put it), you’ll realize that I’ve been inviting a debate about SOLUTIONS for the past 10 hours here in this blog.

    I have challenged Andrew Davey to a debate and just like I thought, he caved. I challenge anyone for that matter to a debate about solutions, but please come armed with facts, not rhetoric.

  10. August 14, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    d’Anconia:

    Well, that would require Andrew to more than post smilies and back-slapping the other libs for “keeping it real” and “telling it like it is” and exlaiming “oh my” or “great point!” — so don’t hold your breath.

  11. August 15, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Just a thought, Jubal: if you express such skepticism toward global warming, why not express the same toward conservatism?

  12. August 15, 2007 at 8:00 am

    Gustavo — good point. While few would dispute that conservatism exists today, some have begun to doubt whether it is a growing or dangerous phenomenon.

  13. August 15, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Just a thought, Jubal: if you express such skepticism toward global warming, why not express the same toward conservatism?

    What does that question even mean?

  14. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Am I mistaken or did someone just try to compare a scientific theory with a political ideology?

    Ever heard of apples and oranges?

  15. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Well, isn’t Political Science a major at many colleges and universities

  16. Andrew Davey
    August 15, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Am I mistaken or did someone just try to compare a scientific theory with a political ideology?

    Isn’t that what your friend Matt/Jubal has been doing here THE WHOLE TIME in trying to refute the hard science of climate change with political posturing?

    Just sayin’…

  17. August 15, 2007 at 9:11 am

    No, Andrew, it isn’t.

    But I have been trying to get you to respond or comment or say something about those two articles I brought to your attention regarding whether global warming is expanding or shrinking the Sahara desert.

    So far, it’s just crickets and deflections and smilies from you.

  18. August 15, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Well, isn’t Political Science a major at many colleges and universities

    And that makes it a science? Marx said his theory was scientific — did that make it so?

  19. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Andrew-

    “Isn’t that what your friend Matt/Jubal has been doing here THE WHOLE TIME in trying to refute the hard science of climate change with political posturing?”

    I fail to see how Jubal’s interactions in this blog have anything to do with the fact that Gustavo just tried to compare the global warming theory with the conservative ideology.

    Lots of schools teach logic as a required course. I assume you never went to one of them Andrew, but if you did, your Professor did a crappy job of teaching deductive reasoning to you.

    Oh and I’m still waiting for you to accept my challenge, just like Jubal has been waiting for over 24 hours for you to comment on the two articles he used as a rebuttal to your senseless rambling.

  20. Andrew Davey
    August 15, 2007 at 9:56 am

    d’Anconia-

    You don’t want to “debate”… You just want to bash me with your vitriol. Sorry, but I have better things to do with my time.

    Matt-

    Give it up. I was pointing out changes occurring throughout the world, and how they may be tied to the big picture of climate change. But again, you don’t want to listen to me. You just want to bash me as some “EnviroLeft extremist” who “persecutes” everyone who voices “dissent” against the known science of climate change.

    Jeez, and I thought you had better things to do with your time than hang around here and yell at me…

    ;-) (Just b/c you and your right-wing friend LOVE it!)

  21. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Andrew-

    “You don’t want to “debate”… You just want to bash me with your vitriol. Sorry, but I have better things to do with my time.”

    No Andrew, you can lie to yourself and pretend like I came here to call names, but I came here to try and understand this “known science of climate change” that you continuously point to, but fail to provide us with.

    “;-) (Just b/c you and your right-wing friend LOVE it!) ”

    Sorry Andrew, wrong again. I am far from a right-winger. Call me a pragmatist.

  22. call me curious
    August 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    d’Anconia, you say you are not a right-winger, but a pragmatist.
    Are you an adherent of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism? Isn’t your screen name the same as a character in Atlas Shrugged?

  23. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Back on topic; the issue of tolerance. Its bipartisan to be intolerant of one who doesn’t share your political point of view. That’s my point in Matt calling Abel Maldonado (R-Weaksisterville) even though Abel represents very blue areas of San Jose and Santa Cruz. Now I ask, is Abel placing his constituents ahead of his party or the other way around?

  24. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Dan-

    I happen to disagree with Jubal on the issue of the Senator’s vote, but I don’t see how his attempt at humor compares to Ted Kennedy calling me a traitor.

  25. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    call me curious-

    I like the name yes. As far as the philosophy, yeah I dig her style, although her views on love and religion are a little twisted.

  26. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    sorry, bu when did Senator Kennedy personally call you a traitor? Would that be the same time Ari Fleischer was telling liberals to watch what they say, or Dock Cheney to tell a senator to “eff” himself on the floor of the senate or the hundreds of times Gonzo said “I don’t recall.” Save it. The right has been beating up the left for years. If you can’t take a punch, don’t throw one.

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