January 6, 2013
The Democrats' War on Science Aids Our EnemiesBy Clarice Feldman
It's an article of faith among Democrats, crystallized in the book The Republican War on Science, that Republicans are unscientific boobs stupidly opposing such established verities as anthropogenic global warming promoted by those better educated in the mysteries of science (i.e., Democrats).
Of course this is nonsense, and this week's events prove that it's the Democrats and their appeals to low-information voters (including celebrity and big time coastal donors) that constitutes the real war on science to the detriment of all of us.
1. Al-TV -- this week Al Gore, anti-carbon fuel drum major, made a cool $100 million selling his 20% share in the failing, unwatched Current TV to Arab Al-Jazeera, owned by major carbon fuel producers. (His partner, Joel Hyatt, son-in-law of former Ohio Democratic senator Howard Metzenbaum, also benefited mightily.)
It's hard to conclude that this $500 million Al-Jazeera purchase is anything other than a payoff for effectively hampering the exploitation of American carbon fuels and advocating openly for giving a cable entrée to this Arab-broadcasting network. Current TV isn't worth anything like the price paid for it.
And the fact that Current turned down American Glenn Beck's purchase on political grounds offer adds to that suspicion. Michelle's Mirror notes:
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Glenn Beck's the Blaze inquired about buying Current last year, but was rejected due to ideological differences. Current leadership told the Blaze at the time that "the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us." Beck confirmed the inquiry late Wednesday.
Current TV co-founder Joel Hyatt explains:
Blogger Ann Althouse, University of Wisconsin law professor, also thinks that's a bizarre amount of money "just to get into cable TV," adding:
The idea is -- as the NYT puts it -- "to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister."
How hard is it to take over an existing slot in cable TV?
News channels financed by Britain, China and Russia are especially hungry for American cable deals. To date, the BBC has had the most success; its BBC World News channel is now available in about 25 million homes thanks to a deal struck last month with Time Warner Cable.
But the takeover of Current brings Al Jazeera to the front of the line. [Snip]
In recent weeks, Mr. Gore personally lobbied the distributors that carry Current on the importance of Al Jazeera, according to people briefed on the talks who were not authorized to speak publicly.
So... Al Jazeera was buying the former Vice President's advocacy.
Distributors can sometimes wiggle out of their carriage deals when channels change hands.
How long is that carriage deal? $500 million worth [ed:for]long? And it's not even guaranteed? It could turn into nothing?!
Most [distributors] consented to the sale, but Time Warner Cable did not...
Time Warner Cable had previously warned that it might drop Current because of its low ratings. It took advantage of a change-in-ownership clause and said in a terse statement Wednesday night, "We are removing the service as quickly as possible."
So Time Warner -- which serves 12 million of those 40 million homes -- is already out. Did Al Jazeera get hoodwinked by the Oscar-and-Nobel-Prize-winning former Veep? He did what he could for them, "personally lobb[ying] the distributors that carry Current on the importance of Al Jazeera." How much more can you buy in this world? You got Al!
2. Is this the only reason why a major carbon fuel producer paid off Gore in order to get a cable channel in the U.S.?
I think it's more than an effort to bring Arab political viewpoints into the U.S. I think it's part of an ongoing effort to keep the U.S. from displacing the Middle East as the major gas producer by propagandizing against hydraulic gas fracturing -- fracking.
American shale gas resources stand to both reduce carbon emissions -- if we need to (see below) -- and displace the Middle East oil producing economic and political advantage. Only stupid constraints our politicians place on the exploitation of these resources can stop that. Buying up politically connected Democratic advocates and celebrities to stand in as Arab proxies to this end is a useful Arab strategy.
The American Interest explains the U.S. boom and its impact:
Buying up the almost worthless Current TV at an exorbitant price and securing the advocacy of Al Gore is only part of the Middle East oil producers' efforts to halt our use of shale gas. Other strategic moves including getting celebrities, style setters and opinion makers onboard.
With no one monitoring seriously the contributions of "nonprofit, public interest" operations behind the anti-fracking movement here, who knows how much Arab money is being thrown at this. It is, to my mind, war by other means by opponents who have no chance of defeating us on a field of battle.
Of course, it's not just Arab money outright that's involved. Big companies are engaged in this disinformation campaign as well. LVMH's Tag Heuer is running expensive ads featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, bragging of its green building programs and contributions to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a foe of fracking. I have no idea who besides the French magnate Bernard Arnault owns Heuer but I am certain that LMVH's high priced luxury goods sell well in the oil producing states of the Middle East. I think the company -- and it's not alone -- is appealing to its Arab consumers by contributing to efforts to halt fracking and its US consumers by using a Hollywood celebrity as a spokesman.
Maybe he and Al can discuss in depth the green benefits of Al Jazeera cable while winding their Tag Heuers on Al's private plane. "Serious environmentalist" DiCaprio may be, as are most celebrity greenies, but seriously uninformed is not a compliment and that is what the anti-fracking and global warming spokesmen are.
In addition, every day further evidence mounts that the Gore promoted notion of anthropogenic global warming is just so much hot air.
Not only is the evidence mounting that the notion of AGW is as foolish as skeptics believed it to be, but that it has been shoved down our throats by a passel of bullies and charlatans.
James Delingpole at the Telegraph explains their tactics to those who haven't been giving this adequate attention:
Of course, not all the advocates of AGW are bought. Some are just ill-informed but remain opinion makers, nevertheless, in an era where cloaking opinions as science is the norm: Thus, for example, the NYT food writer Mark Bittman advocates less meat eating to save the globe. (I'm old enough to remember when food writers like James Beard and Craig Claiborne and Julia Childs actually loved all good tasting food and urged us to leave Puritanism aside and enjoy it and scientists worked to improve yields to feed better more people .Those were the days!)
3. Some Democrats behind the drive to twist science are catering to ill-informed but rich donors, including those well-financed "nonprofit, public interest" outfits: The Salmon Fiasco illustrates what I mean.
This week we learned that serial federal law violator HHS secretary Sebelius and Valerie Jarrett illegally sat on an FDA study that establishes that genetically modified salmon was perfectly safe for people and the environment:
Cheaper wholesome food which has no negative impact on the environment -- it's not what the NYT food editor or the administration want, apparently. Al Capp's Lower Slobovia seems to be their vision of Utopia.
4. In this litany of eco-activism certain to impoverish us all, there's one bright spot this week. Barnum & Bailey Circus's owners, Feld Entertainment, brought a RICO suit against "animal rights" scamsters and has already won a $9.3 million settlement from one of the multiple defendants:
Maybe it's time Congress took a closer look at the nonprofit sector. Who's funding them? What other misconduct are they engaged in? Whose interests are they really advancing? Just maybe, instead of always settling with these nudniks, it would help if more people followed the Feld example and defended their conduct and sued litigants and their lawyers for instituting frivolous actions interfering with commerce by slander and lies.
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