The difficult kind.

DDK02

My woman teaches the difficult young children. She does what’s called special needs and I think she was born to do it. She takes all the ones who’re a bit behind the pack and perhaps will always be, the ones who’re a bit lost, the silly hearts who’re still determined to stay a little bit longer in a child’s simple butterfly world or just out there somewhere else, in their own complete self-enclosed bubble, and she’s good at it.

They’re the distracted ones either living unwittingly on an unusually extended oxygen line of protective parental love or despite but because of parental stupidity, just about hanging on to the frayed tatters of their sometimes ruined childhoods. It can be a difficult row to hoe at times. I couldn’t do it.

She has that intuitive ability to get in touch with them and slowly inveigle them back into some sort of coping with the real world as it is. She gently brings them out of themselves, and gives them the confidence to re-engage with the grown up struggles of their lives. It’s the sort of emotional seduction that only a true empath can do.

Somehow, she breaks through and gets across to them that they’re okay, and everything will work out fine in the end, but in the meantime, let’s us work together on these squiggly letters. Sometimes that prediction is not likely to be true, and she knows that, but if it perhaps turns out to be wrong, it’s giving them a little shard of feel good about themselves, that the child needs to get them through the rough times ahead. Where there’s scant love about, sometimes children just need the hope of it. Some kids tear your heart open. Like I said, I couldn’t do her job.

It actually took a while for me to realise that all along, I was in some ways another one of her long-term but more exasperating projects and boy was that a bit of a surprise. So much for me being actually in control of anything. Subtlety wouldn’t be my natural strong suit, but while it takes a while, I do get there in the end. Because she cared for me, she was quietly centering me and to put it quite bluntly, civilising me.

She’s taught me innumerable useful things; pleases and thank youse, dragging a comb through my hair once in a while, it’s mebbe okay sitting with your back to the door when you’re at home, and a knife and fork were actually there to eat meals with, rather than just being casual weapons of opportunity you automatically clocked the locations of.

She is the huge factor in my life and our children’s lives, but while she’s helped me get along through some of the more difficult situations of a life, there are aspects of my personality that I choose not to have mediated, mollified or mitigated. They’re the essential me, whether good or bad. They’re the bits that got me through some shadowed valleys and I really don’t want fiddled with. She’s accepted that and it’s a part of the respect we pay each other, who even though we’re married, are still individuals.

You see, it’s actually okay to be a bit awkward, to be different. It’s your nature, and as you mature, you learn it can be an asset rather than a hindrance. It’s not as if you’re some sort of homicidal maniac, but you do take your own view on things, whether right or wrong. That’s the one sneaking doubt I’ve got about my woman’s work – it’s that strange oddness in perhaps one or two of the special needs kid which might produce the grand unified theory and she might be inadvertently hoovering that out of them. Some of their topsy turvey daydreams might just prove to be useful.

Nice people do nice things, and while I like them for that kind aspect of their nature, I also know I’m not one of them. At times when being nice simply won’t cut it – what’s needed is a necessary type of person. Sure, I’d always prefer to be as nice as pie, but when circumstances merit it, I’m prepared to be not so nice.

It’s the first reaction of nice people to discuss things, to sit down and talk things through with a someone who’s being totally unreasonable. They’re certain a workable accommodation can be reached. That’s nearly always a good thing except when you’re dealing with an elemental aggressor, because that’s exactly what they’re relying on you to do.

It’s the common failing of nice people to realise too late that they were all along dealing with someone who didn’t give a rat’s ass about reasoned discussion – they just want to win and they’re not choosy about which means or methods they’ll use to achieve that simple end. While all the well-intentioned discussions were going on, you were just being played and what’s worse, you’ve probably given away the whole damn shop.

But, let’s be more honest here and admit why such civilised discussions are initiated with people whom everyone can plainly see are nothing better than jumped up street corner thugs with soaring ambitions – it was supposed to be the nice people seizing the higher rational ground and consequently feeling better about themselves for having made that effort. Your hands are washed clean and you’ve weaseled out of any unsightly slugging matches with them.

I’m sorry but we all know that on too many occasions, that’s just a certain lack of backbone dressed up as an intellectually defensible position. A cojones-free zone. It’s covering your ass for posterity, but where does that leave the people you were supposed to be talking for, or the ones you appointed yourself to speak for?

You see, it’s the awkward and edgy nature of not so nice people, which produces stuff that gives people pause for thought. That’s the nature of the beast and some things can’t be tamed, no matter how many times you zap them hard with your cattle prod, but even more tellingly, no matter how hard you love them. It’s in their nature, it’s welded deep down into their primeval DNA. If you could possibly take that out of them, they’d just waste away in front of your eyes. You’d lose them. Put an Apache in a prison cell, they just die.

We’re not particularly smarter than anyone else, usually not as stylish, rarely much richer, but we do tend to be making moves. If there’s something we think is wrong, we’ll not only say that, but take the next step from bitching on about it from the sidelines – we’ll try to do something about it, irrespective of the odds. This blog is a move. There’s too much restless spirit and way too many questions you can’t get anything other than a slippery answer to.

GB Shaw noted that the reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself, the corollary being that without unreasonable men, no progress would be made. Once you get past how slick it sounds, there’s a lot of truth in it. So much of what now passes for orthodoxy usually started off as heresy, and as we all know as climate heretics, it’s never a populist position, but we were right all along.

If you want peace, prepare for war, because that’s how you prevent wars from ever breaking out in the first place – a saying commonly attributed to Julius Caesar but just as true today as it was two millenia ago.

Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam Hussein – you stand up to them and you save lives. You don’t, you’re staring down into that big ole megadeaths pit. One hundred and fifty million lives lost in the wars of the last century, and in nearly every case, for lack of the backbone to stand up to and face down a megolomaniac lunatic when they were just a minor bully.

It’s that basic lesson we’ve all learnt dealing with the local school bully, with any bully. You give in to them, they always hustle you harder and take more. You stand up to them, they run away and look for an easier pushover they can prey on.

In exactly the same way, the massive failure or should I say the outright cowardice, on the part of too many people whose real job it was to question the whole global warming bandwagon, has inflicted pain and suffering on the most vulnerable people, both here and in the developing world. There’s real blood on hands.

Around the world, the whole global warming scare is imploding and it’s happening at an increasing pace. We skeptics played a supporting role in that, but it is the economics of hard times, rather than us bit players, that is actually killing it off.

Across the whole spectrum of the thing, people are repositioning themselves furiously to get away from the craze, the love that no longer dares speak its name. Politicians, moneymen, establishment science, journalistic integrity-free tarts and pretty much all the various stripes of carpetbagger. The instruments carbon markets were trading have collapsed below junk bond status. Everyone is bailing out, because the gravy train has just derailed off the bridge and is dropping down into the gorge.

Everyone that is, except the big environmental organisations like Greenpeace or the WWF, but when their income stream dries up, they’ll wither on the vine to shadows of their former selves. Reputational damage and loss of political influence can do that sort of thing to you. They’ll deserve it too, because they betrayed their founding principles.

What we must not do now is have an attack of the nicey nices with them. They’re in the killing jar, they’re finally seeing that now and are going to start desperately flinging olive branches in our direction. They’re moving into stage three, the bargaining phase of the death rattle of their belief system. Work any offer ruthlessly, but don’t even dream of meeting them on some fabled middle ground. That doesn’t exist.

The bargaining scam, which they will get around to offering in the end, is some phony recognition of you, which is all they’ve got left to barter with, in the hope of appealing to your vanity, so you’ll hop into bed with them – at last, some recognition and respectability after all these years.

Every time you deal with them, develop the habit of looking hard at them and thinking back a few years to when you were being routinely compared to a holocaust denier. That’ll get your head right.

This is not the time to be nice with them.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Our secret weapon.

The Climate Wars revisited or No truce with kings.

The decline of the environmental lobby’s political influence.

How environmentalism turned to the dark side.

The death of the AGW belief system.

Click for a list of other articles.

Comments
31 Responses to “The difficult kind.”
  1. Ed Moran. says:

    Hard, harsh even, but correct. Think of the vulnerable people who have suffered and died. Rachel Carter (I know she’s not famous for “Global Warming” but she’s of a type) Hansen, UEA and many others are the easy targets but the old adage applies: follow the money! Yeo, Debden, Gore… they’re just the tip of the money iceberg. No doubt Lewandowski will add me to his long, long list of conspiracy nuts but the big bucks start with Goldman Sachs and move on to other corporates.
    I hope (but don’t expect) that they will be forced into the spotlight.
    Those we do find should expect no mercy.

  2. Rick Bradford says:

    “We meant well”, the Alarmists will say, as they look out on the field of corpses and blighted lives left by their feel-good fantasies.

    The crash will go beyond the global warming community — the whole Green and NGO movements — all those who say “trust us, we know what’s best for you” — will take a huge hit, as will the authority of the legacy media (already in tatters), and even the views of those “in authority” who have supinely permitted this abomination to continue.

  3. Daniel says:

    Your a very very good writer. Like your analysis hope it works out that way soon. About 500 billion has been wasted on this scam and its money from taxpayers who had to earn it hour by hour, by the selling of one coffee hour by hour for years, , by the sweat of their brows. And the most sustainable resource is money, taxpayers money and wasting it in these sorts of scams is a crime against humanity.

  4. nzrobin says:

    Some good reminders Mr Pointman. Truth supersedes being nice.

  5. Rob Moore says:

    Pointy-
    I love reading your essays. You put into words what I believe( but never could put into such clear word pictures) I’m a livestock producer here in Australia and fought tooth and nail to get the rural agriculture lobby groups that are meant to represent us- to take the fight up and tell the Govt and CSIRO to get stuffed All the snake oil bulls.it about you might get credits….blah blah for your soil carbon and the associated companies that would provide the “vaseline”- had the media and and all the airheaded dreamers hooked.
    It is law here now and the Carbon Farming Initiative- has no takers – no one can understand the rules and project has to be new and be in place for “100 years or you get nothing” This labor govt is in Disneyland and the carbon units in Europe are under $4 and our fruitloops have mandated a figure of $23 per tonne of CO2. Never seen such an act of self harm and stupidity in all my life.
    I’m with you all the way my pointman- SHOW NO MERCY!.

  6. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    These Climate Hysterics gave no quarter as they lied, cheated and stole their seats on the Gravy Train. They hijacked our nations’ wealth, kept the Third World impoverished and dependent on handouts from the West, denying them economic viability and development as their resources were stolen. Definitely no case for appeasement here – they deserve to sink in ignominy and disgrace.

    Will they ever stand accountable in a court of law and suffer any penalty for their fifth-column activities? Probably not – but if the the Court of Public Opinion counts for anything, they already stand condemned.

    Mrs P is a treasure. A retired friend of mine spent her professional life similarly working with ‘special needs’ people, and to this day she seems modestly unaware of the profound significance she had in their lives.

    It’s a unique gift to find those tiny embers, nurse them into a glow of recognition and ultimately fan them into a warm sense of achievement. You have a special lady indeed.

  7. jc says:

    Dead right. But rather than just not give ground, bear down. Relentlessly. It is suicide to want to believe those who have demonstrated they will deceive whenever it is to their advantage. And when their advantage is to the literally mortal detriment of vast numbers of people.

  8. hazze says:

    Some sceptic bloggers just said no harsh words about Gavin Schmidt on my blog..just coz the guy backed a little…not u Pointman…🙂 …think ure right here.

  9. Pointman, I would like to read your blog, but your choice of styles makes it very difficult to read on my high-end laptop with my low-end eyes.

    As best as I can make out, your are using a serif font at 12 pixels and color of 666 (less than 50% grey). My monitor is a 1920×1080 16.9 in. laptop monitor, with IE set habitually to 150% zoom. Just a suggestion: change the font size to “1em” to make the display more dependent upon system settings than a hard pixel definition and set color to 999 or higher (fff) to add contrast to the grey backgrounds.

    • h1w7 says:

      WR…you’re that clever to detect all that stuff, but have you yet to discover “cut & paste into a document & read it however you like”?
      cheers

    • memoryvault says:

      Stephan,

      As one also with with low-end eyes, I suggest you select and highlight the text – that gives you white text on a dark blue background.

      Hold down CTRL and the SPACE bar together, and hit the + signs as many times as needed to make the text as big as you want.

    • Stephan

      I also had problems viewing this site, but now I view the site in User mode in the Opera browser. It gives the possibility to view a web page in Author mode (as the author designed it) or in User mode (no style or user defined style).

      In the standard User mode, a web page is viewed with black, crisp letters on a white background. So if I want to view this site, I just switch to User mode and when going to other sites I switch it back to Author mode.

      I don’t know if IE has something similar, but Opera is also available in Windows-flavor (and it is a very good browser by the way).

  10. Neil says:

    Well put, Pointman. Really good essay.

    I just wonder if you might have understated your case. Perhaps there should be more names in the “bad guys” list? And perhaps more is collapsing than just the CAGW narrative?

    But well done, again.

    Cheers,
    Neil

  11. Jonathan Abbott says:

    Thank you Pointman for always dragging my thinking back to the heart of the matter. We must never forget how recently even a stray word or two could see one branded as an earth-hater. I’ve seen the floating piles of rubbish a thousand miles from the nearest land, and know what true environmentalism is. It isn’t Greenpeace.

  12. Graeme No.3 says:

    If you want peace, prepare for war… a saying commonly attributed to Julius Caesar. Also attributed to Cicero, Appius Claudius the Blind and Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus). The latter didn’t actually say it but Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat;… (Whosoever desires peace prepares for war;…). It seems to have been paraphrased as “Si vis pacem, para bellum” (If you want peace, prepare for war) many times.

    That doesn’t make it any less true, nor less appropriate. The money men are moving out as fast as they can, occasionally like the squid leaving a cloud of ink to confuse their trail. Look at the announcements of the last 2 years from Companies getting rid of solar PV plants, wind turbine manufacture (unless further subsidies come from the Danish Government or B. Obama) or abandoning ‘renewable energy projects (“rationalising to core business” etc.).

    Once they’ve gone, the journalists follow, as in Germany the last few months. With the squeeze of finances and increasing public resentment about costs, most politicians are now nearing the outskirts of Damascus. There’s no votes in being green. ( Ruinis inminentibus musculi praemigrant – When collapse is imminent, the little rodents flee).

    The fanatics will never give up. You are right in saying we shouldn’t try and accommodate them; they will always keep working for their delusional aims, and their methods will not be pretty. As their hopes fade, expect them to turn violent. Indeed, prepare for war.

  13. Barry Woods says:

    I’m still going to be nice to the nice people (so they might help throw the extremists under the proverbial metaphorical academic bus (and elsewhere)

    but when hostile activist psychologists seek to silence their critics, by labelling them ‘conspiracy theorists’ in peer reviewed journals..

    Absolutely no quarter.. (my comment )

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=2&t=75&&n=200#3087

    http://www.frontiersin.org/personality_science_and_individual_differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/why-publishers-should-explain-why-papers-disappear-the-complicated-lewandowsky-study-saga/

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/update-lewandowsky-et-al-paper-on-conspiracist-ideation-provisionally-removed-due-to-complaints/

  14. A.D. Everard says:

    Spot on. What you say is so true. Unfortunately, there’ll be many that will “feel sorry” for these same people and give them an out. I hope I’m wrong. How many and how far they’ll go to soothe these scammers depends very much on how angry people are when the full crunch comes. The quiet anger is there, certainly, fury – I hope – is not far behind.

    I don’t want any of these people to have an out. I fear that because so many are involved, it will be “easier” to let them all off because it will be seen as near impossible to bring them all to account.

    If that happens, it will be the worst case of turning a blind eye this world will ever witness.

  15. Old Mike says:

    Excellent call.

    I met so many of the self serving CAGW bigots during my career. What awaits them is well deserved.

    I think the blogosphere is an amazing weapon of intelligence and had it been as prolific in the early days of the CAGW scam maybe thousands of lives would not have been lost.

  16. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    Off topic, but I know you won’t mind.

    April 25th 2013 is the 98th anniversary of the landing on the Gallipoli Peninsular Turkey by Empire troops including the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACS).

    Some might ask why we commemorate Anzac Day. It was no victorious battle; it was an ignominious defeat from which we crept in the dead of night. For nine months tens of thousands of men clung to those cliffs and beaches under constant shell and sniper fire and so many thousands died. It was obscene.

    That’s where Australia learned what it was to be a newly federated sovereign nation, no longer a British colony. We lost the cream of a generation in that ghastly European war and today we remember them. Lest we forget.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG48Ftsr3OI

  17. Gail Combs says:

    I agree with Delingpole’s ‘metaphor’

    The climate alarmist industry has some very tough questions to answer: preferably in the defendant’s dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap.

    Unfortunately Delingpole continues on to say:

    …Should Michael Mann be given the electric chair for having concocted arguably the most risibly inept, misleading, cherry-picking, worthless and mendacious graph – the Hockey Stick – in the history of junk science?

    Should George Monbiot be hanged by the neck for his decade or so’s hysterical promulgation of the great climate change scam and other idiocies too numerous to mention?…

    It ought to go without saying that my answer to all these questions is – *regretful sigh* – no….

    The last thing I would want is for Monbiot, Mann, Flannery, Jones, Hansen and the rest of the Climate rogues’ gallery to be granted the mercy of quick release. Publicly humiliated? Yes please. Having all their crappy books remaindered? Definitely. Dragged away from their taxpayer funded troughs and their cushy sinecures, to be replaced by people who actually know what they’re talking about? For sure. But hanging? Hell no. Hanging is far too good for such ineffable toerags….
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100210866/an-english-class-for-trolls-professional-offence-takers-and-climate-activists/

    Anthony Watts and other skeptics then took Delingpole to task for invoking ‘Godwin’s Law’ by mentioning a Climate Nuremberg.

    The problem is people like your wife, my mother and Anthony Watts literally can not SEE evil. They do not understand bullies. The concept that some ENJOY hurting other people is something they just can not grasp. And this enjoyment of causing pain has nothing to do with upbringing (my brother, a very nasty multimillionaire is a case in point). Unfortunately a capacity for stabbing others in the back and walking over dead bodies to reach your goal is well rewarded in both the corporate, academic and political arenas. The nice guy not only finishes last he gets trampled and sometimes killed.

    Dr. Rummel show what happens if ‘Nice’ people do not develop the cojones to stop these people early and often. He calls it Democide: Death by Government – 169,202,000 have been Murdered by their own governments in the 20th century.

    Just to give perspective on this incredible murder by government, if all these bodies were laid head to toe, with the average height being 5′, then they would circle the earth ten times. Also, this democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century….

    After eight-years and almost daily reading and recording of men, women, and children by the tens of millions being tortured or beaten to death, hung, shot, and buried alive, burned or starved to death, stabbed or chopped into pieces, and murdered in all the other ways creative and imaginative human beings can devise, I have never been so happy to conclude a project. I have not found it easy to read time and time again about the horrors innocent people have been forced to suffer. What has kept me at this was the belief, as preliminary research seemed to suggest, that there was a positive solution to all this killing and a clear course of political action and policy to end it. And the results verify this. The problem is Power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.

    Global Warming and its evil twin Agenda 21 is all about Power and the destruction of democracy and freedom.

    Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization has made it very very clear that this is a long term goal and Global Warming and the ‘financial crisis’ are part of the tools used to herd the sheeple.

    …The profound shock of the recent financial crisis, our inability to face (let alone solve) global warming, the failure to halt nuclear proliferation, even the WTO’s stalled Doha negotiations illustrate that the status quo is no longer good enough. Events are passing us by.

    So what is to be done?…

    To improve the way the international system works, we must “network” global governance in a better way…. The WTO’s huge success in breaking down economic barriers was the result, not the cause, of a widening consensus about the value of open trade…

    All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty…
    Pascal Lamy: Whither Globalization?

    So there in black and white is the long term goal ‘building a new international order’ and getting rid of ‘ the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty’ Seems those crazy Conspiracy Theorists weren’t very far off. (Someone needs to let Loony Lew know)

    Lamy goes on in other articles to say

    The specific challenge of legitimacy in global governance is therefore to deal with the perceived too distant, non-accountable and non-directly challengeable decision-making at the international level.

    The first efficiency challenge of any global governance system stems from the fact that the classical Westphalian order is based on the full sovereignty monopoly of nation states.

    We must find ways to address the opposition from sovereign nation-states who resist more or less intensely – depending on the state and on the subject matter – transferring or sharing with international institutions their jurisdiction over certain matters….
    Globalization and Global Governance

    WOW, to think that people might have an objection to a world wide totalitarian government, who would have thunk!

    So these would be bureaucratic dictators have another weapon in their arsonal:

    …We live in a world of ever-growing interdependence and interconnectedness….
    Pascal Lamy: Local governments, global governance

    (Check out interdependence and Al Gore.) Interdependence is part of the grand plan BTW and Clinton admits it.

    And Bill Clinton talks about the results of the “The WTO’s huge success in breaking down economic barriers…”

    “We Made a Devil’s Bargain”: Fmr. President Clinton Apologizes for Trade Policies that Destroyed Haitian Rice Farming
    BILL CLINTON: Since 1981, the United States has followed a policy, until the last year or so when we started rethinking it, that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so, thank goodness, they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked. It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake. It was a mistake that I was a party to. I am not pointing the finger at anybody. I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else.

    KIM IVES: But what about the change in your thinking to have you issue your apology the other day about the food policies?

    BILL CLINTON: Oh, I just think that, you know, there’s a movement all around the world now. It was first — I first saw Bob Zoellick say the same thing, the head of the World Bank, where he said, you know, starting in 1981, the wealthy agricultural producing countries genuinely believed that they and the emerging agricultural powers in Brazil and Argentina, which are the only two places that have, parenthetically, increased wheat yields per acre, grain yields per acre in the last decade, because they’re the only places with more than twenty feet of topsoil, that they really believed for twenty years that if you moved agricultural production there and then facilitated its introduction into poorer places, you would free those places to get aid to skip agricultural development and go straight into an industrial era.

    And it’s failed everywhere it’s been tried. And you just can’t take the food chain out of production. And it also undermines a lot of the culture, the fabric of life, the sense of self-determination. And I have been involved for several years in agricultural products, principally in Rwanda, Malawi, other places in Africa, and now increasingly in Latin America, and I see this.

    So we genuinely thought we were helping Haiti when we restored President Aristide, made a commitment to help rebuild the infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers there, and do a lot of other things. And we made this devil’s bargain on rice. And it wasn’t the right thing to do. We should have continued to work to help them be self-sufficient in agriculture.

    And that brings us to a very critical question for todays world

    Does economic interdependence increase or decrease the probability of war among states?

    The prolonged debate between realists and liberals on the causes of war has been largely a debate about the relative salience of different causal variables. Realists stress such factors as relative power, while liberals focus on the absence or presence of collective security regimes and the pervasiveness of democratic communities.(1) Economic interdependence is the only factor that plays an important causal role in the thinking of both camps, and their perspectives are diametrically opposed.

    Liberals argue that economic interdependence lowers the likelihood of war by increasing the value of trading over the alternative of aggression: interdependent states would rather trade than invade. As long as high levels of interdependence can be maintained, liberals assert, we have reason for optimism. Realists dismiss the liberal argument, arguing that high interdependence increases rather than decreases the probability of war. In anarchy, states must constantly worry about their security. Accordingly, interdependence – meaning mutual dependence and thus vulnerability – gives states an incentive to initiate war, if only to ensure continued access to necessary materials and goods.

    The unsatisfactory nature of both liberal and realist theories is shown by their difficulties in explaining the run-ups to the two World Wars. The period up to World War I exposes a glaring anomaly for liberal theory: the European powers had reached unprecedented levels of trade, yet that did not prevent them from going to war. Realists certainly have the correlation right – the war was preceded by high interdependence – but trade levels had been high for the previous thirty years; hence, even if interdependence was a necessary condition for the war, it was not sufficient…..

    Levels of interdependence and expectations of future trade, considered simultaneously, lead to new predictions. Interdependence can foster peace, as liberals argue, but this will only be so when states expect that trade levels will be high into the foreseeable future. If highly interdependent states expect that trade will be severely restricted – that is, if their expectations for future trade are low – realists are likely to be right: the most highly dependent states will be the ones most likely to initiate war, for fear of losing the economic wealth that supports their long-term security. In short, high interdependence can be either peace-inducing or war-inducing, depending on the expectations of future trade.

    Now think of what has happened to China in the last decades: increased interdependence thanks to WTO and dashed expectations of future trade as the Western economies tank. Not a happy situation.

  18. Graeme No.3 says:

    Gail:
    much as I admire your thoughts I see practical difficulties with punishing many of these frauds and impostors under the rule of law.

    Take James Hansen; put him on trial and any competent lawyer would let him be questioned, and then, unless the prosecutor was hopelessly incompetent, plead diminished mental competency or insanity. Perhaps I am biased, but I have thought for some years that he is undoubtedly insane.

    The loathsome Mann would love to be “persecuted”. He seems to see himself as a divine saviour, who will eventual triumph over evil. Spending the rest of his life being ignored or made fun of would be the worst possible outcome for him.

    Certainly, people who have abused their status as “scientists” – Sir Paul Nurse and his predecessor at the Royal Society, Tim Flannery and Will Steffen in Australia, and many more, should be forced to explain their statements and have their reputations trashed.

    But many will claim freedom of expression for their political views or even their ‘green’ religion.
    Others might claim to have followed political instructions. It is hard to see how you can find a successful punishment in a democracy, except humiliation and possibly a demand for repayment of “monies obtained under false pretences”.

    Besides, strident calls for punishments of all, could lead to them to “cling together else being hung separately”. Better to have some rats leave the ship and testify against the remainder.

    • Gail Combs says:

      I was thinking more of scientific fraud. There are a number of cases of known scientific fraud and I, as a scientist would love to see these people who have KNOWINGLY misled and falsified data defrocked, having their diplomas stripped and being barred from any teaching type position.

      Pedeophiles are not allowed near children so why in heck should we allow those who would rape their minds free access?

      This is what I am talking about:

      …Stapel, former professor of cognitive social psychology and dean of Tilburg’s school of social and behavioural sciences, fabricated data published in at least 30 scientific publications, inflicting “serious harm” on the reputation and career opportunities of young scientists entrusted to him.

      Some 35 co-authors are implicated in the publications, dating from 2000 to 2006 when he worked at the University of Groningen. In 14 out of 21 PhD theses where Stapel was a supervisor, the theses were written using data that was allegedly fabricated by him….

      http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20111103193525126

      US Scientists Significantly More Likely to Publish Fake Research, Study Finds

      The study author searched the PubMed database for every scientific research paper that had been withdrawn — and therefore officially expunged from the public record — between 2000 and 2010.

      A total of 788 papers had been retracted during this period. Around three quarters of these papers had been withdrawn because of a serious error (545); the rest of the retractions were attributed to fraud (data fabrication or falsification).

      The highest number of retracted papers were written by US first authors (260), accounting for a third of the total. One in three of these was attributed to fraud…..

      Many of these people retain their positions and continue to teach. In industry they are rewarded for falsifying data and those who do not get fired. It is not just in climate science that scientists need to clean up their act. In the USA we have ‘Professional Engineers’ who have to perform under a Code of Ethics that means they have legal obligations but also legal protections.

      Many years ago I had a long consultation over the differences in ethics as applied to the Professional Engineer vs scientists. As a scientist you are expected to lie for your employer as directed and have no legal recourse except quiting. A Professional Engineer can refuse to lie and has the law, at least in New York State, to back him up. Seems the politicians don’t want bridges collapsing or planes crashing but do not care over much if drugs are dangerous…

      • Pointman says:

        Gail, in a very real sense, the scientists we’re talking about here have blood on their hands. None of them will ever be punished for that.

        P

      • Blackswan says:

        Gail

        You’ve nailed it here. The Frauds are among the teachers of our students so how can the basic tenets of Science fail to be warped in the process? As you say, if these ‘researchers’ were made to be legally accountable, we’d soon see an end to the current Ponzi disaster that is looming.

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