Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Brummett Delusion

John Brummett modestly entitles his latest column "The Gospel of John". In it he opens by taking a few oblique shots at bloggers which implies that they can quote each other as experts and thus get a viewpoint out that is not necessarily backed by fact.

Yes they can John. You should know because it is what you and your associates have been doing for decades. What has changed is that now people outside the centralized media club have a chance to counter your viewpoints that are not necessarily backed by fact.

An example is in your "gospel of John" column where you write, "On global warming, or climate change, this seems to be the prevailing science: Empirical data says that, yes, the Earth's climate is changing, indeed warming."

Well, in the super-long run I guess it has been warming since the last ice age ended, but the four best world-wide temperature measurements show that Earth's temperatures have not increased since 1998!

That's right folks, even though the media has spent the last decade trying to stir you into a panic so that you will vote your elites more power and money to "fix it", the actual climate itself refused to cooperate. It is not at all clear that the temperatures of the 1970s and 80s (or even 1770s)represent some kind of natural ideal that we should try to force the planet to maintain.

By the way, measurements from space probes confirmed warming on the surface of Mars during the same time period temperatures on Earth were rising. This is a pretty good clue that the recent warming is primarily a result of solar, not human, activity. The sun is now entering a phase where solar output will slightly decrease, called the Maunder minimum. That spells a couple of decades of cold weather unless our carbon emissions really do make a difference, only most will count it a positive difference.

There are serious environmental issues that we need to address. This focus on global warming (re-packaged as "climate change" because they realized they could stir you up no matter which way temperatures went) could distract from this environmental issues that really matter, like clean water.

Brummett then feigns modesty as a ploy saying "I am not a scientist, leave me out of the science". He then tries to tell all of the "right-wingers" that they don't need to listen to him, they need to listen to John McCain! McCain said we should worry about global warming too!

So is John McCain a scientist? No, he is neither scientist nor conservative so it is crazy for Brummett to ask "right-wingers" to defer to scientists and then name John McCain as the person they should listen to. Should we listen to him on immigration too? Every conservative I know either held their nose or did not vote for the man. As someone who taught earth-science for 11 years I am probably the most qualified pundit in the state on this issue, and at least I am linking you to facts, not making bald (and false) assertions about what temperatures are doing.

But recent examples of "The Brummett Delusion" go beyond his column. Just two days ago I wrote "John Brummett once again displays the vast gap between how he sees himself and how others see him". THEN, as if to prove that I have a secret X-man power to control his keyboard, he spits out his "Gospel of John" column AND makes a blog post so outrageously delusional that someone must of gotten a hold of him and made him pull it. It disappeared off the net soon after he posted it, but The Arkansas Project's David Kinkade found it.

In the post, Gospel John Brummett writes, "Let’s face it, at risk to modesty: Brantley and I dominate the Arkansas punditry, me in pragmatic moderation and Max in unyielding liberalism.". As I said, Gospel John sees himself one way, most people see him another. I don't know anyone who considers Brummett a "pragmatic moderate". He is a statist liberal who is hired to stifle dissent even from idealistic liberals and can be counted on to attack conservatives and small-government libertarians with gratuitous insult and contempt. He even spreads some of that over to his colleagues in the print media at the other paper.

But whether he is tethered to the ground of reality or floating free in the ether, he does for some reason have a big platform from which to shower the less discerning members of our population with distortions. I tell myself that this is why he must be contained, but maybe I just read his stuff for the same reason the eye is drawn to a train wreck. Watching it is horrible and unedifying, but it certainly is a spectacle.

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