Rebuttal of LaCroix letter
Your newspaper recently published a lengthy diatribe authored by Bill La Croix, Coordinator for the Bitterroot Human Rights Alliance (an oxymoron if I ever heard one). In it he demonizes and discredits everyone and everything that doesn’t fit the mold of his own personal political beliefs.
I would not ordinarily give his hateful diatribe the respect of a reply or rebuttal, but in this case it affords an opportunity to illustrate to Star readers just how disruptive activists like La Croix operate. His style might as well have originated in a Marxist-Socialist manual for influencing public opinion, promoting public discontent and inciting rebellion.
Adopting textbook Socialist-Progressive methodology employed by the Democratic Party today, he begins by making unsubstantiated claims and sowing doubts about his opponent’s honesty and integrity, in this case our Ravalli County Commissioners. Claim anything; slander and libel are accepted practice in left-wing politics. They can be justified as being “free speech”, guaranteed by our otherwise mostly ignored First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Take questionable events out of context and quote them as relevant facts to support your argument. Imply guilt by association Try to link your opponents to publicly recognized undesirable organizations and nefarious public characters. La Croix scrapes the bottom of the barrel, even naming infamous loonies like Red Beckman and Shaeffer Cox as being associates of our County Commissioners.
He names and condemns Celebrating Conservatism, a local organization founded upon high ideals, but which under poor leadership soon descended into extremism and imploded into nothingness after losing support of mainstream Bitterroot Valley conservatives, including our County Commissioners. La Croix’s intent is to convincingly equate conservatism and our elected officials with “right wing extremism”, a favorite theme with the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party.
Don’t be fooled by La Croix’s accusations. He’s a Democratic Party activist, clear and simple. He implores our elected officials to discredit themselves by publicly renouncing their alleged association with everything and everyone he identifies in his rambling, out-of-context blather. By doing so, he seeks to use our county officials themselves to confirm his own credibility. Let’s hope few citizens are fooled by his ploy. Our county officials are too smart to lend him undeserved credibility by responding to his challenge.
Subdivision process favors developers
In my view, the current subdivision process in Ravalli County is heavily weighted in favor of the developer – reflecting the “no one can tell me what to do with my land” attitude held by many valley residents and yourselves. Having lived in the Bitterroot since the early 1950’s, I have very mixed feelings about this philosophy.
On the one hand, I believe the families who eked out a living (sometimes for generations) in the Bitterroot when it was actually a working valley, deserve their “slice of the real estate pie”. The kids who came to grade school wearing work clothes and the residue of morning chores paid their dues. It does not seem fair or just to say “Well sorry, you’re too late – your property is in a zone that does not allow subdivision.” And the current regulations do help ensure that these folks are not denied this opportunity. So, in terms of fairness and justice, perhaps the current regulations work in this situation.
On the other hand, I do not believe that speculators deserve anywhere close to the same consideration. They already have their slice of the pie and apparently just want a bigger piece. In my opinion, it is neither fair nor just to allow these people to profit, particularly in the name of private property rights, while investing nothing of value in the future of our community, our valley, or our people. They have paid no dues as far as I can see and do not deserve the same “rights”.
Even with the regulations and the process stacked in their favor, the developers are having a tough time getting FlatIron approved. Impacts on agriculture, water, sewage, schools, roads, etc are significant and the proposed mitigation strategies are arguably inadequate. Public comment has been overwhelmingly against the subdivision.
Please, Commissioners, do not allow these speculators to take advantage of our “user-friendly” subdivision regulations. Deny this terrible development and choose fairness and justice for our citizens over private gain by speculators.
What I saw in the Bitterroot Star’s guest opinion (July 6, 2011) was a series of points from the writer that has been seen (and heard) repeatedly from others – blaming humans primarily for the warming of the Earth.
A sad aspect of these letters is that they are written by intelligent people who, for whatever reason, have done very little independent accessing of climate-change information. As in Marty Essen’s letter, conformity to the global warming alarmist position is expected but shocking in its ignorance. It is also shocking to see how we (including Marty) have been relentlessly indoctrinated into believing the content of this letter. Unfortunately the same formula for ‘communicating’ with the public is used by many organizations/individuals and media for this and other politically charged issues.
Marty gives his audiences a dramatic example of the effects of warming – the photo of a Canadian glacier with a large lake at its foot, and says, “That lake wasn’t there 50 years ago…it is there because of human-caused global warming.” What he doesn’t say (and he may not know this) is that the glaciers have been steadily melting since about 1820 (35 Inconvenient Truths [The errors in Al Gore’s Movie] by Christopher Monckton, Oct. 18, 2007 (SPPI – scienceandpublicpolicy.org), Error #22, Mountain glaciers worldwide ‘disappearing’ “…glacier melt began in the 1820s, long before humankind could have had any effect, and has continued at a uniform rate since, showing no acceleration since humankind began increasing the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”) and there is documented evidence (in studies from Glacier National Park and glaciated areas elsewhere) that there is no correlation between the rise of Co2 and melting of those glaciers. Does this mean there has not been global warming? No, there obviously has but the causes must still be determined. (And incidentally, I haven’t heard of any climate skeptics who think the earth hasn’t been warming. To portray global warming skeptics as deniers is inaccurate and a form of name calling. Some people seem to not know that skepticism is a historical part of scientific research. It is how scientists upgrade each others’ work to get at the truth.)
“The vast bulk of the glacial retreat in GNP occurred between 1830 and 1942, when the air’s Co2 concentration rose by 27ppm (parts per million), which is less than 1/3 of the total increase experienced since the start of glacial recession.” Then from the mid-1940’s through the 1970’s, when the air’s Co2 rose another 27ppm, G.T. Pederson (2004) said, “retreat rates slowed substantially and several modest advances were documented.”
It seems that Marty Essen has created (intentionally or not), with his dramatic example of glacier-melt, a commonly used political trick known as setting up a ‘straw-man’ for his audience of students. A ‘straw-man’ is a bogus enemy or issue that is easily attacked or criticized, and used to distract one from the real problem or enemy for the purpose of an easy victory and for scoring a propaganda point – the indoctrination of uncritical minds. Did Marty do that intentionally? Maybe not, but in my mind there’s a chance.
I believe there is a game being played here, a most serious and dangerous one, to keep people believing that human-caused warming is endangering the world… so that policy can be implemented favoring a particular political change, one desired by an elite minority with good intentions. That is what the Copenhagen conference on climate in December, 2009 was all about… the beginnings of enforceable world-wide environmental rules.
Fortunately for all of us, up stepped a great hero (in my mind) who stopped those Draconian plans in their tracks by springing the emails a month earlier and thus exposed a plan that was widespread and well under way. What was exposed by those emails? It was the whole package of information distortion, manipulation and lying from the top-rated climate scientists of the day, people with enormous power to influence environmental (and political) policy world-wide; changing of temperature data to make the warming look worse, cynical attempts to prevent skeptical climate scientists who challenged their data, results and methods from being published; character-assassination with attempts to destroy careers. This was (and continues to be) the politicizing of Science at its worst. There was much more, all clearly conspiratorial in nature… laid bare in those emails for all to see.
Many excellent climate scientists have been repeatedly demonized over the last several years for the ‘crime’ of questioning/challenging climate alarmists’ research.
There is no way that anyone, professional or otherwise, can legitimately deny the pervasive implicating (implicating the Alarmists and exonerating the Skeptics) power of those communications. They helped change the game, moving it toward a more level playing field.
In the interest of space, I will mention just one other item in Marty’s letter. And that is The Consensus concept that has been endlessly referenced as ‘proof’ of carbon dioxide being guilty as charged. Without going into the lengthy process, showing the reality of a vastly smaller ‘consensus’ than the alarmists have ever claimed, I will simply present a petition signed by scientists, most of whom signed it from 2007-2008. The petition, organized by scientists and others from The Heartland Institute, was signed by 31,478 (191 from MT) Americans with university science degrees, including 9,029 Ph.D.’s (33 from MT) and reads as follows:
“We urge the U.S. government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1977, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gasses would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.
The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of ‘settled science’ and an overwhelming ‘consensus’ in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists.”
This is from the 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, published by the Heartland Institute – heartland.org – (environment). All the names of the signers are listed in this report, state by state. It should be noted that since 2007, much scientific evidence has been assembled that implicates natural causes in global warming; and also information that show a much smaller effect from Co2 than what the IPCC (United Nations International Panel on Climate Change) has said all along. But the IPCC has never shown any interest in funding and investigating natural causes of global warming. Why? Maybe because it was originally set up primarily to investigate the extent of anthropogenic global warming. Now there’s an anti-Science agenda for you.
Tester should oppose Obama
I find it sad that Senator Tester refuses to stand up against President Obama’s new budget. In order for them to raise the debt ceiling, the Democrats need to find the money to do so. It’s ironic that the tax hikes Senator Tester wants is about the same amount needed to implement the President’s budget. Instead of looking internally, and working hard to make meaningful budget cuts, Senator Tester is saddling the American taxpayer with $2 trillion in new taxes. It is time for the people of Montana to call Senator Tester and ask him to stand up for us, and work toward balancing the budget. We cannot afford two more years of his support of the Obama administration.