March 13, 2004


“Hollywood disaster film set to turn heat on Bush,” hopes The Guardian. “Movie depicting horrors of global warming could boost votes for Democrat challenger.”

Well, it could, in the same way that John Kerry could one day take a stance on something and stick to it for more than two weeks. Possible, but wildly unlikely. In copy, The Guardian repeats its Big Lie:

The Pentagon even got in on the act, releasing a study last month that suggested that one outcome of global warming could be the rise of mass civil unrest. In one scenario, drought, famine and rioting erupt across the world, spurred on by climate change. As countries face dwindling food supplies and scarce natural resources, conflict becomes the norm.

"Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life," says the Pentagon study. "Once again, warfare would define human life."

Once again: the study was commissioned for, not done by, the Pentagon. The Guardian doesn’t even care these days, if it ever did. Neither does IndyMedia, whose Sydney site today posted this piece: Judaism, the worlds Most Evil religion.

Thanks to reader John P (“you do a good job of pissing me off at least once a day, but you're one of the best bloggers out there”) for the link. Only once a day? An improvement is promised. In John Kerry news, David Brooks salutes the King of Fog:

The 1990's were a confusing decade. The certainties of the cold war were gone and new threats appeared. It fell to one man, John Kerry, the Human Nebula, to bring fog out of the darkness, opacity out of the confusion, bewilderment out of the void.

Kerry established himself early as the senator most likely to pierce through the superficial clarity and embrace the miasma. The gulf war had just ended. It was time to look back for lessons learned. "There are those trying to say somehow that Democrats should be admitting they were wrong" in opposing the gulf war resolution, Kerry noted in one Senate floor speech. But he added, "There is not a right or wrong here. There was a correctness in the president's judgment about timing. But that does not mean there was an incorrectness in the judgment other people made about timing."

Everybody gets a prize! Hey, check it out: Kerry’s straight-ahead, two-fisted tough talk has won him an enviable poll advantage.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 13, 2004 11:38 PM

If David Brooks were more like Maureen Dowd, the word ``nuaged'' would have come up against ``nuanced.''

Posted by: Ron Hardin at March 13, 2004 at 11:48 PM

I'm hoping that it's going to be very good and that we have great entertainment value but that at the same time it treats the science seriously.

Me too. I'm dying to see the film's scientific explanation of how global warming causes volcanoes.

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at March 13, 2004 at 11:50 PM

Yes, the report was done for the Pentagon, but it was the Pentagon who leaked it to The Observer:

"A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer [...]"


"The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades."

I don't see the Guardian lying anywhere.

Further, even back in 2001 defence adviser Andrew Marshall has been described as:

"He's hard to draw a bead on," says one analyst who worked with him, "because he spends his time coming up with every conceivable future scenario that could threaten the U.S."


"he's, "one of the most effective pork-seeking missiles ever deployed by the military brass."

Even his supporters describe him as a "worrywort", constantly dreaming up new low-probability scenarios to justify new weapons systems and security measures. So yes, it may all be nonsense - but the report is hardly interest-free, since the Pentagon commissions these things with a certain result in mind.

I also think that the Guardian/Observer is as critical and objective about this as it can afford to be. So I can't really see the point of your post, other than it being an attempt to induce abuse against your political opponents, instead of actually engaging with the discursive content which, in addition, you seem to either not read and understand properly or arbitrarily mould to fit your polemic.

Posted by: mike at March 14, 2004 at 12:22 AM

A worrywort is an existential plant.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at March 14, 2004 at 01:17 AM

George Bush himself firmly stated that global warming was a fact way back in June 2001, when he rejected the Kyoto Protocol:

The Pentagon merely considers the national-security ramifications of global warming. It briefly echoes Bush's assessment that warming is happening and says nothing about the causes.

That's what's wrong with the debate at this point: there is no debate that global warming is occurring, but the left wants us to think there is, because it wants to steer debate away from the causes of global warming, where there really is debate, as surveys of climatologists show.

On top of that, the famous big solution of Kyoto would have negligible effects on greenhouse gas levels if implemented, in spite of the enormous costs required to implement Kyoto! No doubt some environmentalists think Kyoto is just an important, symbolic first step. But they lie about the science, they lie about the proposed solution, and they lie about the nature of the debate in promoting their non-solution.

The global-warming issue has thus become a pure power-play, not a genuine policy debate.

Posted by: Just Some Guy at March 14, 2004 at 02:00 AM
Yes, the report was done for the Pentagon, but it was the Pentagon who leaked it to The Observer:

"A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer [...]"

Mike, it sure would have been smarter if you'd bothered to read Tim's previous coverage of this, in particularthis post that he so kindly linked to near the top of this one.

And just so you know what you're supposed to look for: There something in there about how the "secret report" really surfaced. Please proceed to enlighten yourself now.

Posted by: PW at March 14, 2004 at 03:31 AM

They've been playing the trailer for "The Day After Tomorrow" for a couple of months now. The big ending scene of the trailer? Manhattan buried under hundreds of feet of snow, resembling the North Pole. So that's global warming? Um, OK.

Posted by: David Crawford at March 14, 2004 at 03:39 AM

What could make the Guardian dissect the trailer of a silly new action flick? Only the hope that it might turn people against Bush. Because, as everybody knows, Americans are stupid and base their voting on what they see in the movies.

Remember how "Independence Day" made people vote for Pullman/Goldblum in ´96!

Posted by: werner at March 14, 2004 at 03:51 AM

PW, thanks for enlightening me, wasn't aware of the Fortune aspect.

I still don't think that the Guardian is misrepresenting the truth if it says that the Pentagon 'released' the report. Releasing a report that someone did for you, doesn't mean you made it yourself.

Besides, I probably feel the same way about the content of this report as Tim does.

However, the point about Tim's questionable journalistic methods stands.

Posted by: mike at March 14, 2004 at 04:46 AM

I imagine "The Day After Tomorrow" will deliver the election to John Kerry the same way the post-nuclear war movie "The Day After" completely destroyed the Reagan reelection campaign in in 1984.

Posted by: Dave T. at March 14, 2004 at 06:39 AM

I find it odd that an article about a big-budget movie about coping with global warming fails to mention the other great, big-budget movie about coping with global warming: Waterworld.

Gee, I wonder why.

(And volcanoes in LA are the fault of global warming?? I had no idea!)

Posted by: Jason at March 14, 2004 at 08:42 AM

Did you notice the variety of spelling styles in the "Talmud" citations? ("Hilkkoth Akum" vs. "Kilkhoth Akum" or "Choschen Hamm" vs. "Choschen Ham")

Apparently they were mindlessly copied from a scanned version of a grainy copy of a copy of a fax.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at March 14, 2004 at 12:58 PM

The Guardian once again demonstrates its brilliant grasp of the dynamics of American cultural/political interplay, to wit, the Devlin/Emmerich Effect. George Bush's recklessness in authorizing use of the Stargate for a reconnaissance mission to the planet Abbados, and the near destruction of the Earth that almost ensued, was detailed in the film "Stargate" and cost him the 1996 election. Bill Clinton was re-elected on the strength of the wartime performance of his young-ish, slightly left-of-center counterpart in "Independence Day", serendipitously played by the similar-sounding Bill Pullman. "Godzilla" was decisive in the Congressional elections of 1998, for reasons that are not precisely clear to me because I heard it sucked so I didn't see it.

The Guardian's knowledge of the US, and the sophistication of its analyses, are truly impressive. If only there were such a newspaper in America that could provide a similarly intelligent analysis of the UK for American readers, on issues such as, "How would Britain's nationalized health-care service deal with an epidemic of Lightning-Fast Zombie Disease?", or, "Britain's nuclear weapon deployment policies - have they deterred a re-infestation of Midwich?"

Posted by: Dave S. at March 14, 2004 at 03:24 PM

If only there were such a newspaper in America that could provide a similarly intelligent analysis of the UK for American readers, on issues such as, "How would Britain's nationalized health-care service deal with an epidemic of Lightning-Fast Zombie Disease?"

I am on it, sir! *hustles off to watch 28 Days for research*

Posted by: Sortelli at March 14, 2004 at 04:35 PM

TV Tonite:

ch. 02 King Kong: evil neo-cons loose giant gorilla on America's most loved skyscraper.

ch. 03 JAWS: a young GW Bush pilots an animatronic giant shark through the waters of New England, generating, as expected, death and destruction.

ch. 04 Godzilla: Perry Mason proves that 1941 was all about oil, and Halliburton's greasy fingerprints were all over it.

ch. 05 Poseiden Adventure: Borgnine vs. Bush underwater cage match.

ch. 06 The Inferno: The Man In The Yellow Hat lets Curious George wander around the apartment building with matches.

Posted by: Timothy Lang at March 14, 2004 at 09:28 PM

There you go Tim, you bullshitter you... nobody with half a spine would take your nonsense seriously. Truly despicable. Where are the 91 comments on this thread of nothing?

Posted by: serge at March 17, 2004 at 09:09 AM