People’s Party Still Being Smeared as Hateful

I’m mass-immigrationgoing to comment on a CBC opinion piece “Why the People’s Party of Canada election result shouldn’t be underestimated“, written by two academics, one the director of Landscapes of Injustice at the University of Victoria, the other the director of their Centre for Global Studies.

As Canada’s federal election fades from the headlines,… Maxime Bernier’s first campaign as head of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) might begin to fade from memory. After all, the PPC’s results were forgettable. Bernier lost in his own riding, and PPC candidates tallied only 1.6 per cent of the national vote.

Though if Justin Trudeau had followed through on his promise to reform our electoral system and implemented a single transferable vote, a lot of people who voted Conservative out of fear of splitting the vote might have voted PPC.

Yet progressive Canadians dismiss the PPC at our peril.

I agree. The ideas that the PPC advocates won’t die even if the party does. We’ve seen two incarnations of conservative reformers now, and the western provinces are more dissatisfied than ever with the globalist progressive government elected by central Canada.

The party received almost 300,000 votes in its inaugural run, a foundation on which it might well build. Its ideology of exclusionary, anti-immigrant nationalism is eerily similar to political movements across Europe. The PPC derides the United Nations as “ridiculous” and “dysfunctional,” worrying that participation may “dilute” our “national sovereignty.”

The party’s ideology (libertarianism) is non-exclusionary. The party is not anti-immigrant. Rather, it is against uncontrolled immigration of unskilled workers who will rely on taxpayer subsidies rather than becoming net tax payers. The UN is dysfunctional. You can disagree with these positions, but mischaracterizing them makes you a liar.

It sees no moral justification for international aid.

You cannot morally justify international aid. We are not responsible for other adults. It’s not even fair to call the PPC uncharitable. They simply prioritize Canadians, who the government is intended to represent, over foreigners. This is nationalism. Arguing against it makes you a globalist.

It contends that immigrants threaten “to forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of our country” and that we should build physical barriers to stop refugees.

Uncontrolled immigration could indeed change the social fabric of the country. Immigrants from the third world are more likely to support socialism than Canadian citizens, on average. If we determine the level of immigration that can be sustainably integrated into our society, why shouldn’t we do whatever is necessary to make sure that it isn’t exceeded? Why should those who don’t follow our immigration policies be allowed access?

Bernier urges that the Multiculturalism Act be repealed to “ensure social cohesion.”

The act itself is fairly innocuous. Being an individualist, I wouldn’t oppose its repeal. I don’t think multiculturalism is something that I should be taxed to pay for.

This mashup of anti-globalism, hostility to immigrants, and cultural nationalism draws from an international populist right that, in most cases, was not taken seriously at first.

Again, the PPC is not hostile to immigrants. The party simply wants to control immigration so that it gives Canadians the most benefit. If you believe in freedom, cultural nationalism is essential. Canada is already less free in many ways than America.

Not long ago, in countries such as Hungary and Poland, anti-immigrant nationalist parties were considered alien to a liberal, post-Communist political culture. Now they have swept to power.

This is because once a people have experienced communism, they will do what’s needed to prevent its return.

In Europe, right-wing nationalists replace the painful lessons of the 20th century with glorified national histories, and assert the cultural superiority of their own national community. According to the Alternative for Germany Party, Hitler and the Nazi regime were just a “petty mistake.” In Poland, the governing Law and Justice Party has introduced a law banning anyone from blaming Poland for crimes committed during the Holocaust.

While I don’t agree with rewriting history, I do see why people, few of whom were alive during the second world war, want to put the past behind them. They aren’t responsible for the sins of their grandparents.

The PPC likewise hearkens to an imagined past in decrying the supposed decay of the present.

Well, they are a conservative party, after all. Conservatives seek to hold on to the stability of things that worked well in the past. You can’t look on the political gridlock and turmoil of the last half decade in America and the UK and say that things aren’t decaying in the present.

In a speech at a July rally in Mississauga, Bernier claimed that immigration to Canada was once uncontroversial: “immigrants who came to Canada gradually integrated into our society . . . They became Canadian, but with a distinct flavour.”

And he is correct.

It is only over the “past decades,” the Party’s platform explains, that immigration has become problematic — a period in which, not coincidentally, immigrants have been more globally diverse than ever before.

You are the one making that connection. The difference is not the sources of immigration–we have welcomed people from China and India, among others, since the 1960s. It is in the policy. In past decades, we prioritized bringing in skilled workers who would become productive citizens.

In reality, Canada has a difficult history of xenophobia. In the early 1900s, when the government recruited southern and eastern Europeans to farm the prairies, alarmists decried diversity. In the 1920s, Canada changed immigration policy to virtually ban arrivals from China. In the 1930s, Canadians prevented the arrival of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, and in the following decade officials interned 22,000 innocent Japanese Canadians.

I am not a young man, but all of these things happened decades before I was born, and before my parents emigrated to Canada.

After the Second World War, Canadians fretted over the suitability of newcomers from Communist countries and delayed signing the United Nations convention on refugees.

Making sure that people don’t bring the communist ideology here seems like a good idea. We don’t need gulags, thanks. We signed the refugee convention 40 years ago.

Our recent turn away from race as the basis of national identity and immigrant recruitment has been a step toward social cohesion and justice, not the opposite.

Our national identity was never a racial one. It was a national one, based on the fact that Canada was colonized by two countries, the United Kingdom and France. Creating a huge ideological imbalance between urban and rural, east and west, has been a step away from social cohesion.

Canada has struggled to become a more just, inclusive nation. What progress has been made on that front is by no means set in stone.

And by pushing uncontrolled immigration, the government risks sparking a backlash that will reverse real progress.

In the economic hubs where we need immigrants, we have allowed housing to become unaffordable.

Governments have caused housing to become unaffordable by regulating development. The only way to lower costs is by increasing supply. If developers can’t make a reasonable profit due to red tape and regulation, supply will remain limited, ensuring a seller’s market.

Annually, we accept thousands of workers on pathways to citizenship, but our laws prevent their families from joining them.

Naturally, people don’t want immigrants to bring their extended families, who have not paid into the Canada pension plan, to Canada simply to collect benefits that we pay taxes to fund.

Accessing the labour market is a major challenge for many newcomers.

If they don’t have the skills, including language skills, to join the labour market, why are we prioritizing them? On the other hand, if local protectionist regulations are preventing them from doing jobs that they are qualified for, this is an area where the government can help by deregulating. Forcing someone who has practiced medicine in another country for years to go through a long and costly training program could be replaced with a simple test.

Our education and health systems need help to support the social, linguistic, and cultural needs of global migrants.

Why? Supporting languages other than English and French comes at the expense of education in those languages. Migrants should take care of their own social and cultural needs, the same way we do. The government should not be expending resources on promoting other cultures.

The ideology of the PPC, and not recent immigration, constitutes a threat to the social cohesion and unity of Canada. Who we think we have been in the past will shape our answers to these challenges.

The ideology of the PPC is a threat to globalism, multiculturalism, and the socialist policies of the Liberal, NDP, and Green parties. There is at least a large silent minority who value none of these things, and who see those who do attacking our freedom of speech and piling ever more debt on our children.

Canada has always struggled to integrate immigrants with decency, pragmatism, and justice. To achieve a more just Canada and safeguard against the politics of hate, we must preserve an authentic and critical memory of our past and build boldly for our future.

By implying that the PPC’s libertarian policies are the politics of hate, you come across as lying smear merchants. If you want to preserve the progress we’ve made, stop attacking conservatives. If you attack them, why would you expect them to want to participate in your bold future?

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Film Critics are Failing

critics-hateIn the days before the internet, word of mouth traveled slowly. When a new film came out, if no one in your immediate circle of friends went to see it before you, you had to rely on critics to gauge whether a film was worth spending your money on. Needless to say, I saw a lot of terrible movies. Then I found the great Roger Ebert, a man who, while he had artistic sensibilities, had a common man’s taste for what was good and bad in cinema. If Ebert gave a film a thumbs up, I almost always found it at least OK, and usually good.

Today, for me, Cinemascore is often more accurate than any critic. Recently, critics seem to be going farther and father off the rails. Today, I decided to spend a few minutes looking at all recent movie and TV reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, specifically looking for films and series where the critic’s scores significantly differed from the audience scores. These films can be divided into two groups. In this post, I’m going to look at the films the critics hated.

Rambo: Last Blood

Critics 27%, Audience 82%. Critics don’t like violence (except when they do).
Cinemascore: B

Here are a couple of the critics comments: Racist in addition to being offensive in its sadism. [It] is less an escapist action movie and more a dramatized manifestation of the most notorious sentences from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announcement speech.

Here is one of the audience comments: This movie was great fantastic. There has been a lot of hate due to the violent nature of the movie but honestly you should have expected that with a movie titled RAMBO. If you are not a fan of the series up until this point you probably won’t like this one either but those of us that grew up watching and loving these movies now have a great send off to one of the greatest action heroes and one of the last of his kind.

The Lion King

Critics: 53%, Audience: 88%. Critics don’t like groundbreaking CG.
Cinemascore: A

Critic: Where the animated original had an endearingly cheery anthropomorphism, with wide eyes and cute expressions, this lacks that. You’re marveling at the beauty of the animals, but it just doesn’t work with the material.

Audience: I never got the hate for The Lion King remake. I think it kept in what should have been kept in, it made a couple of neat changes, and all the while having some of the greatest advancements in visual effects that I’ve ever seen.

Angel Has Fallen

Critics: 39%, Audience: 93%. Critics don’t like action movies.
Cinemascore: A-

Critic: It’s a throwback piece of entertainment, but in the way it evaporates as soon as it ends, it’s also a throwaway. By the time it’s over, it’s already fallen from your memory.

Audience: Ignore the critics… it’s a good ride. Good cameo from Nick Nolte. It won’t win any awards but it’s great entertainment—solid plot, watchable characters and LOTS of action!

Aladdin

Critics: 57%, Audience: 94%. Critics don’t like remakes.
Cinemascore: A

Critic: The new telling brings little that feels essential, and the missing elements-chiefly, the controlled chaos and unbridled comedy of the late Robin Williams’ vocal performance-have given the film’s candy-colored visual palate a homesick pall.

Audience: One of the best live action remakes Disney has done to date, definitely comes close to the original. Will Smith shines as the genie 🧞‍♂️ with all the great classic musical numbers. Naomi Scott is also radiant with her song “Speechless”, which wasn’t in the original but fits perfectly in this remake. Fun for the whole family from start to finish.

Malificent: Mistress of Evil

Critics: 40%, Audience: 95%. Critics don’t like reimaginings either.
Cinemascore: A

Critic: Further attempts to subvert the original Sleeping Beauty only manage to further sideline Maleficent in her own story, giving the whole enterprise an appropriately soporific quality.

Audience: This finishes the rewrite of the story. Very good. If you enjoyed the last movie, this one is even better. As I always say don’t listen to the so called professional critics most have forgotten that this is entertainment. Go see it you will live it.

The Addams Family

Critics: 41%, Audience: 70%. Critics want edgy family movies.
Cinemascore: B+

Critic: They’re creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and all together ooky. They’re not bland, toothless, cuddly or conformist. Yet as reimagined for this new animated effort, they’re about as edgy as Strawberry Shortcake or The Care Bears.

Audience: I saw the Addams family opening weekend. My family and I really enjoyed it. It was simple and it did not deviate far from other incarnations before it. The overall story was a bit trite but the movie was charming and a good watch for families that like the Addams Family. I was surprised and happy that there were really no inuendos/adult humor. Also, I was glad to see there was a lack of a political agenda that has marred many film franchises recently.

Gemini Man

Critics: 25%, Audience: 85%. Critics hate high frame rate.
Cinemascore: B+

Critic: Obviously, the dire dialogue doesn’t help, but what blunts Smith’s performance and makes the film itself hell to watch is the innovative, ultra-high-frame-rate which renders actors, objects and even the air somehow flimsy and weird and fake.

Audience: If you go to the movies to be entertained and you know how to check your brain at the door, then you should see this movie. very entertaining, Will Smith did an incredible job playing both roles and while the storyline may not have been believable or very strong, everyone involved did a great job. The fight scenes between Smith and his younger self were seamless and looked very real. I really enjoyed this movie for what it brought to the table.

 

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Technology, Government, and Poverty

digigovThe Guardian article Digital dystopia: how algorithms punish the poor addresses the impact of technology on government, and specifically on the apparatus of the welfare state. I’m going to comment on what I think is driving these changes, and on the article as a whole.

All around the world, from small-town Illinois in the US to Rochdale in England, from Perth, Australia, to Dumka in northern India, a revolution is under way in how governments treat the poor. Only mathematicians and computer scientists fully understand the sea change, powered as it is by artificial intelligence (AI), predictive algorithms, risk modeling and biometrics. But if you are one of the millions of vulnerable people at the receiving end of the radical reshaping of welfare benefits, you know it is real and that its consequences can be serious – even deadly.

It is certainly true that AI and cloud computing are driving changes in many industries as well as in the government. In industry this change is disruptive. These changes, like nearly all changes, are being driven by cost reduction. If you want to compete with Amazon in retail, you will be competing against a technology powerhouse that uses state of the art AI and hosts the worlds largest computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Companies that don’t adopt new technologies can’t compete head to head.

The Guardian has spent the past three months investigating how billions are being poured into AI innovations that are explosively recasting how low-income people interact with the state. Together, our reporters in the US, Britain, India and Australia have explored what amounts to the birth of the digital welfare state.

What is the digital welfare state? More importantly, what is bringing it about?

Their dispatches reveal how unemployment benefits, child support, housing and food subsidies and much more are being scrambled online. Vast sums are being spent by governments across the industrialized and developing worlds on automating poverty and in the process, turning the needs of vulnerable citizens into numbers, replacing the judgment of human caseworkers with the cold, bloodless decision-making of machines.

Here then is the definition: “vast sums are being spent on automating” the welfare apparatus to replace “human case workers” with machines. Why are governments doing this, given that, at least in the short term, benefits are being “scrambled” by the new systems?

Listen to governments, and you will hear big promises about how new technologies will transform poverty as a noble and benign enterprise. They will speed up benefits payments, increase efficiency and transparency, reduce waste, save money for taxpayers, eradicate human fallibility and prejudice, and ensure that limited resources reach those most in need. But so often, those pledges have fallen flat.

Do you ever believe the government when they say they will transform anything for the better? I don’t. I believe the truth is that governments are going digital to “increase efficiency…, reduce waste, and save money”. I don’t believe that governments give a crap about transparency. Are you surprised when government pledges fall flat? I’m not.

At a time when austerity dominates the political landscape, millions have had their benefits slashed or stopped by computer programs that operate in ways that few seem able to control or even comprehend. Mistakes have become endemic, with no obvious route for the victims of the errors to seek redress.

Austerity does not dominate politics. The US is running record deficits, and Canada’s Liberal’s have been on a four year spending spree and are promising even more spending if we reelect them. The fact is, you can’t continue to spend beyond your means indefinitely. Saving costs by eliminating waste and replacing expensive government employees with machines has become a necessity as debts have grown to the point where governments are no longer able to borrow money at favourable rates.

This week, the automation of poverty will be brought on to the world stage. Philip Alston, a human rights lawyer who acts as the UN’s watchdog on extreme poverty, will present to the UN general assembly in New York a groundbreaking report that sounds the alarm about the human rights implications of the rush to digitalize social protection.

The benefits of a society are not a human right. If the society lacks resources, it cannot simply print money. Even the US, which for decades has controlled the de facto world currency, can’t keep up quantitative easing (AKA printing money) forever. If the value of the US dollar reduced by the US government, other countries won’t want to hold it and, eventually, they will stop using it as the common currency of trade.

In Illinois, the Guardian has found that state and federal governments have joined forces to demand that welfare recipients repay “overpayments” stretching back in some cases 30 years. This system of “zombie debt”, weaponized through technology, is invoking fear and hardship among society’s most vulnerable. As one recipient described it: “You owe what you have eaten.”

Governments are incompetent. In my opinion, they should focus on fixing their systems to prevent overpaying in future. Recouping money from welfare recipients is unlikely to be successful, and will probably waste even more money.

The [UK] government is rushing forward with its digital mission despite the pain already being inflicted on millions of low-income Britons by the country’s “digital by default” agenda. Claimants spoke of the hunger, filth, fear and panic that they are enduring.

More government incompetence.

In Australia, where the Guardian has reported extensively on robodebt, the scheme that has been accused of wrongly clawing back historic debts through a flawed algorithm, we now disclose that the government has opened a new digital front: using automation to suspend millions of welfare payments. Recipients are finding their money cut off without notice.

More government incompetence.

The most disturbing story comes from Dumka in India. Here, we learn of the horrifying human impact that has befallen families as a result of Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identification number that the Indian government has issued to all residents in the world’s largest biometric experiment. Motka Manjhi paid the ultimate price when the computer glitched and his thumbprint – his key into Aadhaar – went unrecognised. His subsistence rations were stopped, he was forced to skip meals and he grew thin. On 22 May, he collapsed outside his home and died. His family is convinced it was starvation.

More government incompetence.

The Guardian investigations illuminate the shared features of these new systems, whether in developing or developed countries, east or west. The most glaring similarity is that all this is happening at lightning speed, with hi-tech approaches sweeping through social services, work and pensions, disability and health, often with minimal public debate or accountability.

I think this speaks to the desperate straights governments are in with years of overspending on bloated, inefficient programs. They must come up with ways of saving money or be forced to initiate real austerity measures like the ones the EU forced upon Greece. Since doing so virtually insures being voted out, automation offers cost savings that will let the current system continue to operate, at least for a while.

Within that revolution, the human element of the welfare state is being diluted. Instead of talking to a caseworker who personally assesses your needs, you now are channeled online where predictive analytics will assign you a future risk score and an algorithm decide your fate.

Since governments are not motivated by profit, they are likely to try to make their algorithms as fare as possible. On the flip side, governments are less competent, so the systems are likely to have more flaws and be far more difficult to change. In the US, systems that can be sold to the US government have to be certified by the FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program), a complex process that adds cost to government systems.

In the new world, inequality and discrimination can be entrenched. What happens if you are one of the five million adults in the UK without regular access to the internet and with little or no computer literacy? What if the algorithm merely bakes in existing distortions of race and class, making the gulf between rich and poor, white and black, college-educated and manual worker, even more pronounced?

Welfare already does this.

There is also a chilling Kafkaesque quality that spans the globe. As Manjhi so tragically discovered, mistakes are made. Machines glitch. If there is no one within reach who sees you as a person and not as a 12-digit number to be processed, the results can be fatal. The computer says “No payments”. Now what do you do?

There is a rule in software development: you can have any two of cheap, fast, and good, but not all three. Since the reason the government is implementing these systems is cost savings, they will want them cheap. As stated above, they are rushing them into production. Therefore, expect their quality to be poor.

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Men and Women Smeared as Red Pill

Red pill men are used to being criticized by the mainstream media. What’s surprising about the Telegraph article “Welcome to the Red Pill: The angry men’s rights group that ‘knows what women want'” is the amount of vitriol author Rebecca Reid reserves for women who identify as red pilled. This article is about 4 years old, but I haven’t seen attitudes toward men’s rights activists (MRAs), men going their own way (MGTOW), and pick up artists (PUAs) change very much since then.

If you haven’t heard of the “red pill” theory then you might want to look away now. But if you’re a glutton for punishment read on.

Right away, Reid attempts to poison the well. Not a good start.

Red pill theory is based on film The Matrix, (remember that?) in which Keanu Reeves’s character Neo is offered a blue pill to stay plugged in where everything is nice, or a red pill where everything goes horribly wrong but makes a much better movie. Rather than languishing in the early 2000s where it belongs, the premise has now been adopted by a group of men’s activists or “meninists.”

Four years later, we can say that the “meninists” smear didn’t stick. Reid doesn’t even understand the matrix. Taking the blue pill doesn’t mean “everything is nice”, it’s an authoritarian hell hole controlled by vicious secret police, the agents of the system. The red pill shows Neo reality, where everything has gone horribly wrong, but without seeing reality, there is no way to fight the authoritarian matrix. The idea that this brilliant metaphor “belongs” in the early 2000s shows the author’s cluelessness.

The movement has gained traction over the past couple of years, even leading to the production of a controversial film The Red Pill, which saw feminist film maker Cassie Jaye explore the men’s rights movement and is due for cinematic release in 2016, following a Kickstarter campaign.

And Jaye went on to be smeared by the mainstream media.

These men’s activists use the term ‘blue pill’ to refer to conventional dating practices. According to MarriedManSexLife.com (a life coach who claims to ‘help you attract your wife, beat affairs and breakthrough relationship blockages’), the blue pill is “what women say they want from a man.”

MRA’s are at the periphery of the red pill community. They believe in egalitarianism, whereas MGTOW tend toward libertarianism and PUAs to androsuperiority. The “life coach” quoted sounds more like a PUA than an MRA. Pointing out that what women say they want is different from what they actually want isn’t new. The phrase “nice guys finish last” has been applied to men in relationships since the eighties.

But, as we all know, our tiny lady brains aren’t capable of deciding what they want. We might think we want to be treated with kindness and consideration – but we’re wrong.

Actions speak louder than words. The actions of many women show that they do not want to be treated with kindness and consideration. This is why the stereotypes of the nice guy who finishes last and the bad boy who gets all the girls exist. Not understanding your subconcious urges is a problem common to both sexes.

Enter ‘red pill’ theory. This is the belief that what women really want from men is a bit of good old-fashioned subjection.

This is certainly a position held by PUAs, but it misrepresents red pill philosophy in general, which states that women want a man who can provide for them and protect them when they are pregnant and caring for young children. This generalization of female psychology is backed up with real data. For example, see my post Study Blames Hypergamy for Low Marriage Rate.

Rather than focussing on the very real issues affecting men today such as mental health stigma, suicide and the under reporting of sexual abuse, the activists focusses on how women ‘should’ behave instead.

MRAs and MGTOW do focus on male suicide. No red pill men focus on how women ‘should’ behave, though they have strong opinions about how women do behave, and how they should behave if they want to be happy. Big difference.

Red pill aficionados, who mostly hang out on Reddit boards, really believe that women are wrong when they claim that they want respect and equality. Apparently what we really want is dominance and traditional gender roles. We’ve just been brainwashed by feminist propaganda.

Red pill men do not “mostly hang out on Reddit boards”. There is a large community on YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter, as well as on the alternative technology platforms. Not all red pillers claim that women want to be dominated, though the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey has sold over 125 million copies does seem to support the theory. Traditional conservatives, who are not red pilled, are the ones who believe that women want to return to traditional roles. Nearly all red pillers believe that feminists are lying when they claim that they want equality, and that they actually want supremacy. Judging from their actions, I find it hard to disagree.

Men on the internet who claim that women are lying about wanting equality are nothing new. What’s far more disturbing is the presence of another board within the online red pill community, titled ‘Red Pill Women’. This is a discussion space for women who believe that they are biologically programmed purely to procreate, and see being single in your thirties as an actual tragedy.

Women are biologically programmed to procreate, as are men. Being single in your late thirties can lead to tragedy if you want to have children. Women who have never had a child become infertile much more quickly that those who have. Given that, if you are single, you’re likely to take some time to find a partner, you increase the odds of infertility.

fecundity-ratio

According to MarriedManSexLife.com there’s a list of 20 characteristics that define a red pill woman; from keeping herself physically attractive to her partner (at no point is it suggested that he might do the same) to understanding that she should never deny her partner sex.

It is important to remain physically attractive if you want to maintain a healthy relationship. Since women place less importance on appearance, it’s less important for a man to maintain his physique, but red pill men, especially PUAs, do focus on doing so. Women are free to deny their partner sex, but if you deny that sex is an important part of a relationship between a man and a woman, you are a fool.

“Red pill women spend their time sharing tips on being ‘better’, including a lively debate about how to improve your man’s morning routine”.

I fail to see a problem with women discussing how to please men, assuming that they want to.

The forum itself goes further in to explaining how a red pill woman is expected to deport herself. For instance the importance of not being too bright: “You do not have to act less capable than you are to be feminine. Men are not sexually attracted to intelligence, and are put off by argumentative know-it-alls.”

Except this doesn’t say that a woman shouldn’t be bright. It merely points out that intelligence won’t attract most men. Who isn’t put of by argumentative know-it-alls?

Or the essential ability to put yourself second: “Don’t keep score of who is doing what for whom, simply focus on the ways you can enhance his life. Expectations are nothing more than future disappointments.” What a brilliant life hack. If you stop having any expectations from your partner, he can never disappoint you. Sorted!

Not keeping score is good advice. Keeping score is petty. Expectations are fine if they are communicated and agreed on.

The red pill women of Reddit spend most of their time sharing tips on being ‘better’, including a lively debate about how to improve your man’s morning routine (get up an hour before him, look pretty, make his breakfast is the general consensus). It’s toe curling stuff.

If you have found a man you love, what’s wrong with trying to determine how best to make sure he remains with you?

The women who populate the forum were unsurprisingly loathe to discuss their involvement with me (perhaps realising that publicly stating unmarried 35-year-old women had ‘failed at life’ wouldn’t make them any friends).

Why would they want to discuss anything with someone who is hostile to them?

“Be compassionate. Be honest. Be nurturing. Be sweet. Be gentle. Be positive. Be meek. Learn how to cook and clean”.

Compassion, honesty, sweetness, and positivity all seem like good attributes to strive for. Someone who is going to raise children should be gentle. Personally, I don’t see much value in being meek. Cooking and cleaning are useful life skills.

But the posts they share are unguarded. Take this painful contribution: “I’m 19 year-old college student and even though I’m currently looking for a part-time job I still have a lot of free time. I was wondering how I could spend my time to become a better woman and a better partner for my future boyfriend/husband”.

A woman wanting to learn how to be a better match so that she can marry the best man possible is smart, but Reid classifies this as “painful”. Sad.

“Sex and physical intimacy is not a choice, so stop thinking of it as a voluntary endeavour. Make it your mission to spoil him rotten. Every day you should have some kind of sexual interaction with him. Make an effort to flirt and have

Garbage tier journalism. The paragraph actually just cuts off like this. As I said previously, you can’t have an intimate relationship without sex. You can choose not to have sex with your partner, but you can’t then expect him to remain with you.

That’s right ladies. Consensual sex is not a choice. We’ve got it twisted with all our silly feminism. Our vaginas should be freely available to our partners, at all times, regardless of what else is going on.

If you choose to become unavailable, don’t be surprised when your relationship ends. You have choice, but choices come with consequences.

Aside from how painful it is to see ‘meekness’ praised as a character trait in 2015, the the salient question is why on earth any young woman would find herself aligning with this view?

To each her own I guess. If you are attracted to the kind of man who likes meek women, I suppose valuing meekness makes sense. As I said above, it ain’t my thing, but calling these women out as “painful” seems controlling.

In the 1980s, along with the rise of power suits and career women came a rise in the sales of Mills and Boon books. In the 2000s, 50 Shades of Grey out sold Harry Potter and the Bible. The correlation between the emancipation of women and the increased popularity of the dominant male in fiction is often used by red pill theorists as proof that women don’t actually want power; they want to be controlled.

And there is some truth in this. Women admire assertiveness, and want a man who can provide for and protect them. Millions of years of evolution have made hypergamy instinctual.

What red pill people seem to misunderstand is that they deal exclusively in theory and further than that, in fantasy.

When a theory has the ability to predict reality, it is not fantasy.

Women might well lust after a Christian Grey type, who forces us to forget about climbing the career ladder with blindfolds and wrist ties. But it’s a fantasy. It’s not real. And for these women who haunt Reddit, discussing how to be a better surrendered wife? It’s all part of the same fantasy. And really? Fantasy is exactly where it belongs.

But is it? Women have the right to pursue happiness. If they decide that “climbing the career ladder” is not for them, that’s their right. How would Reid feel if they told her that climbing the career ladder was fantasy?

Yes, a powerful, assertive man is a sexy prospect. But what red pill theory misunderstands is that women might want that, but they certainly don’t want that all the time.

So do you or don’t you want a powerful assertive man? Because a powerful, assertive man is unlikely to want a woman who doesn’t want him all the time, and if there is a red pill woman who does, I suspect that she will be the one to land him.

Ultimately, the adoption of the red pill by women is about fantasy. While the movement is buried in forums like Reddit – so the posters could be anyone, male or female – it seems likely that they are truly women. Unhappy women who want their lives to be better, and who have been taken in by a false promise.

Is it a false promise? How do you know? If it makes them happy, more power to them.

I don’t deny that if one partner is capable of being totally selfless, self-sacrificing and never complaining when they’re unhappy, then it’s likely going reduce the number of arguments a couple has. But that doesn’t make things better. It just makes women quieter.

If you are getting what you want, you aren’t being selfless. If you are getting what you want, hopefully you won’t be unhappy. Reducing the number of arguments a couple has does make things better. If you don’t want this kind of relationship, don’t engage in one, but don’t preach to those who do.

Aggressively maintained gender roles don’t make for happy relationships. Compromise, sharing and love do that. And that’s why, despite all the thousands of words written about it on the internet, red pill theory will remain exactly that. A theory.

Compromise does not make for a happy relationship. The strongest relationships are win/win relationships, where each partner gives what is easy for them to give and gets what they want.

For millions of years, traditional gender roles were necessary for survival, and because of this, behaviors like male dominance and female hypergamy have become hard wired instincts. Red pill theory attempts to explain human sexual behavior through evolutionary psychology.

Reid shows here that she doesn’t understand what a theory is. A scientific theory is constantly evolving as new facts come to light that contradict it. Over time, when the theory consistently matches reality, it comes to be accepted as fact. The red pill community is certainly full of pop psychology, but there is also insight to be found there. Discarding a theory because it doesn’t fit your ideology doesn’t make it wrong. If you want to discredit a theory, you need to find facts that disprove it.

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The Mainstream Media Sides with Its Tribe

peachmintEzra Klein, editor at large of Vox, is calling for the Democrats to Impeach him, anyway, even if they can’t oust Trump, echoing Democratic house leader, Nancy Pelosi.

Alexander Hamilton, the Constitution framer, writes [that impeachment is] meant for offenses “denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” Political offenses are, by nature, politicized. They “agitate the passions of the whole community” and “divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused.” The danger, Hamilton says, is that the impeachment process will be decided “more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.” If that proves either the perception or the reality of impeachment, the process loses its legitimacy, and America loses critical protection against tyrants and criminals.

In other words, if the Democrats use their majority to impeach despite an inability to demonstrate real guilt, they delegitimize impeachment.

Everything, then, rests on the independence and authority of the body charged with impeachment. Hamilton admitted that there was no tribunal capable of “the most exact standard of perfection,” but the best possible hope lay with the Senate. He believed that no “other body would be likely to feel CONFIDENCE ENOUGH IN ITS OWN SITUATION, to preserve, unawed and uninfluenced, the necessary impartiality between an INDIVIDUAL accused, and the REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE.”

An who better? The house of representatives are the ones bringing the case for impeachment, so clearly they cannot impartially judge it. The supreme court might be candidates, but since they are appointed by the president (in this case, two of them by the man they would be judging), they too are subject to bias. This may be a case of the Senate being the best of a bad lot.

He was wrong. President Donald Trump faces impeachment after repeatedly asking the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, Trump’s chief domestic political rival, a week after Trump froze the country’s military aid. When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky brought up the aid, Trump responded, “I would like you to do us a favor though” and turned the conversation to Biden. All of this is confirmed in a call record released by Trump’s own White House.

In the actual transcript of the call, Trump calls for investigation into the Clinton email server (page 3). He then calls once for investigation of Biden’s interference in the investigation of a Ukrainian company of which Biden’s son was a board member (page 4). Military aid is only hinted at by Zelensky, and is never mentioned directly by Trump.

Hamilton wrote in defense of a political system he thought would resist organized political parties. Today, the Senate makes no pretense to impartiality. The modern Senate, like the House, is controlled by a political party — and it is the political party Trump leads.

And yet this seems like a good thing, requiring the House of Representatives make the case for “high crimes” beyond a reasonable doubt. If they do and the Senate does not act, the people can punish their Senators in the next election. If the house’s case is weak, it may be seen as a partisan witch hunt and backfire on them in the next election. If they don’t have a strong case, they should not proceed.

“If this is the ‘launching point’ for House Democrats’ impeachment process, they’ve already overplayed their hand,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico. “The Senate will never convict President Trump,” his longtime No. 2, Sen. John Cornyn, said before even reading the whistleblower’s report.

Yes, this is partisan posturing. However, if there really is a case for impeachment, the senate knows that they are risking everything is they fail to act.

Impeachment was meant to be a political remedy for political offenses. But over time, it has mutated into something quite different: a partisan remedy for political offenses. And partisan remedies are subject to partisan considerations. If Trump falls before an impeachment trial, the Republican Party will be left in wreckage. The GOP’s leaders can’t permit the destruction of their own party. They will protect Trump at all costs.

That may be true, but if they do so and the people believe that they are, they will be voted out in the election.

“I think we have seen the total collapse of this very basic obligation of Congress under the weight of partisan polarization — particularly on the right — and it is dramatic,” says Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University. “Trump has exposed it rather than triggered it.”

Seems the Democrats are more guilty of partisan behavior, given their three year Russiagate nothing burger investigation.

There have been only three serious presidential impeachment efforts in American history. Every single one of them came when Congress was controlled by the opposition party. “Impeachment has essentially never been effective, except maybe as a deterrent,” says Matt Glassman, who is a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute.

Effective as a deterrent seems to be reasonable. Impeachment is a nuclear option: if you don’t have a case that can completely take out your target, you risk a retaliatory strike. So don’t use it unless you have a rock solid case.

But deterrents matter. Rather than focusing on what impeachment cannot do, it’s worth looking at what it can. The impeachment process, as it stands now, is broken. It almost certainly will not lead to Trump’s removal, no matter how damning the investigation’s findings. But that doesn’t make it useless. It can act as a sanction to Trump and his successors, unearth information voters will need when deciding whether to reelect Trump, and provide a warning to foreign countries that would seek influence over our politics. That is not sufficient, but it will have to be enough.

But will it be? The Democrats are running the risk of impeachment backfiring. See Tim Poole’s video Leaked Documents Implicate Joe Biden in Ukraine Scandal, New Report Backs Trump’s Claims.

Impeachment acts as a form of public disgrace. To be one of only four impeached presidents in American history, even if you are not convicted by the Senate, is to know an asterisk will be forever attached to your presidency, your offenses prominently recorded. It’s a humiliation for you and a warning to your successors.

After being called a Russian puppet and a racist for 3 years, is it really going to be any more humiliating?

In impeachment, the House’s role is to bring and try the case, while the Senate’s role is to judge the accused. The problem facing the country right now is that Senate leadership has flatly stated that it would never, under any circumstances, convict the accused. Given the two-thirds supermajority required for removal, McConnell and Cornyn’s guarantees hold weight.

I’d be surprised if even a majority voted to impeach Trump unless there was a very solid case that he had committed a crime.

But the Senate isn’t the only possible judge of an impeachment case. In 2020, Americans will go to the polls to vote for the next president. If the House conducts a serious, thorough impeachment investigation, the revelations of that inquiry will inform their choice. Indeed, if Senate Republicans are stonewalling accountability for a clearly corrupt president, it may affect Americans’ choices in Senate elections, too.

Then again, if there is no clear evidence of corruption and the House goes ahead with impeachment, it may affect American’s choices in House elections, not to mention taking the media’s focus off the democratic presidential candidates.

A well-constructed impeachment inquiry will harm Trump’s reelection bid. Of course, the flip is that an ill-constructed impeachment drive will boost it. But House Democrats seem intent on building their case carefully. Speaker Pelosi resisted impeachment after the Mueller report, in part because the absence of collusion made it a weak case for impeachment.

Is the Ukraine “case” any stronger, or did Pelosi cave to pressure from house Democrats who are desperate to find an issue they can win on?

Now Trump has attempted collusion in the plain text of a call record released by his own White House, and the case for impeachment is markedly stronger.

Read the transcript. There is no clear attempt at collusion, and no evidence at all of quid-pro-quo.

Where Democrats were split on the impeachment question after Mueller, Republicans are the ones who are beginning to split, with Vermont’s GOP governor backing impeachment.

This is hardly a split. There are still far more Democrats in the house who still aren’t on board with it that Republicans who are.

Trump wanted to run for reelection atop a booming economy. Now he will run as the candidate arguing that his demands of Ukraine did not quite rise to the level of quid pro quo. It’s not a great bumper sticker.

I think he will run on the economy and paint the impeachment as a witch hunt and a hail Mary attempt to unseat him.

In 2016, Russia reached into the US presidential election to help elect Donald Trump. Its investment was returned in spades. Trump, perhaps pleased by the result and emboldened by the wan aftermath of the Mueller investigation, subsequently asked Ukraine to launch an investigation on his behalf, in an effort to undermine one of his most formidable domestic political rivals.

After 3 years, Mueller found no evidence of Russian collusion, so spare me the conspiracy theories. I think Trump is taking a calculated risk that the Ukraine affair will hurt Biden more than it hurts him. After all, Biden was the one caught on tape admitting to using his position as VP to have the man investigating his son’s company fired, which is far more damning than anything said in the transcript of Trump’s call.

The spotlight of impeachment makes the costs clearer, too. A foreign country that is asked to intervene in an American election may see its activities exposed, much to the fury of the other political party and the public. Ukraine may want Trump’s goodwill, but it doesn’t want the Democrats’ ill will or the distraction and infamy of this investigation.

No doubt true. I’m sure they weren’t thrilled when Biden admitted to pressuring them into firing one of their prosecutors either. And now, with the alternative media on the case, the Democrats are no longer able to keep their own activities from being exposed.

In his farewell address, President George Washington spoke against “the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party.” In particular, he warned that partisan infighting “opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.”

Seems prescient now.

We live now in the world Washington feared. Party polarization has broken the American political system’s mechanisms of accountability. Republicans have fallen in line behind Trump, placing their loyalty to him, and to each other, above any sense of public accountability. And in doing, they have opened American politics to foreign influence and corruption — both from opportunists, like Russia, and enlisted allies of Trump’s, like Ukraine.

And Democrats and their allies in the media fell in line behind Clinton and, to a degree, behind Biden. Clinton’s state department famously approved the sale the company holding the extraction rights to 20% of America’s uranium to the Russians. See The Facts on Uranium One. And Biden is implicated for using his own political influence to coerce the Ukrainians.

A system of partisan accountability often means no system of accountability at all. It creates eras in which corruption flourishes, so long as that corruption is to the benefit of the party in power. That American politics has no answer for official wrongdoing in periods of unified government is chilling. Elections are not, on their own, sufficient — without rigorous systems of oversight, investigation, and accountability, the public often doesn’t know of the wrongdoing it should punish.

This was the purpose of the media: to act as a watchdog. The problem has been that the media has become more and more biased toward the interests of their corporate masters. But now, the internet has opened up opportunities for a new, alternative media to expose truths that go counter to the interests of the big media conglomerates. Unsurprisingly, they attempt to protect themselves by smearing the alternative media as “fake news”.

Klein seems unaware that he is projecting onto the Republicans the very things his own political tribe and the very organization he leads is doing. One has to wonder if this is legitimate naivety, or calculated deception. Regardless, the evil behavior he ascribes to the Republicans is exactly the behavior of the Democrats. As Jesus said, before you try to remove the mote from your brother’s eye, remove the log from your own.

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Salon Calls Climate Skeptics Sexist

Salon proves the point that Greta Thunberg is being elevated as an expert on climate change–testifying before the US congress–because she can’t be criticized. According to Salon, criticizing Thunberg or Ocasio-Cortez is sexist: Misogyny, meet hypocrisy: Climate deniers go after AOC, Greta Thunberg with sexist attacks.

Climate change may not seem like a gendered issue, but leave it to conservatives to inject sexism into everything they do.

It is Salon and other defenders of Thunberg who are making this a gender issue. The climate doesn’t affect men and women differently.

That much was made evident on Thursday, when the right-wing Media Research Center tweeted out a video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., talking about the need for rapid decarbonization to prevent catastrophic environmental changes due to climate change. The video is labeled “Shallow Thoughts” and treacly music is played behind it, in order to indicate how viewers are meant to read this video, which is as an indictment of Ocasio-Cortez’s intelligence.

Ocasio-Cortez does have an incredibly simplistic and ludicrously alarmist take on global warming. If her stated opinion is not a carefully crafted political maneuver, I would agree that it reflects poorly on her intelligence. How that is evidence of sexism is unclear. Men certainly don’t hold a monopoly on stupidity.

Despite the heavy-handed presentation, if a viewer actually listens to what Ocasio-Cortez is saying, it’s quite clear she’s making a cogent and intelligent case, and understands the actual scientific evidence far better than her detractors.

Given that she predicted that global warming would lead to the end of the world in 12 years, I’d say her understanding of the actual scientific evidence appears to be nonexistent.

It’s equally clear that Media Research Center doesn’t expect its conservative audience to actually listen to what she’s saying. Instead, sexist stereotypes are doing the heavy lifting here. Ocasio-Cortez is young, female and pretty, and as such, the target audience for this video is predisposed  to think of her as a bimbo, and is ready to write off anything she says as dumb lady yapping, without bothering to absorb the actual contents of her speech.

Why would anyone listen to what this former bartender has to say about global warming? At least listen to Bill Nye, who as an aeronautical engineer has a science background. Better yet, go read the IPCC reports.The fact that Salon assumes that people think Ocasio-Cortez is stupid because she’s young, female, or pretty shows that they are sexist. No reason beyond her ignorance is needed.

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, arrived in New York Wednesday for a speech at the United Nations greeted by a wave of misogynist nastiness, largely coming from allegedly grown men in both Europe and the United States. The attacks on Thunberg were in the same vein as those on Ocasio-Cortez, accusing her of being too stupid to know what she’s talking about and denying that her voice is one worth honoring.

Thunberg seems only to urge that politicians listen to scientists. This is a mere appeal to authority. Given that she doesn’t have a Ph.D. in climate science, why is she worth listening to? Arguing that we shouldn’t listen to a 16 year old political activist is not sexism.

A writer for the conservative Washington Examiner claimed that Thunberg is a victim of “child abuse” and that her mother “pimps their kid out,” explicitly drawing a line between forced sex work and climate activism.

What? Clearly pimping a child out for attention has nothing to do with forced sex work.

These kinds attacks have no basis in fact. Thunberg’s views on climate change align with those of better than 97% of climate scientists.

Ah, the old 97% of scientists chestnut. It’s like the wage gap. No matter how many times it’s debunked, morons still repeat it. For its full debunking, see climate scientist Richard Tol’s article Global warming consensus claim does not stand up.

Thunberg is no helpless puppet, but a sharp and remarkably passionate young person who has sparked an international youth movement of climate activism with millions of participants. In order to give weight to these attacks, these critics rely on stereotypes painting women, especially young women, as infantile and idiotic. Without this kind of misogyny, they’d have nothing.

Thunberg is not a credible authority on climate science, whatever her achievements as an activist. Pointing this out is not misogyny. Calling anyone who disagrees with you a misogynist shows the world that you don’t have a valid argument, and must stoop to ad hominem attacks.

“While these examples might feel like mere coincidence to some,”  Martin Gelin at the New Republic argues, “the idea that white men would lead the attacks on Greta Thunberg is consistent with a growing body of research linking gender reactionaries to climate-denialism.”

Smearing climate skeptics as “gender reactionaries” is a low tactic. Real scientists are skeptical. We look at evidence. If you don’t bring any, you don’t get a seat at the table.

Indeed, the evidence Gelin cites shows that sexism is probably fueling climate denialism. Researchers Jonas Anshelm and Martin Hultman of Chalmers found that sexists saw climate change activism as part of a larger group of social changes — including feminism — that threatens “a certain kind of modern industrial society built and dominated by their form of masculinity.”

Feminist neo-marxist social “scientists” complain about masculinity. What a shock.

There’s another reason that climate-change denialists so readily turn to sexism: They don’t really have anything else to work with.

There’s a reason that climate activists so readily turn to ad hominem attacks: They don’t really have anything else to work with.

The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly clear: The climate crisis is real, and mostly caused by human activity. Morally, the position of denialists is indefensible, because their chosen path — to do nothing or worse yet, increase greenhouse gas output — will harm not just future generations, but ordinary people around the world who currently suffering from increasingly extreme weather events.

Global warming is real. Some of it is natural, some of it man made. We do not know that it is “mostly caused by human activity”. As Moody analytics found (see Global Warming: Crisis? What Crisis?), the worse climate change is, the better off Canada will be, and even in the worst case, the economic impact on the US will be nearly break even. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2019 (in Global Warming and Hurricanes), it is premature to conclude  that human greenhouse gas emissions have had a detectable impact on hurricane activity.

To be certain, it’s not just women who have been targeted with these tactics. For a long time, former Vice President Al Gore, who was the strongest and earliest advocate for fighting climate change during his time in Congress, was a regular target of ad hominem attacks from climate denialists looking for any reason to talk about something other than science and morality. They’d call him fat. They’d call him crazy. They’d suggest he was just making it up to get attention.

It’s hard to defend Gore when on January 26, 2006 the Washington Post stated Al “believes humanity may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan.” 10 years on, in 2016, the earth had warmed slightly, but it hardly seems to have reached the “point of no return tipping point” that Gore predicted.

But those attacks on Gore, it’s worth noting, all involved feminizing him to some degree. Which is to say that “fat,” “attention whore” and “crazy” are all standard ways for sexists to dismiss the opinions of women. The ur-attack on Gore, going back to the ’80s, has been to call him effeminate.

The ur-attack on Gore is that he claimed to have invented the Internet.

Having cast Gore in the role of a woman, it was easy for right-wingers to lean heavily on sexist stereotypes to dismiss Gore’s serious, evidence-based and morally urgent crusade to do something about climate change before it’s too late. Now they’re shifting those same attacks onto actual women who are increasingly becoming the face of climate change activism.

Sexism is not required to dismiss Gore’s overblown claims, as they have refuted themselves. Gore has also shown his hypocrisy in 2010 by buying a $8.9 million ocean-view villa.

gore-game

But no matter who the right attacks, the premise remains the same: Environmentalists are female and/or effeminate, and therefore can be dismissed out of hand as stupid or crazy or driven by irrational emotion — in other words, not worth listening to. Women are so worthless in their eyes, it appears, that no amount of evidence will ever make women’s arguments hold merit.

A woman’s arguments hold merit the same way a man’s do. Arguing that climate skeptics are sexist and therefore we shouldn’t listen to them is not an argument that holds merit, whether you are male or female. If you make ad hominem attacks on those you oppose, why are you surprised when they do the same in return?

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Environmentalists Continue to Lie and Cry Wolf

When we’re faced with threats of inundation, our reaction has traditionally been to build walls. Sea-level rises, storms and floods have been held back with solid barriers, seawalls and dykes. We have used walls to keep out people, too: the fact that this has failed throughout the ages has not stopped its recent revival in the United States.

And yet Hungary’s Border Fence Was Built Fast, Cheap, And It Works.

The climate crisis threatens global sea-level rises of well over half a metre if we fail to act, while tidal storm surges will reach many times that height.

According to the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013 (What the new IPCC report says about sea level rise), under scenarios where emissions stabilise by the end of the century (RCP4.5) or soon after (RCP6.0), sea levels are projected to rise by between 32 and 62 cm (47cm on average). If If governments achieve drastic emissions cuts from 2020 onward (RCP2.6), sea levels are projected to rise by between 26 and 54 cm

Fiercer and more frequent hurricanes will batter us.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Global Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) in 2019 (Global Warming and Hurricanes), in the Atlantic, it is premature to conclude with high confidence that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on hurricane activity.

Millions of people who live in areas where crops have failed and wells run dry will be forced to flee their homes.

We’ve heard this before. In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that imminent sea-level rises, increased hurricanes, and desertification caused by “man-made global warming” would lead to massive population disruptions. By 2010, some 50 million “climate refugees” would be frantically fleeing from those regions of the globe. Not only did the areas in question fail to produce a single “climate refugee,” by 2010, population levels for those regions were actually still soaring. In many cases, the areas that were supposed to be producing waves of “climate refugees” and becoming uninhabitable turned out to be some of the fastest-growing places on Earth.

But walls will not work with the climate crisis, even if the temptation to try to keep out the consequences, rather than dealing with the causes, is as strong as ever.

And yet the Hungarian border wall (see linked article above) successfully diverted economic migrants from Africa and the middle east around the country.

The prospect of a “climate apartheid”, in which the rich insulate themselves from the impacts of the climate emergency while the poor and vulnerable are abandoned to their fate, is now real. According to the UN, climate-related disasters are already taking place at the rate of one a week, though only a few of them – such as Hurricane Dorian – get reported.

As quoted above, the NOAA, who are the experts, have yet to find a statistical correlation between global warming and increased severity of hurricanes. Those who connect hurricanes to global warming without evidence are propagating fake news.

Nowhere on Earth will be untouched, with the number of people facing water shortages set to leap from 3.6 billion today to 5 billion by 2050. At least 100 million people will be plunged into poverty in the next decade, and in the decades following that, rising sea levels will swamp coastal cities from Miami to Shanghai, wiping $1tn a year from the global economy. Agriculture will become increasingly difficult, with more people displaced as a result, searching for liveable conditions elsewhere.

According to the NOAA, large areas in the west and southwest U.S. have experienced abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions that stress water resources and present challenges to farmers, ranchers, water resource managers, and energy utilities. These water deficits appear to be part of a long-term trend toward drier conditions in the west and southwest.

Currently, 20 times more is being spent on reducing emissions than building resilience to the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather, according to the Commission on Adaptation. That seems patently unbalanced, and neglecting adaptation is putting millions of people and their livelihoods in danger now, as well as storing up problems for the future.

Preventing the problem seems more valuable than preparing to live with it. That said, Richmond, a low lying city just south of Vancouver in British Columbia, has already begun preparing for higher sea levels.

What’s more, money invested today will pay dividends in the near future. Spending less than $2tn by 2030 would result in more than $7tn saved in damage avoided and better economic growth. These sums sound huge, but are a fraction of the amount the world will spend on infrastructure in the next decade.

Money “invested” in government programs has a poor track record in paying any dividends, far less yielding “better economic growth”. On the other hand, pure capitalism will lead, as it has been doing, to a tragedy of the commons.

And modern adaptation means more than building seawalls. Restoring natural features, such as mangrove swamps and wetlands, can do far more to protect coastal regions, as well as nurturing biodiversity and tourism. New technology will play a key role, as early warnings of extreme weather give people time to take shelter or protect their property. Engineering climate-ready infrastructure encompasses everything from porous pavements to urban trees to provide shade.

And, as pointed out in this article, such adaptation tactics are affordable in affluent countries, but not in their poorer cousins.

What’s clear is that we need to adapt and build resilience now, because climate change is no longer a comfortably faraway problem. The predicted ravages have come sooner than expected: heatwaves over much of the northern hemisphere last year, floods and extreme weather in south-east Asia, Arctic ice melting at unprecedented levels this summer, and Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest ever recorded. Worse still, some of these effects are likely themselves to increase temperatures further, in a series of feedback loops. The fires in the Amazon are destroying a vital “carbon sink”.

It’s hard to take this article seriously when this last claim has been debunked by the New York Times (What Satellite Imagery Tells Us About the Amazon Rain Forest Fires): “Scientists studying satellite image data from the fires in the Amazon rain forest said that most of the fires are burning on agricultural land where the forest had already been cleared.”

It is tempting, in the face of these events, to suggest that the game is up for trying to prevent climate change. The emissions reductions needed to stop it are so vast, and the changes to our way of life so total, that it may seem like all we can do is adapt to the consequences. The hastening prospect of a “climate apartheid” is morally revolting as well as politically alarming, and could lead to a kind of paralysis.

The challenge of reducing CO2 emissions can only be solved by the biggest emitters.

country-co2

Trying to adapt to the consequences of climate change while continuing to burn fossil fuels is like trying to mop up an overflowing sink while the taps are still running. As long as we continue to pump CO2 into the air, we are fuelling rises in temperature. We cannot outrun global heating any more than we can hold back the rising sea with dykes. And the fires blazing through the Amazon show that without action, things could easily get much worse.

As stated above, the fires in the Amazon are largely unrelated to global warming. Also, we can hold back the rising sea with dykes, as the Netherlands has been doing for centuries.

It can seem that in a world of finite resources, we need to make a binary decision about where to put our efforts. That is an illusion. The truth is that dealing with the climate emergency requires an across-the-board approach, for the simple reason that all of our resources – economic, physical, social – are at stake. If we do not throw everything we can at the problem, there won’t be much left anyway. In short, there is no wall high enough to keep out the consequences of inaction on emissions.

In a world of finite resources, we absolutely must choose where to expend them. All of our resources are not “at stake”. In fact, for much of the world, the more climate change there is, the better off we will be. See Global Warming: Crisis? What Crisis? where I discuss a Moody’s Analytics report that says that Sweden, Canada, and Germany will all benefit from global warming, and that the US will have negligible harm done to it’s GDP.

This article is typical of news articles about global warming in that it mixes facts with overblown predictions and downright falsehoods. As stated above, even the UN has been caught crying wolf. If you want to convince people that we should spend tax money on fighting or adapting to global warming, stop promulgating fake news about hurricanes and forest fires.

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