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Climate panel heats up. Result: frozen in place.

Gov. Inslee's effort to move the state to reduce carbon emissions is running into trouble.
Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee John Stang

Both sides bared their fangs Friday. Gov. Jay Inslee got frustrated. And Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, resented that.

Inslee, two Democratic legislators and two Republican legislators, all members of a committee tasked with creating recommendations for dealing with climate change issues during the coming legislative session, could not agree on anything. Not a thing. A vast chasm between stances. A gap that has existed for months.

For months, Inslee and the panel's Democrats have preached that the state has a legal obligation to tackle carbon emissions quickly. And for months, the panel's Republicans have responded that the economic impacts must be studied before any carbon emissions-related legislation should be considered.

And for months, both sides have avoided discussing how to resolve those differences. In theory, the panel was supposed to agree on some tentative recommendations Friday. Recommendations that would be sent to a Dec. 13 legislative public hearing and a Dec. 18 vote. Inslee does not have a vote on the final recommendations. Three of the four legislators must agree on any formal recommendations going forward. The deadline to finish the panel's work is Dec. 31.

All this was set into motion in 2008, when Washington's Legislature set a goal of reducing the state's greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, with further trimming of emissions to 25 percent below Washington's 1990 level by 2035 and to 50 percent below by 2050. So far, nothing has happened. Early this year, the Legislature passed a bill to set up this task force with the Dec. 31 deadline. As a condition for that bill's passage, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus got an amendment that converted Inslee into a non-voting member, setting up the current two-to-two deadlock among the four legislators.

On Friday, Inslee submitted several proposed recommendations for discussion. One would have put a legal cap on all of Washington's carbon emissions, with a cap-and-trade program included to allow corporations to juggle emissions among themselves. Another suggested that coal imported to Washington power plants from out-of-state be counted as a source of carbon emissions to be kept within Inslee's proposed cap. Energy efficiency measures would be tackled. And legislating use of low-carbon fuels would be explored. 

The panel deadlocked.

Again, Short and Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, wanted any measures delayed until the economic impacts of those proposals could be studied. 

"I think we're putting the cart before the horse. We would be agreeing to policies without knowing what the economic impacts would be … " Short said. "My God, we're playing with people's lives."  

Ericksen agreed. "We have an unfinished work product."

Inslee, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, pointed to the state's lack of action since the 2008 law went into effect, and to the that fact that last spring's new law set a Dec. 31 deadline to make recommendations. "We've got to fish or cut bait," Ranker said. "We have a statutory mandate before us that we have to meet."

"What I really resent is the governor intimating that we don't care," Short responded. "… If there is a necessary reason to change goals, there is no reason not to put that on the table." 

"We're all in the same corner in that carbon pollution is damaging our state. Two members of this committee have alluded that they would throw out these goals. That's disappointing to me," Inslee said. 

"No, no, no! ... I guess you don't care about costs. But we do," Short retorted.

Finally, the five agreed to put all of their individual recommendations into one document, which the public can pick apart at the Dec. 13 hearing. The disjointed clump of proposals is supposed to be available by the end of Monday for the public to view on the panel's website. Ranker speculated that the panel could end up with two parallel, but radically different sets of recommendations.


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Comments:

Posted Sat, Dec 7, 8:04 a.m. Inappropriate

First, does anyone doubt that both parties are just playing to their own galleries and essentially ignoring what needs to be done in order to avert unsustainable emissions?

The republicans are telling business owners "we are doing our best to minimize any change affecting you" in order to make sure future contributions keep fueling their political aspirations.

Inslee has a history of encouraging large corporate contributions from renewable and alternative energy sources by pushing to get them as much government money as possible, and while doing so voting to increase mostly unsustainable immigration-driven population growth, the one factor that most exacerbates depletion of energy sources.

Hypocrisy is the foundation of today's politics. Pretend to be concerned about whatever has some popularity weight. But consistently do what ever brings power and money.

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 6:10 p.m. Inappropriate

Certainly the first order of business speaks to what you say—giving away the store, the environment, and any other offer that can not be refused to make sure the Boeing growth machine keeps growing the problem.

Boeing becoming a first order bully certainly puts all the ordinary people in a huge quandary as to whether those we trust with our lives are a) so dumb we were fools to hire and keep them around, or b) smart enough to look out for themselves, but not smart enough to expose the contradictions, let alone start work on the huge puzzle responsible for the entire set of contradictions, increasingly harder to deny:

How is a population that abandons exponential growth to gainfully employ itself?

That question being a matter of economics, unorthodox though it may be, one would think people (or at least economists) would have been well along with at least the questions the Republicans note, as orthodox as those might be?

Very tiresome indeed is this....insert here the expression used when making a selection at random that follows with a racial slur so is not PC to utter anymore. How long before ordinary people wise up?

afreeman

Posted Sat, Dec 7, 8:39 a.m. Inappropriate

Indeed.

Posted Sat, Dec 7, 10:30 a.m. Inappropriate

"All this was set into motion in 2008, when Washington's Legislature set a goal of reducing the state's greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, with further trimming of emissions to 25 percent below Washington's 1990 level by 2035 and to 50 percent below by 2050. So far, nothing has happened."

Nothing is going to happen. The legislature never consulted the public when they passed this "feel-good" legislation. The public has no interest at all in paying higher prices for anything in a futile attempt to reduce one state's carbon emissions, which would have zero effect on global carbon emissions. The Governor should stop wasting his time tilting at windmills. This is nothing but an exercise in futility.

Everyone who cares about carbon emissions can reduce their carbon emissions on their own. If the state tries to force people who aren't interested to reduce carbon emissions, then there is going to be very strong push-back from those being hurt by the higher costs of energy.

Lincoln

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 8:29 p.m. Inappropriate

"The public has no interest at all in paying higher prices for anything..." That's true and it's too bad because we're going to pay one way or another. The era of cheap energy is over. Done. Ended. It's not hard to figure out; here's one place to start: http://globalenergysystemsconference.com/

What you are suggesting to Inslee is that he keep leading us off the cliff of business as usual. Some of us are not sheep and would prefer options that plan for highly likely risks.

louploup

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 9:31 p.m. Inappropriate

Well, then go live in a sustainable cave. But no, you prefer your "progressive" Seattle hypocrisy, like everyone else. Except you'll never admit it, because you're too much of a dishonest "progressive" to ever tell the truth about anything, much less your own corruption.

NotFan

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 11:04 p.m. Inappropriate

yap yap

louploup

Posted Sat, Dec 7, 10:35 a.m. Inappropriate

"Washington's carbon dioxide emissions totaled 96 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2010. If no new remedial measures are tackled and the state' population growth continues, state discharges will blast away all the goals for reductions set five years ago. The 2008 law says that Washington's total carbon dioxide emissions must drop in steps to 44 million metric tons by 2050. If measures are not taken, emissions will grow throughout the coming decades, hitting 135 million metric tons by 2050, according to the panel's technical consultant firm Leidos."

Carbon dioxide emissions are growing because of population growth. So, what is Inslee doing to stop, or even slow down population growth? Nothing. Inslee is a hypocrite for not even attempting to address the single greatest cause of increasing greenhouse gas emissions -- population growth.

Lincoln

Posted Sat, Dec 7, 3:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Actually both sides are correct and wrong at the same time and for the same reasons. Both are using politics through the misuse of science to achieve whatever their aims are. The science is very inexact and the political aims are off the mark as to cause and effect.
http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/curry-testimony-2013-il.pdf

It's really difficult to say that human action is the cause of more intense hurricanes or wildfires, but it's not difficult to say that human action is the leading cause of widespread damages from natural event. Why? More people on earth and with greater numbers concentrated along the shorelines, one would expect more damage and loss of lives from even the mildest of hurricanes. Records show that is happening. The population of Taloban grew from 76K to over 200K in 40 years. Small wonder the politicians are worried.

http://www.census.gov.ph/content/population-tacloban-city-rose-more-200-thousand-results-2010-census-population-and-housing

Djinn

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 9:02 p.m. Inappropriate

Judith Curry makes some fundamental errors in her testimony, such as claiming "since 1998 there has been no statistically significant increase in global surface temperature" while dismissing ocean heat uptake as not worthy of her consideration. For years Dr. Curry has wandered far beyond her expertise and become a darling of the deniers.

You could just as easily cite the testimony of William L. Chameides from the same hearing (https://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-environment-hearing-policy-relevant-climate-issues-context) who is much clearer that we're facing serious problems. Population growth is a problem, but that doesn't mean global warming is not real. The third witness, Bjørn Lomborg, indicates by his very presence the bias of the committee chair; he is not an expert on climate science and has made a career out of poo-pooing risks from global warming or any other environmental risk. (But even he in the course of his non credible presentation states "Man-made global warming is a reality and will in the long run have overall, negative impact.")

While there are many uncertainties around climate science, they decrease by the day. It's the policy response that is confounding.

louploup

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 9:25 p.m. Inappropriate

louploup, what are you yapping about now? Do you realize what a sack full of "progressive" methane you are?

NotFan

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 11:05 p.m. Inappropriate

yap yap

louploup

Posted Mon, Dec 9, 8:03 p.m. Inappropriate

I seriously doubt if you're qualified to comment on whether Curry made fundamental errors or not. She has the credentials and you don't, plus she didn't deny that climate change wasn't happening. The new deniers are the liberals who want only the science that agrees with their political position, any scientific findings that don't fit that position is junk science to them. We all know that climate change happens and lately the only ones that can't stand that rapidly rising oceans aren't wiping out large swarths of humanity are misanthropically liberals.

Extra credit quiz. What do Ephesus, Ostia Anitca, and Pevensy Castle have in common?

Djinn

Posted Mon, Dec 9, 10:26 p.m. Inappropriate

Right, I don't have a Ph.D. in geophysics or atmospheric science. But I have been researching and working on global warming and resulting risks and impacts for many years as a natural resource policy analyst. I have read hundreds of relevant peer reviewed papers, follow numerous scientific blogs on the subject, and know what I'm talking about. If you want me to back up my claims about Dr. Curry, it's not really hard to do. A good compendium of analyses of her self-tarnished reputation is http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Judith_Curry

Ephesus, Ostia Anitca, and Pevensy Castle are old cities claimed by denier ideologues as proof that sea level has dropped significantly in the not too distant past. Anyone can find nearly identical drivel about the three sites at numerous web articles and letters to the editor with a simple search. The flat out statement "Sea level was significantly higher in the Roman Warm Period than today." (http://www.cfact.org/2013/12/01/history-falsifies-climate-alarmist-sea-level-claims/) is simply not true. Here's what I turned up for Ephesus: http://sp.lyellcollection.org/content/352/1/27.short I personally visited a similar Roman military post and seaport on the other side of the peninsula, Aquileia, that is also now a couple km back from the current shoreline. Due to sedimentation of the floodplain...

The rest of your snideness is just that.

Edit: After posting, I found this short deconstruction of the apparent source of the Ephesus et al baloney: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/12/a-new-disinformer-at-wuwt-writing.html

louploup

Posted Mon, Dec 9, 11:59 p.m. Inappropriate

You probably have a Ph.D. in french literature.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 10:46 a.m. Inappropriate

jappe-jappe

louploup

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 12:21 a.m. Inappropriate

There is nothing even remotely serious about the "progressive" climate change claptrap. Look, if you purposely make traffic in Seattle more congested; promote light rail that will greatly increase carbon emissions; promote energy-hogging farmers markets because they make affluent white yuppies feel good; ban plastic grocery bags even though every alternative emits far more carbon during its lifecycle, then why should anyone take you seriously?

Even the "progressives" must be laughing at this bullshit. Oh but wait, a Seattle "progressive" never laughs at anything, especially his own foolishness.

NotFan

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 11:32 a.m. Inappropriate

These elected officials tasked with representing all of us need to get with the program and DO SOMETHING. Further delay is not acceptable.

The National Academies of Science just published a report that begins
"Levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are exceeding levels recorded in the past millions of years, and thus climate is being forced beyond the range of the recent geological era. Lacking concerted action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the future climate will be warmer, sea levels will rise, global rainfall patterns will change, and ecosystems will be altered."

Download or read online:
http://www.nap.edu/download.php?record_id=18373

nwcitizen

Posted Sun, Dec 8, 11:42 a.m. Inappropriate

Okay, if you actually care about climate change rather than this being the umpteenth time that Seattle's smug 'n sanctimonious yuppies need another dose of self-praise, then why is the city promoting energy-hog farmer's markets? Want some carbon to go with that small batch of trucked-in carrots at $5 a bunch, do ya?

NotFan

Posted Mon, Dec 9, 9:17 a.m. Inappropriate

Well, this is why we love you. You may be the CrossCut Village Idiot, but your OUR Village Idiot.

As usual you manage to lie, cherry-pick, misunderstand, mis-state, and confuse several topics together. All in one run-on sentence. If nothing else, you are consistent.

Farmer's markets: the short answer is - depends on how you calculate it and for what product and at what time of the year. Produce from Chile, not matter how much in-bulk it is shipped, will always have a larger CFP than local produce driven into town by farmers - get it from Oregon in-season and the tipping point is closer. Then, more importantly and absent in your (non)reasoning, is the benefit of organic - no carbon-based pesticides and for integrated operations that use their own manure - no purchase of processed fertilizer, another carbon source.

Then there is the added benefit of folks not eating pesticides - certainly not carbon related, but an environmental and health benefit.

The plastic bag issue you raise is another ruse. While there can be some carbon benefits of recycling some plastics you manage to leave out the primary reason entities are banning plastic bags - waste stream toxicity to wildlife, fish, aquatic systems, and the general environment. Plastic does not dissolve (look it up genius). It simply breaks down to smaller and smaller pieces and then gets down to the size of plankton, which, unfortunately, is then consumed by marine organisms.

In addition a whole host of critters from sea turtles to birds to marine mammals will eat plastic bags, confusing them with jellyfish. This is the reason for banning these - to reduce the waste stream. Now you can bang your head on the table some more while yelling "progressive" some more - but a coherent argument will really go a lot farther.

And as far as a state not having an effect on carbon emissions? You need to read up a bit. California is well on track to meet their carbon reduction goals for 2020. They will need to make adjustments to meet their 2050 goals, but can reasonably do so.

Will that alone make a difference? No. But global climate change/sea level rise, which is well on its way is the environmental issue our children and grandchildren will have to deal with. It is going to take efforts on all levels to make a dent in the problem.

Honestly, I don't know if the world's political systems are up for the challenge - but it seems shrugging your shoulders and doing nothing and attacking it as some "yuppie" conspiracy is ignorant at best.

Cheers.

Treker

Posted Mon, Dec 9, 11:58 p.m. Inappropriate

Ah, the typical Seattle "progressive" faith-based methane spewing hypocrite vomits forth an "answer."

Your justifications for farmers markets are pure faith-based hype. Organic produce is available at supermarkets on the same basis as anywhere else, except that it's shipped in bulk. Which saves all kinds of carbon emissions. But you and your phony "progressives" just looooooove your "local" markets.

As for plastic bags, the U.K. Environment Agency studied all of it in detail. I've posted the results here before, but you and the other faith-based, science-hating Seattle "progressive" hypocrites favor the gesture at the expense of the reality.

Face it, "progressive," you are a complete phony from start to finish. You are not one bit different than your kissin' cousin, Sarah Palin. She thinks she's more "patriotic" and "godly," and you think you are more "intelligent." In reality, both of you are ax-grinding, tribal idiots.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 8:31 a.m. Inappropriate

I notice that you actually have no facts to back any of those generalizations so here you go.

Locally produced food: As I said before. It depends. If a local supermarket is getting organic produce, regionally, and using efficient transportation - the most efficient is train, then the farmers market will have difficulty competing in that CFP arena. But generally, that's not the case. Farmers markets generally sell what is in season - you will not see strawberries there as you will not over at Fred Myers. Hmmmm. Where do you think those are coming from - somewhere like Chile at this time of year. Even say, if a store is getting its carrots from Yakima in cold storage and trucking them over to Seattle it will be almost impossible to beat the CFP efficiency of say buy produce from the Hmong farmers coming from Renton.

Despite the arm waving you have shown no facts. So you might want to read up on this article by the World Watch Institute, a research organization on environmental issues. The conclusion - just what I said - "it depends" on what you are comparing. AND transportation is a minor (around 12%) of the CFP total for greenhouse gas production:
_____________________________________________________________________
"But a broader, more comprehensive picture of all the tradeoffs in the food system requires tracking greenhouse gas emissions through all phases of a food's production, transport, and consumption. And life-cycle analysis (LCA), a research method that provides precisely this "cradle-to-grave" perspective, reveals that food miles represent a relatively small slice of the greenhouse-gas pie"
____________________________________________________________________

Next up: Plastic. Well, that was a good end-run-around the primary topic of discussion. That the main reason for banning plastic bags is to reduce toxicity to aquatic systems, organisms, and the general environment, NOT greenhouse gas emissions.

It's a middle school level strawman. It's like arguing that the reason we have car seatbelts is to reduce kids from wrinkling their good school clothes. Absurd.

The reason entities are banning plastic bags is because of the overwhelming evidence that they are entering the waste stream at an enormous rate and getting into aquatic systems. The EPA has a good summary report of other sources here: http://www.epa.gov/region9/marine-debris/pdf/MarineDebris-NPacFinalAprvd.pdf

The report cites the toxicity of plastic to include PCBs, DDE, PAHs and other organics and the threat of plastic bags to a vast number of fish, birds, turtles, and marine mammals.

So, duh, greenhouse gas emissions never was the issue of trying to reduce the amount of plastic bags.

So, no facts in your reply but plenty of this:
methane spewing hypocrite
vomit
faith-based
phony
progressives (xxxx)
ax-grinding tribal idiots (??)
science hating (ironic!)
Sarah Palin (scary!)

Your arguments are as easy to dismantle as shooting fish in a barrel.

What was that Margaret Thatcher quote about name-calling and losing an argument?

Treker

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 8:58 a.m. Inappropriate

You are looking for this quote:

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

Margaret Thatcher

Glad to help out. Ta-Ta.

Lily32

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 6:49 p.m. Inappropriate

You "progressives" just HATE IT when I highlight your phoniness. It drives you just crazy to have anyone point it out, just like it drives your kissin' cousin Sarah Palin crazy when anyone points out what a stupid hypocrite she is.

By the way, a paper bags causes 16 times the water pollution that a plastic bag does. You can think you're smart because you throw around terms like "aquatic health," but you are actually FAVORING a huge multiple of water pollution when you pick paper over plastic. But that would be a fact, and a faith-based, methane-spewing Seattle "progressive" runs from a fact like a cockroach runs from the light.

You are just as much a pack of know-nothings as the most selfish, self-contradictory wheat farmer in Adams County. What you share with that farmer is an overwhelming degree of self-righteousness, and the willingness to tell any lie that sounds good at the time.

Oh, and Lily32? I've posted the U.K. Environment Agency study on grocery carrier bags here before. The "progressives" won't accept it, because just like Sarah Palin, any facts that contradict their faith are thrown out. There are plenty of "arguments" against your faith. You are too obtuse to consider anything that challenges your certainties.

NotFan

Posted Sat, Dec 14, 11:37 p.m. Inappropriate

I don't understand why they don't alllow the recyclable plastic bags - Amazon lobbying?

Seasoned

Posted Sun, Dec 15, 3:46 p.m. Inappropriate

I can tell you why they don't allow the biodegradable bags. It's not for the reason they shouldn't, which is that biodegradable bags cause 4 times the global warming gases that disposable plastic bags do. (You see, the Seattle "progressives" don't actually care about global warming. They only care about maintaining the APPEARANCE that they care.)

The reason the feckless "progressive" city council banned biogradable plastic is because some cute faux-environmentalist convinced them that all plastic is evil. It doesn't matter that paper, for example, causes 16 times the water pollution and 4 times the global warming that plastic does. Nor does it matter that a reusable cotton sack must be reused 173 times before its global warming contribution is equal to that of using disposable plastic.

None of that matters. This is ENTIRELY about appearances, vanity, and self-reassurance. The Seattle "progressive" has an unending need for all of these things, constantly, and for higher taxes too. If they allowed biodegradable plastic, it would still be plastic, and the value of the environmentalist pose would be lost. Seattle "progressives" would sooner die than drop the pose.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 6:40 p.m. Inappropriate

...

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 8:33 a.m. Inappropriate

I noticed I forgot to post the link to the World Watch Institute regarding locally produced food/transportation/etc.

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6064

Treker

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 10:13 a.m. Inappropriate

Thanks - interesting.

Lily32

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 6:48 p.m. Inappropriate

The report doesn't even begin to address the transport costs of your white yuppie "progressive" farmers markets vs. the transport costs of equally organic stuff sold at the grocery store. Face it, the definition of a Seattle "progressive" is an overt hostility to facts, same as their good friend, Sarah Palin. You walk hand in hand.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 8:31 p.m. Inappropriate

Like I said. Maybe you can enlighten us with some references or a logical progression of facts. Otherwise it's an opinion - eh? That's ok. Just don't confuse the two. After all:

---Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
Daniel Patrick Moyinahan

Treker

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 8:59 p.m. Inappropriate

I've posted the information many times. You were too lazy and stupid to read it then, and you're too lazy and stupid to look it up now.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 9:38 p.m. Inappropriate

Ahhh. No rug meant then!

Lily32

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 8:38 p.m. Inappropriate

I think Mr NotFan is angry again because....

It's not fun arguing with someone who knows what the are talking about.
Sam Ewing

This is fun!!

Lily32

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 8:58 p.m. Inappropriate

Lily32, you don't know a thing. You're a Seattle "progressive," and your specialty is striking a pose for the other "progressives."

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 9:37 p.m. Inappropriate

If you could provide some facts please instead of name calling that would help. Unless you are 12 years old.!

Lily32

Posted Tue, Dec 10, 10:09 p.m. Inappropriate

I would' hold your breath.

Name calling "progressing" in 3, 2, 1..............

Treker

Posted Wed, Dec 11, 3:23 p.m. Inappropriate

Louploup, Treker, and Lily32... I thoroughly appreciate your well written, evidence-based, rational, mature, and cheeky responses to the ridiculous claims and attacks of NotFan. Thank you for being awesome. NotFan is an example of the group of individuals (on both sides of the political spectrum) whose unwillingness to evaluate evidence with an open mind is hampering our political system's ability to solve major problems.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Is anyone else wondering why allowing progress to happen (an inevitability, by its definition) has become an insult? I seriously question the decision-making abilities of anyone who thinks progress is something to be avoided. Regardless of where you want the future to go, it's going to happen. All you can do to avoid it (the future) is die.

verb: progress
prəˈgres/

1. move forward or onward in space or time.
"as the century progressed, the quality of telescopes improved"

------------------------------------------------------------------
willful ignorance is: The practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence and well-founded arguments because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs.

A few words on willful ignorance from humans past:

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
― Plato

“Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
― Thomas A. Edison

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.”
― Isaac Asimov
(BTW, Svante Arrhenius, one of the founders of physical chemistry, calculated the amount of additional carbon dioxide that would be needed to change earth's global surface temperature in 1896. It's almost 120 years later, and some people are still unashamed to ignore his findings and all the evidence accumulated since. I wonder if the man who appears in nearly every introductory chemistry textbook would resent it as Mr. Asimov did.)

And one that's a bit more cheeky...
“I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and—if you’re not careful—those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.”
― Brandon Sanderson

And finally a fun note I found written by a psychologist on willful ignorance and politics:
"One finding from recent research is that conservatives tend to have lower IQs. Remember, lifestyle and personality can have a huge influence on IQ, so it is likely that conservatives essentially think less than do progressives. They ask fewer questions and engage in fewer truth seeking missions, on the whole...Another finding related to politics is the clear finding that the personality trait "Openness to Experience" (one of Costa and McCrae's Big 5 Personality Traits) is correlated with progressive attitudes, as well as with education, intelligence and creativity." (http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/natural-lefty/blog/2012/12/psychologists-take-willful-ignorance#sthash.LzKZm7N5.dpuf)

Again, I find myself asking... why is "progressive" an insult again?

Akina23

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 3:42 p.m. Inappropriate

"Progressive" is an insult because progressive isn't. Seattle doesn't have progressives. It has "progressives." Seattle's "progressives" are arrogant, stupid, incompetent, corrupt, know-nothings who are just as stupid and self-dealing as the wingnuts they pretend to be superior to.

And to judge from the amount of heated objections I get from "progressives" to being called "progressive," they know at some level just what utter frauds they are.

NotFan

Posted Wed, Dec 11, 10:26 p.m. Inappropriate

Mr NotFan seems to be stuck in a continual performance art piece - denying global warming, that plastics in the environment are a problem, that bicycle riders contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and now - that produce from Chile is less a greenhouse gas issue than produce from the Skagit Valley????

Flat Earth Society, here we come.

There actually are intelligent and well spoken conservative voices that put forth thoughtful arguments here.

Then there is Mr NotFan, who is one of a kind, resorting to a constant barrage of name calling with no logic or argument in sight. Quite tiresome really.

Lily32

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 3:43 p.m. Inappropriate

"Flat Earth society," says one more lazy, arrogant, science-denying Seattle "progressive" moron.

NotFan

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 3:50 p.m. Inappropriate

For clarification...
By quoting a psychologist's opinion article, I did not mean to imply that conservatives are bad, or unintelligent. The original article didn't imply that conservative individuals aren't intelligent. I believe the author was pointing out a trend he observed: that individuals belonging to the group identified as conservatives tend to not seek the truth as often as those identified as progressives.
The quotation was not meant as a description of facts, just an interesting idea if the research, in fact, indicates those trends. (Something I do not have time to research myself. At least not for a few more months.)
I didn't read any original research in that article, and the author didn't attempt to link to any of the sources he reviewed. I suspect this is because the research he reviewed, like most scientific research, is only available via subscription-only access to psychology research databases,(an unfortunate side effect of for-profit science).

Unfortunately, my experiences participating in online discussions provide too much anecdotal evidence that Mr. NotFan is not alone in lack of ability to debate rationally and without resorting to name calling. I'm really more curious to discover what can be learned from these individuals about how to prevent cognitive rigidity and promote cognitive flexibility.
It is good to hear that on Crosscut individuals like NotFan are a rarity.

Akina23

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 7:14 p.m. Inappropriate

Akina23, thanks for the laugh! Of COURSE you meant to convey that conservatives are bad and stupid. (By the way: Many of them are bad and stupid, in much the same fashion as the "progressives" in our town.)

And then you felt compelled to lie about your intentions, because the last thing a dishonest, squirrelly, pathetic, passive-aggressive, double-talking, dissembling, prevaricating, dim-witted Seattle "progressive" would EVER want to do is be caught showing what a terminally arrogant, self-righteous, condescending, manipulative, over-praised, under-skilled and smug prig he actually is.

Surely you wouldn't include Seattle's "progressives" among those who "seek the truth." You are certainly an insufferably obnoxious tribal member -- and I bet you're a spandex clad bicyclist AND a yuppie farmers market shopper too -- but you can't actually be stupid enough to pretend that the local "progressives" seek the truth about anything, can you?

NotFan

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 7:38 p.m. Inappropriate

yap yap

louploup

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 8:53 p.m. Inappropriate

louploup, on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog, but in your case I think we've just found an exception to the rule. What breed are you? Fox terrier or toy poodle?

NotFan

Posted Sun, Dec 15, 8:48 p.m. Inappropriate

"on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog"

True enough. On the other hand stupidity and lack of civility are pretty obvious.

louploup

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 7:53 p.m. Inappropriate

Here's a few works on the subject, each of which contains many further references in the field:

• Lakoff's classic, Moral Politics 2002 (http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Politics-Liberals-Conservatives-Think/dp/0226467716)

• Jost et al. 2003, Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition (DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.129.3.339); commentary by Greenberg and jonas 2003, Psychological Motives and Political Orientation—The Left, the Right, and the Rigid: Comment on Jost et al. (2003) (DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.129.3.376)

• Jost 2008, Ideology: Its Resurgence in Social, Personality, and Political Psychology (Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(2), 126-136)

And of course, another wrinkle:

• Schlenker 2011, Conservatives are happier than liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality, and life satisfaction (doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2011.12.009)

louploup

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 8:54 p.m. Inappropriate

Oooh, research to prove that Seattle's "progressives" are superior beings! Would this be The Master Race in the making, by chance?

NotFan

Posted Thu, Dec 12, 9:43 p.m. Inappropriate

It's all relative. Who knows? Maybe in real life you are a person who can string together a few thoughts into a cohesive paragraph or two. Here in the internet world, a sharp 7th grader would be considered the master race to you lack of argument.

There is no arguing with a suicided bomber. No sense of self worth, no pride, no awareness of anything but a self-imposed vision.

It's rather similar to the self-posessed performance artist, who is convinced that his art is misunderstood by the masses and he is adhering to some higher calling, even though his art form is on parr to lego construction.

It's a constant wonder that you are not the least bit embarrassed by your lack of any coherent argument, on any topic. But then again, neither is a name calling 7th grader.

Rest assured. We are embarrassed enough for your

Treker

Posted Fri, Dec 13, 9:15 a.m. Inappropriate

Treker--NotFan clearly is capable of coherent exposition; he (I assume gender) just doesn't choose to do so most of the time. I have chosen to not engage when he is ankle biting except to yap back.

louploup

Posted Fri, Dec 13, 1:36 p.m. Inappropriate

I should heed that advice and not feed the Troll.

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people by posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Treker

Posted Fri, Dec 13, 1:41 p.m. Inappropriate

Well yes, we wouldn't want to be so impolite as to tell a Seattle "progressive" that he's a smug, obnoxious, arrogant, dishonest, squirrelly, pathetic, passive-aggressive, double-talking, dissembling, prevaricating, dim-witted, self-righteous, condescending, manipulative, over-praised, under-skilled prig.

The truth hurts, Treker! Kumbaya!

NotFan

Posted Fri, Dec 13, 2:17 p.m. Inappropriate

yap yap

louploup

Posted Fri, Dec 13, 2:23 p.m. Inappropriate

Observe which side resorts to the most vociferous name-calling and you are likely to have identified the side with the weaker argument and they know it.

Charles R. Anderson

Lily32

Posted Fri, Dec 13, 4:28 p.m. Inappropriate

You three "progressives" certainly seem to care what I think!

NotFan

Posted Sun, Dec 15, 11:22 a.m. Inappropriate

An observation: a single flame-thrower managed to completely derail discussion of the article, and to distract attention from the feckless performance of the four-corner climate panel. Senator Ericksen is not well known to many, but those who suffer under his inept representation know him to be a perfect member of the panel... if the goal is to do nothing. Legislative "R"s only use him in positions where he can mindlessly mouth the party line... no thinking allowed. His nickname in his home district is "Senator No". Pairing him with a senator from Addy, the Coalition achieves its goal of assigning the entire issue to irrelevance.

Slidezone

Posted Sun, Dec 15, 3:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Yes, the yapper is disruptive. However, until Crosscut determines that his/her/its behavior violates some community or editorial standard we are stuck with him/her/it. The general rule is "don't feed the troll," but NotFan's frequent ankle biting is often hard to ignore.

FYI, on the related article (http://crosscut.com/2013/12/13/environment/117892/inslee-republicans-draw-lines-sand-over-clima/) I posted a link to Ericksen's web page:
http://dougericksen.src.wastateleg.org/dr-easterbrooks-presentation-on-climate-change/

Some of the coverage of Easterbrook's March testimony to Ericksen's committee and the controversy he stirred up at WWU:
http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/03/31/2943649/wwu-faculty-find-overwhelming.html
http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/04/14/2958336/easterbrook-disputes-wwu-faculty.html
http://washingtonlandscape.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-don-easterbrook-problem.html

I don't know if Senator Ericksen actually believes the denier garbage he's pushing on his web site: He's either willfully ignorant, or willfully misleading his constituents.

louploup

Posted Sun, Dec 15, 3:38 p.m. Inappropriate

Eventually, the Seattle "progressive" demands censorship of those who dare to call it what it is: dishonest, squirrelly, pathetic, passive-aggressive, double-talking, dissembling, prevaricating, dim-witted, terminally arrogant, self-righteous, condescending, manipulative, over-praised, under-skilled and smug.

Mommy, mommy! That mean man is saying bad things about me! Make him stop!

NotFan

Posted Sun, Dec 15, 8:44 p.m. Inappropriate

Hey yapper, where did I say Erickson should be censored? Unelected, yes. Censored on his own web site, no. I even drove some traffic to it by posting his URL.

As for your 15 insulting adjectives... yap yap

louploup

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 10:04 a.m. Inappropriate

until Crosscut determines that his/her/its behavior violates some community or editorial standard we are stuck with him/her/it

You don't even read what YOU write, do you? Maybe not surprising, little dog.

NotFan

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 11:17 a.m. Inappropriate

Oh, you were referring to yourself being censored. My mistake; I thought you were referring to Sen. Ericksen.

FYI, private forums are allowed to establish rules of conduct. It is not censorship. Keep yapping.

louploup

Posted Tue, Dec 17, 12:47 p.m. Inappropriate

I would hate to correct a "progressive," especially when the idiot is wrong, so I'll just have to force myself to suggest that you do some research on the meaning of the word, "censorship." The fact that governments exercise censorship doesn't mean that non-government entities don't.

But hey, you're a Seattle "progressive," and as one of that arrogant and dishonest breed, you've never met a fact you can't deny, including the one I've just brought to your attention.

NotFan

Posted Wed, Dec 18, 2:10 p.m. Inappropriate

Read what I wrote yapper--rules of conduct are not censorship. If Crosscut decides your constant name calling constitutes "defamatory, abusive, threatening or harassing speech" or is "untrue, inaccurate, misleading, or libelous," they can remove it. Period.

Tell me where in my posts I have "demanded censorship" of your obnoxious rants? Just once I'd like to see you come up with an argument in response to my posts that actually speaks to the content.

Until you stop repeatedly and constantly insulting me, I will continue to yap back. Maybe I am a dog; I do get tired of being kicked at by a petty infantile jerk like you. yap yap snarl rip tear

louploup

Posted Thu, Dec 19, 1:23 p.m. Inappropriate

louploup, it's not all about you.

NotFan

Posted Fri, Dec 20, 4:07 p.m. Inappropriate

That's true; you're an assh@le to other posters as well.

louploup

Posted Sat, Dec 21, 11:33 p.m. Inappropriate

You "progressives" sure do get angry!

NotFan

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 9:18 a.m. Inappropriate

Yea, the yapper is quite disruptive. Free speech I suppose. It would be nice if he could contribute some substance rather than run from room to room ankle biting.

Anyway - I looked at Ericksen's webpage. My first thought was - this has to be a parody. But unfortunately not so. The climate change deniers (including our village idiot) somehow ignore the broad-based consensus among scientists out there - you can always find some kook to say anything. Ultimately though - he is voted in by his district, which tells you something about the level of science understanding in the general public - or adherence to Fox News specials.

Lily32

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 10:06 a.m. Inappropriate

Would "substance" be some "progressive" lying, then? I have never denied climate change, but the Seattle "progressive" doesn't let lying be any kind of barrier to anything, does it?

NotFan

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 11:22 a.m. Inappropriate

OK NF: what is your position on climate change? Do you think global warming and/or ocean acidification are caused mostly by human activities? If not, what is causing climate change (which by implication in your post you agree is happening)? What risks do you think we face as a result of those changes and what policy actions do you support to deal with them?

louploup

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 11:32 a.m. Inappropriate

Lily--Ericksen is in the 42nd District, N and E Whatcom and most of Bellingham. Whatcom is a very polarized county. [For some recent history, go to http://www.publicgood.org/reports/chroninx.htm and search for articles with "Whatcom"] It will take a lot of education and a good ground game campaign to replace Ericksen. The adjacent 40th District has one of the more liberal senators (Kevin Ranker); that district is the SW corner of Whatcom, NW Skagit, Anacortes (Island), and San Juan (a county that votes a lot like Seattle).

louploup

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 11:25 p.m. Inappropriate

OK NF: what is your position on climate change? Do you think global warming and/or ocean acidification are caused mostly by human activities? If not, what is causing climate change (which by implication in your post you agree is happening)? What risks do you think we face as a result of those changes and what policy actions do you support to deal with them?

We could solve most of it with a "progressive" methane reduction initiative. Ban beans. And cabbage.

NotFan

Posted Tue, Dec 17, 12:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Sure we could, and maybe you can find your methane emitting orifices with both hands to cork them.

louploup

Posted Sun, Dec 15, 3:40 p.m. Inappropriate

And of course the "progressive" will always call any lack of agreement "feckless," unless its favorite failed mayor is the feckless one. Only the dreaded "R" can be evil, because the "progressive" can never be a lying hypocrite.

NotFan

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 11:46 a.m. Inappropriate

Louploup: thanks for coming back with those sites. The 12/13 article, with comments, was a good update, and a deeper coverage of the panel. Governor Inslee's clumsy leadership is befuddling and ineffective, but it is overmatched by the Senator's oxymoronic faith-based science. This climate panel is Senator Ericksen's first real party job; he's showing us why ("We CAN"T make him Minority Whip... we're a Majority... how about some ersatz committee?").

Climate control issues highlight the lack of meaningful connection between scientific and political realities. One believes it's about truth, the other speaks only power. In politics, truth, or untruth, is only relevant when it's a tool of power.

I fully understand the urge to rise to the shill, but it only encourages the nationally-embraced tactic.

Slidezone

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 12:26 p.m. Inappropriate

Thanks for the well informed comments Loup - yes, interesting politics in Whatcom. And yes, I'll try harder to not engage the shill.

Treker

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 1:13 p.m. Inappropriate

Hey, I'm not asking that! I can't even restrain myself; how could I ask anyone else?

louploup

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 6:58 p.m. Inappropriate

Not mine - but worth reposting: - this one cracked me up:

For the past few months my baseline assumption has been that the stuff you write here is a kind of long-form performance art piece (a la' Joaquin Phoenix's digression into hip-hop) where the goal is to achieve a score of "infinity" in a ratio where the numerator is (Bombast*Grandiosity*Certainty) and the denominator is (Knowldedge*Accuracy*Analytical Quality).

The bit about plastics not being a marine toxics issue and now using salt on roads as not a freshwater aquatic problem, let alone any of the actual regulations that govern the practice was one of the better installations, but the last post I read positing an empirical association produce flown in from Chile and a low carbon footprint, and a few others I've forgotten, can potentially take you marginally closer to infinity on the performance-index if you apply yourself.

The odds are high that some of your best work is ahead of you, and I'll check back in a few days (or hours!) to see how the latest pieces stack up.

Reply
— Treker

Lily32

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 10:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Are you finally melting down, "progressive?" Rein it in, or the rubber room is next.

NotFan

Posted Mon, Dec 16, 7 p.m. Inappropriate

....and guess who was the subject of said discussion?

Lily32

Posted Tue, Dec 17, 12:07 p.m. Inappropriate

I'll concede. Some responses are worth it, especially any that sail so high over virulent heads. Seeing the body of work as art does engender a sense of wonder at the use of negative space.

It was just an observation. No judgment on the entertainment (or artistic) value of post-riposte. Still, the distraction, however entertaining, serves once again.

Slidezone

Posted Tue, Dec 17, 12:41 p.m. Inappropriate

Yes, it's true. Not being a "progressive," and therefore one of the untermenschen fated to be ruled by the Master Race, your responses have sailed high over my virulent head! Oh, the SUBtlety! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Good God, you people think highly of yourselves, don't you?! Jawohl, baby!

NotFan

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