April 07, 2007

Damned Lies, Your Sunday Edition

You know, it'd be nice if the press could on occasion take a day off from perpetrating lies on the public. It's like they're trying to make all of us feel like we need Valium, or something.

I'm sure that even people not directly aware of this have the feeling it's happening. Fnord. That even if they don't have time to track it down, it itches at the back of their minds. Like an errand you forgot. Like that thing your friend asked you to tell your other friend, but then you open your mouth to repeat it and POOF, gone. Like that. A persistent, niggling irritation.

For our appetizer, MSNBC puts together a history of Iran that leaves out the U.S.-backed 1953 coup against the democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadeq. As I've said many times on these pages, demonstrators in Iran can still sometimes be seen carrying his picture on marches. It's nearly the only publically acceptable plea for greater democracy, because Mossadeq is considered emblematic of Iran's former subjugation to the West. He is raised by the ayatollahs, alongside his U.S.-backed replacement, the Shah, as the specter of America's true intentions towards Iran. Nothing, absolutely nothing, about U.S.-Iranian relations can be properly understood without at least a passing knowledge of this event. It would be much like studying U.S.-British relations early in our nation's history and leaving out the war of 1812, or that America used to be a British colony.

Next, in a case of outright propaganda and news suppression, Atrios catches the Washington Post redacting key sentences from the online version of a story about Iraq indicating that, far from only being made in Iran, U.S. forces discovered an Iraqi factory that manufactured Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs). EFPs, alleged to come from Iran, have done a lot of damage to U.S. troops as roadside bombs. Previous reports on this, where U.S. officials dragged out pictures of supposedly Iranian EFPs, turned out to have been the most transparent type of propaganda, lots of linked supporting material if you click through to the whole thing:

... For one thing, the lettering and numbering isn't in Farsi (the language used by Iranians); for another, the UK uses 81MM shells, and Iran would be much more likely to use Soviet-style 82MM shells. ...

And finally, the lies about Al Gore, and the environmental science realism that he's become the public champion of, continue apace. This time, the notorious wingnuts at the Wall Street Journal's editorial board are doing the smearing and a rapid response team member at one of the Draft Gore sites has taken on the responsibility of answering them. The WSJ would have us believe that science is just a "social invention", which is only true in the limited sense of referring to the structures for its furtherance, but not remotely the way to discuss the verifiable and peer-reviewed data so discovered. Bob Somerby's recent flaying of a C-SPAN call-in program where it was considered a serious debate topic to posit that Mars is warming, as well as other planets, highlights the state of our current media disinformation campaign on global warming like nothing else. Though Somerby doesn't say so explicitly that I noticed, that particular line of bunkum is premised on the idea that catastrophic climate disruption is being caused by sunspots.

Gods have mercy on us all.

Posted by natasha at April 7, 2007 10:37 AM | Propaganda | Technorati links |

It's more subtle than that. Global warming and cooling correlate 95% with sunspot peak frequency. When there are no sunspots (weak solar magnetic activity), cosmic radiation (Solar, Milky Way, deeper space; 200-600 km per second and 2-10 protons per cc) penetrates the atmosphere to allow clouds to form and cooling occurs. The Maunder Minimum was one such period in the historical past. You can Google it. When solar activity is high during the sunspot cycle the earth's magnetic shield is up and cosmic radiation is deflected.

The paper you should read is Friis-Christensen and Lassen, Science, 1991. Correlation is, however, not causation; the correlation, though, is far better than the correlation with CO2 (negative because CO2 trails global warming) and and there is now experimental proof that shows that cosmic radiation causes clouds. It's a subtle phenomenon than most do not know about because the paper was published 16 years ago. I have lots of good reading at artesian1 [at] sympatico[.] ca. That is, if your mind is not made up. "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?" Lord Kelvin

Posted by: Dr. Francis T. Manns at April 8, 2007 07:08 AM

Dr. Manns, you're a mining geologist, but neither an astrophysicist nor a climatologist. When I look for your supposed company on the internet, I only come up with a bunch of references to your name and the claim to work for them. And the claim that you know something about global warming that the many thousands of scientists at the IPCC don't.

Who's paying you to tail around at Grist and other environmental discussion boards and post your idiotic bs? Species traitor.

Posted by: natasha at April 8, 2007 07:50 AM

Sorry to have confused you with the facts. You seem like you've had a hard life, Natasha. Try less coffee.

Posted by: Dr. Francis T. Manns at April 8, 2007 08:14 AM

Sorry that you're dumb enough to think that trying a misogynist 'there, there, you poor, hysterical woman' head pat is going to in any way make your case for you. Do you have a defense, at all, of any credentials you might have that mean I should take you more seriously than, and I repeat, thousands of IPCC scientists from every part of the globe who've been putting together one of the most extensive peer-reviewed reports in history for years? No.

You just spend your weekends trolling Google blog search or similar for global warming posts, show up to lay down some tightly PR packaged mumbo-jumbo, and then watch. You're the third such PR hack to try this same kind of stupid stunt here in a month. The second in the last week. It is pathetic. It's irritating. First, it was the anti-Net Neutrality guy, then the anti-Social Security guy, now a global warming denialist. What is it with you paid shills that makes you think you aren't just completely sodding transparent?

And you're still a species traitor.

Posted by: natasha at April 8, 2007 08:57 AM