Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Exercise in Argument #001 - George W Bush prefers untruths to fact.

Before beginning, a breif word about what I intend to accomplish here. Too many bloggers, pundits, politicians, etc. rely not on the facts of the matter to make their point, but rather rhetoric intended to emotionally drive their supporters behind them, or their opponents insane. I do not intend to follow in this way, however I do feel some cases do need to be made. So, to make them, I will not say a word, and merely use direct quotes assembled quite cunningly if I do say so myself in order to make these points, emphasizing relevant parts. So... on we go then.

Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts
Scientists have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf...
Polar bears live on ice all year round and use it as a platform from which to hunt food and rear their young. They hunt near the edge, where the ice is thinnest, catching seals when they make holes in the ice to breath. They typically eat one seal every four or five days and a single bear can consume 100lb of blubber at one sitting.
As the ice pack retreats north in the summer between June and October, the bears must travel between ice floes to continue hunting in areas such as the shallow water of the continental shelf off the Alaskan coast — one of the most food-rich areas in the Arctic. However, last summer the ice cap receded about 200 miles further north than the average of two decades ago, forcing the bears to undertake far longer voyages between floes.
"We know short swims up to 15 miles are no problem, and we know that one or two may have swum up to 100 miles. But that is the extent of their ability, and if they are trying to make such a long swim and they encounter rough seas they could get into trouble," said Steven Amstrup, a research wildlife biologist with the USGS.
New evidence from field researchers working for the World Wildlife Fund in Yakutia, on the northeast coast of Russia, has also shown the region’s first evidence of cannibalism among bears competing for food supplies.
Bush's Chat with Novelist Alarms Environmentalists - Michael Janofsky - New York Times - Feb. 16 2006
In his new book about Mr. Bush, "Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush," Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, "State of Fear," suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.
Mr. Barnes, who describes Mr. Bush as "a dissenter on the theory of global warming," writes that the president "avidly read" the novel and met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest "talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement."
"The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more," he adds.
"It is fiction, but it has the absolute ring of truth." - American Association of Petroleum Geologists spokesman Larry Nation on Crichton's book, on the occasion of awarding the fictional novel with the AAPG's annual Journalism award.

Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming - Andrew C Revkin - New York Times - June 8, 2005
A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.
In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved.
"This shows the president is more interested in science fiction than science," - Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, on meeting between President Bush and author Crichton.

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