I had to chuckle this morning as I turned to the MMG page for the latest output, a piece called “Who is Greta Thunberg“, written by “Sven Svenson.” Who, I wondered, is “Sven Svenson? Why do people who turn up there wish to remain anonymous? I ask that question knowing that in my one formal encounter with the group, the piece on the McCartney twins, which I had been led to discover by MMG, that I asked to remain anonymous. I became a “Friend in Colorado.”
Why did I do that? In my case, it was not a case of having something to hide, some career to protect. I have outed myself on this blog from the beginning. My theory was that I had nothing to hide, and that even if I did, people would discover me anyway. I had learned before becoming a blogger and using pseudonyms as a commenter that people could always identify my writing style. I do have a voice, such as it is.
I chose to remain anonymous out of a sense of modesty, either real or false. I did not want to thrust myself into the Miles Mathis’s spotlight. At that time I admired the man, thought him to be genuine, and was yet to ask the question “Who is Miles Mathis?”
Anyway, the Sven Svenson piece is a good take-down of Greta Thunberg. I am only going to cite a small part, because it is something I see regularly.
“We’re told by the major media outlets that her U.N. speech was “tear-filled”. Go watch the speech, I beg you. There are no tears. There is, however, the sound of a voice modulating itself to sound distraught. You’ve heard that same artificial strain if you’ve ever seen a school shooting “survivor” being interviewed right after the event. When you’re truly distraught, your voice has a very distinct and unforced waver to it. Greta’s voice is that of a stage actress simulating an emotional state on cue.”
Returning from our recent vacation and on an overseas flight, I re-watched the movie Jaws. It has, in my opinion, held up remarkably well in the 44 years since its release. I accept that the special effects are not terribly good, that it is easy to see that the shark is not a real shark. Even so, when Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfus, goes underwater to inspect a ship that is dead in the water and has large holes in its hull, a face falls into view and I jumped! My wife sitting next to me laughed at this, and so did I. I remember viewing the movie for the first time in 1975 with a group of friends, and we all jumped! 44 years later, knowing that scene was on the way, I still jumped. (“44”, which equals “8”, sometimes turns up for real in life.)
The movie holds up because Steven Spielberg was pulling his hair out when making it. The animetronic shark was not working right, and he was having to come up with other ways to make the film work. Because of that pressure, he did what really good film makers do, he used power of suggestion. In the opening scene, when Chrissie is eaten alive, we do not see the shark. We see her reaction to being eaten. It is so moving and powerful.
Damn but I ramble! I sat down to write about basic honesty in people, how to spot it. (I don’t know.) I can easily see that Greta Thunberg is an actress. It’s apparent in that contorted face. Why did that lead to Jaws? Because there is one huge failing in the movie. Mrs. Kintner, the mother of a child that was eaten by a shark, is indignant that Sheriff Brody knew there had been a shark attack a week before she lost her child. She approaches him and slaps him, and lets go with powerful dialogue about his hypocrisy. She is anguished, angry, distraught, and yet fails to shed one year. That scene taxed my willing sense of disbelief. It takes me back to the question I’ve asked so many times here with crisis actors, the thing that led me to write my piece called The Columbine Massacre: A Tragedy Without Tears. They spend so much money on these hoaxes. Would it kill them to invest in a bottle of Visine?
The rambling is getting even worse, because I did not sit down to write about Greta Thunberg or Sven Svenson or Jaws or Mrs. Kintner, but rather about Dr. Ross McKittrick. He, along with Steve McIntyre, were the first to scientifically undress Michael Mann and his hockey stick. I am always on the lookout for controlled opposition, and would like to be sure that these men are genuine. I think they are. But further, in listening to McKittrick in a Heartland podcast, I heard him say what I am paraphrasing below:
We did not know when the Climate Change hoax began whether or not CO2 was a pollutant, and whether or not it was causing the planet to warm. We were forced to do the science by the hoax. It turns out that CO2 is harmless, but we have been dumping it into the atmosphere in ever-increasing quantities for decades now. Doing so has made us wealthy and greatly improved our lives. We did not know until recently that we can safely do this. We dodged a bullet.
That’s an honest statement.
One more ramble … years ago when I lived in Billings, Montana, I participated annually in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. A group of us would walk eight miles along the Yellowstone River and beside railroad tracks and identify and count every bird we saw. Now and then we felt a rumble and knew a train was coming, and took great trouble to not only get away from the tracks, but to hide our faces in case of flying debris.
I was a serious environmentalist at that time, and still am. I firmly beleive that we should preserve our remaining wild lands*. But I realized as I felt the power of those giant trains passing by that they were bringing me my stuff. I needed them, all of us did. I live in a wooden house and drive a car made out of countless minerals and fueled by oil. Those trains are part of why we are able to have stuff, to live comfortably.
At that time, in my mind, I had demonized Exxon for being giant and evil. In Billings, they were heavily criticized by the likes of me and others for putting SO2 in the air from their refinery. The local newspaper, the Billings Gazette, had written an editorial describing the SO2 problem and pointing out that something had to be done. Because it was part of the power structure, the editorial was mere posturing, and never once did it use the word “Exxon.”
I wrote a letter, which was published in the paper, in criticism of that stance. In it, I remarked that the word “Exxon” never appeared, and suggested that the word was in short supply. So, I supplied them some Exxon’s for future use: “Exxon, Exxon, Exxon, Exxon, Exxon, Esso (oops!).” The letter got rave reviews from environmentalist acquaintances, one of whom marveled that humor could be used to advance the cause. (They are, by and large, humorless.) I always regretted that I did not end the letter with the words “Remember, Exxon is Esso too.”
I had no business having an unschooled opinion on Exxon or SO2, knowing nothing about it, not having done any homework. That bird count day, feeling that train go by, led me to remember that Exxon, big and powerful, is also little people doing their jobs. Our neighbor two doors down, Tim, was an environmental engineer for Exxon, and was also a good and decent man. While it may be true that large groups are a channel for our worst impulses, I had to conclude something else: That if I was going to be an advocate, I had to be clean of sully, no attachment to the evil that I am criticizing.
I have for years made my living in part in the the natural gas business. During the time when I believed that global warming was a real thing, I felt like a hypocrite when I cashed those checks. But I cashed them. At one time there was a movement to open up the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana to oil and gas development, assisted in heavy part by Montana’s Democratic Senator Max Baucus, now Ambassador to Japan. A meeting was held in Billings and forces for and against attended. At that meeting, even as I was known to be in the natural gas business, I stood with my environmentalist pals and spoke against it. The consequences, financially and socially, were disastrous. Those on the pro-development side didn’t look at me with disdain, but rather with utter contempt, hatred. (“He spoke against us,” said one. It was unpardonable.)
I had done something that required moral courage. I felt I had to do that. Yet I have always regretted not shutting up, as I’d be wealthier now had I done so, and my actions had no impact. But then again, I cite a line by the comedian Ron White on being arrested in a drunken state outside a bar one night. He was read his rights. Says White, “I had the right to remain silent, but I did not have the ability.”
*Perhaps I am not the only one to notice that this is contradictory. If the real agenda behind cliamte change is population control, to oppose that agenda is to promote population increase. That puts pressure on remaining wild lands. Population pressure has always been the enemy of wild lands.