Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

May 20, 2007

Which Alexander Cockburn should we believe?

Filed under: Ecology — louisproyect @ 2:08 pm

Manmade global warming theory is fed by pseudo quantitative prediction from climate-careerists working primarily off the big, mega-computer General Circulation Models, which include the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Department of Commerce’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab.

Alexander Cockburn, “Who Are the Merchants of Fear”, Nation Magazine, May 18, 2007

* * * * *

From chapter three of “The Fate of the Forest” by Alexander Cockburn and Susanna Hecht:

THE GREENHOUSE QUESTION

Combustion of petroleum products in the First World provides most of the carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and chlorofluorocarbons going into the atmosphere, but Third World energy use and deforestation contribute to the ever-increasing amounts. One index of the changing situation is the rising curve of complaints from satellite photo-analysts that they are unable to get decent dry-season shots of the Amazon anymore, because of the great clouds of smoke and particulates hanging over large parts of the forest. The reasons for this pall are quite clear when one examines the numbers of fires and the consequent contributions of particulates and ‘greenhouse’ gases. Compton Tucker and his colleagues at the Goddard Space Flight Center have monitored the numbers of fires during the burning period of July through September 1987 in a quadrant from 6.5 to 15.5 degrees latitude and 55 to 67 ‘ degrees west longitude, an area that includes Rondonia and western Mato Grosso; i.e., that of the most severe burning on the Amazon flank. What they have shown is that more than 8,000 fires burn each day during the burning season. Factoring in the average duration of fires, Tucker’s group arrived at a total of 240,000 fires over the season. On the average each fire belches out some 4,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide, 750 metric tons of carbon monoxide and more than 25 metric tons of methane. By the end of the burning season more than 10 million metric tons of particulates have darkened the sky.

2 Comments »

  1. He voted for it before he voted against it I guess.

    Comment by Binh — May 21, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

  2. Perhaps Alexander Cockburn and Susanna Hecht are no longer great and good friends. As he may have moved on from his lady friend, Dr. Hecht, a professor at the UCLA Planning School (the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the time this book by Cockburn and Hecht came out), he mave have moved on from his and her implicit policy prescriptions of old.

    If he hasn’t moved on from Hecht, interesting questions arise, given her planning involvement in countries like El Salvador.

    In El Salvador, women can be forced to submit to physical examinations to see if they have had an abortion. If a woman has had an abortion, the government can prosecute her, her children, and her doctor. This has actually happened.

    A woman and her children who cared for her after her abortion, as well as the woman’s doctor, were prosecuted.

    Politics make interesting bedfellows indeed, with no pun intended owing to the nature of the above illustration of human rights abuse in El Salvador. Wonder what Cockburn’s still flame/old flame thinks of doing planning for a government with that kind of record.

    Cockburn has said that a lot of the pro-Al Gore types on climate change are schills for the nuclear power industry. This raises an interesting question.

    Some have speculated that Nancy Pelosi has co-opted or attempted to co-opt the anti-nuclear movement to do her bidding to go against Iran. It’s easy to see how getting these good hearted lefties on your side could help you to achieve a basically neo-con agenda without have to call it such.

    Does Cockburn/”Counterpunch” get any money from the anti-nuclear power energy?

    I have never seen him give the names of the pro-nuclear power types who he says are behind the Gore take on climate change. I may have missed it. Maybe it is there.

    Comment by Adam — May 27, 2007 @ 12:49 am


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