10 April, 2007

Just in Case the Easter Bunny Goes Psycho...

...we'll have a plan for that too.

The CIA and Pentagon would for the first time be required to assess the national security implications of climate change under proposed legislation intended to elevate global warming to a national defense issue. The bipartisan proposal, which its sponsors expect to pass the Congress with wide support, calls for the director of national intelligence to conduct the first-ever "national intelligence estimate" on global warming... "The Pentagon has plans for every conceivable--and often inconceivable--contingency," Representative Edward J. Markey [D, MA], said.
Congressman Markey, with all due respect, sir: You are wrong. The Pentagon does not have a plan for everything. Nor should they. It is the utmost in cynicism (and foolishness) to attempt to attach one's pet issue to the agenda of an organization one disagrees with and in so doing to slow it down and micromanage it and reduce its mission effectiveness. Especially during wartime.

The fact that the Senate is going along with the global warming myopia (and the Supreme Court, and presidential rhetoric too) does not make me question the science of global warming any more deeply than I already have. Trust me, dear readers, I have questioned it and read about it and studied it over 20+ years--quite deeply indeed... I would have to stop working and sleeping to question it much more deeply. It only makes me sad that so many are willing to go with the crowd even when the crowd is objectively mad (in the old, British sense of the word).

I actually know something about this (both things, actually). In my real life I do scenario planning for large organizations. I am familiar with the notion of thinking about the inconceivable on purpose. Like all things in life, the inconceivable has--and ought to have--bounds. Thinking about all scenarios is inherently paralyzing. When an individual does it, we call it psychosis.

Whether one acknowledges it or not, one brings a frame of reference--a set of filters, if you will--to any thinking, about the present or the future. Too small a frame and one gets surprised. Too large a frame and one cannot function. (I suspect that that is the secret Democrat agenda here.)

The Pentagon has its frame and (thank goodness) it's dialed in. It has Islamofascism at its core and other geopolitical threats (e.g., China, Russia, Venezuela) at its periphery. It does not focus, nor should it, on weather-forecasting or humanitarian relief (though it is laudable and excellent that it picks up those missions as it can). Weather forecasting is important only to the extent that it helps equip Marines with boots and camo equipment and dust masks and helps to forecast tides and moon phases and cloud cover for invasions.

Mr. Markey falls into the same trap as do the mandarins of public education (in many districts) and of most universities. It is the idea of "all things considered" (and nothing rejected)... and so why not my (nutty) idea as well? Throw it on the heap. Let's study it. There's no reason to say we shouldn't. Hey, why not study my belly-button lint? (Back off man... I was kidding.) It is, at its core, a philosophy of relativism. When all ideas are equally valid, there is no case to be made for studying say, American History or Calculus or Physics versus say, Cyberfeminism, Serious Marxism, The Phallus, Queer Musicology, 'Blackness', 'Whiteness' or Adultery. (My daughter just narrowly avoided attending one of the institutions featured on this list. Yes, there is a God and He listens!)

It is not at all by accident that the popular NPR show has that name: "All Things Considered". Anyone who listens to the show more than a few times quickly realizes that all things are not considered. Very few think to ask two critical questions about it: 1) Why do they carry these stories? and 2) What stories could they have covered... but chose not to? Only those things that a liberal elite deem worthy of discussion get aired.

Whether their motivation is cynical or ignorant isn't even important. We all have our biases and they are entitled to theirs. What they are not entitled to is public money and a claim that their vision is comphrehensive and balanced. (For the record, KMaru is neither subsidized by Congress nor do we claim objectivity or breadth.)

But I digress. Congressman Markey... global warming... the Pentagon. A few closing thoughts:

Why is it that some of the loudest noise on global warming (including the lawsuit that sparked the recent--head-shakingly bizarre--Surpreme Court ruling that the stuff coming out of my mouth right now is a pollutant) is coming from a cold state? (Wicked cold when I paahhked my cahh in Hahvahd Yahd this mahnin'). Shouldn't we let the residents of Southern states decide this one?

This may all come across as frivolous and funny but it's not. What we're witnessing in these last few weeks is a Supreme Court deciding on its gut a case with no standing based on the very long-term possibility that I might have to move my sand castle as far up the beach in the next hundred years as I have already had to move it in the last hundred. What we're witnessing is a Congress kow-towing to misplaced public fears and distracting our military from its primary job: protecting the United States and its interests. What we're witnessing is public hysteria. Michael Chrichton already wrote the script. The parallels are uncanny.