The whole thing started with someone promoting a showing of Food Inc., which I have not seen, and saying:
This is supposed to be as good as Inconvenient Truth.If you've been following my blog at all, you know that I don't think very highly of the error riddled AIT. Since I didn't think the person intended to say that Food Inc was an error filled vanity movie, I responded with this (I will use coloured text for my own responses).
This got an immediate response from the moderator, reminding people that, while promoting things to the list was acceptable, they were not to be used to incite debates of any kind. I didn't think I was doing anything of the sort, but it's not my list and I know the moderator personally and like her very much, so I wasn't going to argue. Someone else, however, didn't pay attention and sent this.Uhm... I don't know that this would be a good comparison, seeing as howInconvenient Truth was proven pretty much completely false.
Aside from being one of the more disjointed and confusing responses I've encountered, I decided it was worth responding to - privately, since the mod. had already asked for this sort of thing to be kept off list. (I did notice, meanwhile, that the mod. did not send a message after this email, as she did after mine.) I was hoping for some clarification, since the person really didn't say much of anything. This was my (typically verbose, I'm afraid) response.Completely false? Uhm, by the way, does not have an "h." Perhaps you mean
"hum," as in what the bees do. The bees that are disappearing along with
Pretty much, yes. Rather than go into detail here, you can read my review of the movie here.
And of the book here.
As for the errors, along with the 9 specified by the British court ruling, 35 errors referenced in the now dead link to the original source I had in my reviews can be found here.
All of which is thoroughly verifiable.
Uhm, by the way, does not have an "h."
I'm sorry, but perhaps I'm missing something by this being in text rather than in person. Are you trying to be sarcastic?
But since you bring it up, uhm is the typically British spelling, while um is used in the US. Since Canadian spellings generally lean towards British spelling, as in words like colour and honour, spelling it with an h would be considered more correct in Canada, though both versions are acceptable.
Perhaps you mean "hum," as in what the bees do. The bees that are disappearing along with everything else.
Again, I seem to be missing something. Sarcasm again? Either way, if you're talking about colony collapse disorder, perhaps you missed that it's now known to be caused by a parasite. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090414084627.htm
As for "disappearing along with everything else," I'm curious as to what "everything else" you mean. Before you answer, though, I would recommend some light reading - Eco-facts and Eco-Fiction and The Really Inconvenient Truth would be good places to start. There's also Scared to Death and Facts Not Fear (which is actually a children's book that *gasp* doesn't talk down to kids ;-) ), just for a short list.
Though what dying bees has to do with the accuracy (or lack of it) of AIT, I'm not sure.
None of which has much to do with the point of my original email response. [Name withheld] wrote that Food Inc "is supposed to be as good as Inconvenient Truth." Since, as I've pointed out above, AIT is riddled with errors and cannot, by any honest definition, be called "good," this would be an inappropriate example. Unless the intent was actually to say that Food Inc is equally flawed, which I don't believe it was.
Now, I still don't know exactly what this person's actual position is, other than the apparent disagreement that AIT is full of errors. He did not, however, say or send anything to explain that position, but just went off on a strange tangent about bees due to a spelling disagreement. I am honestly not seeing the connection between what I'd said about AIT, and what this person wrote in response. I'm okay with that, though. I enjoy trying to understand what people think and how they came to their conclusions. Especially if they disagree with my own.
This is the response I got, instead.
You appear to have a great deal of faith in your own knowledge, or in knowledge that happens to support your political views. It's fairly easy to find "facts" to support any position. My feeling about these matters is based simply on what I've seen with my own eyes, which is: the ongoing destruction of the natural world by our hunger for material wealth. Nothing else really matters to me.As for "Uhm," I concede the point, though I have never seen it spelled with an "h." I stand corrected.If you can believe that the disappearance of bees is not alarming in the same way as the disappearance of songbirds, salmon, cod, killer whales, etc, etc, etc, I'm happy for you. I wish I could be so accepting.
You'll note that, once again, the person did not really say anything of substance in response to either my original statement (that AIT is error filled), nor to anything I wrote in response. This person has, however, made a number of assumptions about my motives and beliefs. Here's my response.
You appear to have a great deal of faith in your own knowledge,
Interesting observation. Faith? Doesn't that more rightly fall into the realm of religion?
I've spent many years gathering my knowledge, and I am selective as to which sources I consider reliable. I am perfectly willing and open to changing my views should evidence emerge to contradict them. This is how I came to conclude that the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (and AIT) was wrong in the first place. My initial leanings on the subject had been in the other direction, but to continue on that path would have required denying what the data was showing me.
or in knowledge that happens to support your political views.
I don't recall ever mentioning my political views. Not sure what that has to do with anything.
It's fairly easy to find "facts" to support any position.
Did you bother to read any of the links I sent? Or did you, like so many others, automatically reject them because they didn't support the conclusion you've already decided on?
My feeling about these matters is based simply on what I've seen with my own eyes, which is: the ongoing destruction of the natural world by our hunger for material wealth. Nothing else really matters to me.
Perhaps it would be more useful to suspend your feelings and take a hard look at reality. If you look closely at where the destruction is happening, how and why, you might be surprised. I know I was. Nothing like having my preconceived notions turned completely over. I recommend looking up the Kuznets Curve.
I'm curious about this ongoing destruction of the natural world you've seen with your own eyes. What/where would that be?
If you can believe that the disappearance of bees is not alarming in the same way as the disappearance of songbirds, salmon, cod, killer whales, etc, etc, etc, I'm happy for you.
Did I say the disappearance was bees was not alarming? No, I pointed out that a cause has been found. With a little more research, you'll find that this has happened before, and that the causes for some of these past die-offs have never been found. As for the other issues (though re: songbirds, the data shows that their numbers in general have actually gone up, not down, often thanks to activities by humans, local exceptions notwithstanding), they are often complex and need to be dealt with based on actual cause of destruction, not based on supposition. It's not useful to ban cell phones to help save the bees, when the bees are being killed by a parasite.
I wish I could be so accepting.
Well, yes, I am accepting of hard data gathered by reputable sources. Thank you very much.
I had hoped that this email clarified my position and cleared up the assumptions the writer was making about my motives. I was also a little frustrated at his complete avoidance of actually saying anything of substance; instead resorting to assumptions on what they *think* I meant, instead of looking at what I actually said. My family feels that this person is projecting.
I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, but could you at least explain why? And maybe give me some shred of evidence to back it up, other than "this is what I feel?" I respect that someone might feel differently, but why? I really did want to know.
My conversation partner, however, decided to end it with this. Since I will respect that person's wishes to not respond to them anymore, I will include the responses I would have written, and my reactions to the email.
Listen. Is there any point to this at all?
Yes, actually, I believe their is always a point to exchanging ideas. It helps increase knowledge and understanding, even in disagreement.
To me, you sound like a nutbar,
K, this had me laughing out loud! One of the funniest things I've been called, ever.
Interesting, though, that this person *still* hasn't given anything to counter what I'd said. As far as I can tell, just the fact that I disagree with him makes me sound like a nutbar.
and obviously I appear the same to you.
Sorry to disappoint, my friend, but you're wrong. The thought never even occurred to me. I don't consider people nutbars just because they hold a different view than I do. As edifying as it is to discuss things with people who are on the same wavelength as myself, I find it much more intellectually stimulating to discuss things with people who hold different opinions. There's a much greater chance of learning something new that way. Sadly, there was no such exchange of ideas in this conversation.
I suggest we end the discussion, such as it is. I regret jumping to your bait in the first place.
Once again, this person is misreading my motives. I wasn't trying to bait anyone. I just thought the person who wrote the original email might like to know that their comparison probably wasn't what they intended.
Should have known better. But no harm done. You see the world your way, I see it mine. And if it's any consolation, your world view is the majority one by a long stretch.
Fair enough - I can live and let live easily enough, though I really don't care what the majority world view is or isn't. I prefer to come to my own conclusions.
As for years of gathering evidence from reliable sources, well, we can all claim that!
Is it just me, or does it sound like he thinks I'm bullshitting him? Or is this sarcasm again? I don't do sarcasm well.Good luck with your ongoing search for the truth. Seriously. It's better than not making any effort.
My thanks and agreement on that. I can't help but think, however, that this person didn't even make the effort to look at any of the links I sent. Certainly, he hasn't had a chance to look at any of the books I recommended, and I somehow doubt he will.
I recently wrote a post on logic and emotion, which I will expand on in another post, and part of the reason I posted all this is because it illustrates what I was trying to say earlier. All of this person's responses fall firmly into the "emotion" side, with no logic given to back it up. I would like to assume that this person has actually done the research that would allow logic to back up their emotional response, but there's no evidence of that in this exchange.