Stop the Clash of Civilizations 6


At Avaaz.org they are campaigining for the start of meaningful middle east peace talks. They are also concerned about the rise in fear induced by leaders on both sides of current conflicts.

“Talk is rising of a ‘clash of civilizations’. But the problem isn’t culture, it’s politics ‘ from 9/11 to Guantanamo, Iraq to Iran. This clash is not inevitable, and we don’t want it.”

Click the play button below to watch their thought provoking video


6 thoughts on “Stop the Clash of Civilizations

  • kazbel

    There was a test, posted by Clive. I tried to post a comment asking what was being tested, only to receive the response "Somehow the post on which you are trying to comment doesn't exist – message 1060" (that's a paraphrase). So now I want to know what it was and what is going on …

  • Richard II

    A clash of civilizations? More emotive language!

    Is there really a clash of civilizations? Are ordinary Arabs so different to the rest of us? What do we really know about Arab views?

    I've grown weary of newspapers and junk TV news. The "mainstream" media doesn't inform, it just plays with our emotions/ignorance.

    A prime example of this is Channel 4's "The Great Global Warming Swindle", which was broadcast last week – a programme packed with lies, distortions, and omissions.

    So, I'm searching for calmer, saner, more rational and informed voices. And Mark Lynch seems to be one of them. Although I haven't read his book yet, based on Mark Lynch's articles, I recommend:

    "Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq, Al-Jazeera and Middle East Politics"

    You will find this book on Amazon. For an introduction to the book and the first chapter, go here:
    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/catalog/data/02311

    For a collection of in-depth reviews of the book, go here:
    http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/voices

    Extract:

    "The main undertaking of Lynch's book 'Voices of the New Arab Public' is to counter the hysterical claims that Al-Jazeera in specific and the Arab media in general are 'jihad TV' or are collaborating with insurgents…

    "He concludes that Arab media must be treated seriously by the west. It is not the enemy. The new media, Lynch contends, might push towards democracy and change in the region if understood properly by the west."

    From Mark's research we can learn how Arab media is changing, and along with it, Arab views and tolerance of political dissent, and the unwelcome impact this is having on Arab governments.

    For a sample of what's covered in the book, a very interesting interview with Mark Lynch:
    http://motherjones.com/interview/2006/01/marc_lyn

  • Richard II

    Just to back up what I said about Channel 4's "The Great Global Warming Swindle" – although it seems off topic, it's evidence of how the "mainstream" media in Britain has become utterly untrustworthy, with no standards whatsoever – read this article by Michael Mann, the scientist who first plotted the graph of global mean temperature increases:
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00007F

    Extract:

    "…skeptics often cite the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period as pieces of evidence not reflected in the hockey stick, yet these extremes are examples of regional, not global, phenomena. 'From an intellectual point of view, these contrarians are pathetic, because there's no scientific validity to their arguments whatsoever,' Mann says. 'But they're very skilled at deducing what sorts of disingenuous arguments and untruths are likely to be believable to the public that doesn't know better.

    "Mann believes, 'I imagine it will go on, just as it went on for years and years with tobacco until it was no longer tenable – in fact, it became perjurable to get up in a public forum and claim that there was no science' behind the health hazards of smoking.

    "As part of his hockey-stick defense, Mann co-founded with Schmidt a Weblog called RealClimate <a href="http:// (www.realclimate.org)…The” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(www.realclimate.org)…The” target=”_blank”>(www.realclimate.org)…The blog…is a resource where the public can go to see what actual scientists working in the field have to say about the latest issues."

    A climate scientist who appeared on the programme – probably the only genuine one! – was outraged at how his views were misrepresented, and shot off a letter to Channel 4:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200

    Extract:

    "I am writing to record what I told you on the telephone yesterday about

    your Channel 4 film 'The Global Warming Swindle.' Fundamentally,

    I am the one who was swindled—please read the email below that

    was sent to me (and re-sent by you). Based upon this email and

    subsequent telephone conversations, and discussions with

    the Director, Martin Durkin, I thought I was being asked

    to appear in a film that would discuss in a balanced way

    the complicated elements of understanding of climate change—

    in the best traditions of British television. Is there any indication

    in the email evident to an outsider that the product would be

    so tendentious, so unbalanced?

    "At a minimum, I ask that the film should never be seen again publicly

    with my participation included. Channel 4 surely owes an apology to

    its viewers, and perhaps WAGTV owes something to Channel 4. I will be

    taking advice as to whether I should proceed to make some more formal protest.

    Sincerely,

    Carl Wunsch"

    Read what Carl Wunsch has to say, here, about his appearance in "The Great Global Warming Swindle":
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200

    Then read how we, the public, were swindled by Channel 4 here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200

    Finally, for graphs produced by scientists – as opposed to lies produced by Channel 4 – go here:
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/

    Go here for a graph everyone should be familiar with, whatever their views on global warming:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Climate_Change

    And go here for Michael Mann's Web site – become informed from scientists, rather than from tacky TV companies who only care about money:
    http://www.realclimate.org

  • ScottSA

    I urge the fellow who quoted Mann to remember that he is the thoroughly discredited author of the "hockey stick" thesis, which is, after all, his sole contribution to this debate. Even the IPCC report of so enmeshed in controversy and claims of outright misrepresentation that it's become a laughing stock. The Global Warming house of cards is falling apart as fast as Craig's claims that the last terror plot arrest was a scam.

    It's funny how the religion of Western self-hatred and the Church of Global Warming share so many characteristics. It seems that facts simply evoke loud condemnation and bellows of "heretic!".

  • Richard II

    >I urge the fellow who quoted Mann to

    >remember that he is the thoroughly

    >discredited author of the "hockey

    >stick" thesis

    Could you give me the scientific evidence discrediting what I have said?

    I don't want a political debate because global warming is science, not politics. None of those who claim global warming is a lie can offer any scientific evidence corroborating what they say.

    Are you any different?

    Channel 4 is now claiming the programme wasn't a documentary, but a "polemic" – a nice get out clause, that!

    I will happily believe what you say if you can present a coherent scientific argument, rather than making personal attacks on others.

    I don't like to be misled, so if I have been, please open my eyes to what I am failing to see.

  • Richard II

    ScottSA, some facts!

    You claim the "hockey stick" graph has been discredited. In the Channel 4 programme, a "significant flaw" is highlighted. It claims temperatures dropped for nearly four decades during the post war economic boom, "when temperatures, in theory, should have shot up", as this was a time of large-scale industrial activity. From 1940 to 1975, however, temperatures fell – or, rather more precisely, showed no trend.

    Why didn't the programme address the issue of sulphate aerosols? You're not telling me the "expert scientists" who appeared on the programme haven't heard of sulphur dioxide? They knew this would be mentioned, so why was the topic not raised?

    Large quantities of sulphur dioxide were released into the atmosphere during industrialization, creating sulphate aerosol particles, which are known to counteract the effects of greenhouse gases. Since 1975, sulphur dioxide emissions have been reduced significantly. However, Africa is currently witnessing a sizeable emission of sulphur dioxide:
    http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/sei/rapidc2/apina/airp

    "Air pollution is an increasingly important environmental problem in Africa. Emissions of sulphur dioxide have been rising steadily as industrialization occurs. Projections indicate that potentially large increases in emissions may occur during the next twenty to fifty years if current development patterns persist."

    The programme also states that the temperature began rising before 1940, when industrial production was not so significant. So? Around 1880 the temperature peaked, then fell, bottoming out around 1910, then temperatures began rising again <a href="http://(http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Instrumental_Temperature_Record_png)” target=”_blank”>(http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Instrumental_Temperature_Record_png). But since that time temperatures have continued to rise; they haven't fallen back to their old level, or anywhere near their old level. The old cycle of small swings in temperature has given way to a large swing upwards.

    Industrial production began at a point on the graph when the global mean temperature happened to be rising. Given that the global mean temperature, historically, has not remained constant – but has fluctuated around a mean value – industrial production, when it came along, would either coincide with an upswing in temperature or a downswing. As it happened, it coincided with an upswing.

    Finally, a guy in the program states that CO2 as a percentage of total gases in the atmosphere is minuscule – 0.054% – and the human contribution is even smaller. Such small quantities must surely be irrelevant, the program leads the viewer to conclude.

    I suggest you find out how much ozone there is in the atmosphere. It varies around 0.00006% of the mass of the atmosphere. Yet this trace amount protects us from harmful UV rays. The discovery of a hole in the ozone layer in 1985 led governments around the world to enforce a ban on CFCs.

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