Global warming causes mental illness?

August 30, 2011

Is there nothing that can’t be blamed on a harmless gas that serves mainly as plant food?

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ”emotional injury, stress and despair” in the wake of these events.

The report, A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, called the past 15 years a ”preview of life under unrestrained global warming”.

”While cyclones, drought, bushfires and floods are all a normal part of Australian life, there is no doubt our climate is changing,” the report says.

Emphasis added, because that bit is key to the whole fantasy built by this article — that dangerous man-caused climate change is leading to an increase in mental illness.

First, let’s remind ourselves of something. According to one of the high priests of the Cult of Global Warming, Dr. Phil Jones, former Director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (1), there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995. Another, Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, once wrote in an email:

“The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.”

So, I ask the article’s author and the Climate Institute, where is the “unrestrained global warming?”

*crickets*

But let’s get back to the article’s thesis. It rests on two pillars:

  1. That changing climate (2) and severe weather events can lead to stress and various mental illnesses.
  2. That these events and therefore the mental illnesses can be attributed to anthropogenic global warming.

I have no disagreement with the first point, nor am I making light of the mentally ill. Fire, drought, earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes… all these and other disasters can lead to the loss of property, loss of a job, injury or even the death of loved ones. Sure, all this can lead to stress and possible mental illness. I’ve seen it myself in the wake the wildfires and temblors that periodically ravage California.

So, sure. A connection between natural disasters and mental illness? No problem.

But it’s in the second point that Erik Jensen Health of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Climate Institute take a Wile E. Coyote-like leap off the cliff of logic. First for assuming anthropogenic global warming exists when it is very much in question. (See also Carter and Plimer.) And second for listing event after event with the underlying assumption that AGW must be the cause, while never presenting a skeptical viewpoint and without ever investigating if  these events fall outside the norms of Australia’s climate history, whether as recorded by human observers or seen in the paleoclimatological record.

This wasn’t an article about science or even the problems of mental illness. It’s just unchallenged assertion after unchallenged assertion, all meant to scare the reader by invoking the dread demon Climate Change. It was nothing more than a fire-and-brimstone sermon at an Al Gore revival meeting:

“Repent, ye racist greenhouse gas-spewing sinners, lest your communities collapse and your children go nuts because of your crimes against Gaea! THOU SHALT DE-CARBONIZE!!”

The SMH should be embarrassed for running such tripe.

via WUWT

Footnotes:
(1) Also a key figure in the Climategate scandal. (See also)
(2) Of course the Earth’s climate (really, a range of regional climates) is changing. We live on a dynamic planet that has never been in a steady state. But there is no evidence showing that any changes now occurring are beyond what has happened in the past. It’s not CO2, folks, it’s the sun.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oregon scandal, another special election in the offing?

July 23, 2011

What is it with congressmen and their evident inability to keep their pants zipped? Now it’s Democrat David Wu of Oregon, who stands accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a teenaged girl:

According to the Beaver State-based outlet, the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor accused the Democratic congressman of pursuing an unwanted sexual encounter said to have occurred last year. The young woman reportedly raised the matter in a voicemail left at Wu’s Portland office this past spring. An unnamed source tells the Oregonian that she sounded “distraught” in her message.

This is not the first time that Wu has come under scrutiny over matters unrelated to his work in the political domain. Earlier this year, the congressman found himself combating calls to resign in the wake of demonstrating questionable behavior. In February, Wu cited a reaction to mental health drugs in resisting calls to step down.

Apparently Wu’s behavior has been so erratic that his staff staged an intervention:

Three days before the Nov. 2 election, U.S. Rep. David Wu’s most loyal and senior staffers were so alarmed by his erratic behavior that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Their concern had been spiking for weeks in tandem with the Oregon Democrat’s increasingly unpredictable performance on the campaign trail and in private. He was loud and sometimes angry, some of them told The Oregonian. He said kooky things to staff and — more worrisome with a tough election fast approaching — around potential voters and donors.

Most of all, they were worried for Wu, a 55-year-old single father of two children.

Earlier and gentler efforts had failed, so the tight-knit group of high-level staff took other steps, including quiet inquiries about the availability of beds in hospitals in Portland and Washington, D.C., multiple sources familiar with the effort told The Oregonian.

Several staff members confronted Wu for the final time on Oct. 30. Wu’s psychiatrist was brought into that meeting as well, joining the group at the Portland campaign headquarters by speaker phone. The meeting was held after four consecutive days of troubling behavior that led the staff to agree that Wu needed a higher level of medical care, according to people intimately familiar with the events of that period.

“This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” wrote Lisa Grove, a senior and long-serving campaign pollster, in an e-mail to colleagues that day. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help and you need to be protected. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else.”

Wu, however, remained defiant, sources said. He left the meeting and said he was going to a movie.

Oregon Live details further bizarre behavior by Congressman Wu. It seems as if he has serious mental health problems and is in need of treatment; his staff surely thought so. Perhaps the best thing for all concerned would be for him to resign so he can get the help he needs, and so the people of his district can choose a better representative.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I can see dumb people

January 28, 2011

This was the sight I saw on a bridge over the San Diego Freeway on my way home from the market:

 

Some very stupid, pathetic people

…and…

Proof that a brain is not required to live

 

There were about a dozen or so of these paranoid morons on the bridge, holding up their signs and offering free DVDs of THE TRUTH!!1!1 to anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path. I’m surprised no one stopped to punch their lights out.

Here’s a message for the 9/11 Truther crowd, and I hope at least some of the mental giants on the bridge right now see this:

You people make me sick.

Your paranoid fantasies are a grotesque insult to the thousands who died that day, the President and all the members of the government who spent the next 7 years making sure that nightmare never happened again, and our entire nation. You are an embarrassment to us all. You make me feel unclean for even coming within 50 feet of you.

You people are sick.

Really. You need help, because you have obvious problems dealing with reality. It’s not uncommon with people who are frightened by a complex world; there’s so much comfort to be found in reducing everything that’s too much for your fragile minds, such as the idea that fire can melt steel, to simple conspiracies. It makes you feel powerful again, doesn’t it, because you know the truth? Well let me tell you the truth:

You are mentally ill, you nauseating wretches.

And this guy is probably your leader:

Now go away and go back to eating paint chips.

PS: Since this also goes out to my Twitter feed, if anyone reading this is sympathetic toward 9/11 Trutherism and follows me on Twitter, please unfollow me. Now. I don’t want to be dirtied by even the merest association with you.


It was inevitable: gun rights in the crosshairs, again

January 11, 2011

In the 72 hours after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of several others in Tucson, our moral betters on the liberal left were shouting in (coordinated?) outrage that it had to be due to the angry, overheated rhetoric from the Right, and most particularly from Sarah Palin. Even the Sheriff of Pima County couldn’t resist getting in on the act.

Though the Left is still pushing the “dangerous rhetoric” idea, even to the point of introducing a bill to criminalize free speech*, their campaign to smear their conservative opponents is crumbling like a wet cookie as it becomes increasingly clear that the shooter suffered from a serious mental illness and had no coherent political beliefs. So,with that tactic failing, what’s a good statist to do? How else can we exploit human tragedy to further our political agenda? Hmmm…

I’ve got it! Let’s blame it on Arizona’s loose gun laws! Then we can get gun-control legislation passed!

Trouble is, like the “inflamed rhetoric” argument, the idea that weak gun laws in Arizona allowed a mentally ill man to legally conceal-carry a firearm does not stand up to the light of truth, as Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch shows:

More on the role of conceal carry in a bit. I’ve seen many are making the case that just “anyone” with mental illness can buy a gun and that Arizona’s “relaxed” gun laws contributed to the Arizona tragedy because a mentally ill individual was allowed to legally purchase a firearm and we can’t just have mentally ill people buying guns. No, we can’t, which is why Arizona has a law about this. AZ law expressly states that due to their prohibited possessor stipulation, anyone proving a danger to themselves or others pursuant to court order is not allowed to purchase a firearm.

Under Arizona law, prohibited possessor are defined in ARS 13-3101 which states:

  • 7. “Prohibited possessor” means any person:
  • (a) Who has been found to constitute a danger to himself or to others or to be persistently or acutely disabled or gravely disabled pursuant to court order under section 36-540, and whose right to possess a firearm has not been restored pursuant to section 13-925.

Had campus security and his parents followed up with proper treatment and reported his actions, he, from what it sounds, would have been an easy PP and unable to buy a weapon. Had the Sheriff’s office acted upon what is suggested as their advanced knowledge of Loughner’s troubled history, they may have obtained a warrant and confiscated his firearm – or apprehended him before he bought it. Of course, this simply assumes that Loughner was only motivated to cause harm because he was in possession of a firearm and presupposes that the firearm was an accessory motivator and rules out for certain that Loughner would never have attacked anyone with, say, a knife, bat, or any other weapon.

The problem isn’t the fallacy that Arizona’s law failed – Arizona’s law, like every law, can only work if followed. Prohibited possession can only work if if troubled individuals are reported to authorities so that the existing laws can be applied to them and, in this case, prevent them from purchasing firearms.

In other words, the problem was that existing law was not applied when it should have been. (And the Sheriff’s office there is in serious need of investigation for its failures in this case.)

Loesch then goes on to address the faulty argument that permissive concealed-carry laws enabled this crime and increase the risks we face, citing numerous studies — including data from the FBI — to show that states that permit concealed-carry experience a sharp drop in violent crime. (For example)  Inconvenient truths, of course, rarely matter to the Statists in the media and government, who are quick to seize any reason, however fallacious, to try to advance their agenda of paternalistic control, including taking away our ability to defend ourselves.

For our own good, of course.

*Maybe they need another public reading of the Bill of Rights?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Jihadis are cowards and fascists

February 17, 2010

What else can you say about escapees from a 7th-century lunatic asylum who use women and children as human shields?

Taliban insurgents are increasingly using civilians as human shields as they fight allied troops trying to take the militants’ southern stronghold of Marjah, an Afghan official said Wednesday as military squads resumed painstaking house-to-house searches.

About 15,000 NATO and Afghan troops are taking part in the offensive around Marjah, which has an estimated 80,000 inhabitants and was the largest town in southern Helmand province under Taliban control. NATO hopes to rush in aid and public services as soon as the town is secured to try to win the loyalty of the population.

With the assault in its fifth day, insurgents are firing at Afghan troops from inside or next to compounds where women and children appear to have been ordered to stand on a roof or in a window, said Gen. Mohiudin Ghori, the brigade commander for Afghan troops in Marjah.

“Especially in the south of Marjah, the enemy is fighting from compounds where soldiers can very clearly see women or children on the roof or in a second-floor or third-floor window,” Ghori said. “They are trying to get us to fire on them and kill the civilians.”

We’ve seen garbage like this in Iraq and Gaza, too, where the brave, brave Knights of Allah exploit the emotionally disturbed, people with Down’s syndrome, victims of rape, and children for suicide attacks. These are the “holy warriors” who flock to bin Laden’s banner of jihad. They are religious fascists in service to a fascist cause that sees the individual as nothing more than a pawn to sacrifice to that cause.

I’d call them pigs, but a a pig has more value. I’d call them dogs, but a dog has more honor.

Let’s just call them what they are: mujahideen.

(via The Jawa Report)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,353 other followers