Thursday, January 12, 2006

Intellectual terrorism

It's the scale of the deliberate damage that counts, not the scale of the action.

It's a delicate enough problem to get the public and political classes to understand scientific debate that's well-founded and makes unpopular predictions about the future. It's a triumph when they do follow it, just as it's a triumph to get trains to run along bridges that don't collapse under the natural force of gravity, or encounter a head-on collision. It takes the constant vigilance of those whose job it is to keep them running.

It shouldn't be a surprise that it doesn't take much for a well-connected and malicious person to completely break the system.

We know it's possible for a terrorist to kill a disproportionate number of people with a well-timed explosive attached to the infrastructure, or even nothing more than a spanner applied to the right bolts on the rail-road tracks to engineer a head-on collision. Their work is made easy if they are given a free pass to roam through restricted areas posing as a regular repair-worker carrying their tools of destruction openly and without suspicion.

It's a risk that must be worried about. The intellectual terrorist and the violent terrorist are similar in many ways. Both are liars. And both use the same tactics to evade security, from getting let in by a man on the inside, to pretending to be fixing things even while they are in the process of packing down the explosives.

In spite of what they say, terrorists and real workers are easy to tell apart. Intellectual terrorists say that all sides work for money. Myron gets paid by Exxon, and the railway workers work get paid by the government. Their motivations are therefore the same, are they not? Of course, on that crude level both a maffia hit-man and a kindergarden teacher are morally equivalent because both get paid to do a job.

Clearly, income cannot tell them apart. Nor does expertise, background, or training. In fact, a railway worker who has been hired to sabotage the system can do a heck of a lot more damage than anyone else, given their intricate knowledge. Also, if you are on site without any obvious training, and you don't admit to anyone your ignorance, it's pretty suspicious. Myron has never admitted to being pig-ignorant about climatology, and knowing as much about it as I know about the chemistry of peat, but that doesn't stop him talking shite. One should always state ones limitations.

No. What usually tells terrorists apart from real workers are answers to the simple questions: "Why are they there?", "What do the other workers think they doing?", and "Do they go around leaving the gates open for other malicious individuals to get on site, and never apologize?"

For an intellectual terrorist like Myron Ebell, the answers are obvious. The fact that he has never once criticised any of his friends for talking complete hogwash about climate change not happening, and indeed continuing to praise them for their utter self-evident garbage, gives him away.

Myron Ebell lies in his own words, he lies by proxy, and he lies bu omission. No one should publish his name without stating these facts. He is a success in his own view when he does the most amount of damage with the least amount of resources. There ought to be special laws to prosecute people like him.

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