Thursday, June 29, 2006

Quote of the day

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

This quote was used by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth to illustrate the danger of appointing Phillip Cooney, a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, to chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Cooney resigned after the New York Times disclosed that he had edited offical reports on climate change in order to increase the amount of doubt expressed in the reports. One day later it was confirmed that he would be leaving to work for Exxon Mobil.


actor in boston said...

No one seems to know that the source of this quote -- a good one -- but the earliest *I* know of it is in Shaw's play "Misalliance"
one speaker (i'm paraphrasing here): If you want to argue, why don't you go down and argue with the vicar, he likes it.
second speaker: You can't argue with someone whose profession depends on your not letting you convert him.

The rest of the play's good, too.

actor in boston

Smoovement said... would NPR describe this...."refreshing."

Well obviously this guy's new job at Exxon has to be establishing the oil absorbency of seals right? After all he's in the CORPORATE world scheming, wringing his hands, with a Dick Cheney sneer consipiring to heat the Earth to a point of total submission.

If only I could find a literary quote that would allow me to take a statement out of historical context and it apply it to this current situation - Wait! Why there's one right there on the page! Brilliant!

"See Jane Run." - Dick

If there is any stereotypical template that can be applied - as much as you guys like to apply the Southerner template, its the pseudointellectual.

But no fret - you're an artiste' no doubt, and you don't have to understand or have a context to comment. Your crediblity lies in the fact, that you care. You don't talk in a lispy Tom Daschle voice because your feminem or homosexual, you do it because you're trying to bring your thoughts to the lower level of the human animals you're forced to wallow amongst and therefore have to communicate at a painfully mellow and gender neutral tone. Brilliant!

Well, I want you to consider how much petroleum products went into the computer that you use and the power that generates it. If you truly do believe in what you preach you would be the first to follow in the footsteps of a fellow Algore fan, Theodore John (Ted) Kaczynski.

Hume's Ghost said...

This is a false dichotomy. There are options between living in a cave or doing nothing at all.

I actually have confidence in man's capacity to solve problems and his technological ingenuity.

First, though, man needs to focus his attention on the problem. Which is the point of the movie.

Gore presents simple steps that can be taken, that are not life-altering, that would help to reduce CO2 emission.

Think Progress recently had an entry dealing with a global warming despair article in the Washington Post in which they quoted from a IAEA report which found that existing technology combined with technology under development would be able to reduce CO2 emission to their current level by 2050.

Hume's Ghost said...

"If only I could find a literary quote that would allow me to take a statement out of historical context and it apply it to this current situation"

In case you ever return to these comments, I thought I might add that if you don't believe Upton Sinclair would feel that the quote applies to the situation regarding Cooney then you're not at all familiar with Mr. Sinclair.