Sunday, February 20, 2005

Reality Check

The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives."

Winston Churchill

"The debate about whether there is a global warming signal now is over, at least for rational people, said Tim Barnett, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. The models got it right. If a politician stands up and says the uncertainty is too great to believe these models, that is no longer tenable."

I have long been a believer, but not everybody is. Washington isn't, or says it isn't. However, I think that deep down they believe: believe and are trying desperately to avoid the reality and the associated cost. Read the article, Why global warming is not natural.



Anonymous said...

Ouch. Coming from Winston Churchill, that pretty much sucks, considering the sacrifices Americans have made going shoulder-to-shoulder with Brits over the past century. I'm curious, when did he say this? On a bit less defensive stance, I also wonder if his statement isn't true of all humankind... aren't we all driven to initially do what is more self-protective, or what "works for me" rather than what is the ideal, most selfless route to go, in our personal lives, relationships, etc.? I wonder if many of us don't explore other options first before doing "the right thing"...
-An American Female (39yo, since your most recent post specifies age :-)

Anvilcloud said...

Ah, I wondered about including that part. I thought that it might be a little sensitive, but decided, perhaps unwisely, to go with it.

WC said a lot of things in a humourous way, and, yes, it's probably generically true.

-epm said...

I wouldn't get too worked up about Winnie. He's also reputed to have said something along the lines of: "Democracy is the worst form of government.... excpet for all the others." He certainly liked a pithy one-liner.

I imagine Churchill was thinking about the US's involvement in WW I and WW II. In both cases the US entered late and only when she was directly threatened, not as an ally called to help a neighbor. In the case of WW I it was due to collusion between Germany and Mexico against America, and in WW II, well, you know, Pearl Harbor and all that.

Dispite admiring the US -- and Americans -- in many ways, the Allies in both cases bore a nagging resentment toward America for showing up fashionably late and then at times, and usually politically, acting like they were the only stud in the corral.

If fact there was a popular feeling among the Allied powers that America's extremely late arrival in WW I (essentially in the final months of the war) actually prolonged the war, rather than shortening it. And in WW II America sat on the sidelines as England was being bombed relentlessly.

American's tend to take their own propaganda, er... heroic myths? self-image? too literally. We often think too highly (and romantically) of our own actions and too little of the actions and sacrafices of other contries. (Is that grammatically correct?)

I'm a twenty-three year old, black rastafarian female grad student at UC, Berkeley... oh, shoot! they can see my picture!