Facts Don't Need Checking. Assertions Do.

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Bjørn Lomborg was a victim: Partisan ‘Fact Checkers’ Spread Climate-Change Misinformation.

Partisan “fact checks” are undermining open discourse about important issues, including climate change. Earlier this month I wrote an accurate post on Facebook about the growing polar-bear population. The post undercut alarmist climate narratives, so it was wrongly tagged as a falsehood.

Activists have used polar bears as an icon of climate apocalypse for decades, but the best data show that far from dying out, their numbers are growing. The official assessments from the leading scientists who study these animals—the Polar Bear Specialist Group within the International Union for Conservation of Nature—peg the global population today at 22,000 to 31,000. That’s higher than the 5,000 to 19,000 polar bears scientists estimated were around in the 1960s.

Polar bears aren't going away anytime soon. But if they do, we can always spraypaint some grizzlies.

Briefly noted:

  • Jeff Maurer has entertaining advice for his fellow leftists. "OMG Stop Freaking Out!!!" is a Bad Response to Right-Wing Freak-Outs. Now let's see if I can find a PG-rated excerpt…

    One more example: Critical Race Theory in schools. This was a big issue during the off-year campaigns of 2021, and the official Democratic talking point was that Critical Race Theory was not being taught in schools. Which was technically true, but it ignored the fact that there was some weird lefty garbage seeping into curriculum; I parodied this semantic dodge in an article called We Are NOT Teaching Post-Funk Techno-Industrial Nü-Metal In Schools! We Are Teaching Funk-Infused Synthetic Post-Punk Neo-Metal. Voters did not did not appear to buy Democrats’ cheeky linguistic sidestep, perhaps because many apostles of the Racial Reckoning framed the movement as the most momentous event since the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. You can’t tell people that your movement is crucial and important and urgent and broad but also no big deal OMG you are being, like, SO DRAMATIC!!!

    I think that this is what it appears to be: Some people on the left have some very goofy ideas. Sometimes, one of those ideas will seep into the mainstream and immediately become the object of ridicule. At that point, the person’s posture quickly shifts to: “Haha jk y’all I fer reals can’t believe u think that I thought that!”

    Other examples Jeff cites: the Green New Deal, banning gas stoves, "woke" M&Ms.

    I think a sensible right-winger could write nearly exactly the same article, interchanging "left" and "right" and coming up with different examples. We live in a time where freak-outs are the norm.

  • And then there are those who have left freaking-out behind, and moved on to the next stage. Charles C. W. Cooke notes a prominent one: Trump Has Completely Lost His Grip on Reality.

    Let’s check in on the shadow primary for the 2024 Republican nomination. Nikki Haley is putting together a finance committee, and suggested last week that she’s “leaning in” to a run. Mike Pompeo has just published a book called Never Give an Inch, and told CBS yesterday that he’ll decide whether to enter the fray over the “next handful of months.” Governor Ron DeSantis has continued to pick winning fights in Florida since being reelected in a November landslide, and has stayed assiduously quiet about his future.

    And then there’s Donald Trump, who, despite being the only candidate who has officially announced his bid, is . . . well, ranting like a deranged hobo in a dilapidated public park. No, don’t look at him — he might come over here with his sign.

    There was a point in time at which Trump’s unusual verbal affect and singular nose for underutilized wedge issues gave him a competitive edge. Now? Now, he’s morphing into one of the three witches from Macbeth. To peruse Trump’s account on Truth Social is to meet a cast of characters about whom nobody who lives beyond the Trump Extended Universe could possibly care one whit. Here in the real world, the border is a catastrophe, inflation is as bad as it’s been in four decades, interest rates have risen to their highest level in 15 years, crime is on the up, and the debt continues to mushroom. And yet, safely ensconced within his own macrocosm, Trump is busy mainlining Edward Lear. Day in, day out, he rambles about the adventures of Coco Chow and the Old Broken Crow; the dastardly Unselect Committee; the (presumably tasty) Stollen Presidential Election; the travails of that famous law-enforcement agency, the Gestopo; Joe Scarborough’s wife “Mike”; and other unusual characters from Coromandel. “Where the early pumpkins blow / In the middle of the woods / Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò / Who STOLLE THE ELECTION / Don’t you know?”

    There's a need for a Star Trek-like solution here, as in the heavy-handed episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield": beam Trump and Biden to an island where they can work on their mutual hatred. And leave the rest of us alone.

  • You can't say you weren't warned. Specifically, by the WaPo: Potential Biden challenger Marianne Williamson heads to New Hampshire.

    Author and activist Marianne Williamson, who is considering a second campaign for president against President Biden, plans to visit New Hampshire in the coming weeks to help her make “a more informed decision” about her political future, she said in a statement.

    The visit comes as the New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley has warned national Democratic leaders in a letter that the current plan to deny the state the first primary in the nation will force an unsanctioned event and “create an opening for an insurgent candidate — serious or not — who can garner media attention and capitalize on Granite Stater’s anger about being passed over by [Biden’s] campaign.”

    Via Ann Althouse, who notes the creative word choices of Ms. Williamson:

    “If I run, there are forces within the Democratic Party who would be trying to invisibilize me,” said Williamson, who also scheduled an event in the state last October. “I think they will have an easier time invisibilizing me if I run third party. If I do run, and I run as a Democrat, I will be more inconvenient to the people who need to be inconvenienced.”

    Help, I've been invisibilized!

Last Modified 2024-01-14 5:01 AM EDT