- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2006

Global ‘Truth’

“‘Scientists have an independent obligation to respect and present the truth as they see it,’ Al Gore sensibly asserts in his film ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ With that outlook in mind, what do world climate experts actually think about the science of his movie?

“Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia gives … a surprising assessment: ‘Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention.’

“But surely Carter is merely part of what most people regard as a tiny cadre of ‘climate change skeptics’ who disagree with the ‘vast majority of scientists’ Gore cites?

“No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified … climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions … are causing significant global climate change. ‘Climate experts’ is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore’s ‘majority of scientists’ think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.

— Tom Harris, writing on “Gore’s Bad Science,” June 15 in the Canada Free Press

The answer?

“Although evangelical ‘ex-gay’ ministries began in the 1970s, recently they’ve started to come under the public eye. Ex-gay groups have turned up on TV shows like ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ and ‘Veronica Mars’ (not to mention the painfully funny satire ‘But I’m a Cheerleader!’), and subway ads with cute young adults proclaiming that they ‘questioned homosexuality’ or ‘chose to change’ appear every couple of years in the D.C. area. …

“So what are these programs? Are they havens for wounded people exiting a self-destructive lifestyle? Cruising grounds for self-hating, hypocritical predators? Places to heal from past hurts, or places where teens are indoctrinated into shame and despair?

“From what I can tell, ex-gay ministries can be all of the above, to different people in different situations.

“What they aren’t is what many conservative evangelicals seem to want them to be: the ultimate answer to the gay-rights movement.”

— Eve Tushnet, writing on “Homo No Mo,” June 15 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Saving the city

“With a history in the Black Panthers and Green Party, Malik Rahim does not fit the stereotype of a property-rights activist. But that is what he’s become in the upside-down political world of post-Katrina New Orleans, where government response to the storm is creating some strange bedfellows.

“Nine months after the hurricane, New Orleans remains in tatters, its population is down to about 200,000 from almost a half-million. Large parts of the city, from posh Lakeview to working-class Mid-City, still have few habitable buildings. Many businesses have not reopened or are gone for good. Almost a quarter of voters in May’s mayoral runoff election voted absentee.

“To add insult to injury, the rights of property owners who had their homes and businesses damaged by Katrina’s wrath now face a more powerful and potent threat. Local government officials, armed with the public health code, eminent domain powers and a bevy of dubious legal techniques, aim to demolish buildings — and, some fear, strip titles from owners — in what are being euphemistically called ‘forced buyouts.’”

— Emily Chamlee-Wright and Daniel Rothschild, writing on “Government Dines on Katrina Leftovers,” June 15 in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

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