NOTE: You will see a "hand" sign at the foot of this article
Please click to enter the GIV2.ME site.
EARLY on Friday morning, a thought struck: Has anybody yet been stupid enough to connect the earthquake that has ravaged Haiti with the alleged phenomenon of global warming?
It sounds like a long shot, given that tectonic plate movements have nothing to do with the Earth's surface temperature. If they were in fact related, recent heatwaves in Sydney and Melbourne would have had many of us buried in post-quake rubble, just like Haiti's tragic thousands.
But you'd be surprised at what people sometimes associate with global warming or climate change. Everything bad, basically.
So I entered the words, "Haiti climate change" in a Google news search. An item turned up that had been posted just 23 minutes earlier. It was an interview with Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover, who also happens to be a left-wing activist suffering serious hots for global warming and Caribbean politics.
This was promising. So was the brief description, at the linked site, of Glover's interview: "Danny Glover spoke with our friends at GRITtv today to discuss steps forward for the Haitian capital. Glover points out that in this great moment of internationalism, the US has the opportunity to rebuild its relationship with Haiti, and he voices a warning that disasters like this will inevitably strike again as climate change continues."
Now, at this point the global media had spent a good chunk of the previous news cycle, if such a thing still exists, ripping into Pat Robertson, an American Christian evangelist who routinely seizes on any major crisis to claim it as an example of God's righteous rage. Robertson said God was punishing Haiti for signing "a pact with the Devil" to relieve it of French occupation.
Ever since that "pact", according to Robertson speaking on the Christian Broadcasting Network, which isn't shown much outside of the US, Haiti was cursed.
Anyway, with some justification, White House spokesman Robert Gill joined the global press in taking Robertson down. "It never ceases to amaze," he said, "that in times of amazing human suffering, somebody says something . . . so utterly stupid."
And then Danny Glover opened his mouth. Although Glover hasn't starred in any major films lately (Operation Dumbo Drop aside) it's likely he's still more widely known than Robertson so it isn't unreasonable to also examine his views on the Haitian earthquake. Here they are, via that online interview: "I believe this is going to be a defining moment for (the Obama) administration. What we lay forth, in a new relationship, in a partnership with Haiti, not one of dominance, not one in which it tries to extract even more from the pain of the Haitian people, but a new relationship "
So far, so boring. You can find that kind of "new relationship" crap about "partnerships" at almost any western government website. Then Glover launched into a bizarre Robertson-style Haitian tirade, except he wasn't blaming Jesus:
"The threat of what happened to Haiti is the threat that can happen anywhere in the Caribbean to these (other) island nations, you know. They're all in peril because of global warming, they're all in peril because of climate change, and all of this." And this is absolute gibbering nonsense. Haiti wasn't hit by warming or otherwise changed in any way. Haiti was hit by an earthquake, due to it being located on a tectonic plate boundary.
Haiti has previously suffered major earthquakes, in 1618, 1673, 1684, 1751, 1761, 1770 and 1860. It won't escape the alert reader these events took place some years prior to the current global warming panic.
The latest of those, prior to last week's magnitude 7 quake that may have killed more than 100,000, happened 149 years before the Copenhagen climate summit. Which, incredibly, is what Glover thinks provoked Haiti's ruin: "And we need to find this, this when we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I'm sayin'?"
Well, yes. The Eagle-Tribune newspaper in Massachusetts knew precisely what Glover was saying: "He is saying that because a group of political leaders, all wealthy and mostly white, didn't adopt repressive enough environmental rules, Earth itself has risen up in rage and decided that poor black people must be punished. This would be funny if it wasn't so tragic."
Far less tragic, but still worthy of note, is that the Eagle-Tribune was one of the few mainstream media outlets (Fox News excepted) to nail Glover for his obscene politicising of a massive death toll. He's dodged his due condemnation. Traditional media went after 79-year-old God-botherer Robertson but left Glover alone.
This illustrates a continuing, and perhaps growing, divide between old-timey and new media. The Jesus stuff is old, and therefore attractive to old outlets and old viewpoints. But Glover's global warming gaffe appealed to newer crowds which ageing media is allegedly desperate to draw, yet for some reason resists.
My 63-word Friday post (disclaimer: if I hadn't fluked an early sight of Glover's interview, any number of online entities would themselves have quickly found it) was soon picked up by 500,000-visits-per-day website Instapundit, then by the 26,000,000-visits-per-day Drudge Report and a raft of other sites. Among emerging media, the subject was a riot. My Daily Telegraph
site, which usually pulls about 200 to 250 comments per day, blew to more than 1000 comments for the Glover post alone. Twitter, too, went Glover crazy.
But Google's news search, which tracks recent mentions from more established sources, recorded only 369 "Danny Glover" matches as of early Sunday. By comparison, a Google news search for "Pat Robertson" delivered six times that number.
Dear old Pat still thrills the oldies and the old-at-heart. But I wouldn't be relying on controversial curse-calling Christians to fuel continued audience interest. Craptacular Copenhagenite claims, on the other hand, seem rather more topical. Fault lines run beneath both. Neither is as destructive as the quake, yet one refers to events of today instead of events centuries past. It's called "news" for a reason.
NOTE: You will see a "hand" sign at the foot of this article
Please click to enter the GIV2.ME site