Monday, November 30, 2009

The Local Conspiracy Theorist

For months, a local opinion columnist in the Idaho State Journal has been raving about climate change and the politics surrounding the scientific phenomenon. I had, like many other casual readers, wondered why this topic had become his favorite. The columnist, a man by the name of Richard Larsen who owns and operates a brokerage firm here in Pocatello, is generally considered the most conservative op-ed writer for the paper and from time to time has shown just how far to the right he is. Until yesterday, Richard Larsen was merely a fringe conservative. That all changed with his column yesterday. Richard Larsen is now, admittedly so, a conspiracy theorist.

As might have been expected, Larsen jumped on the Hadley Climate Research Unit email breach last week. He writes:
"The fraudulent and ignominious premise upon which this threat to American sovereignty is being perpetrated is that of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)... By claiming AGW as a crisis which is man-made and hence, reversible by changing consumption and energy production, they have concocted a scheme whereby national sovereignty is reduced, and a global governing body can dictate, tax and meddle in national affairs on a global scale. The climate change mantra is touted as a means by which the global order based on the nation-state ought to be reconstructed based on political reasons, not environmental."
Larsen has in no uncertain terms become one of an unknown number of Americans, many part of the conservative fringe, who believe the political priority being placed on climate change is part of a global conspiracy to usurp national sovereignty from the United States. Apparently, organizations like the Heritage Foundation support such thinking and are greatly concerned by the upcoming conference in Copenhagen. Though groups like the Heritage Foundation point to the treaty clause of the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2) and believe that the clause has been violated by Kyoto and will continue to be violated in America's support of climate change agreements, they do not go so far as Mr. Larsen in asserting that the meeting in Copenhagen will be the complete undoing of the United States Constitution.

Not only does Richard Larsen go far beyond the sentiments of groups like the Heritage Foundation, plunging deep into the conspiratorial abyss, he openly embraces the fact that what he believes is a conspiracy. He admits that his words "read like a conspiracy theory" and do so because the conspiracy itself is very real:
"It is a conspiracy to erode national sovereignty and individual liberty and create and grant omnipotence to global governance. And it’s based on a “cause” perpetuated by fraudulent and falsified data, and the Copenhagen Treaty is the means by which their objectives are to be met. All legislation and treaties based on the pseudo-science of man-made global warming should be discarded in the dust bin of execrable man-made concoctions, along with the fallacious and maleficent global warming theory upon which they are based."
Mr. Larsen apparently learned nothing from the departure of Scott Stevens at KPVI. Stevens, the former weatherman for one of Pocatello's local news stations, believes that Chinese scientists (or the Chinese mafia) can control the weather and such manipulation of the weather was the cause of Hurricane Katrina. Recently, Stevens turned up again in the news as someone associated with Richard Heene, perpetrator of the balloon boy hoax. Stevens was more or less laughed out of town. Larsen won't be far behind if he continues to write such outlandish, factually deprived articles for the local paper.

As a daily reader of the Idaho State Journal, I have often read the ├╝ber conservative columnists, of which there are many, while wondering how far the paper will allow these writers to go. I feel about many of the ISJ's opinion columnists as my fellow blogger Alan at IdaBlue feels about Wayne Hoffman writing for the Idaho Statesman--there should be expectations where facts are concerned. I have mentioned here before that the columnists and regular readers offering commentary in response to those columnists are not above writing blatant lies. The four conservative mainstays, including Larsen, that write political opinion pieces are often regurgitating talking points of the RNC and appear to be more ideologically aligned with the likes of Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck than mainstream Idaho conservatives like Butch Otter and Mike Simpson. How Governor Otter has become more moderate in comparison to Idaho Republicans, is beyond me.

1 comment:

N. Speth said...

Even if global warming is a total hoax pollution sucks. It makes it harder to breathe in Utah in the winter and makes LA's skyline drab and terrible looking.