Is Locally Grown the “liberal blog” in town?

Over the past week or two, there have been a couple of comments indicating that Locally Grown is, or is perceived to be, a “liberal blog”. I find this both interesting and amusing.

One of the things I’ve always appreciated about local politics is that the issues we deal with are non-partisan, and more often than not don’t lend themselves readily to being characterized as “liberal” or “conservative”. And Locally Grown has always been dedicated to the discussion of local issues.

  • Is our new rental ordinance liberal or conservative?
  • Is the pressure to have or not have a municipal liquor store either liberal or conservative?
  • Is Northfield’s capital improvement plan liberal or conservative?
  • Is our annexation deal with Greenvale township liberal or conservative?

You get my drift.

I understand why partisanship is prominent in our discussion threads about the election and national political issues; I just don’t think it’s particularly accurate or helpful to throw these terms around in other discussions.

Since Locally Grown in particular is defined not just by posts written by the Triumvirate, but also by the personalities of the regular commentors, if most of those commentors lean to the left, Locally Grown may appear that way. But since these things seem to come and go in waves of participation, LG could just as easily appear conservative a few months from now.

What evidence is there that LG is a liberal blog? And where’s the “conservative blog” in town? I want to follow that one too.


  1. Ross Currier said:

    Liberals and Conservatives?

    So Tracy, does that mean that Locally Grown favors reducing the power of the crown and extending the franchise to merchants?

    I’ll guess that the other blog in town must be called either or

    November 21, 2008
  2. kiffi summa said:

    I think the implied distinction between blogs in town, and whether they are ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ has LG and on the ‘liberal’ side and the NFNews comments on the ‘conservative’, for the most part.

    I think this has to do with the differing policies of the three sites and how they handle their commenters, by the policies they set. An interesting controversy is swirling around the Mankato Free Press and their discontinuance of anonymous comments. (I had commented about this elsewhere on LG, but it got ‘buried’). Google it if you want to read about it.

    I feel that NOT allowing anonymous comments greatly improves the quality and substance of the dialogue; i.e. weeding out those who simply wish to make ‘ad hominem’ attacks.

    What do others think about this?

    November 21, 2008
  3. Peter Schleif said:

    Kiffi, I agree completely that the level of discourse improves dramatically when anonymous comments are prohibited . A similar debate went on in Winona, at the Winona Daily News site, where they found that one person would be commenting under as many as 20 different login names. They have since rectified this by doing something with IP addresses, somehow insuring that all comments coming from the same person were under the same name. Although they are not required to use their name, the amount of negative comments that would often flood their site were drastically reduced, leaving the more constructive comments.

    November 21, 2008
  4. Britt Ackerman said:

    1. The rental ordinance is socially conservative, in that non-traditional households are verboten and renters are viewed as “worse” than homeowners. The ordinance is also fiscally liberal, in that the city is not concerned with the deadweight losses caused by impeding the natural economics of renting versus owning; the social good of the ordinance is seen to outweigh the financial harm.

    There will be more vacant properties under the new rental ordinance, as homeowners will be unable to rent out properties due to density requirements. Thus a loss is caused, as we will have capital which is not earning income.

    The cost of renting will also increase, as the supply of available rental properties will decrease. Therefore renters will need to pay more to rent the same property under the new ordinance.

    This could cause said renters to look to neighboring communities for cheaper rents. It is much cheaper to rent in Faribault, Dundas, rural areas.

    So we lose a local population base; this affects the amount of local income available to spend locally. It also may effect the local labor force, depending on how willing people are to commute. This is symptomatic of a socially conservative position, but is 180 degrees away from a fiscally conservative ethos.

    2. Again, the pressure for a municipal liquor store is fiscally conservative, assuming that said store is profitable. If maintaining the monopoly on off-sale liquor will make the city money, then it’s a wise move for fiscal conservatives. David L. points out that the whole point is the profit margin, and that’s a fiscally conservative point. That’s why fiscal conservatives care about the bottom line above all else; because if the store is not virtually guaranteed to be a cash cow the cons will outweigh the pros. But if a municipal liquor store will turn a profit, then the city should run one.

    Pressure not to have a municipal liquor store is socially conservative. This is because there is a morality to the business of liquor. Everyone knows that alcohol has a causal effect on social problems, so even if it is ethical for a city to profit off of the sale of a legal mood-altering substance, it may be immoral.

    3. I don’t know enough about the CIP to speak to it.

    4. Again, the annexation deal with Greenvale (or any annexation deal) is fiscally conservative to the extent that additional land within the city limits will lead to additional revenues/tax base/ industrial opportunity for the city. It’s business, and if it’s good business then fiscal conservatives are in support of it.

    Social conservatives may or may not oppose the annexation deal, depending on individual ethos and location. If you’re a farmer in Greenvale township, you may have a loyalty to that worldview and may be against entering the city limits because you hold more faith in the rural microcosm than an urban one. Even if you’re a townie, you may oppose the annexation as a social conservative due to the perceived amount of bureaucracy it is taking to implement the annexation. Social conservatives should be split on the issue depending on their individual belief systems.

    Similarly, whether the annexation would be a “liberal” position depends on several factors. Social liberals may be in favor of the annexation if it will lead to increased green space, decreased pollution from pesticides and herbicides, and if the annexation will lead to the promotion of public transportation. Fiscal liberals may support an expensive annexation if the effect will help the environment, or improve the local standard of living, or have other positive social impacts on people, places, and things.

    November 21, 2008
  5. Barb Kuhlman said:

    I did notice Kiffi’s post about anonymous blogging on the other thread, and I agree with her. I don’t really understand why you have to identify yourself to have a letter to the editor printed but you can post whatever comment you want on the website. Some of the comments I’ve read on the NNews site have been insulting. If someone wants to make those comments, why not be brave enough to back them up with your name?

    November 21, 2008
  6. Patrick Enders said:

    By the definition that makes George Bush “not a conservative,” anything that involves the government spending money is liberal.

    Building a liquor store is therefore liberal.
    Capital improvement is liberal.
    Paying Greenvale money to annex land is liberal.
    The rental ordinance is also liberal, but for a different reason: it restricts the free use of private property.

    If we spent more time discussing how to cut wasteful city budgets and eliminate regulations, that would be conservative.

    November 21, 2008
  7. john george said:

    I really don’t consider LGN a “Liberal” blog. I think there are quite a few of you that post here that are of liberal persuasion, but that in itself does not make the blog “Liberal”. I am certainly not Liberal in my convictions, but I feel free to share my viewpoints here. As I’ve said before, I think it is good to be exposed to people who think differently than ourselves and be able to freely discuss issues. If all I wanted to hear were people who agreed only with my perspective, I would certainly post somewhere else. I consider many people who post here at least acquaintences, even though I have not met you F2F. That being the case, I personally feel more connected to many of you as fellow Northfielders just because of our on-line conversations. That is something that I think brings unity to a community, and that is certainly something of which we can always have more.

    Kiffi- I agree with your comment (Katie, bar the door!!), “…I feel that NOT allowing anonymous comments greatly improves the quality and substance of the dialogue; i.e. weeding out those who simply wish to make ‘ad hominem’ attacks…” I have always felt that if I do not even think my opinion has enough value to take ownership of it, then certainly others will probably value it even less. I am not threatened by publicly sharing my convictions, especially in a forum such as this, where I can write them down, edit them for clarity, and not have to go back and mend fences for engaging my tongue before my brain!

    As far as “conservative” and “liberal” labels, doesn’t the definition these change somewhat from time to time depending on our society? Just wondering.

    November 21, 2008
  8. Julie Bixby said:

    The NNews website invites people to comment. It also says “Post comments that are NOT (caps are theirs, not mine) unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous or otherwise objectionable.”
    After reading some of the posts from the anonymous posters, I am frustrated that the NNews has not pulled comments that are exactly what they have stated should NOT be posted.

    November 21, 2008
  9. David Henson said:

    Conservatives are people who want to keep things I don’t like and Liberals are people who want to change things I do like

    November 21, 2008
  10. john george said:

    Patrick- I checked out the “conservative” link, and I don’t think I would want to associate with this, any more than you would probably want to associate with some of the “liberal” blogs out there that take a dim view of the NRA. In fact, I don’t consider either type of blog as either lable. These are just extremists bent on living in anarchy. I heard a good discription of these types of people: They are not bigotted because they hate everyone equally.

    November 21, 2008
  11. David Ludescher said:

    Britt: I don’t disagree with your analysis of the rental issue, the liquor store, and annexation in terms of what the issues actually represent.

    The irony of those issues is that it is or was the “liberals” who supported the most conservative approach to those questions.

    The rental ordinance is intended to restrict people’s freedoms, but it was heavily supported by the “liberal” east side (in spite of its obvious discrimination against alternate families). The liberals are most concerned about the “morality” of the City owning a liquor store (we shouldn’t make money off of “bad” things). And, it is liberals who wanted to restrict the freedom of the farmers (for the “good” of Northfield).

    My theory is that for a liberal her politics is her religion; for a conservative her religion is her politics.

    November 21, 2008
  12. Paul Zorn said:

    Whether LGN is a “liberal blog” depends on what’s meant by “liberal” and by “blog” — heck, maybe it even depends on what the meaning of “is” is, to coin a phrase.

    If a blog’s “liberal-ness” is defined by the political leaning of the majority of those who post on it, then LoGroNo is liberal — not exactly a surprise given the local demographics. A better question, IMO, is whether liberal (or conservative) orthodoxy is somehow enforced, whether officially by the mighty Triumvirate or informally by excessive dissing of “errant” views.

    So far, I don’t see these things happening. Until they do, I’ll continue thinking of LGN more as a blackboard, on which anything can be written, than as an entity sentient enough in its own right to be either liberal or conservative.

    November 22, 2008
  13. kiffi summa said:

    I’d like to try again to discuss this idea of Tracy’s which I thought was an interesting one…

    Is there any relationship between liberal and conservative …in other than usual political meaning …between the various, or most common , on line conversations ongoing with the general public here in NF?

    Given that NF.Org is doing a great job of being the ‘Community Bulletin Board, is there a need for more group discussion there?

    What do people think about the NFNews website comments; do they reflect a general discussion? or does the anonymity change the process to a meaningful degree?

    Should the League of Women Voters host a discussion that relates only to local go’vt Best Management Practices? Would that be a community service?

    Tracy: can you please guide this conversation further?

    December 7, 2008
  14. Tracy Davis said:

    Kiffi, I’m happy to guide, I’m just not exactly sure where to go. Is that the blind leading the blind?

    Personally, I think it would be EXTREMELY helpful to have a Best Practices in Governance discussion. Confusion about what they are, and why, is at the base of at least some of the issues we’re facing in Northfield.

    December 8, 2008
  15. kiffi summa said:

    Tracy: I don’t think either one of us is blind, although there are some who would say….
    Well, what was there about the original comment? (criticism? applause?) that said LG was a ‘liberal’ blog, that caused you to write the initial post?
    Was it just that a blog cannot, in itself, be one or the other? In many cases it is easy to generalize about a political persuasion.
    Or was it that something was implied by the original comment of LG being “a liberal blog” ?
    Actually , I think you’re pretty liberal and Griff is pretty strict! Ross is just ‘pretty’! (JOKE, not sarcasm, Griff )

    Do you think there is anything to differentiate a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ blog other than a strictly political interpretation?
    In local ‘non-partisan’ politics, what would that be?

    December 9, 2008
  16. Tracy Davis said:

    Kiffi, your last question re-states part of what I was implying when I wrote the post. LoGroNo is dedicated to discussion of local issues. Most of those issues don’t readily lend themselves to partisan politics. The comments are all over the map, and if they seem to some to indicate a “liberal bias”, I’d say that was a reflection of the demographics of the city, rather than a characteristic of this blog as a whole.

    December 9, 2008
  17. Peter Millin said:

    Without a doubt Northfield is by far the most social liberal city I have lived in.

    This is reflected in this blog, my guess is that 80% of the people that post here are social liberals ( as opposed to a liberal in the classic sense).

    Traci I do disgaree with your statement that local issues don’t lend themselves to partisan ship. One of the dilemmas with Northfield is that we don’t have enough conservative voices in our city government.

    This lack of opposing views has gotten us in to our current mess. If you go thru live never being exposed to thoughts that run in the opposite of yours people tend to develop an inbred thinking pattern, and any new thought or idea just becomes a modification of an old idea or thought.

    A good example is our current economy. I hope our city leadership has a broad enough horizon to think outside the box.
    I am afraid that we will see more of the same…..the further raising of taxes to “fix” the problems. Rather then looking for other ways. To do that you need ideas outside your own comfort zone, it will be interesting to see if the city is capable of that.
    Since in essence we have just elected “more of the same”, which is social liberal thinking.

    It seems that this blog just echoes and confirms what our leaders think already. In that sense it would be nice if we could provide some original ideas.

    December 9, 2008
  18. kiffi summa said:

    Peter: interesting that you think we have just elected “more of the same”. That’s a curious comment in that in a representative gov’t, don’t people elect those who they feel will ‘represent’ the desired POV? Should one elect someone whose POV does not express their personal guiding wishes for the community?
    Wouldn’t that be a bit nihilistic? or at least masochistic?

    December 9, 2008
  19. David Ludescher said:

    Tracy: The local issues certainly lend themselves to partisanship; it just isn’t along the liberal/conservative divide. I think the issues fall more on the bobo/non-bobo divide.

    December 9, 2008
  20. william siemers said:

    David…You forgot the nimpu/nimpid (northfield is my personal industrial development) divide. And the Ill/Well divide…(I love Lee vs. We loathe Lee). Then there’s the CC/AA divide… (Christian Conservatives vs. Athiests and Agnostics). And most importantly the EAT/DRINC divide (Eat at Tiny’s vs Drive In Customers). Ok…I get carried away…Still for all that, this AA liberal, half-bobo, sorta nimpid feels right at home here.

    December 10, 2008
  21. Peter Millin said:


    Of course I respect the choice of the voters, which doesn’t mean I have to agree with them.

    So far, both on the national and the local, the word “spending” has been used quiet frequently but I haven’t heard”cut spending” enough.
    In that regard it’s “more of the same”.

    The next two years will be telling on how serious we are on “change”. We can’t afford to go from from “borrow and spend” to simply “borrow, tax and spend”.

    December 10, 2008
  22. Peter Millin said:

    Talk about new thinking??

    Before we rush into and onto the “green wagon” we should have a serious discussion surrounding the premise that has gotten us there in the first place.

    This affects the local and national level. Why it makes everybody feel good to be green the current cost of it needs to be managed prudently so we don’t put ourselves deeper in to the hole.

    December 10, 2008
  23. David Ludescher said:

    William: I don’t consider individuals true “liberals” if they want to limit who can live next to them, tell others what kind of house looks the best, or try to limit who can be annexed to Northfield.

    December 10, 2008
  24. kiffi summa said:

    david : could you please remind me of the meaning of your “Bo-bo” designation; and then what do you see as the liberal /conservative application of that … and can both liberals and conservatives be bo-bos?

    December 10, 2008
  25. Bruce Anderson said:

    Peter, I read the press release you linked to in comment 23 above. It is from the office of Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma). The best quote I have seen concerning the objectivity of Sen. Inhofe on global climate change is the following from a 2006 BusinessWeek article:

    “Inhofe is to the right of Attila the Hun on climate change,” says the Reverend Jim Ball, director of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

    You advise

    Before we rush into and onto the “green wagon” we should have a serious discussion surrounding the premise that has gotten us there in the first place.

    The local, statewide, national, and international scientific and policy-making communities HAVE been having a serious discussion for many years on the premise(s) that anthropogenic global climate change

    • is real,
    • presents a clear and present danger to civilization, and that
    • urgent action is warranted to prevent potentially catastrophic threats to the well-being of humanity (not to mention the rest of the biosphere)

    Representatives of nearly 190 countries are meeting this week in Poznan, Poland to lay the groundwork for a new global climate change treaty to be hammered out over the next year or so (with the goal being a completed treaty at a conference in Copenhagen next year). Global climate change is not a hoax being perpetrated by Al Gore and a bunch of other elitist US lefties. This is mainstream, peer-reviewed science, and sober, responsible public policy informed by the science.

    Are there global climate change skeptics? Yes. Are their views taken seriously enough by the mainstream international scientific and policy-making communities to warrant serious doubt concerning the premises above, and delay on taking action? No.

    I’m not sure why you inject this comment in this discussion thread, Peter, since this thread is ostensibly about whether or not LoGroNo is a “liberal blog.” What’s your point?

    December 10, 2008
  26. David Henson said:

    Bruce – they better get to that summit soon as the weather is getting chill (unless this cold weather is also caused by global warming) – see link

    December 10, 2008
  27. Bruce Anderson said:

    There’s weather (from “1. the state of the atmosphere with respect to wind, temperature, cloudiness, moisture, pressure, etc.”, which includes the somewhat cold, snowy weather we’ve been having lately, which I love as a cross country skier), and there’s climate (“1. the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years”).

    Two different critters. Don’t obfuscate by confusing the two.

    December 11, 2008
  28. Peter Millin said:


    Yes there is a connection between the liberal logro blog and the article.
    This discussion goes a few posts back.
    Let me summarize.

    Northfield is a liberal town and policies and government actions reflect that. This blog reflects the town’s sentiment.
    The absence of thinking outside of what is considered liberal dogma gives no room for any other voices unless they are liberal.

    I used global warming to illustrate the point. We as a town have bought in to the global warming frenzy without considering the implications of following some of the remedies.
    Opposing voices are being drowned out by the well financed media blitz of interest groups.
    Some of the extreme environmental groups use the issue of global warming to further a much larger agenda then simply protecting the environment.

    Northfield media and leadership does not provide any data or info that is outside of the widely generated global warming frenzy.
    There in lies the danger. My biggest concern is that local government will bow to those fanatics and put us in an even deeper financial hole, by financing “green projects” without merit and with money we don’t have.
    As a result of miss guided policies we will have to raise taxes on all or artificially increase cost of energy, which will hurt everybody.

    December 11, 2008
  29. Peter Millin said:


    You are right about Inhofe, but are you ignoring the 600 scientists?

    December 11, 2008
  30. David Henson said:

    Bruce – most scientists at one time belived the world to be flat – in fact when there is wide agreement from scientists (many of whom have not even considered the data) that is when citizens need to be most skeptical. I think you vastly overstate the case of how comitted most scientists are to global warming. Most are going to be two handed climalogists ~ one the one hand these facts would indicate warming but on the other hand some facts contradict warming and other facts point away from manmade activity a causal agent. Cold weather patterns would certainly not be a keen indicator in favor of global warming.

    Henny Penny Excerpt:

    So Henny-penny, Cockylocky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling. So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they came to a narrow and dark hole. Now this was the door of Foxy-woxy’s cave. But Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkeyturkey: ‘This is the short way to the king’s palace: you’ll soon get there if you follow me. I will go first and you come after, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-turkey.’ ‘Why, of course, certainly, without doubt, why not?’ said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey.

    December 11, 2008
  31. Bruce Anderson said:

    I doubt that you have considered the data more thoroughly than have the thousands of highly trained, committed climatologists and others working in related fields. I’ll go with their conclusions over yours and the relative handful of scientists who share your point of view to some extent (Peter’s 600, many of whom are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, many of whom work in unrelated scientific fields, and, yes, some of whom have legitimate concerns about some of the conclusions being drawn by the great majority of their peers).

    Today’s scientists concerned about human-caused global climate change are not terribly similar to the flat-earth crew of the 15th century, who were for the most part in no way, shape or form scientists. Today’s research tends to be a bit more rigorous and is open to continual challenge and review (including by global climate change skeptics).

    Again, this is not a leftist conspiracy. Why, even our very own beloved Governor T-Paw, not generally considered a leftist, accepts that human-caused global climate change is a major problem. He was a strong supporter of The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, which established, among many related things, a state policy goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2005. This bill was passed by a vote of 125-9 in the House, and a vote of 59-5 in the Senate. David and Peter, when you have only 14 allies in the Minnesota Legislature (out of 70 Republicans, and 200 members overall), I think you are hangin’ out with Senator Inhofe well to the right of Attila the Hun on this issue.

    That’s OK with me. However, I don’t buy your argument that I, and others in Northfield, are liberal whack-jobs because we think global climate change is a legitimate issue, and have managed to convince our elected officials that it’s worth paying attention to this issue. (Or that LoGroNo is a “liberal blog” because we express our liberal points of view.) You two don’t seem bashful about expressing your points of view here, so why the complaint that this is a “liberal” blog?

    What seems to frustrate you is that you don’t have that much company. That perhaps has more to do with the community than the blog as it is run by Griff, Tracy and Ross. This remains a free country, and you both are doing an excellent job of exercising your right of free speech.

    December 11, 2008
  32. David Henson said:

    Bruce – Vietnam War 99-1 vote, being popular and being right are not always the same. But heck if you say 1000s of climatologists then I better jump on board. I’m sure very one them has the exact same opinion.

    December 11, 2008
  33. Peter Millin said:


    For what it’s worth. I don’t think you are a liberal whack job for believing in global warming.
    I am as concerned as you are I don’t believe we should be destroying the planet either.

    What I do oppose is some of the prescribed remedies and the political witch hunt that goes hand in hand with this.
    I do oppose that we pump tax money in to one particular alternative at the cost of taxpayers. I do oppose that some elitist stand on their podium and attack those that chose to drive an SUV. I do oppose those that want to turn this issue in to an attack of the free markets for their own political and financial gains i.e. Gore or Pickens.

    Should we strive to be energy independent? of course we should, but not by dreaming up some unsustainable utopian scenario that has no chance of ever succeeding.
    This issue is too important to be an “us against them” but the environmental nazis have made a balanced dialog impossible.
    It is either solar, wind ethanol or nothing and we don’t care who get’s hurt in the process. That seems to be the mantra that makes people like me get defensive.

    A comprehensive and economically sustainable energy policy in combination with national energy security has to include ALL sources of energy.
    It can not be successfully implemented if we don’t consider the economical impact of it. it will create resentment and will hit the poor and working families the most.

    December 11, 2008
  34. Peter Millin said:

    Bruce….I almost forgot.

    Maybe some of the scientists are paid by the fossil fuel industry. However it is also true that a lot of those that came up with the doomsday global warming scenario are very much depended on government grants.
    Of course they have an interest to keep up the scare tactics in fear of losing that funding..hhmm???

    December 11, 2008
  35. norman butler said:

    Bruce: I hate to be the bearer of bad news and I’d rather do it on its own thread called The Great Global Warming Swindle (after a DVD of the same name – can be seen in brief on Utube). What chance of this new enlightening thread, Griff?

    December 11, 2008
  36. john george said:

    I’m not sure what global warming has to do with LGN being a liberal blog, but I have to get my two cents worth in. The last I looked, the big discussion is not so much that global warming/climate change is occuring, but rather whether it is man driven or not. I side with those that question how much effect man is actually having on the weather. Being that the greatest single contributor of CO2 in the atmosphere is the decomposition of organic matter (20-25%, depending on the study) and man’s total contribution is 3-4%, it would appear to me that the man-driven premise is perhaps speculation rather than good analysis of the data. I remember in the late 70’s, early 80’s, when Carl Sagan and his crew were all up in arms about how the unburned hydrocarbons being spewed into the atmosphere by our automibiles/manufacturing processes were going to lessen the effect of normal sunlight to the point that we would enter a new ice age. Well, we cleaned up the polution contributors to the point that now there is too much sunlight and we are cooking ourselves instead. There is a reason I still ask the question of these scientists, “How do you know this is true?” And, I don’t buy the idea of hiding behind “peer review.” If all your research is evaluated by people who just believe the same things you do, is this really critical analysis? Being there is evidence in the icelayers of Greenland of great climactic fluxuations in the past, it appears there were things going on that man had nothing to do with. In fact, there is evidence that food crops were grown there and in Iceland. Rather than expend all our energies on trying to reduce CO2 levels, how about studying how we can adapt our societies to deal with the changes going on about us? If warmer weather species, diseases, etc., are going to move northward, then what are we doing to prepare for these changes? I don’t think the answers lie in light rail transit and wind turbines, although these are useful inovations. We are smart people. How about using more of this intelligence and inovation to really prepare for the future?

    December 11, 2008
  37. Bruce Anderson said:

    Peter, David H., John, and Norman: there’s some serious thread drift going on here, but…I feel like your statements can’t go without comment.

    If Griff et al. want to start a global warming hoax/scam thread, fine. I have no objection to people questioning received wisdom.

    I do not view the current mainstream view of the serious threat that man-made global climate change poses to be received wisdom. It is the mainstream view of the signficant majority of scientists studying the issues. Are they infallible? Of course not. Does some of their research funding perhaps affect the perspective of some of the researchers? No doubt. However, it is the best that current scientific knowledge can tell us, and we question it at our peril, as the mainstream, consensus view is that we must begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly, beginning now.

    I took the 10 minutes required to watch The Great Global Warming Swindle video (on YouTube) you mentioned, Norman. I have not seen the full-length DVD. However, nothing they talked about was news to me, and essentially everything the skeptics talked about is accounted for in the modeling conducted by climate scientists who view human-caused global climate change as a major issue. The maker of the video, The Nicene Council, has as its motto (?):

    “The sacred and inspired Scriptures are sufficient to declare the truth” Athanasius, Defender of orthodoxy, Council of Nicaea A.D. 325

    I take scientific advice from eminent scientists (e.g. Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Chu, Obama’s pick for Secretary of Energy) more seriously than scientific advice from Christian faith-based organizations such as The Nicene Council. 


    December 11, 2008
  38. john george said:

    Re. my post #37, actually, perhaps LGN does have something to do with global warming. Considering all the hot air diseminated on this blog (and I say this tongue-in-cheek, Griff), maybe I should reconsider my position on mans’ contribution to the phenomina.

    December 11, 2008
  39. kiffi summa said:

    Anyone who is interested in the discussion of the value of anonymous comments, as allowed to be attached to their articles by the NFNews , as opposed to the LG non-anonymous comments (except for very special circumstances)… should listen to the audio of a “Midmorning” show”, on MNPR, last Thursday ( 12.12.08). The show is entitled “Free Speech on the Internet”.
    It is made very clear that the one part of free speech that is NOT protected in anonymous comments is defamation. It can, and has been successfully prosecuted.

    Take a listen…

    December 14, 2008
  40. kiffi summa said:

    Sorry, got interrupted before and didn’t finish some thoughts on this subject…

    I think something important to think about is the level of responsibility that should be part of an on-line comment when it is on a serious issue that might impact someone else’s business, character, or public perception of either of those.

    Griff tries, although sometimes we don’t like it, to educate people about their personal responsibility to this issue, and he often also regulates it, but in the nature of being educational as he explains what he finds improper.

    A facet of the discussion on the MNPR program I spoke of above dealt with technology as an extension of humanity.
    How do YOU want your humanity to be perceived?
    And therein lies my problem with anonymous comments.

    Attaching your name to your comments functions as a social contract in that it puts consequences to your public behavior; anonymous comments allow you to evade that conformance to societal, or your community’s ”norms’.

    With respect to anonymous comments, John Logie, the UofM professor speaking at the time, talked about technology creating “2nd life landscapes”…

    Which ‘life landscape’ is the most responsible to engage in? One in which you have a responsibility to? or one which is a virtual, created landscape, possibly not reflecting fact or reality ?

    Tracy: I would appreciate you getting back in here on these points … Thanks

    December 14, 2008