Environmental Ethics
and Public Policy
Ernest Partridge, Ph.D


Bits 'n Pieces, from Here 'n There


Ground Rules: We will add to this page "from the top down," thus the newest pieces will appear at the beginning, and as they are added, items at the bottom will move to "The In-Box Archives," and eventually out altogether. (The same rules applies to "The Chamber of Horrors.")

A Warning from 100 Nobel Prize Winners

The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of state or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the world's dispossessed.  Of these poor and disenfranchised, the majority live in a marginal existence in equatorial climates.  Global warming, not of their making but originating with the wealthy few, will affect their fragile ecologies most.  Their situation will be desperate and manifestly unjust.

It cannot be expected, therefore, that in all cases they will be content to await the beneficence of the rich.  If then we permit the devastating power of modern weaponry to spread through this combustible human landscape, we invite a conflagration that can engulf both rich and poor.  The only hope for the future lies in cooperative international action, legitimized by democracy.

It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek shelter behind walls.  Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world.

These twin goals will constitute vital components of stability as we move toward the wider degree of social justice that alone gives hope of peace.

Some of the needed legal instruments are already at hand, such as the Anti=Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Convention on Climate Change, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.  As concerned citizens, we urge all governments to commit to these goals that constitute steps on the way to replacement of war by law.

        Joseph E. Stiglitz, Economics, 2001                        Edmond H. Fischer, Physiology/Medicine,1992
        Herbert Kroemer, Physics, 2000                            Richard R. Ernst, Chemistry, 1991
        Guenter Blobel, Physiology/Medicine, 1999            Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Peace 1990
        Horst L. Stormer, Physics, 1998                             His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, Peace, 1989
        Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Physics, 1997                 Robert Huber, Chemistry, 1988
        Peter C. Doherty, Physiology/Medicine, 1996         Oscar Arias Sanches, Peace, 1989
        Paul J. Crutzen, Chemistry, 1995                            Dudley R. Herschback, Chemistry,  1986
        Bertram Brockhouse, Physics, 1994                        Klaus von Klitzing, Physics, 1985
        Joseph E. taylor, Physics, 1993                                ... And 85 other Nobel Prize Winners

The Shrub Giveth,  and The Shrub Taketh Away.

Recently I fell into a heated argument about Bush's Tax Giveaway with my cousin, a southern California conservative.

"So,  if you feel that way," she said, "why not just give back the $300 that Bush gave you!"

Well guess what, cuz?  It looks like I will do just that -- and so will you, and the rest of us poor suckers.  Just take a close look at Line 47 of your 1040 form.

The New York Times' Paul Krugman explains:  "Most taxpayers, when they reach line 47 of their 1040s, will discover that they owe $300 more in taxes than they expected.  In other words, [that] one piece of the Bush tax cut ... is about to be snatched away." (2/22/02)

In other words, it wasn't a "rebate" at all.  It was an advance!

And now it's gone.

Gee, thanks for nothing, Dubya.

A survey was conducted in the world.  Respondents were asked to "please write down your opinion about food shortages in other countries"

The results were disastrous.  In Africa they did not know the meaning of "food'" in Western Europe they did not know the meaning of "shortage;" in Eastern Europe they did not know the meaning of "opinion;" and in the United States they did not know the meaning of "other countries."

Linda Deak, "International Ignorance"
Online Journal.

From a Gift Tee Shirt: Some Oxymorons

(QQ to the Legal Department: Can one copyright a Tee Shirt?)

Airline Food
Baby Grand
Black Light
Civil War
Congressional Ethics
Dry Wine
Elementary Calculus
Fast Idle
Freezer Burn
Great Depression

Half Full
Jumbo Shrimp
Live Recording
Mandatory Option
Military Intelligence
Old News
Original Copy
Partially Completed
Rap Music
Working Vacation

And above all:  "Compassionate Conservative"

"A Funny Thing Happened to Al Gore
on his Way to Election 2000"

or --

Imagine if the Media Weren't "Liberal"


A "Lisa Ramsey" reported the following to "Media Whores Online." 

Wish we could say we were surprised to read this.

I'd like to let you know about my experience as a participant on "Hardball" in November 2000 during the recount fiasco.  I was part of Frank Luntz' "focus group" that pitted ten Republicans against ten Democrats.

We were told to come to a hotel in West Palm Beach an hour before the show.  Upon arrival, we were checked off a list and segregated by party.  I was close enough to the Republicans to see a man passing out "talking points" to his fellow panelists -- telling them that it would be great if they could incorporate them into whatever they said -- and to make it sound personal.

I was outraged and tried to get a copy.  I must have looked like a liberal, so they sent me back to my corner.  I approached one of the producers about it, only to be blown off.

About a half an hour before the show, we were taken to the room with the cameras.  Each side had a few more people than they actually needed, so Frank and the producer started to hand pick the participants and show them to their seats.

Interestingly, I was passed over initially (perhaps they smelled a trouble maker).  I made it on when a gentleman had to recuse himself.  I could have sworn that he said that he was a lawyer and they said they didn't allow lawyers, but I could be wrong.

So here we sat for what was said to be a "sound check."  The guy next to me explained in whispers that this was actual an "attitude check" and that the producers were identifying who might possess a brain along with an attitude.  During the show, those folks would be avoided and interrupted at all costs, my new friend said, unless they sat on the Republican side.

All said, the show looked like a one-sided Jerry Springer show ... with the well dressed and rehearsed Republicans winning sizable airtime with the facist talking points.  I found the whole experience very disturbing.  Recently, I read an article which identified Mr. Luntz as a GOP pollster.

Surprise, Surprise.


Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org).  Dr. Partridge can be contacted at: gadfly@igc.org .