Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why I don't read National Review

National Review is one of the key intellectual havens of the right, founded by William F. Buckley. Their group blog, The Corner, is a good place to go if you want to know what The Right is up to (insofar as it is monolithically 'up to' anything).

National Review is the kind of place where you would hear the intriguingly counter-logical, yet somehow plausible facts that can really change how you view things. e.g.:
House Democrats on June 11 blocked Rep. John E. Peterson’s (R., Penn.) legislation to allow oil drilling 50 miles from America’s shores. Obstructionist Democrats could not fathom such activity, even 38 miles past where the horizon gobbles everything. Nor is the Just Say No crowd impressed that Hurricane Katrina slammed Gulf oil platforms with nary a spill.

Of course, then we read things like this, from a Reuters article on Hurricane Ike:
Ike plowed a destructive path through the state after slamming into the Texas coast early on Saturday and moving inland to Houston, the heart of the U.S. oil industry, forcing many refineries to shut down as a precaution.

President George W. Bush, who will visit his home state on Tuesday, said it was too early to determine the damage to U.S. energy infrastructure. The storm also halted crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, representing a quarter of U.S. output.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the storm damaged some offshore oil production facilities but did not yet know the extent.

But, just because an oil facility is destroyed, will it necessarily leak? This answer comes from a Guardian (UK) article in the aftermath of Katrina.

Initial aerial reconnaissance by the environmental protection agency suggests no serious chemical damage but has revealed several large oil spills.

About 85,000 barrels of crude is now known to have escaped from a Murphy Oil plant in Chalmette, Louisiana, and a further 68,000 barrels were spilled by a damaged storage tank at the Bass Enterprises site in Venice.

So, why don't I read National Review? I'm too logical. Bad facts have a way of overcoming my innate emotional sympathies and giving me bad, yet persuasive views. See: We should invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein tried to buy some high-speed switches.

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