A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to attend a seminar with David Ray Griffin on the topic of "9/11 and the Ecological Crisis", which was hosted by IAIS Malaysia and JUST International, moderated by Chandra Muzaffar of JUST International. I was initially excited to be there, as mr Griffin's analysis of the 9/11 event seemed to be handled in a reasonably scientific and balanced way. This seminar, however, was profoundly confusing and contradicting, as he tried to merge the 9/11 theme with the Ecological Crisis, or more to the point, global warming. The ultimate anti-climax came at the very end, which made the whole seminar quite ironic and saddening.
There were a couple of hundred attendees, and there seemed to be quite a few media there doing recordings of the talk. Doing a talk on 9/11 in a muslim environment is quite easy, as by referring to the obvious holes in the official story and then tying it to vilification of the muslim community made a lot of heads nod in recognition. The talk was alternating between the 9/11 event, and a breakdown of some of the main issues with it, such as WTC7, the need for explosives to achieve a free fall collapse of the twin towers, and the impossibility of the kind of landing that was supposed to have happened at the Pentagon, on the one hand, and the climate change issue, with global warming as the key point with a commentary on the political failure of the global community of nations, on the other.
Very early in the seminar my head was spinning quickly, as I tried to reconcile his detailed and factual analysis of 9/11, with his sweeping comments on global warming that was littered with "scientists believe" and "general consensus", and so on, which was the exact opposite in terms of approach to the problem. He was chiding NIST's report on WTC7 as unscientific, while at the same time seeming to buy the IPCC report wholesale (btw, the audience had to help him explain what "IPCC" stands for, which is not a good sign). As he was talking about the imminence of antarctic ice disappearing I couldn't help but look up on my phone the recent story on SOTT that details how an expedition just got back from said antarctica with an eye-witness report saying that the ice is all there. For a few seconds I thought I should tell him about the good news of non-disappearing ice, but refrained in the end. Wrong crowd.
Apart from the stunning difference in approach to these two different topics (detailed factual vs "scientists believe"), the political consequences he described was what ultimately gave a very ironic touch to the whole thing. He was very upset with US and the rest of the world for not promptly dealing with the global warming threat, and was calling for a supranational effort to deal with it. In essence, while he and George Bush Sr. might be coming at it from different angles, their goal seem to be the same: let's have a New World Order that can deal with this problem in a way that nation states are not willing to do. You know, in the name of survival of the species kind of thing. Maybe George Bush Sr. can be made president of this organization, so he can deal with global warming in a way he was unable to do as president of USA.
While the two topics have similar patterns to them (an invented crisis for the purpose of circumventing democracy), he seemed unable to grasp this fundamental correlation. It was amazing to watch.
The finale was what really made my day though, as he suggested that Malaysia should be the country to lead this effort, due to the tribunal that was recently held here against Bush for war crimes. At this point me and my wife simultaneously burst out in laughter, as we just couldn't hold it anymore. If mr Griffin had stayed in Malaysia for a year or so, not in the company of intellectual idealists like Chandra Muzaffar, who lost any previous respect I may have held for him, he would know that politically Malaysia is a bit like a kindergarten. It's lot of "you said"/"I said" and psychopathic posturing, rather than dealing with the issues in any sensible adult manner. Malaysian politicians are barely able to run a country, so to be able to take a moral lead on any global issue is just beyond their capabilities. But like I said, my Griffin would have to live here for a while to get a real sense of what it's like. "Public perception" is a favourite phrase here for a reason. Just saying.
All in all, it was highly disappointing to see someone be able to cut through the bull and look factually at one issue, and yet be completely unable to do the same on another, even though they are structurally very similar. Not surprising, but definitely disappointing. One more hero lost in space.