Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Global Warming news!

Usually during this time of year, global warming news tends to get a little scarce and hard to come by. When 60% of the country is under the cover of snow and ice, as it was back in December, its pretty difficult for Al and his followers to tell us that its heating up outside. However, I was reading MSNBC's website the other day and they were the first to break the ice with a hit-piece about rising temperatures in the Northeastern United States and in Antarctic. There you have it, two back to back works of propaganda.

Last year, above-average temperatures had a lot of people on edge in the northeast. It was in the news a lot too, seeing as it seemed to be the perfect evidence those who adhere to the almost religious aspects of climate change need to formally end the debate. The same was happening here in California, where Lake Tahoe received unusually low amounts of snow fall. It was however, conveniently ignored by many that California experienced some of the coldest temperatures on record, even down south, and record snowfall buried many parts of Colorado and the Rockies to the east.

Today however, things are a little different...Lake Tahoe is currently blanketed in some 10+ feet of snow, and the northeast has been blasted by a series of nor'easters that helped to make last December one of the coldest, snowiest on record. The same goes for other parts of the world as well. For the first time in 100 years, snow fell in Baghdad last week. Central Asia is currently experiencing some of its worst snowstorms in history, while snow is burying parts of eastern Europe. When I was in Europe back in July-August, everyone was talking about the heat wave that was baking that region and blaming it on global warming, interestingly enough. So what am I trying to say here? Well, the point is that nature is unpredictable, just as it has been for millions of years. Some years, winters can be abnormally warm, while others can be extreme. The same goes for Summers, where some can be brutally hot and others mild and cool.

As you can see, there is an alternative to embracing Al Gore's church of environmentalism, and that would be to embrace fact and reality.


Anonymous said...

You really don't get it, do you? Year-to-Year variations are totally irrelevant when it comes to global warming. It's change over DECADES or even longer that counts. Even then, climate changes fluctuate a lot and may vary from one location to another. It is entirely possible for the overall world temperature to rise, yet have certain areas actually cool down. Likewise, patterns of rainfall may go up or down. Remember, it's GLOBAL warming. If you listen, climate experts constantly point out that a warm summer, whatever, doesn't necessarily have anything to do with global warming.

It's not surprising that most people misunderstand this. There is a generally hostility towards science in the U.S. It's so bad that more than 50% of the country thinks that man was created in his present form in the last 10,000 years:


I hope you've heard the phrase:
"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."--attributed to Alexander Pope. Ironically, most people have only heard the first part.

C.H. said...

"It's change over DECADES or even longer that counts. Even then, climate changes fluctuate a lot and may vary from one location to another."

Well, you are right about that. Only we could say the same thing about the temperature millions of years ago, not just recent decades. The earth has gone through countless climatic shifts long before the first human being ever set foot on the planet.

I believe that human beings don't fully understand how the climate works. The same goes for the earth itself. There are scientists out there who claim to be "experts" on oceanography but it doesn't change the fact that less than 10% of the ocean has been explored. Is it that crazy to suggest that the "experts" on climate don't know EVERYTHING about it? I'm not a scientist, but you don't have to be one to understand that MAYBE there could be some flaws in this. Also, it's not a bad idea to take a wait and see approach before we do something really stupid...like dumps thousands of tons of iron ore into the ocean to try and prevent the earth from warming or shoot rockets into the atmosphere loaded with ash to simulate a volcanic eruption. And yes, these are actually suggestions that have been made by scientists, as ridiculous as it may sound.

...and lets not forget we have Al out there trying to squelch the debate.

Anonymous said...

C.H., Scientists really, really don't tolerate the intrusion of ideology into their work. Al Gore may support the consensus opinion on global warming, however that does not affect what scientists think.

A recent notorious and extreme example of politics interfering with science: There is a fellowship program to provide funding for minority Ph.D. students. All of the degree programs that had "evolution" in their titles were quietly deleted from the application forms. Of course there was an outrage and funding was restored.

Just because one political party decides to hype the dissent of a small group of scientists (and I have no reason to assume the scientists are being in any way dishonest), doesn't mean that there is some great conspiracy. I assure you that one party or the other could promote the beliefs of the small percent of the wacko scientists who say that AIDS is not caused by HIV if they for some bizarre reason wanted to. That would be politics and not science.

Yes, Al Gore is a polarizing political figure. Global warming is not about him, it's about the science. Fight the scientific bodies throughout the world--and pick those that you think are free of American political pressure--instead of basing what should be a scientific opinion on your personal hatred of an American politician.

I had a roommate in the late 80s and early 90s who was a physicist getting his Ph.D. modeling climate changes due to possible global warming. I can promise you he and his colleagues both at our school and at others didn't give a damn what Gore or any other politician thought. It would be extremely intellectually dishonest.

And the argument that we don't understand everything is nonsense. We don't know the dangerous side effects of medications or even how many work, yet we still give them to people even when there is not 100% probability they will die. And even if there is only a 10% chance most scientist's predictions of global warming will come to pass, we can't exactly take a chance.

There are crazy people everywhere, so I'm sure you can find a couple with crazy ideas. That's EXACTLY why large groups of scientists have released consensus statements on global warming.

You are calling scientists dishonest and/or easily manipulated by politicians. Neither is true.

p.s. If you're under the impression that something's not true if you can't understand it, how 'bout we start with quantum mechanics?

C.H. said...

Never have I suggested that scientists are basing their predictions on a political ideology. Nor have I disputed that the earth is getting warmer. We can agree on that, right? However, there are scientists who dispute the notion that human beings can control the earth's temperature. I also see nothing wrong with suggesting that we don't fully understand how the climate works--it really is too complex. Just look at the universe we live in. The big bang theory is widely accepted as fact, even though human beings have never gotten past the moon (no, I'm not one of those people who denies evolution or denies that the big band COULD have happened, I'm just saying that we don't know for sure in such a complex, unknown universe). The same goes for the oceans, as I suggested earlier. Think about this...we've been to the moon repeatedly, and we've sent hundreds of people into space, yet we know nothing about the deepest, darkest regions on our planet. As I pointed out earlier, less than 10% of the ocean has been explored, yet there are many who claim to be EXPERTS on oceanography. But even they would be baffled by the many species that are obscured beneath 3 or four miles of water.

The climate is similar. Long before human beings ever came to be, the earth would undergo climatic shifts on a regular basis. To say that a 1-2 degree increase over a century is going to destroy us all is absurd.

I'm well aware that Al Gore is not a scientist. However, he does have a political agenda and I believe that is the driving force behind his campaign to "stop" global warming. I think its safe to say he is using some of this research to benefit HIS ideology.

C.H. said...

...and I don't dispute this hysteria in order to defend a political ideology like some conservatives or republicans do (I am neither), I just look at all of this and have a hard time buying into it. Seeing as many people in the media are using it to enforce their agenda, I find it difficult to separate fact from fiction.