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December 09, 2008

Climate Change Chic

Earth2 Stubborn thing, truth. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, you can resent it, ignore it, deride or distort it—but there it is. Truth, as Al Gore eagerly lectures, is an inconvenience to people content with their cherished beliefs. Interesting how some of the most inconvenient truths are those that keep cropping up about global warming. Read on...

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Comments

becky

Thanks for the informative article. It seems that at its very roots this "climate change" business comes down to money (apparently lots of it) and power (like controling other people's lives). We are seldom given the truth by the main streem media who, mostly, seem to be members of the Climate Change Church.

Steve

They have revised the theory so much now that it becomes utterly falsifiable. Global cooling over the next ten years is exactly what they predict. Unless it warms, of course, which is exactly what they predicted before.

And dead men, do, in fact, bleed.

horridhelen

the spin is all yours I'm afraid. Whilst there is debate within the scientific community(that is to say, those who specialise and have expertise within climatology and related disciplines) as to nuances within the complex subject, the overwhelming weight of the evidence and informed scientific opinion is that there is climate change in consequence of human activity. The various arguments/opinions/"evidence" you appear to be promoting for ideological purposes have been debunked on countless occassions, so much so that they are commonly referred to as zombie lies.

for a systematic demolition of all the points you make your readers might like to visit:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

I hope to see this comment posted in the inerests of the spread of scientific understanding.

Farley

Helen,
I think you are wasting your breath…take it from someone who knows. For the most part, the bloggers and readers here, are ideologues, albeit very nice ideologues. They must accept the conservative mindset even when it goes against all logic and reason. They reject the overwhelming peer-reviewed scientific evidence for AGW, instead, turning to the non-peer-reviewed fringes for support. It is sad, really; good people being led astray.

John F. Borowski

This short article fails to mention some incredibly important climate data. Loss of glacial cover across most of the world's mountains. Even more importantly, the discussion of the ocean's acidification due to CO2. The oceans pH is dropping...and fast. This is very dangerous. Arctic ice has slightly increased from historic lows and still may disappear (summer ice) in less than 10 years (he sure cherry picked that data). All that nonsense about eco-religion and fear is worn out talking points from those who still defend an economy derived on pillage/extraction and is not sustainable. Lastly, climate change doesn't mean that winter will stop. We will have weather extremes, like drought, more snow in places and tougher storms. It is one thing to ponder all the climate change data...but, SHAMEFUL to include that eco-religion tirade. I love people, that is why I am an environmentalist/teacher of over 30 years. Climate change is the whole ball of wax and it must be fixed. Even a common person (like me) realizes that you cannot continue to dump billions of tons of CO2 into the sky without change. That is simple Physics, not, religion. John F. Borowski, Philomath, Oregon.

Dave

I think you are wasting your breath…take it from someone who knows. For the most part, the bloggers and readers here, are ideologues, albeit very nice ideologues. They must accept the [apocolyptic] mindset even when it goes against all logic and reason.
---------------------------------------
Once upon a time cartoonists used to portray someone dressed in robes holding a sign proclaiming "The End Is Near" to mock prophets of doom, now they dress them up like Al Gore. I have lost count of the number of "scientific" prophecies of the coming "end times" that have failed to materialize in my own lifetime, and nearly every one of them has turned out to wrong.

http://www.akdart.com/warming12.html

So now we must listen to such non-sequitors as "Global warming can cause global cooling" - so, I ask, tongue firmly planted in my cheek - isn't it possible that the global cooling predicted in the 70's caused the warming we experienced in the 90's and now we are heading back into "The New Ice Age"
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/11/081112-ice-age-global-warming.html

So fire up those cars, trucks and wood stoves, the end is near.

Steve

"A 2008 survey of 51,000 Canadian scientists revealed 68 per cent disagreed with the claim that global warming science is settled. And 31,000 American scientists have signed the Global Warming Petition Project that urges the U. S. government to reject the Kyoto treaty and any similar proposals, saying there is 'no convincing scientific evidence' of a 'catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere.'"

The Calgary Herald, December 19, 2008.

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=46999d7c-4078-4fe4-a0e0-3df0eaac0f4f

But Al Gore - non-scientist, theology school dropout, career politician - is so much wiser than those 65,000 American and Canadian scientists, right?

Regis Nicoll

John, horridhelen and Farley (it’s good to hear from you again!)--Let me say, upfront, that the global warming controversy is not about whether we should recycle more, drive less, adjust our thermostats, reduce consumables, plant trees, and the like. These are all the right things to do, regardless of global warming. Responsible Christian stewardship requires nothing less.

The real issue is governmentally-enforced controls like the Kyoto Treaty which are costly, artificially driven by speculative cataclysmic scenarios, and which would significantly drain the resources available to address the very real and imminent problems of AIDS, malaria, clean water, health care, and human rights abuse. As I argue elsewhere whether or not such draconian measures are demanded by principles of Christian stewardship really depends on the answers to six questions:

1. Is the earth warming?
2. Is warming an overall bad thing?
3. Is human activity the primary cause?
4. Would forced standards sufficiently reduce global temperatures?
5. Would they be cost-effective?
6. Would forced standards not create more—or more severe—problems than they solve?

If the answer to all six questions is “yes,” then Kyoto-like measures would be morally warranted. But, if just one of those questions is answered in the negative, they would be irresponsible, at best, and harmful at worst. See my analysis here: http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=8121.

A. Viirlaid

Great article Regis Nicoll, and nice repartee within the posts also. I happen to agree with you. Time will confirm.

If it turns out that we are really going into 30 years of cooling, then this past episode of hysteria will once again show how faulty human reasoning can be.

It will give scientists more clues into why our reasoning is so easily affected by mass delusion. Why we follow people like Hitler. Why we follow orders from men in white lab coats who tell us to turn the pain infliction dial higher even when we can hear the 'victim' screaming from the torture.

We laugh at people who believed in witches and executed them, some in Salem, Massachusetts.

At least back in that time (a time of Global Cooling) the people had an excuse. Please see NEW STUDY BACKS THESIS ON WITCHES at http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E7D91738F93AA1575BC0A964948260&sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all

Today we have no such excuse that I am aware of. Maybe someone put LSD into all of our drinking water?

Why for example did we so easily fall for the 'theory' of repressed memories and that hypnosis could uncover them. Why did learned judges -- whose main task in life is to weigh the suitability and acceptability of trial evidence -- go along with allowing 'evidence' uncovered only under hypnosis? Everyone 'knew' that hypnosis could uncover memories of forgotten abuse, right? Of course it could not, and now we know that hypnosis is the most powerful way of implanting false memories that we are aware of.

But how many victims did justice mistreat by using this faulty method because it was 'accepted consensus' that hypnosis was reliable?

These things are like religion. Like an ideology that allows for no debate whatsoever. At least in the more moderate religions, thinking and challenging the faith are allowed, even encouraged. But with Global Warming? You are branded not only a heretic, but you are excommunicated from normal discourse. I think this is finally changing under the weight of all the recent evidence which contradicts AGW.

What gets me is the people who say, well you know, the relative 'cooling' has only gone for a few years (more like a decade) and we 'know' that the warming will come back with a vengeance. Now the latest model even purports to show that. Gimme a break. I can get a computer simulation to show you anything you want as a conclusion. This is most definitely not science -- it is the designing and playing of video games.

Human nature does not change. If the media, mainstream or other, go with the story of alien abductions, then tomorrow 80% of the people will believe it. It's the way we are wired. Consensus is very powerful. It even has an evolutionary advantage.

But when science came along we thought we had left the superstitions behind. Wake up. There is more scientific illiteracy today than ever before. The Dark Ages of Illogic have arrived. Get ready for more witch burnings, this time without the excuse of the ergot fungus.

Even as the underlying science of climate advances -- and it has raised powerful problems against AGW being valid -- the media are still not getting that new message. We are bombarded with the same old stuff, some of which even your respondents have posted.

One of your writers contributed with "Even a common person (like me) realizes that you cannot continue to dump billions of tons of CO2 into the sky without change. That is simple Physics, not, religion".

Well I don’t know what 'physicist' this writer spoke to or whose book he read. Maybe it was Al Gore or James Hansen or David Suzuki or the mayor of Tokyo. It sure wasn't any physicist I know.

The contribution of CO2 is purely theoretical. If someone could do a meaningful lab experiment to prove what this writer is claiming, then I'd be the first one to read the results.

And even then, there is the problem of feedbacks, negative and positive.

Water vapor is by far away the most powerful greenhouse gas. And unless you can prove that the miniscule increase in CO2 somehow 'tips' the planet into creating more water vapor (without creating the clouds that would cool the planet's surface) you cannot show a tipping point to runaway warming.

You also should be aware that methane, that other powerful GHG is going down in concentration in the atmosphere. Its contribution was always a question mark because of its short half-life. It needed more and more sources to keep up its relative atmospheric makeup. But guess what? It is now too valuable to just flare off from oil wells, so it gets captured and later burned as useful natural gas.

Stephen G. Davis

Terribly sad to see Christians marginalizing themselves. Most of us in this world are done listening to people that are still buying the invisible product: religion. Those who reject peer-reviewed science and ignore the horrifying warnings that nature is already giving us. Species loss: 100 times the normal rate. Population explosion: 6.7Billion rising to 9.5B by mid-century. CO2 now at 385 up from a normal 280 during an interglacial period. Accelerating ice loss.

Throughout earth history, 5 mass extinctions have occurred. We're hard at work on number 6. If we listen to numbskulls like the editor of this website, this generation will be reviled for as long as humanity survives on the planet. Why? Because we were warned and did nothing.

The earth will keep chugging along as it has for billions of years. Perhaps someday, humanity will (after enduring a hellish planet over a period too long to measure) "emerge into a distant light....and stand amazed."

Dave

1. Is the earth warming?

Possibly. The question is not whether the earth is warming or cooling, the earth warms and cools on a fairly regular basis. I remember learning about the farmers in Greenland (13th C) and the grape crops in England (3rd C) in high school. Both of those are not possible today because the earth is considerably cooler no than it was in the 3rd C and the 13th C. The 4th C and the 14th C saw major cooling, famine, and plague. The population of France, according to some calculations, did not recover to 13th C levels until the 19th C.

2. Is warming an overall bad thing?

Given the examples above, and the -23 temperature I am experiencing today (Alberta, Canada) I would have to answer that warming is probably not a bad thing.

3. Is human activity the primary cause?

I doubt it. The global population could be easily shoved into a cube I mile to a side, shoved into the Grand Canyon, and not be seen over the edge. Do the math, I didn't believe either until I did the calculation myself.

4. Would forced standards sufficiently reduce global temperatures?

Do forced standards ever accomplish the goals they intend?

5. Would they be cost-effective?

Are enforced standards ever cost-effective?

6. Would forced standards not create more—or more severe—problems than they solve?

Let me think about that for a minute... Yes.

LeeQuod

Stephen G. Davis harrumphed: "Throughout earth history, 5 mass extinctions have occurred. We're hard at work on number 6. If we listen to numbskulls like the editor of this website, this generation will be reviled for as long as humanity survives on the planet. Why? Because we were warned and did nothing."

And without some sort of higher power intervening, it will simply be survival of the fittest in action. If that is the case, then who cares what succeeding generations think? Let them adapt to the new environment, or perish.

Sniff.

And before calling *anyone* a numbskull, sir, you may wish to allow the novocain to recede from your own cranium: the editor of this website, Ms. Dalfonzo, did not post this blog entry. And how dare you stoop to such execrable ad hominem in any case? If our species is *worth* saving, then your apology will be swift.

Steve

A. Viirlaid:

Like Regis, you have given an elegant and thoughtful discourse on the issue and both of you manifest such contrast to the hostility of the True Believers above. Regis, your courteous response is an example to us all, as I regularly find myself having to suppress that inner "Ann Coulter" and coming out with both guns blazing.

Your estimate of the percent believing in alien abductions may not be that far off. Eighty percent of Americans believe the US government is hiding evidence of alien visitation, and 64% believe we have been contacted by extraterrestrials.

http://www.cnn.com/US/9706/15/ufo.poll/

Of course that was 11 years ago. Given the direction our country is going, the percentages may be much higher now.

Ken

Right on! At every climate talk or summit, population control always rears it's ugly head. The proponants are usually men, from countries who don't particualrly like women having reproductive freedom (or any other freedoms for that matter). It amazes me how many women support this new eco-religion but are not aware that they are ultimate target of it. Finally men can gain control of women again and put them in their place through the "save the planet" scam. Ha!

Jason Taylor

Actually Steve, I should like to see the wording of the poll. If 80% of Americans believe that people are being abducted by aliens, it could simply mean that the poll asked, "do you think it might be true that people are being abducted by aliens." Which of course is true. It MIGHT indeed be true-only a contradiction can be completely impossible as far as I know.
Or all that could simply mean the poll was taken by phone and answered chiefly by teenagers.

Steve

Jason,
Respectfully speaking, you need to re-read my comment. The 80% figure referred to public belief in government concealment of evidence, e.g. Roswell.

If the article I linked didn't have the actual questions, the Gallup website might.

Jason Taylor

Aliens are just another kind of fairies and the fact that Americans believe in them is in principal no worse then Irish peasants believing in Leprachans(do any still do that?).
What is more worrying is the belief in conspiracy theories, as that denotes a fondness for false accusation.

LeeQuod

(From Roswell back to Algore by way of what - directed panspermia? Oy, this is an abrupt transition from "Steve v. Jason"!)

Y'know, Gina, if Regis and Roberto ever do lunch, I'd love to see a transcript of their conversation: http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/01/healthscience/02impact.php

Rachel Coleman

As far as population control goes ... it seems to me that the folks who voice the loudest worries about overpopulation seem to not like children very much in the first place.


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