Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Will Global Warming zealots apologize?
Published on February 15, 2007 By Draginol In Politics

Since 1975, the mean average recorded temperature world wide has increased slightly. Prior to that, it was actually cooling. That is, between 1940 and 1975 the earth was cooling.

Now, it could indeed turn out that the reason temperatures have increased is due to human impact on the environment.  CO2 is a greenhouse gas. And we're putting a lot of it in the air. We've significantly increased the amount in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolusion. What isn't known, however, is how much effect CO2 has on temperature. Anyone who claims they know is lying. It's an unknown and the various computer models basically take an educated guess as to what affect CO2 has on global temperatures. I.e. it's a "fudge factor". 

If I were a betting man, I would actually bet that CO2 isn't the cause of the increase in temperature. That doesn't mean I'm against reducing emmissions. I favor reasonable efforts to decrease human impact on the environment (though I am cynical enough to think that left-wing European politicians focus on CO2 in order to deflect from the amount of sulfur, soot, and heavy metals that Europe dumps into the air per capita compared to the US, Canada, and elsewhere).  But I am also not in favor of any sort of massive, immediate overhaul to our economy.

Global Warming theory is weak science.  The definition of weak science is whether it relies purely on consensus or not as opposed to scientific method. E=MC^2 is fact. It's been proven. Even evolution, which has its share of critics, works on proven scientific principles and has fossil evidence (don't hijack the discussion in the comments area about evolution).  Global warming, for instance, isn't even a theory. It's a hypothesis. CO2 is a green house gas. We put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. The temperature since 1975 has increased. Therefore, CO2 is the cause.  That's it.  That is basically the entire argument.  And they say it's the cause because there's a "scientific consensus" around it made by many people who have an economic reason to be in favor of it (just as there are those who have an economic incentive to oppose the CO2 hypothesis).  

If you've watched films like "An inconvenient truth" note how much time is given over to "proving" the temperature has increased (I don't know anyone who's arguing that it hasn't) and how much damage higher temperatuers would do to the Earth.  But how much is actually spent making the case that humans are the cause? Virtually no time. That's because the paragraph above states the entire case. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We create a lot of it. Temperatures have increased. It's sure a good thing there aren't any other..you know..inputs into our system like a massive fusion powered gas fire fall thousands of times larger than the Earth nearby sending terrajoles of energy into our system...but I digress..

So like I said, if I was a betting man, I would bet that CO2 isn't the cause of the slight global increase in temperatures. I think there are other, much more likely, possibilities such as increased solar activity or slight changes in the orbit of the Earth or tilt of the earth. 

I don't claim to be a scientist, but I am pretty good at analysing statistics.  And so, if in say 5, 10 years the mean global temperature starts to dip -- i.e. definitively dip like it was doing pre-1975 -- what will the environmentalist movement do? Given the hysteria over global warming, does anyone think for one moment that the environmentalist movement will say "Oops, we're sorry, we really have no idea what we're talking about."?  Or, would they simply come up with another "man made" reason that over-compensated for global warming? I think we know the answer.

That's one of the reason I can't take environmentalists seriously. They are so often completely shameless in their claims. They take no responsibility when they're wrong. Heck, they rarely acknowledge when they're wrong.  As a result, I'm not inclined to latch onto the latest faith-based chicken little mongering from them.  In the meantime, I'll try to live my life as I always have -- with as little impact on the environment as I can do without compromising my standard of living.  But I'll also oppose attempts by the irresponsible to cripple our economy and way of life.


Comments (Page 3)
on Feb 15, 2007
Oh and to the hurricane-prediction poster - silly. It's a case of micro vs. macro. Try predicting any single stock on the market over one year. Pretty tough right? Now try predicting the entire composite market, as a whole, over 50 years. A lot easier huh?
on Feb 15, 2007
Lets see - facts we can agree on:

CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
Greenhouse gases trap heat and raise temperatures (that's why they're called "greenhouse" gases).
The earth is currently in a warming trend.
We are spewing tons upon tons of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere at unprecedented rates and quantities.

Now lets assume, as you do, that CO2 isn't the problem. Forget all that. Given the facts above, that we all agree on, would you say the warming trend is going to get stronger, or weaker?

You want real science on this? www.realclimate.org - go there. Read. Remember, the scientists are the experts, not you. This is not a political issue. It is a scientific one.


I would advise you go read the tail end of reply #16. Those guys are actual scientists also. And "just" for the record...it's considered bad form to use a blog site/forum as evidence or linking.
on Feb 15, 2007
This is not a political issue. It is a scientific one.


That is the statement that shows your ignorance. Not only is it a political statement, it's a financial one as well.

No-one denies the fact that the planet has warmed a small amount. What is in contention is just how significant this change is, and the root cause of the change.

We are spewing tons upon tons of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere at unprecedented rates and quantities.


Which still amounts to a very small amount (on the order of 2%) of the total "greenhouse" gas in the atmosphere.

People love to buy into this sort of scary the world is ending kind of stuff but the simple truth is that the world has been warmer in the past, and colder, and will continue to cycle as is natural despite what we do.

Yes, the scientists who produce these reports are indeed intelligent. They're intelligent enough to know what produces the research money upon which they make their living. If you're foolish enough to believe that people have no selfish motivations I truly feel sorry for you. There's a sucker born every minute.
on Feb 15, 2007

1) he has little scientific background, and 2) he is willing to lump and stereotype people with opposiing points of view when it suits his purpose.

I didn't say I had little scientific background. I said I'm not a scientist. Before writing a lengthy and haughty essay, you might want to make sure your own reading comprehension is solid.

For the record, I have a degree in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. While that doesn't qualify me as any sort of scientist, as anyone with an advanced engineering degree can tell you, it's hardly what one would consider "little scientific" background.

You can repeat the "Wise scientists insist.." mantra but it doesn't change any of the facts that I covered:

(1) Temperature has increased since 1975

(2) CO2 levels have been increasing since the Industrial Revolution

(3) CO2 is a green-house gas.

(4) Mankind puts N tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Therefore: The earth's temperature has risen slightly because of human production of green house gases.

That is, the global warming "theory" (hypothesis) in a nutshell.  I have looked at a great deal of the data and it all falls back to what I mentioned above along with people arrogantly saying "But the wise scientists have a consensus! A consensus!"

Because I do have considerable scientific background, I am quite familiar with the scientific method.  When someone provide an experiment that proves the hypothesis, even in a lab, then we can talk. Until then, it's just a hypothesis that the left demands we have faith in the consensus of wise scientists.

The only facts we have are the 4 mentioned above. Everything else is speculation and hypothesis.

on Feb 15, 2007

That's the problem. We haven't made up our minds. It would be irresponsible to move forward with any definite statement with such a limited amount of data in such a huge system. The point is, these scientists ARE leaping to sweeping conclusions, and advising massive social change based upon what is certainly weak science.

Exactly.  My article doesn't state that mankind isn't the cause. My position is: I don't know.  My personal opinion, if I had to bet, is that humans are a minor variable in the bigger picture. But I am not trying to argue one way or the other.

However, those on the "humans are causing global warming" tend to be very political about it and insisting on very harsh social policy changes based on what is pretty shakey science right now.  Get a computer model that can predict the temperature for the next 10 years (just an average temperature would be good enough) and then make the case.

Who's really the close minded one? The one who insists on global warming being caused by human activity being a fact or the person who simply says "I'm not sure yet."

Which brings us back to the topic -- what IF in 5 or 10 years the temperature starts to decline. Because I think this time, such a huge stink has been made about global warming that the environmentalist movement won't be able to sweep it under the rug like they did last time when the earth was cooling.

 

on Feb 15, 2007
Because I think this time, such a huge stink has been made about global warming that the environmentalist movement won't be able to sweep it under the rug like they did last time when the earth was cooling.


You're not suggesting that Chicken Little will be found out are you?
on Feb 15, 2007

Now lets assume, as you do, that CO2 isn't the problem. Forget all that. Given the facts above, that we all agree on, would you say the warming trend is going to get stronger, or weaker?

You want real science on this? www.realclimate.org - go there. Read. Remember, the scientists are the experts, not you. This is not a political issue. It is a scientific one.

I assume you're not an American. I say that because it's highly unusual for an American to simply wave away his responsibility to be informed on issues that affect him.  So no, I'm not going to simply say "Oh, the scientists will tell me" because the issue is far too politicized. The upcoming UN report on climate change, for instance, comes from a political body, not a scientific one.

I'll listen to scientists on proven facts or theories that have been proven to various degrees in the lab.  But I'm not going to just say "oh, well, the scientists say..."

CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We are putting more into the atmosphere. Obvoiusly this has some effect. But it might be such a minute effect as to be immeasurable. 

And I wouldn't care about the debate that much until the political aspects start getting shriller -- vast and expensive proposals to reduce CO2 emissions at an expedited rate. 

The leading proponent of the global warming crusade is the former vice president of the United States. So be honest - it is most definitely a political issue.

on Feb 16, 2007

You say it's not real science because it's based on consensus, not facts. What? Because scientists all meet in a room and just decide to agree on something? No, they're SCIENTISTS. They agree because the science leads them to that.

I recommend a book called "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Written by Bill Bryson (a left of center guy so don't worry, he's safe for you) who documents a lot of the history of scientific research.

And the fact is, consensus science is often wrong wrong wrong.  Evolution (the early resistance to it that s), age of the earth, age of the universe, eugenics, and all kinds of other things have been led astray due to "consensus". 

We had a "consensus" about the 4 humours for centuries. How'd that work out? But hey, those were SCIENTISTS. They believed in it because the science led that to it!

on Feb 16, 2007
Written by Bill Bryson (a left of center guy so don't worry, he's safe for you)


on Feb 16, 2007
People who don't believe it to be political need to read up on what Kyoto really means for the world's diplomatic and economic systems. It's a money-making proposition, and France stated recently that we'd either play ball or they'd start a "pollution tax" on nations that don't.

Purely scientific endeavors are those which test a hypothesis, and present a conclusion to the world with an open mind to its use and its reliability. This isn't how it works with global warming. We get the "if we don't do this by then then we're going to have global chaos" crap.

It's the "do this by then" part that moves it from the scientific to the political. Has-been nations with little or no hope of ever regaining their international status have pounced on the idea, because they can sell their "pollution credits" to industrial nations, basically creating a cottage industry out of mediocrity. If that isn't political, I'm not sure what is.

So sure, the scientists who simply study this and post their findings, allowing for due doubt, are being scientific about it. Those who push forward into politics and economics because of their conclusions have overstepped their bounds, and have become pawns for graft schemes at the international level. If they want to be taken seriously, they should stop and leave the political and economic engineering to the people of the nations in question.
on Feb 16, 2007
"We had a "consensus" about the 4 humours for centuries. How'd that work out? But hey, those were SCIENTISTS. They believed in it because the science led that to it!"


You'd be hard pressed to find any advance in science that didn't get vicious opposition and skepticism from people whose world view was being overturned. That's normal, and if man ends up being found to be the cause of global warming, I'll embrace the idea. Until then, I'll be dubious of any scientist who climbs aboard snake oil wagons and political stumps.
on Feb 16, 2007
I guess you could dumb it down by saying it doesn't appear that many of these passionate advocates ever watched many Twilight Zones, or read many cautionary science fiction tales. Like a doctor removing something that is is almost positive shouldn't be there, we always seem to regret it when we leap ahead and take nature into our own hands.

Have we really earned the right to use the knowledge of 'global warming'? Are these sweeping, panic-fueled policies really the measure of a society who soberly, and respectfully, tinkers with nature? How often does the passionate protagonist, determined to save the world, make a monster?
on Feb 16, 2007
When you site the UN I am not sure if you site the actual report or the summary.


What I cited is from the report (the third one, not the more recent 4th one, as that has not been released yet), not the summary.

Nice theory, with no basis in fact since the earth is not a static environment.


As far as I can figure out from the report the scientists have observed that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at a rate less than what human activity is contributing. And further they know the increased carbon dioxide is from burning fossil fuel, due to its chemical composition, the corresponding decrease in oxygen and discrepanies between the northern and southern hemispheres. To me this appears to have at least some basis in fact.
on Feb 16, 2007

Have we really earned the right to use the knowledge of 'global warming'? Are these sweeping, panic-fueled policies really the measure of a society who soberly, and respectfully, tinkers with nature? How often does the passionate protagonist, determined to save the world, make a monster?


I'm with you there. We can accept that we produce a hell of a lot of pollution and try to cut down (especially in cities and river systems purely on the basis on public health) but we really don't understand our world enough to go 'solving' global warming or cooling. As with most human interferences with nature we'll almost certainly stuff up, and a global stuff up would be a catastrophe.
on Feb 16, 2007

You'd be hard pressed to find any advance in science that didn't get vicious opposition and skepticism from people whose world view was being overturned. That's normal, and if man ends up being found to be the cause of global warming, I'll embrace the idea. Until then, I'll be dubious of any scientist who climbs aboard snake oil wagons and political stumps.

I agree.  Science doesn't require faith.  If global warming turns out to be man made, then I'll support reasonable efforts to do something about it.  But shrill, arrogant, bile coming from agenda-driven groups is not compelling to me.