Monday, October 03, 2005

Who Left the Heat On?

Here we go with some global warming. I'm privy to all sorts of info on this subject. But the popular perspective is pervasively present among the Ph.D.'s within the halls. My take is this, when it was El Nino in th 80's, we scientists milked it for every grant dollar we could get. Now its "Global Climate Change", and again, we want your tax dollars. One difference, it will take much longer to figure out climate, hopefully ensuring funding for, well, forever! Now how about the validity of the Kyoto crowd. I got this email last week:

"Today (Sept. 28) we witnessed a rather curious event in the US Senate. Possibly for the first time ever, a chair of a Senate committee, one Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), invited a science fiction writer to advise the committee (Environment and Public Works), on science facts--in this case, the facts behind climate change."

The rest of the text (and the hearing in realaudio format) can be found at:

As I thought some of you might be interested in the topic (if not directly involved in it) I decided to send this mass email.

Sorry for any inconvenience,
(concerned grad student name goes here)

What prompts people to assume everyone wants to know about their personal view, and under the assumption you agree. Its incomprehensible that you don't support global warming as a concerned scientist for the new age. Well, thats sarcasm. Now for a fact check. Is there global warming? Sure. Is there global cooling? Yep. Is it because we have dumped CO2 into the atmosphere? Not proven, just a week theory. There are always trends in global values, and its very hard to accurately say where a trend is trending until it gets there. And as for causation, its far more likely that fluctuations in the suns output would produce the observed temperature record. Another contrarian point of interest is the satallite measure global distribution of tropospheric temperature, which has been measured since 1979. This has not shown a large increasing trend.

All these points aside, we scientists are predominantly populated with those who's views are left of center left. Couple this with easy cash, and we can jump on the global warming bandwagon, come hell or high-water (sic). Now, I want to see more tax dollars go to science, but it would be nice to get it on its own merit and not by political subterfuge. However, as a pragmatist, that is a very unlikely scenario. Here are a few good resources for those who want to pursue my counter argument:

NASA GHCC Global Temp
Stanford Solar Center

As for the arrogance and extreme bias displayed, par for the course. Looks like a science fiction writer can look beyond his left pinkie and see a scam of 'facts', so why not have him before a committee? Besides, more politicians will be familiar with Jurassic Park than global warming, a observation of our representatives and leaders that liberals are fond of reminding us. (Ala Reagan's stupidity, Bush's stupidity, Christians stupidity, anyone who doesn't agrees stupidity...) Just because someone presents a string of facts supporting their agenda, doesn't make those facts truth. Furthermore, the 'facts' in this case are not conclusive, just suggestive. The real issue here goes a bit deeper in my opinion. There is a group of people who believe humans can be a destructive curse on nature. Their god is nature, and humanism. Fundamentally, they believe we can create and destroy, that we are in essence god. Opposing this view are those that believe we are stewards of nature. That the resources provided and the technology discovered will continue to lead us to a brighter future.

Actualization of this tenant of stewardship is something that should be focused upon. When we discovered that DDT was extremely detrimental to nature, we stopped using it. However, DDT save thousands of lives as a pesticide. We have developed replacements that aren't damaging. That is progress. The industrial revolution has enabled a standard of living for hundreds of millions to be greater than ever imagined. Can we limit the cost to our changing environment? Lets find out. And can we spread this wealth and health to all humans on the planet without massive pollution? Lets try. But the secular humanist would want us to hobble ourselves, allthewhile emerging nations will not abide by the same tenant. Are you going to force China or India to stay on bicycles? In one sense the culture of the car represents personal freedom, control of your destination. That destination is what we are fighting over. As a christian, I do not believe God is leading us into a ditch. I see a bright future with amazing opportunities for advancement. Science and technology can be the tools we use as stewards of the Earth. Yet in the true spirit of the natural world, we must compete to succeed. There are no un-utilized resources in any natural community, and man is no exception. So we must fight politically as well. And utilize our opportunities.

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