Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Debunking a Red Herring (and mixing metaphors)

As you may know, one of the favorite red herrings of many of those who do not believe that global warming exists and that humanity bears much blame and responsibility is to state that that global warming is not only still in serious debate among respected scientists (untrue), but that it is a myth perpetrated by Liberal environmentalists, probably to hurt free market capitalism, democracy, worship of 1 God and many other sinister ideas.

As I mentioned last week, the man behind this "myth" is a Christian and great scientist, Sir John Houghton. I would also like to mention Dr. Robert Corell of the American Meteorological Society, author of the seminal Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, which has dire predictions for the Arctic and our beloved polar bears (of course, drilling could take care of the Arctic long before global warming- AHHHH, I think I am starting to connect some dots).

Dr. Corell, subject of an excellent 60 Minutes profile on the dangers of warming to the arctic called Global Warning is no liberal activist. Corell has been studying global warming since 1987, when he was asked by his boss Ronald Reagan to look deeply into the issue. Corell is not interested in playing partisan politics or delving into Bush's environmental policies. He is simply a scientist who takes anti-global warmers seriously and looks at all sides of the issue. He is grateful to the anti-global wamers for making him a better researcher and scientist.

There are some excellent links on the 60 Minute site.

One more myth debunked.


Dale said...

Thought I'd take a look at your weblog...no harm or maliciousness meant, just the 'right' perspective

Global warming is taking place on Mars too...



Perhaps global warming has to to with the star both of our planets orbit and not our suvs?



james said...


You do realize you are comparing two completely different planets, with two completely different atmospheric make-ups, don't you?

If Mars were a complete facsimile of planet Earth, I'd say you might have a point. But as it is you've taken something that may well be true as a stand-alone statement, but neglects the finer details and practical implications as such.

Rush did this once when he said there are more trees in America NOW, than when we were founded as a country. The implication of his statement was apparently a defense for the timber industry and their responsible practice of planting trees. Beyond the absurdity of his statement is a finer truth that the tree farms are holistically different in make up and design than are forests.

peace brutha,

Mike said...

hey man someone has to tilt at windmills.

it is really sad that global warming is thought of as a liberal idea - cause that makes it a taboo for the RR.

i can't for the life of me figure out what defending ones right to drive an SUV (and so denying Global Warming) has to do with the faith.

the only thing i can think of is that it is associated with the "liberal/gay/secular/evolutionist/postmodern/modern agenda (boogie man) and the Republicans - GOP=(God's Own Politicians)are against it cause they are milking the tit of big oil and big industry and so if Gods Own Politicians are denying it then the Christians have to support it cause the GOP will end abortion and make Gay people disapear thereby ushering in the end times reign of Jesus Christ in which he will run un opposed for the Republican nomination and be elected to supreme ruler of the Universe and then the Christians will finally have the freedom to burn books, bash gays, scorn unwed mothers, and generally have a good old fashioned time.

Dale said...

Rick, way to call in your boys to straighten me out...

Mike, and James to a lesser degree, I think you've pegged me unfairly into this overly political person. I'm not observing global warming through the eyes of some right wing paradigm, simply through the eyes of an observer who sees the economic opportunities behind the global warming scare. Many people make a very nice living scaring up dollars to 'fight' global warming.
I have no doubt that many folks on the side that believes global warming is happening are geniunely concerned with the future of the earth and want to leave it in better condition for future generations. I believe you both are found in this camp. But guess what, I want those same things, but I don't believe global warming is happening at all.
Please don't hear me saying I have this issue all figured out, because I don't and I stay current on developing news in this area, as I do many areas of interest.
I remind myself that our ecosystem is so much bigger and more complex that to think that we humans can affect it so severely as to jeopardize the future of earth is absurd. I know, for example, that when a volcano explodes, it releases more harmful crap into the atmosphere to damage the ozone layer than humans could dream of.
One other point...if we're all so concerned about humans effect on increasing the planet's temperature, then we need to start with the UN, and not the US. China, Eastern Europe, India, Malasia, Indonesia, Phillipines...all of these areas in the world far outpace the US in terms of 'greenhouse gas' emissions. Not a free pass for America, but we're not the worst in the world by any stretch of the imagination.

It just seems to me that whenever we hear this topic discussed, the blame is laid squarely at the feet of the US...and I think that's wrong.

See, what really bothers me is that y'all seem so absolute about an issue for which there is so little long-term evidence. We've only been observing the temperatures on our planet for the last 100 years or so, and who knows how accurate those readings were for the first 30-40 years. So how could we be completely sure that we're headed for a greenhouse of a planet and not just cycling through a warm spell followed by a cyclical cold spell.
If you weren't so damned arrogant and condescending, you might be more convincing to someone like me, who could be convinced.

When I visited James in oct. of 04, I came away very impressed. I stopped to think about a great many issues...I let go of the iron grip that I had on a lot of issues and decided that I'm not smarter than everyone else, and that other people's opinions matter and I could learn from them.

I consistently read liberal and left-leaning newspapers, both the news and opinion sections. I make efforts to engage in discussions both in person and online to decipher how others come to the conclusions they do and it challenges me. It forces me to think about why I think the way I think and, it is right? is it wrong? Does it really matter? What does God say?

It seems as though each time I engage on James' weblog, I just get sluffed off, ridiculed and told why I'm so wrong and the other person is so right.

For example, Mike, in our little discussion about presidents serving in the military requirement...I brought up the country's past non-actions involving terrorism and Clinton to illustrate that non-violence doesn't work from a govt. point of view. You immediately saw it as a dig on Clinton and chose to ignore how the 8 years of doing nothing led to 9/11. Dammit, argue that point, don't tell me that I'm just trying to make Clinton look bad or that I'm trying to prop up Bush. That wasn't the topic we were discussing.

Really stop and ask yourself...do YOU think you have it SO figured out that you couldn't possibly learn something from the other side? From another perspective? Do you really think that everyone should think as you do? I don't, not it a million years.

If you're trying to convince others, you're doing it wrong...and hey, maybe I am too, but it's hard not to be defensive when you take the abuse I take for what I believe.



james said...

Okay . . . just for the record, Rick dosen't need to "call out his boys" to defend him. Sorry if this assumption isn't what you meant, but it seems so from the tone of your opening statement. Rick is listed on the side bar of my blog and I visit his blog regularly. I read his recent posts each day, and I check the comments on his older ones. I consider him smarter and more well versed than I in many respects, and do not for one second believe he needs me to defend him. I think you do him a disservice to claim so.

I'll try to keep the rest of this brief, because you seem really pissed off John, and i'm not willing to throw our friendship on the line (or out the door) just because of differing political views.

You mentioned being sluffed off. I can only say to this . . . with respect to each of our blogs, you're basically bringing in certain ideas we believe to be somewhat absurd. I don't mean this rudely, it's just to our eyes some of your thoughts seem to come from left-field. The global warming thing for example. When over 85% of the free thinking world believes there is some sort of global climatoligical change occuring, and has spent 20+ years researching it (even Reagan believed it was worth looking into), and you chime in saying "Global Warming is a myth," you're bound to stir us up a bit. It's not that we're trying to sluff you off. It's more that your statement doesn't seem logical, and frankly, I feel a bit sluffed off when you say things as such.

I think even if you, John, were to acknowledge that 6.5 billion people living on the planet might have some sort of climatological impact on the planet (not necessarily even admit to global warming), I think your thoughts might not seem to be as "sluffed off", so to speak. Though as it stands, you don't seem too interested in what the rest of the world is saying about it (though i could be wrong).

Just as you mentioned what bothers you about us is that we "...seem so absolute about an issue for which there is so little long-term evidence." so also you seem the same in your thinking. You seem so absolutely convinced that the global warming is a myth. And when you drop this idea onto a blog where others who have read the data, seen reports and believe it is something worth doing something about . . . well, i guess you have to expect a little bit of criticism.

My brother, i must go and get some breakfast. Hope to catch up with you in a bit. Much love to you John Dale. Your pal james.