"What is this babbler trying to say?" Acts 17:18

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Can We Look At Both Sides, Please?

A couple weeks ago in my Environmental Propaganda—er, Science—class, the discussion centered on man-made global warming. “Very good,” I thought, “this will allow everyone—including myself—to investigate the science and the scientists who alternately affirm or reject anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.” After reading the class textbook which, predictably, made man out to be the sole cause of the earth's impending climate change apocalypse, I turned to other resources online for the other side of the debate (i.e. that humans are either not effecting or not adversely effecting the temperature of the planet). Balancing the information of scientists from both sides of the debate heating up the scientific community, I turned to the online discussion forum to see what my peers thought (or did not think) about global warming.

What stood out in my class of about 30 was the large percentage who were firmly convinced not only that anthropogenic global warming is happening but that it was incredible that anyone could be so “ignorant” as to not believe we are killing the planet. Only two (myself and one other student) out of the entire class did any additional research that could call into doubt the “obvious” “facts” about man-made global warming. In an attempt to bring some much needed balance to the discussion I pointed out some of the many scientists who are skeptical of anthropogenic global warming.

After posting my comments, however, I wondered if I had made an error in the way I formulated my post. You see, I used sarcasm to exaggerate that half angry, half wide-eyed wonder I sensed in my classmates that someone could disbelieve in man-made global warming. At the end of my post I included a “liberal” plea for increased understanding and investigation of the often politically charged subject of global warming. I expected disagreement, I expected anger, I expected reproof; what I did not expect was someone to miss my sarcasm altogether and actually agree with the narrow-minded mentality that I was trying to warn against! It was this that made me question the effectiveness of sarcasm and wonder if I should have been blunter in saying what I meant to say all along: anthropogenic global warming is not proven beyond doubt and an increasing number of scientists are disavowing it altogether. Since—with an author's childish and misdirected pride—I still think my post has a twisted humor, albeit, misunderstood, I include it below.


Before accepting any scientific hypothesis as fact it is necessary to prove it beyond reasonable doubt with clear experimentation and data. In the case of global warming the data in report after study seems to indicate that man-made (women too!) global warming is going to sear our previously blue planet into a crispy ball of fire. Imminent scientists from Al Gore to Jon Steward have shown beyond a shadow of smoggy doubt that CO2 emissions from cars and factories are the culprits of a disastrous rise in temperature that will wreck havoc and raise the sea levels an alarming 3 inches to 20 feet. How could anyone not believe this?!?! What is particularly disturbing are all the people with Ph.Ds who refuse to accept the horrors of anthropogenic global warming! These people write papers and teach impressionable children!

For instance, can't we stop someone like Dr. George T. Wolff, former EPA Science Advisory Board member, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) committee member, peer-reviewed author and award-winning atmospheric scientist, from saying heretical things like:

“There is no observational evidence that the addition of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have caused any temperature perturbations in the atmosphere.” (1)
Even worse is the statement by Dr. John Everett, U.N. Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author and reviewer and former NOAA senior manager who says:
"It is time for a reality check. Warming is not a big deal and is not a bad thing. The oceans and coastal zones have been far warmer and colder than is projected in the present scenarios of climate change." (2)

What is it these people don't get? Don't they know that global warming is bad and it is caused by humans?

But here's yet a third narrow-minded scientist denying the obvious, Princton physics Professor and former director of the U.S. Office of Energy Research William Happer:
“All the evidence I see is that the current warming of the climate is just like past warmings. In fact, it’s not as much as past warmings yet, and it probably has little to do with carbon dioxide, just like past warmings had little to do with carbon dioxide.” (3)
What's gone wrong with these people? Don't they know the scientific “facts” that “prove” global warming? Surely they can't all believe with Award-winning Aerospace and Mechanical Engineer Dr. Gregory W. Moore who, among 75 other prestigious publications, authored the 2001 version of The NASA Space Science Technology Plan that,
“The data which is used to date for making the conclusions and predictions on global warming are so rough and primitive, compared to what’s needed, and so unreliable that they are not even worth mentioning by respectful scientists.” (4)
Uh-oh, is there a problem here in the “Science” of global warming?
“First off, there isn't a consensus among scientists. Don't let anybody tell you there is.”--Dr. Charles Wax, past president of the American Association of State Climatologists.
According to Dr. David Bellamy, Botanist from Durham University and one-time adherent to the global warming dogma,
“The science [of global warming] has, quite simply, gone awry. In fact, it’s not even science any more, it’s anti-science.” (5)

The many current alarmist theories about global warming are bunk. Even once respectable organizations have degenerated into the politically charged environmental propaganda machines that Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus warns are,
“the largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century.” (6)
The U.N.'s alarmist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is gaining the contempt of real scientists for spreading scientifically deficient ideas. According to Chemist Dr. Grant Miles, author and Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, member of the UK Atomic Energy Authority Chemical Separation Plant Committee.
“There is no credible evidence of the current exceptional global warming trumpeted by the IPCC…The IPCC is no longer behaving as an investigative scientific organization or pretending to be one…Their leaders betrayed the trust of the world community.” (7)
In case you take this to be exaggerated language, consider the other 700 scientists who have vocally repudiated the claims of the 52 U.N. scientists who compiled the report. Many of the quotes I have used are from these 700 scientists whose views have been published in the September 2009 U.S. Senate Minority Report that I encourage you to look at.

I close with the statement I began with. Before accepting any scientific hypothesis as fact it is necessary to prove it beyond reasonable doubt with clear experimentation and data. Don't accept everything you read without at least considering that there may be other valid alternatives. Keep an open mind. Do not be afraid to explore and ponder alternatives to the current ideological paradigm. Even our textbook admits that new discoveries in science sometimes make past theories untenable. (8)

(1) Dr. George Wolff http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

(2) Dr. John Everett. “US Senate Minority Report” http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/un_scientists_speakout.pdf

(3) Dr. William Happer. http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/01/12/22506/

(4) Dr. Gregory W. Moore http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

(5) Dr. David Bellamy http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

(6) Vaclav Klaus, Blue Planet In Green Shackles: What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?http://www.klaus.cz/klaus2/asp/objednavka.asp?id=35

(7) Dr. Grant Miles. http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

(8) Linda Berg and Mary Hager, Visualizing Environmental Science. John Wiley and Sons Publishers-National Geographic society, 2007. Pg. 18

1 comment:

Aaron Telian said...

Bravo, Brian.

PS. I can't believe anyone could miss your point in that piece.