have cane, am able
News stories like this absolutely make me shudder with rage. In it, we meet a father of seven in Washington state who managed to stop the seventh grade in the local middle school from watching "An Inconvenient Truth". The man is named Frosty Hardiman, a moniker which, given the subject matter, is so staggeringly ironic that it beggars belief. To quote the article:
"No you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation -- the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet -- for global warming," Hardiman wrote in an e-mail to the Federal Way School Board. The 43-year-old computer consultant is an evangelical Christian who says he believes that a warming planet is "one of the signs" of Jesus Christ's imminent return for Judgment Day.
As of now, there is a moratorium on the film, and the school board said "An Inconvenient Truth" can only be shown with the written permission of a principal, and a presentation of "alternate views" that were approved by the superintendent of schools. The science teacher who originally wanted to show the movie has been looking for alternative "authoritative articles," but the only thing she could find from a reputable non-partisan source was an article from Newsweek written in 1975.
The time for this tomfoolery is at an end.
There are three issues, for me, that bear specific importance to the survival of my family: drastically reducing our carbon output, jumpstarting research on stem cells, and securing ALL loose nuclear materials in the world. If we make headway on those things in my lifetime, I will consider this era to be largely successful.
Yet all three have ticking clocks. It is only a matter of time before some very bad people get their hands on weapons-grade nuclear material. We only have a decade - at most - to stop a potential environmental holocaust. And I would like to unlock the stem cell secrets before any one of us, currently healthy reading this blog, starts to get Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or has a spinal injury.
That's three clocks. One ticks down to an American city flattened into glass, one ticks down to you not remembering your own children, and one ticks down to billions dead because of a little change in the weather. I'm not being histrionic or even cavalier. It took me a lot of Celexa, therapy and a healthy dose of nihilism to come to grips with it. They all loom, but all come with a saving grace: THEY ALL CAN BE PREVENTED IF WE ACT IN TIME.
Let's leave aside the nuclear material problem, because that's my own little bête noire. The other two issues, however, are being roadblocked, again and again, by American religious fundamentalists. If we don't stop them, they will actually end up killing us. I'm not being histrionic. Their efforts to suppress the news of global warming and their stalwart opposition to stem cells will, if nothing else does, eventually end your (or your kids') life before its time.
I was listening to this story about two brothers who are trying to bridge their cultural divide: both are Christian, but one is a pro-war Republican who believed the Earth was created in seven actual days by God, and the other, well, votes for Democrats. They discuss how they've decided to get together more often and see where they have common ground.
The evangelical brother's biggest problem with... I dunno, people that don't agree with him, I suppose... is their perceived superiority. He doesn't like the disdain, and he's enraged by conversations where he's perceived as an idiot.
For me, it's summed up in a metaphor. Suppose there is a car that is supposed to drive us into the future. A lot of people with a lot of skill made the car, and it was almost done and ready to go, when another group of people come along and say "nice car, but it needs square wheels."
"Square wheels?" the craftsmen say, "You're... you're joking, right?"
"No," the group says, very loudly, "And I'll thank you not to act so smug."
"But round wheels work infinitely better than square wheels."
"We don't care. We firmly believe, to the depths of our hearts, that square wheels are the way to go."
"We're not putting square wheels on the car! That's totally fucking stupid!"
"HOW DARE YOU CALL US STUPID! WE'RE GOING TO LIE IN FRONT OF THE CAR UNTIL YOU PUT OUR SQUARE WHEELS ON IT!!!"
"We're sorry, we're sorry," say the craftsmen, "Maybe we can compromise... um, maybe octagons? Um..."
That argument? That's where America is right now. The future is coming on incredibly fast, the clocks are ticking. We're dying to go, excited about a future that could be so much better for ourselves and our families. We could be so far along on the journey, and yet we're stuck retrofitting our vehicle with bling from the Dark Ages.
That time has expired. We have work to do. For the love of your God, please get your Hell out of the way.
Posted by Ian Williams at January 24, 2007 11:21 PM
Washington (CNSNews.com) - An MIT meteorologist Wednesday dismissed alarmist fears about human induced global warming as nothing more than 'religious beliefs.'
"Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?" said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, in a speech to about 100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
"Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by 'all scientists,' you don't have to understand [the issue] anymore. You simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief," Lindzen said. His speech was titled, "Climate Alarmism: The Misuse of 'Science'" and was sponsored by the free market George C. Marshall Institute. Lindzen is a professor at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, "you never have to defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all scientists -- except for a handful of corrupted heretics," Lindzen added.
According to Lindzen, climate "alarmists" have been trying to push the idea that there is scientific consensus on dire climate change.
"With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science -- consensus is foreign," Lindzen said.
Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another ice age are not scientifically supported, Lindzen said.
"It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do what they want," Lindzen said.
Recent reports of a melting polar ice cap were dismissed by Lindzen as an example of the media taking advantage of the public's "scientific illiteracy."
"The thing you have to remember about the Arctic is that it is an extremely variable part of the world," Lindzen said. "Although there is melting going [on] now, there has been a lot of melting that went on in the 30s and then there was freezing. So by isolating a section ... they are essentially taking people's ignorance of the past," he added.
'Repetition makes people believe'
The climate change debate has become corrupted by politics, the media and money, according to Lindzen.
"It's a sad story, where you have scientists making meaningless or ambiguous statements [about climate change]. They are then taken by advocates to the media who translate the statements into alarmist declarations. You then have politicians who respond to all of this by giving scientists more money," Lindzen said.
"Agreement on anything is taken to infer agreement on everything. So if you make a statement that you agree that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas, you agree that the world is coming to an end," he added.
"There can be little doubt that the language used to convey alarm has been sloppy at best," Lindzen said, citing Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbles and his famous observation that even a lie will be believed if enough people repeat it. "There is little question that repetition makes people believe things [for] which there may be no basis," Lindzen said.
He believes the key to improving the science of climate change lies in altering the way scientists are funded.
'Alarm is the aim'
"The research and support for research depends on the alarm," Lindzen told CNSNews.com following his speech. "The research itself often is very good, but by the time it gets through the filter of environmental advocates and the press innocent things begin to sound just as though they are the end of the world.
"The argument is no longer what models are correct -- they are not -- but rather whether their results are at all possible. One can rarely prove something to be impossible," he explained.
Lindzen said scientists must be allowed to conclude that 'we don't have a problem." And if the answer turns out to be 'we don't have a problem,' we have to figure out a better reward than cutting off people's funding. It's as simple as that," he said.
The only consensus that Lindzen said exists on the issue of climate change is the impact of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to limit greenhouse gases, which the U.S. does not support.
Kyoto itself will have no discernible effect on global warming regardless of what one believes about climate change," Lindzen said.
"Claims to the contrary generally assume Kyoto is only the beginning of an ever more restrictive regime. However this is hardly ever mentioned," he added.
The Kyoto Protocol, which Russia recently ratified, aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2010. But Lindzen claims global warming proponents ultimately want to see a 60 to 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses from the 1990 levels. Such reductions would be economically disastrous, he said.
"If you are hearing Kyoto will cost billions and trillions," then a further reduction will ultimately result in "a shutdown" of the economy, Lindzen said.
Matt, that CEI paper is retarded.
"Never acknowledges the indispensable role of fossil fuels in alleviating hunger and poverty, extending human life spans, and democratizing consumer goods, literacy, leisure, and personal mobility."
If you want to make a movie about the dangers of Global Warming, what does the possible uses of fossil fuel have to do with it? Sure, I take the bus to work, I wear shoes with plastic soles. Woopdy Doo!
"Never acknowledges the environmental, health, and economic benefits of climatic warmth and the ongoing rise in the air’s carbon dioxide (CO2) content."
Err, if the mean global temperature goes to high, the coral reefs die, islands disappear, the permafrost melts, the polar bears drown ... what's the upside?
"Presents a graph tracking CO 2 levels and global temperatures during the past 650,000 years, but never mentions the most significant point: Global temperatures were warmer than the present during each of the past four interglacial periods, even though CO levels were lower."
Oh there's that old GW Skeptic bugaboo, the famous curve that they claim has been debunked, when in fact it has agreed with every study examining it's methods. This is a completely discredited argument in the world of real climate science.
"Never confronts a key implication of its assumption that climate is highly sensitive to CO2 emissions—that absent said emissions, global climate would be rapidly deteriorating into another ice age."
Um, this statement is highly, highly suspect. I suspect ZERO science behind it.
"Neglects to mention that global warming could reduce the severity of winter storms—also called frontal storms because their energy comes from colliding air masses (fronts)—by decreasing the temperature differential between colliding air
More BS. If the total energy of the atmosphere rises with GW, the system will become more energetic, which means steeper gradients. Again, I think they just made that shit up.
"Claims that scientists have validated the “hockey stick” reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature history, according to which the 1990s were likely the warmest decade of the past millennium and 1998 the warmest year. It is
now widely acknowledged that the hockey stick was built on a flawed methodology and inappropriate data. Scientists continue to debate whether the
Medieval Warm period was warmer than recent decades."
GW Skeptics won't STFU about the hockey stick, but the various attacks haven't made it go away. Read http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=11
I would go on and on but that document is nothing but an expression of corporate power trying to make the facts of Global Warming go away. It is so transparently bogus as to be laughable.
I'm sorry Matt, I know this is a bedrock thing for you but A) You're wrong B) You're not even plausibly convincing.