This Is All Your Fault
Naturally, as part of the blame America first crowd, Clinton said America (that is, you) was the worst offender for the problem. Thank you, Mr. President.
I'd really like to know more about this study the all the hysterical environmentalists are quoting which states that carbon dioxide levels are at the highest they've been in 650,000 years. How accurate is the geological record in determining composition of the atmosphere before humans ever walked the Earth? Does that mean they were as high as they are now back then? If so, why were they that high then? Was it the Thetans? I'd like to know exactly how scientific your science is before I teach it to my kids, espouse it as fact and go around worshipping it. Does this study apply to creationists, since the Earth is only 5000 years old, or whatever?
Check out this bit of scientific kung-fu, from MSN Encarta:
As early as 1896 scientists suggested that burning fossil fuels might change the composition of the atmosphere and that an increase in global average temperature might result. The first part of this hypothesis was confirmed in 1957, when researchers working in the global research program called the International Geophysical Year sampled the atmosphere from the top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa. Their instruments indicated that carbon dioxide concentration was indeed rising. Since then, the composition of the atmosphere has been carefully tracked. The data collected show undeniably that the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are increasing.
They took atmospheric CO2 data from the top of an active volcano and the world changed. Always consider the source!
From the Yahoo! article above:
Conservatives argued -- and still do -- that the move to cleaner energy sources and tougher fuel efficiency standards would cost jobs and weaken the economy, he said.
In fact, cleaner technology "would strengthen, not weaken our economy," said Clinton, "... In America, there's no telling how many jobs we could create."
Yeah, it be two, it could be a million, it's a total roll of the dice! Pick a number out of a hat and cite it as absolute certainty! It's fun!
Even though I don't give much credence to doomsday theories of catastrophic climate change, I am always willing to keep an open mind - after all, there isn't really any conclusive evidence that I have seen so far that says it isn't happening, either. So I'm doing some research. So far, I have been disappointed with the level of objectivity I'm seeing. It appears as though these people are looking for evidence of global warming in the available statistics, instead of looking at the evidence objectively and trying to figure out what it means. On of my favorite research sites, How Stuff Works, seems rather unconcerned with arguments that global warming might not be so bad or doesn't exist at all. The MSN Encarta article briefly addresses the main holes in theories of global warming:
Scientists who question the global warming trend point to three puzzling differences between the predictions of the global warming models and the actual behavior of the climate. First, the warming trend stopped for three decades in the middle of the 20th century; there was even some cooling before the climb resumed in the 1970s. Second, the total amount of warming during the 20th century was only about half what computer models predicted. Third, the troposphere, the lower region of the atmosphere, did not warm as fast as the models forecast. However, global warming proponents believe that two of the three discrepancies have now been explained.The article goes on to provide possible explainations for the first two (although far from conclusive) and scratch its head over the third. I, for one, remain skeptical and I'm continuing to research the issue. I'd like to see some kind of unbiased, non-politically charged or motivated data that shows a positive statistical correlation between human activity and climate change. Is that too much to ask?
I don't have a problem with conservation and responsible use of natural resources (the atmosphere being a natural resource), but I think it is irresponsible to put forward inconclusive research as absolute fact. The effects can be more disastrous to humans than a .66 degrees Celsius average rise in temperature ever will be. Just look at what happened with DDT. But packing out your trash? Finding cleaner economically viable energy sources (have you ever been to Los Angeles? Yuck!)? I'm all for it, as long as it does not adversely impact business and society and does not infringe my or anyone else's Constitutional freedoms.
The Wall Street Journal says that even signatories of the Kyoto Protocol are giving up on emissions targets. Particularly the industrialized nations, since the reduction in emissions that treaty calls for would have a significant negative impact upon their economies. Even Bill Clinton wouldn't submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Legislature for a vote (even though he and Al Gore both signed it), he's got no right to scold President Bush for not doing anything about this harmful treaty, especially when the Bush Administration and Republican-controlled Legislature has finally fixed most of the damage Clinton caused to the economy. I guess if one were inclined to think in terms of conspiracy, one could insinuate that if the Kyoto Protocol causes the collapse of industrialized nations, the goal will be achieved. Of course, China and India are exempt, which really punches a hole in that particular ozone layer.
At the end of the Wall Street Journal editorial, there is a mention of an Asia-Pacific partnership, the details of which have yet to be released, but "it allows the countries to set their own goals for emissions of greenhouse gases, with no enforcement measures. This is in contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, which requires industrial nations to accept legally binding emissions targets." It seems more symbolic than anything else, but it doesn't infringe upon U.S. sovereignty, and it's much more economically viable. Forcing Kyoto measures on the populations under the governance of the 156 signatories will likely result in lost jobs and increased poverty, for which the Bush Administration (Karl Rove in particular) will be held solely responsible.
The science surrounding these claims and calls to action is tenuous at best, in my opinion. I'm going to keep reading about it, but arguing against global warming these days seems tantamount to arguing articles of faith. Environmentalism is essentially religion and proof denies faith.
If you want to see something really sickening, check out the EPA's global Warming For Kids website. This'll make Rebekah glad she's homeschooled. While we're at it, sign the petition to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!
Unquestioning Belief In Works of Fiction