Sunday, December 11, 2005

This Is All Your Fault

The front page article of this week's Economist is about global warming (link goes to an online article different from the print version). I actually got the bug to post a good analysis of the "phenomenon" a while ago, and most recently, Bill Clinton's attention-whoring at the UN climate change conference in Montreal really cheesed me off.

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


Blogger Gayle bloody well said...

Extremely well written article. But I am going to continue to argue against the "global warming" theory because I believe it to be just that - a "theory." It wasn't too many years ago the arguement was "global cooling." And as one of my blogging partners stated on another blog: "What next? Global flooding?"

We just had a cold front go through here in Texas that nearly matched the coldest day for this time of year in recorded history for Central Texas which was 107 years ago at 14 degrees. We had 16 degrees. Thats 2 degrees difference in 107 years. Let the moonbats explain that!

I believe in natural cyclic changes as part of the natural order of things. But of course I can't prove that. Neither can they, nor have they, proven their case for "global warming."

11 December, 2005 20:28  
Blogger Free Agency Rules bloody well said...

I have seen graphs that show Sun Spot Activity exactly tracts the temperature increases.

The source was from NASA if my memory serves me correctly but I am unable to find the link anymore.

Thanks for Blogrolling me.



11 December, 2005 20:36  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin bloody well said...

Okay, so I don't feel so bad now that I know some other conservative/libertarian wonk besides myself spend $98 a year for The Economist.

Unless, of course, you get it from the web for free. In that event, I'll feel pretty silly.

First, you have a GREAT site -- real eye candy and VERY professional plus, of course, some great writing. You must know HTML or something like it.

I also see that I am linked. I will have to return the courtesy and so I shall.

Question: in your photo, what is in your hand?

12 December, 2005 10:16  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

BloZep: Actually, that's a picture of Ed Norton from Fight Club. In his hand is a bar of soap. Glad you like the blog, I hope I can keep it up while I'm on the ship.

I do get the Economist for "free"... I used airline miles to subscribe. I enjoy the writing and it seems a little more impartial/maybe more left-leaning than stuff I normally read, but it's got a great international perspective (not U.S.-centric).

FAR: No worries, I enjoy the thought you put into your blog. I have found what I really wanted to say about principles the other day, but I'll send it to you later.

Gayle: glad you liked it. Don't forget there's a difference between climate and weather. How Stuff Works explained it very well.

Back to keeping the world safe for democracy!

12 December, 2005 13:03  
Blogger Peter Porcupine bloody well said...

Robo - Didn't you get the memos?

The hurricanes and weather events are the fault of Gworge Bush and Karl Rove's secret weather machines which they have in the Canary Islands to drive up petroleum prices for Cheney!

Clinton is nothing but a GOP shill - why, didn't you see him in those commercials with 41? And ALL the best web sites have photos - Hillary Clinton - WARMONGER!

12 December, 2005 13:50  
Blogger Rebekah bloody well said...

You're right. I'm very glad to be homeschooled because of that. Once, at my church group, the subject of Katrina came up. A girl about 13 years old said, "well, if they'd stop cutting down the rainforest." I suppressed the urge to innocently say, "What? Wasn't it the environmentalists that stopped a floodgate that could've saved New Orleans?" After all, she goes to public school.

BTW... Tag! You're it!

12 December, 2005 17:02  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Peter: Get the memo? I wrote the memo. I've been informed by the Navy that I am now The Man.

Rebekah: Never be afraid to say what you think, but tact can keep stupidity at bay.

Thanks for the meme... I guess. ;) I'll give it a shot when I've got some time later.

12 December, 2005 17:40  
Blogger Rebekah bloody well said...

Hehehe. The curse of blog games! Pass it on!!

12 December, 2005 20:10  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox bloody well said...

I loved this line: " Bill Clinton's attention-whoring". Bill Clinton-- an attention whore, can't say it better than that.

12 December, 2005 20:36  
Blogger Uranttilly bloody well said...

Did you hear about Clinton's latest movie role in Ang Lee's new movie?
"Crouching Intern, Hidden Cigar" ?

13 December, 2005 17:45  

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