Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Sky is Warming! The Sky is Warming!!

Hello Thinkers!

Those of you who know me in person understand that I consider messing with someone's brain a treasured pastime. Those who know me really well realize this as a dominant gene in my bloodline. When I first started at my present job (in 1990), someone had broadcast an email asking for input on how we, as a company, should recognize "International Womans Day." I replied to her (and everyone else) that she should bake us something. The last time I bought a bag of dog food with my credit card, I was asked by the attitude-soaked girl behind the pet store counter for an ID. Normally I would have provided my driver's license, but she had a peace symbol for a belt buckle and more shiny hardware pierced into her ears and face than I keep in my tackle box. I showed her my high-capacity firearm license. The look was priceless.

Earlier this year I bought a 2001 Crown Vic. It rides great and was well maintained by the previous owner who installed floodlights that turn on with the cars headlights. On a recent Friday morning commute I witnessed a car make multiple idiotic maneuvers including a sharp cut across 4 lanes of traffic on Rt. 128, barely making the exit ahead, the same exit I take for the office. I decided to have some fun and managed to get behind the driver who was stopped at a red light. He looked in his rear view mirror alot and apparently did not know how to differentiate an unmarked police car from what I was driving because his road ettiquette improved immensely. He quickly pulled into the first available strip-mall parking lot, staring at me as I drove past. Not one business in that plaza was going to open for at least another half hour. It made my day.

It seems as though others enjoy bewildering strangers too. Specifically I am referring to "climate change experts." Recently the AP published their latest Chicken-Little Alert which claimed:

The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400 years, probably even longer. The National Academy of Sciences, reaching that conclusion in a broad review of scientific work requested by Congress, reported Thursday that the "recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia." A panel of top climate scientists told lawmakers that the Earth is running a fever and that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming." Their 155-page report said average global surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose about 1 degree during the 20th century.


Now I know that at least some of you are convinced that global warming is real, human activity is to blame, and we should do something about it ASAP. Why? Well look at the evidence. Polar ice sheets are shrinking, carbon monoxide levels are up, and hell, look at last the last hurricane season! Well, I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it. Not only do I believe any warming trend is miniscule if it exists at all, I think it is pretty arrogant to place the blame for it on the shoulders of tiny humans and their machines. Let's take a look at some of the evidence offered in this story, shall we?

For all but the most recent 150 years, the academy scientists relied on "proxy" evidence from tree rings, corals, glaciers and ice cores, cave deposits, ocean and lake sediments, boreholes and other sources. They also examined indirect records such as paintings of glaciers in the Alps.
The scientists said they had less confidence in the evidence of temperatures before 1600. But they considered it reliable enough to conclude there were sharp spikes in carbon dioxide and methane, the two major "greenhouse" gases blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere, beginning in the 20th century, after remaining fairly level for 12,000 years.

So these scientists looked at tree rings and pond goop. Does this prove a defined temperature range from 1600 to 1850? They don't say that it does. "Scientists" also used someone's painting to support their apocalyptic claim. What if the long-dead painter was in a chilly mood when they depicted the glacier? What if the artist was gripped in fear over a predicted ice age? What if a big hairy house-fly got stuck in the white paint and added 50 miles to the ice sheet?

In addition, this article is careful to say that CO2 and CH4 are "blamed" for trapping heat in the atmosphere, not that it is proven. Why then, do they make these claims? The untold story, as is common, can be found in the last sentence:

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government of scientific matters.

Ahhh... The money line. It astounds me that the same people who think Haliburton pulls the economic chains that drive our national policies don't bat an eye at a group funded to study "global warming." Would anyone care to guess what would happen to the NAS charter if they said "the planet may be warming a little bit, but it's not really anything we need to worry about, and we can't prove that humans are having any effect." Their funding would disappear faster than a pork chop on Rosie O'Donnell's dinner plate. Does anyone remember last winter? Let me refresh your memory:

The Czech Republic is suffering through one of its coldest winters in more than 50 years, with frigid temperatures snarling public transportation, taxing natural resources and claiming more than a dozen lives nationwide, mostly homeless. It's so cold out, the Prague Zoo has moved all of its penguins indoors. Some temperatures in the country have hit their lowest point since the 1940s.


It was so cold, the damn penguins couldn't take it! That tells me two things: 1. it aint global and 2. it aint warming. I am just waiting for the AP or Reuters news story that claims one of the indicators of the pending global warming disaster is a precipitous drop in temperatures.

Here are some other people who agree that *if* there is any warming of our planet, it is not because of that SUV your neighbor is driving:

Climatologists and astronomers speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Philadelphia say the present warming may be unusual - but a mini ice age could soon follow. The sun provides all the energy that drives our climate, but it is not the constant star it might seem. Careful studies over the last 20 years show that its overall brightness and energy output increases slightly as sunspot activity rises to the peak of its 11-year cycle.
That, say scientists in Philadelphia, could be a more significant cause of global warming than the emissions of greenhouse gases that are most often blamed. The researchers point out that much of the half-a-degree rise in global temperature over the last 120 years occurred before 1940 - earlier than the biggest rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Using ancient tree rings, they show that 17 out of 19 warm spells in the last 10,000 years coincided with peaks in solar activity.

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).
Since the early 1990s, the columns of many leading newspapers and magazines, worldwide, have carried an increasing stream of alarmist letters and articles on hypothetical, human-caused climate change. Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as "if", "might", "could", "probably", "perhaps", "expected", "projected" or "modelled" - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense.
First, most government scientists are gagged from making public comment on contentious issues, their employing organisations instead making use of public relations experts to craft carefully tailored, frisbee-science press releases. Second, scientists are under intense pressure to conform with the prevailing paradigm of climate alarmism if they wish to receive funding for their research. Third, members of the Establishment have spoken declamatory words on the issue, and the kingdom's subjects are expected to listen.

I like that word - "frisbee-science." Don't you??

Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science--whether for AIDS, or space, or climate--where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today.

Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast. "They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."
Al Gore (not a scientist) has definitely been heard - and heard and heard. His documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is so important, in fact, that Gore crisscrosses the nation destroying the atmosphere just to tell us about it.

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: "[Al] Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."
Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, "There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years." Patterson asked the committee, "On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century's modest warming?"

And then there is this, my personal favorite:

Research presented at a major European science meeting adds to other evidence that cleaner air is letting more solar energy through to the Earth's surface. Other studies show that increased water vapour in the atmosphere is reinforcing the impact of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
This trend received some publicity under the term "global dimming".
Dr Wild dismissed this picture. His analysis suggests that "global dimming" and the man-made greenhouse effect may have cancelled each other out until the early 1980s, but now "global brightening" is adding to the impact of human greenhouse emissions.


Well dammit all! What is it? Warming? Dimming? Brightening??? I can't take it anymore. And it's not the heat, it's the stupidity. The next time anyone brings up hurricanes like Katrina to support their global warming nonsense, ask them if they have looked at the Gulf of Mexico on the map lately. Did they notice its shape? Could it be that it was formed by thousands and thousands of years of category 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes gouging out the land long before central air conditioning and Bourbon Street came along? But hey, what the hell do I know? I'm not a government funded "climate expert."

The moral of this story? Don't be duped by what you think you are seeing. And just so you don't panic every time you get tailed by a Crown Victoria driven by a guy with sunglasses and a buzz-cut, remember that the ones used as unmarked police cars have a black grill, not a chrome one... Or do they???


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