10/12/2007                                                                                       View Comments

How to quit worrying about global warming and be happy


By dano


I am a 71 year old Agnostic, I believe that the only sensible definition of God is "the creator of everything," the prime mover, if you will.

God would have to be the creator of everything, because if there were something that It didn't create, then that would suggest the existence of more than one God. So, I'm sticking with "creator of everything"

For the purpose of exerting less stress on my two typing fingers, I will, henceforth, in this article, refer to God as "It"

I will assume that "It" created everything, because "It" is God.

By everything, I am talking about germs and worms and monkeys and men and right and wrong, and sex and sin...

And missionary style, doggy style, and self gratification...

And Homosexuals, bisexuals, and asexuals, those who steal, who lie, and who cheat, and who think logically, and who doesn't...

And those who call themselves Christian, and who claim Islam, and who believe that they are going to get 72 virgins at the gate of heaven if they kill themselves while killing others, and even those who are of the mind to think all religious mysticism and faith in invisible beings is insanity.

By saying that "It"caused everything, I'm talking about how I'm made, the kind of brain "It" gave me, what my propensities are as a result of my genes and memes, and what I will do with free will, assuming It gave me the ability to grasp that concept.

What I'm saying is that "It" is responsible for everything in the universe, because It made it.

(Now what is it about "Everything" that you don't understand?)

The only thing "It" isn't responsible for, is "Itself", because "It" couldn't have made Itself, (Well maybe), so for the sake of efficiency I will just assume that God, ("It"), always was, with no beginning and no end.

Now if God always was, "It" isn't responsible for how or why "It" does things either, because "Its" nature was predetermined.

(Is anybody still following me?)

Now if anyone is still looking for how I quit worrying about global warming and the impending displacement of millions of people by rising waters, starvation, disease, (pandemics), or the extreme changes in weather patterns that are already destroying ecosystems and certain species, and will ultimately result in a huge "die back" of life on this fragile planet, here goes:

I believe that the damage to our atmosphere and biosphere may already be sufficient to cause all of the havoc mentioned above. I believe that it is probably already too late to do anything about it. But, but what's worse is that most people don't even care, so greenhouse gases, by the hundreds of tons, will continue to waft their way up into the air for many years to come.

So, to not get too far afield of the subject of "worry" and "global warming", I will tell you right off how I have resolved the problem of constant concern over it. I have decided to take my cue from "It."

All of the major disasters that have threatened mankind in the last couple of million years, and those that wiped out large numbers of species in the last four billion years, have been dealt with by God with TOTAL INDIFFERENCE. In fact "It" was responsible for all of them, so I'm gonna do just like God did. I AIN'T GONNA WORRY ABOUT IT!

I'm just going to keep on keepin' on, with the talents that "It" gave me, including my ability to be skeptical that Jesus will come riding in on a white horse to save us. I'll just be happy for all that It gave us, (the most highly evolved primates on the planet) and try to enjoy the show, just like I know It, will.

34 comments:

Stephen B said...

Well put! So what about you is "Agnostic"? You sound like "a believer" to me! Just not a "Jesus believer".

Ellytoad said...

I disagree. If God were to exist, then I think that his position would be that of a "meta-creator", who upon making us simultaneously gave us the ability to create things ourselves. That would explain the bad things in the world. Of course, at least we'd have God to blame for giving us our less than perfect natures.

A Reasonable Atheist said...

Your position sounds much like the deist perspective. I myself used to hold such a position. However, I found one problem with it, which eventually led me to being atheist instead. You state that "It" has always existed. But there's no reason to think that the universe was "created" rather. It just as easily could be that the universe has just always existed. In fact, if "It" is any kind of intelligence, or is complex in any way, then you have a sort of infinite regress. How did this complex thing come to exist? Most comoslogists think the universe started from very simple beginnings and through the course of time got more complex. So the only way to get an "It" of sufficent complexity to "create" the universe is to have "It" come into existence slowly over time from simple to more complex. At the end of the day, the simplest solution is probably that the universe has always existed, and has went from simple to complex over time, leading to the point where I'm not complex enough to type this response to you :)

ryan said...

So how does the god that you believe in differ from no god at all? I do not give a bugger about global warming; hunger; disease; legalized prostitution in Amsterdam or whether or not the pope is a catholic. I do not give two flying buggers into perdition if god exists. The world you describe is exactly the same world as I would describe, and exactly the same world that I accept.
How does belief in a deity make some kind of difference? If you were an atheist, like me, how would your reality change?

Ricky said...

Your opinion would be fine IF there were a god and things were already pre-determined and God would cause the end of the world and any changes, or would have at least known when and exactly how they would have happened. This takes away your responsibility as a rational person capable of altering his actions.

However, as there is no God, that puts the responsibility for the world squarely on us. We (as a group) decide when "Armageddon" comes, not God. If you want to just sit around and not alter your lifestyle in any meaningful way, then your prophesy will come true because you help cause it to happen.

As for other people not caring, that shouldn't impact your decision, as you are not other people. Yes, ignorance can be bliss, but it also creates hell for those who actually give a damn.

There's a better (but maybe not "easier") way to stop worrying about global warming. The way is to realize the fact that "Peak Oil" is either here or not far off, and after the end of easy oil, none of us will be driving SUVs. Because of Peak Oil (together with tremendous population growth), we will have the largest die-off the world has ever seen. Crazy idea? Search for it on Wikipedia. During the 1990s, the average price for oil was around US$20 per barrel (getting even cheaper in the late 90s). Today, it's at $83 per barrel, the highest it's ever been in history, including during any previous oil crises, and taking into effect inflation.

You say that we're the most evolved primates on earth, and then you say that you'll just sit back and watch the show. How evolved, exactly, is that? It shows absolutely no critical thinking and no concern for others. If Peak Oil teaches us anything, it will be that we can't just ignore problems. We have to be prepared to drastically alter our lives to in fact save them in the end.

Monk said...

Maybe I missed something, but I thought dano was just trying to be ironic with his post...???

ryan said...

You are probably right. dano has made a good joke and caught a few of us off guard. I'll bet he isn't an agnostic. He isn't 71 either.

Anonymous said...

I found it a good read and that it made sense to me.

dano wasnt saying that the big G-man is a God, but just an 'It'.

That does nothing, just lets things roll out.

- long time reader shrt time poster anony #42323348

ryan said...

I do not understand why half the people who post here call themselves "anonymous". My parents named me anonymous but I had it changed to clarence calhoun and became a country singer. My latest album is titled "I Moved To Bakersfield Because Mississippi Girls Are Ugly"

dano said...

I agree with some of you and disagree with others, but whatever I agree or disagree on, was determined right after the big bang, when my ancestors living in the pond scum started looking for other pond scum life, to do "it" with.

I am the product of my genes and memes.

I see it as just another way that "It" deals with overpopulation!

Kinda like the big rock that the dinosaurs never saw coming, or the plague that wiped out half the population of Europe.

I call myself an agnostic because of the possibility that it may be intelligent. I don't think anyone will ever come up with proof one way or the other.

So far I lean towards it not being intelligent, but who knows, maybe it has It's reasons for making the chaos in the universe, appear to us as random.
Dan

liniasmax said...

Interesting, dano - whether tongue-in-cheek or tongue-out. I myself am prone not to worry; but then I worry: because fundamentals and evangelicals (difference?)don't worry and in fact, probably feed the general numbing-down of the populace's already minuscule abilty to care and to preserve this only life we have. But I believe the damage is done - so I try to love my family and enjoy a good ballgame - when I cease to exist, I won't know one way or the other. I'm not quite selfish enough to want a great afterlife for myself at the expense of so many others, which also makes me not selfish enough to care that my name (or DNA) carries on forever. But I am selfish enough to want to enjoy my yet-to-exist grandkids some day. So, as you can see, I think we all care and don't care at the same time. I'd call it selfishly unselfish - If people are displace in my lifetime, I think I'll try and do something to help them. Oh well - What you say we go across the street and get a drink?

Liniasmax

billybobskeptic said...

"it" is possible. "It" could have created "this" existance and time and space reality, while "it" stayed outside the boundarys of this existance. "it" is not part of "this", thus does not conform to our time/space fabric. We are constrained to "this" universal boundaries and limits. "it' is not, and is in a place where we cannot, not even just a little bit, grasped what type of reality it could be... However, if "it' does exist and did create this time/space limit on us, and he is NOT the god of the Bible, the he can kiss my ass for letting all the time/space folks think that their is a Jesus, God, Hebrew God or Allah Arab God, or whatever fuck there else is.... hmmm, maybe some evidence there for a jump to atheism. can I go home now? c-ya, billybob

Aspentroll said...

As an atheist I believe that
just because the 3 middle eastern religions believe in
an all powerful bogey man up in the sky, we are quite safe in not believing in any god(s). The middle eastern religions do not make up the majority of people who believe in other forms of religion. Probably 2/3 of the worlds population have other beliefs. So according to the middle eastern three, all the rest of us are going to hell, their hell. If we are to believe this myth that they propose as the right way to think, then, hell is going to be overflowing.

Since the three middle eastern religions all came from the writings of people who were not far enough advanced to understand any form of science, their leaders needed scary things like thunderstorms,floods and volcanoes to suppress them. Since these tribes lived at a time when it was necessary to conquer other tribes for supremacy, all these phenomenae were believed to be acts of Ya wee, the big mean guy in the sky.

Here we [by "we" I mean todays christians] are thousands of years later still giving credibility to this absolute crap.

I hold little hope for the people of the USA and Canada
if these people get a solid foothold in government.

Heimdall said...

I don’t worry about Global Warming, because what we are experiencing is an on-going rebound from the “Little Ice Age” that occurred from about 1315 to around 1850. Prior to the LIA, it was possible to farm in Greenland, something that the Vikings did for about 200 years, but something that has been impossible for the last 700 years!

Much of the hype for global warming is based on the so-called “Hockey Stick” temperature graph predicated by Dr Mann, a graph that has since been refuted by the National Academy of Sciences and various independent researchers.

Today’s global warming is part of a natural 1,500-year, plus or minus 500-year, solar cycle operating for at least a million years. The Earth’s climate has warmed and cooled nine times in the past 12,000 years, in lock step with the waxing and waning of the sun’s magnetic activity. Over the last 1,200 years there has been a "Medieval Warming" (900-1300), when Greenland was green; a "Little Ice Age" (1300-1850), when New York harbor froze, and people could walk from Manhattan across the ice to Staten Island a mile away (in 1780); and the current global warming (1850-?). Rather than "global warming," a better term for this phase of the solar cycle is "Modern Warming." Since 1850, temperatures have risen 0.8 degrees C, most rapidly in 1850-1870 and 1920-1940. Temperatures in the 1,500-year solar cycle fluctuate within a 4 degree C range – two degrees above and two degrees below the norm. The Modern Warming is not confined to this planet. Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, and Triton (Neptune’s largest moon) in the solar system are also warming. A letter sent to the Canadian Prime Minister on April 6 of this year by 60 prominent scientists who question the basis for climate alarmism, clearly explains the current state of scientific knowledge on global warming. The 60 scientists wrote:

“If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.” The letter also noted: “‘Climate change is real’ is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes occur all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”

dano said...

Heimdall wrote:
“If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.” The letter also noted: “‘Climate change is real’ is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes occur all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”

Dan replies:
So you are saying that the majority of the scientific community of the world are wrong, and you have figured it all out, and the millions of tons of pollution that we are pumping into the atmosphere and spewing out all over the earth is of little consequence?

Well, it looks like my decision to not worry about it was the right one!

Thank you Jesus for the occasional genius that you send us, to clear things up.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dano, Heimdall is a deist, and one of the first posters to join this site.

Just FYI.

dano said...

Actually I agree with almost everything he says, but this post came across to me, sounding like one of those media whores, like Glen Beck!

dano said...

Heimdall,

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post. Are you saying that there isn't any such thing as Global warming caused by green house gasses?

You come across as a smart guy up until that!

Chucky Jesus said...

To me, denying climate change is tantamount to denying the holocaust. It's real, it's happening now. Fer chrissake, the freaking Northwest Passage just opened up due to the ice cap melting. Is it us? Hell yes, it's too much of a coincidence that the temp is rising right as we dump incredible amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Should we worry? No, worrying is for people who are helpless. We are not helpless, not if we all act now. Simply start using less fossil fuel, folks. Get a CFL light, drive a more fuel efficient car, carpool, use less AC in the summer and heat in the winter, etc. Don't get worried...get busy!!

dano said...

Someone has a Pollyanna complex – (hyper-credulity).

From a Washington Post article that says the only hope we have is in new engineering:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/04/AR2006070400789.html


"We can't end annual greenhouse emissions, and once in the atmosphere, the gases seem to linger for decades. So concentration levels rise. They're the villains; they presumably trap the world's heat. They're already about 36 percent higher than in 1800. Even with its program, the IEA says another 45 percent rise may be unavoidable. How much warming this might create is uncertain; so are the consequences."

Dan

alanh said...

With all due respect to Heimdall there are plenty of studies confirming the "hockey stick" trend in temperature, including studies of the instrumental data. The National Academy of Sciences has stated that increasing greenhouse gases are causing temperatures to rise, and it is vital to take prompt action. Solar irradiance has not shown an increasing trend over the last 50 years, nor has the level of cosmic rays. There is a good debunking of Svensmark's claim that change in the sun's magnetic field is responsible for the current warming here.

dano said...

This last winter, we here in western NC didn't even have one snow. Seven years ago we had 6 or 7. Drought throughout the S.E. This year was the hottest ever recorded in history. There is evidence that warming may be increasing at an "exponential" rate!

Maybe the bible is right. Maybe the next time we are kilt off by God, will be from fire, the sun's!

What the f--k, somebody's got to do it, otherwise we are going to run out of food!


Dan

Heimdall said...

Wow, looks like I have stirred up another hornet’s nest…For those that question my intelligence and those that have (based on media hype) decided that global warming is a true threat and that it is an overwhelming opinion among the scientists of this planet, I offer this little dab of information:

The idea that it is a general consensus among the scientists come mainly from a study titled “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change (Science Magazine, December 3, 2004) by Naomi Oreskes, History of Science professor at the University of California at San Diego . The study purportedly shows a 100% consensus on human caused global warming. However, Oreskes failed to acknowledge several key criticisms to her analysis of peer reviewed literature allegedly showing there is 100% scientific consensus that human activity is primarily responsible for warming the planet in the last 50 years. Oreskes’s study contained major flaws. Oreskes did not inform readers in today’s commentary that she admitted to making a search term error that excluded about 11,000 papers –more than 90% of the papers– dealing with climate change. Oreskes also failed to inform readers that, according to one critique of her study, less than 2% of the abstracts she analyzed endorsed what she terms the “consensus view” on human activity and climate change and that some of the studies actually doubted that human activity has caused warming in the last 50 years.

Oreskes originally claimed she analyzed the peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 under the keywords “climate change” and found just 928 articles. It turns out she was not accurate, according to British social scientist Benny Peiser a professor at Liverpool John Moores University. A search using the terms “climate change” actually turned up almost 12,000 papers that were published during the time frame Oreskes claimed to have researched. In other words, her supposedly comprehensive research excluded about 11,000 papers. Only after Peiser’s analysis pointed out this error in her study did Oreskes reportedly admit that her study was not based on the keywords “climate change,” but on the far more restrictive phrase “global climate change.” These objections were put to Oreskes by science writer David Appell. On 15 December 2004, she admitted that there was indeed a serious mistake in her Science essay. According to Oreskes, her study was not based on the keywords “climate change,” but on “global climate change. Oreskes’s 100% “consensus” would potentially be accurate only by excluding well over 90% of the available papers in the time frame she was researching, according to Peiser. Eliminating about 11,000 papers (even if a small portion would not be considered ‘peer reviewed’) in favor of just 928, hardly proves a “consensus.” In addition, Peiser found that less than 2% of the studies Oreskes examined supported her “consensus view” and some of the studies actually disagreed with that humans were the chief cause of the past 50 years of climate change. While the ISI database includes a total of 929 documents for the period in question, it lists only 905 abstracts. It is thus impossible that Oreskes analyzed 928 abstracts. Oreskes entire argument is flawed as the whole ISI data set includes just 13 abstracts (less than 2%) that explicitly endorse what she has called the 'consensus view. In fact, the vast majority of abstracts do not mention anthropogenic climate change. Moreover - and despite attempts to deny this fact - a few abstracts actually doubt the view that human activities are the main driving force of “the observed warming over the last 50 years.” LINK

Additionally, recent scientific analyzes dispute the claims of those promoting human-caused catastrophic global warming. The United Nations media hyped “Hockey Stick” was broken in June by a National Academy of Sciences report reaffirming the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age. Finally, just recently , three researchers -- Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University, David W. Scott of Rice University and Yasmin H. Said of Johns Hopkins University, further debunked the “Hockey Stick.” Bob Carter, a Paleoclimate geologist from James Cook University in Australia has described how the media promotes climate fear:

“Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as ‘if’, ‘might’, ‘could’, ‘probably’, ‘perhaps’, ‘expected’, ‘projected’ or ‘modeled’ - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense,” professor Carter concluded in an op-ed in April of this year.

The National Academy of Sciences’ “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2000 Years” noted in their summary that there were “relatively warm conditions centered around A.D. 1000 (identified by some as the ‘Medieval Warm Period’) and a relatively cold period (or ‘Little Ice Age’) centered around 1700.” The hockey stick constructed by Mann and his colleagues purported to show temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century.

“Today’s NAS report reaffirms what I have been saying all along, that Mann's ‘hockey stick’ is broken,” Senator Inhofe said. “Today’s report refutes Mann's prior assertions that there was no Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age.”

The NAS report also stated that “substantial uncertainties” surround Mann’s claims that the last few decades of the 20th century were the warmest in last 1000 years. In fact, while the report conceded that temperature data uncertainties increase going backward in time, it acknowledged that “not all individual proxy records indicate that the recent warmth is unprecedented…’

In addition, the NAS report further chastises Mann, declaring “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990’s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium ...’”

“This report shows that the planet warmed for about 200 years prior to the industrial age, when we were coming out of the depths of the Little Ice Age where harsh winters froze the Thames and caused untold deaths.

“Trying to prove man-made global warming by comparing the well-known fact that today's temperatures are warmer than during the Little Ice Age is akin to comparing summer to winter to show a catastrophic temperature trend.” LINK

The media have missed the big pieces of the puzzle when it comes to the Earth’s temperatures and mankind’s carbon dioxide (C02) emissions. It is very simplistic to feign horror and say the one degree Fahrenheit temperature increase during the 20th century means we are all doomed. First of all, the one degree Fahrenheit rise coincided with the greatest advancement of living standards, life expectancy, food production and human health in the history of our planet. So it is hard to argue that the global warming we experienced in the 20th century was somehow negative or part of a catastrophic trend. Second, what the climate alarmists and their advocates in the media have continued to ignore is the fact

that the Little Ice Age, which resulted in harsh winters which froze New York Harbor and caused untold deaths, ended about 1850. So trying to prove man-made global warming by comparing the well-known fact that today’s temperatures are warmer than during the Little Ice Age is akin to comparing summer to winter to show a catastrophic temperature trend. In addition, something that the media almost never addresses are the holes in the theory that C02 has been the driving force in global warming. Alarmists fail to adequately explain why temperatures began warming at the end of the Little Ice Age in about 1850, long before man-made CO2 emissions could have impacted the climate. Then about 1940, just as man-made CO2 emissions rose sharply, the temperatures began a decline that lasted until the 1970’s, prompting the media and many scientists to fear a coming ice age. Let me repeat, temperatures got colder after C02 emissions exploded. If C02 is the driving force of global climate change, why do so many in the media ignore the many skeptical scientists who cite these rather obvious inconvenient truths?

As I mentioned before a letter sent to the Canadian Prime Minister on April 6 2006 by 60 prominent scientists who question

the basis for climate alarmism, clearly explains the current state of scientific knowledge on global warming. The 60 scientists wrote:

“If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.” The letter also noted: “‘Climate change is real’ is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes occur all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’” LINK

One of the ways alarmists have pounded this mantra of “consensus” on global warming into our pop culture is through the use of computer models which project future calamity. But the science is simply not there to place so much faith in scary computer model scenarios which extrapolate the current and projected buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and conclude that the planet faces certain doom. Dr. Vincent Gray, a research scientist and a 2001 reviewer with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has noted, “The effects of aerosols, and their uncertainties, are such as to nullify completely

Earlier this year, the director of the International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks Alaska, testified to Congress that highly publicized climate models showing a disappearing Arctic were nothing more than “science fiction.”

In fact, after years of hearing about the computer generated scary scenarios about the future of our planet, I now believe that the greatest climate threat we face may be coming from alarmist computer models. This threat is originating from the software installed on the hard drives of the publicity and grant seeking climate modelers. It is long past the time for us to separate climate change fact from hysteria.

The history of the modern environmental movement is chock full of predictions of doom that never came true. We have all heard the dire predictions about the threat of overpopulation, resource scarcity, mass starvation, and the projected death of our oceans. None of these predictions came true, yet it never stopped the doomsayers from continuing to predict a dire environmental future. The more the eco-doomsayers’ predictions fail, the more the eco-doomsayers predict. These failed predictions are just one reason I respect the serious scientists out there today debunking the latest scaremongering on climate change. Scientists like MIT’s Richard Lindzen, former Colorado State climatologist Roger Pielke, Sr., the University of Alabama’s Roy Spencer and John Christy, Virginia State Climatologist Patrick Michaels, Colorado State University’s William Gray, atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer, Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Oregon State climatologist George Taylor and astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas, to name a few.

Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works commented on today’s congressionally commissioned review by the National Academy of Sciences that shows that Dr. Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” study was flawed, specifically refuting some of its most often-cited conclusions.

The National Academy of Sciences’ “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2000 Years” noted in their summary that there were “relatively warm conditions centered around A.D. 1000 (identified by some as the ‘Medieval Warm Period’) and a relatively cold period (or ‘Little Ice Age’) centered around 1700.” The hockey stick constructed by Mann and his colleagues purported to show temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century.

“Today’s NAS report reaffirms what I have been saying all along, that Mann's ‘hockey stick’ is broken,” Senator Inhofe said. “Today’s report refutes Mann's prior assertions that there was no Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age.”

The NAS report also stated that “substantial uncertainties” surround Mann’s claims that the last few decades of the 20th century were the warmest in last 1000 years. In fact, while the report conceded that temperature data uncertainties increase going backward in time, it acknowledged that “not all individual proxy records indicate that the recent warmth is unprecedented…’

In addition, the NAS report further chastises Mann, declaring “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990’s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium ...’”

“This report shows that the planet warmed for about 200 years prior to the industrial age, when we were coming out of the depths of the Little Ice Age where harsh winters froze the Thames and caused untold deaths.

“Trying to prove man-made global warming by comparing the well-known fact that today's temperatures are warmer than during the Little Ice Age is akin to comparing summer to winter to show a catastrophic temperature trend.” LINK

I will close with a little quote from Prof Butler Shaffer – “It is a common mistake for people to assume that religious faith and fervor are qualities to be found only within institutionally-structured churches with formal doctrines and rituals. They are to be found, in varying degrees, within all belief systems, be they secular or theistic in nature. The polar opposite philosophies of Marxism and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism – both of which openly condemned traditional religion – are, themselves, grounded in a faith in various central propositions. True-believers of these doctrines who voiced doubt as to any of the underlying premises, have been subjected to purges as enthusiastically conducted as medieval trials for heresy. Nowhere is this tendency more evident than in the current secular faith in the causes of, and cures for, global warming. Many who eagerly attack the theistically-based religious views of others, have erected their own temporal icons and composed an alternative set of catechisms in furtherance of their creed. The rest of us are expected to accept, without any heretical doubts, that the prophesies of some scientists reflect a core of certainty within the scientific community as firmly grounded as the heliocentric cosmology. Those scientists who doubt the revealed faith, we are told, are but a handful of ignoramuses at such places as Backwater College or Boll Weevil State.

Perhaps it is the lawyer-side of me that insists upon people presenting evidence for their allegedly empirical statements. Using such a standard has led me to conclude that the Earth is, indeed, currently undergoing global warming; and that it has undergone fluctuations between periods of “cooling” and “warming” since long before humans appeared on the planet. Indeed, astronomers report that other planets – particularly Mars – are experiencing similar climate changes as those of Earth. Unless the apostles of the global warming orthodoxy are prepared to lay the blame for Mars’ increased temperatures and melting ice caps on a transmigration of human-generated entropic wastes, factual evidence would suggest looking beyond Earth, itself, for explanations.” - Butler Shaffer [send him e-mail] teaches at the Southwestern University School of Law. He is the author of Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival. - Heimdall

alanh said...

Heimdall

You do a tremendous job debunking Christianity, but you might want to take another look at the climate change situation at some point. One overview (although dated) can be found in "Understanding and Responding to Climate Change" from the National Academies:


"The rising temperatures observed since
1978 are particularly noteworthy because
the rate of increase is so high and
because, during the same period, the
energy reaching the Earth from the Sun
had been measured precisely enough to
conclude that Earth's warming was
not due to changes in the Sun. Scientists
find clear evidence of this warming trend
even after removing data from urban
areas where an urban heat-island effect
could influence temperature readings.
Furthermore, the data are consistent with
other evidence of warming, such as
increases in ocean temperatures, shrinking
mountain glaciers, and decreasing
polar ice cover." - page 4

"Despite remaining unanswered questions,
the scientific understanding of climate
change is now sufficiently clear to
justify taking steps to reduce the amount
of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Because carbon dioxide and some other
greenhouse gases can remain in the
atmosphere for many decades, centuries,
or longer, the climate change impacts
from concentrations today will likely
continue well beyond the 21st century
and could potentially accelerate. Failure
to implement significant reductions in
net greenhouse gas emissions will make
the job much harder in the future—both
in terms of stabilizing their atmospheric
abundances and in terms of experiencing
more significant impacts." - page 16

Anonymous said...

Yeah, your source is a bit dated, especially since the same organization admitted one year later that “substantial uncertainties” surround the data of that report. They further conceded that temperature data uncertainties increase going backward in time, and they acknowledged that not all individual proxy records indicate that the recent warmth is unprecedented. The statement, “The rising temperatures observed since1978 are particularly noteworthy because the rate of increase is so high” is especially ludicrous…since technological man was not around during the last period of warming, we have no way of knowing exactly what the rate of increase was then or for that matter, at the end of the last Ice Age …for all we know the increase was 10% to 50% more than those observed since 1978. Without a time machine or some other method of verifying the rapidity of temperature increase, to make such a statement is at best, poor science. Even us historians shy away from such unsupported and unsupportable statements.

We have no way of knowing the time span of the temperature increases during the” Medieval Warming”, but we do know from historical documents that the onset of the “Little Ice Age” was rather rapid, which would indicate that such a rise in temperatures since 1978 could very well be a natural phenomena and in no way tied to humanity’s carbon emissions! In fact the very existence of a warming period (whose temperatures were even higher than what we are experiencing – they could farm in Greenland) during a period of decreased carbon emissions (the large populations and industries of the Roman period were gone, replaced by a very simplistic agrarian lifestyle with much lower carbon emission rates) would tend to discredit this theory.

Then too, there are other theories that explain the present warming period even better than the “Carbon Emissions” theory. One such theory (which I do have some reservations to) is the Solar/Cosmic Ray Theory. This theory predicates that the muons of the cosmic rays make low-level clouds (below 8,000 feet) by knocking electrons off atoms and molecules in the air and that these “liberated” electrons seed the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. Water vapor condenses on these specks, forming clouds and these clouds block sunlight and reflect its rays back into space, thus having a cooling effect. The viability of this was demonstrated in 2006 by Dr. Henrik Svensmark and his colleagues. The sun’s magnetic field encloses its planets in a magnetic solar wind (the heliosphere) that shields us from many of the cosmic rays that exploding stars shoot our way. Sunspots, dark spots made by pools of intense magnetism, indicate heightened magnetic activity which deflects more cosmic rays away from the Earth. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the sun’s magnetic shield has more than doubled, indicated by a greatly increased number of sun spots. Fewer cosmic rays have reached the Earth of make clouds and global temperatures have risen. When this activity wanes and the sunspots subside to pre-20th century levels, more cosmic rays will hit Earth’s atmosphere and make clouds, causing the next great cooling period. Interestingly, this theory does explain observations made over the last 400 years since the advent of the telescope that correlate sunspots with global warming and cooling. Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv and geologist Ján Veizer in "Celestrial Driver of Phanerozoic Climate?" (Geological Society of America Today 2003;13:4-10) and Veizer in "Celestial Climate Driver: A Perspective from Four Billion Years of the Carbon Cycle" (Geoscience Canada 2005;32:13-30) show that the variability in the Earth’s temperature over the past 500 million years correlates well with the intensity of cosmic rays hitting the planet when it passes in and out of the spiral arms of the Milky Way. They found that at one point atmospheric CO2 levels were 18 times higher than they are today, and they were 10 times higher when the planet was an "icehouse" during the Ordovician glacial period (450 million years ago). Today’s global warming is part of a natural 1,500-year, plus or minus 500-year, solar cycle operating for at least a million years. The Earth’s climate has warmed and cooled nine times in the past 12,000 years, in lock step with the waxing and waning of the sun’s magnetic activity (Science 2001;294[7 December]:2130-2136). Over the last 1,200 years there has been a "Medieval Warming" (900-1300), when Greenland was green; a "Little Ice Age" (1300-1850), when New York harbor froze, and people could walk from Manhattan across the ice to Staten Island a mile away (in 1780); and the current global warming (1850-?). Rather than "global warming," a better term for this phase of the solar cycle is "Modern Warming." Since 1850, temperatures have risen 0.8 degrees C, most rapidly in 1850-1870 and 1920-1940. Temperatures in the 1,500-year solar cycle fluctuate within a 4 degree C range – two degrees above and two degrees below the norm. - Heimdall

alanh said...

Heimdall wrote:

Without a time machine or some other method of verifying the rapidity of temperature increase, to make such a statement is at best, poor science.

Heimdall, we do have a time machine in the ice core record. It provides information about temperature and atmospheric composition going back hundreds of thousands of years, including temperature changes during the Little Ice Age.

For a more recent statement from the National Academy of Science, the Science Academies' Joint Statement of May 16 2007 says:

"It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and it is very likely that this is predominantly caused by the increasing human interference with the atmosphere. These changes will transform the environmental conditions on Earth unless counter-measures are taken."

The alternative theories you mention don't apply because solar output and cosmic ray activity have remained constant. This isn't religion, we have data. What has changed is the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Any alternative hypothesis for the current climate change has to account for the data.

Anonymous said...

Alan said, “Heimdall, we do have a time machine in the ice core record. It provides information about temperature and atmospheric composition going back hundreds of thousands of years, including temperature changes during the Little Ice Age.”
The information contained in core samples of the older ice sheets such as Antarctica are invaluable for information on climatic conditions over a broad area of time but are relatively useless for such items as the temperature variations from decade to decade. So, as I said before, we cannot really say just how fast the onset of the Medieval Warming was and we can only say how fast the cooling for the little Ice Age was mainly because society had recovered enough to start keeping records (not necessarily weather records) again and some weather data does occasionally creep into governmental and historical records.

Alan said, “For a more recent statement from the National Academy of Science, the Science Academies' Joint Statement of May 16 2007 says:”
Haven’t you noticed the inconsistency of NAS statements yet…2005 – Global Warming for sure – 2006 – problems with the data, maybe no global warming – 2007 – Indications there is global warming…when they make their minds up and quit playing politics (which explains the inconsistency), then maybe they will be believable. On the other hand those scientists that are the opposite side have not waivered once in their stance against carbon fueled global warming.

Alan said, “The alternative theories you mention don't apply because solar output and cosmic ray activity have remained constant”.
Actually that is not really true. Only the microwave background radiation left over from the “Big Bang” remains constant. Cosmic ray activity is dependent on many factors ranging from collision of galaxies, black holes destroying stars and other matter, novas, super novas, the birth of stars, location of the Earth in reference to all of this activity, etc. This activity does not remain constant and varies from minute to minute, much less year to year or century to century. Solar output likewise varies over a period of years, centuries and millennia and is caused by various factors such as the axial tilt, the elliptical orbit, the 1500 years cycle of solar warming and cooling which affect the climate of its planets. In their book Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (2007), Singer and Avery address both Green House and Solar/Cosmic Ray theories of climate change coming to the conclusion, “The sun’s role in climate change is due not so much to changes in intensity of its visible and/or invisible rays, or irradiance, but to its magnetic effect on cosmic rays. Changes in the sun’s magnetic activity have a four-fold greater effect on the Earth’s temperature than variations in its irradiance.” Incidentally, The Modern Warming is not confined to this planet. Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, and Triton (Neptune’s largest moon) in the solar system are also warming. Further reading in this area would be…”The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism” and “The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change”.
Alan said, “This isn't religion, we have data. What has changed is the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Any alternative hypothesis for the current climate change has to account for the data.”
Yes, the carbon levels have changed but they are still much less than during the Medieval Warming, when man contributed very little of the carbon in the atmosphere and are 10 times less than they were when the Earth was icebound all the way to the Equator (the Ordovician glacial period 450 million years ago when the carbon level was approximately 4000 ppmv as opposed to the current 384 ppmv). By the Green House theory, Earth should have resembled Venus, not been a gigantic ball of ice. This shows that the data you tout does not explain the current warming whereas the alternate theory of Solar/Cosmic rays does.
Now, the question is why would the vast majority of scientists, who do not support the Green House theory not speak out? Climate scientist Richard Lindzen, in “Climate of Fear” writes, "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis." The “Billy Graham” of Green House theory, the honorable Albert Gore, profits mightily from the scare; pulling down from $50,000 to 250,000 per speech. Yet, at the same time his natural gas and electric bill for his house in Tennessee during the year of 2006 was $27,360! Seems that if he truly believed in Green House theory, he would not be cashing in so much carbon credits! Global warming is now a $5 billion industry, which benefits the government and its politicians and bureaucrats, environmental activists, the media, executives and shareholders of "green" industries, and climate scientists. Businesses profit by gaming the regulatory and planned "cap and trade" process rather than have to make money by producing things people want. The ("good news is no news") media shamelessly plays along and profits by frightening people. And we see how the movement’s most prominent activist, former Vice President Al Gore benefits. Climate scientists are awarded $1.7 billion a year in government grants to study climate change, but under the condition that these scientists continue to support the "consensus" or lose their funding. The global warming scare enables government to intervene and extend its control over people’s lives. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, looking for ways to keep Social Security and Medicare afloat and balance the budget, are investigating proposals for a carbon tax, under the pretext of cutting down on Greenhouse emissions. I could go on and on, but the sheer hypocrisy of the whole thing makes me nauseous. I hope this has opened your eyes to this, the new religion of the 21st century, and lets you work your way free of its prevarications and false dogma. - Heimdall

stronger now said...

dano said:" This last winter, we here in western NC didn't even have one snow."

Ummm. I live in WNC. I got snowed on a few times last year and saw flurries in october. Perhaps I live further west of you.(mountains) and I do agree that it does seem like we are getting less and less snow.

dano said...

I am in the isothermal foothills area! We get really weird weather. We are eleven inches shy of normal rainfall this year so far. Big hay shortage. Animals are starving.

My weeds didn't even grow good this summer!

dano said...

Heimdall said:
"The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, looking for ways to keep Social Security and Medicare afloat and balance the budget, are investigating proposals for a carbon tax, under the pretext of cutting down on Greenhouse emissions. I could go on and on, but the sheer hypocrisy of the whole thing makes me nauseous."

Dan answers,
If that makes you nauseous, just wait till the price of food triples in the next few years!

Lively Debate said...

Loading the turd cannon...

"And the Nobel Peace Prize goes to ... Al Gore? He 'has put climate change on the agenda,' two Norwegian sponsors say"

“A prerequisite for winning the Nobel Peace Prize is making a difference, and Al Gore has made a difference,” Conservative Member of Parliament Boerge Brende, a former minister of environment and then of trade, told The Associated Press.

Brende said he joined political opponent Heidi Soerensen of the Socialist Left Party to nominate Gore as well as Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier before the nomination deadline expired Thursday."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16920923/

Perfect shot, right in the punch bowl. No one needs to worry about global warming, Al's taking care of it by making a difference ;-)

Not Al Gore said...

Heimdall, you suggest you seek empirical evidence to support claims. Would that be "objective" evidence, if so, according to Prof Butler Shaffer, it would appear you are worshipping a tenet/philosophical catechism of Ayn Rand... do you find that to be true of your nature?

If consistency of action is the standard by which to say a person is acting "religiously"; shall we now proceed to call people who diligently flush the loo as acting with religious commitment to the loo?

I suppose I dislike how the Prof leveraged his "analogy" to make a case - I understand the point... but obviously, there must be a clear meaning that distinguishes the word religious from consistency; else, the word religious is arbitrary and useless in communication. Albeit, the Prof uses some context to make his point, but he charges in not so many words that everyone else is doing something similar, and thus, are no different.

A common tactic I find some using in order to overcome cognitive dissonance, is to find ways to marginalize one's actions, and... rationalize and focus on the similarities between themselves and others, so they are no "less" different.

An alcoholic when caught in mid-drink by a fellow AA member; would likely point to everyone else drinking cool-aid and say everyone is just the same, the motion of their hands from the table to their mouths, the placement of the mouth on the cup, the drinking action, even the digestive functions that go along with such an action...

While the actions of drinking may be the same; one is clearly "out of control", I think that's a distinction that doesn't need to be "blurred", "overlooked", or "marginalized", in order to make a case. Peace.

alanh said...

Heimdall wrote:

The information contained in core samples of the older ice sheets such as Antarctica are...are relatively useless for such items as the temperature variations from decade to decade

Heimdall, here's a graph showing a change in oxygen-18 levels at the end of the Little Ice Age, from the Upper Fremont Glacier. Variability on the order of decades can be seen, it depends on the particular sample. Tree ring studies provide a better year-to-year picture.

Solar output likewise varies over a period of years, centuries and millennia

True, although we must keep in mind short-term and long-term variation are different things. Looking at the solar output data, do you see any upwards trend? Do you see any trend in the cosmic ray data?

Heimdall said...

Here are a few websites that show the changes and the correlation between sunspots and temperatures:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0927/p13s03-sten.htm
https://carnot.physics.buffalo.edu/archives/2007/03_2007/msg00075.html
http://www.tilmari.pp.fi/tilmari5.htm
http://capnbob.us/blog/?p=610
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/archive/previous_issues/vol8/v8n15/hot1.htm
Heimdall