Sunday, June 18, 2006

Global Warming Warriors

Nothing I write about, not even America’s greatness, generates as much vitriolic feedback as my pieces criticizing the global warming religion. It makes me wonder what these guys are so worked up about, what drives them?

Someone wrote that as a society becomes more secular, faith in God is replaced by worship of self. A profound narcissism replaces religiosity. If global warming might hurt me, or reduce my happiness, then something must be done about it!

Furthermore, love of nature, as an extension of self, transcends love of fellow human beings. It’s the sort of spiritual pathology that led to the ban of DDT in Africa because American and European environmentalists thought that animals would be harmed and cared less about the human beings who consequently died of malaria. I think that this naturalistic pantheism drives some of the global warming warriors.

But that’s not all. Anti-Americanism is another strain of the dogma. The belief that capitalism, globalization and, particularly, America’s role in shaping the world are evil forces in an otherwise idealistic planet leads many global warming warriors to seek a diminished America.

There are many malign sources of the disease, but I’ll mention just one more. The environmental movement - having been wildly successful in cleaning up America - has nothing left to do.

Like the civil rights movement and the feminist movement, environmentalists have accomplished all their major objectives and public funding is going to dry up unless another catastrophe can be manufactured. In race relations, Hurricane Katrina did the trick and Jesse Jackson can rest easy that the money train will continue for some time yet. The feminists are left to complain about not enough women in college – no, that’s not right, they already number some 60%. It’s the number of women in leading positions on university science faculties that is the latest issue. You may remember that it drove liberal Harvard president Lawrence Summers out of a job.

The global warming business is the latest money train for the environmental entrepreneurs. At universities, the number of faculties supported at the public trough by the global warming lobby is huge. Interestingly, only a few are actually climate scientists, and these seem to be about evenly split on the issues. The vast majority of dependents are biologists, environmental scientists and a plethora of other -- ists who don’t know a thing about climate but sure can calculate what might happen to their own favorite species or bacterium if the world does overheat. This doom-saying has become a cottage industry of massive proportions.

I could deal with all that if only the warriors would make their points based on logic rather than feelings (another Lefty pathology). Back on June 6 I wrote “You Say Warming, I say Cooling” that presented several myths of global warming group think but I was criticized for using information provided by a conservative think tank - not actual scientists. Never mind whether the points made by the think tankers were accurate or not.

So on June 15 I wrote “Be Very Scared” that presented statements and facts from more than a dozen prominent climate scientists. This time the critics attacked the scientists as being oil company flacks. One critic said: Wibjörn Karlén? Come on! And referencing "scientists" from the Russian Academy of Sciences? Those are the same dudes that doubt evolution! Nice - mocking the foreign scientists now.

Mel who was critical of my scientists pointed to an article by Joel Achenbach, formerly Style writer and now global warrior, in the Washington Post. Mel also cherry picked a section by Achenbach that claims the global warming skeptics are on a “parallel Earth.” But I was more interested in the comments in the article by the folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Among other criticisms of the “facts” presented by the Algore acolytes is the baseline used to measure the warming trend. Why start in 1860? That was the end of the Little Ice Age. Of course the world has warmed since then. That's cheating with the baseline.


The CEI guys also make a reasoned case for free market solutions. Countries with thriving economies will be more adaptive to climate change and will find more technological solutions than countries that hamstring themselves by clamping down on greenhouse emissions. Rich societies are environmentally resilient; poor societies have dirty power plants and sooty huts.

Fortunately for the world and unfortunately for the global warming warriors, even the true believers are starting to see the movement as a religion. In Reason Magazine, Ronald Bailey, who calls himself a climate change convert, writes “An Inconvenient Truth: Gore as climate exaggerator.” Gore warns that "what is at stake [is] our ability to live on planet Earth, to have a future as a civilization." Gore claims to be presenting the "scientific consensus" on global warming. But is that so?

Take sea level rise for example. Gore spends a lot of time talking about how dramatic melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps could raise sea level by 20 feet by 2100. Well, the "consensus" of climate scientists as represented in the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is that sea level is likely to rise between
4 inches to 35 inches. A new study in Science concluded if temperatures rose steeply that the Greenland ice sheet might melt away in 500 to 1000 years. So fortunately we don't have to worry about the impact of 100 million people fleeing relentlessly rising seas all at once.

What it comes down to is that the global warriors want to scare world governments into doing something silly. But what do they propose that might actually have an effect. Perhaps we could bomb China and India back to the Stone Age where they would not need oil for gasoline and other niceties. Is that too forceful? Then we could humbly ask them to stop burning so much coal and oil and drive their people back to the farms. Sure we could. Or we could ration gas in America. Remember how well that worked in the 70s? Or we could ration electricity use by industry and make those fat cats pay their fair share. So what if the unemployment rate shoots up to 30%. The Great Depression wasn’t so bad.

It’s all just so silly. We must find something else for these global warming warriors to do, something like picking up trash on the highways.



25 Comments:

Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Another very good post Bill.

Here is one more good link to support your post...

here

Notice in the article it says this about the artic Ice cap...

Gore tells us in the film, "Starting in 1970, there was a precipitous drop-off in the amount and extent and thickness of the Arctic ice cap." This is misleading, according to Ball: "The survey that Gore cites was a single transect across one part of the Arctic basin in the month of October during the 1960s when we were in the middle of the cooling period. The 1990 runs were done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology."

Now, the left finds it somehow strange that the right would use someone who has a sympathetic worldview as a source, what do they expect someone who has the other worldview?

:)

FAR.

10:19 AM  
Blogger gary daily said...

Bill equates science coupled with concern and a desire to educate the public with religion. If only religion really worked this way the problems in this sorry world, past and present, would be considerably reduced.

Thomas Kuhn in his seminal _The Structures of Scientific Revolutions_ noted that sharp shifts in scientific thinking take place over relatively short time spans. Perhaps. Hard to say if the shift to a full belief in the science of global warming is in place and Bill and his supporters are fighting a lost cause. Or maybe the skirmishes on palosverdeblog are representative of a still healthy debate. But it can’t be good news for the Al Gore bashers when they start to characterize his views and those he supports and who support him as being a part of some kind of religion. Religions die hard or never die the deaths they deserve.

In all of this to and fro, I would suggest getting a truly historical perspective on the subject. Read Gale Christianson’s brilliant _Greenhouse: The 200 Year Story of Global Warming_. Christianson asks with Shakespeare: “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” Christianson is a believer who doesn’t know how the science and policy will play out. Those are questions for bloggers, not historians.

Bill is not being helpful when he uses snippets from a U. N. study. OK, here are my personal favorite snippets from the same report. Mine put the emphasis on summary conclusions.
_________
Summary for Policymakers

An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system.

Since the release of the Second Assessment Report (SAR4), additional data from new studies of current and palaeoclimates, improved analysis of data sets, more rigorous evaluation of their quality, and comparisons among data from different sources have led to greater understanding of climate change.

The global average surface temperature has increased over the 20th century by about 0.6̊C.

Temperatures have risen during the past four decades in the lowest 8 kilometres of the atmosphere.

Snow cover and ice extent have decreased.

Global average sea level has risen and ocean heat content has increased.
_____________

Turning a page, Bill’s “these are scientists just looking for something to do” line is, to get a little harsh here, beyond contempt. That’s part of the right’s anti-intellectual strain. It may play well for some school boards in Kansas and at other meetings of the One Book, One Truth clubs where they burn their library cards and go home and put a lock on the PBS channel, but I would like to think it is way out of place on this blog.

Finally, Bill seems to always put an emphasis on the “time is on our side” view of the problem. This in itself is a kind of self-contradiction. We have plenty of time to solve a problem that doesn’t exist!?! So Bill, which part of your formulation –global warming is not a problem OR we have time to fix global warming –do you really want us to challenge?

12:45 PM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

Good research Bill. And unlike at least one of your commentors, you read documentation on both sides of the argument (who called you a cherry-picker?). Your conclusions are logical, sane and unemotional... again unlike the second commentor on this page. And no amount of name calling and attacking will change that.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Felching Jen,

Here's Bill being unemotional, rational, sane, without name calling: "It’s all just so silly. We must find something else for these global warming warriors to do, something like picking up trash on the highways."
Uh, yeah, right

2:40 PM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

Well, if the shoe fits... pick up trash.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You prove my point Felching Jen. The defense rests.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

There might be Global Warming, but the fight is "the devil is in the details."

There is an old saying about how to deceive your opponent, "for every 5 truths, feed him 2 lies."

People expect that since there are "sane" people who don't wish to bankrupt our budget dealing with a "computer model" that may have some incorrect data assumptions being fed in, then perhaps we should proceed with a little caution.

Perhaps we should look at what the U.S. Senate said in it's 95-0, (Including Gore), Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98) "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". - Wikepedia (Kyoto Accord)

Now, perhaps the left does not care about the implications of that statement agreed to by left and right Senators, or perhaps the "DATA" the showed our breaking the bank over this "computer model" would still be correct?

Which is it Mr. Gore, "minor problem (3 feet), or catostrophy (20 feet)?"

This is what responsible people want to do before we sign over our Soverienty to some "World Body" or "World Treaty." Especially when one of the Worlds worst human rights violators, and worst poluters, gets a "get out of jail free" card, and is exempt from spending any money or even being held accountable. What they don't have manufacturing process? They don't buy any oil?

O.K. now back to one of the 5 thruths, and tell us how if the major premise is correct, how we are supposed to just accept all of the details as gospel?

:)

FAR.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Case Closed: The Debate about Global Warming is Over

Executive Summary

7:52 AM  
Blogger gary daily said...

Thanks FAR for sending me to Wikepedia (Kyoto Accord). There I learned much and found this very useful concept, "preventative anticipation." The article spells this out as: “a willingness to take action in advance of scientific proof of evidence of the need for the proposed action on the grounds that further delay will prove ultimately most costly to society and nature, and, in the longer term, selfish and unfair to future generations.”

Maybe this is where I part company with so many smart libertarians and conservatives. Make what snarky comments you want, but my heart truly bleeds for my grandchildren’s lives when they’re my ripe old age; libertarians click on CNBC and see what the market is doing.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary

Unfortunately for us all, the last time the Bushies tried anything that could be described as "preventative anticipation" it was in Iraq. They were wrong, it turned into a disaster and will cause their downfall. They won't do it again.

Hopefully in two years we'll have a President with more sense and perspective, who'll have the courage to lead in the right direction. Just don't hold your breath until then!

Tex

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Bill,
This will be my last comment regarding climate change and global warming. It has become apparent in your blog that the issue has become not only vitriolic, but so emotionally charged that rational discussion is no longer possible. Your pieces have generated a great deal of feedback because of the importance of the issue, and the fact that most of the industrialized countries of the world are trying to do something about it, while our current government denies we even have a problem. I thought that with my scientific background, and over two decades of following this topic, I could contribute some useful information and fact based opinions. But now the discussion has regressed to the point of questioning the religious faith and patriotism of the many people concerned with the possible degradation of our planet. I am not a tree-hugger and have no financial or any other hidden-agenda reasons to support what you call “the global warming warriors”. But I continue to consider protection of our natural god-given environment one of the most important concerns facing mankind. When this discussion in your blog can no longer be held in a rational manner, it is time for me to find the exit.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill – Every once in a while I just have to write back and tell you how much I enjoy your Blogs; I almost always find myself with a big smile on my face after reading them. Something dawned on me this morning reading this piece that has been troubling me since I starting reading PalosVerdesBlog: do you read John Leo? The only thing I’m sure he appears in is U.S. News & World Report. I’ve been reading his columns for 26 years and have enjoyed every one of them – it’s the same with PalosVerdesBlog (which I hope to read for the next 25 years). Your style even reminds me of John Leo.

Take care, be well and thanks again for spearheading the orphanage drive.

Dave.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill ---

A good piece. Here’s some simple math to bolster your point. The last Ice Age ended about 7,000 years ago and was at it’s peak between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. That means we are in the middle, between the last Ice Age and the next Ice Age. So what would be the middle? Try warmer. End of discussion.

Barry

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill,

I heard someone say of the alleged arctic meltdown/oceans rising
scenario, "Did you ever see a glass of Pepsi overflow because the ice
cubes melted?" Interesting analogy? You tell me.

Greg

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's great Greg. Only right-wing simpletons with no understanding of science could come up with something as dumb as a Pepsi analgiy to bolster their argument.
Thanks

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg, Here's a little hint to help you on your way..........the ice that's floating ain't the problem. Can you figure it out now? Go see Gore's movie - he explains it very well.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta say, even though I disagree with FAR and question his sources, most of the commentators on this board seem to be of the "silly slogan" or "non-sensical analogy". If I here another word about Gore reating the internet, I'm going to have to throw up!

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAR,
Why oh why do persist in using dubious sources to support your arguments? The article you cited was from Canada Free Press. Turns out that the editor believes the mafia was behind the 9/11 attacks! Please, if you don't want to embarras yourself, stick with REAL SOURCES, not right wing pseudojournals!
http://tinyurl.com/jke2q

8:44 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Anon,

So, I should use left-wing sources?

Please! Let me see if I got this right. Only the left is right?

All conservatives are wrong all of the time? Do I have it right?

If we can only learn through our mistakes, then the left never learns because they are always right?

Bill Said: "Or we could ration electricity use by industry and make those fat cats pay their fair share"

Ever wonder why Europe has no trouble using Nuke Power, but we can't?


FAR.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No FAR, use real sources that are objective, nonpartisan, and unbiased. This issue is too important for people to make this out to be about left vs right. I believe you're deliberately changing the subject. No one said this is about conservatives being wrong all the time on every issue, but if you want to be taken seriously you need to use better sources than a radical right wing pseudojournal to make your point.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a good right wing source for FAR:
http://tinyurl.com/mhv74

1:15 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Anon,

O.K., here is how I see it now.

Some of you have opened my eyes.

I think some of my concerns have been addressed by the "Case Closed" Summary that many are accepting as a good document and good position statement.

If that document is correct and this country can do what is necessary without destroying our economy, then I only have one concern left.

I am against most treaties because they imply the surrender of our Soverignty to other countries, and I for one do not want other nations in charge of our freedoms.

So, if Congress wants to do something like they did with the Auto Industry and make it mandatory that we meet certian emmission standards by a certian timeline, then I may not like it, but I could live with it.

If that can be agreed upon, then sign me up, because I will have no more concerns.

1. Not expensive....great
2. No outside interference in our affairs.....great

With those two things taken care of, it is then, just a matter of why not?

Those two concerns are deal breakers for me though!

FAR.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is precisely the kind of conversation this country needs to be having. We should no longer debate human contribution to global warming. The real debate now is "what to do about it". There are legitmate differences on approach, and that is what we should be talking about. Glad we finally got through to you!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

I am not an idealog.

I have a brain and can think for myself, even if you think I am in need of help and can't think rationally.

I have concerns that are legitimate concerns and deserve to be treated with an open mind.

Again what I don't agree to is to turn our soverignty over to the U.N. or the Kyoto Agreement and allow others to come in and take over or in anyway cause us to loose our economy or our freedom to be a special country as far as freedom goes.


FAR.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You right wing nuts' ideals for America - as you say capitalism, globalization and shaping the world have nothing to do with the foundations or core values of this country. People with these 'values' have disgraced our nation, from your phony and disastrous installed President and his evil cronies on down to the corporate vultures you admire.

Your egotistic, selfish, greedy approach to the world has led America into the mess we are now in. Face your faults and learn to respect the wisdom of the left. The right wing has fought and ignored the facts of global warming, until it has become a crisis that only fools and hired hacks such as you would continue to question.

Those on the right, who have fought the legitimate reasoning of the environmental movement, ignored logic and profited from the destruction of our planet for over 30 years are guilty of crimes against humanity, for the illness and deaths they have caused and in many cases profited from.

9:00 PM  

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