WHY do you make me DO this?!

Posted: April 11, 2007 in Celebrating Diversity, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Nearly News, Politics, Rants

Or… “Debunking Global Warming Hysteria Made Easy.”

In the interests of full disclosure, let me admit full on and up front that I am not a scientist.  I don’t have the technical credibility to contradict a prevailing school of thought on global warming on any kind of scientific or academic basis.

However.  I AM fairly proficient at stringing words and thoughts together in a coherent and rational fashion, (better than most I might most humbly add) and therefore I AM qualified to blow big, gaping, ragged holes in others’ poorly executed attempts at obfuscation.

Take for example this latest example of the-sky-is-falling promotion of global warming as the next Black Plague: 

Data indicate warming far worse than thought
Summer ice could disappear as soon as 2020, leading scientist reports

Yes, yes, now is when you are supposed to wring your hands and tremble in fear.

“What’s happening to the Earth as a whole is a catastrophe, and the disappearance of Arctic sea ice has got to be one of the first indicators of the catastrophic changes,” Wadhams told ITN’s Lawrence McGinty

Do you hear that?  CATASTROPHIC CHANGES ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

If the findings — which were collected by measuring the ice with three-dimensional sonar equipment and assessing water temperature and salt levels — are confirmed, they would represent a significant acceleration of the damaging effects long predicted from global warming (my emphasis)

Uhm…er, uh ‘scuse me?  “IF THE FINDINGS ARE CONFIRMED?!”  So, uh, I take that to mean that you pulled together this carefully crafted piece of journalistic excellence based on a single source of unsubstantiated data?  Oh but wait, it gets better.

In a sign that the cycle is expanding year-round, measurements by the Snow and Ice Data Center showed last month that the winter sea ice this year was the second smallest on record.

Follow the link.  The worst year was LAST year.  Which would, uh, seem to me to suggest that things improved this year.  But really, don’t let that distract you from the impending DOOOM!

The effects of accelerated global warming would be more broad around the globe, the panel said, warning that 20 percent to 30 percent of plant and animal species were at increased risk of extinction. Some parts of Europe could lose up to 60 percent of their species by 2080, it said.

In addition, as many as 130 million people could face severe food and water shortages across Asia by 2050, the report said. By the 2080s, wheat could disappear entirely from the African continent.

Again, I’m not a scientist, but how do we extrapolate what the next 80 years will hold based on data from only the last 20?

Walt Meier, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, called Wadhams’ 13-year projection “extreme, but not completely implausible,” and cautioned that the thinning could simply be the result of “compression of thicker ice into a smaller region.”

“It’s dangerous to extrapolate into the future, especially from such a short period,” Meier told MSNBC.com on Tuesday.

Well THANK you for a voice of reason. What happened to that whole “scientific consensus” thing?  Oh, but wait.  Follow the link in this article, and you get another Meier’s quote.

“This long-term trend, which seems to be accelerating, is really an indication of a warming, and the only way you get the warming is with greenhouse gases,” said NSIDC research scientist Walt Meier.

The only way? Nothing else contributes to GW but the evils of man-made flourocarbons?!  Uh….yeah.  Even I know that’s utter codswallop.

“Even the most stringent mitigation efforts cannot avoid further impacts of climate change in the next few decades,” the (U.N.) report concluded.

Well, then screw it!  Why worry?  It’s already too late.  WE’RE DOOOOMED!  Then does that mean you’ll shut up now?

This is why a great number of people, traditionally the more conservative voices, tend to hold on to a bit a scepticism about the scope and severity of the global warming phenomenon.  There’s no doubt that we are in a warming trend, and that areas traditionally ice-bound are melting at unusual rates or amounts.  It’s the CAUSE which bears greater scrutiny.  And it’s the kind of shrill, thinly-substantiated alarmism in this article that does the most damage to the credibility of the “pro-warming” movement.

By way of comparison….

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17630368/page/2/

Scientists think variations in Mars’ orbit and tilt drive the planet’s climate over time, though a few astronomers have speculated about how the Sun’s activity could be partly to blame for warming on several planets.

In addition to warming from the atmosphere, ice-thawing heat could come from the core of Mars, analogous to the plumes of heat that cause volcanic eruptions on Earth. But evidence from the new radar study suggests the Martian crust is icy cold and rigid.  (all emphasis mine)

Uh….isn’t that what a large swath of the global warming deniers (myself included) have suggested might be happening on earth?  Obviously they talked to the wrong group of scientists.  You know, the one’s not included in the “most scientists agree” category.  I’m sure this lot will be roundly censured and marginalized any second now.  That’s right, can’t have planetary climatologists mucking up the global warming debate with wild scientific conjecture like this, now can we?!

The global warming hysteria is, IMHO, driven to a large extent by those who already have a vested interest in believing the worst about the evils of capitalism or westernism.  The tea-house liberals who wear their Birkenstocks and drink their tofu herbal smoothies…all the while conveniently keeping out of consciousness how those goods might have made it to the Trader Joe’s (not on donkey or horse-drawn carriage, I assure you)…are the ones quickest to raise the alarm about the terrors of global warming. 

Those skeptics among us, those slightly less prone to fits of emotional whimsy and thus less susceptible to random alarmism, require a better standard of proof than these kinds of gasping catastrophism and often mutually contradictory “scientific” analysis; studies in many cases cherry-picked to paint the darkest picture, not out of any genuine concern for the poor peoples of Africa, but for the sole and express purpose of pushing forward the radical environmentalists’ long-running agenda

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Comments
  1. joe-6-pack says:

    Good post.

    If I can figger out the Trackback link, I will leave one, otherwise, here is a written notice of having linked to your post.

  2. geosciblog says:

    A Good Post on the Global Warming Debate

    Steve B addresses the hysteria presented by the MSM and their political cohorts with regard to observed changes in the environment and then extrapolating recent trends into the future by way of their computer models.

    …Before the Modern Warm Peri…

  3. fermiparadox says:

    The worst year was LAST year. Which would, uh, seem to me to suggest that things improved this year.

    It means the last two years have been the worst on record. There is always some wiggling up and down.
    If weather gets cooler from one week to another in April (just like now here in California), do you then conclude that summer is not coming?

    Warming Mars: Coincidentally, I blogged about that a few days ago. If there were a connection to the warming on earth, wouldn’t we expect an increase in solar radiation? We don’t.

  4. SteveB says:

    Fermi –

    I guess my point was that yes, variations are to be expected. It’s a question of how long the cyclical period is. A screaming headline about the lowest (or warmest) temperatures IN FIVE YEARS is a relatively meaningless statistic. A steady, downward trend of 15 or 20 years is noteworthy, yes, but in terms of geological history, is it catastrophic? I don’t think we can conclude that yet.

    Thanks for the comment.

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