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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Now to answer the questions more specifically. Hopefully one will be able to tell, but I have no animosity toward any person who may believe that man-made global warming is a big problem; my disdain is directed entirely at the politicians and scientists who are (mis)leading the hysterical global warming charge. I welcome any evidence that contradicts my opinion, I just have yet to find any. If one is to read my past blog entries regarding global warming (GW) AND their accompanying links, he or she should find a pretty solid answer to most of these questions. However, to bring everything together in a more succinct manner, I will address the questions here. Also, if anyone wants to know the sources of the data that I quote but don't link to, please ask. Additionally, let me reiterate something I have said before: I agree that GW is happening to some extent, though not entirely globally. I just feel the evidence appears to indicate that the amount of causation due to humans is very low or non-existent and that even if humans have caused some GW in the past, nothing we do can really make a difference to affect future global temperatures.
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Q1.) What evidence would convince me that global warming is real and caused by humanity?

Answer: If it were solid, scientific evidence (rather than the tripe currently trotted out as "undeniable" fact), I would much more seriously consider it. However, when Al Gore claims that the oceans will be 20 feet higher by the end of the century while almost ALL the scientists, even those who are prominently pushing the theory of human-induced GW (i.e. U.N.-paid lackeys), are saying that AT MOST the seas will rise a mere 2-3 inches in the next 100 years, one wonders if someone might just be "warm-mongering" for political gain. Since when did science disavow skepticism as a primary characteristic? If the science is so solid, why are doubting scientists being fired and de-funded for speaking their minds? Science used to embrace debate and skepticism. Also, it would help to convince me if they didn't completely ignore other OBVIOUS and documented likelihoods, such as that the earth has been cyclically warming up and cooling down since it was formed many years back and is just currently in a warming period.
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Q2.) I don't seem to care to base my beliefs on much science, so what would convince me that climatologists and the like are sincerely concluding that GW is occurring and that humans are the cause; instead of just being a group of weather Nazis (in so many words)?

Answer: Ignoring the fact that sincerity has no effect on veracity, the answer lies in the question. That scientists are CONCLUDING beyond any apparent doubt that GW is caused by humans confirms that they have left science and the scientific method (at least as I know it) far behind. Statistics and correlations do NOT prove cause and effect. Unfortunately, we see this happening all the time in other areas of science. First we hear that it's unhealthy to be fat, then we learn that fat people might actually live longer. For example, say I walk down the street and come across a man incessantly clapping his hands as loud as he can. I ask him why he is doing that and he says that the sound keeps the tigers away. I tell him that there aren't any tigers nearby; to which he replies "see, it's working!" That is basically what is happening here. Scientists are measuring higher carbon dioxide levels and concluding that humans are the cause. The scientific method is as follows:

1. Observation
2. Hypotheses/Explanations
3. Predictions
4. Experimentation/Testing (Falsifiability)

Human-induced GW does not fit that at all. Sure, we've observed some higher temps, and yep, we've noticed some higher levels of gas in the air. So we would then hypothesize that one might be causing the other, but not certain which one (since there is reason to believe either way). But even if we decide to guess that the latter causes the former, we still have no idea what causes the gas. So then we would further hypothesize that humans could be causing it OR, as is more likely, there are some other natural reasons for the uptick in carbon dioxide. But we'll go with humans for this argument's sake. Next, we need to predict and then test our predictions to prove or disprove them. Uh oh, Houston, we have a problem. To scientifically test something, you need a closed, controlled environment. Last time I checked, the atmosphere and related stuff such as the earth and space are about as open and uncontrolled of an environment possible. Oh well, we'll ignore that last step and just call humanity-induced global warming "verified fact."
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Q3.) What solutions does Al Gore advocate that would "kill millions of people?" Most practical actions to curtail global climate change are actions you could take for a variety of other reasons, such as reducing your energy bill, increasing US energy security, and reducing the presence of smog in America's major cities.

Answer: The main solutions Mr. Gore has proposed could severely hurt the developed world's economies, thus seriously hindering those countries' ability to care for the undeveloped world (i.e. Africa, South America, Hollywood). Also, reducing our energy bills and reducing smog only helps ourselves and our pocketbooks, it doesn't make an iota of difference to the environment. Had the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty on GW, been 100% ratified, and all the countries actually complied, global temperatures would have lowered by .07 degrees Celsius by 2050. That's right, it would have had no statistically significant effect. Meanwhile, the United States GDP would have been cut by 20% by 2010. In other words, ruin the economy, don't change a thing. So if the large-scale emission changes called out by the Kyoto Protocol for every developed country can't make a difference, how exactly does it matter if I (or ten million Americans for that matter) switch in more energy efficient light bulbs?
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Q4.) Finally, why do I accept science's projections of future populations in Russia and Saudi Arabia but not the IPCC projects of future global average temperature?

Answer: I'm not sure where to start, since it's like comparing apples and oranges. Population projections are nearly impossible to screw up, at least once you have data such as past growth, current birth rate, current death rate, immigration rate, etc. There are only so many factors that can be considered. Obviously, a population could see an increase in immigration or a renewed love of babies, but history tells us that, at least with the latter, once a country is in the population death spin, it never pulls out. I will grant, though, that the projections for Saudi Arabia are likely a little on the high side; since their birth rates are likely to come down over time. As for future global temp projections, one only needs to review my links to Drs. Lindzen and Gray in my last post to see the fickleness of such efforts.
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OK, well, I'm sure I missed something and likely made generalizations for brevity's sake (if you can call a 1500-word post "brief"). As for tying this back to my Christian beliefs and worldview, I will admit that, science aside, I am usually quite skeptical of anything anyone claims as truth; either about this world or the next. I try to "test everything and hold onto the good." More specifically, I fail to see how worrying about how warm a piece of ice in the Arctic has gotten or running out to buy a hybrid vehicle furthers the kingdom of God or brings even one person closer to finding eternal life. I neglect His kingdom enough as it is, why throw another distraction in my way? Furthermore, did Jesus not say
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Any questions, random thoughts, or snide remarks, feel free to place them in the comment section below this post.

2 comments:

Luke C. said...

"I am flattered by and appreciate the time and effort your response took. I will compose replies, but my schedule is fairly busy. A worthy response will take some time, probably a few weeks. So, please keep watching your comments for my replies."

Darius and Elisabeth said...

no problem...considering the letter you wrote to Focus on the Family, I would expect nothing less than a well-thought out reply. :)

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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables


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