Published: Friday, July 27 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT
The central problem we face can be found in Dr. Moench's opening sentence,
"For those who believe in the scientific method..."The fact
is that it is currently fashionable among conservatives to _not_ believe in the
scientific method. Today's conservatives don't believe in Global
Warming, or Evolution, or the antiquity of the universe, because those
scientific realities cause them philosophical discomfort. Rather than allowing
objective reality to shape their beliefs, they'd rather defend their
beliefs by denying scientific reality. There's no shortage of
corporate money available to fuel their denial. The exact same "think
tanks" that spent decades arguing "the science isn't settled"
on the relationship between smoking and lung cancer are now telling us that
"the science isn't settled" about the causes and significance of
global warming.For those who don't want to accept reality,
there's no shortage of cable news, blogs and talk radio to make them feel
good about their refusal to accept scientific reality. The denial of reality is
a thriving subculture, and this subculture is killing our future.
Conservatives claim to stand on the principles of small government, free
markets, and personal freedom, yet they seem incapable of applying those
principles to solving problems. Several times in this very forum I have
challenged conservatives to provide market-based, freedom affirming solutions to
the issue of CO2 emissions and climate change. Those few who responded could do
no better than to say they would ban certain fuels, regulate emissions, or apply
heavy taxes on fuels to discourage consumption-- in short, the very big
government, regulatory mechanisms they claim to deplore. In the face of such
bankruptcy of creative ideas consistent with their political philosophy,
it's no wonder that they instead resort to simple denialism. There is no
problem, therefore, problem solved.
It is problematic to look at this one year's drought and say that it is a
result of global warming. If that is the case, then what caused the Dust Bowl
of the 1930's? That certainly couldn't have been global warming
because we were hardly using fossil fuels yet, at least to the extent that we
have since the latter half of the past century. What about the previous two
years that were cooler and had an abundance of precipitation and our reservoirs
were overflowing? The fact is that we are looking at a mere data point in the
cyclical weather patterns and until we have a lot of data (100+ years of this
same situation), we will not know if a true trend is occurring and is the result
of man-made causes or it is just a natural course. Having said that, we
certainly need to be good stewards of the planet and do our part to make sure we
aren't a part of the problem.
This is another of Dr. Moench's doomsday op-eds that we can chuckle about
and safely ignore.
derecha -- The dust bowl was the direct result of farming practices that ignored
environmental needs. Those practices stripped vegetation by overgrazing and
plowing in such a manner that soil was exposed to wind.Today, global
warming is the result of ignoring basic principles and ignoring the environment
in which we all must live.Peanut -- You can chuckle and ignore all
you want. But it's kind of like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon
and trying to ignore the law of gravity. You're only one step away from a
The problem is not that we don't believe in the scientific method. The
problem is that we don't believe that computer models have the evidentiary
weight of actual experiments, and that we don't believe that scientists are
all above corruption, and especially that we don't believe that politicians
won't use whatever theories that possibly corrupted scientists come up with
from their hypothesising and modelling (Note: not experimenting) for their (the
politician's) own and their party's advantage.
For those that list the Murdock's News Corp and Fox will be deceived by
Murdock's denial. For those that are prepared to look at a wide range of
facts that have come together over the last 100 years i.e the actual increase in
temperature, the actual increase in Carbon Dioxide and other gases etc.
@derecha the experiments are happening it is called the world and we are doing
the experiment on our only planet.What are the Solutions, start by
looking at the actions of the Walmart, 3M and many companies that are working to
increase profit by reducing their energy consumption and pollutants. Look at
the new Church buildings that are much more sustainable. The solution is not a
hand to moth existence if we act now, however the longer we argue the more
expensive the solutions become.
We, at the utah armchair climatologists association, know we didn't cause
it. So we don't have to fix it. And it would be a shame to clean up the
place for nothing.
Re: "For those who believe in the scientific method, the last few years have
been discouraging."You got that right, Doc!Summer
heat brings out every uninformed crank with some new "smoking-gun"
theory on how today's heat "proves" his man-made global warming
delusion.That's not science.Nor is it science to
cook the books, ignore inconsistent data, construct oversimplified computer
models, or to demand that we give up hard-won freedoms and expend untold sums of
national treasure on unproven scams whose sole benefit to date is the enrichment
of "green" political charlatans.When you have verifiable,
replicable, untainted data showing that ranching is destroying Utah's
weather, come on back and we'll take a look at it.Until then,
there's no actual science to any of your extremist claims.Only
What's interesting is that the solution to climate change -- development of
more renewable energy over burning fossil fuels -- will largely benefit RED
states. From Utah, Nevada, and Arizona's solar potential to the winds of
the Great Plains -- all RED states -- these regions of the country will benefit
from the transition from fossil fuels to renewable, price-stable clean energy.
Iowa already gets 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy.
With cheap Chinese solar panels, solar is booming across the country. In fact,
renewable energy has grown far faster over the last decade than expert
predictions, and as costs continue to fall (and costs for fossil fuels continue
to grow), the growth of wind and solar is expected to continue.The
electric vehicle is the key to get off foreign oil to domestic electricity.
Pretty much any decision you can make is really a risk benefit analysis even for
people that have no idea what that is. Global warming denial is
simply not passing any risk benefit analysis. You are simply betting that you
and your leader politicians are correct and not the thousands of scientists that
study the atmoshpere and climate.This could simply be the
singularity event that decideds weather or not a species deserves to survive by
darwinian standards.I've had a long standing challenge that if
you don't believe Man is causing climate change that you make sure your
kids and granchildren know. Get a tatoo. It's only fair they know who to
slap later.My hybrid is 12 years old and runs like a top. My solar
panels are silently cranking out energy and have almost completly paid for
themselves after only 6 years. That my daughter knows I care about her future -
priceless. That I can look my ultimate judge in the eyes and say I cared that
the occupants of malasian islands don't loose thier home, that many more
would die of drought and other disasters - eternaly compelling.But
refuse to change a light bulb...
Probably a bigger threat than global warming to our food supply is global
warming policy.Misplaced ideological visions of renewable fuels from
agriculture (biofuels) have already stressed the world's food supplies.
Currently 40% of America's corn crop, due to federal mandates, is going to
fuel-ethanol production, raising the price of this staple for the poor
worldwide. Similar biofuel mandates in other countries affect the price of other
staples like sugar and soybeans. In drought years like we are now experiencing
those mandates don't go away but put a greater stress on our food supply,
further raising prices for the food insecure.
Somebody's "scientific method" is showing when they are so quick to
tell us that this year's drought was man-made. What happened during the
"dust bowl" (1930s)? Sure, poor farming practices were in use, but just
how much CO2 did America produce eighty years ago compared to today? What did
man do to cause the drought in the 1950s and another drought in the 1960s? We
had a short drought in the 1970s, another in the 1980s and another one in 1993.
In 2002 we had a drought.Of course, today's drought is
different. Scientists say so, so it must be true. Last year they couldn't
use global warming, so they substituted "global change".If
we've learned anything, scientifically, we've learned that some
scientists would sell their souls for another research grant.
Of course global warming is occurring, we are living in an interglacial period
of our earth's history. But having been part of Bernie Patton's
original ecological modeling group in the early 70s and created a number of them
on my own I can tell you that one small error can greatly skew a model. And we
still have so little comprehensive data over even 100 years that most models are
just scientific guesses. The more important motivation/belief system is to
encourage every human enterprise to think in cycles. Recycling everything we
produce and use should be part of our life styles.
Re: "My hybrid is 12 years old . . . . My solar panels are silently cranking
out energy . . . ."And, just to be clear, you're actions
have never made the slightest iota of difference to any ". . . occupants of
malasian [sic] islands . . ." or to any that might ". . . die of drought
and other disasters . . . ."Nor has Al Gore or any other
"green" charlatan.So, don't wrench your shoulder
patting yourself on the back. Given the state of emerging world economies today,
there is literally NOTHING you or I can EVER do to change the weather.Tattoo or no tattoo.
If there is no science to support global climate change (as some here claim)
then why are all those scientists in pretty strong agreement?Oh, I
know. It's the "C" word - Conspiracy.The problem with
conspiracy is that secrets are so hard to actually keep. Hundreds of scientists
should be defecting and blowing the whistle. But it't not happening.Why? It COULD be because of some malevolent force keeps them all in
line (in hundreds of countries and cultures) or it could be that the science
leads pretty strongly to the conclusion that global climate change is (at least
partially) man made.
recently a scientific journal released an article that shows over the last 2000
years the earths tempature was on a overall decline. They showed how the tree
rings proved this point. I love scientific evidence.
Re: ". . . some malevolent force keeps them all in line (in hundreds of
countries and cultures) . . . ."Yeah -- it's called Big
Academe.And, its rigidly-enforced orthodoxy is among the most
dangerous and malevolent forces of nature.
Seems to me if conservatives were waiting on a consensus the best they should be
saying is that they are not sure if climate change is cause by people pumping
billions of tons of CO2 into the air. But you are convinced abosolutly it's
not having any effect. If you are so reasonable about facts why are
you so sure of something that YOU do not have a scientific concencus of?I've got what 99% of scientists telling me that in fact changing
the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses indeed changes weather. The only
scientists that don't seem to agree are geolgists. Why would you ask a
geologist about the weather?
"I have challenged conservatives to provide market-based, freedom affirming
solutions to the issue of CO2 emissions and climate change."They
have done that. Under George HW Bush, they proposed a system that was designed
to bring free market forces into the equation. The system that the
right developed was referred to as "Emission Trading". Today it is
referred to as Cap-and-trade.Another conservative developed idea
that they now cant stand.
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