Another Unqualified Global Warming Debate

I try to stay apolitical on Facebook. I really try. But the whole global warming thing gets my dander up, and once my dander is vertical, all bets are off.

The most recent dustup concerned this link, which demonstrates the blatant hypocrisy of the global warming folks. If you’re too lazy to click, then allow me to summarize. Apparently, global warming is simultaneously reducing and increasing the amount of fog in San Francisco, which is bad either way. (If it weren’t for fossil fuels, the fog would be just right.) We’re also told that a lack of snowfall is a sign of global warming, and that heavy snowfall is another clear sign of global warming.

Heads, I win. Tails, you lose. This is loony tunes stuff.

So my links have provoked a number of interesting conversations, and the latest is, I think, too lengthy to keep on Facebook. So, in a brief attempt to lift this moribund blog back into activity, I took it outside and brought it here for you. Jeff’s words are in green, because he’s green, you know.

Jeff says:

Jim, you are too smart to buy into this idea that if a few of the numbers are wrong the whole thing must be a hoax. That’s a very specious logic chain to follow and wholly unscientific. Come on, what was the point of getting a 1540 on your sat’s if you’re going to interpret logic and syllogism thusly.

First of all, Jeff, you’ve made a number of assumptions here at the outset that I don’t accept. I’ve never said that “if a few of the numbers are wrong the whole thing must be a hoax.” That would be specious logic, indeed. This isn’t an issue of minor mathematical errors. What’s becoming apparent is that there is a pattern of deception, shoddy science, and political agendas that have undermined the credibility of those who are demanding that we remake the industrialized world because of humanity’s effect on the climate at large. Tales of the increasing/disappearing fog in San Francisco are not the centerpiece of my objections; they’re merely illustrations of the fact that the Powers that Be on global warming don’t have their story straight.

And I only got a 1370 on the SAT. But I did get a 31 on the ACT and a 660 on the GMAT.

You conservatives keep using this anti science tact to try to force in your own policy ideas. But seriously, why do you have to invalidate the truth to get what you want?

Tact? Do you mean “tack” or “tactic?”

Again, it’s difficult to discuss this when we don’t share a foundation of common assumptions. Where do I advocate invalidating truth?

Why don’t you be honest and say you don’t like regulation and you don’t care if the earth is warming because a higher power will set things straight in the long run.

Because that isn’t what I believe. This has nothing to do with God coming in with his Deux Ex Machina and setting things straight. The earth may very well be warming. The climate has been changing for millions of years, long before human beings showed up to screw things up. The earth has warmed before, more drastically than it may be warming now. But even the head of the IPCC concedes that there has been no significant warming for 15 years.

I don’t believe that we have the power to raise or lower the earth’s temperature as if we had a global thermostat. I also don’t believe that this temperature is the optimum temperature that must be preserved, or that any warming wouldn’t reverse itself as part of a natural cycle. I have far more confidence in the resilience of the earth’s climate than I do in the alarmists who were wrong three decades ago as they warned of the coming Ice Age. Sure, they may be right this time, but you can only cry wolf so many times.

You want unfettered trade and cheap energy to help you compete globally and you’re not concerned about the consequences.

It’s always astonishing to me how quick the Left is to define my motives for me. With all due respect, who are you to tell me what I want? I am the arbitrary, sole, and final authority on what I believe. It’s disheartening that you are so quick to not only read my mind, but to also assign me the worst possible reasons for thinking what I think. I’m not concerned about the consequences? Of course I’m concerned about the consequences! Do you really believe that conservatives have no interest in anything but greed? That makes things easier for you to demagogue the issue if you’re dealing with pure evil, but it’s beyond intellectually lazy, and I deserve better.

The consequences of “fighting” global warming using the methods currently on the table – Cap and Trade energy taxes and penalties – will have far-reaching effects on just about everything except the climate. Even the most ardent Al Gore alarmists concede that the US Cap and Trade measure on the table will, in a best case scenario, slow man-made global warming by a fraction of a degree. It will, however, make it next to impossible for developing nations to industrialize and rise out of poverty, which means more people will die of starvation and neglect as a result. It will massively increase energy costs and cost jobs and productivity in the United States, which, in a time of economic distress, will be a huge and unnecessary kick in the nation’s financial gut.

Aren’t you concerned about those consequences?

Trying to refute the science just makes you look dumb.

Well, sure. It’s one of my many methods to achieve the same end.

Because overwhelmingly, the scientific community knows it’s a fact.

That’s an extraordinarily dumb statement. What’s a fact? That the earth is warming? That it’s all our fault? How much of it is our fault? How much is natural? Can we reverse it with Cap and Trade? Is it worth reversing with Cap and Trade?

The fact is, a good scientist will concede that there’s many more facts to uncover on all those points. And those scientists who are supposed to be the oracles of fact are in the process of discrediting themselves by hiding or destroying their data and relying on nonsense – melting Himalayan glaciers, for instance – to paint the most dire picture possible.

There are facts, and there are facts. This is the one that rankles me the most: Even if you alarmists are 100% accurate, your solutions stink and will cause far more poverty and suffering than inaction will. That’s a fact.

It’s like arguing against evolution.

Oh, goodie. This should be fun.

You can easily see that evolution is solid science and believe in god as well.

Of course you can. I do. The problem is on your side of this issue, not mine. What you can’t do is question evolution and remain an atheist. So legitimate questions that evolution is unable to answer – how do you create complex systems like an eye by means of natural selection, for instance – are treated like heresies rather than rational inquiries. With both evolution and global warming, it’s those playing defense who have the most invested and the most to lose, so the effort is directed at silencing the questioner instead of answering the question.

Faith is by nature irrational (and that’s not a negative connotation). So Evolution certainly does not have to invalidate faith in a high power.

Again, you’re making assumptions for me that I don’t find helpful. Where do I maintain that evolution invalidates faith?

So stop try to poke holes in things that you’re not even qualified to debate (for lack of higher degrees or any valuable degrees at all– James Inhofe, Rick Perry?) and just say hey it’s happening but screw it, it shouldn’t be a national priority.

Are you qualified to debate this, then? Is Al Gore? Is Leonardo DiCaprio? Where does one go to get the necessary credentials to question the radical overhaul of industrialized civilization? This is elitism gone mad. If those who are “qualified” expect us to remake society in the image of their theories, then everyone is fully qualified to raise questions.

I think that might be refreshing for voters. At least it would be honest. And while you’re at it, admit the war in Iraq was for oil and not about wmd’s.

Well, since we seized the Iraqi oil fields upon arrival and turned the nation into an American colony, then you’re absolutely right.

Oh, wait…