December 9, 2007

"I’m a religious fanatic just like you."

"J.F.K.'s speech was to reassure Americans that he wasn’t a religious fanatic. Mitt's was to tell evangelical Christians, 'I’m a religious fanatic just like you.'"

Maureen Dowd phones up Jon Krakauer, author of "Under the Banner of Heaven,” for some opinion about Mitt Romney's religion speech.

164 comments:

Tim said...

I hardly doubt Ms Dowd finds anyone, like one of her brothers, who attends Church or Temple for more than a wedding or a funeral to be a religious fanatic.

George said...

What a vapid and tedious speech it was.

It must have been focus-grouped to death.

Romney's "management approach" is built on several core principles, he says, including picking the right team, demanding data, conducting thorough analyses and making sure to have ways to measure success or failure. He said he had developed the process over time in both the private and public sectors."

I don't think he believes in anything, except data analysis.

Pogo said...

Unless they meant it as an an additive exclamation somewhat like a double negative, the combination religious fanatic is now redundant, much as "religious" and "fanatic" are mere synonyms, at least according to Hitchens and his evangelical atheist brethren.

Had JFK, FDR, Abe Lincoln, and George Washington given certain speeches in today's atmosphere, they would have been ridiculed mercilessly. Yes, religion was surely a poison for these Presidents.

Omaha1 said...

As the granddaughter of a Salt Lake City Baptist minister, I am inclined to distrust Mormons. Having known a few ex-Mormons, I think they are quite cruel to those who leave the faith, although they don't sentence them to death as fundamentalist Muslims do. Their church leadership is very secretive about the activities of the founder, Joseph Smith, although against their wishes, much has been revealed about his rather shady character.

Mormon history is replete with fairly recent examples of bloody massacres, racism, polygamy, and general hucksterism.

Having said that, I think Romney would probably be OK as a president. His positions on social issues are close to mine, and would have to be somewhat liberal for him to be elected governor of Massachusetts. He seems to subordinate his religious values somewhat in formulating policy.

SteveR said...

As an intelligent person, she's obviously quite tolerant, but she's also very discerning. Sometimes you just have to be a bigot.

Christy said...

Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven is more about the break-away sects than about mainstream Mormons. It was easy for me, however, when reading the book, to grow angry with the LDS for creating a culture which enables the truly nasty misogyny of those sects. Then I remembered that Christianity has spawned some equally bad behavior over the centuries. It is not a showstopper for me.

I've always thought those gleaming white spires inspiring btw.

PatCA said...

Yes, anyone who is religious is now deemed a fanatic by the likes of MoDo. Unless you are Muslim or African American Christian; then you are "authentic." Note that Krakauer's only objection is their stand towards race and sexual identity. Most all religions flunk that test, but that is exactly his point, isn't it?

Religion is responsible for a lot of bad things in the world as well as good, but Romney comes from a long line of politicians, which gives me greater pause than his modern version of Mormonism. It's not like he's come out of the desert with full beard and three wives!

Clyde said...

Funny thing: I was reading a New York Times political blog post about Oprah stumping for Obama, and from reading the comments afterward, I'd have thought that Obama was running for Messiah rather than president. Really. Although Democrats tend to be more irreligious than Republicans (other than the Goracle's cult of Gaea and the Church of Global Warming), that group of commenters was as evangelical as any group of West Virginia snake-handlers. They were just testifying for Obama rather than Jesus...

SGT Ted said...

You will never see a current Democrat Party candidate make any such speeches on individual liberty, unless it's abortion, Constitutional rights for foreign terrorists hostile to human rights, or Amnesty for illegal immigrants. You will see them make speeches about how much they love you and will stick it to The Rich so you can get some goodies. Not individual liberty or personal responsibility.

Because quoting the Founders vision of the Christian Religions basis in Civic life and the protection of individual liberty is certainly fanaticism, especially if you are a neo-athiest socialist who see's certain religious views as an impediment to your vision of America as just another European-style socialist welfare state.

Bilby said...

Well, I won't use the religious fanatic formulation that Dowd does, but it did appear that Romney went beyond explaining how his being Mormon shouldn't be a disqualification for office to attempting to reassure the religious right that he has as much disdain for secularists and atheists as they do. Keep in mind I thought it was offensive that he had to give a speech in the first place.

mal said...

There's as much supporting evidence for the existence of God as there is for the 9/11 Truth Movement. Therefore it's funny that a subset of Althouse commenters reliably slam the Truthers and defend religious "true-believers." Can't we just agree that all of these people are at least a little bit goofy?

Some of the commenters at Althouse have an astonishingly poor understanding of the difference between science and superstition. For example, Clyde's amusing parody of a rightwing Althouse commenter includes a reference to "Goracle's cult of Gaea and the Church of Global Warming" which perfectly demonstrates the inability of some to distinguish evidence from fantasy.

terrance said...

As an atheist, it would not surprise me to learn that the reactions of believers in god to me are similar to my reactions to them.

Paddy O. said...

mal, it's rather just the opposite. There's a lot of supporting evidence for the existence of God. It's just that you choose to not accept that as evidence and narrow down what is acceptable evidence for you. The smallest subset in humanity is those who don't believe there is a god(s).

That's not proof of anything, but more than a few people have found exceedingly good supporting evidence, enough so they risk their whole lives, careers, etc. on the fact.

The Truthers don't accept the evidence that 95% of others do accept as being valid. They're not unaware of the standard arguments, they just reject that proof as being valid and demand validation that fits into their already established framework of rejection.

But connecting religious believers and Truthers sure has a fun ring to it. It'll do great in the chatrooms.

mal said...

paddy - When it comes to pass that truth fact are determined by popular vote, your argument will have some validity. In the meantime it has none.

There is no supporting evidence for the existence of God, or at least none based on the excepted definition of the word evidence. I can't accept evidence that doesn't exist. On the other hand, those who believe in Creationism choose to deny evidence. Funny how you managed to get all of this backwards.

Clyde said...

Oh, please, mal! Gimme a break! I'll believe that the "climate crisis" is real when Gore starts flying commercial flights and the IPCC crowd telecommutes to their global warming meetings instead of flying so many private planes to Bali that it overloads the airport parking lot. Until THEY start acting like it's a crisis, I remain skeptical. And lack of skepticism is the mark of the "true believer." Those who belong to the Church of Global Warming are just as much "true believers" as any religious fanatic, and just as intolerant of anyone who doesn't believe as they do.

Paddy O. said...

"at least none based on the excepted definition of the word evidence."

Your accepted definition. That's my point.

And it's not about popular vote either. Courts use evidence all the time from a lot of different sources, with a lot of different types. Evidence is evidence, and that you choose not to accept the evidence that others accept has no bearing on whether or not it is or is not evidence.

Rather, you should say, you're not convinced by the evidence that convinces most others.

As an analogy, you want DNA evidence, for instance, or you won't convict. Lacking DNA evidence, however, doesn't mean that a trial is over. Just means a jury has to decide based on other factors, on other types of accepted and valid evidence. Whether that evidence is valid to you doesn't really matter. You have no standing to arbitrate validity of evidence for anyone other than yourself. You're not convinced, I sense that.

Which is fine and dandy. Whatever makes you feel warm inside.

And who brought up Creationism?

mal said...

clyde - Thanks for proving my point. The existence of evidence about global warming doesn't depend on Al Gore or his actions. Presumably you don't believe that Christian values don't depend on the behavior of Ted Haggard. Why then would you adopt such an illogical position re: global warming and Al Gore?

I don't believe anyone who writes "Church of Global Warming" is a skeptic. A skeptic considers the evidence and expresses doubt about the evidence and/or conclusions based on reason. Don't hide behind a claim of skepticism when you can't distinguish between evidence and fantasy.

terrance said...

The fact that Romney, a believer in god, needed to make a speech in an effort to appease other believers in god(s) (but not atheists) epitomized one of the reasons I rejected the notion of god around the time I hit puberty. It just seems so bizarre and childish. For over forty years, I have held my tongue, however with the bellicose religiosity that has infected our politics, I figure, why not, I might as well get into the act.

From Inwood said...

Gee, acc to MoDo

"Republicans are still arguing the Scopes trial."

She, disingenously or ingenuously, apparently isn't aware that Dems & their wholly-owned subsidiary, the MSM are still arguing that stuff & aruging it more fervently than any Republican.

mal said...

paddy - There's simply no evidence for the existence of God. Wiggle as you might, you can't change that fact.

Since I'm open-minded, I'll stick around for the show if you want to present your evidence for God. Knock yourself out. It might be fun.

Trumpit said...

How did Romney get so perversely rich? What special talents does he have to go with his pale face & bad haircut? I can appreciate that you have to have tremendous self-confidence to want to be president of the United States, but we should weed out the pompous & narcissistic with totally overblown egos. I put both Romney & Giuliani in that category. Bush and McCain are like that as well. Romney should be managing a McDonalds in Salt Lake not running for prez, Giuliani a pizza parlor. Bush should be at his ranch or attending a baseball game. I won't be unkind by wishing that he choke on a pretzel. In addition, the regular right-wingers commentators on this blog need to do some charity work instead of repeatedly demonstrating how uncharitable they truly are, and how clever they think they are, but aren't.

Synova said...

"...a reference to "Goracle's cult of Gaea and the Church of Global Warming" which perfectly demonstrates the inability of some to distinguish evidence from fantasy."

Heh. Made me laugh.

"When it comes to pass that truth fact are determined by popular vote, your argument will have some validity."

So... does the "consensus" about Global Warming not count any longer? Good to know. I never bought the argument about how I was supposed to accept AGW because everyone else did. Or felt that I should ignore the illogical elements or disregard for facts and silencing of dissent for the cause.

Though I think the best was when someone said I should ignore Freeman Dyson's opinion of the validity of the computer models of global climate because he wasn't *qualified*.

I laugh in your general direction.

Ha!

In the Church of Global Warming "qualified" means "doctrinally pure."

Synova said...

It's easy to be "charitable" with someone else's money, Trumpit.

How about I be charitable with yours?

Joan said...

I rejected the notion of god around the time I hit puberty.

Perfect timing to make such an important, life-altering decision, when the height of your wisdom, life experience, and reasoning powers have been reached!

Seriously, though: I can understand why people abandon religion when they hit puberty, because all they know is what they've been taught as children. Did it ever occur to you that what you learned as a child was only the merest fraction of what there actually is to learn? Did you also quit school when you hit puberty, figuring you knew all about everything already?

Synova said...

Facts are not dependent on Al Gore's behavior.

Al Gore's behavior is evidence of HIS understanding of the facts.

mal said...

synova - What illogical elements?

I've never seen a blogger/commenter "skeptic" present a case for rejecting global warming evidence. Never. When you finish snorting, snickering and sniveling, tell me about the illogical elements of global warming.

Titan said...

Any lawyer will tell you that one of the premises of modern constitutional law (the Hart & Weschler paradigm) is that courts should stick to what they are good at and let other branches do the things they are good at.

Just like that, the "consensus" mode of determining facts has some validity. It's impossible to know everything. It just can't be done. Therefore, we should recognize the people that do have expertise and defer to their judgment as a matter of practicality.

So on global warming, most climatologists agree that the Earth is heating up as a result of carbon emissions. I defer to their consensus when it comes to the causes and effects of this phenomenon.

Now we need to decide how drastic the costs could be, and whether preventative measures make good sense. We turn to economists and ask for their consensus.

It's not perfect, but it is the best we can do without asking everyone to learn climatology and economics.

As to God, it's true, most people believe in God. I don't find that convincing because I don't see how they are "experts", and theologians don't count because no one is going to admit that they are an expert in studying something that does not exist. (In fact, they probably decide that God does exist before deciding to be theologians.) Besides, depending on the country we are in, there is also a consensus that Allah and Vishnu exist as well.

That's why the consensus view works in one area but not the other.

Something like 95% of all biologists believe strongly in evolution and think creationism is wrong, but still non-biologists sit and say they know better....

mal said...

Al Gore's behavior is evidence of HIS understanding of the facts.

Illogical. Would you argue that Ted Haggard's behavior is evidence of HIS understanding of Scripture?

Palladian said...

"I can appreciate that you have to have tremendous self-confidence to want to be president of the United States, but we should weed out the pompous & narcissistic with totally overblown egos."

Um, that would leave the field completely empty.

Trumpit said...

Ha! Synovial, you demonstrate your thick arthritic membrane. You can't get blood from a turnip. If you want someone to pay for something, you'd do better to look to the billionaires, like Romney, who have much too much of a good thing, not me.

God must have created the super rich for a reason, although the reason eludes me. I can't fathom why he would create someone as foolish as you, either. Except that he's fallible and makes gross errors. He's all too human, I guess. NOT something/one that any thinking person would give a second thought to.

Romney's & Huckabee's wearing religion on their shoulders for political gain is nasty, sickening, and putrid. Toadstools both of them. That goes triple for Bush whose favorite "philosopher" is Jesus. Ask him who is 2nd favorite philosopher is. Probably Bozo the Clown. You wasted your life studying religion and I'll damn you if you try to force that repulsive nonscientific nonsense on me. You'll probably die in a flood of biblical proportions caused by global warming. That would be poetic justice.

terrance said...

Perfect timing to make such an important, life-altering decision, when the height of your wisdom, life experience, and reasoning powers have been reached!

What a thoughtful comment Joan. We all know that believers in god arrived at their positions strictly as adults and only after long and careful deliberation.

Those in puberty are incapable of making life altering decisions. We need to encourage them to wait until they are much more mature before weighing the evidence and rejecting the existence of God or Santa Claus, for that matter.

I guess twelve year old's are not capable of testing reality.

Daryl said...

Why do religious people think lying is a virtue?

Mitt Romney says you can't have religion without freedom, or freedom without religion.

That means, to me at least (being a logical atheist instead of a stupid, mushy-headed Mormon) that all countries in the world fall into two camps:

1 - religious AND free
2 - irreligious AND unfree

To borrow Hugh Hewitt's line, this is an OBJECTIVELY foolish thing to say.

I want to ask Mitt: "Across the Muslim world, countries seem very religious but not very free. Are they free countries, or is Islam not a real religion?"

Why do religious people think they can say anything? Mitt was practicing a Christian form of Taqiya (the Islamic doctrine that Muslims are permitted and even encouraged to lie to infidels in order to advance their faith).

Did an Angel appear to Mitt in a dream and tell him that it's okay to say stupid, hateful things, so long as they help him to win the presidency?

Synova said...

If you haven't seen it, you haven't looked.

Firstly there's the outright inaccuracies. Does CO2 push warming or does warming push CO2. Science says that warming pushes CO2. The inconvenient "truth" of the ice core samples is false. What we learn from ice core samples is that CO2 lags warming.

Second, warming is something to be alarmed about. This is highly illogical as the Earth has been much warmer in the past as well as much colder. The warmer periods are also the *kindest* periods, not the most harsh.

Third, are we actually warming? The evidence that we're warming is open to skepticism considering that measuring methods are recent and measurements do not have enough history to do more than suggest. Measurement of Historical temperatures, the famous tree ring proofs, have been proven to be bad data. There are people documenting the location of temperature measuring stations and finding that many of them are in artificially hot zones near parking lots or buildings.

Forth, logically, any computer simulation on global climate that completely ignores obvious elements is going to be unreliable and inconclusive. The computer simulations used to "prove" the relationship of CO2 to Global Warming ALL have this problem.

Fifth, the percentage of CO2 produced by humans is small compared to all the CO2 in the atmosphere. Logically, our effect on the global climate is small. LOGICALLY our ability to make a difference by reducing our small percentage of CO2 by a far smaller percentage of CO2 is even more unlikely.

Reasons for skepticism...

People who claim that warming is a problem and that warming is caused by humans AND that we can do something about it do not *behave* as if they believe what they say.

Scientists of various specialties disagree with AGW. Those scientists are marginalized.

Al Gore is not a scientist (and his movie is rife with scientific blunders). Al Gore is a politician.

The UN is not a scientific body. The UN is a POLITICAL body. We know that the UN has misrepresented the numbers and the facts concerning a variety of things. We know that the "proof by consensus" of scientists included more than a few who disagreed and asked to be removed from the list.

Money.

AGW is the way to grants and research. Everyone wants a piece of that pie even if it means entomologists showing how global warming will push malaria north. (Because mosquitoes are NOT the Alaskan state bird.) We're told to doubt money from the private sector or even view it as proof that science is bad, but not doubt money flowing from the public sector?

This is illogical.

Oh... polar bears.

We can't forget polar bears, who seem to be doing quite all right in this new and "warmer" world. The pictures are so heart wrenching of them on those melting ice floes, cute little bears, but apparently pulling our heartstrings is good enough that facts need not apply.

The *fact* that the Church of Global Warming seems to *prefer* an emotional appeal is reason to be skeptical.

The fact that fear is also a big part of it all also suggests that skepticism is called for. Why motivate me from fear when you have facts to show me?

Because frankly, fear doesn't work when I have a rough understanding of geological and anthropological History.

And it *really* doesn't work when I grew up on a glacial plain.

terrance said...

Mitt Romney says you can't have religion without freedom, or freedom without religion.

I guess that means that Elsa, the lioness in the movie "Born Free" must have been religious. Can anyone hazard a guess as to the religious proclivities of the star(s) of Born Free?

Daryl said...

joan: people who abandon God at a young age aren't locking themselves in to anything. Some of us have been atheists for more than a decade, and we've never wanted to go back.

george wrote: I don't think he believes in anything, except data analysis.

That's initially why I thought he would be a good candidate for atheist-Americans. He's in a minority religion, and he doesn't want to impose religion on the rest of us, because he knows how much Mormonism would suffer if, for example, public schools were allowed to push evangelical Christianity on the students.

But now he's demagoguing it for his campaign, in reaction to Huckabee.

Mitt deliberately took a swipe at atheists, in hopes that it would stir up a big Mitt-vs-atheists controversy. He wants to use us like race-baiting pols use blacks.

For someone so into data analysis, it's a foolish mistake. He has to avoid the religion issue. Mitt might be able to convince Republicans that he's a Christian, but he can't convince them that he's more Christian than other candidates. No matter how much he beats up on atheists, he's just highlighting the fact that, like atheists, he's not a real Christian.

Synova said...

I said: "Al Gore's behavior is evidence of HIS understanding of the facts."

Mal: "Illogical. Would you argue that Ted Haggard's behavior is evidence of HIS understanding of Scripture?"

Yes.

And anyone else's.

Do *you* behave differently than you believe? Oh, I realize that someone afraid of spiders might "know" that they aren't dangerous but will still be afraid of them. But people behave according to what they know is true. It's proof of what they really think.

Someone who says one thing and behaves differently *doesn't* believe that what they said is true. (Barring outright intention to deceive.)

Is that really not obvious to you?

Even a paranoid person will behave according to their paranoia.

"Walk the Talk".

Duh.

Titan said...

Synova leaves us with 3 options:

1) He is brilliant and has used his "basic understanding" to discover holes that scientists have missed.

2) Scientists are engaged in a vast conspiracy to deny the truth in order to get money and power, or

3) He is wrong

I hear creationists give talks all the time, and these talks are very convincing to non-biologists. Yet real scientists shake their heads.

Of course, if Synova "trips" in front of a bus driven by scientists, maybe I'll go with number 2. Until then, I'm leaning towards 3.....

Synova said...

Wow, Trumpit. I much prefer whatever it is you have. It seems so appealing.

Synova said...

Titan, I'm amazed at the response to skepticism, really. Though I shouldn't be. I expect NO answers from anyone because I don't expect anyone on the AGW bandwagon to spend so much as a moment addressing anyone's doubts. It's all about faith and the faithful at this point.

I *have* been told by an AGW apologist that Freeman Dyson was not *qualified* to have an opinion of Global climate modeling software.

What has been thrown under the bus is the scientific method itself.

Mo MoDo said...

Romney was trying to mimic Kennedy's speech pushing for religious tolerance. Instead, he came off as pandering and hypocritical and MoDo called him on it. In my blog I quote passages from each speech to show how craven he is.

And Dowd correctly says that the Republicans are still arguing Scopes. Huckabee thinks the Earth is only 6000 years old and nobody dares call him out on it for fear of alienating other ignorant hypocrites.

terrance said...

It is seemingly paradoxical and not co-incidental that Romney was elected governer in a very liberal/progressive state. For all of his pious religiosity, this man could never have been elected governer in a religiously republican state. Sickening huh.

mal said...

Because frankly, fear doesn't work when I have a rough understanding of geological and anthropological History.

Who is asking you to be afraid? You may have a rough understanding of geological history, but your comments about global warming are wildly inaccurate. Take your statement about polar bears for example:

We can't forget polar bears, who seem to be doing quite all right in this new and "warmer" world.

Your statement is wrong. Completely inaccurate. Polar bears are listed as a vulnerable species, a subcategory of threatened species. The latest estimates of polar bear population status shows 7 of 19 subpopulations "declining or severely reduced." Even the scientifically-challenged Bush administration acknowledged last year the threatened status of polar bears:

The Bush Administration conceded yesterday that global warming is threatening the polar bear with extinction, the first time that it has singled out climate change as a grave threat to the Arctic and its most iconic inhabitant. In a move that will have profound consequences not only for the polar bear but potentially for America’s polluting industries, the Administration declared last night that the polar bear should be added to its endangered species list because of the drastic melting of its habitat.

This doesn't amount to polar bears "doing quite all right".

No pun intended, but your factually incorrect statement about polar bears is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inaccuracies in your comments. I may correct your errors depending on whether you admit you were wrong about polar bears "doing quite all right". After all, if you can't admit you're wrong about polar bears, there's no hope for getting you to understand your other errors. I can't make a blind man see.

Synova said...

Comparing AGW to religion isn't by accident you know. Yes, I'm a Christian. No, I'm not a Creationist. But I do recognize "true belief" when I see it and that's what a good deal of AGW is.

We're not allowed to question "science". It is unquestionable.

Which is sort of curious when science requires questioning the received wisdom.

It's not surprising to me that religious people see the similarities.

These are the responses I get, "Hey what about that hockey stick thing?" "The guy who claimed that was a crock wasn't a *real* scientist, he's just a normal guy." A normal guy who can apparently do math, but the appeal isn't to science or reason it's to *authority*. A layman questioned the bishop. How dare he!

"Hey, what about this guy, he's got a PhD." "Yeah, but in the wrong field."

"Okay, what about this other guy who's doing climate science?" "He's getting paid by industry."

"Okay, what about this other climate scientist working at this university?" "Oh, he's retired, old fuddy duddy, we tolerate him because he's a nice guy. Make no mistake that the *department* is right on board with AGW."

"What about those scientists who wanted to present contrary peer-reviewed material at Bali?" "Well, that's not what the conference was about."

Thought so.

Palladian said...

Global Warming Panic is metaphysics for the godless who remain Puritans at heart.

"You wasted your life studying religion and I'll damn you if you try to force that repulsive nonscientific nonsense on me. You'll probably die in a flood of biblical proportions caused by global warming. That would be poetic justice."

The thinking that results from a brain bittered by a life without meaning. I'm not saying that religion is necessarily the answer, but you can't be a nihilistic utilitarian for too long before bad things start happening to your soul.

So what's wrong with Jesus' philosophy, Trumpy? It seems to me that what passes for "liberalism" these days, what is called "progressivism", is basically an interpretation of Gospel-centered Christianity with the explicitly religious component removed.

anyway, this discussion can only be leading down a dark and sour road from the looks of the scenery so far. Just remember: Metaphysics and Science are poor replacements for each other.

mal said...

Mal: "Illogical. Would you argue that Ted Haggard's behavior is evidence of HIS understanding of Scripture?"

Synova: Yes.


Okay, so in your mind Ted Haggard thinks the Bible tells him to condemn homosexuality for everyone else while he engages in homosexual activities that he lies about? You're not really dumb enough to believe that are you?

PatCA said...

Re the "freedom with religion" quote. The Founding Fathers explicitly stated that we have inalienable endowed by OUR CREATOR. They're inalienable because they come not from man or woman or political party or king.

That's what Romney's speech was about. Whether or not atheists believe that today is not the issue; that's what the Founders believed then.

Alma Clark said...

You all seem to be all very opinionated and it is very sad that you can't try and see outside of your very tightly closed paradigms.

How did we all get this way? I have found myself arguing points even now that I am unsure of.

All this talk of who knows what and how is just stupid. it requires the same amount of faith to believe that the earth is warming than it does to believe in a God. You have to trust that those who are providing you the data are competent. Science has proved very shaky in this area as it in the past 100 years has changed it's opinions as many times as Bill Clinton, Jim Kerry, and Mitt Romney combined.

I find science extremely interesting and useful to understanding our earth and our bodies. However, it is scientists that have told us that eggs are good for us, wait... no, they'll kill you. Milk is great for you! No, it'll kill your kids! Cigarettes are great for you! Oh no , they'll kill you. The earth is flat, wait no it's round.

Any true scientist will tell you one thing. The more I know, the less I know. The more knowledge I obtain, the more I realize how little of that infinite knowledge I have.

I love consensuses, they remind me of wikipedia. If enough people say it is true then it must be. I love Stephen Colbert's wikipedia routine.

I have a college degree and learned how to think but I'll be the first to admit that I am ignorant. Do I pretend to know things and defend them every once in awhile? Yes. Why do I do this? Because I'm prideful and I want to be right and I don't want to look like a fool.

Anyway, in regards to Mitt Romney and all of the candidates they all have moments that they are not proud of, they all have personal beliefs that they are entitled to, they put their pants on one leg at a time, and are human.

What is important is to look at someones past record and say "Hey, this person may love Yanni or some other artist you can't stand. (Actually Yanni isn't that bad, but I feel cheesy listening to it)but they have proved to be a good leader, motivator and responsible with their own family, company, and with other people's money, so they will probably take those same attributes into their new job.

Anyway my wife is calling me to help her make a salad so I have to run. I hope it tastes good. Talk to you all later and try to expand your perspectives, especially if you consider yourselves enlightened or more informed then the rest of us. You too can discover that you don't know anything.

Merry Christmas!

Jason said...

Hmmm. I'm reasonably well-read for a non-academic. My favorite philosopher is Jesus, as well.

Apparently, someone here has a problem with that.

That same someone, while claiming to be a rationalist (I'm using that term as a proxy for a self-conscious atheist), seems to regard an admiration for Jesus as a philosopher as evidence of stupidity or ignorance. A curious juxtaposition it seems to me.

So, I ask: What is the problem with admiring Jesus as a philosopher? Why would that be evidence of stupidity or ignorance?

In short, WTF is your problem, d00d?

Synova said...

Mal, why are polar bears threatened?

Give me some numbers on them, some facts. (And curious how Bush is suddenly dependable.)

The Arctic melted this summer (while the Antarctic seems to be gaining an unusual amount of ice.) But it's hardly the first time in recorded history that the Arctic has been extra warm.

From a pro Warming site this May:

"Yet recently there have been claims that polar bear populations are increasing. So what's going on? There are thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000 polar bears in 19 population groups around the Arctic. While polar bear numbers are increasing in two of these populations, two others are definitely in decline. We don't really know how the rest of the populations are faring, so the truth is that no one can say for sure how overall numbers are changing."

The two populations decreasing are due to reduced ice, and I've got no problem with admitting that. Where they are increasing it's due to a curb on hunting.

But we all *know* that like global climate, animal populations never fluctuate. Right? We *know* that different populations are dependent on the same pressures, that all polar bear populations are dependent on ice coverage? Well, no we don't, and a *scientist* wouldn't make that claim.

"So the truth is that no one can for sure how overall numbers are changing."

Will YOU admit that the emotional hype and insistence that everyone accept this is hype for a cause?

Synova said...

Mal, It's evidence of what he *believes* is true.

What do you think it is?

Though it is sort of cute to watch you make excuses and comparisons of Gore's privileged and hypocritical behavior by bringing up someone to compare him too who says his religion says one thing but acts differently.

Palladian said...

"However, it is scientists that have told us that eggs are good for us, wait... no, they'll kill you. Milk is great for you! No, it'll kill your kids! Cigarettes are great for you! Oh no , they'll kill you."

No, it's not "science" that told us those thing, in those terms. It's the media, which is about as good at explaining science as a Creationist is at correctly explaining natural selection.

mal said...

synova - The number of polar bears worldwide is estimated to be between 20000 and 25000. Of 19 subpopulations, population data is available for 12: five are declining, five are stable and two are increasing. The IUCN has reclassified the polar bear as vulnerable, a subcategory of threatened species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has proposed that the polar bear be listed as a Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act. The polar bear is not, as you put it, "doing quite all right."

The main threat to polar bears is habitat loss due to melting ice. Other threats include habitat degradation, pollution and hunting. Climate change trends point to overall warming in the Arctic, and a resulting melting of the sea ice. On the basis of these trends, the polar bear is not "doing quite all right." This is one of many factual errors you've made. Will you admit your error now?

mal said...

However, it is scientists that have told us that eggs are good for us, wait... no, they'll kill you. Milk is great for you! No, it'll kill your kids! Cigarettes are great for you! Oh no , they'll kill you. The earth is flat, wait no it's round.

When did science ever tell anyone that eggs or milk will kill you or your kids? When did modern science find that "cigarettes are great for you"? When did science decide the earth is flat?

Some people have very strange ideas.

terrance said...

It's funny. As an atheist, I would never consider voting for a person primarily because they are an atheist.

I am trying to figure Romney out. He seems to conform his positions and actions to his surroundings. When running for governer he accentuated his pro-choice stance and actually developed a statewide healthcare plan. Now, trying to get the republican vote he is couching himself as a religious conservative. Maybe he is the ultimate public servant and problem solver and selflessly dedicates himself to meeting the needs of his electorate, even if it means subordinating his true beliefs and positions to those held by his electorate. If so, as president maybe he would make efforts to represent a wide cross-section of Americans, focus more on problem solving and less on ideology and cronyism than our current president.

mal said...

It's evidence of what he *believes* is true.

I don't believe that for a second. Haggard is a hypocrite. He doesn't believe the Bible has a different message for him than it does for everyone else. Maybe he doesn't believe what he preaches. Maybe he believes what he preaches but can't help from sinning. It's not believable that Haggard understands the Bible to say one thing for him and something different for humanity.

Though it is sort of cute to watch you make excuses and comparisons of Gore's privileged and hypocritical behavior by bringing up someone to compare him too who says his religion says one thing but acts differently.

I haven't made that comparison. I don't have to accept your premise to draw a comparison that reveals the faulty logic you apply. The analogy shows that you haven't argued logically from your premise. In other words, it's a comparsion of faulty deduction, not conclusions.

Synova said...

Gore is a hypocrite.

Your point?

Eva said...

Very entertaining thread.

I'm still waiting on that evidence for the existence of God. I'm not an atheist, so I'm even more excited to learn I can stop relying on faith and intuition. Who knew?

mal said...

Your point?

Your logic is faulty.

Still waiting for you to admit your statement that polar bears are "doing quite all right" is wrong.

I can't make the blind see. If you can't admit this obvious error, there's no reason to correct your other inaccuracies.

Synova said...

Okay.

How about this. I used a poor choice of words, sir, since as far as I know all populations of large bears are less that I would wish them to be.

I will maintain that polar bears are cute and cuddly and work for fabulous PR and pulling of heart strings and that there is huge motivation to use them as poster children while ignoring the fact that some populations are increasing and the others face additional pressures that most surely are man-caused and can (and ought to) be dealt with.

And also ignoring that polar bears survived historical periods that are much warmer than today without dying out.

It's an emotional appeal with the bears and not an appeal to science or logic. It's an appeal that says, "How can you doubt this, don't you *care* about the polar bears you mean nasty person!"

I object to being emotionally manipulated.

Surely you sorts objecting to religion can understand that.

Short Sale Real Estate said...

If you want a lot of comments, then mention religion! :)

Blake said...

mal,

Your argument doesn't really support your case:

The number of polar bears worldwide is estimated to be between 20000 and 25000. Of 19 subpopulations, population data is available for 12: five are declining, five are stable and two are increasing.

What this says is no one knows whether the overall population is declining or increasing, much less the impact of climate change on same.

The Inuits say the number is rising a lot, and that seems to be locally true.

Maybe there's something else going on here, like a change in the earth's tilt/wobble. That might explain increasing ice at one end of the world and decreasing ice at the other.

It's perhaps scarier because we can't control it. We like to believe that we have an effect, by giving up aerosols, we fixed the ozone layer right?

Deep down we're still the same superstitious monkeys we've always been, and AGW is evidence of that.

And if anyone wants a computer simulation showing whatever you can buy/download SimEarth. It's old but has its moments.

Yes, I'm dismissive of computer models of the earth. They ignore what they don't know. (What else could they do, really?) And a whole lot is not understood.

Trooper York said...

Evidence that there is a God: Ice cream. Cold frosty beer on a hot summer day. Baseball. Mulled cider in front of the fireplace while it's snowing outside. A child's first smile. The first really warm day of spring when the girls put on their short summer dresses. Pizza. Jameson's straight up with a water chaser. Really good hot sex. Freshly brewed coffee and a bearclaw covered in powdered sugar on a cold morning train ride. Hot dogs. I find God in the small things. Now back to the partisan bickering.

Synova said...

What is faulty logic about the claim that a person's behavior is consistent with their true beliefs?

A person's behavior might be evidence that they are *really* confused but it is evidence of what they believe is true.

And if it wasn't you comparing Gore to some religious person who was it?

I find it amazing, really, that there is so much tolerance for hypocrisy and so much forgiveness for the privileged rich among Warmers. I've been told how Gore *needs* a huge house and how he *needs* to fly all over creation to spread the gospel. It's bull.

He doesn't believe his own shtick. Pure and simple.

Some people do, and they behave as if they do. Mostly it's regular folks who make a choice to reduce their lifestyles, sometimes drastically, to make real changes. I respect them.

Gore has figured out how to have his cake and eat it too, purchase his holiness from his own corporations, and not only not give up a single material thing, but support himself in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.

I don't expect you to address any of my "errors" because I'm not certain that *you* really believe it either. If you did, there would be more important things to do than say, "you're stupid, wow, you're stupid, you are sooooo stupid." Because being persuasive would be more important than saying how dumb the other side is because the *cause* is a serious one.

When Warmers start behaving as if what they say is actually true, I *will* listen to them.

They'll still have to prove to me that human produced CO2 is enough to catastrophically unbalance a robust system, but I will listen.

Trooper York said...

On the other hand, I don't believe in polar bears.

Fred said...

The only certainty on this issue is that Mitt Romney is no JFK.

JFK was sincere and a proud liberal, admired by the masses. Mitt "I'll double guantanamo bay" Romney is almost as big a fraud as Rudy Giuliani on the GOP side. He's a self-hating liberal in the mold of Hillary Clinton... a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Romney doesn't appear to have the courage to stand up for his convictions. He'll bend over and take it if it means he can be our President. I'll reserve a final judgment on the off chance he steps up to the plate and bats the religious question out of the ball park.

I won't hold my breath, though.

Alan said...

Did anyone catch Ann's opinion regarding Dowd's take on Romney's speech? Did she agree with Dowd or not?

mal said...

What this says is no one knows whether the overall population is declining or increasing, much less the impact of climate change on same.

No. What this says is that based on the best information we have, overall populations are declining, vulnerable, and losing habitat due to melting ice. It's true that we don't have perfect knowledge of polar bear populations but to pretend that we don't have sufficient knowledge to take precautionary action is willful ignorance.

Deep down we're still the same superstitious monkeys we've always been, and AGW is evidence of that.

This proves my point that some are unable to distinguish science from superstition.

And a whole lot is not understood.

The important point is that some is understood. Why make policy decisions by pretending that we are completely ignorant? It makes sense to use all available knowledge.

It's a fact that we don't know if the Tensor-Vector-Scalar gravity theory is correct. Would you suggest that we put our practical, every day reliance on gravitational forces on hold until the theory is proven correct or incorrect?

Synova said...

"Maybe there's something else going on here, like a change in the earth's tilt/wobble."

We're due for a pole flip, actually.

I guess everyone decided that this won't be utterly disastrous and we're down to predictions of a patchy magnetic field protecting us from solar radiation from initial speculation about doing completely without a magnetic field for a couple centuries.

That's another thing that would make me pay more attention to the Warmers. I'd like to know how a flipping of the magnetic poles works into their global climate models.

Again, I don't expect it because the flipping of the Earth's magnetic poles isn't anything that humans can influence and therefore it has *zero* political value.

Joan said...

terrance said, way up there: ["]Perfect timing to make such an important, life-altering decision, when the height of your wisdom, life experience, and reasoning powers have been reached![" - quoted me, without quotes]

What a thoughtful comment Joan. We all know that believers in god arrived at their positions strictly as adults and only after long and careful deliberation.


That's certainly not true for all, but it is true for a non-zero percentage.

Terrance continued, sarcastically:
Those in puberty are incapable of making life altering decisions. We need to encourage them to wait until they are much more mature before weighing the evidence and rejecting the existence of God or Santa Claus, for that matter.

I guess twelve year old's are not capable of testing reality.


My point is not that 12-year-old are incapable of testing reality. My point was that 12-year-olds are not as good at "testing reality" as more well-educated adults can be. We all know smart kids and stupid adults, but that's not the issue. When you're 12, you think you know everything. By the time you're in mid-20s, you should realize that you don't.

As someone who rejected religion and even the idea of God, how much have you studied the topics since making that decision? I know you're happy with it, but don't you wonder why the vast majority of the most brilliant minds in history disagreed with you on this? Or are you saying they never gave it much thought, either? I don't think that's so.

terrance said...

(Evidence that there is a God: Ice cream.) What about third degree burns? (Cold frosty beer on a hot summer day.) What about the drunk driver who has had several cold frosty beers plowing his car into a van containing a family of six (Baseball.) Steroids (Mulled cider in front of the fireplace while it's snowing outside.) An elderly woman freezing to death in her apartment because she forgot to pay her electric bill (A child's first smile.) What about the child who progresses normally for his first eighteen months and then regresses into severe autism rarely if ever smiling again. (The first really warm day of spring when the girls put on their short summer dresses.) Try that in Saudia Arabia (Pizza.) Anorexia Nervosa (Jameson's straight up with a water chaser.) cirrhosis of the liver. (Really good hot sex). Pedophillia (Freshly brewed coffee and a bearclaw covered in powdered sugar on a cold morning train ride.) Heart Failure (Hot dogs.) Malnutrition

(I find God in the small things. Now back to the partisan bickering.)

Thanks trooper. Where there is god there must be satan.

Gedaliya said...

How did Romney get so perversely rich?

How did you? Here in India you're considered the equivalent of a billionaire. You're well-fed, clothed, educated, housed; you own a car, countless gadgets and items of personal convenience. You go to restaurants, take vacations and buy expensive gifts for loved-ones and friends. You drink fresh water and have indoor plumbing.

How did you get so perversely rich, Trumpit?

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:3

Trooper York said...

I know Terrance, we are choosing up sides. You have to figure out what team you want to be on, ya know what I mean?

Synova said...

Mal, IF human beings can affect global climate, why are you not terrified that efforts to fix it will break it for good?

Do you trust humans, deep in your heart. Do you trust them not to screw things up worse?

Or do you trust the Earth and her ability to shrug off our mistakes?

The Earth has never baked all life from it's surface, as far as I know, but it did freeze utterly solid.

mal said...

And also ignoring that polar bears survived historical periods that are much warmer than today without dying out.

This doesn't make a bit of sense. It doesn't acknowledge that polar bear populations have historically been much greater than they are today. It doesn't acknowledge that habitat for polar bears was greater than it is today.

Polar bears are surviving current conditions. They may not survive projected conditions. It's an important distinction to make. That's why they are listed as vulnerable rather than extinct. It's a distinction that makes a difference in honest assessments.

Gedaliya said...

This doesn't make a bit of sense. It doesn't acknowledge that polar bear populations have historically been much greater than they are today. It doesn't acknowledge that habitat for polar bears was greater than it is today.

Who gives a damn about polar bears except for rich liberals and the eskimos that eat them? There have been more polar bears and there have been fewer polar bears. So what? Does this keep you up at night?

I didn't think so. Hunger keeps people up at night. Fear of being killed, raped or maimed in war keeps people up at night.

Global warming is a rich-man's leisure-time fad that will, sooner or later, be dropped in favor of some other rich-man's leisure-time fad.

Feh.

Synova said...

"Thanks trooper. Where there is god there must be satan."

Very true.

And even with a philosophical lack of god there is still yin and yang, good and evil, and what all. The truth of it is recognized in any number of cultures, those with a concept of deity or not. I was reading some Native American stuff the other day that said the same, that good always came with bad, and bad always came with good.

The things that make this planet of ours so very friendly to life are all things that hurt us. Plate tectonics, water, the atmosphere itself. Medicines and poisons, sometimes the exact same substance is both.

Synova said...

"Global warming is a rich-man's leisure-time fad that will, sooner or later, be dropped in favor of some other rich-man's leisure-time fad."

True.

We can only care because we *are* rich.

Which makes a person wonder if those trying to solve the problem by punishing wealthy nations have really thought this through.

Trooper York said...

In fact none of the other bears like the polar bears because they are just really light skinned bears trying to pass and acting white. You know, eating garbage, drinking Coca Cola and getting fatter and fatter and trying to kill off any Native Americans they can get their paws on.

Eva said...

"The rational mind stresses opposites. Compassion and love go beyond pairs of opposites."

"Beyond that world of opposites is an unseen, but experienced, unity and identity in us all."

A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

mal said...

synova - Your positions aren't based on evidence or reason and there's no point in arguing science with someone who doesn't accept scientific methods.

I don't need to change your mind. Some people base beliefs on evidence, some base beliefs on faith. If you want to operate on faith that's your choice. I'm not trying to deny you that option. All I ask is that the faith-based believers stop pretending that they understand the science they deny.

Gedaliya said...

All I ask is that the faith-based believers stop pretending that they understand the science they deny.

Hey Mr. Scientist....why are nearly all the planets in the solar system warming up? Even Pluto is getting warmer. Does my SUV make Pluto warmer and does it endanger Pluto's polar bears?

mal said...

Global warming is a rich-man's leisure-time fad that will, sooner or later, be dropped in favor of some other rich-man's leisure-time fad.

Another perfect example of the rejection of scientific evidence.

Trooper York said...

Now none of your famous bears are polar bears. Yogi and Boo Boo are brown bears. Gentle Ben and Smokey were as I understand it, bears of color. Not one of the care bears were pale in any way, shape or form. The only famous polar bear is the Coca Cola bear who doesn’t even have a name. He just sold out his talent for commercialism. You know, sort of like Michael Jackson.

Gedaliya said...

Another perfect example of the rejection of scientific evidence.

Keep repeating this often enough and maybe even you'll believe it.

terrance said...

Trooper York said...
I know Terrance, we are choosing up sides. You have to figure out what team you want to be on, ya know what I mean?

As an atheist, there are no sides, two sides, or many sides for me choose from. Capiche?

christopher said...

Oh, for jeebus sake.

You want proof of the non-existence of God?

It's simple.

If there was a god, there would have been an eleventh commandment.

Thou shalt not be a hypocritical sack of shit.

mal said...

Hey Mr. Scientist....why are nearly all the planets in the solar system warming up? Even Pluto is getting warmer.

Hate to be the one to break the news to you, but Pluto is no longer a planet.

Trooper York said...

No problemo mi amigo, just don't choose the side with the polar bears. They are nasty.

mal said...

Sorry, didn't mean to ignore your question. Which planets show evidence of global warming?

Trooper York said...

I thought Pluto was Mickey Mouse's dog. I think he was a rare clumber.

Gedaliya said...

Hate to be the one to break the news to you, but Pluto is no longer a planet.

LOL. I see. Some committee decided it's no longer a "planet," so they gave it another name.

But listen, Einstein, it remains in orbit around the sun, and it's getting warmer.

How do you explain the fact that its getting warmer, along with Mars, Jupiter, etc.? Any ideas?

Synova said...

Rejecting Global Warming politics is not rejecting science or the scientific method. It's insisting on them.

Why are the other planets, and the non-planet of Pluto getting warmer and why do the reasons those planets, and the non-planet of Pluto, are warming not apply to Earth?

Our wealth is the only thing that allows us to care about the environment. Environmentalism is a rich man's pass time. This is true if global warming is a problem or if it is not a problem. So, is global warming about punishing the wealthy, both people and nations, or is it about saving the world?

Gedaliya said...

Pluto Getting Warmer

Jupiter, too

And then there's Triton, Neptune's Largest Moon

And let's not forget about Mars

rcocean said...

"No problemo mi amigo, just don't choose the side with the polar bears. They are nasty."

Exactly. Why are people always whining about the Polar Bears? What about the Seals, did you ever think of them? They're glad the Polar Bears are disappearing.

And what did the Polar Bears ever do for us, except to kill and eat us whenever they got the chance.

The only difference between a polar bear and a crocodile is the cuteness factor.

Synova said...

"I don't need to change your mind. Some people base beliefs on evidence, some base beliefs on faith. If you want to operate on faith that's your choice. I'm not trying to deny you that option. All I ask is that the faith-based believers stop pretending that they understand the science they deny."

Mal, my problem with Global Warming is that I *want* evidence and what I'm given is an appeal to faith.

Obviously I can't make you see that, no matter that I continue to try.

I see appeals to emotions, appeal to authority, appeal to consensus, and blatant attempts to manipulate. I'm told not to question. Hey, I had a pastor like that once, too. Just accept, don't question.

It's an appeal to faith, Mal.

Have I said anything remotely like "God won't let it happen?" Like God never destroyed the world before?

No.

Historically, has it been warmer before? Yes. Much so.

Why should I fear being warmer now?

In fact, if I should fear, maybe I should fear the ability of humans to actually affect the world. What if we tame her cycles and make her friendlier to us? Do we understand enough to do that?

What if, Mal, what if a few years ago when we were told to fear the coming ice age some bright bulb went and spread black dust on the Arctic and Antarctic?

Where would we be now?

Do you really trust humans not to make it worse? Heck, the idea makes economic idiocy look nearly benign. Maybe we should be glad if all the Warmers screw up is the economy of the developing world, eh?

Titan said...

Why are other solar objects getting warmer? Well, I easily found this explanation by Google-ing "denialists".

Still, the point that I have made here twice now is to say that it is irrational for an outsider to maintain an opinion contrary to experts in a field. I'm not saying to accept everything you're told, especially when expertise isn't required - but when it comes to conclusions that take years of specialized study, it is normally foolish to reject the consensus of experts.

It's one thing to point out that there is no consensus, but it's another thing entirely to think that you've got the right answer while the experts are part of some cabal designed to hide to truth (probably in conjunction with the liberal MSM!)

Synova said...

That's nice, Titan.

"With all of these facts lined up, it’s clear that the one thing we need to do is be very, very careful when someone comes in and makes a broad, sweeping statement about global warming’s cause, especially when they have ulterior motives for saying what they do. This may sound like an ad hominem, but we have seen, over and over, how science gets abused these past few years by those in power. A jaundiced eye is critical in science, and a little skepticism — or in this case, a lot — is a good thing."

So true. I agree wholeheartedly.

Oh wait, he didn't mean that the broad sweeping claims are that human CO2 causes global warming and or that the ulterior motives are political power, prestige and funding, which can only be attached to *human* caused warming. He meant we were supposed to be skeptical of those who say, "Hey, what about this and what about that?" and not over the conventional wisdom.

And isn't saying that rising temperatures on some planets and not others (no data for others apparently means/proves they *aren't* warming) proves it's not solar a bit like saying that because *all* groups of polar bears aren't dying off that warming can't be blamed? Heck, I wouldn't even say that. The polar bears don't all live in the same place with the same conditions.

mal said...

The Bad Astronomy Blog titan links to answers the question about evidence of some sort of warming on a couple of other planets. Of course there isn't evidence of global warming on these planets, but it seems that denialists don't distinguish between local and global warming. Nor do they distinguish between rates of warming. Nor do they distinguish between planets (Jupiter, Mars) and other objects (Pluto, Triton). The reckless use and abuse of definitions, terms and ideas by some of the faith-based commenters is further evidence that they can't/won't distinguish between scientific thought and superstition.

The giveaway that these people aren't skeptics is that they haven't tried to find answers to the questions they pose. For example, why haven't they checked for explanations for localized warming on Mars? If they somehow believe it's global warming and is caused by solar activity, why don't all planets show global warming? Real skeptics will have thought about these questions. Fake skeptics recite talking points and have no understanding of the subject. It isn't a coincidence that fake skeptics recite the same questions, word for word. They read from the same bible.

Synova said...

I'm not adverse to listening to experts, Titan. But there are actually very very few people who study the whole of this. They study parts here and there. The list of scientists the UN was touting was all sorts of people in all sorts of different specialties, yet when someone like Freeman Dyson says the computer models are bad I'm told that he isn't qualified to say so. (As far as I recall he isn't even a denier, I think.)

The fellow at the link you linked talked about cherry picking information. Say what? Is it really just one side that does that?

The protesters in Bali are out there demanding that America and that planet killer Bush be made to pay. It's political. The "solutions" demanded are likely to make things worse if anyone actually adhered to them, but they won't.

It's a rich man's game, like I told Mal. Being rich is why we can care. Some mythical belief in a lovely and clean agrarian world is something only possible for someone who's never *lived* in an agrarian world. If it's not about politics and power then why not do what would work best? I'm absolutely fine with getting on board for a cleaner world, and if that means less CO2 it's win-win all the way.

Nuke power plants to start. Lots of them. Deliberate economic and technological development and a promotion of strong economies and industrialization around the world. The fastest (only) way to less population is economic opportunity. The only thing shown to make people breed less is wealth.

People need the *luxury* of working for a clean environment and without wealth they don't have it. Have you ever *driven* in a third world country?

And stop this idiotic ethanol racket.

If cows are an inefficient way to convert vegetable energy, ethanol production makes them look like a creature able to defy thermodynamics.

But lets subsidize the mass mono-culture production of corn (produced with chemicals and really large tractors) pushing the prices up which raises all food costs just for something that doesn't work worth spit but makes us feel good.

Enough of that already.

And Kennedy can just deal with seeing windmills, elitist *ss that he is.

Synova said...

"Nor do they distinguish between planets (Jupiter, Mars) and other objects (Pluto, Triton)."

That statement right there, Mal, makes me doubt any claim you've ever made to understanding science.

Jupiter and Mars are more different than Mars and Triton. Surely Mars and Triton should be grouped together for this purpose while Jupiter has it's own category.

Pluto, though now classified as "not a planet" has nothing except that in common with Triton, which is a moon. Pluto is not a moon. Putting them into an sub-set "other objects" as if it's meaningful is ignorant. Miranda is also an "other object" but hardly something that can be grouped with Titan *or* Pluto.

If you insist on criticizing ignorant and unscientific deniers, it would help not to be so obviously ignorant yourself.

Synova said...

"The fact that Romney, a believer in god, needed to make a speech in an effort to appease other believers in god..."

Not to go back on topic or anything but... isn't that *exactly* what Kennedy's speech was for?

mal said...

If you insist on criticizing ignorant and unscientific deniers, it would help not to be so obviously ignorant yourself.

I'm specfically criticizing the person who wrote this:

why are nearly all the planets in the solar system warming up?

and the person (you) who wrote this:

Why are the other planets, and the non-planet of Pluto getting warmer

Both commenters failed to distinguish planets from non-planets. I made this point earlier - people who abuse scientific definitions immediately lose credibility.

Both commenters were also dishonest about their claims. Both suggest "nearly all" the planets are showing signs of global warming. In fact, only two examples were given of any type of warming, and neither qualify as global warming based on the evidence we have.

If you want to be honest, explain why Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus show no evidence of warming, much less global warming. Of course if you were honest, you would have phrased your original question to say "why do two other planets show signs of warming?" Or "why do two other planets and two other objects in the solar system show signs of localized warming?" Do you think the profundity of your question was enhanced by the misleading way you phrased it? Doesn't your credibility take a hit when the wildly inaccurate exaggeration embedded in your question is revealed?

That statement right there, Mal, makes me doubt any claim you've ever made to understanding science.

Why do I care about your opinion? You don't understand the science so your opinion of my scientific knowledge is absolutely useless to me. After the hit your credibility has taken, I don't need your endorsement anyway.

Synova said...

Neener neener.

Synova said...

Oh worshiper of nomenclature, do you not see the uncritical faith you depend upon?

I bet at least one planet, moon, or other heavenly body is getting *cooler*... but you don't know which one do you.

Because you don't have data to support your claim that *only* the planets, moons, and other non-planetary bodies listed are getting warmer and the others are not.

Yet you make that claim without a blush, don't you.

Gedaliya said...

Here in India the middle class doesn't yearn for solutions to the rich-man's canard called "global warming." What warms the hearts of those who are finally pulling themselves out of the slog of abject poverty is Tata Motor's 1 lakh (~$2500) car.

These will soon be rolling off the assembly lines here in the millions. For the first time in the history of India the average (middle class) person will be able to afford an automobile. I'd love for our local warmists to come here and try to persuade people that they don't need an automobile, or that it will "hurt the environoment."

They'd be laughed out of the room...or worse.

mal said...

Yet you make that claim without a blush, don't you.

I didn't make a claim about warming or cooling on other planets. You did, and it turned out to be wildly inaccurate.

One of the great differences between evidence-based and faith-based beliefs is that evidence-based beliefs require accuracy in thought and expression. I'm sorry if you find that practice unfamiliar.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Mal, do you know anything at all about philosophy? Just curious.

mal said...

Mal, do you know anything at all about philosophy?

Uh huh. Do you know anything about science? (Just curious.)

Bilby said...

I don't know if anyone has posted this yet (back on Maureen Dowd's column), but I just saw this over at Instapundit:

CAUGHT YOUTHENING: Maureen Dowd's latest column begins:

When I was a kid, we used to drive on the Beltway past the big Mormon temple outside Washington. The spires rose up like a white Oz, and some wag had spray-painted the message on a bridge beneath: “Surrender Dorothy!”

But if you're imagining Dowd as a pigtailed six-year-old in the back of the family station wagon, think again. The temple was finished in 1974. Maureen Dowd was born in 1952. So she was a "kid" who was old enough to vote and drink.

Meade said...

And could you guys back it off just a smidge? It's getting a tad overheated in here and my own experts are telling me that you are all personally responsible for making my head wobble on its axis funny. Look, I'm still trying to wrap my unadvanced-degreed mind around Pluto being a rare clumber. If Pluto's a rare clumber, just what on Earth is Goofy? Huh? Answer me that, oh titans of scientific knowledge.

"bears of color" - a godsend of cosmic comic relief.

Synova said...

"If you want to be honest, explain why Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus show no evidence of warming, much less global warming."

Is that missing any? Lessee... Earth and Mars and Jupiter... that's three warming planets. (We won't count non-planets like Titan or Pluto.) Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus is all the rest right? This is a statement that they are showing *no* evidence of warming or global warming on all the other planets.

"I didn't make a claim about warming or cooling on other planets."

Why yes you did.

Synova said...

"One of the great differences between evidence-based and faith-based beliefs is that evidence-based beliefs require accuracy in thought and expression. I'm sorry if you find that practice unfamiliar."

Haven't studied theology much, (at all) have you.

It's so funny how you view your prejudices as facts.

rcocean said...

Dowd's over 55. How long can she keep up the teenage snark?

The Other Steve said...

Republicans are to religion, what frozen yogurt sundaes are to weight loss.

Lot's of talk, but little substance.

Blake said...

This proves my point that some are unable to distinguish science from superstition.

You've said this in many different ways in this thread as though you were repeating the catechism.

You've so far done nothing but make assertions and backed them up with denials.

But it's everyone else who's unable to distinguish between science and fantasy?

Daryl said...

I think Ann should institute a new rule: no mention of global warming except on specifically designated threads. Apparently suv-powered hurricanes are an even bigger vortex than Althouse's dare to discuss whether Romney's a "religious fanatic."

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

Title of this thread:
Metaphysics for Dummies.

Alternative title:
Science for Dummies.

Wellll, not so much for as by.

Comments here have been short.  Blog comments should be short.
Words of one syllable and sentences of five words.
Big Problem: You're arguing things that require elaboration.  Some of the concepts (e.g., "god") are real trouble.

If you want to keep it so simple, write for 6-year-olds:

See Spot run.
Run, Spot run.

Tom proves God.
Prove, Tom, prove.

See Ben do ethics.
Go, Ben, go.

See Ann link.
Link, Ann, link.

*   *   *   *   *

You can make up your own 1st grade sentences about Mitt Romney.

And speaking of linking, for those of you who want more information about the Polar Bear Question, but are too bored to ask, here's a little video about efforts to rebuild the population.

zzRon said...

Mal said...." but it seems that denialists don't distinguish between local and global warming."


IMO, the fact that you feel comfortable calling those who disagree with you "denialists" does more harm than good for your holy cause (man made glogal warming). It leads me to believe that you are either arogant (at best) or an asshole (at worst). Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between?

Roost on the Moon said...

The distinction that the Dowd/Krakauer piece makes is real. Their choice of terms ("religious fanatic") is inflammatory, but that is a real difference between the intent of the speeches. See Byron York's piece in the (conservative) National Review for similar analysis. This speech was not aimed at moderates, it was aimed at "evangelicals" who demand religiousity in their elected officials.

And while "fanatics" isn't flattering, Krakauer isn't calling them that just because they go to church, as Tim says. These are people who like their leader to say that freedom is impossible without religion.

I don't hate religious people, I think religion can do a lot of good in people's lives. But that statement is a little batty, especially from a potential president.

Fen said...

Clyde's amusing parody of a rightwing Althouse commenter includes a reference to "Goracle's cult of Gaea and the Church of Global Warming" which perfectly demonstrates the inability of some to distinguish evidence from fantasy.

Ha. Latest scientific evidence finds the precious climate models are off by at least TWICE their margin of error. Waitaminute, I thought the "science" was settled, the debate closed. LOL.

Some of the commenters at Althouse have an astonishingly poor understanding of the difference between science and superstition

Indeed. Some Leftists put all their faith in broken computer models. Ironic, isn't it?

Fen said...

Is that missing any? Lessee... Earth and Mars and Jupiter... that's three warming planets.

Same old, same old. Like Mann, any evidence that conflicts with our Divine Model [ie, The Medieval Warm Period and subsequent Little Ice Ace] must me deleted.

...the political forces that view the theory of CO2-induced global warming as a mighty lever for moving the nations of the earth in the direction of global governance - via the establishment of an entity with power to regulate nearly all forms of human enterprise in the guise of protecting the planet from the climatic consequences of CO2-producing activities - realized they had a serious problem on their hands. To keep their political juggernaut alive, therefore, they had to "deep-six" the concept of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, in order to imbue their program with a semblance of rationality; and they saw the perfect opportunity to do so in a pair of papers published by Mann et al. (1998, 1999).

These papers presented an entirely new perspective on earth's climatic history over the past thousand years, which was different from what had previously been accepted by even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Houghton et al., 1990). Whereas IPCC documents up to at least 1995 had faithfully depicted the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, the new history - derived from a few select proxy temperature records - showed, in the words of Esper et al. (2002), "an almost linear temperature decrease from the year 1000 to the late 19th century, followed by a dramatic and unprecedented temperature increase to the present time," which is now routinely described as "the warmest period of the past millennium."


http://sepp.org/Archive/NewSEPP/Medieval_Warm_period_and_Little_Ice_age.htm

So no surprise that the Global Warming Inquisitor ignored Mars.

Windbag said...

Did anyone happen to read the article and notice that Dowd lied in the first sentence? The graffiti to which she refers appeared in 1973, when she was in her 20's. Not when she was a kid.

Roost on the Moon said...

What a liar!

Roost on the Moon said...

Fen, it's never clear from your posts; is your position "It's not happening" or "it isn't caused by mankind" or just "anything libruls say is wrong"?

Henry said...

I'm late to the party (omaha1 - massacre"s"? Pray tell, what is the evidence for your plural?), but I think the snippet from Modo's column is absolutely correct.

The irony is that Mitt is making his assurances of religiousity only for votes; he expresses affinity with the evangelical world view, but makes no promises.

Nor would one expect him to -- his governing mode is that of the business executive. His political history shows no more influence of religion than that of JFK or any other Kennedy.

Crimso said...

FWIW, I am a real live, published, tenured scientist at a large university (at which Mr. Gore and I were colleagues, though we haven't met). I have only discussed AGW with a few other faculty in my dept. Not one of them believes it. Nor do I. Untestable hypotheses make for bad bases on which to formulate policy of any kind, much less policies with the potential to do a great deal of (un)intended damage.

Roost on the Moon said...

Welcome, Crimso. What's your field?

garage mahal said...

So no surprise that the Global Warming Inquisitor ignored Mars.

Fascinating discussion. Some uninhabitable planets completely unlike our planet may be warming too. Could be, hard to say though. Best to take a wait and see approach on just exactly why the poles are melting. But at the end of the day, whatever Al Gore believes can't be true.

And does anyone really believe that billions tons of pollutants sent into a closed system could be harming anything? That's some sort of Religion!

Zeb Quinn said...

And does anyone really believe that billions tons of pollutants sent into a closed system could be harming anything? That's some sort of Religion!

Closed system or no, all the stuff you're talking about didn't get "sent into" it. It's all from right here. It belongs here too.

Roost on the Moon said...

But at the end of the day, whatever Al Gore believes can't be true.

That's really it in a nutshell. I actually do believe that there is a fair amount of alarmism, that some of that alarmism is politically motivated, etc, etc... There really is a big power grab going on with this issue.

But the reason that's possible is because this issue is a huge winner for democrats. As long as those calling for prudence and careful scrutiny are allies with those who claim that nothing is happening, that the industrial revolution has had a negligible environmental impact, that global warming is an elaborate hoax put forward by a group of political elites bent on world government*, as long as this nonsense isn't condemned by the "skeptics", they aren't going to be taken seriously.

There is a power grab going on, and it's possible because the opposition plainly has their head in the ground.

The earth isn't getting and warmer AND pollution has nothing to do with it. Polar bears are doing great AND whatever is happening to them we didn't do it. There is no scientific consensus AND scientific consensus is meaningless. There is no way to test these hypotheses AND real science says it's not happening.


It's incoherent and plainly politically motivated. Until the voice of prudence gets its act together, alarmism will carry the day.


(*like Fen's "SEPP" - by the way, their shoddy website is awesome, including a statement asserting that, as of 1991, there is no scientific consensus regarding global warming.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's really it in a nutshell. I actually do believe that there is a fair amount of alarmism, that some of that alarmism is politically motivated, etc, etc... There really is a big power grab going on with this issue.

That's about the size of it. I'm old enough to recall the same alarmism 30 years ago that we were entering a new ice age. Then we were supposed to run out of oil by 1990, swine flu was going to kill millions, Y2K, that Population Bomb (not) and a host of other doomsday scenarios that have only come to pass in a Hollywood move set.

So you'll forgive me if I don't get too worked up over the latest doomsday fad. I'm sure those who worship at the Church of Global Warming will worry enough for me.

Fen said...

Some uninhabitable planets completely unlike our planet may be warming too.

Not completely unlike. They have a commonality called the Sun...

Does the Divine Model account for changes in the Sun's cycle? Nope.

Fen said...

Roost on the Moon: Fen, it's never clear from your posts; is your position

"It's not happening"


No, the cliamte is warming.

"it isn't caused by mankind"

Yes, mankind's contribution is not significant.

Crimso said...

"Welcome, Crimso. What's your field?"

Well, B.S. and M.S. in Chem. Eng., Ph.D. in biochemistry. I teach in a chemistry dept., but don't really consider myself a chemist. I'm definitely a biochemist. Definitely not a climate scientist, but I know good science when I see it.

Crimso said...

For a writer of fiction, I think Frank Herbert wrote a great deal of wisdom regarding environments and ecologies (and he was not a scientist). The previous comment by Zeb Quinn reminded me of how much of Herbert's writings deal with similar concepts. No doubt many people who are experts in writing might argue that he sucked, but I can't commend him highly enough to anyone. I'd be interested to know his thoughts on this issue, were he still alive.

Roost on the Moon said...

Yes, mankind's contribution is not significant.

So, why argue that climate-modeling software is inaccurate? Even if it is, (and I get the strong impression you don't know anything about it, really) that is utterly irrelevant to your point.

Its as if you're arguing that (The warming has nothing to do with industrial pollution, and if I'm wrong about that, then also climate predictions are based on faulty climate models, so still, Al Gore is bad.)

It just seems like you're more interested in being right than what's actually happening. I can't conceive of a real-world event that would convince you that you aren't right about this. If there is no ice at the north pole in 30 years, would you still maintain that humans are incapable of influencing the climate?

I don't know what's happening either; all I've got are a bunch of "arguments from authority." But all you're offering is the same, and from places that casually reference one-world government conspiracies.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can't conceive of a real-world event that would convince you that you aren't right about this. If there is no ice at the north pole in 30 years, would you still maintain that humans are incapable of influencing the climate?

Indiana was covered by a glacier at one point in time. Said glacier is gone and was gone long before humans were emitting carbon into the air.

Climate has changed over the course of Earth's history. To claim that it is now doing so because of our influence is, IMHO, a bit pretentious.

Again, 30 years ago, the ice age scenario was being touted and now it's global warming. Sorry but the track record of too many of these 'global crises' ain't all that great.

Gore and a lot of others have been making boatloads of greenbacks off this stuff which makes me more than skeptical over the bona fides of such claims. Follow the money folks.

Roost on the Moon said...

Again, 30 years ago, the ice age scenario was being touted and now it's global warming. Sorry but the track record of too many of these 'global crises' ain't all that great.

As an argument for healthy skepticism and awareness of media sensationalism, this is compelling.

But you shouldn't take from it that all science news is malarkey, or that the environment is impervious to human damage.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But you shouldn't take from it that all science news is malarkey, or that the environment is impervious to human damage.

I don't. I simply view 'sky is falling' scenarios with healthy skepticism, particularly when the ones raising the most hue and cry are being handsomely compensated for it.

I don't think the environment is impervious but I also don't think the earth is this frgile flower either. It wasn't media sensationalism 30 years ago but 'experts' who thought it a grand idea to blanket the poles with ash to try and warm the planet.

Synova said...

The environment is absolutely subject to damage. We could easily kill everything off including ourselves.

We probably ought not do that.

That's not at all the same thing as saying that the world is so fragile that the small excess CO2 levels produced by humans are going to wreck it.

And while it may not be helpful to posit some huge conspiracy to form a world government, the fact remains that if we were dealing with air quality and pollution locally there wouldn't be a party in Bali just now.

I think it was Instapundit linked to a former anti-nuke activist who has changed her tune and written a book about how we need nuclear power now to save the Earth.

That's good to see.

The energy bill that Congress is pushing on the other hand... well, maybe the Senate will have more sense?

Synova said...

Speaking of "the sky is falling"... I wonder if there is a correlation, not perfect I'm sure, between attitudes about global warming and those who can remember more versions of the same and those who don't.

I googled "CO2 in amber bubbles" because I didn't remember what we knew about the atmosphere millions of years ago and found that oxygen was over 30% instead of just above 20% and the explanation? The oceans were much warmer then.

Not that 30% oxygen is a *good* thing but why do we assume that a warmer Earth is bad?

We'll likely get one no matter what in any case.

lance said...

mal said...
There's simply no evidence for the existence of God.

A witness takes the stand, swears to tell the truth, and says "I saw it." How is that different from someone saying "I heard God's voice"?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

ya know, we have warmed, if the warming fanatics have this fact right, 1 degree in 100 years.

Yet this one degree is enough to melt the icecap.

Oh, I forgot, that is teh average temperature.

So, since the icecap has risen teh required 30+ degrees, enough to melt, then where has it decreased 30+ degrees?

I also have to question even the 1 degree factoid.

we have no idea what the tempature was 20 years ago at any given point, much less 100. Too much has changed, including the accuracy of the measuring devices, if we had them in place.

Other spots we are taking evidence and computing temperatures based on assumptions of what the evidence means.

I'll wait to see what happens myself. There are too many variables and too much time for these things to happen (or not).

Trooper York said...

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
well Maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour
(Dean Martin version, 1968)

Blake said...

So, why argue that climate-modeling software is inaccurate? Even if it is, (and I get the strong impression you don't know anything about it, really) that is utterly irrelevant to your point.

I don't know if he's arguing that, but I am. I've built sims myself, and you can only put in what you know (or what you think you know).

To be accurate, it has to be able to predict the past and the future. The current models don't predict the past, and they put the future out beyond where they can be scrutinized.

This is easily recognized as a common pattern amongst doomsayers, whether they be predicting the second coming or "the population bomb"--or nuclear winter. I'm surprised that's sort of fallen down the memory hole, that Carl Sagan (whom I largely admired) fudged the nuclear winter sims.

I'll admit to being jaded: I've seen a lot of these sims over the years and not one has been right. And the current sim that started this hubbub was fudged to make the hockey stick.

I've been meaning to run it myself but the guy who wrote the sim wasn't sharing--another big red flag.

Synova said...

"I've been meaning to run it myself but the guy who wrote the sim wasn't sharing--another big red flag."

But, but, peer review and independent duplication of results is the bedrock of science itself, the bedrock I tell you!

Oh, wait. We're talking global warming. *whew* Had me worried there for a moment.

The Exalted said...

i really dont understand how any adult could use al gore's behavior as evidence or counterevidence for global warming. surely, nobody is that stupid.

The Exalted said...

Synova said...

Firstly there's the outright inaccuracies. Does CO2 push warming or does warming push CO2.


its both -- i know, hard to understand! see, CO2 in the atmosphere causes this greenhouse effect which pushes warming. but, warming melts permafrost which, you guessed it, releases C02 (which then amplifies warming).

wow, hard concept!

Second, warming is something to be alarmed about. This is highly illogical as the Earth has been much warmer in the past as well as much colder.

but did you have a condo on miami beach 2,000,000 years ago?

don't you get it? stopping global warming isn't some treehugging crusade to save the earth, the earth itself can withstand anything we can do to it except possibly a catastrophic thermonuclear exchange (and even that would be resolved given a few million years).

no, the drive to end global warming is a selfish movement to save us.

Synova said...

CO2 seems to act as a buffer making the temperature swings slower. Stuff warms up, increasing CO2 and then CO2 may keep things warm longer. Like a pillow. If so, then CO2 is good, we get warmer but we don't crash into an ice age afterward.

The greenhouse effect ought also to warm the atmosphere because radiation is reflected from the surface of the Earth and gets caught. Greater warming ought to be happening higher up than is happening at the surface of the planet but it doesn't seem to be. So something is wrong. Perhaps the premise that the warming in the atmosphere should happen at all is wrong? Perhaps the atmosphere is warming as predicted and the claims I see otherwise are lying? In which case point me at a link.

I'm not interested in preserving Miami Beach property. Having to move is not threatening to the species. There are some reports that the Sahara is shrinking. Now wouldn't that be a good thing? For the climate change losers there are climate change winners, geographically speaking. What if we loose some ag productivity in Kansas but get to farm Greenland again?

Humans are what we are because we adapt better than any creature on the earth other than a cockroach. Why should we assume that human life is at risk?

At worst it's a hypothetical risk, which frankly, keeps getting adjusted downward. We're now at an estimated couple centimeters sea level rise instead of 20 feet or whatever it was before when the IPPwhatsit either inserted a typo it was too uninformed to catch, or outright lied to motivate us. Miami Beach is probably fine. I have no animosity toward Miami Beach either.

Now maybe I'm pragmatic about adapting to global climate change because it's inevitable. The Earth *will* get warmer. The Earth *will* get colder. Humans will most certainly have to face another ice age eventually and not a everloving thing we could do about it... or *should* do about it, likely enough.

None of that makes any difference about the need to develop efficient and clean alternatives to fossil fuels.

So why can't we just go with that?

Fen said...

i really dont understand how any adult could use al gore's behavior as evidence or counterevidence for global warming. surely, nobody is that stupid.

"I'll start believing that Global Warming is a serious problem when its advocates start behaving like it is".

Hint: massive carbon footprints from those who insist we cut back undermines the movement's credibility.

Fen said...

It just seems like you're more interested in being right than what's actually happening.

No. But I'll admit I'm caught up in a Fraud Cycle: global warming alarmists have lied about certain scientific facts to "motivate" us, scientists like Mann have distorted or ommitted data that skews their models, etc. So as a result, I'm much more skeptical now than I would be had the enviro's presented their case honestly.

blogging cockroach said...

hey synova thanks for mentioning cockroaches

yes it's true we'll be here no matter what

i'm a great fan of the apocalypse
just think--radiation and warm humid weather
not to mention all that leftover organic matter
to feast on yum
radiation doesn't bother me and i love warm and humid
just as long as there isn't a nuclear winter
that would be bad brrrr

do you think global warming would counter
the effects of a nuclear winter...
we need some research now
'cause i want to know what to expect
and have the best possible experience
when the end comes
of course it will be your end and not mine
too bad

The Exalted said...

surely, nobody is that stupid

fen, i stand corrected.

The Exalted said...

synova,

your last post is...unsound, in every respect.

the sea changes are not being revised downwards, i don't know where you got that idea.

C02 does not act like a "pillow," nor does it "slow" the process down. it amplifies the process.

again, yes the temperatures were wildly different in the past, and no, modern civilization as we know it did not exist then. you want to sacrifice miami, fine. just be clear with it. and losing miami is the tip of the iceberg, as they say.

Blake said...

OK, say we're going to lose Miami (and say we concede that this is somehow a bad thing), what do we gain?

Part of the problem with the hysteria--and part of the reason why it's being labeled as such--is that it's one-sided. This goes along with the idea that it's okay that Gore "fudged" things in his "documentary" because it pushes people the right direction. (Both ideas are probably false: It's not okay, and it probably results in a net loss of believers.)

If the climate warms, we will gain some ground as surely as we will lose other.

The response I've heard to this is that global warming could lead to the next ice age. (The poor premise used in the execrable The Day After Tomorrow.) Hey, self-solving problem: That happens and we just increase our carbon output like crazy, right?

No, of course not. Because the main premise behind global warming isn't a simple fact: "The world will get warmer and this will have a variety of consequences." It's really, "Man is bad and whatever impact he has on the earth is negative. He can't control it or even understand it, except to know that he is doomed."

A scientist recently suggested a simple, cheap solution for fixing global warming, but you don't hear much about it.

Why? Because the fundamental premise of environmentalism as a religion is: STOP!

Synova said...

"The shore-dwellers of Bali need not fear for their homes. The IPCC now says the combined contribution of the two great ice-sheets to sea-level rise will be less than seven centimeters after 100 years, not seven meters imminently, and that the Greenland ice sheet (which thickened by 50 cm between 1995 and 2005) might only melt after several millennia, probably by natural causes, just as it last did 850,000 years ago. Gore, mendaciously assisted by the IPCC bureaucracy, had exaggerated a hundredfold."

http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20071205.!15

Not conclusive, but are we really not down from 20 feet and drowning cities to a few centimeters over centuries?

And saying "that's not what the science ever said" merely illustrates that the alarmists who've been trying to alarm us don't care all that much about the science.

Synova said...

I said CO2 likely buffered the return trip into ice age, slowing that down.

SGT Ted said...

The idea that manmade CO2, which accounts for 0.117% of all greenhouse effect gas, is tipping the climate to a dangerous level and we must quit driving SUVs or alter anyones lifestyle, is stupid on its face. Anyone who beleives such twaddle is ripe for other scams, such as purchasing "carbon credits".

Everyone knows that dihydrogen monoxide vapors accounts for 95% of greenhouse gas. We need to worry about that first, then move on to CO2.

Synova said...

Given the scientific facts about human deaths due to dihydrogen monoxide the vast majority, a veritable consensus, of those polled agreed that government should ban the substance.

The Exalted said...

Because the main premise behind global warming isn't a simple fact: "The world will get warmer and this will have a variety of consequences." It's really, "Man is bad and whatever impact he has on the earth is negative. He can't control it or even understand it, except to know that he is doomed."


uh, no. maybe your 19 year old college freshman says that. not the scientific community.

The Exalted said...

synova, needless to say, Christopher Monckton is not a scientist.

Synova said...

No he's not.

He's a politician talking about the politics involved in the IPCC which apparently he was ON. Which suggests that the IPCC isn't necessarily scientists either.

You asked me where I got the idea that sea level predictions had been revised downward. Pointing out that this guy isn't a scientist doesn't address his claim.

He didn't actually dispute the science either. He said that the IPCC changed the numbers in the report and then changed them back when called on it.

I haven't yet heard a reason that I should disregard incidents like this or the many unsubstantiated or false "facts" are in Gore's movie or scientists who claim the sun is the greatest factor that amount to anything other than "shut up and listen to your betters."

So this guy isn't a scientist. Does it matter? If he was a scientist there'd be some other reason not to listen to him. There always is.

Crimso said...

"Everyone knows that dihydrogen monoxide vapors accounts for 95% of greenhouse gas."

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

"warming melts permafrost which, you guessed it, releases C02"

Of course, there's a Hell of a lot more water vapor generated by that melting (and H2O is a much more efficient greenhouse gas). Furthermore, go check out the general chemical equation for combustion of a hydrocarbon. Look to the right of the arrow. You'll of course notice CO2, but do you see what else is generated? Wonder how water vapor levels have varied over time...

SGT Ted said...

It is interesting how more and more scientists are now uncovering major fraud in the data and models that have been used to justify the AGW crisis mongering.