After yesterday’s New Year’s Day downpour we continue to enjoy wonderful weather – sunny and in the mid-50s.
This has caused crocus confusion:
and the lavender and snapdragons are still holding up:
So are the weeds, but I don’t mind at all. I can only hope the rest of Winter is like this.
During the past two weeks Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, Kobayashi Maru and Eternity Road have been discussing global warming. At least what used to be called Global Warming; now the catchphrase is Climate Change.
Eternity Road poses Global Warming: The Unasked Questions
- By what standard would one judge whether global warming is actually occurring?
- Do we have data, not merely for our own era but for past eras, that indicates in an objective fashion that this is the case?
- If global warming is occurring, what will its foreseeable effects be over the near term? Over the long term?
- Are those effects beneficial or detrimental to human life? Mildly, moderately, or seriously?
- If the effects of global warming are foreseen to be detrimental, is it plausible that any change in human behavior could undo it?
- If the effects of global warming are foreseen to be detrimental but not catastrophically so — that is, if global warming carries no reasonable prospect of mass death or impoverishment — what are the pros and cons of adapting ourselves to a warmer world, as opposed to straining to keep it as it is today?
SC&A sees man’s role in answering those questions: Necessary Rerun: Hating Ourselves To Death: The Environmentalist Demands
Humans are a part of nature- a most important part. We meant to use all those those things in nature that are available to us. Do we hate ourselves much- and do we have so much hubris- to believe that we are not a part of nature?
Are there ecological issues that must be addressed? Of course there are. That said, too many are perfectly happy to see mankind as the problem and focus on bestowing the scarlet letter. Whatever problems we must address, we are in fact, the source of the solution – and it is for that we need to be recognized and not as the ‘cancer’ on nature. The solution will not be realized by reducing populations and redefining human values (To be sure, those slated for ‘elimination’ do not include those who support the idea. Surprise)
In fact, from a historical perspective, man’s greatest achievements have come about as the result of dealing with the situation at hand and not by ‘killing off’ the problem. Those who hate mankind have no faith in imagination, possibilities and the human capacity to achieve, progress and reach an ever greater potential. Greatness is never arrived at from despair or self hatred. In fact, the proponents of man as the ‘cancer’ of nature are no different than racists. It is they who decide what and who are of value and it is they who wish to decide the future of others. If your grandmother is ill, she too, becomes disposable. If your child has chronic asthma, well, he or she is less than perfect. If the rest of us who are healthy are a ‘cancer,’ one can only imagine how much value is placed on those less than perfect, or those who might be different. We know about that, firsthand
big, observable events that might indicate global warming but not its exact cause–like ice sheets breaking loose in the Arctic or Antarctic–are taken up in an MSM whirlwhind whereas big, observable events like unprecendented solar flare activity provoke far less notice, much less any speculation or editorializing about a possible link to global warming?
When I first did those two posts last year I received A Lot of angry emails (I wasn’t taking blog comments at that point) filled with personal attacks, not arguments pro/against my position on global warming. The gist of the emails had to do with my being a moron. One of the emails explained at length why it’s important that there is consensus, as if science’s main concern were to build consensus instead of accurately observing, measuring and replicating results. Indeed, if they can not be measured, quantified, and replicated, your observations will never amount to science, no matter how attractive your theory might be. Building consensus is the art of the politician, not of the scientist.
I expect that’s how apostates are treated.
Shortly after writing those posts I went to a conference and casually said during lunchtime, “I’m not all that sold on global warming”. The reaction (shock, anger, and disgust) around the table was worse than if I’d said the most obscene blasphemy. It was an interesting reaction, considering that the people involved supposedly had a modicum of science in their backgrounds.
All the same, while we ponder Global Warming/Climate Change here in the East Coast, it’d probably be a good idea if we don’t ask the folks in Colorado and the Great Plains how they are enjoying global warming.
For the time being, I’m certainly enjoying this warm spell here in The Principality.
(The Principality = Princeton Borough + Princeton Township)
The Daily Ablution:
That’s not to say that one or two end-of-year items didn’t catch my interest – did you realise, for example, that last year was the coolest worldwide since 2001 (PDF – see page 3)? (Indeed, the Russian winter of 2005-06 was the coldest for decades). Would it surprise you to learn that the arctic ice cap recovered slightly from its 2005 extent (PDF – page 2)? Probably, given the spin on facts that most of the media almost invariably employ when the topic of climate change arises. Similarly, coverage of the IPCC’s recent adjustment of its worst-case projections for sea level rise this century (from 34 to 17 inches) seems muted, especially when one considers the likely media response had the estimate been increased by the same proportion.
Update 2 Middle Ground
there is an emerging “middle ground” of scientists who are not a) screeching hysterics crying that we are all going to roast – after all the polar bears are dead or, b) paid shills of the evil energy industry who is just trying to keep us all down, man.
(h/t Larwyn and The Anchoress)