Monday, August 29, 2011

Some Thoughts On The Global Warming Debate

Let me be a little more expansive in my thoughts and opinions on all this global warming hype and hooey...

My points:
*For starters... I think it is an absurdity to suggest that mankind could deposit the level of pollution into the atmosphere so as to have a global impact on climate. The forces of nature are just too big, too powerful, too vast to be affected by people driving cars or herding cattle. I could be wrong, but the burden of proof is one somebody else.

*Since I was a kid i remember being taught about earlier ice ages and what not, and how the Midwest was once covered by seas, and another time with glaciers and...

*In more recent readings, I've learned about climatic changes in Europe recorded within the last couple hundred years. It's been made clear to me that the only constant when it comes to climate is the lack of one.

*I believe that I have a reasonable duty to take reasonable care of the creation that God has bestowed for my use. As a result, good stewardship is a matter of faith and practice. It is why on trash day usually finds my recycle bin fuller than my refuse bin. That's just how I am.

*Other people (I will call them Hippies here) may have as strong a spiritual connection to the 'earth' (or whatever) as I do to Christ. That is fine. They can do as they will. But I don't appreciate them forcing their morality upon me any more than they want my morality forced upon them.

*Seems whenever some politician brings up 'climate change' (they had to give up the term 'global warming' when it stopped warming, I guess), the next breath spoken is an attack on my earnings, my savings, or my (humble) lifestyle.

*Seems whenever some Hippie mentions 'climate change', his solution usually requires an attack upon my earnings, my savings, or my (humble) lifestyle.

*Many politicians and their cronies are making bank off of tax payer funded initiatives designed to fight global warming climate change.

*As for climate researchers and scientists: aren't these some of the same people who told me about glaciers and seas in the Midwest who now warn me that shit is changing again, but this time it's all my fault?

*Why won't the pope of global warming climate change accept a debate on the issue in which he claims infallibility?

*Why does the faith community he leads allow him to live the lifestyle of hypocrisy that he does? Maybe they don't really believe in it themselves, but see an opportunity to force their own Hippie morality upon the rest of us.

*If real science is taking place, and I believe it often is, then why do I read about restrictions on peer review?

*Nobody has yet been able to tell me what is the proper climate, or been able to demonstrate how lowering my living standards will achieve it.

Yes, I am a skeptic. What is wrong with that?


Brian said...

Nothing wrong with being skeptical. (I encourage it, in fact!)

But there is a difference between honest skepticism, and starting with a preferred conclusion and working backwards from there. That's the same process as creation "science". And it causes people to do things like (for example) seize upon an incomplete understanding or the rare instance of misconduct as an indictment of the entire enterprise (and of the personal integrity of an entire profession.)

I'm not saying *you* are doing that, here...but I think that is the sentiment to which Mr. Gore was responding in the link below. Expressed in no uncertain terms by Rick Perry, to cite only the most recent example.

I also think it is completely obtuse (and absurd) to accuse scientists and advocates of being in this business for a financial benefit, without also taking very seriously the possibility that the multi-billion dollar global industries reliant on fossil fuels, etc., might have ulterior motives for denying that what they do has tremendous negative externalities. Or for convincing you that the hippies just want to take away your car.

Gino said...

its my lifestyle, that i worked hard for, and work even harder to maintain, that is at risk if the Hippies have their way.

therefore, the burden of proof should be on them. put up or shut up. dont promise me a heaven that i will never see after going through the required hardship on earth.

at least the honest religionists promise me a heaven that i will see (if they are telling the truth)

and yet, they genuflect before Al Gore while demanding more sacrifice of me. i cannot take the global warming (oh, i forgot, its not warmimg anymore... well lets not waste the sentiment, we got personal behaviors to change)evangelists seriously, and its not because of flaws within my being.

Foxfier said...

The reasonable stuff that folks propose in response to ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) are things that my family does, given half a chance-- organize your shopping so you only do one big run a season or so; take as few vehicles as possible; bio scraps to the dogs, chickens, cats or the newest manure pile, depending; set things up to use the least energy for the most result.

If you have to force people to do something that will save them money, then there's something wrong with how you're doing stuff. (I'd love to be able to hang clothes out to dry, but it's not allowed.)

Brian said...

If you have to force people to do something that will save them money, then there's something wrong with how you're doing stuff.

Very true. People started buying CF light bulbs when they saw how much money they save. Hybrids and electric vehicles started taking off when gas hit $4/gallon.

Everybody responds to prices...which is why I think a lot (perhaps not all, but a lot) of fossil fuel usage will ultimately take care of itself. Global demand is only going to go up (at least in the near term), and prices will follow. And with that, consumer decisions to drive less, drive more fuel efficient vehicles, and (as they become more affordable) purchase vehicles that use no gas at all.

Foxfier said...

Most folks I know bought CFLs because they currently cost a third of other bulbs-- and regret it, because they're not suited for most uses. Hybrids and electrics are likewise subsidized, and likewise unpopular when folks try to use them for unsuited purposes.
(Don't get me started on those little deathtraps called "smart cars." They're great as an alternative to using a scooter to get to work, but people keep driving them over the passes around here, and doing at least 80...)

Everybody responds to prices...which is why I think a lot (perhaps not all, but a lot) of fossil fuel usage will ultimately take care of itself.

Agreed, but we need to get the heck out of the way and let the system manage itself. We are not smart enough to manage how this is going to develop, and end up just smothering the improvements that could be coming about by trying to "encourage" change. (Assuming, with rather foolish idealism, that the "helping" is 100% directed at actually improving the situation, instead of involving money and power.)

Brian said...

Smartcars are fine for the city (I first saw them in Amsterdam 10 years ago...those things are perfect for ancient, narrow streets) but I can't imagine having one out in the country, or anywhere that involved much highway driving.

I've had no problems with CFLs, though I think some are definitely better than others. Mostly I enjoy changing lightbulbs once in an almost never rather than every 6 months or so...

Foxfier said...

Possibly pattern-of-use differences are a big variable-- normal bulbs I only change every few years, to the point that I've still got half the six-pack I bought five years and an apartment ago. On the other hand, I have a full half-dozen dead CFLs I need to take in to the local hardware store for disposal and we haven't even lived here for a year!
(I put in the only CFLs in this house-- the only light fixture in the living room can't take a standard bulb over 60watts, and wasn't giving off enough light to read by. Replaced those with either "100" or "120" CFLs and, even though it takes half an hour to light all the way up, it eventually gets bright enough to avoid eyestrain. And all three bulbs use only 1/10th more power than ONE of the 60watts....) Great for porch lights or anyplace you turn on and leave on, or when heat is an issue; really bad when you want heat, they might be broken, or you want full illumination quickly.
(My husband says there's a difference in the way they show colors, too, but I'm no good with stuff like that-- I can barely tell florescent from incandescent in really good pictures.)

The whole full-of-mercury thing is kind of a big deal, too-- especially with small children and clumsy adults.

I rather like LEDs for a lot of purposes, but they're still getting the kinks worked out and the "bulbs" cost an arm and a leg. (My uncle the electrician is a big promoter, but he can afford to buy them in massive bulk units.) Best reading lights I've found, honestly, but the light doesn't radiate very well. (They also tend to last for-freaking-ever, and I really like the blue tint that's common.)

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