Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More On Climategate

The more of this scandal that comes to light, the more shocking it becomes. The mainstream media are doing there best to ignore the story, but they won't be able to do so for long. Times have changed. Here are a few more prominent editorials.

Yesterday Rush noted that high temperatures during the Medieval Period were refuted by climate scientists on the basis of only three trees in Siberia, and those were cherry-picked! Meanwhile, Obama & Co. continue their march toward wrecking the economy and placing America under the thumb of world governing bodies, unabated and deaf to any and all dissent.

Also, have a Happy Thanksgiving! Thank the Creator for making such a resilient planet for us to enjoy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Climate Science, Stolen Emails and Fraud

I don't know if this will pan out or not, but it looks like someone hacked into Britain's Climate Research Unit and stole some emails. They then posted those emails and files on the Internet. The documents seem to indicate a climate science cover-up of global proportions. Was stealing these documents illegal? Undoubtedly. But so is falsifying climate science, so . . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Global Warming Discussion

I want to thank Sarah, the astronomer, for her in-depth responses. One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to force myself to do more research and become better-informed. This recent episode has indeed pushed me toward that goal. Unfortunately, the subject of global warming poses some significant challenges to me.

First off, I am not a formally trained scientist. The literature of climate science gets very technical very quickly. This is not to say that scientists are always right. Even a cursory sifting of the available information reveals that opinions and theories differ widely between individual scientists, governmental agencies and international panels, as well as over time. To my eye (and to many other ordinary observers), climate science looks more like a work in progress than a masterpiece of scientific knowledge.

Second, the issue is about as politically charged as one can get. Conservatives cannot help but be skeptical when they hear avowed socialists proposing solutions to avoid a global warming doomsday that just happen to align perfectly with their dreams of ever-increasing social control. I suppose it is technically possible that the science does really indicate that our only hope for survival is to place our economic and individual freedoms in subservience to an international board of tyrannical dictators scientists, but I'm going to need a lot more convincing to take that deal. Global warming might be irreversibly harming the planet, but it sure feels like a scam.

I did manage to find this interesting site called Skeptical Science. It seems to be very damaging to my position, providing explanations for all the top arguments. I also found some interesting discussion in the comments section at the bottom of the article on that page. The number one argument against man-made global warming seems to be solar radiation. The standard answer seems to be that solar activity went flat around 1970 while global temperature continued to rise. This leaves CO2 as the only viable culprit. However, the estimates of solar activity might not be correct. The IPCC rates the Level of Scientific Understanding (LOSU) of solar irradiance as Low. NASA continues to learn more about the sun. Also, a recent study by Scafetta and Wilson (2009) suggests that solar radiation may account for nearly 65% of warming observed in the last 30-40 years.

Another promising argument seems to center around long-term hydrological cycles (see comment #6 on the Skeptical Science link above for more). These might also explain the past variations observed in Arctic ice. These would seem to be better predictors of droughts, etc., than global warming.

I will leave off with this. Sarah asked why I might object to global warming on theological grounds (as we are both Christians). In Genesis 8:22 (While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.), God promises that the earth will remain habitable until the end. God's promise to never again flood the earth follows soon after. I believe in a God that controls and maintains our planet. As a result, I'm not very worried about us damaging the planet in any significant way. I certainly don't think we should go around wasting and destroying for no reason, but it is clear from Scripture that the earth is here for us and not the other way around.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

October Was the Third Coldest On Record

Today we get yet another strange bit of data for the global warming crowd. This gives me an opportunity to address a related issue. Recently, a few of my global warming-related posts attracted some negative comments from an astronomer who studies climate on a planetary scale. These can be read here. Some of the highlights are as follows:

"Global warming is a serious issue, even for just a 1 degree rise of temperature. Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is very worrisome as it most definitely will cause a rise in sea level, up to 7 meters. By some estimates, 1 meter rise in sea level is almost inevitable at this time. Consider, then, that 25% of the world's fertile growing regions are within 1 meter of sea level. Preventing 25% of our loss of food will take a huge effort and amount of money."

"On geological timescales (~400,000 yrs), yes the Earth does regulate climate. Solar luminosity (energy flux) has increased steadily since the formation of Earth yet the climate has been relatively constant. This is due to the Carbon-Silicate cycle which is controlled by biology and geology. So yes, in 400,000 the Earth should resolve whatever damage we cause now. But are you willing to wait that long? We need to do something now, as this issue will directly affect our children and grandchildren."

"I don't believe our planet will be 'destroyed' just that we are not being the best stewards of the resources and Earth God gave us. And we are causing ourselves undo harm. Ironically, the environmental movement was originally Republican and from Biblical teachings, I'd expect Christians to be the most staunch supporters of being 'green'. Materialism (which is a huge part of the Global Warming issue ) is sure not on Jesus' priority list."

"I would also like to mention that before I really understood more about climate science, I was also skeptical of Global Warming. Since it's become so politically charged, it's difficult to look at unbiased reports on it and everyone and their mother has their own opinion supposedly backed by 'science'. Climate is a very complex system, and there are many unresolved questions, such as the amount of predicted warming, the rate the ice sheets will melt etc. But there are a few things that remain sure 1) carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It has in the past, it does so now, and it will warm the Earth and 2) human activity has added substantially to the carbon concentration since the industrial revolution. This is independent from volcanic activity or other non-human sources."

I have not included every argument here, but this makes a good jumping off point for a more public (front page) discussion. Again, I am forced to admit that I am not a scientist and have limited knowledge of climatology theory and research. As such, I depend on others to stay informed on the important and timely issue of global warming. The following sources are representative of those that have influenced my understanding of the science at hand:

Roy Spencer's website and blog - Spencer is a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville and the official climatologist for Rush Limbaugh. He is the author of Climate Confusion.

The Hockey Stick: A New Low in Climate Science by John L. Daly - This is a thorough debunking of a chart made famous by Al Gore's venture into climate cinema.

The Great Global Warming Swindle - This documentary features quite a few scientists who doubt humanity's responsibility for global warming and discuss some of the non-science-related interests pushing the "conventional" view.

I will end this post by stating that, as a Christian, I am also opposed to the wholesale degradation of the earth with which God has entrusted us. I am also more than a little wary of the rampant materialism that seems to be choking our culture. However, I see the theory of man-made global warming as just another attempt by the left, making full use of alarmist scare-tactics, to usurp the rights and freedom of individuals and add yet more power to an ever-increasing government bureaucracy. I oppose materialism on a personal level; I do not wish to see our modern economy to collapse under the weight of arbitrary and onerous carbon limits and regulations. I also do not want our country to cede its sovereignty to the U.N. or any other world entity.

The environmental movement has produced very little of worth to our country, specifically, or to humanity at large. It has all but halted our ability to extract and refine fossil fuels, the life-blood of a modern standard of living. It has committed unspeakable harm to the third world by causing DDT to be banned. Malaria has killed millions since this dubious environmental "victory". Time and again, environmental regulations are used to punish one group while advancing the interests of others. They have kept the developing nations in their place, refusing them the basic tools of modernity, all the while propagating a false sense of guilt to further their aims. From celebrities who decry carbon footprints while flying their private jets to federal regulators blocking any attempt to become energy independent and punishing what little profits are made by energy producers, I simply don't have any confidence in them whatsoever. I believe man-made global warming is a terrible lie designed to destroy our economy and our place as the world's most powerful nation.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Laura Ingraham on NY-23

Have you been watching the unfolding drama concerning New York's special election in district 23? It seems like something very important is going on here. The rise of Doug Hoffman, the only conservative in the race, over the liberal Republican nominee and perhaps even over the Democrat is stunning. I think the lesson is not so much about third parties but about the electoral power of conservative principles. Laura Ingraham has some good commentary.