Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid! (The terrified are easier to manipulate!)

I can't tell if this is just a poorly written article or a repackaging of a press release from the Sierra Club. Either way, its penchant for wild generalizations and unsupported assertions make my head hurt. For example:
Some scientists say the receding glaciers, like canaries in a coal mine, are
providing an early warning system for the Earth
Which scientists? Details please, not vague generalizations. "Some scientists" tell me nothing about their credibility to speak on the issue.
They say global warming is responsible for extreme weather and outbreaks of
diseases throughout the world
Well, if "They" say it, it must be true!
Scientists say "greenhouse gases" — especially carbon dioxide and methane —
emit from tailpipes and smokestacks. These gases trap heat and prevent it from
escaping into space, just as glass traps heat in a greenhouse.
I need to go back to college and take another chemistry class so I can figger out how gasses behave like solids. How carbon dioxide and methane obtain the same physical properties as a solid, impermeable sheet of glass.
As the gases accumulate, they say, the Earth heats up and climates
change.
Hey, news-flash: climates change about four times a year. It's called "seasons."
Contrasting present conditions with a photo from 1938 in which a man is standing on a 60-foot-high slab of ice, Fagre said: "There's no ice here at this time; it's all just liquid water."
"When we see a place like this changing," he said, "we can attribute it to climate change and to the human influence on the planet."
As long as we also have a photo of the same from 70 years before that one so we can have an accurate baseline for measuring trends.
Harvard's Paul Epstein, a physician and an expert on emerging diseases, blames global warming for recent droughts in Spain and Portugal, as well as heavy rains in other parts of Europe, and says the climate change is linked to outbreaks of malaria and cholera in Asia and Africa and an increase in asthma cases in the United States.
As well as athlete's foot, bad breath, teen pregnancy and Cynthia McKinney's hair. Anything else we want to blame on global warming?

So global warming causes both droughts AND heavy rains!! Simultaneously. In the same general geographical areas. Huh?
"By warming the surface of the ocean, greenhouse gases are providing the feedstock for more and more intense hurricanes,"
Wait. Greenhouse gases are warming the oceans? I thought the sun did that.
The cost of stemming global warming is steep. The Kyoto Protocol, which required the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent and other industrial nations to cut emissions by 5 percent by 2012, was pushed as a solution.
The problem with the Kyoto Protocol is that it leaves out some of the world's worst polluters. And is more about granting the UN more sovereignty/control over developed western nations than cleaning up the environment.

Let me just state that I honestly do think that the scale of industrialization and the deforestation of many areas cannot help but have an impact on the environment, as well as the weather/ climate. I think we are over-fishing our oceans and believe strip mining should be banned. I support preserving the rain forests and preventing urban sprawl. My beef is with the just plain bad science and spurious correlations that get swallowed whole because they happen support the prevailing social meme. And with using global warming as this terrible bugaboo to churn the useful idiots of the world in to a properly compliant froth with which you can push a social/ political agenda having little if anything to do with saving the planet.

And never trust the conclusions of a group that gets more funding by providing the "right" answer.