Scientist Skeptics (Global Warming)

Many reputable scientists are skeptical or dismissive of claims that humanity is the cause of global warming. Since this issue will sadly waste resources that would better be spent elsewhere, I thought I’d update my list of quotes and evidence, in the hopes that others might see the light of reason. For more extensive collections and lists of expert skeptics, see these posts.

Regarding Melting Glaciers:

“Available records dating back to 1897 and direct observation by the authors over a 4-year period [i.e. 1935-1938] indicate that Grinnell Glacier has been reduced to about half the size it was in 1900, and that the recession during recent years has been most rapid.” –Gibson and Dyson (1939) Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, vol. 50, 681-696.

In other words, some glaciers were drastically shrinking well before human industry added most of the man-made CO2 to the atmosphere. This is also consistent with the observation that snowcaps on Mt. Kilimanjaro were already greatly receding in the early 1900s.

(Commenting on reports by other researchers that Greenland’s glaciers are melting.) “Scientists who want to attract attention to themselves, who want to attract great funding to themselves, have to [find] a way to scare the public…and this you can achieve only by making things bigger and more dangerous than they really are.” —Petr Chylek, professor of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, August 22, 2001.

“A new study has found that warmer winters and cooler summers, bringing increased precipitation, could be causing some glaciers to increase in size. Newcastle University researchers found that the western Himalayas’ Upper Indus Basin was experiencing more snow and rainfall, which has implications for the water supplies of about 50 million people in Pakistan. The study appears in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate (BBC News online).” –August 25th , 2006 report from Greenwire. [Emphasis added]

On Scientific Uncertainty and the Inability to Predict Climate:

“The greenhouse effect must play some role. But those who are absolutely certain that the rise in temperatures is due solely to carbon dioxide have no scientific justification, it’s pure guesswork.” —Henrik Svensmark, director of the Centre for Sun-Climate Research, Danish National Space Center, Copenhagen Post, October 4, 2006.

“The bad news is that the climate models on which so much effort is expended are unreliable because they still use fudge-factors rather than physics to represent important things like evaporation and convection, clouds and rainfall. Besides the general prevalence of fudge-factors, the latest and biggest climate models have other defects that make them unreliable. With one exception, they do not predict the existence of El Nino. Since El Nino is a major feature of the observed climate, any model that fails to predict it is clearly deficient. The bad news does not mean the climate models are worthless. They are, as Manabe said thirty years ago, essential tools for understanding climate. They are not yet adequate tools for predicting climate.” –Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson, quoted in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming, pg. 113.

“If long-term trends are accepted as a valid measure of climate change, then the air temperature and ice data do not support the proposed polar amplification of [CO2-induced] global warming. The potential importance of large-amplitude variability and numerous feedbacks involved in Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions implies that the Arctic poses severe challenges to generating credible model-based projections of climate change.” —Akasofu Polyakov and seven other colleagues from the International Arctic Research Center (2002, Eos, vol. 83, no. 47, 547-548).

“Even Mr. Gore qualified his statement [that the ‘debate in the scientific community is over’] on ABC a few minutes after he made it, clarifying things in an important way. When Mr. Stephanopolous confronted Mr. Gore with the fact that the best estimates of rising sea levels are far less dire than he suggests in his movie, Mr. Gore defended his claims by noting that scientists ‘don’t have any models that give them a high level of confidence’ one way or the other and went on to claim–in his defense–that scientists ‘don’t know. They just don’t know.'” —MIT Sloan Professor of Meteorology Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, “There is No ‘Consensus’ on Global Warming.” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2006.

Other Statements on ‘Scientific Consensus’ and Al Gore:

“The most recent survey of climate scientists, following the same methodology as a published study from 1996, found that while there had been a move towards acceptance of anthropogenic global warming, only 9.4% of respondents ‘strongly agree’ that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic [human] sources. A similar proportion ‘strongly disagree’. Furthermore, only 22.8% of respondents ‘strongly agree’ that the IPCC reports accurately reflect a consensus within climate science.” —Professor Dennis Bray, GKSS Forschungszentrum, Geesthacht, Germany, submitted to Science on December 22, 2004. (As reported in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, pg 83).

“[Al] Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film [An Inconvenient Truth], are commanding public attention.” —Professor Bob Carter, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Australia.

Twisted Tradition: The Krampus

Dr. Venture:  “What kind of kinky Christmas spirit is that?!”

Dr. Orpheus:  “It is Germanic in origin…”

What’s that you say?  You’ve never heard of the Krampus?!  Ye wicked ones weren’t beaten with reeds or given punitive dry-humpings this Christmas Eve? 

Thank your lucky stars, o iniquitous hordes, that the pope cast this Germanic counterpart to Santa Claus into Purgatory at the close of the second Vatican council. 

If you’d like to learn more about this nasty, colorful fellow, peruse this clip from the great series “The Venture Brothers”…

Holy Night, Holy Family

“When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,  but before they lived together, she was found with child…Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame,  decided to divorce her quietly.  Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream…” Matthew 1: 18-20

Thrice this particular passage has met the ears and eyes of those following  Advent’s readings, and I find myself with newfound awe and respect for St. Joseph.  Consider what goes unspoken in those sparse sentences, “read between the lines” and see the plight of the man chosen as foster-father of the Lord…

Imagine Joseph’s feelings of betrayal, to find his betrothed with child.  Joseph was no fool, he knew the course of things.  Think how bitterly deep it must have cut him, not only to see her with child, but to suddenly have an ulterior explanation for her swift departure to Elizabeth’s house, and 3 months lingered there.  Then she returns, protesting her innocence and virginity, claiming it is a child from the Holy Spirit.  Can anyone blame Joseph for wanting to divorce her?  For not believing her? 

I dare say most of us would scoff at outlandish claims of “virgin birth”.  Better for her to have claimed rape than to insult Joseph’s intelligence–or worse, arrogantly blaspheme the Lord (that she should claim she is Isaiah’s prophesied virgin)! 

How torn his mind must have been, to know in the heart her goodness and humility, and know in the mind that her claim casts that humility into doubt.  I cannot fathom Joseph’s pain and uncertainty. 

 That he insisted on not shaming Mary publicly, and also wanted–warring within himself–to protect her from stoning…what self-sacrifice that must have required.  Thank God for holy men.  Jesus’ protection of the woman caught in adultery was likely inspired by the memory of  the foster-father’s darkest hour, and Joseph’s unfailing regard for Mary.  

What else did Joseph teach the Son? 

Was it Joseph’s lesson we hear echoed in Jesus’ words, “take up your cross daily, and follow after [God]”?  Surely Joseph knew some would look on him with pity and shame for the rest of his days.  “Poor Joseph, shamed by that unfaithful girl.  Foolish man, blinding himself to the truth.” 

And then the dream comes.  The angel of the Lord confirms Mary’s claims and proves her purity.  Was that a relief, or another cross this humble carpenter carried?  In the coming years did he ever wonder, looking on the Christ child, if his dream truly was from God?  If this son he loved was really the bastard of another man, and his wife a liar? 

This man we know now as “Terror of Demons” almost certainly waged such war in his mind and heart, if infrequently.  What better patron from whom to learn the discernment of spirits? 

Whatever doubts and demons he may have fought, history tells us Joseph took Mary as wife, and cared for her and Jesus until his dying day.  In the joy of the birth, we gloss over the sorrow-tinged circumstances which led, nonetheless,  to the Holy Family’s union.  

However untrue they were proven, the legitimate feelings of betrayal and deception could not have been a great start for a marriage.  Talk about having obstacles to overcome, or “things to work through”!  And yet by God’s grace and the virtue of those involved, they became the model for all families, so much so we seldom consider the suffering, and instead see their great unity and joy.    Joyful mysteries indeed…

I wonder how many “dysfunctional families” and “separated” couples could learn volumes on love, family life, and joy from patient Joseph.  Thank God for the Mother and Son, and thank God too for the example of Joseph, for all those who would be loving and holy fathers.   Would that we all protected and placed our wives and children before our fear, our shame, our pain, and let love rule the day. 

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Dark Knight

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Recently viewed the trailers for the new Batman movie.  If teaser dialogue is any indication, it looks to be as impressive as Batman Begins.  I didn’t think I’d like Heath Ledger as the Joker, but after seeing the footage a few times, I think it’s a good decision.  The real question will be whether or not the big J could be more disturbing.    Perhaps if Heath played him as “Brokeback Joker”? 

Anyway, feast your eyes on the brooding cinematics:Alfred (Michael Cain):  “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical.  They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with…some men just want to watch the world burn.”

One of the things that makes a movie good is whether it speaks truth.  Batman Begins lodged itself in the mind with its questions of identity and fear.  Do our goals justify our means?  Are we merely the sum of our fears, more animal than rational? Or is our identity and nobility to be found elsewhere other than instinct?  Some of my brighter students have quoted lines from Batman Begins back at me in Youth Group (“It is what I do that defines me.”), when asked how they measure their worth. 

Alfred’s lines in the trailer speak of another great truth, and the primary reason why we live in a world that needs the likes of policemen and soldiers.  Some men can’t be reasoned with, some only respect power, and will kill innocents–women and children–to advance their own goals.  Which leads to the next trailer…

Bruce Wayne (Bale):  “People are dying.  What would you have me do?”

Alfred: “Endure!  You can be the outcast.  You can make the choice that no one else will face.  The right choice. Gotham needs you.”

Sacrifice is one of the fail-safes of creation.  People can choose to turn their back on God, on his Will, on morality…When that time comes, one or a handful among the people can make the hard choice, the choice to become the suffering servant, to “save their people from their sins”.   Earlier Advent gospel readings alluded to Christ in this way.  Christians must be like him too, at times.  The merciful paradox is that joy can co-exist with suffering.  As some of the saints have said (I’m paraphrasing), “It is better to be on the cross next to Christ than to be in the world without Him.” 

Twisted Traditions: The Yule Log

Yes, it’s clearly phallic, but is that all there is to the story of the Yule Log?  As I discovered earlier today, the answer is a resounding, “NO”.  Across the vast chasms of culture, time, and space, human societies have erected countless traditions surrounding this formidable piece of hardwood.  During this season of Advent, Scripture tells us to “Behold” the works of the Lord, and so I say to you today, behold the twisted works of men:  

1.  The “Original” Yule Log.  

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The “original” yule log may have come to us from those filthy Norsemen, who pounded the log in homage of the mighty Thor, well known for coming with thunder.  When not foiling Loki or drinking copious amounts of mead in the halls of Valhalla, Thor spent his idle days pounding his own log with those steamy little warrior minxes, the Valkyries. Lucky bronzed bastard.  

2.  The “Great Ashen Faggot” of Dartmoor. david_bowie.jpg

In spite of the above pic, I’m not talking about a gay guy with a bad case of eczema.   This version of ye’ olde Log hails from the dreary shores of England, and was lit as part of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Incidentally, it has something in common with the aforementioned gay guy, in that both are totally ffllaaaaming

3.  The “Caga Tio” or Catalonian “Poop Log”.  

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In blessedly short order, our strange and mysterious journey reaches the apex of its weirdness…Behold, the Catalonian “Poop Log”.  One of the few anthropomorphic manifestations of our woody friend, little Tio is not only painted with a happy face, but fed over the course of many days, and protected from the harsh elements with his very own blanky.  

Beginning on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the log gorges on an assortment of goodies, including many that violate one of my cardinal rules of consumption (never eat anything that, going in, looks the same as it will coming out).   On Christmas day the feasting log is given a rude surprise, when the vicious Catalonian children–who are clearly starving orphans–set upon it with brutal fury.  As they beat the bark from little Tio, they cry, “Poop, Log!  Poop.” 

Understandingly afrighted by this un-Christian display, the log proceeds to excrete the eaten goodies, which include candies, nuts, nougat, and figs.  As wikipedia recounts, “What comes out of the tio is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone present.”  

In other words, if you spend the holiday with the Catalonians, you’d best wipe that shit-eating grin off your face, as you too will bear the mark of their common shame.   

Presidential Beatdown

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In a move that took the worlds of B-movies and politics by storm, Chuck Norris recently endorsed Mike Huckabee for president.  Norris only consented to give his approval after beating the shit  political rancor out of Huck with a few of his devastating roundhouse kicks.   Taking the beating is impressive in itself, as we all know that Norris’ kicks are infinitely painful.  

The hideous bout took place in Norris’ basement beatdown ring, which incidentally served as one of the much discussed (and appropriately outsourced) CIA “interrogation facilities”.  Commenting on Huckabee’s fighting prowess, the “star” of Walker Texas Ranger  was heard to say, “I kept knocking him down, and he just kept getting up.”

In addition to sharing the common bond that comes from beating the crap out of each other, Mike and Chuck also share evangelical beliefs, and (disturbingly) reject the theory of evolution.  As a further boon to Huckabee, Norris brought the infamous Megaforce “Doom-Buggy” out of retirement.  The two plan to use it, and its twin cannons, as a replacement for the more traditional–yet disappointingly undeadly–campaign bus.

 Some call the pairing a “serious judo chop” to the campaigns of republican and democrat opponents alike,  so much so that Hilary Clinton is rumored to be making clandestine attempts to enhance her own political kung fu.  Allegedly, the former first lady (and we use that term loosely) has sought the services of  Mike Crain, the “Karatist Preacher”. In this battle of wits and fists, only time will tell which mighty duo will prevail.  

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The Pope’s Got My Back

Theological Thursday (kinda)

Oh yeah! According to a british news agency, pope Benedict is poised to publically take a stance on the global warming hype seemingly identical to my own.

Aside from droppin’ da Catholic bomb, and being a renowned academic, B-16 is a man endowed with an appropriate scientific schooling in skepticism. To quote the article:

“The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.”

Amen.

Australia’s Cardinal George Pell also weighed in on the issue, when he noted in October, “the atmospheric temperature of Mars had risen by 0.5 degrees celsius,” and that “The industrial-military complex up on Mars can’t be blamed for that.”

Glenn Beck has a solution for the scourge posed by the sun’s (solar) system wide rampage–NUKE THE SUN!

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I believe some level of global warming is taking place, and caring for the environment and developing cleaner, more efficient technologies is good. But the science convinces me man has a minuscule effect on current climate changes. See these boards for my reasoning and scientific evidence, and this post on Eco-Tech for responsible ways we can use technology to protect the environment.