Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Global cooling, global warming and global excrement...

We have all heard the scenario. The world is poised for ecological disaster because man is polluting the atmosphere and heating up the earth. Global warming will melt the polar ice caps and cause the oceans to rise, submerging large parts of Miami, New York City, and other coastal cities. [...]
You would think that with such predictions afoot, someone had been studying the data for a long time. At least, you would hope so. But global warming became the pet cause of environmentalists only in the late 1980s. Before then, some believed the earth was cooling, not warming. “The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only in ten years,” Newsweek warned on April 28, 1975. “The resulting famines could be catastrophic.” To stop global cooling, some experts proposed melting the Arctic ice cap! Now we are taught to fear exactly that.
(The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science
By Tom Bethell :1)

It seems that our false prophets like to prophesy a little apocalypse now, and then. I'm reminded of Malthus and his apocalyptic vision of famine and disease. Well we're still here, waiting on the apocalypse that charlatans of the Left sometimes try to frighten people with.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970, a nostalgic moment for today’s environmentalists. Twenty-five million people participated, and Congress adjourned to “listen” to their constituents. In rapid succession Congress passed the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. The Environmental Protection Agency was hurriedly brought onstage. By 1980, Jimmy Carter’s “Global 2000” report conditions expected to prevail at the end of the millennium. But the report failed to mention any warming trends.
By 1990, global warming...had become the most popular issues for environmentalists. In 1992, representatives from 160 nations met in Rio de Janeiro for the Earth Summit. The mood was anti-American, with images of “Uncle Grubby” substituted for Uncle Sam. President Bush (the elder) refused to sign the biodiversity treaty, but he did sign a treaty on climate change. Signatories agreed to reduce their emission of carbon dioxide.
The details of which countries would have to comply were worked out in Kyoto, Japan, five years later. Greenhouse-gas emissions were to be reduced to below their 1990 levels by 2012. That was the Kyoto Protocol. But President Clinton did not submit the treaty to the Senate for ratifica tion; he knew it would never pass. Almost everyone knew that America was the principal target of the treaty. The 1990 date had been carefully chosen. Emissions in Germany and the Soviet Union were still high then; Germany had just swallowed up East Germany, then using inefficient coal-fired plants. After these plants were modernized, Germany’s emissions dropped, so the demand that they be reduced below 1990 levels had already been met.
The same was true for the Soviet Union. After its collapse, in 1991, economic activity fell by about one-third. Today, Russia is still below its old emission levels. As for France, most of its electricity comes from nuclear power, which the environmentalists agree has no global warm ing effects but has been demonized for other reasons.
Under the Kyoto protocol, U.S. emissions would have to be cut so much—perhaps by one-third—that economic depression would be the one sure result. Meanwhile, Third World countries are exempt; so are China and India. Australia, like the United States, has refused to ratify the treaty. Thirty-five countries, mostly in Europe, have agreed to reduce their CO2 emissions. But there are no enforcement mechanisms. The potential for cheating is almost unlimited, and by the time the Kyoto Protocol went into effect, in February 2005, the principal irritation was that the main target, the United States, had dodged a bullet.
(Ib. 3-5)

You can thank people not easily led by the charlatans who come in the name of "science" for that. Generally, a way to recognize such charlatans is if they spend more time talking about how scientific they are than they do applying systematic thought in the form of logic and mathematics to empirical evidence. They are most likely either a charlatan or a philosopher of science if they bother to talk about what is or is not scientific much.

Note how history illustrates that scientism has been quite a habit of the Left and how they seem to be continuing on the same path from eugenics then to stem cells now.

They reject the meta-scientific principles of religion and the philosophers that led to scientia in the first place. Thus is the fact/value split created and we get postmodernists on one side who are all about language and the way it can be used to assign values or control them through narrative and supposedly on the other the "science" of things that deals in brute facts or "reality." As if scientists do not make use of "invisible" values through laguage? As if postmodernists have so little concern for the reality of brute facts that they'll go jump out the second story window of their office?

At any rate, that which is complementary is being set in opposition and so set to war against itself. Perhaps that is as it must be, I would just note that Aristotle was more intelligent than these scientists with their so-called facts and the postmodernists with their supposed values.

[Related posts: Global warming, astronomical?
It's global warming, so get out your ear-muffs.
A Book Review]

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