Dec 17 2009

When Skeptics Collide

It seems that skeptics love other skeptics – up until the point such skeptics becomes skeptical of something that other skeptics accept.

Massimo Pigliucci is a skeptic, philosopher (meaning he teaches philosophy), and blogger who occasionally has some interesting things to say, which is why I subscribe to his blog.  Massimo is apparently a fan of James Randi, the well-known debunker of all things mystical.  Today Massimo writes:

James “the Amazing” Randi is an icon of skepticism. The man has done more — over a span of several decades — to further the cause of critical thinking and to expose flimflammery of all sorts than arguably anyone else in the world, ever. That is why I was struck with incredulity and sadness yesterday when I read Randi’s latest take on global warming.

Massimo opines on why James Randi would write such an article (besides the obvious reason that Randi is simply applying his same skeptical eye to the AGW claims that he does to everything else). Randi makes some interesting observations, and Pigliucci tries his best to hand-wave them away.  Which ever side you’re on, or especially if you have no side, it’s interesting reading.

(“Skepticism” poster linked from Xenocrates)


Oct 23 2009

Polls, Phonies and Politics

Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll.   At the same time, more Americans nationwide are saying this year that they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years.

In 2009, 40% percent of respondents in Gallup surveys that have interviewed more than 160,000 Americans have said that they are either “conservative” (31%) or “very conservative” (9%). That is the highest percentage in any year since 2004.  Only 21% have told Gallup they are liberal, including 16% who say they are “liberal” and 5% who say they are “very liberal.” – from CNSNews

Interesting.  Liberals (the 21%), of course, would have us believe that they are mainstream and that conservatives should be marginalized.  This, of course, smacks of facism (I have been laughed at by liberals at this, but that’s only because it’s true).

My thoughts on the change in poll numbers is that it is a reaction to the current version of liberal extremism running rampant in Washington D.C.  People are beginning to see the logical result of liberalism and realize that they want nothing to do with it.  Note the poll says nothing about party affiliation, just whether people see themselves as liberal, moderate or conservative.

Global Warming

Along similar lines, the Pew Research Center has conducted a poll indicating that

There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.

Interesting, isn’t it?  Why would this be so, when we’ve been told again and again that anthropogenic global warming is killing us all?  We are inundated with “facts” and figures about melting glaciers, etc., etc.  Just think of all the doom and gloom rhetoric from Obama and Co.   Why are people believing it less?  If you listen to Rahm Emanuel, he’ll tell you it’s because of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News, who are spreading lie after lie.  But, I doubt either can boast of a 40% market share.  The majority of people still get their news from the rest of the media (which aren’t being picked on because they are carrying out their information disseminating services quite well).

No, I suspect it’s because more and more people are realizing that the facts aren’t adding up.  Global Warming is cooling, there are data gaps and conflicts everywhere, and the Administration is running around yelling, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”   Don’t get me wrong, I am concerned about the environment and saving energy.  I like renewable, green energy.  I like clean air (one of the reasons I left SoCal) and potable water.  I just think the AGW scare is an attempt to create fear, so those in control can grab even more power.  But, people aren’t buying it.

Phonies

The whole Afghanistan thing is quite revealing.  We’ve heard O. and Co. laying blame on the prior administration, claiming that with Afghanistan, they were left with nothing, and literally had to start at square one.  In reality, there was an unprecedented amount of cooperation by the Bush team, who provided more assistance, information and advice than any prior administration.  Furthermore, they provided specific analysis of the situation in Afghanistan, but as we’ve now heard from Dick Cheney, Obama requested that they not tell anyone!  Why would they make such a request?  The only reason I can think of is so they could take credit for the plan themselves (which they did back in March).

Yesterday, of course, the White House responded with all kinds of nonsense.  The truth is, Obama is “dithering.”  He either doesn’t know what to do or he doesn’t have the guts to do what he knows he should do.  Certainly he shouldn’t act rashly… but yes, he’s dithering.  He ran off to claim the Olympics, he plans to sign away our national sovereignty in Copenhagen, and he’s obsessed with his healthcare plan (which, by the way, isn’t his, either). Personally, I think Obama is a phony.  He doesn’t have what it takes to be President or Commander in Chief.  I realize it’s a tough job – I certainly couldn’t do it, and wouldn’t want to.  But, he claimed he had what it took to do the job, and he fooled enough people to vote for him.  Now, we’re reaping the results.

Politics

It’s time that Obama – the chief servant of the people (not the dictator) – starts listening to the people.  Less than 1/4 of Americans are liberal.  Most people don’t like his healthcare ideas. They don’t like his approach to economics, and they don’t like his foreign policy.  They don’t want him signing the Copenhagen treaty.  Wake up, Mr. Obama.

He must know by now that chances are, he’s losing his majority on the hill.  And, he’s got to realize that he’s as good as gone in 2012 (well, I hear we all might be, but that’s another matter).

So what does he think he’s doing?

I don’t think he knows.


Jun 30 2009

The politics of global warming “science”

The Preface to the recently discovered internal EPA report (which was suppressed for political reasons), begins:

We have become increasingly concerned that EPA and many other agencies and countries have paid too little attention to the science of global warming. EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups, particularly the IPCC and CCSP, as being correct without a careful and critical examination of their conclusions and documentation.

The report provides a list of important developments that include

  • Global temperatures have declined for 11 years while CO2 emissions and atmospheric levels have continued to increase
  • There appears no correlation between global temperature and hurricanes
  • Greenland is not melting
  • The recession has resulted in greatly decreased greenhouse gas levels
  • A crucial assumption made by the IPCC is not supported by empirical evidence, and actually the feedback is negative
  • IPCC used faulty solar data dismissing the impact of solar variability on global warming

Even more astounding are the internal EPA e-mails quashing the report, one of which states (directed to the author of the study):

The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.

This is shocking behavior, but then again, it isn’t. Many of have known for some time that the true science is being ignored by those wanting to push through manic legislation such as Obama’s Cap and Tax bill (which, by the way, contains many, many surprises that will cripple our economy even more).

Why aren’t more people upset by this?


Mar 2 2009

They couldn’t just be wrong…

From Discovery Channel News:

Earth’s climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat.

That should be good news, right?  According to the article (and a truckload of data that conflicts with the global warming theory), climatologists don’t know why the Earth isn’t heating up as it should.   However, Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee says:

“When the climate kicks back out of this state, we’ll have explosive warming. Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive.”

Wow.  And people wonder why I am not buying the whole global warming thing.