December 12, 2009

Damn It, I Don't Want to Talk About Politics

Here's a Facebook comment thread response I am posting for personal reasons that started with Iowahawk's fabulous Fables of the Reconstruction. You can look the thread up if you are so inclined at my Facebook site. And so, without further ado:

No [name redacted], I understand the role carbon dioxide has in the greenhouse effect, though extending this concept from a small lab closed environment to the closed environment of the entire earth is far from a simple exercise. I'm not terribly familiar with the literature, but I have a reasonable college level physics understanding of why CO2 and methane are especially powerful greenhouse gases. I also have some awareness of the feedback mechanisms the earth has, e.g., increasing its albedo with additional cloud cover from the increased wator vapor in the air. As usual this stuff is real complex and the feedback loops are still not fully understood, which is another problem I have with the models since the true believers have a demonstrated capacity to ignore or discount data which doesn't fit the narrative, but I digress. I did however notice that, as usual, you are defaulting to the debating tactics of trying to change the subject and attacking me by questioning my elementary understanding of the science rather than actually refuting the information provided. Gee, do you have a problem with basic statistics? You see, we can all play the game that way if you choose, but it really doesn't get us very far. I'm really trying to avoid the heat without light nature of these conversations. Perhaps you'd like to join me?

Anyway, if your model is going to claim that CO2 is the primary cause of GW, then you have to explain why previous CO2 increases in the atmosphere didn't generate temperature increases, as well what else caused GW in the past when CO2 concentrations were not as high. Mind you, I'm not saying GW isn't happening, nor am I saying that AGW caused primarily by CO2 isn't happening, nor that we shouldn't be trying to lower CO2 emissions for lots of reasons. In fact, as I have noted before, as soon as those who are most adamantly calling this a crisis start acting like it is a crisis by facilitating the immediate construction of another 200 nuclear reactors to allow for the retirement of coal fired power plants and the planned conversion to electric cars, I'll begin to take them a little more seriously rather than regarding the so-called crisis as the means to the end around to implement a significant element of the transnational progressive agenda, but I digress.

What I am saying is that the predictive power of the bien pensant models is highly questionable and still extremely debatable, and I was saying this long before the CRU leaks. FWIW, I believe that variations in the radiation from the sun that hits the earth -- whether it is due to the level of radiation emiited by the sun, varations in the earth's orbit, flucuations in the earth's magentic fields, and other factors and feedback loops we still don't fully understand -- is vastly more important to whatever GW is going on than the AGW caused by CO2 emissions. Can I back all this up with science that will satisfy you? Of course not, but that's why I used the word believe. For fun, note how often that word shows up in the writings of those who most advocate AGW and the one-world government solutions, and yet, for them the debate is over! But again, I digress.

Given the history of those who claim the sky is falling -- Malthus, Erlich, Holdren, et al -- you'll have to pardon me for asking for more than their Henny Penny like conjectures before turning my future over to their utopian schemes. I'm old enough to remember the first Earth Day when the sky was falling meme was that we were on the edge of a new Ice Age. And now many, if not most, of the very same people are now saying the sky is falling for a meme that is 180 degrees out of phase with what they were saying 30 years ago. Has the science really matured that much in 30 years that we can be so confident in our predictions now? How about we wait another 30 years and see what the sky is falling meme is then before acting?

Of course, YMMV.

Posted by Charles Austin at December 12, 2009 01:41 PM


Don't you just love trying to have rational conversations with anti-science fundamentalists? Make no mistake, the watermelon wackos are mostly operating on faith.

Posted by: Jon at 11:16 AM
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