Who To Believe? - part one

One would think, with the advances we've made as a country in science, it wouldn't be hard to find the truth about something as simple as 'global warming'. Being at least somewhat concerned about our planet - I'm not an 'eco-emotionalist', but I love the beauty I enjoy daily and wish to see it maintained and cared for in a responsible manner - something as 'big' as global warming is at least looking into, right?

And, of course the thinking person would assume something as big as global warming would be well researched, well reported, and well, generally clear! NOT! In fact, my studies are revealing, amonst other things, a new definition for 'political science.'

You know, political science. Webster's says it means: 'the science of the principles and conduct of government.' That makes sense. However, that definition is clearly outdated, except possibly for use in acadamia.

The new definition of polical science is: 'the practice of science to achieve a politically defined scientific law'. Obviously I use the word 'law' tongue-in-cheek as no real scientific laws can be proven if based on strong pre-supposition and forced to conform to political whims. However, more and more the evidence is weighing in which proves, at least in part, this form of 'science' is being used to 'prove' global warming.

So, is it real? Global warming that is. Like so many other things the media spoon-feeds the majority of Americans today, I'd say that all depends on who you ask. If, however, you look at the scientific evidence, well, that appears to be weak at best.

The logical question follows. If, as I'm suggesting, global warming is more 'myth' than 'reality', why isn't that what we're all hearing? Anyone who watches the news, reads a magazine, or visits most news sites on the Web is hearing everything BUT this. Where are all these well-qualified scientists and climatologists and meterologists who are poo-pooing the idea? Beaten down and threatened, their voices are being squashed on every turn!

In America? Good Lord, what are we coming to? I think it all boils down to my new definition of political science. After all, what's the big deal? If global warming is a reality, why these nay-sayers? Worse yet, why are they being bad-mouthed, refused funding, and threatened - even with death for contradicting the popular opinion?

In the early stages of Hitler's Germany I can imagine someone questioning the treatment of the Jews being treated thus. But in America? In the 21st century? In a 'free' nation? Unthinkable! Maybe?

Let's look at a little proof. First the pro-side. My latest email 'news' from the National Wildlife Federation says, "The National Wildlife Federation's Gardener's Guide To Global Warming has been all over the news this month letting people know how global warming is affecting gardens across the country. The New York Times, Associated Press, and NPR have all picked it up." They go on to make such strong statements as, "By the end of the century, the climate will no longer be favorable for the official state tree or flower in 28 states." Then they tell us to, "Urge your representative to support strong global warming legislation."

Strong words. No proof, of course, but strong words. Sounds bad but to a thinking people our first thought ought to be, 'where's the proof?' That's what I'm left wondering.

Then my latest edition of The Nature Conservancy, a regular publication put out by folks whose work here in the Centennial I have admired, jumps on the band-wagon with both feet. In their article boldly titled, "An 'Unequivical' Change" they say a 'monumental new report leaves little doubt that humans have hand in climate change.' They go on to say, 'the world's leading body of climate scientists concluded in its latest assessment that climate change is 'unequivocal' and that people are more than likely to be causing the recent increases in temperature and other climate shifts. . .' (emphasis mine). At least this report offers 'proof' - of a sort.

An increase in global temperatures since 1906 of 1.3 degrees Fareneheit.

Is that all? Based on other research I've read, that is an iffy suggestion at best. But, what kills me - these prophets of doom porport the temperature has raised 1.3 degrees in the last 100 years. But they project it will rise 3 to 7 degrees in the next 94 years.

Let's look at that. We have 'proof' (there's proof to the opposite too) that the temperature has raised 1.3 degrees in the last 100 years. However, they 'project' (remember that is like saying they 'think') it will increase 2 times to more than 5 times that amount in the next 100 years. Now, without offering proof as to why this phenomenon will occur, I see that as little more than a scare tactic.

They go on to say, 'most of the observed increase in globally averaged tempertures since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.' (emphasis mine) . Does anyone else see the huge 'I THINK SO' this is based on? (By the way, anthropogenic is a fancy way of saying it's caused by man)

But, that isn't all, the report goes on to lay out six scenarios that project how the Earth will continue to change based on what we do (which boils down to how much we're willing to spend on eco-credits). The doomsayers continue, 'If these emissions continue unabated during the next 100 years, the scientists project that consequences will include flooding, increased wildfires, increased heat waves, storms, and droughts.'

Wow, it sounds terrible. I must admit, if they are right there is reason to be concerned. However, they may have the podium, but they aren't the only ones in the auditorium who have the knowledge and skills to provide a valid opinion on this subject - and, let's admit it, that's all they've done.

What I find even more confusing, is the 'solution' for this whole thing. This is where the 'political' involvement becomes crystal clear. In this same edition of The Nature Conservancy magazine, there is a profile of the 'politically proper environmental scientist', one of the Nature Conservancy's own.

Mr. Patrick Gonzalez is leading the way into the brave new world - or at least the world as global warming prophets see it. He's gone 'climate neutral', living the good life without leaving a footprint behind. Or, at least in theory it works that way.

Now, don't misunderstand me. Mr. Gonzalez does not live in a cave, run around naked, and live on nothing but air - forget food and water, after all they are part of the planet which he would 'pollute' by using them. No, in fact, Mr. Gonzalez lives in a comfortable home, in the big city, eats Peanut Butter (which comes in a plastic jar by the way) and I'm sure other assorted foods, most likely drinks water as his photo shows him to be a healthy specimen, and does a bit of globe trotting.

How then, can Mr. Gonzalez consider himself to be living 'climate neutral'? Well, for starters he doesn't own a car. However, he does travel via public transport and plane. He continues to light his home with electricity. He eats food packed in environmentally harmful (or so we're told) containers. So, how does he manage to live 'climate neutral'. Well, folks, here's the wave of the future as global warming enthusiasts see it.

Mr. Gonzalez faithfully fills out a spreadsheet he has created. On a monthly basis he tracks his energy use then mutiplies 'by 2.6 - to account for the entire infastructure that supports our lifestyle - to get our total greenhouse gas emissions.' Then he purchases carbon offsets from a company that builds windmills and methane recovery plants. And, he always washes the peanut butter jar and recycles it!

Wow! That sounds impressive. But what exactly is he doing for the environment (outside of recycling and using public transportation)? His lifestyle sure seems a long way from what I'd consider 'climate neutral'. But, as you can see, 'climate neutral' really consists in what you buy - in this case, eco-credits or as our prototype called them, carbon offsets. And, this does what? Well, as I will go on to show - next time - it pads some already well-padded pockets for one.

(Don't you wish you built windmills? Maybe we should all switch. Then we can look forward to having everyone send us a nice monthly check to off-set their 'greenhouse gas emissions'.)

Lady of the Lake

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