Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Of Senses And Consensus

Temperatures are rising, the polar ice caps are melting, the penguins and polar bears are in danger. Soon cities like NYC and Boston will partially be under water and global warming will all be our fault.

But wait, here's something interesting.

South America this year experienced one of its coldest winters in decades. In Buenos Aires, snow fell for the first time since the year 1918. Dozens of homeless people died from exposure. In Peru, 200 people died from the cold and thousands more became infected with respiratory diseases. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency.

Unexpected bitter cold swept the entire Southern Hemisphere in 2007. Johannesburg, South Africa, had the first significant snowfall in 26 years. Australia experienced the coldest June ever. In northeastern Australia, the city of Townsville underwent the longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941. In New Zealand, the weather turned so cold that vineyards were endangered.


The last couple of years here, in the heartland, temps have been higher at this time of year. But this year we've had a couple of winter storms already and the low has fallen to as low as 3 degrees F. But when someone points this out, the subject shifts from global warming to "climate change". Never mind that the climate is a dynamic and ever-changing phenomenon, despite what man does or doesn't do.

So, I guess amid all of this confusing rhetoric, I have this figured out now. In summer, it's global warming. If it's an unusually cool summer, it's climate change. If it's winter, it's climate change. If it's an unusually warm winter, it's global warming. At least that seems to be the pattern, as I have noticed.

I call this talking in circles.

Another interesting thing to note is something I can thank PYY regular reader Amerloque for sharing in the comment section, of a previous post.

With all of this talk of consensus, we have seen that there really is none. As I have pointed out in a recent post, finding a consensus is not easy. There are those that say there is and those that say there isn't. Also, there are those that think man is causing this and those that don't. And if you thought you had that straight, now comes an article that shows there isn't even a consensus among those that think man is responsible for warming.

Bjorn Lomborg hardly calls himself the anti-Gore - he believes that global warming truly exists and that human beings are the central factor in its growth - but he does get labeled a climate-crisis denier. Considering the diction, that sounds like an attempt to place him in the category of a David Irving, who did jail time in Austria for Holocaust denial.

Lomborg, a Danish professor of statistics who describes himself as "a slight lefty in Denmark, which makes probably makes me incredibly left in the U.S.", offers a non-hysterical analysis of climate change in books (like "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming") and lectures.

Basically, without apocalyptic screech or a debunker's mocking contempt, Lomborg says the real discussion is "about how much we can do."

I have said it before and I will say it again: If we take care of the planet and cut back on energy consumption, it's a good thing. But, let's stop with the scare tactics and the politicization of the entire issue. There is nothing wrong with keeping the planet clean and certainly nothing wrong with educating people on how to do so. But let's not turn this into a socialism issue by punishing wealthy countries (while giving the "so-called" developing countries that are spilling tons of pollutants into the air, a free pass). It really makes no sense.


11 comments:

Sgt. Dog said...

Mr. Sunsett:

This is a formal complaint and summons for you to appear before the Politically Offensive Opinion Police (POOP) Tribunal for crimes against left-wing groupthink. Your failure to get in line could actually destroy the world, and you don't even care. Typical free-thinker - you only care about the facts.

Due to your continued defiant activities, the Mind Crimes Unit of POOP opened an investigation of you. And you have already been found guilty. Appear on the date noted on your summons to receive your sentence: a lifetime of ridicule and scorn.

Very truly yours,
Sgt. Dog, POOP

LASunsett said...

Sgt Dog,

//Appear on the date noted on your summons to receive your sentence: a lifetime of ridicule and scorn.//

I am already married.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that the author of this ultra-conservative blog does not understand the ramifications of disagreeing with our leader, Albert Gore, Jr., (PBUH). The cavalier comment about “being married” is obviously a sexist remark intended to belittle other of the Great Spirit’s children, women. If this is true, then what chance to the squirrels and bunny rabbits have in this ever-warming spaceship, the blue marble? Until the people accept Mr. Gore’s (PBUH) warnings with the totality he deserves, then all I can say is that Polar Bears and Penguins do not stand a snowball’s chance in hell. Hey, that was an excellent pun, yes? So Mr. Los Angeles, who has all the answers, if the earth isn’t warming, then why are all those Brazilian women perpetually half-naked?

C. Little

LASunsett said...

//So Mr. Los Angeles, who has all the answers, if the earth isn’t warming, then why are all those Brazilian women perpetually half-naked?//

They have great tans.

A.C. McCloud said...

I always knew you were full of poop, LA, but never thought you'd win an award for it. Congrats!

Hey, I was going to say something serious, which now seems out of gear for this comment thread. But Ok, here goes.

The sea ice around Antarctica, which has expanded significantly this year, IS a product of warmer air (more snow - remember, Antarctica is a desert), However, the larger sea ice coverage reflects more solar heat and also, the deeper snow pack on the continent will act to LOWER SEA LEVELS, something few are mentioning. Gaia has a way of taking care of herself and is surely laughing at all of this. :-)

Mustang said...

My take is the same as yours, LA. I think we have a moral obligation to take care of the planet. Not just you, or me, but everyone. So far, I hear the BS, but I do not see Gore and others who are the loudest to demand reform actually walking the walk. If this country wanted to solve air pollution problems, we could. Automotive manufacturers could produce an environmentally friendly car; cities could develop “Disney Land” style electric trains and rid ourselves of smoke belching city buses and school buses. A greater reliance on train systems would enable us to have fewer diesel trucks. Now I honestly don’t see any movement in these directions — and I know that there are some good reasons why we just can’t outlaw gasoline engines or 8 cylinder SUVs. My complaint is that whenever Gore (et.al.) speaks of needed changes, he is referring only to OUR CLASS of people, not the upper crust who can afford their own jets, multiple SUVs, and houses the size of a municipal auditorium.

Where am I wrong on this?

PS. Are you really full of Poop?

LASunsett said...

AC,

//The sea ice around Antarctica, which has expanded significantly this year, IS a product of warmer air (more snow - remember, Antarctica is a desert), However, the larger sea ice coverage reflects more solar heat and also, the deeper snow pack on the continent will act to LOWER SEA LEVELS, something few are mentioning.//

Interesting. Even more so now that I know this, because the fearmongers are claiming sea levels are rising and will submerge present coastlines (next week, if we do not act now). I guess file that under "talking in circles".

Thanks for the info.

LASunsett said...

Mustang,

//PS. Are you really full of Poop?//

I try to eat a lot of fiber. Seems to work okay for now.

LASunsett said...

//I was going to say something serious, which now seems out of gear for this comment thread.//

Yeah, it appears that it has devolved somewhat, doesn't it?

Mark said...

well it was a full on powder day at alpine meadows in northlake tahoe...rode on about a foot of fresh snow - in mid december! So..I don't care about climate change as long as this keeps happening. And if it stops, we'll all die of thirst out here in the west anyway so why worry about it. (Fully determined never to live in the midwest/east of this country again)

LASunsett said...

Mark,

//Fully determined never to live in the midwest/east of this country again//

If you could have been here this past week, you could've skied your ass off (if we had a mountain, that is).