Time and again, extreme claims about global warming (aka global climate change) turn out to be lacking in one major aspect. That aspect is truth. Today’s story from the London Telegraph tells how the warmest October on record could be explained, considering the unusual cold, snow, and ice activity around the world during the month. It seems that NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, run by Gore apologist, and often inaccurate Dr. James Hansen, recorded October as the hottest on record.
This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China’s official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its “worst snowstorm ever”. In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.
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Since my last post on Global Warming went over so well, I thought this would be an appropriate follow-up. I came across this great complete list of things caused by global warming, each linked to an article or website that speaks to that effect. At least take a moment to look over this hilarious list (at least, hilarious to me). I suggest playing “spot the contradiction” while you read.
When you’re done, you might want to take at the “complete list of things that cause cancer.”
While noted non-scientists such as Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Robert Redford, Ed Begley Jr, and that liberal nutcase friend you have continue to beat the global warming drum, REAL scientists are hardly monolithic in their views of the matter. In fact, a wide variety of REAL experts know better. While the nuts are criticizing the head of the National Hurricane Center for telling the truth about the hurricane cycle, actual scientists who really study these things are telling the truth. Scientists in Canada are speaking out against Gore’s “Scary Movie” and it is a great read.
Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: “Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention.”
Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change. “Climate experts” is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore’s “majority of scientists” think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.
Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. “While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change,” explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. “They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies.”
Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, “There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years.” Patterson asked the committee, “On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?”
There’s more. There’s a lot more. Of course, to appreciate it, you have to be open to the idea that actual scientists might know more about climate change than dropouts like Al Gore.
I’m a big fan of the Space Shuttle. Heck, I’m a big fan of the whole space program. Sure, it’s got its problems, especially in the cost department, but that doesn’t mean that American doesn’t have the coolest space tools government money can buy. As much as I love the Shuttle, though, I think it’s time to put it out to pasture. That’s why I’m especially glad to see some good ideas for its replacement.
The great thing about these ideas for replacing the Shuttle is that it doesn’t require a ground-up redesign. The existing booster-rocket design can be re-used. In addition, a large portion of the current external tank design is very similar. On top of the whole thing, in the cargo version, will be a capsule capable of carrying 100 tons of stuff. The Shuttle currently maxxes out at 20 tons. If this new idea represents an 18 Wheeler Mac truck, the Shuttle would be a Ford E150 van. Don’t get me wrong, I like a Ford E150, but it has some major limits.
The Space Shuttle doesn’t need replacing because it’s a failure. It doesn’t need replacing because of risk, age, or the need for a sexier model. Quite simply, we should be looking at more effective ways to launch larger payloads, for less money, more often.
In the end, I think we’ll be moving to a two-model system of space travel. One will be a collection of private corporations that will supply services to private and government clients. The other will be military. When that happens, access to space will open up greatly.
An interesting post, and open comments for debate, over at Marginal Revolution.
“Suppose that you find a watch in the forest. If you know there is no watchmaker then the theory of evolution is a brilliant and compelling explanation for the presence of complexity without design. But suppose that you know a watchmaker exists then surely the simplest and most compelling explanation is that the watchmaker made the watch. Any other explanation, particularly one so improbable (see extension) as evolution would seem to be preposterous and beside the point.
“Thus for someone who knows, really knows, that god(s) exists (and there are many people who claim to know that god(s) exists) then some form of creationism (see the extension) follows as a rational deduction from the premises. It’s no point telling these people that creationism is unscientific because given the premise that god(s) exists creationism is scientific. If god(s) exists then evolution is almost certainly false, if not in every particular then surely in the grand claims of a undesigned nature.
“Evolutionists don’t like this argument because they know that if the public is forced to choose between evolution and god they will choose god every time. Better inconsistency, they say, than a foolish consistency. Moderate theists don’t like it either because they wish to maintain their theism whilst still being modern, scientific and progressive.
“Only creationists and atheist evolutionists are consistent, everyone else is in a muddle.”
The Hubble Space Telescope was a spectacular achievement 15 years ago when it was put into orbit. Using the orbiting telescope, we’ve been able to look further and study more than we ever could before. Now, though, there’s a debate going on about whether Hubble should be kept in service or allowed to de-orbit and go out of service. I’m a fan of the Hubble, but I think its time is passing, and that it may just be time to end its mission.
When the Hubble Space Telescope was envisioned, it was an answer to a serious problem for astronomers. There was a need to build a better quality telescope than was available on Earth, using the technology of the day. Atmospheric conditions caused problems with detailed imagery, so the obvious answer was to put a telescope above the atmosphere to solve the problem. After the Hubble was launched, and a new lens was installed, we began to see images like we had never seen before. The mission was a fantastic success.
Things are changing in astronomy. New telescopes are coming online, or are in development, that can rival Hubble in image quality. Methods have been designed to overcome the atmospheric limitations of terrestrial telescopes. At the same time, Hubble is requiring more maintenance and attention as it ages. We are at an impasse, where we must ask ourselves whether the need to keep Hubble in operation is out of scientific need or merely affection.
I admit to affection. Hubble is one cool piece of technology. I’d just as soon it stay in orbit forever, doing the job it was meant to do. In scientific terms, however, I have to wonder if it isn’t time to start bringing its mission to an end. With respect to Tyler Cowen, I think the Hubble mission should be finished.
A classic post from Lockjaw’s Xanga Page
I’m a science heretic. I have two basic beliefs that are contrary to those of most “serious scientists.” The first is this. I believe that God created the heavens and the Earth. The second heretical basic belief is that the speed of light is no limitation to travel.
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