Exposing PseudoAstronomy

August 17, 2011

The Science that Should Never Have Been So Politicized: Global Climate Change


Introduction

This is actually going to be a fairly short post, and it occurred to me to write it after seeing this headline, “In New Hampshire, Perry Calls Global Warming ‘A Scientific Theory That Has Not Been Proven.'”

Climate Change

I’ll start with the obvious: Global climate change is about as real as it gets, and the change is a general warming trend. It is the state of the science. Well over 95% of scientists who actually study climate science agree that global climate change is happening, and they agree that humans are helping it along a lot more than would be happening via any natural processes. For what it’s worth, even George Noory, the host of the paranormal radio show Coast to Coast AM, agrees that global warming is real (though he doesn’t think humans are the main cause).

What I’ve just very briefly summarized is the science. As in the vast overwhelming majority of the evidence and models and data point to this. Science is neutral politically. Unfortunately, politicians have made it not.

Politicization

This is actually something that I don’t quite understand. It seems as though the general theme in American politics is that Democrats are on the “side” of science while Republicans tend to be “against” science. This has been evidenced throughout the past several decades via the positions and votes of politicians on both sides of the aisle, and I think that most people who follow this in any way would agree, regardless of their political leanings. (I will admit that I generally vote on the liberal side of issues, but I don’t think that that should matter for the sake of this post.)

Where this has really come to the fore probably more-so than almost any other topic (bar, perhaps, the EPA), is on global warming: Democrats say it’s real, Republicans vehemently deny it.

As an aside, I can understand fully if Republicans were to accept that the science shows global warming is real, but that it would be cost-prohibitive to do something about it. I may disagree with that stance, but that would be political and something for the politicians perhaps to figure out. More likely the economists, but anyway, it’s a consequence of the science that they disagree with, not the basic, fundamental science for which they have no background with which they can evaluate it (I think last I heard that there were three physicists in Congress? and even a physicist is not a climatologist despite the fact many like to think they know everything).

Rick Perry

Enter the latest Republican science denier, Rick Perry. For those who have been deaf to news in the last few months, Rick Perry is the current, third-term governor of Texas. He is also, by many accounts, a young-Earth creationist, having stacked the state Board of Education with young-Earth creationists, and having recently held an evangelical Christian rally called “The Response” to effectively pray away America’s problems. Enough background …

The ABS blog story I linked to above starts out with, “At his first stop in the first primary state, Texas Gov. Rick Perry questioned the validity of scientific claims of global warming.” I would like to know when Rick Perry did his graduate work on climate science or any related field. Any.

The quote from Perry, specifically, is:

“I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their — to their projects. And I think we’re seeing almost weekly or even daily scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climate’s changed, they’ve been changing ever since the Earth was formed. … I don’t think from my perspective that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.”

Perry fails to realize three things. First, scientists are generally not like politicians: We don’t change our views to pander to people to make them happy or to get money from them. Second, the scientists who are “coming forward and questioning … man made global warming” are generally not climate scientists. They’re engineers or weathermen or physicists, not climate scientists. It’s like the Discovery Institute (Intelligent Design -central) and their “Dissent from Darwinism” list that contains the name of scientists who “doubt darwinism” when <1% of the people on that list are actually biologists. Finally, Perry obviously has not read my post about what scientists mean by the term “theory.” (Hint: It doesn’t mean “some idea I came up with while channeling Jeshuah and can throw away just as easily.”

Final Thoughts

I expect that this post isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about anything. People who already accept science will continue to accept it. People who don’t will continue to not. And the political machine will continue to distort, ignore, stifle, or try to destroy science when it suits their particular message of the hour.

But, I’ve now said what I wanted to on this for the moment, and I haven’t done a global warming post in awhile.

14 Comments »

  1. I am glad that you’re not skeptical about climate change and global warming. And I’m also glad that real scientists who understand and acknowledge it are…catching up with what Billy Meier first published, back in 1951, in Open Letter to all Human Beings of Earth (number 24.) and in 1958, in Warning to all the governments of Europe! (number 54.)* Note also that Meier has long pointed to overpopulation as the underlying factor in the manmade contribution to the phenomena.

    Please understand that this is not a case of attempted one-upmanship. If you are staying scientifically objective you can’t help but notice and acknowledge that Meier has been way ahead on scientific matters for decades. The reason is simple – he’s telling the truth about his contacts with more advanced human beings.

    Let’s remember that science and scientists are about DISCOVERING things, not about assuming that they already know everything. You will be seeing quite a bit more corroboration of Meier’s information on a regular basis and only the most blindly defiant persons will attempt to keep on denying the undeniable.

    Please do keep focused on the discovery aspect of your scientific pursuits above all else and you may find some very unexpected benefits of doing so.

    (*I am including the names of the articles I refer to simply because it may be in questionable taste to fill other people’s blogs with links. If anyone does want to check out the articles they can search them out, or contact me directly, unless for any reasons you approve of links. Thanks.)

    Comment by Michael Horn — August 17, 2011 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  2. I find it slightly amusing and very interesting that Perry is so adamant about denying AGW – when he is governor of the state most affected by the very thing he’s denying.
    From what I’ve seen from the Natl’ weather service, the current drought in Texas is at least as bad as the drought that gave rise to the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930’s. and I couldn’t help but notice his call for prayer to end the drought was a resounding failure. you would almost begin the think God is trying to punish Perry for being such a – dare I say it – idiot.

    Comment by Bad Wolf — August 18, 2011 @ 3:43 am | Reply

  3. Michael Horn:

    I found one of Billy Meier’s letters which mentions climate change.
    Point 1: he describes climate change and other disasters as a result of overpopulation. CO2 is not mentioned, nor is global warming.
    Point 2: he expects serious detrimental effects of climate change by 1961 (“in only one decade from today”) and expects “monstrous and unprecedented unemployment” around 1990. Not great on timing, then.
    Point 3: he says that the “monstrous mass and weight of the cities and villages(!)” will stress the Earth’s structure leading to tremors. A little arithmetic shows that damming rivers puts much more stress on the Earth and can indeed cause tremors. The weight of cities is negligible by comparison.
    Finally, there were several discussions of CO2-induced global warming before 1900. Even if Meier had got his facts right, he would merely be catching up with Arrhenius (1896).

    Comment by David Evans — August 18, 2011 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  4. Re Point 1, I think you didn’t dig deeply enough…and admittedly there’s volumes of information to go through. As far back as CONTACT 7 [Tuesday, February 25, 1975, 6:02 p.m.], Meier was being informed of the damages to the ozone from bromine gases, CFCs, etc. In the 1958 letter, in number 54. he specifically states, “a climbing climatic warming becomes apparent “.

    Point 2., I’d have to say that the effects on the environment certainly didn’t improve in those years. And I’d have to look more into the unemployment figures, since I’m not familiar with them internationally.

    Re Point 3, CONTACT 45 [Wednesday, February 25, 1976, 3:04 a.m.] goes into the effects of mining, oil drilling, DAMS, etc. It also depends on where a city is built and how large it gets, etc. I think we may yet see clear causal connections there. BTW, do a search on sinkholes and their proximity to mining. We have an article about that too.

    There are other more recent articles/information on CO2-related matters, the atmosphere and such, like The Danger of Atmospheric Collapse (or Wake Up STUPID Human Beings!), The Crime Against All Life, etc.

    Since you have decided to look into the material, the 1958 letter also foretells two U.S. wars with Iraq, plastic credit cards, portable telephones and like the 1951 letter speaks about every home having a television and computer…interconnected electronically around the world. Dozens of other things as well. The article Will Humanity Wake Up…in Time? is a compilation of many already corroborated, mainly scientific “hits” by Meier. As I think I mention there, I’ve stopped updating that compilation as more and more gets confirmed all the time, which I sometimes then include in my blogs.

    Comment by Michael Horn — August 18, 2011 @ 11:57 am | Reply

  5. All theories are proven already, lest they be hýpotheses.

    Jeshuah -> Jèsu or J·hoshuqh

    Look up Bond event, and be ready to move to Canada or Siberia in 800 to 900 years. The good thing about the latter is the cheap titanium and beryllium.

    Comment by Autymn D. C. — August 18, 2011 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  6. A side note: Stuart you did a post a while back about “Creationist winning the culture war”. While this has little to do with creationist I think its a good example of that kind of word play. Climate “change” wasn’t always called that. But it has conveniently been renamed to sound, maybe, less harmful. While the actual “change” is the original global warming.
    Just a thought.

    Comment by Sparx — August 21, 2011 @ 8:12 am | Reply

    • Sparx, first, I have to say that I don’t know what actual climate scientists were referring to it in, say, the 1960s and ’70s, but I will assume for this purpose that they did generally call it “global warming.” I’ve noticed the shift in the last maybe decade or so to people trying to use the term “climate change” instead, and the justification I’ve heard is that it is somewhat more accurate. “Global warming,” when you hear it, sounds like the entire globe is heating up. That is what the evidence is showing. But, that warming overall does not mean there won’t still be snow. It also means that weather patterns will shift, and that ocean currents could shift. If, for example, the Gulf Stream were to shut down or dramatically change, then England would be significantly colder than it is now (all other things being equal). So while I still may use the term “global warming” as do most other people, I do try to make a point of at least introducing it as “climate change” before effectively equating the two even though they’re not entirely equal.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — August 21, 2011 @ 10:11 am | Reply

      • Sounds like it was me just now that Politicized the therms. Your approach/definition sounds very sound. And I did a quick popover to wikipedia and it was define similarly there.
        I guess now I can stop having a problem with the term “climate change”, yeay me!😉

        Comment by Sparx — August 23, 2011 @ 2:22 am

      • Sorry, the spam filter’s acting up and this went to spam. That’s why it’s taken some time to appear.

        Comment by Stuart Robbins — August 25, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  7. i agree the earth is warming but i’m not sure about the idea that mankind’s actions in the last hundred years or so are the main driver of the warming, although I admit it seems likely . the huge question for me is what should we do about it , i don’t think we can do anything to effect global warming unless all the nations of the world agree to work together . go team humanity!

    Comment by walter walkie — August 23, 2011 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

    • And see, that “what do we do about it?” part is what I think could be a legitimate political debate (though I think it needs to stay informed by the science). Debating whether or not it’s happening simply is not a political question, it is a science one.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — August 23, 2011 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

      • yes we have to watch out for politicians that make claims about science and scientists that make claims about politics , haha . I also would want more scientists that are willing to serve as politicians but the number of people who excel at both science and politics might be small, at leat at the moment . for the last three years I have been trying to figure out as well as I can why humans have not made more of an effort to live and work in space . after a couple months I quickly turned from reading mostly science stuff to reading mostly news and political commentary . i think right now a human has not set foot on the moon since apollo or set foot on mars mostly because of politics . i know we can’t start colonies and be self sufficient in space anytime soon but the sooner we start gaining new experience the sooner that time will come , i hope we don’t all turn against each other arguing about the best way to preserve the exquisite and priceless cradle we were born and spent our early years in while we give up on expanding our horizons and exploring our environment

        Comment by Walter Walkie — August 23, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  8. Ok if there really is CO2 caused global warming how do you explain the massive increase in ice in the antarctic? The record low temperatures across the USA? I laugh every time I hear the term “Climate change” . LOL isn’t that what climate does?

    Comment by theLoc Doc — October 31, 2014 @ 3:37 am | Reply

    • Scientists are bouncing around hypotheses about why ice is increasing off Antarctica, but none of those exclude what the vast majority of climate scientists agree on (the term you love to laugh at). Looking only at temperatures in the US, to the exclusion of the rest of the world, gives one a very limited picture of what’s actually going on with the global situation. You do know that climate is measured over the course of decades or longer, rather than just a few months, right?

      Comment by Rick K. — November 2, 2014 @ 12:30 pm | Reply


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